Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

their bows, advanced for a hand-to-hand attack. Henceforth there was little room for skill on the part of either general; the struggle was merely one of courage and endurance. Fighting was still going on when night fell, but under cover of the darkness the Scotch drew away in despair.

When day dawned it showed five thousand English, and twice as many Scots lying dead. “The English lost few men of " distinction,” but “the Scots left on the field the king, two bishops, two mitred abbots, twelve earls, thirteen lords, and five eldest sons of peers. The number of gentlemen slain was beyond 10 calculation; there is scarcely a family of name in Scottish history who did not lose a relative there.” *

1 Jovial, merry. ? dexterous, handy, skilful. 3 Neville's Cross, near Durham. 4 the first victory, that of Beaugé, won in 1421. 5 Flodden, in the north of Northumberland. 6 the river Till, a tributary of the Tweed. 7 Twisel, near the junction of the Till with the Tweed. 8 brunt, the heat, force, greater part. 9 distinction, mark, fame, standing. 10 calculation, reckoning.

WOLSEY. The most striking figure in the history of the first half of the reign of Henry VIII. is Thomas Wolsey, the son of a wealthy townsman of Ipswich. After finishing his education he became a priest, and his extraordinary abilities secured his rapid l promotion in the Church. He rose to be 2 chaplain to the first Tudor, and chief minister to the second. Henry VIII. showered wealth upon him ; he made him Archbishop of York, and gave him in addition the 3 revenues of several of the richest

* Scott.

sees. And Wolsey's expenditure was no less princely than his income. He lived in almost kingly pomp; 4 two of his houses were so splendid that at his fall they were adopted as royal palaces; his household was composed of five hundred persons of noble birth; and when he moved from place to place, many of the chief men in

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

the land followed him. He did not spend his wealth on display alone: he was fond of learning, and did much to advance it. He founded a fine school at Ipswich, while the university of Oxford owes to him its largest and richest 5 college.

6 Hume, in summing up his character, says he was of extensive capacity, but still more unbounded enterprise; ambitious of power, but still more desirous of glory; ? insinuating, engaging, persuasive, and by turns lofty, elevated, commanding; oppressive to the people, but liberal to his friends; more generous than grateful, less moved by injuries than contempt; he was framed to take the 8 ascendency in every intercourse with others,

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

but exerted this superiority of nature with such 'ostentation as exposed him to envy.".

Promotion, getting on, rise. 2 chaplain, a priest kept to perform service in a family. 3 revenue, income. 4 two of his houses, Hampton Court Palace and Whitehall (in Wolsey's time York House). 5 college, Christ Church, formerly Cardinal College. 6 Hume, a great historian (1711-1776). 7 insinuating, working one's self into favour. 8 ascendency, the higher part. 9 ostentation, show.

[graphic][merged small]

THE FALL OF WOLSEY. HENRY was not grateful to his ministers; however faithfully they had served him, he did not hesitate to sacrifice them when they became unpopular or displeased him. Wolsey's pride and pomp made men dislike and envy him, and at last he offended the king. The offence he gave was over the 1 divorce of the queen.

Henry VII., wishing to be on good terms with Ferdinand, King of Spain, married his eldest son, Arthur, to Catherine, Ferdinand's daughter. Arthur died before his father, and as Henry wished to continue his friendship with Ferdinand, he proposed that Catherine should

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed]

CATHERINE OF ARRAGON. marry his second son, Henry. The Church forbade a widow marrying her late husband's brother, but in this case the Pope 2 dispensed with the law and allowed the marriage. The queen bore several boys and girls, but all except one daughter died, and people were begin.

« AnteriorContinuar »