Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

1. —The boundary stone. (Orfaen, ffinfaen.)

2. —The white stone of the place of session. (Maengorsedd.)

3. —The stone of expectancy. (Maen-gobaith.)

The modern traveller must be our best guide to decide this nominal question of lapidal identification. With this proviso, I proceed at once to Caria, in order to gather other fragments of information relative to its early condition; "Ce pays," adds the author, " dont les habitants primitifs, c'etaient vus forces a se retirer dans 1' interieur du pays a [Harpasa] pour abandonner la cote au colonies Greques, qui s' en emparerent avait pour Capitale, a 1' epoque de la guerre medique, Halicarnassus" (from the root Hdl, saltwater, and earn, a heap, a tomb, a tower, and is, lower). Here we see that the primitive inhabitants forced, at a very early date, by Grecian colonists, to retire into the interior, and advance towards Harpasa, which is situated on the southern bank of the Mceander, between Apollonia and Aphrodisias. Let us follow them thither, and ascertain something about the city, if it be possible, as well as the people who built it, so that you may decide about each at the same time. The term Harpasa is derived from har, aptness to overtop, and bys, or pys, a finger. Pliny, in his second book, apparently with feelings of awe and wonder, says that near Harpasa he discovered "a rock standing" on the plains (namely, a maensigl, from maen, a block of stone, and sigl, to shake, or move); " horrenda, moveable with a single finger, but, when "pushed resisting all the force of man." A maensigl, or rocking stone, identical with this, is found at the present day near Pontypridd, Glamorganshire, and does not hesitate to become obedient to the finger of every visitor who may be inclined to follow the example of the noble Roman. A modern traveller, not unknown by name to most of you, in his own sketch book speaks of it as a "peripatetic monolith, poised, so to speak, in mid air, and obedient to the touch of a child, but resisting and confounding the united forces of as many as could apply their hands, or shoulders, conjointly to the task of removal from its tripodal, or trilapidal elevation."

Our own experience 'at home, sweet home,' must at once dictate the reality of this truism, as affecting possibly our own juvenile impressions. Many a modern philosopher or naturalist may here, for aught I know to the contrary, inwardly (but was too wise probably to manifest it), reciprocated the feelings of our friend Pliny, under apposite circumstances. There is, however, a shade of di-erence between the schools of the ancient and the modern gazers: the one did not know the edvoe that erected them, whereas the other does—if not it is his own fault, not mine.

Again let us stand together in a south-east direction. The distance is about a hundred miles from Harpasa; I have no doubt but that, when arrived at our destination at Telmissus, I shall be able to furnish you with facts, incidents, and particulars of our long-lost forefathers, too long buried in a species of an unaccountable chaotic oblivion, on the confines of Caria and Lycia, and on the sea coast, that will amply repay you for the trouble, length, and toil of the journey. In it there was a temple dedicated to Bel, the Apollo of the Greeks, built by ' ces habitants primitifs' that had been driven away by a confederated alliance of the Phoenicians and early Pelasgic colonists. These, unlike their warrior countrymen of the north, were remarkably quiet and peaceable in their demeanour. According to the Triads, these holy men, these oracular divines, ovates, or Druids, "then, in accordance with the jurisdiction vested in them, presided at the sessional congress of their order with the general assemblies of the confederated states, in conjunction with the king, prince, or president, to transact business of a social, a foreign, a judicial, or a religious character, according to prescription and law, and according to country and sovereignty." Let a few fragments from the "Geographie Historique Ancienne" be laid before you, though the author, I opine, did not. perhaps, conceive any more than did the world at large, who read, have read his works, to what living family of the human race these shattered remnants could belong. The writer goes on to remark respecting the inhabitants of Lycia, that, in time of war and aggression on the part of marauding invaders (possibly the pirates of Phoenicia, and the semi-barbarous Pelasgi);—"Les montagnes servaient de refuge a ses habitants, qui vivaient presque independants; des les temps les plus reculis, leurs villes, qui s'eleverent jusq'au nombre de vingt trois, formaient une republique federative, qui avaient des assembles communes. Parmi ces villes (outre les colonies Grecques de Limyre, et de Phazalis) on remarquait encore Telmessus aujourdhui (c'est a dire au temps des colonies Grecques en ruines pres de Macri, cette ville etait tout peuple de devins, des les temps les plus recules." I shall translate this passage literally. "The mountains served as a place of refuge to its inhabitants, who lived almost independant; from the remotest times imaginable (immemoriality), their cities, which amounted to the number of twenty-three, formed a federative republic, and which possessed 'general assemblies.' (Sessional congresses, or general constitutional assemblies of the Triads). Amongst these cities (besides the Greek colonies of Limyre and Phazelis), Telmessus was still recognised, though in ruins, near Macri, at the epoch of the Greek colonies. This city was entirely peopled by oracular divines (diviners, ovates, dewinyddion, or theologians in the sense of the past), from the most distant periods."

According to the calculations of history, Greek colonies, to give the greatest latitude to modern scepticism, began to be established on an uniform, or enlarged scale, about a century before, or after the cyclic, or Homeric period, i. e., about one thousand one hundred years B. o. It was not earlier than the one, nor later than the other. At all events, the iEolians and other Pelasgic tribes, from Peloponnesus or elsewhere, are said to have founded several cities in Asia Minor, on the expulsion, or subjugation of the primitive inhabitants, and on the debris of prior establishments. Now, has the historic world for one moment given itself the anxiety to enquire, in the spirit of truth and fair play, who were the primitive inhabitants (outres les monstres d'une creation poetique et malsonnante), that were driven within the murky era and dim twilight of 'ssecula sseculorum,' or who had migrated from the coasts of the Aigswn, the two Beisfor-oedd, and the shores of the Aigwm, into the central and western portions of Europe, when the foundations of Rome were as yet buried in the solid rock, unchiseled and unmarked?

Ignota Roma, fuimus, 'fuit Ilium et ingens
Gloria' Bardorum, Druidum, Vatumque per arva.

The root of Dewin, or Duwin, for each term was, and is, in use at the present day, but in a modified acceptation, is derived from du, black, obscure, mystified, in reference to certain arcana of world, word, or thought taught by them, in accordance with the recondite doctrines of the ^Egyptian school, as I shall hereafter endeavour to prove. The bard Cynddelw, in an ode addressed to Fadawg ap Maredydd, speaks of the Dewinion in connection with the Druids, and the richly-clad nobles bearing their golden torques:

"Nis gwyr Duw a dewinion byd

"A diwyd Dderwyddon

"O aurdof eurdorchogion

"Ein rhif yn rhiweirth afon."

Again, Dafydd Benfras, who flourished about the twelfth century of our era, in allusion to the abstruse doctrines of a Druidical Devin, Dewin, or Duwin, thus chants, by implication, the praises of Taliesin, by an admission of his own ignorance, and possibly that of the great bard himself, to solve the astronomical, or astrological mysteries of this peculiar sect of the order. I may hereafter refer to some of their principles.

"Mi i'm byn pe byddwn Ddewin
"Ym marddair marddwn gyssefin
"Adrawdd ei ddaed serdrin ni allwn
Ni allai Daliesin."

Were I addressing the scholiasts of the past and present, unversed in Triad classic lore, I would say, Can you, in the amplitude of your glory, show any distinct, indisputable clauses of light upon 'these federative republics,' 'these general assemblies,' or ' these Devins,' out of your own antique records, so that the wavering consciences of the alumni academici may be at ease?

The case on your part is astoundingly hopeless—beyond the mortified control of classic pride and vanity.

"Hope withered, fled—and Mercy sighed farewell."

The sixty-first triad of ' the social state,' inter plurimas, ' dares to beard the lion in his den,' Assyrian, Mede, or Perse, as well as Greek or Koman in his hall, without a scratch, without a flaw, as Daniel did of yore.

The sense and interpretation of this triad fully explains the questioli at issue,—" according to the privileges of the country and the nation of the Cymry." Do not forget that this aboriginal, national, root has precisely the same signification with that of Cimmerians, though apart in distant lands. "Cystal naill ac y Hall," or, " things equal the same, are equal to each other."

I cannot, therefore, do better than give you ocular, or, rather, auricular proof, and repeat the triad in all its explanatory integrity, so that you may hear, and afterwards read, mark, and digest, at your own leisure, its full force and importance as an indispensable adjunct, or handmaid, to a one-sided and a half-fed history.

"There are three sessions of the Cymry, by the right of country and clan:—

"1.—The session of the bards of the isle of Britain; the dignity and privileges whereof arise from its wisdom and constitution, and the necessity for it; or, according to other learned instructors (from Europe or Asia), from its wisdom, constitution, and intent. The proper privilege and office of the session of bards is to maintain, preserve, and give sound instruction in religion, science, and morality (in the original syberward); to preserve the memory of the laudable acts of individuals or clans; of the events of the times, and the extraordinary phenomena of nature; of wars, and regulations of country or clan; their retaliations on their enemies, and victories over them; also, faithfully to preserve the memories of pedigrees, marriages, liberal descent, privileges and duties of the Cymry (Cimmerii); and, when required by Ihe other sessions, to publish what is necessary and obligatory in the legal form of notice and proclamation. Farther than this, by office or privilege, the session of bards is not obliged to concern itself. The bards, therefore, are the authorised instructors of the Cymry (Cimmerians), of country or clan, having full privileges, more extensive than the common right of Cymry by birth, viz, (in addition to) five acres of ground free; also, each is entitled to a gratuity as due to his profession. (These professions are specified in the Institutional Triads of Bardism).

"2.—The second is the session of country and territory (the same as ' Gorsedd Gwlad ae Arglwydd '), that is, a session of judicature and legal decision, for the intent of justice and security to country and clan (or the community generally, or individually), and their retainers and tenantry. For the departments of these several sessions are these: that of the session of general assembly to make laws when necessary, and confirm them in country and dependency (gwlad a chywlad), which cannot be done without the concurrence of the dependency; the session of judicature decides on infractions of the law, and punishes them; and the session of bards teaches useful sciences, judges concerning them, and preserves the memory of family concerns regularly and truly; and neither of the three is to oppose pretensions of its own, in derogation of either of them, but on the contrary, each should confirm, and cooperate with, the other two amicably.

"3.—The third session is that of the general constitutional assembly, the general and especial object whereof is to make such alterations for the better in the laws, or such new laws of country and district as may be necessary; by consent (gan raith cywlad) taken in the districts of the chiefs or clans, men of wisdom, and the sovereign paramount. The severeign paramount, or sovereign head of the government, is the lineal heir in the eldest line of descent of the kings or princes of the district, and in him the authority rests, and his determination is without appeal as the authority of the country."

Having, thus, from this general aspect, seen and investigated the primitive condition of Telmessus, in the days of its Druidical celebrity, amidst scenes of action replete with social life, of neighbouring federative republics and of general constitutional assemblies that would not reflect discredit on the proudest, haughtiest realms of earth; let us ascertain what can be gleaned from modern travel concerning it.

For this purpose I must adduce a witness from the cherished cloistered rooms of dearest 'Alma Mater'—the distinguished Professor Clarke, of Cambridge, who will be able to supply us with some interesting information respecting its actual, desolate, but grandiose prostration on the field of time.

But his remarks shall not cross the threshold of my homely page before I have curtly drawn a friendly thrust of arms with him, and others of his school, who never cease from day to day, in all the works and shade-like wings of thought, in verse and prose, to give, impute—to ponderous mass of boasting, selfish, faultless, giant, blustering, frames! or weighty, gross, repulsive, ox-like, Cyclops-flesh. !—the grand monopoly of mind, of art, of

« ПредишнаНапред »