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Harold. And it shall not ! Chains from him
William (smiles). It trips not as your tongue were native soil,
Harold. I do, and thank you, William ; tho', by ’r lady,
William. They were my holy chaplain's messengers.
Harold. I like not chaplains with more power than mine,
He is in vows
Harold. Hang him, I like not vows, that whet us more
William. I trust, then, cousin, no vow
Harold. Tush ! 't is of priests I spoke ; for you this heart Beats as of old with love and reverence.
William. And mine to you. Ah! they were happy times When we went hawking over all that plainIts name escapes me—where the Druid stones Weigh in such mass upon the flight of Time That he seems moveless since a thousand years.
Harold. Salisbury,—'t is a ground to try a hawk. 'T might task an eagle's wing. William.
And you remember
How chafed the gallant steed that bore my child,
Harold. Heaven send its blessings on her childish head !
You wrong her, Harold,
SCENE II. A fortnight has passed amid the amusements of the Court of Rouen. Adela has been compelled by her Father and Lanfranc to extort a promise from her lover Harold, under threat, if she refuses, of being sent to a Convent.
Leave the result
Adela. What makes the Pope with Harold ? Is his voice
Lanfranc. Rome's walls receive the lightest whispered word
And leave the path himself
But to happiness
lead a life of sweeter joy
Adela. Is that her doom?
Who will not serve the church
Adela. I see there is no mercy in that eye.
Enter Harold. Harold.
Adela. How know you that she smiles ?
I feel it, lady,
Ah! kind Harold,
Harold. I meant them not for praise. Praise is but foam
Adela. And yet my father doubts what truth there lies
Doubt it who likes,
Which be they?
Adela Soar not too high, dear Harold, or poor earth
Harold. Who calls the circlet woven by England's might
Adela. My father-
Let him scorn it
Farewell, then, Harold !
What words of mine have power
Adela. You hesitate-Oh ! Harold, give your hand
you will aid my father in his aims.
Harold. Why, what are oaths when given in guise like this,
Adela. No, not a sword, --a loving—trusting heart.
Will you swear ?
That you slay me rather !
Lift your hand, dear Harold
Adela. You will swear to aid my father's claims
Harold. And it will please you, gentle Adela, —
Then I swear.
Priests, &c. Lanfranc in front.
29.-THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS.
C. MAC FARLANE.
William was hunting in the forest near Rouen, with a great company of knights, esquires, and noble dames and damsels, when a messenger just arrived from England accosted him, and announced the death of the Confessor and the coronation of Harold. The bow dropped out of the hand of the Norman duke, and he stood for a space like one petrified. He then fastened and undid his mantle, speaking no word, and looking so troubled and fierce that none durst speak to him. Then throwing himself into a skiff, he crossed the Seine, and went into his palace, still silent. Striding into the great hall, he threw himself into a chair, and, wrapping his head in his mantle, he bent his body towards the earth. The courtiers gazed upon him with amazement and alarm, and asked one another in whispers what this could mean. “Sirs,” said William de Breteuil, the seneschal, “ye will soon know the cause of our lord's anxiety.” At a few words spoken by the seneschal, the duke recovered from his reverie, removed the mantle from his face, and listened to one of his barons, who advised him to remind Harold of the oaths he had sworn, and demand from him the immediate surrender of the Confessor's crown.
Harold replied, that the crown of England was not his to give away.
When William the Norman prepared to invade England (which he did forthwith), he had reached the mature age of forty-two. He called to his aid not only his subjects of Normandy, but men from Maine and Anjou, from Poictou and Brittany, from the country of the French king and from Flanders, from Aquitaine and from Burgundy, from Piedmont beyond the Alps, and from the German countries beyond the river Rhine. The idle adventurers of one-half of Europe flocked to his standard. Some of these men demanded regular pay in money, others nothing but a passage across the Channel, and all the booty they might make; some of the chiefs demanded territory in England, while others simply bargained to have a rich English wife allotted to them. William sold beforehand a bishopric in England for a ship and twenty men-at-arms. The pope gave the Conqueror a holy licence to invade England, upon condition that the Norman duke should hold his conquest as a fief of the church ; and, together with a bull, a consecrated banner, and a ring of great price, containing one of the hairs of St. Peter, were sent from Rome into Normandy. So formidable an armament had not been collected in Western Europe for many centuries. The total number of vessels amounted to about three thousand, of which six hundred or seven hundred were of a superior order. When the expedition set sail, William led the van in a vessel which had been presented to him for the occasion by his wife Matilda : the vanes of the ship were gilded, the sails were of different bright colours, the three lions—the arms of Normandy-were painted in divers places, and the sculptured figure-head was a child with a bent bow, the arrow sceming ready to fly against the hostile and perjured land of England. The consecrated banner sent from Rome floated at the main-top-mast. This ship sailed faster than all the rest, and in the course of the night it left the whole flect far astern. Early in the moming the duke ordered a sailor to the mast-head to see if the other ships were coming up. “I can see nothing but the sea and sky," said the mariner; and thereupon they lay-to. To keep the crew and the soldiers on board in good heart, William ordered them a sumptuous breakfast, with warm wine strongly spiced. After this refection the mariner was again sent aloft, and this time he said he could make out four vessels in the distance; but mounting a third time, he shouted out with a merry voice, “Now I see a forest of masts and sails." Within a few hours the re-united Norinan fleet came to anchor or the Sussex coast. At that particular point the coast was flat, and the country behind it marshy and unpicturesque ; but a little to the left stood the noble Roman walls