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THE EARLY BRITONS早期不列颠人
chariots, cars used in war. pagans, idolaters; heathens
cleared, cut down. savage, wild.
dense, thick; close. terrible, fierce; frightful.
mistletoe, an evergreen plant which grows till, delve or plough.
on certain trees. worshipped, took as their gods.
1. Two thousand years ago, the country in which we live was almost covered with dense forests, where roamed wolves, bears, wild boars, and white-maned bulls. The Britons who lived in it then were the forefathers of the Welsh. But they were a wild and almost savage race. The country was very little known to other nations.
2. In those days there were no large towns, nor pretty villages, nor well-built houses; no churches, nor school-houses. Here and there, where the forest had been cleared, there were a few poor huts, made of rods tied into the shape of a bee-hive or a sugarloaf, and covered with mud and turf. Perhaps a trench or ditch was cut around the huts, to keep off the wild beasts.
3. The Early Britons did not till the soil. They sowed no corn or other seeds. They lived on roots and fruits, and on the flesh of animals kill in hunting. In winter, they wore skins to keep themselves warm; but in summer they went almost naked; and they painted strange figures on their bodies, to make them look terrible to their enemies.
4. Those who lived near the south coast were not so savage. They traded in tin and in pearls with people who came across the English Channel. From their visitors they learned to till the soil, to grow corn, and to rear cattle. They had also learned to wear gay clothing, and chains of silver and of gold.
5. The Britons were fond of war. They fought with bows and arrows, with spears and clubs. They fought on foot and on horseback, and in chariots armed with scythes, which they drove wildly among their foes.
6. In religion they were pagans. They worshipped the sun and the moon and the serpent; and they looked on the oak, with the mistletoe growing on it, as a sacred tree. Their priests were called Druids. They had long beards, and they wore white robes. They made laws, they taught the young, they healed the sick, and they offered sacrifices to their gods. Sometimes these sacrifices consisted of men, —criminals and prisoners taken in war, —who were burned in large cages of wicker-work.中文阅读
 Other nations. —In early times, some of the ancient nations of the Mediterranean coasts used to visit the Scilly Isles and the coast of Cornwall. They carried away tin with them, and called the islands the “Tin Islands.”
Druids. —From a word meaning the oak-tree.
HOW THE EARLY BRITONS LIVED早期不列颠人的生活
approach, go near to. manufacture, make.
bracelet, ornament for the arm. osier, willow.
chequering, mingling with; relieving. pliant, easily bent.
conical, round and pointed. primitive, early; old-world.
coracle, little boat. smouldering, burning slowly.
dusky, dark-coloured. venison, deer’s flesh.
foliage, woods; trees.
1. A village, nestling under the shadowy skirts of a great wood in Kent, lies encircled by its wooden paling or stockade. Not far off, among the dark tangles of underwood, or in the caves of rocky hillocks, lurk bears, boars, and wolves, the cries of which as they prowl around the huts by night, startle the sleeping children. In the stream hard by, the beaver swims and builds. Deer of many kinds glance past in the openings of the trees.
2. Chequering the green of the grassy sweep, which stretches out from the village for a mile or so, until the view is again shut in by a dark mass of foliage, wave many patches of yellow grain; and on the rich pasture-land between, dotting it with white and red, numerous sheep and oxen graze peacefully in scattered groups.
3. As we approach the collection of pointed roofs, from which thin lines of blue wood-smoke rise lazily into the summer air, we catch the low sweet notes of a woman’s voice, singing an old Celtic air, akin to those which live still in the harp music of Ireland and Wales. Dressed in a tunic of dark-blue woollen cloth, over which is loosely thrown a scarf of red-striped plaid, fastened on the breast with a pin of bronze, she sits at the door of her cabin, grinding corn in a little quern. A string of dusky pearls adorns her neck, and silver rings glitter on her arms.
4. At her sudden call, from the low archway which serves as both door and window to the hut, there comes a child, yellow-haired and blue-eyed like her mother. The girl runs quickly to the well for water, which she carries in a clumsy pot of coarse sun-dried clay, beside the tawny surface of which, full of lumps and cracks, the most common red flower-pot of our gardens would seem beautiful and smooth. When the meal is mixed with water, the wet dough is set on a heated stone to bake.
5. Let us take a peep through the smoke at the inside of the hut, the walls of which are of pliant rods tied together, while its conical roof is of simple thatch. The floor, dug below the surface in the shape of a bowl, is lined with thin slates, in the middle of which some bits of wood lie smouldering in their white ashes. Round blocks of wood serve for seats and table; a few fleeces or deer-skins—the bedding of the family—lie piled by the wall, on which hang the long pointless sword of the chieftain and his small round shield. In a corner rest a bronze-headed spear, and a bundle of reed arrows tipped with flint.
6. These wooden platters and bowls of yellow clay are of home manufacture; but not that ivory bracelet, those amber beads, or that drinking-cup of glass. They are from Gaul; and proud indeed is the chieftain’s wife of owning them, for the possession of such rare foreign treasures entitles her to hold her head high among the matrons of her tribe.
7. While the cake is baking for supper, the wife takes from one of those pretty osier baskets, which serve both as wardrobes and cupboards, a roll of knitted stuff, on which she needs to work hard against the coming winter; for both husband and children look to her for the clothes they wear. Spinner, knitter or weaver, dyer, seamstress, cook, dairy-keeper, corn-grinder, this lady of primitive Britain has her hands quite full of work, although her establishment is not upon the grandest scale.
8. Meanwhile the men of the village are scattered in different directions. The chief, having looked after his sheep and oxen, has taken his spear or quiver, has whistled for his dogs, and is away into the heart of the woods in search of venison or wild boar. One man has launched his light coracle of skin, stretched on a slender wooden frame, and is paddling down-stream with net and line. When the sun sets, the weary sportsmen will come home to a heavy supper of beef or of mutton, hot bread, fresh butter, and curds, washed down with large draughts of mead or of barley ale; and will then sink, almost with the falling night, into a deep sleep upon shaggy skins, covered only with the mantles they wear by day.
A QUERN OR HAND-MILL.
9. Dawn sees the whole village astir. But in southern Britain, by the time of Caesar’s invasion, hunting had become rather a pastime than the serious business of life. The Britons of the south had ceased, long before that, to be savages. The tending of their flocks and herds; the manuring of their tilled land with chalk marl; the sowing and reaping of their grain; the storing of the unthreshed ears m under-ground chambers, from which the daily supply was pulled by the hand, to be roasted and beaten out with a stick, —these duties occupied much of their working time.
10. Many other things had also to be done. Wicker baskets were woven, probably by the older men and boys, to whose aid the women sometimes came. The moulds have been found into which the Britons ran melted tin and copper, to make heads for their axes and their spears. Heaps of flint flakes of various colours—red, yellow, gray, and black—were brought from the quarry to be chipped by skilful hands into shapely arrow-points. And when the cutting was done, a hole had to be bored through the flint, that the thin thong of hide, which bound the point to the slender shaft, might hold it firm and straight.
11. Then there was often a canoe to be hollowed out, not with fire and stone axe only, but probably with hammer and celt. The supply of pottery, too, needed to be kept up in the village; and so the soldier and hunter of one day might be seen on another up to the shoulders in yellow clay, kneading and modelling, tracing simple patterns of line and dot with a pointed stick on the soft ware, and then, with an artist’s pride, placing the rude vessel he had formed with all the simple skill he could command out before the door of his cabin, to dry in the sun.中文阅读
 Quern. —A hand-mill, consisting of two round stones, the upper movable, the lower fixed. The upper one, moved by a wooden handle, revolved in the cup-shaped hollow of the lower. The corn was ground between the stones.
 Celt. —A chisel or small axe-head, made of bronze.
CUSTOMS OF THE DRUIDS德鲁伊宗教的流风习俗
appease, quiet. immortal, deathless.
Arch-Druid, chief druid. intently, earnestly.
ban, curse. mystery, secrecy.
circular, round. parasite, a plant nourished on the sap of
crescent, curve. another.
criminals, persons accused of crime. prominent, principal.
embodied, set forth. pronounced, spoken; called down.
hedged, fenced; guarded.
1. The 10th of March has come and gone. The moon, now a thin silver crescent, has reached its sixth day. Bearded Druids, pacing solemnly along the dark avenues of the oak wood which surrounds their circular temple of stones, have long watched through summer days the yellowish leaves of mistletoe peeping out from among the darker foliage of one old tree, and have grown glad at heart when autumn withered the pointed oak leaves, and left the sacred evergreen hanging on a naked bough, ripe for the golden knife. The apple-tree being the favourite home of this pretty parasite, its presence on the oak, where it rarely grew, was considered a special mark of Divine favour.
2. Calling his priests together, the Arch-Druid, a priest of extraordinary power, hedged with a dignity far beyond what earthly kingship could bestow, leads a procession to the tree. The Oakmen, whose short hair, flowing beards, and loose white robes distinguish them from the lines of awe-struck people, between which they slowly pass, march to the hallowed spot, moving, perhaps, to the wild music of the chants with which the holy maidens of the Sacred Island profess to raise storms and to cure the sick.
STONE-CIRCLES AT STONEHENGE.
3. Two milk-white bulls are led along, and are bound by their horns to the trunk of the oak. And when the Arch-Druid has climbed the tree, and the mistletoe, cut with a golden knife, has fallen into the snowy cloth stretched out lest the branch should touch the earth and lose its magic power, another knife pierces the pinky throats of the oxen. The sacrifice is offered. A blessing is pronounced on the sacred plant, the leaves and berries of which are believed to possess wonderful virtues against poison and disease. Then the ceremony—most solemn of all the Druid rites—is wound up by a banquet, probably consisting of the flesh of the sacrifice.
4. But there were bloodier scenes than this in the Druid worship. Within a huge cage of wicker-work, woven in imitation of the human form, a huddled heap of men and oxen were roasted alive in one great offering, to appease the wrath of some offended deity; and, as the wretched victims shrieked out in wordless agony amid the red-tongued flames, songs, shouted to the music of harps and the loud beating of drums, drowned their screams. Criminals and prisoners of war generally suffered this fearful death.
5. The Druids, whose creed is thought to have grown out of Eastern fire-worship, paid homage to many gods. They worshipped the sun and the moon; and fire played a prominent part in all their great festivals—the first of May, Midsummer Eve, the last day of October, and that day of March on which the mistletoe was cut. They also worshipped the serpent, and are said to have worn, hung from the neck, a ball like an apple, generally cased in gold, which they called a serpent’s egg.
6. They had other deities, whom Caesar calls by the Roman names, placing Mercury first, and after him Apollo, Jupiter, Mars, and Minerva. That the soul was immortal they believed; but the simplicity of that doctrine was marred by their notion that it passed through a series of brute bodies before it was received into the abode of final bliss.
7. According to the wont of ancient priesthoods, they clothed their rites and their lives with a mystery which the common people beheld with the deepest awe. The shadowy oak glades, which formed their college halls, were thronged with noble youths, who devoted many years to the study of those charms and songs in which the secrets of the order were embodied. These verses were never committed to writing, although the Druids wrote their common documents in the Greek character. They studied the stars intently; and their woodland life enabled them to acquire a knowledge of herbs, with which they performed some simple cures.
DRUID CUTTING THE MISTLETOE.
8. They sat as judges in the weightiest matters. The true wielder of the British sceptre then was the Arch-Druid, who held the keys of life and death, of peace and war. A word from those powerful lips could shut a man out even from the hearts in which his own blood ran. None dared give food or fire to the wretch on whom the ban had fallen. Need we wonder that the British kings—huge swordsmen though they were—were merely puppets in the hands of this dark and merciless superstition?中文阅读
 Apollo, Jupiter, Mars, Minerva分别是罗马神话中阿波罗、朱庇特、玛尔斯和雅典娜，译文用的是他们的神位译名。——译者注04
THE ROMAN TIMES罗马时代
55 B. C. to 410 A. D.（公元前55年~公元410年）
expelled, driven out. principal, chief.
galleys, vessels moved forward by sails sack, storming; plundering.
and oars. skyline, line made by the meeting of the
legions, armies. sky and the sea.
oppose, prevent. standard, banner or a flag-staff.
1. Fifty-five years before the birth of Christ, Julius Caesar, a great Roman general, landed in Britain with a number of men. On an August morning, some Britons looking out to sea from the top of the chalk cliffs on the south coast, saw a number of dark specks on the sky-line. They were Caesar’s ships—galleys rowed by very many oars.
2. When the Britons saw that the ships were filled with armed men, they gathered in great numbers on the shore to oppose their landing. At first the Romans were afraid to leap into the sea and to fight with the Britons, of whom they had heard terrible tales. But an officer, seizing the Roman standard—the image of an eagle—jumped into the water, calling out, “Follow me!”
3. Then the Romans swarmed on shore in great numbers, and a terrible battle was fought, in which the Britons were defeated. Having forced the Britons to pay him tribute-money, Caesar went back to France (then called Gaul); but he returned to Britain next year, and seized on the south coast. This was the beginning of the Roman Times in British history. They lasted four hundred and sixty-five years.
4. It was not until nearly one hundred years after this that the Romans gained any sure footing in Britain. In the time of the Emperor Claudius they came in great numbers and made themselves masters of a large part of the country. A brave British chief, named Caradoc or Caractacus was defeated and taken prisoner; and the Druids were expelled from Mona (Anglesey).
THE LANDING OF THE ROMANS.