Puslapio vaizdai

deputy of Edward. Soon after this, Baliol, upon the most frivolous pretences, was dethroned by the English king, and, retiring into England, lived in obscurity upon a pension.

Robert Bruce, 1306. On the death of his ancestor (one of the candidates for the throne), Robert entertained jealous fears of William Wallace; but the forces of William, engaging with Edward I.'s army at Falkirk, were defeated, and their leader suffered death. Robert, upon this, engaged the Scots in his own interest, the nobles seated him upon the throne, and he was afterwards known as the Bruce of Bannockburn, by his signal defeat of Edward II.; a victory still remembered by the Scots with triumph. The remainder of Robert's reign was a series of uninterrupted successes.

David Bruce, or David II, 1329, son of Robert; his minority was disturbed by Edward, son of John Baliol, who assisted by Edward III., seized the throne, and compelled David to retire into France. The nobles, however, disgusted with the conduct of young Baliol, reinstated David. Some years after, the Scottish king invaded England in the absence of its prince; he was made prisoner at the battle of Neville's Cross, near Durham, and detained eleven years in captivity in the castle of Odiham, but afterwards ransomed. Leaving no issue, the crown was claimed by the Stuart family.

Robert Stuart, 1370, the descendant of Walter, seneschal of Scotland, claimed in right of his affinity by marriage to the daughter of David Bruce, being then only Baron of Renfrew. He was a prince of uncommon abilities and prudence. Robert III., 1390, son of Robert Stuart, was weak in intellect, and deficient in courage. He committed the toils of government to his brother the Duke of Albany, who took every method to aggrandize his own family. Robert's second son James, was detained prisoner in England, on his way to France; during the nineteen years he spent in that country, his father's dominions were subject to repeated commotions, and his eldest brother was assassinated by the Duke of Albany's command. Robert soon after died, oppressed with age and misfortunes.

James I., 1423. This prince had seen in foreign courts the different systems of Jurisprudence, and endeavoured, by abridging the power of the nobles, to assert the just preroga tives of the crown: but though he understood the principles of government admirably, the nation was not prepared to re

ceive them: and in the struggle for power, he was assasinated by some of the nobility in a monastery near Perth, whither he had retired. James instituted the office of lords of session.

James II., 1437, pursued his father's plan of humbling the nobility; and, seconded by his ministers, aimed at restoring tranquillity and justice; but himself the slave of turbulent passions, he stabbed William Earl of Douglas to the heart, in a sudden fit of anger; and, taking advantage of the weakness betrayed by the next earl, he proceeded to the ruin of his family, and declared his intention to subvert the feudal law; but the splinter of a cannon-ball, at the siege of Roxburgh castle, put an end to his schemes and life, at the early age of thirty.

James III, 1460; he, with inferior abilities, embraced the same object, neglecting those of high birth, and lavishing his favours and affection upon a few court sycophants. The exasperated nobles flew to arms; James met them in battle, his army was routed, and himself slain.

James IV., 1488, was generous, accomplished, and brave: war was his passion; and adored by a people who wished, by attachment to his person, to expiate their offences to his father, he led a gallant army on to the invasion of England: the battle of Flodden Field proved the superior skill of the English; and James, with thirty noblemen of the highest rank, and an infinite number of barons, fell in the contest; leaving an infant of a year old to wield the Scottish sceptre.

James V., 1513. The Duke of Albany, his near relation, was declared regent; but the king, at thirteen, assumed the reins of government; he had a great but uncultivated mind; and while he repressed the consequence of the nobles, he protected commerce, and reformed the courts of justice. The reformed clergy in Scotland now first launched their thunders against the papal see, though without the concurrence of James. Quarrelling with Henry VIII., he assembled an army; the barons, piqued at his contempt of them, reluctantly complied with his summons; and, more intent upon retaliating their injuries than anxious for their own glory, suffered themselves to be shamefully defeated. James felt this affront so keenly, that he died of grief.

Mary, queen of Scots, daughter of James V. and Mary of Guise, succeeded in 1542, when only a few days old. She was educated in France; and in her minority, the Earl of

Arran and Mary of Guise were successively regents. Mary, who had espoused Francis II. of France, upon his death returned to govern her native country: she then married the Earl of Darnley, but soon disgusted with his conduct, was privy to his violent death, and immediately affianced to Bothwell, his murderer: the nobles, incensed to the highest degree, rose against her, and, being taken prisoner, she was compelled to sign a resignation of the crown in favour of her son. After the battle of Langside, Mary fled into England, where she was detained as a prisoner by Elizabeth. nineteen years captivity, she was sentenced to death, and beheaded in Fotheringay castle, 8th February, 1586. The beauty, misfortunes, and, we may add, the crimes, of this celebrated woman, have rendered the annals of her reign peculiarly interesting.


James VI, 1567, only son of Mary by the Earl of Darnley; he reigned long before his mother's death. In this period he diminished the power of the church, now declared Protestant by act of parliament, and married the daughter of the Danish king. Upon the death of his relation, Elizabeth of England, (24th March, 1603,) he ascended her throne; and the histories of Scotland and England have since been inseparable. Mangnall's Historical Questions.

1. What part of Scotland was inhabited by the Picts?

2. What is, most probably, the meaning of the word Pict?

3. Under whom came the Scots from Ireland?

4. What became of Fergus 1.? 5. What Scottish king was first converted to Christianity?

6. Who invaded Scotland or Caledonia in this reign?

7. When did Fergus II. succede to the throne ?

8. What brought him from abroad, and who came with him?

9. What was the fate of Fergus and his two companions?

10. What was the character of Fergus II. ?

11. When, and by whom were the Picts driven out of Scotland?

12. State facts that justly entitle Gregory, the seventy third king, to his surname "the Great."

13. Who courted Gregory's friendship, and why did he do so?

14. What was the character and fate of Malcolm II.?

15. What was the character and fate of Duncan I. ?

16. What was the fate of the tyrant Macbeth?

17. Tell me what is here related of Malcolm III?

18. What know you of Donald VII. ? 19. What know you of Duncan II. ? 20. What is here related of Edgar, son of Malcolm III.?

21. What was the character of Alexander I. in his youth?

22. What were his acts, after he turned his thoughts to peace?

23. When did David I. reign, and what was his character?

24. For what was the reign of Malcolm IV. chiefly celebrated?

25. What did Henry II. oblige William the Lion to do?

26. With what people was Alexander II. often at war?

27. Give an account of Alexander III. 28. Name the most distinguished of the twelve competitors for the crown.

29. How did Edward I. of England act in this matter?

30. To whom did Edward I. assign the throne?

31. What two patriots resisted the claims of Baliol to the throne?

32. What became of Baliol?

33. Where were the forces of Sir William Wallace defeated?

34. How did Bruce then act?

35. What great victory did the Scots obtain under Bruce?

36. What compelled David II. to retire to France ? 37. Why France?

was David recalled from

38. What happened to David after this? 39. Who was Robert II.?

40. What is here related of Robert III.? 41. With what qualifications for government did James I. ascend the throne? 42. Who assassinated him, and why did they do so?

43. When did James II. come to the throne?

52. Into whose hands did the sceptre now fall?

53. How old was James V. when he assumed the reins of government?

54. What did the reformed clergy do in this reign?

55. What was the occasion of this king's death?

56. Who was Mary, queen of Scots ? 57. Who acted as regents during her minority?

58. Where was Mary educated? 59. Who was Mary's first husband? 60. Whom did she marry after coming to Scotland?

61. What became of Darnley?

62. Whom did the queen now marry? 63. What did the enraged nobles now

44. In what matter did he imitate his do? father?

45. What did he do under the influence of rage? 46. death?

Where and how did he meet his

47. Who were the favourites of James III.?

48. How did the nobles act on seeing this?

49. What was the issue of the conflict between James and his nobles?

50. What was the character of James IV.?

51. In what battle was James slain ?

64. Whither did Mary flee after the battle of Langside?

65. How long was she kept a prisoner in England?

66. When and where was she beheaded? 67. What gives peculiar interest to the reign of Mary?

68. When did James VI. ascend the Scottish throne?

69. What was now the established religion of Scotland?

70. When did he ascend the English throne?

[blocks in formation]

GALILEO had found that water would rise under the piston of a pump to a height only of about thirty-four feet. His pupil Torricelli, conceiving the happy thought that the weight of the atmosphere might be the cause of the ascent, concluded that mercury, which is about thirteen times heavier than water, should only rise under the same influence to a thirteenth of the elevation: he tried, and found that this was so, and the mercurial barometer was invented. To afford further evidence that the weight of the atmosphere was the cause of the phenomenon, he afterwards carried the tube of

mercury to the tops of buildings and of mountains, and found that it fell always in exact proportion to the portion of the atmosphere left below it; and he found that water-pumps, in different situations, varied as to sucking power, according to the same law.

It was soon afterwards discovered, by careful observation of the mercurial barometer, that even when remaining in the same place, it did not always stand at the same elevation; in other words, that the weight of atmosphere over any particular part of the earth was constantly fluctuating: a truth which, without the barometer, could never have been suspected. The observation of the instrument being carried still further, it was found that in serene dry weather the mercury generally stood high, and that before and during storms and rain it fell; the instrument, therefore, might serve as a prophet of the weather, becoming a precious monitor to the husbandman or the sailor.

When water, which has been suspended in the atmosphere, and has formed a part of it, separates as rain, the weight and bulk of the mass are diminished; and the wind must occur when a sudden condensation of aeriform matter, in any situation, disturbs the equilibrium of the air, for the air around will rush towards the situation of diminished pressure. To the husbandman the barometer is of considerable use, by aiding and correcting the prognostics of the weather which he draws from local signs familiar to him; but its great use as a weather-glass seems to be to the mariner, who roams over the whole ocean, and is often under skies and climates altogether new to him. The watchful captain of the present day, trusting to this extraordinary monitor, is frequently enabled to take in sail, and to make ready for the storm where, in former times, the dreadful visitation would have fallen upon him unprepared-the marine barometer has not yet been in general use for many years, and the author was one of a numerous erew who probably owed their preservation to its almost miraculous warning.

It was in a southern latitude. The sun had just set with placid appearance, closing a beautiful afternoon, and the usual mirth of the evening watch was proceeding, when the captain's order came to prepare with all haste for a storm. barometer had begun to fall with appalling rapidity. As yet, the oldest sailors had not perceived even the threatening in the


« AnkstesnisTęsti »