M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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Archbifhop's Advice was dcem'd afterwards very fatal to
England. The Prefent given to tl I, ferved only

to allure others, who being no lefs greedy of Alone/,
thought they had an equal right to make advantage of
the weaknefs of the Englifli.

Two years after, another of their Fleets failing up the 993.
Flumber, the Pyrates landed on the North Side, and ravag'd A i"'ha Da.
in a mercilefs manner all that belong'd to the Englijlj in g M £'
thofe quarters. Ethelred lent an Army againft them, un- s. DjoJu..
der the command of three Earls, Frttna, Frithegijl, and
Goodwin. But the Generals, having led their Forces in
fight of the Enemies, were the firft that turned their
backs, and by their fhameful Cowardice occalioned the
lofs of the Army. The King had imprudently trufted
thefe three Lords with his Troops, who, being of Danijh
Extraction, were fufpected of Treachery.

How great foever the miferies inflicted hitherto on E?ig- 994.
land by thefe Foreigners might be, it is certain, they were Sweyn«rf
nothing in comparifon of what followed. Sweyn King of ■?''""
Denmark, and Olaiis (8) King of Nonuay, allured by the land,
good Succefs of their Subjects in England, wanted to (hare
in the fpoil brought from thence every year. To that
purpofe, fitting out a numerous Fleet, they entered the
Thames, and landed their Troops
made feveral attempts to become

but meeting with a braver refiftance than they imagined,
retired. To make themfelves amends for the time fpent
in vain before London, they went and plundered Kent,
Hampjlnre, and Suffix, threatning to lay wafte the whole
Kingdom. Ethelred, who had no more conduct than cou- Ethelred
rape, not knowing how to put a flop to thefe ravages, (T™"^.

t> > ,,- 1 r c L. e tucrn a .^un

had recourfe to the fame means made ule ot before on a efMenty.
like occafion. He bound himfelf by a Treaty to pay a
certain Sum of Money (9) within fuch a time, on condi-
tion they left his Subjects unmolefted, and departed the
Kingdom. Whereupon, the two foreign Kings caufed all
Hoftiiities to ceafe, and retired to Southampton. Shortly ObSt turn
after the King of Norway paid a vifit to Ethelred ( 1 o), who cbri P""'
perfuaded him to be baptiz'd, and flood himfelf Godfather.
At his departure, Olaiis obliged himfelf by Oath never to
infeft England more, and perform'd his promife.

It would have been happy for the Englijh, if Sweyn, T' 1 two
who departed at the fame time, would have followed his * '
Example. For they would have efcaped all thofe Calami-
ties, that Prince afterwards brought on the Land. When
he failed for Denmark, he left a Fleet at Southampton, to
keep the Englijlj in awe, and oblige them to perform the
Articles of the Treaty. After his departure, his Admiral
very earneftly preffed the payment of the Money. But as
there was no hafte made to comply with his demands,
he took their delay for a refufal, and refolved to renew
the war. Mean while, to deceive the vigilance of the 997-
Englijh, he fet fail, as if he defigned for Denmark, but on "• w " "
a fudden, he unexpectedly entered the Severn, and after sVx.^Ana.
deftroying the Country of the Weljl) with fire and fword,
crofs'd the River and penetrated into Dorfetjinre (11), where
he committed the fame ravages. All the Forces that 09^,
could be brought againft the Danes v/ere as foon defeated Tie Danes
as levied. They facked whole Counties, it being impof- ravap in;
fible to oppofe them. At laft, finding nothing more to an '
plunder in thofe parts, they put to Sea again, and landed
in Kent ( 1 2). The Inhabitants, by endeavouring to make
fome refiftance, only increaled the fury of their Enemies,
who treated them with the utmolt barbarity. To com-
plete their misfortunes, a Fleet equipp'd by Ethelred to en-
gage them at Sea, was rendered ufelefs by the diflenfions
and unskilfulnefs of the Commanders. In this melancholy „„„_
fituation, England would have irretrievably perifhed, if Are mex-
the Danes by a lucky and unexpected Accident had not ?'?'?■?-
been called to the affiftance of Richard II, Duke of Nor- "^
mandy, whom the King of France would have difpolTeffed
of his dominions. Ethelred took this opportunity to go



.



(1) He had the King's Piirfe at command, befides thofe of mod other People, who then looked upon fuch Works as meritorious. Tyr, p. M.

(2) He firft laid Siege to Rochefter, kit not being able to take it, he wafted the Lands of the Cathedral. Matmjb S.DunJm,

(3) Ont hundred Poundi. Knighton, u. 2314. Malmbs, p, 62.

(4) A bloody Flux. S.Dunt/m. p. 161. Ingulph, p. 55

(5) Ipfavich in Suffolk, wherein are twelve Parifh-Churches, with the Ruins of fix or feven religious Hcufes. In Camden's time it had fourteen. As
for the Antiquity, we find no mention of it before this Danijh Invafion.

(6) And by the Dukes Ethehoard and Alfric t ar.d the reft of the Nobility. S> Dunelm. p. 162. Cbnr,. Mailros, p. 152.

(7) Ten thou land Pounds. Sax, Ann. 991.

(SJ Some pretend Olaui or Olapb was the lame with Anlaff mentioned in the Reigns of Edmund and Edred. Eut befides that enc was King of Norway, which
can't be laid of the other, Anlaffm\il\ have been exceeding old, fince feventy years before he was a General. Hiftorians not carefully diliinguiihing the Princes
that were called Anfoff or Olaf, made Selden fay, it was a Name that bred great CunfuJion in the Englijh Hiftory. Raj ■

(9) Sixteen thouland Pounds. Sax. Ann. 994. (10) A\,And?vtr\nllaw£jh;-£* Sj,\, Ann,

(11) As alfo into Devon and Somtrfajbire. See Sax. Ann. Srotnjt, p. 8Sz.

{12) They went up the Mtdwsty \a-Racbefia % Sax, Ann,



and



Book V.



14. ETHELRED II.



119



10 lO,

1001.
Vbey return

in Enj '■ nd
S.ix. Ann.
Huntingd.

.S. Dunclm-



and ravage Cumberland, but for what reafon is unknown (1 ).
After that, he returned to London, where he kept his ufual
Refidence.

The Qiiiet Ethelredenjoyed was of no long Continuance ;
tlie Dunes flaying in Normandy no longer than was necef-
fary to put the young Duke out of Danger, returned into
England. Cormval felt the firft Effects of their Fury ; then
entering IVcJJex, they became Mailers of Exeter. The Con-
fternation of the Englijh was fo great, that they made but



deftroying the Danes by a general Maflacre. To execute M "I L 1
this Project, orders were fent fo privately (5), throughout '^°^' n
the Kingdom, that in one day all the Danes were (lain Huntingdi
with fuch implacable Fury and Cruelty, that the particu
lars cannot be read without Horror (6). Sweyn i, Sifter (7), MatW < a '
who was married to an Englijh Lord, having at firft been
fpared, Ethelred was fo barbarous as to caufe her Cliildrea



to be murdered in her prefence, and then her Head to be
cut off. This Princefs, who met her death with an he-
a faint refiftance. Whether Ethelred was betrayed by his roic Conftancy, was fevcrcly revenged fhortly after.
Generals, or the long Peace enjoyed by the Englijh during This bloody Tragedy, acted on the thirteenth of Hemarh ,.n
the foregoing Reigns, had enervated their Courage, they November 1002 (8), was very like the Maflacre of the R<
were conftantly vanquifh'd. The King himfelf was feized mans by the Britons under Boadicea ; not only the fame^"'
with fuch Terror that he durft not venture to be prefent Barbarities, but the fame confequenccs alfo attended both



7/r miftra-
hie Condition
(/England.



in the Battles for fear of falling into the hands of the Danes
who probably would have ihown him no favour. In fine,
the Danes ever victorious, got pofieffion of the Ifle of
Wight, HampJIiire, and DorJctJhirc, where they had their
Magazines. From hence they made continual Incurfions
into the neighbouring Counties, without any one daring to
oppofe them. England was then in a deplorable Condi-
tion. The fouthern Counties were perpetually ravag'd by
the foreign Danes, and the northern People by the fame



Sax. Ann.



1002.
Origin of
Danegcld.



The Dares
return borne.
hut federal
fay behind,



who behave
inJoLntly.



The Englijh, as the old Britons, were fo far from throw-
ing off their yoke by this wicked Expedient, that it fer-
ved only to make it more heavy and infupportable.
Though Hiftorians affure us, all the Danes in England
were maffacred on this occafion, it is hard to conceive
how this could be effected in Northumberland and Eajl-
Anglia, where the Danes were moil powerful. Was it
poilible they fhould fland ftill and differ their Throats to
be cut, without making any refiftance worth notice?
Nation, whom the Englijh could not but look upon as This confideration makes me apt to believe, that by all
their Enemies. For, they not only refufed to tight a- the Danes, we are to underftand only thofe, lately fettled
gainft the Foreigners, whom they ftill confidered as their in England, and difperfed in IVeJfex and Mereia.
Countrymen, but joining with them, even helped to de- Ethelred was perfuaded, this bloody Maflacre of fo ma-

ftroy a Country they ought to have defended with all their ny Thoufands, would procure him fomc Repofe. He
power, fince it was become their own. In this ex- could not imagine, the Danes would ever think of any
tremity, Ethelred, who had no refolution, was far from future Invafions. At lcaft, he hoped, in cafe the defire

of revenging their Brethren fhould bring them to England
again, the Englijh would fee the neceffity of fhedding the
laft drop of their Blood to prevent falling into the hands
of their incenfed Enemies. He relied moreover on the
Affiftance of his Brother-in-law the Duke of Normandy, a
powerful Prince, intereilcd in his Defence. But fuch a
detcftable Policy rarely produces the intended Effects, or
rather, feldom fails of ending in the ruin of the Projector.
God, who beholds fuch Tragedies with horror, docs not
often fuffer them to go unpunifhed. Of this we have an
quitted England. But the Clergy and Monks always found inftance in the miferiesthat befel Ethelred and his Subjects,
means to be exempted. who were almoftas guilty as their King.

The Danes, fatisfied with this Agreement, ceafed their Sweyn received the news of this Maflacre by fome Danes, S« yn n
ravages, and return'd home. However, abundance of who efcaped by getting on board a Veffe! rcadv to fail fo
them, perceiving England to be much preferable to Den-
mark, ftaid behind, and lived among the Englijh. Their
number indeed was not fo great as to render them very
formidable, confidering they were difperfed ; but then
they were fupported by their Countrymen of Northumber-



imitating the Firmnefs of his Anceftors, who in like cir
cumftances, were never daunted by Misfortunes. This
timorous Prince, feeing no other way to avoid the ftill
greater miferies the Nation was threatned with, yielded
at laft to pay the Danes thirty thoufand Pounds (2). This
Sum, which in thofe Days was very confiderable, was levi-
ed by a Tax, called Dauegeld, that is, Danijh Money, or
Money for the Danes (3). This was the original of that
famous Tax which afterwards became fo extremely bur-
thenfome to the Nation, even long after the Danes had






upon



Hca.Boeth
Hill. Sent.
J. Walling
Are thence
tailed Lcrd
Danes-



Ithelred
monies Em
roa of Nor-
mandy.
Huntingd.
1.6.
Biompt.



Denmark. Their relation of the Crueltie. of 'the Englijh
to thofe of his nation, would have been fufficient to throw
him into refolutions fatal to England. But when he was J- Walling.
informed of his Sifter's death, and the barbarous manner
of it, he was feized with a raging Fury. Every tiling
land, and Eajl-Jnglia. Befides, the Englijh dreaded nothing contributing to ftir him up to revenge, he folemnlv fworc
fo much as the renewal of the war, which made the Danes he would never reft till he had fatisfaction for fo bloody an
very infolent. They did what they pleafed, without any Outrage. It was not therefore with intent to plunder, that
controul. The Englijl), difpirited by their paft Calamities, he made a fecond expedition into England, but to de-
were afraid, on the leaft Occafion, of drawing into the ftroy the whole Country with Fire and Sword. However,
Kingdom frefh Armies of Foreigners. Thus whilft the as he did not doubt but Ethelred had taken all poffible pre-
Dancs abounding in wealth and eafe, paffed their Time cautions to oppofe his Entrance, he would not fail without
agreeably, the Englijl) were fore'd to labour and toil incef- being fure beforehand of a place where he might fafely
fantly, to fatisfy the Avarice of their new Matters. In land his Troops. Cormval was then governed by Earl
fhort, the whole Kingdom flood in fuch fear of the Danes, Hugh, a Norman, whom the Queen had placed in that
that they had always the appellation of Lord-Danes. The poft as a Man the King might perfectly confide in, To
Word it felf, as well as the Meaning, was altered a little this Governor Sweyn difpatched a trufty Meflenger, to
after. At this day, in fome parts of England a rich idle endeavour to gain him to his Intereft, by the offer of a
Man that takes upon him, is by way of derifion called a great Reward. Hugh yielding to the Temptation, pro-
Lurdane. But notwithftanding this alteration, the traces mifed to admit the DaniJ/j Fleet into his Ports, and fuffer
of its original fignification are ftill vifible in the word. the Troops to land without Moleftatlon.

E/giva, Ethelred's Queen, dying, whilft the Danes Upon this, Sweyn, having equipped a Fleet of three Sweyn tantt
- were thus infolently domineering in England, the King hundred Sail, landed in Cormval with a numerous Army, '" Cornwal,
demanded Emma (4), Sifter of Richard II, Duke of Nor- and meeting with no oppyfition, marched directly to Ex- r™''™"'

eter. As this City was in no apprehenfion of an Attack, Huntingd.
he eafily became matter of it, and putting the Inhabitants
to the Sword, reduced it to Allies. This firft exploit s. Donelm,
was followed by feveral others, no lefs fatal to England. Brompt.



mandy, in marriage. His fuit being granted, and the
Marriage confummated, he thought himfelf out of danger,
depending upon the affiftance of the Duke his Brother-in-
Law, when there fhould be Occafion. This expectation



infpired him with the barbarous and furious refolution of Where-ever Sweyn carried his Arms, revenge and not con-

(1) Though not one of our Englifn Hiftorians have mentioned on whom or for what this War was made, John Fordm in his Scotijb Hiftory gives this
Account of it: Ethelred having paid large Sums to the Danes, fent to Malcolm Prince of Cumberland, under Gryme King of Scotland, to pay his Share;
which he refufed to do, and aliening he was only bound to make War with the reft of the Kingdom, when required, Etbdrtd invaded his Country, on pre-
tence he favoured the Danes : but prefently after the two Princes ftruck up a Peace, and became Friends. See alfo S. Dur.elm. p. 79, 80.

(2) All Hiftorians agree in faying that it was done by the Advice of the Wttter.a-Gemot, or Council a Rege & Proceribus (Witlan) decretum eft.

Sax. Ann. habito Concilio cum regni fui Primatibus S. Duneltn. p. 164. Herved. p. 429. — Confilio Primatum hioium. — — M. V/ed. p. 3S6.

(3) For the Payment of this Money every Hide of Land was taxed yearly Twelve-pence. A Hide of Land is fuch a quantity of Land as may b_- pi
with one Plough in a Year. Bede reckons it as much as will maintain a Family. Some fay it was an hundred Acres, others, that it c attained n
Number of Acres. The Diftributicn of England by Hides of Land is very ancient, mention being made of it in the Laws of Ina. Dane^eld was the
hilt Land-Tax in England. It was afterwards called Hidagium, which Name remained afterwards upnn all Taxes and Subfidics impofed on Land;. The
Normans called thefe fometimes Taxes, fometimes Tallages, and Auxilia Ci? Subjidia. The Saxon Kings before this had their Levies of Money and Peipnal
Services, towards the building and repairing Cities, Caftlts, Bridges, Military Expeditions, &e. which from the Word Bote, that is, 1 r « termed
Burghbole, Brigbote, Heregeld, &c. Danegeld was releafed by Edward the Confejfor, but levied again by William I. and II- Then it was reieali 1

by Henry I, and finally by King Stephen. This antient Tax probably might be a Precedent for our Land-Tax for three or four Shillings in the Pound,
when firft granted. See Leg. Ediv. Confef. c. 12.

(4) In Saxon, Elgha. S. Duneltn. p. 164. She was called from her extraordinary Beauty, The Pearl cf Normandy. Ran. Higd. I. 6. Huntingd. 1. 6.

(5) Huntingdon fays, that he himfelf, when a Child, heard it from certain eld Men, that by the King's Command Letters were privately difpatched all
over England, to make away the Danes in one Night. The Saxon Annals add, it was becaufe the King was told the Danes defigned to deprive him and his
Nobles of their Lives, and to feize the Kingdom. Anno Mil.

(6) Among other Cruelties, the Danijh Women were plac'd in Holes in the Earth, as deep- as their Waftes, and then had their Breafts torn off by
Maftifi Dogs. See Job. hi 'ailing, p. $47. Edit. Gale. M. Ifefi. lays the Odium of this whole Scene of Barbarity on Huna, General of the King's Forces,
one of his evil Counl'ellors, p. 391. Brady quertions the Truth of it, p. 124. Note (m).

(7) Her Name was Gunilda ; Ihe is faid to have been married to a noble Dane of great Power and Wealth, who had been fettled for fome time in England,
1, 15 name was Paler.g. She was a Chriftian, and had been a great lnflrviucjit in making Peace between the Englijh and Danes, Mat. Weft. p. 392.

(8 J On the Feaft of St- Brians, upon a Sunday. Wallingf, ibid,

1 queft



ti;



^//J^O^rj/ENGLAND.'



Vol. I.



"Six. Ann-



Sweyn«-



He rititrnt
and burns
Norwich ^nj
I hetford.
-Sax. Ann.
Malm b.
i I t;ngd.
S. Dunelm
Brompt.



quell being his chief aim, he deftroyed all with Fire and
Sword. Towards the end of the fummer, being inform-
ed Alfric, Duke of Mercia, was advancing with a pow-
erful Army ( i ), to give him Battle, he refolved to meet
him. Ethelred acted very unadvifedly in giving the Com-
mand of his Army to this Lord, whom he had formerly
banifh'd the Kingdom out of mere caprice, and whofe
Son's Eyes he had ordered to be put out (z). The Re-
membrance of this Injury being ftill frefh in the Duke's
mind, he was pleafed with having fo fair an opportunity
to revenge it. As foon as he was in fight of the Enem y,
he feigned himfelf fick on a fudden, and pretending he
was unable to fight in his prefent condition, ordered a
Retreat, which he took care to make with fo much Con-
i'ullon, that the Danes very eafily routed his Army. After
this Victory, Sweyn took feveral Towns (3), with an im-
menfe Booty. But as he had no defign to keep them,
he fet them on fire, and went and palled the Winter in
Denmark.

The Calm England enjoyed upon Sweyn's Departure,
Med not long. In the following Spring he landed in
Eajl-Anglia, and taking Norwich, burnt the whole Town
to the ground. Ulfketel, Governor of Eajl- Anglia, unable
to refift him, gave him a great fum of Money, to pre-
vent his doing any farther Mifchief (4). But upon receipt



King to keep them any longer together. Then the Danes
hilling from their Retreat, renew'd their Ravages in Kent (7 )
and the neighbouring Counties., well allured they fhould
meet with no Oppohtion. Ethelred favv no other Co'urfe 1 007;
to flop the progrefs of a mifchief that threatned the whole
Kingdom, but to give them the fum of thirty thoufand
Pounds, with which they were very well fatibfied.

The King, being freed from this Incumbrance, celebra- rk ' P n Z
ted the Wedding of one of his Daughters with Edric fir- oZghter'n
named Streon (8), a very powerful Lord, whom he hadjuft Edric, ™6»
made Duke of Mercia. If hitherto Ethelred had lived in^' a
continual Fears and Troubles, it was nothing in com- Maimib.
parifon of the Misfortunes he drew on himfelf by this fatal '• a. c 10.
Marriage. He had inconfiderately taken into his Family a M " ■"i?"' 1 '
Traitor fold to the Danes, who never failed on all occa-
fions, to betray the King and Kingdom to the Foreigners.

Hardly was a Year palled lince the laft Treaty with the '00S.
Danes, when they demanded the fame Sum again (9), pre- Elhe,r, - d fi"
tending it to be a yearly Tribute due by Contract from Flea. S "'''
Ethelred. This Demand was accompanied with Threats Sax. Ann.
of dellroying the whole Kingdom with Fire and Swoid, if "p' 1 " 1 *' 1 '
the Money was not immediately paid. This new Preten- Bro,m f t'. m "
fion of the Danes convincing the King and his Council, there
was no poflibility of ever contenting their infatiable Ava-
rice, it was judged the Money would be better laid out in



of the Money, Sweyn breaks the treaty, and takes The/ford equipping a Fleet capable of defending the Kingdom from



Defeat! the
Dure if

Eaft-Anglia.
1004.



by Surprize, a Town then of great note, and ferved it as
he had done Norwich. Incens'd at this Breach of Faith,
VI 'fket el 'levied fi m.- Troops with wonderful Expedition, and
polled himfelf bet veen the Danijh Army and Fleet. Sweyn
perceiving he intended to cut off his Retreat to his Ships,
march'd back to give him Battle, before he fhould be rein-
forced with more Troops. He found the Englijl) very advan-
tageoufly encamp'd, expecting him with aRefolution to Hand
their ground, and exert their utmoll in Defence of their
Gocds and Chattels, which their Enemies were carrying a-
way before their face. The ill Fortune of the Englijh was
ccme to that Height, that it was almoft impoffible they
fhould fo much as once get the Advantage. The Danes
obtain'd a iignal Victory, though not without great Lofs
on their fide. They even own'd they were never in



their Incurfions. NeceiTity made them put this Refolution
fo fpeedily in pradtife, that quickly after, the King had a
Fleet well mann'd and victuall'd ( 1 o), the Command where-
of was given to Brithric, Brother of mdric Strain, Duke
of Mercia. Thefe Meafures obliged the Danes to retire for
fear of being forced to a Sea-Engagement, which their Ships
were not fo fit for as thofe of the Englijh (11).

The firft thing Brithric did, after his being made Admi- &*Flu/
ral, was to life all his Intereft to ruin Ulnoth, a Lord of di- '%"." "°~
flinguifhed Quality (12), but his Enemy. He accufed him Sax? Ann.
to the King of I know not what Crimes, of which Ulnoth
did not think fit to purge himfelf by a publick Trial, be-
ing fenfible his Condemnation was alreadj' concerted. He Hoved.
refolved therefore upon a voluntary Exile, to skreen
himfelf from this perfecution ; and perfuaded nine Cap-



more Danger of being defeated (5). Ulfketel, though of tains (13) to follow him with their Ships. After which he



Ethelred &
t -ayed w a
bands.



100;.
Famine m
' t id,
vp • it I ri b
Sweyn re-
tires.
Sax. Ann.

11 Da
rifli Fleet.
Sax. Ann.



DaniJIi race, was the faithfullelt as well as bravelt of all
Ethelred's Subjects, and did him the moll Service. But it
was not fo with the other Lords. All the Hiitorians agree,

; Ethelred vats betray 'd by all that approach'd him. Siveyn
had his Spies, not only in his Court, but in his very Coun-
cil. The Great Men, for the moil part, were brib'd, or
at lead, there was fcarce one that fcrv'd the King heartily,
by reafon of their little Efteem for him. Whatever Coun-
cils were held to confider of Ways and Means to refill the
Danes, the Diflenfions between the Nobles, too common in
the Courts of Piinces fo little rel'pectcd, prevented them
from comin^ to any Refolution, or putting what was refolv'd
in execution. The Avarice of the Clergy, and particu-
larly of the Monks, very much help'd to encreafe the Dis-
order. Notwithllanding their great Riches, they refus'd
to contribute their Quota in defence of the Kingdom,
pleading their Privileges and Immunities, as if they had no
Share at all in the Danger. It is no wonder therefore the
Danes obtain'd fo many Victories in a Country fo ill de-
fended by them, who were fo much concern'd for its pre-
fervation. The Famine that happened foon after, would
have compleated the Misfortunes of the Englijh had it not
accidentally prov'd the occafion of Sweyn's returning to
Denmark for want of Subfillence in England.

Upon the Retreat of the Danes, and ceafing of the Fa-
mine, the Englijl) began to enteitain hopes of enjoying

■ fome Tranquillity, when they faw another Danijh Fleet
airive at Sandwich in Kent. Ethelred immediately levied
an Army (o) to give the new Invaders battle : But after
committing fome Ravages, they retired to the Ifle of Tha-
nct, where it was not poflible to attack them. They knew



Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 49 of 360)