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The verses of the 'Heliand' sometimes remind us of the life of old Germany. The form of the proper names recalls Saxony rather than Palestine. Romaburg, Nazarethburg, and Hierichoburg, where should such places be but in the German Fatherland? Some of the descriptions of natural scenery show that the writer had the Northern land in his mind at the time he wrote. This cannot be called a serious fault. The true greatness of a religious history or tale, such as the Gospel History' or the Pilgrim's Progress,' shows itself by the readiness with which it exchanges one set of outward circumstances for another, without suffering any change in its inner meaning. There is one change, however, made by the author of the 'Heliand' which does not leave the moral of the Gospel History' quite uninjured. Many of the epithets applied to Christ and His apostles suggest worldly greatness. Christ is called The Glorious Guardian of the Land,' The All-ruling Christ,' The Richest of Kings,' The High Guardian of Heaven.' It has been said with considerable truth by a German critic that the Christ of the 'Heliand' is a rich, powerful, gracious king, such as the German people loved, who moves through the land accompanied by a band of disciples who are His faithful and heroic followers, while He dispenses His rich gifts to the needy people. The epithets applied to the apostles involve a still greater departure from historic truth than those given to Christ. They are called heroes,' sons of heroes,' wise men,' 'men of noble form,' and even 'men of noble birth.' The spirit of a stout Northern thane rather than of a Christian apostle breathes in the following words of Thomas :
Then Thomas spake, the strong man, the glorious follower of the King. 'Blame Him we must not, nor oppose His will. Firmly will we stand by Him, and endure along with our King. It is the praise of a follower to stand faithfully by his Lord, and to die for his honour. This let us all do, and let us count our lives as nothing in comparison. Be it enough for us to die with our Lord. Then shall we be remembered with honour among the people. And the disciples of Christ, the men of noble birth, were all of one mind.'
In describing Christ as a glorious King, and His disciples as heroic kingly followers, the author of the Heliand' was influenced, though perhaps unconsciously, by the spirit of his time. The Middle Ages at the beginning of which he wrote--bestowed all their admiration upon the high-born and high-placed. Common men and common life were despised and oppressed. Its cruelties and its worst faults came from this source. The Church of the Middle Ages, although it did much for the poor, was not able to rid itself of the feeling that lowliness of station was contemptible. It sought for itself a high position; and when it had obtained it, began to feel ashamed of the lowliness of its origin. It could not of course deny that its Founder occupied a humble position among men ; but it did not dwell willingly upon this, but spoke of Him always as the glorious Visitant from another sphere-the Great Miracle Worker.
It spoke often, it is true, of His death, but always as an act of supreme condescension, such as St. Lewis might have stooped to in behalf of his subjects, rather than as an example, often hereafter to be repeated, of goodness in a humble position, rejected and despised by the Princes of this World.' The historical meaning of Christ's death was forgotten, and only its theological or mystical meaning grasped; and even the 'Saxon peasant' did not bring out fully the lowliness of Christ, and loved to speak of Him as Heaven's High Guardian visiting for a little time this Middle Mansion.'
A tendency of a similar character is observable in the writer's treatment of the Jews. He never speaks of them without some epithet showing his aversion. They are the furious Jews,' 'the impudent Jews,' 'the miserable people' who are gaining for themselves amiserable reward.' In the New Testament the Jews appear simply as representatives of humanity-acting as all flesh' would have done, if suddenly brought into the presence of awful purity. The Middle Ages lost this view of the representative character of the Jews, and spoke of them as a race of inhuman malignants, like the Jotuns of Northern mythology, or the Huns of legendary history. The cruel persecutions endured by them had their origin in this false notion.
There are no traces in the Heliand' of the sacerdotalism which ruled in the Church of the Middle Ages. The word 'Church' does not once occur; and the only indication we have that the author had any acquaintance with an ecclesiastical system is that he calls Caiaphas 'the Bishop of the people.' The lay authorship probably has something to do with this want of recognition of Church and clergy; at all events in this respect the 'Heliand' stands in marked contrast to the somewhat later Krist' of Otfried, who was a Benedictine monk in Weissenberg in Alsace, and in whose poem the more ecclesiastical spirit of South Germany is apparent.
One can mark some traces in the Heliand' of the old German heathenism to which its author stood so near in time. It is not probable that he himself desired to recall heathen associations. The likelihood is that he sought rather to avoid every word which might bring back memories of what he and his countrymen had renounced. The conflict between heathenism and Christianity had been too fierce in North Germany to permit of amenities between the combatants. It was not as at a later time in Scandinavia, where heathenism died gradually and gently, and almost in the arms of the new faith, whose priests piously preserved its traditions. But, although it may have unconsciously and reluctantly, as far as the author was concerned, heathen reminiscences do appear in the 'Heliand.' More than once
he uses the old Pagan word Metodo, fate, as a name for God. He speaks also of the decrees of the fates. Paradise is spoken of under the poetical name of God's green meadow '—a name recalling the mythologies of the North. Christ is made to say, when explaining the parable of the Wheat and the Tares: Both shall continue to grow the rejected friends as well as the good men, until the might
of Muspelli comes upon men-the end of the world.' The Muspelli is the central fire of the world mentioned in the Edda from which messengers are to come forth at the end of all things to set the world in flame.
Some of the expressions in Christ's prophecies of the end of the world recall the Edda's pictures of the same event; but these resemblances really arise not so much from any change made by the author of the 'Heliand,' as from resemblances between the original authorities. The Edda' in its doctrine of the end of the world more closely resembles the New Testament than any other mythology. It teaches that, owing to the increasing degeneracy of gods and men, sudden destruction will come upon the earth. The following is a description of it from the elder Edda :—
The sun darkens,
Earth in ocean sinks,
Fall from heaven the bright stars;
Fire's breath assails
The all-nourishing tree,
Towering fire plays
Against Heaven itself.
As in the New Testament, a regeneration of all things is to follow :—
These traditions, which we find in the Eddas, were the common heritage of the Teutonic races. A Teutonic poet could scarcely fail to think on them when reading the corresponding passages in the New Testament; and we are not surprised to find an occasional similarity between the words of the 'Heliand' and of the Edda in their pictures of the end of all things.
WOMAN AS A SANITARY REFORMER.1
BY BENJAMIN WARD RICHARDSON, M.D., LL.D., F.R.S.
TWO of the wisest of men, and by necessity, therefore, both of them Sanitarians, Solomon and Xenophon, have laid down rules bearing on the duties of women who rejoice in being called wives as well as women. 'A good wife,' says Solomon,' worketh willingly with her hands.' 'She is like the merchant's ships, she bringeth food from afar.' She is an early riser, and sees that everyone has an early breakfast: She riseth while it is yet night and giveth meat to her household and a portion to her maidens.' By exercise she strengthens her limbs: She layeth her hands to the spindle and her hands hold the distaff.' She knows that where there is poverty there can be neither health nor happiness: She stretcheth out her hands to the poor; yea, she reacheth out her hand to the needy.' She provides against the cold: She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed in scarlet.' In clothing herself she combines artistic taste with usefulness as every woman is bound to do: 'She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.' She maketh also fine linen and selleth it. Strength and honour are her clothing.' She combines common sense with gentleness: She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness.' She is watchful and busy: 'She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.' And these, says this wise sanitarian, are her rewards: She shall rejoice in time to come. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.' And, light of perfected human happiness: 'Her children rise up and call her blessed.'
The second of the wise sanitarians, Xenophon, tells his story of the good wife in somewhat different terms and manner. He invents a dialogue between Socrates and Critobulus, in which it is agreed that the ordering of a household is the name of a science, and that the science is the order and the increase of the house. Next Socrates tells Critobulus that he once held a conversation with one Ischomachus, who, being possessed of a very good wife, and could teach good housekeeping, Ischomachus is thereupon quoted as the authority in respect to the rules which should obtain within the house.
Some lessons of economy are first to hand. The wife is to beware that that which should be spent in a twelvemonth be not spent in a month. The corn that is brought in must be most carefully examined, that none which is musty and dirty be eaten as food. Above all, the instruction that Solomon insists on is enforced. The wife is to be most particular, if any of the servants fall sick, to do the best she can to cherish them, and to help that they may have their health restored.
1 A lecture delivered before the Sanitary Congress at Exeter on Thursday, September 23, 1880.
A little further on Ischomachus is made to explain the importance of keeping perfect order in the house as connected with the health and wealth of it. He tells how he once went on board a ship of Phoenicia, and wondered that in so small a space such a vast number of things could be stowed with so much neatness that everything could be found in a moment, even during the confusion of a storm.
From these lessons he teaches his wife, and thereby all wives, matters that are more particularly of a sanitary kind. A house, he says, has an ordination. It is not ordained to be gorgeously painted with divers fair pictures, though these may be excellent, but it is built for this purpose and consideration that it should be profitable and adaptable for those things that are in it, so that, as it were, it bids the owners to lay up everything that is in it in such place as is most meet for the thing to be put. Therewith he disposes places for things in due form, and assigns the uses of the various parts of the establishment in such manner that the woman who presides over the whole shall know the parts in a truly scientific way.
The driest places are to be places for wheat; the highest places for such works and things as require light. The parlours and dining places, well trimmed and dressed, are to be cool in summer and in winter warm. The situation of the house is to be towards the south, so that in winter the sun's light may fall favourably upon it and in summer it may be in goodly shadow. The wearing apparel is to be divided into that intended for daily use and that required for special or grand occasions. Everything belonging to separate service, to the kitchen, the bakehouse, the bathroom, is to be assigned to its own place and use. All instruments which the servants use daily are to be shown to the servants in their right place, and are to be kept there when they are not wanted. Such things as should not be made use of except on holidays and rare occasions are to be left in special charge of an upper servant, who should be instructed beyond the rest of the servants to observe the same rules as the mistress herself would carry out. At last, good Socrates,' said Ischomachus, 'I did express to my wife that all these rules availed nothing unless she took diligent heed that everything might remain in perfect order. I taught her how in Commonwealths, and in cities that were well ruled and ordered, it was not enough for the dwellers and citizens there to have good laws made for them unless they chose men to have the oversight of those laws. In like manner then the woman should be, as it were, the overseer of the laws of the house as the Senate and the Council of Athens oversee and make proof of the men of arms.'
Finally, Ischomachus is made to touch on the mode by which his wife should maintain her own health. He observed about her, as a very strange habit, that upon a time she had painted her face with a certain unguent that she might seem whiter than she was; and with another unguent that she might seem redder than she was; and that she had a pair of high shoes on her feet to make her seem taller than she was. Whereupon, Tell me, good wife,' said he, whether you