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bore his name in the Palace of Westminster,—he breathed his last. A horror, it is described, as of great darkness, filled the -whole island. With him it seemed as if the happiness, the liberty, the strength of the English People had vanished away.
So dark were the forebodings, so urgent the dangers which appeared to press, that on the very next day, while Duke Harold was crowned in the old Cathedral of St. Paul's, the dead king was buried within the newly-finished Abbey—the first
of the hundreds who have been since laid there round his own honoured grave.
Let us see exactly what the character of Edward the Confessor was. On the one hand, if we look at the details of bis history, it is hardly possible to imagine a figure more unlike, more incongruous to our own time than was this quaint, irresolute, guileless king, who alone, of all the canonized English saints, rests undisturbed in his ancient shrine. We know him. well, as he is described to us by his contemporaries. "We see that grave, gentle figure, old even as a child, moving slowly along with downcast eyes. We recognise him at a distance by the singular appearance of his full, flushed, rose-red face, contrasted with the milky whiteness of his wavy hair and beard. As we draw nearer, we hear those startling peals of strange unearthly laughter, which broke through his usual silence. We see those thin pale hands, those long transparent fingers, with which, as it was believed at the time, and for many generations afterwards, he had the power of stroking away the diseases of his subjects. We are astonished, as we look into his outer manner of life, at finding a prince whose time is equally divided between devotional exercises and the passionate pursuit of hunting—when not in church, spending day after day with his hawks, or cheering on his hounds. We find, as we penetrate into his inner life, a childishness of thought and action, which at times turned into a harsh disregard of those to whom he was most nearly bound, and at times into the most fanciful extravagances. His opinions, his practices, his prevailing motives, are such as in our own times, not only not in England, but in no part of Christian Europe, would be shared by any educated teacher or any educated ruler. But, through, and across, and in spite of these immeasurable divergences, we yet can recognise an innocent, child-like faith, which was the secret cause of the charm exercised by him over his countrymen then, and which may flourish still in our altered age, and has always an appointed place in the economy of God's ever-moving world. It is to his faith in the unseen world, amidst whatever ignorance and darkness, that we owe this complex structure. He spoke the word, and it was transformed into stone; and even in some of its most peculiar features, the institution still perpetuates the thought of its first founder: "Through faith," we may well say, "he has stopped the mouth of Time, quenched the violence of enemies, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness been made strong."
Notes.—Westminster Alley was consecrated on Innocents' Day, 28th Dec, 1065. Edward died on the eighth day :liter, January 5th, 1066. Jewish Temple teas Purified, dsc.—The purification of the Temple at Jerusalem under Judas Maccabaeus, B.c. 164, after it had been profaned by Antiochus IV. (Epiphanes, The Illustrious), King of Syria. He had offered swine (!) on its altars, put a stop to the daily sacrifice, extinguished the lamp in the Temple, and the three fires that burned day and night on the altar. The Feast of Dedication (John x. 22) commemorates this great event in Jewish history. It is still observed, and lasts eight days, from the 25th day of the eighth month. Saxon Chronicle; — A national record of events, probably begun by King Alfred, but continued from year to year till the time of the Norman Conquest and for three generations after it. It was the great year-book of the nation, and is now known as The AngloSaxon Chronicle. Its last record is of the Accession of Henry II. in 1154. Alfred was born 849, died 900. Duke Harold.—Duke was a Norman, not an English title, and has here been given by a slip of the pen. Harold was an Earl not a Duke. He was the son of Earl Godwyne, and had been the real King of England under the monastic Edward.
He was chosen King at Edward's death, by the Witan, or Council of Wise Men, of England, but reigned only a few months, falling at the great battle of Hastings, Oct. 14, 1066. Innocents' Day,—The day in the ecclesiastical calendar commemorating Herod's slaughter of the children at Bethlehem. St. Paul's.—Begun in 603. Partly burned in 962. Rebuilt in 1087. Burned 1666. Rebuilt in 1675-1710 by Sir Christopher "Wren (1632-1723).
Stroking away Diseases.—The practice of the reigning prince touching the scrofulous, to cure them, began with Edward the Confessor, and continued for nearly seven hundred years. It ceased with Queen Anne's death in 1714. Dr. Johnson remembered having been "touched" by her. In France the superstition continued in force till 1776. Charles II. in twenty years "touched" 92,007 persons for the "king's evil"— the name given to scrofula, from this custom. Cromwell "touched" for it. Francis I., after the battle of Pavia, when a prisoner in Madrid, "touched" a great number; and on one day, Easter Sunday, 1686, Louis XIV. "touched" no fewer than 1,600 persons. A belief in some mysterious sanctity being connected with an anointed king was, no doubt, the source of this strange credulity.
A Flock of sheep that leisurely pass by
Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure sky;
I've thought of all by turns, and still I lie Sleepless, and soon the small birds' melodies Must hear, first uttered from my orchard trees,
And the first cuckoo's melancholy cry.
Even thus last night and two nights more I lay,
So do not let mo wear to-night away:
Come, blessed barrier between day and day,
LESSONS ON SPECIFIC SUBJECTS.*
THE MECHANICAL POWERS.
1. The name of Mechanical Powers is given to the simple elements which when put together make machinery. They are the separate principles or applications of mechanical power of which all machines are only varied comhinations. They are six in number—three being called Primary, from their not being modifications of any others, and three Secondary, from their being modifications of the three Primary powers. The two classes are—
1. The Lever. 2. The Wheel and Axle, which are
3. The Pulley. modifications of the lever.
1. The Inclined Plane. 5. The Wedge, which is a modification
of the inclined plane. C. The Screw, which also is a modification of the inclined plane.
2. The Lever. The word Lever is simply the French verb lever, to lift, used as an English noun, and is the name given to a mechanical power employed to aid in lifting heavy weights, or in overcoming resistance. Levers may be straight or bent, simple or compound, but it is with the straight or simple lever we have here to do.
In examining the properties of this mechanical power, it simplifies matters to leave out of notice the weight of the lever itself, and to think of it also as absolutely rigid, that is, as incapable of being bent. The weight and the extent of flexibility all levers must have, would only confuse the mind in this inquiry, by the allowances that would need to be made for them.
3. It is of course necessary, to enable us to make use of a lever, that it have a fixed point on which it turns, and this is called the fulcrumt or prop. When a labourer wishes to force a largo stone out of its bed by the help of a crowbar, and puts something below the crowbar to give him what he calls "purchase," the body he thus puts below it is a fulcrum. The crowbar, which is a lever, is thus provided with a prop, and that prop is the fixed point on which the crowbar turns, when the stone is forced up.
4. There are three kinds of straight or simple lever, their differences
* These Lessons, besides being closely studied in detail, should be used as Reading Lessons. The subjects are those appointed by Government for the Sixth Standard. + Irom Latin ftitcio, to prop.
W is a weight at one end; F is the fulcrum or prop; and F is the moving power by which the weight at W is to be raised. The arrow shows the direction in which the moving power is to be used.
consisting in the position of the moving power and of the resisting power, with respect to the fulcrum.
(1.) The first kind of lever is very common. It includes all levers in which the fulcrum comes between the moving power and the weight to be moved. When a labourer lifts a heavy block of stone by the help of a crowbar, or when you stir up the fire with a poker, or dig the soil with a spade, the crowbar, the poker, and the spade, are really levers of this kind. The prop put below the crowbar is its fulcrum, as explained above, the fulcrum of the poker is the bar of the grate on which the poker presses when you force up the coals with it, and the edge of the soil at the back of the spade, when you pull the handle towards you to loosen the spadeful you wish to lift, is the fulcrum by which the lever of the spade handle acts. Fig. 1 is an illustration of this form of lever.
Familiar illustrations of this first kind of lever are also seen in many of our common instruments; common pincers, for example, or scissors, are
merely two levers with the hinge or pin which holds them together acting as the fulcrum of both. The resistance is in the objects put between the nippers or blades; and the power by which it is overcome is applied at the handles.
The common balance, in all its forms, is also an illustration of this kind of lever. Here, for instance, (Fig. 2) is a weighing machine called the steel-yard, which was the form of balance used long ago by the Romans. It is still sometimes used amongst ourselves.
The machine used on railways and in coal-yards is not manufactured in quite the same form, but the principle is just the same.
W is the scale into which the weight to be moved, or balanced, is put; 8 is simply a hook by which it is attached to the lever; C is a sharpedged pivot or fulcrum on which the beam of iron used to weigh with is balanced;
and P is a weight which is moved nearer or farther away from the fulcrum, as the thing weighed is lighter or heavier.
The distance which the weight P has to be moved from the fulcrum,