« السابقةمتابعة »
more capable of judging what really took place in it, than were the twelfth, the fifteenth, or the eighteenth centuries. We should then turn directly back to the two fountain-heads of St. Cuthbert's biography, the life by a nameless monk of Lindisfarne,2 and that by the Venerable Bede3 (of which there is an earlier version in heroic metre), both composed in the beginning of the eighth century, both dedicated to Edfrid, the third prelate who sat in St. Cuthbert's chair.
Each of these lives is essentially a hagiography, a string of separate incidents calculated, as it were, to attest the saint's title to canonisation, the fieads of evidence for a brief that would put out of court any possible advocatus diaboli. With the exception of Bede's touching record of St. Cuthbert's last days, it is only by quite a secondary consideration that each life affords a certain disjointed narrative of the saint's career. Both writers avowedly discarded much material that had been collected by others for their purpose, the nameless monk because he thought he had written enough to ensure St. Cuthbert's celebrity, without fatiguing his own readers ;5 and Bede, with the complacent pride of a littérateur at the artistic perfection of his work.
Bede was fortunately persuaded by the monks of Jarrow to adhere to the same chronological order in his prose life that he had adopted in his poetical one ; but the compilation of the monk of Holy Island is peculiarly valuable on account of its giving us the names of persons and places which Bede may have purposely omitted in his more high-finished essay, lest their barbarous sounds should mar the rhythm of his Latinity.
Unfortunately, the Lindisfarne life was very carelessly printed by the Bollandists in their Acta Sanctorum, the proper names being
2 Acta Sanctorum, Mart. III. p. 117; Patres Ecclesiae Anglicanae, Viscel. laneous Works of Venerable Bede, ed. by Dr. Giles, 1843, VI. p. 357. That this life is earlier than that by Bede seems clear by the fact that Ethelwald is mentioned in it, lib. iv. § 4, as prior of Melrose, while Bede, cap. xxx. speaks of him as abbot.
3 Ibid.; ibid. IV. p. 202. No trus: should be placed in the English transla. tion added by Dr. Giles.
* Ibid. I. p. 1.
5. Quamquam etiam ex his, quae nobis comperta erant, plura omisimus, quia sufficere credidimus, si tantum excellentiora notarentur, simul et legentibus consulendum fuit, ne quod pararet copia congesta fastidium. - Prologus; ed. Giles, VI. p. 358.
o • Alia multa nec minora bis, quae scripsimus, .... memoriae digna videbantur, si non deliberato ac perfecto operi nova interserere vel superadjicere minus congruum atque indecorum esse constaret.'-ed. Giles, IV. p. 204.
especially distorted, and as the only manuscripts of it were upon the Continent, all recent writers on the history of St. Cuthbert have contented themselves with making use of the corrupt printed version, and at the most recording their suspicions as to the correctness of its readings.
Now, I am afraid I am not a believer in the comfortable doctrine that there can be any real distinction at the present day between a historian and an archaeologist. A historian, I venture to think, must cease to be a mere grandiloquent populariser of other men's work, ‘ reaping where he has not sown, and gathering where he has not strawed, and if his summing up is to carry any permanent weight with it, he must accept nothing by hearsay, if more direct evidence can possibly be attained by the exploration of localities, or the yet more tedious examination of archives and muniments. Noticing, then, the manifest discrepancies in the orthography of the names of places and persons in the Lindisfarne life, I proceeded this summer to Treves and to Arras to examine two of the most important manuscripts of it. The manuscript in the splendid library of the old monastery of St. Vaast at Arras8 is the more ancient of the two, being of the tenth century, but as often happens, I am inclined to think that the Treves manuscript, though written nearly three hundred years later, has in some instances more faithfully preserved the spelling of the original writer.
In order to better explain the results of my researches, I will introduce them as they occur in a short and rigidly unimaginative sketch of St. Cuthbert's life :
The first spot we can absolutely identify as connected with St. Cuthbert is North Shields,10 where, as a boy, he rebuked the heartless
7 The Bollandists profess to have printed'e duobus valde antiquis codicibus,' one in the monastery of St. Bertin at St. Omer, the other in the monastery of St. Maximin at Treves.
8 MS. Bibl. S. Vedasti ap. Atreb. 812. My best thanks are due to M. Wicquot, the librarian, for his extreme kindness and courtesy. This MS. was in the library of the monastery of St. Vaast before its dissolution, but nothing further is known of its origin. It might just possibly have been acquired by exchange from the monastery at St. Omer.
9 Acta Sanctorum, Feb. Mar. et Apr. MSS. T. 1151. num. loc. 453. Herr Keuffer, the Stadtbibliothekar rendered me considerable assistance in the examination of this manuscript, for which I am very grateful.
10 · Stabat in altera amnis ripa vulgaris turba non modica, in qua stabat et ipse (Cuthbertus).'-Bede, $ 3, ed. Giles, p. 216. This incident is pelated by Bede only.
ness of the half-heathen countrymen who were there enjoying the spectacle of five boats manned by the monks, who had just settled on the opposite bank of the Tyne
Where saint hilde chapell standes nowe,'" being swept out to sea in a strong westerly gale.
A little later, as a youth, he was watching the flocks of his master on the distant banks of the Leader,12 a stream descending from the Lammermoor hills to join the Tweed near Melrose, and it was there on the night of the 31st of August, 651, that he had a vision of the soul of St. Aidan being borne heavenward by a company of angels.
Now, as to his parentage or birth-place we know nothing, beyond the fact that at the age of eight he had been taken into the house of a widow named Kenswith,13 whom he came to regard as his mother, and who dwelt in the village of Sruringaham’14 or “Rutlingaham.'15 It is clear from the difference existing between the name of this village in the two manuscripts, and from the evident difficulty the scribe who copied the Arras one had to decipher it, that neither form can be relied upɔn. If the reading of the Treves manuscript be correct, the only place between the Forth and the Tyne that can be supposed to still bear a contracted form of a name like “Rutlingaham,' is Roddam, formerly written and pronounced “Rudham.' It would have been much more natural, we are told, if St. Cuthbert had entered
11 Metrical Life of St. Cuthbert, Surtees Soc. Publ. 87, p. 34, 1, 1129. The fact that there was still in the fifteenth century no question as to this monastery being at South Shields, is one of the very few pieces of historical information to be gleaned from this purely philological volume. Bede calls it monasterium non longe ab ostio Tini fluminis ad meridiem situm, tunc quidem virorum, nunc autem, mutato, ut solet per tempora rerum, statu, virginum Christo servientium, nobili examine pollens.' The idea tbat it was at Tyningham, on the north bank of the Scottish Tyne, may be dismissed once for all,
12 ó remotis in montibus,' Bede, $ 4; “in montanis juxta fluvium quod dicitur Leder,' Vita Lindisf. lib. ii.
13 Vita Lindisf. ii. $ 7, Arras MS. The Treves MS. fo. 137, d. has “Coensuid,' The Bollandists, mistaking the Early English'w' for 'p,' read • Kenspith," and subsequent writers have followed the error.
14 Arras MS. 15 Treves MS. The Bollandists read. Hruringaham.' Wrangholm,' in the south of Scotland, is generally said to have been the birthplace: of St. Cuthbert, by the crowd of writers who are content to complacently copy any statement they have once seen in print. I can find no place of this name in the Ordnance maps, and if there is, . Rurin gaham'could by no known law of permutation become contracted into it. If · Ruringaham' is nearer the truth than • Rutlingaham’ it may be a corruption of Risingham, the Roman station of HABITANCUM, in the valley of the Rede, 's' in early MSS. being frequently mistaken for 'r.'