Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/29

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9
THE SPEECHLESS PAST

sheep and weave woollen garments, they reckoned their time by months, determined by various phases of the moon, and they spoke a distinct language, which exists to-day in remote parts of our island home.

They soon opened up trade with Phœnicians and Greeks from the south of France, and the first record of commerce, about the fourth century B.C., marks an interesting development in the social condition of our early ancestors. The Greek mathematician who conducted one of the earliest of these expeditions from Marseilles most probably introduced the first coined money to these islands. And one may suppose that the little ships that so bravely made their way across the unknown and then desolate waters of the English Channel returned to their moorings with tin from the Cornish mines, superseded later by iron ore from the British hills.

Attracted probably by this commerce—certainly not by climate—tribe after tribe of Celtic origin made its way to the British Islands, the land of "cloud and rain," until scattered traces alone remained of the old Iberian, and under the name of the ancient Briton, the men of the Bronze Age had it all their own way.