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versation turned on the old ruins near them, and he asked his mother if the castle had a 'keep;' for he said he had found an old book in his father's library about castles.
'It has no "keep," said his mother; 'but if you will lend me the book you mention, I will try and tell your brothers and sisters more about castles in general, as the book you mention is too dull a one for them to study; and as we live so near a castle, you should all know the names of the different portions of the building. Do you all know why castles were built?'
The children gave their mother the right answer, when they replied that castles were places erected for the purpose of defence in ancient times.
'Yes,' said their mother; and a castle may be "defensible" either by nature or by art. Our ruins are but small and poor: a complete ancient castle consisted of a fortress surrounded by a "moat" or ditch; an outwork called a "barbican," intended to guard the gate or drawbridge; then there was an artificial mound of green turf, an outer and inner enclosure called "vallium ;" and lastly the "keep," in which the lord of the castle generally
lived, and beneath whose strong walls were dark and gloomy prisons, called "dungeons," where prisoners were confined. Castles are very ancient. The Persians are said to have first erected them; the Romans without doubt did so; and the Gauls are thought by Cæsar to have instructed the early Britons in the art of encamping and fortifying themselves in such strongholds. to have constructed their fortresses of wood; the Romans of earthworks thrown up to a great height.'
The Persians are said
One of the children asked if there were any Roman castles still in existence in England.
'None, I believe,' replied their mother; although there are traces of Roman architecture in some of our ancient castles. The early Britons fortified themselves in their castles against the Roman invaders. The Saxons called them "cester" and caster;" the Scots named them "Loncastel" and
Doncastel;" while the word "burgh" evidently meant the same thing. Doncaster and Lancaster are evidently named after the Saxon "caster." The capitol of Rome is thought to have originated our earlier castles; for it had a round tower, with an inner court surrounded by a deep ditch. One
CASTLES AND THEIR HEROES.
FEW years ago, before railway communication had as closely united the rural
districts to the metropolis as they do in the present day, there resided in a retired and secluded part of England a clergyman, whose family consisted of two boys and two girls. Like many of our clergy, his income was a very limited one, and would have been wholly inadequate to his expenses, had it not been that he possessed in his wife a companion ready to share and lighten all his anxieties, and able to assist him in the education of his family.
old writer (for all I am telling you is strictly true) ascribes this as the reason that in many places the keep of a castle is called a "Juillet," that is "Julius Cæsar's tower." The keeps of Tutbury and Warwick Castles are called "Juilletes," and from that same tradition doubtless arose the "Julius Tower" of the great Tower of London.'
'Mother,' inquired Willie, 'had the Saxons castles when the Danes invaded England?'
'But few,' said Mrs. Lawrence; 'and that was the reason that, when the Danes came over to England, they so soon and so easily conquered their foe. There were scarcely any forts to arrest their progress. At the Norman conquest, the few Saxon castles that then remained standing were destroyed, and new ones, suited to the luxurious habits of the Norman race, were erected in their place.'
'How were the Normans so luxurious?' asked Willie.
'Principally in the decoration of their persons,' said Mrs. Lawrence, the beauty and elegance of which were remarkable. But their love of finery and ostentation was also manifested in their dwellings. No Norman castle was ever erected without a