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Frisians established themselves and began to

work out the severe but grand problems of

English civilization. Of the Anglo-Saxons

Taine says:

"Huge white bodies, cool-blooded, with

fierce blue eyes, reddish flaxen hair; ravenous

stomachs, filled with meat and cheese, heated

by strong drinks; of a cold temperament,

slow to love, home stayers, prone to brutal

drunkenness: these are to this day the features

which descent and climate preserve in the

race, and these are what the Roman historians

discovered in their former country. There is

no living in these lands without abundance

of solid food; bad weather keeps people at

home; strong drinks are necessary to cheer

them; the senses become blunted, the muscles

are braced, the will vigorous. In every country the body of man is rooted deep into the

soil of nature; and in this instance still deeper,

because, being uncultivated, he is less removed from nature. In Germany, storm beaten, in wretched boats of hide, amid the

hardships and dangers of seafaring life, they

were preeminently adapted for endurance and

enterprise, inured to misfortune, comers of


"Pirates at first, of all kinds of hunting

The man hunt is most profitable and most

noble; they left the care of the lands and flocks

to the women and slaves; seafaring, war, and

pillage was their whole idea of a freeman's

work. They dashed to sea in their two-sailed

barks, landed anywhere, killed every thing;

and having sacrificed in honor of their gods a

tithe of their prisoners, and leaving behind

them the red light of their burnings, went

farther on to begin again. 'Lord,' says a

certain litany, 'deliver us from the fury of

the Jutes.' Of all barbarians these are

strongest of body and heart, the most formidable, we may add, the most cruelly


"When murder becomes a trade, it becomes a pleasure. About the eighth century,

the final decay of the great Roman corpse,

which Charlemagne had tried to revive, and

which was settling down into corruption,

called them like vultures to the prey. Those

who remained in Denmark, with their brothers

of Norway, fanatical pagans, incensed against

the Christians, made a descent on all the surrounding coasts. Their sea-kings, who had

never slept under the smoky rafters of a roof,

who had never drained the ale horn by an inhabited hearth, laughed at winds and storms

and sang: 'The blast of the tempest aids our

oars; the bellowing of heaven, the howling of

the thunder, hurt us not; the hurricane is our

servant, and drives us whither we wish to go.' "