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Epictetus owed to him probably not only his liberty, but also his education, and the elements of his reputation as a philo-. sopher.
Moreover, as Epictetus was brought up under a master who was a Christian, he must through him have been made acquainted with the doctrines of the gospel : he must have been taught and invited to read its records, and study the character of its Founder, not to mention that he must have seen and heard the Apostle Paul, who was the bosom friend of his master. These particulars will account for a leading feature, which distinguishes the discourses of Epictetus. They abound not only with the virtues and the sentiments, but even with the fundamental doctrines respecting God and Providence, which were taught by Christ and his apostles ; though he continued to the last an enemy to them, and to their cause.
And here two questions may be asked : If Epictetus had such obligations to Epaphroditus, how came he, and he alone, to place his character in such false and invidious light ? and if he was so deeply indebted to the Jewish and Christian scriptures, how came he not to acknowledge it, nor even to take any notice of those scriptures? The reply to these questions, if it should appear to be founded in truth, will draw aside the thick veil which has hitherto concealed the deformities of Epictetus's character; and he will henceforth appear not the great philosopher and the wise man he was thought to be, but a DEFAMER, a VAGABOND, and IMPOSTOR; and his own discourses, and these only, shall be the criterion by which he shall be judged. At present I shall merely stute ny answer to the above questions. Epictetus has vilified Epaphroditus though intitled to his gratitude by his generosity, and to his reverence by his virtue and shining talents, because the latter embraced and endeavoured to propagate a religion, which the former despised. To use the language of an epigram, which was adopted by him, or applied to him by his friends, Epictetus was a friend of the gods, síros åbuvdtous, and he thought himself free in common with others to hate and malign one however distinguished, who sought to bring them into contempt. To aggravate his ingratitude and his baseness, he calumniated only when dead, and as such no longer capable of defending himself, a man, whom not one even among his
enemies presumed to reproach while yet living, and whom from the purity and greatness of his character the emperor himself destroyed under a frivolous and false pretence.
Epictetus was sensible that the moral code of the gospel far surpassed in excellence any system of virtue or duties taught by the philosophers of Greece and Rome: but not having the humility or magnanimity to profess himself the disciple of a crucified master, he has imitated and copied that code without acknowledging his obligations; and thus he endeavours to check the progress, and to defeat the end of the gospel, by clandestinely holding himself forth to the Pagan world as the rival of its Founders. This is the object which Arrian had in publishing, and Simplicius in commenting upon the discourses of Epictetus; and they have artfully applied to Epictetus virtues and sayings, which with little variation belonged to Jesus Christ. This is an assertion of great consequence, and on a future occasion, I shall substantiate it by proofs from their writings. Celsus in the above passage is an instance of the use, which the enemies of the gospel made of Epictetus in endeavouring to check its progress; as he there asserts that the patience, with which he endured the wrenching of his leg by his cruel master, exceeded the resignation, with which Jesus suffered death. It is here hardly necessary to add that the boasted qualities ascribed to Epictetus will in this view appear either altogether fictitious or greatly exaggerated.
THE BRITONS OF THE CLASSICS.
STRABO? observes in his Geography, that “ the woods are their towns ; for, having fenced round a wide circular space with trees hewn down, they there place their huts, and fix stalls for their cattle; but not of long duration. They have dwellings of
'L. iv. p. 306. of the Amsterdam ed.
? P, 197, 301.
a round form, constructed of poles and wattled work, with very high pointed coverings of beams united at a point.” Diodorus Siculus' asserts, that “they inhabit very wretched dwellings, composed for the most part of reeds (or straw) and wood.” Cæsar? thus describes, not Londinium, but the capital of Cassivellaunus : “ The Britons call a place, a town, when they have fortified thick impassable woods by means of a vallum and fosse,
a or a high bank and a ditch; in which sort of a place they are accustomed to assemble together, to avoid the invasion of enemies." Tacitus describing the strong holds, to which Caractacus resorted, observes : “ They then fortified themselves on steep mountains; and, wherever there was any possibility of access in any part, he constructed a great bank of stones, like a vallum." I must refer the curious to the first volume of King's Munimenta Antiqua for prints and plans, both of the Welsh houses and fortresses, of which some are yet entire, and others in ruins,
every part of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. No book, either in our tongue, or in any of the European languages, is so complete and satisfactory on this interesting and domestic subject : the prints are excellent. Diodorus Siculus 3 also notices, that “ the Britons laid up their corn in subterranean repositories, whence they used to take a portion every day; and, having bruised and dried the grain, made a kind of food from it of immediate use." Martin, in his description of the Western Isles, (p. 204.) describes this sort of diet, and the quick mode of preparing it, as yet continued. King, in the 48th, and following pages, of his first volume, has detected, and delineated, these rude monuments of our ancestors.
It is highly curious to trace the appearance of the persons of our forefathers and their manners. Cæsar o remarks that “they painted themselves with vitrum, or woad;" and Herodian, that
· Diod. Sic. 1. v. 209. p. 349. ed. Wess.
2 Cæs. Bell, Gall. I. v. sect 17.
3 L. v. p. 347. ed. Wess. 4 Bell. Gall. I. v. sect. 10. s In the Gentleman's Magazine for 1790. p.718. is the following passage, signed H. O. which deserves the notice of antiquaries and critics ; “ There is a passage in Cæsar's Commentaries relating to the ancient Britons, which has often engaged the attention of critics, but is not yet, I believe, clearly
“ some of them on the sea coast punctured, or tattowed, their bodies with figures resembling various kinds of animals; in consequence of which they also went without garments, that they might not cover, nor conceal, these marks. The other natives were, in general, clad with skins. They had long lank hair, but were shorn in every part of the body, except the head and upper lip.” A wretched substitute for salt was obtained merely by pouring sea-water on the embers of burning wood. The Irish drank the blood of animals, and even of their enemies. King, in the latter half of the first volume, gives prints of the altars, or cromlechs, yet entire, in many situations in Ireland, the Highlands, and England, on which human victims were cruelly murdered! The Druids were richly clad: some of them even wore golden chains, or collars, about their necks and arms; and had their garments dyed with various colors, and adorned with gold.+ Chains also, both of iron and gold, were worn by some of the chieftains and nobler ranks. These facts will appear so incredible, that the reader must be informed, that, in most of the tumuli, or old British graves, described in King, these ornaments are found in our days. It is a remarkable omission in Mr. King, that he did not quote the three verses from the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah, so descriptive of the Babylonian regal tumuli, similar to the British : “ All the kings
explained : Bell. Gall. 1. v. sect. 10. ' Omnes rerò se Britanni vitro (al. glasto, lege glastro ) inficiunt, quod cæruleum efficit colorem:' now Glastrum, (Britannicè Glâstir) means blue earth : this blue earth, oozing out in low grounds, in the form of soft mud, the Welsh take up, and expose to the sun; when it is a little dried, they roll it into round small pieces of about six or eight inches long : these pieces, when thoroughly hardened, resemble exactly the scoriæ of glass, and are of a blue color; and with these glass-like blue rolls dipped in water, they mark their sheep to this day: glass gives no color, but this glass-like mine. ral does, and that color cæruleus.” ED.
1 Her. 1. jïi. sect. 47. Solinus, 1. xxxv. Cæs. de Bell. Gall. I. v. sect. 14.
2 Tac. Annal. 1. xiii. c. 57. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. xiii. c.7. Varro, de Re Rus. 1. 1. c. 8. 3 Solinus, cap. 35. p. 166. ed. Basil. 4 Strabo, 1. iv. p. 196-300. Cæs. de Bell. Gall. I. v. c. 14. s Tac. Ann. 1. 12. c. 36. Herodian, 1, 3, c. 47 Polybius, l. 3.
of the nations lie down in glory, each in his own sepulcre : To meet thee, O Sennacherib, Hades rouseth his mighty dead: he maketh them rise up from their thrones. All of them shall accost thee, and shall say unto thee, art thou become weak as we? Art thou made like unto us? Is then thy pride brought down to the grave? Is the vermin become thy couch, and the earth-worm thy covering ?”
Strabo, at the end of his third book, says, that “the Cassiterides, or Islands of tin, were inhabited by men dressed in black garments, in tunics descending to the feet, a girdle around their breast; walking erect with a staff in their hand; and permitting the beard to grow like that of a goat. They subsist on their cattle, in general spending an erratic pastoral life.”
Some of the common order of the Britons wore, instead of the skins of beasts, very thick coarse wrappers made of wool: a sort of blanket, or rug, fastened about the neck with a piece of sharp-pointed stick. They used also a coarse, slit, short vest, with sleeves; it barely reached down to the knees. As armour, they had a long two-handed sword, hanging by a chain on the right-hand side; a great long wooden shield,' as tall as a man; long spears; and a sort of missile wooden instrument, like a javelin, longer than an arrow, which they darted merely by the hand: modern writers call these two last-mentioned Celtes, fixed on the end of staves and sticks. Some of them used slings for stones, others had breastplates made of plates of iron, with hooks, or with wreathed chains : some had helmets of different forms. Many went to the battle nearly naked, and some wound chains of iron around their necks and loins. They generally lay and reposed themselves on the bare ground, yet most of them ate their food sitting on seats. A very beautiful print is given by Mr. King at p. 101. of these various dresses. The plaid seems to be derived from them. The coins of the old British, which are engraved in Speed, in Borlase's Cornwall, in Gough's edition of Camden's Britannia, and in Plot's History of Oxfordshire, will explain these descriptions of the Classics.
Strabo, l. iv. 196. p. 301. Diodorus, lib. v. p. 213-355. Tac. de Mor. Ger. c. 17.
2 Diod. I. v. 213. p. 353, Herod. 1. üi. c. 47.