When we pass from the ninth to the thirteenth century, from the oath of Charles the Bald and Louis the Germanic at Strasbourg, in 842, to the account of the conquest of Constantinople in 1203, given by Geoffrey de Villehardouin, seneschal of Champagne, what a space has been traversed, what progress accomplished in the language of France!
It seems as if a permanent Germanic Empire material, not only sentimental were never destined to a long and prosperous existence. These speculations, however, are best left to the historian, and we will return to the city of Prague.
And both the Germanic and the classical nations belong to what ethnologists call the Aryan race. Plausibly it might be argued that the power of forming free states was superior in and peculiar to that family of mankind. But unfortunately for this easy theory the facts are inconsistent with it. In the first place, all the so-called Aryan race certainly is not free.
It was not Caesar's design seriously to respond to this suggestion, which would have involved him in endless enterprises; but it seemed advisable, with the view of preventing the appearance of the Germanic arms on the south of the Rhine, at least to show the Roman arms beyond it. The protection which the fugitive Usipetes and Tencteri had found among the Sugambri afforded a suitable occasion.
I do not now allude to the Celtic nations who were completely subdued and incorporated with the empire before the accession of the emperors. Nor do I speak of the Teutons whom Marius defeated one hundred years before the Christian era, nor yet of the Germanic tribes who made unsuccessful inroads during the reigns of the earlier emperors.
On the battle- fields of Aquae Sextiae and Vercellae, of Chaeronea and Orchomenus, were heard the first peals of that thunderstorm, which the Germanic tribes and the Asiatic hordes were destined to bring upon the Italo- Grecian world, and the last dull rolling of which has reached almost to our own times. But in internal development also this epoch bears the same character.
The Germanic body as a whole suffers by its geographical disposition, coupled with its political constitution, a grave disadvantage in its struggle against the Allies, particularly towards the East, because just that part of it which is thrust out and especially assailable by Russia happens to be the part most likely to be disaffected to the whole interests of the Germanic body; and how this works I will proceed to explain.
And as, after noting the Celtic Pindarism or power of style present in our poetry, we noted the German flatness coming in in our hymns, and found here a proof of our compositeness of nature; so, after noting the Celtic Titanism or power of rebellious passion in our poetry, we may also note the Germanic patience and reasonableness in it, and get in this way a second proof how mixed a spirit we have.
So strong was the feeling still throughout Europe in favour of maintaining peace and of avoiding the awful crash of our whole international system that Russia advised Servia to give way, and the Germanic Powers were on the eve of yet another great success, far more important and enduring than anything they had yet achieved.
The Goths, who under Fritigern had defeated the Roman army before the walls of Adrianople, were Germanic barbarians who lived between the Rhine and the Vistula in those forests which now form the empire of Germany. They belonged to a family of nations which had the same natural characteristics, love of independence, passion for war, veneration for women, and religious tendency of mind.