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dignity, and cruelly scourged her. The Britons, though they knew themselves the weaker, would not endure this. The news spread abroad among many tribes, — they were always ready to protect and defend women. In their angry vengeance they rose in a body, and attacked London (one of the towns which the Romans had built for themselves), killed its Roman inhabitants, and were rejoicing in their victory, when the Roman general Suetonius, who had had time to collect his army, put an end to their short triumph, and defeated them in a battle in which 80,000 Celts were killed. The unhappy Queen Boadicea after this event is said to have poisoned herself. Our poet Cowper has represented her as perishing in battle:
“When the British warrior-queen,
Bleeding from the Roman rods,
Counsel of her country's gods.
Sat the Druid, hoary chief;
Full of rage, and full of grief.
““Princess ! if our aged eyes
Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, 'Tis because resentment ties
All the terrors of our tongues. “ “Rome shall perish ! — write that word
In the blood that she has spilt;
Deep in ruin as in guilt.
Trampled on a thousand States; Soon her pride shall kiss the ground
Hark! the Gaul is at her gates! “Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier's name; Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize;
Harmony, the path to fame. “"Then the progeny that springs
From the forests of our land,
Shall a wider world command. “Regions Cæsar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway;
None invincible as they.'
Pregnant with celestial fire,
Of his sweet, but awful lyre.
“She, with all a monarch's pride,
Felt them in her bosom glow; Rushed to battle, fought, and died;
Dying, hurled them at the foe. “Ruffians, pitiless as proud,
Heaven awards the vengeance due; Empire is on us bestowed,
Shame and ruin wait for you."
DRUIDS.—THE OAK.—BRITISH TEMPLES.-BURIAL PLACES.
-IDOLATRY.-SUPERSTITIONS. -- RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES. -RELICS OF HEATHENISM IN GAMES.-DRUIDESSES.
In the poem at the end of the last chapter we have the picture of an aged and venerable man seated beneath a spreading oak, and stirring up the British people to vengeance. He is one of the priests of their religion ; for the Celtic tribes had by this time given up that early custom that every father of a family, or head of a tribe, should be the priest to offer sacrifices and lead the worship of God.
They set apart a distinct order of men for priests, called Druids. It is thought by some that their name was taken from Drus, an oak; for this noble tree was highly venerated by the Ancient British. The ceremonies of their religion were performed in the open air, often under the shelter of groves of oak. In very early times groves of trees were planted for religious worship. Abraham planted a grove, and no doubt often enjoyed meditation under the shadow of its spreading branches, while he thought of God his maker, who had “clothed them with verdure and beauty;" who sometimes caused the voice of His winds to sound among their branches, and sometimes stilled every leaf into perfect calm.
When men forgot the true God, and became wicked and idolatrous, they still planted groves for their worship. These became places of concealment for cruel and wicked deeds. The heathens persuaded themselves that their false gods were pleased by cruelty.
When the people of Israel were sent to root out idolatry from Canaan, they were ordered to cut down the groves. The custom of planting them was kept up elsewhere, as well as among the Ancient British. They had also rude kinds of temples and altars : portions of their temples are still standing in England. The stones used for