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Thus wondrous fair; Thyself how wondrous then!
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
, or concealed,
ENGLISH HISTORY--ANGLO-SAXON PERIOD. Egbert had united England under one sceptre; and internal warfare being thus checked, the country might have advanced in civilization and the arts of peace; but the Danes now began to visit the coast with large fleets, carrying havoc and desolation wherever they appeared. The reigns of his successors are chiefly marked by their struggles with these formidable foes. When Alfred mounted the throne, they were masters of the greater part of England. This monarch, one of the ablest that ever adorned a diadem, spent a great part of his reign in doubtful conflict with them, which ended by the Danes embracing Christianity, and Alfred ceding to them Northumbria and East Anglia. Peace being restored, the wise king turned all his thoughts to the formation of such institutions and regulations as might increase the power, the wealth, and the civilization of his subjects. Three able princes, Edward, Athelstan, and Edmund, pursued the victories of Alfred; under them, the monarchy became co-extensive with the present England; and Edgar the Peaceable was the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kings.
The Danes still continued their hostilities. The successors of Edgar were feeble, the great subjects intractable, the Danes in the kingdom numerous: the custom was introduced of buying them off, and then of employing the Normans against them. In the reign of Ethelred II., the savage
and fatal measure of murdering the Danes throughout England was adopted. Filled with rage at this base treachery, Sweyn, king of Denmark, invaded and conquered the kingdom. His son, Canute, was king of both Denmark and England, and he is justly placed in the list of great princes. He was succeeded by his sons Hardicanute and Harold. On the death of the last, the English nation returned to the Anglo-Saxon line, in the person of Edward, surnamed the Confessor, an amiable, but feeble prince.
An injudicious practice had been introduced of giving the government of large provinces, the former kingdoms, to particular noblemen. Hitherto, each shire had been governed by its alderman, and the moderate size of a shire prevented its governor acquiring any very formidable power. But a man who wielded the forces of such a State as Mercia or Wessex, might easily defy his sovereign. Godwin, a man of ability, had gained for himself and his sons the government of several provinces; and on the death of Edward, his son Harold, a man of many noble qualities, had himself chosen king by the Witena-gemot, or great council of the nation, to the exclusion of the lawful heir. He was opposed by his own brother Tosti, by the king of Norway, and by a still more formidable rival, William, duke of Normandy. The former two he vanquished : in the battle of Hastings he lost both life and crown.-Outlines of History.
PROPHECY—THE JEWISH PEOPLE. The decay and dilapidation of kingdoms take place in various ways; nothing more frequent than violent subjugation by conquest; nothing uncommon in the silent and crumbling decay of populous States by the lapse of time; and even extirpation and exile are not unknown as the fortune of smaller communities. But in the case of the Jewish people, there is a modification of their fate by a general and distant dispersion, to which there are few other instances, if any, to be compared at all; and in the permanence and duration of that accident there is, I believe, no one parallel to it, or like it, whatezer. It is not a bare desolation of their land, nor desolation with the exhaustion and disappearance of the people from their original home; but a
driving of them to the four winds of heaven, superadded to the local calamities of an exterminating vengeance which makes the peculiarity of their fate and of the
prediction of it. Other, and long settled nations, may have been driven from their native country; of which, however, in nations of the scale and strength of the Hebrew people, it will not be easy to name the second example; but such a devious dispersion, and such a perpetuity of it, are strictly unparalleled. For where is the other country in the world, and in what quarter of it, which lies so vacant, so thinly occupied, whilst its proper race are to be seen everywhere else: they and it divided; a solitary soil, and a displaced, distracted population, abounding anywhere, rather than in their own land ? In that divided state they remain ; present in all countries, and with a home in none; intermixed, and yet separated; and neither amalgamated nor lost; but, like those mountain streams which are said to pass through lakes of another kind of water, and keep a native quality to repel commixture, they hold communication without union, and may be traced, as rivers without banks, in the midst of the alien element which surrounds them.--Deuteronomy xxviii. 45, 46, 64, 65; Leviticus xxvi. 32, 33; Jeremiah xv. 4; Amos ix. 8, 9.-Davison.
In every form, and under all circumstances, the air contains, mingled with it in greater or less quantities, vapour, in that pure and transparent state which it assumes when wholly uncondensed. In this form of an unseen vapour, it is at all times and everywhere ministering to the exigencies of vegetable life. The vapour thus contained in the air, when, together with the air, its dimensions are contracted by cold beyond a certain limit, becomes condensed into minute particles of water, and assumes the appearance of a cloud. The quantity of contraction necessary to this condensation depends upon the quantity of water before contained in the contracted air; that is, upon the density of the vapour
in it. If there be much in a certain quantity of airthat is, if the vapour in it be dense—then but little contraction or diminution of temperature will be necessary ; if there be little, then a greater contraction and a greater depression of temperature will be required. Thus, then, there is a certain depression of the temperature of the air, which will always cause its vapour to condense into moisture; and the amount of depression necessary to produce this condensation is dependent upon the amount of vapour contained in the air.
Here, then, we have the explanation of the formation and the deposition of dew. By the radiation of the earth's heat into space, after the sun has gone down, and it is no longer renewed continually from him, its surface is rapidly cooled. The superincumbent air, cooled by contact with it and by its own radiation, has, in the act of cooling the volume of its contained vapour, contracted until it condenses and becomes cloud. Being most cooled immediately in contact with the earth's surface, it there exhibits its greatest condensation, and the vapour there deposits itself under the form of dew, but in different quantities, according to the different radiating properties of the substances on which it is deposited, and the greater or less consequent depression of temperature.
Thus, on bright metallic surfaces, which radiate heat with difficulty, but little dew is deposited. Four or five times as much might be expected to be found on the surface of a paper blackened with Indian ink, and exposed to the air of the same night; yet more, on the surface of a piece of plate glass ; more still, upon a surface covered with a film of water; and most of all, on a surface blackened with smoke. No substance appears to have a greater radiating power, and therefore a greater attractive power upon dew, than wool, especially when used attached to the skin. There is a beautiful illustration of this fact in the miracle of the fleece of Gideon. He stretched it upon the ground; and the dew fell upon the fleece only, and it was dry on all the earth besides ; and “he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.” And the next night he stretched the fleece again; and “it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground." The dryness of the fleece on the