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Rebecca again looked forth, and almost immediately exclaimed : —
"Front-de-Bceuf and the Black Knight fight hand to hand on the breach, amid the roar of their followers, who 5 watch the progress of the strife. Heaven strike with the cause of the oppressed, and of the captive!"
She then uttered a loud shriek, and exclaimed: —"He is down ! — he is down!"
"Who is down?" cried Ivanhoe. "For our dear lady's 10 sake, tell me which has fallen?"
"The Black Knight," answered Rebecca, faintly; then instantly again shouted, with joyful eagerness, — "But no — but no! — he is on foot again, and fights as if there were twenty men's strength in his single arm — his sword 15 is broken—he snatches an axe from a yeoman—he presses Front-de-Bceuf with blow on blow — the giant stoops and totters, like an oak under the steel of the woodman — he falls—he falls!"
"Front-de Boeuf?" exclaimed Ivanhoe. 20 "Front-de-Boeuf!" answered the Jewess. "His men rush to the rescue, headed by the haughty Templar— their united force compels the champion to pause — they drag Front-de-Boeuf within the walls."
"The assailants have won the barriers, have they not?"25 said Ivanhoe.
"They have — they have !" exclaimed Rebecca "and they press the besieged hard upon the outer wall; some plant ladders, some swarm like bees, and endeavor to ascend upon the shoulders of each other — down go stones, 30 beams, and trunks of trees upon their heads, and as fast as they bear the wounded men to the rear, fresh men supply their place in the assault. Great God! hast thou given men thine own image, that it should be thus cruelly defaced by the hands of their brethren!" 35 "Think not of that," said Ivanhoe; "this is no time for such thoughts. Who yield ? — who push their way 1"
"The ladders are thrown down," replied Rebecca, shuddering. "The soldiers lie grovelling under them like crushed reptiles — the besieged have the better!"
"Saint George strike for us!" exclaimed the knight; 5 "do the false yeomen give way?"
"No!" exclaimed Rebecca; "they bear themselves right yeomanly — the Black Knight approaches the postern with his huge axe — the thundering blows which he deals, you may hear them above all the din and shouts of 10 the battle— stones and beams are hailed down on the bold champion — he regards them no more than if they were thistledown or feathers!"
"By Saint John of Acre !" said Ivanhoe, raising himself joyfully on his couch; "methought there was but ono 15 man in England that might do such a deed!"
"The postern gate shakes," continued Rebecca; "it crashes — it is splintered by his blows — they rush in — the outwork is won — they hurl the defenders from the battlements — they throw them into the moat! Oh, men, 20 — if ye be indeed men, — spare them that can resist no longer!"
"The bridge, — the bridge which communicates with the castle, — have they won that pass?" exclaimed Ivanhoe."No," replied Rebecca; "the Templar has destroyed 25 the plank on which they crossed — few of the defenders escaped with him into the castle — the shrieks and cries which you hear, tell the fate of the others! Alas! I see it is still more difficult to look upon victory than upon battle!" 30 "What do they now, maiden?" said Ivanhoe; "look forth yet again — this is no time to faint at bloodshed."
"It is over for the time," answered Rebecca. "Our friends strengthen themselves within the outwork which they have mastered, and it affords them so good a shelter
25 from the foeman's shot, that the garrison only bestow a few bolts on it, from interval to interval, as if rather to disquiet than effectually to injure them."
XL.—THE PROGRESS OF SOCIETY.
(tVlli Iam Ellery Channing was born at Newport, Rhode Island, April 7,1780, was graduated at Harvard College in 1798, and died October 2, 1842. He was settled as a clergyman over the church in Federal Street, Iloston. in 1803, and continued in that relation till his death. His works, which consist of sermons, occasional discourses, essays, and reviews, all have a common resemblance, and tend towards a common object. They set forth the dignity of man's nature, his capacity for improvement, the beauty of spiritual truth, and the charm of spiritual freedom; and press upon the attention of man those views and considerations which should induce him to be true to his destiny, and to obey his highest aspirations. Some of his earlier writings were controversial; but controversy was not the element in which his mind most gladly moved; and he preferred to unfold those truths in morals and religion which are felt and recognized by all Christians. In the latter part of his life, his mind was more turned towards practical subjects. He wrote upon war, temperance, popular education, the duties of the rich towards the poor, and especially upon slavery. Upon this last subject, his writings are marked by a fervor and earnestness which meet the claims of the most zealous opponent of slavery, and yet are free from anything vituperative or needlessly irritating.
Dr. Channing's style is admirably suited for the exposition of moral and spiritual truth. It is rich, flowing, and perspicuous; even its diffuseness, which is its obvious literary defect, is no disadvantage in this aspect. There is a persuasive charm over all his writings, flowing from his earnestness of purpose, his deep love of humanity, his glowing hopes, and his fervent religious faith. He has a poet's love of beauty and a prophet's love of truth. He lays the richest of gifts upon the purest of altars. The heart expands under his influence, as it does when we see a beautiful countenance beaming with the finest expression of benevolence and sympathy.
He was a man of slight frame and delicate organization. His manner in the pulpit was simple and impressive; and the tones of his voice were full of sweetness and penetrating power. As a speaker he may not have produced the greatest effect upon those who heard him for the first time, but all who were accustomed to his teachings recognized in him the elements of the highest eloquence.
The following extract is the conclusion of a lecture on " Self-Culture."]
What a contrast does the present form with past times! Not many ages ago the nation was the property of one man, and all its interests were staked in perpetual games of war, for no end but to build up his family, or to bring 5 new territories under his yoke. Society was divided into two classes, the high-born and the vulgar, separated from each other by a"great gulf, as impassable as that between the saved and the lost. The people had no significance as individuals, but formed a mass, a machine, to be wielded at pleasure by their lords. In war, which was the great sport of the times, those brave knights, of whose prowess we hear, cased themselves and their horses in armor, so as to be almost invulnerable, whilst the common people on 5 foot, were left, without protection, to be hewn in pieces or trampled down by their betters.
Who, that compares the condition of Europe a few years ago, with the present state of the world, but must bless God for the change. The grand distinction of modern
10 times, is the emerging of the people from brutal degradation, the gradual recognition of their rights, the gradual diffusion among them of the means of improvement and happiness, the creation of a new power in the state, the power of the people. And it is worthy of remark, that this
15 revolution is due in a great degree to religion, which, in the hands of the crafty and aspiring, had bowed the multitude to the dust, but which, in the fulness of time, began to fulfil its mission of freedom. It was religion, which, by teaching men their near re
20 lation to God, awakened in them the consciousness of their importance as individuals. It was the struggle for religious rights, which opened men's eyes to all their rights. It was resistance to religious usurpation, which led men to withstand political oppression. It was religious dis
#5 cussion, which roused the minds of all classes to free and vigorous thought. It was religion, which armed the martyr and patriot in England against arbitrary power, which braced the spirits of our fathers against the perils of the ocean and wilderness, and sent them to found here the
30 freest and most equal state on earth.
Let us thank God for what has been gained. But let us not think everything gained. Let the people feel that they have only started in the race. How much remains to be done 1 "What a vast amount of ignorance, intemperance,
85 coarseness, sensuality, may still be found in our community I What a vast amount of mind is palsied and lost!
"When we think, that every house might he cheered by intelligence, disinterestedness, and refinement, and then remember, in how many houses the higher powers and affections of human nature are buried as in tombs, what a 5 darkness gathers over society! And how few of us are moved by this moral desolation! How few understand, that to raise the depressedTby a wise culture, to the dignity of men, is the highest end of the social state! Shame on us, that the worth of a fellow-creature is so little felt!
10 I would that I could speak with an awakening voice to the people, of their wants, their privileges, their responsibilities. I would say to them: You cannot, without guilt and disgrace, stop where you are. The past and the present call on you to advance. Let what you have gained be an
15 impulse to something higher. Your nature is too great to be crushed. You were not created what you arc, merely to toil, eat, drink, and sleep, like the inferior animals. If you will, you can rise. No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down, in knowledge,
20 power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent. Do not be lulled to sleep by the flatteries which you hear, as if your participation in the national sovereignty made you equal to the noblest of your race. You have many and great deficiencies to be remedied; and the remedy lies, not in the
25 ballot-box, not in the exercise of your political powers, but in the faithful education of yourselves and your children. These truths you have often heard and slept over. Awake! Resolve earnestly on self-culture. Make yourselves worthy of your free institutions, and strengthen and perpetuate them by your intelligence and your virtues.
XLL —HUBERT AND ARTHUR.
[william Sttakspeark was born at Stratford-upon-Avon, in England, April 23,1564, and died April 23,1616. Very little is known of the events of