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was regarded as a marriage between a white planter and a quadroon girl would now be regarded in Virginia. In history he is known by the honorable surname of Beau. clerc; but, in his own time, his own countrymen called him by a Saxon nickname, in contemptuous allusion to his Saxon connection. Had the Plantagenets, as at one 4 time seemed likely, succeeded in uniting all France under their government, it is probable that England would never have had an independent existence. Her princes, her lords, her prelates, would have been men differing in race and language from the artisans and the tillers of the earth. The revenues of her great proprietors would have been spent in festivities and diversions on the banks of the Seine. The noble language of Milton and Burke would have remained a rustic dialect, without a literature, a fixed grammar, or a fixed orthography, and would have been contemptuously abandoned to the use of boors. No man of English extraction would have risen to eminence, except by becoming in speech and habits a Frenchman. England owes her escape from such calamities to an event 5 which her historians have generally represented as disastrous. Her interest was so directly opposed to the interest of her rulers that she had no hope but in their errors and misfortunes. The talents and even the virtues of her six first French kings were a curse to her. The follies and vices of the seventh were her salvation. Had John inherited the great qualities of his father, of Henry Beauclerc, or of the Conqueror, nay, had he even possessed the martial courage of Stephen or of Richard, and had the King of France at the same time been as incapable as all the other successors of Hugh Capet had been, the house of Plantagenet must have risen to unrivaled ascendency in Europe. But just at this conjuncture, 6 France, for the first time since the death of Charle
magne, was governed by a prince of great firmness and ability. On the other hand, England, which, since the battle of Hastings, had been ruled generally by wise statesmen, always by brave soldiers, fell under the dominion of a trifler and a coward. From that moment her prospects brightened. John was driven from Normandy. The Norman nobles were compelled to make their election between the island and the continent. Shut up by the sea with the people whom they had hitherto oppressed and despised, they gradually came to regard
England as their country, and the English as their coun7 trymen. The two races, so long hostile, soon found that they had common interests and common enemies. Both were alike aggrieved by the tyranny of a bad king. Both were alike indignant at the favor shown by the court to the natives of Poitou and Aquitaine. The great-grandsons of those who had fought under William and the great-grandsons of those who had fought under Harold began to draw near to each other in friendship, and the first pledge of their reconciliation was the Great Charter, won by their united exertions, and framed for their common benefit.
ANCIENT AND MODERN HISTORY.-HISTORIC FUNC
TIONS OF ANCIENT NATIONS.
BREWER'S “STUDIES IN ENGLISH HISTORY AND ENGLISH LITER
Mr. Brewer here sets forth the historic function of each of the leading nations of antiquity, its part in the economy of history, the great idea that it was to develop: the Hebrew, the idea of monotheism, the oneness of God, to whom the Hebrew nation stood in.
a peculiar relation by virtue of a special covenant, having been segregated from all other races as the chosen people of God, unto whom were committed his oracles; the Assyrian and the Persian, the idea of absolute power, centered in the sovereign; the Greek, the æsthetic idea, literature, art developed to the highest measure of its potentialities, as well as the idea of representative government, pure democracy, a government of law and order; the Roman, the idea of reverence for lawful authority, subordination, organization, municipality. The following works may be consulted with great advantage: Rawlinson's “Five Ancient Monarchies,” Ewald's “ History of Israel,” Stanley's “Lectures on the Jewish Church,” Grote’s “ History of Greece,” Niebuhr's “Roman History,” Mommsen's “History of Rome,” Arnold's “History of Rome,” Gibbon's “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” Bryce's "Holy Roman Empire.” Guizot’s “ History of Civilization in Europe” has some fine remarks upon the distracting complexity of modern history as compared with the simplicity, the predominance of a few leading elements, that characterized the civilization of ancient times.
HISTORY is divided into two great portions, ancient 1 and modern. Ancient history has no other difficulties than those which are presented by its remoteness from present times, and our consequent inability of adequately representing to ourselves the thoughts and feelings of people living in a state so very different from our own. Christianity, new races, a new world, great inventions, have been molding for many centuries all our notions, pursuits, manners, speculations. It is hard for us to divest ourselves of these influences and to go back to a simpler and less complex period, when one division only of the globe, one race, or one nation, only challenges consideration.
But ancient history has this advantage over modern, 2 that it does not distract us with a multiplicity of details, or bring at the same time a number of different nations and actors on the stage, each of whom is demanding and distracting our attention, each of whom has some
thing to say which must not be disregarded. On the contrary, ancient history goes on in one simple and uniform tenor, either presenting to our view one country, one people, one literature, exclusively and successively, or, if it brings forward other nations at the same time, it is only in reference and in subordination to a single 3 people which is predominant at the time. In the history of the Hebrews we hear of Egypt, in the history of Greece of the Persians, but, instead of confusing our views, these occasional glimpses assist in bringing out more clearly the condition of the chosen nations with whom they are brought into connection. Thus ancient history has a unity in it denied apparently to modern history. It requires no arbitrary division of our own invention, we have but to follow the law thus clearly 4 marked out, and consider each epoch successively. So ancient history falls into a series of easy and natural divisions. First the Hebrew, then the Greek, and then the Roman; and each of these people, though engaged in numerous wars, exposed to various temptations, and exemplifying a vast diversity of actions in their career, have in them a unity of character, are penetrated by one strong and predominant principle of action, which serves as a light—a clear and steady one—to interpret the most
obscure passages in their history. 5 Take the Hebrew, for instance, with which we are
all familiar. Here we have one people, with whom is connected the earliest records of the world; there is but one book in which their history is contained, and in it we are made to feel how strong is that unity of the Jewish people, and upon what truth that unity is based. Now what is that book? We call it the Bible—that is, the book of all nations, as it is; but we call it also a Revelation, the Word of God. And so it is. But
but in the sufferings and distractions which they entailed
how it throws light on the history of those nations with
also remember that it is the book which contains the national annals of the Jews, that is, of “God's people.” But it is not less God's Word, not less His revelation of himself to them, as the Jews, as the nation. Whatever 6 else this Jewish history may contain, it contains these facts—these which lie at the foundation of their national life. First, that God was revealing Himself to them more clearly than He did to any other people; that that revelation brought them nearer to Him than any other people; that it made Him the Ruler of the nation, and them His people, in a sense such as no others enjoyed ; and that on the recognition of this truth, that they were His people—nation and rulers, prophets and workmentheir happiness and their welfare as a nation depended. They might forget that truth, and they did, over and 7 over again. The people might think that they had a right to take their own way without consulting His will. The prophet might prophesy in his own name, and turn his gifts to his own interest and aggrandizement; the king might rule as of his own authority, forgetting whose minister he was.
But they were made to feel the consequences of these transgressions, not only in themselves upon their nation. This, then, is the principle of the 8 Jewish life, whatever else may be-individual and national—that the people are in covenant with God. He is their ruler, they are his servants. I have not time to extend this to all its various ramifications ; nor yet to show you how it must never be forgotten in interpreting the history of this people. Let me show you in passing whom this people are brought into connection, and with whom they have been of late not wisely confounded. of these are the Assyrian and Egyptian, for whom, as