This was conspicuously the case in England at the time of the Great Rebellion, when those who rebelled against the king were moved to do so by regard for the law of England, which, as they thought, had been violated by Charles I.
Many of the loyalists on the contrary, cared little for the law and constitution, and were animated by personal devotion to their kings, for whom they were willing to sacrifice their liberty and life.
The deep loyalty of the Cavaliers was brilliantly displayed on many a hard fought battlefield, and is sung in the pathetic lyrics of Lovelace and other poets of the time who supported the royal cause.
Indeed Charles I, belonged to a family which, from the beginning to the end of its tragic history, had a wonderful power of exciting passionate loyalty.
One of the earliest of the Stuart kings of Scotland, after making noble efforts to establish peace and justice in his native country, was attacked by a party of assassins who resented his innovations.
He was taken at a disadvantage while sitting unarmed with his wife and her ladies-in-waiting, and, when the noise of the approaching conspirators was heard, it was found that the bolts and bars had been removed from the room, in which the family party were quietly conversing, apprehensive of no evil.
Thus the king would have been immediately at the mercy of the assassins, had not a lady of the noble house of Douglas thrust her arm as a bolt in the staple of the door, and so delayed the murderers, until they burst open the door and broke her delicate arm.
It is sad to relate that her splendid act of devotion did not save the life of the doomed king. A similar spirit of devotion to the Stuart kings was displayed for more than three centuries until the time when the noblest blood of Scotland was Poured out like water in the gallant but hopeless attempt to place Charles Edward on the throne of his fathers.
But it must not be supposed that the spirit of loyalty is confined to one country or continent. Consider, for instance, from Maratha history, the case of Sukharam Hari, Raghoba’s devoted adherent.
Who after he had lain fourteen months in heavy chains, emaciated by hunger and thirst, exclaimed with his dying breath, “My strength is gone and my life is going; but when voice and breath fail, my fleshless bones shall still shout Raghunath Rao! Raghunath Rao!”
No better instance could be quoted to show how, in the words of Shakespeare, “He that can endure to follow with allegiance a fallen lord, Does conquer him that did his master conquer and earns a place in story.”
It reflects credit on human nature that many such stories illuminate the pages of ancient and modern history. The word loyalty is not confined to the feeling of a faithful subject to a king; for we can speak of a loyal friend, a loyal servant, a loyal partner, and even a loyal dog.
We can also be loyal to abstract ideas, such as principles, religion and our native land; for loyalty means sincere and faithful attachment to anything.