Slike strani

judge by battles and victories, has a better claim than the other. Dundee's greatness is to be found only in the imagination of certain Jacobite poets and writers of fiction, who have thrown a legendary interest around him which he does not deserve. Mr. Napier is fond of comparing him with Montrose. He is guilty of foul injustice in making the comparison. Montrose had some of the elements of greatness; he wanted judgment and stability, but he had quickness of perception, fearlessness, and above all things, dash. He made marvellous marches, and came down upon his enemy with the sudden swoop of an eagle from the hills. He fought battle after battle against higher discipline and superior numbers, and was always the victor. After the battle of Kilsyth all Scotland lay at his feet; and even in his surprise and defeat at Selkirk his gallantry was conspicuous. Besides all this he had a taste for letters, and fought not for oppression and power, but on the weaker and the losing side. To compare Claverhouse to such a man is to compare the jackdaw, which loves flesh, to the falcon which will fight for it.

We have now given our readers our estimate of the man whose Memorials Mr. Napier has written. We can see no heroism in hunting down and shooting poor peasants who thought that salvation depended on hearing their Presbyterian preachers, and we can have no sympathy with a biography which endeavours to whitewash the ruthless tools of an intolerable tyranny, and take from martyrs their crown of martyrdom. It is high time the mawkishness of our Jacobite writers were come to an end. We hold it is criminal even in a poet to confound virtue and vice, and to invest with the attributes of a hero the man who is deserving only of our abhorrence. But Mr. Napier has at least the excuse that he has done it in ignorance, for we are convinced he really believes that Claverhouse was deserving the appellation of great;' and thus can only be spoken of as a singular instance of a Tory gentleman, in the nineteenth century, exhibiting a more extraordinary phasis of fanaticism than the Covenanters and Roundheads of the seventeenth.

A nonconformist himself, and happy in the abounding liberty which the Revolution has secured for him, he yet approves of men being hanged and women drowned for absenting themselves from church, and groans aloud because the Revolution has taken place.

The Memorials' have no literary merits to redeem their general dulness and their betrayal of truth and right feeling. There is sometimes an attempt at wit, but it is of the Bæotian and not of the Attic kind. An effort is made to make the martyrs ridiculous by attaching Saint' to their names; the Presbyterian ministers are honoured with the title of Mas, -the sarcastic humour of which is not very apparent; and Lord Macaulay's statements are called “Macaulese, not once, but a dozen times, as if the joke were worth repeating. We have already spoken of the chaotic confusion of the book, and the shameful language with which it abounds. It is simply a violent partisan pamphlet in three volumes, and belongs rather to the century to which it relates than to the present one. We think we can express no better wish for Mr. Napier than that his . Memorials 'may speedily go down to the depths of forgetfulness, leaving, when they disappear, a few of the letters which they contain floating on the surface; for so long as they are remembered, it will only be as a reproach to himself and to the polite literature of the nineteenth century.

We have not considered it necessary to review Mr. Napier's pamphlet upon the Wigton Martyrs, quoted at the head of this article, apart from his Memorials,' for it contains nothing of importance which he had not already written and rewritten in the Memorials, unless it be an attack upon Principal Tulloch, whom, we think, we may safely leave to defend himself, if indeed defence be at all necessary. The small book will not serve as a buttress to the large one; the reiteration of bad arguments will not make them good ones; but we joyfully acknowledge, and we are glad to have a word of grace to say at the close, that Mr. Napier is much greater as a pamphleteer than as a historian.

ART. II.-1. The Druids Nlustrated. By the Rev. JOHN B.

PRATT, M.A. Edinburgh: 1861. 2. Brut y Tywysogion, or the Chronicle of the Princes. Edited

by the Rev. JOHN WILLIAMS AB ITHEL, M.A. Published by the authority of the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury under the direction of the Master of the

Rolls. London: 1860. 3. The Celtic Druids ; or an Attempt to show that the Druids

were the Priests of Oriental Colonies who emigrated from India, and were the Introducers of the First or Cadmeian System of Letters and the Builders of Stonehenge, Carnac, and other Cyclopean Works in Asia and Europe. By GODFREY HIGGINS, Esq. 4to.

4to. London: 1829. THE VHERE are few departments of knowledge in which a clearing

from the foundation is not a desirable achievement, although it is a disagreeable operation : for it may have the effect of relieving the overburdened intellectual faculties of the age from a heap of ponderous and worthless lumber. It has happened to us - no matter why -- to have attempted to perform this function towards the persons who figure so conspicuously in the historical and other departments of literature as Druids and Bards. Passing behind those books which assume the rank of the latest authorities' regarding them, we have looked back into the original evidence of their existence and character, and the following is the result.

First and chief of all evidence of the existence of the Druids, is the celebrated passage in Cæsar. * So freshly is it associated with schoolboy days and ways, that to bid the experienced man look into it seems almost like asking him to resume his kite and bat. Having false recollections of its extent from the difficulties experienced in the first contest with it, he will perhaps be astonished at the brevity of the passage which has given matter for so many enormous volumes it occupies about a page of the Delphin octavo. The Druids, as we are there told, preside over religious observances and sacrifices; they teach youth; they decide controversies, enforcing their decisions by interdicting or excommunicating the disobedient; they have a president chosen by election; they hold a great annual meeting within the territory of the

Cæsar de Bell. Gall. vi. 12, 13.


Carnutes; they make gigantic osier images, in which they burn human beings by way of sacrifice; they have traditions about astronomy, the power of the immortal gods and de

rerum natura.' It is thought that their disciplina' was first invented in Britain and thence propagated, and those who desire to be adepts travel thither to acquire it. There remains still one trait on which there is dispute as to the meaning of Cæsar's words, or rather as to the words which he intended to

The Druids are described as exempt from military service, but bound to the severer drill of keeping a public school.

Multi in disciplinam conveniunt et à propinquis parentibusque mittuntur. Magnum ibi numerum versuum ediscere dicuntur.' The words are applicable to Eton at this very day. Cæsar adds that the pupils learn an immense number of verses in the course of their disciplina,' which hence sometimes extends to twenty years. They must not commit it to writing, yet both in their public and private affairs they use the Greek characters, and he conjectures that there are two reasons for this--the preservation of the secrets of the order, and the cultivation of the memory. The word Græcis is printed within brackets as an imperfection supplied by the guess of a commentator. It was perhaps suggested by Cæsar's statement a few pages before that he had written in Greek characters to Cicero the younger, in order that the Gauls, if they intercepted his letter, might not read it. Though this supplied word, as well as all the undoubted words used by Cæsar on this topic, has been a prolific source of comment, controversy, and what may be termed archæological castle-building, it is of little importance. But a moment's reflection may lead us to suspect that this description of a learned class existing throughout Gaul, in the state in which Gaul then was, is, to say the least of it, improbable.

No doubt if we were to take this as a mere outline or analysis of a work on the constitution and functions of the Druidical order, it would be capable of comprehending within it a body of detail both extensive and remarkable. The misfortune to the world is that the completion of the picture has come not from persons who had the opportunity of seeing and knowing the details, but from those whose power of intuition has been strong enough to divine them, with the aid of certain ancient monuments which they have assumed to be relics of Druidical temples and altars. As some have thus liberally supplied the missing details to Cæsar's outline, it is equally competent to others to take this outline to pieces and see what it consists of. The Celts were but too well known to the Romans long before Cæsar's day, but no earlier author, Roman or Greek, speaks of Druids; and as we shall see, little of a distinct character is said about them after Cæsar's time. Being the first and almost the last to describe them, his statement, if accurate, is very valuable; but at the same time, its unsupported solitude exposes its accuracy to suspicion. No doubt it is very distinct. What makes the Commentaries so useful a book to schoolboys-and would make it so pleasant a book to men, had they not been saturated with it at school is the transparency of the style and the distinct simplicity of the narrative. Unless where there is obviously a defective transcript, no one can doubt what Cæsar means to say. It is another question whether what he says must of necessity be true--Robinson Crusoe is perhaps the clearest narrative in the English language. As we read on, the very next phenomena described after he has done with the Druids show that Cæsar could give a very clear account of what never existed. In the Hercynian forest he tells us that there is an ox resembling a stag with a single horn in its front, which after growing to a certain height, branches out like a palm tree. Also that in the same district, there are creatures called alces, very like goats, but having no joints to their knees; so that they sleep leaning against trees, whence it comes to pass that when they fall they cannot rise again, and are caught by sawing through the tree of repose, so that both fall together. Nothing can be more distinct than the account of these animals.

A more obscure writer's statement might have been explained as an attempt to describe a known animal, but Cæsar's very distinctness enables us to know that he has described what never existed.

Then he was thoroughly imbued with the haughty feeling of the true Roman, that it was beneath his dignity to take notice of minute distinctions among those nations who, to the imperial people, were all alike classified under the generic title of Barbarians. This repulsive disdain bore some resemblance to the feeling occasionally pervading people in a certain grade of rank or fashion, that it is beneath them to take notice of the genealogical history or social condition of persons in a humbler rank unless these be their own immediate dependants, and then only, births marriages and deaths among them become worth noting. Very briefly does he condescend to notice the fact that the Germans differed from the Gauls in having no Druids at all-no sacrifices and indeed no gods except the Sun, Vulcan, and the Moon. We know a great deal of the condition of their slaves, but the Roman writers have never said a word to help us in our researches after the origin of modern languages, not even so much as to show the difference between the Celtic and the Teutonic. That Cæsar is accurate to the

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