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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.



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.


John VIII. 872. Martin II. 882. Adrian III. 884.
Stephen VI. 885. Formosus, 891.

Emperors of the East,
Basilius I. 867. Leo VI. 886.

Emperors of the West and Kings of France.
Lewis II. 855. Charles I. 873. Charles II. 880.
Arnold, 888. Lewis III. 899.

Kings of Scotland. Constantine II. 863. Ethus, 878. Gregory, 880.

Donaldus VI. 898.



“ 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,
“ His fame for wisdom fills the spacious earth.”




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When Guthrum's * momentary might
Had taken place of Alfred's right
His fainting friends, dispersing, fled,
While he a life erratic led,
Folding the herdsman's flock for bread.
Condemn’d that bread himself to bake,

And when (his royal thoughts astray,
On projects soon to see the day,)

* Guthrum was King of the Danes,


His mind to nobler tasks awake,

He tended ill the household cake ;
A woman's tongue, a woman's blows,
Add to the humbled Monarch's woes.

More watchful for his suff’ring state,
Alive to every turn of fate,
ALFRED assumes a temporary throne ;
Where stagnate thick the Parket and the

(In Athelney two acres in extent)
Scarce hold the British Sov'reign's tent;
Yet here, encircled by a daring few,
The hero's future greatness grew.
From hence, in oft successful sally,

Issue the unexpected warrior band,
And chase o'er forest, mount, and valley,

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,
Who justly balanced fortune's ev'ry smile,


Beholds his projects ripening, and goes,
In harper's guise, among his num'rous foes.
The minstrel's air, and gait, so well he feigns,
The royal tent admits him; he obtains
Knowledge of martial efforts to be made,
And by whose influence each attempt is sway'd:
For of intents and means the chiefs spoke loud,
Nor heeded ALFRED in the mingled crowd;
For potent mead, from oft replenish'd shell,
Urg'd the gay tongue each inmost thought tol

While well the harper play'd; and listen'd well.)
Right skilful was his finger, and right dear
The Danes soon learn'd how accurate his ear.



" 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,
With all the purity of patriot flame,
That cou'd a parent Monarch's breast inspire,

A meaning drew from ev'ry tone,
To Danes, outwitted, little known;


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