It is the object of this series of histories to present a clear, distinct, and connected narrative of the lives of those great personages who have in various ages of the world made themselves celebrated as leaders among mankind, and, by the part they have taken in the public affairs of great nations, have exerted the widest influence on the history of the human race. The end which the author has had in view is twofold: first, to communicate such information in respect to the subjects of his narratives as is important for the general reader to possess; and,...
Living in the present days of peace and tranquillity it is difficult to picture the life of our ancestors in the days
of King Alfred, when the whole country was for years overrun by hordes of pagan barbarians, who
slaughtered, plundered, and destroyed at will. You may gain, perhaps, a fair conception of the state of things if
you imagine that at the time of the great mutiny the English population of India approached that of the
natives, and that the mutiny was everywhere triumphant.
the meane time, Brenne aduertised hereof, assembled a great nauie of ships, well furnished with people and
souldiers of the Norwegians, with the which he tooke his course homewards, but in the waie he [Sidenote:
Guilthdacus king of Denmarke.] was encountred by Guilthdacus king of Denmarke, the which had laid long in
wait for him, bicause of the yoong ladie which Brenne had maried, for whome he had béene a sutor to hir
father Elsing of long time.
Though the town of Royston is frequently mentioned in the following pages, it was no part of my task to deal
with the general historical associations of the place, with its interesting background of Court life under James
I. These belong strictly to local history, and the references to the town and neighbourhood of Royston simply
arise from the accidental association with the district of the materials which have come most readily to my
hand in glancing back at the life of rural England in the time of the Georges.
Measured by the standards of duration, absence of violent commotions, maintenance of law and order, general
prosperity and contentment of the people, and by the extent of its influence on the institutions and political
thought of other lands, the English government has been one of the most remarkable the world has ever