Page images

How far they sunk into his mind, and inspired him with sentiments similar to their own, the following passages may suffice to shew.

Take his ideas of liberty and servitude.

“For as the true and only liberty is to serve virtue, and discharge its various duties; so the only true and essential slavery is to be in subjection to the vices. He, therefore, is evidently mistaken, who imagines that either of these conditions can proceed from any other cause : for, indeed, (if we except the difference of virtue and vice,) all men throughout the world proceed from a similar beginning; consist of, and are nourished by the same elements; draw from the same principle the same vital breath; enjoy the same cope of heaven; all alike live; all alike


Take his idea concerning the extensive influence of philosophy

“It is philosophy that prescribes a just measure to all things; and while she arranges moral duties, condescends to mix with such as are plebeian and vulgar. No otherwise, indeed, can any thing be said to proceed rightly, unless she herself confirm by deeds, what she teaches us in words." b

Speaking of virtue and felicity, he thus explains himself.

“But these (two possessions) are more excellent than any other, because virtue includes all things that are to be done; felicity, all things that are to be wished. Yet does felicity excel virtue, because in all things the end is more excellent than the means. Now no one is happy, that he may act rightly; but he acts rightly, that he may live happily.”

The following distich is of his own age, but being difficult to translate, is only given in its original, as a sample of elegant and meritorious poetry.

It expresses a refined thought; that as the soul of man animates the body, so is the soul itself animated by God.

Vita animæ Deus est; hæc, corporis ; hac fugiente,

Solvitur hoc; perit hæc, destituente Deo.d The preceding quotations are taken from his tract De Nugis Curialium; those which follow are from another tract, called Metalogicus, so named from being subsequent to logic, as metaphysics are to physics.

& Sicut enim vera et unica libertas est, etiam plebeis et vulgaribus interesse digservire virtuti, et ipsius exercere officia ; ita natur. Alioquin nihil aliud recte procedit, unica et singularis servitus est vitiis subju- nisi et ipsa rebus asserat, quod verbis docet. gari. Errat plane quisquis aliunde con- De Nugis Curial. p. 483. ditionem alterutram opinatur accidere. Si c Sunt autem hæc omnibus aliis præstanquidem omne hominum genus in terris simili tiora, quia virtus omnia agenda, felicitas ab ortu surgit, eisdem constat et alitur ele- omnia optanda complectitur. Felicitas tamentis, eundemque spiritum ab eodem prin- men virtuti præstat, quia in omnibus præcipio carpit, eodemque fruitur cælo, æque stantius est propter quod aliquid, quam quod moritur, æque vivit. De Nugis Curialium, propter aliquid. Non enim felix est quis, p. 510. edit. Lugdun. 1595.

ut recte agat ; sed recte agit, ut feliciter • Ipsa (philosophia) est, quæ universis vivat. De Nugis Curial. p. 367, 368. præscribit modum, et dum disponit officia, d Ibid. p. 127.

He makes three things requisite to the existence of every art, and these are genius, memory, and the reasoning faculty; and these three he thus defines :

"Genius is a certain power, naturally implanted in the mind, and which is of itself originally capable."

“Memory is (as it were) the mind's ark or chest; the firm and faithful preserver of things perceived."*

“The reasoning faculty is a power of the mind, which examines things that have occurred either to the senses or to the intellect, and fairly decides in favour of the better; which, well weighing the similitudes and dissimilitudes of things, at length (after due discussion) establishes art, and shews it to be (as it were) a finite science of things infinite."

Our author concludes with telling us, that was nature is the mother of all arts, so the contempt of them surely redounds to the injury of their parent." !

I must not omit some of his grammatical ideas, because they are of a superior sort; that is to say, they are logical and philosophical.

He tells us, “ For as [in nature] accidents clothe substances, and give them a form; so sin language] through a similar correspondence are substantives vested with a form by adjectives. And that this (grammatical] institution of reason may the more easily coincide with nature, in the same manner as the substance of every natural being knows nothing of intension and remission; so likewise in language substantives admit no degree of comparison."

After this, he proceeds to shew that this imitation of nature not only exists in nouns, but in the other parts of speech. He

p. 756.

p. 757.

e Est autem ingenium vis quædam, animæ Sounds articulate, which are infinite, naturaliter insita, per se valens. Metalog. being reduced to the finite genera of vowels

and consonants ; and vowels again being Memoria vero quasi mentis arca, firma enlarged into the species of long, short, and et fidelis custodia perceptorum. Metalog. middle; consonants into the species of mutes

and liquids ; in these limited reductions we 8 Ratio eorum, quæ sensibus aut animo behold the rise of grammar, through which, occurrunt, examinatrix animi vis est, et by about twenty simple sounds, called letfidelis arbitra potiorum ; quæ, rerum simili- ters, we form articulate sounds by millions. tudines dissimilitudinesque perpendens, tan- b Quia artium natura mater est, merito dem artem statuit quasi quandam infinitorum in injuriam parentis redundat contemptus finitam esse scientiam. Metalog. 757. earum. Metalog. 757.

This may be illustrated from the arts of i Sicut enim accidentia substantiam vesarithmetic and grammar.

tiunt, et informant: sic quadam propor Numbers, which are infinite, being re- tione rationis ab adjectivis substantiva induced to the finite genera of even and odd; formantur. Et, ut familiarius rationis inand these again being divided into the few stitutio naturæ cohæreat, sicut substantia subordinate species ; in this limited reduc- cujusque rei intentionis et remissionis ignara tion we behold the rise of arithmetic, and est: sic substantiva ad comparationis graof all the various theorems contained in that dum non veniunt. Metalog. 561.



tells us, that verbs, as they denote time, are necessarily provided with tenses; and, as they always express something else in their original meaning, he calls the additional denoting of time by a truly philosophic word, a consignification.

The writer of these remarks cannot say he has transferred any of them into his Hermes, because Hermes was written long before he knew John of Salisbury. But that both writers drew from the same source, he thinks sufficiently clear from the similitude of their sentiments.

I fear, I have dwelt too long on my countryman, perhaps, because a countryman; but more, in truth, because his works are little known, and yet are certainly curious and valuable.

I shall only mention, that there were other respectable geniuses of the same century, such as the epic poet, Joseph of Exeter; the pleasant archdeacon of Oxford, Walter Mapps; Giraldus Cambrensis, &c.

But the eloquent author of the Life of Henry the Second has, in his third volume, handled the state of our literature during this period in so masterly a way, that the writer of these observations would not have said so much, had not the arrangement of his remarks made it in some degree necessary.

We must not conclude this chapter without relating a few facts, relative to the gallant Richard, called, from his magnanimity, Cæur de Leon. Other heroes, long before him, had been likened to lions; and the celebrated Ali, in the lofty language of Arabia, was called the Lion of God.

What Bohadin says of Richard is remarkable. that historian relates, uncommonly active; of great spirit and firm resolution; one who had been signalized by his battles, and who was of intrepid courage in war. By those whom he led, he was esteemed less than the king of France on account of his kingdom and dignity, but more abundant in riches, and far more illustrious for military valour.”m

This testimony receives no small weight, as it comes from a contemporary writer, who was present; and who, being likewise a fast friend to Saladin, Richard's great antagonist, can hardly be suspected of flattering an adversary.

In the following extracts from the same author, which extracts contain different conferences between Richard and Saladin, we have a sample of their sentiments, and of the manner in which they expressed them.

When Richard in Palestine was ill, he longed for fruit and ice, and the fruits he desired were pears and peaches. He sent for them to Saladin, and they were immediately given him.

• He was, as

į Motus non est sine tempore, nec verbum 1 See lord Lyttleton's Life of Henry the esse potuit sine temporis consignificatione. Second. Metalog. 561. Aristot. de Interpret. c. 3. m Bohadin, vit. Salad. p. 160.

* See Hermes, p. 144.

[ocr errors]

Richard, in return, was equally bountiful, and entertained the sultan's people magnificently. War between great men seldom extinguishes humanity."

After a long and various war, Richard sent to Saladin the following message.

“When you have greeted the prince, you will lay what follows before him: the Mussulmans and Franks are both perishing; their countries laid waste, and completely passing to ruin ; the wealth and lives of their people consumed on either side. To this contest and religious war its proper rights have been now paid. Nothing remains to be settled, but the affair of the holy city of the cross, and of the several regions or countries. As to the holy city, it being the seat of our worship, from that indeed we can by no means recede, although not a single man of us were to survive the attempt. As to the countries, those on this side Jordan, shall be restored to us. As to the cross, it being with you only a pitiful piece of wood, although to us of value inestimable, this the sultan will give us; and thus peace being established, we shall all of us rest from this our uninterrupted fatigue."

Saladin's answer to Richard.

“ The holy city is as much holy to us as to you; nay, is rather of greater worth and dignity to us than to you; as it was thence that our prophet took his journey by night to heaven ; it is there the angels are wont solemnly to assemble themselves. Imagine not therefore that we shall ever depart thence. We dare not among the Mussulmans appear so abandoned, so neglectful of our affairs, as to think of this. As to the regions or countries, these also you know were originally ours, which you indeed have annexed to your dominions by the imbecility of the Mussulmans at the period when you attacked them. God has not suffered you to lay a single stone there, ever since the war began; while we, it is evident, enjoy all the produce of our countries to the full. Lastly, as to the cross, that in truth is your scandal, and a great dishonour to the Deity; which, however, it does not become us, by giving up, to neglect, unless it be for some more important advantage accruing thence to the faith of Mahomet."p

It must be observed, that the cross here mentioned was supposed to have been that on which Christ was crucified; and which being in Jerusalem, when it was taken, had been from that time in the hands of Saladin.

Though no peace was now made, it was made soon after, yet without restoration either of Jerusalem or of the cross.

It was usual in those days to swear to treaties, and so did the inferior parties; but the two monarchs excused themselves, saying, “it was not usual for kings to swear."9

Bohadin, p. 176. o Ibid. p. 207. p Ibid. p. 208. 9 Ibid. p. 261.


When Richard was returning home, he was basely seized by a duke of Austria, and kept prisoner for more than a year, till by a large sum raised upon his people he was redeemed."

This gallant prince, after having escaped for years the most formidable perils, fell at length unfortunately by the arrow of an obscure hand, in besieging an obscure castle, within his own French domains.

He did not immediately die; but as the wound began to mortify, and his end to approach, he ordered the person who had shot him (his name was Bertramn de Gurdun) to be brought into his presence. When he arrived, the king thus addressed him.

66 What harm have I ever done thee? for what reason hast thou slain me?" Bertramn replied, “Thou hast slain my father and two brothers with thy own hand; and now it was thy desire to slay

Take then any vengeance upon me thou wilt ; I shall freely suffer the greatest tortures thou canst invent, so that thou art but despatched, who hast done the world so much mischief.”

The king, on this intrepid answer, commanded his chains to be taken off, forgave what he had done, and dismissed him with a present.

But the king's servants were not so generous as their master; for when the king was dead, (which soon happened,) they put the prisoner to a cruel death.

A poet of the time compares, not improperly, the death of Richard to that of a lion killed by an ant. The sentiment is better than the metre.

Istius in morte perimit Formica Leonem. It is somewhat singular, that in these periods, considered as dark and barbarous, the same nations should still retain their superiority of taste, though not perhaps in its original purity. During the reign of Henry the Third, (which soon followed) when bishop Poore erected the cathedral of Salisbury, (which, considering its lightness, its uniformity, and the height of its spire, is one of the completest gothic buildings now extant,) we are informed he sent into Italy for the best architects.'

Long before this, in the eighth century, when one of the caliphs erected a most magnificent temple, or mosque, at Damascus, he procured for the building of it the most skilful architects, and

See the histories of Richard's life, misti? Cui ille respondit—Tu interemisti Rapin, Hume, &c.

patrem meum, et duos fratres manu tua, et • Rogeri de Hoveden Annalium pars me nunc interimere voluisti. Sume ergo de posterior. p. 791. edit. Francof. 1601. We me vindictam, quamcunque volueris: libenhave transcribed from the original the dis ter enim patiar, quæcunque excogitaveris course which passed between Richard and majora tormenta, dummodo Tu interficiaris, Bertramn, as it appears to be curious, and qui tot et tanta mala contulisti mundo. the Latinity not to be despised.

1 Matthew Paris. Quid mali tibi feci? Quare me intere

« PreviousContinue »