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thing, saccharine or savoury, must, upon any occasion, be left where it can be hit upon by prowlers, and the house will then enjoy a complete and unbroken immunity from this pest. It is quite surprising how soon these enterprising little fellows learn that any particular domicile is really not worth their powder, and march off to more promising quarters. The author's plan of carrying out this particular line of tactics was eminently successful. It consisted in the simple expedient of having all shelves that were destined for the reception of eatable stores, supported on short legs, which were inserted into small tin cups of tar, and of never allowing such stores to be left anywhere but upon these shelves.
The ants of Natal are found everywhere, and are of endless and indescribable variety. But there is one curious fact which applies to the entire legion, and which always seems to the author to go far to vindicate the practical philosophy and experimental knowledge of the proprietor of the Industrious Fleas, exhibited some years ago in Paris, and described by Baron Walckenaer. The Baron relates that whenever the fleas were unwilling to draw their carriages or cannons, and to go through their appointed evolutions, their master used to take a burning coal, and move it about near the indolent performers; when they were at once roused to activity, and recommenced their performances.
In Natal, whenever the sun disappears behind a curtain of cloud, the army of ants may be seen moving listlessly about, waving their antennæ dubiously, and pausing and hesitating, as if not quite clear what they are after, at every turn. The instant the sky is clear, the sunshine pouring down, and the thermometer up to between 80° and 90°, each little workman goes straight about his proper task with a clearness of decision and a point of purpose that does not admit a pause, and with a celerity which, at such times, is literally too great for the eye-power of the observer.
A FEW WORDS ON STONE CIRCLES.
BY LLEWELLYNN JEWITT, F.S.A.
Having, in a former article,* alluded briefly to the circles of stone which exist in various parts of the kingdom, I now redeem my promise of calling attention to their construction and to the intention of their formation. These circles of stones are usually, no matter what their size, or what their features, called “Druid's circles," “Druidic circles,” “Druid's temples," and the like, and all sorts of stories are connected with them. In some districts, too, they are, in the popular mind, connected with the fairies, and it is believed that here they sit in “solemn conclave,” and here hold their high festivals. “Hob Hurst,” or “Hob i'th' Hurst," is still in some places firmly believed to inhabit the circle, and the rustic will not pass them at certain hours for fear of harm being done to him, or to his homestead, or his cattle, if he disturb “Hob” in his lair. With these absurd stories it is, however, in this article, not necessary to trouble the reader. I will, therefore, proceed at once to speak of the characteristics and of the uses of the smaller examples, leaving the larger ones, and the avenues of stone, for a future article.
Circles of stone, of one kind or or other, are not unfrequently to be noticed in various parts of the kingdom, and they vary as much in their size, and in their character, as they do in their other features. The bases of grave-mounds were frequently defined by these circles, and sometimes by a shallow ditch or fosse, and occasionally by a combination of both. To this circumstance the origin of many of the circles of stone remaining to this day are to be traced, while others of a far larger construction, and of a totally different character, such as those of Stonehenge, Abury, Rollrich, and, probably, Arbor Low, have been formed for totally different purposes. With these larger ones, except in so far as they are connected with sepulchral tumuli, I have, in my present paper, but little to do. Of the smaller ones, those which have surrounded grave-mounds, I will now proceed to give some particulars, as being intimately connected with my former articles.
Excavations into various grave-mounds have proved, beyond doubt, the fact that, in many instances, when an interment was made, the site of the proposed cairn to be raised over the remains was marked by a circle of stones laid on the surface of the ground, or inclining inwards, or set upright in the earth. The stones were
*"The Grave-Mounds of Derbyshire and their contents."
then piled up within this enclosure, till the whole size and altitude of the mound was reached. In the case of the Flax Dale barrow,
this mode of construction is shown in the annexed engraving. A circle of large flat stones was placed upon the surface of the earth around the interments (which in this case consisted of calcined bones in urns, and without), and upon these a second course of stones was placed. The mound was then raised of loose stones, and over this a thick layer of earth was laid, which increased both the circumference and the altitude of the barrow. To render this crust more compact, fires were evidently lit on the circumference of the circle, which had the effect, by burning the soil, of hardening it, and making it, in some places, almost of the consistency of brick.
An example of the second mode of construction I have indicated,
is at Elk Low, a section of which is here given. The barrow had a depression running around its upper surface, something like an
elevated fosse, as will be seen in the section. The interments were made on the natural surface of the ground, where, in the centre, lay a skeleton on its right side, in a contracted position, with its head resting on a piece of limestone, which was placed as a pillow. Other skeletons were also found, as was likewise an interment of burnt bones, and some flint and stone instruments. The outer circle was constructed of very large stones inclining inwards, and covered with small stones and earth, thus forming an extremely durable mound.
Either of these examples, if denuded of their superincumbent mounds, would form striking and very perfect stone circles, and would be among the best remaining examples of small “Druidical circles.”
When the circles have been formed of upright stones, they have not, certainly, always been covered with the mound, but have formed a kind of ring fence-a sort of sacred enclosure-around the barrow. A great number of examples of this kind exist in different districts, and will easily be recognized by the zealous archæologist. The
circle shown on the next engraving is that on Stanton Moor, known by the name of the “Nine Ladies.” This circle, of which a plan
is here given, is formed of a circular mound of earth, on which the upright stones are placed. It is about thirty-six feet in diameter. It has formerly consisted of a larger number of stones; those that
now remaining being at irregular distances, varying from eight to nineteen feet apart. In the centre are the remains of a rifled sepulchral mound. An
other circle, bearing the same name, “the Nine Ladies," is on Hartle Moor, but of this only four stones are now remaining. It has undoubtedly been a sepulchral mound encircled by upright stones. On other parts of these moors
other circles have existed, or still exist, which have, by excavations, been proved to have enclosed sepulchral deposits.
On Brassington Moor, near a fine chambered tumulus, now unfortunately destroyed, existed two similar circles, the one thirtynine, and the other twenty-two, feet in diameter. On Leam Moor, too, circles are known to have existed, surrounding interments. On Eyam Moor circles of this kind, encircling sepulchral mounds, exist. One of these is about a hundred feet in diameter, and is, like the “Nine Ladies” on Stanton Moor, formed of a circular mound of earth on which the stones are placed. Only ten of the stones remain in situ. In the centre a cist was discovered many years ago. Other circles occur in the same county on Abney Moor, on Froggat Edge, on the East Moor, on Hathersage Moor, and in other localities.
On Dartmoor, in Devonshire, many circles yet remain, as they do also in Cornwall and in other counties. Mr. Blight, who has paid a vast deal of attention to the antiquities of his native county, Cornwall, has collected together many data concerning these structures which tend to throw much light upon their modes of construction as well as uses. To his researches I am indebted for much of the following information regarding the Cornish circles, and also for the diagrams which illustrate it. Upright stones were, as in the case of the ring fences already named, placed at tolerably regular intervals around the barrow, either on the natural surface of the ground, or on a circular embankment thrown up for the purpose. The intervening spaces were then, in many instances, filled in with small stones so as to form a compact kind of wall, as shown in the
next engraving. This mode of construction was adopted for encircling grave mounds, and in the joining of hut dwellings, etc. It will easily be seen that, in course of time, the loose-walled parts would be thrown down and disappear, while the uprights, being firmly fixed in the ground, would remain, and would thus form the stone circles as now seen, and as commonly called “Druidical circles.” In some instances, as in the case of the circle enclosing a perfect stone cist, covered by a mound, at Sancreed, here shown, the upright stones touched each other, and thus formed a remarkably firm en.