Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ciple of successful and instructive celebrity and value. Again : ever condensation, Mr. Smith has happily since the appearance of Gibbon's succeeded. One who is engaged in “Decline and Fall of the Roman writing the history of ancient times, Empire,” it has become fashionable can have no personal knowledge of to decline the salutary path of argu. the circumstances which he records; mentation, and to make history the and, consequently, he can have no insidious channel for the conveyance claim to the credit and confidence of of controverted principles. Gibbon's an intelligent community, merely on Rome was made the instrument of his own authority. If the author conveying the most sophisticated, have received his information from presumptuous, and unmanly attacks tradition, from monuments of indis- upon the Christian religion. The putable credibility, original records, Romish Priest Lingard, in bis work or the memoirs of more ancient entitled, “The Antiquities of the writers, it is but reasonable to ex Saxon Church,” does not give a pect, that the individual who is simple narrative of the Anglo-Saxon claiming the credence and support hierarchy, (which, during the whole of the public, should state the where of the period referred to in his abouts, from what quarter, his state. volumes, was unquestionably more ments are derived, and the nature or less dependent on Rome,) but emand degree of that authority which, braces the opportunity thus afforded in his opinion, justifies the selection to exalt the character of that intole. he has made. An author loses no. rant and servile son of the Pope, thing by acting in a fair, honest, and Augustine, together with his followgenerous manner towards his read- ers; to depreciate that of the primiers; by placing, as far as he possi- tive British churches; to prove the bly can, in their power an opportu- marriage of the secular Priests a nity to determine, whether he has mere usurpation ; to extol the Monks represented matters with judgment and their patrons; to identify the and integrity, according to the in most extravagant and unscriptural formation before him. The indivi. tenets of his own establishment with dual who hesitates in doing this, the doctrines of the Saxon Church; may, as far as we can ascertain, be and, finally, to vilify and insult the just and sincere in his literary and Church of England, and the most historical enterprises : of this fact, venerable and useful of her Prelates, however, we are anxious to satisfy for their departure from the faith ourselves. Some of the most exten- and discipline of the Church of sive and unpardonable blunders Rome. Other publications of a more have been committed and recorded recent date might be mentioned, on the page of history, by the wilful where the object pursued is equally or unintentional carelessness or ve. bold and insidious, and equally nality of the historian. He who destitute of art or disguise. On this presumes to write on any historical point, also, we consider Mr. Smith subject, and refuses to adduce his to be free from blame. authorities, is unworthy of being read or credited. On this topic we “He has endeavoured to maintain may safely place Mr. Smith in assize throughout the work a distinct recognibefore the world; and confidently tion of scriptural Christianity in its pure assure ourselves for him a favour and vital character ; he has the fullest able verdict from the jury of an confidence in declaring that the views enlightened public. “ In the prose

which it exhibits are not sectarian. His cution of his object,” the author design has been to assert scriptural “ has freely availed himself of the truth, and not to give pain or offence to labours of preceding writers; and, correctly to delineate the early history

any serious mind. He has attempted to the best of his knowledge, he has avoided relying on any but those of religion; and not to exaggerate or es

of our own country, and especially of its acknowledged authority." These tenuate,' for the gratification and cobhave been judiciously selected, ho- firmation of party prejudices.” nestly quoted, and are of well-known

(Preface, page iv.)

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

The first Chapter embraces a con the tenth chapter of Genesis. Ja.
cise account, although sufficiently pheth, the eldest son of Noah, and
comprehensive, of the state of the his family are first noticed. The
ancient Britons, anterior to the name of the Patriarch bimself was
Roman invasion. Almost all that preserved among his Grecian de-
can be gathered concerning. this scendants in the proverb, του Ιαπετου
remote period of our national his- opeo túte pos, “older than Japetus,”
tory, is enveloped in a dense, im- denoting the remotest antiquity.
penetrable, and extensive mist; the The radical part of the word, 'Iatet,
musty records extant, are for the evidently expresses, Japheth.”
most part imperfect, improbable, Gomer, his eldest son, was the father
and frequently fabulous ; so that it of the Gomerians. These, spread-
is utterly impossible for any his. ing from the regions north of Arme-
torian, however qualified hy previous nia and Bactriana, (Ezek. xxxviii. 6,)
study and inquiry, to form them extended themselves westward, over
into a consecutive, unbroken, and nearly the whole continent of Eu-
intelligible narrative. Mr. Smith rope ; still retaining their paternal
does not hesitate to assert his opi- denomination, with some slight vari-
nion, that the aborigines of Bric ation, as Cimmerians in Asia ; Cim-
tain were a branch of the primitive bri and Umbri in Gaul and Italy;
family; and in support of this he and Cymri, Cambri, and Cumbri in
adduces the Triads. “God hath Wales and Cumberland at the pre-
made of one blood all nations of men sent day. They are also identified
for to dwell on all the face of the by ancient authors with the Galatæ
earth, and hath determined the times of Asia Minor; Gaels, Gauls, and
before appointed, and the bounds of Celtæ of Europe, who likewise
their habitation.” (Acts xvii. 26.) spread from the Euxine Sea to the
Though the migration of the primi western ocean, and from the Baltic
tive families commenced b.c. 2614, to Italy southward, and first planted
or about five hundred and forty-one the British isles. Josephus remarks,
years subsequent to the deluge, it that the Galatæ were called, lopapers,
was a length of time before they all “Gomariani,” from their ancestor
Teached their respective destinations. Gomer. The Triads, to which we
The “ seasons,

as well as the have referred, are those of the Welsh
"boundaries” of their respective bards, which form poetical histories,
settlements, were equally the ap- and where the facts recorded are
pointment of God; the countries thrown into a kind of triplets. Thus,
more contiguous to the original set to take the commencement of the
tlement being planted first, and the first Triad as an example: “Three
remoter in succession. Even so late names bave been given to the isles
as the tenth generation after the of Britain since the beginning, Clas
flood, in the days of Abraham, there Meriddin, Til Inys, and Inys Pri-
were considerable tracts of country in dain.” By some the Triads are
the Holy Land unappropriated ; on supposed to be of no greater an-
which he, and his nephew Lot, freely tiquity than the reign of Edward I.,
pastured their cattle, without hin- although they doubtless contain
derance or molestation. That district fragments of very old history. Mr.
was not fully peopled till the fourth Smith observes, -
generation after, at the exodus of

“ Julius Cæsar informs us, that when
the Israelites from Egypt. Herodo. he landed in this country, there were at
tus also represents Scythia as least two different races of people living
uninhabited desert, until Targitorus

on the island.

" The inland parts of
planted the first colony there, about Britain,' he says, “are inhabited by those
a thousand years, at most, before whom fane reports to have been natives
Darius Hystaspes invaded Scythia, of the soil. The sea-coast is peopled
or about “b.c. 1508. The orderly
settlements of the three primitive support of the identity of the Gomerians and
families are recorded in that venera-

Celts, by that learned and ingenious antiquary
ble and valuable geographical chart Faber, in his " Origin of Pagan Idolatry.”

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

an

* See the numerous authorities adduced in

with Belgians. These last, passing over Armorica, where they settled. The se. from different parts, and settling in the cond was Prydain, the son of Aedd the country, still retain the names of the Great, who first organized a social state different states from which they are de- and sovereignty in Britain; for, before scended.' This information, coming to that time there was no justice but what us from a person who possessed ample was done by favour, nor any law excep! means of knowledge, is worthy of great that of superior force. The third was attention. We also find, that in earlier Dyvwall Moelmud ; for he first made times the Greeks had some knowledge arrangements respecting the laws, mar. of the island; and it is believed that ims, customs, and privileges of the they carried on some commercial inter. country and tribe. And on account of course with its inhabitants. The period these reasons they were called the three in which this took place is fixed by pillars of the nation of the Kymry, various authors from B.C. 500 to B. C. «« «V. There were three social tribes of 200. At a time yet more remote we are the Isle of Britain. The first was the informed, that the Phenician inhabitants tribe of the Kymry, who came to the of Tyre visited the western parts of Bri Isle of Britain with Hu the Mighty, tain, and carried on a considerable trade because he would not possess a country with the inhabitants for tin and other and land by fighting and pursuit, but by articles. The commencement of this justice and tranquillity. The second traffic is supposed to have been from was the tribe of the Lloegrians, who B.c. 1200 to B.c. 600. With the ex came from Gascony ; and they were ception of the difference of opinion as to descended from the primitive tribe of the point of time, these events are con the Kymry. The third were the Brysidered well authenticated. Within the thon, who came from Armorica, and who time allotted as the period of l'henician were descended from the primitive tribe intercourse, an ancient account states, of the Kymry. These were called the that Britain was visited by the imme three peaceful tribes, because they came diate descendants of the Trojan heroes, by mutual consent and tranquillity ; and who, having united together after the these tribes were descended from the fall of that city, came to this country primitive tribe of the Kymry, and they and settled. Yet those narrations do not had all three the same language and profess to account for the origin of the speech. tirst inhabitants of the island.

««VI. There were three refuge-seek. have some remains preserved amongst ing tribes that came to the Isle of Brithe descendants of that people whom tain ; and they came under the peace Cæsar speaks of as 'natives of the soil,' and permission of the tribe of the which do pretend to afford this informa- Kymry, without arms and without option, stating a variety of particulars re position. The first was the tribe of the specting the Chief and his followers who Caledonians in the north. The second first occupied the country.

was the Irish tribe, who dwell in the “ The information respecting the first Highlands of Scotland. The third were inhabitants of Britain to which allusion the people of Galedin, who, when their has been made, is found in the Welsh country was drowned, came in naked language, and professes to be the sub vessels to the Isle of Wight, where they stance of traditions handed down from had land granted them by the tribe of the times of the Druids, and preserved the Kymry. They had no privilege of amongst the descendants of the ancient claim in the Isle of Britain, but they Britons in the form of Triads,—a mode had land and protection assigned to them of composition by which three events, under certain limitations; and it was that appear to have some analogy to stipulated that they should not possess each other, are arranged together. The the rank of native Kymry, until the ninth following are selected as bearing im- of their lineal descendants.' mediately on the subject under consider “ If we could implicitly rely on this

information, it would afford a clear and "'IV. There are three pillars of the satisfactory account of the original occunation of the Isle of Britain. The first pation of this island. But these Triads, was Hu the Mighty, who brought the although entitled to great attention, are nation of the Kymry first to the Isle of not history. They can only be regarded Britain ; and they came from the sum as traditions handed down (perhaps mer country, which is called Defro- orally) from a very early age, committed bani;' (that is, where Constantinople to writing by the Bards, and thence now stands ;) and they came over the preserved to our day. In the course Hazy Sea to the Isle of Britain, and to of this lapse of ages, errors and cor

But we

ation :

-

ruptions may have crept into these com cording ten generations of Kings before positions, additions may have been the deluge; the Indians connecting the made; and it is certain that many origin of their nation with the original Triads, formerly known, have perished. pair; and the Egyptians extending their Yet, even in their imperfect state, they kingdom into antediluvian times. Now give us some information respecting the it will be immediately seen, that such aborigines of Britain. It is moreover traditions, wherever they exist, always worthy of remark, that, in the absence go to prove that the nation holding them of these, we are utterly destitute of light was peopled by a branch of Noah's on this interesting subject.

family soon after the dispersion from “As it is not our intention to go at Shinar ; or that the first inhabitants of length into an examination of those such countries, however long they might ancient remains, we will add two or have wandered in their way, had never three other Triads for the purpose of obtained a settled location in any other showing, that they bear internal evidence country. of great antiquity, and then state what “If, for instance, Hu Gadarn and his appears to be the amount of information company had been a part of the surplus which we possess respecting the first in population of Gaul or Germany, whose habitants of our country.

ancestors had lived for ages in either “XIII. There were three awful of those places, and who had journeyed events in the Isle of Britain. The first thence into Britain ; how could the was the bursting of the Lake of Floods, leader in such an enterprise have been and the rushing of an inundation over associated with the Patriarch of the ark ? all the lands, until all persons were How could their newly-acquired home destroyed, except Dwyvan and Dwyvack, have been regarded as the principal scene who escaped in an open vessel ; and of the deluge? Would not all their from them the Isle of Britain was re recollections and traditions refer to the peopled,' &c.

parent country from whence they had so “The thirteenth Triad, given above, recently come? But in a case like that evidently refers to the general deluge; of Egypt, when Misraim, the grandson and the circumstance, that this awful of Ham, as the Patriarch of his tribe, event is supposed to have taken place in leaves Shinar, and journeys with them Britain, goes to prove the extreme anti to their destined territory, nothing apquity of the tradition: while the account pears more reasonable than that the given of the building of the ship, the posterity of such persons should, in proentire destruction of all the creatures cess of time, associate all their knowwho were not admitted into it, the pre- ledge of the history of the first ages with servation of a male and female of all the character and person of their first living things; the allusion, even at that leader and sovereign, by whom they time, to a stone being saved which had stood directly related to the primitive the arts and sciences engraven on it, family. Such would also be the case, and the celebration of the author of this although several generations should inknowledge, as living prior to the hero tervene between the second father of the of Britain, Hu the Mighty :—all this world and the leader of a colony, probears such striking similarity to the tra vided that no settled residence was taken ditions preserved among the most ancient up before they reached their ultimate nations in the Eastern part of the world, destination. that we cannot conceive the possibility “ It appears, therefore, as far as we of its having been invented in any period can depend on those British traditions, of the dark ages ; it therefore strengthens they would lead us to believe, that the our confidence in the general teaching of first settlers here were a branch of the the Triads.

family of Japheth, who, after journey ing “Another point of importance is, that across the continent of Europe, finally, the person who is celebrated as having settled in this island. first led his tribe into Britain, which “ It would be vain to speculate on the was before that time uninhabited, is also exact time when this colonization took said to have been the patriarch who was place. The early history of Europe preserved at the deluge. This precisely affords abundant evidence that it was accords with the traditions of the most traversed in very remote times by nomaimportant primitive nations. Hence we dic hordes, who journeyed from place to find the Phenicians tracing their ancestry place, supporting themselves by pasturupwards to the first man ; the Persians age and hunting, occasionally staying in identifying their Mahabad both with one locality long enough to obtain a harAdam and Noah; the Chaldeans re vest from the soil of some fertile district,

which would then be abandoned, and they should not possess the rank of another journey commenced. In this native Kymry till the ninth of their lineal career different families would break off descendants. Thus they had a constant in succession from the parent stock, and motive to good order and obedience to take up their settled residence in the the laws,-a motive which acquired several countries through which they increasing influence with each succeed. passed.

ing generation, until they ultimately “In this manner, there is reason to merged into the great body of the believe, the great family of the Kymry, nation. Kymbri, or Kymerians, as they have “ The following reasoning and facts been variously called, journeyed from have been given, for the purpose of the Thracian Bosphorus; and after they showing that the ancient Britons were had roamed over Europe, and arrived at descended from Ashkenaz, the son of the coast washed by the German Ocean, Gomer, the son of Japheth :one of their tribes, desirous of taking up «• Herodotus, who has been justly a settled abode, and indisposed to be termed the Father of History, because subject to those aggressions which nu one of the oldest and best historians merous and powerful bodies were likely unconnected with the Bible, and who to make on small and peaceable settle. flourished about 450 B. C., has given ments, crossed the sea, and took up their some account of all the nations that were residence in this island. As we have then known. He says, that the most already observed, the date of those remote inhabitants of the west of Europe events cannot now be ascertained. We were the Kynetæ. His words are these : know that the Kymri were in Europe in Commencing with the Celte, who, ercept the time of Homer; but whether be the Kynetæ, are the most remote inhabil. alludes to the principal body, or to a ants in the west of Europe. The Celta tribe who remained behind them in the were the ancient Gauls who inhabited eastern part of Europe, is not known. the country that skirted the German

“We are aware that the Triads may Ocean, now called France, the Nether. appear a flimsy foundation for any opi- lands, &c. Beyond these, to the west, nions on this subject. But it should be were no countries except Britain and remembered, that our knowledge of the Ireland. Consequently, the Kyneta, early history even of Greece and Rome whom Herodotus places to the west of rests on accounts which are so involved the Celtæ, must have been the inhabit. in fable, that it has been found utterly ants of the British Isles. The name impossible to separate the matter of fact was anciently acknowledged by the abofrom the creations of fancy; and yet a riginal Britons. knowledge of these is necessary to any “Aneurin, a British bard of the acquaintance with the origin of those sixth century, in the conclusion of his important nations. Whatever opinion, Gododin, distributes the aborigines of therefore, may be formed of those Welsh the British Isles into three distioct records, it may be safely asserted, that tribes or colonies, according to the order the general scope of their teaching is in which they had derived; namely, the consistent with itself, and harmonizes Cynt, (pronounced Kynt,) a Gwyddie, a with the early traditions of almost every Phydin : the Kynt, the Irish, and the other ancient people.

North Britons ; making the Kynt, er “ It is beyond our province to follow Kynetæ, of Herodotus the first tribe that thé speculations in which the learned landed in Britain, Ash-Kenaz and have indulged respecting the particular Kynt, or Kynetæ, are likewise names so branch of the family of Japheth, from clearly identified, as to show that the whom our ancestors descended : it will latter were originally sprung from the be sufficient to have shown their proba- former. ble origin, and to add, that, according to «« Furthermore, Ashkenaz being the the authorities which we have cited, the eldest son of Gomer, who was the eldest original colony was followed by two son of Japheth, who was the eldest son others. These were all members of the of Noah, his descendants called them. great Kymry family. Afterwards we are selves Cymry, (pronounced Kynty,) told that three other parties came; and, which means, in plain English, the first by the consent of the original proprietors

Hence the Greek writers, adoptof the island, had portions of land ing their own term, called them Kymmeassigned to them, under certain limita- rioi, and the Latins, Cimbri; and tions. The terms which the Triads Cymry is the name by which the aboristate are remarkable for their wisdom gines of Britain have uniformly distinand simplicity : ' It was stipulated, that guished themselves, from the remotest

race.

« AnteriorContinuar »