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Transcribed from the 1889 Macmillan and Co. edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org



THE ROMAN AND THE TEUTON

A SERIES OF LECTURES

DELIVERED BEFORE

THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

BY CHARLES KINGSLEY, M.A.

NEW EDITION, WITH PREFACE, BY PROFESSOR F. MAX MULLER

London MACMILLAN AND CO. 1889

[All rights reserved]

OXFORD: HORACE HART, PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY.

DEDICATED TO The Gentlemen of the University WHO DID ME THE HONOUR TO ATTEND THESE LECTURES.

Contents

Preface by Professor F. Max Muller The Forest Children The Dying Empire Preface to Lecture III The Human Deluge The Gothic Civilizer Dietrich's End The Nemesis of the Goths Paulus Diaconus The Clergy and the Heathen The Monk a Civilizer The Lombard Laws The Popes and the Lombards The Strategy of Prividence Appendix—Inaugural Lecture: The Limits of Exact Science as Applied to History



PREFACE

Never shall I forget the moment when for the last time I gazed upon the manly features of Charles Kingsley, features which Death had rendered calm, grand, sublime. The constant struggle that in life seemed to allow no rest to his expression, the spirit, like a caged lion, shaking the bars of his prison, the mind striving for utterance, the soul wearying for loving response,—all that was over. There remained only the satisfied expression of triumph and peace, as of a soldier who had fought a good fight, and who, while sinking into the stillness of the slumber of death, listens to the distant sounds of music and to the shouts of victory. One saw the ideal man, as Nature had meant him to be, and one felt that there is no greater sculptor than Death.

As one looked on that marble statue which only some weeks ago had so warmly pressed one's hand, his whole life flashed through one's thoughts. One remembered the young curate and the Saint's Tragedy; the chartist parson and Alton Locke; the happy poet and the Sands of Dee; the brilliant novel-writer and Hypatia and Westward-Ho; the Rector of Eversley and his Village Sermons; the beloved professor at Cambridge, the busy canon at Chester, the powerful preacher in Westminster Abbey. One thought of him by the Berkshire chalk-streams and on the Devonshire coast, watching the beauty and wisdom of Nature, reading her solemn lessons, chuckling too over her inimitable fun. One saw him in town-alleys, preaching the Gospel of godliness and cleanliness, while smoking his pipe with soldiers and navvies. One heard him in drawing- rooms, listened to with patient silence, till one of his vigorous or quaint speeches bounded forth, never to be forgotten. How children delighted in him! How young, wild men believed in him, and obeyed him too! How women were captivated by his chivalry, older men by his genuine humility and sympathy!

All that was now passing away—was gone. But as one looked on him for the last time on earth, one felt that greater than the curate, the poet, the professor, the canon, had been the man himself, with his warm heart, his honest purposes, his trust in his friends, his readiness to spend himself, his chivalry and humility, worthy of a better age.

Of all this the world knew little;—yet few men excited wider and stronger sympathies.

Who can forget that funeral on the 28th Jan., 1875, and the large sad throng that gathered round his grave? There was the representative of the Prince of Wales, and close by the gipsies of the Eversley common, who used to call him their Patrico-rai, their Priest-King. There was the old Squire of his village, and the labourers, young and old, to whom he had been a friend and a father. There were Governors of distant Colonies, officers, and sailors, the Bishop of his diocese, and the Dean of his abbey; there were the leading Nonconformists of the neighbourhood, and his own devoted curates, Peers and Members of the House of Commons, authors and publishers; and outside the church-yard, the horses and the hounds and the huntsman in pink, for though as good a clergyman as any, Charles Kingsley had been a good sportsman too, and had taken in his life many a fence as bravely as he took the last fence of all, without fear or trembling. All that he had loved, and all that had loved him was there, and few eyes were dry when he was laid in his own yellow gravel bed, the old trees which he had planted and cared for waving their branches to him for the last time, and the grey sunny sky looking down with calm pity on the deserted rectory, and on the short joys and the shorter sufferings of mortal men.

All went home feeling that life was poorer, and every one knew that he had lost a friend who had been, in some peculiar sense, his own. Charles Kingsley will be missed in England, in the English colonies, in America, where he spent his last happy year; aye, wherever Saxon speech and Saxon thought is understood. He will be mourned for, yearned for, in every place in which he passed some days of his busy life. As to myself, I feel as if another cable had snapped that tied me to this hospitable shore.

When an author or a poet dies, the better part of him, it is often said, is left in his works. So it is in many cases. But with Kingsley his life and his works were one. All he wrote was meant for the day when he wrote it. That was enough for him. He hardly gave himself time to think of fame and the future. Compared with a good work done, with a good word spoken, with a silent grasp of the hand from a young man he had saved from mischief, or with a 'Thank you, Sir,' from a poor woman to whom he had been a comfort, he would have despised what people call glory, like incense curling away in smoke. He was, in one sense of the word, a careless writer. He did his best at the time and for the time. He did it with a concentrated energy of will which broke through all difficulties. In his flights of imagination, in the light and fire of his language he had few equals, if any; but the perfection and classical finish which can be obtained by a sustained effort only, and by a patience which shrinks from no drudgery, these are wanting in most of his works.

However, fame, for which he cared so little, has come to him. His bust will stand in Westminster Abbey, in the Chapel of St. John the Baptist, by the side of his friend, Frederick Maurice; and in the Temple of Fame which will be consecrated to the period of Victoria and Albert, there will be a niche for Charles Kingsley, the author of Alton Locke and Hypatia.

Sooner or later a complete edition of his works will be wanted, though we may doubt whether he himself would have wished all his literary works to be preserved. From what I knew of him and his marvellous modesty, I should say decidedly not. I doubt more especially, whether he would have wished the present book, The Roman and the Teuton, to be handed down to posterity. None of his books was so severely criticised as this volume of Lectures, delivered before the University of Cambridge, and published in 1864. He himself did not republish it, and it seems impossible to speak in more depreciatory terms of his own historical studies than he does himself again and again in the course of his lectures. Yet these lectures, it should be remembered, were more largely attended than almost any other lectures at Cambridge. They produced a permanent impression on many a young mind. They are asked for again and again, and when the publishers wished for my advice as to the expediency of bringing out a new and cheaper edition, I could not hesitate as to what answer to give.

I am not so blinded by my friendship for Kingsley as to say that these lectures are throughout what academical lectures ought to be. I only wish some one would tell me what academical lectures at Oxford and Cambridge can be, as long as the present system of teaching and examining is maintained. It is easy to say what these lectures are not. They do not profess to contain the results of long continued original research. They are not based on a critical appreciation of the authorities which had to be consulted. They are not well arranged, systematic or complete. All this the suddenly elected professor of history at Cambridge would have been the first to grant. 'I am not here,' he says, 'to teach you history. I am here to teach you how to teach yourselves history.' I must say even more. It seems to me that these lectures were not always written in a perfectly impartial and judicial spirit, and that occasionally they are unjust to the historians who, from no other motive but a sincere regard for truth, thought it their duty to withhold their assent from many of the commonly received statements of mediaeval chroniclers.

But for all that, let us see what these Lectures are, and whether there is not room for them by the side of other works. First of all, according to the unanimous testimony of those who heard them delivered at Cambridge, they stirred up the interest of young men, and made them ask for books which Undergraduates had never asked for before at the University libraries. They made many people who read them afterwards, take a new interest in old and half-forgotten kings and battles, and they extorted even from unfriendly critics the admission that certain chapters, such as, for instance, 'The Monk as a Civiliser,' displayed in an unexpected way his power of appreciating the good points in characters, otherwise most antipathic to the apostle of Manly Christianity. They contain, in fact, the thoughts of a poet, a moralist, a politician, a theologian, and, before all, of a friend and counsellor of young men, while reading for them and with them one of the most awful periods in the history of mankind, the agonies of a dying Empire and the birth of new nationalities. History was but his text, his chief aim was that of the teacher and preacher, and as an eloquent interpreter of the purposes of history before an audience of young men to whom history is but too often a mere succession of events to be learnt by heart, and to be ready against periodical examinations, he achieved what he wished to achieve. Historians by profession would naturally be incensed at some portions of this book, but even they would probably admit by this time, that there are in it whole chapters full of excellence, telling passages, happy delineations, shrewd remarks, powerful outbreaks of real eloquence, which could not possibly be consigned to oblivion.

Nor would it have been possible to attempt to introduce any alterations, or to correct what may seem to be mistakes. The book is not meant as a text-book or as an authority, any more than Schiller's History of the Thirty Years' War; it should be read in future, as what it was meant to be from the first, Kingsley's thoughts on some of the moral problems presented by the conflict between the Roman and the Teuton. One cannot help wishing that, instead of lectures, Kingsley had given us another novel, like Hypatia, or a real historical tragedy, a Dietrich von Bern, embodying in living characters one of the fiercest struggles of humanity, the death of the Roman, the birth of the German world. Let me quote here what Bunsen said of Kingsley's dramatic power many years ago:

'I do not hesitate (he writes) to call these two works, the Saint's Tragedy and Hypatia, by far the most important and perfect of this genial writer. In these more particularly I find the justification of a hope which I beg to be allowed to express—that Kingsley might continue Shakspeare's historical plays. I have for several years made no secret of it, that Kingsley seems to me the genius of our century, called to place by the side of that sublime dramatic series from King John to Henry VIII, another series of equal rank, from Edward VI to the Landing of William of Orange. This is the only historical development of Europe which unites in itself all vital elements, and which we might look upon without overpowering pain. The tragedy of St. Elizabeth shows that Kingsley can grapple, not only with the novel, but with the more severe rules of dramatic art. And Hypatia proves, on the largest scale, that he can discover in the picture of the historical past, the truly human, the deep, the permanent, and that he knows how to represent it. How, with all this, he can hit the fresh tone of popular life, and draw humourous characters and complications with Shakspearian energy, is proved by all his works. And why should he not undertake this great task? There is a time when the true poet, the prophet of the present, must bid farewell to the questions of the day, which seem so great because they are so near, but are, in truth, but small and unpoetical. He must say to himself, "Let the dead bury their dead"—and the time has come that Kingsley should do so.'

A great deal has been written on mistakes which Kingsley was supposed to have made in these Lectures, but I doubt whether these criticisms were always perfectly judicial and fair. For instance, Kingsley's using the name of Dietrich, instead of Theodoric, was represented as the very gem of a blunder, and some critics went so far as to hint that he had taken Theodoric for a Greek word, as an adjective of Theodorus. This, of course, was only meant as a joke, for on page 120 Kingsley had said, in a note, that the name of Theodoric, Theuderic, Dietrich, signifies 'king of nations.' He therefore knew perfectly well that Theodoric was simply a Greek adaptation of the Gothic name Theode-reiks, theod meaning people, reiks, according to Grimm, princeps {1}. But even if he had called the king Theodorus, the mistake would not have been unpardonable, for he might have appealed to the authority of Gregory of Tours, who uses not only Theodoricus, but also Theodorus, as the same name.

A more serious charge, however, was brought against him for having used the High-German form Dietrich, instead of the original form Theodereiks or Theoderic, or even Theodoric. Should I have altered this? I believe not; for it is clear to me that Kingsley had his good reasons for preferring Dietrich to Theodoric.

He introduces him first to his hearers as 'Theodoric, known in German song as Dietrich of Bern.' He had spoken before of the Visi-Gothic Theodoric, and of him he never speaks as Dietrich. Then, why should he have adopted this High-German name for the great Theodoric, and why should he speak of Attila too as Etzel?

One of the greatest of German historians, Johannes von Muller, does the same. He always calls Theodoric, Dietrich of Bern; and though he gives no reasons for it, his reasons can easily be guessed. Soon after Theodoric's death, the influence of the German legends on history, and of history on the German legends, became so great that it was impossible for a time to disentangle two characters, originally totally distinct, viz. Thjodrekr of the Edda, the Dietrich of the German poetry on one side, and the King of the Goths, Theodoric, on the other. What had long been said and sung about Thjodrekr and Dietrich was believed to have happened to King Theodoric, while at the same time historical and local elements in the life of Theodoric, residing at Verona, were absorbed by the legends of Thjodrekr and Dietrich. The names of the legendary hero and the historical king were probably identical, though even that is not quite certain {2}; but at all events, after Theodoric's death, all the numerous dialectic varieties of the name, whether in High or in Low-German, were understood by the people at large, both of the hero and of the king.

Few names have had a larger number of alias'. They have been carefully collected by Graff, Grimm, Forstemann, Pott, and others. I here give the principal varieties of this name, as actually occurring in MSS., and arranged according to the changes of the principal consonants:—

(1) With Th-d: Theudoricus, Theudericus, [Greek text], Thiodiricus, Thiodericus, Thiodric, Thiodricus, Thiodrih, Theodoricus, Theodericus, Theoderic, Theodrich, Thiadric, Thiadrich, Thiedorik, Thiederic, Thiederik, Thiederich, Thiedorich, Thiedric, Thiedrich, Thideric, Thiederich, Thidrich, Thodericus, Thiaedric, Thieoderich, Thederich, Thedric.

(2) With T-d: Teudericus, Teudricus, Tiodericus, Teodoricus, Teodericus, Teodric, Teodrich, Tiadric, Tiedrik, Tiedrich, Tiedric, Tidericus, Tiderich, Tederich.

(3) With D-d: [Greek text], Diodericus, Deoderich, Deodrich, Diederich, Diderich.

(4) With Th-t: Thiotiricus, Thiotirih, Thiotiricus, Thiotrih, Theotoricus, Theotericus, Theoterih, Theotrih, Theotrich, Thiatric, Thieterich, Thietrih, Thietrich, Theatrih.

(5) With T-t: Teutrich, Teoterih, Teotrich, Teotrih, Tieterich, Teatrih, Tiheiterich.

(6) With D-t: Dioterih, Diotericus, Diotricus, Deotrich, Deotrih, Dieterih, Dieterich, Dietrich, Diterih, Ditricus.

(7) With Th-th: Theotherich, Theothirich.

(8) With T-th: deest.

(9) With D-th: Dietherich.

It is quite true that, strictly speaking, the forms with Th-d, are Low- German, and those with D-t, High-German, but before we trust ourselves to this division for historical purposes, we must remember three facts: (1) that Proper Names frequently defy Grimm's Law; (2) that in High-German MSS. much depends on the locality in which they are written; (3) that High-German is not in the strict sense of the word a corruption of Low- German, and, at all events, not, as Grimm supposed, chronologically posterior to Low-German, but that the two are parallel dialects, like Doric and Aeolic, the Low-German being represented by the earliest literary documents, Gothic and Saxon, the High-German asserting its literary presence later, not much before the eighth century, but afterwards maintaining its literary and political supremacy from the time of Charlemagne to the present day.

When Theodoric married Odeflede, the daughter of Childebert, and a sister of Chlodwig, I have little doubt that, at the court of Chlodwig or Clovis, his royal brother-in-law was spoken of in conversation as Dioterih, although in official documents, and in the history of Gregory of Tours, he appears under his classical name of Theodoricus, in Jornandes Theodericus. Those who, with Grimm {3}, admit a transition of Low into High-German, and deny that the change of Gothic Th into High- German D took place before the sixth or seventh century, will find it difficult to account, in the first century, for the name of Deudorix, a German captive, the nephew of Melo the Sigambrian, mentioned by Strabo {4}. In the oldest German poem in which the name of Dietrich occurs, the song of Hildebrand and Hadebrand, written down in the beginning of the ninth century {5}, we find both forms, the Low-German Theotrih, and the High-German Deotrih, used side by side.

Very soon, however, when High-German became the more prevalent language in Germany, German historians knew both of the old legendary hero and of the Ost-gothic king, by one and the same name, the High-German Dietrich.

If therefore Johannes von Muller spoke of Theodoric of Verona as Dietrich von Bern, he simply intended to carry on the historical tradition. He meant to remind his readers of the popular name which they all knew, and to tell them,—This Dietrich with whom you are all acquainted from your childhood, this Dietrich of whom so much is said and sung in your legendary stories and poems, the famous Dietrich of Bern, this is really the Theoderic, the first German who ruled Italy for thirty-three years, more gloriously than any Roman Emperor before or after. I see no harm in this, as long as it is done on purpose, and as long as the purpose which Johannes von Muller had in his mind, was attained.

No doubt the best plan for an historian to follow is to call every man by the name by which he called himself. Theodoric, we know, could not write, but he had a gold plate {6} made in which the first four letters of his name were incised, and when it was fixed on the paper, the King drew his pen through the intervals. Those four letters were [Greek text], and though we should expect that, as a Goth, he would have spelt his name Thiudereik, yet we have no right to doubt, that the vowels were eo, and not iu. But again and again historians spell proper names, not as they were written by the people themselves, but as they appear in the historical documents through which they became chiefly known. We speak of Plato, because we have Roman literature between us and Greece. American names are accepted in history through a Spanish, Indian names through an English medium. The strictly Old High-German form of Carolus Magnus would be Charal, A. S. Carl; yet even in the Oaths of Strassburg (842) the name appears as Karlus and as Karl, and has remained so ever since {7}. In the same document we find Ludher for Lothar, Ludhuwig and Lodhuvig for Ludovicus, the oldest form being Chlodowich: and who would lay down the law, which of these forms shall be used for historical purposes?

I have little doubt that Kingsley's object in retaining the name Dietrich for the Ost-gothic king was much the same as Johannes von Muller's. You know, he meant to say, of Dietrich of Bern, of all the wonderful things told of him in the Nibelunge and other German poems. Well, that is the Dietrich of the German people, that is what the Germans themselves have made of him, by transferring to their great Gothic king some of the most incredible achievements of one of their oldest legendary heroes. They have changed even his name, and as the children in the schools of Germany {8} still speak of him as their Dietrich von Bern, let him be to us too Dietrich, not simply the Ost-gothic Theoderic, but the German Dietrich.

I confess I see no harm in that, though a few words on the strange mixture of legend and history might have been useful, because the case of Theodoric is one of the most luculent testimonies for that blending of fact and fancy in strictly historical times which people find it so difficult to believe, but which offers the key, and the only true key, for many of the most perplexing problems, both of history and of mythology.

Originally nothing could be more different than the Dietrich of the old legend and the Dietrich of history. The former is followed by misfortune through the whole of his life. He is oppressed in his youth by his uncle, the famous Ermanrich {9}; he has to spend the greater part of his life (thirty years) in exile, and only returns to his kingdom after the death of his enemy. Yet whenever he is called Dietrich of Bern, it is because the real Theodoric, the most successful of Gothic conquerors, ruled at Verona. When his enemy was called Otacher, instead of Sibich, it is because the real Theodoric conquered the real Odoacer. When the king, at whose court he passes his years of exile, is called Etzel, it is because many German heroes had really taken refuge in the camp of Attila. That Attila died two years before Theodoric of Verona was born, is no difficulty to a popular poet, nor even the still more glaring contradiction between the daring and ferocious character of the real Attila and the cowardice of his namesake Etzel, as represented in the poem of the Nibelunge. Thus was legend quickened by history.

On the other hand, if historians, such as Gregory I (Dial. iv. 36) {10}, tell us that an Italian hermit had been witness in a vision to the damnation of Theodoric, whose soul was plunged, by the ministers of divine vengeance, into the volcano of Lipari, one of the flaming mouths of the infernal world, we may recognise in the heated imagination of the orthodox monk some recollection of the mysterious end of the legendary Dietrich {11}. Later on, the legendary and the real hero were so firmly welded together that, as early as the twelfth century, chroniclers are at their wits' end how to reconcile facts and dates.

Ekkehard, in his Chronicon Universale {12}, which ends 1126 A.D., points out the chronological contradiction between Jornandes, who places the death of Ermanrich long before Attila, and the popular story which makes him and Dietrich, the son of Dietmar, his contemporaries.

Otto von Freising {13}, in the first half of the twelfth century, expresses the same perplexity when he finds that Theodoric is made a contemporary of Hermanricus and Attila, though it is certain that Attila ruled long after Hermanric, and that, after the death of Attila, Theodoric, when eight years old, was given by his father as a hostage to the emperor Leo.

Gottfried von Viterbo {14}, in the second half of the twelfth century, expresses his difficulties in similar words.

All these chroniclers who handed down the historical traditions of Germany were High-Germans, and thus it has happened that in Germany Theodoric the Great became Dietrich, as Strataburgum became Strassburg, or Turicum, Zurich. Whether because English belongs to the Low German branch, it is less permissible to an English historian than to a German to adopt these High-German names, I cannot say: all I wished to point out was that there was a very intelligible reason why Kingsley should have preferred the popular and poetical name of Dietrich, even though it was High-German, either to his real Gothic name, Theodereik, or to its classical metamorphosis, Theodoricus or Theodorus.

Some other mistakes, too, which have been pointed out, did not seem to me so serious as to justify their correction in a posthumous edition. It was said, for instance, that Kingsley ought not to have called Odoacer and Theodoric, Kings of Italy, as they were only lieutenants of the Eastern Caesar. Cassiodorus, however, tells us that Odoacer assumed the name of king (nomen regis Odoacer assumpsit), and though Gibbon points out that this may only mean that he assumed the abstract title of a king, without applying it to any particular nation or country, yet that great historian himself calls Odoacer, King of Italy, and shows how he was determined to abolish the useless and expensive office of vicegerent of the emperor. Kingsley guesses very ingeniously, that Odoacer's assumed title, King of nations, may have been the Gothic Theode-reiks, the very name of Theodoric. As to Theodoric himself, Kingsley surely knew his real status, for he says: 'Why did he not set himself up as Caesar of Rome? Why did he always consider himself as son-in-arms, and quasi-vassal of the Caesar of Constantinople?'

Lastly, in speaking of the extinction of the Western Empire with Romulus Augustulus, Kingsley again simply followed the lead of Gibbon and other historians; nor can it be said that the expression is not perfectly legitimate, however clearly modern research may have shown that the Roman Empire, though dead, lived.

So much in defence, or at all events, in explanation, of expressions and statements which have been pointed out as most glaring mistakes in Kingsley's lectures. I think it must be clear that in all these cases alterations would have been impossible. There were other passages, where I should gladly have altered or struck out whole lines, particularly in the ethnological passages, and in the attempted etymologies of German proper names. Neither the one nor the other, I believe, are Kingsley's own, though I have tried in vain to find out whence he could possibly have taken them.

These, however, are minor matters which are mentioned chiefly in order to guard against the impression that, because I left them unchanged, I approved of them. The permanent interest attaching to these lectures does not spring from the facts which they give. For these, students will refer to Gibbon. They will be valued chiefly for the thoughts which they contain, for the imagination and eloquence which they display, and last, not least, for the sake of the man, a man, it is true, of a warm heart rather than of a cold judgment, but a man whom, for that very reason, many admired, many loved, and many will miss, almost every day of their life.

M. M.



LECTURE I—THE FOREST CHILDREN.

I wish in this first lecture to give you some general conception of the causes which urged our Teutonic race to attack and destroy Rome. I shall take for this one lecture no special text-book: but suppose you all to be acquainted with the Germania of Tacitus, and with the 9th Chapter of Gibbon. And I shall begin, if you will allow me, by a parable, a myth, a saga, such as the men of whom I am going to tell you loved; and if it seem to any of you childish, bear in mind that what is childish need not therefore be shallow. I know that it is not history. These lectures will not be, in the popular sense, history at all. But I beg you to bear in mind that I am not here to teach you history. No man can do that. I am here to teach you how to teach yourselves history. I will give you the scaffolding as well as I can; you must build the house.

Fancy to yourself a great Troll-garden, such as our forefathers dreamed of often fifteen hundred years ago;—a fairy palace, with a fairy garden; and all around the primaeval wood. Inside the Trolls dwell, cunning and wicked, watching their fairy treasures, working at their magic forges, making and making always things rare and strange; and outside, the forest is full of children; such children as the world had never seen before, but children still: children in frankness, and purity, and affectionateness, and tenderness of conscience, and devout awe of the unseen; and children too in fancy, and silliness, and ignorance, and caprice, and jealousy, and quarrelsomeness, and love of excitement and adventure, and the mere sport of overflowing animal health. They play unharmed among the forest beasts, and conquer them in their play; but the forest is too dull and too poor for them; and they wander to the walls of the Troll-garden, and wonder what is inside. One can conceive easily for oneself what from that moment would begin to happen. Some of the more adventurous clamber in. Some, too, the Trolls steal and carry off into their palace. Most never return: but here and there one escapes out again, and tells how the Trolls killed all his comrades: but tells too, of the wonders he has seen inside, of shoes of swiftness, and swords of sharpness, and caps of darkness; of charmed harps, charmed jewels, and above all of the charmed wine: and after all, the Trolls were very kind to him—see what fine clothes they have given him—and he struts about awhile among his companions; and then returns, and not alone. The Trolls have bewitched him, as they will bewitch more. So the fame of the Troll- garden spreads; and more and more steal in, boys and maidens, and tempt their comrades over the wall, and tell of the jewels, and the dresses, and the wine, the joyous maddening wine, which equals men with gods; and forget to tell how the Trolls have bought them, soul as well as body, and taught them to be vain, and lustful, and slavish; and tempted them, too often, to sins which have no name.

But their better nature flashes out at times. They will not be the slaves and brutes in human form, which the evil Trolls would have them; and they rebel, and escape, and tell of the horrors of that fair foul place. And then arises a noble indignation, and war between the Trolls and the forest-children. But still the Trolls can tempt and bribe the greedier or the more vain; and still the wonders inside haunt their minds; till it becomes a fixed idea among them all, to conquer the garden for themselves and bedizen themselves in the fine clothes, and drink their fill of the wine. Again and again they break in: but the Trolls drive them out, rebuild their walls, keep off those outside by those whom they hold enslaved within; till the boys grow to be youths, and the youths men: and still the Troll-garden is not conquered, and still it shall be. And the Trolls have grown old and weak, and their walls are crumbling away. Perhaps they may succeed this time—perhaps next.

And at last they do succeed—the fairy walls are breached, the fairy palace stormed—and the Trolls are crouching at their feet, and now all will be theirs, gold, jewels, dresses, arms, all that the Troll possesses—except his cunning.

For as each struggles into the charmed ground, the spell of the place falls on him. He drinks the wine, and it maddens him. He fills his arms with precious trumpery, and another snatches it from his grasp. Each envies the youth before him, each cries—Why had I not the luck to enter first? And the Trolls set them against each other, and split them into parties, each mad with excitement, and jealousy, and wine, till, they scarce know how, each falls upon his fellow, and all upon those who are crowding in from the forest, and they fight and fight, up and down the palace halls, till their triumph has become a very feast of the Lapithae, and the Trolls look on, and laugh a wicked laugh, as they tar them on to the unnatural fight, till the gardens are all trampled, the finery torn, the halls dismantled, and each pavement slippery with brothers' blood. And then, when the wine is gone out of them, the survivors come to their senses, and stare shamefully and sadly round. What an ugly, desolate, tottering ruin the fairy palace has become! Have they spoilt it themselves? or have the Trolls bewitched it? And all the fairy treasure—what has become of it? no man knows. Have they thrown it away in their quarrel? have the cunningest hidden it? have the Trolls flown away with it, to the fairy land beyond the Eastern mountains? who can tell? Nothing is left but recrimination and remorse. And they wander back again into the forest, away from the doleful ruin, carrion-strewn, to sulk each apart over some petty spoil which he has saved from the general wreck, hating and dreading each the sound of his neighbour's footstep.

What will become of the forest children, unless some kind saint or hermit comes among them, to bind them in the holy bonds of brotherhood and law?

This is my saga, gentlemen; and it is a true one withal. For it is neither more nor less than the story of the Teutonic tribes, and how they overthrew the Empire of Rome.

Menzel, who though he may not rank very high as a historian, has at least a true German heart, opens his history with a striking passage.

'The sages of the East were teaching wisdom beneath the palms; the merchants of Tyre and Carthage were weighing their heavy anchors, and spreading their purple sails for far seas; the Greek was making the earth fair by his art, and the Roman founding his colossal empire of force, while the Teuton sat, yet a child, unknown and naked among the forest beasts: and yet unharmed and in his sport he lorded it over them; for the child was of a royal race, and destined to win glory for all time to come.'

To the strange and complicated education which God appointed for this race; and by which he has fitted it to become, at least for many centuries henceforth, the ruling race of the world, I wish to call your attention in my future lectures. To-day, I wish to impress strongly on your minds this childishness of our forefathers. For good or for evil they were great boys; very noble boys; very often very naughty boys—as boys with the strength of men might well be. Try to conceive such to yourselves, and you have the old Markman, Allman, Goth, Lombard, Saxon, Frank. And the notion may be more than a mere metaphor. Races, like individuals, it has been often said, may have their childhood, their youth, their manhood, their old age, and natural death. It is but a theory—perhaps nothing more. But at least, our race had its childhood. Their virtues, and their sad failings, and failures, I can understand on no other theory. The nearest type which we can see now is I fancy, the English sailor, or the English navvy. A great, simple, honest, baby—full of power and fun, very coarse and plain spoken at times: but if treated like a human being, most affectionate, susceptible, even sentimental and superstitious; fond of gambling, brute excitement, childish amusements in the intervals of enormous exertion; quarrelsome among themselves, as boys are, and with a spirit of wild independence which seems to be strength; but which, till it be disciplined into loyal obedience and self-sacrifice, is mere weakness; and beneath all a deep practical shrewdness, an indomitable perseverance, when once roused by need. Such a spirit as we see to this day in the English sailor—that is the nearest analogue I can find now. One gets hints here and there of what manner of men they were, from the evil day, when, one hundred and two years before Christ, the Kempers and Teutons, ranging over the Alps toward Italy, 300,000 armed men and 15,000 mailed knights with broad sword and lances, and in their helmets the same bulls'-horns, wings, and feathers, which one sees now in the crests of German princes, stumbled upon Marius and his Romans, and were destroyed utterly, first the men, then the women, who like true women as they were, rather than give up their honour to the Romans, hung themselves on the horns of the waggon-oxen, and were trampled to death beneath their feet; and then the very dogs, who fought on when men and women were all slain—from that fatal day, down to the glorious one, when, five hundred years after, Alaric stood beneath the walls of Rome, and to their despairing boast of the Roman numbers, answered, 'Come out to us then, the thicker the hay, the easier mowed,'—for five hundred years, I say, the hints of their character are all those of a boy-nature.

They were cruel at times: but so are boys—much more cruel than grown men, I hardly know why—perhaps because they have not felt suffering so much themselves, and know not how hard it is to bear. There were varieties of character among them. The Franks were always false, vain, capricious, selfish, taking part with the Romans whenever their interest or vanity was at stake—the worst of all Teutons, though by no means the weakest—and a miserable business they made of it in France, for some five hundred years. The Goths, Salvian says, were the most ignavi of all of them; great lazy lourdans; apt to be cruel, too, the Visigoths at least, as their Spanish descendants proved to the horror of the world: but men of honour withal, as those old Spaniards were. The Saxons were famed for cruelty—I know not why, for our branch of the Saxons has been, from the beginning of history, the least cruel people in Europe; but they had the reputation—as the Vandals had also—of being the most pure; Castitate venerandi. And among the uncivilized people coldness and cruelty go often together. The less passionate and sensitive the nature, the less open to pity. The Caribs of the West Indies were famed for both, in contrast to the profligate and gentle inhabitants of Cuba and Hispaniola; and in double contrast to the Red Indian tribes of North America, who combined, from our first acquaintance with them, the two vices of cruelty and profligacy, to an extent which has done more to extirpate them than all the fire-water of the white man.

But we must be careful how we compare our forefathers with these, or any other savages. Those who, like Gibbon, have tried to draw a parallel between the Red Indian and the Primaeval Teuton, have done so at the expense of facts. First, they have overlooked the broad fact, that while the Red Indians have been, ever since we have known them, a decreasing race, the Teutons have been a rapidly increasing one; in spite of war, and famine, and all the ills of a precarious forest life, proving their youthful strength and vitality by a reproduction unparalleled, as far as I know, in history, save perhaps by that noble and young race, the Russian. These writers have not known that the Teuton had his definite laws, more simple, doubtless, in the time of Tacitus than in that of Justinian, but still founded on abstract principles so deep and broad that they form the groundwork of our English laws and constitution; that the Teuton creed concerning the unseen world, and divine beings, was of a loftiness and purity as far above the silly legends of Hiawatha as the Teuton morals were above those of a Sioux or a Comanche. Let any one read honest accounts of the Red Indians; let him read Catlin, James, Lewis and Clarke, Shoolbred; and first and best of all, the old 'Travaile in Virginia,' published by the Hakluyt Society: and then let him read the Germania of Tacitus, and judge for himself. For my part, I believe that if Gibbon was right, and if our forefathers in the German forests had been like Powhattan's people as we found them in the Virginian forests, the Romans would not have been long in civilizing us off the face of the earth.

No. All the notes which Tacitus gives us are notes of a young and strong race; unconscious of its own capabilities, but possessing such capabilities that the observant Romans saw at once with dread and awe that they were face to face with such a people as they had never met before; that in their hands, sooner or later, might be the fate of Rome. Mad Caracalla, aping the Teuton dress and hair, listening in dread to the songs of the Allman Alrunas, telling the Teutons that they ought to come over the Rhine and destroy the empire, and then, murdering the interpreters, lest they should repeat his words, was but babbling out in an insane shape the thought which was brooding in the most far-seeing Roman minds. He felt that they could have done the deed; and he felt rightly, madman as he was. They could have done it then, if physical power and courage were all that was needed, in the days of the Allman war. They could have done it a few years before, when the Markmen fought Marcus Aurelius Antoninus; on the day when the Caesar, at the advice of his augurs, sent two lions to swim across the Danube as a test of victory; and the simple Markmen took them for big dogs, and killed them with their clubs. From that day, indeed, the Teutons began to conquer slowly, but surely. Though Antoninus beat the Markmen on the Danube, and recovered 100,000 Roman prisoners, yet it was only by the help of the Vandals; from that day the empire was doomed, and the Teutons only kept at bay by bribing one tribe to fight another, or by enlisting their more adventurous spirits into the Roman legions, to fight against men of their own blood;—a short-sighted and suicidal policy; for by that very method they were teaching the Teuton all he needed, the discipline and the military science of the Roman.

But the Teutons might have done it a hundred years before that, when Rome was in a death agony, and Vitellius and Vespasian were struggling for the purple, and Civilis and the fair Velleda, like Barak and Deborah of old, raised the Teuton tribes. They might have done it before that again, when Hermann slew Varus and his legions in the Teutoburger Wald; or before that again, when the Kempers and Teutons burst over the Alps, to madden themselves with the fatal wines of the rich south. And why did the Teutons not do it? Because they were boys fighting against cunning men. Boiorich, the young Kemper, riding down to Marius' camp, to bid him fix the place and time of battle—for the Teuton thought it mean to use surprises and stratagems, or to conquer save in fair and open fight—is the type of the Teuton hero; and one which had no chance in a struggle with the cool, false, politic Roman, grown grey in the experience of the forum and of the camp, and still as physically brave as his young enemy. Because, too, there was no unity among them; no feeling that they were brethren of one blood. Had the Teuton tribes, at any one of the great crises I have mentioned, and at many a crisis afterwards, united for but three years, under the feeling of a common blood, language, interest, destiny, Rome would have perished. But they could not learn that lesson. They could not put aside their boyish quarrels.

They never learnt the lesson till after their final victory, when the Gospel of Christ—of a Being to whom they all owed equal allegiance, in whose sight they were all morally equal—came to unite them into a Christendom.

And it was well that they did not learn it sooner. Well for them and for the world, that they did not unite on any false ground of interest or ambition, but had to wait for the true ground of unity, the knowledge of the God-man, King of all nations upon earth.

Had they destroyed Rome sooner, what would not they have lost? What would not the world have lost? Christianity would have been stifled in its very cradle; and with Christianity all chance—be sure of it—of their own progress. Roman law, order, and discipline, the very things which they needed to acquire by a contact of five hundred years, would have been swept away. All classic literature and classic art, which they learnt to admire with an almost superstitious awe, would have perished likewise. Greek philosophy, the germs of physical science, and all that we owe to the ancients, would have perished; and we should have truly had an invasion of the barbarians, followed by truly dark ages, in which Europe would have had to begin all anew, without the help of the generations which had gone before.

Therefore it was well as it was, and God was just and merciful to them and to the human race. They had a glorious destiny, and glorious powers wherewith to fulfil it: but they had, as every man and people has, before whom there is a noble future, to be educated by suffering. There was before them a terrible experience of sorrow and disappointment, sin and blood, by which they gained the first consciousness of what they could do and what they could not. Like Adam of old, like every man unto this day, they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and were driven out of the paradise of unconsciousness; had to begin again sadder and wiser men, and eat their bread in the sweat of their brow; and so to rise, after their fall, into a nobler, wiser, more artificial, and therefore more truly human and divine life, than that from which they had at first fallen, when they left their German wilds.

One does not, of course, mean the parallel to fit in all details. The fall of the Teuton from the noble simplicity in which Tacitus beheld and honoured him, was a work of four centuries; perhaps it was going on in Tacitus' own time. But the culminating point was the century which saw Italy conquered, and Rome sacked, by Visigoth, by Ostrogoth, by Vandal, till nothing was left save fever-haunted ruins. Then the ignorant and greedy child, who had been grasping so long after the fair apples of Sodom, clutched them once and for all, and found them turn to ashes in his hands.

Yes—it is thus that I wish you to look at the Invasion of the Barbarians, Immigration of the Teutons, or whatsoever name you may call it. Before looking at questions of migration, of ethnology, of laws, and of classes, look first at the thing itself; and see with sacred pity—and awe, one of the saddest and grandest tragedies ever performed on earth. Poor souls! And they were so simple withal. One pities them, as one pities a child who steals apples, and makes himself sick with them after all. It is not the enormous loss of life which is to me the most tragic part of the story; it is that very simplicity of the Teutons. Bloodshed is a bad thing, certainly; but after all nature is prodigal of human life—killing her twenty thousand and her fifty thousand by a single earthquake; and as for death in battle—I sometimes am tempted to think, having sat by many death beds, that our old forefathers may have been right, and that death in battle may be a not unenviable method of passing out of this troublesome world. Besides, we have no right to blame those old Teutons, while we are killing every year more of her Majesty's subjects by preventible disease, than ever they killed in their bloodiest battle. Let us think of that, and mend that, ere we blame the old German heroes. No, there are more pitiful tragedies than any battlefield can shew; and first among them, surely, is the disappointment of young hopes, the degradation of young souls.

One pities them, I say. And they pitied themselves. Remorse, shame, sadness, mark the few legends and songs of the days which followed the fall of Rome. They had done a great work. They had destroyed a mighty tyranny; they had parted between them the spoils wrung from all the nations; they had rid the earth of a mighty man-devouring ogre, whose hands had been stretched out for centuries over all the earth, dragging all virgins to his den, butchering and torturing thousands for his sport; foul, too, with crimes for which their language, like our own (thank God) has scarcely found a name. Babylon the Great, drunken with the blood of the saints, had fallen at last before the simple foresters of the north: but if it looks a triumph to us, it looked not such to them. They could only think how they had stained their hands in their brothers' blood. They had got the fatal Nibelungen hoard: but it had vanished between their hands, and left them to kill each other, till none was left.

You know the Nibelungen Lied? That expresses, I believe, the key-note of the old Teuton's heart, after his work was done. Siegfried murdered by his brother-in-law; fair Chriemhild turned into an avenging fury; the heroes hewing each other down, they scarce know why, in Hunnish Etzel's hall, till Hagen and Gunther stand alone; Dietrich of Bern going in, to bind the last surviving heroes; Chriemhild shaking Hagen's gory head in Gunther's face, himself hewed down by the old Hildebrand, till nothing is left but stark corpses and vain tears:—while all the while the Nibelungen hoard, the cause of all the woe, lies drowned in the deep Rhine until the judgment day.—What is all this, but the true tale of the fall of Rome, of the mad quarrels of the conquering Teutons? The names are confused, mythic; the dates and places all awry: but the tale is true—too true. Mutato nomine fabula narratur. Even so they went on, killing, till none were left. Deeds as strange, horrible, fratricidal, were done, again and again, not only between Frank and Goth, Lombard and Gepid, but between Lombard and Lombard, Frank and Frank. Yes, they were drunk with each other's blood, those elder brethren of ours. Let us thank God that we did not share their booty, and perish, like them, from the touch of the fatal Nibelungen hoard. Happy for us Englishmen, that we were forced to seek our adventures here, in this lonely isle; to turn aside from the great stream of Teutonic immigration; and settle here, each man on his forest-clearing, to till the ground in comparative peace, keeping unbroken the old Teutonic laws, unstained the old Teutonic faith and virtue, cursed neither with poverty nor riches, but fed with food sufficient for us. To us, indeed, after long centuries, peace brought sloth, and sloth foreign invaders and bitter woes: but better so, than that we should have cast away alike our virtue and our lives, in that mad quarrel over the fairy gold of Rome.



LECTURE II—THE DYING EMPIRE.

It is not for me to trace the rise, or even the fall of the Roman Empire. That would be the duty rather of a professor of ancient history, than of modern. All I need do is to sketch, as shortly as I can, the state in which the young world found the old, when it came in contact with it.

The Roman Empire, toward the latter part of the fourth century, was in much the same condition as the Chinese or the Turkish Empire in our own days. Private morality (as Juvenal and Persius will tell you), had vanished long before. Public morality had, of course, vanished likewise. The only powers really recognised were force and cunning. The only aim was personal enjoyment. The only God was the Divus Caesar, the imperial demigod, whose illimitable brute force gave him illimitable powers of self-enjoyment, and made him thus the paragon and ideal of humanity, whom all envied, flattered, hated, and obeyed. The palace was a sink of corruption, where eunuchs, concubines, spies, informers, freedmen, adventurers, struggled in the basest plots, each for his share of the public plunder. The senate only existed to register the edicts of their tyrant, and if need be, destroy each other, or any one else, by judicial murders, the willing tools of imperial cruelty. The government was administered (at least since the time of Diocletian) by an official bureaucracy, of which Professor Goldwin Smith well says, 'the earth swarmed with the consuming hierarchy of extortion, so that it was said that they who received taxes were more than those who paid them.' The free middle class had disappeared, or lingered in the cities, too proud to labour, fed on government bounty, and amused by government spectacles. With them, arts and science had died likewise. Such things were left to slaves, and became therefore, literally, servile imitations of the past. What, indeed, was not left to slaves? Drawn without respect of rank, as well as of sex and age, from every nation under heaven by an organized slave-trade, to which our late African one was but a tiny streamlet compared with a mighty river; a slave-trade which once bought 10,000 human beings in Delos in a single day; the 'servorum nationes' were the only tillers of the soil, of those 'latifundia' or great estates, 'quae perdidere Romam.' Denied the rights of marriage, the very name of humanity; protected by no law, save the interest or caprice of their masters; subjected, for slight offences, to cruel torments, they were butchered by thousands in the amphitheatres to make a Roman holiday, or wore out their lives in 'ergastula' or barracks, which were dens of darkness and horror. Their owners, as 'senatores,' 'clarissimi,' or at least 'curiales,' spent their lives in the cities, luxurious and effeminate, and left their slaves to the tender mercy of 'villici,' stewards and gang-drivers, who were themselves slaves likewise.

More pampered, yet more degraded, were the crowds of wretched beings, cut off from all the hopes of humanity, who ministered to the wicked pleasures of their masters, even in the palaces of nominally Christian emperors—but over that side of Roman slavery I must draw a veil, only saying, that the atrocities of the Romans toward their slaves—especially of this last and darkest kind—notably drew down on them the just wrath and revenge of those Teutonic nations, from which so many of their slaves were taken. {19}

And yet they called themselves Christians—to whom it had been said, 'Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For these things cometh the wrath of God on the children of disobedience.' And the wrath did come.

If such were the morals of the Empire, what was its political state? One of complete disorganization. The only uniting bond left seems to have been that of the bureaucracy, the community of tax-gatherers, who found it on the whole safer and more profitable to pay into the imperial treasury a portion of their plunder, than to keep it all themselves. It stood by mere vi inertiae, just because it happened to be there, and there was nothing else to put in its place. Like an old tree whose every root is decayed, it did not fall, simply because the storm had not yet come. Storms, indeed, had come; but they had been partial and local. One cannot look into the pages of Gibbon, without seeing that the normal condition of the empire was one of revolt, civil war, invasion—Pretenders, like Carausius and Allectus in Britain, setting themselves up as emperors for awhile—Bands of brigands, like the Bagaudae of Gaul, and the Circumcelliones of Africa, wandering about, desperate with hunger and revenge, to slay and pillage—Teutonic tribes making forays on the frontier, enlisted into the Roman armies, and bought off, or hired to keep back the tribes behind them, and perish by their brethren's swords.

What kept the empire standing, paradoxical as it may seem, was its own innate weakness. From within, at least, it could not be overthrown. The masses were too crushed to rise. Without unity, purpose, courage, they submitted to inevitable misery as to rain and thunder. At most they destroyed their own children from poverty, or, as in Egypt, fled by thousands into the caves and quarries, and turned monks and hermits; while the upper classes, equally without unity or purpose, said each to himself, 'Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.'

The state of things at Rome, and after the rise of Byzantium under Constantine at Byzantium likewise, was one altogether fantastic, abnormal, utterly unlike anything that we have seen, or can imagine to ourselves without great effort. I know no better method of illustrating it, than quoting, from Mr. Sheppard's excellent book, The Fall of Rome and the Rise of New Nationalities, a passage in which he transfers the whole comi-tragedy from Italy of old to England in 1861.

'I have not thought it necessary to give a separate and distinct reply to the theory of Mr. Congreve, that Roman Imperialism was the type of all good government, and a desirable precedent for ourselves. Those who feel any penchant for the notion, I should strongly recommend to read the answer of Professor G. Smith, in the Oxford Essays for 1856, which is as complete and crushing as that gentleman's performances usually are. But in order to convey to the uninitiated some idea of the state of society under Caesarian rule, and which a Caesarian rule, so far as mere government is concerned, if it does not produce, has never shewn any tendency to prevent, let us give reins to imagination for a moment, and picture to ourselves a few social and political analogies in our own England of the nineteenth century.

'An entire revolution has taken place in our principles, manners, and form of government. Parliaments, meetings, and all the ordinary expressions of the national will, are no longer in existence. A free press has shared their fate. There is no accredited organ of public opinion; indeed there is no public opinion to record. Lords and Commons have been swept away, though a number of the richest old gentlemen in London meet daily at Westminster to receive orders from Buckingham Palace. But at the palace itself has broken out one of those sanguinary conspiracies which have of late become unceasing. The last heir of the house of Brunswick is lying dead with a dagger in his heart, and everything is in frightful confusion. The armed force of the capital are of course "masters of the situation," and the Guards, after a tumultuous meeting at Windsor or Knightsbridge, have sold the throne to Baron Rothschild, for a handsome donation of 25 pounds a-piece. Lord Clyde, however, we may be sure, is not likely to stand this, and in a few months will be marching upon London at the head of the Indian Army. In the mean time the Channel Fleet has declared for its own commander, has seized upon Plymouth and Portsmouth, and intends to starve the metropolis by stopping the imports of "bread-stuffs" at the mouth of the Thames. And this has become quite possible; for half the population of London, under the present state of things, subsist upon free distributions of corn dispensed by the occupant of the throne for the time being. But a more fatal change than even this has come over the population of the capital and of the whole country. The free citizens and 'prentices of London; the sturdy labourers of Dorsetshire and the eastern counties; and the skilful artizans of Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham; the mariners and shipwrights of Liverpool, have been long ago drafted into marching regiments, and have left their bones to bleach beneath Indian suns and Polar snows. Their place has been supplied by countless herds of negro slaves, who till the fields and crowd the workshops of our towns, to the entire exclusion of free labour; for the free population, or rather the miserable relics of them, disdain all manual employment: they divide their time between starvation and a degrading debauchery, the means for which are sedulously provided by the government. The time-honoured institutions of the bull-bait, the cockpit, and the ring, are in daily operation, under the most distinguished patronage. Hyde Park has been converted into a gigantic arena, where criminals from Newgate "set-to" with the animals from the Zoological Gardens. Every fortnight there is a Derby Day, and the whole population pour into the Downs with frantic excitement, leaving the city to the slaves. And then the moral condition of this immense mass! Of the doings about the palace we should be sorry to speak. But the lady patronesses of Almack's still more assiduously patronize the prize-fights, and one of them has been seen within the ropes, in battle array, by the side of Sayers himself. No tongue may tell the orgies enacted, with the aid of French cooks, Italian singers, and foreign artists of all sorts, in the gilded saloons of Park Lane and Mayfair. Suffice to say, that in them the worst passions of human nature have full swing, unmodified by any thought of human or divine restraints, and only dashed a little now and then by the apprehension that the slaves may rise, and make a clean sweep of the metropolis with fire and steel. But n'importeVive la bagatelle! Mario has just been appointed prime minister, and has made a chorus singer from the Opera Duke of Middlesex and Governor-General of India. All wise men and all good men despair of the state, but they are not permitted to say anything, much less to act. Mr. Disraeli lost his head a few days ago; Lords Palmerston and Derby lie in the Tower under sentence of death; Lord Brougham, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Mr. Gladstone, opened their veins and died in a warm bath last week. Foreign relations will make a still greater demand on the reader's imagination. We must conceive of England no longer as

"A precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall, Or as a moat defensive of a house."

but rather as open to the inroad of every foe whom her aggressive and colonizing genius has provoked. The red man of the West, the Caffre, the Sikh, and the Sepoy, Chinese braves, and fierce orientals of all sorts, are hovering on her frontiers in "numbers numberless," as the flakes of snow in the northern winter. They are not the impotent enemy which we know, but vigorous races, supplied from inexhaustible founts of population, and animated by an insatiate appetite for the gold and silver, purple and fine linen, rich meats and intoxicating drinks of our effete civilization. And we can no longer oppose them with those victorious legions which have fought and conquered in all regions of the world. The men of Waterloo and Inkermann are no more. We are compelled to recruit our armies from those very tribes before whose swords we are receding!

'Doubtless the ordinary reader will believe this picture to be overcharged, drawn with manifest exaggeration, and somewhat questionable taste. Every single statement which it contains may be paralleled by the circumstances and events of the decadence of the Roman Empire. The analogous situation was with the subjects of this type of all good government, always a possible, often an actual, state of things. We think this disposes of the theory of Mr. Congreve. With it may advantageously be contrasted the opinion of a man of more statesman-like mind. "The benefits of despotism are short-lived; it poisons the very springs which it lays open; if it display a merit, it is an exceptional one; if a virtue, it is created of circumstances; and when once this better hour has passed away, all the vices of its nature break forth with redoubled violence, and weigh down society in every direction." So writes M. Guizot. Is it the language of prophecy as well as of personal experience?'

Mr. Sheppard should have added, to make the picture complete, that the Irish have just established popery across St. George's Channel, by the aid of re-immigrants from America; that Free Kirk and National Kirk are carrying on a sanguinary civil war in Scotland; that the Devonshire Wesleyans have just sacked Exeter cathedral, and murdered the Bishop at the altar, while the Bishop of London, supported by the Jews and the rich churchmen (who are all mixed up in financial operations with Baron Rothschild) has just commanded all Dissenters to leave the metropolis within three days, under pain of death.

I must add yet one more feature to this fearful, but accurate picture, and say how, a few generations forward, an even uglier thing would be seen. The English aristocracy would have been absorbed by foreign adventurers. The grandchildren of these slaves and mercenaries would be holding the highest offices in the state and the army, naming themselves after the masters who had freed them, or disguising their barbarian names by English endings. The De Fung-Chowvilles would be Dukes, the Little- grizzly-bear-Joe-Smiths Earls, and the Fitz-Stanleysons, descended from a king of the gipsies who enlisted to avoid transportation, and in due time became Commander-in-Chief, would rule at Knowsley in place of the Earl of Derby, having inherited the same by the summary process of assassination. Beggars on horseback, only too literally; married, most of them, to Englishwomen of the highest rank; but looking on England merely as a prey; without patriotism, without principle; they would destroy the old aristocracy by legal murders, grind the people, fight against their yet barbarian cousins outside, as long as they were in luck: but the moment the luck turned against them, would call in those barbarian cousins to help them, and invade England every ten years with heathen hordes, armed no more with tulwar and matchlock, but with Enfield rifle and Whitworth cannon. And that, it must be agreed, would be about the last phase of the British empire. If you will look through the names which figure in the high places of the Roman empire, during the fourth and fifth centuries, you will see how few of them are really Roman. If you will try to investigate, not their genealogies—for they have none—not a grandfather among them—but the few facts of their lives which have come down to us; you will see how that Nemesis had fallen on her which must at last fall on every nation which attempts to establish itself on slavery as a legal basis. Rome had become the slave of her own slaves.

It is at this last period, the point when Rome has become the slave of her own slaves, that I take up the story of our Teutonic race.

I do not think that anyone will call either Mr. Sheppard's statements, or mine, exaggerated, who knows the bitter complaints of the wickedness and folly of the time, which are to be found in the writings of the Emperor Julian. Pedant and apostate as he was, he devoted his short life to one great idea, the restoration of the Roman Empire to what it had been (as he fancied) in the days of the virtuous stoic Emperors of the second century. He found his dream a dream, owing to the dead heap of frivolity, sensuality, brutality, utter unbelief, not merely in the dead Pagan gods whom he vainly tried to restore, but in any god at all, as a living, ruling, judging, rewarding, punishing power.

No one, again, will call these statements exaggerated who knows the Roman history of his faithful servant and soldier, Ammianus Marcellinus, and especially the later books of it, in which he sets forth the state of the Empire after Julian's death, under Jovian, Procopius, Valentinian, (who kept close to his bed-chamber two she-bears who used to eat men, one called Golden Camel, and the other Innocence—which latter, when she had devoured a sufficiency of his living victims, he set free in the forests as a reward for her services—a brutal tyrant, whose only virtue seems to have been his chastity); and Valens, the shameless extortioner who perished in that great battle of Adrianople, of which more hereafter. The last five remaining books of the honest soldier's story are a tissue of horrors, from reading which one turns away as from a slaughter-house or a witches' sabbath.

No one, again, will think these statements exaggerated who knows Salvian's De Gubernatione Dei. It has been always and most justly held in high esteem, as one great authority of the state of Gaul when conquered by the Franks and Goths and Vandals.

Salvian was a Christian gentleman, born somewhere near Treves. He married a Pagan lady of Cologne, converted her, had by her a daughter, and then persuaded her to devote herself to celibacy, while he did the like. His father-in-law, Hypatius, quarrelled with him on this account; and the letter in which he tries to soothe the old man is still extant, a curious specimen of the style of cultivated men in that day. Salvian then went down to the south of France and became a priest at Marseilles, and tutor to the sons of Eucherius, the Bishop of Lyons. Eucherius, himself a good man, speaks in terms of passionate admiration of Salvian, his goodness, sanctity, learning, talents. Gennadius (who describes him as still living when he wrote, about 490) calls him among other encomiums, the Master of Bishops; and both mention familiarly this very work, by which he became notorious in his own day, and which he wrote about 450 or 455, during the invasion of the Britons. So that we may trust fully that we have hold of an authentic contemporaneous work, written by a good man and true.

Let me first say a few words on the fact of his having—as many good men did then—separated from his wife in order to lead what was called a religious life. It has a direct bearing on the History of those days. One must not praise him because he (in common with all Christians of his day) held, no doubt, the belief that marriage was a degradation in itself; that though the Church might mend it somewhat by exalting it into a sacrament, still, the less of a bad thing the better:—a doctrine against which one need not use (thank God) in England, the same language which Michelet has most justly used in France. We, being safe from the poison, can afford to talk of it calmly. But I boldly assert, that few more practically immoral doctrines than that of the dignity of celibacy and the defilement of marriage (which was the doctrine of all Christian devotees for 1000 years) have, as far as I know, ever been preached to man. That is a strong statement. It will be answered perhaps, by the patent fact, that during those very 1000 years the morality of Europe improved more, and more rapidly, than it had ever done before. I know it; and I thank God for it. But I adhere to my statement, and rejoin—And how much more rapidly have the morals of Europe improved, since that doctrine has been swept away; and woman, and the love of woman, have been restored to their rightful place in the education of man?

But if we do not praise Salvian, we must not blame him, or any one else who meant to be an honest and good man. Such did not see to what their celibate notions would lead. If they had, we must believe that they would have acted differently. And what is more, their preference for celibacy was not fancy, but common sense of a very lofty kind. Be sure that when two middle-aged Christian people consider it best to part, they have very good reasons for such a solemn step, at which only boys or cynics will laugh. And the reasons, in Salvian's case, and many more in his day, are patent to common human understanding. Do not fancy that he had any private reason, such as we should very fairly assign now: public reasons, and those, such as God grant no living man may see, caused wise men to thank God that they were not burdened with wife and child. Remember the years in which Salvian lived—from 416 perhaps to 490. It was a day of the Lord such as Joel saw; 'a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains; a great people and strong; there had not been ever the like, neither should be any more after it: the land was a garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness: Yea, and nothing should escape them.' All things were going to wrack; the country was overrun by foreign invaders; bankruptcy, devastation, massacre, and captivity were for perhaps 100 years the normal state of Gaul, and of most other countries besides. I have little doubt that Salvian was a prudent man, when he thought fit to bring no more human beings into the world. That is an ugly thought—I trust that you feel how ugly, unnatural, desperate a thought it is. If you do not, think over it till you do, till it frightens you. You will gain a great step thereby in human sympathy, and therefore in the understanding of history. For many times, and in many places, men have said, rightly or wrongly, 'It is better to leave none behind me like myself. The miseries of life (and of what comes after this life) are greater than its joys. I commit an act of cruelty by bringing a fresh human being into the world.' I wish you to look at that thought steadily, and apply it for yourselves. It has many applications: and has therefore been a very common one.

But put to yourselves—it is too painful for me to put to you—the case of a married gentleman who sees his country gradually devastated and brought to utter ruin by foreign invaders; and who feels—as poor Salvian felt, that there is no hope or escape; that the misery is merited, deserved, fairly earned (for that is the true meaning of those words), and therefore must come. Conceive him seeing around him estates destroyed, farms burnt, ladies and gentlemen, his own friends and relations, reduced in an hour to beggary, plundered, stript, driven off in gangs—I do not choose to finish the picture: but ask yourselves, would an honourable man wish to bring sons—much more daughters—into the world to endure that?

Put yourselves in Salvian's place. Forget for a few minutes that you are Englishmen, the freest and bravest nation upon earth, strong in all that gives real strength, and with a volunteer army which is now formidable by numbers and courage—which, did the terrible call come, might be increased ten times in as many months. Forget all that awhile; and put yourselves in Salvian's place, the gentleman of Gaul, while Franks and Goths, Burgunds and Vandals were sweeping, wave after wave, over that lovely land; and judge him rationally, and talk as little as possible of his superstition, and as much as possible of his human feeling, prudence, self-control, and common sense. Believe me, neither celibacy, nor any other seemingly unnatural superstition would have held its ground for a generation if there had not been some practical considerations of common sense to back them. We wonder why men in old times went into monasteries. The simplest answer is, common sense sent them thither. They were tired of being the slaves of their own passions; they were tired of killing, and of running the chance of being killed. They saw society, the whole world, going to wrack, as they thought, around them: what could they do better, than see that their own characters, morals, immortal souls did not go to wrack with the rest. We wonder why women, especially women of rank, went into convents; why, as soon as a community of monks was founded, a community of nuns sprung up near them. The simplest answer is, common sense sent them thither. The men, especially of the upper fighting classes, were killed off rapidly; the women were not killed off, and a large number always remained, who, if they had wished to marry, could not. What better for them than to seek in convents that peace which this world could not give?

They may have mixed up with that simple wish for peace the notion of being handmaids of God, brides of Christ, and so forth. Be it so. Let us instead of complaining, thank heaven that there was some motive, whether quite right or not, to keep alive in them self-respect, and the feeling that they were not altogether useless and aimless on earth. Look at the question in this light, and you will understand two things; first, how horrible the times were, and secondly, why there grew up in the early middle age a passion for celibacy.

Salvian, in a word, had already grown up to manhood and reason, when he saw a time come to his native country, in which were fulfilled, with fearful exactness, the words of the prophet Isaiah:—

'Behold, the Lord maketh the land empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the slave, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the seller, so with the buyer; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled; for the Lord hath spoken this word.'

And Salvian desired to know the reason why the Lord had spoken that word, and read his Bible till he found out, and wrote thereon his book De Gubernatione Dei, of the government of God; and a very noble book it is. He takes his stand on the ground of Scripture, with which he shews an admirable acquaintance. The few good were expecting the end of the world. Christ was coming to put an end to all these horrors: but why did he delay his coming? The many weak were crying that God had given up the world; that Christ had deserted his Church, and delivered over Christians to the cruelties of heathen and Arian barbarians. The many bad were openly blaspheming, throwing off in despair all faith, all bonds of religion, all common decency, and crying, Let us eat and drink, for to- morrow we die. Salvian answers them like an old Hebrew prophet: 'The Lord's arm is not shortened. The Lord's eyes are not closed. The Lord is still as near as ever. He is governing the world as He has always governed it: by the everlasting moral laws, by which the wages of sin are death. Your iniquities have withheld good things from you. You have earned exactly what God has paid you. Yourselves are your own punishment. You have been wicked men, and therefore weak men; your own vices, and not the Goths, have been your true conquerors.' As I said in my inaugural lecture—that is after all the true theory of history. Men may forget it in piping times of peace. God grant that in the dark hour of adversity, God may always raise up to them a prophet, like good old Salvian, to preach to them once again the everlasting judgments of God; and teach them that not faulty constitutions, faulty laws, faulty circumstances of any kind, but the faults of their own hearts and lives, are the causes of their misery.

M. Guizot, in his elaborate work on the History of Civilization in France, has a few curious pages, on the causes of the decline of civil society in Roman Gaul, and its consequent weakness and ruin. He tells you how the Senators or Clarissimi did not constitute a true aristocracy, able to lead and protect the people, being at the mercy of the Emperor, and nominated and removed at his pleasure. How the Curiales, or wealthy middle class, who were bound by law to fulfil all the municipal offices, and were responsible for the collection of the revenue, found their responsibilities so great, that they by every trick in their power, avoided office. How, as M. Guizot well puts it, the central despotism of Rome stript the Curiales of all they earned, to pay its own functionaries and soldiers; and gave them the power of appointing magistrates, who were only after all the imperial agents of that despotism, for whose sake they robbed their fellow-citizens. How the plebs, comprising the small tradesmen and free artizans, were utterly unable to assert their own opinions or rights. How the slave population, though their condition was much improved, constituted a mere dead weight of helpless brutality.

And then he says, that the Roman Empire was dying. Very true: but often as he quotes Salvian, he omits always to tell us what Roman society was dying of. Salvian says, that it was dying of vice. Not of bad laws and class arrangements, but of bad men. M. Guizot belongs to a school which is apt to impute human happiness and prosperity too exclusively to the political constitution under which they may happen to live, irrespectively of the morality of the people themselves. From that, the constitutionalist school, there has been of late a strong reaction, the highest exponent, nay the very coryphaeus of which is Mr. Carlyle. He undervalues, even despises, the influence of laws and constitutions: with him private virtue, from which springs public virtue, is the first and sole cause of national prosperity. My inaugural lecture has told you how deeply I sympathize with his view—taking my stand, as Mr. Carlyle does, on the Hebrew prophets.

There is, nevertheless, a side of truth in the constitutionalist view, which Mr. Carlyle, I think, overlooks. A bad political constitution does produce poverty and weakness: but only in as far as it tends to produce moral evil; to make men bad. That it can help to do. It can put a premium on vice, on falsehood, on peculation, on laziness, on ignorance; and thus tempt the mass to moral degradation, from the premier to the slave. Russia has been, for two centuries now but too patent a proof of the truth of this assertion. But even in this case, the moral element is the most important, and just the one which is overlooked. To have good laws, M. Guizot is apt to forget, you must first have good men to make them; and second, you must have good men to carry them out, after they are made. Bad men can abuse the best of laws, the best of constitutions. Look at the working of our parliaments during the reigns of William III and Anne, and see how powerless good constitutions are, when the men who work them are false and venal. Look, on the other hand, at the Roman Empire from the time of Vespasian to that of the Antonines, and see how well even a bad constitution will succeed, when good men are working it.

Bad laws, I say, will work tolerably under good men, if fitted to the existing circumstances by men of the world, as all Roman laws were. If they had not been such, how was the Roman Empire, at least in its first years, a blessing to the safety, prosperity, and wealth of every country it enslaved? But when defective Roman laws began to be worked by bad men, and that for 200 years, then indeed came times of evil. Let us take, then, Salvian's own account of the cause of Roman decay. He, an eye-witness, imputes it all to the morals of Roman citizens. They were, according to him, of the very worst. To the general dissoluteness he attributes, in plain words, the success of the Frank and Gothic invaders. And the facts which he gives, and which there is no reason to doubt, are quite enough to prove him in the right. Every great man's house, he says, was a sink of profligacy. The women slaves were at the mercy of their master; and the slaves copied his morals among themselves. It is an ugly picture: but common sense will tell us, if we but think a little, that such will, and must, be the case in slave-holding countries, wherever Christianity is not present in its purest and strongest form, to control the passions of arbitrary power.

But there was not merely profligacy among these Gauls. That alone would not have wrought their immediate ruin. Morals were bad enough in old Greece and Rome; as they were afterwards among the Turks: nevertheless as long as a race is strong; as long as there is prudence, energy, deep national feeling, outraged virtue does not avenge itself at once by general ruin. But it avenges itself at last, as Salvian shews—as all experience shews. As in individuals so in nations, unbridled indulgence of the passions must produce, and does produce, frivolity, effeminacy, slavery to the appetite of the moment, a brutalized and reckless temper, before which, prudence, energy, national feeling, any and every feeling which is not centered in self, perishes utterly. The old French noblesse gave a proof of this law, which will last as a warning beacon to the end of time. The Spanish population of America, I am told, gives now a fearful proof of this same terrible penalty. Has not Italy proved it likewise, for centuries past? It must be so, gentlemen. For national life is grounded on, is the development of, the life of the family. And where the root is corrupt, the tree must be corrupt likewise. It must be so. For Asmodeus does not walk alone. In his train follow impatience and disappointment, suspicion and jealousy, rage and cruelty, and all the passions which set man's hand against his fellow-man. It must be so. For profligacy is selfishness; and the family, and the society, the nation, exists only by casting away selfishness and by obeying law:—not only the outward law, which says in the name of God, 'Thou shalt not,' but the inward law, the Law of Christ, which says, 'Thou must;' the law of self- sacrifice, which selfish lust tramples under foot, till there is no more cohesion left between man and man, no more trust, no more fellow-help, than between the stags who fight for the hinds; and God help the nation which has brought itself to that!

No wonder, therefore, if Salvian's accounts of Gaulish profligacy be true, that Gaulish recklessness reached at last a pitch all but incredible. It is credible, however shocking, that as he says, he himself saw, both at Treves, and another great city (probably Cologne, Colonia Agrippina, or 'The Colony' par excellence) while the destruction of the state was imminent, 'old men of rank, decrepit Christians, slaves to gluttony and lust, rabid with clamour, furious with bacchanalian orgies.' It is credible, however shocking, that all through Gaul the captivity was 'foreseen, yet never dreaded.' And 'so when the barbarians had encamped almost in sight, there was no terror among the people, no care of the cities. All was possest by carelessness and sloth, gluttony, drunkenness, sleep, according to that which the prophet saith: A sleep from the Lord had come over them.' It is credible, however shocking, that though Treves was four times taken by the barbarians, it remained just as reckless as ever; and that—I quote Salvian still—when the population was half destroyed by fire and sword, the poor dying of famine, corpses of men and women lying about the streets breeding pestilence, while the dogs devoured them, the few nobles who were left comforted themselves by sending to the Emperor to beg for Circensian games.

Those Circensian games, and indeed all the public spectacles, are fresh proofs of what I said just now; that if a bad people earn bad government, still a bad government makes a bad people.

They were the most extraordinary instance which the world ever saw, of a government setting to work at a vast expense to debauch its subjects. Whether the Roman rulers set that purpose consciously before them, one dare not affirm. Their notion probably was (for they were as worldly wise as they were unprincipled) that the more frivolous and sensual the people were, the more quietly they would submit to slavery; and the best way to keep them frivolous and sensual, the Romans knew full well; so well, that after the Empire became Christian, and many heathen matters were done away with, they did not find it safe to do away with the public spectacles. The temples of the Gods might go: but not the pantomimes.

In one respect, indeed, these government spectacles became worse, not better, under Christianity. They were less cruel, no doubt: but also they were less beautiful. The old custom of exhibiting representations of the old Greek myths, which had something of grace and poetry about them, and would carry back the spectators' thoughts to the nobler and purer heroic ages, disappeared before Christianity; but the old vice did not. That was left; and no longer ennobled by the old heroic myths round which it had clustered itself, was simply of the silliest and most vulgar kind. We know in detail the abominations, as shameless and ridiculous, which went on a century after Salvian, in the theatres of Constantinople, under the eyes of the most Christian Emperor Justinian, and which won for that most infamous woman, Theodora, a share in his imperial crown, and the right to dictate doctrine to the Christian Bishops of the East, and to condemn the soul of Origen to everlasting damnation, for having exprest hopes of the final pardon of sinners. We can well believe, therefore, Salvian's complaints of the wickedness of those pantomimes of which he says, that 'honeste non possunt vel accusari;' he cannot even accuse them without saying what he is ashamed to say; I believe also his assertion, that they would not let people be modest, even if they wished; that they inflamed the passions, and debauched the imaginations of young and old, man and woman, and—but I am not here to argue that sin is sin, or that the population of London would be the worse if the most shameless persons among them were put by the Government in possession of Drury Lane and Covent Garden; and that, and nothing less than that, did the Roman pantomimes mean, from the days of Juvenal till those of the most holy and orthodox Empress Theodora.

'Who, knowing the judgment of God, that they who do such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.'

Now in contrast to all these abominations, old Salvian sets, boldly and honestly, the superior morality of the barbarians. That, he says, is the cause of their strength and our weakness. We, professing orthodoxy, are profligate hypocrites. They, half heathens, half Arians, are honester men, purer men than we. There is no use, he says, in despising the Goths as heretics, while they are better men than we. They are better Christians than the Romans, because they are better men. They pray to God for success, and trust in him, and we presumptuously trust in ourselves. We swear by Christ: but what do we do but blaspheme him, when we swear 'Per Christum tollo eum,' 'I will make away with him,' 'Per Christum hunc jugulo,' 'I will cut his throat,' and then believe ourselves bound to commit the murder which we have vowed? . . . 'The Saxons,' he says, 'are fierce, the Franks faithless, the Gepidae inhuman, the Huns shameless. But is the Frank's perfidy as blameable as ours? Is the Alman's drunkenness, or the Alan's rapacity, as damnable as a Christian's? If a Hun or a Gepid deceives you, what wonder? He is utterly ignorant that there is any sin in falsehood. But what of the Christian who does the same? The Barbarians,' he says, 'are better men than the Christians. The Goths,' he says, 'are perfidious, but chaste. The Alans unchaste, but less perfidious. The Franks are liars, but hospitable; the Saxons ferociously cruel, but venerable for their chastity. The Visigoths who conquered Spain,' he says, 'were the most "ignavi" (heavy, I presume he means, and loutish) of all the barbarians: but they were chaste, and therefore they conquered.'

In Africa, if we are to believe Salvian, things stood even worse, at the time of the invasion of the Vandals. In his violent invectives against the Africans, however, allowance must be made. Salvian was a great lover of monks; and the Africans used, he says, to detest them, and mob them wherever they appeared; for which offence, of course, he can find no words too strong. St. Augustine, however, himself a countryman of theirs, who died, happily, just before the storm burst on that hapless land, speaks bitterly of their exceeding profligacy—of which he himself in his wild youth, had had but too sad experience. Salvian's assertion is, that the Africans were the most profligate of all the Romans; and that while each barbarian tribe had (as we have just seen) some good in them, the Africans had none.

But there were noble souls left among them, lights which shone all the more brightly in the surrounding darkness. In the pages of Victor Vitensis, which tell the sad story of the persecution of the African Catholics by the Arian Vandals, you will find many a moving tale which shews that God had his own, even among those degraded Carthaginians.

The causes of the Arian hatred to the Catholics is very obscure. You will find all that is known in Dean Milman's History of Latin Christianity. A simple explanation may be found in the fact that the Catholics considered the Arians, and did not conceal their opinion, as all literally and actually doomed to the torments of everlasting fire; and that, as Gibbon puts it, 'The heroes of the north, who had submitted with some reluctance, to believe that all their ancestors were in hell, were astonished and exasperated to learn, that they themselves had only changed the mode of their eternal condemnation.' The Teutons were (Salvian himself confesses it) trying to serve God devoutly, in chastity, sobriety, and honesty, according to their light. And they were told by the profligates of Africa, that this and no less, was their doom. It is not to be wondered at, again, if they mistook the Catholic creed for the cause of Catholic immorality. That may account for the Vandal custom of re-baptizing the Catholics. It certainly accounts for the fact (if after all it be a fact) which Victor states, that they tortured the nuns to extort from them shameful confessions against the priests. But the history of the African persecution is the history of all persecutions, as confest again and again by the old fathers, as proved by the analogies of later times. The sins of the Church draw down punishment, by making her enemies confound her doctrine and her practice. But in return, the punishment of the Church purifies her, and brings out her nobleness afresh, as the snake casts his skin in pain, and comes out young and fair once more; and in every dark hour of the Church, there flashes out some bright form of human heroism, to be a beacon and a comfort to all future time. Victor, for instance, tells the story of Dionysia, the beautiful widow whom the Vandals tried to torture into denying the Divinity of our Lord.—How when they saw that she was bolder and fairer than all the other matrons, they seized her, and went to strip her: and she cried to them, 'Qualiter libet occidite: verecunda tamen membra nolite nudare,' but in vain. They hung her up by the hands, and scourged her till streams of blood ran down every limb. Her only son, a delicate boy, stood by trembling, knowing that his turn would come next; and she saw it, and called to him in the midst of her shame and agony. 'He had been baptized into the name of the Blessed Trinity; let him die in that name, and not lose the wedding-garment. Let him fear the pain that never ends, and cling to the life that endures for ever.' The boy took heart, and when his turn came, died under the torture; and Dionysia took up the little corpse, and buried it in her own house; and worshipped upon her boy's grave to her dying day.

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