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blinking in the sun, dreaming doubtless of the past, and I have done. The distance is only Pepiusula and Waterloo, and as I passed å few years, and the vanished thing is under the few trees that grew there, I thought a huge building now dismantled." I wanof the times when those same trees were bright der very often by that great building, so with coloured lamps, and all the world was gay inuch abused by the people who enjoyed it most, where the old pensioners sat dozing, for bere and who held their peace till the whole thing once stood Ranelagh Gardens. Here the ladies was completed, and then suddenly discovered of fashion excited each other's envy by display- that they had foreseen its failure from the being the much-coveted novel, Pamela,” just ginning. I look at the now glassless domes on written by Samuel Richardson, the printer, of which the hailstorm of criticism descended so Parson's Green. Here came Horace Walpole fiercely, and visions and ghosts of its past and the Prince of Wales, and bere with mighty splendour flit before me as I gaze in at the tread stalked Dr. Johnson. “When I first open doors of what once was the great Interentered Ranelagh," he writes, “it gave an ex. national Exhibition of 1862. The vast nave, pansion and gay sensation to my mind, such as I | lately blazing with the gorgeous treasures of never experienced anywhere else. But as many lands, is bare and desolate now; no more Xerxes wept when he viewed his immense army, does Minton's fountain afford its perfumed and considered that not one of that great mul- showers, tempting the rustic visitors to dip their titode would be alive a hundred years afterwards, handkerchiefs, which were wetted but not so it went to my heart to consider that there scented by the treacherous waters. The side was not one in all that brilliant circle that was courts are gloomy deserts, where once stood the pot afraid to go home and think, but that the graceful sculptures of Rome, and the rich treathoughts of each individual there would be dis- sures of France. Cleopatra has fed from her tressing when alone.” To how many of us pedestal, and the tinted Venus has transported does the same thought occur in the gay haunts her cream.coloured charms elsewhere. No where comes no truthful moralist like Samuel longer does the “Reading Girl” attract a Johnson ?
pugilistic crowd of squeezing spectators, eager We may gain a fair idea of how the world to gaze upon her pensive beauty; but she is disported itself at Ranelagh from this descrip- reading on as calmiy as ever in a photographic tion given by the poet Blooinfield :
saloon in Regent-street, and there I saw her not long ago.
“ The Sleep of Sorrow," and “The "To Ranelagh, once in my life,
Dream of Joy,” are both ended, as far as the By good-natured force I was driven ; The nations had ceased their long strife,
Exhibition is concerned, and the sad Georgian And peace beamed her radiance from heaven.
solicits sympathy in the adjacent gardens. And What wonders were here to be found,
what of the frog which the enthusiastic WelshThat a clown might enjoy or disdain ?
men found in a block of coal, and wondered First, we traced the gay circle all round,
how it got there? That most unfortunate of Ay--and then we went round it again !" animals, after causing great excitement, and
puzzling many learned men, and many foolish, Sach was the dancing in the rotunda at Rane. and after hearing daily discussions as to whether lagh Gardens. Here comes George the Third or not he was really alive, finally ended the in bis bag wig and laced coat; here the ground controversy by dying outright ; and, truly, vas swept by the hoops and satin trains of the after being stared out of countenance so long, Court ladies'; and now where are they all ? and argued about so vexatiously, it was the "An echo answers--where?" In 1805 the very best thing for the poor frog to do. Fast rotunda, so often traversed by the nimble Hark! was that the sound of the great organ feet of dancers, the temples, the arbours, and swelling through the deserted building? But the green walks, were swallowed up into the no, it is but Nature's organ which the wind is insatiable vortex of bricks and mortar. There playing up and down the melancholy galleries. is but little in common between Ranelagh Gar. There solitude reigns supreme wlere lately were dens and the old India House, and yet there displayed the wealth of the Lancashire looms, is a link which binds them together in memory, the produce of the widest and remotest lands, for both are vanished things. In vain now we look and the inatchless works of the world's artists. for the somewhat sombre temple of “John Com- The wind is playing hide-and-seek in the obpany's "greatness, where such mighty schemes scure corner where stood Mr. Babbage's calcu. Were laid, whence such terrible edicts went forth lating machine, perhaps the most wonderful of causing dismay in the breasts of newly appointed all that treasure house of wonders, and an insubalterns. How firm and powerful and im- solent vagrant sparrow who has lost his way movable seemed the India' House and its futters about, the sole living inhabitant of the supporters in those times, when the world was spot where so lately the world and his wife, aye, talking of Clive's greatness and shortcomings, and his children to boot, wandered and wonand when Warren Hastings was labouring so dered, and gaped and stared, then gaped and zealously to reap the tribute of a nation's ingra- stared again. But the sparrow has flown away, titude which awaited him in his own land. And and my visions are becoming also mere phannow the great East India Company is a breath in men's mouths, and its house is no more. Let us look back but once more into the
* This paper was written in 1868,
toms of thin air. Still, “in my mind's eye, not where, or how, 80 numberless do they seem. Horatio," I can see that vast building peopled But now the bell has ceased to ring, or the once again; I can see the hungry crowd ringing in my ear has ended, the last visitor has plunging at the counters of the refreshment passed out, and I am alone. Vanished things rooms, and the worthy people from Somerset- are all these. Why should I linger longer over shire devouring pork-pies, apples, and bottled the ashes of the past? I have raked out my beer in fabulous quantities at the foot of Shake- last cinder; this ramble is made and ended ; it, speare's monument.
too, will soon be among the vanished things. I can hear the bell clanging discordantly, and To-day will be part of the dim past, the curtain hurrying the crowds out into the evening sun- will have fallen on our life's drama, and the set or pouring rain, and nerving them to fight play will be played out. Come, let us turn over manfully for omnibuses to bear them I know a new page!
It is a difficult question to decide how far the fame of their founder, Clovis, or Clodovich, had epithet “great” has been rightly bestowed upon expired. The same brilliant origin, ending in men of mark. Popular prejudice, a devotion to rapid decline and ruin, marked the Merovinhero-worship, and many other causes, operate to gians, as it did so many of the nations of the blind men's judgment in their estimate of middle ages—just as the descendants of Aucharacter. The lives and deeds of most well- gustus dwindled down to Romulus Augustulus, known characters are surrounded by such a fic- the deposed puppet of Odoacer, just as the titious glare of praise and romance, that, like a Ommiad Caliphs of Damascus were succeeded scene at the theatre beheld through the light by the Abbassides – just as the Seljukian of red fire, everything is invested with an Turks gave place to the Mongols, and the Mon. unnatural splendour. It may be reasonably gols to the Ottomans, so the long-haired doubted whether a great conqueror is “great' kings” had declined till they became the reges in any other sense than that of a destroyer- insensati, the rois fainéants, whom Eginhard whether many so-called “great” writers are so describes. except in the estimation of a body of readers It seems to have been the fate of all the kings who have made it fashionable to praise their of that age to have masters over them. The protégé. In old times the title was not so ea. Roman Emperors had their barbarian rulers, sily gained as it is now, when the newest music the Caliphs had their Emirs-al-Omra; so the hall singer, or the latest performer on the Merovingians bad their Mayors of the palace. trapeze, earns the meed of greatness; and It will not be necessary here to tell the story of among those so-called great ones of the past, Pepin of Herstal, of Charles Martel, whose none, perhaps, deserved the title more tho- hammer-like arm did such service against the roughly than Charlemagne, the Karolus Mag- Spanish Arabs at Tours, or of Pepin le bref, the nus of the middle-age writers.
father of Charlemagne. Before, however, we The source from which most details of Charle- glance at the life of Charlemagne, it is impormagne's life are taken is not, perhaps, very well tant to understand rightly the character of the known to the general reader. We are indebted Roman Empire at this time-a subject lately for them to Eginhard, the secretary of the treated with great skill and much research. All great Emperor, ho in his “ Vita Karoli the world knows that, after Constantine reMagni,” and “Annales,” gives not only the moved the seat of empire to Constantinople, a history of his master's reign, but many glimpses line of Emperors still occupied the throne of of his private life. This Eginhard, or Ein- Rome. Thus two lines of Emperors ruled, one hardus as he calls bimself in Latin, was born in in the east, the other in the west ; yet the Roman Franconia, and was, during part of his life, Empire was supposed to beoneand undivided. The Abbot of the monastery of St. Bavo, the patron keynote to the politics of the middle-ages is this, saint of Ghent. He married Imma, or Emma, that there existed in men's minds a notion that a daughter of Charlemagne. Eginhard tells the Roman Empire was eternal and universal ; his story of the life of the Emperor in Latin, in a monarchy of the world on its secular side, a a very simple, straightforward style, beginning church of the world on its religious side. This with a slight retrospective glance at the events fond dream pervaded the middle ages : men saw which brought the dynasty of the long-haired a phantom Auttering in the purple of the Merovingians to a close. That race had stea-Cæsars, and yet reverenced the idea of the dily sunk into weakness and obscurity since the Empire though they despised the Emperor.
They saw Rome a horde of robber-nobles, with herself upon the throne after deposing and no governor but the voice of the mob; yet men, blinding her son Constantine VI. ; so cruel an such as Arnold of Brescia, Rienzi, or Stephen act had excited some indignation even in an Porcaro, arose from time to time, and dreamed of age not over scrupulous, and the Pope, in restoring a republic such as existed in the days crowning Charlemagne, declared him to be the of Brutus. They tried and failed, yet never legitimate successor of Constantine VI., and seemned to realize that they were but "setting up the legal occupant of a vacant throne. The ruins."
logic by which this conclusion was reached is, When the Western Empire was ended by the to say the least of it, weak; but it must be deposition of Romulus Augustulus, whose very
borne in mind that in that age the title of an name bears a melancholy significance, the Em- aspirant to royalty mattered very little if he were pire was said to exist just the same, only the
act actually crowned in public : till the crown was of Constantine was reversed - the east and west his seat was as secure (till he lost it) as the heir
his brow his title was nothing, afterwards were once more united. Rome, however, was left a prey to internal dissensions, and the at
of a thousand kings. tacks of external foes. Barbarous hosts had
It was necessary to take a retrospect thus insulted the capitol, and the shrines of dead far; we have now arrived at that memorable and gone Cæsars, over and over again; and, at Christmas day, in the year 800, when, in the the time of which we are treating, the attack came Basilica of St. Peter, the Pope suddenly, and, from the descendants of that Alboin who, in 568, as is most probable, without the previous knowbad led his Lombards into Italy. In the East- ledge of Charlemagne, placed upon his brow tern Empire a ferment of religious excitement the inperial crown, and the event was anhad been caused by the attempt of the Emperor nounced by the shout of the assembled conLeo, the Isaurian, to destroy image-worship; and course, “ Karolo Augusto a deo coronato magno tbis Iconoclastic movement paved the way for et pacifico imperatori vita et victoria.” Thus the the raising up of a line of Teutonic Cæsars in last day of the eighth century witnessed one of Rome. Rome and Italy maintained the worship the greatest and withal quietest revolutions in of images, and thus were alienated from their history. We have now to look a little into the eastern brethren : the Pope was the prisoner of private life of the great Emperor as described to Christian princes, as he has so often been since, i us by Eginhard, who deserves a little of the and his eyes were turned towards the bardy honour accorded to another great man's biowarrior who had displaced the "lazy kings” of grapher, Boswell, for the simplicity and quaintthe Franks from all but nominal power. To the ness of his relation. He gives a brief though Pope's call for help Pepin le bref responded, and graphic account of Charlemagne’s wars in delivered the holy father out of the rude hands Aquitaine, Lombardy, Saxony, Spain, Bretagne, of Aistulf, or Aistulphus, the Lombard King, Italy, Bavaria, with the Sclavonians, the Huns, getting, as his reward, the throne of the Franks and the Northmen or Danes. The Saxon war and the Papal deposition of Childeric, the last of was the most obstinately contested, as in all rethe phantoms of Merovingian royalty. It was ligious wars the conversion made by the sword, the son of this Pepin, Charles the Great, who the baptism of blood was worth very little. finished what his father had begun, and, answer. Though Charlemagne successfully stormed the ing the cry of Pope Hadrian, seized the iron Erisburg and destroyed the great idol of the crown of Desiderius, the last of the Lombards, Saxons, the Irminsul, yet as often as they vowed and made the kingdom of Lombardy a part of to embrace the Christian religion they as often the Frankish realm.
forgot their promise, rebelled, or lapsed into Charlemagne received the title of Patrician of idolatry. This Saxon war was marked by one Rome-a name which illustrates the attachment of the rare acts of cruelty which can be laid to of the Romans to the shadowy memory of their the charge of Charlemagne, the massacre of four palmy days. It was destined that Hadrian's thousand Saxon warriors at Verdun. During successor (Pope Leo III.) should, by his act, the Spanish campaign Charlemagne's forces rebury for ever the old Roman Empire, and erect ceived their first and only defeat. In the Pass another : for, although it was never admitted of Roncevalles, in the Pyrenees, the troops that the line of Emperors was broken for an in- under the Paladin Roland,
called by Eginhard, stant, yet the Teutonic line, which commenced Hruodlandus, were cut off and massacred by • with Charlemagne, bad nothing in common with the Gascons. This Roland was Prefect of the weak successors of Tiberius or Caligula, or Britanny, and formed one of the trio of lewith the eastern tyrants who followed Con- gendary heroes in the Middle Ages, of whom stantine.
Alexander the Great and Arthur were the other The moment which Leo III. seized for crown
two. “Monk” Lewis refers to this event in
the lines ing Charlemagne Emperor was most favourable. The line of Eastern Emperors, who were to all
“ Sad and fearful is the story intents and purposes Emperors of Rome, was an obstacle not easily surmounted; but just at
Of the Roncevalles fight; this time the Eastern throne was not filled by
On those fatal plains of glory any Emperor " born in the porphyry chamber
Perished many a gallant knight.” at Byzant;" the Empress Irene had placed
Eginhard tells us of several oinbassies from the Emperor knew Latin well, and could under. the great men of that age to the emphatically stand Greek, but not pronounce it very easily. great Emperor. Among them some He studied grammar, rhetoric, and especially “Scotorum reges" or Irish chiefs, and more astronomy under Peter of Pisa and Alcuin; conspicuous than they, Aaron al Rasrid, the and with all this, in spite of many arguments on familiar Caliph of The Arabian Nights ; this the other side, a passage in Eginhard distinctly Aaron the Just sent to Charlemagne the keys proves that he could not write, or, if at all, very of the Holy Sepulchre, and, among other curi- little. He was inost aoxious to acquire the art, osities, an elepbant and a water-clock. The and placed his tablets and other writing materials elephant's name we learn was Abulabaz, he under his pillow at night, as though to get insurvived his translation to the Imperial service spiration in his sleep, and all his spare moinents nine years and then died suddenly. Charle, were given up to "writing a copy;" but Eginmagne married in succession four wives named hard says, he began too late, and did not sace Hermingard, Hildegard, Fastrada, and Liut ceed. Shakespere refers to the Emperor's want garda. He seems to have been very careful in of pennanship, in “All's well that 'nds well:” the education of his children: his sons, besides
“I have seen a medicine whose simple touch the ordinary branches of a liberal education as
Is powerful to araise King Pepin, nay, koown at that date, were most skilful in all
To give great Charlemagne a pen in his hand athletic exercises ; his daughters were taught And write to her a love-line." all the mysteries of spinning and wool-work, and were such favourites with the Emperor that
The Emperor was a devout Catholic, and he could never bear them out of his sight.
adorned several churches, building a beautiful Charlemagne himself was an ardent lover of cathedral at Aix-la-Chapelle. He provided this knowledge and patron of learned men. In an cathedral with such an abundance of consecrated age of ignorance and half-barbarous ferocity, vessels and vestments that every minister and when forliter in re was far oftener the gathering attendant, down to the lowest 'menial, had a cry than suaviter in modo, the Emperor stands fitting dress. He cultivated the art of public conspicuous, like a bright light among thick reading and psalmody, though he was never and murky clouds. Eginhard telts us that he known to read aloud or to sing, except in a low was fond of strangers," he invited them to his voice, in company with the choir. 'Space will Court with a view to enlarging the circle not permit us to say more of the great Emperor of his knowledge: we find such men as Alcuin, or of his illness, his hatred for doctors, and Peter of Pisa, and Angilbert receiving a the wondrouz signs which foretold his death. warm welcome at Ingelheim.
He made a will, which is given by Eginhard ; sonal appearance and habits of Charlemagne be died in January 814, and we must now leave Eginhard is minute in his account. The Ém- him to his rest in the cathedral at Aachen, Dear peror was large and robust in form, tall and the tomb where Otto III. was, at a later period, athletic, with large animated eyes, a rather laid to sleep. long nose, and a cheerful expression of countenance. He was a great adept in the art of
How To Show LOVE FOR A WIFE.-Show love for swimming, and sometimes more than a hundred of his friends and followers bathed with him at your wife and your admiration of her, not in nonone time, though no one could approach the chief, or her glove, or in carrying her fan; not, though
sensical compliment; not in picking up her handkerswiftness and ease of his superior swimming. you have the means, in hanging trinkets and baubles Eginhard gives us a list of the contents of his upon her; pot in making yourself a fool by winking wardrobe, and tells us that Charlemagne was much attached to his national Frankish dress, faults; but show them by acts of real goodness to
at, and seeming pleased with her foibles or follies or and never wore foreign clothes, except twice on wards her ; prove, by unequivocal deeds, the high two visits to Rome. His ordinary dress dif- value you set on her health and life and peace of mind; fered little from that of tbe humbler class. He let your praise of her go to the full extent of her seems to have been very abstemious and tem deserts, but let it be consistent with truth and with perate, he despised drunkenness, and seldom sense, and such as to convince her of your sincerity. drank more than thrice during a meal. He He who is the flatterer of his wife only prepares her seldom gave public dinners, and then only to a ears for the hyperbolical stuff of others. The kindest few select guests. His custom was to listen to appellation that her Christian name affords is the best a band of music wbilst dining, or to a reader, you can use, especially before faces. An everlasting who usually selected the Emperor's favourite that sort of love that makes the husband cheerfully
My dear,” is but a sorry compensation for a want of author St. Augustine : after his frugal dinner toil by day, break his rest by night, endure all sorts of he usually had an equally frugal dessert of hardships, if the life or health of his wife demand it. apples. He frequently allowed visitors to come Let your deeds and not your words, carry to her heart to him whilst his sandals and other parts of
a daily and hourly confirmation of the fact, that you his dress were being adjusted. We are reminded value her health and life and happiness beyond all other of another King of France, St. Louis, who used things in the world; and let this be manifest to her, to hold a levée under an oak tree in the forest. particularly at those times when life is always more or
Of his attainments in literature we learn that 'less in danger.
On the per
London, in the first week of December, and she had the pinched, old expression which cold, piercing weather. People told each other, London children like her so often have. She as they stood shivering to talk for a few minutes, did not look hungry or poor, but there was that that Christmas would be like Christmas this about her which said that she had known both fear if the frost would only last, and if a fall of hunger and poverty in her young life. Her EDOV would only come on. There was every clothes were 'shabby, but neat and clean, and promise of the former, for the sky was of a carefully put on; she carried a small parcel, clear, sharp, dark blue, without a cloud; there neatly made up in paper, and, as she walked, her was a keen north wind always blowing, and the keen bright eyes glanced quickly to the right stars sbone at night with a metallic brilliancy and left, and she hummed softly to herself the almost painful to look at; and with such intense air of a popular song. cold, surely snow might come down at any At the door of one of the public-houses moment.
which she passed on her way, there was a group How fast the people walked ! how their of idle men standing—when, indeed, is there breath steamed out, and settled in little globules not a group of idle men at the door of a publicupon the whiskers of the men and upon the house ?-they had all been drinking more or women's veils ! How warm the rich looked in less, but none of them were actually drunk, and their thick cloths, and sealskins, and velvets, they were all, except one, talking and laughing and furs! bow cold the poor, in their thread- loudly. He was a swarthy-featured man, with bare coats, their ragged shawls, and their mise- dark hair, beard, and eyes, powerfully made, rable boots and shoes! The shops in Regent- and apparently about forty years of age. He was street were gorgeous; tempting fabrics were watching the passers-by from under his overpiled in the windows, and inside purchasers hanging brows, and as his eyes fell upon the were made comfortable, and, of course, good girl a strange gleam shot from them just for an tempered and willing to stay and go on buying, instant, and a short, gasping sigh broke from by the warmth of well-filled stoves.
between his closed lips. It is the fashion to call London empty at “What ails Will?" asked one of his comChristmas and so, perhaps, it is at the fashion-panions. “He is about as good company as a able West-end-but in the many terraces, gar- corpse at a wake. Has the old woman at home dens, crescents, and squares, in which the been a blowing of you up, man? or has she comfortable and, in their own “set,” fashionable taken up with one of your pals ? Whistle her middle class Londoners dwell, there is no lack down the wind, say I.” of life.
“Let him alone, Ben,” said another; "he And in how many of these happy homes, this has no woman at home, that I've ever heard on; cold December weather, are preparations being and don't you know that when the black fit's on made for the coming home of the “boys” for Will, he'll not be put upon by anyone." the holidays ? The little beds, unused since “Look how he follows that little gal yonder last summer, are shaken out and aired, the with his eye,” interrupted Ben. “It's a way stock of toys looked up and dusted, every little he has when he's sober, to look after the little pleasure talked about in the family circle is put gals ; when he's drunk”off by unanimous consent “until the boys come
The girl did not hear the remainder of the home," and while "mamma" buys materials speech, which the speaker ended with a coarse for the Christmas-tree, “papa” engages places drunken laugh. for the pantomime. It was getting towards evening, the sun was
“What are ye all jawing about?" said the setting fast — indeed, for all warmth-giving
man they called Will." Mayn't a chap look purposes, he had been as good as set two hours at what he likes with his own eyes ? I'll do as ago
, for the cold wind had had everything its I like with mine, I promise ye.” own way, and the streets were already dry and
“And we with ours !" cried a chorus. “We ringing with the hard black frost. The lamps were only wondering why you are always so were all lighted, the glow of many a genial fire down in the mouth now, Will? At odd times came up through the area railings and over the you're a rare chap for a lark, but” blinds in parlour-windows, and those who had “Let me alone, I tell ye,” interrupted the bomes to go to were hurrying to them fast. other gruffly. “ Come, I'll stop yer mouths for
Along the crowded thoroughfare of the you inside, if you won't stop them outside.” Edgware-road, a girl of about fourteen or fifteen And the speaker chucked half-a-crown into the was walking alone, on her way to the Bayswater-air between bis finger and thumb, Come road : she was an intelligent-looking child, but' along, lads,"