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inciting the Britons before the battle of the Grampians to deeds of valour, says: "The Romans have no wives with them to inspire them with valour";1 and Suetonius says of Cæsar that "he neither noticed every crime, nor when he did was it followed with adequate punishment; but whilst he sharply inquired into and severely punished desertion and sedition, he tacitly connived at other delinquencies".? "Do you believe that the degree of bravery which animates the Romans (in war) is as great as that of their licentiousness in peace?"3 "Our wives and sisters, although they escape a hostile assault, are polluted under the pretence of friendship and hospitality.' ." And after their defeat Tacitus describes how the Britons were sometimes broken (hearted) at the sight of their relatives, but were oftener fired with wrath, and it is sufficiently well established that some of them, as if in savage pity, laid violent hands upon their wives and children.5

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We may perhaps now consider the manner in which the union of the sexes was accomplished. Among the forty tribes to whom the "heavenly island of Britain" as Aneurin, in allusion probably to the Keltic paradise, speaks of his native country-was apportioned, the practice undoubtedly prevailed with which Dr. McLennan has aptly identified a word of his own coining, namely, exogamy. We know that the Keltæ must have practised, though in a debased form, the primitive religion of the Oriental patriarchs, just as we know that they

Tacitus, Agric., c. xxxii.

2 § 67. 4 Ibid., c. xxxi.

3 Tacitus, Agric., c. xxxii. 5 Ibid., c. xxxviii. And Caractacus, before his defeat by Agricola, urges the Britons to keep the persons of their wives and children uncontaminated. (See Tac., Ann., Book XII, 34.) As Suetonius speaks of Julius Cæsar, so Tacitus speaks of Agricola: "He was content to let some things pass unnoticed." (C. xx.) "He wished to know everything, though he ignored many delinquencies." (C. xix, Life of Agricola.) "Caractacus himself had but one wife, who, when a captive in Rome, passed in procession through the city with her daughter, and followed by the British King, that they might be viewed by the Roman populace. (Tac. Ann., Book XII, c. xxxvi.)


The Gododin. "Their Flath-Innis, or Noble Island, lay surrounded by tempest in the Western Ocean." See also a learned note on Sacred Islands of the North" in Notes and Queries, vol. v, p. 429, 2nd Ser.

7 Studies in Anc. Hist.

enjoyed a degree of culture to which non-Aryan savages are to this day strangers; that they lived under the admirable influence of that system of clanship which they brought with them from the East,' and which had its origin in the patriarchal conditions of society there obtaining in the early history of the human race. And incohesive as these tribes were, even on occasion of common danger, they must have been, owing to different causes, continually at war one tribe with another: a state of affairs, not, however, as has been remarked, more culpable than that which the history of modern Europe reveals. The enormous abundance of the camps of the ancient Britons, however, in which Professor Dawkins sees indications of a state of incessant warfare, may be taken to indicate rather a necessary state of constant preparation for war. And

"What dire offence from amorous causes spring,
What mighty contests rise from trivial things",

when we find that a not unfrequent source of strife was probably this abduction by force of women from a

1 "The moral element in society", says Professor Blackie, "is the blood, and the blood is the life. The clan system as a form of government is not only not a bad system, but in respect of the moral cement which held the different classes of society together, it was the best possible system that ever has been or ever will be devised. (See Celtic Mag., Dec. 1880.) "In this system a moral bond asserted itself by deeds of devotion and fidelity, generosity and self-sacrifice, unsurpassed in the annals of the human race." (Ibid.)

2 "When we consider", says Professor Dawkins, "the enormous abundance of the camps of the ancient Britons it is clear that those were times of incessant warfare." (Our Earliest Ancestors in Britain.) It is to be regretted that Sammes, in his Britannia, does not name the ancient author whom he quotes, though it was possibly the foregoing fact that was in his mind, to the effect that among the ancient Britons "every one delighted in provoking quarrels, that it was their daily exercise and pleasure to be skirmishing, that they were continually going out in parties fortifying and entrenching, many times rather out of delight than any necessity."

3 The Rape of the Lock, Canto i, lines 1, 2.

4 "The origin of temptation in the traditions of every nation, the symbol of that desire which takes man out of himself, the occasion of war and conquest, is woman. With her the heroic struggle commences. The mistresses of Rama and Crishna are, in the Indian poems, carried off by Ravana and Sishupala; Brunhilde by Siegfried, in the Nibelungen; in the book of heroes Chriemhild is carried away by the dragon, as Proserpine by the king of the infernal regions; Helen quits

neighbouring clan, a custom known to the Scandinavians as "bride-lifting", and in modern parlance as "marriage by capture". This custom was sometimes extended to capture upon a large scale, as, for instance, when in some sanguinary contest all the men of one side were massacred, and, indeed, sometimes many of their Amazonian wives and daughters also, but who were perhaps more frequently, in such circumstances, carried off as part of the spoils. Such we know were the motives which sometimes actuated the Picts and Scots in their predatory excursions, and of which the most conspicuous instance in history is the traditional Rape of the Sabines. But individual instances of "capture", though sufficiently barbarous manifestations of gallantry-and one would not wish to claim for the Briton a refinement of manners as well as of sentiment-were not necessarily characterised by cruelty, though as a method of evincing regard the custom must have savoured somewhat to the helpless bride of "giving pap with a hatchet”. with a hatchet". Although these were times such as Butler the poet describes,

"When men upon their spouses seiz'd,

And married freely where they pleased,

Menelaus for the Trojan Paris; the adroit Penelope with difficulty evades the solicitations of her lovers." (See Michelet's Hist. of the Roman Republic, Hazlitt, ed. 1847, p. 57.) It is worthy of note that the males of other gregarious animals besides man usually fight for the possession of the females. Is not the custom of duelling also associated with this survival of the fittest, since it came originally from the Northern nations, among whom, especially among the hot-headed Britons, it was usual to decide all controversies by arms? (See exhaustive account of the origin and custom of duelling in the Encyclopædia Britannica.) Diodorus Siculus says of the Gauls that, "in the very midst of feasting, upon any small occasion, it is ordinary for them in a heat to rise, and without any regard for their lives, to fall to it with their swords." (Book v, c. ii, G. Booth's trans.) As Darwin says, "On the principle of sexual selection a harmless stag or spurless cock would have a poor chance of leaving numerous offspring," so it is this principle which applies to the vicissitudes of racial supremacy in Britain.

Disorders arising from such causes were for a considerable time the source of the chief animosities among the different tribes of Greece as well as between them and the inhabitants of Asia Minor; and the rape of Io, of Europa, of Media, and of Helen are mentioned as the ground of successive quarrels which in the end were productive of the most distinguished military enterprise that is recorded in the history of the period. (See Jno. Millar's Origin of the Distinction of Ranks.)



Nor took the pains t' address and sue,
Nor play'd the masquerade to woo","

such proceedings were not of necessity, and as Mr. Jefferson, in his book upon Brides and Bridals, asserts, of a cruel nature, for even if the woman had no "voice" in the matter, the pathway to Hymen was then probably, as now, strewn with what Shakespeare has called "the tribute of fair looks", and there is such a weapon in Cupid's armoury as an eloquent eye, which was, doubtless, sometimes brought into requisition to inflame the heart of the Celtic warrior; whilst the report of valorous deeds performed by aspirants to or possessors of the golden torque, would suffice to render such attention on the part of the hero of them not altogether unacceptable.

It may fairly be presumed that from "capture" came our expression to "take a wife", just as for the father or mundbora among the Saxons to "give" the bride away, is probably a relic of the contract of purchase, and seeing

1 Samuel Butler's Epistle to his Lady. 2 The Taming of the Shrew, v, 2.

3 In Ossian's poem, Oina-Morul, Malorchol, King of the Fuarted, being hard pressed in war by another chief who is in love with the former's daughter, Malorchol applies to Fingal for aid. Fingal seuds Ossian, who takes prisoner the aspirant to Oina-Morul's hand. Malorchol thereupon offers Ossian his daughter, but the warrior bard, discovering the latter's passion for her father's prisoner, generously surrenders her to her lover.

4 Golden torques were given at a later time as prizes of skill and valour, and the phrase dwyn y torch, "to win the golden torque", is to this day to be heard in Wales for winning any prize, although the rings themselves have long ago disappeared, and the historic allusion is not comprehended. (See Nichols' Pedigree of the English, p. 69, Lond.,1878.) As alluded to further, both good and bad instances of capture occur in ancient British poetry. (See p. 223.) A Scottish bride was anciently expected to show a reluctance, and require a certain degree of violence, which was neither thought unbecoming in the man nor a hardship to the woman, many instances being found of happy unions accomplished with apparent force and cruelty. (See Logan's Scottish Gael, vol. ii, ed. 1876, p. 373.)

5 The disallowing of the bride to exercise her choice in the matterand from "purchase" has survived the modern mariage de convenance, often more cruel than a marriage "barbarously" consummated by capture is obviously a relic of primitive, or, at all events, of savage life, under the rude conditions of which the men are seldom prompted to unite so much on account of any amorous attachment as for the sake of possessing a "beast of burden" in their wives, who will "get their dinner cooked", or to add in a similarly calculating way to the comfort of their existence.

that the contract in the latter case, once sealed, the father had no longer any claim upon the person of his daughter, the bride was doubtless given away with that grace and unction which generally characterise the liberality of those who give away that which does not belong to them. But in almost any event this latter custom must have been devoid of all romance, for it was hardly to be expected that a man would trouble himself to win the love of a woman whom he could obtain without further trouble than putting his hand in his pocket. On the other hand, "capture of the bride", which in our sight appears so "barbarous", yet survives amongst us in the modern elopement, had perhaps been preceded by some degree of courtship, for where love is concerned tribal distinctions, like stone walls,

"Do not a prison make",

and was, in fact, sometimes, as in Ossian's poem, Cathlin of Clutha, environed by circumstances of romance stranger far than fiction, though, alas! also characterised by scenes of violence and bloodshed, such as are recounted by the Scotch bard in the rape and attempted rescue by Conlath of Cuthona, and again in the rape of Orthona.2

It is among the Welsh that there is evidence of capture", or a semblance of it, having prevailed in the Principality until quite lately. A graphic description of a Welsh wedding as anciently celebrated, copied from a valuable old MS., then in private possession, is given in Roberts' Cambrian Antiquities. The marriage having

1 The Hindus seem to have had a horror of even a semblance of the sale of a woman in marriage. In the Laws of Menu it was not per mitted to speak of the gift of the cow and the bull as a gratuity, since a fee, small or great, is a sale of the daughter. (See chap. iii, 53.) Instances of wife-selling have occurred up to within recent times in England, and the scandalous custom still in isolated instances probably survives. (See Cheshire Notes and Queries, p. 154, July 16, 1887.)

2 Conlath and Cuthona, and Oithóna. Our modern and more ornamental best man at weddings was in ancient times of the first importance as regards usefulness. He was so named because he was the physically strongest in the train of the bridegroom, and consequently the most forbidding obstacle to encounter in any attempt (which often occurred) on the part of rejected or importunate lovers to carry off the bride by force. Cf. also the German Watchmen's Songs.

See Cambrian Popular Antiquities, ed. 1815, p. 164.

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