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caresses us with its whole kindly heart, without design ; and yet there was perand passes onward, to caress likewise fect harmony among them, and a softthe next thing that it meets. There is ness and a delicacy made up of a thoua pervading blessing diffused over all sand different brightnesses. There is the world. I look out of the window not, I think, so much contrast among and think, “O perfect day! O beauti- these colors as might at first appear. ful world ! O good God !” And such The more you consider them, the more a day is the promise of a blissful eter- they seem to have one element among nity: Our Creator would never have them all, which is the reason that the made such weather, and given us the most brilliant display of them soothes deep heart to enjoy it, above and be- the observer, instead of exciting him. yond all thought, if He had not meant And I know not whether it be more a us to be immortal. It opens the gates moral effect or a physical one, operatof heaven, and gives us glimpses faring merely on the eye; but it is a pen. inward.
sive gayety, which causes a sigh often, Bless me! this flight has carried me and never a smile. We never fancy, a great way; so now let me come back for instance, that these gayly-clad trees to our old abbey. Our orchard is fast might be changed into young damsels ripening; and the apples and great in holiday attire, and betake themselves thumping pears strew the grass in such to dancing on the plain. If they were abundance that it becomes almost a to undergo such a transformation, they trouble — though a pleasant one - to would surely arrange themselves in gather them. This happy breeze, too, funeral procession, and go sadly along, shakes them down, as if it flung fruit with their purple and scarlet and goldto us out of the sky; and often, when en garments trailing over the withthe air is perfectly still, I hear the ering grass. When the sunshine falls quiet fall of a great apple. Well, we upon them, they seem to smile ; but it are rich in blessings, though poor in is as if they were heart-broken. But it money.....
is in vain for me to attempt to describe
these autumnal brilliancies, or to conFriday, October 6. — Yesterday after- vey the impression which they make roon I took a solitary walk to Wal- on me. I have tried a thousand times, den Pond. It was a cool, windy day, and always without the slightest selfwith heavy clouds rolling and tumbling satisfaction. Fortunately there is no about the sky, but still a prevalence need of such a record, for Nature of genial autumn sunshine. The fields renews the picture year after year; and are still green, and the great masses even when ye shall have passed away of the woods have not yet assumed from the world, we can spiritually cretheir many-colored garments; but here ate these scenes, so that we may disand there are solitary oaks of deep, sub- pense with all efforts to put them into stantial red, or maples of a more bril- words. liant hue, or chestnuts either yellow or Walden Pond was clear and beautiof a tenderer green than in summer. ful as usual. It tempted me to bathe ; Some trees seem to return to their hue and, though the water was thrillingly of May or early June before they put cold, it was like the thrill of a happy on the brighter autumnal tints. In death. Never was there such transsome places, along the borders of low parent water as this. I threw sticks and moist land, a whole range of trees into it, and saw them float suspended were clothed in the perfect gorgeous- on an almost invisible medium. It ness of autumn, of all shades of bril- seemed as if the pure air were beneath liant color, looking like the palette on them, as well as above. It is fit for which Nature was arranging the tints baptisms ; but one would not wish it wherewith to paint a picture. These to be polluted by having sins washed hues appeared to be thrown together into it. None but angels should bathe
in it; but blessed babies might be floor. The visitor's nose takes note dipped into its bosom.
of the fragrance of a pipe. In a small and secluded dell that with all these homely items, the repose opens upon the most beautiful cove of and sanctity of the old wood do not the whole lake, there is a little hamlet seem to be destroyed or profaned. It of huts or shanties, inhabited by the overshadows these poor people, and Irish people who are at work upon the assimilates them somehow or other to railroad. There are three or four of the character of its natural inhabitants. these habitations, the very rudest, I Their presence did not shock me any should imagine, that civilized men ever more than if I had merely discovered made for themselves, — constructed of a squirrel's nest in a tree. To be sure, rough boards, with the protruding ends. it is a torment to see the great, high, Against some of them the earth is ugly embankment of the railroad, which heaped up to the roof, or nearly so; is here thrusting itself into the lake, and when the grass has had time to or along its margin, in close vicinity to sprout upon them, they will look like this picturesque little hamlet. I have small natural hillocks, or a species of seldom seen anything more beautiful ant-hills, something in which Nature than the cove on the border of which has a larger share than man. These the huts are situated; and the more I huts are placed beneath the trees, looked, the lovelier it grew. The trees oaks, walnuts, and white-pines, wher- overshadowed it deeply ; but on one ever the trunks give them space to side there was some brilliant shrubbery stand ; and by thus adapting them- which seemed to light up the whole selves to natural interstices, instead of picture with the effect of a sweet and making new ones, they do not break or melancholy smile. I felt as if spirits disturb the solitude and seclusion of were there, or as if these shrubs had the place. Voices are heard, and the a spiritual life. In short, the impresshouts and laughter of children, who sion was indefinable ; and, after gazing play about like the sunbeams that come and musing a good while, I retraced down through the branches. Women my steps through the Irish hamlet, and are washing in open spaces, and long plodded on along a wood-path. lines of whitened clothes are extended According to my invariable custom, from tree to tree, fluttering and gam- I mistook my way; and, emerging upon bolling in the breeze. A pig, ir a the road, I turned my back instead of sty even more extemporary than the my face towards Concord, and walked shanties, is grunting and poking his on very diligently till a guide-board snout through the clefts of his habita- inf ned me of my mist I then tion. The household pots and kettles turned about, and was shortly overare seen at the doors; and a glance taken by an old yeoman in a chaise, within shows the rough benches that who kindly offered me a drive, and serve for chairs, and the bed upon the soon set me down in the village.
THE NORMAN CONQUEST.
"HIS month of October completes Zama, impresses us as having been a
tle of Hastings, perhaps the most im- words with which Milton so emphatiportant action that the modern world cally characterizes Chæronea. But has known, with the single exception “cool reflection ” leads to other conof the conflict that checked the ad- clusions, and justifies the earthly course vance of the Saracens in Europe in of Providence, against which we are so the eighth century, — if the battle of often disposed to complain. There can Tours can properly be considered an be no doubt, in the mind of any moral event of modern history. The issue man, that the invasion of England by of the battle of Hastings determined Duke William was a wicked proceedthe course of English history ; and ing, – that it was even worse than when we observe how influential has Walker's invasions of Spanish-Ameribeen the part of England ever since it can countries, and as bad as an unwas fought, and bear in mind that the provoked attack on Cuba by this counEnglish race, great as it is, can scarce- try, such as would have been made ly be said to have got beyond the morn- had the pro-slavery party remained in ing-time of its existence, we find it diffi- power. But it is not the less true that cult to exaggerate the importance of a much good came from William's acconflict by which its career for eight tion, and that nearly all that is excelhundred years has been deeply and lent in English and American history is permanently colored. There is not a the fruit of that action. The part that great event in English or American England has had in the world's course annals which is not directly traceable for eight centuries, including her stuto what was done in the year 1066 by pendous work of colonization, is secthat buccaneering band which William ond to nothing that has been done by the Bastard led from Normandy to any nation, not even to the doings of England, to enforce a claim that had the Roman republic: and to that part neither a legal nor a moral foundation, Saxon England never could have been and which never could have been es- equal. tablished had Harold's conduct been The race that ruled in England equal to his valor, and had Fortune down to the day of Hastings - call it favored the just cause. The sympa- the Saxon race, if you like the name, thies of every fair-minded reader of the and for convenience' sake – was a story of the Conquest must be with the slow, a sluggish, and a stupid race ; Saxons ; and yet is it impossible to and it never could have made a firstdeny that the event at Hastings was class nation of the insular kingdom. well for the world. It is with Harold There is little in the history of the as it is with Hannibal: our feelings are Saxons that allows us to believe they at war with our judgment as we read were capable of accomplishing anytheir histories. It is not possible to pe- thing that was great. The Danish ruse the noble account that Dr. Arnold invasions, as they are called, were of has left us of the Carthaginian's splen- real use to England, as they prevented did struggle against the Roman aris- that country from reverting to barbartocracy without feeling pained by its ism, which assuredly would have been result. The feelings of men are with its fate had the Anglo-Saxons remained the man, and adverse to the order be- its undisturbed possessors. “In the fore which his genius failed. So is it ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries,” with respect to Harold. Hastings, like says Jir. Worsaae, “ the Anglo-Saxons
had greatly degenerated from their fore- most part, taking little or nothing from fathers. Relatives sold one another the English, while they bestowed a into thraldom; lewdness and ungodli- good deal upon them. But the Northness were become habitual; and cow men who became Normans underwent ardice had increased to such a degree changes that rendered it impossible that, according to the old chroniclers, that the Northmen in England should one Dane would often put ten Anglo- coalesce with them after Duke WilSaxons to flight. Before such a people liam's victory in !066. The English could be conducted to true freedom and Northmen were strongly attached to greatness it was necessary that an en individual freedom, as all Northmen tirely new vigor should be infused into were originally; but the Normans had the decayed stock.
This vigor was learned to be feudalists in France, and derived from the Scandinavian North, this necessarily made foes of men who where neither Romans nor any other by blood ought to have been friends. conquerors had domineered over the Many of those who offered the stoutpeople, and where heathenism, with est resistance to the Conqueror were all its roughness and all its love of Danes; and it was not until many years freedom and bravery, still held abso- after Hastings that the English Northlute sway.”
men submitted to the French Normans. The work which the Danes began The English Northmen, nevertheless, was completed by the Normans; and were of real use to the Normans, by it may well be doubted if the Normans what they had effected long before the ever could have effected much in Eng- expedition of William was thought of, land had they not been preceded by the and when the Normans had not become Danes. The Danes were Northmen, as the chief champions of feudalism. The are the Swedes and Norwegians. By immediate effect of Danish action on Normans are meant the governing race William's fortunes, too, was very great. in Neustria, the duchy of Normandy. The Saxon Harold was compelled to The Northmen who settled in Neustria, fight a battle with the Scandinavian and who became the foremost people of invaders of England but twenty days those times, they and their descend before Hastings; and these invaders ants, — did in a portion of France what sought to place a Danish or Norwetheir kinsmen the Danes were doing gian dynasty on the English throne. in England. Circumstances gave to Harold was victorious in his conflict the Normans a consequence in history with the Northmen; but the weakness that is denied to the Danes ; but the and exhaustion consequent on the exinfluence of the latter was very greatertions necessary to repel them were on English life, and on the course of among the leading causes of his failure English events; and Norman influence before the Normans. on that life, and over those events, was The people who gave their name to materially aided by the earlier action of what is called the Norman Conquest of the Danish invaders of England. The England * were the most extraordinary difference between the Northmen in race of the Middle Ages. This can be France and the Northmen in England
* " What we call purchase, perqunia," 5" was this: the former, to a very great Blackstone, " the feudists called conque-t, 61 extent, became Frenchmen, while the tio; both denoting any means of accuring an cul latter did not become Englishmen.
out of the common course of inheritance. And th>
is still the proper phrase in the law of Scotland, as it The former, from Northmen, became
was among the Norinan jurists, who styled the fir1 Vormans, and took much from the peo purchaser that is, him who brought the estade 100
t're family which at present owns it the ple among whom they settled.
or conguereur, which seems to be all that was meant latter remained Northmen, for the
by the appellation which was given to Willia the
Norman." Had Harold been victorious at Haxings * An Account of the Danes and Norvegians in he would, according to the feudists, have been the England, Scotland, and Irclard, by J. J. Worsaae, Conqueror; that is, the man who brought England Sec. I. p. 6.
into his family.
said of them, too, without subscribing were in the habit of looking back to to the extravagant eulogies of their the home of their youth, or of their ardent admirers, who are too much in fathers, with that sort of fondness and the habit of speaking of them in terms regret which were felt by those Engthat would be misplaced were they ap- lishmen who founded the American naplied to Athenians of the age of Peri- tion. This is all wrong. The Northcles. The simple truth concerning men had left the North for the same them shows that they were superior in reason that other men leave their counevery respect to all their contempo- tries, - the only reason that ever causes raries, unless an exception be made on them to do so, - because the North behalf of the Mussulmans of Spain. did not afford them means of supThe Northmen who came first upon port. Had they remained at home, they Southern Europe were mere barbari would have starved; and therefore they ans, but there were among them men turned their backs on that home, and of great natural powers, as there were became plunderers. Some returned among those barbarians who overran home, bearing with them much spoil; the Roman empire ; and they were able but others settled abroad, and thought to take advantage of the wretched con no more of the North. They cut the dition of Europe, as earlier barbarians connection entirely. Like an earlier had profited from the wretched condi- “ brood of winter," they found ample tion of Rome. Of these men, Rollo compensation for all they had left bewas one of the most eminent; and be- hind in " the brighter day and skies of yond all others of the Northmen his azure hue ” of Southern lands. They action has had the largest influence on thought they had made a good exhuman affairs,
an influence, too, that change of "Northern pines for Southpromises to last; for it is working vig
ern roses." orously at this moment, though he has Of these last, the Normans proper been more than nine centuries in his were the most noted, and they have grave, and though to most persons he the first place of all their race in the is as much a mythical character as worid's annals. They changed in evHercules, and more so than Romu- erything, from soul to skin. They lus. We know that he was the founder became Christians, and they took new of Normandy in the early part of the names. Their original language was tenth century; and but for his action soon displaced by the French, and bein obtaining a southern home for him came so utterly lost that hardly more is self and his heathen followers, the con known of it than we know of the Etrusquest of England never could have can tongue. “The Danish language,” been attempted in a regular manner; says Sir Francis Palgrave, “ was never and the stream of English history must prevalent or strong in Normandy. The have run altogether differently, in a Northmen had long been talking thempolitical sense, even had Northmen, as selves into Frenchmen; and in the distinguished from Normans, succeeded second generation, the half-caste Northin establishing themselves in that coun men, the sons of French wives and try. It was the French character of French concubines, spoke the Romanethe Normans which rendered their sub- French as their mothers' tongue.” The jugation of England so important an same great authority says: “In the event, giving to it its peculiar signifi- cities, Bayeux only excepted, hardly cance, and causing it to bear so strongly any language but French was spoken. on European, Asiatic, and American Forty years after Rollo's establishment, history. The Northmen became Chris- the Danish language struggled for extians and Normans. It is not uncom istence. It was in Normandy that the mon to speak of them as if they re- Langue d'oil acquired its greatest poltained their Norwegian characteristics ish and regularity. The earliest speciin the pleasant land of France," and mens of the French language, in the