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Earth's universal face, deep hid and chill,
Is one wide dazzling waste, that buries wide
The works of man. Drooping, the labourer-ox
Stands cover'd o'er with snow, and then demands
The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of Heaven,
Tam’d by the cruel season,

crowd around
The winnowing store, and claim the little boon
Which Providence assigns them. One alone,
The redbreast, sacred to the household gods,
Wisely regardful of th' embroiling sky,
In joyless fields and thorny thickets leaves
His shivering mates, and pays to trusted man
His annual visit. Half afraid, he first
Against the window beats; then, brisk, alights
On the warm hearth ; then, hopping o'er the floor,
Eyes all the smiling family askance,
And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is;
Till, more familiar grown, the table crumbs
Attract his slender feet. The foodless wilds
Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The hare,
Though timorous of heart, and hard beset
By death in various forms, dark snares, and dogs,
And more unpitying men, the garden seeks,
Urg'd on by fearless want. The bleating kind
Eye the bleak heaven, and next the glistening earth,
With looks of dumb despair; then, sad, dispers'd
Dig for the wither'd herb through heaps of snow.

Thomson.

LESSON IX.-THURSDAY.

ENGLISH HISTORY-PLANTAGENET LINE. Edward III. was proclaimed king after his father's deposition. As he had only attained his fifteenth year, a Council of Regency was appointed; the Queen Isabella and Mortimer were, however, the real sovereigns. Their government soon became justly odious, both to the high-spirited young king, and to the people. During a parliament held at Nottingham, a band of confederates found means to enter the castle in which the queen and her favourite resided. Mortimer was made prisoner, tried, and executed; and the queen was dismissed to her manor of Risings, near London, where she spent the remainder of her life in retirement.

Scotland was at this period a prey to civil war. Robert Bruce was dead ; his son a minor, and Edward, son of John Baliol, claimed the crown. To obtain the help of the English king, Baliol promised to acknowledge his feudal superiority. Edward upon this collected an army, and invaded Scotland. At the battle of Halidon Hill, the English were victorious, and the Scots were compelled to receive Baliol as king, and to do homage to Edward. The entire subjugation of Scotland would probably have followed, had not a richer prospect tempted his ambition. The king of France having died without male descendants, Edward claimed the crown, in opposition to Philip of Valois, who had succeeded to it. Strengthened by alliances with Germany and Flanders, he assembled an army of 50,000 men, and entered France. His first campaign was unsuccessful, but in the next he gained a great naval victory at Sluys. Having visited England and obtained reinforcements, he returned to France in stronger force than before, and, after several successes, gained the great victory of Cressy. In this battle the young Prince of Wales, called, from his dark armour, “the Black Prince,” gained immortal renown. The English then laid siege to Calais, which, after a brave defence, was compelled by famine to surrender. Whilst these events were transacting, the Scots rebelled, and replaced the young David Bruce on the throne. Queen Philippa assembled an army, and at Neville's Cross, near Durham, the Scots were totally routed, and their king taken prisoner.

Philip of France was now dead, and had been succeeded by his son John, against whom the English, headed by the Black Prince, recommenced hostilities with great success. At the battle of Poictiers, 10,000 men defeated a French force of more than 60,000, and the French king was carried prisoner to London. To the honour of his captor, he was treated with great courtesy and magnanimity. Two kings were now captives to Edward, who could treat with them upon his own terms. David was permitted to return to Scotland on payment of a heavy tribute ; the release of John was more tardy,

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but at length the great peace of Bretigny was concluded. Edward relinquished his claims to the French crown, and many of his conquests, and demanded a ransom of 3,000,000 gold crowns, which was never paid, and the noble-hearted John died in London, in honourable exile.

Parliaments were frequently convoked, their power augmented, and most beneficially exercised in this reign. Windsor Castle was built. Wickliffe, the “inorning star of the reformation," lived and preached against the corruptions of the popedom. Edward died, after a prosperous reign of fifty years, in 1377.

Richard II., son of the Black Prince, succeeded his grandfather at eleven years of age. A dangerous insurrection of the populace occurred in the early part of his reign. The Government requiring money to carry on war with France, imposed a poll-tax of three groats per head upon all persons, of both sexes, above fifteen years of age. The impost itself was very unpopular, and the arbitrary manner in which it was levied, made it more so. One of the collectors at Dartford ill-treated the young daughter of a poor man, called Wat the Tyler, who, coming in, struck the offender dead at his feet. The spirit of resistance thus roused, spread rapidly over Kent, and through all the eastern counties. Wat Tyler found himself at the head of 60,000 men, with whom he entered London, where great numbers of the lower classes joined them. They broke open the prisons, releasing their inmates,—destroyed the palace of the Savoy,--the Temple, with its books and records, and the palace of the primate at Lambeth. They next broke into the Tower, and murdered there the archbishop, the treasurer, and other persons obnoxious to them. Many lives were lost, much valuable property destroyed, but nothing was stolen by the mob. Their demands were—the abolition of serfdom —liberty to buy and sell in fairs and markets as free men—the reduction and equalization of the rent of land--and a general pardon. All these requirements Richard granted; but, next day, having met the rioters at Smithfield, Wat Tyler was slain by the lord mayor, Walworth, who professed to be suspicious of his intentions. The king instantly put himself at the head of the multitude, and induced them to return quietly to their

homes. No sooner was he relieved of their presence, than he faithlessly revoked all his concessions, and punished the rebels with such rigour that more than 1,500 suffered death.

The most powerful man in England was the duke of Gloucester, to whose authority even the king was compelled to submit. At his instigation, the Commons demanded the dismissal of his rivals, the earls of Suffolk and Oxford, Richard's favourite ministers. The king gave up Suffolk, who was sentenced to fine and imprisonment. A commission was next appointed, with Gloucester at its head, to reform abuses and administer the laws. Many nobles and some prelates were impeached by this council, tried, and condemned to death or banishment. At the end of two years, Richard emancipated himself from control, dissolved the council, and, before many years had elapsed, found means to revenge himself cruelly on Gloucester, and most of his partisans. His own government, however, was so rapacious and oppressive, as to cause universal discontent. During his absence in Ireland, in 1399, Henry of Hereford, his cousin, whom he had banished, landed in England, professedly to recover his inheritance, which had been confiscated. The people flocked to him, a large army was gathered, and Richard was forced to resign the crown to him in 1399. The death of the deposed king occurred in the following year, at Pontefract Castle, where it is supposed that he was starved to death, by order of his successor.

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How comes it that men, not even learned, contrived to represent a character every way departing from their national type,-at variance with all those features which custom, and education, and patriotism, and religion, and nature, seemed to have consecrated as of all most beautiful? And the difficulty of considering such a character the invention of man, as some have impiously imagined, is still further increased by observing how writers, recording different facts, as Matthew and John, do lead us, nevertheless, to the same representation and conception. Yet herein, methinks, we have a key to the solution of every difficulty. For, if two artists were commanded to produce a form embodying their ideas of perfect beauty, and both exhibited figures equally shaped, upon types and models most different from all ever before seen in their country, and, at the same time, each perfectly resembling the other, such a fact, if recorded, would appear almost incredible, except on the supposition that both had copied the same original.

Such, then, must be the case here : the Evangelists, too, must have copied the living model which they represent, and the accordance of the moral features which they give him can only proceed from the accuracy with which they have respectively drawn them. But this only increases our mysterious wonder. For, assuredly, he was not as the rest of men, who could thus separate himself in character from whatever was held most perfect and most admirable by all who surrounded him, and by all who had taught him ; who, while he set himself far above all national ideas of moral perfection, yet borrowed nothing from Greek, or Indian, or Egyptian, or Roman; who, while he thus had nothing in common with any known standard of character, any established law of perfection, should seem to every one the type of his peculiarly beloved excellence. And truly, when we see how he can have been followed by the Greek, though a founder of none among his sects,—revered by the Brahman, though preached unto him by men of the fisherman's caste,worshipped by the red man of Canada, though belonging to the hated pale race,—we cannot but consider him as destined to break down all distinction of colour, and shape, and countenance, and habits; to form in himself the type of unity, to which are referable all the sons of Adam, and give us, in the possibility of this moral convergence, the strongest proof that the human species, however varied, is essentially one.-Wiseman.

LESSON XI.-MONDAY.

EQUALIZATION OF TEMPERATURE. As the hills and valleys of the bottom of the ocean are covered by its waters, so is the whole surface of the earth

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