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For the North Wales Gazette.

For the North IVales Gazette.


For the North IVales Gazette. NUMBER IV. Among the minor objections to the genuine- ness of Gildas, the principal one is, that he-calls the Latin tits own. It appears from Tacitus that this was the language generally spoken in this country: and IIcnee the writing's of T"liesl!I arc a strange mixture of Laliu and the British and therefore Gildas might be allowed to call it his own language without incurring the odious imputation of f;) v onrillg r, the papal pretensions. The author's arguments are altogether so destitute of solidity, that it would be quite unnecessary to enlarge upon them, ns it would lend only to detect the fanciful impressions of a misguided imagina- tion. I shall, therefore, proceed to explain the gcncral ten or and sl y Ie of G i Idas; in which attempt I hope to prove that the history is a very valuable and highly interesting produc- tion, bearing internal evidences of authenti city, and the style far from being inelegant. In the commencement of his history, Gildas states liis'intei)tioilofrecoi-diii- the "calamities which his country endured during the times of the Roman Emperors, and had brought upon other remote nations." This is the subject uponwhichhHcomptiunsofadehciencyof local information. The confession is remark- ably candid and honest that if such records did exist, they were either destroyed by their enemies, or carried off by the exiles." fit this assertion the author fancies he perceives the most "markedcalumny, and roundly declares that this passage was" intended by the lloman Catholics to make the Welsh Clergy neglect all their ancient history, and submit, by these means, more readily to.the Papal power." Thill strange deduction has not the slightest connection with the assertion of Gildas, nor does it appear how the authority of the Pope could be in the least affected by it. But let us see how the author proves that the passage is false, and that there really did es-st authentic records of the Brilish history during these titileg. He produces all Elegy supposed to be written by Gildas, from the fag-end of an old musty manuscript in Wynstay Library, (which | however he might have found in Fordun's history,) in winch liruli poslerilas, is barely mentioned, and an allusion m ule to a prophecy of Merlin, promising success to the unit-d British and Scotch arms against the Saxons. That tins Elegy was the work of Gildas is very suspicious, but allowing it to be genuine, docs it in the slightest respect prove that there were written records of the British history, or does it in any degree militate against the assertion of Gildas, that there were no records upon the subject he was writing about? The author observes in it thegrossestiuconsistency, and asks is it possible thallhe person should in his history declare that the Britons had no records, and in his poems refer to a prophecy which belongs to the most early period of the national history ?" When the imagination is under no controul it will deviate into the wildest vagaries, and it would be needless to attempt to accompany it in its career. The prophecies of Merlin, and particularly that portion of them mentioned in theelegy,belong to the very period m which Gildas himself lived, and the tradition of Brutus appears to have been fabricated before his tire so that the Elegy has nothing to do with the existence p- of British records, nor does the hare mention of Brutus by Giidas attach the feast credibility to the Brut. If we enquire what became oj these supposed British records, we shall have the following answer, nhich exceeds all tht. conjec t u res o f m od e ri) ti mes, iz that Po Iydore Virgil may he tuppomd to have carried a ship load of them from thiscountiy, vide Coll. Cam. 214. Gildaa's design was to record the calamities whiclijliisconnlry enduredduring the times of Ihe Roman Emperors: and this he has done most tnlly Had it been his intention to give a succinct account of the Roman trans actiuiis, and <he contemporary British history, he might even then justli complain of a scan- tiness <>f mati rials. t he following enumera t'ou of the liriti(-tl,.al stili.iects treeled ill th.s history, will Uuire to shew that the object, which Gildas has accomplished ed in a very regular, copious, and uniform manner. 1. The subjugation of Britain, and its final reduction to a Romish provnee. 2 The horrors of the D ocesinn persecution. s rtie iiiii-od ct,.(,tt ,t tioctriiies. which in alt probability laid Hie foundation of the Pelagian heresy, 4. The tyraniiii il proceedings of Maximus, by whom the Country was drained 01 its re sources, and became a prey to barbarous 11 a tions. 5. The intrusion of the Picts and Scots, and the devastation of the country. 6. A dreadful famine which was succeeded by a plague, and a very great mortality 1. The Saxon invasion, aud the annihilation Itilill of the British government, and the (iifii)Ct.toll of the wretched inhabitants. Such IS the series of evenfs, which occiir in I this short hislory. It isev denily (tie produc- tion of a person highly interested iu what he writes, and an eye-witness of a great part ol it: and therefore tlltlsthe considered as the genuine work of Gildas, fill some substan- tial reasons can be produced to liie contrary However objectionable the opinions illitill tained by the author of the Collectanea am brlca may be, it must be confessed that Ins exertions in promoting Welsh Literature, by laborious researchesinto antiquity, are highly meritorious. It is not, therefore, from any motives of personal disrespect that I have published my remarks on his last production, but because under the sanction of so respecta be a name, a variety of conjectural stale- ments have been substituted in the room of weii-auihenticated facts, upon grounds which appeared to me to be totally devoid of proba- bility, a d -alculated to produce the wildest, confusion in the primitive history of this conn try. Nor was it with a view of favouring the Catholic cause, that I undertook to defend the works of Gildas, which have not the most distant connection with Popery, except ill the of the author; hot because I can produce the most salisfarlory evidence that they are genuine and authentic. To the charge of illiberally, I have only to appeal to the. judgement of those who have considered my remarks as worthy of a perusal, and should | thillk it much more libeiaj in the author to I)oitit oi-it the of ulli(.Il lie complains, lhan assert what 1 am conscious he cannot prove. As to the stale objections of Gabu and the Mihian bridge I am sorry to find he cannot advance a step further, and place his artillery in a more advantageous po- sition. If the author can controvert any of the assertions which I have made in the course of my communications, it will prove, whatl presume to stale, a simple reference to his Book will not prove, t! at the Collectanea Cam- bric a can stand (he tesl of an Enquiry. Bangor. J.J. '0-



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