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At length with meanness equal to his pride,
For pride and meanness are concomitant,
The land, the people, King, the crown itself,
Are pros’trate thrown beneath the Pontiff's feet;
The Barons feel just anger, and disdain
To serve a Prince who owns himself a slave.


And soon, of filaments from this disgrace
And other grievances, most justly drawn,
Was Magna CHARTA woven, and the King
After subscription tried too oft to break
The golden compact, which has since upheld
Our legal title as a People FREE.*


• The following short sketch of what the people gained by Magna Charta, is an abridgement from Hume, by the ingenious James Petit Andrews,

“Immunities granted to Barons, are extended to their yassals."

“ No Baron to levy money from his vassals, except for attend“ing the King to war, repairing his castles, and the highways " and bridges."

“ Measures to be equal through the realm.”
“ Merchants not to be illegally taxed.”
“ Free egress, and regress to Freemen.”

“ Cities to preserve their privileges, and only to be taxed by " Parliament.”

“ Bridges to be equitably built or supported."

“ Freemen to dispose of goods by will, or, if intestate, their * next heir to succeed.” " The King's Purveyor not to sieze goods, &c."

« Courts

Winding beneath the earth, a spacious range
Of subterranean chambers yet is seen, *
Where first, in secresy, the Barons met
To frame the code of Freedom.--Short the space
From hence to where my humble cot is hid,
By wild sequested scenery, and oft,
Bending my footsteps downwards, do I seek
The rock-hewn seats that round the cave remain,
And muse with åwfully-delighted mind,
While witchery of fancy brings to view
Majestic forms, and men of other times ;
Those aged peers whose venerable locks
A crested helm, the terror oft of France,
Concealed in iron bands--those youthful lords,

“ Courts of Justice not to follow the King, but to be statio“ nary, open, and equal to all men.”

“ Justice not to be paid for, nor refused to any one, (this was “ a necessary proviso in a realm where bribes were received by the “ King to a great amount, and shamelessly set down in books o kept for that purpose,) Sheriffs not to put any one on trial with 6 out good cause and lawful witnesses."

“No Freeman to be in any way injured in person or goods, “except by the law of the land. [Query,would that be an injury, “ D.] Redress to be given to those who have suffered illegally. “ No extravagant fines to be levied on Freemen. No villain, i. e.

rustic, to be deprived of his cart or other instruments of hus« bandry by fine."

* At Reigate, in Surrey, it is still called “Tye Baron's CAVE."


Who proud of martial splendour, shone in arms,
Which, hack reflecting ev'ry torch's blaze,
With double light the sacred vault illumed.



There mitred LANGTON, with FITZWALTER brave,
NORFOLK, De Ros, and bands of heroes more,
Retired to fan the patriotic fire,
Which bursting into day at RUNNIMEDE,
With rays of glory lighten'd all the land.


The King's bad faith the civil wars renew'd,
And LEWIS, son of France, call'd in, was own'd
As England's master: but the patriot lords,
Ill brooking Gallic rule, to John restored
His regal state, short time by him enjoy’d.
At Newark Castle (not at Swinestead, where
Our legendaries tell a fearful tale
Of monks and poison,) John respired his last. *

* The story of John's being poisoned at Swinestead Abbey is of a late date, and deserves no credit.





From the Signature of Magna Charta to the Death of Edward

the Second

CONTENTS. Henry III.- Edward I. Llewellyn, Prince of Wales David

of Scotland - Baliol - Bruce Wallace - Edward II. his Deposition and Death,


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