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Sunday, the 22nd of May, in the sixty-fourth year of his age. and the thirty-first of his reign, he expired. A wild wail of grief arose from the army and the people, on hearing that Constantine was dead. The body was laid out in a coffin of gold, and carried by a procession of the whole army, headed by his son Constans, to Constantinople. For three months it lay there in state in the palace, lights burning round, and guards watching. During all this time the Empire was without a head. All went on as though he were yet alive. One dark shadow from the great tragedy of his life reached to his last end, and beyond it. It is said that the Bishop of Nicomedia, to whom the Emperor's will had been confided by Eustochius, alarmed at its contents, immediately placed it for security in the dead man's hand, wrapped in the vestments of death. There it lay till Constantius arrived, and read his father's dying request. It was believed to express the Emperor's dying conviction that he had been poisoned by his brothers and their children, and to call on Constantius to avenge his death. That bequest was obeyed by the massacre of six out of the surviving princes of the imperial family. Two alone escaped. With such a mingling of light and darkness did Constantine close his career.
When the tidings reached Rome, the old metropolis steadily ignored the revolution that had passed over the world in the person of the deceased Emperor. He was regarded but as one in the series of the Cæsars. He was enrolled, like his predecessors, as a matter of course, amongst the gods of the heathen Clympus.
Incense was offered before his statue. A picture of his apotheosis was prepared. Festivals were cele- . brated in his honour.
But in his own Christian city of Constantinople he had himself arranged the altered celebration of his death. Not amongst the gods and heroes of heathenism, but amongst those who now seemed to him the nearest approach to them, the Christian Apostles, his lot was to be cast. He had prepared for his mausoleum a church, -sometimes, like that which he had founded at Rome, called the “ Church of St. Peter," but more usually the “Church of the Apostles.”
Thither the body was borne. Constantius was now present ; and as it reached the church the prince (for he too was still an unbaptised catechumen) withdrew with the Pagan guards, and left the Imperial corpse alone, as it lay aloft in the centre of the church in its sarcophagus of porphyry. Prayers were offered for his soul; he was placed amongst the Apostles ; and he formally received the names which he had borne in life, and which then became so purely personal that they descended to his sons, “ Victor, Maximus, Augustus."
, So passionate was the attachment of the people of Constantinople to the tomb of their founder, that the attempt to remove it for safety to another church whilst its own was being prepared, provoked a sanguinary riot. The church became the royal burial-place of the Byzantine emperors. There they all lay in imperial state till in the fourth crusade the coffins were rifled and the bodies cast out.
NOTES. - Constantine. - Was born in their alleged want of modesty, and February, 272, in Dardania, now part contempt of the feelings, ways, and of Southern Austria. Philip.-King of aims of men. It means doglike, snarling, Macedon, father of Alexander the Great; su rly, &c. Disregard of human life, &c. born, 359 B.C.; murdered, 336 B.C., at the -Constantine, in his later years, put age of thirty-three. Alexander.-His son, to death his eldest son and Socinius, was born in the year 355 B.C.; died, 323 B.C., his nephew, A.D. 324. Grecian Alexander. at the age of thirty-two, having conquered -Alexander put to death Parmenion, a the world. Augustus.-Octavianus Cæsar, faithful general, and his son, in 330 nephew of Julius Cæsar, and his suc- B.C.; killed his friend Cleitus, in 329, cessor in power. The first Roman and put to death a number of persons Emperor. Born, 63 B.C.; made Emperor, for “conspiracy,” in 327. He died, 323, 43 B.C.; died, A.D. 14, after a reign of
B.C. Henry VIII.-In his later years fifty-seven years. Cæsar.-Julius Cæsar, it was, sooner or later, death to almost born, 100 B.C.; murdered in the Senate
any one to be high in his service. House at Rome, 43 B.C.; made himself Teutonic or Sclavonic kingdoms.-Kingsupreme in Rome, and paved the way doms of the race of the Teutons (Gerfor the Empire. Charlemagne. -Charleg the mans), _or Slaves (Russians, Poles, Great, King of the Franks, and founder &c). The Middle Age kingdoms. of the German Empire ; born in Bava- Diocletian, Roman Emperor, born in ria, A.D. 742; died at Aix-la-Chapelle, Dalmatia, of very humble parents, A.D. where his skull is yet shown, A.D. 814.
A great persecutor of the ChrisElizabeth.--Daughter of Henry VIII. and tians. Abdicated, A.D. 305; died, 313. Anne Boleyn; born, 1533; died, 1603 ; Maxentius.-Emperor, 306–312; defeated after a reign of forty-five years, having by Constantius, and drowned in the ascended the throne in 1558. Cromwell. Tiber by the weight of his armour;, a -Oliver, Lord Protector of England ; hateful tyrant. Julian, — Called the born at Huntingdon, 1599, son of Apostate, but unjustly. Born 331 ; was private gentleman ; died, 1658. Luther.- Emperor 361-363, when he fell on the Martin, the great German Reformer, battlefield near Maronga, fighting against son of a poor miner ; born at Eisleben, the Persians. Nephew of Constantine Saxony, 1483; died, 1546. Prætorium. - the Great ; a man of high genius, of Properly a general's tent, but used for pure life, just, and great-minded. He the residence of the governor of a sought to revive Paganism as better province, or for any large house or than the corrupt Christianity amidst palace. Here, of the head-quarters, which he had been brought up. The at the military post of York. Suppres- Antonines.-Antoninus Pius, who sucsion of the monasteries.-Took place in ceeded Hadrian; he died, A.D. 161, 1535 and 1539, under Henry VIII. His aged seventy-five years, and was sucmother's name,
Helena. — From which ceeded by his adopted son, Marcus we have St. Helen's. His father.--Con- Aurelius Antoninus; born at Rome, in stantius Chlorus, or “The Pale ;" born the year 121; died, 180, aged fifty-nine. about A.D. 250 ; died at York, July 25th, Both, in many respects, most excellent 306. Nicæa.-A town of Bithynia, Asia men. Niebuhr.-A great Roman hisMinor. The great council which adopted torian; born at Copenhagen, 1776; the Nicene Creed met there in A.D. 325. died, 1831. Church of the Holy Sepulchre.Eusebius.-Bishop of Cæsarea and Eccle- At Jerusalem. Stood erect. - In the early siastical Historian; born in Palestine, Church the congregation always stood. about 270 ; died 338. Trachala.—“Thick They were not, indeed, allowed to sit neck." Hadrian.-Born, A.D. 76; died down in church, nor would they have 139. Cynical.-Sneering, from the sect of wished to do it, sitting appearing too the Cynics, founded by Diogenes, who died irreverent. The preacher, however, sat, 323 B.C. The name was given them from in accordance with Jewish custom. It
was also usual for the audience to express stantine's third son. He murdered all his their approval of the preacher's language father's relatives, and two of his own by loud applause, as we do now at brothers. It was under him that the public meetings. Greek.-Greek was Emperor Julian was brought up, in spoken in Constantinople. Easter.-A s rict confinement. He claimed to be a feast in remembrance of the Resurrec- Christian. Olympus.-The heaven
of tion of Our Lord. Helenopolis.-A cit, in the ancients-from Mount Olympus, in Bithynia, Asia Minor, called, with several Thessaly, on whose peak, which was others, after Constantine's mother. Cate- thought to reach up into heaven, the chumen.-In the early Church, one taught gods were believed to hold their court. only the principles of religion, but not bap- Apotheosis.-The raising to divine hontised; or, if baptised, not yet admitted to ours. Victor.–The conqueror. Maximus. the communion. Nicomedia.-A city of - The greatest. Augustus.—The august. Bithynia. Constans.--Fourth son of Čon- Byzantine.-Of Byzantium, or Constanstantine. Eustochius.—The court physician. tinople. Fourth Crusade.-A.D. 1195, under Constantius.-Afterwards Emperor, Con- Henry VI., Emperor of Germany.
COMPOSITION.—Write an abstract of the facts told respecting Constantine.
AN ENGLISH PEASANT. - Crabbe. The Rev. George Crabbe, Rector of Trowbridge, Wilts, was born at Aldborough, Suffolk, in 1754. He was of humble origin, and owed his position in the Church to Burke, who saw his genius and assisted him. His principal poems are “The Library," “ The Village,” and “The Tales of the Hall.” His style is marked by its minute fidelity to life and nature, which are painted with great force, pathos, and originality: His poems were the last book, except the Bible, read to Sir Walter Scott. He died in 1832. The following extract is from “ The Parish Register.”
NEXT to these ladies, but
in nought allied, A noble peasant, Isaac Ash
ford, died. Noble he was, contemning
all things mean, His truth unquestioned and
his soul serene: Of no man's presence Isaac
felt afraid; At no man's question Isaac
looked dismayed : Shame knew him not, he
dreaded no disgrace; Truth, simple truth, was
written in his face: Yet while the serious
thought his soul approved, Cheerful he seemed, and
gentleness he loved ; To bliss domestic he his
And with the firmest had the fondest mind:
COMPOSITION.–Write the character of Isaac Ashford, in prose. MAHOMET.-E. Gibbon,
and T. Carlyle.
Edward Gibbon, author of "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," a book of immense learning, and of great brilliancy of style, was born at Putney, in 1737, and died in London, in 1794. His History occupied him from October,
1764, to June, 1787, twentythree
years. It is marred by his covert hostility to Christianity. -For notice of Carlyle, see “Fifth Reader,"
115. THE son of Abdallah
was educated in the bosom of the noblest
race, in the use of the purest dialect of Arabia ;
and the fluency of his speech was corrected and enhanced by the practice of discreet and seasonable silence. With these powers of eloquence
Mahomet was an illiterate barbarian; his youth had never been instructed in the arts of reading and writing; the common ignorance exempted him from shame or reproach, but he was reduced to a narrow circle of existence, and deprived of those faithful mirrors which reflect to our mind the minds of sages and heroes. Yet the book of nature and of man was open to his view ; and some fancy has been indulged
in the political and philosophical observations which are