At the basis of the works of all the modern historians from Gibbon to Buckle, despite their seeming disagreements and the apparent novelty of their outlooks, lie those two old, unavoidable assumptions.
Modern history replying to these questions says: you want to know what this movement means, what caused it, and what force produced these events?
The strangeness and absurdity of these replies arise from the fact that modern history, like a deaf man, answers questions no one has asked.
An oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility, an armed and self-governing association in the mediaeval commune; here independent urban republic (as in Italy and Germany), there taxable "third estate" of the monarchy (as in France), afterwards, in the period of manufacture proper, serving either the semi-feudal or the absolute monarchy as a counterpoise against the nobility, and, in fact, corner-stone of the great monarchies in general, the bourgeoisie has at last, since the establishment of Modern Industry and of the world-market, conquered for itself, in the modern representative State, exclusive political sway.
Modern bourgeois society with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer, who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells.
I might point to the profound intellectual depth of certain pieces as its characteristic, or, equally, to the traces here and there of an apparent carelessness of workmanship; or, yet again, to the new and very marked partiality for scenes and situations of English and modern
rather than medieval and foreign life."
The modern gentleman was young and florid, tall and strong.
Here," remarked the old gentleman, taking up a croquet mallet from the table near him, "is one of the qualifications for success in modern society.
But if some intelligent and accomplished friend points out to him, that the difficulties by which he is startled are more in appearance than reality, if, by reading aloud to him, or by reducing the ordinary words to the modern orthography, he satisfies his proselyte that only about one-tenth part of the words employed are in fact obsolete, the novice may be easily persuaded to approach the ``well of English undefiled,'' with the certainty that a slender degree of patience will enable him to enjoy both the humour and the pathos with which old Geoffrey delighted the age of Cressy and of Poictiers.
If our neophyte, strong in the new-born love of antiquity, were to undertake to imitate what he had learnt to admire, it must be allowed he would act very injudiciously, if he were to select from the Glossary the obsolete words which it contains, and employ those exclusively of all phrases and vocables retained in modern days.
This victory of the East Midland form was marked by, though it was not in any large degree due to, the appearance in the fourteenth century of the first great modern English poet, Chaucer.
[Footnote: Differences are clearly presented in Charles Reade's novel, 'The Cloister and the Hearth,' though this deals with the period following that with which we are here concerned.] It was only during this period that the modern nations, acquiring national consciousness, began definitely to shape themselves out of the chaos which had followed the fall of the Roman Empire.
And, indeed, should the excellent Mr Broughton be prevailed on to set fist to paper, and to complete the above-said rudiments, by delivering down the true principles of athletics, I question whether the world will have any cause to lament, that none of the great writers, either antient or modern
, have ever treated about that noble and useful art.
steamship with her many holds is not loaded within the sailor-like meaning of the word.
What Nietzsche strives to combat and to overthrow is the modern
democratic tendency which is slowly labouring to level all things--even the sexes.