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Now blooms the lily by the bank,
The primrose down the brae;
And milk-white is the slae :
May rove their sweets among;
Must lie in prison strong.
My son! my son ! may kinder stars
Upon thy fortune shine,
Edward the Confessor, during his exile in Normandy, made a vow that he would make a pilgrimage to Rome in honour of St Peter should he be restored to his kingdom. But as his clergy and nobles refused their consent to his going, when he was safely on his throne, a dispensation, releasing the king from his vow, was obtained from the Pope (Leo IX.), on condition that he built a monastery in honour of St Peter. The king then began the restoration of the Westminster of London, in the year 1050 or thereabouts, and the church was said to have been the first church in the shape of a cross in England.
So desirous was Edward of rendering the abbey almost unique in its attractions, that after building it in the most perfect and splendid manner possible, he endowed it with relics in those days beyond all price. Among these were to be noted : “ Part of the place and manger where Christ was born, and also of the frankincense offered to Him by the Eastern magi; of the table of our Lord; of the bread which He blessed ; of the seat where He was presented in the Temple; of the wilderness where He fasted ; of the gaol where He was imprisoned,” &c., &c.
This was the first building in the Norman style raised on English ground, and it was only fitting that Edward should have raised in it his own mausoleum, and that he should be buried in the noblest temple yet known in the land. Part of his work still remains. Some massive columns, with the full square capitals roughly chopped into. forms preparatory for the sculptor ; a window here, a doorway there ; but the chief work of his remaining is the chapel, with its wide Norman joints and massive masonry, of which the Government took possession in after days, using it as a kind of treasury. This was the place whence certain thieves, on June 10th, 1303, took one hundred thousand pounds of gold, plate, and jewels, belonging to Edward I., and laid up there by him to be used in the Scotch wars; for which theft the abbot and forty monks were sent to the
Tower on suspicion, and diligent search was made for the missing treasure. Edward I. was not the man to submit quietly to a thing of this kind. He sent writ upon writ to the magistrates of the different burghs, and so harassed and hunted the thieves, that they gave up the game, and surrendered themselves and the treasure.
The cathedral, as we know it, is mostly of Henry III.'s time. Very lovely was the work he did.
Exquisite capitals of natural foliage, arch, and column, and base, and especially one rose window, the like of which England had never yet seen ; à portal which, from its surpassing richness and majesty, was called by some Solomon's Porch, though the real Solomon's Porch was erected by Richard II. ; windows of the richest and most elaborate tracing—trefoils and quatrefoils intermingled in a labyrinth of beauty; and a chapter-house which all the world said was “ incomparable,” but which now, unhappily, is a mere collection of shelves and drawers for public records, with nearly every beauty hidden.
Edward III. did a great deal to embellish this glorious pile. The outlay of money for work during the first fifteen years would, if translated into our money-value, have considerably exceeded half a million. The abbots, too, gave
The abbots, too, gave their money to enrich the building. One built the famous Jerusalem chamber, where Henry IV. died, in accordance with an ancient prophecy which said he would not die, save in Jerusalem.
Henry VII.'s chapel, “ that world's miracle,"
as it was called, is filled with tracery and rich ornament. It
was wrought by royal masons, under the immediate direction of the king himself. He and the men divided the saints' days between them, each alternate feast belonging to them, and the other to their royal employer : theirs, it is supposed, they kept as a holiday, but on the king's they were made to work. Henry had no half-heart, or niggard hand to this beautiful lady-chapel of his.
Nine days only before his death, he gave the Abbot five thousand pounds into his hand, and directed that if that sum should be insufficient to complete the vaulting, his executors should advance the Lord Abbot what sum or sums should be necessary for the finishing of the building. He died on the 22d April 1509, and was buried in the chapel with such pomp and style as England bad never seen before.
Adapted from " All the Year Round.”
en-er-get-ic-al-ly fierce-ly emp-ti-ed
The hot springs of Iceland have been for ages celebrated, and some of them have even ranked among the seven wonders of the world. Geysers are very common in Iceland. In the valley of Hawk-dale where the Geyser presides, it is said above a hundred hot springs are found, but only a few of them are in any way remarkable. Most of them are placed on the slope of a low hill, which rises to the height of about three hundred feet above the valley. Near the bottom of this hill there is a most beautiful cavern, full to the brim with boiling water, which is as clear as crystal, and entirely free from taste or smell. This is the favourite cooking-pot of travellers. It makes admirable tea. This fountain was at one time the chief eruptor; but after an earthquake it ceased to play, and made over the performance to the great Geyser which then began.
The “Great Geyser” has built up for itself a steep mound by the deposit of the flinty material so largely mixed with its waters. On the top of this mound stands the saucer-shaped basin, in the centre of which the crater or pipe opens. The basin is about four feet deep at the edge of the crater, but becomes gradually shallow towards the lip or outside. It measures above seventy feet across, and the pipe is about ten feet across, and is perfectly smooth within, where it has been polished by the constant rush of the boiling water. The basin is always full, except for a short time after an eruption, when it is emptied, and then you can walk in to the edge of the crater, over the hot stone, and look down the pipe at the fiercely-boiling flood, filling gradually up again to its old level. When full, the basin looks very beautiful, from the clearness of the water and the deep-blue colour of the pipe. The