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cf human Greatness, so averse are the Laws of Providence to a Perpetuity of earthly Grandeur!
The [/] Danes were not long landed in this Island, before they sent a Detachment to secure this Important Village ; and they entered it on the South Side, at a Gate called, to this Day, for that Reason, Enter Lend-Gate; as a Memorial of their Entrance upon the Land of Wheat and Plenty at that very Place: But they were not so easily admitted, as the former Depredators had been; the Britons, the Scots and Picts, and the Saxons joining Forces, and with great Unanimity opposing them. There are several round Hillocks, which was the usual Form of a DanlJJ) Intrenchment, cast up in different Parts of the Village; now indeed, called Mill-Hills, through Mistake, or perhaps with modern Propriety; because some Wind-mills may, since those Times, have been erected upon them. How long they lay in this hostile Manner, and whether they forced their Way, or entered upon Capitulation, neither William of Malm/bury nor Matthew of Westminster informs us; but certain it is, they staid long enough to six some of their Language; such as GRAVE from Djxape tegere, tocover, and GAFFER from Gapepe which signifies Master; a Word in such general Use here, that within the Space of thirty Years, there was but one Man, except the Parson, that was ever accosted by any other Term of Salutation. The fame may be faid of GAMMER for Mistress.
[/] Sim, Dunelm. Florent,
There are no Buildings we can style Danijb, nor any Remains of their mechanic Abilities, except a few [g] Grave Rails, laid over some Persons of Danijh Extraction; and these are ill proportioned and needlessly inform us of their Use, by confused Representations of Hour-GIafles, Scythes, Skulls and Skeletons. The Danes gave the Bells to the Church, as appears from the only legible Word on them, viz. (0U.D, which signifies God.
In a Parlour belonging to a Farm-house called the Rookery, there was a remarkable large Dormer of Chesnut, and about the Middle of it, the followinoInscription cut with a Knise or a Chizzel; which, for the Sake of the latter Date's being z Danijh Period, I shall examine in this Place. The inscription was, WARTER. IOHN. C. I. T. S. 449. D. B. M. W. T. 994. It has been seen by many Antiquaries, and their Sentence has been always, that one JOHN WATER, aBlock-head, that did not know his Heels from his Head, and could not spell his own Name, was the Author of it; and the initial Letters, or Abbreviations and Dates have been considered as the Reveries of an idle Head, or a fortuitous Hand; to which Opinion I have always subscribed; but reading lately, upon a Tomb-stone ina neighbouring Church, a Monumental Inscription [b] of very modern Date,
[b] HereLyeth Buried the Body of
Mrs. Frances Foorthe, who departed this
Lise the 20th of September, 1725.
Aged 78 Years.
D. B. ~ M. I. T.
Pope By Me John Turner.
with Abbreviations like some of those before described, I was encouraged to attempt a Solution, a second Time. D. B. M. W. T. by the Help of this clue, I soon found to signify Done, By. Me. William.T— suppose Turner, for perhaps it is the Humour of this Family to abbreviate in this Manner. By the fame Light 1 discovered that WARTER. IOHN did not cut the Inscription, but was recorded by it. I next considered what remarkable Æra 449 was; and found it was the veryYearVORTIGERN struck a League with Heng'ist the Saxon; C. I. T. S. I then fancied signified Called. In. The. Saxsons, but what to do with WARTER IOHN I know not, write and spell him how you will; because no Man of that Name is mentioned in the History of those Times. At last by frequently repeating WATER IOHN, I discovered the Sound of VORTIGERN; and that Name suiting, both the first Abbreviati ons, and the Date, I concluded, the Author, through Ignorance, -or Punning, or Ænigmatic Ingenuity, which are much alike in their Operations, has inveloped and perplexed the thing, but must mean Prince VORTIGERN.
But be the Fate of this Decyphering what it will, it is certain the Dates, which arc very plain, and no ways conjectural, may be of use, towards clearing up the Æra when Numeral Figures, or Arabian Characters, came first into Use in England; or, at least towards proving, that they were used before theYear 1250 or 1300, contrary to the Assertions of Father Mabilhn and Gerard J. VoJJius; for this numeral Date 994, added to the famous Date at Colchester logo, taken Notice of by [/] Mr. Thtmas Luskin of that Town, and to that other of A°. Do>. M°. 133 at Aelmdon, in Northamptdnjhire, by [Æ] Dr. John Wallis, are not to be condemned as Forgeries, because [/] a learned Man has faid, "Mabillon and "Vosftus were too good Judges to be imposed upon "in the /Era of Numerals."
There are numerous Branches of one Dan'ijhFamily, viz. the Garrolds, still remaining in the Village, remarkable only for the Wideness of their Mouths, and the undeviating Poverty of their Conditions; for 'tis faid, that from their siist settling here in the Year 1017, to the present Year 1758, there never was one of them worth a Shilling.
Some awkward Customs or Habits remain in the Village, which seem to be of Saxon Extraction; but, not being certain whether they may not be Danist, I suspended my Account of them till I had taken notice of some small Traces and Remains of the Danes: I shall now leave it to the Judgment of the Reader to ascribe them to either, or to both, as his greater Skill in theHistory and Customs of thoseTimes and Nations ihall incline him. I call them Customs, or Habits, because they were no other at first, but I mean those Superinductions in the Progeny, whick they derive, not by Imitation, but from the very Loins of their Progenitors; for as Custom is proverbially called second Nature, so when uniformly prac
[>] Phil. Transact. Aug. 1699. N° 255. [*] Phil. Tranfact. Dec. 1683. N" 154. [/] Jeb's Biblioth. Literaria.
tised through two or three Generations, it becomes a part of the first in later Posterity.
The Custom of holding the Wig on with the left Hand, while the Hat is taken off with the right, is an inbred Caution derived from their Ancestors, who wore [m] Wool-wigs, which adhered to the Cap, and could not be separated without the utmost Care; but now Hats and Hair-wigs are in Fashion, which are generally well lubricated with Oil, or Hogs-lard, there seems to be no Occasion for it.—The Custom of carrying theirown [»] Knives to an Entertainment, and refusing to make Use of the Knives laid upon the Table, is an inbred Caution derived from their Ancestors, who in those unsettled Times, probably suspecting the Knives of their Host might be insidiously blunted, carried their own, in case of a Surprise.— The Custom of setting the Knise bolt upright upon the Table, as soon as it has cut a Mouthful, is an inbred Posture of Desence derived from their Ancestors, who made Knives Weapens to guard themselves, and to be Surety for their Friends, that they should receive no Harm while they were drinking [»].—The Custom of eating without a Fork, is an inbredHabit derived from their Ancestors, who would not incumber both Hands at a Time; but is now an useless Piece of Slovenness ; :and yet, as Horace fays,
[m\ Blafii Episc. Reliq. vulgo voc. Flocculi. [»] Howii op.
[o] This Custom in pledging one in drinking, (r. e.) to be Surety for his Sasety at that Time, was occasioned by the Practice of the Vanes, who frequently used to stab, or cut the Throats of one another, while they were drinking.