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Title: History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume II (of 2) - Revised Edition
Author: Draper, John William, 1811-1882
Language: English
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Professor of Chemistry in the University of New York, Author of a
"Treatise on Human Physiology," "Civil Policy of America,"
"History of the American Civil War," &c.



New York:
Harper & Brothers, Publishers,
Franklin Square.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1876, by
Harper & Brothers,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.





_Geographical Boundaries of Italian Christianity.--Attacks upon it._

_The Northern or moral Attack.--The Emperor of Germany insists on a
reformation in the Papacy.--Gerbert, the representative of these Ideas,
is made Pope.--They are both poisoned by the Italians._

_Commencement of the intellectual Rejection of the Italian System.--It
originates in the Arabian doctrine of the supremacy of Reason over
Authority.--The question of Transubstantiation.--Rise and development of
Scholasticism.--Mutiny among the Monks._

_Gregory VII. spontaneously accepts and enforces a Reform in the
Church.--Overcomes the Emperor of Germany.--Is on the point of
establishing a European Theocracy.--The Popes seize the military and
monetary Resources of Europe through the Crusades._




_The intellectual Condition of Christendom contrasted with that of
Arabian Spain._

_Diffusion of Arabian intellectual Influences through France and
Sicily.--Example of Saracen Science in Alhazen, and of Philosophy in
Algazzali.--Innocent III. prepares to combat these Influences. Results
to Western Europe of the Sack of Constantinople by the Catholics._

_The spread of Mohammedan light Literature is followed by Heresy.--The
crushing of Heresy in the South of France by armed Force, the
Inquisition, mendicant Orders, auricular Confession, and Casuistry._

_The rising Sentiment is embodied in Frederick II. in Sicily.--His
Conflict with and Overthrow by the Pope.--Spread of Mutiny among the
mendicant Orders._




_Progress of Irreligion among the mendicant Orders.--Publication of
heretical Books.--The Everlasting Gospel and the Comment on the

_Conflict between Philip the Fair and Boniface VIII.--Outrage upon and
death of the Pope._

_The French King removes the Papacy from Rome to Avignon.--Post-mortem
Trial of the Pope for Atheism and Immorality.--Causes and Consequences
of the Atheism of the Pope._

_The Templars fall into Infidelity.--Their Trial, Conviction, and

_Immoralities of the Papal Court at Avignon.--Its return to
Rome.--Causes of the great Schism.--Disorganization of the Italian
System.--Decomposition of the Papacy.--Three Popes._

_The Council of Constance attempts to convert the papal Autocracy into a
constitutional Monarchy.--It murders John Huss and Jerome of
Prague.--Pontificate of Nicolas V.--End of the intellectual influence
of the Italian System._




_The Fall of Constantinople.--Its momentary Effect on the Italian

FAITH.--_Supernaturalism and its Logic spread all over Europe.--It is
destroyed by the Jews and Arabians.--Its total Extinction._

_The Jewish Physicians.--Their Acquirements and Influence.--Their
Collision with the Imposture-medicine of Europe.--Their Effect on the
higher Classes.--Opposition to them._

_Two Impulses, the Intellectual and Moral, operating against the
Mediæval state of Things.--Downfall of the Italian System through the
intellectual Impulse from the West and the moral from the North.--Action
of the former through Astronomy.--Origin of the moral Impulse.--Their
conjoint irresistible Effect.--Discovery of the state of Affairs in
Italy.--The Writings of Machiavelli.--What the Church had actually

_Entire Movement of the Italian System determined from a consideration
of the four Revolts against it._




_Consideration of the definite Epochs of Social Life._

_Experimental Philosophy emerging in the Age of Faith._

_The Age of Reason ushered in by Maritime Discovery and the rise of
European Criticism._

MARITIME DISCOVERY.--_The three great Voyages._

COLUMBUS _discovers America_.--DE GAMA _doubles the Cape and reaches
India_.--MAGELLAN _circumnavigates the Earth.--The Material and
intellectual Results of each of these Voyages._

Societies the process of Thought and of Civilization is always the
same.--Man passes through a determinate succession of Ideas and embodies
them in determinate Institutions.--The state of Mexico and Peru proves
the influence of Law in the development of Man._




_Restoration of Greek Literature and Philosophy in Italy.--Development
of Modern Languages and Rise of Criticism.--Imminent Danger to Latin

_Invention of Printing.--It revolutionizes the Communication of
Knowledge, especially acts on Public Worship, and renders the Pulpit

THE REFORMATION.--_Theory of Supererogation and Use of Indulgences.
--The Right of Individual Judgment asserted.--Political History
of the Origin, Culmination, and Check of the Reformation.--Its
Effects in Italy._

_Causes of the Arrest of the Reformation.--Internal Causes in
Protestantism.--External in the Policy of Rome.--The Counter-Reformation.
--Inquisition.--Jesuits.--Secession of the great Critics.--Culmination
of the Reformation in America.--Emergence of Individual Liberty of




_Condition of England at the Suppression of the Monasteries._

_Condition of England at the close of the seventeenth
Century.--Locomotion, Literature, Libraries.--Social and private Life
of the Laity and Clergy.--Brutality in the Administration of
Law.--Profligacy of Literature.--The Theatre, its three
Phases.--Miracle, Moral, and Real Plays._

_Estimate of the Advance made in the Age of Faith.--Comparison with that
already made in the Age of Reason._




_Ecclesiastical Attempt to enforce the_ GEOCENTRIC DOCTRINE _that the
Earth is the Centre of the Universe, and the most important Body in it_.

_The_ HELIOCENTRIC DOCTRINE _that the Sun is the Centre of the Solar
System, and the Earth a small Planet, comes gradually into Prominence_.

_Struggle between the Ecclesiastical and Astronomical Parties.--Activity
of the Inquisition.--Burning of_ BRUNO.--_Imprisonment of_ GALILEO.

INVENTION OF THE TELESCOPE.--_Complete Overthrow of the Ecclesiastical
Idea.--Rise of Physical Astronomy._--NEWTON.--_Rapid and resistless
Development of all Branches of Natural Philosophy._

_Final Establishment of the Doctrine that the Universe is under the
Dominion of mathematical, and, therefore, necessary Laws._

_Progress of Man from Anthropocentric Ideas to the Discovery of his true
Position and Insignificance in the Universe._




_Oriental and Occidental Doctrines respecting the Earth in
Time.--Gradual Weakening of the latter by astronomical Facts, and the
Rise of Scientific Geology._

_Impersonal Manner in which the Problem was eventually solved, chiefly
through Facts connected with Heat._

_Proofs of limitless Duration from inorganic Facts.--Igneous and Aqueous

_Proofs of the same from organic Facts.--Successive Creations and
Extinctions of living Forms, and their contemporaneous Distribution._

_Evidences of a slowly declining Temperature, and, therefore, of a long
Time.--The Process of Events by Catastrophe and by Law.--Analogy of
Individual and Race Development.--Both are determined by unchangeable

_Conclusion that the Plan of the Universe indicates a Multiplicity of
Worlds in infinite Space, and a Succession of Worlds in infinite Time._




_Position of Man according to the Heliocentric and Geocentric Theories._

OF ANIMAL LIFE.--_The transitory Nature of living Forms.--Relations of
Plants and Animals.--Animals are Aggregates of Matter expending Force
originally derived from the Sun._

THE ORGANIC SERIES.--_Man a Member of it.--His Position determined by
Anatomical and Physiological Investigation of his Nervous System.--Its
triple Form: Automatic, Instinctive, Intellectual._

_The same progressive Development is seen in individual Man, in the
entire animal Series, and in the Life of the Globe.--They are all under
the Control of an eternal, universal, irresistible Law._

_The Aim of Nature is intellectual Development, and human Institutions
must conform thereto._

_Summary of the Investigation of the Position of Man.--Production of
Inorganic and Organic Forms by the Sun.--Nature of Animals and their
Series.--Analogies and Differences between them and Man.--The Soul.--The




_European Progress in the Acquisition of exact Knowledge.--Its
Resemblance to that of Greece._

_Discoveries respecting the Air.--Its mechanical and chemical
Properties.--Its Relation to Animals and Plants.--The Winds.
--Meteorology.--Sounds.--Acoustic Phenomena._

_Discoveries respecting the Ocean.--Physical and chemical
Phenomena.--Tides and Currents.--Clouds.--Decomposition of Water._

_Discoveries respecting other material Substances.--Progress of

_Discoveries respecting Electricity, Magnetism, Light, Heat._

_Mechanical Philosophy and Inventions.--Physical Instruments.--The
Result illustrated by the Cotton Manufacture.--Steam-engine.
--Bleaching.--Canals.--Railways.--Improvements in the Construction
of Machinery.--Social Changes produced.--Its Effect on intellectual

_The scientific Contributions of various Nations, and especially of



_Summary of the Argument presented in this Book respecting the mental
Progress of Europe._

_Intellectual Development is the Object of Individual Life.--It is also
the Result of social Progress._

_Nations arriving at Maturity instinctively attempt their own
intellectual Organization.--Example of the Manner in which this has been
done in China.--Its Imperfection.--What it has accomplished._

_The Organization of public Intellect is the End to which European
Civilization is tending._





_Geographical Boundaries of Italian Christianity._--_Attacks upon it._

_The Northern or moral Attack.--The Emperor of Germany insists on a
reformation in the Papacy.--Gerbert, the representative of these Ideas,
is made Pope.--They are both poisoned by the Italians._

_Commencement of the intellectual Rejection of the Italian System.--It
originates in the Arabian doctrine of the supremacy of Reason over
Authority.--The question of Transubstantiation.--Rise and development of
Scholasticism.--Mutiny among the Monks._

_Gregory VII. spontaneously accepts and enforces a Reform in the
Church.--Overcomes the Emperor of Germany.--Is on the point of
establishing a European Theocracy.--The Popes seize the military and
monetary Resources of Europe through the Crusades._

The realm of an idea may often be defined by geometrical lines.

[Sidenote: The geographical boundaries of Latin Christianity.] If from
Rome, as a centre, two lines be drawn, one of which passes eastward, and
touches the Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus, the other westward, and
crosses the Pyrenees, nearly all those Mediterranean countries lying to
the south of these lines were living, at the time of which we speak,
under the dogma, "There is but one God, and Mohammed is his prophet;"
but the countries to the north had added to the orthodox conception of
the Holy Trinity the adoration of the Virgin, the worship of images, the
invocation of saints, and a devout attachment to relics and shrines.

[Sidenote: Forces acting upon it.] I have now to relate how these lines
were pushed forward on Europe, that to the east by military, that to the
west by intellectual force. On Rome, as on a pivot, they worked; now
opening, now closing, now threatening to curve round at their extremes
and compress paganizing Christendom in their clasp; then, through the
convulsive throes of the nations they had inclosed, receding from one
another and quivering throughout their whole length, but receding only
for an instant, to shut more closely again.

It was as if from the hot sands of Africa invisible arms were put forth,
enfolding Europe in their grasp, and trying to join their hands to give
to paganizing Christendom a fearful and mortal compression. There were
struggles and resistances, but the portentous hands clasped at last.
Historically, we call the pressure that was then made the Reformation.

Not without difficulty can we describe the convulsive struggles of
nations so as to convey a clear idea of the forces acting upon them. I
have now to devote many perhaps not uninteresting, certainly not
uninstructive, pages to these events.

In this chapter I begin that task by relating the consequences of the
state of things heretofore described--the earnestness of converted
Germany and the immoralities of the popes.

[Sidenote: The Germans insist on a reform in the papacy.] The Germans
insisted on a reformation among ecclesiastics, and that they should lead
lives in accordance with religion. This moral attack was accompanied
also by an intellectual one, arising from another source, and amounting
to a mutiny in the Church itself. In the course of centuries, and
particularly during the more recent evil times, a gradual divergence of
theology from morals had taken place, to the dissatisfaction of that
remnant of thinking men who here and there, in the solitude of
monasteries, compared the dogmas of theology with the dictates of
reason. Of those, and the number was yearly increasing, who had been
among the Arabs in Spain, not a few had become infected with a love of

[Sidenote: Reappearance of philosophy.] Whoever compares the tenth and
twelfth centuries together cannot fail to remark the great intellectual
advance which Europe was making. The ideas occupying the minds of
Christian men, their very turn of thought, had altogether changed. The
earnestness of the Germans, commingling with the knowledge of the
Mohammedans, could no longer be diverted from the misty clouds of
theological discussion out of which Philosophy emerged, not in the
Grecian classical vesture in which she had disappeared at Alexandria,
but in the grotesque garb of the cowled and mortified monk. She timidly
came back to the world as Scholasticism, persuading men to consider, by
the light of their own reason, that dogma which seemed to put common
sense at defiance--transubstantiation. Scarcely were her whispers heard
in the ecclesiastical ranks when a mutiny against authority arose, and
since it was necessary to combat that mutiny with its own weapons, the
Church was compelled to give her countenance to Scholastic Theology.

Lending himself to the demand for morality, and not altogether refusing
to join in the intellectual progress, a great man, Hildebrand, brought
on an ecclesiastical reform. He raised the papacy to its maximum of
power, and prepared the way for his successors to seize the material
resources of Europe through the Crusades.

[Sidenote: The three pressures upon Rome.] Such is an outline of the
events with which we have now to deal. A detailed analysis of those
events shows that there were three directions of pressure upon Rome. The
pressure from the West and that from the East were Mohammedan. Their
resultant was a pressure from the North: it was essentially Christian.
While those were foreign, this was domestic. It is almost immaterial in
what order we consider them; the manner in which I am handling the
subject leads me, however, to treat of the Northern pressure first, then
of that of the West, and on subsequent pages of that of the East.

[Sidenote: Foreign influence for reforming the papacy.] It had become
absolutely necessary that something should be done for the reformation
of the papacy. Its crimes, such as we have related in Chapter XII., Vol.
I., outraged religious men. To the master-spirit of the movement for
accomplishing this end we must closely look. He is the representative of
influences that were presently to exert a most important agency.

[Sidenote: Life of Gerbert.] In the train of the Emperor Otho III., when
he resolved to put a stop to all this wickedness, was Gerbert, a French
ecclesiastic, born in Auvergne. In his boyhood, while a scholar in the
Abbey of Avrillac, he attracted the attention of his superiors; among
others, of the Count of Barcelona, who took him to Spain. There he
became a proficient in the mathematics, astronomy, and physics of the
Mohammedan schools. [Sidenote: His Saracen education.] He spoke Arabic
with the fluency of a Saracen. His residence at Cordova, where the
khalif patronized all the learning and science of the age, and his
subsequent residence in Rome, where he found an inconceivable ignorance
and immorality, were not lost upon his future life. He established a
school at Rheims, where he taught logic, music, astronomy, explained
Virgil, Statius, Terence, and introduced what were at that time regarded
as wonders, the globe and the abacus. He laboured to persuade his
countrymen that learning is far to be preferred to the sports of the
field. He observed the stars through tubes, invented a clock, and an
organ played by steam. He composed a work on Rhetoric. Appointed Abbot
of Bobbio, he fell into a misunderstanding with his monks, and had to
retire first to Rome, and then to resume his school at Rheims. In the
political events connected with the rise of Hugh Capet, he was again
brought into prominence. [Sidenote: His reproaches against the Church.]
The speech of the Bishop of Orleans at the Council of Rheims, which was
his composition, shows us how his Mohammedan education had led him to
look upon the state of things in Christendom: "There is not one at Rome,
it is notorious, who knows enough of letters to qualify him for a
door-keeper; with what face shall he presume to teach who has never
learned?" He does not hesitate to allude to papal briberies and papal
crimes: "If King Hugh's embassadors could have bribed the pope and
Crescentius, his affairs had taken a different turn." He recounts the
disgraces and crimes of the pontiffs: how John XII. had cut off the nose
and tongue of John the Cardinal; how Boniface had strangled John XIII.;
how John XIV. had been starved to death in the dungeons of the Castle of
St. Angelo. He demands, "To such monsters, full of all infamy, void of
all knowledge, human and divine, are all the priests of God to
submit--men distinguished throughout the world for their learning and
holy lives? The pontiff who so sins against his brother--who, when
admonished, refuses to hear the voice of counsel, is as a publican and a
sinner." With a prophetic inspiration of the accusations of the
Reformation, he asks, "Is he not Anti-Christ?" He speaks of him as "the
Man of Sin," "the Mystery of Iniquity." Of Rome he says, with an
emphasis doubtless enforced by his Mohammedan experiences, "She has
already lost the allegiance of the East; Alexandria, Antioch, Africa,
and Asia are separate from her; Constantinople has broken loose from
her; the interior of Spain knows nothing of the pope." He says, "How do
your enemies say that, in deposing Arnulphus, we should have waited for
the judgment of the Roman bishop? Can they say that his judgment is
before that of God which our synod pronounced? The Prince of the Roman
bishops and of the apostles themselves proclaimed that God must be
obeyed rather than men; and Paul, the teacher of the Gentiles, announced
anathema to him, though he were an angel, who should preach a doctrine
different to that which had been delivered. Because the pontiff
Marcellinus offered incense to Jupiter, must, therefore, all bishops
sacrifice?" In all this there is obviously an insurgent spirit against
the papacy, or, rather, against its iniquities.

[Sidenote: His ecclesiastical advancement.] In the progress of the
political movements Gerbert was appointed to the archbishopric of
Rheims. On this occasion, it is not without interest that we observe his
worldly wisdom. It was desirable to conciliate the clergy--perhaps it
might be done by the encouragement of marriage. He had lived in the
polygamic court of the khalif, whose family had occasionally boasted of
more than forty sons and forty daughters. Well then may he say, "I
prohibit not marriage. I condemn not second marriages. I do not blame
the eating of flesh." His election not only proved unfortunate, but, in
the tortuous policy of the times, he was removed from the exercise of
his episcopal functions and put under interdict. The speech of the Roman
legate, Leo, who presided at his condemnation, gives us an insight into
the nature of his offence, of the intention of Rome to persevere in her
ignorance and superstition, and is an amusing example of ecclesiastical
argument: "Because the vicars of Peter and their disciples will not have
for their teachers a Plato, a Virgil, a Terence, and the rest of the
herd of philosophers, who soar aloft like the birds of the air, and dive
into the depths like the fishes of the sea, ye say that they are not
worthy to be door-keepers, because they know not how to make verses.
Peter is, indeed, a door-keeper--but of heaven!" He does not deny the
systematic bribery of the pontifical government, but justifies it. "Did
not the Saviour receive gifts of the wise men?" Nor does he deny the
crimes of the pontiffs, though he protests against those who would
expose them, reminding them that "Ham was cursed for uncovering his
father's nakedness." In all this we see the beginning of that struggle
between Mohammedan learning and morals and Italian ignorance and crime,
which was at last to produce such important results for Europe.

Once more Gerbert retired to the court of the emperor. It was at the
time that Otho III. was contemplating a revolution in the empire and a
reformation of the Church. He saw how useful Gerbert might be to his
policy, and had him appointed Archbishop of Ravenna. [Sidenote: Gerbert
the pope.] On the death of Gregory V. he issued his decree for the
election of Gerbert as pope. The low-born French ecclesiastic, thus
attaining to the utmost height of human ambition, took the name of
Sylvester II.

But Rome was not willing thus to surrender her sordid interests; she
revolted. Tusculum, the disgrace of the papacy, rebelled. It required
the arms of the emperor to sustain his pontiff. For a moment it seemed
as if the Reformation might have been anticipated by many
centuries--that Christian Europe might have been spared the abominable
papal disgraces awaiting it. [Sidenote: Poisoning of the emperor and
pope.] There was a learned and upright pope, an able and youthful
emperor; but Italian revenge, in the person of Stephania, the wife of
the murdered Crescentius, blasted all these expectations. From the hand
of that outraged and noble criminal, who, with more than Roman firmness
of purpose, could deliberately barter her virtue for vengeance, the
unsuspecting emperor took the poisoned cup, and left Rome only to die.
He was but twenty-two years of age. Sylvester, also, was irretrievably
ruined by the drugs that had been stealthily mixed with his food. He
soon followed his patron to the grave. His steam organs, physical
experiments, mechanical inventions, foreign birth, and want of
orthodoxy, confirmed the awful imputation that he was a necromancer. The
mouth of every one was full of stories of mystery and magic in which
Gerbert had borne a part. Afar off in Europe, by their evening
firesides, the goblin-scared peasants whispered to one another that in
the most secret apartment of the palace at Rome there was concealed an
impish dwarf, who wore a turban, and had a ring that could make him
invisible, or give him two different bodies at the same time; that, in
the midnight hours, strange sounds had been heard, when no one was
within but the pope; that, while he was among the infidels in Spain, the
future pontiff had bartered his soul to Satan, on condition that he
would make him Christ's vicar upon earth, and now it was plain that both
parties had been true to their compact. In their privacy, hollow-eyed
monks muttered to one another under their cowls, "Homagium diabolo fecit
et male finivit."

To a degree of wickedness almost irremediable had things thus come. The
sins of the pontiffs were repeated, without any abatement, in all the
clerical ranks. Simony and concubinage prevailed to an extent that
threatened the authority of the Church over the coarsest minds.
Ecclesiastical promotion could in all directions be obtained by
purchase; in all directions there were priests boasting of illegitimate
families. [Sidenote: Commencing protest in the Church against its sins.]
But yet, in the Church itself there were men of irreproachable life,
who, like Peter Damiani, lifted up their voices against the prevailing
scandal. He it was who proved that nearly every priest in Milan had
purchased his preferment and lived with a concubine. The immoralities
thus forced upon the attention of pious men soon began to be followed by
consequences that might have been expected. It is but a step from the
condemnation of morals to the criticism of faith. The developing
intellect of Europe could no longer bear the acts or the thoughts that
it had heretofore submitted to. The dogma of transubstantiation led to

[Sidenote: Primitive agreement of philosophy and theology.] The early
fathers delighted to point out the agreement of doctrines flowing from
the principles of Christianity with those of Greek philosophy. For long
it was asserted that a correspondence between faith and reason exists;
but by degrees as one dogma after another of a mysterious and
unintelligible kind was introduced, and matters of belief could no
longer be co-ordinated with the conclusions of the understanding, it
became necessary to force the latter into a subordinate position.
[Sidenote: Their gradual alienation.] The great political interests
involved in these questions suggested the expediency and even necessity
of compelling such a subordination by the application of civil power. In
this manner, as we have described, in the reign of Constantine the
Great, philosophical discussions of religious things came to be
discountenanced, and implicit faith in the decisions of existing
authority required. Philosophy was subjugated and enslaved by theology.
We shall now see what were the circumstances of her revolt.

In the solitude of monasteries there was every inducement for those who
had become weary of self-examination to enter on the contemplation of
the external world. Herein they found a field offering to them endless
occupation, and capable of worthily exercising their acuteness.
[Sidenote: The mutiny against theology commences among the monks.] But
it was not possible for them to take the first step without offending
against the decisions established by authority. The alternative was
stealthy proceeding or open mutiny; but before mutiny there occurs a
period of private suggestion and another of more extensive discussion.
[Sidenote: Persecution of Gotschalk,] It was thus that the German monk
Gotschalk, in the ninth century, occupied himself in the profound
problem of predestination, enduring the scourge and death in prison for
the sake of his opinion. The presence of the Saracens in Spain offered
an incessant provocation to the restless intellect of the West, now
rapidly expanding, to indulge itself in such forbidden exercises.
Arabian philosophy, unseen and silently, was diffusing itself throughout
France and Europe, and churchmen could sometimes contemplate a refuge
from their enemies among the infidel. In his extremity, Abelard himself
looked forward to a retreat among the Saracens--a protection from
ecclesiastical persecution.

[Sidenote: who sets up reason against authority.] In the conflict with
Gotschalk on the matter of predestination was already foreshadowed the
attempt to set up reason against authority. John Erigena, who was
employed by Hincmar, the Archbishop of Rheims, on that occasion, had
already made a pilgrimage to the birthplaces of Plato and Aristotle,
A.D. 825, and indulged the hope of uniting philosophy and religion in
the manner proposed by the ecclesiastics who were studying in Spain.

[Sidenote: John Erigena falls into Pantheism.] From Eastern sources John
Erigena had learned the doctrines of the eternity of matter, and even of
the creation, with which, indeed, he confounded the Deity himself. He
was, therefore, a Pantheist; accepting the Oriental ideas of emanation
and absorption not only as respects the soul of man, but likewise all
material things. In his work "On the Nature of Things," his doctrine is,
"That, as all things were originally contained in God, and proceeded
from him into the different classes by which they are now distinguished,
so shall they finally return to him and be absorbed in the source from
which they came; in other words, that as, before the world was created,
there was no being but God, and the causes of all things were in him,
so, after the end of the world, there will be no being but God, and the
causes of all things in him." This final resolution he denominated
deification, or theosis. He even questioned the eternity of hell,
saying, with the emphasis of a Saracen, "There is nothing eternal but
God." It was impossible, under such circumstances, that he should not
fall under the rebuke of the Church.

[Sidenote: The conflict begins on transubstantiation.]
Transubstantiation, as being, of the orthodox doctrines, the least
reconcilable to reason, was the first to be attacked by the new
philosophers. What was, perhaps, in the beginning, no more than a jocose
Mohammedan sarcasm, became a solemn subject of ecclesiastical
discussion. Erigena strenuously upheld the doctrine of the Stercorists,
who derived their name from their assertion that a part of the
consecrated elements are voided from the body in the manner customary
with other relics of food; a doctrine denounced by the orthodox, who
declared that the priest could "make God," and that the eucharistic
elements are not liable to digestion.

[Sidenote: Opinions of Berengar of Tours.] And now, A.D. 1050, Berengar
of Tours prominently brought forward the controversy respecting the real
presence. The question had been formularized by Radbert under the term
transubstantiation, and the opinions entertained respecting the sacred
elements greatly differed; mere fetish notions being entertained by
some, by others the most transcendental ideas. In opposition to Radbert
and the orthodox party, who asserted that those elements ceased to be
what to the senses they appeared, and actually became transformed into
the body and blood of the Saviour, Berengar held that, though there is a
real presence in them, that presence is of a spiritual nature. These
heresies were condemned by repeated councils, Berengar himself being
offered the choice of death or recantation. He wisely preferred the
latter, but more wisely resumed his offensive doctrines as soon as he
had escaped from the hands of his persecutors.[Sidenote: The pope
privately adopts them.] As might be supposed from the philosophical
indefensibility of the orthodox doctrine, Berengar's opinions, which,
indeed, issued from those of Erigena, made themselves felt in the
highest ecclesiastical regions, and, from the manner in which Gregory
VII. dealt with the heresiarch, there is reason to believe that he
himself had privately adopted the doctrines thus condemned.

[Sidenote: Peter Abelard among the insurgents.] But it is in Peter
Abelard that we find the representative of the insurgent spirit of those
times. The love of Heloisa seems in our eyes to be justified by his
extraordinary intellectual power. In his Oratory, "The Paraclete," the
doctrines of faith and the mysteries of religion were without any
restraint discussed. No subject was too profound or too sacred for his
contemplation. [Sidenote: St. Bernard attacks him.] By the powerful and
orthodox influence of St. Bernard, "a morigerous and mortified monk,"
the opinions of Abelard were brought under the rebuke of the
authorities. In vain he appealed from the Council of Sens to Rome; the
power of St. Bernard at Rome was paramount. "He makes void the whole
Christian faith by attempting to comprehend the nature of God through
human reason. He ascends up into Heaven; he goes down into hell. Nothing
can elude him, either in the height above or in the nethermost depths.
His branches spread over the whole earth. He boasts that he has
disciples in Rome itself, even in the College of Cardinals. He draws the
whole earth after him. It is time, therefore, to silence him by
apostolic authority." Such was the report of the Council of Sens to
Rome, A.D. 1140.

Perhaps it was not so much the public accusation that Abelard denied the
doctrine of the Trinity, as his assertion of the supremacy of
reason--which clearly betrayed his intention of breaking the thraldom of
authority--that insured his condemnation. It was impossible to restrict
the rising discussions within their proper sphere, or to keep them from
the perilous ground of ecclesiastical history. [Sidenote: The book "Sic
et Non."] Abelard in his work entitled "Sic et Non," sets forth the
contradictory opinions of the fathers, and exhibits their discord and
strifes on great doctrinal points, thereby insinuating how little of
unity there was in the Church. It was a work suggesting a great deal
more than it actually stated, and was inevitably calculated to draw down
upon its author the indignation of those whose interests it touched.

[Sidenote: Scholastic philosophy, rise of.] Out of the discussions
attending these events sprang the celebrated doctrines of Nominalism and
Realism, though the terms themselves seem not to have been introduced
till the end of the twelfth century. The Realists thought that the
general types of things had a real existence; the Nominalists, that they
were merely a mental abstraction expressed by a word. It was therefore
the Old Greek dispute revived. [Sidenote: Nominalism and Realism.] Of
the Nominalists, Roscelin of Compiègne, a little before A.D. 1100, was
the first distinguished advocate; his materializing views, as might be
expected, drawing upon him the reproof of the Church. In this contest,
Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury, attempted to harmonize reason in
subordination to faith, and again, by his example, demonstrated the
necessity of submitting all such questions to the decision of the human

The development of scholastic philosophy, which dates from the time of
Erigena, was accelerated by two distinct causes: the dreadful
materialization into which, in Europe, all sacred things had fallen, and
the illustrious example of the Mohammedans, who already, by their
physical inquiries, had commenced a career destined to end in brilliant
results. [Sidenote: The Arabs in Spain promote these discussions.] The
Spanish universities were filled with ecclesiastics from many parts of
Europe. Peter the Venerable, the friend and protector of Abelard, who
had spent much time in Cordova, and not only spoke Arabic fluently, but
actually translated the Koran into Latin, mentions that, on his first
arrival in Spain, he found several learned men, even from England,
studying astronomy. The reconciliation of many of the dogmas of
authority with common sense was impossible for men of understanding.
Could the clear intellect of such a statesman as Hildebrand be for a
moment disgraced by accepting the received view of a doctrine like that
of transubstantiation? His great difficulty was to reconcile what had
been rendered orthodox by the authority of the Church with the
suggestions of reason, or even with that reverence for holy things which
is in the heart of every intelligent man. In such sentiments, we find an
explanation of the lenient dealings of that stern ecclesiastic with the
heretic Berengar. He saw that it was utterly impossible to offer any
defence of many of the materialized dogmas of the age, but then those
dogmas had been put forth as absolute truth by the Church. [Sidenote:
Rise of Scholastic Theology.] Things had come to the point at which
reason and theology must diverge; yet the Italian statesmen did not
accept this issue without an additional attempt, and, under their
permission, Scholastic Theology, which originated in the scholastic
philosophy of Erigena and his followers, sought, in the strange union of
the Holy Scriptures, the Aristotelian Philosophy, and Pantheism, to
construct a scientific basis for Christianity. Heresy was to be combated
with the weapons of the heretics, and a co-ordination of authority and
reason effected. Under such auspices scholastic philosophy pervaded the
schools, giving to some of them, as the University of Paris, a
fictitious reputation, and leading to the foundation of others in other
cities. It answered the object of its politic promoters in a double way,
for it raised around the orthodox theology an immense and impenetrable
bulwark of what seemed to be profound learning, and also diverted the
awakening mind of Western Europe to occupations which, if profitless,
were yet exciting, and without danger to the existing state of things.
In that manner was put off for a time the inevitable day in which
philosophy and theology were to be brought into mortal conflict with
each other. [Sidenote: Its advantages in the existing state of the
Church.] It was doubtless seen by Hildebrand and his followers that,
though Berengar had set the example of protesting against the principle
that the decision of a majority of voters in a council or other
collective body should ever be received as ascertaining absolute truth,
yet so great was the uncertainty of the principles on which the
scholastic philosophy was founded, so undetermined its mental exercise,
so ineffectual the results to which it could attain, that it was
unlikely for a long time to disturb the unity of doctrine in the Church.
While men were reasoning round and round again in the same vicious
circle without finding any escape, and indeed without seeking any,
delighted with the dexterity of their movements, but never considering
whether they were making any real advance, it was unnecessary to
anticipate inconvenience from their progress.

[Sidenote: The philosophical dilemma of the Church.] Here was the
difficulty. The decisions of the Church were asserted to be infallible
and irrevocable; her philosophy, if such it can be called--as must be
the case with any philosophy reposing upon a final revelation from
God--was stationary. But the awakening mind of the West was displaying,
in an unmistakable way, its propensity to advance. As one who rides an
unruly horse will sometimes divert him from a career which could not be
checked by main force by reining him round and round, and thereby
exhausting his spirit and strength, and keeping him in a narrow space,
so the wanton efforts of the mind may be guided, if they cannot be
checked. These principles of policy answered their object for a time,
until metaphysical were changed for physical discussions. Then it became
impossible to divert the onward movement, and on the first great
question arising--that of the figure and place of the earth--a question
dangerous to the last degree, since it inferentially included the
determination of the position of man in the universe, theology suffered
an irretrievable defeat. Between her and philosophy there was
thenceforth no other issue than a mortal duel.

[Sidenote: Course of Scholasticism.] Though Erigena is the true founder
of Scholasticism, Roscelin, already mentioned as renewing the question
of Platonic Universals, has been considered by some to be entitled to
that distinction. After him, William of Champeaux opened a school of
logic in Paris, A.D. 1109, and from that time the University made it a
prominent study. On the rise of the mendicant orders, Scholasticism
received a great impulse, perhaps, as has been affirmed, because its
disputations suited their illiterate state; Thomas Aquinas, the
Dominican, and Duns Scotus, the Franciscan, founding rival schools,
which wrangled for three centuries. In Italy, Scholasticism never
prevailed as it did in France and elsewhere, and at last it died away,
its uselessness, save in the political result before mentioned, having
been detected.

[Sidenote: Reaction in the papacy against these pressures.] The middle of
the eleventh century ushers in an epoch for the papacy and for Europe.
It is marked by an attempt at a moral reformation in the Church--by a
struggle for securing for the papacy independence both of the Emperors
of Germany and of the neighbouring Italian nobles--thus far the pope
being the mere officer of the emperor, and often the creature of the
surrounding nobility--by the conversion of the temporalities of the
Church, heretofore indirect, into absolute possessions, by securing
territories given "to the Church, the blessed Peter, and the Roman
republic" to the first of these beneficiaries, excluding the last.
[Sidenote: Preparation for a concentration of the papal power.] As
events proceeded, these minor affairs converged, and out of their union
arose the great conflict of the imperial and papal powers for supremacy.
The same policy which had succeeded in depriving the Roman people of any
voice in appointments of popes--which had secularized the Church in
Italy, for a while seized all the material resources of Europe through
the device of the Crusades, and nearly established a papal autocracy in
all Europe. These political events demand from us notice, since from
them arose intellectual consequences of the utmost importance.

The second Lateran Council, under Nicolas II., accomplished
the result of vesting the elective power for the papacy in the
cardinals. That was a great revolution. It was this council which
gave to Berengar his choice between death and recantation. [Sidenote:
Three parties in Italy.] There were at this period three powers
engaged in Italy--the Imperial, the Church party, and the Italian
nobles. For the sake of holding the last in check--since it was the
nearest, it required the most unremitting attention--Hildebrand had
advised the popes who were his immediate predecessors to use the
Normans, who were settled in the south of the peninsula, by whom
the lands of the nobles were devastated. Thus the difficulties of
their position led the popes to a repetition of their ancient policy;
and as they had, in old times, sought the protection of the Frankish
kings, so now they sought that of the Normans. [Sidenote: Hildebrand
becomes pope.] But in the midst of the dissensions and tumults of
the times, a great man was emerging--Hildebrand, who, with almost
superhuman self-denial, again and again abstained from making himself
pope. On the death of Alexander II. his opportunity came, and, with
acceptable force, he was raised to that dignity, A.D. 1073.

[Sidenote: Hildebrand resolves on a reform.] Scarcely was Hildebrand
Pope Gregory VII. when he vigorously proceeded to carry into effect the
policy he had been preparing during the pontificates of his
predecessors. In many respects the times were propitious. The blameless
lives of the German popes had cast a veil of oblivion over the
abominations of their Italian predecessors. Hildebrand addressed himself
to tear out every vestige of simony and concubinage with a remorseless
hand. That task must be finished before he could hope to accomplish his
grand project of an ecclesiastical autocracy in Europe, with the pope at
its head, and the clergy, both in their persons and property,
independent of the civil power. [Sidenote: Necessity of celibacy of the
clergy.] It was plain that, apart from all moral considerations, the
supremacy of Rome in such a system altogether turned on the celibacy of
the clergy. If marriage was permitted to the ecclesiastic, what was to
prevent him from handing down, as an hereditary possession, the wealth
and dignities he had obtained. In such a state of things, the central
government at Rome necessarily stood at every disadvantage against the
local interests of an individual, and still more so if many individuals
should combine together to promote, in common, similar interests. But
very different would it be if promotion must be looked for from
Rome--very different as regards the hold upon public sentiment, if such
a descent from father to son was absolutely prevented, and a career
fairly opened to all, irrespective of their station in life. To the
Church it was to the last degree important that a man should derive his
advancement from her, not from his ancestor. In the trials to which she
was perpetually exposed, there could be no doubt that by such persons
her interests would be best served.

[Sidenote: It is enforced.] In these circumstances Gregory VII. took his
course. The synod held at Rome in the first year of his pontificate
denounced the marriage of the clergy, enforcing its decree by the
doctrine that the efficacy of the sacraments altogether depended on
their being administered by hands sinless in that respect, and made all
communicants partners in the pastoral crime. [Sidenote: The pope seeks
the friendship of the Normans.] With a provident foresight of the coming
opposition, he carried out the policy he had taught his predecessors of
conciliating the Normans in the south of Italy, though he did not
hesitate to resist them, by the aid of the Countess Matilda, when they
dared to touch the possessions of the Church. It was for the sake of
this that the Norman invasion of England under William the Conqueror had
already been approved of, a consecrated standard and a ring containing a
hair from the head of St. Peter sent him, and permission given for the
replacement of Saxon bishops and other dignitaries by Normans. It was
not forgotten how great had been the gains to the papacy, three
centuries before, by changing the dynasty of the Franks; and thus the
policy of an Italian town gave a permanent impress to the history of
England. Hildebrand foresaw that the sword of the Italian-Norman would
be wanted to carry out his projected ends. He did not hesitate to
authorize the overthrow of a Saxon dynasty by the French-Norman, that he
might be more sure of the fidelity of that sword. Without the
countenance of the pope, the Norman could never have consolidated his
power, nor even held his ground in England.

[Sidenote: The conflict concerning investitures.] From these movements
of the papacy sprang the conflict with the Emperors of Germany
respecting investitures. The Bishop of Milan--who, it appears, had
perjured himself in the quarrel respecting concubinage--had been
excommunicated by Alexander II. The imperial council appointed as his
successor one Godfrey; the pope had nominated Atto. Hereupon Alexander
had summoned the emperor to appear before him on a charge of simony, and
granting investitures without his approbation. While the matter was yet
in abeyance, Alexander died; but Gregory took up the contest. A synod he
had assembled ordered that, if any one should accept investiture from a
layman, both the giver and receiver should be excommunicated. The
pretence against lay-investiture was that it was a usurpation of a papal
right, and that it led to the appointment of evil and ignorant men; the
reality was a determination to extend papal power, by making Rome the
fountain of emolument. Gregory, by his movements, had thus brought upon
himself three antagonists--the imperial power, the Italian nobles, and
the married clergy. The latter, unscrupulous and exasperated, met him
with his own weapons, not hesitating to calumniate his friendship with
the Countess Matilda. It was also suspected that they were connected
with the outrage perpetrated by the nobles that took place in Rome.
[Sidenote: Outrage on Hildebrand.] On Christmas night, A.D. 1075, in the
midst of a violent rain, while the pope was administering the communion,
a band of soldiers burst into the church, seized Gregory at the altar,
stripped and wounded him, and, haling him on horseback behind one of the
soldiers, carried him off to a stronghold, from which he was rescued by
the populace. But, without wavering for a moment, the undaunted pontiff
pressed on his conflict with the imperial power, summoning Henry to Rome
to account for his delinquencies, and threatening his excommunication if
he should not appear before an appointed day. In haste, under the
auspices of the king, a synod was assembled at Worms; charges against
the pope of licentious life, bribery, necromancy, simony, murder,
atheism, were introduced and sentence of deposition pronounced against
him. On his side, Gregory assembled the third Lateran Council, A.D.
1076, placed King Henry under interdict, absolved his subjects from
allegiance, and deposed him. [Sidenote: He defines the position of the
Church,] A series of constitutions, clearly defining the new bases of
the papal system, was published. They were to the following effect:
"That the Roman pontiff can alone be called universal; that he alone has
a right to depose bishops; that his legates have a right to preside over
all bishops in a general council; that he can depose absent prelates;
that he alone has a right to use imperial ornaments; that princes are
bound to kiss his feet, and his only; that he has a right to depose
emperors; that no synod or council summoned without his commission can
be called general; that no book can be called canonical without his
authority; that his sentence can be annulled by none, but that he may
annul the decrees of all; that the Roman Church has been, is, and will
continue to be infallible; that whoever dissents from it ceases to be a
catholic Christian, and that subjects may be absolved from their
allegiance to wicked princes." The power that could assert such
resolutions was near its culmination.

And now was manifest the superiority of the spiritual over the temporal
power. The quarrel with Henry went on, and, after a hard struggle and
many intrigues to draw the Normans over to him, that monarch was
compelled to submit, and in the depth of winter to cross the snowy Alps,
under circumstances of unparalleled hardship, to seek absolution from
his adversary. [Sidenote: and overcomes the King of Germany.] Then
ensued the scene at Canosa--a penitent in white raiment standing in the
dreary snow of three winter days, January 1077, cold and fasting at the
gate, seeking pardon and reconciliation of the inexorable pontiff; that
penitent was the King of Germany. Then ensued the dramatic scene at the
sacrament, in which the gray-haired pontiff called upon Heaven to strike
him dead on the spot if he were not innocent of the crimes of which he
had been accused, and dared the guilty monarch to do the same.

[Sidenote: Conclusions from these events.] Whoever will reflect on these
interesting events cannot fail to discern two important conclusions. The
tone of thought throughout Europe had changed within the last three
ages; ideas were entertained, doctrines originated or controverted, a
policy conceived and attempted altogether in advance of the old times.
Intellect, both among the clergy and the laity, had undergone a great
development. But the peculiar character of the papal power is also
ascertained--that it is worldly, and the result of the policy of man.
The outrage on Hildebrand shows how that power had diminished at its
centre, but the victory over Henry that it maintained its strength at a
distance. Natural forces diminish as the distance increases; this
unnatural force displayed an opposite property.

[Sidenote: Culmination of the ecclesiastical power.] Gregory had carried
his point. He had not only beaten back the Northern attack, but had
established the supremacy of the ecclesiastical over the temporal power,
and that point, with inflexible resolution, he maintained, though in its
consequences it cost Germany a civil war. But, while he was thus
unyielding in his temporal policy, there is reason to suppose that he
was not without misgivings in his theological belief. In the war between
Henry and his rival Rodolph, Gregory was compelled by policy to be at
first neutral. He occupied himself with the Eucharistic controversy.
[Sidenote: Friendship of Hildebrand and Berengar.] This was at the time
that he was associated with Berengar, who lived with him for a year. Nor
did the pope think it unworthy of himself to put forth, in excuse of the
heretic, a vision, in which the Virgin Mary had asserted the orthodoxy
of Berengar; but, as his quarrel with King Henry went on to new
excommunications and depositions, a synod of bishops presumed to condemn
him as a partisan of Berengar and a necromancer. On the election of
Gilbert of Ravenna as antipope, Gregory, without hesitation, pushed his
principles to their consequences, denouncing kingship as a wicked and
diabolical usurpation, an infraction of the equal rights of man.
[Sidenote: The German contest resumed.] Hereupon Henry determined to
destroy him or to be destroyed; and descending again into Italy, A.D.
1081, for three successive years laid siege to Rome. In vain the amorous
Matilda, with more than the devotion of an ally, endeavoured to succour
her beleaguered friend. The city surrendered to Henry at Christmas, A.D.
1084. With his antipope he entered it, receiving from his hands the
imperial crown. The Norman allies of Hildebrand at last approached in
strength. The emperor was compelled to retreat. A feeble attempt to hold
the city was made. The Normans took it by surprise, and released Gregory
from his imprisonment in the Castle of St. Angelo. An awful scene
ensued. Some conflicts between the citizens and the Normans occurred; a
battle in the streets was the consequence, and Rome was pillaged,
sacked, and fired. Streets, churches, palaces, were left a heap of
smoking ashes. The people by thousands were massacred. [Sidenote: The
Mohammedans support Hildebrand.] The Saracens, of whom there were
multitudes in the Norman army, were in the Eternal City at last, and,
horrible to be said, were there as the hired supporters of the Vicar of
Christ. Matrons, nuns, young women, were defiled. Crowds of men, women,
and children were carried off and sold as slaves. [Sidenote: Sack of
Rome, and death of the pope.] It was the treatment of a city taken by
storm. In consternation, the pontiff with his infidel deliverers retired
from the ruined capital to Salerno, and there he died, A.D. 1085.

[Sidenote: The Crusades.] He had been dead ten years, when a policy was
entered upon by the papacy which imparted to it more power than all the
exertions of Gregory. The Crusades were instituted by a French pope,
Urban II. Unpopular in Italy, perhaps by reason of his foreign birth, he
aroused his native country for the recovery of the Holy Land. He began
his career in a manner not now unusual, interfering in a quarrel between
Philip of France and his wife, taking the part of the latter, as
experience had shown it was always advisable for a pope to do. Soon,
however, he devoted his attention to something more important than these
matrimonial broils. It seems that a European crusade was first
distinctly conceived of and its value most completely comprehended by
Gerbert, to whom, doubtless, his Mohammedan experiences had suggested
it. In the first year of his pontificate, he wrote an epistle, in the
name of the Church of Jerusalem, to the Church throughout the world,
exhorting Christian soldiers to come to her relief either with arms or
money. It had been subsequently contemplated by Gregory VII. For many
years, pilgrimages to Palestine had been on the increase; a very
lucrative export trade in relics from that country had arisen; crowds
from all parts of Europe had of late made their way to Jerusalem, for
the singular purpose of being present at the great assize which the
Scriptures were supposed to prophesy would soon take place in the Valley
of Jehoshaphat. The Mohammedans had inflicted on these pious persons
much maltreatment, being unable to comprehend the purport of their
extraordinary journey, and probably perceiving a necessity of putting
some restriction upon the influx of such countless multitudes.
[Sidenote: The Council of Clermont authorizes a crusade.] Peter the
Hermit, who had witnessed the barbarities to which his Christian
brethren were exposed, and the abominations of the holy places now in
the hands of the infidel, roused Europe, by his preaching, to a frantic
state; and Urban, at the Council of Clermont, A.D. 1095, gave authority
to the Holy War. "It is the will of God," was the unanimous shout of the
council and the populace. The periodical shower of shooting stars was
seen with remarkable brilliancy on April 25th, and mistaken by the
council for a celestial monition that the Christians must precipitate
themselves in like manner on the East. From this incident we may
perceive how little there was of inspiration in these blundering and
violent ecclesiastical assemblages; the moment that they can be brought
to a scientific test their true nature is detected. As a preliminary
exercise, a ferocious persecution of the Jews of France had burst forth,
and the blood and tortures of multitudes offered a tardy expiation for
the crimes that their ancestors had committed at the Crucifixion in
Jerusalem, more than a thousand years previously.

[Sidenote: The first crusade.] It does not fall within my plan to give a
detailed description of the Crusades. It is enough to say that, though
the clergy had promised the protection of God to every one who would
thus come to his assistance--an ample reward for their pious work in
this life, and the happiness of heaven in the next--Urban's crusade
failed not only disastrously, but hideously, so far as the ignorant
rabbles, under Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless, were
concerned. Nevertheless, under the better-organized expeditions that
soon followed, Jerusalem was captured, July 15th, A.D. 1099. The long
and ghastly line of bones whitening the road through Hungary to the East
showed how different a thing it was for a peaceable and solitary
pilgrim, with his staff, and wallet, and scallop-shell, to beg his way,
and a disorderly rabble of thousands upon thousands to rush forward
without any subordination, any organization, trusting only to the
providence of God. The van of the Crusades consisted of two hundred and
seventy-five thousand men, accompanied by eight horses, and preceded by
a goat and a goose, into which some one had told them that the Holy
Ghost had entered. Driven to madness by disappointment and
famine--expecting, in their ignorance, that every town they came to must
be Jerusalem--in their extremity they laid hands on whatever they could.
Their track was marked by robbery, bloodshed, and fire. In the first
crusade more than half a million of men died. It was far more disastrous
than the Moscow retreat.

[Sidenote: Storming of Jerusalem.] But still, in a military sense, the
first crusade accomplished its object. The capture of Jerusalem, as
might be expected under such circumstances, was attended by the
perpetration of atrocities almost beyond belief. What a contrast to the
conduct of the Arabs! When the Khalif Omar took Jerusalem, A.D. 637, he
rode into the city by the side of the Patriarch Sophronius, conversing
with him on its antiquities. At the hour of prayer, he declined to
perform his devotions in the Church of the Resurrection, in which he
chanced to be, but prayed on the steps of the Church of Constantine;
"for," said he to the patriarch, "had I done so, the Musselmen in a
future age would have infringed the treaty, under colour of imitating my
example." But, in the capture by the Crusaders, the brains of young
children were dashed out against the walls; infants were thrown over the
battlements; every woman that could be seized was violated; men were
roasted at fires; some were ripped open, to see if they had swallowed
gold; the Jews were driven into their synagogue, and there burnt; a
massacre of nearly 70,000 persons took place; and the pope's legate was
seen "partaking in the triumph."

[Sidenote: Political results of the Crusades.] It had been expected by
the politicians who first projected these wars that they would heal the
divisions of the Latin and Greek churches, and give birth to a European
republic, under the spiritual presidency of the pope. In these respects
they proved a failure. It does not appear that the popes themselves
personally had ever any living faith in the result. Not one of them ever
joined a crusade; and the Church, as a corporation, took care to embark
very little money in these undertakings. But, though they did not answer
to the original intention, they gave, in an indirect way, a wonderful
stimulus to the papal power. [Sidenote: Give to Rome the control of men
and money in Europe.] Under the plausible pretences offered by them, the
pope obtained control over the person of every Christian man from the
highest to the lowest. The cross once taken, all civil control over the
Crusader ceased--he became the man of the Church. Under those pretences,
also, a right was imperceptibly acquired of raising revenue in all parts
of Europe; even the clergy might be assessed. A drain was thus
established on the resources of distant nations for an object which no
man dared to gainsay; if he adventured on any such thing, he must
encounter the odium of an infidel--an atheist. A steady stream of money
flowed into Italy. Nor was it alone by this taxation of every Christian
nation without permission of its government--this empire within every
empire--immense wealth accrued to the projectors, while the infatuation
could be kept up, by the diminished rate at which land could be
obtained. Domains were thrown into the market; there were few purchasers
except the Church. Immense domains were also given away by weak-minded
sinners, and those on the point of death, for the salvation of their
souls. Thus, all things considered, the effect of the Crusades, though
not precisely that which was expected, was of singular advantage to the
Church, giving it a commanding strength it had never before possessed.

In their resistance to the German attack the popes never hesitated at
any means. They prompted Prince Henry to revolt against their great
antagonist, his father; they intervened, not to rebuke, but to abet him,
when he threw his father into prison and deprived him of the necessaries
of life. They carried their vengeance beyond the grave. When the aged
emperor, broken in heart, escaped from their torment, and was honourably
buried by the Bishop of Liège, that prelate was forthwith excommunicated
and compelled to disinter the corpse. But crimes like these, against
which human nature revolts, meet with retribution. [Sidenote: Resistance
of Henry V.] This same Prince Henry, becoming Henry V., was forced by
circumstances to resume his father's quarrel, and to refuse to yield his
right of granting investitures. He marched upon Rome, and at the point
of the sword compelled his adversary, Pope Paschal II., to surrender all
the possessions and royalties of the Church--compelled him to crown him
emperor--not, however, until the pontiff had been subjected to the
ignominy of imprisonment, and brought into condemnation among his own

[Sidenote: Bernard of Clairvaux stimulates the second crusade.] Things
seemed to be going to ruin in Rome, and such must inevitably have been
the issue, had not an extraneous influence arisen in Bernard of
Clairvaux, to whom Europe learned to look up as the beater down of
heresies, theological and political. He had been a pupil of William of
Champeaux, the vanquished rival of Abelard, and Abelard he hated with a
religious and personal hate. He was a wonder-worker. He excommunicated
the flies which infested a church--they all fell down dead and were
swept out by the basketful. He has been described as "the mellifluous
doctor, whose works are not scientific, but full of unction." He could
not tolerate the principle at the basis of Abelard's philosophy--the
assertion of the supremacy of reason. Of Arnold of Brescia--who carried
that principle to its political consequences, and declared that the
riches and power of the clergy were inconsistent with their
profession--he was the accuser and punisher. [Sidenote: Its failure.]
Bernard preached a new crusade, authenticating his power by miracles,
affirmed to be not inferior to those of our Saviour; promising to him
who should slay an unbeliever happiness in this life and Paradise in the
life to come. This second crusade was conducted by kings, and included
fanatic ladies, dressed in the armour of men; but it ended in ruin.

It was reserved for the only Englishman who ever attained to the papacy
to visit Rome with the punishment she had so often inflicted upon
others. Nicolas Breakspear--Adrian IV.--put the Eternal City under
interdict, thereby ending the republic which the partisans of Arnold of
Brescia had set up. But in this he was greatly aided by a change of
sentiment in many of the inhabitants of Rome, who had found to their
cost that it was more profitable for their city to be the centre of
Christianity than the seat of a phantom republic. [Sidenote: Murder of
Arnold of Brescia.] As an equivalent for his coronation by Adrian,
Frederick Barbarossa agreed to surrender to the Church Arnold of
Brescia. With indecent haste, the moment she had obtained possession of
her arch-enemy she put him to death--not delivering him over to the
secular arm, as the custom had been, but murdering him with her own
hand. Seven centuries have elapsed, and the blood of Arnold is still
crying from the ground for retribution. Notwithstanding a new--the
third--crusade, things went from bad to worse in the Holy Land. Saladin
had retaken Jerusalem, A.D. 1187. Barbarossa was drowned in a river in
Pisidia. Richard of England was treacherously imprisoned; nor did the
pope interfere for this brave soldier of the Cross. [Sidenote: Birth of
Frederick II.] In the meantime, the Emperors of Germany had acquired
Sicily by marriage--an incident destined to be of no little importance
in the history of Europe; for, on the death of the Emperor Henry VI. at
Messina, his son Frederick, an infant not two years old, was left to be
brought up in that island. What the consequences were we shall soon see.

[Sidenote: Review of the preceding events.] If we review the events
related in this chapter, we find that the idolatry and immorality into
which Rome had fallen had become connected with material interests
sufficiently powerful to ensure their perpetuation; that converted
Germany insisted on a reform, and therefore made a moral attack on the
Italian system, attempting to carry it into effect by civil force. This
attack was, properly speaking, purely moral, the intellectual element
accompanying it being derived from Western or Arabian influences, as
will be shown in the next chapter; and, in its resistance to this, the
papacy was not only successful, but actually was able to retaliate,
overthrowing the Emperors of Germany, and being even on the point of
establishing a European autocracy, with the pope at its head. It was in
these events that the Reformation began, though circumstances intervened
to postpone its completion to the era of Luther. Henceforth we see more
and more plainly the attitude in which the papacy, through its material
interests, was compelled to stand, as resisting all intellectual
advancement. Our subject has therefore here to be left unfinished until
we shall have described the Mohammedan influences making pressures on
the West and the East.




_The intellectual Condition of Christendom contrasted with that of
Arabian Spain._

_Diffusion of Arabian intellectual Influences through France and
Sicily.--Example of Saracen Science in Alhazen, and of Philosophy in
Algazzali.--Innocent III. prepares to combat these Influences.--Results
to Western Europe of the Sack of Constantinople by the Catholics._

_The spread of Mohammedan light Literature is followed by Heresy.--The
crushing of Heresy in the South of France by armed Force.--The
Inquisition, mendicant Orders, auricular Confession, and Casuistry._

_The rising Sentiment is embodied in Frederick II. in Sicily.--His
Conflict with and Overthrow by the Pope.--Spread of Mutiny among the
mendicant Orders._

[Sidenote: The pressure from the West upon Rome.] A pressure upon the
Italian system had meantime been arising in the West. It was due to the
presence of the Arabs in Spain. It is necessary, therefore, to relate
the circumstances of their invasion and conquest of that country, and to
compare their social and intellectual condition with the contemporary
state of Christendom.

[Sidenote: Barbarism of Europe.] From the barbarism of the native people
of Europe, who could scarcely be said to have emerged from the savage
state, unclean in person, benighted in mind, inhabiting huts in which it
was a mark of wealth if there were bulrushes on the floor and straw mats
against the wall; miserably fed on beans, vetches, roots, and even the
bark of trees; clad in garments of untanned skin, or at the best of
leather--perennial in durability, but not conducive to personal
purity--a state in which the pomp of royalty was sufficiently and
satisfactorily manifested in the equipage of the sovereign, an ox-cart,
drawn by not less than two yokes of cattle, quickened in their movements
by the goads of pedestrian serfs, whose legs were wrapped in wisps of
straw; from a people, devout believers in all the wild fictions of
shrine-miracles and preposterous relics; from the degradation of a base
theology, and from the disputes of ambitious ecclesiastics for power, it
is pleasant to turn to the south-west corner of the continent, where,
under auspices of a very different kind, the irradiations of light were
to break forth. The crescent in the West was soon to pass eastward to
its full.

But I must retrace my steps through four centuries, and resume the
description of the Arabian movement after the subjugation of Africa, as
related in the former volume, Chapter XI.

[Sidenote: Arab invasion of Spain.] Those were the circumstances of the
Arab conquest of Spain. In that country the Arian Creed had been
supplanted by the orthodox, and the customary persecutions had set in.
From the time of the Emperor Hadrian, who had transported 50,000 Jewish
families into Spain, that race had greatly increased, and, as might be
expected, had received no mercy at the hands of the orthodox. Ninety
thousand individuals had recently suffered compulsory baptism, and so
had been brought under the atrocious Catholic law that whoever has been
baptized shall be compelled to continue the observances of the Church.
The Gothic monarchy was elective, and Roderic had succeeded to the
throne, to the prejudice of the heirs of his predecessor. Though a very
brave soldier, he was a luxurious and licentious man. It was the custom
of the Goths to send their children to Toledo to be educated, and, under
these circumstances, a young girl of extraordinary beauty, the daughter
of Count Julian, governor of Ceuta in Africa, was residing there. King
Roderic fell passionately in love with her, and, being unable to
overcome her virtuous resolution by persuasion, resorted to violence.
The girl found means to inform her father of what had occurred. "By the
living God!" exclaimed the count, in a paroxysm of rage, "I will be
revenged." But, dissembling his wrath, he crossed over into Spain, had
an understanding with Oppas, the Archbishop of Toledo, and other
disaffected ecclesiastics, and, under specious pretences, lulled the
suspicions of Roderic, and brought his daughter away. And now he opened
communications with the Emir Musa, prevailing upon him to attempt the
conquest of the country, and offering that he himself would take the
lead. The conditions were settled between them, and the consent of the
khalif to the expedition obtained. [Sidenote: Its conquest.] Tarik, a
lieutenant of the emir, was sent across the Straits with the van of the
army. He landed on the rock called, in memory of his name, Gibraltar,
April, A.D. 711. In the battle that ensued, a part of Roderic's troops,
together with the Archbishop of Toledo, consummated their treasonable
compact, and deserted to the Arabs; the rest were panic-stricken. In the
rout, Roderic himself was drowned in the waters of the Guadalquivir.

Tarik now proceeded rapidly northward, and was soon joined by his
superior, the Emir Musa, who was not, perhaps, without jealousy at his
success. As the Arab historians say, the Almighty delivered the
idolators into their hand, and gave them one victory after another. As
the towns successively fell, they left them in charge of the Jews, to
whose revenge the conquest was largely due, and who could be thoroughly
trusted; nor did they pause in their march until they had passed the
French frontier and reached the Rhone. It was the intention of Musa to
cross the European continent to Constantinople, subjugating the Frank,
German, and Italian barbarians by the way. At this time it seemed
impossible that France could escape the fate of Spain; and if she fell,
the threat of Musa would inevitably have come to pass, that he would
preach the Unity of God in the Vatican. But a quarrel had arisen between
him and Tarik, who had been imprisoned and even scourged. The friends of
the latter, however, did not fail him at the court of Damascus. An envoy
from the Khalif Alwalid appeared, ordering Musa to desist from his
enterprise, to return to Syria, and exonerate himself of the things laid
to his charge. But Musa bribed the envoy to let him advance. Hereupon
the angry khalif dispatched a second messenger, who, in face of the
Moslems and Christians, audaciously arrested him, at the head of his
troops, by the bridle of his horse. The conqueror of Spain was compelled
to return. He was cast into prison, fined 200,000 pieces of gold,
publicly whipped, and his life with difficulty spared. As is related of
Belisarius, Musa was driven as a beggar to solicit charity, and the
Saracen conqueror of Spain ended his days in grief and absolute want.

[Sidenote: Arrest of Mohammedanism in Western Europe.] The dissensions
among the Arabs, far more than the sword of Charles Martel, prevented
the Mohammedanization of France. Their historians admit the great check
received at the battle of Tours, in which Abderrahman was killed; they
call that field the Place of the Martyrs; but their accounts by no means
correspond to the relations of the Christian authors, who affirm that
375,000 Mohammedans fell, and only 1500 Christians. The defeat was not
so disastrous but that in a few months they were able to resume their
advance, and their progress was arrested only by renewed dissensions
among themselves--dissensions not alone among the leaders in Spain, but
also more serious ones of aspirants for the khalifate in Asia. On the
overthrow of the Ommiade house, Abderrahman, one of that family, escaped
to Spain, which repaid the patronage of its conquest by acknowledging
him as its sovereign. He made Cordova the seat of his government.
Neither he nor his immediate successors took any other title than that
of Emir, out of respect to the khalif, who resided at Bagdad, the
metropolis of Islam, though they maintained a rivalry with him in the
patronage of letters and science. Abderrahman himself strengthened his
power by an alliance with Charlemagne.

[Sidenote: Civilization and splendour of the Spanish Arabs.] Scarcely
had the Arabs become firmly settled in Spain when they commenced a
brilliant career. Adopting what had now become the established policy of
the Commanders of the Faithful in Asia, the Emirs of Cordova
distinguished themselves as patrons of learning, and set an example of
refinement strongly contrasting with the condition of the native
European princes. Cordova, under their administration, at its highest
point of prosperity, boasted of more than two hundred thousand houses,
and more than a million of inhabitants. After sunset, a man might walk
through it in a straight line for ten miles by the light of the public
lamps. Seven hundred years after this time there was not so much as one
public lamp in London. Its streets were solidly paved. In Paris,
centuries subsequently, whoever stepped over his threshold on a rainy
day stepped up to his ankles in mud. Other cities, as Granada, Seville,
Toledo, considered themselves rivals of Cordova. The palaces of the
khalifs were magnificently decorated. Those sovereigns might well look
down with supercilious contempt on the dwellings of the rulers of
Germany, France, and England, which were scarcely better than
stables--chimneyless, windowless, and with a hole in the roof for the
smoke to escape, like the wigwams of certain Indians. The Spanish
Mohammedans had brought with them all the luxuries and prodigalities of
Asia. [Sidenote: Their palaces and gardens.] Their residences stood
forth against the clear blue sky, or were embosomed in woods. They had
polished marble balconies, overhanging orange-gardens; courts with
cascades of water; shady retreats provocative of slumber in the heat of
the day; retiring-rooms vaulted with stained glass, speckled with gold,
over which streams of water were made to gush; the floors and walls were
of exquisite mosaic. Here, a fountain of quicksilver shot up in a
glistening spray, the glittering particles falling with a tranquil sound
like fairy bells; there, apartments into which cool air was drawn from
the flower-gardens, in summer, by means of ventilating towers, and in
winter through earthen pipes, or caleducts, imbedded in the walls--the
hypocaust, in the vaults below, breathing forth volumes of warm and
perfumed air through these hidden passages. The walls were not covered
with wainscot, but adorned with arabesques, and paintings of
agricultural scenes and views of Paradise. From the ceilings, corniced
with fretted gold, great chandeliers hung, one of which, it is said, was
so large that it contained 1804 lamps. Clusters of frail marble columns
surprised the beholder with the vast weights they bore. In the boudoirs
of the sultanas they were sometimes of verd antique, and incrusted with
lapis lazuli. The furniture was of sandal and citron wood, inlaid with
mother-of-pearl, ivory, silver, or relieved with gold and precious
malachite. In orderly confusion were arranged vases of rock crystal,
Chinese porcelains, and tables of exquisite mosaic. The winter
apartments were hung with rich tapestry; the floors were covered with
embroidered Persian carpets. Pillows and couches, of elegant forms, were
scattered about the rooms, perfumed with frankincense. It was the
intention of the Saracen architect, by excluding the view of the
external landscape, to concentrate attention on his work; and since the
representation of the human form was religiously forbidden, and that
source of decoration denied, his imagination ran riot with the
complicated arabesques he introduced, and sought every opportunity of
replacing the prohibited works of art by the trophies and rarities of
the garden. For this reason, the Arabs never produced artists; religion
turned them from the beautiful, and made them soldiers, philosophers,
and men of affairs. Splendid flowers and rare exotics ornamented the
courtyards and even the inner chambers. Great care was taken to make due
provision for the cleanliness, occupation, and amusement of the inmates.
Through pipes of metal, water, both warm and cold, to suit the season of
the year, ran into baths of marble; in niches, where the current of air
could be artificially directed, hung dripping alcarazzas. [Sidenote:
Libraries and works of taste.] There were whispering-galleries for the
amusement of the women; labyrinths and marble play-courts for the
children; for the master himself, grand libraries. The Khalif Alhakem's
was so large that the catalogue alone filled forty volumes. He had also
apartments for the transcribing, binding, and ornamenting of books. A
taste for caligraphy and the possession of splendidly-illuminated
manuscripts seems to have anticipated in the khalifs, both of Asia and
Spain, the taste for statuary and paintings among the later popes of

[Sidenote: The court of Abderrahman III.] Such were the palace and
gardens of Zehra, in which Abderrahman III. honoured his favourite
sultana. The edifice had 1200 columns of Greek, Italian, Spanish, and
African marble. Its hall of audience was incrusted with gold and pearls.
Through the long corridors of its seraglio black eunuchs silently
glided. The ladies of the harem, both wives and concubines, were the
most beautiful that could be found. To that establishment alone 6300
persons were attached, The body-guard of the sovereign was composed of
12,000 horsemen, whose cimeters and belts were studded with gold. This
was that Abderrahman who, after a glorious reign of fifty years, sat
down to count the number of days of unalloyed happiness he had
experienced, and could only enumerate fourteen. "Oh man!" exclaimed the
plaintive khalif, "put not thy trust in this present world."

[Sidenote: Social habits of the Moors.] No nation has ever excelled the
Spanish Arabs in the beauty and costliness of their pleasure-gardens. To
them we owe the introduction of very many of our most valuable
cultivated fruits, such as the peach. Retaining the love of their
ancestors for the cooling effect of water in a hot climate, they spared
no pains in the superfluity of fountains, hydraulic works, and
artificial lakes in which fish were raised for the table. Into such a
lake, attached to the palace of Cordova, many loaves were cast each day
to feed the fish. There were also menageries of foreign animals;
aviaries of rare birds; manufactories in which skilled workmen, obtained
from foreign countries, displayed their art in textures of silk, cotton,
linen, and all the miracles of the loom; in jewelry and filigree-work,
with which they ministered to the female pride of the sultanas and
concubines. Under the shade of cypresses cascades disappeared; among
flowering shrubs there were winding walks, bowers of roses, seats cut
out of the rock, and crypt-like grottoes hewn in the living stone.
Nowhere was ornamental gardening better understood; for not only did the
artist try to please the eye as it wandered over the pleasant gradation
of vegetable colour and form--he also boasted his success in the
gratification of the sense of smell by the studied succession of
perfumes from beds of flowers.

[Sidenote: Their domestic life.] To these Saracens we are indebted for
many of our personal comforts. Religiously cleanly, it was not possible
for them to clothe themselves according to the fashion of the natives of
Europe, in a garment unchanged till it dropped to pieces of itself, a
loathsome mass of vermin, stench, and rags. No Arab who had been a
minister of state, or the associate or antagonist of a sovereign, would
have offered such a spectacle as the corpse of Thomas à Becket when his
haircloth shirt was removed. They taught us the use of the often-changed
and often-washed under-garment of linen or cotton, which still passes
among ladies under its old Arabic name. But to cleanliness they were not
unwilling to add ornament. Especially among women of the higher classes
was the love of finery a passion. Their outer garments were often of
silk, embroidered and decorated with gems and woven gold. So fond were
the Moorish women of gay colours and the lustre of chrysolites,
hyacinths, emeralds, and sapphires, that it was quaintly said that the
interior of any public building in which they were permitted to appear
looked like a flower-meadow in the spring besprinkled with rain.

[Sidenote: They cultivate literature, music,] In the midst of all this
luxury, which cannot be regarded by the historian with disdain, since in
the end it produced a most important result in the south of France, the
Spanish khalifs, emulating the example of their Asiatic compeers, and in
this strongly contrasting with the popes of Rome, were not only the
patrons, but the personal cultivators of all the branches of human
learning. One of them was himself the author of a work on polite
literature in not less than fifty volumes; another wrote a treatise on
algebra. When Zaryab the musician came from the East to Spain, the
Khalif Abderrahman rode forth to meet him in honour. The College of
Music in Cordova was sustained by ample government patronage, and
produced many illustrious professors.

[Sidenote: but disapprove of European mythology.] The Arabs never
translated into their own tongue the great Greek poets, though they so
sedulously collected and translated the Greek philosophers. Their
religious sentiments and sedate character caused them to abominate the
lewdness of our classical mythology, and to denounce indignantly any
connexion between the licentious, impure Olympian Jove and the Most High
God as an insufferable and unpardonable blasphemy. Haroun al Raschid had
gratified his curiosity by causing Homer to be translated into Syriac,
but he did not adventure on rendering the great epics into Arabic.
Notwithstanding this aversion to our graceful but not unobjectionable
ancient poetry, among them originated the Tensons, or poetic
disputations, carried afterward to perfection among the Troubadours;
from them, also, the Provençals learned to employ jongleurs. Across the
Pyrenees, literary, philosophical, and military adventurers were
perpetually passing; and thus the luxury, the taste, and above all, the
chivalrous gallantry and elegant courtesies of Moorish society found
their way from Granada and Cordova to Provence and Languedoc.

[Sidenote: The south of France contracts their tastes.] The French, and
German, and English nobles imbibed the Arab admiration of the horse;
they learned to pride themselves on skilful riding. Hunting and falconry
became their fashionable pastimes; they tried to emulate that Arab skill
which had produced the celebrated breed of Andalusian horses. It was a
scene of grandeur and gallantry; the pastimes were tilts and
tournaments. The refined society of Cordova prided itself in its
politeness. A gay contagion spread from the beautiful Moorish miscreants
to their sisters beyond the mountains; the south of France was full of
the witcheries of female fascinations, and of dancing to the lute and
mandolin. [Sidenote: Light literature spreads into Sicily and Italy.]
Even in Italy and Sicily the love-song became the favourite composition;
and out of these genial but not orthodox beginnings the polite
literature of modern Europe arose. The pleasant epidemic spread by
degrees along every hillside and valley. In monasteries, voices that had
vowed celibacy might be heard carolling stanzas of which St. Jerome
would hardly have approved; there was many a juicy abbot, who could
troll forth in jocund strains, like those of the merry sinners of Malaga
and Xeres, the charms of women and wine, though one was forbidden to the
Moslem and one to the monk. The sedate greybeards of Cordova had already
applied to the supreme judge to have the songs of the Spanish Jew,
Abraham Ibn Sahal, prohibited; for there was not a youth, nor woman, nor
child in the city who could not repeat them by heart. Their immoral
tendency was a public scandal. The light gaiety of Spain was reflected
in the coarser habits of the northern countries. It was an archdeacon of
Oxford who some time afterward sang,

    "Mihi sit propositum in tabernâ mori,
    Vinum sit appositum morientis ori,
    Ut dicant, cum venerint angelorum chori;
    'Deus sit propitius huic potatori,'" etc.

Even as early as the tenth century, persons having a taste for learning
and for elegant amenities found their way into Spain from all adjoining
countries; a practice in subsequent years still more indulged in, when
it became illustrated by the brilliant success of Gerbert, who, as we
have seen, passed from the Infidel University of Cordova to the papacy
of Rome.

[Sidenote: The Arabian school system.] The khalifs of the West carried
out the precepts of Ali, the fourth successor of Mohammed, in the
patronage of literature. They established libraries in all their chief
towns; it is said that not fewer than seventy were in existence. To
every mosque was attached a public school, in which the children of the
poor were taught to read and write, and instructed in the precepts of
the Koran. For those in easier circumstances there were academies,
usually arranged in twenty-five or thirty apartments, each calculated
for accommodating four students; the academy being presided over by a
rector. In Cordova, Granada, and other great cities, there were
universities frequently under the superintendence of Jews; the
Mohammedan maxim being that the real learning of a man is of more public
importance than any particular religious opinions he may entertain. In
this they followed the example of the Asiatic khalif, Haroun al Raschid,
who actually conferred the superintendence of his schools on John Masué,
a Nestorian Christian. The Mohammedan liberality was in striking
contrast with the intolerance of Europe. Indeed, it may be doubted
whether at this time any European nation is sufficiently advanced to
follow such an example. In the universities some of the professors of
polite literature gave lectures on Arabic classical works; others taught
rhetoric or composition, or mathematics, or astronomy. From these
institutions many of the practices observed in our colleges were
derived. They held Commencements, at which poems were read and orations
delivered in presence of the public. They had also, in addition to these
schools of general learning, professional ones, particularly for

[Sidenote: Cultivation of grammar, rhetoric, composition.] With a pride
perhaps not altogether inexcusable, the Arabians boasted of their
language as being the most perfect spoken by man. Mohammed himself, when
challenged to produce a miracle in proof of the authenticity of his
mission, uniformly pointed to the composition of the Koran, its
unapproachable excellence vindicating its inspiration. The orthodox
Moslems--the Moslems are those who are submissively resigned to the
Divine will--are wont to assert that every page of that book is indeed a
conspicuous miracle. It is not then surprising that, in the Arabian
schools, great attention was paid to the study of language, and that so
many celebrated grammarians were produced. By these scholars,
dictionaries, similar to those now in use, were composed; their
copiousness is indicated by the circumstance that one of them consisted
of sixty volumes, the definition of each word being illustrated or
sustained by quotations from Arab authors of acknowledged repute. They
had also lexicons of Greek, Latin, Hebrew; and cyclopedias such as the
Historical Dictionary of Sciences of Mohammed Ibn Abdallah, of Granada.
In their highest civilization and luxury they did not forget the
amusements of their forefathers--listening to the tale-teller, who never
failed to obtain an audience in the midst of Arab tents. Around the
evening fires in Spain the wandering literati exercised their wonderful
powers of Oriental invention, edifying the eager listeners by such
narrations as those that have descended to us in the Arabian Nights'
Entertainments. The more sober and higher efforts of the educated were,
of course, directed to pulpit eloquence, in conformity with the example
of all the great Oriental khalifs, and sanctified by the practice of the
Prophet himself. [Sidenote: Defects of their literature.] Their poetical
productions embraced all the modern minor forms--satires, odes, elegies,
etc.; but they never produced any work in the higher walks of poesy, no
epic, no tragedy. Perhaps this was due to their false fashion of valuing
the mechanical execution of a work. They were the authors and
introducers of rhyme; and such was the luxuriance and abundance of their
language, that, in some of their longest poems, the same rhyme is said
to have been used alternately from the beginning to the end. Where such
mechanical triumphs were popularly prized, it may be supposed that the
conception and spirit would be indifferent. Even among the Spanish women
there were not a few who, like Velada, Ayesha, Labana, Algasania,
achieved reputation in these compositions; and some of them were
daughters of khalifs. And this is the more interesting to us, since it
was from the Provençal poetry, the direct descendant of these efforts,
that European literature arose. Sonnets and romances at last displaced
the grimly-orthodox productions of the wearisome and ignorant fathers of
the Church.

If fiction was prized among the Spanish Arabs, history was held in not
less esteem. Every khalif had his own historian. The instincts of the
race are perpetually peeping out; not only were there historians of the
Commanders of the Faithful, but also of celebrated horses and
illustrious camels. In connexion with history, statistics were
cultivated; this having been, it may be said, a necessary study, from
the first enforced on the Saracen officers in their assessment of
tribute on conquered misbelievers, and subsequently continued as an
object of taste. [Sidenote: Their taste for practical science.] It was,
doubtless, a similar necessity, arising from their position, that
stamped such a remarkably practical aspect on the science of the Arabs
generally. Many of their learned men were travellers and voyagers,
constantly moving about for the acquisition or diffusion of knowledge,
their acquirements being a passport to them wherever they went, and a
sufficient introduction to any of the African or Asiatic courts. They
were thus continually brought in contact with men of affairs, soldiers
of fortune, statesmen, and became imbued with much of their practical
spirit; and hence the singularly romantic character which the
biographies of many of these men display, wonderful turns of prosperity,
violent deaths. The scope of their literary labours offers a subject
well worthy of meditation; it contrasts with the contemporary ignorance
of Europe. Some wrote on chronology; some on numismatics; some, now that
military eloquence had become objectless, wrote on pulpit oratory; some
on agriculture and its allied branches, as the art of irrigation. Not
one of the purely mathematical, or mixed, or practical sciences was
omitted. [Sidenote: Their continued inclination to the study of
medicine.] Out of a list too long for detailed quotation, I may recall a
few names. Assamh, who wrote on topography and statistics, a brave
soldier, who was killed in the invasion of France, A.D. 720; Avicenna,
the great physician and philosopher, who died A.D. 1037; Averroes, of
Cordova, the chief commentator on Aristotle, A.D. 1198. It was his
intention to unite the doctrines of Aristotle with those of the Koran.
To him is imputed the discovery of spots upon the sun. The leading idea
of his philosophy was the numerical unity of the souls of mankind,
though parted among millions of living individuals. He died at Morocco.
Abu Othman wrote on zoology; Alberuni, on gems--he had travelled to
India to procure information; Rhazes, Al Abbas, and Al Beithar, on
botany--the latter had been in all parts of the world for the purpose of
obtaining specimens. Ebn Zoar, better known as Avenzoar, may be looked
upon as the authority in Moorish pharmacy. Pharmacopoeias were published
by the schools, improvements on the old ones of the Nestorians: to them
may be traced the introduction of many Arabic words, such as syrup,
julep, elixir, still used among apothecaries. [Sidenote: Relics of the
Arab vocabulary.] A competent scholar might furnish not only an
interesting, but valuable book, founded on the remaining relics of the
Arab vocabulary; for, in whatever direction we may look, we meet, in the
various pursuits of peace and war, of letters and of science, Saracenic
vestiges. Our dictionaries tell us that such is the origin of admiral,
alchemy, alcohol, algebra, chemise, cotton, and hundreds of other words.
The Saracens commenced the application of chemistry, both to the theory
and practice of medicine, in the explanation of the functions of the
human body and in the cure of its diseases. [Sidenote: Their medicine
and surgery.] Nor was their surgery behind their medicine. Albucasis, of
Cordova, shrinks not from the performance of the most formidable
operations in his own and in the obstetrical art; the actual cautery and
the knife are used without hesitation. He has left us ample descriptions
of the surgical instruments then employed; and from him we learn that,
in operations on females in which considerations of delicacy intervened,
the services of properly instructed women were secured. How different
was all this from the state of things in Europe; the Christian peasant,
fever-stricken or overtaken by accident, hied to the nearest
saint-shrine and expected a miracle; the Spanish Moor relied on the
prescription or lancet of his physician, or the bandage and knife of his

[Sidenote: Liberality of the Asiatic khalifs.] In mathematics the
Arabians acknowledged their indebtedness to two sources, Greek and
Indian, but they greatly improved upon both. The Asiatic khalifs had
made exertions to procure translations of Euclid, Apollonius,
Archimedes, and other Greek geometers. Almaimon, in a letter to the
Emperor Theophilus, expressed his desire to visit Constantinople if his
public duties would have permitted. He requests of him to allow Leo the
mathematician to come to Bagdad to impart to him a portion of his
learning, pledging his word that he would restore him quickly and safely
again. "Do not," says the high-minded khalif, "let diversity of religion
or of country cause you to refuse my request. Do what friendship would
concede to a friend. In return, I offer you a hundred weight of gold, a
perpetual alliance and peace." True to the instincts of his race and the
traditions of his city, the Byzantine sourly and insolently refused the
request, saying that "the learning which had illustrated the Roman name
should never be imparted to a barbarian."

[Sidenote: Their great improvements in arithmetic.] From the Hindus the
Arabs learned arithmetic, especially that valuable invention termed by
us the Arabic numerals, but honourably ascribed by them to its proper
source, under the designation of "Indian numerals." They also entitled
their treatises on the subject "Systems of Indian Arithmetic." This
admirable notation by nine digits and cipher occasioned a complete
revolution in arithmetical computations. As in the case of so many other
things, the Arab impress is upon it; our word cipher, and its
derivatives, ciphering, etc., recall the Arabic word tsaphara or ciphra,
the name for the 0, and meaning that which is blank or void. Mohammed
Ben Musa, said to be the earliest of the Saracen authors on algebra, and
who made the great improvement of substituting sines for chords in
trigonometry, wrote also on this Indian system. He lived at the end of
the ninth century; before the end of the tenth it was in common use
among the African and Spanish mathematicians. Ebn Junis, A.D. 1008, used
it in his astronomical works. From Spain it passed into Italy, its
singular advantage in commercial computation causing it to be eagerly
adopted in the great trading cities. We still use the word algorithm in
reference to calculations. The study of algebra was intently cultivated
among the Arabs, who gave it the name it bears. Ben Musa, just referred
to, was the inventor of the common method of solving quadratic
equations. [Sidenote: Their astronomical discoveries.] In the
application of mathematics to astronomy and physics they had been long
distinguished. Almaimon had determined with considerable accuracy the
obliquity of the ecliptic. His result, with those of some other Saracen
astronomers, is as follows:

    A.D.   830.   Almaimon                       23° 35' 52"

      "    879.   Albategnius, at Aracte         23° 35' 00

      "    987.   Aboul Wefa, at Bagdad          23° 35' 00

      "    995.   Aboul Rihau, with a quadrant
                      of 25 feet radius          23° 35' 00

      "   1080.   Arzachael                      23° 34' 00

Almaimon had also ascertained the size of the earth from the measurement
of a degree on the shore of the Red Sea--an operation implying true
ideas of its form, and in singular contrast with the doctrine of
Constantinople and Rome. While the latter was asserting, in all its
absurdity, the flatness of the earth, the Spanish Moors were teaching
geography in their common schools from globes. In Africa, there was
still preserved, with almost religious reverence, in the library at
Cairo, one of brass, reputed to have belonged to the great astronomer
Ptolemy. Al Idrisi made one of silver for Roger II., of Sicily; and
Gerbert used one which he had brought from Cordova in the school he
established at Rheims. It cost a struggle of several centuries,
illustrated by some martyrdoms, before the dictum of Lactantius and
Augustine could be overthrown. Among problems of interest that were
solved may be mentioned the determination of the length of the year by
Albategnius and Thebit Ben Corrah; and increased accuracy was given to
the correction of astronomical observations by Alhazen's great discovery
of atmospheric refraction. Among the astronomers, some composed tables;
some wrote on the measure of time; some on the improvement of clocks,
for which purpose they were the first to apply the pendulum; some on
instruments, as the astrolabe. The introduction of astronomy into
Christian Europe has been attributed to the translation of the works of
Mohammed Fargani. In Europe, also, the Arabs were the first to build
observatories; the Giralda, or tower of Seville, was erected under the
superintendence of Geber, the mathematician, A.D. 1196, for that
purpose. Its fate was not a little characteristic. After the expulsion
of the Moors it was turned into a belfry, the Spaniards not knowing what
else to do with it.

[Sidenote: Europe tries to hide its obligations to them.] I have to
deplore the systematic manner in which the literature of Europe has
contrived to put out of sight our scientific obligations to the
Mohammedans. Surely they cannot be much longer hidden. Injustice founded
on religious rancour and national conceit cannot be perpetuated for
ever. What should the modern astronomer say when, remembering the
contemporary barbarism of Europe, he finds the Arab Abul Hassan speaking
of tubes, to the extremities of which ocular and object diopters,
perhaps sights, were attached, as used at Meragha? what when he reads of
the attempts of Abderrahman Sufi at improving the photometry of the
stars? Are the astronomical tables of Ebn Junis (A.D. 1008), called the
Hakemite tables, or the Ilkanic tables of Nasser Eddin Tasi, constructed
at the great observatory just mentioned, Meragha, near Tauris,
A.D. 1259, or the measurement of time by pendulum oscillations,
and the methods of correcting astronomical tables by systematic
observations--are such things worthless indications of the mental state?
The Arab has left his intellectual impress on Europe, as, before long,
Christendom will have to confess; he has indelibly written it on the
heavens, as any one may see who reads the names of the stars on a common
celestial globe.

[Sidenote: Improvements in the arts of life.] Our obligations to the
Spanish Moors in the arts of life are even more marked than in the
higher branches of science, perhaps only because our ancestors were
better prepared to take advantage of things connected with daily
affairs. They set an example of skilful agriculture, the practice of
which was regulated by a code of laws. Not only did they attend to the
cultivation of plants, introducing very many new ones, they likewise
paid great attention to the breeding of cattle, especially the sheep and
horse. To them we owe the introduction of the great products, rice,
sugar, cotton, and also, as we have previously observed, nearly all the
fine garden and orchard fruits, together with many less important
plants, as spinach and saffron. To them Spain owes the culture of silk;
they gave to Xeres and Malaga their celebrity for wine. They introduced
the Egyptian system of irrigation by flood-gates, wheels, and pumps.
They also promoted many important branches of industry; improved the
manufacture of textile fabrics, earthenware, iron, steel; the Toledo
sword-blades were everywhere prized for their temper. The Arabs, on
their expulsion from Spain, carried the manufacture of a kind of
leather, in which they were acknowledged to excel, to Morocco, from
which country the leather itself has now taken its name. They also
introduced inventions of a more ominous kind--gunpowder and artillery.
The cannon they used appeared to have been made of wrought iron. But
perhaps they more than compensated for these evil contrivances by the
introduction of the mariner's compass.

[Sidenote: Their commerce.] The mention of the mariner's compass might
lead us correctly to infer that the Spanish Arabs were interested in
commercial pursuits, a conclusion to which we should also come when we
consider the revenues of some of their khalifs. That of Abderrahman III.
is stated at five and a half million sterling--a vast sum if considered
by its modern equivalent, and far more than could possibly be raised by
taxes on the produce of the soil. It probably exceeded the entire
revenue of all the sovereigns of Christendom taken together. From
Barcelona and other ports an immense trade with the Levant was
maintained, but it was mainly in the hands of the Jews, who, from the
first invasion of Spain by Musa, had ever been the firm allies and
collaborators of the Arabs. Together they had participated in the
dangers of the invasion; together they had shared its boundless success;
together they had held in irreverent derision, nay, even in contempt,
the woman-worshippers and polytheistic savages beyond the Pyrenees--as
they mirthfully called those whose long-delayed vengeance they were in
the end to feel; together they were expelled. Against such Jews as
lingered behind the hideous persecutions of the Inquisition were
directed. But in the days of their prosperity they maintained a merchant
marine of more than a thousand ships. They had factories and consuls on
the Tanaïs. With Constantinople alone they maintained a great trade; it
ramified from the Black Sea and East Mediterranean into the interior of
Asia; it reached the ports of India and China, and extended along the
African coast as far as Madagascar. Even in these commercial affairs the
singular genius of the Jew and Arabs shines forth. In the midst of the
tenth century, when Europe was about in the same condition that
Caffraria is now, enlightened Moors, like Abul Cassem, were writing
treatises on the principles of trade and commerce. As on so many other
occasions, on these affairs they have left their traces. The smallest
weight they used in trade was the grain of barley, four of which were
equal to one sweet pea, called in Arabic carat. We still use the grain
as our unit of weight, and still speak of gold as being so many carats

[Sidenote: Obligations to the Khalifs of the West.] Such were the
Khalifs of the West; such their splendour, their luxury, their
knowledge; such some of the obligations we are under to
them--obligations which Christian Europe, with singular insincerity, has
ever been fain to hide. The cry against the misbeliever has long
outlived the Crusades. Considering the enchanting country over which
they ruled, it was not without reason that they caused to be engraven on
the public seal, "The servant of the Merciful rests contented in the
decrees of God." What more, indeed, could Paradise give them? But,
considering also the evil end of all this happiness and pomp, this
learning, liberality, and wealth, we may well appreciate the solemn
truth which these monarchs, in their day of pride and power, grandly
wrote in the beautiful mosaics on their palace walls, an ever-recurring
warning to him who owes dominion to the sword, "There is no conqueror
but God."

[Sidenote: Examination of Mohammedan science.] The value of a
philosophical or political system may be determined by its fruits. On
this principle I examined in Vol. I., Chapter XII., the Italian system,
estimating its religious merit from the biographies of the popes, which
afford the proper criterion. In like manner, the intellectual state of
the Mohammedan nations at successive epochs may be ascertained from what
is its proper criterion, the contemporaneous scientific manifestation.

At the time when the Moorish influences in Spain began to exert a
pressure on the Italian system, there were several scientific writers,
fragments of whose works have descended to us. As an architect may judge
of the skill of the ancient Egyptians in his art from a study of the
Pyramids, so from these relics of Saracenic learning we may demonstrate
the intellectual state of the Mohammedan people, though much of their
work has been lost and more has been purposely destroyed.

[Sidenote: Review of the works of Alhazen.] Among such writers is
Alhazen; his date was about A.D. 1100. It appears that he resided both
in Spain and Egypt, but the details of his biography are very confused.
Through his optical works, which have been translated into Latin, he is
best known to Europe. [Sidenote: He corrects the theory of vision.] He
was the first to correct the Greek misconception as to the nature of
vision, showing that the rays of light come from external objects to the
eye, and do not issue forth from the eye, and impinge on external
things, as, up to his time, had been supposed. His explanation does not
depend upon mere hypothesis or supposition, but is plainly based upon
anatomical investigation as well as on geometrical discussion.
[Sidenote: Determines the function of the retina.] He determines that
the retina is the seat of vision, and that impressions made by light
upon it are conveyed along the optic nerve to the brain. Though it might
not be convenient, at the time when Alhazen lived, to make such an
acknowledgment, no one could come to these conclusions, nor, indeed,
know anything about these facts, unless he had been engaged in the
forbidden practice of dissection. [Sidenote: Explains single vision.]
With felicity he explains that we see single when we use both eyes,
because of the formation of the visual images on symmetrical portions of
the two retinas. To the modern physiologist the mere mention of such
things is as significant as the occurrence of an arch in the interior of
the pyramid is to the architect. But Alhazen shows that our sense of
sight is by no means a trustworthy guide, and that there are illusions
arising from the course which the rays of light may take when they
suffer refraction or reflexion. It is in the discussion of one of these
physical problems that his scientific greatness truly shines forth.
[Sidenote: Traces the course of a ray of light through the air.] He is
perfectly aware that the atmosphere decreases in density with increase
of height; and from that consideration he shows that a ray of light,
entering it obliquely, follows a curvilinear path which is concave
toward the earth; and that, since the mind refers the position of an
object to the direction in which the ray of light from it enters the
eye, the result must be an illusion as respects the starry bodies; they
appear to us, to use the Arabic term, nearer to the _zenith_ than they
actually are, and not in their true place. [Sidenote: Astronomical
refraction.] We see them in the direction of the tangent to the curve of
refraction as it reaches the eye. Hence also he shows that we actually
see the stars, and the sun, and the moon before they have risen and
after they have set--a wonderful illusion. He shows that in its passage
through the air the curvature of a ray increases with the increasing
density, and that its path does not depend on vapours that chance to be
present, but on the variation of density in the medium. [Sidenote: The
horizontal sun and moon.] To this refraction he truly refers the
shortening, in their vertical diameter, of the horizontal sun and moon;
to its variations he imputes the twinkling of the fixed stars. The
apparent increase of size of the former bodies when they are in the
horizon he refers to a mental deception, arising from the presence of
intervening terrestrial objects. [Sidenote: Explains the twilight.] He
shows that the effect of refraction is to shorten the duration of night
and darkness by prolonging the visibility of the sun, and considering
the reflecting action of the air, he deduces that beautiful explanation
of the nature of twilight--the light that we perceive before the rising
and after the setting of the sun--which we accept at the present time as
true. [Sidenote: Determines the height of the atmosphere.] With
extraordinary acuteness, he applies the principles with which he is
dealing to the determination of the height of the atmosphere, deciding
that its limit is nearly 58-1/2 miles.

All this is very grand. Shall we compare it with the contemporaneous
monk miracles and monkish philosophy of Europe? It would make a profound
impression if communicated for the first time to a scientific society in
our own age. Nor perhaps does his merit end here. If the Book of the
Balance of Wisdom, for a translation of which we are indebted to M.
Khanikoff, the Russian consul-general at Tabriz, be the production of
Alhazen, of which there seems to be internal proof, it offers us
evidence of a singular clearness in mechanical conception for which we
should scarcely have been prepared, and, if it be not his, at all events
it indisputably shows the scientific acquirements of his age. [Sidenote:
The weight of the air.] In that book is plainly set forth the connexion
between the weight of the atmosphere and its increasing density. The
weight of the atmosphere was therefore understood before Torricelli.
This author shows that a body will weigh differently in a rare and in a
dense atmosphere; that its loss of weight will be greater in proportion
as the air is more dense. [Sidenote: Principles of hydrostatics.] He
considers the force with which plunged bodies will rise through heavier
media in which they are immersed, and discusses the submergence of
floating bodies, as ships upon the sea. He understands the doctrine of
the centre of gravity. [Sidenote: Theory of the balance.] He applies it
to the investigation of balances and steelyards, showing the relations
between the centre of gravity and the centre of suspension--when those
instruments will set and when they will vibrate. He recognizes gravity
as a force; asserts that it diminishes with the distance; but falls into
the mistake that the diminution is as the distance, and not as its
square. [Sidenote: Gravity; capillary attraction; the hydrometer.] He
considers gravity as terrestrial, and fails to perceive that it is
universal--that was reserved for Newton. He knows correctly the relation
between the velocities, spaces, and times of falling bodies, and has
very distinct ideas of capillary attraction. He improves the
construction of that old Alexandrian invention, the hydrometer--the
instrument which, in a letter to his fair but pagan friend Hypatia, the
good Bishop of Ptolemais, Synesius, six hundred years previously,
requests her to have made for him in Alexandria, as he wishes to try the
wines he is using, his health being a little delicate. [Sidenote: Tables
of specific gravities.] The determinations of the densities of bodies,
as given by Alhazen, approach very closely to our own; in the case of
mercury they are even more exact than some of those of the last century.
I join, as, doubtless, all natural philosophers will do, in the pious
prayer of Alhazen, that, in the day of judgment, the All-Merciful will
take pity on the soul of Abur-Raihân, because he was the first of the
race of men to construct a table of specific gravities; and I will ask
the same for Alhazen himself, since he was the first to trace the
curvilinear path of a ray of light through the air. Though more than
seven centuries part him from our times, the physiologists of this age
may accept him as their compeer, since he received and defended the
doctrine now forcing its way, of the progressive development of animal
forms. [Sidenote: The theory of development of organisms.] He upheld the
affirmation of those who said that man, in his progress, passes through
a definite succession of states; not, however, "that he was once a bull,
and was then changed to an ass, and afterwards into a horse, and after
that into an ape, and finally became a man." This, he says, is only a
misrepresentation by "common people" of what is really meant. The
"common people" who withstood Alhazen have representatives among us,
themselves the only example in the Fauna of the world of that
non-development which they so loudly affirm. At the best they are only
passing through some of the earlier forms of that series of
transmutations to which the devout Mohammedan in the above quotation

The Arabians, with all this physical knowledge, do not appear to have
been in possession of the thermometer, though they knew the great
importance of temperature measures, employing the areometer for that
purpose. They had detected the variation in density of liquids by heat,
but not the variation in volume. In their measures of time they were
more successful; they had several kinds of clepsydras. A balance
clepsydra is described in the work from which I am quoting. [Sidenote:
The pendulum clock.] But it was their great astronomer, Ebn Junis, who
accomplished the most valuable of all chronometric improvements. He
first applied the pendulum to the measure of time. Laplace, in the fifth
note to his Systeme du Monde, avails himself of the observations of this
philosopher, with those of Albategnius and other Arabians, as
incontestable proof of the diminution of the eccentricity of the earth's
orbit. [Sidenote: Astronomical works of Ebn Junis.] He states, moreover,
that the observation of Ebn Junis of the obliquity of the ecliptic,
properly corrected for parallax and refraction, gives for the year A.D.
1000 a result closely approaching to the theoretical. He also mentions
another observation of Ebn Junis, October 31, A.D. 1007, as of much
importance in reference to the great inequalities of Jupiter and Saturn.
[Sidenote: The Arabic numerals.] I have already remarked that, in the
writings of this great Arabian, the Arabic numerals and our common
arithmetical processes are currently used. From Africa and Spain they
passed into Italy, finding ready acceptance among commercial men, who
recognised at once their value, and, as William of Malmesbury says,
being a wonderful relief to the "sweating calculators;" an epithet of
which the correctness will soon appear to any one who will try to do a
common multiplication or division problem by the aid of the old Roman
numerals. It is said that Gerbert--Pope Sylvester--was the first to
introduce a knowledge of them into Europe; he had learned them at the
Mohammedan university of Cordova. It is in allusion to the cipher, which
follows the 9, but which, added to any of the other digits, increases by
tenfold its power, that, in a letter to his patron, the Emperor Otho
III., with humility he playfully but truly says, "I am like the last of
all the numbers."

[Sidenote: Arabian philosophy.] The overthrow of the Roman by the Arabic
numerals foreshadowed the result of a far more important--a
political--contest between those rival names. But, before showing how
the Arabian intellect pressed upon Rome, and the convulsive struggles of
desperation which Rome made to resist it, I must for a moment consider
the former under another point of view, and speak of Saracen philosophy.
[Sidenote: The writings of Algazzali.] And here Algazzali shall be my
guide. He was born A.D. 1058.

Let us hear him speak for himself. He is relating his attempt to detach
himself from the opinions which he had imbibed in his childhood: "I said
to myself, 'My aim is simply to know the truth of things; consequently,
it is indispensable for me to ascertain what is knowledge.' Now it was
evident to me that certain knowledge must be that which explains the
object to be known in such a manner that no doubt can remain, so that in
future all error and conjecture respecting it must be impossible.
[Sidenote: The certitude of knowledge.] Not only would the understanding
then need no efforts to be convinced of certitude, but security against
error is in such close connexion with knowledge, that, even were an
apparent proof of falsehood to be brought forward, it would cause no
doubt, because no suspicion of error would be possible. Thus, when I
have acknowledged ten to be more than three, if any one were to say, 'On
the contrary, three is more than ten, and to prove the truth of my
assertion, I will change this rod into a serpent,' and if he were to
change it, my conviction of his error would remain unshaken. His
manoeuvre would only produce in me admiration for his ability. I should
not doubt my own knowledge.

"Then was I convinced that knowledge which I did not possess in this
manner, and respecting which I had not this certainty, could inspire me
with neither confidence nor assurance; and no knowledge without
assurance deserves the name of knowledge.

"Having examined the state of my own knowledge, I found it divested of
all that could be said to have these qualities, unless perceptions of
the senses and irrefragable principles were to be considered such.
[Sidenote: Fallibility of the senses.] I then said to myself, 'Now,
having fallen into this despair, the only hope of acquiring
incontestable convictions is by the perceptions of the senses and by
necessary truths.' Their evidence seemed to me to be indubitable. I
began, however, to examine the objects of sensation and speculation, to
see if they possibly could admit of doubt. Then doubts crowded upon me
in such numbers that my incertitude became complete. Whence results the
confidence I have in sensible things? The strongest of all our senses is
sight; and yet, looking at a shadow, and perceiving it to be fixed and
immovable, we judge it to be deprived of movement; nevertheless,
experience teaches us that, when we return to the same place an hour
after, the shadow is displaced, for it does not vanish suddenly, but
gradually, little by little, so as never to be at rest. If we look at
the stars, they seem to be as small as money-pieces; but mathematical
proofs convince us that they are larger than the earth. These and other
things are judged by the senses, but rejected by reason as false. I
abandoned the senses, therefore, having seen all my confidence in their
truth shaken.

"'Perhaps,' said I, 'there is no assurance but in the notions of reason,
that is to say, first principles, as that ten is more than three; the
same thing cannot have been created and yet have existed from all
eternity; to exist and not to exist at the same time is impossible.'

[Sidenote: Fallibility of reason.] "Upon this the senses replied, 'What
assurance have you that your confidence in reason is not of the same
nature as your confidence in us? When you relied on us, reason stepped
in and gave us the lie; had not reason been there, you would have
continued to rely on us. Well, may there not exist some other judge
superior to reason, who, if he appeared, would refute the judgments of
reason in the same way that reason refuted us? The non-appearance of
such a judge is no proof of his non-existence.'

[Sidenote: The nature of dreams.] "I strove in vain to answer the
objection, and my difficulties increased when I came to reflect on
sleep. I said to myself, 'During sleep, you give to visions a reality
and consistence, and you have no suspicion of their untruth. On
awakening, you are made aware that they were nothing but visions. What
assurance have you that all you feel and know when you are awake does
actually exist? It is all true as respects your condition at that
moment; but it is nevertheless possible that another condition should
present itself which should be to your awakened state that which to your
awakened state is now to you sleep; so that, as respects this higher
condition, your waking is but sleep.'"

It would not be possible to find in any European work a clearer
statement of the scepticism to which philosophy leads than what is thus
given by this Arabian. Indeed, it is not possible to put the argument in
a more effective way. His perspicuity is in singular contrast with the
obscurity of many metaphysical writers.

[Sidenote: Intellectual despair.] "Reflecting on my situation, I found
myself bound to this world by a thousand ties, temptations assailing me
on all sides. I then examined my actions. The best were those relating
to instruction and education, and even there I saw myself given up to
unimportant sciences, all useless in another world. Reflecting on the
aim of my teaching, I found it was not pure in the sight of the Lord. I
saw that all my efforts were directed toward the acquisition of glory to
myself. Having, therefore, distributed my wealth, I left Bagdad and
retired into Syria, where I remained two years in solitary struggle with
my soul, combating my passions, and exercising myself, in the
purification of my heart and in preparation for the other world."

This is a very beautiful picture of the mental struggles and the actions
of a truthful and earnest man. In all this the Christian philosopher can
sympathize with the devout Mohammedan. After all, they are not very far
apart. Algazzali is not the only one to whom such thoughts have
occurred, but he has found words to tell his experience better than any
other man. And what is the conclusion at which he arrives? [Sidenote:
Algazzali's ages of man.] The life of man, he says, is marked by three
stages: "the first, or infantile stage, is that of pure sensation; the
second, which begins at the age of seven, is that of understanding; the
third is that of reason, by means of which the intellect perceives the
necessary, the possible, the absolute, and all those higher objects
which transcend the understanding. But after this there is a fourth
stage, when another eye is opened, by which man perceives things hidden
from others--perceives all that will be--perceives the things that
escape the perceptions of reason, as the objects of reason escape the
understanding, and as the objects of the understanding escape the
sensitive faculty. This is prophetism." Algazzali thus finds a
philosophical basis for the rule of life, and reconciles religion and

       *       *       *       *       *

And now I have to turn from Arabian civilized life, its science, its
philosophy, to another, a repulsive state of things. With reluctance I
come back to the Italian system, defiling the holy name of religion with
its intrigues, its bloodshed, its oppression of human thought, its
hatred of intellectual advancement. [Sidenote: Renewal of the operation
of Mohammedan influences.] Especially I have now to direct attention to
two countries, the scenes of important events--countries in which the
Mohammedan influences began to take effect and to press upon Rome. These
are the South of France and Sicily.

Innocent III. had been elected pope at the early age of thirty-seven
years, A.D. 1198. The papal power had reached its culminating point. The
weapons of the Church had attained their utmost force. In Italy, in
Germany, in France and England, interdicts and excommunications
vindicated the pontifical authority, as in the cases of the Duke of
Ravenna, the Emperor Otho, Philip Augustus of France, King John of
England. [Sidenote: Interference of Innocent III. in France.] In each of
these cases it was not for the sake of sustaining great moral principles
or the rights of humanity that the thunder was launched--it was in
behalf of temporary political interests; interests that, in Germany,
were sustained at the cost of a long war, and cemented by assassination;
in France, strengthened by the well-tried device of an intervention in a
matrimonial broil--the domestic quarrel of the king and queen about
Agnes of Meran. "Ah! happy Saladin!" said the insulted Philip, when his
kingdom was put under interdict; "he has no pope above him. I too will
turn Mohammedan."

[Sidenote: In Spain and Portugal.] So, likewise, in Spain, Innocent
interfered in the matrimonial life of the King of Leon. The remorseless
venality of the papal government was felt in every direction. Portugal
had already been advanced to the dignity of a kingdom on payment of an
annual tribute to Rome. The King of Aragon held his kingdom as feudatory
to the pope.

[Sidenote: In England; denounces Magna Charta.] In England, Innocent's
interference assumed a different aspect. He attempted to assert his
control over the Church in spite of the king, and put the nation under
interdict because John would not permit Stephen Langton to be Archbishop
of Canterbury. It was utterly impossible that affairs could go on with
such an empire within an empire. For his contumacy, John was
excommunicated; but, base as he was, he defied his punishment for four
years. Hereupon his subjects were released from their allegiance, and
his kingdom offered to anyone who would conquer it. In his extremity,
the King of England is said to have sent a messenger to Spain, offering
to become a Mohammedan. The religious sentiment was then no higher in
him than it was, under a like provocation, in the King of France, whose
thoughts turned in the same direction. But, pressed irresistibly by
Innocent, John was compelled to surrender his realm, agreeing to pay to
the pope, in addition to Peter's pence, 1000 marks a year as a token of
vassalage. When the prelates whom he had refused or exiled returned, he
was compelled to receive them on his knees--humiliations which aroused
the indignation of the stout English barons, and gave strength to those
movements which ended in extorting Magna Charta. Never, however, was
Innocent more mistaken than in the character of Stephen Langton. John
had, a second time, formally surrendered his realm to the pope, and done
homage to the legate for it; but Stephen Langton was the first--at a
meeting of the chiefs of the revolt against the king, held in London,
August 25th, 1213--to suggest that they should demand a renewal of the
charter of Henry I. From this suggestion Magna Charta originated. Among
the miracles of the age, he was the greatest miracle of all; his
patriotism was stronger than his profession. The wrath of the pontiff
knew no bounds when he learned that the Great Charter had been conceded.
In his bull, he denounced it as base and ignominious; he anathematized
the king if he observed it; he declared it null and void. It was not the
policy of the Roman court to permit so much as the beginnings of such
freedom. The appointment of Simon Langton to the archbishopric of York
was annulled. One De Gray was substituted for him. It illustrated the
simony into which the papal government had fallen, that De Gray had
become, in these transactions, indebted to Rome ten thousand pounds.
[Sidenote: The drain of money from that country.] In fact, through the
operation of the Crusades, all Europe was tributory to the pope. He had
his fiscal agents in every metropolis; his travelling ones wandering in
all directions, in every country, raising revenue by the sale of
dispensations for all kinds of offences, real and fictitious--money for
the sale of appointments, high and low--a steady drain of money from
every realm. Fifty years after the time of which we are speaking, Robert
Grostête, the Bishop of Lincoln and friend of Roger Bacon, caused to be
ascertained the amount received by foreign ecclesiastics in England. He
found it to be thrice the income of the king himself. This was on the
occasion of Innocent IV. demanding provision to be made for three
hundred additional Italian clergy by the Church of England, and that one
of his nephews--a mere boy--should have a stall in Lincoln cathedral.

[Sidenote: Goading of Europe into a new crusade.] While thus Innocent
III. was interfering and intriguing with every court, and laying every
people under tribute, he did not for a moment permit his attention to be
diverted from the Crusades, the singular advantages of which to the
papacy had now been fully discovered. They had given to the pope a
suzerainty in Europe, the control of its military as well as its
monetary resources. Not that a man like Innocent could permit himself to
be deluded by any hopes of eventual success. The crusades must
inevitably prove, so far as their avowed object was concerned, a
failure. The Christian inhabitants of Palestine were degraded and
demoralized beyond description. Their ranks were thinned by apostasy to
Mohammedanism. In Europe, not only the laity begun to discover that the
money provided for the wars in the Holy Land was diverted from its
purpose, and in some inexplicable manner, found its way into Italy--even
the clergy could not conceal their suspicions that the proclamation of a
crusade was merely the preparation for a swindle. Nevertheless, Innocent
pressed forward his schemes, goading on Christendom by upbraiding it
with the taunts of the Saracens. "Where," they say, "is your God, who
can not deliver you out of our hands? Behold! we have defiled your
sanctuaries; we have stretched forth our arm; we have taken at the first
assault, we hold in despite of you, those your desirable places, where
your superstition had its beginning. Where is your God? Let him arise
and protect you and himself." "If thou be the Son of God, save thyself
if thou canst; redeem the land of thy birth from our hands. Restore thy
cross, that we have taken, to the worshippers of the Cross." With great
difficulty, however, Innocent succeeded in preparing the fourth crusade,
A.D. 1202. The Venetians consented to furnish a fleet of transports. But
the expedition was quickly diverted from its true purpose; the Venetians
employing the Crusaders for the capture of Zara from the King of
Hungary. [Sidenote: The crusade is used for the seizure of
Constantinople.] Still worse, and shameful to be said--partly from the
lust of plunder, and partly through ecclesiastical machinations--it
again turned aside for an attack upon Constantinople, and took that city
by storm A.D. 1204, thereby establishing Latin Christianity in the
Eastern metropolis, but, alas! with bloodshed, rape, and fire. On the
night of the assault more houses were burned than could be found in any
three of the largest cities in France. [Sidenote: Sack of that city by
the Catholics.] Even Christian historians compare with shame the
storming of Constantinople by the Catholics with the capture of
Jerusalem by Saladin. Pope Innocent himself was compelled to protest
against enormities that had outrun his intentions. He says: "They
practised fornications, incests, adulteries in the sight of men. They
abandoned matrons and virgins, consecrated to God, to the lewdness of
grooms. They lifted their hands against the treasures of the
churches--what is more heinous, the very consecrated vessels--tearing
the tablets of silver from the very altars, breaking in pieces the most
sacred things, carrying off crosses and relics." In St. Sophia, the
silver was stripped from the pulpit; an exquisite and highly-prized
table of oblation was broken in pieces; the sacred chalices were turned
into drinking-cups; the gold fringe was ripped off the veil of the
sanctuary. Asses and horses were led into the churches to carry off the
spoil. A prostitute mounted the patriarch's throne, and sang, with
indecent gestures, a ribald song. The tombs of the emperors were rifled;
and the Byzantines saw, at once with amazement and anguish, the corpse
of Justinian--which even decay and putrefaction had for six centuries
spared in his tomb--exposed to the violation of a mob. It had been
understood among those who instigated these atrocious proceedings that
the relics were to be brought into a common stock and equitably divided
among the conquerors! but each ecclesiastic seized and secreted whatever
he could. The idolatrous state of the Eastern Church is illustrated by
some of these relics. [Sidenote: The relics found there,] Thus the Abbot
Martin obtained for his monastery in Alsace the following inestimable
articles: 1. A spot of the blood of our Saviour; 2. A piece of the true
cross; 3. The arm of the Apostle James; 4. Part of the skeleton of John
the Baptist; 5.--I hesitate to write such blasphemy--"A bottle of the
milk of the Mother of God!" [Sidenote: and works of art destroyed.] In
contrast with the treasures thus acquired may be set relics of a very
different kind, the remains of ancient art which they destroyed: 1. The
bronze charioteers from the Hippodrome; 2. The she-wolf suckling Romulus
and Remus; 3. A group of a Sphinx, river-horse, and crocodile; 4. An
eagle tearing a serpent; 5. An ass and his driver, originally cast by
Augustus in memory of the victory of Actium; 6. Bellerophon and Pegasus;
7. A bronze obelisk; 8. Paris presenting the apple to Venus; 9. An
exquisite statute of Helen; 10. The Hercules of Lysippus; 11. A Juno,
formerly taken from the temple at Samos. The bronzes were melted into
coin, and thousands of manuscripts and parchments were burned. From that
time the works of many ancient authors disappeared altogether.

[Sidenote: The pope and the doge divide the spoil.] With well-dissembled
regret, Innocent took the new order of things in the city of
Constantinople under his protection. The bishop of Rome at last
appointed the Bishop of Constantinople. The acknowledgment of papal
supremacy was complete. Rome and Venice divided between them the
ill-gotten gains of their undertaking. If anything had been wanting to
open the eyes of Europe, surely what had thus occurred should have been
enough. The pope and the doge--the trader in human credulity and the
trader of the Adriatic--had shared the spoils of a crusade meant by
religious men for the relief of the Holy Land. [Sidenote: Works of art
carried to Venice.] The bronze horses, once brought by Augustus from
Alexandria, after his victory over Antony and transferred from Rome to
Constantinople by its founder, were set before the Church of St Mark.
They were the outward and visible sign of a less obvious event that was
taking place. For to Venice was brought a residue of the literary
treasures that had escaped the fire and the destroyer; and while her
comrades in the outrage were satisfied, in their ignorance, with
fictitious relics, she took possession of the poor remnant of the
glorious works of art, of letters, and of science. Through these was
hastened the intellectual progress of the West.

[Sidenote: The punishment of Constantinople.] So fell Constantinople,
and fell by the parricidal hands of Christians. The days of retribution
for the curse she had inflicted on Western civilization were now
approaching. In these events she received a first instalment of her
punishment. Three hundred years previously, the historian Luitprand, who
was sent by the Emperor Otho I. to the court of Nicephorus Phocas, says
of her, speaking as an eye-witness, "That city, once so wealthy, so
flourishing, is now famished, lying, perjured, deceitful, rapacious,
greedy, niggardly, vainglorious;" and since Luitprand's time she had
been pursuing a downward career. It might have been expected that the
concentration of all the literary and scientific treasures of the Roman
empire in Constantinople would have given rise to great mental
vigour--that to Europe she would have been a brilliant focus of light.
[Sidenote: The literary worthlessness of that city.] But when the works
on jurisprudence by Tribonian, under Justinian, have been mentioned,
what is there that remains? There is Stephanus, the grammarian, who
wrote a dictionary, and Procopius, the historian, who was secretary to
Belisarius in his campaigns. There is then a long interval almost
without a literary name, to Theophylact Simocatta, and to the Ladder of
Paradise of John Climacus. The mental excitement of the iconoclastic
dispute presents us with John of Damascus; and the ninth century, the
Myriobiblion and Nomacanon of Photius. Then follows Constantine
Porphyrogenitus, vainly and voluminously composing; and Basil II.
doubtless truly expresses the opinion of the time, as he certainly does
the verdict of posterity respecting the works of his country, when he
says that learning is useless and unprofitable lumber. The Alexiad of
Anna Comnena, and the history of Byzantine affairs by Nicephorous
Bryennius, hardly redeem their age. This barrenness and worthlessness
was the effect of the system introduced by Constantine the Great. The
long line of emperors had been consistent in one policy--the repression
or expulsion of philosophy; and yet it is the uniform testimony of those
ages that the Eastern convents were full of secret Platonism--that in
stealth, the doctrines of Plato were treasured up in the cells of
Asiatic monks. The Byzantines had possessed in art and letters all the
best models in the world, yet in a thousand years they never produced
one original. Millions of Greeks never advanced one step in philosophy
or science--never made a single practical discovery, composed no poem,
no tragedy worth perusal. The spirit of their superficial literature--if
literature it can be called--is well shadowed forth in the story of the
patriarch Photius, who composed at Bagdad, at a distance from his
library, an analysis of 280 works he had formerly read. [Sidenote: The
absurdity of its intellectual pursuits.] The final age of the city was
signalized by the Baarlamite controversy respecting the mysterious light
of Mount Thabor--the possibility of producing a beatific vision and of
demonstrating, by an unceasing inspection of the navel for days and
nights together, the existence of two eternal principles, a visible and
an invisible God!

[Sidenote: Cause of all this.] What was it that produced this
barrenness, this intellectual degradation in Constantinople? The tyranny
of Theology over Thought.

But with the capture of Constantinople by the Latins other important
events were occurring. Everywhere an intolerance of papal power was
engendering. [Sidenote: Heresy follows literature.] The monasteries
became infected, and even from the holy lips of monks words of ominous
import might be heard. In the South of France the intellectual
insurrection first took form. There the influence of the Mohammedans and
Jews beyond the Pyrenees began to manifest itself. [Sidenote: Spread of
gay literature from Spain.] The songs of gallantry; tensons, or poetical
contests of minstrels; satires of gay defiance; rivalry in praise of the
ladies; lays, serenades, pastourelles, redondes, such as had already
drawn forth the condemnation of the sedate Mussulmen of Cordova, had
gradually spread through Spain and found a congenial welcome in France.
[Sidenote: The Troubadours and Trouvères.] The Troubadours were singing
in the langue d'Oc in the south, and the Trouvères in the langue d'Oil
in the north. Thence the merry epidemic spread to Sicily and Italy. Men
felt that a relief from the grim ecclesiastic was coming. Kings, dukes,
counts, knights, prided themselves on their gentle prowess. The humbler
minstrels found patronage among ladies and at courts: sly satires
against the priests, and amorous ditties, secured them a welcome among
the populace. When the poet was deficient in voice, a jongleur went with
him to sing; and often there was added the pleasant accompaniment of a
musical instrument. The Provençal or langue d'Oc was thus widely
diffused; it served the purposes of those unacquainted with Latin, and
gave the Italians a model for thought and versification, to Europe the
germs of many of its future melodies. While the young were singing, the
old were thinking; while the gay were carried away with romance, the
grave were falling into heresy. [Sidenote: Commencing resistance of
Rome.] But, true to her instincts and traditions, the Church had shown
her determination to deal rigorously with all such movements. Already,
A.D. 1134, Peter de Brueys had been burned in Languedoc for denying
infant baptism, the worship of the cross, and transubstantiation.
Already Henry the Deacon, the disciple of Peter, had been disposed of by
St. Bernard. Already the valleys of Piedmont were full of Waldenses.
Already the Poor Men of Lyons were proclaiming the portentous doctrine
that the sanctity of a priest lay not in his office, but in the manner
of his life. They denounced the wealth of the Church, and the
intermingling of bishops in bloodshed and war; they denied
transubstantiation, invocation of saints, purgatory, and especially
directed their hatred against the sale of indulgences for sin. The rich
cities of Languedoc were full of misbelievers. They were given up to
poetry, music, dancing. Their people, numbers of whom had been in the
Crusades or in Spain, had seen the Saracens. Admiration had taken the
place of detestation. Amid shouts of laughter, the Troubadours went
through the land, wagging their heads, and slyly winking their eyes, and
singing derisive songs about the amours of the priests, and amply
earning denunciations as lewd blasphemers and atheists. [Sidenote:
Innocent III. alarmed at the spread of heresy.] Here was a state of
things demanding the attention of Innocent. The methods he took for its
correction have handed his name down to the maledictions of posterity.
He despatched a missive to the Count of Toulouse--who already lay under
excommunication for alleged intermeddling with the rights of the
clergy--charging him with harbouring heretics and giving offices of
emolument to Jews. The count was a man of gay life, having, in emulation
of some of his neighbours across the Pyrenees, not fewer than three
wives. His offences of that kind were, however, eclipsed by those with
which he was now formally charged. It chanced that, in the ensuing
disputes, the pope's legate was murdered. There is no reason to believe
that Raymond was concerned in the crime. [Sidenote: He proclaims a
crusade against the Count of Toulouse,] But the indignant pope held him
responsible; instantly ordered to be published in all directions his
excommunication, and called upon Western Christendom to engage in a
crusade against him, offering, to him whoever chose to take them, the
wealth and possessions of the offender. So thoroughly was he seconded by
the preaching of the monks, that half a million of men, it is affirmed,
took up arms.

[Sidenote: and disciplines him.] For the count there remained nothing
but to submit. He surrendered up his strong places, was compelled to
acknowledge the crimes alleged against him, and the justice of his
punishment. He swore that he would no longer protect heretics. Stripped
naked to his middle, with a rope round his neck, he was led to the
altar, and there scourged. But the immense army that had assembled was
not to be satisfied by these inflictions on an individual, though the
pope might be. They had come for blood and plunder, and blood and
plunder they must have. Then followed such scenes of horror as the sun
had never looked on before. The army was officered by Roman and French
prelates; bishops were its generals, an archdeacon its engineer.
[Sidenote: Atrocities of the Crusaders in the South of France.] It was
the Abbot Arnold, the legate of the pope, who, at the capture of
Beziers, was inquired of by a soldier, more merciful or more weary of
murder than himself, how he should distinguish and save the Catholic
from the heretic. "Kill them all," he exclaimed; "God will know his
own." At the Church of St. Mary Magdalene 7000 persons were massacred,
the infuriated Crusaders being excited to madness by the wicked
assertion that these wretches had been guilty of the blasphemy of
saying, in their merriment, "S. Mariam Magdalenam fuisse concubinam
Christi." It was of no use for them to protest their innocence. In the
town twenty thousand were slaughtered, and the place then fired, to be
left a monument of papal vengeance. At the massacre of Lavaur 400 people
were burned in one pile; it is remarked that "they made a wonderful
blaze, and went to burn everlastingly in hell." Language has no powers
to express the atrocities that took place at the capture of the
different towns. Ecclesiastical vengeance rioted in luxury. The soil was
steeped in the blood of men--the air polluted by their burning.
[Sidenote: Institution of the Inquisition.] From the reek of murdered
women, mutilated children, and ruined cities, the Inquisition, that
infernal institution, arose. Its projectors intended it not only to put
an end to public teaching, but even to private thought. In the midst of
these awful events, Innocent was called to another tribunal to render
his account. He died A.D. 1216.

[Sidenote: Establishment of mendicant orders.] It was during the
pontificate of this great criminal that the mendicant orders were
established. The course of ages had brought an unintelligibility into
public worship. The old dialects had become obsolete; new languages were
forming. Among those classes, daily increasing in number, whose minds
were awakening, an earnest desire for instruction was arising.
Multitudes were crowding to hear philosophical discourses in the
universities, and heresy was spreading very fast. But it was far from
being confined to the intelligent. The lower orders furnished heretics
and fanatics too. To antagonize the labours of these zealots--who, if
they had been permitted to go on unchecked, would quickly have
disseminated their doctrines through all classes of society--the
Dominican and Franciscan orders were founded. They were well adapted for
their duty. It was their business to move among the people, preaching to
them, in their own tongue, wherever an audience could be collected. The
scandal under which the Church was labouring because of her wealth could
not apply to these persons who lived by begging alms. Their function was
not to secure their own salvation, but that of other men.

[Sidenote: St. Dominic.] St. Dominic was born A.D. 1170. His birth and
life were adorned with the customary prodigies. Miracles and wonders
were necessary for anything to make a sensation in the West. His was an
immaculate conception, he was free from original sin. He was regarded as
the adopted son of the Virgin; some were even disposed to assign him a
higher dignity than that. He began his operations in Languedoc; but, as
the prospect opened out before him, he removed from that unpromising
region to Rome, the necessary centre of all such undertakings as his.
Here he perfected his organization; instituted his friars, nuns, and
tertiaries; and consolidated his pretensions by the working of many
miracles. He exorcised three matrons, from whom Satan issued forth under
the form of a great black cat, which ran up a bell-rope and vanished. A
beautiful nun resolved to leave her convent. Happening to blow her nose,
it dropped off into her handkerchief; but, at the fervent prayer of St.
Dominic, it was replaced, and in gratitude, tempered by fear, she
remained. St. Dominic could also raise the dead. Nevertheless, he died
A.D. 1221, having worthily obtained the title of the burner and slayer
of heretics. To him has been attributed the glory or the crime of being
the inventor of "the Holy Inquisition." In a very few years his order
boasted of nearly 500 monasteries, scattered over Europe, Asia, Africa.

[Sidenote: St. Francis.] St. Francis, the compeer of St. Dominic, was
born A.D. 1182. His followers delighted to point out, as it would seem
not without irreverence, a resemblance to the incidents that occurred at
the birth of our Lord. A prophetess foretold it; he was born in a
stable; angels sung forth peace and good-will in the air; one, under the
form of Simeon, bore him to baptism. In early life he saw visions and
became ecstatic. His father, Peter Bernardini, a respectable tradesman,
endeavoured to restrain his eccentricities, at first by persuasion, but
eventually more forcibly, appealing for assistance to the bishop, to
prevent the young enthusiast from squandering his means in alms to the
poor. On that functionary's gently remonstrating, and pointing out to
Francis his filial obligations, he stripped himself naked before the
people, exclaiming, "Peter Bernardini was my father; I have now but one
Father, he that is in heaven." At this affecting renunciation of all
earthly possessions and earthly ties, those present burst into tears,
and the good bishop threw his own mantle over him. When a man has come
to this pass, there is nothing he cannot accomplish.

[Sidenote: Authorization of these orders.] It is related that, when
application was first made to Innocent to authorize the order, he
refused; but, very soon recognizing the advantages that would accrue, he
gave it his hearty patronage. So rapid was the increase, that in A.D.
1219 it numbered not fewer than five thousand brethren. It was founded
on the principles of chastity, poverty, obedience. They were to live on
alms, but never to receive money. After a life of devotion to the
Church, St. Francis attained his reward, A.D. 1226. Two years previous
to his death, by a miraculous intervention there were impressed on his
person marks answering to the wounds on our Saviour. These were the
celebrated stigmata. A black growth, like nails, issued forth from the
palms of his hands and his feet; a wound from which blood and water
distilled opened in his side. It is not to be wondered at that these
prodigies met with general belief. This was the generation which
received as inestimable relics, through Andrew of Hungary, the skulls of
St. Stephen and St. Margaret, the hands of St. Bartholomew and St.
Thomas, a slip of the rod of Aaron, and one of the water-pots of the
marriage at Cana in Galilee.

[Sidenote: Influence derived from these orders.] The papal government
quickly found the prodigious advantage arising from the institution of
these mendicant orders. Vowed to poverty, living on alms, hosts of
friars, begging and barefoot, pervaded all Europe, coming in contact,
under the most favourable circumstances, with the lowest grades of
society. They lived and moved among the populace, and yet were held
sacred. The accusations of dissipation and luxury so forcibly urged
against the regular clergy were altogether inapplicable to these
rope-bound, starving fanatics. Through them the Italian government had
possession of the ear of Europe. The pomp of worship in an unknown
tongue, the gorgeous solemnities of the Church, were far more than
compensated by the preaching of these missionaries, who held forth in
the vernacular wherever an audience could be had. Among the early ones,
some had been accustomed to a wandering life. Brother Pacificus, a
disciple of St. Francis, had been a celebrated Trouvère. In truth, they
not only warded off the present pressing danger, but through them the
Church retained her hold on the labouring classes for several subsequent
centuries. The pope might truly boast that the Poor Men of the Church
were more than a match for the Poor Men of Lyons. Their influence began
to diminish only when they abandoned their essential principles, joined
in the common race for plunder, and became immensely rich.

[Sidenote: Introduction of auricular confession.] Not only did Innocent
III. thus provide himself with an ecclesiastical militia suited to meet
the obviously impending insurrection, he increased his power greatly but
insidiously by the formal introduction of auricular confession. It was
by the fourth Lateran Council that the necessity of auricular confession
was first formally established. Its aim was that no heretic should
escape, and that the absent priest should be paramount even in the
domestic circle. In none but a most degraded and superstitious society
can such an infamous institution be tolerated. It invades the sacred
privacy of life--makes a man's wife, children, and servants his spies
and accusers. When any religious system stands in need of such a social
immorality, we may be sure that it is irrecoverably diseased, and
hastening to its end.

[Sidenote: Development of casuistry.] Auricular confession led to an
increasing necessity for casuistry, though that science was not fully
developed until the time of the Jesuits, when it gave rise to an
extensive literature, with a lax system and a false morality, guiding
the penitent rather with a view to his usefulness to the Church than to
his own reformation, and not hesitating at singular indecencies in its
portion having reference to married life.

[Sidenote: Attitude of Innocent III.] Great historical events often find
illustrations in representative men. Such is the case in the epoch we
are now considering. On one side stands Innocent, true to the instincts
of his party, interfering with all the European nations; launching forth
his interdicts and excommunications; steeped in the blood of French
heretics; hesitating at no atrocity, even the outrage and murder of
women and children, the ruin of flourishing cities, to compass his
plans; in all directions, under a thousand pretences, draining Europe of
its money; calling to his aid hosts of begging friars; putting forth
imposture miracles; organizing the Inquisition, and invading the privacy
of life by the contrivance of auricular confession.

[Sidenote: Attitude of Frederick II.] On the other side stands Frederick
II., the Emperor of Germany. His early life, as has been already
mentioned, was spent in Sicily, in familiar intercourse with Jews and
Arabs, and Sicily to the last was the favoured portion of his dominions.
To his many other accomplishments he added the speaking of Arabic as
fluently as a Saracen. He delighted in the society of Mohammedan ladies,
who thronged his court. His enemies asserted that his chastity was not
improved by his associations with these miscreant beauties. The Jewish
and Mohammedan physicians and philosophers taught him to sneer at the
pretensions of the Church. [Sidenote: His Mohammedan tendencies.] From
such ridicule it is but a short step to the shaking off of authority. At
this time the Spanish Mohammedans had become widely infected with
irreligion; their greatest philosophers were infidel in their own
infidelity. The two sons of Averroes of Cordova are said to have been
residents at Frederick's court. Their father was one of the ablest men
their nation ever produced: an experienced astronomer, he had translated
the Almagest, and, it is affirmed, was the first who actually saw a
transit of Mercury across the sun; a voluminous commentator on the works
of Plato and Aristotle, but a disbeliever in all revelation. Even of
Mohammedanism he said, alluding to the prohibition which the Prophet had
enjoined on the use of the flesh of swine, "That form of religion is
destitute of every thing that can commend it to the approval of any
understanding, unless it be that of a hog." [Sidenote: He cultivates
light literature and heresy.] In the Sicilian court, surrounded by such
profane influences, the character of the young emperor was formed.
Italian poetry, destined for such a brilliant future, here first found a
voice in the sweet Sicilian dialect. The emperor and his chancellor were
cultivators of the gay science, and in the composition of sonnets were
rivals. A love of amatory poetry had spread from the South of France.

With a view to the recovery of the Holy Land, Honorius III. had made
Frederick marry Yolinda de Lusignan, the heiress of the kingdom of
Jerusalem. It was not, therefore, to be wondered at that Frederick's
frivolities soon drew upon him the indignation of the gloomy Pope
Gregory IX., the very first act of whose pontificate was to summon a new
crusade. [Sidenote: Refuses to go on a crusade, and then goes.] To the
exhortations and commands of the aged pope the emperor lent a most
reluctant ear, postponing, from time to time, the period of his
departure, and dabbling in doubtful negotiations, through his Mohammedan
friends, with the Sultan of Egypt. He embarked at last, but in three
days returned. The octogenarian pope was not to be trifled with, and
pronounced his excommunication. Frederick treated it with ostensible
contempt, but appealed to Christendom, accusing Rome of avaricious
intentions. [Sidenote: Presumes to rebuke the pontifical government.]
Her officials, he said, were travelling in all directions, not to preach
the Word of God, but to extort money. "The primitive Church, founded on
poverty and simplicity, brought forth numberless saints. The Romans are
now rolling in wealth. What wonder that the walls of the Church are
undermined to the base, and threaten utter ruin." For saying this he
underwent a more tremendous excommunication; but his partisans in Rome,
raising an insurrection, expelled the pope. And now Frederick set sail,
of his own accord, on his crusading expedition. On reaching the Holy
Land, he was received with joy by the knights and pilgrims; but the
clergy held aloof from him as an excommunicated person. The pontiff had
despatched a swift-sailing ship to forbid their holding intercourse with
him. [Sidenote: His friendship with the sultan,] His private
negotiations with the Sultan of Egypt now matured. The Christian camp
was thronged with infidel delegates: some came to discuss philosophical
questions, some were the bearers of presents. Elephants and a bevy of
dancing-girls were courteously sent by the sultan to his friend, who, it
is said, was not insensible to the witcheries of these Oriental
beauties. He wore a Saracen dress. In his privacy he did not hesitate to
say, "I came not here to deliver the Holy City, but to maintain my
estimation among the Franks." To the sultan he appealed, "Out of your
goodness, surrender to me Jerusalem as it is, that I may be able to lift
up my head among the kings of Christendom." [Sidenote: who gives up
Jerusalem to him.] Accordingly, the city was surrendered to him. The
object of his expedition was accomplished. But the pope was not to be
deceived by such collusions. He repudiated the transactions altogether,
and actually took measures to lay Jerusalem and our Saviour's sepulchre
under interdict, and this in the face of the Mohammedans. [Sidenote: The
pope denounces him.] While the emperor proclaimed his successes to
Europe, the pope denounced them as coming from the union of Christ and
Belial; alleging four accusations against Frederick: 1. That he had
given the sword which he had received from the altar of St. Peter for
the defence of the faith, as a present to the Sultan of Babylon; 2. That
he had permitted the preaching of the Koran in the holy Temple itself;
3. That he had excluded the Christians of Antioch from his treaty; 4.
That he had bound himself, if a Christian army should attempt to cleanse
the Temple and city from Mohammedan defilements, to join the Saracens.

Frederick crowned himself at Jerusalem, unable to find any ecclesiastic
who dared to perform the ceremony, and departed from the Holy Land. It
was time, for Rome was intriguing against him at home, a false report of
his death having been industriously circulated. He forthwith prepared to
enter on his conflict with the pontiff. [Sidenote: Frederick establishes
Saracen posts in Italy.] His Saracen colonies at Nocera and Luceria, in
Italy, could supply him with 30,000 Mussulman soldiers, with whom it was
impossible for his enemies to tamper. He managed to draw over the
general sentiment of Europe to his side, and publicly offered to convict
the pope himself of negotiations with the infidels; but his antagonist,
conveniently impressed with a sudden horror of shedding blood, gave way,
and peace between the parties was made. It lasted nearly nine years.

[Sidenote: His political institutions.] In this period, the intellectual
greatness of Frederick, and the tendencies of the influences by which
he was enveloped, were strikingly manifested. In advance of his age,
he devoted himself to the political improvement of Sicily. He
instituted representative parliaments; enacted a system of wise
laws; asserted the principle of equal rights and equal burdens,
and the supremacy of the law over all, even the nobles and the
Church. He provided for the toleration of all professions, Jewish
and Mohammedan, as well as Christian; emancipated all the serfs
of his domains; instituted cheap justice for the poor; forbade
private war; regulated commerce--prophetically laying down some
of those great principles, which only in our own time have been
finally received as true; established markets and fairs; collected
large libraries; caused to be translated such works as those of
Aristotle and Ptolemy; built menageries for natural history; founded
in Naples a great university; patronized the medical college at
Salernum; made provisions for the education of promising but indigent
youths. All over the land splendid architectural triumphs were created.
Under him the Italian language first rose above a patois. Sculpture,
painting, and music were patronized. His chancellor is said to have
been the author of the oldest sonnet.

[Sidenote: They are denounced.] In the eye of Rome all this was an
abomination. Were human laws to take the precedence of the law of God?
Were the clergy to be degraded to a level with the laity? Were the Jew
and the Mohammedan to be permitted their infamous rites? Was this
new-born product of the insolence of human intellect--this so-called
science--to be brought into competition with theology, the
heaven-descended? Frederick and his parliaments, his laws and
universities, his libraries, his statues, his pictures and sonnets, were
denounced. Through all, the ever-watchful eye of the Church discerned
the Jew and the Saracen, and held them up to the abhorrence of Europe.
But Gregory was not unwilling to show what could be done by himself in
the same direction. He caused a compilation of the Decretals to be
issued, intrusting the work to one Raymond de Pennaforte, who had
attained celebrity as a literary opponent of the Saracens. It is amusing
to remark that even this simple work of labour could not be promulgated
without the customary embellishments. It was given out that an angel
watched over Pennaforte's shoulder all the time he was writing.

[Sidenote: Outbreak of his quarrel with the pope,] Meantime an unceasing
vigilance was maintained against the dangerous results that would
necessarily ensue from Frederick's movements. In Rome, many heretics
were burned; many condemned to imprisonment for life. The quarrel
between the pope and the emperor was resumed; the latter being once more
excommunicated, and his body delivered over to Satan for the good of his
soul. Again Frederick appealed to all the sovereigns of Christendom. He
denounced the pontiff as an unworthy vicar of Christ, "who sits in his
court like a merchant, weighing out dispensations for gold--himself
writing and signing the bulls, perhaps counting the money. He has but
one cause of enmity against me, that I refused to marry to his niece my
natural son Enzio, now King of Sardinia." "In the midst of the Church
sits a frantic prophet, a man of falsehood, a polluted priest." To this
Gregory replied. [Sidenote: who rouses Christendom against him.] The
tenor of his answer may be gathered from its commencement: "Out of the
sea a beast is arisen, whose name is written all over 'Blasphemy.'" "He
falsely asserts that I am enraged at his refusing his consent to the
marriage of my niece with his natural son. He lies more impudently when
he says that I have pledged my faith to the Lombards." "In truth, this
pestilent king maintains, to use his own words, that the world has been
deceived by three impostors--Jesus Christ, Moses, and Mohammed; that of
these two died in honour, and the third was hanged on a tree. Even now,
he has asserted, distinctly and loudly, that those are fools who aver
that God, the Omnipotent Creator of the world, was born of a woman."
This was in allusion to the celebrated and mysterious book, "De Tribus
Impostoribus," in the authorship of which Frederick was accused of
having been concerned.

The pontiff had touched the right chord. The begging friars, in all
directions, added to the accusations. "He has spoken of the Host as a
mummery; he has asked how many gods might be made out of a corn-field;
he has affirmed that, if the princes of the world would stand by him, he
would easily make for mankind a better faith and a better rule of life;
he has laid down the infidel maxim that 'God expects not a man to
believe anything that cannot be demonstrated by reason.'" The opinion of
Christendom rose against Frederick; its sentiment of piety was shocked.
The pontiff proceeded to depose him, and offered his crown to Robert of
France. [Sidenote: Frederick uses his Saracen troops.] But the Mussulman
troops of the emperor were too much for the begging friars of the pope.
His Saracens were marching across Italy in all directions. The pontiff
himself would have inevitably fallen into the hands of his mortal enemy
had he not found a deliverance in death, A.D. 1241. Frederick had
declared that he would not respect his sacred person, but, if
victorious, would teach him the absolute supremacy of the temporal
power. It was plain that he had no intention of respecting a religion
which he had not hesitated to denounce as "a mere absurdity."

Whatever may have been the intention of Innocent IV.--who, after the
short pontificate of Celestine IV. and an interval, succeeded--he was
borne into the same policy by the irresistible force of circumstances.
The deadly quarrel with the emperor was renewed. To escape his wrath,
Innocent fled to France, and there in safety called the Council of
Lyons. In a sermon, he renewed all the old accusations--the heresy and
sacrilege--the peopling of Italian cities with Saracens, for the purpose
of overturning the Vicar of Christ with those infidels--the friendship
with the Sultan of Egypt--the African courtesans--the perjuries and
blasphemies. [Sidenote: Excommunication of Frederick.] Then was
proclaimed the sentence of excommunication and deposition. The pope and
the bishops inverted the torches they held in their hands until they
went out, uttering the malediction, "So may he be extinguished." Again
the emperor appealed to Europe, but this time in vain. Europe would not
forgive him his blasphemy. Misfortunes crowded upon him; his friends
forsook him; his favourite son, Enzio, was taken prisoner; and he never
smiled again after detecting his intimate, Pietro de Vinea, whom he had
raised from beggary, in promising the monks that he would poison him.
The day had been carried by a resort to all means justifiable and
unjustifiable, good and evil. For thirty years Frederick had combated
the Church and the Guelph party, but he sunk in the conflict at last.
When Innocent heard of the death of his foe, he might doubtless well
think that what he had once asserted had at last become true: "We are no
mere mortal man; we have the place of God upon earth." [Sidenote: The
triumph at his death.] In his address to the clergy of Sicily he
exclaimed, "Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad; for the
lightning and tempest wherewith God Almighty has so long menaced your
heads have been changed by the death of this man into refreshing zephyrs
and fertilizing dews." This is that superhuman vengeance which hesitates
not to strike the corpse of a man. Rome never forgives him who has told
her of her impostures face to face; she never forgives him who has
touched her goods.

[Sidenote: Power of the Church at this moment.] The Saracenic influences
had thus found an expression in the South of France and in Sicily,
involving many classes of society, from the Poor Men of Lyons to the
Emperor of Germany; but in both places they were overcome by the
admirable organization and unscrupulous vigour of the Church. She
handled her weapons with singular dexterity, and contrived to extract
victory out of humiliation and defeat. As always since the days of
Constantine, she had partisans in every city, in every village, in every
family. And now it might have appeared that the blow she had thus
delivered was final, and that the world, in contentment, must submit to
her will. She had again succeeded in putting her iron heel on the neck
of knowledge, had invoked against it the hatred of Christendom, and
reviled it as the monstrous but legitimate issue of the detested

[Sidenote: Vitality of Frederick's principles.] But the fate of men
is by no means an indication of the fate of principles. The fall of
the Emperor Frederick was not followed by the destruction of the
influences he represented. These not only survived him, but were
destined, in the end, to overcome the power which had transiently
overthrown them. We are now entering on the history of a period
which offers not only exterior opposition to the current doctrines,
but, what is more ominous, interior mutiny. Notwithstanding the
awful persecutions in the South of France--notwithstanding the
establishment of auricular confession as a detective means, and
the Inquisition as a weapon of punishment--notwithstanding the
influence of the French king, St. Louis, canonized by the grateful
Church--heresy, instead of being extirpated, extended itself among
the laity, and even spread among the ecclesiastical ranks. [Sidenote:
St. Louis.] St. Louis, the representative of the hierarchical party,
gathers influence only from the circumstance of his relations with
the Church, of whose interests he was a fanatical supporter. So far
as the affairs of his people were concerned, he can hardly be looked
upon as anything better than a simpleton. His reliance for checking
the threatened spread of heresy was a resort to violence--the faggot
and the sword. In his opinion, "A man ought never to dispute with
a misbeliever except with his sword, which he ought to drive into
the heretic's entrails as far as he can." It was the signal glory
of his reign that he secured for France that inestimable relic,
the crown of thorns. [Sidenote: His superstition,] This peerless
memento of our Saviour's passion he purchased in Constantinople
for an immense sum. But France was doubly and enviably enriched;
for the Abbey of St. Denys was in possession of another, known to
be equally authentic! Besides the crown, he also secured the sponge
that was dipped in vinegar; the lance of the Roman soldier; also the
swaddling-clothes in which the Saviour had first lain in the manger;
the rod of Moses; and part of the skull of John the Baptist. These
treasures he deposited in the "Holy Chapel" of Paris.

[Sidenote: and crusade.] Under the papal auspices, St. Louis determined
on a crusade; and nothing, except what we have already mentioned, can
better show his mental imbecility than his disregard of all suitable
arrangements for it. He thought that, provided the troops could be made
to lead a religious life, all would go well; that the Lord would fight
his own battles, and that no provisions of a military or worldly kind
were needed. In such a pious reliance on the support of God, he reached
Egypt with his expedition in June, A.D. 1249. The ever-conspicuous
valour of the French troops could maintain itself in the battle-field,
but not against pestilence and famine. [Sidenote: Its total failure.] In
March of the following year, as might have been foreseen, King Louis was
the prisoner of the Sultan, and was only spared the indignity of being
carried about as a public spectacle in the Mohammedan towns by a ransom,
at first fixed at a million of Byzantines, but by the merciful Sultan
voluntarily reduced one fifth. Still, for a time, Louis lingered in the
East, apparently stupefied by considering how God could in this manner
have abandoned a man who had come to his help. Never was there a crusade
with a more shameful end.

[Sidenote: The Inquisition attempts to arrest the intellectual revolt.]
Notwithstanding the support of St. Louis in his own dominions, the
intellectual revolt spread in every direction, and that not only in
France, but throughout all Catholic Europe. In vain the Inquisition
exerted all its terrors--and what could be more terrible than its form
of procedure? It sat in secret; no witness, no advocate was present; the
accused was simply informed that he was charged with heresy, it was not
said by whom. He was made to swear that he would tell the truth as
regarded himself, and also respecting other persons, whether parents,
children, friends, strangers. If he resisted he was committed to a
solitary dungeon, dark and poisonous; his food was diminished;
everything was done to drive him into insanity. Then the familiars of
the Holy Office, or others in its interests, were by degrees to work
upon him to extort confession as to himself or accusations against
others. But this fearful tribunal did not fail to draw upon itself the
indignation of men. Its victims, condemned for heresy, were perishing in
all directions. The usual apparatus of death, the stake and faggots, had
become unsuited to its wholesale and remorseless vengeance. The convicts
were so numerous as to require pens made of stakes and filled with
straw. [Sidenote: Burnings of heretics.] It was thus that, before the
Archbishop of Rheims and seventeen other prelates, one hundred and
eighty-three heretics, together with their pastor, were burned alive.
Such outrages against humanity cannot be perpetrated without bringing in
the end retribution. In other countries the rising indignation was
exasperated by local causes; in England, for instance, by the continual
intrusion of Italian ecclesiastics into the richest benefices. Some of
them were mere boys; many were non-residents; some had not so much as
seen the country from which they drew their ample wealth. The Archbishop
of York was excommunicated, with torches and bells, because he would not
bestow the abundant revenues of his Church on persons from beyond the
Alps; but for all this "he was blessed by the people." The archbishopric
of Canterbury was held, A.D. 1241, by Boniface of Savoy, to whom had
been granted by the pope the first-fruits of all the benefices in his
province. His rapacity was boundless. From all the ecclesiastics and
ecclesiastical establishments under his control he extorted enormous
sums. Some, who, like the Dean of St. Paul's, resisted him, were
excommunicated; some, like the aged Sub-prior of St. Bartholomew's, were
knocked down by his own hand. Of a military turn--he often wore a
cuirass under his robes--he joined his brother, the Archbishop of Lyons,
who was besieging Turin, and wasted the revenues of his see in England
in intrigues and petty military enterprises against his enemies in

[Sidenote: Mutiny arising in the Church.] Not among the laity alone was
there indignation against such a state of things. Mutiny broke out in
the ranks of the Church. It was not that among the humbler classes the
sentiment of piety had become diminished. [Sidenote: The Shepherds and
Flagellants.] The Shepherds, under the leadership of the Master of
Hungary, passed by tens of thousands through France to excite the clergy
to arouse for the rescue of good King Louis, in bondage among the
Mussulmen. They asserted that they were commissioned by the Virgin, and
were fed miraculously by the Master. Originating in Italy, the
Flagellants also passed, two by two, through every city, scourging
themselves for thirty-three days in memory of the years of our Lord.
These dismal enthusiasts emulated each other, and were rivals of the
mendicant friars in their hatred of the clergy. [Sidenote: The mendicant
friars are affected.] The mendicants were beginning to justify that
hesitation which Innocent displayed when he was first importuned to
authorize them. The papacy had reaped from these orders much good; it
was now to gather a fearful evil. They had come to be learned men
instead of ferocious bigots. They were now, indeed, among the most
cultivated men of their times. They had taken possession of many of the
seats of learning. In the University of Paris, out of twelve chairs of
theology, three only were occupied by the regular clergy. The mendicant
friars had entered into the dangerous paths of heresy. They became
involved in that fermenting leaven that had come from Spain, and among
them revolt broke out.

[Sidenote: Rome prohibits the study of science.] With an unerring
instinct, Rome traced the insurrection to its true source. We have only
to look at the measures taken by the popes to understand their opinion.
Thus Innocent III., A.D. 1215, regulated, by his legate, the schools of
Paris, permitting the study of the Dialectics of Aristotle, but
forbidding his physical and metaphysical works and their commentaries.
These had come through an Arabic channel. A rescript of Gregory XI.,
A.D. 1231, interdicts those on natural philosophy until they had been
purified by the theologians of the Church. These regulations were
confirmed by Clement IV. A.D. 1265.




_Progress of Irreligion among the mendicant Orders.--Publication of
heretical Books.--The Everlasting Gospel and the Comment on the

_Conflict between Philip the Fair and Boniface VIII.--Outrage upon and
death of the Pope._

_The French King removes the Papacy from Rome to Avignon.--Post-mortem
Trial of the Pope for Atheism and Immorality.--Causes and Consequences
of the Atheism of the Pope._

_The Templars fall into Infidelity.--Their Trial, Conviction, and

_Immoralities of the Papal Court at Avignon.--Its return to
Rome.--Causes of the great Schism.--Disorganization of the Italian
System.--Decomposition of the Papacy.--Three Popes._

_The Council of Constance attempts to convert the papal Autocracy into a
constitutional Monarchy.--It murders John Huss and Jerome of
Prague.--Pontificate of Nicolas V.--End of the intellectual influence of
the Italian System._

[Sidenote: "The Everlasting Gospel."] About the close of the twelfth
century appeared among the mendicant friars that ominous work, which,
under the title of "The Everlasting Gospel," struck terror into the
Latin hierarchy. It was affirmed that an angel had brought it from
heaven, engraven on copper plates, and had given it to a priest called
Cyril, who delivered it to the Abbot Joachim. [Sidenote: Introduction to
it by the General of the Franciscans.] The abbot had been dead about
fifty years, when there was put forth, A.D. 1250, a true exposition of
the tendency of his book, under the form of an introduction, by John of
Parma, the general of the Franciscans, as was universally suspected or
alleged. Notwithstanding its heresy, the work displayed an enlarged and
masterly conception of the historical progress of humanity. In this
introduction, John of Parma pointed out that the Abbot Joachim, who had
not only performed a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, but had been
reverenced as a prophet, received as of unimpeachable orthodoxy, and
canonized, had accepted as his fundamental position that Roman
Christianity had done its work, and had now come to its inevitable
termination. He proceeded to show that there are epochs or ages in the
Divine government of the world; that, during the Jewish dispensation, it
had been under the immediate influence of God the Father; during the
Christian dispensation, it had been under that of God the Son; and that
the time had now arrived when it would be under the influence of God the
Holy Ghost; that, in the coming ages, there would be no longer any need
of faith, but that all things would be according to wisdom and reason.
It was the ushering in of a new time. So spake, with needful obscurity,
the Abbot Joachim, and so, more plainly, the General of the Franciscans
in his Introduction. "The Everlasting Gospel" was declared by its
adherents to have supplanted the New Testament, as that had supplanted
the Old--these three books constituting a threefold revelation,
answering to the Trinity of the Godhead. At once there was a cry from
the whole hierarchy. [Sidenote: Attempts to destroy the book.] The Pope,
Alexander IV., without delay, took measures for the destruction of the
book. Whoever kept or concealed a copy was excommunicated. But among the
lower mendicants--the Spiritualists, as they were termed--the work was
held in the most devout repute. With them it had taken the place of the
Holy Scriptures. [Sidenote: The Comment on the Apocalypse.] So far from
being suppressed, it was followed, in about forty years, A.D. 1297, by
the Comment on the Apocalypse, by John Peter Oliva, who, in Sicily, had
accepted the three epochs or ages, and divided the middle one--the
Christian--into seven stages: the age of the Apostles; that of the
Martyrs; that of Heresies; that of Hermits; that of the Monastic System;
that of the overthrow of Anti-Christ, and that of the coming Millennium.
He agreed with his predecessors in the impending abolition of Roman
Christianity, stigmatized that Church as the purple harlot, and with
them affirmed that the pope and all his hierarchy had become superfluous
and obsolete--"their work was done, their doom sealed." [Sidenote:
Spread of these doctrines among ecclesiastics.] His zealous followers
declared that the sacraments of the Church were now all useless, those
administering them having no longer any jurisdiction. The burning of
thousands of these "Fratricelli" by the Inquisition was altogether
inadequate to suppress them. Eventually, when the Reformation occurred,
they mingled among the followers of Luther.

[Sidenote: Approaching difficulties of the Church.] To the internal and
doctrinal troubles thus befalling the Church, material and foreign ones
of the most vital importance were soon added. The true reason of the
difficulties into which the papacy was falling was now coming
conspicuously into light. It was absolutely necessary that money should
be drawn to Rome, and the sovereigns of the Western kingdoms, France and
England, from which it had hitherto been largely obtained, were
determined that it should be so no longer. They had equally urgent need
themselves of all that could be extorted. In France, even by St. Louis,
it was enacted that the papal power in the election of the clergy should
be restrained; and, complaining of the drain of money from the kingdom
to Rome, he applied the effectual remedy of prohibiting any such
assessments or taxations for the future.

[Sidenote: Peter Morrone becomes pope.] We have now reached the
pontificate of Boniface VIII., an epoch in the intellectual history of
Europe. Under the title of Celestine V. a visionary hermit had been
raised to the papacy--visionary, for Peter Morrone (such was his name)
had long been indulged in apparitions of angels and the sounds of
phantom bells in the air. Peter was escorted from his cell to his
supreme position by admiring crowds; but it very soon became apparent
that the life of an anchorite is not a preparation for the duties of a
pope. The conclave of cardinals had elected him, not from any impression
of his suitableness, but because they were evenly balanced in two
parties, neither of which would give way. They were therefore driven to
a temporary and available election. But scarcely had this been done when
his incapacity became conspicuous and his removal imperative. [Sidenote:
Celestine V. terrified into abdication.] It is said that the friends of
Benedetto Gaetani, the ablest of the cardinals, through a hole
perforated in the pope's chamber wall, at midnight, in a hollow voice,
warned him that he retained his dignity at the peril of his soul, and in
the name of God commanded him to abdicate. And so, in spite of all
importunity, he did. His abdication was considered by many pious persons
as striking a death-blow at papal infallibility.

[Sidenote: The miracle of Loretto.] It was during his pontificate that
the miracle of Loretto occurred. The house inhabited by the Virgin
immediately after her conception had been converted on the death of the
Holy Family into a chapel, and St. Luke had presented to it an image,
carved by his own hands, still known as our Lady of Loretto. Some angels
chancing to be at Nazareth when the Saracen conquerors approached,
fearing that the sacred relic might fall into their possession, took the
house bodily in their hands, and, carrying it through the air, after
several halts, finally deposited it at Loretto in Italy.

[Sidenote: Boniface VIII. elected pope.] So Benedetto Gaetani, whether
by such wily procurements or not, became Pope Boniface VIII., A.D. 1294.
His election was probably due to King Charles, who held twelve electoral
votes, the bitter personal animosity of the Colonnas having been either
neutralized or overcome. The first care of Boniface was to consolidate
his power and relieve himself of a rival. In the opinion of many it was
not possible for a pope to abdicate. Confinement in prison soon (A.D.
1296) settled that question. [Sidenote: Ascent of Pope Celestine to
heaven.] The soul of Celestine was seen by a monk ascending the skies,
which opened to receive it into heaven; and a splendid funeral informed
his enemies that they must now acknowledge Boniface as the unquestioned
pope. [Sidenote: Quarrel of Boniface and the Colonnas.] But the princely
Colonnas, the leaders of the Ghibelline faction in Rome, who had
resisted the abdication of Celestine to the last, and were, therefore,
mortal enemies of Boniface, revolted. He published a bull against them;
he excommunicated them. With an ominous anticipation of the future--for
they were familiar with the papal power, and knew where to touch it to
the quick--they appealed to a "General Council." Since supernatural
weapons did not seem to avail, Boniface proclaimed a crusade against
them. The issue answered his expectations. Palestrina, one of their
strongholds, which in a moment of weakness they had surrendered, was
utterly devastated and sown with salt. The Colonnas fled, some of them
to France. There, in King Philip the Fair, they found a friend, who was
destined to avenge their wrongs, and to inflict on the papacy a blow
from which it never recovered.

[Sidenote: Pecuniary necessities of Rome.] This was the state of affairs
at the commencement of the quarrel between Philip and Boniface. The
Crusades had brought all Europe under taxation to Rome, and loud
complaints were everywhere made against the drain of money into Italy.
Things had at last come to such a condition that it was not possible to
continue the Crusades without resorting to a taxation of the clergy, and
this was the true reason of the eventual lukewarmness, and even
opposition to them. But the stream of money that had thus been passing
into Italy had engendered habits of luxury and extravagance. Cost what
it might, money must be had in Rome. The perennial necessity under which
the kings of England and France found themselves--the necessity of
revenue for the carrying out of their temporal projects--could only be
satisfied in the same way. The wealth of those nations had insensibly
glided into the hands of the Church. [Sidenote: The King of England
compels the clergy to pay taxes.] In England, Edward I. enforced the
taxation of the clergy. They resisted at first, but that sovereign found
an ingenious and effectual remedy. He directed his judges to hear no
cause in which an ecclesiastic was a complainant, but to try every suit
brought against them; asserting that those who refused to share the
burdens of the state had no right to the protection of its laws. They
forthwith submitted. In the nature and efficacy of this remedy we for
the first time recognize the agency of a class of men soon to rise to
power--the lawyers.

[Sidenote: The King of France attempts it.] In France, Philip the Fair
made a similar attempt. It was not to be supposed that Rome would
tolerate this trespassing on what she considered her proper domain, and
accordingly Boniface issued the bull "_Clericis laicos_,"
excommunicating kings who should levy subsidies on ecclesiastics.
Hereupon Philip determined that, if the French clergy were not tributary
to him, France should not be tributary to the pope, and issued an edict
prohibiting the export of gold and silver from France without his
license. But he did not resort to these extreme measures until he had
tried others which perhaps he considered less troublesome. He had
plundered the Jews, confiscated their property, and expelled them from
his dominions. [Sidenote: Is abetted by the begging friars,] The Church
was fairly next in order; and, indeed, the mendicant friars of the lower
class, who, as we have seen, were disaffected by the publication of "The
Everlasting Gospel," were loud in their denunciations of her wealth,
attributing the prevailing religious demoralization to it. They pointed
to the example of our Lord and his disciples; and when their antagonists
replied that even He condescended to make use of money, the malignant
fanatics maintained their doctrines, amid the applause of a jeering
populace, by answering that it was not St. Peter, but Judas, who was
intrusted with the purse, and that the pope stood in need of the bitter
rebuke which Jesus had of old administered to his prototype Peter,
saying, "Get thee behind me, Satan; for thou savourest not of the things
that be of God, but of the things that be of men" (Mark viii. 33). Under
that authority they affirmed that they might stigmatize the great
culprit without guilt. So the king ventured to put forth his hand and
touch what the Church had, and she cursed him to his face. At first a
literary war ensued: the pope published his bull, the king his reply.
[Sidenote: and ably sustained by the lawyers.] Already the policy which
Philip was following, and the ability he was displaying, manifested that
he had attached to himself that new power of which the King of England
had taken advantage--a power soon to become the mortal enemy of the
ecclesiastic--the lawyers. [Sidenote: Device of the jubilee.] In the
meantime, money must be had in Rome; when, by the singularly felicitous
device of the proclamation of a year of jubilee, A.D. 1300, large sums
were again brought into Italy.

[Sidenote: The four enemies of Boniface.] Boniface had thus four
antagonists on his hands--the King of France, the Colonnas, the lawyers,
and the mendicants. By the latter, both high and low, he was cordially
hated. Thus the higher English Franciscans were enraged against him
because he refused to let them hold lands. They attempted to bribe him
with 40,000 ducats; but he seized the money at the banker's, under the
pretence that it had no owners, as the mendicants were vowed to poverty,
and then denied the privilege. As to the lower Franciscans, heresy was
fast spreading among them. They were not only infected with the
doctrines of "The Everlasting Gospel," but had even descended into the
abyss of irreligion one step more by placing St. Francis in the stead of
our Saviour. They were incessantly repeating in the ears of the laity
that the pope was Anti-Christ, "The Man of Sin." [Sidenote: Collision
between the French king and the pope.] The quarrel between Philip and
Boniface was every moment increasing in bitterness. The former seized
and imprisoned a papal nuncio, who had been selected because he was
known to be personally offensive; the latter retaliated by the issue of
bulls protesting against such an outrage, interfering between the king
and his French clergy, and citing the latter to appear in Rome and take
cognizance of their master's misdoings. The monarch was actually invited
to be present and hear his own doom. In the lesser bull--if it be
authentic--and the king's rejoinder, both parties seem to have lost
their temper. [Sidenote: The bull "_Ausculta Fili_."] This was followed
by the celebrated bull "_Ausculta Fili_" at which the king's indignation
knew no bounds. He had it publicly burnt in Paris at the sound of a
trumpet; assembled the States-General; and, under the advice of his
lawyers, skilfully brought the issue to this: Does the king hold the
realm of France of God or of the pope? Without difficulty it might be
seen how the French clergy would be compelled to act: since many of them
held fiefs of the king, all were in fear of the intrusion of Italian
ecclesiastics into the rich benefices. France, therefore, supported her
monarch. [Sidenote: The bull "_Unam Sanctam_."] On his side, Boniface,
in the bull "_Unam Sanctam_" asserted his power by declaring that it is
necessary to salvation to believe that "every human being is subject to
the Pontiff of Rome." Philip, foreseeing the desperate nature of the
approaching conflict, and aiming to attach his people firmly to him by
putting himself forth as their protector against priestly tyranny, again
skilfully appealed to their sentiments by denouncing the Inquisition as
an atrocious barbarity, an outrage on human rights, violating all law,
resorting to new and unheard-of tortures, and doing deeds at which men's
minds revolt with horror. In the South of France this language was
thoroughly understood. [Sidenote: William de Nogaret.] The lawyers,
among whom William de Nogaret was conspicuous, ably assisted him;
indeed, his whole movement exhibited the extraordinary intelligence of
his advisers. It has been affirmed, and is, perhaps, not untrue, that De
Nogaret's father had been burnt by the Inquisition. The great lawyer was
bent on revenge. [Sidenote: Action of the States-General.] The
States-General, under his suggestions, entertained four propositions: 1.
That Boniface was not the true pope; 2. That he was a heretic; 3. That
he was a simoniac; 4. That he was a man weighed down with crimes. De
Nogaret, learning from the Colonnas how to touch the papacy in a vital
point, demanded that the whole subject should be referred to a "General
Council" to be summoned by the king. A second meeting of the
States-General was held. William de Plaisian, the Lord of Vezenoble,
appeared with charges against the pope. [Sidenote: Accusations against
the pope.] Out of a long list, many of which could not possibly be true,
some may be mentioned: that Boniface neither believed in the immortality
nor incorruptibility of the soul, nor in a life to come, nor in the real
presence in the Eucharist; that he did not observe the fasts of the
Church--not even Lent; that he spoke of the cardinals, monks, and friars
as hypocrites; that the Holy Land had been lost through his fault; that
the subsidies for its relief had been embezzled by him; that his holy
predecessor, Celestine, through his inhumanity had been brought to
death; that he had said that fornication and other obscene practices are
no sin; that he was a Sodomite, and had caused clerks to be murdered in
his presence; that he had enriched himself by simony; that his nephew's
wife had borne him two illegitimate sons. These, with other still more
revolting charges, were sworn to upon the Holy Gospels. The king
appealed to "a general council and to a legitimate pope."

The quarrel had now become a mortal one. There was but one course for
Boniface to take, and he did take it. He excommunicated the king. He
deprived him of his throne, and anathematized his posterity to the
fourth generation. The bull was to be suspended in the porch of the
Cathedral of Anagni on September 8; but William de Nogaret and one of
the Colonnas had already passed into Italy. They hired a troop of
banditti, and on September 7 attacked the pontiff in his palace at
Anagni. The doors of a church which protected him were strong, but they
yielded to fire. The brave old man, in his pontifical robes, with his
crucifix in one hand and the keys of St. Peter in the other, sat down on
his throne and confronted his assailants. His cardinals had fled through
a sewer. [Sidenote: His seizure by De Nogaret, and his death.] So little
reverence was there for God's vicar upon earth, that Sciarra Colonna
raised his hand to kill him on the spot; but the blow was arrested by De
Nogaret, who, with a bitter taunt, told him that here, in his own city,
he owed his life to the mercy of a servant of the King of France--a
servant whose father had been burnt by the Inquisition. The pontiff was
spared only to be placed on a miserable horse, with his face to the
tail, and led off to prison. They meant to transport him to France to
await the general council. He was rescued, returned to Rome, was seized
and imprisoned again. On the 11th of October he died.

Thus, after a pontificate of nine eventful years, perished Boniface
VIII. His history and his fate show to what a gulf Roman Christianity
was approaching. His successor, Benedict XI., had but a brief enjoyment
of power; long enough, however, to learn that the hatred of the King of
France had not died with the death of Boniface, and that he was
determined not only to pursue the departed pontiff's memory beyond the
grave, but also to effect a radical change in the papacy itself.
[Sidenote: Poisoning of Benedict XI.] A basket of figs was presented to
Benedict by a veiled female. She had brought them, she said, from the
Abbess of St. Petronilla. In an unguarded moment the pontiff ate of them
without the customary precaution of having them previously tasted. Alas!
what was the state of morals in Italy? A dysentery came on; in a few
days he was dead. But the Colonnas had already taught the King of France
how one should work who desires to touch the popedom; the event that had
just occurred was the preparation for putting their advice into
operation. [Sidenote: Understanding between the king and the Archbishop
of Bordeaux.] The king came to an understanding with Bernard de Goth,
the Archbishop of Bordeaux. Six conditions were arranged between them:
1. The reconciliation between the Church and the king; 2. The absolution
of all persons engaged in the affair of Boniface; 3. Tenths from the
clergy for five years; 4. The condemnation of the memory of Boniface; 5.
The restoration of the Colonnas; 6. A secret article; what it was time
soon showed. A swift messenger carried intelligence to the king's
partisans in the College of Cardinals, and Bernard became Clement V. "It
will be long before we see the face of another pope in Rome!" exclaimed
the Cardinal Matteo Orsini, with a prophetic instinct of what was coming
when the conspiracy reached its development. [Sidenote: Removal of the
papacy to Avignon.] His prophecy was only too true. Now appeared what
was that sixth, that secret article negotiated between King Philip and
De Goth. Clement took up his residence at Avignon in France. The tomb of
the apostles was abandoned. The Eternal City had ceased to be the
metropolis of Christianity.

But a French prelate had not bargained with a French king for the most
eminent dignity to which a European can aspire without having given an
equivalent. In as good faith as he could to his contract, in as good
faith as he could to his present pre-eminent position, Clement V.
proceeded to discharge his share of the obligation. To a certain extent
King Philip was animated by an undying vengeance against his enemy, whom
he considered as having escaped out of his grasp, but he was also
actuated by a sincere desire of accomplishing a reform in the Church
through a radical change in its constitution. [Sidenote: Post-mortem
trial of Pope Boniface.] He was resolved that the pontiffs should be
accountable to the kings of France, or that France should more directly
influence their conduct. To reconcile men to this, it was for him to
show, with the semblance of pious reluctance, what was the state to
which morals and faith had come in Rome. The trial of the dead Boniface
was therefore entered upon, A.D. 1310. The Consistory was opened at
Avignon, March 18. The proceedings occupied many months; many witnesses
were examined. [Sidenote: The accusations against him.] The main points
attempted to be established by their evidence seem to have been these:
"That Boniface had declared his belief that there was no such thing as
divine law--what was reputed to be such was merely the invention of men
to keep the vulgar in awe by the terrors of eternal punishment; that it
was a falsehood to assert the Trinity, and fatuous to believe it; that
it was falsehood to say that a virgin had brought forth, for it was an
impossibility; that it was falsehood to assert that bread is
transubstantiated into the body of Christ; that Christianity is false,
because it asserts a future life, of which there is no evidence save
that of visionary people." It was in evidence that the pope had said,
"God may do the worst with me that he pleases in the future life; I
believe as every educated man does, the vulgar believe otherwise. We
have to speak as they do, but we must believe and think with the few."
It was sworn to by those who had heard him disputing with some Parisians
that he had maintained "that neither the body nor the soul rise again."
Others testified that "he neither believed in the resurrection nor in
the sacraments of the Church, and had denied that carnal gratifications
are sins." The Primicerio of St. John's at Naples, deposed that, when a
cardinal, Boniface had said in his presence, "So that God gives me the
good things of this life, I care not a bean for that to come. A man has
no more a soul than a beast. Did you ever see any one who had risen from
the dead?" He took delight in deriding the blessed Virgin; "for," said
he, "she was no more a virgin than my mother." As to the presence of
Christ in the Host, "It is nothing but paste." Three knights of Lucca
testified that when certain venerable ambassadors, whose names they
gave, were in the presence of the pope at the time of the jubilee, and a
chaplain happened to invoke the mercy of Jesus on a person recently
dead, Boniface appalled all around him by exclaiming, "What a fool, to
commend him to Christ! He could not help himself, and how can he be
expected to help others? He was no Son of God, but a shrewd man and a
great hypocrite." It might seem impossible to exceed such blasphemy: and
yet the witnesses went on to testify to a conversation which he held
with the brave old Sicilian admiral, Roger Loria. This devout sailor
made the remark, in the pope's presence, that if, on a certain occasion,
he had died, it was his trust that Christ would have had mercy on him.
To this Boniface replied, "Christ! he was no Son of God; he was a man,
eating and drinking like ourselves; he never rose from the dead; no man
has ever risen. I am far mightier than he. I can bestow kingdoms and
humble kings." Other witnesses deposed to having heard him affirm,
"There is no harm in simony. There is no more harm in adultery than in
rubbing one's hands together." Some testified to such immoralities and
lewdness in his private life that the pages of a modern book cannot be
soiled with the recital.

[Sidenote: Philip consents to abstain from the prosecution.] In the
meantime, Clement did all in his power to save the blackened memory of
his predecessor. Every influence that could be brought to bear on the
revengeful or politic king was resorted to, and at last with success.
Perhaps Philip saw that he had fully accomplished his object. He had no
design to destroy the papacy. His aim was to revolutionize it--to give
the kings of France a more thorough control over it; and, for the
accomplishment of that purpose, to demonstrate to what a condition it
had come through the present system. Whatever might be the decision,
such evidence had been brought forward as, notwithstanding its
contradictions and apparent inconsistencies, had made a profound
impression on every thinking man. It was the king's consummate policy to
let the matter remain where it was. Accordingly, he abandoned all
farther action. The gratitude of Clement was expressed in a bull
exalting Philip, attributing his action to piety, exempting him from all
blame, annulling past bulls prejudicial to him, revoking all punishments
of those who had been concerned against Boniface except in the case of
fifteen persons, on whom a light and nominal penance was inflicted. In
November, A.D. 1311, the Council of Vienne met. In the following year
three cardinals appeared before it to defend the orthodoxy and holy life
of Pope Boniface. Two knights threw down their gauntlets to maintain his
innocence by wager of battle. There was no accuser! no one took up the
gage; and the council was at liberty quietly to dispose of the matter.

[Sidenote: The religious condition of Pope Boniface.] How far the
departed pontiff was guilty of the charges alleged against him was,
therefore, never fairly ascertained. But it was a tremendous, an
appalling fact that charges of such a character could be even so much as
brought forward, much more that a succeeding pontiff had to listen to
them, and attribute intentions of piety to the accuser. The immoralities
of which Boniface was accused were such as in Italy did not excite the
same indignation as among the more moral people beyond the Alps; the
heresies were those everywhere pervading the Church. We have already
seen what a profound impression "The Everlasting Gospel" had made, and
how many followers and martyrs it had. What was alleged against Boniface
was only that he had taken one step more in the downward course of
irreligion. His fault lay in this, that in an evil hour he had given
expression to thoughts which, considering his position, ought to have
remained locked up in his inmost soul. As to the rest, if he was
avaricious, and accumulated enormous treasures, such as it was said the
banditti of the Colonnas seized when they outraged his person, he was no
worse than many other popes. Clement V., his successor, died enormously
rich; and, what was worse, did not hesitate to scandalize Europe by his
prodigal munificence to the beautiful Brunisard, the Countess of
Talleyrand, his lady.

[Sidenote: Its causes.] The religious condition of Boniface, though not
admitting of apology, is capable of explanation. By the Crusades all
Europe had been wrought up to a fanatical expectation, doomed
necessarily to disappointment. From them the papacy had derived
prodigious advantages both in money and power. It was now to experience
fearful evils. It had largely promised rewards in this life, and also in
the world to come, to those who would take up the Cross; it had
deliberately pitted Christianity against Mohammedanism, and staked the
authenticity of each on the issue of the conflict. In face of the whole
world it had put forth as the true criterion the possession of the holy
places, hallowed by the life, the sufferings, the death, the
resurrection of the Redeemer. Whatever the result might be, the
circumstances under which this had been done were such that there was no
concealing, no dissembling. In all Europe there was not a family which
had not been pecuniarily involved in the Crusades, perhaps few that had
not furnished men. Was it at all to be wondered at that everywhere the
people, accustomed to the logic of trial by battle, were terror-stricken
when they saw the result? Was it to be wondered at that even still more
dreadful heresies spontaneously suggested themselves? Was it at all
extraordinary that, if there had been popes sincerely accepting that
criterion, the issue should be a pope who was a sincere misbeliever? Was
it extraordinary that there should be a loss of papal prestige? It was
the papacy which had voluntarily, for its own ends, brought things into
this evil channel, and the papacy deserved a just retribution of
discredit and ruin. It had wrought on the devout temper of religious
Europe for its own sinister purposes; it had drained the Continent of
its blood, and perhaps of what was more highly prized--its money; it had
established a false issue, an unwarrantable criterion, and now came the
time for it to reap consequences of a different kind--intellectual
revolt among the people, heresy among the clergy. Nor was the pope
without eminent comrades in his sin. [Sidenote: Apostacy of the
Templars.] The Templars, whose duty it had been to protect pilgrims on
the way to Jerusalem--who had therefore been long and thoroughly
familiar with the state of events in Palestine--had been treading in the
same path as the pope. Dark rumours had begun to circulate throughout
Europe that these, the very vanguard of Christianity, had not only
proved traitors to their banner, but had actually become Mohammedanized.
On their expulsion from the Holy Land, at the close of the Crusades,
they spread all over Europe, to disseminate by stealth their fearful
heresies, and to enjoy the riches they had acquired in the service they
had betrayed. Men find a charm in having it mysteriously and secretly
divulged to them that their long-cherished opinions are all a delusion.
There was something fascinating in hearing privately, from those who
could speak with authority, that, after all, Mohammed was not an
impostor, but the author of a pure and noble Theism; that Saladin was
not a treacherous assassin, a despicable liar, but a most valiant,
courteous, and gentle knight. In his proceedings against the Templars,
King Philip the Fair seems to have been animated by a pure intention of
checking the disastrous spread of these opinions; yet William de
Nogaret, who was his chief adviser on this matter as on that of
Boniface, was not without reasons of personal hatred. It was said that
he divided his wrath between the Templars and the pope. They had had
some connexion with the burning of his father, and vengeance he was
resolved to wreak upon them. [Sidenote: They are arrested and tried.]
Under colour of the charges against them, all the Templars in France
were simultaneously arrested in the dawn of one day, October 13, A.D.
1307, so well devised were the measures. The grand master, Du Molay, was
secured, not, however, without some perfidy. Now were openly brought
forward the charges which struck Europe with consternation.
Substantiation of them was offered by witnesses, but it was secured by
submitting the accused to torture. The grand master, Du Molay, at first
admitted their guilt of the crimes alleged. After some hesitation, the
pope issued a bull, commanding the King of England to do what the King
of France had already done, to arrest the Templars and seize their
property. His declaration, that one of the order, a man of high birth,
had confessed to himself his criminality, seems to have made a profound
impression on the mind of the English king, and of many other persons
until that time reluctant to believe. The Parliament and the University
of Paris expressed themselves satisfied with the evidence. New
examinations were held, and new convictions were made. The pope issued a
bull addressed to all Christendom, declaring how slowly, but, alas! how
certainly, he had been compelled to believe in the apostacy of the
order, and commanding that everywhere proceedings should be instituted
against it. A papal commission assembled in Paris, August 7, A.D. 1309.
The grand master was brought before it. He professed his belief in the
Catholic faith, but now denied that the order was guilty of the charges
alleged against it, as also did many of the other knights. Other
witnesses were, however, brought forward, some of whom pretended to have
abandoned the order on account of its foul acts. At the Porte St.
Antoine, on many pleasant evenings in the following May, William de
Nogaret revelled in the luxury of avenging the shade of his father.
[Sidenote: Found guilty and punished.] One hundred and thirteen Templars
were, in slow succession, burnt at stakes. The remorseless lawyer was
repaying the Church in her own coin. Yet of this vast concourse of
sufferers all died protesting their innocence; not one proved an
apostate. Notwithstanding this most significant fact--for those who were
ready to lay down their lives, and to meet with unshaken constancy the
fire, were surely the bravest of the knights, and their dying
declaration is worthy of our most reverent consideration--things were
such that no other course was possible than the abolition of the order,
and this accordingly took place. The pope himself seems to have been
satisfied that the crimes had been perpetrated under the instigation or
temptation of Satan; but men of more enlarged views appear to have
concluded that, though the Templars were innocent of the moral
abominations charged against them, a familiarity with other forms of
belief in the East had undoubtedly sapped their faith. After a weary
imprisonment of six years, embittered by many hardships, the grand
master, Du Molay, was brought up for sentence. He had been found guilty.
With his dying breath, "before Heaven and earth, on the verge of death,
when the least falsehood bears like an intolerable weight on the soul,"
he declared the innocence of the order and of himself. [Sidenote:
Burning of Du Molay.] The vesper-bell was sounding when Du Molay and a
brother convict were led forth to their stakes, placed on an island in
the Seine. King Philip himself was present. As the smoke and flames
enveloped them they continued to affirm their innocence. Some averred
that forth from the fire Du Molay's voice sounded, "Clement! thou wicked
and false judge, I summon thee to meet me within forty days at the bar
of God." Some said that he also summoned the king. In the following year
King Philip the Fair and Pope Clement the Fifth were dead.

John XXII., elected after an interval of more than two years spent in
rivalries and intrigues between the French and Italian cardinals,
continued the residence at Avignon. His movements took a practical turn
in the commencement of a process for the recovery of the treasures of
Clement from the Viscount de Lomenie. This was only a part of the wealth
of the deceased pope, but it amounted to a million and three quarters of
florins of gold. The Inquisition was kept actively at work for the
extermination of the believers in "The Everlasting Gospel," and the
remnant of the Albigenses and Waldenses. But all this had no other
result than that which eventually occurred--an examination of the
authenticity and rightfulness of the papal power. With an instinct as to
the origin of the misbelief everywhere spreading, the pope published
bulls against the Jews, of whom a bloody persecution had arisen, and
ordered that all their Talmuds and other blasphemous books should be
burnt. [Sidenote: Marsilio's work, "The Defender of Peace."] A
physician, Marsilio of Padua, published a work, "The Defender of Peace."
It was a philosophical examination of the principles of government, and
of the nature and limits of the sacerdotal power. Its democratic
tendency was displayed by its demonstration that the exposition of the
law of Christianity rests not with the pope nor any other priest, but
with a general council; it rejected the papal political pretensions;
asserted that no one can be rightfully excommunicated by a pope alone,
and that he has no power of coercion over human thought; that the civil
immunities of the clergy ought to be ended; that poverty and humility
ought alone to be their characteristics; that society ought to provide
them with a decent sustenance, but nothing more: their pomp,
extravagance, luxury, and usurpations, especially that of tithes, should
be abrogated; that neither Christ nor the Scriptures ever gave St. Peter
a supremacy over the other apostles; that, if history is to be
consulted, St. Paul, and not St. Peter, was bishop of Rome--indeed, it
is doubtful whether the latter was ever in that city, the Acts of the
Apostles being silent on that subject. From these and many other such
arguments he drew forty-one conclusions adverse to the political and
ecclesiastical supremacy of the pope.

It is not necessary to consider here the relations of John XXII. to
Louis of Bavaria, nor of the antipope Nicholas; they belong merely to
political history. But, as if to show how the intellectual movement was
working its way, the pontiff himself did not escape a charge of heresy.
[Sidenote: The "beatific vision."] Though he had so many temporal
affairs on his hands, John did not hesitate to raise the great question
of the "beatific vision." In his opinion, the dead, even the saints, do
not enjoy the beatific vision of God until after the Judgment-day. At
once there was a demand among the orthodox, "What! do not the apostles,
John, Peter, nay, even the blessed Virgin, stand yet in the presence of
God?" The pope directed the most learned theologians to examine the
question, himself entering actively into the dispute. The University of
Paris was involved. The King of France declared that his realm should
not be polluted with such heretical doctrines. A single sentence
explains the practical direction of the dogma, so far as the interests
of the Church were concerned: "If the saints stand not in the presence
of God, of what use is their intercession? What is the use of addressing
prayers to them?" The folly of the pontiff perhaps might be excused by
his age. He was now nearly ninety years old. That he had not guided
himself according to the prevailing sentiment of the lower religious
orders, who thought that poverty is essential to salvation, appeared at
his death, A.D. 1334. He left eighteen millions of gold florins in
specie, and seven millions in plate and jewels.

[Sidenote: It is explained by Benedict XII.] His successor, Benedict
XII., disposed of the question of the "beatific vision:" "It is only
those saints who do not pass through Purgatory that immediately behold
the Godhead." The pontificate of Benedict, which was not without many
good features, hardly verified the expression with which he greeted the
cardinals when they elected him, "You have chosen an ass." His was a gay
life. There is a tradition that to him is due the origin of the proverb,
"As drunk as a pope."

[Sidenote: Voluptuousness of Avignon.] In the subsequent pontificate of
Clement VI., A.D. 1342, the court at Avignon became the most voluptuous
in Christendom. It was crowded with knights and ladies, painters and
other artists. It exhibited a day-dream of equipages and banquets. The
pontiff himself delighted in female society, but, in his weakness,
permitted his lady, the Countess of Turenne, to extort enormous revenues
by the sale of ecclesiastical promotions. Petrarch, who lived at Avignon
at this time, speaks of it as a vast brothel. His own sister had been
seduced by the holy father, John XXII. During all these years the Romans
had made repeated attempts to force back the papal court to their city.
With its departure all their profits had gone. But the fatal policy of
electing Frenchmen into the College of Cardinals seemed to shut out
every hope. [Sidenote: Rienzi.] The unscrupulous manner in which this
was done is illustrated by the fact that Clement made one of his
relatives, a lad of eighteen, a cardinal. For a time the brief glories
of Rienzi cast a flickering ray on Rome; but Rienzi was only a
demagogue--an impostor. It was the deep impression made upon Europe that
the residence at Avignon was an abandonment of the tomb of St. Peter,
that compelled Urban V. to return to Rome. This determination was
strengthened by a desire to escape out of the power of the kings of
France, and to avoid the free companies who had learned to extort bribes
for sparing Avignon from plunder. He left Avignon, A.D. 1367, amid the
reluctant grief of his cardinals, torn from that gay and dissipated
city, and in dread of the recollections and of the populace of Rome. And
well it might be so; for not only in Rome, but all over Italy, piety was
held in no respect, and the discipline of the Church in derision.
[Sidenote: Irreverence of Barnabas Visconti.] When Urban sent to
Barnabas Visconti, who was raising trouble in Tuscany, a bull of
excommunication by the hands of two legates, Barnabas actually compelled
them, in his presence, to eat the parchment on which the bull was
written, together with the leaden seal and the silken string, and,
telling them that he hoped it would sit as lightly on their stomachs as
it did on his, sent them back to their master! In a little time--it was
but two years--absence from France became insupportable; the pope
returned to Avignon, and there died. [Sidenote: The popes return to
Rome.] It was reserved for his successor, Gregory XI., finally to end
what was termed, from its seventy years' duration, the Babylonish
captivity, and restore the papacy to the Eternal City, A.D. 1376.

[Sidenote: Causes of the great schism.] But, though the popes had thus
returned to Rome, the effects of King Philip's policy still continued.
On the death of Gregory XI., the conclave, meeting at Rome--for the
conclave must meet where the pope dies--elected Urban VI., under
intimidation of the Roman populace, who were determined to retain the
papacy in their city; but, escaping to Fondi, and repenting of what they
had thus done, they proclaimed his election void, and substituted
Clement VII. for him. They were actually at one time on the point of
choosing the King of France as pope. Thus began the great schism. It
was, in reality, a struggle between France and Italy for the control of
the papacy. The former had enjoyed it for seventy years; the latter was
determined to recover it. The schism thus rested originally on political
considerations, but these were doubtless exasperated by the conduct of
Urban, whose course was overbearing and even intolerable to his
supporters. Nor did he amend as his position became more consolidated.
In A.D. 1385, suspecting his cardinals of an intention to seize him,
declare him a heretic, and burn him, he submitted several of them to
torture in his own presence, while he recited his breviary. Escaping
from Nocera, where he had been besieged, he caused the Bishop of Aquila
to be killed on the road-side. Others he tied in sacks, and threw into
the sea at Genoa. It was supposed, not without reason, that he was

[Sidenote: Pecuniary necessities of the rival popes.] If there had
formerly been pecuniary difficulty in supporting one papal court, it, of
course, became greater now that there were two. Such troubles, every day
increasing, led at length to unhappy political movements. There was an
absolute necessity for drawing money to Rome and also to Avignon. The
device of a jubilee was too transitory and inadequate, even though, by
an improvement in the theory of that festival, it was expedited by
thirty-three years, answering to our Saviour's life. At Avignon, the
difficulty of Clement, who was of amiable and polished manners, turned
on the French Church being obliged to support him; and it is not to be
wondered at that the French clergy looked with dislike on the pontifical
establishment among them, since it was driven by its necessities to prey
on all their best benefices. [Sidenote: Organization of simony.] Under
such circumstances, no other course was possible to the rival popes and
their successors than a thorough reorganization of the papal financial
system--the more complete development of simony, indulgences, and other
improper sources of emolument. In this manner Boniface IX. tripled the
value of the annates upon the papal books. Usurers or brokers,
intervening between the purchasers of benefices and the papal exchequer,
were established, and it is said that, under the pressing difficulties
of the case, benefices were known to have been sold, many times in
succession, to different claimants in one week. Late applicants might
obtain a preference for appointments on making a cash payment of
twenty-five florins; an increased preference might be had for fifty. It
became, at last, no unusual thing to write to kings and prelates for
subsidies--a proof how greatly the papacy had been weakened by the
events of the times.

[Sidenote: Indignation of religious Europe.] But religious Europe
could not bear with such increasing scandals. The rival popes were
incessantly accusing each other of falsehood and all manner of
wickedness. At length the public sentiment found its expression
in the Council of Pisa, called by the cardinals on their own
responsibility. This council summoned the two popes--Benedict XIII.
and Gregory XII.--before it; declared the crimes and excesses
imputed to them to be true, and deposed them both, appointing
in their stead Alexander V. [Sidenote: Three popes.] There were
now, therefore, three popes. But, besides thus rendering the position
of things worse than it was before in this respect, the council had
taken the still more extraordinary step of overthrowing the autocracy
of the pope. It had been compelled by the force of circumstances to
destroy the very foundation of Latin Christianity by assuming the
position of superiority over the vicar of Christ. Now might be
discerned by men of reflexion the purely human nature of the papacy.
It had broken down. Out of the theological disputes of preceding years
a political principle was obviously emerging; the democratic spirit
was developing itself, and the hierarchy was in rebellion against its

Nor was this great movement limited to the clergy. In every direction
the laity participated in it, pecuniary questions being in very many
instances the incentive. Things had come to such a condition that it
seemed to be of little moment what might be the personal character of
the pontiff; the necessities of the position irresistibly drove him to
replenish the treasury by shameful means. [Sidenote: Balthazar Cossa
made pope.] Thus, on Alexander's death, Balthazar Cossa, an evil but an
able man, who succeeded as John XXIII., was not only compelled to extend
the existing simoniacal practices of the ecclesiastical brokers'
offices, but actually to derive revenue from the licensing of
prostitutes, gambling-houses, and usurers. [Sidenote: Dissatisfaction in
England.] In England, for ages a mine of wealth to Rome, the tendency of
things was shown by such facts as the remonstrance of the Commons with
the crown on the appointment of ecclesiastics to all the great offices;
the allegations made by the "Good Parliament" as to the amount of money
drawn by Rome from the kingdom. They asserted that it was five times as
much as the taxes levied by the king, and that the pope's revenue from
England was greater than the revenue of any prince in Christendom. It
was shown again by such facts as the passage of the statutes of
Mortmain, Provisors, and Præmunire, and by the universal clamour against
the mendicant orders. This dissatisfaction with the clergy was
accompanied by a desire for knowledge. [Sidenote: Wiclif, the English
reformer.] Thousands of persons crowded to the universities both on the
Continent and in England. In a community thus well prepared, Wiclif
found no difficulty in disseminating his views. He had adopted in many
particulars the doctrines of Berengar. He taught that the bread in the
Eucharist is not the real body of Christ, but only its image; that the
Roman Church has no true claim to headship over other churches; that its
bishop has no more authority than any other bishop; that it is right to
deprive a delinquent Church of temporal possessions; that no bishop
ought to have prisons for the punishment of those obnoxious to him; and
that the Bible alone is a sufficient guide for a Christian man.
[Sidenote: He translates the Bible.] His translation of the Bible into
English was the practical carrying out of that assertion for the benefit
of his own countrymen. All classes of society were becoming infected.
The government for a season vacillated. It was said that every other man
in England was a Lollard. The Lollards were Wiclifites. But the Church
at last persuaded the government to let her try her hand, and the
statute "de heretico comburendo" was passed A.D. 1400. [Sidenote:
Burning of English heretics.] William Sautree, a priest who had turned
Wiclifite, was the first English martyr. John Badbee, a tailor, who
denied transubstantiation--accused of having said that, if it were true,
there were 20,000 gods in every corn-field in England--next suffered in
like manner at the stake, in presence of the Prince of Wales. Lord
Cobham, the head of the Lollards, who had denounced the pope as
Anti-Christ, the Son of Perdition, was imprisoned; but escaping, became
involved in political movements, and suffered at length the double
penalty for heresy and treason, being hung on a gallows with a fire
blazing at his feet. It is interesting to remark the social rank of
these three early martyrs. Heresy was pervading all classes, from the
lowest to the highest.

[Sidenote: The Council of Constance deposes the pope,] The Council of
Constance met A.D. 1415. It had a threefold object: 1. The union of the
Church under one pope; 2. The reformation of the clergy; 3. The
suppression of heresy. Its policy from the first was determined. It
proclaimed itself supreme. It demanded the abdication of the pope John
XXIII.; exhibited articles of accusation against him, some of them of
such enormity as almost to surpass belief, and justifying the epithet
that he was "a devil incarnate." The suffrage of the council was
changed. The plan of voting by nations, which reduced the Italians to a
single vote, was introduced. These incidental facts may indicate to us
that there were present men who understood thoroughly how to manage the
machinery of such an assembly, and that the remark of Æneas Sylvius,
afterward Pope Pius II., respecting the Council of Basle was equally
true as to that of Constance, that it was not so much directed by the
Holy Ghost as by the passions of men. The influence that lawyers were
now exercising in social affairs--their habits of arrangement, of
business, and intrigue, is strikingly manifested in the management of
these assemblages; their arts had passed to the clergy, and even in part
to the people. But how vast was the change that had occurred in the
papacy from the voluntary abdication of Celestine to the compulsory
abdication of John!

[Sidenote: and murders John Huss.] To this council, also, came John
Huss, under a safe-conduct from the Emperor Sigismund. Scarcely,
however, had he arrived when he was imprisoned; this treachery being
excused from the necessity of conceding it to the reforming party. On
June 5th, A.D. 1416, Huss was brought in chains before the council. It
was declared unlawful to keep faith with a heretic. His countrymen, the
Bohemian lords present, protested against such perfidy, and loudly
demanded his release. Articles of accusation, derived from his works,
were presented. He avowed himself ready to defend his opinions. The
uproar was so great that the council temporarily adjourned. Two days
afterwards the trial was resumed. It was ushered in by an eclipse of the
sun, said to have been total at Prague. No one of the bloodthirsty
ecclesiastics laid to heart the solemn monition that, after his moment
of greatest darkness was over, the sun shone forth with recovered
effulgence again. The emperor was present, with all the fathers. The
first accusation entered on related to transubstantiation. On this and
on succeeding occasions the emperor took part in the discussions, among
other things observing that, in his opinion, the prisoner was worthy of
death. After a lengthy inquiry into his alleged errors, a form of
recantation was prepared for Huss. [Sidenote: Noble conduct of Huss.]
With modest firmness he declined it, concluding his noble answer with
the words, "I appeal to Christ Jesus, the one all-powerful and all-just
Judge. To him I commend my cause, who will judge every man, not
according to false witnesses and erring councils, but according to truth
and man's desert." On July 1st the council met in full session. Thirty
articles against Huss were read. Among other things, they alleged that
he believed the material bread to be unchanged after the consecration.
In his extremity the prisoner looked steadfastly at the traitor
Sigismund, and solemnly exclaimed, "Freely came I here under the
safe-conduct of the emperor." The conscience-stricken monarch blushed.
Huss was then made to kneel down and receive his sentence. It condemned
his writings and his body to the flames.

[Sidenote: He is burnt.] He was then degraded and despoiled of his
orders. Some of the bishops mocked at him; some, more merciful, implored
him to recant. They cut his hair in the form of a cross, and set upon
his head a high paper crown on which devils were painted. "We devote thy
soul to the devils in hell." "And I commend my soul to the most merciful
Lord Christ Jesus." He was then led forth. They passed by the bishop's
palace, where Huss's books were burning. When they fastened him with a
chain to his stake, the painted crown fell off, but the soldiers
replaced it. "Let him and his devils be burned together." As the flames
closed over him, he chanted psalms and prayed to the Redeemer. Can that
be true which requires for its support the murder of a true man?

[Sidenote: It murders, also, Jerome of Prague.] So acted without a
dissenting voice the Council of Constance. It feared the spread of
heresy, but it did not fear, perhaps did not consider, that higher
tribunal to whose inexorable verdict councils, and popes, and emperors
must submit--posterity. It asserted itself to be under the inspiration
of the Holy Ghost. It took profit by a shameful perfidy. It was a
conclave of murderers. It stifled the voice of an earnest man, solemnly
protesting against a doctrine now derided by all the intellect of
Europe. The revolution it was compassing it inaugurated in blood, not
alone that of John Huss, but also of Jerome of Prague. These martyrs
were no common men. [Sidenote: His singular eloquence.] Poggio
Bracciolini, an eye-witness, says, in a letter to Leonardo Aretino,
speaking of the eloquence of Jerome, "When I consider what his choice of
words was, what his elocution, what his reasoning, what his countenance,
his voice, his action I must affirm, however much we may admire the
ancients, that in such a cause no one could have approached nearer to
the model of their eloquence."

John XXIII. was compelled to abdicate. Gregory XII. died. Some time
after, Benedict XIII. followed him. The council had elected Martin V.,
and in him found a master who soon put an end to its doings. [Sidenote:
What the council did.] It had deposed one pope and elected another; it
had cemented the dominant creed with blood; it had authorized the
dreadful doctrine that a difference in religious opinion justifies the
breaking of plighted faith between man and man; it had attempted to
perpetuate its own power by enacting that councils should be held every
five years; but it had not accomplished its great object--ecclesiastical

[Sidenote: The Council of Basle.] In a room attached to the Cathedral of
Basle, with its roof of green and parti-coloured tiles, the modern
traveller reads on a piece of paper this inscription: "The room of the
council, where the famous Council of Basil was assembled. In this room
Pope Eugene IV. was dethroned, and replaced by Felix V., Duc of Savoie
and Cardinal of Repaile. The council began 1431, and lasted 1448." That
chamber, with its floor of little red earthen flags and its oaken
ceiling, witnessed great events.

The democratic influence pervading the Church showed no symptoms of
abatement. The fate of Huss had been avenged in blood and fire by the
Bohemian sword. Eugenius IV., now pontiff, was afraid that negotiations
would be entered upon with the Hussite chiefs. Such a treaty, he
affirmed, would be blasphemy against God and an insult to the pope. He
was therefore bent on the prorogation of the council, and spared no
means to accomplish his purpose. Its ostensible object was the
reformation of the clergy; its real intent was to convert the papal
autocracy into a constitutional monarchy. [Sidenote: It declares the
pope in contumacy.] To this end it cited the pope, and, on his
non-appearance, declared him and seventeen of the cardinals in
contumacy. He had denounced it as the Synagogue of Satan; on its part,
it was assuming the functions of the Senate of Christendom. It had
prepared a great seal, and asserted that, in case of the death of the
pope, the election of his successor was vested in it. It was its firm
purpose never again to leave that great event in the hands of a conclave
of intriguing Italian cardinals, but to intrust it to the
representatives of united Christendom. After a due delay since he was
declared in contumacy, the council suspended the pope, and, slowly
moving towards its object, elected Amadeus of Savoy, Felix V., his
successor. It was necessary that its pope should be a rich man, for the
council had but slender means of offering him pecuniary support. Amadeus
had that qualification. And perhaps it was far from being, in the eyes
of many, an inopportune circumstance that he had been married and had
children. [Sidenote: Its real intentions.] We may discern, through the
shifting scenes of the intrigues of the times, that the German hierarchy
had come to the resolution that the election of the popes should be
taken from the Italians and given to Europe; that his power should be
restricted; that he should no longer be the irresponsible vicar of God
upon earth; but the accountable chief executive officer of Christendom;
and that the right of marriage should be conceded to the clergy. These
are significantly Teutonic ideas.

[Sidenote: Cause and close of these troubles.] We have pursued the story
of these events nearly as far as is necessary for the purpose of this
book. We shall not, therefore, follow the details of the new schism. It
fell almost without interest on Europe. Æneas Sylvius, the ablest man of
the day, in three words gives us the true insight into the state of
things: "Faith is dead." On the demise of Eugenius IV., Nicolas V.
succeeded. An understanding was had with those in the interest of the
council. It was dissolved. Felix V. abdicated. The morality of the times
had improved. The antipope was neither blinded nor murdered. The schism
was at an end.

[Sidenote: End of the intellectual influence of the papacy.] Thus we
have seen that the personal immoralities and heresy of the popes brought
on the interference of the King of France, who not only shook the papal
system to its basis but destroyed its prestige by inflicting the most
conspicuous indignity upon it. For seventy years Rome was disfranchised,
and the rivalries of France and Italy produced the great schism, than
which nothing could be more prejudicial to the papal power. We have seen
that, aided by the pecuniary difficulties of the papacy, the rising
intellect of Europe made good its influence and absolutely deposed the
pope. It was in vain to deny the authenticity of such a council; there
stood the accomplished fact. At this moment there seemed no other
prospect for the Italian system than utter ruin; yet, wonderful to be
said, a momentary deliverance came from a quarter whence no man would
have expected. The Turks were the saviours of the papacy.

At this point is the true end of the Italian system--that system which
had pressed upon Europe like a nightmare. The great men of the
times--the statesmen, the philosophers, the merchants, the lawyers, the
governing classes--those whose weight of opinion is recognized by the
uneducated people at last, had shaken off the incubus and opened their
eyes. A glimmering of the true state of things was breaking upon the
clergy. No more with the vigour it once possessed was the papacy again
to domineer over human thought and be the controlling agent of European
affairs. Convulsive struggles it might make, but they were only
death-throes. The sovereign pontiff must now descend from the autocracy
he had for so many ages possessed, and become a small potentate,
tolerated by kings in that subordinate position only because of the
remnant of his influence on the uneducated multitude and those of feeble




_The Fall of Constantinople.--Its momentary Effect on the Italian

FAITH.--_Supernaturalism and its Logic spread all over Europe.--It is
destroyed by the Jews and Arabians.--Its total Extinction._

_The Jewish Physicians.--Their Acquirements and Influence.--Their
Collision with the Imposture-medicine of Europe.--Their Effect on the
higher Classes.--Opposition to them._

_Two Impulses, the Intellectual and Moral, operating against the
Mediæval state of Things.--Downfall of the Italian System through the
intellectual Impulse from the West and the moral from the North.--Action
of the former through Astronomy.--Origin of the moral Impulse.--Their
conjoint irresistible Effect.--Discovery of the state of Affairs in
Italy.--The Writings of Machiavelli.--What the Church had actually

_Entire Movement of the Italian System determined from a consideration
of the four Revolts against it._

[Sidenote: The Eastern pressure.] From the West I have now to return to
the East, and to describe the pressure made by Mohammedanism on that
side. It is illustrated by many great events, but, above all, by the
fall of Constantinople. The Greek Church, so long out of sight that it
is perhaps almost forgotten by the reader, comes for a moment before us
like a spectre from the dead.

[Sidenote: Invasions of the Turks.] A wandering tribe of Turks had found
its way into Asia Minor, and, under its leader Ertogrul and his son
Othman, consolidated its power and commenced extending its influence by
possessions taken from the sultans of Iconium and the Byzantine empire.
The third prince of the race instituted the Janissaries, a remarkable
military force, and commenced driving the Greeks out of Asia Minor. His
son Soliman crossed the Hellespont and captured Gallipoli, thus securing
a foothold in Europe, A.D. 1358.

[Sidenote: Extension of their power in Europe.] This accomplished, the
Turkish influence began to extend rapidly. Thrace, Macedon, and Servia
were subdued. Sigismund, the King of Hungary, was overthrown at the
battle of Nicopolis by Bajazet. Southern Greece, the countries along the
Danube, submitted, and Constantinople would have fallen had it not been
for the unexpected irruption of Tamerlane, who defeated Bajazet and took
him prisoner. The reign of Mohammed I., who succeeded, was occupied in
the restoration of Turkish affairs. Under Amurath II., the possession of
the Euxine shore was obtained, the fortifications across the Isthmus of
Corinth were stormed, and the Peloponnesus entered.

[Sidenote: The Byzantine sovereigns apply to the West.] Mohammed II.
became the Sultan of the Turks A.D. 1451. From the moment of his
accession, he turned all his powers to the capture of Constantinople.
Its sovereigns had long foreseen the inevitable event, and had made
repeated attempts to secure military aid from the West. They were ready
to surrender their religious belief. On this principle, the monk Barlaam
was despatched on an embassy to Benedict XII. to propose the reunion of
the Greek and Latin Churches, as it was delicately termed, and to
obtain, as an equivalent for the concession, an army of Franks. As the
danger became more urgent, John Palæologus I. sought an interview with
Urban V., and, having been purified from his heresies respecting the
supremacy of the pope and the double procession of the Holy Ghost, was
presented before the pontiff in the Church of St. Peter. The Greek
monarch, after three genuflexions, was permitted to kiss the feet of the
holy father and to lead by its bridle his mule. But, though they might
have the will, the popes had lost the power, and these great submissions
were productive of no good. Thirty years subsequently, Manuel, the son
and successor of Palæologus, took what might have seemed a more certain
course. He travelled to Paris and to London to lay his distress before
the kings of France and England; but he received only pity, not aid. At
the Council of Constance Byzantine ambassadors appeared. It was,
however, reserved for the synods of Ferrara and of Florence to mature,
as far as might be, the negotiation. The second son of John Palæologus
journeyed again into Italy, A.D. 1438; and while Eugenius was being
deposed in the chamber at Basle, he was consummating the union of the
East and West in the Cathedral of Florence. [Sidenote: The Greek Church
yields to the Latin.] In the pulpit of that edifice, on the sixth of
July of that year, a Roman cardinal and a Greek archbishop embraced each
other before the people; Te Deum was chanted in Greek, mass was
celebrated in Latin, and the Creed was read with the "Filioque." The
successor of Constantine the Great had given up his religion, but he had
received no equivalent--no aid. The state of the Church, its disorders
and schisms, rendered any community of action in the West impossible.

[Sidenote: Mohammed II.] The last, the inevitable hour at length struck.
Mohammed II. is said to have been a learned man, able to express himself
in five different languages; skilful in mathematics, especially in their
practical application to engineering; an admirer of the fine arts;
prodigal in his liberality to Italian painters. In Asia Minor, as in
Spain, there was free thinking among the disciples of the Prophet. It
was affirmed that the sultan, in his moments of relaxation, was often
heard to deride the religion of his country as an imposture. His doubts
in that particular were, however, compensated for by his determination
to carry out the intention of so many of his Mohammedan
predecessors--the seizure of Constantinople.

[Sidenote: The siege of Constantinople.] At this time the venerable city
had so greatly declined that it contained only 100,000 inhabitants--out
of them only 4970 able or willing to bear arms. The besieging force was
more than a quarter of a million of men. As Mohammed pressed forward his
works, the despairing emperor in vain looked for the long-promised
effectual Western aid. In its extremity, the devoted metropolis was
divided by religious feuds; and when a Latin priest officiated in St.
Sophia, there were many who exclaimed that they would rather see the
turban of the sultan than the tiara of the pope. In several particulars
the siege of Constantinople marked out the end of old ages and the
beginning of new. Its walls were shaken by the battering rams of the
past, and overthrown by cannon, just then coming into general use. Upon
a plank road, shipping was passed through the open country, in the
darkness of a single night, a distance of ten miles. The works were
pushed forward toward the walls, on the top of which the sentinels at
length could hear the shouts of the Turks by their nocturnal fires. They
were sounds such as Constantinople might well listen to. She had taught
something different for many a long year. "God is God; there is none but
God." In the streets an image of the Virgin was carried in solemn
procession. Now or never she must come to the help of those who had done
so much for her, who had made her a queen in heaven and a goddess upon
earth. The cry of her worshippers was in vain.

[Sidenote: Fall of the city.] On May 29th, 1453, the assault was
delivered. Constantine Palæologus, the last of the Roman emperors,
putting off his purple, that no man might recognize and insult his
corpse when the catastrophe was over, fell, as became a Roman emperor,
in the breach. After his death resistance ceased, and the victorious
Turks poured into the town. To the Church of St. Sophia there rushed a
promiscuous crowd of women and children, priests, monks, religious
virgins, and--men. Superstitious to the last, in this supreme moment
they expected the fulfilment of a prophecy that, when the Turks should
have forced their way to the square before that church, their progress
would be arrested, for an angel with a sword in his hand would descend
from heaven and save the city of the Lord. The Turks burst into the
square, but the angel never came.

More than two thirds of the inhabitants of Constantinople were carried
prisoners into the Turkish camp--the men for servitude, the women for a
still more evil fate. The churches were sacked. From the dome of St.
Sophia its glories were torn down. The divine images, for the sake of
which Christendom had been sundered in former days, unresistingly
submitted to the pious rage of the Mohammedans without working a single
miracle, and, stripped of their gems and gold, were brought to their
proper value in the vile uses of kitchens and stables. On that same day
the Muezzin ascended the loftiest turret of St. Sophia, and over the
City of the Trinity proclaimed the Oneness of God. The sultan performed
his prayers at the great altar, directing the edifice to be purified
from its idolatries and consecrated to the worship of God. Thence he
repaired to the palace, and, reflecting on the instability of human
prosperity, repeated, as he entered it, the Persian verse: "The spider
has woven his web in the imperial palace; the owl hath sung her watch
song on the towers of Afrasiab."

This solemn event--the fall of Constantinople--accomplished, there was
no need of any reconciliation of the Greek and Latin Churches. The sword
of Mohammed had settled their dispute. Constantinople had submitted to
the fate of Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Carthage. [Sidenote: Terror
of Christendom at the fall of Constantinople.] Christendom was struck
with consternation. The advance of the Turks in Europe was now very
rapid. Corinth and Athens fell, and the reduction of Greece was
completed. The confines of Italy were approached A.D. 1461. The
Mohammedan flag confronted that peninsula along the Adriatic coast. In
twenty years more Italy was invaded. Otranto was taken; its bishop
killed at the door of his church. At this period, it was admitted that
the Turkish infantry, cavalry, and artillery were the best in the world.
Soliman the Magnificent took Belgrade A.D. 1520. [Sidenote: Progress of
the Turks.] Nine years afterwards the Turks besieged Vienna, but were
repulsed. Soliman now prepared for the subjugation of Italy, and was
only diverted from it by an accident which turned him upon the
Venetians. It was not until the battle of Lepanto that the Turkish
advance was fairly checked. Even as it was, in the complicated policy
and intrigues of Europe its different sovereigns could not trust one
another; their common faith had ceased to be a common bond: in all it
had been weakened, in some destroyed. Æneas Sylvius, speaking of
Christendom, says, "It is a body without a head, a republic without laws
or magistrates. The pope or the emperor may shine as lofty titles, an
splendid images; but they are unable to command, and no one is willing
to obey." But, during this period of Turkish aggression, had not the
religious dissensions of Christendom been decently composed, there was
imminent danger that Europe would have been Mohammedanized. A bitter
experience of past ages, as well as of the present, had taught it that
the Roman Church was utterly powerless against such attacks. Safety was
to be looked for, not in any celestial aid, but in physical knowledge
and pecuniary resources, carried out in the organization of armies and
fleets. Had her authority been derived from the source she pretended,
she should have found an all-sufficient protection in prayer--indeed,
not even that should have been required. Men discovered at last that her
Litanies and her miracles were equally of no use, and that she must
trust, like any other human tyranny, to cannon and the sword.

[Sidenote: Effect of the Turkish invasion.] The Turkish aggression led
to the staying of the democratic outbreak in the bosom of the
Church--the abstaining for a season from any farther sapping of the
papal autocracy. It was necessary that ecclesiastical disputes, if they
could not be ended, should, at all events, be kept for a time in
abeyance, and so indeed they were, until the pent-up dissensions burst
forth in "the Reformation." And thus, as we have related, by Mohammedan
knowledge in the West, papal Christianity was well-nigh brought to ruin;
thus, by a strange paradox, the Mohammedan sword in the East gave it for
a little longer a renewed lease of political power, though never again
of life.

[Sidenote: Nicolas V. a patron of art.] To Nicolas V., a learned and
able pope, the catastrophe of Constantinople was the death-blow. He had
been the intimate friend of Cosmo de' Medici, and from him had imbibed a
taste for letters and art, but, like his patron, he had no love for
liberty. It was thus through commerce that the papacy first learned to
turn to art. The ensuing development of Europe was really based on the
commerce of upper Italy, and not upon the Church. The statesmen of
Florence were the inventors of the balance of power. A lover of
literature, Nicolas was the founder of the Vatican Library. He clearly
perceived the only course in which the Roman system could be directed;
that it was unfit for, and, indeed, incompatible with science, but might
be brought into unison with art. Its influence upon the reason was gone,
but the senses yet remained for it. [Sidenote: Gradual rise of the fine
arts.] In continuing his policy, the succeeding popes acted with wisdom.
They gratified the genius of their institutions, of their country, and
their age. In the abundant leisure of monasteries, the monks had found
occupation in the illumination of manuscripts. From the execution of
miniatures they gradually rose to an undertaking of greater works. In
that manner painting had originated in Italy in the twelfth century.
Sculpture, at first merged in architecture, had extricated herself from
that bondage in the fourteenth. The mendicant orders, acquiring wealth,
became munificent patrons. From caligraphic illustrations to the grand
works of Michael Angelo and Raffaelle is a prodigious advance, yet it
took but a short time to accomplish it.

[Sidenote: Review of the Age of Faith.] I have now completed the history
of the European Age of Faith as far as is necessary for the purposes of
this book. It embraces a period of more than a thousand years, counting
from the reign of Constantine. It remains to consider the intellectual
peculiarity that marks the whole period--to review briefly the agents
that exerted an influence upon it and conducted it to its close.

[Sidenote: Philosophical peculiarities of the Age of Faith.]
Philosophically, the most remarkable peculiarity is the employment of a
false logic, a total misconception of the nature of evidence. It is
illustrated by miracle-proofs, trial by battle, ordeal tests, and a
universal belief in supernatural agency even for objectless purposes. On
the principles of this logic, if the authenticity of a thing or the
proof of a statement be required, it is supposed to be furnished by an
astounding illustration of something else. If the character of a
princess is assailed, she offers a champion; he proves victorious, and
therefore she was not frail. [Sidenote: The character of its logic.] If
a national assembly, after a long discussion, cannot decide "whether
children should inherit the property of their father during the lifetime
of their grandfather," an equal number of equal combatants is chosen for
each side; they fight; the champions of the children prevail, and
therefore the law is fixed in their favour. A relic of some martyr is
bought at a great price; no one seeks to criticize the channel through
which it has come, but every one asks, Can it work a miracle? A vast
institution demands the implicit obedience of all men. It justifies its
claim, not by the history of the past, but by promises and threats of
the future. A decrepit crone is suspected of witchcraft. She is stripped
naked and thrown into the nearest pond: if she sinks, she is innocent;
if she swims, she is in commerce with the Devil. In all such cases the
intrinsic peculiarity of the logic is obvious enough; it shows a
complete misconception of the nature of evidence. [Sidenote: Its
adoption of supernaturalism.] Yet this ratiocination governed Europe for
a thousand years, giving birth to those marvellous and supernatural
explanations of physical phenomena and events upon which we now look
back with unfeigned surprise, half disbelieving that it was possible for
our ancestors to have credited such things. [Sidenote: The Jews and
Saracens destroy supernaturalism.] Against this preposterous logic the
Mohammedans and Jews struck the first blows. We have already heard what
Algazzali the Arabian says respecting the enchanter who would prove that
three are more than ten by changing a stick into a serpent. The
circumstances under which the Jewish physicians acted we shall consider

It will not be useless to devote a little space to this belief in the
supernatural. It offers an opportunity of showing how false notions may
become universal, embody themselves in law and practical life, and
wonderful to be said, how they may, without anything being done to
destroy them, vanish from sight of themselves, like night-spectres
before the day. At present we only encounter them among the lowest
peasant grades, or among those who have been purposely kept in the most
abject state of ignorance. Less than a century ago the clergy of Spain
wished to have the Opera prohibited, because that ungodly entertainment
had given rise to a want of rain; but now, in a country so
intellectually backward as that--a witch was burnt there so lately as
A.D. 1781--such an attempt would call up sly wit, and make the rabble of
Madrid suspect that the archbishop was smarting under the rivalry of the
prima donna, and that he was furbishing up the rusty ecclesiastical
enginery to sustain his cause.

[Sidenote: Respective influence of the clergy, the lawyers, and
physicians.] In the day of their power the ecclesiastical profession
were the supporters of this delusion. They found it suitable to their
interests, and, by dint of at first persuading others to believe, they
at last, by habit, came to believe in it themselves. The Mohammedans and
Jews were the first to assail it philosophically and by sarcasm, but its
final ruin was brought about by the action of the two other professions,
the legal and the medical. The lawyers, whose advent to power is seen in
the history of Philip the Fair, and whose rise from that time was very
rapid, were obliged to introduce the true methods of evidence; the
physicians, from their pursuits, were perpetually led to the material
explanation of natural phenomena in contradistinction to the mystical.
It is to the honour of both these professions that they never sought for
a perpetuation of power by schemes of vast organization, never attempted
to delude mankind by stupendous impostures, never compelled them to
desist from the expression of their thoughts, and even from thinking, by
alliances with civil power. Far from being the determined antagonists of
human knowledge, they uniformly fostered it, and, in its trials,
defended it. The lawyers were hated because they replaced supernatural
logic by philosophical logic; the physicians, because they broke down
the profitable but mendacious system of miracle-cures.

[Sidenote: Position of the Church.] Yet the Church is not without
excuse. In all her varied history it was impossible to disentangle her
from the principles which at the beginning had entered into her
political organization. For good or evil, right or wrong, her necessity
required that she should put herself forth as the possessor of all
knowledge within the reach of human intellect--the infallible arbitress
of every question that should arise among men. Doubtless it was a
splendid imposture, capable for a time of yielding great results, but
sooner or later certain to be unmasked. Early discovering the antagonism
of science, which could not fail, in due season, to subject her
pretensions to investigation, she lent herself to a systematic delusion
of the illiterate, and thereby tried to put off that fatal day when
creeds engendered in the darkness would have to be examined in the
light, enforcing her attempt with an unsparing, often with a bloody
hand. [Sidenote: She could not extricate herself from her false
position.] It was for this reason that, when the inevitable time of
trial came, no intellectual defence could be made in her behalf, and
hence there only remained a recourse to physical and political
compulsion. But such a compulsion, under such circumstances, is not only
a testimony to the intrinsic weakness of that for which it is invoked,
it is also a token that they who resort to it have lost all faith in any
inherent power of the system they are supporting, and that, in truth, it
is fast coming to an end.

[Sidenote: Successive order in supernatural ideas.] The reader will
remark, from the incidents connected with supernatural delusions now to
be related, that they follow a law of continuous variation, the
particular embodiment they assumed changing with the condition of the
human mind at each epoch under examination. For ages they are implicitly
believed in by all classes; then, to a few, but the number perpetually
increasing, they become an idle story of bare-faced imposture. At last
humanity wakens from its delusion--its dream. The final rejection of the
whole, in spite of the wonderful amount of testimony which for ages had
accumulated, occurs spontaneously the moment that pyschical development
has reached a certain point. There can be no more striking illustration
of the definite advancement of the human mind. The boy who is
terror-stricken in a dark room insensibly dismisses his idle fears as he
grows up to be a man.

[Sidenote: Oriental magicians--Simon Magus.] Clemens Romanus and
Anastasius Sinaita, speaking of Simon Magus, say that he could make
himself invisible; that he formed a man out of air; that he could pass
bodily through mountains without being obstructed thereby; that he could
fly and sit unharmed in flames; that he constructed animated statues and
self-moving furniture, and not only changed his countenance into the
similitude of many other men, but that his whole body could be
transformed into the shape of a goat, a sheep, a snake; that, as he
walked in the street, he cast many shadows in different directions; that
he could make trees suddenly spring up in desert places; and, on one
occasion, compelled an enchanted sickle to go into a field and reap
twice as much in one day as if it had been used by a man. [Sidenote:
Greek thaumaturgists.] Of Apollonius of Tyana we are told that, after an
unbroken silence of five years, he comprehended the languages of all
animals and all men; that, under circumstances very picturesquely
related, he detected the genius of a plague at Ephesus, and dragged him,
self-convicted, before the people; that, at the wedding-dinner of
Menippus, he caused all the dishes and viands to vanish, thereby
compelling the bride to acknowledge that she was a vampire, intending to
eat the flesh and lap the blood of her husband in the night; that he
exhibited the prodigy of being in many places at the same time; raised a
young woman from the dead; and, finally, weary of the world, ascended
bodily into heaven.

[Sidenote: Introduction of an Arabian element.] As Arabian influence
spread, ideas of Oriental aspect appear. There are peris who live on
perfumes, and divs who are poisoned by them; enchanted palaces; moving
statues; veiled prophets, like Mokanna; brazen flying horses; charmed
arrows; dervises who can project their soul into the body of a dead
animal, giving it temporary life; enchanted rings, to make the wearer
invisible, or give him two different bodies at the same time; ghouls who
live in cemeteries, and at night eat the flesh of dead men. As the
European counterpart of these Perso-Arabic ideas, there are fairies, and
their dancing by moonlight, their tampering with children, and imposing
changelings on horror-stricken mothers. [Sidenote: Introduction of
European sorcery and witchcraft.] Every one believes that rain and wind
may be purchased of wizards, and that fair weather may be obtained and
storms abated by prayer. Whoever attains to wealth or eminence does so
by a compact with Satan, signed with blood. The head of the Church,
Sylvester II., makes a brazen head, which speaks to him prophetically.
He finds underground treasures in a subterranean magic palace beneath a
mountain. The protestator of the Greek emperor is accused of a
conspiracy against his master's life by making invisible men. Robert
Grostête, the Bishop of Lincoln, makes another speaking head. Nay, more,
Albertus Magnus constructs a complete brazen man, so cunningly contrived
as to serve him for a domestic. This was at the time that Thomas Aquinas
was living with him. The household trouble arising from the excessive
garrulity of this simulacrum grew so intolerable--for it was incessantly
making mischief among the other inmates--that Thomas, unable to bear it
any longer, took a hammer and broke the troublesome android to pieces.
[Sidenote: These ideas infect all classes.] This reverend father, known
among his contemporaries as the "seraphic doctor," was not without
experience in the mysterious craft. Annoyed by the frequent passing of
horses near his dwelling, he constructed a magical horse of brass, and
buried it in the road. From that moment no animal could be made to pass
his door. Among brazen heads of great celebrity is that of Friar Bacon
and Friar Bungy. This oracle announced, "Time is; time was; time is
passed;" perhaps it was some kind of clock. The alchemist Peter d'Apono
had seven spirits in glass bottles. He had entrapped them by baiting
with distilled dew, and imprisoned them safely by dexterously putting in
the corks. He is the same who possessed a secret which it is greatly to
be regretted that he did not divulge for the benefit of chemists who
have come after him, that, whatever money he paid, within the space of
one hour's time came back of itself again into his pocket. That was
better than even the philosopher's stone.

[Sidenote: Modifications of supernaturalism.] These supernatural notions
were at different times modified by two intrusive elements, the first
being the Perso-Arabic just alluded to, the second derived from the
north of Europe. This element was witchcraft; for, though long before,
among Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, decrepit women were known as
witches--as the Thessalian crone who raised a corpse from the dead for
Sextus by lashing it with a snake--it was not until a later period that
this element was fairly developed. [Sidenote: The persecutions for
witchcraft.] A bull of Pope Innocent VIII., published A.D. 1484, says,
"It has come to our ears that numbers of both sexes do not avoid to have
intercourse with the infernal fiends, and that by their sorceries they
afflict both man and beast. They blight the marriage-bed; destroy the
births of women and the increase of cattle; they blast the corn on the
ground, the grapes in the vineyard, the fruits of the trees, and the
grass and herbs of the field." At this time, therefore, the head of the
Church had not relinquished a belief in these delusions. The
consequences of the punishment he ordained were very dreadful. In the
valleys of the Alps many hundred aged women were committed to the flames
under an accusation of denying Christ, dishonouring the crucifix, and
solemnizing a devil's sabbath in company with the fiend. Such
persecutions, begun by papal authority, continued among illiterate
zealots till late times, and, as is well known, were practised even in
America. Very masculine minds fell into these delusions. Thus Luther, in
his work on the abuses attendant on private masses, says that he had
conferences with the Devil on that subject, passing many bitter nights
and much restless and wearisome repose; that once, in particular, Satan
came to him in the dead of the night, when he was just awakened out of
sleep. [Sidenote: Experiences of Luther.] "The Devil," says Luther,
"knows well enough how to construct his arguments, and to urge them with
the skill of a master. He delivers himself with a grave and yet with a
shrill voice. Nor does he use circumlocutions and beat about the bush,
but excels in forcible statements and quick rejoinders. I no longer
wonder that the persons whom he assails in this way are occasionally
found dead in their beds. He is able to compress and throttle, and more
than once he has so assaulted me and driven my soul into a corner that I
have felt as if the next moment it must leave my body. I am of opinion
that Gesner and OEcolampadius came in that manner to their deaths. The
Devil's manner of opening a debate is pleasant enough, but he soon urges
things so peremptorily that the respondent in a short time knows not how
to acquit himself."

[Sidenote: English wizards--Scotch witches.] Social eminence is no
preservative from social delusion. When it was affirmed that Agnes
Sampson, with two hundred other Scotch witches, had sailed in sieves
from Leith to North Berwick church to hold a banquet with the Devil,
James I. had the torture applied to the wretched woman, and took
pleasure in putting appropriate questions to her after the racking had
been duly prolonged. It then came out that the two hundred crones had
baptized and drowned a black cat, thereby raising a dreadful storm in
which the ship that carried the king narrowly escaped being wrecked.
Upon this Agnes was condemned to the flames. She died protesting her
innocence, and piteously calling on Jesus to have mercy on her, for
Christian men would not. On the accession of James to the English throne
he procured an act of Parliament against any one convicted of
witchcraft, sorcery, or enchantment, or having commerce with the Devil.
Under this monstrous statute many persons suffered. At this time England
was intellectually in a very backward state. [Sidenote: French and
English legal proceedings.] The statute remained until 1736 unrepealed.
The French preceded the English in putting a stop to these atrocities;
for Louis XIV., A.D. 1672, by an order in council, forbade the tribunals
from inflicting penalty in accusations of sorcery.

Can the reader of the preceding paragraphs here pause without demanding
of himself the value of human testimony? All these delusions, which
occupied the minds of our forefathers, and from which not even the
powerful and learned were free, have totally passed away. [Sidenote: The
total disappearance of these delusions.] The moonlight has now no
fairies; the solitude no genius; the darkness no ghost, no goblin. There
is no necromancer who can raise the dead from their graves--no one who
has sold his soul to the Devil and signed the contract with his
blood--no angry apparition to rebuke the crone who has disquieted him.
Divination, agromancy, pyromancy, hydromancy, cheiromancy, augury,
interpreting of dreams, oracles, sorcery, astrology, have all gone. It
is 350 years since the last sepulchral lamp was found, and that was near
Rome. There are no gorgons, hydras, chimæras; no familiars; no incubus
or succubus. The housewives of Holland no longer bring forth sooterkins
by sitting over lighted chauffers. No longer do captains buy of Lapland
witches favourable winds; no longer do our churches resound with prayers
against the baleful influences of comets, though there still linger in
some of our noble old rituals forms of supplication for dry weather and
rain, useless but not unpleasing reminiscences of the past. The
apothecary no longer says prayers over the mortar in which he is
pounding to impart a divine afflatus to his drugs. Who is there now that
pays fees to a relic or goes to a saint-shrine to be cured? These
delusions have vanished with the night to which they appertained, yet
they were the delusions of fifteen hundred years. In their support might
be produced a greater mass of human testimony than probably could be
brought to bear on any other matter of belief in the entire history of
man; and yet, in the nineteenth century, we have come to the conclusion
that the whole, from the beginning to the end, was a deception.
[Sidenote: Value of human testimony.] Let him, therefore, who is
disposed to balance the testimony of past ages against the dictates of
his own reason ponder on this strange history; let him who relies on the
authority of human evidence in the guidance of his opinions now settle
with himself what that evidence is worth.

[Sidenote: Supernaturalism appertains to a period of life.] But, though
in one sense this history is humiliating to the philosopher, in another
it is full of interest. Supernaturalism, both in the individual and in
society, appertains to a definite period of life. It is shaken off as
men and nations approach maturity. The child and the youth people
solitude and darkness with unrealities. The adult does not so much
convince himself of their fictitious nature by reasoning on the results
of his experience--he grows out of them, as we see that society has
done. Nevertheless, his emancipation is quickened if he is among those
who instruct his curiosity and deride his fears. It was in this manner
that the decline of supernaturalism in the West was very much
accelerated by Jewish physicians. They, more than the lawyers, were
concerned in the ending of these delusions. [Sidenote: Influence of the
Jews on supernaturalism.] These apparitions, as is the nature of their
kind, vanished as soon as the crowing of the Æsculapian cock announced
that the intellectual day of Europe was on the point of breaking. The
Jews held in their hands much of the trade of the world; they were in
perpetual movement and commercial intercommunication. Locomotion--for
such is always its result--tended to make them intellectual. The
persecutions under which they had long suffered bound their distant
communities together. The Spanish Jews knew very well what was going on
among their co-religionists beyond the Euphrates. As Cabanis says, "They
were our factors and bankers before we knew how to read; they were also
our first physicians." To this it may be added that they were, for
centuries, the only men in Europe who saw the course of human affairs
from the most general point of view.

The Hellenizing Jewish physicians inoculated the Arabs with learning on
their first meeting with them in Alexandria, obtaining a private and
personal influence with many of khalifs, and from that central point of
power giving an intellectual character to the entire Saracenic movement.
We have already seen that in this they were greatly favoured by the
approximation of their unitarianism to that of the Mohammedans. The
intellectual activity of the Asiatic and African Jews soon communicated
an impulse to those of Europe. The Hebrew doctor was viewed by the
vulgar with wonder, fear, and hatred; no crime could be imputed to him
too incredible. Thus Zedekias, the physician to Charles the Bald, was
asserted to have devoured at one meal, in the presence of the court, a
waggon-load of hay, together with its horses and driver. [Sidenote:
Writings of Jewish physicians.] The titles of some of the works that
appeared among them deserve mention, as displaying a strong contrast
with the mystical designations in vogue. Thus Isaac Ben Soleiman, an
Egyptian, wrote "On Fevers," "On Medicine," "On Food and Remedies," "On
the Pulse," "On Philosophy," "On Melancholy," "An Introduction to
Logic." The simplicity of these titles displays an intellectual
clearness and a precision of thought which have ever been shown by the
Israelites. They are in themselves sufficient to convince us of the
strong common sense which these men were silently infusing into the
literature of Western Europe in ages of concealment and mystification.
Roger Bacon, at a much later time, gave to one of his works the title of
"The Green Lion;" to another, "The Treatise of Three Words."

Since it was by the power and patronage of the Saracens that the Jewish
physicians were acting, it is not surprising that the language used in
many of their compositions was Arabic. Translations were, however,
commonly made into Hebrew, and, at a subsequent period, into Latin.
Through the ninth century the Asiatic colleges maintained their previous
celebrity in certain branches of knowledge. Thus the Jew Shabtai Donolo
was obliged to go to Bagdad to complete his studies in astronomy.
[Sidenote: Foundation of colleges.] As Arabian influence extended itself
into Sicily and Italy, Jewish intelligence accompanied it, and schools
were founded at Tarentum, Salerno, Bari, and other places. Here the Arab
and Jew Orientalists first amalgamated with a truly European
element--the Greek--as is shown by the circumstance that in the college
at Salerno instruction was given through the medium of all three
languages. At one time, Pontus taught in Greek, Abdallah in Arabic, and
Elisha in Hebrew. A similar influence of the Arab and Jew combined
founded the University of Montpellier.

[Sidenote: Medical studies among the Jews.] After the foundation of
medical colleges, the progress of medicine among the Jews was very
rapid. Judged by our standard, in some respects it was peculiar. Thus,
they looked upon the practice of surgery as altogether mechanical, and
therefore ignoble. A long list of eminent names might be extracted from
the tenth and eleventh centuries. In it we should find Haroun of
Cordova, Jehuda of Fez, Amram of Toledo. Already it was apparent that
the Saracenic movement would aid in developing the intelligence of
barbarian Western Europe through Hebrew physicians, in spite of
opposition encountered from theological ideas imported from
Constantinople and Rome. Mohammedanism had all along been the patron of
physical science; paganizing Christianity not only repudiated it, but
exhibited towards it sentiments of contemptuous disdain and hatred.
[Sidenote: Imposture-medicine.] Hence physicians were viewed by the
Church with dislike, and regarded as atheists by the people, who held
firmly to the lessons they had been taught that cures must be wrought by
relics of martyrs and bones of saints, by prayers and intercessions, and
that each region of the body was under some spiritual charge--the first
joint of the right thumb being in the care of God the Father, the second
under that of the blessed Virgin, and so on of other parts. For each
disease there was a saint. A man with sore eyes must invoke St. Clara,
but if it were an inflammation elsewhere he must turn to St. Anthony. An
ague would demand the assistance of St. Pernel. For the propitiating of
these celestial beings it was necessary that fees should be paid, and
thus the practice of imposture-medicine became a great source of profit.

In all this there was no other intention than that of extracting money
from the illiterate. With men of education and position it was
different. Bishops, princes, kings, and popes had each in private his
Hebrew doctor, though all understood that he was a contraband luxury, in
many countries pointedly and absolutely prohibited by the law.
[Sidenote: The rabbis cultivate medicine and other sciences.] In the
eleventh century nearly all the physicians in Europe were Jews. This was
due to two different causes: the Church would tolerate no interference
with her spiritual methods of treating disease, which formed one of her
most productive sources of gain; and the study of medicine had been
formally introduced into the rabbinical schools. The monk was prohibited
a pursuit which gave to the rabbi an honourable emolument. From the
older institutions offshoots in quick succession appeared, particularly
in France. Thus the school at Narbonne was under the presidency of
Doctor Rabbi Abou. There was also a flourishing school at Arles. In
these institutions instruction was given through the medium of Hebrew
and Arabic, the Greek element present at Salerno being here wanting. In
the French schools, to the former languages Latin and Provençal were, in
the course of time, added. The versatility of acquirement among the
physicians, who were taking the lead in this intellectual movement, is
illustrated both by the Spanish and French Jews. Some, like Djanah, a
native of Cordova, acquired reputation in grammar, criticism, astronomy;
others in poetry or theology.

If thus the social condition of the rabbis, who drew no income from
their religious duties, induced them to combine the practice of medicine
with their pursuits, great facilities had arisen for mental culture
through the establishment of so many schools. Henceforth the Jewish
physician is recognised as combining with his professional skill a
profound knowledge of theology, mathematics, astronomy, philosophy,
music, law. In a singular manner he stands aloof in the barbarian
societies among whom he lives, looking down like a philosopher upon
their idolatries, permitting, or even excusing them, like a statesman.
[Sidenote: Writings of the Spanish-Jewish physicians.] Of those who thus
adorned the eleventh century was Rabbi Solomon Ben Isaac, better known
under the abbreviation Raschi--called by his countrymen the Prince of
Commentators. He was equally at home in writing commentaries on the
Talmud, or in giving instructions for great surgical operations, as the
Cæsarean section. He was the greatest French physician of his age. Spain
during the same century, produced a worthy competitor to him, Ebn Zohr,
physician to the court of Seville. His writings were in Hebrew, Arabic,
Syriac, and both in prose and verse. He composed a treatise on the cure
of diseases, and two on fevers. In singular contrast with the
superstitious notions of the times, he possessed a correct view of the
morbific nature of marsh miasm. He was followed by Ben Ezra, a Jew of
Toledo, who was at once a physician, philosopher, mathematician,
astronomer, critic, poet. He travelled all over Europe and Asia, being
held in captivity for some time in India. Among his medical writings was
a work on theoretical and practical medicine, entitled "Book of Proofs."
Through the wars arising in Spain between the Mohammedans and
Christians, many learned Jews were driven into France, imparting to that
country, by their presence, a new intellectual impulse. Of such were
Aben Tybbon, who gave to his own profession a pharmaceutical tendency by
insisting on the study of botany and art of preparing drugs. Ben Kimchi,
a Narbonnese physician and grammarian, wrote commentaries on the Bible,
sacred and moral poems, a Hebrew grammar. Notwithstanding the opposition
of the ecclesiastics, William, the Lord of Montpellier, passed an edict
authorizing all persons, without exception, to profess medicine in the
university of his city. This was specially meant for the relief of the
Jews, though expressed in a general way. [Sidenote: Maimonides.] Spain,
though she had thus lost many of her learned men, still continued to
produce others of which she had reason to be proud. Moussa Ben Maimon,
known all over Europe as Maimonides, was recognized by his countrymen as
"the Doctor, the Great Sage, the Glory of the West, the Light of the
East, second only to Moses." He is often designated by the four initials
R. M. B. M., that is Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon, or briefly Rambam. His
biography presents some points of interest. He was born at Cordova A.D.
1135, and, while yet young, wrote commentaries on the Talmuds both of
Babylon and Jerusalem, and also a work on the Calendar; but, embracing
Mohammedanism, he emigrated to Egypt, and there became physician to the
celebrated Sultan Saladin. Among his works are medical aphorisms,
derived from former Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic sources; an
abridgment of Galen; and of his original treatises, which were very
numerous, may be mentioned those "On Hemorrhoids," "On Poisons and
Antidotes," "On Asthma," "On the Preservation of Health,"--the latter
being written for the benefit of the son of Saladin--"On the Bites of
Venomous Animals"--written by order of the sultan--"On Natural History."
His "Moreh Nevochim," or "Teacher of the Perplexed," was an attempt to
reconcile the doctrines of the Old Testament with reason. In addition to
these, he had a book on Idolatry, and one on Christ. Besides Maimonides,
the sultan had another physician, Ebn Djani, the author of a work on the
medical topography of the city of Alexandria. From the biographies of
these learned men of the twelfth century it would seem that their
religious creed hung lightly upon them. Not unfrequently they became
converted to Mohammedanism.

[Sidenote: Later Jewish physicians.] It might be tedious if I should
record the names and writings of the learned European Jews of the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries, a period more prolific of these great
men than even the preceding ages. But I cannot pass these later
centuries without mentioning the Alphonsine Tables, calculated for
Alphonso, the King of Castile, by Mascha, his Hebrew physician. The
irreligious tendency of the times is illustrated by the well-known
sarcasm uttered by that Spanish monarch respecting the imperfect
construction of the heavens, according to the Ptolemaic hypothesis. For
long, however, the Jews had been dabbling in free-thinking speculations.
Thus Aben Tybbon, above-mentioned, anticipating that branch of science
which has drawn upon itself, in later years, so much opprobrium, wrote a
work containing a discussion of the causes which prevent the waters of
the sea from encroaching on the land. Abba Mari, a Marseillese Jew,
translated the Almagest of Ptolemy and the Commentary of Averroes upon
it. The school of Salerno was still sending forth its doctors. In Rome,
Jewish physicians were very numerous, the popes themselves employing
them. Boniface VIII. had for his medical adviser Rabbi Isaac. At this
period Spain and France were full of learned Jews; and perhaps partly by
their exerting upon the higher classes with whom they came in contact
too much influence, for the physician of a Christian prince was very
often the rival of his confessor, and partly because the practice of
medicine, as they pursued it, interfered with the gains of the Church,
the clergy took alarm, and caused to be re-enacted or enforced the
ancient laws. The Council of Beziers, A.D. 1246, and the Council of
Alby, A.D. 1254, prohibited all Christians from resorting to the
services of an Israelitish physician. It would appear that these
enactments had either fallen into desuetude or had failed to be
enforced. The faculty of Paris, awakening at last to the danger of the
case, caused, A.D. 1301, a decree to be published prohibiting either man
or woman of the religion of Moses from practising medicine upon any
person of the Catholic religion. A similar course was also taken in
Spain. At this time the Jews were confessedly at the head of French
medicine. It was the appointment of one of their persuasion, Profatius,
as regent of the faculty of Montpellier A.D. 1300, which drew upon them
the wrath of the faculty of Paris. This learned man was a skilful
astronomer; he composed tables of the moon; of the longitudes of many
Asiatic and African towns; he determined the obliquity of the ecliptic,
his result being honourably alluded to by Copernicus. [Sidenote: The
University of Paris causes the expulsion of the Jews from France.] The
animosity of the French ecclesiastics against the Jewish physicians at
last led to the banishment of all the Jews from France, A.D. 1306. "It
was," say the historians of this event, "a most revolting spectacle to
see so many learned men, who had adorned and benefited France,
proscribed, wanderers without a country or an asylum. Some of them
expired of grief upon the road. Abba Mari gives in his work
heart-rending details of the expulsion of the Jews from Montpellier, at
the head of whom were the professors and doctors of the faculty."

[Sidenote: Result that they had accomplished.] But, though thus driven
into exile, these strangers had accomplished their destiny. They had
silently deposited in France their ideas. They had sapped the credulity
of the higher classes in Europe, and taught them to turn away from the
supernatural. A clear recognition of their agency in this matter
fastened upon them the watchful eye of Inquisition, and made them the
victims of its tyranny.

And so it might well be. Out of the Spanish peninsula there had come
across the Pyrenees an intellectual influence, which reached the
populace under the form of a fresh and pleasing literature, and the
better classes by novel but unorthodox ideas. To a very great extent the
Jews had been its carriers. The result was the overthrow of
supernaturalism. [Sidenote: Destruction of fairies by tobacco.] We shall
hardly accept the affirmation of good Catholics that fairies disappeared
on account of the Reformation, unable to bear the morose sectarianism
with which it was accompanied, or the still more material explanation of
the rustics that it was through the introduction of tobacco. However
that may be, no longer is Robin Goodfellow the compeller of household
duties--no longer do bad elves sit by the dying embers of the
hearth-stone at night, in the shape of shrivelled frogs, after the
family have gone to bed. For a long time there have been no miracles in
Europe. Even Rome, the workshop of those artifices, has ceased to be the
seat of that trade.

From human institutions of any kind, a great principle, firmly inwrought
and inwoven at the beginning, can never be removed. It will show itself
whenever occasion permits. The animosity between the Byzantine
ecclesiastical system and all true wisdom was inextinguishable, though
it was utterly foreign to Christianity. [Sidenote: Causes of the
ecclesiastical opposition.] It was fastened by imperial violence on the
nations, and made its appearance, with unabated force, at intervals of
ages. The same evil instinct which tore Hypatia piecemeal in the church
at Alexandria brought Galileo into the custody of the familiars of the
holy office at Rome. The necessary consequence of this upholding
ignorance by force was the emergence of ideas successively more and more
depraved. [Sidenote: Degraded state of Italy.] Whoever will ingenuously
compare the religious state of Italy in the fourteenth century with its
state in the fourth--that is, the recent Italian with the old
Roman--will find that among the illiterate classes nothing whatever had
been accomplished. There were no elevated thoughts of holy things. From
practical devotion God had altogether disappeared; the Saviour had been
supplanted by the blessed Virgin; and she herself--such was the
increasing degradation--had been abandoned for the ignoble worship of
apotheosized men, who, under the designation of saints, had engrossed
all the votaries. There had been a rapid descent to the last degree of
more than African abasement in bleeding statues and winking pictures.

[Sidenote: Rise of a new social system.] In Europe there had been
incorporated old forms of worship and old festivals with Christian ones;
the local gods and goddesses had been replaced by saints; for
deification canonization had been substituted. There had been produced a
civilization, the character of which was its extraordinary intolerance.
A man could not be suspected of doubting the popular belief without risk
to his goods, his body, or his life. As a necessary consequence, there
could be no great lawgivers, no philosophers, no poets. Society was
pervaded by a systematic hypocrisy. This tyranny over others sometimes
led to strange results. It caused the Jews to discover the art of making
wealth invisible by bills of exchange and other such like means, so that
money might be imperceptibly but instantaneously moved.

[Sidenote: Influence of that new system,] Thus, after the dying out of
Greek science, there followed, among the new populations, an
intellectual immobility, which soon became the centre of a vast number
of growing interests quickly and firmly crystallizing round it. For them
it was essential that there should be no change--no advance. In the
midst of jarrings and conflicts between those interests, that condition
was steadfastly maintained, as if through instinct, by them all. It
mattered not how antiquated were the forms insisted on, nor how far they
outraged common sense. New life was given to decaying illusions, and, in
return, strength was gathered from them. [Sidenote: and degradation by
African ideas.] Isis, with the moon beneath her feet, was planted, under
a new name, on the Bosphorus and the Tiber. African theology, African
ecclesiastical machinery, and African monasticism were made objects of
reverence to unsuspecting Europe. Juvenal says that the Roman painters
of his day lived on the goddess Isis. The Italian painters of a later
day lived on her modernized form.

[Sidenote: No literature in the Age of Faith.] In such a condition of
things the literary state could be no other than barren. Political
combinations had not only prescribed an intellectual terminus, but had
even laid down a rail upon which mental excursions were to be made, and
from which there was no departing; or, if a turn-out was permitted, it
was managed by a tonsured man. For centuries together, if we exclude
theological writings, there was absolutely no literature worth the name.
Life seems to have been spent in the pursuit of mere physical enjoyment,
and that enjoyment of a very low kind. When in the South of France and
Sicily literature began to dawn, it is not to be overlooked how much of
it was of an amatory kind; and love is the strongest of the passions.
The first aspect of Western literature was animal, not intellectual.
[Sidenote: Its critical innocence.] A taste for learning excited, there
reappeared in the schools the old treatises written a thousand years
before--the Elements of Euclid, the Geography of Ptolemy. Long after the
Reformation there was an intellectual imbecility which might well excite
our mirth, if it were not the index of a stage through which the human
mind must pass. Often enough we see it interestingly in the interweaving
of the new with the old ideas. If we take up a work on metallurgy, it
commences with Tubal Cain; if on music, with Jubal. The history of each
country is traced back to the sons of Noah, or at least to the fugitives
from the siege of Troy. An admiration for classical authors may perhaps
be excused. It exhibited itself amusingly in the eccentricity of
interlarding compositions of every kind with Greek and Latin quotations.
This was an age of literary innocence, when no legend was too stupendous
for credulity; when there was no one who had ever suspected that Tully,
as they delighted to call him, was not a great philosopher, and Virgil
not a great poet.

[Sidenote: Disuse of patristic works.] Of those ponderous, those massive
folios on ecclesiastical affairs, at once the product and
representatives of the time, but little needs here to be said. They
boasted themselves as the supreme effort of human intellect; they laid
claim to an enduring authority; to many they had a weight little less
than the oracles of God. But if their intrinsic value is to be measured
by their pretensions, and their pretensions judged of by their present
use, what is it that must be said? Long ago their term was reached, long
ago they became obsolete. They have no reader. Such must be the issue of
any literature springing from an immovable, an unexpanding basis, the
offspring of thought that has been held in subjugation by political
formulas, or of intellectual energies that have been cramped.

[Sidenote: Spread of science in France.] The Roman ecclesiastical
system, like the Byzantine, had been irrevocably committed in an
opposition to intellectual development. It professed to cultivate the
morals, but it crushed the mind. Yet, in the course of events, this
state of things was to come to an end through the working of other
principles equally enduring and more powerful. They constitute what we
may speak of under the title of the Arabian element. On preceding pages
it has been shown that, when the Saracens conquered Egypt, they came
under the influence of the Nestorians and Hellenizing Jews, acquiring
from them a love of philosophy, which soon manifested itself in full
energy from the banks of the Euphrates to those of Guadalquivir. The
hammer of Charles Martel might strike down the ranks of the Saracens on
the field of Tours, but there was something intangible, something
indestructible accompanying them, which the Frank chivalry could not
confront. To the Church there was an evil omen. It has been well
remarked that in the Provençal poetry there are noble bursts of
crusading religious sentiment, but they are incorporated with a
sovereign contempt for the clergy.

The biography of any of the physicians or alchemists of the thirteenth
century would serve the purpose of illustrating the watchfulness of the
Church, the unsound condition of the universities, the indirect
patronage extended to heretics by eminent men, and the manner in which
the rival powers, ecclesiasticism and philosophy, were preparing for
their final conflict. [Sidenote: Illustration from the biography of
Arnold.] As an example of the kind, I may present briefly that of Arnold
de Villa Nova, born about A.D. 1250. He enjoyed a great reputation for
his knowledge of medicine and alchemy. For some years he was physician
to the King of Aragon. Under an accusation of defective orthodoxy he
lost his position at court, his punishment being rendered more effective
by excommunication. Hoping to find in Paris more liberality than he had
met with in Spain, he fled to that city, but was pursued by an adverse
ecclesiastical influence with a charge of having sold his soul to the
Devil, and of having changed a plate of copper into gold. In
Montpellier, to which he was obliged to retire, he found a more
congenial intellectual atmosphere, and was for long one of the regents
of the faculty of medicine. In succession, he subsequently resided in
Florence, Naples, Palermo, patronized and honoured by the Emperor
Frederick II.--at that time engaged in the attempt to unite Italy into
one kingdom and give it a single language--on account of his
extraordinary reputation as a physician. Even the pope, Clement V.,
notwithstanding the unfortunate attitude in which Arnold stood toward
the Church, besought a visit from him in hopes of relief from the stone.
On his voyage for the purpose of performing the necessary operation,
Arnold suffered shipwreck and was drowned. His body was interred at
Genoa. The pope issued an encyclic letter, entreating those who owed him
obedience to reveal where Arnold's Treatise on the Practice of Medicine
might be found, it having been lost or concealed. It appears that the
chief offences committed by Arnold against the Church were that he had
predicted that the world would come to an end A.D. 1335; that he had
said the bulls of the pope were only the work of a man, and that the
practice of charity is better than prayer, or even than the mass. If he
was the author of the celebrated book "De Tribus Impostoribus," as was
suspected by some, it is not remarkable that he was so closely watched
and disciplined. Like many of his contemporaries, he mingled a great
deal of mysticism with his work, recommending, during his alchemical
operations, the recitation of psalms, to give force to the materials
employed. Among other such things, he describes a seal, decorated with
scriptural phrases, of excellent use in preserving one from sudden
death. It appears, however, to have failed of its effect on the night
when Arnold's ship was drifting on an Italian lee-shore, and he had most
need of it.

[Sidenote: Two impulses--intellectual and moral--in operation.] The two
antagonistic principles--ecclesiastical and intellectual--were thus
brought in presence of each other. On other occasions they had already
been in partial collision, as at the iconoclastic dispute which
originated in the accusations of the Mohammedans, and ended in the
tearing of Christendom asunder.

[Sidenote: Struggle of ecclesiasticism against the intellectual
principle.] Again there was a collision, a few centuries later, when the
Spanish Moors and Jews began to influence the higher European classes.
Among the bishops, sovereigns, and even popes thus affected, there were
many men of elevated views, who saw distinctly the position of Europe,
and understood thoroughly the difficulties of the Church. It had already
become obvious to them that it would be impossible to restrain the
impulse arising from the vigorous movements of the Saracens, and that it
was absolutely necessary so to order things that the actual condition of
faith in Europe might be accommodated to or even harmonized with these
philosophical conceptions, which it was quite clear would, soon or late,
pervade the whole Continent. This, as we have seen, is the explanation
of the introduction of Scholasticism from the Arabian schools, and its
accommodation to the Christian code, on which authority looked with so
much favour at first. But hardly had this attempt been entered upon
before it became manifest that the risks to be incurred through the
remedy itself were as great as the anticipated dangers. There was then
no other course than for the Church to retrace her steps, ostensibly
maintaining her consistency by permitting scholastic literature, though
declining scholastic theology. She thus allured the active intellect,
arising in all directions in the universities, to fruitless and
visionary pursuits. This policy, therefore, threw her back upon a system
of repression; it was the only course possible; yet there can be no
doubt that it was entered upon with reluctance. [Sidenote: The
difficulty was in the system, not in the men.] We do injustice to the
great men who guided ecclesiastical policy in those times when we
represent them as recklessly committing themselves to measures at once
violent and indefensible. They did make the attempt to institute an
opposite policy; it proved not only a failure, but mischievous. They
were then driven to check the spread of knowledge--driven by the
necessities of their position. The fault was none of theirs; it dated
back to the time of Constantine the Great; and the impossibility of
either correcting or neutralizing it is only an example, as has been
said, of the manner in which a general principle, once introduced, will
overbear the best exertions of those attempting to struggle against it.
We can appreciate the false position into which those statesmen were
thrown when we compare their personal with their public relations. Often
the most eminent persons lived in intimacy and friendship with Jewish
physicians, who, in the eye of the law, were enemies of society; often
those who were foremost in the cultivation of knowledge--who, indeed,
suffered excommunication for its sake--maintained amicable relations of
a private kind with those who in public were the leaders of their
persecutors. The systems were in antagonism, not the men. Arnold de
Villa Nova, though excommunicated, was the physician of one pope; Roger
Bacon, though harshly imprisoned, was the friend and correspondent of
another. These incidents are not to be mistaken for that compassion
which the truly great are ever ready to show to erring genius. They are
examples of what we often see in our own day, when men engaged in the
movements of a great political party loyally carry out its declared
principles to their consequences, though individually they may find in
those consequences many things to which they could mentally object.
Their private objection they thus yield for the sake of what appears to
them, in a general way, a practical good.

Such was the state of affairs when the Arab element, having pervaded
France and Italy, made its formal intellectual attack. It might almost
have been foreseen in what manner that attack would be made, and the
shape it would be likely to assume. Of the sciences, astronomy was the
oldest and most advanced. [Sidenote: The intellectual impulse makes its
attack through astronomy,] Its beginning dates earlier than the historic
period, and both in India and in Egypt it had long reached correctness,
so far as its general principles were concerned. The Saracens had been
assiduous cultivators of it in both its branches, observation and
mathematical investigation. Upon one point, the figure and relations of
the earth, it is evident that not the slightest doubt existed among
them. Nay, it must be added that no learned European ecclesiastic or
statesman could deny the demonstrated truths. Nevertheless, it so fell
out that upon this very point the conflict broke out. In India the
Brahmans had passed through the same trial--for different nations walk
through similar paths--with a certain plausible success, by satisfying
the popular clamour that there was, in reality, nothing inconsistent
between the astronomical doctrine of the globular form and movement of
the earth, and the mythological dogma that it rests upon a succession of
animals, the lowest of which is a tortoise. But the strong common sense
of Western Europe was not to be deluded in any such idle way. It is not
difficult to see the point of contact, the point of pressure with the
Church. The abstract question gave her no concern; it was the
consequences that might possibly follow. The memorable battle was fought
upon the question thus sharply defined: Is the earth a moving globe, a
small body in the midst of suns and countless myriads of worlds, or is
it the central and greatest object in the universe, flat, and canopied
over with a blue dome, motionless while all is in movement around it?
[Sidenote: and the Church is defeated.] The dispute thus definitely put,
its issue was such as must always attend a controversy in which he who
is defending is at once lukewarm and conscious of his own weakness.
Never can moral interests, however pure, stand against intellect
enforcing truth. On this ill-omened question the Church ventured her
battle and lost it.

[Sidenote: The moral impulse.] Though this great conflict is embodied in
the history of Galileo, who has become its historical representative,
the prime moving cause must not be misunderstood. From the Pyrenees had
passed forth an influence which had infected all the learned men of
Western Europe. Its tendency was altogether unfavourable to the Church.
Moreover, the illiterate classes had been touched, but in a different
way. To the first action the designation of the intellectual impulse may
be given; to the latter, the moral. It is to be especially observed that
in their directions these impulses conspired. We have seen how, through
the Saracens and Jews conjointly, the intellectual impulse came into
play. [Sidenote: Origin of the moral impulse.] The moral impulse
originated in a different manner, being due partly to the Crusades and
partly to the state of things in Rome. On these causes it is therefore
needful for us to reflect.

First, of the Crusades. There had been wrenched from Christendom its
fairest and most glorious portions. Spain, the north of Africa, Egypt,
Syria, Asia Minor, were gone. The Mohammedans had been repeatedly under
the walls of Constantinople; its fall was only a question of time. They
had been in the streets of Rome. They had marched across Italy in every
direction. [Sidenote: Loss of the holy places.] But perhaps the
geographical losses, appalling as they were, did not appear so painful
as the capture of the holy places; the birthplace of our Redeemer; the
scene of His sufferings; the Mount of Olives; the Sea of Galilee; the
Garden of Gethsemane; Calvary; the Sepulchre. Too often in their day of
strength, while there were Roman legions at their back, had the bishops
taunted Paganism with the weakness of its divinities, who could not
defend themselves, their temples, or their sacred places. That logic was
retaliated now. To many a sincere heart must many an ominous reflexion
have occurred. In Western Europe there was a strong common sense which
quickly caught the true position of things--a common sense that could
neither be blinded nor hoodwinked. The astuteness of the Italian
politicians was insufficient to conceal altogether the great fact,
though it might succeed in dissembling its real significance for a time.
The Europe of that day was very different from the Europe of ours. It
was in its Age of Faith. Recently converted, as all recent converts do,
it made its belief a living rule of action. In our times there is not
upon that continent a nation which, in its practical relations with
others, carries out to their consequences its ostensible, its avowed
articles of belief. Catholics, Protestants, Mohammedans, they of the
Greek communion, indiscriminately consort together under the expediences
of the passing hour. Statesmanship has long been dissevered from
religion--a fact most portentous for future times. But it was not so in
the Middle Ages. Men then believed their form of faith with the same
clearness, the same intensity with which they believed their own
existence or the actual presence of things upon which they cast their
eyes. The doctrines of the Church were to them no mere inconsequential
affair, but an absolute, an actual reality, a living and a fearful
thing. It would have passed their comprehension if they could have been
assured that a day would come when Christian Europe, by a breath, could
remove from the holy places the scandal of an infidel intruder, but,
upon the whole, would consider it not worth her while to do so. How
differently they acted. [Sidenote: Effect of the Crusades.] When, by the
preaching of Peter the Hermit and his collaborators, who had received a
signal from Rome, a knowledge had come to their ears of the reproach
that had befallen Jerusalem and the sufferings of the pilgrims, their
plain but straightforward common sense taught them at once what was the
right remedy to apply, and forthwith they did apply it, and Christendom,
precipitated headlong upon the Holy Land, was brought face to face with
Mohammedanism. But what a scene awaited the zealous, the religious
barbarians--for such they truly were--when Constantinople, with its
matchless splendours, came in view! What a scene when they had passed
into Asia Minor, that garden of the world, presenting city after city,
with palaces and edifices, the pride of twenty centuries! [Sidenote:
Change of opinion in the Crusaders.] How unexpected the character of
those Saracens, whom they had been taught, by those who had incited them
to their enterprise, to regard as no better than bloodthirsty fiends,
but whom they found valiant, merciful, just! When Richard the
Lion-hearted, King of England, lay in his tent consumed by a fever,
there came into the camp camels laden with snow, sent by his enemy, the
Sultan Saladin, to assuage his disease, the homage of one brave soldier
to another. But when Richard was returning to England, it was by a
Christian prince that he was treacherously seized and secretly confined.
This was doubtless only one of many such incidents which had often
before occurred. Even down to the meanest camp-follower, every one must
have recognized the difference between what they had anticipated and
what they had found. They had seen undaunted courage, chivalrous
bearing, intellectual culture far higher than their own. They had been
in lands filled with the prodigies of human skill. They did not melt
down into the populations to whom they returned without imparting to
them a profound impression destined to make itself felt in the course of

[Sidenote: They discover the immoralities of Italy.] But, secondly, as
to the state of things in Rome. The movement into which all Europe had
been thrown by these wars brought to light the true condition of things
in Italy as respects morality. Locomotion in a population is followed by
intellectual development. The old stationary condition of things in
Europe was closed by the Crusades. National movement gave rise to better
observation, better information, and could not but be followed by
national reflexion. And though we are obliged to speak of the European
population as being in one sense in a barbarous state, it was a moral
population, earnestly believing the truth of every doctrine it had been
taught, and sincerely expecting that those doctrines would be carried to
their practical application, and that religious profession must, as a
matter of course, be illustrated by religious life. The Romans
themselves were an exception to this. They had lived too long behind the
scenes. Indeed, it may be said that all the Italian peninsula had
emancipated itself from that delusion, as likewise certain classes in
France, who had become familiar with the state of things during the
residence of the popes at Avignon. It has been the destiny of Southern
France to pass, on a small scale, under the same influence, and to
exhibit the same results as were appointed for all Europe at last.

And now, what was it that awakening Europe found to be the state of
things in Italy? I avert my eyes from looking again at the biography of
the popes; it would be only to renew a scene of sin and shame. Nor can
I, without injustice to truth, speak of the social condition of the
inhabitants of that peninsula without relating facts which would compel
my reader to turn over the page with a blush. I prefer to look at the
maxims of political life which had been followed for many centuries, and
which were first divulged by one of the greatest men that Italy has
produced, in a work--A.D. 1513--truly characterized as a literary
prodigy. Certainly nothing can surpass in atrocity the maxims therein
laid down.

[Sidenote: The principles of Italian statesmanship--Machiavelli.]
Machiavelli, in that work, tells us that there are three degrees of
capacity among men. That one understands things by his own natural
powers; another, when they are explained to him; a third, not at all.
In dealing with these different classes different methods must be
used. The last class, which is by far the most numerous, is so simple
and weak that it is very easy to dupe those who belong to it. If they
cease to believe of their own accord they ought to be constrained by
force, in the application of which, though there may be considerable
difficulties at first, yet, these once overcome by a sufficient
unscrupulousness--veneration, security, tranquillity, and happiness
will follow. That, if a prince is constrained to make his choice, it
is better for him to be feared than loved; he should remember that all
men are ungrateful, fickle, timid, dissembling, and self-interested;
that love depends on them, but fear depends on him, and hence it is
best to prefer the latter, which is always in his own hands. The great
aim of statesmanship should be permanence, which is worth everything
else, being far more valuable than freedom. That, if a man wants to
ruin a republic, his proper course is to set it on bold undertakings,
which it is sure to mismanage; that men, being naturally wicked,
incline to good only when they are compelled; they think a great deal
more of the present than the past, and never seek change so long as
they are made comfortable.

He recommends a ruler to bear in mind that, while the lower class of men
may desert him, the superior will not only desert, but conspire. If such
cannot with certainty be made trustworthy friends, it is very clearly
necessary to put it out of their power to be enemies. Thus it may be
observed that the frequent insurrections in Spain, Gaul, and Greece
against the Romans were entirely due to the petty chiefs inhabiting
those countries; but that, after these had been put to death, everything
went on very well. Up to a certain point, it should be the grand maxim
of a wise government to content the people and to manage the nobles; but
that, since hatred is just as easily incurred by good actions as by bad
ones, there will occasionally arise the necessity of being wicked in
order to maintain power, and, in such a case, there should be no
hesitation; for, though it is useful to persevere in the path of
rectitude while there is no inconvenience, we should deviate from it at
once if circumstances so advise. A prudent prince ought not keep his
word to his own injury; he ought to bear in mind that one who always
endeavours to act as duty dictates necessarily insures his own
destruction; that new obligations never extinguish the memory of former
injuries in the minds of the superior order of men; that liberality, in
the end, generally insures more enemies than friends; that it is the
nature of mankind to become as much attached to one by the benefits they
render as by the favours they receive; that, where the question is as to
the taking of life or the confiscation of property, it is useful to
remember that men forget the death of their relatives, but not the loss
of their patrimony; that, if cruelties should become expedient, they
should be committed thoroughly and but once--it is very impolitic to
resort to them a second time; that there are three ways of deciding any
contest--by fraud, by force, or by law, and a wise man will make the
most suitable choice; that there are also three ways of maintaining
control in newly-conquered states that have once been free--by ruining
them, by inhabiting them, or by permitting them to keep their own laws
and to pay tribute. Of these the first will often be found the best, as
we may see from the history of the Romans, who were experienced judges
of such cases. That, as respects the family of a rival but conquered
sovereign, the greatest pains should be taken to extinguish it
completely; for history proves, what many fabulous traditions relate,
that dangerous political consequences have originated in the escape of
some obscure or insignificant member; that men of the highest order, who
are, therefore, of sound judgment--who seek for actual social truths for
their guidance rather than visionary models which never existed--will
conform to the decisions of reason, and never be influenced by feelings
of sentiment, unless it is apparent that some collateral advantage will
arise from the temporary exhibition thereof; and that they will put a
just estimate on the delusions in which the vulgar indulge, casting
aside the so-called interventions of Divine Providence, which are, in
reality, nothing more than the concatenation of certain circumstances
following the ordinary law of cause and effect, but which, by
interfering with the action of each other, have assumed a direction
which the judgment of the wisest could not have foreseen.

Europe has visited with its maledictions the great political writer by
whom these atrocious maxims have been recommended, forgetting that his
offence consists not in inventing, but in divulging them. His works thus
offer the purest example we possess of physical statesmanship. They are
altogether impassive. He views the management of a state precisely as he
might do the construction of a machine, recommending that such a wheel
or such a lever should be introduced, his only inquiry being whether it
will accomplish his intention. As to any happiness or misery it may
work, he gives himself no concern, unless, indeed, they evidently ought
to enter into the calculation. He had suffered the rack himself under a
charge of conspiracy, and borne it without flinching. But, before
Machiavelli wrote, his principles had all been carried into practice;
indeed, it would not be difficult to give abundant examples in proof of
the assertion that they had been for ages regarded in Italy as rules of

[Sidenote: Conjoined effect of the intellectual and moral impulses.]
Such was the morality which Europe detected as existing in Italy,
carried out with inconceivable wickedness in public and private life;
and thus the two causes we have been considering--contact with the
Saracens in Syria and a knowledge of the real state of things in
Rome--conspired together to produce what may be designated as the moral
impulse, which, in its turn, conspired with the intellectual. Their
association foreboded evil to ecclesiastical authority, thus taken at
great disadvantage. Though, from its very birthday, that authority had
been in absolute opposition to the intellectual movement, it might,
doubtless, for a much longer time have successfully maintained its
conflict therewith had the conditions remained unchanged. Up to this
time its chief strength reposed upon its moral relations. It could
point, and did point the attention of those whose mental culture enabled
them to understand the true position of affairs, to Europe brought out
of barbarism, and beginning a course of glorious civilization. That
achievement was claimed by the Church. If it were true that she had thus
brought it to pass, it had been altogether wrought by the agency of her
moral power, intellectual influence in no manner aiding therein, but
being uniformly, from the time of Constantine the Great to that of the
Reformation, instinctively repulsed. When, now, the moral power suffered
so great a shock, and was not only ready to go over to, but had actually
allied itself with the intellectual, there was great danger to
ecclesiastical authority. And hence we need not be surprised that an
impression began to prevail among the clear-thinking men of the time
that the real functions of that authority were completed in producing
the partially-civilized condition to which Europe had attained, the
course of events tending evidently to an elimination of that authority
as an active element in the approaching European system. [Sidenote: The
excuses of ecclesiasticism.] To such the Church might emphatically
address herself, pointing out the signal and brilliant results to which
she had given rise, and displaying the manifest evils which must
inevitably ensue if her relations, as then existing, should be touched.
For it must have been plain that the first effect arising from the
coalition of the intellectual with the moral element would be an
assertion of the right of private judgment in the individual--a
condition utterly inconsistent with the dominating influence of
authority. It was actually upon that very principle that the battle of
the Reformation was eventually fought. She might point out--for it
needed no prophetic inspiration--that, if once this principle was
yielded, there could be no other issue in Christendom than a total
decomposition; that though, for a little while, the separation might be
limited to a few great confessions, these, under the very influence of
the principle that had brought themselves into existence, must, in their
turn, undergo disintegration, and the end of it be a complete anarchy of
sects. [Sidenote: Her feeble resistance.] In one sense it may be said
that it was in wisdom that the Church took her stand upon this point,
determining to make it her base of resistance; unwisely in another, for
it was evident that she had already lost the initiative of action, and
that her very resistance would constitute the first stage in the process
of decomposition.

[Sidenote: Contemporaneous changes in Europe.] Europe had made a vast
step during its Age of Faith. Spontaneously it had grown through its
youth; and the Italians, who had furnished it with many of its ideas,
had furnished it also with many of its forms of life. In that respect
justice has still to be done them. When Rome broke away from her
connexions with Constantinople, a cloud of more than Cimmerian darkness
overshadowed Europe. It was occupied by wandering savages. Six hundred
years organized it into families, neighbourhoods, cities. Those
centuries found it full of bondmen; they left it without a slave. They
found it a scene of violence, rapine, lust; they left it the abode of
God-fearing men. Where there had been trackless forests, there were
innumerable steeples glittering in the sun; where there had been bloody
chieftains, drinking out of their enemies' skulls, there were grave
ecclesiastics, fathoming the depths of free-will, predestination,
election. Investing the clergy with a mysterious superiority, the Church
asserted the equality of the laity from the king to the beggar before
God. It disregarded wealth and birth, and opened a career for all. Its
influence over the family and domestic relations was felt through all
classes. It fixed paternity by a previous ceremony; it enforced the rule
that a wife passes into the family of her husband, and hence it followed
that legitimate children belong to the father, illegitimate to the
mother. It compelled women to domestic life, shut them out from the
priesthood, and tried to exclude them from government. In a worldly
sense, the mistake that Rome committed was this: she attempted to
maintain an intellectual immobility in the midst of an advancing social
state. She saw not that society could no more be stopped in its career
through her mere assertion that it could not and should not move, than
that the earth could be checked in its revolution merely because she
protested that it was at rest. She tried, first by persuasion and then
by force, to arrest the onward movement, but she was overborne,
notwithstanding her frantic resistance, by the impetuous current. Very
different would it have been had the Italian statesmen boldly put
themselves in the van of progress, and, instead of asserting an
immutability and infallibility, changed their dogmas and maxims as the
progress of events required. Europe need not have waited for Arabs and

[Sidenote: Loss of power in Church organizations.] In describing these
various facts, I have endeavoured to point out impressively how the
Church, so full of vigour at first, contained within itself the seeds of
inevitable decay. From the period when it came into collision with the
intellectual and moral elements, the origin of which we have traced, and
which conspired together for its overthrow, it exhibited a gradual
decline; first losing its influence upon nations, and ceasing to be in
them a principle of public action; next, witnessing the alienation of
the higher and educated classes, the process descending downward through
the social scale, therein retracing the steps of its advance. When
ecclesiasticism became so weak as to be unable to regulate international
affairs, and was supplanted by diplomacy, in the castle the physician
was more than a rival for the confessor, in the town the mayor was a
greater man than the abbot. There remained a lingering influence over
individuals, who had not yet risen above a belief that it could control
their state after death. This decline of its ancient influence should be
a cause of rejoicing to all intelligent men, for an ecclesiastical
organization allying itself to political power can never now be a source
of any good. In America we have seen the bond that held the Church and
State together abruptly snapped. [Sidenote: Return of things to the
ancient Christian times.] It is therefore well that, since the close of
the Age of Faith, things have been coming back with an accelerated pace,
to the state in which they were in the early Christian times, before the
founder of Constantinople beguiled the devotional spirit to his personal
and family benefit--to the state in which they were before ambitious men
sought political advancement and wealth by organizing hypocrisy--when
maxims of morality, charity, benevolence, were rules of life for
individual man--when the monitions of conscience were obeyed without the
suggestions of an outward, often an interested and artful prompter--when
the individual lived not under the sleepless gaze, the crushing hand of
a great overwhelming hierarchical organization, surrounding him on all
sides, doing his thinking for him, directing him in his acts, making him
a mere automaton, but in simplicity, humility, and truthfulness guiding
himself according to the light given him, and discharging the duties of
this troublesome and transitory life "as ever in his great Taskmaster's

For the progressive degradations exhibited by the Roman Church during
the Age of Faith, something may be offered as at once an explanation and
an excuse. Machiavelli relates, in his "History of Florence"--a work
which, if inferior in philosophical penetration to his "Prince," is of
the most singular merit as a literary composition--that Osporco, a
Roman, having become pope, exchanged his unseemly name for the more
classical one Sergius, and that his successors have ever since observed
the practice of assuming a new name. [Sidenote: Connexion of religious
ideas in Italy with its ethnical state.] This incident profoundly
illustrates the psychical progress of that Church. During the fifteen
centuries that we have had under consideration--counting from a little
before the Christian era--the population of Italy had been constantly
changing. The old Roman ethnical element had become eliminated partly
through the republican and imperial wars, and partly through the slave
system. The degenerated half-breeds, of whom the Peninsula was full
through repeated northern immigrations, degenerated, as time went on,
still more and more. After that blood admixture had for the most part
ceased, it took a long time for the base ethnical element which was its
product to come into physiological correspondence with the country, for
the adaptation of man to a new climate is a slow, a secular change.

But blood-degeneration implies thought-degeneration. It is nothing more
than might be expected that, in this mongrel race, customs, and
language, and even names should change--that rivers, and towns, and men
should receive new appellations. As the great statesman to whom I have
referred observes, Cæsar and Pompey had disappeared; John, Matthew, and
Peter had come in their stead. Barbarized names are the outward and
visible signs of barbarized ideas. Those early bishops of Rome whose
dignified acts have commanded our respect, were men of Roman blood, and
animated with sentiments that were truly Latin; but the succeeding
pontiffs, whose lives were so infamous and thoughts so base, were
engendered of half-breeds. Nor was it until the Italian population had
re-established itself in a physiological relation with the country--not
until it had passed through the earlier stages of national life--that
manly thoughts and true conceptions could be regained.

Ideas and dogmas that would not have been tolerated for an instant in
the old, pure, homogeneous Roman race, found acceptance in this
adulterated, festering mass. This was the true cause of the increasing
debasement of Latin Christianity. Whoever will take the trouble of
constructing a chart of the religious conceptions as they successively
struggled into light, will see how close was their connexion with the
physiological state of the Italian ethnical element at the moment.
[Sidenote: Successive steps in the religious decline.] It is a sad and
humiliating succession. Mariolatry; the invocation of saints; the
supreme value of virginity; the working of miracles by relics; the
satisfaction of moral crimes by gifts of money or goods to the clergy;
the worship of images; Purgatory; the sale of benefices;
transubstantiation, or the making of God by the priest; the
materialization of God--that He has eyes, feet, hands, toes; the virtue
of pilgrimages; vicarious religion, the sinner paying the priest to pray
for him; the corporeality of spirits; the forbidding of the Bible to the
laity; the descent to shrine-worship and fetichism; the doctrine that
man can do more than his duty, and hence have a claim upon God; the sale
by the priests of indulgences in sin for money.

But there is another, a very different aspect under which we must regard
this Church. Enveloped as it was with the many evils of the times, the
truly Christian principle which was at its basis perpetually vindicated
its power, giving rise to numberless blessings in spite of the
degradation and wickedness of man. [Sidenote: Statement of what the
Church had actually done.] As I have elsewhere (Physiology, Book II.,
Chap. VIII.) remarked, "The civil law exerted an exterior power in human
relations; Christianity produced an interior and moral change. The idea
of an ultimate accountability for personal deeds, of which the old
Europeans had an indistinct perception, became intense and precise. The
sentiment of universal charity was exemplified not only in individual
acts, the remembrance of which soon passes away, but in the more
permanent institution of establishments for the relief of affliction,
the spread of knowledge, the propagation of truth. Of the great
ecclesiastics, many had risen from the humblest ranks of society, and
these men, true to their democratic instincts, were often found to be
the inflexible supporters of right against might. Eventually coming to
be the depositaries of the knowledge that then existed, they opposed
intellect to brute force, in many instances successfully, and by the
example of the organization of the Church, which was essentially
republican, they showed how representative systems may be introduced
into the state. Nor was it over communities and nations that the Church
displayed her chief power. Never in the world before was there such a
system. From her central seat at Rome, her all-seeing eye, like that of
Providence itself, could equally take in a hemisphere at a glance, or
examine the private life of any individual. Her boundless influences
enveloped kings in their palaces, and relieved the beggar at the
monastery gate. In all Europe there was not a man too obscure, too
insignificant, or too desolate for her. Surrounded by her solemnities,
every one received his name at her altar; her bells chimed at his
marriage, her knell tolled at his funeral. She extorted from him the
secrets of his life at her confessionals, and punished his faults by her
penances. In his hour of sickness and trouble her servants sought him
out, teaching him, by her exquisite litanies and prayers, to place his
reliance on God, or strengthening him for the trials of life by the
example of the holy and just. Her prayers had an efficacy to give repose
to the souls of his dead. When, even to his friends, his lifeless body
had become an offence, in the name of God she received it into her
consecrated ground, and under her shadow he rested till the great
reckoning-day. From little better than a slave she raised his wife to be
his equal, and, forbidding him to have more than one, met her recompense
for those noble deeds in a firm friend at every fireside.
Discountenancing all impure love, she put round that fireside the
children of one mother, and made that mother little less than sacred in
their eyes. In ages of lawlessness and rapine, among people but a step
above savages, she vindicated the inviolability of her precincts against
the hand of power, and made her temples a refuge and sanctuary for the
despairing and oppressed. Truly she was the shadow of a great rock in
many a weary land!"

[Sidenote: Analysis of the career of the Church.] This being the point
which I consider the end of the Italian system as a living force in
European progress, its subsequent operation being directed to the senses
and not to the understanding, it will not be amiss if for a moment we
extend our view to later times and to circumstances beyond the strict
compass of this book, endeavouring thus to ascertain the condition of
the Church, especially as to many devout persons it may doubtless appear
that she has lost none of her power.

[Sidenote: Four revolts against the Italian system.] On four occasions
there have been revolts against the Italian Church system: 1st, in the
thirteenth century, the Albigensian; 2nd, in the fourteenth, the
Wiclifite; 3rd, in the sixteenth, the Reformation; 4th, in the
eighteenth, at the French Revolution. On each of these occasions
ecclesiastical authority has exerted whatever offensive or defensive
power it possessed. Its action is a true indication of its condition at
the time. Astronomers can determine the orbit of a comet or other
celestial meteor by three observations of its position as seen from the
earth, and taken at intervals apart.

[Sidenote: The Albigensian revolt.] 1st. Of the Albigensian revolt. We
have ascertained that the origin of this is distinctly traceable to the
Mohammedan influence of Spain, through the schools of Cordova and
Granada, pervading Languedoc and Provence. Had these agencies produced
only the gay scenes of chivalry and courtesy as their material results,
and, as their intellectual, war-ballads, satires, and amorous songs,
they had been excused; but, along with such elegant frivolities, there
was something of a more serious kind. A popular proverb will often
betray national belief, and there was a proverb in Provence, "Viler than
a priest." The offensive sectaries also quoted, for the edification of
the monks, certain texts, to the effect that, "if a man will not work
neither let him eat." The event, in the hands of Simon de Montfort,
taught them that there is such a thing as wresting Scripture to one's
own destruction.

How did the Church deal with this Albigensian heresy? As those do who
have an absolutely overwhelming power. She did not crush it--that would
have been too indulgent; she absolutely annihilated it. Awake to what
must necessarily ensue from the imperceptible spread of such opinions,
she remorselessly consumed its birthplace with fire and sword; and,
fearful that some fugitives might have escaped her vigilant eye, or that
heresy might go wherever a bale of goods might be conveyed, she
organized the Inquisition with its troops of familiars and spies. Six
hundred years have elapsed since these events, and the south of France
has never recovered from the blow.

That was a persecution worthy of a sovereign--a persecution conducted on
sound Italian principles of policy--to consider clearly the end to be
attained, and adopt the proper means without any kind of concern as to
their nature. But it was a persecution that implied the possession of
unlimited and irresponsible power.

[Sidenote: The revolt of Wiclif.] 2nd. Of the revolt of Wiclif. We have
also considered the state of affairs which aroused the resistance of
Wiclif. It is manifested by legal enactments early in the fourteenth
century, such as that ecclesiastics shall not go armed, nor join
themselves with thieves, nor frequent taverns, nor chambers of
strumpets, nor visit nuns, nor play at dice, nor keep concubines--by the
Parliamentary bill of 1376, setting forth that the tax paid in England
to the pope for ecclesiastical dignities is fourfold as much as that
coming to the king from the whole realm; that alien clergy, who have
never seen nor care to see their flocks, convey away the treasure of the
country--by the homely preaching of John Ball, that all men are equal in
the sight of God. Wiclif's opposition was not only directed against
corruptions of discipline in the Church, but equally against doctrinal
errors. His dogma that "God bindeth not men to believe any thing they
cannot understand" is a distinct embodiment of the rights of reason, and
the noble purpose he carried into execution of translating the Bible
from the Vulgate shows in what direction he intended the application of
that doctrine to be made. Through the influence of the queen of Richard
the Second, who was a native of that country, his doctrines found an
echo in Bohemia--Huss not only earnestly adopting his theological views,
but also joining in his resistance to the despotism of the court of Rome
and his exposures of the corruptions of the clergy. The political point
of this revolt in England occurs in the refusal of Edward III., at the
instigation of Wiclif, to do homage to the pope; the religious, in the
translation of the Bible.

Though a bull was sent to London requiring the arch-heretic to be seized
and put in irons, Wiclif died in his bed, and his bones rested quietly
in the grave for forty-four years. Ecclesiastical vengeance burned them
at last, and scattered them to the winds.

There was no remissness in the ecclesiastical authority, but there were
victories won by the blind hero, John Zisca. After the death of that
great soldier--whose body was left by the road-side to the wolves and
crows, and his skin dried and made into a drum--in vain was all that
perfidy could suggest and all that brutality could execute resorted
to--in vain the sword and fire were passed over Bohemia, and the last
effort of impotent vengeance tried in England--the heretics could not be
exterminated nor the detested translation of the Bible destroyed.

[Sidenote: The revolt of Luther.] 3rd. Of the revolt of Luther. As we
shall have, in a subsequent chapter, to consider the causes that led to
the Reformation, it is not necessary to anticipate them in any detail
here. The necessities of the Roman treasury, which suggested the
doctrine of supererogation and the sale of indulgences as a ready means
of relief, merely brought on a crisis which otherwise could not have
been long postponed, the real point at issue being the right of
interpretation of the Scriptures by private judgment.

The Church did not restrict her resistance to the use of ecclesiastical
weapons--those of a carnal kind she also employed. Yet we look in vain
for the concentrated energy with which she annihilated the Albigenses,
or the atrocious policy with which the Hussites were met. The times no
longer permitted those things. But the struggle was maintained with
unflinching constancy through the disasters and successes of one hundred
and thirty years. Then came the peace of Westphalia, and the result of
the contest was ascertained. The Church had lost the whole of northern

[Sidenote: The revolt of the philosophers.] 4th. Of the revolt of the
philosophers. Besides the actual loss of the nations who openly fell
away to Protestantism, a serious detriment was soon found to have
befallen those still remaining nominally faithful to the Church. The
fact of secession or adherence depending, in a monarchy, on the personal
caprice or policy of the sovereign, is by no means a true index of the
opinions or relations of the subjects; and thus it happened that in
several countries in which there was an outward appearance of agreement
with the Church because of the attitude of the government, there was, in
reality, a total disruption, so far as the educated and thinking classes
were concerned. This was especially the case in France.

When the voyage of circumnavigation of the globe by Magellan had for
ever settled all such questions as those of the figure of the earth and
the existence of the antipodes, the principles upon which the contest
was composed between the conflicting parties are obvious from the most
superficial perusal of the history of physics. Free thought was extorted
for science, and, as its equivalent, an unmolested state for theology.
It was an armed truce.

It was not through either of the parties to that conflict that new
troubles arose, but through the action of a class fast rising into
importance--literary men. From the beginning to the middle of the last
century these philosophers became more and more audacious in their
attacks. Unlike the scientific, whose theological action was by
implication rather than in a direct way, these boldly assaulted the
intellectual basis of faith. The opportune occurrence of the American
Revolution, by bringing forward in a prominent manner social evils and
political methods for their cure, gave a practical application to the
movement in Europe, and the Church was found unable to offer any kind of

[Sidenote: Summary of the Italian system.] From these observations of
the state of the Church at four different epochs of her career we are
able to determine her movement. There is a time of abounding strength, a
time of feebleness, a time of ruinous loss, a time of utter exhaustion.
What a difference between the eleventh and the eighteenth centuries! It
is the noontide and evening of a day of empire.




_Consideration of the definite Epochs of Social Life._

_Experimental Philosophy emerging in the Age of Faith._

_The Age of Reason ushered in by Maritime Discovery and the rise of
European Criticism._

MARITIME DISCOVERY.--_The three great Voyages._

COLUMBUS _discovers America_.--DE GAMA _doubles the Cape and reaches
India_.--MAGELLAN _circumnavigates the Earth.--The Material
andintellectual Results of each of these Voyages._

Societies the process of Thought and of Civilization is always the
same.--Man passes through a determinate succession of Ideas and embodies
them in determinate Institutions.--The state of Mexico and Peru proves
the influence of Law in the development of Man._

[Sidenote: Peculiarities of the Age of Reason.] I have arrived at the
last division of my work, the period in national life answering to
maturity in individual. The objects to be considered differ altogether
from those which have hitherto occupied our attention. We have now to
find human authority promoting intellectual advancement, and accepting
as its maxim that the lot of man will be ameliorated, and his power and
dignity increased, in proportion as he is able to comprehend the
mechanism of the world, the action of natural laws, and to apply
physical forces to his use.

[Sidenote: Natural periods merge into one another.] The date at which
this transition in European life was made will doubtless be differently
given according as the investigator changes his point of view. In truth,
there is not in national life any real epoch, because there is nothing
in reality abrupt. Events, however great or sudden, are consequences of
preparations long ago made. In this there is a perfect parity between
the course of national and that of individual life. In the individual,
one state merges by imperceptible degrees into another, each in its
beginning and end being altogether indistinct. No one can tell at what
moment he ceased to be a child and became a boy--at what moment he
ceased to be a youth and became a man. Each condition, examined at a
suitable interval, exhibits characteristics perfectly distinctive, but,
at their common point of contact, the two so overlap and blend that,
like the intermingling of shadow and light, the beginning of one and end
of the other may be very variously estimated.

[Sidenote: Artificial epochs.] In individual life, since no precise
natural epoch exists, society has found it expedient to establish an
artificial one, as, for example, the twenty-first year. The exigencies
of history may be satisfied by similar fictions. A classical critic
would probably be justified in selecting for his purpose the foundation
of Constantinople as the epoch of the commencement of the Age of Faith,
and its capture by the Turks as the close. It must be admitted that a
very large number of historical events stand in harmony with that
arrangement. [Sidenote: Origin and end of the Age of Faith.] A political
writer would perhaps be disposed to postpone the date of the latter
epoch to that of the treaty of Westphalia, for from that time
theological elements ceased to have a recognized force, Protestant,
Catholic, Mohammedan, consorting promiscuously together in alliance or
at war, according as temporary necessities might indicate. Besides these
other artificial epochs might be assigned, each doubtless having
advantages to recommend it to notice. But, after all, the chief
peculiarity is obvious enough. It is the gradual decline of a system
that had been in activity for many ages, and its gradual replacement by

[Sidenote: Prelude to the Age of Reason.] As with the Age of Reason in
Greece, so with the Age of Reason in Europe, there is a prelude marked
by the gradual emergence of a sound philosophy; a true logic displaces
the supernatural; experiment supersedes speculation. It is very
interesting to trace the feeble beginnings of modern science in alchemy
and natural magic in countries where no one could understand the
writings of Alhazen or the Arabian philosophers. Out of many names of
those who took part in this movement that might be mentioned there are
some that deserve recollection.

[Sidenote: Albertus Magnus, the Dominican.] Albertus Magnus was born
A.D. 1193. It was said of him that "he was great in magic, greater in
philosophy, greatest in theology." By religious profession he was a
Dominican. Declining the temptations of ecclesiastical preferment, he
voluntarily resigned his bishopric, that he might lead in privacy a
purer life. As was not uncommon in those days, he was accused of illicit
commerce with Satan, and many idle stories were told of the miracles he
wrought. At a great banquet on a winter's day, he produced all the
beauties of spring--trees in full foliage, flowers in perfume, meadows
covered with grass; but, at a word, the phantom pageant was dissolved,
and succeeded by appropriate wastes of snow. This was an exaggeration of
an entertainment he gave, January 6th, 1259, in the hot-house of the
convent garden. He interested himself in the functions of plants, was
well acquainted with what is called the sleep of flowers, studied their
opening and closing. He understood that the sap is diminished in volume
by evaporation from the leaves. He was the first to use the word
"affinity" in its modern acceptation. His chemical studies present us
with some interesting details. He knew that the whitening of copper by
arsenic is not a transmutation, but only the production of an alloy,
since the arsenic can be expelled by heat. He speaks of potash as an
alkali; describes several acetates; and alludes to the blackening of the
skin with nitrate of silver.

[Sidenote: Roger Bacon, discoveries of.] Contemporary with him was Roger
Bacon, born A.D. 1214. His native country has never yet done him
justice, though his contemporaries truly spoke of him as "the Admirable
Doctor." The great friar of the thirteenth century has been eclipsed by
an unworthy namesake. His claims on posterity are enforced by his
sufferings and ten years' imprisonment for the cause of truth.

His history, so far as is known, may be briefly told. He was born at
Ilchester, in Somersetshire, and studied at the University of Oxford.
Thence he went to the University of Paris, where he took the degree of
doctor of theology. He was familiar with Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and
Arabic. Of mathematics he truly says that "it is the first of all the
sciences; indeed, it precedes all others, and disposes us to them." In
advance of his age, he denied the authority of Aristotle, and tells us
that we must substitute that of experiment for it. Of his astronomical
acquirements we need no better proof than his recommendation to Pope
Clement IV. to rectify the Calendar in the manner actually done
subsequently. If to him be rightly attributed the invention of
spectacles, the human race is his debtor. He described the true theory
of telescopes and microscopes, saying that lenses may be ground and
arranged in such a way as to render it possible to read the smallest
letters at incredible distances, and to count grains of sand and dust,
because of the magnitude of the angle under which we may perceive such
objects. He foresaw the greatest of all inventions in practical
astronomy--the application of optical means to instruments for the
measurement of angles. He proposed the propulsion of ships through the
water and of carriages upon roads by merely mechanical means. He
speculated upon the possibility of making a flying-machine. Admitting
the truth of alchemy, he advised the experimenter to find out the method
by which Nature makes metals and then to imitate it. He knew that there
are different kinds of air, and tells us that there is one which will
extinguish flame. These are very clear views for an age which mistook
the gases for leather-eared ghosts. He warned us to be cautious how we
conclude that we have accomplished the transmutation of metals, quaintly
observing that the distance between whitened copper and pure silver is
very great. He showed that air is necessary for the support of fire, and
was the author of the well-known experiment illustrating that fact by
putting a lighted lamp under a bell-jar and observing its extinction.

[Sidenote: Is persecuted and imprisoned.] There is no little
significance in the expression of Friar Bacon that the ignorant mind
cannot sustain the truth. He was accused of magical practices and of a
commerce with Satan, though, during the life of Clement IV., who was his
friend, he escaped without public penalties. This pope had written to
him a request that he would furnish him an account of his various
inventions. In compliance therewith, Bacon sent him the "Opus Majus" and
other works, together with several mathematical instruments which he had
made with his own hands. But, under the pontificate of Nicolas III., the
accusation of magic, astrology, and selling himself to the Devil was
again pressed, one point being that he had proposed to construct
astronomical tables for the purpose of predicting future events.
Apprehending the worst, he tried to defend himself by his work "De
Nullitate Magiæ." "Because these things are beyond your comprehension,
you call them the works of the Devil; your theologians and canonists
abhor them as the productions of magic, regarding them as unworthy of a
Christian." But it was in vain. His writings were condemned as
containing dangerous and suspected novelties, and he was committed to
prison. There he remained for ten years, until, broken in health, he was
released from punishment by the intercession of some powerful and
commiserating personages. He died at the age of seventy-eight. On his
death-bed he uttered the melancholy complaint, "I repent now that I have
given myself so much trouble for the love of science." If there be found
in his works sentiments that are more agreeable to the age in which he
lived than to ours, let us recollect what he says in his third letter to
Pope Clement: "It is on account of the ignorance of those with whom I
have had to deal that I have not been able to accomplish more."

[Sidenote: Minor alchemists of England, France, and Germany.] A number
of less conspicuous though not unknown names succeed to Bacon. There is
Raymond Lully, who was said to have been shut up in the Tower of London
and compelled to make gold for Edward II.; Guidon de Montanor, the
inventor of the philosopher's balm; Clopinel, the author of the "Romance
of the Rose;" Richard the Englishman, who makes the sensible remark that
he who does not join theory to practice is like an ass eating hay and
not reflecting on what he is doing; Master Ortholan, who describes very
prettily the making of nitric acid, and approaches to the preparation of
absolute alcohol under the title of the quintessence of wine; Bernard de
Treves, who obtained much reputation for the love-philters he prepared
for Charles V. of France, their efficacy having been ascertained by
experiments made on servant-girls; Bartholomew, the Englishman who first
described the method of crystallizing and purifying sugar; Eck de
Sulzbach, who teaches how metallic crystallizations, such as the tree of
Diana, a beautiful silvery vegetation, may be produced. He proved
experimentally that metals, when they oxidize, increase in weight; and
says that in the month of November, A.D. 1489, he found that six pounds
of an amalgam of silver heated for eight days augmented in weight three
pounds. The number is, of course, erroneous, but his explanation is very
surprising. "This augmentation of weight comes from this, that a spirit
is united with the metal; and what proves it is that this artificial
cinnabar, submitted to distillation, disengages that spirit." He was
within a hair's-breadth of anticipating Priestley and Lavoisier by three
hundred years.

[Sidenote: Augurelli, the poetical alchemist.] The alchemists of the
sixteenth century not only occupied themselves with experiment; some of
them, as Augurelli, aspired to poetry. He undertook to describe in Latin
verses the art of making gold. His book, entitled "Chrysopoeia," was
dedicated to Leo X., a fact which shows the existence of a greater
public liberality of sentiment than heretofore. It is said that the
author expected the Holy Father to make him a handsome recompense, but
the good-natured pope merely sent him a large empty sack, saying that he
who knew how to make gold so admirably only needed a purse to put it in.

[Sidenote: Basil Valentine introduces antimony.] The celebrated work of
Basil Valentine, entitled "Currus triumphalis Antimonii," introduced the
metal antimony into the practice of medicine. The attention of this
author was first directed to the therapeutical relations of the metal by
observing that some swine, to which a portion of it had been given, grew
fat with surprising rapidity. There were certain monks in his vicinity
who, during the season of Lent, had reduced themselves to the last
degree of attenuation by fasting and other mortifications of the flesh.
On these Basil was induced to try the powers of the metal. To his
surprise, instead of recovering their flesh and fatness, they were all
killed; hence the name popularly given to the metal, antimoine, because
it does not agree with the constitution of a monk. Up to this time it
had passed under the name of stibium. With a result not very different
was the application of antimony in the composition of printer's
type-metal. Administered internally or thus mechanically used, this
metal proved equally noxious to ecclesiastics.

[Sidenote: The new epoch.] It is scarcely necessary to continue the
relation of these scientific trifles. Enough has been said to illustrate
the quickly-spreading taste for experimental inquiry. I now hasten to
the description of more important things.

[Sidenote: Difficulty of treating it scientifically.] In the limited
space of this book I must treat these subjects, not as they should be
dealt with philosophically, but in the manner that circumstances permit.
Even with this imperfection, their description spontaneously assumes an
almost dramatic form, the facts offering themselves to all reflecting
men with an air of surpassing dignity. On one hand it is connected with
topics the most sublime, on the other it descends to incidents the most
familiar and useful; on one hand it elevates our minds to the relations
of suns and myriads of worlds, on the other it falls to the every-day
acts of our domestic and individual life; on one hand it turns our
thoughts to a vista of ages so infinite that the vanishing point is in
eternity, on the other it magnifies into importance the transitory
occupation of a passing hour. Knowing how great are the requirements for
the right treatment of such topics, I might shrink from this portion of
my book with a conviction of incapacity. I enter upon it with
hesitation, trusting rather to the considerate indulgence of the reader
than to any worthiness in the execution of the work.

In the history of the philosophical life of Greece, we have seen
(Chapter II.) how important were the influences of maritime discovery
and the rise of criticism. Conjointly they closed the Greek Age of
Faith. In the life of Europe, at the point we have now reached, they
came into action again. [Sidenote: Approach of the Age of Reason.] As on
this occasion the circumstances connected with them are numerous and
important, I shall consider them separately in this and the following
chapter. And, first, of maritime enterprise, which was the harbinger of
the Age of Reason in Europe. It gave rise to three great voyages--the
discovery of America, the doubling of the Cape, and the circumnavigation
of the earth.

[Sidenote: State of Mediterranean trade.] At the time of which we are
speaking, the commerce of the Mediterranean was chiefly in two
directions. The ports of the Black Sea furnished suitable depôts for
produce brought down the Tanaïs and other rivers, and for a large
portion of the India trade that had come across the Caspian. The seat of
this commerce was Genoa.

The other direction was the south-east. The shortest course to India was
along the Euphrates and the Persian Gulf, but the Red and Arabian seas
offered a cheaper and safer route. In the ports of Syria and Egypt were
therefore found the larger part of the commodities of India. This trade
centred in Venice. A vast development had been given to it through the
Crusades, the Venetians probably finding in the transport service of the
Holy Wars as great a source of profit as in the India trade.

[Sidenote: Rivalry of Genoa and Venice.] Toward the latter part of the
fourteenth century it became apparent that the commercial rivalry
between Venice and Genoa would terminate to the disadvantage of the
latter. The irruption of the Tartars and invasion of the Turks had
completely dislocated her Asiatic lines of trade. In the wars between
the two republics Genoa had suffered severely. Partly for this reason,
and partly through the advantageous treaties that Venice had made with
the sultans, giving her the privilege of consulates at Alexandria and
Damascus, this republic had at last attained a supremacy over all
competitors. The Genoese establishments on the Black Sea had become

[Sidenote: Attempt to reach India by the west.] With ruin before them,
and unwilling to yield their Eastern connexions, the merchants of Genoa
had tried to retrieve their affairs by war; her practical sailors saw
that she might be re-established in another way. There were among them
some who were well acquainted with the globular form of the earth, and
with what had been done by the Mohammedan astronomers for determining
its circumference by the measurement of a degree on the shore of the Red
Sea. These men originated the attempt to reach India by sailing to the

[Sidenote: Opposition to this scheme.] By two parties--the merchants and
the clergy--their suggestions were received with little favour. The
former gave no encouragement, perhaps because such schemes were unsuited
to their existing arrangements; the latter disliked them because of
their suspected irreligious nature. The globular form had been condemned
by such fathers as Lactantius and Augustine. In the Patristic Geography
the earth is a flat surface bordered by the waters of the sea, on the
yielding support of which rests the crystalline dome of the sky. These
doctrines were for the most part supported by passages from the Holy
Scriptures, perversely wrested from their proper meaning. Thus Cosmas
Indicopleustes, whose Patristic Geography had been an authority for
nearly eight hundred years, triumphantly disposed of the sphericity of
the earth by demanding of its advocates how in the day of judgment, men
on the other side of a globe could see the Lord descending through the

Among the Genoese sailors seeking the welfare of their city was one
destined for immortality--Christopher Columbus.

[Sidenote: Columbus, early life of.] His father was a wool-comber, yet
not a man of the common sort. He procured for his son a knowledge of
arithmetic, drawing, painting; and Columbus is said to have written a
singularly beautiful hand. For a short time he was at the University of
Pavia, but he went to sea when he was only fourteen. After being engaged
in the Syrian trade for many years, he had made several voyages to
Guinea, occupying his time when not at sea in the construction of charts
for sale, thereby supporting not only himself, but also his aged father,
and finding means for the education of his brothers. Under these
circumstances he had obtained a competent knowledge of geography, and,
though the state of public opinion at the time did not permit such
doctrines to be openly avowed, he believed that the sea is everywhere
navigable, that the earth is round and not flat, that there are
antipodes, that the torrid zone is habitable, and that there is a
proportionate distribution of land in the northern and southern
hemispheres. [Sidenote: His argument for lands to the west.] Adopting
the Patristic logic when it suited his purpose, he reasoned that since
the earth is made for man, it is not likely that its surface is too
largely covered with water, and that, if there are lands, they must be
inhabited, since the command was renewed at the Flood that man should
replenish the earth. He asked, "Is it likely that the sun shines upon
nothing, and that the nightly watches of the stars are wasted on
trackless seas and desert lands?" But to this reasoning he added facts
that were more substantial. One Martin Vincent, who had sailed many
miles to the west of the Azores, related to him that he had found,
floating on the sea, a piece of timber evidently carved without iron.
Another sailor, Pedro Correa, his brother-in-law, had met with enormous
canes. On the coast of Flores the sea had cast up two dead men with
large faces, of a strange aspect. Columbus appears to have formed his
theory that the East Indies could be reached by sailing to the west
about A.D. 1474. He was at that time in correspondence with Toscanelli,
the Florentine astronomer, who held the same doctrine, and who sent him
a map or chart constructed on the travels of Marco Polo. He offered his
services first to his native city, then to Portugal, then to Spain, and,
through his brother, to England; his chief inducement in each instance
being that the riches of India might be thus secured. In Lisbon he had
married. While he lay sick near Belem an unknown voice whispered to him
in a dream, "God will cause thy name to be wonderfully resounded through
the earth, and will give thee the keys of the gates of the ocean, which
are closed with strong chains!" The death of his wife appears to have
broken the last link which held him to Portugal, where he had been since
1470. One evening, in the autumn of 1485, a man of majestic presence,
pale, care-worn, and, though in the meridian of life, with silver hair,
leading a little boy by the hand, asked alms at the gate of the
Franciscan convent near Palos--not for himself, but only a little bread
and water for his child. This was that Columbus destined to give to
Europe a new world.

[Sidenote: Is confuted by the Council of Salamanca.] In extreme poverty,
he was making his way to the Spanish court. After many wearisome delays
his suit was referred to a council at Salamanca, before which, however,
his doctrines were confuted from the Pentateuch, the Psalms, the
Prophecies, the Gospels, the Epistles, and the writings of the
fathers--St. Chrysostom, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Gregory, St.
Basil, St. Ambrose. Moreover, they were demonstrably inconsistent with
reason; since, if even he should depart from Spain, "the rotundity of
the earth would present a kind of mountain up which it was impossible
for him to sail, even with the fairest wind;" and so he could never get
back. The Grand Cardinal of Spain had also indicated their irreligious
nature, and Columbus began to fear that, instead of receiving aid as a
discoverer, he should fall into trouble as a heretic. [Sidenote: Queen
Isabella adopts his views.] However, after many years of mortification
and procrastination, he at length prevailed with Queen Isabella; and on
April 17, 1492, in the field before Granada, then just wrenched from the
Mohammedans by the arms of Ferdinand and Isabella, he received his
commission. With a nobleness of purpose, he desired no reward unless he
should succeed; but, in that case, stipulated that he should have the
title of Admiral and Viceroy, and that his perquisite should be one
tenth of all he should discover--conditions which show what manner of
man this great sailor was. [Sidenote: The expedition prepared.] He had
bound himself to contribute one-eighth to the expenses of the
expedition: this he accomplished through the Pinzons of Palos, an old
and wealthy seafaring family. These arrangements once ratified, he lost
not a moment in completing the preparations for his expedition. The
royal authority enabled him to take--forcibly, if necessary--both ships
and men. But even with that advantage he would hardly have succeeded if
the Pinzons had not joined heartily with him, personally sharing in the
dangers of the voyage.

[Sidenote: The voyage across the Atlantic.] The sun, by journeying to
the west, rises on India at last. On Friday, August 3, 1492, the weary
struggles and heart-sickness of eighteen years of supplication were
over, and, as the day was breaking, Columbus sailed with three little
ships from Palos, carrying with him charts constructed on the basis of
that which Toscanelli had formerly sent, and also a letter to the Grand
Khan of Tartary. On the 9th he saw the Canaries, being detained among
them three weeks by the provisioning and repairing of his ships. He left
them on September 6th, escaping the pursuit of some caravels sent out by
the Portuguese government to intercept him. He now steered due west.
Nothing of interest occurred until nightfall on September 13th, when he
remarked with surprise that the needle, which the day before had pointed
due north, was varying half a point to the west, the effect becoming
more and more marked as the expedition advanced. He was now beyond the
track of any former navigator, and with no sure guide but the stars; the
heaven was everywhere, and everywhere the sea. On Sunday, 16th, he
encountered many floating weeds, and picked up what was mistaken for a
live grasshopper. For some days the weeds increased in quantity, and
retarded the sailing of the ships. On the 19th two pelicans flew on
board. Thus far he had had an easterly wind; but on September 20th it
changed to south-west, and many little birds, "such as those that sing
in orchards," were seen. His men now became mutinous, and reproached the
king and queen for trusting to "this bold Italian, who wanted to make a
great lord of himself at the price of their lives."

On September 25th Pinzon reported to him that he thought he saw land;
but it proved to be only clouds. With great difficulty he kept down his
mutinous crew. On October 2nd he observed the seaweeds drifting from
east to west. Pinzon, in the Pinta, having seen a flight of parrots
going to the south-west, the course was altered on October 7th, and he
steered after them west-south-west; he had hitherto been on the parallel
26° N. On the evening of October 11th the signs of land had become so
unmistakable that, after vesper hymn to the Virgin, he made an address
of congratulation to his crew, and commended watchfulness to them.
[Sidenote: Discovery of America.] His course was now due west. A little
before midnight, Columbus, on the fore-castle of his ship, saw a moving
light at a distance; and two hours after a signal-gun was fired from the
Pinta. A sailor, Rodrigo de Triana, had descried land. The ships were
laid to. As soon as day dawned they made it out to be a verdant island.
There were naked Indians upon the beach watching their movements. At
sunrise, October 12, 1492, the boats were manned and armed, and Columbus
was the first European to set foot on the new world.

[Sidenote: Events of the voyage.] The chief events of the voyage of
Columbus were, 1st. The discovery of the line of no magnetic variation,
which, as we shall see, eventually led to the circumnavigation of the
earth. 2nd. The navigability of the sea to the remote west, the weeds
not offering any insuperable obstruction. When the ships left Palos it
was universally believed that the final border or verge of the earth is
where the western sky rests upon the sea, and the air and clouds, fogs
and water, are commingled. Indeed, that boundary could not actually be
attained; for, long before it was possible to reach it, the sea was
laden with inextricable weeds, through which a ship could not pass. This
legend was perhaps derived from the stories of adventurous sailors, who
had been driven by stress of weather towards the Sargasso Sea, and seen
an island of weeds many hundreds of square miles in extent--green
meadows floating in the ocean. 3rd. As to the new continent, Columbus
never knew the nature of his own discovery. He died in the belief that
it was actually some part of Asia, and Americus Vespucius entertained
the same misconception. Their immediate successors supposed that Mexico
was the Quinsay, in China, of Marco Polo. For this reason I do not think
that the severe remark that the "name of America is a monument of human
injustice" is altogether merited. Had the true state of things been
known, doubtless the event would have been different. The name of
America first occurs in an edition of Ptolemy's Geography, on a map by

[Sidenote: End of Patristic Geography.] Two other incidents of no little
interest followed this successful voyage: the first was the destruction
of Patristic Geography; the second the consequence of the flight of
Pinzon's parrots. Though, as we now know, the conclusion that India had
been reached was not warranted by the facts, it was on all sides
admitted that the old doctrine was overthrown, and that the admiral had
reached Asia by sailing to the west. This necessarily implied the
globular form of the earth. As to the second, never was an augury more
momentous than that flight of parrots. It has been well said that this
event determined the distribution of Latin and German Christianity in
the New World.

[Sidenote: Previous Scandinavian discovery.] The discovery of America by
Leif, the son of Eric the Red, A.D. 1000, cannot diminish the claims of
Columbus. The wandering Scandinavians had reached the shores of America
first in the vicinity of Nantucket, and had given the name of Vinland to
the region extending from beyond Boston to the south of New York. But
the memory of these voyages seems totally to have passed away, or the
lands were confounded with Greenland, to which Nicolas V. had appointed
a bishop A.D. 1448. Had these traditions been known to or respected by
Columbus, he would undoubtedly have steered his ships more to the north.

[Sidenote: The papal grant to Spain.] Immediately on the return of
Columbus, March 15, 1493, the King and Queen of Spain despatched an
ambassador to Pope Alexander VI. for the purpose of insuring their
rights to the new territories, on the same principle that Martin V. had
already given to the King of Portugal possession of all lands he might
discover between Cape Bojador and the East Indies, with plenary
indulgence for the souls of those who perished in the conquest. The
pontifical action was essentially based on the principle that pagans and
infidels have no lawful property in their lands and goods, but that the
children of God may rightfully take them away. The bull that was issued
bears date May, 1493. Its principle is, that all countries under the sun
are subject of right to papal disposal. It gives to Spain, in the
fulness of apostolic power, all lands west and south of a line drawn
from the Arctic to the Antarctic pole, one hundred leagues west of the
Azores. The donation includes, by the authority of Almighty God,
whatever there is toward India, but saves the existing rights of any
Christian princes. It forbids, under pain of excommunication, any one
trading in that direction, threatening the indignation of Almighty God
and his holy apostles Peter and Paul. It directs the barbarous nations
to be subdued, and no pains to be spared for reducing the Indians to

[Sidenote: The magnetic line of no variation.] This suggestion of the
line of no magnetic variation was due to Columbus, who fell into the
error of supposing it to be immovable. The infallibility of the pontiff
not extending to matters of science, he committed the same mistake. In a
few years it was discovered that the line of no variation was slowly
moving to the east. It coincided with the meridian of London in 1662.

[Sidenote: Patristic ethnical ideas.] The obstacles that Patristic
Geography had thrown in the way of maritime adventure were thus finally
removed, but Patristic Ethnology led to a fearful tragedy. With a
critical innocence that seems to have overlooked physical
impossibilities and social difficulties, it had been the practice to
refer the peopling of nations to legendary heroes or to the patriarchs
of Scripture. The French were descended from Francus, the son of Hector;
the Britons from Brutus, the son of Æneas; the genealogy of the Saxon
kings could be given up to Adam; but it may excite our mirthful surprise
that the conscientious Spanish chronicles could rise no higher than to
Tubal, the grandson of Noah. The divisions of the Old World, Asia,
Africa, and Europe, were assigned to the three sons of Noah--Shem, Ham,
and Japheth; and the parentage of those continents was given to those
patriarchs respectively. In this manner all mankind were brought into a
family relationship, all equally the descendants of Adam, equally
participators in his sin and fall. As long as it was supposed that the
lands of Columbus were a part of Asia there was no difficulty; but when
the true position and relations of the American continent were
discovered, that it was separated from Asia by a waste of waters of many
thousand miles, how did the matter stand with the new-comers thus
suddenly obtruded on the scene? [Sidenote: Denial that the Indians are
men.] The voice of the fathers was altogether against the possibility of
their Adamic descent. St. Augustine had denied the globular form and the
existence of Antipodes; for it was impossible that there should be
people on what was thus vainly asserted to be the other side of the
earth, since none such are mentioned in the Scriptures. The lust for
gold was only too ready to find its justification in the obvious
conclusion; and the Spaniards, with appalling atrocity, proceeded to act
toward these unfortunates as though they did not belong to the human
race. Already their lands and goods had been taken from them by
apostolic authority. [Sidenote: The American tragedy.] Their persons
were next seized, under the text that the heathen are given as an
inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession. It
was one unspeakable outrage, one unutterable ruin, with out
discrimination of age or sex. Those who died not under the lash in a
tropical sun died in the darkness of the mine. From sequestered
sand-banks, where the red flamingo fishes in the grey of the morning;
from fever-stricken mangrove thickets, and the gloom of impenetrable
forests; from hiding-places in the clefts of rocks, and the solitude of
invisible caves; from the eternal snows of the Andes, where there was no
witness but the all-seeing Sun, there went up to God a cry of human
despair. By millions upon millions, whole races and nations were
remorselessly cut off. The Bishop of Chiapa affirms that more than
fifteen millions were exterminated in his time! [Sidenote: The crime of
Spain.] From Mexico and Peru a civilization that might have instructed
Europe was crushed out. Is it for nothing that Spain has been made a
hideous skeleton among living nations, a warning spectacle to the world?
Had not her punishment overtaken her, men would have surely said, "There
is no retribution, there is no God!" It has been her evil destiny to
ruin two civilizations, Oriental and Occidental, and to be ruined
thereby herself. With circumstances of dreadful barbarity she expelled
the Moors, who had become children of her soil by as long a residence as
the Normans have had in England from William the Conqueror to our time.
In America she destroyed races more civilized than herself. Expulsion
and emigration have deprived her of her best blood, her great cities
have sunk into insignificance, and towns that once had more than a
million of inhabitants can now only show a few scanty thousands.

The discovery of America agitated Europe to its deepest foundations. All
classes of men were affected. The populace at once went wild with a lust
of gold and a love of adventure. Well might Pomponius Lætus, under
process for his philosophical opinions in Rome, shed tears of joy when
tidings of the great event reached him; well might Leo X., a few years
later, sit up till far in the night reading to his sister and his
cardinals the "Oceanica" of Anghiera.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Vasco de Gama. African coasting voyages.]
If Columbus failed in his attempt to reach India by sailing to the west,
Vasco de Gama succeeded by sailing to the south. He doubled the Cape of
Good Hope, and retraced the track of the ships of Pharaoh Necho, which
had accomplished the same undertaking two thousand years previously. The
Portuguese had been for long engaged in an examination of the coast of
Africa under the bull of Martin V., which recognised the possibility of
reaching India by passing round that continent. It is an amusing
instance of making scientific discoveries by contract, that King
Alphonso made a bargain with Ferdinand Gomez, of Lisbon, for the
exploration of the African coast, the stipulation being that he should
discover not less than three hundred miles every year, and that the
starting-point should be Sierra Leone.

[Sidenote: Papal confines of Spain and Portugal.] We have seen that a
belief in the immobility of the line of no magnetic variation had led
Pope Alexander VI. to establish a perpetual boundary between the Spanish
and Portuguese possessions and fields of adventure. That line he
considered to be the natural boundary between the eastern and western
hemispheres. An accurate determination of longitude was therefore a
national as well as a nautical question. Columbus had relied on
astronomical methods; Gilbert at a subsequent period proposed to
determine it by magnetical observations. The variation itself could not
be accounted for on the doctrine vulgarly received, that magnetism is an
effluvium issuing forth from the root of the tail of the Little Bear,
but was scientifically, though erroneously, explained by Gilbert's
hypothesis that earthy substance is attractive--that a needle
approaching a continent will incline toward it; and hence that in the
midst of the Atlantic, being equally disturbed by Europe and America, it
will point evenly between both.

[Sidenote: News that Africa might be doubled.] Pedro de Covilho had sent
word to King John II., from Cairo, by two Jews, Rabbi Abraham and Rabbi
Joseph, that there was a south cape of Africa which could be doubled.
They brought with them an Arabic map of the African coast. This was
about the time that Bartholomew Diaz had reached the Cape in two little
pinnaces of fifty tons apiece. He sailed August, 1486, and returned
December, 1487, with an account of his discovery. Covilho had learned
from the Arabian mariners, who were perfectly familiar with the east
coast, that they had frequently been at the south of Africa, and that
there was no difficulty in passing round the continent that way.

[Sidenote: De Gama's successful voyage. He reaches India.] A voyage to
the south is even more full of portents than one to the west. The
accustomed heavens seem to sink away, and new stars are nightly
approached. Vasco de Gama set sail July 9, 1497, with three ships and
160 men, having with him the Arab map. King John had employed his Jewish
physicians, Roderigo and Joseph, to devise what help they could from the
stars. They applied the astrolabe to marine use, and constructed tables.
These were the same doctors who had told him that Columbus would
certainly succeed in reaching India, and advised him to send out a
secret expedition in anticipation, which was actually done, though it
failed through want of resolution in its captain. Encountering the usual
difficulties, tempestuous weather, and a mutinous crew, who conspired to
put him to death, De Gama succeeded, November 20, in doubling the Cape.
On March 1st he met seven small Arab vessels, and was surprised to find
that they used the compass, quadrants, sea-charts, and "had divers
maritime mysteries not short of the Portugals." With joy he soon after
recovered sight of the northern stars, so long unseen. He now bore away
to the north-east, and on May 19, 1498, reached Calicut, on the Malabar

[Sidenote: A commercial revolution the result.] The consequences of this
voyage were to the last degree important. The commercial arrangements of
Europe were completely dislocated; Venice was deprived of her mercantile
supremacy; the hatred of Genoa was gratified; prosperity left the
Italian towns; Egypt, hitherto supposed to possess a pre-eminent
advantage as offering the best avenue to India, suddenly lost her
position; the commercial monopolies so long in the hands of the European
Jews were broken down. The discovery of America and passage of the Cape
were the first steps of that prodigious maritime development soon
exhibited by Western Europe. And since commercial prosperity is
forthwith followed by the production of men and concentration of wealth,
and moreover implies an energetic intellectual condition, it appeared
before long that the three centres of population, of wealth, of
intellect were shifting westwardly. The front of Europe was suddenly
changed; the British islands, hitherto in a sequestered and eccentric
position, were all at once put in the van of the new movement.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Ferdinand Magellan enters the Spanish service.] Commercial
rivalry had thus passed from Venice and Genoa to Spain and Portugal. The
circumnavigation of the earth originated in a dispute between these
kingdoms respecting the Molucca Islands, from which nutmegs, cloves, and
mace were obtained. Ferdinand Magellan had been in the service of the
King of Portugal; but an application he had made for an increase of half
a ducat a month in his stipend having been refused, he passed into the
service of the King of Spain along with one Ruy Falero, a friend of his,
who, among the vulgar, bore the reputation of a conjurer or magician,
but who really possessed considerable astronomical attainments, devoting
himself to the discovery of improved means for finding the place of a
ship at sea. Magellan persuaded the Spanish government that the Spice
Islands could be reached by sailing to the west, the Portuguese having
previously reached them by sailing to the east, and, if this were
accomplished, Spain would have as good a title to them, under the bull
of Alexander VI., as Portugal. [Sidenote: His great voyage commenced.]
Five ships, carrying 237 men, were accordingly equipped, and on August
10, 1519, Magellan sailed from Seville. The Trinitie was the admiral's
ship, but the San Vittoria was destined for immortality. He struck
boldly for the south-west, not crossing the trough of the Atlantic as
Columbus had done, but passing down the length of it, his aim being to
find some cleft or passage in the American Continent through which he
might sail into the Great South Sea. For seventy days he was becalmed
under the line. He then lost sight of the north star, but courageously
held on toward the "pole antartike." He nearly foundered in a storm,
"which did not abate till the three fires called St. Helen, St.
Nicholas, and St. Clare appeared playing in the rigging of the ships."
In a new land, to which he gave the name of Patagoni, he found giants
"of good corporature" clad in skins; one of them, a very pleasant and
tractable giant, was terrified at his own visage in a looking-glass.
[Sidenote: He penetrates the American continent.] Among the sailors,
alarmed at the distance they had come, mutiny broke out, requiring the
most unflinching resolution in the commander for its suppression. In
spite of his watchfulness, one ship deserted him and stole back to
Spain. His perseverance and resolution were at last rewarded by the
discovery of the strait named by him San Vittoria, in affectionate
honour of his ship, but which, with a worthy sentiment, other sailors
soon changed to "the Strait of Magellan." [Sidenote: Reaches the Pacific
Ocean.] On November 28, 1520, after a year and a quarter of struggling,
he issued forth from its western portals and entered the Great South
Sea, shedding tears of joy, as Pigafetti, an eye-witness, relates, when
he recognized its infinite expanse--tears of stern joy that it had
pleased God to bring him at length where he might grapple with its
unknown dangers. Admiring its illimitable but placid surface, and
exulting in the meditation of its secret perils soon to be tried, he
courteously imposed on it the name it is for ever to bear, "the Pacific
Ocean." While baffling for an entry into it, he observed with surprise
that in the month of October the nights are only four hours long, and
"considered, in this his navigation, that the pole antartike hath no
notable star like the pole artike, but that there be two clouds of
little stars somewhat dark in the middest, also a cross of fine clear
stars, but that here the needle becomes so sluggish that it needs must
be moved with a bit of loadstone before it will rightly point."

[Sidenote: The Pacific Ocean crossed.] And now the great sailor, having
burst through the barrier of the American continent, steered for the
north-west, attempting to regain the equator. For three months and
twenty days he sailed on the Pacific, and never saw inhabited land. He
was compelled by famine to strip off the pieces of skin and leather
wherewith his rigging was here and there bound, to soak them in the sea
and then soften them with warm water, so as to make a wretched food; to
eat the sweepings of the ship and other loathsome matter; to drink water
that had become putrid by keeping; and yet he resolutely held on his
course, though his men were dying daily. As is quaintly observed, "their
gums grew over their teeth, and so they could not eat." He estimated
that he sailed over this unfathomable sea not less than 12,000 miles.

In the whole history of human undertakings there is nothing that
exceeds, if indeed there is anything that equals, this voyage of
Magellan's. That of Columbus dwindles away in comparison. It is a
display of superhuman courage, superhuman perseverance--a display of
resolution not to be diverted from its purpose by any motive or any
suffering, but inflexibly persisting to its end. Well might his
despairing sailors come to the conclusion that they had entered on a
trackless waste of waters, endless before them and hopeless in a return.
"But, though the Church hath evermore from Holy Writ affirmed that the
earth should be a wide-spread plain bordered by the waters, yet he
comforted himself when he considered that in the eclipses of the moon
the shadow cast of the earth is round; and as is the shadow, such, in
like manner, is the substance." It was a stout heart--a heart of triple
brass--which could thus, against such authority, extract unyielding
faith from a shadow.

[Sidenote: Succeeds in his attempt, and dies.] This unparalleled
resolution met its reward at last. Magellan reached a group of islands
north of the equator--the Ladrones. In a few days more he became aware
that his labours had been successful; he met with adventurers from
Sumatra. But, though he had thus grandly accomplished his object, it was
not given to him to complete the circumnavigation of the globe. At an
island called Zebu, or Mutan, he was killed, either, as has been
variously related, in a mutiny of his men, or as they declared--in a
conflict with the savages, or insidiously by poison. "The general," they
said, "was a very brave man, and received his death wound in his front;
nor would the savages yield up his body for any ransom." Through treason
and revenge it is not unlikely that he fell, for he was a stern man; no
one but a very stern man could have accomplished so daring a deed.
Hardly was he gone when his crew learned that they were actually in the
vicinity of the Moluccas, and that the object of their voyage was
accomplished. On the morning of November 8, 1521, having been at sea two
years and three months, as the sun was rising they entered Tidore, the
chief port of the Spice Islands. The King of Tidore swore upon the Koran
alliance to the King of Spain.

[Sidenote: Circumnavigation of the earth.] I need not allude to the
wonderful objects--destined soon to become common to voyagers in the
Indian Archipelago--that greeted their eyes: elephants in trappings;
vases, and vessels of porcelain; birds of Paradise, "that fly not, but
be blown by the wind;" exhaustless stores of the coveted spices,
nutmegs, mace, cloves. And now they prepared to bring the news of their
success back to Spain. Magellan's lieutenant, Sebastian d'Elcano,
directed his course for the Cape of Good Hope, again encountering the
most fearful hardships. Out of his slender crew he lost twenty-one men.
He doubled the Cape at last; and on September 7, 1522, in the port of
St. Lucar, near Seville, under his orders, the good ship San Vittoria
came safely to an anchor. She had accomplished the greatest achievement
in the history of the human race. She had circumnavigated the earth.

[Sidenote: Elcano, the lieutenant of Magellan.] Magellan thus lost his
life in his enterprise, and yet he made an enviable exchange. Doubly
immortal, and thrice happy! for he impressed his name indelibly on the
earth and the sky, on the strait that connects the two great oceans, and
on those clouds of starry worlds seen in the southern heavens. He also
imposed a designation on the largest portion of the surface of the
globe. His lieutenant, Sebastian d'Elcano, received such honours as
kings can give. Of all armorial bearings ever granted for the
accomplishment of a great and daring deed, his were the proudest and
noblest--the globe of the earth belted with the inscription, "Primus
circumdedisti me!"

[Sidenote: Results of the circumnavigation.] If the circumnavigation of
the earth by Magellan did not lead to such splendid material results as
the discovery of America and the doubling of the Cape, its moral effects
were far more important. Columbus had been opposed in obtaining means
for his expedition because it was suspected to be of an irreligious
nature. Unfortunately, the Church, satisfying instincts impressed upon
her as far back as the time of Constantine, had asserted herself to be
the final arbitress in all philosophical questions, and especially in
this of the figure of the earth had committed herself against its being
globular. Infallibility can never correct itself--indeed, it can never
be wrong. Rome never retracts anything; and, no matter what the
consequences, never recedes. It was thus that a theological
dogma--infallibility--came to be mixed up with a geographical problem,
and that problem liable at any moment to receive a decisive solution. So
long as it rested in a speculative position, or could be hedged round
with mystification, the real state of the case might be concealed from
all except the more intelligent class of men; but after the
circumnavigation had actually been accomplished, and was known to every
one, there was, of course, nothing more to be said. It had now become
altogether useless to bring forward the authority of Lactantius, of St.
Augustine, or of other fathers, that the globular form is impious and
heretical. Henceforth the fact was strong enough to overpower all
authority, an exercise of which could have no other result than to
injure itself. It remained only to permit the dispute to pass into
oblivion; but even this could not occur without those who were observant
being impressed with the fact that physical science was beginning to
display a fearful advantage over Patristicism, and presenting
unmistakable tokens that ere long she would destroy her ancient

[Sidenote: Minor voyages and travels.] In the midst of these immortal
works it is hardly worth while to speak of minor things. Two centuries
had wrought a mighty change in the geographical ideas of Western Europe.
The travels of Marco Polo, A.D. 1295, had first given some glimmering of
the remote East, the interest in which was doubtless enhanced by the
irruption of the Moguls. Sir John Mandeville had spent many years in the
interior of Asia before the middle of the next century. Conti had
travelled in Persia and India, between 1419 and 1444. Cadamosto, a
Venetian, in 1455 had explored the west coast of Africa. Sebastian Cabot
had re-discovered Newfoundland, and, persisting in the attempt to find a
north-west passage to China, had forced his way into the ice to 67° 30'
N. By 1525 the American coast-line had been determined from Terra del
Fuego to Labrador. New Guinea and part of Australia, had been
discovered. The fleet of Cabral, attempting to double the Cape of Good
Hope in 1500, was driven to Brazil. A ship was sent back to Portugal
with the news. Hence, had not Columbus sailed when he did, the discovery
of America could not have been long postponed. Balboa saw the Great
South Sea September 25th, 1513. Wading up to his knees in the water,
with his sword in one hand and the Spanish flag in the other, he claimed
that vast ocean for Castile. Nothing could now prevent the geography of
the earth from being completed.

[Sidenote: Participation of other nations in these events.] I cannot
close these descriptions of maritime adventure without observing that
they are given from the European point of view. The Western nations have
complacently supposed that whatever was unknown to them was therefore
altogether unknown. We have seen that the Arabs were practically and
perfectly familiar with the fact that Africa might be circumnavigated;
the East Indian geography was thoroughly understood by the Buddhist
priesthood, who had, on an extensive scale, carried forward their
propagandism for twenty-five hundred years in those regions. But
doubtless the most perfect geographical knowledge existed among the
Jews, those cosmopolite traders who conducted mercantile transactions
from the Azores to the interior of China, from the Baltic to the coast
of Mozambique. It was actually through them that the existence of the
Cape of Good Hope was first made known in Europe. Five hundred years
before Columbus, the Scandinavian adventurers had discovered America,
but so low was the state of intelligence in Europe that the very memory
of these voyages had been altogether lost. The circumnavigation of the
earth is, however, strictly the achievement of the West. I have been led
to make the remarks in this paragraph, since they apply again on another
occasion--the introduction of what is called the Baconian philosophy,
the principles of which were not only understood, but carried into
practice in the East eighteen hundred years before Bacon was born.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is scarcely necessary that I should offer any excuse for devoting a
few pages to a digression on the state of affairs in Mexico and Peru.
Nothing illustrates more strikingly the doctrine which it is the object
of this book to teach.

[Sidenote: Progress of man in the New World the same as in the Old.] The
social condition of America at its discovery demonstrates that similar
ideas and similar usages make their appearance spontaneously in the
progress of civilization of different countries, showing how little they
depend on accident, how closely they are connected with the
organization, and, therefore, with the necessities of man. From
important ideas and great institutions down to the most trifling
incidents of domestic life, so striking is the parallel between the
American aborigines and Europeans that with difficulty do we divest
ourselves of the impression that there must have been some
intercommunication. Each was, however, pursuing an isolated and
spontaneous progress; and yet how closely does the picture of life in
the New World answer to that in the Old. [Sidenote: Mexico, its
political system.] The monarch of Mexico lived in barbaric pomp, wore a
golden crown resplendent with gems; was aided in his duties by a privy
council; the great lords held their lands of him by the obligation of
military service. In him resided the legislative power, yet he was
subject to the laws of the realm. The judges held their office
independently of him, and were not liable to removal by him. The laws
were reduced to writing, which, though only a system of hieroglyphics,
served its purpose so well that the Spaniards were obliged to admit its
validity in their courts, and to found a professorship for perpetuating
a knowledge of it. Marriage was regarded as an important social
engagement. Divorces were granted with difficulty. Slavery was
recognized in the case of prisoners of war, debtors, and criminals, but
no man could be born a slave in Mexico. No distinction of castes was
permitted. The government mandates and public intelligence were
transmitted by a well-organized postal service of couriers able to make
two hundred miles a day. The profession of arms was the recognized
avocation of the nobility; the military establishments, whether in
active service in the field, or as garrisons in large towns, being
supported by taxation on produce or manufactures. The armies were
divided into corps of 10,000, and these again into regiments of 400.
Standards and banners were used; the troops executed their evolutions to
military music, and were provided with hospitals, army surgeons, and a
medical staff. In the human hives of Europe, Asia, and America, the bees
were marshalled in the same way, and were instinctively building their
combs alike.

[Sidenote: Its religion, priesthood, and ceremonies.] The religious
state is a reflexion of that of Europe and Asia. The worship was an
imposing ceremonial. The common people had a mythology of many gods, but
the higher classes were strictly Unitarian, acknowledging one almighty,
invisible Creator. Of the popular deities, the god of war was the chief.
He was born of a virgin, and conceived by mysterious conception of a
ball of bright-coloured feathers floating on the air. The priests
administered a rite of baptism to infants for the purpose of washing
away their sins, and taught that there are rewards and punishments in a
life to come--a paradise for the good, a hell of darkness for the
wicked. The hierarchy descended by due degrees from the chief priests,
who were almost equal to the sovereign in authority, down to the humble
ecclesiastical servitors. Marriage was permitted to the clergy. They had
monastic institutions, the inmates praying thrice a day and once at
night. They practised ablutions, vigils, penance by flagellation or
pricking with aloe thorns. They compelled the people to auricular
confession, required of them penance, gave absolution. Their
ecclesiastical system had reached a strength which was never attained in
Europe, since absolution by the priest for civil offences was an
acquittal in the eye of the law. It was the received doctrine that men
do not sin of their own free will, but because they are impelled thereto
by planetary influences. With sedulous zeal, the clergy engrossed the
duty of public education, thereby keeping society in their grasp.
[Sidenote: Its literary condition.] Their writing was on cotton cloth or
skins, or on papyrus made of the aloe. At the conquest immense
collections of this kind of literature were in existence, but the first
Archbishop of Mexico burnt, as was affirmed, a mountain of such
manuscripts in the market-place, stigmatizing them as magic scrolls.
About the same time, and under similar circumstances, Cardinal Ximenes
burnt a vast number of Arabic manuscripts in Granada.

[Sidenote: Divisions of time: the week, month, year.] The condition of
astronomy in Mexico is illustrated as it is in Egypt by the calendar.
The year was of eighteen months, each month of twenty days, five
complementary ones being added to make up the three hundred and
sixty-five. The month had four weeks, the week five days; the last day,
instead of being for religious purposes, was market day. To provide for
the six additional hours of the year, they intercalated twelve and a
half days every fifty-two years. At the conquest the Mexican calendar
was in a better condition than the Spanish. As in some other countries,
the clergy had for ecclesiastical purposes a lunar division of time. The
day had sixteen hours, commencing at sunrise. They had sun-dials for
determining the hour, and also instruments for the solstices and
equinoxes. They had ascertained the globular form of the earth and the
obliquity of the ecliptic. The close of the fifty-second year was
celebrated with grand religious ceremonials; all the fires were suffered
to go out, and new ones kindled by the friction of sticks. [Sidenote:
Private life, mechanical arts, trade.] Their agriculture was superior to
that of Europe; there was nothing in the Old World to compare with the
menageries and botanical gardens of Huaxtepec, Chapultepec, Istapalapan,
and Tezcuco. They practised with no inconsiderable skill the more
delicate mechanical arts, such as those of the jeweller and enameller.
From the aloe they obtained pins and needles, thread, cord, paper, food,
and an intoxicating drink. They made earthenware, knew how to lacquer
wood, employed cochineal as a scarlet dye. They were skilful weavers of
fine cloth, and excelled in the production of feather-work, their
gorgeous humming-birds furnishing material for that purpose. In
metallurgy they were behind the Old World, not having the use of iron;
but, as the Old World had formerly done, they employed bronze in its
stead. They knew how to move immense masses of rock; their great
calendar stone, of porphyry, weighed more than fifty tons, and was
brought a distance of many miles. Their trade was carried on, not in
shops, but by markets or fairs held on the fifth day. They employed a
currency of gold dust, pieces of tin, and bags of cacao. [Sidenote:
Luxury of the higher classes.] In their domestic economy, though
polygamy was permitted, it was in practice confined to the wealthy. The
women did not work abroad, but occupied themselves in spinning,
embroidering, feather-work, music. Ablution was resorted to both before
and after meals; perfumes were used at the toilet. The Mexicans gave to
Europe tobacco, snuff, the turkey, chocolate, cochineal. Like us, they
had in their entertainments solid dishes, with suitable condiments,
gravies, sauces, and desserts of pastries, confections, fruits, both
fresh and preserved. They had chafing-dishes of silver or gold. Like us,
they knew the use of intoxicating drinks; like us, they not unfrequently
took them to excess; like us, they heightened their festivities with
dancing and music. They had theatrical and pantomimic shows. At Tezcuco
there was a council of music, which, moreover, exercised a censorship on
philosophical works, as those of astronomy and history. In that city
North American civilization reached its height. The king's palace was a
wonderful work of art. It was said that 200,000 men were employed in its
construction. Its harem was adorned with magnificent tapestries of
feather-work; in its garden were fountains, cascades, baths, statues,
alabasters, cedar groves, forests, and a wilderness of flowers. In
conspicuous retirement in one part of the city was a temple, with a dome
of polished black marble, studded with stars of gold, in imitation of
the sky. It was dedicated to the omnipotent, invisible God. In this no
sacrifices were offered, but only sweet-scented flowers and gums.
[Sidenote: Their monotheism and philosophical sentiments.] The
prevailing religious feeling is expressed by the sentiments of one of
the kings, many of whom had prided themselves in their poetical skill:
"Let us," he says, "aspire to that heaven where all is eternal, and
where corruption never comes." He taught his children not to confide in
idols, but only to conform to the outward worship of them in deference
to public opinion.

[Sidenote: Peru--unknown to Mexico.] To the preceding description of the
social condition of Mexico I shall add a similar brief account of that
of Peru, for the conclusions to be drawn from a comparison of the
spontaneous process of civilization in these two countries with the
process in Europe is of importance to the attainment of a just idea of
the development of mankind. The most competent authorities declare that
the Mexicans and Peruvians were ignorant of each other's existence.

[Sidenote: Its geographical peculiarities.] In one particular especially
is the position of Peru interesting. It presents an analogy to Upper
Egypt, that cradle of the civilization of the Old World, in this, that
its sandy coast is a rainless district. This sandy-coast region is about
sixty miles in width, hemmed in on the east by grand mountain ranges,
which diminish in size on approaching the Isthmus of Panama; the entire
length of the Peruvian empire having been nearly 2,400 miles, it reached
from the north of the equator to what is now known as Chili. In breadth
it varied at different points. [Sidenote: A rainless country like
Egypt.] The east wind, which has crossed the Atlantic, and is therefore
charged with humidity, being forced by the elevation of the South
American continent, and especially by the range of the Andes, upward, is
compelled to surrender most of its moisture, which finds its way back to
the Atlantic in those prodigious rivers that make the country east of
the Andes the best watered region of the world; but as soon as that wind
has crossed the mountain ridge and descends on the western slope, it
becomes a dry and rainless wind, and hence the district intervening to
the Pacific has but a few insignificant streams. [Sidenote: Its system
of agriculture.] The sides of this great mountain range might seem
altogether unadapted to the pursuit of agriculture, but the state of
Peruvian civilization is at once demonstrated when it is said that these
mountain slopes had become a garden, immense terraces having been
constructed wherever required, and irrigation on a grander scale than
that of Egypt carried on by gigantic canals and aqueducts. Advantage was
taken of the different mean annual temperatures at different altitudes
to pursue the cultivation of various products, for difference in height
topographically answers to difference in latitude geographically, and
thus, in a narrow space, the Peruvians had every variety of temperature,
from that corresponding to the hottest portions of Southern Europe to
that of Lapland. In the mountains of Peru, as has been graphically said,
man sees "all the stars of the heavens and all the families of plants."
On plateaus at a great elevation above the sea there were villages and
even cities. Thus the plain upon which Quito stands, under the equator,
is nearly ten thousand feet high. So great was their industry that the
Peruvians had gardens and orchards above the clouds, and on ranges still
higher flocks of lamas, in regions bordering on the limit of perpetual

[Sidenote: Its great roads and engineering,] Through the entire length
of the empire two great military roads were built, one on the plateau,
the other on the shore. The former, for nearly two thousand miles,
crossed sierras covered with snow, was thrown over ravines, or went
through tunnels in the rocks; it scaled the more difficult precipices by
means of stairways. Where it was possible, it was carried over the
mountain clefts by filling them with masonry, or, where that could not
be done, suspension bridges were used, the cables being made of osiers
or maguey fibres. Some of these cables are said to have been as thick as
a man, and two hundred feet long. Where such bridges could not be thrown
across, and a stream flowed in the bottom of the mountain valley, the
passage was made by ferry-boats or rafts. As to the road itself, it was
about twenty feet in width, faced with flags covered with bitumen, and
had mile-stones. Our admiration at this splendid engineering is enhanced
when we remember that it was accomplished without iron and gunpowder.
The shore road was built on an embankment, with a clay parapet on each
side, and shade trees. Where circumstances called for it, piles were
used. [Sidenote: and expresses by couriers.] Every five miles there was
a post-house. The public couriers, as in Mexico, could make, if
necessary, two hundred miles a day. Of these roads Humboldt says that
they were among the most useful and most stupendous executed by the hand
of man. The reader need scarcely be told that there were no such
triumphs of skill in Spain. From the circumstance that there were no
swift animals, as the horse or dromedary, the width of these roads was
sufficient, since they were necessarily used for foot passage alone.

[Sidenote: Cuzco--the military centre.] In Cuzco, the metropolis, was
the imperial residence of the Inca and the Temple of the Sun. It
contained edifices which excited the amazement of the Spanish
adventurers themselves--streets, squares, bridges, fortresses surrounded
by turreted walls, subterranean galleries by which the garrison could
reach important parts of the town. Indeed, the great roads we have
spoken of might be regarded as portions of an immense system of military
works spread all over the country, and having their centre at Cuzco.

[Sidenote: The Inca--the Lord of the Empire.] The imperial dignity was
hereditary, descending from father to son. As in Egypt, the monarch not
unfrequently had his sisters for wives. His diadem consisted of a
scarlet tasseled fringe round his brow, adorned with two feathers. He
wore earrings of great weight. His dress of lama-wool was dyed scarlet,
inwoven with gold and studded with gems. Whoever approached him bore a
light burden on the shoulder as a badge of servitude, and was barefoot.
The Inca was not only the representative of the temporal, but also of
the spiritual power. He was more than supreme pontiff, for he was a
descendant of the Sun, the god of the nation. He made laws, imposed
taxes, raised armies, appointed or removed judges at his pleasure. He
travelled in a sedan ornamented with gold and emeralds; the roads were
swept before him, strewn with flowers, and perfumed. [Sidenote: The
national palace.] His palace at Yucay was described by the Spaniards as
a fairy scene. It was filled with works of Indian art; images of animals
and plants decorated the niches of its walls; it had an endless
labyrinth of gorgeous chambers, and here and there shady crypts for
quiet retirement. Its baths were great golden bowls. It was embosomed in
artificial forests. The imperial ladies and concubines spent their time
in beautifully furnished chambers, or in gardens, with cascades and
fountains, grottoes and bowers. It was in what few countries can boast
of, a temperate region in the torrid zone.

[Sidenote: Religion of Peru, its establishments and ceremonial.] The
Peruvian religion ostensibly consisted of a worship of the Sun, but the
higher classes had already become emancipated from such a material
association, and recognized the existence of one almighty, invisible
God. They expected the resurrection of the body and the continuance of
the soul in a future life. It was their belief that in the world to come
our occupations will resemble those we have followed here. Like the
Egyptians, who had arrived at similar ideas, the Peruvians practised
embalming, the mummies of their Incas being placed in the Temple of the
Sun at Cuzco, the kings on the right, the queens on the left, clad in
their robes of state, and with their hands crossed on their bosoms,
seated in golden chairs, waiting for the day when the soul will return
to reanimate the body. The mummies of distinguished personages were
buried in a sitting posture under tumuli of earth. To the Supreme Being
but one temple was dedicated. It was in a sacred valley, to which
pilgrimages were made. In the Peruvian mythology, heaven was above the
sky, hell in the interior of the earth--it was the realm of an evil
spirit called Cupay. The general resemblance of these to Egyptian
doctrines may forcibly impress upon us that they are ideas with which
the human mind necessarily occupies itself in its process of
intellectual development. As in all other countries, the educated
classes were greatly in advance of the common people, who were only just
emerging from fetichism, and engrossed in the follies of idolatry and
man-worship. Nevertheless, the government found it expedient to
countenance the vulgar delusion; indeed, the political system was
actually founded upon it. But the Peruvians were in advance of the
Europeans in this respect, that they practised no persecutions upon
those who had become mentally emancipated. Besides the sun, the visible
god, other celestial bodies were worshipped in a subordinate way. It was
supposed that there were spirits in the wind, lightning, thunder; genii
in the mountains, rivers, springs, and grottoes. In the great Temple of
the Sun at Cuzco an image of that deity was placed so as to receive the
rays of the luminary at his rising; a like artifice had been practised
in the Serapion at Alexandria. There was also a sanctuary dedicated to
the Sun in the island of Titicaca, and, it is said, between three and
four hundred temples of a subordinate kind in Cuzco. To the great temple
were attached not fewer than four thousand priests and fifteen hundred
vestal virgins, the latter being intrusted with the care of the sacred
fire, and from them the most beautiful were chosen to pass into the
Inca's seraglio. The popular faith had a ritual and a splendid
ceremonial, the great national festival being at the summer solstice.
The rays of the sun were then collected by a concave mirror, and fire
rekindled thereby, or by the friction of wood.

[Sidenote: Social system--the nobility, the people.] As to their social
system, polygamy was permitted, but practically it was confined to the
higher classes. Social subordination was thoroughly understood. The Inca
Tupac Yupanqui says, "Knowledge was never intended for the people, but
only for those of generous blood." The nobility were of two orders, the
polygamic descendants of the Incas, who were the main support of the
state, and the adopted nobles of nations that have been conquered. As to
the people, nowhere else in the whole world was such an extraordinary
policy of supervision practised. They were divided into groups of ten,
fifty, one hundred, five hundred, one thousand, ten thousand, and over
the last an Inca noble was placed. Through this system a rigid
centralization was insured, the Inca being the pivot upon which all the
national affairs turned, it was an absolutism worthy of the admiration
of many existing European nations. [Sidenote: Organization of Labour.]
The entire territory was divided into three parts; one belonged to the
Sun, one to the Inca, one to the people. As a matter of form, the
subdivision was annually made; in practice, however, as perhaps must
always be the result of such agrarianism, the allotments were
continually renewed. All the land was cultivated by the people, and in
the following order: first, that of the Sun, then that of the destitute
and infirm, then that of the people, and, lastly, that of the Inca. The
Sun and the Inca owned all the sheep, which were sheared and their wool
distributed to the people, or cotton furnished in its stead. The Inca's
officers saw that it was all woven, and that no one was idle. An annual
survey of the country, its farming and mineral products, was made, the
inventory being transmitted to the government. A register was kept of
births and deaths; periodically a general census was taken. The Inca, at
once emperor and pope, was enabled, in that double capacity, to exert a
rigorous patriarchal rule over his people, who were treated like mere
children--not suffered to be oppressed, but compelled to be occupied;
for, with a worldly wisdom which no other nation presents, labour was
here acknowledged not only as a means, but also as an end. In Peru a man
could not improve his social state; by these refinements of legislation
he was brought into an absolutely stationary condition. He could become
neither richer nor poorer; but it was the boast of the system that every
one lived exempt from social suffering--that all enjoyed competence.

[Sidenote: Military system; warlike resources.] The army consisted of
200,000 men. Their weapons were bows, lances, slings, battle-axes,
swords; their means of defence, shields, bucklers, helmets, and coats of
quilted cotton. Each regiment had its own banner, but the imperial
standard, the national emblem, was a rainbow, the offspring of the Sun.
The swords and many of the domestic implements were of bronze; the
arrows were tipped with quartz or bone, or points of gold and silver. A
strict discipline was maintained on marching, granaries and depôts being
established at suitable distances on the roads. With a policy inflexibly
persisted in, the gods of conquered countries were transported to Cuzco,
and the vanquished compelled to worship the Sun; their children were
obliged to learn the Peruvian language, the government providing them
teachers for that purpose. As an incitement, this knowledge was
absolutely required as a condition for public office. To amalgamate the
conquered districts thoroughly, their inhabitants were taken away by ten
thousand, transported to distant parts of the empire, not, as in the Old
World, to be worked to death as slaves, but to be made into Peruvians;
an equal number of natives were sent in their stead, to whom, as a
recompense for their removal, extraordinary privileges were given. It
was the immemorial policy of the empire to maintain profound
tranquillity in the interior and perpetual war on the frontiers.

The philosophical advancement of the Peruvians was much retarded by
their imperfect method of writing--a method greatly inferior to that of
Egypt. [Sidenote: Peruvian literature--the quipus.] A cord of coloured
threads, called quipus, was only indifferently suited to the purposes of
enumeration, and by no means equal to hieroglyphics as a method of
expressing general facts. But it was their only system. Notwithstanding
this drawback, they had a literature consisting of poetry, dramatic
compositions, and the like. Their scientific attainments were inferior
to the Mexican. Their year was divided into months, their months into
weeks. They had gnomons to indicate the solstices. One, in the form of
an obelisk, in the centre of a circle, on which was marked an east and
west line, indicated the equinox. These gnomons were destroyed by the
Spaniards in the belief that they were for idolatrous purposes, for on
the national festivals it was customary to decorate them with leaves and
flowers. As the national religion consisted in the worship of the Sun,
it was not without reason that Quito was regarded as a holy place, from
its position upon the equator.

[Sidenote: Agriculture carried to perfection.] In their extraordinary
provisions for agriculture, the national pursuit, the skill of the
Peruvians is well seen. A rapid elevation from the sea-level to the
heights of the mountains gave them, in a small compass, every variety of
climate, and they availed themselves of it. They terraced the mountain
sides, filling the terraces with rich earth. They excavated pits in the
sand, surrounded them with adobe walls, and filled them with manured
soil. On the low level they cultivated bananas and cassava; on the
terraces above, maize and quinoa; still higher, tobacco; and above that
the potato. From a comparatively limited surface, they raised great
crops by judiciously using manures, employing for that purpose fish, and
especially guano. Their example has led to the use of the latter
substance for a like purpose in our own times in Europe. The whole
civilized world has followed them in the cultivation of the potato. The
Peruvian bark is one of the most invaluable remedies. Large tracts of
North America would be almost uninhabitable without the use of its
active alkaloid quinine, which actually, in no insignificant manner,
reduces the percentage mortality throughout the United States.

[Sidenote: The great aqueduct of Condesuya.] Indispensably necessary to
their agricultural system were their great water-works. In Spain there
was nothing worthy of being compared with them. The aqueduct of
Condesuya was nearly 500 miles long. Its engineers had overcome
difficulties in a manner that might well strike modern times with
admiration. Its water was distributed as prescribed by law; there were
officers to see to its proper use. From these great water-works and from
their roads it may be judged that the architectural skill of the
Peruvians was far from insignificant. They constructed edifices of
porphyry, granite, brick; but their buildings were for the most part
low, and suitable to an earthquake country.

[Sidenote: The stages of human development always the same.] I have
dwelt at some length on the domestic history of Mexico and Peru because
it is intimately connected with one of the philosophical principles
which it is the object of this book to teach, viz., that human progress
takes place under an unvarying law, and therefore in a definite way. The
trivial incidents mentioned in the preceding paragraphs may perhaps have
seemed insignificant or wearisome, but it is their very commonness,
their very familiarity, that gives them, when rightly considered, a
surprising interest. There is nothing in these minute details but what
we find to be perfectly natural from the European point of view. They
might be, for that matter, instead of reminiscences of the spontaneous
evolution of a people shut out from the rest of the world by impassable
oceans, a relation of the progress of some European or Asiatic nation.
The man of America advanced in his course of civilization as did the man
of the Old World, devising the same institutions, guided by the same
intentions, constrained by the same desires. From the great features of
his social system down to the little details of his domestic life, there
is a sameness with what was done in Asia, Africa, Europe. But similar
results imply a similar cause. What, then, is there possessed in common
by the Chinese, the Hindoo, the Egyptian, the European, the American?
Surely not climate, nor equal necessities, nor equal opportunity. Simply
nothing but this--corporeal organization! As automatons constructed in
the same way will do the same things, so, in organic forms, sameness of
structure will give rise to identity of function and similarity of acts.
The same common sense guides men all over the world. Common sense is a
function of common organization. All natural history is full of
illustrations. [Sidenote: Analogy between societies of men and societies
of animals.] It may be offensive to our pride, but it is none the less
true, that in his social progress, the free-will of which man so boasts
himself in his individual capacity disappears as an active influence,
and the domination of general and inflexible laws becomes manifest. The
free-will of the individual is supplanted by instinct and automatism in
the race. To each individual bee the career is open; he may taste of
this flower and avoid that; he may be industrious in the garden, or idle
away his time in the air; but the history of one hive is the history of
another hive; there will be a predestined organization--the queen, the
drones, the workers. In the midst of a thousand unforeseen,
uncalculated, variable acts, a definite result, with unerring certainty,
emerges; the combs are built in a pre-ordained way, and filled with
honey at last. From bees, and wasps, and ants, and birds--from all that
low animal life on which he looks with such supercilious contempt, man
is destined one day to learn what in truth he really is.

[Sidenote: The crime of Spain in America.] For a second reason, also, I
have dwelt on these details. The enormous crime of Spain in destroying
this civilization has never yet been appreciated in Europe. After an
attentive consideration of the facts of the case, I agree in the
conclusion of Carli, that at the time of the conquest the moral man in
Peru was superior to the European, and I will add, the intellectual man
also. Was there in Spain, or even in all Europe, a political system
carried out into the practical details of actual life, and expressed in
great public works, as its outward visible and enduring sign, which
could at all compare with that of Peru? Its only competitor was the
Italian system, but that for long had been actively used to repress the
intellectual advancement of man. [Sidenote: The Spaniard and the
American.] In vain the Spaniards excuse their atrocities on the plea
that a nation like the Mexican, which permitted cannibalism, should not
be regarded as having emerged from the barbarous state, and that one
which, like Peru, sacrificed human hecatombs at the funeral solemnities
of great men, must have been savage. Let it be remembered that there is
no civilized nation whose popular practices do not lag behind its
intelligence; let it be remembered that in this respect Spain herself
also was guilty. In America, human sacrifice was part of a religious
solemnity, unstained by passion. The auto da fé of Europe was a dreadful
cruelty; not an offering to heaven, but a gratification of spite,
hatred, fear, vengeance--the most malignant passions of earth.
[Sidenote: European and American human sacrifice.] There was no
spectacle on the American continent at which a just man might so deeply
blush for his race as that presented in Western Europe when the heretic
from whom confession had been wrung by torture passed to his stake in a
sleeveless garment, with flames of fire and effigies of an abominable
import depicted upon it. Let it be remembered that by the Inquisition,
from 1481 to 1808, 340,000 persons had been punished, and of these
nearly 32,000 burnt. Let what was done in the south of France be
remembered. Let it be also remembered that, considering the
worthlessness of the body of man, and that, at the best, it is at last
food for the worm--considering the infinite value of his immortal soul,
for the redemption of which the agony and death of the Son of God were
not too great a price to pay--indignities offered to the body are less
wicked than indignities offered to the soul. It would be well for him
who comes forward as an accuser of Mexico and Peru in their sin to
dispose of the fact that at that period the entire authority of Europe
was directed to the perversion, and even total repression of thought--to
an enslaving of the mind, and making that noblest creation of Heaven a
worthless machine. To taste of human flesh is less criminal in the eye
of God than to stifle human thought.

[Sidenote: Antiquity of American civilization.] Lastly, there is another
point to which I will with brevity allude. It has been widely asserted
that Mexican and Peruvian civilization was altogether a recent affair,
dating at most only two or three centuries before the conquest. It would
be just as well to say that there was no civilization in India before
the time of the Macedonian invasion because there exist no historic
documents in that country anterior to that event. The Mexicans and
Peruvians were not heroes of a romance to whom wonderful events were of
common occurrence, whose lives were regulated by laws not applying to
the rest of the human race, who could produce results in a day for which
elsewhere a thousand years are required. They were men and women like
ourselves, slowly and painfully, and with many failures, working out
their civilization. The summary manner in which they have been disposed
of reminds us of the amusing way in which the popular chronology deals
with the hoary annals of Egypt and China. Putting aside the imperfect
methods of recording events practised by the autochthons of the Western
world, he who estimates rightly the slowness with which man passes
forward in his process of civilization, and collates therewith the
prodigious works of art left by those two nations--an enduring evidence
of the point to which they had attained--will find himself constrained
to cast aside such idle assertions as altogether unworthy of
confutation, or even of attention.




_Restoration of Greek Literature and Philosophy in Italy.--Development
of Modern Languages and Rise of Criticism.--Imminent Danger to Latin

_Invention of Printing.--It revolutionizes the Communication of
Knowledge, especially acts on Public Worship, and renders the Pulpit of
secondary importance._

THE REFORMATION.--_Theory of Supererogation and Use of Indulgences.--The
Right of Individual Judgment asserted.--Political History of the Origin,
Culmination, and Check of the Reformation.--Its Effects in Italy._

_Causes of the Arrest of the Reformation.--Internal Causes in
Protestantism.--External in the Policy of Rome.--The Counter-Reformation.
--Inquisition.--Jesuits.--Secession of the great Critics.--Culmination
of the Reformation in America.--Emergence of Individual Liberty of

[Sidenote: The rise of criticism.] In estimating the influences of
literature on the approach of the Age of Reason in Europe, the chief
incidents to be considered are the disuse of Latin as a learned
language, the formation of modern tongues from the vulgar dialects, the
invention of printing, the decline of the power of the pulpit, and its
displacement by that of the press. These, joined to the moral and
intellectual influences at that time predominating, led to the great
movement known as the Reformation.

[Sidenote: Epoch of the intellectual movement.] As if to mark out to the
world the real cause of its intellectual degradation, the regeneration
of Italy commenced with the exile of the popes to Avignon. During their
absence, so rapid was the progress that it had become altogether
impossible to make any successful resistance, or to restore the old
condition of things on their return to Rome. The moment that the leaden
cloud which they had kept suspended over the country was withdrawn, the
light from heaven shot in, and the ready peninsula became instinct with

[Sidenote: Use of Latin as a sacred language.] The unity of the Church,
and, therefore, its power, required the use of Latin as a sacred
language. Through this Rome had stood in an attitude strictly European,
and was enabled to maintain a general international relation. It gave
her far more power than her asserted celestial authority, and, much as
she claims to have done, she is open to condemnation that, with such a
signal advantage in her hands, never again to be enjoyed by any
successor, she did not accomplish much more. Had not the sovereign
pontiffs been so completely occupied with maintaining their emoluments
and temporalities in Italy, they might have made the whole Continent
advance like one man. Their officials could pass without difficulty into
every nation, and communicate without embarrassment with each other,
from Ireland to Bohemia, from Italy to Scotland. The possession of a
common tongue gave them the administration of international affairs with
intelligent allies everywhere speaking the same language.

[Sidenote: Causes of the dislike of Rome to the Greek,] Not, therefore,
without cause was the hatred manifested by Rome to the restoration of
Greek and introduction of Hebrew, and the alarm with which she perceived
the modern languages forming out of the vulgar dialects. The prevalence
of Latin was the condition of her power, its deterioration the measure
of her decay, its disuse the signal of her limitation to a little
principality in Italy. In fact, the development of European languages
was the instrument of her overthrow. They formed an effectual
communication between the mendicant friars and the illiterate populace,
and there was not one of them that did not display in its earliest
productions a sovereign contempt for her. We have seen how it was with
the poetry of Languedoc.

[Sidenote: and danger from modern languages.] The rise of the
many-tongued European literature was therefore coincident with the
decline of papal Christianity. European literature was impossible under
the Catholic rule. A grand, and solemn, and imposing religious unity
enforced the literary unity which is implied in the use of a single
language. No more can a living thought be embodied in a dead language
than activity be imparted to a corpse.

[Sidenote: Public disadvantages of a sacred tongue.] That principle
of stability which Italy hoped to give to Europe essentially rested on
the compulsory use of a dead tongue. The first token of intellectual
emancipation was the movement of the great Italian poets, led by Dante,
who often, not without irreverence, broke the spell. Unity in religion
implies unity through a sacred language, and hence the non-existence of
particular national literatures.

[Sidenote: Effect of modern languages.] Even after Rome had suffered her
great discomfiture on the scientific question respecting the motion of
the earth, the conquering party was not unwilling to veil its thoughts
in the Latin tongue, partly because it thereby insured a more numerous
class of intelligent readers, and partly because ecclesiastical
authority was now disposed to overlook what must otherwise be treated as
offensive, since to write in Latin was obviously a pledge of abstaining
from an appeal to the vulgar. The effect of the introduction of modern
languages was to diminish intercommunication among the learned.

[Sidenote: Approach of a crisis in Europe.] The movement of human
affairs, for so many years silent and imperceptible, was at length
coming to a crisis. An appeal to the emotions and moral sentiments at
the basis of the system, the history of which has occupied us so long,
had been fully made, and found ineffectual. It was now the time for a
like appeal to the understanding. Each age of life has its own logic.
The logic of the senses is in due season succeeded by that of the
intellect. Of faith there are two kinds, one of acquiescence, one of
conviction; and a time inevitably arrives when emotional faith is
supplanted by intellectual.

[Sidenote: Cosmo de' Medici. Florence.] As if to prove that the
impending crisis was not the offspring of human intentions, and not
occasioned by any one man, though that man might be the sovereign
pontiff, Nicolas V. found in his patronage of letters and art a rival
and friend in Cosmo de' Medici. An instructive incident shows how great
a change had taken place in the sentiments of the higher classes: Cosmo,
the richest of Italians, who had lavished his wealth on palaces,
churches, hospitals, libraries, was comforted on his death-bed, not, as
in former days would have been the case, by ministers of religion, but
by Marsilius Ficinus, the Platonist, who set before him the arguments
for a future life, and consoled his passing spirit with the examples and
precepts of Greek philosophy, teaching him thereby to exchange faith for
hope, forgetting that too often hopes are only the day-dreams of men,
not less unsubstantial and vain than their kindred of the night. Ficinus
had perhaps come to the conviction that philosophy is only a higher
stage of theology, the philosopher a very enlightened theologian.
[Sidenote: Reappearance of Platonism in Italy.] He was the
representative of Platonism, which for so many centuries had been hidden
from the sight of men in Eastern monasteries since its overthrow in
Alexandria, and which was now emerging into existence in the favouring
atmosphere of Italy. His school looked back with delight, and even with
devotion, to the illustrious pagan times, commemorating by a symposium
on November 13th the birthday of Plato. The Academy of Athens was
revived in the Medicean gardens of Florence. Not that Ficinus is to be
regarded as a servile follower of the great philosopher. [Sidenote:
Doctrines of Marsilius Ficinus.] He alloyed the doctrines of Plato with
others derived from a more sinister source--the theory of the Mohammedan
Averroes, of which it was an essential condition that there is a soul of
humanity, through their relations with which individual souls are
capable of forming universal ideas, for such, Averroes asserted, is the
necessary consequence of the emanation theory.

[Sidenote: Revival of Greek learning in Italy.] Under such auspices, and
at this critical moment, occurred the revival of Greek literature in
Italy. It had been neglected for more than seven hundred years. In the
solitary instances of individuals to whom here and there a knowledge of
that language was imputed, there seem satisfactory reasons for supposing
that their requirements amounted to little more than the ability of
translating some "petty patristic treatise." The first glimmerings of
this revival appear in the thirteenth century; they are somewhat more
distinct in the fourteenth. The capture of Constantinople by the Latin
Crusaders had done little more than diffuse a few manuscripts and works
of art along with the more highly prized monkish relics in the West. It
was the Turkish pressure, which all reflecting Greeks foresaw could have
no other result than the fall of the Byzantine power, that induced some
persons of literary tastes to seek a livelihood and safety in Italy.

[Sidenote: Gradual progress of the Restoration.] In the time of
Petrarch, 1304-1374, the improvement did not amount to much. That
illustrious poet says that there were not more than ten persons in Italy
who could appreciate Homer. Both Petrarch and Boccacio spared no pains
to acquaint themselves with the lost tongue. The latter had succeeded in
obtaining for Leontius Pilatus, the Calabrian, a Greek professorship at
Florence. He describes this Greek teacher as clad in the mantle of a
philosopher, his countenance hideous, his face overshadowed with black
hair, his beard long and uncombed, his deportment rustic, his temper
gloomy and inconstant, but his mind was stored with the treasures of
learning. Leontius left Italy in disgust, but, returning again, was
struck dead by lightning in a storm while tied to the mast of the ship.
The author from whom I am quoting significantly adds that Petrarch
laments his fate, but nervously asks whether "some copy of Euripides or
Sophocles might not be recovered from the mariners."

The restoration of Greek to Italy may be dated A.D. 1395, at which time
Chrysoloras commenced teaching it. A few years after Aurispa brought
into Italy two hundred and thirty-eight Greek manuscripts; among them
were Plato and Pindar. The first endeavour was to translate such
manuscripts into Latin. To a considerable extent, the religious scruples
against Greek literature were giving way; the study found a patron in
the pope himself, Eugenius IV. As the intention of the Turks to seize
Constantinople became more obvious, the emigration of learned Greeks
into Italy became more frequent. And yet, with the exception of
Petrarch, and he was scarcely an exception, not one of the Italian
scholars was an ecclesiastic.

[Sidenote: Lorenzo de' Medici, his villas, gardens, and philosophy.]
Lorenzo de' Medici, the grandson of Cosmo, used every exertion to
increase the rising taste, generously permitting his manuscripts to be
copied. Nor was it alone to literature that he extended his patronage.
In his beautiful villa at Fiesole the philosophy of the old times was
revived; his botanic garden at Careggi was filled with Oriental exotics.
From 1470 to 1492, the year of his death, his happy influence continued.
He lived to witness the ancient Platonism overcoming the Platonism of
Alexandria, and the pure doctrine of Aristotle expelling the base
Aristotelian doctrine of the schools.

[Sidenote: Effects instantly produced by the Greek language.] The last
half of the fifteenth century revealed to Western Europe two worlds, a
new one and an old; the former by the voyage of Columbus, the latter by
the capture of Constantinople; one destined to revolutionize the
industrial, the other the religious condition. Greek literature, forced
into Italy by the Turkish arms, worked wonders; for Latin Europe found
with amazement that the ancient half of Christendom knew nothing
whatever of the doctrine or of the saints of the West. Now was divulged
the secret reason of that bitter hatred displayed by the Catholic clergy
to Grecian learning. [Sidenote: Causes of the prevailing dislike of
Greek.] It had sometimes been supposed that the ill-concealed dislike
they had so often shown to the writings of Aristotle was because of the
Arab dress in which his Saracen commentators had presented him; now it
appeared that there was something more important, more profound. It was
a terror of the Greek itself. Very soon the direction toward which
things must inevitably tend became manifest; the modern languages, fast
developing, were making Latin an obsolete tongue, and political events
were giving it a rival--Greek--capable of asserting over it a supremacy;
and not a solitary rival, for to Greek it was clear that Hebrew would
soon be added, bringing with it the charms of a hoary antiquity and the
sinister learning of the Jew. With a quick, a jealous suspicion, the
ecclesiastic soon learned to detect a heretic from his knowledge of
Greek and Hebrew, just as is done in our day from a knowledge of
physical science. The authority of the Vulgate, that corner-stone of the
Italian system, was, in the expectation of Rome, inevitably certain to
be depreciated; and, in truth, judging from the honours of which that
great translation was soon despoiled by the incoming of Greek and
Hebrew, it was declared, not with more emphasis than truth, yet not,
perhaps, without irreverence, that there was a second crucifixion
between two thieves. Long after the times of which we are speaking, the
University of Paris resisted the introduction of Greek into its course
of studies, not because of any dislike to letters, but because of its
anticipated obnoxious bearing on Latin theology.

[Sidenote: Tendency of "The Imitation of Christ."] We can scarcely look
in any direction without observing instances of the wonderful change
taking place in the opinions of men. To that disposition to lean on a
privileged mediating order, once the striking characteristic of all
classes of the laity in Europe, there had succeeded a sentiment of
self-reliance. Of this perhaps mo better proof can be furnished than the
popularity of the work reputed to have been written by Thomas à Kempis,
and entitled "The Imitation of Christ." It is said to have had probably
more readers than any other book except the Bible. Its great celebrity
is a proof how profoundly ecclesiastical influence had been affected,
for its essential intention was to enable the pious to cultivate their
devotional feeling without the intervention of the clergy. Such a work,
if written in the present day, would have found an apt and popular title
in "Every Man his own Priest." There is no reason for supposing that the
condition to which man had at that time been brought, as the general
result of Italian Christianity, was one of intense selfishness, as has
been asserted; the celebrity of this book was rather dependent on a
profound distrust everywhere felt in the clergy, both as regards morals
and intellect. And why should we be surprised that such should be the
case with the laity, when in all directions the clergy themselves were
giving proof that they could not trust their own strength? They could
not conceal their dread at the incoming of Greek; they could not speak
without horror of the influence of Hebrew; they were loud in their
protestations against the study of pagan philosophy, and held up to the
derision and condemnation of the world science denounced by them as
profane. [Sidenote: Danger to the unity of the Church.] They foresaw
that that fictitious unity of which they had boasted was drawing to an
end; that men would become acquainted with the existence and history of
churches more ancient, and, therefore, more venerable than the Roman,
and, like it, asserting an authenticity upon unimpeachable proofs. But
once let sects with such an impressive prestige be introduced to the
knowledge of the West, once let the appearance of inviolate unity be
taken from the Latin Church, and nothing could prevent a spontaneous
decomposition forthwith occurring in it. It must break up into sects,
which, in their turn, must break up, in process of time, into smaller
and smaller divisions, and, through this means, the European must emerge
at last into individual liberty of thought. The compelling hand of
ecclesiastical tyranny must be removed, and universal toleration ensue.
Nor were such anticipations mere idle suspicions, for such was the
course that events actually took. Scarcely had the Reformation occurred
when sectarian subdivisions made their appearance, and in modern times
we see that an anarchy of sects is the inevitable harbinger of
individual liberty of thought.

[Sidenote: Higher requirements in evidence.] As we have just said, it
was impossible to look in any direction on the latter half of the
fifteenth century without recognizing the wonderful change. It had
become obviously useless any longer to assert an immobility of humanity
when men were standing face to face with the new forms into which it had
been transposed. New ideas had driven out old ones. Natural phenomena
could not again be likened to human acts, nor the necessities of man
regarded as determining the movements of the universe. A better
appreciation of the nature of evidence was arising, perhaps in part
through the influence of the lawyers, but in part through a commencing
taste for criticism. We see it in such facts as the denial that a
miracle can be taken as the proof of anything else than the special
circumstances with which it is connected; we see it in the assertion
that the martyrdom of men in support of a dogma, so far from proving its
truth, proves rather its doubtfulness, no geometer having ever thought
it worth his while to die in order to establish any mathematical
proposition, truth needing no such sacrifices, which are actually
unserviceable and useless to it, since it is able spontaneously to force
its own way. [Sidenote: Disbelief setting in in Italy.] In Italy, where
the popular pecuniary interests were obviously identical with those of
the Church, a dismal disbelief was silently engendering.

And now occurred an event the results of which it is impossible to

[Sidenote: Invention of printing: its early history.] About A.D. 1440
the art of printing seems to have been invented in Europe. It is not
material to our purpose to inquire into the particulars of its history,
whether we should attribute it to Coster of Haarlaem or Gutenberg of
Mentz, or whether, in reality, it was introduced by the Venetians from
China, where it had been practised for nearly two thousand years. In
Venice a decree was issued in 1441 in relation to printing, which would
seem to imply that it had been known there for some years. Coster is
supposed to have printed the "Speculum Humanæ Salvationis" about 1440,
and Gutenberg and Faust the Mentz Bible without date, 1455. The art
reached perfection at once; their Bible is still admired for its
beautiful typography. Among the earliest specimens of printing extant is
an exhortation to take up arms against the Turks, 1454; there are also
two letters of indulgence of Nicolas V. of the same date. In the
beginning each page was engraved on a block of wood, but soon movable
types were introduced. Impressions of the former kind pass under the
name of block books; at first they were sold as manuscripts. Two of
Faust's workmen commenced printing in Italy, but not until 1465; they
there published an edition of "Lactantius," one of "Cicero de Officiis,"
and one of "Augustine de Civitate Dei." The art was carried to France
1469, and in a few years was generally practised in all the large
European towns. [Sidenote: Early books and booksellers.] The printers
were their own booksellers; the number of copies in each edition usually
about three hundred. Folios were succeeded by quartos, and in 1501
duodecimos were introduced. Very soon the price of books was reduced by
four fifths, and existing interests required regulations not only
respecting the cost, but also respecting the contents. Thus the
University of Paris established a tariff for their sale, and also
exercised a supervision in behalf of the Church, and the State. From the
outset it was clear that printing would inevitably influence the
intellectual movement synchronously occurring.

[Sidenote: Measure of the contemporaneous mental state of nations.] Some
authors have endeavoured to estimate the intellectual condition of
different countries in Europe at the close of the fifteenth century by
the literary activity they displayed in the preparation and printing of
editions of books. Though it is plain that such estimates can hardly be
rigorously correct, since to print a book not only implies literary
capacity, but also the connexions of business and trade, and hence works
are more likely to be issued in places where there is a mercantile
activity, yet such estimates are perhaps the most exact that we can now
obtain; they also lead us to some very interesting and unexpected
results of singular value in their connexion with that important epoch.
Thus it appears that in all Europe, between 1470 and 1500, more than ten
thousand editions of books and pamphlets were printed, and of them a
majority in Italy, demonstrating that Italy was in the van of the
intellectual movement. Out of this large number, in Venice there had
been printed 2,835; Milan, 625; Bologna, 298; Rome, 925; Paris, 751;
Cologne, 530; Nuremberg, 382; Leipsic, 851; Bâle, 320; Strasburg, 526;
Augsburg, 256; Louvain, 116; Mentz, 134; Deventer, 169; London, 130;
Oxford, 7; St. Alban's, 4.

[Sidenote: Italy compared with the rest of Europe.] Venice, therefore,
took the lead. England was in a very backward state. This conclusion is
confirmed by many other circumstances, which justify the statement that
Italy was as far advanced intellectually in 1400 as England in 1500.
Paris exhibits a superiority sixfold over London, and in the next ten
years the disproportion becomes even more remarkable, for in Paris four
hundred and thirty editions were printed, in London only twenty-six. The
light of learning became enfeebled by distance from its Italian focus.
As late as 1550, a complete century after the establishment of the art,
but seven works had been printed in Scotland, and among them not a
single classic. It is an amusing proof how local tastes were consulted
in the character of the books thus put forth, that the first work issued
in Spain, 1474, was on the "Conception of the Virgin."

[Sidenote: Effect of printing on literature and the Church.] The
invention of printing operated in two modes altogether distinct; first,
in the multiplying and cheapening of books, secondly, in substituting
reading for pulpit instruction.

[Sidenote: Cheapening of books.] First, as to the multiplication and
cheapening of books--there is no reason to suppose that the supply had
ever been inadequate. As, under the Ptolemies, book manufacture was
carried forward in the Museum at Alexandria to an extent which fully
satisfied demands, so in all the great abbeys there was an
apartment--the Scriptorium--for the copying and making of books. Such a
sedentary occupation could not but be agreeable to persons of a
contemplative or quiet habit of life. But Greece, Rome, Egypt--indeed,
all the ancient governments except that of China, were founded upon
elements among which did not appear that all-important one of modern
times, a reading class. Information passed from mouth to mouth, not from
eye to eye. With a limited demand, the compensation to the copier was
sufficient, and the cost to the purchaser moderate. It is altogether a
mistake to suppose that the methods and advantages of printing were
unknown. Modifications of that art were used wherever occasion called
for them. We do not need the Roman stamps to satisfy us of that fact
every Babylonian brick and signet ring is an illustration. [Sidenote:
The want of paper. Damascus paper.] Printing processes of various kinds
were well enough known. The real difficulty was the want of paper. That
substance was first made in Europe by the Spanish Moors from the fine
flax of Valentia and Murcia. Cotton paper, sold as charta Damascena, had
been previously made at Damascus, and several different varieties had
long been manufactured in China.

Had there been more readers, paper would have been more abundantly
produced, and there would have been more copiers--nay, even there would
have been printers. An increased demand would have been answered by an
increased supply. As soon as such a demand arose in Europe the press was
introduced, as it had been thousands of years before in China.

[Sidenote: Longevity of books curtailed.] So far as the public is
concerned, printing has been an unmixed advantage; not so, however, in
its bearing on authors. The longevity of books is greatly impaired, a
melancholy conclusion to an ambitious intellect. The duration of many
ancient books which have escaped the chances of time is to be hoped for
no more. In this shortening of their term the excessive multiplication
of works greatly assists. A rapid succession soon makes those of
distinction obsolete, and then consigns them to oblivion. No author can
now expect immortality. His utmost hope is only this, that his book may
live a little longer than himself.

[Sidenote: Multiplication of books.] But it was with printing as with
other affairs of the market--an increased demand gave origin to an
increased supply, which, in its turn reacting, increased the demand.
Cheap books bred readers. When the monks, abandoning their useless and
lazy life of saying their prayers a dozen times a day, turned to the
copying and illustrating of manuscripts, a mental elevation of the whole
order was the result; there were more monks who could read. And so, on
the greater scale, as books through the press became more abundant,
there were more persons to whom they became a necessity.

[Sidenote: The mode of communicating knowledge changes.] But, secondly,
as to the change which ensued in the mode of communicating
information--a change felt instantly in the ecclesiastical, and, at a
later period, in the political world. The whole system of public worship
had been founded on the condition of a non-reading people; hence the
reading of prayers and the sermon. Whoever will attentively compare the
thirteenth with the nineteenth century cannot fail to see how essential
oral instruction was in the former, how subordinate in the latter.
[Sidenote: Injury to pulpit instruction.] The invention of the
printing-press gave an instant, a formidable rival to the pulpit. It
made possible that which had been impossible before in Christian
Europe--direct communication between the government and the people
without any religious intermedium, and was the first step in that
important change subsequently carried out in America, the separation of
Church and state. Though in this particular the effect was desirable, in
another its advantages are doubtful, for the Church adhered to her
ancient method when it had lost very much of its real force, and this
even at the risk of falling into a lifeless and impassive condition.

[Sidenote: Influence of church services on the people.] And yet we must
not undervalue the power once exercised on a non-reading community by
oral and scenic teachings. What could better instruct it than a formal
congregating of neighbourhoods together each Sabbath-day to listen in
silence and without questioning? In those great churches, the
architectural grandeur of which is still the admiration of our material
age, nothing was wanting to impress the worshipper. The vast pile, with
its turrets or spire pointing to heaven; its steep inclining roof; its
walls, with niches and statues; its echoing belfry; its windows of
exquisite hues and of every form, lancet, or wheel, or rose, through
which stole in the many-coloured light; its chapels, with their pictured
walls; its rows of slender, clustering columns, and arches tier upon
tier; its many tapering pendants; the priest emerging from his scenic
retreat; his chalice and forbidden wine; the covering paten, the cibory,
and the pix. Amid clouds of incense from smoking censers, the blaze of
lamps, and tapers, and branching candlesticks, the tinkling of silver
bells, the play of jewelled vessels and gorgeous dresses of violet,
green, and gold, banners and crosses were borne aloft through lines of
kneeling worshippers in processional services along the aisles. The
chanting of litanies and psalms gave a foretaste of the melodies of
heaven, and the voices of the choristers and sounds of the organ now
thundered forth glory to God in the highest, now whispered to the broken
in spirit peace.

[Sidenote: Influence of village churches.] If such were the influences
in the cathedral, not less were those that gathered round the little
village church. To the peasant it was endeared by the most touching
incidents of his life. At its font his parents had given him his name;
at its altar he had plighted his matrimonial vows; beneath the little
grass mounds in its yard there awaited the resurrection those who had
been untimely taken away. Connected thus with the profoundest and
holiest sentiments of humanity, the pulpit was for instruction a sole
and sufficient means. Nothing like it had existed in paganism. The
irregular, ill-timed, occasional eloquence of the Greek republican
orators cannot for an instant be set in comparison with such a steady
and enduring systematic institution.

In a temporal as well as in a spiritual sense, the public authorities
appreciated its power. Queen Elizabeth was not the only sovereign who
knew how to thunder through a thousand pulpits.

[Sidenote: The pulpit yields to the press.] For a length of time, as
might have been expected, considering its power and favouring
adventitious circumstances, the pulpit maintained itself successfully
against the press. Nevertheless, its eventual subordination was none the
less sure. If there are disadvantages in the method of acquiring
knowledge by reading, there are also signal advantages; for, though upon
the printed page the silent letters are mute and unsustained by any
scenic help, yet often--a wonderful contradiction--they pour forth
emphatic eloquence, that can make the heart leap with emotion, or kindle
on the cheek the blush of shame. The might of persuasiveness does not
always lie in articulate speech. The strong are often the silent. God
never speaks.

[Sidenote: Listening and reading.] There is another condition which
gives to reading a great advantage over listening. In the affairs of
life, how wide is the difference between having a thing done for us and
doing it ourselves! In the latter case, how great is the interest
awakened, how much more thorough the examination, how much more perfect
the acquaintance. To listen implies merely a passive frame of mind; to
read, an active. But the latter is more noble.

[Sidenote: Decline of pulpit influence.] From these and other such
considerations, it might have been foreseen that the printing-press
would at last deprive the pulpit of its supremacy, making it become
ineffective, or reducing it to an ancillary aid. It must have been clear
that the time would arrive when, though adorned by the eloquence of
great and good men, the sermon would lose its power for moving popular
masses or directing public thought.

[Sidenote: Newspapers; their origin.] Upon temporal as well as
ecclesiastical authority, the influence of this great change was also
felt. During the Turkish war of 1563 newspapers first made their
appearance in Venice. They were in manuscript. The "Gazette de France"
commenced in 1631. There seems to be doubt as to the authenticity of the
early English papers reputed to have been published during the
excitement of the Spanish Armada, and of which copies remain in the
British Museum. It was not until the civil wars that, under the names of
Mercuries, Intelligences, etc., newspapers fairly established themselves
in England.

[Sidenote: Decline of power in parliamentary eloquence.] What I have
said respecting the influence of the press upon religious life applies
substantially to civil life also. Oratory has sunk into a secondary
position, being every day more and more thoroughly supplanted by
journalism. No matter how excellent it may be in its sphere of action,
it is essentially limited, and altogether incompetent to the influencing
of masses of men in the manner which our modern social system requires.
Without a newspaper, what would be the worth of the most eloquent
parliamentary attempts? It is that which really makes them instruments
of power, and gives to them political force, which takes them out of a
little circle of cultivated auditors, and throws them broadcast over

[Sidenote: Dawn of the Reformation.] Such was the literary condition of
Western Europe, such the new power that had been found in the press.
These were but initiatory to the great drama now commencing. We have
already seen that synchronously with this intellectual there was a moral
impulse coming into play. The two were in harmony. At the time now
occupying our attention there was a possibility for the moral impulse to
act under several different forms. The special mode in which it came
into effect was determined by the pecuniary necessities of Italy. It
very soon, however, assumed larger proportions, and became what is known
to us as the Reformation. The movement against Rome that had been
abandoned for a century was now recommenced.

[Sidenote: Variation of human thought.] The variation of human thought
proceeds in a continuous manner, new ideas springing out of old ones
either as corrections or developments, but never spontaneously
originating. With them, as with organic forms, each requires a germ, a
seed. The intellectual phase of humanity observed at any moment is
therefore an embodiment of many different things. It is connected with
the past, is in unison with the present, and contains the embryo of the

Human opinions must hence, of absolute necessity, undergo
transformation. What has been received by one generation as undoubted,
to a subsequent one becomes so conspicuously fallacious as to excite the
wonder of those who do not distinctly appreciate the law of psychical
advance that it could ever have been received as true. These phases of
transformation are not only related in a chronological way, so as to be
obvious when we examine the ideas of society at epochs of a few years or
of centuries apart--they exist also contemporaneously in different
nations or in different social grades of the same nation, according as
the class of persons considered has made a greater or less intellectual

[Sidenote: Variations in Italian ideas.] Notwithstanding the assertion
of Rome, the essential ideas of the Italian system had undergone
unavoidable modifications. An illiterate people, easily imposed upon,
had accepted as true the asseveration that there had been no change even
from the apostolic times. But the time had now come when that fiction
could no longer be maintained, the divergence no longer concealed. In
the new state of things, it was impossible that dogmas in absolute
opposition to reason, such as that of transubstantiation, could any
longer hold their ground. The scholastic theology and scholastic
philosophy, though supported by the universities, had become obsolete.
With the revival of pure Latinity and the introduction of Greek, the
foundations of a more correct criticism were laid. An age of erudition
was unavoidable, in which whatever could not establish its claims
against a searching examination must necessarily be overthrown.

[Sidenote: The Reformation: its history.] We are thus brought to the
great movement known as the Reformation. The term is usually applied in
reference to the Protestant nations, and therefore is not sufficiently
comprehensive, for all Europe was in truth involved. A clear
understanding of its origin, its process, its effects, is perhaps best
obtained by an examination of the condition of the northern and southern
nations, and the issue of the event in each respectively.

[Sidenote: The preparatory state of Germany, France, England.] Germany
had always been sincere, and therefore always devout. Of her disposition
she had given many proofs from the time when the Emperor Otho descended
into Italy, his expedition having been, as was said, an armed procession
of ecclesiastics resolved to abate the scandals of the Church. The
Councils of Constance and Basle may be looked upon as an embodiment of
the same sentiment. The resolution to limit the papal authority and to
put a superior over the pope arose from a profound conviction of the
necessity of such a measure. Those councils were precursors of the
coming Reformation. In other countries events had long been tending in
the same direction: in Sicily and Italy by the acts of Frederick II.; in
France through those of Philip the Fair. The educated had been estranged
by the Saracens and Jews; the enthusiastic by such works as the
Everlasting Gospel; the devout had been shocked by the tale of the
Templars and the detected immoralities in Rome; the patriotic had been
alienated by the assumptions of the papal court and its incessant
intermeddling in political affairs; the inferior, unreflecting orders
were in all directions exasperated by its importunate, unceasing
exactions of money. In England, for instance, though less advanced
intellectually than the southern nations, the commencement of the
Reformation is perhaps justly referred as far back as the reign of
Edward III., who, under the suggestion of Wiclif, refused to do homage
to the pope, but a series of weaker princes succeeding, it was not until
Henry VII. that the movement could be continued. In that country the
immediately exciting causes were no doubt of a material kind, such as
the alleged avarice and impurity of the clergy, the immense amount of
money taken from the realm, the intrusion of foreign ecclesiastics. In
the South of France and in Italy, where the intellectual condition was
much more advanced, the movement was correspondingly of a more
intellectual kind. To this difference between the north and the south
must be referred not only the striking geographical distribution of
belief which was soon apparent, but also the speedy and abrupt
limitation of the Reformation, restrictedly so called.

[Sidenote: The theory of supererogation,] In recent ages, under her
financial pressure, Rome had asserted that the infinite merits of our
Saviour, together with the good works of supererogation of many holy
men, constituted, as it were, a fund from which might be discharged
penalties of sins of every kind, for the dead as well as the living, and
therefore available for those who had passed into Purgatory, as well as
for us who remain. [Sidenote: and nature of indulgences.] This fund,
committed to the care of St. Peter and his successors, may be disbursed,
under the form of indulgences, by sale for money. A traffic in
indulgences was thus carried on to a great extent through the medium of
the monks, who received a commission upon the profits. Of course, it is
plain that the religious conception of such a transaction is liable to
adverse criticism--the bartering for money so holy a thing as the merit
of our Redeemer. This was, however, only the ostensible explanation,
which it was judged necessary to present to sincerely pious communities:
behind it there lay the real reason, which was essentially of a
political kind. It was absolutely necessary that papal Rome should
control a revenue far beyond that arising in a strictly legitimate way.
As all the world had been drained of money by the senate and Cæsars for
the support of republican or imperial power, so too there was a need of
a like supply for the use of the pontiffs. The collection of funds had
often given rise to contentions between the ecclesiastical and temporal
authorities, and in some of the more sturdy countries had been
resolutely resisted. To collect a direct tax is often a troublesome
affair; but such is human nature--a man from whom it might be difficult
to extort the payment of an impost lawfully laid, will often cheerfully
find means to purchase for himself indulgence for sin. In such a
semi-barbarian but yet religious population as that with which the
Church was dealing, it was quite clear that this manner of presenting
things possessed singular advantages, an obvious equivalent being given
for the money received. The indulgence implied not only a release from
celestial, but also, in many cases, from civil penalties. It was an
absolute guarantee from hell.

[Sidenote: Martin Luther.] It is said that the attention of Martin
Luther, formerly an Augustinian monk, was first attracted to this
subject by the traffic having been conferred on the Dominicans instead
of upon his own order at the time when Leo X. was raising funds by this
means for building St. Peter's at Rome, A.D. 1517. That was probably
only an insinuation of Luther's adversaries, and is very far from being
borne out by his subsequent conduct. His first public movement was the
putting forth of ninety-five theses against the practice. He posted them
on the door of the cathedral of Wittenberg, and enforced them in his
sermons, though at this time he professed obedience to the papal
authority. With a rapidity probably unexpected by him, his acts excited
public attention so strongly, that, though the pope was at first
disposed to regard the whole affair as a mere monkish squabble for
gains, it soon became obvious, from the manner in which the commotion
was spreading, that something must be done to check it. The pope
therefore summoned Luther to Rome to answer for himself; but through the
influence of certain great personages, and receiving a submissive letter
from the accused, he, on reconsideration, referred the matter to
Cardinal Cajetan, his legate in Germany. The cardinal, on looking into
the affair, ordered Luther to retract; and now came into prominence the
mental qualities of this great man. Luther, with respectful firmness,
refused; but remembering John Huss, and fearing that the imperial
safe-conduct which had been given to him would be insufficient for his
protection, he secretly returned to Wittenberg, having first, however,
solemnly appealed from the pope, ill informed at the time, to the pope
when he should have been better instructed. Thereupon he was condemned
as a heretic. Undismayed, he continued to defend his opinions, but,
finding himself in imminent danger, he fell upon the suggestion which,
since the days of Philip the Fair, had been recognized as the true
method of dealing with the papacy, and appealed to a general council as
the true representative of the Church, and therefore superior to the
pope, who is not infallible any more than St. Peter himself had been. To
this denial of papal authority he soon added a dissent from the
doctrines of purgatory, auricular confession, absolution. [Sidenote: The
right of individual judgment asserted.] It was now that the grand idea
which had hitherto silently lain at the bottom of the whole movement
emerged into prominence--the right of individual judgment--under the
dogma that it is not papal authority which should be the guide of life,
but the Bible, and that the Bible is to be interpreted by private
judgment. Thus far it had been received that the Bible derives its
authenticity and authority from the Church; now it was asserted that the
Church derives her authenticity and authority from the Bible. At this
moment there was but one course for the Italian court to take with the
audacious offender, for this new doctrine of the right of exercising
private judgment in matters of faith was dangerous to the last extreme,
and not to be tolerated for a moment. [Sidenote: Excommunication of
Luther.] Luther was therefore ordered to recant, and to burn his own
works, under penalty, if disobedient, of being excommunicated, and
delivered over unto Satan. The bull thus issued directed all secular
princes to seize his person and punish his crimes.

[Sidenote: He resists, and publicly burns the bull,] But Luther was not
to be intimidated; nay, more, he retaliated. He denounced the pope, as
Frederick and the Fratricelli had formerly done, as the Man of Sin, the
Anti-Christ. He called upon all Christian princes to shake off his
tyranny. In presence of a great concourse of applauding spectators, he
committed the volumes of the canon law and the bull of excommunication
to the flames. The pope now issued another bull expelling him from the
Church. This was in January, 1521. This separation opened to Luther an
unrestrained career. He forthwith proceeded to an examination of the
Italian system of theology and policy, in which he was joined by many
talented men who participated in his views. The Emperor Charles V. found
it necessary to use all his influence to check the spreading
Reformation. But it was already too late, for Luther had obtained the
firm support of many personages of influence, and his doctrines were
finding defenders among some of the ablest men in Europe.

An imperial diet was therefore held at Worms, before which Luther, being
summoned, appeared. But nothing could induce him to retract his
opinions. An edict was published putting him under the ban of the
empire; but the Elector of Saxony concealed him in the castle of
Wartburg. [Sidenote: and the revolt spreads.] While he was in this
retirement his doctrines were rapidly extending, the Augustinians of
Wittenberg not hesitating to change the usages of the Church, abolishing
private masses, and giving the cup as well as the bread to the laity.

[Sidenote: The Swiss Reformation. Zuinglius.] While Germany was agitated
to her centre, a like revolt against Italian supremacy broke out in
Switzerland. It too commenced on the question of indulgences, and found
a leader in Zuinglius.

Even at this early period the inevitable course of events was beginning
to be plainly displayed in sectarian decomposition; for, while the
German and Swiss Reformers agreed in their relation toward the papal
authority, they differed widely from each other on some important
doctrinal points, more especially as to the nature of the Eucharist. The
Germans supposed that the body and blood of Christ are actually present
in the bread and wine in some mysterious way; the Swiss believed that
those substances are only emblems or symbols. Both totally rejected the
Italian doctrine of transubstantiation. The old ideas of Berengar were
therefore again fermenting among men. An attempt was made, under the
auspices of the Landgrave of Hesse, to compose the dissension in a
conference at Marburg; but it was found, after a long disputation, that
neither party would give up its views, and they therefore separated, as
it was said, in Christian charity, but not in brotherhood.

At the first Diet of Spires, held in 1526, it was tried to procure the
execution of the sentence passed upon Luther, but the party of the
Reformation proved to be too strong for the Catholics. At a second diet,
held at the same place three years subsequently, it was resolved that no
change should be made in the established religion before the action of a
general council, which had been recommended by both diets, should be
known. On this occasion the Catholic interest preponderated sufficiently
to procure a revocation of the power which had been conceded to the
princes of the empire of managing for a time the ecclesiastical matters
of their own dominions. [Sidenote: The Protestants; origin of the name.]
Against this action several of the princes and cities _protested_, this
being the origin of the designation Protestants subsequently given to
the Reformers. At a diet held the following year at Augsburg, a
statement, composed by Luther and Melanchthon, of the doctrines of the
Reformers was presented; it also treated to some extent of the errors
and superstitions of the Catholics. This is what is known as the
Confession of Augsburg. [Sidenote: Organization of the Reformation.] The
diet however not only rejected it, but condemned most of its doctrines.
The Protestants, therefore, in an assembly at Smalcalde, contracted a
treaty for their common defence, and this may be looked upon as the
epoch of organization of the Reformation. This league did not include
the Reformers of Switzerland, who could not conscientiously adopt the
Confession of Augsburg, which was its essential basis. The
Sacramentarians, as they were called, became thus politically divided
from the Lutherans. Moreover, in Switzerland the process of
decomposition went on, Calvin establishing a new sect, characterized by
the manner in which it insisted on the Augustinian doctrines of
predestination and election, by the abolition of all festivals, and the
discontinuance of Church ceremonies. At a later period the followers of
Zuinglius and Calvin coalesced.

[Sidenote: Its culmination. Peace of Westphalia.] The political
combinations which had thus occurred as Protestantism rapidly acquired
temporal power gave rise, as might have been anticipated, to wars. The
peace of Augsburg, 1555, furnished the Reformers the substantial
advantages they sought--freedom from Italian ecclesiastical authority,
the right of all Germans to judge for themselves in matters of religion,
equality in civil privileges for them and the Catholics. A second time,
sixty-four years subsequently, war broke out--the Thirty Years' War--and
finally the dispute was composed by the treaty of Westphalia. This may
be regarded as the culmination of the Reformation. Peace was made in
spite of all the intrigues and opposition of Rome.

[Sidenote: Extent of the movement.] The doctrines of the Reformation
were adopted with singular avidity throughout the north of Europe, and
established themselves for a time in France and in Italy. Even as early
as 1558 a report of the Venetian ambassador estimates the Catholics of
the German empire at only one-tenth of the population. For twenty years
not a student of the University of Vienna had become a priest.

[Sidenote: The revolt in Italy.] Such was the Reformation among the
German nations. It is not possible, however, to comprehend correctly
that great movement without understanding the course of events in Italy,
for that peninsula was involved, though in a very different way. In its
intellectual condition it was far in advance of the rest of Europe, as
is proved by such facts as those to which we have alluded respecting the
printing of books. Between it and the nations of which we have been
speaking there was also a wide difference in material interests. What
was extorted from them was enjoyed by it. The mental and material
condition of Italy soon set a limit to the progress of the Reformation.

[Sidenote: Position of the Italians.] The Italians had long looked upon
the transalpine nations with contempt. On the principle that the
intellectually strong may lawfully prey on the intellectually weak, they
had systematically drained them of their wealth. As we exchange with
savages beads, and looking-glasses, and nails, for gold, they had driven
a profitable barter with the valiant but illiterate barbarians,
exchanging possessions in heaven for the wealth of the earth, and
selling for money immunities or indulgences for sin. But in another
respect they had looked upon them with dread--they had felt the edge of
the French and German sword. The educated classes, though seeking the
widest liberty of thought for themselves, were not disposed to more than
a very select propagandism of opinions, which plainly could only be
detrimental to the pecuniary interests of their country. Their faith had
long ago ceased to be that of conviction; it had become a mere outward
patriotic acquiescence. Even those who were willing enough to indulge
themselves in the utmost latitude of personal free-thinking never made
an objection when some indiscreet zealot of their own kind was compelled
by ecclesiastical pressure to flee beyond the Alps. No part of Europe
was so full of irreligion as Italy. It amounted to a philosophical
infidelity among the higher classes; to Arianism among the middle and
less instructed; to an utter carelessness, not even giving itself the
trouble of disbelief, among the low. [Sidenote: State of their
universities.] The universities and learned academies were hot-beds of
heresy; thus the University of Padua was accused of having been for long
a focus of atheism, and again and again learned academies, as those of
Modena and Venice, had been suppressed for heresy. [Sidenote: State of
the learned academies.] The device of the Academy of the Lyncei
indicated only too plainly the spirit of these institutions; it was a
lynx, with its eyes turned upward to heaven, tearing the triple-headed
Cerberus with its claws. Nor was this alarming condition restricted to
Italy; France had long participated in it. From the University of Paris,
that watch-tower of the Church, the alarm had often been sounded; now it
was against men, now against books. Once, under its suggestions, the
reading of the physics and metaphysics of Aristotle had been prohibited,
and works of philosophy interdicted until they should have been
corrected by the theologians of the Church. The physical heresies of
Galileo, the pantheism of Cæsalpinus had friendly counterparts in
France. Even the head of the Church, Leo X., at the beginning of the
Reformation, could not escape obloquy, and stories were circulated
touching his elevation to the pontificate at once prejudicial to his
morals and to his belief.

[Sidenote: False position of the papacy.] In such an ominous condition,
the necessity of carrying out the policy to which Italy had so long been
committed perpetually forced the papal Government to acts against which
the instructed judgment of its own officials revolted. It was a
continual struggle between their duty and their disposition. Why should
they have thought it expedient to suppress the Koran when it was printed
in Venice, 1530? why, when Paul IV., 1559, promulgated the Index
Expurgatorius of prohibited books, was it found necessary that not less
than forty-eight editions of the Bible should be included in it,
sixty-one printers put under the ban, and all their publications
forbidden, at first the interdict being against all prohibited books,
and, on this being found insufficient, even those that had not been
permitted being prohibited? Why was it that Galileo was dealt with so
considerately and yet so malignantly? It was plain that toleration,
either of men or books, was altogether irreconcilable with the
principles of the Holy See, and that under its stern exigencies the
former must be disposed of, and the latter suppressed or burnt, no
matter what personal inclinations or favouring sentiments might be in
the way. If any faltering took place in the carrying out of this
determination, the control of Rome over the human mind would be put into
the most imminent jeopardy.

[Sidenote: Check of the Reformation in Italy.] So stood affairs in Italy
at the beginning and during the active period of the Reformation, the
ancient system inexorably pressing upon the leading men, and impelling
them to acts against which their better judgment revolted. They were
bound down to the interests of their country, those interests being
interwoven with conditions which they could no longer intellectually
accept. For men of this class the German and Swiss reformations did not
go far enough. They affirmed that things were left just as inconsistent,
with reason, just as indefensible as before. Doubtless they considered
that the paring away of the worship of saints, of absolution for money,
penances, indulgences, freedom from papal taxation, the repudiation of
intrusive foreign ecclesiastics, was all to the detriment of the
pecuniary interests of Italy. They affirmed that the doctrines put forth
by the Reformers made good their ground, not through the force of
reason, but through appeals to the ignorant, and even to women; not
through an improved and sounder criticism, but, as it was declared,
through the inward light of the Spirit; that nothing had been done to
alleviate the ancient intolerant dogmatism, the forcible suppression of
freedom of thought. [Sidenote: Leo X.; his character.] Leo X., it is
well known, at first altogether mistook the nature of the Reformation.
He was a man of refined tastes and pleasure, delighting in sumptuous
feasts, and too often scandalizing the devout by his indecent
conversation and licentious conduct. He gloried in being the patron of
the learned, devoting all his attention to the progress of literature
and the fine arts, a connoisseur in antiques. The amenities of the life
of an accomplished gentleman were not to be disturbed. He little dreamt
that in the coarse German monk there was an antagonist worthy of the
papacy. The gay Italians looked upon Luther with ineffable contempt, as
introducing ideas even more absurd than those he was trying to displace,
and, what was perhaps a still greater offence, upholding his bad
doctrines in worse Latin. They affected to believe that they discerned a
taint of insanity in the Reformer's account of his conflicts with the
Devil, yet were willing to concede that there was a method in his
madness, since he was bent on having a wife. In their opinion, the
result of the German movement must be exceedingly detrimental to
learning, and necessarily lead to the production of very vulgar results,
exciting among the common people a revolutionary and destructive spirit.
Nor was this personal distaste for Luther altogether undeserved. The
caricatures which that great man permitted himself to put forth are too
indelicate to be described to a modern reader. They would be worthy of
our disgust and indignation did we not find some palliation in the
coarseness of the communities and times in which he lived. Leo awoke to
his blunder when it was too late, and found that he had been
superciliously sneering at what he should have combated with all his

[Sidenote: Check of the Reformation in Europe.] It is now more than
three centuries since the Reformation commenced, and we are able, with
some degree of accuracy, to ascertain its influence. Founded as it was
on the right of private interpretation of the Scriptures, it introduced
a better rule of life, and made a great advance towards intellectual
liberty. It compelled men to be more moral, and permitted them to be
more learned. For the traditions of superstition it substituted the
dictates of common sense; it put an end to the disgraceful miracles that
for so many ages had been the scandal of Europe. The assertion of the
Italians that it was a great injury to letters is untrue. Though not to
be regarded in any respect as a learned man, Luther approved of the
study of Greek and Hebrew, recognized by all parties to be dangerous to
the Latin system. And even if the accusation be admitted that he
approved of their cultivation, not from any love of them, but from
hatred to it, the world was equally a gainer. Toward the close of his
life it seemed as if there was no other prospect for papal power than
total ruin: yet at this day, out of three hundred millions of
Christians, more than half owe allegiance to Rome. Almost as if by
enchantment the Reformation suddenly ceased to advance. Rome was not
only able to check its spread, but even to gain back a portion of what
she had lost. [Sidenote: Its causes were not supernatural.] The cause of
this, which may seem at first an extraordinary result, is not to be
attributed to any supernatural influence, as some have supposed. When
natural causes suffice, it is needless to look for supernatural.

Though there might be sovereigns who, like Henry VIII., had personal
reasons for discontent with the Italian court; though there were some
who sought to usurp the power and prerogatives of the popes; though
there might be nobles who, as the Prince of Wales's tutor wrote to Sir
W. Paget, were "importunate wolves, as are able to devour chantries,
cathedral churches, universities, and a thousand times as much;" some
who desired the plunder of establishments endowed by the piety of ages,
and who therefore lent all their influence in behalf of this great
revolution; there was among such and above such that small but
all-important body of men who see human affairs from the most general
point of view. [Sidenote: Influence of statesmen and philosophers.] To
these, whatever might be the nation to which they happened to belong, it
was perfectly evident that the decomposition of faith which had set in,
if permitted to go on unchecked, could not possibly end in any other way
than in producing an anarchy of sects. In their opinion, the German
Reformation did not go far enough. It still practically left untouched
the dependency of the Church upon the State. In the southern nations of
the Continent it had merely irritated the great European ulcer, whereas
what was required was the complete amputation of the rotten mass. In
their judgment it was better to leave things as they were until a
thorough eradication could be accomplished, and this, at the time, was
obviously impossible. Not understanding, perhaps, how much human affairs
are developed according to law, and how little by the volition of
individuals, they liberally conceded that Catholicism had been the
civilizing agency of Europe, and had become inwoven with the social
fabric for good or for evil. It could not now be withdrawn without
pulling the whole texture to pieces. Moreover, the curtain of papal
authority, which at one time enveloped all Europe in its ample folds,
had, in the course of these late events, been contracted and stretched
across the Continent, dividing the northern and southern nations from
each other. The people of the south saw on its embroidered surface
nothing but forms of usefulness and beauty, they on the north a
confusion of meaningless threads. But the few who considered it as a
whole, and understood the relations of both sides, knew well enough that
the one is the necessary incident of the other, and that it is quite as
useless to seek for explanations as to justify appearances. To them it
was perfectly clear that the tranquillity and happiness of Christendom
were best subserved by giving no encouragement to opinions which had
already occasioned so much trouble, and which seemed to contain in their
very constitution principles of social disorganization.

[Sidenote: Influence of the nature of the Reformation.] A reason for the
sudden loss of expansive force in the Reformation is found in its own
intrinsic nature. The principle of decomposition which it represented,
and with which it was inextricably entangled, necessarily implied
oppugnancy. For a short season the attention of Protestantism was
altogether directed to the papal authority from which it had so recently
separated itself; but, with its growing strength and ascertained
independence, that object ceased to occupy it, becoming, as it were,
more distant and more obscure. Upon the subordinate divisions which were
springing from it, or which were of collateral descent from the original
Catholic stock, the whole view of each denomination was concentrated.
The bitterness once directed against the papacy lost none of its
intensity when pointed at rivals or enemies nearer home. Nor was it
alone dissensions among the greater sects, oppositions such as those
between the Church of England and the Church of Scotland, whose discords
were founded on points admitted by all to be great and essential; the
same principle ran down through all the modes of sectarian combination
as they emerged into life, producing among those of equal power
struggles, and in the strong toward the weak persecution. [Sidenote:
Effect of sectarian disputes.] Very soon the process of decomposition
had advanced to such an extent that minor sects came into existence on
very unessential points. Yet even among these little bodies there was
just as much acrimony, just as much hatred as among the great. These
differences were carried into the affairs of civil life, each sect
forming a society within itself, and abstaining, as far as might be,
from associations with its rivals. Of such a state of things the
necessary result was weakness, and, had there been no other reason, this
in itself would have been quite sufficient in the end to deprive
Protestantism of its aggressive power. An army divided against itself is
in no condition to make warfare against a watchful and vigorous enemy.

[Sidenote: Want of concentrated power.] But this was not all. It was in
the nature of Protestantism from its outset that it was not
constructive. Unlike its great antagonist, it contained no fundamental
principle that could combine distant communities and foreign countries
together. It originated in dissent, and was embodied by separation. It
could not possess a concentrated power, nor recognize one apostolic man
who might compress its disputes, harmonize its powers, wield it as a
mass. For the attainment of his aims the Protestant had only wishes, the
Catholic had a will. The Church of England, of Scotland, or of any other
Protestant nation, undoubtedly did discharge its duty excellently well
for the community in which it was placed, but, at the most, it was only
a purely local institution, altogether insignificant in comparison with
that great old Church, hoary and venerable with age, which had seen
every government and every institution in Europe come into existence,
many of them at its bidding, which had extirpated paganism from the
Roman empire, compelled the Cæsars to obey its mandates, precipitated
the whole white race upon the Holy Land--that great old Church, once the
more than imperial sovereign of Christendom, and of which the most
respectable national Church was only a fragment of a fragment.

[Sidenote: Condition of Catholicism.] Very different was it with
Catholicism. It possessed an organization which concentrated in the hand
of one man irresistible power, and included all the southern countries
of Europe not Mohammedan. It could enforce its policy by the armies and
fleets of obedient kings. It is not surprising, when this state of
things is considered, that the spread of the Reformation was limited to
its first fervour--that the men who saw its origin saw also its
culmination. It is not to be wondered at that, with the political
weakening arising from a tendency to subdivision and disintegration on
one side, and the preparing of a complete and effective organization
against the danger that was threatening on the other, the issue should
have turned out as it did.

[Sidenote: The means of resistance resorted to by Rome.] Rome, awaking
at last to her danger, met the Reformation with four weapons--a
counter-reformation, an increased vigour in the Inquisition, the
institution of the Jesuits, and a greater embellishment of worship. The
disposition of the northern nations was to a simplification of worship,
that of the south to adorn it with whatever could captivate the senses.
Ranke asserts that the composition of the mass of Marcellus by
Palestrina, 1560, had a wonderful effect in the revival of religion;
there can be no doubt that it constituted an epoch in devotion.
[Sidenote: A counter-reformation.] But of all these, the first and best
was a moral change which she instantly imposed upon herself. Henceforth
it was her intention that in the chair of St. Peter should never again
be seen atheists, poisoners, thieves, murderers, blasphemers,
adulterers, but men, who, if they were sometimes found, as must be the
case, considering the infirmities of humanity, incompetent to deal with
the great trials which often befell them, were yet of such personal
purity, holiness of life, and uprightness of intention as to command
profound respect. Those scandals that hitherto had everywhere disgraced
her began to disappear, a true reformation, but not a schism, occurring
through all ecclesiastical grades. Had Protestantism produced no other
result than this, it would have been an unspeakable blessing to the

[Sidenote: The Inquisition brought into activity.] By another very
different means the Italian power sought to insure its domination--by an
increased activity of the Inquisition. It is difficult to understand how
men of capacity could have justified this iniquitous institution.
Certainly it could not have been upon any principles of Christian
morality, nor even upon those of high statesmanship. For the Inquisition
to accomplish its purpose, it must needs be as all-seeing as Providence,
as inexorable as the grave; not inflicting punishments which the
sufferer could remember, but remorselessly killing outright; not
troubling itself to ascertain the merits of a case and giving the
accused the benefit of a doubt, but regarding suspicion and certainty as
the same thing. If worked with the unscrupulous, impassive resolution of
Machiavellianism, this great engine for the coercion of the human mind
could be made to accomplish its purpose. It thoroughly extinguished
Protestantism in Spain and Italy, and in those countries maintained a
barrier against the progressive reason of man.

[Sidenote: The Jesuits are established.] But the most effective weapon
to which the papacy resorted was the institution of the order of the
Jesuits. This was established by a bull of Paul III., 1540, the rules
being that the general, chosen for life, should be obeyed as God; that
they should vow poverty, chastity, obedience, and go wherever they were
commanded; their obedience was to the pope, not to the Church--a most
politic distinction, for thereby an unmistakable responsibility was
secured. They had no regular hours of prayer; their duties were
preaching, the direction of consciences, education. By the Jesuits Rome
penetrated into the remotest corners of the earth, established links of
communication with her children who remained true to her in the heart of
Protestant countries, and, with a far-seeing policy for the future,
silently engrossed the education of the young. At the confessional she
extorted from women the hidden secrets of their lives and those of their
families, took the lead in devotion wherever there were pious men, and
was equally foremost in the world of fashion and dissipation. [Sidenote:
Their influence all over the world.] There was no guise under which the
Jesuit might not be found--a barefoot beggar, clothed in rags; a learned
professor, lecturing gratuitously to scientific audiences; a man of the
world, living in profusion and princely extravagance; there have been
Jesuits the wearers of crowns. There were no places into which they did
not find their way: a visitor to one of the loyal old families of
England could never be sure but that there was a Jesuit hidden in the
garret or secreted behind the wainscot of the bedroom. They were the
advisers of the leading men of the age, sat in the cabinets of kings,
and were their confessors. They boasted that they were the link between
religious opinion and literature. With implicit and unquestioning
obedience to his superior, like a good soldier, it was the paramount
duty of the Jesuit to obey his orders, whatever those orders might be.
It was for him to go, at the summons of a moment, with his life in his
hand, to the very centre of pagan or of reformed and revolted countries,
where his presence was death by law, and execute the mission intrusted
to him. If he succeeded, it was well; if he should fall, it was also
well. To him all things were proper for the sake of the Church. It was
his business to consider how the affair he had in hand was to be most
surely accomplished--to resort to justifiable means if they should
appear sufficient, if not, to unjustifiable; to the spiritual weapon,
but also to be prepared with the carnal; to sacrifice candour if the
occasion should require, if necessary even truth, remembering that the
end justifies the means, if that end is the good of the Church.

While some religious orders were founded on retirement, and aimed at
personal improvement by solitude, the Jesuits were instructed to mix in
the affairs of men, and gather experience in the ways of worldly wisdom.
And since it is the infirmity of humanity, whatever may be the vigour of
its first intentions, too often to weary in well-doing, provision was
made to re-enforce the zeal of those becoming lukewarm to admonish the
delinquent, by making each a spy on all the others, under oath to reveal
everything to his superior. In that manner a control was exercised over
the brotherhood in all parts of the world. In Europe they had, in a very
short time, stealthily but largely engrossed public education; had mixed
themselves up with every public affair; were at the bottom of every
intrigue, making their power felt through the control they exerted over
sovereigns, ministers of state, and great court ladies, influencing the
last through the spiritual means of the confessional, or by the more
natural but equally effectual entanglements of requited love. Already
they had recognized the agency of commerce in promoting and diffusing
religious belief, and hence simultaneously became great missionaries and
great merchants. With the Indies, East and West, they carried forward
extensive commercial undertakings, and had depôts in various parts of
Europe. In these operations they were necessarily absolved from their
vows of poverty, and became immensely rich. In South America they
obtained a footing in Paraguay, and commenced their noble attempt at the
civilization of the Indians, bringing them into communities, teaching
them social usages, agricultural arts, and the benefits arising to
themselves and the community from labour. They gave them a military
organization, subdivided according to the European system, into the
customary arms--infantry, cavalry, artillery; they supplied them with
munitions of war. It was their hope that from this basis they should be
able to spread the rule of the Church over America, as had been done in
preceding ages over Europe.

[Sidenote: Causes of their suppression.] An intolerable apprehension of
their invisible presence and unscrupulous agency made all Europe put
them down at last. The amenities of exquisite courteousness, the
artifices of infinite dissimulation, cannot for ever deceive. Men found,
by bitter experience, that within the silken glove there was an iron
hand. From their general in Rome, who was absolute commander of their
persons and unchallengeable administrator of their prodigious wealth,
down to the humblest missionary who was wearing away his life among the
Andes, or on the banks of the Hoang-ho, or in the solitary prairies of
Missouri, or under the blazing sun of Abyssinia--whether he was
confessing the butterfly ladies of Paris, whispering devilish
suggestions into the ear of the King of Spain, consoling the dying
peasant in an Irish cabin, arguing with mandarins in the palace of the
Emperor of China, stealing away the hearts of the rising generation in
the lower schools and academies, extorting the admiration of learned
societies by the profundity of his philosophy and the brilliancy of his
scientific discoveries--whether he was to be seen in the exchanges and
marts of the great capitals, supervising commercial operations on a
scale which up to that time had been attempted by none but the
Jews--whether he was held in an English jail as a suspected vagabond, or
sitting on the throne of France--whether he appeared as a great landed
proprietor, the owner of countless leagues in the remote parts of India
or South America, or whether he was mixing with crowds in the streets of
London, and insinuating in Protestant ears the rights of subjects to
oppose and even depose their monarchs, or in the villages of Castile and
Leon, preaching before Catholic peasants the paramount duty of a good
Christian implicitly to obey the mandates of his king--wherever the
Jesuit was, or whatever he was doing, men universally felt that the
thing he had in hand was only auxiliary to some higher, some hidden
design. This stealth, and silence and power became at last so
intolerable that the Jesuits were banished from France, Spain, Portugal,
and other Catholic countries. But such was their vitality that, though
the order was abolished by a papal bull in 1773, they have been again

[Sidenote: Effects of change of opinion among the learned.] Though it is
sometimes said that Rome in this manner, by her admirable combinations
and irresistible movement, succeeded at last in checking the
Reformation, a full consideration of the state of affairs would lead us
to receive that assertion with very considerable restriction. She came
out of the conflict much less powerful than she had entered it. If we
attribute to her policy all that it can justly claim, we must also
attribute to causes over which she had no kind of control their rightful
influence. The Reformation had been, to no small extent, due to the rise
of criticism, which still continued its development, and was still
fruitful of results. Latin had fallen from its high estate; the modern
languages were in all directions expanding and improving; the
printing-press was not only giving Greek learning to the world, but
countless translations and commentaries. The doctrine successfully
established by Luther and his colleagues--the right of private
interpretation and judgment--was the practical carrying out of the
organic law of criticism to the highest affairs with which man can be
concerned--affairs of religion. The Reformation itself, philosophically
considered, really meant the casting off of authority, the installation
of individual inquiry and personal opinion. [Sidenote: Effects of
criticism on religion and literature.] If criticism, thus standing upon
the basis of the Holy Scriptures, had not hesitated to apply itself to
an examination of public faith, and, as the consequence thereof, had
laid down new rules for morality and the guidance of life, it was not to
be expected that it would hesitate to deal with minor things--that it
would spare the philosophy, the policy, the literature of antiquity. And
so, indeed, it went on, comparing classical authors with classical
authors, the fathers with the fathers, often the same writer with
himself. Contradictions were pointed out, errors exposed, weakness
detected, and new views offered of almost everything within the range of

[Sidenote: The Bible.] From this burning ordeal one book alone came out
unscathed. It was the Bible. It spontaneously vindicated for itself what
Wiclif in the former times, and Luther more lately, had claimed for it.
And not only did it hold its ground, but it truly became incalculably
more powerful than ever it had been before. The press multiplied it in
every language without end, until there was scarcely a cottage in
reformed Europe that did not possess a copy.

But if criticism was thus the stimulating principle that had given life
to the Reformation, it had no little to do with its pause; and this is
the influence over which Rome had no kind of control, and to which I
have made allusion. The phases through which the Reformation passed were
dependent on the coincident advances of learning. First it relied on the
Scriptures, which were to the last its surest support; then it included
the Fathers. [Sidenote: Decline of the value of patristic learning.]
But, from a more intimate study of the latter, many erudite Protestants
were gradually brought back to the ancient fold. Among such may be
mentioned Erasmus, who by degrees became alienated from the Reformers,
and subsequently Grotius, the publication of whose treatise, "De jure
belli et pacis," 1625, really constituted an epoch in the political
system of Europe. This great man had gradually become averse to the
Reformation, believing that, all things considered, it had done more
harm than good; he had concluded that it was better to throw differences
into oblivion for the sake of peace, and to enforce silence on one's own
opinions, rather than to expect that the Church should be compelled to
accommodate herself to them. If such men as Erasmus, Casaubon, and
Grotius had been brought to this dilemma by their profound philosophical
meditations, their conclusion was confirmed among the less reflecting by
the unhappy intolerance of the new as well as the old Church. [Sidenote:
Moral effects of persecutions.] Men asked what was the difference
between the vindictiveness with which Rome dealt with Antonio de
Dominis, at once an ecclesiastic and a natural philosopher, who, having
gone over to Protestantism and then seceded, imprudently visited Rome,
was there arrested, and dying, his body was dug up and burnt, and the
rigour of Calvin, who seized Servetus, the author of the "Christianismi
Restitutio," and in part the discoverer of the circulation of the blood,
when he happened to pass through Geneva, and committed him to the

[Sidenote: End of patristicism.] Criticism had thus, in its earlier
stage, produced well-marked results. As it developed it lost none of its
power. It had enthroned patristic theology; now it wrenched from its
hand the sceptre. In the works of Daillé it showed that the fathers are
of no kind of use--they are too contradictory of one another; even
Jeremy Taylor speaks of their authority and reputation as clean gone for
ever. In a few years they had sunk into desuetude, a neglect shared by
many classical authors, whose opinions were now only quoted with a
respectful smile. The admiration for antiquity was diminishing under the
effect of searching examination. Books were beginning to appear, turning
the old historians into ridicule for their credulity. [Sidenote: The
burning of Servetus by Calvin.] The death of Servetus was not without
advantage to the world. There was not a pious or thoughtful man in all
reformed Europe who was not shocked when the circumstances under which
that unhappy physician had been brought to the stake at Geneva by John
Calvin were made known. For two hours he was roasted in the flames of a
slow fire, begging for the love of God that they would put on more wood,
or do something to end his torture. Men asked, with amazement and
indignation, if the atrocities of the Inquisition were again to be
revived. On all sides they began to inquire how far it is lawful to
inflict the punishment of death for difference of opinion. It opened
their eyes to the fact that, after all they had done, the state of
civilization in which they were living was still characterized by its
intolerance. In 1546 the Venetian ambassador at the court of Charles V.
reported to his government that in Holland and Friesland more than
thirty thousand persons had suffered death at the hands of justice for
Anabaptist errors. From such an unpromising state of things toleration
could only emerge with difficulty. It was the offspring, not of charity,
but of the checked animosities of ever-multiplying sects, and the
detected impossibility of their coercing one another.

[Sidenote: The Reformation continued in America.] The history of the
Reformation does not close, as many European authors have imagined, in a
balanced and final distribution of the north and south between the
Protestant and the Catholic. The predestined issue of sectarian
differences and dissensions is individual liberty of thought. So long as
there was one vast, overshadowing, intolerant corporation, every man
must bring his understanding to its measure, and think only as it
instructed him to do. As soon as dissenting confessions gathered
sufficient military power to maintain their right of existence--as soon
as from them, in turn, incessant offshoots were put forth, toleration
became not only possible, but inevitable, and that is perhaps as far as
the movement has at this time advanced in Europe. But Macaulay and
others who have treated of the Reformation have taken too limited a view
of it, supposing that this was its point of arrest. [Sidenote:
Separation of Church and State.] It made another enormous stride when,
at the American Revolution, the State and the Church were solemnly and
openly dissevered from one another. Now might the vaticinations of the
prophets of evil expect to find credit; a great people had irrevocably
broken off its politics from its theology, and it might surely have been
expected that the unbridled interests, and instincts, and passions of
men would have dragged everything into the abyss of anarchy. Yet what do
we, who are living nearly a century after that time, find the event to
be? Sectarian decomposition, passing forward to its last extreme, is the
process by which individual mental liberty is engendered and maintained.
A grand and imposing religious unity implies tyranny to the individual;
the increasing emergence of sects gives him increasing latitude of
thought--with their utmost multiplication he gains his utmost liberty.
In this respect, unity and liberty are in opposition; as the one
diminishes, the other increases. [Sidenote: Emergence of liberty of
thought.] The Reformation broke down unity; it gave liberty to masses of
men grouped together in sufficient numbers to insure their position; it
is now invisibly, but irresistibly making steps, never to be stayed
until there is an absolute mental emancipation for man.

[Sidenote: The American clergy.] Great revolutions are not often
accomplished without much suffering and many crimes. It might have been
supposed before the event, perhaps it is supposed by many who are not
privileged to live among the last results, that this decomposition of
religious faith must be to the detriment of personal and practical
piety. Yet America, in which, of all countries, the Reformation at the
present moment has farthest advanced, should offer to thoughtful men
much encouragement. Its cities are filled with churches built by
voluntary gifts; its clergy are voluntarily sustained, and are, in all
directions, engaged in enterprises of piety, education, mercy. What a
difference between their private life and that of ecclesiastics before
the Reformation! Not, as in the old times, does the layman look upon
them as the cormorants and curse of society; they are his faithful
advisers, his honoured friends, under whose suggestion and supervision
are instituted educational establishments, colleges, hospitals, whatever
can be of benefit to men in this life, or secure for them happiness in
the life to come.




_Condition of England at the Suppression of the Monasteries._

_Condition of England at the close of the seventeenth
Century.--Locomotion, Literature, Libraries.--Social and private Life of
the Laity and Clergy.--Brutality in the Administration of
Law.--Profligacy of Literature.--The Theatre, its three
Phases.--Miracle, Moral, and Real Plays._

_Estimate of the Advance made in the Age of Faith.--Comparison with that
already made in the Age of Reason._

[Sidenote: Results of the Age of Faith.] Arrived at the commencement of
the Age of Reason, we might profitably examine the social condition of
those countries destined to become conspicuous in the new order of
things. I have not space to present such an examination as extensively
as it deserves, and must limit my remarks to that nation which, of all
others, is most interesting to the English or American reader--that
England which we picture to ourselves as foremost in civilization, her
universities dating back for many centuries; her charters and laws, on
which individual, and therefore social, liberty rests, spoken of as the
ancient privileges of the realm; her people a clear-headed race, lovers
and stout defenders of freedom. [Sidenote: The social condition produced
in England.] During by far the greater part of the past period she had
been Catholic, but she had also been Reformed--ever, as she will always
be, religious. A correct estimate of her national and individual life
will point out to us all that had been done in the Age of Faith. From
her condition we may gather what is the progress made by man when guided
by such theological ideas as those which had been her rule of life.

The following paragraphs convey an instructive lesson. They dissipate
some romantic errors; they are a verdict on a political system from its
practical results. What a contrast with the prodigious advancement made
within a few years when the Age of Reason had set in! How strikingly are
we reminded of the inconsequential, the fruitless actions of youth, and
the deliberate, the durable undertakings of manhood!

For many of the facts I have now to mention the reader will find
authorities in the works of Lord Macaulay and Mr. Froude on English
history. My own reading in other directions satisfies me that the
picture here offered represents the actual condition of things.

[Sidenote: Condition at the suppression of the monasteries.] At the time
of the suppression of the monasteries in England the influences which
had been in operation for so many centuries had come to an end. Had they
endured a thousand years longer they could have accomplished nothing
more. The condition of human life shows what their uses and what their
failures had been. There were forests extending over great districts;
fens forty or fifty miles in length, reeking with miasm and fever,
though round the walls of the abbeys there might be beautiful gardens,
green lawns, shady walks, and many murmuring streams. In trackless woods
where men should have been, herds of deer were straying; the sandy hills
were alive with conies, the downs with flocks of bustards. The peasant's
cabin was made of reeds or sticks plastered over with mud. His fire was
chimneyless--often it was made of peat. In the objects and manner of his
existence he was but a step above the industrious beaver who was
building his dam in the adjacent stream. There were highwaymen on the
roads, pirates on the rivers, vermin in abundance in the clothing and
beds. The common food was peas, vetches, fern roots, and even the bark
of trees. There was no commerce to put off famine. Man was altogether at
the mercy of the seasons. The population, sparse as it was, was
perpetually thinned by pestilence and want. Nor was the state of the
townsman better than that of the rustic; his bed was a bag of straw,
with a hard round log for his pillow. If he was in easy circumstances,
his clothing was of leather, if poor, a wisp of straw wrapped round his
limbs kept off the cold. It was a melancholy social condition when
nothing intervened between reed cabins in the fen, the miserable wigwams
of villages, and the conspicuous walls of the castle and monastery. Well
might they who lived in those times bewail the lot of the ague-stricken
peasant, and point, not without indignation, to the troops of pilgrims,
mendicants, pardoners, and ecclesiastics of every grade who hung round
the Church, to the nightly wassail and rioting drunkenness in the
castle-hall, secure in its moats, its battlements, and its warders. The
local pivots round which society revolved were the red-handed baron,
familiar with scenes of outrage and deeds of blood, and the abbot,
indulging in the extreme of luxury, magnificent in dress, exulting in
his ambling palfrey, his hawk, his hounds. Rural life had but little
improved since the time of Cæsar; in its physical aspect it was
altogether neglected. As to the mechanic, how was it possible that he
could exist where there were no windows made of glass, not even of oiled
paper, no workshop warmed by a fire. For the poor there was no
physician, for the dying the monk and his crucifix. The aim was to
smooth the sufferer's passage to the next world, not to save him for
this. Sanitary provisions there were none except the paternoster and the
ave. In the cities the pestilence walked unstayed, its triumphs numbered
by the sounds of the death-crier in the streets or the knell for the
soul that was passing away.

Our estimate of the influence of the system under which men were thus
living as a regulator of their passions may at this point derive much
exactness from incidents such as those offered by the history of
syphilis and the usages of war. For this purpose we may for a moment
glance at the Continent.

[Sidenote: Moral state indicated by the spread of syphilis,] The
attention of all Europe was suddenly arrested by a disease which broke
out soon after the discovery of America. It raged with particular
violence in the French army commanded by Charles VIII. at the siege of
Naples, A.D. 1495, and spread almost like an epidemic. It was syphilis.
Though there have been medical authors who supposed that it was only an
exacerbation of a malady known from antiquity, that opinion cannot be
maintained after the learned researches of Astruc. That it was something
recognized at the time as altogether new seems to be demonstrated by the
accusations of different nations against each other of having given
origin to it. Very soon, however, the truth appeared. It had been
brought by the sailors of Columbus from the West Indies. Its true
character, and the conditions of its propagation, were fully established
by Fernel.

[Sidenote: and by the usages of war.] Now, giving full weight to the
fact that the virulence of a disease may be greatest at its first
invasion, but remembering that there is nothing in the history of
syphilis that would lead us to suppose it ever was, or indeed could be
infectious, but only contagious, or communicated by direct contact from
person to person; remembering also the special circumstances under
which, in this disease, that contagion is imparted, the rapidity of its
spread all over Europe is a significant illustration of the fearful
immorality of the times. If contemporary authors are to be trusted,
there was not a class, married, or unmarried, clergy or laity, from the
holy father, Leo X., to the beggar by the wayside, free from it. It
swept over Europe, not as Asiatic cholera has done, running along the
great lines of trade, and leaving extensive tracts untouched, settling
upon and devastating great cities here and there, while others had an
immunity. The march of syphilis was equable, unbroken, universal, making
good its ground from its point of appearance in the south-west, steadily
and swiftly taking possession of the entire Continent, and offering an
open manifestation and measure of the secret wickedness of society.

If thus the sins man practises in privacy became suddenly and
accidentally exposed, that exposure showing how weak is the control that
any system can exercise over human passions, we are brought to the same
melancholy conclusion when we turn to those crimes that may be
perpetrated in the face of day. The usages of war in the civil contests
of the fifteenth century, or in the religious conflicts of the sixteenth
and seventeenth, are perfectly appalling; the annals of those evil days
are full of wanton and objectless barbarities, refusal of quarter,
murder in cold blood, killing of peasants. Invading armies burnt and
destroyed everything in their way; the taking of plunder and ransom of
prisoners were recognized sources of wealth. Prosperous countries were
made "a sea of fire;" the horrible atrocities of the Spaniards in
America were rivalled by those practised in Europe; deliberate
directions were given to make whole tracts "a desert." Attempts had been
made to introduce some amelioration into warfare again and again, either
by forbidding hostilities at certain times, as was the object of the
"truces of God," repeatedly enforced by ecclesiastical authority, or by
establishing between the combatants themselves courtesies which are at
once the chief grace and glory of chivalry; but, to judge by the result
as offered, even so late as the eighteenth century, those attempts must
be regarded as having proved altogether abortive.

[Sidenote: Backward condition of England.] England, at the close of the
Age of Faith, had for long been a chief pecuniary tributary to Italy,
the source from which large revenues had been drawn, the fruitful field
in which herds of Italian ecclesiastics had been pastured. A wonderful
change was impending. At the beginning of the sixteenth century the
island was far more backward intellectually and politically than is
commonly supposed. Its population hardly reached five millions, and was
stationary at that point, not so much because of the effects of civil
and foreign war as merely through the operation of ordinary economical
causes. There was no reason to call more men into existence. It was
regarded as good statesmanship to maintain the population at a constant
standard. The municipal policy corresponded to the national; it was not
so much advanced as that contemporaneously existing in Peru. [Sidenote:
Apparent decline of her prosperity.] Swarms of idle ecclesiastics had
set such a pernicious example that the indisposition among common people
to work had become quite a formidable difficulty. In every village there
were stocks for the punishment of "valiant beggars," as they were
termed. By the act of 1531, vagrants "whole and mighty in body" caught
begging for the first time might be whipped at the cart-tail; the second
time their ears were to be slit; by the act of 1536, if caught the third
time they were to be put to death. In all directions large towns were
falling into decay, a misfortune popularly attributed to the laziness of
the lower orders, but in reality due to causes of a very different kind.
Hitherto land had been the representative of authority and the source of
power. Society had been organized upon that imperfect basis; a
descending scale of landed proprietors had been established, and in that
system every man had a place assigned to him, just as in Peru, though
less perfectly. It was a system of organized labour, the possession of
land being a trust, not a property. But now commerce was beginning to
disturb the foundations on which all these arrangements had been
sustained, and to compel a new distribution of population; trading
companies were being established; men were unsettled by the rumours or
realities of immense fortunes rapidly gained in foreign adventure.
Maritime enterprise was thus not only dislocating society, but even
destroying its spirit, substituting self-interest for loyalty.
[Sidenote: It is imputed to the clergy.] A nation so illiterate that
many of its peers in Parliament could neither read nor write, was hardly
able to trace the troubles befalling it to their proper source; with one
voice it imputed them to the bad example and shortcomings of the clergy.
Long before Henry VIII., England was ready for the suppression of the
monasteries. She regarded them as the very hot-beds of her evils. There
were incessant complaints against the clergy for their scandalous lusts,
for personal impurities such as in modern times we do not allude to, for
their holding livings in plurality, for their extortion of exorbitant
profits, and neglect in the discharge of their duty. [Sidenote: Causes
of irritation of the laity against the clergy.] In public opinion, to so
great an extent had these immoralities gone that it was openly asserted
that there were one hundred thousand women in England made dissolute by
the clergy. It was well known that brothels were kept in London for
their use. It was affirmed that the confessional was shamefully abused,
and, through it, advantage taken of females; that the vilest crime in an
ecclesiastic might be commuted for money, six shillings and eightpence
being sufficient in the case of mortal sin. Besides these general causes
of complaint, there were some which, though of a minor, were not of a
less irritating kind; such for instance, as the mortuary, soul-shot, or
corpse present, a claim for the last dress worn by persons brought to a
priest for burial, or some exaggerated commutation thereof.

[Sidenote: Accusation against the clergy by the House of Commons.] That
such was the demoralized condition of the English Church, and such its
iniquitous relations to the people, we have the most unimpeachable
evidence, under circumstances of an imposing and solemn character. The
House of Commons brought an accusation against the clergy before the
king. When Parliament met A.D. 1529, that House, as its very first act,
declared to the sovereign that sedition and heresy were pervading the
land, and that it had become absolutely necessary to apply a corrective.
It affirmed that the troubles into which the realm had fallen were
attributable to the clergy; that the chief foundation, occasion, and
cause thereof was the parallel jurisdiction of the Church and State;
that the incompatible legislative authority of convocation lay at the
bottom of the mischief. Among other specific points it alleged the
following:--That the houses of convocation made laws without the royal
assent, and without the consent or even the knowledge of the people;
that such laws were never published in the English language, and that,
nevertheless, men were daily punished under them without ever having had
an opportunity to eschew the penalties; that the demoralization extended
from the Archbishop of Canterbury down to the lowest priest, that
dignitary having tampered with the despatch of justice in his Court of
Arches; that parsons, vicars, priests, and curates were in the habit of
denying the administration of the sacraments save upon the payment of
money; that poor men were harrassed without any legal cause in the
spiritual courts for the mere purpose of extortion, and exorbitant fees
were exacted from them; that the probate of wills was denied except on
the gratification of the appetite of prelates and ordinaries for money;
that the high ecclesiastics extorted large sums for the induction of
persons into benefices, and that they did daily confer benefices on
"young folk," their nephews and relatives, being minors, for the purpose
of detaining the fruits and profits in their own hands; that the bishops
illegally imprisoned, sometimes for a year or more, persons in their
jails, without informing them of the cause of their imprisonment or the
name of their accuser; that simple, unlearned men, and even
"well-witted" ones, were entrapped by subtle questions into heresy in
the ecclesiastical courts, and punishment procured against them.

These are serious charges; they imply that the Church had degenerated
into a contrivance for the extortion of money. The House of Commons
petitioned the king to make such laws as should furnish a remedy. The
king submitted the petition to the bishops, and required of them an

[Sidenote: Reply of the bishops to that accusation.] In that answer the
ecclesiastical manner of thought is very striking. The bishops insist
that the laws of the realm shall give way to the canon law, or, if
incompatible, shall be altered so as to suit it; they identify attacks
on themselves with those on the doctrine of the Church, a time-honoured
and well-tried device; they affirm that they have no kind of enmity
against the laymen, "their ghostly children," but only against the
pestilent poison of heresy; that their authority for making laws is
grounded on the Scriptures, to which the laws of the realm must be made
to conform; that they cannot conscientiously permit the king's consent
to the laws, since that would be to put him in the stead of God, under
whose inspiration they are made; that, as to troubling poor men, it is
the Holy Ghost who inspireth them to acts tending to the wealth of his
elect folk, that, if any ecclesiastic hath offended in this respect,
though "in multis offendimus omnes," as St. James hath it, let him bear
his own fault, and let not the whole Church be blamed; that the
Protestants, their antagonists, are lewd, idle fellows, who have
embraced the abominable opinions recently sprung up in Germany; that
there are many advantages in commuting Church penances and censures for
money; that tithes are a divine institution, and that debts of money
owing to God may be recovered after one hundred or seven hundred years
of non-payment, since God can never lose his rights thereto; that,
however, it is not well to collect a tithe twice over; that priests may
lawfully engage in secular occupations of a certain kind; that the
punishments inflicted on the laymen have been for the health of their
souls, and that, generally, the saints may claim powers to which common
men are not entitled.

[Sidenote: The House passes the Clergy Discipline Act.] A fierce
struggle between the Commons and the bishops ensued; but the House was
firm, and passed several bills, and among them the Clergy Discipline
Act. The effect was to cut down ecclesiastical incomes, probate and
legacy duties were defined, mortuaries were curtailed, extortionate fees
for burial terminated, clergymen were forbidden to engage in farming,
tanning, brewing, or to buy merchandise for the purpose of selling it
again. It was made unlawful any longer to hold eight or nine benefices,
or to purchase dispensations for not doing duty. They were compelled to
reside in the parishes for the care of which they were paid, under
penalty of £10 a month; and it was made a high penal offence to obtain
dispensations from any of the provisions of this Act from Rome.

[Sidenote: The Church is compelled to submit.] Nothing could be more
significant of the position of the parties than the high-toned, the
conservative moderation of these Acts. The bishops did not yield,
however, without a struggle. In all directions from the pulpits arose a
cry of "atheism," "lack of faith," "heresy." But the House resolutely
stood to its ground. Still more, it sent its speaker to the king with a
complaint against the Bishop of Rochester, who had dared to stigmatize
it as "infidel." The bishop was compelled to equivocate and apologize.

[Sidenote: The king is sustained by his people.] The English nation and
their king were thus together in the suppression of the monasteries;
they were together in the enforcing of ecclesiastical reforms. It was
nothing but this harmony which so quickly brought the clergy to reason,
and induced them, in 1532, to anticipate both Parliament and the people
in actually offering to separate themselves from Rome. In the next year
the king had destroyed the vast power which in so many centuries had
gathered round ecclesiastical institutions, and had forced the clergy
into a fitting subordination. Henceforth there was no prospect that they
would monopolize all the influential and lucrative places in the realm;
henceforth, year by year, with many vicissitudes and changes, their
power continued to decline. Their special pursuit, theology, was
separated more and more perfectly from politics. In the House of Lords,
of which they had once constituted one-half, they became a mere shadow.

[Sidenote: Religious feeling of the nation changed.] Henry VIII. cannot,
therefore, be properly considered as the author of the downfall of
ecclesiasticism in England, though he was the instrument by which it was
ostensibly accomplished. The derisive insinuation that the Gospel light
had flashed upon him from Anna Boleyn's eyes was far from expressing all
the truth. The nullity of papal disciplines, excommunications,
interdicts, penances, proved that the old tone of thought was utterly
decayed. This oblivion of old emotions, this obsoleteness of old things,
was by no means confined to England. On the Continent the attacks of
Erasmus on the monks were everywhere received with applause. In 1527 one
printer issued an edition of 24,000 copies of the Colloquies of Erasmus,
and actually sold them all. He understood the signs of the times.

[Sidenote: State of England at the close of the seventeenth century.]
From this digression on parties and policy in England, let us again
return to special details, descending for that purpose to the close of
the seventeenth century. For a long time London had been the most
populous capital in Europe; yet it was dirty, ill built, without
sanitary provisions. The deaths were one in twenty-three each year; now,
in a much more crowded population, they are not one in forty. Much of
the country was still heath, swamp, warren. [Sidenote: Wild state of the
country.] Almost within sight of the city was a tract twenty-five miles
round nearly in a state of nature; there were but three houses in it.
Wild animals roamed here and there. It is incidentally mentioned that
Queen Anne, on a journey to Portsmouth, saw a herd of five hundred red
deer. With such small animals as the marten and badger, found
everywhere, there was still seen occasionally the wild bull.

[Sidenote: Locomotion: the roads and carriages.] Nothing more strikingly
shows the social condition than the provisions for locomotion. In the
rainy seasons the roads were all but impassable, justifying the epithet
often applied to them of being in a horrible state. Through such
gullies, half filled with mud, carriages were dragged, often by oxen,
or, when horses were used, it was as much a matter of necessity as in
the city a matter of display to drive half a dozen of them. If the
country was open the track of the road was easily mistaken. It was no
uncommon thing for persons to lose their way, and have to spend the
night out in the air. Between places of considerable importance the
roads were sometimes very little known, and such was the difficulty for
wheeled carriages that a principal mode of transport was by pack-horses,
of which passengers took advantage, stowing themselves away between the
packs. We shall probably not dissent from their complaint that this
method of travelling was hot in summer and cold in winter. The usual
charge for freight was fifteen pence per ton per mile. Toward the close
of the century what were termed "flying coaches" were established; they
could move at the rate of from thirty to fifty miles in a day. Many
persons thought the risk so great that it was a tempting of Providence
to go in them. [Sidenote: The mails; penny-post disliked.] The mail-bag
was carried on horseback at about five miles an hour. A penny-post had
been established in the city, but with much difficulty, for many
long-headed men, who knew very well what they were saying, had denounced
it as an insidious "popish contrivance."

Only a few years before the period under consideration Parliament had
resolved that "all pictures in the royal collection which contained
representations of Jesus or the Virgin Mother should be burnt; Greek
statues were delivered over to Puritan stone-masons to be made decent."
[Sidenote: Lewis Muggleton; his doctrines.] A little earlier, Lewis
Muggleton had given himself out as the last and greatest of the
prophets, having power to save or damn whom he pleased. It had been
revealed to him that God is only six feet high, and the sun only four
miles off. The country beyond the Trent was still in a state of
barbarism, and near the sources of the Tyne there were people scarcely
less savage than American Indians, their "half-naked women chanting a
wild measure, while the men, with brandished dirks, danced a war-dance."

[Sidenote: Printing-presses and private libraries.] At the beginning of
the eighteenth century there were thirty-four counties without a
printer. The only press in England north of the Trent was at York. As to
private libraries, there were none deserving the name. "An esquire
passed for a great scholar if 'Hudibras,' 'Baker's Chronicle,'
'Tarleton's Jests,' and the 'Seven Champions of Christendom' lay in his
hall-window." It might be expected that the women were ignorant enough
when very few men knew how to write correctly or even intelligibly, and
it had become unnecessary for clergymen to read the Scriptures in the
original tongues.

[Sidenote: Social discipline; its barbarity.] Social discipline was very
far from being of that kind which we call moral. The master whipped his
apprentice, the pedagogue his scholar, the husband his wife. Public
punishments partook of the general brutality. It was a day for the
rabble when a culprit was set in the pillory to be pelted with
brickbats, rotten eggs, and dead cats; when women were fastened by the
legs in the stocks at the market-place, or a pilferer flogged through
the town at the cart-tail, a clamour not unfrequently arising unless the
lash were laid on hard enough "to make him howl." In punishments of
higher offenders these whippings were perfectly horrible; thus Titus
Oates, after standing twice in the pillory, was whipped, and, after an
interval of two days, whipped again. A virtuoso in these matters gives
us the incredible information that he counted as many as seventeen
hundred stripes administered. So far from the community being shocked at
such an exhibition, they appeared to agree in the sentiment that, "since
his face could not be made to blush, it was well enough to try what
could be done with his back." Such a hardening of heart was in no little
degree promoted by the atrocious punishments of state offenders; thus,
after the decapitation of Montrose and Argyle, their heads decorated the
top of the Tolbooth; and gentlemen, after the rising of Monmouth, were
admonished to be careful of their ways, by hanging in chains to their
park gate the corpse of a rebel to rot in the air.

[Sidenote: Private life in different classes of society.] To a debased
public life private life corresponded. The houses of the rural
population were huts covered with straw-thatch; their inmates, if able
to procure fresh meat once a week, were considered to be in prosperous
circumstances. One-half of the families in England could hardly do that.
Children six years old were not unfrequently set to labour. The lord of
the manor spent his time in rustic pursuits; was not an unwilling
associate of pedlars and drovers; knew how to ring a pig or shoe a
horse; his wife and daughters "stitched and spun, brewed gooseberry
wine, cured marigolds, and made the crust for the venison pasty."
Hospitality was displayed in immoderate eating, and drinking of beer,
the guest not being considered as having done justice to the occasion
unless he had gone under the table. The dining-room was uncarpeted; but
then it was tinted with a decoction of "soot and small beer." The chairs
were rush-bottomed. In London the houses were mostly of wood and
plaster, the streets filthy beyond expression. After nightfall a
passenger went at his peril, for chamber windows were opened and
slop-pails unceremoniously emptied down. There were no lamps in the
streets until Master Heming established his public lanterns. As a
necessary consequence, there were plenty of shoplifters, highwaymen, and

[Sidenote: General immorality and brutality.] As to the moral condition,
it is fearfully expressed in the statement that men not unfrequently
were willing to sacrifice their country for their religion. Hardly any
personage died who was not popularly suspected to have been made away
with by poison, an indication of the morality generally supposed to
prevail among the higher classes. If such was the state of society in
its serious aspect, it was no better in its lighter. We can scarcely
credit the impurity and immodesty of the theatrical exhibitions. What is
said about them would be beyond belief if we did not remember that they
were the amusements of a community whose ideas of female modesty and
female sentiment were altogether different from ours. Indecent jests
were put into the mouths of lively actresses, and the dancing was not
altogether of a kind to meet our approval. The rural clergy could do but
little to withstand this flood of immorality. [Sidenote: Degraded
condition of the lower clergy.] Their social position for the last
hundred years had been rapidly declining; for, though the Church
possessed among her dignitaries great writers and great preachers, her
lower orders, partly through the political troubles that had befallen
the state, but chiefly in consequence of sectarian bitterness, had been
reduced to a truly menial condition. It was the business of the rich
man's chaplain to add dignity to the dinner-table by saying grace "in
full canonicals," but he was also intended to be a butt for the mirth of
the company. "The young Levite," such was the phrase then in use, "might
fill himself with the corned beef and the carrots, but as soon as the
tarts and cheese-cakes made their appearance he quitted his seat, and
stood aloof till he was summoned to return thanks for the repast," the
daintiest part of which he had not tasted. If need arose, he could curry
a horse, "carry a parcel ten miles," or "cast up the farrier's bill."
The "wages" of a parish priest were at starvation-point. The social
degradation of the ecclesiastic is well illustrated by an order of Queen
Elizabeth, that no clergyman should presume to marry a servant-girl
without the consent of her master or mistress.

The clergy, however, had not fallen into this condition without in a
measure deserving it. Their time had been too much occupied in
persecuting Puritans and other sectaries, with whom they would have
gladly dealt in the same manner as they had dealt with the Jews, who,
from the thirteenth century till Cromwell, were altogether interdicted
from public worship. [Sidenote: Burning of books and persecution of
preachers.] The University of Oxford had ordered the political works of
Buchanan, Milton, and Baxter to be publicly burnt in the court of the
schools. The immortal vagabond, Bunyan, had been committed to jail for
preaching the way of salvation to the common people, and had remained
there twelve years, the stout old man refusing to give his promise not
to offend in that manner again. The great doctrine inculcated from the
pulpit was submission to temporal power. Men were taught that rebellion
is a sin not less deadly than witchcraft. [Sidenote: The Puritan's
hatred of orthodoxy.] On a community thirsting after the waters of life
were still inflicted wearisome sermons respecting "the wearing of
surplices, position at the Eucharist, or the sign of the cross at
baptism," things that were a stench in the nostrils of the lank-haired
Puritan, who, with his hands clasped on his bosom, his face corrugated
with religious astringency, the whites of his eyes turned upward to
heaven, rocking himself alternately on his heels and the tips of his
toes, delivered, in a savoury prayer uttered through his nose, all such
abominations of the Babylonish harlot to the Devil, whose affairs they

[Sidenote: Brutal administration of the law.] In administering the law,
whether in relation to political or religious offences, there was an
incredible atrocity. In London, the crazy old bridge over the Thames was
decorated with grinning and mouldering heads of criminals, under an idea
that these ghastly spectacles would fortify the common people in their
resolves to act according to law. The toleration of the times may be
understood from a law enacted by the Scotch Parliament, May 8, 1685,
that whoever preached or heard in a conventicle should be punished with
death and the confiscation of his goods. That such an infamous spirit
did not content itself with mere dead-letter laws there is too much
practical evidence to permit any one to doubt. A silly labouring man,
who had taken it into his head that he could not conscientiously attend
the Episcopal worship, was seized by a troop of soldiers, "rapidly
examined, convicted of non-conformity, and sentenced to death in the
presence of his wife, who led one little child by the hand, and it was
easy to see was about to give birth to another. He was shot before her
face, the widow crying out in her agony, 'Well, sir, well, the day of
reckoning will come.'" Shrieking Scotch Covenanters were submitted to
torture by crushing their knees flat in the boot; women were tied to
stakes on the sea-sands and drowned by the slowly advancing tide because
they would not attend Episcopal worship, or branded on their cheeks and
then shipped to America; gallant but wounded soldiers were hung in
Scotland for fear they should die before they could be got to England.
In the troubles connected with Monmouth's rising, in one county alone,
Somersetshire, two hundred and thirty-three persons were hanged, drawn
and quartered, to say nothing of military executions, for the soldiers
amused themselves by hanging a culprit for each toast they drank, and
making the drums and fifes play, as they said, to his dancing. It is
needless to recall such incidents as the ferocity of Kirk's lambs, for
such was the name popularly given to the soldiers of that colonel, in
allusion to the Paschal lamb they bore on their flag; or the story of
Tom Boilman, so nicknamed from having been compelled by those veterans
to seethe the remains of his quartered friends in melted pitch. Women,
for such idle words as women are always using, were sentenced to be
whipped at the cart's-tail through every market town in Dorset; a lad
named Tutching was condemned to be flogged once a fortnight for seven
years. Eight hundred and forty-one human beings judicially condemned to
transportation to the West India islands, and suffering all the horrible
pains of a slave-ship in the middle passage, "were never suffered to go
on deck;" in the holds below, "all was darkness, stench, lamentation,
disease, and death." One fifth of them were thrown overboard to the
sharks before they reached their destination, and the rest obliged to be
fattened before they could be offered in the market to the Jamaica
planters. The court ladies, and even the Queen of England herself, were
so utterly forgetful of womanly mercy and common humanity as to join in
this infernal traffic. That princess requested that a hundred of the
convicts should be given to her. "The profit which she cleared on the
cargo, after making a large allowance for those who died of hunger and
fever during the passage, cannot be estimated at less than a thousand

[Sidenote: Profligate condition of literature.] It remains to add a few
words respecting the state of literature. This, at the end of the
seventeenth century, had become indescribably profligate, and, since the
art of reading was by no means generally cultivated, the most ready
method of literary communication was through theatrical representation.
It was for that reason that play-writing was the best means of literary
remuneration, if we except the profit derived from the practice which,
to some extent, survives, though its disgraceful motive has ceased, of
dedicating books to rich men for the sake of the fee they would give. It
is said that books have actually been printed in consideration of the
profits of the dedication. Especially in the composition of plays was it
judged expedient to minister to the depraved public taste by indecent
expressions, or allusions broad and sly. The playwright was at the mercy
of an audience who were critical on that point, and in a position, if he
should not come up to the required standard, to damn him and his work in
an instant. [Sidenote: Milton's "Paradise Lost."] From these remarks
must be excepted the writings of Milton, which are nowhere stained by
such a blemish. And yet posterity will perhaps with truth assert that
"Paradise Lost" has wrought more intellectual evil than even its base
contemporaries, since it has familiarized educated minds with images
which, though in one sense sublime, in another are most unworthy, and
has taught the public a dreadful materialization of the great and
invisible God. A Manichean composition in reality, it was mistaken for a
Christian poem.

[Sidenote: The English theatre.] The progress of English literature not
only offers striking proofs of the manner in which it was affected by
theatrical representations, but also furnishes an interesting
illustration of that necessary course through which intellectual
development must pass. It is difficult for us, who live in a reading
community, to comprehend the influence once exercised by the pulpit and
the stage in the instruction of a non-reading people.

As late as the sixteenth century they were the only means of mental
access to the public, and we should find, if we were to enter on a
detailed examination of either one or the other, that they furnish a
vivid reflexion of the popular intellectual condition. Leaving to others
such interesting researches into the comparative anatomy of the English
pulpit, I may, for a moment, direct attention to theatrical exhibitions.

[Sidenote: Its successive phases.] There are three obvious phases
through which the drama has passed, corresponding to as many phases in
the process of intellectual development. These are respectively the
miracle play, corresponding to the stage of childhood; the moral,
corresponding to that of youth; the real, corresponding to that of
manhood. In them respectively the supernatural, the theological, the
positive predominates. The first went out of fashion soon after the
middle of the fifteenth century, the second continued for about one
hundred and fifty years, the third still remains. By the miracle play is
understood a representation of Scripture incidents, enacted, however,
without any regard to the probabilities of time, place, or action, such
subjects as the Creation, the fall of man, the Deluge, being considered
as suitable, and in these scenes, without any concern for chronology,
other personages, as the Pope or Mohammed, being introduced, or the
Virgin Mary wearing a French hood, or Virgil worshipping the Saviour.
Our forefathers were not at all critical historians; they indulged
without stint in a highly pleasing credulity. They found no difficulty
in admitting that Mohammed was originally a cardinal, who turned heretic
out of spite because he was not elected Pope; that, since the taking of
the true cross by the Turks, all Christian children have twenty-two
instead of thirty-two teeth, as was the case before that event; and that
men have one rib less than women, answering to that taken from Adam. The
moral play personifies virtues, vices, passions, goodness, courage,
honesty, love. The real play introduces human actors, with a plot free
from the supernatural, and probability is outraged as little as
possible. Its excellence consists in the perfect manner in which it
delineates human character and action.

[Sidenote: Miracle plays, their character.] The miracle play was
originally introduced by the Church, the first dramas of the kind, it is
said, having been composed by Gregory Nazianzen. They were brought from
Constantinople by the Crusaders; the Byzantines were always infatuated
with theatrical shows. The parts of these plays were often enacted by
ecclesiastics, and not unfrequently the representations took place at
the abbey gate. So highly did the Italian authorities prize the
influence of these exhibitions on the vulgar, that the pope granted a
thousand days of pardon to any person who should submit to the pleasant
penance of attending them. All the arguments that had been used in
behalf of picture-worship were applicable to these plays; even the
Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension were represented. Over illiterate
minds a coarse but congenial influence was obtained; a recollection,
though not an understanding of sacred things. In the play of "the Fall
of Lucifer," that personage was introduced, according to the vulgar
acceptation, with horns, and tail, and cloven hoof; his beard, however,
was red, our forefathers having apparently indulged in a singular
antipathy against hair of that colour. There still remain accounts of
the expenses incurred on some of these occasions, the coarse quaintness
of which is not only amusing, but also shows the debased ideas of the
times. For instance, in "Mysteries," enacted at Coventry, are such
entries as "paid for a pair of gloves for God;" "paid for gilding God's
coat;" "dyvers necessaries for the trimmynge of the Father of Heaven."
In the play of the "Shepherds" there is provision for green cheese and
Halton ale, a suitable recruitment after their long journey to the
birthplace of our Saviour. "Payd to the players for rehearsal: imprimis,
to God, ii_s._ viii_d._; to Pilate his wife, ii_s._; item, for keeping
fyer at hell's mouth, iii_d._" A strict attention to chronology is not
exacted; Herod swears by Mohammed, and promises one of his councillors
to make him pope. Noah's wife, who, it appears, was a termagant, swears
by the Virgin Mary that she will not go into the ark, and, indeed, is
only constrained so to do by a sound cudgelling administered by the
patriarch, the rustic justice of the audience being particularly
directed to the point that such a flogging should not be given with a
stick thicker than her husband's thumb. The sentiment of modesty seems
not to have been very exacting, since in the play of "the Fall of Man"
Adam and Eve appear entirely naked; one of the chief incidents is the
adjustment of the fig-leaves. Many such circumstances might be related,
impressing us perhaps with an idea of the obscenity and profanity of the
times. But this would scarcely be a just conclusion. As the social state
improved, we begin to find objections raised by the more thoughtful
ecclesiastics, who refused to lend the holy vestments for such purposes,
and at last succeeded in excluding these exhibitions from consecrated
places. After dwindling down by degrees, these plays lingered in the
booths at fairs or on market-days, the Church having resigned them to
the guilds of different trades, and these, in the end, giving them up to
the mountebank. And so they died. Their history is the outward and
visible sign of a popular intellectual condition in process of passing

[Sidenote: Moral plays, their character.] The mystery and miracle plays
were succeeded by the moral play. It has been thought by some, who have
studied the history of the English theatre, that these plays were the
result of the Reformation, with the activity of which movement their
popularity was coincident. But perhaps the reader who is impressed with
the principle of that definite order of social advancement so frequently
referred to in this book, will agree with me that this relation of cause
and effect can hardly be sustained, and that devotional exercises and
popular recreations are in common affected by antecedent conditions. Of
the moral play, a very characteristic example still remains under the
title of "Everyman," It often delineates personification and allegory
with very considerable power. This short phase of our theatrical career
deserves a far closer attention than it has hitherto obtained, for it
has left an indelible impression on our literature. I think that it is
to this, in its declining days, that we are indebted for much of the
machinery of Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress." Whoever will compare that
work with such plays as "Everyman" and "Lusty Juventus," cannot fail to
be struck with their resemblances. Such personages as "Good Council,"
"Abominable Living," "Hypocrasie," in the play, are of the same family
as those in the Progress. The stout Protestantism of both is at once
edifying and amusing. An utter contempt for "holy stocks and holy
stones, holy clouts and holy bones," as the play has it, animates them
all. And it can hardly be doubted that the immortal tinker, in the
carnal days when he played at tipcat and romped with the girls on the
village green at Elstow, indulged himself in the edification of
witnessing these dramatic representations.

[Sidenote: Real plays, Shakespeare.] As to the passage from this
dramatic phase to the real, in which the character and actions of man
are portrayed, to the exclusion or with the subordination of the
supernatural, it is only necessary to allude with brevity--indeed, it is
only necessary to recall one name, and that one name is Shakespeare. He
stands, in his relations to English literature, in the same position
that the great Greek sculptors stood with respect to ancient art,
embodying conceptions of humanity in its various attributes with
indescribable skill, and with an exquisite agreement to nature.

[Sidenote: The pulpit and the stage.] Not without significance is it
that we find mystery in the pulpit and mystery on the stage. They
appertain to social infancy. Such dramas as those I have alluded to, and
many others that, if space had permitted, might have been quoted, were
in unison with the times. The abbeys were boasting of such treasures as
the French hood of the Virgin, "her smocke or shifte," the manger in
which Christ was laid, the spear which pierced his side, the crown of
thorns. The transition from this to the following stage is not without
its political attendants, the prohibition of interludes containing
anything against the Church of Rome, the royal proclamation against
preaching out of one's own brain, the appearance of the Puritan upon the
national stage, an increasing acerbity of habit and sanctimoniousness of

With peculiar facility we may, therefore, through an examination of the
state of the drama, determine national mental condition. The same may be
done by a like examination of the state of the pulpit. Whoever will take
the trouble to compare the results cannot fail to observe how remarkably
they correspond.

Such was the state of the literature of amusement; as to political
literature, even at the close of the period we are considering, it could
not be expected to flourish after the judges had declared that no man
could publish political news except he had been duly authorized by the
crown. [Sidenote: Newspapers and coffee-houses.] Newspapers were,
however, beginning to be periodically issued, and, if occasion called
for it, broadsides, as they were termed were added. In addition,
newsletters were written by enterprising individuals in the metropolis,
and sent to rich persons who subscribed for them; they then circulated
from family to family, and doubtless enjoyed a privilege which has not
descended to their printed contemporary, the newspaper, of never
becoming stale. Their authors compiled them from materials picked up in
the gossip of the coffee-houses. The coffee-houses, in a non-reading
community, were quite an important political as well as social
institution. They were of every kind, prelatical, popish, Puritan,
scientific, literary, Whig, Tory. Whatever a man's notions might be, he
could find in London, in a double sense, a coffee-house to his taste. In
towns of considerable importance the literary demand was insignificant;
thus it is said that the father of Dr. Johnson, the lexicographer,
peddled books from town to town, and was accustomed to open a stall in
Birmingham on market-days, and it is added that this supply of
literature was equal to the demand.

[Sidenote: Liberty of the press slowly secured.] The liberty of the
press has been of slow growth. Scarcely had printing been invented when
it was found necessary everywhere to place it under some restraint, as
was, for instance, done by Rome in her "Index Expurgatorius" of
prohibited books, and the putting of printers who had offended under the
ban; the action of the University of Paris, alluded to in this volume,
p. 198, was essentially of the same kind. In England, at first, the
press was subjected to the common law; the crown judges themselves
determined the offence, and could punish the offender with fine,
imprisonment, or even death. Within the last century this power of
determination has been taken from them, and a jury must decide, not only
on the fact, but also on the character of the publication, whether
libellous, seditious, or otherwise offensive. [Sidenote: Its present
condition.] The press thus came to be a reflector of public opinion,
casting light back upon the public; yet as with other reflectors, a
portion of the illuminating power is lost. The restraints under which it
is laid are due, not so much to the fear that liberty will degenerate
into license, for public opinion would soon correct that; they are
rather connected with the necessities of the social state.

[Sidenote: Contrast between progress in the ages of Faith and Reason.]
Whoever will examine the condition of England at successive periods
during her passage through the Age of Faith will see how slow was her
progress, and will, perhaps, be surprised to find at its close how small
was her advance. The ideas that had served her for so many centuries as
a guide had rather obstructed than facilitated her way. But whoever will
consider what she has done since she fairly entered on her Age of Reason
will remark a wonderful contrast. There has not been a progress in
physical conditions only--a securing of better food, better clothing,
better shelter, swifter locomotion, the procurement of individual
happiness, an extension of the term of life. There has been a great
moral advancement. Such atrocities as those mentioned in the foregoing
paragraphs are now impossible, and so unlike our own manners that
doubtless we read of them at first with incredulity, and with difficulty
are brought to believe that these are the things our ancestors did. What
a difference between the dilatoriness of the past, its objectless
exertions, its unsatisfactory end, and the energy, and well-directed
intentions of the present age, which have already yielded results like
the prodigies of romance.




_Ecclesiastical Attempt to enforce the_ GEOCENTRIC DOCTRINE _that the
Earth is the Centre of the Universe, and the most important Body in it._

_The_ HELIOCENTRIC DOCTRINE _that the Sun is the Centre of the Solar
System, and the Earth a small Planet, comes gradually into Prominence._

_Struggle between the Ecclesiastical and Astronomical Parties.--Activity
of the Inquisition.--Burning of_ BRUNO.--_Imprisonment of_ GALILEO.

INVENTION OF THE TELESCOPE.--_Complete Overthrow of the Ecclesiastical
Idea.--Rise of Physical Astronomy._--NEWTON.--_Rapid and resistless
Development of all Branches of Natural Philosophy._

_Final Establishment of the Doctrine that the Universe is under the
Dominion of mathematical, and, therefore, necessary Laws._

_Progress of Man from the Anthropocentric Ideas to the Discovery of his
true Position and Insignificance in the Universe._

[Sidenote: An astronomical problem.] The Age of Reason in Europe was
ushered in by an astronomical controversy.

Is the earth the greatest and most noble body in the universe, around
which, as an immovable centre, the sun, and the various planets, and
stars revolve, ministering by their light and other qualities to the
wants and pleasures of man, or is it an insignificant orb--a mere
point--submissively revolving, among a crowd of compeers and superiors,
around a central sun? The former of these views was authoritatively
asserted by the Church; the latter, timidly suggested by a few
thoughtful and religious men at first, in the end gathered strength, and
carried the day.

[Sidenote: Its important consequences.] Behind this physical question--a
mere scientific problem--lay something of the utmost importance--the
position of man in the universe. The conflict broke out upon an
ostensible issue, but every one saw what was the real point in the

[Sidenote: Treatment of the Age of Reason.] In the history of the Age of
Reason in Europe, which is to fill the remaining pages of this book, I
am constrained to commence with this astronomical controversy, and have
therefore been led by that circumstance to complete the survey of the
entire period from the same, that is, the scientific point of view. Many
different modes of treating it spontaneously present themselves; but so
vast are the subjects to be brought under consideration, so numerous
their connexions, and so limited the space at my disposal, that I must
give the preference to one which, with sufficient copiousness, offers
also precision. Whoever will examine the progress of European
intellectual advancement thus far manifested will find that it has
concerned itself with three great questions: 1. The ascertainment of the
position of the earth in the universe; 2. The history of the earth in
time; 3. The position of man among living beings. Under this last is
ranged all that he has done in scientific discovery, and all those
inventions which are the characteristics of the present industrial age.

What am I? Where am I? we may imagine to have been the first
exclamations of the first man awakening to conscious existence. Here, in
our Age of Reason, we have been dealing with the same thoughts. They are
the same which, as we have seen, occupied Greek intellectual life.

[Sidenote: Roman astronomical ideas.] When Halley's comet appeared in
1456, it was described by those who saw it as an object of "unheard-of
magnitude;" its tail, which shook down "diseases, pestilence, and war"
upon earth, reached over a third part of the heavens. It was considered
as connected with the progress of Mohammed II., who had just then taken
Constantinople. It struck terror into all people. From his seat,
invisible to it, in Italy, the sovereign pontiff, Calixtus III., issued
his ecclesiastical fulminations; but the comet in the heavens, like the
sultan on the earth, pursued its course undeterred. In vain were all the
bells in Europe ordered to be rung to scare it away; in vain was it
anathematized; in vain were prayers put up in all directions to stop it.
True to its time, it punctually returns from the abysses of space,
uninfluenced by anything save agencies of a material kind. A signal
lesson for the meditations of every religious man.

[Sidenote: More correct ideas among some of the clergy.] Among the
clergy there were, however, some who had more correct cosmic ideas than
those of Calixtus. A century before Copernicus, Cardinal de Cusa had
partially adopted the heliocentric theory, as taught in the old times by
Philolaus, Pythagoras, and Archimedes. He ascribed to the earth a
globular form, rotation on its axis, and a movement in space; he
believed that it moves round the sun, and both together round the pole
of the universe.

[Sidenote: The geocentric and heliocentric theories.] By geocentric
theory is meant that doctrine which asserts the earth to be the
immovable centre of the universe; by heliocentric theory that which
demonstrates the sun to be the centre of our planetary system, implying,
as a necessary influence, that the earth is a very small and subordinate
body revolving round the sun.

[Sidenote: The geocentric doctrine adopted by the Church.] I have
already, in sufficient detail, described how the Roman Church had been
constrained by her position to uphold the geocentric doctrine. She had
come to regard it as absolutely essential to her system, the
intellectual basis of which she held would be sapped if this doctrine
should be undermined. Hence it was that such an alarm was shown at the
assertion of the globular form of the earth, and hence the surpassing
importance of the successful voyage of Magellan's ship. That
indisputable demonstration of the globular figure was ever a solid
support to the scientific party in the portentous approaching conflict.

[Sidenote: Preparations for the heliocentric doctrine.] Preparations had
been silently making for a scientific revolution in various directions.
The five memoirs of Cardinal Alliacus "On the Concordance of Astronomy
with Theology," show the turn that thought was taking. His "Imago Mundi"
was published in 1460, and is said to have been a favourite work with
Columbus. In the very Cathedral of Florence, Toscanelli had constructed
his celebrated gnomon, 1468, a sun-ray, auspicious omen! being admitted
through a plate of brass in the lantern of the cupola. John Muller,
better known as Regiomontanus, had published an abridgment of Ptolemy's
"Almagest," 1520. Euclid had been printed with diagrams on copper as
long before as 1482, and again in Venice twenty-three years
subsequently. The Optics of Vitello had been published 1533. Fernel,
physician to Henry II. of France, had even ventured so far, supported by
Magellan's voyage, as to measure, 1527, the size of the earth, his
method being to observe the height of the pole at Paris, then to proceed
northward until its elevation was increased exactly one degree, and to
ascertain the distance between the stations by the number of revolutions
of his carriage wheel. He concluded that it is 24,480 Italian miles
round the globe. The last attempt of the kind had been that of the
Khalif Almaimon seven hundred years previously on the shore of the Red
Sea, and with nearly the same result. The mathematical sciences were
undergoing rapid advancement. Rhæticus had published his trigonometrical
tables; Cardan, Tartaglia, Scipio Ferreo, and Stefel were greatly
improving algebra.

[Sidenote: Copernicus, the works of.] The first formal assertion of the
heliocentric theory was made in a timid manner, strikingly illustrative
of the expected opposition. It was by Copernicus, a Prussian, speaking
of the revolutions of the heavenly bodies; the year was about 1536. In
his preface, addressed to Pope Paul III., whether written by himself,
or, as some have affirmed, for him by Andreas Osiander, he complains of
the imperfections of the existing system, states that he has sought
among ancient writers for a better way, and so had learned the
heliocentric doctrine. "Then I too began to meditate on the motion of
the earth, and, though it appeared an absurd opinion, yet since I knew
that in previous times others had been allowed the privilege of feigning
what circles they chose in order to explain the phenomena, I conceived
that I might take the liberty of trying whether, on the supposition of
the earth's motion, it was possible to find better explanations than the
ancient ones of the revolutions of the celestial orbs."

"Having, then, assumed the motions of the earth, which are hereafter
explained, by laborious and long observation I at length found that, if
the motions of the other planets be compared with the revolution of the
earth, not only their phenomena follow from the suppositions, but also
that the several orbs and the whole system are so connected in order and
magnitude that no one point can be transposed without disturbing the
rest, and introducing confusion into the whole universe."

[Sidenote: Introduction of his system.] The apologetic air with which he
thus introduces his doctrine is again remarked in his statement that he
had kept his book for thirty-six years, and only now published it at the
entreaty of Cardinal Schomberg. The cardinal had begged of him a
manuscript copy. "Though I know that the thoughts of a philosopher do
not depend on the judgment of the many, his study being to seek out
truth in all things as far as is permitted by God to human reason, yet,
when I considered how absurd my doctrine would appear, I long hesitated
whether I should publish my book, or whether it were not better to
follow the example of the Pythagoreans and others, who delivered their
doctrine only by tradition and to friends." [Sidenote: He fears being
accused of heresy.] He concludes: "If there be vain babblers who,
knowing nothing of mathematics, yet assume the right of judging on
account of some place of Scripture perversely wrested to their purpose,
and who blame and attack my undertaking, I heed them not, and look upon
their judgments as rash and contemptible."

Copernicus clearly recognized not only the relative position of the
earth, but also her relative magnitude. He says the magnitude of the
world is so great that the distance of the earth from the sun has no
apparent magnitude when compared with the sphere of the fixed stars.

[Sidenote: Early correction of the Copernican theory.] To the earth
Copernicus attributed a triple motion--a daily rotation on her axis, an
annual motion round the sun, a motion of declination of the axis. The
latter seemed to be necessary to account for the constant direction of
the pole; but as this was soon found to be a misconception, the theory
was relieved of it. With this correction, the doctrine of Copernicus
presents a clear and great advance, though in the state in which he
offered it he was obliged to retain the mechanism of epicycles and
eccentrics, because he considered the planetary motions to be circular.
It was the notion that, since the circle is the most simple of all
geometrical forms, it must therefore be the most natural, which led to
this imperfection. His work was published in 1543. He died a few days
after he had seen a copy.

Against the opposition it had to encounter, the heliocentric theory made
its way slowly at first. Among those who did adopt it were some whose
connexion served rather to retard its progress, because of the ultraism
of their views, or the doubtfulness of their social position. [Sidenote:
Giordano Bruno of Nola.] Such was Bruno, who contributed largely to its
introduction into England, and who was the author of a work on the
Plurality of Worlds, and of the conception that every star is a sun,
having opaque planets revolving round it--a conception to which the
Copernican system suggestively leads. Bruno was born seven years after
the death of Copernicus. He became a Dominican, but, like so many other
thoughtful men of the times, was led into heresy on the doctrine of
transubstantiation. Not concealing his opinions, he was persecuted,
fled, and led a vagabond life in foreign countries, testifying that
wherever he went he found scepticism under the polish of hypocrisy, and
that he fought not against the belief of men, but against their
pretended belief. [Sidenote: He teaches the heliocentric theory,] For
teaching the rotation of the earth he had to flee to Switzerland, and
thence to England, where, at Oxford, he gave lectures on cosmology.
Driven from England, France, and Germany in succession, he ventured in
his extremity to return to Italy, and was arrested in Venice, where he
was kept in prison in the Piombi for six years without books, or paper,
or friends. Meantime the Inquisition demanded him as having written
heretical works. He was therefore surrendered to Rome, and, after a
farther imprisonment of two years, tried, excommunicated, and delivered
over to the secular authorities, to be punished "as mercifully as
possible, and without the shedding of his blood," the abominable formula
for burning a man alive. He had collected all the observations that had
been made respecting the new star in Cassiopeia, 1572; he had taught
that space is infinite, and that it is filled with self-luminous and
opaque worlds, many of them inhabited--this being his capital offence.
He believed that the world is animated by an intelligent soul, the cause
of forms but not of matter; that it lives in all things, even such as
seem not to live; that every thing is ready to become organized; that
matter is the mother of forms and then their grave; that matter and the
soul of the world together constitute God. His ideas were therefore
pantheistic, "Est Deus in nobis." In his "Cena de le Cenere" he insists
that the Scripture was not intended to teach science, but morals only.
The severity with which he was treated was provoked by his asseverations
that he was struggling with an orthodoxy that had neither morality nor
belief. This was the aim of his work entitled "The triumphant Beast."
[Sidenote: and is burnt alive as a heretic.] He was burnt at Rome,
February 16, 1600. With both a present and prophetic truth, he nobly
responded, when the atrocious sentence was passed upon him, "Perhaps it
is with greater fear that ye pass this sentence upon me than I receive
it." His tormentors jocosely observed, as the flames shut him out
forever from view, that he had gone to the imaginary worlds he had so
wickedly feigned.

This vigorous but spasmodic determination of the Church to defend
herself was not without effect. It enabled her to hold fast the timid,
the time-servers, the superficial. [Sidenote: Lord Bacon. Rejects the
Copernican doctrine.] Among such may be mentioned Lord Bacon, who never
received the Copernican system. With the audacity of ignorance, he
presumed to criticize what he did not understand, and, with a superb
conceit, disparaged the great Copernicus. He says, "In the system of
Copernicus there are many and grave difficulties; for the threefold
motion with which he encumbers the earth is a serious inconvenience, and
the separation of the sun from the planets, with which he has so many
affections in common, is likewise a harsh step; and the introduction of
so many immovable bodies in nature, as when he makes the sun and stars
immovable, the bodies which are peculiarly lucid and radiant, and his
making the moon adhere to the earth in a sort of epicycle, and some
other things which he assumes, are proceedings which mark a man who
thinks nothing of introducing fictions of any kind into nature, provided
his calculations turn out well." The more closely we examine the
writings of Lord Bacon, the more unworthy does he seem to have been of
the great reputation which has been awarded to him. The popular delusion
to which he owes so much originated at a time when the history of
science was unknown. They who first brought him into notice knew nothing
of the old school of Alexandria. This boasted founder of a new
philosophy could not comprehend, and would not accept, the greatest of
all scientific doctrines when it was plainly set before his eyes.

It has been represented that the invention of the true method of
physical science was an amusement of Bacon's hours of relaxation from
the more laborious studies of law and duties of a court. His chief
admirers have been persons of a literary turn, who have an idea that
scientific discoveries are accomplished by a mechanico-mental operation.
[Sidenote: The practical uselessness of his philosophy.] Bacon never
produced any great practical result himself, no great physicist has ever
made any use of his method. He has had the same to do with the
development of modern science that the inventor of the orrery has had to
do with the discovery of the mechanism of the world. Of all the
important physical discoveries, there is not one which shows that its
author made it by the Baconian instrument. Newton never seems to have
been aware that he was under any obligation to Bacon. Archimedes, and
the Alexandrians, and the Arabians, and Leonardo da Vinci did very well
before he was born; the discovery of America by Columbus and the
circumnavigation by Magellan can hardly be attributed to him, yet they
were the consequences of a truly philosophical reasoning. But the
investigation of nature is an affair of genius, not of rules. No man can
invent an organon for writing tragedies and Epic poems. Bacon's system
is, in it own terms, an idol of the theatre. It would scarcely guide a
man to a solution of the riddle of Ælia Lælia Crispis, or to that of the
charade of Sir Hilary.

[Sidenote: His scientific errors.] Few scientific pretenders have made
more mistakes than Lord Bacon. He rejected the Copernican system, and
spoke insolently of its great author; he undertook to criticise
adversely Gilbert's treatise "De Magnete;" he was occupied in the
condemnation of any investigation of final causes, while Harvey was
deducing the circulation of the blood from Aquapendente's discovery of
the valves in the veins; he was doubtful whether instruments were of any
advantage, while Galileo was investigating the heavens with the
telescope. Ignorant himself of every branch of mathematics, he presumed
that they were useless in science, but a few years before Newton
achieved by their aid his immortal discoveries. It is time that the
sacred name of philosophy should be severed from its long connexion with
that of one who was a pretender in science, a time-serving politician,
an insidious lawyer, a corrupt judge, a treacherous friend, a bad man.

[Sidenote: Adoption of the Copernican doctrine.] But others were not so
obtuse as Bacon. Gilbert, one of the best of the early English
experimentalists, an excellent writer on magnetism, adopted the views of
Copernicus. Milton, in "Paradise Lost," set forth in language such as he
only could use the objections to the Ptolemaic, and the probabilities of
the Copernican system. Some of the more liberal ecclesiastics gave their
adhesion. Bishop Wilkins not only presented it in a very popular way,
but also made some sensible suggestions explanatory of the supposed
contradictions of the new theory to the Holy Scriptures. It was,
however, among geometricians, as Napier, Briggs, Horrox, that it met
with its best support. On the continent the doctrine was daily making
converts, and nightly gathering strength from the accordance of the
tables of the motions of the heavenly bodies calculated upon its
principles with actual observation.

[Sidenote: Invention of the telescope.] It is by no means uninteresting
to notice the different classes of men among whom this great theory was
steadily winning its way. Experimental philosophers, Republican poets,
Episcopal clergymen, Scotch lords, West of England schoolmasters,
Italian physicists, Polish pedants, painstaking Germans, each from his
own special point of view, was gradually receiving the light, and
doubtless, from such varied influence, the doctrine would have
vindicated its supremacy at last, though it might have taken a long
time. On a sudden, however, there occurred a fortunate event, which led
forthwith to that result by a new train of evidence, bringing the
matter, under the most brilliant circumstances, clearly to the
apprehension of every one. This great and fortunate event was the
invention of the telescope.

[Sidenote: Galileo constructs one.] It is needless to enter on any
examination of the authorship of this invention. It is enough for our
purpose to know that Lippershey, a Dutchman, had made one toward the
close of 1608, and that Galileo, hearing of the circumstance, but
without knowing the particulars of the construction, in April or May of
the following year invented a form of it for himself. Not content with
admiring how close and large it made terrestrial objects, he employed it
for examining the heavens. [Sidenote: Telescopic astronomical
discoveries.] On turning it to the moon, he found that she has mountains
casting shadows, and valleys like those of the earth. The discovery of
innumerable fixed stars--not fewer than forty were counted by him in the
well-known group of the Pleiades--up to that time unseen by man, was
felt at once to offer an insuperable argument against the opinion that
these bodies were created only to illuminate the night; indeed, it may
be said that this was a death-blow to the time-honoured doctrine of the
human destiny of the universe. Already Galileo began to encounter vulgar
indignation, which accused him loudly of impiety. On January 7th, 1610,
he discovered three of Jupiter's satellites, and a few days later the
fourth. To these he gave the designation of the Medicean stars, and in
his "Sidereal Messenger" published an account of the facts he had thus
far observed. As it was perceived at once that this planet offered a
miniature representation of the ideas of Copernicus respecting the solar
system, this discovery was received by the astronomical party with the
liveliest pleasure, by the ecclesiastical with the most bitter
opposition, some declaring that it was a mere optical deception, some a
purposed fraud, some that it was sheer blasphemy, and some, fairly
carrying out to its consequences the absurd philosophy of the day,
asserted that, since the pretended satellites were invisible to the
naked eye, they must be useless, and, being useless, they could not
exist. Continuing his observations, Galileo found that Saturn differs in
an extraordinary manner from other planets; but the telescope he used
not being sufficient to demonstrate the ring, he fell into the mistake
that the body of the planet is triple. This was soon followed by the
discovery of the phases of Venus, which indisputably established for her
a motion round the sun, and actually converted what had hitherto, on all
hands, been regarded as one of the weightiest objections against the
Copernican theory, into a most solid support. "If the doctrine of
Copernicus be true, the planet Venus ought to show phases like the moon,
which is not the case;" so said the objectors. Copernicus himself saw
the difficulty, and tried to remove it by suggesting that the planet
might be transparent. The telescope of Galileo for ever settled the
question by showing that the expected phases do actually exist.

[Sidenote: Commencing opposition to Galileo.] In the garden of Cardinal
Bandini at Rome, A.D. 1611, Galileo publicly exhibited the spots upon
the sun. He had observed them the preceding year. Goaded on by the
opposition his astronomical discoveries were bringing upon him, he
addressed a letter in 1613 to the Abbe Castelli, for the purpose of
showing that the Scriptures were not intended as a scientific authority.
This was repeating Bruno's offence. Hereupon the Dominicans, taking
alarm, commenced to attack him from their pulpits. It shows how
reluctantly, and with what misgivings the higher ecclesiastics entered
upon the quarrel, that Maraffi, the general of the Dominicans,
apologized to Galileo for what had taken place. The astronomer now
published another letter reiterating his former opinions, asserting that
the Scriptures were only intended for our salvation, and otherwise
defending himself, and recalling the fact that Copernicus had dedicated
his book to Pope Paul III.

[Sidenote: He is summoned to Rome.] Through the suggestion of the
Dominicans, Galileo was now summoned to Rome to account for his conduct
and opinions before the Inquisition. He was accused of having taught
that the earth moves; that the sun is stationary; and of having
attempted to reconcile these doctrines with the Scriptures. The sentence
was that he must renounce these heretical opinions, and pledge himself
that he would neither publish nor defend them for the future. [Sidenote:
Is condemned by the Inquisition,] In the event of his refusal he was to
be imprisoned. With the fate of Bruno in his recollection, he assented
to the required recantation, and gave the promise demanded. The
Inquisition then proceeded to deal with the Copernican system,
condemning it as heretical; the letters of Galileo, which had given rise
to the trouble, were prohibited; also Kepler's epitome of the Copernican
theory, and also the work of Copernicus. [Sidenote: which condemns the
Copernican system.] In their decree prohibiting this work "De
Revolutionibus," the Congregation of the Index, March 5, 1616, denounced
the new system of the universe as "that false Pythagorean doctrine
utterly contrary to the Holy Scriptures."

Again it appears how reluctant the Roman authorities were to interfere,
and how they were impelled rather by the necessity of their position
than by their personal belief in the course they had been obliged to
take. [Sidenote: The personal sentiments of the Popes.] After all that
had passed, the Pope, Paul V., admitted Galileo to an audience, at which
he professed to him personally the kindest sentiments, and assured him
of safety. When Urban VIII. succeeded to the pontifical chair, Galileo
received the distinction of not less than six audiences; the Pope
conferred on him several presents, and added the promise of a pension
for his son. In a letter to the Duke of Florence his Holiness used the
most liberal language, stated how dear to him Galileo was, that he had
very lovingly embraced him, and requested the duke to show him every

[Sidenote: Galileo publishes "The System of the World".] Whether it was
that, under these auspicious circumstances, Galileo believed he could
with impunity break through the engagement he had made, or whether an
instinctive hatred of that intellectual despotism and hypocrisy which
was weighing upon Europe became irrepressible in his breast, in 1632 he
ventured on the publication of his work, entitled "The System of the
World," its object being to establish the truth of the Copernican
doctrine. It is composed in the dialogue form, three speakers being
introduced, two of them true philosophers, the third an objector.
Whatever may have been the personal opinion of the Pope, there can be no
doubt that his duty rendered it necessary for him to act. Galileo was
therefore again summoned before the Inquisition, the Tuscan ambassador
expostulating against the inhumanity of thus dealing with an old man in
ill health. But no such considerations were listened to, and Galileo was
compelled to appear at Rome, February, 1633, and surrender himself to
the Holy Office. The Pope's nephew did all in his power to meet the
necessity of the Church and yet to spare the dignity of science. He paid
every attention to the personal comfort of the accused. When the time
came for Galileo to be put into solitary confinement, he endeavoured to
render the imprisonment as light as possible; but, finding it to prey
upon the spirits of the aged philosopher, he, on his own responsibility,
liberated him, permitting him to reside in the house of the Tuscan
ambassador. [Sidenote: Is again condemned by the Inquisition.] The trial
being completed, Galileo was directed to appear, on June 22nd, to hear
his sentence. Clothed in the penitential garment, he received judgment.
His heretical offences were specified, the pledges he had violated
recited; he was declared to have brought upon himself strong suspicions
of heresy, and to be liable to the penalties thereof; but from these he
might be absolved if, with a sincere heart, he would abjure and curse
his heresies. However, that his offences might not altogether go
unpunished, and that he might be a warning to others, he was condemned
to imprisonment during the pleasure of the Inquisition, his dialogues
were prohibited by public edict, and for three years he was directed to
recite, once a week, the seven penitential psalms.

[Sidenote: His degradation and punishment.] In his garment of disgrace
the aged philosopher was now made to fall upon his knees before the
assembled cardinals, and, with his hand on the Gospels, to make the
required abjuration of the heliocentric doctrine, and to give the
pledges demanded. He was then committed to the prison of the
Inquisition; the persons who had been concerned in the printing of his
book were punished; and the sentence and abjuration were formally
promulgated, and ordered to be publicly read in the universities. In
Florence, the adherents of Galileo were ordered to attend in the Church
of Santa Croce to witness his disgrace. After a short imprisonment in
the jail of the Inquisition, he was ordered to Arcetri, and confined in
his own house. Here severe misfortunes awaited him; his favourite
daughter died; he fell into a state of melancholy; an application that
he might go to Florence for the sake of medical advice was refused. It
became evident that there was an intention to treat him with inexorable
severity. After five years of confinement, permission was reluctantly
accorded to him to remove to Florence for his health; but still he was
forbidden to leave his house, or receive his friends, or even to attend
mass during Passion Week without a special order. The Grand-duke tried
to abate this excessive severity, directing his ambassador at the court
of Rome to plead the venerable age and ill health of the immortal
convict, and that it was desirable to permit him to communicate certain
scientific discoveries he had made to some other person, such as Father
Castelli. Not even that was accorded unless the interview took place in
the presence of an official of the Inquisition. Soon after Galileo was
remanded to Arcetri. He spent the weary hours in composing his work on
Local Motion, his friends causing it to be surreptitiously published in
Holland. [Sidenote: The calamities of his old age.] His infirmities and
misfortunes now increased. In 1637 he became totally blind. In a letter
he plaintively says, referring to this calamity, "So it pleases God, it
shall therefore please me also." The exquisite refinement of
ecclesiastical vengeance pursued him remorselessly, and now gave him
permission to see his friends when sight was no longer possible. It was
at this period that an illustrious stranger, the author of "Paradise
Lost," visited him. Shortly after he became totally deaf; but to the
last he occupied himself with investigations respecting the force of
percussion. [Sidenote: His death; is refused burial.] He died, January,
1642, in the seventy-eighth year of his age, the prisoner of the
Inquisition. True to its instincts, that infernal institution followed
him beyond the grave, disputing his right to make a will, and denying
him burial in consecrated ground. The pope also prohibited his friends
from raising to him a monument in the church of Santa Croce, in
Florence. It was reserved for the nineteenth century to erect a suitable
memorial in his honour.

[Sidenote: Steady advance of the Copernican system.] The result of the
discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo was thus to bring the earth to her
real position of subordination and to give sublimer views of the
universe. Moestlin expresses correctly the state of the case when he
says, "What is the earth and the ambient air with respect to the
immensity of space? It is a point, a punctule, or something, if there be
any thing, less." It had been brought down to the condition of one of
the members of a family--the solar system. And since it could be no
longer regarded as holding all other bodies in submissive attendance
upon it, dominating over their movements, there was reason to suppose
that it would be found to maintain interconnexions with them in the
attitude of an equal or subordinate; in other words, that general
relations would be discovered expressive of the manner in which all the
planetary members of the solar system sustain their movements round the

[Sidenote: Kepler, his mode of inquiry.] Among those whose minds were
thoroughly occupied with this idea, Kepler stands pre-eminently
conspicuous. It is not at all surprising, considering the tone of
thought of those times, that he regarded his subject with a certain
mysticism. They who condemn his manner of thus viewing things do not
duly appreciate the mental condition of the generation in which he
lived. Whatever may be said on that point, no one can deny him a
marvellous patience, and almost superhuman painstaking disposition.
Guess after guess, hypothesis after hypothesis, he submitted to
computations of infinite labour, and doubtless he speaks the melancholy
truth when he says, "I considered and reflected till I was almost mad."
Yet, in the midst of repeated disappointment, he held, with a truly
philosophical determination, firmly to the belief that there must be
some physical interconnexion among the parts of the solar system, and
that it would certainly be displayed by the discovery of laws presiding
over the distances, times, and velocities of the planets. In these
speculations he was immersed before the publications of Galileo. In his
"Mysterium Cosmographicum" he says, "In the year 1595 I was brooding
with the whole energy of my mind on the subject of the Copernican

[Sidenote: Discovery of Kepler's laws.] In 1609 he published his work
entitled "On the Motion of Mars." This was the result of an attempt,
upon which he had been engaged since the beginning of the century, to
reconcile the motions of that planet to the hypothesis of eccentrics and
epicycles. It ended in the abandonment of that hypothesis, and in the
discovery of the two great laws now known as the first and second laws
of Kepler. They are respectively that the orbits of the planets are
elliptical, and that the areas described by a line drawn from the planet
to the sun are proportional to the times.

In 1617 he was again rewarded by the discovery which passes under the
designation of Kepler's third law: it expresses the relation of the mean
distances of the planets from the sun with the times of their
revolutions--"the squares of the periodic times are in the same
proportion as the cubes of the distances." In his "Epitome of the
Copernican Astronomy," published 1622, he showed that this law likewise
holds good for the satellites of Jupiter as regards their primary.

[Sidenote: His remonstrance with the Church.] Humboldt, referring to the
movement of Jupiter's satellites, remarks: "It was this which led
Kepler, in his 'Harmonices Mundi,' to state, with the firm confidence
and security of a German spirit of philosophical independence, to those
whose opinions bore sway beyond the Alps, 'Eighty years have elapsed
during which the doctrines of Copernicus regarding the movement of the
earth and the immobility of the sun have been promulgated without
hindrance, because it was deemed allowable to dispute concerning natural
things and to elucidate the works of God, and, now that new testimony is
discovered in proof of the truth of those doctrines--testimony which was
not known to the spiritual judges, ye would prohibit the promulgation of
the true system of the structure of the universe.'"

[Sidenote: Rectification of the Copernican theory.] Thus we see that the
heliocentric theory, as proposed by Copernicus, was undergoing
rectification. The circular movements admitted into it, and which had
burdened it with infinite perplexity, though they had hitherto been
recommended by an illusive simplicity, were demonstrated to be
incorrect. They were replaced by the real ones, the elliptical. Kepler,
as was his custom, ingenuously related his trials and disappointments.
Alluding on one occasion to this, he says: "My first error was that the
path of a planet is a perfect circle--an opinion which was a more
mischievous thief of my time, in proportion as it was supported by the
authority of all philosophers, and apparently agreeable to metaphysics."

[Sidenote: The philosophical import of these laws.] The philosophical
significance of Kepler's discoveries was not recognized by the
ecclesiastical party at first. It is chiefly this, that they constitute
a most important step to the establishment of the doctrine of the
government of the world by law. But it was impossible to receive these
laws without seeking for their cause. The result to which that search
eventually conducted not only explained their origin, but also showed
that, as laws, they must, in the necessity of nature, exist. It may be
truly said that the mathematical exposition of their origin constitutes
the most splendid monument of the intellectual power of man.

[Sidenote: Necessity for mechanical science.] Before the heliocentric
theory could be developed and made to furnish a clear exposition of the
solar system, which is obviously the first step to just views of the
universe, it was necessary that the science of mechanics should be
greatly improved--indeed, it might be said, created; for during those
dreary ages following the establishment of Byzantine power, nothing had
been done toward the acquisition of correct views either in statics or
dynamics. It was impossible that Europe, in her lower states of life,
could produce men capable of commencing where Archimedes had left off.
She had to wait for the approach of her Age of Reason for that.

[Sidenote: Leonardo da Vinci.] The man of capacity at last came.
Leonardo da Vinci was born A.D. 1452. The historian Hallam, enumerating
some of his works, observes, "His knowledge was almost preternatural."
Many of his writings still remain unpublished. Long before Bacon, he
laid down the maxim that experience and observation must be the
foundation of all reasoning in science; that experiment is the only
interpreter of nature, and is essential to the ascertainment of laws.
Unlike Bacon, who was ignorant of mathematics, and even disparaged them,
he points out their supreme advantage. Seven years after the voyage of
Columbus, this great man--great at once as an artist, mathematician, and
engineer--gave a clear exposition of the theory of forces obliquely
applied on a lever; a few years later he was well acquainted with the
earth's annual motion. He knew the laws of friction, subsequently
demonstrated by Amontons, and the principle of virtual velocities; he
described the camera obscura before Baptista Porta, understood aerial
perspective, the nature of coloured shadows, the use of the iris, and
the effects of the duration of visible impressions on the eye. He wrote
well on fortification, anticipated Castelli on hydraulics, occupied
himself with the fall of bodies on the hypothesis of the earth's
rotation, treated of the times of descent along inclined planes and
circular arcs, and of the nature of machines. He considered, with
singular clearness, respiration and combustion, and foreshadowed one of
the great hypotheses of geology, the elevation of continents.

[Sidenote: Stevinus continues the movement in Natural Philosophy.] This
was the commencement of the movement in Natural Philosophy; it was
followed up by the publication of a work on the principles of
equilibrium by Stevinus, 1586. In this the author established the
fundamental property of the inclined plane, and solved, in a general
manner, the cases of forces acting obliquely. Six years later Galileo's
treatise on mechanics appeared, a fitting commencement of that career
which, even had it not been adorned with such brilliant astronomical
discoveries, would alone have conferred the most illustrious distinction
upon him.

[Sidenote: Discovery of the laws of motion.] The dynamical branch of
Mechanics is that which is under most obligation to Galileo. To him is
due the establishment of the three laws of motion. They are to the
following effect, as given by Newton:

(1.) Every body perseveres in its state of rest or of uniform motion in
a right line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces
impressed thereon.

(2.) The alteration of motion is ever proportional to the motive force
impressed, and is made in the direction of the right line in which that
force is impressed.

(3.) To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction, or the
mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and
directed to contrary parts.

Up to this time it was the general idea that motion can only be
maintained by a perpetual application, impression, or expenditure of
force. Galileo himself for many years entertained that error, but in
1638 he plainly states in his "Dialogues on Mechanics" the true law of
the uniformity and perpetuity of motion. Such a view necessarily implies
a correct and clear appreciation of the nature of resistances. No
experimental motion that man can establish is unrestrained. But a
perception of the uniformity and perpetuity of motion lies at the very
basis of physical astronomy. With difficulty the true idea was attained.
The same may be said as respects rectilinear direction, for many
supposed that uniform motion can only take place in a circle.

[Sidenote: Establishment of the first law of motion,] The establishment
of the first law of motion was essential to the discovery of the laws of
falling bodies, in which the descent is made under the influence of a
continually acting force, the velocity increasing in consequence
thereof. Galileo saw clearly that, whether a body is moving slowly or
swiftly, it will be equally affected by gravity. This principle was with
difficulty admitted by some, who were disposed to believe that a swiftly
moving body would not be as much affected by a constant force like
gravity as one the motion of which is slower. With difficulty, also, was
the old Aristotelian error eradicated that a heavy body falls more
swiftly than a light one.

[Sidenote: and of the second,] The second law of motion was also
established and illustrated by Galileo. In his "Dialogues" he shows that
a body projected horizontally must have, from what has been said, a
uniform horizontal motion, but that it will also have compounded
therewith an accelerated motion downward. Here again we perceive it is
necessary to retain a steady conception of this intermingling of forces
without deterioration, and, though it may seem simple enough to us,
there were some eminent men of those times who did not receive it as
true. The special case offered by Galileo is theoretically connected
with the paths of military projectiles, though in practice, since they
move in a resisting medium, the air, their path is essentially different
from the parabola. Curvilinear motions, which necessarily arise from the
constant action of a central force, making a body depart from the
rectilinear path it must otherwise take, are chiefly of interest, as we
shall presently find, in the movements of the celestial bodies.

[Sidenote: and of the third.] A thorough exposition of the third law of
motion was left by Galileo to his successors, who had directed their
attention especially to the determination of the laws of impact. Indeed,
the whole subject was illustrated and the truth of the three laws
verified in many different cases by an examination of the phenomena of
freely falling bodies, pendulums, projectiles, and the like. Among those
who occupied themselves with such labours may be mentioned Torricelli,
Castelli, Viviani, Borelli, Gassendi. Through the investigations of
these, and other Italian, French, and English natural philosophers, the
principles of Mechanics were solidly established, and a necessary
preparation made for their application in astronomy. By this time every
one had become ready to admit that the motion of the planetary bodies
would find an explanation on these principles.

[Sidenote: Application of Mechanics to the celestial motions.] The steps
thus far taken for an explanation of the movements of the planets in
curvilinear paths therefore consisted in the removal of the old
misconception that for a body to continue its motion forward in a
straight line a continued application of force is necessary, the first
law of motion disposing of that error. In the next place, it was
necessary that clear and distinct ideas should be held of the
combination or composition of forces, each continuing to exercise its
influence without deterioration or diminution by the other. The time had
now come for it to be shown that the perpetual movement of the planets
is a consequence of the first law of motion; their elliptic paths, such
as had been determined by Kepler, a consequence of the second. Several
persons almost simultaneously had been brought nearly to this conclusion
without being able to solve the problem completely. Thus Borelli, A.D.
1666, in treating of the motions of Jupiter's satellites, distinctly
shows how a circular motion may arise under the influence of a central
force; he even uses the illustration so frequently introduced of a stone
whirled round in a sling. In the same year a paper was presented to the
Royal Society by Mr. Hooke, "explicating the inflection of a direct
motion into a circular by a supervening attractive principle." Huygens
also, in his "Horologium Oscillatorium," had published some theorems on
circular motions, but no one as yet had been able to show how elliptical
orbits could, upon these principles, be accounted for, though very many
had become satisfied that the solution of this problem would before long
be given.

[Sidenote: Newton; publication of the "Principia."] In April, 1686, the
"Principia" of Newton was presented to the Royal Society. This immortal
work not only laid the foundation of Physical Astronomy, it also carried
the structure thereof very far toward its completion. It unfolded the
mechanical theory of universal gravitation upon the principle that all
bodies tend to approach each other with forces directly as their masses,
and inversely as the squares of their distances.

[Sidenote: Propounds the theory of universal gravitation.] To the force
producing this tendency of bodies to approach each other the designation
of attraction of gravitation, or gravity, is given. All heavy bodies
fall to the earth in such a way that the direction of their movement is
toward its centre. Newton proved that this is the direction in which
they must necessarily move under the influence of an attraction of every
one of the particles of which the earth is composed, the attraction of a
sphere taking effect as if all its particles were concentrated in its

[Sidenote: Preparation for Newton.] Galileo had already examined the
manner in which gravity acts upon bodies as an accelerating force, and
had determined the connexion between the spaces of descent and the
times. He illustrated such facts experimentally by the use of inclined
planes, by the aid of which the velocity may be conveniently diminished
without otherwise changing the nature of the result. He had also
demonstrated that the earth's attraction acts equally on all bodies.
This he proved by inclosing various substances in hollow spheres, and
showing that, when they were suspended by strings of equal length and
made to vibrate, the time of oscillation was the same for all. On the
invention of the air-pump, a more popular demonstration of the same fact
was given by the experiment proving that a gold coin and a feather fall
equally swiftly in an exhausted receiver. Galileo had also proved, by
experiments on the leaning tower of Pisa, that the velocity of falling
bodies is independent of their weight. It was for these experiments that
he was expelled from that city.

[Sidenote: Extension of attraction or gravity.] Up to the time of Newton
there were only very vague ideas that the earth's attraction extended to
any considerable distance. Newton was led to his discovery by reflecting
that at all altitudes accessible to man, gravity appears to be
undiminished, and that, therefore, it may possibly extend as far as the
moon, and actually be the force which deflects her from a rectilinear
path, and makes her revolve in an orbit round the earth. Admitting the
truth of the law of the inverse squares, it is easy to compute whether
the moon falls from the tangent she would describe if the earth ceased
to act upon her by a quantity proportional to that observed in the case
of bodies falling near the surface. In the first calculations made by
Newton, he found that the moon is deflected from the tangent thirteen
feet every minute; but, if the hypothesis of gravitation were true, her
deflection should be fifteen feet. It is no trifling evidence of the
scrupulous science of this great philosopher that hereupon he put aside
the subject for several years, without, however, abandoning it. At
length, in 1682, learning the result of the measures of a degree which
Picard had executed in France, and which affected the estimate of the
magnitude of the earth he had used, and therefore the distance of the
moon, he repeated the calculations with these improved data. It is
related that "he went home, took out his old papers, and resumed his
calculations. As they drew to a close, he became so much agitated that
he was obliged to desire a friend to finish them." The expected
coincidence was verified. And thus it appeared that the moon is retained
in her orbit and made to revolve round the earth by the force of
terrestrial gravity.

[Sidenote: The cause of Kepler's laws.] These calculations were founded
upon the hypothesis that the moon moves in a circular orbit with a
uniform velocity. But in the "Principia" it was demonstrated that when a
body moves under the influence of an attractive force, varying as the
inverse square of the distances, it must describe a conic section, with
a focus at the centre of force, and under the circumstances designated
by Kepler's laws. Newton, therefore, did far more than furnish the
expected solution of the problem of elliptical motion, and it was now
apparent that the existence of those laws might have been foreseen,
since they arise in the very necessities of the case.

[Sidenote: Resistless spread of the heliocentric theory.] This point
gained, it is obvious that the evidence was becoming unquestionable,
that as the moon is made to revolve round the earth through the
influence of an attractive force exercised by the earth, so likewise
each of the planets is compelled to move in an elliptical orbit round
the sun by his attractive force. The heliocentric theory, at this stage,
was presenting physical evidence of its truth. It was also becoming
plain that the force we call gravitation must be imputed to the sun, and
to all the planetary bodies as well as to the earth. Accordingly, this
was what Newton asserted in respect to all material substance.

[Sidenote: Perturbations accounted for.] But it is a necessary
consequence of this theory that many apparent irregularities and
perturbations of the bodies of the solar system must take place by
reason of the attraction of each upon all the others. If there were but
one planet revolving round the sun, its orbit might be a mathematically
perfect ellipse; but the moment a second is introduced, perturbation
takes place in a variable manner as the bodies change their positions or
distances. An excessive complication must therefore be the consequence
when the number of bodies is great. Indeed, so insurmountable would
these difficulties be, that the mathematical solution of the general
problem of the solar system would be hopeless were it not for the fact
that the planetary bodies are at very great distances from one another,
and their masses, compared with the mass of the sun, very small.

[Sidenote: Results of the theory of gravitation.] Taking the theory of
gravitation in its universal acceptation, Newton, in a manner that looks
as if he were divinely inspired, succeeded in demonstrating the chief
inequalities of the moon and planetary bodies; in determining the figure
of the earth--that it is not a perfect sphere, but an oblate spheroid;
in explaining the precession of the equinoxes and the tides of the
ocean. To such perfection have succeeding mathematicians brought his
theory, that the most complicated movements and irregularities of the
solar system have been satisfactorily accounted for and reduced to
computation. Trusting to these principles, not only has it been found
possible, knowing the mass of a given planet, to determine the
perturbations it may produce in adjacent ones, but even the inverse
problem has been successfully attacked, and from the perturbations the
place and mass of a hitherto unknown planet determined. It was thus
that, from the deviations of Uranus from his theoretical place, the
necessary existence of an exterior disturbing planet was foreseen, and
our times have witnessed the intellectual triumph of mathematicians
directing where the telescope should point in order to find a new
planet. The discovery of Neptune was thus accomplished.

It adds to our admiration of the wonderful intellectual powers of Newton
to know that the mathematical instrument he used was the ancient
geometry. Not until subsequently was the analytical method resorted to
and cultivated. This method possesses the inappreciable advantage of
relieving us from the mental strain which would otherwise oppress us. It
has been truly said that the symbols think for us. [Sidenote: The
"Principia;" its incomparable merit.] Mr. Whewell observes: "No one for
sixty years after the publication of the 'Principia,' and, with Newton's
methods, no one up to the present day, has added any thing of value to
his deductions. We know that he calculated all the principal lunar
inequalities; in many of the cases he has given us his processes, in
others only his results. But who has presented in his beautiful geometry
or deduced from his simple principles any of the inequalities which he
left untouched? The ponderous instrument of synthesis, so effective in
his hands, has never since been grasped by any one who could use it for
such purposes; and we gaze at it with admiring curiosity, as on some
gigantic implement of war which stands idle among the memorials of
ancient days, and makes us wonder what manner of man he was who could
wield as a weapon what we can hardly lift as a burden."

[Sidenote: Philosophical import of Newton's discoveries.] Such was the
physical meaning of Newton's discoveries; their philosophical meaning
was of even greater importance. The paramount truth was resistlessly
coming into prominence--that the government of the solar system is under
necessity, and that it is mathematically impossible for the laws
presiding over it to be other than they are.

Thus it appears that the law of gravitation holds good throughout our
solar system. But the heliocentric theory, in its most general
acceptation, considers every fixed star as being, like the sun, a
planetary centre. [Sidenote: Unity of idea in the construction of the
universe.] Hence, before it can be asserted that the theory of
gravitation is truly universal, it must be shown that it holds good in
the case of all other such systems. The evidence offered in proof of
this is altogether based upon the observations of the two Herschels on
the motions of the double stars. Among the stars there are some in such
close proximity to each other that Sir W. Herschel was led to suppose it
would be possible, from observations upon them, to ascertain the stellar
parallax. While engaged in these inquiries, which occupied him for many
years, he discovered that many of these stars are not merely optically
in proximity, as being accidentally in the same line of view, but are
actually connected physically, revolving round each other in regular
orbits. The motion of these double suns is, however, in many instances
so slow as to require many years for a satisfactory determination.
[Sidenote: Gravitation of double stars.] Sir J. Herschel therefore
continued the observations of his father, and with other mathematicians,
investigated the characteristics of these motions. The first instance in
which the true elliptic elements of the orbit of a binary star were
determined was given by M. Savary in the case of chi Ursæ Majoris,
indicating an elliptic orbit of 58-1/4 years. But the period of others,
since determined, is very much longer; thus, in sigma Coronæ, it is,
according to Mr. Hind, more than 736 years. From the fact that the
orbits in which these stars move round each other are elliptical, it
necessarily follows that the law of gravitation, according to the
inverse square, holds good in them. Considering the prodigious distances
of these bodies, and the departure, as regards structure of the systems
to which they belong, from the conditions obtaining in our unisolar
system, we may perhaps assert the prevalence of the law of gravitation
throughout the universe.

[Sidenote: Coloured light of double stars.] If, in association with
these double suns--sometimes, indeed, they are triple, and occasionally,
as in the case of epsilon Lyræ, quadruple--there are opaque planetary
globes, such solar systems differ from ours not only in having several
suns instead of a single one, but, since the light emitted is often of
different tints, one star shining with a crimson and another with a blue
light, the colours not always complementary to one another, a wonderful
variety of phenomena must be the result, especially in their organic
creations; for organic forms, both vegetable and animal, primarily
depend on the relations of coloured light. How varied the effects where
there are double, triple, or even quadruple sunrises, and sunsets, and
noons; and the hours marked off by red, or purple, or blue tints.

[Sidenote: Grandeur of Newton's discoveries.] It is impossible to look
back on the history of the theory of gravitation without sentiments of
admiration and, indeed, of pride. How felicitous has been the manner in
which have been explained the inequalities of a satellite like the moon
under the disturbing influence of the sun; the correspondence between
the calculated and observed quantities of these inequalities; the
extension of the doctrine to satellites of other planets, as those of
Jupiter; the determination of the earth's figure; the causes of the
tides; the different force of gravity in different latitudes, and a
multitude of other phenomena. The theory asserted for itself that
authority which belongs to intrinsic truth. It enabled mathematicians to
point out facts not yet observed, and to foretell future events.

And yet how hard it is for truth to force its way when bigotry resists.
In 1771, the University of Salamanca, being urged to teach physical
science, refused, and this was its answer; "Newton teaches nothing that
would make a good logician or metaphysician; and Gassendi and Descartes
do not agree so well with revealed truth as Aristotle does."

[Sidenote: The earth in time.] Among the interesting results of Newton's
theory may be mentioned its application to secular inequalities, such as
the acceleration of the moon's mean motion, that satellite moving
somewhat quicker now than she did ages ago. Laplace detected the cause
of this phenomenon in the influence of the sun upon the moon, combined
with the secular variation of the eccentricity of the earth's orbit.
Moreover, he showed that this secular inequality of the motion of the
moon is periodical, that it requires millions of years to re-establish
itself, and that, after an almost inconceivable time, the acceleration
becomes a retardation. In like manner, the same mathematician explained
the observed acceleration in the mean motion of Jupiter, and retardation
of that of Saturn, as arising from the mutual attraction of the two
planets, and showed that this secular inequality has a period of 929-1/2
years. With such slow movements may be mentioned the diminution of the
obliquity of the ecliptic, which has been proceeding for ages, but which
will reach a limit and then commence to increase. These secular motions
ought not to be without interest to those who suffer themselves to adopt
the patristic chronology of the world, who suppose that the earth is
only six thousand years old, and that it will come to an end in about
one thousand years more. They must accept, along with that preposterous
delusion, its necessary consequences, that the universe has been so
badly constructed, and is such a rickety machine, that it can not hold
together long enough for some of its wheels to begin to revolve.
Astronomy offers us many illustrations of the scale upon which the world
is constructed as to time, as well as that upon which it is constructed
as to space.

[Sidenote: Dominion of law in the universe.] From what has been said,
the conclusion forces itself upon us that the general laws obtaining as
respects the earth, hold good likewise for all other parts of the
universe; a conclusion sustained not only by the mechanism of such
motions as we have been considering, but also by all evidence of a
physical kind accessible to us. The circumstances under which our sun
emits light and heat, and thereby vivifies his attendant planets, are
indisputably the same as those obtaining in the case of every fixed
star, each of which is a self-luminous sun. There is thus an aspect of
homogeneousness in the structure of all systems in the universe, which,
though some have spoken of it as if it were the indication of a
uniformity of plan, and therefore the evidence of a primordial idea, is
rather to be looked upon as the proof of unchangeable and resistless

[Sidenote: Ruin of anthropocentric ideas.] What, therefore, now becomes
of the doctrine authoritatively put forth, and made to hold its sway for
so many centuries, that the earth is not only the central-body of the
universe, but in reality, the most noble body in it; that the sun and
other stars are mere ministers or attendants for human use? In the place
of these utterly erroneous and unworthy views, far different conceptions
must be substituted. Man, when he looks upon the countless multitude of
stars--when he reflects that all he sees is only a little portion of
those which exist, yet that each is a light and life-giving sun to
multitudes of opaque, and therefore, invisible worlds--when he considers
the enormous size of these various bodies and their immeasurable
distance from one another, may form an estimate of the scale on which
the world is constructed, and learn therefrom his own unspeakable

[Sidenote: Aids for measurements in the universe.] In one beat of a
pendulum a ray of light would pass eight times round the circumference
of the earth. Thus we may take the sunbeam as a carpenter does his
measuring-rule; it serves as a gauge in our measurements of the
universe. A sunbeam would require more than three years to reach us from
alpha Centauri; nine and a quarter years from 61 Cygni; from alpha Lyræ
twelve years. These are stars whose parallax has been determined, and
which are therefore nearest to us.

[Sidenote: Clusters of stars.] Of suns visible to the naked eye there
are about 8000, but the telescope can discern in the Milky Way more than
eighteen millions, the number visible increasing as more powerful
instruments are used. Our cluster of stars is a disc divided into two
branches at about one-third of its length. In the midst of innumerable
compeers and superiors, the sun is not far from the place of
bifurcation, and at about the middle of the thickness. Outside the plane
of the Milky Way the appearance would be like a ring, and, still farther
off, a nebulous disc.

[Sidenote: Distribution of matter and force in space.] From the
contemplation of isolated suns and congregated clusters we are led to
the stupendous problem of the distribution of matter and force in space,
and to the interpretation of those apparent phantoms of self-luminous
vapour, circular and elliptic discs, spiral wreaths, rings and fans,
whose edges fade doubtfully away, twins and triplets of phosphorescent
haze connected together by threads of light and grotesque forms of
indescribable complexity. Perhaps in some of these gleaming apparitions
we see the genesis, in some the melting away of universes. There is
nothing motionless in the sky. In every direction vast transformations
are occurring, yet all things proclaim the eternity of matter and the
undiminished perpetuity of force.

[Sidenote: Limit of the theory of gravitation.] The theory of
gravitation, as delivered by Newton, thus leads us to a knowledge of the
mathematical construction of the solar system, and inferentially
likewise to that of other systems; but it leaves without explanation a
large number of singular facts. It explains the existing conditions of
equilibrium of the heavenly bodies, but it tells us nothing of their
genesis; or, at the best, in that particular it falls back on the simple
fiat of God.

[Sidenote: Phenomena of the solar system.] The facts here referred to
conduct us, however, to another and far higher point of view. Some of
them, as enumerated by Laplace, are the following:--1. All the planets
and their satellites move in ellipses of such small eccentricity that
they are nearly circles; 2. The movements of the planets are in the same
direction and nearly in the same plane; 3. The movements of the
satellites are in the same direction as those of the planets; 4. The
movements of rotation of these various bodies and of the sun are in the
same direction as their orbitual motions, and in planes little

[Sidenote: The nebular hypothesis.] The nebular hypothesis requires us
to admit that all the ponderable material now constituting the various
bodies of the solar system once extended in a rarefied or nebulous and
rotating condition, beyond the confines of the most distant planet. That
postulate granted; the structure and present condition of the system may
be mathematically deduced.

For, as the vast rotating spheroid lost its heat by radiation, it
contracted, and its velocity of rotation was necessarily increased; and
thus were left behind from its equatorial zone, by reason of the
centrifugal force, rotating rings, the same result occurring
periodically again and again. These rings must lie all in one plane.
They might break, collapsing into one rotating spheroid, a planet; or
into many, asteroids; or maintain the ring-like form. From the larger of
these secondary rotating spheroids other rings might be thrown off, as
from the parent mass; these, in their turn breaking and becoming
spheroids, constitute satellites, whose movements correspond to those of
their primaries.

We might, indeed, advance a step farther, and show how, by the radiation
of heat from a motionless nebula, a movement of rotation in a
determinate direction could be engendered, and that upon these
principles, the existence of a nebulous matter admitted, and the present
laws and forces of nature regarded as having been unchanged, the manner
of origin of the solar system might be deduced, and all those singular
facts previously alluded to explained; and not only so, but there is
spontaneously suggested the cause of many minor peculiarities not yet

[Sidenote: Facts accounted for by it.] For it follows from the nebular
hypothesis that the large planets should rotate rapidly, and the small
ones more slowly; that the outer planets and satellites should be larger
than the inner ones. Of the satellites of Saturn, the largest is the
outermost; of those of Jupiter, the largest is the outermost save one.
Of the planets themselves, Jupiter is the largest, and outermost save
three. These cannot be coincidences, but must be due to law. The number
of satellites of each planet, with the doubtful exception of Venus,
might be foreseen, the presence of satellites and their number being
determined by the centrifugal force of their primary. The hypothesis
also points out the time of revolution of the planets in their orbits,
and of the satellites in theirs; it furnishes a reason for the genesis
and existence of Saturn's rings, which are indeed its remaining
witnesses--their position and movements answering to its requirements.
It accounts for the physical state of the sun, and also for the physical
state of the earth and moon as indicated by their geology. It is also
not without furnishing reasons for the existence of comets as integrant
members of our system; for their singular physical state; for the
eccentric, almost parabolic orbits of so many of them; for the fact that
there are as many of them with a retrograde as with a direct motion; for
their more frequent occurrence about the axis of the solar system than
in its plane; and for their general antithetical relations to planets.

[Sidenote: Whether nebulæ actually exist.] If these and very many other
apparently disconnected facts follow as the mechanical necessities of
the admission of a gravitating nebula--a very simple postulate--it
becomes important to ascertain whether, by actual observation, the
existence of such material forms may be demonstrated in any part of the
universe. It was the actual telescopic observation of such objects that
led Herschel to the nebular hypothesis. He concluded that there are two
distinct kinds of nebulæ, one consisting of clusters of stars so remote
that they could not be discerned individually, but that these may be
discerned by sufficient telescopic power; the other being of a hazy
nature, and incapable of resolution. Nebulæ do not occur at random in
the heavens: the regions poorest in stars are richest in them; they are
few in the plane of our sidereal system, but numerous about its poles,
in that respect answering to the occurrence of comets in the solar
system. The resolution of many of these hazy patches of light into stars
by no means disproves the truly nebulous condition of many others.

Fortunately, however, other means than telescopic observation for the
settlement of this question are available. In 1846, it was discovered by
the author of this book that the spectrum of an ignited solid is
continuous, that is, has neither dark nor bright fixed lines. Fraunhofer
had previously made known that the spectrum of ignited gases is
discontinuous. Here, then, is the means of determining whether the light
emitted by a given nebula comes from an incandescent gas, or from a
congeries of ignited solids, stars, or suns. If its spectrum be
discontinuous, it is a true nebula or gas; if continuous, a congeries of

In 1864, Mr. Huggins made this examination in the case of a nebula in
the constellation Draco. It proved to be gaseous.

Subsequent observations have shown that of sixty nebulæ examined,
nineteen give discontinuous or gaseous spectra; the remainder continuous

It may, therefore, be admitted that physical evidence has at length been
obtained, demonstrating the existence of vast masses of matter in a
gaseous condition, and at a temperature of incandescence. The hypothesis
of Laplace has thus a firm basis.

[Sidenote: Opposition to the nebular hypothesis.] Notwithstanding the
great authority of the astronomers who introduced it, the nebular
hypothesis has encountered much adverse criticism; not so much, however,
from its obvious scientific defects, such as its inability to deal with
the cases of Uranus and Neptune, as from moral and extraneous
considerations. There is a line in Aristophanes which points out
precisely the difficulty:

    Ho Zeus ouk ôn, all' ant' autou Dinos nuni basileuôn.

A reluctance to acknowledge the presidency of law in the existing
constitution and movements of the solar system has been yielded only to
be succeeded by a reluctance to acknowledge the presidency of law in its
genesis. And yet whoever will reflect on the subject will be drawn to
the conclusion that the principle involved was really settled by Newton
in his "Principia"--that is to say, when it became geometrically certain
that Kepler's laws originate in a mathematical necessity.

As matters now stand, the nebular hypothesis may be regarded as the
first superficial, and therefore imperfect, glimpse of a series of the
grandest problems soon to present themselves for solution--the
mathematical distribution of matter and force in space, and the
variations of that distribution in time.

[Sidenote: The intellectual ruin of ecclesiasticism.] Such is the
history of the dispute respecting the position of the earth in the
universe. Not without reason, therefore, have I assigned the pontificate
of Nicolas V. as the true close of the intellectual dominion of the
Church. From that time the sceptre had passed into another hand. In all
directions Nature was investigated, in all directions new methods of
examination were yielding unexpected and beautiful results. On the ruins
of its ivy-grown cathedrals, Ecclesiasticism, surprised and blinded by
the breaking day, sat solemnly blinking at the light and life about it,
absorbed in the recollection of the night that had passed, dreaming of
new phantoms and delusions in its wished-for return, and vindictively
striking its talons at any derisive assailant who incautiously
approached too near. I have not space to describe the scientific
activity displayed in all directions; to do it justice would demand
volumes. Mathematics, physics, chemistry, anatomy, medicine, and all the
many branches of human knowledge received an impulse. [Sidenote:
Wonderful development of scientific activity.] Simultaneously with the
great events I have been relating, every one of these branches was
advancing. Vieta made the capital improvement of using letters as
general symbols in algebra, and applied that science to geometry. Tycho,
emulating Hipparchus of old, made a new catalogue of the stars; he
determined that comets are beyond the moon, and that they cut the
crystalline firmament of theology in all directions. Gilbert wrote his
admirable book on the magnet; Gesner led the way to zoology, taking it
up at the point to which the Saracens had continued Aristotle, by the
publication of his work on the history of animals; Belon at the same
time, 1540, was occupied with fishes and birds. Fallopius and
Eustachius, Arantius and Varolius, were immortalizing themselves by
their dissections: the former reminding us of the times of Ptolemy
Philadelphus, when he naïvely confesses "the Duke of Tuscany was
obliging enough to send living criminals to us, whom we killed and then
dissected." Piccolomini laid the foundations of general anatomy by his
description of cellular tissue. Coiter created pathological anatomy,
Prosper Alpinus diagnosis, Plater the classification of disease, and
Ambrose Paré modern surgery. Such were the occupations and prospect of
science at the close of the sixteenth century.

[Sidenote: The movement becomes still more vigorous.] Scarcely had the
seventeenth opened when it became obvious that the movement, far from
slackening, was gathering force. It was the age of Galileo. Descartes
introduced the theory of an ether and vortices; but, hearing of the
troubles that had befallen Galileo, was on the point of burning his
papers. Several years later, he was restrained from publishing his
"Cosmos" "from a pious desire not to treat irreverently the decrees of
the holy chair against the planetary movement of the earth." This was in
1633, when the report of the sentence of the Inquisition was made known.
He also developed Vieta's idea of the application of algebra to
geometry, and brought into prominence the mechanical fact, destined to
an important application in physical astronomy, that every curvilinear
deflection is due to a controlling force. To him, among Europeans, also
is to be attributed the true explanation of the rise of water in an
exhausted space--"the weight of the water counter-balances that of the
air." Napier perfected his great and useful invention of logarithms.
Hydraulics was created by Castelli; hydrostatics by Torricelli, who also
discovered barometric variations: both were pupils of Galileo. Fabricius
ab Aquapendente discovered the valves in the veins; Servetus almost
detected the course of the circulation. Harvey completed what Servetus
had left unfinished, and described the entire course of the blood;
Asellius discovered the lacteals; Van Helmont introduced the theory of
vitality into medicine, and made the practice or art thereof consist in
regulating by diet the Archeus, whose seat he affirmed to be in the
stomach. In strong contrast with this phantasy, Sanctorio laid the
foundation of modern physiology by introducing the balance into its
inquiries. Pascal, by a decisive experiment, established the doctrines
of the weight and pressure of the air, and published some of the most
philosophical treatises of the age: "his Provincial Letters did more
than any thing to ruin the name of the Jesuits." The contagion spread to
the lawyers: in 1672 appeared Puffendorf's work on the "Law of Nature
and Nations." The phlogistic theory, introduced by Beccher and perfected
by Stahl, created chemistry, in contradistinction to the Arabian
alchemy. Otto Guericke invented the air-pump, Boyle improved it. Hooke,
among many other discoveries, determined the essential conditions of
combustion. Far above all contemporaries in mathematical learning and
experimental skill, Newton was already turning his attention to the
"reflexions, refractions, inflexions and colours of light," and
introducing the idea of attractions into physics. Ray led the way to
comparative anatomy in his synopsis of quadrupeds; Swammerdam improved
the art of dissection, applying it to the general history of insects;
Lister published his synopsis of shells; Tournefort and Malpighi devoted
themselves to botany; Grew discovered the sexes of plants; Brown the
quinary arrangement of flowers. Geology began to break loose from the
trammels of theology, and Burnet's Sacred theory of the Earth could not
maintain its ground against more critical investigations. The Arabian
doctrine of the movement of the crust of the earth began to find
supporters. Lister ascertained the continuity of strata over great
distances; Woodward improved mineralogy; the great mathematician,
Leibnitz, the rival of Newton, propounded the doctrine of the gradual
cooling of the globe, the descent of its strata by fracture, the deposit
of sedimentary rocks, and their induration. Among physicians, Willis
devoted himself to the study of the brain, traced the course of the
nerves and classified them, and introduced the doctrine of the
localization of functions in the brain. Malpighi and Lewenhoeck applied
the microscope as an aid to anatomy; the latter discovered spermatozoa.
Graaf studied the function of the generative organs; Borelli attempted
the application of mathematics to muscular movement; Duverney wrote on
the sense of hearing, Mayow on respiration; Ruysch perfected the art of
injection, and improved minute anatomy.

But it is in vain to go on. The remainder of these pages would be
consumed in an attempt to record the names of the cultivators of
science, every year increasing in number, and to do justice to their
works. From the darkness that had for so many ages enveloped it, the
human mind at last emerged into light. The intellectual motes were
dancing in the sunbeam, and making it visible in every direction.

[Sidenote: Institution of scientific societies.] Despairing thus to do
justice to individual philosophers and individual discoveries, there is,
however, one most important event to which I must prominently allude. It
is the foundation of learned societies. Imitating the examples of the
Academia Secretorum Naturæ, instituted at Naples, 1560, by Baptista
Porta, and of the Lyncean Academy, founded 1603 by Prince Frederic Cesi
at Rome for the promotion of natural philosophy, the Accademia del
Cimento was established at Florence, 1637; the Royal Society of London,
1645; and the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris, 1666.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Review of anthropocentric philosophy.] Arrived at the close
of the description of this first great victory of scientific truth over
authority and tradition, it is well for us to pause and look back on the
progress of man from the erroneous inferences of his social infancy to
the true conclusions of his maturity--from anthropocentric ideas, which
in all nations and parts of the world have ever been the same, to the
discovery of his true position and insignificance in the universe.

[Sidenote: The sky, apparent nature of.] We are placed in a world
surrounded with illusions. The daily events of our life and the objects
before us tend equally to deceive us. If we cast our eyes on the earth,
it seems to be made only to minister to our pleasures or our wants. If
we direct our attention to the sky, that blue and crystalline dome, the
edges of which rest on the flat land or the sea--a glacial vault, which
Empedocles thought was frozen air, and the fathers of the Church the
lowest of the seven concentric strata of heavens--we find a thousand
reasons for believing that whatever it covers was intended by some Good
Being for our use. Of the various living things placed with us beneath
it, all are of an inferior grade when compared with ourselves, and all
seem intended for us. The conclusions at which we thus arrive are
strengthened by a principle of vanity implanted in our hearts,
unceasingly suggesting to us that this pleasant abode must have been
prepared for our reception, and furnished and ornamented expressly for
our use.

[Sidenote: Anthropocentric ideas of God.] But reflexion teaches us that
we came not hither of ourselves, and that doubtless the same Good Being
who prepared this delightful abode brought us as tenants into it. From
the fact of our own existence, we are insensibly and inevitably led to
infer the existence of God; from the favourable circumstances in which
our lot is cast, we gather evidences of His goodness; and in the energy
which natural phenomena often display, we see the tokens of His power.
What other explanation can we give of tempests in the sea or lightning
in the heavens? Moreover, it is only during a part of our time--our
waking hours--that we are brought into relation with these material
things; for the rest, when we are asleep, a state in which we spend more
than a third part of our life, we are introduced to other scenery, other
beings, another world. [Sidenote: Of the world and heaven.] From these
we gather that there are agents of an intangible and more ethereal
mould, perhaps of the nature of Him who brought us here, perhaps His
subordinates and messengers. Whence do they issue and whither do they
go? Is there not beyond the sky above us a region to which our imperfect
vision cannot penetrate, but which may be accessible to them from the
peaks of elevated mountains, or to be reached only with wings? And thus
we picture to ourselves a heaven shut off from earth, with all its sins
and cares, by the untroubled and impenetrable sky--a place of light and
repose, its pavement illuminated by the sun and countless other shining
bodies--a place of peace, but also a place of power.

[Sidenote: Of evil beings and hell.] Still more, a thousand facts of our
life teach us that we are exposed to influences of an evil nature as
well as to those that are good. How often, in our dreams, does it happen
that we are terror-stricken by the approach of hideous forms, faces of
fearful appearance, from which we vainly struggle to escape. Is it not
natural for us to attribute the evil we see in the world to these as the
good to those? and, since we can not conceive of the existence of beings
without assigning them a place, where shall we find for these malignant
spirits a habitation? Is it not in the dark region beneath the ground,
far away from the realms of light--a region from which, through the
volcano, smoke and burning sulphur are cast into this upper world--a
place of everlasting fire and darkness, whose portals are in caves and
solitudes of unutterable gloom?

[Sidenote: Of man, the supernatural.] Placed thus on the boundary
between such opposing powers, man is the sport of circumstances,
sustained by beings who seek his happiness, and tempted by those who
desire his destruction. Is it at all surprising that, guided by such
obvious thoughts and simple reasonings, he becomes superstitious? that
he sees in every shadow a spirit, and peoples every solitary place with
invisibles? that he casts a longing look to the good beings who can
protect him, seeking to invoke their aid by entreaties, and to
propitiate their help by free-will sacrifices of things that are
pleasant and valuable? Open to such influences himself, why should he
not believe in the efficacy of prayer? His conscious superiority lends
force to his suspicion that he is a worthy object for the opposing
powers to contend for, a conclusion verified by the inward strifes he
feels, as well as by the trials of life to which he is exposed.

[Sidenote: His immortality and future life.] But dreams at night, and
sometimes visions by day, serve to enforce the conclusion that life is
not limited to our transitory continuance here, but endures hereafter.
How often at night do we see the well-known forms of those who have been
dead a long time appearing before us with surprising vividness, and hear
their almost forgotten voices? These are admonitions full of the most
solemn suggestions, profoundly indicating to us that the dead still
continue to exist, and that what has happened to them must also happen
to us, and we too are destined for immortality. Perhaps involuntarily we
associate these conclusions with others, expecting that in a future life
good men will enjoy the society of good beings like themselves, the evil
being dismissed to the realms of darkness and despair. And, as human
experience teaches us that a final allotment can only be made by some
superior power, we expect that He who was our Creator shall also be our
Judge; that there is an appointed time and a bar at which the final
destination of all who have lived shall be ascertained, and eternal
justice measure out its punishments and rewards.

[Sidenote: Inducements to morality.] From these considerations there
arises an inducement for us to lead a virtuous life, abstaining from
wickedness and wrong; to set apart a body of men who may mediate for us,
and teach us by precept and example the course it is best for us to
pursue; to consecrate places, such as groves or temples, as the more
immediate habitations of the Deity to which we may resort.

Such are the leading doctrines of Natural Theology of primitive man both
in the old and new continent. They arise from the operations of the
human mind considering the fitness of things.

Just as we have in Comparative Anatomy the structure of different
animals examined, and their identities and differences set forth,
thereby establishing their true relations; just as we have in
Comparative Physiology the functions of one organic being compared with
those of another, to the end that we may therefrom deduce their proper
connexions, so, from the mythologies of various races of men, a
Comparative Theology may be constructed. [Sidenote: Course of
Comparative Theology.] Through such a science alone can correct
conclusions be arrived at respecting this, the most important of the
intellectual operations of man--the definite process of his religious
opinions. But it must be borne in mind that Comparative Theology
illustrates the result or effect of the phase of life, and is not its

[Sidenote: Corrections of anthropocentric ideas.] As man advances in
knowledge he discovers that of his primitive conclusions some are
doubtless erroneous, and many require better evidence to establish their
truth incontestably. A more prolonged and attentive examination gives
him reason, in some of the most important particulars, to change his
mind. He finds that the earth on which he lives is not a floor covered
over with a starry dome, as he once supposed, but a globe self-balanced
in space. The crystalline vault, or sky, is recognized to be an optical
deception. It rests upon the earth nowhere, and is no boundary at all;
there is no kingdom of happiness above it, but a limitless space,
adorned with planets and suns. Instead of a realm of darkness and woe in
the depths on the other side of the earth, men like ourselves are found
there, pursuing, in Australia and New Zealand, the innocent pleasures
and encountering the ordinary labours of life. By the aid of such lights
as knowledge gradually supplies, he comes at last to discover that this,
our terrestrial habitation, instead of being a chosen, a sacred spot, is
only one of similar myriads, more numerous than the sands of the sea,
and prodigally scattered through space.

[Sidenote: Consequence of discovering the form of the earth.] Never,
perhaps, was a more important truth discovered. All the visible evidence
was in direct opposition to it. [Sidenote: Detection of its
insignificance.] The earth, which had hitherto seemed to be the very
emblem of immobility, was demonstrated to be carried with a double
motion, with prodigious velocity, through the heavens; the rising and
setting of the stars were proved to be an illusion; and, as respects the
size of the globe, it was shown to be altogether insignificant when
compared with multitudes of other neighbouring ones--insignificant
doubly by reason of its actual dimensions, and by the countless numbers
of others like it in form, and doubtless, like it, the abodes of many
orders of life.

And so it turns out that our earth is a globe of about twenty-five
thousand miles in circumference. The voyager who circumnavigates it
spends no inconsiderable portion of his life in accomplishing his task.
It moves round the sun in a year, but at so great a distance from that
luminary that, if seen from him, it would look like a little spark
traversing the sky. It is thus recognized as one of the members of the
solar system. [Sidenote: Other solar bodies.] Other similar bodies, some
of which are of larger, some of smaller dimensions, perform similar
revolutions round the sun in appropriate periods of time.

[Sidenote: Magnitude of the universe.] If the magnitude of the earth be
too great for us to attach to it any definite conception, what shall we
say of the compass of the solar system? There is a defect in the human
intellect which incapacitates us for comprehending distances and periods
that are either too colossal or too minute. We gain no clearer insight
into the matter when we are told that a comet which does not pass beyond
the bounds of the system, may perhaps be absent on its journey for more
than a thousand years. Distances and periods such as these are beyond
our grasp. They prove to us how far human reason excels imagination, the
one measuring and comparing things of which the other can form no
conception, but in the attempt is utterly bewildered and lost.

[Sidenote: The infinity of worlds.] But as there are other globes like
our earth, so too there are other worlds like our solar system. There
are self-luminous suns exceeding in number all computation. The
dimensions of this earth pass into nothingness in comparison with the
dimensions of the solar system, and that system, in its turn, is only an
invisible point if placed in relation with the countless hosts of other
systems which form, with it, clusters of stars. Our solar system, far
from being alone in the universe, is only one of an extensive
brotherhood, bound by common laws and subject to like influences. Even
on the very verge of creation, where imagination might lay the beginning
of the realms of chaos, we see unbounded proofs of order, a regularity
in the arrangement of inanimate things, suggesting to us that there are
other intellectual creatures like us, the tenants of those islands in
the abysses of space.

Though it may take a beam of light a million of years to bring to our
view those distant worlds, the end is not yet. Far away in the depths of
space we catch the faint gleams of other groups of stars like our own.
The finger of a man can hide them in their remoteness. Their vast
distances from one another have dwindled into nothing. They and their
movements have lost all individuality; the innumerable suns of which
they are composed blend all their collected light into one pale milky

[Sidenote: Insignificance of man.] Thus extending our view from the
earth to the solar system, from the solar system to the expanse of the
group of stars to which we belong, we behold a series of gigantic
nebular creations rising up one after another, and forming greater and
greater colonies of worlds. No numbers can express them, for they make
the firmament a haze of stars. Uniformity, even though it be the
uniformity of magnificence, tires at last, and we abandon the survey,
for our eyes can only behold a boundless prospect, and conscience tells
us our own unspeakable insignificance.

[Sidenote: Triumph of scientific truth.] But what has become of the
time-honoured doctrine of the human destiny of the universe? that
doctrine for the sake of which the controversy I have described in this
chapter was raised. It has disappeared. In vain was Bruno burnt and
Galileo imprisoned; the truth forced its way, in spite of all
opposition, at last. The end of the conflict was a total rejection of
authority and tradition, and the adoption of scientific truth.




_Oriental and Occidental Doctrines respecting the Earth in
Time.--Gradual Weakening of the latter by astronomical Facts, and the
Rise of Scientific Geology._

_Impersonal Manner in which the Problem was eventually solved, chiefly
through Facts connected with Heat._

_Proofs of limitless Duration from inorganic Facts.--Igneous and Aqueous

_Proofs of the same from organic Facts.--Successive Creations and
Extinctions of living Forms, and their contemporaneous Distribution._

_Evidences of a slowly declining Temperature, and, therefore, of a long
Time.--The Process of Events by Catastrophe and by Law.--Analogy of
Individual and Race Development.--Both are determined by unchangeable

_Conclusion that the Plan of the Universe indicates a Multiplicity of
Worlds of infinite Space, and a Succession of Worlds in infinite Time._

[Sidenote: Age of the earth.] A victory could not be more complete nor a
triumph more brilliant than that which had been gained by science in the
contest concerning the position of the earth. Though there followed
closely thereupon an investigation of scarcely inferior moment--that
respecting the age of the earth--so thoroughly was the ancient authority
intellectually crushed that it found itself incapable of asserting by
force the Patristic idea that our planet is less than six thousand years

[Sidenote: The question is impersonally solved.] Not but that a
resistance was made. It was, however, of an indirect kind. The contest
might be likened rather to a partisan warfare than to the deliberate
movement of regular armies under recognized commanders. In its history
there is no central figure like Galileo, no representative man, no
brilliant and opportune event like the invention of the telescope. The
question moves on to its solution impersonally. A little advance is made
here by one, there by another. The war was finished, though no great
battle was fought. In the chapter we are entering upon there is,
therefore, none of that dramatic interest connected with the last.
Impersonally the question was decided, and, therefore, impersonally I
must describe it.

[Sidenote: Oriental and Western doctrines of the age of the earth.] In
Oriental countries, where the popular belief assigns to the creation of
man a very ancient date, and even asserts for some empires a duration of
hundreds of thousands of years, no difficulty as respects the age of the
earth was felt, there seeming to have been time enough for every event
that human researches have detected to transpire. But in the West, where
the doctrine that not only the earth, but the universe itself, was
intended for man, has been carried to its consequences with exacting
rigour, circumstances forbid us to admit that there was any needless
delay between the preparation of the habitation and the introduction of
the tenant. They also force upon us the conclusion that a few centuries
constitute a very large portion of the time of human existence, since,
if we adopt the doctrine of an almost limitless period, we should fall
into a difficulty in explaining what has become of the countless myriads
of generations in the long time so past, and, considering that we are
taught that the end of the world is at hand, and must be expected in a
few years at the most, we might seem to arraign the goodness of God in
this, that He has left to their fate immeasurably the larger proportion
of our race, and has restricted His mercy to us alone, who are living in
the departing twilight of the evening of the world.

[Sidenote: Correction of the European doctrine.] But in this, as in the
former case, a closer examination of the facts brings us to the
indisputable conclusion that we have decided unworthily and untruly;
that our guiding doctrine of the universe being intended for us is a
miserable delusion; that the scale on which the world is constructed as
to time answers to that on which it is constructed as to space; that, as
respects our planet, its origin dates from an epoch too remote for our
mental apprehension; that myriads of centuries have been consumed in its
coming to its present state; that, by a slow progression, it has passed
from stage to stage, uninhabited, and for a long time uninhabitable by
any living thing; that in their proper order and in due lapse of time,
the organic series have been its inhabitants, and of these a vast
majority, whose numbers are so great that we cannot offer an
intelligible estimate of them, have passed away and become extinct, and
that finally, for a brief period, we have been its possessors.

Of the intentions of God it becomes us, therefore, to speak with
reverence and reserve. In those ages when there was not a man upon the
earth, what was the object? Was the twilight only given that the wolf
might follow his fleeing prey, and the stars made to shine that the
royal tiger might pursue his midnight maraudings? Where was the use of
so much that was beautiful and orderly, when there was not a solitary
intellectual being to understand and enjoy? Even now, when we are so
much disposed to judge of other worlds from their apparent adaptedness
to be the abodes of a thinking and responsible order like ourselves, it
may be of service to remember that this earth itself was for countless
ages a dungeon of pestiferous exhalations and a den of wild beasts.

[Sidenote: It elevates rather than degrades the position of man.] It
might moreover appear that the conclusions to which we come, both as
respects the position and age of the world, must necessarily have for
their consequences the diminution and degradation of man, the rendering
him too worthless an object for God's regard. But here again we fall
into an error. True, we have debased his animal value, and taught him
how little he is--how insignificant are the evils, how vain the
pleasures of his life. But, as respects his intellectual principle, how
does the matter stand? What is it that has thus been measuring the
terrestrial world, and weighing it in a balance? What is it that has
been standing on the sun, and marking out the orbits and boundaries of
the solar system? What is it that has descended into the infinite
abysses of space, examined the countless worlds that they contain, and
compared and contrasted them together? What is it that has shown itself
capable of dealing with magnitudes that are infinite, even of comparing
infinites together! What is it that has not hesitated to trace things in
their history through a past eternity, and been found capable of
regarding equally the transitory moment and endless duration? That which
is competent to do all this, so far from being degraded, rises before us
with an air of surpassing grandeur and inappreciable worth. It is the
soul of man.

[Sidenote: Relations of the earth in time.] From the facts given in the
last chapter respecting the relations of the earth in space, we are next
led to her relations in time.

So long as science was oppressed with the doctrine of the human destiny
of the universe, which, as its consequence, made this earth the great
central body, and elevated man to supreme importance, there was much
difficulty in treating the problem of the age of the world. The history
of the earth was at first a wild and fictitious cosmogony. Scientific
cosmogony arose, not from any theological considerations, but from the
telescopic ascertainment of the polar compression of the planet Jupiter,
and the consequent determination by Newton that the earth is a spheroid
of revolution. With a true cosmogony came a better chronology.
[Sidenote: Anthropocentric ideas of the beginning and end of the world.]
The patristic doctrine had been that the earth came into existence but
little more than five thousand years ago, and to this a popular opinion
long current was added, that its end might be very shortly expected.
From time to time periods were set by various authorities determining
the latter event, and, as true knowledge was extinguished, the year 1000
came to be the universally appointed date. In view of this, it was not
an uncommon thing for persons to commence their testamentary bequests
with the words, "In expectation of the approaching end of the world."
But the tremendous moment passed by, and still the sun rose and set,
still the seasons were punctual in their courses, and Nature wore her
accustomed aspect. A later day was then predicted, and again and again
disappointment ensued, until sober-minded men began to perceive that the
Scriptures were never intended to give information on such subjects, and
predictions of the end of the world fell into discredit, abandoned to
the illiterate, whose morbid anticipations they still amuse.

As it was thus with the end of our planet, so it was as regards her
origin. By degrees evidence began to accumulate casting a doubt on her
recent date, evidence continually becoming more and more cogent.
[Sidenote: Rise of the doctrine of illimitable age.] In no insignificant
manner did the establishment of the heliocentric theory, aided by the
discoveries of the telescope, assist in this result. As I have said, it
utterly ruined past restoration the doctrine of the human destiny of the
universe. With that went down all arguments which had depended on making
man the measure of things. Ideas of unexpected sublimity as to the scale
of magnitude on which the world is constructed soon enforced themselves,
and proved to be the precursors of similar ideas as to time. At length
it was perceived by those who were in the van of the movement that the
Bible was never intended to deliver a chronological doctrine respecting
the beginning any more than the end of things, and that those
well-meaning men who were occupied in wresting it from its true purposes
were engaged in an unhappy employment, for its tendency could be no
other than to injure the cause they designed to promote. Nevertheless,
so strong were the ancient persuasions, that it was not without a
struggle that the doctrine of a long period forced its way--a struggle
for the age of the earth, which, in its arguments, in its tendencies,
and in its results, forcibly recalls the preceding one respecting the
position of the earth; but, in the end, truth overrode all authority and
all opposition, and the doctrine of an extremely remote origin of our
planet ceased to be open to dispute.

In a scientific conception of the universe, illimitable spaces are of
necessity connected with limitless time.

[Sidenote: Indications depending on the progressive motion of light.]
The discovery of the progressive motion of light offered the means of an
absolute demonstration of this connexion. Rays emitted by an object, and
making us sensible of its presence by impinging on the eye, do not reach
us instantaneously, but consume a certain period in their passage.

If any sudden visible effect took place in the sun, we should not see it
at the absolute moment of its occurrence, but about eight minutes and
thirteen seconds later, this being the time required for light to cross
the intervening distance. All phenomena take place in reality anterior
to the moment at which we observe them by a time longer in proportion as
the distance to be travelled is greater.

There are objects in the heavens so distant that it would take many
hundreds of thousands of years for their light to reach us. Then it
necessarily follows, since we can see them, that they must have been
created and must have been shining so long.

The velocity with which light moves was first determined by the Danish
astronomer Römer from the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites, November,
1675. It was, therefore, a determination of the rate for reflected solar
light in a vacuum, and gave 198,000 miles in a second. In 1727, Bradley
determined it for direct stellar light by his great discovery of the
aberration of the fixed stars. More recently, the experiments of M.
Foucault and those of M. Fizeau, by the aid of rotating mirrors or
wheels, have confirmed these astronomical observations, Fizeau's
determination of the velocity approaching that of Römer. Probably,
however, the most correct is that of Struve, 191,515 miles per second.

[Sidenote: Investigation of the age of the earth through the phenomena
of heat.] This astronomical argument, which serves as a general
introduction, is strengthened by numerous physical and physiological
facts. But of the different methods by which the age of the earth may be
elucidated, I shall prefer that which approaches it through the
phenomena of heat. Such a manner of viewing the problem has led to its
determination in the minds of many thinking men.

[Sidenote: Astronomical heat alone on the earth's surface.] As correct
astronomical ideas began to prevail, it was perceived that all the heat
now on the surface of our planet is derived from the sun. Through the
circumstance of the inclination of her axis of rotation to the plane of
her annual motion, or through the fact of her globular form occasioning
the presentation of different parts of her surface, according to their
latitudes, with more or less obliquity, and hence the reception of less
or more of the rays, there may be local and temporary variations. But
these do not affect the general principle that the quantity of heat thus
received must be the same from year to year.

[Sidenote: The equilibrium of interior heat.] This thermometric
equilibrium not only holds good for the surface, it may also be
demonstrated for the whole mass of the planet. The day has not shortened
by the 1/200 of a second since the time of Hipparchus, and therefore the
decrease of heat can not have been so much as the 1/300 of a Fahrenheit
degree, on the hypothesis that the mean dilatation of all terrestrial
substances is equal to that of glass, 1/180000 for one degree. If a
decline had taken place in the intrinsic heat of the earth, there must
have been a diminution in her size, and, as a necessary consequence, the
length of the day must have become less. The earth has therefore reached
a condition of equilibrium as respects temperature.

[Sidenote: Its ancient decline.] A vast body of evidence has, however,
come into prominence, establishing with equal certainty that there was
in ancient times a far higher temperature in the planet; not a
temperature concerned with a fraction of a degree, but ranging beyond
the limits of our thermometric scale. The mathematical figure of the
earth offers a resistless argument for its ancient liquefied
condition--that is, for its originally high temperature. But how is this
to be co-ordinated with the conclusion just mentioned? Simply by the
admission that there have elapsed prodigious, it might almost be said
limitless, periods. [Sidenote: Necessity for a long time.] As thus the
true state of affairs began to take on shape, it was perceived that the
age of the earth is not a question of authority, not a question of
tradition, but a mathematical problem sharply defined: to determine the
time of cooling of a globe of known diameter and of given conductibility
by radiation in a vacuum.

In such a state of things, what could be more unwise than to attempt to
force opinion by the exercise of authority? How unspeakably mischievous
had proved to be a like course as respects the globular form of the
earth, which did not long remain a mere mathematical abstraction, but
was abruptly brought to a practical issue by the voyage of Magellan's
ship. And on this question of the age of the earth it would have been
equally unwise to become entangled with or committed to the errors of
patristicism--errors arising from well-meant moral considerations, but
which can never exert any influence on the solution of a scientific

[Sidenote: Indications of the interior heat of the earth.] One fact
after another bearing upon the question gradually emerged into view. It
was shown that the diurnal variations of temperature--that is, those
connected with night and day--extend but a few inches beneath the
surface, the seasonal ones, connected with winter and summer, to many
feet; but beyond this was discovered a stratum of invariable
temperature, beneath which, if we descend, the heat increases at the
rate of 1° Fahr. for every fifty or seventy feet. The uniformity of this
rate seemed to imply that, at depths quite insignificant, a very high
temperature must exist. This was illustrated by such facts that the
water which rushes up from a depth of 1794 feet in the Artesian well of
Grenelle has a temperature of 82° Fahr. The mean temperature of Paris
being about 51° Fahr., these numbers give a rate of 1° for every
fifty-eight feet. If, then, the increase of heat is only 100° per mile,
at a depth of less than ten miles every thing must be red hot, and at
thirty or forty in a melted state. It was by all admitted that the rise
of temperature with the depth is not at all local, but occurs in
whatever part of the earth the observation may be made. The general
conclusion thus furnished was re-enforced by the evidence of volcanoes,
which could no longer be regarded as merely local, depending on
restricted areas for the supply of melted material, since they are found
all over the land and under the sea, in the interior of continents and
near the shores, beneath the equator and in the polar regions. It had
been estimated that there are probably two thousand aerial or subaqueous
eruptions every century. Some volcanoes, as Ætna, have for thousands of
years poured forth their lavas, and still there is an unexhausted
supply. Everywhere a common source is indicated by the rudely uniform
materials ejected. The fact that the lines of volcanic activity shift
pointed to a deep source; the periodic increments and decrements of
force bore the same interpretation. They far transcend the range of
history. The volcanoes of central France date from the Eocene period;
their power increased in the Miocene, and continued through the
Pliocene; those of Catalonia belong to the Pliocene, probably. Coupled
with volcanoes, earthquakes, with their vertical, horizontal, and rotary
vibrations, having a linear velocity of from twenty to thirty miles per
minute, indicated a profound focus of action. The great earthquake of
Lisbon was felt from Norway to Morocco, from Algiers to the West Indies,
from Thuringia to the Canadian lakes. It absolutely lifted the whole bed
of the North Atlantic Ocean. Its origin was in no superficial point.

[Sidenote: Proof from the mean density.] A still more universal proof of
a high temperature affecting the whole mass of the interior of the globe
was believed to be presented in the small mean density of the earth, a
density not more than 5·66 times that of water, the mean density of the
solid surface being 2·7, and that of the solid and sea-surface together
1·6. But this is not a density answering to that which the earth should
have in virtue of the attraction of her own parts. It implied some agent
capable of rarefying and dilating, and the only such agent is heat.
Although the law of the increase of density from the upper surface to
the centre is unknown, yet a comparison of the earth's compression with
her velocity of rotation demonstrated that there is an increasing
density in the strata as we descend. The great fact, however, which
stands prominently forth is the interior heat.

Not only were evidences thus offered of the existence of a high
temperature, and, therefore, of the lapse of a long time by the present
circumstances of the globe; every trace of its former state, duly
considered, yielded similar indications, the old evidence corroborating
the new. And soon it appeared that this would hold good whether
considered in the inorganic or organic aspect.

[Sidenote: Inorganic proofs of a former high temperature.] In the
inorganic, what other interpretation could be put on the universal
occurrence of igneous rocks, some in enormous mountain ranges, some
ejected from beneath, forcing their tortuous way through thus resisting
superincumbent strata; veins of various mineral constitution, and, as
their relations with one another showed, veins of very different dates?
What other interpretation of layers of lava in succession, one under
another, and often with old disintegrated material between? What of
those numerous volcanoes which have never been known to show any signs
of activity in the period of history, though they sometimes occur in
countries like France, eminently historic? What meaning could be
assigned to all those dislocations, subsidences, and elevations which
the crust of the earth in every country presents, indications of a loss
of heat, of a contraction in diameter, and its necessary consequence,
fracture of the exterior consolidated shell along lines of least
resistance? And though it was asserted by some that the catastrophes of
which these are the evidences were occasioned by forces of unparalleled
energy and incessant operation--unparalleled when compared with such
terrestrial forces as we are familiar with--that did not, in any
respect, change the interpretation, for there could have been no abrupt
diminution in the intensity of those forces, which, if they had lessened
in power, must have passed through a long, a gradual decline. [Sidenote:
These necessarily imply long time.] In that very decline there thus
spontaneously came forth evidences of a long lapse of time. The whole
course of Nature satisfies us how gradual and deliberate are her
proceedings; that there is no abrupt boundary between the past and the
present, but that the one insensibly shades off into the other, the
present springing gently and imperceptibly out of the past. If volcanic
phenomena and all kinds of igneous manifestations--if dislocations,
injections, the intrusion of melted material into strata were at one
time more frequent, more violent--if, in the old times, mundane forces
possessed an energy which they have now lost, their present diminished
and deteriorated condition, coupled with the fact that for thousands of
years, throughout the range of history, they have been invariably such
as we find them now, should be to us a proof how long, how very long ago
those old times must have been.

[Sidenote: Support from astronomical facts.] Thus, therefore, was
perceived the necessity of co-ordinating the scale of time with the
scale of space, and such views of the physical history of the earth were
extended to celestial bodies which were considered as having passed
through a similar course. In one, at least, this assertion was no mere
matter of speculation, but of actual observation. The broken surface of
the moon, its volcanic cones and craters, its mountains, with their
lava-clad sides and ejected blocks glistening in the sun, proved a
succession of events like those of the earth, and demonstrated that
there is a planetary as well as a terrestrial geology, and that in our
satellite there is evidence of a primitive high temperature, of a
gradual decline, and, therefore, of a long process of time. Perhaps
also, considering the rate of heat-exchange in Venus by reason of her
proximity to the sun, the pale light which it is said has been observed
on her non-illuminated part is the declining trace of her own intrinsic
temperature, her heat lasting until now.

[Sidenote: Astronomical facts imply slow secular changes.] If
astronomers sought in systematic causes an explanation of these facts
if, for instance, they were disposed to examine how far changes in the
obliquity of the ecliptic are connected therewith--it was necessary at
the outset to concede that the scale of time on which the event proceeds
is of prodigious duration, this secular variation observing a slow
process of only 45·7'' in a century; and hence, since the time of
Hipparchus, two thousand years ago, the plane of the ecliptic has
approached that of the equator by only a quarter of a degree. Or if,
again, they looked to a diminishing of the eccentricity of the earth's
orbit, they were compelled to admit the same postulate, and deal with
thousands of centuries. Under whatever aspect, then, the theory was
regarded, if once a former high temperature were admitted, and the fact
coupled therewith that there has been no sensible decline within the
observation of man, whether the explanation was purely geological or
purely astronomical, the motion of heat in the mass of the earth is so
slow, yet the change that has taken place is so great, the variations of
the contemplated relations of the solar system so gradual--under
whatever aspect and in whatever way the fact was dealt with, there arose
the indispensable concession of countless centuries.

To the astronomer such a concession is nothing extraordinary. It is not
because of the time required that he entertains any doubt that the sun
and his system accomplish a revolution round a distant centre of gravity
in nineteen millions of years, or that the year of epsilon Lyræ is
half a million of ours. He looks forward to that distant day when Sirius
will disappear from our skies, and the Southern Cross be visible, and
Vega the polar star. He looks back to the time when gamma Draconis
occupied that conspicuous position, and the builders of the great
pyramid, B.C. 3970, gave to its subterranean passage an inclination of
26° 15´, corresponding to the inferior culmination of that star. He
tells us that the Southern Cross began to be invisible in 52° 30´ N.,
2900 years before our era, and that it had previously attained an
altitude of more than 10°. When it disappeared from the horizon of the
countries on the Baltic, the pyramid of Cheops had been erected more
than a thousand years.

[Sidenote: Proofs of time from aqueous effects,] We must pass by a
copious mass of evidence furnished by aqueous causes of change operating
on the earth's surface, though these add very weighty proof to the
doctrine of a long period. The filling up of lakes, the formation of
deltas, the cutting power of running water, the deposit of travertines,
the denudation of immense tracts of country, the carrying of their
detritus into the sea, the changes of shores by tides and waves, the
formation of strata hundreds of miles in length, and the imbedding
therein of fossil remains in numbers almost beyond belief, furnished
many interesting and important facts. Of these not a few presented means
of computation. It would not be difficult to assign a date for such
geographical events as the production of the Caspian and Dead Seas from
an examination of the sum of saline material contained in their waters
and deposited in their bed, with the annual amount brought into them by
their supplying rivers. Such computations were executed as respects the
growth of Lower Egypt and the backward cutting of Niagara Falls, and,
though they might be individually open to criticism, their mutual
accordance and tendency furnished an evidence that could not be
gainsaid. The continual accumulation of such evidence ought not to be
without its weight on those who are still disposed to treat slightingly
the power of geological facts in developing truth.

[Sidenote: and from the movements of the earth's crust.] To such facts
were added all those, with which volumes might be filled, proving the
universality of the movements of the solid crust of the earth--strata
once necessarily horizontal now inclined at all angles, strata
unconformable to one another--a body of evidence most copious and most
satisfactory, yet demonstrating from the immensity of the results how
slowly the work had gone on.

How was it possible to conceive that beds many hundred feet in thickness
should have been precipitated suddenly from water? Their mechanical
condition implied slow disintegration and denudation in other localities
to furnish material; their contents showed no trace of violence; they
rather proved the deposition to have occurred in a tranquil and quiet
way. What interpretation could be put upon facts continually increasing
in number like those observed in the south-east of England, where
fresh-water beds a thousand feet thick are covered by other beds a
thousand feet thick, but of marine origin? What upon those in the north
of England, where masses once uplifted a thousand feet above the level,
and, at the time of their elevation, presenting abrupt precipices and
cliffs of that height, as is proved by the fractures and faults of the
existing strata, have been altogether removed, and the surface left
plain? In South Wales there are localities where 11,000 feet in
thickness have been bodily carried away. Whether, therefore, the strata
that have been formed, and which remain to strike us with astonishment
at their prodigious mass, were considered; or those that have been
destroyed, not, however, without leaving unmistakable traces of
themselves; the processes of wearing away to furnish material as well as
the accumulation, of necessity required the lapse of long periods of
time. The undermining of cliffs by the beating of the sea, the
redistribution of sands and mud at the bottom of the ocean, the washing
of material from hills into the lowlands by showers of rain, its
transport by river courses, the disintegration of soils by the influence
of frost, the weathering of rocks by carbonic acid, and the solution of
limestone by its aid in water--these are effects which, even at the
quickest, seem not to amount to much in the course of the life of a man.
A thousand years could yield but a trifling result.

We have already alluded to another point of view from which these
mechanical effects were considered. The level of the land and sea has
unmistakably changed. There are mountain eminences ten or fifteen
thousand feet in altitude in the interior of continents over which, or
through which shells and other products of the sea are profusely
scattered. And though, considering the proverbial immobility of the
solid land and the proverbial instability of the water, it might at
first be supposed much more likely that the sea had subsided than that
the land had risen, a more critical examination soon led to a change of
opinion. Before our eyes, in some countries, elevations and depressions
are taking place, sometimes in a slow secular manner, as in Norway and
Sweden, that peninsula on the north rising, and on the south sinking, at
such a rate that, to accomplish the whole seven hundred feet of
movement, more than twenty-seven thousand years would be required if it
had always been uniform as now. Elsewhere, as on the south-western coast
of South America, the movement is paroxysmal, the shore line lifting for
hundreds of miles instantaneously, and then pausing for many years. In
the Morea also, range after range of old sea cliffs exist, some of them
more than a thousand feet high, with terraces at the base of each; but
the Morea has been well known for the last twenty-five centuries, and in
that time has undergone no material change. Again, in Sicily, similar
interior sea-cliffs are seen, the rubbish at their bases containing the
bones of the hippopotamus and mammoth, proofs of the great change the
climate has undergone since the sea washed those ancient beaches. Italy,
pre-eminently the historic country, in which, within the memory of man,
no material change of configuration has taken place since the
Pleistocene period, very late geologically speaking has experienced
elevations of fifteen hundred feet. The seven hills of Rome are of the
Pliocene, with fluviatile deposits and recent terrestrial shells two
hundred feet above the Tiber. There intervened between the older
Pliocene and the newer a period of enormous length, as is demonstrated
by the accumulated effects taking place in it, and, indeed, the same may
be said of every juxtaposed pair of distinctly marked strata. It
demanded an inconceivable time for beds once horizontal at the bottom of
the sea to be tilted to great inclinations; it required also the
enduring exertion of a prodigious force. Ascent and descent may be
detected in strata of every age: movements sometimes paroxysmal, but
more often of tranquil and secular kind. The coal-bearing strata, by
gradual submergence, attained in South Wales a thickness of 12,000 feet,
and in Nova Scotia, a total thickness of 14,570 feet; the uniformity of
the process of submergence and its slow steadiness is indicated by the
occurrence of erect trees at different levels: seventeen such
repetitions may be counted in a thickness of 4515 feet. The age of the
trees is proved by their size, some being four feet in diameter. Round
them, as they gradually went down with the subsiding soil, calamites
grew at one level after another. In the Sidney coal-field fifty-nine
fossil forests thus occur in superposition.

[Sidenote: Organic proofs of a former high temperature.] Such was the
conclusion forcing itself from considerations connected with inorganic
nature. It received a most emphatic endorsement from the organic world,
for there is an intimate connexion between the existence and well-being
both of plants and animals, and the heat to which they are exposed. Why
is it that the orange and lemon do not grow in New York? What is it that
would inevitably ensue if these exotics were exposed to a cold winter?
What must take place if, in Florida or other of the Southern states, a
season of unusual rigor should occur? Does not heat thus confine within
a fixed boundary the spread of these plants? And so, again, how many
others there are which grow luxuriantly in a temperate climate, but are
parched up and killed if fortuitously carried beneath a hot tropical
sun. To every one there is a climate which best suits the condition of
its life, and certain limits of heat and cold beyond which its existence
is not possible.

If the mean annual heat of the earth's surface were slowly to rise, and,
in the course of some centuries, the temperature now obtaining in
Florida should obtain in New York, the orange and lemon would certainly
be found here. [Sidenote: Boundary of organisms by heat.] With the
increasing heat those plants would commence a northward march, steadily
advancing as opportunity was given. Or, if the reverse took place, and
for any reason the heat of the torrid zone declined until the winter's
cold of New York should be at last reached under the equator, as the
descent went on the orange and lemon would retreat within a narrow and
narrower region, and end by becoming extinct, the conditions of their
exposure being incompatible with the continuance of their life. From
such considerations it is therefore obvious that not only does heat
arrange the limits of the distribution of plants, erecting round them
boundaries which, though invisible, are more insuperable than a wall of
brass, it also regulates their march, if march there is to be--nay, even
controls their very existence, and to genera, and species, and
individuals appoints a period of duration.

[Sidenote: Animals localized as well as plants.] Such observations apply
not alone to plants; the animal kingdom offers equally significant
illustrations. Why does the white bear enjoy the leaden sky of the pole
and his native iceberg? Why does the tiger restrict himself to the
jungles of India? Can it be doubted that, if the mean annual temperature
should decline, the polar bear would come with his iceberg to
corresponding southern latitudes, or, if the heat should rise, the tiger
would commence a northward journey? Does he not, indeed, every summer
penetrate northward in Asia as far as the latitude of Berlin, and retire
again as winter comes on? Why is it that, at a given signal, the birds
of passage migrate, pressed forward in the spring by the heat, and
pressed backward in the autumn by the cold? The annual migration of
birds illustrates the causes of geological appearances and extinctions.
Do we not herein recognize the agent that determines animal
distribution? We must not deceive ourselves with any fancied terrestrial
impediment or restraint. Let the heat rise but a few degrees, and the
turkey-buzzard, to whose powerful wing distances are of no moment and
the free air no impediment, would be seen hovering over New York; let it
fall a few degrees, and he would vanish from the streets of Charleston;
let it fall a little more, and he would vanish from the earth.
Shell-fish, once the inhabitants of the British seas, retired during the
glacial period to the Mediterranean, and with the returning warmth have
gone back northward again.

[Sidenote: Control of animals by food.] Animals are thus controlled by
heat in an indirect as well as a direct way. Indirectly; for, if their
food be diminished, they must seek a more ample supply; if it fails,
they must perish. Doubtless it was insufficient food, as well as the
setting in of a more rigorous climate, that occasioned the destruction
of the mastodon giganteus, which abounded in the United States after the
drift period. Such great elephantine forms could not possibly sustain
themselves against the rigors of the present winters, nor could they
find a sufficient supply of food for a considerable portion of the year.
The disappearance of animals from the face of the earth was, as
Palæontology advanced, ascertained to have been a determinate process, a
condition of their existence, and either inherent in themselves or
dependent on their environment. It was proved that the forms now
existing are only an insignificant part of the countless tribes that
have lived. [Sidenote: Nature of creations and extinctions.] The earth
has been the theatre of a long succession of appearances and removals,
of creations and extinctions, reaching to the latest times. In the
Pleistocene of Sicily, 35/124 of the fossil shells are extinct; in the
bone caverns of England, out of thirty-seven mammals eighteen are
extinct. But judging, from what may be observed of the duration of races
contemporary with us, that their life is prolonged for thousands of
years, successive generations of the same species in a long order
replacing their predecessors before final removal occurs, this again
resistlessly brought forward the same conclusion to which all the
foregoing facts had pointed, that there have transpired since the
introduction of animal life upon this globe very long periods of time.

Through the operation of this law of extinction and of creation,
animated nature, both on the continents and in the seas, has undergone a
marvellous change. In the lias and oolitic seas, the Enaliosauria,
Cetiosauria, and Crocodilia dominated as the Delphinidæ and Balænidæ do
in ours; the former have been eliminated, the latter produced. Along
with the cetaceans came the soft-scaled Cycloid and Ctenoid fishes,
orders which took the place of the Ganoids and Placoids of the Mesozoic
times. One after another successive species of air-breathing reptiles
have emerged, continued for their appointed time to exist, and then died
out. The development has been, not in the descending, but in the
ascending order; the Amphitheria, Spalacotheria, Triconodon of the
Mesozoic times were substituted by higher tertiary forms. Nor have these
mutations been abrupt. If mammals are the chief characteristic of the
Tertiary ages, their first beginnings are seen far earlier; in the
triassic and oolitic formations there are a few of the lower orders
struggling, as it were, to emerge. The aspect of animated nature has
altogether changed. No longer does the camelopard wander over Europe as
he did in the Miocene and Pliocene times; no longer are great elephants
seen in the American forests, the hippopotamus in England, the
Rhinoceros in Siberia. The hand of man has introduced in the New the
horse of the Old World; but the American horse, that ran on the great
plains contemporary with the megatherium and megalonyx, has for tens of
thousands of years been extinct. Even the ocean and the rivers are no
exception to these changes.

[Sidenote: Creations and extinctions by law.] What, then, is the manner
of origin of this infinite succession of forms? It is often sufficient
to see clearly a portion of a plan to be able to determine with some
degree of certainty the general arrangement of the whole; it is often
sufficient to know with precision a part of the life of an individual to
guess with probable accuracy his action in some forthcoming event, of to
determine the share he has borne in affairs that are past. It is enough
to appreciate thoroughly the style of a master to ascertain without
doubt the authenticity of an imputed picture. And so, in the affairs of
the universe, it is enough to ascertain the manner of operation of a
part in order to settle the manner of operation of the whole. When,
therefore, it was perceived how the disappearance of vanishing forms
from the surface of the globe is accomplished--that it is not by a
sudden and grand providential intervention--that there is no visible
putting forth of the Omnipotent hand, but slowly and silently, yet
surely, the ordinary laws of Nature are permitted to take their
course--that heat, and cold, and want of food, and dryness, and
moisture, in the end, as if by an irresistible destiny, accomplish the
event, it seemed to indicate that, as regards the introduction of
new-comers, a suitableness of external conditions had called them forth,
as an unsuitableness could end them. Changes in the constitution of the
air or its pressure, in the composition of the sea or its depth, in the
brilliancy of light or the amount of heat, in the inorganic material of
a medium, will modify old forms into new ones, or compel their
extinction. Birth and death go hand in hand; creation and extinction are
inseparable. The variation of organic form is continuous; it depends
upon an orderly succession of material events; appearances and
eliminations are managed upon a common principle; they stand connected
with the irresistible course of great mundane changes. It was impossible
that geologists could reach any other conclusion than that such
phenomena are not the issue of direct providential interventions, but of
physical influences. The procession of organic life is not a motley
march; it follows the procession of physical events; and, since it is
impossible to re-establish a sameness of physical conditions that have
once come to an end, or reproduce the order in which they have occurred,
it of necessity follows that no organic form can reappear after it has
once died out--once dead, it is clean gone for ever.

[Sidenote: Interstitial molecular creations.] In the course of the life
of individual man, the parts that constitute his system are undergoing
momentary changes; those of to-day are not the same as those of
yesterday, and they will be replaced by others to-morrow. There have
been, and are every instant, interstitial deaths of all the constituent
particles, and an unceasing removal of those that have performed their
duty. In the stead of departing portions, new ones have been introduced,
interstitial births and organizations perpetually taking place. In
physiology it became no longer a question that all this proceeds in a
determinate way under the operation of principles that are fixed, of
laws that are invariable. The alchemists introduced no poetical fiction
when they spoke of the microcosm, asserting that the system of man is
emblematical of the system of the world. The intercalation of a new
organic molecule in a living being answers to the introduction of a new
form in the universal organic series. It requires as much power to call
into existence a living molecule as to produce a living being. Both are
accomplished upon the same principle, and that principle is not an
incessant intervention of a supernatural kind, but the operation of
unvarying law. Physical agents, working through physical laws, remove in
organisms such molecules as have accomplished their work and create new
ones, and physical agents, working through physical laws, control the
extinctions and creations of forms in the universe of life. The
difference is only in the time. What is accomplished in the one case in
the twinkling of an eye, in the other may demand the lapse of a thousand

[Sidenote: Defence of the process of all things by law.] The variation
of organic forms, under the force of external circumstances, is thus
necessary to be understood in connexion with that countless succession
of living beings demonstrated by geology. It carries us, in common with
so much other evidence, to the lapse of a long time. Nor are such views
as those to which we are thus constrained inconsistent with the
admission of a Providential guidance of the world. Man, however learned
and pious he may be, is not always a trustworthy interpreter of the ways
of God. In deciding whether any philosophical doctrine is consistent or
inconsistent with the Divine attributes, we are too prone to judge of
those attributes by our own finite and imperfect standard, forgetting
that the only test to which we ought to resort is the ascertainment if
the doctrine be true. If it be true, it is in unison with God. Perhaps
some who have rejected the conception of the variation of organic forms,
with its postulate--limitless duration, may have failed to remember the
grandeur of the universe and its relations to space and to time; perhaps
they do not recall the system on which it is administered. Like the
anthropomorphite monks of the Nile, they conceive of God as if he were
only a very large man; else how could it for a moment have been doubted
that it is far more--I use the expression reverently--in the style of
the great Constructor to carry out his intentions by the summary
operations of law? It might be consistent with the weakness and
ignorance of man to be reduced to the necessity of personal intervention
for the accomplishment of his plans, but would not that be the very
result of such ignorance? Does not absolute knowledge actually imply
procedure by preconceived and unvarying law? Is not momentary
intervention altogether derogatory to the thorough and absolute
sovereignty of God? The astronomical calculation of ancient events, as
well as the prediction of those to come, is essentially founded on the
principle that there has not in the times under consideration, and that
there will never be in the future, any exercise of an arbitrary or
overriding will. The corner-stone of astronomy is this, that the solar
system--nay, even the universe, is ruled by necessity. To operate by
expedients is for the creature, to operate by law for the Creator; and
so far from the doctrine that creations and extinctions are carried on
by a foreseen and predestined ordinance--a system which works of itself
without need of any intermeddling--being an unworthy, an ignoble
conception, it is completely in unison with the resistless movements of
the mechanism of the universe, with whatever is orderly, symmetrical,
and beautiful upon earth, and with all the dread magnificence of the

[Sidenote: Historical sketch of early Palæontology.] It was in Italy
that particular attention was first given to organic remains. Leonardo
da Vinci asserts that they are real shells, or the remains thereof, and
hence that the land and sea must have changed their relative position.
At this time fossils were looked upon as rare curiosities, no one
supposing that they were at all numerous, and many were the fantastic
hypotheses proposed to account for their occurrence. Some referred them
to the general deluge mentioned in Scripture; some to a certain plastic
power obscurely attributed to the earth; some thought that they were
engendered by the sunlight, heat, and rain. To Da Vinci is due the first
clear assertion of their true nature, that they are actually the remains
of organic beings. Soon the subject was taken up by other eminent
Italians. Fracaster wrote on the petrifactions of Verona; Scilla, a
Sicilian, on marine bodies turned into stone, illustrating his work by
engravings. Still later, Vallisneri, 1721, published letters on marine
bodies found in rocks, attempting by their aid to determine the extent
of the marine deposits of Italy. These early cultivators of geology soon
perceived the advantage to be gained by the establishment of museums and
the publication of catalogues. The first seems to have been that of John
Kentman, an example that was followed by Calceolarius and Vallisneri.
Subsequently Fontanelle proposed the construction of charts in
accordance with fossil remains; but the principle involved was not
applied on the great scale as a true geological test until introduced by
Smith in connexion with the English strata.

[Sidenote: The pre-organic time.] To Steno, a Dane, is due the
recognition of pre-organic in contradistinction to organic rocks, a
distinction the terms of which necessarily involve the idea of time.
Soon it became generally recognized that the strata in which organic
remains occur are of a later date than those devoid of them, the
pre-organic rocks demonstrating a pre-organic time. Moreover, as facts
were developed, it was plain that there are essential differences in the
relations of fossils, and that, though in Italy the same species of
shells may occur in the mountains that occur in the adjacent seas, this
was very far from being the case uniformly elsewhere. At length the
truth began to emerge, that in proportion as the strata under
examination are of an older date, so are the differences between their
organic remains and existing species more marked. It was also discovered
that the same species often extends superficially over immense
districts, but that in a vertical examination one species after another
rapidly appears in a descending order--an order which could be verified
in spite of the contortions, fractures, and displacements of the strata.
A very important theoretical conclusion was here presented: for the
rapid succession of essentially different organic forms, as the rocks
were older, was clearly altogether inconsistent with one catastrophe, as
the universal deluge, to which it had been generally referred. It was
plain that the thickness of the strata in which they were enveloped, and
the prodigious numbers in which they occurred, answered in some degree
to the period of life of those fossils, since every one of them, large
or small, must have had its time of birth, of maturity, and of death.
[Sidenote: Insufficiency of a single catastrophe.] When, therefore, it
could be no longer doubted that strata many hundreds of feet in
thickness were crowded with such remains, it became altogether out of
the question to refer their entombment to the confusion of a single
catastrophe, for every thing indicated an orderly and deliberate
proceeding. Still more cogent did this evidence become when, in a more
critical manner, the fossils were studied, and some strata were
demonstrated to be of a fresh-water and others of a marine origin, the
one intercalated with the other like leaves in a book. To this fact may
be imputed the final overthrow of the doctrine of a single catastrophe,
and its replacement by a doctrine of periodical changes.

[Sidenote: The orderly progression of organization.] From these
statements it will therefore be understood that, commencing with the
first appearance of organization, an orderly process was demonstrated
from forms altogether unlike those with which we are familiar, up to
those at present existing, a procedure conducted so slowly that it was
impossible to assign for it a shorter duration than thousands of
centuries. Moreover, it seemed that the guiding condition which had
controlled this secular march of organization was the same which still
determines the possibility of existence and the distribution of life.
The succession of organic forms indicates a clear relation to a
descending temperature. The plants of the earliest times are plants of
an ultratropical climate, and that primitive vegetation seemed to
demonstrate that there had been a uniform climate--a climate of high
temperature--all over the globe. The coal-beds of Nova Scotia exhibited
the same genera and species as those of Europe, and so well marked was
the botanical connexion with the declining temperature in successive
ages that attempts were made to express eras by their prevailing
organisms; thus Brongniart's division is, for the Primary strata, the
Age of Acrogens; the Secondary, exclusive of the Cretaceous, the Age of
Gymnogens; the third, including the Cretaceous and Tertiary, the Age of
Angiosperms. It is to be particularly remarked that the Cretaceous
flora, in the aggregate, combines the antecedent and succeeding periods,
proving that the change was not by crisis or sudden catastrophe, but
that the new forms rose gently among the old ones. After the Eocene
period, dicotyledonous angiosperms became the prevalent form, and from
that date to the Pleistocene the evidences of a continued refrigeration
are absolute.

[Sidenote: Climates in time and in place.] As thus an examination was
made from the most ancient to the later ages, indications were found of
a climate arrangement more and more distinct--in the high latitudes,
from the ultratropical through the tropical, the temperate, down to the
present frigid state; in lower latitudes the declining process stopping
short at an earlier point. It therefore appeared that there has been a
production of climates both in an order of time and, in an order of
locality, the greatest change having occurred in the frigid zone, which
has passed through all mean temperatures, an intermediate change in the
temperate, and a minimum in the torrid zone. The general effect has thus
been to present a succession of surfaces on the same planet adapted to a
varied organization, and offering a more magnificent spectacle than if
we were permitted to inspect many different planets; for in them there
might be no necessary connexion of their forms of life, but in this
there is, so that, were our knowledge of Comparative Physiology more
perfect, we might amuse ourselves with intercalating among the plant and
animal organisms familiar to us hypothetical forms that would make the
series complete, and verify our principles by their subsequent discovery
in the deep strata of the earth.

Does not this progression of life in our planet suggest a like
progression for the solar system, which in its aggregate is passing in
myriads of years through all organic phases? May we not also, from our
solar system, rise to a similar conception for the universe?

There are two very important considerations, on which we must dwell for
the complete understanding of the consequences of these changes: 1st.
The mechanism of the declining temperature; 2d. Its effect in the
organic world.

[Sidenote: The nature of terrestrial declining temperature.] 1st. A
uniformly high temperature could never be manifested all over the
surface of our planet through any heating influence of the sun. A high
and uniform temperature unerringly points to an internal cause; and the
gradual appearance of climates, manifesting a relatively increasing
power of the sun, indicates the slow diminution of that internal heat.
But this is precisely the conclusion which was come to from a
contemplation of the earth from a purely physical point of view. So long
as its intrinsic heat overpowered that derived from the sun, it was not
possible that any thing answering to climates could be established; and,
until a certain degree of cooling by radiation had been accomplished,
the heat must have been comparatively uniform in all latitudes; but,
that point gained, there necessarily ensued an arrangement of zones of
different temperatures, or, in other words, climates appeared, the
process being essentially slow, and becoming slower as the loss of heat
went on. Finally, when loss of heat from the earth ceased, an
equilibrium was reached in the climate arrangement as we now find it.
Thus purely physical as well as geological considerations brought
philosophers on this point to the same conclusion--that conclusion which
has been so often repeated--very long periods of time.

[Sidenote: Consequent effect on the Flora and Fauna.] 2nd. As to the
effect on the organic world. Nothing can live at a temperature higher
than the boiling-point of water, for the condition of life implies that
there shall circulate from part to part of a living mechanism a watery
liquid, sap, or blood. From this it necessarily follows that a planet,
the temperature of which is above a certain limit, must necessarily have
a lifeless surface; and this seemed to be the interpretation of that
pre-organic time to which we have referred. Moreover, when the
temperature suitably descends so as to come within the limit at which
life is possible, its uniformity over the surface of a planet will
produce a sameness in the organization. It would be an identity if heat
were the only regulating condition of life. At this stage of things, the
solar heat being overpowered, and a sensibly uniform temperature in all
latitudes existing, still the only possible organic forms are those
consistent with a high temperature, uniformity in the physical condition
impressing a general uniformity in the aspect of life geographically.
[Sidenote: Production and distribution of new organisms.] But the moment
that climate arrangement has become possible, variety of organic form
becomes possible. Now also ensues another all-important
result--geographical distribution. Both of plants and animals, those
whose vital conditions are inconsistent with the occurring change must
retire from the affected locality. In plants this retrocession is
brought to pass by the gradual sickening and death of individuals, or
the impossibility of reproduction; in animals there is added thereto,
because of their power of locomotion, voluntary retirement, at least in
the case of individuals, and immobility in the species is corrected by
locomotion in the individual. The affected region has become unsuitable,
cheerless, uncomfortable; they abandon it; and as the boundary they
thus, in the one case, can not, and in the other will not overpass,
advances, so do they recede before it. If the change were abrupt, or
took place by a sudden crisis, there would seem to be no other possible
event than an overcrowding of the unaffected region and a desolation of
the part that had varied. But, since a developing cell under a new
condition produces a new form, and since the physical change is taking
place with extreme slowness, the appearance of modified structures
ensues. And thus, by decline of temperature, two distinct results are
accomplished--first the production of organic forms in an order of
succession, new ones replacing the old, as if they were transmutations
of them, and, secondly, geographical distribution.

[Sidenote: Delusive nature of organic equilibrium.] In my "Physiology" I
have endeavoured to explain in detail the principles here set forth. I
have endeavoured to show that the aspect of sameness presented by an
animal or plant is no proof of unchangeability. Those forms retain in
our times their special aspect because the conditions of the theatre in
which they live do not change; but let the mean temperature rise, let
the sun-rays become brighter, change the composition of the air, and
forthwith the world of organization would show how profoundly it was
affected. Nor need such changes, in one sense, be more than
insignificant to produce prodigious results. Thus the air contains only
1/2000 of its volume of carbonic acid gas. That apparently trifling
quantity taken away, in an instant the whole surface of the earth would
become a desolate waste, without the possibility of vegetable life.

[Sidenote: The Coal period.] As physical geology advanced, the Coal
period was perceived to be the chief epoch in the history of our planet.
Through a slow decline of temperature, a possibility had gradually been
attained, so far as the condition of heat was concerned, for a luxuriant
vegetable growth. All that prodigious mass of carbon now found in the
earth in the various forms of coal existed as carbonic acid in the
atmosphere. The proportion of free oxygen was less than at present by a
volume equal to the excess of carbonic acid. [Sidenote: Effects of light
on the atmosphere,] A change in the constitution of this primæval
atmosphere was occasioned by the action of the light; for, under the
influence of the sun-rays, plants decompose carbonic acid, appropriating
its carbon, and, for the most part, setting the oxygen free. The
quantity of carbon which can thus be condensed for the use of a plant,
and, indeed, every such decomposing action by light, is directly
proportionate to the quantity of light consumed, as experiments which I
have personally made have proved. For the production of so great a
weight of combustible matter a very long period of time was necessarily
required, that the sun might supply the necessary luminous influence.

Age after age the sunbeams continued their work, changing the mechanical
relations and composition of the atmosphere, the constitution of the
sea, and the appearance of the surface of the earth. There was a
prodigious growth of ferns, lepidodendra, equisetaceæ, coniferæ. The
percentage of oxygen in the air continually increased, that of carbonic
acid continually declined; the pressure of the air correspondingly
diminished, partly because of the replacement of a heavy gas by a
lighter one, and partly because of the general decline of temperature
slowly taking place, which diminished the absolute volume of vapour.
[Sidenote: and also on the sea.] The sea, in its deepest abysses, was
likewise affected by the sunlight; not directly, but in an indirect way;
for, as the removal of carbonic acid from the atmosphere went on,
portions of that gas were perpetually surrendered by the ocean in order
to maintain a diffusion-equilibrium between its dissolved gas and the
free gas of the air. And now no longer could be held in transparent
solution by the water those great quantities of carbonate of lime which
had once been concealed in it, the deposit of a given weight of coal in
the earth being inevitably followed by the deposit of an equivalent
weight of carbonate of lime in the sea. This might have taken place as
an amorphous precipitate; but the probabilities were that it would
occur, as in fact it did, under forms of organization in the great
limestone strata coeval with and posterior to the coal. The air and the
ocean were thus suffering an invisible change through the disturbing
agency of the sun, and the surface of the solid earth was likewise
undergoing a more manifest, and, it may be said, more glorious
alteration. Plants, in wild luxuriance, were developing themselves in
the hot and dank climate, and the possibility was now approaching for
the appearance of animal types very much higher than any that had yet
existed. [Sidenote: Cold-blooded animals succeeded by hot.] In the old
heavy atmosphere, full of a noxious gas, none but slowly-respiring
cold-blooded animals could maintain themselves; but after the great
change in the constitution of the air had been accomplished, the
quickly-respiring and hot-blooded forms might exist. Hitherto the
highest advancement that animal life could reach was in batrachian and
lizard-like organisms; yet even these were destined to participate in
the change, increasing in magnitude and vital capacity. The pterodactyl
of the chalk, a flying lizard, measures nearly seventeen feet from tip
to tip of its wings. The air had now become suitable for mammals, both
placental and implacental, and for birds. One after another, in their
due order, appeared the highest vertebrates: marine, as the cetacean;
aerial, as the bat; and in the terrestrial, reaching, in the Eocene,
quadrumanous animals, but not, until after the Pliocene, man.

[Sidenote: The date of organisms may change, but the order not.]
Although the advance of geology may hereafter lead to a correction of
some of the conclusions thus attained to respecting the first dates of
different organic forms, and carry them back to more ancient times, it
is scarcely likely that any material modification of their order of
occurrence will ever be made. Birds, mammals, reptiles, fishes, and
invertebrates may each be detected in earlier strata; even in some of
those formations now regarded as non-fossiliferous, organisms may be
found; but it is not at all probable that the preponderance of reptiles
will ever cease to be the essential characteristic of the Secondary
rocks, or that of mammals of the Tertiary, or that a preceding period of
vast duration, in which the type of life had been the invertebrate, will
ever be doubted. Nothing, probably, will ever be discovered to
invalidate the physical conclusion that, while there was an excess of
carbonic acid in the air, the Flora would tend to be Cryptogamic and
Gymnospermic, and that there would be a scarcity of monocotyledons and
dicotyledonous angiosperms in the coal; nothing to disprove the fact
that the animals were slow-breathing and cold-blooded; and that it was
not until after the oxygen of the air had increased and the mean
temperature had declined that birds made their appearance. Though both
placental and marsupial animals may hereafter be found earlier than in
the Stonesfield slate; though wood and herb-eating beetles,
grasshoppers, dragon-flies, and May-flies may be found beneath the lias,
and scorpions and cockroaches beneath the coal, though, also beneath the
coal, salamanders and Sauroid batrachians, of which the archegosaurus is
an example, may occur; though reptiles, as the telerpeton, may be found
deeper than the old red sandstone; yet the connexion between aerial
constitution and form of life will never be shaken. Still will remain
the facts that the geographical distribution of types was anterior to
the appearance of existing species, that organisms first appeared in a
liquid medium, primitively marine, then fluviatile, and at last
terrestrial; that Radiates, Molluscs, Articulates, Vertebrates, were all
at first aquatic, and that the Radiates have ever remained so; that the
plane of greatest vital activity has ever been the sea-level, where the
earth and air touch each other; that the order of individual development
is the order of mundane development. Still will remain the important
conclusions that the mammalian Fauna has diverged more rapidly than the
testaceous; that hot-blooded animals have not had that longevity of
species which has been displayed by the cold, just as we observe in the
individual the possibility of muscular contraction by a given galvanic
force lasts much longer in the latter than in the former; that if the
hot-blooded tribes have thus a briefer duration, they enjoy a
compensation in the greater energy of their life--perhaps this being the
cause and that the effect; that, notwithstanding the countless forms
exhibited by species, their duration is so great that they outlive vast
changes in the topographical configuration of countries--the Fauna of
some countries having been in existence before those countries
themselves; that the plan of individual development has ever been as it
is now, and that sameness of external influence produces similarity of

[Sidenote: The doctrine of catastrophes and uniformity.] In its early
history theoretical geology presented two schools--one insisting on a
doctrine of catastrophes, one on a doctrine of uniformity. The former
regarded those changes which have manifestly taken place in the history
of our planet as having occurred at epochs abruptly. To this doctrine
the prevailing impression that there had been providential interventions
lent much force. The other school, reposing on the great principle of
the invariability of the laws of Nature, insisted that affairs had
always gone on at the same rate and in the same way as they do now.
Hence it maintained an opposition to the catastrophists, and in this, it
may be said, was actually not true to its own principles. Any doctrine
of uniformity, rightly considered from its most general point of view,
includes an admission of catastrophes. Numerous illustrations of this
truth spontaneously suggest themselves. A tower, the foundations of
which are slowly yielding, may incline more and more for many centuries,
but the day must come in which it will fall at last. In the uniformity
of the disturbance a catastrophe was eventually involved. And thus, in
what has been said respecting geological events, though they are spoken
of as proceeding quietly and with uniformity, it may be understood that
sudden crises are also contemplated. Moreover, those who adopt the
doctrine of uniformity in an absolute sense must pay a due regard to the
variations in intensity of physical acts which their own principles
imply. The uniform cooling of a hot body actually means a cooling at
first fast, and then slower and slower; and invariability of chemical
change actually implies more violent and summary modifications at a high
temperature than at one which is low.

But, though it may at first sight have appeared that an admission of the
doctrine of catastrophes is in harmony with a providential government of
the world, and that the emergence of different organic forms in
successive ages is a manifestation of creative intervention, of which it
was admitted that as many as from twelve to twenty, if no more,
successive instances might be recognized, we may well congratulate
ourselves that those important doctrines rest upon a far more
substantial basis. Rightly considered, the facts lead to a very
different conclusion. [Sidenote: Successive forms assumed by man.]
Physiological investigations have proved that all animals, even man,
during the process of development, pass in succession through a definite
cycle of forms. Starting from a simple cell, form after form, in a
definite order is assumed. In this long line of advance the steps are
ever, in all individuals, the same. But no one would surely suppose that
the changed aspect at any moment presented is due to a providential
interposition. [Sidenote: But they are rigidly determined by law.] On
the contrary, it is the inevitable result of what has been taking place
under the law of development, and the sure precursor of what is about to
follow. In the organic world, the successive orders, and genera, and
species are the counterparts of these temporary embryonic forms of the
individual. Indeed, we may say of those successive geological beings
that they are mere embryos of the latest--embryos that had gained a
power of reproduction. How shall we separate the history of the
individual from the history of the whole? Do not the fortunes and way of
progress of the one follow the fortunes and way of progress of the
other? If, in a transitory manner, these forms are assumed by the
individual, equally in a transitory manner are they assumed by the race.
Nor would it be philosophical to suppose that the management in the one
instance differs from the management in the other. If the one is
demonstrably the issue of a law in action, so must the other be too. It
does not matter that the entire cycle is passed through by the
individual in the course of a few months, while in the race it demands
ages. [Sidenote: Individual and race development conducted in the same
way.] The standard of time that ought to be applied is the respective
duration of life. In man it is much if he attains to threescore years
and ten; but the entire period of human record, embracing several
thousand years, offers not a single instance of the birth, maturity, and
death of a species. They, therefore, who think they find, in the
successive species that have in an orderly manner replaced each other in
the life of the earth, the sure proof of Divine intervention, would do
well to determine at what point the production of such forms by law
ceases, and at what point their production by the immediate act of God
begins. Their task will be as hard to tell where one colour in the
rainbow ends and where the next commences. They will also do well to
remember that, in great mundane events, the scale of time is ample, and
that there may be no essential difference between a course that is run
over in a few days and one that requires for its completion thousands of

[Sidenote: Catastrophes disproved by the co-existence of types.] The
co-existence of different types in the organic series was the
incontrovertible fact by which was demonstrated the gradual passage from
form to form without catastrophes, the argument relied upon gathering
strength from such circumstances as these, that even the fossil shells
of the modern Italian tuffs which are not extinct exhibit a slight want
of correspondence when compared with those now inhabiting the
Mediterranean, some of the old ones being twice and a half as large as
the present, and that there is a numerical passage from strata
containing seventy per cent. of recent shells to those that are
altogether recent, or contain one hundred per cent. This is manifestly
indicative of a continually changing impression bringing on a
corresponding modelling. It is the proof of a slow merging into, or of a
measured assumption of, the new form--a transition, for the completion
of which probably a very long time is required. That the existing
reindeer is found in the same fluviatile deposits with an extinct
hippopotamus seemed certainly to prove that there was a condition of
things in which the co-life of those animals was possible in the same
locality, and that, as the physical causes slowly changed, the one might
be eliminated and the other might be left. That the regulating
conditions were altogether physical was obvious from such facts as that
in the bone-caves of Australia all the mammals are marsupial, and in the
pampas of South America they are allied to such forms as are indigenous,
armadilloes, sloths, etc., showing the tokens of lineage or hereditary
transmission. For still more remote times numerous instances of a
similar nature were detected; thus, throughout the whole Secondary
period, the essential characteristic was the wonderful development of
reptile life, while in the Tertiary it was the development of mammals.
But the appearance of mammals had commenced long before that of reptiles
had ceased. Indeed, the latter event is incomplete in our times; for,
though the marine Saurians have been almost entirely removed, the
fluviatile and terrestrial ones maintain themselves, though diminished
both in species and individuals. Now such an overlapping of reptiles and
mammals was altogether irreconcilable with the doctrine of a crisis or
catastrophe, and, in fact, it demonstrated the changing of organisms in
the changing of physical states.

[Sidenote: Cuvier's doctrine of permanence of species.] Cuvier
maintained the doctrine of the permanence of animal species from the
facts that the oldest known do not appear to have undergone any
modification, and that every existing one shows a resistance to change.
If his observations are restricted to periods not exceeding human
history, they may perhaps be maintained, but that duration cannot be
looked upon as more than a moment in the limitless progress we are
considering, and it was in this view that Cuvier's doctrine proved to be
incapable of defence. [Sidenote: Imperfection of evidence in its
support.] What does it signify if our domestic animals show no
variations when compared with the corresponding images depicted on the
hieroglyphic monuments of Egypt, or with the descriptions left by
ancient authors? Evidence of that kind is valueless. Does the geologist
ask of the architect his opinion whether there have ever been upliftings
and down-sinkings of the earth? If he did, would not every structure in
Europe be brought forward as an evidence that nothing of the kind had
ever occurred? A leaning tower, or a church with inclining walls in
Italy, might pass for nothing; the Pyramids would testify that Egypt
itself had never undergone any disturbance--they remain solid on their
bases, undisturbed. But what is the weight of all this when placed in
opposition with the mass of evidence offered by inclined and fractured
strata? And yet such is precisely the proof offered in behalf of the
permanence of animals. The facts with which the zoologist deals, like
those on which the architect depends, are insufficient for the
purpose--they are wanting in extent of time. There have been movements
in the crust of the earth, though every building in the world may be
perpendicular; there have been transformations of organisms, though for
four thousand years there may have been no perceptible change.

[Sidenote: Control of organisms by physical conditions.] If ever there
had been a universal creation of all possible organic forms or
combinations, forthwith vast numbers of them must have disappeared,
every type being eliminated which was not in correspondence with the
external conditions or with the medium in which it was placed. If the
environment or the physical conditions underwent a variation, a
corresponding variation in the forms that could by possibility exist
must ensue, and, from a thorough study of those not eliminated, the
physical conditions might be ascertained; and conversely, from a
thorough knowledge of the physical conditions, the forms that could
escape elimination might be designated. The facts on which Cuvier rested
did not demonstrate what he supposed. His immobility of species was no
consequence of an innate or intrinsic resistance possessed by them, but
merely an illustration that external physical agents had not undergone
any well-marked variation in the time with which he was concerned.

[Sidenote: Nature of variation of physical conditions.] What is here
meant by variation in physical forces or condition is not any intrinsic
change in their nature, but the varied manner in which they may work by
interfering with one another, or experiencing declines of intensity.
From the fact that we may read in the fixed stars, through the
progressive motion of light, the history of a million of past years, we
may be sure that the forces of nature have undergone no intrinsic
change; that light was propagated at the same rate, was capable of
producing the same optical and chemical effects, and varied in its
intensity by distance as it does now; that heat determined corporeal
magnitudes. These are things that in their nature are absolutely
unchangeable. Always, as now, the freezing of water, and its boiling
under a given pressure, must have been the same; there must have been a
thermometric zero of life and an upward limit, no animal process ever
going on below 32° Fahrenheit or above 212° Fahrenheit.

[Sidenote: Effect thereof on organisms.] But out of this invariability
of natural causes variations in their condition of action arise, and it
is these that affect organic forms. Of such forms, some become at length
incapable of maintaining themselves in the slow progress of change;
others acclimatize, or accommodate, or suit themselves thereto by
undergoing modifications, and this was at last discerned to be the true
explanation of extinctions and appearances, events taking place very
slowly in untold periods of time, and rather by imperceptible degrees
than by a sudden catastrophe or crisis.

[Sidenote: Transmutation of species.] The doctrine of the transmutation
of species has met with no little resistance. They who have refused to
receive it as one of the truths of Nature have perhaps not given full
weight to physiological evidence. When they ask, Has any one ever
witnessed such an event as the transmutation of one species into
another? has any experimenter ever accomplished it by artificial means?
they do not take a due account of time. In the Fables it is related that
when the flowers were one evening conversing, "Our gardener," said the
rose to the lily, "will live for ever. I have not seen any change in
him. The tulip, who died yesterday, told me that she had remarked the
same thing; she believed that he must be immortal. I am sure that he
never was born."

[Sidenote: Two modes of action.] Two modes have been presented by which
we may conceive of the influence of physical agents upon organic forms.
Their long persistent action upon the individual may give rise to
modifications, developing one part, stunting another; and such
variations, being transmitted in an hereditary way, may become firmly
fixed at last. Thus a given plant may, in the course of ages, under the
influence of unremittingly acting physical conditions, undergo a
permanent change, and a really new plant arise as soon as, through the
repetitions of successive generations, the modifications have become so
thorough, so profound, as to be capable of transmission with certainty.
Perhaps this is what has taken place with many of our kitchen-garden
plants, of which the special varieties may be propagated by seeds. But
there is another mode by which that result may be reached, even if we
decline the doctrine of St. Augustine, who, in his work "De Civitate
Dei," shows how islands may be peopled with animals by "spontaneous
generation." All organic forms originally spring from a simple cell, the
development of which, as indicated by the final form attained, is
manifestly dependent on the physical conditions it has been exposed to
during its course. If those conditions change, that final form must
change correspondingly; and in this manner, since all organic beings
come from the same starting-point--the same cell, as has been said,
which helplessly submits to whatever impression may be put upon it--the
issue is the same as though a transformation or transmutation had
occurred, since the descendant is not like its ancestors. Such a manner
of considering these changes is in harmony with our best physiological
knowledge, since it does not limit itself to a small portion of the life
of an individual, but embraces its whole cycle or career. For the more
complete examination of this view I may refer to the second chapter of
the second book of my "Physiology."

[Sidenote: Problem of the modification of forms.] But here has arisen
the inquiry, Does the modification of organic forms depend exclusively
on the impressions of external influences, or is it due to a nisus or
force of development residing in the forms themselves?

Whether we consider the entire organic series in its succession, or the
progress of an individual in his development, the orderly course
presented might seem to indicate that the operation is taking place
under a law--an orderly progression being always suggestive of the
operation of law. But a philosophical caution must, however, be here
exercised; for deceptive appearances may lead us into the error of
imputing to such a law, impressed by the Creator on the developing
organism, that which really belongs to external physical conditions,
which, on their part, are following a law of their own. What is here
meant may be illustrated by the facts that occur on the habitable
surface of a planet suffering a gradual decline of heat. [Sidenote:
Three solutions of it.] On such a surface a succession of vegetable
types might make its appearance, and, as these different types emerged
or were eliminated, we might speak of the events as creations and
extinctions, and therefore as the acts of God. Or, in the second place,
we might refer them to an intrinsic force of development imparted to
each germ, which reached in due season its maximum, and then declined
and died out; and, comparing each type with its preceding and succeeding
ones, the interrelation might be suggested to us of the operation of a
controlling law. Or, in the third place, we might look to the external
physical condition--the decline of heat--itself taking place at a
determinate rate under a mathematical law, and drawing in its
consequences the organic variations observed.

Now the first of these explanations in reality means the arbitrary and
unchallengeable will of God, who calls into existence, and extinguishes
according to his sovereign pleasure, whatever he pleases; the orderly
progression we notice becoming an evidence that his volitions are not
erratic, but are according to pure reason. The second implies that there
has been impressed upon every germ a law of continuous organic
variation--it might have been through the arbitrary fiat of God. The
third implies that the successive types owe their appearance and
elimination to a physical influence, which is itself varying under a
strict mathematical necessity; for the law of cooling, which the
circumstances force on our attention, is such a strict mathematical

[Sidenote: Their relative probability.] If at this point we balance the
probabilities of these three explanations, we shall perhaps find
ourselves biassed toward the last, as physiologists have been, because
of its rigorous scientific aspect, and should not be surprised to find
it supported by an array of facts depending on the principle that the
appearance of new forms does not observe a certain inevitable order, or
stand in a certain relation to time. From individual development it
might seem as if the advancing procession of an organism is such that
specific forms ever appear in a certain order one after another, and at
certain intervals; but the fallacy of such a conclusion is apparent when
we attend to the orderly procedure of the physical conditions to which
the developing organism is exposed. [Sidenote: Development is in place,
not in time.] The passing through a given form at a given epoch is due
to the relation being to space and its conditions, not to time. And so
in the life of the earth, if development were according to time, we
should have an orderly succession of grades as the earth grew older, and
in all localities, at a given moment, the contemporary organisms would
be similar; but if it were according to space, that rigorous procedure
would not occur; in its stead we should have a broken series, the
affiliation being dependent on the secularly continuous variation of the
physical condition.

Now this was discovered to be the case. For instance, throughout the
northern hemisphere, during the Tertiary period, an extinct placental
Fauna was contemporaneous with an extinct marsupial Fauna in Australia.
If the development was proceeding according to time, by an innate nisus,
and not according to external influences, the types for the same epoch
in the two hemispheres should be the same; if under external influences,
irrespective of time, they should be, as they were found to be,

If true-going clocks, which owe their motion to their own internal
mechanism, were started in all countries of the earth at the same
instant, they would strike their successive hours simultaneously. But
sun-dials, which owe their indications to an exterior cause, would in
different longitudes tell different times, or, when the needful light
was absent, their shadows would altogether fail.

As to the vegetable kingdom, the principles that hold for the animal
again apply. At a very early period, even before the deposit of the
coal, all the distinct forms of vegetable tissue were in existence, and
nothing to prevent, so far as time was concerned, their being united
together all over the world into similar structural combinations. And,
in truth, as the botany of the Coal period proves, there was a far more
extensive sameness than we see at present, simply because the
distribution of heat was more uniform and climates were less marked. But
from this point the diversity of form in climate distribution becomes
more and more conspicuous, though we must descend, perhaps, as late as
the Wealden before we discover any flowering plants, except Gymnosperms,
as Conifers and Cycads. All this is what might be expected on the
doctrine of external influence, but not on the doctrine of an innate and
interior developmental force.

If, at this stage, attention is once again turned to the animal
kingdom, we find our opinion confirmed. The diminution of carbonic
acid in the atmosphere, the deposit of coal in the earth, the
precipitation of carbonate of lime in the sea, the disengagement of an
increased quantity of oxygen in the air, and the reduction of
atmospheric pressure--different effects contemporaneously
occurring--were soon followed by the consequence which they made
possible--the appearance of hot-blooded mammals. [Sidenote: Cold and
hot-blooded animals.] Perhaps those first arising might, like our
hibernates, lead a sluggish existence, with imperfect respiration;
but, as the media improved and the temperature declined, more vigorous
forms of life emerged, though we have probably to descend to the
Tertiary epoch before we meet with birds, which of all animals have
the most energetic respiration, and possess the highest heat.

[Sidenote: The organisms of the sea.] As with the atmosphere, so with
the sea. Variations in its composition must control the organisms it
contains. With its saline constituents its life must change. Before the
sunlight had removed from the atmosphere so much of its carbonic acid,
decomposing it through the agency of plants, the weight of carbonate of
lime held in solution by the highly carbonated water was far greater
than was subsequently possible, and the occurrence of limestone became a
necessary event. With such a disturbance in the composition of the
sea-water, its inhabiting organisms were necessarily disturbed. And so
again, subsequently, when the solar heat began to preponderate on the
surface over the subsiding interior heat, the constitution of the
sea-water, as respects its salinity, was altered through difference of
evaporation in different latitudes, an effect inevitably making a
profound impression on marine animal life.

[Sidenote: Nature of hereditary transmission.] Supported by the facts
that have been mentioned respecting the later fossils of Australia and
Brazil, and their analogy to forms now existing in those countries, much
stress was laid on the hereditary transmission of structure, and hence
the inference was drawn that such examples are of a mixed nature,
depending in part on external agency, in part on an interior
developmental force. From marsupial animals, marsupials will issue; from
placental ones, those that are placental. But here, perhaps, an
illustration drawn from the inorganic kingdom may not be without
interest and use. Two pieces of carbonate of lime may be rolling among
the pebbles at the bottom of a brook, one perpetually splitting into
rhomboids, the other into arragonitic prisms. The fragments differ from
one another not only thus in their crystalline form, but in their
physical qualities, as density and hardness, and in their optical
qualities also. We might say that the calc-spar crystals gave birth to
calc-spar crystals, and the arragonitic to arragonite; we might admit
that there is an interior propensity, an intrinsic tendency to produce
that result, just as we say that there is a tendency in the marsupial to
engender a marsupial; but if, in our illustration, we look for the cause
of that cause, we find it in a physical impression long antecedently
made, that the carbonate of lime, crystallizing at 212° Fahr., produces
arragonite, and, at a lower temperature, calc-spar; and that the
physical impression thus accomplished, though it may have been thousands
of years ago, was never cast off, but perpetually manifested itself in
all the future history of the two samples. That which we sometimes speak
of as hereditary transmission, and refer to an interior property,
peculiarity, or force, may be nothing more than the manifestation of a
physical impression long antecedently made.

In the last place, the idea of an intrinsic force of development is in
connexion with time and a progression, and only comes into prominence
when we examine a limited portion or number of the things under
consideration. The earth, though very beautiful, is very far from being
perfect. [Sidenote: The broken organic chain.] The plants and animals we
see are only the wrecks of a broken series, an incomplete, and,
therefore, unworthy testimonial of the Almighty power. We should judge
very inadequately of some great author if only here and there a
fragmentary paragraph of his work remained; and so, in the book of
organization, we must combine what is left with what we can recover from
past ages and buried strata before we can rise to a comprehension of the
grand argument, and intelligibly grasp the whole work.

[Sidenote: Enormous age of the earth.] Of that book it is immaterial to
what page we turn. It tells us of effects of such magnitude as imply
prodigiously long periods of time for their accomplishment. Its moments
look to us as if they were eternities. What shall we say when we read in
it that there are fossiliferous rocks which have been slowly raised ten
thousand feet above the level of the sea so lately as since the
commencement of the Tertiary times; that the Purbeck beds of the upper
oolite are in themselves the memorials of an enormous lapse of time;
that, since a forest in a thousand years can scarce produce more than
two or three feet of vegetable soil, each dirt-bed is the work of
hundreds of centuries. What shall we say when it tells us that the delta
of the Mississippi could only be formed in many tens of thousands of
years, and yet that is only as yesterday when compared with the date of
the inland terraces; that the recession of the Falls of Niagara from
Queenstown to the present site consumed thirty thousand years; that if
the depression of the carboniferous strata of Nova Scotia took place at
the rate of four feet in a century, there were demanded 375,000 years
for its completion--such a movement in the upward direction would have
raised Mont Blanc; that it would take as great a river as the
Mississippi two millions of years to convey into the Gulf of Mexico as
much sediment as is found in those strata. Such statements may appear to
us, who with difficulty shake off the absurdities of the patristic
chronology, wild and impossible to be maintained, and yet they are the
conclusions that the most learned and profound geologists draw from
their reading of the Book of Nature.

[Sidenote: Summary as respects the world in time.] Thus, as respects the
age of the earth and her relations in time, we approach the doctrine of
Orientals, who long ago ascertained that the scales of time and of space
correspond to each other. More fortunate than we, they had but one point
of resistance to encounter, but that resistance they met with
dissimulation, and not in an open way. They attempted to conceal the
tendency of their doctrine by allying or affiliating it with detected
errors. According to their national superstition, the earth is supported
on the back of an elephant, and this on a succession of animals, the
last of which is a tortoise. It is not to be supposed that the Brahmans,
who wrote commentaries on the Surya Siddhanta, should for a moment have
accepted these preposterous delusions--that was impossible for such
great geometers; yet led, perhaps, by a wish to do nothing that might
disturb public feeling, they engaged in the hopeless task of showing
that their profound philosophical discoveries were not inconsistent with
the ancient traditions; that a globular and revolving earth might be
sustained on a descending succession of supporting beasts. But they had
the signal advantage over us that those popular traditions conceded to
them that limitless time for which we have had to struggle.

[Sidenote: The life of the universe.] The progression of life on the
surface of our planet is under the guidance of pre-ordained and
resistless law--it is affiliated with material and correspondingly
changing conditions. It suggests that the succession of organic forms
which, in a due series, the earth's surface in the long lapse of time
has presented, is the counterpart of a like progress which other planets
in the solar system exhibit in myriads of years, and leads us to the
conception of the rise, development, and extinction of a multiplicity of
such living forms in other systems--a march of life through the
universe, and its passing away.

[Sidenote: Multiplicity of worlds implies succession of worlds.]
Magnitudes and times, therefore, go parallel with one another. With the
abandonment of the geocentric theory, and of the doctrine of the human
destiny of the universe, have vanished the unworthy hypotheses of the
recent date of creation and the approaching end of all things. In their
stead are substituted more noble ideas. The multiplicity of worlds in
infinite space leads to the conception of a succession of worlds in
infinite time. This existing universe, with all its splendours, had a
beginning, and will have an end; it had its predecessors, and will have
its successors; but its march through all its transformations is under
the control of laws as unchangeable as destiny. As a cloud, which is
composed of myriads of separate and isolated spherules of water, so
minute as to be individually invisible, on a summer's afternoon changes
its aspect and form, disappearing from the sky, and being replaced in
succeeding hours by other clouds of a different aspect and shape, so the
universe, which is a cloud of suns and worlds, changes in the immensity
of time its form and fashion, and that which is contemporary with us is
only an example of countless combinations of a like kind, which in
ancient times have one after another vanished away. In periods yet to
come the endless succession of metamorphoses will still go on, a series
of universes to which there is no end.




_Position of Man according to the Heliocentric and Geocentric Theories._

OF ANIMAL LIFE.--_The transitory Nature of living Forms.--Relations of
Plants and Animals.--Animals are Aggregates of Matter expending Force
originally derived from the Sun._

THE ORGANIC SERIES.--_Man a Member of it.--His Position determined by
Anatomical and Physiological Investigation of his Nervous System.--Its
triple Forms: Automatic, Instinctive, Intellectual._

_The same progressive Development is seen in individual Man, in the
entire animal Series, and in the Life of the Globe.--They are all under
the Control of an eternal, universal, irresistible Law._

_The Aim of Nature is intellectual Development, and human Institutions
must conform thereto._

_Summary of the Investigation of the Position of Man.--Production of
Inorganic and Organic Forms by the Sun.--Nature of Animals and their
Series.--Analogies and Differences between them and Man.--The Soul.--The

[Sidenote: The apparent position of man on the heliocentric theory.]
When the ancient doctrine of the plurality of worlds was restored by
Bruno, Galileo, and other modern astronomers, the resistance it
encountered was mainly owing to its anticipated bearing on the nature
and relations of man. It was said, if round our sun, as a centre, there
revolve so many planetary bodies, experiencing the changes of summer and
winter, day and night--bodies illuminated by satellites, and perhaps
enjoying twilight and other benefits such as have been conferred on the
earth--shall we not consider them the abodes of accountable, perhaps of
sinful, beings like ourselves? Nay, more; if each of the innumerable
fixed stars is, as our sun, a central focus of light, attended by dark
and revolving globes, is it not necessary to admit that they also have
their inhabitants? But among so many families of intelligent beings, how
is it that we, the denizens of an insignificant speck, have alone been
found worthy of God's regard?

It was this reasoning that sustained the geocentric theory, and made the
earth the centre of the universe, the most noble of created things; the
sun, the moon, the stars, being only ministers for the service of man.

[Sidenote: The fallacy of objections to that theory.] But, like many
other objections urged in that memorable conflict, this was founded on a
misconception, or, rather, on imperfect knowledge. There may be an
infinity of worlds placed under the mechanical relations alluded to, but
there may not be one among them that can be the abode of life. The
physical conditions under which organization is possible are so numerous
and so strictly limited that the chances are millions to one against
their conjoint occurrence.

[Sidenote: Evidence furnished by Geology.] In a religious point of view,
we are greatly indebted to Geology for the light it has cast on this
objection. It has taught us that during inconceivable lapses of time our
earth itself contained no living thing. These were those pre-organic
ages to which reference was made in the last chapter. Then by slow
degrees, as a possibility for existence occurred, there gradually
emerged one type after another. It is but as yesterday that the life of
man could be maintained.

[Sidenote: The transitory nature of living forms.] Only in the presence
of special physical conditions can an animal exist. Even then it is
essentially ephemeral. The life of it, as a whole, depends on the death
of its integrant parts. In a waterfall, which maintains its place and
appearance unchanged for many years, the constituent portions that have
been precipitated headlong glide finally and for ever away. For the
transitory matter to exhibit a permanent form, it is necessary that
there should be a perpetual supply and also a perpetual removal. So long
as the jutting ledge over which the waters rush, and the broken gulf
below that receives them, remain unchanged, the cataract presents the
same appearance. But variations in them mould it into a new shape; its
colour changes with a clear or cloudy sky; the rainbow seen in its spray
disappears when the beams of the sun are withdrawn.

So in that collection of substance which constitutes an animal; whatever
may be its position, high or low, in the realm of life, there is a
perpetual introduction of new material and a perpetual departure of the
old. It is a form, rather than an individual, that we see. Its
permanence altogether depends on the permanence of the external
conditions. If they change, it also changes, and a new form is the

[Sidenote: Characteristics of animal life.] An animal is therefore a
form through which material substance is visibly passing and suffering
transmutation into new products. In that act of transmutation force is
disengaged. That which we call its life is the display of the manner in
which the force thus disengaged is expended.

[Sidenote: Matter and force.] A scientific examination of animal life
must include two primary facts. It must consider whence and in what
manner the stream of material substance has been derived, in what manner
and whither it passes away. And, since force can not be created from
nothing, and is in its very nature indestructible, it must determine
from what source that which is displayed by animals has been obtained,
in what manner it is employed, and what disposal is made of it

[Sidenote: Force is derived from the sun.] The force thus expended is
originally derived from the sun. Plants are the intermedium for its
conveyance. The inorganic material of a saline nature entering into
their constitution is obtained from the soil in which they grow, as is
also, for the most part, the water they require; but their organic
substance is derived from the surrounding atmosphere, and hence it is
strictly true that they are condensations from the air.

[Sidenote: Mode in which plants obtain material substance.] These
statements may be sufficiently illustrated, and the relation between
plants and animals shown, by tracing the course of any one of the
ingredients entering into the vegetable composition, and derived, as has
been said, from the air. For this purpose, if we select their chief
solid element, carbon, the remarks applicable to the course it follows
will hold good for other accompanying elements. It is scarcely necessary
to embarrass the brief exposition of vegetable life now to be given by
any historical details, since these will come with more propriety
subsequently. It is sufficient to mention that the chemical explanations
of vegetable physiology rest essentially on the discovery of oxygen gas
by Priestley, of the constitution of carbonic acid by Lavoisier, and of
water by Cavendish and Watt.

[Sidenote: Action of a plant on the air.] While the sun is shining, the
green parts of plants, especially the leaves, decompose carbonic acid,
one of the ingredients of the atmospheric air. This substance is
composed of two elements, carbon and oxygen; the former is appropriated
by the plant, and enters into the composition of elaborated or
descending sap, from which forthwith organic products, such as starch,
sugar, wood fibre, acids, and bases are made. The other element, the
oxygen, is for the most part refused by the plant, and returns to the
air. As the process of decomposition goes on, new portions of carbonic
acid are presented through mechanical movements, the trembling of the
leaf, breezes, and currents rising from the foliage warmed by the solar
beams giving place to other cool currents that set in below.

The action of a plant upon the air is therefore the separation of
combustible material from that medium. Carbon is thus obtained from
carbonic acid; from water, hydrogen. Plant life is chemically an
operation of reduction, for in like manner ammonia is decomposed into
its constituents, which are nitrogen and hydrogen; and sulphuric and
phosphoric acids, which like ammonia, may have been brought into the
plant through its roots in the form of salt bodies, are made to yield up
the oxygen with which they had been combined, and their sulphur and
phosphorus, combustible elements, are appropriated.

[Sidenote: Composition and resolution of matter and force.] Every plant,
from the humblest moss to the oak of a thousand years, is thus formed by
the sun from material obtained from the air--combustible material once
united with oxygen, but now separated from that body. It is of especial
importance to remark that in this act of decomposition, force, under the
form of light, has disappeared, and become incorporated with the
combustible, the organizing material. This force is surrendered again,
or reappears whenever the converse operation, combination with oxygen,

Vegetable products thus constitute a magazine in which force is stored
up and preserved for any assignable time. Hence they are adapted for
animal food and for the procuring of warmth. The heat evolved in the
combustion of coal in domestic economy was originally light from the sun
appropriated by plants in the Secondary geological times, and locked up
for untold ages. The sun is also the source from which was derived the
light obtained in all our artificial operations of burning gas, oil,
fat, wax, for the purposes of illumination.

[Sidenote: Correlation of physical forces.] My own experiments have
proved that it is the light of the sun, in contradistinction to the
heat, which occasions the decomposition of carbonic acid, furnishing
carbon to plants and oxygen to the atmosphere. But such is the relation
of the so-called imponderable principles of chemistry to each other, and
their mutual convertibility, that that which has disappeared in
performing its function as light may reappear as heat or electricity, or
in the production of some mechanical effect.

[Sidenote: The nature of food.] Food is used by all animals for the sake
of the force it thus contains, the remark applying to the carnivora as
well as the herbivora. In both cases the source of supply is the
vegetable kingdom, indirectly or directly. The plant is thus
indispensable to the animal. It is the collector and preserver of that
force the expenditure of which constitutes the special display of animal

From this point of view, animals must therefore be considered as
machines, in which force obtained as has been described, is utilized.
The food they take, or the tissue that has been formed from it, is acted
upon by the air they breathe, and undergoes partial or total oxydation,
and now emerges again, in part as heat in part as nerve-force, in some
few instances in part as light or electricity, the force that originally
came from the sun.

[Sidenote: Cycle through which matter and force pass.] There is,
therefore, a cycle or revolution through which material particles
suitable for organization incessantly run. At one moment they exist as
inorganic combinations in the air or the soil, then as portions of
plants, then as portions of animals, then they return to the air or soil
again to renew their cycle of movement. The metamorphoses feigned by the
poets of antiquity have hence a foundation in fact, and the vegetable
and animal, the organic and inorganic worlds are indissolubly bound
together. Plants are reducing, animals oxydizing, machines. Plants form,
animals destroy.

Thus, by the light of the sun, the carbonic acid of the atmosphere is
decomposed--its oxygen is set free, its carbon furnished to plants. The
products obtained serve for the food of animals, and in their systems
the carbon is re-oxydized by the air they respire, and, resuming the
condition of carbonic acid, is thrown back into the atmosphere in the
breath, ready to be decomposed by the sunlight once more, and run
through the same cycle of changes again. The growth of a plant and the
respiration of an animal are dependent on each other.

[Sidenote: The duration of matter and imperishability of force.]
Material particles are thus the vehicles of force. They undergo no
destruction. Chemically speaking, they are eternal. And so, likewise,
force never deteriorates or becomes lessened. It may assume new phases,
but it is always intrinsically unimpaired. The only changes it can
exhibit are those of aspect and of distribution; of aspect, as
electricity, affinity, light, heat; of distribution, as when the
diffused aggregate of many sunbeams is concentrated in one animal form.

It is but little that we know respecting the mutations and distribution
of force in the universe. We cannot tell what becomes of that which has
characterized animal life, though of its perpetuity we may be assured.
It has no more been destroyed than the material particles of which such
animals consist. They have been transmuted into new forms--it has taken
on a new aspect. The sum total of matter in the world is invariable; so,
likewise, is the sum total of force.

[Sidenote: Theory of Averroes.] These conclusions resemble in many
respects those of the philosophy of Averroes, but they are free from the
heresy which led the Lateran Council, under Leo X., to condemn the
doctrines of the great Spanish Mohammedan. The error of Averroes
consisted in this, that he confounded what is here spoken of under the
designation of force with the psychical principle, and erroneously
applied that which is true for animals to the case of man, who is to be
considered as consisting of three essentially distinct parts--a material
body, upon which operate various physical forces, guided and controlled
by an intelligent soul.

In the following paragraphs the distinction here made is brought into
more striking relief.

[Sidenote: Anatomical mode of determining position in the animal
series.] The station of any animal in the organic series may be
determined from the condition of its nervous system. To this observation
man himself is not an exception. Indeed, just views of his position in
the world, of the nature of his intellect and mental operations, can not
be obtained except from the solid support afforded by Anatomy.
[Sidenote: The uselessness of the metaphysical sciences.] The reader has
doubtless remarked that, in the historical sketch of the later progress
of Europe given in this book, I have not referred to metaphysics, or
psychology, or mental philosophy. Cultivated as they have been, it was
not possible for them to yield any other result than they did among the
Greeks. A lever is no mechanical power unless it has a material point of
support. It is only through the physical that the metaphysical can be

[Sidenote: Necessity of resorting to Anatomy and Physiology.] An
exposition of the structure, the physical forces, and the intellectual
operations of man must be founded on anatomy. We can only determine the
methods of action from the study of the mechanism, and the right
interpretation of that mechanism can only be ascertained from the
construction of its parts, from observations of the manner in which they
are developed, from comparisons with similar structures in other
animals, not rejecting even the lowest, and from an investigation of
their habits and peculiarities. Believing that, in the present state of
science, doctrines in psychology, unless they are sustained by evidence
derived from anatomy and physiology, are not to be relied on, I have not
thought it necessary to devote much space to their introduction. They
have not taken a part in the recent advances of humanity. They belong to
an earlier social period, and are an anachronism in ours. I have
referred to these points heretofore in my work on Physiology, and
perhaps shall be excused the following extract:

"The study of this portion of the mechanism of man brings us therefore
in contact with metaphysical science, and some of its fundamental dogmas
we have to consider. Nearly all philosophers who have cultivated in
recent times that branch of knowledge, have viewed with apprehension the
rapid advances of physiology, foreseeing that it would attempt the final
solution of problems which have exercised the ingenuity of the last
twenty centuries. [Sidenote: Solution of psychological questions.] In
this they are not mistaken. Certainly it is desirable that some new
method should be introduced, which may give point and precision to
whatever metaphysical truths exist, and enable us to distinguish,
separate, and dismiss what are only vain and empty speculations.

[Sidenote: Uncertainty of metaphysics.] "So far from philosophy being a
forbidden domain to the physiologist, it may be asserted that the time
has now come when no one is entitled to express an opinion in philosophy
unless he has first studied physiology. It has hitherto been to the
detriment of truth that these processes of positive investigation have
been repudiated. If from the construction of the human brain we may
demonstrate the existence of a soul, is not that a gain? for there are
many who are open to arguments of this class on whom speculative
reasoning or a mere dictum falls without any weight. Why should we cast
aside the solid facts presented to us by material objects? In his
communications throughout the universe with us, God ever materializes.
He equally speaks to us through the thousand graceful organic forms
scattered in profusion over the surface of the earth, and through the
motions and appearances presented by the celestial orbs. Our noblest and
clearest conceptions of his attributes have been obtained from these
material things. I am persuaded that the only possible route to truth in
mental philosophy is through a study of the nervous mechanism. The
experience of 2500 years, and the writings of the great metaphysicians
attest, with a melancholy emphasis, the vanity of all other means.

"Whatever may be said by speculative philosophers to the contrary, the
advancement of metaphysics is through the study of physiology. What sort
of a science would optics have been among men who had purposely put out
their own eyes? What would have been the progress of astronomy among
those who disdained to look at the heavens? Yet such is the preposterous
course followed by the so-called philosophers. They have given us
imposing doctrines of the nature and attributes of the mind in absolute
ignorance of its material substratum. [Sidenote: Necessity of the
interpretation of structure.] Of the great authors who have thus
succeeded one another in ephemeral celebrity, how many made themselves
acquainted with the structure of the human brain? Doubtless some had
been so unfortunate as never to see one! Yet that wonderful organ was
the basis of all their speculations. In voluntarily isolating themselves
from every solid fact which might serve to be a landmark to them, they
may be truly said to have sailed upon a shoreless sea from which the fog
never lifts. The only fact they teach us with certainty is, that they
know nothing with certainty. It is the inherent difficulty of their
method that it must lead to unsubstantial results. What is not founded
on a material substratum is necessarily a castle in the air."

[Sidenote: Intellectual relations of man depend on his nervous system.]
Considering thus that scientific views of the nature of man can only be
obtained from an examination of his nervous system, and that the right
interpretation of the manner of action of that system depends on the
guiding light of comparative anatomy and physiology, I shall, in the
following exposition, present the progress of discovery on those

[Sidenote: The rudimentary nervous system is automatic.] In those low
tribes of life which show the first indications of a nervous system, its
operation is purely mechanical. An external impression, as a touch, made
upon animals of that kind, is instantly answered to by a motion which
they execute, and this without any manifestation of will or
consciousness. The phenomenon is exactly of the same kind as in a
machine of which, if a given lever is touched, a motion is instantly

[Sidenote: Two elementary forms of nerve structure.] In any nervous
system there are two portions anatomically distinct. They are, 1st, the
fibrous; 2d, the vesicular. It may be desirable to describe briefly the
construction and functions of each of these portions. Their conjoint
action will then be intelligible.

[Sidenote: Structure of a nerve fibre.] 1st. A nerve fibre consists
essentially of a delicate thread--the axis filament, as it is
called--enveloped in an oil-like substance, which coagulates or congeals
after death. This, in its turn, is inclosed in a thin investing sheath
or membranous tube. Many such fibres bound together constitute a nerve.

[Sidenote: Function of a nerve fibre is conduction.] The function of
such a nerve fibre is indisputably altogether of a physical kind, being
the conveyance of influences from part to part. The axis filament is the
line along which the translation occurs, the investing material being
for the purpose of confining or insulating it, so as to prevent any
lateral escape. Such a construction is the exact counterpart of many
electrical contrivances, in which a metallic wire is coated over with
sealing-wax or wrapped round with silk, the current being thus compelled
to move in the wire without any lateral escape. Of such fibres, some
convey their influences to the interior, and hence are called
centripetal; some convey them to the exterior, and hence are called
centrifugal. No anatomical difference in the structure of the two has,
however, thus far been discovered. As in a conducting wire the
electrical current moves in a progressive manner with a definite
velocity, so in a nerve filament the influence advances progressively at
a rate said to be dependent on the temperature of the animal examined.
It seems in the cold-blooded to be much slower than in the hot. It has
been estimated in the frog at eighty-five feet per second; in man at two
hundred feet--an estimate probably too low.

The fibres thus described are of the kind designated by physiologists as
the cerebro-spinal; there are others, passing under the name of the
sympathetic, characterized by not possessing the investing medullary
substance. In colour they are yellowish-gray; but it is not necessary
here to consider them further.

[Sidenote: Structure of a nerve vesicle.] 2nd. The other portion of the
nervous structure is the vesicular. As its name imports, it consists of
vesicles filled with a gray granular material. Each vesicle has a
thickened spot or nucleus upon it, and appears to be connected with one
or more fibres. If the connexion is only with one, the vesicle is called
unipolar; if with two, bipolar; if with many, multipolar or stellate.
Every vesicle is abundantly supplied with blood.

[Sidenote: Function of a nerve vesicle.] As might be inferred from its
structure, the vesicle differs altogether from the fibre in function. I
may refer to my "Physiology" for the reasons which have led to the
inference that these are contrivances for the purposes of permitting
influences that have been translated along or confined within the fibre
to escape and diffuse themselves in the gray granular material. They
also permit influences that are coming through many different channels
into a multipolar vesicle to communicate or mix with one another, and
combine to produce new results. Moreover, in them influences may be long
preserved, and thus they become magazines of force. Combined together,
they constitute ganglia or nerve centres, on which, if impressions be
made, they do not necessarily forthwith die out, but may remain
gradually declining away for a long time. Thus is introduced into the
nervous mechanism the element of time, and this important function of
the nerve vesicle lies at the basis of memory.

It has been said that the vesicular portion of the nerve mechanism is
copiously supplied with blood. Indeed, the condition indispensably
necessary for its functional activity is waste by oxydation. Arterial
vessels are abundantly furnished to insure the necessary supply of
aerated blood, and veins to carry away the wasted products of decay.
Also, through the former, the necessary materials for repair and
renovation are brought. [Sidenote: Physiological condition of nerve
action is nerve waste.] There is a definite waste of nervous substance
in the production of a definite mechanical or intellectual result--a
material connexion and condition that must never be overlooked. Hence it
is plain that unless the repair and the waste are synchronously equal to
one another, periodicities in the action of the nervous system will
arise, this being the fundamental condition connected with the physical
theories of sleep and fatigue.

The statements here made rest upon two distinct forms of evidence. In
part they are derived from an interpretation of anatomical structure,
and in part from direct experiment, chiefly by the aid of feeble
electrical currents. The registering or preserving action displayed by a
ganglion may be considered as an effect, resembling that of the
construction known as Ritter's secondary piles.

It will not suit my purpose to offer more than the simplest illustration
of the application of the foregoing facts. When an impression, either by
pressure or in any other way, is made on the exterior termination of a
centripetal fibre, the influence is conveyed with a velocity such as has
been mentioned into the vesicle to which that fibre is attached, and
thence, going forth along the centrifugal fibre, may give rise to motion
through contraction of the muscle to which that fibre is distributed.
[Sidenote: Reflex action of the nervous system.] An impression has thus
produced a motion, and to the operation the designation of reflexion is
commonly given. This reflexion takes place without consciousness. The
three parts--the centripetal fibre, the vesicle, and the centrifugal
fibre--conjointly constitute a simple nervous arc.

[Sidenote: Gradual complexity of the nervous system.] A repetition of
these arcs, each precisely like all the others, constitutes the first
step toward a complex nervous system. Their manner of arrangement is
necessarily subordinated to the general plan of construction of the
animals in which they occur. Thus, in the Radiates it is circular; in
the Articulates, linear, or upon an axis. But, as the conditions of life
require consentaneousness of motion in the different parts, these nerve
arcs are not left isolated or without connexion with each other. As it
is anatomically termed, they are commissured, nerve fibres passing from
each to its neighbours, and each is thus brought into sympathy or
connexion with all the others.

[Sidenote: First appearance of special ganglia.] The next advance is a
very important one, for it indicates the general plan on which the
nervous system is to be developed: it is the dedication of special nerve
arcs to special duties. Thus, in the higher articulates and molluscs,
there are such combinations expressly for the purpose of respiration and
deglutition. Their action is altogether of the reflex kind; it takes
place without consciousness. These ganglia are commissured for the sake
of sympathetic action, and frequently several of them are coalesced for
the sake of package.

This principle of dedication to special uses is carried out in the
introduction of ganglia intended to be affected by light, or sounds, or
odours. The impressions of those agencies are carried to the ganglion by
its centripetal fibres. Such ganglia of special action are most commonly
coalesced together, forming nervous masses of conspicuous size; they are
always commissured with those for ordinary motions, the action being
reflex, as in the preceding case, though of a higher order, since it is
attended with consciousness.

[Sidenote: They are automatic mechanisms.] Such being the elementary
construction of a nervous system, it is plain that animal tribes in
which it exists in no higher degree of complexity must be merely
automata. In this remark many insects must be included, for the instinct
they display is altogether of a mechanical kind, and, so far as they are
concerned, without design. Their actions are uniformly alike; what one
does under given circumstances, under the same circumstances another
will certainly do. They are incapable of education, they learn nothing
by experience, and the acts they are engaged in they accomplish as well
at the first trial as ever after.

Of parts like those described, and of others of a higher order, as will
be presently seen, the most complex nervous system, even that of man, is
composed. [Sidenote: Evidence to be used in these investigations.] It
might, perhaps, be expected that for the determination of the duty of
each part of such complex system the physiologist must necessarily
resort to experiment, observing what functions have been injured or
destroyed when given portions have been removed by his knife. At the
best, however, evidence of that kind must be very unsatisfactory on
account of the shock the entire system receives in vivisections, and
accordingly, artificial evidence can, for the most part, be used only in
a corroborative way. But, as Cuvier observed, the hand of Nature has
prepared for us these very experiments without that drawback. The animal
series, as we advance upward from its lowest members, proves to us what
is the effect of the addition of new parts in succession to a nervous
system, as also does any individual thereof in its successive periods of
development. It is one of the most important discoveries of modern
physiology that, as respects their nervous system, we can safely
transfer our reasonings and conclusions from the case of the lowest to
that of the highest animal tribes.

The articulata present structures and a mode of action illustrating in a
striking manner the nervous system of man. Lengthwise upon their ventral
region is laid a double cord, with ganglia, like a string of beads;
sometimes the cords are a little distance apart, but more generally they
are coalesced, each pair of ganglia being fused into one. [Sidenote:
First introduction of governing ganglia.] To every segment of the body a
pair is supplied, each pair controlling its own segment, and acting
toward it automatically, each also acting like any of the others. But in
the region of the head there is a special pair, the cephalic ganglia,
receiving fibres from the eyes and other organs of sense. From them
proceed filaments to the ventral cord, establishing communications with
every segment. So every part has two connexions, one with its own
ventral ganglia, and one with the cephalic.

It is not difficult to determine experimentally the functions of the
ventral ganglia and those of the cephalic. If a centipede be
decapitated, its body is still capable of moving, the motion being
evidently of a reflex kind, originating in the pressure of the legs
against the surface on which they rest. [Sidenote: But thus far actions
are only instinctive.] The ventral cord, with its ganglia, is hence
purely an automatic mechanism. But if, in making the decapitation, we
leave a portion of the body in connexion with the head, we recognize
very plainly that the cephalic ganglia are exercising a governing power.
In the part from which they have been cut off the movement is forward,
regardless of any obstacle; in that to which they are attached there are
modifications in the motions, depending on sight or other special
senses; obstacles are avoided, and a variety of directions pursued. Yet
still the actions are not intelligent, only instinctive. The general
conclusion therefore is, that the cephalic ganglia are of a higher order
than the ventral, the latter being simply mechanical, the former
instinctive; but thus far there is no trace of intelligence.

[Sidenote: Nervous anatomy of vertebrates, as man.] In man these typical
parts are all present, and discharge the functions specified. His spinal
cord answers to the ventral cord of the articulates. It has its lateral
communications in the same way, and each segmental portion presents the
same reflex action. Toward its upper part it dilates to form the medulla
oblongata, sending forth nerves for respiration and deglutition.
[Sidenote: Their automatic apparatus.] Of these the action is still
reflex, as is proved by the involuntary movements of respiration and
deglutition. A portion of food being placed in the pharynx, contraction
instantly occurs, the will having no kind of control over the act of
swallowing. [Sidenote: Their instinctive apparatus.] Above or in front
of this enlargement is a series of ganglia, to which converge the nerves
of special sense--of hearing, sight, smell; these are, therefore, the
equivalents of the cephalic ganglia of insects, their function being
also the same. In the lowest vertebrates, as in the amphioxus, the
nervous system consists of nothing more. It may therefore be said to
have only two parts--the cord and the sensory ganglia, and to have two
functions--the automatic, attributable to the former, and the
instinctive, attributable to the latter.

[Sidenote: Their intellectual apparatus.] But as we advance from the low
vertebrates upward in the animal scale, we begin to detect new organs;
on the medulla oblongata a cerebellum, and on the sensory ganglia a
cerebrum. From this moment the animal displays reasoning powers, its
intelligence becoming more strikingly marked as the development of the
new organs is greater.

[Sidenote: Functions of the brain.] It remains to determine with
exactness the function of one of these new parts, the cerebrum; the
other portion, the cerebellum, being of minor interest, and connected,
probably, with the locomotive apparatus. For the same reason it is
unnecessary to speak of the sympathetic nerve, since it belongs to the
apparatus of organic life. Confining our attention, therefore, to the
true brain, or cerebrum, we soon recognize that the intelligence of an
animal is, in a general manner, proportional to the relative size of
this organ as compared with the sensory ganglia. We are also struck with
the fact that the cerebrum does not send forth to other portions any
independent fibres of its own, nor does it receive any from them, its
only means of communication being through the parts that have been
described--that is to say, through the sensory and automatic apparatus.
[Sidenote: Its relations to the instinctive and automatic portions.] The
cerebrum is therefore a mechanism of a higher order, and its
relationship with the thalami optici and corpora striata indicate the
conditions of its functions. It can only receive impressions which have
come through them, and only act upon the body through their intermedium.
[Sidenote: Its secondary and tertiary lobes.] Moreover, as we ascend the
animal scale, we find that these cerebral parts not only increase in
size, but likewise, in their turn, give rise to offshoots; secondary
lobes emerging posteriorly on the primary ones, and, in due season,
tertiary lobes posteriorly on the secondary. To these, in human anatomy,
the designations of anterior, middle, and posterior lobes have been
respectively given. In proportion, as this development has proceeded,
the intellectual qualities have become more varied and more profound.

[Sidenote: Action of the spinal cord alone.] The relation of the
cerebrum to the cranio-spinal axis is manifested by the circumstance
that the latter can act without the former. In sleep the cerebrum is, as
it were, torpid, but respiration, deglutition, and other reflex actions
go on. If we touch the palm of a sleeping infant our finger is instantly
grasped. [Sidenote: Conjoint action of the brain and cord.] But, though
the axis can work without the cerebrum, the cerebrum can not work
without the axis. Illustrations of these truths may be experimentally
obtained. An animal from which the cerebrum has been purposely removed
may be observed to perform actions automatic and instinctive, but never
intelligent; and that there is no difference between animals and man in
this respect is demonstrated by the numerous instances recorded in the
works of medicine and surgery of injuries by accident or disease to the
human nervous system, the effects corresponding to those artificially
produced in experiments on animals. This important observation,
moreover, shows that we may with correctness use the observations made
on animals in our investigations of the human system.

[Sidenote: Three distinct parts of the nervous system of man.] In the
nervous system of man our attention is therefore especially demanded by
three essentially distinct parts--the spinal cord, the sensory ganglia,
and the cerebrum. [Sidenote: They are the automatic, the instinctive,
the intellectual.] Of the first, the spinal cord, the action is
automatic; by its aid we can walk, from place to place, without
bestowing a thought on our movements; by it we swallow involuntarily; by
it we respire unconsciously. The second portion, the sensory ganglia,
is, as we have seen, the counterpart of the cephalic ganglia of
invertebrates; it is the place of reception of sensuous impressions and
the seat of consciousness. To these ganglia instinct is to be referred.
Their function is not at all impaired by the cerebrum superposed upon
them. The third portion, the cerebrum, is anatomically distinct. It is
the seat of ideas. It does not directly give rise to motions, being
obliged to employ for that purpose its intermediate automatic associated
apparatus. [Sidenote: Dominating control of the latter.] In this realm
of ideas thoughts spring forth suggestively from one another in a
perpetual train or flux, and yet the highest branch of the nervous
mechanism still retains traces of the modes of operation of the parts
from which it was developed. Its action is still often reflex. Reason is
not always able to control our emotions, as when we laugh or weep in
spite of ourselves, under the impression of some external incident. Nay,
more; the inciting cause may be, as we very well know, nothing
material--nothing but a recollection, an idea--and yet it is enough. But
these phenomena are perhaps restricted to the first or anterior lobes of
the brain, and, accordingly, we remark them most distinctly in children
and in animals. As the second and third lobes begin to exercise their
power, such effects are brought under control.

[Sidenote: Progressive nervous development in the animal series.] There
is, therefore, a regular progression, a definite improvement in the
nervous system of the animal series, the plan never varying, but being
persistently carried out, and thus offering a powerful argument for
relationship among all those successively improving forms, an
observation which becomes of the utmost interest to us in its
application to the vertebrates. In the amphioxus, as has been said, the
cranio-spinal axis alone exists; the Cyclostome fishes are but a step
higher. In fishes the true cerebrum appears at first in an insignificant
manner, a condition repeated in the early embryonic state both of birds
and mammals. An improvement is made in reptiles, whose cerebral
hemispheres are larger than their optic lobes. As we advance to birds, a
further increase occurs; the hemispheres are now of nearly sufficient
dimensions to cover over those ganglia. In the lower mammals there is
another step, yet not a very great one. But from the anterior lobes,
which thus far have constituted the entire brain, there are next to be
developed the middle lobes. In the Rodents the progress is still
continued, and in the Ruminants and Pachyderms the convolutions have
become well marked. [Sidenote: It attains its maximum in man.] In the
higher carnivora and quadrumana the posterior or tertiary lobes appear.
The passage from the anthropoid apes to man brings us to the utmost
development thus far attained by the nervous system. The cerebrum has
reached its maximum organization by a continued and unbroken process of

[Sidenote: The same progressive development occurs in each individual
man.] This orderly development of the nervous system in the animal
series is recognized again in the gradual development of the individual
man. The primitive trace, as it faintly appears in the germinal
membrane, marks out the place presently to be occupied by the
cranio-spinal axis, and, that point of development gained, man answers
to the amphioxus. Not until the twelfth week of embryonic life does he
reach the state permanently presented by birds; at this time the
anterior lobes are only perceptible. In four or six weeks more the
middle lobes are evolved posteriorly on the anterior, and, finally, in a
similar manner, the tertiary or posterior ones are formed. And thus it
appears that, compared with the nervous system of other animals, that of
man proceeds through the same predetermined succession of forms. Theirs
suffers an arrest, in some instances at a lower, in some at a higher
point, but his passes onward to completion.

[Sidenote: It occurs again in the entire life of the globe.] But that is
not all. The biography of the earth, the life of the entire globe,
corresponds to this progress of the individual, to this orderly relation
of the animal series. Commencing with the oldest rocks that furnish
animal remains, and advancing to the most recent, we recognize a
continual improvement in construction, indicated by the degree of
advancement of the nervous system. The earliest fishes did not proceed
beyond that condition of the spinal column which is to be considered as
embryonic. The Silurian and Devonian rocks do not present it in an
ossified state. Fishes, up to the Carboniferous epoch, had a
heterocercal tail, just as the embryos of osseous fishes of the present
time have up to a certain period of their life. There was, therefore, an
arrest in the old extinct forms, and an advance to a higher point in the
more modern. The buckler-headed fishes of the Devonian rocks had their
respiratory organs and much of their digestive apparatus in the head,
and showed an approximation to the tadpoles or embryos of the frog. The
crocodiles of the oolite had biconcave vertebræ, like the embryos of the
recent ones which have gained the capability of making an advance to a
higher point. In the geological order, reptiles make their appearance
next after fishes, and this is what we should expect on the principle of
an ascending nervous development. Not until long after come birds, later
in date and higher in nervous advancement, capable not only of instinct,
but also of intelligence. Of mammals, the first that appear are what we
should have expected--the marsupials; but among the tertiary rocks, very
many other forms are presented, the earlier ones, whether herbivorous or
carnivorous, having a closer correspondence to the archetype than the
existing ones, save in their embryonic states, the analogies occurring
in such minor details as the possession of forty-four teeth. [Sidenote:
Absolute necessity of admitting transmutation of forms.] The biography
of the earth is thus, on the great scale, typical of individual life,
even that of man, and the succession of species in the progress of
numberless ages is the counterpart of the transmutation of an individual
from form to form. As in a dissolving view, new objects emerge from old
ones, and new forms spontaneously appear without the exercise of any
periodical creative act.

[Sidenote: Life of man from infancy to maturity in accordance with his
anatomy.] For some days after birth the actions of the human being are
merely reflex. Its cranio-spinal axis alone is in operation, and thus
far it is only an automaton. But soon the impressions of external
objects begin to be registered or preserved in the sensory ganglia, and
the evidences of memory appear. The first token of this is perhaps the
display of an attachment to persons, not through any intelligent
recognition of relationship, but merely because of familiarity. This is
followed by the manifestation of a liking to accustomed places and a
dread of strange ones. At this stage the infant is leading an
instinctive life, and has made no greater advance than many of the lower
mammals; but they linger here, while he proceeds onward. He soon shows
high powers of memory, the exercise of reason in the determinations of
judgment, and in the adaptation of varied means to varied ends.

Such is therefore the process of development of the nervous system of
man; such are the powers which consequently he successively displays.
His reason at last is paramount. No longer are his actions exclusively
prompted by sensations; they are determined much more by ideas that have
resulted from his former experiences. While animals which approach him
most closely in construction require an external stimulus to commence a
train of thought, he can direct his mental operations, and in this
respect is parted from them by a vast interval. The states through which
he has passed are the automatic, the instinctive, the intellectual; each
has its own apparatus, and all at last work harmoniously together.

[Sidenote: Every person consists of two lateral individuals.] But
besides this superposition of an instinctive apparatus upon an automatic
one, and an intellectual upon an instinctive, the nervous system
consists of two equal and symmetrical lateral portions, a right half and
a left. Each person may be considered as consisting in reality of two
individuals. The right half may be stricken with palsy, the left be
unimpaired; one may lose its sight or hearing, the other may retain
them. These lateral halves lead independent lives. Yet, though
independent in this sense, they are closely connected in another. The
brain of the right side rules over the left half of the body, that of
the left side rules over the right of the body. [Sidenote: Consequences
of this doubleness of construction.] On the relationships and
antagonisms of the two halves of the cerebro-spinal system must be
founded our explanations of the otherwise mysterious phenomena of double
and alternate life; of the sentiment of pre-existence; of trains of
thought, often double, but never triple; of the wilful delusions of
castle-building, in which one hemisphere of the brain listens to the
romance suggestions of the other, though both well know that the subject
they are entertaining themselves with is a mere fiction. The strength
and precision of mental operations depend as much upon the complete
equivalency of the two lateral halves as upon their absolute
development. It is scarcely to be expected that great intellectual
indications will be given by him, one of whose cerebral hemispheres is
unequal to the other. But for the detailed consideration of these topics
I may refer the reader to my work on Physiology. He will there find the
explanation of the nature of registering ganglia; the physical theory of
memory; the causes of our variable psychical powers at different times;
the description of the ear as the organ of time; the eye as the organ of
space; the touch as that of pressures and temperatures; the smell and
taste as those for the chemical determination of gases and liquids.

[Sidenote: Conclusions from the foregoing anatomical facts.] From a
consideration of the construction, development, and action of the
nervous system of man, we may gain correct views of his relations to
other organic beings, and obtain true psychical and metaphysical
theories. There is not that homogeneousness in his intellectual
structure which writers on those topics so long supposed. It is a triple
mechanism. [Sidenote: Man a member of the animal series.] A gentle, a
gradual, a definite development reaches its maximum in him without a
breach of continuity. Parts which, because of their completion, are
capable of yielding in him such splendid results, are seen in a
rudimentary and useless condition in organisms very far down below. On
the clear recognition of this rudimentary, this useless state, very much
depends. It indicates the master-fact of psychology--the fact that
Averroes overlooked--that, while man agrees with inferior beings in the
type of his construction, and passes in his development through
transformations analogous to theirs, he differs from them all in this,
that he alone possesses an accountable, an immortal soul. It is true
that there are some which closely approach him in structure, but the
existence of structure by no means implies the exercise of functions. In
the still-born infant, the mechanism for respiration, the lungs, is
completed; but the air may never enter, and the intention for which they
were formed never be carried out.

[Sidenote: His life and that of the planet alike.] Moreover, it appears
that the order of development in the life of individual man and the
order of development in the life of the earth are the same, their common
features indicating a common plan. The one is the movement of a few
hours, the other of myriads of ages. This sameness of manner in their
progression points out their dependence on a law immutable and
universal. The successive appearance of the animal series in the endless
course of time has not, therefore, been accidental, but as predetermined
and as certain as the successive forms of the individual. In the latter
we do not find any cause of surprise in the assumption of states ever
increasing in improvement, ever rising higher and higher toward the
perfection destined to be attained. We look upon it as the course of
nature. Why, then, should we consider the extinctions and creations of
the former as offering any thing unaccountable, as connected with a
sudden creative fiat or with an arbitrary sentence of destruction?

[Sidenote: Progress of humanity is according to law.] In this book I
have endeavoured to investigate the progress of humanity, and found that
it shows all the phases of individual movement, the evidence employed
being historical, and, therefore, of a nature altogether different from
that on which our conclusions in the collateral instances rest. It may
serve to assure us that the ideas here presented are true when we
encounter, at the close of our investigation, this harmony between the
life of the individual, the life of society, and the life of the earth.

Is it probable that the individual proceeds in his movement of
development under law, that the planet also proceeds in its movements
under law, but that society does not proceed under law?

[Sidenote: Eternity and universality of that law.] Man, thus, is the
last term of an innumerable series of organisms, which, under the
domination of law, has, in the lapse of time, been evolving. Law has
controlled the inorganic world, and caused the earth to pass through
various physical conditions, gently and continuously succeeding one
another. The plastic forms of organic beings have been modelled to suit
those changing conditions. The invariability of that law is indicated by
the numberless ages through which it has been maintained, its
universality by its holding good in the life of the meanest individual.

But it is only a part of sociology that we have considered, and of which
we have investigated the development. [Sidenote: Comparative sociology.]
In the most philosophical aspect the subject includes comparative as
well as human sociology. For, though there may not be society where
actions are simply reflex, there is a possibility of it where they are
instinctive, as well as where they are intellectual. Its essential
condition being intercommunication, there are necessarily modifications
depending respectively on touch or upon the higher and more delicate
senses. That is none the less society which, among insects, depends upon
antennal contacts. Human society, founded on speech, sight, hearing, has
its indistinct beginnings, its rudiments, very low down in the animal
scale, as in the bell-like note which some of the nudibranchiate
gasteropods emit, or the solitary midnight tapping with which the
death-watch salutes his mate. Society resting on instinct is
characterised by immobility; it is necessarily unprogressive. Society
resting on intellect is always advancing.

But, for the present, declining this general examination of sociology,
and limiting our attention strictly to that of humanity, we can not fail
to be struck with the fact that in us the direction of evolution is
altogether toward the intellectual, a conclusion equally impressed upon
us whether our mode of examination be anatomical or historical.
[Sidenote: The aim of Nature is not at moral, but intellectual
development.] Anatomically we find no provision in the nervous system
for the improvement of the moral, save indirectly through the
intellectual, the whole aim of development being for the sake of
intelligence. Historically, in the same manner, we find that the
intellectual has always led the way in social advancement, the moral
having been subordinate thereto. The former hay been the mainspring of
the movement, the latter passively affected. It is a mistake to make the
progress of society depend on that which is itself controlled by a
higher power. In the earlier and inferior stages of individual life we
may govern through the moral alone. In that way we may guide children,
but it is to the understanding of the adult that we must appeal.
[Sidenote: Systems of policy must be in accordance therewith.] A system
working only through the moral must sooner or later come into an
antagonism with the intellectual, and, if it do not contain within
itself a means of adaptation to the changing circumstances, it must in
the end be overthrown. This was the grand error of that Roman system
which presided while European civilization was developing. It assumed as
its basis a uniform, a stationary psychological condition in man.
Forgetting that the powers of the mind grow with the possessions of the
mind, it considered those who lived in past generations as being in no
respect mentally inferior to those who are living now, though our
children at sixteen may have a wider range of knowledge than our
ancestors at sixty. That such an imperfect system could exist for so
many ages is a proof of a contemporary condition of undeveloped
intellect, just as we see that the understanding of a child does not
revolt against the moral suasion, often intrinsically feeble, through
which we attempt to influence him. But it would be as unphilosophical to
treat with disdain the ideas that have served for a guide in the earlier
ages of European life, as to look with contempt on the motives that have
guided us in youth. Their feebleness and incompetency are excused by
their suitability to the period of life to which they are applied.

But whoever considers these things will see that there is a term beyond
which the application of such methods cannot be extended. [Sidenote: The
Age of Reason demands intellectual incentives for the individual.] The
head of a family would act unwisely if he attempted to apply to his son
at twenty-one the methods he had successfully used at ten; such methods
could be only rendered effective by a resort to physical compulsion. A
great change in the intervening years has taken place, and ideas once
intrinsically powerful can exert their influence no more. The moral may
have remained unchanged; it may be precisely as it was--no better, no
worse; but that which has changed is the understanding. Reasoning and
inducements of an intellectual kind are now needful. An attempt to
persist in an absolute system by constraint would only meet with
remonstrance and derision.

[Sidenote: And the same holds good for humanity.] If it is thus with the
individual, so it is likewise with humanity. For centuries nations may
live under forms that meet their requirements, forms suitable to a
feeble state; but it is altogether illusory to suppose that such an
adaptedness can continue for ever. A critical eye discerns that the
mental features of a given generation have become different from those
of its ancestors. New ideas and a new manner of action are the tokens
that a modification has silently taken place. Though after a short
interval the change might not amount to much, in the course of time
there must inevitably be exhibited the spectacle of a society that had
outgrown its forms, its rules of life.

Wherever, then, such a want of harmony becomes perceptible, where the
social system is incompatible with the social state, and is, in effect,
an obsolete anachronism, it is plainly unphilosophical and unwise to
resort to means of compulsion. No matter what the power of governments
or of human authorities may be, it is impossible for them to stop the
intellectual advancement, for it forces its way by an organic law over
which they have no kind of control.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: Summary of the investigation of the position of man.]
Astronomers sometimes affirm that the sun is the cause, directly or
indirectly, of all the mechanical movements that take place upon the
earth. Physiologists say that he is the generator of the countless
living forms with which her surface is adorned.

[Sidenote: Influence of the sun on inorganic nature, and on organic
nature.] If the light, the warmth, and other physical influences of the
sun could be excluded, there would be a stagnant and icy sea encircling
silent and solitary shores. But the veil once withdrawn, or the
influences permitted to take effect, this night and stillness would give
place to activity and change. In the morning beams of the day, the
tropical waters, expanding, would follow from east to west the course of
the sun, each renewed dawn renewing the impulse, and adding force to the
gentle but resistless current. At one place the flowing mass would move
compactly; at another, caught by accidentally projecting rocks, it would
give off little eddies, expending their share of its force; or,
compressed in narrow passages, it would rush impetuously along. Upon its
surface myriads of momentary ripples would play, or opposing winds,
called into existence by similar disturbances in the air, would force it
into waves, making the shores resound with their breaking surge. Twice
every day, under the conjoint influences of the sun and moon, as if the
inanimate globe itself were breathing, the tide would rise and fall
again upon the bosom of the deep.

The eddy, the ripple, the wave, the current, are accidental forms
through which the originally imparted force is displayed. They are all
expending power. Their life, if such a term can be used, is not the
property of themselves, but of the ocean to which they belong.

Influences which thus metaphorically give life to the sea, in reality
give life to the land. Under their genial operation a wave of verdure
spreads over the earth, and countless myriads of animated things attend
it, each like the eddies and ripples of the sea, expending its share of
the imparted force. The life of these accidental forms, through which
power is being transposed, belongs, not to itself, but to the universe
of which it is a part.

[Sidenote: Nature of animals.] Of the waves upon the ocean there may not
be two alike. The winds, the shores, their mutual interferences, a
hundred extraneous influences, mould them into their ephemeral shapes.
So those collections of matter of which animated things consist offer a
plastic substance to be modified. The number of individuals counts like
the ripples of the sea.

[Sidenote: They constitute a series.] As external circumstances change,
animated forms change with them, and thus arises a series of which the
members stand in a connected relation. The affiliated sequence of the
external circumstances is represented in the affiliated succession of
living types. From parts, or from things already existing, new parts and
new things emerge, the new not being added or juxtaposed to the old, but
evolved or developed from it. From the homogeneous or general, the
heterogeneous or special is brought forth. A new member, fashioned in
secrecy and apart, is never abruptly ingrafted on any living thing. New
animal types have never been suddenly located among old ones, but have
emerged from them by process of transmutation. As certainly as that
every living thing must die, so must it reach perfection by passing
through a succession of subordinate forms. An individual, or even a
species, is only a zoological phase in a passage to something beyond. An
instantaneous adult, like an immortal animal, is a physiological

[Sidenote: The doctrine of progressive improvement.] This bringing forth
of structure from structure, of function from function, incidentally
presents, upon the whole, an appearance of progressive improvement, and
for such it has been not unfrequently mistaken. Thus if the lowest
animals, which move by reflex action instantly but unconsciously, when
an impression is made upon them, be compared with the higher ones, whose
motions are executed under the influence of antecedent impressions, and
are therefore controlled by ideas, there seems to have been such an
improvement. Still, however, it is altogether of a physical kind. Every
impression of which the dog or elephant is conscious implies change in
the nerve centres, and these changes are at the basis of the memory
displayed by those animals. Our own experience furnishes many
illustrations. When we gaze steadfastly on some brightly-illuminated
object, and then close or turn aside our eyes, a fading impression of
the object at which we have been looking still remains; or, when a spark
is made to revolve rapidly, we think we see a circle of fire, the
impression upon the retina lasting until the spark has completed its
revolution. In like manner, though far more perfectly, are impressions
registered or stored up in the sensory ganglia, the phantoms of
realities that have once been seen. In those organs countless images may
thus be superposed.

[Sidenote: Analogies between animals and man.] Man agrees with animals
thus approaching him in anatomical construction in many important
respects. He, too, represents a continuous succession of matter, a
continuous expenditure of power. Impressions of external things are
concealed in his sensory ganglia, to be presented for inspection in
subsequent times, and to constitute motives of action. But he differs
from them in this, that what was preparatory and rudimentary in them is
complete and perfect in him. From the instrument of instinct there has
been developed an instrument of intellection. In the most perfect
quadrupeds, an external stimulus is required to start a train of
thought, which then moves on in a determinate way, their actions
indicating that, under the circumstances, they reason according to the
same rules as man, drawing conclusions more or less correct from the
facts offered to their notice. But, the instrument of intellection
completed, it is quickly brought into use, and now results of the
highest order appear. The succession of ideas is under control; new
trains can be originated not only by external causes, but also by an
interior, a spontaneous influence. The passive has become active.
Animals remember, man alone recollects. Every thing demonstrates that
the development and completion of this instrument of intellection has
been followed by the super-addition of an agent or principle that can
use it.

[Sidenote: Points of distinction between them.] There is, then, a
difference between the brutes and man, not only as respects
constitution, but also as respects destiny. Their active force merges
into other mundane forces and disappears, but the special principle
given to him endures. We willingly persuade ourselves that this
principle is actually personified, and that the shades of the dead
resemble their living forms. To Eastern Asia, where philosophy has been
accustomed to the abstract idea of force, the pleasures we derive from
this contemplation are denied, the cheerless doctrine of Buddhism
likening the life of man to the burning of a lamp, and death to its
extinction. Perceiving in the mutation of things, as seen in the narrow
range of human vision, a suggestion of the variations and distribution
of power throughout nature, it rises to a grand, and, it must be added,
an awful conception of the universe.

But Europe, and also the Mohammedan nations of Asia, have not received
with approbation that view. [Sidenote: The human soul.] To them there is
an individualized impersonation of the soul, and an expectation of its
life hereafter. The animal fabric is only an instrument for its use. The
eye is the window through which that mysterious principle perceives:
through the ear are brought to its attention articulate sounds and
harmonies; by the other organs the sensible qualities of bodies are made
known. From the silent chambers and winding labyrinths of the brain the
veiled enchantress looks forth on the outer world, and holds the
subservient body in an irresistible spell.

[Sidenote: Extension of these views to the nature of the world.] This
difference between the Oriental and European ideas respecting the nature
of man reappears in their ideas respecting the nature of the world. The
one sees in it only a gigantic engine, in which stars and orbs are
diffusing power and running through predestined mutations. The other,
with better philosophy and a higher science, asserts a personal God, who
considers and orders events in a vast panorama before him.




_European Progress in the Acquisition of exact Knowledge.--Its
Resemblance to that of Greece._

_Discoveries respecting the Air.--Its mechanical and chemical
Properties.--Its Relation to Animals and Plants.--The Winds.
--Meteorology.--Sounds.--Acoustic Phenomena._

_Discoveries respecting the Ocean.--Physical and chemical
Phenomena.--Tides and Currents.--Clouds.--Decomposition of Water._

_Discoveries respecting other material Substances.--Progress of

_Discoveries respecting Electricity. Magnetism, Light, Heat._

_Mechanical Philosophy and Inventions.--Physical Instruments.--The
Result illustrated by the Cotton Manufacture.--Steam-engine.--Bleaching.
--Canals.--Railways.--Improvements in the Construction of
Machinery.--Social Changes produced.--Its Effect on intellectual

_The scientific Contributions of various Nations, and especially of

The Age of Reason in Europe presents all the peculiarities of the Age of
Reason in Greece. There are modern representatives of King Ptolemy
Philadelphus among his furnaces and crucibles; of Hipparchus cataloguing
the stars; of Aristyllus and Timochares, with their stone quadrants and
armils, ascertaining the planetary motions; of Eratosthenes measuring
the size of the earth; of Herophilus dissecting the human body; of
Archimedes settling the laws of mechanics and hydrostatics; of Manetho
collating the annals of the old dynasties of Egypt; of Euclid and
Apollonius improving mathematics. [Sidenote: Analogies between the Age
of Reason in Europe and in Greece.] There are botanical gardens and
zoological menageries like those of Alexandria, and expeditions to the
sources of the Nile. The direction of thought is the same; but the
progress is on a greater scale, and illustrated by more imposing
results. The exploring voyages to Madagascar are replaced by
circumnavigations of the world; the revolving steam-engine of Hero by
the double-acting engine of Watt; the great galley of Ptolemy, with its
many banks of rowers, by the ocean steam-ship; the solitary watch-fire
on the Pharos by a thousand light-houses, with their fixed and revolving
lights; the courier on his Arab horse by the locomotive and electric
telegraph; the scriptorium in the Serapion, with its shelves of papyrus,
by countless printing-presses; the "Almagest" of Ptolemy by the
"Principia" of Newton; and the Museum itself by English, French,
Italian, German, Dutch, and Russian philosophical societies,
universities, colleges, and other institutions of learning.

[Sidenote: European progress in the acquisition of knowledge.] So grand
is the scale on which this cultivation of science has been resumed, so
many are those engaged in it, so rapid is the advance, and so great are
the material advantages, that there is no difficulty in appreciating the
age of which it is the characteristic. The most superficial outline
enables us to recognize at once its resemblance to that period of Greek
life to which I have referred. To bring its features into relief, I
shall devote a few pages to a cursory review of the progress of some of
the departments of science, selecting for the purpose topics of general

First, then, as respects the atmosphere, and the phenomena connected
with it.

[Sidenote: The atmosphere.] From observations on the twilight, the
elasticity of aerial bodies, and the condensing action of cold, the
conclusion previously arrived at by Alhazen was established, that the
atmosphere does not extend unlimitedly into space. Its height is
considered to be about forty-five miles. From its compressibility, the
greater part of it is within a much smaller limit; were it of uniform
density, it would not extend more than 29,000 feet. Hence, comparing it
with the dimensions of the earth, it is an insignificant aerial shell,
in thickness not the eightieth part of the distance to the earth's
centre, and its immensity altogether an illusion. It bears about the
same proportion to the earth, that the down upon a peach bears to the
peach itself.

A foundation for the mechanical theory of the atmosphere was laid as
soon as just ideas respecting liquid pressures, as formerly taught by
Archimedes, were restored, the conditions of vertical and oblique
pressures investigated, the demonstration of equality of pressures in
all directions given, and the proof furnished that the force of a liquid
on the bottom of a vessel may be very much greater than its weight.

[Sidenote: Its mechanical relations.] Such of these conclusions as were
applicable were soon transferred to the case of aerial bodies. The
weight of the atmosphere was demonstrated, its pressure illustrated and
measured; then came the dispute about the action of pumps, and the
overthrow of the Aristotelian doctrine of the horror of a vacuum.
Coincidently occurred the invention of the barometer, and the proof of
its true theory, both on a steeple in Paris and on a mountain in
Auvergne. The invention of the air-pump, and its beautiful illustrations
of the properties of the atmosphere, extended in a singular manner the
taste for natural philosophy.

[Sidenote: Its chemical relations.] The mechanics of the air was soon
followed by its chemistry. From remote ages it had been numbered among
the elements, though considered liable to vitiation or foulness. The
great discovery of oxygen gas placed its chemical relations in their
proper position. One after another, other gases, both simple and
compound, were discovered. Then it was recognized that the atmosphere is
the common receptacle for all gases and vapours, and the problem
whether, in the course of ages, it has ever undergone change in its
constitution arose for solution.

[Sidenote: The antagonism of animals and plants.] The negative
determination of that problem, so far as a few thousand years are
concerned, was necessarily followed by a recognition of the antagonism
of animals and plants, and their mutually balancing each other, the
latter accomplishing their duty under the influence of the sun, though
he is a hundred millions of miles distant. From this it appeared that it
is not by incessant interventions that the sum total of animal life is
adjusted to that of vegetable, but that, in this respect, the system of
government of the world is by the operation of natural causes and law, a
conclusion the more imposing since it contemplates all living things,
and includes even man himself. The detail of these investigations proved
that the organic substance of plants is condensed from the inorganic air
to which that of all animals returns, the particles running in
ever-repeating cycles, now in the air, now in plants, now in animals,
now in the air again, the impulse of movement being in the sun, from
whom has come the force incorporated in plant tissues, and eventually
disengaged in our fires, shining in our flames, oppressing us in fevers,
and surprising us in blushes.

[Sidenote: The winds; their origin and nature.] Organic disturbances by
respiration and the growth of plants being in the lowest stratum of the
air, its uniformity of composition would be impossible were it not for
the agency of the winds and the diffusion of gases, which it was found
would take place under any pressure. The winds were at length properly
referred to the influence of the sun, whose heat warms the air, causing
it to ascend, while other portions flow in below. The explanation of
land and sea breezes was given, and in the trade-wind was found a proof
of the rotation of the earth. At a later period followed the explanation
of monsoons in the alternate heating and cooling of Asia and Africa on
opposite sides of the line, and of tornadoes, which are disks of air
rotating round a translated axis with a diameter of one hundred or one
hundred and fifty miles, the axis moving in a curvilinear track with a
progressive advance of twenty or twenty-five miles an hour, and the
motions being in opposite directions in opposite hemispheres of the

The equatorial calms and trade-winds accounted for on physical
principles, it was admitted that the winds of high latitudes,
proverbially uncertain as they are, depend in like manner on physical

With these palpable movements there are others of a less obvious kind.
Through the air, and by reason of motions in it, sounds are transmitted
to us.

[Sidenote: Of sounds; their velocity.] The Alexandrian mathematicians
made sound a favourite study. Modern acoustics arose from the
recognition that there is nothing issuing from the sounding body, but
that its parts are vibrating and affecting the medium between it and the
ear. Not only by the air-pump, but also by observations in the rare
atmosphere of the upper regions, it was shown that the intensity of
sound depends upon the density. On the top of a mountain the report of a
pistol is no louder than that of a cracker in the valley. As to the
gradual propagation of sounds, it was impossible to observe fire-arms
discharged at a distance without noticing that the flash appears longer
before the report in proportion as the distance is greater. The
Florentine academicians attempted a determination of the velocity, and
found it to be 1148 feet in a second. More accurate and recent
experiments made it 1089·42 feet at the freezing-point of water; but the
velocity, though independent of the density, increases with the
temperature at the rate of 1·14 foot for each degree. For other media
the rate is different; for water, about 4687 feet in a second, and in
cast iron about 10-1/2 times greater than in air. All sounds,
irrespective of their note or intensity, move at the same velocity, the
medium itself being motionless in the mass. No sound can pass through a
vacuum. The sudden aerial condensation attending the propagation of a
sound gives rise to a momentary evolution of heat, which increases the
elasticity of the air, and hence the velocity is higher than 916 feet in
a second, otherwise the theoretical rate.

[Sidenote: Acoustic phenomena.] Turning from soniferous media to
sounding bodies, it was shown that the difference between acute and
grave sounds depends on the frequency of vibration. The ear can not
perceive a sound originating in less than thirty-two vibrations in a
second, nor one of more than 24,000. The actual number of vibrations in
a given note was counted by means of revolving wheels and other
contrivances. I have not space to relate the investigation of many other
acoustic facts, the reference of sounds to phases of condensation, and
rarefaction in the elastic medium taking place in a normal direction;
the affections of note, intensity, quality; the passage in curved lines
and around obstacles; the production of sympathetic sounds; nodal
points; the effect of reeds; the phenomena of pipes and flutes, and
other wind instruments; the various vibrations of solids, as bells; or
of membranes, as drums; visible acoustic lines; the reflexion of
undulations by surfaces of various forms; their interferences, so that,
no matter how intense they may be individually, they can be caused to
produce silence; nor of whispering galleries, echoes, the nature of
articulate sounds, the physiology of the vocal and auditory organs of
man, and the construction of speaking machines.

[Sidenote: The ocean; its size.] Like the air, the ocean, which covers
three-fourths of the earth's surface, when reduced to a proper standard
of measure, loses very much of its imposing aspect. The varnish that
covers a twelve-inch globe represents its relative dimension not

[Sidenote: Tides and currents.] On the theory of gravitation, the tides
of the ocean were explained as depending on the attractive force of the
sun and moon. Its currents, in a general manner, are analogous to those
of the air. They originate in the disturbing action of solar heat, the
temperature of the sea varying from 85° in the torrid zone to the
freezing-point as the poles are approached. Its specific gravity at the
equator is estimated at 1·028; but this density necessarily varies with
the rate at which superficial evaporation takes place; the pure vapour
rising, leaves a more concentrated salt solution. The effect is
therefore, in some degree, to counteract the expansion of the water by
warmth, for the sun-rays, being able to penetrate several feet below the
surface, correspondingly raise the temperature of that portion, which
expands and becomes lighter; but, simultaneously, surface evaporation
tends to make the water heavier. Notwithstanding this, currents are
established through the preponderance of the dilatation, and of them the
Gulf Stream is to us the most striking example.

[Sidenote: Effects of ocean streams.] The physical action of the
sun-rays in occasioning currents operates through the expansion of
water, of which warm portions ascend to the surface, colder portions
from beneath setting in to supply their place. These currents, both hot
and cold, are affected by the diurnal rotation of the earth, the action
being essentially the same as that for the winds. They exert so great an
influence as conveyers of heat that they disturb the ordinary climate
relation depending on the sun's position. In this way the Gulf Stream, a
river of hot water in a sea of cold, as soon as it spreads out on the
surface of the Atlantic in higher latitudes, liberates into the air the
heat it has brought from the torrid zone; and this, being borne by the
south-west wind, which blows in those localities for the greater part of
the year, to the westerly part of the European continent, raises by many
degrees the mean annual temperature, thus not only regulating the
distribution of animals and plants, but also influencing human life and
its pursuits, making places pleasant that would otherwise be inclement,
and even facilitating the progress of civilization. Whatever, therefore,
can affect the heat, the volume, the velocity, the direction of such a
stream, at once produces important consequences in the organic world.

[Sidenote: Physical and chemical relations of water.] The Alexandrian
school had attained correct ideas respecting the mechanical properties
of water as the type of liquids. This knowledge was, however, altogether
lost in Europe for many ages, and not regained until the time of
Stevinus and Galileo, who recovered correct views of the nature of
pressure, both vertical and oblique, and placed the sciences of
hydrostatics and hydrodynamics on exact foundations. The Florentine
academicians, from their experiments on water inclosed in a globe of
gold, concluded that it is incompressible, an error subsequently
corrected, and its compressibility measured. The different states in
which it occurs, as ice, water, steam, were shown to depend altogether
on the amount of latent heat it contains. Out of these investigations
originated the invention of the steam-engine, of which it may be said
that it has revolutionized the industry of the world. Soon after the
explanation of the cause of its three states followed the great
discovery that the opinion of past ages respecting its elementary nature
is altogether erroneous. It is not a simple element, but is composed of
two ingredients, oxygen and hydrogen, as was rigorously proved by
decomposing and forming it. By degrees, more correct views of the nature
of evaporation were introduced; gases and vapours were found to coexist
in the same space, not because of their mutual solvent power, but
because of their individual and independent elasticity. The
instantaneous formation of vapours in a vacuum showed that the
determining condition is heat, the weight of vapour capable of existing
in a given space being proportional to the temperature. More scientific
views of the nature of maximum density were obtained, and on these
principles was effected the essential improvement of the low pressure
steam-engine--the apparent paradox of condensing the steam without
cooling the cylinder.

In like manner much light was cast on the meteorological functions of
water. It was seen that the diurnal vaporization from the earth depends
on the amount of heat received, the vapour rising invisibly in the air
till it reaches a region where the temperature is sufficiently low.
There condensation into vesicles of perhaps 1/50000 of an inch in
diameter ensues, and of myriads of such globules a cloud is composed.
[Sidenote: Clouds and their nomenclature.] Of clouds, notwithstanding
their many forms and aspects, a classification was given--cirrus,
cumulus, stratus, etc. It was obvious why some dissolve away and
disappear when they encounter warmer or drier spaces, and why others
descend as rain. It was shown that the drops can not be pure, since they
come in contact with dust, soluble gases, and organic matter in the air.
[Sidenote: The return of water to the sea.] Sinking into the ground, the
water issues forth as springs, contaminated with whatever is in the
soil, and finds its way, through streamlets and rivers, back to the sea,
and thus the drainage of countries is accomplished. Through such a
returning path it comes to the receptacle from which it set out; the
heat of the sun raised it from the ocean, the attraction of the earth
returns it thereto; and, since the heat-supply is invariable from year
to year, the quantity set in motion must be the same. Collateral results
of no little importance attend these movements. Every drop of rain
falling on the earth disintegrates and disturbs portions of the soil;
every stream carries solid matter into the sea. It is the province of
geology to estimate the enormous aggregate of detritus, continents
washed away and new continents formed, and the face of the earth
remodelled and renewed.

[Sidenote: Progress of chemistry.] The artificial decomposition of water
constitutes an epoch in chemistry. The European form of this science, in
contradistinction to the Arabian, arose from the doctrine of acids and
alkalies, and their neutralization. This was about A.D. 1614. It was
perceived that the union of bodies is connected with the possession of
opposite qualities, and hence was introduced the idea of an attraction
of affinity. On this the discovery of elective attraction followed. Then
came the recognition that this attraction is connected with opposite
electrical states, chemistry and electricity approaching each other. A
train of splendid discoveries followed; metals were obtained light
enough to float on water, and even apparently to accomplish the
proverbial impossibility of setting it on fire. In the end it was shown
that the chemical force of electricity is directly proportional to its
absolute quantity. [Sidenote: Attraction. The elements.] Better views of
the nature of chemical attraction were attained, better views of the
intrinsic nature of bodies. The old idea of four elements was discarded,
as also the Saracenic doctrine of salt, sulphur, and mercury. The
elements were multiplied until at length they numbered more than sixty.
[Sidenote: Theory of phlogiston.] Alchemy merged into chemistry through
the theory of phlogiston, which accounted for the change that metals
undergo when exposed to the fire on the principle that something was
driven off from them--a something that might be restored again by the
action of combustible bodies. It is remarkable how adaptive this theory
was. It was found to include the cases of combustive operations, the
production of acids, the breathing of animals. It maintained its ground
even long after the discovery of oxygen gas, of which one of the first
names was dephlogisticated air.

But a false theory always contains within itself the germ of its own
destruction. The weak point of this was, that when a metal is burnt the
product ought to be lighter than the metal, whereas it proves heavier.
[Sidenote: Introduction of the balance into chemistry.] At length it was
detected that what the metal had gained the surrounding air had lost.
This discovery implied that the balance had been resorted to for the
determination of weights and for the decision of physical questions. The
reintroduction of that instrument--for, as we have seen, it had ages
before been employed by the Saracen philosophers, who used several
different forms of it--marked the epoch when chemistry ceased to be
exclusively a science of quality and became one of quantity.

[Sidenote: Theory of oxygen, and the nomenclature.] On the ruins of the
phlogistic theory arose the theory of oxygen, which was sustained with
singular ability. Its progress was greatly facilitated by the
promulgation of a new nomenclature in conformity to its principles, and
of remarkable elegance and power. In the course of time it became
necessary, however, to modify the theory, especially by deposing oxygen
from the attitude of sovereignty to which it had been elevated, and
assigning to it several colleagues, such as chlorine, iodine, etc. The
introduction of the balance was also followed by important consequences
in theoretical chemistry, among which pre-eminently was the
establishment of the laws of combinations of bodies.

[Sidenote: Present state of chemistry.] Extensive and imposing as is the
structure of chemistry, it is very far from its completion. It is so
surrounded by the scaffolding its builders are using, it is so deformed
with the materials of their work, that its true plan can not yet be made
out. In this respect it is far more backward than astronomy. It has,
however, disposed of the idea of the destruction and creation of matter.
[Sidenote: Indestructibility of matter.] It accepts without hesitation
the doctrine of the imperishability of substance; for, though the aspect
of a thing may change through decompositions and recombinations, in
which its constituent parts are concerned, every atom continues to
exist, and may be recovered by suitable processes, though the entire
thing may have seemingly disappeared. A particle of water raised from
the sea may ascend invisibly through the air, it may float above us in
the cloud, it may fall in the rain-drop, sink into the earth, gush forth
again in the fountain, enter the rootlets of a plant, rise up with the
sap to the leaves, be there decomposed by the sunlight into its
constituent elements, its oxygen and hydrogen; of these and other
elements, acids and oils, and various organic compounds may be made: in
these or in its undecomposed state it may be received in the food of
animals, circulate in their blood, be essentially concerned in acts of
intellection executed by the brain, it may be expired in the breath.
Though shed in the tear in moments of despair, it may give birth to the
rainbow, the emblem of hope. Whatever the course through which it has
passed, whatever mutations it has undergone, whatever the force it has
submitted to, its elementary constituents endure. Not only have they not
been annihilated, they have not even been changed; and in a period of
time, long or short, they find their way as water back again to the sea
from which they came.

[Sidenote: Electrical discoveries.] Discoveries in electricity not only
made a profound impression on chemistry, they have taken no
insignificant share in modifying human opinion on other very interesting
subjects. In all ages the lightning had been looked upon with
superstitious dread. The thunderbolt had long been feigned to be the
especial weapon of Divinity. A like superstitious sentiment had
prevailed respecting the northern lights universally regarded in those
countries in which they display themselves as glimpses of the movements
of the angelic host, the banners and weapons of the armies of heaven. A
great blow against superstition was struck when the physical nature of
these phenomena was determined. As to the connexion of electrical
science with the progress of civilization, what more needs to be said
than to allude to the telegraph?

[Sidenote: Theories of electricity.] It is an illustration of the
excellence and fertility of modern methods that the phenomena of the
attraction displayed by amber, which had been known and neglected for
two thousand years, in one-tenth of that time led to surprising results.
[Sidenote: Electrical phenomena.] First it was shown that there are many
other bodies which will act in like manner; then came the invention of
the electrical machine, the discovery of electrical repulsion, and the
spark; the differences of conductibility in bodies; the apparently two
species of electricity, vitreous and resinous; the general law of
attraction and repulsion; the wonderful phenomena of the Leyden phial
and the electric shock; the demonstration of the identity of lightning
and electricity; the means of protecting buildings and ships by rods;
the velocity of electric movement--that immense distances can be passed
through in an inappreciable time; the theory of one fluid and that of
two; the mathematical discussion of all the phenomena, first on one and
then on the other of these doctrines; the invention of the torsion
balance; the determination that the attractive and repulsive forces
follow the law of the inverse squares; the conditions of distribution on
conductors; the elucidation of the phenomena of induction. [Sidenote:
Voltaic electricity.] At length, when discovery seemed to be pausing,
the facts of galvanism were announced in Italy. Up to this time it was
thought that the most certain sign of the death of an animal was its
inability to exhibit muscular contraction: but now it was shown that
muscular movements could be excited in those that are dead and even
mutilated. Then followed quickly the invention of the Voltaic pile.
[Sidenote: Results of the discovery of Galvani.] Who could have foreseen
that the twitching of a frog's leg in the Italian experiments would
establish beyond all question the compound nature of water, separating
its constituents from one another? would lead to the deflagration and
dissipation in a vapour of metals that could hardly be melted in a
furnace? would show that the solid earth we tread upon is an oxide?
yield new metals light enough to swim upon water, and even seem to set
it on fire? produce the most brilliant of all artificial lights,
rivalling if not excelling, in its intolerable splendour the noontide
sun? would occasion a complete revolution in chemistry, compelling that
science to accept new ideas, and even a new nomenclature? that it would
give us the power of making magnets capable of lifting more than a ton,
and cast a light on that riddle of ages, the pointing of the mariner's
compass north and south, explain the mutual attraction or repulsion of
magnetic needles? that it would enable us to form exquisitely in metal
casts of all kinds of objects of art, and give workmen a means of
gilding and silvering without risk to their health? that it would
suggest to the evil disposed the forging of bank notes, the
sophisticating of jewelry, and be invaluable in the uttering of false
coinage? that it would carry the messages of commerce and friendship
instantaneously across continents or under oceans, and "waft a sigh from
Indus to the pole?"

Yet this is only a part of what the Italian experiment, carried out by
modern methods, has actually done. Could there be a more brilliant
exhibition of their power, a brighter earnest of the future of material

[Sidenote: Discoveries in magnetism.] As it had been with amber, so with
the magnet. Its properties had lain uninvestigated for two thousand
years, except in China, where the observation had been made that its
qualities may be imparted to steel, and that a little bar or needle so
prepared, if floated on the surface of water or otherwise suspended,
will point north and south. In that manner the magnet had been applied
in the navigation of ships, and in journeys across trackless deserts.
The first European magnetical discovery was that of Columbus, who
observed a line of no variation west of the Azores. Then followed the
detection of the dip, the demonstration of poles in the needle, and of
the law of attraction and repulsion; the magnetic voyage undertaken by
the English government; the construction of general variation charts;
the observation of diurnal variation; local perturbations; the influence
of the Aurora, which affects all the three expressions of magnetical
power; the disturbance of the horary motion simultaneously over
thousands of miles, as from Kasan to Paris. In the meantime, the theory
of magnetism improved as the facts came out. Its germ was the Cartesian
vortices, suggested by the curvilinear forms of iron filings in the
vicinity of magnetic poles. The subsequent mathematical discussion was
conducted upon the same principles as in the case of electricity.

[Sidenote: Electro-magnetism.] Then came the Danish discovery of the
relations of electricity and magnetism, illustrated in England by
rotatory motions, and in France adorned by the electrodynamic theory,
embracing the action of currents and magnets, magnets and magnets,
currents and currents. The generation of magnetism by electricity was
after a little delay followed by its converse, the production of
electricity by magnetism; and thermoelectric currents, arising from the
unequal application or propagation of heat, were rendered serviceable in
producing the most sensitive of all thermometers.

[Sidenote: Of light and optics.] The investigation of the nature and
properties of light rivals in interest and value that of electricity.
What is this agent, light, which clothes the earth with verdure, making
animal life possible, extending man's intellectual sphere, bringing to
his knowledge the forms and colours of things, and giving him
information of the existence of countless myriads of worlds? What is
this light which, in the midst of so many realities, presents him with
so many delusive fictions, which rests the coloured bow against the
cloud--the bow once said, when men transferred their own motives and
actions to the Divinity, to be the weapon of God?

[Sidenote: Optical discoveries.] The first ascertained optical fact was
probably the propagation of light in straight lines. The theory of
perspective, on which the Alexandrian mathematicians voluminously wrote,
implies as much; but agreeably to the early methods of philosophy, which
were inclined to make man the centre of all things, it was supposed that
rays are emitted from the eye and proceed outwardly, not that they come
from exterior objects and pass through the organ of vision inwardly.
Even the great geometer Euclid treated the subject on that erroneous
principle, an error corrected by the Arabians. In the meantime the law
of reflexion had been discovered; that for refraction foiled Alhazen,
and was reserved for a European. Among natural optical phenomena the
form of the rainbow was accounted for, notwithstanding a general belief
in its supernatural origin. Its colours, however, could not be explained
until exact ideas of refrangibility, dispersion, and the composition of
white light were attained. The reflecting telescope was invented; the
recognized possibility of achromatism led to an improvement in the
refractor. A little previously the progressive motion of light had been
proved, first for reflected light by the eclipses of Jupiter's
satellites, then for the direct light of the stars. A true theory of
colours originated with the formation of the solar spectrum; that
beautiful experiment led to the discovery of irrationality of dispersion
and the fixed lines. The phenomena of refraction in the case of Iceland
spar were examined, and the law for the ordinary and extraordinary rays
given. At the same time the polarization of light by double refraction
was discovered. A century later it was followed by polarisation by
reflexion and single refraction, depolarization, irised rings, bright
and black crosses in crystals, and unannealed or compressed glass, the
connexion between optical phenomena and crystalline form, uniaxial
crystals giving circular rings and biaxial oval ones, and circular and
elliptical polarization.

The beautiful colours of soap-bubbles, at first mixed up with those of
striated and dotted surfaces, were traced to their true
condition--thickness. The determination of thickness of a film necessary
to give a certain colour was the first instance of exceedingly minute
measures beautifully executed. These soon became connected with fringes
in shadows, and led to ascertaining the length of waves of light.

[Sidenote: Vision; the functions of the eye.] Meantime more correct
ideas respecting vision were obtained. Alhazen's explanation of the use
of the retina and lens was adopted. This had been the first truly
scientific investigation in physiology. The action of the eye was
reduced to that of the camera-obscura described by Da Vinci, and the old
notion of rays issuing therefrom finally abandoned. It had held its
ground through the deceptive illustration of the magic-lantern. Of this
instrument the name indicates the popular opinion of its nature. In the
stories of necromancers and magicians of the time are to be found traces
of applications to which it was insidiously devoted--the raising of the
dead, spectres skipping along the ground or dancing on the walls and
chimneys, pendulous images, apparitions in volumes of smoke. [Sidenote:
Optical instruments.] These early instruments were the forerunners of
many beautiful inventions of later times--the kaleidoscope, producing
its forms of marvellous symmetry: the stereoscope, aided by photography,
offering the very embodiment of external scenery; the achromatic and
reflecting telescope, to which physical astronomy is so greatly
indebted; and the achromatic microscope, now working a revolution in
anatomy and physiology.

[Sidenote: The undulatory theory.] In its theory optics has presented a
striking contrast to acoustics. Almost from the very beginning it was
recognized that sound is not a material substance emitted from the
sounding body, but only undulations occurring in the air. For long,
optics failed to reach an analogous conclusion. The advancement of the
former science has been from the general principle down to the details,
that of the latter from the details up to the general principle.

That light consists of undulations in an elastic medium was first
inferred in 1664. Soon after, reflexion, refraction, and double
refraction were accounted for on that principle. The slow progress of
this theory was doubtless owing to Newton's supremacy. He gave a
demonstration in the second book of the "Principia" (Prop. 42) that wave
motions must diverge into the unmoved spaces, and carried popular
comprehension with him by such illustrations as that we hear sounds
though a mountain interpose. It was thought that the undulatory theory
was disposed of by the impossibility of seeing through a crooked pipe,
though we can hear through it; or that we cannot look round a corner,
though we can listen round one.

The present century finally established it through the discovery of
interference, the destruction of the emission theory being inevitable
when it was shown that light, interfering under certain circumstances
with light, may produce darkness, as sound added to sound may produce
silence--results arising from the action of undulating motion. The
difficulties presented by polarization were not only removed, but that
class of phenomena was actually made a strong support of the theory. The
discovery that two pencils of oppositely polarized light would not
interfere, led at once to the theory of transverse vibrations. Great
mathematical ability was now required for the treatment of the subject,
and the special consideration of many optical problems from this new
point of view, as, for example, determining the result of transverse
vibrations coming into a medium of different density in different
directions. As the theory of universal gravitation had formerly done, so
now the undulatory theory began to display its power as a physical
truth, enabling geometers to foresee results, and to precede the
experimenter in conclusions. Among earlier results of the kind was the
prediction that both the rays in the biaxial crystal topaz are
extraordinary, and that circular polarization may be produced by
reflexion in a rhomb of glass. The phenomena of depolarization offered
no special difficulty; and many new facts, as those of elliptic
polarization and conical refraction, have since illustrated the power of
the theory.

[Sidenote: The ether and its movements.] Light, then, is the result of
ethereal undulations impinging on the eye. There exists throughout the
universe and among the particles of all bodies an elastic medium, ether.
By reason of the repulsion of its own parts it is uniformly diffused in
a vacuum. In the interior of refracting media it exists in a state of
less elasticity compared with its density than in vacuo. Vibrations
communicated to it in free space are propagated through such media by
the ether in their interior. The parts of shining bodies vibrate as
those of sounding ones, communicating their movement to the ether, and
giving rise to waves in it. They produce in us the sensation of light.
The slower the vibration, the longer the wave; the more frequent, the
shorter. On wave-length colour depends. In all cases the vibrations are
transverse. The undulatory movement passes onward at the rate of 192,000
miles in a second. The mean length of a wave of light is 0.0000219 of an
inch; an extreme red wave is about twice as long as an extreme violet
one. The yellow is intermediate. The vibrations which thus occasion
light are, at a mean, 555 in the billionth of a second. As with the air,
which is motionless when a sound passes through it, the ether is
motionless, though traversed by waves of light. That which moves forward
is no material substance, but only a form, as the waves seen running
along a shaken cord, or the circles that rise and fall, and spread
outwardly when a stone is thrown into water. The wave-like form passes
onward to the outlying spaces, but the water does not rush forward. And
as we may have on the surface of that liquid waves the height of which
is insignificant, or those which, as sailors say, are mountains high in
storms at sea, their amplitude thus differing, so in the midst of the
ether difference of amplitude is manifested to us by difference in the
intensity or brilliancy of light.

[Sidenote: The human eye; its capabilities.] The human eye, exquisitely
constructed as it is, is nevertheless an imperfect mechanism, being
limited in its action. It can only perceive waves of a definite length,
as its fellow organ, the ear, can only distinguish a limited range of
sounds. It can only take note of vibrations that are transverse, as the
ear can only take note of those that are normal. In optics there are two
distinct orders of facts; the actual relations of light itself, and the
physiological relations of our organ of vision, with all its limitations
and imperfections. Light is altogether the creation of the mind. The
ether is one thing, light is another, just as the air is one thing and
sound another. The ether is not composed of the colours of light any
more than the atmospheric air consists of musical notes.

[Sidenote: Chemical influences of light.] To the chemical agency of
light much attention has in recent times been devoted. Already in
photography, it has furnished us an art which, though yet in its
infancy, presents exquisite representations of scenery, past events, the
countenances of our friends. In an almost magical way it evokes
invisible impressions, and gives duration to fleeting shadows. Moreover,
these chemical influences of light give birth to the whole vegetable
world, with all its varied charms of colour, form, and property, and, as
we have seen in the last chapter, on them animal life itself depends.

[Sidenote: Of heat; reflexion; refraction.] The conclusions arrived at
in optics necessarily entered as fundamental ideas in thermotics, or the
science of heat; for radiant heat moves also in straight lines,
undergoes reflexion, refraction, double refraction, polarization, and
hence the theory of transverse vibrations applies to it. Heat is
invisible light, as light is visible heat. Correct notions of radiation
originated with the Florentine academicians, who used concave mirrors;
and, in the cold-ray experiment, masses of ice of five hundred pounds
weight. The refraction of invisible heat was ascertained in consequence
of the invention of the thermoelectric pile. Its polarization and
depolarization soon followed. Already had been demonstrated the
influence of the physical state of radiant surfaces, and that the heat
comes also from a little depth beneath them. [Sidenote: Exchanges of
heat.] The felicitous doctrine of exchanges of heat imparted true ideas
of the nature of calorific equilibrium and the heating and cooling of
bodies, and offered an explanation of many phenomena, as, for instance,
the formation of dew. [Sidenote: The dew, nature of.] This deposit of
moisture occurs after sunset, the more copiously the clearer the sky; it
never appears on a cloudy night; it neither ascends from the ground like
an exhalation, nor descends like a rain. It shows preferences in its
manner of settling, being found on some objects before it is on others.
All these singular peculiarities were satisfactorily explained, and
another of the mysteries, the unaccountable wonders of the Middle Ages,
brought into the attitude of a simple physical fact.

[Sidenote: Incandescence. Physical instruments.] It is impossible, in a
limited space, to relate satisfactorily what has been done respecting
ignition, the production of light by incandescence, the accurate
measurement of the conductibility of bodies, the determination of the
expansions of solids, liquids, gases, under increasing temperature, the
variations of the same substance at different degrees, the heat of
fluidity and elasticity, and specific heat, or to do justice to the
great improvements made in all kinds of instruments--balances,
thermometers, contrivances for linear and angular measures, telescopes,
microscopes, spectroscopes, chronometers, aerostats, telegraphs, and
machinery generally. [Sidenote: Effect of mechanical inventions.] The
tendency in every direction has been to practical applications. More
accurate knowledge implies increasing power, greater wealth, higher
virtue. The morality of man is enhanced by the improvement of his
intellect and by personal independence. Our age has become rational,
industrial, progressive. In its great physical inventions Europe may
securely trust. There is nothing more to fear from Arabian invasions or
Tartar irruptions. The hordes of Asia could be swept away like chaff
before the wind. Let him who would form a correct opinion of the
position of man in the present and preceding phases of his progress
reflect on the losses of Christendom in Asia and Africa, in spite of all
the machinery of an Age of Faith, and the present security of Europe
from every barbarian or foreign attack.

From almost any of the branches of industry facts might be presented
illustrating the benefits arising from the application of physical
discoveries. As an example, I may refer to the cotton manufacture.

[Sidenote: Illustration from the cotton manufacture.] In a very short
time after the mechanical arts were applied to the manufacture of
textile fabrics, so great was the improvement that a man could do more
work in a day than he had previously done in a year. That manufacture
was moreover accompanied by such collateral events as actually
overturned the social condition throughout Europe. Among these were the
invention of the steam-engine, the canal system, the prodigious
development of the iron manufacture, the locomotive, and railroads;
results not due to the placemen and officers to whom that continent had
resigned its annals, whose effigies encumber the streets of its cities,
but to men in the lower walks of life. The assertion is true that James
Watt, the instrument maker, conferred on his native country more solid
benefits than all the treaties she ever made and all the battles she
ever won. Arkwright was a barber, Harrison a carpenter, Brindley a
millwright's apprentice.

[Sidenote: Development of the cotton manufacture in England.] By the
labours of Paul or of Wyatt, who introduced the operation of spinning by
rollers, a principle perfected by Arkwright; by the rotating
carding-engine, first devised by Paul; by the jenny of Highs or
Hargreaves; the water-frame; the mule, invented by Crompton, so greatly
was the cotton manufacture developed as to demand an entire change in
the life of operatives, and hence arose the factory system. [Sidenote:
The steam-engine of Watt.] At a critical moment was introduced Watt's
invention, the steam-engine. His first patent was taken out in 1769, the
same year that Arkwright patented spinning by rollers. Watt's
improvement chiefly consisted in the use of a separate condenser, and
the replacement of atmospheric pressure by that of steam. Still, it was
not until more than twenty years after that this engine was introduced
into factories, and hence it was not, as is sometimes supposed, the
cause of their wonderful increase. It came, however, at a fortunate
time, nearly coincident with the invention of the dressing-machine by
Radcliffe and the power-loom by Cartwright.

[Sidenote: Bleaching by chlorine.] If the production of textile fabrics
received such advantages from mechanics, equally was it favoured by
chemistry in the discovery of bleaching by chlorine. To bleach a piece
of cotton by the action of the air and the sun required from six to
eight months, and a large surface of land must be used as a
bleach-field. The value of land in the vicinity of great towns presented
an insuperable obstacle to such uses. By chlorine the operation could be
completed in the course of a few hours, and in a comparatively small
building, the fibre being beautifully and permanently whitened.
[Sidenote: Calico-printing by cylinders.] Nor were the chemical
improvements restricted to this. Calico-printing, an art practised many
thousand years ago among the Egyptians, was perfected by the operation
of printing from cylinders.

It deserves to be remarked that the cotton manufacture was first
introduced into Europe by the Arabs. Abderrahman III., A.D. 930, caused
it to be commenced in Spain; he also had extensive manufactures of silk
and leather, and interested himself much in the culture of the sugar
cane, rice, the mulberry. One of the most valuable Spanish applications
of cotton was in the invention of cotton paper. The Arabs were also the
authors of the printing of calicoes by wooden blocks, a great
improvement on the old Indian operation of painting by hand.

[Sidenote: Extent of the cotton manufacture.] We may excuse the
enthusiastic literature of the cotton manufacture its boasting, for men
had accomplished works that were nearly God-like. Mr. Baines, writing in
1833, states that the length of yarn spun in one year was nearly five
thousand millions of miles, sufficient to pass round the earth's
circumference more than two hundred thousand times--sufficient to reach
fifty-one times from the earth to the sun. It would encircle the earth's
orbit eight and a half times. The wrought fabrics of cotton exported in
one year would form a girdle for the globe passing eleven times round
the equator, more than sufficient to form a continuous sheet from the
earth to the moon. And, if this was the case thirty years ago, by what
illustrations would it be possible to depict it now (1859), when the
quantity of cotton imported by England alone is more than twelve hundred
millions of pounds?

[Sidenote: Improvements in locomotion.] But such a vast development in
that particular manufacture necessarily implied other improvements,
especially in locomotion and the transmission of intelligence. The
pedlar's pack, the pack-horse, and the cart became altogether
inadequate, and, in succession, were replaced by the canal system of the
last century, and by the steam-boats and railroads of this. [Sidenote:
Brindley's canals.] The engineering triumphs of Brindley, whose canals
were carried across valleys, over or through mountains, above rivers,
excited unbounded admiration in his own times, and yet they were only
the precursors of the railway engineering of ours. As it was, the canal
system proved to be inadequate to the want, and oaken railways, which
had long been used in quarries and coal-pits, with the locomotive
invented by Murdoch in 1784, were destined to supplant them. [Sidenote:
Stephenson's locomotives.] It does not fall within my present purpose to
relate how the locomotion of the whole civilized world was
revolutionized, not by the act of some mighty sovereign or soldier, but
by George Stephenson, once a steam-engine stoker, who, by the invention
of the tubular boiler and the ingenious device of blowing the chimney
instead of the fire, converted the locomotive of the last century,
which, at its utmost speed, could only travel seven miles an hour, into
the locomotive of this, which can accomplish seventy. [Sidenote: The
railway system.] I need not dwell on the collateral improvements, the
introduction of iron for rails, metallic bridges, tubular bridges,
viaducts, and all the prodigies of the existing system of railway

[Sidenote: Improvement in the construction of machinery.] It is not only
on account of the gigantic nature of the work it has to execute that the
machinery employed in the great manufactures, such as those of cotton
and iron, is so worthy of our admiration; improvements as respects the
correctness, and even the elegance of its own construction, attract our
attention. It has been truly said of steam-engines that they were never
properly made until they made themselves. In any machine, the excellence
of its performance depends on the accuracy of its construction. Its
parts must be made perfectly true, and, to work smoothly, must work
without error. To accomplish such conditions taxed to its utmost the
mechanical ingenuity of the last century; and, indeed, it was not
possible to reach perfect success so long as the hand alone was resorted
to. Work executed by the most skilful mechanic could be no more than
approximately correct. Not until such machines as the sliding rest and
planing engine were introduced could any approach to perfection be made.
Improvements of this nature reacted at once on the primary construction
of machinery, making it more powerful, more accurate, more durable, and
also led to the introduction of greater elegance in its planning or
conception, as any one may see who will compare the clumsy half wooden,
half metal machinery of the last century with the light and tasteful
constructions of this.

[Sidenote: Social changes effected by machinery.] While thus the
inventive class of men were gratifying their mental activity, and
following that pursuit which has ever engrossed the energetic in all
ages of the world--the pursuit of riches; for it was quickly perceived
that success in this direction was the high road to wealth, public
consideration, and honour--the realization of riches greater than the
wildest expectations of the alchemists; there were silently and in an
unobserved manner great social and national results arising. The
operative was correct enough in his conclusion that machinery was
throwing him out of work, and reflecting persons were right enough in
their belief that this extensive introduction of machines was in some
way accomplishing a disorganization of the social economy. Doubtless,
for the time being, the distress and misery were very severe; men were
compelled to starve or to turn to new avocations; families were deprived
of their long-accustomed means of support; such must necessarily be the
incidents of every great social change, even though it be a change of
improvement. Nor was it until the new condition of things had passed
through a considerable advance that its political tendency began to be
plainly discerned. It was relieving the labourer from the burden of his
toil, supplanting manual by mechanical action. [Sidenote: Life in the
mill.] In the cotton-mill, which may be looked upon as the embodiment of
the new system and its tendencies, the steam-engine down below was doing
the drudgery, turning the wheels and executing the labour, while the
operatives above--men, women, and children--were engaged in those things
which the engine could not accomplish--things requiring observation and
intelligent action. Under such a state it was not possible but that a
social change should ensue, for relief from corporeal labour is always
followed by a disposition for mental activity; and it was not without a
certain degree of plausibility that the philanthropist, whose attention
was directed to this subject, asserted that the lot of the labouring man
was no better than it had been before: he had changed the tyrant, but
had not got rid of the tyranny; for the demands of the insatiate,
inexorable, untiring steam-engine must be without delay satisfied; the
broken thread must be instantly pieced; the iron fingers must receive
their new supply; the finished work must be forthwith taken away.

[Sidenote: Intellectual activity.] What was thus going on in the mill
was a miniature picture of what was going on in the state. Labour was
comparatively diminishing, mental activity increasing. Throughout the
last century the intellectual advance is most significantly marked, and
surprising is the contrast between the beginning and the close. Ideas
that once had a living force altogether died away, the whole community
offering an exemplification of the fact that the more opportunity men
have for reflection the more they will think. Well, then, might those
whose interests lay in the perpetuation of former ideas and the ancient
order of things look with intolerable apprehension on what was taking
place. They saw plainly that this intellectual activity would at last
find a political expression, and that a power, daily increasing in
intensity, would not fail to make itself felt in the end.

[Sidenote: Difference between past and present ages.] In such things are
manifested the essential differences between the Age of Faith and the
Age of Reason. In the former, if life was enjoyed in calmness it was
enjoyed in stagnation, in unproductiveness, and in a worthless way. But
how different in the latter! Every thing is in movement. So many are the
changes we witness, even in the course of a very brief period, that no
one, though of the largest intellect, or in the most favourable
position, can predict the future of only a few years hence. We see that
ideas which yesterday served us as a guide die to-day, and will be
replaced by others, we know not what, to-morrow.

[Sidenote: Scientific contributions of various nations,] In this
scientific advancement, among the triumphs of which we are living, all
the nations of Europe have been engaged. Some, with a venial pride,
claim for themselves the glory of having taken the lead. But perhaps
each of them, if it might designate the country--alas! not yet a
nation--that should occupy the succeeding post of honour, would inscribe
Italy on its ballot. It was in Italy that Columbus was born; in Venice,
destined one day to be restored to Italy, newspapers were first issued.
It was in Italy that the laws of the descent of bodies to the earth and
of the equilibrium of fluids were first determined by Galileo. In the
Cathedral of Pisa that illustrious philosopher watched the swinging of
the chandelier, and, observing that its vibrations, large and small,
were made in equal times, left the house of God, his prayers unsaid, but
the pendulum clock invented. To the Venetian senators he first showed
the satellites of Jupiter, the crescent form of Venus, and, in the
garden of Cardinal Bandini, the spots upon the sun. [Sidenote:
especially of Italy.] It was in Italy that Sanctorio invented the
thermometer; that Torricelli constructed the barometer and demonstrated
the pressure of the air. It was there that Castelli laid the foundation
of hydraulics and discovered the laws of the flowing of water. There,
too, the first Christian astronomical observatory was established, and
there Stancari counted the number of vibrations of a string emitting
musical notes. There Grimaldi discovered the diffraction of light, and
the Florentine academicians showed that dark heat may be reflected by
mirrors across space. In our own times Melloni furnished the means of
proving that it may be polarized. The first philosophical societies were
the Italian; the first botanical garden was established at Pisa; the
first classification of plants given by Cæsalpinus. The first geological
museum was founded at Verona; the first who cultivated the study of
fossil remains were Leonardo da Vinci and Fracasta. The great chemical
discoveries of this century were made by instruments which bear the
names of Galvani and Volta. Why need I speak of science alone? Who will
dispute with that illustrious people the palm of music and painting, of
statuary and architecture? The dark cloud which for a thousand years has
hung over that beautiful peninsula is fringed with irradiations of
light. There is not a department of human knowledge from which Italy has
not extracted glory, no art that she has not adorned.

[Sidenote: Causes of her depression.] Notwithstanding the adverse
circumstances in which she has been placed, Italy has thus taken no
insignificant part in the advancement of science. I may at the close of
a work of which so large a portion has been devoted to the relation of
her influences, political and religious, on the rest of Europe, be
perhaps excused the expression of a hope that the day is approaching in
which she will, with Rome as her capital, take that place in the modern
system to which she is entitled. The course of centuries has proved that
her ecclesiastical relation with foreign countries is incompatible with
her national life. It is that, and that alone, which has been the cause
of all her ills. She has asserted a jurisdiction in every other
government; the price she has paid is her own unity. The first, the
all-important step in her restitution is the reduction of the papacy to
a purely religious element. Her great bishop must no longer be an
earthly prince. Rome, in her outcry for the preservation of her temporal
possessions, forgets that Christian Europe has made a far greater
sacrifice. It has yielded Bethlehem, Gethsemane, Calvary, the Sepulchre,
the Mount of the Ascension. That is a sacrifice to which the surrender
of the fictitious donations of barbarian kings is not to be compared.

       *       *       *       *       *

The foregoing paragraphs were written in 1859. Since that time Italy
has become a nation, Rome is its capital, Venice belongs to it. In
1870-71 I was an eye-witness of the presence of Italian troops in the
Eternal City.



_Summary of the Argument presented in this Book respecting the mental
Progress of Europe._

_Intellectual Development is the Object of Individual Life.--It is also
the Result of social Progress._

_Nations arriving at Maturity instinctively attempt their own
intellectual Organization.--Example of the Manner in which this has
been done in China.--Its Imperfection.--What it has accomplished._

_The Organization of public Intellect is the End to which European
Civilization is tending._

A Philosophical principle becomes valuable if it can be used as a guide
in the practical purposes of life.

[Sidenote: General summary of the work.] The object of this book is to
impress upon its reader a conviction that civilization does not proceed
in an arbitrary manner or by chance, but that it passes through a
determinate succession of stages, and is a development according to law.

[Sidenote: Individual and social life have been considered;] For this
purpose we considered the relations between individual and social life,
and showed that they are physiologically inseparable, and that the
course of communities bears an unmistakable resemblance to the progress
of an individual, and that man is the archetype or exemplar of society.

[Sidenote: in the intellectual history of Greece;] We then examined the
intellectual history of Greece--a nation offering the best and most
complete illustration of the life of humanity. From the beginnings of
its mythology in old Indian legends and of its philosophy in Ionia, we
saw that it passed through phases like those of the individual to its
decrepitude and death in Alexandria.

[Sidenote: and the history of Europe.] Then, addressing ourselves to the
history of Europe, we found that, if suitably divided into groups of
ages, these groups, compared with each other in chronological
succession, present a striking resemblance to the successive phases of
Greek life, and therefore to that which Greek life resembles--that is to
say, individual life.

For the sake of convenience in these descriptions we have assumed
arbitrary epochs, answering to the periods from infancy to maturity.
History justifies the assumption of such periods. [Sidenote: The
contrasts its ages display.] There is a well-marked difference between
the aspect of Europe during its savage and mythologic ages; its
changing, and growing, and doubting condition during the Roman republic
and the Cæsars; its submissive contentment under the Byzantine and
Italian control; the assertion of its manhood, and right of thought, and
freedom of action which characterize its present state--a state adorned
by great discoveries in science, great inventions in art, additions to
the comforts of life, improvements in locomotion, and the communication
of intelligence. Science, capital, and machinery conjoined are producing
industrial miracles. Colossal projects are undertaken and executed, and
the whole globe is literally made the theatre of action of every

Nations, like individuals, are born, pass through a predestined growth,
and die. One comes to its end at an early period and in an untimely way;
another, not until it has gained maturity. One is cut off by feebleness
in its infancy, another is destroyed by civil disease, another commits
political suicide, another lingers in old age. But for every one there
is an orderly way of progress to its final term, whatever that term may

[Sidenote: The object of development is intellect.] Now, when we look at
the successive phases of individual life, what is it that we find to be
their chief characteristic? Intellectual advancement. And we consider
that maturity is reached when intellect is at its maximum. The earlier
stages are preparatory; they are wholly subordinate to this.

[Sidenote: It is the same in individual life,] If the anatomist be asked
how the human form advances to its highest perfection, he at once
disregards all the inferior organs of which it is composed, and answers
that it is through provisions in its nervous structure for intellectual
improvement; that in succession it passes through stages analogous to
those observed in other animals in the ascending scale, but in the end
it leaves them far behind, reaching a point to which they never attain.
The rise in organic development measures intellectual dignity.

[Sidenote: and in the animal series,] In like manner, the physiologist
considering the vast series of animals now inhabiting the earth with us,
ranks them in the order of their intelligence. He shows that their
nervous mechanism unfolds itself upon the same plan as that of man, and
that, as its advancement in this uniform and predetermined direction is
greater, so is the position attained to higher.

[Sidenote: and in the general life of the globe.] The geologist declares
that these conclusions hold good in the history of the earth, and that
there has been an orderly improvement in intellectual power of the
beings that have inhabited it successively. It is manifested by their
nervous systems. He affirms that the cycle of transformation through
which every man must pass is a miniature representation of the progress
of life on the planet. The intention in both cases is the same.

[Sidenote: Succession of automatism, instinct, and intelligence.]
The sciences, therefore, join with history in affirming that the great
aim of nature is intellectual improvement. They proclaim that the
successive stages of every individual, from its earliest rudiment to
maturity--the numberless organic beings now living contemporaneously
with us, and constituting the animal series--the orderly appearance of
that grand succession which, in the slow lapse of time, has emerged--all
these three great lines of the manifestation of life furnish not only
evidences, but also proofs of the dominion of law. In all the general
principle is to differentiate instinct from automatism, and then to
differentiate intelligence from instinct. In man himself the three
distinct modes of life occur in an epochal order through childhood to
the most perfect state. And this holding good for the individual, since
it is physiologically impossible to separate him from the race, what
holds good for the one must also hold good for the other. Hence man is
truly the archetype of society. His development is the model of social

[Sidenote: The object of social development.] What, then, is
the conclusion inculcated by these doctrines as regards the
social progress of great communities? It is that all political
institutions--imperceptibly or visibly, spontaneously or
purposely--should tend to the improvement and organization of
national intellect.

The expectation of life in a community, as in an individual, increases
in proportion as the artificial condition or laws under which it is
living agree with the natural tendency. Existence may be maintained
under very adverse circumstances for a season; but, for stability and
duration, and prosperity, there must be a correspondence between the
artificial conditions and the natural tendency.

[Sidenote: Application of these principles to Europe.] Europe is now
entering on its mature phase of life. Each of its nations will attempt
its own intellectual organization, and will accomplish it more or less
perfectly, as certainly as that bees build combs and fill them with
honey. The excellence of the result will altogether turn on the
suitability and perfection of the means.

[Sidenote: Example offered by China.] There are historical illustrations
which throw light upon the working of these principles. Thus, centuries
ago, China entered on her Age of Reason, and instinctively commenced the
operation of mental organization. What is it that has given to her her
wonderful longevity? What is it that insures the well-being, the
prosperity of a population of three hundred and sixty millions--more
than one fourth of the human race--on a surface not by any means as
large as Europe? Not geographical position; for, though the country may
in former ages have been safe on the East by reason of the sea, it has
been invaded and conquered from the West. Not a docility, want of
spirit, or submissiveness of the people, for there have been bloody
insurrections. The Chinese empire extends through twenty degrees of
latitude; the mean annual temperature of its northern provinces differs
from that of the southern by twenty-five Fahrenheit degrees. Hence, with
a wonderful variety in its vegetation, there must be great differences
in the types of men inhabiting it. But the principle that lies at the
basis of its political system has confronted successfully all these
human varieties, and has outlived all revolutions.

[Sidenote: She has organized her public intellect,] The organization of
the national intellect is that principle. A broad foundation is laid in
universal education. It is intended that every Chinese shall know how to
read and write. The special plan then adopted is that of competitive
examinations. The way to public advancement is open to all. Merit, real
or supposed, is the only passport to office. Its degree determines
exclusively social rank. The government is organized on mental
qualifications. The imperial constitution is imitated in those of the
provinces. Once in three years public examinations are held in each
district or county, with a view of ascertaining those who are fit for
office. The bachelors, or those who are successful, are triennially sent
for renewed examination in the provincial capital before two examiners
deputed from the general board of public education. The licentiates thus
sifted out now offer themselves for final examination before the
imperial board at Pekin. Suitable candidates for vacant posts are thus
selected. There is no one who is not liable to such an inquisition. When
vacancies occur they are filled from the list of approved men, who are
gradually elevated to the highest honours.

[Sidenote: and obtains stability for her institutions.] It is not
because the talented, who, when disappointed constitute in other
countries the most dangerous of all classes, are here provided for, that
stability of institutions has been attained, but because the political
system approaches to an agreement with that physiological condition
which guides all social development. The intention is to give a
dominating control to intellect.

[Sidenote: Imperfection of the method she employs.] The method through
which that result is aimed at is imperfect, and, consequently, an
absolute coincidence between the system and the tendency is not
attained, but the stability secured by their approximation is very
striking. The method itself is the issue of political forms through
which the nation for ages has been passing. Their insufficiency and
imperfections are incorporated with and reappear in it.

[Sidenote: Its literary basis inadequate.] To the practical eye of
Europe a political system thus founded on a literary basis appears to be
an absurdity. But we must look with respect on anything that one-fourth
of mankind have concluded it best to do, especially since they have
consistently adhered to their determination for several thousand years.
Forgetting that herein they satisfy an instinct of humanity which every
nation, if it lives long enough, must feel, Europe often asserts that it
is the competitive system which has brought the Chinese to their present
state, and made them a people without any sense of patriotism or honour,
without any faith or vigour. These are the results, not of their system,
but of old age. There are octogenarians among us as morose, selfish, and
conceited as China.

[Sidenote: Relative position of Europe and China.] The want of a clear
understanding of our relative position vitiates all our dealings with
that ancient empire. The Chinese has heard of our discordant opinions,
of our intolerance toward those who differ in ideas from us, of our
worship of wealth, and the honour we pay to birth; he has heard that we
sometimes commit political power to men who are so little above the
animals that they can neither read nor write; that we hold military
success in esteem, and regard the profession of arms as the only
suitable occupation for a gentleman. It is so long since his ancestors
thought and acted in that manner that he justifies himself in regarding
us as having scarcely yet emerged from the barbarian stage. On our side,
we cherish the delusion that we shall, by precept or by force, convert
him to our modes of thought, religious or political, and that we can
infuse into his stagnating veins a portion of our enterprise.

[Sidenote: What China has really accomplished.] A trustworthy account of
the present condition of China would be a valuable gift to philosophy,
and also to statesmanship. On a former page I have remarked (Chap. I.
Vol. I.) that it demands the highest policy to govern populations living
in great differences of latitude. Yet China has not only controlled her
climatic strands of people, she has even made them, if not homogeneous,
yet so fitted to each other that they all think and labour alike. Europe
is inevitably hastening to become what China is. In her we may see what
we shall be like when we are old.

A great community, aiming to govern itself by intellect rather than by
coercion, is a spectacle worthy of admiration, even though the mode by
which it endeavours to accomplish its object is plainly inadequate.
[Sidenote: Difference in government by force and intelligence.] Brute
force holds communities together as an iron nail binds pieces of wood by
the compression it makes--a compression depending on the force with
which it has been hammered in. It also holds more tenaciously if a
little rusted with age. But intelligence binds like a screw. The things
it has to unite must be carefully adjusted to its thread. It must be
gently turned, not driven and so it retains the consenting parts firmly

Notwithstanding the imperfections of a system founded on such a faulty
basis, that great community has accomplished what many consider to be
the object of statesmanship. They think that it should be permanence in
Institutions. But permanence is only, in an apparent sense, the object
of good statesmanship; progression, in accordance with the natural
tendency, is the real one. The successive steps of such a progression
follow one another so imperceptibly that there is a delusive appearance
of permanence. Man is so constituted that he is never aware of
continuous motion. Abrupt variations alone impress his attention.

Forms of government, therefore, are of moment, though not in the manner
commonly supposed. Their value increases in proportion as they permit or
encourage the natural tendency for development to be satisfied.

While Asia has thus furnished an example of the effects of a national
organization of intellect, Europe, on a smaller scale, has presented an
illustration of the same kind. [Sidenote: A similar example in the case
of Italy.] The papal system opened, in its special circumstances, a way
for talent. It maintained an intellectual organization for those who
were within its pale, irrespective of wealth or birth. It was no
objection that the greatest churchman frequently came from the lowest
walks of life. And that organization sustained it in spite of the
opposition of external circumstances for several centuries after its
supernatural and ostensible basis had completely decayed away.

[Sidenote: Approach of Europe to universal education.] Whatever may be
the facts under which, in the different countries of Europe, such an
organization takes place, or the political forms guiding it, the basis
it must rest upon is universal, and, if necessary, compulsory education.
In the more enlightened places the movement has already nearly reached
that point. Already it is an accepted doctrine that the state, as well
as the parent, has rights in a child and that it may insist on
education: conversely also, that every child has a claim upon the
government for good instruction. After providing in the most liberal
manner for that, free countries have but one thing more to do for the
accomplishment of the rest.

[Sidenote: Necessity of intellectual freedom.] That one thing is to
secure intellectual freedom as completely as the rights of property and
personal liberty have been already secured. Philosophical opinions and
scientific discoveries are entitled to be judged of by their truth, not
by their relation to existing interests. The motion of the earth round
the sun, the antiquity of the globe, the origin of species, are
doctrines which have had to force their way in the manner described in
this book, not against philosophical opposition, but opposition of a
totally different nature. And yet the interests which resisted them so
strenuously have received no damage from their establishment beyond that
consequent on the discredit of having so resisted them.

There is no literary crime greater than that of exciting a social, and
especially a theological odium against ideas that are purely scientific,
none against which the disapproval of every educated man ought to be
more strongly expressed. The republic of letters owes it to its own
dignity to tolerate no longer offences of that kind.

[Sidenote: The future course of Europe.] To such an organization of
their national intellect, and to giving it a political control, the
countries of Europe are thus rapidly advancing. They are hastening to
satisfy their instinctive tendency. The special form in which they will
embody their intentions must, of course, depend to a great degree on the
political forms under which they have passed their lives, modified by
that approach to homogeneousness which arises from increased
intercommunication. The canal system, so wonderfully developed in China,
exerted no little influence in that respect--an influence, however, not
to be compared with that which must be the result of the railway system
of Europe.

[Sidenote: Its hopefulness compared with that of China.] In an
all-important particular the prospect of Europe is bright. China is
passing through the last stage of civil life in the cheerlessness of
Buddhism; Europe approaches it through Christianity. Universal
benevolence cannot fail to yield a better fruit than unsocial pride.
There is a fairer hope for nations animated by a sincere religious
sentiment, who, whatever their political history may have been, have
always agreed in this, that they were devout, than for a people who
dedicate themselves to a selfish pursuit of material advantages, who
have lost all belief in a future, and are living without any God.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have now come to the end of a work which has occupied me for many
years, and which I submit, with many misgivings as to its execution, to
the indulgent consideration of the public. These pages will not have
been written in vain if the facts they present impress the reader, as
they have impressed the author, with a conviction that the civilization
of Europe has not taken place fortuitously, but in a definite mariner,
and under the control of natural law; that the procession of nations
does not move forward like a dream, without reason or order, but that
there is a predetermined, a solemn march, in which all must join, ever
moving, ever resistlessly advancing, encountering and enduring an
inevitable succession of events; that individual life and its
advancement through successive stages is the model of social life and
its secular variations.

I have asserted the control of natural law in the shaping of human
affairs--a control not inconsistent with free-will any more than the
unavoidable passage of an individual as he advances to maturity and
declines in old age is inconsistent with his voluntary actions; that
higher law limits our movements to a certain direction, and guides them
in a certain way. As the Stoics of old used to say, an acorn may lie
torpid in the ground, unable to exert its living force, until it
receives warmth, and moisture, and other things needful for its
germination; when it grows, it may put forth one bud here and another
bud there; the wind may bend one branch, the frost blight another; the
innate vitality of the tree may struggle against adverse conditions or
luxuriate in those that are congenial; but, whatever the circumstances
may be, there is an overruling power for ever constraining and modelling
it. The acorn can only produce an oak.

The application of this principle to human societies is completely
established by a scientific study of their history; and the more
extensive and profound that study, the better shall we be able to
distinguish the invariable law in the midst of the varying events. But
that once thoroughly appreciated, we have gained a philosophical guide
for the interpretation of the past acts of nations, and a prophetic
monitor of their future, so far as prophecy is possible in human


  Abba Oumna, a distinguished Jewish physician, i. 401.

  Abbot Arnold, his sanguinary order at the capture of Beziers, ii. 62.

  Abdallah penetrates Africa as far as Tripoli, i. 334.

  Abdalmalek invades Africa, i. 334.

  Abderrahman slain at the battle of Tours, ii. 30.

  Abderrahman III., description of the Court of, ii. 32.
    Introduces cotton manufacture into Spain, ii. 386.

  Abderrahman Sufi improves the photometry of the stars, ii. 42.

  Abdulmalek, his scrupulous integrity in regard to the church of
      Damascus, i. 338.

  Abelard, Peter, his character and doctrines, ii. 11.

  Abkah, his temporary success in subjugating Africa, i. 334.

  Aboul Wefa discovers the variation of the moon, i. 325.

  Abraham Ibn Sahal, obscene character of the songs of, ii. 35.

  Absorption of the soul of man, the Veda doctrine of, i. 60.

  Abu-Bekr, the successor of Mohammed and first Khalif, i. 334.

  Abul Cassem, a Moorish writer of the tenth century, on trade
      and commerce, ii. 44.

  Abul Hassan, an Arab astronomer, ii. 42.

  Abu Othman, a Moorish writer on zoology, ii. 39.

  Acacius, Bishop of Constantinople, excommunicated by Felix, the
      Bishop of Rome, i. 352.

  Academies, accusation of heresy against the Italian, ii. 213.
    Foundation of modern learned, ii. 287.

  Academy, Old, founded by Plato, i. 169.
    Middle, founded by Arcesilaus, i. 169.
    New, founded by Carneades, i. 169.
    Fourth, founded by Philo of Larissa, i. 170.
    Fifth, founded by Antiochus of Ascalon, i. 170.

  Acherusian Cave, superstitiously believed to lead to hell, i. 36.

  Achilles, spear of, preserved as a relic, i. 51.
    Puzzle, advanced by Zeno the Eleatic as one of four arguments
      against the possibility of motion, i. 122.

  Acoustics, discoveries in, and phenomena of, ii. 370.

  Adrian, Pope, incurs the displeasure of Charlemagne in
      consequence of selling his vassals as slaves, i. 373.

  Adriatic Sea, North, change of depth in, i. 30.

  Æneas Sylvius becomes Pope Pius II., i. 299.
    His remark on the Council of Basle, ii. 100.
    On the state of faith, ii. 103.
    On Christendom, ii. 109.

  Aerial martyrs, account of, i. 426.

  Æschylus condemned to death for blasphemy, but saved by his
      brother Aminias, i. 50.

  Æsculapius, the father of Greek medicine, i. 393.

  Affinity, first employed in its modern acceptation by Albertus
      Magnus, ii. 153.

  Africa, circumnavigation of, by the ships of Pharaoh Necho, i. 78.
    Conquered by the Arabs, i. 333.
    Effects of the loss of, on Italy, i. 350.
    Circumnavigation of, by Vasco de Gama, ii. 168.

  Age of the earth, problem of, ii. 294.
    Proofs of, ii. 334.

  Age of Faith, Greek, i. 143.
    Its problems, i. 217.
    European, i. 308.
    In the East, end of, i. 326.
    In the West, i. 349; ii. 1, 27, 77, 105.
    Its literary condition, ii. 128.
    Results of, in England, ii. 229.
    Contrast of, and age of Reason, ii. 389.

  Age of Greek decrepitude, i. 207.

  Age of Inquiry, Greek, its solutions, i. 217.
    History of, European, i. 239, 265.

  Age of Reason, Greek, i. 171.
    Greek, its problems, i. 221.
    Approach of, ii. 151, 190.
    History of, ii. 252, 294.

  Ages, duration of Greek, i. 222.

  Ages of life of man, i. 14.
    Of intellectual progress of Europe, i. 19.
    Algazzali's, of life of man, ii. 52.
    Each has its own logic, ii. 192.
    Agriculture in a rainless country, i. 85.

  Air, modern discoveries of the relations of, i. 102.

  Aix-la-Chapelle, adorned by Charlemagne, i. 373.

  Aiznadin, battle of, i. 335.

  Al Abbas, a Moorish writer on botany, ii. 39.

  Alaric, capture of Rome by, i. 300.

  Albategnius discovers the motion of the sun's apogee, i. 325.
    Determines the length of the year, ii. 41.

  Al Beithar, a Moorish writer on botany, ii. 39.

  Albertus Magnus constructs a brazen man, ii. 116.
    His extensive acquirements, ii. 153.

  Alberuni, a Moorish writer on gems, ii. 39.

  Albigensian revolt, ii. 147.

  Albucasis, a skilful surgeon of Cordova, ii. 39.

  Alby, edict of Council of, against the Jewish physicians, ii. 125.

  Al-Cawthor, river of, mentioned in the Koran, i. 346.

  Alchemists, Saracenic, i. 409.

  Alchemists, minor, of England, France, and Germany, ii. 155.

  Alchemy, theory and object of, i. 406.

  Alcuin, a Benedictine monk, founded the University of Paris, i. 437.

  Alemanni, Christianized at the beginning of the sixth century, i. 365.

  Alexander, Bishop of Constantinople, his controversy with Arius, i. 285.

  Alexander II. excommunicates the Bishop of Milan, ii. 17.

  Alexander IV., Pope, he endeavours to destroy the "Everlasting
      Gospel," ii. 78.

  Alexander of Aphrodisais, his principles and tendencies, i. 259.

  Alexander the Great, his invasion of Persia, i. 171.
    His character, i. 174.

  Alexandria, foundation of, i. 173.
    Political state of, i. 200.
    Decline of the school of, i. 204.
    Description of, i. 323.
    Its capture, i. 334.

  "Alexiad" of Anna Comnena, ii. 59.

  Algazzali, his writings and doctrines, ii. 50.

  Alhakem, Khalif, his extensive library, ii. 32.

  Alhazen discovers atmospheric refraction, ii. 42.
    Review of, ii. 45.
    His conclusions on the extent of the atmosphere confirmed, ii. 367.

  Ali, believed by the Shiites to be an incarnation of God, i. 347.
    His patronage of literature carried out by his successors, ii. 36.

  Alineations, employed by Hipparchus in making a register of the
      stars, i. 202.

  Alliacus, Cardinal, the five memoirs of, ii. 254.

  Almagest, of Ptolemy, description of, i. 203.
    Translated by Averroes, ii. 67.

  Almaimon, his letter to the Emperor Theophilus, ii. 40.
    Determines the obliquity of the ecliptic, ii. 41.
    Also the size of the earth, ii. 41.
    His accuracy confirmed by the measurements of Fernel, ii. 255.

  Almansor patronizes learned men irrespective of their religious
      opinions, i. 336.

  Alps, upheaval of, i. 31.

  Al-Sirat bridge, spoken of in the Koran, i. 346.

  Alwalid I., Khalif, prohibits the use of Greek, i. 339.

  Amadeus, elected "Pope Felix V.," ii. 103.

  Amber brought from the Baltic, i. 46.
    Supposed by Thales to possess a living soul, i. 97.
    Its electrical power imputed to a soul residing in it, i. 100.
    Study of its phenomena has led to important results, ii. 376.

  Ambrose of Milan converts St. Augustine, i. 304.
    Apology for the impostures practised by, i. 313.

  Ambrose Paré lays the foundation of modern surgery, ii. 285.

  America, persecutions practised in, ii. 117.
    Discovery of, ii. 163.
    Where name first occurs, ii. 163.
    Crime of Spain in, ii. 188.
    Antiquity of its civilization, ii. 189.

  America, United States of, separation of Church and State in,
      ii. 143, 227.
    Opportune occurrence of the Revolution, ii. 150.
    Culmination of the Reformation in, ii. 226.

  American tragedy, ii. 166.

  Ammon, St., wonder related of, i. 427.

  Ammonius Saccas, reputed author of the doctrines of
      Neo-Platonism, i. 211.

  Amrou, the Mohammedan general, takes Alexandria, i. 333.

  Amulets, whence their supposed power derived, i. 403.

  Anabaptists, number of, put to death, ii. 226.

  Analogy of Greek and Indian Philosophy, i. 210.

  Analysis, higher, commencement of the, i. 134.
    Political dangers of, i. 139.

  Anaxagoras condemned to death for impiety, i. 50.
    His doctrines, i. 106.
    Persecution and death of, i. 110.

  Anaximander of Miletus, his doctrines, i. 106.
    Originates cosmogony and biology, i. 107.
    Holds the doctrine that air is the first principle, i. 98.

  Anchorets, number of, i. 432.

  Animals, Veda doctrine of use of, i. 61.
    Are localized as well as plants, ii. 309.
    Order of succession of, ii. 321.

  Animals, cold and hot-blooded, ii. 332.
    Characteristics of, ii. 339.
    In lower tribes of, movements are automatic, ii. 349.
    Their instinctive and intellectual apparatus, ii. 351.
    Their nature, ii. 363.
    Analogy between, and Man, ii. 364.

  Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, takes part in the dispute
      between the realists and nominalists, ii. 12.

  Anthony, St., a grazing hermit, i. 427.
    Delusions of, i. 429.

  Anthropocentric stage of thought, i. 36.
    Ideas, prominence of, i. 64.
    Ruin of, ii. 279.
    Philosophy, review of, ii. 287.

  Antimony, its uses, and origin of its name, ii. 156.

  Antiochus of Ascalon, founder of the fourth Academy, i. 170.

  Antiochus, King of Syria, cedes his European possessions to
      Rome, i. 246.

  Antisthenes, founder of the Cynical School, i. 149.

  Antonina, wife of Belisarius, her cruel treatment of Sylverius, i. 354.

  Antoninus, Marcus Aurelius, Emperor, his acknowledgments to
      Epictetus, i. 259.

  Antonio de Dominis, outrage on the body of, ii. 225.

  Apennines, upheaval of, i. 31.

  Apocalypse, comments on, ii. 78.

  Apollonius Pergæus, the writings of, i. 201.
    His geometry underrated by Patristicism, i. 316.

  Apollonius of Tyana aids in the introduction of Orientalism, i. 210.
    Wonders related of, ii. 115.

  Aquinas, Thomas, a Dominican, the rival of Duns Scotus, ii. 14.
    Sojourns with Albertus Magnus, ii. 116.

  Arabian influence, importance of, i. 383.
    Sorcery, i. 390.
    School system, ii. 36.
    Practical science, ii. 38.
    Medicine and surgery, ii. 39.
    Astronomy, ii. 41.
    Practical art, ii. 43.
    Commerce, ii. 43.
    Numerals, ii. 49.

  Arabs cultivate learning, i. 335.
    Rapidity of their intellectual development, i. 336.
    Invade Spain, ii. 28.

  Arabs, civilization and refinement of Spanish, ii. 30.
    Introduce the manufacture of cotton into Europe, ii. 386.
    Invent cotton paper, and the printing of calico by wooden
        blocks, ii. 386.

  Arantius, a distinguished anatomist, ii. 284.

  Arcesilaus, founder of the Middle Academy, i. 169.

  Archimedes, the writings of, i. 194.
    His mechanical inventions held in contempt by Patristicism, i. 316.

  Arctinus, his poems held in veneration, i. 51.

  Arddha Chiddi, the founder of Buddhism, life of, i. 66.

  Argonautic voyage, object of, i. 41.
    Its real nature, i. 45.

  Ariminium, Council of, i. 289.

  Aristarchus attempts to ascertain the sun's distance, i. 199.

  Aristippus, the founder of the Cyrenaic School, i. 149.

  Aristotle keeps a druggist's shop in Athens, i. 129, 397.
    Biography of, i. 176.
    His works translated into Arabic, i. 402.

  Aristotelism compared with Platonism i. 177.

  Arithmetic, Indian, ii. 40.

  Arius, his heresy, i. 285.
    His death, i. 288.
    Political results of his heresy, i. 326.

  Arnold of Brescia, murder of, ii. 25.

  Arnold de Villa Nova, biographical sketch of, ii. 130.

  Art, Black, i. 404.

  Artesian Wells, ii. 301.

  Articulata, anatomy of, ii. 350.

  Asclepions, effect of the destruction of, i. 387.
    Nature and organization of, i. 396.

  Asellius discovers the lacteals, ii. 285.

  Asoka, King, patronizes Buddhism, i. 67.

  Aspasia, history of, significant, i. 132.

  Astrolabe, known to the Saracens, ii. 42.

  Astronomical refraction, understood by Alhazen, ii. 46.

  Astronomy, primitive, i. 39.
    Passes beyond the fetich stage, i. 100.
    Of Eratosthenes, i. 199.
    How she takes her revenge on the Church, i. 360.
    The intellectual impulse makes its attack through, ii. 133.
    Affords illustration of the magnitude and age of the world, ii. 278.

  Athanasius rebels against the Emperor Constantine, i. 289.
    First introduces monasticism into Italy, i. 433.

  Athene, statues of, i. 51.

  Athens, her progress in art, i. 132,
    her philosophy, i. 133.
    Her fall, ii. 109.

  Atlantic, first voyage across, ii. 162.

  Atmosphere, height of, determined by Alhazen, ii. 47.
    Effects of light on, ii. 320.
    The phenomena and properties of, ii. 367.

  Atomic theory, suggested by Democritus, i. 125.

  Attalus, King of Pergamus, effect of his bequests to Rome, i. 247.

  Attila, King of the Huns, "the scourge of God," invades Africa, i. 350.

  Augsburg, Diet of, ii. 211.

  Augustine, St., causes Pelagius to be expelled from Africa, i. 294.
    Writes the "City of God," i. 301.
    Character of that work, i. 304.
    Denies the possibility of the Antipodes, i. 315.
    His notion of the Virgin, i. 361.
    On spontaneous generation, ii. 329.

  Auricular confession, introduction of, ii. 65.

  "Ausculta Fili," Papal bull of, ii. 83.

  Australian, how affected by physical circumstances, i. 26.

  Avenzoar, a Moorish writer on pharmacy, ii. 39.

  Averroes, of Cordova, the chief commentator on Aristotle, ii. 39.
    His theory of the soul, ii. 193.
    Confounded force with the psychical principle, ii. 343.
    His erroneous view of man, ii. 357.

  Avicenna, the geological views of, i. 411.
    A physician and philosopher, ii. 39.

  Avignon, Papacy removed to, ii. 86.
    Voluptuousness of, ii. 95.
    Papacy leaves, ii. 96.

  Azof, Sea of, dependency of the Mediterranean, i. 28.

  Babylonian, extent of astronomical observations, i. 192.

  Bacon, Lord, nature of his philosophy, ii. 258.

  Bacon, Roger, titles of his works, ii. 120.
    Is the friend of the Pope, ii. 132.
    His history and his discoveries, ii. 153.

  Baconian philosophy, its principles understood and carried into
      practice eighteen hundred years before Bacon was born, ii. 175.

  Bactrian empire, European ideas transmitted through, i. 45.

  Badbee, John, the second English martyr, denies
      transubstantiation, ii. 99.

  Bagdad, Khalifs of, patronize learning, i. 335.
    Its university founded by the Khalif al Raschid, i. 402.

  Baghavat Gita, i. 65.

  Baines on the extent of the cotton manufacture, ii. 386.

  Bajazet, defeats Sigismund, King of Hungary, at the battle of
      Nicopolis, ii. 106.

  "Balance of Wisdom," probably written by Alhazen, ii. 47.

  Balboa discovers the Great South Sea, ii. 174.

  Ball, John, his preaching an index of the state of the times, ii. 148.

  Balthazar Cossa, Pope John XXIII., ii. 98.

  Barbarians, Northern, their influence on civilization in Italy, i. 416.

  Barbarossa, Frederick, surrenders Arnold of Brescia to the
      Church, ii. 25.

  Barsumas assists in the murder of the Bishop of Constantinople, i. 297.

  Basil Valentine introduces antimony, ii. 156.

  Basil, St., Bishop of Cæsarea, founder of the Basilean order of
      monks, i. 436.

  Basle, Council of, ii. 102.

  Bavarians, Christianized, i. 365.

  "Beatific Vision," questioned by John XXII., ii. 94.

  Beccher introduced the phlogistic theory, ii. 286.

  Bechil, the discoverer of phosphorus, i. 410.

  Belgrade, taken by Soliman the Magnificent, ii. 109.

  Belisarius reconquers Africa, i. 327. Captures Rome, i. 350.

  Benedetto Gaetani, Cardinal, his participation in causing the
      abdication of Peter Morrone, Celestine V., ii. 80.

  Benedict, St., miracles related of, i. 435.

  Benedictines, their numbers, i. 436.

  Ben Ezra, his numerous acquirements, ii. 123.

  Berengar of Tours, opinions of, ii. 10.
    Many of his doctrines embraced by Wickliffe, ii. 98.

  Berkeley, his doctrine on the existence of matter, i. 231.

  Bernard of Clairvaux stimulates the second Crusade, ii. 24.

  Bernard, St., attacks Abelard, ii. 11.

  Bernardini, Peter, the father of St. Francis, ii. 64.

  Bertha, Queen of Kent, assists in the conversion of England to
      Christianity, i. 366.

  Beziers, the capture of, by Abbot Arnold, ii. 62.
    Council of, opposes the Jewish physicians, ii. 125.

  Bible, translated into Latin by Jerome, i. 306.
    Its superiority to the Koran, i. 343.
    Translated into English by Wickliffe, ii. 99.
    Its character and general circulation, ii. 224.

  Biology originates with Anaximander, i. 107.

  Birds, migration of, i. 6.

  Bishops, rivalries of the three, i. 298.
    Their fate, i. 306.
    Accusation of House of Commons against the English, ii. 235.
    Their reply, ii. 236.

  Black Art sprang from Chaldee notions, i. 404.

  Black Sea, a dependency of the Mediterranean, i. 28.

  Bleaching by chlorine, ii. 386.

  Blood admixture, effect of, i. 15.
    Degeneration, its effect, ii. 144.

  Boccaccio obtains a professorship for Leontius Pilatus, ii. 194.

  Bodin's, "De Republica," i. 6.

  Boethius falls a victim to the wrath of Theodoric, i. 353.
    His character, i. 358.

  Boilman, Tom, origin of the nickname, ii. 244.

  Boniface VIII., Pope, "Benedetto Gaetani," his quarrel with the
      Colonnas, ii. 80.

  Boniface of Savoy, Archbishop of Canterbury, his rapacity, ii. 75.

  Boniface, an English missionary of the seventh century, i. 366.

  Books, longevity of, ii. 201.

  Borelli on circular motion, ii. 272.
    Applies mathematics to muscular movement, ii. 286.

  Boyle improves the air-pump, ii. 286.

  Bradley determines the velocity of direct stellar light, ii. 299.

  Brahman, how regarded according to the Institutes of Menu, i. 63.
    Attempted to reconcile ancient traditions with modern
        philosophical discoveries, ii. 335.

  Brain, functions, ii. 351.

  Breakspear, Nicholas, afterwards Pope Adrian IV., ii. 25.

  Brown, discoverer of the quinary arrangement of flowers, ii. 286.

  Brindley, a millwright's apprentice, ii. 385.
    His engineering triumph in the construction of canals, ii. 387.

  Bruchion, the library in, i. 318.

  Bruno, Giordano, teaches the heliocentric theory, ii. 257.
    Is burnt as a heretic, ii. 258.

  Brutes, why supposed by Diogenes to be incapable of thought, i. 102.

  Buddhism, its rise, i. 65.
    The organisation of, i. 67.
    Its fundamental principle, i. 68.
    Its views of the nature of man, i. 70.
    Philosophical estimate of, i. 72.

  Bulgarians converted by a picture, i. 367.

  Bunsen, his estimate of Eusebius's chronology, i. 198.

  Bunyan, John, his writings surpass those of St. Augustine, i. 305.
    His twelve years' imprisonment for preaching, ii. 242.
    Probable source of much of the machinery of the Pilgrim's
    Progress, ii. 248.

  Burnet's "Sacred Theory of the Earth," ii. 286.

  Byzantine system adopted in Italy, i. 349.
    Government persecutes the Nestorians and Jews, i. 385.
    Suppression of medicine, i. 386.

  Cabanis, quoted on the influence of the Jews, ii. 120.

  Cabot, Sebastian, rediscovers Newfoundland, and attempts to
      find a north-west passage to China, ii. 174.

  Cabral discovers Brazil, ii. 174.

  Cadesia, effect of the battle of, i. 335.

  Cæsalpinus first gives a classification of plants, ii. 390.

  Cæsar becomes master of the world, i. 248.

  Calico printing, antiquity of the art, and how improved, ii. 386.

  Caligula, Emperor, an adept in alchemy, i. 407.

  Calixtus III., Pope, issues his fulminations against Halley's
      comet, ii. 253.

  Callimachus, author of a treatise on birds, and a poet, i. 201.

  Callisthenes accompanies Alexander the Great in his campaigns, i. 172.
    Is hanged by his orders, i. 174.
    Transmits to Aristotle records of astronomical observations, i. 192.

  Calvin establishes a new religious sect, ii. 211.
    Causes Servetus to be burnt as a heretic, ii. 225.

  Calydonian boar, hide of, preserved as a relic, i. 51.

  Cambyses conquers Egypt, i. 79, 186.

  Canal of Egypt, reopened by Necho, i. 78.
    A warning from the oracle of Amun causes Necho to stop the
        construction of, i. 93.
    Cleared again from sand, i. 325.

  Canals the precursors of railways, ii. 387.
    Of China, their influence, ii. 400.

  Cannibalism of Europe, i. 32.

  Canonic of Epicurus, imperfection of, i. 167.

  Canosa, scene at, the King of Germany seeking pardon of the
      Pope, ii. 19.

  Cape of Good Hope, doubled by Vasco de Gama, ii. 168.
    First made known in Europe by the Jews, ii. 175.

  Caracalla, alluded to in the reply of the Christians to the
      Pagans, i. 302.

  Carat, its derivation and signification, ii. 44.

  Carneades, the founder of the New Academy, his doctrines, i. 169.

  Carthage, description of, i. 129.
    Its conquest contemplated by Alexander the Great, i. 174.
    Most effectually controlled by invading Africa, i. 245.
    Heraclius contemplates making it the metropolis of the Eastern
        empire, i. 329.
    Stormed and destroyed by Hassan, i. 334.

  Carthaginian commerce, nature, and extent of, i. 130.

  "Carolinian Books" published by Charlemagne, against image
      worship, i. 372.

  Caspian and Dead Seas, level of, ii. 305.

  Castelli assists in the verification of the laws of motion, ii. 271.
    Creates hydraulics, ii. 285.
    Lays the foundation of hydraulics, ii. 390.

  Casuistry, development of, ii. 66.

  Catalogue of stars contained in the Almagest of Ptolemy, i. 203.

  Catasterisims of Eratosthenes, i. 196.

  Catastrophe, insufficiency of a single, ii. 316.
    Doctrine of, ii. 323.

  Cato causes Carneades to be expelled from Rome, i. 164.

  Celibacy of clergy insisted on by the monks, i. 426.
    Necessity of, ii. 16.

  Celt, sorcery of the, i. 34.

  Cerebral sight, important religious result of, i. 430.

  Cerinthus, his opinion of the nature of Christ, i. 270.

  Chadizah, the wife of Mohammed, i. 330, 337.

  Chakia Mouni, meaning of the name, i. 67.
    The founder of Buddhism, i. 342.

  Chalcedon, Council of, i. 297.
    It determines the relation of the two natures of Christ, i. 299.

  Chaldee notions give rise to the black art, i. 404.

  Châlons, battle of, i. 350.

  Charlemagne, his influence in the conversion of Europe, i. 364.
    Disapproves of idolatry, i. 368.
    Developes the policy of his father Pepin, i. 371.
    Is crowned Emperor of the West, i. 371.
    The immorality of his private life, i. 374.

  Charles Martel gains the battle of Tours, i. 368.
    His relations to the Church, i. 369.
    Pope Gregory III. seeks his aid, i. 423.

  Charms, the source of their supposed power, i. 403.

  Chemistry, fetichism of, i. 101.
    Pythagorean, i. 116.
    Scientific, cultivated by the Arabs, i. 408.
    Progress of, ii. 374.

  Chilperic II. permitted to retain his title, i. 369.

  Chilperic III. deposed and shut up in the convent of St. Omer, i. 370.

  China, her policy, ii. 395.

  Chinese Buddhism, i. 72, 74.

  Chosroes II., his successes, i. 328.
    The effect of his wars on commerce, i. 337.

  Christian reply to the accusation of the Pagans, i. 301.

  Christianity, influence of Roman, i. 241.
    Debased in Rome, i. 264.
    Distinction between, and ecclesiastical organizations, i. 267.
    Its first organization, i. 269.
    Three modifications of, i. 271.
      Judaic, i. 271.
      Gnostic, i. 273.
      Platonic, i. 273.
    Spreads from Syria, i. 274.
    Antagonizes imperialism, i. 275.
    Its persecutions, i. 277.
    Hellenized, i. 290.
    Paganization of, i. 309.
    Expelled from Palestine, Asia Minor, Egypt, and Carthage, i. 332.
    Paganisms of, i. 359.
    Allied to art, i. 359.

  Chronology of Eratosthenes, i. 197.

  Church, Greek and Latin, i. 291.
    Effects of union of, and State, i. 377.
    What she had done, ii. 145.
    Services, their influence on the people, ii. 202.
    Separation of, and State, ii. 227.

  Cicero, his opinions and principles, i. 258.

  Cimbri, cause of their invasion, i. 30.

  Cipher, its derivation and meaning, ii. 40.
    Alluded to by Pope Sylvester, ii. 49.

  Circle, the quadrature of, treated by Archimedes, i. 194.

  Circumnavigation of Africa, why undertaken by the Egyptian Kings, i. 78.
    Its repetition contemplated by Alexander, i. 173.
    Of the earth, ii. 172.
    Results of, ii. 173.

  Circumstances, how far man is the creature of, i. 389.

  Clement V., Pope, takes up his residence at Avignon, ii. 86.

  Clement of Alexandria, his invective against the corruptions of
      Christianity, i. 358.

  Cleomedes, an astronomer of Alexandria, i. 202.

  Cleopatra, the last of the Ptolemies, i. 200.
    Is presented with one of the Alexandrian libraries, i. 318.

  Clergy, responsible for the massacre at Thessalonica, i. 313.
    Support the delusion of supernaturalism, ii. 113.
    American, ii. 227.
    English accused by the Commons, ii. 235.
    Discipline Act, ii. 237.
    Degraded condition of the lower, in England, ii. 242.

  "Clericis Laicos," bull issued by Pope Boniface, ii. 82.

  Clermont, Council of, authorizes the First Crusade, ii. 21.

  Climacus, John, author of "Ladder of Paradise," ii. 59.

  Climates, in time and place, ii. 317.

  Clotilda, Queen of the Franks, counsels her husband Clovis, i. 365.

  Clouds and their nomenclature, ii. 373.

  Cnidos, medical school of, i. 396.

  Cnudesuya, aqueduct of, ii. 186.

  Coal period, ii. 320.
    Its botany, ii. 332.

  Cobham, Lord, hanged for heresy and treason, ii. 99.

  Cochlea, its function, i. 5.

  Coenobitism succeeds Eremitism, i. 432.

  Coffee-houses, their political and social importance, ii. 249.

  Coinage, its adulteration, i. 251.

  Coiter creates pathological anatomy, ii. 285.

  Cold, influence of, on man, i. 28.

  Colleges founded by the Jews, i. 402, ii. 121.

  Colonial system, origin of Greek, i. 128.

  Colonies, Greek, essentially weak, i. 113.
    Philosophical influence of, i. 128.

  Colonnas, their quarrel with Pope Boniface, ii. 80.

  Colossus of Rameses II., its great antiquity, i. 87.

  Colours of rainbow, ii. 379.

  Columban, a missionary of the sixth century, i. 366.

  Columbus, his early life, ii. 159.
    Is confuted by the Council of Salamanca, ii. 161.
    His voyage across the Atlantic, ii. 162.
    Discovery of America, ii. 163.

  Commerce, development of Mediterranean, i. 45.
    Favourable to the spread of new ideas, i. 127,
    many of the devices of modern, known to the Carthaginians, i. 130.

  Communities, nature of progress of, i. 12.

  Comnena, Anna, "Alexiad" of, ii. 59.

  Condillac, his theory of memory and comparison, i. 232.

  Conon of Alexandria, i. 194.

  Constance, Council of, ii. 99.

  Constantine the Great, the success of his policy, i. 277.
    Influence of the reign of, i. 278.
    Removes the metropolis, i. 279.
    His tendencies to Paganism, i. 280.
    His relations to the Church, i. 281.
    His policy, i. 282.
    Conversion and death, i. 283.
    Attempts to check the Arian controversy, i. 286.
    Denounces Arius as a heretic, i. 287.

  Constantine, Pope, an usurper, his cruel treatment, i. 378.

  Constantine Copronymus, his iconoclastic policy, i. 418.

  Constantine Palæologus, the last of the Roman Emperors, ii. 108.

  Constantinople, Council of, i. 419.
    Determines that Son and Holy Spirit are equal to the Father, i. 299.
    The seventh general, held at, i. 419.
    Sack of, ii. 56.
    Its literature, ii. 58.
    Siege of, by the Turks, ii. 107.
    Fall of, ii. 108.

  Convocation, charges against, ii. 235.

  Copais, tunnel of, i. 32.

  Copernican system, condemned by the Inquisition, ii. 263.
    Theory of, rectified, ii. 268.

  Copernicus, the works of, ii. 255.
    His doctrine, ii. 256.

  Copronymus the Iconoclast, i. 418.

  Cordova, description of, ii. 30.

  Corinth, mechanical art reached its perfection in, i. 132.
    Her fall, ii. 109.

  Cosmas Indicopleustes, his argument against the sphericity of
      the earth, ii. 159.

  Cosmo de' Medici, ii. 192.

  Cosmogony, originates with Anaximander, i. 107.
    Of Anaxagoras, i. 109.
    Of Pythagoras, i. 115.

  Cotton manufacture, ii. 385.

  Councils, their object and nature, i. 236.
    Are not infallible, i. 297.

  Creations and extinctions, cause of, ii. 311.

  Criterion of truth, existence of, doubted by Anaxagoras, i. 110.
    One of the problems of Greek philosophy, i. 230.
    Remarks on, i. 232.
    A practical one exists, i. 235.

  Criticism, effect of philosophical, i. 46.
    Rise of, ii. 190.
    Effect of, on literature and religion, ii. 224.

  Cross, the true, discovered, i. 309.

  Crotona, a Greek colonial city, i. 111.
    Its extent, i. 128.

  Crusades, origin of, ii. 20.
    The first, ii. 22.
    Political result of, ii. 23.
    Atrocities in the South of France, ii. 62.
    Effect of, ii. 135.

  Ctesiphon, the metropolis of Persia, sack of, i. 335.

  Cuvier, his doctrine of the permanence of species, ii. 326.
    His remark on vivisection, ii. 349.

  Cuzco, the metropolis of Peru, description of, ii. 181.

  Cycle of life, i. 233.

  Cyclopean structures, i. 32.

  Cynical school, i. 149.

  Cyprian, his complaints against the clergy and confessors, i. 358.

  Cyprian, St., his remarks at the Council of Carthage, i. 291.

  Cyprus taken by the Saracens, i. 335.

  Cyrenaic school, i. 149.

  Cyril, St., his acts, i. 321.
    An ecclesiastical demagogue, i. 391.

  Daillé, his estimate of the Fathers, ii. 225.

  Damascus taken, i. 334.

  Damasus, riots at the election of, i. 292.

  Damiani, Peter, his charges against the priests of Milan, ii. 7.

  Death, interstitial, i. 14.

  "Defender of Peace," nature of the work, ii. 93.

  Deification, John Erigena on, ii. 9.

  Deity, anthropomorphic ideas of, in the Koran, i. 342.

  Delos, a slave market, i. 246.

  Deluges, ancient, i. 30.

  Delusions, of the sense, i. 230.
    Created by the mind, i. 429.

  Demetrius Phalereus, his instructions to collect books, i. 188.

  Demetrius Poliorcetes quoted, i. 166.

  Democritus asserts the unreliability of knowledge, i. 124.

  Descartes, his theory of clear ideas, i. 231.
    Introduces the theory of an ether and vortices, ii. 285.

  Desert, influences of the, i. 6.

  Destiny, Democritus's opinion of, i. 125.
    Stoical doctrine of, i. 185.

  Deucalion, deluge of, i. 51.

  Development of organisms, Alhazen's theory of, ii. 48.

  Dew, the nature of, ii. 384.

  Diaphragm of Dicæarchus, i. 196.

  Didymus, wonderful taciturnity related of, i. 427.

  Diocles, a writer on hygiene and gymnastics, i. 397.

  Diocletian, state of things under, i. 276.

  Diogenes of Apollonia developes the doctrines of Anaximenes, i. 99.

  Diogenes of Sinope extends the doctrines of Cynicism, i. 149.

  Dioscorus, Bishop of Alexandria, deposed by the Council of
      Chalcedon, i. 297.

  Djafar, or Geber, an Arabian chemist, describes nitric acid and
      aqua regia, i. 410.

  Djondesabour, medical college of, founded by the Nestorians and
      Jews, i. 391.
    Patronized by the Khalif al Raschid, i. 402.

  Docetes, their ideas of the nature of Christ, i. 270.

  Dogmatists, their theory of the treatment of disease, i. 399.

  Dominic, St., wonders related of, ii. 63.

  Dominicans, they oppose Galileo, ii. 262.

  Donatists recalled from banishment by Constantine, i. 281.

  Drama, an index of national mental condition, ii. 249.

  Draper's Physiology quoted on cerebral sight, i. 430.
    On the benefits conferred by the Church, ii. 145.
    On the necessity of resorting to anatomy and physiology, ii. 343.

  Dreams, Algazzali's view of their nature, ii. 51.

  Druids, i. 241.

  Du Molay, burnt at the stake, ii. 92.

  Duns Scotus, John, a Franciscan monk, the rival of Thomas
      Aquinas, ii. 14.

  Duverney on the sense of hearing, ii. 286.

  Ear, i. 5.

  Earth, globular form of, implied by the voyage of Columbus, ii. 164,
    proved by its shadow in eclipses of the moon, ii. 171.
    Is not the immovable centre of the universe, ii. 254.
    Age of, ii. 278.
    Its slow cooling, ii. 301.
    Mean density of, ii. 302.
    Movement of the crust of, ii. 306.
    Development of life on, ii. 355.

  Earthquakes, ii. 302.

  Easter, dispute respecting, i. 291.

  Ebionites, their doctrine of our Saviour's lineage, i. 272.

  Ebn Djani, physician to the Sultan Saladin, and author of a
      work on the medical topography of Alexandria, ii. 124.

  Ebn Junis, a Moorish astronomer, ii. 41.
    Astronomical table of, ii. 42

  Ebn Zohr, competitor of Raschi, ii. 123.

  Ecclesiasticism, its decline, ii. 143.
    Its downfall, ii. 284.

  Eclipse, solar, predicted by Thales, i. 97.

  Ecliptic, discovery of obliquity of, falsely imputed to
      Anaximenes, i. 99.
    Determined with accuracy by Almaimon, ii. 41.
    Slow process of its secular variation, ii. 304.

  Ecstasy, i. 213.

  Edessa, church of, re-built by Moawiyah for his Christian
    subjects, i. 338.

  Edward I. of England compels the clergy to pay taxes, ii. 81.

  Egypt, conquest of, by Cambyses, i. 79.
    Antiquity of civilization in, i. 81.
    Pre-historic Life of, i. 81.
    Influence of, on Europe, i. 82.
    Antiquity of its monarchy, i. 84.
    Geological age of, i. 87.
    Geography and topography of, i. 87.
    Roman annexation of, i. 248.

  Egyptian ports opened, i. 77.
    Theology i. 91.

  Elcano, Sebastian de, the Lieutenant of Magellan, ii. 173.

  Eleatic philosophy, i. 118.
    Influence of the school, i. 220.

  Electricity, discoveries in, ii. 377.

  Electro-magnetism, ii. 378.

  Elixir of Life, i. 407.
    Effect of the search for, on medicine, i. 411.
    Eloquence, Parliamentary, decline of its power, ii. 204.

  Elphinstone, quotation from, i. 64.

  Elysium, i. 36.

  Emanation, doctrine of, i. 225.

  Empedocles, biography of, i. 123.

  Empirics, their doctrine, i. 399.

  England, conversion of, i. 366.
    Policy of an Italian town gave an impress to its history, ii. 17.
    Its social condition, ii. 229.
    Condition of, at the suppression of the monasteries, ii. 230.
    Backward condition of, ii. 233.
    State of, at the close of the seventeenth century, ii. 238.

  Ephesus, Council of, called "Robber Synod," i. 297.
    Determines that the two natures of Christ make but one person, i. 299.

  Epictetus, his doctrines, i. 259.

  Epicureans, modern, i. 168.

  Epicurus, the doctrine of, i. 165.
    His irreligion, i. 168.

  Epicycles and eccentrics, Hipparchus's theory of, i. 202.

  Epochs of individual life, i. 14.
    Of national life, i. 19.

  Erasmus becomes alienated from the Reformers, ii. 225.
    Wonderful popularity of his "Colloquies," ii. 238.

  Eratosthenes, the writings and works of, i. 196.
    Astronomy of, i. 199.

  Eremitism, its modifications, i. 432.

  Erigena, John, a Pantheist employed by the Archbishop of Rheims, ii. 9.

  Essenes, a species of the first hermits among the Jews, i. 425.

  Ether, movements of, ii. 382.

  Ethical philosophy, i. 143.
    Its secondary analysis, i. 164.

  Ethics of Plato, i. 158.

  Ethnical element, definition of, and conditions of change in, i. 12.

  Eucharist, difference of opinion about, ii. 210.

  Euclid of Alexandria, his various works, i. 193.
    His reply to Ptolemy Philadelphus, i. 398.

  Euclid of Megara, an imitator of Socrates, i. 148.

  Eugenius IV., Pope, dethroned by the Council of Basle, ii. 102.

  Eumenes, King of Pergamus, establishes a second library in
      Alexandria, i. 318.

  Eunapius, his opinion of Plotinus, i. 212.

  Eunostos, harbour of, connected by a canal with lake Mareotis, i. 323.

  Euripides tainted with heresy, i. 50.

  Europe, description of, i. 23.
    Greatest elevation of, above the sea, i. 23.
    Vertical displacement of, i. 29.
    Conversion of, i. 365.
    Psychical change in, i. 364.
    Social condition of, after Charlemagne, i. 376.
    Barbarism of, ii. 27.
    Future of, ii. 392.

  European climate, modification of Asiatic intruders by, i. 34.
    Old religion, i. 240.
    Priesthood, i. 240.
    Slave-trade, i. 373.

  Eusebius, his contempt of philosophy, i. 314.
    Perverts chronology, i. 197.
    Is deposed, i. 297.
    His apology for the Fathers, i. 314.
    His chronology subverts that of Manetho and Eratosthenes, i. 316.
    His admission of his own want of truthfulness, i. 360.

  Eustachius distinguished by his dissections, ii. 284.

  Eutychianism, i. 296.

  "Everlasting Gospel," ii. 75.

  Existence depends on physical conditions, i. 7.

  Extinction of species, cause of, i. 8.

  Extinctions and creations, law of, ii. 311.

  Eye, arranged on refined principles of optics, i. 5.
    Functions of, ii. 380.
    Capabilities of the human, ii. 383.

  Fabricius ab Aquapendente discovers the valves in the veins, ii. 285.

  Fairies destroyed by tobacco, ii. 126.

  Faith, two kinds of, ii. 192.

  Fallopius distinguished by his dissections, ii. 284.

  Fasting, continued, its effect on the mind, i. 429.

  Faustus, his accusation to Augustine, i. 310.

  Felix V., Pope, abdicates, ii. 103.

  Felix, Bishop of Rome, excommunicated by Acacius, Bishop of
      Constantinople, i. 352.

  Fernel establishes the true nature of syphilis, ii. 232.
    Measures the size of the earth, ii. 255.

  Fetiches supposed a panacea, i. 386.

  Fetichism displaced by star worship, i. 3.
    Difficulty of early cultivators of philosophy to emerge from, i. 100.

  Feudal system, how it originated, i. 376.

  Fire, asserted by Heraclitus to be the first principle, i. 104.

  Fire, liquid or Greek, used by the Arabs, i. 408.

  Fireworks used by the Arabs, i. 408.

  Flagellants, their origin, ii. 76.

  Flavianus, Bishop of Constantinople, deposed, i. 297.

  Florence, the Academy of Athens revived in the Medicean gardens
      of, ii. 193.

  Florentine Academicians erroneously suppose water to be
      incompressible, ii. 372.
    Originate correct notions of the radiation of heat, ii. 383.
    Show that dark heat may be reflected by mirrors, ii. 390.

  Florentius, a priest, attempts to poison St. Benedict, i. 435.

  Food, location of animals controlled by, ii. 310.
    Its nature, ii. 341.

  Force, animal, its source, ii. 339.

  Formosus, Pope, converted the Bulgarians, i. 367.

  Forms contrasted with law, i. 22.
    Introduction of, personified, i. 37.
    Fictitious permanence of, successive, i. 104.

  Fracasta, an early cultivator of fossil remains, ii. 391.

  Francis, St., his early life, ii. 64.
    Placed by the lowest of his order in the stead of our Saviour, ii. 83.

  Franciscans, higher English, their opposition to Pope Boniface, ii. 83.

  Franks Christianized at the end of the fifth century, i. 365.

  Fratricelli, their affirmation, i. 283.
    Burned by the inquisition for heresy, ii. 79.

  Frederick II., Emperor of Germany, birth of ii. 25.
    His Mohammedan tendencies, ii. 66.

  Free trade, its effects, i. 254.

  Freewill not inconsistent with the doctrine of law, i. 21.

  Galen, his opinions, i. 259.
    His division of physicians into two classes, i. 399.

  Galileo, the historical representative of the intellectual
      impulse, ii. 134.
    Invents the telescope, ii. 261.
    Astronomical discoveries of, ii. 261.
    Is condemned by the Inquisition, ii. 263.
    Publishes "The System of the World," ii. 263.
    His degradation and punishment, ii. 264.
    His death, ii. 265.
    His three laws of motion, ii. 269.
    Re-discovers the mechanical properties of fluids, ii. 372, 390.

  Geber, or Djafar, the alchemist, discovers nitric acid and aqua
      regia, i. 409.

  Gelasius, his fearless address to the Emperor, i. 353.

  Geminus, an Alexandrian astronomer, i. 202.

  Genoa, her commerce, ii. 158.

  Genseric, King of the Vandals, invited by Count Boniface into
      Africa, i. 327.
    Invited to Rome, i. 350.

  Geocentric theory, its adoption by the Church, ii. 254.
    Important result of its abandonment, ii. 335.

  Geographical discovery, effects of, i. 44.

  Geography, primitive, i. 39.
    Its union with the marvellous, i. 42.
    Of Ptolemy, i. 204.
    End of Patristic, ii. 164.

  Geological movements of Asia, i. 29.

  Geology, ii. 294.
    Evidence furnished by, as to the position of man, ii. 338.

  Gepidæ, converted in the fourth century, i. 365.

  Gerbert, life of, ii. 4.
    His Saracen education, ii. 4.
    His ecclesiastical advancement, ii. 5.
    Becomes Pope Sylvester II., ii. 6.
    Is the first to conceive of a European crusade, ii. 21.
    Said to have introduced a knowledge of the Arabic numerals into
        Europe, ii. 49.

  Germans not prone to idolatry, i. 415.
    Insist on a reform in the Papacy, ii. 2.

  Gesner, Luther's opinion of the manner of his death, ii. 117.
    Leads the way to zoology, ii. 284.

  Gilbert proposed to determine the longitude by magnetic
      observations, ii. 167.
    Adopts the views of Copernicus, ii. 260.
    Publishes his book on the magnet, ii. 284.

  Gilbert of Ravenna elected antipope, ii. 20.

  Gisella, Queen of Hungary, assists in the conversion of her
      subjects to Christianity, i. 365.

  Glass, its rate of dilatation by heat, ii. 300.

  Globes, used by the Saracens, ii. 41.

  Gobi, dry climate of, i. 25.
    Character of its botany, i. 25.
    Was once the bed of a sea, i. 29.

  Gold, Ancient value of, i. 251.
    Potable, attempts to make, i. 407.
    Problem of, solved by Djafar, i. 409.

  Gotama, the founder of Buddhism, life of, i. 67.

  Goths become permanently settled in the Eastern empire, i. 300.
    Adopt the Byzantine system, i. 349.
    Have possession of Italy, i. 350.
    Date of their conversion, i. 365.

  Gotschalk, his persecution, ii. 8.

  Graaf, a physiologist, ii. 286.

  Greece, Roman invasion of, i. 247.

  Greek mythology, i. 38.
    Transformations of, i. 43.
    Cause of its destruction, i. 44.
    Secession of literary men and philosophers, i. 47.
    Movements repeated in Europe, i. 53.
    Philosophy, origin of, i. 94.
    Summary of, i. 141.
    Its four grand topics, i. 223.
    Fire, i. 408.
    Learning, revival of, ii. 193.
    Cause of dislike of, ii. 195.

  Gregory II., Pope, defends image-worship, i. 421.

  Gregory III., Pope, defies the emperor, i. 423.

  Gregory VI., Pope, purchases the Papacy, i. 381.

  Gregory VII., his policy, ii. 15.

  Gregory IX., Pope, excommunicates Frederick II., ii. 67.

  Gregory XI., Pope, restores the Papacy to Rome, ii. 96.

  Gregory XII., Pope, deposed by the Council of Pisa, ii. 97.

  Gregory the Great, his history, i. 355.
    Burns the Palatine Library, i. 357.
    Attempts to reconvert England, i. 366.

  Gregory of Nazianzum, his opinion of Councils, i. 299.

  Grew discovers the sexes of plants, ii. 286.

  Grimaldi discovers the diffraction of light, ii. 390.

  Grostête, Robert, Bishop of Lincoln, the result of his inquiry
      into the emoluments of foreign ecclesiastics, ii. 55.
    Makes a speaking head, ii. 116.

  Grotius, his opinion of the Reformation, ii. 225.

  Guericke, Otto invented the air-pump ii. 286.

  Guido, a Benedictine monk, the inventor of the scale of music, i. 437.

  Gulf Stream, its influence on the western countries of Europe,
      i. 24; ii. 371.

  Gunpowder, its composition given by Marcus Græcus, i. 408.

  Hades, i. 39. Origin of the Greek, i. 92.

  Hadrian IV., Nicholas Breakspear, ii. 25.

  Hallam, his opinion of Leonardo da Vinci quoted, ii. 268.

  Halley's comet, how described and regarded, ii. 253.

  Hallucination, fasting a frequent cause of, i. 428.

  Hannina, the earliest Jewish physician, i. 400.

  Haroun, a physician of Alexandria, the first to describe the
      small-pox, i. 401.

  Haroun al Raschid, Khalif, sends Charlemagne the keys of our
      Saviour's sepulchre, i. 374.
    Places all his public schools under John Masué, i. 392.
    Patronizes a medical college and founds a university, i. 402.
    Causes Homer to be translated into Syriac, ii. 34.

  Harpalus, employed by Alexander in his scientific undertakings, i. 173.

  Harvey discovers the circulation of the blood, ii. 285.

  Hassan takes Carthage by storm, i. 334.

  Heart constructed upon the principles of hydraulics, i. 5.

  Heat, control of, over life, i. 8.
    Distribution of, in Europe, i. 26.
    Sources of, i. 103.
    Boundary of organisms by, ii. 309.
    Decline of, in the earth, ii. 318.
    Properties of, ii. 383.

  Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, superintends the
      building of monumental churches, i. 309.
    The influence she exercised in the religion of the world, i. 366.
    Her benevolence in founding hospitals, i. 386.
    Adopts image-worship, i. 414.

  Heliocentric theory, its meaning, ii. 254.
    Resistless spread of, ii. 274.

  Heming introduced street-lamps in England, ii. 241.

  Henry V., Emperor of Germany, his resistance to the Popes, ii. 24.

  Henry VIII., King of England, had personal reasons for
      discontent, ii. 216.
    The instrument, not the author, of the revolution, ii. 238.

  Henry the Fowler asserts the power of the monarchical principle, i. 376.

  Heraclitus, his philosophical system, i. 104.

  Heraclius, Emperor, resists the second Persian attack, i. 326.
    His contemplated abandonment of Constantinople, i. 329.
    Defeated at the battle of Aiznadin, i. 335.
    The effect on commerce of his long wars, i. 337.

  Hercules, legend of, i. 37.

  Heresy, Pelagian, i. 293.
    Nestorian, i. 295.
    Eutychian, i. 296.
    Followed the spread of literature, ii. 60.

  Heretics, burning of, by the Inquisition, ii. 75.

  Hermits, their origin, i. 424.
    Aerial, i. 426.
    Grazing, i. 427.
    Their numbers, i. 432.

  Hero, the inventor of the first steam-engine, i. 205, 387.

  Herodotus, i. 49.

  Herschels, their discoveries, ii. 276.

  Hesiod extends the theogony of Homer, i. 43.

  Hessians, period of their conversion, i. 365.

  Hiero's crown gives origin to hydrostatics, i. 195.

  Hieroglyphics, their origin and value, i. 83.

  Hilarion, a hermit of the fourth century, i. 425.
    Said to be the first to establish a monastery, i. 432.

  Hilary, Bishop of Arles, his contumacy denounced, i. 300.

  Hildebrand brought on an ecclesiastical reform, ii. 3.
    His difficulty in reconciling the dogmas of the Church with the
      suggestions of reason, ii. 12.
    Becomes Pope Gregory VII., ii. 15.

  Hindu polytheism, i. 34.
    Philosophy, i. 56.

  Hipparchus, the writings of, i. 202.

  Hippocrates, his opinion of Democritus, i. 126.
    Review of, i. 393.

  Historians, secession of, from the public faith, i. 49.

  Hobbes, his philosophical opinions, i. 231.

  Holy places, loss of, ii. 134.

  Homer, theogony of, extended by Hesiod, i. 43.

  Homoeomeriæ, i. 109.

  Honorius passes a law against concubinage among the clergy, i. 359.

  Honorius III. compels Frederick II. to marry Yolinda de
      Lusignan, ii. 67.

  Hooke, his paper to the Royal Society on circular motion, ii. 272.
    Determines the essential conditions of combustion, ii. 286.

  Hormisdas, Pope, policy pursued by, i. 353.

  Horner's observation on the rate of the mud deposit of the Nile, i. 87.

  Hosius of Cordova sent to Alexandria, i. 286.

  Houris of Paradise, i. 346.

  Humboldt pays tribute to Eratosthenes, i. 196.
    His remarks on the movement of Jupiter's satellites, ii. 267.

  Hume, his doctrine of mind and matter, i. 231.

  Huss, John, martyrdom of, ii. 100.
    Adopts the theological views of Wickliffe, ii. 148.

  Hydrometer improved by Alhazen, ii. 48.

  Hyksos, old empire of Egypt invaded and overthrown by the, i. 76.

  Hypatia lectures on philosophy in Alexandria, i. 322.
    Murdered by Cyril, i. 324.

  Hypocrisy, organization of, i. 54.

  Iamblicus, a wonder-worker, i. 215.

  Iconoclasm, i. 416.

  Ideal theory, Plato's, i. 153.
    Criticism on, i. 161.

  Illiberis, Council of, condemns the worship of images, i. 414.

  Images, bleeding and winking, i. 415.

  Image-worship resisted by Charlemagne, i. 372.
    Fostered by the Empress Helena, i. 414.
    In the West, i. 415.

  "Imitation of Christ," tendency of, ii. 196.

  Immortality, double, implied by Plato's doctrine, i. 161.

  Impulses, two, against the Church, ii. 131.

  Incandescence, the production of light by, ii. 384.

  Incarnations, divine, necessary consequence of the belief of, i. 91.

  Incas, the ancestors of one of the orders of nobility among the
      Peruvians, ii. 183.

  Incombustible men, i. 409.

  Index Expurgatorius, promulgated by Paul IV., ii. 214.

  Indian, American, i. 27.

  Indo-Germanic invasion, i. 32.

  Inductive philosophy founded by Aristotle, i. 76.

  Indulgences, nature of, ii. 207.

  Innocent I., Pope, settles the Pelagian controversy in favour
      of the African bishops, i. 294.

  Innocent III., Pope, his interference in behalf of temporary
      political interests, ii. 53.
    His death, ii. 62.
    Prohibits the study of science in the schools of Paris, ii. 76.

  Innocent IV., Pope, excommunicates Frederick, ii. 72.

  Innocent VIII., Pope, his bull against witchcraft, ii. 116.

  Inquisition, its origin, ii. 62.
    Attempts to arrest the intellectual revolt, ii. 74.
    Its sacrifices, ii. 188.
    Its effect on Protestantism in Spain and Italy, ii. 220.

  Insane, Diogenes' view of the, i. 102.

  Insect an automatic mechanism, ii. 349.

  Institutes of Menu, i. 63.

  Intellect, the primal, Anaxagoras's view of, i. 108.

  Intellectual class, the true representation of a community, i. 13.
    Despair, ii. 52.

  Intellectual impulse makes its attack through astronomy, ii. 133.
    Development the aim of nature, ii. 359.

  Interstitial death, i. 14.
    Creations, ii. 312.

  Investitures, the conflict on, ii. 17.

  Invisible, localization of the, i. 36.

  Ionian philosophy, puerilities of, i. 106.

  Irene, the Empress, puts out her son's eyes, i. 374.
    Her superstitious cruelty, i. 420.

  Iris, its function, i. 5.

  Isis, her worship, i. 187.

  Isothermal lines, i. 24, 26.

  Israfil, the angel, i. 345.

  Italian Christianity, boundaries of, ii. 1.
    System, its movements, ii. 150.

  Italy, relations of, ii. 127.
    Degraded state of, ii. 127.
    Immorality of, ii. 136.
    Cause of her degradation, ii. 143.
    Scientific contributions of, ii. 390.
    Causes of her depression, ii. 391.

  James I., his proceedings against witchcraft, ii. 117.

  Jason, the voyage of, i. 41.

  Jaxartes, its drying up, i. 29.

  Jerome of Prague, his martyrdom, ii. 101.

  Jerome, St., denounces Pelagius, i. 294.
    Translates the Bible into Latin, i. 306.
    His equivocal encomiums on marriage, i. 359, 427.

  Jerusalem, position of, i. 77.
    Bishops of, i. 272.
    Church of, i. 291.
    Fall and pillage of, i. 328, 335.
    Capture of, ii. 22.
    Surrender of, to Frederick II., ii. 68.

  Jesuits, the Order of, instituted, ii. 220.
    The extent of their influence, ii. 221.
    Causes of their suppression, ii. 222.

  Jewish physicians, their writings, ii. 120.

  Jewish-Spanish physicians, writings of, ii. 123.

  Jews, conversion of, i. 270.
    Are the teachers of the Saracens, i. 384.
    Their influence on supernaturalism, ii. 119.
    Medical studies among, ii. 121.
    Expulsion of, from France, ii. 126.
    Their geographical knowledge and its results, ii. 175.

  John, King of England, is excommunicated by Pope Innocent III., ii. 54.

  John, Pope, died in prison, i. 353.

  John VIII., Pope, pays tribute to the Mohammedans, i. 379.

  John XVI., Antipope, cruel and ignominious treatment of, i. 381.

  John XXII., Pope, the practical character of his policy, ii. 93.

  John of Damascus takes part in the Iconoclastic dispute, ii. 59.

  Joshua ben Nun, a professor at Bagdad, i. 402.

  Journalism is gradually supplanting oratory, ii. 204.

  Judgment, future, according to the Egyptian theology, i. 92.
    According to the Koran, i. 345.
    Right of individual, asserted by Luther, ii. 209.

  Jugurthine War, i. 247.

  Julian, Emperor, attempts the restoration of paganism, i. 311.

  Justinian closes the philosophical schools in Athens, i. 216.
    His re-conquest of Africa, i. 327.
    Effect of his wars, i. 351.
    Conquers Italy, i. 354.

  Justin Martyr, his illustrations of his idea of the divine ray, i. 274.

  Kaleidoscope, an optical instrument, ii. 380.

  Kalid, the "Sword of God," defeats Heraclius at the battle of
      Aiznadin, i. 335.

  Kant, his philosophical doctrines, i. 232.

  Kempis, Thomas à, author of the "Imitation of Christ," ii. 106.

  Kepler, the effect of the discovery of his laws, i. 4.
    His work prohibited by the Inquisition, ii. 263.
    His mode of inquiry, ii. 266.
    Discovery of his laws, ii. 267.
    Cause of his laws, ii. 274.

  Kiersi, Council of, quotation from, i. 369.

  Kirk's lambs, ferocity of, ii. 244.

  Koran, passages from the, i. 331. Review of the, i. 340.

  Labarum, story of, believed, i. 309.

  Lactantius, his argument against the globular form of the earth, i. 315.

  "Ladder of Paradise," ii. 59.

  Langton, Stephen, Magna Charta originates from his suggestion, ii. 54.

  Languages, modern, their effects, ii. 192.

  Languedoc, light literature of, ii. 35.

  Laplace discovers the cause of the irregularity of the moon's
      motion, ii. 278.
    On some of the phenomena of the solar system, ii. 280.

  Lapland, cause of the contentment and inferiority of, i. 13.

  Lateran Council, second, vests the elective power to the Papacy
      in the Cardinals, ii. 15.
    Third, defines the new basis of the Papal system, ii. 18.
    Fourth, establishes the necessity of auricular confession, ii. 65.

  Latin, the use of, as a sacred language, required by the
      Church, ii. 191.

  Lavaur, massacre of, ii. 62.

  Law, the world ruled by, i. 20.
    Succession of affairs determined by, i. 389.
    Eternity and universality of, ii. 359.

  Lawyers, their agency first recognized, ii. 81.
    Their power antagonistic to the ecclesiastical, ii. 82.
    Their opposition to supernaturalism, ii. 113.

  Leaning towers, i. 30.

  Leaves of plants, their action, ii. 339.

  Legends of Western Saints, i. 435.

  Legion, Roman, how constructed, i. 251.

  Leibnitz, his doctrine of the mind, i. 231.
    His contribution to geology, ii. 286.

  Leif, the first discoverer of America, ii. 164.

  Lentulus, spurious letter of, to the Roman senate, i. 361.

  Leo III., Pope, crowns Charlemagne in St. Peter's, i. 371.
    Assaulted by the nephews of Adrian, i. 378.

  Leo the Chazar continues an iconoclastic policy, i. 419.

  Leo the Great, i. 352.

  Leo the Isaurian, the founder of a new dynasty at
      Constantinople, i. 416.
    Publishes an edict prohibiting the worship of images, i. 417.

  Leo X., Pope, exposed to obloquy, ii. 213.
    His character, ii. 215.
    Is reported to have contracted syphilis, ii. 232.

  Leontius Pilatus, description of, by Boccaccio, ii. 194.

  Lesches, poems of, i. 51.

  Levites, their manner of healing, i. 400.

  Lewenhoeck discovers spermatozoa, ii. 286.

  Liberty not appreciated in India, i. 62.
    Mental when maintained, ii. 227.

  Libraries, Alexandrian, size of, i. 188.
    Establishment of, i. 317.

  Licinius neutralizes the policy of Constantine, i. 278.

  Life, individual, is of a mixed kind, i. 2.
    Social, its nature, i. 2.
    First opinion of savage, i. 3.
    Variable rapidity of, i. 18.

  Light, velocity of motion of, ii. 279, 298.
    Proves the age of the world, ii. 298.
    White, ii. 379.
    Chemical influences of, ii. 383.

  Limestone deposited from the sea, ii. 321.

  Lipari, the crater of, supposed to be the opening into hell,
      i. 354, 357.

  Lippershey first constructs a telescope, ii. 261.

  Lisbon, the great earthquake of, ii. 302.

  Listening contrasted with reading, ii. 203.

  Lister, author of a synopsis of shells, ii. 286.
    Ascertains the continuity of strata, ii. 286.

  Literary men, their influence, ii. 150.

  Literature, spread of gay, from Spain, ii. 60.
    Profligate character of, in England, ii. 244.

  Lithotomy, new operations for, by the Alexandrian surgeons, i. 399.

  Livy, writings of, vindictively pursued by Gregory the Great, i. 357.

  Locke, his theory of the sources of ideas, i. 231.

  Locomotion, followed by mental development, ii. 119, 136.
    Provisions for, show the social condition of a nation, ii. 239.

  Locomotives, invented by Murdoch, ii. 387.

  Logic, Aristotle's, i. 177.
    Character of mediæval, ii. 111.
    Each age of life has its own, ii. 192.

  "Logos," Philo's idea of the, i. 210.
    Justin Martyr's idea of the, i. 274.

  Lombards, converted at the beginning of the sixth century, i. 365.

  London, condition of, towards the close of the seventeenth
      century, ii. 238.

  Lorenzo de' Medici, his patronage of literature and philosophy, ii. 195.

  Loretto, miracle of, ii. 80.

  Louis XIV., his order in council punishing sorcery, ii. 118.

  Louis, St., his character, ii. 73.

  Lucius Apuleius, i. 211.

  Lucretius, the irreligious nature of his poem, i. 257.

  Luitprand captures Ravenna, i. 422.

  Luitprand quoted on Constantinople, ii. 58.

  Luther, experiences of, ii. 117.
    The revolt of, ii. 149.
    History of, ii. 208.
    Excommunication of, ii. 211.
    Looked upon with contempt by the Italians, ii. 215.

  Lyceum, Aristotle founds a school in, i. 176.

  Lyons, Council of, ii. 71.

  Macaulay, Lord, has taken too limited a view of the
      Reformation, ii. 227.

  Macedonian campaign opens a new world to the Greeks, i. 45.
    Its ruinous effects on Greece, i. 172.
    Its effect on intellectual progress, i. 186.

  Macedonius, Bishop of Constantinople, his heresy, i. 289.

  Machiavelli, the principles of, ii. 137.
    His "History of Florence," ii. 143.

  Machinery, social changes effected by, ii. 388.

  Magellan, his great voyage, ii. 169.

  Magic and necromancy, Plotinus resorts to, i. 214.

  Magic lantern, ii. 380.

  Magna Charta originates from a suggestion of Stephen Langton, ii. 54.

  Magnet supposed by Thales to have a living soul, i. 97.

  Magnetic variation, discovery of the line of, ii. 163.
    Erroneously supposed by Columbus to be immovable, ii. 165.

  Magnetism, discoveries in, ii. 378.

  Maimonides, his life and writings, ii. 124.

  Malpighi devotes himself to botany, ii. 286.
    Applies the microscope to anatomy, ii. 286.

  Man the archetype of society, i. 2.
    Controlled by physical agents, i. 10.
    Variations of, i. 11.
    First form of, according to Anaximander, i. 107.
    Nature and development of, i. 233.
    His race connections, i. 234.
    Apparent position of, on the heliocentric theory, ii. 337.

  Marco Polo, ii. 174.

  Marcus Græcus gives the composition of gunpowder, i. 408.

  Mareotis, Lake, i. 323.

  Mariner's compass introduced by the Arabs, ii. 43.

  Marozia, her infamy and cruelty, i. 380.

  Marriage, compulsory in the time of Augustus, i. 253.
    Sinfulness of, according to the principles of the monks, i. 426.

  Marsilio, his work "The Defender of Peace," ii. 93.

  Marsilius Ficinus, the Platonist, ii. 193.

  Masué, John, the Nestorian, superintendence of schools
      entrusted to, by Haroun al Raschid, i. 392, ii. 36.

  Matilda, Countess, aids Gregory VII., ii. 16.
    Calumniated by the married clergy, ii. 17.

  Matter, its indestructibility, ii. 375.

  Maximum of certainty, i. 236.

  Maximus Tyrius, i. 259.

  Max Müller on language, i. 33.

  Mayow on respiration, ii. 286.

  Mechanical invention, effect of, ii. 384.

  Medicine, Byzantine, suppression of, i. 386.
    Origin of Greek, i. 393.
    Egyptian, i. 397.
    Alexandrian, i. 398.

  Mediterranean Sea, its dependencies and extent, i. 28.
    Propriety of its name, i. 39.
    Wonders of, i. 41.
    Trade of, ii. 158.

  Megaric school, i. 148.

  Melanchthon, ii. 211.

  Melissus of Samos, an Eleatic, i. 123.

  Melloni first polarizes light, ii. 390.

  Mendicant Orders, establishment of, ii. 62.

  Menu, institutes of, i. 63.
    Extract from, i. 224.

  Metaphysics, Aristotle's, i. 178.
    Uncertainty of, ii. 344.

  Meteoric stone, boasted prediction of fall of, i. 111.

  Mexico, social condition of, ii. 175.

  Michael the Stammerer, his incredulity and profanity, i. 420.

  Middle Ages, their condition, i. 139.

  Migration of birds, i. 6.

  Milan, Bishop of, excommunicated, ii. 17.

  Milky way, as explained by the Pythagoreans, i. 117.

  Mill life, ii. 388.

  Milton, his "Paradise Lost" a Manichean composition, ii. 245.
    In favour of the Copernican system, ii. 260.

  Miracle cure, i. 386.
    Plays, ii. 246.

  Missionaries, Irish and British, i. 366.

  Mithridates, King of Pontus, studies poisons and antidotes, i. 400.

  Moawiyah, Khalif, sends his lieutenant against Africa, i. 334.
    Rebuilds the church of Edessa, i. 338.

  Moestlin quoted in favour of the Copernican system, ii. 266.

  Mohammed subject to delusions, i. 148, 330. History of, i. 329.

  Mohammed II., ii. 107.

  Mohammedanism, causes of the spread of, i. 337.
    Popular, i. 345.
    Sects of, i. 347.
    Arrest of, in Western Europe, ii. 30.
    Literature of, ii. 34.
    Uniformly patronized physical science, ii. 121.

  Monasteries, condition of Europe at the suppression of, ii. 230.

  Monasticism, amelioration of, i. 431.
    Spread of, from Egypt, i. 433.

  Monks, African and European, i. 237.
    Labours and successes of, i. 365.
    Their origin and history, i. 424.
    Differences of Eastern and Western, i. 434.
    Their intellectual influence, i. 438.

  Monotheism preceded by imperialism, i. 256.
    Roman, its boundaries, i. 261.

  Montanus, the pretended Paraclete, i. 291.

  Moon, variations of, discovered by Aboul Wefa, i. 325.
    Volcanic action in, ii. 304.

  Moors boast of an Arab descent, i. 337.

  Moral plays, ii. 248.

  Moris, Lake, i. 96.

  Moslems, their creed, ii. 37.

  Motion, the three laws of, ii. 269.

  Muggleton, Lewis, his doctrines, ii. 239.

  Murdoch invents the locomotive, ii. 387.

  Musa completes the conquest of Africa, i. 333.
    Arrested at the head of his army, i. 369.

  Museum of Alexandria, i. 187.
    Its studies arranged in four faculties, i. 397.

  Music, scale of, invented by Guido, i. 437.

  Mycene, gate of, i. 32.

  Mythology, Greek, origin of, i. 37.

  Napier invents and perfects logarithms, ii. 285.

  Narses, the eunuch, sent by Justinian against Rome, i. 351.

  Nations, progress of, like that of individuals, i. 12.
    Secular variations of, i. 16.
    Death of, i. 17.
    Are only transitional forms, i. 17.

  Nearchus, an intimate friend of Alexander the Great, i. 173.

  Nebulæ, existence of, ii. 282.

  Nebular hypothesis, ii. 281.

  Necromancy, Alexandrian, i. 404.

  Neo-Platonism, its origin imputed to Ammonius Saccas, i. 211.

  Nervous system, general view of, ii. 346.

  Three distinct parts of human, ii. 353.

  Nestorians, their origin, i. 295.
    Early cultivate medicine, i. 385.
    Their history and progress, i. 391.

  New academy founded by Carneades, i. 169.

  Newspapers, their origin, ii. 204.
    When first regularly issued in England, ii. 249.
    Were first issued in Italy, ii. 390.

  Newton, quotation from "Principia" of, i. 120.
    Availed himself of the doctrines of Hipparchus, i. 202.
    Under no obligation to Bacon, ii. 259.
    Publication of the "Principia" of, ii. 272.
    His mathematical learning and experimental skill, ii. 286.

  Niagara Falls furnish proof of time from effect produced, ii. 305.
    Prove the enormous age of the earth, ii. 334.

  Nicæa, Council of, summoned by Constantine, i. 286.
    Second council of, summoned by Irene, i. 420.

  Nicene Creed, i. 287.

  Nicholas V. a patron of art, ii. 110.

  Nicomedia, church of, destroyed, i. 277.

  Niebuhr, his opinion of the Greek account of the Persian war, i. 131.

  Nile, inundations of, i. 86.

  Nirwana, the end of successive existences in the Buddhist
      doctrine, i. 71, 230.

  Nitria, why well adapted for monks, i. 432.

  Nogaret, William de, the legal adviser of Boniface, ii. 84.
    Advises King Philip the Fair, ii. 91.

  Nomades, Asiatic, i. 29.

  Nominalism, doctrine of, sprang from scholastic philosophy, ii. 11.

  Norman invasion of England favoured by Pope Gregory VII., ii. 16.

  Norway, depth of rain in, i. 25.
    Elevation and depression in level of, ii. 307.

  Norwegians, diet of, accounted for, i. 27.

  Novatus the heretic, i. 284.

  Number the first principle according to the Pythagorean
      philosophy, i. 113.

  Numenius, a Trinitarian, i. 211.

  Numerals, Arabic, derived from the Hindus, ii. 40.
    Introduced into different countries, ii. 49.

  Oaks, objects of adoration among the German nations, i. 241.

  Obelisks, Egyptian, prodigious height of, i. 76.

  Observatories first introduced into Europe by the Arabs, ii. 42.

  Ocean, its size, ii. 371.

  Octave, the grand standard of harmonical relation among the
      Pythagoreans, i. 116.

  Oliva, John Peter, his comment on the Apocalypse, ii. 78.

  Olympian deities, their nature, i. 50.

  Omar, Khalif, takes Jerusalem, i. 335.
    His behaviour contrasted with that of the Crusaders, ii. 22.

  Opinion and Reason, Parmenides's work on, i. 121.

  Optics, discoveries in, ii. 379.

  Oratory supplanted by journalism, ii. 204.

  Orchomenos, ruins of, i. 32.

  Orders, monastic, rise and progress of, i. 433.

  Orestes compelled to interfere to stop a riot in Alexandria, i. 322.

  Organ, the, invented by Sylvester, a Benedictine monk, i. 437.

  Organisms, permanence of, due to external conditions, i. 8.
    Control of physical agents over, i. 9.
    Dates of various, ii. 321.

  Orpheus, legend of, i. 37.

  Osiris, daily ceremony before tomb of, i. 89.
    One of the divinities of the Egyptian theology, i. 91.
    Site of temple of, given to the church, i. 319.

  Osporco changes his unseemly name into Sergius, ii. 143.

  Ostrogoth monarchy overthrown, i. 351.

  Otho III., Emperor, contemplates a reform in the Church, and is
      poisoned by Stephania, ii. 6.

  Otranto taken by the Mohammedans, ii. 109.

  Oxus, its drying up, i. 29.

  Pacific Ocean crossed, ii. 171.

  Paganism, attitude of, i. 268.
    Death-blow given to, by Theodosius, i. 312.

  Pagans, accusation of, against the Christians, i. 301.

  Painting and sculpture, relation of the Church to, i. 360.

  Palæontology, historical sketch of early, ii. 314.

  Palatine library burnt by Gregory the Great, i. 357.

  Pandataria, Sylverius banished to, i. 354.

  Pantheism, theology of India underlaid with, i. 59.
    Adopted by Parmenides, i. 121.
    Greek, i. 223.

  Papacy, history of, i. 290.
    Consolidation of its power in the West, i. 362.
    Signal peculiarity of, i. 378.
    Human origin of, i. 382.

  Paper, invention of, ii. 200.

  Pappus, an Alexandrian geometrician, i. 204.

  Parabolani diverted from their original intent by Cyril, i. 321, 386.

  "Paraclete," doctrines of faith discussed in the, ii. 10.

  Paradise spoken of with clearness by Mohammed, i. 345.

  Parliament, its accusation against the clergy, ii. 235.

  Parma, John of, the General of the Franciscans, ii. 77.

  Parmenides, doctrines of, i. 121.

  Pascal, his views of humanity, i. 18.
    The influence of his writings, ii. 285.

  Path-zone, i. 24.

  Patristicism, introduction of, i. 314.
    Doctrines of, i. 315.
    Conflict of, with philosophy, i. 316.
    Decline of, ii. 129.
    End of geography of, ii. 164.
    Ethnical ideas of, ii. 165.
    End of, ii. 225.

  Paulus Æmilius, his severity, i. 249.

  Pausanias, i. 131.

  Pelagian controversy, its effect on Papal superiority, i. 293.

  Pelagius, his doctrines, i. 293, 366.

  Penances, the Veda doctrine of, i. 61.

  Pendulum first applied to clocks by the Moors, ii. 42.

  Pepin, the son of Charles Martel, i. 370.

  Pergamus, library of, transferred to Egypt, i. 318.

  Pericles embraces obnoxious opinions, i. 50.
    His the age of improvement in architecture and oratory, i. 132.

  Perictione, the reputed mother of Plato, i. 151.

  Periodicities, human cause of, i. 7.

  Peripatetics, their philosophy, i. 178.

  Persecutions, moral effects of, ii. 225.

  Persepolis, burning of by Alexander the Great, i. 174.

  Perses, revolt of, i. 246.

  Persia, Greek invasion of, i. 171.
    Subdued by Othman III., i. 335.

  Persian invasion of Europe, i. 130.
    Attack on the Byzantine system, i. 326.

  Personified forms introduced, i. 37.

  Perturbations, astronomical, accounted for, ii. 274.

  Peru, its coast, a rainless district, i. 86.
    A description of, ii. 179.

  Peter d'Apono, the alchemist, the wonders imputed to him, ii. 116.

  Peter de Brueys, his martyrdom, ii. 60.

  Peter Morrone becomes Celestine V., i. 79.

  Peter the Hermit, ii. 22, 135.

  Peter the Venerable, his acquirements, ii. 12.

  Peter's pence, ii. 54.

  Petrarch, his opinion of Avignon, ii. 95.
    His zeal for learning, ii. 194.

  Pharaoh Necho, his ships first double the Cape of Good Hope, ii. 167.

  Philadelphus Ptolemy, i. 189.

  Philæ, mysterious temple of, i. 89.

  Philip the Fair protects the Colonnas, ii. 81.

  Philiston, a writer on regimen, i. 397.

  Philo of Larissa, founder of the fifth academy, i. 170.

  Philo the Jew thinks he is inspired, i. 209.
    Compares the mind to the eye, i. 234.

  Philosopher's stone, i. 407.

  Philosophers, persecution of, i. 311.
    The revolt of, ii. 149.

  Philosophical criticism, effect of, i. 46.
    Schools, Indian, i. 65.

  Philosophical principles, application of, i. 237.

  Philosophy, peripatetic, i. 178.
    Greek, end and summary of, i. 217.
    Greek and Indian, the analogy between, i. 236.
    Reappearance of, ii. 3.

  Phlogiston, theory of, ii. 374.

  Phocæans built Marseilles, i. 46.

  Phoenicians, enterprise of, i. 45.

  Phosphorus discovered by Achild Bechil, i. 410.

  Photius, his two works, ii. 59.

  Photography, ii. 383.

  Physical instruments, improvements in, ii. 384.

  Physicians, classes of, i. 397.
    Jewish, i. 400.
    Oppose supernaturalism, ii. 113.
    Are disliked by the Church, ii. 121.

  Physics of Zeno, i. 183.

  Physiology, its phases the same as those of physics, i. 5.
    Of Plato, i. 156.
    Of Aristotle, i. 180.

  Piccolomini lays the foundation of general anatomy, ii. 285.

  Pietro de Vinea undertakes to poison Frederick II., ii. 72.

  Pinzons of Palos assist Columbus, ii. 161.

  Pisa, Council of, deposes the rival Popes, ii. 97.
    The first botanical gardens established at, ii. 390.

  Plagues, mortality of ancient, i. 250.

  Plants, effect of seasons on, i. 6.
    Their dependence on the air, i. 102, ii. 339.

  Platæa, fabulous number slain at battle of, i. 130.

  Plater first classified diseases, ii. 285.

  Plato, his profound knowledge of human nature, i. 53.
    His doctrines, i. 152.

  Platonism, Plutarch leans to, i. 210.
    Reappearance of, in Europe, ii. 193.

  Plays, miracle, moral, real, ii. 246.

  Pleiades, a nickname given to seven Alexandrian poets, i. 201.

  Plotinus, writings of, i. 212, 404.

  Plutarch leans to platonizing Orientalism, i. 210.

  Poggio Bracciolini quoted, ii. 101.

  Polarization of light lends support to the undulatory theory, ii. 382.

  Pole star, ii. 305.

  Polycrates, Bishop of Ephesus, opposes Victor, Bishop of Rome, i. 291.

  Polygamy, institution of, i. 331.
    Secured the conquest of Africa, i. 334.
    Its influence in consolidating the conquests of Mohammedanism, i. 338.

  Polytheism, its antagonism to science, i. 49.
    Slowness of its decline, i. 52.

  Pontifical power sustained by physical force, i. 300.

  Popes, biography of, from A.D. 757, i. 378.
    Had no faith in the result of the Crusades, ii. 23.

  Porphyry, his writings, i. 214, 404.

  Porsenna takes Rome, i. 244.

  Posidonius, i. 232.

  Praxagoras wrote on the pulse, i. 397.

  Pre-existence, Plato's notion of, i. 160.

  Press, liberty of, secured, ii. 250.

  "Principia," Newton's, quotation from, i. 120.
    Publication of, ii. 272.
    Its incomparable merit, ii. 275.

  Printing, invention of, ii. 198.
    Effects of, ii. 200.

  Problems of Greek philosophy, i. 217.

  Proclus burns Vitalian's ships, i. 215.
    His theology, i. 215.

  Procopius, the historian, secretary to Belisarius, ii. 58.

  Profatius, a Jew, appointed regent of the faculty of
      Montpellier, ii. 125.

  Prosper Alpinus writes on diagnosis, ii. 285.

  Protestant, origin of the name, ii. 211.

  Provincial letters of Pascal, influence of, ii. 286.

  Psammetichus overthrows the ancient policy of Egypt, i. 75.

  "Psammites," a work of Archimedes, i. 195.

  Psychology, origin of, i. 101.
    Solution of questions of, ii. 344.

  Ptolemies, political position of, i. 186.
    Biography of, i. 200.

  Ptolemy, his "Syntaxis," i. 203.

  Puffendorf, author of the "Law of Nature and Nations," ii. 286.

  Pulpit, influence of, affected by the press, ii. 201.
    Decline of eloquence of, ii. 203.
    Its relation to the drama, ii. 249.
    State of, an index of the mental condition of a nation, ii. 249.

  Punic wars, results of, i. 245.

  Puranas, i. 65.

  Pyramids of Egypt, size of, i. 75.
    The Great, its antiquity and wonders, i. 81.
    What they have witnessed, i. 84.
    Their testimony unreliable as to the age of the world, ii. 327.

  Pyrrho, the founder of the Sceptics, i. 164.

  Pyrrhus, the Epirot, i. 244.

  Pythagoras, biography of, i. 111.
    The service he rendered us, i. 230.

  Quintus Sextius, i. 258.

  Quipus, a Peruvian instrument for enumeration, ii. 185.

  Quito, why it was regarded as a holy place, ii. 185.

  Rab, a Jewish anatomist, i. 400.

  Rabanus, a Benedictine monk, sets up a school in Germany, i. 437.

  Rabbis cultivate medicine, ii. 122.

  Radbert, his views on transubstantiation, ii. 10.

  Railways, ii. 387.

  Rain, quantity of in Europe, i. 25.
    Maximum points of, i. 25.

  Rainless countries, agriculture in, i. 85.
    Of the West, i. 86.
    Peru one, ii. 180.

  Rainy days, number of, i. 26.
    Influence of, i. 27.

  Rameses II., his policy, i. 78.

  Raschi, his varied acquirements, ii. 123.

  Ravenna, Gerbert appointed Archbishop of, ii. 6.

  Ray leads the way to comparative anatomy, ii. 286.

  Raymond Lully, said to have been compelled to make gold for
      Edward II., ii. 155.

  Raymond de Pennaforte compiles a list of decretals, ii. 70.

  Reading, its advantage over listening, ii. 203.

  Realism, its origin, ii. 11.

  Reason, Algazzali's doctrine of the fallibility of, ii. 51.

  Reductio ad absurdum introduced by Zeno, i. 122.

  Reflection, Democritus's view of, i. 125.

  Reflex action, ii. 348.

  Reformation attempted in Greece, i. 50.
    Influences leading to, ii. 190.
    Dawn of the, ii. 204.
    In Switzerland, ii. 210.
    Organization of, ii. 211.
    In Italy, ii. 212.
    Arrest of, ii. 214.
    Counter, ii. 219.
    Culmination of, in America, ii. 226.

  Relics, age of, i. 51.
    Worship of, i. 414.

  Reminiscence, Plato's doctrine of, i. 153.

  Republic of Plato, i. 159.

  Revolution, French, ii. 150.

  Rhacotis, Alexandria erected on the site of, i. 192.

  Rhazes discovers sulphuric acid, i. 410.

  Rhazes, a Moorish writer on botany, ii. 39.

  Rheims, Gerbert appointed Archbishop of, ii. 5.

  Rhodes raised from the sea, i. 30.

  Rhodians, maritime code of, i. 45.

  Richard I. of England treacherously imprisoned, ii. 25.
    His treatment by Saladin contrasted with that he received from
        a Christian prince, ii. 136.

  Rienzi, a demagogue, ii. 95.

  Rig Veda, asserted to have been revealed by Brahma, i. 58.

  "Robber Synod," the council of Ephesus, i. 297.

  Roderic, King of the Goths, ii. 28.

  Roderigo de Triana, the first of Columbus's crew to descry
      land, ii. 163.

  Roman power, influence of, i. 52.
    Christianity, influence of, on the people, i. 241.
    History, importance of, i. 242.
    Power, triple form of, i. 243.
    First theocracy and legends, i. 243.
    History, early, i. 243.
    Slave laws, atrocity of, i. 249.
    Slave system, social effects of, i. 249.
    Depravity, i. 252.
    Women, their dissoluteness, i. 253.
    Ethnical element disappears, i. 255.
    Conquest, effects of, i. 256.

  Rome, cause of permanence of, i. 11.
    Unpitying tyranny of, i. 267.
    Fall and sack of, by Alaric, i. 300.
    Fall and pillage of, by the Vandals, i. 350.
    Progress of, to Papal supremacy, i. 352.
    Relations of, to Constantinople, i. 353.
    Three pressures upon, ii. 1.
    Pillaged, sacked, and fired by Henry, ii. 20.
    Immoralities of, brought to light by the Crusades, ii. 136.
    Its geological peculiarities, ii. 307.

  Römer, his estimate of the velocity of light confirmed, ii. 299.

  Roscelin of Compiègne, an early advocate of Nominalism, ii. 11.

  Ruysch improves minute anatomy, ii. 286.

  Sacramentarians, separate from the Lutherans, ii. 211.

  Sahara Desert affects the distribution of heat in Europe, i. 24.

  Saladin retakes Jerusalem, ii. 25.
    His noble behaviour to Richard I., ii. 136.

  Salamanca, Columbus confuted by the Council of, ii. 161.
    Council of, its reply when urged to teach physical science, ii. 278.

  Sampson, Agnes, burnt for witchcraft, ii. 117.

  Samuel, an accomplished Jewish physician, i. 400.

  Sanctorio lays the foundation of modern physiology, ii. 285.
    Invents the thermometer, ii. 390.

  Sanscrit vocabulary, i. 33.

  Saracens, their policy, i. 336.
    Cause of their check in the conquest of France, i. 369.
    Are taught by the Nestorians and Jews, i. 384.
    They dominate in the Mediterranean, i. 422.
    Their chemistry, medicine, and surgery, ii. 39.
    Their philosophy, ii. 49.
    Early cultivators of astronomy, ii. 133.

  Sardica, Council of, i. 292.

  Satan, notion of, had become debased, i. 414.

  Sautree, William, the first English martyr, ii. 99.

  Saviour, in Koran never called Son of God, i. 342.
    Model of, eventually received, i. 361.

  Scandinavian geological motion, i. 30.
    Discovery of America, ii. 164, 175.

  Sceptics, rise of, i. 163.

  Schism, causes of the great, ii. 96.

  Scholastic philosophy, rise of, ii. 11.
    Theology, rise of, ii. 12.

  Schools, philosophical Greek, merely points of reunion, i. 112.
    The Megaric, Cyrenaic, and Cynical, i. 148.

  Science, Alexandrian, suppressed, i. 325.

  Sculpture, relation of Church to, i. 360.

  Sea of Azof, a dependency of the Mediterranean, i. 28.

  Seasons, effect of, on animals and plants, i. 6.

  Sebastian de Elcano, the Lieutenant of Magellan, ii. 173.

  Secular geological movement of Europe and Asia, i. 29.
    Inequalities of satellites, ii. 277.

  Semicircular canals, their function, i. 5.

  Seneca, the influence of his writings accounted for, i. 258.

  Sens, Council of, report of, to Rome, ii. 11.

  Sensation, Democritus confounds it with thought, i. 125.

  Senses, Algazzali's doctrine of the fallibility of, ii. 50.

  Septuagint Bible, the translators of, entertained by Ptolemy
      Philadelphus, i. 190.

  Serapion, causes of its umbrage to Archbishop Theophilus, i. 318.
    Destruction of, i. 319.

  Serapis, establishment of the worship of, i. 187.
    Description of the temple of, i. 318.
    Statue of, destroyed, i. 319.
    Temple of, used for a hospital, i. 399.

  Servetus, the burning of, by Calvin, ii. 226.
    Almost detected the circulation of the blood, ii. 285.

  Servile rebellion in Sicily, i. 247.

  Seville, tower of, an observatory built by the Arabs, ii. 42.

  Shakespeare, quotation from, i. 207.
    His position with regard to English literature, ii. 249.

  Shepherds, the, their exertions in behalf of King Louis, ii. 76.

  Shiites, one of the seventy-three Mohammedan sects, i. 347.

  Sigismund, Emperor, his treacherous conduct to John Huss, ii. 101.

  Silver, its comparative value in Rome, i. 251.

  Simon Magus, an Oriental magician, wonders related of, ii. 114.

  Simony, organization of, ii. 97.

  Sirius, its supposed influence on the waters of the Nile, i. 90.

  Slave system, Roman, i. 249.

  Slavery under Charlemagne, i. 373.
    Recognized in certain cases in Mexico, ii. 176.

  Slavians converted by Greek missionaries, i. 367.

  Smyrna, Erasistratus established a school there, i. 399.

  Snow, distribution of, in Europe, i. 26.

  Snowy days, number of, at various places, i. 26.

  Social war, important results of, i. 247.
    Eminence, no preservative from social delusion, ii. 117.

  Society, the intellectual class the true representative of a
      community, i. 13.

  Sociology, comparative, ii. 359.

  Socrates, Aristophanes excites the people against, i. 47.
    His mode of teaching, and his doctrines, i. 143.
    Character of, in Athens, i. 146.
    "The Mad," i. 150.

  Solar system proves the existence of law, i. 4.

  Soliman the Magnificent takes Belgrade, ii. 109.

  Sonnites, one of the seventy-three Mohammedan sects, i. 347.

  Sopater accused of magic, and decapitated, i. 310.

  Sophists, their doctrines, i. 135. Their influence, i. 220.

  Sorcery, intermingling of magic and, i. 402.
    Introduction of European, ii. 115.

  Soul, Indian ideas of the, i. 60.
    Purification of, i. 61.
    Diogenes' opinion of that of the world, i. 99.
    Plato's doctrine of the triple constitution of, i. 156.
    Greek problem as to the nature of, i. 218.
    As to the immortality and absorption of, i. 228.
    The human, ii. 365.

  Sound, nature and properties of, ii. 369.

  Spain, Roman annexation of, i. 247.
    Arab invasion of, ii. 28.
    Literature of, ii. 35.
    Crime of, ii. 166.

  Sparta, Lycurgus abolished private property in, i. 129.

  Spartacus, the gladiator, i. 248.

  Species, Cuvier's doctrine of the permanence of, ii. 326.
    Opposition to the doctrine of transmutation of, ii. 328.

  Specific gravity, Alhazen's tables of, clearly approach our own, ii. 48.

  Sphærus, the Stoic, fraud practised on, i. 189.

  Spheres, music of, a belief entertained by the Pythagoreans, i. 116.

  Sphinxes, one of the wonders of ancient Egypt, i. 76.

  Spinal cord, its separate and conjoint action, ii. 352.

  Spires, first Diet of, ii. 210.

  Spirit, in chemistry, had at first a literal meaning, i. 405.

  Spiritualists, their devout regard for the "Everlasting Gospel," ii. 78.

  Spontaneous generation, Anaximander's doctrine of, i. 107.
    Anaxagoras's doctrine of, i. 109.

  Stage, state of, an index of the mental condition of a nation, ii. 249.

  Stancari first counted the vibrations of a string emitting
      musical notes, ii. 390.

  Stars, multiple, i. 4.
    Coloured light of double, ii. 277.
    Our cluster of, how divided, ii. 280.

  Star-worship, fetichism displaced by, i. 3.
    The philosophy of, i. 90.

  Steam-engine first invented by Hero, i. 205, 387.
    The nature of Watt's improvement in, ii. 385.

  Steno first recognizes the twofold division of rocks, ii. 315.

  Stephania, wife of Crescentius, poisons Otho III., ii. 7.

  Stephanus, a grammarian of Constantinople, ii. 58.

  Stephen II., Pope, consecrates Pepin and his family, i. 370.

  Stephen III., Pope, urges Charlemagne against the Lombards, i. 371.

  Stephenson, George, his improvement in the locomotive, and its
      results, ii. 387.

  Stercorists, their doctrines, ii. 10.

  Stereoscope, an optical instrument, ii. 380.

  Stevinus, his mechanical works, ii. 269.
    Revives correct views of the mechanical properties of water, ii. 372.

  Stigmata, marks miraculously impressed on the body of St.
      Francis, ii. 64.

  Stilicho, a Goth, compels Alaric to retreat, and Rhadogast to
      surrender, i. 300.
    Is murdered by the Emperor, his master, i. 300.

  Stoicism, its intention, i. 183.

  Stoics, exoteric philosophy of, i. 184.

  Struve, his estimate of the velocity of light, ii. 299.

  Stylites, St. Simeon, an aerial martyr of the fifth century, i. 426.

  Success too often the criterion of right, i. 332.

  Sun, agency of, i. 103.
    Aristarchus's attempts to ascertain the distance of, i. 199.
    The source of force, ii. 339.
    Influence of, on organic and inorganic nature, ii. 362.

  Sun-dials, invention of, wrongfully ascribed to Anaximander, i. 107.

  Supererogation, the theory of, ii. 207.

  Supernatural appearances, cause of, i. 428.

  Supernaturalism, its adoption by the age of faith, ii. 112.
    Overthrow of, in France, ii. 126.

  Superstitions, disappearance of, i. 255.

  Swammerdam section to the natural history of insects, ii. 286.

  Sweden, change of level in, ii. 307.

  Sybaris, a luxurious Italiot city, i. 128.

  Sylverius, Pope, deposed by the Emperor's wife, Theodora, i. 354.

  Sylvester, a Benedictine monk, invents the organ, i. 437.

  Sylvester II., Pope, is believed to have made a speaking head, ii. 115.

  Symmachus, Senator, falls a victim to the wrath of Theodoric,
      the Gothic king, i. 353.

  "Syntaxis," the great work of Ptolemy, i. 203.

  Syphilis, moral state of Europe indicated by the spread of, ii. 231.

  Syria, importance of conquest of, to the Arabs, i. 335.

  Tacitus, his testimony to the depraved state of Roman morality, i. 254.

  Tarasius created Patriarch by Irene, i. 420.

  Tarik lands at Gibraltar, so called in memory of his name, ii. 29.

  Tartars, why they prefer a milk diet, i. 27.

  Tartarus, one of the two divisions of hell, according to
      Anaximenes, i. 36.

  Taxation, amount of Roman, i. 251.

  Taylor, Jeremy, his testimony as to the authority of the
      Fathers, ii. 225.

  Telescope, invention of, ii. 261, 380.

  Temperature, life can only be maintained within a narrow range,
      i. 7.

  Templars, apostasy, arrest, and punishment of, ii. 90, 91, 92.

  Tensons, or poetic disputations, originated among the Arabs, ii. 34.

  Tertullian, his letter to Scapula, i. 275.
    Denounces the Bishop of Rome as a heretic, i. 291.
    Denies the Scripture authority for certain observances, i. 358.
    His impression of the personal appearance of the Saviour, i. 361.

  Testimony, human, value of, ii. 119.

  Tetractys, the number "ten," why so called, i. 114.

  Tezcuco, description of, ii. 178.

  Thabor, mysterious light of, ii. 59.

  Thales, philosophy of, i. 95.

  Thaumasius, the name of Ammonius changed to, i. 322.

  Theatre, the English, ii. 245.

  Thebit Ben Corrah determines the length of the year, ii. 41.

  Theodora, Empress, restores image-worship, i. 421.

  Theodoric, the Ostrogoth, effect of the conquest of Italy by, i. 353.
    The change in his policy, i. 353.

  Theodorus, Bishop his tongue cut out, i. 378.

  Theodosius, Emperor, fanaticism of, i. 312.
    His cruel vengeance at Thessalonica, i. 313.
    His acts, i. 317.
    Orders the Serapion to be torn down, i. 319.

  Theodosius, an Alexandrian geometrician, i. 204.

  Theon, an Alexandrian geometrician, and father of Hypatia, i. 204, 322.

  Theophilus, Archbishop of Alexandria, his character, i. 317.
    Cause of his umbrage at the Serapion, i. 318.
    Persecutions of, i. 319.

  Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch, first introduced the word
      "Trinity," i. 273.

  Theophilus, Emperor, image-worship restored at his death, i. 421.
    His surly and insolent reply to Almaimon, ii. 40.

  Theosis, its meaning as employed by John Erigena, ii. 9.

  Therapeutæ, early Egyptian hermits, i. 424.

  Thermotics, science of heat, ii. 383.

  Thessalonica, massacre at, i. 313.

  Thomas à Kempis, the reputed author of "The Imitation of
      Christ," ii. 196.

  Thought, confounded with sensation by Democritus, i. 125.
    Variation of human, ii. 205.

  Thucydides, his secret disbelief of the Trojan war, i. 49.

  Thuringians converted in the seventh and eighth centuries, i. 365.

  Tides and currents explained on the theory of gravitation, ii. 371.

  Time, nothing absolute in, i. 17.

  Torricelli, weight of atmosphere understood before, ii. 47.
    Hydrostatics created by, ii. 285.
    Constructs the barometer, and demonstrates the pressure of
        the air, ii. 390.

  Toscanelli, a Florentine astronomer, and friend of Columbus, ii. 160.
    Constructs his gnomon in the Cathedral of Florence, ii. 255.

  Tours, battle of, i. 368.

  Trade-wind, under the dominion of law, i. 4.

  Transformation, the world is undergoing unceasing, i. 59.

  Transitional forms, nature of, i. 12.

  Transmigration of souls, the Veda doctrine of, i. 61.
    The Buddhist doctrine of, i. 71.
    The Pythagorean doctrine of, does not imply the absolute
        immortality of the soul, i. 117.
    Plato's doctrine of, i. 156.

  Transmission, hereditary, nature of, ii. 333.

  Transmutation of metals, i. 406.
    Of species, doctrine of, has met with opposition, ii. 328.

  Transubstantiation, a twin-sister of transmutation, i. 407.
    The doctrine of, first attacked by the new philosophers, ii. 9.
  The Italian doctrine of, rejected by the German and Swiss
      reformers, ii. 210.

  Tribonian suspected of being an atheist, i. 359.

  Trinitarian disputes had their starting point in Alexandria, i. 191.

  Trinity, the Indian doctrine of, i. 64.
    The Egyptian doctrine of, i. 91.
    Is assumed in the doctrine of Numenius, i. 211.
    The word does not occur in the Scriptures, i. 273.

  Triumvirate, the First, usurps the power of the senate and
      people, i. 248.

  Trojan war, various views entertained about, i. 50.
    Horse, superstitious notions of the tools with which it was
        made, i. 51.

  Troubadours use the Langue d'Oc in the north of France, ii. 60.

  Trouvères use the Langue d'Oil in the south of France, ii. 60.

  Tupac Yupanqui, Inca, quoted, ii. 183.

  Turkish invasion, effect of, ii. 110.

  Turks, their origin and progress, ii. 105.

  Tutching, his severe and prolonged punishment, ii. 244.

  Tycho makes a new catalogue of the stars, ii. 284.

  Tympanum, its function, i. 5.

  Types, Platonic, i. 152.

  Tyre, fall of, i. 80.

  Tyrians, their enterprise, i. 45.

  Ulphilas invents an alphabet for the Goths, i. 307.

  "Unam Sanctam," the bull of, issued by Pope Boniface, ii. 83.

  Under-world, primitive notions respecting, i. 39.

  Undulatory theory of light, ii. 381.

  Uniformity, doctrine of, ii. 323.

  Unity of mankind, i. 10.
    Religious, implies tyranny to the individual, ii. 227.

  Universe, unchangeability of, taught by Anaxagoras, i. 108.
    Its magnitude, ii. 292, 335.

  Unreliability of sense, Zeno's illustration of, i. 123.

  Urban II. institutes the Crusades, ii. 20.

  Urban VI., his cruelty to his cardinals and bishops, ii. 96.

  Valentinian issues an edict denouncing the contumacy of Hilary, i. 300.
    Is a Nicenist, i. 311.

  Valerius, Count, the Pelagian question settled through his
      influence, i. 294.

  Vallisneri, an Italian geologist of the eighteenth century, ii. 315.

  Vandal attack, i. 327.

  Vandals converted in the fourth century, i. 365.

  Van Helmont introduced the theory of vitality into medicine, ii. 285.

  Variation of organic forms, i. 8.
    Man not exempt from law of, i. 10.
    Human, best seen when examined on a line of the meridian, i. 11.
    The political result of human, i. 11.

  Varolius, a distinguished anatomist, ii. 284.

  Varro, Terentius, his scepticism, i. 257.

  Vasco de Gama doubles the Cape of Good Hope, ii. 167.

  Vatican library founded by Nicholas V., ii. 111.

  Vedaism, the adoration of nature, its doctrines, i. 58.
    Its changes, i. 64.

  Vedic doctrines, minor, i. 62.

  Venice, commercial rivalry between Genoa and, ii. 158.
    Takes the lead in the publication of books, ii. 199.

  Venus, light of the planet, ii. 304.

  Verona, Fracaster wrote on the petrifactions found at, ii. 315.
    The first geological museum established at, ii. 390.

  Vesicles, nerve, structure and functions of, ii. 347.

  Victor, Bishop of Rome, requires the Asiatic bishops to conform
      to his view respecting Easter, i. 291.

  Victor III. denounces the life of Pope Benedict IX. as foul and
      execrable, i. 381.

  Vienne, Council of, ii. 89.

  Vieta improves algebra, and applies it to geometry, ii. 284.

  Vigilius purchases the Papacy for two hundred pounds of gold, i. 354.

  Vinci, Leonardo da, his contributions to science, ii. 268.
    First asserts the true nature of fossil remains, ii. 314, 390.
    Compares the action of the eye to that of a camera obscura, ii. 380.

  Virgin Mary, worship of, i. 296.
    Various art types of the, i. 361.

  Visconti, Barnabas, irreverence of, ii. 95.

  Visigoths, spread of, through Greece, Spain, Italy, i. 300.

  Vision, correct ideas respecting, ii. 380.

  Vitello publishes a treatise on optics in the sixteenth
      century, ii. 255.

  Vocabulary, Indo-Germanic, i. 32.

  Volcanoes, ii. 301.

  Volta, indebtedness of chemistry to, ii. 391.

  Voltaic electricity, ii. 377.

  Voyages, minor, ii. 174.

  Vulgate becomes the ecclesiastical authority of the West, i. 306.
    Jealous fears of Rome respecting depreciation of the authority
        of, ii. 195.

  Wales, South, thickness of coal-bearing strata in, ii. 308.

  Walter the Penniless, one of the first Crusaders, ii. 22.

  War, effect of, on the low Arab class, i. 339.
    Moral state of Europe indicated by the usages of war, ii. 232.

  War system, Roman, i. 250.

  Water, importance of, in Egypt, i. 96.
    The curious treatise of Zosimus on the virtues and composition
        of, i. 408.

    Physical and chemical relation of, ii. 372.

  Watt, James, has revolutionized the industry of the world, i. 387.
    His discovery of the constitution of water, ii. 340.
    His invention of the steam-engine, ii. 385.

  Week, origin of the, i. 403.

  Weeping statues, held in superstitious veneration by the vulgar, i. 51.

  Western Empire becomes extinct, i. 351.

  Westphalia, Peace of, the culmination of the Reformation, ii. 212.

  Whewell, his testimony to the incomparable merit of Newton's
      "Principia," ii. 275.

  Wickliffe translates the Bible, ii. 99. The revolt of, ii. 148.

  William of Champeaux opens a school of logic in Paris, ii. 14.

  William, Lord of Montpellier, his edict respecting the practice
      of medicine, ii. 123.

  William de Nogaret assists King Philip against Pope Boniface
      II., ii. 84.
    Also against the Templars, ii. 91.

  William de Plaisian prefers a long list of charges against Pope
      Boniface, ii. 84.

  Willis, his researches on the brain and nervous system, ii. 286.

  Winking pictures held in superstitious veneration by the vulgar, i. 51

  Witchcraft, introduction of European, ii. 115.

  Women, condition of, in India, i. 63.
    "Sub-introduced," i. 359.
    Exerted extraordinary influence in the conversion of Europe, i. 365.

  Woodward improves mineralogy, ii. 286.

  World, to determine the origin and manner of production of, the
      first object of Greek philosophy, i. 217.
    Hindu doctrine of the absorption of, i. 226.
    Moral, is governed by principles analogous to those which
        obtain in the physical, i. 348.
    Expected end of, i. 377.
    Anthropocentric ideas of the beginning of, ii. 297.

  Worlds, infinity of; ii. 292. Succession of, ii. 336.

  Worms, synod of, ii. 18.

  Xantippe, the wife of Socrates, her character unfairly judged
      of, i. 147.

  Xenophanes, the representative of a great philosophical advance, i. 118.

  Xerxes, his exploits exaggerated, i. 130.

  Ximenes, Cardinal, burns Arabic manuscripts, ii. 177.

  Year, length of, determined by Albategnius and Thebit Ben
      Corrah, ii. 41.

  Yezed, Khalif, origin of Iconoclasm imputed to, i. 417.

  Yolinda de Lusignan, Frederick compelled to marry her by
      Honorius III., ii. 67.

  York, Archbishop of, excommunicated, ii. 75.

  Yucay, the site of the national palace of Peru, ii. 182.

  Zachary, Pope, enters into an alliance with King Pepin, i. 370.

  Zaryab, the musician, honour paid him by the Khalif Abderrahman, ii. 34.

  Zedekias, physician to Charles the Bald, fabulous story of, ii. 120.

  Zehra, splendour and magnificence of the palace and gardens of, ii. 32.

  Zemzen, a well, one of the fictions of popular Mohammedanism, i. 345.

  Zeno the Eleatic, the doctrines of Parmenides carried out by, i. 122.

  Zeno the Stoic, rival of Epicurus, i. 182.

  Ziska, John, desecration of the body of, ii. 149.

  Zosimus, Pope, annuls the decision of Innocent I., and declares
      the opinion of Pelagius to be orthodox, i. 294.

  Zosmus the Panopolitan, describes the process of distillation, i. 408.

  Zuinglius, the leader of the Swiss Reformation, ii. 210.

       *       *       *       *       *


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