Puslapio vaizdai

'Twixt me and fortune? We are wholly quits!
She dress'd me-she has stripp'd me!-on a throne
She plac'd me-she has struck me from my seat!
Nor in the respect where sovereigns share alike
With those they rule, was she less kind to me—
Less cruel! High she fill'd for me the cup
Of bliss connubial-she has emptied it!
Parental love she set before me too,

And bade me banquet; scarce I tasted, ere
She snatch'd the feast away! My queen-my child!
Where are they! 'neath the ashes of my castle!
I sat upon their tomb one day-one night!
Then first I felt the thraldom of despair.
The despot he! He would not let me weep.
There were the fountains of my tears as dry
As they had never flow'd! My heart did swell
To bursting; yet no sigh would he let forth
With vent to give it ease. There had I sat
And died-but Heaven a stronger tyrant sent-
Hunger-that wrench'd me from the other's grasp,
And dragg'd me hither!-This is not the lesson
I set myself to con!

Re-enter Maude.

Maude. 'Tis noon and yet

No sign of Edwin! Dost thou mind thy task?
Look to't! and when the cakes are fit to turn,
Call, and I'll come!

Alf. I'll turn them, dame.

Maude. You will?

You'll break them!-Know I not your handy ways?
I would not suffer thee put finger to them!

Call, when 'tis time! You'll turn the cakes forsooth!
As likely thou could'st make the cakes as turn them!

[Goes out.

Alf. So much for poverty! Adversity's
The nurse for kings ;-but then the palace gates
Are shut against her! They would else have hearts
Of mercy oft'ner-gems not always dropp'd
In fortune's golden cup. What thought hath he
How hunger warpeth honesty, whose meal
Still waited on the hour? Can he perceive
How nakedness converts the kindly milk


Of nature into ice, to whom each change
Of season-yea, each shifting of the wind,
Presents his fitting suit? Knows he the storm
That makes the valiant quail, who hears it only
Through the safe wall-its voice alone can pierce;
And there talks comfort to him with the tongue,
That bids, without, the shelterless despair!
Perhaps he marks the mountain wave, and smiles
So high it rolls!-while on its fellow hangs
The fainting seaman glaring down at death
In the deep trough below! I will extract

Riches from penury; from sufferings
Coin blessings; that if I assume again
The sceptre, I may be the more a king
By being more a man!

Maude re-enters, goes towards the fire, lifts the cakes, goes to
Alfred, and holds them to him.

Maude. Is this your care?

Ne'er did you dream that meal was made of corn,
Which is not garner'd up until 'tis cut;

Which is not fit for use until 'tis ground;

Nor used then till kneaded into bread?

Ne'er knew you this? It seems you never did.

Else had you known the value of the bread;

Thought of the ploughman's toil: the reaper's sweat;
The miller's labour; and the housewife's thrift;

And not have left my barley cakes to burn


very cinders!

Alf. I forgot, good dame.

Maude. Forgot, good dame, forsooth! You ne'er forgot To eat my barley cakes!!

1. Name the cowherd's wife.

2. By what name is Alfred known to her?

3. Was the bow and arrow much used in warfare in Alfred's time?

4. Where is the place called Athelney? 5. For what purpose would Alfred be inaking his bow think you?

6. Show from some of his answers to Maude, that he was a good man?

7. What duty does Maude set him to ? 8. 1s Alfred displeased with her usage? 9. Trace Alfred's fortunes, as mentioned by him in his soliloquy?

10. Would Maude allow Alfred to turn the cakes?

Sheridan Knowles.

11. What lessons did Alfred learn from adversity?

12. What about hunger may the King in the palace never learn?

13. What about nakedness?

14. What about the dangers of the deep? 15. Explain the words "more a King, by being more a man."

16. When Maude finds the cakes burnt what does she do?

17. Through what processes must corn pass before it becomes bread?

18. What excuse does the king make for his neglect?

19. What says mother Maude to this?



THOMAS WOLSEY, a celebrated English Statesman, born at Ipswich, in Suffolk, in 1471, was the son of a butcher. He entered the church, and rose to be a Royal Chaplain and Dean of Lincoln, under Henry VII. Henry VIII., with whom he became a favourite, called him to the Privy Council, gave him several high preferments, and at last made him Archbishop of York, Chancellor of the Kingdom, and was governed by him in all things. He made a great number of enemies by his rapacity; his revenues were almost equal to those of the crown; he was, moreover, unjust and cruel in the exercise of his functions as legate, and created an ecclesiastical court, which was a second Inquisition. Wolsey attained to the height of power, and fell into the depths of disgrace. He was appointed Commissioner for the divorce of Henry VIII., and did not hasten the affair in accordance with the wishes of the monarch. He was accused before the Court of King's Bench of having exceeded his authority, was deprived of the seals and nearly all his revenues, and dismissed from the court. Being sent for to London again to answer new charges, he died on his road, at Leicester in 1530. Wolsey founded Christ Church College, Oxford.

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Enter Katherine, Dowager, sick; led between Griffith and


Grif. How does your grace?

O, Griffith, sick to death:
My legs like loaden branches, bow to the earth,
Willing to leave their burthen: reach a chair :—
So, now, methinks, I feel a little ease.

Didst thou not tell me, Griffith, as thou ledd'st me,
That the great child of honour, cardinal Wolsey,
Was dead?

Grif. Yes, madam: but I think your grace,
Out of the pain you suffer'd, gave no ear to 't.
Kath. Prithee, good Griffith, tell me how he died:
If well, he stepp'd before me, happily,

For my example.


Well, the voice goes, madam:

For after the stout earl Northumberland

Arrested him at York, and brought him forward (As a man sorely tainted) to his answer,

He fell sick suddenly, and grew so ill,

He could not sit his mule.


Alas, poor man!

Grif. At last, with easy roads, he came to Leicester, Lodg'd in the abbey; where the reverend abbot,

With all his convent, honourably receiv'd him ;
To whom he gave these words," O, father abbot,
An old man, broken with the storms of state,
Is come to lay his weary bones among ye;
Give him a little earth for charity!"

So went to bed: where eagerly his sickness
Pursued him still; and, three nights after this,
About the hour of eight, (which he himself
Foretold should be his last,) full of repentance,
Continual meditations, tears, and sorrows,
He gave his honours to the world again,
His blessed part to Heaven, and slept in peace.
Kath. So may he rest; his faults lie gently on him!
Yet thus far, Griffith, give me leave to speak him,
And yet with charity :-He was a man

Of an unbounded stomach, ever ranking
Himself with princes; one, that by suggestion
Tied all the kingdom: simony was fair play;
His own opinion was his law: I' the presence
He would say untruths; and be ever double,
Both in his words and meaning: He was never,
But where he meant to ruin, pitiful:

His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
But his performance, as he is now, nothing.
Of his own body he was ill, and gave

The clergy ill example.


Noble madam,

Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues
We write in water. May it please your highness

To hear me speak his good now?


I were malicious else.

Yes, good Griffith;

This cardinal,

Though from an humble stock, undoubtedly
Was fashion'd to much honour from his cradle.
He was a scholar and a ripe and good one;
Exceeding wise, fair spoken, and persuading :
Lofty, and sour, to them that lov'd him not;
But, to those men that sought him, sweet as summer.

1 Tied. There is a great controversy amongst the commentators whether this word means limited-infringed the liberties-or tithed. We have no doubt that the allusion is to the acquisition of wealth by the Cardinal.

And though he were unsatisfied in getting,
(Which was a sin,) yet in bestowing, madam,
He was most princely: Ever witness for him,
Those twins of learning, that he rais'd in you,
Ipswich, and Oxford! one of which fell with him,
Unwilling to outlive the good that did it;
The other, though unfinish'd, yet so famous,
So excellent in art, and still so rising,
That Christendom shall ever speak his virtue.
His overthrow heap'd happiness upon him;
For then, and not till then, he felt himself,
And found the blessedness of being little :
And, to add greater honours to his age
Than man could give him, he died fearing God.
Kath. After my death I wish no other herald,
No other speaker of my living actions,
To keep mine honour from corruption,
But such an honest chronicler as Griffith.
Whom I most hated living, thou hast made me,
With thy religious truth, and modesty,

Now in his ashes honour: Peace be with him!

1. When and where was Wolsey born? 2. What was his father?

3. What offices held he in the time of Henry VII.?

4. What was he made by Henry VIII.? 5. What about his revenues or income?

6. How came he to make a great many enemies!


7. What was the cause of his disgrace by Henry VIII.?

8. Under what circumstances did his death take place?

9. What seat of learning did he found? 10. What character does Katherine give of Wolsey?

11. What character does Griffith give of him on the other hand?

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