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served a trace of their written thoughts, if merely as an object' of curiosity. When legislation became in some degree understood, we cannot hesitate in admitting that every mode was adopted for securing the produce of the earth, by such prohibitions and penalties as were suited to the habits of the times. Some of our writers assert, the latter were taken by the injured party from the live stock of the offender in prescribed portions. Theft, probably, received immediate corporal punishment originally; when detection followed the commission of the act, farther refinement required that impartial examination should precede it.
Although the form of swearing differed in the various diminutive states of England, yet they all agreed in appealing to their divinities on solemn occasions. The Welsh went farther, and required a certain number of compurgators, who were to attest the truth of any assertion upon oath. Cæsar says, we, in common with the Gauls, employed the torture in particular cases to extort the truth; and, all other evidence failing, récourse was had to divinations, and a species of ordeal.
One circumstance mentioned by Pliny, and corroborated by a recent discovery, establishes the fact, that, although we knew nothing of the art of cheese-making, Commerce, or some other means, had procured our chiefs gold for ornament. That author says they wore rings, and circlets of gold
on their limbs; and the discovery alluded to, consisted of bracelets and anklets of that valuable metal which may bave been worn by some chief who lost his life on the borders of the sea in defence of his country against the Romans, on their first landing near Dover. The information we have on this head is very imperfect, as is that relating to the mode of living of the general mass of the people. Their habitations were, probably, very small; but whether they were invariably of wood, and thatched, or covered with reeds, is problematical ; as but little art was required to construct huts of loose stones and mud. That they were situated in the midst of woods, proceeded from two causes; ignorance of agriculture, and of the means of clearing a country effectually: and yet, granting that they raised corn, both must in some degree have been understood, as we well know wheat will not grow amongst underwood, and on places shaded by trees. We are not informed how they used their grain; whether it was made into any thing like bread, eaten raw, or prepared by fire: their method of preserving it was by putting it into subterraneous receptacles, in the ear, and threshing it daily as they wanted it. Now it appears doubtful to the author of this work, whether any possible means could be contrived to prevent wheat thus circumstanced from becoming absolutely mouldy and decayed, and utterly unfit for food, certainly for seed, in
our humid climate. And this
instance seeins fatal to the credibility of the whole superstructure of British manners and customs erected by their invaders, except where no self-evident contradictions exist; one of which occurs in their blindness as to all the arts of domestic comfort, opposed to the refinement of armed chariots.
It is certainly a gratifying reflection, that whatever other deficiencies Cæsar may have found in the manners of our nation, want of courage was not of the number ; the people acting, in this instance at least, with one impulse, and, implicitly following their chiefs, appeared in dread array upon the cliffs, and convinced the Romans they were not to be subdued without a struggle. Such was the effect of this display of British fortitude on their enemies, that they hesitated, and would, perhaps, have refused to disembark, had not a standard-bearer leaped into the surf alone, and thus compelled the soldiers to follow through very shame. Although military tactics were extremely different from those of the present day, and the English might be supposed to fight on terms of some equality through many causes, yet such were the consequences of method and experience that the invaders prevailed for the time. A forced peace ensued; but a favourable opportunity offering, our countrymen surprized a strong foraging party, and with so much success that it required all the address of Cæsar to save his troops. He,
however, soon after retaliated, defeated his opponents, and compelled them again to sue for peace. Cæsar left England after a stay of no more than three weeks; and as he afterwards returned with a much larger force, we may conclude his losses were severe, and equal to preventing the possibility of his passing the winter in England.
A people so little improved as the British were by social intercourse naturally separated, and became hostile to each other. It had been their constant custom to meet as rivals and enemies in the field, in communities, or petty states ; but a common enemy appearing, who would oppress them all if not resisted, they perceived the necessity of uniting, as far as circumstances would per- . mit, for the general defence. A prince who governed the district including Herts, Bedfordshire, and Buckinghamshire, named Casibelanus, eminent for his skill and courage, was unanimously chosen General of the confederacy; and exhibited so much spirit and address in his opposition to the legions of Cæsar, on his second invasion, that he soon became convinced he had to contend with a people who, though at enmity when left to themselves, were not to be disunited by any thing short of the most prompt and decisive measures. Casibelanus, true to his country, exerted all the courage and conduct to be expected from a chief who knew nothing of foreign tactics; but he found at length that his soldiers and their leaders
became careless and disaffected: they were consequently defeated. He therefore determined to concentrate the best of his troops, and with them harass the Romans at every favourable opportunity, which he did for some time successfully, though frequently interrupted by the schemes of his countrymen ; who had, in many cases, made terms with the invader. In the midst of these difficulties Cassibelanus formed the plan of attacking the depositary of the hostile fleet, and destroying it; whiclı seemed practicable from the slight guard left for its protection. In this he was disappointed by the destruction of the party to which the enterprise was entrusted. Thus, deserted and hopeless, he was induced to negotiate with Cæsar ; who, soon after, left England with all his army, taking with him hostages for the payment of a tribute, and some prisoners. Every circumstance attending these two distinct operations on the part of the Romans, serves to exalt the character of our ancestors; as it requires neither argument nor reasoning to prove the courage and address necessary to prevent greater success on the part of the legions of the Mistress of the rest of the world.
The terrors of invasion were experienced at several periods between the retreat of Cæsar and the reign of Claudius; but those were excited principally to secure the payment of the tribute. In the year 43 a seditious exile from England, the