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fearlessly, and put them to flight. The Salernitani followed, however,
the example given them by these brave warriors, and those of the
Mussulmans who escaped their swords were forced to re-embark in all

"The Prince of Salerno, Guaimar III., tried in vain to keep the
warrior-pilgrims at his court: but at his solicitation other companies
established themselves on the rocks of Salerno and Amalfi, until,
on Christmas Day, 1041, (exactly a quarter of a century before the
coronation here at Westminster of the Conqueror,) they gathered
their scattered forces at Aversa,[19] twelve groups of them
under twelve chosen counts, and all under the Lombard Ardoin, as
commander-in-chief." Be so good as to note that, - a marvellous
key-note of historical fact about the unjesting Lombards, I cannot
find the total Norman number: the chief contingent, under William
of the Iron Arm, the son of Tancred of Hauteville, was only of three
hundred knights; the Count of Aversa's troop, of the same number, is
named as an important part of the little army - admit it for ten times
Tancred's, three thousand men in all. At Aversa, these three thousand
men form, coolly on Christmas Day, 1041, the design of - well, I told
you they didn't _design_ much, only, now we're here, we may as well,
while we're about it, - overthrow the Greek empire! That was their
little game! - a Christmas mumming to purpose. The following year, the
whole of Apulia was divided among them.

[Footnote 19: In Lombardy, south of Pavia.]

I will not spoil, by abstracting, the magnificent following history
of Robert Guiscard, the most wonderful soldier of that or any other
time: I leave you to finish it for yourselves, only asking you to read
together with it, the sketch, in Turner's history of the Anglo-Saxons,
of Alfred's long previous war with the Norman Hasting; pointing out to
you for foci of character in each contest, the culminating incidents
of naval battle. In Guiscard's struggle with the Greeks, he encounters
for their chief naval force the Venetian fleet under the Doge Domenico
Selvo. The Venetians are at this moment undoubted masters in all naval
warfare; the Normans are worsted easily the first day, - the second
day, fighting harder, they are defeated again, and so disastrously
that the Venetian Doge takes no precautions against them on the third
day, thinking them utterly disabled. Guiscard attacks him again on the
third day, with the mere wreck of his own ships, and defeats the tired
and amazed Italians finally!

The sea-fight between Alfred's ships and those of Hasting, ought to be
still more memorable to us. Alfred, as I noticed in last lecture, had
built war ships nearly twice as long as the Normans', swifter, and
steadier on the waves. Six Norman ships were ravaging the Isle of
Wight; Alfred sent nine of his own to take them. The King's fleet
found the Northmen's embayed, and three of them aground. The three
others _engaged Alfred's nine, twice their size_; two of the Viking
ships were taken, but the third escaped, with only five men! A nation
which verily took its pleasures in its Deeds.

But before I can illustrate farther either their deeds or their
religion, I must for an instant meet the objection which I suppose the
extreme probity of the nineteenth century must feel acutely against
these men, - that they all lived by thieving.

Without venturing to allude to the _raison d'être_ of the present
French and English Stock Exchanges, I will merely ask any of you here,
whether of Saxon or Norman blood, to define for himself what he means
by the "possession of India." I have no doubt that you all wish to
keep India in order, and in like manner I have assured you that Duke
William wished to keep England in order. If you will read the lecture
on the life of Sir Herbert Edwardes, which I hope to give in London
after finishing this course,[20] you will see how a Christian British
officer can, and does, verily, and with his whole heart, keep in order
such part of India as may be entrusted to him, and in so doing, secure
our Empire. But the silent feeling and practice of the nation about
India is based on quite other motives than Sir Herbert's. Every
mutiny, every danger, every terror, and every crime, occurring under,
or paralyzing, our Indian legislation, arises directly out of our
national desire to live on the loot of India, and the notion always
entertained by English young gentlemen and ladies of good position,
falling in love with each other without immediate prospect of
establishment in Belgrave Square, that they can find in India,
instantly on landing, a bungalow ready furnished with the
loveliest fans, china, and shawls, - ices and sherbet at
command, - four-and-twenty slaves succeeding each other hourly to
swing the punkah, and a regiment with a beautiful band to "keep order"
outside, all round the house.

[Footnote 20: This was prevented by the necessity for the
re-arrangement of my terminal Oxford lectures: I am now preparing that
on Sir Herbert for publication in a somewhat expanded form.]

Entreating your pardon for what may seem rude in these personal
remarks, I will further entreat you to read my account of the death
of Cœur de Lion in the third number of 'Fors Clavigera' - and also the
scenes in 'Ivanhoe' between Cœur de Lion and Locksley; and commending
these few passages to your quiet consideration, I proceed to give you
another anecdote or two of the Normans in Italy, twelve years later
than those given above, and, therefore, only thirteen years before the
battle of Hastings.

Their division of South Italy among them especially, and their defeat
of Venice, had alarmed everybody considerably, - especially the Pope,
Leo IX., who did not understand this manifestation of their piety. He
sent to Henry III. of Germany, to whom he owed his Popedom, for some
German knights, and got five hundred spears; gathered out of all
Apulia, Campania, and the March of Ancona, what Greek and Latin troops
were to be had, to join his own army of the patrimony of St. Peter;
and the holy Pontiff, with this numerous army, but no general, began
the campaign by a pilgrimage with all his troops to Monte Cassino, in
order to obtain, if it might be, St. Benedict for general.

Against the Pope's collected masses, with St. Benedict, their
contemplative but at first inactive general, stood the little army of
Normans, - certainly not more than the third of their number - but with
Robert Guiscard for captain, and under him his brother, Humphrey of
Hauteville, and Richard of Aversa. Not in fear, but in devotion, they
prayed the Pope 'avec instance,' - to say on what conditions they could
appease his anger, and live in peace under him. But the Pope would
hear of nothing but their evacuation of Italy. Whereupon, they had to
settle the question in the Norman manner.

The two armies met in front of Civitella, on Waterloo day, 18th June,
thirteen years, as I said, before the battle of Hastings. The German
knights were the heart of the Pope's army, but they were only five
hundred; the Normans surrounded _them_ first, and slew them, nearly
to a man - and then made extremely short work with the Italians and
Greeks. The Pope, with the wreck of them, fled into Civitella; but the
townspeople dared not defend their walls, and thrust the Pope himself
out of their gates - to meet, alone, the Norman army.

He met it, _not_ alone, St. Benedict being with him now, when he had
no longer the strength of man to trust in.

The Normans, as they approached him, threw themselves on their
knees, - covered themselves with dust, and implored his pardon and his

There's a bit of poetry - if you like, - but a piece of steel-clad fact
also, compared to which the battle of Hastings and Waterloo both, were
mere boys' squabbles.

You don't suppose, you British schoolboys, that _you_ overthrew
Napoleon - _you?_ Your prime Minister folded up the map of Europe at
the thought of him. Not you, but the snows of Heaven, and the hand of
Him who dasheth in pieces with a rod of iron. He casteth forth His ice
like morsels, - who can stand before His cold?

But, so far as you have indeed the right to trust in the courage of
your own hearts, remember also - it is not in Norman nor Saxon, but in
Celtic race that your real strength lies. The battles both of Waterloo
and Alma were won by Irish and Scots - by the terrible Scots Greys, and
by Sir Colin's Highlanders. Your 'thin red line,' was kept steady at
Alma only by Colonel Yea's swearing at them.

But the old Pope, alone against a Norman army, wanted nobody to swear
at him. Steady enough he, having somebody to bless him, instead of
swear at him. St. Benedict, namely; whose (memory shall we say?)
helped him now at his pinch in a singular manner, - for the Normans,
having got the old man's forgiveness, vowed themselves his feudal
servants; and for seven centuries afterwards the whole kingdom of
Naples remained a fief of St. Peter, - won for him thus by a single
man, unarmed, against three thousand Norman knights, captained by
Robert Guiscard!

A day of deeds, gentlemen, to some purpose, - _that_ 18th of June,

Here, in the historical account of Norman character, I must
unwillingly stop for to-day - because, as you choose to spend your
University money in building ball-rooms instead of lecture-rooms, I
dare not keep you much longer in this black hole, with its nineteenth
century ventilation. I try your patience - and tax your breath - only
for a few minutes more in drawing the necessary corollaries respecting
Norman art.[21]

[Footnote 21: Given at much greater length in the lecture, with
diagrams from Iffley and Poictiers, without which the text of them
would be unintelligible. The sum of what I said was a strong assertion
of the incapacity of the Normans for any but the rudest and most
grotesque sculpture, - Poictiers being, on the contrary, examined and
praised as Gallic-French - not Norman.]

How far the existing British nation owes its military prowess to
the blood of Normandy and Anjou, I have never examined its genealogy
enough to tell you; - but this I can tell you positively, that whatever
constitutional order or personal valour the Normans enforced or taught
among the nations they conquered, they did not at first attempt with
their own hands to rival them in any of their finer arts, but used
both Greek and Saxon sculptors, either as slaves, or hired workmen,
and more or less therefore chilled and degraded the hearts of the men
thus set to servile, or at best, hireling, labour.

In 1874, I went to see Etna, Scylla, Charybdis, and the tombs of the
Norman Kings at Palermo; surprised, as you may imagine, to find that
there wasn't a stroke nor a notion of Norman work in them. They are,
every atom, done by Greeks, and are as pure Greek as the temple of
Ægina; but more rich and refined. I drew with accurate care, and
with measured profile of every moulding, the tomb built for Roger
II. (afterwards Frederick II. was laid in its dark porphyry). And it
is a perfect type of the Greek-Christian form of tomb - temple over
sarcophagus, in which the pediments rise gradually, as time goes on,
into acute angles - get pierced in the gable with foils, and their
sculptures thrown outside on their flanks, and become at last in the
fourteenth century, the tombs of Verona. But what is the meaning of
the Normans employing these Greek slaves for their work in Sicily
(within thirty miles of the field of Himera)? Well, the main meaning
is that though the Normans could build, they couldn't carve, and were
wise enough not to try to, when they couldn't, as you do now all over
this intensely comic and tragic town: but, here in England, they only
employed the Saxon with a grudge, and therefore being more and more
driven to use barren mouldings without sculpture, gradually developed
the structural forms of archivolt, which breaking into the lancet,
brighten and balance themselves into the symmetry of early English

But even for the first decoration of the archivolt itself, they were
probably indebted to the Greeks in a degree I never apprehended, until
by pure happy chance, a friend gave me the clue to it just as I was
writing the last pages of this lecture.

In the generalization of ornament attempted in the first volume of
the 'Stones of Venice,' I supposed the Norman _zigzag_ (and with some
practical truth) to be derived from the angular notches with which the
blow of an axe can most easily decorate, or at least vary, the solid
edge of a square fillet. My good friend, and supporter, and for some
time back the single trustee of St. George's Guild, Mr. George Baker,
having come to Oxford on Guild business, I happened to show him the
photographs of the front of Iffley church, which had been collected
for this lecture; and immediately afterwards, in taking him through
the schools, stopped to show him the Athena of Ægina as one of
the most important of the Greek examples lately obtained for us by
Professor Richmond. The statue is (rightly) so placed that in looking
up to it, the plait of hair across the forehead is seen in a steeply
curved arch. "Why," says Mr. Baker, pointing to it, "there's the
Norman arch of Iffley." Sure enough, there it exactly was: and a
moment's reflection showed me how easily, and with what instinctive
fitness, the Norman builders, looking to the Greeks as their absolute
masters in sculpture, and recognizing also, during the Crusades, the
hieroglyphic use of the zigzag, for water, by the Egyptians, might
have adopted this easily attained decoration at once as the sign of
the element over which they reigned, and of the power of the Greek
goddess who ruled both it and them.

I do not in the least press your acceptance of such a tradition,
nor for the rest, do I care myself whence any method of ornament is
derived, if only, as a stranger, you bid it reverent welcome. But much
probability is added to the conjecture by the indisputable transition
of the Greek egg and arrow moulding into the floral cornices of Saxon
and other twelfth century cathedrals in Central France. These and
other such transitions and exaltations I will give you the materials
to study at your leisure, after illustrating in my next lecture the
forces of religious imagination by which all that was most beautiful
in them was inspired.


(_NOV. 8, 1884._)



(1189 TO 1558).

In using the word "Fancy," for the mental faculties of which I am to
speak to-day, I trust you, at your leisure, to read the Introductory
Note to the second volume of 'Modern Painters' in the small new
edition, which gives sufficient reason for practically including
under the single term Fancy, or Fantasy, all the energies of the
Imagination, - in the terms of the last sentence of that preface, - "the
healthy, voluntary, and necessary,[22] action of the highest powers
of the human mind, on subjects properly demanding and justifying their

[Footnote 22: Meaning that all healthy minds possess imagination, and
use it at will, under fixed laws of truthful perception and memory.]

I must farther ask you to read, in the same volume, the close of the
chapter 'Of Imagination Penetrative,' pp. 120 to 130, of which the
gist, which I must give as the first principle from which we start in
our to-day's inquiry, is that "Imagination, rightly so called, has no
food, no delight, no care, no perception, except of truth; it is for
ever looking under masks, and burning up mists; no fairness of form,
no majesty of seeming, will satisfy it; the first condition of its
existence is incapability of being deceived."[23] In that sentence,
which is a part, and a very valuable part, of the original book, I
still adopted and used unnecessarily the ordinary distinction between
Fancy and Imagination - Fancy concerned with lighter things, creating
fairies or centaurs, and Imagination creating men; and I was in
the habit always of implying by the meaner word Fancy, a voluntary
Fallacy, as Wordsworth does in those lines to his wife, making of her
a mere lay figure for the drapery of his fancy -

Such if thou wert, in all men's view
An universal show,
What would my Fancy have to do,
My feelings to bestow.

But you will at once understand the higher and more universal power
which I now wish you to understand by the Fancy, including all
imaginative energy, correcting these lines of Wordsworth's to a more
worthy description of a true lover's happiness. When a boy falls in
love with a girl, you say he has taken a fancy for her; but if he love
her rightly, that is to say for her noble qualities, you ought to say
he has taken an imagination for her; for then he is endued with the
new light of love which sees and tells of the mind in her, - and this
neither falsely nor vainly. His love does not bestow, it discovers,
what is indeed most precious in his mistress, and most needful for
his own life and happiness. Day by day, as he loves her better, he
discerns her more truly; and it is only the truth of his love that
does so. Falsehood to her, would at once disenchant and blind him.

[Footnote 23: Vide pp. 124-5.]

In my first lecture of this year, I pointed out to you with what
extreme simplicity and reality the Christian faith must have presented
itself to the Northern Pagan's mind, in its distinction from
his former confused and monstrous mythology. It was also in that
simplicity and tangible reality of conception, that this Faith became
to them, and to the other savage nations of Europe, Tutress of the
real power of their imagination and it became so, only in so far as
it indeed conveyed to them statements which, however in some respects
mysterious, were yet most literally and brightly _true_, as compared
with their former conceptions. So that while the blind cunning of
the savage had produced only misshapen logs or scrawls; the _seeing_
imagination of the Christian painters created, for them and for all
the world, the perfect types of the Virgin and of her Son; which
became, indeed, Divine, by being, with the most affectionate truth,

And the association of this truth in loving conception, with the
general honesty and truth of the character, is again conclusively
shown in the feelings of the lover to his mistress; which we recognize
as first reaching their height in the days of chivalry. The truth and
faith of the lover, and his piety to Heaven, are the foundation, in
his character, of all the joy in imagination which he can receive
from the conception of his lady's - now no more mortal - beauty. She is
indeed transfigured before him; but the truth of the transfiguration
is greater than that of the lightless aspect she bears to others. When
therefore, in my next lecture, I speak of the Pleasures of Truth,
as distinct from those of the Imagination, - if either the limits
or clearness of brief title had permitted me, I should have said,
_untransfigured_ truth; - meaning on the one side, truth which we have
not heart enough to transfigure, and on the other, truth of the lower
kind which is incapable of transfiguration. One may look at a girl
till one believes she is an angel; because, in the best of her, she
_is_ one; but one can't look at a cockchafer till one believes it is a

With this warning of the connection which exists between the honest
intellect and the healthy imagination; and using henceforward the
shorter word 'Fancy' for all inventive vision, I proceed to consider
with you the meaning and consequences of the frank and eager exertion
of the fancy on Religious subjects, between the twelfth and sixteenth

Its first, and admittedly most questionable action, the promotion
of the group of martyr saints of the third century to thrones of
uncontested dominion in heaven, had better be distinctly understood,
before we debate of it, either with the Iconoclast or the Rationalist.
This apotheosis by the Imagination is the subject of my present
lecture. To-day I only describe it, - in my next lecture I will discuss

Observe, however, that in giving such a history of the mental
constitution of nascent Christianity, we have to deal with, and
carefully to distinguish, two entirely different orders in its
accepted hierarchy: - one, scarcely founded at all on personal
characters or acts, but mythic or symbolic; often merely the revival,
the baptized resuscitation of a Pagan deity, or the personified
omnipresence of a Christian virtue; - the other, a senate of Patres
Conscripti of real persons, great in genius, and perfect, humanly
speaking, in holiness; who by their personal force and inspired
wisdom, wrought the plastic body of the Church into such noble form
as in each of their epochs it was able to receive; and on the right
understanding of whose lives, nor less of the affectionate traditions
which magnified and illumined their memories, must absolutely depend
the value of every estimate we form, whether of the nature of the
Christian Church herself, or of the directness of spiritual agency by
which she was guided.[24]

[Footnote 24: If the reader believes in no spiritual agency, still his
understanding of the first letters in the Alphabet of History depends
on his comprehending rightly the tempers of the people who _did_.]

An important distinction, therefore, is to be noted at the outset,
in the objects of this Apotheosis, according as they are, or are not,
real persons.

Of these two great orders of Saints, the first; or mythic,
belongs - speaking broadly - to the southern or Greek Church alone.

The Gothic Christians, once detached from the worship of Odin and
Thor, abjure from their hearts all trust in the elements, and all
worship of ideas. They will have their Saints in flesh and blood,
their Angels in plume and armour; and nothing incorporeal or
invisible. In all the Religious sculpture beside Loire and Seine, you
will not find either of the great rivers personified; the dress of the
highest seraph is of true steel or sound broadcloth, neither flecked
by hail, nor fringed by thunder; and while the ideal Charity of Giotto
at Padua presents her heart in her hand to God, and tramples at the
same instant on bags of gold, the treasures of the world, and gives
only corn and flowers; that on the west porch of Amiens is content to
clothe a beggar with a piece of the staple manufacture of the town.

On the contrary, it is nearly impossible to find in the imagery of
the Greek Church, under the former exercise of the Imagination, a
representation either of man or beast which purports to represent
_only_ the person, or the brute. Every mortal creature stands for an
Immortal Intelligence or Influence: a Lamb means an Apostle, a Lion an
Evangelist, an Angel the Eternal justice or benevolence; and the most
historical and indubitable of Saints are compelled to set forth, in
their vulgarly apparent persons, a Platonic myth or an Athanasian

I therefore take note first of the mythic saints in succession, whom
this treatment of them by the Byzantine Church made afterwards the
favourite idols of all Christendom.

I. The most mythic is of course St. Sophia; the shade of the Greek
Athena, passing into the 'Wisdom' of the Jewish Proverbs and Psalms,
and the Apocryphal 'Wisdom of Solomon.' She always remains understood
as a personification only; and has no direct influence on the mind
of the unlearned multitude of Western Christendom, except as a
godmother, - in which kindly function she is more and more accepted as
times go on; her healthy influence being perhaps greater over sweet
vicars' daughters in Wakefield - when Wakefield _was_, - than over the
prudentest of the rarely prudent Empresses of Byzantium.

II. Of St. Catharine of Egypt there are vestiges of personal tradition
which may perhaps permit the supposition of her having really once
existed, as a very lovely, witty, proud, and 'fanciful' girl. She
afterwards becomes the Christian type of the Bride, in the 'Song of
Solomon,' involved with an ideal of all that is purest in the life of
a nun, and brightest in the death of a martyr. It is scarcely possible
to overrate the influence of the conceptions formed of her, in
ennobling the sentiments of Christian women of the higher orders; - to
their practical common sense, as the mistresses of a household or a
nation, her example may have been less conducive.

III. St. Barbara, also an Egyptian, and St. Catharine's contemporary,
though the most practical of the mythic saints, is also, after St.
Sophia, the least corporeal: she vanishes far away into the 'Inclusa

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