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AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE.
BY HENRY CURLING,
"THE SOLDIER OF FORTUNE.”
Nor powers from home, and discontents at home,
IN THREE VOLUMES.
JOHN OF ENGLAND.
THANET IN THE REIGN OF JOHN.
The posts come tiring on,
Every minute now
It is our purpose to commence the present tale in and around a portion of merrie England, which we conceive to be a familiar spot to the
majority of our readers—the pleasant fields and white-faced shores of the fertile Isle of Thanet.
There is, indeed, we opine, no portion of our “sceptered isle” which to the lover of English History, or to the antiquarian, possesses greater interest than this spot. Here Saxon and Dane, Briton and Roman, have alike encountered, “ face to face, and bloody point to point ;” and not a foot of its verdant surface, but must again and again have been bruised with the hoofs of hostile paces, from the Roman invasion down to the times of the York and Lancastrian dissensions and civil butcheries.
Gazing from the yellow sands upon that pale, that white-faced shore,
“ Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring tides,
from other lands her islanders,"
the spectator becomes peculiarly impressed with the deeds of other days—he feels, indeed, that as the waves, “those curly-headed monsters, ” roar and break at his feet, whilst the sea-bird screams aloft, the flood and the furious blast sweeps o'er the dizzy height; such must have been the exact scene, when the watch-fires of the Britons burned upon the wold, and the galleys of Cæsar first appeared in sight.
No remembrance of young England here interferes with the reverie of the wanderer but lost in dreams of early and shadowy recollection, as the eye traverses the beachy margin of the ocean, and rests upon the sea-built towers of the monastic Reculvers in the distance, he becomes lost in dreams.
For our own part, we must indeed confess to a considerable share of affection towards a portion of our island, which in the stirring periods of the early history of Britain has played so important a part, and we shall therefore make no apology for bringing our actors upon the scene, in the close vicinity of the well-known, lively town of Margate. In the good old times
“ All times when old are good," —and we purpose to go so far back as the reign of “English John”—this town (at present so