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When the troops had retired, the Macdonalds crept out of the caverns of Glencoe, ventured back to the spot where the huts had formerly stood, collected the scorched corpses from among the smoking ruins, and performed some rude rites of sepulture. The tradition runs that the hereditary bard of the tribe took his seat on a rock which overhung the place of slaughter, and poured forth a long lament over his murdered brethren and his desolate home. Eighty years later that sad dirge was still chanted by the people of the valley.
Notes. — The Highland Clans. — Had hastened, in great terror, to Inverary,
been the supporters of James II. King and there the sheriff, on the 6th January,
William.—Prince of Orange, the repre- received his oath, which was duly fbr
sentative of Protestantism in Europe. warded to Edinburgh, but was there
He was the son of William, Prince of suppressed, by a dark intrigue of the
Orange, and Mary, daughter of Charles Master of Stair, so that it was never
I.; born at the Hague, 1650; died at made known to the Council in Scotland
Kensington, from a fall from his horse, or to King William. It had, in fact,
1702. Queen Mary,—daughter of James been determined by Mac Ian's enemies,
II. Her mother was Anne Hyde, beforehand, to murder him and all his
daughter of the Earl of Clarendon, clan. Argyle.—The Earl of, son of the
who wrote "The History of the Eebel- Earl of Argyle, beheaded in 1685, but
lion;" born, 1662; died without chil- himself a weak, worthless man. Bread
dren, of small-pox, in 1694. The New albane.—Earl of, a Highland chief, head
Government.—That of William and Mary, of a branch of the Campbells, a treach
who had succeeded James II., in 1688. erous, dark-souled man. The Master of
Mac Ian.—The name by which the chief Stair.—Secretary for Scotland, eldest son
of the Macdonalds of Glencoe was known. of the Earl of Stair. Glencoe.—A mountain
Glengarry. Keppoch and Lochiel.—High- valley, or pass, in Argyleshire. Gaelic.
land chiefs. Mac Ian had not submitted.— —Celtic. Bedouins. — Arabs. Hamilton.
He had gone to Fort William on the A lieutenant-colonel. The massacre of
31st December, the last day allowed, Glencoe is still spoken of with horror in
to submit, but there was no magistrate Argyleshire. The Rebellions of 1715 and
there to whom he could do so. He then 1745 were, in part, wild revenge for it.
Composition.—Write out an abstract of this lesson.
A MAN-OF-WAE OF LAST CENTUEY—Mrs. Oliphant.
An admirable writer of the day. She is the authoress of many works of fiction of great merit, and also of "Historical Sketches of the Last Century," from which the following is taken. It refers to the voyage of Lord Anson round the world. He sailed from England on September 18th, 1740, and returned in 1744.
Before this time scurvy, most dreaded of all the dangers of a long sea-voyage, had made its fatal appearance among them. With their feeble old pensioners and rapidly made-up crews, sickness had been rife in the ships from the very beginning of the voyage; and it is evident that Anson's good sense and good feeling had forestalled sanitary science so far as to do all that was possible for the ventilation and cleanliness of his crowded vessels. So early as November the sickly condition of the crews and the want of air between the decks had been
reported to him; and, by the time they arrived at St. Catherine's it was found necessary to give the Centurion a " thorough cleansing, smoking it between the decks, and, after all, washing every part well with vinegar,"—a precaution made needful by the "noisome stench" and vermin, which had become ." intolerably offensive." During their terrible beatings about Cape
Horn the scurvy took stronger and stronger hold upon them. In April they lost forty-three men from it on board the Centurion alone; in May double that number; in June, before they reached Juan Fernandez, "the disease extended itself so prodigiously that, after the loss of about two hundred men, we could not at last muster more than six foremast men in a watch capable of duty." The officers themselves (and, still more remarkably, the officers' servants) seem to have escaped the attacks of this disease, fortified either by the tremendous burden of responsibility, or by that curious force of high spirit and finer mettle which carries so many absolutely weaker men through the perils which slay the strongest. Our chaplain records the characteristics of the disease with that grave and calm simplicity which distinguishes his style, revealing its full horrors, yet never dwelling unduly on them. Some of its victims, he describes, lay in their hammocks eating and drinking, in cheerful spirits, and with vigorous voices; yet in a moment, if but moved from one place to another, still in their hammocks, died out of hand, all vital energy being gone from them. Some who thought themselves still able for an attempt at duty would fall down and die among their comrades on attempting a stronger pull or more vigorous strain than usual. Every day, while winds and waves, roaring and threatening round, held over the whole shipload another kind of death, must the dim-eyed mariners, with failing strength and sinking spirit, have gathered to the funeral of their dead.
By this time their companion ships had all disappeared, and the Centurion alone, with its sick and dying, tossed about almost at the will of the waves, upon that desolate sea. At last there came a moment when, destruction being imminent, "the master and myself," our brave chaplain, undertook the management of the helm, while every available soul on board set to work to repair and set the sails and secure the masts, to take advantage once more, in desperation, of a favourable change of wind. This was their last storm; but not even then were the troubles of this terrible voyage at an end. They missed Juan Fernandez by one of those mistakes which come in with bewildering certainty at such moments of desperation to enhance all sufferings. "The commodore himself was strongly persuaded that he saw it," but overpowered by the scepticism of his officers, changed his course in over-precaution. Then at last the high hearts of the expedition gave way. The water was failing, to add to all the rest; men were dying five and six every day. "A general dejection prevailed among us," says the historian. It was at this moment, when hope and heart were well nigh gone, that the island of their hopes, all smiling in the sullen seas, with soft woods and grassy slopes and sweet streams of running water, suddenly burst like a glimpse of Paradise upon their hungering eyes.
Notes.—Be/ore this time.—Before sight- two years of the voyage. November, ing Brazil. They had been healthy as —1740. St. Catherine's.—An island off far as Madeira, but, crossing the At- the province of Brazil of the same name. lantic, all kinds of sea diseases had The Centurion.—Anson's flag-ship. C'pe broken out violently in the ships. Born. — The south extreme of South Scurvy.—A fearful disease, caused solely America. They rounded The Horn in by the want of fresh vegetables for a April, 1741. Juan Fernandez.—An island, length of time. Lemon juice or vegeta- 500 miles from the coast of Chili, in bles wholly prevent it. It is a poisoning the Pacific. 25 miles by 4. Alexander of the blood, which swells the gums till Selkirk. — From whose story Robinson the teeth drop out, forms ulcers on the Crusoe was drawn, lived here alono joints and body, and makes old wounds for four years and four months, rebreak out afresh, and indeed rots the turning to England in 1711. Our Chapman away while living. It is now un- lain.—Richard Walter, M.A., who wrote known in the navy. Pensioners, &c.— the account of the voyage. After all, The The ships had been manned in great Centurion took Spanish ships and treasure part by invalid old soldiers and the like. tothevalueof £1,000,000! Anson was born Two men in every five died in the first at Colwich, Staffordshire, 1697, died 1762.
THE BEETLE.—Thomas Carlyle.
Poor hobbling Beetle, need'st not haste;
Should Traveller, Traveller thus alarm?
Not foot of mine shall -work thee harm.
Who knows what errand grave thou hast,
Lodged under pebble, there they fast,
Man's bread lies 'mong the feet of men;
For cark and moil sufficient cause!
In Beetledom are no Poor-Laws.
And if thy Wife and thou agree
I swear, the Public Sympathy
Thy fortune meriteth, poor Beetle.
Alas! and I should do thee skaith,
Who judg'd thee worthy pains of death ?—
Pas3 on, poor Beetle, venerable
Art thou, were wonders ne'er so rife,
Thou hast what Bel to Tower of Babel
Also of "ancient family,"
Though small in size, of feature dark!
Thy Ancestor—was in Noah's Ark.
EDWARD THE CONFESSOR.—Dean Stanley.
Eight hundred years have passed to-day since the dedication of Westminster Abbey was completed; when, like the Jewish Temple, it was purified, and adorned, and consecrated, in the place of the ruin and desolation which had well nigh swept away the vestiges of older times.
These are the simple words of the Saxon Chronicle which describe this event: "At midwinter King Edward came to Westminster, and had the minster there consecrated, which he had himself built to the honour of God and St. Peter, and all God's saints." It was at Christmas-time, when, as usual in that age, the Court assembled in the adjoining palace of Westminster, that the long-desired dedication was to be accomplished. The king had been for years possessed with the thought. Like David, he "could not suffer his eyes to sleep, nor the temples of his head to take any rest, until he had found out a place" for the great sanctuary which was henceforth to be the centre of his kingdom.
On Christmas-day, according to custom, he appeared in state wearing his royal crown; but on Christmas-night his strength, prematurely exhausted, gave way. The mortal illness, long expected, set in. He struggled through the next three days, and though, when the festival of the Holy Innocents arrived, he was already too weak to take any active part in the ceremony, yet he aroused himself on that day, to sign the charter of the foundation; and at his orders the queen, with all the magnates of the kingdom, gathered within the walls, now venerable from age, then fresh from the workman's tools, to give to them the first consecration—the first which, according to the belief of that time, the spot had ever received from mortal hands. By that effort the enfeebled frame and overstrained spirit of the king was worn out. On the evening of Innocents'-Day he sank into a deadly stupor. The sudden and startling rally took place on the eighth day of his illness, on the 5th of January. The recollections of the teachers of his youth, the dim forebodings of approaching disaster and change, found vent in a few strange, hardly coherent sentences that burst from his lips. Then followed a calm, during which, with words, very variously reported, respecting the queen, the succession, and the hope that he was passing "from a land of death to a land of life,"—in the chamber which long afterwards