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Gurguntius ipse unquam extiterit necne ?9 ad totam historiæ struem labefactandam multum confert. Briani Twini verba sic habe. • Si Gurguntium monarcham fuisse negarem, non aberrarem." Additque “Lelandum dixisse quis ille fuerit Britannorum rex se nescivisse." Alibi vero ejusdem Lelandi verba è commentario in cygneam cantionem profert.10 “Extat" (inquit Lelandus) "Gruntæ Girviorum in Archivis historiola incerti authoris, et fidei longe incertioris: hinc apparet Gurguntium nescio quem regem Britannorum dedisse Cantabro Hispano qui Athenis studuerat, Orientalem Britanniæ partem,” etc! Et orationem totam his verbis claudit: “ Profectò nihil legi unquam vanius, sed neque stultius, aut stupidius." Ut videas Lelandum decantatissimum illum et omnium calculis comprobatum antiquarium, narrationis molem funditus evertere, cum è regum Britanniæ albo Gurguntium penitus

expungat. [237] Dissonantia etiam scriptorum diversa tempora Gurguntii regno

tribuentium iis quæ de Gurguntio memorantur fidem omnino abroogare videntur. Legimus enim in antiquitatibus Cantabrigensis Cantabrum Gurguntio. coævum Academiæ fundamenta jecisse anno Dom. ut aliquibus placet 1829, ut aliis 3377, ut aliis 3588, ut aliis 4095,12 et ut aliis 4321, additque Twinus initium illius Academiæ à nonnullis ad annum 4348, relatum fuisse. Jam sibi exploratissima Chronologiæ regula ad veritatem rerum præteritarum eruendam à peritis adhiberi solita tantæ temporum varietati excutiendæ admoveatur. Cum non centenorum tantum, sed et millenorum etiam annorum intervallo memorata Gurguntii tempora inter se dissita sint : certè narrationem de illo institutam eodem spatio à veritate remotam esse compertum erit. Nam ut jurisperiti censent, multi testes sententiis variantes pro uno, et singulari sunt habendi: imo ne pro uno quidem, si de re cujus certitudinem ignorant contestantur. Nec insolitam istam temporum discrepantiam ipse Giraldus abnuere videtur, duin Gurguntii facinus commemorans, Partholani nomen celat, cujus adventum in Hiberniain ad annum post diluvium trecentesimum, id est annum mundi 1656, aut circiter retulerat, ejus vitam ad Gurguntii tempora protrahere non potuerit, veritus ut causæ in se receptæ patrocinio nocumentum

9 Ibidem, p. 11.

10 Ibidem, p. 2).

11 Ibid. p. 11.

12 Antiq. Oxoni.

swan.

narrative. “If I denied,” says Brian Twine, " that Gurguntius was a king, I could not be far from truth;" he also adds, “ that Leland said he could not discover any such king of Britain.” In another place he transcribes a passage from Leland's commentary on the song of the

“ In the archives of Grunta Girviorum there is extant a sort of history by some unknown hand, and of very doubtful authority: it states that some fabulous Gurguntius, king of the Britons, granted the Eastern part of Britain to Cantaber a Spaniard, who had studied at Athens.” He closes his remarks with the following censure, any thing more baseless, more foolish, more stupid, I never read in the course of my life.”. Thus does the far-famed Leland, whose antiquarian lore is the theme of every pen, utterly demolish the whole fabric, by expunging the name of Gurguntius from the line of British monarchs.a

The discrepancy of those various authors, on the time in which Gurguntius flourished, is equally fatal to their statements. The Cambridge antiquities say, that Cantaber, a contemporary of Gurguntius, laid the foundation of the university in the year of our Lord (A.M.) 1829 according to some, or in 3377, or in 3588, or in 4095, or in 4321 according to others; and some are of opinion as Twine informs us, that the foundation of the college dates from the year

4348. Now let us test these statements by these sound principles of chronology, which are applied by learned men to ascertain historical truth and what conclusion must we deduce from those conflicting dates ? dates removed hundreds, nay, thousands of years, from each other; is not the conclusion that Gurguntius is an imaginary personage as inevitable, as those dates are irreconcileable ? Jurists lay it down as a maxim, that if many witnesses contradict each other, their evidence has no more force than the evidence of one man, and not even so much if the discrepancy be on a point whose certainty they know not. Giraldus himself appears to admit the outrageous contradiction, for while he describes the feats of Gurguntius, he suppresses all allusion to Partholanus, who

. Though this Gurguntius is a fabulous personage, the stories regarding him confirm those ancient traditions

which trace the origin of the Irish people from a Spanish colony.

indè potius quam subsidium accerseret, tam disjuncta tempora connectere non valens. Itaque Giraldus è commentitio Gurmundo perinde jus in Hiberniam Angliæ regibus, ac è gallina lac eliciet.

Verum esto, vitâ Gurguntius ille ac regno quondam floruerit. Aliquorum etiam studio indulgeamus illum anno mundi 3588, id est, ut aliis placet “anno ante Christum natum" vel 335, vel 375 Britanniæ regem egisse. Quid tum postea ? Hibernia tum “nec prorsus vacua fuit, nec per Gurguntium inhabitata :" ut per errorem Giraldo excidit. Nullam enim à Gurguntio, vel à quovis alio Britanniæ majoris rege coloniam unquam illò deductam fuisse legimus, sed à Milesii sobole longe lateque per universam insulam propagata passim cultam fuisse compertum habemus, quorum è prosapia Uganius Magnus octogesimus post Slanium quem “primum Hiberniæ regem” Giraldus appellat Monarcha tunc Hiberniæ dominabatur (Ketingi calculos sequor): qui tantum abest ut in Hiberniam quibuscumque peregrinis aditum aperuerit, ut potius alias insulas Occidentales ditioni suæ (ut Annales nostri tradunt) adjunxerit. In Hibernia saltem rerum summâ hic extra controversiam potitus est, ut viginti quinque liberis ex ipso genitis, universam Hiberniam in totidem partes distributain elargitus fuerit, singulorum ditionem certis limitibus circumscribens, ut eorum nemini extra fines suos excur rere licuerit.

Huc accedit quod Giraldus à priori sententia protinus abscedens asserat, “ Gentem Hibernicam à primo adventus sui tempore, et primi illius Herimonis regno, usque ad Gurmundi, et Turgesii tempora (quibus et turbata quies, et interrupta aliquandiu fuit ejus tranquillitas) iterumque ab eorum obitu usque ad hæc nostra tempora, (tempus quo ipse floruit indicans) "ab omni alienarum gentium incursu liberam permansisse et inconcussam.” Et alibi addens, “ Historias Hibernicas tantumn semel ante hæc tempora" (Anglorum scilicet in Hiberniam ap. pulsorum) " et tunc à Turgesio gentem Hibernicam testari expugna-s

14

13 Topo. d. 3, c. 5.

14 Topo. d. 3, c. 46.

b According to some traditions, the Firbolgs and Tuatha de Danaan came

to Ireland directly from Britain, vol. i., p. 414, &c. &c.

landed in Ireland, he says, about 300 years after the deluge, that is the year of the world 1956. Finding it impossible then to make him a contemporary of Gurguntius, he thought it would do more harm than good to his cause to attempt to jumble so distant dates. Giraldus, therefore, has as great a chance of confirming the claims of England to the Irish crown, from this imaginary Gurguntius, as he has of drawing milk from a hen. But suppose

that Gurguntius did live and hold a sceptre ; suppose, as some will have it, that he flourished in the year of the world 3588, is, according to some computations, 335 or 375 years before the birth of Christ, what follows from this admission ? Even at that time I reland was not nearly uninhabited, nor tenanted by Gurguntius, as Giraldus falsely asserts. There is not the slightest allusion in any of our records, to a colony planted in Ireland by Gurguntius or any other British king. The whole island was certainly occupied by the descendants of Milesius, and at this very period one of his race, Ugaine Mor, the eightieth in succession from Slane, whom Giraldus styles the first king of Ireland, held the sceptre, according to Keating's chronology. Now Ugaine, so far from allowing any foreigners to settle in his kingdom, incorporated the other islands of the West under his Irish sceptre, according to our annalists. In Ireland, at least, his supremacy was so incontestable, that the whole country was partitioned ainong his 25 children, each having his own lot distinctly marked out for him, with a strict injunction not to encroach on the lands of his kindred.

We might add, if necessary, that even Giraldus himself, contradicts his own statement, for he says, “ that from the first arrival of the Irish people, and the reign of their first king Eireamon down to the time cf Turgesius and Gurmund (when peace was broken and tranquillity interrupted), and again from their death to our own day (namely, when Giraldus wrote), the Irish were free and unmolested by any invasion of foreign enemies."d In another passage he adds, “ that according

See volume 1, p. 444, for the traditional account of this Ugaine Mor. Even, according to those accounts, he

possessed only the central and richer parts of the island.

d Giraldus does not contradict him

tam."15

Ut vertumno mutabilior esse illudque è Terentii Phormione usurpasse videatur. Volo, nolo: quod dictum est, non dictum est: ac aliud stans, aliud sedens loqui.

Sed extra veritatis, et rationis gyrum cum eo tantisper abeamus, fingamusque supremam Hiberniæ potestatem apud Britanniæ reges aliquandiu mansisse. Trecentis autem vel amplius ante Christum natum annis ea potestate illos excidisse. Quid inde authoritatis in Hiberniam ad Henricum secundum eorum ditiones post mille quingentos annos consecutum manebit ?16 Argumenta longe petita Cicero valida esse negat:

causa igitur Giraldus cadet qui à sesquimille annis, sui Principis jus [238] quam longissime accersit. | Tantundem temporis à Galliâ, Hispaniâ, et

Britanniâ Romanis ereptâ nondum effluxit. Et earum provinciarum si Romani summum imperium adeo sibi modo arrogarent, quod suæ potestati quondam illæ subjicerentur, omnium profecto sibilis, et etiam armis impeterentur. Quid quod cujuscunque Principis regnum aliquod inique consecuti hæredes regnum illud majorum aliquo per injuriam comparatum, post centum annos citra injustitiam Theologorum scitis annuentibus possideant ? Quare illud Gurguntii jus in Hiberniam (si quod post homines natos unquam extitit) tam antiquum est, ut jampridem penitus antiquatum fuerit. Authoritas enim tanta temporis longitudine semel emortua, nunquam denuo reviviscit. Nec ulla unquam possessio à quovis vel ultro aliis collata, vel pretio vendita, vel armis amissa, tam firmi roboris est, ut ad primi possessoris posteros, jus illius possessionis post quam diuturnissimum tempus elapsum sibi vendicandæ profluat.17 Nam “ Deus ipse mutat tempora, et ætates, et transfert regna atque constituit.” Nimirum nulla post hominum memoriam potestatis quamvis firma fruitio jus cuiquam adeo affixit, ut ad quam longissimam nepotum ejus seriem integra transierit.

Post ineptias Giraldi explosas, vanitatem sen potius delirium istius, qui decreta comitiorum an. Elizabethæ reginæ undecimo, et Christi nati 1570, mense Februario Dublinii habitorum scriptis mandavit ad oculos

15 Ibidem, c. 38.

16 Lib. I, de muen.

17 Daniel. 2.

self on this point: for the invasion, by
Gurguntius, if such it can be called

preceded, according to him, the reign of the “first Irish king Heremon."

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