and the pillage of England, to every man of tall and robust stature who would serve either with the lance, the sword, or the cross-bow; and a multitude poured in from all parts, from far and near, from north and from south ; from Maine and from Anjou, from Poitou and from Brittany, from France and from Flanders, from Aquitaine and from Burgundy, from Piedmont and the borders of the Rhine ; all the adventurers by profession, all the brave and vagabond spirits of Europe, came eagerly and gladly at his call. Some were knights and captains of war; others simple foot-soldiers and servants at arms,'—such was the phrase of the time.-- These demanded money in hand; those, their passage, and all the booty they could gain. Many wished for an estate in England, a domain, a castle, a town—or simply bargained for a Saxon wife.


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“ And during the spring and the summer, in all parts of Normandy, workmen of all kinds were employed in constructing and in equipping vessels. Here were the blacksmiths and the armourers fabricating lances and coats of mail—and there were the porters incessantly carrying arms from the workshops to the ships--and during these preparations William presented himself at St. Germain's to the King of the French, and saluting him with a deference which his ancestors had not always paid to the kings of France: • You are my seigneur,' said he ; 'if it please you to aid me, and that God give me grace to obtain my right in England, I promise to do homage to you for that realm, as if I held it of you.' Philip assembled his council of barons and of freemen, without whom he could decide no important affair, and the barons were of opinion that he could in nowise aid William in his conquest.

6 . You know,' said they to their king, 'how little the Normans obey you now--they will obey you less if they have England. Besides, it will be a great expense to aid the duke in his enterprise ; and if it fail we shall have the English for our mortal enemies.'

66 William, thus treated, retired ill contented from Philip.


6. The rendezvous for the vessels and men at arms was at the mouth of the Dive, a river which falls into the sea between the Seine and the Orme. For a month the winds were contrary, and the Norman fleet was retained in the harbour. At length a southern breeze carried it to St. Valery near Dieppe. There the bad weather recommenced, and it was necessary to cast anchor and wait for several days.—During this delay the tempest shattered several vessels, and many of their crew perished. And at this accident, murmurings arose among the troops, already fatigued with their long encampment. The soldiers, idle in their tents, passed the day in conversing upon the dangers of the voyage, and the difficulties of the enterprise they were undertaking.

" • There has yet been no battle, they said, “and already several of our companions are no more ;' and then they calculated and examined the number of dead bodies which the sea had thrown upon the sands. And these reports abated the ardour of the adventurers who had enlisted with so much zeal ; so that some broke their

engagement and retired. “ In the mean time William, in order to check a disposition so fatal to his projects, had the dead buried secretly, and increased the supply of victuals and strong liquors. But the same thoughts of regret and discouragement still recurred. Very foolish,' said the soldiers, “very foolish is the man who pretends to conquer another's land! God is offended at such designs, and now he shows his anger by refusing us a favourable wind ! At last, perhaps from real superstition, perhaps for the mere purpose of distracting their followers from unwelcome thoughts, the Norman chiefs conducted the relics of St. Valery in great pomp and with a long procession through the camp. All the army began to pray; and the following night the fleet had the wind they wished for.

" And now, four hundred ships with large sails and upwards of one thousand boats of transport, started from the shore at the same signal. The vessel of William took the lead, and he carried at his mast's head the banner sent from the pope, and a cross upon his flag. The sails were of divers colours, and in many parts of them were painted the three lions, the arms of the Normans; and at the prow was carved the face of a child carrying a bent bow with an arrow ready to fly forth. This vessel, a better sailer than the rest, headed the expedition during the day, and at night was far in the advance. On the following morning the duke bade a sailor climb to the top of the mainmast and see if there were any other vessels coming. "I only see,' said the sailor, the sky and the sea,'—and thereupon the anchor was cast.

“ The duke affected a gayety that was to put down any appearance of care or fear among his friends, and he ordered a sumptuous repast and wines highly spiced. Anon, the sailor mounted again; and this time he said he saw four vessels, and presently afterward he cried, • I see a forest of masts and sails.'

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“Now while this great armament was preparing in Normandy, Harold the Norwegian, faithful to his engagements towards the Saxon Tostig, had assembled his soldiers and some hundreds of vessels of war and transports. The fleet remained some time at anchor, and the Norwegian army awaiting the signal for departure, encamped on the coast, as the Norman army had encamped at the mouth of the Dive.

“ There also, vague impressions of discouragement and inquietude manifested themselves, and under appearances yet more gloomy and conformable with the visionary imagination of the north. Many soldiers thought that they received prophetic revelations in their

sleep. One imagined that he saw his companions debarking on the English coast, and in presence of the English army; and that before the front of that army a woman of gigantic stature galloped—a wolf for her steed. The wolf held in its jaws a human corpse dripping with blood, and as the wolf devoured one corpse the woman gave it another.

A second soldier dreamed that the fleet was departing, and that a cloud of ravens, and vultures, and other birds of


upon the masts; and that on a neighbouring rock sat a female, holding a naked sword, counting and regarding the ships. “Go,' said she to the birds ; 'go without fear-you will have to feastyou will have to choose--for I go with them-I go there.' And his followers remarked, not without terror, that when Harold put his foot upon the royal.chaloupe,' the weight of his body pressed it down into the water more than usual."

This is a picture where the skill of the artist is conspicuous in the ease of his work.

In these two or three pages you find almost every thing which could be told you characteristic of the time described. You learn the nature of the Norman troops, the manner in which they enrolled, the hopes which they entertained, the very arms with which they fought; their restlessness and their superstition. And by the side of the Normans come yet more darkly out the savage and mysterious dispositions of the Norwegian bands ; and you see at once that William was a great commander, and a valiant and crafty man. A child, who read the passage I have cited, would be impressed with all these facts; and yet there has been no laying down the law, no teaching, no prosing, no explaining.

And now let us turn from this eloquent description of the feudal time to the awful narrative of our own. hat us take up M. Thiers !* For the somewhat sol

* La Revolution Française.

emn and chivalric gravity which suited the chronicles of the olden day, you have the vivid colouring, the rush of thought and style, the glow and flash of expression, which, startling at every step, carries you with an appropriate pace over thrones, and over constitutions, and over the mangled bodies of noble and mistaken men, down the fiery and precipitous path of a revolution destined to destroy. And here you see Mirabeau, “ terrible in the ugliness of his genius,"* hesitating (his great brow labouring with his idea), and then bursting on to the expression that he sought, his words falling like a torrent from chasm to chasm, violent, irresistible, abrupt. And here you see the gigantic Danton, at the head of the dark multitude which stormed the Tuileries on the 10th of August,f waving that terrible and daring hand, a fatal signal to the proscribed! And lo! Marat,& hid during the attack in some obscure retreat, has come out since the victory, and marches, flourishing a sabre through the town, at the head of the fierce Marseillians, while “ the neat and respectable-looking" Robespiere delivers to "the Jacobins" one of his doctoral harangues.” I hardly know any passage in history more powerful than that one in vol. iii. page 53, which begins “ La terreur regnait dans Paris . .

It is not eloquent in point of diction. The narrative of those dreadful days, which Danton commenced by the declaration, “Qu'il fallait faire peur aux Royalistes,” is told in the simplest and least pretending manner; but from the moment that these words have passed that terrible man's lips, a kind of mysterious horror breathes over the page : you feel that something sickening is to come: sentence after sentence this sensation grows upon you, and the object on which your apprehensions are to rest is now gradually and artfully pointed out :-Madame Fausse Landry entreats to be permitted to share the captivity of her uncle, 6 the Abbé de Rastignac," and Sergent answers her by

* La Revolution Française, p. 5, vol. iii. † Ibid. p. 124, vol. i. g Ibid. p. 54.

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