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highly curious, and we shall transcribe it at length as given by Mr. Hughes.

Hecateus and others, who have written very wonderful descriptions, say, that an island, large as Sicily, is situate opposite to Gaul, and near the Arctic circle: it is inhabited by the Hyperboreans, who are so named as being placed beyond the gates of Boreas, or of the North. The soil is rich and very fruitful, the climate temperate, and two crops are reaped within the year. They worship Apollo with greater reverence than any of the other deities; they sing every day hymns to his praise; they ascribe to him the highest glories; they act as if all the inhabitants were his priests. They have dedicated to him a dark grove, and a celebrated temple of a circular form, decorated with many rich donations. A city is also devoted to him, the inhabitants of which are principally harpers, who chaunt to their favourite instrument, hymns to the Apollo of their temple, and celebrate his glorious actions. They speak their own peculiar language.

Apollo comes once in nineteen years into the island: in this space of time the stars perform their revolutions, and return to the same point; hence the Greeks call this revolution THE GREAT YEAR. At the time of his re-appearance, they report that he plays upon the harp, and sings and dances through the night, from the vernal equinox to the Pleiades; self-pleased with the encomiums upon his successful enterprizes. The sovereignty of the city and the care of the temple belong exclusively to the Boreades, the posterity of Boreas, who succeed to the throne in a regular descent from their great ancestor. From a remote and distant date, they have entertained a peculiar affection for the Greeks, and beyond the other parts of Greece, for Delos. Greeks have travelled to their island, and deposited among them various offerings, inscribed with Greek letters; and Abaris, in return, travelled into Greece, and renewed the ancient ties of friendship with the Delians.' Vol. I. p. 257.

In striking coincidence with this account, it is observable, that the original name of Britain is said to have been Y Vel Inys, the island of Vel or Bel, the Syrian Apollo. The following account is cited from Toland's History of Druidism.

"On May eve, the Druids made prodigious fires on these Carns, which being every one in sight of some other, could not but afford a glorious shew over a whole nation. These fires were in honour of Beal or Bealan, latinized by the Romans into Belenus, by which name the Gauls and their colonies understood the sun; and therefore, to this hour, the first day of May is, by the Aboriginal Irish, called la Bealteine, or the day of Belin's fire. May-day is likewise called la Bealtine by the Highlanders of Scotland. So it is in the Isle of Man. And in Armoric, a priest is still called Belec, or the servant of Bel, and the priesthood Belegieth." Vol. I. p. 281.

A very ancient poem, which is described as full of the Druidic fire-worship and solar-worship, has for its title, Cadar teyrn On, or the chair of the sovereign On; the Amonian

title of the same Deity. The circular dances of the Druids are supposed to have been intended to represent the motions of the planets. Their proficiency in Astronomy is attested by Cæsar and Pomponius Mela. The former speaks of them as disputing and teaching their scholars many things respecting the stars and their motion. In their veneration for the serpent as a sacred symbol, we have a further proof of their worship of the sun. The Druids were themselves called Nadredd, or snakes; and they wore suspended from their necks amulets called serpents' eggs, of which a particular account is given by Pliny. These amulets are still, it is said, talked of among old people, who call them glain-neidyr and maen-glain, adder-stones, or adderbeads. For much curious information on this subject and that of the Druidical rites, we refer our readers with pleasure to Mr. Hughes's first volume. We wonder that Mr. Bryant has not remarked on the coincidence between the Egyptian Ath-ur and the mythologic Arthur, or Uthyr of the Druids. Athyr,' he tells us, 'was a name conferred on places where the Amo'nians settled ;' and' one of the most ancient names of Rhodes was Aithraia, or the Island of Athyr, so called from the worship of the sun.'t Ath-ur was also one of the Egyptian ' months.' Mr. Hughes informs us that,

There are many places which bear the name of Arthur, not the Arthur of history, but the mythologic Arthur, the representative of the Northern Bear, and referred to as one of the principal divinities of the Britons, as appears from several ancient poems. We have Cadair Arthur, one of the high peaks of the Brecknockshire mountains, called the beacons, or Monochdeny hills. There is Coiten Arthur, a famous Cromlech in Merionethshire; Moel Arthur, in Flintshire; Carreg Carn March Arthur, a fragment of some ancient monument; and the name of Arthur is given to a hill near the city of Edinburgh. Most things that were of enormous size appear to have been dignified with the name of Arthur, who was so called, most probably, on account of his great stature and martial prowess.'

Vol. I. p. 311. We ourselves lay no stress on the coincidence; and yet, less plausible derivations have been pressed into the service of many a learned hypothesis.

Mr. Edward Williams, the celebrated Bard of Glamorgan, speaks of the patriarchal religion of Ancient Britain called Druidism;' an expression cited with great complacency by Mr. Richards, who, with a pardonable nationality of feeling, seems quite disposed to dispute their being either idolaters or polytheists. We suspect that his own mind was deeply tinctured with Druidism, if he was not, indeed, half a Druid. He gives

* Gale. Part II. B. i. c. 4. + Anal. of Anc. Mythol. Vol. I. p. 25.

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his readers a long passage from a strange disquisition on the Pythagorean doctrine of transmigration, attributed to Soame Jenyns, and talks gravely of the acuteness and ingenuity displayed in the defence of that exploded tenet;' as if he himself were some way gone in the belief of it. All this is marvellously absurd. He bestows high praise, too, on a very superficial and erroneous account of Druidism contained in Mavor's History of England! In this it is affirmed, that one of the leading tenets of the Bardic Religion, was the belief in the existence of one Supreme Being, of whom they reasoned that 'he could not be material, and that what was not matter, must be God.'* But did Mr. Richards know no better than to confound the Bardic metaphysics with the Druidical worship? In the Aphoristic Triads, the Unity, self-existence, and infinite power and wisdom of the Deity are, Mr. Hughes remarks, so explicitly allowed, that such sentiments cannot with any consistency be ' ascribed to the Heathen Druids.' Mr. Richards himself allows that they held the necessity of human expiatory 'sacrifices,' although he attempts to palliate this concession by adding, that these sacrifices 'generally consisted of malefactors.' And so they do at this day in Bengal and Ashantee: only, when criminals fall short, and their gods are hungry, they are under the 'necessity,' like the Druids, of making up the proper number with innocent persons. These barbarous rites were so common among all heathen nations, that it is scarcely necessary to remark on the probability that the Britons derived theirs from the worship of the Phenician Moloch. Mr. Richards's remark on religious wars,' would have been very proper had he not been so inconsiderate as to represent the cases as parallel. The Gaulish Druids were so resolutely addicted to this dreadful superstition, that, although prohibited by the Emperor Tiberius, they con'tinued to adhere to the same practice even in the time of Pliny, in the reign of Trajan.' The Helio-arkite worship of the ancient Britons, is treated by Mr. Hughes at considerable length, but without any parade of learning. Unlike many compilers who enter into other men's labours, and grace their margins with stolen references from books they never saw, (sic vos non vobis mellificatis apes,) he is scrupulous in referring to the authors which he has chiefly followed, namely, Bryant, Faber, Maurice, and Davies.

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Here for the sake of our readers, not less than for our own, we must suspend our antiquarian lucubrations. From druids

The speculations of the Hindoo theists are strikingly similar. The language of the Vedas is, that all spirit is God'-a metaphysical existence without attributes.

and bards to saints, and bishops, and Welsh Nonconformists, Pelagius and Vavasor Powell, is a transition too violent to be endured; and as so wide a chasm occurs between them in ancient British History, we hope that it will be allowed us to treat of them in a separate Number. In the mean-time, those of our readers who are given to poetry, may, possibly, be pleased with the following fragment of an unpublished poem, in which an elegant use has been made of the Druidical mythology. Agus vel Quercus loquitur.

Ere yet on Cambria's mountains hoar
Had burst the thundering battle-roar,
Ere War his murderous lance had hurled,
Or Slaughter's crimson flag unfurled,
Amid the forests wild and rude
Of Mona's caverned solitude,
In deep recess of solemn shade,
By ages more majestic made,
Invisible to unhallowed eye,

Was darkly throned my awful ancestry.

And he, the monarch of the wood
In might magnificent that stood,
Embosomed in the gloom profound,
And stretched his giant arms around,
Was guarded by enchantments high,
And spells of wizard potency.
For whilom in his knotty cell
Did Taranis sublimely dwell,

And oft, in pealing whirlwinds, spoke
His mandates from the charmed oak.
There would the star-read Druids haunt,
And azure-vested Bards would chant
Of sage Tradition's ancient lore,
And Arthur's might, and deeds of yore.
Or softly harping to the skies,
They hymned their mystic harmonies,
Holding in necromantic trance
The viewless spirits of the air,-
Or slowly wove the solemn dance
In measured orbits circling there.
Andraste, silver-crowned queen,
In sceptered state and courtly sheen,
Her radiant car would oft suspend
And to the secret shades descend;
Or sphered in midnight's spectred sky,
Beneath the bright-starred canopy,
Would listen to their choral minstrelsy.
The time-proved seers, a stately band,
With oaken wreath and gifted wand,


And amulet inchased, in gold,

Their hidden orgies there would hold;
And, their stone-altars duly dight

With leaves that flamed brave and bright,

Till star-set, wrought in magic guise,
And held their moonly mysteries.

Then, through Mona's sunless caves,.
Delving to the Ocean-waves,
Wound in many a wildered maze
The storied chords of minstrel lays.
Other music heard she none,
Other echo breathed not one.
Till that fell hour of deadly fame
When the Roman Eagle came,
And fiercely rushing on her prey,
Scared the Dove of Peace away.
Then the druid-temples wild
Of stones by mighty Ogmius piled,
Or reared by incantation high,
And balanced true by witchery,
Were all profaned by warring bands;
And spoiled by sacrilegious hands,
Mona's unsunned groves were rent:
Mona poured her loud lament,
As the vengeful flames made way
For the unwelcome light of day,
Through paths for ages veiled from sight,
While Murder, by the lurid light,
Pursued his prey; unmoved his breast
By harp of power, by snow-white vest,
By patriarch form, by spell or prayer;-
On their own altars bleeding there,
The Nadredd sage, the gifted Seers
Amid the ruins flaming round,
The honours of a thousand years,
A sylvan burial found.'


Art. III. The Chronology of our Saviour's Life, or an Inquiry into the true Time of the Birth, Baptism, and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. By the Rev. C. Benson, M.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge. 8vo. pp. 343. Price 6s. Cambridge University Press. THE precise time. of a person's birth or death who should be acknowledged as the author of a new system of moral or religious doctrines, would seem to be of little or no importance to his followers, who could not be supposed to connect their reception of the tenets taught by him, with satisfactory proof of the true date of his birth, or of the time of his decease. It would

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