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counties, of all the dolmens or cromlechs of Ireland. There are no theories here, all is hard fact, measurement and statistics, and about half of the eight hundred pictures belong to these four hundred pages. The whole number of dolmens included in the catalogue amounts to 780, besides 50 “chambered tumuli", and 68 which the author describes as “uncertain”. The great majority of these have been surveyed, measured, and in many cases sketched, by Mr. Borlase himself, who had practised the art from his early youth among the cromlechs of his

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The Cat-stone at Ushnagh. (From a sketch by Mr. W. C. Borlase.)

native Cornwall. Following the Irish catalogues comes a part of the book which is to some extent theoretical: the comparisons of these dolmens with those of other lands. This would require a very long description to do it justice ; suffice it here to say that the author travels over most of Europe and parts of Syria and India, not according to ordinary geography alone, but by a well-worked plan of trade and migration routes, which introduces the reader at last to the rather startling and very revolutionary theories of the end. These theories, put forward perhaps unduly humbly and tentatively, may or may not be true; but be they as false as possible they in no wise detract from the value of the collections of facts on which they are based. Indeed, so little does one suspect Mr. Borlase of “faking” his facts to suit his theories, that one cannot help seeing throughout that his conclusions were forced

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upon him by his facts during the process of investigation. Hence, what in many cases would certainly be dismissed as a craze of a mere crank, must here be treated as the serious utterance of a man who knows what he is talking about, and may very likely be quite right: though if he is, a great many other people have been quite wrong

To put an important part of the theory shortly, it is this : the legends of Partholan, Nemed, the Fomorians, the Tuath De Danann, and the Fir Bolg are not all rubbish. On the contrary, they contain a vast amount of actual fact; only, instead of happening about the time of Noah's Flood, they happened at and refer to the time of that other and later deluge, the irruption of the barbarians into the Roman Empire in the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries. Moreover, Partholan is Bardoland, an eponym of the Langobardi, Nemed or Nemech is Njemitz, a Sclavonic name for the Germans; the Fomorians are the Pomoranian Sclaves, the Fir Bolg are the Bulgarians, and the events as recorded in the early Irish histories really happened, many of them actually in the various foreign countries to which the stories ascribe them, though others located by the chronicles in Ireland have been transferred from abroad. Among the best of these instances are the

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great sagas of Golamh, or Miles, or Nial (for the three are identical). These heroes, really the same under three names, shortly after the dispersion of Babel, go through a variety of adventures too long to record here, in the Mediterranean and Euxine Seas, either starting from or ending up in Spain. Now Nial was son of Fenius Farsa, which was the son of Baath, hence he would be in Irish Nial ua Baath or Nial O’Baath. Is it a mere coincidence, with no significance, that Georgius Syncellus and Zosimus should record adventures almost identical with those of Nial as happening to certain barbarians, whom the one calls Heruli and the other Scythes, in exactly the same places in the time of the Emperor Gallienus? Does it mean nothing that their leader was one Naulobatus ? This is perhaps the strongest coincidence, name and all ; but the last part of the book is full of striking instances of similarities of the same sort ; while the measurements of skulls and comparison of personal appearances, as well as the chain of dolmens along lines of migrations, seem to show at any rate prima facie

evidence in favour of Mr. Borlase's conclusions as to the origin of a part of the Irish nation. The theories are not completely worked out

another book would be wanted for that, but Mr. Borlase has done something more than indicate the direction which future research may take, with a very good prospect of coming to something of importance.

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Natural History in Shakespeare's T'ime; being extracts illustrative of the subject as he knew

The Serpent.

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it. By H. W. SEAGER, M.B. (London : Stock). This is a really charming work, not for novelty's sake—for it does not propose to be more than a collection of extracts —but because it contains so many delightful stories and traditions of the real and imaginary inhabitants of the woods and lands and waters which Shakespeare was familiar with, as is shown by the frequent allusions to them in his works. There had been always, from classical days, a manual of natural his

The Unicorn

was

tory available to the enquirer. In the AngloSaxon and mediæval times there

the Bestiarium, a collection of more

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or less veracious anecdotes about types of familiar animals and imaginary monsters. As time went on, some of the earliest printed books dealt with the zoology of the world; and at the beginning of the seventeenth century there was quite a literature of the subject, from which Mr. Seager has culled the choicest notes and gathered up the

Sheep.

quaintest illustrations, a few of which we have, with permission, reproduced to show the character of the illustration. One of them, the unicorn, is of special interest, for he “is so strong that he is not taken with might of hunters, but a maid is set there as he shall come, and she openeth her lap, and the unicorn layeth thereon his head, and leaueth all his fierceness and sleepeth in that wise, and is taken as a beast without weapon and slain with darts of hunters”. 'All

The Cockatrice.

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