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court is said to have been a red flag with five points. Culverin.- A kind of ancient cannon, which got its name from its long, thin serpent shape, and its vomiting fire like a dragon-from L. Coluber, a snake. The fiery Duke.-The right wing of the Army of the League was under the Duke of Nemours. The battle began as a cavalry fight, one body of the League's cavalry charging after another, only to be broken and sent off the field in wild flight, after a terrible mêlée, in which King Henry was ever in the van. Guelders. — A province of the Netherlands. Almayne, Fr. Allemagne. Germany. Hireling cavalry.--A large proportion of the cavalry of these times consisted of corps of " free lances,” who followed war as a trade, hiring themselves out to whichever side paid best. A large body of German cavalry, who had taken service under Henry, and had been paid by him, but had deserted to the Army of the League from mercenary motives, some time before the battle, and now fought against him, were shot down without quarter, for their treachery. Golden Lilies.-The lily was the flower of France, as the rose is that of England. Golden lilies were embroidered on the royal standard. D'Aumale.-Charles de Lorraine, Duke d'Aumale, younger brother of Henry, Duke of Guise. The Flemish Count. — Count Egmont, commander of the Flemish cavalry. Biscay gale.- A gale in the Bay of Biscay, which is subject to great storms from its exposure to the whole sweep of the Atlantic.
St. Bartholomew."-See above. spake gentle Henry," &c.--"He showed a very great and anxious care, even to the commanding with a hoarse voice, and crying aloud through the field every moment, that the French gentry should be spared.” But "he commanded that the Germans who had broken their faith
should all be put to the sword, to the last man. "- Davila, We of the Religion. — Name assumed by the Huguenots. Lord of Rosny.-Maximilian de Bethune, Sieur de Rosny (see next line). The Cornet White, &c. -The flag of the Lorraines, carried that day by the Sieur de Cygogne, who was taken prisoner. Vienna-Lucerne.-Centres from which the auxiliaries of the League had been largely drawn. The one is the capital of Austria : the other the capital of the Catholic Canton of Switzerland, of the same name. Philip. -Philip II., son of Charles V., King of Spain and the Low Countries, and Emperor of the Indies—that is, of the Spanish discoveries and conquests in the West Indies and continental America, They included Mexico and Peru, and had yielded much treasure to Spain. He was the husband of our Queen Mary. Pistoles.-Spanish gold coins worth about sixteen shillings each. Antwerp Monks. - Antwerp was the capital of Philip's Flemish dominions, Burghers of St. Geneviève. - The people of Paris. St. Geneviève, or Genoveva, is the patron saint of Paris. The legend is, that when Attila the Hun invaded France, and took Metz and other cities, the people of Paris, then called Lutetia (Mud-town), when on the point of abandoning their homes and property to the invader, were reassured by a peasant girl, who announced in the name of heaven that the invader would not approach the city. The event corresponded with the prediction, and hence the honours since paid the saint. Paris was afraid
that Henry would march at once on it. He did not sit down be. fore it, however, till the 7th of May, and after taking the suburbs, was forced by the Duke of Parma, Philip II.'s general, who marched with 14,000 men from the Netherlands, to raise the siege on the 30th of August.
THE POET'S SONG.–Tennyson.
THE rain had fallen, the Poet arose,
He pass'd by the town and out of the street, A light wind blew from the gates of the sun,
And waves of shadow went over the wheat, And he sat him down in a lonely place,
And chanted a melody loud and sweet, That made the wild-swan pause in her cloud,
And the lark drop down at his feet.
The swallow stopt as he hunted the bee,
The snake slipt under a spray,
And stared, with his foot on the prey,
But never a one so gay,
When the years have died away.”
THE NEW YEAR'S NIGHT OF AN ILL-SPENT LIFE.
Johann Paul Friedrich Richter. Born in Bavaria, in 1763; died in Bavaria, 1825. A poet in prose; a great humourist; a wise moralist; with a soul full of light which shines even through his tears, and with a heart full of love. He lived and died in Germany, and thus dever saw the great world, but his heart went forth to all that lived, notwithstanding. His style is the most difficult to translate of any German writer's; yet there is wealth in it which repays any labour. His only son died when Richter was getting old, and the blow broke his heart. He literally wept himself blind at his loss. An old man stood at midnight on the last day of the year, and looked up with a face of pale despair on the unmoving, ever-blooming heaven, and round on the still, pure, white earth, on which no one was, now, as joyless and sleepless as he. For his grave stood not far from him; it was covered only with the snow of age, not with the green of youth, and he brought from his whole rich life nothing with him, but errors, sins and ailments—a worn-out body, a desolate soul, a breast full of poison, and an age full of regret. His fair days of youth fitted round him that night like ghosts, and bore him back to that sweet morning when his father had set him first on the dividing line of life, which leads, on the right, by the sunny path of goodness, to a broad, peaceful land, full of light, and rich harvests, and angels; and, on the left, leads down by the underground mole courses of the guilty, to a dark cave, full of ever-dropping poisons, and dark foul damps.
Ah! the serpents hang round his breast, and the poison drops are on his tongue, and he knew, now, where he was.
Half maddened, and with unspeakable grief, he cried to heaven, “Give me my youth back again! O, father, set me on the dividing line once more, that I may choose differently from what I did !”
But his father and his youth were far away. He saw misleading lights dance on marshes, and go out in the churchyard,
and he said, “ These are my foolish days !” He saw a star glide from heaven and shine in its fall till it burst and was quenched on the earth. “That is myself," said his bleeding heart, and the serpent's teeth of regret gnawed once more at his wounds.
Kindling phantasy showed him flitting sleep-walkers on the roofs, and the windmills raised their arms threateningly to strike at him, and a corpse left behind in the empty deadhouse gradually took his form.
In the midst of this struggle, the music of the New Year suddenly rose from the church towers in the village, like distant church music. He was deeply moved. He looked round the horizon, and over the broad earth, and he thought on the friends of his youth, who now, happier and better than he, were teachers of the world, fathers of happy children, and honoured men, and he said, “Oh, I, like you, could sleep away the first night of the year, if I had only chosen! Ah, I would indeed be happy, ye dear old friends, if I had heeded your new year's wishes and counsels!
In feverish recollection of his youth, it seemed to him, now, as if the corpse that was like himself, in the dead-house, raised itself up. Āt last, through the superstition which sees spirits of the other world on new year's night, it took the appearance of a living youth, in the attitude of the beautiful bronze youth in the Capitol, who pulls a thorn from his foot; and his own old blooming form was bitterly mimicked before him.
He could see no more: he hid his eyes ; a thousand hot tears fell freezing into the snow. He only sighed once more, softly, sadly, and without moving. “Come only again, o youth, come again ! ”
And it came again ; for he had only dreamed in this fearful way on the new year's night. He was still a youth ; only, his errors had been no dream. But he thanked God that, while still young, he could turn away from the darkening paths of vice, and find once more the sunny way of goodness, which leads to the rich land of everlasting harvest.
Turn thou with him, O reader, if you stand on his path of evil. This dream, so alarming, will hereafter be your judge ; and then, though you call, ever so tearfully, “Come again, beautiful youth," it will come back, never, never more !
NOTE.- Beautiful Youth, &c.—A famous bronze statue “ The Boy pulling a Thorn from his Foot." It is now in the
museum in the Capitol, at Rome. It is a memorial of the best age of Grecian art. It is two feet five inches in height.
A HUMAN SKULL.-F. Locker.
Nir. Locker is of a Kentish family. His grandfather was Lieut. Governor of Greenwich Hospital, and his father founded the Naval Gallery there. He himself married a sister of the late Earl of Elgin. These admirable verses are from a small volume published by Mr. Locker, called “London Lyrics.” He was born in 1821.
A HUMAN skull! I bought it passing cheap,
A slight reflection on its first employer;
Some mute memento of the Old Destroyer.
Here lips were woo'd perhaps in transport tender;
And never had my doubt about its gender !
What colour were the eyes when bright and waking?
Poor little head! that long has done with aching?
Thy brains, Eliza Fry, or Baron Byron's,
Two quoted bards ! two philanthropic sirens.
If man or woman-and if loved or hated,
Nor quite so bad as many may have stated.
He bares his awful face too soon, too often;
And does not yon green elm contain a coffin ?
The heart still lingers with its golden hours,
And where is all that lavish wealth of flowers ?
The end is near. Life yields not what it gave,
But Death has promises that call for praises ;
Yet hands unseen will dress the turf with daisies.
Notes.-Mrs. Elizabeth Fry, daughter of John Gurney, Esq., Norwich. She was a member of the Society of Friends, and wife of Mr. Joseph Fry, a London merchant. She became famous for her Christian labours among female prisoners in English and foreign gaols. Born, 1780; died, 1845. Baron Byron.
George, Lord Byron, the poet. See “Fifth Reader,” page 31. Nelly Gwynn. -An actress, who became one of the favourites of Charles II. She was a very beautiful woman. Died, 1687. Watts, Dr. Isaac.--Author of the “Hymns.” A dissenting clergyman of London, Born, 1674; died, 1748.
THE ORIGIN OF THE ENGLISH NATION.-Macaulay. THE great-grandsons of those who had fought under William and the great-grandsons of those who had fought under Harold began to draw near each other in friendship; and the first pledge of their reconciliation was the Great Charter, won by their united exertions, and framed for their common benefit.
Here commences the history of the English nation. The history of the preceding events is the history of wrongs inflicted and sustained by various tribes, which indeed all dwelt on English ground, but which regarded each other with aversion such as has scarcely ever existed between communities separated by physical barriers. For even the mutual animosity of countries at war with each other is languid when compared with the ani. mosity of nations, which, morally separated, are yet locally intermingled. In no country has the enmity of race been carried farther than in England. In no country has that enmity been more completely effaced. The stages of the process by which the hostile elements were melted down into one homogeneous mass are not accurately known to us. But it is certain that when John became King, the distinction between Saxons and Normans was strongly marked, and that before the end of the reign of his grandson it had almost disappeared. In the time of Richard the First, the ordinary imprecation of a Norman gentleman was, “May I become an Englishman ! -his ordinary form of indignant denial was, “Do you take me for an Englishman ? ' The descendant of such a gentleman a hundred years later was proud of the English name.
The sources of the noblest rivers which spread fertility over continents, and bear richly-laden fleets to the sea, are to be sought in wild and barren mountain tracts, incorrectly laid down in maps, and rarely explored by travellers. To such a tract, the history of our country during the thirteenth century may not unaptly be compared. Sterile and obscure as is that portion of our annals, it is there that we must seek for the