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of money or of land, and thus arose most of those early structures which St. Augustine consecrated, the erection of which cancelled, it was believed, the multitude of sins committed by the superstitious donors.
History records that Offa, king of the Mercians, adopted this plan, that he inight satisfy the accusations of a guilty conscience in reference to the death of Ethelbert. Contrition and penitence exhibited themselves in the splendid glories of a noble shrine, and the wretched king prepared to end his life of earthly glory, sullied with many crimes, by building “a house wherein God might dwell.” Deeply cut in the pavement we read the wordsST. ALBANUS VERULAMENSIS ANGLORUM PROTO
MARTYR, XVII. JUNII CCXCVII. marking the spot were the shrine once stood, jewelled, sculptured, and plated with gold.
And who was this Albanus whose name heads the roll, upon which are emblazoned the names of our noble army of martyrs ?
It was A.D. 302, that Amphibalus, a Christian minister, was marked out as an object of punishment, and fled from his persecutors, the emissaries of the pagan Emperor of Rome. Just at this juncture, one Alban attached himself to the preacher as his servant. Alban was an unbeliever, but struck by the example of his godly master, and inspired by his spirit, he became not only a faithful friend, but an avowed Christian. Hunted from one place to another, tracked by spies and soldiers, they were at length discovered. There seemed no escape, but on the instant, the brave young convert secured the retreat of his friend and master, and arraying himself in his garments, threw himself in the way of the pursuers, and was instantly dragged before the tribunal of the Grand Inquisitor. Enraged by this imposition, the judge condemned the voluntary captive, who was bound and delivered over to the priests then employed in sacrificing to the idols.
Pardon was offered if he would consent to betray his master, and offer incense to the gods ; but Alban, nothing daunted, would not agree to purchase his life at such a price, and resolutely prepared for his end. He said, "My name is Alban, I worship the true and living God, the Creator of heaven and earth.” “Then,” said the judge, “if thou wouldst preserve thy life, and enjoy the comforts of this world, immediately sacrifice to these mighty gods.” He replied, “ Your sacrifices can procure no benefit to you, but, on the contrary, will expose you to the vengeance of the most high God, who will inflict upon you the everlasting punishment of hell fire."
Thus testifying to the truth, he was scourged and put to death; and soon afterwards Amphibalus was found in Wales, brought back to Verulam, and suffered the most dreadful torments human ingenuity could devise.
No wonder, then, that in the days of penance and pilgrimage, crowds of superstitious people came from far to visit a tomb so precious, and no wonder that the very stones are worn into hollows by the knees of penitential devotees who have knelt there. As we stand on the spot we may say with the poet,
“Prostrate on this cold stone, what tears and sighs
Have pour'd from breaking hearts the sacrifice !" And beyond this, we might add, what scenes of thrilling interest have been witnessed within the rich domain upon which this abbey stands!
Here in 1215, King John, pressed by the sturdy barons, conferred in the Chapter House upon their demands.—Here was heard the cry,
the Duke of Somerset," and the Yorkist defiant answer which led the way to the bloody battle of St. Albans, in 1455.-Here, in 1481, soon after the invention of types, stood a printing-press, which produced, by the fair hands of Dame Juliana Berners, several treatises.
- Here the two Henrys were entertained by the abbotprinces, leaving rich endowments to the church, which
their successor, the last of the name, did not fail in his
turn to appro; priate. — And here the illustrious Bacon, fallen from his giddy height, « from virtue and from
power fallen,” retired and died. Humanum est errare. Standing byhis tomb, we know not which most to admire, the simple beauty of the sculpture, or the classic elegance
of the inscription.
FRANCIS. BACON. BARO DE VERULAM S. ALBANS VICMES. SEU
NOTIORIBUS TITULIS SCIENTIARUM LUMEN. FACUNDIÆ LEX, SIC SEDEBAT. QUI. POSTQUAM OMNIA NATURALIS SAPIENTIÆ ET CIVILIS ARCANA EVOLVISSET NATURÆ DECRETUM EXPLEVIT.
Fallen from its glory, too, like Bacon, the Abbey of St. Albans exists only as a thing of the past, and it remains but to say
“ Kings and heroes here were guests,
In stately halls and solemn feasts ;
F. S. A.
It was quite dark, when, exhausted and faint, Amelia and I were led home by Miss Perkins and Sarah. They put us to bed, and gave us dry toast and hot wine-and-water. Sarah attended to Amelia, and I fell to Miss Bobby's share. I heard the motherly creature lamenting over me; wishing she had let me stay at home, and declaring that anxiety had made her quite wretched about us both, for she had thought how it would be when the wind began to rise, and (the kind-hearted woman !) she had been wishing all day that she had been there instead of us, for she couldn't bear young people to be disappointed when they went out expecting to enjoy themselves.
Miss Robina was still sitting by my bed, consoling and petting, when I fell into sound sleep and happily forgot my troubles.
It is curious how sometimes a little sound heard in sleep will influence and change the current of our dreams. It was natural that I should dream of the yacht, but odd that I should mingle with this the idea of stitching. I dreamed that it was dark night, and that, seated on the deck, Bobby and Sarah were hard at work, mending the torn sail of the yacht. The wind had sunk; it was a dead calm, and the water so still that I could see the reflection of the stars on its black surface ; some candles were burning beside us, but hard as the sisters worked, the rent seemed to grow under their hands. I was trying to help, and had a miserable certainty that till this sail could be put up, we never could reach the land, therefore I was frightened to find fresh holes every moment, and to hear Bobby say, · However this is to be done, I don't know.” I thought how shocking it would be if we never could reach the land again ; but in another instant Sarah said, in such a distinct voice, “Pass the cotton-reel,” that I sprang up halfawake, exclaiming that I could not find it.
I saw a candle in my room, Sarah and Robina were sitting hard at work by my table, I heard the sound of their needles, just as before in my dream, but it was not a sail that they were working on, it was one of those bundles of clothes. Miss Bobby was at my side in an instant. I exclaimed against this sitting up, said I was quite well, and did not require anything. She replied, that I was very feverish, and she could not have slept even if she had gone to bed. “Besides, my dear, I thought