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any of the old wars did in twenty years, but such must be the case where one nation is, as it were, precipitated bodily upon another. And let us be just to the German Armies, they have kept strict discipline eren if the country has been swept bare before them, and while mourning over the ruin which has followed the course of this war, let us call to mind Sherman's Campaign in Georgia, not waged in a foreign country, but amongst his own fellow countrymen, and to which a parallel can hardly be found except in the wars of Attila the Hun, or Holagou the Mongol.
SOMETHING ABOUT STONEHENGE.
The drive from Salisbury to Stonehenge is about eight miles, and it is difficult to imagiue one that is more beautiful and rich in wooded landscapes.
The fifth of dugust last found us en route for the far famed stones. The whole way, till the road branches off to the Plain, is one where the lover of vature and especially the artist will find scope for the exercise of his pencil, abounding as it does with some of the choicest bits of true English scenery,-pretty farm homesteads, silvery streams rippling with a pleasant murmur through luxuriant meadows, and shady lanes banked high up on each side with summer flowers, courting repose under the limes that form an arch overhead. In the distance may be seen, as the road makes a gradual ascent, the heaven born’spire of the grand old cathedral church of Sarum, rising up majestically with all those hallowed associations which nearly six centuries give to it.
In giving some account of Stonehenge, I beg to inform the reader that I am indebted for much valuable information to a most interesting little work written by Mr. H. Browne of Amesbury. Regarding his opinion as to those remains and those of Abury being of antediluvian origin, I see no reason to throw any doubt, in fact quite the contrary, and it is from this intensely interesting point of view I proceed to give a short account of them. Varied have been the opinions regarding their origin, many persons pronouncing them to be Roman, early British, or erected by the Druids for observing the motions of the heavenly bodies. Others again suppose them to have been erected to perpetuate the treachery of Hengist, the Saxon, in assassinating the British nobles, at a feast given near the spot by Vortigern, A.D. 450. Other opinions might be noticed, such as those regarding them as a monument raised by the Britons in memory of Queen Boadicea; as a Danisb monnment, or as a work of the Phænicians.
Stonehenge stands not on the summit, but on the gentle declivity of a hill; this is of itself sufficient to prove its unfitness for an astronomical observatory. The summit of the hill on which Stonehenge is built, stands to the south-west of it. The most mutilated part of this edifice is that which lies in this direction, as appears from its present state, for from 39 to 46 (in the plan shown to visitors) there is no stone left standing but one, eight intervening ones having been thrown down, and three of them entirely carried away. Advancing from the south-west towards the north-east-the course taken by the power which acted against this building, the next effects are shown in the positions of the upright stones of the trilithon. The greatest care was bestowed here to secure stability, yet notwithstanding every precaution we find this trilithon thrown down in the same direction. There is every reason to believe that Stonehenge was destroyed by water acting from a south-westerly direction. Now few persons entertain correct notions of the Deluge. Our only certain guide is mosaic testimony.“ Behold I, even I, do bring a flood of waters on the earth (Genesis VI. 17) and that in addition to the rain “ all the fountains of the deep were broken up” (Genesis VII. 2). By this breaking up of the great deep, the most learned commentators understand the bursting forth of waters from the bowels of the earth in accordance with the researches which are made in nature. The inundation of the highest mountains to the depth of fifteen cubits, would naturally alter the face of nature as seen by the separation of the continent from England, and geologists tell us that this disruption must have been caused by a force of water from the south-westerly direction precisely the same direction as that in which the stones of Stonehenge are thrown down.
This fact must not be lost sight of. In the Duke of Argyll's interesting book called “ Primeval Man," mention is made of Brixham Cave situated on the south-west promontory of Torbay in Devonshire, where there are unmistakeable evidences of the great flood. It appears that a stream once flowed through this cave in a south-westerly direction channelling its limestone rocks and sweeping into its recesses the bones of now extinct aniinals which must once on a time have existed in England, such as the Elephant, Rhinoceros, Hyena, Bear, and Reindeer. Another instance might be given by the Kirkdale cave in Yorkshire. It is nearly impossible in a sketch like this, limited as it is and devoid of a plan, to trace out step by step the different positions of the the stones, as they now appear. To those who have visited Stonehenge themselves I address mysef more particularly, while to those who have never been there, I fear I may become tedious, though I hope not altogether unprofitable. Having laid it down as a certainty that Stonehenge was destroyed by a deluge of water acting from a south-westerly direction, and of which the position
of the overthrown stones afford us indisputable proof, let us leave the temple in its present mutilated state, and proceed to a contemplation of it in its original one. It must have been one of the then wonders of the world, as regards beauty, grandeur and magnificence, undoubtedly the work of men of gigantic strength (Genesis VI. 4) and also of men acquainted with engineering skill of the highest order. Now there is nothing whatever in Stonehenge to show that it was erected by the Druids. The minds of many persons are so prejudiced and warped by early education that they are loth to receive the shiftings of modern opinion, Archæology no longer regards the megalithic remains of Britain as Druidical or to use more precisely the words of Sir John Lubbock in his interesting work entitled “ Prehistoric Times." “In this country we still habitually call the megalithic monu. ments Druidical, but it is hardly necessary to mention that there is really no sufficient reason for connecting them with Druidical worship.” It was their practice to worship in groves, remains of which are still found in their well known retreats in the north of France, Anglesea, and elsewhere, but no remnant whatever of wood, either above or beneath the surface of the earth, is to be found near to Stonehenge. Moreover the name Druid, Pliny tells us, is derived from the Greek, and because they never sacrificed except under an oak. Some deduce the name from the old British word dru, an oak. Many circles of stones are attri. buted to the Druids, but which modern investigations have proved to be merely burial places of the ancient Britons, for example, the so-called Druidical circles of stones near Keswick. When we consider Stonehenge as the work of the antediluvians, we must mention in conjunction with it the Serpentine Temple of Abury only a few miles distant. We find here the most stupendous remains of a temple larger and more ancient than Stonehenge, composed of immense unhewn stones constituting originally the figure of a serpent consisting of a double row of stones, one of forty, the other of eighteen placed in a circular or rather oval form. The magnitude of so colossal an undertaking cannot but strike the observer with astonishment, and he will be lost in the contemplation of a motive which can have led to its erection. The further we penetrate the mists of antiquity, the less probability there seems of discovering with any kind of certainty the authors of it. Some writers have assured us that, in the words of Palgrave “ We must give it up, that speechless past; whether fact or chronology, doctrine or mythology; whether in Europe, Asia, Africa, or America ; at Thebes or Palenque, on Lycian shore or Salisbury Plain; lost is lost; gone is gone for ever” Sir John Lubbock attributes the erection of Stonehenge to the Bronze age and in determining a date for this age we find M. Morlot places it at about 4000 years of the world's history. A learned antiquary, Dr. Stukeley, thinks Stonehenge was erected
in 1859 B.C., the year of the death of Sarah, Abraham's wife, but what is his authority for such an assertion we are at a loss to conjecture. Again to attribute them to either Saxon, Danish, Belgic, British or Celtic origin, is impossible. Their knowledge of mechanical art was rude and imperfect. To be able to transport single blocks of stone weighing forty tons over a rough country there being no adequate water carriage--and deposit them in the midst of a solitary plain twenty miles distant from their native quarry, is undoubtedly the work of men of gigantic strength. And when we consider the size of these vast temples, composed of between six and seven hundred of these monoliths, placed not in an unmeaning group, but in regular intervals with almost mathematical precision, forming stately avenues, we seem carried back in imagination to the distant East, where on the banks of the Nile and Euphrates, similar works of buman genius arrest the wonder and admiration of the traveller.
The ditch of Abury containing the temple, comprised an area of twenty-eight and a half acres or about half the size of the Green Park in London ! From the outer embankment started two long winding avenues of stones, one of which went in the direction of Beckhampton and the other in that of Kennet, where it ended in another double circle. Stukeley supposed that the idea of the whole was that of a spake transmitted through a circle ; the Kennet circle representing the head, the Beckhampton avenue the tail.
Now we are told that the earliest authentic history dates 2,000 years B.C., as recorded in the eleventh chapter of Genesis, beyond which time all is obscure, and having reference to “a special bearing on Relgious Truth, and on the course of Spiritual Belief.” In penetrating further through the mists of antiquity; we are apt to allow the "imagination to usurp the place of research,” and as I feel myself to be liable to be considered as one who writes more in “the spirit of the novelist than in that of the philosopher," I must at once admit that my opinion regarding Stonehenge and Abury being of antediluvian origin, need only be taken for just what it is worth; let us ticket it in our memories to be laid up and kept there for future consideration. But when we consider, as far as I have been able to prove, that these monuments are neither Druidical and certainly not Saxon or British, and there is ample testimony that they were overthrown by the agency of water, we naturally ask ourselves by whom were they erected, and at wbat time? There can be no doubt whatever that their origin is Eastern, for we are told that in Moab, De Saulcy observed rude stone avenues and other monuments, which he compares to Celtic dolmens, and Kohen, a Jesuit Missionary, has recently discovered in Arabia three large stone circles, described as being “extremely like Stonehenge.” As to the date of the destruction of Stonehenge and Abury, there is nothing so very improbable in attributing it
to the general deluge. Mr. H. Browne of Amesbury has worked out this idea in an able and interesting little work intended as a guide to Stonehenge, and I feel I cannot do better than quote his own words. He says, “I have already expressed my sentiments as to the earnest desire which cannot but have existed in Adam to perpetuate a knowledge of original sin, and of the promise of redemption ; and that, under the want of written record, it was in all human probability carried into effect in the erection of a serpentine temple, that hieroglyphic being fully adequate to so momentous an end. To admit the existence of numerous serpentine temples in the world, prior to the Flood, is certainly no more than consistent, nor is it less so to infer the continuance of some of them afterwards, particularly that of our own country, judging even fact on the ground of analogy, in the continuance of the cave at Kirkdale, on the present surface of the earth.” This present sketch of Stonehenge was written under the deep convietion that in endeavouring to discover the authors of this wonderful monument we must assign to it an age far more ancient than that in which the Druids flourished. “It has, indeed, been urged that if Stonehenge had existed in the time of Cæsar, we should find it mentioned by ancient writers. Hecatæus, however, does allude to a magnificent circular temple in the island of the Hyperboreans, over against Celtica, and many archæologists bare confidently assumed that this refers to Stonehenge." It does indeed seem impossible for us to penetrate the thick veil of mystery which shrouds this venerable relic of the speechless past. I think there are few places which, to my mind at least, seem so full of wonder and interest. It has been my privilege to visit the colossal remains of the world's infancy which rivet the attention of the traveller on the banks of the Nile, as well as in the interior of India, but I know no monument which so fills the mind with awe, I might almost call it, as the far famed temple of Stonehenge. There it stands solitary and mysterious on a lonely plain, with not a sign of life near it except vast flocks of sheep nibbling the scanty herbage. There it stands defying the scrutiny of the archæologist, and waving off by its mute circle of enchantment the curious inquirer. In short we feel ourselves to be in the presence of what I believe to be the most ancient remains, reared by human hands, in the world.