Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/275

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from the Slavic nations, and, indeed, from all those other races to whom the Greeks and Romans gave the designation of barbarians. I allude to their personal freedom and regard for the rights of men; secondly, to the respect paid by them to the female sex, and the chastity for which the latter were celebrated among the people of the North. These were the foundations of that probity of character, self-respect, and purity of manners which may be traced among the Germans and Goths even during pagan times, and which, when their sentiments were enlightened by Christianity, brought out those splendid traits of character which distinguish the age of chivalry and romance."[1] What the intermixture of the German stock with the classic, at the fall of the Western Empire, has done for mankind, may be best felt by watching, with Arnold, over how large a portion of the earth the influence of the German element is now extended.

"It affects, more or less, the whole west of Europe, from the head of the Gulf of Bothnia to the most southern promontory of Sicily, from the Oder and the Adriatic to the Hebrides and to Lisbon. It is true that the language spoken over a large portion of this space is not predominantly

  1. See Prichard's "Researches into the Physical History of Man," vol. iii. p. 423.