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the 16th of August 1650. A few days after her arrival, while playing at bowls with her brother, she caught a severe cold, which became a fever, and, says an old writer, 'After many rare ejaculatory expressions, abundantly demonstrating her unparalleled piety, to the eternal honour of her own memory,' she died quietly on the 8th of September 1650.
The story of this little hapless princess, dying of a broken heart for her father's death, is the very saddest I have ever had to tell you; and yet it ought to teach us, that even in trials great as hers were, hope can sustain us, if, like her, we rest on our Saviour.
When her ladies one morning drew back the curtains of her bed, believing that she slept, they found her fair young head thrown back on her pillow, and underneath it lay her little Bible, from which she had learnt to practise patience and endurance, such as, when she ceased to be a heroine on earth, we may venture to believe, made her one of God's angels in heaven, 'out of much tribulation.'
'A firm hope in heaven held up thy head,
THE EARLS OF WARWICK.
Y last story, that of the gentle Princess
night I shall tell you about Warwick, one of the most striking castles still standing, a memorial of the days when it was necessary to use 'might, to defend right.'
I hope that, when you are older, you will read history for yourselves; and trust my 'fireside tales' may recur to your minds when you visit the old castles that have been taken for our subjects.
Built on a rock, at the south-east end of the town that bears the same name, Warwick Castle proudly towers above the river which winds along the meadows below its site.
You have all heard of the river Avon, as it has
been celebrated in many a verse, as flowing past Stratford church, where Shakespeare is buried, and through the scenes in which he lived.
'Thou soft-flowing Avon, by thy silver stream
Of things more than mortal our Shakespeare would dream ;
The real record of the castle's foundation rests in obscurity; but it is said to have been erected before the Conquest, and that King Alfred's daughter, the fair Ethelfleda, lived in a stronghold, such as the rude Saxons built before the Normans introduced a more refined architecture, on a mount near the river. I shall tell you later on in my story the adventures of a Saxon Earl of Warwick, whose history belongs to that Saxon era; but before taking you into the realms of fancy, as by good authorities his existence even is doubted, I shall tell you what is known to be really true about the castle and its history.
In Edward the Confessor's reign, it belonged to the crown, and was a 'special stronghold' for the defence of the midland parts of the kingdom; and, says an old writer, Turkill was governor thereof
for the king.' At the Conquest, this same Turkill, called by the Normans Turchill de Warwick, who was also governor or lieutenant of the earldom of Mercia, was desired by William the First to enlarge and fortify it; and in order to carry out the king's wishes, several houses belonging to some Coventry monks in the town were destroyed.
When it was completed, and made into a fortress fitted in every way for its important position, the Conqueror entrusted it to a countryman of his own, named Henry de Newburgh, whom he created Earl of Warwick, the first Norman who bore that since time-honoured title.
His creation as earl must probably have been about the end of the Conqueror's reign. This earl was named Newburgh, after his birthplace, in Normandy; but though William made him an earl, 'girding him with the sword of the county,' it was William Rufus who gave him the immense grant of lands of which he died possessed in 1123. Of this earl we read, that he was among the number of those nobles who, by 'fair persuasions,' pacified King William's anger with his eldest son, Robert Curthose, in 1081; so that, says the old writer, 'a
fair composure then ensued between them;' and also, that on William Rufus's death, being much attached to his youngest son, Henry, he adhered to that prince's cause in his efforts to get possession of the English throne.
Like Henry the First, who made the first park in England, that of Woodstock, the earl enclosed lands round Warwick Castle to make a 'fair park' to it.
The Saxons had never paid much attention to architecture, and despised the refinement of the Normans, who, on getting possession of England at the Conquest, increased the number of its fortified castles, and beautified their dwelling-places. They led frugal lives in other respects, living secluded in times of peace among their families and retainers in their own homes, and practising the warlike feats that enabled them to excel in times of war.
The Saxons, who did not the least care what kind of houses they lived in, provided they could have enough, and sometimes too much, to eat (for they were great gluttons), grumbled at the numbers of castles, and ridiculed the Norman habits. However, I dare say the latter did not much care