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PROSE READINGS FROM ENGLISH HISTORY.
THE PEASANT RISING,
[The victory of Cressy was the first of a series of successes
which placed England high among military powers and forced France by the Treaty of Bretigny to grant to Edward full sovereignty of Aquitaine and the possession of Calais. But war brought with it suffering : and both countries shared in the terrible scourge of the plague which was called the Black Death. To the suffering caused by war and pestilence was added at the close of Edward's reign the shame of defeat. While England was exhausted by its victories, France woke to a fresh energy, and refusing to fulfil the terms of peace, stripped Edward of all his conquests save Calais, and in union with Castille made herself mistress of the seas and ruined English commerce. Money was squandered in desperate efforts to regain the old supremacy in the field; and the pressure of taxation drove England to despair. The death of Edward the Third left the crown to his grandson, a boy named Richard the Second ; and the country felt the weakness of the government in a general disorder. Still the war called for money; and the Parliament were driven to raise money by a tax, not as of old on lands,