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ther, the execution of his sanguinary instructions was delayed, A.D. and subsequently abandoned; for Severus died at York, 211. S shortly after, in the sixty-sixth year of his age.

It is doubtful whether Caracalla ever fought with the heroes of Ossian on the banks of the Carron. It is certain that the language of the Caledonian Bard was not the vernacular tongue of the Caledonians, for three centuries after the death of Severus : But if we may indulge the pleasing supposition that Fingal lived and Ossian sang, the parallel between the Romans and the Caledonians would exhibit little to the advantage of the former. The contrast is painfully amusing: The unrelenting revenge of Severus, with the generous clemency of Fingal the timid, the brutal cruelty of Caracalla, with the bravery, the tenderness, the elegant genius of Ossian-the mercenary chiefs, who, from motives of interest or fear, served under the Imperial command, with the freeborn warriors who started to arms at the voice of the King of Morven the degenerate Romans, polluted with the mean vices of wealth and luxury, with the untutored Caledonians, glowing with the warm dictates of nature.

Upon the demise of Severus, his eldest son Caracalla concluded a treaty with the Caledonians, by which he relinquished the territories they had recently surrendered to his father; and he abandoned the forts which had been erected to enforce their submis sion. The Wall of Antoninus was fixed as the northern boundary of the Romans. For about a century after this period, the Caledonian tribes remained quiet; and they appear to have profited by their intercourse with their late masters; for, during this long interval of peace, they cut down woods, drained marshes, introduced agriculture, constructed, or, more probably, repaired the Roman highways, and built several towns.

The policy of the Caledonians appears to have been less influenced by law than by religion. The form of worship which had ́long existed in Britain was Druidism. Wherever the Celtic tribes, or posterity of Japhet, migrated, they introduced and practised this religion: It was of equal extent with the dominion of the Gauls, -reaching from the river Danube to the Atlantic Ocean, and from the Mediterranean to the Baltic Sea.

The Druids were divided into three orders: The Bards, who sung or recited in heroic verse the exploits of the warriors; the Vates, who were employed in the study of nature and the laws;

and the Druids, the highest order, who officiated in the ceremonies of religion, presided in the administration of justice, and directed the education of the youth in arms. These several orders were highly privileged. They were exempted from serving in wars and from all public burdens. Allured by these privileges, great numbers joined their communities, to be initiated in the Druidical profession; though the preparatory studies frequently employed the space of twenty years.

The tenets of Druidism were comprehended under four heads: To worship the Deity; to abstain from evil; to cherish the love of liberty; to exert courage in its defence; and to believe in a future state for enforcing these virtues. Their worship was expressed in songs of praise and thanksgiving, in prayers and supplications, in offerings and sacrifices, and in the rites of augury and divination.

The Sun being the object or medium of their worship, it was an article of their faith not to build temples to the Deity, or worship within walls or under roofs. Their oratories or groves were in the recesses of forests, and were fenced in, in a circular or oblong form, by large stones, which were guarded by Druids to prevent intrusion, and to inspire the common people with awe. In the centre of these circles, were stones of immense size that were used as altars. The summits of hills were chosen for retirement, and to afford a commanding view.

The principal Druidical festivals were in May and November, and were announced by the kindling of large fires. On the altars were offered first, cakes, milk, eggs, herbs, and simples; then noxious animals, as the wolf and the bear; and frequently human victims. It was a part of Druidical belief that nothing but blood could atone for life; hence their altars streamed with human blood, which was offered in behalf of the public safety on the eve of a war, or in a time of national calamity.

As religion seems to have been the chief bond of union among the Caledonian tribes, the Druids, as the ministers of religion, possessed the sole authority of making, expounding, and executing the laws; which were regarded as the decrees of their deities, and not as the commands of their chiefs. No part of their theology or philosophy was committed to writing. Their tenets were transmitted in oral heroic poetry. So terrible were the effects of their excommunications, that private persons were excluded from the

privileges of society, and even princes were devoted to destruction upon the most frivolous pretences.

From the affinity of the Celtic and Sanscrit languages, which cannot have come in contact during the last three thousand years, it has been supposed that both were derived from the primary lan guage of Asia; and there is a very striking resemblance between the Druidical and Braminical tenets, religious rites, knowledge of astronomy, and severity of discipline.

CHAPTER III.

The Caledonian tribes their local situation. Constance visits Britain. The Picts and Scots-their origin and character. Distracted state of the Roman empire. The Romans finally evacuate Britain.

FROM the silence of the classic authors respecting the affairs of Caledonia during the third century, it is probable that the native tribes, intimidated by the hostile visit of Severus, overawed by the threatening aspect of the Northern Wall, or satisfied with the treaty in which they were recognized as an independent people, had devoted their attention to the pursuits of peace. The long resis dence of the Romans in the island, had polished, in some degree, the rude manners of the inhabitants, taught them to desire and raise the conveniencies of life, and reconciled them to their lan guage and manners,

Of the twenty-one Caledonian tribes, sixteen lived on the north side of Antoninus's Wall. The five Southern tribes, se parated for a long period by an impassable barrier from the con generous tribes of the North, felt little interest in the revolutions of the Roman world: But, in the beginning of the fourth century, they had become the objects of jealousy to the Northern tribes, who made irruptions into their territories. The convulsions of the empire had probably rendered it necessary to withdraw the greater part of the troops from the Roman Wall; and, thus leaving it comparatively defenceless, invite the hostile attacks of the secluded Caledonians.

In the year 306, Constance found it necessary to repair to Britain in person, to repel the attacks of the Caledonians and other Picts. The Romans were successful; but their general died at York, This is the first historical notice of the Picts. The Scots

appear for the first time on the page of history in the year 360. While the Persians in the East and the Germans in the West gave full employment to the Romans, the peace was again infracted in Britam by the Scots and Picts, who wasted the frontier provinces. Lupicinius, an officer of experience, was sent to chastise their temerity; but his attention was too deeply engrossed with the civil war which was about to kindle between Julian and Constance, to accomplish the object of his command. Antiquarian disputes continue to the present time to obscure rather than to elucidate the origin of the Scots and Picts. It is generally admitted, as the most simple and rational opinion, that the Picts were the genuine descendants of the aboriginal Celts or Caledonians. They inhabited the districts on the north-east of the Forth. Their country being generally level and fertile, was capable, even in the first stage of agriculture, of producing a considerable quantity of corn; and the epithet of "wheat-eater" expressed the envy or contempt of the carnivorous Highlander.

The love of arms and rapine was the ruling passion of the Picts; and their warriors, who stripped themselves for a day of battle, were distinguished by the strange fashion of painting their naked bodies with gaudy colours and fantastic figures.

The Scots were unknown as a people during the first and second centuries: They had not, during that period, acquired their appropriate name. That the Scots were emigrants from Ireland, has been clearly ascertained. Before the year 400, they had become so numerous in that island, that it derived from them the name of Scotland. As the Scots were indigenous in Ireland, so was probably their name. They acquired the appellation of Scots, which signifies, in the Irish language, dispersed or scattered; and, in the Celtic, is said to be equivalent to wanderers or vagrants.

As the nearest coasts of Britain supplied the sister island with colonists in the first ages, the latter, in the progress of time, being unmolested by the Romans, and having a superabundant and erratic population, colonized the western coasts of Argyllshire. Towards the end of the fourth century, the Scots were frequently engaged in maritime excursions against the Romanized or Western shores of the British island, which they infested by piracy and rapine. The ready coalescence of the Scots and Picts against the Romans, is a collateral evidence of their common Celtic origin. In the reign of the Emperor Valentinian, the Scots and Picts made

a general attack upon the Roman province, and advanced as far as London, which they plundered; but being attacked by Theo dosius, an officer of reputation, they hastily retreated.

The remaining transactions of the Romans in Britain were few and unimportant. The period was fast hastening when that enormous fabric, the Roman empire, which had diffused slavery and oppression, with peace and civility, over so considerable a part of the globe, should be finally dissolved.

The Emperors had found it necessary to recruit their legions from the frontier provinces, where the spirit of war was not totally extinguished. These mercenary forces, careless of laws, and indifferent to civil institutions, established a military government dangerous to the authority of the sovereign, and inimical to the liberty of the people.

The barbarous nations in the North of Germany, known by the name of the Goths and Vandals, assailed the frontiers of the Roman empire; and, having satiated their avidity by plunder, formed the design of settling themselves in the wasted provinces. The necessity of self-preservation superseded the ambition of power; and the ancient point of honour never to contract the limits of the empire could be no longer attended to in this desperate extremity.

All the distant legions in which the Emperors could confide were recalled for the defence of the capital and the centre of the empire, which had become a prey to faction and disorder. The legions in Britain revolted, and transferred the supreme power to Gratian; and, after his death, to Constantine; who conveyed the army that had invested him with the purple, to Gaul, in order to maintain their election.

As the Roman power was weakened in Britain, the Scots and Picts advanced, and cruelly harassed the enervated provincials. In this extremity, the latter made supplications to Rome; and a legion was sent to their assistance. This force was an overmatch for the invaders; who were overthrown in every engagement; and the Romans for the last time repaired the fortifications that had long overawed the British tribes. Having performed this last and good office, the Romans informed their allies that they must thenceforward depend upon their own valour to preserve their independence; and they took their final leave of Britain, after being masters of the greatest part of it for nearly four centuries.

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