Ruins and Old Trees, Associated with Memorable Events in English History [Illustrated edition]

Ruins and Old Trees, Associated with Memorable Events in English History [Illustrated edition]

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Years passed on, and while the aspect of nature remained the same, all else was changed. This part of Britain bore no longer the appellation of Dobuni; a term derived from the British word Duffen, because the inhabitants frequently resided in places which lay low, and were sunk under hills. It formed a considerable portion of Britannia Superior, and along the side of its beautifully wooded hills, and on its thickly peopled plains, palaces and forums, extensive military roads, aqueducts and schools were rapidly erected. The rattling of heavy-laden cars, and the loud sound of the woodman’s axe, with the crash of stately trees, made way for these improvements. In the course of a few short years, the country of the Dobuni lost its wild and forest-like appearance, and far as the eye could reach, the wide-spread landscape presented objects of fertility and beauty. The ancient forest was also curtailed of its grandeur and extent; and the plain country, whose rank luxuriant vegetation concealed marshes, on which it was rarely safe to tread, except in seasons of great drought, was cleared, and thrown open to the sun, and being quickly drained, was covered with towns and villages; corn-fields and meadows succeeded to a growth of underwood, and sheep and oxen grazed where the wolf had been. Sounds too, which of all others awaken images of security and peace—the bleating of sheep along the hills, and the lowing of oxen in the valleys, were heard, instead of the piercing cries of those wild creatures, when ranging in quest of prey. Meanwhile the ample river, whose capricious windings could only be distinguished from the highest hills, was disclosed to view, by the clearing away of tangled bushes, and the cutting down of the huge trees that encroached upon, or shaded its bright waters. The small skin-boats of the natives, and the stately galleys of the Romans, glided along its surface, and commodities of various kinds were brought from one part of the country to the other.

But the day arrived when the galley was rarely seen upon the river. When the skin-boats of the natives ceased to spread abundance along its shores; when many large and fair dwellings were deserted; and when the rolling of chariots, filled with patrician families, whose villas had been erected in some of the most beautiful parts of the country, were no longer heard on the great military road that led from the city of Corinium. Instead of these, bands of armed men spread over the land, for the Roman legions were withdrawn, to save the capital from spoliation, and nothing remained for the unhappy Britons but servitude or death. The Saxons came, for such were the strangers called: their looks were bland, and their flowing vestments, adorned with borders of many colours, betokened some degree of civilization; but war was in their hearts, and soon, where cities had stood, and peaceful homesteads met the view, all was silence and desolation. No curling smoke was seen among the trees, the watch-dog’s bark had ceased, there were no flocks for him to guard, and only blackened ruins told of what had been. Gradually, however, a better state of things arose; the Saxons contrasted their past condition, their rude huts on the far off shore, their precarious mode of life, with the elegances, and the perfection in the arts and sciences which they observed in the homes which they had won. They learned to adopt the habits and the manners of the Romanized Britons, and to repair the desolations which they had wrought. Kingdoms were established, and though war occasionally prevailed among the chieftains, there were many who appreciated the blessings, and the security of peace.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940015508727
Publisher: Unforgotten Classics
Publication date: 10/22/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 3 MB

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