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It is, of course, a matter of impossibilty to summarily condense all the proofs and arguments in favor of one or other poposition in one ortwo ephemeral lectures, so as to satisfy the cravings of conviction, and erase the incredulities of foregone conclusions from the superfice of the soul.
In the first place, therefore, let patriarchal druidism be responsible only for the development of its own modicum of a hitherto unrevealed truth, as far as the outer world is concerned. Let other subject-matters in their turn incur not the brunt and tug of self-defence hitherto • ignored, but put on the armour of justifiable aggression in defence of our maligned druidic lore and nation in omni parte mundi. Let each subject, then, proclaim a potent fact, long lost to mortal ken. Let each impress the stamp of truth—of truths beyond the scope or cavil of notions old or new, when preconceived by imaged errors of the past. Perverted repetitions of mythic or of classic ignorances and prejudices are not, per se, and cannot be, as such, in the all-detecting manifestations of nature, from within and from without, imputed objects or sources of infallibility to the antagonistic faith of philological, traditional, and antiquarian researches. The light of truth—of bardic Triad truth—though ever hovering o- and on, as a plucked olive-dove, with its Taliesinian "tablet of device," outside the barrier-clouds of ages, or darting to and fro, like meteoric fire, above, around the vapoured fumes of error based on loss of unrecorded proofs, cannot, dare not fail, e'en then, for ever, by reason of its own aerial impulse and force of natural law divine; nor can this heaven-born ray e'er nullify itself so far as not to pierce, some day or other, its fiery shafts of genial Adamitic warmth from outlets here and there, across the myths of cyclic fame, through rythmical quantities unknown or lost, or never solved if known, to Hebrew, Zend, Arabic, or Sanscrit elements of Cimmerian date, or thence to modern elements of Greece and Rome revealed, so as to prove, beyond the veil of mass condensed, its Eden mission from its source on high—its destined neverflagging hold of man and earth below, till solar rays of ' Gwiryn erbyn byd' shall be no more, and verify " Oes y byd i'r iaith Gymraeg."
The Druidical Institute was composed of three orders, as Beirdd, Ofyddion, and Derwyddon—grsecised by the Pythagorean school, by Strabo, by Diodorus Siculus, and by others of lesser note, into BapSot, Ouareg, Kcu ApviSai—latinised by Ennius, Csesar, and Pliny, into Bardi, Vates et Druida—anglicised into Bards, Ovates, and Druids.
"There is a pleasure in poetic pains
The Greeks and Romans, though they partly agree in the nomenclature of the Triadic corps, as above given, yet do not all exactly coincide with the Cimbric prehistoric memorials as regards the number or the functions they appropriate to the classes or subdivisionary forms of the institute, but they all concur in the high order of instruction, attributed, more or less, to each according to their own conjectures or other unreliable sources of information. This partial conformity of designation is a sufficient guarantee, I apprehend, to establish in a candid mind the undoubted antiquity of their tenets, as well as the authenticity of their contents, be they what they may, in that respect, if it does no more.
Such being the case, I will allow the legal Triad of Dyfnwal Moelmud, a Cimmerian legislator who flourished some centuries before the Roman invasion, to vindicate the original functions and privileges of the order in its own emphatic declaration, before I adduce other corroborative evidence.
The seventy-first Triad, here translated, is taken from the archaiology of Cambria, and constitutesi one only of the two hundred and twenty-four of the 'Legal Classification' which, since then, consecutive congresses of bards have here and there amplified so as to meet the contingencies of the occasion.
There are, says Dyfnwal Moelmud, one of the learned and accomplished kings of Ynys Prydain, three orders of the profession of Bardism:—
1. —The Prif-fardd, the Chief Bard, that is to say, a bard of full privilege (a cowydd or an associated fellow), who has acquired his degree and privilege of a bard of session, by regular instruction by an approved teacher. His office is to keep up a memory of arts and sciences, this being his duty as a bard regularly and fully instituted; and also to preserve the memory of that which concerns the country, as families, marriages, pedigrees (arwyddion), armorial bearings (emblems or banners), divisions of land, and the rights of the Cimbric territory or nation.
2. —The Ovate (Ovydd), whose degree is acquired in right of his possessing natural poetic genius or praiseworthy knowledge, which he shall prove by the correctness of his answering, he being examined before regular and worthy congress of bards; or, where there is no such congress, by a lawful session, granted by the subjects of the clan-chief of the territory; or by twelve of the judges of the court; or, if this be not the custom, by twelve freeholders (brawdwyr) of his court, who act as judges. Moreover, the knowledge gained by regular instruction is not to be required of the ovate to entitle him to his privilege, nor anything more than that his knowledge is well-founded. This is so well regulated for the maintenance of science, lest there should be a deficiency of regular teachers, and the arts and sciences depending upon memory and regular instruction should be lost: and, also, for further improvement of arts and sciences, by the addition of every new discovery approved by the learned and the wise, and confirmed as such by them; and, also, lest the advantage arising from the powers of natural genius and invention should be repressed.
3.—The Druid Bard, who must be a bard regularly instituted and graduated (Bardd gorseddog a graddedig), and of approved wisdom, and knowledge, and of elocution sufficient to express what his judgment and intelligence dictate. This office has its privilege by a free grant adjudged to him by the sense of a regular court of the clan, taken by ballot (coelbren). His duty is to give moral and religious instruction in the congress of bards, in the palace, in the place of worship, and in the family in which he has full privilege. Each of these has a just and lawful claim to five free acres in right of his profession, exclusive of what he is entitled to as a Cymro by birth. For the Tight by profession does not abrogate that by nature, nor the natural right the professional."
The particular duties of the three orders of bardism, enumerated in this triad are thus similarly described in the " Institutional Triad of Bardism":—
"The three orders of Primitive Bards: The Presiding Bard, or Primitive Bard Positive, according to the rights, voice, and usage of the bardic conventions, whose office it is to superintend and regulate; the Ovate, according to poetical genius, exertion, and contingency, whose province it is to act from the impulse of poetical inspiration; and the Druid, according to the reason, nature, and necessity of things, whose duty it is to instruct."
It will now be my duty to analyse each term according to the definitions of subsequent bardic congresses, as well as the universally accepted interpretation of the same by the nation of the Cimbri learned in the laws of bardism and general literature.
The term bardd, then, signifies, priest, philosopher, or teacher, as well as bard or poet. It were a work of supererogation in me to bring forward a hundredth part of passages found in the different books of triads, to illustrate the verification of each quality in proprio ordine nominum. Such a process would tax your patience and indulgence far too much. Let sceptics study these matchless antiquarian germs of thought and purity of diction in the Adamitic vernacular. Suffice it, however, to adduce the following as examples of another order of triads, to open the eyes of the world as to the imputed gross ignorance, immoral practices, and barbarian practises of the ancient pre-Roman Cimmerians:—
1. —The three primary privileges of the bards of the Isle of Britain: Maintenance wherever they go; that no naked weapon be borne in their presence; and that their testimony he preferred to that of all others.
2. —The three ultimate objects of bardism: To reform morals and customs; to secure peace; and praise everything that is good and excellent.
3. —Three things forbidden to a bard: immorality; satire; and the bearing of arms. (Dwyn anfawl, dwyn anfoes, a dwyn arvau.)
4. —The three modes of instruction used by the bards of the Isle of Britain: The instruction of voice, song, and usage, by means of convention (or congress).
5. —The three delights of the bards of the Isle of Britain: The prosperity of science; the reformation of manners; and the triumph of peace over devastation and pillage.
6. —The three splendid honors of the bards of the Isle of Britain: The triumph of learning over ignorance; the triumph of reason over irrationality; and the triumph of peace over depredation and plunder.
7. —The three attributes of the bards of the Isle of Britain: To make truth manifest, and to diffuse the knowledge of it; to perpetuate the praise of all that is right; and to prevail with peace over disorder and violence.
3.—The three necessary but reluctant duties of the bards of the Isle of Britain: Secresy, for the sake of peace and the public good; invective lamentation demanded by justice; and the unsheathing of the sword against the lawless and the predatory.
Again, the book of the 'Institutional Triads' confirms the seventy-first triad "as to the particular duties of the three orders" as follows :—
"The three orders of primitive bards: The Presiding Bard, or Primitive Bard Positive, according to the rights, voice, and usage of the bardic conventions, whose office it is to superintend and regulate; the Ovate, according to poetical genius, exertion and contingency, whose province it is to act from the impulse of poetical inspiration; and the Druid, according to reason, nature, and necessity of things, whose duty it is to instruct."
Again, among the 'Constitutions and Ordinances of Bards and Minstrels," I find the order of bards classified with the appropriate duties and regulations of poets and musicians, according to their respective degrees, as Dyscybl Yspas, Dyscybl Dyscyblaidd and Dyscybl Pencerddiad, who, as Probationary Pupil, a Disciplined Pupil, and a Master Pupil, appear to have been the three classes of graduates, immediately following the Pencerdd or Chief Bard, though the order is here inverted. As such they had the liberty to itinerate for the purpose of obtaining gratuities. The term Dyscybl, the root of disco and discipul-us is derived from dysg, learning, and cabol, polished, bright.
Further on in Section 9, I discover another redistribution of the bardic order into "four graduated and lour frivolous."
The four kinds of graduated bards and minstrels are:—
I. —Poets or bards, who wore the band of their order, and who,
when graduated, are intituled,
1. —A Primary Bard
2. —A Didactic or Teaching Bard
3. —A Herald Bard;
II. —Harpers (Telinorion);
III. —Performers of the Crwth, with many strings
IV. —Vocalists (Dadgeiniaid).
The four kinks of " frivolous " are:—
I. —The Piper
II. —The Juggler
III. —The Drummer
IV. —The Fiddler, or player on the crwth with three strings.—
Hence the bard Iorwerth accompanying the sounds of
Tra fu'r prif-feirdd, hardd weision cerddiawn
Nid ef a berchid berchyll son debyg
In the days of the high primary bards, the fine ministers of song,