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Lecture the first.

THE CELTIC LANGUAGE-THE ORIGIN AND FORMATION OF THE ANGLO-SAXON-OS

SIAN, THE CELTIC POET-GILDAS-NENNIUS-ST. COLUMBANUS-CÆDMON-JOHN OF BEVERLY-BEDE--KING ALFRED--ALFRIC, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURYKORMAN FRENCH WRITERS-MAISTRE WACE--THE ORIGIN OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE-RHYMING CHRONICLES-LAYAMON-ROBERT OF GLOUCESTER-METRICAL ROMANCES-MINSTRELS OR JONGLEURS-RICHARD THE FIRST-ROGER BACON.

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THE English language, now so rich in its literature, is essentially based

upon the Teutonic, a dialect spoken by the inhabitants of Central Europe at the dawn of history, and which also constitutes the basis of the language of Germany, of Holland, and of Denmark. It was introduced from the continent by the Anglo-Saxons in the latter part of the fifth century of the Christian era, and gradually spread with the people who spoke it, over nearly the whole of Southern Britain; the Celtic, the language of the Aborigines of the country, soon shrinking before it into Caledonia, Wales, Cornwall, and other remote parts of the island.

During the first five centuries after its introduction into the country now called England, the Anglo-Saxon language underwent little change farther than that which resulted from the occasional introduction of Latin words by Christian missionaries from the continent; and its literature, meantime, was cultivated, chiefly, by members of the different religious orders, some of whom were evidently men of more than ordinary genius. This early age presents us with many valuable historical chronicles, and theological treatises, together with occasional poetical effusions that well deserve to be carefully preserved.

But before we proceed to speak of these writers more particularly, we can not forbear to pause for a moment on the Celtic age, and briefly notice Ossian, its brightest, and perhaps its only ornament. Without concerning ourselves with those perplexing questions which respect Ossian's identity, we shall assume, according to Dr. Blair and Lord Kames, that he really lived, and actually composed the poems attributed to him by Macpherson.

The era assigned to Ossian is the beginning of the fourth Christian century, which places him two centuries at least anterior to any Southern British writer. He was the son of Fingal, a Caledonian chief, and having survived all the companions of his youth, under the influence of the “ Joy of Grief”—his own luminous expression, looked back upon the scenes of his

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