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BLENHEIM (Blen' hime) is a village in Bavaria, where was fought a great battle, August 13th, 1704, between the English and the Austrians on the one side, under the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, and the French and the Bavarians on the other, under Marshal Tallard, Marsin, and the Elector of Bavaria. The French and the Bavarians were defeated; but the loss on both sides was immense. This defeat gave a decided check to the ambition of Louis XIV.




It was on a summer evening,

Old Kasper's work was done,
And he, before his cottage door,

Was sitting in the sun,
And by him sported on the green,
His little grandchild Wilhelmine.


She saw her brother Peterkin

Roll something large and round,
Which he beside the rivulet,

In playing there, had found;
He came to ask what he had found,
That was so large, and smooth, and round.


Old Kasper took it from the boy,

Who stood expectant by;
And then the old man shook his head,

And with a natural sigh,
“ 'Tis some poor fellow's skull,” said he,
“Who fell in the great victory.

* See Exercise VII.

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VII. “My father lived at Blenheim then,

Yon little stream, hard by; They burnt his dwelling to the ground,

And he was forced to fly; So, with his wife and little child, he fled, Nor had he where to rest his head.

VIII. « With fire and sword, the country round

Was wasted, far and wide;
And many a nursing mother then,

And new-born baby died;
But things like that, you know must be
At every famous victory.


* They say it was a shocking sight,

After the field was won;
For many

thousand bodies here
Lay rotting in the sun;
But things like that, you know, must be
After a famous victory.


“Great praise the Duke of Marlbrough won,

And our young prince, Eugene.
“Why, 'twas a very wicked thing !"

Said little Wilhelmine.
“Nay, nay, my little girl," quoth he,
“ It was a famous victory.


“And every body praised the Duke

Who this great fight did win.”
“ But what good came of it, at last ?”

Quoth little Peterkin.
Why, that I can not tell,” said he,
“But 'twas a glorious victory!”


Thomas GRAY was born in London, December 26th, 1716, and died July 24th, 1771. After his college course, during which he was supported with difficulty by the private earnings of his mother, his father, a selfish man, utterly refusing to maintain him, he set out (in 1739) on a tour over the continent. Two months after his return to London, in September, 1741, his father, having squandered what money he had, died. His mother, who, with a near relative, had carried on a small business, and had now amassed a moderate competence, retired to Stoke Pogis, in Buckinghamshire. Here, it is said, he conceived the design of his immortal Elegy, while visiting the beautiful churchyard in that place. The Elegy was finished in 1749; having been begun just seven years before. “ Almost every line” (of it), it has been well remarked, “has fixed itself upon the popular mind, is repeated every year and overy day by the cultivated and the unlearned, and has a vital truthfulness that is never old.” Gray is the author of several other poems of remarkable merit, but is, and always will be, best known, as the author of this matchless performance. He was a person of small stature, handsome features, stulliously nice in dress, and remarkably reserved in company, though known to be a man of almost universal culture.



The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,

The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,

And leaves the world to darkness and to me.


Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,

And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight.

And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds :

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,

The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,

Molest her ancient solitary reign.


Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,

Where heaves the turf in many a moldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell forever laid,

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,

The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,

No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,

Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,

Or climb his knees the envied kiss to sharo.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,

Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team a-field !

How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke !


Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,

Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor Grandeur hear, with a disdainful smilu,

The short and simple annals of the poor.


The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Await alike the inevitable hour :

The paths of glory lead but to the grave.


Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,

If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,

The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.


Can storied urn or animated bust

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can Honor's voice provoke the silent dust,

Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?


Perhaps, in this neglected spot is laid

Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed,

Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre:


But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,

Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;

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