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who lived in the reigns of the emperors Tiberius and Caligula, erected different mints in the island, and coined money of gold, silver, and copper, inscribed with Roman characters. The British coins in general, when bearing inscriptions, are invariably found stamped with Roman capitals. Numerous monumental and other inscriptions likewise sufficiently attest the prevailing usage for such purposes of the old Roman characters; and as many rude stones of the earlier centuries, thus inscribed and still found in Wales, are in a Latin base enough to be attributed to illiterate stone-masons, we may infer that, if the speaking of Latin was not as universal in Britain as it was in Gaul during the same period, a certain knowledge of that language must have been diffused throughout the entire nation, as it certainly was among the educated in the larger cities. Many Latin words, moreover, though changed considerably by British orthography and mispronunciation, may yet be traced in the Cambrian dia. lect, as for instance: ather, from aer, air; airm, from arma, arms; fear, from vir, man; capat, from caput, head; carn, from caro, flesh; bo, from bos, ox; aicheal, from aquila, eagle-all words of popular use, and with the same meaning as in Latin, and which, therefore, since the Welsh were never distinguished for any high literary culture, may be referred more probably to the Roman occupation of Britain than to any subsequent studies of its inhabitants. Still, inasmuch as but few Celtic words have found their way into the English vocabulary, it is doubtful whether any Latin word in modern English is traceable to that remote period. This will appear more clearly from the following chapter, in which the Celtic influence upon the English mind, language, and vocabulary, will be more especially considered.

CHAPTER III.

THE ENGLISH CONQUEST.

A FEW years proved the vanity of the success which the Britons had gained over the Romans, and extinguished forever their hopes or dreams of freedom. After the retreat of the legions they organized anew under their ancient chiefs of tribes, and created the office of Chief of Chiefs, exercising a central and royal authority, as their annals declare, and they made the office elective. This new institution, destined in all appearance to give to the people greater union and strength against foreign aggression, became, on the contrary, a source of internal division, of weakness, and eventually of servile subjection. Of the two great populations who shared the southern part of the island, each pretended to have an exclusive right to furnish candidates for the royal dignity; but as the seat of this central monarchy was the old municipal town of London, it resulted that men of the Gaulish race at. tained more easily than others the supreme rank of Chief of Chiefs. The Cambrians, jealous of this advantage, asserted that the royal authority lawfully belonged to their race, as being the most ancient, and having originally received the others hospitably on the British shores. Hence arose a serious dispute, which soon became a deadly one, and plunged all Britain into a civil war, by quarrels of precedence and rivalry. Under a succession of chiefs, styled national, but always disowned by a part of the nation, no army was raised, and nothing was done to guard the frontiers against the aggressions that threatened the country on all sides.

In the midst of this disorder, the Picts and Scots again forced the passage of the walls, and new fleets from Ireland were ravaging the Cambrian shores, while the entire eastern coast was infested by the German corsairs, whose raids became even more frequent and more daring. Many foreign tribes, settled in the country, and always hostile to either branch of the British population, fomented their dissensions, and secretly sided with the enemy against the natives. Several British tribes made great efforts separately, and fought some successful battles against the German and Gaelic aggressors. On one occasion some British Christians obtained a signal victory under the lead of St. Germanus, who visited the island as a missionary in A. D. 429, in company of St. Lupus of Troyes. The two bishops had been sent to Verulam to promote the Christian interests, and during the spring of the following year the missionaries continued their labors in the valley of the Dee. The country around was infested with Picts and Scots, and it was feared that they would storm the camps where the British forces were concentrated. The bishops of Gaul had been chosen for their political as well as for their religious capacities; and Germanus, accustomed to war, was easily persuaded to help his converts against the heathen. Easter Sunday was spent in baptizing a small army of converts; then the orthodox soldiers were posted in an ambuscade, and the pagans fled panicstricken at the triple “halleluia," which suddenly echoed among the hills.' Other British successes are recorded as due to the aid of Roman troops who, under the leadership of Ambrosius Aurelius, came over from Gaul at the solicitation of some of the tribes on the southern coast, who were still in frequent communication with the continent. But the time soon arrived when the Romans them. selves, pressed on all sides by the invasions of the barba. rians, had to fall back upon Italy, leaving the Britons defenceless, and without hope for further assistance from any foreign source.?

At this time the dignity of Supreme Chief of Britain was in the hands of a man of the Gaulish race, named Guorteyrn, who repeatedly assembled around him all the chiefs of the British tribes, for the purpose of taking concerted measures for the defence of the country against the constantly increasing invasions; but it seems that very little harmony prevailed in these councils, for the men of the west scarcely ever approved what the Gaulish chiefs proposed. At last Guorteyrn, in virtue of his royal preeminence, and by the advice of several Gaulish chiefs, but without the consent of the Cambrians, resolved to engage a number of foreign soldiers who, for subsidies in money and grants of land, should in the British service wage war against the Scots and Picts-a measure which its opponents stigmatized as an act of cowardice, and which, as events showed afterward, contained in germ all the calamities which befell the Celtic race in Britain,

Constantius, Vita Germani, 28; Sidonius Apoll., Epist., vi, 1 ; Bede, Hist. Eccles., i, 20. Pope Gregory alludes to the battle in his Commentary on Job, “Ecce ! lingua Britanniæ . coepit alleluia sonare."

? Malmesbury's account of the defenceless state of Britain was probably not exaggerated. He says: Ita cum tyranni nullum in agris præter semibarbaros, nullum in urbibus præter ventri deditos reliquissent, Britannia omni patrocinio iuvenilis vigoris viduata, omni exercitio artium exinanita, conterminarum gen. tium inhiationi diu obnoxia fuit.-Gest. Reg., lib. 1, $ 2.

3 Gwrtevyrn, according to Cambrian orthography. The Anglo-Saxon historians write Wyrtgeorne and Wyrtgerne, which, from their manner of pronouncing the name, probably produced about the same sound.

Of the conquest itself, no accurate narrative remains. The version which is usually received is full of fable and frequent contradiction, and based in part on the state. ments in the histories of Gildas and Nennius, and in part upon chronicles which seem to owe much more to lost heroic poems, in which the exploits of the Saxon chieftains are celebrated, than to any accurate and regular entries made of facts and dates by contemporary writers.

The Welsh poems throw little light on the matter. The bards were for the most part content to trace the dim outlines of disaster, and to indicate by an allusion the issue of a fatal battle or the end of some celebrated warrior. The

poems of the sixth century, at any rate in the form in which they have descended to our times, are too vague and obscure to be useful for the purposes of history. Nor are the British historians themselves more explicít. The collection of Welsh and Anglian legends which is attributed to one Nennius contains a few important facts about Northumbria, mixed up in confusion with genealogies, and miracles, and fragments of romance. Here, too, we get the list of the twelve battles of Arthur, with their Welsh names, “ which were many hundred years ago unknown; but who Arthur was," to use Milton's words, “and whether any such reigned in Britain, hath been doubted heretofore, and may again with good reason." Milton calls him “a very trivial writer, ... utterly unknown to the world till more than six hundred years after the days of Arthur."1 Nennius, abbot of Bangor,

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1 For an account of Arthur, see Skene, Four Ancient Books of Wales. “Hic est Arthur de quo Britonum nugæ hodieque delirant ; dignus plane quem non fallaces somniarent_fabulæ, sed veraces prædicarent historiæ."-Will. Malmesb., Gesta., i, 8. The existence of this hero is now nitted, though the scene of his doubtful exploits is variously laid at Caerleon, in the Vale of Somerset, in the Lowlands of Scotland, and in the Cumbrian Hills; it seems to be true that he engaged in a war with the Princes of the Angles in Northumbria ; but his glory is due to the Breton romances, which were amplified in Wales and afterward adopted at the Court of the Plantagenets as the foundation of the epic of chivalry. Nennius, Hist. Brit., 28.

was once believed to have flourished about the beginning of the seventh century, but from internal evidence as regards errors in names of poems and places, it is now doubted whether any such person ever really existed at all, and whether the book which bears his name, Historia Britonum, is not the work of some anonymous writer of the twelfth century. At any rate, his account of the conquest differs in many particulars from that of other British writers, especially in reference to the early parts of the struggle. Hengist and Horsa and their men, who happened to be in Britain when Guorteyrn resolved to engage foreign auxiliaries, he says, weré exiles,' who first fought bravely for the Britons and afterward took sides against them. “In those days,” so his legend runs, “ Vortimer fought fiercely with Hengist and Horsa, and drove them out as far as Thanet; and there three times he shut them in, and terrified, and smote, and slew. But they sent messengers to Germany to call for ships and soldiers, and afterward they fought with our kings, and sometimes they prevailed and enlarged their bounds, and sometimes they were beaten and driven away. And Vortimer four times waged on them fierce wars; the first, as was told above; and the second, at the stream of Derwent; and the third, at a ferry which the Saxons called Epis-ford, where Horsa and Catigern fell. The fourth war he waged in the plain by the Written Stone on the Gaulish sea, and there he gained a victory, and the barbarians were beaten, and they turned and fled, and went like women into their ships.

In repeating the story from the English side, and quot. ing as far as possible the actual words of the Anglo-Saxon chronicles, beginning with the year 449, in which the conquest of Kent, according to their reckoning, commenced, we will find that they differ from the above statement in almost every essential particular. The leaders, according to the latter, having landed at “Ypwine's-Fleet," at first gave aid to the British king; “but after six years they fought with him at a place called 'Ægil's-Threp,' and there Horsa was slain, and Hengist and his son •Ash'

1,2

• Nennius, Hist. Brit., 43, 44.

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