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§ 1. The Celtic race. Ancient Britons.-§ 2. Geography of the country. Language of the people. The early Gaels.-§ 3. Pursuits of the inhabitants. Their traffic and intercourse with foreigners.-§ 4. The Roman invasion. Resistance offered by the Britons.-§ 5. The island comparatively unknown.-§ 6. First dawnings of civilization and art. § 7. The Druids, or priests. Religious assemblies of the people. Nature of the religion, and its ceremonies. Sacrifice of human victims. Form of the temples. Altars, cromlechs, and barrows. The Druids opposed to the growth of towns and the progress of agriculture. § 8. Roman invasion by Claudius, and final occupation of the island.

§ 1. IN walking through our own neighbourhoods we very often see the remains of a castle crowning a hill, or the marks of a ditch now nearly filled up to the level of the field; a crumbling old wall salutes us at the side of the river, and on the top of the down a mound of peculiar shape rises up in its solitude of furze and heather. Generally we pass them by without any particular observation; the castle is an old ruin, the ditch an indentation in the soil, the crumbling old wall is a fence between two fields, and the mound upon the down is a sugar-loaf sort of heap, composed of earth and pebbles. Is that all? have we no curiosity to find out who placed them there? what sort of people lived in the castle? what was the


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use of the gaping ditch? who occupied the building at the winding of the stream? and what sort of thing is the heap on the top of the down? There are few parishes in England which have not specimens of one or other of those memorials of a vanished age. There is not a single village within a circuit of ten miles, which has not some tangible and unmistakeable proof of what are called the successive occupations of the country. The Celt, the Roman, the Saxon, the Norman, and finally, the whole of these combined, have left indelible evidence that they were working, thinking, loving, and hating personages, just like ourselves. Those marks of their residence here carry us back an almost indefinite time in the history of mankind. When the Grecians were overthrowing the Persian monarchy, more than two thousand years ago, funeral processions were going on up the sides of our hills, and great chieftains were buried with stone axes by their sides, and all the pomp and circumstance of glorious war. But long before that, while Moses, perhaps, was leading the children of Israel to the promised land, it is supposed that a race and people, now utterly undistinguishable, held possession of this island. A wretched race and miserable island; for the arts were so unknown that they left no more mark of their presence than a herd of wild cattle would have done, and all that remains to give a colour to the supposition of so very early an occupancy, is the name, here and there, of some river or hill, which is not British, nor Roman, nor Saxon, and is therefore considered to have formed part of a language totally different from them all. Hills and rivers, though not the works of men's hands, are as good guides to a knowledge of our predecessors as the walls and ditches we have named. It is the use man makes of those two great natural features of a country which enables us to judge of his manners and position. If we find the elevation cleared of wood, and the river kept within its banks, we may conclude that agriculture and pasturage have begun. These two imply a knowledge of the

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