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it may be permitted to some extent to appraise the character of the Briton according to the high morality, reflected probably from more ancient sources, in the Triads, which, whilst they celebrate the virtues of the British women, brand with infamy the memory of those who have strayed from the paths of virtue. Neither must we disregard the incitement to such high morality as is contained in the bardic doctrine of the immortality of the soul,1 or in the heroic sentiments which often tuned the lyre of the bard.

It cannot be gainsaid that the passage in Cæsar practically means either absence of marriage law, or something very much better; and if this is as inimical to procreation as monogamy, or at the most a restricted polygamy, is favourable to it, how is it that the population of Britain was so great as to excite the astonishment of Cæsar, who speaks of infinita multitudo hominum ??

This remarkable fact with regard to the teeming population of Britain is additional evidence in favour of their more regular family life, and of their comparatively civilised conditions. The pursuit of agriculture among them was more general probably than may be gathered from Cæsar; for this density of population would certainly imply the existence of some less precarious means of support than mere hunting or a pastoral life, subject to the vicissitudes of plunder, affords, seeing that, as a learned writer has said, "It is only among strictly savage tribes that man's desires, being neither cherished by affluence nor inflamed by indulgence,' are allowed to remain in that moderate state which renders them barely sufficient

1 Llywarch Hen, p. 32, where Mrs. Owen truly says, "That the Britons had, notwithstanding the purity of the bardic system, many degrading superstitions and absurd customs, none will think of controverting, but we may fairly insist that very slight dependence ought to be placed in the relations of foreign authors with regard to any matter besides mere simple facts."

2 Cæsar, Lib. v, c. xii. Diodorus also says, "The island is very populous", and this is language employed by persons well acquainted with the densely populated countries of Italy and Sicily, and used without qualification. (Geo. Smith, in The History of the Relig. of the Anc. Britons, p. 32.)

3 Giraldus Cambrensis, in his Itinerary of Wales, tells us that the Britons were not addicted to either gluttony or drunkenness.

for the continuation of the species. It is this fact that explains the paradox of the morality of a semi-barbarous people being sometimes apparently little inferior, if not sometimes even superior, to that which the history of a modern Christian State, or of a pagan, yet civilised one, reveals; for, as Gibbon says, "Although the progress of civilisation has undoubtedly contributed to assuage the fiercer passions of human nature, it seems to have been less favourable to the virtue of chastity, whose most dangerous enemy is softness of the mind."

It is known, says Mr. J. R. Porter, writing in 1838, that marriages bear a fixed and definite relation to the price of corn. And it must have been in Keltic social economy, as it is in these days, that the number of marriage contracts was determined not by temper and the wishes of individuals, but by large general facts over which individuals have no control, one of these facts being the fluctuations in the facilities for obtaining the primary necessities of life. Then, again, the physique of Man, and consequently the propagation of the species, is influenced by the character of the food that he consumes, the food is influenced by the character of the soil, the soil by the climate, and the climate, speaking of our own geographical position, by that most wonderful of natural phenomena (as to its influence upon our climate), the Gulf Stream. Hence it is obvious that the morality of a people, and of that of the inhabitants of Britain, cannot altogether be dissociated from considerations of climate and locality, or in other words, of what Dr. Hunt calls Ethnoclimatology.3

1 Millar's Origin of the Distinction of Ranks, p. 15. The primary or fundamental check to the continued increase of man is the difficulty of gaining subsistence and of living in comfort. (Darwin's Descent of Man vol. i, p. 66.) That the great mass of the Britons were in no such abject condition as Cæsar describes them to have been, is sufficiently attested by the fact that in the future conquests of Britain, extending from the shores of the Channel to those of the Forth and Clyde, the Roman armies were supplied with corn and cattle, the products of British industry, and not only they, but also the necessarily more numerous native armies who opposed them. (See J. Crawfurd on "Cæsar's Account of Britain", in the Transactions of the Ethnol. Soc., vol. v, p. 208.) 2 Roman Empire, vol. v, chap. ix.

3 See Transactions of Ethnol. Soc., James Hunt, Ph.D., on "EthnoClimatology, or the Acclimatisation of Man", vol. ii.

(To be continued.)

Proceedings of the Association.



It was announced that His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales had graciously signified his consent to be a patron of the Congress to be held in the autumn at Cardiff.

J. W. Bodger, Esq., exhibited a series of antiquities which have been discovered during recent excavations at Peterborough and · Sibson. Among these were three bronze Roman coins, one with Romulus and Remus on reverse, found with a jar of pale earthenware ornamented with red lines on three sides, arranged like chevrons in each case. These were about 8 ins. below the surface, and found March 24th, 1891, near Peterborough. Conical-shaped vessel of pale earthenware, ornamented with rings at apex, middle of base without colour, found about 12 ins. from the surface in same digging as above. Two irons, one part of stirrup, two bronze Roman pins, one bone pin, coin of Constantine and one other, 1891 March 26th, near Peterborough. Found near the before described, 25th March 1891, were a Roman bronze crescent pendant and two coins, and brass of Adrianus ; on reverse Britannia seated. Part of leaden vase with fluted sides, found, with Roman jars and bronzes, some years back, at Sibson. Saxon bone comb, found in Queen Street, Peterborough, October 1884.

J. M. Wood, Esq., described an interesting seal now used by the Corporation, Sudbury, Suffolk. It is circular in form, and of sixteenth century date. An impression was produced.

W. de Gray Birch, Esq., F.S.A., sent for exhibition a series of impressions of the seals of Boxley Abbey, Kent.

The following paper was then read :—



Among the seals preserved in the British Museum is an imperfect wax impression of one used in the fourteenth century by the Abbot and Convent of Boxley, but happily a plaster cast of another impression of the same seal is also preserved there, and by careful comparison

of them, under the skilful manipulation of Mr. R. Ready, an impression has been produced, and is now, with some photographs, placed on the table, which, as will be seen, admits of tolerably easy decipherment. The original seal is attached to a lease granted by the Prior and Convent of Christ Church, Canterbury, to the Abbey of Boxley of a piece of land called Wreggemede, bearing date A.D. 1336 (Additional Charters, 20,008). The imperfect plaster cast is No. lxv, 2, 3.

These impressions are fully described, and the legends satisfactorily deciphered, by Mr. de Gray Birch in his Catalogue of Seals (pp. 453-4, Nos. 2691-2). The obverse represents an arcade of three pointed arches, trefoiled, pinnacled, and crocketed, supported by a column of tabernacle work on either side, each column having in the middle a small quatre-foiled recess containing in relief the head of a saint, probably SS. Benedict and Bernard. Under this canopy is seated the Virgin Mary on a richly-carved throne, wearing a crown, and holding in her right hand a cinque-foiled rose, while on her left knee, supported by her left arm, is seated the Child Jesus, his head surrounded by a nimbus, his right hand raised as in the act of benediction, his left hand holding an orb. At the base, under a widely trefoiled arch, are the faces of three monks, in profile as though raised in prayer. The legends run round in two rings; the outer one is: SIGILLUM COMMUNE ECCL' BEATE MARIE DE BOXELE; the inner: SIT BUXUS (GRATA) TIBI CORDI


On the reverse are two figures, no doubt meant to represent the two patron saints of the Cistercian Order, SS. Benedict and Bernard, each standing in a trefoiled recess, or niche of a double canopy, holding in one hand a pastoral staff, curved outwards, and in the other a book, the canopy supported by panelled buttresses on either side, with a light plain column in the middle separating the two figures. The legends, which are metrical and rhyming, also run in two circles, but being still more imperfect than on the obverse can only be supplemented by conjecture. The outer one would appear to be: QUI LAUDANT HIC TE DEFENDE TUOS BENEDICTE; and the inner one, ......... PROPICIAM FACITO BERNARDE MARIAM.

On both obverse and reverse, between the supporting buttresses of the canopy and the legend, is on either side a twig of a box-tree, clearly having reference to the name of the village, probably derived from the abundance of the box-trees (buxus) growing on the hillside.

A plaster cast of another seal, in the shape of a vesica piscis, (No lxv, 4) is preserved in the British Museum, which seems to belong to the preceding century, but there being no trace of the charter to which the seal had been attached, it is impossible to assign to it an exact date. This has only the figure of an abbot with the crozier turned inwards, the legend being SIGILLUM ABBATIS DE BOXELE, It was evi

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