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Some of his products had, indeed, long been known as the lies that they were-not fables, but lies told with intent to deceive. But here for the first time his offences are brought home to him. The indictment is long, and it comprises, among its many counts, a crime of the first order, the concoction of that famous letter which Pope Eleutherus did not write to Lucius, King of Britain. For some time past this letter, which used to play a part in Anglo-Roman controversy, has been stigmatised as forger's work, though Dr Liebermann is able to say, to our surprise, that so late as 1892 it was seriously cited. But who was the forger? A singularly convincing argument enables us now to hold with some certainty that he was the man who interpolated his civic and imperialistic conceits into the laws of Alfred and Ine, and that the scene of his nefarious operations was not remote from the Guildhall of London. It is pleasant to remember that an article in the 'Quarterly Review' delivered mankind from the tyranny of the false Ingulf.* To see the pseudo-Eleutherus writhing under Dr Liebermann's crossexamination would have delighted Sir Francis Palgrave.

But by far the most important of these men of the twilight is the most puzzling of them all. He is the man who schemes a comprehensive law-book which Dr Liebermann, with fairly good warrant, calls the Quadripartitus. He is also the man who, having but little English, painfully translates into some sort of Latin the Anglo-Saxon laws, returning again and again to his task as his knowledge increases. He is also the man who composes the treatise that we know as the Leges Henrici.' A most puzzling person he is, even when Dr Liebermann has written a life of him. That life is of necessity a series of inferences. Some of them we may dispute; but the biographer always allows us to see precisely what he is doing. If from time to time he seems to be acuter than a man should be, recalling those dear Red Indians of our youth and the Sherlock Holmes of to-day, he always tells us what is the basis of ascertained fact upon which he proposes to build. If, for example, we are told that this man is not of English race, that he is not a monk, that he is a cleric, that he has served the Archbishop of York,

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* 'Quarterly Review,' No. 67 (June 1826).

that he has the run of a considerable library, that he is a justice of the King's Court, we know the premises from which these conclusions are deduced. Dr Liebermann is not one of those who, in the name of a false art, pull down the scaffolding when the house is built one of the worst crimes against history that the historian can commit. We can climb if we please, and form our own opinions as to the strength of the structure, for all is visible. For our own part we have struggled long against one of Dr Liebermann's conclusions, namely, that this queer being, striving to make himself understood, is not only professionally engaged in the work of the law but sits among King Henry's justices. But the evidence that is brought to bear upon this point is not easily resistible ; and Dr Liebermann helps us in many ways to understand the legal, political, social environment in which a royal justice, who was also a churchman with some unusual erudition, could aim so high and fall so low: could be so ambitious, so learned, so industrious, and yet so incapable of arranging his materials or explaining his thoughts.

Keen criticism of literary style is one of the tools in Dr Liebermann's workshop. It is a highly useful weapon when anonymous products are to be dated or a forger is to be confronted with his handiwork, and yet we fancy that it will be almost news to many Englishmen that this weapon can be used not only--no one would doubt thatwhere literary style is reasonably good, but also, and with even greater effect, where style is abominably bad. As a relic of the old belief that all the Middle Ages lived at the same time, there remains, we will not say a belief, but a disposition to think that all 'low' Latin is equally low. Really, however, the style of these · Leges Henrici'

. is as distinctive as style could be: marvellously different from the glib Latinity of Lanfranc and his scholars. It is a highly distinctive compound of the worst sort of windy rhetoric and the mere dog-Latin of a man who is thinking in French about Anglo-Saxon technicalities. There is a repellent preface to one of his works. We fear that an English editor would have thought that he had done enough for the sorry stuff when he had complained of its turgidity. Not so Dr Liebermann. The miserable man is not allowed to finish his first sentence before the detective has found a clue. •Did you say nullis aduersi

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tatum liuoribus obatrescit? Pardon me, but that is a Firmicianism. You have come under the influence of the astrologer, Julius Firmicus Maternus; and that is another link between you and Archbishop Gerard, who, to the scandal of all right-thinking Christians, died-at least, so the High Church people said--with this necromancer's book under his pillow.' But it will be easier for Englishmen to recover any ground that they may have lost in this literary quarter than to appear once more as the best interpreters of ancient English law. Those who, like Dr Brunner, have seen it, not in taciturn isolation, but in the converse of the family circle, have been Dr Liebermann's guides and must for a long while be ours.

One pressing task remains. We have lost the AngloSaxon laws. Can we retain the Anglo-Saxon charters, those numerous land-books' which must be re-edited if the first period of English history is ever to be well understood ? Kemble was

a great man, but, even according to the standard of his own time, he was not a very good editor of legal documents; and now, owing to the progress that has been made by various studies, linguistic, legal, and diplomatic, the standard has been raised by many degrees. That it is not unattainable by Englishmen, Professor Napier and Mr Stevenson have fully proved by their masterly treatment of a few lucky charters which had escaped less expert hands. Dr Liebermann salutes their work as the beginning of a new era. At this point we have a great advantage. All else may go; but those very acres that the old kings' booked' lie where they always lay, and the identification of places and the perambulation of boundaries is a highly necessary part of the work that awaits the coming editor. Moreover, at the hither end of the charters stands Domesday Book; and that book is not the riddle that it was when Mr Round began his brilliant researches. We have a long start, a favourable handicap, but, to continue the metaphor, the odds are against us. It may be that Berlin will emulate the enterprise of Munich, that the * Savigny-Stiftung' will make yet another grant in aid of British indigence, and that the England that the Normans conquered will be not less thoroughly conquered a second time.

Art. VIII.- THE NOVELS OF SIR ARTHUR CONAN

DOYLE.

Collected Edition. Smith, Elder: London, 1903. If this country's education were conducted on truly scientific principles, we ought to have statistics of the great Novel industry. It is not enough to know how many copies of popular novels are sold; on that point the publishers often give us ample information. From 80,000 to 150,000 copies of a novel that really reaches the heart of the English people are promptly disposed of; and, allowing only ten readers for each copy, the millions are plainly being influenced by our authors of genius. This is a grave thought for conscientious novelists; the making of the spiritual life of England is in their hands. They feel it, and are all but overborne by the too vast orb of their responsibilities. In their photographs, which accompany the reports of interviews with them, we mark with sympathy the ponderous brow, supported by the finger so deft on the type-writing machine; and, as we read the interview, we listen to the voice that has whispered so many thousands of words into the phonograph.

The popular novelists of England and of America are serious men; they occupy, at least in their own opinion, a position which, since the days of the great Hebrew prophets, has been held by few sons of earth. Now and again they descend, as it were, from the mountain and wearily tell the world the story of their aims, their methods, and their early struggles, before they were discovered by enterprising publishers, before their books provided the text of many a sermon, just as did Mr Richardson's Pamela.'

• These men and women are our social, spiritual, religious, and political teachers. This is an important fact, for their readers take fiction seriously; their lives are being directed, their characters are being framed, by authors such as Mr Hall Caine, Miss Marie Corelli, Mr Anthony Hope, Mr Rudyard Kipling, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Unluckily we have, for lack of statistics, no means of knowing the nature and limits of the moulding of character and direction of life exercised by these energetic authors. Can it be possible that they

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sometimes neutralise each other's effects, and that the earnest reader of Mr Wells finds the seeds of his doctrine blown away on the winds of the mighty message of Mr Hall Caine? Does the inquirer who sets out to follow the star of Miss Marie Corelli become bewildered and ‘ pixy-led,' as they say in Devonshire, by the will-o'-thewisps of Mr Kipling?

The serious writers on 'the Novel,' in the Press, like the late Mr Norris, author of The Octopus,' assure us that all is well, that the Novel is, or ought to be, everything; that the novelist is our inspired teacher in matters theological, social, political, and perhaps (when we think of Mr H. G. Wells) scientific; not to mention that the historical novelist writes the only sort of history which should be, and which is, read by the world. But the pity of it is that novelists, like other teachers, differ vastly in doctrine among themselves; so that, if we read all the popular authors, we come out,' like Omar Khayyam, no wiser than we went, but rather perplexed in our intellects.

The owners of the stores in America which gave away a celebrated British novel as a bounty on soap, are said to have expressed themselves thus :

Our hands were never half so clean,

Our customers agree;
And our beliefs have never been

So utterly at sea.' The beliefs of the public may, of course, be brought back to dry land by some more orthodox novelist, but the whole process is unsettling. Yet it may be that the populace, in various sections, cleaves to one teacher, neglecting others. Do the devotees of Miss Marie Corelli read the discourses of Mr Hall Caine ; and do the faithful of Mrs Ward peruse either, or both, of the other two spiritual guides ? Lacking the light of statistics we can only guess that they do not; that the circles of these authors never intersect each other, but keep apart; just as a pious Mussulman does not study Hymns Ancient and Modern,' while a devotee of Mr Swinburne seldom declines upon. The Christian Year.' Meanwhile the mere critic fails to extract a concrete body of doctrine from the discourses of any of our teachers.

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