Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/49

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

At the same time, though doubtless Britain was a more comfortable place to live in than of yore, the old tribal patriotism had vanished under the despotism of the Roman government. The Britons were not called on to defend their land; thus there was no national organisation, no cause to call forth the sacrifice of life, so potent a factor in the vigour of a nation.

Hence a certain dependence and effeminacy characterised the people, and no sturdy patriots of the Caractacus and Boadicea type are forthcoming at this period of the nation's social history.

Most of the advanced Roman civilisation was swept away wherever the barbaric Saxon secured a footing, but much remains to this day.

Do not all our months bear Latin names, July and August perpetuating the great Julius Cæsar and Augustus Cæsar? Do not our pennies bear the stamp of the Roman Britannia? Did not the Roman teach us to put on mourning for our dead? They discovered our oyster-beds, they constructed our roads, they bridged our rivers. To use the words of a modern historian: "Rome left few traces on our language, none on our early laws, little on our