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family, enforces, with astonishihg eloquence, the madnefs and infamy of paternal tyranny, and the delicious raptures of paternal tenderness. In the character of honest Bowling, Smollet, if any where, excells himself: The captain's speech to his crew, when about to engage a French man of war, is such a masterpiece, that, in reading it, we feel a sort of involuntary impulse for a broadside. The phlegm of an old lawyer is happily illustrated in the conduct of Random's grandfather, and forms the most striking contrast imaginable to the ferocious benevolence of the naval veteran. The disappointment of the maiden aunts, on opening the old man's will, is infinitely natural and amusing. The entertainment in the manner of the ancients, affords a strange specimen of the learning and abilities of its author. The oration of Sir Launcelot to an election mob, is in the true spirit of Cervantes. The knight elucidates, with exquisite sense, humour, and propriety, the miserable farce of representation in parliament; and the insolence of a rabble, incapable and unworthy of a better government, is in harmony with the conviction of every reader. In this age, many gentlemen publish volumes of criticism, and attempt to illustrate the human mind upon metaphysical principles. In their works, it is usual to cite pafsages from poets, and other writers in the walk of invention; yet it is singular that they have seldom or never quoted Smollet, whose talents reflect honour on his country, and who, next to Buchanan, is by far the greatest literary genius of whom north Britain has to boast. The admiration of the public bestows an ample atonement
for the silence of our profefsed critics. His volumes are in every hand, and his praises on every tongue. BOMBARDINION.
Laurencekirk, January 2. 1792.
AN ACCOUNT OF ANTIQUITIES IN SCOTLAND *. NOTHING seems to be so well calculated for throwing light on the origin of nations, as an attention to the radical construction of the language of the people, and to the nature of those monuments of remote antiquity that have escaped the ravages of time.
Much has been written about the origin of the Scottish nation. And although some attention has been paid to the nature of the language of the natives, the antiquities of the country have been, in a great measure, disregarded; though it fhould seem that the last would be of greater utility in this discussion, than the first of these particulars. For a language may have been spread through so many nations at a very remote period, and is subject to such perpetual variations, and it is so difficult to trace these variations before the discovery of letters, that there is no pofsibility of pointing out, by any unequivocal peculiarities of language, the particular nation from which any particular tribe may have descended. But the mechanic arts, discovered by any particular nation, especially before commerce was generally practised, were in a great measure confined to the original discoverers
* Some parts of the following description have been published, but. a great part of the observations never before appeared in print. These are now given for the sake of connection,
themselves, or their immediate descendents; and therefore they serve more effectually to distinguish the countries that were occupied by particular tribes of people. It is with this view that I suggest the following remarks on some of the remains of antiquity that are still discoverable in Scotland.
All the antiquities that have yet heard of in this country, may be referred to one or other of the following general clafses, (not to mention Roman camps, or other works of a later date ;) of each of which I fhall speak a little, according to the order. in which they occur.
1. Mounds of earth thrown up into a sort of hemispherical form, usually distinguished by the name of mote or moat.
II. Large heaps of stones piled upon one another, called cairns.
III. Large detached stones, fixed in the earth in an erect position.
IV. Large stones, fixed likewise in an erect position in a circular form.
v. Circular buildings erected of stone, without any cementing matter, usually distinguished by the adjunct epithet dun; and
vi. Walls, cemented by a vitrified matter, usually found on the top of high mountains.
1. The artificial mounds of earth, reducible to the first clafs, are sometimes found in the south of Scotland, and I suppose in England also. Perhaps they may be likewise found in the north of Scotland, although I have never heard of any of them there. From the name (mote) and other circumstances, it would seem
that these had been erected by our ancestors theatres of justice; as all courts were held in the open air by the Saxons; and probably the same custom might prevail among other tribes of the same people. Such of these mounds as have been demolished, were found to consist entirely of earth, without having had any thing seemingly placed by design within them. There are usually some stones placed on end round the base of these artificial
II. The cairns are evidently sepulchral monuments. And as these could be reared in haste by a multitude of people, this artlefs method of perpetuating the memory of chiefs slain in battle, seems to have been universally adopted by all the different tribes of the uncivilized northern nations.
What' induces me to believe that this practice has been confined to no particular nation, is, that these cairns are to be met with in every corner of the country, and, upon being opened, are found to contain chests or coffins of various construction. In most cases these coffins are of a size and shape fitted to contain the human body at full length. Sometimes they are formed of one stone, hollowed out for that purpose; although they are more usually composed of separate flat stones fitted to one another. In some of these tumuli there is found, in place of the coffin, a kind of square chest, formed likewise of flat stones, which seems to have contained only some particular parts of the human body; and in others, especially in the internal parts of the northern highlands, and western isles, there is found, within a
stone chest, an earthen vase, containing some ashes. From this, and other circumstances, there seems to be no reason to doubt, that the practice of burning the dead did once prevail among some of these northern nations. For it deserves to be particularly remarked, that few or none of these urns are found so far to the southward as the Grampian mountains, which was the boundary of the Roman conquests in Scotland.
There may be many other particulars, relating to the internal structure of these cairns, that have not come to my knowledge; the attending to which might afford matter for curious speculation to the antiquary. It deserves only to be farther remarked here, with regard to this species of antiquities, that as they seem to have been, for the most part, erected by the army, in honour of some chieftan slain in battle, upon the very spot on which he was killed; and as each nation would retain its own funeral ceremonies, even when in the heart of an enemy's country, it may naturally be expected, that one of these cairns, on being opened, may be extremely different, in its internal arrangement, from another in its neighbourhood, although alike in their external figure. One of them may contain the remains of a Norse, or a Danish hero, interred according to the rites of their respective countries, while another contains the remains of a British chief, buried after the manner practised in his own native district. By attending to these particulars, facts in history, that are now obscure, might, on some occasions, be ascertained with a greater degree of certainty.