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dible coalition of ignorance and refinement in its true light, I shall describe, first, the Benna, a carriage elevated on wheels calculated for carrying two persons through a country covered with wood, on such journeys as a state of perpetual war would permit: the second was the Petoritum, a vehicle with four wheels; the third, the Carrus, must have resembled our baggage-waggons, and were used for that
conveyance of produce: the fourth, or Covinus, surpassing all the others in its destructive construction, was the war-chariot set with scythes and hooks, intended to cut every thing down opposed to it, and admirably calculated for a country abounding with thickets. Enough has been said on this subject; and, having pointed out the contradictions, I shall leave them to the consideration of the reader.
According to Selden, “ Julius Cæsar gave a sight of Britanny to posterity, rather than made a full discovery, or a delivery of it;” and in another part of his Janus Anglorum, speaking of authorities derived from inscriptions, he observes, “ But you will say, all this makes little to our purpose : yes, very much ; as that which brings from abroad the Roman orders, laws, fashions, and every thing, into Brittany. Near St. Albans, a town in Hertfordshire, there was, sure enough, the seat of Cassibellinus, called Verulam ; and the burghers, as we learn from Agellius, were citizens of Rome en franchised out of their cor
porations, using their own laws and customs, only partaking the same honorary privilege with the people of Rome.”
Justin Lipsius informs us, that the Romans were in the constant practice of arranging their conquests after their manners and customs: they appointed three experienced persons to divide the ground for the colony, and to fix the place for the erection of towns, which were in all particulars to resemble Rome ; " and that in the very places themselves, the courts of law, the capitols, the temples, the state-houses, or town-halls, might be according to that model ; and that there might be in the government or magistracy two persons as bailiffs, in most places, like the two consuls at Rome ; in like manner, surveyors and scavengers, aldermen of the wards and headboroughs, instead of a senate or common council, as we may call it."
We should be guilty of great injustice did we not acknowledge the benefits derived by our partial subjection to the Romans, several of which are enumerated in the above extracts : besides,
are expressly informed, that some of the governors exerted every nerve in civilizing the people, and teaching them the arts, and a more rational mode of living than they were before accustomed to. The luxury and splendour prevailing in Rome must have formed so strong and disgusting a contrast with the habits of the English, that we feel no surprise the conquerors attempted to render
their own situation more pleasant, by introducing their manner of building, in temples, palaces, capitols, houses, &c. So much is already known of the manners and customs of the Romans, that I need say nothing of them here: it will be sufficient to remind the reader of the remains of that people discovered in every direction, which must convince him that powerful excitements to imitation existed ; and a slight knowledge indeed of human nature is required, to produce a conviction that the young and the rich of our natives soon became as luxurious and important as the chiefs of the invaders; but it must be at the same time remembered, that part of the population preferred liberty and the savage life to slavery and the arts, and consequently were never more than half civilized, even when a temporary peace, or teinporary subjection, caused an intercourse with their enemies. Dr. Henry says, “ The useful and necessary art of architecture suffered no less than that of agriculture by the departure of the Romans. That ingenious and active people, with the assistance of their British subjects, who were instructed by them, had adorned their dominions in this island with a prodigious number of elegant and magnificent structures, both for public and private use. Some of these structures were built with so much solidity that they would have resisted all the attacks of time, and remained to this very day, if they had not been wilfully destroyed."
This, however, seems all speculation : every species of building common in Italy was imitated here; but certainly not erected in the durable manner asserted; the Saxons destroyed them, and very effectually, as we are convinced: how, then, was this accomplished, if they built in England as they did in Rome? That city was sacked seven times, and yet numerous noble structures remain there; while not six are to be found in this country, where only one torrent of destruction prevailed. It is evident that they did not build here as at home, let the materials have been what they may; à sufficient reason for which existed in the dis.. tance of the colony, its insular situation, and the determined opposition of its inhabitants. The old brick wall at Leicester seems to have been one of the strongest of the Roman works.
Many of the customs which were common to our ancestors are now almost forgotten in London: amongst those
be included the Funeral Feast, which certainly originated from the cæna feralis of the Romans, or the offering made to the manes of the deceased, consisting of wine, milk, and honey, united in a small plate decorated with flowers. When the public mind became more enlightened, it naturally occurred to the attendants on funeral ceremonies, that the living had equally urgent demands for food, which was provided, probably, at first, merely to satisfy the calls of nature ; but this, like all other customs,
degenerated ; and sensuality intruded where grief and solemnity ought to have presided. In the country, it was perfectly excusable to furnish
pers sons who had assembled from a considerable distance with a substantial meal; but the Londoners became sensible, in process of time, that indulgence on such occasions was almost impious; hence, cakes and wine now supply the place of the “ funeral baked meats.”.
Keeping of Wassel was another method of celebration, which, though more peculiar to a country life, must have been common, in early times, in London. Mr. Douce is of opinion, that the origin of the term belongs to the tale of Vortigern and Rowena. W. Cennius relates, that on the first introduction of that lady to Vortigern, she kneeled, and, presenting him a cup of wine, said, “ Lord King, wacht heil;" health be to you. The king, ignorant of the Saxon language, enquired the purport of her words; was informed, and told to return the compliment with drinc heil, which he did, commanding Rowena to drink; he then took the cup, kissed, and pledged her. Robert of Gloucester says, this custom prevailed in the third century. At all events, Mr. Douce asserts, no word equivalent to our wassel is to be found in any of the Teutonic dialects. Steevens and Malone say, that the wassel bowl was more particularly in use at Christmas. The term was afterwards enlarged in its signification,