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THE 30TH OF JANUARY.
The first edition of the Christian Year had none of these State Holidays ; and latterly, when Mr. Keble had studied the question of the right of the State, without the consent of the Church, to appoint services, he decided against their observance, and ceased to observe them long before they were omitted from the Prayer Book.
But for all his earlier years at Hursley, he regularly kept the day of King Charles's martyrdom, and very reverential as well as tender was the spirit in which he always regarded our own, our royal saint.'
To hold Charles blameless through all the perplexities of a period which could hardly have helped being one of conflict and revolution, was not possible; but that young generation—who have been bred on writers starting from the Liberal side-can have no conception of the feeling compounded of reverence and tenderness that was bequeathed by the Cavaliers to their children, and which has not yet entirely died out, for the • White King. He might not indeed be sufficient in ability to cope with troubles that had been brewing for a century-not a judge of characternot firm or resolute in nature—and not original enough in mind to perceive that the ‘king-craft' practised and recommended by generations of monarchs and statesmen was no better than falsehood. He was not many things that he might and ought to have been ; but if he wavered and contradicted himself, if he even sacrificed his friend, there was one point on which he was firm-concerning his God. For the Church and her rights, he resisted as he resisted nowhere else, and with the constancy of a man who had been her devout son throughout his reign. All along, his errors were those of infirmity and perplexity; but the heart was faithful to his God, and full of pardon and patience; and thus it was that he was full of that calm dignity and sweetness that so deeply impressed and filled the hearts of his supporters, and thrills in many a breast even to the present day.
So it is that the spots where traces of Charles are found are dear to us, and make our hearts beat faster, and we feel him doubly our own, as having lived on, and died for, our own identical Prayer Book; "the selfsame devotions as our own,' refusing to interrupt our own daily service even under the shock of the intelligence of his friend's death ; and gathering comfort at the last from finding that the Lesson for the day of his death was that which he would have chosen as most precious to him—the twenty-seventh of St. Matthew.
And though our country has ceased to call the Church to offer “her maternal tears' for him, yet still the Lesson continues to tell of the Cross, and
•Calls us like thee to Ilis dear Feet to cling,
(To be continued.)
AMONG the old Judean hills
Whep memory turns to rove, One thought the wandering spirit fills,
Here dwelt the Lord we love.
Does He, still mindful of His earth,
With special love look down Upon the land that gave Him birth,
Death, and a thorny crown ?
They who with old historic lore
Their fancies would beguile, May dream on proud Euphrates' shore,
Or track mysterious Nile.
Thyself, eternal Rome, arise,
Captive and queen of fate, The dust of all the centuries
Now gathering at thy gate;
Though many a name of old renown
From those grey ashes spring, Yet not for thee, imperial town,
The cradle of my King.
Heir of eternal empire, He,
Born to Creation's crown, Enrolled, and by thine own decree,
Within a rural town.
It stands beside no ancient stream,
No river rushes by ;
Has never yet run dry.
Its dimple and its sparkle bright
The shepherd minstrel knew; And hot and weary with the fight,
Longed for those waters true.
As fresh it lay, beneath the stars,
When to the sleeping town,
God sent the angels down.
Nor, Master, let it do Thee wrong,
Exalted as Thou art,
CAMEOS FROM ENGLISH HISTORY.
HOW HENRY BORN AT WINDSOR LOST ALL.
QUEEN MARGARET of Anjou, though the child of a man who had resigned a kingdom rather than prolong his people's suffering, was by no means of the same mould of meek submission.
In the dreadful rout of Northampton her boy had been her first care, and she fled at first towards Durham, but finding herself insecure there she went to Wales, and on the way was actually plundered of all her jewels and made prisoner by John Cleger, a servant of the waverer Stanley; but while her baggage was being rifled she escaped with her son, and soon after meeting the Duke of Somerset, safely arrived with him at Harlech Castle in North Wales, where a tall Welshman called Dafyd ap Jenan ap Einion was her champion, and all the Tudor interest was in her favour. A Welsh song called Farewel iti Peggy ban is said to have been in honour of her.
Thence, crossing the Menai straits privately, she repaired to Scotland, and had an interview with King James, who, remembering the insults that York had heaped on him, was well-disposed to take up her quarrel, and that of his cousin of Somerset. He even offered to invade England in her behalf, since he was now triumphant over all factions at home, and would have been well pleased to make Richard of York rue his insulting letter, and his support of the rebel Black Douglas. Margaret, or Somerset, had, however, sense enough to perceive that nothing could be so ruinous to the Red Rose as to be brought back by a Scottish invasion, and she therefore declined this offer, and after taking counsel with the English Lords Marchers, Clifford, Dacre, and Percy, she returned to Wales.
James II., however, resolved on an enterprise that might result to his own benefit or to hers, as the case might turn out, namely on besieging the Border city of Roxburgh, which had been held by the English ever since the Battle of Nevil's Cross, and was now governed by Lord Falconburg, one of the Nevils of Raby, brothers to the Duchess of York. He was joined by the whole force of his realm, the Earls of Huntley, of Ross, and of Angus, the last of whom had lately married his sister Annabel, whom Charles VII. had caused James to recall from Savoy, in his displeasure at the alliance with the refractory Dauphin.
James employed against the city some of the rude cannon of the time, one piece in especial which had been made in Flanders for his father, but had never been used. It was made of bars of iron, fastened into hoops, and rendered tight by great oaken wedges. The King was inspecting his artillery, and watching the effect of the shot, when this great Flemish cannon, having been overcharged by the engineer, suddenly burst, and one of the timber wedges striking the King he fell dead on the spot, and the Earl of Angus, who stood behind him, was severely hurt. Thus, on the 3rd of August, 1460, died the second James Stewart, when scarcely twenty-nine years old, just as he had begun to heal the wounds of his distracted kingdom. He left seven infant children, the eldest of whom was only eight years old. The mother, Mary of Gueldres, no sooner learnt the direful news, than taking her boy with her, she travelled day and night to reach the camp ere it could break up in consternation, and leading the little King James III. by the hand, she presented him to the army, and as they hailed him enthusiastically she told them with streaming tears that her husband's memory would be better honoured by carrying out his designs than by bewailing him helplessly. Her spirited words so stirred their hearts, that the whole army hurried to the assault, and actually took the fortress on this very day of the widowed queen's arrival. Wark Castle had been taken by another division of the army,
and then all marched to Kelso Abbey, where young James was both knighted and crowned, and then the court repaired to Edinburgh to celebrate the funeral of their king at Holyrood; but even now Mary did not sit down with her sorrow, but hastened to the aid of a queen almost as unhappy as herself.
Margaret of Anjou had just received the letters which informed her of the Act of Parliament, setting aside her son from the throne, and her husband's letters inviting her to return to him. From that moment Margaret became a lioness. That settlement, which to conscientious Henry seemed the only means of redressing a grievous wrong, appeared to her an insult to herself and an outrage on her helpless child, confirming the old report that made him an impostor. Her gentle husband was in the hands of tyrants, who had no doubt abused his meekness to make him disinherit his own child. There were many to feel with her; the three gallant young Tudors, as well as Somerset, Northumberland, and Clifford, each with the death of a father to lay at the door of the victorious Yorkists, and many more who either hated York and the Nevils on their own account, or loved the King too much to leave him in the hands of the domineering faction which had isolated him from all his personal friends.
She hurried to the North again, and from her husband's grave, Mary of Gueldres hastened to Dumfries to meet and comfort her. The conference was, however, short, for it was but eight days after Margaret had received her husband's invitation to join him, that she was on her way, but at the head of eighteen thousand men of the north and west. The Yorkists were taken by surprise. They hurried to the defence; and while Warwick was left to guard the King in London, the Duke of York and Earl of Salisbury hastened to Sendal Castle, and the young Earl of March to Shrewsbury.
Margaret advanced with Somerset to besiege Sendal, and York decided on marching to meet her. His faithful servant, Sir David Hall, represented that his forces were so inferior that it would be much wiser to stand a siege till young March could come to relieve him; but York was uplifted by success, and answered, “Hast thou loved me so long, David, and wouldst thou see me dishonoured? Thou never sawest me keep castle when I was in Normandy, though the Dauphin himself came to besiege me, and shall I be shut up like a bird in a cage for a scolding woman, whose only weapons are her tongue and nails ?'
Out then he sallied in the midst of Christmas, and taking his post near Wakefield sent his defiance to Somerset, and fixed a day for the battle. But the revengeful lords and angry queen had brought themselves to regard York as a traitor past all terms; and on the 30th of December, before the appointed day, dividing the force into three, with Clifford on the left and Wiltshire on the right, fell upon him suddenly, so that he was "enclosed like a deer in a park or fish in a net.'
York fought desperately, but enclosed on all sides, his state was hopeless; and a horrible ferocity had mastered the Lancastrian leaders, especially Clifford, whose father had been slain at St. Albans. On Wakefield bridge this noble found Edmund Earl of Rutland, York's second son, a youth of seventeen, in charge of a chaplain.
"Save him,' said the priest, as the boy fell on his knees, and entreated for mercy; "he is a prince's son, and may do thee good hereafter.'
‘York's son ! cried Clifford. “Thy father slew mine, and I will slay thee and all his kindred;' and he stabbed young Edmund to the heart.
Two thousand and eighty Yorkists perished. Of Richard of York himself one account says that he died fighting bravely; another, that fierce Clifford captured him, dragged him to an ant-hill, enthroned him there crowned with twisted grass, and did him mock homage, crying, 'Hail, king without a kingdom! Hail, prince without a people !' and then swept off his head. Popular fancy and Shakespeare make Margaret participate in this horrid scene, and even offer him a napkin dyed in Rutland's blood; but this is certainly false, and all that is certain is that after the fight was over, his head was brought by fierce Clifford on