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ed, and the most probable of any that have come down to us from antiquity. Cæsar evidently took considerable pains to learn eve. ry particular relative to the Druids ; and it may be remarked as a proof both of the accuracy and extent of his information, that on this fubject, as well as on many others which he first investic gated, subsequent authors have done little more than transcribe his accounts. He states it to have been the received opinion in Gaul, that Druidism originated in Britain ; and the fact, which he expressly mentions, that in his time those who wished to become adepts in its mysteries, commonly went to Britain for that purpose, Itrengthens the traditionary account of the place of its origin, * f ic be true that Druidism originated in Britain, the commonly received opinion, that it is ftrictly and absolutely a part of the Celtic religion, will be greatly weakened. Since it must have begun to exist long after the Celts had left their original settlements, it must be considered as British, and not Cel. tic; and it would be as absurd to extend it to all the Celts, because it originated among one branch of them, as it would be to expect to find the institution of secret tribunals in the thirteenth century, among the Swedes, as well as among the Germans, merely because they are both Gothic nations. The supposed necessary connexion between Celtic population and Druidism, has prevented antiquarians from examining the question, respec: ing the countries in which it can actually be proved to have esisted, with clearness and impartiality.
There is not a single authority for the existence of Druidism any where, but in Celtic Gaul, and in part of England. The argument, which is drawn from the existence of monuments supposed to be Druidical, will be considered afterwards : at present, we shall state the substance of those passages, from the ancient writers, on which we ground our position. Cæsar expressly says, that the Druids used to meet annually, on the borders of the territory of the Carnutes, which was considered the middle of all Gaul. Whoever examines the position of this territory, will immediately be convinced, that Cæsar, in this passage, used the term Gaul in its limited and strict sense ; fince, if Aquitania and Belgic Gaul had been included, the territory of the Care nutes could not with any propriety have been deemed the centre of Gaul. With regard to England, Cæfar, although he defcribes the Druids in Gaul so minutely, and mentions the received opi. nion, that their institutions had originated in Britain, and were, even in his time, taught there with more ftri&tness and purity than in Gaul, yet gives not the least hint, that while he was in
* Cæfar. de Bello Gallico, lib. VI. p. 115. edit. Plant. 1616.
Tacitus flofc pares matbly con
m in Brizauthor, when
Britain, he had either seen any Druids, or collected any inform, ation concerning them. We may therefore reasonably con. clude, that Druidism was not known in those parts of Britain with which he was acquainted. Tacitus is the firit, and, we believe, the only author, who takes notice of the existence of, Druidism in Britain. Strabo, Pomponius Mela, Pliny * and Solinus, all of whom speak of its existence in Gaul with astopilhment and abhorrence, feem not to have heard of any part of Britain, in which it prevailed. The Romans appear to have ada yanced far into Wales, before they met with it. Tacitus, in his annals, relates, that Suetonius Paulinus was opposed in his attempt on Mona (Anglesey) by the army of the Britons; and that, after he had defeated them, he destroyed the sacred groves, of the Druids. No mention is made of Druids in any other part of Britain; though, had Agricola collected any ipformation respecting them, or met with any traces of their worship, dur. ing his expedition into Scotland, we cannot suppose that Tacia tus would have neglected to notice them, in his life of that gea neral. As the druidical superstitions were so fingular and so monstrous, we may consider ourselves justified in regarding the filence of the ancient writers respecling them as a sufficient proof that they did not exist in the countries which they des scribe. + If, therefore, we are to fix the boundaries of Druid, jím strictly according to the notices which these authors afford us, we must coincide in opinion with Mr Pinkerton, that there is no authority at all for druids being known, beyond present North Wales on the north, and the river Garonne, the bound of the Celize in Gaul, on the south. A line drawn by the Se. vern in Britain and Seine in Gaul, forms the eastern bound, while the ocean forms the western. ' I .
It is of some consequence to ascertain, by the same appeal to authorities, the nature of the places in which the Druids performed their religious ceremonies; since almost all Celtic writers, whenever authorities for the existence of Druidism in
* Pliny, however, speaks of Britain as fo entirely devoted to magic in his time, as to seem to have instructed the Persians ;. but his expres. sions are so vague and general, that they cannot relate to Druidism ex. clusively. Plin. Nat. Hift. lib. XXX. c. 1.
t Pliny and Suetonius relate that Tiberius forbad or abolished Druid. ison among the Gauls: and the former author considers mankind as greatly indebted to the Romans, for having put an end to such a montrous and cruel superftition. Plin. lib. XXX. C. 1. Sueton. Tiberius, p. 544, edit. Schildii. ? | Pinkerton's Enquiry, I. 406.
which en if wear All they are fquity as a the Celtas
any country, which they deem Celtic, are not to be found, appeal to the stone monuments, which, they say, are to be disa covered exclusively in countries formerly inhabited by the Celts. Or, on the other hand, assuming it as a fact, that all the Celtä were druidical, they regard these remains of antiquity as a sufficient indication that the country in which they are found was formerly the seat of a Celtic population. All the parts of this argument are assumed. But even if we allow the truth of both the circumftances upon which it is founded, viz. that all the Celtæ were druidical, and that the Druids erected enormous stone temples or altars, still it by no means follows that the countries in which these exist were formerly druidical, or even Celtic. Stone monuments, nearly similar in form, and equal in magnitude to those which are said to be the most unequivocally druidical, are found in countries into which, according to the opinion of all antiquarians, the Celts never penetrated. In many parts of the north of Germany, in the island of Zealand, and in Iceland, the stone monuments are fiinilar in form, and seem to have been erected for the same purpose with those in Britain and France. * Indeed, it is well known that the courts of judicature, as well as the altars of the Gothic nations, were formed of huge stones; and consequently, it would be extremely difficult to distinguish Celtic monuments from those of Gothic origin, in countries where both had settled, even if it could be shown that the Celts did erect such monuments, for the purposes either of judicature or religion. Mr Davies, however, and those who contend for the Celtic origin of these remains, bring the question within much narrower limits. Instead of contending, generally, that these monuments are Celtic, without specifying for what particular purpose they were originally raised, they uniformly and positively attribute them to the Druids, and consider them as religious edifices, As most of these monuments are fingular both for their size and structure, and totally unlike those that are to be found in nations as savage as the Britons were when discovered by the Romans, it is natural to expect that they would have been noticed, at least, by some of the ancient authors who treat of the Britons, especially when we reflect on the contrast which they must have formed with the miserable caves and huts of the natives. But the inference from the Glence of ancient writers is decisive, on the supposition that these monuments are druidical. Cæsar, Lucan, Pliny, and Mela, describe the rites and facrifices of the Druids : + they particularly mention the sacred grove,
* Keyser, p. 1--12.
+ Cæsar de Bell. Gall. lib. VI. p. 115. Lucan, Pharsal. lib. I, * 450---462. Pliny, lib. XVI. c. 44. Mela, lib. III. 4. 2:
and the veneration that was paid to the milletoe of the oak; but are entirely filent respe&ting any temple or altar of stone. Indeed, the manner in which they speak of the druidical grove, proves it to have been used for the same purpose as temples are : it was not only a place of assembly, but of sacrifice: in it were per. formed all their religious ceremonies. Tacitus, in his account of the destruction of the seat of druidical superftition in the ile of Anglesey, informs us, that the groves facred to their cruel rites were cut down. * As it evidently appears to have been the intention of Suetonius Paulinus to exterminate, if poflible, the religion of the Druids, or at least to prevent them from continuing to offer up human victims; certainly, if temples had formed any part of their institutions, he would have destroyed them, as well as cut down the groves. No mention, however, is made of them by Tacitus; and if they did not exist in Anglesey, which is known to have been one of the most celebrated and solemn seats of druidism, it is by no means probable that they were used in any other part of Britain. Besides, the very nature of their representations of the gods, and many parts of their ceremonies, would render unnecessary or useless any permanent or extenGve buildings of stone. Maximus Tyrius informs us, that their only symbol of Jupiter was a tall oak; + and Strabo describes the druids as either burning their human victims surrounded with hay, or fastening them to trees, and then piercing them with arrows. The veneration which the religion of the druids inspired for trees, especially for the oak, distinguished it from most others; and as they both worshipped these trees, and immolated their victims upon them, it is not to be supposed that they would erect either temples or altars.
As all antiquarians are agreed, that a grove was indispensably Deceílary to the performance of the druidical rites, we may conclude that Stonehenge, which is situated in a plain, where there is every reason to suppose very few trees ever grew, was not erected by the Druids, at least for the purposes of religion. With regard to many other stones, generally esteemed druidical, fome, such as the Logan or rocking stones, are evidently not the work of art; and others are met with in countries so distant and disli. milar in their ancient manners and religion, that it feems most rational to afcribe them rather to the design or caprice of india viduals, than to any common and permanent motive. This inference, at least, we are justified in drawing, that Druidism is pot to be traced by the vestiges of its temples or altars, since
Taciti Annal. lib. XIV. c. 30. † Maximus Tyrius, Differt. 38.
every authority and probability is against the supposition that the Druids made any use of stone buildings. : We now return to Mr Davies. - In page 173. we meet with the solution of a difficulty which has frequently perplexed us in perusing the writings of the modern Celts. It has always occurred to us, that the discriminating and generic qualities of the ancient Celts ought to have been almost entirely worn out, by the lapse of years, and the admixture with Gothic nations. We were, therefore, unable to account for the strongly marked character of almost all their modern productions. Whenever they touched on the subject of their descent, or antiquities, common sense appeared to defert them: They saw, and heard, and believed, what had no existence to any but themselves. Now, Mr Davies satisfactorily accounts for this strange phenomenon. There is an excavation, it seems, resembling a couch, on the very summit of Cader Idris, which was formerly the observatory of Idris, the giant and astronomer: "Whoever reits a night in that seat, will be found in the morning, either dead, raving-mad, or endued with supernatural genius.' We now see clearly by what means the modern Celts have preserved the intellectual character of their ancestors so entire : Whenever it is likely to become tainted with Gothic prejudice, a night's lodging in the couch of their great ancestor restores its original purity. We do not know whether any have been found dead in the chair of Idris ; nor do we recollect to have heard any instance in which it has bestowed fupernatural genius: yet, we believe that many have made trial of it, and have experienced its efficacy.
The theory of the formation of language has eluded the fagacity and learning of philosophers : but to Mr Davies, it is exceedingly simple and plain.
• We may, therefore, contemplate primitive man, as prompted by the innate predilection of taste for social enjoyments, to detain, in his company, those living creatures, which had already received their beinz. To attract their notice, and conciliate their good will, he addrefled himself to them, severally, by descriptive gestures. These efforts called forth the hitherto latent powers of his nature. The organs of speech moved in unison, and produced their corresponding articulations, unless where this exertion was saved by a simple repetition of the voices which they uttered : and thus it was, that the names of the familiar objects were acquired, and the solid ground-work of human language laid upon the basis of natural principlesa' p. 377. 378.
· Let us put the case, that Adam the first man would inform his new-created bride of the elephant. The character, which he had already described in this animal, in the act of naming him, was probably his enormous bulk. This description he is now to repeat. Being an inexpert orator, he would not trust entirely and exclusively to the