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which, in a war like this, can animate their minds and ours. They, by a strange frenzy driven, fight for power, for plunder, and extended rule ;-we, for our country, our altars, and our homes. They follow an adventurer whom they fear, and obey a power which they hate ;-we serve a monarch whom we love,-a God whom we adore. Whene'er they move in anger, desolation tracts their progress! Whene'er they pause in amity, affliction mourns their friendship. They boast, they come but to improve our state, enlarge our thoughts, and free us from the yoke of error! Yes—they—they will give enlightened freedom to our minds, who are themselves the slaves of passion, avarice, and pride! They offer us their protection. Yes, such protection as vultures give to lambs-covering and devouring them! They call on us to barter all of good we have inherited and proved, for the desperate chance of something better which they promise. Be our plain answer this : the throne we honour, is the people's choice -the laws we reverence, are our brave fathers' legacy—the faith we follow, teaches us to live in bonds of charity with all mankind, and die with hope of bliss beyond the grave. Tell your invaders this, and tell them too, we seek no change; and, least of all, such change as they would bring us.
THE INTRODUCTION OF THE FEUDAL SYSTEM
IT cannot be denied that the state of this country at the time when William of Normandy
came over, was far from being happy. Civilization had not risen to a very high degree, -a change—a great change was necessary before the people could enjoy those blessings which result from good government.
But the change they wanted was by no means the change which the Norman invaders introduced; and though England was in a rude state then, yet it was not quite so bad as some have represented. Athelstan, long previous to this period, had done much towards improving and civilizing this country. He had added to and improved the code of laws left by Alfred, and made provisions for the poorest and most destitute of his subjects. He promoted the erection of monasteries-places for the religious ministrations, and for the security and retirement of persons devoted to study. He knew the value of books—had made presents of many valuable manuscripts to the monks, and he encouraged the translation of the holy scriptures into the vernacular tongue. The embroidery of the English, previous to the Norman Conquest, was of so superior a kind, that it was celebrated all over Europe. They possessed many useful utensils, had many inventions of importance, and there is no reason for supposing that they would not have gone on progressing towards civilization every year, had they not been interrupted by those ravenous wolves—the Norman barons. Odo, the uterin brother of the Conqueror, and Fitz Osborn, when they entered the high office in which the king placed them, as soon as he left the country, themselves assumed the lofty mien and arrogant manner of conquerors.
The complaints of the injured were despised—aggression
was encouraged with impunity-the different garrisons insulted wives and daughters—abused the men, and rioted at free quarters upon the
property of their neighbours. Such conduct as this was not likely to be tolerated by the English, and they, naturally enough, rose in rebellion; this was taken as sufficient excuse for exercising most barbarous despotism-the king was sent for back, and, when he arrived, the work of annihilation and devastation commenced in earnest. Tyranny, wrapped in his sable mantle, then sat upon bis throne, grinning with delight at the slaughter of thousands upon thousands of human beingswatching the clouds of smoke issuing from cities in flames, darkening the firmament, and, as it were, forming a curtain between heaven and earth, that the former might not witness the horrible crimes which were daily perpetrated upon the latter. William's express orders were, spare neither man nor beast-destroy the houses, corn, and whatever may be useful and necessary for the support of human life; and these cruel commands were, alas, too faithfully obeyed. The work of plunder, slaughter, and conflagration, commenced on the left bank of the Ouse, and reached to the Tees, the Ware, and the Tyne. The number of men, women, and children, that fell victims to this monstrous and foolish policy, exceeded one hundred thousand ! It is said by some writers, that not a patch of cultivated ground between York and Durham could be seen for a century afterwards. Individuals who had been poor and unknown in Normandy, saw themselves raised to a high state in this country, and these men displayed all the arrogance of newly acquired power
- they became petty tyrants. To be treated with the greatest contempt and the severest oppression became the portion of the English. “I will not undertake,” says an ancient writer, “to describe the misery of this wretched people; it would be a painful task, and the account would not be believed by posterity.” Moreover, William and his atrocious gang were so rapacious, that even those very places which their own religion taught them to deem most holy, were ransacked and plundered to gratify their avarice.
THE RIVER MERSEY IN FORMER DAYS.
The history of Liverpool and Birkenhead was soon told. Those towns possessed little in common with those that appeared conspicuously on the pages of history, and therefore their history was of a peaceful, unexciting kind. Both places existed for many centuries unknowing and unknown. The Mersey was a solitary place; its waters were only agitated by the winds of heaven or the wings of the sea-bird, and scarcely a sail could be seen breaking the smooth monotony of its surface. There was little life on its shores. The silence of an inland sea in a lonely land seemed resting for ever on its surface; all was calm and silent except the cry of the sea-bird, and the restless but regular heaving of the mighty
It seemed a holy river set apart for sacred purposes; a river that was to be consecrated to the genius of peace and good-will with all men, and never to be contaminated by contact with the evil power of war. While all over Europe society was shaking from centre to circumference, and many rivers in England were running red with the blood shed in civil wars, the Mersey was rolling quietly onward to the sea, the simple inhabitants on its banks being allowed to live in peace, because they were so few and so insignificant.
PLEASURES OF SCIENCE,
It has been well observed, that every additional science acquired by man is an additional faculty given to him, the use of which is to add to the sum of huinan bappiness. Does any one doubt the truth of this assertion ? If so, I would ask him if he derives any pleasure from the power of sight ? and does not knowledge double the capacity of vision ? Does it not enable the possessor to see beneath the surface ? By the aid of science, he knows that the earth, upon which he treads, covers strata of rocks which, at some former period, have been in less solid form, and have been the surface of the globe. The strata are invariably found in the same order, over or beneath each other, and in these are deposited the fossil remains of animals, which were suited to the different stages of the earth's formation. How interesting must it be to an intelligent inhabitant of the earth, to know the changes which the revolutions of ages have wrought upon its exterior form, and to learn the varying shapes and characters of the creatures which ħave peopled its surface ? If it be a gratification to the eye of the understanding to be able to penetrate into