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the Latin communion before, and independently of, the Saxon conquest, is all we have to do with, and that he thinks indisputable.
Gildas, an authority certainly not in general favourable to our author's views, expressly mentions the deplorable apostasy of the Britons during the years succeeding their revolt from Rome. His words, 'Non gentium diis perspicue litant,' are not without a very remarkable meaning in the mouth of a sincere Churchman though bigoted historian.
An important corroboration of the above view is to be found in Mr. Herbert's construction of the ' Apology of Bacharius,' published in Muratori's Anecd. Bibl. Ambrosiana, and quoted in Brit. after the Romans, p. 117. This extraordinary document is an apology purporting to be addressed to the Apostolic See by a man who, coming forth, like Abraham from among the Chaldees, from a nation whose reputation for heresy and sin was only too well known, feels it necessary to vindicate himself from the leprous taint which common opinion supposed him to have contracted. Strange to say, the writer never breathes the name of his country! Africa and Spain have been mentioned as the probable scenes of Bacharius' strictures. But in the former, Mr. Herbert argues, heresy was (if at all) prevalent only among the descendants of the Vandal conquerors, the main body of the population being, as is well known, sincerely attached to the true faith: while in Spain, the voice of Priscillianism had been twice lately hushed by the assembled Church of the nation, so that no Spaniard could have spoken of his country as Bacharius does. Mr. Herbert cannot discover any other nation deserving at that time such sweeping reproach besides our own. In confirmation of this view, constant positive tradition identifies Bacharius with an illustrious member of the insular Church, Mochta the Briton. The exact date of this apology is not determined, but in another work, written by him in 460, Bacharius describes himself as then an old man.
By way of illustrating the nature of the national heresy, we may add that as late as the year 1102, in the archiepiscopate of Anselm, we read, among the minutes of two successive Councils of London, a decree directed against the worship of fountains, and especial mention made of two where the practice condemned had chiefly prevailed.' Dr. Henry remarking on these passages says, though without giving authority, that such a practice was held to have been a relic of Druidic superstition. B. III. c. ii. s. 3.
Lastly, we have proof a posteriori that something, be it what it may, had suddenly changed the aspect as well as the fortunes of our island. She, who had been the favoured province of Constantine, Theodosius and Maximus, within a few years of the
Roman overthrow sinks into gloom and oblivion, and seems,' says Mr. Herbert, “to have returned into the bosom of that 'ultra-mundane Oceanus in which she had lain, “ quite divided ' from the whole world,” until the arms of Claudius dragged her ‘into Europe.' (Brit. after the Romans, p. 143.) For many years we are chiefly indebted to the mention, in foreign authors, of the British colony in Armorica, that the name of Briton meets our ear. The voice of history having ceased, the British isles become the privileged region of fable; and in one legend they are, what the Cimmerian Chersonese was to the ancients-a Hades on earth- to which the souls of the dead were ferried over sea by unseen boatmen ; while in another they are described as abandoned to the range of fierce and poisonous beasts. (Cf. Procopius with Tzetzes' Comm. on Lycophron, quoted by Mr. Herbert, Brit. after the Romans, p. 143.)
We have digressed thus far in order to do full justice to what must be considered as the key of our author's position, viz. the convulsion of national feeling in Britain after the revolt from Rome, which convulsion he endeavours to show was connected with, if not greatly dependent on, an attempt to restore the old Druidic system, to which the Church, too weak to resist, submitted on terms of compromise. Mr. Herbert has, we believe, discussed this question, and the general features of the age to which it belongs, at length in his . Essay on the Neo-Druidic heresy,' but we carefully avoid entering on such a topic in our present 'connexion.'l'hose, who are curious on this subject, must be content to search for themselves in those books we have already quoted. We shall delay no more in speculating on details where our information must necessarily be scarce, and the ground somewhat delicate. We must leave it to our readers to determine whether or not our author has in his pleadings' stated a sufficiently colourable case, as to the date and causes of the works in question.
Dr. Robertson, noticing some of the excesses consequent on the eager adoption of the Reformed doctrines by the vulgar, remarks that we who live at such a distance of time can hardly realise the effects which a new fanaticism would, under such circumstances, be likely to produce. If Mr. Herbert's historical deductions be just, he may well call upon us to consider ere we condemn his theory,—remembering (in spite of Mr. Smee) that there are as yet no laws discovered to which the human will or heart are amenable, especially in an age of strange and striking combinations, of intense religious zeal, shameless dissimulation, and recklessness of means, which overbore all opposition, silenced or excluded waverers, and bonded together the votaries in an union of almost mystical strength. An age distinguished by such features is sure to mark its era in history by mighty monuments.
The enthusiasm of Mahomet carried his followers to distant conquest; in Britain a similar spirit may have led the nation to erect those fierce and stupendous memorials which have alike puzzled antiquaries and philosophers.
The duration of this extraordinary age Mr. Herbert extends from the year of freedom, in 408, to the final triumph of the Saxons about the year 550. He finds united in this 'era of
splendour and sin,' to use his own graphic language, ‘nearly all 'the possible requisites for his proposition,—an advanced state • of human science'—the great bequest of the departed Roman .-' considerable resources existing in the country, the inde
pendent use of them, and a public mind of great and energetic aberration.' (P. 75.) This latter quality, he thinks, will account for the means of performance and the motives of it'-our greatest moral difficulties-- as well as for the specific style and character which the works assumed. For where, argues he, a certain style of architecture wants the indicia belonging to a progressive course of art, where it does not hinge upon inventions improving the capacity, but upon motives 'actuating the will,' there we must be prepared to find that an extraordinary cause will produce an extraordinary effect. This would appear to be eminently so in the case before us—that of a 'fanatical and enthusiastic people, constructing a new policy after ages of dependence, and a new religion out of two old ones. From whom that people borrowed their idea, what moved them to adopt such a style in preference to others easier and more elegant, and how old it was among those from whom they • borrowed ?' these, Mr. Herbert confesses to be questions more or less difficult.' We quote his own words as furnishing an attempted interpretation of the difficulty.
· The entire (megalithic) system,' he remarks, as it was 'introduced among the Britons in the last days of the Western
Empire, perhaps never existed anywhere else, even in regard of 'the forms which it assumed, but much less in regard of the ' feelings with which it was connected. There was this difference, that elsewhere it exhibited the natural materials and rude ' fashion of a real simplicity, whereas here (in Britain) it exhi'bits the deliberate choice and fanatical zeal of a people more
advanced in civility. (P. 233.) From whatever quarter it travelled to our shores—and it is very likely connected with the North Western migrations (for in their wake alone can anything cognate to it be found), - it is certain that those nations possessed only the rudiments of what the Britons under the high pressure of their enthusiastic spirit carried much further.
To his second question the best answer we can make is simply to refer to the history. Under the circumstances of so great a revolution as that which we have above supposed, it was not
likely that men would be satisfied without a visible and striking image of their new common faith. Let us build a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven,' was the general cry of those who, in the pride of their new state, feared the time when they might be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. The demand for the marvellous and gigantic was not to be contented with any existing form, whether Christian or Druidic, but by common consent they adopted one they found traditionally connected with the family of nations to which the mass of the people belonged. Here, Mr. Herbert
, thinks, we may trace the Druid, or rather Bardic, influence. At so small a sacrifice did they in great measure restore the supremacy of their order,—the substitution of stones for treesthe lasting material for the perishable,-and of the solitude of the plain for the silent gloom of the forest! At the distance of eleven centuries, as Aubrey gazed upon the unbroken avenues of stones, they offered to his eyes as forcible an image as ever of the grove which, (as suggested,) they were designed to represent; while, in confirmation of such a theory, tradition and prejudice have to this day stamped such works as exclusively Druidical.
The adoption of such a style of architecture was eminently fitted for the other uses to which the supposed new constitution will have intended to devote those mighty · Babels. We have before alluded to the possibility of their being of a mixed sacred and political character. Hitherto with the old priesthood of Britain and Gaul, as in Egypt and India, religious faith had been rather a matter of philosophic teaching, unexplained and unappreciated by the vulgar. The fashion of Christianity had rendered the publicity and popularity of a creed a necessary condition of its existence, and the advantage of combining civil with religious institutions had been duly felt and approved. Hence, in the Neo-Druidic period, the central seat of national worship became, as in ancient Greece, the ‘Panionium' of the British name, community of faith being here as there interpreted as the surest earnest of community of interest. Stonehenge (whatever may have been the use of Abury) was, from its situation, admirably adapted for such a twofold purpose. And it may be as Mr. Herbert suggests, that the seat of civil government was transferred to Ambri, or Ambresbury, (now Amesbury,) hard by, for such a reason. The Head of Bran,'—the mystical type of the kingdom-was said to have been concealed at 'Caer Caradoc,' which a Welsh writer (quoted,
Cyclops,' p. 221,) expressly calls the Mount of Ambri Geoffrey of Monmouth explains it as 'Salisbury,' by a vulgar error confusing everything on Salisbury Plain with Sarum. Hence the Great Cor' is, on the one hand, the great circle
of dominion' (we quote the language of the legends), 'the ‘central place of precious stones;' figurative expressions, which obviously describe it as the national assembly; while the name Mynydd Dewis, Mount of Election,' would seem to point to it as the “Scone of the British kings, where those creatures of the priesthood were anointed by the Bardic hierarchy, and perhaps the surrounding barrows mark their places of sepulture. Among the poetic expressions which shadow forth its religious character, we find such as the 'walls of the Eternal, the melodious quaternion of Peter' (the rock or stone of the Church, as Mr. Herbert interprets it, p. 88). What have we here but an embodiment of the combined majesty of Church and State ? We now see a structure which does not dishonour so grand an aim, and discern a purpose worthy to be recorded by so stupendous a monument !
We may naturally feel curious, after following our author in his present ingenious attempt at the restoration of historic truth, to learn what he has to tell us of the previous mutilation of the building, and why it is that such scanty fragments present themselves to the antiquary's notice. The experienced reader need not be told that such a case is probably only one among many, where truth has been obscured by the passions and prejudices of mankind. Look at comparatively modern timesthe Cathedral of Cologne dates from no earlier period than the wane of the Middle Ages; yet, though our interest has been excited to the utmost in its behalf, we, as yet, know no more of its early history than ignorance, superstition, or dissimulation will vouchsafe to us. The motives, however, for the concealment of the real history of Britain during the fifth century may at least be guessed at, and the examination of such of them as bear upon our subject, will form, we hope, no inappropriate conclusion to our present remarks.
Mr. Herbert has shown how Britain's birthday of independence was celebrated by a vigorous attempt at self-government and self-defence, and how in their desire of temporary union, the leaders of the movement showed themselves designedly careless of the means by which an end was attained. That a calamitous termination should ere long crown so time-serving a policy may be easily conceived. Fanatical zeal for the hour covered, but could not exclude, schism and discord. The nation, awakening from its delirium, was a house divided against itself, and fell under the curse incident to such a condition. The declamatory style of Gildas may, after all, contain no great exaggeration of the miseries that ensued. We read there of folly, extravagance, depravity, and apostasy ; of the antagonism between a proud priesthood, and weak, but haughty monarchs, descendants of Caractacus and Boadicea ; while barbarian inva