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were free from birth, and more descriptions of persons and places and things, than can now be well understood. Here lies the province of the antiquarian, who has at least the merit of clearing the way and providing materials for the philosopher, and is thus mediately, or immediately, if possessed of any philosophic discrimination himself, an instructor of mankind.
Such is, I conceive, the manner in which the Salique and the other remaining codes may be examined, and this I must now leave the student to do for himself.
All the other codes will be found very similar in their general nature, but all indicating a more advanced state of society, than can be found in the Salique code.
The Burgundians, the Lombards and the Visigoths had been more connected with the Romans, and their laws are therefore favourably distinguished from the codes of the more simple and rude Barbarians.
To the law of the Burgundians there is a preface worth reading.
The preface of Lindenbrogius, which must by all means be read, gives some account of the time and manners in which these codes were promulgated, and to them I refer. In many parts of these codes the reader will perceive the origin of many of the forms and maxims that exist to this moment in the systems of European law. These Barbarian codes were followed by what are called the Capitularies, a word signifying any composition divided into chapters. These were promulgated by the subsequent monarchs : by Childebert, Clotaire, Carlomagne, and Pepin, but above all by Charlemagne: succeeding princes added others. They are to be found in Lindenbrogius, but the best edition of them is by Baluze, in 2 Vols. folio. To the codes, and to the Capitularies in Lindenbrogius, and in Baluze, are added the Formularia of Marculphus. These formularia are the forms of forensic proceedings and of legal instruments. Marculphus was a monk that seems to have lived so early as 660; so naturally is law connected with precision and form; and so soon, even before 660, was it found necessary to reduce the institutions and legal proceedings of rude barbarians into that sort of technical precision, which is so fully exhibited in our modern practice, and which is found so necessary by lawyers, and considered (somewhat thoughtlessly) so unmeaning by others. All these capitularies and formularies it is not very possible—it may not, indeed, be very useful—for the general student to read; but he may look over the heads and select some few for his perusal. Many of them seem to be of an ecclesiastical nature, and they are interspersed with various state papers. And the influence which religion, and still more the church, had obtained over these northern conquerors, is evident in every page.
It appears that extreme unction, confession, and the distinguishing rites of the Romish church, were early established among them; solemn, and indeed very affecting church services, for the different trials by ordeal, and for the ceremonies of excommunication ; every where there are passages, which when found in legal instruments and public state papers, strongly mark the temper and character of the times. And it is on this account that a philosopher like Montesquieu, from the perusal of musty records like these, can -exhibit the manners and opinions of distant ages.
I have thus endeavoured to introduce to your curiosity these Barbaric codes.
It might be natural to ask what, in the mean time, became of the conquered nation of the Romans? It may be answered in a general manner, that they seem to have been allowed to live under their own laws, if they did not prefer the laws of the Barbarian state, to which they belonged: that their situation seems to have been marked by depression, but not to the extent that might have been expected. But it is impossible for me to enter further into subjects of this nature.
There is a concise work by Mr. Butler, Horæ Juridicæ : to this I must refer; it will be of great use in giving you information about the different codes and systems of law that obtained in Europe during these earlier ages : such information, indeed, as few will be able to collect for themselves, and yet such as every man of education should be furnished with.
Gibbon and Montesquieu, through all this period of history, you will refer to. But the Abbé de Mably is the
writer, who will afford you the best assistance, given neither in the distant, obscure manner of Gibbon, nor with the affectation and paradox of Montesquieu.
More than I have now done on the subject of this lecture, I cannot venture to attempt. I have already sufficiently trespassed upon your patience in calling here your attention to topics which are only fit for the student in the closet, and which can only be comprehended by the steady perusal of the very books I am recommending; books which I am to suppose at present unknown to you: and on the whole, therefore, I must content myself if you bear away from the lecture these following general impressions :
1st. then (proceeding in a reverse order), That some knowledge should be obtained of the Barbaric codes, and that the Salique Law may be taken as a specimen; some knowledge, likewise, of the systems of Law, under which the Romans then lived; and that Butler may be referred to, his Horæ Juridicæ.
2dly. That the different subjects I have mentioned, the reigns of Clovis, Pepin, Charlemagne, of chivalry, &c. &c. . are those to which you had best direct your attention in the study of the dark ages : select them, I mean, and study them in preference to others.
3dly. That these dark ages must be studied, because you ought to know what has been the original formation of the character of the European individual, and of the European governments; how they came to exist, as you every where see them.
4thly. That I conceive Butler for the outlines, and Gibbon for the detail, with Hénault or Millot, and, lastly, with the preface to Robertson's Charles V., will be sufficient for those, who wish only to find the shortest possible course.
5thly. That the Abbé de Mably and those books I have mentioned to-day, will supply ample information, and all that I can think necessary, to any historical student who is not also ambitious of the merit of an antiquarian.
It is many years since I drew up this lecture which you have just heard; there has now appeared an History of the Middle Ages, by Mr. Hallam. You will there see all the
subjects that occupy all the early part of my present course of lectures regularly discussed, and very ably; I may add too, wherever the subject admitted of it, very beautifully.
I have been obliged, from the known learning and talents of the author, to look the work over, not merely for my own instruction in general, but to ascertain whether I had been misled myself by any of the books on which I had depended. You, in like manner, must refer to the work, and compare it with others, for the author is not only very able and well informed, but a sufficiently scrupulous critic of the labours of his predecessors. This work may be also recommended to you, as exhibiting for your perusal, in a convenient form, many subjects of great importance, and most of those we have referred to; and you may see by his references, and may judge by the nature of the subjects themselves, how little you are likely to study them yourselves, (I mean you no disrespect, I allude to those of you who are to engage in the business of the world); to study them, I should say, with that patience and activity which an antiquarian and philosopher, like Mr. Hallam, though himself living in the world and an ornament to society, has so meritoriously and so remarkably displayed.
MAHOMET-PROGRESS OF SOCIETY, ETC.
HAVE hitherto directed your attention to the Romans
and Barbarians, their collision, the fall of the Western Empire, the settlement of the Barbarians in the different provinces of Europe, and the dark ages that ensued.
On these dark ages the light gradually dawned, till at length appeared the Revival of Learning and the Reformation.
It is in this manner, therefore, that you have presented to you, by the addition of this last circumstance, a subject that is a sort of whole.
You begin with marking the decline and depression of society, and you then watch its progress to a state of great comparative elevation.
But instead of conducting your thoughts onward from the one to the other, in this natural succession, I must now interrupt them, because the great concerns of Europe were in fact thus broken in upon and interrupted; and though the whole of this interruption may be almost considered as a sort of episode to the main subject, I have no alternative but to produce it now, in its real place, and you must join the chain hereafter yourselves; the links of which must be considered as thus for a certain interval separated from each other. For the truth is, that you will scarcely have begun to read the books, that I have recommended, when you will be called upon to observe a most extraordinary revolution that had taken place in the east.
An individual had started up amidst the sands of Arabia, had persuaded his countrymen that he was the prophet of God, had contrived to combine in his service two of the most powerful passions of the human heart; the love of glory here,