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time it is the Lady Minnetrost, the good Druda, far up upon the shores of the Baltic, on her high, moonlit tower, with her long white finger lifted up and pointing to the starry sky. Then, again, we have the tall slim form of the beautiful Sigrid, with her large blue eyes, singing her charm, gathering witch-herbs, and brewing her witchdraught, which makes heroes invincible in fight, and works in the banquet a black mysterious woe. Then we have the gigantic forms of men on the islands of the lake, with massive breastplates and huge brazen bucklers, and halberts so high that they seemed like the masts of vessels. And then the vessel comes in sight, ready for the use of the sea-knights in their pirate expeditions, and off they go over the bounding waves, on their terrible errands of blood and fire, to gain immortal glory by inflicting untold pain. And suddenly appears one of them at a marriage-feast in Normandy, the sea-king Arinbiorn, one of those warriors in the high coast country who own little or nothing on the main land, but who sail round the earth in their light barks, in the company of brave and devoted followers, passing from one side of the North Cape, nay, even from distant Iceland down to imperial Constantinople, or along the coast of blooming Asia, or of burning Africa, where almost all other seamen are at fault. And at another time we are shown the spectres of remorse, and death and judgment; and the living forms of pride, passion, and temptation, in the history of the troubled child of the fierce warrior of Drontheim. And, on the other hand, the pattern knight and his lady bright coming back to their old country from the plains of Frank-land, and presenting to the savage northern race the very ideal which they vaguely sought after, but could not adumbrate; and the pale, dark-haired Sintram, calmed and vanquished by the voice and lute of the fair Gabrielle.
This of course is romance; but it may be taken as an anticipation of what the Northmen became in the Nor⚫ mans. ("Historical Sketches," vol. III. p. 290.)
NORTHMAN AND NORMAN.
THE most obvious and prominent point of character common to the Northman and Norman is the peculiarity of their warlike heroism. War was their life; it was almost their summum bonum; good in itself, though nothing came of it.
The impetuosity of the Norman relieved itself in extravagancies, and raises a smile from its very intensity; at one time becoming a religious fanaticism, at another a fantastic knight-errantry. His very worship was to do battle; his rite of sacrifice was a passage of arms. He couched his lance to prove the matter-of-fact that his lady was the beautifullest of all conceivable women; he drew his sword on the blasphemer to convince him of the sanctity of the Gospel; and he passed abruptly from demolishing churches and burning towns to the rescue of the holy Sepulchre from the unclean infidel. In the Northmen, too, this pride of demolition had been their life-revel. They destroyed for destroying-sake; because it was good to destroy; it was a display of power, and power made them gods. They seemed as though they were possessed by some inward torment which needed outlet, and which degraded them to the madness of their own Berserkirs in the absence of some nobler satisfaction. Their fearful activity was their mode of searching out something great, they knew not what, the idea of which haunted them. It
impelled them to those sudden descents and rapid careerings about a country, of which we have already spoken, and which, even in modern times, have their parallels in the cha-. racteristic energy of Gustavus and Charles XII. of Sweden. Hence, too, when they had advanced some steps in the path of civilization, from this nature or habit of restlessness, they could not bear neutrality; they interfered actively in the cause of right, in proportion as they gave up the practice of wrong. When they began to find out that piracy was criminal, instead of having recourse to peaceful occupations, they found an occupation cognate to piracy itself in putting piracy down. Kings, indeed, would naturally undertake such a mission, for piracy interfered with their sovereign power, and would not die of itself. It was not wonderful that Harold, Haco the Good and St. Olaf should hang the pirates and destroy their vessels, but the point of our remark is this, that they pursued the transgressors with the same furious zeal with which they had heretofore committed the same transgressions themselves. It is sometimes said that a reformed profligate is the sternest of moralists; and these northern rovers, on their conversion, did penance for their own piracy by a relentless persecution of pirates. They became knight-errants on water, devoting themselves to hardship and peril in the protection of the peaceful merchant. Under Canute of Denmark, a confraternity was formed with this object. Its members characteristically began by seizing on vessels not their own for its prosecution, and imposing compulsory loans on the wealthy trader for their outfit, though they professed to indemnify their owners out of the booty ultimately secured. Before they went on board they communicated; they lived soberly and severely, restricting themselves to as few followers as possible. When they found Christians in the captured ships, they set them at liberty,
clothed them, and sent them home. In this way as many as eight hundred pirate vessels were destroyed.
Sometimes, in spite of their reformation, they still pursued a pirate's trade; but it was a modified piracy. They put themselves under laws in the exercise of it, and waged war against those who did not observe them. The objects of their hostility were what Turner calls "indiscriminate" pirates. "Their peculiar and self-chosen task," he says, "was to protect the defenceless navigator, and to seek and assail the indiscriminate plunderer. The pirate gradually became hunted down as the general enemy of the human race." He goes on to mention some of the laws imposed by Hialmar upon himself and some other discriminating pirates, to the effect that they would protect trade and agriculture, that they would not force women into their ships against their will, and that they would not eat raw flesh.
Now in what we have been drawing out there is enough to show both the elementary resemblance of character, and yet the vast dissimilitude, between the Scandinavian and the Norman. ("Hist. Sketches," vol. III. p. 295.)
If we would know what a University is, considered in its most elementary idea, we must betake ourselves to the first and most celebrated home of European civilization, to the bright and beautiful Athens,-Athens, whose schools drew to her bosom, and then sent back to the business of life, the youth of the western world for a long thousand
years. Seated on the verge of the continent, the city seemed hardly suited for the duties of a central metropolis of knowledge; yet what it lost in convenience of approach, it gained in its neighbourhood to the traditions of the mysterious East, and in the loveliness of the region in which it lay. Hither, then, as to a sort of ideal land, where all the archetypes of the great and the fair were found in substantial being, and all departments of truth explored, and all diversities of intellectual power exhibited; where taste and philosophy were majestically enthroned as in a royal court; where there was no sovereignty but that of mind, and no nobility but that of genius; when professors were rulers and princes did homage,—hither flocked continually from the very corners of the orbis terrarum, the many-tongued generation, just rising or just risen into manhood, in order to gain wisdom.
Pisistratus had in an early age discovered and nursed the infant genius of his people, and Cimon, after the Persian war, had given it a home; that war had established the naval supremacy of Athens; she had become an imperial state; and the Ionians, bound to her by the double chain of kindred and of subjection, were importing into her both their merchandize and their civilization. The arts and philosophy of the Asiatic Court were easily carried across the sea, and there was Cimon, as I have said, with his ample fortune, ready to receive them with due honour. Not content with patronizing their profession, he built the first of those noble porticos, of which we hear so much in Athens, and he formed the groves, which in process of time formed the celebrated academy. Planting is one of the most graceful, as in Athens it was one of the most beneficent, of employments. Cimon took in hand the wild wood, pruned and dressed it, and laid it out with handsome walks and welcome fountains. Nor, while hospitable to