Imágenes de páginas

Cathedral-bridge, amount, according to my notes, to 240. Subjects from the Old Testament face the passenger as he goes towards the Cathedral, and those from the New as he returns. The pictures on these bridges, as well as those in most other parts of Switzerland, are not to be spoken of as works of art; but they are instruments admirably answering the purpose for which they were designed.

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' awhile the living hill

Heaved with convulsive throes, and all was still.'





Page 194. Line 6.

'Did holy Paul,' &c.

STILLINGFLEET adduces many arguments in support of this opinion, but they are unconvincing. The latter part of this Sonnet refers to a favourite notion of Catholic writers, that Joseph of Arimathea and his companions brought Christianity into Britain, and built a rude church at Glastonbury; alluded to hereafter, in a passage upon the dissolution of monasteries.

Page 198. Line 13.

* That Hill, whose flowery platform,' &c.

This hill at St. Alban's must have been an object of great interest to the imagination of the venerable Bede, who thus describes it, with a delicate feeling, delightful to meet with in that rude age, traces of which are frequent in his works:- Variis herbarum floribus depictus imò usquequaque vestitus, in quo nihil repentè arduum, nihil præceps, nihil abruptum, quem lateribus longè latèque deductum in modum æquoris natura complanat, dignum videlicet eum pro insitâ sibi specie venustatis jam olim reddens, qui beati martyris cruore dicaretur.'

Page 203. Line 1.

'Nor wants the cause the panic-striking aid
Of hallelujahs'

Alluding to the victory gained under Germanus.-See Bede.

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Page 203. Line 9.

By men yet scarcely conscious of a care

For other monuments than those of Earth ;'

The last six lines of this Sonnet are chiefly from the prose of Daniel; and here I will state (though to the Readers whom this Poem will chiefly interest it is unnecessary) that my obligations to other prose writers are frequent,-obligations which, even if I had not a pleasure in courting, it would have been presumptuous to shun, in treating an historical subject. I must, however, particularise Fuller, to whom I am indebted in the Sonnet upon Wicliffe and in other instances. And upon the acquittal of the Seven Bishops I have done little more than versify a lively description of that event in the Memoirs of the first Lord Lonsdale.

Page 204. Sonnet xii.


Ethelforth reached the convent of Bangor, he perceived the Monks, twelve hundred in number, offering prayers for the success of their countrymen: if they are praying against us,' he exclaimed, they are fighting against us;' and he ordered them to be first attacked they were destroyed; and, appalled by their fate, the courage of Brocmail wavered, and he fled from the field in dismay. Thus abandoned by their leader, his army soon gave way, and Ethelforth obtained a decisive conquest. Ancient Bangor itself soon fell into his hands, and was demolished; the noble monastery was levelled to the ground; its library, which is mentioned as a large one, the collection of ages, repository of the most preciou

monuments of the ancient Britons, was consumed; half ruined walls, gates, and rubbish, were all that remained of the magnificent edifice.'-See Turner's valuable history of the Anglo-Saxons.

Taliesin was present at the battle which preceded this desolation.

The account Bede gives of this remarkable event, suggests a most striking warning against National and Religious prejudices.

Page 207. Sonnet xv.

The person of Paulinus is thus described by Bede, from the memory of an eye-witness :- Longæ staturæ, paululum incurvus, nigro capillo, facie macilentâ, naso adunco, pertenui, venerabilis simul et terribilis aspectu.'

Page 208. Line 1.

'Man's life is like a Sparrow."

See the original of this speech in Bede.-The Conversion of Edwin, as related by him, is highly interesting-and the breaking up of this Council accompanied with an event so striking and characteristic, that I am tempted to give it at length in a translation. 'Who, exclaimed the King, when the Council was ended, shall first desecrate the altars and the temples? I, answered the Chief Priest; for who more fit than myself, through the wisdom which the true God hath given me, to destroy, for the good example of others, what in foolishness I worshipped? Immediately, casting away vain superstition, he besought the King to grant him, what the laws did not allow to a priest, arms and a courser (equum emissarium); which mounting, and furnished with a sword and lance, he proceeded to destroy the Idols. The crowd, seeing this, thought him mad-he however halted not, but, approaching, he profaned the temple, casting against it the lance which he had held

in his hand, and, exulting in acknowledgment of the worship of the true God, he ordered his companions to pull down the temple, with all its enclosures. The place is shown where those idols formerly stood, not far from York, at the source of the river Derwent, and is at this day called Gormund Gaham, ubi pontifex ille, inspirante Deo vero, polluit ac destruxit eas, quas ipse sacraverat aras.' The last expression is a pleasing proof that the venerable Monk of Wearmouth was familiar with the poetry of Virgil.

Page 209. Line 11.

'such the inviting voice Heard near fresh streams.'

The early propagators of Christianity were accustomed to preach near rivers, for the convenience of baptism.

Page 211. Sonnet xix.

Having spoken of the zeal, disinterestedness, and temperance of the clergy of those times, Bede thus proceeds: — ‘ 'Unde et in magna erat veneratione tempore illo religionis habitus, ita ut ubicunque clericus aliquis, aut monachus adveniret, gaudenter ab omnibus tanquam Dei famulus exciperetur. Etiam si in itinere pergens inveniretur, accurrebant, et flexâ cervice, vel manu signari, vel ore illius se benedici, gaudebant. Verbis quoque horum exhortatoriis diligenter auditum præbebant.' Lib. iii. cap. 26.

Page 216. Line 2.

'The people work like congregated bees.'

See, in Turner's History, vol. iii. p. 528., the account of the erection of Ramsey Monastery. Penances were removable by theperformance of acts of charity and benevolence.

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