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amongst the most illustrious sovereigns that have appeared-a rare instance of a monarch, who united his own glory with the happiness of his people. In private life he was amiable; an affectionate father, a fond husband, and a generous friend. Though engaged in many wars, he was far from neglecting the arts of peace, the welfare of his subjects, or the cultivation of his own mind. Government, morals, religion, and letters, were his constant pursuits. He frequently convened the national assemblies, for regulating the affairs both of church and state. His attention extended to the most distant corner of his empire, and to all ranks of men. His house was a model of economy, and his person of simplicity and true grandeur. “For shame," he would say to some of his nobles, who were more finely dressed than the occa. sion required, “ learn to dress like men, and let the world judge of your rank by your merit, not your dress. Leare silks and finery to women, or reserve them for those days of pomp and ceremony when robes are worn for show, not use." He was fond of the company of learned men, and assembled them from all parts of Europe, forming in his palace a kind of royal academy, of which he condescended to become a member, and of which he made Alcuin, our learned countryman,* the head; at the same time honouring him as his companion and particular favourite. “The dignity of his person, the length of his

For the honour of our country, I here record a few particulars concerning Alcuin. He was born in the north of England, and educated at York, under the direction of Archbishop Egbert, whom in his letters be frequently styles his beloved master, and the clergy of York the companions of his youthful studies. Being sent on an embassy by Offa, king of Mercia, to the emperor Charlemagne, his talents and his virtues so won upon the latter, that be contracted a high esteem for him, and a mutual friendship ensued. Charles earnestly solicited, and at length prevailed opon him to settle in his court and become bis preceptor in the sciences. He accordingly instructed that prince in rhetoric, logie, mathereign, the prosperity of his arms, the vigour of his government, and the reverence of distant nations, distinguish Charles from the royal crowd: and Europe dates a new æra from his restoration of the western empire.

But with all these amiable traits in the character of Charles the Great (or Charle-magne, as he is usually

matics, and divinity, and was treated with so much kindness and famili. arity by the emperor, that by way of eminence, the courtiers called him " the emperor's delight."

Alcuin having passed many years in the most intimate familiarity with Charlemagne, at length, with great difficulty, obtained leave to retire to his Abbey of St. Martins at Tours. Here he kept up a constant correspondence with the emperor, and their letters evince their mutual regard for religion and learning, and their anxiety to promote them in the most munificent manner. In one of these letters, which Dr. Henry has translated, there is a passage which throws some light on the learning of the times. « The employments of your Alcuin,” says he to the emperor; “in his retreat, are suited to his humble sphere, but they are neither inglorions por onprofitable. I spend my time in the balls of St. Martin, in teaching some of the noble youths under my care the intricacies of grammar, and inspiring them with a taste for the learning of the aucients ; in describing to others the order and revolutions of those shining orbs which adorn the azure vanlt of heaven ; and, inexplaining to others the mysteries of divine wisdom, which are contained in the holy scriptures ; suiting my instructions to the views and capacities of my schelars, that I may train up many to be ornaments to the church of God and to the court of your im. perial majesty. In doing this, I find a great want of several things, par. ticularly of those excellent books in all arts avd sciences, which I enjoyed in my native country, through the expense and care of my great master Egbert. May it, therefore, pleas your majesty, animated with the most ardent love of learning, to permit me to send some of your young gentlemen into England, to procure for us those books which we want, and transplant the flowers of Britain into France, that their fragrance may no longer be contined to York, but may perfume the palaces of Tours." Charlemagne often solicited Alcuin to return to court, but he excused bimself, and remained at Tours until his death, May 19, 804. He understood the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew lauguages extremely well; was au excellent orator, philosopher, and inathematician. His works, which consist of 53 treaties, homilies, commentaries, let.ers, poems, &c. are comprised in 2 vols. folio.

Gibbon, vol. is. ch. 49.

amongst the most illustrious sovereigns that have appeared--a rare instance of a monarch, who united his own glory with the happiness of his people. In private life he was amiable; an affectionate father, a fond husband, and a generous friend. Though engaged in many wars, he was far from neglecting the arts of peace, the welfare of his subjects, or the cultivation of his own mind. Government, morals, religion, and letters, were his constant pursuits. He frequently convened the national assemblies, for regulating the affairs both of church and state. His attention extended to the most distant corner of his empire, and to all ranks of men. His house was a model of economy, and his person of simplicity and true grandeur. “For shame," he would say to some of his nobles, who were more finely dressed than the occasion required, “learn to dress like men, and let the world judge of your rank by your merit, not your dress. Leave silks and finery to women, or reserve them for those days of pomp and ceremony when robes are worn for show, not use.” He was fond of the company of learned men, and assembled them from all parts of Europe, forming in his palace a kind of royal academy, of which he condescended to become a member, and of which he made Alcuin, our learned countryman,* the head ; at the same time honouring him as his companion and particular favourite. “The dignity of his person, the length of his

For the honour of our country, I here record a few particulars coecerning Alcuin. He was born in the north of England, and educated at York, under the direction of Archbishop Egbert, whom in his letters be frequently styles his beloved master, and the clergy of York the companions of his youthful studies. Being sent on an embassy by Offa, king of Mercia, to the emperor Charlemagne, his talents and his virtues so won upon the latter, that he contracted a bigh esteem for him, and a mutual friendsbip ensued. Charles earnestly solicited, and at length prevailed opon birn to settle in his court and become his preceptor in the sciences. He accordingly instructed that prince in rhetoric, logic, mathereign, the prosperity of his arms, the vigour of his government, and the reverence of distant nations, distinguish Charles from the royal crowd: and Europe dates a new æra from his restoration of the western empire.'

But with all these amiable traits in the character of Charles the Great (or Charle-magne, as he is usually

matics, and divinity, and was treated with so much kindness and familiarity by the emperor, that by way of eminence, the courtiers called him " the emperor's delight."

Alcuin having passed many years in the most intimate familiarity with Charlemagne, at length, with great difficulty, obtained leave to retire to his Abbey of St. Martins at Tours. Here he kept up a constant correspondence with the emperor, and their letters evince their mutual regard for religion and learning, and their anxiety to promote them in the most munificent manner. In one of these letters, which Dr. Henry has translated, there is a passage which throws some light on the learning of the times. The employments of your Alcuin,” says he to the emperor; “in his retreat, are suited to his humble sphere, but they are neither inglorious por unprofitable. I spend my time in the balls of St. Martin, in teaching some of the noble youths under my care the intricacies of grammar, and inspiring them with a taste for the learning of the aucients ; in describing to others the order and revolutions of those shining orbs which adorn the azure vault of heaven ; and, inexplaining to others the mysteries of divine wisdom, which are contained in the holy scriptures; suiting my instructions to the views and capacities of my scholars, that I muy train up many to be ornaments to the church of God and to the court of your imperial majesty. In doing this, I find a great want of several things, particularly of those excellent books in all ai ts and sciences, wbich I enjoyed in my native country, through the expense and care of my great master Egbert. May it, therefore, please your majesty, animated with the most ardent love of learning, to permit me to send some of your young gentle. men into England, to procure for us those books which we want, and transplant the flowers of Britain into France, that their fragrance may no longer be contined to York, but may perfume the palaces of Tours." Charlemagne often solicited Alcuin to return to court, but he excused himself, and remained at Tours until his death, May 19, 804. He understood the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew lauguages extremely well; was au excellent orator, philosopher, and inathematician. His works, which consist of 53 treaties, homilies, commentaries, let.ers, poems, &c. are comprised in 2 vols. folio.

* Gibbon, vol. is. ch. 49.

called) a superstitious attachment to the see of Rome, unhappily mingled itself with all his policy, and led him to engage in theological disputes and quibbles unworthy of his character. * It would have been well for his memory, indeed, had he stopped there; but a blind zeal for the propagation of Christianity, which extinguished his natural feelings, made him guilty of severities which shock humanity. One of the leading objects of his reign, was the conversion of the Saxons, a nation of Germany, to the Christian faith. He seems to have considered a reception of the mild doctrines of Christianity as the best means of taming a savage people, and to accomplish this he sent his armies to invade their country. After a number of battles gallantly fought, and many cruelties committed on both sides, the Saxons were totally subjected; but as they were no less tenacious of their religious than of their civil liberty, persecution marched in the train of war, and stained with blood the fetters of slavery. Four thousand five hundred of their principal

The following short letter written by Charlemagne, and addressed to Odilbert, Archbishop of Metz, while it exhibits a striking proof of this monarch's concern to promote attention to the means of instruction and learning, is not less deserving attention on account of the disclosure which it makes of the state of religion in his day.

.“ We have often wished,” says he,“ if we could accomplish it, to converse with you and your colleagues familiarly on the utility of the boly church of God. But although we are not ignorant of the real concern with which you watch over divine things, yet we must not omit, while we trust in the co-operating influence of the Holy Spirit, by our authority to exhort and admonish you to labour in word and doctrine in the church of God, more and more studiously, and with watchful perseverance; so that by your pious diligence the word of God may spread and flourish extersively, and the number of the Christian people may be multiplied, to the praise and glory of our Saviour. Wherefore we desire to know in writing, or from your own mouth, in what manner you and your clergy teach and instruct both those who are candidates for the holy office of the ministry, and the people committed to you in the Sacrament of Baptism. That is,

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