Графични страници
PDF файл

the root cor, and adail, an encircling pile, or grouping of buildings), and see how the primitive inhabitants of Mount Caucasus, 'd, negociandi curd,' fit out their vessels with skins joined together, (navigia junctis pellibusj, and how, in these hide vessels (corio) they manage to sail over the mighty deep, much safer than those barks constructed of fir-trees from the adjacent forests, according to the stem and stern form and pattern of other daring navigators, who are oftener dashed to pieces on rocks above, and rocks beneath, and shoals, and sandy beaches of the Aigswn;—while they in their 'notis cumbis,' like brave aquatic birds, proudly ride the storm in perfect safety—to the crew and cargo—from Beisfor, in the north, to Corall-a, the other group or pile of buildings, in the south; and from Meini-Cryfion, in the east, to Deffrobani, in the west,—where we shall recruit our health for a while, and wait in hope and patience for the return of the western invasion from the Crimea, and Cimmeria, so frequently alluded to in the body of this essay—paper—lecture—call it what you will.


"Should you ask me whence these stories,

"Whence these legends and traditions,

"With the odors of the forest,

"With the dew and damp of Meadows,

"With the curling smoke of Wigwams,

"With the rushing of great rivers

"And their frequent repetitions,

"And their wild reverberations,

"As of thunder in the mountains?"

I should answer, I should tell you,
From the temples, caves, and cities,
From the black sea of the Aigswn,
From the land of the Crimeaid,
From the land of Deffrobani,
From the land of the Galatiaid,
From the tongue of the Cimmeriaid,
Brought from Eden down to Prydain,
Backwards 'home,' and there again
Like a comet in the firmament!!

Let us, now, return once more to the Crimea, or Cimmeria, and witness the overflowing exit of another western division, partially described by Strabo. Prior to the journey, however, a few preliminary remarks may be deemed requisite to pave the way to a distinct understanding respecting certain vague items in historical geography, and other contingent shadowings dependent thereon. The Greek geographer, as you shall perceive bye and bye, is occasionally ably seconded by our ancient and modern historical bards, who, in accordance with the immemorial functions, and scholastic training of the order, must, from the infancy of bardism, have had peculiar privileges of their own, denied to the world at large, from the exclusive nature of their code, in getting up, by heart, not only the distant records of scenes within the ken of patriarchal times, but who were also expressly appointed to chant, from age to age, as the intermediate case required, the praises of their ancestral warriors, astronomers, and legislators, in the persons, par exemple, of an Hu Gadarn (mighty of size), the founder of the British Isles; of a Prince Prydain ab Aedd Mawr, the originator of Britannia's name; of an Idris Gawr y Serydd (Idris the Giant), one of the first astronomers on record; of a Dyfnwal Moel Mud, the Cimbric legislator, second only in time and worth to Moses himself; as well as of other Asiatic chieftains of renown, landing on the shores of Ynys Prydain in prehistoric times. These, and subsequent arrivals, if deemed worthy, either from the display of some peculiar talents, "arising from the powers of natural genius and invention," or from certain phenomena of nature occurring within their days, were at once incorporated into a triad by the periodical druidical congress, and became, as heretofore, an imperious code of law to be similarly dealt with in the processes of a memoria technica for the further improvement of arts and sciences, by the addition of every new discovery approved by the learned and the wise,—in other distinct and separate classes of triads, as required, either by "history, bardism, theology, ethics, or jurisprudence."

Now, in the first place, the vague, undefined, knowledge of geography that prevailed in Homeric and subsequent periods, must prove a barrier, a stumbling-block, to any clear elucidation, from such uncertain data, of the prehistoric Cimmerian names of countries, seas, rivers, mountains, cities, and so forth, occupied, traversed, or appropriated by the earlier Asiatic colonists, represented, I will say, for the nonce, by bards, ovates, and druids. I will give you but one 'simple sample' of this species of geographical ignorance. Ex uno disce omnes.

Herodotus, the pride of Greece and the father of history, is blamed by Eratosthenes "an historian of Cyrene, and a protege of Ptolemy Evergetes, for ignoring the existence of the Hyperbo- reans as a people and living in their own country." Indeed the historian, in lib. III. cap. 115, admits that 'concerning the western extremities of Europe he had no accurate account to give.'

I do not hesitate to say, that, if the definition of the Ister, as marked out and described by Herodotus, in lib II., cap. 53, had been geographically and strictly acted upon by some old corresponding member of the druidical institute of the past, he would have found himself wandering on the surface of the globe to the end of his days, and not a whit the wiser for his pains, and must have acted on the ' qui vive ' principle of a Sisyphus, ' up hill and down dale,' or a Minos in his labyrinth at Cnosus, chewing the cud of despair, of anguish, and of death. Moreover, on this showing, the Ister would, as the learned Archdeacon of Cardigan facetiously and graphically remarked, "enter the Euxine at a meridian line, passing from south to north, from the mouth of theNilethroughmountainousCiliciatoSinope." Stop, and pause!!

You see, then, what difficulties I have to encounter " in limine mei itineris," which I trust will be taken into account and not lost sight of, during my groping peregrinations after primitive cities, forts, and temples, enveloped almost in Ninevehan obscurity, in the wilderness of a world sodden in mystic darkness. And yet, notwithstanding all this labyrinthine evidence of early illuminated Greece, as heralded forth by the father of history himself, there are men in modern times found, with similar pretensions to accuracy as the preceding, to hurl forth the puny thunder of their anathema against the correctness—nay, gentlemen, in the pretentious simplicity of their pardonable ignorance, declaim against the very antiquity of our prehistorical records, known and appreciated to their full value and import, through the really learned societies of Europe and the world, under the immortal names of triads. In this dilemma the investigator of hidden or lost Cimmerian truths must not be disheartened or become altogether incredulous, "though he were apparently to see historical personages appear in the land of fiction, or historical facts appropriated to fabulous heroes, though perhaps often occasioning the greatest anachronisms and most heterogenous combinations," which a modicum of analysis and care might obviate and explain. In such a contingency the triads are our safest guides; though other evidence is not, thereby, to be discarded. The land-marks of the later bards were, undoubtedly, the threefold evidences of the triads, which were scholastically explained, from age to age, in their Institutional Congresses, but not until they had been finally endorsed by the travelled researches of an Abaris or some other cosmopolitan druid, or had been by them again submitted to the ordeal of ulterial examination, by means of either local or general testimonies advanced in favor of megalithic structures of one or other nation as recorded in 'Annalibus Grcecorum vel Romanorum,' or other seemingly well-supported traditions. On the authority also of a travelling druid, a short clause might be inserted in a full congress of bards only to dictate, and no more, the exact position of a given bardic term by another, if possible, of solid modern date, beginning with the word sef, or namely, to the end of the clause or period. This wholesome regulation held good till the Druidical Institute, as an order, became defunct, about a thousand years ago, more or less. In all this, the triads became in their revolving and resolving course, the principal basis or nourishment of tradition, the organic life, so to speak, of its superstructure, and, as an everliving poetical principle of philosophic existence, they influenced and developed, to a degree not yet sufficiently appreciated, the germs of prehistoric, ancient, and modern literature of the world, as I shall have occasion hereafter to advance and prove, when collating the mysterious doctrines of the druids, with the Asiatic emanations of Virgil and his Grecian predecessors in the unbounded field of ancient prehistoric lore.


Again, difficulties would arise in the clashing elements of discordant dissimilar appellations given by different nations to one given locality. Also a name of a place well known to one would be ignored (as the Atlantic Ocean in its present, or indeed in any site was, to Herodotus) by another, so as to lose all claims to identification.

Let us, then, wait patiently for any result, however meagre from one or more of these conflicting and puzzling realities of an old immemorial world.—

On this threshold of my arguments, I make you a present of Iwo propositions—the one known, the other unknown at present. The first the eye—the second the ear. The former resolves itself into written records such as you have mentally seen—the latter comports with oral records, but found alive and auricular, as it were, in names of men and things. In other words, Is history versus philology ?—Is philology versus history? or rather, does history plus philology, as its handmaiden, offer safer guarantees to my dilemma. You are of age, I know, and must decide for yourselves. Now to the expedition.

The Cimmerians, then, upon their exit from Kipfiepia (Cimmeria) are described according to the combined inferences of written documents and oral traditions, as advancing westwards across the River Tyras, where they stopped for a while to do homage to the 'beddrod yn y garnedd' to the sepulchral, honored, final homes of their ancestral kings. Their remains, were, it seems, at first reduced to ashes on the funereal pile, commingled with pieces of flesh of different animals—the first born of each it is said— generally of oxen; but those of asses were, if at hand, preferred. Garlands of olive branches, intermixed with asphodel and ears of corn, were also thrown thereon by one or two white-robed virgins, according to the dignity and station of the defunct; and a triple libation of wine mixed with water was then spilt on the fire-extinct embers by the officiating priest, out of an Eurgyrn, a golden patera or goblet, from the root aur, gold, and corn, a horn, amid the most fervent tokens of despair and lamentation. Then the gold and silver ornaments or other cherished vestments or articles of the deceased were inclosed around the cawg neu ysten hridd, the clay burnt urn, within a cistfaen or Ikchau pedronglog, i. e., fourslabbed stone sepulchre, which then was closely covered over by a huge flat cloriad, a coverlid, or over-top.

"Piau y bedd pedryfal,

"Ai bedwar maen amytal?

"Bedd Madawc Marchawg dywal!

"Whose four-angled tomb is this,

"With its four blocks of stone so lofty?

"It is the tomb of the brave Madawc, the Prince!"

Again, as correlative modern proof, one of the Mabinogion, in describing the history of Bronwen (the daughter of Llyr), who was aunt to Garadawg ab bran ab Llyr, viz., Caractacus, the intrepid defender of his country's rights, mentions several interesting particulars of her life in Iwerddon and other localities, and goes on to remark that she eventually died, yn ynys Mon (Anglesea), and that "Bedd petryal a wnaed i Fronwen ferch Llyr ar lan Alaw, ae yno y claddwyd hi (A four-angled tomb was made to Bronwen, the daughter of Llyr on the bank of the Alaw—and there was she buried)." Her ashes were accidentally found in the year 1813 by a farmer of the district, in a cawg or urn, of a form and construction similar to others generally discovered in old tomb stones.* This precious sepulchral relic is now deposited in the British Museum. These last few ideas of sombre tint have cost me days and nights of anxious toil to get and learn. I now regret it not, though poor the labour be.

When the debt ot friendship and of love was paid to this sequestered holy spot—in honor of their royal sires, they went apart to see the nation's graves—the graves of those they loathed to quit

"'A beddau tadau' n y tir
"Yn dawel ni adewir."

"Nec tumulos patrum sub silentio relinquere."

Upon this—

"Och alar! ni ddychwelant mwy i'u gwlad."—

they veered their course southwards, in agmine denso, across the arid, distant-view-kept flat of Dacia (from the root dac-w, yonder), some on the right, others to the left, until at last the leading van cried out along to those, that from fatigue, or thirst, or mental woe, trained their tardive steps along, Tan-aw, tan-aw, tanaw; signifying spreading water, continous water, abundant water.

* This royal princess must have been buried prior to the Roman invasion.

« ПредишнаНапред »