« ПредишнаНапред »
passed over, and insulted by Rome's greatest orator. Go and consult Cicero! inter alios. What causes, then, the difference? the one knew the mental calibre of the lectures given to the multitudo juvenum of Europe by the institute of druids; the other does not know a tittle, except sundry fragmental allusions, mendacious of paint, skins, and roots, in the nursery-tale-formed history of his sapient youth, and the more polished extracts in his manhood from a Macaulay redundant of ante-historical touches of sublime inaccuracies.
In addition to the corroborative testimonies of Sanchoniathon, Eusebius, Plutarch, Cicero, and Csesar, in reference to the profound and learned instruction necessarily received by British and Gaulic youth, I will cite a quotation from Diodorus Siculus, in his own quaint style, respecting the periodical knowledge of sidereal revolutions carried into effect by the scholastic inhabitants of the Hyperborean island—our Ynys Prydain:— "The inhabitants believed [on certain data known to him and them] that Apollo [or Bel] descended into their island at the end of every nineteen years [i. e., the cycle of the moon], in which period of time the sun and moon having performed their various revolutions, return to the same point, and begin to repeat the same revolution. This is called by the Greeks the great year, or the cycle of the meton."
Again, I cannot allow myself to quit Phoenicia, its gods, and Temple of Orchul, or Orchoul, with his cestus and club cut at a Saronis of the druids, without adverting to a most extraordinary historical event bearing on the stern prehistoric realities of triadic records, that took place in the reign of Ithabel, or Eth Baal, the fifth king of the Sidonians, a priest of Astarte, and father of the queen, wife of Ahab, King of Israel, (in the year 918 or 910 B. c, according to chronological versions.)
The second and third clauses of the " triad on awful events" allude to "the trembling of the torrent fire," and to the intensity of the summer drought that proved destructive to animate and inanimate creation.
The manifold bearings of the triad in reference to the rainless, dewless, tumps of Ynys Prydain and the far east, were never lost sight of by the bards of all ages. Certain historical allusions have been handed down to us in some of the 'magnum numerum versuum,' (vel sententiarum) of the druids, which Csesar unintentionally corroborates, if not as to the nature of their historical contents, at all events as to their antiquity, from generation to generation, from local tradition to local tradition. Sometimes in a form or opus canendi vel scribendi, I am free to admit, of a hitherto unintelligible, if not inexplicable, intactness of identification, unless supported by foreign evidence bearing on the main features of the event, unless they can be made referable to the more salient points of such a catastrophe, in relation to the partial, if not total, extinction in certain cases, of divers tribes of the human family, of beasts of the field and birds of the air, as well as to the unexampled forlorn aspect of the wide domain of nature itself.
Let us, then, ascertain whether any events parallel to druid lore are to be found in any of the annals of sacred or profane literature in reference to dewless and rainless phenomena about the age of Homer, and the early kings of Israel, coincident and coexisting with the antiquity of the triad under consideration.
In the year 1056 before the Christian Era we read in Samuel relative to a corresponding ' twmpath diwlith ' of prehistoric Prydain, the following remarkable natural similarity of convulsed action in Palestine and neighbouring countries :—" Ye mountains of Gilboa," says the sacred writer, " let there be no dew, neither rain, nor fields of offerings." Again, in the years 918, or 910 B. o., as stated by the author of the "Evidence of Profane History," chapter xiv, I find these words :—" The prophet Elijah was sent by the Lord to Ahab and his idolatrous queen, the daughter of the King of Sidon; and his threats of divine judgment were followed by a drought of three years, during which time neither dew nor rain fell from heaven; and inconsequence of it a famine devastated not only the land of Israel, but that of Phoenicia." This fact is substantiated by the Jewish historian, Ant. C, viii. c. 13. The Tyrian annals recorded one or other of these droughts, as we learn from Josephus, who thus quotes the historian Menander: "In the time of Eth-Baal there was an extreme drought, which lasted from the month of Hyperberetoeus, till the same month of the following year. Prayers being put up for averting the judgment were followed by mighty claps of thunder," of a character and intensity till then unknown.
Again, in 1 Kings, xvii.—" As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall be no more dew nor rain three years but according to my word."
Also, in St. James's Epistle, in allusion to some of the above recorded events, it is stated that " It rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months."
With the preceding confirmatory extracts let us compare a parallel or analogous result in the distant Indies with the triadic 'thundering, trembling torrent of fire,' as a never-dying Umbric tradition of the then Imperial Rome:
Jam rapidus torrens Sitientes Sinus Indos
Hence do we discover, separate and uncollusive, yet, on the main points, not inaptly corresponding evidences of extraordinary phenomena of a peculiarly miraculous order, revealing at unknown epochs, the recollections of each other, so to speak, on perfectly neutral ground of far distant accuracy, wonderment and dismay. In other words, the authenticity of the Hyperborean triads is seen thus amply guaranteed by an inspired chronicler of Israel, by a Jewish historian, by an annalist of Tyre, and, lastly, by the historic effusions of a Roman poet.
When doctors, learned in the law, agree,
But, to revert once more to the text of Taliesin's formula of ceremonial worship. The expression, 'Llad yn Eurgrawn,' is paraphrased by Dr. Owen Pughe into
"Diod mewn auigyrn,
i. e., 'a libation of wine in a golden goblet in the hand,' and prefigures or answers to the Virgilian description of 'Gravem gemmis auroque pateram,' i. e.,' a golden patera, studded with gems ': hence,—
"Quare agite, o juvenes, tantarum in munere laudum
"Cingite fronde comas, et pocula porgite dextris,
"Communemque vocate deum, et date vina volentes
"Dixerat, Heiculea bicolor quum populus umbra
"Velaritque comas, foliisque innexa pependit
"Et sacer implevit dextram scyphus."
With these and similar passages, as well as those referring to the flowers and to the trees of the field, as symbols of a druid creed, compare the Homeric expressions, 'JLdetiaro x«pt /cuttexxov,' 'Izirae, apufmnmeKKov' and 'Kuvpot fiev cpjjrjjpac etreaT^avro Itotoio,' and other passages of like import. The next four lines of the Taliesinian formula have been interpreted by the other learned annotator to signify " The hand on the knife and the knife ' ar flaenor y praidd,' the 'spem gregis,' or the first-born of the flock or herd," Thus we find the druidical sacrifice here performed corresponding also with another passage from the same author:—
"Quatuor hie primum nigrantes terga juvencos
"Constituit, frontique invergit vina sacerdos
"Et summas carpens, media inter cornua setas
"Ignibus imponit sacris libamina prima,
"Voce vocans Hecaten coeloque Ereboque potentem
"Supponunt alii cultros, tepidumque cruorem
"Suscipiunt pateris —ipse atri velleris agnam
"Ense ferit, sterilemque tibi Proserpina vaccam."
Again, in the Georgics, the sacrificial ceremony was thus celebrated :—
"Soepe in honore deum medio stans hostia ad aram,
We now come to the Buddrodydd Feli, or ' Bel, the bestower of gifts, as banquets and wines, and so forth,' in his dignity or quality of deified king and priest, by the intermediation of his vates, sacerdotes, and ministri.
"Instaurant epulas et mensce grata secundse
Again let Virgil describe the generic Bel of Ynys Prydain, in his regal attributes of Rhi, as prince or king. Let him also point out and antedate his chronological appearance on the stage of primeval life, as a pure emanation of gorgeous Orientalism transplanted westwards:—
"Atque equidem Teucrum memini Sidona venire
And elsewhere he goes on to depict and sanction his title of 'Buddrodydd' in the forthcoming ceremonial banquet:
"Postquam prima quies epulis, mensaque remota?
In another poem, of a different order, and referring to other subjects of later antiquity, Taliesin speaks allegorically of
"A serpent with chains,
Compare these passages with the above:—
"Fugit ilicet ocyor Euro
Compare, also, 'Draco multifidas linquas vibrare' of Valerius
And, finally, in reference to the Virgilian and druidical doctrines implanted on a knowledge of the " herbse, flores, comce, populus, arbores, et folia,' there is more than a mere poetic or Cimmerian co-incidence of floricultural and arborean allegory of language. The science was one of Oriental origin, and grew into vitality and magnitude of religious dimensions under the fostering aid of druidical cultivation and traditionary lore, at epochs anterior to the written and borrowed verse or prose of Greece and Rome.
As Taliesin must necessarily have represented the ever-recurring viva voce germs of druidical knowledge, as acquired by him and communicated by members of the institute, and by him and others again to other bardic European students, it might perhaps be not uninteresting to ascertain something respecting the recondite allusions or insinuating processes of deduction arrived at in that mysterious free-mason-like school in reference to the symbols of the forest. I am indebted to Michelet's history of France for the following quotations, as found in the ' illustrations,' but derived from Armorican and Cimbric sources. I reserve the application to a future occasion.
"I know," says Taliesin, "the intent of the trees; I know which was decreed praise or disgrace, by the intention of the memorial trees of the sages," and he celebrates the engagement of the sprigs of the trees or of devices, and their battle with the learned; he could delineate the elementary trees and reeds, and tells us when the sprigs were marked in the small tablet of devices, when they altered their voice: and so forth.
The Bucolics and Georgics of Virgil abound in druidical or allegorical mysteries, both floral and arborean.
"Trees," according to the same authority, "are still used symbolically by the Welsh and the Gaels, [but in a totally different aspect]. The hazel, for instance, signifies 'love betrayed.' The Caledonian Merlin [Taliesin is Cambrian] laments that 'the authority of the sprigs was beginning to be disregarded.' The Irish word aos, the primitive meaning of which was ' tree,' was applied to a man of letters. Feadha, wood or tree, became the designation of the prophets, or wise men. In like manner, in Sanscrit, bod'hi signifies 'the Indian fig, and buddhist means 'the sage.'"
"And, as imagination bodies forth