« ElőzőTovább »
others must determine: "If I come to the green plain of the boar, he will compose, he will decompose, he will form languages: the strong-handed darter of light is he styled."
The studies and mode of living adopted by the Druids do not considerably differ from those pursued by the Brahmănas. Both Cæsar and Plutarch observe, that they cast into the pile at their funerals, every thing in which the deceased delighted; that not merely brute animals formed a part, but that favorite servants, slaves, and even near relatives, cast themselves into the flames, in hopes of being happy with them hereafter. The Indian parallel is sufficiently known; and Herodotus affirms of the Thracians, ἔχει γυναῖκας ἕκαστος πολλὰς, ἐπεὰν ὦν τὶς αὐτέων ἀποθάνῃ, κρίσις γίνεται μεγίστη γυναικῶν, καὶ φίλων σπουδαὶ ἰσχυραὶ περὶ τοῦδε, ἥτις αὐτέων ἐφίλετο μάλιστα ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀνδρός; ἡ δ ̓ ἂν κρίθῃ καὶ τιμήθῃ ἐγκωμιασθεῖσα ὑπό τε ἀνδρῶν καὶ γυναίκων, σφάζεται ἐπὶ τὸν τάφον ὑπὸ τοῦ οἰκηϊοτάτου ἑαυτῆς· σφαχθεῖσα δὲ συνθάπτεται τῷ ἀνδρί· αἱ δὲ ἄλλαι συμφορήν μετ γάλην ποιεῦνται· ὀνεῖδος γάρ σφι τοῦτο μέγιστον γίνεται. This naturally brings back to our recollection the Inferia of the classic writers; and Procopius remarks, that the same practice prevailed among the Germans: Tacitus, however, says of them: "Funerum nulla ambitio: id solum observatur, ut corpora clarorum virorum certis lignis crementur. Struem rogi nec vestibus nec odoribus cumulant: sua cuique arma, quorundam igni et equus adjicitur: sepulchrum cespes erigit." Brotier observes that the funeral of Childeric, king of the Franks, was such; and the same custom is recorded of the Scythians. Pietro Martire asserts, that the servants and familiar friends, amongst the savage Indians, are frequently buried alive at their funerals; and Oviedo in "su Relacion sumaria de la Historia Natural de las Indias" declares, that many killed themselves at the death of the cacique of their province; and that it is usual to bury their effects with them, and those things in which they mostly delighted. Thus, with the pagan Arabs, the camel was a victim to his deceased master, being intended by the survivors to transport him to the other world.
In the magic rod of the Druids, we discern the sacred staff of the Brahmanas :-both possessed consecrated beads, both made almost endless lustrations, both wore linen tiaras; and Mr. Maurice remarks, that the circle, Brahma's symbol, and the crescent, that of Siva, were both Druidical ornaments. For their vices corresponding with those of ancient Persia, and other eastern countries, we must refer the inquirer to Aristotle, Athenæus, Theodoret, Strabo, Plato, and Cæsar.
The transmigration of the human soul from one body to another, through different stages of existence, appears to have been, at one
time, received by the greatest proportion of mankind. Diodorus Siculus, after having informed us, that amongst the Gauls the opinions of Pythagoras respecting the Metempsychosis prevailed, adds, διὸ καὶ κατὰ τὰς ταφὰς τῶν τετελευτηκότων ἑνιοὺς ἐπιστολὰς γεγραμμένας τοῖς οἰκείοις τετελευτηκόσιν ἐμβάλλειν εἰς τὴν πυρὰν, ὡς τῶν τετελευτηκότων ἀναγνωσομένων ταύτας; and like that intermediate state in Virgil, before the waters of Lethe were to be imbibed, the Druids allowed a certain space between each transmigration. "All animated beings" (say the Triads)" originate in the lowest point of existence (Annwn); whence, by a regular gradation, they rise higher and higher in the scale of existence, till they arrive at the highest scale of happiness and perfection that is possible for finite beings. . . . Beings, as their souls by passing from ferocious, go to more gentle and harmless animals, approach the scale of humanity. Man, by attaching himself to evil, falls into such an animal state of existence, as corresponds with the turpitude of his soul, which may be so great as to cast him down into the lowest point of existence; whence he shall again return through such a succession of animal existences as are most proper to divest him of his evil propensities. The sacrifice of animals raises them to a state of humanity. Man, on arriving at a state above humanity, recovers the perfect recollection of all his former modes of existence, and to eternity retains it." 'The babe' Taliesin asserted, that he had been thrice born: that he had been a blue salmon, a dog, a stag, a roebuck on the mountain, the stock of a tree, a spade, an axe in the hand, a pin in a forceps for a year and a half, a cock variegated with white, a stallion, a buck of yellow hue, a grain, which vegetated on a hill, which the reaper
placed in a smoky recess, which the hen with red fangs (KED) received; that nine months he was an infant in her womb, that he was AEDD, that he was an offering before his sovereign, that he died, that he revived, that he had been a leader, and that now he is Taliesin. Hence one bard writes: "I require meu to be born again, in consideration of those liberal ones, which will be lost." Wherever the Pythagorean philosophy prevailed, these doctrines were found. In Persia, in China, and in Egypt, they were religious fundamentals; and in India they were universally received from time immemorial. The verses quoted by Halhed well elu
cidate them :
"As throwing aside his old garments,
Go to other newer animals."
In the Puránas, the cessation from transmigration is denominated true knowledge, beatitude, and absorption into the Divine Essence; for, when a person is re-united to the Supreme Being, he is never born again; for which reason, the Ascetics exercise themselves in long Tapasya, and those (as Capt. Wilford observes) who worship the Deity at Ro'DANA-STHANA, enjoy heavenly bliss, without being subject to any future transmigration. The Metempsychosis expresses the immortality of the soul ἐν παραβολῇ ; and the following curious translation of Colebrooke shows one meritorious way of obtaining release from it: "As the snakebearer forcibly drags the serpent from his earth, so bearing her husband from hell, she (the faithful widow, who burns herself,) shall enjoy heavenly bliss:" i. e. MUCTI, subject to no future transmigration.
The Druids conceive the soul to be a lapsed intelligence, and since the extremity of ANNWN is the lowest point of existence, the soul, to regain its former state, was forced to pass through all the intermediate; and many of the Druidical ideas on this subjec wonderfully accord with those of Védantis and Sufis, who conceive, that human souls differ in degree in infinitum, but not at all in kind, from the Divine Spirit, of which (to use Sir Wm. Jones's words) they are particles, and in which they will ultimately be absorbed. We read in one of the Triads, that "the soul is an inconceivably minute particle of most refined matter, necessarily endued with life, and never dies: but at the dissolution of one body it passes into another, either higher or lower in the scale of existence." The Brahminical ideas on this subject are of the same nature, excepting, that nothing material is imputed to the soul: Atman (the soul) proceeded from God by emanation, wherefore BRAHM, as the source of all things, is named Mahan Ätmā, the great soul. The Egyptians maintained corresponding doctrines; the Egyptian Theonoe, according to Euripides, averred, that the soul, (Noug)
γνώμην δ' ἔχει
̓Αθάνατον, εἰς ἀθάνατον αἰθέρ ̓ ἐμπεσών.
The transmigration of souls was connected with the xy xorov, more or less, as is evident from the 6th Æneis of Virgil, and in the accounts of that infinite spirit, whom they denominated çòàç ÞODW, and Kyou445, XHỎYчI, or 11⁄2 HOTI, the same sentiments may clearly be traced. Closely connected with this branch of our disquisition, are the following Triads : "There are three circles for states of existence; the circle of infimity, where there is nothing but God, of living or dead, and none
but God can traverse it; the circle of inchoation, where all things
"Et vos, barbaricos ritus, moremque sinistrum
Pallida regna petunt; regit idem Spiritus Artus
Mors media est," &c. &c. &c. &c.
From some of the Triads translated by Mr. Edward Williams, it appears, that they had some obscure ideas of a future judg ment and the FLACHAMNA, or heaven of heavens, of the Irish Druids, floating in NEAMHAGAS, answers to that of the TRIMURTTI, which floats in AKASS, or celestial ather. Mr. More's Hindu Pantheon will furnish numerous resemblances among the Indians, the Greek writers among the Egyptians, and the Edda amongst the Gothic tribes; the Celta, particularly, believed that warlike exploits were a sure title to future happiness, as Pelloutier well observes: "Aussi, lorsque les Irlandaises étaient accouchées d'un fils, priaient-elles Dieu, qu'il fît la grâce à cet enfant de mourir à la guerre, et les armes à la main."
Πολλῶν ὁ Καίρος γίνεται παραίτιος,
Τάχισθ ̓ ὁ Καίρος μετάφερει τὰ πράγματα.
Dec. 1, 1817.
DANIEL GUILDFORD WAIT.
"Persius" [ed. Rob. Steph. Lut. M.D.XLIIII.] "collatus est cum codice MSto, annorum 300, in bibliotheca Regia, Londini.
25. Sulfure: Sulpure
36. Nunc Licini in: Tune L. i. 41. Poscis opem :—cit opem 52. incusaque pingui: incussaque pingui
53. sudes, et pectore: sudas e. p. 54. Excutias guttas, lætari prætrepidum: Excuties g. 1. per trepidum
55. auro sacras quod: sacras auro quod
58. fitque illis aurea: sitque illis aurea
69. in sacro quid in sco quid SATIRA TERTIA.
10. bicolor positis: positis bicolor
12. Tunc querimur: nunc queritur
14. Dilutas querimur: Dilutas queritur
16. teneroque columbo,: teneroque palumbo