Page 1238

1238 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

obeyed, approached with awe and obsequiousness. He appeared to himself as the source

and fountain of authority and honor. His

importance was not derived, but inherent.

He had conquered his estate with the sword.

He had built his castle without permission

even of the king. His greatness belonged to

himself alone, or, at most, to his family. To

his son he looked as his successor, and instilled in him the same lessons of haughty

self-assertion which he himself had learned

first in war and afterwards on his baronial

estate.

As to the feudal family, it was unlike any

other presented in history. It was not a

tribe after the patriarchal fashion-a gray and

venerable sage, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather of the shepherds who gathered

around his tents; nor was it a clan after the

manner of the primitive society of Scotland-a chief living apart from his followers and

pursuing a different life, leading his men in

war and commanding them in peace: but it

was a system in which the chieftain was the

father of a family proper, set in an inaccessible position above a subject people, between

whom and himself (for they were not of the

same race) there existed no ties of kinship or

friendly feeling and few bonds of common

interest.

The situation of the feudal family was

such as to bring into play and develop the domestic and chivalrous sentiment in a measure

unequaled in any other social institution of

the world. The members of the family,

placed as they were in complete isolation,

must hold each other in love and honor.

With each nightfall the drawbridge was

thrown up, and all the household gathered in

the banqueting hall and around the baronial

hearth. Wine and laughter and song ruled

the hours of the gloomy night. There hung

the arms of the master and the trophies

which he had gathered in war. There the

baron's beautiful daughter took part in her

brother's games and listened with them to the