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that ever existed. No sooner was the esses, apparelled in long linen vestRoman empire overthrown, and the ments of a fplendid white. Their Goths had overpowered Europe, than matrons and daughters acquired a rewe find the female character assuming verence from their skill in studying an univerfal importance and authori- fimples, and their knowledge of healty, and distinguished with new privi- ing wounds, arts reputed mysterious. leges, in all the European govern- Their wives frequently attended their ments established by the northern husbands in the most perilous expidiconquerors. Even amidst the con- tions, and fought with great intrepifusions of favage war, and among dity in the most bloody engagements. the almost incredible enormities com There nations dreaded captivity more, mired by the Goths at their invasion on account of their women, than on of the empire, they forbore to offer their own : and the Romans, availany violence to the women. This ing themselves of this apprehension, perhaps is one of the most striking often deníanded their noblest virgins features in the new state of manners, for hostages. From these circumwhich took place about the seventh ftances, the women even claimed a century : and it is to this period, and fort of precedence, at least an equalito this people, that we must refer the tg fubfifted between the sexes, in the origin of gallantry in Europe. The Gothic constitutions. Romans never introduced these fenti But the deference paid to the fair ments into their European provinces. fex, which produced the spirit of gal
The Goths believed fome divine lantry, is chiefly to be fought for in and prophetic quality to be inherent those ftrong
and exaggerated ideas of in their women ; they admitted them 'female chalțity which prevailed åinto their councils, and consulted them mong the northern nations. Hence on the public business of the state. the lover's devotion to his mistress They were suffered to conduct the was encreased, his attention to her great events which they predicted. service multiplied, his affection heighGanna, a prophetic virigin of the tened, and his solicitude aggravated, Marcomanni, á German or Gaulish in proportion as the diffculty of obtribe, was fent by her nation to Rome, taining her was enhanced and the and admitted into the presence of pallion of love acquired a degree of Domitian, to treat concerning terms delicacy, when controlled by the of peace. Tacitus relates, that Vels principles of honour and purity. The leda, another Germanprophetess, held highest excellence of character then frequent conferences with the Roman known was a superiority in arms ; generals ; and that on fome occasions, and that rival was most likely to gain on account of the sacredness of her his lady's regard, who was the bravest perfon, she was placed at a great dis- champion. Here we see valour intance on a high tower, from whence, spired by love. In the mean time, like an oracular divinity, the convey- the same heroic spirit which was the ed her answer by some chosen meffen- surest claim to the favour of the lager. She appears to have preserved dies, was often exerted in their
prothe supreme rule over her own peo- tection : a protection much wanted ple and the neighbouring tribes. And in an age of rapine, of plunder, and there are other instances, that the go- piracy; when the weakness of the vernment among the antient Germans lofter fex was exposed to continual was sometimes vested in the women. dangers and unexpected attacks. It This practice also prevailed among is easy to suppose the officious emuthe Sitones and Norwegians. The lation and ardous of many a gallant Cimbri, a Scandinavian tribe, were young warrior,pressing forward to be accompanied ai their assemblies by foremost in this honourable service, venerable and hoary headed prophet- which flattered the most agreeable of
all paffions, and which gratified every “ with widows.—He who aspires to enthusiain of the times, especially “the love of young virgins, ought the fashionable fondness for a wan always to be foremost in the din of dering and military life. In the mean arms.” It is worthy of remark, time, we may conceive the lady thus that these sentiments occur to Regwon, or thus defended, conscious of ner while he was in the midst of his her own importance, affecting an air tortures, and at the point of death. of statelinels ; it was her pride to Thus many of the heroes in Froissart, have preserved her chastity inviolate, in the greatest extremities of danger, she could perceive no merit but that recollect their amours, and die thinkof invincible bravery, and could only ing of their miftreffes. And by the be approached in terms of respect and way, in the same strain, Boh, á Dasubmission.
nish champion, having lost his chin, Among the Scandinavians, a peo- and one of his cheeks, by a single ple so fond of cloathing adventures struke from Thurstein Midlang, only in verse, these gallantries must natu- reflected how she should be received, rally become the object of poetry, when thus maimed and disfigured by with its fiétitious embellishments. Ac- the Danish girls. He inftantly excordingly, we find their chivalry dif- claimed in a tone of lavage gallanplayed in their odes; pieces, which try, “ The Danish virgins will not at the same time greatly confirm these now willingly or easily give me observations. The famous ode of “ kisses, if I Thould perhaps return Regner Lodbeg, affords a striking “home.” But there is an ode, in inftance ; in which, being imprisoned the Kyntlinga-Saga, written by Harin a loathsome dungeon, and con- ald the Valiant, which is professedly a demned to be destroyed by venomous song of chivalry ; and which, excluserpents, he solaces his desperate fie live of its wild fpirit of adventure, tuation by recollecting and reciting and its images of favage life, has the the glorious exploits of his past life. romantic air of a set of stanzas, comOne of these, and the first which he posed by a Provencal troubadour. commemorates, an atchieve- Harald appears to have been one of ment of chivalry. It was the de- the most eminent adventurers of his livery of a beautiful Swedish prin- age. He had killed the king of Droncess from an impregnable fortress, in theim in a bloody engagement. He which she was forcibly detained by had traversed all the seas, and visited one of her father's captains. Her all the coasts of the North; and had father issued a proclamation, promis- carried his piratical enterprizes. even ing that whoever would rescue the as far as the Mediterranean, and the lady, should have her in marriage. shores of Africa. He was at length Regner succeeded in the attempt, and taken prisoner, and detained for some married the fair caprive.
time at Constantinople. He comabout the year 800. There are other plains in this ode, that the reputation ftrokes in Regner's ode, which, al- he had acquired by so many hazardthough not belonging to this particu- ous exploits, by his skill in single comlar story, deserve to be pointed out bat, riding, swimming, gliding along here, as illustrative of our argument. the ice, darting, rowing, and guiding Such as, “ It was like being placed a ship through the rocks, had not been
near a beautiful virgin on a couch. able to make any imprellion on Elifliff, “ – It was like kisling a young wi- or Elizabeth, the beautiful daughter "dow in the first seat at a feast. I of Jarilas, king of Russia. “ made to struggle in the twilight Here, however, chivalry subfifted " that golden haired chief, who part- but in its rudiments. Under the feud “ ed his mornings among the young dal establishments, which were soon maidens, and loyed to converse afterwards erected in Europe, it re
ceived new vigour, and was invefted to inflame the imagination, and to with the formalities of a regular in- create an attachment to fome illusftitution. The nature and circums, trious heiress, whofe point of honour Atances of that peculiar model of go-' it was to be chaste and inaccessible. vernment were highly favourable to And the difficulty of success on these this ftrange spirit of fantastic heroism; occasions, seems in great measure to which, however unmeaning and ridis have given rise to that sentimental culous it may seem, had the most ses love of romance, which acquiesced rious and falutary consequences in asa in a distant refpe&ful admiration, and fitting the general growth of refine- did not aspire to poffeffion. The thent, and the progression of civiliza. want of an uniform administration of tion, in forming the manners of Eu- justice, the general disorder, and itate repe, in inculcating the principles of of universal anarchy, which naturala honour, and in teaching modes of de- ly Sprung from the principles of the
The genius of the feudal: feudal policy, presented perpetual policy was perfectly martial. A nu- opportunities of checking the opmerous nobility, formed into separate pressions of arbitrary lords, of deprincipalities, affecting independence, livering captives injuriously detained and mutually jealous of their privi. in the baronial castles, of punishing leges and honours, necessarily lived robbers, of succouring the distressed, in a state of hoftility. This situation and of avenging the impotent and the rendered perfonal ftrength and cou unarmed, who were every moment rage the most requisite and essential exposed to the most licentious insults accomplifhments. And hence, eveni and injuries. The violence and inin time of peace, they had no' con- justice of the times gave birth to va-: ception of any diversions or public lour and humanity. These acts conceremonies, but such as were of the ferred a luftre and an importance on military kind. Yet, as the courts of the character of men professing arms, these petty princes were thronged with who made force the fubstitute of law. ladies of the most eminent distinction. In the mean time, the Crusades; fo and quality, the ruling paslian for war' pregnant with interprize, heightened was tempered with courtesy. The the habits of this warlike fanaticifm. prize of contending champions was And when these foreign expeditions adjudged by the ladies ; who did not were ended, in which the hermits and think it inconfiftent-to be present or pilgrims of Palestine had been defend.. to prelide at the bloody fpectacles' of ed, nothing remained to employ the the times ; and who, ihemselves, activity of adventurers but the proseem to have contracted an unnatural tection of innocence at home. Chiand unbecoming ferocity, while they' valry by degrees wás confecrated by foftened the manners of those valour- religion, whose authority, tinctured ous knights who fought for their ap- every passion, and was engrafted into probation. The high notions of a every inftitution of the superstitious Roble descent, which arose froin the ages, and at: length composed that condition of the feudal conftitution, fingular picture of manners, in which and the ambition of forming an alli- the love of a God and of the ladies ance with powerful and opulent fa- were reconciled, the saint and the hero milies, cherished this romantic fyf- were blended, and charity and retem. It was hard to obtain the fair venge, zeák and gallantry, devotion feudatary, who was the object of unis and valour, were vnited. versal adoracion. Not only the splen. Those who tbink that chivalry dor of birth, but the magnificent cal. Itarted late, froin the nature of the the surrounded withembattelled walls, feudal conftitution, confound an im guarded with maffy towers, and proved effect which a finple cause. crowned with lofty pinnacles, served Nor ving diftinctly considered all
the particularities belonging to the lime Italian poets, and of their difgenius, manners, and utages of the ciple Spenfer. Gothic tribes, and accuftomed to contemplate nations under the generat
View of the Present State of Parliaidea of barbarians, they cannot look
mentary Representation in Great
Britain. for the feeds of elegance amongh
ET . The
of ryde origin of this heroic gallantry parliamentary representation, from was quickly overwhelmed and extin-> The following view of it by the learnguilhed. by the superior pomp whiched and indefatigably laborious Brown it neceffarily adopted from the gra- Willis, Efq; in his Norit. Parliam. dual diffusion of opulence and civili In the following Extract I have ftaty, and tliai blaze of fplendor with ted the majority as the only electors which it was surrounded, amid the in each place ; which they really are, magnificence of the feudal folemnit the vetes of the minority being inties. But above all, it was loft and efficiena. I have given to Wallingford, forgotten in that higher degree of em. For instance, 76, the majority of 150 bellishment, wbich ao length it bei Electors, which latter is the whole gan to receive from the representá-' number of voters in that Borough ; cions af romance.: 1;
i lui fo that no member for Wallingford From the foregoing observations can be elected by more than 76'effin taken together, the following general) cient vores ; and he who has 76 votes and comprehensive conclusion feems is as effe&ually elected as if he had to refult.
qui the whole 150. And I have come - Amid the gloom of fuperftition, in puted the number of votes, which an age of the grofleft ignorance and elect the majority of the house, as credulity, a take for the wonders of the majority is the same, to all intents oriental fiction was introduced by the and purposes of legislation, with the Arabians into Europe, many count whole 558, nem. con. tries of which were already seasoned Wallingford fends 2 mem.chof.by 76 to a reception of its extravagancies,
the majority of 150 by means of the poetry of the Gothic Agmondesham
66 soalds, who perhaps originally derived Wendover
81 their ideas from the saine fruitful ré- Marlow
76 gion of invention. Thefe fictions, Leskeard coinciding with the reigning manners, Leftwithiel
13 and perpetually kept up and im- Truro proved in the tales of troubadours Bodmin
19 and minftrels, feem to have centered: Helston about the eleventh century in the Saltash, i
15 ideal hiftories of Turpin and Geoffrey Camelford of Monmouth, which record the fup. Westlow politious achievements of Charlen Grampound
5 magne and king Arthur, where they formed the groundwork of that fpex
26 cies of fabulous narrative called Rom -The right of election at Grampound mance. And from these beginnings is in the Corporation of nine men, and or causes, afterwards enlarged and Burgesses made by them, which Burenriched by kindred fancies ferched gefles, therefore, are not to be ac from the Crusades, that singular and counted as free electors, being made capricious mode of imagination arole, for the purpose of election. This is Licki at length composed the mars the cafe in other places, which I have s machineries of the more suba Noe noted.