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At this crisis it began to be whispered that the Deemster had made an offer to the lord to rent the whole stretch of mountain land from Ramsey to Peeltown. The rumor created consternation, and was not at first believed. But one day the Deemster, with the Governor of the Grand Inquest, drove to the glen at Sulby and went up the hillside. Not long after, a light cart was seen to follow the highroad to the glen beyond Ballaugh and then turn up toward the mountains by the cart-track. The people who were grazing their cattle on the hills came down and gathered with the people of the valleys at the foot, and there were dark faces and firm set lips among them, and hot words and deep oaths were heard. "Let's off to the bishop," said one, and they went to Bishop's Court. Half an hour later the bishop came from Bishop's Court at the head of a draggled company of men, and his face was white and hard. They overtook the cart half-way up the side of the mountain, and the bishop called on the driver to stop, and asked what he carried, and where he was going. The man answered that he had provisions for the governor, the Deemster, and the grand inquest, who were surveying the tops of the mountains.

"Gentlemen, no food will reach you on the mountains to-day; the harness on your cart has been cut, and cart and provisions are lying on the hillside."

The bishop looked round, and his lip was set, and his nostrils quivered. "Can any man lend me a knife?" he asked with a strained quietness.

A huge knife was handed to him, such as shep. herds carry in the long legs of their boots. He stepped to the cart and ripped up the harness, which was rope harness; the shafts fell and the horse was free. Then the bishop turned to the driver and said, very quietly:

At this Thorkell turned white with wrath, and clinched his fists, and stamped his foot on the turf, and looked piercingly into the faces of the bishop's followers.

"As sure as I'm Deemster," he said, with an oath, "the man who has done this shall suffer. Don't let him deceive himself-no one, not even the bishop himself, shall step in between that man and the punishment of the law."

The bishop listened with calmness, and then said: "Thorkell, the bishop will not intercede for him. Punish him if you can."

"And so by God I will," cried the Deemster, and his eye traversed the men behind his brother.

The bishop then took a step forward. "I am that man," he said, and then there was a great silence.

Thorkell's face flinched, his head fell between his shoulders, his manner grew dogged, he said not a word, his braggadocio was gone.

The bishop approached the governor. "You have no more right to rent these mountains than to rent yonder sea," he said, and he stretched his arm toward the broad blue line to the west. "They belong to God and to the poor. Let me warn you, sir, that as sure as you set up one stone to inclose these true God's acres I shall be the first to pull that stone down."

The grand inquest broke up in confusion, and the mountains were saved to the people.

It blew hard on the hill-top that day, and the next morning the news spread through the island

"Where do you live, my man?"

"At Sulby, my lord," said the man, trembling that a ship laden with barley had put in from bad with fear.

"You shall have leather harness to-morrow." Then the bishop went on, his soiled and draggled company following him, the cart lying helpless in the cart-track behind them.

weather at Douglas Harbor. "And a terrible, wonderful sight of corn, plenty for all, plenty, plenty," was the word that went round. In three hours' time hundreds of men and women trooped down to the quay with money to buy. To all comers the master shook his head, and refused to sell.

When they got to the top of the mountain they could see the governor and the Deemster and their associates stretching the chain in the purple distance. The bishop made in their direction, and when he came up with them he said:

"Sell, man-sell, sell," they cried.

"I can't sell. The cargo is not mine. poor man myself," said the master.

I'm a



'Well, and what's that it's sayin', 'When one poor man helps another poor man, God laughs.' The bishop came to the ship's side and tried to treat for the cargo.

"I've given bond to land it all at Whitehaven," market weights and scales." said the master.

Then the people's faces grew black, and deep oaths rose to their lips, and they turned and looked into each other's eyes in their impotent rage. "The hunger is on us-we can't starvelet every herring hang by its own gill-let's board her," they muttered among themselves.

And the bishop heard their threats. "My people," he said, "what will become of this poor island unless God averts His awful judgments, only God Himself can know; but this good man has given his bond, and let us not bring on our heads God's further displeasure."

There was a murmur of discontent, and then one long sigh of patient endurance, and then the bishop lifted his hands, and down on their knees on the quay the people with famished faces fell around the tall, drooping figure of the man of God, and from parched throats, and hearts wellnigh as dry, sent up a great cry to Heaven to grant them succor lest they should die.

About a week afterward another ship put in by contrary winds at Castletown. It had a cargo of Welsh oats bound to Dumfries, on the order of the provost. The contrary winds continued, and the corn began to heat and spoil. The hungry populace, enraged by famine, called on the master to sell. He was powerless. Then the bishop walked over his "Pyrenees," and saw that the food for which his people hungered was perishing before their eyes. When the master said "No" to him, as to others, he remembered how in old time David, being an hungered, did that which was not lawful in eating of the shewbread, and straightway he went up to Castle Rushen, got a company of musketeers, returned with them to' the ship's side, boarded the ship, put the master and crew in irons, and took possession of the


What wild joy among the people! What shouts were heard; what tears rolled down the stony cheeks of stern men !

"Patience!" cried the bishop. "Bring the

The scales and weights were brought down to the quay and every bushel of the cargo was exactly weighed, and paid for at the prime price according to the master's report. Then the master and crew were liberated, and the bishop paid the ship's freight out of his own purse. When he passed through the market-place on his way back to the Bishop's Court the people followed with eyes that were almost too dim to see, and they blessed him in cheers that were sobs.

And then God remembered His people, and their troubles passed away. With the opening spring the mackerel nets came back to the boats in shining silver masses, and peace and plenty came again to the hearth of the poorest.

The Manxman knew his bishop now; he knew him for the strongest soul in the dark hour, the serenest saint in the hour of light and peace. That hoary old dog, Billy the Gawk, took his knife and scratched "B. M." and the year of the Lord on the inside of his cupboard to record the advent of Bishop Mylrea.

A mason from Ireland, a Catholic named Patrick Looney, was that day at work building the square tower of the church of the market-place, and when he saw the bishop pass under he went down on his knees on the scaffold and dropped his head for the good man's blessing.

A little girl of seven with sunny eyes and yellow hair stood by at that moment, and for love of the child's happy face the bishop touched her head and said, "God bless you, my sweet child."

The little one lifted her innocent eyes to his eyes, and answered, with a courtesy, "And God bless you, too, sir."

"Thank you, child, thank you," said the bishop. "I do not doubt that your blessing will be as good as mine."

Such was Gilcrist Mylrea, Bishop of Man.

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IBBON'S masterpiece has been described as the only history written in the eighteenth century which has withstood the criticism of the nineteenth. However this may be, it is a work whose monumental and enduring character is recognized throughout the world, and which has had no small part in forming the judgment of mankind upon the great period which it describes.


Gibbon was born near London in 1737. He was a delicate child, and his early education was irregular. During his youth he was converted to the Roman Catholic faith, and for this reason was expelled from Oxford. Being put under the care of a Swiss theologian, he returned to the Protestant Church, but seems from this time to have been really indifferent to matters of faith.

While in Switzerland he formed an attachment for the daughter of a Swiss clergyman; but his father objecting to the match, he says he "sighed as a lover, but obeyed as a son." The young lady did not break her heart, for she married Necker, the great French financier, and was the mother of Madame de Staël.

He traveled in Southern Europe in 1764, and while "musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol" at Rome, he conceived the idea of his great historical work. It was not, however, until eleven years later that the first volume appeared, and the entire work occupied him until 1787. The style is elaborate, if not stilted. It lacks simplicity, but its accuracy of description, the immense knowledge of its author, and his general faithfulness to historic truth, have made it the greatest historical masterpiece in the language. Of the many editions, that of Dean Milman is acknowledged to be the best; and whoever would understand the causes which led to her downfall-that great nation which bequeathed to us the great body of our laws, and which was the true mother of modern civilization-must study the glowing pages of "The Decline and Fall."

For some years Gibbon was a member of Parliament, and took great interest in the political questions of the day, but his nature was so timid that he never summoned courage to address the House. During much of his later life he lived in Switzerland, but returning to England, died in London in 1794.



T was at Rome, on the 15th of October, 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the barefooted friars were singing vespers in the temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind. But my original plan was circumscribed to the decay of the city rather than of the empire; and though my reading and reflections began to point toward that object, some years elapsed, and several avocations intervened, before I was seriously engaged in the execution of that laborious work..

I have presumed to mark the moment of conception: I shall now commemorate the hour of my final deliverance. It was on the day, or rather night, of the 27th of June, 1787, between the hours of eleven and twelve, that I wrote the last lines of the last page, in a summer-house in my garden. After laying down my pen I took several turns in a berceau, or covered walk of acacias,

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which commands a prospect of the country, the lake, and the mountains. The air was temperate, the sky was serene, the silver orb of the moon was reflected from the waters, and all nature was silent. I will not dissemble the first emotions of joy on recovery of my freedom, and, perhaps, the establishment of my fame. But my pride was soon humbled, and a sober melancholy was spread over my mind, by the idea that I had taken an everlasting leave of an old and agreeable companion, and that, whatsoever might be the future date of my history, the life of the historian must be short and precarious. I will add two facts, which have seldom occurred in the composition of six, or at least of five quartos. 1. My first rough manuscript, without any intermediate copy, has been sent to the press. 2. Not a sheet has been seen by any human eyes, excepting those of the author and the printer; the faults and the merits are exclusively my own.

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HE appellation of Great has been often bestowed, and sometimes deserved, but Charlemagne is the only prince in whose favor the title has been indissolubly blended with the name. That name, with the addition of saint, is inserted in the Roman calendar; and the saint, by a rare felicity, is crowned with the praises of the historians and philosophers of an enlightened age. His real merit is doubtless enhanced by the barbarism of the nation and the times from which he emerged: but the apparent magnitude of an object is likewise enlarged by an unequal comparison; and the ruins of Palmyra derive a casual splendor from the nakedness of the surrounding desert. Without injustice to his fame I may discern some blemishes in the sanctity and greatness of the restorer of the western empire.

I shall be scarcely permitted to accuse the ambition of a conquerer; but in a day of equal retribu

tion the sons of his brother Carloman, the Merovingian princes of Aquitain, and the four thousand five hundred Saxons who were beheaded on the same spot, would have something to allege against the justice and humanity of Charlemagne. His treatment of the vanquished Saxons was an abuse of the right of conquest: his laws were not less sanguinary than his arms, and in the discussion of his motives whatever is subtracted from bigotry must be imputed to temper. The sedentary reader is amazed by his incessant activity of mind and body; and his subjects and enemies were not less astonished at his sudden presence at the moment when they believed him at the most distant extremity of the empire; neither peace nor war, nor summer nor winter, were a season of repose; and our fancy can not easily reconcile the annals of his reign with the geography of his expeditions. But this activity was a national rather

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accuse, in some measure, the imprudence of his father. His laws enforced the imposition of tithes, because the demons had proclaimed in the air that the default of payment had been the cause of the last scarcity.

than a personal virtue; the vagrant life of a Frank
was spent in the chase, in pilgrimage, in military
adventures; and the journeys of Charlemagne were
distinguished only by a more numerous train and
a more important purpose.
I touch with
reverence the laws of Charlemagne, so highly
applauded by a respectable judge. They compose
not a system but a series of occasional and minute
edicts, for the correction of abuses, the reformation
of manners, the economy of his farms, the care of
his poultry, and even the sale of his eggs. He
wished to improve the laws and the character of
the Franks; and his attempts, however feeble and
imperfect, are deserving of praise: the inveterate
evils of the times were suspended or mollified by
his government; but in his institutions I can
seldom discover the general views and the immor-
tal spirit of a legislator, who survives himself for
the benefit of posterity. The union and stability.
of his empire depended on the life of a single
man he imitated the dangerous practice of divid-
ing his kingdoms amongst his sons; and after
numerous diets the whole constitution was left to
fluctuate between the disorders of anarchy and
despotism. His esteem for the piety and knowl-
edge of the clergy tempted him to intrust that as-
piring order with temporal dominion and civil.
jurisdiction; and his son Lewis, when
stripped and degraded by the bishops, might restoration of the western empire.

The literary merits of Charlemagne are attested by the foundation of schools, the introduction of arts, the works which were published in his name, and his familiar connection with the subjects and strangers whom he invited to his court to educate both the prince and the people. His own studies were tardy, laborious, and imperfect; if he spoke Latin and understood Greek, he derived the rudiments of knowledge from conversation rather than from books; and in his mature age the emperor strove to acquire the practice of writing, which every peasant now learns in his infancy. The grammar and logic, the music and astronomy, of the times were only cultivated as the handmaids of superstition; but the curiosity of the human mind must ultimately tend to its improvement, and the encouragement of learning reflects the purest and most pleasing luster on the character of Charlemagne. The dignity of his person, the length of his reign, the prosperity of his arms, the vigor of his government, and the reverence of distant nations, distinguish him from the royal crowd; and Europe dates a new era from his

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CCORDING to the tradition of his com

panions, Mahomet was distinguished by the beauty of his person-an outward gift which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused. Before he spoke, the orator engaged on his side the affections of a public or private audience. They applauded his commanding presence, his majestic aspect, his piercing eye, his gracious smile, his flowing beard, his countenance that painted every sensation of the soul, and his gestures that enforced each expression of the tongue. In the familiar offices of life he scrupulously adhered to the grave and ceremoni



ous politeness of his country: his respectful attention to the rich and powerful was dignified by his condescension and affability to the poorest citizens of Mecca: the frankness of his manner concealed the artifice of his views; and the habits of courtesy were imputed to personal friendship. or universal benevolence. His memory was capacious and retentive, his wit easy and social, his imagination sublime, his judgment clear, rapid, and decisive. He possessed the courage both of thought and action; and although his designs might gradually expand with his success, the first idea which he entertained of his divine mission

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