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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 {p1}. 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 {p2}; 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 which cannot be reproduced], 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 {p3}, 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 {p4}. 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 {p5}, 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 {p6} 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 which cannot be reproduced], 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 {p7}. 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 {p8} 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 {p9}; 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) {p10}, 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 {p11}. 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 {p12}, 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 {p13}, 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 {p14}, 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.

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