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as the caves of hell sighed when the incestuous mother uttered the abhorred name of Death, the sound was reverberated-everlasting farewells ! and again, and yet again reverberated everlasting farewells !
And I awoke in struggles, and cried aloud, 'I will sleep no more !'
NOTES. In the way that he is &c. Explain usually an emblematic figure, repre
exactly the construction of that.' sentative of the king, and may be Pago'da, Hindu temple, with an idol considered, when with the head of a in it.
man and the body of a lion, as the Brama, Vishnu, Seeva, Hindu gods. union of intellect and physical force. Isis, Egyptian goddess, sister and wife Besides the ordinary sphinx, of Osiris.
compounded of a lion and a man, Ibis, Egyptian bird, one species of was one with the head of a ram,
which was sacred to Thoth, the another with the hawk's head and Egyptian Mercury.
lion's body, and the asp-headed and Crocodile, species of reptile, sacred to the hawk-headed sphinx with wings' Savak.
(Wilkinson, The Ancient Egyptians Sphinxes. "The Egyptian sphinx was -abridged edition-chap. iv.).
THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY.-1800-1859.
THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY, Lord Macaulay, a native of Leicestershire, was educated privately and at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1826 he was called to the bar. In 1830 he entered the House of Commons, and took a distinguished part in the debates on Reform. In 1834 he was made president of the Law Commission for India, and a member of the Supreme Council of Calcutta. After spending two years and a half in India, he returned to England (1838), and wished to devote himself to his literary projects. He entered parliament again, however, and sat for Edinburgh from 1840 to 1847, making his voice heard on all important questions. In 1847 he was defeated at the poll, mainly on account of the liberality of his views; but, in 1852, Edinburgh was penitent, and spontaneously returned him without expense or trouble of canvass. In 1857 he was raised to the peerage.
Macaulay contributed Essays to the Edinburgh Review at various times from 1825 to 1844. The popular Lays of Ancient Rome came out in 1842. For the Encyclopædia Britannica he wrote several highly polished biographies (1853–9). The great work of his life, the brilliant History of England from the Accession of James II. (1849, -55, -59), scarcely reaches the end of the reign of William III. ENGLAND IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY.
(From The History of England, Chap. L) Had the Plantagenets, as at one time seemed likely, succeeded in uniting all France under their government, it is probable that England would never have had an independent existence. Her princes, her lords, her prelates, would have been men differing in race and language from the artisans and the tillers of the earth. The revenues of her great proprietors would have been spent in festivities and diversions on the banks of the Seine. The noble language of Milton and Burke would have remained a rustic dialect, without a literature, a fixed grammar, or a fixed orthography, and would have been contemptuously abandoned to the use of boors. No man of English extraction would have risen to eminence, except by becoming in speech and habits a Frenchman.
England owes her escape from such calamities to an event which her historians have generally represented as disastrous. Her interest was so directly opposed to the interest of her rulers that she had no hope but in their errors and misfortunes. The talents and even the virtues of her first six French kings were a curse to her. The follies and vices of the seventh were her salvation. Had John inherited the great qualities of his father, of Henry Beauclerc, or of the Conqueror, nay, had he even possessed the martial courage of Stephen or of Richard, and had the king of France at the same time been as incapable as all the other successors of Hugh Capet had been, the House of Plantagenet must have risen to unrivalled ascendency in Europe. But, just at this conjuncture, France, for the first time since the death of Charlemagne, was governed by a prince of great firmness and ability. On the other hand, England, which, since the battle of Hastings, had been ruled generally by wise statesmen, always by brave soldiers, fell under the dominion of a trifler and a coward. From that moment her prospects brightened. John was driven from Normandy. The Norman nobles were compelled to make their election between the island and the Continent. Shut up by the sea with the people whom they had hitherto oppressed and despised, they gradually came to regard England as their country, and the English as their countrymen. The two races, so long hostile, soon found that they had common interests and common enemies. Both were alike aggrieved by the tyranny of a bad king. Both were alike indignant at the favour shewn by the court to the natives of Poitou and Aquitaine. 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 to 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 animosity of nations which, morally separated, are yet locally intermingled. In no country has the enmity of race been carried further 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 origin of our freedom, our prosperity, and our glory. Then it was that the great English people was formed, that the national character began to exhibit those peculiarities which it has ever since retained, and that our fathers became emphatically islanders, islanders not merely in geographical position, but in their politics, their feelings, and their manners. Then first appeared with distinctness that constitution which has ever since, through all changes, preserved its identity; that constitution of which all the other free constitutions in the world are copies, and which, in spite of some defects, deserves to be regarded as the best under which any great society has ever yet existed during many ages.
Then it was that the House of Commons, the archetype of all the representative assemblies which now meet, either in the old or in the new world, held its first sittings. Then it was that the common law rose to the dignity of a science, and rapidly became a not unworthy rival of the imperial jurisprudence. Then it was that the courage of those sailors who manned the rude barks of the Cinque Ports first made the flag of England terrible on the seas. Then it was that the most ancient colleges which still exist at both the great national seats of learning were founded. Then was formed that language, less musical indeed than the languages of the south, but in force, in richness, in aptitude for all the highest purposes of the poet, the philosopher, and the orator, inferior to the tongue of Greece alone. Then, too, appeared the first faint dawn of that noble literature, the most splendid and the most durable of the many glories of England.
NOTES. A trifler and a coward. John was the Pope (1213), and perished in a
very superstitious. But with the struggle of despair against English supreme wickedness of his race he freedom (1216)' (Green). inherited its profound ability. His The Great Charter, Magna Charta, plan for the relief of Château Gail- to which from age to age patriots lard, the rapid march by which he have looked back as the basis of shattered Arthur's hopes at Mira- English liberty,' was a document beau, shewed an inborn genius for formally confirming the rights and
In the rapidity and breadth privileges of all the king's free subof his political combinations, he far jects, and securing them from the surpassed the statesmen of his time.
tyranny of the sovereign.
The Throughout his reign, we see him barons compelled John to sign it, quick to discern the difficulties of June 15, 1215. his position, and inexhaustible in Then it was &c. ... Then first apthe resources with which he met peared &c. . . . Observe the general them. . . The closer study of John's similarity of form, and note also the history clears away the charges of particular points of difference (cf. sloth and incapacity with which page 319, second note). men tried to explain the greatness The Cinque (sink) Ports were originally of his fall. The awful lesson of his
five (Fr. cing) in number: Sandlife rests on the fact that it was no wich, Dover, Hythe, Romney, and weak and indolent voluptuary, but Hastings. They were considered the ablest and most ruthless of the specially important owing to their Angevins (English sovereigns of the position over against the Continent. house of Anjou), who lost Nor- Winchelsea, Rye, and others were mandy (1204), became the vassal of added later.
Short sentences ; epigrammatic antithesis ; oratorical cumulation