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stroyed, the glare of the flames being seen for many miles. Destructive as it was, it did a great amount of good in clearing away the dens of pestilence which lurked in the narrow, confined streets, and in purifying the air after the infectious plague.
A persecution began in Scotland against the covenanters, which continued for many years, even till after the death of Charles, its object being to force the episcopal form of church government upon that people.
The persecution became so oppressive that a section of the people rose in arms. At first they received some encouragement by repulsing Graham of Claverhouse — the Bonnie Dundee of Scottish song—at Loudon Hill. This success induced many adherents of doubtful character to join the standard of the covenanters, and soon an army was collected. The Duke of Monmouth, an illegitimate son of Charles by Lucy Walters, was hastily sent down to command the king's troops against them. He found the enemy strongly posted at Bothwell Bridge, within a day's march from Glasgow. Evil counsel and disputes within the camp lost the day for the covenanters. Three hundred of them were slain, and above four times that number taken prisoners. After this defeat, the persecution became fiercer than before. People were hunted down like wild beasts, no regard being paid to either age or sex. The cruelties that were perpetrated are too harrowing for description.
The famous Habeas Corpus Act was passed in 1679. It enacted that any supposed criminal must be brought to trial within a limited time after arrestment, in order that, if innocent, he may be set.free; or, if guilty, at once receive his just punishment. It is the great shield we possess against lengthened imprisonment before being put upon trial for offence. In many parts of the continent, for example, a person may be apprehended upon suspicion, and confined, without trial, for years, and then be placed in court and informed, after being judged, that he is innocent. Had there been an act of this sort in force earlier, Mary Queen of Scots, Raleigh, More, and others would not have been allowed to linger in prison for such lengthened periods, without being brought to trial.
At the close of this reign, an attempt was made to place the Duke of Monmouth on the throne. All parties were becoming tired of Charles, who had given himself up entirely to idleness and folly. Monmouth, on the other hand, was a great favourite, and many were of opinion that he would make an excellent ruler. The conspiracy in his favour, however, which is known as the Rye House plot, signally failed. Monmouth luckily escaped to the continent; but Lord William Russell, Algernon Sidney, and others who were said to be implicated in the plot, were executed.
Charles II. died unregretted and uncared for, in the year 1685. He was a mean-spirited monarch, treacherous to his friends, extravagantly fond of pleasure, having no idea of virtue. The only redeeming point in his character was his joyous disposition, which acquired for him the sobriquet of the “merry monarch.”
Charles II. left no legitimate children, so that his brother, the Duke of York, succeeded him on the throne as James II. As James was greatly disliked by the people, some of those persons who had been concerned in the Rye House plots made another attempt to secure the crown for Monmouth. They arranged that Argyle should make a descent upon Scotland, while Monmouth landed in England. - Argyle's attempt ended in his being executed at Edinburgh ; while Monmouth was completely defeated at Sedgemoor, 1685. This engagement is remarkable on account of its being the last battle fought upon English ground. Monmouth escaped from the field, but was made prisoner two days afterwards, and carried to London, where, after vainly suing for pardon, he was beheaded. His untimely end caused much regret, as he was in high favour with all classes. He was married to Anne, the heiress of Buccleuch, and was thus the ancestor of the now noble house of that name, so justly popular in Scotland and deservedly esteemed.
Great cruelties were inflicted upon the unfortunate rebels, the king finding a willing tool for this work in the infamous judge Jeffreys, a man utterly devoid of human kindness.
Immediately after these events, James began to unfold his designs for converting Britain to the Romish Church.
He showed himself, too, utterly regardless of the law in ruling, and soon seemed to set both justice and reason at defiance. He raised a perfect storm of public indignation against himself by committing to the Tower the seven bishops who refused to have read in their churches a declaration of fresh indulgences to the Catholics. When their trial ended in their favour, the joy of the nation knew no bounds, and the dislike to the king began to be openly expressed.
James became perfectly infatuated ; and so great was his indignation at these and other events, that he declared his intention to reduce the country to his will by force of arms. While he was making his preparations, a paper signed by the leading nobles was placed in the hands of his nephew and son-in-law, William, Prince of Orange, inviting him to come over to England and become her king. William joyfully accepted the call, for many reasons; the strongest, perhaps, being that it would place him in a better position to carry out the project of his life—to check the power of Louis XIV. of France.
James was warned by Louis to be cautious, but the counsel came too late. When fully aware of his danger by learning that William had really set sail to invade his kingdom, he strove to gain favour by undoing the mischief he had done. This policy was, however, of no avail now; and the king was declared to be unworthy of confidence.
William landed, unopposed, at Brixham, a small fishing town on the coast of Torbay, in Devonshire, in 1688. At first, he did not find the support he expected. As soon, however, as Churchill, afterwards the famous Marlborough, and Prince George of Denmark, husband of Anne, his wife's sister, joined him, adherents came in every day.
James had hope until Anne deserted him ; when, seeing his child taking part with his enemies, 'he fled from the country and sought refuge at St. Germains, in France. He died in exile, August 6th, 1701.
EXERCISE.-17. COMPOSITIOX. 1. Make out a list (a) of persons, (b) of places, (c) and of dates mentioned in this lesson, with events which occurred in connection with them.
2. Write a short account of the Ilabeas Corpus act.
3. Give a brief account of the character of Charles II. and James II, 4. What benefits followed the great fire of London ?
5. Correct the errors in the following : Sums of money was voted by Parliament to carry on this war, but Charles devoted it to his private purposes. Give reasons for your corrections.
ONE OF THE WORLD'S WONDERS.
THE BALL ROOM AND THE CONCERT ROOM.
grot-to (A.-S. grut] a subterranean cavern, a crypt. de-scrip-tion (L. de, down; scribo, to write), an account of anything in words. cav-ern (L. cavus, hollow], a deep hollow place under the earth's surface. ex-panse [exc, out; pando, to spread], a wide extent of space. THERE are some sights of which it is impossible by mere words. to convey any adequate impression, and to do justice to which it would be necessary to combine the epithets and imagery of a dozen languages. Foremost among these is the Grotto of Adelsberg, and I had hardly entered it when I became painfully conscious that the idea with which I had come here, namely, of writing a description which should give a vivid conception of the most beautiful and varied succession of grottoes in the world, was hopelessly beyond my powers. I must therefore content myself witń conveying a very faint notion of the wonderful scenes through which I wandered.
The entrance to the caverns is about a mile from Adelsberg, a market-town of Carniola, about twenty-two miles north-east from Trieste. It is under the charge of the municipality, who fix a regular tariff for guides and illumination, and keep the grottoes in proper order. This part of their duties is admirably discharged, for the path is everywhere level and sanded, and so dry that a lady might traverse its whole.length without soiling her satin shoes.
We were a party of six, and our joint expenses amounted to éight francs for six guides, and forty francs for the illumination. Three of the men accompanied us, carrying two candles apiece, while the others went on some distance in front to prepare and light up the principal grottoes. These are four in number, and the proportions of each were fairly displayed by more than a hundred candles tastefully ar
ranged, which were, however, completely thrown into the shade by the bright, clear light of the magnesium wire we had taken the precaution of bringing with us from Trieste. The effect of this, more especially in the numerous unilluminated grottoes, was startling and lovely in the extreme.
The entrance to the caves is a little way up on the side of a limestone mountain, whose strata dip at an angle of about forty-five. Immediately below, the Poite, a goodsized stream, enters a low cavern, and reappears only at Planina, some ten miles in a direct line to the north. The length of the actual course of the river is probably more than double that distance, for pieces of wood or cork thrown in at Adelsberg do not emerge at Planina for twelve hours afterwards. There are two entrances to the grotto, close to each other : the one bears the date 1819, the other, which is larger and more commodious, has been only lately completed.
The path at first led through a passage or corridor of no great length, and then opened suddenly into the noble cavern which has been christened the “ Dome.” This was all that was known of the grottoes until the year 1819, when a workman accidentally destroyed a stalactite screen, and discovered the entrance to the apparently illimitable series of caves beyond. Of these, five miles in length have been explored, but the end has not been reached, and they extend for unknown distances in several directions.
The effect of the “ Dome” is superlatively grand. It is 300 feet in length, 100 in height and width. The sides are quite perpendicular, and at about half their height a natural gallery runs partially round them. The view from this is magnificent in the extrenie. Candles had been placed at short intervals upon the parapet ; their light, however, barely pierced the gloomy expanse. Above, the roof loomed dark and vague ; below, the river rushed brawling among rocks, crossed by a wooden bridge, with two rows of candles, whose lights were reflected in broken flashes from the black tumbling water. At the extreme end of the hall a faint blue gleam showed where the daylight beyond struggled in at the outlet of the river cave. Above and around the roar of the stream was re-echoed and answered