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1018. Marries Emma.
1025. His wars in Denmark.
His assassination of Ulfr.
The Reign of Hardicanute.
Macbeth defeated by Siward.
His defeat and death.
28th Sept. he lands at Pevensey.
Battle of Hastings.
On the verbs. :
On the Finnish branch of Languages.
On its affinities and analogies.
Alphabetical catalogue of the affinities of the Anglo-Saxon.
Do. with the Arabic.
Theft and robbery.
Money of the Anglo-Saxons.
Their borb or sureties.
Their legal tribunals.
The trial by jury.
APPENDIX. No. II.
Alfred's intellectual Character. State of the Anglo-Saxon Mind.
BOOK THE FIFTH.
Illiteracy of its His invitation of His Preface to
The incidents which principally contributed to excite Alfred's infant mind into activity (1), and to give it ideas more varied and numerous than childhood usually obtains, have been noticed in the preceding pages; as well as the fact, that he was passing the first twelve years of his life without any education (2). But although thus neglected, his intellectual faculty was too powerful to be indolent, or to be contented with the illiterate pursuits which were the fashion of the day. It turned, from its own energies and sympathies, towards mental cultivation; and attached itself to that species of it which, without the aid of others, it could by its own industry obtain. This was the Saxon popular poetry. In all the nations of the north, whether from the Keltic or Teutonic stock, persons were continually emerging, who pursued the art of arranging words into metrical composition, and of applying this arrangement to express their own feelings, or to perpetuate the favourite subjects of their contemporaries or patrons. By this verbal rhythm, however imperfect; by the emotions which it breathed or caused; or by the themes
(1) Alfred had the felicity of possessing a literary friend, Asser, of Saint David's, who composed some biographical sketches of his great master's life and manners. His work is somewhat rude and incomplete; but it is estimable for its apparent candour and unaffected simplicity. It is the effusion of a sensible, honest, observing mind. The information which it conveys has never been contradicted, and harmonises with every other history or tradition that has been preserved concerning Alfred. The merits of Alfred, therefore, are supported by a degree of evidence which seldom attends the characters of ancient days. But we shall be able to exhibit him still more satisfactorily, in his own words from his own works.
(2) See before, Vol. I. p. 298. Asser, 16. Malmsb. 45. Jam duodenis omnis literaturæ expers fuit.