(notes by Donald Mackenzie
and Philip Holberton)
'I will send you Geoffrey of Monmouth where is a lot of names-might prove useful-rum names, Sir, as ever was. He's a author as has been down in the market but is looking up now, and though his style is pomptious, being wrote in Latin he didn't understand, scholars is beginning to depend on him a good deal, as having got his stories out of old books, and not making them up himself as was for a long time supposed.[Verse 2, line 5] New Troy Town According to Geoffrey of Monmouth (ch. xvii,) Brutus built his capital on the Thames and called it Troia Nova, New Troy. In the time of Julius Caesar it was rebuilt by King Lud, and renamed Lud’s Town which became corrupted into London.
In the same humble volume is the writings of a cross old cove as ever lived, named Gildas, who didn't approve of the way people went on. Nennius, Sir, in the same volume is very skimpy but said to be all right as far as he goes.' (Quoted in Carrington (1955 1st edition), pp. 376-77.)
A faint tinge of Christianity has been given to them [the Midsummer fires] by naming Midsummer Day after St. John the Baptist, but we cannot doubt that the celebration dates from a time long before the beginning of our era.