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drawing the sword, and was glad to obtain pardon through the mediation of the king of the Romans, leaving his followers to their fate. A final arrangement was at last effected in a parliament which met at Marlborough on the 18th of November. The short remainder of the reign of Henry after this date passed without disturbance, or any remarkable events. His son Edward, leaving every thing tranquil, set out for the Holy Land in July, 1270, from which he had not returned when Henry died at Westminster on the Feast of St. Edmund, being the 16th of November, 1272, in the sixty-seventh year of his age, and the fifty-seventh of his reign.

The reign of Henry III. is especially memorable in the history of the constitution as affording us the first distinct example of a parliament constituted as at present, of representatives from the counties, cities, and boroughs, as well as of the barons and higher clergy, or great tenants of the crown, lay and ecclesiastical. The assembly in question met at London, 22nd January, 1265, having been summoned in the name of king Henry, while he was in the hands of De Montfort, a few weeks before. Hence this great leader of the barons has been regarded as the introducer of the principle of popular representation into the English constitution, and the founder of the House of Commons.

Our statute law also begins with this reign-the earliest enactment on the statutebook being that entitled the “Provisions of Merton, passed in the 20th year of Henry III., A.D. 1235-6.

93.-THE DEFENCE OF DOVER CASTLE.

SOUTHEY. The death of king John was a happy event for the nation, though he left a child of nine years old to succeed him. In most of the barons, who so often combined against him, there had been far more of personal animosity than of principle, * * more, perhaps, even than of personal views. But a child was an object of compassion ; and they who already repented of having called in a foreign enemy were no longer withheld by hatred or by shame from following their English feelings, and taking the better part. Louis's tide of fortune began to ebb, when a force of 300 knights, with a great body of soldiers, embarked at Calais for his support, in a fleet consisting of eighty great ships and many smaller vessels, commanded by Eustace the monk. This man who was a Fleming by birth, had left his monastery to enjoy a patrimony which fell to him by the death of his brothers; that patrimony he appears to have dissipated ; afterwards " he became a notable pirate, and had done in his days much mischief to the Englishmen.” The English government received timely intelligence of this expected succour to the enemy; and, accordingly, Philip de Albany and John Marshal were appointed to collect the power of the Cinque ports, and guard the seas against them. With the aid of Hubert de Burgh, earl of Kent, then residing in the castle of Dover, they had not yet mustered more than forty vessels, great and small, on St. Bartholomew's day, when the French sailed, meaning to go up the Thames, and make for London. Not deterred by the inferiority of their forces, the English commanders put to sea, and encountered them; then gained the weather-gage, and,“ by tilting at them with the iron beaks of their galleys, sunk several of the transports with all on board. They availed themselves of the wind also to try, with success, a new and singular mode of annoyance ; for, having provided a number of vessels on their decks, filled with unslaked lime, and pouring water into them when they were at just distance, and in a favourable position, the smoke was driven into the enemies' faces,” so as to disable them from defending themselves, while the archers and cross-bowmen ained their destructive weapons with dreadful effect. Eustace, the monk, was found after long search hid in the hold of one of the captured ships : he offered a large sum for his ransom, so he might have his life spared, and offered also to enter into the service of the English king ; but as he had rendered himself singularly odious, Richard, a bastard son of king John, killed him, and sent his head to young Henry as a brotherly offering, and as a proof of their important victory. Louis was so disheartened by this reverse, that he was glad to make peace upon such terms as were proposed to him ; and receiving 15,000 marks for the release of the hostages whom the barons, who invited him, had put into his hands, he gave up such strongholds as were in his possession, and returned to France.

A remarkable instance occurred some fifteen years afterwards of the feeling with which the people regarded this naval victory, that in its immediate consequences had delivered the country from the presence of a foreign foe. In the course of the civil commotions, by which the reign of Henry III. was disturbed, Hubert de Burgh became an object of persecution to the then prevailing faction ; and being forcibly taken from the sanctuary, in which he had sought for protection, at Brentwood, a smith was sent for to make fetters for him. But when the smith understood that it was for Hubert, earl of Kent, he was called upon to perform the ignominious office, he refused to do it, uttering, says Speed, such words (if Mathew Paris do not poetise) as will show that honourable thoughts are sometimes found in the hearts of men whose fortunes are far from honour. For having first drawn a deep sigh, he said, “Do with me what ye please, and God have mercy on my soul ; but as the Lord liveth, I will never make iron shackles for him, but will rather die the worst death that is. Is not this that Hubert that restored England to England ? He who faithfully and constantly served John in Gascony, Normandy, and elsewhere, * * whose high courage, when he was reduced to eat horse-flesh, even the enemy admired ? He who so long defended Dover Castle, the key of England, against all the strong sieges of the French, and by vanquishing them at sea brought safety to the kingdom ? God be judge between him and you for using him so unjustly and inhumanly !” It is to be regretted that this man’s name has not been

; none of his contemporaries deserved a more honourable remembrance. It was at the risk of his life that he thus obeyed the impulse of an honest heart; and Hubert must have felt a prouder and worthier gratification at this brave testimony to his services than the largest grant could ever have given him, with which he was rewarded in the days of his prosperity.

preserved

94.-SIMON DE MONTFORT.

Rev. J. WHITE. In 1265 the cause of King Henry the Third seemed irremediably lost, and the revolted barons triumphant. The battle of Lewes had been fought in the previous year, at which the King, Prince Edward, (afterwards the great Edward the First,) and many of their retainers were made prisoners. There arose, however, divisions among the nobles; and jealousy of their leader, the famous Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, tempted many of them to desert his cause. The prince at this fortunate moment effected his escape by engaging his retinue,—who also acted as his guard,—in races which tired their horses, and incapacitated them from overtaking him in his flight. He soon collected a great force, with which to rescue the king from the honourable imprisonment in which he was detained by Leicester. That sagacious statesman had endeavoured to counterbalance his opponents by summoning representatives from the cities and boroughs to the council of the nation, thus constituting a Commons House of Parliament, and took the field with the feelings of the great body of the people enlisted on his side. This popularity was not destroyed by his death in the decisive battle of Evesham, which soon followed and restored Henry to his throne. His memory was long cherished among the peasantry, under the name of Sir Simon the Righteous; miracles were believed to be wrought at his tomb ; and, in spite of his having been excommunicated by Rome, great complaints were made against the church for denying him the honours of canonization.

SCENE.— A Hall in Simon de Montfort's Castle.
De Montfort, De Vesci, De Lucy, Warrenne, Despencer, Gloster, and other Barons,

Warrenne. You think to let Prince Edward part in freedom ;-
A knightly deed, high souled and generous,
Shall set the minstrels singing thro' all time,-
Yet we, who have no tower of refuge left
Like the great name of Montfort, — whose mere sound
Shall guard you round with walls unpassable-
Must pause ere we consent,
De Lucy, and others,

'Tis madness! treason
De Montfort. Hold, lords.—You give me a poor choice of names,
Traitor or madman ;-thank the saints we are friends
And may speak doughty words yet break no bones.
I do not think I am mad ;-in fact my

faith
Is that I am rather wise, as wise men go
In these diseased times ; a man's no fool
Who keeps his head and body in one piece
For fifty years or more, as I have done,-
And so we'll pass the madman : For the treason-
If we were nimble, quick tongued orators
We might discuss the point from noon till dawn;
We fought the king at Lewes, hand to hand ;-
We hold the king a prisoner ; guard his doors
With sharp-edged swords ; strip him of power and honour,
Use his great name against his sovran will,-
And therefore if De Lucy speaks the Law
'Tis possible the Law might call us traitors.
De Lucy. 'Tis treason against us.

If you set free
Prince Edward, we are lost !
Warrenne.

If one must go,
Release the king; tie to his feeble flank
A wooden sword, and paste upon his brow
A paper crown.

De Montfort. The name of King would turn
The lath to hardest steel, and ring with fire
The trivial forehead till it scorch'd our eyes.
Ev'n now, though both are prisoners of our swords,
There is a glory round the Prince's nature,
That half enfolds frail Henry in its light ;
If longer they are pent in the same channel
Edward's fresh force will fill the parent stream

Not so ;

With such impetuous gush, that scarce these bounds
Shall hold the mingled current in its bed ;-
Dispart them; give the mountain beck its way
To dash itself ’mid foam on rock and shore,
But leave the sluggish, lazy, placid river
To hold our argosies, and like the Nile,
To enrich our fields with its imperial ooze-
I say Prince Edward shall go free.

Gloster.
I say he shall aby his father's fate.
'Twere better yield at once and bend the knee
At Henry's throne than trust to Edward's word.

De Montfort. I will not ask his word ; he shall go free
Untrammeld, uncondition’d. If he is calm
His calmness shall bring peace to all the realm ;
If he draw sword, what powers will join bis banner,
Rebellious 'gainst the standard of the king ?

Warrenne. If Leicester's sinewy hand held not the staff,
The standard of the king might flap itself
To ribbands in the all unheedful air.

De Montfort. Well sirs, I've held ere now the staff i' my hand, That saved your lordship’s manors and your heads.

Gloster. And now you'd make a cudgel of that staff
To beat us to your feet like mongrel hounds!
If we must wear brass collars on our necks,
I'll have a distich carved on mine, “Take notice
This is an English dog and serves his Prince.”

De Montfort. Go fetch and carry, fawn and wag the tail ;
And gnaw the bones his Highness' hand may throw you ;
But while I rule the realm,-albeit my blood
Took not its native course through English veins,
There shall no English heart have truer love
To English rights than mine. There may be men
English in name, in blood, in tongue, who yet
Fold not an English spirit in their thoughts ;
My lords, I deal not in soft, honied phrases,
And warn you, in short guise, I hold your lordships
But as I'd hold the plumes that wave and shine
Above our helm,—the summer breezes sway them,
Rains drench them,--winter tempests mar their hue,-
Foes hack them off—yet stands the helm unscathed !
You're but the spear's gay pennon, not the spear-
You're but the sword's gemm'd handle, not the sword,
You're but the burnished trumpet, not the breath
That fills the heart with battle ; think, my lords,
Ere the dread word is said that wakes the giant
Now stretch'd in dreamy slumber, at whose voice
Your towers shall crumble as if lightning touch'd them ;
Your shields be shrivell'd as a reed in fire ;
And rust and dust rain down on arms and name !

De Spencer. What giant is this? I fain would run a tilt
With his unwieldy worship. Righteous sir

De Spencer.

You've lived with priests and penitents so long
You grow a Seer like them ; where lives the man
So potent and big limb'd ?
De Montfort.

Oh! you shall see him,-
For when he rises he shall take his way
Thro' holt and town until he meets us here.
You'd scarce suspect how strong and firm his sinews,
For he bestrides no war horse, wears no arms, —
But dressed in sober russet or rough serge
Plods noiselessly on foot-

I'll whack the churl
With my flat blade. How do you name him ?
De Montfort.

England. -
Nor crown, nor coronet, blazon, nor belt
Are England more. The Many rules the Few.

Enter Marmion, hurriedly.
Marmion. My lords ! the Prince is filed—To wile the time
He dared his train to essay their courser's speed;
With fiery gallop on they sped ;-—-their reins
Hung on their horse's necks, which emulous stretch'd
To attain the goal ;-nor failed the angry spur
To rouse the lagging steed. The winner's cheek
Gathered fresh blood when Edward to his side
Buckled his sword as prize. Another course
His highness' falcon paid ; a third his ring-
Then when with drooping ears and panting sides
The victors and the vanquish'd, with slow foot
Toiled homewards,—springing quick on the black barb
Which champ'd the bit that bound him to the tree
Where he had stood while all the sports went on,-
“Farewell,” cried Edward, “ tell my lord of Leicester
“He shall have payment for his courtesy,
“When I've had time to sharp the headsman's axe."

De Montfort. Did no one follow ?
Marmion.

For a faltering space
I prick'd to arrest his flight; but all in vain.

De Montfort. What ! my good lords—this frolic prince, methinks Scarce finds fit audience for the merry jest

De Lucy. The frolic prince !-when mirth shines on his face
'Tis like the sunlight on an axe's blade
Brightning but softening not. For one so young
Ne'er saw I brow so hard or heart so cold.

De Montfort. Tut! tut !—the brow grows solemn 'neath the shadow
Of the rich crown that seems to clasp his head ;
And for his heart—'tis for his friends to judge,
Not we who stand like sentinels at the door
And never felt the warmth that cheers the hearth.

Warrenne. I knew the eagle would not pine i' the cage :
The rushing of his wings will wake the land
As he affronts the sun with hoodless eye ;-
Woe to the quarry where his swoop is made !

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