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Charles. The privileges Charles had sworn to the Pope he Palermitans had gone to hear vespers at the Church of San would restore were not only kept back, but the privileges that Spirito ou Morreale, a short distance from the town. The remained were also taken away. The revenues of the convents weather was fine, and after service the people walked in a were seized by the champion of the church, and the wolf whom pleasure-garden that was near to the church. Among the the Pope delighted to honour with a sheep's clothing, began to crowd were many officers of the viceroy, Herbert of Orleans, flesh his teeth in the bodies of the Church's lambs. The barons and a large sprinkling of French soldiery. An order of the friendly to the Angevins were deprived of their property on the viceroy had forbidden Sicilians to carry arms, so that the pretence that they had acquired it through Manfred, who had people were weaponless, while the French wore their usual no power to confer it; and those barons who could not prove arms. According to custom, the French swaggered, and jostled themselves free from all taint of treason were deprived as the unoffending islanders, uttering now and then insulting traitors. The French soldiery were enriched with Italian spoils, speeches to the men, and behaving insultingly by word and a new and alien nobility was created; feudalism in its harshest gesture towards the women. Provoked by their behaviour, some form was thrust upon the people; secret prison-houses sprang up of the Sicilian young men remonstrated, and that so boldly that in hateful abundance; the voice of justice was stifled, and the the French exclaimed, “They must have concealed arms, or whole nation was ground down to misery under the iron heel of they would not speak so." A search was made for arms upon a foreign despot. The taxes were crushing, and most offensively the persons of the remonstrants, and one soldier, named levied, the currency was debased by the government, and then Drouet, more brutal than his companions, walked up to where called in at the loss of the people; heiresses were compelled to a beautiful girl was walking with her parents and her betrothed, marry needy Frenchmen ; estates were made wildernesses that and accusing her of carrying concealed weapons, forth with some French lord might hunt over them, while the owner was began to search her by thrusting his hand into her bosom, forbidden on pain of death to kill a head of game. In their attempting as he did so to kiss her. The maiden fainted; and domestic relations the poor people were fearfully insulted. before she could be brought to again a young man, whose name Lawlessness, conscious of security, ran riot through the land, unfortunately is not known, had knocked the Frenchman down and respected neither rank nor condition in gratifying its lust. and killed him with his own sword, shouting as he slew him, This was the rock on which the French dominion split, the rock "Death to the French! Down with the French !" A horrible on which royalty in old Rome was dashed to pieces, the rock scene ensued; the French defended themselves with courage on which the power of " the wicked ten" was ground to powder. and ability, and many a Sicilian fell ; but of the foreigners a conThere is a point beyond which human endurance will not go, temporary historian tersely says, "they numbered two hundred, and that point had been reached by Sicilian sufferers and and two hundred died.” French oppressors. Domestic outrage was the spark which Like a thunder-clap the voice echoed through the country, fired the train of Sicilian anger.
and roused the hearts of all. Every man's hand was against Already the train was laid. The conduct of the French had the aliens. Implements of husbandry, of household use, served been such that no one with a claim to manhood could endure the place and did the work of more warlike weapons. it, and at the risk of their lives men plotted against the Excited and bloody, with the dead men's swords in their savage rule of the Duke of Anjou, trying by every means in hands, the Sicilians rushed into Palermo. The terrible shout their power to provoke his enemies into action against him. of "Death to the French !" resounded in the streets, and ere And his enemies were many. The Pope, who had enlisted him night closed in upon Easter Tuesday 2,000 gashed corpses of in his service simply and solely to do despite to the Ghibelline Frenchmen who that day had insolently ruled, were flung oat faction, supported him in his high-handed villanies till these to be a prey to the beasts of the field. Palermo was seized by became directed against himself, and till the ambitious duke the insurgents, every foreigner was driven forth. Giovanni di sought by means of his Roman influence to over-ride even San Remigio, the governor, escaped only by a miracle, and he in Rome the authority of the Pontiff King. Nicolas III. escaped but to fall the next day in a sortie from the castle of was now (A.D. 1277) Pope, and seeing the drift of his pre- Vicari upon men whose offer to send him and his followers by decessor's most obedient, humble servant, took part with the safe conduct to Provence he had scornfully rejected. Frenchman's enemies to overthrow him. The Greek emperor, The ferocity of the outbreak left the Sicilians without hope Michael Palæologus, was among Charles's direst foes, for the of reconciliation. They had gone thus far, they must go yet duke, fancying that he saw in the weakness of the Greek farther. In a sort of parliament, hastily convened at Palermo, empire an opportunity of seizing the Greek crown, made no the regal form of government was renounced, and a common secret of his intention to win it if he could, and openly prepared wealth, under the protection of the Church, was declared to be the means of following up his pretensions by forco. A third the new constitution. The example set by Palermo and a fer strong foe was Peter III., King of Aragon, in whom the right neighbouring places was quickly followed by the most impor of Manfred and of Conradin survived. This prince, willing tant towns in the island, even Messina being obliged, in spit enough to win an additional crown, provided he had not to fight of the viceroy's presence, to follow suit. Flying column for it single-handed, but too prudent to risk what he had for scoured the country, killing every Frenchmen that was found sake of what he might not have, had hitherto turned a deaf ear indeed, such was the fury, that Saba Malaspina says it seeme to the suggestions of the Sicilian exiles who suggested action as if every man had a father, son, or brother to avenge, or in support of his wife's claims. But now that the Pope and possessed with the belief that in slaying a Frenchmen he di the Greek Emperor were disposed to be actively hostile, the God service. An oath was taken to die rather than sers Emperor of Germany passive, and the Neapolitans and Sicilians the French, and in a week after Drouet insulted the Sicilia murderously revengeful-while the King of France, St. Louis, maiden the French dominion was an historical event in Sicily. was so much weakened by the ruinous failure of his crusading The allied sovereigns were fortunately able, although the expedition into Africa as to be no longer feared-Peter began to action had been precipitated, to second with material help th think of stirring himself, and arrived at the conclusion that efforts of the insurgents. A Spanish fleet, fitted out with th Charles of Anjou was a consummate scoundrel and a robber. Greek emperor's money, swept the sea of the squadron whice An alliance was made between Peter, the Greek Emperor, and Charles of Anjou had reckoned on to carry his re-conquerin the Pope, the last of whom confirmed, with authority at least as army into the rebellious province; and Papal money supplie great as that which had given the Two Sicilies to Charles, the the Sicilians with the arms and munitions which only the right of the Spaniard to the throne. The Sicilians were duly wanted to enable them to keep what they had won. Repeate apprised of what was going forward, and means were taken by and strenuous efforts were made by the Duke of Anjou them to second the efforts of the allied sovereigns whenever the recover his lost ground, and for a long while he besiegt signal of revolt should
be raised. Bat the plot which was Messina in person with a powerful army and fleet; but thickening suddenly burst, not through any discovery on the hour had struck with the vesper chime on Easter Tuesda part of the French, not through any treachery on the part of His fleet was destroyed, his army was terribly mauled, and the Sicilians; bat simply because it could be concealed no himself narrowly escaped capture at the hands of those he la longer, because an act committed by a licentious French come to subdue. Peter III. of Aragon reigned in his stea soldier was the last straw which broke the patient back of and the island of Sicily knew him no more. Sicilian forbearance.
The point of the Spanish ambassador's reply to Henry I On Easter Tuesday, the 31st of March, 1282, the élite of the of France is no longer difficult to be seen.
NATURAL HISTORY OF COMMERCE. average depth is not over thirty or forty fathoms, which
would not cover the chimney-shafts of many of our CHAPTER II.
factories, and in no part are the soundings deep, except Our National Home-Its Climate, Soil, and Consequences resulting off the precipitous coasts of Norway, which the Atlantic,
therefrom--Latitude of the United Kingdom and Contrast of Cor: rather than the North Sea, may be said to lave. Traversresponding Latitudes-Position of the United Kingdom relative to Europe - Climate-Diversities of Temperature Diversities of ing this sea are also many shoals and sand-banks, the Rainfall-Causes of Diversity-Gull Stream-Deflection of Iso- largest being the Dogger, 350 miles long, running norththerms-Current and Counter-Current-Aërial Currents--Botani- ward, midway between the coast of Northumberland and cal or Floral Regions-Iberian or Asturian, Armorican, Germanic, Jutland. Some of these banks come within six or seven and Borenl Regions-Minor Diversities of Climate and Vegetation fathoms of the sea-level. --Chart of Floral Regions.
The neighbouring lands on both sides the German The United Kingdom, between 50° and 61° N. lat., by Ocean assume the features of the sea-bed. Parts of 2° E. and 11° W. long., comprises several hundred islands, Holland are forty feet below the sea-level, and are only of which Great Britain and Ireland are the chief, the protected from marine irruptions by embankments and remainder being unimportant.
sand dunes. Jutland is entirely alluvial. English Great Britain includes England, Wales, and Scotland, Holland," or the Fen districts, in the
neighbourhood of and is the largest island in Europe.
the Wash, consists of land rescued from the sea, much of The British Empire comprehends, besides the United it so low-lying as also to require dykes and embankments Kingdom, colonies and possessions in every zone, so ex- to prevent inundation. In fact, the great European plain tensively and widely dispersed as to give literal truth to commences in the tertiary and alluvial deposits of Engthe saying, that the sun never sets on the Queen's domi- land, takes in the German Ocean, embraces the Nethernions.
lands and Denmark, and then sweeps along the low lands The latitude of the United Kingdom corresponds with and stoneless steppes below St. Petersburg, and extends that of the cold and sterile regions of Labrador, in to the Caspian Sea. The whole plain gives evidence of America, and the ice-bound shores of Kamtschatka, in an ancient sea-bed, of which the sandy flats about Calais Asia. In the southern hemisphere its like or analogue and Berlin, and the lake-plain of Pomerania, are parts, is the cheerless land of Tierra del Fuego. London is and with which England is conjoined. The United in the same latitude as the Strait of Belleisle and Cape Kingdom consequently retains, in many respects, a Lopatka; Edinburgh, the northern metropolis, corre- European character, although insular. sponds with Moscow, and also with Cape Horn.
2nd. Climate of the United Kingdom. What is meant These are striking contrasts. We cannot imagine a by Climate ? flourishing people living in the bleak and pitiless "Climate,” says Professor Ansted, "is a resultant of countries just referred to. From what, then, are our all the atmospheric phenomena, embracing the temperaimmunities derived ? A well-known American writer ture of the air at various times and seasons, the range says of England :
and variation of the temperature, the direction and force of ** The territory has a singular perfection. The climate the prevalent winds, the liability to storm, the amount of is warmer by many degrees than it is entitled to by humidity in the air at various seasons, the quantity of latitude. Neither hot nor cold, there is no hour in the mist and rain, the distribution of rain, and the varieties whole year when one cannot work. The temperature of electrical condition. makes no exhaustive demands on human strength, but “ These phenomena affect and depend on each other, allows the attainment of the largest stature. In variety but all may ultimately be traced to certain general of surface it is a miniature of Europe, having plain, causes. forest, marsh, river, sea-shore; mines in Cornwall, caves "1. The position of the station in latitude. in Derbyshire, delicious landscape in Dovedale, and sea "2. The size and figure of the land on which the view at Torbay; highlands in Scotland; Snowdon in station is situated, whether detached island, archipelago, Wales; in Westmoreland and Cumberland, a pocket Swit- or continent. zerland, in which the lakes and mountains are on a "3. The elevation of the station above the sea. sufficient scale to fill the eye and to touch the imagina “4. The position of the land on which the station is
placed, with reference to the neighbouring land. “From first to last it is a museum of anomalies. This “5. The position, distance and direction, magnitude foggy and rainy country furnishes the world with astro- and elevation, of the nearest continent. nomical observations. Its short rivers do not afford "6. The natıre, magnitude, and direction of the nearest water-power, but the land shakes under the thunder of great marine current to its shores." its mills. There is no gold mine of any importance, but The phenomena of the climate of the United Kingdom there is more gold in England than in all other countries. may be summarised under the heads of Diversities of It is too far north for the culture of the vine, but the Temperature,
and Diversities of Rainfall. wines of all countries are in its docks; and oranges and 1. Diversities of Temperature. pine-apples are as cheap in London as in the Mediter The western coast of Ireland is 10° warmer than tho
like latitude on the east coast of England. Scotland, Position of the United Kingdom relative to Europe. compared with England, is cold and wet, although not The relative position and climate of the United subject to extremes. The winters, indeed, are so mila Kingdom are both peculiar. Great Britain is insulated that the harbours generally do not freeze, as on the Confrom the Continent, of which it is the natural boundary, tinent, in similar and even in lower latitudes. The its seasons are abnormal, and its temperature is arti: Western Islands have a uniform and genial climate, con
trasting with the opposite coast. Unst, one of the Shet1st. Position of the United Kingdom.
lands, and the Isle of Wight, correspond in winter For about a hundred miles west of Ireland the slope of temperature, although nearly 700 miles, or 10° of latitude, the sea-bed is gradual, when a sudden descent occurs of separate them. more than 2,000 feet, forming submarine cliffs that mark Again, Devonshire and Cornwall, in point of winter the confines of the Old World. The bed of the German temperature, are warmer than London by 5o; Penzanco Ocean, on the other hand, is generally shallow. Its and Torquay, in mildness and salubrity, resemble
Madeira, and are recommended to patients affected with "English Traits." By R. W. Emerson.
350 39'0 414 40.5 36'2 40*5
54 33 54 15 53 24 51 36
The diversities of temperature are tabulated in the
Coast and Interior.
Coast and Interior, Inverness 27.0 inches, Cape Wrath
386 inches. 25.0
480 Edinburgh Winter Tem Summer
Mean TemLOCALITY. Latitude.
W. Denton, North
Glasgow perature. Temperature. perature.
Lake Districts, from
50-0 to 140.6 Fahrenheit
58° 29' N. Wick
43-0 63'4 Dundee
Mean of West Side,
3. Causes of Diversity. London 39.5
Our western shores are bathed by an ever-flowing Chichester
warm current from the Atlantic, called the Gulf Stream.
The winds, for more than two hundred days in the year, West Side.
blow in the track of this great marine current, and fill Winter Tem- Summer Mean Tem. the air with humid vapours exhaled from its surface. LOCALITY, Latitude. perature. Temperature perature. The Gulf Stream originates in the embayed waters of
Mexico, whence, heated and expanded by a tropical sun, Fahrenheit. Glasgow
39-6° 55° 51' N.
it issues as an ocean river through the Narrows of
49.80 Whitehaven 399
Florida. Widening in its course northwards, it dirides
49.0 Isle of Man
49-8 in mid-Atlantic. One current curves to the parched Liverpool.
plains of Africa, and becomes lost in the equatorial Swansen
waters. A polar prolongation, accurately defined, Penzance.
diverges till it fills the space between Iceland and NorIreland.
way. By its influence the North Cape is freed from ice
even in the depth of winter, and its effects are felt as far Winter Tem
Summer Mean TemLOCALITY. Latitude.
as Spitzbergen, where its interfusion with the ocean beperature. Temperature perature.
comes complete. Fahrenheit.
The United Kingdom fully receives the beneficial Belfast 54° 36' N.
63.90 52-3° influences of this stream. The warm air and heated Antrim i
flood combine to deflect the isothermal lines northward, Dublin
raising the temperature and giving to high European
latitudes the amenities of a southern climate. Now it is Mean Temperature of the
a physical law that every current, whether aërial or whole Coast.
marine, has a corresponding counter-current. We find,
therefore, firstly, that at an undefined distance to the West Coast of Great Britain 40.3° Fahr. 59.00
west, a cold stream flows down Baffin's Bay, and past the East Coast of Great Britain
Greenland shores, sinking by its density beneath the Mean Temperature of hottest month (July), 60-0° to 65.0°. Gulf Stream, and completing its circuit; secondly, that, Mean Temperature of sea on West Coast in winter is 41.0°.
to the east, a polar counter-current blows over the 2. Diversities of Rainfall.
distant Russian plains to complete the aërial circuit
, Constant humidity rather than amount of rainfall dis- Thus we are twice favoured: by the presence of the low, tinguishes the United Kingdom; for the total rainfall genial currents, and by the absence of the high, inclement is not actually greater than that of many other countries counter-currents, which, respectively, determine the in the same latitude. Nevertheless we owe to it our climate of their neighbourhood. While the western numerous rivers and the fertility which makes nearly the maritime borders of Europe are verdant, the coasts of whole land resemble a garden. Ireland is more humid Labrador are frostbound and barren; and the region of than England, and the western sides of each island are the intensest cold on the globe is in the Russian more humid than the eastern. As a consequence, Ireland dominions. is essentially a grazing country, and in England pasturage During the vernal and autumnal equinoxes the aērial is more common in the western than in the eastern streams in the latitude of the United Kingdom come into counties, where tillage chiefly prevails. These facts are conflict; then the cold easterly and north-easterly winds patent in the familiar terms of Irish butter, Devonshire condense the vapours from the ocean, and produce cream, Cheshire and Gloucester cheese, Hereford short-characteristic fogs. These winds are trying, and often horns, Alderney cows; while Norfolk and Suffolk and prevail for weeks together. the valley of the Thames are suggestive of corn.
Botanical or Floral Regions. At Keswick, Cumberland, the yearly average rainfall is Within the confines of the United Kingdom various 60 inches; in London, the average is 24 inches. The botanical or floral regions have been defined with toleraverage for the whole of the United Kingdom may be able accuracy, each region being characterised by its own between 30 and 40 inches.
climate. The following diagram will give a better view of the Our cloudy sky keeps off heat, prevents radiation, and rainfall :
is favourable to the growth of crops, whose variety makes DIAGRAM OF THE RAINFALL OF THE UNITED KINGDOM. up for the greater certainty of the harvests of the ComIreland.
tinent. Though we do not enjoy uninterrupted fixe weather, there is scarcely a day, except at the equinoxes
, Londonderry 31.0 inches. Westport, Mayo "46-0 inches, when the sun does not shine; and we rarely suffer from Belfast
a succession of bad seasons. Dublin
1. Iberian or Asturian Region. Portarlington.
In the part principally open to the Gulf Stream and Interior 297
and Interior. 47•4 inches. to the prevalent winds, the air is so charged with
moisture, that the sun's warmth is absorbed before reach Minor Diversities of Climate and Vegetation. ing the earth, and fruits that will ripen further north The prevalence of plants in groups has enabled us not here seldom come to perfection. The peach tribe lose only to define botanical districts or floral regions, but favour, and grapes never reach maturity. The crops also to distinguish climate within short distances. If suffer less from drought than from too much wet. every condition were easily traced, the climate of any Botanists designate it as our Asturian or Iberian region, spot could be at once inferred; but our own country from its relation to the Asturias, the Biscayan province exemplifies the difficulties of accounting for the differof Spain. The arbutus, London pride, bell heath, maiden ences of climate in small areas. Brighton differs essenhair fern, and about fifteen other species of plants not tially from Torquay; Bath from Cheltenham; the clioccurring in any other part of Great Britain, are common mates of Malvern, Buxton, and Harrogate are unlike that to both botanical regions. The provinces of Munster and of Scarborough, or the lake districts, and each in turn Connaught in Ireland, and the county of Cornwall with differs from all the rest. It would be a good mental the adjacent parts of Devonshire in England, represent exercise to trace the local or distant cause of these this region. Myrtles are fragrant in the open air diversities :throughout the winter. The evergreen oak, and the
CHART OF FLORAL REGIONS OR BOTANICAL DISTRICTS. arbutus, with leaves hidden under bosses of gorgeous fruit, are prominent in the overhanging woods of Region.
Limits. Characteristics. Analogue. Killarney, and indigenous to its vicinity. A rich neighbouring slip of land running through the two counties of
Humidity. Madeira and Tipperary and Killarney, has for centuries borne the
Evergreens. N. Spain.
S. & W. England,
Pastures and 2. Armorican Region.
Orchard Fruits. and Brittany.
S.E. Ireland. The south-west of England, adjoining Devon and
N. & Cntrl. Ireland, Deciduous Trees Germany Cornwall, agrees in climate with the French provinces Germanic. Central Eugland, and Green Ve and Midof Normandy and Brittany, whose flora is not preva
Scotch Lowlands. getables.
Europe, lent elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Devonshire Boreal, Arctic, Extreme N. Ireland,
(Alps, cyder, Worcestershire perry, indicate the English home
Fir Trees and or Scandi Scottish Highlands,
Sweden, of the apple and pear. "Normandy pippins” is an Davian. Eng. Lake District.
Lapland. equally familiar term. Across the Channel the rural homesteads, the pastures, and orchards continue the natural aspect of England; while the oak, ash, and elm
CORRESPONDENCE IN FRENCH.-IV. lend effect to the picture. Brittany, trending into the Atlantic, is even like Ireland in humidity and warmth. 14.--LETTER SENDING FIRST ORDER TO A FIRM. This district of France, the ancient Armorica, gives a
Bremen, Jan. 1st, 1866. designation to the English botanical region.
Monsieur A. de Carvalho, Trinidad.
Sir,-Your firm has been recommended to me by a friend as: 3. Germanic Region.
one of the best and promptest in executing its correspondents' The vegetation of the midland and eastern parts of orders; I should therefore be glad to enter into business relations the United Kingdom, overlapping likewise every other with you. I beg you to send me, by the first vessel sailing from climatal division, bears a close relation to that of Central your port to Bremen, the following goods :Europe, and comprises the most important and nume. 16 barrels of Virginia leaves, first quality ; rous plants. It is the region of deciduous trees, and 15 barrels of new Carolina rice; includes our chief varieties of timber, with an under
50 barrels of raw sugar. growth of wild apple, cherry, holly, hawthorn, broom,
As I have not the pleasure of being known to you, I beg to furze, wild rose, bramble, and honeysuckle. Food-crops, refer you for all information you may desire to Mr. Aguilar, of both of corn and roots, here reach their highest perfec: your city, an old friend of mine, or to Messrs. Andrada, the
bankers. tion, and every kind of pulse and green vegetables, such as the turnip, carrot, potato, and cabbage, grow in berg and Co., of London, who have received my orders to accept
You may draw, for the amount, upon Messrs. Julius Gerstenabundance.
your drafts. 4. Boreal Region.
I am, Sir, Farther north, the Scottish Highlands approximate in
Your obedient servant,
JACQUES LEMAITRE. character to Scandinavia, the features being partially shared by the hills of Cumberland and Westmoreland.
Bremen, le 1er Janv. 1866. Vegetation greatly differs from that of the plains, and is Monsieur A. de Carvalho, île de la Trinité. analogous to the dwarfed progeny of the snow-clad Alps,
Monsieur,-Un de mes amis m'a recommandé votre maison or of the Arctic lands. Hence its botanical name,
the comme un des plus solides et des plus exactes à exécuter les Boreal, or Scandinavian Region. The favoured parts of commissions de ses commettants ; je serais donc bien aise d'entrer Sweden, and even of Lapland, are so nearly alike in soil navire qui partira de chez vous pour Bremen les marchandisesand climate to Great Britain, that three-fourths of their suivantes, savoir :vegetation is common to this country. While, however, 16 barriques de feuilles de Virginie, première qualité ; our highlands are nearly bereft of forests, and even Eng 15 barriques ris nouveau, de la Caroline ; land has yielded much of its forest land to the exigencies 50 tonneaux de sucre brut. of husbandry, Sweden is covered with trees, and Lap Comme je n'ai pas l'honneur d'être connu de vous, vous land's woods are the chief source of its wealth. On the pourrez prendre des informations sur mon compte, soit chez other hand, the summer scene presented by the wide- M. Aguilar de votre ville, mon ancien ami, qui vous fixera sur stretching archipelago upon which Stockholm is founded, le degré de confiance que je mérite, soit chez Messieurs Andrada, might be transferred to the balmiest part of the English banquiers. coast; for the larks of those islets fill the air with song, Vous pouvez tirer pour le montant sur Messieurs Jules Gerand the ground is matted with wild
strawberries, inter stenberg et Cie, de Londres, qui ont reça ordre d'accepter vos strewn with bright pinks and dog-daisies ; every breath traites.
Agréez, Monsieur, of the balmy air seems redolent of wild' thyme, meadow
Mes civilités empressées, sweet, and other fragrant plants.
15.- LETTER PROPOSING TO ENTER INTO BUSINESS tiers du montant des consignations qui nous seront adressées RELATIONS.
en recevant facture, connaissement et l'ordre de faire l'asso. New Orleans, Feb. 10th, 1860. rance. Messrs. A. J. Smith Bros. & Co., Havre.
Inutile de vous dire que nous profiterons de tous les navires Gentlemen,-Mr. A. Rieu, of your city, whom we were fortu- en partance pour la Nouvelle-Orléans pour vous tenir au courant nate enough to meet in New York, spoke in high terms of your de l'état de notre marché. firm, and assured us that we could not entrust our affairs to
Agréez, Messieurs, better hands than your own. We hasten, therefore, on Mr.
l'assurance de notre estime, Rieu's recommendation, to ask you if it will suit you to receive
A. J. SMITH FRÈRES & CH. our consignments of tobacco and cotton, and take upon yourselves equally the liquidation of our engagements to the value of the goods so sent
LESSONS ON ENGLISH LITERATURE.-IV. Should you accept our proposition, be good enough to send us a pro-formâ account sale, in order that we may have some
CHAUCER AND HIS TIMES. notion of the expenses and usages of your place.
GEOFFREY CHAUCER, the great poet of this period, the greatest We are, Gentlemen,
indeed whom England produced down to the age of Elizabetà, Most obediently yours, was recognised as such during his life no less than after his death. LEWIS FRISBY, McHENRY & Co. Naturally, therefore, from the notices of him in the writings o La Nouvelle-Orléans, le 10 Février, 1860.
his contemporaries, and from public documents, we know many Messieurs A. J. Smith Frères & Cie, au Håvre.
details of his later life, enough to enable us to form a very fau Messieurs,-M. A. Rieu de votre ville, que nous avons eu
picture of his circumstances and mode of living. But of he le plaisir de voir à New-York, en nous faisant l'éloge de votre early life and the circumstances of his birth we can learn little loyauté en affaires, nous a assurés que nous ne pouvions mieux As to his parents, nothing is known. We can only infer the confier nos intérêts qu'à
vous. Nous nous hâtons donc, sur la they must have been moderately wealthy, from the educatici recommandation de M. Rieu, de vous demander s'il vous con
which their son's works show that he must have received. I viendrait de recevoir nos consignations de tabac et de coton, the place of his birth we have no clue. Even the date of et de vous charger également de l'acquit d'engagements pour that Chaucer was born in 1328, but there is no positive evidenc
cannot be ascertained with any certainty. Most writers stat une somme équivalente à la valeur de nos envois. nous remettre un compte de vente simulé, afin que nous puis- two the earlier date is the more likely to be the true one ! Si vous acceptez notre proposition, veuillez bien, Messieurs, in favour of this date. Other accounts place his birth as las
as 1344, but also upon insufficient authority. Probably of 4 sions nous rendre compte des frais et usages de votre place. Agréez, Messieurs,
near the true one. Nor is there any more certainty as to l'assurance de notre parfaite considération,
education. Some have said that he received his education LEWIS FRISBY, McHENRY & C".
Cambridge, on the authority of a passage in his early poem, &
“Court of Love," in which a visit to the court of Venus 16.-LETTER IN REPLY TO THE ABOVE.
related by one who calls himself “Philogenet of Cambrid,
Clerk," by which title Chaucer is assumed correctly to descrit Havre, March 20th, 1860.
himself. Some have said that he was educated at Oxfor Messrs. Lewis Frisby, McHenry & Co., New Orleans.
but no evidence of this has come down to us.
Othe Gentlemen, -We have to acknowledge the receipt of your again have declared that he was both at Oxford and at Car favour of the 10th of February, and hasten to reply.
bridge. It is commonly asserted, too, that he studied law We willingly accept your proposals, and shall be delighted to a student in the Inner Temple. But this is very unlikel see relations established between our two houses that may for it is at least extremely doubtful whether the lawyers prove mutually advantageous. You may rest assured we will do yet obtained possession of the Temple when Chaucer all in our power to merit the good opinion Mr. Rien has inspired young man. All that can be said with confidence about you with, and show ourselves worthy of the confidence reposed education is that every page of his works shows hier in us.
have been a man not only of rare genius, but of high culte We hasten to satisfy your wishes by sending you enclosed a possessing an extensive acquaintance both with literatura pro-formā account sale, that may serve you as a basis for future science. operations. Our own terms are 2 per cent. commission and Chaucer, like almost all gentlemen of his day, spent 2 per cent. delcredere.
time in military service. In 1359 he was serving in Fra We shall be ready to make advances to the extent of two under Edward III., and was made prisoner. But he proba thirds of the invoice amount of goods consigned to us for returned to England the following year. He soon afterwa sale, on receipt of invoice, bills of lading, and orders for insu- married Philippa de Roet, daughter of Sir Payne Roet, a geal rance.
man of Hainault, in the service of the Queen. Chancer's It is unnecessary to observe that we shall send you accounts had been a maid of honour to the Queen, and afterwards enta of the state of the market by all the boats leaving for New the service of Constance, the second wife of John of Gae Orleang. We remain, Gentlemen,
Duke of Lancaster. Thus probably began Chancer's connect Your very obedient servants,
with the court, and particularly with John of Gaant. But A. J. SMITH BROS. & Co.
connection was no doubt strengthened by the fact that Chaze
wife was a sister of the notorious Katherine Swyneford,
Le Havre, le 20 Mars, 1860. the mistress, and afterwards the wife of John of Gaunt. Messieurs Lewis Frisby, McHenry et Cie,
certain that throughout nearly his whole career Chancer attar à la Nouvelle-Orléans.
himself steadily to the party of the Duke of Lancaster Messieurs,-- Nous accusons réception de votre honorée en became his intimate friend and trusted adviser; and his for date du 10 Février, et nous empressons d'y répondre.
rose and fell with the influence of his patron. In 1367 Chu C'est avec le plus vif empressement que nons acceptons vos was appointed a valet of the King's Chamber, an office propositions, et que nous serons charmés de voir s'établir entre monly held by young men of birth and position. Soon nos deux maisons des rapports suivis et réciproquement fruc- wards we find him employed on a public mission to Italy tueux. Croyez bien que nous ferons tout ce qui dépendra de during this visit there is some reason to think that he brez nous pour répondre dignement à l'opinion que M. Rien vous acquainted with Francis Petrarch, the great poet of Italy a inspirée, et à la confiance dont vous voulez nous honorer. 1374 Chaucer was appointed Controller of the Customs fot
Nous nous empressons de satisfaire à vos désirs en vous port of London. But, notwithstanding his holding this remettant sous ce pli un compte de vente simulé, afin qu'il vous he still continued to be employed abroad from time to puisse servir de base pour vos opérations futures. Nos con- upon various diplomatic missions, the precise nature of ditions sont: 2 pour cent de commission et 2 pour cent de cannot
for the most part now be determined. In 1386 he ducroire.
in the House of Commons as a representative of the COLT Nous sommes prêts à faire des avances pour les deux Kent. But in the same year, the party hostile to Job