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To the Editor of the A ortk…


To the Editor of the A ortk Urales Gazette. LETTER VI. THE next argument produced in favour of the tradition of Bllllus, ts founded oil the tes- timony of William of Malmsbury, who men- tions II merely on the authority of Nennius. Britaniu insuia a quodatu degenee hiphet Britorip, le''»:!t esse uunenpata. G. Malnn Brilania insula a Britoue, oe genere laphet dicta est. Nennius. The translator has nnfortunatelv brought Higd en forward as entertaining a favourable J opinion of the ei-,icity of the author of the Brut. He thinks i probable that he believed the former part ot the history, because lie discredited'be latter part -an inference,agree able uiilv to the new-fangled logic of the au, thor. There is on tin. contrary sufficient evi- dence that H:gden discredited the whole of this Chronicle. He certainly delivers his sen time ;ts very freely upon certain parts of it, upon which he had occasion to expatiate. Geoffrey," continues Bidden, Polyciir. An. 544. wonders that neither Gildas nor Bede have made mention of Arthur. I however think it much more surprising that he should have recorded such extravagant exploits of a person whom all historians of credit. and ve- racity have not noticed." The la si document produced upon this sub ject is an extract from the Otia tmperialia Gervase of Tilbury This is introduced with an unsupported assertion, viz. that there is every reason to believe, that Gervase had not seen Geoffrey's history, and, therefore, as he agrees with him in his history, be concludes that there must have been other copies of the Brut extant in his time. Here is an inference drawn from a vague conjecture. Gorvase lived above, fifty years after the publication of the Brut, which the translator confes- ses was very widely circulated but here lie suppose* Gervase had not read it, because such a s pposilion suited his theory, by clear q in, GeoUrey from the charge of forgery, and proving that there were other souVces of in formatu n upou the subject. That he had, howevii, no other authority than the Brut, is not ohly extremely probable, but easily proved from the long extract given in the Collectanea Cambrica. He retails all the won de,I,ii xl)ioits i)i Arthur, winch Higden ex- pressly says were not mentioned by any other writer besides Geoffrey, and he ev-n shews liimseli inferior to Fordmi in judgment, by giving credit to the history of Curausius. He d omits the most impudent and ex, travagant parts of the Brut, such as Bran erecting the gallows before Home, and Beli bnrving the pigs in Oxford There is one cir cumslance which infallibly proves that Ger- "Vae copied from the Brut, and that is an ap pealii g to Gildas's book on the Laws of Moei mud in the very same words, and in the same part ot the history, as Geoffrey does. It can- not be supposed 4hat this appeal was to be -X I found in any antient manuscript, which, if such did exist, must have been prior to the time of Gildas, the latter part of the Brut, being confessedly the production of Geoffrey and therefore the appeal made by Gervase is in imitation of Geoffrey. If he had not been acquainted with his publication, he could not have agreed with him so entirely in the history of Brutus. The extracts from Nennius are likewise the same as in the Chronicle, and in opposition to the concurrent testimony of all historians of credit, Gervase agrees with him in his account of the Saxon invasion, and as serts that they were not previously invited over by Vorligern. There cannot, therefore, he a doubt hut that he.was a credulous fol- lower of Geoffrey. From the whole of what has been advanced in favour of the traditions, detailed in the Brut, it does not appear that any degree of credibility is hence to he attached to It. It is in fact a singular exception to the general course of history, and has iit, other foundation than the fabulous traditions of Nennius. These were the first materials which the fabricator adopted as the ground-work of his pretended Chronicle, to which were added the puenle stories of Gog and Magog: and, to complete his design, he allowed himseh the iiinifst la- titude III transposllig; and perverting the slender portion of authentic history with which he was furnished. If the fabulous part were ex- punged it would he reduced to a mere skele- ton—the bare mention of a few historical facts, in ,t broken series of events. Even the battle of Badon Hill is not mentioned with any of those circumstances which might naturally be expected. It is a proof that real history was not the object the author had in view, and that he depended more on his great powers of imagination, than the testimony of authentic history in the execution of his plan. Bangor. J. J.



For the North Wales Gazelle.