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spoil of the silkworm, she is decked in innocence, a far better wearing. She doth not, with lying long in bed, spoil both her complexion and conditions: nature hath taught her, too, immoderate sleep is rust to the soul; she rises therefore with Chanticleer, her dame's cock, and at night makes the lamb her curfew. In milking a cow, and straining the teats through her fingers, it seems that so sweet a milk-press makes the milk whiter or sweeter; for never came almond-glore* or aromatic ointment on her palm to taint it. The golden ears of corn fall and kiss her feet when she reaps them, as if they wished to be bound and led prisoners by the same hand that felled them. Her breath is her own, which scents all the year long of June, like a new-made haycock. She makes her hand hard with labour, and her heart soft with pity; and when the winter evenings fall early, sitting at her merry wheel, she sings defiance to the giddy wheel of fortune. She doth all things with so sweet a grace, it seems ignorance will not suffer her to do ill, being her mind is to do well. She bestows her year's wages at next fair, and in choosing her garments counts no bravery in the world like decency. The garden and bee-hive are all her physic and surgery, and she lives the longer for it. She dares go alone, and unfold sheep in the night, and fears no manner of ill, because she means none; yet, to say truth, she is never alone, but is still accompanied with old songs, honest thoughts, and prayers, but short ones; yet they have their efficacy in that they are not palled with ensuing idle cogitations. Lastly, her dreams are ever chaste; only a Friday's dream is all her superstition; that she conceals for fear of anger. Thus lives she; and all her care is she may die in the spring time, to have store of flowers stuck upon her winding sheet.
The River Thames.
SIR JOHN DENHAM lived from 1615 to 1668, and is known as one of the happiest of reflective and descriptive poets. The present quotation is from his poem on Cooper's Hill, in which he has indulged in some pleasing ruminations upon what Sir Roger de Coverley terms "the finest river in the world."
My eye, descending from the hill, surveys
* i. e. Almond-paste.
↑ "Being" is frequently used by writers of this date for "since," "seeing that." ti.e. Finery.
Though with those streams he no remembrance hold,
No unexpected inundations spoil
The mower's hopes, nor mock the plowman's toil,
Character of Godfrey de Bouillon.
WILLIAM OF MALMESBURY. WILLIAM OF MALMESBURY, one of the most diligent, as well as the most learned, of English chroniclers, was born about the year 1095, and was educated in the convent from which he takes his name. He is the author of more than twenty works, some of them of a theological, but the majority of an historical character. The most important among these productions, from which the subjoined extract has been chosen, as a specimen of his terse, nervous style, is the "Chronicle of the Kings of England, from the earliest period to the reign of King Stephen." William of Malmesbury died during, or immediately subsequent to, the year 1143.
King Godfrey takes the lead in my commendation: he was the son of Eustace, Count of Boulogne, of whom I have spoken in the time of king Edward, but was still more ennobled on the mother's side, as by that line he was descended from Charlemagne. For his mother, named Ida, daughter of the ancient Godfrey, Duke of Lorraine, had a brother called Godfrey, after his father, surnamed Boiard. This was at the time when Robert Friso, of whom I have made mention above, on the death of Florence, married his widow Gertrude ; advancing Theodoric, his son-in-law, to the succession of the duchy. Boiard could not endure this; but expelling Friso, subjected the country to his own will. Friso, unable to revenge himself by war, did it by stratagem, effecting the death of his enemy, through the agency of his Flemings. The son-inlaw thus succeeded to the duchy, by means of his father-in-law. The wife of this Godfrey was the Marchioness Matilda, who, on her husband's death, bravely retained the duchy in opposition to the emperor; more especially in Italy, for of Lorraine and the hither-countries he got possession. Ida then, as I began to relate, animated her son Godfrey with great hopes of attaining to the Earldom of Lorraine; for the paternal inheritance had devolved on her eldest son Eustace, the youngest, Baldwin, being yet a boy. Godfrey, on arriving at a sufficient age to bear arms, dedicated his services to the Emperor Henry, and acquiring the friendship of that prince by strenuous exertions, he received from the emperor's singular liberality the whole of Lorraine as a recompense. Hence it came, that when the quarrel arose between the pope and Henry, he went with the latter to the siege of Rome; was the first to break through that part of the wall which had been assigned for him to attack, thereby facilitating the entrance of the besiegers. Being in extreme perspiration, and panting with heat, he entered a subterraneous vault which he found in his way, and having there appeased the violence of his thirst by a too abundant draught of wine, it brought on a quartan fever. Others say that he fell a victim to poisoned wine, as the Romans, and men of that country, are wont to poison whole casks. Others report, that aportion of the walls fell to his lot,
where the river Tiber exhales destructive vapours in the morning; that by this fatal pest, all his soldiers, with the exception of ten, perished; and that himself, losing his nails and his hair, never entirely recovered. But be it which it might of these things, it appears that he was never after free from a slow fever, until, on hearing the report of the expedition to Jerusalem, he made a vow to go thither, if God would deign to restore his health. The moment this vow was made, the strength of the duke revived; so that, recovering apace, he shook off disease from his limbs, and rising with expanded breast, as it were, from years of decrepitude, shone forth with renovated youth. Grateful for the mercies of God thus showered down upon him, he went to Jerusalem the very first, or among the first, leading a numerous army to the war. And though he commanded a hardy and experienced band, yet none was esteemed readier to attack, or more efficient in the combat than himself. Indeed, it is known that, at the siege of Antioch, with a Lorraine sword, he cut asunder a Turk, who had demanded single combat, and that one half of the man lay panting on the ground, while the horse, at full speed, carried away the other; so firmly did the miscreant sit. Another, who attacked him, he clave asunder from the neck to the groin, by taking aim at his head with a sword; nor did the dreadful stroke stop here, but cut entirely through the saddle, and the backbone of the horse. I have heard a truthful man declare, that he had witnessed what I here subjoin, during the siege. A soldier of the duke's had gone out to forage, and, being attacked by a lion, avoided destruction for some time, by the interposition of his shield. Godfrey, grieved at this sight, transfixed the savage animal with a hunting spear. Wounded, and growing fiercer from the pain, it turned against the prince with such violence as to hurt his leg with the iron which projected from the wound; and had he not hastened with his sword to rip it up, this pattern of valour must have fallen a victim to the fury of a wild beast. Renowned from such successes, he was exalted to be King of Jerusalem, more especially because he was conspicuous in rank and courage without being arrogant. His dominion was small and confined, containing, save the few surrounding towns, scarce any cities. For the king's illness, which attacked him immediately after the Babylonish war, caused a cessation of warlike enterprise, so that he made no acquisitions; yet by able management, he so well restrained the rapacity of the barbarians for the whole of that year, that no portion of his territory was lost. It is also reported that the king, from being unused to a state of indolence, fell again into his original fever; but I conjecture that God, in his own good time, chose early to translate to a better kingdom, a soul rendered acceptable to him, and tried by so many labours, lest wickedness should change his heart, or deceit beguile his understanding. Revolving time thus completing a reign of one year, he died placidly, and was buried on Mount Golgotha; a king as invincible in death as he had formerly been in battle; often kindly repressing the