by himself, which certainly does not come under the designation

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ThestoryofthelongfightbetweenGeraldontheonehandandthewholeforcesofsecularandecclesiasticalauthorityo 。

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

by himself, which certainly does not come under the designation

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

by himself, which certainly does not come under the designation

which made a journey from St. David's to Rome a more perilous adventure in those unquiet days than an expedition "through darkest Africa" is in ours. At last the very Chapter of St. David's, for whose ancient rights he was contending, basely deserted him. "The laity of Wales stood by me," so he wrote in later days, "but of the clergy whose battle I was fighting scarce one." Pope Innocent III. was far too wary a politician to favour the claims of a small and distracted nation, already half-subjugated, against the king of a rich and powerful country. He flattered our poor Gerald, he delighted in his company, he accepted, and perhaps even read, his books. But in the end, after five years' incessant fighting, the decision went against him, and the English king's nominee has ever since sat on the throne of St. David's. "Many and great wars," said Gwenwynwyn, the Prince of Powis, "have we Welshmen waged with England, but none so great and fierce as his who fought the king and the archbishop, and withstood the might of the whole clergy and people of England, for the honour of Wales."

by himself, which certainly does not come under the designation

Short was the memory and scant the gratitude of his countrymen. When in 1214 another vacancy occurred at a time when King John was at variance with his barons and his prelates, the Chapter of St. David's nominated, not Gerald, their old champion, but Iorwerth, the Abbot of Talley, from whose reforming zeal they had nothing to fear. This last prick of Fortune's sword pierced Gerald to the quick. He had for years been gradually withdrawing from an active life. He had resigned his archdeaconry and his prebend stall, he had made a fourth pilgrimage, this time for his soul's sake, to Rome, he had retired to a quiet pursuit of letters probably at Lincoln, and henceforward, till his death about the year 1223, he devoted himself to revising and embellishing his old works, and completing his literary labours. By his fight for St. David's he had endeared himself to the laity of his country for all time. The saying of Llewelyn the Great was prophetic. "So long as Wales shall stand by the writings of the chroniclers and by the songs of the bards shall his noble deed be praised throughout all time." The prophecy has not yet been verified. Welsh chroniclers have made but scanty references to Gerald; no bard has ever yet sung an Awdl or a Pryddest in honour of him who fought for the "honour of Wales." His countrymen have forgotten Gerald the Welshman. It has been left to Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Foster, Professor Brewer, Dimmock, and Professor Freeman to edit his works. Only two of his countrymen have attempted to rescue one of the greatest of Welshmen from an undeserved oblivion. In 1585, when the Renaissance of Letters had begun to rouse the dormant powers of the Cymry, Dr. David Powel edited in Latin a garbled version of the "Itinerary" and "Description of Wales," and gave a short and inaccurate account of Gerald's life. In 1889 Dr. Henry Owen published, "at his own proper charges," the first adequate account by a Welshman of the life and labours of Giraldus Cambrensis. When his monument is erected in the cathedral which was built by his hated rival, the epitaph which he composed for himself may well be inscribed upon it -

Cambria Giraldus genuit, sic Cambria mentem Erudiit, cineres cui lapis iste tegit.

And by that time perhaps some competent scholar will have translated some at least of Gerald's works into the language best understood by the people of Wales.

It would be impossible to exaggerate the enormous services which three great Welshmen of the twelfth century rendered to England and to the world - such services as we may securely hope will be emulated by Welshmen of the next generation, now that we have lived to witness what Mr. Theodore Watts-Dunton has called "the great recrudescence of Cymric energy." { 5} The romantic literature of England owes its origin to Geoffrey of Monmouth; { 6} Sir Galahad, the stainless knight, the mirror of Christian chivalry, as well as the nobler portions of the Arthurian romance, were the creation of Walter Map, the friend and "gossip" of Gerald; { 7} and John Richard Green has truly called Gerald himself "the father of popular literature." { 8} He began to write when he was only twenty; he continued to write till he was past the allotted span of life. He is the most "modern" as well as the most voluminous of all the mediaeval writers. Of all English writers, Miss Kate Norgate { 9} has perhaps most justly estimated the real place of Gerald in English letters. "Gerald's wide range of subjects," she says, "is only less remarkable than the ease and freedom with which he treats them. Whatever he touches - history, archaeology, geography, natural science, politics, the social life and thought of the day, the physical peculiarities of Ireland and the manners and customs of its people, the picturesque scenery and traditions of his own native land, the scandals of the court and the cloister, the petty struggle for the primacy of Wales, and the great tragedy of the fall of the Angevin Empire - is all alike dealt with in the bold, dashing, offhand style of a modern newspaper or magazine article. His first important work, the 'Topography of Ireland,' is, with due allowance for the difference between the tastes of the twelfth century and those of the nineteenth, just such a series of sketches as a special correspondent in our own day might send from some newly-colonised island in the Pacific to satisfy or whet the curiosity of his readers at home." The description aptly applies to all that Gerald wrote. If not a historian, he was at least a great journalist. His descriptions of Ireland have been subjected to much hostile criticism from the day they were written to our own times. They were assailed at the time, as Gerald himself tells us, for their unconventionality, for their departure from established custom, for the freedom and colloquialism of their style, for the audacity of their stories, and for the writer's daring in venturing to treat the manners and customs of a barbarous country as worthy the attention of the learned and the labours of the historian. Irish scholars, from the days of Dr. John Lynch, who published his "Cambrensis Eversus" in 1622, have unanimously denounced the work of the sensational journalist, born out of due time. His Irish books are confessedly partisan; the "Conquest of Ireland" was expressly designed as an eulogy of "the men of St. David's," the writer's own kinsmen. But in spite of partisanship and prejudice, they must be regarded as a serious and valuable addition to our knowledge of the state of Ireland at the latter end of the twelfth century. Indeed, Professor Brewer does not hesitate to say that "to his industry we are exclusively indebted for all that is known of the state of Ireland during the whole of the Middle Ages," and as to the "Topography," Gerald "must take rank with the first who descried the value and in some respects the limits of descriptive geography."

When he came to deal with the affairs of state on a larger stage, his methods were still that of the modern journalist. He was always an impressionist, a writer of personal sketches. His character sketches of the Plantagenet princes - of King Henry with his large round head and fat round belly, his fierce eyes, his tigerish temper, his learning, his licentiousness, his duplicity, and of Eleanor of Aquitaine, his vixenish and revengeful wife, the murderess of "Fair Rosamond" (who must have been known to Gerald, being the daughter of Walter of Clifford-on-the-Wye), and of the fierce brood that they reared - are of extraordinary interest. His impressions of the men and events of his time, his fund of anecdotes and bon mots, his references to trivial matters, which more dignified writers would never deign to mention, his sprightly and sometimes malicious gossip, invest his period with a reality which the greatest of fiction-writers has failed to rival. Gerald lived in the days of chivalry, days which have been crowned with a halo of deathless romance by the author of "Ivanhoe" and the "Talisman." He knew and was intimate with all the great actors of the time. He had lived in the Paris of St. Louis and Philip Augustus, and was never tired of exalting the House of Capet over the tyrannical and bloodthirsty House of Anjou. He had no love of England, for her Plantagenet kings or her Saxon serfs. During the French invasion in the time of King John his sympathies were openly with the Dauphin as against the "brood of vipers," who were equally alien to English soil. For the Saxon, indeed, he felt the twofold hatred of Welshman and Norman. One of his opponents is denounced to the Pope as an "untriwe Sax," and the Saxons are described as the slaves of the Normans, the mere hewers of wood and drawers of water for their conquerors. He met Innocent III., the greatest of Popes, in familiar converse, he jested and gossiped with him in slippered ease, he made him laugh at his endless stories of the glory of Wales, the iniquities of the Angevins, and the bad Latin of Archbishop Walter. He knew Richard Coeur-de-Lion, the flower of chivalry, and saw him as he was and "not through a glass darkly." He knew John, the cleverest and basest of his house. He knew and loved Stephen Langton, the precursor of a long line of statesmen who have made English liberty broad - based upon the people's will. He was a friend of St. Hugh of Lincoln, the sweetest and purest spirit in the Anglican Church of the Middle Ages, the one man who could disarm the wrath of the fierce king with a smile; and he was the friend and patron of Robert Grosstete, afterwards the great Bishop of Lincoln. He lived much in company with Ranulph de Glanville, the first English jurist, and he has "Boswellised" some of his conversations with him. He was intimate with Archbishop Baldwin, the saintly prelate who laid down his life in the Third Crusade on the burning plains of Palestine, heart-broken at the unbridled wickedness of the soldiers of the Cross. He was the near kinsman and confidant of the Cambro-Normans, who, landing in Leinster in 1165, effected what may be described as the first conquest of Ireland. There was scarcely a man of note in his day whom he had not seen and conversed with, or of whom he does not relate some piquant story. He had travelled much, and had observed closely. Probably the most valuable of all his works, from the strictly historical point of view, are the "Itinerary" and "Description of Wales," which are reprinted in the present volume. { 10} Here he is impartial in his evidence, and judicial in his decisions. If he errs at all, it is not through racial prejudice. "I am sprung," he once told the Pope in a letter, "from the princes of Wales and from the barons of the Marches, and when I see injustice in either race, I hate it."

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