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“Ah ! father, my father, what more can there rest?
140 Enough of this sport with the pitiless oceanHe has served thee as none would, thyself
hast coufest. If nothing can slake thy wild thirst of desire, Let thy knights put to shame the exploit of
The king seized the goblet, he swung it on high, 145 And whirling, it fell in the roar of the tide! “But bring back that goblet again to my eye,
, And I'll hold thee the dearest that rides by
my side; And tbine arms shall embrace as thy bride, I
decree, The maiden whose pity now pleadeth for thee.” 150 And heaven, as he listened, spoke out from the
space, And the hope that makes heroes shot flame
from his eyes ; He gazed on the blush in that beautiful face
It pales--at the feet of her father she lies! How priceless the guerdon! a moment-a
breath And headlong he plunges to life and to death!
They hear the loud surges sweep back in their
swell, Their coming the thunder-sound heralds !!
Fond eyes yet are trackiug the spot where he
fell. They come, the wild waters, in tumult and throng,
160 Roaring up to the cliff-roaring back as before, But no wave ever brings the lost youth to the
1 Squire, a knight's attendant.
the rush of strong tidal currents.
way coast, is a famous example. 3 Guerdon, a reward. 4 Marge, the edge. 5 Welkin, the sky. 6 Breakers, waves broken on the
7 Suspense, being in a state of un
what like a frog in shape.
1. The government of England under Richard the Second wanted money; accordingly, a certain tax, called the Poll-Tax, which had originated in the last reign, was ordered to be levied on the people.
This was a tax on every person in the kingdom, male and female, above the age of fourteen, of three groats, or three fourpenny pieces a year. Clergymen were charged more, and only beggars were exempted.
2. The people of Essex rose against the Poll-tax, and being severely handled by the government officers, killed some of them. At
as one man.
this very time, one of the tax-collectors going his rounds from house to house at Dartford, in Kent, came to the cottage of one Wat, a tiler by trade, and claimed the tax upon his daughter.
3. Her mother, who was at home, declared that she was under the age of fourteen ; upon that the collector behaved in a savage way, and brutally insulted Wat Tyler's daughter. The daughter screamed, the mother screamed; Wat the Tiler, who was at work not far off, ran to the spot, and enraged at the treatment which his daughter had suffered, struck the collector dead at a blow. 4. Instantly the people of the town uprose
They made Wat Tyler their leader, and joined with the people of Essex, who were in arms under a man called Jack Straw; they took out of Maidstone? prison another man called John Ball, and gathering in numbers as they went along, advanced in a great confused army of poor men to Blackheath. It is said that they wanted to abolish all property, and to declare all men equal.
5. I do not think this very likely, because they stopped the travellers upon the road, and made them swear to be true to King Richard and the people. Nor were they at all disposed to injure those who had done them no harm, merely because they were of high station; for the king's mother, who had to pass through their camps at Blackheath on her way to her young son, lying for safety in the Tower of
London, bad merely to kiss a few dirty-faced rough-bearded men, who were noisily fond of royalty, in order to get away.
6. The following day the whole mass marched on to London Bridge. There was a drawbridge in the middle, wbich William Walworth, the Mayor, caused to be raised, to prevent their coming into the city ; but they soon terrified the citizens into lowering it again, and spread themselves with great uproar over the streets. They broke open the prisons, they burnt the papers in Lambeth Palace, they destroyed the Duke of Lancaster's Palace, the Savoy in the Strand—said to be the most beautiful and splendid in England; they set fire to the books and documents in the Temple, and made a great riot.
7. Many of these outrages were committed in drunkenness, since those citizens who had well-filled cellars were only too glad to throw them open to save the rest of their property ; but even the drunken rioters were very careful to steal nothing. They were so angry with one man, who was seen to take a silver cup at the Savoy Palace and put it in his breast, that they drowned him in the river, cup and all.
8. The young king had been taken out to treat with them before they committed these excesses, but he and the people about him were so frightened by the riotous shouts, that they got back to the Tower in the best way they could.
9. This made the insurgents bolder, so they went on rioting away, striking off the heads of those who did not at a moment's notice declare for King Richard and the people--and killing as many of the unpopular persons whom they supposed to be their enemies, as they could by any means lay hold of. In this manner they passed one very violent day, and then proclamation was made that the king would meet them at Mileend,' and grant their requests.
10. The rioters went to Mile-end, to the number of sixty thousand, and there the king met them.
To him the rioters peaceably proposed four conditions :- First, that neither they nor their children, nor any coming after them, should be made slaves any more. Secondly, that the rent of land should be fixed at a certain price in money, instead of being paid in service. Thirdly, that they should have liberty to buy and sell in all markets and public places like other free men. Fourthly, that they should be pardoned for past offences. Surely there was nothing very unreasonable in these proposals.
11. The young king deceitfully pretended to think so, and kept thirty clerks up all night writing out a charter accordingly. * Now Wat Tyler himself wanted more than this. He wanted the entire abolition of the Forest Laws. He was not at Mile-end with the rest, but while that meeting was being held, broke into the