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the Cornish, and the Breton or Armoric dialects. The learned Fatlier Pezron, not content with claiming for them the distinction of being the genuine relics of the ancient language of Gaul and Britain, exclaims, in the fullness of antiquarian enthusiasm: What a singular fact, that so ancient a language should now be spoken by the Armorican Bretons in France, and by the ancient Britons in Wales; for these are the people who have the honour of preserving the language of the posterity of Gomer, Japhet's eldest son'!! This is rather at variance with the supposed derivation of the Cymry from the land of Ham, and not less so with their Celto-Scythian extraction.-According to the most learned Welshmen of our own day, the language bears decided marks of its Asiatic origin, resembling the Hebrew both in its terms and idioms, and its syntax. Its pronunciation also is stated to resemble that of the East, while its composition and structure approach nearer to the Oriental tongues than to any European language.' The Asiatic origin of the Celts and Goths, is unquestionable; and their language might be expected to exhibit more or less the proofs of their extraction. But why the Cymraeg should preserve more of an Asiatic character than the Erse or the Gothic, does not appear. The Bretons have laboured under peculiar disadvantages, having no printed book among them for general use, and no version of the Scriptures. Mr. Hughes remarks :

We have the Sacred Scriptures in every language spoken in the British isles, new editions having lately been published of the Irish and Gaelic; and there have been repeated editions of the Welsh in this, as well as in the last two centuries. The Manksmen have the Scriptures in the dialect of their small island: but the Bretons of France have not as much as the New Testament in their ancient tongue. There appears to be no one likely to undertake such a work; except some Welshman engage in it, and thus make some return, after the lapse of numerous ages, for the labours of Garmon and his associates in our island, in the fourth century.'

Such a work will, we trust, before long be supplied under the auspices either of the British and Foreign Bible Society, or the Bible Society recently established at Paris. Among no people, if we may rely on the accounts of recent travellers, does it seem more desirable to circulate, in their vernacular tongue, the hitherto sealed volume of Inspiration. They inhabit a fine country; they once boasted of liberty and independence; they had, like the Welsh, their heroes and their bards, their history and their literature; but they have sunk into the most abject degeneracy. During my excursion in Wales,' says Mrs. Stothard, I heard continually some recurrence to their ancient history, some tradition or legendary tale; but I never met with a single instance of this kind in Britany.......Most of our ancient metrical romances derive their origin from the genius and ef

fusions of the Breton bards. Many of the early Norman poets avowed the subjects of their lays were likewise borrowed from the Bretons. But at the present time, they have not in Britany any legendary songs or poems that sprung from their bards. Į say this, because I have made every possible inquiry to gain full information, and I could never learn that they retained any portion, however obscure, of their ancient poetry or traditions.' The difference between the Patois of Britany and the Welsh, appears to arise from the former having received a large portion of the language of the Franks, which was a compound of the Latin and the Teutonic. Mr. Hughes has given, in an appendix to the second volume, numerous specimens of the ancient languages of Gaul and Britain, in which the Welsh, Cornish, and Armoric generally differ only in their orthography. In some cases, the latter two present a close resemblance, while both differ from the former: in a few, the Welsh and the Armoric agree, and the Cornish differs. The Breton language as now spoken, varies considerably in different districts of Britany, but not much more, perhaps, than the Welsh varies in North and South Wales. It is said to have more words in common with the Saxon, than the Welsh has, while the Cornish approaches nearer than either of the other dialects, to the Irish. According to the same authority, that of Mr. Owen, the Irish has, of all the Celtic languages, the greatest affinity of structure with the Latin; which, taken in connexion with Mr. Lluyd's remark, that there are decided marks of affinity in the Irish with the Old Spanish (or Cantabrian), strengthens the supposition that the Hibernian Scoti came originally from Spain, agreeably to the assertion of Ninius, while the Gwydhelians, with whom they ultimately blended, emigrated from Britain. We must refer those of our readers who are disposed to pursue these philological speculations to the Cambrian Register, the Archaeologia Britannica, and the other works cited by Mr. Hughes. His own opinion appears to be either undecided or confused; and we have to complain that the subject, instead of being fully discussed in a distinct and connected form, is broken into desultory remarks and detached appendices, so that the information which the volumes contain, is given piece-meal in a manner which leads us to suppose that the Author collected it as he went along.

There is a similar want of arrangement and distinctness in his treatise on the Druidical worship. We have first, disquisitions on the learning, religious rites, and mythology of the Druids; next, remarks on the religion of the ancient Britons, and proofs of their polytheism; followed by a comparative view of the objects of their idolatry: we then return to the worship and mythology of the ancient Britons; and this same subject is further pursued in the Appendix to the first volume, Nos. 1 and 2. This is either an indolent or an unskilful style of compilation.

Our knowledge of Druidism is chiefly derived from Strabo and the Roman historians; in particular, Cæsar and Pliny. The common opinion or tradition in Cæsar's time, was, that it originated in Britain, and was thence translated into Gaul. In order to reconcile this with the received supposition that this Island was peopled from the continent, we must conclude, either that the system was of indigenous growth among the Cimbric Britons, or that it was imported to this country immediately from the East. The striking similarity which may be traced between the Druids of Britain, and the Magi and Brambuns of Persia and Hindustan, has been largely insisted on by the Author of the "Indian Antiquities." Brunker, in his History of Philosophy, remarks on the similarity of their fables to those of the Asiatics; a circumstance which he considers as confirming the conjecture that the Celtic nations arose from colonies which came from the northern regions of Asia, and that they brought with them the tenets which, in the remotest periods, had prevailed among the Persians, Scythians, and other Asiatic nations. Mr. Hughes cites from Enfield's translation of Brunker the following passage:

Indeed, it is probable, that the Celts and Sarmatians in Europe, and the Medes and Persians in Asia, were derived from one common stock, the Asiatic Scythians: for, on the one hand, it appears that the name of Scythians, which remained in the northern part of Asia, passed over with the Scythian colonies into Europe, where it was gradually lost in those of Sarmatians and Germans; and on the other hand, authorities are not wanting to prove that the Medes and Persians were descended from the Scythians. (V. Herod. lib. v, c. 9. Ammianus Marcellinus, lib. xxxi. c. 23.)-The same religious rites which the Persians had received from the Scythians, were probably also embraced by the Celts, and by them transmitted, in their migrations, through Germany, Gaul, and Spain.'

Sir William Jones has remarked that the Goths and the Hindoos had originally the same language, gave the same appellations to the stars and planets, adored the same false deities, performed the same bloody sacrifices, and professed the same notions of rewards and punishments after death. In illustrating his favourite position, that Iran or Persia was the original centre of population, he adverts to Brunker's opinion, that the Goths or Scythians came from Persia, and cites the coincident conclusion of another writer who brings the Irish and the Old Britons from the borders of the Caspian. The Saxon Chronicle also brings the first inhabitants of Britain from Armenia.* That the first race of Persians and Indians, to whom we may add the Romans and Greeks, the Goths, and the old Egyptians or

* Possibly, a mistake for Armorica.

Ethiops, originally spoke the same language, and professed the same popular faith, is capable,' adds Sir W. J.,' in my humble opinion, of incontestible proof.'* All these nations he considers to be the descendants of Ham, and to be characteristically distinguished from the great Tartar family, the children of Japheth. Mr. Maurice, however, transports a tribe of Bramhuns into the deserts of Grand Tartary, where he makes them mingle with Scythians, and then brings them, half Bramhuns, half Scythians, to the Western regions of Europe, we are not certain whether by sea or overland, to become the immediate progenitors of the British Druids!! It is but fair to state that we quote his opinion at second-hand, as given by Mr. Hughes. Gale more plausibly contends that they received much of their philosophy, as well as their theology, from the Phenicians, with whose language the Welsh is affirmed by Bochart to have a considerable affinity. That the Phenicians, many ages before the Christian era, (it is supposed in the reigns of David and Solomon,) had planted colonies in the utmost regions of the known world, and in particular beyond the pillars of Hercules, is certain from the testimonies of Strabo and Herodotus; and there is the strongest reason to suppose that they had settlements both in Britain and Gaul. Strabo mentions that Ceres and Proserpina were worshipped in or about Britany, according to the Samothracian, (i. e. Phenician) rites,' The Ked and Keridwen of the Druids, accordingly, answer to Ceres, and Lleuwy to Proserpine. Bochart affirms, that their Taranis (Jupiter), Hesus (Bacchus, the ideal patriarch of the Cymry, and the same as Heus, and Hu-ysgwn, or Hu the mighty), Teutates or Teutath (Mercury), Belenus, or Belin (Apollo, the same as Plennyd), and Ogmius (Hercules), are all of Phenician original and offspring. To account for this close affinity, Mr. Hughes's supposition, that the Druids received a tincture of Phenician rites from the Punic colonies settled in Spain,' is manifestly insufficient. There seems no reason for supposing that they derived them through any intermediate channel. That Ireland was known to the Phenicians, is pretty clear from its ancient name Ibernæ; i. e. in Phenician, the utmost habitation;' and if so, they must have been familiar with the south-western coast of Britain, to which they are supposed to have traded for tin. If the Cymry were really in possession of any part of Britain before the emigrations of the Celts and Belge of Gaul, and any dependence whatever can be placed on the vague oral traditions preserved in the Triads, that they came over the hazy ocean from the summer country, the most plausible conjecture would be, that they were a Phenician

*Works, Vol. I. 4to. p. 130.

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+ Gale's Court of the Gentiles. B, I. c. 9.

colony. This would receive some colour from their being confined to Cornwall (the land of tin) and the western coast, along which they appear gradually to have spread to Cumberland. What is meant by Deffrobani is altogether uncertain; but its similarity to Tabrobana, supposed to be the ancient Ophir,* to which the Phenicians certainly traded, and the name of which is Phenician, is a striking coincidence, although we do not recollect to have seen it noticed. This hypothesis has the further advantage of harmonizing with the otherwise unaccountable fact, that Druidism was translated to Gaul from Britain, when Britain has hitherto been supposed to have received its first inhabitants from Gaul. It would also account for the existence of a kindred nation on the coast of France, the Brython of the Triads, who are represented as having sprung from the same primordial race as the Cymry, without having recourse to the violent hypothesis that Armorica was peopled by fugitive Britons in the fourth and fifth centuries, and that those emigrants were the progenitors of the Bretons. It is not denied, that such emigrations took place; but what led to the choice of Britany, rather than the mountain fastnesses of their own country, or the opposite coast of Ireland, must have been, that the Cymry there recognised a kindred nation, alike in manners as in language. Further, if the Welsh is really distinguished by a resemblance to the Hebrew, (for we would build with extreme caution on the philological opinions of native antiquaries,) the Phenician origin of the Cymry would supply the best explanation of so singular a circumstance.

If we had any inscriptions of sufficient antiquity to be referred to the Druidical age, they would at once determine the question. Cæsar states, that the Druids were acquainted with letters, but that they deemed it unlawful to make use of them in teaching the maxims of their philosophy, affirming that to commit things to writing was the way to forget them: what their true reason was, is obvious, as secresy was most anxiously observed. In the reign of Henry VIII, a plate of tin inscribed with many letters, was found near Stonehenge; but they were in so strange a character, that neither Sir Thomas Elliot, a 'learned antiquary, nor Mr. Lilly, master of St. Paul's school, 'could make them out. This plate, to the great loss of the learned world, was soon after lost.' Diodorus Siculus, in the remarkable account he gives of the island of the Hyperboreans, which is very plausibly supposed to mean Albion, speaks of Greek inscriptions being found there, although he does not suppose them to have been the writing of natives. The passage is

* See Bochart as cited by Gale. B. I. c. 9.

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