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against “ the ferocious ocean Even the safety of its coasts, which one day in a calm this sea is unsafe. “Before will call up real fleets and mighty ves me rolleth a waste of water . and sels; green England-the word rises above me go rolling the storm-clouds, to the lips and expresses all. llere the formless dark grey daughters of also moisture pervades every thing, air, which from the sea, in cloudy even in summer the mist rises; even buckets ocoop up the water, ever wea on clear days y.?! perceive it fresh frum ried lifting and lifting, and then pour it the great sea-girdle, or rising from vast again in the sea, a mournful wearisome but ever slushy meadows, nndulating business Over the sea, flat on his with hill and dale, intersected with face, lies the monstrous, terrible North hedges to the limit of the horizon wind, sighing and sinking his voice as Here and there a sunbeam strikes or in secret, like an old grumbler, for once the higher grasses with burning fas! in good humor, unto the ocean he and the splendor of the verdure dal talks, and he tells her wonderful sto zles and almost blinds you. The over ries.” *
Rain, wind, and surge leave flowing water straighiens the flabloy room for naught but gloomy and melan- stems; they grow up, rank, weak, and choly thoughts. The very joy of the bil. filled with sap; a sap ever renewed, lows has in it an inexplicable restless for the gray mists creep under a stra: ness and harshness. From Holland to tum of motionless vapor, and at disJutland, a string of small, deluged tant intervals the rim of heaven is islands + bears witness to their rav- drenched by heavy showers. “There ages; the shifting sands which the tide are yet commons as at the time of the drifts up obstruct and impede the Conquest, deserted, abandoned, * wild, banks and entrance of the rivers. I covered with furze and thorny plants, The first Roman fleet, a thousand sail, with here and there a horse grazing in perished there; to this day ships solitude. Joyless scene, unproductive wait a month or more in sight of port, soilit What a labor it has been to tossed upon the great white waves, humanize it! What impression it must not daring to risk themselves in the have made on the men of the South, shifting, winding channel, notorious the Romans of Cæsar! I thought, for its wrecks. In winter a breastplate when I saw it, of the ancient Saxons, of ice covers the two streams; the sea wanderers from West and North, who drives back the frozen masses as they came to settle in this land of marsh descend; they pile themselves with a and foss, on the border of primeval crash upon the sand-banks, and sway forests, on the banks of these great to and fro; now and then you may see muddy streams, which roll down their a vessel, seized as in a vice, split in slime to meet the waves. They must two beneath their violence. Picture, have lived as hunters and swineherds ; in this foggy clime, amid hoar-frost growing, as before, brawny, fierce, and storm, in these marshes and for- gloomy. Take civilization from this ests, half-naked savages, a kind of soil, and there will remain to the inwild beasts, fishers and hunters, but habitants only war, the chase, gluttony especially hunters of men; these are drunkenness. Smiling love, sweet ney, Saxons, Angles, Jutes, Frisians ; $ poetic creams, art, refined and nimble latter on, Danes, who during the fifth thought, are for the happy shores of and the ninth centuries, with their the Mediterranean. Here the bar. swords and battle axes, took and kept barian, ill housed in his mud-hove! the island of ain
who hears the rain pattering whole A rude and foggy land, like their days among the oak leaves — what own, except in the depth of its sea and dreams can he have, gazing upon je
mud-pools and his sombre sky?” * Heine, The North Sea, translated by Charles G. Leland. See Tacitus, Ann. book * Notes of a Fourney in England. 2, for the impressions of the Romans,
+ Léonce de Lavergne, De l'Agriculture
anglaise. "The soil is much worse than that Watten, Platen, Sande, Düneninseln. of France." | Nine or ten miles out, near Heligoland, | There are at least four rivers in England are the nearest soundings of about fifty fathoms. passing by the name of " Ouse,” which is only Palgrave Saxon Commonwealth, vol. i.
anather form of "
| it becomes a pleasure. About the
eighth century, the final decay of the Huge white bodies, cool-blooded, great Roman corpse which Charlewith fierce blue eyes, reddish flaxen magne had tried to revive, and which hair ; ravenous stomachs, filled with was settling down into corruption meat and cheese, heated by strong called them like vultures to the prey drinks; of a cold temperament, slow Those who had remained in Denmark to love,* home-stayers, prone to brutal with their brothers of Norway, fanatı drunkenness: these are to this day the cal pagans, incensed against the Chris features which descent and climate tians, made a descent on all the surpreserve in the race, and these are rounding coasts. Their sea-kings, what the Roman historians discovered “who had never slept under the smoky in their former country. There is no rafters of a roof, who had never drained living, in these lands, without abun- the ale-horn by an inhabited hearth,” dance of solid food; bad weather laughed at wind and storms, and sang: keeps people at home; strong drinks“ The blast of the tempest aids our are necessary to cheer them; the oars; the bellowing of heaven, the jenses become blunted, the muscles howling of the thunder, hurt us not; are braced, the will vigorous. In the hurricane is our servant, and every country the body of man is root. drives us whither we wish to go.”'“ We ed deep into the soil of nature ; and in hewed with our swords,” says a song this instance still deeper, because, be- attributed to Ragnar Lodbrog , ing uncultivated, he is less removed it not like that hour when my bright from
In Germany, storm- bride I seated by me on the couch? beaten, in wretched boats of hide, amid One of them, at the monastery of the hardships and dangers of seafaring Peterborough, kills with his cwn hanc life, they were pre-eminently adapted all the monks, to the number of eighty for endurance and enterprise, inured four; others, having taken King Ælla, to misfortune, scorners of danger. divided his ribs from the spire, drew Pirates at first: of all kinds of hunting his lungs out, and threw salt into his the man-hunt is most profitable and wounds. Harold Harefoot, having most noble ; they left the care of the seized his rival Alfred, with six hunland and flocks to the women and dred men, had them maimed, blinded, slaves; seafaring, war, and pillage t hamstrung, scalped, or embowelled. was their whole idea of a freeman's Torture and carnage, greed of danger, work. They dashed to sea in their fury of destruction, obstinate and two-sailed barks, landed anywhere, frenzied bravery of an over-stronę killed every thing; and having sacri- temperament, the unchaining of the ficed in honor of their gods the tithe of butcherly instincts,-such traits meer their prisoners, and leaving behind us at every step in the old Sagas them the red light of their burnings, The daughter of the Danish Jarl, see. went farther on begin again. ing Egil taking his seat near her, re. “Loid,” says a certain litany,“ deliver pels him with scorn, reproaching him us from the fury of the Jutes.” “Of with “seldom having provided th: all barbarians f these are strongest of wolves with hot meat, with never havs body and heart, the most formidable,” ing seen for the whole autumn a raven --we may add, the most cruelly fero- croaking over the carnage. But Egi? When murder becomes a trade, seized her and pacified her by singing,
“I have marched with my bloody * Tacitus, De moribus Germanorum, passint: Diem noctemque continuare potando, sword, and the raven has followed me. aulli probrum.-Sera juvenum Venus.- Totos Furiously we fought, the fire passed dies juxta 'ocum atque ignem agunt. Dargaud, over the dwellings of men; we havo Voyage en Danemark." They take six meals per day, the first at five o'clock in the morning. One should see the faces and meals at Ham- * Aug. Thierry, Hist. S. Edmundi, vi. 441 burg and Amsterdam."
See Ynglingasaga, and especially Egil's Saga. # Bede, v. 10. Sidonius, viii. 6. Lingard, † Lingard, Hist. of England, i. 164, say, Hist. of England, 1854, i. chap. 2.
however, Every tenth man out of the els Zozimos, iii. 147. Amm. Marcellinus, hundred' received his liberty, and of the rest a ii. 6.
few were seleo ed for slavery.” - Tr.
sent to sleep in blood those who kept|tures of the border country, and the the gates." From such table-talk, great primitive forests which furnished and such maidenly tastes, we may stags for the chase and acorns for his judge of the rest.*
pigs. The ancient histories tell us Lehold them now in England, more that they had a great and a coarse apsettled and wealthier : do you expect petite.*' Even at the time of the Conto find them much changed Changed quest the custo:n of drinking to excess it may be, but for the worse, like the was a common vice with men of the Franks, like all barbarians who pass highest rank, and they passed in this from action to enjoyment. They are way whole days and nights without in more gluttonous, carving their hogs, termission. Henry of Huntingdon, in filling themselves with flesh, swallow- the twelfth century, lamenting thu ing down deep draughts of mead, ale, ancient hospitality, says that the Norspiced wines, all the strong, coarse man kings provided their courtiers drinks which they can procure, and so with only one meal a day, while the they are cheered and stimulated. Add Saxon kings used to provide four. One to this the pleasure of the fight. Not day, when Athelstan went with his easily with such instincts can they at- nobles to visit his relative Ethelfleda, tain to culture; to find a natural and the provision of niead was exhausted ready culture, we must look amongst at the first salutation, owing to the the sober and sprightly populations of copiousness of the draughts; but the south. Here the sluggish and Dunstan, forecasting the extent of the heavy t temperament remains long royal appetite, had furnished the buried in a brutal life; people of the house, so that the cup-bearers, as is Latin race never at a first glance see the custom at royal feasts, were able in them aught but large gross beasts, the whole day to serve it out in horns clumsy and ridiculous when not dan- and other vessels, and the liquor was gerous and enraged. Up to the six- not found to be deficient. When the teenth century, says an old historian, guests were satisfied, the harp passed the great body of the nation were little from hand to hand, and the rude harelse than herdsmen, keepers of cattle mony of their deep voices swelled unand sheep ; up to the end of the eigh-der the vaulted roof. The monasteries teenth drunkenness was the recreation themselves in Edgard's time kept up of the higher ranks; it is still that of games, songs, and dances till midnight. the lower ; and all the refinement and To shout, to drink, to gesticulate, to softening influence of civilization have feel their veins heated and swollen with not abolished amongst them the use of wine, to hear and see around them the the rod and the fist. If the carnivor- riotous orgies, this was the first need ous, warlike, drinking savage, proof of the Barbarians.f The heavy huagainst the climate, still shows beneath man brute gluts himself with sensatioris the conventions of our modern society and with noise. and the softness of our modern polish, For such appetites there was imagine what he must have been when, stronger food,- I mean blows and batanding with his band upon a wasted tle. În vain they attached themselves 3r desert country, and becoming for to the soil, became tillers of the ground, the first time a settler, he saw extend in distinct communities and distinct re. ing to the horizon the common pas- gions, shut up ^ in their march with
* Franks, Frisians, Saxons, Danes, Norwegians, Icelanders, are one and the same people. * W. of Malmesbury. Henry of Hunting Their language, laws, religion, poetry, differ don, vi. 365. but little. The more northern continue longest Tacitus, De moribus Germanorum, xii. in their primitive manner i. Germany in the xxiii. fourth and fifth centuries, Deninark and Nor- Kemble, Saxons in England, 1849, i. 79, way in the seventh and eighth, Iceland in the ii. 184. “The Acts of an Anglo-Saxon parliatenth and eleventh centuries, present the same ment are a series of treaties of
peace between condition, and the muniments of each country all the associations which make up the State ; will fill up the gaps that exist in the history of a continual revision and renewal of the alliances the others.
offensive and defensive of all the free men. 7 Tacitus, De mor. Germ. xxii.: Gens nec They are universally matual contracts for the stuta nec callida,
maintenance of the frid or peace.”
their kindred and comrades, bound to of eighty. Many amongst them were gether, separated from the mass, en- put to death by the thanes ; one thane closed by sacred landmarks, by prime- was burned alive ; brothers slew one val oaks on which they cut the figures another treacherously. With us civil. of birds and beasts, by poles set up in ization has interposed, between the de. the midst of the marsh, which whososire and its fulfilment, the counteract. ever removed was punished with cruel ing and softening preventive of reflectortures. In vain these Marches and tion and calculation; here, the impulse Ga's * were grouped into states, and is sudden, and murder and every kind finally formed a half-regulated society, of excess spring from it instantaneous with assemblies and laws, under the ly, King Edwy* having married El lead of a single king; its very structure giva, his relation within the prohibited Indicates the necessities to supply degrees, quitted the hall where he was which it was created. They united in drinking on the very day of his coro order to maintain peace; treaties of nation, to be with her. The nobles peace occupy their Parliaments; pro- thought themselves insulted, and im. visions for peace are the matter of their mediately Abbot Dunstan went himlaws. War was waged daily and every self to seek the young man. “He where ; the aim of life was, not to be found the adulteress,” says the monk slain, ransomed, mutilated, pillaged, Osbern, “her mother, and the king tohung and of course, if it was a woman, gether on the bed of debauch. He violated. Every man was obliged to dragged the king thence violently, and appear armed, and to be ready, with setting the crown upon his head, his burgh or his township, to repel brought him back to the nobles." Afmarauders, who went about in bands.t terwards Elgiva sent men to put out The animal was yet too powerful, too Dunstan's eyes, and then, in a revolt, impetuous, too untamed. Anger and saved herself and the king by hiding covetousness in the first place brought in the country; but the men of the him upon his prey. Their history, I North having seized her, “ hamstrung mean that of the Heptarchy, is like a her, and then subjected her to the history of kites and crows." ş. They death which she deserved." [ Barbarslew the Britons, or reduced them to ity follows barbarity. At Bristol, at slavery, fought the remnant of the the time of the Conquest, as we are Welsh, Irish, and Picts, massacred one told by an historian of the time, I ir another, were hewn down and cut to was the custom to buy men and womner: pieces by the Danes. In a hundred in all parts of England, and to carry years, out of fourteen kings of Nor- them to Ireland for sale in order to thumbria, seven were slain and six make money. The buyers usually deposed. Penda of Mercia killed five made the young women pregnant, and kings, and in order to take the town of took them to market in that condition, Bamborough, demolished all the neigh-in order to ensure a better price. boring villages, heaped their ruins into “ You might have seen with sorrow an immense pile, sufficient to burn all long files of young people of both the inhabitants, undertook to exter- sexes and of the greatest beauty, bound minate the Northumbrians, and per- with ropes, and daily exposed for sale. ished himself by the sword at the age They sold in this manner
slaves their nearest relatives, and *A large district; the word is still existing even their own children." And the in German, as Rheingau, Breisgau.-TR. † Turner, Hist. of the Anglo-Sax. ii. 440, this practice, they “ thus set an ex:
chronicler adds that, having abandoned Laws of Ina. Such a band consisted of thirty-five men or ample to all the rest of England.”
Would know the manners of the $ Milton's expression. Lingard's History, i. chap. s.
This history bears much resemblance to that of the Franks in Gaul. See * Vita S. Dunstani, Anglia Sacra, i. Gregory of Tours. The Saxons, like the It is amusing to compare the story of Edwy Franks, somewhat softened, but rather degene and Elgiva in Turner, ii. 316, etc., and then : rated, were pillaged and massacred by those of Lingard, i. 132, etc. The first accuses Duo their northern brothers who still remained in a stan, the other defends him.-TR. mange state.
Life of Bishop Wolsta ..
nighest ranks, in the family of the last the Roman world, which were destined king ? * At a feast in the king's hall, to produce better people out of its Harold was serving Edward the Con- ruins. In the first place, “a certain fessor with wine, when Tostig, his earnestness, which leads them out of brother, moved by envy, seized him by frivolous sentiments to roble ones.” * the hair. They were separated. Tos- From their origin in Germany this is tig went to Hereford, where Harold what we find them, severe in manners, had ordered a royal banquet to be pre- with grave inclinations and a manly pared. There he seized his brother's dignity. They live solitary, each one attendants, and cutting off their heads near the spring or the wood which has and limbs, he placed them h the ves taken his fancy.t Even in villages Bels of win:, ale, mead, and cider, and the cottages were detached ; they musi sent a message to the king : “If you have independence and free air. They go to your farm, you will find there had no taste for voluptuousness ; love plenty of salt meat, but you will do was tardy, education severe, their food well to carry some more with you.” simple; all the recreation they iridulged IIarold's other brother, Sweyn, had in was the hunting of the aurochs, violated the abbess Elgiva, assassinated and a dance amongst naked swords. Beorn the thane, and being banished Violent intoxication and perilous wa. from the country, had turned pirate. gers were their weakest points; they When we regard their deeds of vio- sought in preference not mild pleasures, lence, their ferocity, their cannibal jests, but strong excitement. In every thing, we see that they were not far removed even in their rude and masculine infrom the sea-kings, or from the follow- stincts, they were men. Each in his ers of Odin, who ate raw flesh, hung own home, on his land and in his hut, men as victims on the sacred trees of was his own master, upright and free, Upsala, and killed themselves to make in no wise restrained or shackled. If sure of dying as they had lived, in the commonweai received any thins blood. A score of times the old fero- from him, it was because he gave .t. cious instinct reappears beneath the He gave his vote in arms in all great thin crust of Christianity, In the conferences, passed judgment in the aseleventh century, Siward, † the great semtry, made alliances and wars Earl of Northumberland, was afflicted his own account, moved from place with a dysentery; and feeling his death to vi: "o, showed activity and daring. 1 near, exclaimed, “What a shame for This dern Englishman existed entire me not to have been permitted to die
in Saxon. If he bends, it is be. in so many battles, and to end thus by ca ise he is quite willing to bend; he is a cow's death! At least put on my no less capable of self-denial than of breastplate, gird on my sword, set my independence; self-sacrifice is not un. helmet on my head, my shield in my comm, a man cares not for his blood left hand, my battle-axe in my right, or his life. in Homer the warrior so that a stout warrior, like myself
, often gives way, and is not blamed il may die as a warrior.” They did as he fiees. In the Sagas, in the Edda, he bade, and thus died he honorably he must be over-brave; in Gerinany ut his armor. They had made one the coward is drowned in the mud step, and only one, from barbarism. under a hurdle. Through all our
breaks of primitive brutality gleams III.
obscurely the grand idea of duty Under this native barbarisna there which is, the self-constraint exercised were noble dispositions, unknown to in view of some noble end. Marriage
was pure amongst them, chastity in. Tantæ sævitiæ erant fratres illi quod, cum stinctive. alicujus nitidam villam conspicerent, domina
Amongst the Saxons the torem de nocte interfici juberent, totamque pro
adulterer was punished by death ; the geniem illius possessionemque defuncti obtinerent. Turner, iii. 27. Henry of Huntingdon, * Grimm, Mythology, 53, P eface.
Tacitus, xx. xxiji. xi. xii. xiii. et passim 1 "Pene gigas statura,"
says the chronicler. We may still see the traces of this taste ir H. of Huntingdon, vi. 367. Kemble, i. 393. English dwellings. Porner, ii. 7: 3.
1 Tacitus, xiii.