Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
Dialogues on English History

DIALOGUES

ON

ENGLISH HISTORY

AND

THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND IN ONE

HUNDRED LINES

BY

T. CHISHOLM, M.D.

For use in Schools, Colleges, Dramatic and Literary Societies,

Social Gatherings, Parlor Entertainments, etc.

TORONTO

WILLIAM BRIGGS

1903

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ERRATA

LOCATION

ERROR

Page 53, l.14

“ALEIGH.” changed to “RALEIGH.”

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Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the

year one thousand nine hundred and three, by

THOMAS CHISHOLM,

at the Department of Agriculture.

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PREFACE.

——

    The verses and dialogues which make up this little book were composed nearly forty years ago, and were used for fifteen years in High and Public Schools in Ontario, being simply dictated to the pupils, but never printed.   It is only after spending the greater part of a lifetime in the practice of medicine that the author has been induced to revise, re-write, and otherwise prepare them for publication. He has been led to do this by continual requests for copies, and these requests have in turn led him to believe that what was useful to many may prove useful to yet more.

    The object of the book is to furnish the reader or student with a system of memory pegs, upon which a mass of historical information gradually may be accumulated from a properly directed course of wider study.

    The “Hundred Lines” should be thoroughly memorized by the student, as they link together the more important facts of English history in one strong chain. [page iii]

    In the “Dialogues” a more extended and continuous narrative is given.   They glance at, or notice more fully, nearly every important event in British history.   If presented dramatically they are designed to benefit not only those who take part in the performance, but also those who merely look on and listen.

    Without aspiring to be a poet the writer has freely used rhyme and the dramatic form, as aids to the memory and also as a means of interesting the young in what is generally considered to be a dry and difficult study.   It has been found by experience that those who received their historical training by this system not only became fond of the subject and proficient in it, but afterwards had very little difficulty in facing an audience, and as a result often became good public speakers. It is said that the Germans, from whom we have borrowed many of our modern ideas of education, have lately adopted this very system of teaching history.

T. CHISHOLM.

     WINGHAM, ONTARIO. [page iv]

CONTENTS.

——

PAGE

Rome’s First Conquest of Britain

8

The Patriot Caractacus Captive in Rome

10

The Death of Boadicea

12

The Groans of the Britons

14

The Peace of Badbury

16

The Harper’s Vision

18

The Treaty of Wedmore

20

The Saxon Gleeman’s Lay

22

The Witenagemot

24

Beginning of Norman Influence

26

The Norman Conquest

28

Union of Norman and Saxon Lines

30

Treaty of Wallingford

32

Henry II., Liege-Lord of Scotland

34

The Third Crusade

36

Signing of Magna Charta

38

Massacre of the Welsh Bards

40

The Captive Kings

42

Wat Tyler’s Rebellion

44

Union of the Roses

46

Henry Eighth’s Divorce

48

The Spanish Armada

50

Sir Walter Raleigh

52

Trial of King Charles I.

54

Cromwell

56

Flight of James II.

58

The Duke of Marlborough

60

Prince Charlie

62

The American Revolution

64

The Death of Wellington

66

The History of England in One Hundred Lines

70

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[blank page]

THE DRAMA

OF

ENGLISH HISTORY

IN

THIRTY SHORT MONOLOGUES

DIALOGUES, ETC.

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Number I.

ROME’S FIRST CONQUEST OF BRITAIN.

   Caius Julius Cæsar, the celebrated Roman general, having conquered Gaul, invades Britain, slaughters many of the inhabitants and proceeds to dictate terms of peace to Cassivelaunus, the British leader.

B.C. 54.

Enter CÆSAR.

CÆSAR.

         Yield, Britons!  yield!  ye strive in vain;

         Rome claims the world as her domain.

         A hundred legions guard her realm,

         Your untrained force they’ll overwhelm.

         A twelve-month since at Rome’s command

         I crushed the hordes which filled your land;

         Again this year you all must own

         Your best and bravest I’ve o’erthrown.

CASSIVELAUNUS.

         Hold, Cæsar, hold!   Make this point clear!

         We did no wrong.   Why came you here?

CÆSAR.

         I came to show my country’s power,

         To pass in arms an idle hour.

         You aided Gaul—Gaul’s conquered now—

         And you, bold Britons, next must bow. [page 8]

CASSIVELAUNUS.

         A stalwart stand suits best my braves,

         They’ve ruled too long to bow like slaves.

         Rome’s mighty realm we scorn, defy,

         For Kent, our hero, now draws nigh.

Enter KENT.

         Ha!  Kent, my friend!  they’ve no retreat,

         You’ve killed their guard and burned their fleet?

KENT.

         Not so!   We fought and bled in vain,

         I’m left alone, our army’s slain.

CÆSAR.

         Defenceless boaster, hear thy fate!

         Yield Britain to the Roman State,

         Or bound in chains across yon wave

         You go this hour a Roman slave.

         The British crown I’ll then bestow

         On Mandubratius, your foe.

CASSIVELAUNUS.

         Kent’s stalwarts gone, our friends dismayed,

         Five Roman legions here arrayed!

         To fight were vain;  this war must cease;

         Peace, peace, great Cæsar, give us peace! [page 9]

Number II.

THE PATRIOT CARACTACUS CAPTIVE IN ROME.

   In the reign of the Emperor Claudius, A.D. 43, Rome again invades Britain, overruns the country, and after a great struggle defeats Caractacus, King of the Silures of South Wales.   He escapes to his stepmother, Cartismandua, Queen of the Brigantes, who betrays him.   Being carried a captive to Rome, he is finally liberated on account of his dauntless bearing in the Emperor’s presence.

A.D. 51.

THE EMPEROR CLAUDIUS (to Caractacus).

         Caractacus, when thou’rt in Rome

         Who can protect thy British home?

         With you, bold rebel, here in chains,

         We’ll soon enslave what now remains.

         Our British wars have tried us sore,

         Much Plautius fought, Vespasian more;

         Old Claudius also made your isle

         Quake at his frown, laugh at his smile.

         But, shrewdest act of all my reign,

         Though I had sought for you in vain!

         Scapula bribed Brigantes’ queen,

         So captured you and closed the scene.

         Look on these mansions, yon proud dome,

         How dared you thwart the power of Rome? [page 10]

CARACTACUS.

         Degraded world!   O heartless race!

         ’Midst all the glitter of this place,

         To envy me my British cot,

         My humble fare and lowly lot,

         To drag me from my friends, my home—

         I fear thee not, O gorgeous Rome.

CLAUDIUS.

         Unloose the captive!   Rome disdains

         To see a hero bound in chains.

         Thou’rt free, bold Briton, free as air;

         Go meet thy wife, thy children fair,

         Enjoy thy home, an honored spot.

         Go, Briton, go!   Rome keeps thee not. [page 11]

Number III.

THE DEATH OF BOADICEA.

   In the reign of the Emperor Nero, Boadicea, Queen of the Iceni, having suffered shameful wrongs, raises the standard of revolt, destroys the ninth legion, and, finally, after meeting with a terrible defeat, poisons herself rather than submit to the indignity of gracing a triumphal procession on the streets of Rome.

A.D. 61.

BOADICEA soliloquizes.

BOADICEA.

         Pasatagus, my husband dear,

         I’ve nought on earth—all’s Roman here.

         In heaven, where right and justice reign,

         I’ll share with thee a bright domain.

         One half thy realm was willed by thee

         A bribe to Rome to leave us free.

         Yet were thine ashes scarcely cold

         When I was scourged, our children sold,

         Our priests all slain, their robes defiled,

         Our sacred groves in ruins piled,

         O gods!  great orbs!  could we thus part

         With all most dear to British heart?

         No!  no!  a shriek, a frenzied roar,

         Burst o’er our land from shore to shore. [page 12]

         We rushed to arms, to victory too,

         O’er London first our banners flew,

         Your name our war-cry, on we sped

         From sea to sea, o’er heaps of dead.

         Rome’s fiercest legions fought in vain

         Till eighty thousand we had slain.

         But fate has turned, we’ve met defeat—

         Here’s death, there’s slavery, no retreat.

         Suetonius, thou’lt scourge in vain,

         My lifeless form can feel no pain.

         I’ll drink this poison!  drain it dry!

         And thus thy Roman wrath defy. [page 13]

Number IV.

“THE GROANS OF THE BRITONS.”

   Rome, having voluntarily withdrawn her forces from Britain A.D. 410, is piteously entreated to return and protect the now unwarlike inhabitants, who complain that the barbarians drive them into the sea, and the sea drives them back on the swords of the barbarians.

A.D. 443.

BENBETH (the British Ambassador).

         Ætius! Ætius!   Consul thrice!

         Send aid to Britons—send advice.

         The Scots drive thwart our northern seas

         Like northern sleet on northern breeze;

         The Picts pour o’er th’ unguarded walls

         Like Alpine streams o’er Alpine falls.

         While these lay waste the north and west

         And pirate hordes destroy the rest,

         While British arms on Britons turn

         And Vortigerns destroy or burn,

         Ambrosius heads a patriot band

         Seeks Roman aid and thy command.

ÆTIUS (the Roman Governor of Gaul).

         Ah! faithful Britons! you forget

         Attila’s Huns must now be met. [page 14]

         While Germans, Goths and Vandals cry,

         Down! down with Rome!  she’s doomed to die.

         See barb’rous hordes on every hill—

         Rome lacks the power but not the will.

BENBETH.

         Ah! now we value as we ought

         The peaceful arts Agric’la taught,

         The dykes he built, the Scots he slew,

         When Galgacus he overthrew;

         Vespasian’s wars—Vespasian’s son—

         How Adrian fought—how Adrian won—

         Severus, Chlorus, Constantine,

         The ramparts raised at Forth and Tyne—

         The Christian faith, the peaceful home,

         The gen’rous worth of val’rous Rome.

         Did the Britons then know care or lack?

         Come, Romans, come!  come back!  come back! [page 15]

Number V.

PEACE OF BADBURY.

   Arthur, King of the Silures of South Wales, forces the Saxon Cerdic to raise the siege of Badbury and to agree to peace.

A.D. 520.

ARTHUR.

         Hear, Cerdic, Cynric, Saxons bold,

         Poor war-worn Britain’s story told.

         The Silures, our British race,

         Met Rome’s famed legions face to face,

         And bravely foiled and tuned aside

         Their haughty power and wrath and pride.

         Our fathers seldom knew defeat,

         But Theodosius burned your fleet.

         Your sires were beaten o’er and o’er

         While Romans held our Saxon shore.

         When Rome withdrew base Hengist came,

         The treach’rous Jute!—in friendship’s name.

         Your hordes poured in—more Britons bled,

         Each mourned his wife or kinsfolk dead,

         Till fearful wrongs, you must agree,

         Brough on this war ‘twixt you and me.

         Twelve times I’ve fought, twelve times I’ve won,

         My bloody task is nearly done. [page 16]

         But, Saxons, you are hard to beat,

         Why will you die?   Why not retreat?

CEDRIC.

         Retreat!   Not we!   Can Wessex’ king

         News of defeat to Wessex bring?

         Retreat! by Tuesca, Woden, Thor,

         ’Tis honored peace or constant war!

         Though few we be since Badb’ry field,

         We’ll conquer yet.   We’ll never yield!

         For, Briton, though we know your power,

         We boldly face this evil hour.

         We’ll cede no lands, we’ll own no fears,

         But grant you peace for forty years.

ARTHUR.

         Peace you have said, we all agree;

         The land needs rest—peace it shall be.

         Yes!   Peace and rest for forty years,

         Hip, hip, hurrah!  three British cheers!

ALL.

         Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah! [page 17]

Number VI.

THE HARPER’S VISION.

   King Alfred, disguised as a British harper, inspects the camp of Guthrum, the Dane.

A.D. 878

ALFRED.

         Great Dane, fierce Guthrum, kindly guard

         A seer, a bard, a British bard;

         Of Merlin’s race, a seventh son,

         All arts I’ve learned, all honors won.

         White-robed I’ve cut ’mid war and strife

         All-Heal from oak with golden knife.

         This harp which graced King David’s hand

         A prize I won in Erin’s land,—

         Its soothing sounds can spirits quell,

         Its strains the past and future tell.

         But the greater treasure yet I deem

         This egg which floats against the stream.

         This sacred egg, by serpents tossed,

         I seized and fled.   The stream I crossed—

         That running stream whose magic shore

         Serpents can reach, but ne’er pass o’er.

         An Ollamh taught me second sight—

         Such famous scenes, such visions bright.

         The dim and distant past I see,

         The future is revealed to me.

         My vision shows from Gaul and Spain

         Vast Celtic hordes come here, remain;

         And more, though dimly, Troy’s famed land,

         Where Brutus heads an exiled band; [page 18]

         For these green shores his bark he steers.

         Next Scota, from the Nile appears.

         See Nemed land—his sons retreat;

         And Israel’s King send forth his fleet.

         See Tyre’s proud ships in search of tin

         The long, slow voyage next begin;

         See Romans, Greeks and Germans free,

         All roots of our ancestral tree.

         Now, mark my harp’s prophetic strain,

         On England’s throne see royal Dane;

         See Normans next the Saxons quell

         With rig’rous rule and curfew bell.

         See Erin own proud England’s sway—

         See Wales subdued—see Scotch dismay.

         I mark, dear harp, thy happier tone—

         See Scotland’s king on England’s throne;

         While later still may next be seen

         Not England’s, but Great Britain’s Queen.

         The lost Atlantis now is found

         And Britain’s sons claim all the ground.

         A southern world and broad Cathay,

         With India’s hordes own Britain’s sway;

         Old Ethiopia’s deserts smile—

         She’s almost now a British Isle.

         Then Britain’s sons with Britain make

         Old ocean but a British lake.

         A Danish princess next is seen

         As good King Edward’s lovely queen.

         Four hundred millions shout their praise

         And wish them long and happy days;

         They leave a line of noble sons,

         That far beyond my vision runs.

         My weary harp says nothing more,

         But food and shelter I implore. [page 19]

Number VII.

TREATY OF WEDMORE.

   Guthrum, the Dane, having been defeated in a great battle at Ethandune, is brought a prisoner into Alfred’s camp, where he agrees to peace.

A.D. 878.

ALFRED.

         A kindly greeting I extend

         To you, brave Guthrum, captive friend.

         Though Hengsdown Hill and Swanage Bay

         Remind that royal Danes gave way,

         Though Chippenham and Merton tell

         Where many noble Saxons fell,

         And Ethandune now marks the spot

         Whence you to-day were captive brought,

         I’ll ne’er oppress a fallen foe,

         I’ll trust your honor—strike no blow.

         Our Christian faith opposes strife;

         I set you free, I spare your life.

         Be you baptized, I’ll sponsor stand,

         And grant you more than half the land.

         I’ll give you all the north and east;

         Your famished Danes I’ll free and feast.

         A kindred race should ne’er be foes—

         Now you have heard what I propose. [page 20]

GUTHRUM.

         Great Alfred, Chief, I homage bring

         To British seer as England’s King.

         I little thought yon humble bard

         Would England’s crown so fiercely guard.

         My noble Danes give homage due;

         They’re humbled not who bow to you.

         Though long we fought in Woden’s name

         Apostate Saxon foes to tame,

         That Christian faith which moves your heart

         We’ll all embrace ere we depart.

         My stalwart men, to me still true,

         Shout in accord their praise of you.

         While I stand pledged as your firm friend

         Your eastern border to defend. [page 21]

Number VIII.

THE SAXON GLEEMAN’S LAY.

   Anlaff, the Dane, disguised as a Saxon gleeman, enters and inspects King Athelstan’s camp.

A.D. 937.

         Our Anglo-Saxon German race

         From Persia’s plains we dimly trace;

         A clear descent our kinship claims

         From old Sarmatia’s warlike dames.

         Round Euxine Sea, o’er river Don,

         Past Danube’s stream our sires moved on.

         They rested long on North Sea’s shore,

         To Britain then their sons passed o’er.

         They held the land where’er they went—

         A Jute named Hengist ruled in Kent,

         And Cissa, Saxon Ella’s son,

         Seized Sussex, which he claimed and won.

         The Saxons settled west and south,

         The Angles east to Humber’s mouth.

         The Saxons all to Wessex clung,

         And brave King Cerdic’s praises sung.

         The Angles soon enlarged their field

         Made Mercia and Northumbria yield;

         Built Offa’s Dyke, won great renown,

         Then gave support to Wessex’ crown. [page 22]

         Thus Cerdic’s line great strength attained

         When Egbert o’er all Ang’land reigned.

         Bold Ethelbald and Ethelbert

         Were wise and good and not inert;

         For Christ’s dear cause, which Saxons chose,

         Made kindred heathen Danes their foes.

         Brave Ethelred, at Merton slain,

         Roused Alfred’s ire against the Dane.

         This King, so good and wise and great,

         Dispersed his foes, improved the state;

         And Elder Edward, Alfred’s son,

         O’er hostile Wales a victory won.

         Great Athelstan, my tale is told;

         You firmly now cause the uphold.

         O’er Scots and Danes you victor stand,

         And England waits your next command.

ATHELSTAN.

         True, gleeman, true, all you have said!

         Now take this coin; ’twill buy you bread.

                                                      [Exit ANLAFF.

Enter a SOLDIER in haste.

SOLDIER.

         In yon mild guest, dear King, please know

         Anlaff, the Dane, your deadly foe.

         Your coin he scorned and strove to hide;

         No gleeman e’er would show such pride,

         His last long look marked your tent’s site—

         Be on your guard!   He’ll come to-night! [page 23]

Number IX.

THE WITENAGEMOT.

   Archbishop Dunstan presides at a meeting of the Witenagemot called to select a successor to King Edgar.

A.D. 975.

DUNSTAN.

         Dear Saxon Thanes, our Witan true,

         What I have seen, I’ll now review.

         King Athelstan, when I was young,

         Was praised by every loyal tongue.

         The Elder Edmund, loved as well,

         To Leolf’s knife a victim fell.

         Good Edred led a pious life;

         The churchmen banished Edwy’s wife.

         The late King Edgar, wise and good,

         With zeal the church’s foes withstood.

         He left two sons—one must be king—

         Now to the choice your wisdom bring.

WITTIKUND.

         That England’s king may all combine

         In prince of royal Cerdic’s line,

         In war a leader we can trust,

         In peace a churchman, good and just,

         With counsel wise and firm and true,—

         A youth that’s brave and comely too,

         With noble mien and firm, clear voice—

         Prince Edward, nobles, is my choice. [page 24]

EADRIC.

         Faith Ethelred, the younger son,

         Has merry ways, is full of fun—

         No churchman’s pet, no abbot’s toy—

         I’ll name as king the younger boy.

DUNSTAN.

         Come, Edward, come, I’ll crown you now.

         You freely take the kingly vow—

         You’ll ne’er betray the Church’s trust,

         You’ll punish murder, fraud and lust.

         Should Danes or Britons rise or fight,

         You’ll guard the land with all your might.

         We’ll stand no lay dictation here!

         Prince Edward’s king!   Cheer, Saxons, cheer!

EADRIC.

         Hold!  Dunstan!  Abbot!  to thy face

         I now protest, ’tis foul disgrace!

         How dared you thus so soon decide

         With neither vote nor fair divide?

         The Witan chose our chiefs before

         Our Saxon fathers reached this shore,

         Chose Cerdic, Egbert, Alfred too,

         And now this right’s usurped by you.

DUNSTAN.

         Peace!  Eadric!  Peace!  you rage in vain,

         The Church’s rights we must maintain.

         We could not grant what you proposed,

         So Edward’s king.  The Witan’s closed. [page 25]

Number X.

BEGINNING OF NORMAN INFLUENCE.

   Canute, the first Danish King of England, holds a conference with Robert, Duke of Normandy.

1017.

CANUTE.

         Hail, Norman Duke, why so forlorn?

         Why these fierce looks and lips of scorn?

         True I have Saxon foes put down

         And lately claimed the English crown,

         But Ethelred began the strife,

         His minions took Gunhilda’s life,

         Slew sleeping Danes at midnight hour

         And roused King Sweyn and Denmark’s power.

         The Danes defeated Ethelred,

         To Normandy at length he fled.

         But Sweyn soon died and I, his son,

         When England was completely won,

         Went meekly back to Denmark’s shore

         And Ethelred was king once more.

         He basely then renewed the strife

         And, warring still, soon closed his life.

         To Edmund Ironsides, the brave,

         The Saxon lands the Witan gave; [page 26]

         While just as freely o’er the Dane

         ’Twas voted that my rule remain.

         When Edmund died, they gave me all,

         Why then my right in question call?

ROBERT.

         Though Ethelred was false and mean,

         Yet Norman Emma was his queen,

         And Emma’s son, a friend of mine,

         Prince Edward fair, of Cerdic’s line,

         In no weak, false or doubtful tone,

         Now asks—demands the English throne.

CANUTE.

         If Cerdic’s is the royal race

         Then Edmund’s Edward kindly trace.

         He’s England’s heir by these same laws,

         And I’ll be king or aid his cause.

         So Emma’s son no claim has here;

         But I’m for peace, though not through fear,

         Your sister Emma fair I’ve seen,

         Again I’ll make her England’s queen.

         You be my friend and I’ll be thine,

         What care we then for Cerdic’s line?

ROBERT.

         Naught! Naught!   Enough! you’re truly wise!

         Though I was taken by surprise,

         Your offer’s good.   With it I’ll close,

         And we’ll be friends instead of foes. [page 27]

Number XI.

THE NORMAN CONQUEST.

   William, Duke of Normandy, after the battle of Hastings, meets Edgar, the Saxon Atheling and heir to the English throne.

1066.

EDGAR.

         Hold, William! Norman!   Haughty chief!

         Why come you here?   Explain!   Be brief!

WILLIAM.

         I came, dear Ath’ling, as your friend,

         Usurper Harrold’s rule to end.

         For Emma’s Edward pledged to me,

         And Harold swore, when o’er the sea,

         That they my right and claim would own

         And name me heir to England’s throne.

         When Edward died false Harrold reigned

         And, though forsworn, his cause maintained;

         Till foiled and slain at Senlac’s heights

         He left to you and me our rights.

         You’re Edmund’s Edward’s orphan child,

         Too young to rule in times so wild.

         ’Mid faithless earls and secret foes

         You’ll wisely yield what I propose.

         You win to me the Saxon race,

         I’ll take the first, you second place.

         I’ll rule as King and Duke, ’tis true,

         Next place to each I’ll give to you. [page 28]

EDGAR.

         Ah, cunning Duke! as shrewd as brave,

         What Harold took the Witan gave.

         Now that he’s gone my claim is clear,

         But might means right with you, I fear.

         The Witan shall our claims decide,

         By its decision I’ll abide.

WILLIAM.

         Well said, dear Ath’ling!   Think you now

         The Witan dare me disavow?

         For sixty years have Normans sought

         What Senlac’s victory dearly bought.

         By Danes Prince Edward exiled young,

         Made Norman friends, learned Norman tongue.

         When king those friends gained place and power,

         And waited this propitious hour.

         You’ll never rule as England’s King;

         Such hopes can naught but evil bring.

EDGAR.

         My sister being Scotland’s Queen,

         We know not what may yet be seen.

         But, right or wrong, our Witan wise

         Shall now award this kingly prize.

         Your future heirs shall ne’er make known

         That Edgar Ath’ling sold his throne.

WILLIAM.

         Poor boy!  the last of Cerdic’s line,

         Though Scots and Danes with you combine,

         You yet will ask and I shall pay

         To end your claim a mark a day. [page 29]

Number XII.

UNION OF NORMAN AND SAXON LINES.

   Margaret, Queen of Scotland, granddaughter to Edmund Ironsides and sister to Edgar Atheling, objects to the marriage of her daughter Edith to King Henry First of England.

1100.

MARGARET.

         Dear daughter Edith, must we part?

         Has Norman Henry won your heart?

EDITH.

         I’m pledged to England’s King, ’tis true,

         Yet naught shall change my love to you.

MARGARET.

         ’Twas Norman Emma marred my life

         For she was Danish Canute’s wife,

         And my dear sire to those false guides

         Was left by Edmund Ironsides.

         To cold, dark Sweden first he went,

         To Hungary he next was sent;

         Long exile his, without a crime,

         Canute ruled England at the time.

         A sad event marked Harrold’s reign—

         ’Twas Saxon Alfred basely slain.

         Vile Hardicanute, Emma’s son,

         Unloosed his passions, let them run;

         He drank and caused so much disgrace

         The Saxon Edward took his place. [page 30]

         The Witan next did name, declare

         My exiled sire the legal heir.

         A hero true, unknown to fame,

         Though ill—to England Father came.

         His death left Godwin’s Harold King;

         He broke proud Norway’s serried ring,

         But lost his life at Senlac Hill,

         So Normans rule dear England still.

         Your race they’ll scorn, oppress, defraud,

         Your Saxon name they’ll change to Maud.

         If you would wed, choose one we know,

         Some Saxon, not a Norman foe.

EDITH.

         Dear Mother Margaret, Scotland’s Queen,

         Though noble Saxons I have seen,

         I dearly love the Norman race;

         In France they take no second place.

         Near Hastings “First Duke William” won

         The English crown from Godwin’s son.

         For “Second William’s” glittering gold

         Crusading Robert’s claims were sold,

         But William, hunting, has been slain,

         Henry and Robert now remain,

         Should Robert’s claims cause war or strife

         I’ll take my stand as Henry’s wife,

         For he and I will then combine

         The Norman with the Saxon line.

         Dear mother, quell your Saxon pride,

         And bless your child as Henry’s bride. [page 31]

Number XIII.

TREATY OF WALLINGFORD.

   Prince Henry, son of Maud and grandson of Henry First, meets King Stephen at Wallingford.

1153.

STEPHEN.

         Dear Harry!  Child!  Why come you here?

         These Bishops should not interfere.

         Your foolish claims you must resign—

         True knights discard the female line.

         A beardless lord they’ll never own,

         Or place a queen on England’s throne.

HENRY.

         King Stephen, hear!  No child am I,

         Your sneers I scorn, your arms defy!

         If female lines your knights discard

         Your name, like mine, they’ll disregard.

         That Mother’s claim was just and true

         Your knights made oath and so did you.

         Forsworn you seized her lands and crown;

         And thus the wrath of Heaven brought down.

         Your forts are filled with starving men,

         Each baron rules a robbers’ den;

         No seed is sown, the land’s not tilled,

         All trade is lost, the flocked are killed.

         Your foreign knights, unpaid, unfed,

         Are what your friends and foes most dread. [page 32]

         Your wife is gone, your son’s no more—

         What’s wrongly held at once restore,

         For kindred Scots uphold my claim,

         And England’s Saxons do the same,

         One half of France now owns my sway,

         So do not dare to disobey.

STEPHEN.

         Your cause is weak since Gloucester died,

         The French resent your childish pride.

         The Standard’s fight Scots keep in mind.

         And Saxon serfs poor aid you’ll find.

         Large words small boys have used before!

         Naught!  Naught but steel will I restore.

HENRY.

         You boasted thus at Lincoln’s field,

         But Gloucester made you captive yield,

         So now, forwarned, yourself defend,

         For here, this hour, your life shall end.

                  [Draws his sword and rushes at STEPHEN.

BISHOP THEOBALD.

         Hold!  Henry!  Hold!  Spare Stephen’s life!

         The Church will end this needless strife.

         Let Stephen reign, but name and own

         Prince Henry heir to England’s throne.

STEPHEN.

         Enough!  I yield, and Henry’s name

         As England’s heir I now proclaim,

         Plantagenet, you’ll be my friend,

         And I in peace my reign shall end. [page 33]

Number XIV.

HENRY II., LIEGE-LORD OF SCOTLAND.

   William the Lion, King of Scotland, having been taken prisoner by Earl Glanville and the Bishop of Lincoln, is brought into the presence of Henry II., of England.

1175.

HENRY II.

         Brave Glanville, Lincoln, hither bring

         Your royal captive, Scotland’s King.

WILLIAM is brought in.

         Ah, William!  William!   Faithless friend!

         Thus base adventures ever end.

         Your bands went forth to rob and slay

         While you in arms at Alnwick lay.

         ’Mid blood and flames and English cries

         Our Glanville took you by surprise.

         Now here you stand, by me detained

         Till you replace each loss sustained.

         The self-same day that you were caught,

         At Becket’s tomb I pardon sought

         For that rash wish, in passion said,

         Which to that saint’s destruction led.

         That day the Church my claim renewed

         To Erin’s Isle, now all subdued, [page 34]

         And said that France and my false son

         Should end the war by them begun.

         So now, triumphant, here I stand,

         Your crown and kingdom I demand;

         Each English loss you must repair,

         Please answer now—my terms are fair.

WILLIAM.

         My useless life you have preserved,

         For worse than death I’ve been reserved.

         Haste, Glanville!  slay me!   Run me through!

         And save my fame and country too.

HENRY II.

         With my demands at once comply,

         Or in my foulest dungeon lie.

         I’ll grant you pardon and relief,

         You’ll hold your crown an English fief,

         Your barons all must homage give,

         And you as my sworn vassal live.

WILLIAM.

         A free-born Scot must reason quell

         To live in yon dark, loathsome cell.

         A captive madman as her king

         Would ruin to dear Scotland bring.

         So I, compelled, will homage give

         And yield you service while I live. [page 35]

Number XV.

THE THIRD CRUSADE.

   Richard, the Lion-hearted, King of England, is brought to trial before the German Diet at Worms, the Emperor Henry acting as his accuser.

1193.

HENRY.

         Dear German nobles, wise and just,

         A court that I can always trust,

         This English spy—King Richard here—

         Judge ye, but be not too severe.

         His father’s death’s among his crimes,

         A rebel son, yes, many times!

         His aged sire soon died of grief,

         This king then sold his Scottish fief.

         The Church he spoiled, all honors sold.

         The Jews he slew and seized their gold.

         The rich he robbed, the poor oppressed,

         Not one he spared from east to west.

         To blind the English to their loss

         He joined French Philip and the Cross.

         The Princess Alice, France’s pride,

         He pledged to make his lawful bride;

         But Berengaria of Navarre

         He wedded ere he journeyed far.

         Fair Sicily, my wife’s domain,

         He aided Tancred to retain;

         And more—King Richard sacked a town

         That owed allegiance to our crown.

         He next in Cyprus—Christian ground—

         The king in silver fetters bound;

         And when he reached the Holy Land

         Montferrat died by his command.

         Our noble Duke of Austria brave

         He scourged and beat like some base slave.

         King Philip’s views with scorn he spurned,

         So that proud prince to France returned;

         The Christian arms he then withdrew,

         The Holy City full in view. [page 36]

         Now, found disguised in German lands,

         A spy accused King Richard stands.

RICHARD.

         Shame, nobles, shame!   I’m no mean spy!

         But you’ve no right my case to try.

         With barons, dukes,—your peers—please deal,

         While I to Heaven’s high court appeal.

         No fault of mine I’ll hide from sight,

         The King of Kings all wrongs will right.

         The funds I raised to aid the Cross

         Were all my own, my country’s loss.

         The Princess Alice, Philip owned,

         If Queen, for shame should be dethroned.

         The rebel Tancred, found in power,

         I made disgorge my sister’s dower.

         The King of Cyprus robbed my ship—

         No Christian act to pass or slip.

         In Montferr’ts’ death I had no share,

         I this before High Heaven declare.

         To Austria’s Duke I did do wrong,

         For which I suffered much and long.

         The King of France returned I fear,

         To spend his gold to keep me here;

         The truce the Sultan made with me

         Secured the Cross, made pilgrims free.

         To raise more troops for home I sailed,

         My Heavenly Judge knows why I failed.

         When ship-wrecked here these Christians base

         For gold ’gainst me wrought up this case,

         And held me here, the truce near gone,

         To please King Philip and Prince John.

         When Gabriel sounds and judgement’s passed,

         With Judas they will all be classed.

PRESIDENT OF THE DIET.

         The captive’s case has now been heard,

         His life for ransom has been spared.

         The sum, though large, we all uphold,

         A hundred thousand marks of gold;

         To Austria’s Duke he pledge must give.

         Upon these terms we’ll let him live. [page 37]

Number XVI.

THE SIGNING OF MAGNA CHARTA.

   The Earl of Pembroke and Bishop Langton, who are friendly to John, are sent as a deputation to secure the King’s signature to the great charter.

1215.

KING JOHN.

         Pray, Pembrooke, Langton, why so stern?

         Let me each baron’s wish but learn,

         Write out each point, make known each claim,

         In chartered form I’ll grant the same.

         ’Twas base desertion, no mischance,

         Gave Philip all our fiefs in France;

         And if we now divided stand

         He’ll claim our crown and seize our land.

PEMBROKE.

         Your fiefs in France were lost, King John,

         Through acts of yours long past and gone.

         You basely took Prince Arthur’s life,

         And seized and kept La Marche’s wife—

         But we’re not here to past to treat,

         But Magna Charta to complete.

[Reads.

         Note what King John does here proclaim—

         The clergy shall new bishops name;

         King Henry’s chart and Edward’s laws

         Are now confirmed in every clause. [page 38]

         The King shall not his wardships sell,

         Or wards or widows e’er compel

         To join or wed with those they hate

         Just to promote affairs of state.

         No fees or rates the King shall raise

         But those his Council grants or pays,

         Or horses, carts or food-stuffs claim

         Unless the owners sell the same.

         All from the King the Barons want

         They hereby to their tenants grant.

         Let courts be held, good laws be made,

         Justice not sold nor yet delayed;

         One weight, one measure through the land,

         Free from all tolls let merchants stand.

         Let none of loss or wrong have fears

         Without the judgment of his peers.

JOHN.

         All you have read I’ll freely sign,

         To grant yet more I now incline.

         Improved and changed my reign shall be,

         And peace and plenty all shall see.

[Exeunt PEMBROKE and LANGTON.

         I curse the day that I was born!

         Why not from me my crown have torn?

         Those barons soon shall rue this day,

         For their rash acts they yet shall pay.

         My feudal lord, the Church’s Head,

         Shall ban them living—yes!  and dead!

         An interdict of six years’ length

         Has taught our land the Church’s strength.

         A foreign force I’ll now employ,

         And all those traitors’ lands destroy. [page 39]

Number XVII.

MASSACRE OF THE WELSH BARDS.

   Gwendydd, wife of the chief Welsh bard, receives from a messenger the news of the slaughter of her husband and his companions by King Edward First at Conway.

1282.

GWENDYDD.

         False English Edward, worst of men,

         Seeks cause of war with Wales again;

         His father Henry, son of John,

         The Welsh could ne’er depend upon.

         Eight hundred years this race in vain

         Has sought King Arthur’s throne to gain;

         But Merlin said, “when coin’s made round

         Our prince shall be in London crowned.”

         What he foretold must soon take place,

         For brave Llewellyn rules our race;

         The French restrain fierce Edward’s hands,

         The Scots uphold our Welsh demands.

         And that famed bard, my children’s sire,

         Does Wales with faith and zeal inspire.

         Hark!  News from Wye!  What has been done?

         Is England conquered?  Has Wales won? [page 40]

MESSENGER (entering).

         No!  All is lost!  I’ve no details,

         But Edward’s son is Prince of Wales.

         Of our brave men but few remain,

         Our bards are all at Conway slain.

GWENDYDD.

         My bard!  My bard!  My husband dead?

         Who’ll guard my children, win their bread?

         May I live long to still call down

         Anathemas on England’s crown,

         Or thwarting curse on Edward’s head,

         For “Norway’s Maid” shall never wed.

         Bold patriot Scots shall Edward face

         And Bannockburn his son disgrace;

         That son’s false spouse shall mar his life

         And end their jars in civil strife.

         In Berkeley’s keep, in fetters bound,

         His mangled corpse shall yet be found.

         His lineal heirs, ’mid feuds and doubt,

         In civil war shall be worn out.

         To a Welsh prince the last shall yield,

         When slain near Wales at Bosworth field. [page 41]

Number XVIII.

THE CAPTIVE KINGS.

   King John of France, shortly after the battle of Poictiers, is taken a prisoner to England, where he meets with King David Bruce of Scotland, who had been previously captured at Nevil’s Cross.

1356.

KING JOHN OF FRANCE.

         King David Bruce, dear royal Scot,

         Here comes a friend to share your lot.

KING DAVID BRUCE OF SCOTLAND.

         What!   John of France a captive too!

         Explain!   Explain!   Can this be true?

JOHN.

         Yes!   Edward Third laid claim to France,

         And Philip met his bold advance;

         Crecy and Calais were assailed,

         But Edward’s arms at both prevailed.

         Then Death’s dark angel raised her wand,

         And plague and famine scourged our land.

         Though these dark days closed Philip’s reign

         What France had lost I sought to gain.

         But England’s Black Prince, Edward’s son,

         At Poictiers a victory won.

         From that lost field, where long we fought,

         A captive here I have been brought. [page 42]

         To pay my ransom—hopeless task—

         Three million golden crowns they ask.

         As King of France I must comply,

         Or here in England live and die.

DAVID BRUCE.

         Be not cast down!   Act well your part!

         A king should have a hero’s heart.

         While living here an exile’s life,

         My loving spouse, my English wife,

         Among her kin won hosts of friends,

         Upon whose aid my hope depends.

JOHN.

         With love and hope your future’s bright,

         While mine is dark as gloomy night.

DAVID BRUCE.

         ’Mid passing clouds the sun shines clear,

         Thus Scottish William captive here

         Resigned his crown, gave up his claim,

         But soon, when free, bought back the same.

         Next “Norway’s Maid,” dear Scotland’s heir,

         Left our poor land in dark despair.

         She died unwed, disputes arose,

         All seemed to aid our English foes;

         But far-famed Wallace saved our land,

         Till Bruce, my sire, assumed command;

         Fierce Edward died, fate took a turn,

         And Scots were freed at Bannockburn.

         Again dark clouds mark Scotland’s loss

         Since I was seized at Nevil’s Cross,

         But light breaks through, I plainly see

         That you or I will soon be free. [page 43]

Number XIX.

WAT TYLER’S REBELLION.

   The English malcontents meet secretly after the death of Tyler and the dispersion of his followers.

1381.

TOM MILLER.

         Close up each space.   Set guards around.

         Let no oppressor hear a sound.

         Our friends will please address the crowd

         In accents clear and plain—not loud.

HOB CARTER.

         Unite!   Unite, and shew your strength!

         The rich must yield our claims at length;

         For sons of one first common sire

         May well to equal rights aspire.

         When Adam delved and Dame Eve span,

         Who then was called a gentleman?

DICK BAKER.

         Not lazy lords who never pay,

         Who take our goods—I mean purvey—

         Who seize our stores of corn and wheat,

         And leave our children naught to eat;

         Whose every lewd and evil thought

         Means ruin to some dear one brought,

         Whose whims and wants we must supply,

         Next pay our tax, then starve and die. [page 44]

JOHN BALL.

         Where goes this tax?   What does it mean?

         Three groats on each above fifteen?

         Wat Tyler’s lass, just thirteen now,

         Should pay no rates we all avow,

         Yet she was fined for tax unpaid,

         And one vile wretch had seized the maid,

         When down he went in justice slain,

         For Tyler’s sledge had crushed his brain.

         The Commons rose, to arms they flew,

         In London Tyler held review,

         The King and Court were in despair,

         Till Walworth slew our hero there.

         Then Richard faced the angry crowd

         And all alone proclaimed aloud,

         “A traitor’s gone!   I’ll be your chief!

         I’ll grant a charter, give relief.

         All slaves shall be at once set free,

         No one shall pay a market fee;

         The rent of lands shall be but small,

         And more,  I’ll freely pardon all.”

         With shouts and praise our hosts replied

         That on the King they all relied.

         But vain the trust!   When we were gone

         Base Richard proved like false King John.

JACK STRAW (a priest).

         Peace, wronged ones!  Peace!  The day draws nigh

         When God shall judge the rich and high;

         Then every man shall take his share,

         Have food to eat and clothes to wear. [page 45]

Number XX.

UNION OF THE ROSES.

   Henry VII., shortly after receiving the crown of England at Bosworth, meets Elizabeth of York, proposes their matrimonial alliance, and discusses their future prospects.

 

1485.

HENRY VII.

         Elizabeth, dear white rose fair,

         No beauty can with yours compare,

         The Yorkist form, the Woodville face,

         Bewitching eyes and queenly grace;

         Though victor crowned at Bosworth field

         A captive now to you I yield.

         Let your white rose in love-loops twine

         Round my Lancastrian royal line.

         And our Welsh Yorkist-Tudor race

         Will every rival claim embrace.

ELIZABETH.

         I fear to be a red rose queen,

         For York was slain at Wakefield Green.

         A Tudor also lost his life

         At Mortimer in this sad strife.

         King Edward Fourth at Barnet led,

         And Warwick lay among the dead;

         At Tewksb’ry, where he also won,

         Queen Margaret lost her only son. [page 46]

         This King, my brave and honored sire,

         Saw Henry Sixth at length expire.

         Now may not hate, of bloodshed born,

         Cause your red rose to hide a thorn?

HENRY VII.

         No thorn Lancastrians have or hide,

         In their just cause they all confide.

         King Henry Fourth, to Hotspur known,

         From Richard Second gained the throne.

         “Prince Hal,” Fifth Henry, Cobham’s foe,

         Gave France a sturdy English blow.  

         From Agincourt and Harfleur, too,

         Back to Orleans the French withdrew.

         But Bedford’s death, Jeanne D’Arc’s advance,

         And weak Sixth Henry’s loss of France,

         Roused York to seek and claim the throne

         Which he could never justly own.

         But his white rose concealed a thorn

         Which has its petals sadly torn;

         Your brother Edward, Richard too,

         Your uncle Gloucester basely slew.

ELIZABETH.

         Avenge those deaths I now demand,

         And you shall have my heart and hand.

HENRY VII.

         In Richard Third I Gloucester slew,

         So now please make your promise true;

         And this sad war of rose ’gainst rose

         In one long peace we soon shall close. [page 47]

Number XXI.

HENRY EIGHTH’S DIVORCE

1529.

   SCENE I.—A private room in the palace.   Queen Catherine, at the request of her little daughter, Mary, gives a sketch of her history, and tells the cause of her sorrow.

MARY.

         Dear mother, why these weeping eyes,

         These sad, sad looks and constant sighs?

         I fain would hear, don’t think me bold,

         From childhood up your story told.

CATHERINE.

         My sire was king in sunny Spain,

         And had beside a vast domain.

         Dear mother owned the lucky ship

         On which Columbus made the trip

         That opened wide a world unknown,

         And added much to Spain’s proud throne.

         King Henry Seventh wished to share

         This gold and fame with England’s heir;

         For Warbeck and poor Warwick, too,

         In legal form ’tis said he slew.          

         Their blood was shed, I greatly fear,

         To make his own son’s title clear.

         That son, my spouse, Prince Arthur, died

         When five short months I’d been his bride.

         But Henry still retained my dower,

         And from the church soon gained the power

         To wed me to his younger son,

         Now Henry Eighth, and this was done.

         To court your sire now has recourse

         To ban our marriage, gain divorce.

         Well may I weep ’mid such disgrace,

         For Annie Boleyn seeks my place.

MESSENGER (entering).

         The Queen will not please make report,

         And file defense before the Court. [page 48]

   SCENE II.—The Court Room, Wolsey and Campeggio presiding as Judges.

CATHERINE enters and addresses the Judges.

CATHERINE.

         Your court I scorn, your right deny.—

[Turns to KING HENRY and falls on her knees before him.

         But you, O King, should hear my cry;

         Your faithful wife for twenty years,

         I beg for mercy ’mid my tears.

         Our child’s disgrace at lease conceal

         While I to Rome the case appeal.

HENRY VIII.

         Poor child!  her birth is now well-known,

         And may exclude her from the throne.

         In Spain and France objections rose

         When Mary’s hand their princes chose.

[Exit CATHERINE.

CAMPEGGIO.

         The court’s adjourned.   I’ll now go home

         To hear the Queen’s appeal at Rome.

[JUDGES rise.

HENRY VIII.

         Hold, Wolsey!   Hold!   Defend by cause,

         Explain those old Mosaic laws.

         The great Aquinas makes it plain.

         Stay!  Wolsey!   Stay!   You must remain!

[Exeunt JUDGES.

     

         What!  Wolsey dumb, and not my friend?

         In fell disgrace he yet shall end!

         With Rome I’ll break!   I’ll act alone,

         And share with Annie England’s throne. [page 49]

Number XXII.

THE SPANISH ARMADA.

   Interview between Queen Elizabeth and Lord Burleigh, her trusted minister for forty years.

1588.

ELIZABETH.

         Burleigh, my friend, my father’s friend,

         When will this war with Philip end?

BURLEIGH.

         The war will end when we have won,

         Each English tar’s a sea-king’s son;

         The great Armada ne’er can land

         While Drake and Howard hold command.

ELIZABETH.

         What have we done that war prevails,

         And Spain dear England thus assails?

BURLEIGH.

         For forty years Spain’s anger nursed

         Has thus at length on England burst.

         This vengeful mood traced to its source

         Began with Henry Eighth’s divorce.

         Add favors won in Edward’s reign

         By Luther’s friends, and Lady Jane,

         To slights, contempt, and coldness shown

         When Philip shared Queen Mary’s throne,

         And know, fair Queen, that injured pride

         Has chiefly served Spain’s wrath to guide.

         More!  You with scorn spurned Philip’s hand,

         And firmly ’gainst him took a stand. [page 50]

ELIZABETH.

         True!  true!  and Drake, my captain bold,

         Sailed ’round the world, seized Spanish gold,

         Burned Philip’s ships on every sea,

         And praise and knighthoods won from me.

         More, Scottish Mary, doomed to die,

         Her only son, King James, passed by;

         His coldness caused her such despair

         That she named Philip as her heir.

         Thus Spain, through Mary, seeks my throne,

         And Philip claims it as his own.

BURLEIGH.

          Treat such demands with calm disdain,

          For England ne’er will yield to Spain.

MESSENGER enters.

MESSENGER.

         I came with speed, dear Queen, thus far

         To bring you news about the war.

         [He presents a parchment to the Queen.    She tears it open and reads, then waves it  

              joyfully.

 

ELIZABETH.

         The battle’s won!  The contest’s o’er!

         Spain’s shattered ships fly from our shore.

         Like Vikings’ sons our men pursue

         And all our seas with wreckage strew;

         The Storm-King, still the Sea-King’s friend,

         Will soon the great Armada end. [page 51]

Number XXIII.

SIR WALTER RALEIGH.

1618.

   SCENE I.—Raleigh seeks permission from King James I. to sail for South America.

RALEIGH.

         My sovereign lord, most learned King,

         To you my pardon still I cling.

         Like mountain deer or woodland hare

         I pine when robbed of freedom’s air.

         For foolish plots condemned to die,

         Your ear, in mercy, heard my cry;

         And you, whom none could e’er deceive,

         Spared my poor life and gave reprieve.

         Twelve years since then, in prison closed,

         A world-wide history I’ve composed.

         And more, though captive, weak, alone,

         I’ve formed vast plans to aid your throne.

         One such to you I’ll now unfold.—

         Keymis, my friend, will find the gold;

         Give me my freedom, grant it now,

         And I’ll subscribe a solemn vow

         The El Dorado mine to gain,

         Make yours a truly golden reign;

         Provide what Commons oft deny,

         And all your wants with gold supply.

         Guiana’s shore, where we shall land,

         Was claimed for you by my command. [page 52]

JAMES.

         Go!   But unpardoned still remain,

         No gold, no pardon you’ll obtain.

         One jar with Spain may cost your life,

         For there my son now seeks a wife;

         A German prince, my daughter’s spouse,

         Has also claims which Spain allows.

         Now go!   Beware!   Prove wise and true,

         Or your first sentence I’ll renew.

   SCENE II.—Raleigh returns to King James unsuccessful.

JAMES.

         So, Raleigh, you’ve returned, I’m told,

         With neither honor, friends nor gold?

     

RALEIGH.

         Though I have failed I ask for grace

         Until my record you can trace.

         At Cadiz Bay I led the van

         When Spain’s reverses first began,

         And by my counsel you must own

         The great Armada was o’erthrown;

         Virginia I also gained

         While your great predecessor reigned.

         Such daring deeds by flood and field

         In this sad hour should be my shield.

JAMES.

         Ah, Raleigh!   Now you plead in vain—

         I warned you ’gainst attacks on Spain.

         St. Thomas now in ashes lies

         Yet Spain all wrong to you denies.

         No more on me shall you impose,

         The headsman shall your record close. [page 53]

 Number XXIV.

TRIAL OF KING CHARLES I.

   A High Court of Justice is called to try King Charles I., with Bradshaw as presiding judge, and Coke as attorney for the Commons.

1649.

BRADSHAW.

         This new High Court of Justice true,

         My learned friend, would hear from you.

COKE.

         A charge of treason now I bring

         Against Charles Stuart, England’s King;

         The charge, when proved, will seal his fate,

         For it is treason ’gainst the State.

         This tyrant of the English throne

         Has falseness, favor, folly shown.

         The Bill of Rights at first he signed,

         Then to fulfil its terms declined;

         Illegal rates he long imposed;

         Of honors, office, fines disposed;

         Chose Buckingham and Laud as friends,

         For Strafford’s wrong refused amends,

         Made priests and Puritans his foes,

         Until, enraged, the Commons rose. [page 54]

         The King began the civil strife,

         Near Edgehill caused much loss of life;

         At Oxford, Marston, Naseby fled

         From “Ironsides,” whom Cromwell led.

         And now a pris’ner here he stands

         To answer this High Court’s demands.

CHARLES.

         Your jurisdiction I deny;

         Have you the right your king to try?

         In Magna Charta it appears

         None can be judged but by his peers.

         No Lords are here; the Commons, too,

         One Colonel Pride by force o’erthrew.

         For some great class does this Court stand?

         Or are you just a lawless band?

         With Lords and Commons I conferred,

         And all their terms for peace had heard,

         When, seized by night, bound fast ere morn,

         I, your own king, your sovereign born,

         Had in a dungeon long to lie,

         Doomed—yes, ere tried—condemned to die.

BRADSHAW.

         The people are the source of law,

         From them our claims, our rights we draw;

         And, like an agent, in their name,

         The pris’ner’s guilt we now proclaim.

         His faithless rule none can defend;

         He well deserves a felon’s end. [page 55]

Number XXV.

CROMWELL.

   Lord Broghill, President of the Civil Administration for Scotland, brings a message from the Commons to Cromwell, requesting him to assume the title of king.

1656.

CROMWELL.

         Broghill, you’re welcome, trusted friend,

         What message does the Commons send?

BROGHILL.

         A fervent wish to see you king

         By their request to you I bring.

CROMWELL.

         ’Tis news!   Tell all!   Was wise Monk there?

         Did Lambert ’gainst a king declare?

         Does Jepson as my friend remain?

         Or Fleetwood qualms of conscience feign?

         Poetic Milton, Fairfax too,

         Are they my friends?   Did Pack prove true?

BROGHILL.

         None but false Lambert dared oppose;

         Those not your friends are England’s foes.

         And as you’re king in all but name,

         Why not the regal title claim?

CROMWELL.

         Think you that I, once poor, unknown,

         Dare now aspire to England’s throne? [page 56]

BROGHILL.

         No English king e’er stood so high,

         In arms you can the world defy.

         Your rule’s secure in peace or war—

         The late king’s friends are scattered far;

         Of Erin’s sons, the few not dead

         Still hold your name a word to dread.

         Dunbar and Worcester mark the spots

         Where you o’ercame Prince Charlie’s Scots.

         The Dutch sought peace, and France your smile,

         Proud Spain gave up Jamaica’s isle.

         You swept the seas, gained Dunkirk too,

         Waldenses owed their peace to you.

         The Barb’ry pirates you put down:

         Such daring deeds deserve a crown.

         More!   England’s Commons now make known

         Their wish that you ascend the throne.

CROMWELL.

         Though hopes are high and prospects fair

         That I ere long a crown may wear,

         Yet men I trained to hate a king

         Must still to some old maxims cling.

         Those who o’erturned a Stuart’s throne

         May seek some cause to jar my own.

         John Hampden, stern and stubborn John,

         Bold Hazelrig and Pym are gone;

         I’ll wait till fewer still remain

         Of those who think no king should reign.

BROGHILL.

         Then you’ll remain Protector still,

         To guard us by your iron will;

         But pray secure, ere you have done,

         A wise successor in your son. [page 57]

Number XXVI.

FLIGHT OF JAMES II.

   James II. of England vacates his throne and flees to France, where he seeks and obtains aid from his cousin, the celebrated Louis XIV.

1688.

   SCENE I.—Interview between James II. and Louis XIV.

JAMES.

         King Louis, friend and kinsman dear,

         See James of England exiled here.

LOUIS.

         Exiled!   Exiled!   Dear King, explain!

         You shall not seek my aid in vain.

JAMES.

         The English rebels slew my sire,

         And now ’gainst me in arms conspire.

         ’Mid plagues and fire and plots put down

         Poor Second Charlie held the crown,

         Then died and left to me a throne

         That Monmouth sought to make his own.

         Fanatic friends high in the state

         Combined with foes to seal my fate.

         The Prince of Orange in the van,

         Backed by Prince George, my daughter Ann,

         And all the host by Churchill led,

         Scorned and betrayed me till I fled.

         From you I ask, implore, some aid,

         By future friendship to be paid.

LOUIS.

         To show I hate, as Frenchmen can,

         The whole base, British, rebel clan,

         I’ll grant you fifty thousand pounds,

         St. Germain’s palace and its grounds,

         Five thousand men to aid your cause,

         And more—my friendship and applause. [page 58]

   SCENE II.—Louis, in Paris, receives a letter from James at the Boyne, stating that William has been killed by a cannon ball in sight of both armies.   In the midst of the rejoicings the news is contradicted.

LOUIS.

         Let joy-bells ring and bonfires blaze,

         Let cannon roar—make no delays!

         France aided Hames, and not in vain;

         The Dutch usurper William’s slain!

         Shout!   Cheer!   Hurrah!   Let wine flow fast!

         We’ve crushed our hated foe at last.

         But mark yon horseman, note his speed,

         His war-worn look, his foaming steed!

Enter MESSENGER with a letter.

MESSENGER.

         Brave Lauzon has this message sped!

LOUIS.

         Our leader’s letter must be read.

[Opens and reads.

         Alas!  alas!  cease all this din!

         Boyne water’s lost! James did not win.

         That William lives all seem amazed;

         A cannon ball his shoulder grazed;

         One bullet struck his pistol’s cap,

         A second cut his right heel-strap.

         Thro’ weeds and mud—a tangled jam—

         Right through the Boyne his charger swam.

         With bandaged arm he forged ahead,

         As ’gainst King James the charge he led.

         James fled in haste, the rout began,

         Straight for Duleek the rabble ran.

         Our small French force fought to the last,

         And cried, “Shame! shame!” as James fled past. [page 59]

Number XXVII.

THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH.

   The Duchess of Marlborough has an interview with Queen Anne.

1713.

QUEEN ANNE.  

         Your frowns, cold looks, and foolish pride,

         Dear Duchess, I’ll no more abide!

         The Duke, your spouse, owes all to me—

         His title, wealth and high degree;

         And you, dear Sarah, once unknown,

         I raised to honors near my throne.

         More!  James, my sire, I left for you;

         Why then this haughty course pursue.

DUCHESS.

         Frowns!  coldness!  pride!  Dear Queen, you rave!

         We served you well for what you gave.

         Great Marlborough played well his part,

         Yet you would crush his noble heart.

         He saved at Sedgemoor James’ throne,

         At Blenheim he preserved your own.

         In William’s reign, Cork and Kinsale

         Saw his great skill with ease prevail.

         He then by plots to aid your claims

         Oft checked the Dutch or thwarted James.

         The Act of Settlement he gained,

         The union of your crowns maintained.

         At Ramillies he won the day,

         At Oudenarde the French gave way; [page 60]

         Gibraltar Fort from Spain procured,

         The war and Utrecht’s peace secured.

         Yet this true friend, your life-long guard,

         Abigail Hill and you discard.

QUEEN ANNE.

         Abigail Hill is kind and true;

         I love her now—I once loved you.

         Her plans will aid my exiled race

         When I am gone to fill my place.

         The cause I love is now urged on

         By friends like Harley and St. John.

DUCHESS.

         No childish plans the Whigs pursue,

         But when death’s darkness falls on you,

         Sophia’s son, “the German heir,”

         King George the First they’ll soon declare.

QUEEN ANNE.

         False prophetess!   I’m not cast down;

         A Stuart justly claims my crown.

         The Whigs and you conspire in vain—

         My brother after me shall reign.

DUCHESS.

         ’Tis true, if Marlborough would lead

         Your brother James might yet succeed.

         His friends, so rash and ill-combined,

         Require for guide a master mind.

         Like flock without a shepherd’s care,

         Like helmless ship in dark despair,

         They need as guide a skilful friend

         Lest dire disaster be the end. [page 61]

Number XXVIII.

PRINCE CHARLIE.

   Prince Charles Edward, son of James the Pretender, and grandson of James II., lands in Scotland, and the Marquis of Tullibardine raises the standard of James VIII. of Scotland and III. of England at Glenfinnan.

1745.

SCENE I.—The gathering of the clans.

TULLIBARDINE.

         The flag’s unfurled, King James proclaimed,

         Glenfinnan for the gathering named.

         Your broadswords, dirks and tartans bring

         To fight for Scotland’s exiled king.

         From German George you’ve naught to fear;

         Prince Charlie, James’ heir, is here.

         Scots, fight as you have fought before,

         And Britain’s rightful king restore.

PRINCE CHARLIE.

         The greeting, kinsmen, clansmen, friends,

         Which to the Scots my father sends,

         Reminds you that from time unknown

         His forbears held the Scottish throne,

         That he is king by Scotland’s laws,

         And you are bound to aid his cause.

         His sires oft saved your Highland home,

         In pass or glen e’en thwarted Rome;

         Saw Saxon hordes, whom you defied,

         Recoil like floods from granite side;

         Saw warlike Danes around you led

         Like storms which shun a mountain’s head;

         Saw Vikings’ sails turned east and west

         Like broken waves with foaming crest. [page 62]

         Your sires sought then the sovereign’s will,

         And you, their sons, should do so still.

LOCHIEL.

         Rise!  clansmen, rise!   Rush on the foe

         Like avalanche of mountain snow.

         False George is but a German laird,

         And can’t with Charlie be compared.

   SCENE II.—Prince Charlie addresses the clansmen before the battle of Culloden.

PRINCE CHARLIE.

         I trust to-day in Scotland’s clans;

         You crushed John Cope at Prestonpans.

         Fear not the foe!  your cause is right;

         Carlisle and Falkirk showed your might.

         Think of brave sires now long since dead—

         Of Wallace, Bruce and Somerled.

         Yon English host must ne’er return—

         We’ll make this field a Bannockburn!

   SCENE III.—Hugh Chisholm bids farewell to Prince Charlie after the clans are defeated and scattered at Culloden.

CHISHOLM.

         Alas, Prince Charlie!  you must fly;

         The guards with bloodhounds now are nigh.

         In yonder cliff you’ll find a cave—

         Flora, your guide, is wise and brave.

PRINCE CHARLIE.

         Thanks, Chisholm, thanks for timely aid;

         If I return you’ll be repaid.

[He grasps Chisholm’s right hand.

CHISHOLM.

         The hand you grasped goes in my breast;

         There while I live still shall rest;

         Naught e’er shall soil what’s sacred now—

         Farewell, dear Prince, you’ve heard my vow. [page 63]

Number XXIX.

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

   SCENE I.—A meeting of the British Privy Council to consider the condition of affairs in the American colonies.

1773.

KING GEORGE III.

         To you, my Council, I’ll disclose

         That Boston’s friends our tax oppose;

         Disguised, ’twas they threw in the sea

         Three large ship-loads of British tea.

         To have such lawless acts put down

         Is one stern duty of the crown.

LORD NORTH (the Premier).

         Our British rights we must maintain,

         The justice of our cause is plain.

         For wars with won the French fur trade

         We, not the colonists, have paid;

         The debt and burden Britons bear,

         While Boston’s friends the profits share.

         “No vote, no tax,” has been their cry;

         Our right to rule they thus deny.

Enter BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, agent and intercessor for the colonies.

FRANKLIN.

         From Britain’s colonies I’m sent;

         Your tribute tax we all resent;

         But seek a grant, the cause explain,

         And seldom shall you seek in vain.

         Your fathers came from German plains,

         And yet you rule your own domains. [page 64]

         When Germans seek your aid or gold

         Your Commons give or they withhold.

         Now we, whose sires from Britain came,

         Like liberty from you would claim.

LORD WEDDERBURN.

         Home, Franklin, home!   Make no delay!

         Our British taxes you must pay;

         Wolfe captured Canada in vain

         If Britain must the cost sustain.

         Your continent and all you own

         Are subject to the British throne.

         Australia we found and named,

         And Clive for us has India claimed;

         Earth ne’er has seen so great a realm;

         You and your friends we’ll overwhelm.

   SCENE II.—Franklin meets the British Commissioner in Paris at the close of the Revolutionary War.

1783.

FRANKLIN.

         We plead no more at Britain’s gates,

         Our home’s the free United States.

         Burgoyne we trapped with men and stores,

         Cornwallis now like loss deplores.

         With Washington in full command

         We swept the British from our land.

         By Pitt King George was warned in vain,

         And now his empire’s rent in twain.

BRITISH COMMISSIONER.

         All Europe joined your rebel ranks—

         France gave you thirty million francs.

         We yield, but count much less the cost

         When kinsmen gain all we have lost. [page 65]

Number XXX.

THE DEATH OF WELLINGTON.

   Queen Victoria and Lord Aberdeen tell to Prince Albert Edward the story of Wellington’s life and struggles with Napoleon Bonaparte.

1852.

QUEEN VICTORIA and LORD ABERDEEN are seated in an apart of the palace. Enter PRINCE

         ALBERT EDWARD, aged eleven years.

QUEEN VICTORIA.

         Mourn, Albert Edward, mourn, my son,

         Our hero’s gone, his work is done.

         Great Britain’s pride, her foemen’s dread,

         Our grand old “Iron Duke” is dead.

PRINCE ALBERT EDWARD.

         A hundred fights he fought and won;

         ’Tis said he never lost a gun.

         Dear mother, tell me all you know

         Of Wellington, Napoleon’s foe.

QUEEN VICTORIA.

         In India first great fame he gained

         While George the Third, my grandsire, reigned;

         Through Mysore, Poona, Assaye too,

         Victorious his banners flew.

         His skill next shone like some bright star

         Athwart the gloom of Spain’s dark war. [page 68]

         Revolted France the world defied,

         John Moore, the British leader, died,

         Then Wellington received command

         To free from France Spain’s conquered land.

         Near lines on Torres Vedras raised,

         Our foremen, checked, first stood amazed,

         Then surged and writhed, a baffled mass,

         Like waves opposed in rock-bound pass.

         As Wellington foresaw—desired—

         The French, exhausted, soon retired.

         From Salamanca next they fled,

         Then through Madrid our troops were led;

         Vittoria fought, more Frenchmen slain,

         And Soult was forced to fly from Spain.

         Now, Aberdeen, do you make known

         How Bonaparte was overthrown.

LORD ABERDEEN.

         First Nelson crushed the French at sea

         And kept the coasts of Britain free;

         Then Russia’s war with France arose,

         Napoleon’s vet’rans starved and froze,

         And he himself, a poor exile,

         Soon mourned his fate in Elba’s isle.

         Escaped, Napoleon sought once more

         His shattered empire to restore;

         But fled, disgraced and conquered, too,

         From Wellington at Waterloo.

QUEEN VICTORIA.

         While George the Fourth, my uncle, reigned

         A nation’s love our hero gained.

         His statesmanship was also shown

         While William Fourth was on the throne.

         And to myself he proved a friend,

         Trusted and honored to the end. [page 67]

[blank page]

THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND

IN

ONE HUNDRED LINES.

[unnumbered page]

The History of England in One Hundred Lines.

————

ROMAN  PERIOD.   B.C.  55—A.D.  410.

At Deal, to Cæsar Britons bowed—Before Christ fifty-five;

’Gainst Rome in A.D. 43 Caractacus did strive.

Suetonius seized Britain’s queen and hoary Druids’ seat;

Agricola, who tilled the ground, made Roman rule complete.

By Emp’rors next the northern parts were fortified and walled;

’Twas After Christ four hundred years ere Rome her arms recalled.

SAXON  PERIOD.   A.D.  410—A.D.  1066.

Poor Britons then, o’errun by foes, sought sea-king Saxon aid,

But Hengist, who dispersed the Scots, with Kent himself repaid.

Twelve battles won o’er these new foes gave British Arthur fame,

But Saxons soon raised seven thrones, the Heptarchy by name.

All England next, a Christian land, owned Egbert’s firm advance.

Good Ethelwolf paid Peter’s pence, and chose a wife from France.

Bold Ethelbald and Ethelbert with Danes maintained fierce strife,

But Ethelred, by Norsemen slain, at Merton lost his life.

Hope rose again when Alfred’s reign saw Guthrum captive stand,

Good laws enforced, all foes o’ercome, and peace on sea and land.

The elder Edward warred with Wales and slew his uncle’s son.

O’er Scots and Danes great Athelstan a splendid victory won,

Five boroughs Edmund freed of Danes, but died by Leolf’s knife.

The monks ruled Edred as they chose, and banished Edwy’s wife.

Good Edgar cleared the wolf from Wales, built ships and ruled the flood,

A second mother’s cruel knife next shed young Edward’s blood.

Weak Ethelred slew hordes of Danes—yes, woman, man, and child!—

Revengeful Sweyn seized England’s throne—his reign was brief but wild.

Good Canute gave to Ironsides the counties south of Thames;

He also founded monast’ries endowed with gold and gems.

Three years fleet Harold Harefoot reigned. base Hardicanute died.

Confessor Saxon Edward’s rule was marked by Norman pride.

At Stamford Harold bravely broke proud Norway’s serried ring;

At Hastings William’s Normans slew this last bold Saxon king.

NORMAN  PERIOD.   1066—1154.

With Norman lords on English lands came William’s curfew bell;

Of kindred slain, of Yorkshire wastes, his Saxon slaves could tell.

For Second William’s glittering gold Duke Robert sold his claims,

Because he thought beneath the Cross to set the East in flames.

Young Henry choose a Saxon wife, Duke Robert next he bound,

And lastly ruled as king and duke—alas!  his son was drowned.

At Lincoln Stephen bowed to Maud, who under Gloucester’s care

At length made king and barons, too, proclaim her son as heir.

PLANTAGENET  PERIOD.   1154—1399.

Bold Second Henry, Becket’s foe, by penance showed his grief;

He also ruled as Erin’s king and held the Scots in fief.

Then Richard First, whose lion heart won fame on Syria’s plains,

By English gold, though long confined, was freed from German chains.

Prince Arthur slain, an interdict and Magna Charta signed,

Left false King John no lands in France, and England’s crown resigned.

The barons seized weak Henry Third, which roused young Edward’s ire;

At Evesham, where great Leicester fell, this brave prince freed his sire.

Crusading Edward, who subdued Llewellyn, Prince of Wales,

O’ercame those Scots whom Wallace led and burned their odes and tales.

At Bannockburn the Scots disgraced the Second Edward’s name, [unnumbered page]

Then Crecy, Nevile, Poictiers made known Third Edward’s fame.

Poor Second Richard, Tyler’s king, surprised, made to resign,

Placed England’s crown in Hereford’s hands in thirteen ninety-nine.

LANCASTRIAN  PERIOD.   1399—1461.

In Shropshire, while Fourth Henry reigned, Scots, Welsh and Hotspur bled,

A Prince was seized and Lollards quelled ere warlike Percy fled.

“Prince Hal,” Fifth Henry, Gascoigne’s friend, soon won the crown of France,

Nor Harfleur, Agincourt, Rouen could check his bold advance.

By loss of France and Bedford’s death Sixth Henry’s fall was wrought,

A captive now, and now a king, ’twas peace, not power, he sought.

YORKIST  PERIOD.   1461—1485.

York won St. Alban’s bloody field, but died at Wakefield Green;

His son, Fourth Edward, seized the crown, and captured Henry’s queen.

A bloody scene!   Fifth Edward died, a prey to Yorkist strife,

Then Richard Third, ’mid all his crimes, at Bosworth lost his life.

TUDOR  PERIOD.   1485—1603.

Wise Henry Seventh, Simnel’s lord, ’gainst Warbeck held his ground,

Ere Margaret married Scotland’s prince or Labrador was found.

False Henry Eighth, who warred with France, made Scots at Flodden fly;

Through Wolsey next he claimed divorce, but Rome would not comply.

Sixth Edward sought Scotch Mary’s hand in arms at Pinkie’s field;

Then Mary, Spanish Philip’s wife, at Calais had to yield.

The golden age of “Good Queen Bess” was marked by Mary Scot,

A Spanish war, some Irish fights, and, lastly, Essex’ plot.

STUART  PERIOD.   1603—1714.

James First, of Henry Seventh’s line, from Holyrood was brought;

He killed Guy Fawkes, shed Raleigh’s blood, and with the Spanish fought.

An odious tax by Charles raised, in arms the Commons rose;

Edgehill was won, Gloucester was lost, and Chalgrave cleared of foes.

Then Marston Moor and Naseby lost, the King to Scotland fled,

But sold again to Cromwell’s friends, ere long he lost his head.

Protector Cromwell, Erin’s foe, drove Scots from Worcester field,

Dispersed the Dutch, made Frenchmen fawn, and Spain Jamaica yield.

With Holland Charlie Second fought, the Corpus Act he framed;

For fire and plague and fearful plots this blythe king’s reign was famed.

James Second, Duke of Monmouth’s King, while Jeffrey’s favored Rome,

By William, Prince of Orange, next was driven from his home.

The bloody Boyne, by William won, saw England’s debt increase;

At Ryswick, after years of war, the French agreed to peace.

At Blenheim, Ram’lies, Malplaquet, Gibraltar—France and Spain—

United Britons crushed their foes in “Good Queen Annie’s” reign.

BRUNSWICK  PERIOD.   1714—1901.

A Whig of Scottish James’ line, named German George the First,

Who warred with Stuarts, Scots and Spain, saw Blunt’s gay bubble burst.

Culloden Moor and Dettingen with Portobella gained

Made Stuarts, French and Spanish yield while George the Second reigned.

George Third o’rcame both France and Spain, and held Canadians fast,

But Thirteen States, once colonies, were lost to him at last.

Bold Nelson, Pitt and Wellington drove Bonaparte away

From Egypt, Spain and Waterloo to St. Helena’s Bay.

False George the Fourth oppressed his queen, repealed the penal laws,

And then, like Byron, ’gainst the Turks upheld the Grecian cause.

King William Fourth saw railways made and served a time at sea,

Had Poor Laws passed, Reform Bill too, and negro slaves set free.

Russia, India, Egypt, the world—Boer-clad—withstood,

On loving hearts impressed the name, “Victoria the Good.” [unnumbered page]

[3 blank pages]

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