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gration would spread till everything combustible in the earth was consumed. Did it consist of carbonic acid only, death and comparative stillness would reign everywhere, and the production of light and heat such as we can now command would be utterly impossible. But the happy mixture of the three gases which now prevails, renders everything possible. Under their united influence the rocks crumble to form a fertile soil, plants flourish to cover it with verdure, animals live to adorn and enjoy it, and light and heat are awakened or extinguished at will. The inactive nitrogen dilutes the too energetic oxygen, so as to make animal life longer, and to subject living fire to hunian control; while the poisonous carbonic acid is rendered harmless to animal life by the very small proportion in which it is mixed with the other gases."

One of the most admirable, indeed, of Nature's wonders in the material world, is the purpose served by this carbonic acid gas, Itself poisonous in a high degree, it can be breathed by man with impunity only in very minute quantity, that is, in an extreme state of dilution. Hence, the atmosphere in which man lives contains only one gallon of this gas in every 2,500. And so small is this quantity, that the weight of carbon in this form which the whole atmosphere contains, amounts only to 33 grains out of the 15 pounds of air which presses upon every square inch. Yet by this comparatively minute quantity all vegetable life is nourished and sustained.-North British Review.

LESSON XVIII.—WEDNESDAY.

THE ARMADA.
Attend, all ye who list to hear our noble England's praise:
I tell of the thrice famous deeds she wrought in ancient days,
When that great fleet invincible against her bore in vain
The richest spoils of Mexico, the stoutest hearts of Spain.

It was about the lovely close of a warm summer day, There came a gallant merchant-ship full sail to Plymouth Bay; Her crew hath seen Castile's black fleet, beyond Aurigny's isle, At earliest twilight, on the waves lie heaving many a mile. At sunrise she escaped their van, by God's especial grace; And the tall Pinta, till the noon, had held her close in chase

Forthwith a guard at every gun was placed along the wall;
The beacon blazed upon the roof of Edgecumbe's lcfty hall;
Many a light fishing-bark put out to pry along the coast,
And with loose rein and bloody spur rode inland many a post.
With his white hair unbonneted, the stout old sheriff comes;
Behind him march the halberdiers; before him sound the drums;
His yeomen round the market cross make clear an ample space;
For there behoves him to set up the standard of Her Grace.
And haughtily the trumpets peal, and gaily dance the bells,
As slow upon the labouring wind the royal blazon swells.
Look how the Lion of the sea lifts up his ancient crown,
And underneath his deadly paw treads the gay lilies down.
So stalked he when he turned to flight, on that famed Picard field,
Bohemia's plume, and Genoa's bow, and Cæsar's eagle shield.
So glared he when at Agincourt in wrath he turned to bay,
And crushed and torn beneath his claws the princely hunters lay.
Ho! strike the flagstaff deep, sir Knight: ho! scatter flowers, fair

maids:
Ho! gunners, fire a loud salute: ho! gallants, draw your blades:
Thou sun, shine on her joyously; ye breezes, waft her wide;
Our glorious SEMPER EADEM, the banner of our pride.

The freshening breeze of eve unfurled that banner's massy fold; The parting gleam of sunshine kissed that haughty scroll of gold; Night sank upon the dusky beach, and on the purple sea, Such night in England ne'er had been, nor e'er again shall be. From Eddystone to Berwick bounds, from Lynn to Milford Bay, That time of slumber was as bright and busy as the day; For swift to east and swift to west the ghastly war-flame spread, High on St. Michael's Mount it shone: it shone on Beachy Head. Far on the deep the Spaniard saw, along each southern shire, Cape beyond cape, in endless range, those twinkling points of fire. The fisher left his skiff to rock on Tamar's glittering waves: The rugged miners poured to war from Mendip's sunless caves : O'er Longleat's towers, o'er Cranbourne's oaks, the fiery herald flew: He roused the shepherds of Stonehenge, the rangers of Beaulieu. Right sharp and quick the bells all night rang out from Bristol town, And ere the day three hundred horse had met on Clifton down; The sentinel on Whitehall gate looked forth into the night And saw o'erhanging Richmond Hill the streak of blood-red light. Then bugle's note and cannon's roar the deathlike silence broke, And with one start, and with one cry, the royal city woke. At once on all her stately gates arose the answering fires; At once the wild alarum clashed from all her reeling spires; From all the batteries of the Tower pealed loud the voice of fear; And all the thousand masts of Thames sent back a louder cheer:

And from the furthest wards was heard the rush of hurrying feet, And the broad streams of pikes and flags rushed down each roaring

street; And broader still became the blaze, and louder still the din, As fast from every village round the horse came spurring in: And eastward straight from wild Blackheath the warlike errand

went, And roused in many an ancient hall the gallant squires of Kent. Southward from Surrey's pleasant hills flew those bright couriers

forth; High on bleak Hampstead's swarthy moor they started for the north; And on, and on, without a pause, untired they bounded still: All night from tower to tower they sprang; they sprang from hill

to hill: Till the proud peak unfurled the flag o'er Darwin's rocky dales, Till like volcanoes flared to heaven the stormy hills of Wales, Till twelve fair counties saw the blaze on Malvern's lonely height, Till streained in crimson on the wind the Wrekin's crest of light, Till broad and fierce the star came forth on Ely's stately fane, And tower and hamlet rose in arms o'er all the boundless plain; Till Belvoir's lordly terraces the sign to Lincoln sent, And Lincoln sped the message on o'er the wide vale of Trent; Till Skiddaw saw the fire that burned on Gaunt's embattled pile, and the red glare on Skiddaw roused the burghers of Carlisle.

Macaulay.

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LESSON XIX.-THURSDAY.

ENGLISH HISTORY.-STUART LINE. James VI. of Scotland, son of the unfortunate Mary Stuart, succeeded Elizabeth, with the title of James I. By his accession the two kingdoms were united, and as the conquest of Ireland had been completed just before the queen's death, the British isles were now for the first time governed by one sovereign. Great and glorious as England had already become, so large and important an addition of territory might have been expected to place her on an equality with the most powerful states then existing. This, however, was far from being the case. Under the sway of the first Stuart, she lost the rank she had previously held, and sunk into a second-rate power. The causes of this decline are to be sought in the character and administration of the new king. James combined the most extravagant pretensions with the most ridiculous incapacity. He maintained the most despotic theories of kingly prerogative, whilst his personal qualities were such as tended to bring royalty into contempt. A pedant without wisdom - a bigot without morality – ungainly in figure, undignified in demeanour, vain and cowardly—such was the monarch who aspired to wield the firm sceptre of Elizabeth, and to direct the destinies of a great natioa.

Before James had been a year on the throne, two conspiracies, called the Bye and the Main plots, were formed against him, in which the illustrious Sir Walter Raleigh was accused of participation. He was coudemned to death with several others, but the sentence was not carried into effect. Raleigh, however, though his guilt was far from being proved, was detained in prison fifteen years, and then sent to the coast of South America, with a commission to discover gold and silver mines, supposed to exist in Guiana. Failing in the object of his voyage, and having destroyed one of the Spanish settlements, he was at his return basely beheaded on his former sentence, to gratify the vengeance of Spain.

In the early part of 1604, Parliament met, and demanded redress of grievances, promising in requital a grant of revenue. James, who recognised no rights but his own, and looked for passive obedience, was offended by this conditional offer, refused the subsidy, and Parliament separated after increasing the severity of the laws in force against the Catholics. There was a deep and general belief, founded on atrocities like that of St. Bartholomew's day, that Papists would keep no faith with heretics, that neither oaths nor promises were security against treachery. This conviction led to the enactment of oppressive penal statutes against them. Some zealots of the party determined on a fearful revenge. Catesby, a man of property, but of dissipated character, concerted with four other gentlemen of family and fortune, Wright, Winter, Fawkes, and Percy-a scheme to blow up the Houses of Parliament with gunpowder, destroying king, lords, and commons, and to re-establish the Catholic religion. The Gunpowder Plot" was discovered through an impulse of friendship. An anonymous letter was sent to Lord Monteagle, a Catholic nobleman, warning him to absent himself from the approaching opening of Parliament, and containing other mysterious hints. A search was in consequence made, and in a cellar beneath the House of Commons, Fawkes was found in readiness for the final blow. Eight of the conspirators were executed.

The contest between the king and the House of Commons continued—the king endeavouring to obtain supplies without making any concessions, the Commons refusing to vote money without receiving an equivalent in the reform of abuses under which they suffered. James permitted himself to be governed by favourites, whom he selected with his usual want of discrimination, the first, Carr, created earl of Somerset, was convicted of great crimes and disgraced ; the evil influence of the next-Villiers, duke of Bucking, ham-extended into the following reign. Henry, prince of Wales, a youth of great promise, died in 1612. Elizabeth, the king's only daughter, married Frederick, elector palatine, who, by his unfortunate acceptance of the crown of Bohemia, was involved in a protracted and unsuccessful contest, and ultimately lost his hereditary dominions. His father-in-law long remained neutral, against the wishes of the English nation, with whom the cause of the Protestant elector was popular. Persuaded at last to render assistance, and aided by a liberal grant of the Commons, an expedition was sent out, which failed, and before a second could be equipped the king died, in 1625.

LESSON XX.-FRIDAY.

MODERN INFIDELITY. We might ask the patrons of infidelity what fury impels them to attempt the subversion of Christianity? Is it that they have discovered a better system? To what virtues are their principles favourable ? Or is there one which Christians have not carried to a higher perfection than any

of which their party can boast? Have they discovered a more excellent rule of life, or a better hope in death, than that which the Scriptures suggest ? Above all, what are the pretensions on which they rest their claims to be the guides

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