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But there is evidence, and that of the strongest kind, everywhere exhibited, of the extremely rapid and powerful destroying action of the sea, which here exercises its influence under peculiarly favourable circumstances.

Nowhere on our shores is the tidal wave so powerful, nowhere are the storm waves so frequent; nowhere is there a coast consisting of material in which so much rock of extreme hardness is penetrated so thoroughly with veins of softer material. The very hardness of the granite, where it is hard, produces an unusual destruction of the softer veins; for, as already explained, every fragment removed becomes a hammer, helping to undermine what is left. Whenever one hard mass is thrown down and broken up another is soon attacked, and thus a perpetual and rapid destruction is caused, increasing constantly in area, and not diminishing in intensity.

It must not hence be concluded that there is no evidence of other disturbance than marine action in these islands. No doubt both the raised beaches and depressed peat beds point clearly to local disturbances of elevation, amounting certainly to as much as thirty feet in both directions. That these have been very partial, and that the raised beaches are among the most modern of the two, is however more than probable; while it is certain that neither of them are traceably connected with larger subsidences, such as are assumed by those who explain the separation of the islands from France, and from each other, in this way.


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NOTWITHSTANDING their smallness, islands may be invested with notable and definite characteristics. They may exhibit much which is peculiar. They may be the exponents of as decided a nationality as is to be found in a great kingdom. Nevertheless, as far as their influence on the world at large is concerned, islands of the third or fourth magnitude are of an essentially subordinate character.

Yet it does not follow from this that they are below notice. On the contrary, not to mention the interest with which they are invested in the eyes of the natives themselves, they are often illustrative of important details which are better studied on a small scale than a large one. This is especially the case when they are connected with archæological enquiries, and it is the case when there is any notable contrast between the geographical or ethnological relations of a given district and its political ones.

That both these conditions meet in the history of the Channel Islands, is clear. In the full face of all the contrasts, real or supposed, which exist between England and France, the Channel Islands are attached to the latter country in language, to the former in their political history. That they are Norman rather than French, in the stricter and more definite meaning of the term, is true; but, in ordinary language, what is Normandy but

France? What was it but French eight hundred years ago; and what is it likely to be but French till the end of time? What constitutes a Norman? To some extent, he is an ancient Gaul; to some extent, an ancient Roman; and, to some extent, a Scandinavian; but the fact of his being this is a fact of a very general and indefinite kind.

What is a Norman? Those who care to enquire thus far, are, for the most part, ready to enquire further; and, for further enquiry, even on the soil of Normandy itself, there is ample room. If much have been done within the present generation by able national investigators, much to be done remains. Except in the direction of Scandinavia, little research has been expended. That traces of the old Northmen, which were once obscure, have now become clear and patent; that institutions, long deemed Roman, may be Scandinavian; that, in blood and language, there are many more foreign elements than were originally recognised, are the results of much well-applied learning and acumen. But no approximation to the proportion that these foreign elements bear to the remainder has been obtained; neither has the analysis of them gone much beyond the discovery of those which are referred to Scandinavia.

Of the tribes on the mainland, those which, in the time of Cæsar and in the first four centuries of our era, have the best claim to be considered as the remote ancestors of the earliest occupants of the islanders, are the Curiosolites, the Rhedones, the Osismii, the Lemovices, the Veneti, and the Unelli; all mentioned by Cæsar himself as well as by other writers who came after him. A little later appear the names of the Abrincatui and the Bajucasses. All these are referable to some part of either Normandy or Britany, and all seem to have been populations allied to each other in habits and politics. They all belonged to the tract which bore the name of Armorica, a word which, in the Keltic, means the same as Pomerania in Slavonic; i.e., the country along the sea-side,

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