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The gods of India convened on Mount Cailás, by Rudra or Mahádéva, the power of destruction ; their numbers, characters, attributes, and attendants. The goddess Gangá announces the views and voyage of the Tyrian hero ; expresses her apprehensions of his ultimate success, but advises the most vehement opposition to him; declaring, that his victory will prove the origin of a wonderful nation, who will possess themselves of her banks, profane her waters, mock the temples of the Indian divinities, appropriate the wealth of their adorers, introduce new laws, a new religion, a new governinent, insult the Bráhmens, and disregard the sacred ordinances of Brihmá. After a solemn debate, it is agreed to exert all their powers, ,and to begin with obstructing the passage of the Phænician fleet into the Atlantic, hy hurling a vast mountain into the straits; they proceed'immediately to a variety of hostile machinations.
The narrative of Britan continued, with a description of the Grecian islands, of the Italian and Gallic shores, and closed with an account of the tempest that compelled him to land on the coast of Iberia. The king of Lusitania, foreseeing the future greatness of the prince, secretly envies him, but promises friendly aid in private, assigning reasons for his inability to give open succour. Britan departs, and proceeds toward Gaul, in order to view the channel and beautiful isle, that were destined to perpetuate his name.
The hero, still disguised, and attended by his tutelary genius, travels to the coast of Gaul ; learns that the king of that country, Gallus, invited by an embassy from Iberia, and instigated by
the Hindu god of battles, had resolved to concur'in extirpating the Phænicians; and is apprised, that the Tartessians had actually assailed the works which his army had raised. On this, he returns with incredible celerity; while the benignant genii or spirits, permitted to attend on favoured mortals, hold a splendid convention in the Empyrean.
War is begun in form, and various actions of heroes are related ; the Indian gods intermix in fight, and are opposed by the guardian spirits. Tartessus taken by storm : in a council of Tyrian chiefs, it is proposed by Lelex, to leave the coast victorious, and sail instantly to Albion ; but the impracticability of that plan is evinced by a messenger, who announces the sudden obstruction of the ships. Britan then proposes, as a measure distressful but necessary, to pursue their course with vigour through Iberia and Gaul; that, if conquered, they might perish gloriously; if conquerors, might seize the hostile galleys, and in them pass the channel. The proposal is received with bursts of applause, and the Phænician troops are drawn out in complete array.
Various exploits and events in battle. The actions of Indra, god of air, with his seven evil genii ; of Rama, Belabadra, Nared, and Cartic. The 'Tyrians, in deep distress, apply to Lusus, who assists them coldly. The Celts are every-where successful; and the Gallic fleet covers the bay.
The guardian spirit prepares the nymph Albione for prosperous events; encourages Britan, but announces imminent perils ; then leaves him on pretence of, assisting at certain Druidical rites. A terrible combat in the air, and at the straits, between the opposing gods and the tutelary angels; the mountain is rent from the mouth of the straits, and becomes a floating island, which, being fixed, has the name of Madera, and is given to Lusus. The Phænician fleet having been with difficulty preserved from the Agnyastra, or fiery darts of Mahésą, sails triumphantly into the Atlantic, after a surprising retreat of the army under the conduct of Britan.
BOOK viii. The Druid returns with a relation of oracular answers in the Celtic temples, concerning the destiny of Albion, and the Atlantides, or New World: the future American war and the defence of Gibraltar by different names, are obscurely shadowed in the prediction. An obstinate naval fight; in which, Britan is wounded by an arrow of fire, but protected and carried from the fleet by his attendant angel.
The genius transports Britan to the isle of Albion ; which is described by its mountains, vales, and rivers ; then uninhabited, except by nymphs and beings of a superior order. The palace and gardens of Albione ; who completes the cure of her lover, and acquiesces in his return to the army; having first, at his request, told her own adventures, and related the separation of her island from the coast of Gaul.
The Gallic army arrayed: the actions of their chiefs. A variety of distress involves the Tyrians by sea and land; they are driven to their works, and enclosed on both sides ; until their prince appearing suddenly among them, rouses their courage, and performs the most heroic achievements, by which the scale of success is com
pletely pletely turned. This book contains a number of events and episodes ; among them is the death and funeral of MelcART, the Tyrian Hercules.
The Indian deities invite those of Tyre and Syria to co-operate with them ; prophesying darkly the invasion of their empire by the Croisaders ; they excuse themselves, equally averse to the Gauls and to all the nations of Europe. A final conflict; and a complete victory in every element by the Phænicians over Gallus and Iberus, and by the protecting, over the malignant spirits. The victors land in Albion, since called Britain, on the coast of Hama, now Hampshire ; a description of the triumph, entertainments, and sports.
The nuptials of Britan and Albione, or, allegorically, of Royalty and Liberty united in the constitution of England. The attending Druid, appearing in his own form and in all his splendour, predicts the glories of the country, and its disasters; but animates, rather than alarms, the hero and nymph, whom he consoles, whenever he afflicts them; he recommends the government of the Indians by their own laws. He then flies, his object being attained, to the celestial regions; they apply themselves to the regulation of their domain and the happiness of their subjects.
The discovery of the British Isles by the Tyrians, is mentioned by Strabo, Diodorus, and Pliny; and proved as well by the Phænician monuments found in IRELAND, as by the affinity between the Irish and Punic languages. Newton places this event about the Eight-hundred-eighty-third year before Christ, and in the twenty-first after the taking of Troy.
Genius, or Spirit, or tutelary Power
What Chief, what Sage, what Hero, train'd by thee
Now were his light-oar'd galleys tempest-tost