• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Preface
 Letter I
 Letter II
 Letter III
 Letter IV
 Letter V
 Letter VI
 Letter VII
 Letter VIII
 Letter IX
 Letter X
 Letter XI
 Letter XII
 Letter XIII
 Letter XIV
 Letter XV
 Letter XVI
 Letter XVII
 Letter XVIII
 Letter XIX
 Letter XX
 Letter XXI
 Letter XXII
 Letter XXIII
 Letter XXIV
 Letter XXV
 Letter XXVI
 Letter XXVII
 Letter XXVIII
 Letter XXIX
 Letter XXX
 Letter XXXI
 Letter XXXII
 Letter XXXIII
 English sovereigns
 Advertising






Group Title: A plain and short history of England for children
Title: A Plain and short history of England for children
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00063262/00001
 Material Information
Title: A Plain and short history of England for children
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Davys, George
Publisher: Francis & John Rivington
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1850
Edition: 9th ed.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00063262
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - ALG5592
alephbibnum - 002225320

Table of Contents
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Preface
        Preface 1
        Preface 2
    Letter I
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Letter II
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Letter III
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Letter IV
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Letter V
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    Letter VI
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    Letter VII
        Page 38
        Page 39
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    Letter VIII
        Page 43
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    Letter IX
        Page 49
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    Letter X
        Page 56
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    Letter XI
        Page 65
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    Letter XII
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    Letter XIII
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    Letter XIV
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    Letter XV
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    Letter XVI
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    Letter XVII
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    Letter XVIII
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    Letter XIX
        Page 123
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    Letter XX
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    Letter XXI
        Page 144
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    Letter XXII
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    Letter XXIII
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    Letter XXIV
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    Letter XXV
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    Letter XXVI
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    Letter XXVII
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    Letter XXVIII
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    Letter XXIX
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    Letter XXX
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    Letter XXXI
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    Letter XXXII
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    Advertising
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Full Text


A PLAIN AND SHORT
HISTORY OF ENGLAND,
ron
CHILDREN:
IN LETTERS FROM A FATHER TO HIS SON,
WITH A
SET OF QUESTIONS
AT THE END OF r.ACIl I.F.TTER.
GEORGE DAVYS, D.D.
lord DISIlOr of peterborough.
SIXTH EDITION.
london: francis & john rivington, sr. Paul's council yard, and Waterloo place.


london: cll.dert at rivinotok, i'ktnifrs, st. John's iui'ark.


PREFACE.
The following Letters are little else than a reprint of a very short History of England, first published in the Cottager's Monthly Visitor." A few alterations, omissions, and additions, have been made, for the sake of adapting the remarks to children of all classes of society, as well as those for whom they were originally written. The same plainness of style, which was the chief recommendation of the Letters in the Monthly Visitor," has still been attempted to be preserved.




LETTER I.
my dear boy,
As you are likely to be absent from me for a considerable time, I know you will be glad to hear from me frequently ;and, that my T>Kers may not be entirely unprofitable to you, I intend to send you somcthingflikc a History of England, our own country: it will be but a short one, yet it may do instead of a longer, till you grow bigger. Now, as you are, at present, but a very little gentleman, you must expect me to tell you about some very little matters,such, however, as little people are not always acquainted with.And first I shall tell you that Great Britain is an island," which perhaps you know very well already; and you know also that an island means a piece of land wholly surrounded by water."
By Great Britain we mean England, Scotland, and Wales. Look at your map, and you will see that Scotland is the most northern part of
b


the island, and that Wales is on the western tide. Ireland, too, makes a part of our nation, but that, you will see, is a distinct island, lying across the sea, on the left hand, or west of us: so that, if you or I wanted to go to Scotland, or Wales, we might go in a stage-coach1; but if we wanted to go to Ireland, we must go in a ship.
France lies to the south of us, across that part of the sea which is called the British Channel," within a few hours' sail. The French were formerly called Gauls; and the Roman emperor, Julius Caesar, who was a great warrior, more than eighteen hundred years ago, got possession of the greater part of France, cr Gaul; and, not content with that, he must needs send over his troops to take possession of our little7 island too. This was the beginning of the Roman power in England. The Britons were, in those days, a very different sort of people from what they are now. They had nothing better for clothing than the skins of beasts ; and such of their limbs as were not covered, they painted blue. Some people may, perhaps, tell you that they were a very mild, and
1 Not so easily now, as when this little history was first written.


the heptarchy.
3
gentle, and harmless set of people;but don't believe a word of it. These good dispositions do not come naturally; they come from right education, and true religion; and, as these people had neither, you may depend upon it that they were a very fierce and savage race.
But still they were a brave people; and the Romans, you may be sure, did not get possession of our island without a great deal of struggling and fighting; however, they kept a sort of possession here for about four hundred years.
Then after the Romans came the Saxons, a people from Germany. The English had, very foolishly, sent for the Saxons to help them against their troublesome neighbours the i'icts and the Scots, who lived in the northern part of the island ; and, when once these Saxons had got into England, they were not willing to go out again, liking our fruitful country better than their own. These people, after a time, divided England into seven different kingdoms, which were called the Saxon Heptarchy'. Things continued in this state for about four hundred years more; and then Egbert,
1 Heptarcky means seven kingdoms. Hepta is a Greek word, which means ma.
b 2


tlie king of the West Saxons, united all the seven together, and made them one kingdom.
I shall now write down the names of the Saxon kings that followed. It will be useful for you to try to remember these kings, though I do not mean to say much about them : but we must be more particular in our account of those kings who lived in times nearer to our own.
saxon kings before the conquest.
1 Egbert
I Ktlielwnlf.
3 Kthell.ald.
4 Ethellxrt
5 Ethelrod I. Alfred.
7 Kilward i.
8 Athelstane.
9 ffllWH I. II) Edred.
11 Ivhw.
12 EAfsr.
13 Edward II.
14 Kthelred II.
15 Edmund II. (Irontile.)
During the reign of these Saxon kings, the Danes, a people inhabiting the north of Europe, kept making continual encroachments on the English ; and there were a great number of bloody battles fought between them and the English. At length, during the reign of Edmund Ironside, the fifteenth of the Saxon kings, Canute, king of the Danes, was so successful, that he forced Edmund to give him half the kingdom; and, after the death


of Edmund, Canute got the whole. After him, his two sons reigned in succession. Thus we got three Danish kings.
1 Canute.
2 Harold.
3 Hardicanute,
The English were, however, soon tired of these Danish kings, and were very glad to have one of the old Saxon race again. This was Edward (the Confessor).
He died, without children, and then followed Harold (the Scond).
Harold had no just title to the throne ; but as, at first, there was no one to oppose him, he was quietly crowned king. He did not, however, reign long without interruption : his opponent was no less a person than William, duke of Normandy, who was afterwards called William the Conqueror.
Normandy, you perhaps know, is a province in France, and of this province William was duke ; and he had often entertained Edward the Confessor in his court, and he declared that Edward had left the crown of England to him by his will. Be this however as it might, he thought proper to try b 3


a surer way of getting it. He raised an army and crossed the channel, and landed at Pevensey Bay, on the coast of Sussex: and there, after a bloody battle with Harold, near Hastings, he gained the victory. Harold was killed, and William then became king of England. This is called the Conquest; and we trace all our race of kings from William the Conqueror. The battle of Hastings was in the year 1066. You will do well to remember this date, and to give great attention to all such particulars as may now occur in the History of England.
The knowledge of the Christian religion had been introduced into England during the time of the Romans:but the Saxons, by their persecutions, had almost destroyed it; and the nation had become heathen again. It was during the time of the Saxon kings that Pope Gregory sent missionaries to teach Christ's religion to these ignorant pagans. It is said that Gregory, before he was pope, had seen some beautiful children set up for sale in a slave market at Rome, and having asked what country they came from, he was told that they were Angles (English). They would," said he, not be Angles, but Angel*, if they were


CONVERSION Of THE SAXONS. 7
Christians." From that time he was struck with a great desire to convert the heathen English to the religion of Christ; and he sent over several Christian teachers1 for the sake of accomplishing that Christian work. Since that time, there has always been a profession of Christianity in England :may God grant that there may always be the power of it! How thankful we ought to be that the knowledge of the Gospel, which is still kept from many nations, has been given to us and how anxious ought we to be to show ourselves worthy of so great a gift, by the effect that it produces on our lives and practices! How thankful ought we to be that we have churches to go to! and how regular ought we to be in our attendance there and how desirous of becoming better by the opportunities of good thus put in our power! How stedfast ought we to be in the faith which is publicly and regularly preached to us! and how diligent ought we to be in seeking to bring others to the knowledge and the lov* many same faith, whether they be the ignor the sake of profane, in our own land, or the u* soldiers, and unenlightened among the hestnts to the great-i a D 'ra benefits to the new


never yet heard those glad tidings of great joy," which were intended to be made known to all people 1"
I am your affectionate Father.
P.S. Pray don't read over this little history in a hurried manner, but consider it well as you go along. And that you may remember it the better, I shall generally put a few questions at the end of my letters ; and you must get somebody to ask you these questions, to see whether you can give the proper answers to them. In looking at a map, remember that the top is the north, the bottom south, the right hand east, and the left hand west.
LETTER IX.
my dear boy,
I told you, in my last Letter, that the Romans, was po? Saxons., and the Danes, at different times, for sale in Jon of England. I told you, likewise, asked what covar 1066, William the Conqueror that they were /ANormandy in France, and that he said he, not be /%idd at the battle of Hastings.


I shall now go on to tell you a little of what happened after this conquest; and you must now give great attention to remember these things, and you must be very particular about the dates: and, that you may not be puzzled, I shall tell you but a little at a time : and I think you will then recollect what I tell you, and so get a little knowledge of the History of England ; as much, perhaps, as you will want just at present.
Remember, then, that William the Conqueror landed near Hastings, in the year 100(5. After MMtKriDg Harold, bfl marched immediately to London, and was crowned king at Westminster, by the Archbishop of York, and took the usual oaths to defend the Church, and observe the laws, and govern the people with impartiality. William was glad to find that the people received him willingly ; and he chose to make them think that they had given him his power. The truth was, however, that he had taken it by force,and he soon made them to feel this. He plundered many of the English of their property, for the sake of giving it to his Norman officers and soldiers, and he thus reduced the old inhabitants to the greatest distress, and gave all his benefits to the new


comers! This is generally the case with invaders; and, therefore, every man who knows what he is about, will do all he can to defend his country from their attacks.
William, with all his power and greatness, had a very troublesome life. The people were continually rebelling against him ; and the English and Normans were perpetually quarrelling. William took part with his Normans; and, however ill the English were used by them, there was no remedy to be had by law; and the English were, therefore, constantly seeking some method of private revenge ; and this miserable state of things made many of the Normans wish themselves well back again. Then William, to tempt them to stay, increased their possessions ; and, for this purpose, he again plundered the English, and thus added to their burden. Miserable times these must have been! How thankful we ought to be that we live under a mild king', and are governed by just and equal laws! William the Conqueror was a cruel king. He was so angry because the people did not submit quietly to him, that he at one time ordered the county of Northumberland to be laid 1822.


waste, and all the inhabitants to be turned out of doors, and all their furniture and tools to be burned ; it is said that above a hundred thousand persons were thus destroyed, either by sword or famine. So much for what many people call good old times!"
But, besides these public troubles, William was very unhappy in his own family. He had three sons living, Robert, William, and Henry. Robert was a bold daring youth, but of a very bad and angry temper. One day when the brothers were playing together, the two younger ones threw a can of water upon Robert, and thus put him into a violent passion ; and such was his violence, that he took a sword, and rushed upon his brothers to take revenge. See the dreadful effects of anger! This youth might, in his passion, have shed the blood of his brothers, and have thus made himself miserable for ever. How careful then ought we to be, to govern our tempers, and to seek to bring them to that gentleness which we read of in the Scriptures, as one of the fruits of the Spirit 1" Robert was, however, prevented from killing his brothers by the old king, who heard the disturb-
ance. He next turned his anger against his father; and, after this, he rebelled against him, and fought


against him : and, on one occasion, he was very near killing the king, his father, without knowing him. In those days it was the custom to have the body almost wholly covered with plates of steel armour; and their helmets covered their heads and faces, so that they could not know one person from another. The king and his son met in battle. They fought for a long time: at length Robert beat down the old king, and was just going to kill him, when the king's helmet fell off,and Robert saw that it was his father. Robert fell on his knees, and begged that his father would forgive him, and promised for the future to behave like a good son. William was, however, very angry with himthough, after a time, he became reconciled.
William was a great lover of hunting, and he actually destroyed all the villages in Hampshire for thirty miles round, and turned out the inhabitants, for the sake of making himself a forest1 to hunt in : and, that he might not be interrupted in his hunting, he made very cruel laws to prevent any body from hunting in this forest besides himself. In those days, if any one killed a deer,
SU11 called the Now Forebt."


character of william i. 13
ot a boar, or a hare, he was punished by having his eyes put out; and they thought less about the life of a man, than of one of these animals. People might well talk of tyranny and oppression in those days; and, when we think of such times, we have great reason to be thankful for the liberty and protection which we experience now.
William died in France, by an accident, in the year 1087. He had got into a quarrel with the king of France, and was attacking one of his towns, when his horse happened to put his forefeet upon some hot ashes, which caused him to plunge so violently, that the injury which the king received was the cause of his death.
His eldest son Robert became duke of Normandy, and William became king of England. But I must leave the account of this second William till my next letter. Remember that William the First (called the Conqueror) reigned twenty-one years ; having come to the throne in 1066, and having died in 1087-
Short character of William the Conqueror. {From Goldsmith's History.')
" William was a prince of great courage and capacity; ambitious, politic, cruel, revengeful, and


rapacious. He was fond of glory, and was saving at one time, that he might be ostentatious at another. Though sudden and impetuous in his enterprises, he was cool, deliberate, and unwearied in times of danger. He is said by the Norman writers to have been above eight feet high, his body strong-built and well-proportioned ; and his strength such, that none of his courtiers could draw his bow. He talked little ; he was seldom affable to any, except to I.anfrane, Archbishop of Canterbury ; with him he was ever meek and nolle; with all others stern and austere. Though he rendered himself formidable to all, and odious to many, yet he had policy enough to transmit his power to posterity ; and the throne is still occupied by his descendants."
Now think well of what you have read, and try whether you can answer these
questions.
In what year did William the Conqueror come to England I
What part of the world did he come from t
In what part of England did lie land 1
Who was king of England at that time I
Was a tattle fought t
W bore I


william ii.
15
How did William behave to the English 1
What cruel act did he do in the county of Northumberland I
How many Bona had William I What wore their names!
Do you remember any anecdote respecting these brothers!
How did the eldest son behave to his father!
What dreadful consequences had almost followed from the
eldest son's rebellious conduct What amusement was the king particularly fond of! What tyrannical act did he commit to enable him to pursue
this amusement I Where did W illiani die, and what was the cause of his death! In what year was this !
Whn became king of England after William!
LETTER III.
my dear boy,
In my last letter I told you that William the Second came to the throne in the year 1087.
This William was called Rufus, because he had red hair, rufui being the Latin word for red.
You know that Robert was the eldest son of William the Conqueror, and therefore he ought to have been king of England; but his father c 2


refused to leave him the kingdom on account of his bad behaviour: William Rufus, however, was not, in the least, better than his brother ; but he had the art to conceal bis bad disposition.
The two brothers had frequent quarrels, and many battles, about the possession of the kingdom ; but William was generally victorious.
It is in this reign that we first hear about the Crusades : and these seem to have occupied the thoughts of all the great Christian warriors of those davs. Hut perhaps you never have beard of these Crusades.
You must know, then, that there was in France a man called l'eter the Hermit, and he had gone on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and there his spirit was grieved within him to think that the land which our Lord had trod, should be in possession of the Pagan enemies of the cross; and that these enemies should harass and persecute the Christian believers. He, therefore, thought that it would be a good Christian work to deliver the Holy Land from the hands of these unbelieving persecutors, the Saracens, and to get it into the possession of the Christians. This Peter, therefore, went about all Europe, exhorting kings and warriors to engage


the crusades.
17
in this pious cause; and he was so successful,
that people of all ranks seemed ready to join in the undertaking. Robert, duke of Normandy, was so eager for this holy war, that he became perfectly careless about getting the kingdom of England from his brother William; and he was so indifferent, too, even about his dukedom of Normandy, that he mortgaged it to William for a sum of money, and then set off for the holy war.
When I think of the Crusades, I never can help admiring the zeal and devotion of those warriors, who went forth in the cause of the Christian religion. At the same time, I think that they were quite mistaken in their notions of religion, in expecting to propagate the mild spirit of the Christian faith by means of war and bloodshed. Still, however, these great soldiers showed a zeal and earnestness in the cause of the Gospel, which may well make us ashamed of our carelessness and indifference in the same cause.
The warriors who went on these Crusades wore a red cross on their right shoulder: and you see that many noblemen and gentlemen who are descended from these ancient soldiers, have, at this day, red crosses on their coats of arms. I do not
c 3


expect that they will now draw their swords, as their forefathers did, in the cause of the Gospel; but many of them are encouraging the knowledge of it by means much more likely to succeed, and much more likely to be favoured with the Divine blessing. But, not to keep you too long, I shall hasten to the end of the reign of William Rufus.
William was, like his father, a great lover of hunting: and as he was one day taking his favourite diversion in the New Forest, attended by Sir Walter Tyrrel, a French knight, who generally accompanied him, the king wounded a stag with an arrow from his bow. And, as he was pursuing the animal in hopes of seeing him fall, Tyrrel let fly an arrow at the stag, which, glancing from a tree, struck the king to the heart. He dropped down dead on the spot; and Sir Walter Tyrrel, fearful of the consequences, put spurs to his horse, and galloped away to the sea-shore, and set off for France, and joined a Crusade which .was then going to Jerusalem.' William's body, being found by some countrymen, was laid across a horse and carried to Winchester, where it was buried the next day in the cathedral without any marks of respect, as nobody had any regard or


character of william rufus. 19
value for this king. The death of William Rufus was in the year 1100.
Character of William Rufus {from Smollett).
" William the Second had neither learning, principle, nor honour: he was haughty, passionate, and ungrateful ; a scoffer at religion, a scourge to the clergy; vain-glorious, talkative, rapacious, lavish, and dissolute. He took all opportunities to fleece and enslave his English subjects, and at one time imprisoned fifty of the best families in the kingdom, on the pretence of their having killed sonic deer. He was likewise
a great profligate."
QUESTIONS.
In what year did William the Second come to the throne 1 What was this William called ? Why was he so called I
Was William the eldest son of the Conqueror I
What was the name of the eldest son 1
Why was not this eldest son king!
What country did he rule over !
What do you mean by the Crusades!
Who was Peter the Hermit I
Did the king's eldest brother join the Crusades t


What particular badge did the warriors in the Crusades
wear on their dress I What particular Amusement was William Rufus fond of 1 What was the eause of his death! Who shot him! In what year was this ? Was he buried with due marks of respect! Why not
Where was he buried I Was he a good or a bad king t
my dear hoy,
I suppose you pay great attention to what I write to you, and that you will be glad to hear more about the kings of England. You must know, then, that there were no less than eight kings of England of the name of Henry. The one that I am now going to write about is Henry the First; he came to the throne after William the Second. Henry was the younger brother of William, and therefore he had no right to the crown; for that belonged properly to Robert, the elder I rother ;
L !; T T E 11 IV.


lit.NKV I.
21
but at this time Robert was at Jerusalem, engaged in the holy wars. However, when he returned, he took possession of his own dukedom of Normandy, and then came and demanded to be king of England. He was, however, an idle, vain sort of person ; and Henry bribed him with a sum of money, and easily persuaded him to go quietly home again ; and then they agreed, that, if either of them died without children, the other should have both England and Normandy.
However, Robert, instead of being fit to govern both, soon showed that he could not manage one. His country of Normandy was soon in such a wretched state, that the peacde were obliged to send over for Henry to ptrTtnings in order for them. Henry was glad enough to do this, and he went over to France with a large army, and he engaged in a battle against his brother, took him prisoner, and kept him for the rest of his life a prisoner in Cardiff Castle, in Glamorganshire. Glamorganshire, you know, is a county in South Wales, bordering on the sea.
Henry now had nothing to disturb him in^his government. He was in possession of both Bug-land and Normandy; he had a son for his heir.


a fine young man about eighteen years of age: and he had likewise a daughter, named Matilda, who was married to the emperor of Germany. In short, the worldly affairs of this king seemed altogether flourishing and prosperous. But, alas! how little is any tiling in this world to be depended on, and how vain it is to expect that all the greatness and dignity upon earth will ward off affliction and sorrow! Nay, great riches often bring great troubles with them ; and the fear of losing them often leads to grievous misery and distress. It was just so with this king. He was afraid that he, or his son after him, might lose the dukedom of Normandy ; he therefore took his son over to France, to have hinT acknowledged as his heir. After this was over, the king was returning to England in great state and splendour, with a vast retinue of his chief nobility. The king's son, and a number of young noblemen, were to return together in one ship, but they did not set sail so toon as the king. They stayed behind to indulge in feasting and drinking; and danger, you know, generally comes of that vice, whether among the rich or the poor. The sailors drank so much that they were not able to manage the ship, and


they ran her against a rockand she was immediately dashed to pieces. The young prince was put into a boat, and might have been saved, but he heard the shrieks of his sister Maude, and ordered his boat to be rowed to her, to try to save her. Many of the poor creatures who were on the broken ship then jumped into the boat, and, there being too many of them, the boat went down to the bottom with them all. It is said that 140 young noblemen of England and Normandy all perished together. One man only, instead of venturing into the boat, clung to the mast of the ship, and was taken up by some fishermen the next morning.
The king, who had arrived safely in England, was expecting his son with the greatest anxiety for three days; and when at last he was assured that the prince was drowned, he seemed quite overburdened with grief; and it is said that he was never seen to smile from that moment to the day of his death. Thus we may see the misery that every man is exposed to, who rests his happiness on any thing in this world It is our duty, as well as our happiness, to love our children; but we should so love them as to feel that tl:ey may


be at any moment taken away from us. How excellent are the words of the poet
* 0 death, all eloquent! you only prove, What dust we dote ou when 'tis iium we love."
Popk.
This is true indeed there is nothing sure and lasting in this world below. How beautiful then, and how noble is that advice which we read in Scripture! "Set your affections on things above." Henry the First died in the year ll.'t.'i.
Charaeter of llenrij the First (from Smollett).
" Henry was of a middle stature and robust make, with dark brown hair and blue serene eyes. He was facetious, fluent, and affable to his favourites. His capacity, naturally good, was improved and cultivated in such a manner that h obtained the name of Beau Clerk (or, the fine scholar) by his learning. F!e was cool, cautious penetrating, and bold; but cruel, revengeful, rigid, and severe. His Norman descent and connexions caused him to despise the English, whom he oppressed in the most tyrannical manner."


questions.
How many English kings were there of the name of Henry t Whose son was Henry the First I In what year did he begin to reign! Who ought to have been king t Wliy was not Robert king !
On his return from the Holy Land, did Robert assert hii
right Is the Crown How was it that lie did not succeed 1 What agreement was made between Robert and Henry 1 How did Robert go on in Normandy What became of him ? Had Henry any ch.ldreii ? What happened to Henry's son !
Did any other persons perish with the young prince \
How many were saved !
How did the king bear his loss f
In what year did king Henry die t
LETTER V.
my dear boy,
In my last letter I finished the history of Henry the First. The next king to him was Stephen. I shall copy out for your amusement, a little account


of Stephen's reign, which I have met with in a very pretty book, called "Stories selected from the History of England : for Children."
" You must remember that Henry the First died in the year 1135. His only son, you know, was drowned ; but he had one daughter, named Matilda ; and before he died, he had ordered that his daughter should be queen of England ; and the lords, and bishops, and all the people, accepted Matilda for their queen, and took an oath to be faithful and obedient to her. Hut there was a cousin of Matilda's, whose name was Stephen, who was a great soldier, very brave, and very wicked ; and although he had sworn, like all the rest, to have Matilda for queen, no sooner was the old king dead, than Stephen, wickedly breaking his oath, collected an army, and proclaimed himself king. Then there began long and bloody wars ; for most of the lords, bishops, and people, remembered the oath they had taken, and were true to Matilda, and so an army was raised for her, which fought with the army of Stephen ; and sometimes Matilda's army won the battle, and sometimes Stephen's.
" But at last Stephen succeeded in driving


Matilda out of England, and in getting possession of the kingdom ; but this did not last long, for Stephen was a very unjust king, and oppressed the people ; and they all rose against him, and invited Matilda to come back to England, and to bring her little son, who was called Henry, after the old king, his grandfather.
" So she and little Henry came to England, and a great army was raised for them ; and it fought Stephen's army several times, and at last took Stephen himself prisoner, and he was then thrown into a prison, where he was kept a whole year ; and during that time Matilda was queen of England.
" But Stephen getting out of prison, the wars began again, and there were a dreadful number of people killed, and many a poor father and mother lost their children in the bloody battles on both sides.
" So you see what sad misfortunes were occasioned by Stephen's wickedness in breaking hii promise ; but you shall hear how Stephen himself, by the justice of Heaven, suffered the same misfortunes that he caused to others.
" For his chief object was that his own son


Eustace should be king of England after him, and this was the chief reason of his wicked conduct; but, as if to punish him for his crime, just as he had again got quiet possession of the kingdom, this very son, Eustace, died.
" And Stephen himself died soon after ; and then young Henry became king, to the great joy of all the nation."
As I think the above account is expressed better than I could do it myself, I have written it out for vou. I hope you attend to the little pieces of history that I send. And I hope that you will try to remember what title each king had to the throne, and the times when they began to reign, and when they died. Take great pains to have all these things in your memory, so as to bring them out at once, without hesitation and stammering. Stephen died in 1154. He was the son of Adelaide, the sister of the last king, and had certainly no right to have the crown, when there was a daughter of the late king living. Adelaide had married the Count of Blois, a French nobleman, and thus King Stephen was called Stephen of Blois.
I am your affectionate Father.


P.S. You will find it very useful, in reading history, to make a little table of kings as you go on, marking the times when they began to reign, something in this way : William 1st (106G)
William 2nd (1087)Henry 1st (1100)Adelaide
Matilda Stephen (1136).
Henry 2nd (1154).
questions. In what year did Henry the First die ? Did he leave a son behind him Did he leave a daughter ? What was that daughter's name Ought she not to have been queen Who did actually take possession of the throne t What relation was Stephen to Matilda Whose son was Stephen I
Did Stephen and Matilda contend for the throne t
Had Matilda a son!
What was his name t
Had Stephen a son I
What was his name 1
Did Stephen's son live to be king 1
Who was king after Stephen's death !
d 3


In what year did Stephen die ?
Whom had Stephen's mother married I
What was Stephen called !
Now try if you ean make a table of kings by yourself, as far as Henry the Second, and put the dates of the years when they began to reign.
LETTER VI.
my nr.mi hoy,
As I hear tliat von pay great attention to what I write, I go on with the English kings. We have now got to the reign of Henry the Second, who, as you know, was the son of Matilda, who ought to have reigned instead of Stephen. In this King Henry's reign lived the famous Thomas a Becket. This celebrated man rose from a very low station to be Archbishop of Canterbury. He made great pretensions to piety, but he appears to have known very little of the nature of true religion, and seems to have thought that it consisted wholly in outward observances, and Bevere bodily penances and mortifications. How different is this from the true religion of the


thomas a becket. 31
Gospel, which is a message of peace, and contains the most glad tidings which were ever made known to man The Christian religion requires no self-inflicted punishmentsit enjoins no hard observancesbut it invites us to happiness, and shows us the way. The religion of Christ, it is true, calls upon us to deny ourselves," but it is only when self-denial is the way to make us truly happy. It is, then, real kindness which bids us to avoid such things as will lead us to misery :and such are all those things which are forbidden in the Scriptures. They are forbidden, because they would hurt us. And those things which we are commanded to do, we are commanded to do because such obedience will make us happy. How anxious, then, ought we to be to avoid all that the Scriptures forbid, and to obey all that they command ; 'and how cheerfully ought we to do so, when we consider that this is ail contrived for our good But how different is this from the mistaken severity practised by such men as Thomas a Becket! We read that he was in person the most mortified man that could be seen ; that he wore sackcloth next his skin ; that he changed it so seldom, that it was filled


with dirt and vermin ; that his usual diet was bread, and his drink water, which he rendered further unpalatable by the mixture of unsavoury herbs. His back was mangled by frequent scourging He every day washed on his knees the feet of thirteen beggars." Such is the account of the habits of Thomas a Becket, when he was nearly the greatest man in the kingdom. But, under this appearance of humility, Becket had a heart full of pride and ambition. He had very great power among the clergy ; but, instead of using it in support of the king, as a Christian subject ought to do, he employed it in opposition to his sovereign, and wished to have the clergy a rich and powerful body, thinking more about their earthly dignity than their heavenly calling. In short, the power of these popish priests was a constant torment to the king; and he one day, in the midst of his anger, seemed to wish that he was well rid of Becket."
You must remember that those old times were not like these in which we live. Nov, if our king', instead of being one of the best-tempered
1 This was written in the year 1822. The argument has all its force in the year 1849.


men in the kingdom, was savage enough to wish for the death of the meanest of his subjects, he could not hurt a hair of the poor man's head : but, in former days, if a king wished any person out of the way, there were plenty of people to do the bloody work ; and a king might then easily get rid of an enemy. And thus it was that Becket was despatched. Four of the king's attendants, who knew their master's wishes, set off to Canterbury, and cruelly murdered Becket whilst he was kneeling at the altar at his prayers. You may be sure that, after this cruel deed, the king's conscience wotdd not let him rest, and he afterwards vaiidy tried to make amends for his crime by doing penance at Becket's tomb. He accordingly went down towards Canterbury. When he got within sight of the church he alighted from his horse, and walked barefoot towards the town. Then he proceeded to the tomb of St. Thomas of Canterbury," for so Becket was now called. Such pilgrimages were common in those days: and, if ever you go to see the cathedral of Canterbury, you will see the stones worn away with the knees of the pilgrims who went to worship at the shrine of St. Thomas a


Becket. What a foolish zeal for the errors of religion I heartily wish we were all as earnest for its important truths !
It was in this king's reign that we took possession of Ireland, which has belonged to the English ever since. The Irish were, at the tirrie we are speaking of, in a state of great ignorance. Since those days they are much improved, and are, in many respects, a fine people; but many of the poor among them are still in I state to require every help that good education and Christian instruction can give them.
I'ray did you ever read the storv of Fair Rosamond O yes, you must have read it, or heard of it. Well, it was in the reign of this King Henry that Fair Rosamond lived. King Henry had married his wife (Queen Eleanor) merely for her fortune. This, you know, was wrong. However, when he had married her, it was his duty to have been faithful to her. But, instead of this, he formed an attachment to Rosamond Clifford : and, that he might conceal her from the queen, he made a labyrinth (or a sort of winding passage) in a bower, in Woodstock Park, in Oxfordshire. The queen, however, found out this place of retreat,


and, with the help of a clue of thread, contrived to make her way through all the windings of the labyrinth, till she found the retreat of Fair Rosamond. She had brought witli her a dagger and a bowl of poison : and she held the dagger to Rosamond's breast, and compelled her to swallow the poison. Thus was the wicked adultery of the king and Rosamond punished by his wicked and bloody queen. And so it is,one wicked person is often made the instrument of punishing the wickedness of others.
This King Henry was very unhappy in his children. They all rebelled against him, and made the latter days of his life very miserable. A man who has unthankful wicked children never can be happy, in whatever station he may be. If you are a good Christian, my dear boy, I shall bo more happy than if I were a king.
The undutiful behaviour of his children was such a grief to the king, that he gave himself quite up to despair: and he was particularly grieved to find that his favourite, good-for-nothing, son, John, was amongst those who had rebelled against him. Nothing afforded him any pleasure ; his health failed, and he was soon brought to his


grave. He died in the year 1189, in the fifty-eighth of his age, and the thirty-fifth of his reign.
Many writers of history give this king an excellent character ; but I cannot help differing very widely from those who so represent him. I believe, indeed, as a king, he was very useful to his country, and was likewise amiable and agreeable in his disposition. But writers of history may do a deal of harm by praising those who do not deserve to be praised. Henry had caused Becket to be put to death, and he had neglected his wife that he might live with Kosamond. Here is both murder and adultery.
I am your affectionate Father.
questions. Who became king after Stephen !
In what year did Henry the Second come to the throne I
Who was Archbishop of Canterbury at this time I
What was the character of Thomas a Becket!
How did he clothe himself \
What was his usual diet!
Did he inflict severe punishment ou his body 1
Is this sort of penance required by the Christian religion 1


Was Becket humble minded, or proud I
Was the king offended by Beckel's desire of power!
Bid he express a wish to be well rid of Becket!"
Bid any of the king's attendants act upon this hint ?
What did they do!
Where did they murder Becket!
Was the king's conscience easy after this murder ?
What did the king do!
Is there any sign in Canterbury cathedral of many pilgrims having gone to worship at liccket's tomb! In whose reign did the Knglish get possession of Ireland! Have we kept possession of it ever since! Who was fair Rosamund Who killed her! Where !
In what manner!
How did King Henry's children behave to him!
Was their behaviour a great grief to the king!
In what year did Henry II. die!
How old was he!
How long had he reigned 1
Is Henry considered by historians as a good king I But was he not guilty of great crimes!


LETTER VII.
my dear boy,
Henry the Second was the last king I wrote to you about. After his death came his son Richard the First, who was a very brave man, and was therefore called Richard Cccur de Lion, which, in French, means Richard the Lionhearted. His wars were chiefly carried on against the Infidels in the Holy Land. These wars, as I have already explained to you, were called the Crusades. He went with Philip ', king of France, to this enterprise, and their two armies amounted to a hundred thousand fighting men. The king of France did not stay long in the Holy Land, but went home again on account of the badness of his health : or this might, perhaps, be only a pretence. He, however, left ten thousand of his men with the king of England, to assist in the war. Richard was very successful in conquering all before him. The infidel Saracens were beaten in every battle. Richard took the city of Ascalon, and many others 1 Philip ii.


of less note, and was going to besiege Jerusalem; but he found that his army was so wasted with famine and fatigue, and even with victory, that it was necessary to give up the war for the present. A truce (that is, a rest from war) was agreed on for three years, on conditions favourable to the Christians.
There is a curious story told about this King Richard. In returning home, he took the road through Germany, dressed in the habit of a pilgrim. He was, however, seized by the duke of Austria, and put into prison. This same duke of Austria had been with his armies in the Holy Land, and whilst he was there, the king of England and he had frequent quarrels: for Richard Cccur de Lion was not only a very brave man, but he was also a very violent, haughty man, and could not keep his temper-within any bounds, if he might not have his own way in every thing. Now this, you may be sure, the other leaders did not like, and this led to great disputes amongst them. The duke of Austria was, therefore, glad enough to get the haughty king of England into his power: and thus the king, who had filled the world with his greatness, e 2


was now thrown into a dungeon, and loaded with irons. It was a long time before the English people knew what was become of their beloved king. His place of confinement is said to have been found out by a poor French musician, who was near the prison, and was playing upon his harp a tune which he knew the king of England to be fond of. The king answered from within, by playing on his harp the same tune. The English gladly gave above three hundred thousand pounds for his deliverance, and thus this loyal people had the happiness to set their monarch free.
You may be sure that the l'.nglish people were full of joy at the return of their king. He entered London in great triumph, and was soon afterwards crowned anew at Winchester. His cruel brother John had, during this time, been acting as king, and doing all he could to get Richard detained in prison ;but the king generously forgave him.
There was something singular in the death of Richard. A person who held some land in France under the king of England, found a treasure in his field, and sent a part of it to the king. Richard knew that he had a right to the whole, and insisted upon having it. The treasure was


placed in a strong castle in France, and Richard attacked the castle. As he was riding round the place on the fourth day of the siege, he was shot in the shoulder by an arrow from the castle. The wound was badly treated, and it mortified, and brought on the death of the king.
Before his death, he is said to have ordered the archer who shot him to be brought into his presence ; and he nobly forgave him, and ordered him to be set at liberty. His attendants, however, full of rage, put the man to death as soon as he had (putted the presence of the king.
Richard died in the tenth year of his reign, in the year 1199. He had no children, and therefore his brother John became king.
I hope you try to remember what I tell you, and 1 shall then be encouraged to write to you often.
I am your affectionate Father, &c.
QUESTIONS.
Who was king of England after Henry II. In what year did Kiehard I. come to the throne What French name was given to him! What is the meaning of this French name Why was this name given to him t E 3


Where did Richard chiefly carry on his wars.
Against what people !
What were these wars called .
Who went with Richard on the Crusade I
How many fighting men did the English and French army
together amount to! Did the king of France stay long in the Holy Land 1 Did he leave Richard any of his soldiers) How many ?
Was Richard successful in this war !
What town did he take 1
Did he then agree upon a truce !
What do you mean by a trur??
For how long a time was this truce agreed upon 1
What happened to King Richard on his return I
How had Richard treated the duke of Austria when they
were in the Holy Land together 1 How was his place of confinement found out I How did the king obtain his liberty 1 What sum did the English pay to deliver their king Who had been acting as king, in England, during Richard's
absence I Was John's behaviour good 1 What was the cause of Richard's death i In what year did this happen Had King Richard any children t Who then became king after his death t How long did Richard I. reign In what year did he diet


LETTER VIIT.
my dear boy,
I told you, in my last Letter, that after the death of Richard, his brother John became king. Now, in those days, as well as now, the crown was to go to the next of kin, as rightful heir : but this matter does not seem to have been so well settled and understood as it is in our own days, so that, when any king died, there was often a dispute about who should be the next. Now John knew that, strictly speaking, he was not the true heir to the throne; for this belonged to a little boy about twelve years old, named Arthur, the son of Geoffrey, who was dead, but who was the next brother to King Richard. Now John was a cruel tyrant, and was hated by all his people, and he was afraid they would try to make Arthur king instead of him. He therefore conceived the dreadful thought of killing this little boy. And


it was not long before he executed his horrid intention. He had him confined in a prison, and he sent some bloody-minded ruffians to murder him. We read that the sweet and innocent looks and language of this beautiful child almost melted the stony hearts even of those savage murderers. One man, however, put his eyes out : and, whilst this man was gone out of the apartment, the dear boy, trembling for his danger, tried to make his escape out of the window, and in attempting this he fell down from a high turret, and was dashed to pieces. This is one of the accounts which we read, and this is adopted by Shakspeare in his historical play of "King John;" but there are several different accounts of the manner in which this poor little boy was put to death : some say, that King John killed him with his own hand. It seems certain, however, that it was by means of his cruel uncle that Arthur was destroyed. In this dreadfully wicked manner did King John seek to possess his throne in peace : but it was not very likely that such wickedness should prosper. He had a miserable reign; and his subjects were perpetually rebelling against him. You have, perhaps, heard of the Magna Charta, the
>


great bulwark, as it is called, of our liberties. King John, you must know, was constantly striving to destroy the liberties of his people; and, in those days, the barons, or great nobles, all had their tenants and dependants trained up as warriors, ready to fight for them, whenever they might have occasion for their help. This led to perpetual quarrels, and sieges, and battering of castles, and all the miseries of war, among those who ought to have lived like friends and neighbours. Those barons, too, wotdd often join and oppose the power of the king himself, being afraid that lie should encroach on their greatness and dignity. Ilut we must allow, that, in the reign of King John, they were the means of doing a great deal of good ; they drew up a charter, in which they laid down certain rules by which the kingdom was to be governed, and which were intended to prevent the king from acting according to his own wicked intentions, and to bind him to such laws as should be for the good of all classes of the people as well as of the king. This charter was signed at Runnymede, a field between Staines and Windsor, where the king and the barons all met in complete armour. This took


place in the year 1215, and this charter is sometimes called the charter of Runnymede, and sometimes the Magna Charta, which you know is Latin for Great Charter."
One should have hoped that things would now have been all settled, and the kingdom restored to peace and quietness : but, when there is a turbulent and wicked spirit abroad, it is not signing charters that will restore order and happiness. The king and the barons still quarrelled ; and the regulations of the Great Charter were forgotten and despised. The barons sent to beg assistance of the king of France ; the worst method they could have adopted, as the kingdom, if it escaped from the tyranny of John, would be compelled to submit to the power of France. This difficulty was, however, soon ended by the death of the king. He was marching with a large army from Lynn towards Lincolnshire, along the sea-coast, without knowing that this road would be overflowed at high water: the consequence was, that the tide destroyed all his waggons, and baggage, and treasures ; and he himself with difficulty escaped. He arrived, however, at the abbey of Swinstead. But his loss so distressed him, that


character of kino john. 47
it brought on a fever which seemed likely to end in his death. He was next day carried to Slea-ford ; and, after that, was removed to Newark, where he died, in the fifty-first year of bis age, and the eighteenth of his reign. This was in the year 1216.
I am, &c.
Character of King John {chiefly from Hume).
" The character of this prince is nothing but a collection of vices, equally mean and odious, ruinous to himself, and destructive to his people : cowardice, inactivity, folly, levity, licentiousness, ingratitude, treachery, tyranny, and cruelty : all these qualities evidently appeared in the several incidents of his life. It is hard to say whether his conduct to his father, his brother, his nephew, or his subjects, was the worst. His dominions, when they came to him by the death of his brother, were greater than any other English monarch ever possessed. But he lost, by his misconduct, the flourishing provinces of France, the ancient patrimony of his family. He subjected his kingdom to a shameful submission to the pope of Rome ; he saw the power of his crown diminished by law,


and still more reduced by faction ; and he died at last, when in danger of being totally ruined by a foreign power, and of either ending his life in a prison, or seeking shelter as a fugitive from the pursuit of his enemies."
QUESTIONS.
Who was king of England after Richard the First! In what year did King John cone to the throne What relation was John to the late king Was John the rightful heir to the throne Who was !
What was the disposition of John !
What cruel plan did he contrive !
Did he execute his bloody intention !
Relate the circumstances which are said to have attended
the death of Arthur. Did John enjoy the throne in peace after he had gained it
by such unjust and horrible means What do you mean by Magna Charta! Where was this Great Charter signed Where is Runnymede Who forced the king to sign this Charter! In what year was it signed !
Did the king attend to the regulations of the Great Charter! Whose assistance did the barons call in)


What caused the death of King John I
Where did he die 1
In what year did he die t
How long had he reigned !
What was the general character of King John !
LETTER IX.
my dear boy,
As I find that you take great pains to remember the little portions of the History of England which I send you, I continue to write on the same subject.
After the death of King John, in the year 1216, his son Henry, a boy only nine years old, was the rightful king ; but, by the ill management of his father, the kingdom had got into the hands of the French king. Young Henry, however, found friends ; and, after some difficulties and struggles, was put in possession of his kingdom.
This king, Henry the Third, seemed to be well disposed, and to wish to make his people happy ; he gave them a charter of liberties, much the


same as the great charter of King Johnwith some other privileges besides. It was, however, soon found that he had not spirit and energy enough to manage the people in such turbulent times. He soon got into troubles and difficulties. As he grew older, he grew no wiser; he often gave away places and dignities to very unfit persons, and thus had the duties of those places ill done, besides causing great dissatisfaction and jealousy. This went on for many years ; his wars cost the nation large sums, and he had no success in them, so that altogether the country was in a terrible state of discontent. It was then that an ambitious man named Simon Montford, earl of Leicester, raised a strong party and rebelled against the king; and, in the same battle, he took both him and his son prisoners. The young prince was named Edward; and a fine gallant prince he was You may be sure he was very desirous of gaining his liberty, and of restoring the character of his country ; and accordingly he contrived to make his escape. A curious story is told of the manner in which he did this. You must not, however, suppose that he was actually shut up in a prison all the time he was in Mont-


HENRY III. 61

ford's power ; he was allowed to walk and ride out; but he was attended by guards to prevent him from escaping. One day, as he was riding with these guards, he proposed to them that they should ride races together, whilst he should look on and judge which was best. When they had rode several races, so that all their horses were completely tired, the young prince, on his fine fresh horse, galloped away, leaving all his guards in the lurch, staring and wondering at one another's folly.
When Edward had got amongst his friends, he soon raised an army, and made an attack upon Montford, hoping to deliver his country as well as to set his old father at liberty. He soon reached Montford's army ; and a bloody battle was fought, in which the young prince was the conqueror, and Montford was killed. The poor old king had been put in front of Montford's army, that he might be killed by his own men, who would not know him, because he was closely cased up in his armour: and he was indeed wounded by one of his own soldiers, and would have been killed ; but, just then, he cried out that he was "The King." Then the young prince r 2


knew the voice of his father, and rode directly up to him, and took him to his own tent, and had his wound dressed ; and the old king lived for some years afterwards.
This King Henry died in the year 1272. He had reigned fifty-six years, which is the longest reign of any of the English kingsexcept our late good king, George the Third.
To assist your memory, it may be worth while to observe, that there have been only three kings of England who have reigned more than fifty years, and these all happen to he thirds;Henry the Third, Edward the Third, and George the Third.
It is in the reign of Henry the Third that we first hear of regular parliaments. Before this time, there were constant wars between the king and the barons; and things never seemed to be going on well. To endeavour to remedy this, representatives of the people were now to be sent up from every county, as well as from boroughs; and the kingdom was to be governed by king, lords, and commons. This is the best of all forms of government; and it continues in England to this day.


A nation governed by a king alone is called a Monarchy; if by nobles alone, it is called an Aristocracy; if by representatives of the people alone, it is called a Democracy. Either of these forms of government, taken separately, is often exposed to great inconvenience, and productive of great evil; but, when united together, the benefit of each is gained, and the inconveniences of each avoided. The interests of these three estates are closely connected ; and, if we are wise, we shall he glad to see them all flourishing together. By this form of government, the good of all ranks is consulted: and, if either the king, or the lords, or the people, should attempt to exceed the limits of the power assigned to them, the others are ready to see that all things are properly balanced. I think it is to our present form of government, under Providence, that we owe the great power of this nation. Look at the map, and see what a little place England is; and look what power this little island possesses ; and you may be sure that it never could have been so, if the government had not been a good one. Whilst, therefore, we have the privilege of living under good government, and being protected by good laws, it seems f 3


to me the duty of us all to be thankful for these blessings, and to consult the good of our country, by a loyal, peaceable, and grateful obedience to those whom Providence has set over us. Even such insignificant people as you and I may be of some use to our country. Every good man, in every station, is an honour and an ornament to the nation in which he lives. If every man would try, not how great he could be, but how good; if every man who is called a Christian would make it his great aim to be faithful to the religion which he professes, and to adorn that religion by the uprightness and purity of his life and morals, this would be the true way to make a people happy, and a nation great : there would be then no cause for the complaints which are now made; and there would be no complaints without cause. I would not, however, have you suppose that we are to be religious and good, merely for the sake of our present happiness, or as a plan for civilizing the community. These advantages will always accompany Christianity; and we may well rejoice in seeing these its present triumphs. But we have a still higher object in view, and are responsible for our conduct to a Master, who is high


above all earthly powers ; who may indeed be expected to bless us even here, if we study to serve Him ; and who will, then, assuredly take us to eternal and unmixed happiness in the world to come.
I am your affectionate Father, &c.
QUESTIONS.
Who was king of England after tlio (loath of King John t
How old was Henry the Third when his father died !
In what year did Henry come to the thrum' f
Did Juhn leave the kingdom in a had state ?
DM Henry wish well tu the people I
Did he renew to them the charter of liberty f
Had he spirit and energy of mind enough to govern the
people properly 1 What powerful nobleman rebelled against him Was Montford successful in his contest with the king Whom did Montford take prisoners! What story is related of the manner in which Prince Ed-
ward escaped t How did the prince proceed, after he had made his escape I Was there a battle fought between the prince and Montford! Which side conquered Where was the king during this battle I What is related of the young prince during this battle f


How long did King Henry reign 1 In what year did he die t
How many kings of England have there ever been who
have reigned more than fifty years! Who were they !
When do we first hear of regular parliaments in England! What has boon the form of the English constitution since that time I
LETTER X.
my df.ar boy,
Tiif last king we spoke of was Henry the Third; who reigned, as we said, fifty-six years, and died in the year 1272. His son Edward had been for some time in the Holy Land, engaged in a war against the Saracens. There is a very pretty story told of the affection of Edward's wife. Whilst in the Holy Land, he was wounded by an assassin in the arm, with a poisoned dagger, but the queen is said to have sucked the poison out of the wound, and thus to have saved the life of her husband.
Edward was returning from Palestine, (which you know is another name for the Holy Land,)


when he heard of the death of the king, his father. He, and his faithful wife, Queen Eleanor, arrived safely in England, and they were crowned at Westminster, in the year 1274. The people rejoiced at the thoughts of having such a king, for they took him to be a brave and noble-minded prince: and he certainly was a great warrior, and an active king, and he exerted himself greatly to make his country prosperous. He confirmed the Magna Charta ; which charter, as you know, gave great privileges to the English people. His wars, too, added to the power and greatness of the nation. It was this king that first united the Welsh nation to the English. You know where Wales is : you have seen it in your map of England, on the left side; that isthe west. You perceive that it is joined to England ; and King Edward's ambition led him to wish to have it in his own power; for, in the days we are speaking of, it was a separate kingdom, and had its own prince to govern it. The people who lived in Wales were the ancient Britons, who had never been driven from their territories by foreign invaders ; and the present people of Wales are descended from those ancient Britons. Whilst other parts


58
history of england.
of this island were overrun by Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans, these ancient Britons, guarded by their high mountains, and their high courage, never submitted to any of these conquerors. King Edward was determined to try what he could do towards conquering these brave people ; and, upon a slight quarrel with Llewellyn, then the prince of that country, he made war against them. But the brave Welsh resisted his encroachments, and refused to submit to him ; and they were encouraged in their high spirit by their bards (or poets), who made war-songs in ] raise of their country, and sang them to their harps, thus raising the courage of the people, and lifting up their minds to a resolute determination to defend their native land. Edward saw, that, so long as the bards remained, he should never be able to conquer the Welsh : and some historians say, that he ordered all these ancient minstrels to be hunted down and put to death. If this story be true, we may talk of the greatness of Edward the Firstbut I never can think of him without calling to mind his horrible cruelty. I cannot help feeling some of that indignation which must have glowed in the heart of our poet Gray, when he


wrote the following lines, which he supposes the last of these bards to have uttered against this cruel king:
" Ruin seizo thee, ruthless king !
Confusion on thy banners wait! Though, fann'ii by conquest's crimson wing,
They mock the air with idle state. Helm nor hauberk's twisted mail, Nor all thy virtues, tyrant, can avail To save thy soul from nightly fears, From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears."
You will, perhaps, have a pleasure in learning these lines by heart : the remainder of Gray's Ode goes on to show the miseries which, for a long time, fell upon the descendants of King Edward ; these, the last Welsh minstrel is supposed to see with a sort of prophet's eyebut this you know is all poetry ; we don't believe that these bards could foresee future events ; though the poet, who lived after the events had come to pass, was very well able to describe them. You will, however, be pleased with reading the Ode ; and, besides, it will be a little practice for you in English history. Cambria, you know, is the ancient name for Walts.


The Welsh, although they were so fiercely harassed by King Edward, made a most resolute and persevering defence. They refused to have him for their king, and declared that they would have none but a countryman of their own, who could speak no language but theirs, and who had been born and bred among them. King Edward then tried to come to terms with them ; and he said that, if they would submit to him, he would give them just such a king as they had asked for. To this they agreed ; and then Edward produced his own little son, who was but a few days old, and who had been born in Wales, at Caernarvon, and who could speak no language at all to offend them.
In this manner, Edward the First is said to have united Wales with England ; and the king of England's eldest son has still, as you know, the title of Prince of Wales. We. cannot be pleased with the manner in which this union was brought about, although we can see that it is much to the advantage of both nations.,
Soon after this, there was a dispute about the crown of Scotland, there being several persons who considered themselves as the rightful heirs.


The dispute was referred to King Edward; and his ambitious spirit led him to see, that with a little management, he might get Scotland into his own hands. He declared that John Baliol was the proper king ; but Edward kept all the power in his own hands ; and Baliol had the name of a king, without any of the privileges belonging to a sovereign. But this the Scottish nation did not at all approve of, and they tried all they could to deliver themselves from their subjection to the king of England. There was a very brave warrior named William Wallace ; and such was the high spirit of this great man, that he could not bear to see his beloved Scotland under the power of the English. He accordingly roused his countrymen to exert themselves for their deliverance. King Edward marched into Scotland to resist the force of Wallace, and a very great battle was fought at Falkirk, in which the English gained the victory. The high spirit of the Scots was not, however, yet subdued: Wallace still persevered in his endeavours to deliver his country. The king of England again took the field, and gained several victories over the Scotch, and at length he took William Wallace himself pri-
G


soner. And here King Edward again showed the cruelty of his disposition ; for he ordered his brave enemy to be brought to London in chains, and then to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. Still, however, the Scots resisted ; and, fighting under Robert Bruce, they drove the English out of Scotland, and then made Bruce their king.
Edward saw, after all his fighting, and all his victories, that still he had little or no power remaining in Scotland. This thought made him extremely angry and violent ; and he was resolved to leave no means untried for recovering his authority there. He accordingly sent another large army to oppose Bruce, and he gained a complete victory. Then he went again into Scotland, where he found the people more humble and submissive than he had ever seen them, and he seemed to expect that he should then bring them entirely into subjection. Vain, however, are all the projects of ambitious man; and a grievous thing it is to make the misery of others the object of our desires! Edward had not long to live. He died at Carlisle, in the year 1307. But such was his animosity against the Scotch, that, even


with his dying breath, he begged of his son Edward never to give up the contest against them, till he had made a complete conquest of their kingdom. What a melancholy end,for a man to die with such feelings on his mind But so it is! If we encourage wrong feelings during our lives, they will be with us at our deaths,either leading us astray by their bad influence, or harassing and tormenting us with a consciousness of their guilt.
But to such a king as Edward the First, historians are generally ready to give a high character. And it is indeed true, that his warlike spirit led him to perform such exploits as brought glory and greatness to his kingdom. But how little does this contribute to the happiness of a people, compared with those peaceful and useful qualities which make a nation truly flourishing! And how can we admire the private character of a man who gave way to a temper so full of cruelty and violence ?
We are told that his person was very fine and comely, and that he was very tall, but that his legs were too long in proportion to his body. And thus he got the name of Longshanks Ed-o 2


ward Longshanks! What a name and title for a king !
Ever yours, &c.
QUESTIONS.
Who was king of England after Henry the Third Where was I'rince Edward when 11 is father died t Who was Edward's wife 1
What instance of affection is recorded of this lady t In what year did Kdward come to the throne ? Was Kdward brave and warlike ; or the contrary 1 What country did Kdward endeavour to add to Kngland Where is Wales '
Who was prince of that country before Kdward attacked it >. What description of people are said to have been a great
check to King Edward's progress in Wales 1 How did Edward treat these bards or poets What stratagem is King Edward said to have made use of
to get his son acknowledged Prince of Wales! What has the eldest son of the king of England been called,
since the time when Edward thus got possession of
Wales I
What country did Edward next endeavour to gain possession of!
What events in Scotland opened a way for Edward's
ambitious designs t Whom did Edward appoint king of Scotland I Who resisted Edward in Scotland 1


Wan there a great battle !
Where!
Who conquered t
How did the king treat William Wallace Did the Scots still persevere 1 Under whom !
Who was then crowned king of Scotland ? Where did Kdward the First die I In what year ?
What dying request did he make to his son What was his personal appearance What name was he sometimes called by ?
LETTER XI.
my dear boy,
In my last letter I gave you some account of the life of Edward the First. We now come to Edward the Second. This young prince was twenty-three years of age when he began to reign. He was born, as I told you, at Caernarvon in Wales; and he has commonly been distinguished by the name of Edward Caernarvon. This young king was received with great joy by the people. He o 3


had a fine manly form, and a kind and gentle disposition. But something more than this is required to enable a king to govern a nation properly. It was soon found that he had neither abilities nor spirit enough to manage the great affairs of a kingdom.
His father, you remember, had told him, with his dying breath, never to be at peace till he had completely conquered the Scotch. This was indeed a barbarous request, especially for a dying man ; and we know, moreover, that a king who delights in peace is much wiser than one who would Keek for war : at the same time, if a king does go to war, he ought to do it with spirit, and as if he were determined to conquer.
Edward did indeed persevere in the war against the Scotch, but he managed it so ill, that he was completely beaten by Robert Bruce, king of Scotland, in the great battle of Bannockburn ; and thus Edward lost all the power in Scotland that his fighting father had gained.
But, besides his bad success in war, his affairs at home seemed to be constantly going wrong. Instead of carefully considering in his own mind what was best for his people, or of consulting his


lDVt'AllD ii.
C7
parliament, or of taking the advice of wise and learned counsellors, he was always guided by some silly favourite, who had nothing to recommend him but a pleasing outside appearance. At one time Piers Gaveston was the favourite, at another time Hugh Spencer. You may be sure that this would give great offence to all ranks of his subjects. And indeed it did so, for there were constant quarrels and disputes between this king and his people. In the days we are speaking of, the barons could arm their tenants and dependents, and bring them out against any of their neighbours with whom they were at variance, and would often oppose even the king himself. Several of these nobles now joined their powers together, and raised a great army in opposition to the king. In one of their battles they took Gaveston prisoner, and cut off his head. Some time afterwards they took Spencer, and him they hanged. At length they made the king himself prisoner, and it would be a very long and very grievous story to tell you of all the cruel ways in which they abused and tormented him. He was confined in Berkeley Castle, where he was to be taken care of by lords Berkeley, Montravers, and


Gournay, wlio were each to guard him a month at a time. Lord Berkeley was a tender-hearted man, and was disposed to treat him kindly ; but the other two were prepared for every kind of cruelty. They wished, if they could, to break his heart by their savage treatment. Besides many other cruelties, they shaved him in the open fields, using the dirty water from a neighbouring ditch. This insult is said to have greatly affected the king, and he burst into tears, and said that the time might come when he should be better waited on. This, however, never happened ; for when Lord Berkeley was confined by sickness, the other two keepers went into the prison, and murdered the king in the most cruel manner. They tried to kill him in such a way that his body might show no marks of violence. But his shrieks rung through all Berkeley Castle, and thus the murder was discoveredas murder generally is. Gournay was some time afterwards taken and beheaded ; but Montravers lived to be tormented in his conscience for this foul deed. This murder was committed on the 21st of September, 1327.


Mark the year, and mark the night, When Severn shall re-echo with affright The shrieks of death through Berkeley's roof that ring Shrieks of an agonizing king."Gray.
You perhaps know that Berkeley Castle is situated on the banks of the Severn, in Gloucestershire, and then you will very well understand
these verses.
I hope vou try to remember the dates which I mark for you | for if you do not remember your elirnnolnqy (or the time when things happened), you arc pretty sure to forget your history.
I am, &c.
QUESTIONS.
Who was king of England after the death of Edward the First!
How old was Edward the Second when he began to reign!
In what year did he come to the throne 1
Where was he born!
What name was he called by !
What was his personal appearance !
What was his disposition !
Bo you remember what was his father's dying request respecting Scotland!


Did Edward the Second act up to liis father's desire on this point 1
How did he succeed in his war against the Scots Who beat him 1 In what battle 1
Did his affairs at home go on well 1
By whose advice was he chiefly guided t
Were the people offended at his weak conduct, and his
* attachment to unprincipled favourites t Who were his chief favourites ? What became of them What happened to the king?
After the king was taken prisoner, where was he confined ? Who had the custody of him at Berkeley Castle \ How was lie treated there i Where is Berkeley Castle! Near what river 1
What particular acts of cruelty did they show to the king I
Was the king ever released from this imprisonment I
What death did he die !
What became of his murderers !
In what year was this murder committed f


LETTER XII.
my dear boy,
I have already given you a short history of Kdward the First, and Edward the Second; we must now, therefore, turn our attention to Edward the Third. This prince was only fourteen years old when he came to the throne ; and his wicked mother, and her favourite Mortimer, endeavoured to keep all power from him, and to manage every thing themselves. Edward, however, would not long submit to this, and he therefore attacked the queen and her lover in Nottingham Castle, and seized them both. Mortimer was condemned by the parliament and hanged. The queen was confined for life to the Castle of Risings, with a pension of three hundred a-year. The king, every year, paid her a visit of ceremony, but she was never respected by any one during the rest of her life, which continued about twenty-five years.


Edward the Third was an ambitious and a brave king. He set about conquering Scotland, which his father had lost ; and in one of his battles, at Halidown-hill, he is said to have left thirty thousand of the Scotch dead on the field.
He likewise attempted to get the kingdom of France into his power, and he pretended, that, through his mother, he was the rightful heir to the throne. He accordingly went over to France, to endeavour to make a conquest of that kingdom. You have, perhaps, heard of the great battle of (rissy. This great battle was fought by Edward the Third, or, I may rather say, by his son, F^dward the Black l'rinee, for the king did not actually engage in the battle, but took his station on a hill at some little distance, with a body of men, in case his help should be wanted. It is said, that, in this battle, the English had only thirty thousand men, whilst the French had a hundred and twenty thousand. The English had indeed the advantage of position, and, it is said besides, that the sun shone in the faces of the French, and dazzled their eyes; and, moreover, that there had been a shower of rain, which relaxed the bow-strings of the French, whilst the


English, to prevent this, had kept their bows in cases. I do not know how all this might be, but it is certain that the English gave the French a complete beating. I mentioned the king's son Edward, the Black Prince. He is supposed to have been called the Black Prince, because he generally wore black armour. If you were ever to go to Windsor Castle, you might see the very armour which this prince wore. There was one part of the battle of Cressy, when the young prince was fighting so desperately, and rushing into such great dangers, that some of his officers thought he must be cut to pieces, and that he was in need of help; they, accordingly, went up to the king, and begged him to come to the assistance of the prince. The old king saw plainly that his son was winning the battle, and he, therefore, refused to come. Tell the prince," he said, that the honour of this day shall be all his own." This speech added such courage to young Edward, and to the soldiers, that they quickly carried all before them, and gained a most complete victory.
Soon after this, Edward besieged Calais. You know where Calais is. It is the town where you
h


land, in France, when you cross the sea from Dover. Edward was very anxious to get possession of Calais, that he might have a place in France where he could land his men, and thus might with more ease conquer the country. He accordingly surrounded Calais with his army; but the brave citizens made a long and bold defence. For a whole year, all the attempts of Edward to take the town were vain. The citizens, during this time, were suffering dreadful hardships for want of food ; and it was indeed hunger alone that obliged them' to surrender at last. When they did submit, Edward was so angry with them for holding out so long, that he at first threatened to put every one of them to death. He was, however, afterwards, content with having six of the principal citizens brought out to execution with halters about their necks. These brave men would every one of them have been hanged, (for nothing but their good and brave conduct,) had not the queen of England herself fallen on her knees before the king, and entreated him to pardon them. The king listened to the mild entreaties of queen Philippa, and set these excellent citizens at liberty.


Whilst Edward was in France, the Scotch, taking advantage of his absence, made an attempt to invade England with a large army, commanded by their king, David Bruce. This was at a time when the queen, whom we have mentioned before, was in England ; and she, without delay, set off herself with an army to oppose them ; she met them at Neville's Cross, near Durham ; she attacked them, won the battle, and took the king of Scotland himself prisoner.
The lilack Prince, shortly afterwards, fought .mother great battle in France, the famous battle of /'oirtiers ; here he took John, king of France, primmer ; so that there were two kings at the same time prisoners in England.
Thus, you see that the reign of Edward the Third is what is called a glorious one, and has brought great honour to the name of England.
But warlike glory will not give happiness, nor ward off afflictions. The Black Prince, you may be sure, was the joy of his father, and the delight of the nation ; but his race of glory was soon run ; his health began to fail him : and he was wasting away by a consumption. During this time, the possessions which had been gained in ii 2


France were lost, both for want of a supply of men from England, and on account of the prince's illness, which prevented him from carrying on the war with his usual spirit. Soon after this, the prince died, to the great grief of his father and of all the English people. The poor king, they say, never looked up again. He could not go on with public business, but gave it all up, and left the cares of the state to a set of people who conducted matters in a miserable manner, and laid aside all reverence for their king. He died at Shene, (now called Richmond,) in Surrey, deserted by all his courtiers, and by those who had grown rich in his service.
" Mighty victor, mighty lord !
Low on his funeral couch he lies : No pitying heart, no eye afford
a tear to grace his obsequies."Grat.
He died in the year 1377, after a long reign of fifty years. There are very few kings who have reigned so long. I have mentioned them before to you. I hope you take my advice, and try to remember the dates ; I suppose you make a sort of table of kings, according to the plan that I


mentioned to you before. You can write the dates against every one of them, as I have done below. There is a little boy, a friend of yours, who knows every king of England, and every date, and can write them all down. His little sister can do so too ; and I expect that you will be able to do the same.
I am your affectionate father, &c. William 1st. (10C6) I
William 2nd. (10(17) Henry 1st. (1100)Adela.
I I
Matilda Stephen (1130)
Henry 2nd. (1151)
Richard 1st. (11H9)John (1199)
Hen. 3rd. (1210)
eJw. 1st. (1272)
Edw. 2nd. (1307)
eJw. 3rd. (1327)
Character of Edward III. (as given by Smollett.)
" Edward's constitution had been injured by the fatigues of his youth ; so that he began to feel the infirmities of old age before the usual h 3


time; and now he was seized with a malignant fever, attended with eruptions that soon put a period to his life. When his distemper became so violent that no hope of his recovery remained, all his attendants forsook him, as a bankrupt no longer able to requite their services. He was left without one domestic to close his eyes, and do the last offices to his breathless corpse. In this deplorable condition, bereft of comfort and assistance, the mighty Kdward lay expiring; when a priest, not quite so savage as the rest of his domestics, approached his bed ; and, finding him still breathing, began to administer some comfort to his soul. Kdward had not yet lost all perception, when he found himself thus abandoned and forlorn in the last moments of his life. He was just able to express a deep sense of sorrow and contrition for the errors of his conduct, and died pronouncing the name of Jesus.
" Such was the end of Edward the Third, undoubtedly one of the greatest princes that ever swayed the sceptre of England; whether we respect him as a warrior, a lawgiver, a monarch, or a man. He was tall, majestic, finely shaped, with a piercing eye, and aquiline visage. He excelled


all the people of his time in feats of arms, and personal address. He was courteous, affable, and eloquent, of a free deportment and agreeable conversation, and had the art of commanding the affections of his subjects, without seeming to solicit popularity. The love of glory was certainly the ruling passion of Edward : for the sake of which he did not scruple to sacrifice the feelings of humanity, the lives of his subjects, and the interests of his country. And nothing could have induced or enabled his people to bear the load of taxes with which they were encumbered in his reign, but the love and admiration of his person, the fame of his victories, and the excellent laws and regulations which the parliament enacted with his advice and concurrence."
questions.
In what 7ear did Edward the Third begin to reign t
What age was he when he came to the throne 1
Who endeavoured to keep the power out of the hands of
the young king t Where did the king seize upon the queen-mother and
Mortimer t What became of Mortimer! What of the queen !


What was the disposition of Edward the Third t What kingdom did he attempt to conquer i Did he fight a great battle against the Scotch I What battle and who conquered t What nation did he next attempt to conquer ? What great battle did he fight in France t Was the king's son in this battle 1 What was the young prince called ?
Can you relate any of the particulars of the battle of Creasy I What town in France did Edward besiege In what part of France does Calais lie ? How long was it before Calais surrendered How did Edward treat the citizens of Calais after their surrender I
When king Edward was in France, did the Scots attempt
to invade England { Who commanded them 1
Do you remember the particulars of the battle of Neville's
Cross 1 Who was taken prisoner t
What other great battle did the Black Prince fight in
France I Who was taken prisoner 1 Did the Black Prince ever live to be king 1 How did the king bear the loss of his son How was he treated by his courtiers when oppressed with
age and infirmities 1 In what year did Edward the Third die How long had he reigned I


richard ii. 81
Can you make a table of English kings from William the Conqueror to Edward the Third, with the dates of the years when they began to reign t
LETTER XIII.
my dear boy,
I am very happy to find, by the letters which I receive from yon, that you pay so much attention to the accounts which I send you. This is a great encouragement to me to go on. I told you, in my last letter, that Kdward the lilack Prince died before the king, his father; so that the heir to the throne was the son of the Black Prince, a boy only eleven years old, called Richard. This Richard, the Second, being too young to govern, the affairs of the kingdom were managed by his uncles, the dukes of Lancaster, York, and Gloucester. The wars which the late king had begun, were so dreadfully expensive, that very large taxes were obliged to be raised to carry them on. In our days, taxes are so contrived, if possible, that but little pf the burden of them may fall upon the poor: but, in this king


Richard's reign, a tax of four groats was laid upon
every person above the age of fifteen. This caused a great rebellion. One Hat Tyler', a blacksmith, refused to pay it, and he headed a great mob, and went to London to endeavour to excite a commotion. King Hichard, then just sixteen years old, agreed to meet him in Smith-field, SO listen to bis account of the grievances of the people, and to try to remedy them. This was noblv done of the voung king, who was indeed a very line promising young man. Nothing could I).' better than his behaviour! but Tullt behaved in so insolent I manner, shaking his sword as if he were threatening the king, and conducting himself so rudely, that the lord mayor, William Walworth, knocked him down with his mace ; and one of his attendants killed him with his sword. You may be sure that Wat Tyler's people were angry enough when they saw their leader killed ; and they were just preparing for a violent attack, when the young king
1 The loaders of this mob assumed feigned names ; such as Wat Tyler, Jack Straw, Hob Carter, and Tom Miller, by which they were fond of denoting their mean origin.
Hum.


said to them, in the most kind and endearing manner, You have lost your leader : but I will be your leader ; follow me, and your wishes shall be granted." Thus the king, by his courage and good conduct, at once put an end to the fury of the mob; and they quietly went to their homes. As the king's life seems to have been preserved by the Lord Mayor, the coat of arms of the city of London was honoured with the representation of the bloody dagger which was the cause of his deliverance; and you know that this dagger is in the city arms at the present day.
The young king began his reign well, but he did not go on so; in short, he soon showed that he was a very weak king; and all his affairs, therefore, went on ill. It would be tedious to tell you of all his mismanagement ; but one thing is worth mentioning, as it was, perhaps, the cause why he lost the crown. The dukes of Norfolk and Hereford had had a quarrel ; and, instead of hearing which was right and which was wrong, the king ordered them both to be banished. The duke of Norfolk died abroad; but Hereford came back again rather sooner than the king expected him. This duke of Hereford was the first


cousin of the king, being the son of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, the king's uncle. Now, as the king governed so badly, and every body was dissatisfied with him, this Hereford (who was now become duke of Lancaster by the death of his father) thought he could get the crown for himself; and accordingly landed at Ravenspur in Yorkshire, and was joined by a great number of powerful people, so that he was soon able to get rid of the king, and to be crowned in his stead. This was, in truth, a most wicked piece of injustice ; for this duke of Lancaster had no right at all to the throne whilst Richard was alive ; and, indeed, if Richard had been dead, still Lancaster had no right to it, as it belonged of right to the family of Richard's uncle, the duke of Clarence, who was older than the late duke of Lancaster. This family is called the house of York 1 ; and it was the disputes between these two families which made the civil wars which so long raged in England between the houses of York and Lancaster.
1 It was called the house of York, because a duke of York married a female of the Clarence line, and thus the title was changed.


The poor king Richard was barbarously murdered in Pomfret Castle. Some say that eight murderers were sent to kill him, and that he snatched a pole-axe from one of them, and laid four of them dead at his feet; and was then himself knocked on the head with a pole-axe. Some say he was starved to death, not having had any thing given him to eat for a fortnight. Whichever it was, it was horrible enough. This murder was committed in the year 1399. The power which Richard'" grandfather had gained in France was lost again i.i this weak king's reign. So much for the benefits of fighting !
I am your affectionate father, &c.
questions.
Whose son was Edward the Black Prince 1
Bid he die before his father t
Who was then heir to the throne I
How old was Richard the Second when his father died I
In what year did he come to the throne I
Who managed the affairs of the kingdom while Richard
was too young to govern t Were Urge taxes required, to pay the expenses of the late
king's wars t
What tax was considered very severe on the poor 1
I


After what age were they required to pay this I Who resisted it |
Who headed a mob and marched to London 1
Where did the King meet Wat Tyler and his followers?
How did the young king conduct himself on this occasion 1
How did Tyler behave ?
Hnw did the Lord Mayor act t
What was the Lord Mayor's name !
When Wat Tyler was killed, were not his people very
much enraged 1 How were they pacified ?
Did king Richard the Second continue to act as well as he
had begun ? What two noblemen had a quarrel ? How did the king act towards them Did one of tliem return ? Did he try to get the kingdom ? Who was this ?
Whose son was he, and what relation was he to the. king Had he any right to the throne during the king's lifetime 1 Would he have had any right to it, even if the king had been dead ?
What family ought to have had the throne after the death
of Richard !
What caused the disputes between the houses of York and
Lan caster ? What was the end of Richard t Where was he murdered I In what year was this ?


LETTER XIV.
MY DEAR BOY,
In our last letter, we saw that the duke of Lancaster was made king, under the title of Henry the Fourth. We saw, too, that he had no right at all to the throne, as it properly belonged to the duke of York's family, which was descended from Lionel, duke of Clarence, the elder brother of John of Gaunt, Henry's father.
There is no happiness to be enjoyed from what is gained by foul means ; and this Henry soon found out. He was constantly harassed by plots and rebellions. Those very persons who had helped him to get the crown, were now the first to endeavour to take it from him, when they saw how haughtily he carried himself toward his former friends. The duke of Northumberland, a powerful nobleman, was one of those who had formerly assisted him, and who now rebelled I 2


against him : and this duke had a son, a brave and gallant youth, but so fierce and fiery, that they called him Hotspur. This family, and many others, raised a powerful army against the king; and a great battle was fought between them at Shrewsbury ; where, however, the rebels were completely beaten, and Hotspur was killed. The king himself was in this battle, and fought bravely. His son, too, was there, the same who was afterwards that brave king, Henry the Fifth. Here this prince, young as he was, showed that he knew how to fight, and gave a sort of earnest of the kind of man he was afterwards to be. He did wonders in this battle ; and some people say that it was he that killed Hotspur. This prince, however, though he could fight so well, is generally represented as a bad sort of young man ; and his loose behaviour, his fondness for bad company, and his profligate living, were said to be the cause of great affliction to his father. All the riches and all the greatness in the world will never make any one happy who has the affliction of having an unthankful son. It is true that this young prince did, afterwards, become a wise and a great king. The old king, plagued by rebellions, and tormented


in his conscience by the remembrance of his own cruelty to the late king, and of the unjust means by which he gained his crown, seems to have had no peace and no happiness '.
You know that Shakspcare wrote several plays from the History of England ; he has given us a beautiful speech of Henry the Fourth, on Sleep," where the king seems to have been so harassed with cares and vexations, and the stings of conscience, that he could get no sleep to close his eyes ; and he seems most anxiously to wish to lay aside the troubles of state, and the torments of mind which accompanied them, and to change places with the lowest of his subjects.
" How many thousands of my poorest subjects Are, at this hour, asleep Sleep, gentle Sleep, Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down, And steep my senses in forgetfulness! Why, rather, Sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs, Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
1 Historians have generally given this unfavourable account of the early days of Prince Henry. The Rev. J. E. Tyler, in his Memoirs of Henry V., has shown the falsehood of their representations. 4th edition.
i 3


And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber ; Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great, Under the canopies of costly state, And lull'd with sounds of sweetest melody 1
-Wilt thou, upon the high and giddy mast,
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge 1-
Canst thou, O partial Sleep, give thy repose To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude ; And, in the calmest and the stillest night, With all appliances and means to boot, Deny it to a king ? Then, happy loir, lie down, Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."
You see, the king seems to think low" people the happiest, and considers that they lie down" in peace, while the great are harassed on all sides with cares and torments. A man, however, whose conscience torments him, will never sleep soundly, whether he be high or low.
Henry the Fourth died in the year 1413.
I am your affectionate father, &c
QUESTIONS.
After Richard the Second was murdered, who was ki: England!
To whose family did the crown properly belong I
nfof


Did Henry the Fourth enjoy hi power in peace I or did
any of hia subjects rebel against him I Who raised an army to fight against the king t What great battle was fought 1 Which side gained the victory, and who was killed t Was the king in the battle t Was his son Who was that son 1
Was this prince a good young man or not I Did his behaviour greatly distress his father 1 Did he afterwards improve !
Was the king's mind disturbed with the thoughts of the unjust way in which lie got the throne, and with his cruelty to the late king !
Will the remembrance of past wickedness torment the conscience, and drive away the refreshment of sleep 1
Which is the happier, a poor labourer, whose mind is at ease ; or a king, whose mind is tilled with cares, and whose conscience is stung with the remembrance of sin 1
In what year did Henry the Fourth die t


LETTER XV.
MY DEAR BOY,
In my last letter, I gave you a short account of the history of Henry the Fourth. The next king was Henry the Fifth, his eldest son. I told you what a wild young man this prince is said to have been'.
You may be sure that, when this young prince came to be king, all his riotous companions would expect that they should be in great favour, and that they should be enabled to indulge in all their profligate schemes and wicked pleasures. But they soon found the difference ; for the king sent for them, and told them that he was thoroughly ashamed of his past behaviour : he gave them each a small allowance, sufficient to enable them to live honestly, without being tempted to unfair means
1 We have left this account nearly as it was in the former editions; but Mr. Tyler's new work gives us an entirely different view of the subject.


of supporting themselves; and he, at the same time, ordered them never to come into his presence again, till they had completely altered their manners and practices.
The orderly and good people, on the other hand, expected that they should find no favour; but they soon experienced, to their great joy, the altered disposition of the new king. There is a pretty story of Sir William Gascoyne, who had once sent the young prince to prison for his riotous and had behaviour. This upright judge felt it to be his duty to punish what was wrong, wherever he found it; he knew that the laws of England made no difference between the rich and the poor, and he was honest enough to execute these laws in a fair and impartial manner. He thought of his duty rather than of his interest, and, therefore, he committed the prince to prison for his ill conduct, just the same as he would have done the poorest person in the kingdom. But, when this young prince came to be king, Sir William Gascoyne naturally expected that he should suffer for his former conduct : but, instead of this, the young king sent for hint*; told him that he had acted rightly and nobly, encouraged him to go on in the same


honest and independent manner, and bestowed on him great marks of approbation and favour. Thus did this young king begin to govern, pursuing exactly the course to make his kingdom prosperous, and his people happy ; encouraging all those whose characters were good, and setting his face wholly against flatterers, and drunkards, and profligates.
You know, that in the times of which I am writing, the Roman Catholic form of religion was professed in England ; the religion of this country and of manv others, being then verv much under the power of the Popes of Rome, whose ambition and pride had led them, in many respects, to corrupt and pervert the true religion of Christ. It seemed to be their wish to keep the people in ignorance. The Bible and Prayer Book were in the Latin language; so that the people knew little of the real meaning of the Gospel, and had but little opportunity of knowing more. When we get to the reign of Henry the Eighth, we shall see that these things were altered: there was a Reformation; and those who opposed and protested against the religion of the pope were called Protestants; which is the name, as you know, by


which we are called now. But though, I say, the Protestant religion was not established in England till the reign of Henry the Eighth, yet there were some good men who endeavoured to enlighten the minds of the people, long before that time. So early as the reign of Richard the Second, IVickliffe translated the Bible into English ; but this gave great offence, and people were forbidden to read it; and many were actually put to death, because they wished to read the Bible.
There was one nobleman, in particular, Lord Cobhain, who was very desirous of bringing about a reformation ; and he encouraged the people to read Wickliffe's Bible. For this he was seized, and sent a prisoner to the Tower; and, some time afterwards, he was put to death in the most cruel and dreadful manner that can be conceived. They applied all sorts of torturts to him ; and, at last, they fastened a chain round his body, and actually roasted him alive over a slow fire.
It was by such cruelties as these that the enemies of religion endeavoured to keep down the knowledge of the truth ; and, as we go on in


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