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"Are there no Christians
sought lodging in vain at every door. here?" she asked at length. "Nay," returned the person addressed, "we're a' Johnstones and Jardines." Another proof of the cohesion of the clan names may be found in the necessity that so long existed of distinguishing persons with "by-names," as well as with a singular combination of patronymics. In certain districts Nan-Rob-Jack was well understood to mean John, son of Robert, son of Ann; but the same mode of expression is still usual enough—" Our Jo Bella" signifying "brother Jo's wife, Bella.
Any mention of the modern people would be incomplete without some account of that peculiar section called the potters-a phenomenon in civilised society-now more especially when altered circumstances threaten to bring about their extinction. The Potter belongs almost exclusively to the northern counties. In Northumberland and Durham the name is generally exchanged for that of the Tinkers, whilst in Lancashire he is (or was) really a potter or seller of pots (earthenware). But the Cumbrian Potter, a year or two since, was understood to be a man who ignored civilised life, put up his tent on the moor, or by the road-side, and slept as contentedly as a Tartar. His chief trade is that of making besoms, which his wife sells; but he is also sometimes found selling earthenware, and engaged in other occupations that need not be particularised. He was, in fact, the gipsy of the north of England, but is as unmistakeably indigenous as the latter is foreign. Now that the potters are no longer suffered by the police to encamp on the road-side, they keep together in the towns as much as possible, and will probably for some time form a separate community; but they seem destined to return into a society from whence they emerged.
The origin of the potter must probably be identified with that of vagrants in England generally. As bondage declined, vagrancy flourished, potterism apparently being the peculiar form taken by it in the north. But even the name is involved in obscurity. He may have been so called in late times because a part of the community sold pots, or much earlier on account of " pattering," or
begging. It is well known that the great epoch of vagrancy in this country was the suppresion of the monasteries. Legislation was indeed directed against it before, but still vagrancy was recognised and fed. Nor has legislation been more successful since, for vagrancy still flourishes, reminding civilised, smoke-dried society of its origin. The peculiar dialect or "cant" of the vagrants points unmistakeably to a monastic state of society.*
The potter's language has nothing older than the period of the monasteries, and of course the greater part of it is pure Cumbrian. Many of the peculiar words are of modern introduction, for instance, when he camps it for the winter, the screen that he provides for his fire is a barricade. But a considerable number of his terms are inventions and corruptions of an older date. When he puts his horse by night into a lane or field, he slangs him (an active derivative from the verb to slink, slinge); the three sticks to which he hangs his kettle over the fire, are the chitty-box (kettlebalks); and the master of the house, whom the "potter-wife" is careful to avoid, is called the gaagy, which, though I do not undertake to explain it, has evidently the same stamp as the rest. It seems highly probable on the whole, that when the shelter and food afforded by the monasteries were taken away, the vagrants of the moorland districts commenced the manner of life which they have ever since followed. They encamped and lived on the heaths and commons, then, as these were enclosed, in the lanes, until driven by the police into the scarcely habitable dens of towns that they had so long and so wisely eschewed.
The term for the country at large, the munkery, I understand to be the Monkery-" "He is on the munkery," that is, he is living by his wits-and telling a feigned story to excite pity, or pattering, was once simply the repeating of the Pater, the only return required for alms at a certain period.
ANTIQUITIES AND TRADITIONS.
AMONGST the ancient monuments of Britain, the well-known remains called Druidical circles hold a foremost place, though their use, and the people by whom they were erected, are questions that must still remain matters of dispute. The stone enclosures of Denmark, which resemble the circles of Cumbria in many respects, and cast so much doubt on the received opinion of their origin, mainly differ from them in that they are found in connexion with burial-chambers, whilst the latter are generally situated on the flat surfaces of moors, with nothing to indicate that they have ever been used for sepulchral purposes. Wherever, therefore, no urns or other remains have been found, we have negative evidence that the circle was not intended for a place of sepulture.
The principal monument of the class which we must continue to call simply by the name of Circles, is that known as Long Meg and her Daughters. Nearest to this in size and appearance, as far as they have been described, or need be mentioned here, are the Keswick Circle, Sunken-kirk in the neighbourhood of Millum, the Grey Yauds near Cumwhitton, and the Currocks near Bewcastle. Even of this limited number of circles, two show appearances of having been the enclosures of burial-places of the Stone age. The "recess" in the Keswick Circle, and certain stones in Sunken-kirk described as an entrance, may very possibly be the remains of chambers. Many other circles commonly called Druidical, were, without any doubt, places of sepulture, though no positive evidence has ever come to light on the subject.
Stone circles, wherever they can be identified as burial-places, are not of Celtic origin. It is therefore impossible to say what use may have been made of them by the Celts. The mixed people who succeeded were evidently ignorant of their original purpose, as appears from the general name kirk found in Kirkstones, Sunken-kirk, Currocks, and probably in the name of Carrock Fell, which is of the same indefinite meaning as 66 circle." But even to the latest times the Stone chambers and their enclosures have been the subject of strange conjectures, and elaborate (though foolish) theories. In Wales the chamber was supposed to have been a prison, and in Denmark it was considered as established (for a long series of years) that it was erected for a "place of sacrifice."
Next in interest to the Circle, but still more inexplicable, is the man of the fells. The name, though used by the Celts, has been elsewhere marked as Celtiberian, and this of course leaves the purpose of its erection in doubt. For this name the modern provincialism is pike, a word of more extended application. One of the "pikes" of Carrock appears to be similar to the "man" of the other fells, but there is another described as funnel-shaped, which is of quite a different construction. In Hutchinson's History of Cumberland may be found an interesting extract descriptive of Yevering Bell in Northumberland, on which stands a hollow pike somewhat resembling the latter-mentioned on Carrock. Beneath the Yevering pike the stones were found to bear a strong impression of fire; and here we seem to have a connecting link between the men or pikes of Cumbria and the Beltain. But there is at present very little light to be thrown on this obscure part of our subject.
We have few decided remains of the Stone age. It has already been mentioned that the Keswick Circle probably belonged to this period. In the same neighbourhood four flint "battle-axes" have been found; one in Borrowdale, another in Buttermere, a third near Birkby, and the fourth on Bassenthwaite common. To this period must be referred the description of a "British temple, or something of that sort," recorded in one of the county histories. The whole enclosure was about thirty yards in circumference.
"Within the circle towards the east point, were found four stones much of the same form as the rest, lying one upon another, supposed to be some of the kistvaen kind." This confused description is most probably an indication of a dilapidated chamber. With the exception, however, of bare circles, nearly all traces of the Stone people have been swept away.
Cairns, which are the most undisputed form of Celtic burialplace, were once very numerous in this district; but a great part must have been long since removed. The graves of Norway bear an outward resemblance to the Celtic cairn, but the main cause appears to be that in mountainous countries stones are more easily procurable than earth. Wherever a doubt, therefore, exists as to the proprietorship of one of these mounds, the only certain means of deciding would be afforded by an examination of the interior. The Norse cairn should enclose a stone chest, or wooden chamber, and certainly iron weapons. Of all the cairns described in Hutchinson, not one can with certainty be identified as Norse. There is no mention of iron, a number only contained urns and ashes; and though unburnt bones and corpses have been found, the Norwegians, as has been observed before, burned the body, until at or about the time of their conversion to Christianity.
Tumuli or barrows still remain in great numbers. As far as any records have been kept of those removed, nearly all must be claimed for the Bronze age, and the main part of those yet standing, are essentially of a Danish character. Again, in the description of this class of graves, we have no actual mention of iron antiquities. The cairn called Mill Hill appears to have been a Celtic burialplace, whilst Loden How was more probably Danish than Norse. Four different names are found in connexion with sepulchres of this kind; how, raise, barrow, and hill; but the distinction is principally that of age, and the order of the words as here placed indicates the period to which each belongs.
We have few traces of the Iron age, which is to be regarded as exclusively Norwegian, wherever the body has been burned. On opening Beacon Hill, near Aspatria, an unusually long skeleton was found; but as some of the exhumed antiquities are described