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THE expedition to Spain, though accompanied by one splendid victory, had ended disastrously. From that moment the fortunes of the Prince were overcast. A long and wasting illness, which he contracted in the southern climate of Spain, broke down his constitution : a rebellion occasioned by his own wastefulness, which was one of the faults of his character, burst forth in his French provinces; his father was now sinking in years, and surrounded by unworthy favourites—such was the state in which the Prince returned, for the last time, to England. For four years he lived in almost entire seclusion at Berkhampstead, in preparation for his approaching end : often he fell into long fainting fits, which his attendants mistook for death. One of the traditions which connects his name with the well at Harbledown, speaks of his having had the water brought thence to him as he lay sick—or according to a more common but groundless story, dying—in the Archbishop's palace at Canterbury. Once more, however, his youthful energy, though in a different form, shot up an expiring flame. His father was sinking into dotage, and the favourites of the Court were taking advantage of him to waste the public money.

Parliament met-Parliament, as you must remember, unlike the two great


Houses which now sway the destiny of the Empire, but still feeling its way towards its present powers—Parliament met to check this growing evil; and then it was, that, when they looked round in vain for a leader to guide their counsels and support their wavering resolutions, the dying Prince came forth from his long retirement, and was carried up to London, to assist his country in this time of its utmost need. His own residence was a palace which stood on what is now called Fish Street Hill, the street opposite the London Monument. But he would not rest there : he was brought to the Royal Palace of Westminster, that he might be close at hand to be carried from his sick-bed to the Parliament, which met in the chambers of the palace. This was on the 28th of April, 1376. The spirit of the Parliament and the nation revived as they saw him, and the purpose for which he came was accomplished. But it was his last effort. Day by day his strength ebbed away, and he never again moved from the Palace of Westminster. On the 7th of June he signed his will, by which directions were given for his funeral and tomb. On the 8th he rapidly sank. In his last agony he was, as he had been through life, specially attentive to the wants of his servants and dependants; and, after having made them large gifts, he called his little to his bedside, and charged him, on pain of his curse, , never to take them away from them as long as he lived.

The doors still remained open, and his attendants were constantly passing and repassing, down to the least page, to see their dying master. Such a death-bed had hardly been seen since the

of Alexander the Great defiled through his room during his last illness. He joined his hands, lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “I give Thee thanks, O God, for all Thy benefits, and with all the pains of my soul I humbly beseech Thy mercy to give me remission of those sins I have wickedly com



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mitted against Thee; and of all mortal men whom willingly or ignorantly, I have offended, with all my heart I desire forgiveness.” With these words, which

' seem to have been the last effort of exhausted nature, he immediately expired.

It was at 3 P.M. on Trinity Sunday—a festival which he had always honoured with especial reverence: it was on the 8th of June, just one month before his birthday, in his forty-sixth year—the same age which has closed the career of so many illustrious men both in peace and war—that the Black Prince breathed his last.

Far and wide the mourning spread when the news was known. Even among his enemies, in the beautiful chapel of the Palace of the French Kings— called the Holy Chapel-funeral services were celebrated by King Louis, son of that King John whom he had taken prisoner at Poictiers. Most deeply, of course, was the loss felt in his own family and circle, of which he had been so long the pride and ornament. His companion in arms, the Captal de Buch, was so heart-broken that he refused to take any food, and in a few days died of starvation and grief

. His father, , already shaken in strength and years, never recovered the blow, and lingered on only for one more year.

• Mighty victor, mighty lord-
Low on his funeral couch he lies.
Is the sable warrior fled ?
Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead."

Stanley's Memorials of Canterbury.

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The use of gas, as an illuminator, seemed to be either happily unknown, or wisely discarded ; and oil appeared to be not more in favour than gas. The whole city was most effectually lighted with enormous wax candles, which were placed in branched candelabra, or in sconces, attached to the outside walls of the houses, immediately under the windows. The effect far exceeded that of our own Peace Illumination in London after the Crimean War.

The marble gateways at the various entrances to the city were illuminated with candles (apparently resembling “ Child's Night Lights”), placed in red saucers, like those used by us for plants of flowers. These were disposed as closely as possible together, along the cornices of the arch, and, giving a most brilliant light, displayed the architectural features of the structure. The Arena was entirely lighted with them, as were also the numerous barracks, ward-houses, and other public buildings.

After making a circuit of the principal thoroughfares, we returned to the Cathedral, which was the great centre of attraction, and consequently at this time completely thronged by a dense crowd.

But, I must attempt a brief description of the building itself, before proceeding to its illumination. It is entirely composed of white marble, even the roof being covered with flags of the same material. It is the third largest in Europe—the other two exceeding it in size being St. Peter's at Rome, and the Cathedral at Seville, in Spain. It is adorned on the exterior with more than 5,000 statues; and in the centre rises a large dome, not heavy like that of St. Paul's, but light and enclosed in openwork, gradually tapering in an elegant spire, running up to a needle point, on which stands a figure of St. Ambrose, the first Bishop of Milan. Every angle has its niche, enclosing a marble figure; every buttress, besides its tier of statues adorning its face, is surmounted by another, while a perfect forest of pinnacles runs up from the walls, and forms a sort of fence around the roof. The western front is a series of open arcades, completely covered with images, and the triple doors are

reached by a wide flight of a dozen steps. On the south is a large square, of which the Cathedral encloses the one side, and the Ducal Palace the other.

As soon as we had made our way into this square, we saw numbers of workmen engaged in lighting fusees attached to Bengal lights placed upon poles, about the height of a lamp-post, and fixed in the ground surrounding the Cathedral, at about twelve feet from its walls. Others were swarming about the roof, pinnacles, battlements, and dome, applying torches to the cotton wicks in the thousands of little saucers filled with wax, placed in close array along the outlines of the building. In about a quarter of an hour, the whole edifice was lighted up from its base to the very topmost peak with one vast blaze of illumination, which brought out every feature of the exquisite carved work far more brilliantly than even the noon-day sun. For twenty minutes we gazed on this illuminated casket of alabaster, when it changed to one of crimson fire, and had all the appearance of having beenl heated by the previous flames to one gigantic mass of red-hot iron. This unexpected transition was applauded by a general clapping of hands—a poor substitute, as it seemed to us, for a hearty English cheer—but we remembered that the Italian populace felt themselves a conquered race, and that the rejoicing to-day was for the birth of an heir to their conqueror—however much a source of congratulation to him, bringing no joyful thoughts to them.

However, the military band played merrily during the whole time; and the workmen were still busy preparing for a fresh display by the erection of artificial trees, whose trunks were wood, the branches strong wire, and the foliage lamps. Six of these trees were planted in the square, and as the lights on the Cathedral died out, these took their place, and illuminated the area, which now became a public promenade, enlivened by the strains of the band.

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