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by the traditionary customs, which had been coarsely framed for the shepherds and pirates of Germany. The language of science, of business, and of conversation, which had been introduced by the IRomans, was lost in the general desolation. A sufficient number of Latin or Celtic words might be assumed by the Germans, to express their new wants and ideas; * but those illiterate Pagans preserved and established the use of their national dialect.” Almost every name, conspicuous either in the church or state, reveals its Teutonic origin; * and the geography of England was universally inscribed with foreign characters and appellations. The example of a revolution, so rapid and so complete, may not easily be found; but it will excite a probable suspicion, that the arts of Rome were less deeply rooted in Britain than in Gaul or Spain; and that the native rudeness of the country and its inhabitants was covered by a thin varnish of Italian manners. This strange alteration has persuaded historians, and even philosophers, that the provincials of 13ritain were totally exterminated ; and that the vacant land was again peopled by the perpetual influx, and rapid increase, of the German colonies. Three hundred thousand Saxons are said to have obeyed the summons of IIengist;” the entire emigration of the Angles was attested, in the age of Bede, by the solitude of their native country;” and our experience has shown the free propagation of the human race, if they are cast on a fruitful wilderness, where their steps are unconfined, and their subsistence is plentiful. The Saxon kingdoms displayed the face of recent discovery and cultivation; the towns were small, the villages were distant; the husbandry was languid and unskilful; four sheep were equivalent to an acre of the best land ; * an ample space of wood and morass was resigned to the vague dominion of nature; and the modern bishopric of Durham, the whole territory from the Tyne to the Tees, had returned to its primitive state of a savage and solitary forest.” Such imperfect population might have been supplied, in some generations, by the English colonies; but neither reason nor facts can justify the unnatural supposition, that the Saxons of Britain remained alone in the desert which they had subdued. After the sanguinary Barbarians had secured their dominion, and gratified their revenge, it was their interest to preserve the peasants, as well as the cattle, of the unresisting country. In each successive revolution, the patient herd becomes the property of its new masters; and the salutary compact of food and labor is silently ratified by their mutual necessities. Wilfrid, the apostle of Sussex,” accepted from his royal convert the gift of the peninsula of Selsey, near Chichester, with the persons and property of its inhabitants, who then amounted to eighty-seven families. He released them at once from spiritual and temporal bondage; and two hundred and fifty slaves of both sexes were baptized by their indulgent master. The kingdom of Sussex, which spread from the sea to the Thames, contained seven thousand families; twelve hundred were ascribed to the Isle of Wight; and, if we multiply this vague computation, it may seem probable, that England was cultivated by a million of servants, or villains, who were attached to the estates of their arbitrary landlords. The indignant Barbarians were often tempted to sell their children or themselves into perpetual, and even foreign, bondage; * yet the special exemptions, which were granted to national slaves,” sufficiently declare that they were much less numerous than the strangers and captives, who had lost their liberty, or changed their masters, by the accidents of war. When time and religion had mitigated the fierce spirit of the Anglo-Saxons, the laws encouraged the frequent practice of manumission; and their subjects, of Welsh or Cambrian extraction, assumed the respectable station of inferior freemen, possessed of lands, and entitled to the rights of civil society.” Such gentle treatment might secure the allegiance of a fierce jeople, who had been recently subdued on the confines of W. and Cornwall. The sage Ina, the legislator of Wessex, united the two nations in the bands of domestic alliance; and four British lords of Somersetshire may be honorably distinguished in the court of a Saxon monarch.”
144 Dr. Johnson affirms, that few English words are of British extraction. Mr. Whitaker, who understands the British language, has discovered more than three thousand, and actually produces a long and various catalogue (vol. ii. pp. 2:5-329). It is possible, indeed, that these words may have been imported from the Latin or Saxon into the native idiom of Britain.”
14. In the beginning of the seventh century, the Franks and the Anglo-Saxons mutually understood each other's language, which was derived from the Teu tonic root (Bede, l. i. c. 25, p. 60). - - - - - -
140 After the first generation of Italian, or Scottish, missionaries, the dignities of the church were filled with Saxon yo. -
141 Carte's History of England, yol. i. p. 15. He quotes the British historians; but I much fear, that Jeffrey of Monmouth (l. vi. c. 15) is his only witness.
i43 Bede, Hist. Ecclesiast. l. i. c. 15, p. 52. The fact is probable, and well attested : yet such was the loose intermixture of the German tribes, that we find, in a subsequent period, the law of the Angli and Warini of Germany (Lindellbrog. Codex, pp. 479–486).
* Dr. Prichard's very curious researches, which connect the Celtic, as well as the Teutonic, languages with the Indo-European glass, make it still more difficult to decide between the ('eltic or Teutonic origin of English words.-See Pritchard on the Eastern Origin of the Celtic Nations, Oxford, 1831.-M.
149 See Dr. Henry's useful and laborious History of Great Britain, vol. ii. p.
130 Quicquid (says John of Tinemouth) inter Tynam et Tesam fluvios extitit sola eremi wastitudo tunc temporis fuit, et idcirio nullius ditioni servivit, eo quo;i sola indomitorum et Sylvestrium animalium spelunca et liabitatio fuit (apud Carte, vol. i. p. 195). From bishop Nicholson (English Historical Library, pp. 65, 93) I understand that fair copies of John of Tinemouth's ample collections are preserved in the libraries of Oxford, Lambeth, &c.
* See the mission of Wilfrid, &c., in Bede, Hist. Eccles. 1. iv, c. 13, 16, pp. 155, 156, 159. ło From the concurrent testimony of Bede (1. ii. c. 1, p. 78) and William of Malmsbury (l. iii. p. 102) it appears, that the Anglo-Saxons, from the first to the last age, persisted in this unnatural practice. Their youths were publicly sold in the market of Rome.
* According to the laws of Ina, they could not be lawfully sold beyond the ee Carte's Hist. of England, vol. i. p. 278. 1* At the conclusion of his history (A. D. 731), Bede describes the ecclesiasti
The independent Britons appear to have relapsed into the state of original barbarism, from whence they had been imperfectly reclaimed. Separated by their enemies from the rest of mankind, they soon became an object of scandal and abhorrence to the Catholic world.” Christianity was still »rofessed in the mountains of Wales; but the rude schismatics, in the form of the clerical tonsure, and in the day of the celebration of Easter, obstinately resisted the imperious mandates of the Roman pontiffs. The use of the Latin language was insensibly abolished, and the Britons were deprived of the arts and learning which Italy communicated to her Saxon proselytes. In Wales and Armorica, the Celtic tongue, the native idiom of the West, was preserved and propagated ; and the Bards, who had been the companions of the Druids, were still protected, in the sixteenth century, by the laws of Elizabeth. Their chief, a respectable officer of the courts of Pengwern, or Aberfraw, or Caermarthen, accompanied the king's servants to war: the monarchy of the Britons, which he sung in the front of battle, excited their courage, and justified their depredations; and the songster claimed for his legitimate prize the fairest heifer of the spoil. His subordinate ministers, the masters and disciples of vocal and instrumental music, visited, in their to The life of a Wallus, or Cambricus, homo, who possessed a hyde of land, is fixed at 120 shillings, by the same laws (of Ina, tit. xxxii. in Leg. Anglo-Saxon, p. 20) which allowed 200 shillings for a free Saxon, 1200 for a Thane (see likewise I.eg. Anglo-Saxon. p. 71). e may observe, that these legislators, the West Saxons and Mercians, coutinued their British conquests after they became Christians. . The laws of the four kings of Kent do not condescend to notice the exios 8. any subject Biolo
cal state of the island, and censures the implacable, though impotent, hatred of ; Britons against the English nation, and the Catholic church J. v. c. 23, p. 157 Mr. Pennant's Tour in Wales (pp. 426-449) has furnished me with a curious and interesting account of the Welsh bards. In the year 1568, a session was held at Caerwys by the special command of Queen Flizabeth, and regular degrees in vocal and instrumental music were conferred on fifty-five minstrels. The prize (a silver harp) was adjudged by the Mostyn famiy. 15: Regio longe lateque diffusa, milit”, magis quam credibile sit, referta. Partibus equidem in illis miles unus quinquaginta generat, sort it us more larbaro denas aut amplius uxores. This reproach of Willian of Poitiers (in the Historians of France, tom. xi. p. 88) is disclaimed by the Benedictine editors. 159 Giraldus Cambrensis confines this gift of bold and ready eloquence to the Romans, the French, and the Britons. The malicious Welshman insinuates that the English taciturnity might possibly be the effect of their servitude under the Normans. 100 The picture of Welsh and Armorican manners is drawn from Giraldus o, Cambriae, c. 6–15, inter. Script. Camden. pp. 886-891), and the authors quoted by the Abbé de Vertot (Hist. Critique, tom. ii. pp. 250–266).
respective circuits, the royal, the noble, and the plebeian houses; and the public property, almost exhausted by the clergy, was oppressed by the importunate demands of the bards. Their rank and merit were ascertained by solemn trials, and the strong belief of supernatural inspiration exalted the fancy of the poet, and of his audience.” The last retreats of Celtic freedom, the extreme territories of Gaul and Britain, were less adapted to agriculture than to pasturage : the wealth of the Britons consisted in their flocks and herds; milk and flesh were their ordinary food; and bread was sometimes esteemed, or rejected, as a foreign luxury. Liberty had peopled the mountains of Wales and the morasses of Armorica; but their populousness has been maliciously ascribed to the loose practice of polygamy; and the houses of these licentious barbarians have been supJosed to contain ten wives, and perhaps fifty children.” Their disposition was rash and choleric; they were bold in action and in speech; ” and as they were ignorant of the arts of peace, they alternately indulged their passions in foreign and domestic war. The cavalry of Armorica, the spearmen of Gwent, and the archers of Merioneth, were equally formidable; but their poverty could seldom procure either shields or helmets; and the inconvenient weight would have retarded the speed and agility of their desultory operations. One of the greatest of the English monarchs was requested to satisfy the curiosity of a Greek emperor concerning the state of Britain; and Henry II. could assert, from his personal experience, that Wales was inhabited by a race of naked warriors, who encountered, without fear, the defensive armor of their enemies.” By the revolution of Britain, the limits of science, as well as of empire, were contracted. The dark cloud, which had been cleared by the I’hoenician discoveries, and finally dispelled by the arms of Caesar, again settled on the shores of the Atlantic, and a Roman province was again lost among the fabulous Islands of the Ocean. One hundred and fifty years after the reign of Honorius, the gravest historian of the times * describes the wonders of a remote isle, whose eastern and western parts are divided by an antique wall, the boundary of life and death, or, more properly, of truth and fiction. The east is a fair country, inhabited by a civilized people: the air is healthy, the waters are pure and plentiful, and the earth yields her regular and fruitful increase. In the west, beyond the wall, the air is infectious and mortal; the ground is covered with serpents; and this dreary solitude is the region of departed spirits, who are transported from the opposite shores in substantial boats, and by living rowers. Some families of fishermen, the subjects of the Franks, are excused from tribute, in consideration of the mysterious office which is performed by these Charons of the ocean. Each in his turn is summoned, at the hour of midnight, to hear the voices, and even the names, of the ghosts: he is sensible of their weight, and he feels himself impelled by an unknown, but irresistible power. After this dream of fancy, we read with astonishment, that the name of this island is Britia ; that it lies in the ocean, against the mouth of the Rhine, and less than thirty miles from the continent; that it is possessed by three nations, the Frisians, the Angles, and the Britons; and that some Angles had appeared at Constantinople, in the train of the French ambassadors. From these ambassadors Procopius might be informed of a singular, though not improbable, adventure, which announces the spirit, rather than the deli:acy, of an English heroine. She had been betrothed to Radiger, king of the Varni, a tribe of Germans who touched the ocean and the Rhine; but the perfidious lover was tempted, by motives of policy, to prefer his father's widow, the sister of Theodebert, king of the Franks.” The forsaken princess of the Angles, instead of bewailing, revenged
161 See Procopius de Bell. Gothic. l. iv. c. 20, pp. 620–625. The Greek historian is himself so confounded by the wonders which he relates, that he weakly attempts to distinguish the islands of Britia and Britain, which he has identified by so many inseparable circumstances.
16. Theodebert, grandson of Clovis, and king of Austrasia, was the most powerful and warlike prince of the age; and this remarkable adventure may be placed between the years 534 and 547, the extreme terms of his reign. His sister Theudechildis retired to Sens, where she founded monasteries, and distributed alms (see the notes of the Benedictine editors, in tom. ii. p. 216). If we may gredit the praises of Fortunatus (l. vi. carm. 5, in tom. ii. p. 507), Radiger was deprived of a Inost valuable wife.