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mans were at length becoming disheartened, when their indefatigable chief had recourse to a stratagem. He ordered a body of horsemen to advance, and to retire precipitately as if in flight, which induced a party of the English to leave their position and follow in pursuit. The pretended fugitives being joined by another body of cavalry who were waiting at a certain distance, then faced about, and the pursuers, assailed on every side and cut off from all retreat, were speedily overpowered. This feint being successfully repeated in different parts of the field, greatly weakened the English; but they still continued to maintain their ground, when an arrow pierced the brain of Harold as he was bravely fighting at the head of his troops. His two brothers had already fallen, and the English, discouraged by the death of their king, now gave way on all sides, and dispersed through the woods in their rear. The Normans followed them by the light of the moon, but being unacquainted with the country, they became entangled in marshy ground, when the men of Kent renewed the combat, and inflicted severe vengeance on their pursuers. They could not, however, retrieve the fortune of the day, and were finally repulsed, but succeeded in preventing any further pursuit.

Thus ended the sanguinary and decisive battle of Hastings. Of the sixty thousand men engaged on the side of the victors, more than a fourth part were left dead upon the field. Duke William had three horses killed under him; and of the numerous knights and lords who had followed his fortunes in the hope of wealth and honours, many found a last resting-place in the soil they had sought to conquer. Besides Harold's two brothers, almost all the nobility of the south of England had died where they fought; and though the total loss of the vanquished is unknown, it cannot reasonably be estimated at less than that of the victors. The body of Harold was delivered to his mother, and deposited by her in the church of Waltham.

12. As we have now reached the end of the AngloSaxon period of English history, it may be well to look back upon the progress made by the nation between the Saxon and the northern invasions. It is doubted how far the feudal system can be said to have been adopted before

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immediate danger than that from Normandy. Tostig, unnatural brother, who had been expelled from Northumberland after several piratical incursions, had repaired to the court of Norway, where he prevailed upon Harold Hadrada to invade England. Early in autumn the Norwegian monarch set sail with a fleet of 200 war-ships, and twice as many vessels of inferior size, laden with all kinds of warlike stores. He sailed up the Humber and captured York; but Harold immediately attacked him, and in the battle of Stamford Bridge most of the invaders perished, and the fleet became the prize of the conqueror.

While Harold was recruiting his exhausted troops at York, he was informed of William's landing in Sussex, and immediately hastened towards London, pressing for ward his soldiers with the utmost speed. On the 13th of. October, he came in sight of the invading army, and having chosen a favourable position on a declivity named Sense, nine miles from Hastings, entrenched his camp and waid for the attack. The Normans were posted on the opposit hill, which they descended about nine in the morning of the 14th, and crossing the intervening space, began to ascend that on which the English were stationed. Be fore closing with their opponents, they raised the shor of "Dieu aide! God is our help!" and were answered b Harold's troops with that of "Christ's rood-the Imm rood!" or cross. The attack was commenced by the Norm archers, who produced no impression upon the firm phot of the English. William then brought his steel-dimen men to the charge, but they were repulsed with slaughter, their coats of mail, on which they som pended, being no protection against the battle-am sturdy islanders. The Normans now began to wa a report being spread that the duke was killed, their left wing took to flight. Willia to them with his helmet in his hand am still alive, and with the help of quer," succeeded in restoring com his troops to the attack, and the with the utmost fury; but the most furious onsets, and at victory seemed to favou

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the Conquest If the Normans did not entirely introduce it into England, they at least brought it to perfection; but it must not be overlooked, that the Saxons before them had established a regular form of government, in which principles are to be found that have proved far more valuable to the liberty and happiness of the people than those of feudalism.


Beneath the royal family there were but two classes, thanes and churls, i. e. gentry and inferior people. The conquered native Britons were little better than slaves, attached like cattle to the estates of their masters. great council, the parliament of the nation, was the witenagemot, or assembly of the wise men. It was composed of prelates, abbots, and earls or aldermen of shires; but there was nothing resembling the modern representative system. For the purpose of administering justice, England was divided into counties, hundreds, and tithings: the countycourt was held several times in the course of the year, and its presidents were the bishop and the alderman, or the sheriff. Unless justice was denied in this court, there lay no appeal to the royal tribunal. The law of trial by jury and frank pledge or mutual responsibility has been spoken of in connexion with the reign of King Alfred.

The country was not without learning-indeed for some time the peaceful Saxon churchmen were a more civilized and learned class than the half military ecclesiastics whom the Normans thrust among them. Rich libraries existed at Canterbury, in the monastery of Wearmouth, and particularly at York, in which were to be found nearly all the Greek and Latin writers illustrious in profane and sacred literature. Four names will suffice to show the literary glory of England under the dominion of its Saxon conquerors: Alfred, the learned and heroic king; Aldhelm, abbot of Malmesbury, and afterwards bishop of Sherburn, long celebrated for his poetry; Bede, whom a council of French bishops, held at Aix-la-Chapelle a hundred years after his death, denominated the venerable and admirable doctor; and Alcuin, who so effectually aided Charlemagne in establishing schools throughout his empire, and in regenerating polite learning, at that period almost extinct. 13. The history of the Anglo-Saxon coinage is very

obscure: there appear to have been two kinds of money— money of account and coins. To the former belonged the pound, equivalent to £2, 16s. 3d. of our sterling money; the greater and smaller shilling, respectively valued at fourteen pence and eleven pence farthing: to the latter belonged the penny, halfpenny, and farthing, severally worth about 2 d., 2d., and 1d. The only copper coin was the styca, in value about one-third of a farthing. Foreign coins circulated extensively among the Anglo-Saxons, particularly the gold besants, equal in value to forty pennies.

The manners of the Anglo-Saxons were rude and semibarbarous. The higher classes sat at a round table, to which none of inferior degree were admitted. A sort of dais was placed over their heads, with curtains falling from its sides. Slaves waited upon them kneeling, and with a short dagger or dirk each guest cut off a portion from the food presented to him. Their feasts generally ended in drunken revelry; and even the clergy were not free from excess in their cups. The music of the Anglo-Saxons was as rude as the instruments they employed, which consisted of straight or curved horns, copper vessels beaten with little sticks, and a five-stringed harp.

It is still questioned whether there are any actual remains of Saxon architecture in existence. Westminster Abbey, erected by Edward the Confessor, was destroyed and rebuilt in the thirteenth century. Some edifices, such as the curious tower of Earl's Barton in Northamptonshire, have been supposed to be Saxon, because they are unlike any specimens of the later schools of architecture. They are generally built with small rough stones, intended to be plastered on the outside; but they have hewn stone at the corners, and at the sides of the doors and windows, as well as projecting bands of cut stone at certain distances. But it has not yet been satisfactorily proved that even these buildings are Saxon.

Although agriculture declined under the early Saxon rule, it was still far superior to the mode pursued by the conquerors in their own country. The British farms were small, but regularly divided into meadow, arable, pasture, and woodland. The fields were usually enclosed; gardens and orchards were cultivated in favourable spots; and

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