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LESSON 1.-ANCIENT BRITONS. Ancestors-forefathers (Latin ante, be- | Cavalry-horse soldiers. fore; cedo, I go).
Precipitous-exceedingly steep. Assassinated-treacherously murdered. Agriculture—the art and practice of husCivilized-polished, as people in society bandry or tillage (Lat. ager, a field;
should be (Lat. civis, a citizen; ize, cultura, cultivation, from colo, I till). verbal termination).
The people who lived in England two thousand years ago are known as the Ancient Britons. As you would expect, they were widely different in habits and character from the present inhabitants of our country, and were more like the savage natives of the South Sea Islands than the well-clothed, well-fed, civilized, and Christian Englishman.
But as the Ancient Britons are our ancestors in part, we cannot but be interested in their history. We are obliged to confess that they were savages, but we dwell with pleasure on the accounts of their bravery and courage; and when we read of foreigners invading them, we are glad to read that the Britons made a gallant resistance, and gave the invaders much trouble before they were finally subdued. We feel, indeed, that our own character is involved in that of our forefathers.
All our knowledge of the Ancient. Britons is obtained from foreigners. At the time we are speaking of, the civilised nations of the world lived around the Mediterranean Sea, and very little was known of the regions beyond. But merchants used to come to the south of Britain, to what is now Cornwall and the Scilly Islands, and the neighbourhood, in order to get tin from the Cassiterides, or Tin Islands, as they were called. Yet these merchants, who were anxious to keep their profits to themselves, were unwilling to let it be known where they went to obtain their cargoes, and there was only a general idea that there were Tin Islands somewhere
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Where they come from, and How they are m
them all. Those who dwell inland do not sow corn,
live on milk and flesh, and are clothed with skins. vall the Britons paint themselves with woad, which
a blue colour, and on this account they are the up dreadful in appearance in battle. They have · hair, and shave all parts of the body except the
and upper lip.” This is their method of fighting from chariots. At
they drive them in all directions, and throw their s, and often break the ranks of their enemies by the terror of their horses and noise of the wheels; and
they have introduced themselves between the of the cavalry, they leap from their chariots, and on foot. Meanwhile the chariot-drivers retire a from the combat, and so place themselves, that if warriors are overpowered by the number of the y, they may rapidly retreat to their own men.
y have the rapidity of cavalry and the stability of Ty in engagements, and are so skilful from daily
1 exercise, that they are accustomed to stop their s at full speed on sloping and precipitous ground, in them in and turn them in brief
and to run the pole, and stand on the yoke, and again betake
lves into the chariot with the greatest quickness. · chariots that Cæsar speaks of had sharp scythes ad to the axles of the wheels, which would do lamage among the ranks of their enemies. pears that the country was possessed by as many
different tribes, and that there were frequent inong them. This made it easier for the Romans ards to conquer the whole country. · houses that Cæsar mentions seem to have been buildings of wood; and a number of the houses together, and sometimes surrounded with a ditch wooden palisade, made a town. people in the south of the country cultivated ind, and used the corn that they grew for food; culture was not practised elsewhere.