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necessary to revert to far-distant events. Under what circumstances did that language originate, many of the peculiarities of which survive in our time, whose thews and sinews, disjecta membra, are no where more profusely scattered and devotedly retained than in this part, and of whose substance and nexus our distinctive words, are not unworthy accretions, but integral

parts ?

There is no event of history more unsatisfactorily explained, and no event more stupendously important, than the disruption of those barbarous hordes and masses which, breaking like a torrent over Europe, changed the whole face of its institutions, and the entire cast of its manners. Strictly speaking, certain portions of these fierce invaders were European,--Scandinavian and Sarmatian. These, precipitating themselves along the Rhine and the Danube, soon pressed upon the borders of Asia. Their irruptions, preceding any other, reached as far as the Cimmerian Bosphorus, the present Sea of Azoph. By their settlement in the Palus Mæotis and the adjoining regions, they displaced the original possessors, who were thus driven farther on the east. The probability is, (and we have little better authority to guide us) that the bursting into this quarter of the earth by what have been treated as predatory and lawless tribes, was but a resistance to unprovoked aggression. Their invaders had feared to attack Gaul and Italy, and therefore fell upon the apparently weak and the certainly untried. The day of retribution came. It was not each petty nation rousing itself to self-defence; there seems to have been general concert and banded strength. A thirst for revenge soon begat a thirst for conquest: information spread, cupidity awakened :—the aggressors were not only annihilated, but a highway was thrown up between the two continents which had nations for its passengers and empires for its pavements !

Three immense emigrations emptied themselves at different times, and from modified causes, into this section of the world. The Celts, the Goths, and the Sclavonians are the names given to them. Their languages would prove them to be essentially different. Their inroads were not contemporary nor co-operative. Intervals may have elapsed sufficient to induce a forgetfulness of their common origin. They were most formidable to each other, and warred to mutual extermination. A question, indeed, arises, What was the fate of the aborigenes whom they found ? Tragedies, doubtless, of the most horrible enormity are happily curtained from our view, and were acted on a darkened stage. Yet it is not to be surmised that this was the fate of all,- for it would be almost impossible,--and some features of these national characters are preserved,—confirming the hope that they spared the yielding and incorporated the defenceless with themselves. * This enumeration, however, makes no mention of later encroachments, such as that of the Saracens and afterwards of the Turcomans. They belong to another age. The whole question of these vast issues from the ridges of Caucasus and the steppes of Tartary, is most difficult, much of their records is apocryphal, and little of their consequences can be traced. To this hour it forms one of the most baffling problems of history, and one of the most inexplicable impulses which ever instigated human nature. The political and moral influence of these incursions and settlements can scarcely be inferior to those geographical phenomena which would ensue-were earth to reverse its axis and ocean to rush from its bed.

A colony of the second irruption is described by history to have occupied what was once denominated the Cimbric Chersonesus, but in modern language is called Jutland. This spread itself into the isles on its western coast as far as the well-known Heligoland. The general name assigned to this race was Saxon, and of the origin of that name many legends inform us with equal degrees of improbability. It is not easy to determine its northern and southern boundaries, though for a time it might be circumscribed within the Eyder and the Elbe. It, however, soon commanded an advanced latitude, and we learn that it threatened Rome and sent forth its natives to as great a distance as Thrace. In the Sleswick department of this peninsula there was a district called Anglen, close to the Baltic Sea. It became usual to speak of this people as Saxons and Angles,

• Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.- Virgil.

afterwards it was usual to speak of these as common, and AngloSaxon expressed the combination. This was one column of the Gothic influx, and proves to be that in which we have a special interest.

Bearing in memory the position and emigrating tendency of the Anglo-Saxons as now pressed forward, probably by other masses behind them ; that they were now hovering on the strand of the German Ocean ; and that their strand ran parallel to our own; we will enquire into the state of Britain at that period.

By this time the Britons were driven into the Highlands of Scotland, the fastnesses of Wales, the Isle of Man, and Ireland, by the victorious progress of the Roman arms. The Gaelic, Erse, and Manx dialects, all announce that these Britons were originally Celts. The Gauls were most likely of the same great human division. A large population was, however, left and multiplied itself within what we call England. Whether we be descended from them or not, we need not be ashamed of their genius or attainment. Galgacus is reported by an enemy to have addressed his army as few modern heroes could speak from the drum-head. Tacitus praises their taste and quickness. Juvenal notices their capacity in pleading causes. Horace, how. ever, speaks of the Briton as untamed. And Cicero, in writing to Atticus, advises him to prefer any slave he might find in the mart to the Briton, as he was so void of mind and unsusceptible of improvement. Whatever might have been their pristine state, many were the advantages of civilization they derived from their conquerors. They formed a dependency highly appreciated and duly defended. Three legions, consisting of thirty-six thousand foot and six thousand horse, constituted the standing army. This force, when not embodied in repelling the Caledonian swarms, was well employed in draining marshes, clearing forests, and constructing roads. To them the great northern wall is to be attributed. The complement was variously distributed, and there are said to have been a hundred and fifty military stations. These soldiers could not often be drafted to other countries, as the Horse-guards at the Capitol found it no easy thing to take up transports ; they therefore became national,

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the natives, and settled down with their families, whether as out-pensioners or on half-pay.

The Jurisprudence of the Romans was as much their boast as their prowess. Their eagle bore not only the arrow and bolt in her talons, but the scales of justice in her beak. One may readily conceive of the old Brigantes, the ancestors and prototypes of Yorkshiremen, complaining of their own imperfect jurisdiction, and thankfully accepting from the first Jurists in the world a more frequent gaol delivery,—though even horsestealing should appear in the calendar,—and welcoming, such was their difficulty of getting in their debts, some bill for establishing Local Courts.

We must not suppose that the Britons were without their monetary system. They were money-changers, whether they crowded “our alley

Seneca lent them at one advance three hundred and twenty-two thousand pounds sterling. The old usurer always, to adopt a common phrase, knew his men. This was a capital loan. Debentures would reach a premium -would take occupancy of the public mind,—the writer would alter his notion of scrip ; the prisoner would be reconciled to bonds; the vagabond would do his utmost to get into the stocks ; and omnium would be craved by all.

But the Roman power was becoming very languid in Britain. Its empire was overgrown. Rapid symptoms of internal decay portended its dissolution. The new and overwhelming millions which had shattered, while they submerged, the European platform, especially threatened this mistress of nations. The love of plunder and the bitterness of revenge were equally vehement in their bosoms.

The necessity of the case demanding that the resources of this great power should be concentrated, its troops were gradually withdrawn from the colonies and collected nearer the imperial city, which was the threatened point of attack. In consequence of this, the inhabitants of Britain were left exposed to those warlike neighbours which had long harassed them. The Britons were worne out with vexation and loss, and sent, according to Gildas, a most pathetic appeal to Ætius,-“ To Ætius, thrice consul, the groans of the Britons.” The appeal was unavailing,-Rome had not a contingent to spare. Our forefathers were compelled to address it to another quarter. This was the Saxon power, including the Jutes and the Angles whose character and position have already been noted. They had not been known hitherto as friends but as pirates.

pirates. They had early in the third century made frequent and devastating descents on our eastern and southern coasts. Turner informs us, that one of the Roman commanders was entitled Count (Comes) of the Saxon shore,-Saxon only in that sense which puzzles the school-boy, E regione. This was the First Post of the Coast blockade and Preventive service. It perhaps may surprise us that the natives of our country,—whom a Caractacus and a Boadicea had led to such daring and such fame,-should now betray so craven a temper. But they had been treated as a conquered people. They were not suffered to arm themselves, nor to emulate any dignities. They were greatly denationalised, enslaved and imbruted. The military pomps around them were but a kind of prison-duty, a splendid watch and ward, insulting and quelling the spirits of the wretched vassals, always suspected and always overborne. The Saxons were visited by ambassadors imploring them to become our deliverers, not from the Romans, --they had been remanded home,—but from those troublesome people nearer ourselves who took advantage of their recall. A new race appeared in these hostile ranks, the Picts,—but these were not Caledonian nor Celtic: but an earlier stream of emigration into the Lowlands of Scotland from a more northern people than the Saxons, but having a very similar language, much common character, and according to all the most rational proofs a truly Gothic race. Much error has prevailed upon

this subject,—and some have even gone so far as to call them Picts from the picturesque tartan which they wore,-the argument would be still more perfect could they derive kilt, as they will make them sans-culottes, from Celt!

Little loath, the Saxons, who found some Sclavones in their rear more than annoying, repaired to our help. Hengist and Horsa were the renowned chiefs,—who soon gave battle to the

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