ligious circle. Whoever minutely ex- the perforation reaching from the caamines the Druidical circles, will find vity to the bottom of the pillar, wherethis distinction well founded. The by the water could be drawn off at sun (Beal, or Bealan) was the prin- pleasure, it is evident its principal end cipal Celtic deity, and the east, or was to supply them with holy water sun rising, the most honourable point. pure from heaven.” From the ashes The religious circle occupied this ho- found under the figured stone No. 2. nourable position, and the judicial it is natural to infer that sacrifices one stood commonly due west of it. were here made. That the Druids The former was generally larger and were accustomed to offer human samore magnificent than the latter.” crifices, Pliny, Tacitus, and Cæsar, a“ Though the judicial circle differed bundantly confirm. * nothing in the exterior from the tem In the prefixed drawing, fig. 1. ple,” he says, “ in the interior, it dif- the stones composing the circle are refered widely.". Perhaps, from the si- presented as they appear on their inner milarity of the monuments, in the surface. This method was adopted present instance, to each other, one for the purpose of exhibiting their remight be led to conclude, that the lative height and the outline of their purpose intended for both was the suminit. Figs. 2. and 3. are mag

nified drawings of the carved stones As to the temples being uncovered, beside the central pillar. Fig. 4. is a Chalmers says, p. 70, “ The places of drawing of one of the excavated stones the Druid worship continued un found at a short distance from this covered until the dark epoch of Druid edifice; and fig. 5. is a representation dissolution.”

of the only remaining carved stone The Druids seem to have paid much discovered last year in the monument attention to the numbers of erect to the westward. With every wish stones which they placed in their for the success of your valuable Macircles," and it is supposed,” says gazine, I am your most obedient serHuddleston, “from the circles consist- vant,

Alex. Lawsox. ing of seven, twelve, or nineteen erect Manse of Creich, stones, that they had their respective Nov. 11, 1817. astronomical references to the number

• The fact mentioned by our respectaof days in the week, the signs in the

ble correspondent in this and the preceding zodiac, or the cycle of the moon.” The number in the circles above de- found beneath one of the stones of this cir

page, of burned human bones having been scribed, as already observed, correspond cle, certainly tends to corroborate his opito the number of points in the compass. nion, that it had formerly been a Druidical As to the position of the stones with Temple. At the same time, we appreregard to each other, Toland says, p. hend the origin and use of what are com135, “that in some temples they monly called Druidical circles, is still a stand close together," as in the pre-matter involved in great obscurity, not

" but in most separate and withstanding all that Toland, Huddleston, equidistant.” Of the excavated stones and Chalmers, have done to illustrate the he observes, page 150, that “

subject. Circles of stones, similar to those

many of them have a cavity capable of hold here mentioned, have been found in many

countries where neither Druids nor Celts ing a pint, and sometimes more, with

are suspected to have ever penetrated, and a channel or groove about an inch where systems of religion and national deep, reaching from the hollow place customs entirely different are known to to the ground;" and Huddleston men- have prevailed. Even in our own country, tions, page 323,“ that this cavity on a remarkable evidence of this still exists. the top of one of the stones in the One of the stones of a great “ Druid Cir. Druidical temples, has often been no- cle” in Orkney, has a large iron ring fixed ticed. It was intended to catch the into it, which is called by the common dew or rain pure from heaven. The people the Ring of Odin. In former times, Druids had their holy water and holy according to the tradition of the natives, ali fire as well as the Jews and other na

important treaties and engagements were

ratified tions." _“ Whether this cavity,” he hands through this ring ; and even at the

among their ancestors, by joining adds in the following page,

present day, lovers still continue to plight used by the Druids to catch the re their troth, and the peasantry to pledge flection of the heavenly bodies, I shall their bargains, by the same extraordinary not pretend to deterinine. But from sanction.-Edit.

sent case,







if possible, a sexagenarian, will take up the subject, and pursue it from the

earliest records to the present time. MR EDITOR,

In doing so, he will perform a pleasAllow me to suggest as a fit sub- ing service to a number of your readject for occasional papers in your Ma- ers, and to none more than to, Sir, gazine, the history of the art of laying yours, &c. out grounds in Scotland connected or London, Oct. 20, 1817. not, according to the information of the party, with the history of architecture. I do not know any subject equally interesting to country gentlemen, of which so little is known. We have in various works (among which ranks first that of H. Walpole) the It may be safely asserted, that history of gardening in England—and there exists little original genius in in the Transactions of the Royal Irish the mind in which there is a proneAcademy, that of Ireland; but of those ness to imitation. This divine energy who planted the principal avenues and sees all Nature with its own eyes, and clumps in Scotland, the public know clothes all objects in its own colours, nothing

and gives utterance to all its imaginaChattelherault at Hamilton, it is tions in the music of its own voice. said, was laid out from a design by the All poets, since the world began, have famous Le Notre, and the Earl of laboured in the same great storehouse, Eglinton's park near Irvine, by the and on the same elements; yet no celebrated Brown. Sir William Cham- two of them worthy of the name have bers built Duddingston-house, and ever produced the same results. They the grounds at Hatton, it is supposed, look alike on the rivers, and the lakes, were laid out by London and Wise in and the oceans, and the forests, and 1715. Switzer, Batty, Langley, and the vallies, and the mountains : but Laurence, state in their works, that the pictures which they have drawn they were employed in Scotland. Can of them are various as the lights and any of your readers refer to places laid shades that fall upon them, and give out by them? It is probable also, them every moment a new character. that Bridgeman, Plaw, James, Miller, They have all listened to the billows, and other artists, went occasionally and the cataracts, and the winds, and to that quarter; and doubtless, many the thunders: but these have spoken of your readers may recollect of hear- to each a peculiar language. They ing these and other names mentioned have all gazed on the sun, and the by their fathers in their younger moon, and the stars : but these have years, as having given plans at such shed on each a brighter or a darker and such places. Who did the pro- ray, modified by the acuteness of his prietor of Culzean Castie employ, af- own intellectual organs. They have ter his singularly picturesque villa all cast their vision inward on the was finished by the late Mr Adams ? world of spirit: but the views they Who planted the avenue of lime have given of it are diversified as the trees at Taymouth? or the masses at play of the passions and the wanderInverary? The Earl of Stair's place ings of thought. It is, indeed, as unnear Maybole, Mr Hogg's of New- likely that any man who has not read liston, Dalkeith-house, Saltonhall, Nature in books, should coincide with Woodhouselee, North-Berwick-house, the ideas and expressions of another, and numerous other old places, which as that, at any twd moments of time I cannot at this moment recollect, are while the wind blows, the heavens worthy of historical inquiry. And should exhibit the same forms, and when and where did the modern sys- arrangements, and tints of the clouds. tem of laying out grounds first make If men would be contented to paint its appearance in Scotland ? Is it cer. Nature as they themselves see it, and tain that Brown was ever in that coun to express their own feelings in the try, or any of his immediate pupils ? simplest way, they might write with But I need not add more; for I trust various degrees of excellence; but some patriotic individual of local know- their compositions would bear the ledge and extensive acquaintance, and, stamp of individuality as certainly as

the features of their face, and we vellous legends of the Trojan war: should not be doomed to travel through Virgil wrote only because Homer had a hundred volumes of the same dull written before him. If critical justice, monot ny of common-place.

then, compel us to pronounce that Imagination, which, more than all poem a failure, on which such a gethe other powers of the mind, is the nius as Virgil bestowed so much time, heritage that Nature has conferred on and which he laboured with so much the poet, is a faculty wholly creative, care, what is to be the fortune of the and in proportion to its activity and works of the servile multitude of imicomprehension, he must take his place tators ? We must remember, besides, among the worthies of the past ages. that the Greeks and Romans were It cannot be controlled to trace the kindred nations; their languages, and beaten path, but loves to deviate into laws, and manners, and government, the wildernesses of Nature, unexplor- and religion, were similar; and, if it ed even in thought by other men, and were possible that imitation in poetry with an originality of range, to collect could ever succeed, among them every its materials from the unfrequented thing was favourable to it; yet it has spaces of earth, and sea, and sky. It impressed a secondary character on aldelights in its own inventions, noting, most the whole literature of Rome. even in the simplest floweret of the We might have expected, that, with spring, beauties and properties un- this warning before their eyes, the seen by others, and so lights the vi- moderns would have considered sucsible universe by the effulgence of its cess in the same path hopeless ; for, own eye, that it may be said to walk between them and the ancients, the in glory and in majesty in the radiance wall of partition is altogether impasof suns, and moons, and stars, of its sable. own creation.

If there were no other obstacle, the I have been led into this train of mythology of the Greeks and Romans reflection by the effect which the imi- were alone sufficient to preclude the tation of the ancients has had on mo- possibility of a successful imitation of dern literature, as also that which has their writings on the part of the mobeen produced among themselves. derns. That singular system which The literature of Rome is interior to is most favourable to poetry, and is that of Greece, only, perhaps, because indeed itself little else than the poeit was borrowed. Virgil has drawn try of the heavens and the earth, is the plan of the Æneid, and many in- inwoven with the whole of the poetry dividual passages, from Homer, and of the ancients, but is altogether infalls infinitely beneath him in all the admissible into that of the moderns. qualities of the epic. His characters, The fountains and the forests, and the with the single exception of Dido, skies and the oceans, were peopled with compared to the portraits which, on divinities, who had a firmi hold of the the glorious canvas of Homer, start belief, and a strong influence on the into life in all the colouring, and cos actions of mankind. The mariner tume, and beauty, and truth of Na- and the hunter, and the warrior and ture, are stiff, and formal, and lifeless the poet, knelt each at the shrine of as the figures on a Chinese screen, his respective deity, from whom he and, instead of the incidents of the expected protection, or success, or inGreek bard, which are great, and di- spiration. The introduction of these versified, and interesting as those that beings gives rise to many of the most occur in the wide range of society, his beautiful visions of the poetry of the narrative is cold, and slow, and de- ancients, but nothing can be so frigid lightless. Many of the flowers which or lifeless as the Apollos and Dianas he transplanted froin Homer, and of modern poetry. which were by him raised from celes For literature to thrive in a countial seeds, and watered by celestial try, or to attain to any degree of dews, have refused to take root, and strength and vigour, it must be indiwithered and languished in the fo- genous in the soil

, and, like the oak reign soil. The reason is, that Ho or the cedar that flourishes on its mer wrote an epic poem from the ful mountains, and the rose or the flowness, and vastness, and propelling ering shrub that blooms in its vallies, energies of his own soul, which had it must shoot into sublimity and luxubeen in his intancy fired by the mar riate in beauty, watered by its na

tive dews, and cherished by its na- attempt to dishonour his father's bed. tive suns ; but imitation has to a cer. Theseus, who had been absent during tain extent mildewed the finest pro- these transactions, returned immeductions of the moderns. Even our diately after the death of Phædra, and own literature, unquestionably the found the fatal paper, by which he most original in Europe, has suffered was so enraged, that he prayed to from the blight; and there is reason Neptune, who had promised to grant to believe, that Paradise Lost would him any request that he should ask, have been a better poem if Milton had that he would destroy his unnatural never read Homer. If Britain had son, and immediately ordered him inbeen left to the untutored efforts of to banishment. When Phædra's serher own mighty genius, she would vant disclosed to Hippolytus the pashave been without a rival in the lite- sion of her mistress, she bound him rature of the world; but in many by an oath never to reveal the secret, cases she can claim only a second and he heard the reproaches of his place, because she has stooped to imi- father without even insinuating the tation. It is worthy of notice, that guilt of the queen. He set out with some of our noblest poets are men the design of quitting his native counwho had not been taught in our try, and on the way a monster arose schools to sing a bad imitation of the out of the ocean, and so terrified the song of the ancients, but by their na- horses, that they dashed the chariot in tive notes have risen from the cottage pieces, and he was brought upon the into glory and preeminence, as the stage terribly mangled by the fall. lark springs from her lowly seat to Diana appeared and removed all susdelight the heavens and the earth by picion of guilt from the character of her melody. This subject might fur- her votary, who pardoned his father nish matter for many essays, and may and died. perhaps be reverted to on some future Venus, in the first scene, delivers occasion ; at present it is my object a prologue, in which she explains the to apply these cursory hints to the subject of the play, and her determiFrench Tragedy, and chiefly the cele- nation to punish Hippolytus for his brated Phedre of Racine, a play_bor- contempt of her altars. She is sucrowed from the Hippolytus of Euri- ceeded by Hippolytus bearing a garpides, which I am now to analyze. land to hang on the shrine of Diana. Phædra, the wife of Theseus, king

H. Queen of the forest, graciously reof Athens, conceived for Hippolytus,

ceive his son by a former marriage, a pas- The garland I have cropt from the fresh sion which she had struggled in vain meadows, to conquer ; and long pined under its Deep solitudes, where shepherd never fed effects. The decline of her health His wandering flocks, and the scythe never and the dejection of her mind did not came, escape the observation of an old and Alone the wild bee sips the honey flowers, confidential servant, to whom, after And chastity sits crowned among the dews, much solicitation, she revealed the The unholy may not enter thy recesses, cause of her distress. This woman

Thy wildernesses and thy awful shades ; imprudently, and contrary to the com

But those in whose pure bosom Nature mands of her mistress, disclosed the The love of temperance, are welcome there.

planted secret to Hippolytus, who was struck Oh! gracious goddess, from my hands rewith horror at the very idea. He was ceive a young man of a lofty mind and a

This virgin garland for thy golden hair. spotless virtue, who spent much of his I feel thy presence, and I hear thy voice, time in the forests in the exercises of And answer thee, although thy face I see hunting, as the best preparation for the toils and dangers of war; a devout Oh! mistress, grant that I may end my worshipper of Diana, and averse to

life Venus, who, to be avenged on him for As it began, and never be the slave

Of Venus. the neglect of her altars, inspired his stepmother with this unnatural pas In the next scene, Phædra appears sion. Her mind was so deeply wound- sick and peevish, accompanied by an ed by the disclosure, that she put an aged nurse. end to her life, and left a writing, in N. Sorrow and pain is man's inheriwhich she accused Hippolytus of an

tance ;


What shall I do, what shall I leave un Oh! were I in thy plains to tame the done ?

steeds. Dear lady, look upon the sun's bright rays, N. What mean thy words? they are most The narrow chamber now confines thee

strange, my daughter. not,

Now thou desirest the mountains and the And thou mayst freely breathe the cooling chace, air:

And now to rein the fiery steed and fly Now didst thou only talk of coming hither, Along the dusty plain ; it well might Now thou art here, and soon wilt seek

claim the palace.

An oracle to tell what god distracts thee, Thou still desirest change, and nought de And leads thy mind astray from reason's lights thee;

path. And still thou fliest from that which thou P. Unhappy that I am, what have I possessest.

done ? But thy disease is seated in the mind, From wisdom's ways, ah! whither have I And neither time nor circumstance can

wandered ? aid thee.

Have I deserved the vengeance of the gods, Calamity makes up the sum of life, That I should fall so low? has reason lost And men must know no pause from pain My mind's dominion ? is there happiness and sorrow;

Again on earth for such a wretch as me ? And yet there is a place of refuge for him, Oh! veil my head,hide me from every A region of repose and happiness,

eye, A home out-shining far the land we know, I blush for the wild words that I have But it is hid in darkness and in clouds ;

spoken ; And thus we cling to life and all the woes “ My tears will flow,—my face is turned Which are our portion here, because we to shame."

know them ; But from that peaceful and that happy the Chorus and the Nurse, in which

After some conversation between land We are deterred by fables.

they bewail the state of Phædra, and P. Support me gently, raise my weary hazard conjectures as to its cause, she head,

again enters. The nurse implores her My joints are loosened, and I faint with by all the tenderness and confidence pain;

with which she had ever treated her, Remove the fillet bound around my locks, to reveal the true cause of her sorrow. And let them loosely flow upon my She with difficulty prevails, and the

shoulders. Oh! might I quench my burning thirst queen alludes to her passion for Hip

polytus in such a way as that the whole with waters That drop as pure as dew from the fresh truth flashes on her mind. The diafountains,

logue continues, but the language of And rest me under the delightful shado

Phædra is more sententious and less Of a tall poplar, in the leafy grove.

passionate than we might expect in N. Lady, why speakest thou thus ? thy such a situation. She is, indeed, still words are wild.

supporting the conflict with her own P. Oh! send me to the mountains, to mind, and when she does become more the woods,

animated, her feelings are all on the - The groves of pine, where the staunch

side of virtue.

P. I hate the fair outside and hollow The dapple hinds ; yes ! by the gods, I

heart To cheer the chasing dogs with loud hal. Of those who worship virtue in their words, loo,

And yet in secret act dishonourably ;

Who to their husbands seem all purity, And launch, with steady aim, the hunter's

But veiled by night's black mantle dare spear. N. My child, what aileth thee, why As might give voices to the very walls

such deeds, speakest thou thus ? Say, what hast thou to do with the fleet

To speak aloud and tell of mysteries ;

Oh ! sooner may I die, than bring disgrace dogs ? Why seek'st thou waters from the forest Upon my husband and my happy children. fountains ?

Yes! they shall flourish free from infamy Beside the palace is a sloping hill

Nor be dishonoured by a mother's shame. Where thou mayst quench thy thirst with

The knowledge of a guilty parent's crimes cooling waters.

Binds up the tongue, and blunts the edge P. Diana, mistress of the sacred lake,

of virtue. And of the groves, where sounding hoofs The nurse endeavours to persuade are heard,

her that there was nothing uncommon,

hounds pursue


« 上一页继续 »