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ST. PAUL IN BRITAIN; OR, THE ORIGIN OF BRITISH AS OPPOSED
TO PAPAL CHRISTIANITY. By the Rev. R. W. MORGAN.
Oxford and London: James Parker and Co. 1880. AFTER an interval of twenty years, a second edition of this work is issued. The fact may not be regarded as altogether encouraging to those who wish to promote the scientific study of history among us; but it points to a clear conviction in the minds of the publishers that the faith of “true believers” in the Historical Triads and “ Barddas” has not
feeble under the assaults of heretics like the late Mr. Stephens. Properly to enjoy this book the reader must be gifted with an ardent patriotism and an abounding faith. For ourselves we claim the patriotism, but alas ! are forced to feel that the necessary faith is not ours. But anyone possessed of these qualifications will feel infinite satisfaction in following the author as he sketches in glowing colours the past greatness and glory of the Cymry. He will learn, for example, that Druidism was founded in Asia by Gwyddon Ganhebon on the 1st of May (the author has unfortunately neglected to state the hour, but we may reasonably assume it was at sunrise) B.C. 3903, 181 years after the creation of man, and 50 years after the birth of Seth; that its symbol, the milkwhite astral bull, superseding, as usual in the East, the thing signified, Druidism thus corrupted became the religion of Mithras in Persia, of Baal in Assyria, of Brahma in India, of Astarte in Syria, etc.; and in illustration of all this he will find the “symbol” in Crete was designated in good Welsh “ the Menwtarw”, which the Greeks barbarously changed into “the Mino-taur"! He will, however, learn to his comfort that Druidism was carried into Britain in all its purity by Hu Gadarn, who also founded Stonehenge, B.C. c. 1800; that as taught here it recognised an Infinite Being whose essence is "pure, mental light”, and who is therefore called Duw, i.e., Du-w, “the one without any darkness"; and that in its corrupted form of Buddhism it is “still the religion of nearly one-half of mankind”. It would be unfair to reveal any further the mysteries the reader will find in this wonderful volume, so we will only add that when he has learnt these marvellous things and many more, he will be no further from the truth, nay we will venture to say, will be on the whole somewhat nearer to it than are those who believe that our ancestors were no better than the savages of the South Sea Islands.
GLOSSAE HIBERNICAE E CODICIBUS WIRZIBURGENSI CAROLIS
RUHENSIBUS ALIIS ADJUVANTE ACADEMIAE REGIAE BEROL-
and Norgate. (Price Eight Marks.) IN a previous number we noticed some very able papers by Herr Zimmer, which had appeared in the Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Sprachforschung; and now we have the pleasure of calling our readers' attention to a more important work by the same profound scholar. This is a complete edition of the Irish Glosses hitherto discovered in continental libraries, with the exception of the important ones at St. Gall (the Priscian Codex) and Milan, which had been taken in hand by another scholar, Ascoli. In this volume, therefore, we have the glosses already given to the world, fully or in part, by various leading Celtists, and also some hitherto unpublished ones; while in those previously edited, numerous corrections have been effected. Prefixed to the body of the work are fifty pages of interesting “Prolegomena” in which the editor gives an account (1) of the various codices containing the glosses, and (2) of the abbreviations used by the Irish scribes. The production of the volume, even with
all the assistance to be derived from the labours of his predecessors, must have cost the editor much painful toil. Of this any one may convince himself by going carefully through the appended fac-simile of a page of the Wirzburgh Codex. Careful inspection of this will also show that, as Herr Zimmer has found occasional errors in the work of those who have gone before him, so his own work, with all the care and learning brought to bear upon it, is not absolutely perfect. The slight deviations from the orthography of the scribe, which are observed on comparison of the photograph with the printed text (the only mode of testing the work open to most readers), are, doubtless, intentional, but Noli for Nolo in the first line is one of those maculae quas humana parum cavit natura. We would suggest that the name cuchil merdach, on p. 213, probably means, not “ Abihail fratris Mardochae", but Evil-Merodach, the son and successor of Nebuchadnezzar, whose name the writer, by a natural slip, substituted for that of Belshazzar, to whom Daniel's words were addressed, and whom he calls, in accordance with the loose Hebrew usage, the son of the same Nebuchadnezzar. Valuable as this volume is, the editor, in the preface, promises us something very much more valuable, viz., a Thesaurus linguae Hibernicae veteris atque mediae aetatis”, which we are told he intends to publish “quam brevissimo tempore”. The fulfilment of this promise we shall await with something of the same eagerness with which we have been looking for the appearance of a long-promised Welsh Dictionary. It is some satisfaction to think (however discreditable the thought may be to the Principality) that Herr Zimmer will not in Germany experience the same difficulty in finding a publisher as Mr. Silvan Evans has met with here.
THE HISTORY OF THE PRINCES, THE LORDS MARCHER, AND THE
ANCIENT NOBILITY OF Powys FADOG, AND THE ANCIENT
London: T. Richards. 1881. (xvi-416 pp. 8vo.) In his Preface the author modestly states that “this work is merely a compilation and lays claim to no originality”, but it is not necessarily less valuable on that account, or to be less heartily welcomed. We have far too few men who are content, like the writer of this very handsome volume, to work patiently among “ancient records, charters, and MSS.”; and we should be glad to see the Eisteddfod do very much more to encourage such research, even if we had in consequence to do with somewhat less of the so-called “ original” work which that institution now periodically calls forth.
The author opens his narrative with the election of Vortigern, King of Britain, in 446, and carries it in the present volume down to the thirtieth year of King Henry the Eighth, 1539. With much care and patience he traces the varying fortunes of the province during the long interval, bringing together from a great variety of sources an immense mass of information relative to the personal and family history of kings, princes, and lords innumerable. We would specially notice, as one excellent feature in the work, the frequent use made of the writings of the mediæval bards. For example, after a brief account of Tyssilio, we find “Can Tyssilyaw” by Cynddelw; in this case a translation by H. W. Lloyd, Esq., is also given, In the same way a number of other historical poems by Cynddelw, Gwalchmai, Prydydd y Moch, etc., are incorporated in the work in their proper places, in connection with the princes whom they celebrate. Most of these compositions are unaccompanied by any translation, for which the author in his preface to the volume
offers an apology. A more serious defect in the opinion of many will be that the Welsh text is not quite free from
In general, the reader will, no doubt, be able to correct these slips for himself, but there will probably be cases in which he will find it difficult to decide whether a given peculiarity of diction or orthography is due to the original scribe or to the printer.
A number of well-chosen illustrations, sketches from nature, and fac-similes from the Harleian MSS., form a very interesting addition to the value of this fine volume.
DESCRIPTIVE ACCOUNT OF THE INCISED SLATE TABLET AND
OTHER REMAINS LATELY DISCOVERED AT Towyn. With plates. By J. PARK HARRISON, M.A. Oxon., etc. Lon
don: B. Quaritch. 1881. THE slate tablet here described was discovered in the autumn of 1879 amidst the ruins of an old building, near the sea, at Towyn in Merionethshire. It is a small piece of irregularly broken slate about 94 in. by 64 in. in its greatest length and breadth. On one side it is marked with some twenty-eight outline figures, which are now supposed to represent primitive articles of dress and household utensils. Some time after it was discovered, the fragment was sent for inspection to Professor Rhys, who, finding no written characters upon it, recommended that it should be forwarded to Mr. Park Harrison. That accomplished archæologist submitted the figures to a careful and detailed examination, the results of which are given at length in the present "account”. He inclines to adopt the view “that the tablet may contain a funereal list of objects required by a deceased chief”, and suggests that it may be “perhaps the latest instance that has been met with of the Celtic funeral custom of burying objects for use in another state. The change had been