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wing their movements, and arranged. Alfred, satisfied with recovering the in in all Wessex was pon independence of his own kingdom, did not ty items of information so attempt to interfere with the Danes in other ing slowly but very effec parts of the island. It was agreed by Alfred
y the spring of 878, Alfred and the Saxon Witanagemote on the one hand, hat constructed unobserved and Guthrum and the nobles of East Anglia on
in an eminence near the the other, that a definite boundary should be
osted by the marshes amid fixed, dividing England into two parts, from Connteri: and suddenly the royal the mouth of the Thames, along the river Lea to idea dragon of Wessex, was there its source, and then along the course of the Ouse
seons and Danes alike knew that till the Roman Watling Street, the broad road Live again." The revulsion of leading to Chester, was reached. North and east using. The courage of the people of this line was to be the Danelagh, or Danes'
de af by miraculous influence. land ; south and west Alfred was King of the abunday hastened to him;" we read, Saxon people.
gehad to return to the fainthearted." Muset hastened to the King with
ALFRED A LAWGIVER. o could collect; and soon from To consolidate the kingdom which he had so
country came armed men to bravely re-created was the next work of Alfred. .....on army. A few preliminary He reconstructed fortifications, and built many sokakles with the Danes gave con new fortresses; organised an army, in which
Alfred, at the head of a large one-half of the able-bodied natives of his king. T: the fortress to a place known as dom were always ready for service, and esta. (now Buxton-Deveril, near the blished a regular and well-provided naval force, 23:3], in Wiltshire. Here he was the fleet being composed of far larger and better ny from Somersetshire, Wiltshire, equipped ships than had ever been seen on British en and thence he marched towards waters. He established a code of laws, not, as the stronghold of the Danes, who some have asserted, first introduced by him in with alarm the intelligence of the their entirety, but collected from the laws made
of Alfred at the head of a large in the times of the earlier kings, but in the late Ethandune (near Westbury), the troubled times allowed to fall into disuse. To
Alfred kept his army in close order, these laws he made additions, and, what was of i phalanx formation he had previously more importance, established means by which he so effective. The Danes fought they could be enforced. Although judges nomibut their fierce onslaughts were re nally existed, they had allowed their functions wake after a fierce fight, they were to devolve on servants and inferior officers, who mund those who escaped slaughter, fled were for the most part grossly inefficient and on towards Chippenham. The conquer. corrupt. It has been stated the King caused were in no mood for mercy. Alfred had more than forty of them to be hanged for misheart for the work he had to perform.
conduct. He limited the power possessed by uliers were killed, the fortress was the nobles of summary jurisdiction, and put a ..nid, after fourteen days, the Danes in restraint upon their exercise. It has often been
surrendered, and Alfred was once stated that he originated trial by jury, but that of Wessex.
institution existed long before his time. There
is no doubt, however, that he adopted means by 2. DANES ACCEPT CHRISTIANITY, which juries were made more independent and expected incident now occurred. Guth efficient. He rebuilt London, which had been · Danish leader, the most powerful and almost destroyed by the ravages of the Danes, of his race then in England, not only
and he appointed a governor, armed with power » y submitted to Alfred, but offered to adopt to preserve order and encourage trade. ristian religion. Alfred joyfully acceded proposition, and shortly afterwards Guth
ENCOURAGEMENT OF LEARNING. with thirty of his chief followers, was
Alfred clearly saw that the education of the andy baptised, Alfred himself being his people was an important clement in the wellsor, and giving him the name of Athelstan. being of a State. He studied hard himself, te was, however, a political treaty to be
and he encouraged others to study, appointing
teachers to instruct men of position, in order up the Thames and Swale, and di-mlarksia! that they might be better able to discharge Sittingbourne. Alfred, at the heal of a lot their duties. He invited to his court scholars of ful force, followed his line of march, awi ats cminence, and endeavoured by all the means in overtook him and utterly routed him at Firas his power to raise the standard of education ham, pursuing the fugitives with great claizitii. among the clergy. It has been often asserted, While so engaged the news reached bin '': but on very slight authority, that he established descents were being made on the summby the schools which afterwards developed into the especially the Deronshire. coasts. University of Oxford ; but it is beyond question marches, Alfred reached Exeter, then be *** that he gave a wonderful impulse to learning, by the Danes, and defeated them. Hastin est and that his own writings contributed greatly to quitted the Thames, and his ships hail re. its promotion. He was nearly forty years old the Severn, where Alfred gained another rin when he began to study Latin; but such progress The Danes retreated into Northumbria ani E. did he make that he was soon able to translate Anglia, and again made their way to the Ti. many works into the Anglo-Saxon language. and sailed up the little river Lea. dift Among the translations by him which are still lowed, and, by diverting the water of thes in existence are Pope Gregory's “ Pastorale," a compelled them to abandon their ships. Det ! directory and manual for bishops and other in every encounter by the energy and ats; clericals, to which the King himself contributed Alfred, the Danes retreated, and We-se I was a a very remarkable preface : the great treatise by peace, except from a few desultors ataran by Boethius, “ De Consolatione Philosophiæ ;” and Danish pirates, easily captured by the larte the “ General History" of Orosius, one of the and bold seamen of the Saxon fleet. carliest attempts to write a history of the king. doms of the world and their geographical
DEATH OF ALFRED. positions ; a free translation of Bede's " Ecclesi. On the 28th of October 901 (or 900, the team astical History;" and a selection from the works is rather uncertain), Alfred the Great divi, 3 of St. Augustinc. Other works are mentioned was buried in the monastery at Winte by his biographers, but no copies of them are which he had founded. In 16+2, the l'arian known to be in existence.
tary troops broke open the tomb and scati na When it is recollected that these literary the ashes of the dead, the great Alfred's $7.0 studies and achievements were carried out amid others. He was happy in his domestic reta the pressure of arduous duties of statesmanship, and left behind him three sons and two daazh and by a man who almost incessantly suffered ters, each of whom exhibited marked ability an intense physical pain, we cannot but wonder at energy of character. Asser, the father's fria and admire his firmness of will and incessant and biographer, says of the sons (the elier u mental activity. He was expert in mechanical whom, Edward, succeeled to the throne) science, and designed buildings. His zeal for “ They had the love of all about then. 29 the Church was great, and he sent embassies to showed affability and gentleness to hoit Christian Churches in foreign lands, even to the natives and foreigners, and were in cosi Nestorian Christians in remote India.
subjection to their father. Nor amongst the
other studies which pertain to their life, ao in ANOTHER INVASION AND DEFEAT OF THE
fit for noble youths, were they suffend to pai DANES.
their time idly and unprofitably, without leanna In 894, sixteen years after the treaty by which the liberal arts; for they have carefully leste England was divided between the Saxons and the Psalms and Saxon books, especially the 13. the Danes, there was a new invasion by the poems, and are continually in the habit i Northmen. An attempt had been made in 885, making use of both.” The girls of the sea when a band landed in Kent, and besieged family were trained, we are informel. eua Rochester, but were driven away by the King's kinds of womanly work." His almirable i soldiers. About 894, one of the most renowned Elswitha, survived him six years, and died : of the sca-kings. Hasting (whose name is still the court of her son. She was amply prosie preserved in the well-known attractive place of for by her loving husband, the Grent die resort on the south coast). maile another attempt, as we name him, “ Alfred the truth-teer,' 1 with about three hundred vessels. He divided he was rererently designated by an author of 2 his force into two boilies. One landed in Kent, Norman time, ncar Romney; Hasting himself led the other
G, R, E.
Christian I. and Gustavus Vasa-Separation of Sweden from Denmark-Charles IX. and his Policy-Birth of
The False Demetrius-Victories of De la Gardie and Horn-Moderation and Sagacity of the King-His Readiness
so marked by calamity, desolation, and wrong, NHROUGHOUT the whole range of modern as the period known as that of the Great Thirty history there is no tract so utterly dreary,
Years' War in Germany. That fearful struggle
meant simply the ruin of the German Empire ; the Thirty Years' War, and that of John Hampand a century and a half was inadequate to heal den in the great struggle that was being faced the wounds inflicted between the years 1618, in England for religious and political freedom. when the war broke out, and 1648, when the To both men were common the lofty enthusiasm utter exhaustion of all parties brought about the that led them to face dangers and to conquer Peace of Westphalia. The features of the contest difficulties, forbidding them to look back when were horrible; and all the armies appear to have once they had put their hands to the plough. Both become alike demoralised, and hardened into were distinguished by great personal valour, and ferocious cruelty by the length of the struggle. a regardlessness of danger that brought fatal Nine hundred thousand men perishing within consequences; both were men of strong religious two years in Saxony alone; all the torments that convictions that took the puritan form; and in the rapacity and lawlessness of a brutal soldiery both cases their career was violently cat sbart could inflict, practised year after year upon the
at the time when their services were most wretched inhabitants of towns and villages;
needed. fanaticism and bigotry in their worst forms, using oppression as their weapon, and hounding
THE ANCESTORS OF GUSTAVUS ADOLPHCS; on the superstitious and the ignorant to tear
THE HOUSE OF VASA. cach other ; whole districts once covered with Gustavus Adolphus, the great King of Sweden, thriving towns and hamlets silent and abandoned belonged to an illustrious house. It is seldom to solitude and desolation, plague and famine indeed in history that distinguished men follow following in the track of warfare to complete its one another in three generations. Yet this was work, —such are the features of the heaviest cala- the case here. Gustavus Vasa, the grandfather mity that ever befell the great German nation, of Gustavus Adolphus, laid the foundation of the sprearling sorrow and devastation throughout greatness of Sweden ; his father, Charles IX, the length and breadth of the land, from the carried forward the work on its founder's plan ; shores of the Baltic to the Lower Danube, and and Gustavus Adolphus himself gave an extension from the borders of France to the confines of to the work, of which his predecessors had never Poland. No part of the vast empire was spared; dreamed, and which rendered it of paramount for the torrent of war swept over all, though importance in the history of Europe. The firs some districts suffered more than others, Saxony three Vasas all played an important part in and Bohemia being the chief victims.
The way in which the family attained the THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIER.
regal power was this :-In Sweden during the Amid all this desolation and havoc and thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the gore wrong, there stands forth, in bright contrast ment was an elective monarchy, the nobles im to the selfish, sordid, and blood-thirsty crew quently quarrelling for the possession of that zround him, one gracious, heroic figure. It is throne. The power of the feudal nobility and Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, " The Lion of the clergy increased in every generation, and erat North, and the Bulwark of the Protestant Faith," bishops and archbishops kept soldiers, and sem the one great leader among the many whose forth men to fight for them. In time, the barun names are rendered famous during the struggle, acquired the power of petty kings in thei who stood forth for a good cause, and fought separate districts, and grievously oppressed the like a Christian soldier. He alone seems to have peasants with taxes and feudal labour. To entered upon the strife from higher motives,-to power of the Church was still greater ; and sta secure to his Protestant brethren in Germany the time a third of the Swedish soil was held blessings of religious toleration and freedom of ecclesiastics. Continual feuds with Denmar worship; he alone preserved his fame unspotted and Norway increased the confusion of afrais amid all the intrigues of ambition and state- until at length, in the year 1397, an attem; craft by which the main question of the struggle was made to put an end to the misrule by tà was at length obscured and superseded ; and to Treaty of Calmar. him posterity has with one voice accorded the By this treaty it was settled that the thra honours of a Christian hero, even his enemies countries, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, show being unable to withhold from so much greatness be under one single government; the successiu and virtue their tribute of posthumous praise. In to the throne to be vested in the reigning boss various points a close analogy may be drawn of Denmark; but each of the three countries + between the part played by Gustavus Adolphus in remain in possession of its own laws and prisi
The arrangement did not produce the claimed governor of the kingdom and leader a +ffect, and, indeed, brought little advan. of the army, at the Diet of Wadstena. In swept to the clergy, whose already over 1523, the decree of another Diet raised him to wower it greatly increased.
The royal the dignity of King of Sweden, and he made a - little more than a shadow in Sweden, triumphal entry into the capital. The next year er being in the hands of the governor or a peace between Denmark and Sweden was
deputy, who held his dignity for life. brought about; and in 1544, the Diet of Westeras men out of the Sture family distinguished declared the crown of Sweden to be hereditary wes in this office,-Sten Sture, Swante in the Vasa family. The name Vasa, it may and Sten Sture the younger.
be observed, had a warlike origin. The word
designates the fascines, or faggots, which are IAN II. AND GUSTAVUS VASA; SWEDEN thrown into the ditches across which a storming A SEPARATE MONARCHY.
party has to advance to the attack of a town. zery different king from the powerless The family with warlike name, and a policy ates elevated by the union of Calmar came no less warlike, established their rule in Sweden throne in 1513, in the person of Christian under great and manifold difficulties and dangers. tute and cunning as the French Louis XI., Gustavus, while he bequeathed the crown to his te that monarch, utterly ruthless in his eldest son, Eric XIV., unfortunately weakened -, he determined to secure unlimited sway, the royal power by giving the principalities of
dly took up the fight against the aristoc Finland, East Gothland, and Sudermanland, to ke great commercial predominance of the his other sons, John, Magnus, and Charles.
and the clergy. In Sweden his task was Eric, a wild and passionate king, increased the ed easy for him by the feud between the territory of the country, but at last went mad, 3 of Sture and Trolle, who had contended after having, in his frenzied jealousy, put to death
chief office of the State. Gustavus Trolle, various members of the royal family, and a be failed to win the governorship, suc
menaced the highest nobles with a similar fate. i in securing the archbishopric of Upsala, Deposed by his brothers, he was cast into prison, cond office in the kingdom. He became where poison, administered in consequence of a cadliest enemy of the Stures, and gave all decree of the Council, put an end to his miserable assistance in his power to Christian, in his life. His next brother, John, succeeded him,-a de of absolute rule. It was partly through weak-minded and vacillating prince, who at one e's assistance that Christian was enabled to time, persuaded by his queen, a princess of Polish
terror in Sweden by the atrocious massacre birth, abjured the Protestant faith ; and though suckholm in the year 1520, when ninety-four he afterwards adopted it again, never regained 4 most influential members of the upper
the confidence of his subjects that he had for. were put to death within three days. In feited by this ill-advised step. His son and suc. nark and Norway similar measures were cessor, Sigismund, was a Catholic and King of a to destroy the power of the aristocracy,
Poland. To prevent danger to the Protestant weaken the commercial interest.
faith in Sweden from this circumstance, it was at the event was contrary to the tyrant's decreed at the Council of Upsala, that the Evan. -3 and expectations. He had raised up gelical Lutheran religion should be the only one "y interest against him,-the aristocracy, the acknowledged and tolerated in Sweden ; and as ants, and the merchants. In Jutland the Sigismund had returned to Poland, his uncle, lity rose in revolt and drove him away. In
Charles of Sudermanland, the son of Gustavus en the blood-stained edifice of his power fell Vasa, was chosen as governor of the kingdom. 1 earlier. Gustavus Vasa, a relative of the Sigismund was highly indignant at this arrange. .. ne family, had been treacherously conveyed ment, which he tried to upset by force of arms, Denmark as a hostage, in defiance of plighted
but was unsuccessful; and after he had refused a ni to the contrary, by Christian II., who in. demand made by the Diet at Stangebro, under actively discerned an enemy in the energetic
Charles's influence, that he should renounce the 1 intelligent young noble.
Gustavus Vasa Roman faith and either come to Sweden to rule strived to escape to Sweden, on board a mer his hereditary dominions in person, or send his int ship, and presently roused the brave son within five months, that the heir might be ad faithful Dalecarlian peasants of the North
instructed in the national religion, the crown y revolt. Victorions against the troops of the
was given to Charles IX, the son of Gustavus uchbishop of Upsala, he was presently pro
Vasa, and the defender of the Protestant faith,