from Barnes’ work on slavery, and from Professor Stowe’s

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HementionsthattheWelshlovedhighdescentandcarriedtheirpedigreeaboutwiththem.InthisrespectalsoGeraldwa 。

He mentions that the Welsh loved high descent and carried their pedigree about with them. In this respect also Gerald was Welsh to the core. He is never more pleased than when he alludes to his relationship with the Princes of Wales, or the Geraldines, or Cadwallon ap Madoc of Powis. He hints, not obscurely, that the real reason why he was passed over for the Bishopric of St. David's in 1186 was that Henry II. feared his natio et cognatio, his nation and his family. He becomes almost dithyrambic in extolling the deeds of his kinsmen in Ireland. "Who are they who penetrated into the fastnesses of the enemy? The Geraldines. Who are they who hold the country in submission? The Geraldines. Who are they whom the foemen dread? The Geraldines. Who are they whom envy would disparage? The Geraldines. Yet fight on, my gallant kinsmen,

from Barnes’ work on slavery, and from Professor Stowe’s

" Felices facti si quid mea carmina possuit."

from Barnes’ work on slavery, and from Professor Stowe’s

Gerald was satisfied, not only with his birthplace and lineage, but with everything that was his. He makes complacent references to his good looks, which he had inherited from Princess Nesta. "Is it possible so fair a youth can die?" asked Bishop, afterwards Archbishop, Baldwin, when he saw him in his student days. { 2} Even in his letters to Pope Innocent he could not refrain from repeating a compliment paid to him on his good looks by Matilda of St. Valery, the wife of his neighbour at Brecon, William de Braose. He praises his own unparalleled generosity in entertaining the poor, the doctors, and the townsfolk of Oxford to banquets on three successive days when he read his "Topography of Ireland" before that university. As for his learning he records that when his tutors at Paris wished to point out a model scholar they mentioned Giraldus Cambrensis. He is confident that though his works, being all written in Latin, have not attained any great contemporary popularity, they will make his name and fame secure for ever. The most precious gift he could give to Pope Innocent III., when he was anxious to win his favour, was six volumes of his own works; and when good old Archbishop Baldwin came to preach the Crusade in Wales, Gerald could think of no better present to help beguile the tedium of the journey than his own "Topography of Ireland." He is equally pleased with his own eloquence. When the archbishop had preached, with no effect, for an hour, and exclaimed what a hardhearted people it was, Gerald moved them almost instantly to tears. He records also that John Spang, the Lord Rhys's fool, said to his master at Cardigan, after Gerald had been preaching the Crusade, "You owe a great debt, O Rhys, to your kinsman, the archdeacon, who has taken a hundred or so of your men to serve the Lord; for if he had only spoken in Welsh, you would not have had a soul left." His works are full of appreciations of Gerald's reforming zeal, his administrative energy, his unostentatious and scholarly life.

from Barnes’ work on slavery, and from Professor Stowe’s

Professor Freeman in his "Norman Conquest" described Gerald as "the father of comparative philology," and in the preface to his edition of the last volume of Gerald's works in the Rolls Series, he calls him "one of the most learned men of a learned age," "the universal scholar." His range of subjects is indeed marvellous even for an age when to be a "universal scholar" was not so hopeless of attainment as it has since become. Professor Brewer, his earliest editor in the Rolls Series, is struck by the same characteristic. "Geography, history, ethics, divinity, canon law, biography, natural history, epistolary correspondence, and poetry employed his pen by turns, and in all these departments of literature he has left memorials of his ability." Without being Ciceronian, his Latin was far better than that of his contemporaries. He was steeped in the classics, and he had, as Professor Freeman remarks, "mastered more languages than most men of his time, and had looked at them with an approach to a scientific view which still fewer men of his time shared with him." He quotes Welsh, English, Irish, French, German, Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, and with four or five of these languages at least he had an intimate, scholarly acquaintance. His judgment of men and things may not always have been sound, but he was a shrewd observer of contemporary events. "The cleverest critic of the life of his time" is the verdict of Mr. Reginald Poole. { 3} He changed his opinions often: he was never ashamed of being inconsistent. In early life he was, perhaps naturally, an admirer of the Angevin dynasty; he lived to draw the most terrible picture extant of their lives and characters. During his lifetime he never ceased to inveigh against Archbishop Hubert Walter; after his death he repented and recanted. His invective was sometimes coarse, and his abuse was always virulent. He was not over-scrupulous in his methods of controversy; but no one can rise from a reading of his works without a feeling of liking for the vivacious, cultured, impulsive, humorous, irrepressible Welshman. Certainly no Welshman can regard the man who wrote so lovingly of his native land, and who championed her cause so valiantly, except with real gratitude and affection.

But though it is as a writer of books that Gerald has become famous, he was a man of action, who would have left, had Fate been kinder, an enduring mark on the history of his own time, and would certainly have changed the whole current of Welsh religious life. As a descendant of the Welsh princes, he took himself seriously as a Welsh patriot. Destined almost from his cradle, both by the bent of his mind and the inclination of his father, to don "the habit of religion," he could not join Prince Rhys or Prince Llewelyn in their struggle for the political independence of Wales. His ambition was to become Bishop of St. David's, and then to restore the Welsh Church to her old position of independence of the metropolitan authority of Canterbury. He detested the practice of promoting Normans to Welsh sees, and of excluding Welshmen from high positions in their own country. "Because I am a Welshman, am I to be debarred from all preferment in Wales?" he indignantly writes to the Pope. Circumstances at first seemed to favour his ambition. His uncle, David Fitz-Gerald, sat in the seat of St. David's. When the young scholar returned from Paris in 1172, he found the path of promotion easy. After the manner of that age - which Gerald lived to denounce - he soon became a pluralist. He held the livings of Llanwnda, Tenby, and Angle, and afterwards the prebend of Mathry, in Pembrokeshire, and the living of Chesterton in Oxfordshire. He was also prebendary of Hereford, canon of St. David's, and in 1175, when only twenty-eight years of age, he became Archdeacon of Brecon. In the following year Bishop David died, and Gerald, together with the other archdeacons of the diocese, was nominated by the chapter for the king's choice. But the chapter had been premature, urged, no doubt, by the impetuous young Archdeacon of Brecon. They had not waited for the king's consent to the nomination. The king saw that his settled policy in Wales would be overturned if Gerald became Bishop of St. David's. Gerald's cousin, the Lord Rhys, had been appointed the king's justiciar in South Wales. The power of the Lord Marches was to be kept in check by a quasi-alliance between the Welsh prince and his over-lord. The election of Gerald to the greatest see in Wales would upset the balance of power. David Fitz- Gerald, good easy man (vir sua sorte contentus is Gerald's description of him), the king could tolerate, but he could not contemplate without uneasiness the combination of spiritual and political power in South Wales in the hands of two able, ambitious, and energetic kinsmen, such as he knew Gerald and the Lord Rhys to be. Gerald had made no secret of his admiration for the martyred St. Thomas e Becket. He fashioned himself upon him as Becket did on Anselm. The part which Becket played in England he would like to play in Wales. But the sovereign who had destroyed Becket was not to be frightened by the canons of St. David's and the Archdeacon of Brecon. He summoned the chapter to Westminster, and compelled them in his presence to elect Peter de Leia, the Prior of Wenlock, who erected for himself an imperishable monument in the noble cathedral which looks as if it had sprung up from the rocks which guard the city of Dewi Sant from the inrush of the western sea.

It is needless to recount the many activities in which Gerald engaged during the next twenty-two years. They have been recounted with humorous and affectionate appreciation by Dr. Henry Owen in his monograph on "Gerald the Welshman," a little masterpiece of biography which deserves to be better known. { 4} In 1183 Gerald was employed by the astute king to settle terms between him and the rebellious Lord Rhys. Nominally as a reward for his successful diplomacy, but probably in order to keep so dangerous a character away from the turbulent land of Wales, Gerald was in the following year made a Court chaplain. In 1185 he was commissioned by the king to accompany Prince John, then a lad of eighteen, who had lately been created "Lord of Ireland," to the city of Dublin. There he abode for two years, collecting materials for his two first books, the "Topography" and the "Conquest of Ireland." In 1188 he accompanied Archbishop Baldwin through Wales to preach the Third Crusade - not the first or the last inconsistency of which the champion of the independence of the Welsh Church was guilty. His "Itinerary through Wales" is the record of the expedition. King Richard offered him the Bishopric of Bangor, and John, in his brother's absence, offered him that of Llandaff. But his heart was set on St. David's. In 1198 his great chance came to him. At last, after twenty-two years of misrule, Peter de Leia was dead, and Gerald seemed certain of attaining his heart's desire. Once again the chapter nominated Gerald; once more the royal authority was exerted, this time by Archbishop Hubert, the justiciar in the king's absence, to defeat the ambitious Welshman. The chapter decided to send a deputation to King Richard in Normandy. The deputation arrived at Chinon to find Coeur-de-Lion dead; but John was anxious to make friends everywhere, in order to secure himself on his uncertain throne. He received the deputation graciously, he spoke in praise of Gerald, and he agreed to accept the nomination. But after his return to England John changed his mind. He found that no danger threatened him in his island kingdom, and he saw the wisdom of the justiciar's policy. Gerald hurried to see him, but John point blank refused publicly to ratify his consent to the nomination which he had already given in private. Then commenced the historic fight for St. David's which, in view of the still active "Church question" in Wales, is even now invested with a living interest and significance. Gerald contended that the Welsh Church was independent of Canterbury, and that it was only recently, since the Norman Conquest, that she had been deprived of her freedom. His opponents relied on political, rather than historical, considerations to defeat this bold claim. King Henry, when a deputation from the chapter in 1175 appeared before the great council in London and had urged the metropolitan claims of St. David's upon the Cardinal Legate, exclaimed that he had no intention of giving this head to rebellion in Wales. Archbishop Hubert, more of a statesman than an ecclesiastic, based his opposition on similar grounds. He explained his reasons bluntly to the Pope. "Unless the barbarity of this fierce and lawless people can be restrained by ecclesiastical censures through the see of Canterbury, to which province they are subject by law, they will be for ever rising in arms against the king, to the disquiet of the whole realm of England." Gerald's answer to this was complete, except from the point of view of political expediency. "What can be more unjust than that this people of ancient faith, because they answer force by force in defence of their lives, their lands, and their liberties, should be forthwith separated from the body corporate of Christendom, and delivered over to Satan?"

The story of the long fight between Gerald on the one hand and the whole forces of secular and ecclesiastical authority on the other cannot be told here. Three times did he visit Rome to prosecute his appeal - alone against the world. He had to journey through districts disturbed by wars, infested with the king's men or the king's enemies, all of whom regarded Gerald with hostility. He was taken and thrown into prison as King John's subject in one town, he was detained by importunate creditors in another, and at Rome he was betrayed by a countryman whom he had befriended. He himself has told us

Of the most disastrous chances Of moving accidents by flood and field,

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