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the manners of the two nations; which, however, may be counted for on general principles arising from our comparative observations on rude life. Yet it is remarkable that mead, the northern nectar, or favourite liquor of the Goths, who seem to have stamped it with the character of a poetical drink, was no less celebrated among the Welsh'. The songs of both nations abound with its praises: and it seems in both to have been alike the delight of the warrior and the bard. Taliessin, as Lhuyd informs us, wrote a panegyrical ode on this inspiring beverage of the bee; or, as he translates it, De Mulso seu HYDROMELI k. In Hoel Dha's Welsh laws, translated by Wotton, we have, “In omni convivio in quo MULSUM bibitur!.” From which passage, it seems to have been served up only at high festivals. By the same constitutions, at every feast in the king's castle-hall, the prefect or marshal of the hall is to receive from the queen, by the hands of the steward, a HORN OF MEAD. It is also ordered, among the privileges annexed to the office of prefect of the royal-hall, that the king's bard shall sing to him as often as he pleases m. One of the stated officers of the king's houshold is CONFECTOR Mulsi: and this officer, together with the master of the horse", the master of the hawks, the
h And of the antient Franks. Gre- TOMBARE. In the Saxon canons given gory of Tours mentions a Frank drink- by king Edgar, about the year 960, it is ing this liquor; and adds, that he ac- ordered, that no priest shall be a POET, or quired this habit from the BARBAROUS or exercise the MIMICAL or histrionical art in Frankish nations. Hist. Franc. lib. viii. any degree, either in public or private. c. 33. p. 404. ed. 1699. Paris. fol. Can. 58. Concil. Spelman, tom. i. p. 455. i See vol. ii. p. 264.
edit. 1639. fol. In Edgar's Oration to k Tanner Bibl. p. 706.
Dunstan, the Mimi, Minstrels, are said 1 Leg. Wall. L. i. cap. xxiv. p. 45. both to sing and dance. Ibid. p. 477. m Ibid. L. i. cap. xii. p. 17.
Much the same injunction occurs in the " When the king makes a present of Saxon Laws of the NORTHUMBRIAN a horse, this officer is to receive a fee; PRIESTS, given in 988. Cap. xli. ibid. but not when the present is made to a p. 498. Mimus seems sometimes to have bishop, the master of the hawks, or to signified The Fool. As in Gregory of the Mimus. The latter is exempt, on Tours, speaking of the Mimus of Miro. account of the entertainment he afforded a king of Gallicia : “ Erat enim MIMUS the court at being presented with a horse REGIS, qui ei per VERBA JOCULARIA LAby the king: the horse is to be led out TITIAM erat solitus EXCITARE. Sed non of the hall with capistrum testiculis alli- cum adjuvit aliquis cachinnus, neque gatum. Ibid. L. i. cap. xvii. p. 31. præstigiis artis suæ," &c. Gregor. TuMimus seems here to be a MIMIC, or a ronens. MIRACUL. S. Martin. lib. iv. gesticulator. Carpentier mentions a cap. vii. p. 1119. Opp. Paris. 1699. fol. “Joculator qui sciebat TOMBARE, to edit. Ruinart. tumble." Cang. Lat. Gloss. Suppl. V.
smith of the palaceo, the royal bardo, the first musician”, with some others, have a right to be seated in the hall. We have already seen, that the Scandinavian scalds were well known in Ireland : and there is sufficient evidence to prove, that the Welsh bards were early connected with the Irish. Even so late as the eleventh century, the practice continued among the Welsh bards, of receiving instructions in the bardic profession from Ireland. The Welsh bards were reformed and regulated by Gryffyth ap Conan, king of Wales, in the year 1078. At the same time he brought over with him from Ireland many Irish bards, for the information and improvement of the Welsh s.
• He is to work free: except for mak- cap. xix. p. 35. Mention is made of Ing the king's cauldron, the iron bands, the bard who gains the chair in the and other furniture for his castle-gate, hall. Ibid. Artic. 5. After a contest and the iron-work for his mills. Leg. of bards in the hall, the bard who gains Wall. L. i. cap. xliv. p. 67.
the chair, is to give the JUDGE OF THE By these constitutions, given about HALL, another officer, a horn, (cornu the year 940, the bard of the Welsh bubalinum) a ring, and the cushion of kings is a domestic officer. The king is to his chair. Ibid. L. i. cap. xvi. p. 26. allow him a horse and a woollen robe; When the king rides out of his castle, and the queen a linen garment. The five bards are to accompany him. Ibid. prefect of the palace, or governor of the L. i. cap. viii. p. 11. The Cornu Bucastle, is privileged to sit next him in balinum may be explained from a pasthe hall, on the three principal feast days, sage in a poem, composed about the and to put the harp into his hand. On year 1160, by Owain Cyveiliog prince the three feast days he is to have the of Powis, which he entitled Hirlas, steward's robe for a fee. He is to at- from a large drinking-horn so called, tend, if the queen desires a song in her used at feasts in his castle-hall. “ Pour chamber. An ox or cow is to be given out, o cup-bearer, sweet and pleasant out of the booty or prey (chiefly consist- mead (the spear is red in the time of ing of cattle) taken from the English by necd) from the horns of wild oxen, the king's domestics: and while the prey covered with gold, to the souls of those is dividing, he is to sing the praises of departed heroes." Evans, p. 12. the BRITISH Kings or KINGDOM. If, By these laws the king's barp is to be when the king's domestics go out to make worth one hundred and twenty pence : depredations, he sings or plays before but that of a gentleman, or one not a them, he is to receive the best bullock. vassal, sixty pence. The King's chessWhen the king's army is in array, he is board is valued at the same price : to sing the Song of the British Kings, and the instrument for fixing or tuning When invested with his office, the king the strings of the king's harp, at twentyis to give him a harp, (other constitutions four pence. His drinking-horn, at one say a chess-board,) and the queen a ring pound. Ibid. L. iii. cap. vii, p. 265. of gold: nor is he to give away the harp 4 There are two musicians: the Muon any account. When he goes out of sicus PRIMARIUS, who probably was a the palace to sing with other bards, he teacher, and certainly a superintendant is to receive a double portion of the lar- over the rest; and the HALL-MUSICIAN. gesse or gratuity. If he ask a gift or LEG. ut supr. L. i. cap. xlv. p. 68. favour of the king, he is to be fined by
r“ Jus cathedræ.” Ibid. L. i. cap. X. singing an ode or poem: if of a noble- p. 13. man or chief, three; if of a vassal, he is * See Selden, Drayt. POLYOLB. S. ix. to sing him to sleep. Leo. Wall. L. i. 156. S. iv. pag. 67. edit. 1613. fol.
Powell acquaints us, that this prince “brought over with him from Ireland divers cunning musicians into Wales, who devised in a manner all the instrumental music that is now there used: as appeareth, as well by the bookes written of the same, as also by the names of the tunes and measures used among them to this daiet.” In Ireland, to kill a bard was highly criminal: and to seize his estate, even for the public service and in time of national distress, was deemed an act of sacrilege". Thus in the old Welsh laws, whoever even slightly injured a bard, was to be fined six cows and one hundred and twenty pence. The murtherer of a bard was to be fined one hundred and twentysix cows". Nor must I pass over, what reflects much light on this reasoning, that the establishment of the houshold of the old Irish chiefs, exactly resembles that of the Welsh kings. For, besides the bard, the musician, and the smith, they have both a physician, a huntsman, and other corresponding officers*. We must also remember, that an intercourse was necessarily produced between the Welsh and Scandinavians from the piratical irruptions of the latter: their scalds, as I have already remarked, were respected and patronised in the courts of those princes, whose territories were the principal objects of the Danish invasions. Torfæus expressly affirms this of the Anglo
· Hist. of Cambr. p. 191. edit. so hardi to speak to him except it be 1584.
MUSICIANS to solace the emperor." chap. Keating's Hist. Ireland, pag. 132. lxvii. p. 100. Here is another proof of * LEG. WALL ut supr. L. i. cap. xix. the correspondence between the eastern pag. 35. seq. See also cap. xlv. p. 68. and northern customs: and this instance We find the same respect paid to the 'might be brought as an argument of the bard in other constitutions. “Qur Har- bardic institution being fetched from the PATOREM, &c. Whoever shall strike a east. Lco Afer mentions the Poele HARPER who can harp in a public assem curiæ of the Caliph's court at Bagdad, bly, shall compound with him by a com- about the year 990. De Med. et Piilos. position of four times more, than for any Arab. cap. iv. Those poets were in other man of the same condition." Legg. most repute among the Arabians, who Ripuariorum et Wesinorum. Linden- could speak extemporaneous verses to broch. Cod. LL. Antiq. Wisigoth. etc. the Caliph. Euseb. Renaudot. apud A.D. 613. Tit. 5. § ult.
Fabric. Bibl. Gr. xiii. p. 249. Thomson, The caliphs, and other eastern poten- in the CASTLE of INDOLENCE, mentions tates, had their hards: whom they treated the BARD IN WAITING being introduced with equal respect. Sir John Maun- to lull the Caliph asleep. And Maun. deville, who travelled in 1340, says, that deville mentions MINSTRELLES as estawhen the emperor of Cathay, or great blished officers in the court of the emCham of Tartary, is seated at dinner in peror of Cathay. high pomp with his lords, “no man is * See Temple, ubi supr. p. 346.
Saxon and Irish kings; and it is at least probable, that they were entertained with equal regard by the Welsh princes, who so frequently concurred with the Danes in distressing the English. It may be added, that the Welsh, although living in a separate and detached situation, and so strongly prejudiced in favour of their own usages, yet from neighbourhood, and unavoidable communications of various kinds, might have imbibed the ideas of the Scandinavian bards from the Saxons and Danes, after those nations had occupied and overspread all the other parts of our island.
Many pieces of the Scottish bards are still remaining in the highlands of Scotland. Of these a curious specimen, and which considered in a more extensive and general respect,
is valuable monument of the poetry of a rude period, has lately been given to the world, under the title of the WORKS OF Ossian. It is indeed very remarkable, that in these poems, the terrible graces, which so naturally characterise, and so generally constitute, the early poetry of a barbarous people, should so frequently give place to a gentler set of manners, to the social sensibilities of polished life, and a more civilised and elegant species of imagination. Nor is this circumstance, which disarranges all our established ideas concerning the
savage stages of society, easily to be accounted for, unless we suppose, that the Celtic tribes, who were so strongly addicted to poetical composition, and who made it so much their study from the earliest times, might by degrees have attained a higher vein of poetical refinement, than could at first sight or on common principles be expected among nations, whom we are accustomed to call barbarous; that some few instances of an elevated strain of friendship, of love, and other sentimental feelings, existing in such nations, might lay the foundation for introducing a set of manners among the bards, more refined and exalted than the real manners of the country: and that panegyrics on those virtues, transmitted with improvements from bard to bard. must at length have formed characters of ideal excellence, which might propagate among the people real manners bordering on
the poetical. These poems, however, notwithstanding the difference between the Gothic and the Celtic rituals, contain many visible vestiges of Scandinavian superstition. The allusions in the songs of Ossian to spirits, who preside over the different parts and direct the various operations of nature, who send storms over the deep, and rejoice in the shrieks of the shipwrecked mariner, who call down lightning to blast the forest or cleave the rock, and diffuse irresistible pestilence among the people, beautifully conducted indeed, and heightened, under the skilful hand of a master bard, entirely correspond with the Runic system, and breathe the spirit of its poetry. One fiction in particular, the most EXTRAVAGANT in all Ossian's poems,
is founded on an essential article of the Runic belief. It is where Fingal fights with the spirit of Loda. Nothing could aggrandise Fingal's heroism more highly than this marvellous encounter. It was esteemed among the antient Danes the most daring act of courage to engage with a ghosty. Had Ossian found it convenient to have introduced religion into his compositions,
y Bartholin. De Contemptu Mortis treasure, where it had been laid up from apud Dan. L. ii. c. 2. p. 258. And ibid. old times, “being the workmanship of
There are many other marks Galas, the most excellent of all swordof Gothic customs and superstitions in smiths.” Hoved. f. 414. ii. Sect. 50. Ossian. The fashion of marking the The mere mechanic, who is only mensepulchres of their chiefs with circles of tioned as a skilful artist in history, bestones, corresponds with what Olaus comes a magician or a preternatural Wormius relates of the Danes. Monum. being in romance. Danic. Hafn. 1634. p. 38. See also [The sword-smith here recorded, is OI. Magn. Hist. xvi. 2. In the Her- the hero of the Volundar-quitha in VARAR Saga, the sword of Suarfulama Sæmund's Edda. He is called Weland is forged by the dwarfs, and called Tirf- in the poem of Beowulf; Welond by ing. Hickes, vol. i. p. 193. So Fingal's king Alfred in his translation of Boesword was made by an enchanter, and thius; and Guielandus by Geoffrey of was called the son of Luno. And, Monmouth. Mr. Ellis affirms that he what is more, this Luno was the Vulcan is also spoken of in the Minstrelsy of of the north, lived in Juteland, and the Scottish Border. This has escaped made complete suits of armour for many me; but it is to this circumstance, perof the Scandinavian heroes. See Temora, haps, that we are indebted for the introB. vii. p. 159. Ossian, vol. ii. edit. duction of his name in the novel of Ke1765. Hence the bards of both coun- nilworth.-Edit.) tries made him a celebrated enchanter. 2 This perplexing and extraordinary By the way, the naines of sword-smiths circumstance, I mean the absence of all were thought worthy to be recorded in religious ideas from the poems of Ossian, history. Hoveden says, that when Geof- is accounted for by Mr. Macpherson frey of Plantagenet was knighted, they with my address,
See DissERTATION brought him a sword from the royal prefixed, vol. i. p. viii. ix. edit. 1765.