Geo. Stradling S. Th. P. Rev. in Xto Pat. Gilb. Episc. Lond. à Sac. Domestic.

[Page] CHOREA GIGANTUM, OR, The most Famous Antiquity of GREAT-BRITAN, Vulgarly called STONE-HENG, Standing on Salisbury Plain, Restored to the DANES;

By Walter Charleton, Dr in Physic, and Physician in Ordinary to His Majesty.

Quae per constructionem lapidum, & marmoreas moles, aut terrenos tumulos in magnam eductos altitudinem, constant; non propagabunt longam diem: quippe & ipsa intereunt.

Seneca, de Consolat. ad Polyb.

LONDON, Printed for Henry Herringman, at the Sign of the Anchor in the Lower Walk of the New Exchange. 1663.

To the KING's Most Excellent MAJESTY.

YOUR Majesties Cu­riosity to survey the Subject of this Dis­course, the so much admired Antiquity of STONE-HENG, hath sometime been so great and urgent, as to find a room in Your Royal Breast, a­mid'st Your weightiest Cares; and to carry You many miles out of Your way toward Safety, even at such [Page] a time, when any Heart, but your Fearless and Invincible one, would have been wholly fill'd with appre­hensions of Danger. For, as I have had the Honour to hear from that Oracle of Truth and Wisdom, Your Majestie's own Mouth; You were pleased to visit that Monument, and, for many hours together, entertain Your self with the delightful view thereof, when after the defeat of Your Loyal Army, at Worcester, Almighty God, in Infinite Mercy to Your three Kingdoms, miraculously de­livered You out of the bloody Jaws of those Monsters of Sin and Cruelty, who taking Counsel onely from the Heinousness of their Crimes, sought Impunity in the highest Aggravation of [Page] them; desperately hoping to se­cure Rebellion by Regicide, and by destroying their Soveraign, to continue their Tyranny over their Fellow-Subjects.

This, as at first it animated Me, to make strict Enquiry into the Origine, and Occasion of the Wonder (so the Vulgar call it) so far as the gloomy darkness of Oblivion would admit; so hath it now emboldned me, to lay at Your Majesties Feet the following Account of my Success in that Enquiry: in all possible Humili­ty and Reverence, beseeching You to Honour, with Your Gra­cious Acceptance, the RESTORA­TION of that Gigantick Pile, whose dead Remains You so high­ly [Page] Ennobled by Your Presence. Once You made it Your Diver­tisement, to look upon it sleeping in deep Forgetfulness, and well-nigh disanimated by the Lethargy of Time (which often brings the River Lethe to flow as well above ground, as below): Dis­dain not, therefore, now to cast an Eye upon it, when it appears to lift up its massive Head again, and offers, in plain Language, to tell You the Story of its Life, from whence it was derived, by whom it was formed, for what noble Use it was intended, and how it hath since been sacrilegiously violated. Which Story, though grounded onely on Conjecture; is neverthe­less neither Unpleasant, nor Un­profitable.

[Page] Having diligently compared STONE-HENG with other. Anti­quities of the same Kind, at this day, standing in Denmark; and finding a perfect Resemblance in most, if not in all Particulars ob­servable, on both sides; and ac­quainting my self moreover with the Uses of those rudely-mag­nificent Structures, for many hun­dreds of years together: I now at length conceive it to have been Erected by the DANES, when They had this Nation in sub­jection; and principally, if not wholly Design'd to be a Court Royal, or place for the Election and Inauguration of their Kings; according to a certain strange Cu­stome, yet of eldest Date, most sa­cred [Page] Esteem, and but late Discon­tinuance among that Martial People.

Whether, or no, my Authori­ties and Reasonings for this New Opinion of mine, be such, as may be allowed sufficient to render it highly Probable (for, further I pretend not): as becomes me, I most humbly, most freely submit to Your Majesty's most Excellent Judgement, in which You are no less Supreme, than in Your Power; and than which, none can be either more Discerning, or more Equitable. So that if it prove so fortunate, as to receive Your Approbation, I need not fear the Censure of any Under­standing [Page] Reader: if not, I shall however gain this advantage, to have my Mistake rectifi'd by a King, whose Reasons are Demon­strations, whose Enquiries are the best Directions unto Truth, whose Assent always is a sign of Truth, and to whose other Regal Prerogatives an admirable Wis­dom hath superadded this, that He is less subject to be imposed up­on, than any other Man!

In the meantime, and ever, ac­cording to my Duty, I shall ear­nestly pray to Almighty God, that He would be pleased to en­rich Your Sacred Majesty, with all Blessings answerable to the Largeness of Your Mind, to the Sublimity of Your Condition, to [Page] the VVeight of Your Charge, to the Multitude of Your Virtues, and to the Hopes and Wishes of all Your Good Subjects.

Your Majesties most Loyal, most Obedient, most Humble, Subject and Servant, WALTER CHARLETON.

To my worthy Friend, Dr Charleton, on his clear Dis­covery of STONE-HENG to have been a DANISH Court-Royal, for the Election of Kings, and not a Roman Temple, as supposed by Mr Inigo Jones.

HOw much obliging is Your learned Care!
Still busie to preserve, or to repair;
Which unto Men not onely life can give,
But makes their Monuments themselves to live.
Health comes to them by Your immortal aim:
And to their Actions Truth, the health of Fame.
The sickly World seems thus Restor'd by Thee;
Whilst thy large Soul, like its Eternity,
On wasting Time atchievs new Victories,
Which buried now in its own ruins lyes.
Nor wert Thou to engage with Time alone;
But that which kept the Wonder more unknown,
Mens Errors; which are still the greatest crime,
And more destroy the truth of things, than Time.
[Page] For, if unskilful hands too rashly take
In antique rubbish, every bold mistake
Hides what they seek, and loses it far more,
By the new ruine, than the old before.
Nor is Thy STONE-HENG a less Wonder grown,
Though once a Temple thought, now prov'd a Throne:
Since we, who are so blest with Monarchy,
Must gladly learn, from Thy Discovery,
That great Respects not onely have been found
Where Gods were worship'd, but where Kings were Crown'd.
Rob. Howard.

To my Honour'd Friend, Dr Charleton, on his learned and useful works; and more particularly this of STONE-HENG, by him Restored to the true Founders.

THe longest Tyranny that ever sway'd,
Was that wherein our Ancestors betray'd
Their free-born Reason to the Stagirite,
And made his Torch their universal Light.
So Truth, while onely one suppli'd the State,
Grew scarce, and dear, and yet sophisticate.
Until'twas bought, like Emp'rique Wares, or Charms,
Hard words seal'd up with Aristotle's Armes.
Columbus was the first that shook his Throne;
And found a Temp'rate in a Torrid Zone:
The fevrish aire fann'd by a cooling breez,
The fruitful Vales set round with shady Trees;
And guiltless Men, that danc'd away their time,
Fresh as their Groves, and Happy as their Clime.
Had we still paid that homage to a Name,
Which onely God and Nature justly claim;
The western Seas had been our utmost bound,
Where Poets still might dream the Sun was drown'd:
And all the Starrs, that shine in Southern Skies,
Had been admir'd by none but Salvage Eyes.
Among th' Assertors of free Reason's claim,
The English are not least in Worth, or Fame.
The World to Bacon does not onely owe
Its present Knowledge, but its future too.
Gilbert shall live, till Load-stones cease to draw,
Or British Fleets the boundless Ocean awe.
And noble Boyle, not less in Nature seen,
Than his great Brother read in States and Men.
[Page] The Circling streams, once thought but pools, of blood
(Whether Life'sfewel, or the Bodie's food)
From dark Oblivion Harvey's name shall save;
While Ent keeps all the honour that he gave.
Nor are You, Learned Friend, the least renown'd;
Whose Fame, not circumscrib'd with English ground,
Flies like the nimble journeys of the Light;
And is, like that, unspent too in its flight.
What ever Truths have been, by Art, or Chance,
Redeem'd from Error, or from Ignorance,
Thin in their Authors, (like rich veins in Ore)
Your Works unite, and still discover more.
Such is the healing virtue of Your Pen,
To perfect Cures on Books, as well as Men.
Nor is This Work the least: You well may give
To Men new vigour, who make Stones to live.
Through You, the DANES (their short Dominion lost)
A longer Conquest than the Saxons boast.
STONE-HENG, once thought a Temple, You have found
A Throne, where Kings, our Earthly Gods, were Crown'd.
Where by their wondring Subjects They were seen,
Chose by their Stature, and their Princely meen.
Our Soveraign here above the rest might stand;
And here be chose again to sway the Land.
These Ruines sheltred once His Sacred Head,
Then when from Wor'sters fatal Field He fled;
Watch'd by the Genius of this Kingly place,
And mighty Visions of the Danish Race.
His Refuge then was for a Temple shown:
But, He Restor'd, 'tis now become a Throne.
John Driden.


OF all MONUMENTS built by Mankind since the beginning of the World, there seem to be only two General Causes.

The FIRST Natural, namely a certain desire of Immortality, inherent in, and as it were Essential to the Human Soul. Which being an Immaterial Essence, participant of Divinity both in its Crea­tion, and Hopes, perpetually carrieth about it this impress or character of that Eternal Being, from whence it was derived; that it abhorreth Oblivion, and as not contented with that perpetuity in posterity, which Nature hath ordained by propagation of the Species, (an institution common also to Brute Animals) it aims at another kind of Eternity, by seeking to deliver the Remembrance of some notable actions to all succeeding Generations. So strong are the incitements of this our congenial Ambition, that the Dullest Souls are not altogether insensi­ble of them, and Heroique ones feel a sort of felicity in suffering themselves to be transported by them: Yea, many have preferr'd the Imaginary life of Glory, to that Real one of Nature; and through most [Page 2] horrid dangers and pains exposed themselves to death, meerly out of an obscure hope of being soon revived by Fame, and obtaining a better subsistence in the immortality of their Names. With such sentiments as these Old Ennius doubtless was toucht, when he rejoyced in the per­petuity of reputation, that he fancied to himself from the merits of his Verses, and exultingly exclames

—Volito vivn' per or a virum.

And Ovid, when he towres himself with

Ore legar populi, perque omnia saecula famâ,

Si quid habent veri vatum praesagia, vivam.

Nay, the grave Roman Orator himself was not exempted from the secret titillations of the same proleptical perswasion, when (Pro Mare.) he brake forth into this pathetic expression: Non haec vita dicenda est, quae corpore & spiritu continetur; illa, inquam, illa vita est, quae viget memoria saeculorum omnium, quam posterit as alit, quam ipsa aeternitas semper intuetur. This is not to be accounted life, which consisteth in the conjunction of Body and Soul: that, I say, that is life indeed, which flourisheth in the memory of all ages, which Posterity nourisheth, which Eternity it self ever looketh up­on.’And into another of the like heighth (Philip. 12.) in these words: Brevis vita data est, memoria benè redditae vitae sempiterna; quae si non esset longior, quam haec vita, quis esset tam amens, qui max­imis laboribus & periculis ad summam laudem, gloriamque conten­deret? Now, albeit this Affection of the Mind, in some persons meeting with the humor of Vain Glory, becomes an ignis fatuus, and misguides them to a false Eternity (for, the last cold we catch in our graves, makes us deaf to even the loudest praises of men: and if it did not, yet would the pleasure of those praises be as short and tran­sitory, as the breath that gives them being:) yet cannot it be easily denied to be a considerable argument of the Souls Immortality; forasmuch as the most rigid of Philosophers find it to be Natural (Aristotle 2. de Anima, terms it [...], most Natural) and confess, that Nature hath implanted in us no Appetite in vain, or which is not capable of satisfaction, if rightly addressed to its proper ob­jects. However, thus much may modestly be affirmed, that there is [Page 3] no man but thinks himself somewhat concerned in times that shall come after him; and that the most excellent works of men had their first beginnings from this Appetite of posthume Fame. For, whence came the foundations of Empires, the institutions of Republiques, Sects, Societies, and Laws to govern them? Whence the building of Cities, the erection of Pyramids, Mausoleas, Obelisks, Temples, Amphitheatres, Statues, Palaces, and the like costly Monuments? Whence, those many Volumes of History, Annals, Philosophy, Arts and Sciences, and all other kind of Knowledge? Whence all the brave performances and atchievements in Warr? Whence the li­berality of Testaments, the adoption of Heirs, the affiancing of great Families, the desire of Islue? Whence, I say, can we derive all these, and in truth all other the principal designs and actions of Mankind, if not from that which Cicero (1. Tuscul) calls saeculorum quoddam augurium futurorum, a certain implanted Ambition of men to extend the prospect of their hopes beyond the dark vale of Death, and have their names survive their Funerals? so that though some Sceptiques may perhaps dispute, whether this Ambition be purely Natural, or meerly Opinionative: yet, I presume, none will contradict this ma­nifest truth, That all Nations are beholding to it for their chiefest Ornaments and Memorials; especially if due consideration be had of the neer affinity betwixt this their First Cause, and

The OTHER, which is Politique; namely an incitement of men to hazardous undertakings, and enterprizes of difficulty, by set­ting before their eyes the glorious Examples of such among their Predecessors, who by actions of eminent fortitude, prudence, justice, knowledge, piety to their Country, or other the like Virtues, have highly obliged mankind. For, since Glory and Renown is one of the sharpest spurrs to Heroical spirits; and that glory is alwayes great­est, that is most permanent: it was a high point of Wisedome and Policie in our Forefathers to erect publick memorials of great and worthy men, such as being lookt upon by their Successors, might in­spire them with a generous Emulation to atchieve the like meritori­ous actions, that so they may attain to the like honour and esteem, with those that shall come after them. Virtue, though a sufficient reward to it self, would yet have but few followers, unless attended on by Fame. Whereupon Cicero (in 1. Tusculan.) discoursing of gallant men, sayes positively, Eorum nemo unquam, sine magna spe [Page 4] immortalitatis, se pro patria offerret ad mortem; no man, however magnanimous and brave, would for the good of his Country offer him­self to death, without great hope of immortality; and Euripides (in Ajace) not indecently cries out [...].

Among the most durable Memorials of worthy Men and Actions, by which generous spirits are animated to tread in the rough and crag­gy wayes of Virtue, upon expectation the Gratitude of posterity will endeavour to vindicate their names and deserts from the devouring jaws of Oblivion; the first place belongs to those, which the Greci­ans call [...], the Romans Monumenta, and we in imitation of them Monuments: because they serve to instruct the present and fu­ture ages, in things done in ages past; and remain to succeeding gene­rations, as certain Memorials of the famous performances of their Ancestors. The word Monumentum deriving it self from Moneo; and that again holding from Memoria; as Varro (de lingua Latin. lib. 8. ) monere est a memoria dictum, quod is, qui monet, perinde sit ac memoria. So that a Monument, in propriety of signification, is an Admonition by putting in remembrance. In which sense Cicero speaking to Caesar, saith, sed Ego, quae monumenti ratio sit, nomine ipso admoneor, ad memoriam magis spectare debere posteritatis, quam ad praesentis temporis gratiam. And in a Manuscript Registre of the Gray Friers in London, kept in Sir Robert Cottons Library, there is this agreeable definition of a Monument; Monimentum est quasi mo­nens mentem, & sic solet a doctioribus Etymologiari: monet namque bifariàm humanam mentem, cum aut mortis memoriam incutit, visis praecedentium sepulchris; aut eisdem conspectis, alii ad virtutis iter strenue calcandum incitantur & animantur.

Hence it comes, that notwithstanding the things invented to give notice to posterity of the laudable atchievements of their Progenitors, be almost infinitely various in their natures, materials, forms, &c. yet still hath the word Monument been used, as a general name, to denote them: which Festus long since observed in this saying; Monu­mentum est, quod mortui causa aedificatum est, & quicquid in memo­riam alicujus factum est, ut fana, porticus, scripta, & carmina, &c.

[Page 5] To enumerate the several Kinds, or Differences of these inanimate Remembrancers; and deduce each of those differences from its pro­per Causes and occasions, is neither necessary to, nor consistent with my present design, which is confined within the circle of one single monument. Let it suffice, therefore, if I in the general advertise, that their Variety is owing not onely to the diversity of Peoples and Nations, that founded, erected, composed them of different Mate­rials, after sundry manners, and with various artifices, each according to their proper Genius, Belief, Customes, Commodities, and the like: but also to the circumstances of Time, Place, Fortune, and Occasion. So that no wonder, if these (as all other the works of Man) are vast­ly different among themselves, in Matter, Form, Magnitude, Arti­fice, Cost, Magnificence, Situation, and Design.

Nor is it more a wonder, that this great Difference sometimes turns to the Confusion of ancient Monuments, and makes them no Monuments at all; by rendring their particular significations so in­distinct, that even the best Antiquaries (those Masters of the Rolls of time) fall into contention not onely concerning the Authors by whom, and the Times wherein; but also about the Ends, or Purposes for which they were at first set up. For, the Monuments of even one and the same Nation, in one and the same Country, having been now and then varied in fashion, magnificence, &c. according to the seve­ral vicissitudes of Time, mutations of Religion, and other revolutions of Fate: it cannot but be highly difficult for late posterity, who are left in ignorance of the respective occasions and motives of those changes, to search into the intentions of their Founders; especially, where History hath been either altogether silent, or (what's as bad) full of uncertainties concerning their Originals. And where the darkness of Oblivion hath been added to that of aged Time; certainly, our Curio­sity can hardly find the way to truth, nor is the glimmering light of Reason likely to afford other discoveries, but what are Conjectural. So true it is, that Monuments themselves are subject to Forgetfulness, even while they remain: and that when neither the Writings of men li­ving in the same age, or not long after their erection, nor uncorrupted Tradition hath concurred to give them life; they usually stand rather as dead objects of popular wonder, and occasions of Fables, than as cer­tain records of Antiquity.

[Page 6] Do you require an Instance, or Example of the truth of what I here say? Please you to convert your eyes upon that most notable Antiqui­ty, commonly called STONE—HENG, on Salisbury plain; you shall there find one most eminent, most fit for your purpose, most worthy your contemplation. For, though this Gigantique Re­main be wonderfull as well in respect of the strangeness of its Form, as of the vastness of the stones, of which it is composed; and therefore among all the Antiquities of this our Island, none seems better to have deserved the commemoration of our ancient Writers: Yet such hath been its Fate, that it hath out-lived it self, and buried as well the Names, as Bones of those Worthies to whose memory it was consecrated; nor can you meet with any story of credit to inform you when, or by whom it was erected. Having raised horror and asto­nishment in the Beholder; it leaves him to entertain himself with thoughts as various, as the plain it stands upon is wide, and as confused, as Ruine hath made it stones: the prospect of it at a distance not more delighting the eye, than the neer survey doth perplex the brain, or the date of it amuse the understanding. What the vulgar idlely feign of the stones of it, namely that they are innumerable, not in respect of the greatness of their number, but of I know not what magical in­chantment supposed impressed upon the whole pile, that deludes the attempts of Arithmetique; I find true of the Years of its continuance, its Beginning being as obscure, as the Fable of Merlins transportation of it out of Ireland, by witchcraft, is absurd and ridiculous; yea so far hath oblivion prevail'd, that now we are in doubt, not only what King, Prince, or General, but also what Nation it was, that bequeathed us this Wonder for a Legacy.

The consideration of this, together with a certain deep resentment of the misfortune of the Founders of this prodigious Fabrique, who in despite of its greatness and durability, seem utterly lost and forgotten, as if they had been entombed in the bowels of the deepest Ocean, or in the sandy deserts of Arabia: as it hath often raised in me a kind of indignation against the enviousness of Time, (which hardly endures that Creatures subject to mortality in their Nature, should be above it in their memory, and, in derision of mans greatest works, sometimes brings the River Lethe to flow as well above ground, as below;) so did it enkindle in me an ardent desire to contribute my mite toward the researching, who or what those Worthies were, that entrusted their [Page 7] remembrance to this forgetfull Heap. And in compliance with this desire, having from the necessary imployments of my profession bor­rowed some hours, for the reading of such Authors, as well ancient, as modern, who have either lightly mentioned, or professedly treated of this venerable piece of Antiquity, or others resembling it; and equi­tably examined the respective probability, or improbability of their different opinions touching its Origine, by comparing them with the agreeableness, or disagreeableness they hold to the parts and proprie­ties of the building it self, and with the concurrence of History, Time, Place and other circumstances: I at length believed, I was arrived, though not at perfect satisfaction, yet at reasonable grounds for a Con­jecture, that most probably it was a Monument anciently erected by the Danes, at such time as that warlike Nation usurped the soveraign­ty of this our fertil Island. After this, being further animated by this meditation; that if it be, as doubtless it is, a kind of Inhumanity and Sacrilege, to despoil the dead of the glory due to rhem, by alienating the memorials they studiously left behind them, and transferring the honour of their works upon strangers, who have no better title there­unto, than what the mistake, or flattery of after ages gave them; on the contrary, it must be a sort of Piety to endeavour to restore the true owners to the possession of their Merits, by reviving the justice of their claim: I indulged my self the liberty to conceive, the Candid and Ingenious would take it in good part, if by publishing the Rea­sons that induced me to be of that Opinion, I modestly made them al­so judges of its probability; contenting my self only with the simpli­city and innocence of my devoir, and submitting my collections to their wiser examination. And thus you have the Occasion, Motives, Design, and Equity of the following discourse. As for the Method, and Style of it; you will soon perceive the One to be somewhat con­fused, the Other altogether rude and unpolished: so that it cannot be denied, but I have in some sort observed a decorum with the Monu­ment I speak of; the parts thereof being now in great disorder, and the stones alwayes unhewn, as they come from the Quarrie. But both being Natural and unaffected, I hope you will bear with their other defects; especially when you shall consider, that in Arguments of this nature, cleerness of proofs, and authority of testimonies, and faithful­ness of quotations are much to be preferred before exactness of Me­thod, and Elegancy of Phrase.

[Page 8] You, perhaps, have not yet beheld this Monument, or at least not taken a survey of it in its stately ruines; and, therefore, it behoveth me to prepare you the better to judge of its Antiquity, and Design, by entertaining you in the first place with the

Description of Stone-heng, by Mr. Camden.

About six miles from Salisbury, northward (saith He) on Salis­bury Plain, is to be seen a huge and monstrous piece of work, such as Cicero termeth insanam substructionem. For, within the circuit of a ditch, there are erected, in manner of a Crown, in three ranks or courses, one within another, certain mighty and unwrought stones; whereof some are twenty eight foot high, and seven foot broad: upon the heads of which others, like overthwart pieces, do bear and rest crosswise, with small tenents and mortescies, so as the whole frame seemeth to hang; whereof we call it STONE-HENG, like as our old Historians termed it, for the greatness, Chorea Gigantum, the Giants Dance.

Then, to illustrate his description, He subjoyns this Draught, or Figure.


Place this Piece in Folio 8.

[Page 9]Whére A. denoteth the Perpendicular stones, called Corse­stones, weighing twelve Tunn, carrying in hight twenty four Foot, in breadth seven Foot, and in compass sixteen: and

B. the Overthwart stones, called Cronets, of six or seven Tunn weight.

Here in all likelihood, You will a little wonder, both by what way Mr. Camden could attain to the weight of these so ponderous masses, so as to be positive in the assignment of it: and why, having first made the altitude of the Erected stones, or Columns to be twen­ty eight foot, he immediately, in the explication of his pourtraict, brings it down to onely twenty four foot. Nor, indeed, can I ease you of that wonder; otherwise than by referring the former to his meer Conjecture, and the other to his Forgetfulness. But this transitory remarque is of as small importance to our main scrutiny; as His de­scription comes short of that satisfaction, which is required to an exact survey of all parts of the wonder. Let us pass, therefore, if your curi­osity and leisure permit, to the more ample

Description of Stone-heng, by Mr. Inigo Jones. Who being, and not unworthily, called by Mr. Web (in his pre­face to Mr. Jones his Book, entituled Stone-heng Restored) the Eng­lish Vitruvius; and having, as Himself professeth, in the 56. page of the same Book, with no little pains, and charge, measured the whole work, and diligently searched the Foundations of it: seems to pro­mise us a more full account in all particulars.

This Antiquity (saith He) because the Architraves are set upon the heads of the upright stones, and hang as it were in the air, is generally known by the name of Stone-heng. The whole work, in general, being of a Circular form, is 110. foot diameter; double winged about, without a roof; anciently environed with a deep trench, still appearing about thirty foot broad. So that betwixt it, and the work it self, a large and void space of ground being left; it had from the Plain three open Entrances, the most conspicuous whereof lies North-east. At each of which was raised, on the out­side of the Trench aforesaid, two huge stones, Gate-wise; parallel [Page 10] whereunto, on the inside, two others of less proportions. The Inner part of the work, consisting of an Exagonal figure, was raised, by due symmetry, upon the bases of four Equilateral Triangles, which formed the whole Structure. This Inner part likewise was double, having within it also another Exagon raised; and all that part with­in the Trench, sited upon a commanding ground, eminent, and higher by much than any of the Plain lying without, and in the mid­dest thereof upon a foundation of hard Chalk, the work it self was placed. Insomuch, that from what part soever they came unto it, they rose by an ascending hill.

In the inmost part is a Stone appearing not much above the sur­face of the Earth, and lying towards the East, four foot broad, and sixteen in length. Which, whether an Altar, or no, I leave to the judgment of others.

The Great stones, which made the Entrances from the outside of the Trench, are seven foot broad, three thick, and twenty high.

Their Parallels, on the inside of the Trench, are four foot broad, and three thick; but so broken, their proportions in hight cannot be exactly measured.

The stones, which make the Outward Circle, carry in breadth seven foot, in thickness 3 and ½, and in hight 15 and ½: each stone having two Tenons mortaised into the Architrave continuing upon them, throughout the whole circumference. For, these Archi­traves being joynted directly in the middle of each of the Perpendi­cular stones, that their weight might have an equal bearing; and up­on each side of the joynt a Tenon wrought (as remains yet to be seen): it may positively be concluded thereby, the Architrave con­tinued round about this Outward Circle.

The smaller stones of the Inner Circle are two foot and ½ in breadth, 1. thick, and 6. high. These had no Architrave upon them, but were raised perpendicular, of a Pyramidal form.

The Stones of the Greater Hexagon, 7. foot and ½ in breadth, [Page]




[Page] [Page 11] three foot nine inches in thickness, and twenty foot in hight; each having one Tenon in the middle.

The stones of the Inner Hexagon, 2. foot 6. inches broad, 1. foot and ½ thick, and eight foot high; in form Pyramidal, like those of the Inner Circle.

The Architrave lying round about upon the Perpendicular stones of the Outward Circle, is three foot and ½ broad, two foot and ½ high or thick.

The Architrave on the top of the great stones of the Outward Hexagon, 16. foot long, 3. foot 9. inches broad, 3. foot 4 inches high. This Architrave continuing onely from stone to stone, left betwixt every two and two, a void space, free to the air, unco­vered.

After this Survey (and some other Designs, that he fancied cor­respondent thereunto) He obligeth his Readers with the whole work in Prospective, as it now lies in its ruines, representing it self to the eye thus.

The Figure.

In which P. represents the manner of the Tenons, of a round form, mortaised into the Architrave of the Out­ward Circle: and

Q. the Tenons of the like form, in the middle of the stones of the Greater Hexagon.

Reflecting upon these two Descriptions, and comparing them to­gether with due care: You'l find them at open variance, and differing in so many, and so considerable particulars, that 'twill be a hard task for you to keep them from mutually discrediting each other. For

(1.) Mr. Camden expresly affirm's, He observed the Ranks, or Courses, in which all the Stones were erected, to be only Three, one within another; and Mr. Jones as confidently avouches, He found them to be Four.

[Page 12] (2.) The Former saith all those three Courses are Circular: the Later saith, of his Four, two only are Circular, the other two Hex­agonal.

(3.) This gives you a punctual account of Three open Entrances, marked with two huge stones perpendicularly raised on the outside of the Trench, and other two of lesser dimensions in like manner sited on the inside, in position parallel: That is utterly silent concerning any such matter; yea implicitly denies it, in that hee delivered, that all the stones observed the circumferences of their proper Circles.

(4.) In like manner, the One stumbles upon an Altar-stone (for such He conceived, and such He would have us believe it to be, not­withstanding his seeming to leave men to the liberty of their own judgment in that point:) over which the Other leaped cleerly, with­out so much as ever touching it.

(5.) Mr. Camden assignes to the Perpendicular stones of the largest size, twenty four foot of Altitude: but Mr. Jones will not al­low them to exceed twenty foot.

Behold, here, a notable Example of the discrepancy of Mens judge­ments, even in things easily determinable by the sense! and how hard it is to discern truth with others eyes! What, then, shall we conclude on in the case? Upon whose relation may we, with greatest security to our belief, depend? If we compare the Reputations of these two Authors; we find them equally high and venerable: the One being worthily esteemed one of the principal Antiquaries, and most Learn­ed men of his time; the Other as worthily reckoned among the most excellent Architects this Nation ever bred, and a general Scholar. If we ballance their several Abilities respective to the matter in hand; no great advantage of weight appears on either side: for if Mr. Jones were more conversant in Vitruvius, and more exact in the Rules of Geometry; Mr. Camden was not ignorant of the Art of Designing taught by the one, nor unacquainted with the use of the Other, as is evi­dent from many passages in his immortal Writings. However, He was certainly skilfull enough in the common wayes of measuring and surveying, not to be mistaken in the dimensions and platform of Stone-heng. If we compute the Times, in which they severally took their draughts of this Wonder; the difference will be so small, as not to [Page 13] solve the variousness of them: for, they were Contemporaries, and not above forty years, at most, seem to have intervened betwixt the Writing of one and the other, concerning this Argument. A small space of time to wear off four foot of hardest stone from the heads of the Perpendiculars or Columns; especially considering not so much as an inch is diminished from their sides. And much too short a time, for so many new stones to grow up in, as Mr. Jones discovered more than the other perceived. Lastly, as for their Veracity; that's a thing sacred, admitting of neither dispute, nor comparison; and 'twere breach of Charity not to be confident of this; that both of them had so great devotion and reverence toward the majesty of Truth, as nei­ther would dare to offend her, by willingly deluding the present and future ages, with counterfeit Certificates, or by adding or diminish­ing, where they pretend to exactness and fidelity. And yet notwith­standing, such is their misfortune, and our trouble, we cannot give cre­dit to both at once: that one hath mistaken, is manifest; that both were mistaken, and about the same particulars, is improbable; to determine on which side the Error lies, is difficult, but by a new survey; and to reconcile them in all points, seems impossible. Wherefore, though the clue of my slender Observations upon the place, be not strong e­nough to conduct you out of this Labyrinth: yet, I hope, my zeal to truth may excuse my plainness and freedome, if I adventure to assure you, that having more than once or twice delighted my self with view­ing this admirable Antiquity, and with all possible attentiveness of mind contemplated the form, order, and parts of it; I alwaies obser­ved Mr. Camdens Draught to come much neerer in resemblance both to the work it self, and to the idea thereof formed in my Imagi­nation out of its ruines, than that bequeathed to the world by Mr. Jones, though much more elaborate and artificial. Neverthelesse, the Model I have conceived of the whole Fabrique in General, being not cast in the mould of Architectonical Principles, nor adjusted by the maxims of Geometry; but rude and simple, such as my Eyes deli­vered in to my brain: I think it not worth the labour of Copying; but leave every man to the liberty of fancying as he pleaseth, when he hath sufficiently gazed upon the Original. In the mean time, let us proceed to our Capital Enquiry, Who were the Authors of this stupen­dious Building, that doth so amaze and amuse its beholders.

What Scaliger wittily and truly said, in one of his Exercitations, concerning the nature of Colours; viz. that objects most cleer and ma­nifest [Page 14] to the Sense, are often most full of difficulty and obscurity when brought home to the Understanding: holds true also of this Monument, which is not more conspicuous to the Eye, for its greatness and emi­nency, than dark to the Mind, in respect of its original and founda­tion, of which no certain remains are to be found. So that we are not more beholding to Time, for suffering the Sceleton or Bones of this Giant to stand so long; than injured by it, in that it so soon extinguisht the life, or story of it.

For, first, our most ancient, and most authentique Historians, who committed to record the most memorable actions and traverses of Fortune among the Britains; and who may with good reason be al­lowed to have been not much above one age younger than Stone-heng it self: have passed it over in silence, as a thing, either of whose Being they were utterly ignorant, or of whose Beginning they were utterly uncertain. So that from their Writings, nothing can be dedu­ced toward our information.

And then, as for such others of our Country-men, as well Histori­ographers, as Antiquaries, who living at less or greater distance of time after the former, have treated expresly of it; they deliver reports so various and inconsistent among themselves, and severally so embroy­led with improbabilities and incongruities; that they appear to have taken up their respective opinions either from obsolete and darksome traditions, or from slender and questionable authorities, or at best from plausible conjectures. So that from these Authors likewise, little is to be borrowed toward our determination. However, it being my duty to presume, you are not unwilling to hear these Opinions, what and whose they are; I shall not decline the labour of collecting and reci­citing them sincerely and faithfully: especially for as much as many things are well worthy our Knowledge, that cannot yet deserve our Belief; and even Fictions sometimes have accidentally given light to long obscured verities.

The Eldest and most vulgarly received Opinion, then, concerning the first Foundation of Stone-heng, is, that it was erected by that so much renowned Brittish-roman (for, a Roman He was, materna ex parte, by the Mothers side) Aurelius Ambrosius, in memory of those four hundred and sixty Noble Britains, in peaceable manner invited to a treaty of accommodation, to be held in or neer the Town of Ambresbu­ry, [Page 15] by that bloody invader and leader of the Saxons, Hengist; and upon a watch-word given, most treacherously murdered by him and his equally inhuman confederates, upon the place in which they were assembled. And the principal, if not the first Author of this report, was Geffery Monmouth (in lib. 6. Histor. Britannic.) to whom I remit you for a more full narration of the manner how this perfidious Massacre was designed and executed, and how the Monument of Stone-heng was set up, as a perpetual Memorial of those many Worthies, who there suffered a Civil Martyrdome, being sacrificed in honour of their Country.

The Next (neer of Kin to the first, as to Time; though è diametro contrary, in all other respects) is, That the same Aurelius Ambrosius being deceased, his sorrowfull subjects, the Britans, to testifie to succee­ding Ages how high an honour they had for the reliques of Him, under whose valiant and prudent conduct, and by whose couragein-spiring Example, they had so often repulsed and defeated their savage Ene­mies, raised this Magnificent structure over the place of his sepulture, as a most durable witness of his Heroical Virtues, and their own grate­full piety. And this conceit seems derived chiefly from Polydor Vir­gil, who (in lib 3.) relating the passages of warr, betwixt the Bri­tans and Saxons of those times, expresly affirms it as a memorable truth, in words of this sense. ‘In memory of his atchievements for the liberty and good of his Country, the Britans set up a magnifi­cent Sepulchre for their General, Ambrosius, made of great square stones, in form of a Crown (observe here, how exactly Polydor's des­cription of the general Aspect of Stone-heng agrees with that of Mr. Camden formerly mentioned) in that very place, where He was slain in fight; that the fortitude of so noble a Chiestain, might be neither forgotten among themselves, nor left unremembred to posterity. Which Monument is yet remaining in the Diocess of Salisbury, near to the Town called Amesbury.’

A Third Conjecture we meet with, which though of much younger date, doth yet pretend to be grounded upon an Accident of Warre so ancient, that we have scarcely any records of the actions betwixt the Britans and Romans in this Island, of certainty above it; and it is, that Stone-heng was built by the old Britains as a Sepulchral Monu­ment for their Magnanimous, but unfortunate Queen, Bunduca or Bo­adicia, Dowager of Prasutagus, King of the Iceni; who with all her [Page 16] principal Nobility, and a numerous Army, was fatally overthrown in battel by that handfull of Romans, under the command of Suetonius Paulinus, then Lieutenant in Britanny. The Father of this more par­tial, than probable fancy, was the Translator of Lucius Florus (one Mr. Bolton, as I have been told by several Stationers) and Author of that ingenious Book, entituled Nero Caesar, published no longer agoe, than in the year 1624. who out of a certain excess of devotion to the Fame of that British Amazon (as each Historian must have his par­ticular Heros, or Heroine, whose virtues he delights to magnifie above all others) willing to heighten her glories by all means possible; and taking advantage of these words of Dion Cassius concerning her fune­ral rites, Britanni humavernnt Eam magnifice, the Britans inhumed her with solemn and magnificent pomp: rather than suffer her to want a Toomb proportionate to the grandure of her birth, soveraignty, and spirit, would needs be so courtly, as to bestow that huge pile of stones upon her, to which the laws of History gave her no right at all. But let us hear with what fervor of Zeal, and freedom of vote, He conferreth this favour upon the Lady. ‘The Story of Bunduca, saith He, [Nero Caesar p. 182, & 183.] than which neither our own noble Country, nor the whole globe of Earth, hath a rarer, was so little understood by Monmouth, as it doth not appear at all, that ever the bare sound thereof arrived within his hearing. But had the pretious volumes of the Cornelian Annals, and Dio Cassius, and John Xiphiline (where her Heroick deeds are upon record to all posterity) been within the sphear of his studies; not Aurelius Ambrosius, nor those four hun­dred and threescore noblemen of Britain murdered in Vortigers Reign, should perhaps have carried away with him the fame of this Material wonder, but Her Magnanimous self. Higher than to Her no Books do reach, with any probability of a Person more capable of such a Testimony, than she; and the profound oblivion which co­vers the Author, and the first intention of rearing them, where now they still defie the weather, doth strongly fortifie my suspition, that the stones were consecrated to the glory of Bunduca, and of her Captains slain in her Quarrel, so long time since as Nero Caesars dayes, much above fifteen hundred years, &c.’

Here, after the recital of these Three so different Suppositions, I should immediately have proceeded to the Examination of them in order: but Mr. Inigo Jones having, not many years past, with singular judgement, and great pains, fully detected the particular weaknesses of [Page 17] each, and improbabilities of all; and my Genius being alwayes averie to the dull and unprofitable drudgery of transcription; I think it suf­ficient, if I refer You to His elaborate discourse upon the same ab­struse Argument, while I apply my self to the serious consideration of a Fourth opinion, to which His fruitfull Imagination seems to have given birth, and His ample skill in Architecture, credit.

Mr. Jones his Opinion, then, of the Founders, Antiquity and Design of Stone-heng, is

That it was a work of the ROMANS, built by them, when they flo­rished here in greatest peace and prosperity, and happily betwixt the times of Agricola's government, and the reign of Constantine the Great, about 1560 years agoe; not as a Sepulchral Monument, but as a Tem­ple, and particularly consecrated to the imaginary Deity of Coelus, or Coelum, from whence their superstitious belief derived the original of all things.

The Grounds whereon He advanced, and Reasons with which He endeavoured to support this so new and strange surmise; being brought into order, and few words, are these that follow.

First, that the Romans were, and no other Nation could be Foun­ders of Stone-heng, He argueth from (1.) the Magnisicence; (2.) the Order; (3.) the Architectonical Scheme; (4.) the double Portico in the greater Circle of Stones, and another Portico in the Cell, or Hex­agon; (5.) the Manner and Position of the Columns of the Building; and (6) from the Roman Reliques frequently found neer the place.

Secondly, that it was a Temple, He would infer from (1.) the Inter­vall, or spacious Court round about; (2.) the Cell, and its Porticoes; (3.) the Altar, and its position Eastward; (4.) the Mixt, or Com­pound Order; (5.) the Aspect of the whole Fabrique; and (6.) from the Skuls of Beasts digged up in the circumjacent ground.

Thirdly, that this so plausibly imagined Temple was consecrated in particular to the God, Coelus; He concludeth from (1.) the Situ­ation; (2.) the Aspect Hypaethros; (3.) the Manner, or Form; (4.) the Order; (5.) the Decorum of the structure; (6.) the Pyramidal [Page 18] Figure of the stones; and (7.) from the Kinds of Beasts customarily offered in sacrifice to that Deity. And this is the Summary of all those particulars, from whose concurrent hints He seems to have deduced his Invention.

An Invention exceedingly fine and subtle, I confess; savouring of a pregnant Wit, and no small Learning, especially in the mysteries of ancient Atchitecture in use among the Romans; and therefore much applauded by some of more than vulgar judgment: yet not so firmly founded, as to be impregnable; nor so closely compacted in all its parts, as to keep out all weather of Contradiction. Wherefore though it be far from my design to batter and demolish it (for, in truth, it de­serves to stand, though meerly for the pleasantness:) yet my devotion to truth, and the interest of my present disquisition concur to excuse my boldness, if having brought you to it, I adventure to shew you the several Flaws, chinks, and defects discoverable therein; leaving it at last to your own judgment, whether it be strong enough to secure any mans belief, that shall set up his rest in it.

Let us, therefore, begin at the First Partition, viz. That Stone-heng was a peice of Roman Architecture; and carefully view the strength of those Reasons alleged to prove it so to be.

(First,) As for the Magnificence thereof; what Aristotle (4. Eth. cap. 2.) terms [...], the Latines Magnificentia & Majestas, doth not consist alone in the Magnitude or Massiness of either the Ma­terials of a Building, or the whole Pile (for, then those huge stones lying one upon another, call'd Wringchees, in Cornwall, would be a magnificent structure): but in an artificial Decorum, or agreeable pulchritude conjoyned with greatness of bulk. Which two Quali­ties meeting together in any Fabrique, cause it to present it self to the eye with a certain twofold gracefulness or majesty, that instantly rai­seth a kind of Respect, and where it is rare and excellent, a kind of delightfull Wonder also in the beholders. So that we use not to call Great things, Majestical, in respect of their large dimensions alone: nor Little things, Magnificent, notwithstanding their Elegancy. And this I conceive to be the adaequate notion of Magnificence among all Architects. Now, according to this notion, though the stones of Stone-heng be, indeed, extraordinarily big and ponderous; yet for­asmuch as they are rude, rough, craggy, and difform among themselves, [Page 19] and destitute of any great Art or Elegancy in their general disposition and construction; I perceive my self under no constraint or necessity of apprehending it as a Magnificent building, at least in so high a de­gree, as Mr. Jones would have us believe, when He affirms, that be­twixt Rome and our Island, there is no Monument, in which the Ro­man Magnificence is more conspicuous, than in this. If by Magnifi­cence He meant Magnum apparatum, the difficulty of the Means, strength of Engines, multitude of hands, length of time, &c. necessari­ly made use of in bringing together, and raising so many and so large stones; then doth his Inference fall to the ground: there being many antique Monuments yet remaining, some in England, others in Scot­land, others again in Denmark and Norway; which consisting of the like materials, and those perhaps further fetcht too, could not but re­quire like strength, labour, and art to their erection, and yet the Ro­mans had no hand in setting up either of them; as shall be made ap­pear, when the thread of my discourse hath brought me to mention them more opportunely. Furthermore, what judicious Eye, that hath once beheld the remains of Diocletian's Baths, Nero's Palace, Mar­cellus his Theatre, Vespasians Temple of Peace, the great Cirque, or other the monstrous buildings of the Romans in Italy; can afterward fancy any such thing as Roman Magnificence in this formless Uniform Heap of massy stones at Stone-heng? there being as little of propor­tion or resemblance betwixt this and those, as betwixt St. Pancrace Church, and St. Pauls; or as betwixt a Welsh montaineers cottage, and the Royal Palace of Hampton Court. Nor am I alone of this judgment; for the Author of the life of Nero Caesar, formerly cited, apprehended so little of Magnificence in the thing, that from the very Rudeness thereof He concludes it (though erroneously) to have been a work of the Britains.

(Secondly,) As for the Order, which Mr. Jones affirms to be the Tuscan; that you may the more cleerly discern, whether any such thing was observed by the Builders of Stone-heng, in that work, or not, it i needfull for me to put you in mind at least, What that Tuscan Orde is, what Conditions it hath that are Common to the other orders also and what distinct Proprieties. The Ancient Roman Architects ge­nerally divided their structures in parietes continuos, & intermissos, into Intire or Continued walls, and Intermissions made by Columns or Pillars. Of these Columns they had, partly from the Grecians, partly of their own invention, Five different Kinds, or sorts; which reckoned [Page 20] according to their respective dignity and perfection, are the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Compound, or (as it is commonly na­med) Italic. The Tuscan (which alone relates to our present busi­ness) est plana, massiva, seu rustica columna, similis robusto alicui & benè artuato ruricolae, viliter amicto, is a plain, massive, or rustical Column, carrying some resemblance to a strong and well-limbed Country-man, meanly clad; as Vitruvius (lib. 4. cap. 1.) not unfitly describes it. The Conditions common to this Pillar with the rest, are principally Three, according to Sr. H. Wottons enumeration of them, in prima parte Elementorum Architecturae, for the Excellency thereof translated into Latin by John de Laet. First, the Pillars of all the Or­ders are Rotundae figurae, of a Round figure. For, though some con­ceive the Column Atticurges, of which Vitruvius speaks (lib. 3. cap. 3.) was Square; yet was it lookt upon as irregular, and never admit­ted into the orders, but among other extravagant inventions, condem­ned by Him. Secondly, Omnes diminuuntur & contrahuntur insensi­biliter, plus aut minus, secundùm proportionem suae altitudinis, ab tertiae parte scapi sui sursum, All are Contracted or lessened insensibly, more or less, according to the proportion of their altitude, from the third part of their Scape, or lower part, upward. Which Guilielm. Philander, (one of the best Interpreters of Vitruvius,) from the exact dimensions of sundry antique Remains survey'd by himself, prescribes tanquam venustissimam diminutionem, as the most comely and grace­full diminution; and most resembling the Taper growth of Pine­trees, from whose pattern the Figure of all Columns was first taken. Thirdly, Omnes suos habent Stylobat as, altitudine tertiae partis totius Columnae, comprehensa basi & capitulo; All have their Pedestals, of the hight of the third part of the whole Column, from the base to the head. The Proprieties of the Tuscan order (to omit others of lesse importance) consist principally in two things, viz. the Propor­tion of the Longitude of the Pillar it self, and the Intercolumnium, or distance betwixt Pillar and Pillar. The Hight, or Length of the Pil­lar ought to be Sex diametrorum crassissimae partis inferioris ipsius sca­pi, six Diameters of its thickness in the biggest part a little above the bottome. For Vitruvius (lib. 3. cap. 1.) accounts the length of a Mans foot to be the sixt part of his whole body, in ordinary dimensi­on: and Man, according to Protagoras, is [...]; of all exact Symmetry the Prototype, or first Exemplar. And the Intercolumnium, or Intervall betwixt the Pillars, is required to be circiter quatuor illius diametrorum, of about four Diameters. [Page 21] Now, these Qualifications of the Tuscan order being thus set down, on one side of the parallel: let us turn our Eyes upon Stone-heng and see what Analogy is to be found therein, to make up the other. (1.) At Stone-heng, very few, or none at all of the Upright stones, or Co­lumns are Round, no nor in any degree related to that figure; but broad and flat, and mostly resembling Parallelipipeds, rather than Cylinders; as the eye witnesseth. So that here is a manifest inconfor­mity to the Figure required indifferently in all the five orders. (2.) Their Contraction, or Lessening upward is not Uniform, but rudely various, in some greater, in others less, in none insensible, in all irre­gular: so as therein likewise they want the due proportion of Dimi­nution common to all genuinely figured Columns. (3.) They have no Pedestals at all, being set in the ground; which is a third incongru­ity. (4.) The Perpendiculars of the Greater Circle are, according to Mr. Jones his measure, in altitude 15. foot and ½, in depth 3. foot, and in breadth seven foot. Where then is to be found the proportion of Longitude to six Diameters of the thickest part of the Column? (5.) Their Intervalls, or middle spaces seem to be about nine foot. For, Mr. Jones himself computes the length of each Epistylium, or Architrave, continued in round from Column to Column, to be pre­cisely 16. foot; and there must be half the breadth of the Column, at each end, allowed for the meeting of the two Architraves in the mid­dle, if not for the more firm bearing of their weight: so that mea­suring the distance of the supporters, by the remaining part of the Ar­chitrave, it will be nine foot. Which agrees not with the Intercolum­nium of Tuscan Pillars. To conclude this paragraph, therefore; ei­ther the Conditions of the Tuscan Order here recited, are not accord­ing to the rules of Architecture taught by Vitruvius, and his excellent Interpreter. Sr. H. Wotton: or Mr. Jones was mistaken, when He conceived the Order of Stone-heng to be Tuscan.

(Thirdly,) As for the Architectonical Scheme, in use among the Romans, consisting of four Equilateral Triangles inscribed within a Circle by which He thought the whole work of Stone-heng designed and formed; it is much easier imagined, than demonstrated to be really therein. For (1.) that Rule of Vitruvius (lib. 5. cap. 6.) to which He referrs us for certification; if you take it intire, and not the later half only, as He cunningly did, runs thus. Ipsius autom Theatri con­formatio sic est facienda, ut quàm magna futura est perimetros imi, centro medio collocato circumagatur linea rotundationis; in eaque qua­tuor [Page 22] scribantur trigona paribus lateribus & intervallis, quae extremam lineam circinationis tangant, quibus Astrologi, ex musica convenien­tia astrorum, ratiocinantur. By the very first words whereof it is most manifest, the Rule it self concerns the designation, not of a round Temple, but of a Theatre; and the Context of the whole Chap­ter following declares it to have been invented for a threefold use, namely the most advantageous disposition of the Proscenium, Scena, and Orchestra; the equal diffusion of the voyces of the Singers and Actors; and the convenient ordering of Seats for the Spectators. But, what's this to Mr. Jones his conceipt of a Temple; and such a one too, as must bear the Aspect Hypaethros, sive sub divo, i. e. open at top? However, conceiving this Text might serve his turn, and the great name of Vitruvius give some authority to his Phancy, that otherwise would hardly pass among judicious men; he industriously usurped the quotation of it, by perverting the genuine sense to a wrong purpose; and to the end his Readers might be the longer in finding out the fraud, artificially omitting the citation of the particular Chapter, he leaves them to a tedious research through the whole Book; a labour so great, the patience of most, though Learned, would not extend to the enduring of it, upon so slender an occasion. (2.) The Question is, not whether this kind of Architectonical Scheme were anciently used by the Romans, in some of their publick Aedifices; but whether Stone-heng was formed according to such a Scheme, or not? Mr. Jones, in­deed, hath expresly affirmed it: but, how hath he made it appear? That he hath drawn four Equilateral and Equidistant Triangles with­in the circumference of the Greater Circle of stones, so as all the An­gles are terminated in the circular line, is not sufficient to prove it: forasmuch as every Novice in Geometry understands how to inscribe not onely 4. but 400. and many more such Triangles, in the area of a Circle much less in diameter, than that he describes. Nor is it suffi­cient, that he tell's us, the intersection of the several Triangles fully demonstrateth after what manner the Greater Hexagon, made open at Stone-heng, was raised from the solid wall environing the Cell of the Peripheros: because our sense assures us, there are no foot-steps or remains of any such solid wall of a circular form, raised where the in­tersections of the Triangles are supposed to be made; and because we have no evidence, but his single word, that there is any Hexagon at all in the work; whereas, neither Mr. Camden, nor the Author of Nero Caesar, nor My self, nor any other (for ought I could ever learn, and yet I have enquired of many Gentlemen who had carefully survey'd [Page 23] the Antiquity, and were well able to discern a Hexagon from a Cir­cle) could ever perceive any such matter. Again, though he speaks of Three Entrances leading into the Temple of Stone-heng from the Plain, and those likewise comparated by an Equilateral Triangle: yet is it manifest even from his own Draughts of the work, and its Platform, that all the Perpendiculars or Columns of the Outward Circle are equi­distant each from other; and if so, where are those Three Entrances? or how should we distinguish them from the other intercolumniary, or void spaces? All which considered, there remains (as I think) no tye upon any mans belief, that Stone-heng was a Roman Structure, in respect of the Scheme, by which it was designed and composed.

(Fourthly,) As for the Double Portico reported to be in the out­ward Circle, and another within the Greater Hexagon, formed after the Roman fashion in structures of great Magnificence: that you may be the better able to judge, whether He were in the right, yea or no; give me leave to acquaint You, what a Portico properly is, what the Roman Architects called a Double Portico, and what Mr. Jones ter­meth Porticoes in this place. Vitruvius (lib. 5. cap. 9) setting down precepts for the construction of Porticoes belonging to a Theatre, begins his discourse thus. Post scenam Porticus sunt constituendae, uti cum imbres repente ludos interpellaverint, habeat populus, quo se reci­piat ex theatro: Behind the Scene are to be made Porticoes, to the end the people may have whither to withdraw themselves out of the Theatre, when suddain showrs disturb their sports.’ And Philander commenting upon these words, saith thus; Porticus additae sunt sacris aedibus, illustrium virorum domibus, & publicis aedificiis, necessitatis, aut ornamenti, animive caussa; sub eis repentinas pluvias vitabant, um­br as ac frigora captabant, variis sermontbus diem consumebant, a me­ridie solem hyeme, a septentrione aestivas umbras excipientes: To sacred buildings, to the houses of great personages, and to publique aedifices are added Porches, for necessity, or ornament, or delight; under them they sheltred themselves from suddain rains, they re­tired for shade and coolness, and talked away the day; receiving Sunshine from the south in winter, and in summer shadow from the north.’ From whence it is most cleer, most certain, that all Porticoes are additional structures, wherein men may be protected from rain and sun; such as the memorable Porticoes of Apollo Palatinus, of Au­gustus in campo Martio, of the Pantheon, of Antoninus Pius, of the Capitol on the side of the Capitoline hill, in Rome. Of these Porticoes [Page 24] some are made with parietibus continuis, solid walls on one side, and Pillars on the other; as in all Peristylia, or paved walks enclosed with Columns, such as the costly Palace of Urbin at Rome is adorned with, such as the Cloysters in Monasteries, such as the walks under the Old Exchange, and those commonly called the Piazzaes of Covent-Gar­den. Others consist of solid walls on both sides, with rowes of Pillars set at distance from the walls; of which sort we have a glorious exam­ple in the Portico at the west end of St. Pauls Church, in designing and raising of which Mr. Jones himself was principal Architect. But all are Tectae, Roofed or covered at top; otherwise how should they satisfie the use or end for which they were intended, namely to shelter men from excessive heat in summer, and from wet weather in all sea­sons of the year? As for Double Porticoes, they are no wayes different from single ones, except in this only, that they have a double order or range of Columns. For, Philander interpreting these words of Vi­truvius (loco citato) circa theatra sunt Porticus & ambulationes, quae videntur it a oportere collocari, uti duplices sint, habeantque exteriores columnas Doricas, cum Epistyliis & ornamentis, ex ratione modula­tionis Doricae perfect as; expresly saith, Porticus Duplices appellatae sunt a duplici columnarum ordine, Porches are termed Double, from the double order of Pillars, of which they are composed. And these, doubtless, are the adaequate notions of Porticoes, both simple, and double: and what every man understands, when he hears them spoken of. But what Mr. Jones intendeth by Porticoes in Stone-heng; is difficult to be conceived from his own discourse; and more difficult to be found in the work it self: so that we are confined to the liberty of conjecturing. By the double Portico, therefore, in the outward Circle or wing of stones; He means either the double row of Pillars set in round, of which the inner consisteth of smaller stones, such as he compares to Pillasters: or the space between each two Columns, with an Architrave over head. If the first; then it may be demanded, why the inner order of Columns are not equal in altitude to the out­ward, as they ought to have been by Vitruvius directions, and as they alwayes were in Roman double Porticoes? and why is one order co­vered with Architraves, the other not? If the other; it may be ob­jected, the Portico then can be but single, contrary to what it is suppo­sed to be. The same may be said likewise of the other Portico imagined in the Greater Hexagon. But, whatever part of the Fabrique He fan­cied to be a Portico; thus much is evident, that it will not afford de­fence against the injuries of immoderate heat or rain; and therefore [Page 25] deserves not that Title, in strictness of speech. And it seems, He that took the liberty so to call it, was put to a hard shift to blanch over the singularity of his conceipt: For, striving to assert it, to be customary among the old Roman Architects, to form the like Porticoes in their Temples, and more particularly in such Temples, as properly be­longed to the Aspect Hypaethros, or were Roofless; rather than want the Patronage of Vitruvius in the case, he was forced to deprave the Text he alleged toward his defence. The words there lying in this order, (lib. 3. cap. 1. sub finem) Reliqua omnia eadem habent quae Dypteros, sed interiore parte columnas in altitudine duplices, remotas à parietibus ad circuitionem (ut porticus) Peristyliorum: not as He (pag. 70.) unfaithfully recites them, thus (observe I pray) Hypaethros in interiore parte habet columnas remotas à parietibus, ad circuitionem (ut porticus) Peristyliorum; adding and omitting what he thought fit. A course highly disingenious, and in the end as highly scandalous. For, whoso usurps the licence of falsifying the Text of any Author, much more of one so grave and oraculous, as Vitruvius, whatever ad­vantage he imagines may arise from thence to his private opinion, in case the imposture be not detected: certainly it cannot countervail that shame and discredit that inevitably follows, when the judicious and examining Reader shall come, by having recourse to the Ori­ginal, to find how grosly he might have been deluded, had he trusted to the Quotation. And he that makes no scruple to impose an error, by corrupting another's Doctrine, forfeits the credit he expects to his own, and is almays to be suspected of partiality to his Tenents, especi­ally where he broacheth Novelties, and venteth them upon no other Reputation, but that of his single testimony. It is but justice, there­fore, if meeting with nothing in our Antiquity, that answers to any form of Porticoes, which, as Appendages to their Temples, were antiently erected by the Romans, and described by Vitruvius; nor having any other obligation to grant the being of any Portico there, besides Mr. Jones his bare conjecture, and that upon grounds obscure and fallible: I say, it is but justice if we suspect, that He onely ima­gin'd them to be such.

(5) As for the Artifice, or Manner of Workmanship shewn in Stone-heng, by which you are to understand onely the placing of the Upright Stones, answerable to Columns; most true it is, indeed, the old Romans used to set the Columns of publique Fabriques, at so much the less distance one from another, by how much greater the [Page 26] Columns were in Diameter, naming that particular kind of range, Pycnostylos, i. e. Crebris Columnis, the close order, from the close or thick standing of the Pillars. Nor is it less true, that in our Mo­nument, the Perpendiculars, though extraordinary great in compass, have their intercolumnary spaces little in comparison; because of the weight of the incumbent Architrave, which might otherwise break of it self. And yet nevertheless I think it scarce warrantable thence to conclude, those Perpendiculars were erected by a Roman Artist. For, if you consult Vitruvius (lib. 3. cap. 2.) about the true proportions of the Close order; you may soon be informed by him in these few words: Pycnostylos est, cujus intercolumnio unius & dimidiatae co­lumnae crassitudo interponi potest; The Pycnostyles is that, where the Intercolumnium, or Intervall, is equal to the thickness, and half the thickness of the Column it self.’ To whom Bernaldinus Baldus fully assents, in his explanation of the word Pycnostylos, (Lexic. Vi­truvian. pag. 96.) where he saith; Inde species ista nomen adepta est, quód intercolumnium sit moduli unius tantum cum dimidio: Then if you estimate the intervall from Perpendicular to Perpendicular, in the great Round of Stone-heng, by the length of the Architrave be­twixt its two Supporters, according to my manner of computation formerly given, you will find it to be about 9 foot, and so inconform to the Rule of the Close order. After, perchance, you may give ear to my conjecture, That the Builder had respect chiefly to the length of the overthwart Stones, placing the Supporters accordingly, with­out any other consideration or precept of Art, rather of Necessity, than Choice: and that if he could have been furnished with Stones fit for Architraves, of larger dimensions in length and depth, (other­wise they could not have born their own gravity) in all likelihood he had proportionably enlarged the spaces of the Columns; it being evi­dent, he made use of the greatest Stones he could get, of both sorts. But this is not material; it being sufficient, that the Rule of the Pyc­nostylos was not exactly followed in the position of the Columns at Stone-heng; and consequently, that the Manner is not Roman, as Mr. Jones would perswade.

(6) As for the manner of fixing the Architraves upon the head of the Perpendiculars by Tenons and Morteses; that likewise seems but an uncertain sign of Roman Masonry. For, those Architraves being to be placed in Aequilibrio, so as the point of Rest at each end ought to be there, where the weight was found equal on each side: all the [Page 27] Workman had to do toward their continuance in that posture, was, to contrive so to fasten them, as that no force of wind or tempest, nor any other (unless extreme) violence, by diminishing the gravity on one side, might incline or sway them to sink down on the other; which could not otherwise be effected, but by corroborating the Aequilibrium by Tenons made in the Supporters, and let into holes or Morteses in the Architrave, no kind of Morter or Cement being strong enough for that purpose. And thus much common reason might teach the Masons, without any great skill in Geometry, or hav­ing recourse to either the Rules or Patterns of Roman Architecture. Which, perhaps, was the cause why Vitruvius spake so little of this way of confirming great stones in buildings, as taking it for granted, the contrivement was so plain and obvious to men, even of but com­mon understanding, as that it was needless for him to insist upon any Precepts concerning it: For, all I can meet with in his whole Vo­lume, relating thereunto, is onely a slight, transitory, and obscure touch, (lib. 2. cap. 8.) which is this, Quod si quis noluerit in id vitium incidere, medio cavo servato secundùm Orthostratas intrinse­cus, ex rubro saxo quadrato, aut ex testa, aut silicibus ordinariis, struat bipedales parietes, & cum ansis ferreis, & plumbo frontes vinctae sint: it a enim non acervatim, sed ordine structum opus poterit esse sine vitio sempiternum, quòd cubilia & coagmenta eorum inter se se­dentia, & juncturis alligata non protrudent opus, ne (que) Orthostratas inter se religatos labi patientur. From whence nevertheless little can be col­lected, that is capable of application to the manner of banding stones together in our Antiquity: all that is, we must be beholding to the indu­stry of Philander for, who, after his interpretation of the word Or­thostratae, which signifies upright Props, such as the Italians term Speroni, Philastri contraforti, addeth, Inciduntur in his canales, in quos, veluti in foeminas, aliud quidpiam, ceu masculum, ineat com­mittatur (que): cujusmodi sunt, quas nostri Mortesias, quasi Mordesias, à mordendo, vocant; commissurae scilicet genus, cum perpetuo canali induntur, inserunturvè tabulae, aut quippiam simile. Besides, though Mr Jones alleged the authority of Leo Baptistá Albertus, the Florentine, to prove, that in mighty Structures, where the stones were of extraordinary greatness, the Romans used to lay them without any unctuous incorporating Matter between: yet he neither hath, nor could bring under the hand of any Author a Certificate, that no other Nation did the like before, or until after the Romans had, by Con­quest, or Commerce, civiliz'd them. And, therefore, it was some­what [Page 28] boldly done of him, to infer that Stone-heng was a Roman structure, because the Architraves were compacted to their Suppor­ters by Tenons and Morteses: when the Examples of the like way of Holdfasts for huge stones, among other Nations, (some of which were at that time barbarous) are infinite, and stand in the road-way of every man's observation.

(7. And lastly) As for the frequency of Roman Relicks in Wilt­shire, such as Camps, Fortresses, Trenches, and the like, some of which are even to this day discernable, at least by their prints or foot­steps, in places not far from Stone-heng; I shall willingly allow thus much, that conjoyned with History, they may be good testimonies of the lodging of Roman Armies in those places, and of their military traverses, during their War with the Britans; yet, seeing they carry no face of similitude, nor shew of relation to our Antiquity, the Laws of Logick will justifie my wariness and unbelief, if I doubt them to be so much as probable Arguments of the Romans being Authors also of that Work.

Having thus▪ thread after thread, unravell'd Mr Jones his long Web of Reasons, which he thought so closely and artificially woven, as to be strong enough to bind his Readers to a belief of his Opinion, that Stone-heng was a Roman Structure: give me leave to add an Argu­ment or two of mine own, of so much weight, as would have alone been sufficient to break asunder his whole contexture, had I not weak­ned it at all.

Mr. Camden, in the close of his Discourse concerning Stone-heng, makes report of a certain Table, or plate of Metall, as it had been Tin and Lead commixt, found in or by the Monument, in the time of King Henry the viij. whereon were engraven many Letters, but in so strange a Character, that neither Sir Thomas Eliot, nor Mr. Lilly Schoolmaster of St. Pauls, could tell what to make of it; and so took no care to preserve it. Now certain it is, this Inscription was not left by the Romans, who generally wrote all their Memorials in their own Language, whose Character hath long out-lasted their Empire, continuing the same in all Ages; as appears even by their Coins of greatest Antiquity, and all their Monumental Epigraphs, of which Camden hath collected a great number, such as have been found in England, and Gruterus a large volume of others, dispers'd not [Page 29] onely through Italy, but all parts of the Earth, where ever the Roman Eagle pearch'd. Nor doth it appear to have been either Greek, or Hebrew, or British, or Saxon; because all these Languages, and their several Characters, were well known to Sir Thomas Eliot and Mr. Lilly, who were excellent Linguists, and good Antiquaries, as the yet living Fame of one, and Writings of the other testifie. It re­mains, therefore, that these were Barbarous Characters: and if so, what hinders, but that we may guess them to be Litterae Runicae, sive Gothicae, the Runic or Gothic Characters, such as were constantly used by the Danes in all their antique monumental Inscriptions, or Engravements? Especially since John Speed, in his Description of Devonshire, writes, That near Exmore are certain remains of an an­tient Work, namely, mighty Stones, set some in form of a Triangle, others in round, orderly disposed; and that upon one of them was an En­gravement in Danish Letters, which could not be read by men most learned. And that grave and universally learned man, Olaus Wor­mius, (Physician to the present King of Denmark, and not above four years past deceased, and who hath vouchsafed sometimes to honour me with his Epistles) in his first Book, cap. 9. de Monumentis Da­nicis, taketh special notice of this Inscription, and deploreth the un­fortunate loss of it, with Utinam bono publico communicatum fuisset; sorsan de rebus praeclaris à nostratibus ibidem gestis testaretur. That the Danes of old, affecting (as all other Nations of the world, how­ever rude and illiterate) to perpetuate the remembrance of their no­table actions and successes, delighted to raise Monuments of their Battels, Victories, and other Atchievments, as also of their Kings, principal Commanders, and great Persons; and leave short Records of the particular occasions of those Monuments, ingraven in Runic Letters; besides this, that they had none but the Gothic Language in use among them, is manifest from the testimony of Saxo Gramma­ticus, who (in Praefation. Histor. Danic.) recommends the obser­vation thereof to his Readers, as a thing necessarily conducing to their understanding many, otherwise obscure passages in his History. Nec ignotum volo, saith He, Danorum antiquiores, conspicuis fortitudinis operibus editis, gloriae emulatione suffusos, Romani styli imitatione, non solum rerum à se magnificè gèstarum titulos exquisito contextus genere, veluti Poëtico quodam opere perstrinxisse; verum etiam ma­jorum acta patrii sermonis carminibus vulgata, linguae suae literis saxis ac rupibus insculpenda curasse. And as for Precedents or Ex­amples of that kind, they are so numerous, that Olaus Wormius his [Page 30] two Vòlumes, De Monum. Danic. & de Literis Runicis, mostly consist of such: otherwise perhaps I should have exercised your pa­tience in reading some of those more conspicuous ones commemo­rated by Saxo Grammaticus, his Commentator, Stephanus Stephanius, John Crantzius, and other Writers of Danish Antiquities; that so I might have assisted the probability of my conjecture, that the Cha­racters on the Plate found by Stone-heng, were Runic or Gothic. However, you have seen upon what fair grounds you may entertain a perswasion, that they were not Latine, and therefore not left by the Romans.

Again, This our Monument consisteth wholly of Stones unwrought, rough, and rude, as they lay in their beds of earth, (their Tenons and Morteses onely excepted) and of such various shapes, that the most curious eye can scarcely find a perfect similitude in any two of them: and Mr. Jones ought to have evinced, either by Testimonies authen­tick, or by Examples, that the Romans had ever raised any publick Structure of the like Materials; which being above his power (as I conceive at least) he warily omitted to attempt it, as he did the proof of many other particulars equally important toward the verification of his grand Position. Whereas Olaus Wormius hath been so liberal in his Contributions toward the maintenance of my Supposition, as to furnish me with not onely verbal Descriptions, but lively Draughts or Pictures also of sundry Antique Danish Monuments, as well in the Bulk and Rudeness of the Stones, as in the Order and Manner of their position and situation, much resembling our Stone-heng; and (as may be not obscurely collected from a Conference of Times, Actions, Histories, Ruines, &c.) not much different as to Antiquity. And this I think an Argument not unworthy your serious consideration; if not weighty enough to counterpoise all the reasons urged by Mr. Jones, to enforce his Dream, that the Romans were Au­thors of Stone-heng.

Having thus long entertained you, with examining the solidity of the First Story of our Architect's phantastical Building; Time and Order joyntly command me to usher you up to the Second: wherein I shall no longer detain you, than while I try the soundness of those Beams, upon which He imposed his so lofty conceipt, that Stone-heng wasa TEMPLE. Which he presumes

[Page 31] (1) From the spacious Court lying round about it, agreeing with those of Roman Idolatrous Temples, wherein Beasts brought for Victims were slain, and into which none but Priests might enter. To which it may be objected, first, That the void space betwixt the ut­most Circumvallation or Trench, in Stone-heng, and the Building it self, doth not exactly correspond with the Atria of Roman Structures; and therefore cannot, without corrupting the severe Dialect of Ar­chitects, be termed a Court. For, whoso attentively peruseth Vitru­vius his Discourse De Atriis, (lib. 6. cap. 4.) will soon perceive, that He by the word Atrium, constantly means primum aedificium, quod anteriori janua intrantibus occurrit, the first Building that offers it self to the sight of those who enter by the fore-gate: And Bernal­dinus Baldus, in his Note upon the first line of that Chapter, saith, Arbitramur nos vetera Atria, nostrarum aedium parti illi respondere, quam vulgo Anditum dicimus, Andatam, Caminatamve; quae qui­dem prima post ingressum ostii introgredientibus occurrit; ea (que) non quidem subdivalis, sed tecta & concamerata. To which may be an­nex'd the agreeable judgment of Claudius Salmasius (in Solinum, pag. 1218.) apparet Atrium, primo non fuisse vestibulum; ne (que) aream Hypaethram; sed partem aedis sub tecto, at (que) adeo penetrale, & fortasse concameratam porticum. Seeing therefore, that the Roman Atrium always was covered at the top, and most frequently arched also; and that there is no such thing betwixt the outward Circle of Stones, and the great Trench environing it: Where is the Analogy or Resemblance supposed? Again, Indulging Him the liberty of our vulgar phrase, according to which the Area, or plot of ground, be­twixt a Building and its Boundaries, may rightly enough be call'd a Court: yet, where is the necessity, yea, where the probability, that that Court was originally design'd and marck'd out for a place for the slaughter of Victims? Must all Structures environed with such Areae be Temples? or all Roman Temples be accommodated with the like out-lets? If so, what will become of our Authors fancy, that those vast Stones standing in a Circle near Long-Compton in Oxford­shire, called Roll-stones, were antiently a Temple, and a Roman one too? For, these are destitute of all outward circumvallation or en­trenchment. But the force of this Argument depends, perhaps, upon its conspiracy with its fellows; and therefore, if from them all put together, it shall appear, that our Monument was intended for a Temple; I shall no longer doubt, whether the void space of ground within the Trench be the Court belonging to it.

[Page 32] (2) From a large Stone, 16 feet long and 4 broad, appearing not much above the surface of the earth, in the Eastern part of the lesser Hexagon, which He takes for an Altar. Whereunto I cannot assent, for two considerations. First, the Humility of the Altar de­stroys the supposed Dedication of the Temple. For, the Rule of Vi­truvius, how Altars ought to be placed in Temples, so as to carry a due Decorum, and visible Analogie to the nature and proprieties of that particular Deity therein to be worshipped, is this, (lib. 4. cap. 8.) Altitudines Ararum sic sunt explicandae, ut Jovi, omnibus (que) Coe­lestibus quàm excelsissimae constituantur; Vestae, Terrae, Mari (que) hu­miles collocentur. Altars consecrated to Jupiter, and all Celestial Powers are to be made exceedingly tall or high; and those to Vesta, Tellus, and Neptune, humble or low; as in some sort representing the dwelling and dominion of the respective Deity. So that, this Stone was either no Altar at all, or not ordained for Oblations to the god Coelus. If it be objected, that the Stone perhaps was set upright; I answer, Then it was as much too narrow on the top, for the use assign'd, as now too low for the God to whom it is ascribed. Secondly, Mr Jones, in his Description of the Monument (as you may remember) speaks of three open Entrances leading from the Plain into the work it self, the most conspicuous of which lay North-East: which is openly in­consistent with the custome of the Romans, who always made the grand Entrance into the Temple, whatever it were, è regione Altáris & Signi, in that part, which was directly opposite to the place where the Altar and Statue stood erected; and the reason was, Ut adoratum venientes Divinitatem suspicerent, That the people coming up to make their adoration, might at their entrance have both Altar and Image in front, so as to behold them at first elevation of their eyes. Would you have Authority for this? Hear Vitruvius himself, Aedes autem sacrae Deorum immortalium, ad regiones quas spectare debent, sic erunt constituendae, uti, si nulla ratio impedierit, libera (que) fuerit potestas aedis, Signum quod erit in Cella collocatum, spectet ad vesper­tinam coeli regionem: uti qui adierint ad aram immolantes, aut sa­crificia facientes, spectent ad partem coeli orientis, & simulachrum quod erit in aede; & it a vota suscipientes contueantur aedem, & orien­tem coeli, ipsa (que) simulachra videantur exorientia contueri supplicantes & sacrificantes; quod (que) Aras omnes Deorem necesse esse videatur ad orientem spectare, (lib. 4. cap. 5.) Whence we may safely conclude, that if the position of the Altar were right, yet that of the principal Entrance leading up to it was wrong. But should we grant this to [Page 33] have been originally an Altar-stone; yet doth it not follow, that therefore the rest of the Building was a Temple: because in Stories, as well Sacred, as not, we read of many Altars standing alone, without Temples; and because it was one of the barbarous customes of the Danes, even in the stony Sepulchres of their mighty men, to erect Altars, and thereon to sacrifize to their Manes; witness Olaus Wor­mius, (Monum. Danicor. lib. 1. cap. 6. ) Diversi ab his cernuntur Tumuli, saxis grandioribus undi (que) cincti, ita ut utram (que) extremi­tatem mole vastiora reliquis claudant. In medio utplurimum Ara extat. In hisce vulgus Gigantes sepultos credit, quorum ossa etiam haud raro'e talibus effodiuntur. Sed ego ejusmodi integris etiam fa­miliis destinatos puto, unde & in his Arae, quae communia sacrificia pro totius gentis incolumitate immolata excipiant. With which if you compare Stone-heng, together with our vulgar tradition of Giants there interr'd, and rhe skuls of Oxen or Buls plowed up in the adjacent fields: You will find as much reason to believe it a Sepulchral Mo­nument set up by that warlike and ambitious Nation, in the time of their tyranny here, with an Altar in the middle, for their Pagan and impious Sacrifizes, as, with Mr Jones, to conceive it a Roman Temple.

(Thirdly,) From the use of the ancient Romans to erect the like Round Temples, that lay open without Walls, surrounded only with Pil­lars, and uncovered also on the top, or Roofless. Which being his part to prove, and he finding it impossible; he betook himself to multipli­cation of Fictions, confusion of things cleerly distinct, and other dis­ingenious shifts; such as have indeed amuzed and imposed upon vul­gar heads, but can never convince the Learned and judicious, who are not ignorant, how strictly constant the Roman Architects were to their set Forms and Orders of Building, upon no occasion commixing or confounding them in publique structures, especially sacred ones, where the passenger was to be instructed at first sight, what Deity was adored within, by the peculiar forme of the Temple apparent without; that so he might prepare and address his devotion accordingly, without being mistaken either in the Object, or ceremonies of it. But, let us not judge Him unheard. He allegeth, out of Vitruvius (lib. 4. cap. 7.) that the Romans had round Temples of two divers Forms: whereof the one, named Monopteros, had neither continued walls about, nor Cell within, but was encompassed only with a round of Columns; the ther, termed Peripteros, had a Cell enclosed with a continued wall, [Page 34] and Columns set at convenient distance, so as to make a Portico round about on the outside. And this I allow to be true: but what though? our Stone-heng resembles neither of these Forms: not the Monopteros, because it hath a Cell, as Himself supposeth; not the Pe­ripteros, because it wants a continued wall to incompass that Cell, as our eyes witness. Where then is the Similitude and Conformity? Why, rather than fail, our Author shall adventure to make that like to both, which really is like to neither. For stealing the outward Circle from the Monopteros, and the Cell from the Peripteros, and then again surrounding that same Cell (not with a Circle, as he ought, but) with a Hexagon of Pillars: of both Forms He makes a Third, not being able to withhold from confessing (so much had the joy of his [...], transported him) in the end, that it was a New Invention, which yet he needed not to have told us. So here you find him guilty of a double fault; confounding of two perfectly and irre­concileably distinct Forms of sacred Edifices; and converting a Cir­cle, the essential and proper figure of all such Cells, as belonged to the Peripteros, into a Hexagon. Is this fair and candid dealing, think you, in a man of Letters? Doth it become one of the most famous Architects of our age, thus to build Castles in the air, and flye to a sanctuary made up of Fictions? But this is not all. From a strange and unheard of confusion of several Forms, He proceeds to blend toge­ther also several Orders of consecrated Buildings. For, He will have the Order, of which his Temple of Stone-heng must consist, to be partly Tuscan, partly Corinthian: affirming, that as the plainness and solidness of the Tuscan order, appears eminently through the whole Work, so the narrowness of the spaces betwixt the Stones, visibly dis­covers the delicacy and softness of the Corinthian. Where (not to take notice of the manifest contradiction in the very terms) He incurrs a grand Error, in commixing, in one Temple, two so different Orders; when, by his own confession, (pag. 90.) the Romans had for each of their Deities a certain particular Order of Temples, and observed that distinction of Orders so strictly, that they seldome or never varied them. According to that of Vitruvius, (lib. 4. cap. 7. ) Non omnibus Diis iisdem rationibus aedes sunt faciendae, quòd alius alia varietate sacra­rum Religionum habet effectus. And had they not done so, How could the Roman Architects of old, have been able, at first sight, to judge to what Divinity this or that Fane was peculiarly devoted? or, How could the Modern Architects of Italy, at this Day, by seeing onely the ruines of them, give such probable conjectures, concern­ing [Page 35] their antiquity and proper Dedication, as are very hardly to be contradicted? But, why am I thus prodigal of my time and pains, in shaking an opinion, that hath no foundation of either Precept, or Precedent from antient Architecture? especially when the Founder Himself was forced to excuse the fragility and weakness thereof, with this Plea; The learned in Antiquities very well know, those things, which oblivion hath so long removed out of mind, are hardly to be dis­covered. (Pag. 77.)

(4 And lastly) From the Heads of Bulls, or Oxen, of Harts, and other such Beasts, digged up in or near this Antiquity; as if no man could imagine other, but those were the Heads of such Beasts, as were antiently made Holocausts in that place. Why, is it not equally probable, they might be the skulls of Cattel slain for the sustenance of some one or other of those many Armies, that encamped on the adjacent Plain, where the Lines of their Entrenchments and For­tresses are yet visible? Was it not a common thing for Armies to carry along with them whole Herds of Beasts for their Provision, and to bury the bones of such as they killed, in places somewhat remote from their Camps? And, as for Harts; it is well known, both by tradition among the Inhabitants of the neighbouring Villages, and by other testimonies yet remaining, that all the Plain from Stone-heng to Ambresbury, was, till within these 200 yeares, a Forest full of great Trees: and therefore not improbable, but the Heads of Deer might lie there, without any relation at all to Stone-heng. But grant them to be the Offall or Resiques of Sacrifices; yet what reason, they should be Roman Sacrifices, when the Danes also used the like, as may appear from what I lately delivered out of Olaus Wormius, of the custome of that Nation to offer Beasts in Sacrifice to the Ghosts of their deceased Commanders, upon their Sepulchral Monuments? This Argument, therefore, being as invalid as the rest, and altogether very unsatisfactory: it plainly appears; that Mr Jones his Imagination had too powerful an Influence over his Reason, when He judged, upon such slender Evidences, that our Antiquity was antiently a Roman Temple.

We should, in the next place, consider His Reasons for the en­titling this Structure to the God Coelus: but seeing it doth not ap­pear to have been a Temple; 'twere in vain to be sollicitous about the Dedication of it. Omitting, therefore, to take notice of sundry [Page 36] Defects and Incongruities, as well Architectonical, as Historical, observable in that Later part of our Authors conceipt; as Errors that stand naked to every enquiring eye, and cannot hide themselves from even the Emblem of Justice: I here take my final leave of his so vul­garly admired Book; having, in memory that I perused it, first sub­scribed this short Animadversion, at the end of it. Nunquam mihi placuit audaculorum quorundam ratio, quibus nihil est tam obscu­rum, tam (que) abstrusum, & procul ab hominum memoria positum, quod suarum conjecturarum sagacitate non fiat clarum, apertum, & cogni­tum. Nimium credulis ingeniis, & discendi cupidioribus rogati ultro­ve praestigiis & officiis imponunt, mentiuntur effossa marmora, at (que) adeo inscript as uruas, quae nusquam fuerint, into quae nec per somnum quidem viderint. Which, though spoken by the grave Philander, in reproof of certain over-weening and audacious Wits, that thinking themselves quick-sighted enough to see through the darkness of obli­vion, and make discoveries where Time had long since interposed its sable curtain; had pretended to find a Temple of the Sun, in the confused ruines of a Tower that stood upon the Mons Quirinalis in Rome, to that purpose counterfeiting Marble Pillars, and Urns, with formal Inscriptions: may yet be well accommodated to Others, who, ambitious to be thought Argoses in the ruines of Antiquity, spare not to point at things invisible, to descry in Monuments more than the Founders themselves ever designed, to form to themselves Examples that never were, and in favour of their own extravagant imaginations, to corrupt the testimonies of Authors most venerable, and falsifie the Records of antient Customs.

What the Romans claim was, You have heard, at large: Hear now, in short, also

The Title of the DANES to Stone-heng;

Which is grounded chiefly upon Custom, and Presidents. For that they, more than any other Nation whatsoever, were in old time, and even a good while after the refinement of their barbarous Man­ners, and conversion to Christianity, accustomed to erect Monuments of huge Stones, upon several memorable occasions; and such Mo­numents, that compar'd to our (or their) Stone-heng, seem to agree there with in most, if not in all points of resemblance; where­of [Page 37] many are at this day extant in Denmark and Norwey: is not hard to prove, from the undoubtable testimonies of their best Historians and Antiquaries.

Olaus Wormius (lib. 1mo Monum. Danic.) being to reduce into order that great multitude of Stony Monuments in his Country, of which, as the most worthy to be commemorated, He had proposed to himself to treat; first makes a general division of them into Two Classes: namely, Literata, quae ex saxis constabant literatura prisca, vulgo Runica, exteris Gothica, exaratis, Letter'd Monuments, such as consisted of large stones, with Inscriptions of Runic, or Gothic Characters, speaking their occasions and intentions; and Illiterata, quae ex rudibus quibusdam illiteratis, certo tamen ordine & serie dispositis, Unletter'd, which were composed of rude stones, without engrave­ments, but so disposed after a certain manner, as th [...]t the Beholder might from the order of their position collect, upon what Accidents, and for what Ends or Uses they had been set up. So that These, though destitute of the Elements of Language, were not absolutely Dumb, but spake their particular purposes in a more obscure Dialect of Fi­gures, and were read in the Alphabet of their proper Platforms. Then he subdivides this later sort into Five distinct Ranks; namely, into Sepulchra, Tombs containing the bones of eminent persons defunct: Fora, places of Judicature, where Right and Justice were admini­stred, according to the Laws and Customs of the Country: Duel­lorum Strata, Cirques or places of Duells, or Camp-fights: Trophea, Trophies, where Battells had been fought, and the Enemy defeated: and Comitialia loca, places wherein Kings and Supreme Comman­ders were elected by the general Suffrages of the People, and Inau­gurated with great Pomp and publick Solemnity, such as the rudeness of that Nation, and the simplicity of those times afforded. This Scheme being drawn, as the rule of his Method; He thence-forward proceeds to Examples of each kind. And we are obliged therein to follow Him step by step; that so we may the sooner, and without de­viation, arrive at a competent degree of satisfaction, whether any, and which of all those different sorts of Antique Monuments hath so near a resemblance of Stone-heng, as that we may, from the apparent similitude of their Forms, infer a probable affinity in their Origines and Designations; which is the period of our travail.

As for the Literata, which carry their Age and Titles engraven [Page 38] on their fronts; they lie not in our way, our Antiquity having no In­scription on any of its Stones: and though that Plate of Metall with barbarous Characters, of which we have formerly taken notice, might probably appertain unto it; yet is not that sufficient to appropriate it to the order of Monuments, whose dignity and value consist chiefly in their Epigraphs. Ranging it, therefore, among the Illiterata; let us a while insist upon a particular survey of those: beginning at the Antique Danish


Whereof I meet with some, in Olaus Wormius, that are in more than one point of analogy correspondent to Stone-Heng.

One Stands in Seland, on a plain, near the high-way leading to a certain small Town, called Birck; formed according to this descrip­tion of our Author. Ex saxis rudioribus mediocribus, quadrata in longitudinem tendens, ductaest area; huic tres colles seu Tumuli in­clusi, undi (que) circa radicem, ejusdem fermè magnitudinis saxis cincti. Major meditullium occupans, in apice aram habet ex saxis quatuor stupendae magnitudinis exstructum, it a ut tria quartum maximum & planum sustineant. A plot of ground, of a square running out in length, is empalled with rude stones, not of the largest scantlings: in which are included three Mounts of Earth, circumscribed at their bases with stones of the like bigness. The greatest Mount, standing in the middle, hath on its top an Altar made up of four stones of stupendious magnitude, so as three stand­ing in Triangle, support the fourth upon their heads, which is the greatest of all, and plain or flat.’

A Second, situate not far from the same place, and somewhat more eminent, consisteth of a Tumulus, or mount of earth cast up, under which, the common people have a Tradition, that a Giant, whose name was Langbeen Kiser, was antiently buried; and encom­passed with fifty six stones of prodigious bulks. Moles haec saxo per­cussa, reboat, ut concameratum opus subesse colligere facile quis possit, saith our Author; this massive Structure being knock'd hard with a stone, yields a great sound like the Ecchoes of Vaults, so that it is easily to be collected, that there is an arched or vaulted hollowness un­derneath.

[Page 39] Here let us make a stand for a minute or two, and reflect upon a few particulars that offer themselves to our observation. First, these two Sepulchral Monuments are situate in Campis patentibus, in open and spatious fields; a cleer evidence, the Danes (as many other Nati­ons) anciently used to bury in large and wide plains. Secondly, they threw up mounts of Earth over their dead: and those of two sorts, ac­cording to the qualities of the persons inhumed. For, of these Tumuli, such as were simple and naked, served to denote the interrment of Common Souldiers, together with their inferior officers, slain in bat­tel upon the place: but those compassed about with great stones, set in single, double, or treble order, were designed to conserve the me­mory of great Captains or Generals. For, Wormius touching upon these Tumuli, left this remark concerning their Distinction. Qui ru­diores sunt, ex sola terra in rotunditatem & conum congest a constant; ex iis, qui una vel multiplici Saxorum serie circa basin cinguntur, ex­ercituum Imperatoribus, aliisque Magnatibus dicati creduntur; ut Simplices nullis ornati lapidibus, militibus strenuis, & athlet is de pa­tria bene meritis. Howsoever, in those Martial times, when no ver­tue could render any man noble or great, but Fortitude, and Honour lay in the strength rather of the Arm, than of the Head; the Armies of this Nation constantly preferred monuments of mighty stones, much above those Tumuli, or (as we call them) Burrows; nor ever entru­sted the fame of their Worthies to such simple and homely conservato­ries, but only in places where Rocks and Quarries were scarce. This we learn from a very remarkable text in the Commentaries of Petrus Lindebergius. Sciendum autem, quòd Dani, cum propter defectum saxorum Pyramides ac Obeliscos extruere minime potuerint, olim in memoriam Regum & Heroum suorum ex terra coacervata ingentem molem montis instar eminentem statuerint. From whence it is very plain, that the old Danes used not to inhume their Chieftains and highest Commanders under Tombs of Earth, but in case of necessity, where neither the place of the battel, in which they were slain (if they dyed in war) not the Country neer it, afforded them stones of dimen­sions fit for Pyramids and Obelisques. Otherwise they made use of stones of the largest size they could possibly get: sparing no pains nor cost to raise them up into the most magnificent Fabriques, their little skill in Architecture could amount to. Hereupon Wormius; Aetatis progressu plus operae in Magnatum tumulis positum videtur. Nam, non solum iis grandes cippos patriis literis notatos imposuerunt, defuncti titulos exhibentes: sed etiam tumulos ipsos tam in aepice, quam circa [Page 40] basin visendae magnitudinis cinxere saxis, aream insuper quadratam adjicientes, quae totam molem grandioribus includeret, &c. To which we may opportunely subjoyn a parallel record of Christianus Cilicius (lib. 1. Belli Dithmarsici.) Erant, saith He, Magnatum Danicorum sepulturae in sylvis & agris, tumulosque aggestis lapidibus vestientes muniebant; quod genus complures passim adhuc visuntur, qui Gigan­tum Strata vocantur. Mark here the near affinity of the very Name; Stone-heng being by all our Authors, who have mentioned it, called Chorea Gigantum, the Giants Dance, and the most magnificent Stony Monuments of the Danish Princes, Strata Gigantum, the Giants pavements or paths. The last observable is, that in many of their Sepulchral piles they placed an Altar; eo fine, saith Wormius, ut ibidem in memoriam defuncti quotannis sacra peragantur; that they might yearly offer sacrifices to the defunct, at least in memory of them, upon the place of their inhumation. Of this we have a sufficient confirma­tion from a note of Ubbo Emmius, (lib. 1. Histor. Fris. pag. 21.) Com­memoratione dignum videtur, quod in Regione hac ingentis molis saexa complura, quae nulla vectatione, nulla vi hominum illac deportari potu­isse, ob magnitudinem credas, congesta inveniantur, quorum ea dispo­sitio est, ut Aras referre videantur. Nam jacentibus nonnullis, alia iis imposita sunt plana, relictumque foramen, per quod reptare homo pos­sit: it deserves commemoration, that in this Country are found multitudes of Stones congested of so vast masses, that you would be­lieve them impossible to be removed by any Engines, by any the greatest strength of Men; and so disposed, as to represent Altars. For upon the heads of some, others are imposed, of a plain figure, and a hole or empty space left underneath, through which a man may creep.’ Nor ought it to seem so singular and strange a piece of Su­perstirion, for a phlegmatique and dull-headed Northern Nation, to set up Altars in the midst of such ampse and massive Tombs: when Tem­ples themselves first grew up out of meaner Sepulchres, even among the Grecians. This perhaps, you'l smile at, as a paradox; and there­fore it behooves me to produce some credible Authority to assert it. Clemens Alexandrinus (in Protreptico) is the man, who both expresly avoucheth it, and brings several Instances to prove it, thus. Superstitio templa condere persuasit. Quae enim prins hominum sepulchra fue­runt, magnificentius condita, Templorum appellatione vocata sunt. Nam apud Lariscam civitatem in arce, in templo Palladis, Acrisii sepulchrum fuit, quod nunc sacrarii loco celebratur: in arce quoque Atheniensi, ut est ab Antiocho in nono Historiarum scriptum, Cereris sepulchrum [Page 41] fuit: in templo vero Palladis, quem Poliada Graeci appellant, jacet Erichtonius, &c. But we have made too long a Hault in this place, and it more imports us, to proceed to

‘A Third notable Example of Stony Sepulchres in Denmark. Which composed of a Tumulus or Burrow cast up in the middle, and three orders of huge Stones set in manner of Columns, at equal distance, the outmost making a large quadrangle of fifty paces length in each side, the other two perfect Circles one within another; pre­sents it self to the admiration of passengers, on a plain, about a mile from Roeschild, and neer the high way that leads from thence to Frederisksburgh. Of this Ol. Wormius hath given a perfect Draught, (Monument Danicor. pag. 35.)’

For a Fourth, I have, among many others, chosen the notable Mo­nument of King Harald Hyldetand (whose courage, continency, and wisedome, together with his happy successes in warr, are highly cele­brated by Saxo Grammaticus) which yet remains neer Lethra, or Leire, in Seland, anciently the seat of Kings, now a decaid obscure village: saxis grandioribus stipatum, in meditullio immensa mole qua­drata, minoribus aliis innixa exornatum; compassed about with stones of extraordinary greatness, and in the middle ennobled with one Square stone, or rock, of an immense bulk, resting upon the heads of others of inferior magnitude; whose picture, though in too small a mo­dule, is taken also by our Author.

Now, from the various structure of these four grand Sepulchres, nei­ther of which doth fully quadrate with other; it is manifest, the Foun­ders were not strict in observing any such set form of placing their stones, that might at first view distinguish them from other Monu­ments; unless in this onely, that the Exterior Muniment or pale of great stones was commonly either exactly square, or neerly approach­ing that regular figure. And yet sometimes they varied from that also, as Wormius himself confesseth. For, albeit in his general description of the fashion of this sort of Sepulchres, he tells us, they had aream qùa­dratam, quae totam molem grandioribus saxis includeret: yet after­ward, in the same Chapter, he mentions some, that had not been for­med according to that rule. His words are, Diversi ab his quidam cernuntur tumuli, figura oblongiori congerie depressiori, saxis gran­dioribus undique cincti, ita ut utramque extremitatem mole vasti­ora [Page 42] reliquis claudant, &c. But of this first Kind of Unlettered Da­nique Monuments, we have taken a sufficient survey. Let us pass, there­fore, to the Second, viz. Fora, or

Places of Judicature.

Where judgment was publickly given concerning Right, and liti­gious sutes determined betwixt subject and subject, according to the Known laws and constitutions of the country; and that either imme­diately by the King himself, where the parties concerned were Noble, or the matter in controversie important; or otherwise by his deputed Judges, in cases of less moment. These Courts were, like Justice her self, naked, and open; standing, not in Cities, nor Towns, but in fields and spacious campanias; nor covered with roofs, but with a kind of rude magnificence made only of a certain plot of ground, of a Quadrangular, or Oval figure, set apart by an enclosure of the vastest stones, that could possibly be had, placed like Columns, at equal distance; with one great stone, for a judgment seat, in or neer the middle: as ap­pears from the remains of Two (anciently very eminent) yet visible in Denmark.

The One in Seland, neer the City Drething; whose manner of structure, and capacity Ol. Wormius having with great diligence sur­vey'd, he thus describes it. Vidi illud quadraginta sex saxis stupen­dae magnitudinis cinctum fuisse, eminente in ejus meditullio grandius­culo quodam; omnia vero in ovalem disposita erant figuram, it a qui­dem, ut utrinque ad latera, circae medium porta quasi, vel aditus pate­ret meridiem & septentrionem versus. Longitudo nonagint a passus ae­quabat, latitudo viginti. This Forum, or Ting (in the Danique lan­guage) was begirt about with forty six stones of wonderfull magni­tude, and had one great stone standing in the middle: all the stones of the Enclosure were disposed into an Oval figure, so that about the middle, on each side, was left as it were a gate, or Entrance, one to­ward the South, the other toward the North. The length of the o­val was ninety paces, the breadth twenty.’

The Other neer Aasmuntory, undique cautibus septum, hemm'd in on all sides with stones equal to Rocks: which gave name to the place where it stands, that being called Tinget, to this day. Many other of [Page 43] the same kind are to be seen in other Provinces of Denmark; saith our Author.

As these Courts of Justice were rude in their Fabrique, so for many Ages together, were the ways of Trial practised in them. For, from Frotho Magnus, who swayed the Danish Sceptre, about the most happy time of our Saviour's Nativity, down along until the Reign of Suenotto, in the year of our Lord 986. all weighty and diffi­cult controversies were decided per Monomachiam, by Duel; the Defendant being obliged to combat the Plaintiff openly within the lists of the Court, and prove the goodness of his cause by the sharpness of his weapons, without other Advocate but his own courage. A very savage and unequal manner of trial this! where always the Sword of Justice was put into the hand of the Criminal, where many times Right had no Vindication but from Fortune, and the most Innocent, if overcome, was either to die upon the place of his purgation, or, what's more grievous, to become Slave to his unjust Accuser. Yet men were hereto bound by a severe Law, made by the said Frotho, and recited by Saxo Grammaticus, (Hist. Danic. lib. 5.). After, the Beams of the Christian Faith shining on those northern Nations, and in some degree overcoming the gloominess of their barbarous Man­ners and Customes; that Law was abrogated, and in the place of Duels, the somewhat less cruel, but not much less uncertain way of Trial per Ordelium, by Fire-Ordeal, succeeded; and was continued in the same Courts, till about the year of Christ 1350. it was con­demned by a decree of the Lateran Council, and an Edict of King Woldemarus II. an Extract of which you may find in Wormius, (Monum. Danic. lib. 1. cap. 11.) Then began all causes to be de­termined by the judgment of twelve Jurors, as here with us in Eng­land; not but this way was much more antient, (for it is ascribed to Regnerus sirnamed Lodbrog, who ruled in Denmark about the year of Christ 820; and as some Danish Writers boast, was derived from him to our Etheldred) but it seems not to have been either by uni­versal custome established, or by strict and penal Laws enforced, so as totally to exclude the Ordeal in all cases, until the said Woldemarus his days. And Harald the vijth, after the abolition of Duels, intro­duced a new, but pernicious manner of determining contentions, by which the Party accused might purge himself of whatever Crime charged upon him, Solo juramenti sacramento, by onely his own single Oath, id (que) contra omnem testium fidem, and that against the [Page 44] clearest testimony of Witnesses: as Saxo Grammat. hath left upon record, (lib. ij.) But the unreasonableness hereof was so great, and the evil consequences so many, that it could not continue long. Not­withstanding the ways of Trial were thus various; yet the places were still the same, namely, these open and rude Courts here described. From which we pass to the Third sort of Danique unletter'd Monu­ments, viz.

Places of Combats, or Fights.

These were, indeed, always designed by Great stones, but not constant to any one Figure, so as to be thereby alone distinguishable, without the help of Tradition. For, though Saxo Grammat. (lib. 1. cap. 29.) willing to give some directions, how, from the several Ordinations of the Stones, Posterity might guess aright at the several Occasions, upon which they were set up; delivers this as a general Rule: Recto & longo ordine pugilum certamina; quadrato turmas bellantium, & sphaerico familiarum designantia sepulturas; ac cune­ato equestrium acies ibidem, vel prope, fortunatius triumphasse: yet Wormius professeth, he much doubted whether this order were every where strictly observed, or not; afterward alleging Examples of different Figures.

One he mentions out of the Author of Histor. Bremensis, (lib. 2. cap. 9.) that consisting of one mighty Stone, was erected in memo­ry of a Duel fought near a place named Agrimeswedel, in which a famous Combatant, Biurguido, overcame and slew a Champion of the Slavi, and acquired immortal honor.

Others he speaks of that were marked with many huge stones set equally distant each from other, in a streight line; some that were truly Girques, and some Quadrangular: all which, together with the Laws and Manner of such Camp-fights betwixt the Champions of several Kings, You may see fully described by him, (Monum. Danic. lib. 1. cap. 9.) In the mean time I hasten to the Danish


Or Monuments of great Battels fought, and Victories obtain'd. Which, though agreeing among themselves, in their durable and [Page 45] massie Materials, are nevertheless irreconcilably discrepant in their Forms. So that in these, as well as in the other sorts hitherto sur­vey'd, the Founders seem to have entrusted the remembrance of their glorious Successes, as much to the voice of Fame, and popular Tra­dition, as to the obscure signification of any one Figure or Scheme observed in the Monuments themselves: or else varying the Plat­forms of their Triumphal Piles, according to the various circum­stances of their Encounters, and fortunate Atchievments, and the commodities of the place; they left Posterity, who could not arrive at certain knowledge of those Circumstances, to grope after their particular Stories, in the darkness of uncertain conjectures. This our Author, Ol. Wormius, was too ingenuous to excuse, or conceal; and therefore though, in compliance with the former perswasion of his Country, he tells us, Integri exercitus stragem lapidum quadrata in plano dispositione indicasse, That the antient Danes by stones dis­posed into a Quadrangle, shewed the overthrow of a whole Army of their Enemies, upon or near that place: yet he immediately sub­joyns, Verum non ubi (que) ab omnibus praecise observatnm fuisse hunc ordinem ac dispositionem saxorum, plane mihi persuadeo; But I perswade my self fully, that this order or disposition of the stones, was not precisely observed by all, in all places.’ However, it im­ports us not to pretermit an Example, or two, of these huge Trium­phal Antiquities.

In the Diocess of Bergen, on a wide mountainous place, near a Village, called Tysnes, you may, with a delightful wonder, behold six stones of an incredible magnitude, resembling Pyramids, erected at equal distances, in two semi-circles, one within another; each en­vironed with two entire circles of lesser stones of Oval figure; and in the middle of the intercolumnary spaces in each semi-circle, a great multitude of the like stones heaped one upon another, till they amount toward a Cone: and all in a most elegant order, set up in memory of a bloody Battel fought upon the place; as the people of the Country report by hear-say from their fore-fathers, though their re­lations differ in many circumstantial particulars. After this descrip­tion, our Author addeth, Plura ejusdem generis & alibi in eadem Dioecesi videre & observaré licèt, figura quidem diversae, sed eundem in usum fabrefacta.

But, what need we travel into Denmark, for Patterns of this kind [Page 46] of Monuments, when we have two most notable ones here at home, one in Cornwal, another in Oxfordshire? which, if you have not be­held with your own eyes, and dare give credit to M Camdens, you may have them represented to you in these his Descriptions.

‘Near St Neoths in Cornwal (saith he) upon a plain adjacent to a wondrous pile of Rocks heaped up together upon one stone of lesser size, fashioned naturally in form of a Cheese, so as it seemeth to be pressed like a Cheese, whereupon it is named, Wring-Cheese; are to be seen many great stones, in some sort four-square, of which seven or eight are pitched upright, of equal distance asunder. The neighbour Inhabitants term them Hurlers; as being by a devout and godly error perswaded, they had been Men sometimes transformed into Stones, for profaning the Lord's Day with hurling the Ball. Others would have it to be a Trophy or Monument, in memorial of some Battel.’ And so doubtless this was, and not improbably left by the Danes.

‘Not far from Burford, upon the very border of Oxford-shire, is an antient Monument, to wit, certain huge stones placed in a circle. The common people call them Roll-rich stones, and dream they were sometimes Men, by a miraculous Metamorphosis turned into hard stones. The Draught of them, such as it is, pourtraied long since, here I represent unto your view. For, without all form, and shape they be, unequal, and by long continuance of time much impaired. The highest of them all, which without the Circle look­eth into the earth, they call the King; because he should have been King of England (forsooth) if he had once seen Long Compton, a little Town lying beneath, and which one may see, if he go some few paces forward: other five, standing at the other side, touching as it were one another, they imagine to have been Knights mount­ed on Horseback; and the rest the Army. These would I verily think to have been the Monument of some Victory, and haply erected by Rollo the Dane, who afterward conquered Normandy. For, what time He with his Danes troubled England with depre­dations, we read, that the Danes joyned Battel with the English thereby, at Hoch Norton; a place for no one thing more famous in old time, than for the woful slaughter of the English in that fough­ten field, under the Reign of King Edward the Elder.

[Page 47] To these may be annexed another eminent Trophy, known by the name of Stipperstones, standing upon Huckstowe Forrest in Shrop­shire, consisting of great piles of stones, and others like Rocks per­pendicularly erected thickly together, and set up to perpetuate the renown of a fatal defeat given to the Britans by Harald. Concern­ing which Giraldus Cambrensis hath this clear testimony. Harald in person being himself the last footman, with foot-men, and, light arms, and victuals answerable for such an Expedition in Wales, va­liantly went round about through all Wales, so as that he left few or none alive. And for a perpetual memory of this Victory, you may find very many great stones in that country erected after the antique manner upon hillocks, in those places wherein He had been Conqueror, with these words engraven, Hic fuit Victor Haraldus: Here was Harald Canqueror. Now these being sufficient instances of Danique Tri­umphal Monuments, it remains onely that we search after some of their Loca Comitialia, or

Places designed for the Election and Inauguration of their Kings.

In which, not onely their Noble-men and Grandees, but also the Commons being upon summons assembled from all parts of the Na­tion; used to consult and vote about matters of State of greatest im­portance, more especially upon the death of the Prince; and in that case, to give their Suffrages for the next in blood, or power, to succeed him. This business, as being of most concernment to the Publick, was performed with pomp and solemnity answerable; the manner and Ceremonies whereof are concisely set down by Saxo Gramma­ticus; thus. Lecturi Regem veteres affixis humo saxis insistere, suf­fragia (que) promere consueverunt, subjectorum lapidum firmitate facti constantiam ominaturi: Our Fore-fathers being to elect their King, used to stand upon stones pitch'd upright in the ground, and to give their suffrages; by the firmness of the stones upon which they stood, tacitly declaring the firmness of their act, and as by a good Omen foreshewing the durability of his government.’ And Ol. Wormius more fully describing the manner, both of the open Senate-House, and of the Election it self, saith, Reperiuntur in his oris loca quaedam, in quibus Reges olim solemni creabantur pompa, quae cincta adhuc grandibus saxis, utplurimum duodecim, conspiciuntur, in medio [Page 48] grandiore quodam prominente, cui omnium suffragiis-electum Regem imponebant, magnoque applausu excipiebant. Hic & comitia celebra­bant, & de regni negotiis consultabant. Regem vero designaturi, Electores saxis insistebant forum cingentibus, decreti firmitudinem pro­nunciantes: in this Country are beheld certain Courts of Parlia­ment, in which heretofore Kings were elected with solemn state; which are surrounded with mighty stones, for the most part twelve in number, and one other stone exceeding the rest in eminency, set in the middle, upon which (as upon a Regal Throne) they seated the new elected King, by the general suffrage of the assembly, and in­augurated him with great applause and loud acclamations. Here they held their great Councils, and consulted about affairs of the King­dome. But when they met together to nominate their King, the Electors stood upright upon the stones environing the Court, and giving their voyces, thereby confirmed their choice.’

This rudely-magnificent Custome of Electing the supreme Magi­strate, in such open circles of huge stones, and after such a manner; as it was of highest Antiquity, so was it likewise of greatest Duration a­mong the Danes. For, Bernhardus Malincrot (in libr. de Archi­cancellariis, p. 158.) through a long, series or descent of their Kings, brings it down to the time of the Emperor Charls the fourth, who publishing that so renowned golden Bull de Electione Imperatorum, gave occasion to the abrogation of it.

Yea, so sacred were these Courts, and in such high esteem and ve­neration were they held, for many hundreds of years together; that even in time of publick peace and tranquillity, the Candidate King was de jure obliged there to receive his solemn Inauguration, and as­sume the Ensigns of Royalty: as if the Place and Ceremonies were essential parts of his right to soveraignty, and the votes of his Electors much more valid and authentique, for being pronounced in that Fo­rum. And if it hapned that the King fell in some forein expedition, by the hand of the Enemy, or by a less glorious death; there ensued an Inter-regnum, till such time as his surviving Army had in some con­venient plain brought together a multitude of the largest stones they could possibly find, and set them both for the interrment of his Corps, and the election of his Successor: and this as well because they reputed an Election in such a place, a good addition of Title; as because many great and irreparable incommodities might redound to the Republique [Page 49] during that pause or respite of Government, in case the new election were deferred, until they had returned into their own Country, and assembled the best part of the Nation in some one of their ancient Kings-benches, as they may be properly enough termed, considering their dignity and use. To authorise this, which otherwise might be thought somewhat romantique, I am provided of a text out of a very grave and faithfull writer of that Nation, Suaningius; which is well worthy my recital, and your special consideration; being that which gave me the first hint for my conjecture touching the End or purpose, for which Stone-heng was built. The text is this; Locum publicae Regiae electionis postquam incolis convenientem, ad quem, nulla obstan­te itineris difficultate, omnes qui erant vocati, venire possent, elegissent; saxa grandia singulari opera at (que) studio conquiri, at (que) in eundum lo­cum, quem electioni Regiae destinarant, comportari curarunt. Ne (que) enim tum, quemadmodum hodie, destinata electioni Regum certa erant loca, sed pro arbitrio sententia (que) eorum, qui autoritate & potentia alios antecellebant, eligebantur. Huc comportata saxa conscendentes hi, quibus eligendi jus commendatum erat, circumstante populo, suffragia ex iis ferebant: and may be thus Englished. ‘When for the publick election of the King, they had made choice of a place convenient, to which all that were summoned might, with the least difficulty of travail, repair; they took care, that stones of extraordinary greatness should be, with singular labour and diligence, sought forth, and brought together in the same place, which they had appointed for the Royal Election. For, there were not then, as now a dayes, cer­tain appointed places for that affair; but such were chosen, at the pleasure and judgment of those, who excelled others in authority and power. Upon the stones brought hither, those to whom the right of electing was delegated, mounting up, delivered their suf­frages, the people standing round about below.’ The same in every particular is confirmed by the learned Stephanus Stephanius, in his Commentaries upon the first Book of Saxo Grammaticus his History of Denmark; whither I remit the unsatisfied.

As for Examples of this noblest and most magnificent sort of Mo­numents; Olaus Wormius hath furnished us with Three very conspi­cuous ones; one in Seland, neer Leire, called Kongstolon, or Kings throne; another in Schoneland, not far from Lundie, in which homage was annually paid to King Olaus, and Christianus the first was with royal solemnity inaugurated and invested with regal ornaments; a [Page 50] third neer Viburg, in the Cimbric territory, in which common tradi­tion will have Dane the first to have been likewise elected, and in­hroned, as the name Danerliung, which to this day it bears, seems to witness. And the reason he gives, why there is one in each of these three Provinces, is, that anciently they were distinct Principalities, and under the dominion of as many petty Kings; though now redu­ced under the soveraignty of a Monarch, the present King of Denmark.

Nor are we destitute of the like in England. For, in Cornwall, on a large plain, called Biscaw Woun, near a village named St. Buri­ens, stand erected, in a circle, nineteen huge stones, distant each from the other about twelve foot; with one stone far higher and greater than the rest in the Centre. Which though Camden supposeth to be some Trophy left by the Romans, under the later Emperors; or else by Athelstane the Saxon, when he had subdued the Cornish men: yet considering, on one side, that the Romans used not to eternize their victories here, or else where, by any such Trophies; and, on the other, that there was a time, when the Danes also had not only Cornwall, but all England beside, under their barbarous subjection; and that this Monument doth in all particulars correspond with the Courts of E­lections Royal in Denmark, of which I am now speaking; considering this, I say, no reason appears to the contrary, but I may assent to the opinion of Wormius, that it was, after a great defeat of the English Saxons, by his Country-men, erected for the Election of their own King, and the investiture of him with the soveraignty of his newly ac­quired Principality.

Here, perhaps, You'l be a little surpriz'd, if I adventure to make our Stone-heng it self bring up the rear of this last and most Gigantique division of Danique Antiquities. But, it is my Conjecture; the ulti­mate scope of my so laborious Enquiry; the point in which all the lines of this long discourse concentre. Wherefore, having now at length brought you to a place, where You may at once behold the strength of all those several Reasons, that conspired to suggest that o­pinion to me: it is fit I should draw them together in as small a com­pass, as I can, and so present them to your consideration, while what hath been delivered both of all the Danish Unletter'd Monuments in general, and in particular of their Courts for Election of Kings, is yet fresh in your memory. And this, I conceive, may be most concisely, [Page 51] and most advantagiously effected, by way of Parallel, or Comparison, in this plain and easie Method.

The Ancient Courts of Parliament in Denmark alwayesSTONE-HENG likewise
WEre situated in large and open Plains not far from some Town, of competent re­ception, at least for people of the best Quality: andSTands in a spacious Plain, a­bout two miles distant from Ambresbury, anciently a Town of great note: and
In, or neer to the middle of the Kingdom; that such as were sum­moned to convene, upon the E­lection of a King, or other affair of publick importance, might re­pair thither with equal conveni­ency: andIn a mediterranean or mid-land Country; for so Camden calls Wiltshire: and
Upon a gently rising ground, for the advantage of prospect, and that the Common people assem­bled to confirm the suffrages of the Electors, by their universal applause and congratulatory accla­mations; might see and witness the solemn manner of the Electi­on.Uppon a plot of ground some­what more eminent, than the cir­cumjacent Plain, which enlargeth the prospect of the Pile, and which cannot be approached but by an easie ascent, on all sides.
[Page 52]IV.IV.
Were open on the Top, and sides; that so the King elect stan­ding in the middle, might be be­held from all quarters of the neigh­bouring Plain; and the Votes of the Electors the better heard by the multitude, standing round a­bout, at a becomming distance.Is uncovered above, or roofless, and environed not with continu­ed walls, but stones pitcht up­right; so that such as stand on any side without, may perceive what's done within.
Made onely of huge stones, the largest that could possibly be found any where in the Country; rude, unhewn, of no certain figure.Made of stones of vast magni­tude; and unhewn, as they came from the Quarry, of no regular fi­gure: and
And these set upright, at equal distance each from other, in a Cir­cle; that so the Electors standing upon them might make a round:These set in round, equally di­stant among themselves, and per­pendicular;
With one stone taller and big­ger than the rest, erected in the Centre, for the King to stand up­on, and shew himself to the peo­ple, at the time of his Inaugurati­on, and receive their joyfull Ac­clamations, wishes of felicity, and other testimonies of submission and fealty.With one Stone, in the inmost circle (now lying along and bro­ken, but at first set upright, and then probably placed at the very centre of the whole work) whose remaining fragments put together make, according to Mr. Jones his accompt, sixteen feet in length; Which is as likely to have been a Bongstolon (as the Danes call theirs) or Kings throne, as an Altar.
[Page 53]VIII.VIII.
Without any Inscription, o Letters ingraven upon any one of the Stones: because the Fabrique was sufficiently Known by its pro­per Form; and the Use in a pecu­liar manner customary to the Danes.Having no Epigraph, cut, or trencht in any of the Stones; as carrying a sufficient evidence of its Designment and use, in the fi­gure of its platform, and perfecti­on in all essential parts; and spea­king its Founders, in the (in these dayes) well-understood language of its vastness, and the similitude it bore to others erected by the same Nation in their own Country.

Thus far, You see, the Parallel holds in all particulars, even to a high degree of Resemblance; there being no one thing in the Antique Courts of Parliament yet remaining in Denmark, which is not to be found also in our Stone-heng. Somethings, I must acknowledge, are observed in This, more than in those: and lest I might be thought o­ver-favourable and partial to my own Conceipt; if I should omit to note them; I shall particularly observe what they are.

The First apparent Difference, then, consists in this; that in Stone-heng the number of stones is much greater. Which notwithstanding may without much difficulty or straining be reconciled, by reflecting upon the Examples of the Courts of Elections Royal in Denmark, newly alleged. For, though Ol. Wormius saith, that those consisted for the most part of twelve huge stones set upright, after the manner of Pyramids, or Columns, in the circumference of a Circle, and one, more eminent, in the Centre: yet so far is he from confining all of the same sort to that, or any other definite number, that he brings several instances of some that came short of, and others that much exceeded it. So that from thence we may safely collect, that in old time the Danes made their Courts of this Kind, sometimes of fewer, some­times of more Columns; according to the scarcity, or abundance of fitting stones, in the Country, in which they occasionally raised them; if not also according to the lesser or greater number of Electors, who [Page 54] were to stand and vote upon them. Nor is it to be unregarded, that at Stone-heng, the inmost Circle (if, at least, that may be called a Circle, which really is a Polygon; such flat and broad Pillars, being, in respect of their want of Convexity on their out-sides, incapable to make a perfect Circle) contains onely twelve stones; which agrees exactly with the most ancient patterns.

The Second is this, that Stone-heng hath Three circular orders of Stones, whereas the Others have no more than one. Which never­theless may receive a satisfactory Solution, as the former, either from the greater plenty of convenient stones in Wiltshire, yea in sundry pla­ces not very remote from the work it self, of which wee shall shortly have occasion to take particular notice: or from the greater number of Electors, who being of the Nobility, and principal Officers of Armies, in process of time were multiplied to a more numerous list, than in former ages, as may be observed in all other nations also: or perhaps from hence also, that Stone-heng was designed both for a Se­pulchral Monument of one King, or General, there slain in battail; and for a Court of Election for his immediate Successor. For, you may remember, I have already acquainted You, how usual a thing it was amongst the Danes, to celebrate the Funeral of one Prince, and solemnize the Inauguration of another, at one and the same time, and in one and the same place; perpetuating the memory of both, by cir­cles of vast stones: and that I exemplified this in the massive Tomb of King Harald Hyldetand, which was both a Sepulchral Monument for Him, and a Court of Election for succeeding Kings, for many ages after. Nor have I omitted, to supply you with descriptions of two famous Danique Antiquities, that consist of a Threefold order of Stones, all of magnitude equal to, if not much transcending those of Stone-heng.

The Third, and last point of Disparity is, that in Stone-heng, the outmost and inmost rounds of Columns are furnished with Epistyles, or Architraves, resting upon their heads; but none such are found upon the upright stones in any of the Courts of Election in Denmark. But, this, as the two former, may be referred to the great abundance of such stones in Wiltshire, more than in any province of Denmark; where they were not to be had but rarely, as is intimated in that text of Petrus Lindebergius formerly quoted, Dani cum, propter defectum Saxorum, pyramides & obeliscos extruere minime potuerint, olim in [Page 55] memoriam Regum & He ōum ex terra coacervata ingentem molem montis instar eminentem statuêre; The Danes when they could not, for want of stones, erect Pyramids and Obelisces, heretofore they cast up a huge Mount of Earth, in memory of their Kings and Heroes.’ Nor was it unusual to them, to raise up from the ground stones of wonderful scantlings, and impose them, in manner of Ar­chitraves, upon the tops of others; especially in their works of greatest Magnificence, and where they intended to raise admiration in poste­rity, at the prodigious strength, and extraordinary means required to advance such huge weights, to so great a height: as I have formerly proved both by authentique Testimonies, and agreeable Examples. Being, therefore, through the fortunate success of their Arms, in pos­session of England, and assembling in Wiltshire, where they met with store of materials fit for their purpose; and proposing to themselves to erect a stately Monument, after the fashion of their own Country, with some addition of vastness correspondent: it is not improbable, that they made choice of this kind of Superstructure of Architraves, or plain long stones laid overthwart upon the tops of the Columns; as that which might both hold some analogy with other Monuments in their own Nation, and also be of considerable use, in affording more con­venient and firm footing for such persons of honourable condition, who were principally to give their Votes at the Election of the King, standing in round upon the stones; especially when their late Victories had augmented the stock of their Nobility, and who, perhaps, were by this time more than could stand upon the single Columns, and needed the addition of Architraves to support them at the Solemnity.

And thus you see, how the points of Dissimilitude or Inconformity betwixt Stone-heng, and its more antique Patterns in Dane-land, may be reasonably solved. However, it cannot be denied, but they are, both in number, and weight, much inferior to the particulars of the precedent Parallel or Resemblance: and therefore ought not to be put in the Balance against them, nor to be thought of such im­portance, as to detract from the verisimility of my Conjecture, that Stone-heng was principally, if not wholly, designed and raised for a Court-Royal.

But, this Discovery (at least, if it may deserve that name) is a work of Supererogation, my undertaking from the first, having been onely to make it appear highly probable, that Stone-heng originally [Page 56] was a building of the Danes. Which, if I mistake not, I have to a competent degree of satisfaction effected.

Nevertheless, I must not forget to observe one thing more, not unworthy serious consideration: which is this, That among all our antient Historians, who wrote of the state of Britain as well before, as under the Romans and Saxons, recording not onely all the most memorable actions, passages, and memorials whatever, but also in­feriour occurrents, and that even to superfluity; no one hath so much as mentioned Stone-heng, until a long time after the Danes had con­quered England, and were afterwards forced to resign it to the Eng­lish again, upon the decease of Hardi Canute. For, the first Author, in whom any word is found concerning it, was Geffery of Monmouth, who (together with his fellow Historiographers, William of Malmes­bury, Henry of Huntington, and Simon of Durham) lived in the days of King Stephen. No contemptible Argument, that in England no such Monument, as Stone-heng, was extant, until the Danes had over-run and conquered this Nation: it being hard to conceive, that those Writers, who committed to record matters of much smaller moment, and (according to the Monkish humour of those darker times) so much delighted themselves in relating wonderful acci­dents, and extraordinary adventures; would have condemned to obli­vion so eminent a thing as Stone-heng, and in a deep silence have passed over the most admirable Antiquity of Great Britain.

And as for the vulgar conceit, that the great decay of the Structure shews it to have been more antique, than the Danish Invasion and Con­quest here; it may be easily solved by answering, that the ruines evi­dence themselves to be the effect, not of Time, (the stones them­selves being of a temper so compact and hard, that the iron teeth of that consuming Enemy cannot gnaw or corrode them; nor any force of tempests impair them in the least) but of the sacrilegious violence of Men, who have thrown down most of the Architraves, and re­moved many of the more portable stones, converting them to private uses in Buildings, Land-marks, &c. as appears by some yet to be seen in the neighbouring Villages and Fields.

And if the greatness of its ruines since cannot, certainly, much less ought the Vastness and Stupendious Dimensions thereof, when it was entire and complete, to be thought sufficient to dispossess the Danes [Page 57] of the honour of its Extruction. For, of all Nations in the world, they appear to have taken the most both of Delight and Pains, in searching after, and bringing together mighty stones, whereof to make their Monuments: sparing nor time, nor cost, nor labour, yea many times engaging the whole Nation almost, to contribute their hands and purses together, toward the advancing such prodigious Piles. To testifie this, the History of Norwey assures us, in the life of Haraldus Har­fagre, that two petty Kings of that Country, consumed three whole years, and a vast treasure, in casting up a Sepulchral Mount, and fencing it about with stones of Gigantick magnitude. And Saxo Gnam­maticus (lib. 10. Hist. Danic.) writing the glorious actions of Ha­rald, sirnamed Blaatand, the son of Gormond and Thyra, (daughter of K. Ethelred of England) among other his great exploits, tells us, that ‘He set his whole Army, and another of Oxen, on work, to remove, from the Jutland shore, one immense Stone, or little Rock, and bring it to the place, where the body of his Mother lay inhumed, that by erecting it over her grave, he might at once eternize the me­mory of her virtues, and of his own filial piety:’ being so far ele­vated with the glory of the attempt; that he boastingly demanded of one of the Officers of his Navy,. who was present, An tantam aliàs molem mortali manu tentatam conspexerit, If ever he had seen so mountainous a Bulk undertaken to be transported by mortall hands.’ Upon occasion of which very relation, Ol. Wormius (Mon. Danic. pag. 39.) concludes; Non igitur in sumptibus parentalibus fa­ciendis ulli genti cessisse videntur Nostrates, & pluris hi Tumuli olim constiterunt, quam hodie à nobis aestimantur; Our Country­men, therefore, seem inferiour to no Nation, in sumptuous Funerals for their Ancestors and these Sepulchres heretofore cost much more, than is in our days imagin'd.’ To confirm this assertion yet fur­ther, give me leave to urge one most pertinent and pregnant testi­mony, out of the Preface of the same Saxo Grammat. ‘Danicam re­gionem Giganteo quondam cultu exercitam, eximiae magnitudinis saxa veterum bustis ac specubus affixatestantur. Quod si quis vi mon­strosa patratum ambigat, quorundam montium excelsa suspiciat, di­cat (que)? si callet, quis eorum verticibus cautes tantae granditatis in­vexerit. Inopinabile nam (que) quivis miraculi hujus aestimator advertet, ut molem super plano minimè vel difficile mobilem, in tantam montanae sublimitatis apicem simplex mortalitatis labor, aut usitatus humani roboris conatus extulerit. Utrum vero talium rerum Authores post diluvialis inundationis excursum Gigantes extiterint, an viri corporis [Page 58] viribus ante alios praediti, parum notitiae traditum. That Dane­land antiently was inhabited by Giants, stones of wonderful mag­nitude, affixed to the Sepulchres and Caves of our Ancestors, bear witness. Which if any doubt to have been effected by monstrous strength, let him behold the tops of some Mountains, and tell, if he be able, who brought thither Rocks of such immense greatness. For, every competent Judge of this wonder will perceive it to exceed the imagination of man, how the meer labour of Mortals, or usual effort of human strength could advance to a point of such mounta­nous sublimity, a weight not at all, or not without extreme diffi­culty, movable even on plain ground. But, whether the Authors of these mighty works were Giants, living after the Deluge was fallen; or Men endowed with extraordinary strength of body: is not to be known from Story.’ Now, if any unprejudicate man, having heard these testimonies, shall first enquire of our Historians, what mighty Armies, and numerous swarms of people, were brought out of those Northern Countries to infest Britan, together with their too prosperous successes in many fights; and then consider with him­self, what such vast numbers of men employed at once, and am­bitiously co-operating in such a work, might be able to perform, in a few years, yea months, and that by meer natural strength, without any great skill in Mechaniques, or the Art of removing great weights by Engines: certainly, he will find no difficulty in admitting it to be as possible, and perhaps more probable, for the Danes to have brought the great stones at Stone-heng to that ground, and there erected them in the order described; as for the old Britans, Romans, Saxons, or any other Nation.

Especially when it is most probable, that those stones were fetch'd no farther off, than from Aibury or Rockly, about three or four miles distant from Marleborow in the same County. For, in the Fields adjoyn­ing to those two Villages, and principally the later (which as Camden observes, borrowed its name from thence) there stand up great stones like Rocks, infinite in number; all which perfectly resemble those at Stone-heng, in colour, grain, hardness, and branching of veins; and many of them also in figure and proportions: brought thither, as is vulgarly, and perhaps not untruly, believed, by the violence of the universal Deluge, and there left in Vallies, as the force of the currents abated. These stones I my self have often seen, in journeys to Bath from London; and comparing them with those at Stone-heng, found [Page 59] so great an Analogy betwixt them; that ever since I have reteined an opinion, the Founders of that Monument furnished themselves with Materials from the fore-named places; among so great a multitude selecting such, as in magnitude and shape might best comport with their designes; and transporting them from thence. But How? or by what means? That's the greatest wonder of all!

Concerning this grand Difficulty, therefore, I say; That though the unlearned Vulgar may be dispensed withall, to admire the tran­sportation of such stones, as an effect of more than Human Art and Strength; and accordingly to have recourse to the ridiculous Fable of Merlin's bringing them out of Ireland by Magique Diabolical, and the help of Spirits: Yet to Scholars and Travellers, the matter will ap­pear to come so short of the Miracle, as scarce to attain to a Compa­rison with sundry other performances, not onely of the Ancients, but of the Moderns also, in the like kind.

For, among the Aegyptian Monuments of extraordinary labour and magnificence, we read in Herodotus (lib. 2. cap. 175.) of one huge Pyramid, built by King Cleopes, in which was not one stone less than 30 foot long, and all of them fetch'd from Arabia the Rocky: and how Amasis, another Aegyptian Monarch, had a house of plea­sure for himself, cut out of one entire stone, 12 cubits long, 14 broad, and 8 high; and also made the Statue of a Sphinx, or Aegyptian Cat, of another single stone, which was in length 143 feet, in heighth 62, and in compass of the Head 102. And Diodorus Siculus (Biblioth. lib. 1. sect. 2.) reports of Sesostris, a third King of Aegypt, that in a Temple of Vulcan at Memphis, he erected two Statues, one for himself, another for his wife, each of one solid Stone, and 30 cubits high.

Among the Jewish, we read in Josephus (de Bello Judaic. lib. 6. cap. 6.) of three magnificent Towers built by Herod, in which eve­ry stone being of white Marble, was 20 cubits long, 10 broad, and 5 high: and which was yet more wonderful, the old wall it self was situated on a steep rising ground: so that 'tis scarce imaginable by what puissant means so many stones of such prodigious weight, should be taken whole out of the Quarrey, and conveyed to a place of such eminent altitude.

Among the Graecian, we read in Pliny (lib. 36. cap. 14.) that [Page 60] in that so famous Temple of Diana in Ephesus, were 127 Columns, each consisting of one stone, 60 foot high; all taken out of the Quat­ries in Asia: not to insist upon the mighty Rhodian Colossus, of which Fame hath spoken with all her tongues.

Among the Roman, besides the prodigious brazen Colossus of Nero, described by Suetonius, (in vit. Neron.) we read, in Pan­cirol. (de deperdit. titul. 31.) of fundry Obelisks, made of so many whole stones; whereof some were 40, some 80, others 90 cubits high; most of them brought from Aegypt to Rome, and there set up; with this Distich engraven upon one of them.

Si lapis est unus; dic, quafuit arte levatus?
Sed si sunt plures; dic, ubi congeries?
If this be one stone; How 'twas rais'd, divine:
If more than one; shew, where they do combine.

In Rome there stands also an Obelisk of one solid stone, a kind of Ophite, or spotted Marble, anciently consecrated to the honour of the great Julius Caesar, and erected on the left side of the Vatican Temple, in the Cirque of Nero; but, in the year 1586, removed into a more eminent place, at the vast charge of Pope Sixtus Quintus, and by the admirable skill of Dominicus Fontanus, an excellent Ar­chitect. Which is in height 170 foot, above the base; in breadth, at the bottom, 12 foot, and at the top 8; in weight 956148 pounds, besides the heaviness of the Instruments or Engines used in raising it, that amounted to 1042824 pounds, according to the computation of Georgius Draudius, (in adnotationib. ad Solini memorabilia, part. 1. fol. 131.) The removing of this Obelisk was so rarea piece of Art, that besides the vast treasure he received in reward, the Engineer got immortal renown thereby; no less than 56 learned men expresly ce­lebrating his praises; as Monantholius (in Comment. in Arist. Me­chanic. cap. 19.) remarketh. If so; what did those deserve, who first digged the same out of the Marble Quarries of Egypt, and brought it entire to Rome? Doubtless this was much the more glorious enter­prise of the two.

Now, after these superlative Examples, what think you of our Stone-heng, betwixt which and those, as to dimensions, is no more proportion, than betwixt a Pygmie and a Giant? Can you allow it [Page 61] to have been so wonderful a task, for a whole Army of Men, and multitudes of Oxen, to transport the stones thereof, in a plain and champian Country; especially seeing the biggest of its stones ex­ceed not 12 Tun weight, and many of them not 2 Tun; and that the distance from Rockley, and Aibury, from whence, it seems, they were fetched, to the place where they were set up, is not above 20 miles at most? You'l object, perchance; that those mighty works were performed by Nations, among which were many excellent Ma­thematicians, and great Masters in the Art of Mechaniques, to which all weights are easily moveable, and which containeth Demonstrative Rules how the strongest Oake may be torn up by the roots with a Horse-hair, as the learned Author of Mathematical Magique hath well observed, and clearly proved, (book 1. chap. 14.): but this of Stone-heng by a rude and barbarous people, utterly ignorant of such Machines and artificial helps. To this, therefore, I answer; That it doth not appear the Danes were so rude, as to have no acquain­tance at all with the use of Engines for the elevation of monstrous weights: but rather the contrary, insomuch as their carrying even Rocks themselves from the Sea-shore to the very heart of their Coun­try, of which I have formerly spoken, sufficiently intimates their being versed in the use of the Leaver, Roller, Wheel, Pulley, Wedge, and Screw, which are fundamental Faculties of Mechaniques, it being scarce conceivable, how otherwise they should raise such por­tentous Monuments, as they did. But allowing them to have been as Unskilful, as You please, in such Instruments; yet consider how Numerous they were, and how strenuously great swarms of them used to joyn hands together in such attempts; and you have not forgot the old Verse, Multorum manibus grande levatur onus, Many hands make light work. What prodigious matters may be effected by meer strength and hand-force of great Multitudes, without Rules of Art, may be discerned from the savage Indians; who being destitute of other Mathematiques, but what Nature dictated to them, and want­ing the advantage of Engines, did yet by their simple toyl and inde­fatigable diligence, remove stones of incredible greatness. For, Acosta (Histor. Indic. lib. 6. cap. 14.) relates, that he measured one stone brought to Tiaguanaco, which was 38 foot long, 18 broad, and 6 thick: and that in their stateliest Edifices were many other of much vaster magnitude.

To conclude, therefore, with a short review of what hath hithert [Page 62] been delivered at large, and assist your Judgment, by relieving your Memory; considering (1) that of all Nations in the world, none was so much addicted to Monuments of huge and unhewn stones, as the Danes appear to have been, for many hundred of years together; (2) that they used to set such up, not onely in their own Country, but in all other places also, where-ever the fortune of war had at any time made their adventures and atchievments memorable; and more par­ticularly in England and Scotland; (3) that in Denmark, at this day, there stand many stupendious Piles of stones, in most particulars agree­ing with that, of which I have now discoursed; (4) that upon a strict and impartial inquest, neither the antient Britains, nor Romans, nor Saxons, are found to have any justifiable title to the honor of founding that of Stone-heng; (5) that no one of our old Historians made men­tion of any such work, until long after the Danes had acquired the Soveraign Power in this Island, and left sundry memorials of their victorious Aimies; (6) that the great impairment of the Fabrick since that time of the Danique conquest, doth not evince it to be of greater antiquity; (7) that neither the Magnificence of the same, at first; (8) nor the vastness of strength, and skill in Engines, required to the transportation and elevation of stones of such prodigious weight; are sufficient Arguments to the contrary: considering these things, I say, why may I not conjecture, that the Danes, and onely the Danes were the Authors of Stone-heng? Sure I am of thus much, that this Opinion of mine, if it be erroneous, is yet highly plausible: having this advan­tage over the others concerning the same obscure subject, that it is not so easily to be refuted. Nor is it arrogancy in me, to affirm, that if I have been deceived in entertaining this conceipt in the place of Truth; it was because I found it in the livery and colours of Truth. However, I expect you should consider; it is no dishonor to even the best Marks­man, not to hit the white, when he is forced to shoot in the dark. Which consideration being alone sufficient to secure my wel-intended endeavours, from too severe and disingenious censure, in case it shall hereafter be discovered, that I have been mistaken in the Main thing sought after, namely, the Authors of our Antiquity: I doubt not, but your Candor will extend it also to the favourable construction of my suppositions concerning the Circumstances.

In the strength of this confidence, therefore, I adventure to acquaint you moreover with my conjecture concerning the TIME, when [Page 63] Stone-heng was first set up: which I take to be in the beginning of the reign of that Excellent Prince, Alfred, or Alured; who as he was the first annointed King of this Island, so was he the first Learned King, and most munificent Patron to Scholars, that ever swaied the Scepter of Britain. For, all our Chronicles agreeingly deliver, that He was scarcely seated in his throne, when there came over greater swarms of Danes, than ever before, to infest his dominions; and that after many unfortunate battails with them, he was reduced to that extremity, that leaving his large Monarchy to the rage and rapine of those insulting Pagans, he fled for safety of his life into the Marishes of Sommer­setshire, where for two years he lay concealed in a poor disguise, su­steining himself by fishing and fowling. Among other adventures that befell this glorious person in this dark Eclipse, it is not unworthy re­membrance, that on a time as he was sitting in the chimney corner in the cottage of a Cow-heard (who had entertained him into his ser­vice) and busied in trimming his bow and arrows; a Cake of dough lying to be baked on the hearth before him, chanced to be burned; which the goodwife imputing to his neglect, in great fury cast away his bow and arrows, and sharply checking him, said; Thoufellow, dost thou see the bread burn before thy face, and wilt not turn it? and yet thou art glad to eat it, be sore it be half baked. Shortly after this, lear­ning policy from adversity, and deriving courage from necessity; he ventured, in the habit of a common Minstrel, to enter into the Danes Camp (in Wiltshire, and probably not far from the place, where Stone-heng stands) and having viewed the manner of their encamping, and ob­served their security, he returned back to several of his Lords retreated into the Island called Edlingsey, invironed with two Rivers, Thane and Parret, in Somersetshire, and acquainting them in how careless and open a posture he found the Enemy; recollected the scatter'd remains of his forces, and with these surprising the Danes, and putting them first into a panick terror, and then to flight, gave them so con­siderable a defeat, that they immediately submitted to a Treaty, and deliver'd Hostages for performance of conditions.

Now, considering the extreme low ebb of Fortune, to which this excellent King was at that time brought; and the high flood of pros­perity that in the mean while had advanced the Danes over all parts of his Dominions, insomuch that nothing seemed wanting to complete their conquest, but only to find out the few Defendants who remained in obscurity; and withall reflecting upon the former mentioned Cu­stome [Page 64] of that: ambitious and martial Nation, to erect Courts Royal of huge stones, according to the manner described, for the Election of their Kings, in all Countries, where the happy success of their Armes had given them a title to Soveraignty: I am apt to believe, that ha­ving then over-run the whole Kingdom, except only Somersetshire, and encamping their main Army in Wiltshire, for neer upon two years together; and setting up their rest in a confidence to perpetuate their newly acquired power; they imployed themselves, during that time of leasure and jollity, in erecting Stone-heng, as a place wherein to e­lect and inaugurate their supreme Commander, King of England: the weakness of the distressed Alfred affording them a fit opportu­nity, and that country yielding them fit materials for so great and stu­pedious a work. Nor is it improbable, that the great supinity and dis­order, in which the Royal Spie found them, when the magique of his Fiddle had charmed them into an imperception of the majesty of his person, and procured him a free welcome into their Camp; might be occasioned by the jubile they celebrated, after they had finished that laborious task, and therein newly crowned their King, after a trium­phal manner, such as at once corresponded with the fashion of their Ancestors, and expressed the profuseness of their publick joy. For ma­ny of our Historians relate, that the Danish Army was at that time let loose to luxury and revelling; and that the unknown Musician was brought to play before their King, Gormund, in his tent, during a long and magnificent feast. But, perhaps, I may be thought too bold, in da­ring, from such slender passages and circumstantial hints, thus precise­ly to guess at the Age of this Antiquity; concerning whose Original neither History, nor Tradition hath left any glimpse of light, whereby the inquisitive might be guided through the darksome vale of Uncer­tainty, to the delightfull mansion of Truth. Leaving every man, there­fore, to the liberty of his own thoughts, touching this particular, as al­so whatever else hath been said of the Monument it self, and its ori­ginal Designation; I here put a period to this Discourse, wherein though I have adventured to contend with Oblivion; I had no design to usurp upon the Judgment of others.


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