View of the State of Europe During the Middle Ages, Volume 1

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Harper & brothers, 1837 - Civilization, Medieval - 568 pages
 

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Page 461 - We can hardly regret, in reflecting on the desolating violence which prevailed, that there should have been some green spots in the wilderness, where the feeble and the persecuted could find refuge. How must this right have enhanced the veneration for religious institutions ! How gladly must the victims of internal warfare have turned their eyes from the baronial castle, the dread and scourge of the neighbourhood, to those venerable walls, within which not even the clamour of arms could be heard,...
Page 348 - Moreover we have granted for us and our heirs, as well to archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, and other folk of holy Church, as also to earls, barons, and to all the commonalty of the land, that for no business from henceforth...
Page 338 - No Freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any otherwise destroyed; nor will we pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful Judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land.
Page 337 - It has been lately the fashion to depreciate the value of Magna Charta, as if it had sprung from the private ambition of a few selfish barons, and redressed only some feudal abuses. It is, indeed, of little importance by what motives those who obtained it were guided. The real characters of men most distinguished in the transactions of that time are not easily determined at present. Yet, if we bring these ungrateful suspicions to the test, they prove destitute of all reasonable foundation. An equal...
Page 459 - It must not be supposed that these absurdities were produced, as well as nourished- by ignorance. In most cases, they were the work of deliberate imposture. Every cathedral or monastery had its tutelar saint, and every saint his legend, fabricated in order to enrich the churches under his protection, by exaggerating his virtues, his miracles, and consequently his power of serving those who paid liberally for his patronage.
Page 22 - Alexander, he seemed born for universal innovation: in a life restlessly active, we see him reforming the coinage, and establishing the legal divisions of money ; gathering about him the learned of every country ; founding schools and collecting libraries ; interfering, but with the tone of a king, in religious controversies...
Page 466 - A house with its stable and farm-buildings, surrounded by a hedge or enclosure, was called a court, or, as we find it in our law-books, a curtilage ; the toft or homestead of a more genuine English dialect. One of these, with the adjacent domain of arable fields and woods, had the name of a villa or manse. Several manses composed a march ; and several marches formed a pagus, or district. From these elements, in the progress of population, arose villages and towns.
Page 448 - ... the Roman dominion in Gaul. Thus, in part of Britany, the people speak a language which has perhaps sustained no essential alteration from the revolution of two thousand years ; and we know how steadily another Celtic dialect has kept its ground in Wales, notwithstanding English laws and government, and the long line of contiguous frontier which brings the natives of that principality into contact with Englishmen. Nor did the Romans ever establish their language, I know not whether they wished...
Page 358 - From the time of William Rufus, there was no reign in which charters were not granted to different towns, of exemption from tolls on rivers and at markets, those lighter manacles of feudal tyranny ; or of commercial franchises ; or of immunity from the ordinary jurisdictions ; or, lastly, of internal self-regulation.
Page 465 - ... the peasantry. The devastation committed under the pretence of destroying wild animals, which had been already protected in their depredations, is noticed in serious authors, and has also been the topic of popular ballads. What effect this must have had on agriculture it is easy to conjecture. The levelling of forests, the draining of morasses, and the extirpation of mischievous animals which inhabit them, are the first objects of man's labour in reclaiming the earth to his use ; and these were...

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