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of that part which consisted of the derivations and synonyms in Breton; and which might have been valuable to students of the fifteenth century, but which have become superfluous in the nineteenth. The Catholicon, indeed, cannot be considered as a complete vocabulary of the Armoric tongue as spoken in Brittany at the period of its being originally composed; and, indeed, very considerable additions might be made to it from the texts of documents which have since become known. But it has a peculiar archæological value, inasmuch as the Catholicon is dated (1499), and therefore renders inadmissible the pretended antiquity of documents vaunted by a certain school of modern Armorican philologists.

In Brittany, as in Wales, until very lately there existed a spurious spirit of national honour which delighted in assuming that everything connected with the national literature was superior to anything of corresponding date; and in assigning, often on mere hypothesis, dates and titles of antiquity to what was by no means of distant origin. All through the eighteenth, and during too much of the nineteenth centuries, the Celtic public, always easy to be deceived on account of its ignorance, believed in many historic myths which have been corrected by the progress of modern scholarship and research,--the settlement of America; the bardic and Druidic theories; the early genuinene of the Triads; and much of the rubbish which is still brought forward and talked about at the Eisteddfodau of Wales. This was the sort of stuff palmed off on the public as genuine Welsh literature: indeed, a very curious book might be written upon the spuriousness of much that was thought to be “gospel” during the literary Welsh movement of the latter half of the eighteenth century. But for ourselves, we have no wish to rake up disputes long since dismissed to oblivion, nor to place in an invidious light names, which for other services done are deservedly honoured by their fellow countrymen. But a similar spirit in favour of sham antiquity seems to have beset the Bretons, and, we believe the Irish also. The Bretons are still to be taken in with the exploits of King Arthur; and we have lived to see how much roguery and folly can be perpetrated under the name of Fenianism. M. Le Men, in his paper, censures M. De la Villemarqué for adopting too carelessly the absurdities of spurious Breton literature, and even accuses him of having "doctored” certain Breton poems with the view of giving them an air of antiquity. Some French savans go still further, and declare that the poems known under the name of Barzaz Breiz, adopted by M. De la Villemarqué as genuine, are themselves only the work of an Armorican M'Pherson. The publication of the Popular Songs of Lower Brittany, announced by a competent scholar, M. F. M. De Luzel, and the republication of the Catholicon, will, no doubt, throw light upon these controverted subjects, and will tend to place the study of Armorican literature upon a sounder basis of philological criticism.


Town Clerk. Since the Hereford Meeting this excellent volume has made its appearance, and been distributed among the subscribers. It is a book of great interest, not only to the inhabitants of that city and the county, but to all, as it gives so true and accurate a description of mediæval habits of trade and government in our ancient corporate towns, and especially cities where the ecclesiastic and civic authorities came so often in hostile contact. The numerous allusions to Wales and Welshmen will give it additional value in the eyes of those who take an interest in the early history of their own country. While the Hereford merchants claimed certain rights of trade in some of the Welsh towns, merchants from Wales, even so far as Haverfordwest, purchased the privilege of bringing their wares to Hereford. The volume itself is extremely well got up as regards the paper and printing; and, as we believe but few copies remain undisposed of, we recommend an early application to the Town Clerk to those who wish to add so desirable a book to their libraries.



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Archaeologia Cambrensis. .






From Notices by the Hon. William Owen STANLEY, M.P., with Additional

Observations by Albert War, M.A., F.S.A. On a former occasion, in describing the remarkable sepulchral deposit with cinerary urns, brought to light at Porth Dafarch, on the western shore of Holyhead Island, in 1848, the attention of archæologists (of those more especially who devote their researches to vestiges of ancient races in the Principality) was invited to the deficiency of information recorded with sufficient precision regarding interments of the earlier ages.? During the interval of nearly twenty years that has elapsed since those observations were made, some progress has been gained in this particular department of antiquarian investigation ; a fresh impulse has been given through the annual gatherings held in various districts by the Cambrian Archæological Association ; and the constant record, in their Transactions, of discoveries that have been made, has essentially contributed to stimulate greater energy and precision in the study of national antiquities. But much remains to be done. We have, indeed, emerged from that dim age of scanty information

1 Memoir, by the Hon. W. O. Stanley, on a sepulchral deposit in Holyhead Island. (Archeol. Journal, vol. vi, p. 226.)



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