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the waves, resisted every assault. Disappointed and perplexed, the Norman had recourse to a stratagem, suggested by his success in the earlier part of the day. He ordered a division of horse to flee: they were pursued; and the temerity of the pursuers was punished with instant destruction. The same feint was tried with equal success in another part of the field. These losses might diminish the numbers of the English; but the main body obstinately maintained its position, and bade defiance to every effort of the Normans.

During the engagement, William had given the most signal proofs of personal bravery. Three horses had been killed under him, and he had been compelled to grapple on foot with his adversaries. Harold had also animated his followers, both by word and example, and had displayed a courage worthy of the crown for which he was fighting. His brothers Gurth and Leofwin had perished already; but as long as he survived, no man entertained the apprehension of defeat or admitted the idea of flight. A little before sunset an arrow, shot at random, entered his eye. He instantly fell; and the knowledge of his fall relaxed the efforts of the English.

Twenty Normans undertook to seize the royal banner; and effected their purpose, but with the loss of half their number. One of them, who maimed with his sword the dead body of the king, was afterwards disgraced by William, for his brutality. At dusk, the English broke up, and dispersed through the wood.

As William, attracted by the cries of the combatants, was hastening to the place, he met Eustace of Bou

logne and fifty knights, fleeing with all their speed. He called on them to stop; but the earl, while he was in the act of whispering into the ear of the duke, received a stroke on the back, which forced the blood out of his mouth and nostrils. He was carried in a state of insensibility to his tent. William's intrepidity hurried him forward to the scene of danger; his presence encouraged his men; succors arrived; and the English, after an obstinate resistance, were repulsed.

On the side of the victors, almost sixty thousand men had been engaged, and more than one-fourth were left on the field. The number of the vanquished, and the amount of their loss, are unknown. By the vanity of the Norman historians, the English army has been exaggerated beyond the limits of credibility by that of the native writers it has been reduced to a handful of resolute warriors: but both agree, that with Harold and his brothers perished all the nobility of the south of England; a loss which could not be repaired.

The king's mother begged as a boon the dead body of her son, and offered as a ransom its weight in gold; but the resentment of William had rendered him callous to pity, and insensible to all interested considerations. He ordered the corpse of the fallen monarch to be buried on the beach; adding, with a sneer, 'He guarded the coast while he was alive; let him continue to guard it after death.' By stealth, however, or by purchase, the royal remains were removed from this unhallowed site, and deposited in the church at Waltham, which Harold had founded before he ascended the throne.

EXERCISE VIII.

DISCOVERY OF AMERICA BY COLUMBUS.- -Robertson.

On Friday, the third day of August, in the year one thousand four hundred and ninety-two, Columbus set sail from Palos, in Spain, a little before sunrise, in presence of a vast crowd of spectators, who sent up their supplications to Heaven for the prosperous issue of the voyage; which they wished, rather than expected.

His squadron, if it merit that name, consisted of no more than three small vessels-the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nigna-having on board ninety men, mostly sailors, together with a few adventurers, who followed the fortune of Columbus, and some gentlemen of the Spanish court, whom the queen appointed to accompany him.

He steered directly for the Canary Islands; from which, after refitting his ships, and supplying himself with fresh provisions, he took his departure on the sixth day of September. Here the voyage of discovery may properly be said to have begun; for Columbus, holding his course due west, left immediately the usual track of navigation, and stretched into unfrequented and unknown seas.

The first day, as it was very calm, he made but little way; but, on the second, he lost sight of the Canaries; and many of the sailors, already dejected and dismayed, when they contemplated the boldness of the undertaking, began to beat their breasts, and to

shed tears, as if they were never more to behold land. Columbus comforted them with assurances of success, and the prospect of vast wealth in those opulent regions, whither he was conducting them.

This early discovery of the spirit of his followers taught Columbus that he must prepare to struggle, not only with the unavoidable difficulties which might be expected from the nature of his undertaking, but with such as were likely to arise from the ignorance and timidity of the people under his command; and he perceived, that the art of governing the minds of men would be no less requisite for accomplishing the discoveries which he had in view, than naval skill and an enterprizing courage,

Happily for himself, and for the country by which he was employed, he joined to the ardent temper and inventive genius of a projector, virtues of another species, which are rarely united with them. He possessed a thorough knowledge of mankind, an insinuating address, a patient perseverance in executing any plan, the perfect government of his own passions, and the talent of acquiring the direction of those of other men.

All these qualities, which formed him for command, were accompanied with that superior knowledge of his profession which begets confidence in times of difficulty and danger. To unskilful Spanish sailors, accustomed only to coasting voyages in the Mediterranean, the maritime science of Columbus, the fruit of thirty years' experience, appeared immense. As soon as they put to sea, he regulated every thing by his sole authority; he superintended the execution of

every order, and, allowing himself only a few hours for sleep, he was, at all other times, upon deck.

As his course lay through seas which had not been visited before, the sounding line, or instruments for observation, were continually in his hands. He attended to the motion of the tides and currents, watched the flight of birds, the appearance of fishes, of seaweeds, and of every thing that floated on the waves, and accurately noted every occurrence in a journal that he kept.

By the fourteenth day of September, the fleet was above two hundred leagues to the west of the Canary Isles, a greater distance from land than any Spaniard had ever been before that time. Here the sailors were struck with an appearance no less astonishing than new. They observed that the magnetic needle, in their compasses, did not point exactly to the north star, but varied towards the west.

This appearance, which is now familiar, filled the companions of Columbus with terror. They were in an ocean boundless and unknown: nature itself seemed to be altered, and the only guide which they had left, was about to fail them. Columbus, with no less quickness than ingenuity, invented a reason for this appearance, which, though it did not satisfy himself, seemed so plausible to them, that it dispelled their fears, and silenced their murmurs.

On the first of October, they were about seven hundred and seventy leagues west of the Canaries. They had now been above three weeks at sea, all their prognostics of discovery, drawn from the flight of birds, and other circumstances, had proved fallacious, and

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