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fulness for the physical, least of all, for the nature of man. As Prof. Ferrier has well said of the system of philosophy of which we have been speaking, Philosophers have pondered over man's nature; and what, after all, have they made of it? What sort of a picture have they presented for our imagination ? Not the picture of a man, but of an automaton, that is, what it cannot help being; a phantom, dreaming what it cannot but dream; an engine, performing what it must perform; an incarnate reverie; a weathercock, shifting helplessly in the winds of sensibility; an association machine, through which ideas pass linked together by laws over which the machine has no control; anything, in fact, but that free and selfsustained centre of underived activity which we call man.”
ÆLFRED THE GREAT, KING OF ENGLAND
1000 YEARS AGO.
By WILLIAM WORTLEY. That eminent ethical writer, philosopher and historian, whose force of character and peculiarly forcible expression of thought led him to inculcate with insistency the doctrine that might is right-energy--will force and work rule the world. That the idle, the weak, the froward, must be disciplined—ruled and governed by the strong and wise in thought and action; and in his Past and Present Carlyle shows us what a poor, low-born friar did in lifting up the lazy, self-indulgent, useless monks of that day, and, as their abbot, leading them on to a useful life, full of virtue, purity and goodness.
In Frederick the Great, this doctrine is further exemplified in the life and work of that hero. Surely Thomas Carlyle was a descendant of some old Wicking; he had such sturdy faith in the old Teutons, defines the German as the guerre-man-fighting-man—the man “wha gars," as our brither Scots say.
Leaders men must have, but right men as leaders; men of might and high morality. A king he defines as Könung-König—a Kenning, or Canning man--a man who can think and do right.
And then, in his fantastically graphic French Revolution, Carlyle shows the awful effects on a whole nation of the selfish, finicking, dilettante rule, or rather misrule, of a supercilious aristocracy and priesthood, and the terrible reaction with its horridly cruel and barbaric anarchy; when in their frenzy, a whole people, long down-trodden, so that their moral nature was utterly crushed out, swept away the costly paraphernalia of an empty state, a heartless religion and a merciless justice. However, his hero, who was one of England's great men, yet more Scotiorum, Carlyle claims him for his own country, as they claim our Shakespeare, Milton, Newton and many more, (other brother Britons also, make similar claims on dear old England). Cromwell fought against unrighteousness in king and priest with might, and we owe a debt of gratitude to Carlyle for writing (as well as to his dear old mother for urging her son to write) the Lije and Letters of Oliver Cromwell ; in which that noble man is shown in the clear light of his true character. Cromwell was a great leader, and men are ever in want of such great leaderskings of men-full of energy and wisdom to rule and guide their fellows--aye, and when men feel they have such a one as their leader they submit themselves to his rule and guidance in perfect trust, and will follow him to death itself, if need be. Such leaders of daring and doingmen of character-full of self-abnegation and fellow-feeling, doing as they would be done by—have ever been silently present among us, and without such great and brave souls---God's gifts to humanity-society would quickly fail in its efforts to raise itself to higher social, moral and spiritual ideals. Such men are called heroes, and such a man was Ælfred, King of England, 1000 years ago, that Alfred, whom men in glowing admiration have named “the Great,” “the truth teller,” and “England's darling"! The warrior, the hunter, the lawmaker, the singer, the deliverer and the lover of his people—but more, he was called “lord of the harp and liberating spear,” “the creator of our first navy”-and, above all, he was the father of English literature.
Egbert, the grandfather of Ælfred, being banished by Brihtric, of Wessex, sought refuge with Charlemagne, and went with him to Rome, where he was made Emperor of the West. Egbert succeeded Brihtric in 800 A.D. He warred most successfully with the Britons while the other Saxons fell into ruin through ceaseless dissensions. At length, in 819, he began a formal course of conquest which in eight years made him sole monarch.
In 827, the title of “Bretwalda" was revived, and Egbert is seen by a charter granted in 828 to have used the title of “King of the English," though more usually he termed himself “King of Wessex.”
Ælfred was born in 849, at Wantage, in Berks : the youngest son of Æthelred and Osburg, and grandson of Egbert. In his fourth year the boy was sent with an embassy to Rome, then the centre of the world of thought and law. Leo IV, the pope, ordained and anointed him as king, and received him as his adopted son. Two years after he thither accompanied his father, who loved him more than his other sons, and he stayed in the city until he was seven years old.
His residence twice at Rome, with its noble architecture and ancient monuments, then comparatively perfect, the vastness of the city, its law, its story, its early Christian life, its spiritual power; even the temporal power which flowed from it into Charles-the-Great, of whom Alfred had heard so much, must have made a deep impression for the inspiration and education of such a boy, and their remembrance must have excited in Ælfred's mind that eagerness for knowledge which, in after life, so usefully distinguished him. In his eighth year, on his return from Rome, he stayed some time in the Frankish court of Charles-theBald, during his father's courtship and marriage of Judith,
who was granddaughter of Charles the Great, and that great emperor's memory and power still, after 50 years, shed a departing gleam over the dying empire. Doubtless the learned men of the court would tell him of the English scholar Alcuin, who had brought to Charles the treasures of learning from York. His own people had done this great work, Alfred never forgot it. He recalled it years after in one of his prefaces. From his eighth to his twelfth year his biography is uncertain, some chronicles intimate that infirm health caused him to be sent to Modwenna, a religious lady in Ireland, renowned as a saint and miraculous healer, in accordance with the superstition of the times. But though Ælfred's excited capability and eagerness for knowledge abounded, he had received no regular education from masters and books, which is singular, as his father, some say, had been trained as a priest under Swithin, at Winchester. No doubt, as Alfred had been a favourite, and of delicate health, indulgence, even to ignorance, as usual, had been his lot. Happily he was not spoilt withal, and his mind first showed its activity by his love of the simple but stately and heroic Anglo-Saxon poetry. By day and night he listened wherever it was recited, stored his memory with it, and at last became a versifier himself. But there was a dearth of intellect, few would learn to read, and Ælfred, a prince, son of an educated father, who had twice visited Rome and lived in Paris after Charles-the-Great had improved the people, passed into youth without the simple tuition which the poorest child has now the opportunity to acquire and is urged to attain. This he at last got from his step-mother-Judith. When Elfred was twelve years old she was sitting one day amongst the children with a manuscript book of Saxon poetry in her hands,-a volume, no doubt, beautifully illuminated and