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returning, land in great numbers from their boats and pinnaces, wasting, slaying, and treading down all before them. Then are messengers again posted to Rome in lamentable sort, beseeching that they would not suffer a whole province to be destroyed, and the Roman name, so honourable yet among them, to become the subject of Barbarian scorn and insolence. The emperor, at their sad complaint, with what speed was possible, sends to their succour. Who coming suddenly on those ravenous multitudes that minded only spoil, surprise them with a terrible slaughter. They who escaped fled back to those seas, from whence yearly they were wont to arrive, and return laden with booties. But the Romans, who came not now to rule, but charitably to aid, declaring that it stood not longer with the ease of their affairs to make such laborious voyages in pursuit of so base and vagabond robbers, of whom neither glory was to be got, nor gain, exhorted them to manage their own warfare; and to defend like men their country, their wives, their children, and what was to be dearer than life, their liberty, against an enemy not stronger than themselves, if their own sloth and cowardice had not made them so if they would but only find hands to grasp defensive arms, rather than basely stretch them out to receive bonds. They' gave them also their help to build a new wall, not of earth as the former, but of stone, (both at the public cost, and by particular contributions,) traversing the isle in a direct line from east to west, between certain cities placed there as frontiers to bear off the enemy, where Severus had walled once before. They raised it twelve foot high, eight broad. Along the south shore, because, from thence also like hostility was feared, they place towers by the sea-side at certain distances, for safety of the coast. Withal they instruct them in the art of war, leaving patterns of their arms and weapons behind them; and with animating words, and many lessons of valour to a faint-hearted audience, bid them finally farewell, without purpose to return. And these two friendly expeditions, the last any hither by the Romans, were performed, as may be gathered out of Beda and Diaconus, the two last years of Honorius. Their leader, as some modernly write, was Gallio of Ravenna; Buchanan, who departs not much from the fables of his predecessor Boethius, names hin Maximianus, and 9 Post Christ. 423. 1 Bede. ibid. Gildas. 2 Blend. Sabelic.



brings against him to this battle Fergus first king of the Scots, after their second supposed coming into Scotland, Durstus, king of Picts both there slain, and Dioneth, an imaginary king of Britain, or duke of Cornwall, who improbably sided with them against his own country, hardly escaping.3 With no less exactness of particular circumstances he takes upon him to relate all those tumultuary inroads of the Scots and Picts into Britain, as if they had but yesterday happened, their order of battle, manner of fight, number of slain, articles of peace, things whereof Gildas and Beda are utterly silent, authors to whom the Scotch writers have none to cite comparable in antiquity; no more therefore to be believed for bare assertions, however quaintly drest, than our Geoffrey of Monmouth, when he varies most from authentic story. But either the inbred vanity of some, in that respect unworthily called historians, or the fond zeal of praising their nations above truth, hath so far transported them, that where they find nothing faithfully to relate, they fall confidently to invent what they think may either best set off their history, or magnify their country.

The Scots and Picts in manners differing somewhat from each other, but still unanimous to rob and spoil, hearing that the Romans intended not to return, from their gorroghs or leathern frigates pour out themselves in swarms upon the land more confident than ever; and from the north end of the isle to the very wall's side, then first took possession as inhabitants; while the Britons with idle weapons in their hands stand trembling on the battlements, till the half naked Barbarians with their long and formidable iron hooks pull them down headlong. The rest not only quitting the wall, but towns and cities, leave them to the bloody pursuer, who follows, killing, wasting, and destroying all in his way. From these confusions arose a famine, and from thence discord and civil commotion among the Britons; each man living by what he robbed or took violently from his neighbour. When all stores were consumed and spent where men inhabited, they betook them to the woods, and lived by hunting, which was their only sustainment. To the heaps of these evils from without were added new divisions within the church." For Agricola the son of Severianus a Pelagian bishop had spread his 4 Gildas, Bede 6 Constantius

Buch. 1. 3.

5 Bede,



doctrine wide among the Britons, not uninfected before. The sounder part, neither willing to embrace his opinion to the overthrow of divine grace, nor able to refute him, crave assistance from the churches of France: who send them Germanus bishop of Auxerre, and Lupus of Troyes. They by continual preaching in churches, in streets, in fields, and not without miracles, as is written, confirmed some, regained others, and at Verulam in a public deputation put to silence their chief adversaries. This reformation in the church was believed to be the cause of their success a while after in the field. For the Saxons and Picts with joint force, which was no new thing before the Saxons at least had any dwelling in this island, during the abode of Germanus here, had made a strong impression from the north. 'The Britons marching out against them, and mistrusting their own power, send to Germanus and his colleague, reposing more in the spiritual strength of those two men, than in their own thousands armed. They came, and their presence in the camp was not less than if a whole army had come to second them. It was then in the time of Lent, and the people, instructed by the daily sermons of these two pastors, came flocking to receive baptism. There was a place in the camp set apart as a church, and tricked up with boughs upon Easter-day. The enemy understanding this, and that the Britons were taken up with religions more than with feats of arms, advances after the paschal feast, as to a certain victory. German, who also had intelligence of their approach, undertakes to be captain that day; and riding out with selected troops to discover what advantages the place might offer, lights on a valley compassed about with hills, by which the enemy was to pass. And placing there his ambush, warns them, that what word they heard him pronounce aloud, the same they should repeat with universal shout. The enemy passes on securely, and German thrice aloud cries Hallelujah; which answered by the soldiers with a sudden burst of clamour, is from the hills and valleys redoubled. The Saxons and Picts on a sudden, supposing it a noise of a huge host, throw themselves into flight, casting down their arms, and great numbers of them are drowned in the river which they had newly passed. This victory, thus won without hands, left to the Britons plenty 8 Post Christ. 426. Prosp. Aquit. Matth. West. ad an. 446. 1 Constant. vit. German.

Post Christ. 430.

of spoil, and the person and the preaching of German greater authority and reverence than before. And the exploit might pass for current, if Constantius, the writer of his life in the next age, had resolved us how the British army came to want baptizing; or of any paganism at that time, or long before, in the land we read not, or that Pelagianism was rebaptized. The place of this victory, as is reported, was in Flintshire,2 by a town called Guid cruc, and the river Allen, where a field retains the name of Maes German to this day. But so soon as German was returned home,3 the Scots and Picts, (though now so many of them Christians, that Palladius a deacon was ordained and sent by Celestine the pope to be a bishop over them,) were not so well reclaimed, or not so many of them, as to cease from doing mischief to their neighbours, where they found no impeachment to fall in yearly as they were wont. They therefore of the Britons who perhaps were not yet wholly ruined, in the strongest and south-west parts of the isle," send letters to Ætius, then third time consul of Rome, with this superscription; "To Etius thrice consul, the groans of the Britons." And after a few words thus: "The barbarians drive us to the sea, the sea drives us back to the barbarians: thus bandied up and down between two deaths, we perish either by the sword or by the sea." But the em


pire, at that time overspread with Huns and Vandals, was not in a condition to lend them aid. Thus rejected and wearied out with continual flying from place to place, but more afflicted with famine, which then grew outrageous among them, many for hunger yielded to the enemy; others either more resolute, or less exposed to wants, keeping within woods and mountainous places, not only defended themselves, but sallying out, at length gave a stop to the insulting foe, with many seasonable defeats; led by some eminent person, as may be thought, who exhorted them not to trust in their own strength, but in divine assistance. And perhaps no other here is meant than the aforesaid deliverance by German, if computation would permit, which Gildas either not much regarded, or might mistake; but that he tarried so long here, the writers of his life assent not. Finding therefore such 3 Post Christ. 431. Prosp. Acquit.Ethel

2 Usser. Primod. p. 333.
4 Florent. Gild. Bede.


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5 Malmsbury, 1. i. c. i. p. 8. Post

opposition, the Scotch or Irish robbers, for so they are indifferently termed, without delay get them home. The Picts, as before was mentioned, then first began to settle in the utmost parts of the island, using now and then to make inroads upon the Britons. But they in the mean while thus rid of their enemies, begin afresh to till the ground; which after cessation yields her fruit in such abundance, as had not formerly been known for many ages. But wantonness and luxury, the wonted companions of plenty, grew up as fast; and with them, if Gildas deserve belief, all other vices incident to human corruption. That which he notes especially to be the chief perverting of all good in the land, and so continued in his days, was the hatred of truth, and all such as durst appear to vindicate and maintain it. Against them, as against the only disturbers, all the malice of the land was bent. Lies and falsities, and such as could best invent them, were only in request. Evil was embraced for good, wickedness honoured aud esteemed as virtue. And this quality their valour had, against a foreign enemy to be ever backward and heartless; to civil broils eager and prompt. In matters of government, and the search of truth, weak and shallow; in falsehood and wicked deeds, pregnant and industrious. Pleasing to God, or not pleasing, with them weighed alike; and the worse most an end was the weigher. All things were done contrary to public welfare and safety; nor only by secular men, for the clergy also, whose example should have guided others, were as vicious and corrupt. Many of them besotted with continual drunkenness, or swollen with pride and wilfulness, full of contention, full of envy, indiscreet, incompetent judges to determine what in the practice of life is good or evil, what lawful or unlawful. Thus furnished with judgment, and for manners thus qualified both priest and lay, they agree to choose them several kings of their own; as near as might be, likest themselves; and the words of my author import as much. Kings were anointed, saith he, not of God's anointing, but such as were cruellest; and soon after as inconsiderately, without examining the truth, put to death, by their anointers, to set up others more fierce and proud. As for the election of their kings, (and that they had not all one monarch, appears both in ages past and by the sequel,) it began, as nigh as may be guessed, either in this year' or the

7 Post Christ. 447. Constant. Bede.

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