History of The Druids of Ireland – by John Toland, publ. 1814

This is a short introductory video by Robert Sepehr about Ireland, Druids, and legends. The rest of this article consists of the Book by John Toland’s HISTORY OF THE DRUIDS. Its first 72 pages were edited from the scanned text copy I was able to obtain. UPDATE! I have now put Toland’s intro and biography at the end of the actual Book!

The book begins with a very interesting biography of the writer John Toland, an Irish Christian intellectual who troubled the churches of the British Kingdom and Academia with his revolutionary but enlightened writings.

Below the introduction and biography you will find a very well resources book about the history of the Irish Druids, what they were up to, what they believed, what their practice was, and more. Enjoy this very interesting book.

Celtic Druids by Higgins. Higgins, Godfrey. The Celtic Druids or an attempt to show that the Druids were the priests of Oriental Colonies who emigrated from India. Illustrated, 4to, half calf. London, 1829. $35.0ai

AND A Copious appendix
R. HUDDLESTON, Schoolmaster, Lunan,

EARLY imbued with a competent knowledge of the Greek and Roman languages, I imbibed, along with them, every possible prejudice against the Celts. I was, from my infancy, taught to consider them a parcel of demi-savages their language an unintelligible jargon, and their boasted antiquity the raving of a disordered imagination. Dazzled with the splendour of the classic page, I endeavoured to derive every thing from the Greek and Roman languages. I had even gone the hopeful length, of deriving Penpont from Pene Pontus ; Catterthun from Cast? a Thani; Dunnipace from Duni Pads ; Criiden from Cruor Danorum; with a thousand other fooleries of the same kind.

About twenty years ago, the treatise now offered io the public, fell into my hands. I was astonished io find that it tore up by the roots the whole philological system, which I had so long held sacred and invulnerable. The boasted precedency of the Greek and Roman languages now appeared, at least, doubtful.
Determined to probe the matter io the bottom, I devoted my serious attention to the history, the antiquities, and language of the Celts : the result was, that I found it established by the most unquestionable authorities that the Celtic language was a dialect of the primary language of Asia; that the Celts were the aborigiual inhabitants of Europe, and that they had among them, from the most remote antiquity, an order of Literati named Druids, to whom the Greeks and Romans ascribe a degree of philosophical celebrity, inferior to none of the sages of antiquity.
These important points being fixed, every difficulty vanished, and the similarity of the European languages to that of the Celts, can be satisfactorily accounted for.

Respecting the origin of language, we have no occasion to resort to hypothesis or conjecture. It is a point clearly and absolutely determined by the sacred records, the best of all evidence.
Language was the immediate gift of God to man. It formed a constituent and essential part of our great and general ancestor, and constitutes the noblest characteristic of humanity. Without it reason had been mute, and every mental faculty languid and inert.

From the same sacred source we know, that the whole human race spoke one and the same language, up to the building of Babel, when mankind were dispersed by the intervention of Providence, that the most distant parts of the world might be inhabited. The confusion of languages, which then took place, cannot be taken literally and absolutely, otherwise it must follow that there were as many different languages as individuals at Babel.
Hence no two individuals would have been intelligible to each other, and the purposes of social intercourse, for which alone language was conferred on man, would have been wholly defeated. The term confusion of language is, most probably, nothing more than a strong oriental metaphor, expressive of dissention or discordancy. Most languages have such a metaphor; and even among ourselves, when Me see two persons engaged in a violent tribal altercation, there is nothing more common than to express it by saying, they are not speaking the same way. Intervention of time and place will innovate any language ; and the simple fact of the dispersion of ?nankind^ will sufficiently account for all the alterations which language has since undergone.

Nothing has so much perplexed philologists, as the affinity, or, as it is more commonly called, the intermixture of languages: The fact is, the primary language of Asia, or, in other words, the language of Babel is the groundwork of the whole, and all of


them retain stronger or fainter marks of affinity, in proportion as they are primary, intermediate, or more remote branches of this primary root. Of all the phanomena of language, the most remarkable is the affinity of the Celtic and Sanscrit, which cannot possibly have come in contact for more than three thousand years, and must, therefore, owe their similarity to the radical tincture of the primary language of Asia. The Braminical tenets, religious rites, knowledge of astronomy, and severity of discipline, so much resemble the Druidical, as hardly to leave a doubt of their having been originally the same.

That the Celtic is a dialect of the primary language of Asia, has received the sanction of that celebrated philologist the late Professor Murray, in his Prospectus to the philosophy of language. That the Celts were the aborigines of Europe, and their language the aboriginal one, even Pinkarton himself is obliged to admit. It is a point, on all hands conceded, that neither colonies nor conquerors can annihilate the aboriginal language of
a country. So true is this, that, even at the present day, the Celtic names still existing over the greater part of Europe, and even in Asia itself, afford sufficient data whereby to determine the prevalence of the Celtic language, the wide extent of their ancient territories, and their progress from east to west. The Roman language unquestionably derives its affinity to the Sanscrlt through the medium of the Celtic ; and to any one who pays minute attention to the subject, it will appear self-evident that the Doric dialect of the Greek, founded on the Celtic, laid the foundation of the language of Rome. The Gothic, over the whole extent of Germany, and the greater part of Britain and Ireland ; the Phoenician, or Moorish, in Spain, &c. &c. &c. are, all of them, merely recent superinductions ingrafted on the Celtic–the aboriginal root. Conquerors generally alter the form or exterior of the language of the conquered, to their own idiom ; but the basis or groundwork is always that of the aboriginal language. The Roman language Gothicized produced the Italian, The Celtic in Gaul (with an admixture of the lingua rustica Romana) Gothicized, produced the French. The old Brlt,h,H


The old British (a dialect of the Celtic) Saxonized, produced the English, &c. &c. &c. Whoever would rear a philological system radically sound (as far, at least, as respects the languages of Europe), must, therefore, commence with the Celtic, otherwise he will derive the cause from the effect — the root from the branches.

Though the treatise now published contains, in substance, all that is certainly known respecting the Druids, still it is much to be regretted that Mr. Toland did not live to accomplish his greater work. No man will, perhaps, ever arise equally qualified for the task. Dr. Smith, indeed, professes to give us a detailed History of the Druids, but the moment he quits the path chalked out by Mr. Toland, he plunges headlong into the ravings of (what Mr. Pinkarton denominates) Celtic madness. The candid reader will hardly believe (though it is an absolute truth) that he ascribes to the Druids the invention of telescopes and gunpowder.
The fact is, that the stores of classic information respecting the Druids were greatly exhausted hy Mr. Toland ; and Dr. Smith could find nothing more to say on the subject.

The great desideratum for a complete history of the Druids is the publication of the Irish manuscripts. What a meagre figure would the history of the Levitical Priesthood make, had we no other information respecting them, than what is contained in the Greek and Roman page. Dr. Smith could not condescend on one Druid, whilst Mr. Toland, from the Irish manuscripts, has given us the names of a dozen. He also assures us, that much of their mythology, their formularies, and many other important particulars respecting them, are still preserved in the Irish records. Nor can we doubt the fact. Ireland was the neplus ultra of Celtic migration ; and whatever is recoverable of the ancient Celtic history and literature, is here only to be found.
The Irish manuscripts (the grand desideratum for perfecting the history of the Druid,) were to me wholly inaccessible. The notes which form the appendix to the present edition, are chiefly derived from the Greek and Roman classics. In whatever manner they may be received by the public, their merit or demerit will exclusively rest with myself. On the score of assistance


(with the exception of some remarks on the Hebrew word Chil, obligingly furnished by the reverend David Lyal of Caraldston) I have not one obligation to acknowledge.

To my numerous subscribers I am highly indebted. That a “Work so little known, and the editor still less, should have received so liberal a share of public patronage, could hardly have been anticipated. Among the many individuals who have exerted themselves in procuring subscriptions, it would be ungrateful not to mention Mr. John Smith, post-master, Brechin ; Mr. Walter Greig, tenant, Kirkton Mill; Patrick Holland, Esq. of Newton ; Mr. Forbes Frost, stationer, Aberdeen ; Mr. James Dow, supervisor of excise, and Mr. John Smith, stationer, Montrose; Mr. George Anderson, tenant, Carlungie ; Mr. David Duncan, tenant, Inchock; and particularly Mr. David Gibson post-master, Arbroath, whose exertions have been great and indefatigable,

I am sorry, that, in the course of these notes, I have had occasion so frequently to mention Mr. Pinkarton. The truth is, that gentleman has saved me a world of labour, by concentrating into one focus, whatever could militate against the honour, or even the existence, of the Celts, A reply to him is, therefore, an answer to all who have adopted, or may adopt, the same erroneous theory. I am fully sensible, that, in combating the paradoxes of this gentleman, I have sometimes betrayed a little warmth. But this, I flatter myself, will be found hardly as a drop in the bucket , compared to his own boisterous scurrility.
He is, in fact, a second Ishmael. His hand is against every man and every man’s hand against him. To him, and his favourite Goths, I do not bear the slightest prejudice. But the man who can calmly behold the deliberate and uniform perversion of historic truth – the unoffending Celts, and the sacred records, trampled under foot, with the most sovereign and satirical contempt, in order to form the basis of the wildest Chimera which ever
disordered a human brain, must be endowed with feelings which I would not wish to possess.
The reader is respectfully cautioned not to mistake the obso


lete mode of writing in Toland’s treatise, for typographical errors. So scrupulously exact have I been in presenting him to the public in his native dress, that I have not even ventured to alter what, in some instances, appeared to be the mistakes of the printer. In the other parts of the work, I am happy to observe that the errors are few and venial; and a list of all such is given, as could in any degree obscure the sense, or perplex the reader. RT. HUDDLESTON.


Page 29, line 15, for there verse, read the reverse
40, line 23, for Cirea, read Circa,
43, line 4, for favourable, read unfavourable,
96, line 21, for koerhiis, read koecus,
197, line 27, for orbs, read Orbe.
360, line 3, for Cloumba, read Columha,
‘276, line 26, for Samanai, read Samanaei.
line 28, for Samanoi, read Samanaei,
279, line 30, for Choihidh, read Choibhidh,
287”, line 26, for sacram, read sacrum,
326, line 14, for their, read there.
339, line 6, for sum, read sunt,
375, line 36, for Britains, read Britons.
395, line 141, for partibus read paribus.


SOME men, my lord, from a natural greatness of soul, and others from a sense of the want of learning in themselves, or the advantages of it in others, have many times liberally contributed towards the advancement of letters. But when they, whose excellent natural parts are richly cultivated by sound literature, undertake the protection of the muses, writers feel a double encouragement, both as they are happily enabled to perfect their studies, and as their patrons are true judges of their performances. ‘Tis from this consideration alone (abstracted, my lord, from all that you have already done, or may hereafter deserve from your country, by an unshaken love of liberty) that I presume to acquaint your lordship with a design which I formed several years ago at Oxford, and which I have ever since kept in view; collecting, as occasion presented, whatever might any way


tend to the advantage or perfection of it. ‘Tis to write The History of the Druids, containing an account of the ancient Celtic religion and literature; and concerning which I beg your patience for a little while. Tho’ this be a subject that will be naturally entertaining to the curious in every place, yet it does more particularly concern the inhabitants of ancient Gaule (now France, Flanders, the Alpine regions, and Lombardy), and of all the British islands, whose antiquities are here partly explained and illustrated, partly vindicated and restored. It will sound somewhat oddly, at first hearing, that a man born in the most northern peninsula. of Ireland, shou’d undertake to set

* This peninsula is Inis-Eogain, vulgarly Enis.Owen, in whose isthmus stands the city of Londonderry, itself a peninsula, and, if the tradition be true, originally a famous grove and school of the Druids, Hence comes the very name Doi’ye, corruptly pronounced Derry, which in Irish signifies a grove , particularly of oaks. The great Columba changed it into a college for Monks (who in his time were retir’d Laymen, that lived by the labour
cf their hands) as most commonly the sacred places of the heathens, if pleasant or commodious, were converted to the like use by the christians after their own manner. This Derry is the Roberetum or Campus roborum *, mentioned by Bede in his Ecclesiastical History: but not Ardmacha, now Armagh, in the same province of Ulster, as many have erroneously conceived; nor yet Durramh, now Durrough, in that of Leinster, as some have no less groundlesly fancied, among whom Archbishop Usher.

* Pccerat autem (Columba) prius quam in Britanniam vcniret monastc
iium nobile in Hibernia, quod a copia roborum Dearmach lingua Scotorum,
koc est campus reborum, vocatur. Hist. Eccles, lib, 3. cap. 4.


the antiquities of Gaule in a clearer light than any one has hitherto done. But when ’tis considered, that, over and above what he knows in common, relating to the Druids, with the learned of the French nation (whose works he constantly reads with uncommon esteem), he has also certain other advantages, which none of those writers have ever had: when this, I say, is considered, then all the wonder about this affair will instantly cease. Yet let it be still remembered, that whatever accomplishment may consist in the knowledge of languages, no language is really valuable, but as far as it serves to converse with the living:, or to learn

Dearmach Is compounded of Dair, an oalc., and the ancient “word Mach (now Machaire) a field. They who did not know so much, have imagined it from the mere sound to be Armagh, which, far from Campus roborum, signifies the height or mount of Macha, (surnamed Mongruadh or rc-dhair’d) a queen of Ireland, and the only woman that ever sway’d the sovereign sceptre of that kingdom. But Armagh never was a monastery founded by Columba, who, in Bede’s time, was called Coluim-cille., as he’s by the Irish to this day: whereas it was from the monasteries of Derry and I.colmkill (“which last, though the second erected, became the first in dignity) that all the other monasteries dedicated to Columba, whether in Scotland or Ireland, were so many colonies. This is attested by the just mentioned Bedef, no less than by all the Irish annalists since their several foundations,

. Qui, videlicet Columba, nunc anonnnllis, composito a Cella , Columha
nomine Columcelli vocatur. Ibid. lib. .5. cap. 10.

t Ex quo wtroque monasterio pcrpluiinia exiude monasteria, per discipulos
»-Jus, & in Britannia & in Hibernia propagate sunt ; in quibns omnibus idem
monasterium insulaiium. in quo ipse rcquicscit corpor( , priiicipatum tcuet.
Jbid. lib. 3. cap. 15.


from the dead; and therefore, were that knowledge of times and things contained in Lapponian, which we draw from the Greec, and that this last were as barren as the first, I should then study Lapponian, and neglect Greec, for all its superiority over most tongues in respect of sonorous pronunciation, copiousness of words, and variety of expression. But as the profound ignorance and slavery of the present Greecs does not hinder, but that their ancestors were the most learned, polite, and free of all European nations, so no revolution that has befallen any or all of the Celtic colonies, can be a just prejudice against the truly ancient and undoubted monuments they may be able to furnish, towards improving or restoring any point of learning. Whether there be any such monuments or not, and how far useful or agreeable, will in the following sheets appear.

II. Among those institutions which are thought to be irrecoverably lost, one is that of the Druids; of which the learned have hitherto known nothing, but by some fragments concerning them out of the Greec and Roman authors. Nor are such fragments always intelligible, because never explained by any of those, who were skilled in the Celtic dialects, which are now principally six; namely Welsh or the insular British, Cornish almost extinct, Armorican or French British, Irish the least corrupted, Manks or the language of the Isle of Man ; and Earse or Highland Irish, spoken


also in all the western islands of Scotland. These, having severally their own dialects, are, with respect to each other and the old Celtic of Gaule, as the several dialects of the German language and Low Dutch, the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Islandic ; which are all descendants of their common mother, the Gothic. Not that ever such a thing as a pure Gothic or Celtic language either did or could exist in any considerable region without dialects, no more than pure elements : but by such an original language is meant the common root and trunk, the primitive words, and especially the peculiar construction that runs througli all the branches; whereby they are intelligible to each other, or may easily become so, but different from all kinds of speech besides. Thus the Celtic and the Gothic, which have been often taken for each other, are as different as Latin and Arabic. In like manner we conceive of the several idoms of the Greec language formerly, in Greece itself properly so called, in Macedonia, in Crete and the islands of the Archipelago, in Asia, Rhodes, part of Italy, in Sicily, and Marseilles; and at this time of the Sclavonian language, whose dialects not only prevail in Russia, Poland, Bohemia, Carinthia, and Servia, but in a great many other places, too tedious to recite. But of this subject we shall treat professedly in a dissertation*, to be annexed

*A Dissertation concerning the Celtic Language and Colonies.


to the work, whereof I am giving your lordship an account. Neither shall I in this specimen dwell on some things, whereof I shall principally and
largely treat in the designed history; I mean the philosophy of the Druids concerning the gods, human souls, nature in general, and in particular the heavenly bodies, their magnitudes, motions, distances, and duration; whereof Caesar, Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, Pomponius Mela, and Ammianus Marcellinus write more specially than others. These subjects, I say, will be copiously handled and commented in my history. In the mean time I do assure you, my Lord, from all authors, that no heathen priesthood ever came up to the perfection of the Druidical, which was far more exquisite than any other such system; as having been much better calculated to beget ignorance, and an implicit disposition in the people, no less than to procure power and profit to the priests, which is one grand difference between the true worship and the false. The western priesthood did infinitely exceed that of Zoroaster, and all the eastern sacred policy : so that the History of the Druids, in short, is the complete History of Priestcraft, with all its reasons and resorts; which to distinguish accurately from right religion, is not only the interest of all wise princes and states, but likewise does especially concern the tranquillity and happiness of every private person. I have used the word priestcraft here on purpose, not


merely as being the best expression for the designed abuse, and reverse of religion, (for superstition is only religion misunderstood) but also because the coining of the very word was occasioned by the Druids: since the Anglo-Saxons having learnt the word dry* from the Irish and Britons for a magician, did very appositely call magic or inchantment drycraeft\ ; as being nothing else but trick and illusion, the fourbery of priests and their confederates.

III. Now, this institution of the Druids, I think myself, without any consciousness of vanity, much abler to retrieve (as having infinitely better helps in many respects, of which, before I have done) than Dr. Hyde was to restore the knowledge of the-ancient Persian literature and religion; which yet he left imperfect for want of due encouragement, as I have shown in the first chapter of Nazarenus. From undoubted Celtic monuments, join’d to the Greec and Roman remains, I can display the order of their hierarchy, from the Arch-Druid down to the meanest of the four orders of priests. Of these degrees, the Arch-Druid excepted, there’s little to be found in the classic authors, that treat of the Druids: but very much and very particularly, in the Celtic writings and monuments. For many reasons their history is most interesting and entertaining: I mean, as on the one hand we consider

* Pronounced as Dree in English.
* Dry magus, Drycraeft incantatio, Aelfric, in Glossar.


them seducing their followers, and as on the other hand we learn not to be so deceived. They dextrously led the people blindfold, by committing no part of their theology or philosophy to writing, tho’ great writers in other respects ; but their dictates were only hereditarily convey’d from masters to disciples by traditionary poems, interpretable (consequently) and alterable as they should see convenient: which is a much more effectual way, than locking up a book from the laity, that, one way or other, is sure to come first or last to their knowledge, and easy perhaps to be turned against the priests. The Druids, as may be seen in the 6th book of Caesars’ Commentaries, drew the decision of all controversies of law and equity to themselves, the distribution of all punishments and rewards; from the power that was first given, or afterwards assumed by them, of determining matters of ceremony and religion. Most terrible were the effects of the Druidical. excommunica-

* If the learned reader, vyho knows any of the passages, or the unlearned reader wiio wants authorities for proving the following assertions, should wonder I do not always cite them, let it be known to both, that as in this specimen I commonly touch but the heads of things, (and not of all things neither) so I would not crowd the margin with long passages, nor yet curtail what in my History shall be produced at large: and, thereforp, all the following citations (the original manner of writing Celtic words excepted) are either samples of the quotations I shall give, or proofs of what I would not for a moment have suspected to he precariouitly advanced, or, finally, for the better understanding of certain matters which come in by way of digression or illustration, Otherwise they would not be necessary in a mere specimen, though in a finished work indisposable.


tion on any man, that did not implicitly follow their directions, and submit to their decrees: not only to the excluding of private persons from all benefits of society, and even from society itself; but also to the deposing of the princes who did not please them, and often devoting them to destruction. Nor less intolerable was their power of engaging the nation in war, or of making a disadvantageous and dishonourable peace; while they had the address to get themselves exempted from wearing arms, paying taxes, or contributing any thing to the public but charms: and yet to have their persons reputed sacred and inviolable, by those even of the contrary side, which veneration, however, was not always strictly paid. Ihese privileges allured great numbers to enter into their communities, for such sodalities or fraternities they had; and to take on them the Druidical profession, to be perfect in which, did sometimes cost them twenty years study. Nor ought this to seem a wonder, since to arrive at perfection in sophistry requires a long habit, as well as in juggling, in which last they were very expert: but to be masters of both, and withal to learn the art of managing the mob, which is vulgarly called leading the people by the nose, demands abundant study and exercise.


IV. The children of the several kings, with those of all the nobility, were committed to the tuition of the Druids, whereby they had an opportunity (contrary to all good politics) of moulding and framing them to their own private interests and purposes; considering which direction of education, Patric, had they been a landed clergy, wou’d not have found the conversion of Ireland so easy a task. So easy indeed it was, that the heathen monarch Laogirius, (who, as some assert, was never himself converted) and all the provincial kings, granted to every man free liberty of preaching and professing Christianity. So that, as Giraldus Cambrensis remarks, this is the only country of christians, where nobody was obliged to suffer martyrdom* for the gospel. This justice therefore I would do to Ireland, even if it had not been my country, viz. to maintain that this tolerating principle, this impartial liberty (e, er since unexampled there as well as elsewhere, China excepted) is a far greater honour to it, than whatever
thing: most glorious or magnificent can be said of

*,Omnes sancti terrae istius confessores- sunt. cV nullus tnartj/r ;
quod in alio regno Christiana difficiie erit intcnire. Minim ita,
fjiie quod gens cruedeliasima &; sanguinis stibunda. fides ah unit,
quo fundata S)’ semper tepidissima, pro Christi ecdesia corona
fnarhjrii nulla. Non igitur inventus est inpartihus istis, qui ecm
elesiee surgcniis fundamenta sanguinis effusione cementarct : non
fuit, qui facer et hoc bonum ; non fuit usque ad unum, Topo.
graph. Hibern. Distinct. 3, cap, 20.


any other country in the world. Girakl, on the
contrary, (as in his days they were wont to overrate martyrdom, celibacy, and the like, much above the positive duties of religion) thinks it a reproach to the Irish, That none of their Saints cemented the foundations of the growing church with their hlood, all of them being confessors, (says he,) and not one able to boast of the crown of martyrdom.
But who sees not the vanity and absurdity of this charge? It is blaming the princes and people for their reasonableness, moderation and humanity; as it is taxing the new converts for not seditiously provoking them to persecute, and for not madly running themselves to a voluntary death, which was the unjustifiable conduct of many elsewhere in the primitive times of Christianity. ‘Tis on much better grounds, tho’ with a childish and nauseous jingle, that he accuses the Irish clergy of his own time : and so far am I from being an enemy to the clergy, that I heartily wish the like could not be said of any clergy, whether there, or here, or elsewhere, from that time to this. Well then: What is it? They are pastors, (says he)*, who seek not to feed, but to be fed: Prelates, icho desire not to profit, but to preside: Sishops, zcho embrace not the nature, but the name; not the burden, but the bravery of their profession.

* Sunt enim pastores, qui non pascere qiicerimt, sed pasci:
sunt praiatiy qui non prodesse cupiunt, sed prteesse: smite pisco~
pi, qui non omen, sed noinenj non otius, sed honoretn amplectun, lur. Id. Ibid.


This, my lord, I reckon to be no digression from my subject, since what little opposition their happen’d to be in Ireland to Christianity, was wholly made by the Druids, or at their instigation: and that when they perceived this new religion like to prevail, none came into it speedier, or made a more advantageous figure in it, than they. The Irish, however, have their martyrologies, (lest this should be objected by some trifler) but they are of such of their nation as suffered in other countries, or under the heathen Danes in their own country, some hundreds of years after the total conversion of it to Christianity.
V. Those advantages we have named in the two last sections, and many the like articles, with the Druids pretences to work miracles, to foretel events by augury and otherwise, to have familiar intercourse with the gods (highly confirmed by calculating eclipses) and a thousand imposture of the same nature*, I can, by irrefragable authorities, set in such a light, that all of the like kind may to every one appear in as evident a view, which, as I hinted before, cannot but be very serviceable both to religion and morality. For true religion does not consist in cunningly devised fables, in authority, dominion, or pomp; but in

. The heads of the two last sections, with these here mentioned,
(though conceived hi few words) will -,,t each make a separate
chapter hi the History ; this present specimen being chiefly ia.
teodcd for modera iustances, as by the sequel will appear.


spirit and in truth, in simplicity and social virtue, in a filial love and reverence, not in a servile dread and terror of the divinity. As the fundamental law of a historian is, daring to say whatever is true, and not daring to write any falsehood: neither being swayed by love or hatred, nor gain’d by favour or interest; so he ought, of course, to be as a man of no time or country, of no sect or party, which I hope the several nations concern’d in this enquiry will find to be particularly true of me. But if, in clearing up antient rites and customs, with the origin and institution of certain religious or civil societies (long since extinct), any communities or orders of men, now in being, should think themselves touched, they ought not to impute it to design in the author, but to the conformity of things, if, indeed, there be any real resemblance: and, in case there be none at all, they should not make people apt to suspect there is, by crying out tho’ they are not hurt. I remember, when complaint was made against an honourable person*, that, in treating of the heathen priests, he had whipt some christian priests on their backs, all the answer he made, was only asking, What made them get up there? The benefit of which answer I claim before-hand to myself, without making or needing any other apology. Yet, if the correspondence of any priests with heaven

* Sir Robert Howard,


be as slenderly grounded as that of the Druids, if their miracles be as fictitious and fraudulent, if their love of riches be as immoderate, if their thirst after power be as insatiable, and their exercise of it be as partial and tyrannical over the laity, then I am not only content they should be touched, whether I thought of them or not, but that they should be blasted too, without the possibility of ever sprouting up again. For truth will but shine the brighter, the better its counterfeits are shewn: and all that I can do to shew my candour is, to leave the reader to make such applications him-self, seldom making any for him; since he that is neither clear-sighted, nor quick enough of conception, to do so, may to as good purpose read the Fairi Tales as this history.

YI. Besides this impartial disposition, the competent knowledge I have of the northern languages, dead and living, (though I shall prove that no Druids, except such as towards their latter end fled thither for refuge, or that went before with Celtic invaders or colonies, were ever among the Gothic nations) I say, these languages will not a little contribute to the perfection of my work, for a reason that may with more advantage appear in the book itself. But the knowledge of the ancient Irish, which I learnt from my childhood, and of the other Celtic dialects, in all which I have printed books or manuscripts (not to speak of their vulgar traditions), is absolutely necessary, these


having preserved numberless monuments concerning the Druids, that never hitherto have come to the hands of the learned. For as the institutions of the Druids were formerly better learnt in Britain, by Caesar said to be the native seat of this superstitious race, than in Gaule, where yet it exceedingly flourished ; so their memory is still best preserved in Ireland and the highlands of Scotland, comprehending the Hebridse, Hebrides, or Western Isles, among which is the Isle of Man, where they continued long after their extermination in Gaule and South Britain, mostly by the Romans, but finally by the introduction of Christianity. Besides, that much of the Irish heathen mythology is still extant in verse, which gives such a lustre to this matter, and, of course, to the Greek and Roman fragments concerning the Druids, as could not possibly be had any other way.

VII. Thus (to give an example in the philological part) the controversy among the grammarians, whether they should write Druis or Druida, in

. The Irish word for Druid is Drui, corruptly Droi, and
more corruptly Draoi; yet all of the same sound, which in ety-
mologies is a great matter; and in the nominative plural it is
Druidhe, whence comes no doubt the Greek and Latin Druides;
as Druis in the singular was formed by only adding s to Drui,
according io those nation’s way of terminating. But as these
words in Irish as well as the British Drudwn, are common to
both sexes; so the Romans, according to their inflection, dis-
tinguished Druida for a She-Druid (which sort are mentioned by authors) whereof the nominative plural being Druidtr, bought by us to be used in that sense only : and so I conclude, that in cur modern Latin compositions Druides and Druidae should
not be confounded, as they have frequently been by the transcribers of old writings, who mislead others. We are not to be moved therefore by reading Druidae in any Latin author in the masculine gender, or in the Greek writers, who certainly used
it so. All equivocation at least will be thus taken away.


the nominative case singular, can only be decided by the Irish writings, as you may see demonstrated in the margin, where all grammatical remarks shall be inserted among the other notes of the history, if they do not properly belong to the annexed Dissertation concerning the Celtic Languages and Colonies. This conduct I observe, to avoid any disagreeable stop or perplexity in the work itself, by uncouth words, or of difficult pronunciation.
For as every thing in the universe is the subject of writing, so an author ought to treat of every subject smoothly and correctly, as well as pertinently and perspicuously; nor ought he to be void of ornament and elegance, where his matter peculiarly requires it. Some things want a copious style, some a concise, others to be more floridly, others to be more plainly handl’d, but all to be properly, methodically, and handsomely exprest. Neglecting these particulars, is neglecting, and consequently affronting the reader. Let a lady be as well shap’d as you can fancy, let all her features be faultless, and her complexion be ever so deli-


cate; yet if she be careless of her person, tawdry ill her dress, or aukward in her gate and behavior, a man of true taste is so far from being touched with the charms of her body, that he is immediately prepossest against the beauties of her mind; and apt to believe there can be no order within, where there is so much disorder without. In my opinion, therefore, the Muses themselves are never agreeable company without the Graces. Or if, as your lordship’s stile is remarkably strong, you wou’d, with Cicero ., take this simile from a man, you’11 own ’tis not enough to make him be lik’d, that he has well-knit bones, nerves and sinews: there must be likewise proportion, muscling, and coloring, much blood, and some softness. To relate facts without their circumstances, whereon depends all instruction; is to exhibit a skeleton without the flesh, wherein consists all comeliness. This I say to your lordship, not pretending to teach the art of writing to one, who’s so fit to be my master; but to obviate the censures of those, and to censure ’em in their turns, who not only do not treat of such subjects as I have now undertaken in a flowing and continu’d stile, but peremtorily deny the holds of antiquity and criticism to be capable of this culture: and indeed as suffering under the drudgery of their hands, they generally become barren heathe or unpassable thickets; where you

* De Oraiore, lib,1.II2


are blinded with sand, or torn with bryars and brambles. There’s no choice of words or expressions. All is low and vulgar, or absolete and musty; as the whole discourse is crabbed, hobbling, and jejune. Not that I wond have too much license taken in this respect; for though none ought to be slaves to any set of words, yet great judgement is to be employed in creating anew, or reviving an old word: nor must there be less discretion in the use of figures and sentences; which, like embroidery and salt, are to set off and season, but not to render the cloth invisible, or the meat uneatable. To conclude this point, we are told by the most eloquent of men, that a profuse volubility*, and a sordid exility of words, are to be equally avoided. And now, after this digression, if any thing that essentially relates to my task can be properly called one, I return to the Druids, who were so prevalent in Ireland, that to this hour their ordinary word for magician is Druid**, the art magic is call’d Druidity,***, and the wand, which was one of the badges of their profession, the rod of Druidism****. Among ancient classic authors Pliny is the most express concerning the magic of the Druids, whereof the old Irish and British books are full: which legerdemain, or secrets of natural philosophy, as all magic is

* Cicero de Oraterr, lib. 1. ** Drui, *** Druitheacht **** Slatnan Druidheacht.


either the one or the other, or both, we shall endeavour to lay open in our history of the Druids; not forgetting any old author that mentions them, for there’s something particular to be learnt in every one of them, as they touch different circumstances. Having occasionally spoken of the wand or staff* which every Druid carry’d in his hand, as one of the badges of his profession, and which in a chapter on this subject will be shewn to have been a usual thing with all pretenders to magic, I must here acquaint you further, that each of ’em had what was commonly called the Druid’s Egg, which shall be explain’d in the history, hung about his neck, inchas’d in gold. They all wore short hair, while the rest of the natives had theirs very long; and, on the contrary, they wore long beards, while other people shav’d all theirs, but the upper lip. They likewise all wore long habits; as did the Bards and the Vaids: but the Druids had on a white surplice, whenever they religiously officiated. In Ireland they, with the graduate Bards and Vaids, had the privilege of wearing six colours in their breacans or robes, which were the striped braccae of the Gauls, still worn by the Highlanders, whereas the king and queen might have in theirs but seven, lords and ladies five, governors of fortresses four, officers and young gentlemen of quality three, common soldiers two, and common people one. This sumtuary law , most of the Irish historians say, was


enacted under King Achaius*. the 1st.; tho’ others, who will have this to be but the reviving of an old law, maintain it was first established by King Tigernmhas.

VIII. As the Druids were commonly wont to retire into grots, dark woods, mountains, and groves**, in which last they had their numerous schools, not without houses as some have foolishly dreamt, so many such places in France, Britain, and Ireland, do still bear their names : as Dreux, the place of their annual general assemby in France; Kerig-y-Drudion, or Druid-stones, a parish so called in Denbighshire, from a couple of their altars there still remaining. In Anglesey there is the village of Tre’r Driu, the town of the Druid, next to which is Trer Beirdh or Bards-town: as also in another place of the same island Maen-y-Drun, that is, the Druid’s stone ; and Caer-Dreuin, or the city of the Druids, in Merioneth-shire.
The places in Ireland and the Hebrides are infinite. The present ignorant vulgar, in the first of the last-mention’d places, do believe, that those in- chanters were at last themselves inchanted by their apostle Patric and his disciples, miraculously confining them to the places that so bear their names ;
* Eochaid Eudghathach.
** These groves for pleasure and retirement, as well as for awe
and reverence, were different from the lurking places in forests
and caves, into which they were forc’d when interdicted in Gaule
and Britain.


where they are thought to retain much power, and sometimes to appear, which are fancies* like the English notion of fairies. Thus the Druid O’Murnin inhabits the hill of Creag-a-Vanny, in Inisoen ; Aunius** in Benavny from him so called in the county of Londonderry, and Gealcossa***, in Geal-cossa’s mount in Inisoen aforesaid in the county of Dunegall. This last was a Druidess, and her name is of the homerical strain, signifying White-legg’d****. On this hill is her grave, the true inchantment which confines her, and hard by is her temple; being a sort of diminutive stone-henge,
which many of the old Irish dare not even at this day any way prophane. I shall discover such things about these temples, whereof multitudes are still existing, many of them entire, in the Hebrides, in Orkney, and on the opposite Continent; as also many in Wales, in Jersey and Guernsey, and some in England and Ireland, the most remarkable to be accurately describ’d and delineated in our history. I shall discover such things, I say, about the famous Egg of the Druids, to the learned hitherto a riddle not to speak of their magical gems and

*Such fancies came from the hiding of the persecuted Druids,
from the reign of Tiberius, who made the first law against them
(having been discountenanced by Augustus) but strictly put ia
execution by Claudius, and the following emperors, till their
utter extirpation by the general conversion of the people to
** Aibhne or Oibhne. *** Gealchossach, **** Cnuc na Geai, chossaich.


herbs: as also about their favourite all-heal or Misselto*, gather’d with so much ceremony by a priest in his white surplice, as Pliny ** tells us, and with a gold pruning-knife ; as well as about the abstrusest parts of their philosophy and religion, that the like has not yet appear’d in any author, who has treated of them. The books of such are either bare collections of fragments, or a heap of precarious fables; I mean especially some French writers on this subject, as Picard, Forcatulus, Guenebaut, with others of no better allay in Britain and Germany; for as I admit nothing
without good authority, so I justly expect, that, without as good, nothing will be admitted from me.

IX. But, my lord, besides these Druids, the antient Gauls, Britons, and Irish, had another order of learned men, called Bards, whereof we shall sufficiently discourse in our proposed work. Bard is still the Irish and Scottish word, as Bardh the Armoric and British. There is no difference in the pronunciation, tho’, according to their different manner of writing in expressing the power of the letters, they vary a little in the orthography:!;. The Bards were divided into three

* All these heads will be so many intire chapters.
** Sacerdos, Candida veste cullus, arhorcm scandit: fake aurea
demeliL Hist. Nat. Lib. 16. Cap. 44.
*** Let it be noted once for all, that, as in other tongues, so in
Irish and Welsh particularly, t and d are commonly put for each
other, by reason of their afiinity ; and that dk anfl gh being pro.
Hounc’d alike in Irish, and therefore often confounded, yet an
exact writer will always have regard to the origin as well as to
the analogy of any word : and so heMl write Druidhe, (for ex-
ample) and not Druighe, much less Draoithe broadly and aspi«
lately ; nor will he use any other mispellings, tho’ ever so com.
mon in books. This is well observed by an old author, who
writing of Conia, a heathen freethinking judge of Connacht, thus
characterizes him ; Se do rinee an choinhhUocht ris na Druids
tdhh: ’twas he that disputed against the Druids. These criticisms,
some would say, are trifles : but Hae nugae in seria ducunt.


orders or degrees, namely, to give an example now in the British dialect, as I shall give their turns to all the Celtic colonies, Privardh, Posvardh, and Aruyvardh: but, with regard to the subjects whereof they treated, they were called Prududh, or Teeluur, or Clerur; which words, with the equivalent Irish names, shall be explained in our history, where you’ll find this division of the Bards well warranted. The first were chronologers, the second heralds, and the third comic or satyrical poets among the vulgar: for the second sort did sing the praises of great men in the heroic strain, very often at the head of armies, like him in Virgil ;

Cretea musarum comitem, cui carmina semper
Et citharae cordi, numerosque intendere nervis ;
Semper equos, atq ; arma virum, pugnasq ; canebat :
Virg. Aen.Lib.9.

And the first, who likewise accompany’d them in peace, did historically register their genealogies and atchievements. We have some proofs that


the panegyrics of the Gallic Bards did not always want wit no more that flattery; and particularly an instance out of Atheneus, who had it from Posidonius the stoic, concerning Luernius*, a Gallic prince, extraordinary rich, liberal, and magnificent. He was the father of that same Bittus, who was beaten by the Romans. Now this Luernins, says* my author,
” Having appointed a certain
” day for a feast, and one of the barbarous poets
” coming too late, met him, as he was departing;
” whereupon he began to sing his praises and to
” extol his grandeur, but to lament his own un-
” happy delay. Luernius being delighted, called
” for a purse of gold, which he threw to him, as
” he ran by the side of his chariot: and he taking
” it up, began to sing again to this purpose; That
” out of the tracks his chariot had plow’d on the
” ground, sprung up gold and blessings to mankind.”

As some of the Gallic Bards were truly ingenious, so were many of them mere quiblers : and among the bombast of the British and Irish Bards, there want not infinite instances of the true sublime. Their epigrams were admirable, nor do

* Whether it be Luernius, or as Strabo writes it Luerius, the
name is frequent either way in the antientest Irish writers, as
Loarn, and Luire or Luighaire.


the modern Italians equal them in conceits. But in stirring the passions, their elegies and lamentations far excede those of the Greecs, because they express nature much more naturally. These Bards are not yet quite extinct, there being of them in Wales, in the Highlands of Scotland, and in Ireland: nor did any country in the world abound like the last with this sort of men, whose licentious panegyrics or satyrs have not a little contributed to breed confusion in the Irish history. There were often at a time, a thousand Ollaws*, or graduate poets, besides a proportionable number of inferior rhymers, who all of ’em liv’d most of the year on free cost: and, what out of fear of their railing, or love of their flattery, no body durst deny them any thing, be it armour, fewel, horse, mantle, or the like; which grew into a general custom, whereof the poets did not fail to take the advantage. The great men, out of self-love and interest, encouraged no other kind of learning, especially after they professed Christianity: the good regulation, under which they were in the time of Druidism, as then in some manner belonging to the temples, having been destroyed with that religion. In a small time they became such a grievance, that several attempts were made to rid the nation of them : and, which is something comical, what at least our present poets would not extraordinarly like, the orders

* Ollamh is a professor or doctor in any faculty.


for banishing them were always to the Highlands of Scotland: while they were as often harbour’d in Ulster, till upon promise of amendment of their manners, I mean, and not of their poetry, they were permitted to return to the other provinces. At last, in a general national assembly, or parliament, at Drumcat*, in the country we now call the county of Londonderry, under Aidus Anmireus**, XIth christian king, in the year 597, where was also present Adius ***, king of Scotland, and the great Columba****, it was decreed: that for the better preservation of their history, genealogies, and the purity of their language, the supreme monarch, and the subordinate kings, with every lord
of a cantred, should entertain a poet of his own, no more being allowed by the antient law in the island: and that upon each of these and their posterity a portion of land free from all duties, shou’d be settl’d for ever; that, for encouraging the learning these poets and antiquaries profest, public schools shou’d be appointed and endow’d, under the national inspection; and tliat the monarch’s own bard shou’d be arch-poet 1|, and have super-intendancy over the rest. ‘Tis a common mistake, into which father Pczron has fallen, among others, that the Bards belonged to the body of the Druids: but tliis is not the place to rectify

* Druim,ceat ullas Druimcheat, ** Aodhinhac Ainmhire.
*** Aodhaumbac Gaurain. ****Coluim-cilie. *****ArdOllamh.


it. They made hymns for the use of the temples, ’tis true, and manag’d the music there; but they were the Druids that officiated as priests, and no sacrifices were offer’d but by their ministry.

X. In the history likewise shall be fully explain’d the third order of the Celtic Literati, by the Greecs called Ouateis, and by the Romans Vates; which yet is neither Greec nor Roman, but a mere Celtic word, viz. Faidh, which signifies to this day a prophet in all Irish books, and in the common language, particularly in the Irish translation of the Bible; where Druids* are also commonly put for inchanters, as those of Egypt, and especially for the Mages, or as we translate, the wise men** that came from the East, to visit Jesus in his cradle. So easily do men convey their own ideas into other men’s books, or find em there; which has been the source of infinite mistakes, not only in divinity, but also in philosophy and philology. The Celtic Vaids***, were physicians and diviners, great proficients in natural philosophy, as were likewise the Druids, who

*Draoithe, Exod. 7. 11. Anols Draoithe na Hegipte dor innedursanfos aran modhgceadna le nandroigheachtuibh.
** Mat. 2. 1. Feuch Tangadar Draoithe o naird shoir go Hiarusalem.

*** The word Faidh (or Vait by the usual conversion of the
letters F into V, and D into T) whence the Latin made Fates;
and their critics acknowledge, that they took many words from
the Gauls. The Euchages and Eubages, in some copies of Ammianus
Marcellinus, are false readings, as in time will appear.


had the particular inspection of morals, but Cicero, who was well acquainted with one of the prime Druids, remarks, that their predictions were as much grounded on conjecture*, as on the rules of augury: both equally fortuitous and fallacious. For the saying of Euripides will ever hold true, that the best guesser is the best prophet** He that is nearly acquainted with the state of affairs, that understands the spring of human actions, and, that judiciously allowing for circumstances, compares the present time with the past: he, I say, will make a shrewd guess at the future. By this time, my lord, you begin to perceive what is to be the subject of the history I intend to write; which, tho’ a piece of general learning and great curiosity, yet I shall make it my business so to digest, as to render it no less entertaining than instructive to all sorts of readers, without excepting the ladies, who are pretty much concerned in this matter; throwing, as I told you before, all my critical observations, and disquisitions about words, into the margin, or the dissertation annext to the history. As to what I say of the ladies

*So are Drusi, Drushles, and Drusiades for Druides: as likewise
Vardi, from the British and Irish oblique cases of Bard.
**Siquidem & in Gallia Druides sunt, c quibus ipse Divitiajium
Aeduum, hospitem tuum laudatoremque, cognovi (inquit Quin.
tas) qui & natur;e rationem, quam physiologiani Gra,ci appellant,
iiotam esse sibi profitebatur; & partim Auguriis, partim conjee-
tura, quae essent futura dicebat, Dc Dhinct, lib, I. cap, 41.


being concern’d in this history, there, were not only Druidesses; but some even of the highest rank, and princesses themselves were educated by the Druids: for in our annals we read, that the two daughters of king Laogirius*, in whose reign Patric preach’d Christianity, were educated by them; and we have the particulars of a long dispute those young ladies maintained against this new religion, very natural but very subtil.
Several other ladies bred under the Druids became famous for their writings and proficiency in learning, of some of whom we shall occasionally give an account: but lest I shou’d be thought in every thing to flatter the sex, how much soever I respect them, I refer the reader to a story in my third letter. But, in order to complete my design, so as to leave no room for any to write on this subject after me ; and also to procure several valuable manuscripts, or authentic copies of them, well knowing where they ly, I purpose towards the spring to take a journey for at least six monthe: which, at our next meeting, I shall do myself the honour to impart to your lordship very particularly.

XT. The Irish, a few Scandinavian and Danish words excepted, being not only a dialect of the ancient Celtic or Gallic, but being also liker the mother than her other daughter the British ; and the Irish manuscripts being more numerous, and

* Laoghaire.


And much antienter tthan the Welsh, shows beyond all contradiction the necessity of this language for retrieving the knowledge of the Celtic religion and learning. Camden and others have long since taken notice of the agreement between the present British and those old Gallic words collected by learned men out of Greec and Roman authors: and the industrious Mr. Edward Lhuyd, late keeper of the Museum at Oxford, perceiv’d this affinity between the same words and the Irish, even before he study,d that language, by the demonstration I gave him of the same in all the said instances. Nor does he deny this agreement in the comparative Etymologicon he afterwards made of those languages, where he quotes Camden and Boxhornius affirming it about the Gallic and British; but there being, says he*, no Vocabulary extant, meaning no doubt in print, of the Irish, or entient Scottish, they could not collect that language therewith, which the curious in those studies will now find to agree rather more than ours, with the Gaulish, That it does so, is absolute fact, as will be seen by hundreds of instances in this present work. I am aware that what I am going to say will sound very oddly, and seem more than a paradox ; but I deserve, my lord, and shall be content with your severest censure, if, before you have linish’d reading these sheets, you be not firmly of the same mind yourself; namely, that, without the know-

* In the preface to his Archecologica Britannica, pag.1.


lege of the Irish language and books, the Gallic antiquities, not meaning the Francic, can never be set in any tolerable light, with regard either to words or to things ; and numerous occasions there will occur in this History of illustrating both words and things even in the Greec and Roman authors. I shall here give one example of this, since I just come from treating of the several professors of learning common to the antient Gauls, Britons, and Scots, viz. the Druids, Bards, and Vaids.
Lucian* relates that in Gaule he saw Hercules represented as a little old man, whom in the language of the country they called Ogmius; drawing after him an infinite multitude of persons, who seem’d most willing to follow, tho’ drag’d by extreme line and almost imperceptible chains : which were fasten’d at the one end to their ears, and held at the other, not in either of Hercules’s hands, which were both otherwise imploy’d; but ty’d to the tip of his tongue, in which there was a hole on purpose, where all those chains centre’d. Lucian wondering at this manner of portraying Hercules, was inform’d by a learned Druid who stood by, that Hercules did not in Gaul, as in Greece, betoken strength ofhody, but the force of eloquence; which is there very beautifully display ‘d by the Druid, in his explication of the picture that hung in the

et quae segnutur in Hercule Gallico ; Greaca etenim longiora aunt quam ut hic commode iuseri possint.


temple. Now, the critics of all nations have made a heavy pother about this same word Ogmius, and labouriously songht for the meaning of it everywhere, but just where it was to be found. The most celebrated Bochart, who, against the grain of nature, if I may so speak, wou’d needs reduce all things to Phenician; says it is an oriental word, since the Arabians’. call strangers and barbarians Agemion: as if, because the Phenicians traded
antiently to Gaule and the British ilands, for colonies in them they planted none, they must have also imported their language; and, with their other commodities, barter’d it for something to the natives, naming their places, their men, and their gods for them. Our present Britons, who are at least as great traders, do not find they can do so in Phenicia, nor nearer home in Greece and Italy, nor yet at their own doors in this very Gaule :
besides that Lucian does positively affirm Ogmius was a Gallic word, a tvord of the country ‘\, This has not hinder’d a learned English physician, Dr. Edmund Dickenson, from hunting still in the east for a derivation of it; conjecturing Hercules to be Joshua J, who was surnamed Ogmius, for having-
conquered Og king of Bashan:

. In Geo,raphia Sacra, sive Canaan, part 2. cap. 42.

t <t>oinr, T» sTTt,aifiM. Ubi supra,

t Josuam quoque spectassc videtur illud nomen, quo Galli an,
iiquitus Ilcrciik-ra nuncupahant, Vndc vero oyiMn;} Annon «/-»
Og victo? Delph. Plioenicizant. cap. 3.


O ! sanctas gentes ! quibus haec nascuntur in hortis

Juvenal, Sat. 15. ver. 10.

I could make your lordship yet merryer, or rather angrier, at these forc’d and far-fetch’d etymologies, together with others hammered as wretchedly out of Greec, nay even out of Suedish and German.
But the word Ogmius, as Lucian was truely inform.d, is pure Celtic; and signifies, to use Tacitus’s. phrase about the Germans, the Secret of Letters, particularly the letters themselves, and consequently the learning that depends on them, from whence the force of eloquence proceeds: so that Hercules Ogmius is the Ijcarned Hercules, or Hercules the jyrotector of learning, having by many been reputed himself a philosopher f. To prove this account of the word, so natural and so apt, be pleas’d to understand, that, from the very beginning of the colony, Ogum, sometimes written
Ogam, and also Ogma J, has signify,d in Ireland the secret of letters, or the Irish alphabet; for the truth of which I appeal to ail the antient Irish books, without a single exception. ‘Tis one of

. Literarum Secreta viu puriier ac foeminae ingnorant, De
moribus Germanorum, cap. 19.

c,-u,i rr,v Koyxy>.vVf &c. Palaphatifragmentum in Chronica Alexandrino. ,Epn-
xx?)j AXKfAtj,TK: uiog. TcwTOv 4>iXo5-o4>o» ico,ovTifScc. Suidas in voce ‘Epajtx.??. Et din
ante Suidam audiebat apud Heraclitum, in Allegoriis Homericis, Avrj e,4>,«r,
xa.1 crc,ja? ou,xnov (xvirni:, ua-nifji kcita QaQsix; a,Kvo; tfriQi,uK.vMt 6<J>«T<,£ rnv
(J-iXecro,jair, KaBaTfc, vfxa’h.oyovtrt nai 2T«i»a;> oi Joxj,awTctTo;,

t Au in the Dublin college manuscript, to be presently cited,


the most authentic words of the language, and originally stands for this notion alone. Indeed after Patric had converted the nation, and, for the better propagating of christian books, introduced the use of the Roman letters, instead of the antient manner of writing, their primitive letters, very different from those they now use, bagan by
degrees to grow absolete; and at last legible only by antiquaries and other curious men, to whom they stood in as good stead as any kind of occult characters : whence it happen’d that Ogum, from signifying the secret qfivriting, came to signify secret writing, but still principally meaning the original Irish characters. There are several manuscript treatises extant, describing and teaching the various methods of this secret writing; as one in the college-library of Dublin, and another in that of his grace the duke of Chandois f. Sir James Ware, in his Antiqiiities of Ireland, relating how the antient Irish did, besides the vulgar characters, jnac, lise also divers ways and arts of occult writing, ccUVd
Ogum, in which they wrote their secrets; I have, continues hej, an antieiit parchment hook full of

. ‘Tis, among other pieces, in The Book of BuUlmore ; being
the Ibbih ¥olum in (he Dublin catalogue, in pcirchmcnt, folio,
D. IS.

+ Anonymi cujusdam Tractatus de variis apud nibernos vete-
resoccultis scribendi formuiis, Hibernict. 0,«;» dictis.

t Praeier characteres vulgares utebantur etiam veleres Hiberni
>ariis occultis scribendi formuiis seu artificiis, Ogum dictis, qui-


tifi’se, ,,bicli is the Siune just now said to belon to the duke of Chandois: and Dudley Forbes a hereditary antiquary, Avrote to the rather bdjorious than judicious chronologist O’Flaherty -)% in the year 1683, that he had some of the primitive birch-tables |, for those they had before the use of parchment or paper, and many sorts of the old occult writing by him. These are principally the Og/irmi-beith, the Ogham-coll, and the Ogham-craofh, which last is the old one and the true.
But that the primary Irish letters, the letters first in common use, which in the manner we have shown, became accidentally occult, were originally meant by the word ogum; besides the appeal made above to all antient authors, is plain in particular from Forchern, a noted bard and philosopher, who liv’d a little before Christ. This learned man ascribing with others the invention of letters to the Phenicians, or rather more strictly and properly to Phenix, whom the Irish call Fenms farsaidJi, or Phenix the antient, says, that, among other alphabets, as the Hebrew, Greec, and Latin, he also compos’d that of Bethhiis?iion an Oghuim\\,

bus secreia suascribcbant : his referturn habeo libellum membra-

nacGum antiquum. Cap, 2.
Dualtach mhac Firbis. + Ruahruigh O Flaltlubheartuigh.
X Ogygia, part. 3. cap. 30. § Ogiim.branches,
[| Fenius Farsaidti alphabeia prima Ilebrasorum, Graecorura,
Latinorum, et Bethluisnion an Oghuim, composult. Ex For’
cherni libro, octingentis retro mnis Laiine reddiio.


the alphabet of ogum, or the Irish alphabet, meanings: that he invented the first letters, in imitation of which the alphabets of those nations were made.
Ogum is also taken in this sense by the best modern writers: as William O’Donnell., afterwards archbishop of Tuam, in his preftice to the Irish New Testament, dedicated to King James the First, and printed at Dublin in the year 1602, speaking of one of his assistants, says, that he eujomd him io write the other part according to the Ogum and
jjropriety of the Irish tongue; where Ogum must necessarily signify the alphabet, orthography, and true manner of writing Irish. From all this it is clear, why among the Gauls, of whom the Irish had their language and religion, Hercules, as the protector of learning, shou d be call’d Ogmius, the tennination alone being Greec. Nor is this all.
Ogma w as not only a known proper name in Ireland, but also one of the most antient; since Ogma Grianann, the father of King Dalboetius f, was one of the first of the Danannan race, many ages before Lucian’s time. He was a very learned man, married to Eathna, a famous poetess, who bore, besides the fore-mentioned monarch, Cairbre, likewise a poet: insomuch that Ogma was deservedly surnamed Grianann ;{:, which is to say Phebean, where you may observe learning still attending

. William O DomhnuilL i” Dealbhaoith.

% Griun is the sun, and Grianann sun.like, or belonging to
the sun.


this name. The Celtic language being now almost extinct in Gaule, except onely in lower Brittany, and such Gallic words as remain scattered among the French ; subsists however intire in the several dialects. of the Celtic colonies, as do the word sogimi and ogma, particularly in Irish. Nor is there any thing better known to the learned, or will appear more undeniable in the sequel of this work, than that words lost in one dialect of the unme common language, are often found in another: as a Saxon word, for example, grown obsolete in Germany, but remaining yet in England,
may be also us’d in Switzerland; or another word grown out of date in England, and fiourishing still in Denmark, continues likewise in Iceland. So most of the antiquated English words are more or less corruptly extant in Friezlancl, Jutland, and the other northern countries ; with not a few in the Lowlands of Scotland, and in the old English pale
in Ireland.

XII. Now, from the name of Hercules let’s come to his person, or at least to the person acknowledg’d to have been one of the heros worshiped by the Gauls, and suppos’d by the Greecs and Romans to be Hercules. On this occasion I cannot but reflect on the opposite conduct, which the learned and the unlearned formerly observed, with respect to the God. and divine matters. If, thro’ the ignorance or superstition of the people, any

”’These are Brittish, Welsh, Cornish. Irish. Maaks, and Earse.


fable, tho’ ever so gross, was generally received in a religion; the learned being ashani’d of such an absurdity, yet not daring openly to explode anything Avherein the priests found their account, explain’d it away by emblems and allegories importing a reasonable meaning, of which the first authors never thought: and if the learned on the
other hand, either to procure the greater veneration for their dictates, or the better to conceal their sentiments from the profane vulgai’, did poetically discourse of the elements and qualities of matter, of the constellations or the planets, and the like effects of nature, veiling them as persons; the common sort immediately took them for so many persons in good earnest, and rendered ’em divine worship under such forms as the priests judg’d fittest to represent them. Objects of divine worship have been coin’d out of the rhetorical flights of oraiors, or the flattering addresses of panegyrists : even metaphors and epithets have been transform’d into gods, which procured mony for the priests as
well as the best ; and this by so much the more, as such objects were multiply’d. This is the unavoidable consequence of deviating ever so little from plain truth, which is never so heartily and highly reverenc’d, as when appearing in her native simplicity; for as soon as her genuine beauties are indeavour’d to be heightened by borrow’d ornaments, and that she’s put under a disguise in gorgeous apparel: she quickly becomes, like


others affecting such a dress, a mercenary prostitute, wholly acting by vanity, artifice, or interest, and never speaking but in ambiguous or unintelligible terms; while the admiration of her lovers is first turn’d into amazement, as it commonly ends in contemt and hatred. But over and above, the difficulty, which these proceedings have occasioned in the history of antient time, there arises a greater from time itself destroying infinite circumstances, the want whereof causes that to seem afterwards obscure, which at the beginning was very clear and easy. To this we may join the
preposterous emulation of nations, in ascribing to their own gods or heros whatever qualities were pre-eminent in those of others. That most judicious writer. about the nature of the gods, commonly caird Phurnutus, tho’ his true name was Cornutus, a stoic philosopher, whom I shall have frequent occasion to quote hereafter, ” owns the great variety, and consequently the perplexed-ness and obscurity, that occurs in the history of Hercules, whereby it is difficult to know certain-

. oovfvovTiv Scii,pta Ttsfi Tng Twy 6=a;v <jjys-£4)j, vulgo : sed, ut Ravii codex &
Vaticamis legunt (notante doctissimo Galeo) verus titulus est Ko,vovrov iTct.
ajOtA-n T’jtfy KcCla rr.v ‘EXX>ivt>t>iv do,,icLV ira,x,i,OfA.Bvcov,

t To S’E S’uco’irty.pila ytyonvAi rci ra 6iOv iha, airo rav Trspi rov ‘Hpjt;oc urOpOvfjiimr.
Ta-X,”- ,'”V ‘, >,£OVTn xa< to fOiraXov ex. tjj? Trcthaia.; QcOT,Oyia; tn rovlov y.dzvnny,t.zv.
i.ri ; iTfctiriyoy yap avTiv yt\i3f.i.svov ayxQoVj nai TroWa fAipn rriq ynq f,na ,iiiafA,ecoq tveX’

s-jTfj.aoi? rov Biou, fxira to» aTTABarariTfAaVf vjzo ruv eu£,yiTOvy,iyv? KUtoXfAnTOAi ,
0-ti<x£Q\ov yxf £,i«l6t;5y giTj pw/A?jf H«4 >£yy«iOT»iTs;. SfC, cap. 31.
■’•’ Alii TriTi-vii;,


ly what were his real atchievements, or what were fabulously fathered upon him: but having been an excellent general, who had in diverse countries signaliz’d his valor, he thinks it not probable, that he went onely arm’d with a lion’s skin and a club; but that he was represented after his death with these, as symbols of generosity and fortitude, for which reason he was pictured with a bow and arrows/’
To this let me add, that several valiant men in several nations having, in imitation of some one man any where, been called or rather surnam’d Hercules; not only the works of many, as subduing of tyrants, exterminating of wild beasts, promotmg or exercising of commerce, and protecting or improving of learning, have been ascrib’d to one: but that also wherever any robust person was found represented with a skin and a club, a bow and arrows, he was straight deem’d to be Hercules ; whence the Egyptian, the Indian, the Tyrian, the Cretan, the Grecian or Theban, and the Gallic Hercules. This was a constant way with the Greecs and Romans, who, for example, from certain resemblances per-
fectly accidental, conjectured that Isis was honoured by the Germans, and Bacchus worship’d

. Pars Suevorum & Isidi sacrificat. Unde causa et origo
peregrine sacro parum comperi; nisi quod signum ipsum, in
modum Liburcaj figuratum, docet ad?ectam Religioiiem. Tacit.
de moT, German, cap. 9.


by the Jews., which last notion is refuted even by their enemy Tacitus f. Such superficial discoveries about the Celtic divinities I shall abundantly expose. Yet that Ogmius might be really the Grecian Hercules, well known in Gaule, it will
be no valid exception that he was by the Druids theologically made the symbol of the force of eloquence, for which that country has been ever distino’uish’d and esteem’d : since even in Greece he was, as Phurnutus assures us, mystically accounted, that reason which is diffused thro all things, according to ivhich nature is vigorous and strong, invincible and ever generating; being the poiver that communicates virtue and firmness to every part of things ‘I. The scholiast of Appollonius affirms, that the natural philosophers understood by Hercules, the intelligence and permanence of beings,: as the Egyptians held him to be that reason, which is in the whole of things, and in every part ||. Thus

. Plutarch, Sj/iuposiac. lib. 4. quem prolixius disserentem
otiosus consulas, lector.

+ Quia sacerdotes eorum tibia tympanisque conciaebant, he-
dera ilnciebantur, vitisque aurea teroplo reperta, Ljberum pa-
trem coli, domitorem Orientis, quidam arbitrati sunt, nequaquam
congruentibus institutes : quippe Liber festos Igetosque ritus
posuit, Judaeorum mos absurdus sordidusque. Lib. 5. cap. 5.

X ‘HpaxX»j Js sriv £y TSi? oXoif Xoyo;, xa9′ ov K <,V!n; nrxi’fU y.ai Hfolaia erO’, avMrJs;

KUi aTTSfiyivn,og evcra : y.Bra,oriKOi lO’xyo;, xaj t?:? ‘jta,a (,epi a’Kurig vrra,X’,n.

Ubi supra.
§ napa TOnr<|>y3-iKo;; o ,HpoKX?); s-u,za-n; xai aXv.n Xafxtanerat,
II Ton en ‘rracri, mi ha Ttanrxn, xoyon; non nXion, at corrupte legi cum Galeo

auspicor in Macrobio, Suturnal. lib. 1. cap. CO.

J, 2


the learned allegoriz tl away among others, as I said before, the fabulous atchievements and miraculous birth of this hero, on which we shall however touch again, when we come to explain the heathen humor of making all extraordinary persons the sons of gods, and commonly begot our virgins ; tho’ this last is not the case of Hercules,
w,ho was feign’d to be the son of Jupiter by Alcmena, another man’s w ife. This wou’d be reckoned immoral among men, but Jupiter (said the priests) can do with his own what he pleases: which reason, if it contented the husbands, cou’d not displease tlie batchelors, who might chance to be sometimes Jupiter’s substitutes. The Druidical allegory of Ogmius, or the Gallic Hercules, which in its proper place I shall give you at large, is extremely beautiful: and, as it concerns that eloquence whereof you are so consummate a master, cannot but powerfully charm you.

XHI. In the mean time ’tis probable your lordship w ill be desireous to know, whether, besides the language and traditions of the Irish, or the monumenls of stone and other materials which the country affords, there yet remain any literary records truly antient and unadulterated, Whereby the history of the Druids, with such other points of antiquity, may be retriev’d, or at least illustrated? This is a material question, to which I return a clear and direct answer; that not onely there remain very many antient manuscripts undoubtedly


s,’emiine, besides such as are forged, and greater numbers interpolated. several whereof are in Ireland itself, some here in England, and others in the Irish monasteries abvoad: but that, notwithstanding the long state of barbarity in which that nation hath lain, and after all the rebellions and wars with which the kingdom has been harass’d; they have incomparably more antient materials of that kind for their history (to which even their mythology is not unserviceable) than either the English or the French, or any other European nation, with whose manuscripts I have any acquaintance.
Of these I shall one day give a catalogue, marking the places where they now ly, as many as I know of them; but not meaning every transcript of the same manuscript, which wou’d be endless, if not impossible. In all conditions the Irish have been strangely solicitous, if not to some degree supersitious, about preserving their books and parchments;
even those of them which are so old, as to be now partly or wholly unintelligible. Abundance, thro’ over care, have perished under ground, the concealer not having skill, or wanting searcloth and other proper materials for preserving them. The most valuable pieces, both in verse and prose, were written by their heathen ancestors; whereof some

. As the Urakeacht na nelgios, L e. the accidence of the art.
i3ts, or the poets ; which being the work of Forchern beforr-
nam’d, was interpolated, and fitted to his own time, by Ccana
Faoladh. the son of OilioU, ia the, vcbv of Thr,s, 628.


iiuleecl have been interpolated after the prevailing of Christianity, which additions or alterations are, nevertheless easily distinguish, : and in these books the rights and formularies of the Druids, together with their divinity and philosophy ; especially their two grand doctrines of the eternity and incorruptibility of the universe, and the incessant
revolution of all beings and forms, are very specially, tho’ sometimes very figuratively express’d.
Hence their allanimatioii and transmigration. Why none of the natives have hitherto made any better use of these treasures; or why both they, and such others as have written concerning the history of Ireland, have onely entertain’d the world with the fables of it (as no country wants a fabulous account of its original, or the succession of
its princes) ; w hy the modern Irish historians, I say, give us such a medley of relations, unpick’d and unchosen, I had rather any man else shou’d tell.
The matter is certainly ready, there wants but will or skill for working of it; separating the dross from the pure ore, and disthiguishing counterfeit from sterling coin. This in the mean time is undeniable, that learned men in other places, perceiving’ the same dishes to be eternally served up at every meal, are of opinion that there is no better iare in the country; while those things have been conceal’d from them by the ignorant or the lazy, that would have added no small ornament even to their classical studies. Of this I hope to con-


vince the world by the lustre, which, in this work, I shall impart to the antiquities not only of Gaule and Britain, but likewise to numerous passages of the Greec and Latin authors. How many noble discoveries of the like kind might be made in all countries, where the use of letters has long subsisted! Such things in the mean time are as if they were not: for

Paulum sepultae distat inertiae
Celata virtus.
HoRAT. lib. 4. Od. 9.

The use of letters has been very antient in Ireland, which at first were cut on the bark of trees., prepared for that purpose; or on smooth tables of birch wood, which were call’d poets tables; as their characters were in general nam’d twigs and branch-letters,, from their shape. Their alphabet was called Beth-luis-nion, from the three first letters of the same, B, L, N, Beth, Luis, Nion,i for the particidar name of every letter was, for memory-sake, from some tree or other vegetable; which, in the infancy of writing on barks and boards, was very natural. They had also many characters signifying whole words, like the Egyptians and the Chinese. When Patric introduc’d the Roman letters (as I said above) then, from a corruption of Abcedarinm, they call’d their new

. Oraium, + Taibhk Fileadk. % Feadha: CraQbh O,ham.
§ Birch , Quickaip and Ask,


alphabet Aihgkittir, ; which, by the Monkish writers, has been latiniz’d Ahgetorium’. But there florish’d a great number of Druids, Bards, Vaids, and other authors, in Ireland, long before Patricks arrival; whose learning was not only
more extensive, but also much more useful than that of their christian posterity: this last sort being almost wholly imploy’d in scholastic divinity, metaphysical or chronological disputes, legends, miracles, and martyrologies, especially
after the eighth century. Of all the things committed to writing by the heathen Irish, none were more celebrated, or indeed in themselves more valuable, than their laws; which were delivered, as antiently among some other nations, in short sentences, commonly in verse; no less reputed infallible oracles than the Lacedemonian i?e,/ir<,:{;; and, what’s remarkable, they are expresly term’d celestial judgements\; for the pronouncing of . At first it was very analogically pronounc’d Ah.kedair, since the letter C then in Latin, as still in Irish and Brittish, had the force of K no less before E and I, than before A, O, U; having never been pronounc’d like S by the antient Romans, who
said KUcero, kensco, koechuSy but not Sisero, senseo, soecus, when the words Cicero, censco, coccus, or such like occurr’d : so that Ahkedair did naturally liquidate into Aibghtttir, in the manner that all grammarians know.

t Scripsit Abgetoria [scilicet Patricius] 355, et eo amplius
jiumero. Nenn. Hist. Brilait. cap, 59.
, Breatha nirnh’,i


which, the most famous were Forehern, Neid, Conla, Eogan, Modan, Moran, King Comiac, his chief justice Filhil, Fachma, Maine, Ethnea, the daughter of Amalgad, and many more. These celestial judgments were only preserv’d in traditionary poems, according’ to the institution of the Druids, till committed to writing at the command of Concovar., king of Ulster, who dy’d in the year of Christ 48, whereas Patric begun his apostleship but in the year 432. The poets that wrote were numberless, of whose works several pieces remain still intire, with diverse fragments of others. The three greatest incouragers of learning among the heathen Irish monarchs were first. King Achaiusf (surnamed the doctor of Ireland), who is said to have built at Tarah, an academy, call’d the court of the learned,. ‘Twas he that ordain’d, for every principal family, hereditary antiquaries; or, in case of incapacity, the most able of the same historical house, with rank and privileges immediately after the Druids. The next promoter of letters was King Tuathalius§, whose surname is render’d Bonaventura (tho’ not so properly), and who appointed a triennial revi-
sion of all the antiquaries books, by a committee of three kings or great lords, three Druids, and three antiquaries. These were to cause whatever was approv’d and found valuable in those books,

. Conchobhar Nessan, i. e. Mac Neassa. + Eochaldh OU
lamhfodla. t Mur.Ollamhan. § Tuathal Teachtmhar.


to be transcribed into the royai Book of Tara/r% which was to be the perpetual standard of their history, and by which the contents of all other such books shou’d be receiv’d or rejected. Such good regulations I say there were made, but not how long or how well observ’d; or, if truth is to be preferred to all other respects, we must own they were but very slightly regarded; and that the bards, besides their poetical licence, Avere both mercenary and partial to a scandalous degree. The ordinance, however, is admirable, and deserves more to be imitated, than we can ever
expect it to be so any where. The third most munificent patron of literature was King Cormac, surnamed Long-beard1[, who renew’d the laws about the antiquaries, rebuilt and inlarg’d the academy of Tarah for history, law, and military
prowess: besides that, he was an indefatigable distributer of justice, having written himself abundance of laws still extant. So in his Institution of a Princely or his Precepts, to his son and successor Carbre|| Fiffecair, who in like manner was not superticially addicted to the muses. Cormac was a great proficient in philosophy, made light

. Leabhar Toamhra. + Ulfhada.

+ ‘Tis, among other most valuable pieces, in the collection caird O Duvegan’s, folio 190. a, now or late in the possession of the Ti’jht honourable the earl of Cianrickard. There are copies of it elsewhere, but that’s the oldest known.

§ Teagarg Riogh. (| Cairbre Lifiochair.


of the superstitions of the Druids in his youth, and, in his old age, having quitted the scepter, he fed a contemplative life, rejecting all the druidical fables and idolatry, and acknowledging only-one Supreme Being, or first cause. This short account of the primevous Irish learning, whereof you’ll see many proofs and particulars in the more than once mentioned Dlssertation concerning the Celtic Language and Colonies (to be annext to our Critical History), will, I am confident, excite your curiosity.

XIV. The custom, therefore, or rather cumimg of the Druids, in not committing their rites or doctrines to writing, has not deprived us (as some may be apt to imagine) of sufficient materials to compile their history. For, in the first place,
when the Romans became masters of Gaule, and every where mixt with the natives ; they cou’d not avoid, in that time of light and learning, but arrive at the certain knowledge of wliatever facts they have been pleas’d to hand down to us, tho’ not always rightly taking the usages of other nations: as it must needs be from a full conviction of the
Druidical fraudulent superstitions, and barbarous tyranny exercis’d over the credulous people, that these same Romans, who tolerated ail religions, yet supprest this institution in Gaule and Britain, with the utmost severity. The Druids, however, were not immediately extinguished, but only their labarous, tyrannical, or illusory usages. And in-

M 2


deed their human sacrifices, with their pretended magic, and an autliority incompatible with’ the power of the magistrate, were things not to be endured by so wise a state as that of the Romans.
In the second place, the Greec colony of Marseilles, a principal mart of learning, could not want persons curious enough, to acquaint themselves with the religion, philosophy, and customs of the country, wherein they lived. Strabo, and others, give us an account of such. From these the elder Greecs had their information (not to speak now of the Gauls seated in Greece itself and in lesser Asia) as the later Greecs had theirs from the Romans; and, by good fortune, we have a vast number of passages from both. But, in the third place, among the Gauls themselves and the Britons, among the Irish and Albanian Scots, their historians and bards did always register abundance of particulars about the Druids, whose affairs were in most things inseparable from those of the rest of the inhabitants; as they v.ere not only the judges in all matters civil or religious, but in a manner the executioners too in criminal causes ;
and that their sacrifices were very public, which consequently made their rites no less observable.
One thing which much contributed to make t\u-in known, is, that the king was ever to have a Druid about his person; to pray and sacrifice, as well as to be a judge for determining emergent controversies, tho’ he had a civil judge beside,’. So he had


one of the chief lords to advise him, a bard to sing the praises of his ancestors, a chronicler to register his own actions, a physician to take care of his health, and a musician to intertain him. Whoever was absent, these by law must be ever present, and no fewer than the three controllers of his family; which decemvirate was the institution
of King Cormac. The same custom was taken up by all the nobles, whereof each had about him his Druid, chief vassal, bard, judge, physician, and harper, the four last having lands assigned them, which descended to their families, wherein these professions were hereditary, as were their marslial, and the rest of their officers. After the introducing of Christianity, the Druid was succeeded by a bishop or priest, but the rest continued on the antient foot, insomuch, that for a long time after the English conquest, the judges, the bards, physicians, and harpers, held such tenures in
Ireland. The O Du vegans were the hereditary bards of the O Kellies, the O Clerys and the O Brodins were also hereditary antiquaries: the O Shiels and the O Canvans were such hereditary doctors, the Maglanchys such hereditary judges, and so of the rest; for more examples, especially in this place, are needless: it wou’d be but multiplying
of names, without ever making the subject clearer. Only I must remark here, from the very nature of thmgs, no less than from facts, that (tho’ Cesar be silent about it) there were civil judges in Gaule


just as ill Ireland, yet under the direction and controll of the Druids. This has led many to imagine, that, because the Druids iniluenced all, there were therefore no other judges, which is doubtless an egregious mistake.

XV. Further, tho’ the Druids were exempted from bearing arms, yet they finally determind concerning peace and war : and those of that order, who attended the king and the nobles, were observ’d to be the greatest make-bates and incendiaries; the most averse to peace in council, and tlie most cruel of all others in action. Some of ’em were ally’d to kings, and many of ’em were king s sons, and great numbers of them cull’d out of the best families : which you see is an old trick, but has not been always effectual enough to perpetuate an order of men. This, however, made historians not to forget them, and indeed several of ’em render d themselves very remarkable; as the Druid Trosdan, who found an antidote against the poyson’d arrows of certain Brittish invaders:
Cabadius, grandfather to the most celebrated champion Cuculandf; Tages J the father of Morna, mother to the no less famous Fin mac Cuil§: Dader, who was kill’d by Eogain, son to Oliil Olom king of Munster; which Eogan was marry’d to Moinic, the daugliter of the Druid Dill. The Druid Moirruth, the son of Sinduinn, was the

. Cathbaid. f Cuchulaid. t Tadhg. § Fin mhac Cubhaill.



stoutest man in the wars of King Cormac : nor less valiant was Dubcomar’,’, the chief Druid of King FiacJia: and Lugadius Mac-Con, the abdicated king of Ireland, was treacherously run thro’ the body with a lance by the Druid Firchisusf. Ida and Ona (lords of Corcachlann near Roscommon) were Druids ; whereof Ono presented his fortress
of Imleach-Ono to Patric, who converted it into the religious house of Elphin, since an episcopal see:}:. From the very name of Lamderg§, or Bloody-hand, we learn what sort of man the Druid was, Avho by the vulgar is thought to live inchanted in the mountain between Bunncranach and Fathen j|, in the county of Dunnegali. Nor must we forget, tho’ out of order of time, King Niall, of the nine hostage’s Arch-Druid, by name Lagicinus Barchedius, who procured a most cruel war against Eocha, king of Munster, for committing manslaughter on his son; and which the Druids making a common cause, there was no honour, law, or humanity observ’d towards this king, whose story, at length in our book, will stand as a last-

Dubhchomar. + Fearchios.
t Ailjinn, from a vast obelise that stood by a well in that
place; and that fell down in the year 1675: The word signi.
fies the ivhilestonc, and was corrupted into oUJinn. . Some wou’d
derlTC the name from the clearness of the fountain, but ’tis by
torture: others from one Oilfinn, a Danish commander.
§Lambhdearg. ||,Taobhsaoil-trcach. t NiallNaoighi.allach,
. Laighichin mhac Darrecheadha,


ing monument of druidical bloodyness, and a priest-ridden state. I conclude with Bacrach (chief Druid to Conchobhar Nessan, king of Ulster), who is fabeled by the monks long after the extinction of the Druids, to lune before it happen’d, others say at the very time, describing the passion of Jesus Christ, in so lively and moveing a manner, that the king, transported with rage, drew his sword, and, with inexpressible fury, fell a hacking and hewing the trees of the wood where he then was, which he mistook for the Jews : nay, that he put himself into such a heat as to dy of this frenzy. But even O’Flaherty, fully confutes this silly action, not thinking it possible that such circumstances cou’d be anyway inferrd from an eclipse (which is the foundation of the story) nor that a clearer revelation shouYl be made of those things to the Irish Druids, than to the Jewish prophets : and, finally, by shewing, that Conchobhar dy’d quietly in his bed fifteen years after the crucifixion of Christ. Bacrach, however, was a great man, and the king himself had
a Druid for his step-father and instructor.

XVI. It can be no wonder, therefore, that men thus sacred in their function, illustrious in their alliances, eminent for their learning, and honoured for their valor, as well as dreaded for their power and influence, should also be memorable both in



the poetry and prose of their country. And so in fact they are, notwithetanding what Dudley Forbes, before mention’d, did, in a letter to an Irish writer., in the year 1683, affirm: namely, that, in Patric’s time no fewer than 180 volumes,
relating- to the aftairs of the Druids, were burnt in Ireland. Dr. Kennedy saysf, that Patric burnt 300 volumns, stuft with the fables and superstitions of heathen idolatry; unfits adds he, to be transmitted to posterity , But, pray, how so: why are Gallic or Irish superstitions more unfit to be transmitted to posterity, than those of the Greecs and Romans? Why shou’d Patric be more squeamish in this respect than Moses or the succeeding Jewish prophets, who have transmitted to all ages the idolatries of the Egyptians, Phenicians, Caldeans, and other eastern nations? What an irreparable destruction of history, what a deplorable extinction of arts and inventions, what an unspeakable detriment to learning, what a dishonor upon human understanding, has the cowardly proceeding of the ignorant, or rather of the interested, against unarm’d monuments at all times occasion’d! And yet this book-burning and letter-murdring humor, tho’ far from being commanded by Christ, has prevailed in Christianity from the beginning: as in the Acts of the Apostles we read,

. O Flaherty.
dissertatlon about th? family of the Stuarts, pref. page 29.


that many of them which believed, and used curious artSf brought their books together, and burnt them before all men; and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver., or about three hundred pounds sterling. This was the first instance of burning books among christians; and ever since that time the example has
been better follow’d, than any precept of the gospel.
XVII. From what we have hitlierto observed, you see that our historians, my lord, do (in spite of all chances) abound with matter enough to revive and illustrate the memory of the Druids. Besides that the rites and opinions of other nations serve not only to give light to theirs, but were many of them of Druidical or Celtic extraction. This no body will deny of the aboriginal Italians, who having been often over-run by the Gauls, and having several Gallic colonies planted among them, they partook both of their language and religion; as will be very easily evinc’d in our dissertation, and has been already tolerably done by Father Pezron in his Celtic originals. Diogenes Laertius, in the proem of his philosophical history, reckons the Druids among the chief authors of the barbarous theology and philosophy, long anterior to the Greecs, their disciples: and Phurnutus, in his treatise of the Nature of the Gods, says most expressly, that ” among the many and various

.Acts 19. 19.


fables which the aiitient Greecs had about the Gods, some were derived from the Mages, some from the Egyptians and Gauls, others from the Africans and Phrygians, and others from other nations.: for which he cites Homer as a witness, nor is there anything that bears a greater witness to itself. This, however, is not all : for, over and above the several helps I have mention’d, there are likewise numerous monuments of the worship of the Druids, their valor, policy, and manner of habitation, still remaining in France, in Britain, in Ireland, and in the adjacent islands; many of ’em intire, and the rest by the help of these easily conceiv’d. Most are of stone, as the lesser ones are of glass, and others of earth bak’d extremely hard.
The two last kinds were ornaments or magical gems, as were also those of chrystal and agat, either perfectly spherical, or in the figure of a lentill ; or shap’d after any of the other ways, which shall be describ’d and portray’d in our book. The glass amulets or ornaments are in the Lowlands of Scotland, call’d Adder-stanes, and by the Welsh
Gh’hii na Droed/i, or Druid-glass, which is in Irish Glaine nan Druidke, Glaine in this language signifying Glass, tho’ obsolete now in the Welsh dia

. Ttf ?£ TCaWat; xai TratxiXajTrspi Qeu)/ ysyoHvoLi. ita,a. roii; TraXaiois ,EWns-i y,v9s7:o»
ixcy aiq aWcA (xiy I’m Uxyxq ytyoma-iv, oKKai Js Trap’ AtyvKTM; uat iCeXt5{j, uta
Ai,vTij Hxi <t>f’j,i, Km TC)<, a.K\oi; i’,HTi, Cap. 87. Thus the manuscript very
accurately; but the printed copy has taij axxoiq ,EXMa-i superfluously ia the
end, aud wauts <tpv,, before, which is very essential.


lect, and preserv’d only in this Gleini net Droedli, But the more massy monuments shall, in a day or two, be the subject of another letter from, My Lord,
Your Lordship’s most obliged,
And very humble Servant
June 18 1718.


I. PERMIT me at this time, (my lord) according to the promise with which I concluded my last, to send to your lordship A specimen of the monuments relating to the Druids, that are still extant, either intire or imperfect. I have ever indeavor’d to avoid deserving the blame, with which an approval author charges those, who, while very conversant in the history of other places, appear to be absolute strangers in their own country; and as I know no man better versed in foreu affaiis, or in our own, (which an able statesman will never separate) nor a greater master of antient or modern history than yourself; so I am apt to hope, that the collection of Brittish and Irish antiquities 1 here take the liberty to present to your lordship, may not prove altogether disagreeable. The French examples (a few excepted) 1 reserve for the larger work, and ia the mean time I procede.


On the tops of mountains and other eminences in Ireland, in Wales, in Scotland, in the Scottish ilands and the lie of Man, (where things have been least disorder’d or displac’d by the frequency of inhabitants, or want of better ground for cultivation) there are great heaps of stones, like the mercurial heaps | of the Greecs, whereof when we treat of the Celtic Mercury in particular. The heaps, which make my present subject, consist of stones of all sorts, from one pound to a hundred. They are round in form, and somewhat tapering or diminishing upwards; but on the summit was
always a flat stone, for a use we shall presently explain. These heaps are of all bignesses, some of ’em containing at least a hundred cartload of stones ; and if any of ’em be grown over with earth, ’tis purely accidental in the long course of time wherin they have been neglected; for no such thing was intended in the first making of them, as
in the sepulchral barrows of the Gothic nations, which are generally of earth. Such a heap is in the antient Celtic language, and in every dialect of it, call’d Cam, and every earn so dispos’d, as to be in sight of some other. Yet they are very different from the rude and much smaller pyramids, which the old Irish erect along the roads in memory of the dead, by them call’d Leachda, and

,fFMrsSE’f, 5cc, Phurnut. de Nat. Dear, cup. 16,
i ‘E,;x«ni, i, €. Accivi Mercuiialcs,


made of the first stones that offer. From the devotional romids performVl about the earns m times of heathenism, and which, as we shall see anon, are yet continued in many places of the Scottish Highlands and the Hebrides, any circle, or turning about, is in Armoric called cern, as cerna in that dialect is to make such a turn. On the earn called Crig-y’dyrn, in the parish of Tre’Iech m Caermarthenshire, the flat stone on the top is three yards in length, five foot over, and from ten to twelve inches thick. The circumference of this earn at the bottom is about sixty yards, and ’tis
about six yards high ; the ascent being very easy, tho’ I suppose there was originally a ladder for this purpose.

II. Let this earn serve for an example of the rest, as to their form and bulk ; only we may take notice here by the way, what odd imaginations men are apt to have of things they do not understand. Thus Mr. William Sacheverell, governor
of the Isle of Man under the right honorable the earl of Derby, in part of King V/illianrs reign, mistaking
these earns! in his description of that iland, ‘. The tops of the mountains (says he) seem nothing but the rubbish of nature, thrown into barren and unfruitful heaps, as near two thirds of the iland are of this sort. Some seem particularly worthy our remark, as the two JBarowh, Skefjall, tlie ,, ateh-

. C is pronouac’d as K. i Page 13.


iiill of Knock-a-loiv : but particularly Sneafeld, where it is not unpleasant (continues he) when the weather is clear and serene, to see three noble nations surrounding one of the most obscure in the universe: which is, as it were, the center of the Brittish empire.” These heaps our author thought the work of chance, tho’ artfully contrive! in all the Celtic countries; as Dr. Martin thought a earn in the ile of Saint Kilda, whereof presently, to be a signal effect of Providence: But as for the Maimiar. nation (which is visibly the center of the Brittish world) it is very undeservedly become obscure, whether we consider what has been transacted in former ages, it having been the theater of many
surprizing revolutions: or tiie particular usages in religious and civil affairs”, that even now obtain there, especially their laws, which still continue mostly unwritten (for which reason they call ’em l,reast-laivs) being without expense or delay, and undoubted remains of the justice of the Druids.
For, wherever they were not themselves a party, neither the Egyptians, nor Persians, nor Greecs, nor Romans, did surpass the wisdom, equity, and strictness of the Druids in the sanction or execution of their laws; which made all sorts of men leave their controversies of every kind to their determination, without any further appeal. Nor without some regard in fact, and a vast deal more in profession, to moral virtue, cou’d any set of impostors in uny country possibly support th.cir false


doctrines and superstitious observances; which receive credit from hence, as the teachers of ’em do all their power and authority, in proportion to the austerities they practise, or the appearances they have of devotion. I say appearances, because this hi most, join’d to real self-denial in a few (m ho by the rest are deem’d silly tho’ useful creatures) will long uphold an institution both erroneous and tyrannical : which is the reason that, to this hour, the memory of the Druids is highly venerable among those of the Ile of Man ; and that their laws are infinitely preferr’d to all others by the Manksmen, who say the family of Derby comes nearest their excellence of any race of men now in the world. Wherefore, as well in these regards, as in many others essential to my design, I shall, in the body of the history, give a true idea of the past and present customs of this antient, tho’ mixt people. Their numerous earns, of whose origin anon, are not the onely monuments they have of the Druids. But that the chief college of these philosophers was ever establish’d there, and much less any such college appointed by the kings of Scotland (as Hector Boethius feign’d) I shall demonstrate to be pvire romance : and at the same time will not fail doing justice to the memory of the great hero and legislator of the iland, Manannan ; reported, after the manner of those ages,
to have been the son of Lear., or the god of the Manannan mh,c Leir,


sea, from his extraordinary skill in navigation and commerce. He was truely the son of Alladius., who was of royal blood, and his own name Orbsen; but call’d Manannan from his country, and kill’d by one Ullin near Galway, in Ireland: of all which the particulars will be given in their proper place, especially the republic of Manannan ; who, from his instruction by the Druids, was reputed a consummate magician, and was indeed most happy in stratagems of war both by land and sea. Mr. Sacheverell, except in affirming Manannan (whom he misnames Mannan) to have been the father, founder, and legislator of the island-,, is out in every thing he says concerning him : for, instead of living about the beginning of the fifth century, he lived as many centuries before Christ; and so cou’d not be contemporary with Patric, the apostle of Man as well as Ireland. Neither was Manannan the son of a king of Ulster, nor yet the brother
of Fergus II |, king of Scotland: and as for his not being able to get any information what became of him, I have already told that he was kill’d in Ireland, and by whom.

III. In process of time the earns, to which we now return, ,erv’d every where for beacons, as many of tllem as stood conveniently for this purpose: but they were originally design’d, as we are now going to see, for fires of another nature. The fact stood thus. On May-eve the Druids made

Allald. t Page 20. J Ibid.


prodigious fires on those earns, which bemg every one (as we said) in sight of some other, could not but afford a glorious show over a whole nation.
These fires were in lionour of Beal or Bealan, latiniz’d by the Roman autjiors 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 call’d La. Bealteiney or the day of Belenshire, I remember one of those earns on Fawn-hill within some miles of Londonderry, known by no other name but that of Becdteiney facing another such earn on the top of Inch-hill: and Gregory of Tours, in his book de Gloria Confessormriy mentions a hill J of the same name§ between Artom and Riom in
Auvergne in France, from which Riom might be fairly view’d. But tho’ later writers affirm with Valesius, in his Galliarum notitiay this hill to be now unknown; yet Beleris heap on the top of it, is a sure mark whereby to discover it. His circular temple, as we shall see hereafter, is still there, (if not the earn) having certainly existed in Gregory’s time. Abundance of such heaps remain still on the mountains in France, and on the Alps.

. Herodian. Auson. Capitolla. Tertul. &c. Videantur etiara
Gruter. et Reines. in inscriptionibus,
+ Etiara Bealltaine, & antiquitus Bcltine,
J Cam [_ex Artonensi vico\ venisset in cacumea montis Beie-
natensis, de quo ?ici Ricomagensis positio eoateroplatur, vidlt
hos, ,c. De Gloria Confessory cap» 5.
§ Mons Bdenatensh.


Those writers, however, are not to be blam’d, as being strangers to the origin or use of such heaps ; and not able to distinguisli them from certain other heaps, under which robbers and traitors Avere bury’d. These last are called in general by the Welsh Carn-Vrachiyr and Carn-Lhadrofi,; or particularly after the proper names of the underlying criminals, as Carneclh-Leuelyn, Carnedh-Da’ vid, and such like. As far from Auvergne as the iland of Saint Kilda, in the 58th degree of northern latitude, there is another hill denominated from Belenus (which more consonant to the Celtic idiom Herodianf writes Belin) corruptly calFd Otter-, VeaulX, or Belens heigth; on Avhich is a vast heap, whereof Doctor Martin, in his account of that iland, did not know the use, as I said before §: but the earn being on the hill just above the landing place, he thinks it so ordered by providence; that by rolling down these stones, the inhabitants might prevent any body’s coming ashore against their eill. In the church of Birsa (near which stands a very remarkable obelise) at the west end of the iland call’d Pomona, or the mainland, in Orkney, there is an erect stone, with the word
Beius inscribed on it in antient characters. Yet whether this be any remembrance of Belemis (better according to the Irish idiom Bclus) or be the
. Traitor and thief s cam: in Irish Carn-lhrafeoir ,’ Cam an
i J,ib. 8. cap. 7. % Uachdar Bheil. § Pago 1 12,


monument of a native prince so caird, I shall not here decide. The fact itself is tohl ns by Mr. Brand., in his description of Orkney and Zetland.
1 wish he had also told us, of what kind those antient characters are, or that he had exactly copy’d them: and if there be a man’s portraiture on the stone, as Dr. Martin affirms f, the dress and posture will go a great way towards clearing the matter.

IV. But to make no longer digression, May-day is likewise calFd La Bealteine by the Highlanders of Scotland, who are no contemtible part of the Celtic offspring. So it is in the Ile of Man; and in Armoric a priest is still call’d JBelec, or the servant of Bel, and priesthood Belegietk, Two such fires, as we have mentioned, were kindled by one another on May-eve in every village of the nation (as well thro’out all Gaule, as in Britain, Ireland, and the adjoining lesser Hands), between Avhich fires the men and the beasts to be sacrific’d were to pass; from whence came the proverb, hetiveen
BeFs twoJires\, meaning one in a great strait, not knowing how to extricate himself. One of the fires was on the earn, another on the ground. On the eve of the first day of November 5, there were also such fires kindled, accompany’d (as they constantly were) with sacrifices and feasting. These November fires were in Ireland called Tine tlaclCd-

‘, Page 1 4. i Page 358. % lUir dha thcine Elici! . § Sainhbhmi,


gIt(i,from tlacJtd’gha,, a place hence so called in Meath, where the Archdruid of the realm had his fire on the said eve; and for ,which piece of gronnd, because originally belonging’ to Munster, but appointed by the supreme monarch for this use, there was an annual acknowledgement (called sgreaboll) paid to the king of that province. But that all the Druids of Ireland assembl’d there on the first of November, as several authors injudiciously write, is not only a thing improbable, but also false in fact; nor were they otherwise there at that time, nor all at any time together in one
place, but as now all the clergy of England are said to be present in their convocations – that is, by their representatives and delegates. Thus Cesar is likewise to be understood, when, after speaking of the Archdruid of Ganle, he says that the J}niich”\, at a certain time of the year, assembled hi a consecrated groie in the country of the Carnutes%, ivhich is reckon d the middle region of all Gaide, But of these assemblies in their place. On the foresaid eve all the people of the country, out of a religious persuasion instill’d into them by the Druids, extinguish’d their fires as intirely as the Jews are wont to sweep their houses the night

. Fire-ground.
i li {_Druid€s’] certo anni tempore in finibus Carnutum, qu»
legio totius Galliae media habetar, considuiit in luco coasecrato.
JOebello Galileo, lib. 6. cap. 13.
t Now le Pais (Jhartrain, the place Dreux,


before the feast of unleavened bread. Then every master of a family was religiously oblig’d to take a portion of the consecrated fire home, and to kindle the fire a-new in his house, which for the ensuing year was to be lucky and prosperous. He was to pay, however, for his future happiness, whether the event prov’d answerable or not; and
tlio’ his house shou’d be afterwards burnt, yet he must deem it the punishment of some new sin, or ascribe it to any tiling, rather than to want of virtue in the consecration of the fire, or of validity iu the benediction of the Druid, who, from officiating at the earns, was likewise calfd Cairneach,, a name that continu’d to signify a priest, even in the
christian times. But if any man had not ciear’d with the Druids for the last year’s dues, he was neither to have a spark of this holy fire from the earns, nor durst any of his neighbors let him take the benefit of theirs, under pain of excommunication, which, as manag’d by the Druids, was worse than death. If he wou’d brew, therefore, or bake,
or roast, or boil, or warm himself and family; in a word, if he wou’d live the winter out, the Druids dues must be paid by the last of October, so that this trick alone was more effectual than are all the acts of parliament made for recovering our pre-

. This is the time origin of the word cairneach, as signifying
a priest; but not deriv’d, as men ignorant of antiquity fancy,
from coroineachy alluding to the crown-for.m’d tonsure of thf
MonkSj not near §o old as this word.


sent clergy’s dues; which acts are so many and so frequent, that the bare enumeration of them would make an indifferent volum. Wherefore I cannot but admire the address of the Druids, in fixing this ceremony of rekindling family-fires to the beginning of November, rather than to May or midsummer, when there was an equal opportunity for it.

V. A world of places. are denominated from
those earns of all sorts, as in Wales Cani-Lhech-
art, Caru’Lhaid; in Scotland Carn-wath, Carn-
iidlock, Driim-ccdrn, Gleti-cairn; in Ireland Carn-
‘mail, Carn-aret, Carnaii’tagher, Carncin-toher\ ; and
in Northumberland, as in other parts of the north
of England, they are sometimes calFd Laics or
Lows, a name they also give the Gothic barrows.
The Lowland Scots call ’em in the plural num-
ber Cairns, whence several lordships are nam’d,
as one in Lennox, another in Galloway (to men-
tion no more) from which the surname of Cairns.
The family of Carne, in Wales, is from the like
original: but not, as some have thought, the O
Kearnys I of Ireland; one of which, Mr. John
Kearny, treasurer of Saint Patric’s in Dublin, was
very instrumental in getting the Neiv Tastamcnt
translated into Irish, about the end of the last
century but one. As to this fire-worship, which

. The places are numberless hi all these countries. + Carnan
1.3 the diminutive of (,am, % C,furnaii,hy besides Ceathar”



(by the way) prevail’d over all the world, the Celtic nations kindled other fires on midsummer eve, which are still continu’d by the Roman Catholics of Ireland ; making them in all their grounds, and carrying flaming brands about their corn-fields. This they do likewise all over France, and in some of the Scottish iles. These midsummer fires and sacrifices, were to obtain a blessing on the fruits of the earth, now becoming ready for gathering; as those of the first of May, that they might prosperously grow : and those of the last of October, were a thanksgiving for finishing their
harvest. But in all of ’em regard was also had to the several degrees of increase and decrease in the heat of the sun; as in treating of their astronomy, and manner of reckoning time, we shall clearly show. Their other festivals with their peculiar observations, shall be likewise explain’d each in their proper sections; especially that of New year’s day, or the tenth of March (their fourth grand festival) which was none of the least solemn : and which was the day of seeking, cutting, and consecrating their wonder-working. All-heal, or misselto of oak. This is the ceremony to which
Virgil alludes by his golden-hranch, in the sixth book of the Aeneid, for which there is incontestable proof, which we shall give in a section on this subject. ‘Tis Pliny who says, that the Druids call’d it, in their language, by a word i,nifyino, All-


heal’,; which word in the Armorican dialect is oilyach, in the Welsli ol-hiacli, and in the Irish uiliceach. Here, by the way, we may observe, that as the Greecs had many words from the barbarians, for which Plato in his Cratylus]\]vid,e, it would be lost labor to seek etymologies in their own language: so it is remarkable, that certain feasts of Apollo were call’d Carnea%, from the killing of nobody knows what Prophet Carnus. Some said that he was the son of Jupiter and Europa, killed for a magician by one Ales : and others yet, that Carni was a common name for an order of prophets in
Arcanania. Apollo himself was surnamed Carnus§; and, from him, May was calFd the Carnean month. Nay, there were Carman priests, and a particular kind of music, which we may interpret the Cairn-tunes, was appropriated to those festivals in May, perfectly answering those of the Celtic tribes. It is therefore highly probable, that the Greecs did learn these things from the Gauls their conquerors, and in many places seated among them; or from some of their travellors in Gaule itself, if not from the Phocean colony at Marseilles. We know further, that the making of hymns was a special part of the bards office; who
. Omnia-sanantem appellantes suo yocabulo, &c. Lib. 16.
eap. 44.
c«tv»Vj 1% tg TO woy.a. rvy,ciiii &y, naQci on (tirofn «y. Inter opera, edit, Paris,
‘ vol. 1 . }:ag. 409.


by Strabo, are expresly termed hymn-malers. i and I show’d before, tliat the antient Greecs (by their own confession) learnt part of their philosophy, and many of their sacred fables, from the Gauls. So that this criticism is not so void of
probability, as many which pass current enough in the world. However, I fairly profess to give it onely for a conjecture; which I think preferable to the farr-fetcht and discordant accounts of the Greecs ; who, in spight of Plato and good sense, wou’d needs be fishing for the origin of every thing in their own language. In the mean time it is not nnwo,f thy our remark, that as prizes f were adjudg’d to the victors in this CarnSan music among the Greecs: so the distributing of prizes to the most successful poets, was not less usual among the Gauls and their colonies; whereof there is un-
deniable proof in the Brittish and Irish histories, as will be seen in our section concerning the Bards.
VI. Another criticism relating immediately to Apollo (for which 1 think this a proper place) 1 give as something more than a conjecture. In the lordship of Merchiston, near Edinburgh, was formerly dug up a stone with an inscription to Apollo Grannus; concerning which Sir James Dalrymple baronet, in his second edition of Camhdens description of Scotland, thus expresses himself after

t TiiA,&.i;,.,’xx K>pva;« (tyat,ii,,i;, VlntarcK in ApophtJiffgiri,


his author.. ‘,Who this Apollo Grannus might be, and whence he should have his name, not one (to my knowledge) of our grave senate of antiquaries hitherto cou’d ever tell. But if I might be aliowed, from out of the lowest bench, to speak what I think ; I would say that Apollo Grannus, among the Romans, was the same that Apollon Akersekomesf, that is Apollo with long hair, among the Greecs: for Isidore calls the long hair of the Gothe Grannos.” This consequence will by no means hold: for what are the Gothe to the Romans, who exprest this Greec by intonsus Apollo?
And since Gothe speaking Latin had as little to do in the shire of Lothian, it will not be doubted, but that it was some Roman who paid this vow; as soon as ,tis known, that, besides the man’s name Quintus Lusius Sabinianus, Grian, among the many Celtic names of the sun J, w as one, being:

. This passage in Cambden is in the 897th page of ChurchilPg
edition, anno 1695.
■t AffoXA<wt axifo-cKcfxng : item AxuftHOfxig,

. Besides the sun’s religious attribute of Bel, Beal, Belin, or Belenus, it is call’d Hayl in Welsh, Haul in Cornish, Ileol in
Armoric; in all which the aspirate h is put for s, as in a world of such other words : for any word beginning with s in the antient Celtic, does in the oblique cases begin with h. Yet s is still retained in the Armoric Disul, in the Cambrian Vi/dhsi/e, and the Cornubian Dezil; that is to say, Sunday, It was for. loerly Diasoil in Irish, whence still remain Solus light, Soillse clearness, Soillseach bright or sunny, SoUeir manifest, and several more such. ‘Tis now call’d Dia Domhnaigh, or Dies Do. Tilnkus, according to the general use of all Christians.


The common name of it still in Irish: and that, from his beams, Greannach in the same language signifies long-hair d, which is a natural epithet of the sun in all nations. There is no need therefore of going for a Gothic derivation to Isidore, in whom now I read Scots instead of Gothe ; and not, as I fancy, without very good reason. It would be superfluous to produce instances (the thing is so common) to show that the Romans, to their own names of the Gods, added the names or attributes under which they were invok’d in the country, where they happen’d on any occasion to sojourn.
Nor was this manner of topical worship unknown to the antient Hebrews, who are forbid to follow it by Moses in these words: “Enquire not after their Gods, saying, how did these nations serve their Gods? even so will I do likewise..” Grian therefore and Greannach explain the Lothian f inscription very naturally, in the antient language of the Scots themselves (spoken still in the Highlands
. Deut. 12. 80.
-f This inscription, as given us by Cambden from Sir Peter
Young, preceptor to King James Vf. (for the Laird of Merchis.
ton’s Exposition of the Apocalyps I never saw) runs thus :
Q. Lusius
Proc. ‘ Procurator,
Aug. -,Angusti.
Y. S. S. L. V. M. . . Votura susceptum solfit
lubeRs merit«.


and Western lies, as well as in Ireland) without any need of having recourse to Gothland, or other foren countries.

VII. To return to our earn- fires, it was customary for the lord of the place, or his son, or some other person of distinction, to take the entrails of the sacrific’d animal in his hands, and walking barefoot over the coals thrice, after the flames had eeas’d, to carry them strait to the Druid, who waited in a whole skin at the altar. If the noble-
man escap’d harmless, it was reckoned as good omen, welcom’d with loud acclamations : but if he receiv’d any hurt, it was deem’d unlucky both to the community and to himself. Thus I have seen the people running and leaping thro’ the St. John’s fires in Ireland, and not onely proud of passing unsing’d : but, as if it were some kind of Iristration, thinking themselves in a special manner blest by this ceremony, of whose original nevertheless they were wholly ignorant in their imperfect imitation of it. Yet without being apprized of all this, no reader, however otherwise learned, can truely apprehend the beginning of the Consul riaminius,s speech to Equanus the Sabin, at the battle of Thrasimenus, thus intelligently related by Silius Italic us ..

. Turn Scracie satuEi, praestantera corporc et armis,
iEquanurn noscens; patrio cui ritus in arvo,
Dum pius Arcitenens incensis gaudet Jtcervis,
Exta ter inaocuos late portare per ignes ;


Then seeing Equanus, near Soracte born, la person, as in arms, the comelyest youth : Whose country manner ’tis, vvhen th’ archer keen Divine Apollo joys in burning Heaps, The sacred entrais thro’ the fire unhurt To carry thrice; so may you always tread, With unscorch’d feet, the consecrated coals;
And o’er the heat victorious, swiftly bear The solemn gifts to pleas’d Apollo’s altar.

Now let all the commentators on this writer be consulted, and then it will appear what sad guess=work they have made about this passage; which is no less true of an infinite number of passage, in other authors relating to such customs: for a very considerable part of Italy foliow’d most of the Druidical rites, as the inhabitants of such places happen’d to be of Gallic extraction, which was the case of many Cantons in that delicious country. But this is particularly true of the Umbrians and Sabins, who are by all authors made the antientest. people of Italy, before the coming thither of- any Greec colonies. But they are by Solinus from the historian Bocchus, by Servius:

Sic in Apollinea semper vestigia pruna
Inviolata teras: victorque vaporis, ad aras
Dona serenato referas Sclennia Phoebo.
Lib, 5. ver. 175,
. Dlonys. Ilallcarnass. Aiitiq. Rom. lib. 1. Plin. Hist. Nat.
lib. 3. cap. 14. Fior. lib. 1. cap. 17, &c.
+ Bocchus absolvit Gallorum veterum propaginem Umbrcs
esse. Polyhist. cap, 8.
t Sane Umbros Gallorum yeterum propagipcm esse, Marcus
Antonius refert. Jn lilt, 12. MnHd, en(€fn»


from the elder Marc Antony, by Isidore. also and Tzetzesf, in direct terms stil’d the issue of the antient Gcmis, or a branch of them: and Dionysius Halicarnasseus, the most judicious of antiquaries, proves out of Zenodotus, that the Sabins were descendants of the Umbrians ; or, as he expresses it, Umbrians under the name of Sabins’,. The rea-
son I am so particular on this head, is, that the mountain Soractes is in the Sabin country, in the district of the Faliscans about 20 miles to the north of Rome, and on the west side of the Tyber.
On the top of it were the grove and temple of Apollo, and also his carn||, to which Silius, in the verses just quoted out of him alludes. Pliny has preserv’d to us the very, name of the particular race of people, to which the performing- of the above describ’d annual ceremony belong’d: nor was it for nothing that they ran the risk of blistering their soles, since for this they were exempted from
. Umbri Italiae gens est, sed Gallorum veterum propago.
Origin, lib. 9. cap. 2.
t O/iA,jot y£vc? raXaTixov u TaXatuy, Scliol. in Lycophron. Alex, ad vct.
$ Za)3j»«y? 1, Ofjt,fMiuv, Antiq, Rom, lib, 1 .
§ Now Monte di San sylvestro.
II Acervus,
, Haud procul urbe Roma, in Fallscorum agro familia; sunt
paucae, quae Tocantur Hirpiae; quaeque sacrificio annuo, quod
fit ad montem Soracte Apollini, super ambustam ligni struem
ambularites, non aduruntur: et ob id perpetuo sunatus consulto
militiaj, alioruraque muuerura, vacationem habent. Hist, Nat.
lib, 2. cap, 2. Idem ex eod,m SqUu, roii/nist, Qap, S.


serving in the wars, as well as from the expense and Irohle of several offices. They were called Ilirpiiis. Virgil, much elder than Silius or Pliny, introduces Aruns, one of that family, forming a design to kill Camilla, and thus praying for success to Apollo.

O patron of Soiacte’s high abodes,
Phebus, the ruling pow’r among the Gods!
Whom first we serve, whole woods of unctuous pine
Burnt on thy heap, and to thy glory shine :
By thee protected, with our naked soles
Thro’ flames unsing’d we pass, and tread the kindl’d coals.
Give me, propitious pow’r, to wash away
The stains of this dishonorable day..
DrijdeiVs version.

A Celtic antiquary, ignorant of the origin of the Umbrians and Sabins, wou’d imagine, when reading what past on Soracte, that it was some Gallic, Brittish, or Irish mountain, the rites being absolutely the same. We do not read indeed in our Irish books, what preservative against fire was us’d by those, who ran barefoot over the burning coals
of the earns : and, to be sure, they wou’d have the common people piously believe they us’d none.
Yet that they really did, no less than the famous fire-eater, whom I lately saw making so great a

. Summe Deiim, sancti custos Soractis, Apollo,
Queni primi colimus, cui pineus ardor xlcervo
Pascitur ; et medium, freti pietate, per iguem
Cultores multa premimus vestigia pruna :
Da, pater, hoc nostris aboleri dedecus armis.
Avn. lib. 11. ver. 785,


figure at London, men of penetration and uncorrupted judgements will never question. But we are not merely left to our judgements, for the fact is sufficiently arrested by that prodigy of knowledge, and perpetual oppose?, of superstition?, Marcus Varro; who, as Servius on the above-cited passage of Virgil affirms., describ’d the very ointment
ofnhieh the Hirpins rnade use, hesmeariag their feet with it, when they walked thro’ the fire. Thus at all times have the multitude (that common prey of priest and princes) been easily gull’d ; swallowing secrets of natural philosophy for divine miracles, and ready to do the greatest good or hurt, not under the notions of vice or virtue; but barely
as directed by men, who find it their interest to deceive them.

VIII. But leaving the Druids for a while, there are over and above the earns, in the highlands of Scotland and in the adjacent iles numberless Obelises, or stones set up an end ; some 30, some 24 foot high, others higher or low,er: and this sometimes where no such stones are to be dug, Wales bein,’ likewise full of them ; and some there are in
the least cultivated parts of England, with very many in Ireland. In most places of this last kingdom, the common people believe these Obelises to

. Sed Varro, ublque Reljglonis expugnator, aif, cum quotldam
xnedicamentum describeret, eo uii soletit lURPlNr, qui ambiiia.
turi per igvem, iiiedUamento Flanias iui,uni. Ad ver. 787.
lib. Jl. Aindd.


be men, transform’cl into stones by the magic of the Druids. This is also the notion the vulgar have in Oxfordshire of Rollwright stones, and in Cornwall of the hurlers; erect stones so call’d, but belonging- to a different class from the Obelises, where-of I now discourse. And indeed in every country the ignorant people ascribe to the devil or some
supernatural power, at least to giants, all works which seem to them to excede human art or ability. Thus among other things (for recording their traditions will have its pleasure as w ell as usefulness) they account for the Roman camps and military ways, calling such the diveVs dykes, or the like : while the more reasonable part are persuaded, that the erect stones of which we speak, are the monuments of dead persons, whose ashes or bones are often found near them ; sometimes in urns, and sometimes in stone-coffins,wherein scales, hammers, pieces of weapons, and other things have been often found, some of them very finely gilt or polish’d. Dogs also have been found bury’d with
their masters. The erect stones in the midst of stone-circles (whereof before I have done) are not of this funeral sort; nor does it follow, that all those have been erected in christian times, which have cliristian inscriptions or crosses on them: for we read of many such Obelises thus sanctify VI, as they speak, in Wales and Scotland. And, in our Irish
histories, we find the practice as early as Patric himself: who, having built the church of Donach-


Patric on the brink of Loch-Hacket. in the county of Clare, did there on three colosses, erected in the times of Paganism, inscribe the proper name of Christ in three languages: namely, Jesus in Hebrew on the first, Soter in Greec on the second, and Salvator in Latin on the third. That Obelise (if I may call it so) in the parish of Barvas in the
iland of Lewis in Scotland, call.d the Thrushel-stoiiCy is very remarkable; being not onely above 20 foot high, which is yet surpass’d by many others: but likewise almost as much in breadth, which no other comes near.

IX. Besides these Obelises, there is a great number of Forts in all the iles of Scotland, very different from the Danish and Norwegian rathe in Ireland, or the Saxon and Danish burghs in England: nor are they the same with the Gallic, Brittish, and Irish Lios, pronounced Lis-f; which are fortifications made of unwrought stones and uncemen ted, whereof there are two very extraordinary in the iles of Aran, in the bay of Galway in Ireland. Dun is a general Celtic word for all fortifications made on an eminence, and the eminences themselves are so call’d; as we see in many parts
of England, and the sand-hills on the Belgic coast. Yet Math and Lis are often confounded together, both in the speech and writing of the Irish. But

. Formerly Dornhnach-mor and Loch-sealga.
+ Lios in Irish, Les in Armoric, and Lhys in Welsh, signifies
in EngUsh a Court , as Lis-Luin, Lynsourt,


the forts in question are all of ,vl’onght stone, and often of such large stones, as no number of men cou’d ever raise to the places they occupy, without the use of engines; which engines are quite unknown to the present inhabitants, and to their ancestors for many ages past. There’s none of the lesser iles, but has one fort at least, and they are
commonly in sight of each other: but the Dim in St. Kilda (for so they call the old fort there) is about 18 leagues distant from North Uist, and 20 from the middle of Lewis or Harries, to be seen only in a very fair day like a blewish mist: but a
large fire there wou’d be visible at night, as the ascending smoak by day. In this same Ile of Lewis (where are many such Duns) there’s north of the village of Brago, a round fort compos’d of huge stones, and three stories high : that is, it has three hollow passages one over another, within a prodigious thick wall quite round the fort, with many windows and stairs. I give this onely as an example from Dr, Martin, an eye-witness, who, with several others, mention many more such elsewhere: yet (which is a great neglect) without acquainting us with their dimensions, whether those passages in the wall be arch’d, or with many such things relating to the nature of the work ; and omitting certain other circumstiuices, no less necessary to be known. I mention these forts, my lord, not as anyway, that I yet know, appertaining to the Druids: but, iu treating of the mo-


lumients truely theirs, I take this natural occasion of commiuiicating, what may be Avorthy of your lordship’s curiosity aud consideration; especially when, like Episodes in a ])oein, they serve to relieve tlie attention, and are not very foreu to the Siubject. Considering all things, I judge no monuments more deserving our researches; especially, if any shou’d prove them to be Phenician or Massilian places of security for their commerce: since ’tis certain that both people have traded there, and that Pytheas of Marseilles (as we are informed by Strabo) made a particular description of those ilands; to which Cesar, among other descriptions, without naming the authors, does doubtless refer.. But my own opinion I think it at present to reserve.

X. From the conjectures I Jiave about these numerous and costly forts, in ilands so remote and barren, I pass the certainty I have concerning the temples of the Druids, whereof so many are yet intire in those ilands, as well as in Wales and Ireland; witli some left in England, where culture has mostly destroy’d or impair’d STich monuments.
These temples are circles of Obelises or erect stones, some larger, some narrower, (as in all other edifi-

. In hoc medio cwrsu [Jjiter Hiherniam. scilicet 6) Britajiia?},]
est insula, quae appellatur Mona. Complures praeterea mino.
fes objeclae insulae e.xistimantur, de quibus insulis ronuulli
scrJpserunt, dies continues 30 sub bruiaa esse noctem. De
Bello GcdlkOj lib, 5.


ces) some more and some less magnificent. They are for the greatest part perfectly circular, but some of them semicircular: in others the obelises stand close together, but in most separate and equidistant. I am not ignorant that several, with Dr. Charlton in his Stone-henge restored to the Danes, believe those circles to be Danish works;
a notion I shall easily confute in due time, and
even now as I go along. But few have imagin’d ’em to be Roman, as the famous architect Inigo Jones wou’d needs have this same Stone-henge (according to me one of the Druid cathedrals) to be the temple of Celum or Terminus, in his Stonehenge restored to the Romans. Nevertheless, my lord, I promise you no less than demonstration, that those circles were Druids temples; against which assertion their frequenting of oaks, and performing no religious rites without oak-branches or leaves, will prove no valid exception; no more than such circles being found in the Gothic countries, tho’ without altars, whereof we shall speak after the temples. The outside of the churches in Spain and Holland is much the same, but their inside difl’ers extremely. As for Inigo Jones, he cannot be too much commended for his generous efforts (which shows an uncommon genius) to introduce a better taste of architecture into England,
where ’tis still so difficult a thing to get rid of Gothic oddnesses ; and therefore ’tis no wonder he shou’d continue famous, when so few endeavour


to excede him : but we must beg his pardon, if, as he was unacquainted with history, and wanted certain other qualifications, we take the freedom in our book to correct his mistakes.

XI. In the iland of Lewis before-mentioned, at the village of Classerniss, there is one of those temples extremely remarkable. The circle consists of 12 obelises, about 7 foot high each, and distant from each other six foot. In the center stands a stone 13 foot high, in the perfect shape of the rudder of a ship. Directly south from the circle, there stands four obelises running out in a line; as another such line due east, and a third to the west, the number and distances of the stones being in these Avings the same: so that this temple, the most intire that can be, is at the same time both round and wing’d. But to the north there reach by way of avenue) two straight ranges of obelises, of the same bigness and distances with those of the circle ; yet the ranges themselves are 8 foot distant, and each consisting of 19 stones, the 39th being in the entrance of the avenue.
This temple stands astronomically, denoting the 12 signs of the Zodiac and the four principal winds, subdivided each into four others; by which, and the 19 stones on each side of the avenue betokening the cycle of 19 years, I can prove it to have been dedicated principally to the sun; but subordinitely to the seasons and the elements, particu-
larly to the sea and the winds, as appears by the


rudder in the middle. The sea, consider’d as a di villi (y, was by the ancient Gauls call’d Anvana or Onvana, as the raging sea is still call’d Anafa in so many letters by the Irish.; and both of ’em, besides that they were very good astronomers, are known to have paid honor not only to the sea, but also to the winds and the tempests, as the Ro-
mans were wont to do. But of this in the account of their worship. I forgot to tell you, that there is another temple about a quarter of a mile from the former; and that commonly two temples stand near each other, for reasons you will see in our history. East of Drumcruy in the Scottish Ile of Aran, is a circular temple, whose area is about 30 paces over: and south of the same village is such another temple, in the center of which still remains the altar; being a broad thin stone, supported by three other such stones. This is very extraordinary, tho’ (as you may see in my last
letter) not the onely example; since the zeal of the christians sometimes apt to be over-heated, used to leave no altars standing but their own. In the

. They vulgarly call the sea mor or muirf marOy cuatiyfairgey
f Sic fatus, meritos aris mactaTit honores :
Taurum Neptuno, taurum tibi, pulcher Apollo ;
Nigrara Hyerai pecudem, Zephyris felicibus albam.
Aen, lib. 3.
Videatur etiara Horatius, Epod. 10. Ter. ult. Cic. de nat,
Dsor. lib. J. £t Aristoph. ia Ranis cum luo Scholiaste.


greatest Iland of Orkney ., commonly called the Mainland, there are likewise two temples, where the natives believe by tradition, that the sun and moon were worshipt: which belief of theirs is very right, since the lesser temple is semicircular. The greater is 110 paces diameter. They know not what to make of two green mounts erected at the
east and west end of it: a matter nevertheless for which it is not difficult to account. There’s a trench or ditch round each of these temples, like that about Stonehenge; and, in short, every such temple had the like inclosure. Many of the stones are above 20 or 24 foot in height above the ground, about 5 foot in breadth, and a foot or two in thick-
ness. Some of ’em are fallen down: and the temples are one on the east and the other on the west side of the lake of Stennis, where it is shallow and fordable, there being a passage over by large stepping stones. Near the lesser temple (which is on the east side of the lake, as the greater on the west) there stand two stones of the same
bigness with the restf; thro’ the middle of one of which there is a large hole, by which criminals

. The lies of Orkney are denominated from Orcas or Orca,
which, ill Diodorus Siculus and Ptolemy, is the ancient name of
iJaithness; and this from Orc, not a salmon (as by some inter-
preted) but a whale : so that in old Irish Orc,i is the Whale
Islands. The words of Diodorus are, to Je u7rox»7re;w£»cv [rn: Bp£T«yirt’v]
/ty>i3t£iv /4£v KTOfovgiv us to TrtXctycv, ovc(wa.,«o-0«i h Ofnuy. Lib. 4.
f Brand, pag. 44,


and victims were ty’d. Likewise in the iland of Papa-Westra, another of the Orkneys, there stands near a lake (now call’d St. Tredwell’s loeh.) two such obelises, in one of which there is the like hole: and behind them lying on the ground a third stone, being hollow like a trough.

XII. These few I oidy give for examples out of great numbers, as I likewise take the liberty to acquaint you (my lord) that at a place call’d Biscauwoon, near Saint Burien’s in Cornwall, there is a circular temple consisting of 19 stones, the distance between each 12 foot; and a twentieth in the center, much higher than the rest. But I am not yet inform’d, whether this middle stone has any peculiar figure, or whether inscribed with any characters; for such characters are found in Scotland, and some have been observed in Wales; but (except the Roman and Christian inscriptions) unintelligible to such as have hitherto seen them.
Yet they ought to have been fairly represented, for the use of such as might have been able perhaps to explain them. They would at least exercise our antiquaries. The circle of Rollrich” stones An Oxfordshire, and the hurlers in Corn-
wall, are two of those Druid temples. There is one at Aubury in Wiltshire, and some left in other places in England. In Gregory of Tours time there was remaining, and for ought I know may still be so, one of those temples on the top of Be-

. Brand, pag. 58,


leyis mount between Arton and Rioin in Auvergne. It was within this inclosure that Martin, the sainted bishop, stood taking a view. of the country, as before-mentionVl. Now of such temples I shall mention here no more, but procede to
the Druids altars, which, as I said before, do ordinarily consist of four stones ; three being hard flags, or large tho’ thin stones set up edgewise, two making the sides, and a shorter one the end, with a fourth stone of the same kind on the top: for the other end was commonly left open, and the altars were all oblong. Many of ’em are not intire. From some the upper stone is taken away, from others one of the side-stones or the end.
And, besides the alterations that men have caus’d in all these kinds of monuments, time itself has chang’d ’em much more. Mr. Brand, speaking of the obelises in Orkney, .’ many of ’em (says he) appear to be much worn, by the washing of the wind and rain, which shows they are of a long standing: and it is very strange to think, how, in those places and times, they got such large stones carry’d and erected | .” ‘Tis naturally impossible, but that, in the course of so many ages, several stones must have lost their figure; their angles being expos’d to all weathers, and no care taken
to repair any disorder, nor to prevent any abuse

. Extat nunc in hoc loco cancellus, in quo Sanctus dicitur
stetisse. Gregor, Turon. de Gloria Confessor, cap, 5,
+ Pag. 46.


of them. Thus some are become h »wcr, or jagged, or otherwise irregular and diminished: many are quite wasted, and moss or scurf hides the inscriptions or sculptures of others; for such sculptures there are in several places, particularly in Wales and the Scottish ile of Aran. That one sort of stone lasts longer than another is true: but that all will have their period, no less than parchment and paper, is as true.

XIII. There are a great many of the altars to be seen yet intire in Wales, particularly two in Kerig Y Drudion parish mention d in my other letter, and one in Lhan-Hammulch parish in Brecknockshire; with abundance elsewhere, dili-
gently observ’d by one I mentioned in my first letter, Mr. Edward Lhuyd, who yet was not certain to what use they were destin’d. Here I beg the favor of your lordship to take it for granted, that I have sufficient authorities for every thing I alledge: and tho’ I do not always give them in this brief specimen, yet in the history itself, they shall be produc’d on every proper occasion. The Druids altars were connnonly in the middle of the temples, near the great colossus, of which presently; as there is now such a one at Carn-Lhechart, in the parish of Lhan-Gyvelach, in Glamorganshire, besides that which I mention’d before in Scotland.
They are by the Welsh in the singular number caird Kist-vaeii, that is a stone-chest, and in the plural Kistieii’Vaeny stone-chests. These name,,


\vitli a small variation, are good Irish: but the things quite difterent from those real stone-chests or coffins (commonly of one block and the lid) that are in many places found under ground. The vulgar Irish call these altars Dcrmot and Grania.s bed,. This last was the daughter of King Cormac Ulfhada, and wife to Fin mac Cuilf; from whom, as invincible a general and champion as he’s reported to have been, she took it in her head (as women will sometimes have such fancies) to run away with a nobleman, call’d Dermot 0»DuvnyJ: but being pursu’d every where, the ignorant country people say, they were intertained a night in every quarter-land §, or village of Ireland ; where the inhabitants sympathizing with their affections, and doing to others what they wou’d be done unto, made these beds both for their resting and hiding place. The poets, you may imagine, have not been wanting to imbellish this story: and
hence it appears, that the Druids were planted as thick as parish priests, nay much thicker: Wherever there’s a circle without an altar, ’tis certain there was one formerly; as altars are found where the circular obelises are mostly or all taken away for other uses, or out of aversion to this superstition, or that time has consum’d them. They, who,
from the bones, which are often found near those altars and circles (tho’ seldom within them) will

. Leaba Dhiarmait agns Ghraine. + Finn mhac Cubhaill,
.;■ Di,rmait O Duibhne. , Seisreack Sf Ccathramhack,


needs infer, that they were burying places; forget what Cesar, Pliny, Tacitus, and other authors, write of the human sacrifices offer’d by the Druids : and, in mistaking the ashes found in the earns, they show themselves ignorant of those several anniversary fires and sacrifices, for which they were rear’d, as we have shown above. The huge cop-
ing stones of these earns were in the nature of altars, and altars of the lesser form are frequently found near them ; as now in the great Latin and Greec churches, there are, besides the high altar, several smaller ones.

XIV. There’s another kind of altar much bigger than either of these, consisting of a greater number of stones; some of ’em serving to support the others, by reason of their enormous bulk.
These the Britons term Cromlech in tJie singular, Cromlechit in the plural number; and the Irish Cromleach or Cromleac, in the plural Crowdeacha or Cromleacca. By these altars, as in the center of the circular temples, there commonly stands (or by accident lyes) a prodigious stone, which was to serve as a pedestal to some deity: for all these Cromleachs were places of worship, and so call’d from lowing, the word signifying the hoicing-stone, , The original designation of the idol Crmn-cruach (whereof in the next section) may well be from Cniim, an equivalent word to Tair-

. From crom or cnim, which, in Armoric, Irish, ami Welsh,
siguiees bcnt, and Lech or Leac, a broad stone.


neach Taran or Tarnuin, all signifying tlmncler; whence the Romans call’d the Gallic Jupiter Taramis or Taranis, the thiinderer: and from these Cromleachs it is, that in the oldest Irish a priest is caird Cruimthear, and priesthood Cndmtheacd, which are so many evident vestiges of the Druidical religion.. There’s a Cromlech in Nevern-parish in Pembrokeshire, where the middle stone is still 18 foot high, and 9 broad towards the base, growing narrower upwards. There lyes by it a piece broken of 10 foot long, which seems more than 20 oxen can draw: and therefore they were not void of all skill in the mechanics, who could set up the whole. But one remaining at Poitiers in France, supported by live lesser stones, excedes all in the British ilands, as being sixty foot in circumference |. 1 fancy, however, that this was a roclcing-stone : There’s also a noble Cromleach at Bod-oiiyr in Anglesey. Many of them, by a modest computation, are 30 ton weight: but they differ in bigness, as all pillars do, and their altars are ever bigger than the ordinary Kistieii’Vaen, In some places of Wales these stones are call’d

. Of the same nature is Caimeach, of which before : for Somat Y, the ordinary word for a priest, is manifestly formed from Sacerdus.
i La picrre levee de Poitiers a soixante pieds de tour, & elle
tst posee sur cinq autres pierres, sans qu’on sache non plus ni
pour(iuoi, ni comment. Chevreau, Mcrnoin’S d’AngUterre, page 380.


Meineu’gui/r, which is of the same import with Cromlechu. In Caithness and other remote parts of Scotland, these Cromleacs are very numerous, some pretty entire; and others, not so much consum’d by time or thrown down by storms, as disordered and demolish’d by the hands of men.
But no such altars were ever found by Olaus Wormius, the great northern antiquary (which I desire the abettors of Dr. Charlton to note) nor by any others in the temples of the Gothic nations; as I term all who speak the several dialects of Gothic original, from Izeland to Switzerland, and from the Bril in Holland to Presburg in Hungary, the Bohemians and Polanders excepted. The Druids were onely co-extended with the Celtic dialects : besides that Cesar says expresly, there were no Druids among the Germans., with whom he says as expresly that seeing and feeling was believing (honoring onely the sun, the fire, and the, moon, by which they were manifestly benefited) and that they made no sacrifices at all: which, of course, made altars as useless there (tho’ afterwards grown fashionable) as they were necessary in the Druids temples, and which they show more than probably to have been temples indeed ;

. German! neque Druides habent, qui rebus diviais pr».
sint, neque sacrificiis student. Deorum numero eos solos du«
cunt, quos cernunt, et quorum operibus apcTte jiivantur ; Solem,
et Vulcanum, et Lunam; reliquoi n© fama quidem acceperunt.
De Bello QalliGo, lib. 6.


nor are they called by any other name, or lhoiig4it to have been any other thing, by the Highlanders or their Irish progenitors. In Jersey likewise, as well as in the other neighbouring ilands, formerly part of the dutchy of Normandy, there are many altars and Croynlechs, .’ There are yet remaining in this iland” (says Dr. Falle in the U5th page of
his account of Jersey) ” some old monuments of Paganism. We call them Poucfiieleys. They are threat flat stones, of vast bigness and weight ; some oval, some quadrangular, rais’d 3 or 4 foot from the ground, and supported by others of a less size.
“Tis evident both from their figure, and great quantities of ashes found in the ground thereabouts, that they were us’d for altars in those times of superstition: and their standing on eminences near the sea, inclines me also to think, that they were dedicated to the divinities of the ocean. At ten or twelve foot distance there is a smaller stone set up at an end, in manner of a desk; where ’tis supposed the priest kneel’d, and perform’d some ceremonies, while the sacrifice was burning on the altar.” Part of this account is mistaken, for the culture of the inland parts is the reason that few Pouqucleys are left, besides those on the barren rocks and hills on the sea side: nor is that situation alone suflicient for entitling them to the marine powers, there being proper marks to distinguish such wheresoever situated.
XV. But to return to our Cromkachs, the chief-


est in all Ireland was Crum-cruach, which stood in the midst of a circle of twelve obelises on a hill in Breiin, a district of the county of Cavan, formerly belonging to Letrim. It was all over cover’d with gold and silver, the lesser iignres on the
twelve stones about it being onely of brass; which mettals, both of the stones and the statues that they bore, became every where the prey of the christian priests, upon the conversion of that kingdom. The legendary writers of Patricks life tell many things no less ridiculous than incredible, about the destruction of this temple oi Moyslccf,, or the field of adoration, in Brefin; where the stumps of the circular obelises are yet to be seen, and where they were noted by writers to have stood long before any Danish invasion, which shows how groundless Dr. Charlton’s notion is.
The bishop’s see of Clogher had its name from one of those stones, all co ver’d with gold (Clochoir signifying the golden stotie) on which stood Kermand Kelstach, the chief idol of Ulster f. This stone is still in being. To note it here by the way. Sir James Ware was mistaken, when, in his Antiquities of Ireland, he said Arcklow and Wicklow were foren names: whereas they are mere Irish, the first being Ard-cloch, and the second Buidhe. clock, from high and yellow stones of this consecrated kind. ‘Tis not to vindicate either the Celtic nations in general, ox my own countrymen m

. Magh.slC’ucht, f Mexcuriu, Celticus.


particular, for honoring of such stones, or for having stony symbols of the Deity ; but to show they were neither more ignorant nor barbarous in this respect than the politest of nations, the Greecs and the Romans, that here I must make
a short literary excm’sion. Wherefore, I beg your lordship to remember, that Kermand Kelstach was not the onely Mercury of rude stone, since the Mercurif of the Greecs was not portray’d antiently in the shape of a youth, with wings to his heels and a caduceus in his hand; but withouf hands or feet, being a square stone,, says Phurnutus, and I say without any sculpture. The reason given for it by the divines of those days, was, that as the square figure betoken’d his solidity and stability; so he wanted neither hands nor feet to execute what he was commanded by Jove,
Thus their merry-making Bacchus was figur’d among the Thebans by a pillar onely f. So the Arabians worship I know not what God (says Maximus Tyriusli:) and the statue that I saw of him, was a square stone.” I shall say nothing
here of the oath of the Romans per Jovem Lapiitem. Bat nobody pretends that the G,wh were more subtil theologues or philosophers, than the

ywve; fxiv, to E,paicv t£ /ta» i>.s-<,ciKiQ ex,”‘~”X,,’l’ ,, ””,’ ‘”,°”?> ,,,’ °,”. ‘,°,”»’ .,’, ?C.'”
funr itnai, Trpcq to avufjv to TrpcxEt/xEvov avroo, De Nat. Deor. cap. 16.
t ir-jAoi; <r>f$aibiai Atavucroc TToXt/yjiQwc. Cletn, Alex. Slromat. lib. 1 .
, Ap«Cioi r£p6u-i /UEV tvTiva J’eujt ciS’ft : to Je ayar uc: t iiS’cy XjGoc >;v T£Tfa./wv»:.
%enn. T?,.


Arabians, Greecs, or Romans ; at least many are ai)t not to believe it of their Irish ofspring: yet ’tis certain, that all those nations meant by these stones without statues, the eternal stability and poiver of the Deity.; and that he coii’d not be represented by any similitude, nor under any figure whatsoever. For the numberless figures, which, notwithstanding this doctrine, they,had (some of ’em very ingenious, and some very fantastical) were onely emblematical or enigmatical symbols of the divine attributes and operations, but not of the divine essence. Now as such symbols in different places were different, so they were often confounded together, and mistaken for each other.
Nor do I doubt, but in this manner the numerous earns in Gaule and Britain induc’d the Romans to believe, that Mercury was their chief God f, because among themselves he had such heaps, as I show’d above; whereas the Celtic heaps were all dedicated to JBelenus, or the sun. The Roman historians in particular are often misled by likenesses, as has been already, and will not seldom again, be shown in our history; especially with regard to the Gods, said to have been worshiped by the Gauls. Thus some modern critics have forg’d new Gods, out of the sepulchral inscriptions of Gallic heroes. I shall say no more of such

. To avEixuvi,ov Toy QiOv Kett jUOvi/txov. Jd. Ibid.
t Deum maxime Mercurium colanf. IIujus sunt pluriraa
simulacra, &c. Cces, de bello Gallko, lib. 6,


pillars, but that many of them have a cavity on the top, capable to hold a pint, and sometimes more; with a channel or groove, about an inch deep, reaching from this hollow place to the ground, of the use whereof in due time.

XVI. Nor will I dwell longer here, than our subject requires, on the Fatal Stone so calFd, on which the supreme kings of Ireland us’d to be inaugurated in times of heathenism on the hill of. Tarah’\; and which, being inclos’d in a wooden

. Teamhuir, or in the oblique cases Teamhray whence cor.
ruptly Tara,h, or Tarak.

f The true names of this stone are Laig.fail, or the fatal stone, and Clock na cmeamhna, or the stone of fortune: both of them from a persuasion the antient Irish ha,l, that, in what country soeTcr this stone remain’d, there one of their blood was to reign.
But this jjrov’d as false as such other prophesies for 300 years, from Edward the First to the reign of James the First in England.
The Druidical oracle is in verse, and in these original words :
Cioniodh scuit saor an fine,
Man ba breag an Faisdine,
Mar a bhfiiighid an Lia-fail,
Dlighid flaitheas do ghabhail.
Which may be read thus truely, but monkishly translated, i»
IhctQY Boethius :

Ni fallat fatum, Scoti, qaocnnque locatom
Invenieut lapidem huuc, regnare tenentur ibidenit
The Lowland Scots have rhym’d it thus :
Except old Saws do feign,
And wizards wits be blind.
The Scots in place must reign.
Where they this stone shall find.
And some English poet has thus render’d it :

Consider Scot, wher’e’er yoa find this stone.
If fatc, fell not, there fixt nsast be > 5ur tbvoae.


chair, was thought to emit a sound under the rightful candidate (a thing easily manag’d by the Druids), but to be mute under a man of none or a bad title, that is, one who was not for the turn of those priests. Every one has read of Memnon’s vocal statue in Egypt. This fatal stone was superstitiously sent to confirm the Irish colony in the north of Great Britain, where it continued as the coronation-seat of the Scottish kings, even f,ince Christianity; till, in the year 1300, Edward

The Irish pretend to have memoirs concerning it for above 2003 years : nay Ireland itself is sometimes, from this stone, by the poets call’d Inis-fail. But how soon they begun to use it, or whence they had it, lyes aUogether in the dark. What’s certain is, that after having long continued at Tarab, it was, for the purpose I have mentioned, sent to Fergus, the first actual king of Scots ; and that it lay in Argile (the original seat of the Scots in Britain) till, about the year of Christ 842, that Keneth the 2d, the son of Alpin, having inlarg’d his borders hy the conquest of the Picts, transferr’d this stone, for the same purpose as before, to Scone. So great respect is still paid by christians to a heathen prophesy ! not onely false in fact, as I have this moment prov’d ; but evidently illusory and equivocal, it being a thing most difficult to find any prince in Europe, who, some way or other, may not claim kindred of every other princely race about him, and consequently be of that blood. This is the case of our present soverain King George, who is indeed descended of the Scottish race, but yet in propriety of speech is not of the Scottish line ; but the first here of the Brunswick line, as others begun the British, Saxon, Danish, Saxo-Danlsh, Norman, Saxo-Norraan, and Scottish lines. Yet this not being the sense in which the Irish and Scots understand the oracle, they ought consequently at this
very time to loc>k upon it as false and groundless.


the First of England brought it from Scone, placing it under the coronation-chair at Westminster : and there it still continues, the antientest respected monument in the world; for tho’ some others may be more antient as to duration, yet thus superstitiously regarded they are not. I had almost forgot to tell you, that ’tis now by the vulgar call’d
Jacoh-stone, as if this had been Jacob’s pillow at Bethel.. Neither shall I be more copious in treating of another kind of stones, tho’ belonging also to our subject. They are roundish and of vast bulk ; but so artificially pitch’d on flat stones,
sometimes more, sometimes fewer in number: that touching the great stone lightly, it moves, and seems to totter, to the great amazement of the ignorant; but stirs not, at least not sensibly (for that is the case) when one uses his whole strength.
Of this sort is Maen-amher in Cornwall, and another in the peak of Deiby, whereof Dr. Woodward has given me an account from his own observation. Some there are in Wales, one that I have seen in the parish of Clunmany f, in the north of Ireland, and the famous rocking stones in Scotland ; of all which, and many more, in our history.
Yet I cou’d not excuse it to myself, if I did not with the soonest, let your lordship into the secret of this reputed magic; which the no less learned antiquary than able physician, Sir Robert Sib-

. Gen. 28. 11, 18, 19, + Cluainmam,


bald, has discover’d in the appendix to his History of Fife and Kinross. That gentleman speaking of the rocking-stone near Baivaird (or the bards town) ” I am informal,” says he, ” that this stone was broken by the usurper (Cromwel’s) soldiers; and it was discovered then, that its motion was performed by a yolk extuberant in the middle of the under-surface of the upper stone, which was mserted in a cavity in the surface of the lower stone.” To which let me add, that as the lower stone was flat, so the upper stone was globular; and that not onely a just proportion in the motion, was calculated from the weight of the stone, and the wideness of the cavity, as well as the oval figure of the inserted prominence; but that the vast bulk of the upper stone did absolutely conceal the mechanism of the motion ; and the better still to impose, there were two or three surrounding flat stones, tho’ that onely in the middle was concern’d in the feat. By this pretended miracle they condemn’d of perjury, or acquitted, as their interest or their aflection led them; and often brought criminals to confess, what could be no other way extorted from them. So prevalent is the horror of superstition in some cases, which led many people to fancy (and among them the otherwise most judicious Strabo) that it might be a useful cheat to society; not considering, that in other cases (incomparably more numerous and important) it is most detrimental, pernicious; and


destructive, being solely useful to the priests that have the management of it; while it not onely disturbs or distresses society, but very often confounds and finally overturns it, of which history abounds with examples.

XVII. I come now to the Druids houses, by which I don’t mean their forts or towns, of which they had many, but not as church-lands ; nor yet the houses for their schools, situated in the midst of pleasant groves ; but I mean little, arch’d, round, stone buildings, capable only of holding one person, where the retired and contemplative Druid sat, when his oak could not shelter him from the weather. There’s another sort of Druids houses much larger. Of both these sorts remain several yet intire in the He of Sky, and also in some other iles; being by the natives call’d Tighthe nan DruicUmeach., that is, Druids houses. Many of them are to be seen in Wales, and some in Ireland; but different from those under-ground-Houses, or artificial caves, which are in all those places, consisting frequently of several chambers, and generally opening towards rivers or the sea; having been, as those of the Germans described
by Tacitus f, magazins against the extreme rigor

. Corruptly Tinan Druinich,
+ Solent et subterraneos specus aperire, eosque multo insuper
fimoonerant: suffugium hiemi, ac receptaculum frugibus; quia
rigorem fiigorum ejusmodi locis raoUiunt. Et si quaiido hostis
.adveoit, aperla populatur: abdita autem et defossa aut ignorau-


of winter, or hiding places for men and goods in time of war. The vulgar in the ilands do still feihow a great respect for the Druids houses and never come to the antient sacriiiceing and tire-hallowing earns, but they walk three times round them from east to west, according to the course of the sun. This sanctify’d tour, or round by the south, is call’d Deiseal” ; as the unhallow’d contrary one by the north, Tuapholl]\ But the Irish and Albanian Scots do not derive the first (as a certain friend of mine imagin d) from Di-siil, which {signifies Sunday in Armorican British, as Dydh-syl in Welsh and De-zil in Cornish do the same; but from Deas%, the right (understanding hand) and soil, one of the antient names of the sun, the right hand in this round being ever next the heap. The protestants in the Hebrides are almost as much addicted to the Deisiol, as the papists. Hereby it may be seen, how hard it is to eradicate inveterate superstition. This custom was us’d three thousand years ago, and God knows how long before, by their ancestors the antient Gauls of the same religion with them, wiio turnd round right” hand-wise, when they worshipd their gods, as Atheneus§ informs us out of Posidonius, a much elder writer. Nor is this contradicted, but clearly con-

tur, aut eo ipso fallunt, quod quserenda sunt. Dc moribus
German, cap. 3.
. Dextrorsum, f Sinisirorsiim, + Item Deis.
§ ‘Ouroi Qtovg 7rp»fir.yr5ucrtr, in ra 5’s,i. irfi<,f4.si»i. Lib. 4» pag. 15.2.


firmed by Pliny, who says, ” that the Gauls, contrary to the custom of the Romans., turned to the left in their religious ceremonies ;” for as they begun their worship towards the east, so they turn’d about as our ilanders do now, from east to west according to the course of the sun, that is, from the right to left, as Pliny has observed ; whereas the
left was among the Romans reputed the right in augury, and in all devotions answering it. Nor were their neighbours, the aboriginal Italians (most of ‘ern of Gallic descent) strangers to this custom of worshipping right-hand-wise, which, not to allege more passages, may be seen by this one in the Curcidio-f of Plautus, who was himself one of them: .. when you worship the gods, do it turning to the right hand;” which answers to turning from the west to the east. It is perhaps from this respectful turning from east to west, that we retain the custom of drinking over the left thumb, or, as others express it, according to the course of the sun, the breaking of which order, is reckon’d no small impropriety, if net a downright indecency, in Great Britain and Ireland. And no wonder, since this, if you have faith in Homer, was the custom of the gods themselves. Vulcan, in the first book

. In adorando dextcram ad osculum referlmus, totumque cor-
pus circumagimus; quod iq Ijevum ftcisse Galli religlosius err,
dont. Hist, Nat. lib. 28. cap. 2.
+ Si Deos salutas, dex,roTorsum crns,o. y/(7. J. Sfen. 1,
ver, 70.


of the lliad, filling a bumper to his mother Jmio,

To th’ other gods, going round from right to left,
Skenk’d Nectar sweet, which from full flask he pour’d.
But more of the right hand in the chapter of -,//,wr?,.

XVIII. To resume our discourse about the Druids houses, one of them in the iland of St. Kilda is very remarkable; and, according to the tradition of the place, must have belong’d to a Druidess. But be this as it will, it is all of stone, without lime, or mortar, or earth to cement it: ’tis also arch’d, and of a conic figure; but open at the top, and a fire place in the middle of the floor. It cannot contain above nine persons, to sit easy by each other: and from this whole description
’tis clear, that the edifice call Arthur’s Ove7i in Sterlingshire, just of the same form and dimensions, is by no means of Roman original, whatever our antiquaries have thoughtlesly fancy’d to the contrary. Some make it the temple of Ter-
minus, and others a triumphal arch, when they might as well have fancy VI it to be a hog-trough: so little is it like any of those arches. As to the house in St. Kilda, there go off from the side of the wall three low, vaults, separated from each other by pillars, and capable of containing five persons a piece. Just such another house in all respects, but much larger, and grown over with a

Slvo,oiij yKvKv viKraf airo xpnrrpo? ct<fvff-(rm, – 11. 1. ver. 597,


green sod on the outside, is in Borera, an ile adjacent to St. Kilda; and was tlie habitation of a Druid, who ’tis robable, was not unacquainted with his nei2:hborin2: Druidess. Shetland abounds with another kind of stone houses, not unfrequent in Orkney, which they ascribe to the Picts; as they are apt all over Scotland to make every thing Pictish, whose origin they do not know. The Belgae or Firbolgs share this honour with the Picts in Ireland, and King Artiiur is reputed the author of all such fabrics in Wales, except that those of Anglesey father ’em on the Irish, These instances I have given your lordship, to convince you, how imperfect all treatises about the Druids (hitherto publish’d) must needs be; since they contain nothing of this kind, tho’ ever so essential to the subject: and that none of these monuments, very frequent in France, are there ascrib’d to the Druids, their records about such things being all
lost; while ,ery many of ours happily remain to clear them, since the usages were the same in both countries. Nor are those treatises less defective in the more instructive part, concerning the Druidicall philosophy and politics, whereof the modern French and Brittish writers, have in reality known nothing further, than the classic authors faruish’d ’em; or if they add any thing, ’tis absolutely fabulous, ill-invented, and unauthoriz’d.
These subjects I reserve intire for my greater work. John Aubrey, lisq, a member of the royal


society (with whom I became acquainted at Oxford, when I was a sojourner there; and collecting’ during my idler hours a vocabulary of Armorican and Irish words, which, in sound and signification, agree better together than with the Welsh) was the only person I ever then met, who had a right notion of the temples of the Druids, or indeed any notion that the circles so often mention’d were such temples at all: wherein he was intirely confirm’d, by the authorities which I show’d him; as he supply’d me in return with numerous instances of such monuments, which he was at great pains to observe and set down. And tho’ he was extremely superstitious, or seem’d to be so: yet
he was a very honest man, and most accurate in his accounts of matters of fact. But the facts he knew, not the reflections he made, were what I wanted. Nor will I deny justice on this occasion, to a person whom I cited before, and who in many other respects merits all the regard which the curious can pay; I mean Sir Robert Sibbald, who,
in his foresaid History of Fife (but very lately come to my hands) affirms, that there are several Druids temples to be seen every where in Scotland, particularly in the county he describes.
” These (says he) are great stones plac’d in a circle, at some distance from each other, &c.”
Mr. Aulu’ey show’d me several of Dr. Garden’s letters from that kingdom to the same purpose, but in whose hand. now I know not.


XIX. I shall conclude this letter with two examples ‘of such works, as tho’ not (that I can hitherto learn) belonging any way to the Druids, yet they may possibly be of that kind : or be they of what kind you will, they certainly merit our no-
tice: as, together with those for which we can truely account, they highly serve to illustrate the antiquities of our Brittish world. My first example is in the Main-land of Orkney, described among the rest of those ilands by Dr. Wallace and Mr. Brand; where, on the top of a high rocky hill at the west end of the iland near the village of Skeal, there is a sort of pavement, consisting of stones variously figur’d, some like a heart, others like a crown, others like a leg, some like a weaver’s shuttle, others of other forms : and so on for above a quarter of a mile in lengthy and from 20 to 30
foot in breadth. In taking up any of these stones, the figure is as neat on the underside as the upper : and being as big as the life, all of one color, or a reddish kind of stone pitch’d in a reddish earth, and the pavement being so very long; it cannot possibly be any of the tessellated, or chequered works of the Romans. ” I saw a part of the garden wall of the house of Skeal, says Mr. Brand. decorated with these stones; and we intended to have sent a parcel of them to our friends in the jgouth, as a rarity; if they had not been forgot, at our return from Zet-laud.” Dr. Wallace f also
. Pag. 43. i Pag, 55.


says, that many of the stones are taken away by the neighboring’ gentry, to set them up like Dutch tiles in their chimneys : so that, at this rate, in less than a century, this pavement will in all likelihood subsist onely in books. All such monuments, when I go to Scotland, I shall so accurately describe in every respect, and give such accounts of
them where accountable; that I hope the curious will have reason to be satisfy’d, or at least some abler person be emulous of satisfying the world, and me among the rest. Wherever I am at a loss, I shall frankly own it; and never give my conjectures for more than what they are, that is, probable guesses : and certainly nothing can be more amiss
in inquiries of this kind, tlian to obtrude suppositions for matters of foct. Upon all such occasions, I desire the same liberty with Crassus in Cicero de Or at or e”, : that I may deny being able to do, that Fine sure I cannot; and to confess that I am ignorant of what I do not know. This I shall not onely be ever ready to do myself, but to account it in others a learned ignorance.

XX. But, my lord, before I take my intended journey, I desire the favour of having your thoughts upon my next example. I speak of a couple of instances, really parallel; brought here together from parts of the world no less distant in their situation and climates, than different in their condi-

. Mihi liceat negare posse, quod non potero, et fateri us-
sciiej quod nesciam. Lib, 2.


tion and manners. Egypt, I mean, and the iles of Scotland. Yet this they have in common, that Egypt, once the mother of all arts and sciences, is now as ignorant of her own monuments, and as fabulous in the accounts of them, as any Highlanders can be about theirs. Such changes, however, are as nothing in the numberless revolutions of ages. But to our subject. Herodotus says, in the second book of his history, that near to the entry of the magnificent temple of Minerva at Sais in Egypt (of which he speaks with admiration) he saw an edifice 21 cubits in length, 14 in breadth,
and 8 in heigth, the whole consisting onely of one stone; and that it was brought thither by sea, from a place about 20 days sailing from Sais. This is my first instance. And, parallel to it, all those who have been in Hoy, one of the Orkneys, do affirm (wifhout citing, or many of them knowing this passage of Herodotus) that there lies on a barren heath in this Hand an oblong stone, in a valley between two moderate hills, call’d, I suppose, antiphrastically, or by way of contraries, the DwarJi/’Stone. It is 36 foot long, 18 foot broad, and 9 foot high. No other stones are near it.
Tis all hollow’d within, or (as we may say) scoop’d by human art and industry, having a door on the east side 2 foot square, with a stone of the same dimension lying about two foot from it, which was intended, on doubt, to close this
entrance. Within tliere is, at the south end of it,


cut out the form of a bed and pillow, capable to hold two persons; as, at the north end, there is another bed, Dr. Wallace says a couch, both very neatly done. Above, at an equal distance from both, is a large round hole, which is suppos’d, not onely to have been designed for letting in of light and air, when the door was shut; but likewise for letting out of smoke from the fire, for which there is a place made in the middle between the two beds. The marks of the workman’s tool appear every where ; and the tradition of the vulgar is, that a giant and his wife had this stone for
their habitation, tho’ the door alone destroys this fimcy, which is wholly groundless every way besides. Dr. Wallace thinks it might be the residence of a hermit, but it appears this hermit did not design to ly always by himself. Just by it is a clear and pleasant spring, for the use of the inhabitant. I wish it were in Surrey, that I might make it a summer study. As to the original design of this monument, men are by nature curious enough to know the causes of things, but they are not patient enough in their search; and so will rather assign any cause, tho’ ever so absurd, than
suspend their judgements, till they discover the true cause, which yet in this particular I am resolv’d to do.

XXI. INow, my lord, imagine what you please about the religious or civil use of this stone, my difficulty to your lordship is, how they were able


to accomplish this piece of architecture, among the rest that I have mention’d, in those remote, barren, and uncultivated ilands? And how such prodigious obelises cou d be erected there, no less than in the other parts of Britain, and in Ireland? for which we have scarce any sufficient machines, in this time of learning and politeness. These monuments of every kind, especially the forts and the obelises, induc’d Hector Boethius to tell strange stories of the Egyptians having been there in the reign of Mainus king of Scotland: nor do they a little confirm the notion, which some both of the Irish and Albanian Scots have about their Egyptian, instead of a Scythian, (or as I shall evince) a
Celtic original; tho’ I assign more immediately a Brittish for the Irish, and an Irish extraction for the Scots. Nor is there any thing more ridiculous than what they relate of their Egyptian stock, except what the Britons fable about their Trojan ancestors. Yet a reason there is, why they harp so much upon Egyptians and Spaniards : but altogether misunderstood or unobserv’d by writers.
But, not to forget our monuments, you will not say (what, tho’ possible, appears improbable) that, according to the ceasless vicissitude of things, there was a time, when the inhabitants of these ilands were as learned and knowing, as the present Egyptians and tlie Highlanders are ignorant. But say what you will, it cannot fail diilnsing light on the
subject; and to improve, if not intirely to satisfy


the inquirer. The Ile of Man, as I said above, does no less abound in these monuments of all sorts, than any of the places we liave nam’d; and therefore sure to be visited, and all its ancient remains to be examined, by,
My Lord,
Your Lordship’s most obliged,

And very humble Servant,

July 1, 1718.




I. A TAKE the liberty, my lord, to troble you a third time with the company of the Druids; who, like other priests, resort always to the place where the best intertainment is to be found: and yet I must needs own, it derogates much from the merit of their visit; that, in the quality of philosophers they know not where to find a heartier welcom than in your lordship’s study. Tho’ I have very particularly explain’d the plan of my History of the Druids, in the two last letters I did myself the honor to send you on this subject, yet the work being considerably large, and containing great variety of matter, I have still something to impart, in order to give the clearer idea of my design. And it is, that, besides the citations of authors, indispensably rerpiisite in proving matters of fact newly advanc’d, or in deciding of antient
doubts and controveries (not to speak of such as


come ill by way of ornament, or that a writer modestly prefers to his own expressions) I have sometimes occasion to touch upon passages, which, tho’ I cou’d easily abridge, or needed but barely hint with relation to the purpose for which I produce them; yet being in themselves either very curious and instructive, or lying in books that come into few people’s hands, I chose to give them in my history intire. This method I have learnt from my best masters among the antients, who practis’d it with much success; tho’, like them, I use it very sparingly. One or two instances you’ll not be sorry to see. The explication I have given, in the 11th section of my first letter, of Ogmius, the antient Gallic name of Hercules, I am no less certain you do not forget, than that you remember I promis’d to take an opportunity of sending you the whole piece; which I have thus translated from the original Greec, with the utmost accuracy.

” The Gauls,” says Lucian ., ” call Hercules in their country language Ogmius. But they represent the picture of this God in a very unusual manner. With them he is a decrepit old man, bald before, his beard extremely gray, as are the few other hairs he has remaining. His skin is wrinkl’d, sunburnt, and of such a swarthy hue as that of old mariners: so that you wou’d take
• . T«v ‘HpaK?.ca oj KlXrcj OFMION cvcfA.a.,0V3-t <|>w)”3 t» £TTiyufiot, et qut« sequUQ.
turiu ileicule G««icv: Giieca eteuira lougiora suot, quam ut !uc com-
mode iiiseri pos’iiiit,


him to be Charon, or some lapetus from the nethermost hell, or any thing, rather than Hercules.
But tho’ he be such thus far, yet he has withall the habit of Hercules ; being clad in the skin of a lion, holding a club in his right hand, a quiver hanging from his shoulders, and a bent bow in his left hand. Upon the whole it is Hercules. I was of opinion that all these things were perversely done, in dishonor of the Grecian gods, by the Gauls to the picture of Hercules: revenging themselves upon him by such a representation, for having formerly over-run their country, and driving a prey out of it; as he was seeking after the herd of Geryon, at which time he made incursions into most of the western nations. But I have not yet told, what is most odd and strange in this picture; for this old Hercules draws after him a vast multitude of men, all ty’d by their ears.
The cords by which he does this are small fine chains, artificially made of gold and electrum, like to most beautiful bracelets. And tho’ the men are drawn by such slender bonds, yet none of ’em thinks of breaking loose, when they might easily do it; neither do they strive in the least to the contrary, or struggle with their feet, leaning back with all their might against their leader: but they gladly and cheerfully follow, praising him that draws them ; all seeming in haste, and desirous to get before each other, holding up the chains, as if they should be very sorry to be set free. Nor will


I grudge telling here, what of all these matters appear d the most absurd to lue. The painter finding no place where to fix the extreme links of the chains, the right hand being occupy’d with a club, and the left with a bow, he made a hole in the tip of the god’s tongue, (who turns smiling towards those he leads) and painted them as drawn from thence. 1 look’d upon these things a great while, somethnes admiring, sometimes doubting, and sometimes chafing with indignation. But a certain Gaul who stood by, not ignorant of our affairs, as he showed by speaking Greec in perfection (being one of the philosophers, I suppose, of that nation) said, I’ll explain to you, O stranger, the enigma of this picture, for it seems not a little to disturb you. We Gauls do not suppose, as you Greecs, that Mercury is speech or eloquence; but we attribute it to Hercules, because he’s far superior in strength to Mercury. Don’t wonder, that he’s represented as an old man; for speech alone loves to show its utmost vigor in old age, if your own poets speak true.
All youog men’s breasts are with thick darkness filled; But age experienc’d has much more to say, More wise and learned, than rude untaught youth. Thus, among yourselves, hony drops from Nestor’s tongue; and the Trojan orators emit a certain voice call’d Lirioessa, that is, a Jlorid speech; for, if I remember well, Jiotvers are call’d Liria.


Now that Hercules, or speech, shou’d draw men after him ty’d by their ears to his tongue, will be no cause of admiration to yon, when yon consider the near affinity of the tongue with the ears. Nor is his tongue contumeliously bor’d : for I remember, said he, to have learnt certain iambics out of your own comedians, one of which says.
The tips of all prater’s tongues are bor’d. And finally, as for us, we are of opinion, that Hercules accomplish’d all his achievments by speech; and, that having been a wise man, he conquer’d mostly by persuasion : we think his arrows
were keen reasons, easily shot, quick, and penetrating the souls of men; whence you have, among you, the expression of wing’d words. Hitherto spoke the GauL ‘ From this ingenious picture Lucian draws to himself an argument of consolation : that the study and profession of eloquence was not unbecoming him in his old age, being rather more fit than ever to teach the Belles Lettres; when his stock of knowledge was most complete, as his speech was more copious, polish’d, and mature, than formerly.

II. As my first instance is furnished by a man, who, for his eloquence and love of liberty (qualities no less conspicuous in your lordship) deserved to have his memory consecrated to immortality, which was all that the wisest of the ancients understood by making any one a God, so my second


instance shall be taken from a woman, whose frailty and perfidiousness will serve as a foil to those learned Druidesses, and other illustrious heroines, which I frequently mention in my history. I introduce her in a passage I have occasion to allege, when I am proving, that wherever the Gauls or Britons are in any old author simply
said to offer sacrifice (without any further circumstances added) this nevertheless is understood to be done by the ministry of the Druids ; it having been as unlawful for any of the Celtic nations to sacrifice otherwise, as it was for the Jews to do so without their priests and Levites. ” The Druids,” says Julius Cesar, “perform divine service, they offer the public and private sacrifices, they interpret religious observances:” and even when particular persons would propitiate the Gods, for the continuing or restoring of their health; .’ they make use of the Druids,.’ adds he, .’ to offer
those sacrifices.” .”Tis the establish’d custom of the Gauls,” says Diodorus Siculus J, .’ to offer no sacrifice without a philosopher,” which is to say, a Druid: and Strabo so expresses it, aflirming, that ” they never sacrifice without the
Druids §.” This unanswerable proof being pre-

. Illi rebus diTinis intersunt, sacrificia publica ac privata pro-
curant,religionesinterprctantur. De Bello GaJUco,llh. d.cap. 12.
+ Administrisque ad ea sacrificia Druidibus utuntur. lljicJ,
) e6cc i’,tfciToic t<ri, /A/1 Jeva Cva-iav ttcjeiv aviv ,jAcrs,,ov. Lib. 5. Jiag\ oOC. Edit.
i hSuoy ii •vr. aMv ,tvi,av. Lib. 4. pag. 303. Edit. Anuicl.


)>iisVI, now follows one of the passage??, wiierein a Gaul being said simply to sacrifice, 1 think fit to relate (he whole story. ‘Tis the eigth of Parthenins of Niceas Love-stories, related before him (as he says) in the first book of the history written by Aristoderaus of Nysa, now lost. This Parthenius addresses his book to Cornelius Gallus, for whose use he wrote it, being the same to whom Virgil inscribed his tenth Eclog. The story runs thus. ” When the Gauls . had made an incursion into Ionia, and sack’d most of the cities, the Thesmophorian festival was celebrated at Miletus;
which occasioning all the women to assemble together in the temple, that was not far from the city: part of the barbarian army, which separated from the rest, made an irruption into the Milesian territory, and seiz’d upon those women; whom the Milesians were forc’d to ransom, giving in exchange a great sum of gold and silver. Yet the
barbarians took some of them away for domestic use, among whom was Erippef, the wife of Xanthus (a man of the first rank and birth in Miletus) leaving behind her a boy onely two years olde.
Now Xanthus, passionately lovhig his wife, turn’d part of his substance into money, and having amass’d a thousand pieces of gold, he cross’d over with the soonest into Italy, whence being guided by some whom he had intertain’d in Greece, he

f Aristodemus calls her Gythlmia.


came to Marseilles, and so into Gaule. Then he went to the house ,vhere his wife was, belonging to a man of the greatest authority among the Gauls, and intreated to be lodged there; where upon those of the family, according to that nation’s usual hospitality, cheerfully receiving him, he went in and saw his wife, who running to him
with open arms, very lovingly led him to his apartment. Cavara, the Gaul, who had been abroad, returning soon after, Erippe acquainted him with the arrival of her husband; and that it was for her sake he came, bringing with him the
price of her redemption. The Gaul extoird the generosity of Xanthus, and strait inviting several of his own friends and nearest relations, hospitably treated him, making a feast on purpose, and placing his wife by his side; then asking him by an interpreter what his whole estate was worth, and Xanthus answering a thousand pieces of gold, the barbarian order’d him to divide that sum into four parts, w hereof he should take back three, one for himself, one for his wife, and one for his little son, but that he shou’d leave him the fourth for his wife’s ransom. When they went to bed, his wife heavily chid Xanthus, as not having so great a sum of gold to pay the barbarian, and that he was in danger, if he could not fullill his promise. He told her, that he had yet a thousand pieces more

. So he’s aam’d by Aristodemus ; and it is to this day a com-
moa name in irelaud. Fid, Jet for attaintwi, Shane O Neil,


hid in the shoos of his servants; for that he did not expect to find any barbarian so equitable, believing her ransom wou’d have cost him much more. Next day the wife inform’d the Gaul what a great sum of gold tliere was, and bids him kill Xanthus; assuring him, that she lov’d him better than her country or her child, and that she mortally hated Xanthus. Cavara took no delight in this declaration, and resolv’d in his own mind from that moment to punish her. Now when Xanthus was in haste to depart, the Gaul very kindly permitted it, going with him part of the way, and leading Erippe. When the barbarian had accompany ‘d them as far as the mountains of Gaule, he said, that, before they parted, he was minded to offer a sacrifice; and having adorn’d the victim, he desir’d Erippe to lay hold of it: which
slie doing, as at other times she was accustom’d, he brandished his sword at her, ran her thro’, and cut off her head; but pray’d Xanthus not to be at all concern’d, discovering her treachery to him, and permitting him to take away all his gold.
‘Tis no more hence to be concluded, because no Druid is mention’d, that Cavara offer’d this sacrifice without the ministry of one or more such (unless he was of their number himself, which is not improbable) than that a man of his quality was attended by no servants, because they are not specially mentioned: for ordinary, as well as neces-
sary circumstances, are ever supposed by good


writers, where there is not some peculiar occasion of inserting them.

III. In my third instance I return again to Hercules, of whom a story is tohl in the same book, whence we had the hist; which, tho’ related and reconnnended by the author as a good argument for a poem, affords, however, no small illustration, to that I maintain, by much more positive proofs, viz. that ” Great Britain was denominated from the province of Britain in Gaule, and that from Gaule the origmal inhabitants of all the Brittish Hands (I mean those of Caesar’s time) are descended.” Listen for a moment to Pardienius.
“Tis said that Hercules., as he drove away from Eryihia, the oxen of Geryon, had penetrated into the region of the Gauls, and that he came as far as Eretannus, who had a daughter call’d Celtina.
Tills young woman falliiig in love with Hercules, hid his oxen: and wou’d not restore them, till he shou’d injoy her first. Now Hercules being desirous to recover his oxen, and much more admiring the beauty of the maid, he lay with her; and in due time was born to them a son nam’d Celtus J, from whom tlie Celts are so denominated. .’ Many

trtt; K£Xt<wv ,ctifaq, ac,iKZa-,ai 7r<xpa Bperavvov : to) S’£ «pct vTCaf,eiv 6uXarEf>a, KiXTiyr,,
,):’jy,x ; ru.urr,v ,t, ifac-Qf.’,e-a.y rov .HpaJtXEot;c, )ia.ra.)ifv,ci.i ra; &ovq ; fxu flgXfiv ts airo-
iovyai, ii fXK TrpoTSpcy uvrn fXi,Qri\iai : tcv h HpaXASrt, to y.iv roi iiui TOq Qovi; itrnyo.
/xsviv avaa-Mo-acroa: ; 7ro> u {xaMcv ro xaX>.o; sxr,rt,EVTa Trig y-t,ui;, a-vyyi)iBj-Oai aurv :
e-nv. Cap. oO.
f Now Cadh. J Gallusj GuUi.

of the antient writers mention the incursion of Hercules into Gaule, when he made war against Geryon in Spain; which the judicious Diodorus Siculus shows to have been at the head of a powerful army, not with his bare club and bow, as ttie poets feii>n ; and that it was he who built the fortress of Alexia, whereof the siege, many ages after by Julius Ca’sar, became so famous. Diodorus likewise tells this story of Parthenius, but without naming Bretannus or Celtina. He onely says., ‘ a certain illustrious man, that govern’d a province in Gaule, had a daughter exceeding the rest of her sex, in stature and beauty: who, tho’ desnsing all that made court to her, being of a very high spirit; yet fell in love with Hercules, whose courage and majestic person she greatly admir’d.
With her parent’s consent she came to a right understanding with this hero, who begot on her a son, not unworthy the pair from whom he sprung, either in body or mind. He was call’d Galates, succeeded his grandfather in the government, and, becoming renowad for his valor, his subjects were called Galatians: after his name, as the
whole country itself Galatia.” This is plainly the same story, onely that one writer supplies us with the names, which the other omits ; and Ar-

Ej/SVETO, &C. (jt,x-xpv.(7a U riu ‘Hpc-xXEi iyinr,a-f, -Jiey ovofA-a, raXarijy 7r?p;09nTi-
ie j/svojUEvo? £7r’ ayjpua, tcvi; vtt’ avTov rtrayfxtyov, avof,a,iy at,’ savnv 1 ‘a,.a-rft?, »<{)’ aiy
>; e-ufAira-c-a VaXinia ‘,o-is-,yoozv,. Lib. 4. JJag, 30o.
+ Galium. % Gain, k Callia,

moricaii Britain being probably the province, wherein Bretannus ruled (since we find it insinuated, that Hercules had penetrated far to come to him) ’tis still more than probable, that it was denominated from him; as I shall prove beyond the possibility of contradiction, that our Britain had its name from that of Gaule, as New England has from the old. llesychius, in the word Bretannus, is of the same opinion w ith me. So is Dionysius Periegetes., with his commitator Eustathiust: and I am not a little countenanced by Pliny the elder, who places Britons on the maritime coasts of Gaule over against Great Britain. But I have more evidence still. To say nothimg at present of Caesar so many ages before Eustathius, Tacitus likewise among the antients§, Beda among those of the middle ages||, and some of the most cele-

I Tavh Bfir.,i-vuv ravrxv Trufxyi-fAO,, a; avTiTTSpiV BpSrlaiiih; vns-oi.
t A Scaldi incolant extera Toxandri pluribus noroinibus;
<3einde Menaplj, Morini, Oroniansaci juncti Pago qui Gessoria-
cus vocatur ; Britanni,, Ambiaiii, Bellovaci, Hassi. JSat, Hisf»
Uh. 4. cap, 17.
§ In universum tamen testlmanti, Gallos vicinum solum cccu-
passe credibile est: eorurn sacra deprehendas, superslitlonum
persuaslone: Sermo baud multum diversus, &c. iit, Agrk,
cap. 11.
II II,c Insula Britones solum, a quibus nomen accepit, inco-
las habuit; qui de tracta Armoricano, ut fertur, BrUanniam ad.
Tectl, australes sibi partes Hlius vindicaranf . Hist. Eccla. Ub. 1 .
tap, 1.
. In quibusdam exnv.jilru-ibi,’–, ,ed perpnan), rnuvini.


brated modern writers, are as express as words can possibly make any thing, that Britain was peopled from Ganle. Nor is the epithet of Great, added to our Britain, any more an objection to this assertion, than the coast of Italy, formerly caird Magna Graecia, cou’d be made the mother country of Greece, when the cities of that coast were all colonies from thence: besides that Great Britain was anciently so called with respect to Ireland, which (before the fable of the Welsh colony in Ganle was invented) is call’d Little Britain, as you will see anon. These disquisitions come not into the ITistGry of the Druids, but into the annext Dissertation concerning the Celtic language and colonies. There you’ll see the folly of deriving Britain from the fabulous Irish hero Briotan, or from the no less imaginary Brutus the Trojan; nor is the word originally Pridcain, Prytania, Bridania, or descended from either Phenician, or Scandinavian, or Dutch, or even any Brittish words. The insular Britons, like other colonies, were long govern’d by those on the continent; and by the neigboring provinces, who join’d in making settlements here. It was so even as low down as a little before Julius Caisar’s conquest; in whose Commentaries,’ it is recorded, that “those of Soissons had within their memory (says the am-

. Suessones esse suos fmitinios, latisslmos feracissimosque agros
possidere : apad eos fuisse Rfgem nostra etiam meraoria Dlvitia-
cu;i-:, tofius Gailia? potentisslmum ; qui, cum magiise partis harum


bassadors of Rheims to liiin) Divitiacus. for their kini,, the most potent prince of all Gaule: who sway\l the scepter, not onely of a great part of those regions, but also of Britain.” In the same dissertation, after exploding the Welsh fable about Britain in France, you’ll read as positive proofs, that the ancient Irish, not one of their colonies excepted (the Nemetes, the Firbolgs, the Danannans, and the Milesians) were all from Gauie and Great Britain ; whose language, religion, customs, laws and government, proper names of men and places, they constantly did and do still use;
whereas (to forbear at present all other arguments) not one single word of the Irish tongue agrees with the Cantabrian or Biscaian, which is the true old Spanish ; the present idiom being a mixture of Latin, Gothic, and Arabic. Besides this, all the antients knew and held the Irish to be Britons, as Ireland itself is by Ptolomy call’d Little Britain’. They were reckoned Britons by Aristotle, who in his book de Mimdo, calls the country lerneX; as Orpheus before him lernis, if Onomacritus be not the author oiihe Argoiiautica,

Foglonum, turn etiam BritanniJE imperium obtinuerlt. De Belio
Gallico, lib. 2. cap, 4.
. Different from Divitiacus the Eduan or Burgundian.
t MiKpa BpETlttvw, in Algauicst. lib. 2. cap. 6.
$ Ev rovT’j,} yi (jlv/ [ozew,;] y-,s-a [AByirai t£ Tvyyjavovtriv mrai 5’l’o, B,iramui >.,y«-
y.v,-aij A>>/3;’-v nm Unr, Cap, 3.
, AyxaiSfo’ ory/.ag £7r/rfl,<,-Ev«; imamj


or rather, as Siiidas asserts, Orpheus of Crotoiia, contemporary with the tyrant Pisistratus. And if this be true, Archbishop Usher did not gasconnade, when he said, that the Roman people could not any where be found so antiently mention’d a,4 lernis’,, Dionysius Periegetes, before cited, is of the same opinion in his description of the world, that the Irish were Britons: as Stephanus Eyzantius names it Biitish Juvernia, the least of the two lands, Diodorus Siculus mentions the Britons inhiibiting the iland called Irishy a name better expressing Ere (vulgarly Erinn) the right name of Ireland, than leiiie, Juverna, Hihernia, or any name that has been eitlier poetically or otherwise
us’d. Strabo stiles Ireland Brittish lerna, as his antient abridger calls the Irish, the Britons inhabiting lei-na,: and, if we may intermix ludicrous with serious things, where ’tis now read in the same Strabo, that the Irish ,were great eaters.’,, his said abridger reads it herb-eaiersj, which wou’d induce one to believe, that so long ago Hhamrogs were in as great request there as at present. Pliny says in express words, that ” every one of the Brittish Hands was called Britain j

. Primord. Eccles, Britannicar. pag. 7,4.
t At<r<ra; ir.a-oi earl BpgrlaviS’,C arrta Pnncu, Vei’.566»
§ . ‘,-Tsrt’p xa; T.n B,eranon, tswc narotxounras T»jn onOjCta,o,fwuR l,t/i:
Lik. o, pag. 309.
H ‘Oi rnn B~eraniy.m ipnaw tJanT,?, &c. Lib, l.pag. 110»


wheras Albion was the distinguishing name of the Britain now peculiarly so call’d, and so famous in the Greec and Roman writings ..” These particulars (I repeat it) much below the dignity of our history, will be found in the,before-mention’d dissertation; which, tho’ infinitely less useful, I dare prophesy will be full as much read, if not much more relish’d. The greatest men, however, have not thought it unbecoming them, to search at their leisure into such originals: and I, for my part, found it almost a necessary imployment, considering the light it adds to my principal work.

IV. To return thither therefore, there are diverse passages, some longer, some shorter, in the most ancient Greec authors we have, or copy’d by these from such as are quite lost; which, tho’ generally neglected and unobserv’d, will be no small ornament to the history I have taken in hand.
And, to say it here by the way, ’tis certain that the more antient Greec writers, such as Hecateus, Eudoxus, ipparchus, Eratosthenes, Polybius, Posidonius (not to speak of Dicearchus and others) knew a great deal of truth concerning the
Brittish ilands: by reason of the frequent navigations of the Greecs into these parts, after the way was shown them by the Phenicians; so antient an author as Herodotus affirming, that his coun

. Britannia clara Graecis nostrisque scriptoribus Albion
ipsi nomen fuit, cum Britanniae vocarentur omncs, [tnsulac
nempe Britannicae.] Nat, Hut. lib. 4. cap. 10.


trymen had their tin from hence., tho’ he cou’d give little «account of the iland. But this commerce being interrupted for several ages afterwards, the later writers did not onely themselves vend abundance of fables about these northern parts of the world; but treat as fabulous, what their predecessors had recorded with no less honesty than exactness. Of this I shall have occasion to give some convincing proofs in this very letter. But not to forget the passages of the antients, when you call to mind those rocking-stones set up by the Druids, described in the 14th and 16th section of our second letter, and w,iereof several are yet standing ; you’ll not doubt but ’tis one of them, that is mention’d in the abridgement we have of Ptolomy Hephestion’s history: who, in the third chapter of the third book, is said ” to have written about the Gigonian Stone standing near the ocean; which is mov’d with such a small matter as the stalk of asphodel, tho’ immoveable against the greatest force imaginable.” This passage needs, in my opinion, no comment. But we are to note, when those old writers talk of any thing near the ocean with respect to the straights of Hercules :[:,and without specifying the place; that it may then

. ■ Cure ns-ovg oiS,a Kaa-a-in,i,ct, iovraqj ex t«v 9 Has-,rjTSpsf >3/.iy ,oira. Lib,
$. cap. 115.
t Ilfpt TTJi? crept Toy iineavoy Hy,vtaf TTExpa?, x«t tri fjiQVii as-,pQ,iXcii x<vs1ta{, rr;:-
,tt,etv Biav afABraKivriroc ovca,
t Now of Gibraltar,
z 2


be on the coast of Spain, or of France, in the Brittish ilands, or on any of the northern shores.
It is onely to be discovered either by matter of fact, or by probable circumstances: as this Gigonian stone (for example) was necessarily in some of the Celtic or British territories, whose Druids alone set up such stones. So were the birds, whereof I am now going to speak. .’ What Artemidorus has deliverd concerning the ravens (says Strabo.)
sounds very much like a fable. He tells us, that there is a certain lake near the ocean, which is call’d the lake of the two ravens, because two ravens appear in it, which have some white in their wing: that such as have any controversy together came thither to an elevated place, where they set a table, each laying on a cake separately for himself: and that those birds flying thither, eat the one while they scatter the other about; so that he, wliose cake is thus scattered, gets the better of the dispute. Such fables does he relate!”
But I wou’d ask Strabo, what is there fabulous in all this? or why shou’d the rude Gauls and Britons, being influenc’d by the eathig or not eating of ravens, be tliouglit more strange or fabulous, than the tnpniUum soUstimam of chickens among the

AifJ,tya y«p riyu rr? Tra,untunU,O? i<ro,n ,vo xopaxwy STroyOfAcitoi.ayoy ; <,uinT&ai V
,T rovru> ,uo aOfaKac, rnv lehay irlsfvya ‘TtafaMvKOy ix,0.rag ; rOv? Oiy nxi,i T.»a>ya,u.
,(r,,TOuvlu?, a.,o’.niJ.iyox>z Ju’po E4>’ v\r:KOv -rontov, ,«Vf,« estTft?, £7r.(?«XXf.T 4-«<r«,
E>c««poy -/«.p: : Tovf ->'().«’? i,iTTTavTaf ,a fxiy icre.nyM, ,xopTr.,i.y ; ov r «v rxj-



polite Romans? which Casauboii, I will not say how truely, thinks was deriv’d from these very ravens.. If Strabo had said, that the divination itself was superstitious and vain, or that it was ridiculous to imagin the ravens cou’d discern the cake of the guilty from that of the innocent (tho they might greedily eat one of them when hungry, and wantonly sport with the other when their bellies were full) no man of judgement wou’d contradict him. As for ravens having some white in thieir wings, it contains nothing fabulous, I myself having seen such, and no ornithologists omitting
them. I will own, indeed, that so uncommon a thing as wliite in the wing of a raven, and for a couple of them to hold a place so cunningly to themselves, was enough to work upon the superstitious fimcies of ignorant people, who laid such stress above all nations upon augury; so that in this whole story of the two ravens, nothing appears to me either fabulous or wonderful. Nay, I am persuaded Artemidorus was in the right, there being examples at this time of ravens thus securing a place to themselves; and the lirst I shall give is, for ouglit any body knows, the very place hinted by Artemidorus. Dr. Martin, in his Description of the lles of Scotland, discoursing of Bernera (which is five miles in circumference, and hes about two leagues to the south of Harries) ” in

. In Annotatione ad hunc Strabonis locum.


this iland,” says he., ” there’s a couple of ravens, which beat away all ravenous fowls; and when their young are able to fly abroad, they beat them also out of the iland, but not without many blows and a great noise.” In this iland, moreover, to remark a further agreement with Artemidorus, there’s a fresh- water lake call’d Loch-bruist, where
many land and sea-fowl build. He tells usf elsewhere of another such couple, which are of the same inhospitable, or rather cautious and frugal disposition, in a little iland near North-Uist ; and still of such another couple J, in all respects, upon the ile of Troda near Sky. But as eagles were no less birds of augury, than ravens, the doctor, in his account of a little iland near the greater one of Lewis §, says, that he saw a couple of eagles there; which, as the natives assur’d him, wou’d never suffer any other of their kind to continue in the iland : driving away their own young ones, as soon as they are able to fly. The natives told him further, that those eagles are so careful of the place of their abode, that they never kill’d any sheep or lamb in the iland; tho’ the bones of lambs, fawns, and wild-fowl, are frequently found in and about tlieir nests: so that they make their purchase in the opposite ilands, the nearest of
which is a league distant. There’s such another couple of eagles, and as tender of injuring their native country, on the north end of St. Kilda,

. Page 47. + Page 60. t Page 166. , Page 26. |j Page 299.


which Hands may be view’d in the map of Scotland. I must observe on this occasion, that there’s no part of our education so difficult to be eradicated as superstition; which is industriously instill’d into men from their cradles by their nurses, by their parents, by the very servants, by all that converse with them, by their tutors and school-
masters, by the poets, orators, and historians which they read: but more particularly by the priests, who in most parts of the world are hir’d to keep the people in error, being commonly backed by the example and authority of the magistrate. Augury was formerly one of the most universal superstitions, equally practis’d by the Greecs and the bar-
barians ; certain priests in all nations, pretending, tho’ by very contrary rites and observations, to interpret the language, the flight, and feeding of birds: as Eneas thus addresses Helen the priest of Apollo .,

Trojugena, interpres Divum, qui numina Phoebl,
Qui tripodas, Clarii lauros, qui sidera sentis,
Et Yolucrum linguas, et praepetis omina pennae.
Fare age.

Now to comprehend what deep root superstition takes, and how the sap keeps alive in the stump, ready to sprout forth again, after the trunk and branches have for many ages been cut off; I beg

. Virg. AcD. lib. 3.


your patience to hear the following story, especially since we are upon the subject of ravens.
When I vras in Dublin in tlie year 1097, 1 walked out one day to the village of Finglass, and overtook upon the way two gentlemen of the old Irish stock, with whom I had contracted some acquaintance at the coftee-house. They told me they were going a good way further, about a business of some importance ; and not many minutes after one of ’em cry’d out w ith joy to the other, see cousin, by heaven matters will go well: pointing at the same instant to a raven feeding and hopping hard by, which had a white feather or two in the wing that was towards us. The other appear’d no less transported, nor would they stir till they saw what way the raven flew ; which being to the south of them, and with a great noise, they were fully confirm’d about the success of their business.
This brought to my remembrance that oblative augury in Virgil . :

Scarce had he said, -when full before his sight
two doves, descending from their airy flight,
Secure upon the grassy plain alight
With watchful sight
Observing still the motions of their flight,

Geniinaecum forte Columbae
Ipsa sub ora viri coelo venere volantes,
Et viridi sodere solo vestigia pressit,
Observans q[uae sign. ferant, quo tendf re pergant.
Acvcicl, lib, G. ver, 190.


What course they took, what happy signs they shew;
• They fled, and, fluttering by degrees, withdrew &c.
DrydeiVs translat.

Nor was I unmindful, you may be sure, of that passage in Plautus.,

‘Tis not for nought, that the raven sings now on my left;
And, croaking, has once scrap’d the earth with his feet.

Upon my putting some questions to those gentlemen, they said it was certain by the observation of all ages, that a raven having any white in it, wings, and flying on the right hand of any person, croaking at the same time, was an infallible presage of good luck. I us’d a great many arguments to show them the vanity and unreasonableness of
this piece of superstition, comparing it among other extravagancies, to the no less absurd one of dreams; where if one happens by chance to come to pass, while ten thousand fail, these are forgot and the other remember’d. But I am persuaded all I did or cou’d say, even my argument ad hominem, in proving that augury was specially forbid by the law of Moses, woud have made little impression on them; had it not been that they miscarry’d in what they went about, as one of them candidly own’d to me some weeks after-

. Non temere est, quod corYOS cantat mihi nunc ab laeva manu;
Semel radebat pedibus terrain, et voce crocitabat sua.
Auhd, Act, 4. Sain, 3. vet. 1,


wards, who cou’d then listen to my reason,, and seem’d to taste them. Thus far have I been led by the ravens of Artemidorns. But I have not rambl’d yet so far after birds as the old Gauls, “whereof a part (to use the words of Justhi after Trogus.) settl’d in Italy, which took and burnt the city of Rome; while another part of them penetrated into the Illyric bays, by the slaughter of the barbarians, and under the guidance of birds, (for the Gauls excell all others in the skill of augury) settl’d in Pannonia”: telling next, how, after dividing their forces, they invaded Greece, Macedonia, and most parts of Asia, where they founded the Gallogrecian tetrarchy. But still you see they were birds, that guided those famous expeditions.

V. I have by good authorities shown before, that the antientest Greec writers had much greater certainty, and knew many more particulars, concerning the Brittish ilands, even the most remote and minute, than such as came after them; by reason that the Grecian trade hither, open first by the Phenicians, had been for a long tim.e interrupted, or rather quite abandon’d. Thus in time the original relations came to be look’d upon as so many fables, at which I do not so much wonder

. Ex his portio in Italia consedit, quae et urbem Ilomam cap,
tam incendit; et portio Illyricos sinus, ducibus Avibus (nam
Augurandi studio Galli praeter ceteros callent) per strages bar-
barorum penetravit, et ia Pannouia consedit. Lib. 24. cap. 4,


ill any man, as in the most judicious of all geographers and the most instructive, I mean the philosopher Strabo. These later Greecs were implicitly credited and transcrib’d by the Roman writers, till Britain came to be fully known, having rather been shown than conquer’d by Julius Cesar; and scarce believ’d to be an iland, tho’ it was constantly affirm’d to be so by the most antient discoveries, till Vespasian’s lieutenant, Agricola, found it beyond all possibility of contradiction to be an iland., part of the Roman fleet sailing round it. But of the remotest ilands there has been no
exact account from that time to this. That of Donald Monro, in James the Fifth of Scotland’s time, is very imperfect: and tho’ in our own time Doctor Martin, who is a native of one of those ilands, has traveled over them all to laudable pur-
pose; yet his descriptions are in many instances too short, besides that he omits several observations, which his own materials show he ought to have frequently made. Considering, therefore, the curious things out of him and others, that may be agreeably read in my two former letters (together with many more accounts of monuments there, which I have from good hands) I own that I am passionately desirous to spend one summer in those ilands, before the History of ike Druids

. Hanc Oram novlssimi maris tunc primum Romana Classis
clrcarayecta, insulam esse Britanniam affirinaYit. Tacit, in Vit(t
A,rk. cap, 10. Aa2


makes its public appearance in the world. But I return to the antient writers who mention the remotest Brittish ilands, of whom Pytheas of Massilia, a Greec colony in Gaule (now Marseilles) is the very first on record. He liv’d in the time of
Alexander the Great, and publish’d his geographical work, or rather his voyages, intitled the Tour of the Earth,, before his contemporary Timeus wrote, or Dicearchus, or Eratosthenes, or Polybius, who follow’d each other, and who in some things disagree. This Pytheas, and also one Euthymenes, were sent by the senate of Marseilles to make discoveries, the former to the north, the latter to the south. Euthymenes, sailing along the coast of Africa, past the line; and Pytheas, landing in Britain and Ireland, as well as on the German coast and in Scandinavia, sail’d beyond Iceland. Both the one and the other made such discoveries, as long past for fables: but time, by means of our modern navigation, has done both of ’em justice. Pytheas, on his part, was terribly decry’d by Strabo, who without ceremony calls him a most lying fellow; tho’ he’s since found, and now known by every body, to be much more in the right than himself. Nothing is more exact, than what he has related, or that is related after him, of the temperature of the Brit-

» FK? TTEpioJo?. Scholiast, in ApoUonii Argonautica, lib. 4. ad
vers. 761.
t Uvhaq avlf ,iv,fg-arog 6,nT«c«». Lib, J . p, 110,


tish climate, of the length of the nights and days, of the strange birds and monstrous fishes of the northern ocean : nor is it a small loss, that a treatise he wrote in particular of the ocean has perish’d with his other works, whereof we have onely a few fragments. He was the first, for ought appears, that mentioned Thule, meaning thereby the utmost
inhabited iland beyond Britain, from which he says it is about six days sail ., and near the frozen sea, which perfectly agrees to Iceland. But Strabo denies that there was ever any Thule, or that any thing beyond Iceland (which he places to the north of Great Britain, wheras it is due west of it) either was or cou’d be inhabited.
.’ They,” says he in his first book J, ” who have seen Brittish Ireland, speak nothing about Thule, but onely that there are several small ilands near

. £,M ©ouX«c, nt i,ns-i UvBta, airo (jt.iv t»!c BpETartJiaj £, tfxt,m TrXoyy tt7ts-)(Zi.
Tr,tq cpXTov J lyyvq S”etva; rnj 7r67r»)yi/tttf BaXarlng, Lib, 1. p. 109.

Tul in the ancient language signifies naked and bleak, as Iceland has neither tree nor shrub; so that TuLi, without any
alteration, is the naked iland, the most proper name for Iceland, and which foreners must have naturally learnt of the Britons, whether Ibernian or Albionian. Tulgach ni nocht, Tul is every naked thing, says O’Clery in his Vocabulary of obselete words. It was a slender affinity of sound, that made lla (one of the western Scottish lies) to be taken for Thule; for neither is it the utmost land of Europe, nor yet of the Brittish ilands themselves.
See what I have written in the second book concerning the disputes about Thule,

,-evTE)- ,t;)c?.f ‘”‘,P’ ”■”” BpeTftyjx>;y, Ibid. pa,. 110.


Britani/’ ln the second book he says., ” the utmost place of navigation in our time, from Gaule towards the north, is said to be Ireland, which being situated beyond Britain, is, by reason of the cold, with difficulty inhabited; so that all beyond it,” continues he .. is reckoned uninhabitable.” This of Ireland, namely, that it is the north of Britain, and scarce habitable for cold, he repeats again is two or three places; from which he draws this conclusion, that there is no Thule at all, since nothing is habitable beyond Ireland; which, there fore, according to him, is the most northerly part of the habitable earth. You see here how much more in the right Pytheas was, who liv’d in the time of Alexander, than Strabo who liv’d in the time of Augustus and Tiberius; and that it is a proceeding no less impertinent than unjust, to
have any man contradicted who was upon the spot, but by such others as were also theie, unless the things related be manifestly impossible, or that the relator is no competent judge; as if a traveller, who understands no mathematics, should affirm the Malabrians to be the best mathematicians in the world. But Strabo, who, notwithstanding all these gross mistakes in the extremities of Europe, is one of the foremost authors in my esteem: Strabo, I say, a little lower in the

«7iXs;ya Vi/xi,siVaaxnT.-., Id. lib. 2. pug, 124.


same book, as doubting whether he was in the right, and pretending it was no great matter shou’d he be in the wrong, affirms that at least it is not known w,hether there be any habitable place beyond Ireland (which he still places to the north of Britain), .’ nor is it of any importance to the prince V’ says he, .’ to have an exact notice of such
regions or their inhabitants, especially shou’d they be in such ilands, which cannot contribute any thing to our damage or profit (meaning the Romans) there being no intercourse between us…
This reflection might perhaps be true with respect to the emperor and the empire; yet it is a very lame reason for a geographer, who is accurately to describe all places, let them have relation to his prince or not. But the truth of it is, he would not believe the antient Greec and Massilian sailors, neither had he any better inforniation himself, whereby to supply or to correct them.

VI. As for Ireland, it was very well known to the more antient geographers, as I showed before; it being directly in the way of the Phenicians (who are said by Aristotle f to have discovered it) when they sailed for Britain. Lying therefore so con-

)(a>fag kai rcyj eixcuvra? : x«i fxaT,i,a, ei VK7c-jq Gix€» ToiAvTaq, Ui y-nrc ‘h-Jireiy y,n-e
v,}<€iv nfiaq hmyra junS’ev, ,la to avCTriTrXcxTov. Ibid. pag. 176.

e,r.ixnrty e-xpva-an v7sr,n re TranTo,WTTri, y.ai Trorafxcvr ‘TrJ.oirojT, y.ai roic XoiTrrmr Krtp-
iroto- Uau,ariw, aireyjivcan ,e TrMiona:?! e,e,oon; et quae seqnuntnr illic leliqw.,;
liibernia? iroprirais coaveuientia. De Mirabii. AuseuUnt,


veniently for the Phenicians, Grecians, Spaniards, and Gauls, it was always a place of great trade: and for this reason Tacitus . says (agreeable to the Irish annals) .’ that its ports were better known for trade, and more frequented by merchants, than those of Britain. Neither is Pytheas’s account of the frozen sea, any more than that of Thule, a fable. Whoever was in Greenland, knows it to be literally true. It is, therefore, in the antient Greec and Roman books, called the icy, the slowt, the congeard, the dead sea; as I have read that it is in some Arabic books very properly written, the dark sea and the sea of pitch. In the oldest Irish books ’tis called by words J that import the foul, and the foggi/ sea; and likewise Minchroinn, or the coagulated sea§, from the word Croinn, which signifies close and thick as well as
round ||. From this original, which Pytheas and other travellors learnt no doubt from the Britons, this sea was nam’d, Cromwm,; and not (as after-

. Melius aditus portusquc, per commercia et negotiatoreSj
cogniti. Vit, Jgric, cap, 24.
+ Mare glaciale, pigrum, congelatum, mortuum.
:{: Miiircheacht, Muircheoach,
-§ Mare coacretum.
II Crunn has the same signification in Welsh, and Cronni or Croinnigh in both the languages signifies to gather, to obstruct, to heap, and particularly Cronni to thicken or stagnate waters; so that this derivation of the Croniariy and congealed sea, cannot be reasonably called in question.


wards invented from the mere sound) because Cronos, or Saturn, was inchanted in Ogygia, an iland west of Britain ; which is fabulously reported by Plutarch. and other writers, who have hitherto been inconsiderately follow’d by every body. I wonder they do not affirm after them, since they may do so with equal reason, that some of the west and north Brittish ilands are possest by heroes and departed souls f . The northern sea, even before one comes to the icy part, and perhaps most properly, may be term’d slow and dead, by reason of the Rousts, or meetings of contrary
tides; whose conflict is sometimes so equal, that they are a great impediment to the boat or ship’» way: nay somtimes, tho’ under sail, they can make no way at all; but, are very often impetuously whirl’d round, and now and then quite swallow’d up. This kind of shipwrack is no less naturally than elegantly describ’d by Virgil, when he relates
the fate of Orontes who commanded a ship under Eneas :

Tpsius ante oculos ingens a vertice pontus
In puppim ferit; excutitur, pronusque magisttr
Volvitur in caput: ast illam ter fluctus ibidem
Torquet agens circum, et rapidus Torat aequore TorteJ.
Ann. lib. \,
, De facie in orbs Lunce: de Defectu Oraculor, Videudi
«tiam Orpheus in Argotiauticis, Plinius, Soliaus, Isaaclus Tzet-
zes in Lycophronis Alexandrani, &c.
+ lidem consulendi, quor m in Annotatione pragcedenti m,n-
iio: nee noa in Iloratii Eoodam 16 commentantes legendi.


I should not forget here, that, upon the discovery of Thule by Pytheas, one Antonius Dioj-enes wrote a romance in twenty four books, which he intitled the Lio edibilities of Thule; where he laid his scene, and whereof Photius has given some account.. I have dwelt the longer upon these ilands, because they did not onely, like the other parts of Britain, abound with Druids, who have there left various memorials of themselves: but also because the last footing they had in the world was here, which makes it little less than essential to my subject. Nor was it in the Ile of Man alone, that a peculier government was set up by their procurement or approbation ; as you “have read in my second letter of their disciple, the admirable legislature Manannan. There was likewise another government of their erection, singular enough, in the Hebudest ; where better provision was made against the changing of an elective into a hereditary monarchy, and against all other exorbitances of the prince, than ever I read in any author antient cr modern. Soliiius, speaking of these ilands, ” there is one king,” says he J, ‘, over

J” T.fT i;,., ©iuXcv avi,oti -htyoi }ih In Bibliotheca, cod. 16(3.
Another name for the Western lies, eqtrivalent to the Hebrides : if they were not originally the same, having perhaps by the mistake of transcribers been written for each other; nothing being easier, than to confound ui with ri, or ri with ni, as antiently written.
X Rex unus est unirersis: nam quotquot sunt, omnes angiista;
fnterluvie di?iduntur. Rex nihil suum habot, omnia uuifcrs©,


them all; for they are, as many as be of them, divided onely by narrow channels. This )vin, has nothing. of his own, but shares of every thing, that every man has. He is by certain hiws obhs,’d to observe equity: and lest avarice shou’d make him deviate from the right way, he learns justice from poverty; as having no manner of property, being’ maintained upon the public expence. He has not as much as a wife of his own, but by certain turns makes use of any woman towards whom he has an inclination; whence it happens, that he has neither the desire nor the hope of any children.”
‘Tis pity this author has not specify ‘d those laws, by which equity was prescribed to the Hebudian monarch, in injoying what was proper for him of other men’s goods : and that he has not told us, how those vicissitudes were regulated, whereby he had the temporary use of other men’s wives, who nevertheless were to father all the children. As I showed this passage one day to a couple of my friends, one of them readily agreed, that the state must needs find their account in this constitution; both as it sav.d the expence of treasure in maintaining a numerous royal progeny, and as it sav’d the expence of blood in settling their several claims

rum. Ad sequitatem certis Legibus stringitur; ac, ne aTaritU
divertat a Tero, discit paupertatc justitiam : utpote cui nihil sit
rei familiaris, verum alitur e publico. Nulla illi datur fcemiua.
• propria ; sod per vicissi(udines, in quacunque commotus »it, usu-
rariam surait uud« ci wee Totum, nee spee, Libarorura. Cerp. 22#


or contentions: but had it not been, said he, for the strict care taken against accumulating riches or power on the prince, I should have naturally thought, that it was one of those Druidical priests, who had thus advantageously carv’d for himself.
Hereupon the other reply’d, that he fancy’d such priests wou’d be contented to have plentiful eating and drinking, and variety of women, thus establish’d by law for them; since it was for no other end, he conceiv’d, but to obtain these, that they struggl’d so hard any where for power and riches. But if this were so, the Druids cou’d be at no manner of loss about their pleasures; considering the sway they bore in the civil authority, and their management of the much more powerful engine of superstition: for ” without the Druids, who understand divination and philosophy,” says Dion Chrysostom., ”the kings may neither donor consult anything ; so that in reality they are the Druids who reign, while the kings (tho’ they sit on golden thrones, dwell in spacious palaces, and feed on costly dishes) are onely their minis-
ters, and the executioners of their sentence.”
Judge now what influence those priests had upon the people, when they might thus control the prince; and consequently, whether they could

■. KjXto; ,t ovi; »iofxa.(,ev(n ApyjJa?, y.ai TovTivr, TTEpt jUavTJJtnv ovraq nai T>iv cLKkvf
re<|)ia», aiv anv roig ,ain’Ktvs-iv Qv,iv i,r.v TTgttTTEiv tv,i ,ou’Kis-Oui ; u,i to /lcev aXnOes
exsivoL’, “PJC-,J ”'”,, ,, $cic-i\sa.q avran vTri,rira; nm ,lanovov? yiyviBai Tn; yvoof,ttt;, sf
ipovug ;,py<roij )ia6nixti$vgy Keti otaia? fxtyaXag CiXtuvTcj, Keti voXvrifACiig ivaf,tvy.Sif,f.
De recusaticne PJugislrut. in ficnatU} pag, 538. Edit. Paris.


possibly want any thing, that brought ’em either pleasure or power. The kings bore all the envy, and the Druids possest all the sweets of authority.

VII. But leaving both for a while, I submit to your lordship’s consideration, upon such evidences and proofs as I am going to produce; whether the Hyperborean iland, so much celebrated by antiquity, be not some one or more of the remotest Hands: and particularly the great iland of Lewis and Harries, with its appendages, and the adjacent iland of Sky; which in every circumstance agree to the description that Diodorus Siculus gives of the iland of the Hyperboreans. Let’s mention some of those circmiistances. He says, that the harp was there in great repute, as indeed it is still; every gentleman having one in his house, besides a multitude of harpers by profession, intertain’d gratis wherever they come. He tells us, that above all other Godsf they worshipt Apollo; which, in my first letter, I evidently show they did under the name of Belenus:{:. He says further, that besides a magnificent sacred grove,
Apollo’s remarkable temple § there was round, whereof I have given a particular description and

• . Tajv S’£ K«TOJXcwT«/> avrnr rov( wXufouc uim Kjflapif «?. Lib, 2. pag; 150.
t Toy AttoXXo; fxaT,i,a twv aXXaiy Qtuv Trap’ avroig rifA.as-9.!,, Ibid.
X In the Celtic language Beal and i3ealan.
$ .T7rap;;,£ty S,e Karet rnv VSfov Tifxtvoq te ATToXXuvog fA.iyaXO’in,’ntq, x«i v«#y ahoyo-


plan in my second letter.”, it subsisting in great part still. He affirms that they had a peculiar dialect, which in reality continues the same to this day; it being Earse, or the sixth among the Celtic dialects I enumerated in my first letter:
and approaching so near to that of the Irish, that these and the ilanders discourse together without any difficulty. But, omitting several other matters no less concordant, he adds, that the iland was frequented of old by the Greecs|, and in friendship with them; which will be easily admitted, after perusing the fourth and fifth sections of this present letter, where I manifestly prove this intercourse. I very well know, that others, who are far from agreeing among themselves, do place the Hyberboreans elsewhere: nor am I ignorant that diverse, after the example of Antonius
Diogenes s TJmlian Romcince’,, have indeavord to divert their readers, no less than themselves, with Hyperborean fictions ; and so made such variations of site or circumstances, as best suited their several plans, to speak nothing of such as were grossly ignorant in geography. Allowances ought to be made for all these things. And the Hyper-
borean continent (which was questionless the most northern part of Scythia, or of Tartary and Muscovy, stretching quite to Scandinavia, or Sweden

. Section XI.
% See the last section.


and Norway) this Hyperborean continent, I say, must be carefully distinguish’d from the Hyperborean iland; whose soil was more temperate and fertile, as its inhabitants more civiliz’d, harmless, and happy. But, to prevent all cavils, I declare before-hand, that as by Thule I mean onely that of Phytheas, or Iceland, and not the conjectures or mistakes of people that liv’d long after him; some making it to be Ireland, others Schetland (which I believe to be the Thule of Tacitus.) others the northermost part of Great Britain, and others other places I : so by the iland of the Hyperboreans, I mean that describ’d by Diodorus Siculus after Hecateus and others, as being an iland .’in the ocean beyond Gaule to the north J,” or under the Bear, where people liv’d with no less simplicity than indolence and contentment; and which Orpheus, or, if you please, Onomacritus, very rightly places near the Cronian or Dead sea. ‘Tis bv this situation, as hereafter more particularly mark’d, that I am willing to be

. Insulas, quas Orcadas vocant, invenit domuitque. Despecta
est et Thule, quam hactenus nix et hieras abdtbat. In vita
Agric. cap. 10.
+ See the Essai/ concerning the Thule of the aniknts, by Sir
Bobert Sibbald.
♦ , Ey fjroiq «.Tiirfpav rn; KiKriKr.i; TOvrojj, Kara tc» flxsavoy, m&t va,ov, UX,
n«f Tsy i/Tcp?»psr)jf ,gpeTTSj VjHp>iVT£ QaXaa-a-av.
Arg-onaut. ver, 1079′,


judg’d: showing it also to be an iland near the Scots, whether Hibernian or Albanian; who are, by Claudian., made borderers on the Hyperborean sea. From this iland the Argonauts, after touching there coming out of the Cronian
ocean, according to Orpheus, sail’d tof Ireland in the Atlantic ocean ; and so to the pillars of Hercules, where they enterd again into the Mediterranean §. No marks can be plainer, so there is no other iland (those of Faroe and Iceland excepted) but the northwest Brittish ilands, between the Cronian and the Atlantic ocean, as every one knows that has once look’d into a map; which expres situation of the Hyperborean iland, together with its being said by Diodorus to ly beyond the Gallic regions towards the north, or the Bear, the frequent use of the harp there, and the worship of Apollo in around temple, amounts I think to as full a proof as any thing of this nature requires. Diodorus adds, in the place where I last quoted him, that the Hyperborean city and temple

. Scotumque yago mucrone secutus,
Fregit Ilyperboreas lemis audacibus undas.
De 3 Cons. Honor, ver, 55.
Ibid. ver. 1178.
$ Kvfxn ,laTrpr.a-trovrig, ava ,efxa rEpv»ro«o
Uid. ver. 1240.
, Now the Straits of Gibraltar,


were always i,overii’d by the family of the Boreads f who with no more probability were the descendants of Boreas, an imaginary person or deity, than the Hyperboreans were so call’d, /rom being situated more northerly than the north’Whid’l: bnt in reality they were then, as they are still, governed by their chiefs or heads of tribes, whom
they caird in their own language Boireadhach ; that is to say, the great ones, or powerful and valiant men, from Borr, antiently signifying grandeur and majesty §. The Greecs have in a thousand instances apply’d foren words to the very
different sense of other words approaching to the same sound in their own language. Their first sailors into those parts gave the ilanders the name of Hyperhoreans, from their lying so far towards the north with respect to the straights of Hercu-

. Ba3-fX£L’£tyr£ T>!? WiX&wj TfluTw;, nai Tit rE|0t£V0y? fTrapp,fiv tbi; ovoy.a,O{xevou;
BopcaS’a;, mtoyonov; onrtiQ Bo,eov, y.m xaraycnoQ aiei ha,exa,Qui Ta? a?x«f. ■’,,’,•
§. pag. 130.
+ Boreades.
I Atto ru 7TfoiTs-MTes(u x,ifflmlnf Bope.ov Trnons. Lib. ?, pag. ISOt
§ As for these words Borr and Buireadhach or Boinadhach (the vowels u and o being with us most frequently put for each other) I might appeal to several authentic manuscripts, but, because such are not obvious to many, I chuse rather to refer my readers to the Sednasan nuadh, or printed vocabulary of obsolete words by O’Clery, and to Lhudy’s printed Irish-English Dictionary: so that these words are no children of fancy, as but too frequently happens in etymologies. From the same root are Borrogach couragious, and Borrthoradh awe or worship, with the like.


les., for which I have indisputable authorilies; and after having once thus stiFd them, they greedily catch’d at the allusive sound of their leaders or magistrates, Grecizing those grandees, or Boireadhach, into Boreades: which was literally understood in Greece of the fabulous descendants of Boreas, very consonantly to their mythology, or, if you will, to their theology. But I noted before, that Plato, in his Cratylus, was of opinion j: the Greecs had borrow’d many words from the barbarians; ” especially,” adds he, “such of the Greecs as lived in the barbarian territories:”
which may be fairly suppos’d to include those who navigated, or that drove any traffic among them. And hence the divine philosopher himself draws this accurat§ inference, ” that if any man wou’d indeavor to adjust the etymolo-
gies of those words with the Greec language, and not rather seek for them in that to which they originally belong, he must needs be at a loss.’.
‘Tis farther most deserving observation, that Eratosthenes, an antient chronologer and geographer of vast reputation for learning, speaking of Apollo’s famous arrotv, with which he slew the Cyclopes, and in honor of which one of the constellations is

. No,y of Gibraltar. i Letter II. Section V.
X E>vo« yap, ore ttca?.. e. F7.X>ivEC ovo/uaw, «X>.a;f ri x.t. oi vrro rciq /Sap’a;,? cx.y-
;T£f, TTct.,’, yu>y (5«pSapa;v siX«4)acr». Jtita’ Opera, Edit. Puris. Vol. 1 . pag. 4i’9.
j Ei rig ,vroi Tama Kara, t»;> ‘E\>.wiHKV <pvvnv wf EotxoTWj aHT«i, «Urt y.V Kar’
,KUnv i, »jf TO ev3u« Tvyyay.i oy, «jc-9« 6T< «7rcpjf ny. ibid.


So call’d, says that. “he hid it among the Hyperboreans, where there is his temple made of wings, or a winged temple,” the words being capable of both senses. If the latter was the meaning of Eratosthenes, we have already given the description of such a winged temple, yet standing there: and if the former, no place under heaven cou’d
furnish more feathers, nor of more various kinds, to adorn men or buildings, than those same ilands; where many of the inhabitants pay their rent with them, aud make a considerable profit besides.
For this reason perhaps, and not from its promontories, the He of Skie is in the language of the natives call’d Scianach’, or the winged iland, whereof the English name Skie is an abbreviation or corruption. Now, if the Hebrides were the Hyperboreans of Diodorus (as I fancy it can. scarce hereafter be doubted) then the most celebrated Abaris was both of that country and likewise a Druid, having been the priest of Apollo, Suidas, who knew not the distinction of insular Hyperboreans, makes him a Scythian; as do some others misled by the same vulgar error, tho’ Diodorus has truly fix’d his country in the iland, not

» ExpKvf-s 5’s avti [to tj,uov] £v t;7rEp(3«pEJotf, .i» y.a.i o v«oc o itrtfmq In Catoste-
rismis, inter Opuscula Mtjtholosica ct Physka, Edit. Amst. pag. 124.
f Oilean Sciathanach.
% To [xiv yoLf on rev jwnpov ;s,pu5-oi;v iVih’.,vj ABapih rot ,YTTSp,opew, Bixcta-avri avrov
ATfoWvm eivai ro» Ev ‘TTrep,wpEO/f , ovirBp nv »ep£uf o A/!?apt?, ,ei,atovra oig rovro aX>30cC
Ts9pi;X\>iTrt , Porphyrins in vita Pythagor<e, Eadenif et iisdem equidem verbis
hahet Jamblichus, Lib, 1 , Crtj?, 28.
D d 2


on the continent. And indeed their fictions or blunders are infinite concerning our Abaris. This is certain however among ’em all, that he traveled quite over Greece., and from thence into Italy, where he familiarly conversed with Pythagoras; who favor’d him beyond all his disciples, by imparting his doctrines to him (especially his thoughts
of nature) in a more compendious and plainer method, than to any others. This distinction cou’d not but highly redound to the advantage of Abaris. For, the reasons of Pythagoras’s backwardness and retention in communicating his doctrines, being, in the first place, that he might eradicate (if possible) out of the minds of his disciples all vitious and turbulent passions, forming them by degrees to a habit of virtue, Avhich is the best preparative for receiving truth; as, next, to fit them, by a competent knowlege of the mathematical sciences, for reasoning with exactness about those higher contemplations of nature, into which they were to be initiated; and, lastly, to have repeated
proofs of their discretion in concealing such important discoveries from the ignorant and the wicked, the latter being unworthy, and the former incapable of true philosophy: it follows, therefore, that he judged Abaris already sufficiently prepared in all these respects, and so he oblig’d him with an immediate communicationof his most inward sen-

<S.c. Vbi supra.


timents; concealed from others under the vail of numbers, or of some other enigmatieal symbols The Hyperborean m return presented the Saniian, as if he had equalled Apollo himself in wisdom, with the sacred arrow; riding astride which he,s fabulously reported by the Greec writers, to have flown in the air over rivers and lakes, forests and
mountains: as our vulgar still believe, and not where more than in the Hebrides, that wizards and witches waft whither they please upon broomsticks. But what was hid under this romantic expedition, with the true meaning of the arrow itself, the nature of the predictions that Abaris spread in Greece, and the doctrines that he learnt at Crotona; with the conceit of these Hyperboreans that Latona the mother of Apollo, was born among them, nay that he was so too, and their most exact astronomical cycle of nineteen years: these particulars, I say, you’ll read at large in my
History of the Druids, stript of all fable and disguise; as well as a full discussion of the question (about which antient writers are divided) ” whether the Druids learnt their symbolical and enigmatical method of teaching, together with the doctrine of transmigration from Pythagoras, or that this philosopher had borrowed these particulars from the Druids?” The communication between them w as easy enough, not only by means

,yia-ai. Diogen. Lant, in prooem. Sect, 6,


of such travellers as Pythagoras and Abaris, but also by the nearness of Gaul to Italy: tho’ there will still remain another question, viz. whether the Egyptians had not these things before either of them ; and therefore whether they did not both receive them from the Egyptians?

VIII. Yet before all things we must here examine what can be offer’d, with any color, against our account of the Hyperborean iland ; after that so many circumstances, and particularly the situation, seem to point demonstratively to the true place: nor certainly, when things are duely consider’d, will the objections that have been started in private conversation (as I know of no other that can be publickly made) be found to have the least difficulty. Thule or Iceland, rightly plac’d by Claudian in the Hyperborean. climate, besides the incongruities of the soil and the intemperate-
iiess of the air, is distinguish’d by Diodorus himself from the iland in question: and the iles of Faroe, being onely a parcel of barren rocks of very small extent, without any monument of antiquity, deserve not so much as to be mentioned on this occasion. Neither indeed has any of my acquaintance insisted on either of these. But Diodorus (says one of ’em) tho’ exactly agreeing to

-Te, quo libet, ire, spquemur:
Te vel Hyperboreo damnatam sidere Thulen,
Te vel ad incensas Libyae coraitabor arenas.
Li Rvfn. lib. 2.


your situation or that of Orpheus, and that your other circumstances do perfectly tally to this description: yet is different in this, that he speaks onely of one iland, not less than Sicily.; where as you understand this of several ilands, which altogether have scarce that extent. I answer, that the marks of the right place which I have men-
tioned already, and such others as I shall presently alledge, will more than counterbalance any mistake (if there be any) about the bigness of the iland. Travellers and mariners, who either have not been ashore or not staid long enough in any place to survey it, are known to speak onelv by guess, and frequently very much at random. Has
not Great Britain itself (so much celebrated, as Pliny justly writes f, by the Greec and Roman authors) been taken to be of vast extent, and not certainly known by the Romans to be an iland, till the time of Vespasian J? Endless examples of this kind might easily be produced. And as for the multitude of those ilands, which are separated onely by narrow channels, it makes nothing at all against me. For, besides that such an aggregation of ilands is often taken in common speech for onely one; as not to go out of our own dominions, such is Schetland, in name one country, but in effect consisting of more than 30 ilands ; so there are several indications, join’d to the tra-

» OvK (\aVit Ini JtxuXitff. Ubi svprtu
f See Section III, t See Section V.


tlitioii of the inhabitants (of ,vllicll see Dr. Martin
in his Account of Saint Kilda and elsewhere) that
some of those western ilands have been formerly
iniited, and many of them nearer each other than at
• present. However, taking them as they now are,
Lewis, otherwise call’d the longilaml, being at least
a hundred miles in length., Skie forty, several of
the rest above fonr and twenty each, and all ap-
pearing as one iland (having many winding bays
or inlets) to one who sails without them, or that
touches onely at some of the greatest; considering
this, I say, the mistake will not be reckon’d so
enormous in a sailor or stranger, if he compares
them in the lump to Sicily for extent. Another
person granting all this, objects that Diodorus re-
presents the Hyperborean iland a very temperate -j-
region; which, according to my friend, cannot be
said of any place in the northern latitude of 58,
and partly of 59. But whoever has travel! ‘d far
liimself, or read the relations of such as have,
will be convinc’d that the seasons in every region
of the world, do not always answer to their posi-
tion: of which the causes are various, as huge

. I reckon as Dr. Martin and the natives do, from the most
northerly point of Lewis to Bernera south of Barra, this string of
islands being onely divided by channels mostly fordable; and if
it be considered that I make use of Scottish miles, every place is at
least a third part more, according to the English or Italian mea-

t Ovrav y avlnv tvy£,ovis mt ‘rrafx<,opaVf «7< h €v>t,ac-la ha<pe,ou0-avf ,iTiove- ««””
clotr eK<,e,eiv na,Tiova-, Uhi supra.



ridges of mountains, the neighbourhood of vast
lakes or marches, winds blowing from places co-
ver’d with snow, or the like. Thus Britain and
Ireland are known, not onely to be much more
temperate than the places on the continent of the
same position with them, but even than some of
such as are mere southerly; by reason of the salt
vapors and continual agitations of the surround-
ing ocean, which dissolve, allay, and mitigate the
frosts and winds blowing from the continent.
This holds as true with regard to the Hebrides,
which by experience are allow’d to be yet more
temperate ; the snow not lying near so long as in
Britain, and a tepid vapor being very sensible
there in the midst of winter. This was enou2:h
to fill the Greec sailors with admiration, which to
us ought to be none ; since their learned men often
spoke of many places, not as they actually were
in themselves, but as in their speculations they
imagin’d they ought to be: without considering
whether there might not occur some of the diver-
sifying circumstances we have just now hinted, or
any others begetting the like influence?. But that
most sagacious interpreter of nature, Hippocrates,
knew better things, when he taught what he learnt
by experience (having been an ilander himself)
that ilands situated far. in the sea, are kindly

. Tail S’e vns-asv, ai fxsv eyyvg ruf UTrEtpafr, Ju3-;3,e<jU£pa,’T£paj utiv ; at Js Trovriai,
• XEJVoTEpat Tcv ,siy.K)/a : hen at )(}inq nai Trayoi £v/-t£v ■x’nr.v n~iifoiriv s,oviri r,.””;

c«rfy iv ;v:5!,u«n. J?e Dicsta, lib. 2. cap. 3.

E e



warm, and that no sno,v can lie on them hi win-
ter; while such as are near the shore become
scarce habitable for cold, by reason of the snow
and ice remaining on the continent, which from
thencee transmit bleak winds into those ilands.
The antients, who judg d of places where they
never were by their bare positions, did conse-
quently enough from thence conclude the torrid
zone to be inhabitable: but since this zone has
not onely been frequently visited, but is daily pe-
netrated to the temperate and cold zones beyond
it, ’tis not onely found every where inhabited ; but
those breezes and showers, with other causes, that
make living there very comfortable, are the common
themes of philosophers. This brings me to the
last, and seemingly the strongest objection, viz.
that the Hyperborean iland of Diodorus, or rather
of Hecateus and others long before him, was so
plentiful as to have tvi,o crops a year.. Yet this
expression, upon a fair construction, will be so
far from embarassing, that it will highly illustrate
my explication. It onely signifies great plenty
:).nd abundance, which I cou’d instance by many
passages of the antients; but shall chuse the
nearest home I can, and that is what Virgil t says
of Italy:

. Read the Note immediately preceding, bateing one.
+ Hie ver assiduum, atque alienis mensibus aestas;
Bis grayidts pecudes, bis pomis utilis arbos.

Georgic, lib, 2,



Perpetual spring our happy climate sees,
Twice breed the cattle, and twice bear the trees;
And summer suns recede by slow degrees.

Dryden,s Translation.

But wlio is ignorant, that this is not literally true?
and as to tlie plenty meant by it in genera!, ’tis
certain that no country abounds more with the
necessaries of life, and at less labor or charge, than
the Hebrides. I shall dwell so much the longer
on this head, as my history may possibly reach
further than the Celtic nations. Wherefore, in
the iirst place, there is known to be in those ilands
a prodigious plenty of flesh and fish. Their
cattle of all sorts (as cow,s, sheep, goats, and
hogs) are exceeding numerous and prolific : small
indeed of size, as are likewise their horses, but of
a sweet and delicious taste. So are their deer,
which freely range in herds on the mountains.
INo place can compare with this for tame and
w ild fowl, there being of the latter no where in the
world a greater diversity, many sorts of ’em ex-
tremely beautiful or rarC;, and utterly unknown
elsewhere. The like may be said of their various
amphibious animals. Numberless are their foun-
tains and springs, rivulets, rivers, and lakes, very
wholesom in their waters, and every where super-
abounding with fish, especially the most delicate,
as trout and salmon: nor is it by herrings alone
that all Europe knows no seas to be better stor’d,
nor with more kinds, from the shrimp to the




whale; as no harbors or bays are superior, Avhe-
ther regard be had to number or conimodiousness.
Add to this their variety of excellent roots and
plants, particularly those of marine growth, every
one of them serving for food or physic. Their
pastures are so kindly, that they might live on
milk alone, with that inconceivable quantity of
eggs they yearly gather of the desart rocks and
ilets. But flesh and fish, milk-meats, eggs, and sal-
lads in tlie greatest abundance (some will be apt
to say) are slender and comfortless food without
the staff of bread. On this assertion, tho’ I might
fairly dispute it from the practice of whole na-
tions, and the experience of particular persons no
strangers to me, I will not however insist; bread,
among their. other productions, being plentiful
enough in the Hebrides, which sometimes cannot
be said of the neighbouring ilands. The ground
is generally allow’d to be much richer than on the
Scottish continent, some parts whereof are not
seldom supply’d hence with corn.: and I have
also such proofs of it from Dr. Martin (who, when
he wrote liis Description of (hose Ilands, was f:ir
from dreaming of the Hyperboi’eans) as will suffi-
ciently justify the expression of Diodorus about
their crops or harvests. Levvis is very fruitful:
and tho’ barley, oats, and rye, be the only grain
sown there at present: yet the ground both in
that, and in most of the oilier ilands t is tit to bear

. See Dr. Martiu’s Drscrij’tion, page 140, + Page i 3, 357j &c.



wheat, and consequently legumes of all sorts. ‘Tis
truely amazing they have any crop at all, consi-
dering how unskilful they are in agriculture, how
destitute of the properest instruments to till the
ground, and that they scarce use any other manure
but sea-wrack or tangles. From the ignorance of
the inhabitants in these respects, as also in plant-
ing, inclosing, and draining, many fruitful spots
ly uncultivated : but the abundance of choice eat-
ables (and namely the most nourishing shell-fish
of various kinds) with which they are richly sup-
ply’d by bountiful nature, contributes more than
any thing to that indolence, which the antient
Greecs esteem’d their happiness. The goodness
of the soil appears by nothing more evidently,
than by the want of cultivation, whereof I have
been just complaining. Dr. Martin, who was an
ey- witness, and strictly examined the fact, affirms.
that in Bernera, near Harries, the produce of
barley is many times from twenty to thirty-fold;
that in Harries and South-Uistf one barley-grain
sometimes produces from seven to fourteen ears,
as in North-Uist from ten to thirty-fold J in a
plentiful year: that at Corchattan, in Skie, the
increase § amounted once to thirty-five; that if the
ground be laid down for some time, it gives a
good crop II without dunging, some fields not having
been dung’d in forty years ; and that he was in-

. Page 42. t Ibid. J Page 53. § Page 132. S Page 139.



formed a small track of g:r(>niKl, at Skerry-breck.
in the said ile of Skie, had yielded a hiindred-foUL
Nay, I have been told myself by a native of that
ile, that the people there believe they might have
two crops a year, if they took due pains. For this
I beg d their pardon, but aliow’d what was tanta-
mount, since the words of Diodovas may no less
justly be render’d a douhle crop, than ttvo crops -j ,
which last, however, is in some respects literally
true. For with regard to their pastures (of which
somewhat before) nothing is more common than
for a sheep to have two lambs j: at a time. This
not onely confirms my construction, and puts me
in mind of that verse in Virgil §,

She suckles twins, and tvFice a day is milk’d:

but also of what the so often mention d Dr. Mar-
tin relates on this|] occasion; which is, that be-
sides the ordinary rent a tenant paid, it was a cus-
tom in the ilands, if any of his cows or sheep
brought two young ones at a time, one of them
was to go to the landlord: who, on his part, was
oblig’d, if any of his tenant’s wives bore twins, to
take one of them into his own family; and that
he himself knew a gentleman, who had sixteen of
these twins in his house at a time. ‘Tis no won-
der they are populous. Even the wild goats on
the mountains, for such there are in Harries, are

. Ibid, t AiT7oL-j K,prw;. X Page 108. § Bis Yenit ad mule.
IriPj b.ioos alit ubere foetus. Echg. 3. ver. ZO. [| Page 109.



observ’d to bring. forth their 3′,oung twice a year:
all which put together, makes the last objection
against me to be none, and therefore finally justi-
fies my explication of the passage in Diodorus.
From hence ’tis evident. My Lord, that those
Hands are capable of great improvement, as they
abound likewise in many curiosities, especially ia
subjects of philosophical observation. Nor is
it less plain by the many antient monuments re-
maining among them, and the marks of the plow
reaching to the very tops of the mountains (which
the artless inhabitants think incapable of culture)
that in remote ages they were in afar more flourish-
ing condition than at present. The ruins of spaci-
ous houses, and the numerous obelises, old forts,
temples, altars, with the like, which I have de-
scrib’df before, undeniably prove this: besides
that the country was formerly full of woods, as
appears by the great oak and fir trees daily dug
out of the ground, and by many other tokens;
there being several small woods and coppices still
remaining in Skie, Mull, and other places. Tho’
I don’t pretend, no more than Diodorus, that these
w ere the fortunate Hands of the poets, or the ely-
zian-fields of the dead, by some plac’d in those ;{;
seas, as by others elsewhere ; yet the following

. Page 35.

+ Letter If. Sections VIH, IX, X, &«.

t Videas Annotationem C3 & 64.



lines of Horace. agree to no spot better, than the
ilands we have been just describing.


From lofty hills


With murmuring pace the fountain trills.

There goats uncall’d return from fruitful vales,

And bring stretch’d dugs to fill the pails.

No bear grins round the fold, no lambs he shakes;

No field swells there with poys’nous snakes.

More we shall wonder on the happy plain :

The watr’y east descends in rain.

Yet so as to refresh, not drown the fields ;

The temperate glebe full harvest yields.

No heat annoys : the ruler of the gods

From plagues secures these blest abodes,

CreecWs translation.

The inhabitants, (that I may make a complete com-
mentary on the passage of Diodorus) are not to be
mended in the proportion of their persons : no pre-
posterous bandages distorting them in the cradle,
nor hindring nature from duely farming their limbs ;

. Monlibus altis


Levis crepante lympha desilit pede.
Illic injussjB veniunt ad mulctra capellae,

Refertque tenta grex amicus ubera.
Nee vespertinus circumgemit ursus ovile,

Nee intumescit alta viperis humus.
Pluraque fellces mirabJmur: ut neque largis

Aqupsus Eurus arva radat imbribus,
Pinguia nee siccis urantur semina glebis;

Utrumque Hege t,jroperaute Coclitum.

jCpot/. 16, ver. 47.



which is the reason, that bodily imperfections of
an}’ sort are very rare among them. IN either tloes
any over-officionsly preventive physic in their in-
fancy, spoil their original constitution; whence
they have so strong a habit of body, that one of
them requires treble the dose, as will purge any
man in the south of Scotland. But what contri-
butes above all things to their health and longe-
vity, is constant temperance and exercise. As
they prefer conveniency to ornament both in their
houses and their a])parel (which last 1 think not
disagreeable) so, in their way of eating and drink-
ing, they rather satisfy than oppress nature. Their
food is commonly fresh, and their meals two a day,
water being the ordinary drink of the vulgar.
They are strangers to many of the distempers, as
they are to most of the vices of other nations, for
some of which they have not so much as a name :
and it may no less truely be observed of these than
of the ancient Scythians, that. the ignorance of
vices has had a better effect upon them, than the
knowlege of philosophy upon politer nations.
They owe every thing to nature. They cure ail
disorders of the body by simples of their own
growth, and by proper diet or labor. Hence they
are stout and active, dextrous in all their exer-
cises; as they are withall remarkably sagacious,
choleric but easily appeaz’d, sociable, good natur’d,

. Tanto plus in illis proficii vitlorum ignoratio, quara ia his
[,Grcecis Nmirum~\ cognitio virtutis. Justin, Hint, lib, 2. cap 2,




ever cheerful, and having a strong inclination to
music: all which particulars, with the other parts
of their past and present character, I have not
onely learnt from the concurrent testimonies of
several judicious authors; but al,o from the inti-
mate knowlege I have had myself of many scores
of the natives, as well in Scotland as elsewhere.
They are hospitable beyond expression, intertain-
ing all strangers of what condition soever gratis;
the use of mony being still in some of those ilands
unknown, and till a few ages past in all of them.
They have no lawyers or attorneys: which, no
more than several other particulars here specify’d,
I do not understand of the Highlanders on the
continent; tho’ speaking the same language, and
wearing the same dress with them. The men and
w omen plead their own causes ; and a very speedy
decision is made by the proprietor, who’s perpe-
tual president in their courts, or by his bailiff as
his substitute. In a word, they are equally void of
the two chief plagues of mankind, luxury and
ambition; which consequentlyf rees them from all
those restless pursuits, consuming toils, and never-
failing vexations, that men suffer elsewhere for those
airy, trifling, shortliv d vanities. Their contempt
of superfluities is falsly reckon’d poverty, since
their felicity consists not in having much, but in
coveting little; and that he’s supremely rich, who
wants no more tJian he has: for as they, who live
according to nature, will never be poor; so they,



who live according- to opinion, %vill never be rich.
‘Tis certain that no body wants, what he does
not desire : and how much easier is it not to desire
certain things, than otherwise? as it is far more
healthy and happy to want, than to injoy them.
Neither is their ignorance of vices in these ilands
any diminution to their virtue, since (not being by
their situation concerned in any of the disputes
about dominion or commerce, that distract the
world) they are notonely rigid observers of justice,
but show less propensity than any people to tu-
mults; except what they may be unwarily led
into by the extraordinary deference they pay to
the opinion of their chiefs and leaders, who are
accountable for the mischiefs they sometimes
bring (as at this very time.) on these well-meaning
Hyperboreans. For Hyperboreans I will now
presume to call them, and withall to claim Abaris
as a philosopher of the Brittish vv,orld, which has
principally occasion’d this di,,rescion ; on that ac-
count not improper, nor, I hope, altogether useless
in other respects. Be this as jour lordship shall
think fit to judge, ! will not finish it before I have
acquainted you with an odd custom or two, that
have from time immemorial obtain’d in Barra and
the lesser circumjacent ilands, which are the pro-
perty of Mac-neil. The present is the thirty-fifth
lord of Barra by uninterrupted lineal descent, a

. 1719.



thing whereof no prince in the work! can l30ast;
and he’s regarded, you may imagine, as no mean
potentate by his subjects, who know none greater
than he. When the wife of any of ’em dies, he
has immediate recourse to his lord, representing
first his own loss in the want of a meet help. ; and
next that of Mac-neil himself, if he should not go
on to beget followers for him. Hereupon Mac-
neil finds out a suteable match (neither side ever
disliking his choice, but accepting it as the high-
est favor) and the marriage is celebrated without
any courtship, portion or dowry, But they never
fail to make merry on such occasions with a bottle
or more of usquebah. On the other handf, when
any woman becomes a widdow, she’s upon the
like application soon provided with a husband,
and with as little ceremony. AVhoever may dis-
like this Hyperborean manner of preventing delay,
disdain, or disappointment, yet he cannot but ap-
prove Mac-neil’s conduct, in supplying J any of
his tenants with as many milch-cows, as he may
chance to lose by the severity of the weather, or
by other misfortunes; which is not the less true
charity, for being good policy. Most worthy like-
wise of imitation is his taking into his own family
(building a house hard by on purpose for them)
and maintaining to the day of their death, as many
eld men, as, thro’ age or inlirmity§, become unlit

. Martin, page S7. f Ibid. t ,,i,’- , P,ge 9.8.


OF THE DRUll:)S. 225

for labor. But I sliou’d never have done, if I pro-
ceeded with the particular usages of the north
and west ilanders. Several of them retain’d from
the remotest times of the Druids, are explain’d in
this and the preceding letters. Yet one custom
(very singular) I cannot help relating here, tho’
long since grown obsolete; or rather that it has
been in disuse, ever since their conversion to
Christianity. When a man had a mind to have a
wife ., as soon as he gain’d the consent of the maid
he lik’d, he took her to his bed and board for a
whole year; and if, upon thus coming thoroly ac-
quainted with the conditions both of her mind and
body, he kept her any longer, she then became
his wife all her days: but if he dislik’d her to
such a degree on any account, as to be perswaded
she should not make him easy during life, he re-
turn’d her (with her portion, if she had any) at the
twelve month’s end to her parents or guardians •
legitimating the children, and maintaining thenx
at his own charge, in case there were such. Nor
was this repudiation any dishonor or disadvan-
tage to the young woman in the eyes of another
man, who thought she wou’d make him a better
wife, or that he might to her be a better husband.
It was a custom, I must own, like to prevent a
world of unhappy matches; but, according to our
modern ideas, ’tis not onely unlawful, but also

.Page 114.



IX, To return whence I digress’d, having thus
happily discoverd and asserted the connti-y of
Abaris, and also his profession of a Druid; I shall
give here some account of his person, referring to
another place tlie history of his adventures. The
orator Himerius, tho’ one of those, who, from the
equivocal sense of the word Hyperborean, seems
to have mistaken him for a Scythian; yet accu-
rately describes his person, and gives him a very
noble character. That he spoke Greec with so
much facility and elegance, will be no matter of
wonder to such as consider the antient intercourse,
which we have already prov’d between the Greecs
and the Hyperboreans: nor w,ou.d the latter, to
be sure, send any ambassador (as well see pre-
sently they did Abaris) to the former, unless,
among the other requisite qualitlcations, he per-
fectly understood their language. But let’s barken
a while to Himerius. .’ They relate,” says he,
” that Abaris the sage was by nation a Hyperbo-
rean, become a Grecian in speech, and resembling
a Scythian in his habit and appearance. When-
ever he mov’d his tongue, you wou’d imagine him
to be some one out of the midst of the academy
or very lyceum.. Now that his habit was not
that of a Scythian ever covered with skins, but

2.t/0>:v fASv a,pi ,oXii; ,e aai a-,t)fxciroi» Et Je ttok yXairlav KivnasiSf rovrt tusivov IK
i% fxtTt)/; Aua,nfAicti; nai avTov ,vntiov vou,i,i(j-dai, Ex Oratioite ad Urstcium apud
Photium in aiblioth. cod, M3, edit, Rothvmi,. pa,. 11 33.



what has been in all ai,es, as generally at this
present, worn in the Hebrides and the neighbo-
ring Highlands, it needs onely to be described for
removing all doubts and scruples. ” Abaris came
to Athens,” continues Himerius ., ” holding a bow,
having a quiver hanghig from his shoulders, his
body wrapt up in a plad, girt about his loins with
a gilded belt, and wearing trowzers reaching from
the soles of his feet to his waste.” A gun and
pistol, being of modern date, cou’d make no part
of his equipage : and you see he did not make his
entry into Athens riding on a broom-stick, as fa-
bulously reported, but in the native garb of an
aboriginal Scot. As for what regards his abili-
ties, ’twas impossible for his principals to have
made a better choice; since we are inform’d by
the same Himerius f, that .’he was affable and
pleasant in conversation, in dispatching great af-
fairs secret and industrious, quick-sighted in pre-
sent exigences, in preventing future dangers cir-
cumspect, a searcher after wisdom, desirous of
fiiendship, trusting indeed little to fortune, and
having every thing trusted to him for his pru-
dence.” Neither the academy nor the lyceuni
cou’d furnish out a man with fitter qualities, to go

trxi. Id, Ibid.

t Hv ri,vt; Evryp,avj S’stvo; ns-vy-n (Aiya.’kny Trpa,tv Epj/ftrac-flai, s,y- to rapov ;S’.iy, tt,h-
fA.r]Qng T9 fxehXov fuXarJEj-flat, tro<piAg nrloDy, Efciq-r.g <})(X«»?, oXr/ct fA.ij rv,rn irig-ivm,
yyxfA’, 5’s ra, irayreL 7r«j-ev,<<tivsj, Jd, Ibid,



SO farr abroad and to such wise irations, about af-
fairs no less arduous tlian important. But if we
attentively consider his moderation in eatuig,
drinking, and the nse of all those things, which
our natural appetites incessantly crave ; adding the
candor and simplicity of his manners, with the
solidity and wisdom of his answers (all which well
find sufficiently attested) it must be own’d, that
the world at that time had few to compare with


Thus I have laid before your lordship a speci-
men of my History of the Druids. Give me leave
to send you with this letter two small pieces
which I don’t doubt w,ill be agreeable to you.
One is 3L\ Jones’s Answer to Mr. Tides ques-
tions ahoiit the Druids, and the other Brittish anti-
quities, which I transcrib’d from amannscript in the
Cotton Library,; and the other, some collections
mentioned in one of my letters!, shewing the affi-
nity between the Armoric and Irish language, &c.
– I am,

My Lord,
Your Lordship’s most obliged,

And very humble Servant.

April 18, 1719.

. YUcl. E. Y. 6, ,- Letter II. h- 18. pag. 159.











I. x5Y what names were they call’d by the Brit-
tons, which the Latins call Druidce or Druides?

II. Whether the Druids and Flamens were all
one, and the difference between them? how the
Flamens were called in Brittish, and their anti-
quity and habits?

III. What degrees were given to the professors
of learning? when, where, and by whom, and
their habits or apparel?

IV. Whether the Barth had any office in war
answering our heralds? their garments and en-
seigns? and whether they us’d the Caduceus?
many fetching the original thereof from the Brit-
ton’s charming of serpents.



V. What judges and lawyers had t!ie Brittou,
that follow’d the king? and what are Tii anhep-
cor Brenkin, and their use?

VI. What judges and lawyers were fiiere resi-
dent in the country? their number? what judges
were there per dignitatem Terrac? and wiiat their
duty? and how were they assemhl’d to do the

VII. It appeareth there were always many kings
and princes in this realm before the coming in of
the Saxons: were their countries divided into Ta-
laitlis, as all between Severn and the sea was after
their coming?

VIII. Was there any division into shires before
the Saxon’s coming, and what difference betwixt
a shire and a Sivydh? There were anciently with
you Maenors, Commods, Catitretlis, answerable
w hereunto are our Blanors, Tytkings, Hundreds,
And that maketh me to encline that Swydh shou d
be like our shire, as Sivyd caer JBhyrdin, Sivyd
Amwijthig, Sici/d caer Wrangon; and the general
officers of them were called Sivydogio?i,, under
whom v/ere 3Iaer, Gnghellawr, llhingJiill, Opki-
riat, and Brawdur trui/r Sivyd, except all bear
the name of Stvi/dogion. I lind in an ancient book
jL)f Landaff Gluigms or Glivisus king of Demetia
(which of this king is calFd GMguissig) of v» lioiu
it is said seplempagos rexit, wliereof Glamorgan,
now a fchirc, was one; ,XiA pagu$ is us’d for i



IX. Whether the Britons had noblemen bearin,,-
the hanie of Duces, Comites, Baroms? and what
they were called in Brittish? In the book of Lau-
(laff I hnd it thus written, Gancleleius Rex totam
Q-egionem siiam Cadoco filio suo commejidavit, pri-
mlcgiumqiie concessit, quatenus a fontc Faennun
haeyi doiiec adingressumjli(minis Nadavan perveni-
ttir, omnes Reges et Comites, Optimates, Tribiini,
atque domestici in CoenoUj sui coemeterio de Lan–
carvaii sepeliantur. And K. Ed. I. enquiring of
the laws of theBrittons, demandethhow the Welsh
barons did administer justice, and so distinguisht
them ffom Lords Marchers,

X. W,hat is the signification of the word Assach?
A statute of K. Hen. 6, saith, some offered to
excuse themselves by an Assach after the custom
of Wales; that is to say, by an oath of 30 men.

XI. What officer is he that in the laws of Ilowel
Da is called Distei?i, and the signification of the
w;ord ?

XII. What do you think of this place of Petrus
Ramus in his book de moribus veterum Gallorum:
Ilae civitates Brutos suos hahehant. Sic a Caesare
nominantur Senatus Ehuronicum, Lexohiorum, Ve-
netorwn. Was there any counsil or senate in the
Brittish government, and by what name were they





I. TO the first I say, that Driddes or Druidce
is a word that is derived from the Brittish word
Drudion; being the name of certain wise, discreet,
learned, and religious persons among the Brittons.
Dnidionis the plural number of this primitive word
Drud. By adding ion to the singular number,
you make the plural of it secundum formam Bri-
tannorum; sic Drud, Drudion. This primitive
word Drud, has many significations. One signi-
fication is Dialler, that is a revenger, or one that
redresseth wrong: for so the justicers call’d Dm-
dion did supply the place of magistrates. Ano-
ther signification Krevlon, and that signifies cruel
and merciless; for they did execute justice most
righteously, and punisht offendors most severely.
Drud signifies also gleiv ,xidprid, that is, valiant
or hardy. Drud is also dear or precious, unde
venit Drudanieth, which is dearth. These Drud-
ion among the Brittons by their office did deter-
mine all kind of matters as well private as pub-
lick, and where justicers as well in religious mat-
ters and controversies, as in law matters and con-
troversies, for offences of death and title of laws.
These did the sacrifices to the Heatbea gods, and
the sacrifices cou’d not be made v. ithout them,
and they did forbid sacrifices to be done by any



man that did not obey their decree and sentence.
All the arts, sciences, learning, philosopliy, and
divinity that was taught m the land, was taught
by tliem ; and they taught by memory, and never
wouYl that their knowledge and learning shou’d
be put in writing : whereby when they were sup-
prest by the emperor of Rome in the beginning
of Christianity, their learning, arts, laws, sacrifi-
ces, and governments were lost and extinguisht
here in this land ; so that I can find no more men-
tion of any of their deeds in our tongue than I
have set down, but that they dwelled in rocks
and woods, and dark places, and some places in
our land had their names from them, and are called
after their names to this day. And the iland of
Mone or Anglesea is taken to be one of their
chiefest seats in Britain, because it was a solitary
iland full of .wood, and not inhabited of any but
themselves; and then the ile of Mone, which is
called Anglesea, was called yr Inys JDoivyll, that
is, the dark iland. And after that the Drudiom
were supprest, the huge groves which they favor’d
and kept a-foot, were rooted up, and that ground
tiird. Then that iland did yield such abundance
and plenty of corn, that it might sustain and keep
all Wales with bread; and therefore there arose
then a proverb, and yet is to this day, viz. Mon
mam Q,mhri\ that is, 3Iou the mother of Wales.
Some do term the proverb thus, Mon mam Wyneddj
that is, Mon the mother of North,A ales, that i«,



that 3Ion was able to nourish and foster upon
bread all Wales or Northwales. And after that
this dark iland had cast out for many years such
abundance of corn where the disclos’d woods and
groves were, it surceas’d to yield corn, and yield-
ed such plenty of grass for cattle, that the coun-
trymen left off their great tilling, and turn’d it to
grazing and breeding of cattle, and that did con-
tinue among them wonderful plentiful, so that it
was an admirable thing to be heard, how so little
a plat of ground shou’d breed such great number
of cattle; and now the inhabitants do till a great
part of it, and breed a great number of cattle on
t’other part.

II. As for the second question, I do refer the
exposition of it to those that have written of the
Flamens in Latine. The Drudion in Britain, ac-
cording to their manner and custom, did execute
the office and function of the Flamens beyond the
sea: and as for their habits, I cannot well tell you
how, nor what manner they were of.

III. To the third question: There were four
several kinds of degrees, that were given to the
professors of learning. The first was, Disgihliys’
fnis, and that was given a man after three years
studying in the art of poetry and musick, if he by
his capacity did deserve it. The second degree
w,ts DisgihlcUsgi/hliaidd, and that was given to the
professor of learning after six years studying, if
he did deserve it. The tlvird desrree was Dis,ihl-



penkerddiaidd, and that was given to the professor
of learning after nine years studying, if he did de-
serve it. And the fourth degree was Peiikerdd
or AtJiro, and Athro is the highest degree of learn-
ing among us, and in Latine is called doctor.
AH these degrees were given to men of learning,
as well poets as musicians. All these foresaid
degrees of learning were given by the king, or iu
his presence in his palace, at every three years
end, or by a licence from him in some fit place
thereunto (appointed) upon an open disputation
had before the king or his deputy in that behalf,
and then they were to have their reward accord-
ing to their degrees. Also there were three kinds
of poets. The one was Prududd: the other was
Tevluwr: the third was Klericr, These three
kinds had three several matters to treat of. The
Prududd was to treat of lands, and the praise of
princes, nobles, and gentlemen, and had his cir-
cuit among them. The Tevluwr did treat of
merry jests, and domestical pastimes and a/fairs,
having his circuit among the countrymen, and his
reward according to his calling. The Clerwr did
treat of invective and rustical poetry, differing
from the Prududd and Tevlmvr; and his circuit
was among the yeomen of the country. As for
their habits, they were certain long apparel down
to thecalf of their leggs, or somewljat lov/er, and
were of diverse colours.

IV. To the fourth question I gav, the Eard wa





a herald to record all the acts of the princes and
nobles, and to give arms according to deserts.
They Avere also poets, and cou\l prognosticate
certain things, and gave them out in metre. And
further there were three kinds of Beirdd (the
plural of Bardd) viz. Privardd, Posivardd, Ar-
wyddiardd. The Priveirdd{\A\ni\\\y)v,exeMerlm
Silvester, Merlin Ambrosius, and Taliessin; and
the reason they were call’d Priveirdd Avas, be-
cause they invented and taught such philosophy
and other learning as were never read or heard of
by any man before. The interpretation of this
word Privarddis prince, or first learner, or learn-
ed man: for Bardd was an appellation of all learn-
ed men, and professors of learning, and prophets,
as also were attributed to them the titles of Pri-
rardd, Posvardd, and Ariryddvard, Bardd Tehjn.
And they call Merlin Ambrosins by the name of
Bardd Gorthei/rn, that is, Vor tigers Philosopher,
or lear7ied man, or Prophesyer. Bardd Telyn is
he that is doctor of the musicians of the harp, and
is the chief harp in the land, having his abode in
the king’s palace: and note no man may be called
Privardd, but he that inventeth such learning,
and arts, or science, as were never taught before.
The second kind of Bardd is Posvardd, and those
Posveirdd were afterwards Prydiddion: for they
did imitate and teach what the Priveirdd had set
forth, and must take their author from one of them ;
for they themselves are no authors, but reg;ij$ters



and propagators of the learning invented Ijy the
others. The tliird kind is Arwt/ddvard, tliat is
by interpretation an Ensign-hard, and indeed is a
herald at arms; and his duly was to declare the
genealogy and to blazon the arms of nobles and
princes, and to keep the record of them, and to
alter their arms according to their dignity or de-
serts. These were with the kings and princes in
all battles and actions. As for their garments, 1
tin’nk they were long, such as the Prydiddlon had ;
for tliey challenge the name of Bcirdd \\t siij)ra.
Whereas some writers, and for the most part all
foreners that mention the Bcirdd, do write that
Bard has his name given him from one Bardus,
who was the first inventor of Barddonieth, and
some say he was the fourth king of Britain; T say
it is a most false, erroneous, and fabulous surmise
of foren writers, for there never was any of that
name either a king or king’s son of Britain. But
there was a great scholar and inventor both of
poetical verses and musical lessons that was some
time king of Britain. His name was Blegyivryd
ap Geisyllt, and he was the 56th supreme king of
Great Britain, and dy’d in the 2067th year after
the deluge, of whom it is written that he was the
famousest musician that ever lived in Britain. No
writer can show that Bard had his name from
Bardits, it being a primitive British word that haiii
the foresayd significations. And Barddonieth
(which is the art, function, and profession of the




Bardd) is also us\l for prophesy and the iutur-
pretation thereof, and also for all kinds of learn-
ing among us that the Beirdd were authors of.

V. As for the fifth question, the king had al-
ways a chief judge resident in his court, ready to
decide all controversies that then happened, and
he was called Egnat Uijs, He had some privi-
lege given him by the king s houshold officers, and
therefore he was to determine their causes gratis.
As for the tri aiihepkor hrenin, I think it super-
fluous to treat of them here, seeing you have this
matter in my book of laws more perfect than I
can remember it at this time. Look in the table
among the trioedd IcyfraitJi, and those are set down
in two or three several places of the book. And
if you cannot find it there, see in the office of
Egnat Lhjs, or Pen tevlu, or yjffeiriaid llys, and
you’ll be sure to find it in some of those places.
I do not find in my book of laws, that there were
any officers for the law, that did dwell in the king’s
palace, but onely his Egnat Lhjs, that was of any
name, or bore any great office: for he was one of
the tri (mhepJcor brenin.

VI. As for the sixth question, I say that there
were resident in the country but Egnat Comot,
that I can understand. But when an assembly
met together for the title of lands, then the king
in his own person came upon the land ; and if he
con d not come, he appointed some deputy for
him. There came with the king his chief judge.



and called unto him his Egncit Komot, or coun-
try-judge, together with some of his council that
dwelt in the Komot, where the kinds lay that were
in the controversy, and the free-holders also of
the same place, and there came a priest or prelate,
two counsellors, and two Rhingill or Serjeants,
and two champions, one for the plaintiff and ano-
ther for the defendant; and when ail these were
assembled together, the king or his deputy viewed
the land, and wlien they had viewed it, they caused
a round mount to be cast up, and upon the same
was the judgment seat placed, having his back to-
ward the sun or the weather. Some of these
mounts were made square and some round, and
both round and square bore the name of Gorsed-
devy dadUy that is, the mount of pleading. Some
also have the name of him that was chief judge or
deputy to the king in that judicial seat; and it
was not lawful to make an assembly no where for
title of lauds, but upon the lands that were in con-
troversy. These Gorsedde are in our country,
and many other places to be seen to this day; and
will be ever, if they be not taken down by men’s
hands. They had two sorts of witnesses, the one
was Gwyhyddyeid, and the other Amhiniogei\
The Givyhyddyeid were such men as were born in
the Komoty where the lands that were in contro-
versy lay, and of their own perfect knowledge did
know that it was the defendants right. And Am-
hiniogev were such men as had their lands mear-



ins: on the lands that Mere in controversy, and
hemmed up that land. And the oath of one of
those Amhiniogev, otherwise called Keidweid, wa«
better than the oath of twain that were but Gw?/-
hijddyeid. Look in the table of my book of laws
for the delinition of Keidiveid, Amhiniogev, and
(hvyhyddijeid, and how, the king did try his caus-
es; and that will manifest it more at large. The
Mayer and the Kangellaivr had no authority
amongst the Britons for any lands but the kings
lands; and they were to set it and let it, and to
have their circuit amongst the king’s tenants; and
they did decide all controversies that happened
amongst them. Vide in the table of my book of
laws for the definition of Mayer and Kangellaivr,
VII. To the seventh question, I say that there
were in this land about a hundred superial kings,
that governed this land successively; that were
of the British blood: yet notwithetanding there
were under them divers other princes that had the
name of kings, and did serve, obey, and belong to
the superial king, as the king oi Alhauov Prydyu
or Scotland, the king of Kymhery or Wales, the
king of Givneydd or Venedotia. Yet notwith-
standing the same law and government was used
in every prince or king s dominion, as was in the
superial kings proper dominion; unless it were
that some custom or privilege did belong to some
place of the kingdom more than to another: and
every inferiour king was to execute the law ni)0u



all transgressors that ofieiided in their dominion,
in the time of Kassibelanus there arose some
controversy between the superial King Kasv»al-
hiwne and Ararwy, king of London, one of his
inferior kings, al)Out a murther committed. Tlie
case is thus. The superial king keeping his court
within the dominion of one of the inferior kings,
a controversy falling between twain within the
court, and there and then one was slain, the ques-
tion is. Whether the inurtherer ought to be tryed
by the officers and privilege of the snperior king,
or of the inferior king. I think that the murtherer
ought to be tried by the law and custom of the
inferior king s court, because it is more seemly
that the superior king s court, which did indure
in that country but a week or twain, or such like
time, should lose his privilege there for that time,
than the inferior king’s court should lose it for
ever. Vide in libra meo de legihus. It may seem
to those that have judgment in histories, that this
was tlie very cause that Ararwy would not have
his kinsman tried by the judges and laws or privi-
lege of Kaswallawne, whose court did remain in
the dominion of Ararwy but a little while, but
would have the felon tried by his judges and his
court. There is no mention made of Talaith any
w here amongst the Britons before the destruction
of Britaifi, but that there were in Britain but one
superial crown and three Talaith or coronets or
Prince’s crowns; one for the Alban, another for



Wales, and the third for Kerniw or Korn,vale.
There were divers others called kinoes v/hich never
wore any crown or coronet, as the kin,s of Dyved
in South Wales, the king of Kredigion, and such,
and yet were called kings, and their coinitries
were divided as you shall see in the next question.
V]II. To the eighth question, 1 say, that ac-
cording to the primitive law of this land, that
Dyjnual 3Io€l 3Ivd made, for before the laws of
Dyfnival Moel 3Ivd the Trojan laws and customs
were used in this land, and we cannot tell what
division of lands they had, nor what officers but
the Druidion, he divided all this land according
to this manner, thus: Trihiid y gronin haidd, or
thrice the length of one barly corn maketh a
Modvedd or inch, three 3Iodvedd or inches mak-
eth a Palf or a palm of the hand, three Palf or
palm maketh a Troedvedd or foot, 3 ie,ie or Tro-
edvedd maketh a Kam or pace or a stride, 3 Kam
or strides to the Naid or leape, 3 Naid or leape
to the Grivmgy that is, the breadth of a butt of
land or Tir; and mil of those Tir maketh 3IiU
tir, that is, a thousand Tir or mile. And that
was his measure for length which hath been used
from that time to this day; and yet, and for su-
perficial measuring he made 3 hud gronin haidd,
or barly corn length, to the Modvedd, or inch, 3
Slodvedd or inch to the Palf or hand breadth, 3
Palf to the Troedvedd or foot, 4 Troedvedd or
foot to the Vcriav or the short yoke, 8 7\oedvedd



or foot to the Neidiav, and 12 Troedvedd or foot
in the GesstiUav and 16 Troedvedd in the Hiriav,
And a pole or rod so long, that is 16 foot long,
is the breadth of an acre of land, and 30 poles or
rods of that length, is the length of an Eriv or
acre by the law, and four JEriv or acre maketh a
Tyddpi or messuage, and four of that Tyddyn or
messuage maketh a JRhandir, and four of those
Rhandiredd maketh a Gafel or tenement or hoult,
and four Gafel maketh a Tref or township, and
four Tref ox townships maketh a Maenol or Mae-
nor, and twelve ,laenol or Maenor and €hvy dref
or two townships maketh a Ktvmwd or Gomot,
and two Kwmicd or Gomot maketh a Kantref or
Cmitred, that is a hundred towns or townships.
And by this reckoning every Tyddyn containeth
four Erw, every Rhmidir containeth sixteen Eru\
and every Gafel containeth sixty-four Eriv.
Every town or township containeth two hundred
fifty six Erw or acres, these Erws being fertile
arable land, and neither meadow nor pasture nor
woods. For there was nothing: measured but
fertile arable ground, and all others was termed
wastes. Every Maetwl containeth four of these
townships, and every Kwmwd containeth fifty of
these townships, and every Cantred a hundred of
these townships, whereof it hath its name. And
all the countries and lords dominions were divided
by Ca?ifreds or Catitre, and to every of these Can-
treds, Gomots, 3taenors. Towns, Gafels, were ,iven



some proper names. And Giclad or country
was the dominion of one lord or prince, whether
the Gwlad were one Cantred or two, or three or
four, or more. So that when I say lie is gone
from Gwlad to Giulad, that is, from country to
country, it is meant that he is gone from one
lord or prince’s dominion to another prince’s do-
minion; as for example, when a man committetli
an offence in Givynedd or Northwales, which con-
taineth i,w Caidreds, and ileeth or goeth to PoivySy
which is the name of another country and prince’s
dominion, which containeth ten other Cant reds,
he is gone from one country or dominion to ano-
ther, and the law cannot be executed upon him,
for he is gone out of the country. Tegings is a
country and containeth but one Cantred, and
Dyjrvn Glwyd was a country, and did contain
but one Cantred, And when any did go out of
Tegings to Dyfrvn Glwyd, for to flee from the
law, he went out from one country to another.
And so every prince or lord’s dominion was
Gwlad or country to that lord or prince, so that
Giclad is Pagus in my judgment. Sometimes a
Cantred doth contain two Comot, sometimes three,
or four, or five; as the Cantrefe of Glamorgan or
Morgamvg containeth five Comots. And after
that tlie Normans had won some parts of the
country, as one lord’s dominion, they constituted
in that same place a senescal or steward, and that
was called in the British tongue Siryddog, that is



an ofiicor; aiisl the lordship that he was steward
of was called Sivycld or oflice, and of these Swyd-
dev were made shires. And Gtvydd is an office
be it great or small, and Swyddog is an officer
likev/ise of all states ; as a sheriff is a Swyddog,
his sheriff-ship or office, and the shire whereof he
is a sheriff, is called tnvydd. So that Swydd doth
contain as well the shire as the office of a sheriff,
as Swydd Amwythig is the shire or office of the
steward, senescal, or sheriff of Salop, &c.

IX. As for the ninth question, the greatest and
highest degree was JBrenin, or T,eyen, that is, a
king; and next to him was a Ttvysog, that is
a duke; and next to him was a Jarll, that is
an earl; and next to him was an Arglwydd, that
is a lord ; and next to him w as a Barwu, and that
I read least of. And next to that is the Breir or
Vchelwr, which may be called tlie sc|aire: next to
this is a Gwreangc, that is a yeoman; and next to
that is an Alttud; and next to that a KaetJt, which
is a slave; and that is the meanest amongst these
nine several decrees. And these nine deQ:rees had
three several tenures of lands, as Macrdir, Vche-
lordir, Priodordir. There be also other names
and degrees, which be gotten by birth, by office
and by dignity; but they are all contained under
the nine aforesaid degrees.

X. As for the tenth question, I do not find nor
have not read neither to my knowledge, in any
chronicle, law, history or poetry, and dictionary,

I i



any such word: but I find in the laws and chro-
nicles, and in man, other places this word Ritaith
to be used for the oath of 100 men, or 200 or 300,
or such like number, for to excuse some heinous
fact; and the more heinous was the fact, the more
men must be had in the Rhaith to excuse it;
nnd one must be a chief man to excuse it amongst
them, and that is called Penrhaith, as it were the
foreman of the jury, and he must be the best,
wisest, and discreetest of all the others. And to
my remembrance the Rhaithicyr, that is the men
of the Rhaith, must be of those that are next of
kin, and best know n to the supposed offender, to
excuse him for the fact.

XI. As for the eleventh question, I say that I
find a steward and a controller to be used for a
Distain m my dictionary. I cannot find any
greater definition given it any w here, then is given
it in my book of laws. Vide Distaine, in the table
of my book of laws.

XII. To the twelfth question, I say, that the
Britons had many councils, and had their coun-
sellors scatter’d in all the lordships of the land.
And wlien any controversy or occasion of counsel
iiappenVl in Swpiedd, the king called his counsel-
lors tliat had their abode there, for to counsel for
matters depending there, together w ith those that
were there of his court or guard : for the king had ,
his chief judge and certain of his council always
in his company; and when the king had any oc-



casion of counsel for matters depending in Deme-
tia, or Powys, or Cornwal, he called those of his
counsel that dwelled in those coasts for to coun-
sel with them. And they went to a certain pri-
vate house or tower on a top of a hill, or some so-
litary place of counsel far distant from any dwel-
ling, and there advised unknown to any man but
to the counsellors themselves; and if any great
alteration or need of counsel were, that did per-
tain to all the land, then the king assited unto him
all his counsellors to some convenient place for
to take their advice; and that happened but very


Dii Gallorum.


BelenuSp vel


Onvana. Anara, Hib.


Adraste. Andate.

SuMMus Magistratus.

Vergobretus. <, brethr,



Officiorum Maxime
sacrorum nomina,



Bardi. JBard,Baird,H.

Druidse. < . ,, „.,
C idhe, Hib.

Eubages, corrupte pro













Machince Bellica,


MiLiTUM Species.

C 1 i cGaiscio-
tghach, H.

Bagaudae. Bagadai,


Armorum Nomina.






Thy reus.



Tarei, Hib.




cCarnan, vide-
las, quaeras.






Currutim Nomina.







Vestium Nomina,





Bardiacus, pro Bardis.


. Linnte, saga quadra et mollia sunt, de quibus Plaut. Linnae
cooperta est textrino Gallia. Isidor.

Linua Diodoro est ,”/”c 4.,«f, et Varroni mollis sagus, Hiber-
wis hodiernis indusxam est non una mutata Uttera.



Bardociiculliis, etiani pro Bardis.
Bracc’de, pro omnibus. Breaccart,

Aiiimalium Nomina,
Marc, Equus.
Rhaphius, Lupus Cervinus.
Abraiia, Simia.
Barracacca,, Pellium, &c.
Lug. Cornix. Mus.
Clupea. Piscis species.






Cfje Bmitrs»




Note I.- Page 54.
jH MONG those institutions ivhich are thought to be irrccoverahly
iosty one is that of the Druids, Sfc. – This mistake is founded on
the opinion that the Druids were a religious sect totally distinct
from all others ; and that, as they committed nothing to writing,
their institutions perished when the order became extinct. But
Druidism was only a branch of the worship of the surij at one
time universal ; and so long as the well authenticated history of
that worship in any nation remains, the history of Druidism caa
never be completely lost.

Note II.- Page 57,

Since the Anglo Saxons having learned the word Dry from
the Irish and British for a magician, 6,c. – This etymology of
the Saxon Dry from the Celtic Draoi or Draoid, pronounced
Drid and Druid, is confirmed by Dr. Smith in his History of the
Druids, and by Dr. Jamieson in his History of the Culdees,
The absurd custom of deriYing every thing from the Greek and
Latin is now, and indeed very properly, losing ground. The
Celtic Druid literally signifies a magician; and hence the trans-
lators of the New Testament into Gaelic, finding no other word
in that language fit for their purpose, rendered Simon MuguSy
Simon the Druid. In the Gaelic, ao is equivalent to the Greek
Ypsilon, but has been commonly, though very erroneously, ren-
dered by the Saxon i/. Hence it is obvious that the Saxon Dry,
the Greek Drys, with the addition of the terminating Sigma, and
the Gaelic Drui, are the same. The name appears, from the



254 NOTES.

fabulous accounts of the Hamadryades, to be of the most remote
antiquity. These nymphs were said to be born, and to die with
their favourite oaks. But from this we can only with certainty
infer, that certain individuals were, at a very early period, so
much addicted to particular trees, or rather groves, that when
these were cut down they disappeared. Drys in the Greek does
not radically signify an Oak, but a Tree. The Saxon Dry, pro-
nounced Dree, is the modern English Tree. By far the most
probable etymon of the word Draoi, pronounced Drui, is from
Dair, an oak, and Aoi, a stranger or guest. Hence we have the
compound word Dairaoi, and by abbreviation Draoi, signifying
an inhabitant of the oak; a term exactly corresponding with the
notion entertained of the Hamndryades by the ancient Greeks.
To those better acquainted with the Greek than the Celtic it was
very natural to derive Druid from the Greek Drys; but the fact
is, that the Greek Drys is the Celtic Draoi, Graecally terminated.

Note III.- Page 57.
Of these degrees, the Arch,Druid excepted, there” s little to be
found in the classic authors that treat of the Druids ; tho, very
onuck and very particularly in the Celtic writing sand monuments,
• – No man had better access to know, or was better qualified to
judge of the Celtic writings than Mr. Toland. As I will have
occasion, in a future note, to enlarge on this head, I shall only
at present endeavour to impress on the reader’s mind, that the
Irish manuscripts are of great antiquity, and contain many im-
portant particulars respecting the Druids.

Note IV.-Page 59.

While they had the address to get themselves exempted from
hearing arms, Sfc. – This exemption is mentioned by Ccrsar, lib.
4. cap. 14. Druides a hello ahcsse consueverunt, neque t/ihu/a
una cum reliquis pendunt ; militice vacationem, omnium que rerum
hahent immunitatem: i. e. “The Druids are accustomed to be
absent from war, nor do they pay tribute along with the rest;


NOTES. 255

they are exempted from military service, and possess, in all
things, the most extensive immunities.”

Note V.- Page 59.

These privileges allured great numbers to enter into their conim
munities, Sfc. – Caesar, lib. 4. cap. 14. Tantis excitati prccmiis ;
et sua sponte multi in disciplinam conveniunt, et a propinquis pa,
rentibusque mittuntur. Magnum ibi numerum versuum ediscere
dicuntur, Itaque nonnulH annos vicenos in disciplma permanent,
i. e. ” Allured by these rewards many voluntarily enter into their
discipline, and many dre sent by their parents and relations.
There they are said to get by heart a great number of verses.
Therefore some remain twenty years under their discipline.”

Note VI.– Page 62.
The pretensions of the Druids to work miracles, S,’c. – A man
ignorant of the history of the Druids may perhaps be startled at
the knowledge of astronomy here ascribed to them. Ccesar,
who had good access to know the fact, says lib, 4. cap. 14.
Multa preterea de sideribus, atque eorum motu, de mundi ac ter,
varum magnitudine ; de rerum natura, de Deorum immortalium
vi, ac potestate disputant, et Juventuti transdunt, i. e. ” They
have besides many disquisitions, concerning the heavenly bodies,
and their motions, concerning the size of the world, and the
different parts thereof; concerning the nature of the universe
and the strength and power of the immortal gods, and these
Ihey communicate to their pupils.” As miracles among the hea-
then nations were only natural phaenomena misunderstood, or
rather not understood at all, it must be owned that the Druids,
with one half of the knowledge here ascribed to them, had ample
means of imposing on their ignorant followers.

Note Vir.-PAGE 62.
For true religion does not consist in cimningiy devised fabies,
id authority, dominion or pomp , lut in spirit and truth, in sinu

K k 2


256 NOTES.

pUcifi/ and social virtue, in a Jilial lave and reverence, not in a
servile dread and terror of the divinit}). – Mr. Toland has oftea
been accused of Atheism, &c. whereas on the contrary he has
always been forward to advocate the cause of true religion. It
has often been said by his enemies that he wrote his History of
the Dniids with a view to substitute Druidism in place of Chris-
tianity. How well this charge is founded the reader has now
an opportunity of judging for himself.

Note VIII.- Page 6 J.

Though I shall prove that no Druids, except such as, ioicards
their latter end,fed thither for refuge, or that went before with
Celtic invaders or colonies, were ezer among the Gothic nations.
– There are many and unquestionable traces of the Druidical
rites to be found among the Gothe. Pinkarton, whom no man
• will accuse of partiality to the Celts, admits that they were the
£rst inhabitants of Europe. Throughout the whole extent of
ancient Scythia, their language can be clearly traced in the
names of places still remaining. They gave name to the Cimhric
Chersonese, hodie Jutland. The Baltic sea evidently takes its
name from Baltac, the diminutive of the Celtic Bait, Baltac
signifies the little Belt. Pinkarton found a Promontorium CcL
ticcB near Mosco-u:. There is aa Inner ticl on the Rhine, and
another near Kirhcaldy. We find a Chid (Clyde) at the source
of the Wolga, another in Lanarkshire, and a third in Wales,
Danube is evidently the Gaelic Dal.Nvhadh pronounced DaL
Nuba,, and abbreviated Danubay, t. e. the cloudy dale. Dui.
na evidently corresponds with the Duin or Doone in Jjjrshire,
The numerous Dors on the Continent correspond with the Gaelic
Dor, an abbreviation of Dothar, i, e. a river. Instances of the
same kind are almost innumerable. So far with respect to the
remains of the Celtic language among the Gothe. As to their
religion, Tacitus, speaking of tlie Suevi, says, Vetnstisstmos se
nobilissimosque suevorum semnones memorant. Tides antiquita,
lis rdigione firmatur. Stato tempore in silvam Auguriis Patrum
.t priiicafurmidine sacram, omnes ejiiadem sanguinis populi legcu


NOTES. 2o7

iionibus coeuni, casoque puhlice hoviine, celehrant Barlari ritus
horrenda primordia. Est et alia luco rcverentia. JScmo nisi
Vinculo ligatus ingredttur, tit minor et petcstatcm iiuminis prce
seferens. Si forte pj olapsus est; attolli et insurgere haut liciium,
Perhumitm evolvuntur, coque omnis superstiiio respicit, tanquam
inde iniiia gentis, ihi rcgnator omnium Deus, cceiera suhjecta at,
que pareniia, i. e, ,’ The Simnones give out that they are the
most noble and ancient of the Suevi ; and their antiquity derives
credibility and support from their religion. At a stated
season of »he year, all the nations of the same blood meet by ap-
pointment, in a wood rendered sacred by the auguries of their
ancestors, and by long established fear; and having slain (sacri-
ficed) a man publicly, they celebrate the horrid beginning of their
barbarous rites. There is also another piece of reverence paid
to this grove. Nobody enters it unless bound, by which he is
understood to carry before him the emblems of his own inferio-
rity, and of the superior power of the Deity. If any one chances
to fall, he must neither be lifted up nor arise, but is rolled along
upon the ground till he is without the grove. The whole super-
stition has this meaning – that their God, who governs all things,
shall remain with the first founders of the nation; and that all
others shall be obedient and subject to them.” – De Morib,
Germ. cap. 12.

The same author, speaking of the Germans in general, says,
Deorum maxime Mercurium, coliint, cut certis diehus, humanis
quoque host’iis Utarefas habent, Sfc. i, e. ” Of all the Gods, the
chief object of their worship is Mercury, to whom, on certain
days, they hold it lawful to offer human sacrifices.” In the
same chapter he informs us, that a part of the suevi sacrifice to
Isis, and calls this advectam religionem, i. e. a foreign religion.
– D, Morib. Germ, cap, 4.

Est in insula ocsani castum ncmus, dicatum in eo vehiculum
veste coniectiim, atfmgere uni sacerdoti concessum, Sfc. i. e. There
is, In an island of the ocean, a consecrated grove, and in it a
chariot dedicated to some goddess, and covered with a veil, which


“258 NOTES.

no one but the priest is allowed to touch. He perceives when
the goddess enters the chariot, and follows her, drawn by white
heifers, with the most profound veneration. Then are joyful
days – then the priest honours every festive place with his pre-
sence and hospitality – then they do not enter into wars – then
they do not take up arms ; every sword is sheathed – peace and
tranquillity are then only known, then only regarded; till at
length the same priest restores the goddess, satiated with the con-
versation of mortals, to her temple. Immediately the chariot,
the veil, and, if you will believe it, the goddess herself, is washed
in a secret lake, and the servants, who assisted at this religious
procession, are instantly drowned in the same lake. Hence there
springs a holy ignorance, a secret terror, and men blindly won-
der what that can be, which cannot be seen without subjecting
the beholders to certain death. – Tacitus de Morib. Germ, cap. 13.
Having clearly established that sacrifices were offered in Ger-
many, it remains to be proved that these sacrifices were not of-
fered by Germans. Caesar having given an account of the Cel-
tic religion, and particularly of their human sacrifices, proceeds
to give us an account of the Germans in these words – Germani
multum ah hac consuetudine differ unt. Nam neque Druides ha,
bent qui divinis rebus presznt, neque sucrijiciis student, i, e. ” The
Germans differ much from this custom, for they neither have
priests (Druids) who preside in divine affairs, nor do they trou-
ble their head about sacrifices at all.” – De Bello Gallico, lib. 6.
cap. 21.

Thus it is clearly established by Cffisar, that the Germans or
Gothe had neither priests nor sacrifices, and, by Tacitus, that
both priests and sacrifires were to be found in Germany, parti-
cularly among the Suevi, who deduced their origin from the
Semnones, i. e. the Galli Senones, a Celtic tribe who burnt
Rome, besieged the capital, and were afterwards overcome by
CannUus. Hence we do not hesitate to ascribe to the Celts,
whatever Druidical rites and monuments we find in Germany,
And as the Celts were the preiecursors of the Gothic, and at all


NOTES. 25,>

times intermixed with them, it cannot be doubted but that, on
the suppression of Druidism in Gaule by the Romans many of
the Druids would take shelter among their friends in Germany,

Note IX.- Page 65.
Much of the antient Irish mythology still extant in verse, SfC, –
That so many antient Irish manuscripts should still remain un-
published, is matter of regret to every friend to Celtic literature.
Finkarton and Innes exclaim, why did not the Irish historians,
who quote these manuscripts publish them ? But how would these
gentlemen look were we to retort the request on them. Pin-
karton says, he read 2,000 volumes. Innes was also a laborious
reader. Now supposing these gentlemen had perused only
1,000 volumes, and these in manuscript like the Irish, how
would they have looked, had we desired them to publish these
manuscripts. It is matter of satisfaction that these manuscripts
exist, more so that the most inveterate enemy’s of the Irish, dare
not deny their existence, but the publication of them is a work
of such immense labour, that no individual is adequate to the
task. I hope, however, the day is not far distant when this im-
portant business will be taken up by the Highland Society, or
by the British empire at large.

Note X.- Page Q5.
Druida, Sfc. – Mr. Toland’s rcmirks on the propriety of ma-
king a distinction betwixt Druich:? and \yiiddeSj tho’ the an-
tients used them indiscriminately, ought hy mo<lern writers to
be strictly attended to, as it would prevent much confusion.
Poor Plnkarton, willing to swallow any thing that could favour
his Gothic system, tells us that DruidcB is feminine, and that after
a certain period only Druidesses are to be found. It was unfor-
tunte he did not also discover that the Celtce were all females.
The Belgcr, Surmalte, Szc. and his own beloved Getae must have
shared the same fate. But thh is not be wondered at in an au-
thor so deranged by the Gothic Mania, as repeatedly to affirm,
that tola G<dlia signifies the third part of Gaul,


260 NOTEI«l.

Note XL- Page 6S,

Their only word for a magician is DrwiJ, ,c. – Innes says, in
the Latin lives of St. Patrick and Cloumha, the Druids are called
Magi. Critical Essay, vol. 2. p. 464. Arabrosius Calepine,
under the Mord Magus reckons the Persian Magi, tlie Qreec
Philosophoiy the Latin Sapientes, the Gallic Druidce, the Egyp~
iian Prophet cc, the Indian Gymnosophistcc, and the Assyrian
Chaldecc, lie also informs us that Magus is a Persian word sig-
nifying a wise man. – YMet. page 742,

Pliny, book 16. cap. 44. says, the Gauls call their Magt,
Druids, Nihil habeni Druidae (ita suos appellant Magos) visco,
et arhorc in qua gignatur (si modi sit rohiir) sacratius.

Note XII.- Page 69.

The Druid,s Egg, Sfc. – This was the badge or distinguishing
ensign of the Druids. The following account of it gi?en by
Pliny, will be acceptable to the classical reader:

Praeterea est ovorum geiius, in magna Galliarum fama, omis.
sum Graecis. Angues innumeri aestate convolutiy salivis fan.
cium, corporum que Spumis artifici complexu glomerantur, an,
guinum appellatur. Druidae sibilis id dicunt sublime jactari,
sagoque oportere inter cipi ne tellurem atlingat, Profugere rap,
iorem equo; serpentes enim insequi, donee arceantur amnis alicu.
jus interventu, Experimentum ejus esse, si contra aquas fuitct
vel auro vinctum. Atque, ut est Magorum Solertia occultandis
fraudibus sagax, certa Luna capiendum censent, tanquam coitm
gruere operationem eam serpentium humani sit arbitrii. Vidi
equidem id ovum mali orbiculati modici magnitudine, crustu car-
iilaginisy velut acetabulis hrachiorum Polypi crebris, insigne
Druidis. Ad victorias litium, ac regum aditus, mire laudatur :
tuntae vanitatis, ut habcntem id in lite, in sinii Equitem Rovuinum
e Vuconiiis, a Divo Claudio Principe interemptum non oh aliud
4C7«;w.- Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. 29. cap. 3.

i. e. ” There is besides a kind of egg held in high estimation
by the inhabitants of all the Gauh, uonoticed by the Greec


NOTES. 2(31

writers. It Is called the serpent’s egg ; and In order to produce
it, an immense number of serpents, twisted together in summer,
are rolled up in an artificial folding, by the saliva of their mouthe,
and the slime of their bodies. The Druids say that this egg is
tossed on high with hissings, and that it must be intercepted ia
a cloak, before it reach the ground. The person who seizes it
flies on horseback, for the serpents pursue him, till they are
stopped by the intervention of some river. The proof of this
egg is, that tho’ bound in gold, it will swim against the stream.
And, as the Magi are very artful and cunning in concealing
their frauds, they pretend that this egg can only be obtained, at
a certain time of the moon, as if this operation of the serpent.
could be rendered congruous to human determination. I havft
indeed seen that egg of the siae of an ordinary round apple, wora
by the Druids, in a chequered cover, resembling the numerous
calculi in the arras of a Polypus. Its virtue is highly extolled
for gaining law-suits, and procuring access to kings ; and it is
worn with so great ostentation, that I knew a Roman knight
by birth a Vocontian, who was slain by the Emperor Claudius
for no cause whatever, except wearing one of these eggs on hi&
breast during the dependence of a law-suit.”

Pliny has, no doubt, given us this enigmatical account of the
serpent’s egg, in the words of the vulgar tradition in Gaul ; for
the Druids were of ail men the most studious to conceal their
tenets, and it does not appear he could have had access to it by
any other means. Dark and disguised as it is, it contains soma
important facts, on which I shall hazard a few conjectures. 1.
The serpent in early times was the emblem of wisdom, and the
conglomeration of the serpents to produce this egg, appears to be
figurative of the wisdom of the Deity in creating the universe.
2. That this egg was tossed on high, and must be intercepted
before it fall to the ground, seems to denote that the true philo-
sopher must direct his eyes upward, and be always on the alert
to observe the phiKnoniena of nature, before they are out of his
reach. 3. The flying on horseback, and the pursuit of the ser-
pants till they are stopped by some river, clearly iatiraate, that,

1. 1


262 NOTES.

though there are many obstacles iu the way of philosophers, still
these have their bounds, aud may be overcorae by exertion and
perseverance. I cannot here help remarking that this Druidical
notion of serpents, or e\i\ spirits, not being able to pass a stream
of running water, can be still recognized among the lower ranks
of Scotland, for a full account of which, I beg leave to refer the
reader to Burns’ Tarn O’Shanter, 4. That this egg is proved by
its floating against the stream, implies that the philosopher is able
to stem the torrent of public prejudice, and chalk out a contrary
path to himself. 5. That this eg2, can only be obtained at a
certain season is expressive of that attention and assiduity which
ought to characterize the philosopher, in watching the motions
and revolutions of the heavenly bodies. 6. The pers’jasion that
it procured success in law-suits, and access to kings, is founded
in fact. The egg in question was the distinguishing badge of the
Druids, who were the supreme judges in civil as well as religious
cases, and certainly had more wisdom than to decide against
themselves; and so exorbitant was their power, that even the
king himself was subject to them. 7. The Vocontii were a people
of Gallia Narbonensis , and the Roman knight slain by the Em-
peror Claudius, was in all probability a Druid. Druidism was
abolished by the Emperor Tiberius, as Pliny informs us, nam-
f,ue Tiber’d Cacsarsis Principatus SaUvMt Druidas eorum, ,c,
J. e. For the emperorship of Tiberius Cffisar abolished their
Druids.- iS,at. Hiit. lib. 30. cap. 1.

Note XIII.- Page 70.

Ma7iif places in Great Britain and Irei’and still retain the names
of the Druids, £)C. – In addition to the list of names here given
by Toland, it may be proper to add the following, viz. Drys-
dale., i. e. Drui,dal, i. e. the Dale of the Dm,ids near Lacker by,
lids Vruineach, the antient name of Jona, and which signifies
the island of the Druids. Drudal, i. e. Drui-dal, i. e. the Dale
of the Druids, in the parish of Tynron. The grave of the Druids
in the island of Jona, – Pit.an-druch, i. e. the grave of the
Druids, near Brechin, &c. yetj strange to telL Piul.arton asserts,


NOTES. 263

tiiat there is no proof whatever of the Druids ever having been
in North Britain. Dreiix, the place of their general annual
assembly in France, literally signifies the Druids. Stephanus
gives us three other places of the same name, viz. Drys a cl{y of
Thrace, Drys a city of the CEnotri, and Drys a village of Lycia,
near the river Arus. – Vide Stephanum in verho Drys.

Note XIV.- Page 71.

Gealcossa, ,c, – Tolacd reckons GeaIcossa,i. e. white legged,
a Druidess. He also reckons Lambdearg, (page b,y i. c,
Bloody-hand, a Druid. Both belong to Ireland. The curious
reader will see the story of Lamhdearg and Gealcossa, at consi-
derable length in Gssian’s Poems; Fingal, book 6, page 97 –
Johnston’s edition, 1806. Fingal having lost his son, Ryno,
in his expedition to Ireland, was anxious to bury him in honour-
able ground ; and seeing a tomb near, thus addresses his bard
Ullin: – ., Whose fame is in that dark green tomb ;” &;c. UlHn
replies – ” Here said the mouth of the sorg, here rests the first
of heroes. Silent is I ambderg in this tomb, and UUiii, king of
swords. And who, soft smiling from her cloud, shews me her
face of love? V/hy, daughter, why so pale, art thou first of the
maids of Cromla? Dost thou sleep with the foes in battle, CeL
chossa, white bosomed daughter of Tuathal? Thou hast been tha
love of thousands, but Lamhdcrg was thy love. He came to
Selma’s mossy towers, and, striking his dark buckler, said – ■
Where is Gclchossa, my love, the daughter of the noble Tuaihal?”.
&c. Such a coincidence betwixt Toland and M’Fherson, is a
strong proof of the authenticity of Ossian’s Poems. Toland de,
rived his information from the Irish manuscripts and traditions –
M’Pherson bis from those of the Highlands of Scotland. Now if
both concur that Ireland was ihQ country of Lamderg and GeU
,hossa, the point may be considered determined that they were
real, not imaginary characters ; and it will naturally follow, that
the poems of Ossian are genuine and authentic. Toland, who
wrote 50 years before M’Pherson, surely cannot be accused of
juventing thiis story to support the authenticity of Ossia7i”s Poems,



264 NOTES.

It has often been objected to Osslan, that he makes no met,,
tion of the Druids. A noble instance to the contrary will be
found in this very passage. Lamderg not being able to discov( r
Gelchossa, says to Ferchois – ” Go, Ferchois, go to AUad, the
grey haired son of the rock. His dwelling is in the circle of
stones. He may know of Gelchossa.”

Note XV.- Page 72.
Bard, S,c. – The ofiTice of the Bards is well described by Toland,
This office existed long after the[_extinctlon of the Druids. Taci-
tus, speaking of the Germans, has the following remark : – Ituri
in prcdia Canuni. Sunt illis haec qiwque carmina relaiu ejvo.
rum quein Barditujji vacant, Gccendzint amnios. – De Morib,
Germ. cap. 1. i. e. – ” When going to battle they sing. They
have also a particular kind of songs, by the recital of which they
inflame their courage, and this recital they call BardUus. Now
this word Barditus, is the Gaelic Bardeachd, pronounced Bard,
eat, or Bardit,&x\d latinically terminated. It signifies Bardship,
or Foeiry. Pinkarton has exerted all his ingenuity to show
that Ossian’s Pcnv.s were borrowed from the Gothic war son,s.
But from t’-e testimony of Tacitus, it is clear that the Gothe bor-
rowed their war songs from the Celts, else they would have had
a name for it in their own language, without being obliged to
borrow one from the Celts, Bardeachd is no more Gothic, than
Fliilosoph!/, Physiology y Phlebotomy , &c. are English.

Note XVI.- Page 72.

M’lsselto, 4c. – Piiay gives the most particular account of the
JMisseUo, and its uses, ,ihilhahcnt Druidce (ita suos appellant
Magos) vzsco ct arbore in qua gignatur (si moda sit robnr) sa.
€raiius. Jam perse roborum eligunt liicos nee ulla sacra sine ea
fronde conjinunt, ut inde appellati quoqiie interpretatione Grofca
possint Druidce videri, Enimvero quicquid adnascatur illis, e
ecelo missum putant, signinnque esse electee ab ipso Deo arboris,
j!,st autem id varum admodum iiivcntUy et reperlum magna rcU,



gione petitur : et ante omnia sexta luna, qiice prindpia mensuim
annorumque hisfacU, et aeculi post tricesimum annum, quia jam
virium abunde habeat, nee sit sui dimidia. Omnia sanantem flo-
pellantes suo vocabulo, sacrificus epulisque sub arbore prceparom
iis, duos admovent candidi colons tauros, quorum cornua tunc
primu?n vinciantur. Sacerdos Candida veite culius arborem scan,
dit: falce aurea demetit. Candido id excipitur sago. Turn dcm
mum victimas immolant, precantcs ut suum donitm deus prospe-
runifaciat his quibus dederit. Fcecunditatcni co poto dart cuicurt,
que animali sterili arbitrantiir, contraque venena omnia esse re-
wedio.-NsiL Hist. lib. 16. cap. 44. i. e. ” The Druids (fop
so they call their Magi) have nothing more sacred than the Mis-
seltOj and the tree on which it grows, provided it be an oak.
They select particular groves of oaTis, and perform no sacred
rites without oak leaves, so that from this custom they may seem
to have been called Druids (Oakites), according to the Greek
interpretation of that word. They reckon whatever grows on
these trees, sent down from heaven, and a proof that the tree it-
self is chosen by the Deity. Bat the Misselto is very rarely
found, and when found, is sought after with the greatest religi-
ous ardour, and principally in the sixth moon, which is the be-
ginning of their monthe and years, and when the tree is thirty
years old, because it is then not only half grown, but has attain-
ed its full vigour. They call it AUJieal {UiP Ice) by a word in
their own language, and having prepared sacrifices and ftasfs
under the tree with great solemnity, bring up two white bulls,
whose horns are then first bound. The priest, clothed in a white
surplice, ascends the tree, and cuts it off with a golden knife, and
it is received in a white sheet (Clohe), Then they sacrifice the
victims, and pray that God would render his own gift prosper-
ous to those on whom he has bestowed it. They reckon that
the Misselto administered in a potion can impart foccundity to
any barren animal, and that it is a remedy against ail kinds of

We are not to infer from these words of Pliny, that the Druids
had no other medicine except the Misselto, bat only that they


26(5 KOTES.

had nihil sacraiius, i. e. none more respected. The He? ha Bri.
tunnicay of which Amhrosius Calepine gives the following ac.
count, may be fairly ascribed to them. Piin. lib. 23. cap. 3.
Herla est folds bblongis et nigris, radice if cm nigra, nervis et
dentibus salutaris, et contra anginas, et serpentium mGrsus ej/i-
cax remedium habens, Hiij as fores vibones vocantnr; quibus
ante tonitrua degastatis, miliies adversiisjulminum icti-.s pronus
securi reddebaniur. Scriblt Plinius loco jam citato, promoiis a
Gennanico trans Rhenum castris, in marltimo tractu fvniem j’uisse
hwentum aquce dulcis qua pota, intra bienmum denies deciderent,
compagesque in genibus soherentur. Ei autem malo Brifanni”
cam herbam aiixiliofaisse, a Frislis Romano MiUti coninionstram
turn. – Vide Calepinum in yerbo Britan? ica. i. e. ”This herb
hath oblong black leaves, and a black root. It is salutary for
the nerves and teeth, and a sovereign remedy for the squincy
and the sting of serpents. Its flowers are called Vibones; and
the soldiers having tasted these before a thunder storm, were
rendered completely secure against its effects. Pliny writes, in
the passage before cited, that Germanicus having moved his camp
across the Rhine, found in the maritime district, a spring of sweet
water, of which, if any one drank, his teeth fell out, and the
joints of his knees were loosened, within two years; but that
the Herba Britannic a, pointed out by the inhabitants of Fries-
land to the Roman soldiers, was a remedy for these maladies.”

Note XVII.- Page 74.

That out of the tracts of his chariot, <,c. – To the Celtic read,
er, tliis fragment of a Gaelic song preserved by Athenaius, cannot
fail to be acceptable. It is nineteen hundred years old, and may
serve as a caution to those who deny the antiquity of Celtic
poetry. Pinkarton says Giclic poetry is not older than the 12th

Note XVill.- Page 75.
Cllamh, , c- This word is pronounced by the CcKs OlkWf


NOTES. 267

an<l hy the English Ollaw: it signifies a doctor or graduate.
The etymolcgy of this word, as far as I know, lias not been at-
tempted. It is compounded of the Gaelic adjective oll, signi-
fying a//, and lamh, a hand, and imports the same thing as alL
handed, or what the Romans would term omnmm rerum expertus,
Laifik, pronounced lav, and sometimes /«/”, is the radix of the
Saxon luof, i. e. the palm of the hand ; but such is the disinge-
nui(y of Pinkartou and his Gothic adherents, that, when they
have once gothicized a Celtic word, they claim it altogether.
Perhaps the Latin hvo, to wash, is derived from the same radix.

Note XIX..- Page 76.
Parliament at Dnmcat, Sfc, – The true orthography, as Mr.
Toland informs us, is Druim,Ceat, i. e. the hill of meeting. C
in the Celtic, as well as in the Greek and Latin, is always pro-
nounced hard as K. A very great affinity betwixt the Greek,
Roman, and Celtic languages, can be clearly traced. In ih,
present instance, it is sufficient to remark, that the Roman
CcEtus, is merely the Celtic Ceat latinically terminated. Chris-
tianity was introduced into Ireland about the middle of the fifth
century, and from the same lera we may date the decline of Drui-
disra in that kingdom. Hsnce the Bards, freed from the re-
straints of their superiors the Druids, appear to have run into
great irregularities; and to counteract these was the object of
th(, present council.

Note XX.- Page 77.
Third order of the Celtic literati. – Mr. Toland reckons only
three orders of Celtic literati, viz. Druids, Eards, ,ndOuaieis.
Ammianus Marcellinus, lib. 15. pag. 51. has the same classifi-
cation, with this difference, that instead of Ouateis, he mentions
Euhages, This Mr. Toland, with good reason, supposes a cor-
ruption of Quateis. Dr. Smith, in his History of the Druids,
has so servilely followed our author, that in all matters of im-
portance, he m-xy be properly denominated the Tolandlc Echo.


208 NOTES.

In some points of inferior moment he has aimed at a little origi-
nality, and in the present case, gives the etymology of Euhages,
tIz. Deu’ Phaiiie, and in the oblique cases ,eu vaiste, which he
translates, good or j,romising i/outhe, and latinizes Eubages,
On this overstrained and unnatural analysis, 1 leave the classical
reader to make his ovtn remarks. If Euhup,cs is not a corrup-
tion of the Greek Ojiateis, it can admit of a satisfactory solution,
as compounded of Eu.Faigk, i. e. a good poet. Eu has the
same signification in the Greek and Celtic, with this difference –
that in the former it is an adverb, and in the latter an adjective,
Faidh, a poet or prophet, is sometimes written Faigh. Vide
Shawns Gaelic Dictionary. Every one knows that Taigh (the
grandfather of Fingal) is latinized Tages ; and by the same ana-
logy, Eu-Falgh would be latinized En/ages, which might very
easily degenerate into Eubages.

What renders this etymon more probable is, that a turn for
poetry was an indispenslble requisite with the Druididal sect,
through all its subdivisions. Caesar, as has already been no-
ticed, says they learned so great a number of verses, as cost
them sometimes twenty years’ study. Dr. Smith (page 5th) agrees
■with Toiand, that the Eubages were the lowest order of the
Druidical sect. Ammianus Marcellinus is of the same opinion,
when he proceeds thus : – Eubages Scrutantes seric et sublimia
jiaturcE pandere conabaniur. Inter has Druides ingeniis celsio-
res, S,’c. Et Bardi quideni fortia virorum illustrium facta heroim
CIS composita vcrsibus, cum dulcibus lijrce modulis cantitarunt. –
Lib. 15. page. 51. i, e. ” The Eubages investigating the seri-
ous and sublime things of nature, endeavoured to explain them.
Among these the Druids were men of more exalted genius, &c.
And the bards too sung the brave actions of illustrious men,
composed in heroic poetry, to the sweet strains of the lyre.

Note XXI.- Page 78.

One of the prime Druids, ,c. – This Archdrvid was Divitia-
cu&the Eduan, the friend and intimate acquaintaace of Ca;sar,


NOTES. 209

it is rather remarkable that Caesar, who had a high esteem for
him, did not inform us of this circumstance, Toland’s quota-
tion from Cicero may be rendered in English thus, – ” And ther«
are also Druids in Gaul, of whom I myself was well acquainted,
with Divitiacus the Eduan, your entertainer and panegyrist, who
declared that the study of nature, which the Greeks call physi.
ology, was well known to him ; and partly from augury, partlj
from conjecture, foretold future events.”

Had Cicero not giren us this information, there is a passage
in the hife of Diviliacus, which must for ever have remained in-
explicable, Csesar ordered Divitiacus to make head against his
brother Dumnorix. Divitiacus, among other things, says –
Quod si quid ei a Ccesare gravius accidisset, quum ipse eum locum
amiciticE apud eum teneret, ncminem existimaturum, nan sua vo»
luntate factum ; qua ex refuturum, uti totius Gallice animi a se
averterentur, – Cassar, lib. 1. cap, 20. i. e. ” If Csesar should
inflict any severe punishment on his brother, whilst he himself
stood so high in Caesar’s friendship, every one would imagine ie
was done with his concurrence, and hence the affections of all
Gaul would be alienated from him.” How should a private indi-
vidual in the petty state of the /Edui, be afraid of losing the
good opinion of all Gaul ? The question is unanswerable, till
we are made acquainted that he was their Archdruid, and thea
every difficulty vanishes.

Note XXII.- Page 79.

Proposes taking a journey for six monthe, ,’c. – Mr. Toland
had it in contemplation to write a larger History of the Druids,
which he did not live to accomplish. What is now ofiercd to
the public is contained in three letters, addressed to the Lord
Viscount Molesworth, his patron and benefactor. It was never
intended to meet the public eye, but was published, along with
some other posthumous pieces, about five years after his death.
The last of these letters is dated April 18, 1719, and he died
the 11th March, 17,2. Posterity has long regretted, and will

M m


270 NOTE.c.

always regret, that a man so eminently qualified for the task,
did not live to accomplish it. The present work professes to be
nothing more than a specimen or prospectus of his larger one.
Summary and brief as it is, it is twice as long as Di\ Smith’s,
• which is held out to be a detailed and complete history. There
is not one fact of importance in Dr. Smith’s history, which has
not been anticipated by Mr. Tolaud. As to the uncandid man-
ner in which the reverend doctor has dealt with our author, I
leave it to the impartial reader to determine; but I do not hesi-
tate to affirm, that h?A not Mr. Toland led the way, Dr. Smith’3
history had never made its appearance.


Oginiiis, &fc. – From this piece of masterly criticism, it will
appear how impossible it is to explain many passages in the Greek
,nd Roman clfeissics, /without a knowledge of the Gaelic lan-
guage. Respecting the Gaelic Hercules, Toland has been so
lull, as to leave no room for me, or any one else, to enlarge on
the subject. I must, however, request the reader to bear in
mind (as it is a subject to which I will have occasion to recall
his attention) how perfectly the Gaelic philosopher or Druid,
mentioned by Lucian, spoke the Greek language, and how inti-
mately he was acquainted with the Greek poets and the Grecian

Note XXIV.-Page 92 & 93,
.Mr. Tolaind’s remarks on the Irish manuscripts deserve parti-
cular attention. Though Pinkarton, Tnnes, kc. have indulged
themselves freely in reprobating these manuscripts, on account
of the foolish and improbable stories (hey contain, yet Mr. To-
land, in this respect, has outdone them all. It is remarkable,
that the interpolations and alterations of ancient manuscripts
may principally be dated from the commencement of the chris-
tian a,ra. Before that period the heathen nations had nothing,
jbeyoiid the limits of their authentic history, but fable and con-


NOTES. 271

jecture to guide them. This is remarliably the case yiiih the
Greek and Roman mythology. Whatever historian could invv.np
the most plausible story, was sure to be listened to, and at the
same time could not be detected, because there was no certain
criterion whereby his works could be tried.

At the christian aera a very different scene presented itself.
The history of the world, from its creation, and an accurate
chronology of all events recorded in the sacred scriptures, was
displayed to mankind. The heathen nations, sensible that their
histories could not stand the test of this criterion, made the ne-
cessary alterations, principally in point of chronology. The
liistories of Greece and Rome were, however, at this period, so
widely disseminated, that it would have been madness to rlsquQ
the attempt.

Another cause of these alterations was the well meant, though
most unjustifiable conduct of early christians, who moulded
many of their ancient books to prom,ote the cause of Christianity.
Hence we have the prophecies of Zoroaster, Ilystaspes, and the
Sybills respecting the Messiah- the character and description of
the person of Christ in Josephus, kc. &c. But these interpola,
lions are so palpable that they are easily detected.

On the other hand, when the Irish historians deduce their ori-
gin from Csisarea, Ncah’s niece, or from the three daughters ot
Cain, and mark such events as took place prior to the christian
sera, with the letters A. M.- 2. e. anno mundi, or year of the
world, it is evident these alterations, additions, and interpola-
tions, must have been made since the introduction of Christianity ;
but it does not follow that the date of these manuscripts must be
as late as the christian aera, otherwise it must follow that Zoroas-
ter and the Sybills also wrote posterior to Christianity, which, we
know, was not the case.

But an unquestionable proof of the antiquity of these manu-
scripts is, that they contain the rites and formularies of the
Druids, and must consequently have been written prior io the
christian a,ra; for it is a fact, that St. Patrick and his successors,
instead of recording the rites of the Druids, did every tiling ia
Bi m 2


572 KOTES.

their power to consign them to utter oblivion. All that is there,
fore wanting, as Toland justly remarks, is a skilful hand, to
separate the dross from the ore.

Note XXV.-Page 95.

The use of letters has been very antient in Ireland, – This point
has been most strenuously controverted. The antiquity of the
use of letters among the Celts stands on incontroTertible evi-
dence; but as I wish the reader to have perused the History of
Aharis, before I enter into this discussion, I shall conclude my
notes with two short dissertations, in the first of which I shall
prove that the use of letters among the Celtic tribes is much
more early than is generally allowed, and in the second endea-
vour to account for the great number, and high antiquity of the
Irish manuscripts.

Note XXVI.- Page 102 & 103.

Mr. Toland here gives an enumeration of Druids which could
have been no where found but in the Irish manuscripts. Indeed
it is his intimate acquaintance with these manuscripts, and the
Celtic language, that constitutes the peculiar excellence of the
“work. Dr. Smith, in his Histori) of the Druids, (page 11) caa
find no authority tliat the Druids had wives, except in this pas-
sage of Toland, which he quotes. In quoting it he uses that dis-
ingenuity which characterises his whole conduct to Toland, and
quotes his own poem of Dargo Macdruibhcil first, and then To-
land, This Dargo Macdruihheil is d Gaelic poem which the Dr.
wrote down from oral recitation, and orthographized, as he thought
fit. He translates it Dargo the son of the Druid of Beit. Any mnn
«f candour will be cautious of quoting one of his own works, to
support another of them, particularly, as from the silence of
Ossian respecting the Druids, there is more than reason to sus,
pect, that this as well as some other circumstances have been
modelled to supply the defect. That the Dr. could net find one
Druid in Scotland married or unmarried, till he modelled a sir,


NOTES. 273

name for the purpose, whilst Mr. Tolancl from the Irish records
has given us a dozen, is a very singular fact. I shall, however,
in my dissertation on the antiquity of the Irish raanuscriptSj ac-
count for this singularity.

Note XXVII.- Page 104.
Bachrach, Sfc. – This is another of these well intended, though
disingenuous attempts, to propagate Christianity by falsehood.
It stands in no need of such surreptitious aid. It is, however,
no small proof of the authenticity, as well as the antiquity, of the
Irish records, that the eclipse which happened at that memo-
rable crisis, was observed and transmitted to posterity by the

Note XXVIII.- Page 105.

That Patric burnt 300 volumes, Sfc, – Having reserved my re-
marks on the antiquity of the use of letters in Ireland, till to-
wards the close of these notes, I shall only point out to the read-
er, that the use of letters must have been long known in Ireland,
prior to Patricks arrival, else he could have found no books to

Note XXIX.-Page 107.
AddeV’Stanes, Sjc. – Mr. Toland is here perfectly correct wh,
he ascribes this name to the lowlands of Scotland. I have in my
younger days heard the tradition respecting them a hundred
times. The very same story is told of the Adder. stanes, which
Pliny relates of the Druid’s Egg, without the omission of one
single circumstance. The reader will see the Druid’s Egg treat-
«d of at length in the 12th note.

Note XXX.- Page 107.

Glaine nan Dnddhe. – This was the Druid’s Egg already
treated of. If we may credit Dr. Smith, he tells us (page 62>
that, this glass phi/ sician is sometimes scat for fifty miles to cur«


274 NOTES.

diseases. His account is by no means improbable, for tills amu.
let was held in high estimation, and superstition is very difficult
to be eradicated. The Dr. m’ght have given Mr. Toland credit
for being the first who pointed out the name. But he adopts it
as his own, without making the slightest acknowledgment. He
imagines the word Glaine exclusively Gaelic, and hence infers
that the Druids were great glass,man’ijactvrers. He says they
practised i);ie art in gross on their vitrified forts, and improved
it to that degree, that at last they constructed telescopes,

Pliny in his natural history, and particularly book 36. chap.
26. treats fully of the invention and manufacture of glass. It is
on all hands allowed to have been invented by the Pha?nicians,
and the name is also probably Phoenician, the name of every new
invention being generally introduced with the invention itself.
The word is not exclusively Gaelic. In i\i2 Greek language,
Glhie signifies the pupil of the eye, brightness, &c. In the
Gaelic language Glaine, besides glass, signifies clearness or
brightness; and to anyone acquainted with the force of the
Grtec Eta, it will at once occur, that these words are nearly
synonicoous ia sound, and completely so in. signification.

The doctor’s telescopic hypothesis rests on the mistaken
meaning of a quotation from Jlcculeus, who sof/ft, the Boreadce
hring the moon veri; near them. This the doctor imagines could
not be done without telescopes. Now though wc grant the doctor’s
postulaium, that the Boreadis were Bards or Druids, still the
hypothesis is as objectionable as ever.

The doctor tells us, that the proper signification of Druid is a
magician; and it is really astonishing that he should not have
knovv’n that it was the prerogative of all magicians, deducen hu
nam, i. e. ”to bring down the moon.” V,irgll, eclogue 8th,
says – ‘, Carmina vd ccelo possunt deducere lunam, i. e. ” Charms
can even bring down the moon from heaven.”

Ovid, in his Metamorphose,;, book 7, fab. 2. makes a famooi
witch say – ” Te quoquc lima traho, i. e. ‘-lalso bring down
the moon. ‘»

Horcice, in \m 17th epode, makes Canidia say,

NOTES. 275

et pole

Deripcre lunam vocibus possim meis.

i. e. ., And I can pull down the raoon from heaven hy my words/.
It is not once to be imagined that the Druids, who highly ex-
celled in magic, would not have a pull at the moon, as well as
other magicians; but I think we may safely Infer, that it was
not by telescopes, but by incantations, that this operation was
performed. See Dr. Smith’s Hut, Druid, page 62, 63, 64.

Note XXXI.- Page 107.
Mr. Toland, in these pages, says, that many nations borrow-
ed part of their rites from the Gauls. He also enumerates seve-
ral of the Druidical monuments; but as all these particulars are
separately treated of, in a subsequent part of the history, I shall
advert to them respectively in the order in which they occur.
In translating the Greek quotation from Diogenes Laertius, Mr.
Toland has rendered Kcltois Gauls. In this there is no error;
still I wish he had rendered it Celts, that name being not only
much older, but, in fact, the original name; and Gaiih (Galli,
Latlnej Galtach, Galice), being more modern alterations of iU

Note XXXII.-Page 110.
Carn, c,c. – The particular kind of Cams here spoken of, were
constructed for the great public solemnities of the Druids, as
the temples were for the more stated and ordinary purposes of
jeligion. The altar on the top sufficiently distinguishes them
from any other description of Cams.

Note XXXIIi.- Page 115. .
Beal or Bealan. – This was the chief deity of the Celts, and
signifies the Su72. It is the same with the Phoenician Baal, the
Indian Bhole, the Chaldaic Bel, and (he Hebrew Bahal. Cak,
2Jine, under the word Baal, gives the following explanation cf it.
JEst nomtin apml Tyrios quod (Jalnr Jovi, Nam Baal Ftinici
xidentur dic,r, Dominum, vnda Baahaman, quasi Domminn

276 NOTES.

Cocli dicant ; sa7nanquippe apud eos CcelumappeUataj,i. e. “It
is a name given by the Tyrians to Jupiter. For the Pho?iiicians
seem to call Baal a lord or ruler, whence BaaLsaman, a phrase
of the same import as if they said, the lord of the sky, for the
sky is by them called Saman.’., We need not be surprised at
finding a Roman mistaking Baal for Jvpiter. Pliny also con-
founds them. When speaking of Babylon he says – ” Dnrat
adhuc ibi Jovis Belitemplum, i. e. ” There remains still there a
temple of Jupiter Belus.-Nat, Hist, lib, 6. cap. 26.

The Phoenician Sa?nan, (he Hebrew Semin, and the Gaelic
Samajiy are ail so similar in sound and signification, that there
can be no doubt of their having been radically the same. Sawy
in the Gaelic, signifies the Sun, and Saman is its regular diminu-
tive. When the Celts call Beal by the name oi Sam, or Saviariy
Ibey only use the same eliptical mode of expression which the
Romans do, when they call Apollo hilonsns, Jupiter Olympivs,
&c. It is only substiuting the epithet or attribute, instead of
the name.

In the county of Aberdeen there Is a parish named Culsalmond,
hut pronounced Culsamon, This is merely a corruption of the
Gaelic Cill-saman, and signifies the temple of the Sun. The In-
dian Gymnosphistce were subdivided into BrachmanncE, and Sa.
manaei, the former being hereditary and the latter elective philo-
sophers, Vide Strahonem lib. 15, The afSnity between the Bra-
minical and Druidical philosophy is so great, as to leave no
doubt of their having been originally the same. Samanai is
merely the Gaelic adjective Samanach (descended of, or belong-
ing to the sun), grsecized Samanaioi, and thence latinized Sama.
noi, in the same manner as Judach and Chaldach are rendered
JudcEi and Chaldcci.

Doctor Smith in his History of the Druids, (page 16) with his
usual Celtic furor, tears the monosyllable Beal to pieces, and
etymologizes it Bea”. nil, i. e. the life of all things. No philolo-
£;ist should venture to blow up a monosyllable, unless there are
the most unequivocal marks of a Crasis. Here there are none,
and the import of the word both in the Hebrew and Phoeniclan Ian.

NOTES. 277

giiage, Is poiul blank against his hypothesis. But what renders
the matter still worse, he tells us that Tuisco of Germany
and the Teutales of Gaul have exactly the same meaning. These
two Gods have been generally reckoned the same. Cicero de
Natura Deorum, lib. 3, page 301, reckons him the 5th Mercury,
and says, IJunc JEgyptii Thcutatem appellant, eodejnque nomine,
anni primus mcnsis apud eos vocatur, i. e. The Egyptians call
him Teutales, and the first month of their year is called by th«
same name. In the margin he gives us the synonimous name
Thein, which every one knows is the Gaelic Tein, and signifies
Fire. Such a coincidence in the ,Egyptian and Gaelic languages
was hardly to have been expected.

But Cicero, in the margin, gives us a third name of this god,
Tiz. Thoyth, As tj occurs only in such Latin words as are of
Greek origin, Thoyth is evidently the Greek Thouth, adopted by
the Romans. In the Greek it is now obsolete. Thoyth or
Thouth is evidently the Gaelic Theuth or Tenth, signifying Ura
or heat, and is synonimous with Tein before-mentioned.

Theutates, or Teuiates, is the most common and modern name,
and is evidently the Gaelic Teoihaighte or Teuihaighte (pro-
nounced Teutait), and signifying Zuarmed. In the Gaelic lan-
guage we have many affinitives of this word, viz. Teth, Teith,
and Tenth, i. e. heat or hot, Tiothan, Tiotan, Tithin, Tethin,
and Titan, i. e. the Sun, Teutham, Teotham, Tetham, and
Titam, I. e. to warm, &c. «&:c. That the name, as well as the
etymon of this Egyptian deity, can be clearly traced in the
Gaelic language, is a strong evidence that these languages wer.
Originally the same.

By Tcntates the Romans understood Mercury ; but the mo-
derns probably considered him as Mars; for that day of the
week which the Romans named Dies Martis, we name Tuesday
which is only an abbreviation of Teutate,. day, or Teuth,s day.

Titan, by which the Greeks and Romans meant the sun, is, if
not a Celtic, at any rate an Egyptian deity ; and, in the course
pf the notes, I will have occasion to shew that most wf the
€rreek g.od? are borrowed. The utmost that caa be granted to

278 NOTES.

Dr. Smith is, that Beal and Teutatcs are attributes of the s.iaie
god, in after times individually deified; but they are no more
synoaimes than Arcltenens and Intonsus,

Note XXXI V.- Page 116.
i,am Lhadro7i. – The reader vvlll here notice a word of the
same import with the Roman Latro, The similarity between
the Greek, Roman, and Gaelic languages, is strongly marked.
This Gaelic word has also got into our colloquial language; for
there is nothing more common among the vulgar, than to call a
worthless person 2i filthy laydron. The Celtic language only
gaye way, on the continent of Europe, in Britain and Ireland,
in proportion as the Gothic encroached; and hence the Celtic
language was not expelled, but merely gothicized, as will most
obviously appear to any one acquainted with the structure of
these languages. It would be in vain to search for the radix of
LiCiydron in the Gothic language.

Note XXXV.- Page 116.

Otter. – The proper signification of this word is a roch, or
shelve, projecting into the sea, (jiin-otter, in the vicinity of
Stonehaven, is a noble illustration of this analysis, both in name
and situation. Dan,cltcr literally signifies i\iQ fort on the rock

jivojecting hto the sea.

Note XXX VL- Page 117.

Between Bets two fires. – As Mr. Toland, in his note on this
passage, informs us, the Irish phrase is Ittir dha theine Bheil,
Dr. Smith has also given us the Scottish phrase, Gabha Bheily
J. e. the jeopardy of Bel. Both agree that these expressions de-
note one in the most imminent danger, Mr. Toland says (he
men and beasts to be sacrificed passed between two fires, and
that hence the proverb originated. Doctor Smith, on t\\Q cowl
trary, imagines that this was one of the Druidical ordcais,
whereby cnminLils were tried; and, instead of making them

NOTES. 27f>

pass betwixt the fires, makes them march directly acrcss them.
Indeed he supposed the Druids were kind enough to anoint fhe
feet of the criminals, and render them in?ulnerable by the lliimes.
If so, there could hare been neither danger nor trial. It may
slso be remarked, that had the doctor’s hypothesis been well
founded, there ,vas no occasion for two fires, vphereas, by tha
phrase, between BeVs two Jires, we know that two were used.
Doctor Smith has evidently confounded the Galha Bheil, with a
feat practised hy the Hirpins on Mount Soracte, of wliich 1 shall
take notice in its proper place.

Note XXXVII.- Page 118.

Archdruid, Sfc. – On the testimony of Cassar, all the Druids.
were subject fo an archdruid. His autem omnibus Di’uidibus
prccest unus qpt summam inter eos kabet auctoritatem. – Lib. 6.
cap. 13. i. e. .’ One Druid presides over all the rest, and is
possessed of supreme authority among them.”

Coibh’i, the Gaelic name of this archdruid, is mentioned by
Dede in his Ecdcdastical History, book 2, chap. 13. – Qidpri,
mils porMJicuni ipsius Co?/? continiio rcspo7idit, Sfc. Adjecit ait.
tern Co2/?, quia vellet ipsiim raulinum diligentius audire de Deo.
quern prcedlcabat, ,c. i. e. .’ To whom Cofji, his chief priest,
immediately replied, &c. Cotji also added, because ha wished
to hoar Pauliuus more diligently concerning the god whom he
preached, &c.” This Coifi was chief priest and counsellor ta
Edwin, king of Northumbria, when converted hy Paulinus, ia
the. beginning of the 7th century. Mr. XvI’PhersoD, in his Dism
sertaiioii otvthe Celtic Antiquities, is (as far as I know) the first
who takes notice of this remarkable passage in Bede,

The name Coihhih also preserved in the following Gaelic pro,
verb : – Vefogasg ciacli do lar, isfai,g’ no sin cobhair Qhoihidh,
i. e. ” The stone cleaves not faster to the earth than Coii-i’i hcl,
to the nnQdyy- Mcintosh’s ilaeVic Proverbs, page 34.

Dr. Smith, in his Bistory of the Druids (page 8th), has givea
us the same Gaelic proverb.

Coifi,Drui, ox Dry, is a phrase still u,ed iatlie Highlands’ o£

N a ‘J

280 KOTES.

Scotland, and signifies a person of extraordinary merit. – Jam’u,
son’s Hist. Culdees, p. ,7,

Dr. Jamieson mentions an old man who never addressed the
Deity by any other name than that of Arckdruid or CoiJi.,Hist,
Culdees, page 29.

From these quotations there can remain no doubt that this
word exists in the history of Bede, and in the language, pro-
Terbs, and traditions of the Highlands of Scotland. The true
matter of surprise is, that no one has attempted to explain the
• word. Even Dr. Jamieson himself, in his History of the Cuh
dees, published about a year ago, expresses his wonder that it
has not been done, but without remedying the defect.

This appears to me the more extraordinary, as the word still
exists in the Gaelic language, Caobhadh, or Cobkaidh, or Coibm
hidk (for thfy are all the same), signifies a man expert at arms;
a protector or helper, Coibkam signifies to protect. Qoibhan
signifies a person coble, or highly exalted. Coibha signifies
knowledge or nobility. Coibhantadh means helped or protected.
These words are respectively pronounced Coiti, or Coivat/ – –
Coivcm – Coiva, and Qoivantay, Hence I do not hesitate to ren-
der Coibhi\ helpful, and CoibW Drui, the helpful Druid. This
explanation is strongly corroborated, not only by the Gaelic
proverb before inserted, wherein the principal stress and erapha-
f is rests on the word help ; but by two collateral instances, which
I shall adduce from the Greek and Roman mythology.

Ovid, lib. 1. fab. 9. makes Phoebus (the same with the Celtic
Bel) enumerate his titles and inventions to Daphne, aud, among
the rest, mention,

• -Opiferquc per oibem


i. e. ” I am called the help.bearer over the world.”
Callimachus, in his hymn to Apollo, expresses himself thus; –

Pollui se Boedromion caleonsi – i. e. ” Many call thee the auxu

llator or hclperr’-TyUer,s Edition, Hue G9.

Thus we see the Gaelic Coibhi, the Latin Op’J’cr, and th«

NOTES. 281

Greek Boidromios, strictly synonimous. Ovid informs us, be-
sides, that Opifer was Apollo’s universal title. If so, Coibhi”
must have been one of his names or attributes, in the Gaelic lan-
guage, and was, no doubt, assumed by his chief priest, by way
of distinction and pre-eminence – a custom not uncommon among
the heathen priests.

Note XXXVIII.- Pa«e 1 1 9.

Under pain of excommunicafioi, S,’c, Caesar has transmitted
to us the most prominent particulars of the Druidical excommu-
nication, lib. 6. cap. 13. – Si quis aut privatus aut publicus
eorum dccretis non stetity sacrijiciis interdicunt, Hac pcvna
apud eos est gravissima. Quibus ita est interdidum, ii numero
impiorum ac sccleratorum hahenfur; iis omncs decedunt ; aditum
eorum sermonemque defttgiuni: ne quid ex contagione incomm»di
accipiant : neque iis petentibus jus redditur, neque honos ullus
communicatur – i. e. “If any person, either private or public,
does not acquiesce in their decisions, they interdict him from
their sacrifices. This is, among them, the severest punishment.
They who are thus interdicted, are reckoned impious and ac-
cursed; all men depart from them; all shun their company and
conversation, lest they sustain some misfortune from their conta-
gion ; the administration of justice, and the protection of the laws,
ig denied to them ; and no honour is conferred on them.

Note XXXIX.- Page 120.

A world of places are denominated from these carns, ,c. – It
would be endless to enumerate all the Carns, that occur in Great
Britain and Ireland. They are also numerous over the continent
of Europe, and Asia. Carna, or Camia, or Cardinia, was a
goddess who presided over human vitals. Ovid lib. 6. Fast,
Carneus, a name of the sun. Callimachus’ hymn to Apollo, Car,
nana J a city of the Mincei, Steph, Lexicon. Carnantce, a nation
near the Red Sea. Ibidem, Carnapcc, a nation near Maeotis.
Plin, lib, 6. cap. 7, Carn,, a town of Phcenicia, near Mount

282 NOTES.

Libanu5. Plin, lib, 5. cap. 20. Came, a city of iEolIs. Videi
Sicphanum, Carni, a people bordering on the htri, Plhi. lib,
3. cap. IS. Carnon, or Cannon, a city of xVrcadia. PHn. lib.
4.vop. 6. Carnodunum, a town of Vindelicia, on the Danube.
Fiolem. lib. 2. cap. 13, Carnorum, the same with Carnvtcs, a
region in France. Calepin, Diciioiuirium. et Caesar, lib. 6. cap.
13. Carnunium, a town on the confmes of Pannonia, Plin. lib.
37. CO/?. 3. Carnuntiy the inhabitants of said town. f./m. ,«Z/. 4.
cap, 12. CttrKM.,, an island of Acarnania; vide Stephanum.
These are only a few of the many similar names, which miglst be
collected. They are, however, sufficient to establish the great
extent of the Celtic possessions. The attention of the reader is
particularly requested to Caniodanmn, which is iXi, Celtic ilani,
Dun, i.e. CainuToivn, of which we have many in Scotland, par-
ticularly one at Newton, near Arlroath, aiid another in the pa-
rish of Fordoun near Monboddo. Dun, pronounced Tom, is the
radix of the English Town, Cam is a word so peculiarly Celtic,
that wherever we find any place so denominated, v/e may with
certainty infer that it was inhabited by one or other of the Celtic

Note XL.- Page 121.

Were a thanksgiving for finishing their harvest. – This was
the grandest of all the Celtic festivals. Hallow even, is still
memorable in our days, for the number of fires kindled, and the
arts or cantrips that are used to pry into futurity. This is
also the night on which, according to vulgar tradition, the tccr-
IncJiS and witches (Druids and Druidegsrs) mounted on broom-
sUcks, black cats, &c. used to transport themselves through the
air, to Lapland, the moon. Sec. It is needless to enlarge on
customs so well known, but whoever would see a more full ac-
cotmt 01 tliem may consult Burns’ Halloiv c-en. There is no-
thing analagous to these customs in the christian pystera; and
ye. may therefore conclude, they were of Druidic origin. To
the aarao source we may safeJy ascribe all the vulgar notions of

NOTES. 283

witchcraft, Fairies, &c. and the various cures and antidotes
against witchcraft still preserved j of which I shall give one ex.

Roan tree and red thread,
Put the witches to their speed.

The rejoicing for the finishing of the harvest is, in most places
of Scotland called Kirn, a corruption of the word Cam or Cahn,
I have remarked, in a former note, that the more solemn and ex-
traordinary acts of religion wer3 performed at the Cairn, and
bence this feast or rejoicing, being one of the greatest solemnity,
and always held at the Cairn, was by way of pre-eminence, dig-
nified with the name. In later times this feast has been called
a maiden, if the harvest is finished before Michaelmas, and if after
it, a Carlin. In some places it is called the Claj/ock, which is
a corruption of the Gaelic Cailock, i, e. an old woman, and is
synonimous with the before-mentioned Carlin, But by far the
most general name is Kir7i or Cairn.

Note XLL- Page 121.

To Tchkh Virgil alludes in his Golden Branch.-,ThQ interview
of ,Eneas and the Cumaccan Sjbiil, in the 7rh book of Virgil, is
extremely beautiful, bat by far too long to be inserted iu these

JEao,Sj wishing to visit the Infernal Regions, applied to the
Cumacean Sybill for advice and direction. She tells him he
must first search for a Colden Branch, and carry It as a present

to Proserpine,

Latet Arbore opaca
Aureis et foliis ct ieoto viniine ramus.

i. e. ,, A branch with golden leaves and a slender stalk, is con-
cealed in a dark tree.”

Set] non ante datur tell’.iris opcrta subirc
Auricomos quani quisdecerpserit arbore foetus.

i. e. ., But no one can descend to the infernal regions, till he
has tjrst plucked this golden branch from the tree,”

284 NOTES.

iEneas, by the guidance of two doves, discovers this golde.
branch, which is thus described.

Quale Solet SylvisBrnmalifrigore visciim,

Froude virere nova,

Talis erat species auri frondcntis, opaca

i. e. ” Such [vras the [appearance of this golden branch on the
dark oak, as when the Misletoe uses to flourish with new vigour
in the woods, during the winter-cold.”

There were ten Sybills, viz. the Persian, the Lybian, the Del-
phian, the Cumosan, the Erythrosan, the Samian, the Cumanian,
or Eolian, the Hellespontlan, the Phrygian, and the Tiburtinian.
– Vide Calepin iiin .

Gellius, lib. 1. cap. 19. relates the manner in which these
books called the Sybilline, were sold to Tarquimus Priscus, by
an old woman, supposed the Cumanian Sybill. They were kept
in the capitol with the greatest care, and consulted as an oracle
on all emergencies. These books were burnt by Siilico, when
he rebelled against Honorious and Arcadlus. These Sybills are
so famous in Roman history, that I shall only endeavour to ana-
lyze the name.

Syhill has been uniformly derived from the Greek Theobule, i.
c. ” the council of God.” There are, however, only two of
these Sybills, to whom the Greeks can have even the slightest
claim. Had these Sybills been of Grecian origin, we might
have expected, to have found at least the Delphic one, mentioned
by Potter in his antiquities, when treating of the Delphic oracle.
The fact is, Apollo himself is not a Grecian god, but borrowed
from the Celts, as I shall presently shew.

Suadh or Suidh (the radix of the Latin Suadeo) is pronoun-
ced Sui, and signifies counsel or advice, Suulh.Bhcil, pronoun.
/ced Sui.Beil, signifies the counsel ef Bel, at)d determines that
these Sybills were exclusively prophetesses of Bel or Apollo,
whereas tlie Greek Tlieohule, besides its utter incongruity ia
the word Sybill, would make them prophetesses at large without
astrictirg them to any particular deity, and mus, therefow be

NOTE». 285

rejected. I have, in a former note, shewn that the Celtic Drui,
was by the Greeks rendered Dry, with the addition of their ter-
minating sigma. What in the Celtic is sounded wz, the Greeks
render by their Ypsilon. Hence SiiLBel, would be GriEcized
Sybela, which might easily degenerate into Sijbilla. Pliny men.
tions a people in Aquitania (a part of Gaul) named the SyhiL
lates, so that the Celts have more claims than one to the Sybills.
Nat. Hist. lib. 4. cap. 19. The Gaelic etymon of %&/// makes
her peculiarly the prophetess of Bel or Apollo. Virgil makes
her exactly the same. Every one knows that gold does not grow
on the branches of trees, and this golden branch is only the yel-
low (croceum) misletoe, poetically hyberbolized. I do not,
therefore, imagine, there can remain the least doubt, that the
golden branch of Virgil was the misletoe of the Druids, or that
the Cumocan Sibyll was a Druidess. For the etymon of Apollo
see next note.

Note XLIL- Page 122.

Carnea, Sfc. – ,The Sun was the earliest, as well as the most
universal object of idolatrous worship. As such, his first name
on record is BcL Early after the deluge, we find mankind
erecting to him a superb monument or temple at Babel. I have
often wondered that none of our Celtic etymologists have ren-
dered this word BaUBheily i. e. ‘• the house or temple of Bel,’,
They have given us a thousand etymologies far less probable.
It was built on the vale of Shinar (Galilee seanar pronounced
Shinar) i. e. ” the vale of the Senior or Elder,” in antient times a
title of the highest distinction, and was probably a sepulchral
monument erected to the memory of their ancestor Noahj or
some other distinguished individual. In the neighbourhood of
Forfar we have a collateral instance, viz. BaUnar- Shinar, i. e,
” the house of the Senior or Eldcr.,, Ur of tlte Chaldees was
the next edifice dedicated to I?t7, and on or Ilellopolis of /Egypt,
was perhaps erected about the same time. Ur signifies light or
Jire, and is found in every dialect of the Celtic. It is also He-


brew, and Is the radix of the Greek Uranos, the Latin uro, k,.
A parish in Galloway is still namecl Ur. Heliopolis is com.
pounded of the Hebrew El, or Eli, i. e. •’ God and Pol, a city.”
The proper signification of Pol, is a circle, citie’S being autiently
built in that form. Condudere Sulco, that is to encircle with a
furrow, is a common phrase for marking out the boundary of a
city or edifice. Most cities were built on eminences, for the
e?ake of defence; and this was particularly the case in Egypt,
Trhere they had the inundation of the IviLe to guard against.
Hence the various significations oi Pol, viz. a circle, the top o,f
a hill, the crown of the head, a well or pool of water, a city, &c.
Pel is the radix of the Greek Poleo, Polif>, and Polo,. In the
Gaelic it is written Poll, and signifies a pool, &c. El, or Eli,
is the radix of the Greek Elios, i. e. the sun. In the Gaelic
this word is written At or Ail, that is, a rock ; and the adjective
Alia signifies rocky, or the most high. From the Gaelic Al, the
Greeks seem to have formed their Alios, the same with £h’os\
AH is in Turkey a title of the highest distinction. When Jacob
went to Padan Aram, he set up a pillar, and called it Beth.cl,
i. e. the house of God. This, in the Gaelic, would be Buth, or
Beth.ail, i. e. the house of the Rock, la bcrlpture the Deity is
called the Rock of Ages, The Strength of Rocks is ascribed to
Lim, &c. Hence it is doubtful whe(her the Cells have not re-
tained the radical, and the Hebrews, Egyptians, and Greeks,
only is.e. figurative meaning of the word.

The etymon of Apollo has been uniformly mistaken. Calepin
(vide Dictionarium) derives it from the Greek verb Apollyml,
and instead of the Opifer, or benefactor of mankind, makcB hira
ApoUyon, or the destroyer. There are several other derivations,
fcut all equally absurd. Apollo is merely a corruption of the
Gaelic Abelilo, or Abulia, pronounced Apcllio, or Jpai/a, i. o.
Ihe son of the most high, and differs little in orthography, and
notliu,g in signification, from the Greek Ap,’EUo, or Jp’-AUo,
J. e. (ho descendant of the sun. Most of the C«:ltic gods, AteL
Ho, Sainan, Bcalan, kc. are diminutives. Thus, I hope, it is
clear, thit l,lios, or Allos, as well as their compound Apollo,

NOTES. 287

were borrowed deities; and hence it “will not appear wonderful
that the Greeks borrowed the religious rites peculiar to this
deity at the same time.

The Dorians, instead of Apollon, used AjjeUojt, which ap-
proaches much nearer to the Gaelic Abellio, it may bo here ne-
cessary io remark, that Ullapool, in Ross. shire (Gallice Ulhtn
Poll) signifies the circle of devotion. Vila is perhaps merely a
corruption of the Gaelic Alla, whence the Saxons formed their
Hallow and Haly, now written Ilob,. If so, the Egyptian Helu
poly the Greek HeliopoUs, and the Gaelic Ullapoll, are strictly
synonimous. The Egyptians also named this city On. Now
Vnn in the Gaelic still signifies a stone. The origin of this city-
was, therefore, most probably, a stone set up in honour of tha
Deity, such as Jacob set up at Bethel, and, when a city was
added, it received the name of Helipol, u e. the city or circle of
the Deity; for all ancient cities were circular, or as nearly so
as the nature of the eminences on which they were built would
admit. This we know was the form of Troy, Carthage, the
Acropolis of Athens, Rome, and a thousand others. Nay, Rome
itself derives its name from this very circumstance, and not from
Romulus, as generally imagined ; for it is the Greek Rovie, sig-
nify hig a strength or fort, synonimous with the Gaelic X>ww, and
derived from the Greek verb Roo, or Roni/mi, to surround or
encircle. Hirt’ms, in his book de Beilo IJisparJensi, cap. 3,
mentions a city near Cordova of the name of 67/a, perhaps the
Promontoriuni Sacram (hill of worship) mentioned by Pliny,
lib. 4. cap. 22. This city stood on the river Bcetis; and the
same author, speaking of this district, informs us, lib. 3. cap. 1.
” that it was inhabited by Celts, and that it was manifest from
tiieir sacred rites, language, and names of towns, that they were
descended from the Celtihcri of Lusitania.’. We nerd not,
therefore, hesitate io assign a Celtic origin to Vlla, and identify
it with Ullapool before-mentioned. The circular mode of build-
ing before stated was borrowed from the circularity of the Su7i,
the supreme object of Ethnic adoration,

I hope I have already sufficiently cYinced, that Apollo is not

288 NOTES.

of Grecian, but Celtic origin; and if any thing further were
wanting to establish this point, it is presumed that Carnea will
compensate the deficiency. These Carnea were feasts held in
honour of Apollo, over all Greece, but chiefly at Sparta, where
Callimachus (see his hymn to Apollo) says they were first intro-
dured. This festival was celebrated at Sparta in the month
Carneus, and at Athens in the month Metageitnion, both cor-
TCBponding to our month of May. The whole festival was
clearly descriptive of a military expedition. Nine tents were
erected, and the festival lasted nine days. The chief priest was
called Jgetes, i. e. general. Out of every tribe five ministers
were chosen, named Carneatat\ i. e. Cariumen, or attendants at
the Cam. The hymns sung were called Cameioi nomoi, i. e.
Cam tiines, or hymns. The musicians, on these occasions, con-
tended for victory. The first prize was won by Terpander. –
See Potter’s Jntiquilies of Greece, vol, 1. p, 374 & 380.

With regard to the etymon of Carneus, and the origin of this
festival, there has been much diversity of opinion. Bryant and
Dr. Tytler derive Carneus from the Greek /fercw, which Bry,
ant renders a Horny and Dr. Tyiler a Stork, informing us at the
same time that Clarios is a name of the same import, whereas
Clarios is evidently derived from C/aros, a city of Ionian famous
for an oracle of Apollo. See T;yilefs Callimachus, p. 44. & 45,
Others have imagined that Carneus is a corruption of Cyreneus,
from Gyrene, a town of Lybia. This idle idea is sufficiently
confuted by Callimachus in the following lines elegantly trans-
lated by Dr. Tytler :~

Some Eocdromius, Clarios some implore,
Eut nam’d Carneus on my native siiore.
Thee, great Carneus ! Sparta first possess’d,
Next Thera’s isle was with thy presence bless’d,
You cross’d the swelling main from Thera’s bowers.
And then resided in Cyrcne’s towers, &c.- p. 4’1. & 45.

Thus we see that Apollo was named Carneus at Sparta, long
before he was known at Cyrene. It would be almost endless to
advert to all the groundless opinions vented on (his head. It is

NOTES. 289

sufficient for my purpose to have incontroverllbly established
that Cctrneus was, among the Greeks, a name of Apollo, and
that in their language, no rational or satisfactory etymon of the
word can be found. Indeed when we see such eminont Greek
scholars as Mr. Bryant and Dr. Tytler rendering Carnens a
horn, or a stork, and at the same time making it synonimous
with Clarios, it is evident the Greek analysis is untenable, and
must be given up. Such has been, and always will be, the fate
of hunting for etymologies in a language where (hey are not to
be found.

Cam is a word so peculiarly Celtic, that It can hardly be mis,
taken. Its regular adjective is Carnach, Carneach, Carnadh,
This last is pronounced Camay , to which the Greeks added their
termination os, and formed Carneios. It signifies any thing per-
taining to a Carn, and hence frequently signifies a priest. Apollo
was named Carneios, from being worshipped at the Cams, in the
same manner as Jupiter was named Olympius from being wor-
shipped at Olympus, or the said Apollo Delphicus from being
“worshipped at Delphi. Indeed Mr. Bryant very rationally sup-
poses, that the numerous appellations of the deities originated
in the Greeks mistaking the place of worship for the deity wor-
shipped, so that the different names of the gods were only the
names of as many temples. If so, what name could have been
found in the Celtic districts, more appropriate to Apollo thaa
Carneios. See BrijanVs Mythology, vol, I, p. 107. In the CeU
tic we have many derivatives of Carn, viz. Carnariy a little Carn
Carnam, to make a Carn, Carnal, a heap of stones, Carn,a,
piled up, &c. &c.

Fortunately the Spartans have preserved to u, in their month
Carneus the name of the deity worshipped, and the Athenians
in their month Metageitnion, which signifies a transvicination,
or change of neighbourhood, have preserved the important fact,
that this festival was introduced into Greece by foreigners.
I have already observed that both these monthe are the same,
and this Celtic colony which migrated to Sparta must have been
T,ry powerful, otherwise the Spartans and Athenians would sot

290 NOTES.

each have denonimated one of their monthe to perpetuate the
memory of the eyent. The nin, tents and nine days wbich the
feast lasted, probably point the time this colony took up in mi-
gratmg t& Greece. Some Grecian accounts say they came from
Melitc, others from Miletus or Atarnania. Though we s»hoiild
grant all, or any one of these positions, it wiH, Instead of inva-
lidating, greatly confirm the Celtic claim to this colony. If from
Mclite the Carthaginians built this citj, and the Phoenician and
Celtic religious rites bear such a resemblance that Pinkarton
pronounces them the same. If from Miletus, M is well known
the Milesians make a conspicuous figure in the Irish annals;
and as to Acarnania, it is merely the Gaelie A,carnanuch, (Ach-
Carcanach, i. e. the Carn Hill, or hill abounding with earns)
terminated according to the Greek idiom.

Pausanias makes Bcco, a Delphian lady say, that OHen with
the Hyperboreans founded the Delphic oracle, and was the fust
who retorned answers in heroic verse. The passage is tha.
translated by Mr. Hutchin.

No Grecian yet warni’d vritli poetic fire

Could fit th’ unpolish’c] language to the lyre,

Till the first priest of Phcabiis Olen rose,

Aud chang’d for smoother verse their stunning prose.

See Potter’s Antiquities of Greece, vol, 1. p. S4i, 245,

Pythagoras, to make men believe that he was the Hyperbo-
rean Apollo, shewed one of his thighs all of gold in a full assem-
bly at the Olympic games, if we credit Jamblicus and Porphy-
rins. See Daciefs life of Pt/lhag, p, 6g.

As I will frequently have occasion to revert to this point, I
shall only remark, that Mr. Potter is of opinion that the Gre-
cian religion was a compound of every thing, and borrowed
from all the surrounding natioQS. Sec Antiquities of Greece,
wl, l.p, 173,

Note XLIII.- Page 126.
Turn Soracte satmni, &jc. – Dr. Smith, p. 47, has inserted this
quotation at full length, but omitted Mr. Toland’s translatioa
of it, Oa the contrary he has omitted ihQ ojli,inal quotatioia of

NOTES. 291

Mr, Tolaad from VirglVs Mneid, i» e. ” Summe Defim, sancle
cuslos, ,c.” and giveo us Mr. Drydeo’s translation of it. Sec
Dr. SmiiiCs llhiory of the Druids, p. 48, and Toland’s HhtOm
ry of the Druids, p. 126 c3′ 127. Botfi these quotations, and
their -translations stand at full length in Toland’s history, but
.the doctor, in order to cowceal his obligations to Mr. Toland,
lias given us the original of the one, and the translation of the
other. Indeed, if the reader will give himself the trouble to
coUatc Dr. Smith’s and Mr. ToIand.s history, he will at once
perceive that he has made use of the whole of Toland’s notes
and materials, without making tlie slightest acknowledgment.

Note XLIV.- Page 128.
XJmhrians under the name of Sahins. – Mr. Toland has so fully
proved the Umbrians or Sabins to be Celts, that he has left me
little to diO on this head. But as Mr. Toland’s work is only a
brief summary, I hope the reader will pardon me if I go a little
into detail. Independant of historic testimony, the very name
is Celtic. The Gaelic verbs Umbracam and Druidam are syno-
iiimous, and signify to embrace, shut up, or inclose. The
Gaelic adjectives Umbracht and Druidie are also synoniraous,
and signify, shut itp, or inclosed, i. e. “retired or contemplative
men.” Plin, lib. 3. cap, 14, derives Unibrl, ah Jmbre, i. e.
” from rain,” because, as he says, they svere the most ancient
inhabitants of Italy ; and alone survived the deluge. This is
anotlier instance of the folly of the Greeks and Romans, who
endeavoured to find the etymon of all words in their own lan-
guages. Calepine derives Uinbri from Umbra, on account of
the umbrageous nature of the country. But this is a mistake
of the same kind, for it is extreraf ly probable tliat the Romans
derived tht’ir{/;/zZ>ra, as well as ail Its derivatives from th«j Gr4eiic.
Calepine says it contained 300 cities before they were desiroycd
by the Etrusci. Were the names still remaining in aatient
countries clearly ascertained to be Celtic, duely weighed, they
would furnish perhaps the best criterion, to determine the Cel-
tic migrations, la anticnt Umhia we find tberiYer Umlcr (ho-

292 NOTES.

die Umbro, as the Italians use the Ablative Instead of the Nomina,
tive) the same with the Ilumber in England. In the same district
we find a town of the name of Narnia, the same with ]\mrn in
Scotland. Here ,,e also find a man of the name of Tages (Gallice
Tagh or Tadgh, the same name as that of the grand father of
Fingal) of whom Cicero, de divinatione, lib. 2, gives the follow-
ing account. Tages Quidam dicitur, in agro Torquiniensi,
quum terra araretur, et sulcus altius impressus, extitisse repente,
€t eum alTatus esse qui arabat, &c. i. e. ” When a man was
plowing in the Tarquinian field, and had drawn a deep furrow,
a certain one Tages is said to have started up suddenly, and ad-
dressed him.” But this Tr/,e,, according to the books of the
Etrusci, is said to have had the appearance of a boy, but the
“wisdom of an old man. When the plowman, terrified at the
sight of him, had raised a loud cry, the people assembled, and
all Etruria convened in a short time to that place. Then Tages
spoke many things in the audience of the multitude, who marked
all his words, and committed them to writing. But his whole
speech was confined to the liaruspiciiiian doctrine, i. e. ” the
art of divination by the entrails of victims, &c.” Ovid. lib. 15.
Nctam. mentions this same Tages,

Indigenae dixere Tageniy qui primus Hetruscam
Edocuit gentem casus aperire futures, &c,

i. e. ” The aboriginal inhabitants call him Tages, who first
taught the Tuscan nation to disclose future events.”

Were we in this manner to pervade Europe, and contrast
the names found therein, with the names in any particular dis-
trict of Britain or Ireland, we might form a tolerable conjecture
of the origin of the inhabitants. The Fir.Bolg of Ireland (Viri
Be/gki,) are unquestionably a colony from Belgic Gaul.
Caerndrvon in Walps, (p4mtalm Narbownsiy) derives its name
from Narbhontie, a town in Gallia Narboneiuis, The Taixali of
Aberdeenshire were ,.rcbab’iy from tho Tcxelni Holland. The
Fins are fre]uent in Brtnn and Ireland, and on the Baltic we
find a \,liole diUrict (Finlan J) bearing their came. Tacitus (/«?

NOTES. 293

Morib, Gernu cap. 15. gives a particular description of these
Fenni or Finni, Nor is this mode of reasoning, if kopt within
reasonable bounds, either fanciful or hypothetical. We know
for certain that British colonists have carried British names to
erery quarter of the globe, particularly to America and the
West Indies. Were all authentic history lost, still the identity
of these names, with names still remaining in Britain, would
clearly establish their origin. Mankind in all ages have evinced
the strongest attachment to the names of their progenitors, bene-
factors, deities, and native soil, and these they have generally
carried along with them, and preserved under every dilHculf/
and danger.

Note XLV.- Page 129.

O patron ofSoracte,shigk abodes, Sfc, – Within the country of
antient Umhria stood the celebrated hill of Soracie, Of this
word I have been able to find no satisfactory analysis. In the;
Gaelic language we find Sorach or Sotch an eminence, and the
adjective Sorachta acervated, perhaps in allusion to t)iQ Acervus
or Cam of Apollo, which stood on this hill. That the Greeks
and lloraans might render i’aQ Gaelic Sorachta in their language
Soracte is by no means improbable. What will add weight to
this conjecture is that the Greek verb Soreuo and the Gaelic
verb Soracham are synonim„ous, both signifying to acervate.
On this hill the Hirpins (see Toland,s qtiotation from Pliny)
performed their yearly sacrifice to Apollo. One of the feats
practised on these occasions by them was dancing over the fire
barefooted, for which they enjoyed many important immunities
Iby a decree of the Roman senate. These Hirpins used to be-
imear their feet with a certain ointment {see TolamVs quotation
from Varro) which rendered them invulnerable to the fire.
That such an ointment was known to the antients is beyond all
doubt. Odd, lib, 2. Fab. 1. clearly alludes to it in the follow-
ing Avords;

Turn pater ora sui sacro medicanune nati
Contigit, «Sc rapidse fecit patientia flaniniie.

294 NOTES.

f. e. .’ Then the father (Phoebus) rubbed the face of his son
(Phaethon) with a sacred ointment, and made it capable of en-
during the rapid flame.’.

I have observed, in a former note, that Dr. Smith confounds
the Gabka-bheil (jeopardy of Beal) with this juggling trick of
the Hirpins, and (p. 46) gives us a particular description of,
what he imagines, a fiery ordeal, or tryal by fire. Gabha.BJieil,
(the clutches of Beal) is a proverbial expression importing that
eTery victim devoted to that deity must be sacrificed. Though
there are not wanting instances where a victim has escaped, still
these instances are extremely rare, and hence the Gabha-Bheil
signifies the most imminent danger. Between BeVs tio9 Jires
(Ittlr dha theine Bheil) is a phrase of the very same import.
As to the Hirpins there was no ordeal at all in their case. They
“Vie,e supported at the public expence. They were no criminals,
«nd as to the effects of the fire, they were sufficiently guarded
against it by i,ae ointment before mentioned. It is vary extraor-
dinary that any man should have dreamed of an Ordeal, where
there was neither criminal, trial, nor danger. The custom itself
is, however, unquestionably Druidical, and a convincing proof
that the Umbrlans were Celts,

The only other Celtic peculiarity which I shall notice in this
district is the Etruscan god Msar, See Antient Universal Histo,
ry, vol. 18. p, 540 Sf 54′,. (,c. Several attempts have been made
to derive this god from the Hebrew ; from the Celtic Esus, &c.
The fact is the word is pure Gaelic, as any one capable of turn-
ing up a Gaelic dictionary will at once perceive. Eas, and
Easar or Aes, and Aesar (for the Gaelic orthography is not
>vell settled) are synonimoas, and signify a Cataract, and hence
jSguratively, any thing impetuous or irresistiible. It is a beauti-
tiful and appropriate emblem of the omnipotence of the deity.
This word Aes occurs frequently in Italy. Acsis, a river of
tUmhi’la, mentioned by Plhfij, lib. 3. cap. 14. Aesis, a town of
the same region, mentioned by Ptolemy. Mditm, mentioned
lay Straboy the same as the preceding. Aesinates, the iniiabi-
tftuts of the 5Rid tpwP; rUriif, Jib. 3, cnp, 14. Aemiim, a town

NOTES. 295

of the Umhri, tide Piolem. Acsa, a town of Thrace, vide Sfe,
pianum, JesamSy a rher near Crotoca, in Mdgua Gracia,
Simfm, lib. 7.

Notvvithstanding the many conjectures respecting the Titscrii
god yCsYrr, it is th€ Umbrian, or (which is the same ihing) the
Celtic yiesar, adopted by the Tuscans, the conquerors of til.’
Unihrians. The Celtic god Esus, about whom there have also-
b€erj many groundless conjecturps, is merely the Gaelic Aes, or
EaSj or Es, (for they are all the sain,) latinicaliy terminated
EsHs, Acf/hear, in the Gaelic language, still signifiGS god, and
literally means the man of the Cataract,

Note XLVI.- Page 131.

In most places of this last kiTigdom, the common people lelicve
these ohdiscs to be men tr ana formed into stones hy the magic of
the Dniids. – We find the very same idea meoiioned in the Ara,
hian Nights’. Entertainments. Druid and magician are syiioni-
mous terms, and what could be more natural, than that the
ignorant vulgar should ascribe io the magical power of the
Druids, such works as seemed to exceed human exertion. A
lloman causey through Lochar Moss, in Dumfries-shire, is still
ascribed to the magic of Michael Scott. A thousand such in-
stances mi;,lit be condescended on.

Note XLVII.- Page 131.

JVe find the practice as early as St. Patrick himself, wliQ, haVm
ing huiU the church of DonacJuPairicky ,x. – That St. Patrick
should have sanctified obelises or colosses, erected in the times
of p.agar.isra, is a very extraordinary circumstance, and deserve.
particular attention. That idolatry originated in a superstitious
respect for the dead, can hardly be doubted. Be this as it may,
we find the ancient places of worship extremely simple. Jacob
set up an obelise, or single erect stone, at Bethel. Apion ac-
cuses Moses of departing from the established custom of T7or-
shippiug at obelises. – Vide Josepkumy p. 724. – Amoag the

,06 NOTES.

Celts, obelises, or erect stones, were the only places of worship.
The obelises sanctified by St. Patrick were undoubtedly Druidi-
cal places of worship, and he could have no possible motive for
consecrating them, except that of converting them into christian
churches. On the other hand, it can hardly be imagined that
be should have been so circumscribed as to be obliged to make
use of the Druidical terapies, or that he could have done so
without the consent of the Druids. The most natural inference
is, that, seeing the Irish addicted to their idolatrous temples and
priests, St. Patrick sanctified the former, and converted the lat-
ter, making both subservient to the important purpose of propa-
gating Christianity. Indeed Mr. Toland asserts, that none came
sooner into the christian religion, or made a better figure in it,
than the Druids,

If this hypothesis is well founded, it clears up some points ia
our ecclesiastical history, on which we have hitherto little more
than mere conjecture. There appears to have been a studied de-
sign in St. Patrick and his successors, to consign the very name
of Druid to oblivion. It is not mentioned (as far as I know)
“by any ecclesiastical writer from the 4th to the 15th century,
though it still existed in the Gaelic language, and in the nume-
rous names of temples, and other places denominated from the
Druids. This policy of the early ecclesiastics in Ireland was
founded on expediency, as well as necessity. The name Druid
was one of the very first respect among the Celts, It was no-
where mention(,d in the sacred records, and there v,as conse-
quently no express scriptural command to eradicate this parti-
cular species of idolatry. To remedy (his defect, the name ap-
pears to have been altered to 3Iagi and Chaldci (Magicians ar.d
Chaldees), names strictly synonimous with that of Druid, and
clearly condemned in scripture, Innes, in his Critical Essay
(as has been noticed in a former note), vol, 2. p. 464. says –
” in the Latin lives of St. Patrick and Columba, the Druids are
called Magi.-” In Adomnan’s Life of St, Coi’umba, we have an
account of an interview betwixt that saint and a few of these
Magi, at the palace or castle of Brudi, king of the Picts, in th«

NOTi:s. 297

following words: – ” Sed et illud iioa est tacenduni quod alu
quando de tali incomparabili vocis ejus Sublevatione juxfa Hru-
daei regis munitionem, accidisse tradilnr. Nam ipst’ sauctus cum
paucis fratribus extra Regis muuitioncm duni Tospcrlinales Dei
lauiJes ex more cekbraret, quidam Magi ad eos propius accedeji-
tes in quantum poterant prohibere coiiabantur, ne dc ore fpso-
rum divinae laudis soniis inter Gentiles audiretur. Quo com-
perto sanctus quadragesimum, et quartura Psalmum decantare
Cffipit. Mirumque in modum ita vox ejus in aere eodem mo-
mento instsir alicujus forrnidabilis tonitrui elevata est, ut et rex
et populus intolerabili essent pavore perterriti.” i. e. ” Nor must
I omit to mention that incomparable elevation of his voice, which
is said to have happened near the castle of King Brudi. For
when the saint, with a few of his brethren, according to custom,
Mas celebrating the evening praises of God, certain Magi ap-
proaching near to ibera, did every thing in their power to pre-
vent the Gentiles from hearing the sound of the divine praisp.
which proceeded from their mouthe. Which being known, the
saint began to sing the fortieth and fourth psalm. And his
voice was, in a wonderful manner, in that very moment, elevated
into the air, like a formidable clap of. thunder, so that the king
and the people were struck with intolerable fear.” Messingham,
in his life of the same saint, lib. 1. ch. 13. p. 168, gives us a si-
milar instance in these words, – ” Eodem in tempore vir vene-
randus qiiandara a Broichano Mago Scoticam postulavit servam,
humanitatis miseratione liberandam – i. e. ” At the same tima
i\iQ venerable man (St. Columba) demanded from Broichanus the
lijogician, a certain Scottish maid-servant, whom, from motives
of pity and humanity, he intended to set at liberty.” It is wor-
thy of remark, that St. Columba converted and baptized Brudi
ia 565, at which time the Magi or Druids before.meutioned were
fouisd :it his court – a clear proof that the Romans did not com-
pletely extirpate the Druids in Britain, as generally imagined.

Merlin the ivild, commonly called Merlinus Calcdofiius, aa
inhabitant of Alcluid, and unquestionably a Druid, flourished
about 570. The English Merlin, or Merlin the Magician, also,

29, NOTES.

a Druid, lived about a century earlier. Of the Scottish Merlsn,
or Merlin the wild, we have a curious account furnished by
Pinkarton (vol. 2. page 275 – 276) in a quotation from Geofrey
of Monmouth : –

Dux Venedatorcm Feridunis Bella gcrebat
Contra GiicnHoIomn, Scotirc qui regna regebat –
Venerat Merlinus ad belimn cam Feridnro,
Ilex q«Of|ne Cambrornm Ro<»arcj.5. –
tcce victori venit obvins alter ab aula
Rodarclii KcgisCanibrorum, qui Gai)iedatn
Diixerat uxoiem, formosa conJTjge felix ;

Blerlini soror ista fuit •

Aferriqae jubet vcstcs, Volacrcs qne, Canesqne,
Qaadi npedcaque citos, aiiniTn, geanjiasque micantes,
Pocosa q«7j sculpsit Guielandi,s in tvrhe sigciii.
Singula prsptendit Vati Rodaichiis et oSert,- .
Corj-uet iirbs Acelud, Sec.

i, e, ,’ Feridurus general of the Tenedati, made war on Gueno-
lous king of the Scots. Merlin had accompanied Ftridurus to
the war, as also Rodarchus king of the Cambri, Lo there
comes another from the hall of Rodarchus king of the Canabri,
to meet the conqueror, who had rr.arried Ganieda, and was happy
in a beautiful wife. She was the sister of Merlin. And Ro.
darchijs orders garments, hawks, hounds, swifc steeds, goId>
shinicg gems, and goblets which Gaitlandus had carved in the
city Sigeni, to be brought, and presents and oilers them one by
one to the prophet. The city Alcluid shall fall,” &c.

We thus see that Merlin the wild (Merlinus Sylvestrls) was
no mean person. His sister Ganieda was nobly married, and
he himself for his vaticination, which was a prominent part of the
Druidical office, received a present which might have suited aa
emperor. It were an easy matter to trace Druids even down to
the present day under the different denominations of warlocks,
magicians, inchanlers, charmers, fortune tellers, jugglers, &c.
But this is unnecessary, as it must occur to every intelligent
person, that Druidism, though it has changed its namo, is not
extinct, but is more or leis practised ,n every district, and almost

NOTES. ,§9

in every family of the kingdom. So far respecting the Druids
under the name of Magi,

In treating of the Druids under the name of Ckaldees, or as it
has been corruptly written Culdtes, and by t!ie monks latinized
Cuida’i, Keidcci, and Kelidccz, I am well aware ihct I have many
difSculties to contend with. Or.e party maintain that they wers
presbyterian, and another that they were episcopalian. Their
origin is totally unl,nown, and even the very name has alTorded
scope for more than a dozen etymoiogieSj all equally plausible,
and equally unsatisfactory. la this state of things, it will
readily be admitted, that the origin, name, and history of the
Culdees, are involved in great obscurity. Pinkarton, (vol. 2,
paj,e S72 and 273) asserts that they were all Irish, and conse-
quently they must have received Christianity from St. Patrick or
his successors. But It h admitted, en all hands, that they were
la, Ecclesiastics, a circurasfance which could not have happened,
had ihey been regularly ordained by St, Patrick or his succes-
cessors, and sent Xo convert Scotland. To whatever side we
turn ourselves, if we follow the common opinion respecting (be
Culdees, we find uncertainty and inconsistency. But if once
we admit that the Druids were Culdees, every difiiculty vanish-
es, and the simple fact is, that St. Patrick availed himself of the
aid of the Druids to convert Ireiand. That, in compliance with
popular prejudice, he sanctified and made use of as many of their
temples, as suited his purpose. That these Druids were kept in
the subordinate station of lay ecclesiastics, and not admitted
to the dignity of regular clergy. That by degrees they returned
to Scotland, from which they had been expelled by the Romans,
and formed settlements to themselves independent of St. Patrick
and his succsssors, and maintained themselves in these set He.
ments till finally supplanted by the regular clergy about lh«
middle of the 13lh century.

In the register of the priory of St. Andrews, we have some
important facts relative to the Culdees. ” Ilabebantur taraen in
Ecclesia S’ti Andrea?, quota et quanta tunc erat, trtdecim per
jucce,gionerai camalenj quos K,kdeQS appellant, qui secundum

;300 NOTES.

suam jestlniatlonem, et hominum traditionem, magi’s quam se-
cuodLim sanctorum statuta patrum, ylvebanr.” i. e. .’ Yet there
were in the church of St. Aadrew, such as it then was, thirteen
by carnal succession, whom they call Keldees, who lived accord-
ing to thfcir own opinion, and the tradition of men, rather than
according to the statutes of the lioly fathers.”

And further, ” Personaj autem supra memoratai redditus et pos-
SGssiones proprias habebant ; quas cum e vita det-ederent, uxores
eOrum, quas publice tenebant, filii quoquo, ve! filiae, propinqui
vel Generi, inter se dividebant.” i. e. ” But the persons be-
fore mentioned (the Keldees) had proper incomes and posses-
sions, which, when they died, their wi?es v»hora th.’-y kept pub-
licly, their sons, daughters, relations, or sons.iu.law, divided
among themselves.”

The dedication of this Culdee settlement, then named KilrU
Qiionty i. c. ” the temple on the kwg”s mount,,’ to St. Andrew, is
narrated in the said register as follows. ” Locum vero ipsum nota
evidcnte designatum, ex magna devotione septies circumierunt.
Rex Jluitgus, et ipse Episcopus liegulus, et Viri Cajteri, circui-
tione et perambulatione ita di?posita septena prjKcessit Episcopus
llegulus super caput suum cum omni veneratione Reliquias S’ti
Apostoli deferens, sue sacro conventu Episcopum cum Comiti-
bus ilymuidicis sequente. lUos vero devotus secutus Rex Hun,
gus est pedentim, Deo intimas preces et gratias fundens devotas,
Regem vero secuti sunt viri optimates, totius regni nobiliores.
Ita locum ipsum Deo commendarunt, et pace regia munierunt.
In signura vero Regise commendationis, per loci circuitum divi-
sim 12 Cruces lapideas viri Sancti erexerunt; et Deo casli hu-
militer suppllcabant, nt omnes in illo loco mente devota, et pura
intenlione oratlonis suae petitlonis elTicaciam obtinerent.” i. e,
” They, seven times, with great devotion, circumambulated this
place, marked out with distinct limits. King Huogus, Bishop
Regulus himself, aiul thfcir other attendants, ordered the manner
of this sevenfold circumambulation as follows. Bishop Regulus
went first, carrying on his head, with a!l due veneration, tha
relics of the holy apoitle; the sagrtd couvqntiou foUg,viyg thji

bishop, -with their attendants, singing hymns. The davout King
Ilungus (Ungust) followed them on foot pouring out sincer©
prayers and devout thanks to God. The king was followed by
the grandees and nobles of the whole kingdom. In this manner
they commended the place to God, and fortified it by royal
permission. As a monument of this royal commendation, these
holy men erected twelve stone crosses, at equal distances, encir-
cling the place, and humbly supplicated God, that all in that
place, who had holy minds and pure hearts, might obtain the
fulfilment of their prayer and supplication.’.

This dedication of Kilrimont, a Culdee establishment, took
place about 825 ; nor did the Culdees at this time leave i’t ; for
we are further told – Kelideinamque in angulo quodam ecclesice,
quce modica nimis eraty suum qfficium more suo celebrabant, i, c.
.’ For the Culdees performed divine worship in a certain corner
of the church, after their own manner, which was too small for
their accommodation..’ The register further adds – Nee potuit
tanium auferri malum, usque ad tempus felicis mernorice Regis
Alexandria i. e. ” Nor could this evil be removed till the time
of King Alexander, of blessed memory.’. This Alexander died
in 1124, so that the church of Kilrimont presents the singular
phaenomenon of the regular clergy and Culdees performing divine
worship in one, and the same church, during nearly 300 years.

After the relentless massacre of the Druids in the island of
Mona (Anglesey), mentioned by Tacitus, in his annals, lib. 14.
ch. 5. they appear to have k«pt carefully out of the way. Th«
Roman authors make no mention of them afterwards, till Am-
mianus Marcellinus found them in the Isl« of Man. In Cassar’s
time (vide lib. 6. cap. 13.) the chief school of the Druids was iu
Britain; and he hence infers, that Druidism was invented in.
Britain, and thence translated into Gaul. Pliny (lib. 30. cap. 1.)
hazards a conjecture equally groundless, when he tells us, ” that
Britain celebrated Magic (synonimous with Druidism) in such
an astonishing manner, and with such great ceremonies, that it
appears to have given it to the Persians.” The fact is, that th«
Druidi fe»a«l the turbulent and warlike state ©f Gaul ill iwited

502 KOTES.

to their contemplative studies, and transferred their chief school
to Britain. On the invasion of Britain by the Romans, they
irould doubtless use the same precaution, and transfer their re-
cords and chief establishment to Ireland. This sufficiently ac-
counts for the number and antiquity of the Irish manuscripts.
The Irish were Celts, and certainly had their Druidical establish-
ments long prior to this period. And there cannot remain a
doubt that the British Druids found Ireland their last asylum.
That an order of men, so numerous, so learned, and so highly
▼enerated by all ranks, should have totally disappeared, on the
arrival of St. Patrick, is not once to be imagined. On the testi.
mony of Giraldus Cambrensis (quoted by Mr. Toland in the
6th note on his first letter) there never was a martyr to Chris-
tianity in Ireland, so that the Druids did not fall victims to the
new crder of things. Another proof that the Druids made
little or no resistance to Christianity is St. Patrick’s burning
from 180 to 300 -volumes of their records, as related by Dudley
Forbes and Dr. Kennedy, see Toland’s history, page 105.
That any individual, however respectable, could have compelled
the Druids to give up their records, in order to be destroyed, 19
not once to be imagined ; and this great sacrifice must be consi-
dered as a voluntary act of piety, similar to that recorded in thei
Acts oi the Apostles, ch, 19. v. 19. St, Patrick’s priECursorj
Palladius (see Pinkarton, v. 2. p. 263.) was wholly unsuccess-
ful in his mission to Ireland, and found it in a state of Paganism.
St. Patrick’s success was, probably, in a great measure, owing
to his using the Druidical temples as places of worship, and gain-
ing over to his interest the Druids, the then established clergy,
by which means the deeply rooted pr’,judices of the nation were
in a great measure complied with, and at any rate not directly
thwarted. The numerous places of christian worship still be-
ginning with the word KH in Ireland and Scothmd, which is the
piost appropriate Gaelic name for a temple, clearly indiccite that
they were Druidical temples appropriated to the purposes of
In If eland, the Culdees seem to have risen to little or no ems-


NOTES. :,03

ncnce, being always subject to, and early incorporated with the
regular Irish clergy. It is iu Scotland that they Hjake t\.e most
conspicuous figure, where they formed themselves into sodalitiei
or fraternities, independent of the Irish clergy, or those of Jona,
Indeed, if we credit Pinkartoo, (v. 2. p. 273.) they were all
Irish, (that is, originally from Ireland) and the only clergy in-
Scotland, from the time of Colamba till the 11th century. This
period exceeds five hund rod years.

Dr. Janiieson (see his History of the Culdces) expresses a
doubt whether the Magi at the court of King J3rw</i were Druids,
but admits that they were heathcQ priests. Caesar (life. 6. cap,
21.) asserts that the Germans (Gothe) had neither priests nor
sacrifices. There is not a vestr,,e of religion throughout the
whole extent of Germany, mentioned by Tacitus, which cannot
Ije cles-rly pioved to be Druidical, end derirad ficm the Celts-
the precursors of the Gothe. So late as the begiGniiig of the 7tij
century (see note 33d), Edwin, king of rrortluimbna, a Saxon
(G,tliic) prince, when converted by Pauliniis, was attended by
his Coiji, or Archdrnid. That, therefore, the Magi, mentioned
in the Latin lives of St. Patrick and Colamba, V7ere Druids (as
mentioned by Ir.nes), can admit of no doubt.

It is equally probable that the Culdees ,7erc converted Drnids;
and if this is admitted, every difficulty Tunishf-s; e,ery thing
respecling their name, origin, and history, becomes clear and
consisteiil; but as I Lbow of i:o direct autliority t'”SU,:port this
hypothesis, and as Keith, Dalrymple, ,amiesoE, and others who
have written on the subject, have ta.ken opposite ground. I mere-
ly hazard it as a probable conjecture, and with that diffidence
which becomes a candid enquirer after truth, when traversing
uncertain ground.

Note XLVIII.- Page 87.

The teniples of the Druids, – In the Gaelic we Lave seTeral
words signifying a temple, or church, as Eaghis, l,eampulf
Daimhleacfi, Annoidy Lann, Durteach, CilL The two first are
evident corruptioni of ihQ Roman Ecksia aad Tcmplum, aiiti

Q q 2


304 NOTES.

crept into the language when Christianity WM introduced.
Daimhleach means the stone of the learned, and is a term nearly
synonimous mthCioch.an’Dichtor, i. e. the stone of the teacher,
Annoid is probably An.noid, i. e. the congregation or assembly,
Durteach (Durum Tectum) means the hard or durable house,
religious edifices being built more durably than ordinary houses,
which were constructed of wattles and mud, hann is rather
peculiar io the Welch dialect. D7/, or Ceal, pronounced Kee!,
radically signifies the heaven, or sky, and hence figuratively,
any thing circular. It is synonimous with the Latin Ccelum,
and the Greek Coilon, and perhaps the radix of both. When
figuratively taken to signify a place of worship, it is also the ra-
dix of the Latin Cella. Cill apppears to have been by far the
most appropriate and general word for a Druidical temple, and
it every where occurs. Such places as bear the name of temples,
are mere translations of this word.

Note XLIX.- Page 1 ST.

Commonly tivo temples stand near each other, for reasons you
will see in our history, – This history Mr. Toland did not live to
accomplish; and Dr. Smith, who servilely follows Mr. Toland
io every point of importance, must have been well aware of this
passage, though he neither attempts io solve the diiSculty, nor
so much as once alludes to it. In whatever manner Toland
might have explained the matter, it is evident he was well ac-
quainted with it. He was the first who pointed out the circum-
stance ; and no man else, up to the present day, has attempted
a solution of it.

In examining the Druidic antiquities, and particularly theip
circles, it cannot be too frequently, nor too strongly inculcated,
that they were the supreme judges in all matters, civil as well as
religious, and from their decision there lay no appeal. Caesar
(lib. 6. cap. 13.) is extremely particular on this head; nor is
he contradicted by any author, ancient or modern. Acting in
this double capacity of priests and civil magistrates, it was na-
turally to be expected that they would be provided with ajudi-


NOTES. 30-5

clal, as well as a religious circle. Whoever mmutely examine.
the Druidical circles will find this distinction well founded. The
sun (Beal or Bealan) was the principal Celtic deity, and the
cast, or sun rising, the most honourable point. The religious
circleoccupied this honourableposition and the judicial one stood
commonly due west of it. The former was generally larger and
more magnificent than the latter. The temple consisted of on«
circle of erett stones. In the centre stood an erect stone larger
than any of the rest. Near this, and generally due cast of it,
lay an oblong flat stone, which served the purpose of an altar.
On thp north point, which was the door or entry, stood a trough,
filled with water, with which every one who entered was sprink,
led. It appears to have been the same as the Greek Perirrante,
rion, and to have served exactly the same purpose. See Pctter,s
Antiquities of Greece, v. 1. p. 176. These circles consist of 7,
12, or 19 erect stones, all of which are supposed to have had
their respective astronomical references, to the number of days
in the week, the signs of the Zodiac, or the cycle of the moon.
These particulars may suffice as the outlines of a Druidical temple.
Though the judicial circle in the exterior differed nothing frOM
the temple, in the interior it differed widely. There was commonly
no obelise in the centre, no altar, no perirranterion, or sprink-
ling trough. It consisted always of ont , sometimes of two, and
when the establishment was of great magnificence, of three septs
or divisions, being three circles all terminating in the southera
point, and intended to accommodate the three different ranks ot
the Celts, whom Caesar (lib. 6. cap. 13.) divides into Druides
equites, and plehs – i. e. Druids, nobility, and commoni. Am
ignorance of, or want of attention to the above distinction, hat
led those who are Celtic.mad to imagine that all these circle.
were Druidic temples, whilst Pinkarton, who was certainly
Goihic-mad, asserts that they were, without exception, vGothif
courts of justice. , Both are extreme!, and truth lies between.
This diversity of opinion obliges me to treat the Druidic circles
in two different points of view- Irao, as temples; 2dp, as courts
• f justice.


306 NOTES.


When Piukarton asserts (7. 1. p. 405.) that Druidisrn was of
Phoenician origin, and again, (ibid. p. 407.) that the Druids had
no temples, but worshipped in groves, he shews his utter igno-
rance of ancient history. The Carthagenians (see HnnVs Re-
ligious Rites and (Jeremonies, p. 28.), the Tjiians, the Phtcni-
cians, the Philistines, and Canaanites, v. ere one and the same
people, and had one and the same religion. The Moabites,
Phccnicians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and even the Hebrews, were
worshippers of Baal. See Browii,s Dictionary 0f the Bihle, (p.
!f56.) The worship of Baal (ihe same as the Celtic Beal) was
the faTOurite sin of the jews; and hence, in the sacred records,
which I consider as the best of ail evidence, many interesting
particulars are preserred respecting this worship. Moies, at the
foot of Mount Sinai, bnilt an altar, and surrciinded it wifh twelve
itonc pillars. See Exodus, ch. 24. v. 4. As Moses had hither.
to received no express command respecting a temple, it may be
presumed he took the model of this one from his Ethnic neigh-
Ix,crs. It is worthy of remark, that by far the greater number
of the Druidical temples are surrounded hj twelve pillars. The
children of Israel served Baalim. – Jiidg. 2. 11. They served
Baal and Ashtaroth – i. e. the sun and the moon. – Judg, 2, IS.
They served Baalim and the groves. – JvA,, 3. 7. The altar
and grove of Baal are mentioned Jiidgis 6. ,5. The Israelites
serve Baalim and Ashtaroth, and a long list of other gods. –
Judg. 10. 6. The Israelites put away Baalim and Ashtaroth.-
1st Sam. 7. 4. Ahab reared up an altar for Baal in the House
of Baal, which he had built at Samaria. This is, at least, one
instance of a temple. Jehu decoyed the priests and worshippers
of Baal into the house of Baal, and slew them. He broke down
the images of BaaV, and the house of Baal, and went to the city
of the house of Baal. In this instance we find Baal had not only
a house, (temple) but even a city dedicated to him. Many
mch instances might be condescended on.

Moses, who certainly knew something of the matter, ccm-
iaa;ijl5 the jews ta d,stfoy tkeir aiUus, io break down their


NOTES. 307

images (literally pillars), to cut down their gror,S, and to bum
their graTen images with fire. – Deutron, 7. 5. He repeats the
same command in these words – ” ye shall utterly destroy all the
places wherein the nations which ye sLall possess served their
gods upon the high mountains, upon the hills, and under every
green tree. And you shall overthrow their altars, and break
their pillars, and burn their groves with fire ; and you shall hew
down the graven k-.r,gej of their gods, and destroy the names of
them out of that place.” – Deut, 12. 2 and 3. The temples of
Baal, here mentioned, were erected by the Phoenicians in tiie
land of Canaan, prior to the entry of the children of Israel ; and
had Mcses been interdiciicg the temples of the Druids in Great
Britain or Ireland, he could not have given a more exact des-
cription of them. The groves, the pillars or erect stones, the
altars, the images, and even their situation on eminences, are all

That groves were the most anticnt places of worship, is suffi-
ciently evident from the sacred records. Abraham, after his
departure from Ur of the Chaldees, built an altar in a grove.
The Sun, under many different names, was the earliest, as well
£S the most general object of idolatrous worship. He was ori-
ginally worshipped in groves, and for this reason the jews were
prohibited (Deut. 12 – 3, 16, 21) from planting groves near
their altars, and commanded to cut down the groves of the Ca-
naanites. To whatever nation we turn our eyes, we find groves
the first places of worship ; but the simplicity of the early ages
soon yielded to a more splendid order of things, and the magni-
ficence of t]\Q temples kept pace with the progress of the arts.
In cities, groves were not to be obtained, and were often dispens-
ed with. The Druids, of all the worshippers of Baal, retained
their groves to the last. This has made Finkarton conclude that
they worshipped in groves, and had no temples at all. Tha
passage in Tacitus, on which he founds this erroneous hypothe-
sis, is as follows : – Igitur Monam Insulam incolis validam, et r,-
cfptaculum perfagarmn aggredi parat navesque fahricatur piano
iU\:gq, adursus hrevc littus €i incertum, ,icp&dites cquilu vada


308 NOTES.

secuti, ant altiores inter undas adnantes equis transmisere. Sttu
bat pro littore dioersa acies dcnsa armis, virisque inter cur santihus
/(Bminis, in modum furiarum, vesle feraliy crinibus dejectis faces
pro’ferebant. Djuidceque circum, preces diras suhlatis ad cceliim
manibus fundentes, novitate aspectus perculere militem uty quasi
hcpreniibus memhris, immobile corpus vulneribus prceberent,
Dein cohortationibus ducis, et se ipsi stimulantes, ne muliebre et
fanaiicum agmen pavescerent, inferunt signa, sternunt que obvi»
OS, et igni sua involvunt, Prcesidium posthac impositwn victis,
excisique luci scevis superstitionibus sacri. Nam cruore captivo
cdolere aras, et hominum Jibris consulere Deos fas habebani.–
Annal. lib. 14. cap. 5. i. e. ” Therefore he prepares to attack
the island Mona (Aoglesy), powerful in inhabitants, and a re-
ceptacle of deserters. He builds flat.bottomed ships, suited to
the shallow and uncertain channel. The infantry following the
cavalry, passed ovtr that part which was fordable, but where the
water was too deep, laid hold of the horses, and by their aid
iwam over. A motley army stood on the shore, thick with
arms, and women running up and down among the men, with
mournful garments, and loose hair, in the manner of furies, car-
ried torches before them. The Druids also, with their hands
lifted up towards heaven, and pouring out their direful prayers,
so terrified the soldiers with the novelty of the sight, that, as if
they had been deprived of the use of their limbs, they suffered
themselves to be wounded without resistance. But being ex-
horted by their general, and mutually encouraging each other
not to be terrified by a womanish and fanatic rabble, they ad,
fance the standards, defeat their opponents, and involve ithem
in their own fires, A guard was placed on the conquered, and
the groves, sacred to cruel superstitions, were cut down; for
they held it lawful to sacrifice captives on their altars, and to
consult the gods by human entrails.”

Tacitus does not here mention the temples of the Druids, but
he particularly mentions the groves, altars, and human sacrifices,
The truth is, some authors mention one appendage, and others
aiiolhefj of the Druidlc worship. Cwsarj lib, Q. cap. 17, takes


NOTES. 309

ao notice of the groves or altars, but particularly mentions the
temples. Multis in civitatlbm harum rerum extructos tumulos
locis consecratis conspicari licet- i. e. ” In many cities, yon may
see heaps of these (warlike spoils)piled up in consecrated places.”
It was not likely that the temples in cities would have the ap.
pendage of a grove annexed to thera. Tacitus, however, in the
above cited passage, puts the existence of the altars of the Druids
beyond a doubt, and has thus subverted one matedal part of the
Piukartcnian system. He gravely tells us (vol. 1. p. 414.) that
these cross stones (altars) were conveniences to the chiefs to get
up and s[,eak to the people. Tacitus assigns them a very differ-
ent use; and his opinion is not only founded on fact, but coin.
cides with that of every impartial enquirer who has written oa
these monuments of antiquity. If, however, Mr. Pinkarton will
lake the trouble to look into Chambers’ Cyclopedia, or any topo-
graphical description of Anglesey, he will find that their altars,
temples, and rocking stones still remain. Tacitus gives us au
account of what was demolished; and Mr. Pinkarton hence in-
fers that nothing more existed. But here, on the evidence of
Tacitus, Mr. Pinkarton is evidently wrong, for the altars, though
mentioned, are not said to have been demolished ; and if the al-
tars were spared, why might not the temples also ?

A similar, instance occurs in the parish of Holytcood, which
derives its name from a Druidical grove, Holywood, or as it is
pronounced by the Tulgar Haly IVld, is merely the Gaelic Alia
Feadh, Saxonically pronounced, and signifies the holy grove.
John de Hohjivood, by the Monks commonly called Joannes dc
Sccro Bosco, also derived his name from this grove. In the me-
mory of some persons still alive, the vestiges of the grove could
be clearly traced. The roots of the trees are said still to remain,
and the circle of stones forming the temple in the interior of tha
grove is still intire. Now though this grove has been transmitted
to posterity in the name of the parish, as well as in that of if o an.
nes de Sacro Bosco, there is no tradition whatever concernixig
the temple which it contains. The grove here, like that at An-
jjlesey, has fallen before the axe, or yielded to time. Bat such

K r


• ,iO NOTES.

is the fate of things, that both these groves hare been outlived
by their respective temples, concerning vrhich history and tradi-
tion are equally silent. In the present case, no quibbling wii’
avail Mr. Pinkarton. This sacred or holy grove must have con.
tained a religious, not a judicial circle ; and I defy Pinkarton,
or any man else, to point out a Gothic judicial circle, surround-
ed by a sacred grove. See Statistical Account of Holywood,

Many of these circles still bear the name of temples, temple,
stones, and temple.lands. There is a temple.land in the parish
of Closeburn, another in the parish of Lochmaben, at the junc,
tion of the Kinnel and Ae, The Temple ofKineffh the name of
a farm on the estate of Fernyflat, near Bervie. The Temple,
stones is the name of a small Druidical temple on the farm of
Auchlee, near Ehick. A hundred such instances might be con.
descended on, but these may suffice as a specimen, being only
translations from the Gaelic. The most general name for a tem-
ple in the Gaelic, is Cealov Cil, pronounced Keel or Kit. These
kills abound every where, and hy far the greater part have beea
superseded by christian churches. In this list I shall only men-
tion Kilbarchan, Kilberry, Kilbirny, Kilbrandm, Kilbride, KiL
ealmonell, Kilchoman, Kilchrenan, Kilconqnhar, Kildonan, KiL
drummy, Kilfinan, Kiljinkhen, Kilallan, Killarrow, Kilbrandon,
Ki’lean, Killearn, Killearnan, Killin, Kilmadan, Kilmadock,
Kihnalcom, Kilmanivaigt Kilmarnock, Kilmartin, Kilmaurs, Kil.
vneny, Kilmorack, Kilmore, Kilmorich, Kilmory, Kilmtdr, Kiln
ninian, Kilnifiver, Kilpatricky Kilrenni/, Kilspindie, Kilsyth,
KUtarlity, Kiltearn, Kilcicewen, Kilwinning. These are all
parishes, which have derived their names from Druidical tem-
ples, in the same manner as Ilolijicood took its name from the
sacred grove, and though in most of them the zeal of Christians
has left no vestige of Druidism, still as much remains as will il.
lustrate the truth of this position. In the parish of Kilbarchan,
two miles west of the village, is an oval stone, 22 feet long, 19
broad, and 12 high, containing above 3000 solid feet. It still
bears the name Clock o Drich, (Cloch an Druid h) i. e. ‘« the
stone of the Druids.” This was uiuloubtedly a rocking stone


NOTES. 311

made use of by the Druids in their judicial capacity, and Kilbar.
chan, with the transposition of the letter r, rendered Kilbrathan
or Kilbrachan, would signify the circle of judgment. The pa-
rish of Kilmorach still contains many Druidical circles. Kiliar.
lity also contains a few Druidical circles. In the parish of
Kittearn is an oval or elliptical temple bearing a striking resem-
blance to Stonehenge, though on a smaller scale. To this list I
may add the parish of Keils in Galloway where a rocking stone
about 10 ton weight still remains.

In Ireland these Kills are also numerous, as Kiikenn,>, KiL
learney, Kiidare, ,,c. This last literally signifies, the temple of
rove. In Wales these temples are generally known by the
name of Kerig.y.Drydion – i. e. ” the stones of the Druids,” or
Maen Amber – i. e. the Holy Stones, These temples are nume-
rous over all the Celtic districts; and such is their peculiarity,
that he who has seen one, may form a correct idea of the whole.
The reader may think I have been unnecessarily minute in
proving these circles of stones to be Druidical temples, but it
was necessary, as Mr. Pinkarton has denied that there was ever
a Druid in North Britain or Ireland. But if we find the very
same monuments in both thtse kingdoms, which we find in Gaul
and Wales, countries confessedly Druidical, it is impossible to
ascribe them to any other than the Druids. Indeed Pinkartoa
himself (vol. 1. p. 415.) is reluctantly obliged to admit, that
some of these circles might he temples of small deities; and as
this is all I am contending for, it is unnecessary to enlarge far-
ther on this head. In a philological point of view, it may, how-
ever, be necessary to point out the great affinity betwixt the
Gaelic Ccal or Cily and the Hebrew Chil. Reland defines Chil
io be Protelchisma, or Spatium antitnurale, occupying the space
betwixt the mount of the temple and the court of the women.
He also states that neither the Gentiles, nor those polluted by the
dead, entered this Chil. Lighffoot gives nearly the same defini-
tion, adding that Chil was ten cubits broad, divided from tha
court of the Gentiles by a fence ten hand-breadthe in height.
Chil wag that space within the court of the Gentiles, which imme-

R r 2


312 NOTES.

diately surrounded the mount of the femple, and in no matertar
circumstance differed from the Gaelic Cil, which denoted the
circle enclosing the tetnples of the Druids.


As the Druids were the ministers of religion, and at the same
time the supreme judges in civil causes, it is extremely probable
that they had their judicial, as well as their religious circles.
On any other hypothesis it would be difficult to account for two
Druidical circles generally being found near each other. For
the purpose of religion one was sufficient. Nor is it once to be
imagined that men of such pretended sanctity should throw open
their temples to be profaned by the admission of all ranks for
the administration of justice.

Independent of these considerations, “we find a characteristic
difference in the Druidical circles. Many of them are still tra-
ditionally reported to have been, and still bear the name of tem-
ples. These are still regarded by the vulgar with a degree of
superstitious veneration. Ask the meanest day-labourer what
the large circle of stones at Bowertree Bush, near Aberdeen,
had been – he will immediately answer, that it was a place of
• worship. Mr. Robertson, of Struan, last year wished to demo-
lish a Druidical circle on his estate, named Cluan Beg (the little
enclosure or temple), but his seryants, rather than commit what
they deemed sacrilege, chose to be dismissed his service. These
are the circles of religion, and contain the large centre stone,
the altar, the purifying trough, &c.

But the other description of circles are regarded with little or
no veneration. Concerning the smaller circle at Bowertree Bush,
tradition does not even hazard a conjecture. The same remark
will apply to the judicial circles in general. They have no cen-
tre stone, no altar, no purifying trough, &:c. and are never de.
nominated temples. They generally have no name at all, and
are frequently divided into two or three different septs or eucio-
sures, to accommodate the different ranks of the Celts, These
are the judicial circles of the Druids, and are in many instances
found intire, whilst the temples are almost, without a single ex.


NOTES. 313

eeption. mutilated and injured. I have examined above fifty
Druidical temples, but never found one of them in all respects
intire. This is easy to be accounted for. The temples being
dedicated to the purposes of religion, fell a sacrifice to tbe per-
secuting fary of the Romans, and the blind zeal of christians.
In the south of Scotland, where the religious circles are denomi,
nated Kills or Temples, the judicial circles are iJenominated
Girthe, These Girthe are numerous, such as Auld Girth, Apple
Girth, Tunder Girth, Girthon, Girthhead, &c. &c. In the He-
brides these Girthe are still more numerous, and the tradition
respecting them is, that people resorted to them for justice, and
that they served nearly the same purpose among the Celts, that
the cities of refuge did among the Jews. In all stages of society,
but more so in a savage state, man is prone to avenge his owa
wrongs; and we cannot sufficiently admire the address of the
Druids, who appointed these Girthe, or judicial circles, in the
vicinity of their temples, where their transcendant power was
sufficient to protect the injured, and check, or overawe the most
daring and powerful.

Dr. Smith, in his History of the Druids, says the Highlanders
call the rocking stones Clacha Breath- i. e. the stones of judg-
ment. But this must be a mistake ; for as no two rorking
stones are ever found together, the Highlanders would not apply
the plural Ciacha (stones) to a single stone ; bat as the rocking
stones formed an appendage to the Clacha Breath, or judicial
circles, it is not improbable that the Highlanders may have in-
cluded both under this general denomination.

In the parish of CouU there is a judicial circle, which the
writer of the statistical account terms Tamnavrie, and translates
the hill of worship. This is another striking instance of the
folly and absurdity of reckoning all the Druidical circles places
of worship. The writer thought he could not err in rendering
this circle the hill of worship, because all Druidical circles were,
according to the common opinion, places of worship. But th«
fact is, the real name is Tom.na,vraij, being the common pro-
nunciation of the G-ktWz Tom,na,Bhraith, which signifies tjiehill


814 NOTES.

of judgment. In (he word Bhraith, Bh is pronounced F, and
ZA final is quiescent. This is another incontroyertible instance
that the Druids liad judicial circles, as well as religious ones.

In the parish of Closcburn, on a farm named the Cairn, within
my recollection, there existed the Cairn on the top of the hill to
the west of the farm steading. A few of the temple stones re-
mained immediately behind the dwelling-house. The Auld
Girth is situated at the eastern extremity of the farm, and gires
name to a small bridge there, as well as to a farm in the Yicinity.
The new Girth, or judicial circle, stood on the north side of the
hill, on which the Cairn is situated, and near a small stream
named Clacharie, or Clachawrie Burn. It is easy here to trace
the affinity of this word to the before-mentioned Tom.na-vrie.
It is Clacha,vrie, with the Saxon iv substituted for the Gaelic
Ik, equivalent to v, conformable to the dialect of that district.
The word is Clacha Bhraith (the same with Dr. Smith’s C/acha
Breath) pronounced Clacha vray or wray, and signifies the stones
of judgment. Whoever wishes to see a Druidical judicial circle,
will have his curiosity gratified at Bower-tree Bush, about mid-
wny from Stonehaven to Aberdeen. The temple first catches the
eye, of which only four erect stones remain; but the judicial
circle, situated about two hundred yards west of it, and divided
into three septs, is as complete as that day it was erected.

I hope enough has been advanced to convince every unpreju-
diced man that the distinction betwixt the religious and judicial
circles of the Druids is well founded. There are another kind
of edifices which appear to combine in one both the temple and
the judicial circle, of which kind is Stonehenge, but I shall re-
serve my remarks till I have occasion to treat of this remarkable

i,ut Pinkarton has a mason, and a most imperious one too,
for denying the existence of Dru’dical temples. Cx’sar (lib. 6.
cap. 21.) givf s us an epitome of the Gorman or Gothic religion,
,am netjue Druides habent qui divinis rebus prcrsint, ncque s a
trificiis student-], e. ” for they neither have priests (Druids)
“Who preside over divine things, iipr do they offer sacrifices at


NOTES. :,1.5

ail. To such a people temples were totally useless. Tacitus,
ill his admirable treatise, l)e Moribus Cennanorum, has given a
few instances of sacred groves and human sacrifices, but these
were chiefly found among the Suevi, who were descended of the
Senoncs, The same author informs that the Marsigni ,mdi Buri{
resembled the Suevi in their language and dress, and that the
Goihini and Osi were not Germans, because the one spoke the
Gallic, and the other the Pannonian language. – De Morib,
Germ, cap, 13. Ad fine m. – CjEsar and Tacitus strictly agree,
with this difterence, that Caisar treats of the customs of the Ger-
mans, in contradistinction to those of the Gauls, whilst Tacitus
takes Germany m toto, and gives us an account, not only of the
customs of the Germans, properly so called, but of the Celtic
tribes settled among them. 1 am, however, far from contending
that the Germans in all instances kept themselves untainted with
the religion of the Druids, which was admirably calculated to
impose on the human mind. Druidisra, or the worship of Baa!,
was the favourite sin of the jews, though they lived under a spe-
cial theocracy, and had the light of divine revelation to direct
them. Several of them, like the Ubii (on the testimony of
Caesar), might be Gallicis adsu§ti moribus – i. e. ” had cou-
formed to the customs of the Gauls.”

But the most prominent feature in the character of the Ger«
mans (who had neither temples nor sacrifices) is their public
meetings, in which every one had a vote. As the Germans were
contiguous to, and intermixed with the Celts, they could not fail
to remark the use of their judicial circles, and imitate them in
this particular. Pinkarton has clearly established that in Scan-
dinavia and Iceland, are found judicial circles, under the name
o( Dom- thing, nesLTly synonimous with the Gaelic Clacha Bhraith
– i. e. “■ courts of justice.” But this argument, instead of sup-
porting Mr. Pinkarton’s theory, completely subverts it. That
the Celts were the praecursors of the Gothe, he has clearly ad-
mitted ; and that the Celts had temples, whilst the Gothe had
none, is equally clear from the testimony of Caesar. The sum of
the matter is, that the Gothe or Germans, who had no sacrifices,


316 NOTES.

and, consequently, no use for temples, irailated their prtL’curs&rs,
the Celts, in the use of the judicial circle, omitting the temples
altogether, or, which is more probable, devoting such temples as
the Celts left behind them to judicial purposes. The Celts used
JIhese stone circles as temples and courts of justice; the Gothe
used them only as courts of justice.

NoteL. – Page 91.

Slonehenge, S,’c. – There has been much diversity of opinion
respecting this remarkable edifice. Some make it Roman, and
others Danish. Toland, Siukely, Grose , A’c. make it Druidical.
That it is such, is clearly evinced by the altar sixteen feet long
and four broad, and the rocking stone which still exists. It is
the most remarkable Druidicai structure in the world, aud said
to contain no less than 146 erect stones. For a full description
of Stoaehenge, see Chambers, Cydopc,dia, Siukeli/, Grose. Sfc.

The name is evidently modern, and imposed by the Saxons to
express the appearance cf the buiidicg, which is so constructed,
that the stones appear to hang or depend from one another.
StQuehenge is Saxon, and imports the hinged or hanging stone.
Most Druidlcal circles in South Britain bear the name of Maen
Amher – i. e.- ”. the holy stones,” and from the vicinity of Stone,
kenge to Ambersbury, which signifies the holy city, it is likely
the original name was 3’Iaen Amber, Th6 Welsh call it Choir
Gout – i, e, ” the great assembly.’. At Sianehenge alone, the
altar and rockiag stone are found together, and from this, with
the number of septs, some of them circular, others elliptical, it
is most probable this magnificent structure combined in one the
religious aud judicial circle. Pinkarton, with his usual gothi.
cism, reckons it the supreme court of the Briiish Beiges, The
rocking stone, hovyever, precludes his Gothic claim to this struc-
ture; for ho admits (v. 1. p. 409 & 410.) that no rocking stones
have been remarked in Scandinavia or Germany. Wormius, the
great nortiiern antiquary, did not iind a single altar in any
of the circles of Germany. Let Pinkartoa condescend oa


NOTES. 317

any Gothic judicial circle in Germaoy, with the appendages of
the altar and rocking stone, and the contest is at an end.

The loss of the original name has greatly obscured the history
of Stonehenge. Gelcossa’s temple in Ireland, (see Toland, p. 71.)
and a Druidical circle near the house of Clj/Jte, in the parish of
Kiltearn, in Scotland, are diminutive imitations of Stonehenge.
Will Pinkarton also insist that these were the supreme courts of
the British Belgce ?

Cajsar informs us (lib. 6. cap. 13.) that the chief school of the
Druids was in Britain, and that those who wished to study their
doctrines more perfectly, used to repair thither for that purpose.
Now as Stonehenge is a structure of unequalled extent aud mag-
nificence, is it not most natural to infer that it was the chief set-
tlement and school of the Druids in Britain ; aud every one will
admit that it was well situated for an easy intercourse with the
Continent, whence (Cajsar says) students resorted. If this hy-
pothesis is well founded, then the Welsh name Choir Gout – i. e.
” the great assembly, or school,” is extremely appropriate.
The Celts have always been remarkable for denominating places
or things from the use to which they were applied. Csesar (lib.
6. cap. 13.) says ” the Druids assemble in a temple (consecra-
ted place) at a certain season of the year, in the territories of the
CarHutes, which is reckoned the centre of all Gaul.” Here is
anothtr Druidical temple for Mr. Pinkarton. In the Gaelic
language Caer signifies a city, and Noid or Noit, (pronounced
AzfO a congregation or assembly. Cacr-noit, or Caer.nut, then
signifies the town of the assembly, to which the Romans added
their termination es, and formed Carnutes,

Note LI.- Page 143.
Human sacrifices offered by the Druids, ,’c. – Dr. Smith, in
his History of the Druids, has strained every nerve to prove that
they oflfercd only criminals. But this will not do. Cajsar (lib,
6. cap. 16.) is so particular on this head, as to leave not even a
shadow of doubt on the subject. ” They reckon,” says he,
” tjiose who have been taken in theft, robbery, or any other

S vS


316 NOTES.

crime, more acceptable sacrifices to the gods, but when there is
a deficiency of this description, they have recourse even to the
sacrifice of the innocent.'” Tacitus says, .’ they held it lawful
to sacrifice captives on their altars, and to consult the gods by
human fibres..’ – Annal, lib. 14. cap. 5. Pliny is sliil more se-
Tere – ” No7i satis cesiimari potest, quantum Uojnanis cicbcaiur,
qui sustulere jnonsira, in quibus hominem occide?’e relfiiiosissimum
eratf tnandi vero etiam saluberriiuum.,, – Nat. Hist. lib, 30. cap,
1. i. e. ” It cannot be sufficiently estimated how much mankind
are indebted to the Romans for destroying monsters (the Druids)
who reckoned the sacrifice of a man the greatest act of religion,
and his flesh the most salubrious food.”

There is hardly a nation on earth vpho has not, at one time or
other, offered human sacrifices. The propitiation was indeed
inadequate, but the idea was founded on the basis of moral rec-
titude. Man was the sinner, and he was the proper victim.
When, in order to appease the wrath of the deity, he oiiered
what was most dear to him, (generally his first-born) he could
not go further. Isaac was offered by substitute, as were also all
the first-born of the Jews, after the passover. Jephthah’s daugh-
ter was really sacrificed; and the whole gospel dispensation
rests on the merits of the great human sacrifice of the Messiah.
Human sacrifices among the Jews by substitute, were, no doubt,
ordained, and among the Gentiles, in reality, permitted, by an
all-wise God, that they might typify the sacrifice of Christ, the
only true, and the only sufficient propitiation for the sins of the

Note LII.-Page 143.
Cromlech, – Mr. Toland has treated the Cromlech at sonte
length, but not with his usual perspicuity. The grand distin.r
guishing feature of the Cromlech is, that it is never surrounded
by a circle of stones, but has only one obelisk standing near it.
Anotiier criterion is, that it is elevated from five to ten fevt above
the level of the ground, whereas the altars in the temples are sel-
dom, if ever, elevated above one foot. Another distinct mark


NOTES. 319

of the Cromlech Is its immense size. Many of them contain a
surface of 400 feet, whereas the altar at Stonehenge, the most
magnificent Druidica! temple now known, contains only 64 feet,
being sixteen feet in length, by four in breadth. The altar cf
Cnim-Cjitack, said by Mr, Toland to stand in the midst of
twehe obelisks, does not seem to merit the name of a Cromlech,
unless by this term he understands an altar of any size. Dr.
Smith, whose History of the Druids is only a superficial trans-
cript of Toland’s, evidently did cot know what a Cromlech was.
He mistakes the Colossus, or erect obelisk, mentioned hy To-
land, (p, 144.) at Nevern, in Pembrokeshire, for the Cromlech
itself. – See his Hist, Druids, p. 27. The erect stone was not
the Cromlech, but the image, or pedestal of the image of the
deity, to whom the sacri/ices on the Cromlech were offered. Dr.
Falle, as quoted by Toland, (p. 146.) gives a very distinct ac-
count of these Cromlechs, or (as he calls them) Pbuqucleys ; and
the quantity of ashes found near them clearly shews that they
were used as altars for sacrifice. Mr. Pinkarton (v, 1. p. 412.)
says the ,elts r.ever raised hillocks over their dead, and that the
plain Cromlech, or heap of stones, was more consonant (o their
savage indoknce. Hence we may infer that he” considered the
Cromlechs as sepulchral monuments. But will any rational man
believe that it was more difficult to erect a hillock cf earth, than
a Cromlech, maoy of which weigh above a hundred tons, and
■were besides to h’i quarried, and often transported from a con-
siderable distance ?

?.Ir. Toland has mentioned several of these Cromlechs, and 1
shall here mention a few more, Keyzler, in his Northern Antu
quiiics, mentions a stone of this kind iu ALaee, 25 feet in circum-
ference, 12| bread, and 4 thick. There is another at Lanyon,
in Wales, 19 feet long, 47 in circumference, and 2 in thickness,
resting on four pUlars, at such a distance from the ground, that
a man on horseback may easily ride under it. Its form is that
of an ellipsij, standing north and south. At I’ias Newydd, m
“Wales, is another in the form of an irregular .square, 40 feet in
circumference, and 4 in thickness, raised so high on 8.upporter«,

s. s 2,


320 NOTES.

that cows usually take shelter under it. In Great Britain and
Ireland it were easy to add to the above a numerous list, but I
shall content myself with the following quotation from Olaus
Wormius, – ” Ararxim structura apud nos varia est. Maxima ex
parte congesto ex terra constant tvmulo, in cvjus summitate trt’a
ingentia saxa, qunrtuni zlludque majus, latins ac planius, sustl-
nent,fulciunt, ac sustentant, ut instar mensa> trihus fulcris enixae
emineat.,’-i. e. ” The structure of altars with us is various.
For the most part they consist of a raised hillock of earth, on the
summit of which three huge stones sustain, prop, and support a
fourth one, larger, broader and plainer, so that it overtops
them, like a table leaning on three feet.’. Though this great an-
tiquary never found, in Scandinavia or Germany, a single altaF
■within any of the stone circles, yet the Cromlech has, in the
above passage, been accurately described. Nor is it at all won-
derful that Celtic monuments so gigantic and durable, should last
so long, though it is nearly 2500 years since the Celts were ex-
pelled from Scandinavia and the north of Germany. So far with
regard to the existence of Cromlechs.

Before we attempt to determine their use, it is necessary to
recapitulate their discriminating characteristics. The Crom-
lech was by far larger than the altars in the temples, or on the
sacred earns, and hence we may infer that it was calculated for
the oblation of a plurality of victims. All other altars were en-
circled by a sacred earn, or temple, but this was surrounded by
no sacred pale; whence we may conclude that al! might approach
it. All other altars were nearly level with the ground, but this
was elevated like a theatre, that all might behold. The 16th
chapter of the 6th book of Ccesar throws considerable light on
this point, and I shall here translate it – .’ All the nation of the
Gauls is greatly addicted to superstitions, and for that reason,
they who are afflicted by more severe diseases, and who are ex-
posed to battles or dangers, cither offer men for victim,;, or vow
that ihey will offer them, and they make use of the Druids as
ministers to offer these sacrifices, because they Ihljik the wrath
of the immortal gods cannot be appeased, unless the life of a mar.


NOTES. 321

is paid for the life of a man; and they have sacrifices of this kind
publicly instituted. Others have images of immense size, whose
members are woven of wicker work, which they fill with living
men, which being set on fire, the men enveloped in the flam. s
are burnt to death. The sacrifice of tliose who have been taken
in theft, robbery, or any other crime, they reckon more accep.
fable to the immortal gods ; but, when there is a deficiency of
this description, they have recourse to the sacrifice, even of the
innocent.” Cicsar here mentions two ways of disposing of a
plurality of victims. The first was at sacrifices publicly insti-
tuted for the purpose, where they were sacrificed in the usual
manner ; and the second was enclosing them in huge images of
basket work, where they were burnt to death. The same author
tells us (lib. 6. cap. 17.) .’ that when they have resolved on war,
they generally vow, that they will offer to Mars, whatever they
shall have taken in battle.” Tacitus (Annal. lib. 13. cap. 5.)
says they sacrificed captives on their altars.

From these authorities it is evident that the human victims
oflfered on particular occasions were numerous. The ordinary
altars in the temples could not contain above two or three vic-
tims. And from all the characteristics of the Cromlech, I think
we may infer that it was erected as an altar for these hecatombs
of human victims which were publicly oflfered. Two, and some-
times three, of these Cromlechs are often found together, as it
seems to have been a fixed rule with the Druids to make an altar
of one intire stone only. Though Toland has confounded the
Cromlechs with the other Druidical altars, and Dr. Smith has
totally mistaken them, I am decisively of opinion that they form
quite a distinct class. Ancient customs, though often modified,
or new modelled, are seldom totally eradicated, and I ara verilr
persuaded that the Cromlech on which criminals were burnt, (for
it was only when there was a deficiency of these that they sacri-
ficed the innocent) furnished the model of our present scaffolds
or platforms on which criminals are executed.

As to the name, viz. the bowing stone, it is extremely appro-
priate, and ther, can remain little doubt (hat the surroi;ndiQ|;


522 N0TE5.

multitiide kneeled down during this great public sacrifice, (on
the testimony of Caesar) the most acceptable of ail others to the
gods. Some people haTe imagined that these Cromlechs were
wsed by the Druids for astronomical purposes, and indeed, from
their size and tabularity, they were well calculatfd for the most
extensive mathematical delineations. Many of these Cromlechs
were capable of containing from one to two hundred victims;
and where three of them are found together, it is a moderate cal-
culation to say that from three to four hundred might have been
sacrificed at once. From the words of Cajsar, .’• sacrfjicia puh»
lice ifisiituia – i. e. ” sacrifices publicly instituted,” or (in other
words) ” to which ail had access,” we may infer that they had
others of a more private nature to which the multitude were not
admitted ; and from the small size of many of the Druidical tem-
ples, it is probable the multitude were never admitted within the
circle of erect stonea, but stood in the outer court, betwixt the
circle and surrounding grove. Fanciful people may imagine
what they please about these Cromlechs, but the very name is
Siofficient to establish that they were appropriated to the worship
of the gods,

Bui no such aliars Kere ever found by Olaus IVormius, iht
great northern antiquary, S)C. – Mr. Pinkarton, who abuses Mr,
Toland most unmercifully (v. 2. p. 17.) on his supposed disbe-
lief of the scriptures, dare not here enter the lists with hira. It
was certainly easy for Mr. Pinkarton to have said whether
O’Qus Wormius found altars in the Gothic circles or not. Jle
knew he must have answered in the negative, which would have
blown up his whole Gothic hypothesis. In order to slim the
matter over, and sneak out of the dilemma, he admits (v. 1« p.
409.) that no rock idols, pierced stones, rocking stones, or rock
basons, have been remarked in. Scandinavia or Germany, but
passes over the altars in profound silence. The altar is tise tree
crUerion betwixt ttie rel’gloas and judicial circle.


NOTE.?. 323

Note LIV.- Page 149.

That Mercury zras their chief god, ,’c. – All travellers hare
generally fallen into the same mistake, of tracing vestiges of
their own religion in foreign countries. Tacitus found his m
Germany. Nay the Apostle Paul himself was mistakea for
Mercury at Lycaonia. Our own christian missionaries have
found traces of Christianity in almost every quarter of the globe.
Among the Greeks and Romans, Mercury was considered as the
god of high ways ; and it was customary to erect heaps, or earns
to him, near the public roads. The Druids erected earns to
Beal; and from the resemblance of these to i\i& Mtrcurial heapsy
the Romans concluded that Mercury was the chief Celtic deity.
But though Csesar mistook Beal for Mercury, he has handed
down to us a point of much importance, when he tells us ‘. J/m-
jus sunt plurima simulacra – i. e. ” There are very many images
of this deity.” Hence it is clearly established that the Druids
had very many images of their gods.

Note LV.- Page 150.

Many of them have a cavity on the top capable to hold a pinty
,c. – This cavity on the top of one of the stones in the Druidi,
ral temples has been often noticed. It was intended to catch
the dew or rain pure from heaven. The Druids had their kol,
zi-,ater and hol, fi,,-i ,s well as the Jews, and other nations.
Among the Greeks, every one who was admitted into the tem-
ple was sprinkled with holy water. He who was not admitted
was called Behelos – i. e. ” debarred from the porch, or eiim
trance.,, The coincidence betwixt the Gaelic and Greek lan-
guages is here remarkable. In the Scots dialect of thi, Gaelic,
Bal signifies a house. In the Irish dialect, Bail has the same
signification. The Greek Bel, divested of its peculiar termina-
tion OS, signifies the porch or entrance of a house, and hence the
house itself. There is not the slightest difference, cither in sound
or signiHcation, betwixt the Irish Bail nud the Greek Bll.


324 NOTES.

Ap]non accuses Closes of departing from the primitive custom
of worshipping at ObclUksy and of erecting stone pillars, with
basons ia such a manner, that as the sun moved, his shadow
fallin<, on these basons, moved along with i.im. – Joseph, contra
Jppiuriy page 724.

Appion could not possibly describe a non. entity, and must
liave seen something resembling what he here describes; nor is
it unlikely that the Druids, as well as other Ethnic religious
sects, had vessels to catch the rellection of the heavenly bodies.
The vulgar among ourselves, even at the present day, fill a vessel
with water during an eclipse of the moon, and think they see it
more distinctly by (he reflection in the water. It is to be re-
gretted, that Dr. Smith did not advert to this primitive and sim-
ple method of bringing down the moon. It would have saved
him the trouble of ascribing telescopes to the Druids, at least
1500 years before they were invented.

“Whether the cavity before-mentioned was occasionally used
hy the Druids to catch the reflection of the heavenly bodies, I
shall not pretend to determine. But from the perforation reach-
ing from the cavity to the bottom of the pillar, whereby the wa-
ter could be drawn off at pleasure, it is evident its principal end
was to supply them with holy water, pure from hea?eQ.

Note LVI.- Page 150.

Fatal Stone, ,c. – This was the marble chair so famous in the
Scottish auuals. Mr. Toland, with great propriety, calls it the
most ancient and respected monument in the world. Its anti-
quity and existence are so well established, that it is unnecessary
for me to enlarge on either of these heads. Poor Mr. Pinkar-
ton, sensible that he could not claim it to his beloved Gothe,
has, throughout the whole of ]ihlIi:>tori/ of Scotland,hQ.rd\y once
dared to hiut at it. When any thing suits his Gothic hypothe-
.is, he grusps it tolls viribua, but when any thing makes against
it, he passes over it in profound silence. Admirable and candid
hhtorian I ! !


NOTES. 325

Note LVIl.- Page 152.

Clumnany – Signifies the iRcIosure or temple of stones. These
names are also frequent in Scotland. Clitan-Bcg and Chian-
3Ior, i. e. ” the little and large circle or temple,” stand on the
estate of Mr. R,obertson, of Strowan, near Dunkeld. In Fife,
we have Dalmemj (Dalmaine) the dale of stones, and Kilmeny,
(Cill.maine) the temple of stones. We have a parish in Perth-
shire of the name of Cluny, and another in Aberdeenshire. This
last contains three Druid ical circles. Chjne is merely a corrup-
tion of Cluan., or Cluain. Menmuir (Main Mur) – i. e. ” the
stone wall or fort,” is the name of a parish in the neighbourhood
of Brechin. Menmuir is only a different name for Caiter-thun,
With regard to Catter-thun, and the neighbouiing estate of
Stracathro, their have been many absurd etymologies. Catterm
thun, (Caitker Dun) literally means the city hill, or fort ; and
Stracaihro, (StrcUh,cathrach) means the citij straih, and is so
denominated from its vicinity to the said city.

Note LVIII.- Page 152.

RocJdng Stones. – These rocking stones are numerous over all
the Celtic districts. Mr. Mason, in his Caractaciis, has given
ts3 the vulgar tradition respecting them in the following lines :


-Behold von hu”e


And unhewen sphere of living adamant,
Which, pois’d by snagic, rests its central weight
On yonder pointed rock; firm as it seems.
Such is its strange and virtuous property,
It moves obsequious to the gentlest touch
Of him, whose breart is pure. But to a traitor,
Tho. ev’n a giant’s prowess nerv’d his arm.
It stands as fix’d as Snowdcn.

There is a remarkable rocking-stone in the parish of Kilbarch-
an, (see Note 47.) and another in the parish of Keils in Gallo-
way. There is one in the parish of Kirkmichael in Perthehire,
another at Balvaird, and a third at Dron, both in the same



326 NOTES.

county. Borlage, in his Antiquities of Cornwall, mentions a
rocking-stone, in the parish of Constantine, weighing about
750 tons, being 97 feet in circumference, and 60 across the
middle. It were easy to add to the above a numerous list, but
this is unnecessary, as no antiquarian has denied the existence
of such stones. The only point of difference has been the use to
which they were applied.

Mason, in the above quoted passage, has informed us that they
were used as ordeals to try the guilt or innocence of criminals,
and this is the prevalent opinion respecting them. They may
have, however, served some other subordinate purposes, and
from their mobility, as well as their spherical shape, were well
calculated for elucidating the motion of the earth, and other
heavenly bodies. Caesar (lib. 6. cap. 14.) says, ” they (the
Druids) teach their pupils many things concerning the stars and
their motions, concerning the size of the world and its different
parts,” &c. Now, as the Druids were, on all hands, allowed
to be well versed in astronomy and geography, it is natural to
suppose they would avail themselves of artificial aids in com-
municating their philosophy to their disciples. Of all the
Druidical monuments which have reached the present day, none
was so well calculated as the rocking~stone to supply the want
of our modern terrestrial and celestial globes. The rocking,
stone was, in fact, t)\Q world in miniature, and possessed the
motion, as well as the shape, of our modern globes. Indeed,
all the Druidical monuments appear to have had some astronomi-
cal reference. No sooner do we enter a Druidical temple, and
see (he huge central obelisk surrounded by a circle of erect
stones, than we are immediately struck with the idea of a sun-
dial, or the sun placed in the centre, and the planets revolving
around him.

Mr. PinkartoR, (vol. 1. p. 410.) with his usual Cothic con-
sistency, tells us that these stones are a lusiis naturce, a sportive
production of nature. Now, nature, it is well known, has ex-
ercised none of these sports in any of the Gothic countries, and
it is rather singular, that these sportive productions are confined


NOTES. 327

to the Celtic districts. But tlie fact is, that these stones are
rounded with the nicest skill, and poized with the exactest me-
chanism. They are always found near some Druidical edifice
of superior magnificence, and the man whose head is so gothi-
cized as to reckon them the effect of chance, need not hesitate
to pronounce St. Giles’ Church, or Lord Nelson’s Monument, a
lusus natiircel That these rocking stones were really artificial,
is clearly established by Pliny, who (lib. 34. cap. 7.) gives us
the following account of one. ” Talis et Tar ent i f actus a Ly.
sippo qiiadraginta cubiionr.n. Mirum in eo, qiiod manu, ut fe~
runt, mobilis (ea ratio libramenti) nulUs convellaiur procellis.
Id qutdem providisse et artifex dicitur, modico intervallo, wide
maximejiatum opus eratfrangi, opposite columna.”, – i. e. ‘• And
such a one, forty cubits high, was made at Tarentum, by Lysip-
pus. The wonder of this stone is, that it is said to be moveable
by a touch of the hand, (owing to the particular manner in
which it is poized), and cannot be moved by the greatest force.
Indeed, the workman is said to have guarded against this, by
opposing ?i fulcrum (prop) at a small distance, where it was ex-
posed to the blast, and most liable to be broken.” Had Pliny
been giving a description of the rocking stones in Scotland, he
could not have done it more exactly. They were, indeed, so
poized, and had so little room to vibrate, that the slightest touch
gave them all the motion of which they were capable.

Well knowing that these stones bear the most unequivocal
characteristics of art, Mr. Pinkarton, in the next breath, con-
futes himself, and tells us they are sepulchral monuments. The
instance he gives us is from AppoMonius Rhodius, who writes
that Hercules, having slain the two sons of Boreas, erected over
them two stones, one of which moves to the sonorous breath of
the north wind. Apollonius wrote the Argonautica ; and it is
well known the Argonauts, in their expedition, visited many of
the Celtic districts, and might have carried along with them the
model of these stones. Nay, what is more to the purpose, it is
most likely they carried one of these stones along with them,
for Pliny (lib. 36. cap. 15.) tells us that there is a rocking stone

T t2


328 NOTES.

(Lapkfugitivus) in the town of Cyzicura, which the Argonauts
left there. This stone was first placed in the Prytaneum, (a
place in the citadel of Athens where the magistrates and judges
held their meetings) ai»d the situation was most appropria’te, as
it was an appendage of the Druidical judicial circles. But as
this stone wished to return home, and used frequently to run
away from Prytaneum, it was at last taken to Cyzicum and fixed
down with lead. But what is still more ridiculous, the Argo-
nauts are said to have used this fugitive stone as an anchor.

All judicious men have looked on the story of Hercules and
the two sons of Boreas as a mere fable, and perhaps the story
of the fugitive stone stands on no better ground. But Mr. Pin-
karton’s drift is evident. He has admitted that no rocking
stones have been found in Scandinavia or Germany, and conse-
quently cannot appropriate them to the Gothe. He is willing,
therefore, to make them any thing, or to give them to any body,
rather than to the Celts, their true owners.

But as Mr, PInkarton considers Boreas and his two sons as
real personages, and argues accordingly, I beg leave to make
him acquainted with this same Mr, Boreas, of whose name and
lineage he appears to be totally ignorant. Mr. Boreas is an
ancient highland gentleman of above three thousand years stand-
ing. There is not one drop of Grecian blood in his veins. His
name is pure Celtic, viz. Bor.Eas – i. e. ” the strong cataract
or blast.” Hence the Greeks formed their Boreades (descend-
?vOts of Boreas) and Hyperhoraioi – i. e. ” people situated to (he
north cf the north wind.” In modern times he is more gene-
rally known by the name of the North Wiml, but even in this
name his claim to the Highlands, or north of Scotland, is evident.
Hercules was a hero, a gentleman, and a great traveller. Jle
had visited Italy, Spain, and Gaul, in all which countries he
must have been acquainted with the Celtic rites and customs.
When he slew the two sons of this ancient highland gentleman,
Mr. North ?’F<«(f (Boreas), it was extremely handsome in him to
give them a highland funeral, and to erect over them a rocking
stone, which was the most expensive and most rare of all (he


NOTES. 329

Celtic or Highland monuments. So far Hercules acted like a
Iiero and a gentleman. But Apoilonius and Plnkarton have ouf-
raged humanity, and grated every string of paternal feeling, by
stationing the poor old gentleman, Mr. North fVmd, to blow
this rocking stone, and keep it always tottering on the grave of
his beloved sons. Hear their own words – ” He slew them on
sea surrounded Tenos, and raised a hillock about them, and
placed two stones on the top, of which one (the admiration of
men) moves to the sonorous breath of the North Wi?2d.,, They
would have acted much more consistently, had they made thiis
venerable highland gentleman exert his sonorous breath to blow
Hercules out of existence, in revenge for the death of his two sons.
But, to be serious, I have no objection, for argument’s sake,
to admit that this fabulous instance was a real one; still a soli-
tary detached instance of the perversion of any thing proves no-
thing. The Haf/s of Errol defeated the Danes with their oxen
yokes – Pompey’s funeral pile was a boat – and many of our
early churches are now devoted to the humble purpose of holding
cattle ; but will any man in his senses thence infer, that oxen
yokes were formed for military weapons, that boats were built
for funeral piles, or churches for cattle folds. But these rock-
ing stones were in fact Ordeals. The uniform tradition of the
Celtic countries points them out as such, and Straho himself Is
of the same opinion, when he thinks (as remarked by Mr. To-
land, p. 153.) that these stones might be an useful cheat to so-
ciety. The testimony of Strabo in this case is positive and de-
cisive, and Mr. Pinkarton’s Gothic hypothesis must fall to the

Note LIX.- Page 154.

Druids. houses, ,c. – These Druids’ houses are no vain fiction.
Pennant, and several others, have taken notice of them. Mr,
Toland has, on this head, been pretty full ; and it only remains
for me to point out the absurdity of the opinion of those who
asbert that there never was a Druid in Scotland or Ireland. If


330 NOTES.

so, how have we their houses, their graves, ,c. still bearing
their names ?


Note LX.- Page 155.

Soil, one of the ancient names of the sun, SoU, in the Gaelic,
signifies clearness, and Soilleir clear. The former is the radix
of the Latin 5o/, and the latter of the Scottish Siller, now writ-
ten Silver. It is generally allowed that the Sanscrit is the basis
of all the languages of the East; and the same may be said of
the Celtic with regard to the languages of the West. There are
many words in the Greek and Roman languages which can ad-
mit of no satisfactory analysis, except in the Gaelic language,
and Soils one of them. Cicero derives Sol (lib. 2. de Nat.
Deor.) from Solas, because there is but one sun and no more.
By the same parity of reasoning, the moon, and every individual
star, have an equal claim to the name, because there is one of
each, and no more. But how beautifully appropriate is the de-
livation of the Roman. aS’o/ from the Gaelic Soil, which signifies
clearness or light, an attribute of the sun in all nations and in
all languages.

Note LXI.- Page 156.

The Gauls, contrary to the custom of the Romans, ,c.~ The
Romans, in augury, or their religious ceremonies, turned their
face to the south, their left hand to the east, and their right to
the west. The Celts, on the contrary, turned their face to the
north, their right hand to the east, and their left to the west.
By this difference of position, the left hand of the Romans cor-
responded to the right of the Celts. It was, however, in both
cases, the hand which pointed to the east that was the ominous

Note LXII.- Page 157.
Arthur”s Oven, – From the similarity of this edifice to others,
which still bear the name of Druids’ House?, we have every
reason to conclude, with Mr. Tolandj that it is of the same


NOTES. 331

kind. There is z.fac simile of it at Penmcuick. It is stranse
any one should have imagined it to be Roman ; and equally so,
that it should have received the name of Artkur,s Ocen, It is
in no one circumstance, agreeable to Roman architecture, while
we can adduce many similar buildings in the Hebrides, to which
the Romans never penetrated. Several of these edifices (see
Pennant’s tour) are also found in Argyllshire. There are also
many of them in Ireland. If this building was erected by the
Romans to their god Terminus, it must follow that all the edi-
fices similar to it in shape and architecture, were similar temples,
and hence it must also follow that they erected temples in Ire-
land, &c. to which they never had access. Under every view
of the matter, and from every circumstance of the case, the Celts
have an unquestionable title to Arthur, s Oven, As to the name,
it is proper to remark, that many of the Gaelic names havebeea
mistaken for Latin ones, and not a few of them for English.

Buchanan mistook the Gaelic DiirCna Bais, i. e. the hills of
death, for the Roman Duni Pads, i. e. the hills of peace. Fen
Punt, i. e. the weighing hill, has been mistaken for the Roman
pene ponius, i. e. almost sea, though the hill in question is fifteen
miles distant from any sea, and more than three thousand feet
above its level. Arthur’s Oven is a memorable instance of the
same kind. It is merely a corruption of the Gaelic ArdMir.ahhm
a’tn (pronounced arturavhi), and signifying the high tozoer on
the river. Perhaps Arthur” s Seat owes its name to a mistake of
the same kind. It was indeed very natural for any one, unac-
quainted with the Gaelic language, to mistake arturavin for
Arthur’s Oven.

Note LXIIII.- Page 160.

I shall conclude this letter with two examples, Sfc. – The first
of these is a tessillated causey on the mainland of Orkney, and
the other the remarkable Dwarfif stone in the island of Hoy»
Mr. Toland, with a modesty highly creditable to him, does not
claim them as Druidical, but confesses candidly that they do
not pertain, as far as he knows, to the subject he is treating of.


332 NOTES.

In a similar case Mr. Pinkarton would have acted very different-
Jy. Had he not been able to n»ake them Gothic, he would have
dubbed them sepnlc/wal monuments, or a lusus naturce, or, if
this would not do, he would have made his favourite Torjcous
swallow them at one mouthful icithout salt. See his History, v.
1. p. 54.

Note LXIV.- Page 168.
The Cauls (sai/s Lucia?i) call Hercules, in tiieir country lan»
guage, Ogmi us. – The reader is here requested to remark this sin-
gular statue of Hercules, erected by the Gauls. He is also desired
to observe, that the old Gaul (mentioned by Lucian) spoke the
Greek language in perfection, and appears to have undei stood
the Greek mythology better than even Lucian himself. On these
points I shall not, in this place, enlarge, as I will have occasion
to recur to them when treating of the antiquity of the use of let-
ters among the Celts.

Note LXV.- Page 170.
Great Britain was dejionunatedjroin the province of Britain,
in Gaul; and that from Gaul the original inhabitants of the Bri.
iish islands (i 7nean those ofCcesar,s time) are descended. – It is
a point almost universally conceded, that islands have been peo-
pled from the most contiguous continents, Mr. Pinkarton’s
opposite theory stands on very slender grounds. The evidences
produced by Toland to establish that Great Britain was peopled
from Gaul, are clear and decisive. Pinkarton’s theory rests on
the following basis. Caisar, (lib. 1. cap. 1.) speaking of the
Jklgcc, Aquitani, 4′ Celtce, says- i7z o?nnes lingua, institutisy
Jegiuusy inter se differiint – i. e. ” All these differ, one from ano-
ther, in language, customs, and laws,” Hence Mr. Pinkarton
infers they must have been three distinct races of men, and that
the Celts inhabited only the third part of Gaul. This errone-
ous theory has also led him to assert that tota Gallia means only
the third part of Gaul. But Cujsar’s words might, with the
strictest propriety, be applied to any three districts in any na-


NOTES. 333

fion vvlia lever. Both in speaking and writing we say the Welch,
Irish, and Gaelic lan,’,ui,ges, though it is well known these are
only dialects of the same language. It is also well known that
all these have their peculiar customs and laws, though it is cer-
tain they are all of Celtic origin. Bat the general sense in which
Caesar uses the phrases omnis Gallia and iota Gallia, clearly
evinces that he had no such meaning as Pinkarton has assigned.
Indeed Mr. Pinkarton must be very much straitened for argu-
ments, before he would venture to rest his hypothesis on the ab-
surd and inipossible axiom, that the whole of any thing, and one
third of it, are equal. ?.Ir. Pinkarton’s next disingenuous shift
is (vol. l.p. 24,) misquoting a passage from Cassar (lib. 2 cap. 4.)
The passage is – plerosque Belgas es.sc ortos a Germanis – i. e.
” That the greater part of the Belga? were descended from the Ger-
mans,’. But as this would not suit his Gothic purpose, he renders
it Belgas esse ortos a Germanis – i. e. .’That the Belgae were des-
cended from the Germans.” Caisar had this information from his
allies and friends, the Remi, who had a direct and obvious inte-
rest to represent the Belgie as foreigners and intruders, in the
hope that Caisar would drive them across the Rhine, in which,
event they (the Remi) who were nearest to the Belga?, might hoj e
to obtain their territories, and be settled by Caesar in thtir stead.
It is evident, from Cajsar’s whole history, that the Germans made
frequent settlements in Gaul, and the Gauls in Germany. From
Tacitus it is evident that there were several Celtic colonies in
Germany ; and the simple fact of the BeUai having passed fronx
©ne side of the Rhine to the other, {antia,uitus tramducios Ehc,
num) will not prove them Germans, Indeed Mr. Pinkarton
seems sensible of this difficulty, and endeavours to establish a
distinction between the Celts in Germany and Gaul, as if a
man’s residence on this or that side of the Rhine would alter
his language, his lineage, or identity. A Goth is a Goth, and
a Celt a Celt, whether he reside in Germany or Gaul. Mr.
Pinkarton’s theory will then, and not till then, hold good, when
the interested and suspicious account of the Belgce, given to
C«sar by their enemies the Eemi, is enlitled to historic faith –

u u



when plerosque Belgas signifies all (he Z?6%<,- -and when loia
Gallia signifies the third part of Gaul.

Having, as he imagines, established that the Belgze were
Gothe, he proceeds lo prove that the inhabitants of Kent were
Belgce. This Caesar admits in clear and explicit terms, but does
not restrict them to Kent alone, but exteiids them to the sea-
coast {ora maritima) of Britain in general. But if language
conveys any precise and determinate meaning, it is evident Caesar
considered the inhabitants of the sea-coast of Britain to be Gauls,
and not Germans. Speaking of these inhabitants he says, ” they
had very many houses, and commonly built exactly like those
of Gaul” (creberrimaque JEdificia fere Gallicis cousimilia.)
The same author, speaking of the same inhabitants, says- iierjue
multum a Gallica consuetudine diffcrunt – i. e. ” In their man-
ners they differ very little from the Gauls.” If Caisar’s account
of the Belga2 in Gaul is in any respect doubtful, that of the same
people (at least as he imagines) in Britain will elucidate and
explain it; yet Mr. Pinkarton has here again recourse to his
old shifts, and explains Gallicis JEd(/iclis, the Belgic houses,
and Gallica consuetudine, the Belgic manners.

Persisting in the same ill-founded theory, (vol. 1 . p. 107.) he en-
deavours to establish that the Caledonians were Germans, and
quotes the following passage from Tacitus’ Life of Agricola (cap.
4-) – Namque rutilm Caledoniam hahitantium comce, magniartus,
Gcnuanicam originem asseverant – i. e. ” For the red hair and
large limbs of the inhabitants of Caledonia, indicate that they are
descended of the Germans.” Mr. Pinkarton here quotes no more
than suits his purpose, and omits that yery part of the sentence
-which is most essential. It is ihh-Celerum BrUanniam qui
inortcdes initio coluerinf, indigence an advevii, vt inter BarbaroSy
parum compertum: habitus corponim varii: atque ex eo argu,
menta, namque rutilce Ccdedoniam, ,c- i. e. ” But who were
the first inhabitants of Britain, and whether they were indige,
nous or adcectiiious, was quite uncertain, as is the case with all
Barbarians; the habits of their bodies are different; and this
circumstance may afford room for conjecture (argument); the


NOTES. 335

red hair and large limbs of the Caledonians indicate a Gcrmaa

From this passage, when fully stated, it is quite certain that
Tacitus could procure no certain information r<‘Specting the ori«
ginal inhabitants of Britain. It is equally certain that he per-
ceived no characteristic difference, except in the make of their
bodies and the colour of their hair. The same author, -when
treating of the Germans, never fails to point out particular cus-
toms, and the difference of language. He specially relates (as
a clear proof that the Gothini and Qui were not Germans) that
the one spoke the Gaelic and the other the Pannonian language.
Had he stated that the Caledonians spoke the German language,
the argument would have been conclusive; but a mere conjec-
ture, founded on the size of their bodies and the colour of their
hair, will prove nothing, especially when Tacitus himself informs
us that he could procure no certain information respecting the
original inhabitants. Mr. InneSj who made the original inha.
hilanis of Scotland his particular study, and who possessed all
Mr. Pinkarton’s abilities and research, and ten times his honesty,
is clearly of opinion that the Picfs and Caledonians were Celts.
– See his Critical Essay. Mr. Pinkarton’s great art lies in de-
taching some mutilated portion of a clause or sentence, and
wresting it to serve his purpose, whereas, when the natural im-
port of the whole is taken, it subverts the very point which he
wished to establish. The detached part of the sentence respect-
ing the Germanic origin of the Caledonians, when taken hy it-
self, seems to hare some weight; but whea taken in conjunction
with the preceding part of the sentence, wiierein Tacitus pro-
fesses complete ignorance of the matter, it amounts to nothing at
all. Indeed there cannot be a clearer proof of the uniformity of
the language, customs, aud manners of the inhabitants of Great
Britain, than ihii very passage, in as much as Tacitus cculd not
find one characteristic trait of difference, except in the massy
limbs and n d liair of the Caledonians. Poor and baseless as this
argument of Pinkartou’s is, he hugs it with all his might, and
gays – ihs si,ns given by Tacitus are, in a savage state ofsQciety,


335 NOTES.

very striking and olvious. Now it is v;c\\ asccria-ntd tlmt man-
kind are more corpulent ia a polished, than a rude state of so-
ciety, and that no state of society will alter the colour of the
liair. Ia the same passage Tacitus mentions the painted counte-
nances and curled hair of the Silures, as an argument that they
were of Spanish origin. Here again there is no reference to lan-
guage, manners, or customs; and as, in the former instance, all
is mere conjecture, and hence it must follow, that throughout
the whole extent of Britain, (as far at least as it was known to
the Romans) there was, in no respect, any difterence, except in
the stature and complexion of the inhabitants.

Mr. Pinkarton’s Belgic and Germanic hypothesis, merely
form the basis of his Pictish one. No man decries etymology
more than Pinkarton, yet no man dabbles more in it, or with
less success. In order to find a name for his favourite Picfs,
he has mustered up all the rubbish of antiquity, and renders
them, Peohlas, Feahtas, Pchtas, Pi/das, Pijhtas, Pehiti, Pehti,
Peychts, Pechts, Pilds, Peuchtas, PiJci, Pcukini, PeuhtSy
Phidttiad, Vecturiores, Vect.reriar, Vik.Veriar, Vifia, Vihry
t iclia, ytcher, Vihiveriar, t,Hiiur, f’lhiar, FicH, and Vits, ,t.
When any point needs so much belabouring as this, it is no
great omen in its favour. Truth is a clear and obvious thing.
Jf a man hits the nail on the head, it tells at once, and there is no
occasion to repeat the blow. But such is this gentleman’s Pict-
ieh partiality, that I verily believe he could derive the darling
word Pi CT, from a pack-thread or a potatoe.

But what will any man think of Pinkarton’s judgment and
candour, when he imposes on the public, as historic truth, the
following ridiculous Action of his own brain. ‘, But to return
(says he) to the P/c/i, the Romans unhappily not catching from
the pronunciation the old name Peukini, must have been puzzled
how to modify this barbaric terra; for as Piki implied in Latin
Koorlpeckcrs, Sfc. a victory over these Piki, would have sounded
©dd in their annals. The Cumraig Br’ttcns cnl!ed them Vhich,
iiaid, and the Romans could have only Latinized this name
Ficti, which was worse and wor,e, for a br.ttlc with Fi:0,


NOTES. 337

feigned people, people of fiction, %70iild have been matter of
laughter. From Scandinavian pronunciation, tlic. name was
Vui, towns, or Victi, conquered, or I’ecii, carried, so that the
confusion was endless. Ficli. coming first to iiand, took th»
place of all.” Vol. 1. page 368 and 369.

From this visionary dream, unsupported by the least shadove
of authority, we are told that the Romans were puzzled to find
a name for the Victs. That they deliberated about calling them
Viki, but this was rejected, because it signified icoodpeckers. They
then thought oiFicti, but this was also rejected, because it signified
feigned people. They next deliberated on Vici, towns, Victi, con-
quered, and Vecti, carried, but all these shared the same fate. At
last they hit on Pzc/i, which they preferred to all the rest; yet Mr.
Pinkarton tells us, that Victi, which he himself places tho
sixth in order, came first to hand. But it is well known the Ro»
mans were by no means over-delicate respecting even their own
names, and must have been less so respecting those of barbarians
and enemies. Two of the most celebrated Romans were sirnam-
ed Bestia, and Brutus, i. e. beast, and brute, Ond, a poet
of no mean celebrity, was sirnamed Naso, i. e. Nosf/y a name
even in our own days given to such as have enormous, or Ovidian
noses. No man in his senses will imagine the Piomans gave
themselves the least trouble about the name of the Picts, farthey
than Latinizing it in the same manner as they did Galliy Scotfy
Britanni, Caledonii, &c.

Had Mr. Pinkarton searched for the word Vict in the abori-
ginal language of the Picts themselves, he could not have failed
to discover it. The Picts in the Gaelic have two names, viz,
Crnmiih, Cruincucht, or Cruitne, (for it is differently written).
Fortunately Mr. Innes, (see his Critical Essay) has rendered
this name painted, in which I perfectly agree with him, and
shall only add that the Gaelic verb Cruinicam, whence the name
is derived, signifies to paint. The other name Vict, by the Ro-
mans rendered Victi, and by our historians Victi, Vichti, and
Viachti, is merely the Gaelic Vichatach, Latinicaliy terminated,
Vkkaty in the Gaelic signifies a magpiey and its regular adjec-


338 NOTES.

ti?e Vichatach signifies pie-coluurcd, variegated or painted. Virhat
sometimes written Viclie and Vighe, is synonlmous with iht Ro-
man Vica. The Irish Cruineacht, i\{ii Gaf,Iic Vkhata<:h, (j,.””,-
rally abbreviated Vichtach,) and the Roman P2V/?, ha?e the same
signification, and nothing more is necessary Xo support this ety-
mology, than to prove that tlie Picts painted themselves. 13iit
Mr. Pinkarton has rendered this unnecessary, as he reckons the
Pictish custom of painting themselves the very quintessence of
their claim to a Gothic origin. See vol. 1. p. 126, As to the
name Scot, it is evidently the Gaelic Scaothy signifying a swarm
or colrniy, and hence figuratively an exile , fugitive, or wanderer.
Scaoth is differently pronounced Skijth, Skyt and Scut. It is
evidently the same with the Greek Skythai, and the Roman
,cyihae. That the ancient Scythians were a migratory people,
■who subsisted by pasturage and hunting, is so universally ailow-
ed, that it is unnecessary to prove it. But it would be in vain
to look for the etymon of the ScyiJuans in the Greek or Roman
languages, whilst in the Celtic the radical meaning is still re-
tained. Is it not therefore most probable that the Scythian lan-
guage was a dialect of the Celtic ? Mr. Pinkarton is fully aware
of this objection, and provides against it by telling us the Scots
were Scythian?, but learned the Celtic larsguagc after their arri-
val in Ireland. From what authority he procured this informa-
tion, he has not informed us, and it therefore rests on his mere

The name Vict and Scot are nearly coeval. Had ih, Picts
brought their name with them from Scandinavia, three centuries
before our asra, Tacitus would not, in the first century have
called them Caledonii. Bat the truth appears to be, that in the
third century a new nation, (the Scots from Ireland), came in
contact with the Romans, and that nation which, before the ar-
rival of this colony in Argyleshire, was denominated Caledonii,
was now divided into’Picf, and Scots. It is really pitiful to see
the shifts Mr. Pinkarton is obliged to have recourse to. He
calls Scot, (vol. 1. p. Serg.) the little word Scot, not recollecting
that his own favourite word Vik is at least one letter less.


NOTES. 33,

Mr. Pinkarton, that he may appropriate to his beloved Gothe
the sepulchral monuments wherein burnt human bones are found
says (vol. 1. p. 4[3,)- there is no room to believe that the Celts
ever burned their dead at all. Will any man imagine (hat he
could be ignorant of the following passage of Ccesar (lib. 6. cap,
19.) – Funera sum , pro cultu Gallorum, magnifica et simptuGsa
omniaqiie quce vivis cordi fuisse arhitrantur in ignem inferunt
etiam animalia; ac paiilo supra hancmemoriam servi et dientes,
qaos abiis dilectos esse constabat, justis funebribus con/cctis, una
cremabantur-i, e. ” The funerals jf the Gauls, considering
their circumstances, are magnificent and sumptuous; and they
throw- into the fire whatever they imagine was most esteemed
by the deceased when alive, and even animals. A little before
the recollection of the present day, those servants and clients
who were most beloved by them (the necessary funeral rites being
performed), were burnt along with them.’. This is another in.
stance of J.: r. Pinkarton’s disingenuity.

Indeed he has, in many cases, hard work, but his dexterity is
admirable, though, in some instances, extremely ludicrous. The
vitrified forts in Scotland have outlived both history and tradi-
tion. There was therefore no authority for making them Pictish
for which cause he does not mention them in the teiii, but in-
forms us by a note, {v. 2. p. 251.) that \h9.y were built by one
Vault MacJdyrem the 13th century. In the present case his
usual ingenuity seems to have failed. As it was his intention
not to ascribe them io the Celts, he should have assigned them
to some gentleman of Gothic name; for as Vuull Macktyre was,
from the very name, clearly a Celt, these edifices must still be
Celtic. Strange! that he could not have rendered them a lusus
nature, or made Torfceus swallow them.

The Celtic names which ev?ry where occur, are a source of
infinite uneasiness to Mr. Plnkarton. lie has indeed laid it
down as an axiom, Thai language is the surest mark, whereby
to discover the origin of nations. Yet he will not allow one ar-
gument to be deduced from this axiom in favour of the Celis,
but monopolizss (he whols for his beloved Pk,ts, Did P,nden,


540 NOTES.

nis, (says he,) in Asia Minor bear the same origin as Pendennis
in Cornwall? This question is best answered by proposing a
few more of the same kind. Did New England in America,
bear the same origin with Old Ejigland in Britain ? Did Magna
GrcEcia bear the same origin as Grcecia Antkjna? Did Nova
Scotia bear the same origin as Scotia Aniiqua? Did Prince of
Wales, Island bear the same origin as a British Prince of Wales .,
Did Montrose estate in Jamaica, bear the same origin as Montrose
in the county of Forfar? Did New flollandhear the same origin
as Old Holland:, Did the Caledonian P//v bear the same origin
as the Norwegian Fihtveriar? This last Mr. Pinkarton has an-
swered in the affirmative, and swallowed without a grudge, be-
cause it suited his favourite system. Whenever any word oc-
curs which would favour the Celts, it is a mere fall of letters,
but he can hammer out a name for his favourite Fiks, where
there is nofalllpj letters at all. Vihiveriar, is merely the Saxon
or Gothic F,/,,,;signifyi,g strong or wiglit, and Vcri ►’, the same
“with the Roman Vir, or the Celtic Icar, signifying a man. It is
literally our modern sirname wight man.

If every thing Celtic is sure to be reprobated by Mr. Pinkar-
ton, the Celts themselves are still more roughly treated. He
never mentions them with temper. He calls them the Jirst sa.
vages of Europe – the savage Celts – Catherens, Kerns, and Thieves
–mere savages – the true Milesian breeds &c. &c. Not one
Highlander (he says) is to he found in the whole history of Scot ,
land after the year 1056 – they are mentioned as thieves and rvb,
bers – theij are dreaded by the Lowlunders, as all civilized nations
fear savages – they are like the Macassars and wild Americans
&c. &c. Is this the sob,r language of history, or even of de”
cent abuse? The Celts have been harrassed and plundered bjr
the Gothe time immemorial, and tveutually driven from the one
extremity of Europe to the other ; nor are they at all culjiable
for having made repeated clTg its to recover what was originally
their own.


NOTES. 341

Note LXVl.- Page 183.

Had their tin from hence. – That tlie Greeks and Phcenicians
traded to South Britain for tin, as early as the time of Herodo-
tus, can admit of no doubt; and hence the British islands are by
him named Cassitcrides. Pliny (lib. 7. cap. 56.) mentions In.
sula Cussiceride – i. e. ” the Tin Island.” If the Celts in
Wales, at so early a period, wrouo;ht the tin mines to that ex-
tent, as to supply Greece and Phoenicia, they cannot have beea
such savages as Pinkarton represents them. With his usual
etymological mania, he derives Cassi/eros (tin) from the Greek
Cassa, meaning a ba,e woman. Bat where, in the name of won-
der, can the name be found, but where the article was produced ;
and is it not natural to infer that the Greeks borrowed the name
along with the article. This we know to be generally the case;
for no nation can have a name for a thing totally unknown. Mr,
Pinkarton rests his etymology on the groundless assertion, that
it was at first principally used as mock silver for ornaments to
prostitutes. No such thing is the case. The word is the Celtic
Casse-tair, (pronounced Cassiter) to which the Greeks added
their peculiar termination os, and formed Cassiieros. Qasse.tair
signifies the vulgar or base sheet or bar, to distinguish it from
silver, which is called Airgad – i. e. ” the clear or precious sheet
or bar.’. This is no vain fancy, for in the Gaelic, Tara signifies
the multitude, and Cran Tara, the beam of the multitude, or the
beam of gathering, being used to convoke the multitude on any-
sudden emergency. The adjective Tair signifies any thing per-
taining to the multitude, and hence base or vulgar. So far,
therefore, from Cassiteros being derived from the Greek Cassa.,
the Greek Qassa is derived from the Gaelic Casse; a base womau
being to a vi, tuous one, what tin is to silver. Not only the word,
but the very antithesis is Celtic. The CeLs were early acquaint-
ed with the precious metals. They could not work the tin mines
without being acquainted with silver; and the Druid’s Egg;
from the most remote antiquity, was bound in gold.



342 NOTtS.

Note LXVII.- Page 183.

The Gf’gonian Stone. – Of this word f have ])een nble to find
no satisfactory analysis ; but, from the descriptiorij it is uiujues-
lionably a rocking stone.

Note LX VIII.- Page 187.

Augury was formerly one of the most universal super stUions,
&c. – Mr. Toland has enlarged so far on this head, that it is un-
necessary for me to add any thing on the subject. I shall, there,
fore, content myself with stating a very singular custom of the
Britons, mentioned by Caesar (lib. 5. cap. 12.) – Leporem et
GalUnam et Anserem, gustarefas non putaiit ; hcEc tamen ahuit,
animi, voluptaiisque causa – i. e. ” They hold it unlawful to
eat the hare, the hen, or the goose ; yet they rear them for plea-
sure and amusement.” Dr. Smith difft,rs from Caesar, and sup-
poses that the Britons did eat them, but without adducing the
sijf,htest authority. With his usual inaccuracy, he mentions the
hen and the goose, but omits the hare altogether. – See Hist.
Druid, p. ,Q. CiEsar had good access to know the fact, and
c’U’,ht not to be contradicted, unless on good authority. To the
p,oose, the Romans themselves paid a superstitious respect, be-
cause thf-y once saved the capitol. The hare and the cock are,
among ourselves, even at the present day, ominous. Pliny (lib.
10. cap. 21 ) says, the premature crowing of the cock in the
evening ,B portentous. The very same opinion prevails among
ourselves to the present hour. The sam., author {ibidem) says
thev crowed a whole night, when they foittold the nobl»:« victory
of the Beotians over the Lacedemonians, One of the symbols
of Pythagoras is, Feci the cock, hut sacrij,ie him not, bccanse he
is sacred to the sun and to the moon, – See Daccier’s Life of Py.
ihagoras, p. 107. As to the hare, it is only ne<:cssary to ol)serve
that it is the vt,ry animal into which witfht,s are, hy the vulgar,
supposed to tranf:form themselves. It is, therefore, most likely
that the Gauls reared the hare, the hon, and the goose, for the
purposes of domestic augury or divination, on any sudden emcr-


NOTES. 3-13

gency, when no omen could be obtained from the wild fowls,
who were more without their reach.

Note LXiX.- Page 205,

Borr. – This word has crept into our common colloquial Ian.
guage; and there is nothing more common than for a person to
say, he will do any thing with all his Borr, or Birr – i. e. ‘. with
all his strength.” The radical import of the word is Sireiiglh,
or, when adjectively taken, Sirong, Boreas – i. e. ilie Norihm
windy is supposed to be peculiarly Greek. But this groundless
idea may be confuted fay any one capable of consulting a Greek
lexicon, and seeing the wretched attempts made to etymologize
it in that language. It is attempted to be deri?ed cqjo tou Boaein
Icai Rtein – i. e. ” from roaring and running.” The other deri-
Tation is from Bora – i. e. ”grass for cattle,” as if Boreas were
?i promoter of vegetation, instead of being a destroyer of it. The
merits of the Gaelic language have never been duly appreciated.
It is more or less the foundation of all the languages of the west,
and in particular those of Greece and Rome have borrowed co-
piously from it. I have already noticed, that Calepine derives
Apollo from the Greek participle Apolijon, and makes ii!m the
destroyer, instead of the benefactor oi the human race – that Dr.
Ty tier and Mr. Bryant derive Apollo (Car neus) from the Greek
Kereny and by this means make him a IJorn, or a Siork – that
Cicero derives Sol (the sun) from the Latin Solus (alone), and
makes him the solitary and exclusive traveller of the ccekstial
expanse. In the present instance we see the Grecian etymolo-
gists ascribing to the north- wind (Boreas) the characteristic qua-
lities of a Riad bull, and at the same time making him the geni-
al promoter of herbage and food for cattle, and by this means
ascribing to him a train of gentle and benevolent qualities, the
Tery reverse of these possessed by him. I have already rectified
the etymologies of /Jpollo, Sol, and Carneus, from the Celtic,
and shall now advert to that of Boreas. Borr, or Bor, in the
Celtic, signifies Strong, and Eas a Cataract, Tempest, or Blast
of Wind, or any tluag ,Qiy impetuous. Bor.Eas tUea literally


,44 NOTES.

signifies the Strong TVind, a name truly emphatic, and admi-
rably descriptive of the north wind, which is the strongest and
most impetuous of all winds. The Celts used this naaie, and
the Greeks borrowed it from them.

It is well known that the Greeks, notwithetanding their
“boasted antiquity, are but a modern nation in comparison of the
Jews, Chaldeans, Egyptians, Indians, Celts, &c. Before Tha/es,
• who was contemporary with Pythagoras, they had a few politi-
cians and legislators, but not one philosopher, Pythagoras
gained little knowledge in Greece, but studied principally in
India, Chaldea, Italy (Umbria), and, above all, in Egypt. The
dawn of philosophy in Greece happened only about six centu-
ries before the christian aera. Abaris, the Hyperborean priest
of the sun, and unquestionably a Celt (as I shall afterwards
evince), was the cotemporary and intimate acquaintance of Py-
thagoras, and does not appear to have been in any respect infe-
rior to him. This is the more extraordinary, as Pythagoras had
completed his studies, before his acquaintance with Abaris com-
menced. Hence it is certain that the country of Abaris, at that
period, excelled Greece in the knowledge of philosophy. That
the Celts were the first inhabitants of Europe, is admitted hy
Pinkarton, their bitterest enemy. lie even supposes (v. 2. p. 25.)
that Ireland, the most distant of the Celtic settlements, was in-
habited from iOOO to 2000 years before our sera. At any rate
the migration of the Celts from Asia, the cradle of the human
race, must have happened early after the deluge. They must
have preceded the Greeks several centuries. Within the period
of authentic history, we find them, intermixed with the Greeks,
for many centuries their neighbours, and not unfrequently their
conquerors. The same, with equal certainty, may be said of
the Romans. Is it then to be wondered at, that the languages
of Greece and Rome are tinctured with the Celtic ?

The migration of the Celts from Asia to Europe is a very re-
mote event. Mr. Chalmers (see his Caledonia) says they met
with little struggle or opposition, eliic some tradllion of the event


NOTES. 345

vould have remained. But if they themselves were the Aboru
gincs, there was nobody to stru,,gle with.

Of all the post-diluvian languages, the Chaldaic bns the fair-
est claim to antiquity. Abraham v,as called from Ur of the
Chaldecs, and must have carried that language along with him.
The Hebrew lauiiuage is, therefore, only a dialect of the Chal-
daic. That the Celtic is a dialect of the same language, is highly
probable. Nations have, in all ages, been extremely solicitous
to preserve their own name and the names of their gods. The
Chaldaic, Chaldach, and tlie Gaelic Caltach, (a Celt) are exactly
the same. That the same god, Bel., was the chief object of wor-
ship in both nations, is beyond dispute. From the same source
the Bramins, the Phcenicians, and the Hebrews, &c. borrowed
their language and their god, Bel or BaaL The most probable
etymon of the word Qelt, or Caliach, is Cealtach (Latine Qceles-
Ics) – i. e. ” men addicted to the study of the heavens.” Ceal,
or Cal, in the Celtic, signifies heaven, and its regular adjective
is Cealtach, or CaJtach, The Chaldeans, from the most remote
ages, have been famed for judicial astrology, and the Celts,
while their Druids remained, were equally celebrated. Chasdim
was the original name of Chaldea, but this was soon lost in the
empire of the Babylonians, Medes, and Persians, under whose
dominion they alternately fell. Chaldach., which the Greeks
rendered Chaldaioi, and the Romans Chaldcei, is merely an a/?-
‘peUalive expressive of their attachment to the study of the caeles-
tial bvdies. I shall revert to this subject when I treat of the
antiquity of the use of letters among the Celts,

Note LXX.- Page 20G.

“Borcadcs is merely a derivative from V>oreas, and signifies the
sons or descendants of Boreas, in the same manner as Velides is
derived from Veleus. \joireadhach literally signlties strong, or
pozicrful. It is the same with the Crrcck Boreadcs. Hjjperbo,
reans (flt/perboraioi), as Mr. Toland well remarks, is a narao
expressive of a people living very far north. Its proper signifi-
cation is, above or beijond the North Wind, As both these are


346 NOTES.

derivatlres from Boreas, Avhich, in the former not,, has bcea

analyzed, it is unaecessary to add more on this head.

Note LXXI.- Page 207.

Hid it amovg the Ilyperboreans. tS’c – The assertJoK of Era-
toshenes, ” that Apollo hid the ariow with which he slew the
Cyclopes, among the Hyperboreans,” merits attention. I have
already noticed that Fausanias supposes OHen (nearly the same
with the Irish name Ullin) founded the oracle of Delphi, and
• was the first who gave responses io heroic Tcrse. I have also
observed that almost all the Greek deities, and particularly
Apollo, were borrowed from other nations. But whatever dif-
ference of opinion there may be on this head, it is on all hands
agreed, that Apollo deserted Delphi, and went to the Hyperbo-
reans. Demostht’nes, who wrote about three hundred and fifty
years before our ajra, says this oracie had began, Vhilippizein-,,
i. e. ‘• to return such answers as suited the views of Philip tiid
Macedonian. Lucian tells as,

I Xon nlla Sfcula dono

Nostra carent majore l>eum, qn&m Dclphica setlcs

Quod siUiit. –

i. e. ” Our age is not deprived of a greater blessing of the gods,
tJian the Delphic oraclCj which hath become siieot.’. Strabo,
Javenai, Claudian, &c. bear testimony to the same eSeci, and,
for brevity’s sake, the reader is referred to Fa//er’. AniiqmtieSy
where he will find the point discussed at some length, and will
also see tliat the Greeks used to apply to the Hyperboreans for
responses, after the oracle of Delphi ceased.,-Po/,,r’. ntaiuim
ties, vol, l.p. 249 – 250, Cyc,

Note LXXII.- Page 207.
IVivi,cd iemple, – In the Greek of Eratoshenes, it is NaosTtc
rinos, which Mr. Toland renders a temple made ofuings, or a
winged temple. Perhaps the phrase Vierinos ISaos may be best
explained by comparing it with Vteroeiita epi,a – i. e. .. winged
words..’ Now we kno’>v that words avij aeither laiuk of wIbss,



nor winged. Vterofis is generally applied to the flight of arrows.’
It is a figurative phrase denoting great swiftness or celerity.
But fowls are not more famed for their celerity, than the height
to which they soar. Hence Fteroeis and Vterinos may signify
either rapid or lofty. Swift zcords is a phrase admissible, but a
swfft temple is nonsense, unless it could be made appenr that
this temple, like that of Lorretto, flew through the air, and per-
formed an incredible journey in one night. Perhaps the most
natural signification of Vterinos Naos is a lofty tempU.

It is, however, easy to perceive the reason which induced
Mr. Tolaud to render it the winged temple, lie imagined he
had found such a temple in the island of Lewis, and (p. 136. &
137.) particularly describes it. Dr. Smith (p. 65.) contents
himself with re-echoing Mr. Toland’s description, and does not
add a single remark of his own. But the most extraordinary and
unaccountable circumstacce is, that no attempt has been made
to analyse the name. It is differently pronounced Classarniss,
Clasharmsh, and Calarnish, but all these have the same import.
In the vulgar Scottish dialect of the English, it is very common
to sound (he Gaelic ch final, like the French cA, and render it
sk. Druineach (Druidical) is commonly prononuced Druinishm
Clasharniih is then merely the common, corrupt pronunciation
©f the Gaelic Clach Arneach – i. e. ” the Judicial Stone, or
Stone of the Judge, Qalarnish {QiU Arneach) signifies the Judim
elal circle, Classerniss (Clas~ Arneach) signifies the Judicial enm
closure. Am, in the Gaelic, signifies a Judge, and Arnadi,
Arneach, and Arnadh, (for they are all the same) signifies Jwd/-
cial, or giny thing belonging to a judge. We have many other
names of the same kind, viz. Kilharny {QiUArnadh) in Ireland
– i. e. ” the Judicial circle. Killearn (Cil-Airn), the name of
a parish in Stirlingshire – i. e. ” the Circle of the judge. Aim
is the genitive of Arn. Killearnan (Cil-Airnati), the name of a
parish in Ross. shire – i. e. ” the Circle of the inferior Judge,
&c. (&:c. Arnan is the diminutive of Arn, and its genitive Airm
nan. We can also trace the. residence of these Judges in t’lC
names AnuhulL Arn-,aslj &:c. Catc or Cusq (Casac) is tke


348 NOTES.

abbreviated diminutive of the Gaelic Cas, a house, Mhfnce the
Romans formed their Casa, a cottage. There is an Auchcn.cas
in the neighbourhood of Moffat. From (,asc is formed the ad-
jective Cascadh (pronounced Qaskie). Caskie Ben, near Aber-
deen, signifies the hill abounding with houses, and the vestiges
of them can be traced in a number of small cairns which still re-
main. Tynron Dun, Turin Hill, Calteilhun, and many a no-
ble structure of our Celtic ancestors, now present themselves io
our view in the form of a cairn. From the size, structure, and
name of this circle, there cannot remain a doubt that it was a
judicial one. What was really the temple stood about a cpiar-
ter of a mile distant. Mr. Toland’s error in taking it for a tem-
ple, is extremely venial. Had he lived, he intended to have
passed six monthe in examining the Ifebridian antiquities – a
clear evidence that he considered his information respecting them
defective and incomplete. But what are we to think of Dr.
Smith, who professes to give us a complete history of the Druids,
and yet passe s over this circle in so superficial and erroneous
a manner. In a former note I have divided the Druidical cir-
cles into two kinds, viz. ? eligixms and judicial. CladuuBralfh,
and Clach-Arneach, have the same signification ; and from the
evidence formerly and now adduced, I hope this distinction rests
on a firm and stable basis. Mr. Toland’s mistake is, however,
greatly to be regretted, not only because he has misled Dr.
Smith and others, but because a great part of his reasoning res-
pecting the Hyperborean Abaris rests on it, and must now fall
to the ground.

The judicial circle in question is perfectly iinique. We have
{nil simile nee secundum) nothing like it, nor nearly like it.
W,hat has been mistaken for the wings, is only the four cardinal
points of the compass. These, and the centre stone in the shape
of a ship’s rudder, clearly allude to the insular or maritime go-
vernment of the Hebrides ; and could we indulge the thought
that this circle was exclusively devoted Io tlie decision of mari-
time causcSj the allusion would be complete. Here, for once, I
am hnppy to agree with Ivlr. Pinkartou in pronouncing this judi-


NOTES. 349

cial circle, the supreme court of the Ilebudian monarch. Fiat
jitstUia, ruai Ccelum.

Note LXXIIL-Page 209.

Sacred arrow. – This is the arrow with which Apollo slew
the Cyclops. When Abaris travelled to Greece to visit Pytha-
goras, he made him a present of this arrow. It was, however,
perhaps nothing more than a fictitious relic. Mankind are, ia
all ages and nations, much the same. The immense value put
on fictitious relics by the Romish ecclesiastics, is well known.
Abaris is said to have entered Greece, riding on this arrow.
Similar notions are still prevalent iu this country. Indeed th,
Grecian and British customs bear a strong resemblance, parti-
cularly in their mode of drinking from right to left, according to
the course of the sun. The Celts went three times round the
Cairn when they worshipped ; and to this Pythagoras perhaps
alludes in the following symbol : – ” Turn round zahenyon wor»
sh’p,,’ – See Dacicr’s Life of Fijthagoras, p. 120. In Greece,
before they gave a child its name, they carried it round the fire.
,-Bogaii,s Attic AiHiq. p. 212. The Greeks burnt their dead,
and so did the Celts. The hospitality of the Greeks was equal
to that of the Celts.

But to return to this famous arrow, it was certainly symboli-
cal. The doctrines of Pythagoras, as well as the Druids, were
all mystical and symbolical. Among the ancients, Apollo was
called (Arcitenens) the archer. Pliny (lib. 18. cap, 26.) men-
tions a constellation named (sagitia) the arrow. Arrows are
keen and piercing – so is true philosophy and sound reasoning.
Under the symbol of this arrow is probably meant the whole
Hyperborean philosophy, which Abaris communicated to Pytha-
goris, and he, in return, communicated to Abaris the Grecian
philosophy. Calepine (vide Dictionarnan) gives the following
account of Abaris : – ” Abaris is the proper name of a man who
is said to have carried an arrow over the world, without tasting
food. It is said that this Abaris, the son of Seulha, was not
ignorant of letters, and wrote oracles which are called bcythiauj

y y


350 NOTES.

and the arrival of Apollo among the Hyperboreans, from whom
he had received the said arrovr, in poetry. Gregory, the thro-
logist, also mentions him in his epitaph to the great Basil. So
far Coelius. Besides the Scythian oracles, and the marriage of
the river Hebrus, he wrote some other things, as Suidas mentions.
Herodotus iji Melpomene, and Strabo, lib. 7. also mention him.”
The reader will find several interesting particulars of Abaris,
and his wonderful arrow or javelin, in Dacier,s isife of Fytha”
gar as, p, 70 <5r 71.

What has greatly injured the history of Pythagoras and Aba-
ris in the eyes of the present age, is their pretension to magic,
miracles, and divination. But these were the hohby horse of the
day, and there was no possibility of being eminent without them.
Even the Romish ecclesiastics, who ought to have known better,
did not give up their pretensions to miracles and prophecy, till
the enlightened state of mankind would give them credit for nei-
ther. The Greeks (as I have formerly noticed) had an opinion
that the Hyperboreans founded the Delphic oracle of Apollo,
and that at last he went to the Hyperboreans altogether. Aba-
xis, who wrote the history of this event, must have been very ac-
ceptable to Pythagoras ; and that his arguments on this head
were convincing, we need only to mention that the great, the
wise, the celebrated Pythagoras exposed himself to public view,
in a full assembly at the Olympic games, as the Hyperborean
Apollo. – Dacier,s Life of Pythagoras, p, 69. Can there be a
more convincing argument that at that time the Hyperborean
Apollo was held in much higher estimation than the Grecian one ?
As to the arrow or javelin of Abaris, which has afforded, and
may still alford, ground for numerous conjectures, I am of opi-
nion (whatever was its shape) that It was nothing more than his
Magical staff. The staff has been, in all ages, the emblem of
power. Almost all eminent persons used one, but in a pretend-
er to magic it was indispensible.

Note LXXIV.- Page 207.
Then the moU ceklfrated Abaris a,o. both of this country, §t.


NOTES. 351

-Of all attempts to determine the country of Abaris, Toland’s

j.s the most ingenious and probable. Dr. Smith imagines the
name was Abarick, from Abar (Latine Abria), the ancient name
of Lochabar. The conjecture is ingenious, and may, perhaps,
be founded in fact. Still I think it better to content ourselves
with what can be certainly known of this eminent man, than to
build hypothetical theories respecting the spot of his nativity,
which can, perhaps, never be certainly known. That he was
a Celt, a Druid, a philosopher, an author, and the most accom-
plished scholar of his age, rests on the most unexceptionable evi.
dence. It is agreed on all hands that Europe was peopled by-
two distinct races of men, the Celts, and the Scythians, Gothe,
or Germans (for these three are all the same). Pinkarton ad-
nuts that the Germans were not acquainted with the use of let-
ters, till the ninth century; and Abaris, who wrote 1500 years
before, could not be a German. On the testimony of C»sar,
the Germans had neither priests nor sacrifices, and consequent-
ly no temples; but Abaris had a winged temple, and was the
priest of Apollo, consequently he must have been a Celtic priest
or Druid. Mr. Pinkarton, sensible that he could not claim him as
a Goth, and unwilling to pay the smallest tribute of respect to the
Celts, has not once mentioned his name ; and this circumstance
alone will have great weight with any one who knows Mr.
Pinkarton’8 extreme alertness and dexterity in catching at every
thing that can favour his Gothic system, and in studiously sup-
pressing whatever might add lustre to the latter. The merits of
Abaris as a philosopher, author and scholar, stand fully record-
ed in the page of history, and need no comment from me. As
to his country, it is, from all circumstances, extremely probable,
though not absolutely certain, that he was a Hebridian.

Note LXXV.- Page 210.
Whether the Egyptians had not these things before either of
them, c,c- That the Egyptians were the first inventors of the
Metemps2/chosis is evident from the following passage of Hero-
dotus, quoted by Dacier in his life of Pythagoras, p. 43. ” The

Y y 2


352 NOTES.

Egyptians likewrse were the first that said the soul of man is
immortal, that after the death of the body it passes successively
into the bodies of beasts ; that after having passed through the
bodies of terrestrial animals, as well of the water as of the air,
it comes again to animate the body of a man, and that it accom-
plishes this round in the space of three thousand years. Some
Greeks have given out this doctrine, as if it had been their own,
some sooner, some later, and I know who they are, but will
not name them.” Persia has generally been reckoned the pa-
rent of magic, but from Moses’ whole account of the Egyptiaa
magicians, this may be fairly doubted. Indeed their progress
in this art, the most respected of all the arts of antiquity, is so
incredibly astonishing, that, had it been transmitted to us
through any other channel than that of the sacred records, it
iv’ould have been regarded as a downright fiction. In superb
and colossal structures they stand unrivalled in the page of his-
tory. Their early acquaintance with hieroglyphics is well
known. As early as the time of Moses they must have had the
use of letters, for it was here (by a special interposition of Di-
Tine Providence) that he received his education. In a word,
it is clear from the whole history. of Pythagoras, that Egypt
liad, at that period, attained a higher pitch of perfection, in the
arts and sciences than any other nation then known. That the
Greeks received the doctrine of the Metempsychosis from the
Egyptians is clear from the testimony of Herodotus in the pas-
sage above quoted, but whence i\\Q Celts received it, is more
than I shall pretend to determine.

It is, however, certain that this was one of their chief doc-
trines. Cassar says, (lib. 6. cap 14.) In primis hoc volunt
persuadere ; non interire anhnas, sed ah (diis post mortem iratu
sire ad alios atque hoc maxime ad virtutem excitari putant, melu
mortis neglacto. – i. e. ” It is their chief study to inculcate this
doctrine, that souls do not die, but that, after death, they pass
from one body to another; and by this means liny thiiik they
are in (he highest degree excited to virtue, when the fear of
death is laid aside.” Of all authors, Ciusar is most to be de-


NOTE,. 353

peiidcd on reftpecting the Diuids. Earlier writers saw them
at too great a distance to speak with certainty, and later writers
saw them only in their persecuted and depressed state. Caisar
saw this order of men in the very vi,ijour of the institution, and
was besides intimately acquainted with the Archdruid Divitiacus
from whom, in all probability, he derived his information. Yet
Dr. Smith, (p. 59) gravely tells us, that the belief of the Me.
iempsychosis, never prevailed among the Druids. His reason is
obvious, There is no mention of this particular tenet in the poems
of Ossian. But whether the reader chuses in this instance to
credit Dr. Smith in preference to Csesar, is not my business io
determine. Of all who have written on the subject of the
Druids, Dr. Smith has exposed them most, and benefited them
least. One of his grandest flights is (p. 73.) that of ascribing
to the Druids the invention of gun-poivder. This sublime idea
he perhaps borrowed from Milton, who, in his Paradise Losfy
ascribes this invention to the fallen angels. Both conjectures
are equally rational, and equally founded in truth.

Note LXXVI.- Page 213.

He6nV/<?5.- There is a marked affinity betwixt this word and’
the river Hebriis (in the Greek Hebros) concerning which Aba-
lis is said to have written a treatise in poetry. In the Roman
language Patronymics are formed by adding des to the first case
of the primitive in i. Thus, from Pelei is formed Peleides, od
Pelides ; from Priami is formed Pria?nid€S, &c. In the same
manner from Hehri, the genitive of Hebrus, may be formed He-
bridcs. All know that, from the Greeks, the Romans derived
this mode of formation. Now as the words Hebros and He.
Irides have been transmitted to us through the medium of the
Greek and Roman languages, they have, no doubt, been adapt-
ed to the idiom of these languages. To come as near the origi-
nal word as possible, we must divest Hebros of its Grecian dress,
strip it of the aspirate h (h is initial in no Celtic word) and of
tlie termination os, when there remains Ebr, The original word
is probably. Aibar, Ebary Eabar, or perhaps Jbar, But some


.154 NOTES.

trifler may object that the word in question is Helrvjt, a river
in Thrace. That this idea has generally prevailed, 1 readily
grant; but is it once to be imagined that Abaris, a Hyperbore-
an, would celebrate a river in Thrace, which he probably never
saw; and is it not infinitely more probable, that, with the pre-
dilection peculiar to all poets, he celebrated his own native
stream. His other treatise on the removal of Apollo to the Hv,
perboreans, was founded on fact, and one in which the honour
of his country, and its antiquities, were highly concerned. But
it may also be objected, that Abaris celebrated the marriage of
a river, and consequently the whole is a fiction. In the Greek
and Roman mythology, such instances are almost infinite. In
our own days, Northesk. a river, Aberdeen, a city. Queens-
berry, a hill, &c. are the signatures and titles of eminent noble,
men; and that a man and a river had, in Abaris’ time, the same
name, is not at all to be wondered at. Local names are, of all
others, the most numerous. The names Abaris, JJcbrm, and
Hebrides, divested of their Greek and Roman peculiarities, are
Abar, Ebr, and Ebrid. If in the Hebrides (unquestionably
the Hyperborean island of Diodorus), a river of i\\Q name Ebr
could be found, with such a temple as that described by Eratos.
thenes standing near it, the country of Abaris might still be de-
termined. Nay, if such a river could be found near the noble
judicial circle of Clacharneach,! would even admit that it might
be the temple described by Eratosthenes. It was certainly more
pardonable in a Greek to mistake this circle for a temple, than
for Mr. Pinkarton, with infinitely better means of information,
to mistake all the Druidical temples in the world for Gothic
courts of justice.

Note LXXVIf.- Page 22S.
The lesser circumjacent islands. – /owe, one of these islands,
deserves particular attention, though on a different account from
that mentioned by Toland. Its history presents to us a strange
compound of Druidism and Christianity. The original name is
his.Druineach, i. e. ” The islaud of the Druids,” Close to

NOTES. 355

the sound of / stands Claodh-nati’Druineach, i, e. .’ The grave
©f the Druids.” Mr. Pennant, (see his Tom; ,) found here the
Druidical temple, and the Cairn, as also an imitation of the
rocking.stone. The relics of Christianity are still more conspi.
cuous and venerable. It is, however, St. Columba’s entry into
this island, and his subsequent conduct, which claim our atten-
tion, as even under all the palliatives which have been purpose-
ly thrown over them, they are strongly expressive of the formi-
dable opposition he met with from the Druids. I shall then
state the case as briefly and impartially as I can. ” The saint,
on his arrival, began to build a chapel or church, but was al-
ways interrupted by the intervention of evil spirits. When it
was found impossible to proceed, a consultation was held, audit
was found necessary to appease these evil spirits by the sacrifice
of a man. Oran, one of the saint’s twelve attendants, volunta-
rily devoted himself, and was buried alive below the foundation.
The evil spirits were appeased, and/io farther interruption was
offered. The chapel was finished, and dedicated to iS,,. Oran,
and still retains his name.” This pitiful story cannot impose
even on the most credulous or ignorant. The intervention of
icvil spirits, though firmly credited in the dark and superstitious
ages, is now deservedly treated with contempt. The only op-
position St. Columba could meet with was from the Druids, and
before they would allow him to build this chapel, they compelled
him to comply with the Druidical custom of burying a man under
the foundations. An instance of the same kind occurs in the
sacred records. Hiel, the Bethelite, (1 Kings 16. v. 34.) laid
the foundations of Jericho on his oldest son Abiram, and found.
ed the gates on his youngest son Segub. The ridiculous story
that Oian was put to death for blasphemy, is one of the most
wretched of all fabrications to shelter the saint from the infamy
of having offered a human sacrifice. But falsehood never is
{ab omni parte beatnm) in all respects consistent, and the saint’s
biographers would have done well not to have retailed impossi-
bilities for facts. Could Gran blaspheme after being three
days and three nights buried under the foundation’bf this chapel

356 NOTES.

(for it is not even alleged that he did it sooner), or would ihe
saint have dedicated this religious edifice to a man who had been
put to death for blasphemy ?

This human sacrifice being offered, and a compromise betwixt
St. Columba and the Druids having taken place, the Druidical
temple, the ccdni and the Cromlech, (if there was one,) would
naturally be superseded by this new chapel, and fall into disuse.
Still there was another difliculty to combat. The judicial circle
and the rocking stone remained to be disposed of. Here too the
Druids appear to have made a firm stand. Mr. Pepnant tells us,
on the authority of Mr. Socheverell, that before the reformation,
there were here three noble marble globes placed in three stone
basons, which the inhabitants turned three times round accord-
ing to the course of the sun. These were tlirown into the
sea at the reformation, but Mr. Pennant, in 1772, found a
wretched substitute for them composed of the pedestal of a bro-
ken cross, and the supporters of a grave stone. These stones
were then turned round as formerly, and a tradition prevailed
that the day of judgment would come, when the pedestal on
which they moved was worn out, and they still retained the
Dame of Clacha-Brath – i. e. ” The atones of judgment.” See.
Pennants Tour in 1772.

It is easy to perceive that the same compromise took place
here, as at the building of Oran”s chapel. The Druids jelia«
quished the judicial circle, and the rocking stone, and received
from the saint these marble globes as a substitute. The saint,
however, took care to inculcate the terrible idea, that the day
of judgment would come as soon as the basons on which these
globes rested were worn out, and this he unquestionably did, to
deter them from the practice altogether. But in spite of this
tremendous impression, and though they must have brf’eved that
every time they turned these stones round they were accelerat-
ing the day of judgment, still the custom prevailed as late as
1772, and may perhaps prevail at the present day ; so difficult
is it to eradicate inveterate superstition. These three globes
were perhaps emblematical of the Trinity, and if the saint could

NOTES. 357

not deter the lonians from turning them round, it was his last
shift to render them at least symboliically subservient to the true

Note LXX VIIL-Page 228.
Armoric and Irish languages. – As the Editor’s notes have ex-
tended to a much greater length than originally intended, and as
the specimen of the Armorican and Irish language here alluded
to, has no connection with the History tf the Druids, it is not
inserted in this edition.

Note LXXIX.- Page 247.

Taramis, or Tarams, is the Gaelic Taran, or Tharan, i. e.
” thunder.” This god is the same with the Grecian Zeus, or
the Roman Jupiter, By this deity the Celts understood Beat,
TaraniSf or TharaniSy is sometimes by a Metathesis, writteli
Thanaris, or Tanaris, which bears a great aSnity to the Eng-
lish thunder, the German Donder, and the Reman Tonitm,
Lucan mentions him, {lib, 1.) in these words:

Et Taranis Scythicas non mitior ara Dianse.

i. e. ,’ And Taranis not milder than the altar of Scythian
Diana,” To him were offered human sacrifices. From the
Celts the Germans borrowed Tharanis, and hj abbreYiation
formed their God Thor, whence Thursday , the same as the Ro-
man Dies lovis.

Note LXXX.
Hesus – was the Celtic god of war. Dr. Smith derives this
word from the Gaelic Dhe, to which it has not the most distant
affinity. Lucan (lib. 1.) mentions him thus:

Horrensqiie feris altaribus Hesus.
Lactantius (lib. 7.) says, – Galli Ilesum atque Teutatem humd-
no cruore placabanf, qui saiieferalis rilus diu similiter apud Ita~
los stetit, qui Latialem Jovem et Saturnum humana placabant
hostia-,i. e. ” The Gauls appeased Hesus and Teutatcs, with
human blood, which truly savage custom long prevailed among


368 NOTES.

the Italians, who appeased Latian Jove, and Saturn, with human
victims.” The etymon of Hesus has bpen uniformly mistaken.
The glory of a warriour is his strength, and the Celtic god of
“war behoved to be a powerful deity. The Celtic names are ge-
nerally descriptive, and highly appropriate. To their god of
■war they gave the name Eas or Es, i. e. a torrent or cataract
that sweeps all before it, to which the Romans added their ter-
mination us, and formed Esus or Hesus, The name conveys io
BS the same idea, but in a much more primitive and forcible man-
ner, as if they had named him irresistible or invincible, for who
could contend with a cataract? The Tuscan god Esar, whom
the Tuscans borrowed from the Umbrians their precursors, has
the very same signification. In the Gaelic language, Eas f hear
is still a name of the deity, and literally means the i?ian of ihg


Teutates. – Lucan, (lib. 1.) says,

Et quibus immitis placatur sanguine diro

i. e. ‘. And by whom (the Gauls,) cruel Teutates is appeased
by direful blood.” Calepine, on the authority of Plato, reckons
him the inventor of geometry and astronomy. If so, Cicero
(de Nat. Deor.) very properly reckons him an Egyptian god,
geometry having been first invented in Egypt to determine the
limits of private property, which were annually effaced hy the
overflowings of tbe Nile. Sanchoniatkon, the Phoenician, co-
temporary with Gideon, and who composed his history about
1200 years prior to our asra, reckons Teutates, or (as he calls
Lim) Taauty the inventor of letters, and says he was indebted to
the book of Taaut for the greater part of his materials. This
god is supposed to have been the Mercury of the Greeks. In
the Gaelic this word signifies Warmth, or Heat. – See Note 33.

Bclenus vel Ahellio. – Both these d«ities ha?e already been ad»
Tertcd lo. – See Note 42,


Ilogmins.-Oi this deity Mr. Tolaud has given a very parU-
cuiar description in a quotation from Lucian. – See p. 168.

Onrana- on the authority of Mr. Toland, signifies the sea. I
have been able to procure no other information respecting this
deify,- See p. X37.

Adraste. – Respecting this goddess there has been some differ-
ence of opinion. The Greeks seem to have considered her as
Nemesis, or the goddess of revenge. Vide Calepinum in verbo
Jdrasiea, Still Calepine admits that on a plain near the city
Adrastea, there was a noble oracle of Actaean Apollo, and
Diana. He also tells us that some supposed this city received
its name from a 3Iountain Nymph, which applies very weii to
Diana, The truth appears to be, that Adrastus, when he built
this city, called both it and the goddess after his own name.
The noble oracle of Jpollo and Diana, and the tradition that
the city took its name from a mountain nymph, clearly imply
that Diana was the goddess in question. There can be little
doubt that the goddess here meant is the Phceniciaii Ashtarotk,
or Astarte-,i. e. ” the moon.” Indeed there is no instance oa
record of any nation having worshipped the sun, who did not
worship the moon also. It would almost fill a volume to nar-
rate the contrary notions entertained of her by the ancients, and
the different names ascribed to her. The very first mention we
have of this goddess is in the sacred records, under the name of
Ashtaroth. Sanchoniathon {see Eusebius, his Transcriber, and
PIuh.Biblius, his Translator) calls this goddess Asiarte, This
has not hindered Herodian (lib. 5.) in his History of Antoninus
Basilianus, to tell us that the Phcenicians called this goddess
Astroarchd, forgetting that this name is not Phoenician, but pure
Greek, and sigaines the Queen of the Stars, Pausanias (in Lum

Z Z2

S60 ‘ NOTES.

conicis) says, – ” the Pyrrichians have in their country the tern,
pie of Diana Astratea, and the reason why they called her so
was, because the army of the Amazons stopped there, and went
no farther.” This is another instance of Grecian vanity and
absurdity, to derive the Phoenician Astarte from the Greek
Alpha privative, and Siratos, an army. Most unfortunately all
the ancient deities, or at least by far the greater part of them,
have passed to us through the medium of the Greek and Roman
languages, and are so mutilated and distorted, as hardly to be
recognized. When stript of this disguise, the Celtic deities are
Taram (Tliunder) – Eas, or Es, a Cataract – the name of their
god of war, – Teutat, Heat, an epithet of the sun, and the same
with the Taaut of the Phoenicians, mentioned by Sanchoniathon,
and the Teuiat of the Egyptians, mentioned by Cicero – Bealan,
or Aballa (names of the sun) – Onvana (the sea) – Ogmadh
(learned, a name of Hercules) – and Astarte (the moon, the
same as the Astarte of Sanchoniathon.) Hence it is evident that
the Celtic mythology has overstepped that of the Greeks and
Romans, and is more ancient than either. Teutat and Astarte
are strictly Phoenician, though the Greeks claim the first under
the name oi Mercurius Trismegitus, and the last under the name
of Adrastea, Astratea, Astroarche, Juno, Diana, Sec, Beat is
also a Phoenician deity. Ahalla (pronounced Apalla) I have in
a former note shewn to be the radis of the Greek Apollon, and
the Roman Apollo. As to Eas, Taram, Ogmadh, and Onvana,
they are so peculiarly Celtic, that no other nation has ventured
to claim them, though the Romans have added Taramis to their
Jupiter, Not one Celtic deity is of Greek or Roman origin,
though their chief deitjes, as well as their religious rites, can be
demonstrated to be Phoenician. It is therefore historic truth,
that the Celts are more ancient than the Greeks, and that they
migrated from Asia to Europe, before Greece had even a name,
and were in fact (which is now generally allowed) the Aborigi.
3ies of Europe,

NOTES. 361


Vergohreius. – On the testimony of Caesar, (lib. 1. cap. 16.)
Liscus wa-S chief magistrate or Vergohret of the i,,dui. Tliis
Vergobret was elected annually, and had the power of life and
death over his own nation. Divitiacus was at the same time
Archdruid. The true etymon of this word is Fear.go.Bhraiikj
or according to the Irish dialect, Fer.go.Breth, i. e. ” the man
for judgment.’. The Indian Brahmin, (Latinized Brathmanniy
or Brachmanni) is a name of the very same import. In the San-
scrit language, Brath signifies judgment and man, a man.
Bj,athman, or Brachman or Brahmin, (for they are all the
same) literally signifies the judgment man, or man fur judgment.

Mr. Pinkarton has been kind enough to favour us with a Go-
thic etymology of Vergobret, but has prefaced it with a grave,
formal, deliberate falsehood. ” Vergobret, (says he, vol. 1. p.
286.) the name of a magistrate among the German gauls, as
Ccesar tells us.” Now Cassar tells no such thing, but the very
reverse. Mr. Pinkarton has indeed, contrary to Caesar’s ob-
vious meaning, laid hold of the Belgae, as German Gauls, but,
except in this instance, has laid no claim to the Celtae, the in-
habitants of Gallia Celtica, or Lugdunensis. The Edui were a
gens or tribe of the Celts, and inhabitants of Celtic Gaul. Ccesar
uniformly places them in this district, and Pliny, (lib. 4. cap.
18.) is as express to the point as words can make it. He, as
well as Caesar, places the Carnutes, (in whose territories the
Druids annually met,) in the same district. Caesar says the
Germans had no Druids, yet, on the testimony of Cicero, Divi-
tiacus, cotemporary with Liscus the Vergobret of the JEdui,
was himself an JEduan, and an Archdruid. The ,duan nobi-
lity were, on the motion of Caesar himself, (Tacit. Annal. lib.
11. cap. 7.) admitted to the honourable privilege of Roman se-
liators. This distinction was the more flattering, because though
the application was genera], from the whole of Gallia Comata,
which included Belgic, Celtic, and Aqaitanian Gaul, the Edui
alone obtained this signal honour. The only Vergobret, men-


tioned by Caesar is Lisc7is, the chief magistrate of the JEdni,
who, on the testimony of all authors, antient and modern, (not
excepting Pinkarton himself,) were CeUs proper. The. man
• who can thus deliberately violate truth, in,Ut common sense.
and contradict himself, as vrell as all authors who have mention-
ed the /Edui, deserves pity rather than reprehension.

Vcrgobretus, he derives from Vergen, to render justice, and
Obrestf first or chief. Virgin, Abreast, (Virgo Obversata)
would have been fully as much to the purpose. Vercingeiorix,
and Veremundy he derives from the Anglo-Belgic Wer, a man»
The Roman Vir sine gutture (a man without a throat.) and Vir
viundus, (a well-dressed man,) would have been sterling in com.
parison of this. He derives Grdcacus, from the Gothic Galisatt,
to collect. Strange! passing strange ! that he did not derive it
from the Greek Galax?/, or make it an abbreviation of Gilliga’.
cus. The Grampian Hills, (Mons Grampius of Tacitus,) he de-
rives from the Danish Gram, a warrior. Considering the bleak
heathy appearance of these hills, our vulgar phrase, Griin,PusSj
(a black cat,) would have been infinitely more appropriate.
Eins, a range of hills in Galloway, he supposes, are derived from
the runes, a sort of rude alphabet used in Denmark so late as
the 12th century. They are commonly called the Helsing runes.
This is the very ne plus ultra of etymology, for the Gallovidian
hills, certainly bear an unequivocal resemblance to the Runic aL
phahet. He derives Alpin from Alp, a devil. This is a stroke
of admirable retaliation, on Alpin, for the signal defeat he gave
FiiilLa-Tton,s facOiir lie Picts at Rebiennet, It was impossible he
could do less, than dubb him a devil.

Having given the reader a short specimen of immaculate Pin-
kartonian etymology, I shall next give a list of Gothic foreign
names, which he considers as synonimous with, or bearing a
strong affinity to names in Scotland. Mios and Mouse ; Hoop
‘Aud Hope; Sfruer Rnd Anstruthcr; Farillosta Siud Fairntosh;
Gamcl and Campbell ; l,ahtcde and Gala; Ellum and Elvon.
foot; Mclderiip znd Aleldrum ; J esferup and Yesier ; Kuktndt
and Caliendar; JVedelspaug and JVeddel; Dallroth and Rotheat,;

NOTES. 363

Aher and Aha; Melosa and Melrose, Gillberg and Gilchrist;
Ales and Hailes; Falkenaw and Falkirk; Coldenkirke and
Cowdenknows, &c. &c. &c. The reader will find these syno-
nimes and etymologies, with many more of the same precious
and immaculate description, vol. 1. p. 153 – 154 – 286 – 287 –
288, &c.

A man who has got this Gothic mania into his head, has cer-
tainly reached the very last stage of etymological madness. The
affinity only consists in three or four initial, medial, or final let-
ters, and on the principle here laid down by him, he might with
equal facility and propriety trace the strongest affinity betwixt
Hamikar and Hamilton ; Carthage and Carlaverock ; Achaia and
Auchierarder ; Pentecost and Fentland; Aharimon and Aber.
lemno; Carjiaim sixid Carnmanairn; Pannonia and Pananack;
Balaena and Balantrae j Quatour.MiUe and Carmylie ; Camlifm
ses and Cambuslong ; Aro and Yarroxc, Salve and Solzcay,
Caput and Caputh ; Pituitaria and Piiarrow ; Chili and Killim
cranky; Campania and Campbelltown; Alt07ia and Altgrand;
Acarnania and Aquharny ; Sanchoniathon and Sanquhar ; Jero.
boam and Jersey ; Berosus and Bertie ; Bucolicon and Buchan ;
Belisarius and Belfast; Armageddon and Armagh; Tanais and
Tain; Tyre and Tyrconnel; Fores diwd Forres ; Thurini khA
Turin; Delphinus a,nd Dahin ; Esca a.ndlEsk; Cumaron Sind
Cameron; Kalliroos (Greek) and Culross; Mug il and MacgUl,
Infernus and Inverness ; Goree and Gowrie ; Sincerus and Saint
Cj/rusy &c.

I have thus presented to the reader a specimen cf Mr. Pinkar.
ton’s etymologies, and have added a few more constructed on
his own model, that mankind may duely estimate its immense
merits, and the incalculable benefits to etymological and histo-
ric truth, which must necessarily result from it. No wonder
that he under?alues Celtic etymology, when bis own is (to use his
own phrase) so super-superlaiive. Many cf our Celtic etymo-
logists are speculative and visionary enough, but Mr. Pinkarton
has outdone them ail. Where is the Celt, from the first origin
©f the name down to the present bear, who could have taken so

364 NOTES.

sublime a fliglit, as to discover that Kulandt was Cailendar;
that Fariltosta was Fuinitosk; that the Grampian Hills were
warriors I that the Alps were devils, and that the hills of Gallo<‘
• iiai) were runic letters.

But his treatment of the Celts, and of Celtic etymology has no
parallel, and cannot be justified on the score of common decen-
cy, or even of avowed hostility. I hope the reader will excuse
roe for laying before him a few specimens. Celtic etymology is
indeed the peculiar madness of this superficial age. Vol. 1. p. 138.
JVe dream that these Celtic names just fit the persons, places, Sfc.
but never dream thai three thousand others would all ft as zcell;
and that a cap and bells ivouldft still better. Vol. 1. p. 138 &
139. Read Swift, good Celtic etymologists, read Swift. Ibid,
p. 139. Such etymology is therefore always fully, but Celtic
etymology is sheer madness. Ibid. These Irish etymologies are
mere second sighted delusions. Swift,s mock etymologies of Andro..
machie from Andreu) Mackie, ,’c. are rational in comparison of
ihem. Vol. 1. p. 157. Is not this Lunacy? But such are all
Celtic etymologies. Vol. 1. p. 158. Must not our Celtic neiglu
bours have a remarkable defect in their understandings, and be
lost in the frenzy of disordered fancy ? What shall zve say of those
who trust them in points of science, when they cannot even be
trusted in points of common sense ? Ibid. p. 158 & 159. From
Diodorus Siculus and others, it is clear that the manners of the
Celts perfectly resembled those of the Hottentots. Append, to
Tol. 2. p. 68. What their own mythology was, v,e know not, but
it in all probability resembled that of the Hottentots, or others of
the rudest savages, as the Celts antiently were, and are little betm
ier at present, being incapable of any progress in society. Ibidem.
For he, (M, Pellouiier), was so ignorant as to take the Celts and
Scytluie for one people, in spite of all the antients who mark them
as literally ioto ccelo different, and in spite of our positive know..
kdge here in Britain, icho know the Celts to be mere radical sava,
ges, not yet advanced even to a state of barbarism, andifanyfom
reigner doubts this, he has only to step into the Celtic part of
Wales, Ireland, or Scotland, and look at them, for they are just

NOTES. 365

OS tliey tvere, incapalle of industry or civilization, even after half
their blood is Gothic, and remain as marked by the antients,fond
of lies, and enemies of truth. – Ibidem & p. 69, Geofrey of
Monmouth, most of the Irish historians, and the Highland Bards
and Senachies of Scotland, sheic that falsehood is the natural prom
duct of the Celtic mind, and the case is the same to this dai/. No
reprobation can be too severe for such frontless impostors ; and
to sai/ that a zoriter is a Celt, is to saj/ that he is a stranger to
truth, modesty, and inorality. – Ibidem. If towns ivere built for
them they would not inhabit them. – If peopled with Highlanders,
they will be in ruins in half a century. – Had all these Celtic
cattle emigrated Jive centuries ago, how happy had it been for the
country! All we can do is to plant colonies among them; and by
this, and encouraging their emigration, to get rid of the breed. – =
Vol. 1. p. 341.

From these strictures the reader will see that Mr. Pinkarton
is decidedly hostile to whatever bears the name of Celt, and no-
thing will satisfy him but their utter extermination. He must,
no doubt, be sensible that his Gothic system can never prevail,
so long as there is one Celt left in the world to advocate the
cause of truth, reason, or common sense. I have already shewn
that if Celtic etymology is madness, Pinkartonian etymology is
super-superlative madness. As a historian his powers are
equally colossal and gigantic. He seats his beloved Gcthe on
the throne of Nineveh exactly 344 years after the creation of the
world. Can Celtic madness produce any parallel to this ? He
Is indeed the very Don Quixotte of history. What a pity that
no coadjutor, no faithful Sancho, was found to second his Quixo,
tic efforts. All historians who have preceded, or followed him,
have studiously shunned the Pinkartonian path. Bat as I will
immediately have occasion to advert to his merits as a historian,
I shall not enlarge farther at present.

3 A


On the Antiquity of the Use of Letters among the
Celts in general, and the Irish in particular; uith
some Remarks on the Number and Antiquity of
the Irish Manuscripts.


THAT the Celts were the Aborigines of Europe, is a point
• unquestioned, and unquestionable, and it must hence also follow
that their language was the Aboriginal one. To both these
points, Mr. Pinkarton, their grand antagonist, has fully acceded.
At what period they passed from Asia to Europe, can admit of
no certain determination. The period when they became ac-
quainted with letters is equally uncertain. But if we may lay
any stress on the affinity of their mythology, their deities, their
religious rites, and peculiar customs, to those of Chaldea, Phte-
iiicia, and Egypt, we have reason to conclude, that they were
sooner acquaiuted with the use of letters than is generally al-

The history of Jbar is, the Hyperborean priest of the sun, is too
“well established to admit of any doubt. About seven centuries
prior to our aera, h« wrote several treatises on different sub-
jects. He spoke Greek as perfectly and as fluently as Pytha-
goras himself ; nor does he appear, from the testimony of the
Greeks themselves, to have been in any respect inferior to that
great philosopher. Tacitus, (de Morib. Cerm. c. G.) informs
us that the Germans, man and woman, were equally ignorant
of the use of letters. Pinkarton himself, (vol. 2. p. 19) admits
that the Germans, Scandinavians, Polanders, and Russians, were
not acquainted with letters till the 9th century. It is well known
that tb« antient Grtcks gave th« name of Hi/perboreans to itll

NOTES. 387

i\\e nations situated without, and to the north of the straits of
Gibraltar. Abaris might thus have been an inhabitant of the sea-
coast of Spain, of Gaul, of Germany, of Scandinavia, of Poland,
of Russia, of Great Britain, or of Ireland. But as Tacitus and
Pinkartoa betwixt them, have proved the utter ignorance of all
the Hyperborean nations, except the Celts, up to the 9th century,
it must follow that Abaris was a Celt. It is therefore historic
truihy that Abaris, a priest of the sun, and a Celt, spoke Greek
elegantly, was a profound philosopher, and wrote several treati-
ses, 1500 hundred years before the Germans, Scandinavians,
Polanders, and Russians, had learned the alphabet. It is, there-
fore, no wonder that Piokarton has not once condescended to
mention the name of this illustrious Celtic philosopher and

The Celfs seem, from the most authentic evidence, to have
been well acquainted with the Greek language. Cassar says, (lib.
1. cap. 29.) In Castris Helvetiorum tabulae re per tae sunt lite’
ris Graecis covfectae, et ad Caesar em perlatae quibus in tabulis
ratio confecta erat, qui numerus domo exisset eorum, qui arma
ferre possent, ct item separatim pueri, senes, mulieresque. i. e.
” Tables were found in the camp of the Helvetii, written in
Greek characters, or in the Greek language (for the words
Graecis Uteris, is a very equivocal phrase, and may admit of
either signification,) and brought to Caesar, in which had been
made out a particular account of all those able to bear arms who
had set out from home, and also of the children, old men, and
women, separately.’. This is another clear proof that the Celts
at least understood the Greek characters, and perhaps the lan-
guage itself. The Helvetii had undertaken n great and hazar-
dous enterprlze, and wished to conceal the extent of Ihe loss,
whatever it might be, from the vulgar. Had theso registers been
made out in Celtic, they might have fallen into the hands of im-
proper persons, and been perused by them; but when wriUen iu
Greek characters or the Greek language, they %vere intelligible
only to the higher ranks. I believe no instance can be conde-
scended on, where a man, or any number cf mGn. can ryan and

368 NOTES.

write a foreign language, without being able, in some measure, to
read and write their own. At any rate this passage is a clear
proof that the Celts could read, write, and calculate, for these
registers reached as far as 368,000, If Pinkarton will not al-
low the Celts an alphabet of their own, he cannot, at least deny
that 1850 years ago, they used the Greek one.

The same author, (lib. 6. cap. 14.) gives us a passage still
more explicit, and more to the point in question. Neque fas
esse existimant ca Uteris mandare, quum in reliquis fere rebus,
yublicis, privatisque raiionibus, (Graecis) Uteris, utantur. i. e.
” Neither do they think it lawful to commit these things to
writing, (letters) when commonly in their other affairs, and in
their public and private accounts, they make use of {Greek) let-
ters.” It is easy here to see that the word Graecis is the inter-
polation’of some ignorant transcriber, who, finding it inserted
by Caesar, (lib. 1. cap. 29.) imagined it had been here omitted
by mistake. He has, however, inserted it within a parenthesis,
so that we are at liberty to retain or reject it. In the former
passage, Caesar merely relates a detached action of the Helvetii
on a great and critical emergency, whereas in the present case
lie is detailing the ordinary conduct, and wary policy of the
Druids. Though it is as clear as the sun that Graecis must be
eiploded, still I have no objection to take the passage as it is.
It is not for this or that particular alphabet that I am contend-
ing, bat only for the antiquity of the use of letters among ihe
Celts. This passage is another incontrovertible proof, that the
Druids committed to writing ordinary occurrences, as well
as their public and private accounts. It was only to iheirmys.
ieries that the prohibitory law extended. Indeed, were all other
evidence wanting, tlve very words fas non hubcbant (they had a
law against it) would clearly establish the fact; for there can
be neither law, restriction, nor prohibition against a thing to-
tally unknown. Can any man, in the face of such irresistible
evidence, deny, that the Celts had manuscripts at least as early
as the time of Caesar ?

The next instance I adduce is from Toland, (p, 1G8) where

NOTES, 369

he gives us a long quotation from Luclan. This the reader is
desired to peruse with attention. He will here find another
Abaris equally acquainted with Grecian history and mythology,
and equally skilled in the Greek language. Lucian calls him a
philosopher, a name of the same import with the Celtic Druid,
Lucian was, on this occasion, present on the spot, and conversed
with the Gaelic philosopher face to face, so that it is impossible
he could be mistaken. This direct and collateral instance, were
there any doubt of Abaris’ being a Celt, would sufficiently clear
it up. Let Mr. Pinkarton, or his abettors, condescend on any
German or Scandinavian equally learned, six centuries after the
time of Lucian, and I will surrender them both. Can any ra-
tional being imagine that these Celts, who were such admirable
adepts in the Greek language, had not learned the alphabet of
their own,

Tacitus, (de Morib. Germ. cap. 1.) gives a traditionary ac-
count of Ulysses having penetrated into Germany, and built the
city Asciburgium, which he Graecizes Askipyrgion, i. e. ” the
black tower ,”, and concludes thus, Monumentaque ct iumidos
quosdam Graecis liieris inscriptos in confinio Germaniac Bhac.
tiaeque adhuc extare. i. e. ” There are some monuments and se-
pulchres, with Greek inscriptions, still remaining on the con-
fines of Germany and Rhaetia.” Tacitus having narrated this
tradition, adds, ” That he intends to adduce no arguments either
to confirm or refute it, but that every one may credit or discre-
dit it, as he thinks proper.” Tacitus hesitates to ascribe these
antiquities and Greek inscriptions, (as well he may) to Ulysses,
and certainly nobody will ascribe them to the Germans, then
and for seven centuries afterwards totally illiterate. I shall not
even ascribe them to the Celts, though from the circumstances
of their having been the Aborigines of Germany, and from a very
remote period well acquainted with the Greek language, they
have the fairest claim to them. The Celtic claim to the early
use of letters stands on firm and stable ground. It needs no hy-
pothetical aid to support it, and I am determined to adduce

570 NOTES.

But, in another point of view, this passage i« direct to our pur-
pose, Tacitus was Procurator of Gaul, and resided there; nor
is there the slightest vestige of evidence of his having visited
Germany at all. He must therefore have derived this informa-
tion from some quarter or other. The Germans, (on his own
evidence then totally illiterate, and on the evidence of their stre-
nous advocate Pinkarton, equally so till the 9th century,) could
not have read the Odyssey, were incapable of distinguishing
(jreek characters from those of any other nation, and certainly
still more incapable to trace the affinity of the German Ascihurm
gium to the Greek Askipyrgion, This is the only etymology
ivhich Tacitus has hazarded in his whole treatise on Germany,
and is so forced that it could never have occurred to him without
being pointed out. Here, therefore, as in the case of Abaris,
we have no alternative, but must ascribe the account given to
Tacitus of Ulysses, and of these antient monuments, and Greek
inscriptions, to the Gauls, who, on the clearest evidence, were
well acquainted with the Greek alphabet, language, history, and

I am well aware, that there are many who are willing to grant
that the Druids were early acquainted with the use of letters,
but then they contend that this noble art was exclusively confi-
ned to themselves. Even this compromise cannot be acceded to,
Cajsar’s words to the contrary are clear and decisive. The rea-
sons he assigns, (lib. 6. cap. 14.) for the Druids not committing
their tenets to writing, are these. Id mlhi duabas de causis insti’
tuisse videntur, quod neque in vulgum disciplinam efferri velint
fieque eos, qui discant, Uteris conjisos, minus memoricE studere,
i. e. ” They (the Druids) appear to me to have enacted this law
for two reasons, because they neither wished their doctrines to be
made known to the vulgar, nor their pupils trusting to the aid
of letters, to pay less attention to the cultivation of their me-
mory.” Had Caesar, (and where is the man who had equal
nccess to know?) considered the lower ranks in Gaul as unac-
quainted with letters, would he have acted so inconsistently as
to tells us, that the Druids did not cd;nmit their doctrines to wri.

NOTES. 371

ting, lest the vulgar should read them. It is here worthy of re-
mark, that in this part of the sentence, the word Graecis does
not occur, nor in the sentence immediately following, where
Caesar uses the word Uteris in the same general sense. Indeed,
throughout the whole of this chapter, it is evident that by the
word Uteris, Caesar does not mean the alphabet at all, but
the art of writing in general.

But as the anticeltic writers hare made a great handle of this
word Graecis, to pro?e that the Celts were only acquainted with
the Greek alphabet, and had none of their own, I shall endeavour
to probe the matter to the bottom. Let us then retain, instead
of exploding this word, and it must follow, 1. That the Druidic
prohibition of committing their tenets to writing extended only
to the Greek language. 2. That wherever the word Uteris oc-
curs in this chapter, (it occurs four times) it must mean the
Greek alphabet. 3. That the Greek language was well knowa
to the vulgar in Gaul, which induced the Druids to interdict
this language in particular, and no other.

But so far from the Greek language being generally known
in Gaul, we have the very best authority to the contrary, Cse-
sar, (lib. 1. cap. 19 ) gives us an account of an interview with
Divitiacus, where the daily interpreters were removed, and the
conversation carried on betwixt them by means of Caius Vale-
rius Procillus. Divitiacus was a very eminent man, and, besides,
the Archdruid of all Gaul. Had he been acquainted with the
Greek language, no interpreter betwixt him and Caesar would
have been necessary; and it would certainly be absurd, in the
extreme, to ascribe to the vulgar a knowledge of the Greek
language, which even their Archdruid did not possess. Tlie
Greek language was not therefore the language of the vulgar in
Gaul, and consequently the Druidic prohibition did not extend
to it. Indeed, to whatever hand we turn ourselves, (if the
word Graecis is retained) we are involved in a Chaos of non-
sense, absurdity, and contradiction. Explode it, and all is
clear and consistent.

The result of the whole is, that Caesar is not here speaking of

372 NOTES.

any particular language or alphabet, but merely of the art of
writing in general. The Druidic precaution must also be inter-
preted in the same liberal and indefinite manner. Their prohi-
tion to commit their tenets to writing did not point to this or
that particular language, but was ultimate and conclusive against
comra/ting them to writing in any language whatever. On the
testimony of Lucian and Caesar, the Greek language was known
in Gaul, but that knowledge appears to have been limited to a
few illustrious individuals, otherwise he would not have needed
an interpreter, when speaking to Divitiacus. That this was the
case is clear from Caesar, {lib. 5. cap. 48) who says, Turn cuL
dam ex eqidubus Gallia niagnis praemiis perstiadet, uti ad Cicer-
onem epistolam defcrat. IJanc Graecis conscriptam Uteris mit-
tit ; ne intertepta epistola, nostra ah hostibus consilia cognoscarim
iur, I. e. ”Then he persuades one of the Gallic horsemen, by
great rewards, to carry a letter to Cicero. He sends this letttr
written in the Greek language, lest being intercepted, our de-
signs might be kown by the enemy.” Tabulae covfectae Grae-
cis Uteris, and Epistola con&cripta Graecis Uteris, are phrases so
much the same, that it is evident the registers of the Helvetii
mentioned by Caesar, (lib. 1. cap. 29.) were written in the
Greek language, and not merely in the Greek characters. But
whatever knowledge the Celts in Gaul had of the Greek lan-
guage, it is evident they were much better acquainted with the
Roman language, else Caesar would not have used the Greek
language as a preferable disguise. Had the Celts been totally
illiterate, no precaution was necessary, nor would there have
been the least risque of their reading Caesar’s letter. Hence it
is clearly established on the most unexceptionable evidence of
Caesar, who could not possibly be mistaken, that the Gauls un-
derstood both the Greek and Roman languages, and infallibly
the respective alphabets of both these languages. Can any man,
in his senses, then imagine, that when ihey were acquainted with
both these alphabets, they could not form one to themselves ?
I consider it therefore indubitable that the Celts in Gaul, as
early as the time of Caesar were acquaiiiled with the art of wri-

NOTES. 373

ting, and had an alphabet of their own. Having satisfactorily
(I hope) established this point, I shall next tarn my attention
to the Celts in Great Britain.

To establish the antiquity of the use of letters in Britain, it
might be deemed sufficient to point out its early commercial in-
tercourse with Greece and Phoenicia, in both which countries,
the art of writing was well known. Commercial nation. have,
of all others, been soonest acquainted with this art. The reason
is obvious ; for commerce can be carried to no great extent with-
out it. The inhabitants of Gaul and Britain were descended of
the same common stock, they spoke the same language, and had
the same civil and religious institutions; their intercourse was
easy and frequent, and hence any ait or science known in the
one country could not be long unknown in the other. Fortu-
nately we have no occasion to res,t this matter on hypothetical
or presumptive evidence. Caisar (lib. 6. cap. 13.) puts it be-
yond all doubt, when he tells us – Disciplina in Britannia reper,
ia, atqut inde in Galliam translata esse existimatur ; et nunc,,
tjiii dUigentms earn rem cognoscere voiunt, plenunque illo discen,
di causa projidscunlur – i. e. ” The discipline (of the Druids.)
is supposed to have been Inveiited iu Britain, and thence trans-
ferred into Gaul; and even at the present day, they who wish
to know this discipline more perfectly, for the most part resort
to Britain for the purpose of studying it.” By disciplina U
clearly meant the whole learning or philoscphif of the Druids.
We thus see that the Druids in Gaul, so far from being iu any
lespect superior to those in Britain, were in fact their pupils;
and hence it must follow, that whatever degree of learning was
known in Gaul, had been carried to a higher pitch of perfection
in Britain. We have already seen that the use of letters was, in
Ca?sar’s time, well known in Gaul. We have also seen that the
Britons were the preceptors of the Gauls; and if it were possi-
ble 10 imagine that the teacher was more ignorant than the scho-
lar, or that the Druids in Britain were unacquainted with the
use of letters, still it is certain that this noble art would have
beeo sneedijv communicated by one or other wf the aumerouii

3 l>.

374 NOTES.

Gallic students, “i,ho resorted to Britain for the purpose of ,lo,
secuting their studies to perfection. Tacitub-, in his L’tJ’e of
Agricola, (cap. 7. adfaiem) gives us a Tery remarkable passage
nearly to the same effect. Hortari privathn, adjuvare pubHce,
«f templa, fora, domoa exsirverent, laudundo promptos, et castu
gando segncs, iia honoris aemulatio, pro necessitate erat. Ita
,ero principwn filios liheralibus ariihus erudire, et ingenia Bri”
tannorum stadiis Gallorum anteferre, ut qui modolinguain Roma-
namabnuebant, eloquentiam concupiscerent – i. e. ‘, He exhort-
ed them privately, he assisted them publicly to build temples,
courts of justice, and houses, by praising the industrious, and
punishing the indolent, and hence necessarily arose an emula-
tion for honour. He also instructed the sons of the nobility to
that degree in the liberal arts, and made them so far outstrip the
Gauls in their studies, that they who lately despised the Roman
language, were now in raptures with its eloquence.” Prior to
this period, the Druids in Britain had Tjeen persecuted with the
most relentless rigour. The inhabitants, by repeated injuries,
bad been exasperated almost even to madness and desperation,
Agricola took a different course, and endeavoured to appease
them hy conciliatory measures. He protected their property,
and assisted them to rebuild their houses, and leligious and judU
cial circles {Templa et fora) which had been demolished. He
further instructed the sons of the nobility in the liberal arts, and
made them such adepts in the Latin language, that they highly
relished its beauties and elegance. Will even Pinkarton himself
£ay that these noble youthe were unacquainted with the use of
Jetters? Will he, in the face of so direct a testimony, say that
the Cells had no temples? Will he deny the distinction I have
made of the Druidical circles into (Templa etfora) temples and
courts of justice, when he sees this distinction sanctioned by
Tacitus himself? Will he still insist that the Britons were mere
jilliterate savages, when Tacitus expressly mys-,ingcnia liritaTu
novum studiis Gallorum anieferre – i. e. ” He made the genius
of the Britons excel the studies of the Gauls ?’» The evidence
of Tacitus is in this instance of pii»ary weight, as he was pro-

NOTES. 375

curator of Gaul, and had an opportunity of knowing the studies
of the Gauls; and Agricola, his father-in-law, had an equal op-
portunity of knowing the studies of his noble pupils in Britain.
Before Mr. Pinkarton can fix the charge of ignorance of letters
on the Celts, he must – Imo, Disprove the direct testimony of
C,sar; – 2do, He must prove that the Gauls were such fools,
from time immemorial, as to resort to Britain to perfect their
studies, under a race of men much more ignorant and illiterate
than themselves ; – 3tio, That the noble pupils of Agricola learn-
ed to read the Roman language, and admired its beauties and
elegance, without knowing one single letter of the alphabet of
that, or any other language; – 4to, That reading and writing are
not included in the number of the Liberal Arts, and consequently
were not imparted to Agricola’s pupils.

It deserves particular notice, that Agricola resided in Britain
only about seven years, and the words of Tacitus seem to imply,
that the sons of the nobility completed their education in the se.
cond year. In the third year Agricola penetrated as far as the
Tay, But should we allow the whole seven years, the time
would have been totally inadequate, had Agricola had mere illi-
terate savages to contend with. On the contrary he appears to
have found a well prepared, grateful and productive soil, an,J
this can only be imputed to the Druids, who made the education
of the higher ranks their peculiar study and province. We hav€
already seen (on the testimony of Cassar), that in his time the
Gauls had made some progress in the Greek, and still more in
the Roman language. The old Gaul mentioned by Lucian wa$
profoundly skilled in the Greek language. It is not impro-
bable, from their intercourse with the Romans, that the higher
ranks in Britsiia had, by thisi time, paid soma attention to the
Roman language. Indeed the words of Tacitus imply as much
– qui mode linguam Romanam ahnuebant – i. e. ” who lately
rejected the Roman language,.’ for it is well known that a man
can neither approbate nor reprobate a language of which he is
totally ignorant. When Tacitus was expressly treating on th,
subject of British education, had the BritaUis beea ignorant of

3 B 2

376 NOTES.

letters, he would certaiclj have told us, as he does of the Ger-
mans (De Morib. Germ. cap. 6.) – Literarvm secreta viri pari,
fer, acfoeminae ignorant – i. e. .’ Men and women are equaljy
ignorant of the secret of letters. ” Were we thus to pervade the
ancient classics, numerous passages to the same effect might be
found; but I shall content myself with mentioning the Turdetani,
the oldest inhabitants of Spain, who, on the testimony of Strabo
Clib. 3.) had laws written in verse, a thousand years before his
time. These Turdetani were clearly Celts, and placed in the
Celtic district on the Baetis or Guadcdquher. The very river
seems to have taken its name from the Celtic settlement on its
banks ; for Guadalqidver (in the Gaelic language Gaoidkal Cuib,
kar) literally signifies the Celtic portion ox territory. The Tur.
detani, and their neighbours the Turduli, are mentioned by
Ptolemy, lib. 2. cap. 5. The TurduU are mentioned by Varro,
Ub.% cap. 10. and by Piiny, lib, 3. cap. 1.; but the surest
proof that these Turditani were Celts is, that Mr. Pinkarton has
not claimed them as Gothe, nor indeed once mentioned them,
though he has given us a very full account of the Celts., or what
he calls the German Celts in Spain. Had they borne any affinity
.o his favourite Gothe, he would have traced them through every
chink and crevice from JSooika So,ind to NovaZembla.

When this gentleoian has any favourite point to drive, he is a
jnost assiduous champion; and there is no artifice, however
mean, to which he will not stoop. When wishing to establish
that the inhabitants of the east of England were Germans, he
quotes a passage from Tacitus (Vit. Agric. cap. 4.), but leaves
out the most material part of the whole, – ISee vol. 1. p. 184.
Sensible that he would be detected, he has inserted part of the
passage omitted, in his list of errata; but instead of a transla-
tion of it, gives, us the following comment. He (Tacitus) is
speaking of the Belgic Gauls, and the Belgce in Britain; a?)iQvg
the former he lived; and the latter icere the only Britons he could
hnoiv from proximity. – Intrcduc. to vol 1. p. 84. I shall here
insert the passage, and let Tacitus speak for himself. In univer.
mm tamen aestimanli GaUos vicinmn solum occnpaxH’ crcdibile est.

NOTES. 377

Korum sacra depi,eJiendas, svperstitiomim persuasione, Sermo
haud tmdtum diversus. In deposcendls pcricittis tadem audaciay
et ubi advenerc, in dttrectandis eadem formido ; plus tamcnfeio-
.ice Brifanni praejerunt, nt quos nondum longa pax emollierit.
Nam Gallos qnoquein Bellis Jioruisse accepimus. Max segnitia
cum otto intravit, amissa I’irtute ac pariter libertaie, quod Dritan.
norum oUm victis evenit ; ceieri manent quales GaUi fuerunt –
i. e. ” On the whole, to an attentive observer, it will appear
credible that the Gauls occupied the land (of Britain) nearest
to them. You can discover their sacred rites bj the similarity
of their superstitions. Their language is nearly the same. They
have the same boldness in provoking dangers, and when they
have found them, the same cowardice in running away from
them; but the Britons shew more courage, because long peace
has not as yet rendered them effeminate. For wc have also
heard that the Gauls flourished in war. Immediately indolence
entered with ease, (peace) their bravery being lost along with
“their liberly. The very same thing happened to that part of
the Britons formerly conquered ; the rest remain such as the
Gauls were.”

Now I appeal to any man of common sense, and common ho-
nesty, whether Tacitus mentions the Belgae, or even so much
as alludes to them. It would, indeed, have been very inconve-
nient for Mr. Pinkarton to have treated this passage honestly.
It contains every characteristic trait of the Celts in Gaul, and
every part of it is corroborated by Caesar. We have, 1. Tlieir
sacred rites and svperstiiions. Caesar, (lib. 6. cap. 16.) says,
Naflo omnis Gallorum est admodvm dedifa jeligionibus. i. e.
” The whole nation of the Gauls is greatly addicted to reli-
gious rites.’- Pinkarton renders this, one third of Gau!.
Caesar, (lib. 6. cap. 21,) says of the Germans, Nam neque
Dnddes hahent, qui rebus dlvinis praesint, 7ieque sacrijiciis !>iu,
dent. i. e. ” For the Germans neither have Druids who presids
in religious matters, nor do they offer sacrifices at all.” Hence
it is clear that the sacred rites and superstitions found in Bri-
tain by Tacitus, will not apply to the Belgae, had they been

378 NOTES.

Germans. 2. We have the similarity of the language of the Brz.
ions to that of the Gauls. This is, of all other marks, the most
unequivocal, and is the more important because Tacitus makes it
the language of the whole island . He appears to have been at great
pains to investigate every trait of distinction among the inhabi-
tants, but found no other except the red hair and large limbs of
the Caledonians (Picts), and the curled hair and painted countem
9iances, of the Silures, (Welch). Would he have mentioned
such equivocal marks of discrimination, and omitted that of
language, when expressly treating of the language of Britain,
had any difference existed? Impossible. 3. The forwardness
of the Britons to provoke dangers j and their pusillanimity in re-
pelling them. This propensity of the Gauls is admirably marked
by Caesar, (lib. 3. cap. 19.) in these words. Nam ut ad Bella
siiscipienda Gallorum alacer ac promptus est animus, sic mollis ae
minime resistens ad calamitate, perferetidas mens eorum est. \. q.
” For as the minds of the Gauls are eager and forward to un-
dertake war, so they are timid, and have very little fortitude to
endure calamities.” 4.. The former bravery of the Gauls. This
is mentioned by Ca3sar, (lib. 6. cap. 24.) Ac juit antea tempus
quum Gennanos Galli virtute super arent, ultro bella inferrenty
propter hominum mullitudinem, agrique inopiam trans Rhenum
colonias mittereni, c5’c. i. e. ” And there formerly was a time
when the Gauls excelled the Germans in bravery, made war oii
them of their own accord, and on account of the multitude of
men, and want of land, sent colonies across the Rhine.’. The
only circumstance which Cajsar omits, is the language of th«f
Britons, nor is this any matter of surprise. Having slated that
the inhabitants of the cast coast of Britain were Belgae from
Gaul, it was unnecessary to acquaint us that thoy brought the
Gallic language along with them; nor is it usual, (as far as I
know) for a bistorian to say that a nation speaks its own language,
for this very obvious reason, that it cannot rationally be supposed
to speak any other. Fortunately Tacitus, (in whose time Bri.
lulu was well known, from the isle of Anglesf y to the Grampi-
ans,) puts this matter beyond a doubt, when he calls the Bri«

NOTES. 379

lish language, sermo hand multum dhcrsus, i, e. ” a language
nearly resembling the Gallic. But, (says Mr. Pinkarton), he
is here speaking of the Belgic Gauls, and the Belgae in Britain,
and means the German language. Be it so. But I suppose it
will be admitted Tacitus is the best judge of his <Swn meaning.
Speaking of the JEstyi, a German nation, {De Morib. Germ, cap,
15, ad mitium), he says, Ergo jam dextro Suevici maris litiore
Mstiforum gentes alluuntur ; quibus ritus habitusque suevorunij
lingua Britannicae propior. i. e. ” The tribes of the jEstyi are
next washed on the right hand shore of the Suevian sea; they
have the religious rites and dress of the Suevi, but their language
approaches nearer to the Britannic, Tacitus here certainly
means to say, that the ,stii spoke the Britannic language, and
not the German; and hence it must also follow that the Britan-
nic language was not the German. Had there been different
languages in Britain, Tacitus would not have used the general
term Britannic language, (a term commensurate to the island
itself), to express the language of the .,styi. This uniformity
of language, throughout the whole extent of the island, clearly
established by Tacitus, and contradicted by no Roman author
whatever, settles the important point, that the Belgae were
Celts – that they spoke the Celtic language – and that the inha-
tants of Britain, in toto (in Tacitus’ time), were of the same
race, and spoke the same language. Mr. Pinkarton, taking bis
leave of Tacitus, has a most tragi. comic eccounter with Bedc,
Jornandes, Nennius, Sanmel, S)C. hugging one, and buffeting
another, as they happen to favour, or thwart his purpose; but
the whole evidence he elicits from this arduous contest, is not
worth a penny. When Tacitus had once dropt the hint, that
the Caledonians might perhaps be Germans, it was easy for these
fabulous writers, to contrive a method of ferrying them over
from Germany. But here too, they commit an egregious mis-
take in bringing them over in a few Roman ships of war, longis
tiavibus non multis. Every one knows that the Romans, and no
nation else denominated their ships of war, Longae naves. This
Wuoder is the more unpardonable, because Tacitus, speaking of

380 NOTES.

the Suioncs, (De Morlb. Germ. cap. 14 ) ,i\’c$ us a description
of ships very different. Forma naiium eo diffcrl, quod uinmque
jirorae paiatam semper uppuUui fronleui ogit ; nee vclis minis,
traniur, iicc remos hi ordine UUeribus adjuni:unt. Solittiim, ui
inqulhusdamjiumlnum,et mutabilc, Jti res posc’it, lilnc vdiHinc re-
mfgiumy I. c. ‘,’ The form of their ships diircr from ours in this
respect, that a prow at each end renders landing always easy,
nor are they furnished with sails, nor do they fix the oars in
rows on their sides. The oars are loose, (not fastened to thev es-
se)), as is the case iu some rivers, and can be shifted to either
side, as occasion requires.” Mr. Pinkarton is here at his old
iricks. lie docs not insert this passage in the original, but
gives us the following interested and uncandid translation of it.
The form of the ships diferfrom crurs, because a prow at either
end makes landing aheays easy. They have no sails, nor are the
oars ranged in order on the side. The vessel is of free construcm
tion, as used in some rieers, and may be steered to uhatever point
is necessary, (v. I. p. 204). By Solutum remfgium, h c\ea.T]y
meant that the Suiones did not fasten their oars to the sliips, but
Mr. Pinkarton says it means , free built vessel, without consi.
deriog, ihsit Solutum, whenever applied t oa ship, means unmoor,
ed. Solvere navem to unmoor a ship, is a phrase so well known
that it needs no comment. Remigium never signifies a vessel,
but the act of rowing, ipsa agltatio remorum, and in many in-
stances, (as here) the oar itself. By this artifice Mr. Pinkarton
has contrived to convert Tacitus’ censure of their unskilful mode
of rowing, into a panegyric on the structure of their ships. I
hope the reader will indulge me in making a few remarks on this
lax.ous Scandinavian navy.

1. They were double prowed, for the greater facility in land,
ing, and hence we may infer that they were not calculated for
any thing beyond their narrow creeks and rivers. Had they
been acquainted with the helm, the double prow to land the
ship, without turning, was unnecessary, and without the helm
710 distant voyage could be undertaken. 2. They had no sails,
cnother obstucio to sailing at any considerable distance, 3. The

NOTES. 381

oars were disposed in no regular and judicious manner, to fa-
cilitate either the celerity, or proper management of the vessel.
4to, The oars, as in boats employed on rivers, were not fastened
to the vessel, and apt, in the least storm, to be washen overboard
and lost. This was the state of the Scandinavian navy when
Tacitus wrote in the beginning of the second century. Four
centuries earlier, the date assigned for the migration of the Picts
from Scandinavia to Scotland, this navy must have been still in a
worse state. Yet these wretched boats, with a double prow,
• without sails, without a regular disposition of the oars, managed
in the most unskilful manner, and in all probability without a
helm, have been magnified by the writers of the middle ages into
huge, laf,ge ships, longae naves.

But the true point of inquiry is, how these late writers knew
an event of which no tradition existed in the time of CjEsar and
Tacitus, who wrote seven or eight centuries before them. Had
any tradition of this migration existed, Tacitus would not have
rested the Pictish or Caledonian claim to a Germanic origin, on
their red hair. Caesar and Tacitus are the fathers of British his-
tory. It is astonishing to consider with what avidity the slight-
est hint dropt by them has been grasped at, and improved on.
6aesar mentions Vergohretus as the name of the chief magistrate
of the iEdui. The hint is instantly taken, and Cas’wellaunus is
dubbed Vergobret of the South Britons, Galgacus of the Caledo-
nians, and, which is still more ridiculous, Mr. Pinkarton has
put in his claim to Vergobret in behalf of his favourite Gothe»
Human folly is always the same. But the truth is, that there is
no evidence whatever of a Pictish migration from Scythia, Ger,
many, or Scandinavia. The conjecture of Tacitus, that the Ca-
ledonians might be Overmans from the size of their limbs, and
their red hair, is the origin of the whole fable. Here it origi-
nated; and after having been twisted about and about in every
direction, from the time of Bede down to the present day, it al-
ways reverts to the same point, and remains exactly as Tacitus
left it. The red hair of the Caledonians, on which Pinkarton
lav? so much stress, is a criterion extremely equivocal. The

3 c

382 nOTEs.

-very same criterion would prove them Egyptians. D’lodoms
Siculus (lib. 1. p. 99.) says, it zzas an established custom of the
Egyptians to sacrifice red haired men at the tomb of Osiris.

But though we should grant, contrary to all probability, that
the Picts or Caledonians were a colony from Germany or Scan-
dinavia about three centuries prior to our Eera, still we are in.
TolTed in the same difficulty ; for the question naturally arises,
• whether this colony were Celts or Germans ? That the Germans
made great encroachments on the Celts on the Continent, and
■wrested the greater part of their territory from them, is on a!I
hands allowed. Still, even in Germany, as late as the time of
Caesar and Tacitus, the Celts were not extirpated. We find the
Tectosages, the Finni, the jEstyi, the Cimhri, and the Goihini,
indisputably Celtic nations, still in Germany. Now can it rea-
sonably be supposed that the Germans would rather emigrate
themselves, than drive out the Celts; or rather is it not self-evi-
dent that the Celts, the vFcaker party, were forced to yield to
the overwhelming pressure of the Germans, and to seek new set-
tlements for themselves in Britain. Hence the probability of a
Celtic origin for the Picts or Caledonians, must greatly prepon-
derate; and still more so, as there is not the slightest vestige of
authentic evidence in the world, that a German, or any one of
that race, ever set a foot on British or Irish ground before the
middle of the fifth century. It would Be presumption in me to
endeavour to establish the Celtic origin of the Picts or Caledoni-
ans. In so doing, I could only repeat the arguments of men in-
finitely better qualified for the task. That the Picts or Caledo-
nians were of Celtic origin, is established by the respectable
authorities of Camden, Lloyd, Lines, Whitaker, Gufhrie, Gib.
hon, Hume, &c. &c. &c. I have to apologize to the reader for
this long digression. The truth is, that it formed the concluding
part of Note 65, and, by some unaccountable oversight, was
omitted in its proper place ; nor was the mistake discorered till
it was too late to rectify it. We shall next turn our attention
to the Celts in Ireland.
The antiquity cf the use of lett«r8 in Ir«land has bee n strenu.

NOTES. 383

o,,,iy maintalne,l, and as strenuously controTf rted. To do jus-
tice to this discussion, would require a volume. Pinkarton and
Jnne.9 have, above all others, strained every effort in the negative,
and adduced every argument to that effect which ingenuity could
invent, or prejudice suggest. By adverting to the argmnc nts of
these gentlemen, I will, in some measure, be able to do justice
to the subject, and at the same time confine myself within the
bounds to which these notes must necessarily be limited. Both
these gentlemen owed Mr. Toland a grudge, though on very dif-
ferent grounds. Pinkarton was sensible his Gothic system could
never stand, till the Celts, and every thing Celtic, were com-
pletely annihilated, and hence his inveterate antipathy to To-
land, who was not only a Celt, but a strenuous assertor of the
antiquity, civilization, and early literature of the Celts. InneSy
on llie other hand, was a Popish clergyman, a staunch Jacobite,
and an inflexible advocate for the dimne right ofreignmg. This
divine right of kings was, by Toland and the whigs, (for Toland
was a rigid whig) ironically denominated the divine right of doing
ziwong. With men actaated by such discordant principles, where
a diversity of opinion was possible, no coincidence was to be

INIr. Pinkarton (v. 2. p. 18. & 19.) insists that the Irish have
no claim to letters before St. Patrick introduced them, along
with Christianity, about the year 440. Yet this same gentle-
man, wishing to \ix the authentic history of his favourite Picts
as early as possible, dates it from the commencement of the reign
of Drust the Great, in 414, and assigns as a reason for this authen-
ticity, (v. l.p.275.) that, in 412, there were /nVj clergymen who
settled in Pictland, and had the use of letters, and that tradition
ivas then exchanged for authentic history. If the Irish were un-
acquainted with letters till St. Patrick introduced them in 440,
or (as others say) =n 432, it must follow that these Irish clergy
who settled in Pictland in 412, must also have been totally illi-
terate. Bat Mr. Pinkarton, it may be presumed, would not
found the authenticity of the history of his red-haired friends on
a fiction, and hence it is evident, from his own account of the

3 C 2

584 NOTES.

matter, that the Irish were acquainted with letters at least
twenty years before the arrival of St. Patrick. The man who
can thus deliberately deny and assert one and the same thing, as
it thwarts or favours his purpose, is certainly very ill qualified
for a historian.

Mr. Innes, with all his foibles, is a modest and meritorious
writer. Though he sometimes colours hard, he never absolutely
violates truth. Willing to rate St, Patrick’s merits as high ds
possible, he makes him the father of Irish letters. The first ar-
gument he adduces (v. 2. p. 456.) is that the Gaelic (Irish)
• words Litir, a letter – Leahhar, a book – Leagham, to read –
Scriobham, to write, &c. are derived from the Roman Litera,
Liber, Lego, Scribo, &c. and hence infers that Letters, Booksy
Beading and Writing, were borrowed from the Romans, and
introduced by St. Patrick. To give this argument its full
weight, I shall here add a short synopsis of the Sanscrit, Celtic,
and Roman languages.
























Cultivated land








A mother








A brother








A prophet


Ter, Tir






















A priest








A door






Vox, Vocalis


A word, vow(i






Mad id us


Wet, drunk
















The knee








A month








A king








A ship








A calamity








A day
















A station
















A pen








The middle





















A wheel


Fern, Femen






A woman


Fear, Fir






A man
















A thing




Man a




The mind






Nov us


























A place








A brow


























scrip. Holy wrifc



















































































I am sorry I have been able to procure no other specimen of
the Sanscrit language than that contained in the Edinburgh Re.
view (1809) of Wilkins, Sanscrit Gratnmar, which specimen|was
selected by the reviewers with the exclusive view of contrasting
it with the Roman language. Even under all these disadvan-
tages it bears a stronger resemblance to the Celtic. The combi,
nations bh and dh, which so frequently occur in the Celtic, are
also characteristic features in the orthography of the Sanscrit,
The present infinitive of Sanscrit verbs ends generally in m. in
the Celtic the present indicative ends also in vi. We can trace
the same mode of termination in the Latin verbs. Their first
supine (which is only another present infinitive) ends always in
m. That the Romans used antiently to terminate the present
indicative in 7m, is sufficiently evident from inquam and sum,
with all its compounds. If Mr. Innes will argue, frem the afli.

386 NOTES.

iiity of the Celtic language to the iloman, that the Celts tleriyed
their letief,s, books, writing, reading, chronology, nujnbers, and
the art of calculating, from St. I’atrick, it must follow from the
Tery same argument, that the Indian Bramins also derived the
art oi writing, &c. from St. Patrick, which is impossible.

That the Celtic, Sanscrit, and Roman languages bear the
strongest marks of affinity, is self-evident. Mr, Innes (and he
has been too generally followed) endeavours to shew that the
Celtic has borrowed largely from the Latin. Were we even to
grant this postulatum, we are only involving ourselves in a new-
difficulty, for the affinity of the Sanscrit to the Latin remains
still to be accounted for. I flatter myself the boldest speculator
will not even venture to insinuate that the Sanscrit has borrowed
from the Latin, or vice versa. These languages never came in
contact. The Celtic cannot, therefore, have derived its affinity
to the Sanscrit through the medium of the Roman language. It
is, on all hands, allowed that the Sanscrit and Celtic are Asiatic
lauguages, or (in other wordsj primary dialects of the aboriginal
language of Asia. The Roman language has no such early
claim. Fortunately for our present purpose, Rome reared its
head within the period of authentic history. The Romans were
not (like the Celts or Bramins) a colony direct from Asia. They
were a few Italian shepherds, and lawless banditti, and could
not possibly speak any other language than that of the country
which produced them. That the Celtic was the aboriginal lan-
guage of Europe, is a point unquestioned and unquestionable.
It is even sanctioned by Pinkarton himself. The Celtic or Urn,
brian language was, therefore, the aboriginal language of Italy,
and consequently of Rome. The Greek colonies, which, from
time to time, settled in Italy prior to the Roman asra, no doubt
ftfected some alteration in the language of Italy ; and it is most
probable that the Doric dialect of the Greek, founded on the
{‘eltir, or (in other words) the Celtic Doricized, laid the founda-
tion of the Roman language. Hence the affinity of the Celtic,
Sanscrit, and Roman languages, can be satisfactorily accounted
for. The Celtic and Sanscrit were primary dialects of the abo.


liginal language of Asia, and the Roman language a secondary
dialect of the same, through the medium or intervention of the
Celtic. I am well aware that the Greek technical terras have,
through the medium of the Roman language, been spread all
oyer Europe, and that a great number of Roman ecclesiastical
terms were every where introduced with Christianity. But these
are easily distinguished. The words which characterize the an-
tiquity, the identity, or the affinity of languages, are those which
mark the permanent objects of nature, or the primary wants
and relations of mankind, and which must have existed from the
very first dawn of social intercourse.

But least it should be imagined that I wish to evade a direct
reply to Mr. Innes’ argument, I shall here admit, because the
words in the Celtic which signify a letter, a hook, &c. bear every
mark of identity with the Roman Uteia, liber, &c. that St. Pa-
trick introduced letters, hooks, &c. into Ireland, and then it
must follow that he introduced all things else, whose names bear
the same marks of identity. The identity of the following words,
(and a thousand more) is manifest. Ceal, heaven and Ccelum – ■
Ter, land and Terra – Man, a hand and Manus – Caput, a head
and Caput – Mathair, a mother and Mater – BhratJiair, a bro«
Iher and Frater – Femen, a woman and Fcemina – Fir, a man
and Vir – Soil, the sun and Sol – Liian, the moon and Luna, kc.
&c. <fec. Hence it must follow, on Mr. Innes’ o.vn mode of
reasoning, that there was neither heacen nor earth, hand nor
head, mother nor brother, man nor woman, sun nor moony &c.
&c. &c. in Ireland, till St. Patrick introduced them.

FuUj sensible that he was supporting a desperate and unten-
able position, he admits (v. 2. p. 451.) that the Irish had th6
partial use of letters prior to the arrival of St. Patrick. By the
partial use of letters he probably means that they were confined.
to the higher ranks, bat this again agrees ill with his assertion
(v. 2. p. 466.) that the 300 volumes which St. Patrick burat on
his arrival, were written in magical or hieroglyphical letters, and
iutelligible only to the Druids. If the lower ranks in Ireland
were wholly illiterate, the ordinary letters wou’.d have been as

383 NOTES.

sufficient a disguise as any other; and if these volumes wer0
unintelligible to all but the Druids, how could St. Patrick know
their obnoxious contents, or whence could arise the necessity of
burning them. I have thus followed PinJcarton and J7ines through
their different arguments ; and it is not a little strange, that,
though both set out with the avowed intention of proving that
St. Patrick was the first who introduced letters into Ireland, yet
both have been obliged to recoil, and to subvert the very point
which they wished to establish.

But though we might safely rest the use of letters in Ireland
prior to St. Patrick, on the reluctant evidence of these two
gentlemen, still there is not the slightest occasion for so gratui-
tous an alternative. The evidences on this head are numerous
and irresistible. Had St. Patrick really found the Irish totally
illiterate, why do none of his biographers plainly tell us so ? All
that he did, was writing somewhat more than 365 alphabets. –
See Tuland,s quotation from Nemiius, p. 96. That the saint
introduced the Roman alphabet, as a preliminary step to the
introduction of the Roman language, no one will pretend to dis-
pute ; but we can no more hence infer that the Irish were, prior
to that period, destitute of letters, than that they were destitute
of language. Dudley Forbes, and Dr, Kennedy, (see Toland,
p. 105) testify that St. Patrick burnt from 180 to 300 volumes
of Irish records. The compilation of these volumes must have
hQ,n the work of many ages, and I hope no one will say that the
Irish could compile thera without the use of letters. But, says
Mr. InneSy (vol. 2. p. 466) these volumes were written in hiero-
glyphical letters. This would be a phenomenon indeed.
Egypt the parent (as far as we know) of hieroglyphics, was
never possessed of one volume, and how can Ireland be supposed
to possess 300 ? This assertion of Mr, Innes is perfectly foolish
and gratuitous, when he had previously admitted, (v. 2. p. 451.)
that the Irish had the partial use of letters prior to the arrival of
St. Patrick. Had the saints’ biographers considered him, or
indeed wished him to be considered, as the father of Irish let-
ters, lh?y would never have acted so inconsistently as to tell us.

NOTES. 389

that they, (the Irish) had 300 volumes of records before his

The Irish have always held St. Patrick in the highest venera-
tion. Their gratitude has been unbounded. They have even
superloaded him with honours. Had he really been the father
of Irish letters, what possible motive could they have had, to
pluck this individual and solitary laurel from his brow. But
they, on the contrary, (see Toland, p. 85.) ascribe their letters to
Fenius Farsaidh, i. e. ” Phaenix the antient, or the antient
Phccnician. Whether by Fenius Farsaidh, they meant the
Taaut of Sanchoniathon, or Cadmus who first introduced letters
into Greece, it is impossible to determine. AH that we can
infer from it is, that the Irish derived their letters from the Phce-
nicians. The polite Greeks and Romans ascribe theirs to the
same source. Herodotus, (lib. 5.) owns that the Greeks received
their letters from the Phoenicians. Diodorus Siculus, (lib, I.)
says, These Phoenicians who did receive these letters from the
Muses, and afienvnrds communicated them to the Greeks, are
the same who came into Europe zvith Cadmus, Lucan, (Phar.
sal. lib, 3.) says,

Phoenices piinii, faaiae si creJimus, ausi
Mansuram rudibus vocem signare figuris.

i. e. ” The Phoenicians, if we credit fame, were the first who
attempted to give stability to words, by marking them with rude
characters. P/iny, (lib, 3. Sf cap, 12. also lib. 7 cap. 56.) is
very full to the same purpose. Having sufficiently established
that the Greeks and Romans, as well as the Irish ascribe their
letters to the Phoenicians, it is in the next place necessary to
compare these alphabets.

The Phoenician, or (which is the same thing) the Hebrew or
Chaidaic letters are, Aleph, Beth, Gimd, Duleth, He, Vau,
Dsain, Cheth, Teth, lod, Caph, Lamech, Mem, I\un, Samech,
Ain, Pe, Tsade, Koph, Eesh, Shin, Tan, in all twepty-two.
The Greek letters introduced by Cadmus are Alpha, Beta,
Gamma, Delta, Epsilan, lota. Kappa, Lambda, Mui, Nui,

3 D

390 NOTES.

Omlkron, Pi, Ro, Sigma, Tau, Ypsilon, in all sixteen. To
these Palamedes, about the time of the Trojan war, added, A7,
Theta, Phi, Chi, and Simonides afterwards added Zeta, Eta,
JPsi, Omega, From the correspondence of the names of the
Greek letters to those of the Hebrew, it is clear the former were
derived from the latter. The Roman alphabet is, a, b, c, d, e,

F, G, H, I, J, Jif, L, M, N, O, P, Q, B, S, T, U, V, X, Y, Z, in all

twenty-five. The plenitude of the Roman alphabet, as well as
the name of the letters being omitted, and the form or figure
only retained, is a clear argument that it is much more raodf rn
than either of the preceding. The Irish alphabet is, a., b, c, d,
E, F, G, I, L, M, N, o, p, ii, s, T, u, in all seventeen. Though
s has latterly crept into the language, it was originally, as asaong
the Greeks, an aspirate, and marked by a dot above the line,
it is initial in no Celtic word, and merely used as an Evphonic,
or, in combination with some other letter, as a substitute to sup-
ply the place of some letter wanting in the Irish alphabet. The
Irish alphabet contains many genuine marks of remote antiquity,
“which deserve minute consideration.

Imo, Its name, viz. Beth.Liiis~Nwn an Oghuim – i. e. ” the
Alphabet ofOgum.-,See TolanJ, p. 82, 83, 84, Sfc. This word
is sometimes written Ogam and Ogma. Lucian (See Toland’s
Quotation, p. 81 <Sr S2., gives a Tery particular account of
Ogum or Ogma, which he latinizes Ogtnius, This name is no
idle fiction or whim of the Bards or Senachies (as Pinkartoa
imagines) long after the arrival of St. Patrick. Lucian, who
• wrote about three centuries before St. Patrick’s arrival, calls it
phone te epichvrlo – i. e. a word of the country – a Gaelic word.
The antiquity of the word Ogum, and that it was Celtic, is thus
established as early as (he middle of the second century. The
title of the Irish alphabet is therefore no fiction subsequent to tiie
arrival of St. Patrick.

2do, Its arrangement, viz. b, l, n, &c. This is another
mark of its antiquity, for we all know that the arrangement of
the Roman alphabet is quite different. When St. Patrick had
introduced the Roman language and letten, tk<: Rumao arrange’.

NOTES. 391

wpnt of the alphabet prevailed, aud this was the only alteratioa
the Irish alphabet underwent.

3tio, The names of the Irish letters, viz. A/lm, an Elm; Beth,
a Birch; Coll, a Hazlc; Duir, an Oak; Eadha,an. Aspen.tree ;
Fearriy an A/derMee; Gort, an Ivy. tree \ lodha, a Yew-tree;
Luis, a Quicken-tree; Muin, s. Vine; Nuin,Q.n Ash; Oir, a
Spindle. tree ; Pieth.Bho,, not translated by the Irish gramma-
rians. Ruis, an Elder.tree ; Suil, not translated by the Irish
grammarians. Teine, not translated; U, Heath; Uath, (the
aspirate H) a tvhite Thorn.tree, Of these letters, Beth, Jodha,
Muin and Nidn, bear a marked affinity io the Hebrew BetJu
Jod~Mem and JSun, as well as to the Gfeek Beta, Iota, Mm, and
Nui. What is most remarkable in this alphabet, is that it is con-
sidered as a wood, and the letters as trees. This idea is so per-
fectly original, that ihe Irish could not possibly have borrowed
it from any nation in the world. Another mark of antiquity is,
that the meaning of Pieth»Bho,,Suil, and Tei?ie, are not known,
and they are consequently left untranslated hy the Irish gram-
marians. Had this alphabet been a modern fabrication, there
could have been no diSicuUy in assigning a signification to these,
as well as to the rest. It also possesses this peculiarity in com,
mon with the Hebrew alphabet that the name of every letter is
significant and expressive.

4to. Itsfgure or form. The original Irish letters, (of which
the reader will see a specimen in Schawls analysis of the Gaelic
language. Major Valencia’s grammar, &c.) appear to be a com-
pound of the Greek and Saxon, Taken in toto, they can be
identified with no alphabet now known. Mr. Pinkarton has the
modesty to tell us that the Irish alphabet is the Saxan. Can
this gentleman have forgot, that hs allows the Irish the use of
letters as early as the arrival of St. Patrick in 432, and that he
proves the Germans, Scandinavians, Saxons, &c. totally illite-
rate till the 9th century , Though the Celts did not receive their
letters from the Romans or Saxons, still it is highly probable
that the Saxons r&ceived theirs from the Celts, and this may ac-

Pi 3) 2

392 NOTES.

count for the faint similarity which can be traced in some letters
of their respective alphabets,

5to, Its identity with the alphabet of Cadmus, The Irish al-
phabet, as I have already stated, consists of 17 letters. With
the exception of the letter F, the other 16 are toto corpora, the
identical 16 letters which Cadmus introduced into Greece.
This coincidence can neither have proceeded from accident nor
design, but from the original and absolute identity of the alpha-
Lets themselves. If the Irish had culled or selected their alpha-
bet from the Roman one, as has been foolishly imagined, by
Tvhat miracle could they have hit on the identical letters of Cad-
mus, and rejected all the rest? Had they thrown 16 dice, 16
times, and turned up the same number every time, it would not
have been so marvellous as this. The identity of the Cadmean
and Irish alphabet is not therefore the effect of chance or acci-
dent. Neither is it the effect of design. Had the Irish framed
this alphabet with a design to make it coincide exactly with that
of Cadmus, they would, at least, have been possessed of as much
common sense, as to leave out the letter F,

6to. The paucity of its letters. If St. Patrick introduced the
JRoman alphabet, why were the letters j, .:, o, f, x, y, and z
omitted ? For k they had no occasion, their c being always pro-
nounced hard. J is expressed by d put before i or ,, thus Dia
Is pronounced Jeea. There are no such sounds in the Celtic
as those expressed by c, ;r, or z. The combinations hh and mh
express f, dh and gh, express y. Though there was no occa-
sion for K, c, X, and z, still J, r, and y, were of primary neces-
sity, the Celts, or Irish, having no such letters, and being obliged
to express them by combinations or substitutions. But there
is betwixt every written language and its alphabet a certain ap-
titude and affinity which peculiarly adapts them to each other.
The peculiar alphabet of a language is its most graceful and ap-
propriate dress. Every other alphabet, when applied to it, is
aukward, forced, and unnatural. Were the English language
written in Greek or Hebrew characters, it would well nigh go
the length of ruining its whole forui and orthography. The same

NOTES. 393

thing would Iiappen were the English characters applied to the
Greek or Hebrew languages. But where a language has not
been written, any alphabet will suit it, and they easily coalesce
and assimilate. Had the Irish (Celtic) language not been a writ-
ten one, and its orthography settled, before the arrival of St.
Patrick, there could have been no possible obstacle to the intro-
duction of the Roman alphabet in its fullest extent. Indeed,
had this not been the case, the introduction of the Roman alpha-
bet would have followed as a necessary and inevitable conse-
quence, though the Saint had been determined to prevent it.

7mo. Its antiquity. Many attempts have been made by Pin-
karton, and others, to get rid of the ancient Irish alphabet. They
have rendered it a sort of short hand wriiing, invented about the
tenth or eleventh century, – the Notae Longobardicae – Runic
characters – magical or hieroglyphical letters, &c. But their
grand argument is, that St, Patrick introduced the Roman letters
in 432. Were we to grant this, it is the greatest death blow
which these gentlemen could receive, for it must then follow,
that such manuscripts as are written in the ancient Irish charac-
ters, are older than the asra of St. Patrick, But (say they) these
characters were invented several centuries after St. Patrick had
introduced the Roman alphabet. This concession would be
equally fatal to them, for it would then follow, that St. Patrick
was not the father of Irish letters, otherwise it would have been
totally unnecessary for the Irish to frame an alphabet to them-
selves several centuries after his arrival. The truth is, that the
Irish had an alphabet before the arrival of St. Patrick, and that,
prior to that asra, the orthography of their language was fixed;
and though St. Patrick and the christian clergy wrote the Irish
language in Roman characters, still they found it impossible to
add one letter more to the Iri,h alphabet than it originally pos-
sessed. The genius and orthography of the language rendered
it impracticable. If any reinforcement from the Roman alpha-
bet was necessary, it was most particularly the letters v and ,/,
yet these were never introduced. Tha’t the Irish alphabet has
had its gradations fiom rudeness to perfection, is i\o more than

394 NOTES.

has happened to that of all other languages. Such mat3uscrjp(s
as were written when these letters were in a very rude and ill
defined state, would become occult, and hardly intelligible, when
the alphabet had assumed, in a long series of ages, a better de-
fined and more polished form. This circumstance has given rise
to the groundless conjectures about magical and hieroglyphical
letters, «fec. and has led even some of the Irish historians astray.
The unintelligibility of a manuscript (if it is occasioned by the
rudeness of the characters in which it is written) has always been
considered as a genuine mark of Hs antiquity; yet the prepos-
terous Pinkarton makes it a proof of modernism; and, rather
than allow that this obscurity has been superinduced on these
manuscripts by the innovation of letters and of language, in a
long lapse of ages, forges an occult alphabet for thern in the
eleventh century. But so far was the Roman alphabet from
being generally prevalent in Ireland in the time of St. Patrick,
that its use in that kingdom was partial and limited, even as late
as the beginning of the seventeenth century. King James the
First having subjugated Ireland, wished to disseminate the gos-
pel among the Irish, and for this pious purpose caused two edi-
tions of the Bible and Neiu Testament to be printed in 1602.
Both editions were printed in the Irish (Celtic) language, but
one was printed in the Roman, and the other in the Irish cha-
racters. Had the Irish alphabet been superseded by the Roman
one, or rather had not a considerable part of the Irish nation still
retained their primitive mode of writing, this last edition was
totally unnecessary and gratuitous. On the other hand, had
these Irish letters been hieroglyphical, mystical, or unintelligi-
ble, as has been groundlessly asserted, would King James have
been guilty of such an act of stupidity, as to make use of them
for the propagation of the gospel. lie certainly did not mean to
insult the Irish with a book which was unintelligible.

The Greeks aod Romans inform us that they derived their
l(4(ers from the Phoenicians, and we give them implicit credit.
The Irish ascribe theirs to the same source, yet they have been
laughed to scorn. It is extremely bard thus implicitly to cr,it
NOTES. 395

the assertions of Greece and Rome, and to treat with contempt
the claim of the Celts, who are by far the most ancient race of
the three. The pretensions of the Celts, the aborigines of Eu-
rope, and the precursors of the Greeks and Romans, are modest
in the extreme, in as much as they go no higher than those of
Greece and Rome, nations only of yesterday, when compared
to the antiquity of the Celts, If there is any absurdity at all in
the case, it rests exclusively with the modern and upstart Greeks
and Romans, in carrying their pretensions as higii as the Celts,
1 am, however, far from disputing the authenticity of the Greek
and Roman claims. All I mean is to shew that there is nothing
immodest, extravagant, or absurd, in the Irish claim; and I do
Kot hesitate to maintain, that if there is any priority in the case,
the Celts, by far the most ancient race, are {caeteris partibus)
clearly entitled to it.

But if we surrender the Phoenician origin of the Irish alpha-
bet, we involve ourselves in a still greater difficulty. Let us,
however, probe the matter to the bottom, and look for its origin
in some other direction. Here we have not many choices, but
must ascribe it to the Gothe, to the Romans, or to the Greeks.
The Gothe (on the evidence of their devoted advocate Pinkarton)
• were unacquainted with letters till the ninth century, and con-
sequently it cculd not be derived from this quarter. St. Patrick
and his successors, notwithetanding all their influence, were
never able to introduce the Roman alphabet rnto general use in
Ireland ; on the contrary, the Irish alphabet kept distinct and
aloof, without altering its form, or borrowing a single letter;
and after an arduous struggle, yard arm and yard arm (if I may
use a nautical phrase) for twelve centuries, survived till the se-
venteenth century, and might have survived to the present day,
had not James the First introduced English laws, English forms
of government, and English schools, with strict injunctions that
the Vernacular (Irish) languf;ge should neither be spoken nnr
taught in these seminaries. The Irish alphabet was not, there-
fore, borrowed from the Romans. The Greek alphabet has un-
der,one three giadctions ; it Srst consisted of the sixteen ittters

306 NOTES.

of Cadmus; to these Palamedes added four, about the time of
the Trojan war. Simoiiides, at an after period, added four
more, making in all twenty-four. If we derive the Irish from
the Greek alphabet, we must select the ara m hen these alpha-
bets approximate nearest both as to number and identity of let-
ters. This aira is prior to the siege of Troy, when the alphabets
of Phoenicia, of Greece, aud of Ireland, (with the exception of
the letter F, the origin of which is uncertain, and which might
still be spared without any material injury to the Celtic lan-
guage) absolutely coincided both in number and identity of let-
ters. It is, indeed, worthy of remark, that the Irish have added
only one letter (F) to the alphabet of Cadmus, whilst the Greeks
bave added eight, and the Romans nine. Though there are in-
stances of a nation enlarging its alphabet, there is not one (as
far as I know) of curtailing or abridging it. Had the Celts bor-
rowed their alphabet posterior to the siege of Troy, when the
Greek alphabet (which, no doubt, kept pace with the Phoenician
one) was increased to twenty letters, they must have borrowed
the same number; and if after the time of Simonides, they must
have borrowed twenty.four letters. It is, therefore, no vain
boast, when the Irish ascribe their alphabet to the Phcenicians;
for there is, in fact, no alphabet in the world, which, at the pre.
sent day, bears the same intrinsic, unequivocal, and characteris-
tic marks of identity, with that of Cadmus. Nor is there any
well founded reason to conclude that the Celts borrowed this
alphabet through the medium of the Greeks. They were them-
selves an Asiatic colony, who long preceded the Greeks, and
night have brought this alphabet along with them to Europe.
We find them, at the first dawn of history, situated to the west
of Greece, and along the shores of the Mediterranean, whence
their intercourse with the Phoenicians was frequent and easy.
But as 1 ha,e no certain data whereby to fix this point, I shall
content myself with having clearly established that the Irish
alphabet isof Pha-nician origin- that it is older than the siege of
Troy- and that the Celts have consequently had the use of letters
at least 3000 years.

NOTES. 397

Antiquity of the Irish Manuscripts.

Ireland, and its early history, have been long viewed through
a dark cloud of prejudice. It is the most remote, and probably
the last inhabited of all the Celtic districts. In Italy, in Spain,
in Germany, in Gaul, not a single Celtic manuscript has been
preserved. In Wales, and the Highlands of Scotland, we have
a few, but Ireland itself boasts of an infinitely greater number
than all the other Celtic nations taken together, Ireland, at
first sight, promises least, whilst its pretensions are apparently”
extravagant and unbounded. This seeming incongruity has in-
duced the bulk of mankind, without enquiry or consideration,
to pronounce its manuscripts mere modern forgeries, and its his-
tory utterly fabulous and absurd. Singularly, however, as Ire-
land is in these respects circumstanced, it is not without a paraL
lei. Judea, a century prior to the christian oera, was known to
the Greeks and Romans hardly otherwise than by name. Taci«
tus, who wrote about the beginning of the second ceiitury, gives
us an account of the Jews totally false and ridiculous. Justin,
■who wrote a century and a half later, i? equally false and fabu,
ious. It was Christianity alone (the best boon of heaven to
mankind) which made their history and antiquities to be inves™
tigated and respected. Had Ethnicism still prevailed in the
world, the history of the Jews (though the most ancient, as well
as the only authentic one) would, without doubt, have been, at
the present day, treated with more contempt and ridicule than
even that of Ireland.

That there is no nation in the world which makes high preten,
sions to antiquity, without being in some measure entitled to it,
may safely be granted. This we knew to be the case with the
Jews, the Ch,deans, the Chinese, the Egyptians, the Greeks,
and the Romans, &c. The Celts (of whom the Irish are a

3 E

398 NOTES.

braHch) were, in fact, the Aborigines of Europe. They long
preceded the Greeks, Romans, and all other European nations.
The antiquity of the Irish is, therefore, no vain dresm. But
the true point of astonishment is, by what means the Irish pre-
served their history and records, when those of all the other
Celtic nations were lost. This point is the object of the present
enquiry ; and I shall discuss it with all possible brevity and im-

That the Celts had the use of letters at a very remote period,
I have already clearly established. In Cajsar’s time, the chief
academy or school of the Druids had been so long established in
Britain, that Druidism was supposed to have been invented there,
and thence transferred into Gaul. Pinkarton lays hold of this
passage, and (vol. 1. page 405.) asserts that the Pheenicians,
who traded to Cornwall for tin, taught the inhabitants Druidism.
Were we to grant this position, it would coiTipietely invalidate
the very system, which he has so strenuously laboured to rear.
Druidism, as defined by Cajsar, comprehended all that was great
and respectable in philosophy. The Phoenicians preceded the
Greeks themselves in the use of letters, and at least equalled
them in all the arts and sciences. If the Phcenicians taught the
Welch Druidism, it must of necessity follow, that the first Druids
were Phcenician Philosophers or Missionaries, who would infal-
libly bring the literature, the arts and the sciences of Phoenicia,
along with them, and communicate them to their disciples.
Hence a direct channel would have been opened for pouring the
whole literature and arts of Phoenicia into Britain. Yet this
same visionary theorist, who obtrudes on the Celts a Phoenician
religion, denies them a Phicnician alphabet. Indeed it is no less
extraordinary than true, that there is hardly one argument ad-
duced by this gentleman against the Celts, which does not ope.
rate directly in their favour.

When CcBsar tells us that Druidism was invented in Britain,
he expresses himself with diffidence, and only says, it is suppus.
tdy (existimatur.) The truth is, that the Greeks ai d Romans
early unsheathed the sword against mankind, and each in their

NOTES. 399

turn aspired to universal dominion. The Gothe or Germans, a
Persian race, fetching the circuit of the Caspian Sea, poured in
upon the Celts in Germany, from the norUi, with relentless bar-
barity. Owing to these and other causes, the Continent of Eu-
rope was almost one scene of turbulence, rapine, and bloodshed.
The peculiar studies of the Druids required solitude and retire-
ment. This was only to be found in Britain, where they fixed
their chief establishment, and thither (as Caesar informs us) re-
sorted from the Continent all such as wished to study Druidism
to perfection. The date of this Druidical establishment in Bri-
tain cannot be ascertained, but we may safely fix it five centuries
before the time of Cassar. A shorter period would be wholly
insufficient to make the Druids in Gaul forget the origin of the
institution, and resign the precedency to those in Britain. The
game wary prudence and sound policy which pointed out Bri-
tain, as the place of greatest security for the chief establishment
of the Druids, would also point it out as the safest asylum for
their records and manuscripts ; and hence the most important
manuscripts of Gaul would be deposited in Britain.

Ireland was occupied by the same Celtic race which inhabited
Britain and Gaul, and had unquestionably the same civil and
religious institutions. Toland well remarks, that Druidism was
only coextended with the Celtic dialects. In Caesar’s time, as
■we have already seen, the British Druids were the teachers of
the Gauls; and it would be absurd to suppose that the Irish,
with whom the intercourse was equally easy, did not participate
the same advantage. Unfortunately the Roman page throws no
light on the early history of Ireland, else we might probably find,
that, even in Ccesar’s time, the Druids of Ireland were nothing
inferior to those of Britain. Indeed, at this \ery period, the
Druids of Britain might regard Ireland as their last asylum.

In Csesar’s time, the Druids were subjected to no proscrlp-
lioa nor persecution. From his whole account it appears that
they had the use of letters, – that they were at least partially ac-
quainted with the Greek and Roman languages,– that they were
nuijiprous aud dispersed over the whole extent of Gau),- that

3 E 2

400 NOTES.

they were profound philosophers, and the supreme judges in all
causes, civil or religious. It is equally clear, from the testimony
of the same author, that the Druids of Gaul had, from time im-
memorial, been the pupils of those in Britain. Hence we may
reasonably infer, that the Druids in Britain were as numerous
as those in Gaul, and as widely dispersed. From their monu.
ments still remaining in England, Scotland, and Ireland, this
can be clearly demonstrated to be the case. Indeed, if there
were any doubt of these monnments being Druidical, it is com-
pletely done away by their being in all respects the very same as
those found in Gaul and Anglesey, countries confessedly Druid,
ical. Exclusive of this identity, we have many of these monu-
ments in England, Scotland, and Ireland, still denominated the
Towns of the Druids – the Stones of the Druids – the Graves of
ike Druids – the Houses of the Druids, Sfc, There is hardly a
district of six miles square, in Great Britain or Ireland, which
cannot boast of one or more of these antiquities. Some of these
Druid’s Houses (Tzghte nan Druineach) axe even found in Ar-
gyleshire, a clear proof that the Druids were not confined to
Wales, as Pinkarton foolishly imagines, but spread over the
whole extent of Britain, Were we to take Csesar’s words lite-
rally, and suppose that Druidism was invented in Britain, the
Druids would certainly disseminate this religion over Britain,
and provide it with Druids, before they would think of sending
Missionaries to convert Gaul. la whatever country Druidisni
prevailed, the Druids behoved to be very numerous. They were
philosophers, ministers of religion, public teachers, civil judge«,
Mstorians and physicians. Every inhabited district had its
share of them. On the testimony of Casar, Britain had an im-
saease multitude of inhB.hitanis-hominum est irflnita multitudo,
Indeed, so completely were the Druids scattered over the whole
extent of Britain and Ireland, that, even in th« most remote and
solitary corners, as well as in the most desert and insignificant
islands, their monuments are every where to be found. We
iiiay therefore safely conclude, (with Mr. Toland) that the

NOTES. 401

Druids were planted in Britain and frtland, as thick as the pre-
sent established clergy, and in some instances much thicker.

The unbounded influence of the Druids over all ranks, and
their interference in civil afli’airs, in process of time led lo their
ruin. Ccesar, who had trampled the liberties of his country
under foot, and might dread its resentment, treated foreign na-
tions with great lenity. He seems to have treated the Druids
in Gaul with much respect, and we are certain that Divitiacus,
their Archdruid, was his principal friend and favourite. From
the same motives of policy, he treated Hyrcanus, the high priest
of the Jews, with equal attention and respect. But succeeding
emperors, particularly Tiberius and Claudius, passed the most
cruel and exterminating decrees against the whole order of the
Druids. Pliny {see Note 12.) says, that in the reign of Tibe,
rius, Druidism was totally extirpated. Yet it is very extraor-
dinary, that, except a Druid slain by the Emperor Claudius (see
IVote 12 ), there is not another instance on record of the mas-
sacre or death of a single Druid, throughout the whole extent of
Gaul. la Great Britain we have only one solitary instance to
the same effect Mentioned by Tacitus (see Note 49. p. 308.) when
the Romans under Suetonius, towards the middle of the first cen-
tury, roasted the Druids of Anglesey alive. After this period no
Roman author makes mention of the Druids, either in Gaul, or
on the terra firma of Great Britain. Pinkarton, and some others,
have been kind enough to collect all the Druids of Britain on the
Isle of Anglesey, that the Romans might extirpate them at onR
blow. Weak and credulous mortals ! More than three centuries
after this massacre, Ammianus Marcelliuus found Druids in the
Isle of Mann; and from this position of the rcar, it is not dilh-
cult to ascertain where the main body had taken shelter. That
Anglesey had its proportion of Druith, cannot be disputed ; but
it is not the murder of perhaps a dozen or two in this island, and
of one solitary individual in Gaul, which will account for all fhe
Druids in Gaul and Britain, who, including their subordinate
gradations, could not, on the most moderate calculation, amount
to less than twenty thousand. In more modtih (jtric:-, an buu.

402 NOTES.

died Ollamhs (graduate bards) have struck up their harps at
ouce, in the hall of a single chieftain. I hope I need not inform
the reader that the Bards were the second order of the Druids.

We have already seen that the Druids, before there was either
edict or decree of the Roman senate against them, had fixed tlieir
chief college or academy in Britain. On the first appearance of
Roman invasion, the same wary policy would dictate the neces-
sity of transferring it to Ireland, the only asylum then left. But
on the passing of the relentless laws for their utter extirpation,
they had not only to provide for the safety of their chief esta-
blishment and principal records, bat even for that of the whole
order. That the Roman decrees were enforced with the utmost
rigour, is sufficiently evinced, from the Emperor Claudius having
so far forgot his dignity as to become the executioner of one of
these Druids, and from the Romans sparing the bulk of the in-
habitants of Anglesey (pnEsidium impositum victis), whilst they
actually and literally roasted the Druids alive, ?gni suo invoL
vunt. Two such terrible examples were sufficient to alarm the
Druids in Gaul and Britain ; and so readily did they take tho
alarw, and so carefully did they keep out of the way, that there
Is not another instance of the murder of a Druid on record.

From the time of this massacre ia Anglesey, there is no more
mention of Druids in Britain, till Ammianus Marcellinus (about
the year 338) found them in the Isle of Mann. The description
which he gives of them (see Note 20) is animated and sublime.
This is an incontestible proof that the Druids were not extirpat-
ed by the Romans, but that they fled every where from their re-
lentless persecution. The world, at this time, afforded the
Druids but few places of shelter. The Romans were, at this
period, (358) masters of all Gaul, a considerable part of Ger-
many, and nearly the whole of Britain. Even Anglesey, more
than three centuries prior to this period, could not afford them
shelter against the Romans. The Druids in Gaul would natu-
rally, on the first appearance of danger, take shelter among the
Druids in Britain, with whom they were well acquainted, and
under whose ca/e they had completed their studies. When the

NOTES. 403

Roman powor reached tliem in Britain, they had no alternative
but Ireland, and the islands of Scotland. When no Roman
found a single Druid on the continent of Britain, and Ammianus
found the rear of them in the Isle of Mann, there cannot remain
a doubt that the main body had proceeded to Ireland, though a
few individuals might perhaps straggle over the Hebrides, or
shelter themselves in the most inaccessible parts of Wales and
the Highlands of Scotland. By this event Ireland became pos-
sessed of the literati, the traditions, the history, the literature,
and the records, of all the Celtic nations. Ireland was the ne
plus ultra of Celtic migration. Here Druidism found its last
asylum, and here it made its last agonizing effort, and expired.

It has been most unfortunate for the history of Ireland, that
its early historians had not the candour to acknowledge the vast
acquisition of records which they gained on the expulsion of the
Druids from Gaul and Britain. It would have prevented much
confusion, and afforded a handle to develope such parts of their
history as appear so hyperbolical as to baffle the most extravagant
pitch of human credulity. But the truth is, that the Irish, avail-
ing themselves of these records, to which they had no earthly
claim, appropriated them to themselves, and framed a history
from that of all the other Celts ; and it is unquestionably the
application of all the events which befell ail the Celtic tribes
(since their first migration from Asia) to the solitary and detach-
ed island of Ireland, which makes its history appear so utterly
lidiculous and absurd. The Irish historians say that the Firbolg
(,Viri Belgici) arrived in Ireland 1500 years before the christian
aera – the Tuath de Danan {Datnnu of North Britain) 1550,
and the Milesians iOOO. Now as all these natiors unquestion-
ably kept some accounts of their origin, as well as the Irish, the
only error which the Irish historians seem to have committed, is
substituting the date of their first migration from their respect-
ing countries, for that of their first arrival in Ireland. Rectified
in this manner, the account is not only modest, but highly pro-
bable. The story of Partholaniis, NemediuSy Simon Breac, &c.
&c. though not applicable to the Irish, may yet apply to some

404 NOTES.

others of the Celtic nations. Were these daitiiicnpts published
with a literal translation, the other Celtic nations might yet
claim their own, and the history of Ireland would be reduced
within proper bounds. But till this is done, it is impossible for
me, or any one else, to decide on the merits, or fix the absolute
antiquity of these manuscripts. AH that can be done is, to ar-
gue the matter on general principles.

Of all the Celtic nations, the Scots are most interested in the
publication of these manuscripts. Their history, as well as
their identity, is intervolved with that of Ireland. Pinkarton
has strained every nerve to prove that Ireland was Scotland up
to the eleventh century. Goodal, (see his Introduction to For»
dun) has been equally strenuous in maintaining that the north of
Scotland was Ireland. Strabo places Ireland due north of Bri-
tain, which corresponds very well to the north of Scotland.
Tacitus (Vit. Agric. cap. 8.) calls that part of Scotland situated
north of the rivers Clyde and Forth, quasi aliam insulam – i. e.
.’ as if another island.” Indeed, from the tenour of this whole
chapter, it is evident that Tacitus, by Bibeniia (Irelaud) means
the north of Scotland. So completely was his editor at Cologne
of the Allobroges in 1614 of this opinion, that, in his Notitia
Breviarium of said chapter, he says, – res tertio, quarto, quinio,
expeditionum suarum annOy prceseriim in Hibernia gestae – i. e,
,, the exploits (of Agricola) performed in the third, fourth, and
£fth year of his espeditions, particularly in Ireland.” Now
every one knows that the scene of Agricola’s actions, during
these years, lay not in Ireland, but in the north of Scotland,
Without entering into the merits of this dispute, which is of no
importance to the Scots, it is sufficient to shew that Scotland was
the parent of Ireland. The Irish (as has already been shewn)
admit that the Tuaih dc Dauan (Dartmei) arrived in Ireland
1260 years prior to our aira. Ptolemy makes the territories of
the Damnii reacli from GalloziUi/ to the Tai/; and if, as Pinkar-
ton imagines, the Novanla; were only a part of the Damnii,
their territories must have stretched to the Sol way Frith. Rich,
ard of Cirencester places a tribe of the game people in Argyle-

NOTES, 405

Siiiro. From the extent of their territories, they must have beea
the most numerous, as well as the most powerful, of the Scot-
tish tribes. But what is most to our present purpose ia, that
they occupied that very part of Scotland which approaches near-
est to Ireland. An island cannot be inhabited or sought after
till it is known, and who could know it sooner than the Damnii,
>vho lived within sight of it. The Irish, indeed, p.acs the Fir-
holg (Belgae) in Ireland 250 years before the Damnily but thi.,
is contrary to all probability; and it is well known, that in
events of remote r “,tiquity, nations do not err so much in matter
of fact, as in poini of chronological accuracy. The Irish them-
selves expressly say that the Tuath de Dannan came from Scot-
land to Ireland. In this case we have – Imo, The testimony of
Ptolemy, who places the Damnii in that very point of Scotland
which approaches nearest to Ireland – 2do, The direct and posi-
tive testimony of the Irish themselves, that the Damnii came
from Scotland. Till, therefore, Whitaker, Pinkarton, &c. can
place their respective hypotheses respecting the early population
of Ireland, on a basis equally sure and stable (which is irapossi-
ble), Scotland is well entitled to reckon itself the parent of Ire-
land. The circumstance of an Irish colony having settled ia
Argyleshire about the middle of the third century, can by no
means invalidate this claim, but greatly confirms it; for in the
hour of danger or difficulty, where does a child more naturally
take shelter than in the arms of its mother ? That Scotland af-
forded Ireland the bulk of its early population, we have already
seen. Hence the intimacy betwixt them must have been great,
and the intercourse frequent ; and the migration of a colony from
the one country to the other, was merely a matter of course.

But though the publication of the Irish manuscripts could not
fail to throw light on the whole early history of Scotland, there
is another point which it might perhaps absolutely determine – I
mean the authenticity of OssiaiVs Poems. Here, as in most
other matters, we have the same perplexity and confusion. Both
nations claim Fingal and his heroes. The Irish have, however, ,
Ifiid only a faint and feeble claim to the po?ras of Ossian. The

3 F

406 NOTES.

strong fact of these poems having been collected from oral reci-
tation in the islands and Highlands of Scotland, must have con-
vinced them that the struggle was in vain. But it was in A,rgyle
that this Dalriadic colony settled, and Argyle was the principal
scene of Fingal’s atchievements. Hence Ireland claims both
Fingal and the colony. This double claim of the Scots and
Irish has led some foolishly to imagine that there were two Fin-
gals. No such thing. The Irish claimed the colony and Fingal,
because this colony was originally from Ireland ; and the Scots
claim both, because actually residing in Scotland. But this
same colony, after a residence of two centulL,, was defeated by
the Picts, obliged to evacuate Argyleshire, and to take refuge in
Ireland, about the middle of the fifth century. By this unfor-
tunate event, the history, the traditions, and records of this co-
lony, found their way direct to Ireland. Indeed, when I re-
flect on the repeated catastrophes of the Scottish records, I could
almost sit down and weep ! This colony resided fifty years in
Ireland, before it was reinstated in Argyleshire; and hence the
Irish must have been well acquainted with the history of Fingal,
and the poems of Ossian. If in these manuscripts a copy of
Ossian”s Poems, or even of one of the poems of Ossian, could
be found, it would lay the important controversy for ever to
rest. It would even be a poirt of primary importance, if the
«ra of Fingal could be exactly fixed. The miinner in which
Finksrton has treated these poems is almost idiotical. The one
moment they are downright trash, and utterly contemptible, and
the next, tht y contain many passages truly sublime, and are the
production of some poet of superlative genius, who flourished in
the Highlands of Scotland during the fourteenth or fifteenth cen-
tury. Satisfied with neither of these theories, he gives us a new
one in his list of errata, in the following words: – Since seeing
,e specimens of the genuine traditional poems ascribed to Ossian
in the memoirs of the Irish Royal Society, the author is induced
,0 think that most of these pieces arc really composed hj Irish
hards. In order to appreciate the meaning of this important
concession, it is necessary to inform the reader that Piukartor,

NOTES. 407

uniformly aai,its thall tbe Iriih were the real and 07ily Scots up
to the efcventh” century ; or, in other words, that Irish and Scots
were synonimous terms. The plain English of the matter then
is, that the poems ofOssian are both Scottish and authentic. If
there is evidence enough in the memoirs of the Irish Royal So-
ciety to convince Pinkarton of the authenticity of these poems,
there is certainly (considering his anticeltic prejudices) much
more than enough to convince all the world besides. But the
pity is, that Scotland and Ireland have pulled in opposite direc-
tions; and by preferring each, its individual and exclusive clairtt
have perplexed and obscured, instead of illustrating this import-
ant point. The contention is mean, contemptible, and gratui-
tous. It is a matter of the utmost indifference whether we call
these poems Scottish or Irish, or whether we blend both names
together, and call them Scoto.Irish. The claims of both nations
are solid and well founded, with this difference, that the claim
of the Scots is more immediate and direcr, that of the Irish more
distant and circuitous. Both nations are, however, sufHciently
interested to combine their efforts, and produce such document?
as they are respectively possessed of; and were this done, there
is not even the shadow of a doubt but the authenticity of these
poems might be placed on a basis so firm and stable, as would
bid defiance to all future cavil or controversy.

Were Pinkarton a man of impartiality, or could we be certaia
that he had bestowed one serious thought on the subject, his
concession that these poems were composed by the Jrish bards,
would be of vast importance, because, according to his own de-
finition, the Irish bards were the Scottish. Indeed, if the au-
thenticity of these poems is once fixed, the claims of the Irish,
and Scots can be satisfactorily adjusted. But Pinkarton gives
these poems to the Irish from mere whim and caprice, because
he is determined not to give them to the St’ots; and had the
Welch preferred the slightest claim to them, there is not a doubt
but he would have given them to Caradoc of Lancarvon, or Owen
Glendower, without a scruple. But what justice can any Scot
expect from him, when he wrecks his fury on the very name, and

3 F 2

408 N0TE3.

(vol. 1. p. 366.) calls it the little word Scut. Where is there
a historian besides who could have made the sublime discovery
that Scot is a shorter word than Kamtschutka, or that the historic
merits of a name must be determined by the number af letters
which it contains.

This gentleman is beyond all measure severe on Toland, and
the Irish historians. He brands Toland with injidelity, and
says, (v. 2. p. 17.) when he believed the Irish historians, he
might have swallowed the scriptures, or any thing. On the Irish
historians and their records, he has exhausted the whole voca-
bulary of abuse, and even asserts (vol. 2. p. 14.) that he would
give up their history, (tales as he calls it) though its veracity
could be evidenced to all Europe by irrefragable proof s. What-
ever is supported by irrefragable proofs, ought not to be given
up ; but the very proposal shews his obstinate determination to
annihilate even the authentic history of Ireland. But I cannot
better answer the cavils of this gentleman than by exhibiting to
the reader a specimen of the system which he himself has reared,
which, from his avowed fastidiousness to others, might be ex-
pected to be the very quintessence of religious orthodoxy, and
historic iruihy and which I shall give in his own identical words.
Ji is, says he, (Dissertation annexed to vol. 2. p, 33.) a self.evi.
dent proposition, that the author of nature, as he formed great
varieties in the same species if plants, and of animals, so he also
gave various races of men as inhabitants of several countries, A
Tartar, a Aegroe, an American, Sfc. Sfc. differ as much from a
German, as a bull.dog, or lap-dog, or shepherd’s cur, from a
pointer. The differences are radical, and such as no climate or
chance could produce ; and it may be expected, that as science ad»
vances, able writers will give us a convplete system of the many
different races of men. And again, (ibidem) – The latest and
best natural philosophers pronounce the flood impossible; a?id
their reasons, grounded on mathematical truth, and the immutable
laws of nature, have my full assent. These are, perhaps, rather
retrograde specimens of orthodoxy, but there was a dignus vin,
(iice nodus in the case, an absolute necessity for these important

NOTES. 409

sacrifices, because his Gothic system could not stand without
them. But the true point of astonishment is, that the man who
can thus deliberately deny the creation of the zcorld, the deluge,
and consequently the whole system of revelation, should have
the consummate impudence, or rather folly, to charge Mr. To-
land with infidelity, and disrespect to the sacred records. Hav-
ing thus sicallowed the ddnge, which impeded his Gothic career,
and modelled the creation to his own purpose, let us now attend
to the result. The Sct/ihians, (Gothe) says he, (ibidem, p. 187.)
whom the dawn of his tori/ discocers in present Persia, under their
king Tanaus, attack Vexores, king of Egypt, and conquer Asia,
(Justin) 1500 years before Ninus, or about 3660 before Christ.
By this means he makes the Scythians conquer Asia in the 344th
year of the world, and exactly 586 years (according to scripture
chronology) before the death of Adam. Mr. Pinkarton was
here in a great strait. He must either credit Justin or the sacred
records. If the latter, neither he, nor his favourite Gothe, could
surmount the barrier of the deluge. But there was another ob.
stacie in the way, viz. scripture chronology. Concerning it, he
says, (ibidem, page 186.) – Ancient chronology has been ruined
by attempting to force it to scripture, which is surely no canon of
chronology. But undent chronology ought only to be estimated
from ancient authors, and kept quite apart from scriptural chrom
nology. The date of the creation, Sfc. can never be decided, either
from scripture or otherwise, and such speculations are futile.
Orthodox and immaculate christian!!! No wonder that thy
righteous spirit was grieved with Toland’s infidelity, and that
thou exclaimest most bitterly against it. But who is this mighty
Heathen Goliah, before whom the whole system of revealed reli-
gion must fall ? It is the weak, the foolish, the fabulous Justin,
the unprincipled abridger of Trogus Pompeius, who is, with the
greatest good reason, suspected of destroying the original, that
he might give currency to his own fictions. The reader is de-
sired to remark that Pinkarton expressly says, (in the passage
already quoted) that the Scythians under their king Tanaus, at»
tack Vexores, king of Egypt, and conquer Aiia, &c, and gives

410 NOTES.

Jastin as his authority. Bat what will the rtader think of Mr.
Pinkarton, wheo I assure him that Justin does not once mention
Ta7iaus on the occasion, nor, indeed, any Scythian king what»
€¥er; nay, what is more, he does not, throughout his whole
treatise on the origin and history of the Scythians, contained in
the five first chapters of his second book, once mention the name
of Tanaus. The only Scythian kings he mentions are Sagillus
and Janeivus. the first cotemporary with Hercules, and the last
iwith Darius. Justin had, however, fixed the aera of both these
kings, and they were, besides, too modern for Mr. Pir.karton’s
purpose. But as Justin had assigned the Egyptians a king, and
had been so unpolite as to march the Scythians to this war with-
out one, Mr. Pinkarton was obliged to look out for a straggler
of some kind or other, and place him at the head of his red hair.
ed friends. This straggler Tanaus he found in the first chapter
of the first book of Justin. Speaking of Ninus, and the Assyrian
monarchy, which he reckons the first on record, Justin proceeds
thus – Fucre quidem temporibus anfiquiores, Sesostris JEgypti,
ei Scj/thiae rex Tanaus ; quorum alter in Ponium, alter usque
Mgyptum processit. Sed lor.ginqua, nonjinitima hclla gerebanfj
ncc iniperium sibi, sed popuUs suis glorlaui quarebant, conienti.
que victoria, imperio abstinebant. Ninus magnitudinem qucesitae
dominationis continua possessionejirmavit – i. e. ” Sesostris, king
of Egypt, and Tanaus, king of Scythia, were indeed more ancient
than Ninus, the one of whom advanced as far as Pontus, and the
other as far as Egypt. But they carried on wars at a distance,
not in their own vicinity, nor did they seek dominion for them-
selyes, but glory for their people; and, content with victory,
did not domineer over the conquered. Ninus established tha
greatness of his acquired dominion by taking immediate posses-
sion of his conquests/’ Jn the preceding part of the chapter,
Justin informs us of the j ustice and equity of ancient kings, who
defended the borders of their own kingdoms, but did not advance
them by encroachments on their neighbours; and then proceeds
as above quoted. Ninus was the first who broke through this
,qwitable principle. Justin admits there were two kings before

NOTES. 411

liinij Sesbstris and Tanauo, who made conquests, but did not re-
tain them, whereas Ninus took immediate possession, and conso-
lidated his new conquests with his former dominions. From
Justin, all that we know of Tanaus is, that he penetrated as far
as Egypt – that he was prior io ISinus, and posterior to Sesos,
iris. The war of Sesostris against the Scythians happened 1480
years before our aera. Justin puts Tanaus after Sesostris, and
it is certainly allowing too much, if we make them cotemporary.
Let us then allow that Tanaus lived 1480 years before our aera.
But Justin reckons that the war of the Scythians against the
Egyptians, under Vexores, took place 3660 years before the
christian a,ra, or 2100 years before Tanaus was in existence.
But if there ever was such a king as Vexores, who, according to
Justin, (lib. 2. cap. 3.) not only declared war against the Scy-
thians, but sent ambassadors to tell them the terms of their ser-
vitude, why does he not mention him as the first tyrant on record,
especially when professedly giving us a list of the earliest usur-
pers? Foolish and fabulous, however, as Justin is, I must ac-
(juit him of saying that Tanaus led the Scythians against the
Egyptians under Vexores. It is a mean, deliberate falsehood,
fabricated by Pinkarton, and imposed on Justin to give it the
stamp of currency and credibility. Finding Tanaus, a king of
the Scythians, mentioned by Justin, (lib. 1. cap. 1.) without an
army, and an army of Scythians without a king, (lib. 2. cap. 3.)
he instantly appoints him to the command of this army, without
even considering that he must have been 2100 years eld when he
took the command, or (which is much the same) must have taken
the command 2100 years before he was born. Had he appoint-
ed General Wo/fe, or the Duke of Marlboro ugh to the command
of the Caledonian army which fought against the Romans under
Agricola, it would have been modest in comparison of this.

But Justin may easily be made consistent with himself, and
with Herodotus, Dicaearchus, DIodorus, Siculus, &c. who make
Scsostiis conquer the Scythians. It is well known that Kgyp,.
had six kings of the name of Sesostris. It had also two kings
of the name of Plolmty, the one, for the sake of distinction, sir-

412 NOTES.

named Soter, or Lagus, the other Philadeiphus. The most fa-
mous of their kings who bore the name of Sesostris, was sirnain-
ed Rameses Miriam. For distinction’s sake, a series of kings of
the same name must have some discriminating epithet or appel-
lation. The Sesostris mentioned by Justin was probably sur-
named Vexores, and then both were the same person. There is
nothing ascribed to them by Justin, that will not much better
apply to one person, than to two different persons. Sesostris,
according to Justin, was the first usurper on record, and so was
Vexores. According to Herodotus, Sesostris was the first Egyp-
tian king who fought against the Scythians, and, according to
Justin, it was Vexores. In order to solve all the difficulties of
the case, we have only to suppose that the name of this king was
Sesostris Vexores, whom Justin’s stupidity (for it is well known
he was no great head piece) split into two different kings. How
fortunate was it that he did not hit on Sesostris Rameses Miri,
ftm, and split him into three. But this blunder of Justin was
singularly convenient for Pinkarton, because it placed his fa-
vourite Gothe (Scythians) on the throne of Asia 1312 years be-
fore the deluge, and hence he fights as strenuously for Vexores
as he does for Gothidsm itself. Well aware that Justin, in this
particular, is contradicted by every ancient author, without ex-
ception, he must l,ave been sensible that the case was hopeless
and desperate in the extreme, and the proof he adduces is equally
desperate. He quotes Trogits, Trogus Pompeius, Ti,ogus. Nar,
rative, Tragus’ Ancient History, &c, without being able to pro-
duce one sentence, or even one word of that author. He might
at least have favoured us with one word, though it had been no
larger than the Utile ZQord Scot. But does this gentleman really
imagine mankind so ignorant as not to know that Tragus” An-
cient History has been lost more than 1500 years, and that his
friend Justin is violently suspected of having been the murderer
of it. It would have been much the honester way to have told
ns candidly that Trogus was dead and his work lost, and that
he had no evidence to adduce. Had Mr. Pinkarton a cause de-
piMiiling in the Court of Session, in which the evidence of TroguS

NOTES. 413

Pompeius might be of service to him; and were he to come
sweating and panting into court with this dead Roman historiaa
on his back, and otFer him as a witness, would not he be consf»
d«red as a madman ? Now, I appeal to all the world, if it is not
as ridiculous to endeavour to elicit evidence from a dead work,
as from a dead man. The next evidences adduced are two reve-
rend bishops, Epiphanius and Eusebius, who, so far from being
of any service to him, do not even mention Vexores, or indeed
in the remotest degree allude to him. The sum total of their
evidence is, that in their days there was a religious error in the
church named Scythism. The last proof is an extract from the
Chronicon Paschale, p. 23, which also reckons Scythism one of
the religious errors then prevalent. Let us now see the amount
of this ewdence. The first is a dead tuork, which can prove no-
thing; the next two bishops, who know nothing at all about the
matter; and as to the Chronicon Paschale, its evidence coincides
exactly with that of the bishops. The point to be proved was,
that Vexores, king of the Egyptians, was defeated by the Scytki,
ans ,QQO years before the Christian ara, or, (according to scrip.
ture chronology), l,i, ijears before the deluge. The amount of
the proof Is, that in the early Christian churches, there toas an
e?Tor or heresy named Scythism. Yet on this single passage of
Justin, clearly overturned by the evidence of scripture chrono,
logj'”, and contradicted by every profane author who has written
on the subject, has Mr. Pinkarton founded his favourite theory;
and on this fictitious twig, on which no Celt would risk his cat,
fhis grave and formal advocate for religious orthodoxy and his-
toric truth, sits perched, bearing (like another Adas) on ills
shoulders the gigantic weight of the whole Gothic system.

Having, after this arduous struggle against truth and heaven, .
seated his red-kaired friends on the throne of Asia, 1312 years
before the. deluge, one would be apt to suppose that his labours
h,A been sufficiently Herculean, and that he would now sit
down happy and contented. Vain thought! ! ! All that is yet
p<,rformed is only like a drop in the bucket, in comparison of
whit remains to be ritchlevcd. He sav«? (<bideni» p. 9,3.) Tf any

3g ‘

414 NOTES.

reader inclines to took tipon (he deluge as fabulous, or, at most,
a local event, and desires to learn Tzhence the Scythians came to
present Persia, he need not be told that it is impossible to answer
him. With their residence in Persia, commences the faintest
dawn of history : beyond, although the period may amount to
myriads of ages, there is nothing but profound darkness. It
■will be recollected that he has already placed the Scythians in
Asia 1312 years before the deluge; and, in order to ascertain
the probable period of endurance prior to that period, here as-
signed them, I beg leave to remark – Imo, that a myriad is teu
thousand years; 2do, that an age is generally considered a cen-
tury. A myriad of centuries is one million of years. The length
of time which he supposes the Scythian empire may probably
have lasted in Persia, prior to the 344th year of the world, is,
therefore, many millions of years. Ye upstart and mushroom
chronologers of Chaldea and China, hang down your heads and
Jbldc your faces for ever! ! ! What are your 200,000 or 300,000
years, conopared to this? I have been the more particular in in-
• vestigating the merits of this passage of Justin – Imo, because it
is the very foundation stone cf the Gothic system ; 2dOj because
it is made a handle of to subvert scripture chronology, scripture
itself, and in a word all that is sacred and venerable in heaven
and on earth; Stio, because Mr. Pinkarton has treated Tblandj
and the Irish historians, as downright madmen, and I therefore
found it necessary to sketch the outlines of the religious and hiso
torical fabric which he himself has reared, that I might contrast
M with that of Toland and the Irish, and let the public judge for
themselves. In treating of the Irish records, and exhibiting
their most prominent features to view, I shall adhere to the same
impartiality which I have observed in handling Mr. Pinkarton’s
aystem. I cannot here help remarking, that Mr. Pinkarton has
■,vithheld from public view many particulars respecting the Scy-
thians. Pliny (lib. 7. cap. 2.) says that the Scythians of Mount
Imaus had their toes turned back behind them, and their heels
foremost, and that they were of incredible swiftness, aversisposi
crwa planiiSy eximiae velositatis. In describing the Scythians,

NOTES. 415

such a striking peculiarity ought not to have been omitted.
Had Pliny turned his attention to the raore elevated parts of the
body, vee might perhaps have found that the structure of their
heads was equally retrograde with that of their heels; and on
this principle some modern Gothic preposterosities might be ac-
counted for, which have hitherto appeared totally inexplicable.
What an immense treasure must that man possess, who is blessed
with a Gothic pair of heels, and a Gothic understanding!!!

Whilst the Irish manuscripts remain unpublished, it is impos-
sible to pronounce decisively, either on their authenticity or an-
tiquity. The only aids we have in this case are the opinions of
the Irish themselves, or their history. The last I consider as the
most equitable and impartial rule, because it is much easier to
mistake the date of a manuscript, than to forge a history altoge-
ther without materials. Pinkarton himself is obliged to acknow-
ledge, that Ireland is the most ancient of all the modern nations
of Europe, But what could place it on this proud pinnacle of
preeminence? It certainly was not Roman intercourse or civi-
lization. The early literature of Ireland is a phsgaomenon for
which it is impossible to assign even a probable reason, if we
give up this single point, that it was the ne plus ultra of Celtic
migration- that it was the last refuge of the Druids, and that
the whole Celtic literature and records found here their last

In examining the most prominent features of the Irish history,
the first thing which deserves our attention is its chronology, be-
cause it is here that all profane histories chiefly err. The Irish
historians fix the first population of Ireland about 2,000 years
before the Christian aera, which is nearly three centuries and a
half after the deluge. Pinkarton himself is obliged to admit
(vol. 2. p. 25.) that Ireland may have been peopled 2000 years
before our asra, though he adds (in his usual polite and elegant
language), that it is a matter of supreme indifference at what time
the savages of a Continent peopled a neighbouring island. I am
far from contending that the above is the exact date of the first
population of Ireland. All I intend is, to shew that it is net

3 G 2

416 NOTES.

greatly exaggerated, otherwise Pinkarton would have animad-
irerted on it with bis usual seienty. The Chaldeans and Chinese
carry their chronology as high as 200,000 years. The ,$,’gyp-
lians pretend to authentic records for more than 20,000 years.
The Athenians superseded all chronology whatever, by pretend-
ing that they were Autochthones – i. e. Earth.born, or sprung
from the soil which they inhabited. Nay Pinkarton himself (as
formerly noticed) assigns to his belored Gothe or Scythians a
probable endurance of many millions of years. The date, there-
fore, assigned by the Irish for the first population of Ireland,
though perhaps over-rated a few centuries, is such an instance of
chronological modesty as has no parallel in any of the nations of
remote antiquity. Chronology is the very soul of history. In-
deed, what is commonly denominated fable or tradition, is gene-
rally nothing else than historical facts, divested of chronologi.
cal arrangement and accuracy.

The Irish historians are pretty uniform in fixing the institn.
tion of a grand seminary of learning at Tarab, about eight centa-
vies prior to the Christian aBra. That there -were similar esta,
blishments in Gaul and Britain sixty years prior to our sera, is
clearly proved by Caesar. Nay, what is still more extraordinary,
he assigns the decided pre-eminence and superiority to the Bri-
tish schools. Is it then in the slightest degree incredible thai
the Irish, descended from the same Celtic stock as the Gauls
and Britons, should have the same literary institutions? The li,
terary attainments ascribed to the Druids by Caesar, and other
Roman historians, could not have been the result of less than a
thousand years study. It is impos’sible to fix the exact sera of
the first establishment of literary seminaries in Gaul and Britain.
But from the circumstances stated hj Caesar, that the British
schools greatly excelled those of Gaul, and that the discipline of
the Druids was supposed to ha?e been invented in Britain, and
thence transferred into Gaul, we are clearly authorized to infer,
that these estabrishments were of remote antiquity. That Bri-
tain was peopled from Gaul, and derived Druidism from the
same source, can admit of no dcubt. Many centmies must

NOTES. 417

therefore ha?e intervened, before Britain, in literary atlainiaents,
could excell the parent country, and so completely obscure and
pervert the history of Gaul, as to induce a belief, even amongst
the Gauls themselves, that they derived Druidism from Britain.
At any rate, it is certain that in Caesar,s time there were semina-
lies of education both in Gaul and Britain; that these semina-
ries were well attended; that the branches of education taught
were so numerous and complicated, as to require twenty years
study; and that the British schools had so far gained the ascend-
ancy, that the Gallic students resorted to Britain for the purpose
of perfecting their studies. The intercourse with Ireland was
equally easy ; and it would be contrary to analogy and common
sense to suppose that it was destitute of similar institutions. The
records of the Irish have, in some measure, been preserved, whilst
those of the other Celtic nations have been lost; and when their
historians fix the first literary establishment in Ireland 800 years
before our aera, we are well warranted, from the testimony of
CsBsar, and all other collateral and concomitant circumstances,
to reckon the date not greatly over-rated.

The Irish historians mark the first century of our a;ra as a
lery remarkable one. The Irish laws, which had been preserved
only in traditionary poems, were, by the command of King Ccn,
covar, who died about the year 48, committed to writing. The
leason assigned for this measure is, that the Druids and Bar(]s
had, from time immemorial, interpreted these traditionary laws
as they pleased. This is said to have produced an insurrection
of the people, by which the Druids and Bards were in danger of
being exterminated. They fled to Goncovar, who gave them
protection ; and, in order to quiet his subjects, appointed a num-
ber of the most eminent Druids to compile an intelligible and
distinct body of laws, and commit them to writing, that they
might be cleariy understood, and no longer be submitted to the
arbitrary interpretation of the Druids. But what could have in-
duced the Irish, at this particular crisis, to rise against a body
of men whom they had always venerated, and to whose decisions
they had, from time immeBaorial, implicitly submitted ? The Irish

418 NOTES.

historians have here acted very uncandidly, in withholding the
true cause, and only stating its effects. But the truth is, the
reign of Concovar coincides with that of the Emperor Claudius,
who completed the expulsion of the Druids from Gaul and Bri«
tain. Ciesar, instead of conquering Britain, only pointed it out
to his successors. His immediate successors, Augustus, Tiberius,
and Caligula, made no attempt on Britain. Claudius succeeded
to the empire in 41, and in 43 made a conquest of the greater
part of the island. The cruel edicts of Tiberius probably reach-
ed only the Druids in Gaul, and drove them over to Britain; but
Claudius completed their extirpation, and compelled them to
take refuge in Ireland. The influx of the Druids of Gaul and
Britain must have produced a strong sensation in Ireland. The
traditionary laws, suited to the local peculiarities of the different
districts of Gaul and Britain, perhaps ill accorded with those of
Ireland ; and as this little island must now have been greatly over-
stocked with Druids, every one of whom would persist in inter-
preting the traditionary laws, according to the meaning which
thty bore in that peculiar district, from which he had emigrated,
the confusion was irretrievable; and the Irish, who had without
reluctance submitted to the interpretation of their own Druids,
fpurned that of foreigners as novel, and by no means suited to
their peculiar circumstances. The selection of the most emi-
nent Druids to compile, and commit to writing, a new code of
laws, was a measure dictated no less by sound policy than by
imperious necessity. The different laws made hy Tuathal, Cor,
mac, he. to restrain the licence of the Bards, and preserve the
history of Ireland pure and incorrupted, owed their origin to the
same cause. The historical records of Gaul and Britain were
unquestionably more ancient than those of Ireland; and having
been conveyed thither by the Druids, expelled from Gaul and
Britain, the Irish history run the risk of being completely super,
seded, or &t least greatly intermixed. Concovar carried his
measures no farther than to compile a new body of laws, but
Tuathal appointed the compilation of a new history, and in HI


NOTES. 419

time coming a triennial revision of the books of the antiquaries,
by three Kings, three Druids, and three Antiquaries.

But what V7ill place the number, as well as fhe antiquity, oC
the Irish manuscripts on an incontrovertible basis is, that St.
Patrick, on his arrival, burnt 300 of them. This fact is as well
attested as the existence of the saint himself. We have, how-
ever, no reason to conclude that these were the whole of the Irish
manuscripts, but only such as contained the mysteries and reli-
gious rites of the Druids. Their historical manuscripts did not
come within this description. Indeed it is evident, from To-
]and’s quotations from these manuscripts, that even all those of
the former description were not burnt, but that many of the for-
mularies of the Druids, and much of their mythology, is extant
in manuscript. He has given us a list of a dozen Druids, whilst
Dr. Smith has not been able to condescend on one. Another
circumstance, and that not the least important, is, that the only
specimen of the Celtic alphabet which has survived the wreck of
time, has been preserved by the Irish.

I have already remarked, that it is impossible to treat the Irish
manuscripts with any degree of critical accuracy, so long as they
lemain unpublished. In this case all that I could do is to state
the jarring opinions of those who have wriLten on the subject,
which, to the inferior class of ray readers, could be of little ser-
vice, and to those of a superior description, could convey no In-
formation of which they are not already possessed. As these
notes have already extended to more than double the size origi-
nally intended, I shall conclude with a few remarks oa the
Duan Albanach, and the much agitated question whether Ireland
was Scotland, or vice versa. The reader will Snd a copy of this
Irish poem in O’Connor’s Dissertation, 0′ Flaherty’s Ogygia,
or the Appendix to Pinkarton’ s History of Scotland,

The Duan, Albanach-i. e. the Scottish song, or rather, (h,e
historical song of the Scots, is an Irish poem of great antiquity,
and was certainly begun prior to the aera of St. Patrick. It is
not like the Chronicon Pktorwn, and other more raodera prc,
ducticns, debased by monkish etymological nonsense.


420 NOTES.

The JDuan Alhmiach gives us (he very name of tLe Scots Hlgh-
ianders, which they retain to this day; and considering the avi-
dity of the Irish to establish that Ireland was Scotland, and the
Irish the original Scots, I (hink it amonnts to demonstration that
thii poem was begun, and had received its title, before this fool-
ish whim had entered the heads of the Irish, and before the name
Scot was in existence. Had it been otherwise, they would cer-
tainly have named it the Duan Scaotkach. The truth is, that in
the Irish, as well as the Gaelic language, Scotland is uniformly
named Alha, aiid the inhabitants Albanach, The Chronicon
Pictonim, a monkish production of the 13th century (as is gene,
rally supposed), and composed in Latin, gravely tells us – Cetu
tes Scitice (Scotia) albo crine nascuntur nb assiduis nivibus ; et
?’psius capilli color genti nomen dedif, et hide dicuntur Albani –
i. e. ” The nations of Scotland are born with white hair, on ac-
count of the continual sno,s; and the colour of their hair gave
name to the nation, and hence they are called Albani… I have
already shewn that the Damnii were the most numerous and the
most widely extended of the Scottish tribes. These were, from
their local situation, denominated Meatach and Albanach, which
the Romans and monkish writers latinized Meatce and Albani – •
i. e. Lozslanders and Highlanders. In the Celtic language Alb,
or Alp, always signifies a height ; and its adjective Albanachy or
Alpanach, always signifies high. Alb (generally pronounced
Alp) is the radix of the Latin Alpe, Albus, &c. This name is
of great antiquity. Alba is the name of a town in Latium, and
of another in Pannonia. We have Alba, a river in Spain; Al-
hania, a town of Arabia Felix; Albania, a region reaching from
the Caspian Sea to the Palus Pvlajotis; Albanus, the name of «,
hill in Latium, and of two towns, the one in Macedonia, and
the other in Armenia Major; Alhia, a hilly district bordering
on the Carni; Alb’u, the ancient name of the Alps; Albtona, a
town of the Llgures ; Albis, the ancient name of the Elbe, kc.
In Great Brifain I need only m,entIon Albion, Breadalbanc,
DrumaVoan, Glen,nior-im li’Alahin, Alba, Albanach, &c. The
pninify of these names, and many more which could be adduced|

NOTES. 421

clearly establish (he prevalence of the Celtic language, and the
wide extent of their ancient possessions. But it was certainly a
most egregious blunder in the writer of the kronicon Pictorum,
to render the Celtic Albanacli, white, which, in fact, signifies
hilly or mountainous. The Roman and Celtic meaning of the
word can easily be reconciled. Hills, from being frequently co-
vered with snow, or from their hoary cliifs, convey the idea of
whiteness, as well as of elevation. “The Celts have, thereforej
retained the primary, and the Romans the secondary, or adven-
titious signification. That Albus, among the Latians, signified
%/i, is evident from Livy, (lib. 1.) who tells us that Alba
JLonga was so named from its being built on a long Dorsum, or
eminence. Alba Longa literally signifies the long Dorsum, or

But to return to the l)uan Albanach, it is worthy of remark
that it has been greatly mutilated. There is no point in ancient
history better established, than the arrival of an Irish colony in
Argyleshire, under Riada, about the middle of the third centur,’.
About the middle of the fifth, this colony was defeated hy the
Picts, took refuge In Ireland, and did not return till the year
503. la the above poem, the first colony is omitted altogether,
and it commences with Loarn, the leader of the second colony
in 503. The Irish historians have, by this means, contrived to
date the arrival of this colony posterior to the departure of the
Romans, that it might be believed there were no Scots in Scot,
land during the Roman period, and that sucl. as are mentioned
by the Roman writers, were auxiliaries sent from Ireland to as«
sist in repelling the Romans. Had the Irish claim been well
founded, there was no occasion for resorting to so mean and d8«-
psrate an expedient.

Claudian, the panegyrist, has given rise to the whole fable in
the following lines:

Madiierunt Saxotie fuso

Orcades ; incaluit Plctorom sanguine Thule;
Scotorura curatslos ilevit glacialU lerne –
i e «i Xhe Orkneys were wet with the blood of the routed Sax.



422 NOTES,

oas; Thule TvaS warm with the blood of thePlcts; and icy Itrne
uiourned the slaughtered heaps of Scots.” Uofortunately -we
have many places bearing the name of Jerne, It is the most atu
cient Greek name of Ireland. It is the name of a lake (Erne)
in that kingdom. It is the name of a mountain and river of the
Artabri, in Spain. It is the name of a lake and river in Perth-
shire, and of a riter in Murrayshire, &c. Amidst this ambigui-
ty and confusion, the real’ scene of the Roman actions with the
Scots, must determine which is the lerne in question. We know
Ihat the Romans did not fight with the Scots in Ireland or in
Spain. Strath-Erne, in Scotland, is undoubtedly the lerne here
meant ; and the term glacialis (icy) is certainly more applicable
to the river Erne, than to the kingdom of Ireland. In Strath-
Erne we have many superb Roman monuments, particularly a
Homan camp, (see Gordon’s Itiner. Septent. plate 5.) still re«
taining the name of Galgachan, where the battle between Agri,
cola and Galgacus is supposed to have been fought. But were
• we even to grant that lerne was Ireland, and that (as Claudian
Says) it lamented the defeat of the Scots, still it does not follow
Ihat Ireland was the native country of the Scots, otherwise it
must also follow, that Iceland (the real Thule) was the native
country of the Picts, and Orkney of the Saxons. Ireland might
lament the defeat of the Scots, who were endeavouring to set
bounds to an enemy formidable to all the world, because the dis-
comfiture of any intervening army brought the danger still near-
er to themselves.

I have already remarked, that the ambiguity of Tacitus mis.
led his editor so far as to make Ireland (Hibernia) the chief
scene of Agricola’s actions during the third, fourth, and fifth
years of his residence in Britain. The before cited passage of
Claudian is equally ambiguous, and has given full scope to
Monkish fable and conjecture. What is still more to be regret,
ted is, the affinity of Hibernia to the Roman adjective Hibernus,
which signifies wintry or cold, and has led superficial writers
jnto many errours. Calepine, in the word Hibernia, telis us,
that it is supposed to be derived from Hii/€rnns, propter hiemif)


NOTES. 423

longitudinein, on account of the length of the winter. From
the time of Columba till the twelfth century, the Irish were
almost the only clergy in Scotland, and raodelled the history
of the Scots to suit their own vanity. The adventitious
circumstance of an Irish colony having settled in Argyleshire
about the middle of the third century, gave an air of plausibility
to the imposture, and, like the Germanic origin of the Caledo-
nians, hinted at by Tacitus, it has been twisted about and about
in every direction, and is as keenly contested at the present day,
as the first moment the discussion began. On the evidence of
Calepine, the Romans reckoned Ireland a cold country, and that
it derived its name from this very circumstance. Perhaps this
mistake induced/ lUeiemy to place Ireland due north of Scotland,
instead of west, the former being the colder position of the two ;
,nd this very error of/ Ptoloaiy has tended not a little to per-
plex the point in question.

There is not a passage in any Roman author whatever, whicfe
can in the remotest degree imply that Ireland was Scotland,
whilst every one of them clearly implies that Scotland was
Ireland, Had the Scots, so formidable to the Romans, been
Irish auxiliaries, it could not have escaped the Roman historians
to a man. The Romans, on the contrary, had a most contemp-
tible opinion of Ireland. Tacitus tells us (Vit. Agric. cap. 8.)
that Agricola placed garrisons on the coast of Britain, opposite
to Ireland, in spem magis quam ob forviidmem – i. e. ” from the
hope of advantageous intercourse, rather than from any dread of
their arms ;” and in the same chapter adds, ” that Ireland might
be conquered and kept by one legion and a few auxiliaries –
Legione una et modicis auxilus debellari Hibcriuam, obimerique
posse. It is well known that the Roman prtetentures, from Sol-
way Firth to the river Tyne, and from Clyde to Forth, were
constructed to resist the invasions of the Scots and Picts. But
had these incursions been from Ireland, the Romans would cer-
tainly have fortified the coast opposite to it, and opposed these
barriers to the greatest danger. We are well warranted to in-
fer, that the most formidable defence would be opposed to the

n 2

424 NOTES.

most formidable danger ; but against Ireland (hry were do de-
fence at all, because the whole west coast of Britain lay open to
the Irish, and they could have landed to the south of either prse-
tenture. Indeed, the silly fiction that the Scots were Irish auxi-
liaries, never obtained, till the influence of the Irish ecclesias-
tics had gained the ascendancy in Scotland, and on the decline
of this influence, the fable was exploded. The venerable Bede?
a writer of the eighth century, under the year 324, mentions the
Scots and Picts as invading the Roman province in the time of
Honorius, and calls both of them transmarine nations ; not (says
he) that they were a people settled out of Britain, hut they mai)
be called transmarine, hy beings as it tcere, separated from the
conquered province (Valentia) to the southward, hy the two Firthe
of Clyde and Forth. – See Gordon’s Itin. p. 141. Tacitus, speak-
ing of the same people, and of the same part of the country,
says, Summotis velut in aliam insulam hostibiis – i. e. .’ the ene-
iDy being removed, as if into another island,’. In another place,
speaking of that part of the island south of the Firthe of Forth
and Clyde, he calls it Britanmam ipsam – ” Britain proper,”
and that part north of these Frithe, quasi aliam insulam, as if
a’jother island. Is it then any wonder that men, totally igno-
rant of the geographical situation of the north of Scotland, should
mistake it for an island totally distinct from Britain, and con-
found it with Irelan<], the largest of the British islands. Bede
and Gildas call the Picts, as well as the Scots, transmarine na-
tions, on account of their Peninsular situation; and if tl«? Scots
were Irish, the Picts must also have been Irish – a point which
their strenuous friend Pinkarton has resisted totis vlnbus. They
who argue that the Sk,cts were Irish auxiliaries, n»ay, with equal
propriety, argue that the Roman pratciitures, cauipi, &c. and
even Valentia itself, were in Ireland.

Whoever chuses to select the blemisher, the ambiguities, and
the mistakes of ancient writers, may hy the foundation of any
system he pleases. Mr. Pinkarton has, in this respect, sliewn
liimself a great adept. His Gothic system rests on the bnsis of
all that is absurd and exceptionable in ancient or mtd«;rn y,jlU


NOTES. 425

ers. The man who sacrifices his judgmnr.t at the shrine of a
favourite hypothesis, may, with a little ingenuity, do wonder,,
Strabo makes the Caspian Sea a gulf of the northern ocean. In
order to establish this point, it is only necessary to suppose,
that that part which is now terra firma, has been filled up since
Strabo’s time by the action and re-action of the tide. Man_r’
similar instances of repletion might be adduced. Properties
calls the Getaj (a nation of Thrace) llihcrni Getcc, which may hat
rendered (according to the modern Monkish acceptation) the
Irish Getce. Gildas, speaking of the Scots and Picts, says-
Romnnis ad suos remeantibus emergunt certatim de curucis, qui,
hus sunt trans Scythicam Vallem evecti-i. e. ” The Romans
having left Britain, they (the Scots and Picts) eagerly land frorn
their curroughs (skin boats), ia which they passed over the Scy-
thian valley.” This Scythica (Scotlca) vallis was the Frith of
Forth; but were we to take the natural import of the words,
they might be rendered a. valley of ancient Scythia. Tbe Cale-
donians included all the inhabitants of the north of Scotland ;
and Tacitus mentions their red hair as a peculiar characteristic.
Gildas, on the contrary, calls them ieiri Scoiorinn Fictorumque
Greges,’i. e. .’ The black herds of Scots and Picts. Here we
have a red and a black theory ; and every one may adopt the
one or the other, as best suits his purpose. Ten thousand in-
stances of the same kind might be adduced.

The passages on which Pinkarton founds his theory that Sect-
land was Ireland, are exactly of the same description; and I
shall notice a few of them. Bede, speaking of Ireland, says –
IJcec Scotoium pairta est-‘i, e. “This is the native country of
the Scots. That the Dalriadic colony migrated from Ireland to
Argyleshire, is not dippufed; and that the name Scot originated
with this colony, is equally allowed; but it is this very circum-
stance which has obscured the point in question. There is no
impropriety in calling Irelar.d the native country cf this colony,
any more than in railing Britain the native country of the colony
settled at Botany Bay ; but certainly no one vvould thence infer
that Britain and New Holland are one and the same identical


426 NOTES.

spot of ground. Bede has most probably mistaken Argykshire
for Kibernia; but be that as it may, he always places the Scots
In Britain – Scoti qui sunt in Britannia – i. e. ” the Scots who
are in Britain;’. and, as I liave before noticed, tells us that he
calls the Scots and Picts transmarine, not because they are
placed out of Britain, but because of their peninsular situation
beyond the Forth and Clyde. Giraldus, a writer of the twelfth
century, in his Descriptio AlbanicE, says – Monies qui dividunt
Scociam ah Aregaithal – i, e. ” The mountains which divide
Scotland from Argyle,” and calls the inhabitants Gaeli and Hi.
hernensis – Gael or Irish. If this passage has any meaning at
all, it certainly proves that Argyleshire was Hiberniaor Ireland.
Mr. Pinkarton ought not to have quoted this passage, as it makes
directly against him. But he is one of those men who can strain
at a gnat, and swallow a camel, Giraldus. geographical igno-
rance is almost proverbial. This very author (as Pinkartoa
liimself admits, vol. 2. p. 207.) mistakes Scottisivath (Solway
Firth), for Scottiszcatre (the Firth of Forth), and at one blow-
lops off, and adds to England that part of Scotland situated south
of the Forth. If he did not know the limits of Scotland, where
it was conterminous to his native country, what accuracy was to
be expected respecting Argyleshire, which lay greatly more re-
mote, Giraldus chiefly dabbled in Irish history, and had im-
bibed many of their false notions respecting Scotland. It was,
indeed, very consistent in him, after having appropriated the
most valuable half of Scotland to England, to make Ireland a
present bf Argyleshire. It is, however, extremely unaccounta-
ble in Pinkarton, after having repeatedly asserted that the Dal.
riads of Argyleshire were the original Scots, to cite this very-
passage to prove that Argyleshire formed no part of Scotland.
That Giraldus considered Argy}er>hlre as Hibernia (Ireland) is
m-ident from his calling the inhabitants (Hibernenses) Irish.
Is’dorus (quoted by Pinkarton) says, Scolia eadem et Hibernia;
i. e. ” Scotland the same as Ireland,’. but this only proves that
Scotland was sometimes callod Ireland. He then quotes St. Ber,
card, a writer of the twelfth century, who says of St. Malach,,

NOTES. 427

ah uUeriorl Scotia usque cucurrit ille ad jnortem-i, e. ,’ He ran
from further Scotland, even to death.” Mr. Pinkarton is gene-
rally very unfortunate ia his quotations; and this very one has
completely ruined his cause. If there was a Scotia ulterior,
there must also have been a Scotia citericr, a hither Scotland ;
and the truth is, that the Dalriads, an Irish colony, settled ia
Argyleshire about the middle cf the third century, and were
called HiOerni, Irish. This circumstance gave rise to two Hi,
hernice (Irelands), the one in Scotland, and the other in Ireland.
But this colony soon received the name Scots (colonists or emi-
grants). This again gave rise to two Scotlands, which Bernard
‘sery properly denominates XJlierior and Citerior, The claim of
the Irish is, in this case, of the very same nature with that al-
ready noticed respecting the poems of Ossian. The Irish claim
this colony, its martial exploits against the Romans, its name,
&c. because of its Irish origin ; and this circumstance has misled
many respectable writers. But, as I have already observed,
this contest is of no importance to the Scots, “because it can be
satisfactorily established, even on the evidence of Pinkarton
himself, that Scotland was the por,n,j not only of Ireland, but
©f the very colony in question.

The Irish historians uniformly admit that the Tuathde Danan
(race of the Dacan or Damnii) migrated frcm Scotland to Ire-
land 1250 years before the Christian asra, Tlsat these Da7ian
were the Damnii of North Britain, has been generally allowed ;
and even Pinkarton himself has, without itluctance, repeatedly
acceded to it. These Damnii, according to Ptolemy, possessed
from Galloway to the Tay. Pinkarton himself adds Galloway
to their territories, and Richard of Cirencester adds Fife. The
last mentioned author also places a tribe of the Damnii Albam
(Highland Damnii) in Argyleshire. Hence it is clear that the
Damnii possessed the west coast of Scotland throughout nearly
its whole extent. I have formerly remarked, that Albaid ar,d
Meat<E (AWanach and Meatach, or Meadach) are merely local
discriminations of one and the same people, the Damnii. Fin-
karti>a him«;lf la obliged to admit that the Da?unii Atbani (vol.

428 NOTES.

2. p. 72 ) formed at least a part of the Dalriadic colony; atid
again (v. 2. p. 234.) admits that Scoti and Albani were synoni-
niGus with writers of the eleventii, twelfth, and thirteenth cen-
tury. IJoveden (quoted by Pinkarton, t. 2. p. 235.) has the
following remarkable passage, when describing the war of the
staBdard in 1138 – Excla?navitque simul exercitus Scoitorum
msigne patriitm; et asceniUt clamor usque in coelum, Albani!
AlbarA! – i. e. ” and the army of the Scots, with one Tolce, vo-
ciferated their native distinction, and the shout of Albani! AU
hani! (Highlanders! Highlanders!) ascended even to tlie hea-
vens.” From this remarkable passage we learn that Albani
was the native badge or distinction of the Scots. To this it is
on]y necessary to add that the Diian Albanack uniformly calls
the Bairiadlc colony AJbanach, and their country Alba. Nslv
Pinkarton himself says (v. 1. p. 224.) that the Damnii Albani
and Atiacotti were the first Scots from Ireland, and arrived in
Argyle about the year’ 258. Having thus identified the Damnii
Albani, Dalriadi, and Scots, the result clearly is, that a colony
of the Damnii migrated from North,kitaln to Ireland 1250
years (as the Irish historians themselves declare) before cur Kra,
and that a tribe of the same Damnii returned to Argyleshire
about the middle of the third century. It is here particularly
• worthy of remark, that though 1500 years had intervened from
the migration of the Damnii to Ireland, till their return to Ar-
gyleshire about the year 258, they had inflexibly retained their
name, viz. Damnii Albani; and though Damnii is now omitted,
they retain the name Albanach, even to the present hour. Nei-
ther the Irish nor Mr. Pinkarton have much reason, therefore,
to pique themselves on the Irish Dalriadic colony, because it
can be proved to demonstration, even from their own arguments,
that the ancestors of this colony emigrated from North Britain
to Ireland. But the most unaccountable conceit of all is, that
Pinkarton should insist that the name Scot originated in Ireland,
whilst, in fact, they have no such name in their language, neither
have the Scots themselves any such name in their dialect of the
Celtic, In both languages the word used for Scot is uniformly

NOTES. 429

Albanach] and e?en in Galloway, where the tiame zo’dd Scot is
still proverbial, it is expressed, if we credit Buchanan, by Gal.
luvid, the literal impert of which is GaUi sylvestres. The quasi
alia Insula of Tacitus, the Glacialis lerne of Claudian, the HU
berni and Picti of Eumenius, the Scoiti and Fictiof Ammianus,
Avith a few other ambiguous passages of the Roman authors, gave
a plausible pretext for the ridiculous fiction that Scotia Antiqud
was Ireland. Sensible that the whole tenour of Roman evidence
was against them, the Irish mutilated the Dvan Albanach, pass-
ed over the first Scottish colony under Riada, with barely men.v
tioning it, and then proceeded to the second colony, under Lonrn
and Fergus, in 503. Having thus overstepped the Roman pe-
riod in Biitain, they gravely tell us that there were no Scots in
Britain till 563, and that the Scots mentioned by the Romans
Mere Irish auxiliaries, Rot resident in Scotland, and that conse-
quently Ireland was Scotland. This foundation being laid, it
is not to be wondered at, considering the influence and numbei’
of the Irish Ecclesiastics, not only in Britain, but on the Conti-
nent of Europe, that this fraudulent imposition was widely
.spread, and took deep root. Usher, Lloyd, Siillingfieet, O’Fla-
iierty, Keating, and many other respectable writers, were im-
posed on, and positively deny the existence of the first colony
altogether ; and had it not been the publicAtion of the Duan AL
oatiachy mutilated as it is, the error had been irretrievable.
Mr. Toland, (see his Nazarenus) contrary to the opinion of the
other Irish historians, had the honesty and disinterestedness ta
assert the existence of the first colony.

Before dismissing this subject, it may not be improper to ha-
zard a few remarks on the probable origin of the word SqoI.
Aoimianus, under the year 360, is the “very first who mention’?
the Scots and Picts, making war on the Romans. But he do? ,5
liOt drop a single hint that they were Irish auxiliaries. 0\\ the,
contrary, he always speaks of them as immediate, and at hand.
The next author who mentions them is Ilieronyraus. In order
to get over the evidence of ihis author as superficially as possible,
!}ilr. PinLaitun inserts Aitarotti instead of Scotl, oml te)h us

.’> 1

430 NOTES.

that St Jerome says they ate human flesh. The passage to which
he alludes is thus quoted by Calepine, an eminent lexicographer,
who wrote about 1490. Quid (inquit) loquor dc ccsteris natio,
nibus quum ipse adolescentulus in Gallia viderim Scotos gentem
Britannicam humanis vesci carnibus? – Vide Dictionarium in
Terbo Scoti-u e. ” Why (says Hieronymus) do I speak of other
nations, since I myself, when a boy, saw the Scots, a British na-
tion in Gaul, eat human flesh.” It would have been convenient
enough for Pinkartoa to allow that the Scots ate human flesh,
but not equally so that they were a Britannic nation, for which
reason he inserts the Attacotti in their stead. St. Jerome (Hie-
Tonymus)was born 342, and died 420. – {See Cave’sHist. Liter ar. )
If we allow St. Jerome to be 18 years old (an age fully com-
mensurate to the word Adolescentulus) when he saw the Scots in
Gaul, he must have seen them about 360, the very year when
Ammianus first mentioBS them. These Scots were unquestion-
ably mercenary troops in the Roman armies in Gaul. From the
Notitia Imperii, a work of the fifth century, it is clear that the
Romans employed foreign forces from all nations, and net a few
from North Britain. St. Jerome imputes to them the custoixi
of eating human flesh; and this very circumstance would induce
him to be particular in his enquiries respecting their name and
Bation. The Roman oflicers who commanded them in Gaul, and
had levied them in Britain, were capable of giving him the cor-
rectest information ; and when he pronounces the Scots Britan,
nicam Gentem – ” a British nation,” his authority is more than
a counterpoise to all that has been advanced on the other side
of the question. St. Jerome saw these Scots in Gaul more than
50 years before the Romans abandoned Britain, and at least
three centuries before the Irish claim to Scotland and the Scots
was started. The only argument which can be adduced against
these authorities is, that St. Patrick converted the Scots in Ire-
land, and therefore the Scots must have been Irish. The very
first nanje of Scots in Ireland appears in the letters of St. Patrick,
published by Usher. But the ajra of this saint was the very pe-
ripd v.licn the old Scots of Argyle, after a signal defeat by tikc

NOTES. 431

Plots, were obliged to take refuge iti Ireland. Their residence
in Ireland is variously stated at from 17 to 40 years. They re-
turned to Argyleshire under Loam and Fergus, the sons of Ere,
about the end of the fifth century. The Scots mentioned by St.
Patrick were therefore the identical Dalriads, or aboriginal Scots
of Argyleshire. That St. Patrick converted this colony is clear
from the Duan Albanach, which says, –

Tri mic Eire, mhic Eachacli ait,
Triar fuair beannachtain Phadraic-

i. e. ” The three sons of Ere, the son of Eachach the Great, ob-
tained the besediction of Patrick.” Pinkarton, the grand ad-
Tersary of the Scots, is as express to this point as words can
make it. Beda’s Scots (says he, v. 2. p. 260.) in Britain were
but the inhabitants of Argyle, a petty district, and were convertm
ed to Christianity during their exile in Ireland, from 446 to 503.
And again, (v. 2. p. 266.) in 460 Patrick converts the Dalreu.
dim, or old British Scots of Argyle, then exiled in Ireland, as
he does the other Irish; and prophesies that Fergus, the son of
Ere, shall he a king, and father ofki?igs. It is a matter of the
extremest facility to identify the Scots of St. Patrick and the
Scots of Argyle, by numerous and respectable authorities; but
Mr. Pinkarton has done it himself, and saved me the trouble.
It is therefore historic truth that the inhabitants of Argyleshire
are the aboriginal Scots – that they are mentioned by Ammianus
and Hieronymus as early as 360 – that the name Scot was un.
known in Ireland till 460, and when known, belonged not to
the Irish, but solely and exclusively to the aboriginal Scots of
Argyleshire, then exiles in Ireland. Hence the extreme anxiety
of the Irish to suppress all knowledge of the first colony under
Miada, and to commence the Scottish name with the second co-
lony under Loarn and Fergus, the sons of Ere. It is pitifuJ
it is- really distressing, to see Mr. Pinkarton flatly cont,-adict
himself so often. Having, as before stated, admitted in the most
unequivocal terms that the Scots of St. Patrick were the old
Scots of Argyleshirej he totally forgets himself, and says (v. 2.


43i NOTES.

p. 225.) the Scots io whom Patrick zcas sent are perfectly known

to have been only Jrish»

But prior to the year 460, the very name Scot was totally un-
known in Ireland, whereas it was well known in Scotland a full
century earlier. If the Irish were Ihe original Scoti, and Ireland
the original Scotia; and if these names passed in process of time
from Ireland to Scotland, it roust be proved that the Irish and
Ireland bore these names prior to the year 360. This is sifting
the matter to the bottom ; and Pinkarton, sensible that nothing
less would serve the purpose, has hazarded the attempt. He
sets out (v. 2. p. 45, &c.) with the assumption that Sci/th and
Scot, Scythia and Scotia, are synonimous. That BeJgce, Cauciy
and Menapii, were to be found in Ireland ; and that the Beiges
were Scots, because the Beiges were Scythians. I have already _
{ihewn, on the testimony of Caesar and Tacitus, that the Belgae
tvere Celts. But waving this objection altogether, instead of
proof, we have nothing but impudent and groundless assertion.
But were his assertions as well founded as they are completely
the reverse, still the inference drawn from them totally ruins the
very point which he wishes to establish ; for if ScythJa and Sco.
tia are synonimous, it must follow that Scythia, and not Ireland,
was the original Scotland. The childish idea that Scythians and
Scots were synonimous, is borrowed from the ridiculous preara-
“ble to the Chronkon Pictorum, in which is the following remark
on the Scots: – Scotli (qui nunc corrvpte vocantur Hibernien,es)
,uasi Sciti, quia a Scithia regione venerunt ; siie a Scctta filia
£haraonis regis Egypti quce fnii, ut feriur, regina Scotorum – /
\. e. ‘. The Scots (who are now improperly called Irish), as if
Scythians, because they came from the country cf Scythia; or
from Scotta, the daughter of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who was,
as is reported, queen of the Scots.” The Chronicle tells us also,
– Gothi a Magog filio Japheifi nominati putaniur, de simiUiudi.
ne idtimce syllabce – i. e, ” The Golhs are thought to be named
from Magog, the son of Japheth, from the resemblance of the
Jast syllable.” Whoever would found any thing on such non-
sejjseas this, is certainly rcduped to the last cstrcD:ity. lit \\hQ


NOTES. 4.j:i

cat! derive Coth from MagOiS, need not hesitate to identify Scy-
<hla and Scotia. But if synonimity is of any avail in this ens’.,
Scotta, Pharoah’s daughter, has a bettor title to he ciillodScon,f.
than even Scythia itself. Mr. Pinkiuton set out with the avo,r-
-ed intention of proving that Ireland was ancient Scotland, in-
stead of which he has conferred that honour on ancient Scythia,
and might, with equal justice, have conferred it on Mexico or

The most probable etymon of the word Scot, is tlic Celtic 5’ctf-
oih or Scuih. meaning a swarm or colony ; and hence (as colo-
nies are generally not composed of the most respectable materi-
als) it frequently signifies an exile, fugitive, wanderer, &c.
This last signification well expresses the migratory habits of the
Scythians; and if there is any affinity betwixt Scythimt and Scot,
the clear inference is, that the Scythians were Celts, and their
language Celtic, otherwise the radical meaning of the word
would not have been lost in all other languages, and preserved,
in the Celtic alone. We all know that the Dalriads, who first
bore the name of Scots, were Irish emigrants ; and I am verily
persuaded, that the name was given them by their Celtic neigh-
bours the Picts, for the sake of distinction, or, perhaps, from,
contempt. The original name appears’to have been Scaoth Eru
nach (Irish fugitives), which has often been rendered in Latin
Hihcrni Scoti, which Mr. Piakarton, contrary to all rea-son,
makes a proof that the Irish were Scots, and renders the Scots
in Ireland. But Hiberni Scotl literally means Irish fugiiives ;
and could there remain any doubt on this head, it is completely
obviated by Bede and Gildas, who repeatedly call the Scots ///-
Icrni Grassatores. Scaoth Erinach, Hihcrni Scott, and Hiberni
Grassatores, arc phiases strictly synonlmous; nor indeed could
the Celtic Scaofh, when taken in an opprobrious sense, be more
aptly rendered than by the Latin Grassator.

I do not, however, wish to be understood as by any means im-
pugning the antiquity of the Irish manuscripts. I only blarat, tlie
selfish use to which they have been applied. Ireland mu-f:
rauk posterior to Gaul and Trih.in, in point of early liter.itarp ;

434 NOTES.

but on the fspu-slon of the Druids from tfipse kingdoms, it was
enriched with the spoils of both. The Irish Iiave, therefore, an
obvious interest in not publishing these manuscripts. The mo-
ment they are published, a great part of these records would in-
fallibly turn out to be, not the history of Ireland, but that of
Gaul and Britain. This is evidently the case with the Dnan
Albanack, which is strictly and literally the history of Argyle-
shire. But having this important document in their custody,
<he Irish laid claim to the whole Scottish name and atchievements,
«p to the eleventh century. Indeed, I do not hesitate to state,
that whatever is recoverable of the early Celtic literature, bis,
tory, and mythology, either of Gaul or Britain, is to be found ia
Ireland, and in Ireland alone; and I sincerely hope that the
publication of the Irish manuscripts will speedily be made a na-
tioual concern. The English language is making rapid progress,
and if this undertaking is delayed half a century longer, all is
lost, in (mtiquum confundimur chaos.



W’aa, 1’wui.ci, Mouaosc


DEMCO 38-297

BL910 .T64 1814

A new edition of Toland’s History of the

Princeton Theological Seminary-Speer Library

1 1012 00009 5820



John TOL and was bom on the 30th November, 1070, in the most northern peninsula in Ireland, on the isthmus whereof stands Londonderry.
That peninsula was originally called Inis-Eogan, or Inis-Eogam, but is now called Enis-Owen.
Toland had the name of Janus Junius given him at the font, and was called by that name in the school roll every morniug; but the other boys making a
jest of it, the master ordered him to be called John, which name he kept ever after.

Mr. Toland is reported to have been the son of a popish priest; and, he hath been abused by Abbot Tilhidet, Bishop Hijetius,and others, on the
ground of his alleged illegitimacy: which, were it true, is a most base and ridiculous reproach; the child, in such a case, being entirely innocent of the guilt of his parents. Had Mr. Tcland been really
. A


illegitimate, which was not the case, no infamy could have attached to him on that account, unless he can be supposed to have had the power of directing the mode of his coming into existence.
The following testimonial, given him at Prague, where he was residing in 1708, will, however, sufficiently remove so foolish and groundless an imputation. It runs thus:

Infra scripti testamur Dom. Joannem Toland,
ortum esse ex honesta, nobili et antiquissima familia,
quae per plures centenos annos, ut Regni Historia et
continua monstrant memoria, in Peninsula Hiberniae
Enis-Owen dicta prope urbem Londino-Deriensem
in Ultonia, perduravit. In cujus rei firmiorem fidem,
nos ex eadem patria oriundi propriis manibus suhscrip-
simus, Pragae in Bohemia, hac die 2. Jan. 1708.
Joannes O’Niell superior Collegii Hibernorum,
L.S. Francisus O’Deulin, S. Theologiae Professor,
Rvdolphus O’Neill, S. Theol Lector.


” We subscribers testify, that Mr. John Toland is
” descended of an honourable, noble, and very an-
” cient family, which resided several centuries on
” the Peninsula of Ireland, called Enis-Owen, near
” the city of Londonderry in Ulster, which the
” history of that kingdom, and continual mention
” of the family clearly establish. For the surer
” credence of this, we, natives of the same country,



” have subscribed ,yith our own hands at Prague,
” in Boliemia, this 2d January, 1708.”

The Reader will see from this certificate of the
Irish Franciscans at Prague, that Mr. Toland was
honourably, nobly, and anciently, descended.

We may, however, take it for granted, that his relations were papists ; for in his preface to Christianity not Mysterious, he tells us, ” that he was
‘. educated from the cradle in the grossest superstition and idolatry, but God was pleased to make his own reason, and such as made use of theirs, the happy instruments of his conversion.’. He again informs us, in his Apology, “that he was not sixteen years old when he became as zealous against popery, as he has ever since continued.”

From the school at Redcastle, near Londonderry, he went in 1687, to the college of Glasgow; and after three years stay there, visited Edinburgh,
where he was created Master of Arts on the 30th of June, 1690, and received the usual diploma from the professors, of which the following is a copy.

Universis et singulis ad quos prcesentes liters per-
renient, NOS universitatis Jacohi Reo-is Edinbnr-
gen(B Professores, Salutem in Domino scmpiternam
comprecamur: Unaqne testamur inge,umm hunc bonce
Spei Juvenem Magistnim Joannem Tolaiid Hiher,
‘iiinn, morihus, diligodia, ct laudabili successu se no-

\ -2



his if a approbasse iit 2X)st cditum PJdhsopldci pro-
Jeclns c.icnneny Solemii jnore Magister in Arllhiis
liheralihys rcuwiiiaretur, in Comitiis Jiostris Iaui-
reads anno Salutis Miilesimo, Sexcentesimo el No-
iwgesimo, irigesimo die Junii: Quapropier non rhi-
hitaums euni 7iunc a Nobis in pairiam rcdeuntem,
lit cqreginm Adolescentem, onmibtts qiios adirc, vcl
(/uibusctmi versari contigerit, de rncliori noia com-
mendarCy sperantes ilhnn (opitidante divina gratia)
.Litcris Msec Testimonialihus fore abimde responsu-
rmn. In quorum Jidcm inclyia Civitas JSdi/ibnrgnm
Academics hvjus parens et Allrix sigiUa siio piiblico
fit eras sijngraphis Nostrisporro conjirmari jussit,

Al. Monro, S, S. 1\ J). Professor Frhnarius,
Jo, Strachan, S. S, T, D. ejusdemque Professor.
I), Gregorie, Math. P.
J. Herbert us Kennedi/, P. P,
X. S, J. Dnunmond, IL L. P.
Tho. Burnet, PL P.
Txohertus Henderson, B. ct Accdemitc ah Archie
Dahamus in supradieto
.ithencco Regio I’,ldo.
die Julli anno jlird’C
Cfuistiance 1690. J


‘. To all and every one, to whom the present let-
.’ ter may come, ,we the professors of the univer-
” sity of Edinburgh, founded by King James, wish
‘. eternal salvation in the Lord: and at the same
” time testify, that this ingenuous youth, Mr. John
.’ Toland, of excellent promise, has so highly satis-


‘.fied us by his good conduct, diligence and laud-
” able progress, that, after a public examination of
” his progress in Phlosophy, he was, after the usual
” manner, declared Master of the liberal Arts, in
” uor Comitia Loreata, in the year of Redemption
‘.1690, 30th of June: Wherefore we do not hesitate
” to recommend him, now returning from us to his
‘,native country, as an excellent young man, to all
” persons of better note, to whom he may have ac-
” cess, or with whom he may sojourn, hoping that
.’he (through the aid of Divine Grace) will abun-
” dantly answer the character given him in this
” diploma. In testimony of which, the ancient
” city of Edinburgh, the parent and benefactress
”of this academy, has ordered this writing with
” our subscriptions, to receive the additional con-
‘.firmation of their public seal/’

Given in the aforesaid Royal >
Athenaeum, 22d July, 1690. >

Mr. John Toland having received his diploma, returned to Glasgow, where he resided but a short time. On his departure, the magistrates of that city gave him the following recommendation.

.. We, the magistrates of Glasgow, under sub-
” scribing, do hereby certify and declare, to all
” whom these presents may concern, That the
.. bearer, John Toland, Master of Arts, did reside
” here for some years, as a student at the univer-
‘. sitie in this city, during which time he behaved
‘. himself as any true prolestant, and loyal sub-


” ject, as witness our hands, at Glasgow, the penult
” day of July one thousand six hundred and nine-
..tie yeares, and the common seal of office of the
” said city is hereunto affixt.

” John Leck.
” L. S. George Nisbitt.”

It is worthy of remark, that Mr. Toland resided at Glasgow during the years 1688 and 1689, the two last of the bloody persecution of the Church of Scotland, and must have been an eye witness of many tyrannical and relentless scenes. It is well known, that the students of Glasgow, as a collective body, repeatedly joined the citizens, in repelling several of the military parties sent against them; and there can hardly remain a doubt, that Toland made one of the number. This sufficiently accounts for the certificate given him by the magistrates of Glasgow.

Mr. Toland dates his conversion from the 16th year of his age, which nearly coincides with his arrival in Glasgow ; for it will be recollected, that
he did not complete his 20th year, till the 30th of November after leaving this city. It is therefore most probable, that he was here converted from
popery, and imbibed these notions of the simplicity and purity of Christianity, which he afterwards retained.

Instead of returning to Ireland, Mr. Toland went to England, where he lived (as he informs us in


his Apology) in as good protestant families as any in the kingdom, till he went to the famons university of Leyden, to perfect his studies, under the
celebrated Spanhemius, Triglandius, &c. There he was supported by some eminent dissenters in England, who had conceived great hopes from his uncommon parts, and might flatter themselves, he would one day become the Colossus of the party; for he himself informs us, in a pamphlet published
at London in 1697, that he had lived in their communion, ever since he quitted popery. “Mr. Toland (says he, in answer to the imputation of being a rigid non-conformist) will never deny but the real simplicity of the dissenters’ worship; and the seeming equity of their discipline, (into which, being so young;, he could not distinctly penetrate) did gain extraordinarily on his affections, just as he was newly delivered from the insupportable yoke of the most pompous and tyrannical policy that ever enslaved mankind, under the name or shew of religion. But, when greater experience, and more years, had a little ripened his judgement, he easily perceived that the differences were not so wide, as to appear irreconcileable; or at least, that men who were sound protestants on both
sides, should barbarously cut one anothers’ throats, or indeed give any disturbance to the society about them. And as soon as he understood the late heats and animosities did not totally, if at all, proceed from a concern for mere religion; he allowed


himself a latitude in several things, that would have been matter of scruple to him before. His travels increased, and the study of ecclesiastical history perfected this disposition, wherein he continues to this honr; for, whatever his own opinion of these differences be, yet he finds so essential an agreement between French, Dutch, English, Scottish, and other protestants, that he is resolved never to lose the benefit of an instructive discourse, in any of their churches, on that score; and, it
must be a civil, not a religious interest, that can engage him against any of these parties, not thinking all their private notions wherein they differ, worth endangering, much less subverting, the public peace of a nation. If this (pursues he) makes a man a non-conformist, then Mr. Toland is one unquestionably.”

In 1692, Mr. Daniel Williams, a dissenting minister, published a book, entitled, Gospel Truth Stated and Vindicated, in opposition to Dr. Crisp.
Mr. Toland desired the author of the Bibliotheque Universelle to give an abstract of it in that journal. The journalist complied; and, to the abstract of Mr. Williams’s book, prefixed Mr. Toland’s recommendatory letter, and styles Him: Student in Divinity. Bibliotheque Universelle, tom 23d, page 500.

Having staid about two years at Leyden, he returned to England, and soon after went to Oxford, where, besides the conversation of learned men.


he had the advantage of the public library. Here he collected materials on various subjects, and composed some pieces, among others, a Disserta, Hon, wherein he proves the received history of the tragical death of Atilius Regulus, the Roman consul, to be a fable; and, with that candour which
uniformly characterizes him, owns himself indebted for this notion to Palmerius.

In 1695, he left Oxford, and came to London. In 1696, he published his Christianity not Mysterious; or, a Treatise, shewing that there is noticing
in the Gospel contrary to reason, nor above it; and that no Christian Doctrine can properly he called a Mystery, Mr. Toland defines mystery to be a thing intelligible in itself, but which could not be known, without special revelation. And, to prove the assertion, he examines all the passages in the New Testament, where the word mystery occurs; and shews. First, that mystery is read for the Gospel ; or, the Christian religion in general, as it was a future dispensation, totally hid from the Gentiles, and but imperfectly known to the Jews. Secondly, that some peculiar doctrines, occasionally revealed by the apostles, are said to be manifested mysteries; that is, unfolded secrets: and Thirdly, that mystery is put for any thing veiled under parables, or enigmatical forms of speech.
But, he declares, at the same time, that, if his adversaries think fit to call a mystery whatever is either absolutely unintelligible to us, or whereof


we have but inadequate ideas; he is ready to admit of as many mysteries in religion as they please.

So far, the candid reader will be apt to think there is no great harm done. If Mr. Toland’s adversaries did not choose to adopt his definition of the word mystery, he professes himself willing to accede to theirs; and, indeed, all that has been advanced on either side of the question, is merely a dispute about words. He pretends, that he can give as clear and intelligible an explanation of the mysteries of the gospel, as of the phenomena of nature: and, do not our divines do the same thing, by attempting to give a rational explanation of the Trinity, and the Resurrection, the greatest mysteries of the Christian religion? Such explanations are the tests of the soundness of their doctrine; and, who knows but Mr. Toland’s explanation, had he given one, might have been orthodox.

This treatise alarmed the public; and several clergy men replied to it. Messrs. Beconsal, Beverley, Norris, and Elys; Doctors Pain, and Stilling-
fleet; theauthor of the Occasional Papers; Messrs, Millar, Gailhard, and Sywge, all entered the lists.
It was even presented by the grand jury of Middlesex; but, this measure had no other effect, than to promote the sale of the book, mankind being naturally prone to pry into what is forbidden them.
This same year, Mr. Toland published a Discourse on Coins, by Siguier Bernardo Davanzati, a geutleman of Florence, delivered in the academy


there, anno 1588; translated from Italian by John Toland.

Christianity not Mysterious having found its way into Ireland, made some noise there, as well as in England; but the clamour was considerably increased, on the author’s arrival there, in the beginning of 1697. Mr. Molineux, in a letter to Mr. Locke, dated 10th April, 1697, says, „ The
.’ Irish clergy were alarmed against him to a
,’ mighty degree; and, that he had his welcome to
.’ that city, by hearing himself harangued against,
,’ from the pulpit, by a prelate of that country.”

Mr. Toland himself tells us, in his Apology, that he was hardly arrived in that country, when he found himself warmly attacked from the pulpit, which at first could not but startle the people, who, till then, were equal strangers to him and his book; but that in a short time, they were so well
accustomed to this subject, that it was as much expected, as if it had been prescribed in the Rubrick. He also informs us, that his own silence respecting the book in question, made his enemies insinuate that he was not the author of it.
When this rough treatment of Mr. Toland from the pulpit proved insignificant, the grand jury was solicited to present him, for a book written and published in England. The presentment of the grand jury of Middlesex, was printed with an emphatical title, and cried about the streets. Mr. Toland was accordingly presentrid there, the last


day of the term, in the Court of King’s Bench.
At that time, Mr. Peter Brown, senior fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, published a book against Mr. Toland’s Christianity not Mysterious, in which
he represented him as an inveterate enemy to all revealed religion; a knight errant; one who openly affected to be the head of a sect, and designed to be as famous an impostor as Mahomet. Mr. Brown was afterwards made bishop of Cork ; and Mr. Toland used frequently to say, .’ That he
made him a bishop.” This is the ssunejacobitical gentleman, Avho, because he could not bear that any person should drink the health of King William, wrote a pamphlet against health-drinking, as being a profanation of the Lord’s Supper!

Mr. Mollineux sent Mr. Brown’s book to Mr. Locke, and, in a letter to him dated 20th of July, 1697, says, „Mr. Toland has had his opposers
.. here, as you will find by a book I have sent you.
.. The author is my acquaintance; but, two things
” I shall never forgive, in his book : the one is the
‘. foul language and opprobrious epithets he has
.. bestowed on Mr. Toland, The other is, upon
.. severar occasions, calling in the aid of the civd
.. magistrate, and delivering Mr, Toland up to se-
• ♦ cular punishment. This, indeed, is a killing ar,
,’ gument; but may dispose some to think, that
.. where the strength of reason failed him, there
” he flies to the strength of the sword,’ &c.

Mr. Toland, it seems, was dreaded in Ireland


as a second Goliath, who at the head of the Philistines defied the armies of Israel, in so much, that Mr. Hancock, the recorder of Dublin, in his
congratulatory harangue to the lords justices of that kingdom, in the name of his corporation, begged their lordships would protect the church from
all its adversaries; but particularly from the Tolandists.

But to give the last and finishing stroke to Mr. Toland’s book, it was brought before the parliament. Several persons eminent for their birth,
good qualities, and fortune, opposed the whole proceedings; but finding themselves over-ruled in this, they urged, that the objectionable passages
should be read: that Toland should be heard in his defence personally, or at least, by letter. All these propositions were rejected, and Mr. Toland, unheard and undefended, was ordered to be taken into the custody of the serjeant at arms.
Mr. Toland made his escape, but his book was burnt by the common hangman, on the 11th September, 1697, before the gate of the parliament-house, and also in the open street, before the town-house, the sheriffs and all the constables attending.

Dr. South, in the preface to his third volume of sermons, compliments the archbishop of Dublin, on his treatment of Toland, whom he calls a Mahometan Christian ; and particularly, that he made the kingdom too hot for him, without the help of


a faggot. The faggot had been kindled in Scotland from the one end to the other, during the twenty-eight years persecution, and innocent and holy men burnt alive, merely for being non-conformists, or, in other words, for not preferring the dogmas of arbitraiy and interested men, to the sacred scriptures. Toland’s crimes appear to have been much of the same kind, and it was very consistent in the doctor to hint at a similar punishment.

On Mr. Toland\s return to London, he published his Apology, giving an account of his conduct, and vindicating himself from the aspersions and
persecutions of his enemies.

In 1098 party-disputes ran high. The partisans of the house of Stuart wished to facilitate the Pretender’s return, by keeping up no standing
army at all. Their opponents took different ground. Several pamphlets appeared, and, among the rest, one from the pen of Mr. Toland, wherein he recommends modelling the militia on such a plan, as to render it adequate to the maintenance of internal tranquillity, and repulsion of foreign invasion. Indeed, on every occasion, we find Mr. Toland a staunch friend to the revolution, and the protestant succession; and though this was not the ostensible, still there is every reason to reckon it the real cause of his persecution; his enemies, almost to a man, entertaining very different sentiments.


This same year, he published the Life of John Milton, which was prefixed to his works, in three Volumes folio. In the course of Milton’s life, Mr.
Toland proved that Icon Basilike was not written by Charles 1st, but by Dr. Gauden, and took occasion to remark, that, when this imposition was practised on the nation, at no greater distance of time than forty years, he ceased to wonder how so many supposititious pieces, under the name of
Christ and his Apostles, should be published, approved, &c. Had he denied the Trinity, or blasphemed the Holy Ghost, it would have been nothing in comparison of curtailing the literary fame of the royal martyr of the church of England.

Accordingly, Mr. Blackail, chaplain to the king, in a sermon preached before the House of Commons, 30th January, 1689, says, ” We may
.’ cease to wonder, that he (Mr. Toland) should
.’ have the boldness, without proof, and against
.’ proof, to deny the authority of this book, who
” is such an infidel to doubt, and is shameless
” and impudent enough, even in print, and in a
.’christian country, publicly to affront our holy
‘.religion, by declaring his doubt, that several
..pieces under the name of Christ and his Apos-
.’ties (he must mean tliose received by the whole
.’christian church, for 1 know of no other), are
.’supposititious/’ kc. The reader will here smile,
to see that Mr. Blackall rests the whole stress of Mr. Tolainl’s infidelity, on his own ignorance.


Mr. Blackall expressly says, ” Mr. Toland must ”mean the books of the New Testament,” because he knows of no other. Excellent logician!

In order to vindicate himself, Mr. Toland published Amyntor, in which he redoubles his arguments, to prove Dr. Gauden the author of Icon Basilike; and, at the same time, published a list of supposititious pieces, ascribed to Christ, his apostles, and other eminent men, extending to no less than forty-three octavo pages. After having given that catalogue, he proceeds thus :

” Here is a long catalogue for Mr. Blackall
.’ who, it is probable, will not think the more
.. meanly of himself, for being unacquainted with
‘. these pieces: nor, if that were all, should I be
” forward to think the worse of him on this ac”
” count: but I think he is to blame, for denying’
.. that there were any such, because he knew no-
.’ thing of them; much less should he infer from
” thence, that I denied the scriptures; which
.’ scandal, however, as proceeding from ignorance,
” I heartily forgive him, as every good christian
” ought to do.”

What a calm, dignified, christian reply, to the very man, who, without the least shadow of fact, proclaimed Mr. Toland an impudent arid shameless infidel, before the whole House of Commons, Poor Mr. Blackall was obliged to say something or other in his own defence. He published a pamphlet, wherein he labours hard to prove, that


Mr. Toland’s words were liable to misapprehension; and says, ” I charged Mr. Toland with ” doubting of the books of the New Testament
” but he declares, he does not mean those books,
” therefore we are now agreed: there can be no
” dispute between us on that subject.”

In the same year, 1699, Mr. Toland published the Memoirs of Denzil, Lord Hollis, Baron of Ifield, in Sussex, from 1641 to 1648. The manuscript was put into his hands by the duke of Newcastle, who was one of his patrons and benefactors; and he dedicated the work to his grace.

In 1700, he published, in folio, Harrington’s Oceana, with some other pieces of that ingenious author, not before printed, to which he prefixed
the life of the author. From the preface to this work, which is dated 30th November, 1699, we learn Mr. Toland’s exact age, for he there informs
us, that this very day he was beginning his thirtieth year.

About the same time, appeared a pamphlet, entitled Clito; or, the Force of Eloquence. The printer gave Mr. Toland as the author. This piece consists of a dialogue between Clito and Adeisidoemon. This is a poetical performance.
Mr. Toland is known by the name Adeisidoemon, which he translates, unsuperstitious. This was animadverted on, by an anonymous clergyman,
who, after a torrent of Billingsgate abuse, translates Adelsidoemon (in open violation of all the


rules of etymology and common sense), one that fears neither God nor Devil. To such pitiful lengthe will the rancour of party-spirit drive men, when they are determined to calumniate with, or without, reason.

In the beginning of 1701, he published The Art of Governing hy Parties, which he dedicated to King William the 3d ; and, about the same time, published a pamphlet, in quarto, entitled, Propositions for uniting the two East India Companies,

In March following, the lower and upper house of convocation, with the concurrence of the bishops, resolved to proceed against Mr. Toland’s
Christianity not Mysterious, and his Amyntor, with all possible rigour. After passing some resolutions against these books, they found they
could not proceed without a licence from the king. Rather than solicit this boon, they dropped their proceedings against Mr. Toland. Can any circumstance speak more strongly in the vindication of Mr. Toland? Can any thing shew the innocence of our author, in a clearer point of view, than that the whole united English hierarchy, durst not solicit a licence from the king to prosecute him, because they were sure it would be refused? This circumstance affords more than a presumption, that Mr. Tolancls principal crimes, in the eyes of his enemies, were his predilection for presbyterianism, and attachment to King William.


Be that as it may, when on the death of the duke of Gloucester, an act was passed in June, 1701, for the better securing the protestant succession to the crown, Mr. Toland published his Anglia Libera; or, The Limitation and Succession of the Crown of England Explained and Asserted; as grounded on his majesty’s speech ; the proceedings of parliament; the desires of the people; the safety of our religion; the nature of our constitution; the balance of Europe; and, the rights of mankind. This treatise he dedicated to his patron, the duke of New castle.

The king having sent the earl of Macclesfield to Hanover, with the act of succession, Mr. Toland accompanied him, and presented his Anglia Li-
bera to her electoral highness the Princess Sophia; and was the first who had the honour of kneeling and kissing her hand, on account of the act of
succession. The earl of Macclesfield recommended him warmly to her highness. Mr. Toland staid there five or six weeks, and at his departure, their
highnesses the electress dowager, and the elector, presented him with several gold medals, as a princely remuneration for the book he had writ-
ten about the succession, in defence of their title and family. Her highness condescended to give him likewise portraits of herself, the elector, the young prince, and of her majesty the queen of Prussia, done in oil colours. The earl of Macclesfield, on his return, waited on the king at Lon-


don, and presented Mr. Toland, who had the honour of kissing his majesty’s hand.

The parliament was dissolved 11th November, and a new one summoned to meet the 30th December. The Tory party appeared horribly afraid that Mr. Toland would obtain a seat in the ensuing parliament, and circulated a report that he was to be returned for Blechingley in Surry, a borough in the interest of Sir Robert Clayton. Mr. Toland, who had no intention whatever of this kind, contradicted the report, by an advertisement in the Postman, Even this harmless act could not pass without censure, but gave occasion to an anonymous author to publish a pamphlet, entitled, Modest if Mistaken; or a Letter to Mr, Toland, upon his Declining to Appear in the Ensuing Parliament.

On the opening of parliament, Mr. Toland published his Paradoxes of State, grounded chiefly on his majesty’s princely, pious, and most gracious speech.

Soon after, he published Reasons for Addressing his Majesty to invite into England, the Electress Dowager, and the Electoral Prince of Hanover ; and for attainting and abjuring the pretended Prince of Wales; This was answered by Mr. Luke Milburn. But, Mr. Toland had the high gratification to see parliament attend to his suggestions. An act was accordingly passed for
the attainder of the pretended Prince of Wales;


and another, for the better security of his majesty’s person, and the protestant succession, &c. and enjoining an oath of abjuration of the Pretender. Thus, instead of an enemy to religion, or civil liber-
ty, we find him strenuously recommending the most efficacious measures for the preservation of both. Some difference having arisen between the lower
and upper house of convocation, on a point of jurisdiction, respecting their proceedings against Christianity Not Mysterious, the year before, a paper war commenced between them, and several pamphlets appeared on both sides. Those written by the partizans of the upper house, were favourable to Mr. Toland ; but, those written in favour of the lower house, there verse. He, therefore, seized this opportunity of publishing his Vindicius Liberius; being a vindication of his Christianity not Mysterious;-, full and clear account of his religious and civil principles; and, a justifi-
cation of those called Whigs and Common-wealth men, against the mis-representations of all their opposers.

After the publication of this book, Mr. Toland went to the courts of Hanover and Berlin, where he was very graciously received by the Princess
Sophia, and the queen of Prussia. He was often admitted to their conversation; and wrote some pieces, which he presented to her majesty. There he wrote, also, an account of the courts of Prussia and Hanover,


On his return to England, 1704, he published several philosophical letters ; three of which he inscribed to the queen of Prussia, under the designation of Serena.

1st, The Origin and Force of Prejudices.
2d, The History of the Souls Immortality among the Heathens.
3d, The Origin of Idolatry, and Reasons of Heathenism.
4th, A Letter to a Gentleman in Holland, shewing Spinoza s System of Philosophy to be without Principle or Foundation.
5th, Motion essential to Matter; in answer to some Remarks, by a noble Friend, on the confutation of Spinoza. Mr. Toland informs us, that the
queen of Prussia was pleased to ask his opinion, respecting the subjects treated of, in the three letters inscribed to her.

These letters were animadverted on, by Mr. Wotten, in a pamphlet, entitled. Letters to Eusebia.
At the same time, he published an English translation of the Life of Aesop, by Monsieur De Meziriac, and dedicated it to Anthony Collins, Esq.
In 1705, he published the following pieces.
1st, Socinianism truly stated, &c.
2d, An Account of the Courts of Prussia and Hanover, dedicated to the duke of Somerset.
3d, The Ordinances, Statutes and Privileges, of the Royal Academy at Berlin, Translated from the original.


The same year, Counsellor Pooley, and Dr. Drake, wrote the Memorial of the Church of England, with a view to influence the ensuing parliamentary election, by representing the Whig administration, as plotting the ruin of the Church.

By the direction of Mr. Harley, secretary of state, this memorial was answered, by Mr. Toland, in a pamphlet, entitled, ” The Memorial of the State of England, in Vindication of the Queen, the Church, and the Administration: designed to rectify the mutual mistakes of Protestants; and to unite their affections, in defence of our Religion and Liberty On the suggestion of Mr. Harley, who was one of Mr. Toland’s patrons and benefactors, this treatise was published, without the author’s name.

This pamphlet was answered, by Thomas Raulins, Esq. who made a direct attack on the duke of Marlborough’s, and Mr. Harley’s conduct. Mr.
William Stephens, rector of Sutton, in Surry, being found the publisher; and, refusing to bear evidence against Mr. Raulins, was sentenced to stand on the pillory; but, the sentence was afterwards remitted.

Mr. Toland was directed by Mr. Harley to answer this pamphlet, which he did; but, for some reasons, now unknown, the design was dropped, after part of Mr. Toland’s answer had been printed.
Mr. Harley having found among his manuscripts, a philippic against France, written in La


tin, by one Cardinal Matthew, in 1514, gave it to Mr. Toland, who edited it, both in English and Latin: along with other violent expressions, it contains the following, Gallorum Ungues non resecandos, sed penitus evellendos esse; i.e. That the nails of the French were not to be pared, but torn out by the roots.
Soon after, he published The Elector Palatins Declaration, lately published in favour of his protestant subjects, &c. This Mr. Toland did, at the
particular request of the elector Palatine’s minister.
In the spring, Mr. Toland went to Germany, and visited Berlin, Hanover, Dusseldorp, Vienna, and Prague in Bohemia. At Dusseldorp, he was most graciously received by his electoral highness, who, in consideration of the English pamphlet, published by him, presented him with a gold chain and medal, besides a hundred ducats. From Prague, he returned to Holland, where he staid till 1710.

In Holland, he published the following dissertations, viz.
1st, Adeisidoemon, sive Titus Livius a Superstitione Vindicatus, &c.
2do, Orignes Judaicae, &c. In the course of this dissertation, he animadverted on Huetius’ Demonstratio Evangelica, He ridicules Huetius for
affirming that several eminent persons recorded in the Old Testament are allegorized in the heathen mythology; and particluarly Moses under the


names of Bacchus, Typho, Silenus, Priapus, and Adonis. Though Mr. Toland was unquestionably in the right, Huetius was greatly incensed, and expressed his resentment in a letter, first published in the Journal of Trevoux, and afterwards printed by Abbot Tilladet. It will be recollected, that these are the two gentlemen, who endeavoured to convict Mr. Toland of the high and unpardonable crime, of not directing his parents to propagate him legitimately.

In 170.9, he published at Amsterdam, a second edition of his Philippic against France.
In 1710,he published, withouthisname, a French pamphlet, relating to Dr. Sacheverell.
While in Holland, he had the good fortune to get acquainted with prince Eugene of Savoy, who gave him several marks of his generosity.
After his return to England in 1711, he published the Humours of Epsom; and, at the same time, a translation of four of Pliny’s Letters,
In 1712, he published Imo. A Letter against Popery, written by Sophia Charlotte, late queen of Prussia. 2 do. Her Majesty’s reasons for creating
the electoral prince of Hanover a peer of that realm, 3tio. The Grand Mystery laid open; namely, by dividing the protestants, to weaken the Hanoverian succession, &c.
About the same time, he published a new edition of Cicero’s works, an undertaking for which he was eminently qualified. This work alone, is suffi-


cient to transmit Mr. Toland’s name to posterity.
It is extremely scarce, he having printed only a few copies, at his own charge, to serve his particular friends.
In 1713, he published An Appeal to Honest People, against wicked Priests,” &c. And much about the same time, a pamphlet on the necessity of demolishing Dunkirk.
In 1714, he published a pamphlet relative to the restoration of Charles the 2d, by General Monk; also, a collection of letters, written by the general,
relating to the same subject.
The same year, he published The Funeral Elogy of her royal highness the late Prijicess Sophia, &c. and much about the same time, Reasons for natu-
ralizing the Jews in Great Britain, &c. This he dedicated rather ironically, to the archbishops and bishops of both provinces.
In 1717, he published the State Anatomy of Great Britain. This was answered by Dr. Fiddes, chaplain to the earl of Oxford, and by Daniel De Foe. In reply, Mr. Toland published the second part of the State Anatomy,
In 1717, he published Nazarenns. In this treatise, according to Mr. Toland, the original plan of Christianity was this: ” That the Jews, though associating with the converted Gentiles, and acknowledging them for brethren, were still to observe their own laws; and that the Gentiles, who
became so far Jews as to acknowledge one God,


were not, however, to observe the Jewish law: but, that both of them were to be, ever after, united into one body or fellowship, in that part of Christianity particularly, which, better than all the preparative purgations of the philosophers, requires the sanctification of the spirit, and the renovation of the inward man ; and wherein alone, the Jew and the Gentile; the civilized and the barbarian; the free-man and the bond-slave, are all one in Christ, however differing in other circumstances.” This treatise was animadverted on, by Messrs, Mangey and Paterson ; and by Dr. Brett.
This year, he also edited a pamphlet, called The Destiny of Rome; or, the speedy and final destruction of the Pope, founded partly on natural and political reasons, and partly on the famous prophecy of St. Malachy, archbishop of Armagh, in the thirteenth century, &c.
In the beginning of 1720, Dr. Hare published the fourth etition of his Visitation Sermon, and animadverted on Christianity not Mysterious; asserting that Mr. Toland often quoted Mr. Locke, to support notions he never dreamed of. As this assertion was totally groundless, the doctor had
Mr. Locke and Mr. Toland on his back at once.
Finding his ground untenable, he published the following advertisement in the Daily Courant. “Just published, the fourth edition of The Dean of Worcester s Fisilation Sermon. In the


postscript, line ninth from the end, instead of, is often quoted, read, makes great use of Mr. Locke’s principles.
” London, February 1st, 1720.”

Thus the reverend doctor had the contemptible meanness to shelter a bare-faced falsehood, under the subterfuge of a typographical error.

This pitiful conduct of Dr. Hare, produced from Mr. Toland, a pamphlet, entitled, A Short Essay on the Art of Lying ; or, a Defence of a Reverend Dignitary, who suffers under the Persecution of Mr. Toland for a Lapsus Calami.

About this time, he published Paidheisticon; sive formula celebrandae Sodalitatis Socraticae, &c.
Some of his enemies pretended this tract was written to ridicule the Romish and episcopal liturgies; and, as it was made up of responses, lessons, a
philosophical canon, and a litany; and the whole written both in red and black ink, their opinion is perhaps well founded. Mr. Toland was, at all
times, a rigid advocate for the primitive apostolic simplicity of the christian religion. This tract, instead of being a proof of our author’s heterodoxy, is so far the reverse, that had Jolm Knox been alive, I am persuaded, he would have thanked him for it. To this treatise, he prefixed the name of Janus Junius Eoganesius, which, though it was his real christian name, and the name of his country, was as good a disguise as he could have invented.


A bill having been introduced into the House of Lords, to make the parliament of Ireland more dependent on that of Great Britain, Mr. Toland
wrote a treatise in opposition to that measure.
Some time after he published a book, entitled Tefradymus: containing Imo. Hodegus; or, the pillar of cloud and fire that guided the Israelites
in the wilderness, not miraculous, &c. 2do. Clydophorus; or the Exoteric and Esoteric philosophy of the ancients, &c. 3tio. Hypatia; or, the
history of a most beautiful, most virtuous, most learned, and every way accomplished young lady, who was torn to pieces by the clergy of Alexan-
dria, to gratify the pride, emulation and cruelty, of their archbishop Cyril, commonly, but, undeservedly styled St. Cyril. 4to. Mangoneutes ; or,
a defence of Nazarenus, addressed to the right reverend John, lord bishop of London, against his lordship s chaplin Dr. Mangey, his dedicator Mr. J,aterson, and the reverend Dr. Brett, once belonging to his lordship’s church.
In this last address to the bishop of London, Mr. Toland, states the injurious treatment he had received from Dr. Hare at considerable length;
and concludes with the following account of his own conduct and sentiments : “Notwithstanding, says he, the imputations of heresy and infidelity, so often published by the clergy, as lately, in the vauntingest manner, by one not unknown to you; the whilling and the ignorant being ever the


most arrogant and confident, I assure your lordship, that the purity of religion, and the prosperity of the state have ever been my chiefest aim.
Civil liberty, and religious toleration, as the most desirable things in this world ; the most conducing to peace, plenty, knowledge, and every kind
of happiness, have been the two main objects of all my writings. But, as by liberty, I did not mean licentiousness ; so, by toleration, I did not mean indifference, and much less an approbation of every religion I could suffer. To be more particular, I solemnly profess to your lordship, that the religion taught by Jesus Christ and his apostles, but not as since corrupted by the subtractions, additions, and other alterations of any par-
ticular man, or company of men, is that which I infinitely prefer before all others. I do over and over again, repeat Christ and his apostles, exclusive of either oral traditions, or the determinations of synods, adding, what I declared before to the world, that religion, as it came from their hands, was no less plain and pure, than useful and instructive ; and that, as being the business of every man, it was equally understood by every body. For Christ did not institute one religion for the learned and another for the vulgar,” &c.

In 1721, Dr. Hare published a book, entitled Scripture Truth vindicated from the misrepreseniations of the Lord bishop of Bangor, &c. ; and,
in the preface, takes occasion to observe, that


none are prevented from settling in Carolina, but down-right atheists, such as Mr. Toland; and most unjustly asserts, that in some copies of the Pantheisticon, he inserted a prayer to the following effect: Omnipotens ct sempiteme Bacche; qui humanam societatem maxime in bihendo constituisti;
concede propithts, nt istonim capita, qui hesterna compotatione gravantur, hodierna leventur; idque fat per pocida pocidorum. Amen. i. e, ” Omnipo-
tent and everlasting Bacchus, who foundest human society principally by drinking, propitiously grant, that the heads of those which are made heavy by yesterday’s drinking, may be lightened by this day’s, and that by bumper after bumper. Amen.”
M. Maizeuz, a Frenchman, and Mr. Toland’s biographer, assures us, that Mr. Toland never dreamed of such a matter. He assures us, that he knows the author, but forbears to mention him, on account of his profession. Indeed, there can hardly be a doubt, that Dr. Hare himself was the author.
The same year, Mr. Toland published Letters from the Earl of Shaftesbury to the Lord Viscount Molesivorth ; as also, two letters written by Sir George Cropsley.
Mr. Toland had these four years past lived at Putney, whence he could conveniently go to London, and return the same day. Being in town about the middle of December, he found himself very ill, and an ignorant physician, by his impro-


per prescriptions, very much increased his disorder. Bnt he made a shift to return to Putnev, where he grew better, and entertained some hopes of recovery. In the interval, he wrote two treatises ; the one, entitled, Physic without Physicans; and the other. The Danger of mercenary Parlia-
ments. This last, he did not live to finish ; for, he died on Sunday the 11th March, 17.22, about four o’clock in the morning. He behaved himself
throughout the whole course of his sickness, with the greatest calmness and fortitude, and looked on death without the least perturbation of mind:
biding farewell to those about him, and telling them, he was going to fall asleep.

A few days before his death, he composed the following Epitaph :
H. S. E.
Qui, in Ilihernia prope Deriam natus.
In Scotia et Mihernia Stnduit,
Quod Oxonii quoque fecit Adolescens;
At que Germaniaplus semel petita,
Virilcm cirea Londinum transegit cetaiem.
Omnium Literanmi ex cult or
Ac lAnguarum plus decern Sciens.
Veritatis Propugnator
Libertat is Asscrtor:
N alii us autem Sec tat or, aut Cliejis,
Nee minis, nee mails est inflexus,
Quin, quant elegit, vlam perageret,

IJtiU ho nest urn ant (fo reus.
S’piritns cum JEthereo Patre,
A Quo prodiit oUm, vonjungitur:
Corpus item naturce cedenb\
In 3Iateruo gr,mio reponitur.
Ipse vero (Sternum est resurrecturus,
.At JdeDifiiturus To land as nunqiiam.
NatKs Nov. 30, 1070.
Ccetcra ex Scriptis pete,

” Here lies John Tolaiid, born in Ireland, near
” Londonderry, who in his youth studied in Scot-
” land, Ireland, and at Oxford; and, having re-
” peatedly visited Germany, spent his manhood
” about London. He was a cultivator of every
” kind of learning-; and skilled in more than ten
” languages: the champion of truth, and the as-
” sertor of liberty, but the follower or client of
” none; nor was he ever swayed, either by me-
” naces or misfortunes, from pursuing the path
” which he chalked out to himself, uniformly pre-
” ferring his integrity to his interest. His spirit
” is re-united to his heavenly Father, from whom
” it formerly proceeded ; his body, yielding to na-
” ture, is also replaced in the bosom of the earth.
” He himself will undoubtedly arise to eternal life,
” but will never be the same Toland. Born 30th
” November, 1670. Seek the rest from his writings.”


Mr. Toland’s belief, that he will never he the same Toland, after the resurrection, is not heterodox, though his enemies have not failed to represent it in this light. The gospel uniformly declares, that a considerable change will take place in the human body at the resurrection, and that we shall all be changed. Mr. Toland must, therefore, not be con-
sidered as here denying his absolute future identity, but merely as alluding to that partial change which the scriptures so clearly point out.

Hitherto I have almost implicitly followed .M. Maizeuz, and, as far as the nature of this abstract,would admit, have adopted his own words, being
Aveil aware, that by so doing, no body will accuse me of partiality to Mr. Toland. M. Maizeuz was a Frenchman, a friend to popery and arbitrary
power; he did not undertake our author’s biography voluntarily, nor from any motive of respect. On the contrary, when requested by a friend of our author’s (who was at the same time the Frenchman’s benefactor), to undertake the task, he positively declined it. A second request, made peremptory than the first, had the desired effect. M. Maizeuz has not, in one single instance, made the slightest allusion to the complexion of
the times in which Mr. Toland lived, without a knowledge of which, it is impossible duely to appreciate either his principles, or the scope of his
writings. He seems, however, to have been under great obligations to his benefactor, and knowing


him to be a friend of our deceased author, was obliged to confine himself to matters of fact. But what will place the conduct of M. Meiizeuz in a
very favourable point of view, is, that when Mr. Toland’s works were printed at London, in 1720, M. Maizeuz not only withheld his own name from
his life, but also that of the gentleman at whose request it was written.

This gentleman having been guilty of these unpardonable omissions, I shall endeavour, as concisely as possible, to remedy the defect, and shall principally confine myself to Mr. Toland’s Christianity Not Mysterious, which has made so much moise in the world.
Previous to the Reformation, the infallibility of the Pope in spiritual, and the divine right of kings in temporal, matters, were carried to the very highest pitch; and the servile, ignorant, and debased state, to which mankind were reduced, by the operation of these abominable doctrines, is too well known to need any comment. At the dawn of the Reformation, a better order of things began. The scriptures were read and studied, and the
monstrous impositions, for more than ten centuries practised on mankind, clearly displayed. Neither the infallibility of the Pope, nor the divine right of kings, could stand the criterion either of reason or revelation, and both were discarded. After a long struggle, during more than a century and a half, our civil and riliiiious liberties were effectu


ally secured by the glorious Revolution. That the whig interest placed King William on the throne; and that the tory-party, to a man, were attached to the cause of the abdicated monarch, are facts that can admit of no dispute. From the date of the Revolution, the tories, as far as regarded state
affairs, were obliged to alter their tone. To have declaimed in support of the indefeasible hereditary right of kings, would have been a direct insult to King William, who had encroached on this right, and might have been construed high-treason. The toleration act secured all denominations in the
free exercise of their religion. This was another source of discontent to the tories, who had uniformly aimed at religious and exclusive supremacy.

That the tories thwarted King William’s measures, meditated the restoration of the abdicated monarch, and shook the stability of the protestant succession for more than half a century, needs no demonstration. Their absurd tenets, respecting civil and religious tyranny, were founded on a
perversion of the sacred records. With the exception of the whig-party, all ranks of mankind were kept in profound ignorance of the divine writings, under pretence of mysteiy and unintelligibility. By these means the bulk of mankind were blindly led, without using their senses or their reason.
To drive aibitrary power from this last resource, Mr, Toland wrote Christianity not Mysterious


In this treatise he clearly proves, that man’s reason was not given him, in order to lie dormant. That if he was allowed to judge for himself in the ordinary occurrences of life, and respecting the phaenomena of nature, he cannot be denied the same privilege, as far as respects matters of religion, and the principles of Christianity. Mr. Toland was well aware, that if he could once induce mankind to read the scriptures with impartial attention,
no man’s interpretation on earth could mislead them.
However convenient this mode of conduct might be for the interests of true religion, it was, in fact, a death blow to popery, which had reared its
monstrous fabric on ignorance, mystery and super- stition. The gospel Avas, by the popish priests, as carefully kept from the vulgar, as if it had con-
tained the antidote, instead of the means of their salvation. When Mr. Toland wrote, not one-fourth of the population of the British empire
were allowed to read the scriptures; and, even at the present day, nearly five millions are denied this important privilege.
Had Christianity been so intricate and mysterious, as designing and interested men have represented it, certainly the twelve apostles were very
ill calculated to propagate the gospel. In many popish countries, not one of them would have been considered qualified to read or explain a single
verse of it. That the conduct of Christ, and of his


pretended vicegerents, has been widely different, I readily admit; but the simple question is this, “Whether Christ was, or was not, best qualified
to judge of the nature of the christian system, and the instruments best calculated to promote it?”
When we have duly weighed Mr. Toland’s definition of the word Mystery, Christianity not Mysterious, means no more than Christianity intelligible to all Christians, This was certainly sapping the very foundations of papal and tyrannical power, by asserting that every christian had a right to read and understand the gospel. That the treatise was considered, by the adherents of the abdicated monarch, as having this tendency, is evident from this circumstance, that Mr. Toland’s antagonists were, to a man, advocates for arbitrary power, and religious intolerance. The church of
Scotland has, at all times, been forward to stem the torrent of impiety and irreligion; but, it is wot known that any one of that venerable body,
ever objected to Mr. Toland’s orthodoxy ; a circumstance which could not have happened, had his writings been hostile to true religion. On this
head, I shall only add, that the same party which persecuted Mr. Toland, would have treated King William, and the church of Scotland, with as little
ceremony, had they stood as unprotected as the illustrious subject of these memoirs. Mr. Toland’s Amyntor, and his Pantheisticon, have been already taken notice of. The first


proved that King Charles was not the author of Icon Basilikc; and the last is supposed to contain a sarcastical allusion to the Romish and episcopal
liturgies: – The torrent of abuse consequently poured on him, by the tories, is no more than might have been naturally anticipated.
His biographer has descended so low as to inform us, that Mr. Toland was sometimos under pecuniary difficulties, and as running in debt for his wigs, &c. Bnt, as this was a charge of the same nature with his deism, atheism, mahometanism, pantheism, illegitimacy, &c. I shall not detain the reader with a confutation of it.

It is difficult to determine in what department of literature this great man most excelled. He seems to have been a kind of universal genius. –
In controversy he was irresistible; and, at the very moment when his adversaries thought they had confuted him, they found they had only fur-nished nraterials for their own degradation. – He was skilled in more than ten languages, and the Celtic was his native tongue. – Educated in the
grossest superstition of popery, at the early age of sixteen, he became a convert to presbyterianism, and remained steadily attached to it, till the hour of his death. – Popery, prelacy, and arbitrary power, he utterly detested ; and, on every occasion.


resisted them to the utmost of his power. To the Revolution, in 1689, he was a warm and steady friend. – Real and unaffected piety, and the church
of Scothind, which he thouj,ht bore the greatest resemblance to the primitive simphcity of the apostolic times, always found, in him, an able and inflexible advocate. – Though his pen was his estate, yet he never prostituted it to serve the interest of his party at the expence of truth. – There was interwoven, with his whole frame, a high degree of stubborn and inexorable integrity, which totally unfitted him for the tool of a party; and, like poor Yorick, he invariably called things by their right names, regardless of the consequences.
– There was not, in his whole composition, one single grain of that useful quality which Swift calls modern discretion. Like an impregnable rock in the midst of the tempestuous ocean, he stood immovable against all his assailants; and his calm dignified answers, in reply to their most virulent
and unmerited calunmies, equally characterize the hero, the philosopher, and the christian. – To his transcendant literary abilities even the most inveterate of his enemies have paid the most ample tribute of respect. His Latin compositions, in point of classical purity, have not been excelled,
even by Cicero himself. To him the Celtic tribes are highly indebted for that unequalled production, History of the Druids. – Pinkerton, as
oten as his Gothic mania led him to controvert


any of Toland’s positions respecting the Druids and Celts, is obliged to shrink from the contest. – Dr. Smith, with a non-candour, for which, even
his best friends must blush, has borrowed the whole of Toland’s materials for his History of the Druids, not only without making any acknowledgment, but with a studied and deliberate design to conceal the plagiarism. Wherever Mr. Toland enters into detail. Dr. Smith is concise; and wherever Mr. Toland is concise, Dr. Smith enters into detail. The important History of Aharis, the Hyperborean Priest of the Suiiy is dismissed by Dr. Smith in a few words, whereas, in Mr. Toland’s history, it takes up several pages. –
In the space of twenty-five years, Mr. Toland published about one hundred different works, some of them on the most intricate subjects, but the far
greater part on controversial matters, in opposition to those who wished to restore the abdicated monarch, and re-establish arbitrary power and religi-
ous intolerance. As it was the first, so it was the last effort of his pen, to render civil government consistent with the unalienable rights of mankind, and to reduce Christianity to that pure, simple, and unpompous system, which Christ and his apostles established. It has often been objected to John Knox, as well as Mr. Toland, that he was a stubborn ill-bred fellow. But, when the Augaean Stable of civil and religious orruptions is to be cleansed, the Herculean labour requires Hercu-


lean instruments. Perhaps, the delicacy and refinement of the present day, might have shrunk from the arduous task, and left the desirable work not only unfinished, but nnattempted. Toland’s fame has triumphed over all opposition, and will be transmitted to the latest posterity. That very
party which branded him, when alive, with the epithets of atheist, infidel, deist, mahometan, &c. have now discovered, that he was only tinctured
with socinianism; and, in less than fifty years, the same party will discover that he was a rigid presbyterian, – peace to his manes. – It were ardently to be wished, that the British empire, in all great and critical emergencies, may possess many christians like John Toland.


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