Hallam, in his 'History of the Middle Ages,' regards the sudden outburst of Troubadour poetry as one symptom of the rapid impulse which the human mind received in the twelfth century, contemporaneous with the improved studies that began at the Universities. It was also encouraged by the prosperity of Southern France, which was comparatively undisturbed by internal warfare, and it continued until the tremendous storm that fell upon Languedoc during the crusade against the Albigenses, which shook off the flowers of Provençal literature.1

The language of the South-West of France, including the Gascon, was then called Langue d'Oc; while that of the south-east of France, including the Provençal, was called Langue d'Oïl. M. Littré, in the Preface to his Dictionary of the French language, says that he was induced to begin the study of the subject by his desire to know something more of the Langue d'Oïl--the old French language.2

In speaking of the languages of Western Europe, M. Littre says that the German is the oldest, beginning in the fourth century; that the French is the next, beginning in the ninth century; and that the English is the last, beginning in the fourteenth century. It must be remembered, however, that Plat Deutsch preceded the German, and was spoken by the Frisians, Angles, and Saxons, who lived by the shores of the North Sea.

The Gaelic or Celtic, and Kymriac languages, were spoken in the middle and north-west of France; but these, except in Brittany, have been superseded by the modem French language, which is founded mainly on Latin, German, and Celtic, but mostly on Latin. The English language consists mostly of Saxon, Norse, and Norman-French with a mixture of Welsh or Ancient British.

That language is, however, no test of the genealogy of a people, is illustrated by the history of France itself. In the fourth and fifth centuries, the Franks, a powerful German race, from the banks of the Rhine, invaded and conquered the people north of the Somme, and eventually gave the name of France to the entire country. The Burgundians and Visigoths, also a German race, invaded France, and settled themselves in the south-east. In the year 464, Childeric the Frank took Paris.

The whole history of the occupation of France is told by Augustin Thierry, in his 'Narratives of the Merovingian Times.' "There are Franks," he says in his Preface, "who remained pure Germans in Gaul; Gallo-Romans, irritated and disgusted by the barbarian rule; Franks more or less influenced by the manners and customs of civilised life; and 'Romans more or less barbarian in mind and manners.' The contrast may be followed in all its shades through the sixth century, and into the middle of the seventh; later, the Germanic and Gallo-Roman stamp seemed effaced and lost in a semi-barbarism clothed in theocratic forms."

The Franks, when they had completed the conquest of the entire country, gave it the name of Franken- ric--the Franks' kingdom. Eventually, Charles the Great, or Charlemagne, descended from Childeric the Frank, was in 800 crowned Emperor of the West. Towards the end of his reign, the Norsemen began to devastate the northern coast of Franken-ric. Aix-la-Chapelle was Charlemagne's capital, and there he died and was buried. At his death, the Empire was divided among his sons. The Norse Vikingers continued their invasions; and to purchase repose, Charles the Simple ceded to Duke Rollo a large territory in the northwest of France, which in deference to their origin, was known by the name of Normandy.

There Norman-French was for a long time spoken. Though the Franks had supplanted the Romans, the Roman language continued to be spoken. In 996 Paris was made the capital of France; and from that time, the language of Paris became, with various modifications, the language of France; and not only of France, but the Roman or Latin tongue became the foundation of the languages of Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

Thus, Gaulish, Frankish, and Norman disappeared to give place to the Latin-French. The Kymriac language was preserved only in Brittany, where it still lingers. And in the south-west of France, where the population was furthest removed from the invasions of the Gauls, Ostrogoths, and Visigoths, the Basques continued to preserve their language,--the Basques, who are supposed by Canon Isaac Taylor to be the direct descendants of the Etruscans.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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