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himself had so earnestly desired. And he sent ambassadors to the believing king -Ethelbyrht, with letters and many presents: and other letters he sent to Augustine, with answers to all the things after which he hud enquired, and advised him in these words: "Most dearly beloved brother, I know that the Almighty hath by you shewn forth many wonders to the people whom he hath chosen, for which you have reason both to rejoice and to be afraid. You may very prudently rejoice that the souls of this people by outward miracles are brought to have inward grace. Nevertheless be afraid; that your mind be not lifted up with arrogance by reason of tho miracles which God hath wrought by you, and you then fall into vain-glory within, when you are extolled with outward respect." Gregory sent also to Augustine holy presents of sacred vestments and of books, and the reliques of the apostles and martyrs, and ordered that his successors should fetch the pall of the archbishopric from the apostolical see of tho Human Church.
After this Augustine placed bishops out of those that had accompanied him, in each city of the English nation, and they have remained promoting the Christian faith continually unto this day. The holy Gregory composed many divine treatises, and with great diligence instructed God's people in the way to eternal life, and wrought many miracles in his lifetime, and behaved himself in a most glorious manner upon the episcopal throne thirteen years, and six months, and ten days, and afterwards as on this day departed to the eternal throne of the heavenly kingdom, in which he liveth with God Almighty world without end. Amen.
Here we may pass from the literature of FirstEnglish times. The teachers of religion were also the teachers of all other learning, and formed the main body of the educated class. To l>e of the j>eople, "leod," was to be unlearned, "lewed ;" the educated man was clerk. From such a literary class there came a literature almost exclusively religious. The one great exception is the heathen poem of "Beowulf." "Beowulf" was a tale brought into the country, but we have it as told in the language spoken only here. In its origin it is more ancient than Caxlmon, and its original character is well preserved; but a few interspersed comments, and the fact that it is in a form of speech proper to this country, and doubtless produced here by the fusion of tribes, shows that the old poem, as we have it, was written by an English monk, who seems even to have put local features of the coast near Whitby into his suggestions of scenery, and who could hardly have written before Csedmon's time. Except only a few short pieces, all other literature of the First English was religious, and applied religion very practically to the life of man.
Transition- English: From The Conquest To Wiclif.— A.d. 1006 to A.n. 137G.
After the Conquest the chief literary energy was :it first in tho production of monastic chronicles. Science was occupied with treatises on computation of the time of Easter, until contact with the Arabs quickened scientific thought. Osbern of Canterbury
wrote in the reign of William the Conqueror Latin Lives of Saints; Turgot wrote during the reign of William II. a History of the Monastery of Durham; Eadmer wrote in the reign of Henry I. a Life of Anselm; and Sajwulf began the long series of English records of travel and adventure, with an account of that form of far travel to which religion prompted men—-travel in Palestine. The religious houses being still the chief centres of intellectual activity, and the spirit of adventure imj>elling Englishmen then as now to foreign travel, men looked with especial interest towards the Holy Land. Not long after the death of Cwdmon, Adamnan, Abbot of Iona, had written down an account of the holy places from the dictation of Bishop Arculf, a native of Gaul, who had spent nine months at Jerusalem. Bede abridged this narrative into a text-book, that was used for diffusing a more lively knowledge of the topography of Palestine. Another Englishman, early in First-English times, Willibald, also visited the Holy Land, before he became Bishop of Eichstadt, about the year 740. He died in the latter part of the eighth century, and his life was written by a nun of Heidenheim, who also took down from his own mouth an account of his travels.
After the Conquest, the English traveller who first followed the Crusaders to Palestine was Saewulf. His visit was paid in the years 1102 arid 1103. Siewulf was a merchant who often had twinges of conscience, confessed to Bishop Wulfstan at Worcester, then was tempted back to the old tricks of trade, and finally gave up active life in the world to escape from its temptations, and joined the monks at Malmesbury. His description of the storm at Joppa—due allowance made for rhetoric—gives us a lively sense of the energy of that religious movement towards Palestine, which had brought so many pilgrims into the harbour. In the following account of Sajwulfs entrance into the Holy Land and his going up to Jerusalem, then in" the hands of the Crusaders, the Mosque of Omar is described as the Temple of the Lord, with a minute identification of sacred places that came of a determination to join thoughts of heaven with as many sjwts of earth as possible :—
S.ewulf's Visit To The Holy Places.1
After leaving the isle of Cyprus, wc were tossed ubout h •' tempestuous weather for seven days and seven nights, bang forced back one night almost to the spot from which »e sailed; but after much suffering, by divine mercy, at sunrise on the eighth day, we saw before us the coast of the port of Joppa, which filled us with an unexpected and extraordinary joy. Thus, after a course of thirteen weeks, as we took ship at Monopoli,: on a Sunday, having dwelt constantly on the
1 From *' Early Travels in Palestine, comprising the narrative* <"■! Arculf, Willibald, Bernard. Saiwulf, Sigurd, Benjamin of Tudrhv. Sir John Maundeville, De la Brocquiere, and Maundrell. EUiteJ, witk Notes, by Thomas Wright, Esq., M.A., F.S.A., Ac." One of many valuable ljooks with which Mr. Thomas Wright has. durine a lonr career, quickened the genernl knowledge of our post life and litenture, and earned the gratitude of students who can rccovniiw tbt worth of a busy life spent, with a definite aim, in sustained labour helping always towards the higher education of the people.
* ifonopoli. A seaport of South Italy, on the Adriatic.
waves of the sea, or in islands, or in deserted cots and sheds (for the Greeks are not hospitable), we put into the port of Joppa, with great rejoicings and thanksgivings, on a Sunday.
And now, my dear friends, all join with me in thanking God for his mercy shown to me through this long voyage; blessed be his name now and evermore! Listen now to a new instance of his mercy shown to me, although the lowest of his servants, and to my companions. The very day we came in sight of the port, one said to me (I believe by divine inspiration), " Sir, go on shore to-day, lest a storm come on in the night, which will render it impossible to land tomorrow." When I heard this, I was suddenly seized with a gTeat desire of landing, and, having hired a boat, went into it, with all my companions; but, before I had reached the shore, the sea was troubled, and became continually more tempestuous. We landed, however, with God's grace, without hurt, and entering the city weary and hungry, we secured a lodging, and reposed ourselves that night. But next morning, as we were returning from church, we heard the roaring of the sea, and the shouts of the people, and saw that everybody was in confusion and astonishment. We wero also dragged along with the crowd to the shore, where we saw the waves swelling higher than mountains, and innumerable bodies of drowned I>ersons of both sexes scattered over the beach, while the fragments of ships were floating on every side. Nothing was to be heard but the roaring of the sea and the dashing together of the ships, which drowned entirely the shouts and clamour of the people. Our own ship, which was a very large and strong one, and many others laden with corn and merchandise, as well as with pilgrims coming and returning, still held by their anchors, but how they were tossed by the waves! how their crews wero filled with terror! how they cast overboard their merchandise! what eye of those who were looking on could be so hard and stony as to refrain from tears? We had not looked at them long before the ships were driven from their anchors by the violence of the waves, which threw them now up aloft, and now down, until they were run aground or upon the rocks, and there they were beaten backwards and forwards until they were crushed to pieces. For the violence of the wind would not allow them to put out to sea, and the character of the coast would not allow them to put into shore with safety. Of the sailors and pilgrims who had lost all hope of escape, some remained on the ships, others laid hold of the masts or beams of wood; many remained in a state of stupor, and were drowned in that condition without any attempt to save themselves; some (although it may appear incredible) had in my sight their heads knocked off by the very timbers of the ships to which they had attached themselves for safety; others were carried out to sea on the beams, instead of being brought to land; even those who knew how to swim had not strength to struggle with the waves, and very few thus trusting to their own strength reached the shore alive. Thus, out of thirty very Urge ships, of which some were what are commonly called dromonds, some gulafrcs, and others cats,1 all laden with palmers and with merchandise, scarcely seven remained safe when we left the shore. Of persons of both sexes, there perished more than a thousand that day. Indeed, no eye ever beheld a greater misfortune in the space of a single day, from all which God snatched us by his grace; to whom be honour and glory for ever. Amen.
We went up from Joppa to the city of Jerusalem, a journey
1 Dromonds. . . gulo/res. . . cats. A dromond, Greek opduw, from TP«-X« (root dptMw). I run, is a large fast sailing vessel. Gvlajrc is the Arabic " khaliyah," a low flat-built galley with one deck, sails and o.irs, common in the Mediterranean. A cat is a very Btrong ship, with a narrow stern, projecting quarters, a deep waist, and no figure at the prow. The name is still used in the coal trade.
of two days, by a mountainous road, very rough, and dangerous on account of the Saracens, who lio in wait in the caves of the mountains to surprise the Christians, watching both day and night to surprise those less capable of resisting by the smallness of their company, or the weary, who may chance to lag behind their companions. At one moment, you see them on every side; at another, they are altogether invisible, as may be witnessed by anybody travelling there. Numbers of human bodies lie scattered in the way, and by the way-side, torn to pieces by wild beasts. Some may, perhaps, wonder that the bodies of Christians are allowed to remain unburied, but it is not surprising when we consider that there is not much earth ou the hard rock to dig a grave: and if earth wero not wanting, who would be so simple as to leave his company, and go alone to dig a grave for a companion? Indeed, if ho did so, he would rather be digging a grave for himself than for the dead man. For on that road, not only the poor and weak, but the rich and strong, are surrounded with perils; many are cut off by the Saracens, but more by heat and thirst; many perish by the want of drink, but more by too much drinking. We, however, with all our company, reached the end of our journey in safety. Blessed bo the Lord, who did not turn away my prayer, and hath not turned his mercy from me. Amen.
The entrance to the city of Jerusalem is from the west, under the citadel of king David, by the gate which is called the gate of David. The first place to bo visited is the church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is called the Martyrdom, not only because the streets lead most directly to it, but because it is more celebrated than all the other churches; and that rightly and justly, for all the things which were foretold and forewritten by the holy prophets of our Saviour Jesus Christ were there actually fulfilled. Tho church itself was royally and magnificently built, after the discovery of our Lord's cross, by the archbishop Maxirniis, with the patronage of the emperor Constantine, and his mother Helena. In the middle of this church is our Lord's Sepulchre, surrounded by a very strong wall and roof, lest the rain should fall upon the Holy Sepulchre, for the church above is open to the sky. This church is situated, like the city, on the declivity of Mount Sion. The Roman emperors Titus and Vespasian, to revenge our Lord, entirely destroyed the city of Jerusalem, that our Lord's prophecy might be fulfilled, which, as he approached Jerusalem, seeing the city, he pronounced, weeping over it, "If thou hadst known, oven thou, for the day shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with tho ground, and thy children with thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another." We know that our Lord suffered without the gate. But the emperor Hadrian, who was called iElius, rebuilt the city of Jerusalem, and tho Temple of the Lord, and added to the city as far as the Tower of David, which was previously a considerable distance from the city, for any one may see from the Mount of Olivet where the extreme western walls of the city stood originally, and how much it is since increased. And the emperor called tho city after his own name JElia, which is interpreted, the House of God. Sonic, however, say that the citv was rebuilt by tho emperor Justinian, and also the Temple of the Lord as it is now; but they say that according to supposition, and not according to truth. For the Assyrians,3 whose fathers dwelt in that country from the first persecution, say that the city was taken and destroyed many times after our Lord's Passion, along with all the churches, but not entirely defaced.
3 Assyrian* is Saunund's name for Syrians.
In the court of the church of our Lord's sepulchre are seen some very holy places, namely, the prison in which our Lord Jesus Christ was confined after he was betrayed, according to the testimony of the Assyrians; then, a little above, appears the place where the holy cross and the other crosses were found, where afterwards a large church was built in honour of queen Helena, but which has since been utterly destroyed by the Pagans; and below, not far from the prison, stands the marble column to which our Lord Jesus Christ was bound in the common hall, and scourged with most cruel stripes. Near this is the spot where our Lord was stripped of his garments by the soldiers; and next, the place where he was clad in a purple vest by the soldiers, and crowned with the crown of thorns, and they cast lots for his garments. Next we ascend Mount Calvary, where the patriarch Abraham raised an altar, and prepared, by God's command, to sacrifico his own son; there afterwards the Son of God, whom he prefigured, was offered up as a sacrifice to God the Father for the redemption of the world. The rock of that mountain remains a witness of our Lord's passion, being much cracked near the foss in which our Lord's cross was fixed, because it could not suffer the death of its Maker without splitting, as wo read in the Passion, " and the rocks rent." Below is the place called Golgotha, where Adam is said to have been raised to life by the blood of our Lord which fell upon him, as is said in the Passion, " And many bodies of the saints which slept arose." But in the Sentences of St. Augustine, we read that he was buried in Hebron, where also the three patriarchs wore afterwards buried with their wives; Abraham with Sarah, Isaac with Rebecca, and Jacob with Leah; as well as the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel carried with them from Egypt. Near the place of Calvary is the church of St. Mary, on the spot where the body of our Lord, after having been taken down from the cross, was anointed before it was buried, and wrapped in a linen cloth or shroud.
At the head of the church of the Holy Sepulchro, in the wall outside, not far from the place of Calvary, is the place called Compas, which our Lord Jesus Christ himself signified and measured with his own hand as the middle of the world, according to the words of the Psalmist, " For God is my king of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth." But some say that this is the place where our Lord Jesus Christ first appeared to Mary Magdalene, while she sought him weeping, and thought he had been a gardener, as is related in the Gospel. These most holy places of prayer are contained in the court of our Lord's Sepulchre, on tho east side. In the sides of the church itself are attached, on one side and the other, two most beautiful chapels in honour of St. Mary and St. John, as they, participating in our Lord's sufferings, stationed themselves beside him here and there. On the west wall of the chapel of St. Man- is seen the picture of our Lord's Mother, painted externally, who once, by speaking wonderfully through the Holy Spirit, in the form in which she is here painted, comforted Mary the Egyptian, when she repented with her whole heart, and sought the help of the Mother of our Lord, as we read in her life. On the other Bide of the church of St. John is a very fair monastery of the Holy Trinity, in which is the place of the baptistery, to which adjoins the Chapel of St. John the Apostle, who first filled the pontifical see at Jerusalem. These are all so composed and arranged, that any one standing in the furthest church may clearly perceive tho five churches from door to door.
Without the gate of the Holy Sepulchre, to the south, is the church of St. Mary, called the Latin, because the monks there perform divine service in the Latin tongue; and the Assyrians say that the blessed Mother of our Lord, at the
crucifixion of her Son, stood on the spot now occupied by thn altar of this church. Adjoining to this church is anoth.T church of St. Mar}', called the Little, occupied by nuns wlw serve devoutly the Virgin and her Son. Near which is tkHospital, where is a celebrated monastery foimded in honour of St. John the Baptist.
We descend from our Lord's sepulchre, about the distant of two arbalist-shot8, to the Temple of the Lord, which is to the east of the Holy Sepulchre, the court of which is of great length and breadth, having many gates; but the princip.l gate, which is in front of the Temple, is called the Beautiful. on account of its elaborate workmanship and variety it colours, and is the spot where Peter healed Claudius, wh' n he and John went up into the Templo at the ninth hour uf prayer, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles. The place where Solomon built the Temple was called anciently Bethel: whither Jacob repaired by God's command, and where h* dwelt, and saw the ladder whose summit touched heaven, and the angels ascending and descending, and said, "Truly this place is holy," as we read in Genesis. There he raised i stone as a memorial, and constructed an altar, and poured oil upon it; and in the same place afterwards, by God's will, Solomon built a temple to the Lord of magnificent and incomparable work, and decorated it wonderfully with ever; ornament, as we read in the Book of Kings. It exceeded ill the mountains around in height, and all walls and building* in brilliancy and glory. In the middle of which temple iseen a high and large rock, hollowed beneath, in which wis the Holy of Holies. In this place Solomon placed the Ark ot the Covenant, having the manna and the rod of Aaron, which flourished and budded there and produced almonds, and th' two Tables of the Testament; here our Lord Jesus Christ. wearied with the insolence of the Jews, was accustomed to repose; here was the place of confession, where his disciple* confessed themselves to him; here the angel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias, saying, "Thou shalt receive a child iu thy old age; " here Zacharias, the son of Barachias. was sliin between tho temple and the altar; here the child Jesus wa« circumcised on the eighth day, and named Jesus, which :• interpreted Saviour; here the Lord Jesus was offered by hi* parents, with the Virgin Mary, on the day of her purification, and received by the aged Simeon; here, also, when Jesuwas twelve years of age, he was found sitting in the midst oi the doctors, hearing and interrogating them, as we read mtb Gospel; here afterwards ho cast out the oxen, and sheep, »nd pigeons, saying, " My house shall be a house of prayer;" Stki here he said to the Jews, " Destroy this temple, and in thn> days I will raise it up." There still are seen in the rock the footsteps of our Lord, when he concealed himself, and went out from the Temple, as we read in the Gospel, lest the Jew? should throw at him the stones they carried. Thither the woman taken in adultery was brought before Jesus by the Jews, that they might find some accusation against him There is the gate of the city on the eastern side of the Temple, which is called tho Golden, where Joachim, tie father of the Blessed Mary, by order of the Angel of the Lord. met his wife Anne. By the same gate the Lord Jesus, comras from Bethany on the day of olives, sitting on an ass, entered the city of Jerusalem, while the children sang '■ Hosanna t>> the son of David." By this gate the emperor HersclittJ entered Jerusalem, when he returned victorious from Per»i», with the cross of our Lord; but the stones first fell down ina closed up the passage, so that tho gate became one mass, until humbling himself at the admonition of an angel, he dcsccndi-l from his horse, and so the entrance was opened to him. In the court of the Temple of tho Lord, to the south, is '-h> Temple of Solomon, of wonderful magnitude, on the cast siA of which is an oratory containing the cradle of Christ, and his bath, and the bed of the Virgin Mary, according to the t< stimony of the Assyrians.
From the Temple of the Lord you go to the church of St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Mary, towards the north, where she lived with her husband, and sho was there delivered of her daughter Mary. Near it is the pool called in Hebrew Bethsaida, having rive porticoes, of which the Gospel speaks. A littlo above is the place where the woman was healed by our Lord, by touching the hem of his garment, while he was surrounded by a crowd in the street.
From St. Anne we pass through the gate which leads to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, to the church of St. Mary in the same valley, where she was honourably buried by the apostles after her death; her sepulchre, as is just and proper, is revered with the greatest honours by the faithful, and monks perform service there day and night. Here is the brook C'edron; here also is Gethsemane, where our Lord came with his disciples from Mount Sion, over the brook Cedron, before the hour of his betrayal; there is a certain oratory where he dismissed Peter, James, and John, saying, "Tarry ye here, and watch with me;" and going forward, he fell on his face and prayed, and came to his disciples, and found them sleeping: the places are still visible where the disciples slept, apart from each other. Gethsemane is at the foot of Mount Olivet, and the brook Cedron below, between Mount Sion and Mount Olivet, as it were the division of the mountains; and the low ground between the mountains is the Valley of Jehoshaphat. A little above, in Mount Olivet, is an oratory in the place where our Lord prayed, as we read in the Passion, "And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast; and being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood falling down to the ground." Next we come to Aceldama, the field bought with the price of the Lord, also at the foot of Mount Olivet, near a valley about three or four arbalist-shots to the south of Gethsemane, where are seen innumerable monuments. That field is near the sepulchres of the holy fathers Simeon the Just and Joseph the foster-father of our Lord. These two sepulchres are ancient structures, in the manner of towers, cut into the foot of the mountain itself. We next descend, by Aceldama, to the fountain which is called the Pool of Siloah, where, by our Lord's command, the man born blind washed his eyes, after the Lord had anointed them with clay and spittle.
From the church of St. Mary before mentioned, we go up by a very steep path nearly to the summit of Mount Olivet, towards the cast, to the place whence our Lord ascended to heaven in the sight of his disciples. The place is surrounded by a little tower, and honourably adorned, with an altar raised on the spot within, and also surrounded on all sides with a wall. On the spot where the apostles stood with his mother, wondering at his ascension, is an altar of St. Mary; there the two men in white garments stood by them, saying, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing into heavenf" About a stone's throw from that place is the spot where, according to the Assyrians, our Lord wrote the Lord's Prayer in Hebrew, with his own fingers, on marble; and there a very beautiful church was built, but it has since been entirely destroyed by the Pagans, as are all the churches outside the walls, except the church of the Holy Ghost on Mount Sion, about an arrow-shot from the wall to the north, where the apostles received the promise of the Father, namely, the I'aracleto Spirit, on the day of Pentecost; there they made the Creed. In that church is a chapel in the place where the Blessed Mary died. On the other side of the church is the chapel where our Lord Jesus Christ first appeared to the
apostles after his resurrection; and it is called Galilee, us he said to the apostles, "After I am risen again, I will go before you unto Galilee." That place was called Galilee, because the apostles, who were called Galileans, frequently rested there.
The great city of Galilee is by Mount Tabor, a journey of three days from Jerusalem. On the other side of Mount Tabor is the city called Tiberias, and after it Capernaum and Nazareth, on the sea of Galilee or sea of Tiberias, whither Peter and the other apostles, after the resurrection, returned to their fishing, and where the Lord afterwards showed himself to them on the sea. Near the city of Tiberias is the field where the Lord Jesus blessed the five loaves and two fishes, and afterwards fed four thousand men with them, as we read in the Gospel. But I will return to my immediate subject.
In the Galilee of Mount Sion, where the apostles were concealed in an inner chamber, with closed doors, for fear of the Jews, Jesus stood in the middle of them and said, " Peace be unto you;" and he again appeared there when Thomas put his finger into his side and into the place of the nails. There he supped with his disciples before the Passion, and washed their feet; and the marble table is still preserved there on which he supped. There the relics of St. Stephen, Nicodemus, Gamaliel, and Abido, were honourably deposited by St. John the Patriarch after they were found. The stoning of St. Stephen took place about two or three arbalist-shoto without the wall, to the north, where a very handsome church was built, which has been entirely destroyed by the Pagans. The church of the Holy Cross, about a mile to the west of Jerusalem, in the place where the holy cross was cut out, and which was also a very handsome one, has been similarly laid waste by the Pagans; but the destruction here fell chiefly on the surrounding buildings and the cells of the monkB, the church itself not having suffered so much. Under the wall of the city, outside, on the declivity of Mount Sion, is the church of St. Peter, which is called the Galliean, where, after having denied his Lord, he hid himself in a very deep crypt, as may still be seen there, and there wept bitterly for his offence. About three miles to the west of the church of the Holy Cross is a very fine and large monastery in honour of St. Saba, who was ono of the seventy-two disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thero were above three hundred Greek monks living there, in the service of the Lord and of the saint, of whom the greater part have been slain by the Saracens, and the few who remain have taken up their abode in another monastery of the same saint, within the walls of the city, near the tower of David, their other monastery being left entirely desolate.
William of Malmesbury, from whose history we have taken a short account of Aldhelm, was Ssewulf's contemporary, but a younger man. He wrote his "History of the Kings of England" in the reigns of Henry I. and Stephen. It ended with the year 1142, which seems to have been the date of its author's death. This monk of Malmesbury was an enthusiast for books, and, like Bede, he refused to be made an abbot, because he desired to give to study all the time not occupied by the religious exercises of the brethren. When John Milton was writing a "History of Britain" by help of monastic chroniclers, and, having parted from Bede, he came in due time . to the record left us by this literary monk, he said that among our old chroniclers " William of Malmesbury must be acknowledged, both for style and
judgment, to be by far the best writer of tlietn all." William wrote at Malmesbury not only the " History of English Kings," but also a " History of English Prelates," and many other books.
With the year 1142 ended not only William of Malmesbury's " History of the Kings of England," but also the " Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy," by Ordericus Vitalis. Orderic, who was sixty-seven years old when he brought his narrative down to the end of his own working life, had in. the year 1085 been placed as an English boy in the Norman abbey of St. Evroult, and had lived there devoted to the contemplative life, and active with his pen. When fifty-three years old, he was in the writing-room of his monastery, quietly at work u]K>n his history, and, falling into recollections of his childhood, spoke thus of his position at St. Evroult: —" Then, being in my eleventh year, I was separated from my father, for the love of God, and sent, a young exile, from England to Normandy, to enter the service of the King Eternal. Here I was received by the venerable father Maimer, and having assumed the monastic habit, and become indissolubly joined to the company of the monks by solemn vows, have now cheerfully borne the light yoke of the Lord for forty-two years, and walking in the ways of God with my fellow-monks, to the best of my ability, according to the rules of our order, have endeavoured to jterfect myself in the service of the Church and ecclesiastical duties, at the same time that I have always devoted my talents to some useful employment."
William of Malmesbury and Ordeiicus Vitalis ended their work in 1142, in Stephen's reign. In the same reign, in the year 1147, Geoffrey of Monmouth produced his "History of British Kings." Geoffrey was a Welsh monk who was made Bishop of St. Asaph not long before his death in 1154. His History contained more fable than chronicle. By "British" kings he meant kings of Britain before the coming of the English. Of English kings there were trustworthy chronicles; Geoffrey provided a chronicle of British kings, not meant to be particularly trustworthy, but distinctly meant to l>e amusing. It was partly founded on Breton traditions, and it did obtain a wide attention. It was the source of a new stream of poetry in English literature, and it is this book that brought King Arthur among us as our national hero. Geoffrey's History does not itself belong to the subject of this volume. The old romances of King Arthur are not religious. They are picturesque stories of love and war, and of each in mde animal form. But the way in which the legends of this mythical hero have been dealt with in our country furnishes one of the most marked illustrations of the religious tendency of English thought. For while amongst Latin nations the Charlemagne romances have given rise to fictions which, however delightful, express only play of the imagination, the romances of which Arthur is the hero have been used by the English people in successive stages of their civilisation for expression of their highest sense of spiritual life. In the very first years of the revived fame of Arthur, when Geoffrey of Monmouth's "History of British Kings" was being
A Courtly Writer. From the Bool; of the Coronation oj Henry I. Cotton. 3ISS., Clatidiiw, A. iii.
separate legend of Joseph of Arimathea to the stories of King Arthur, and setting in the midst of their ideals of a life according to the flesh the quest for the Holy Graal. The Holy Graal was the dish used by our Lord at the Last Supper, into which ulso his wounds were washed after he had been taken from the cross, a sacred dish visible only to the pure. It could be used, therefore, as a type of the secret things of God. Walter Map, who thus dealt with the King Arthur legends, was a chaplain of the Court of King Hemy II. He was born about the year 1143, and called the Welsh his countrymen, England "our mother." He studied in the University of Paris, was in attendance at the Court of Henry II.. and in 1173 was presiding at Gloucester Assizes as one of the King's Justices in Eyre. At Henry II.'* Court, Map was a chaplain; Henry died in 118K, ainl Map was not an archdeacon until 1196, in the reigii of Richard I. He was then about fifty-three years old, and after that date we hear no more of him.' We must dwell now for a little while upon the origin of our religious treatment of Arthurian romance.
1 See the Volume of this Library containing "Shorter En*h*fc Poemn," pages 12—16, for illustrations of Walter Map's Ooliu poetry.