Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

castles, now reft of their invaluable bardic-druid treasures—now Gothishly dismantled or Vandally levelled to the ground; or else, as safety swayed the after-thought, the

«Αι δευτεραι γε φροντιδες σοφώτεραιof tyrant this, or monster that, a series of years, of months, of weeks, became, each in their turn, a witness, in the cycle of events, to a few strongholds left behind as a base of future wrong to one, of future theft-monopolising-glory to the other nation, when a Roman, when a Saxon, or a Norman wing or tower, with a portcullis or a mound entrenched, was superadded to, or when, in other cases, novel piles—an Ossa on a Pelion, replaced or e'en enclosed the former British structure, on its vantageground of immemorial song. “ Ti, Arglwydd ein D. U. W. fuost yn breswylfa i ni yn mhob cenhedlaeth.”

Thus, here, as with the plagiarisms of our own distinctive tongue, the tulit-alter-honorem-principle has been, as ever, rife, as ever, exclusive. Trifles do, and do not, mark events. Knowledge of races and their habits, deductions based on scientific truths, are the surest landmarks of conjecturethe indications of the gloomy past. Truth oft becomes a base to fiction : but fiction claims not that of truth. A Roman, or a later Norman coin, for instance, (I am not aware of early or anti-Cæsarean Saxon coins,) if casually found by an unreflective Anglo-Saxon, within the precincts of any fort or ground, though regardless of Britannic indications, as of coins, and heedless of its pre-occupancy of site by a former tenant, is made to stamp, at once and without reflection on his part, the aforesaid spot to be, or to have been, no other than the primary relics or exclusive foundation of either a Roman or a Norman structure. Thus the appliances of an artistic condition of life and manners are thereby systematically ignored, if they do not sometimes become the sport of rhymesters, aided by the conjectural sneers of prosaic incompetency or of partial worth.

We shall test the validity, the antiquarian truth, of this Saxonic exclusiveness, of this perversion of facts, in reference to the ædificia, castella vel domus of the Antiquissimi Britanni. Amor patriæ perdita demands it; vinclum veritatis honorisque enjoins it; vox Adamitica linquæ Cimmericæ condemns it.

But why ? it may asked by those indifferent to OUR honor, why rake up the past and ope the wounds of time? We Cimmerians do it not. 'Tis you, as a gallinacious tribe-a cackling order of · Menura Annalists,'that crow defiance. 'Tis you, as longtailed flocks of lyre-bird poets, essayists, babblers, that mock, insult, the whole Cimmerian race, with • Beleck-beleck’repetitions or concoctions of distorted views, or with stale, unerring caricatures of · Balangara’minstrelsy, en fait d'un peuple fabuleux, sans lettres, sans habitations, et sans meurs civilisées.

As two of these accusations have been already disposed of to a certain extent, but to which other masses of evidence may still be adduced, to eradicate an indigested portion, at least, of the venom of the charge brought against one or other, we now proceed to cast a glance at the third, and endeavor de l'invisager by the reflex lights of triads and of bards, of antiquarian research and philological truth, independently of Cimbric and Armoric traditionary lore extant at this hour, to which I need not refer.

But where? I ask, en passant, where do we find, all this time, a faintest insight, the slightest trace, of Saxon literature ?-where, of Saxon artistic skill of any kind whatever,--and where, of Saxon laws and jurisprudence, like those of Dyfnwal Moelmud ? This is, I am loth to say, a subject sore to tyrants of the past, to inflated bombasts of the present. If what I state as fact can be disproved, bring, 0, bring, at once, such records of defiance, before the days of Alfred, or a Beda's Cædmon with his ode or hymn, to rebut the BARBAROUS spoliations of the past, the heartburning Coelbrennic demolitions of Bangor-ys-y-coed, &c., &c., with their untold Cimmerian literature, and a whole category of grievances sneeringly passed over and sapiently ignored, so as thereby to veil the deeds of wrong, and, on the bleeding relics of a Cimbric caer, a castell, or a dinas, with its respective anedd, ty, or trefaelur, to hurl defiance to the proof, buried, as 't was thought, oes ar ol oes,' or cantvlaiad after cant-vlaiad, beneath the cistfaen cinders of the dead, that still do live, reflected in their sons. • Le roi ne meurt pas.'

The Preserver of our race, however, “moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform.” “He rides upon the storm " of nations, men, and things. HE brings to life and light of day, as already partly seen and felt—the very stones, the wood, the plants of Cimbric earth, as evidence surnaturel, in His court of law and equity, so that justice shall be done! Justice will be done, though not, perhaps, yr oll, within the compass of this age. For thee, my mother-tongue—the Eden-mother-tongue of all, a study-roll, un tour de rôle terrestre en France, Eine Wissenschaft gelernt in Deutschland, is yet reserved for thee within the halls and colleges of earth. Thou that wert, and art, the parent, mother, nurse, of all the tongues that breathe and lisp a part of thee, as I hope one day to prove,—thy roots, unknown to roots of earth, are found in Hebrew, and the Remnants of the East. I saw and heard a glimpse of thee, thy power, and effect, within the secret folds of China and Japan. I find thee, too, in Malayan ; as, also, in the Samoan, wherein they NAVIGATE thy vocal bark. I found thee, years ago, in the district, ground, or DARGWIN, the daergwyn, of the Murray, among the wci's and the môrin's of the native tribes of the Weeradgua, as of Tatiara, Warrnambool, Yarra Yarra, and of Colac. Thy presence here, thy presence

there, as rays of solar light, piercing the chaos of humanity, unfolds (who can, who dares, deny ?) the chosen Majesty of thy birth Supreme, Unique, on wandering, erring earth. But, to return, where thou didst speak, four thousand years ago, in all the comprehensive glow of native Deffrobanian warmth, by bards and sages of the Isle—an isle marked out for thee and thine as a final refuge from the storm, 'mid the castellated rocks, the fortclad hills, and domiciliated plains, of Prydain, northern Celyddon, or of Gwalia Fair—to guard thy sacred mission from on high. There ! there! we now shall gladly sail, from land where gold, by accident alone, without labor, thought, or mind, is made a god in idol man, or deemed to make the man, and thence a friendly trip we 'll make again, across the straits, to cognate Bretons of Gomeric race, though far, though dim the distance be.

Now, let us, en route on the ocean of life, imagine two cognate or distinct nations, separated by the sea, speaking, from time immemorial, a language, either based on a partial or a unique similarity of lettered or acoustic principles, in a majority of primeval terms, or again characterised by a dissimilarity as regards foreign admixtures in others, but visible at once to the twofold eye of philology and traditionary observations in each.

A colony of such a brotherhood passing from one country to the other at different epochs of their history, whether prehistoric or historic, would but corroborate and give an untold force to such a primary amalgamation, to such a fixity of tenure, to such an expansion of domiciliated interests, as would be exemplified in a technical co-operation of ideas, through an already cognatelyunderstood uniformity of syllabic roots.

This friendly alliance of interests would, however, in the very nature of things, and in accordance with the usages of society in all ages, reciprocate or engender certain terms, if not already in existence, bearing definite meanings or mental forms peculiar to each other, as to sound and sense, with reference to the object so prehistorically denominated.

Among this allied race, therefore, would be found recondite and well-defined ideas (unknown to the copyists) living and presiding, so to speak, for untold ages, in animal and vegetable and inanimate matter, and untransportable by linqual denegators, i.e., in birds, beasts, fish, insects and worms of earth, peculiar to the locale of the then Cimmeric elements of earth, air, and water, on the one side; and in grains, trees, flowers, metals, and agricultural implements, on the other. Objects unknown to the wants and experience of the one, would, possibly, be either unrepresented in their vocabulary, or if afterwards employed in an interchange of actual service, they would, in some form or other, be made known and transferred to the understanding, either by a colinqual process of circumlocution, as the chistr of Cimmerian Gaul, by the dilutum pomorum vel succus e pomis expressus, or by a borrowed adaptation of the terms in vogue by the other, as bacca GROSSularia, for gwrys, or gooseberries, or by the ulterior adoption of a foreign root, pur et simple,' as carrus vel rheda, and caulis, from the Cimmerian car, rhed, and cawl (caw-l), a drag, “a swift-running chariot,' of the former, and cabbage of the latter; or as secale, from the Armorican segal, or rye. Here we find an idea of cabbaging unknown quantities by wholesale.

The characteristic synonymes, however, of the two former would tend, speaking literatim, to detect the third, as a stranger bird or an alien in a farm-yard, or any other foreign locality, and thus combinedly they would serve to demonstrate the pre-Roman or native appellations for this or that kind of Prydaenig or Arforig structure, carriage, implement, or vegetable, according to its respective size, nature, or quality, composition, or dimensions. A Cymro would not apply the letters constituting the idea of a buth, or hut, to represent that of a castell (cast-ell), or castle, or conceive plwm to be ystaen, i.e., lead to be the equivalent of tin. Nor would an Arforig confound his ti with ur hastel a vrezel, a citadel; nor the arem with the couivr, i.e., brass with copper; nor would the Bretonnèd and the Cymry misunderstand the acoustic meaning of ti and ty, kær and caer, as our un-Celtic representatives of wisdom would imply and inculcate in their wigwam, their mia-mia, or cavernous reminiscences, and other self-imposing but delusive incongruities. But international facts contravene this assumption. Thus a Cæsarean admission of anterior facts nullifies unwittingly even its own Volusenian inferences. The basis of events must, to a certain degree of exactitude, tally with itself and others before and after them, in most if not in all its parts, to have made and make it a past, a future object of truth, and a source of historic reliance to all. Spleen blended with discomfiture and retreat, comments based on absence of knowledge, on the want of experience, and on their consequent premature deductions, demolished Cæsar as an authority. A general, however daring and idolised he may be, militarily speaking, cannot, with all the appliances of power, and the perpetuating ingenuity of his subordinates and later partisans, unmake history to suit his own views and their united crochets. Nor can a Scali. gerian scholiast for ever nullify the classic and antiquarian world, with his mania for correction and abstractions. The expansion of nature, tot ou tard, cannot fail to beconie, as it were, an involuntary, an unwelcome detective in the capture of error, as well as in a condign expose of the plausibilities that once gave it a delusive shadow and a name.

Certain articles of utility and luxe, then, tacitly working out their own cognate and innate verities, must have been in existence ages prior to any invasion. The • Commentary' admits the native or insular priority of certain war-chariots, encampments, towns, &c., &c. (I am speaking here of their imputed existence, and am, at present, careless as to their form and materials); consequently, trained labor, aided by science of some sort, must have produced the Cimmerian works in question. Can a man make a car=a currus=a chariot, dig.ffosau=fossæ=trenches, extract and smelt alcan=stannus, and erect a dinas caerog=an ur kær gloz, the fortified towns, or oppida, spoken of by Cæsar, without tools, experience, and knowledge? Do tools drop down like manna from above? If the workman could have done so, he must have equalled, if not distanced, in mystery of craft, the stale, unfounded reports of superficialities, and the guilty concoctors of miraculous paintings, in the art of gulling, charming, and bewildering the indecision of grave and potent seigneurs and captivating the golden credulity of womanhood, under the auspicious influence and capacity of lyre-bird principles.

I shall hereafter categorise and compare the relative value of Cimbric, Armorican, Latin, and Gallic nomenclatures, in reference to articles of dress, food, beverages, grains, metals, animals, birds, fishes, and residences of various descriptions, as then not unknown, and consequently in vogue, among one or other nation of antiquity. This Cimmerian key must unlock the wards of Latin corrosion and expose the tenebras within.

In the mean time, let us imagine a case or two in point. The one, an instrument immemorially assigned to a Cimmerian fferm, or farm-house, as aradr (ar x ax dr) or aratr-um of the Latins; the other forming a part and parcel of an Armorican ferm, as ffenester (ffen X ester), common to both.

I discard the terminations aand um as mere excrescences, according to the rule and practice laid down by European grammarians.

How came each of these WHOLE terms to embody a peculiar ideality of imputed meanings? I decline the ‘ipse dixit’ of a traditionary or a context interpretation, without showing cause,' as lawyers say, 'sui generis.'

A Latinist would perhaps derive the whole term of aratrum from aro, 'I plough,' alone, careless of the atr-um or tr-um, as mere euphonious or drowsy terminals; or he might, when taxed with the poverty of Latin roots, and losing sight of his own law of excrescence, advance a new plea, and refer the additional clause, when thus at his wit's end, to the accident of an atrum or trum, in the Supine. But do Supines thus invariably aid his own not very unnatural supineness, even allowing that this exception was admissible ?

Un Arrær, que l'on tr-ace •à trum'
Voudrait bien que l'on decidât,
Si Aratr son frere vient d' ar-atrum,
Vu le même ar-a-dr, d'ar-atra?

« ПредишнаНапред »