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A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

CHAPTER I.

IF you look at a Map of the World, you
will see, in the left-hand upper corner of the
Eastern Hemisphere, two Islands lying in the
sea. They are England and Scotland, and
Ireland. England and Scotland, form the
greater part of these Islands. Ireland is the
next in size. The little neighbouring islands,
which are so small upon the Map as to be
mere dots, are chiefly little bits of Scotland
broken off, I dare say, in the course of a great
length of time, by the power of the restless
water.

In the old days, a long, long while ago,
before Our Saviour was born on earth and
when he lay asleep in a manger, these Islands
were in the same place, and the stormy sea
roared round them, just as it roars now. But,
the sea was not alive, then, with great ships
and brave sailors, sailing to and from all
parts of the world. It was very lonely. The
Islands lay solitary, in the great
expanse of water. The foaming waves dashed
against their cliffs, and the bleak winds blew
over their forests; but, the winds and waves
brought no adventurers to land upon the
Islands; and the savage Islanders knew nothing
of the rest of the world, and the rest of the
world knew nothing of them.

It is supposed that the Phoenicians, who
were an ancient people, famous for carrying
on trade, came in ships to these Islands, and
found that they produced tin and lead;
both very useful things, as you know, and
both produced to this very hour upon the
sea-coast. The most celebrated tin mines in
Cornwall are, still, close to the sea. One of
them, which I have seen, is so close to it that
it is hollowed out underneath the ocean; and
the miners say that, in stormy weather, when
they are at work down in that deep place,
they can hear the noise of the waves, thundering
above their heads. So, the Phoenicians,
coasting about the Islands, would come, without
much difficulty, to where the tin and lead
were.

The Phoenicians traded with the Islanders
for these metals, and gave the Islanders some
other useful things in exchange. The Islanders
were, at first, poor savages, going almost
naked, or only dressed in the rough skins of
beasts, and staining their bodies, as other
savages do, with coloured earths and the juices
of plants. But, the Phoenicians, sailing over
to the opposite coasts of France and Belgium,
and saying to the people there, "We have
been to those white cliffs across the water,
which you can see in fine weather; and from
that country we bring this tin and lead,"
tempted some of the French and Belgians to
come over also. These people settled themselves
on the south coast of England, which
is now called Kent; and, although they were
a rough people too, they taught the savage
Britons some useful arts, and improved that
part of the Islands. It is probable that other
people came over from Spain to Ireland, and
settled there.

Thus, by little and little, strangers became
mixed with the Islanders, and the savage
Britons grew into a wild bold peoplealmost
savage, still, especially in the interior of the
country, away from the sea, where the foreign
settlers seldom went; but hardy, brave, and
strong.

The whole country was covered with forests,
and swamps. The greater part of it was
very misty and cold. There were no roads, no
bridges, no streets, no houses that you would
think deserving of the name. A town was
nothing but a collection of straw-covered huts,
hidden in a thick wood, with a ditch all round,
and a low wall, made of mud, or the trunks of
trees placed one upon another. The people
planted little or no corn, but lived upon the
flesh of their flocks and cattle. They made
no coins, but used metal rings for money.
They were clever in basket-work, as savage
people often are; and they could make a coarse
kind of cloth, and some very bad earthenware.
But, in building fortresses they were much
more clever.

They made boats of basket-work, covered
with the skins of animals, but seldom, if ever,
ventured far from the shore. They made
swords, of copper mixed with tin; but, these
swords were of an awkward shape, and so
soft that a heavy blow would bend one. They
made light shields, short pointed daggers, and
spearswhich they jerked back, after they
had thrown them at an enemy, by a long
strip of leather fastened to the stem. The
butt-end was a rattle, to 'frighten an enemy's

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