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“ Dulce & decorum, est pro patria mori.”
Wou'd that past records happier tales could tell
Of ETHERED. than truth has handed down! Few years he reign’d, by Alfred's side he fell,
Defending England's honor and his crown. A taint of Superstition dimm'd, alas !
A mind by nature meant to shine more bright; Tho' brave, he fear’d to leave unfinish'd mass,
Till Danes near won the day at Aston fight. This folly almost cost a brother's life; But Alfred's arm upheld the doubtful strife. * So in our days Iberia's chief, they say, ) Lost Spain, and Britain join’d, a glorious day! And let the Gallic Victor run away.t.
* The following inscription was placed over King Ethered's tomb : “ In hoc loco quiescet corpus Sancti Ethelredi, Regis West “ Saxonum Martyris, qui A. D. 872, 23 die Aprilis, per manum “ ducorum paganorum occubuit.”
+ Vide Dispatches from Spain in the London Gazette, when Marshal Victor was permitted to escape from a most disadvantageous position, through the Spanish General's horror of fighting on a holy day.
SUMMARY OF THE REIGN OF
ALFRED THE GREAT. Born at Wantage, A. D. 850. Crowned at Winchester, 872. Married Ethelswitha, daughter of a Mercian Earl. Had issue-Edmund, who died, childless, in his father's lifetime; Edward, surnamed the Elder ; Ethelward, who lived a private life, and inherited his father's literary taste. Alfred had also three daughters. He died at Oxford, 25th October, 900, and was buried at Winchester.
PRINCIPAL Events. Fifty-six battles fought with the Danes, who were completely defeated, and many of them incorporated with the English. Ships first built in England, 886. University of Oxford founded. The kingdom divided into counties; and a great plague in England, 887.
EMINENT Persons. Oddune, earl of Devon, who killed Hubba, the Dane, and took the famous Reafen, or enchanted Standard. Ulfredus, Trelolegaldus, Celnoth, Ethelred, and Plerumdus, were archbishops of Canterbury.
Emperors of the East,
Emperors of the West and Kings of France.
Kings of Scotland. Constantine II. 863. Ethus, 878. Gregory, 880.
Donaldus VI. 898.
ALFRED THE GREAT.
“ He was a man, (then boldly dare to say,)
“ In whose rich soule the vertues well did sute, “ In whom so mix'd the elements all lay,
“ That none to one cou'd sou’raigntre impute, “ As all did governe, yet all did obey;
“ He of a temper was so absolute “ As that it seem'd when nature him began “ She meant to shew all that might be in man.”
“A little island boasts his glorious birth,
When Guthrum's * momentary might
And when (his royal thoughts astray,
* Guthrum was King of the Danes,
His mind to nobler tasks awake,
He tended ill the household cake ;
More watchful for his suff’ring state,
Issue the unexpected warrior band,
The Danish spoilers of our native land. And Oddune, Devon's chief, by Kinwith's
towers, Slew Hubba, and destroy'd his pirate powers.
The great, good, ruler of the little isle,
Beholds his projects ripening, and goes,
" When music, heavenly maid! was young, “ When yet in early Greece she sung,” Tho'vast her powers and sweet her tongue, ) They both had fail'd to celebrate his name,
Who, while he struck the antient British lyre,
A meaning drew from ev'ry tone,