family and their guelts flept to- fiian religion, but debafed with gflthfil‘, Within" 6V6" a Cllflfl"! 56- grofs fuperflitions: Giraldus Cam-

twixt them. Their feet lay always next to the fire, which, being kept burning all night, fupplied the want of bed-cloaths; for they had no covering but the cloaths they wore in the day.

It was cultomary among them to receive in 3 morning large com- panies of young men, who, follow- ing no occupation but arms, when- ever they were not in action , (trolled over the country, and entered into any houfe that they found in their way; where they were entertained, till the evening, with the mufic of the harp and free converfation with the young women of the fa- mily. Upon which Giraldus Cam- brenfis makes this remark, that of all the nations in the univerfe none were more jealous of their women than the Irilh, or lefs than the Welfh. In other refpeéts their manners fo nearly agreed, when that author wrote, as to difcover the marks of a Celtic origin com-

"mon to both.

One is furprifed in obferving how abfolutely the Britons, after their retreat into Wales, lofi all the culture they had received from the Romans, and, inltead of re- fining the ancient inhabitants of that part of the illand, relapfed themlelves into their rude and barbarous manners. This is the more wonderful, becaufe the Latin tongue and no contemptible {hare of its learning were long preferved in their public fchools, and con- tinued, though indeed in a declin- ing Rate, even down to the times of which I write. They had alfo - retained the profefiion of i the chri-

brenfis informs us, that they paid, in his days, a more devout rever- ence to churches and churchmen, to the relics of faints, to crofles, and to bells, than any other nation. Whenever any of them happened to meet a monk, or other ecclefiallic, they inftantly threw down their arms, and, bowing their heads, im- plored his blefling. When they un- dertook a journey into any foreign country, or when they married, or were enjoined by their confeflbrs any public penance, they paid a full tenth of all their goods, which they called the great tythe,” in the proportion of two parts to the church wherein they had been bap- tized, and one to their bilhop. How far they carried their refpeét to afylums and fancftuaries has al. ready been mentioned. The ex- cefs of their fuperltition with rela- tion to this point is cenfured by Giraldus Cambrenfis hitnfelf, as great a bigot as he was; and it certainly mull have been one prin- cipal caufe, why f0 many murders and other crimes were committed among them. Their hermits were celebrated for feverer aufierities than any others in Europe, the ve- hemence of their temper carrying their virtues, as well as vices, into extremes; Pilgrimages to Rome were their favourite mode of devo- tion, though they had many faints of their own nation, whofe ihrincs they adored with the blindelt fuper- fiition. In lhort, their religion, for the mofl: part, was f0 different from genuine chrifiianity, that e1- ther it was prejudicial to civil f0- ciety, or did it no good,