THE Almighty has, of late, in his visitations, given us such lessons on mortality, as our nation has not, for some considerable time, been accustomed to receive. It is within your recollection, how the whole nation, about two years ago, was appalled by the intelligence, that he, with one stroke, cut off two generations of the Royal Family, You, no doubt, now have some sensations similar to those, which you felt on occasion of the funeral of the late Princess Charlotte.
Little more than a year has elapsed since we assembled to contemplate the decease of the late Queen; when we were instructed, that death spares not even Royalty, whether the time of departure out of this life, be desired or not.
The demise of our beloved King has now called us together; and, while we reflect on his death, and the interment of his esteemed remains, we should not forget, that another branch of his illustrious family, has, since the commencement of this year, been called out of time, after an illness of a very short duration.
AMONG the many gigantic though somewhat shadowy personalities of the Viking age, two stand forth with undisputed pre-eminence: Rolf the founder of Normandy and Canute the Emperor of the North. Both were sea-kings; each represents the culmination and the close of a great migratory movement,—Rolf of the earlier Viking period, Canute of its later and more restricted phase. The early history of each is uncertain and obscure; both come suddenly forth upon the stage of action, eager and trained for conquest. Rolf is said to have been the outlawed son of a Norse earl; Canute was the younger son of a Danish king: neither had the promise of sovereignty or of landed inheritance. Still, in the end, both became rulers of important states—the pirate became a constructive statesman. The work of Rolf as founder of Normandy was perhaps the more enduring; but far more brilliant was the career of Canute.
THE Guelphs and Ghibellines were factions supporting, respectively, the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor in central and northern Italy during the 12th and 13th centuries […] The struggle for power between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire had arisen with the Investiture Conflict which began in 1075 and ended with the Concordat of Worms in 1122, but the division between Guelphs and Ghibellines in Italy persisted to the 15th century.
Ghibellines were the imperial party, while the Guelphs supported the Pope. Broadly speaking, Guelphs tended to come from wealthy mercantile families, whereas Ghibellines were predominantly those whose wealth was based on agricultural estates.
It must be noted that contemporaries did not use the terms Guelphs and Ghibellines […] with the names “church party” and “imperial party” preferred in some areas.
The division between Guelphs and Ghibellines was especially important in Florence […] By 1300 Florence was divided into the Black Guelphs and the White Guelphs. The Blacks continued to support the Papacy, while the Whites were opposed to Papal influence, specifically the influence of Pope Boniface VIII.
During the 12th and 13th centuries, armies of the Ghibelline communes usually adopted the war banner of the Holy Roman Empire—white cross on a red field—as their own. Guelph armies usually reversed the colours—red cross on white.