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to this day. Whenever they speak of an Englishman, whom they still call Sacs or Saxon, they always join some opprobrious epithet.
. It is not certain at what time the Britons were first called by the name of Wellh, nor from whence the word has its derivation. Some historians say that Wallia comes from Italia, as the Britons were descendants of Eneas. Others, that Well come from Gaulish, as they were descended from the Gauls. Nothing is more uncertain than etymological learning; espea cially if we have no other foundation than similarity of sound. It is the disgrace of science. I shall not risk even a conjecture upon the subject. From whatever origin the word Wellh may be derived, it is not unreasonable to suppose it to be a term of reproach, fixed on them by the Saxons, as they ne. ver call theinselves by that name, but always Cymry. Some likewise are weak enough to derive the word Cymry from Cimbri, imagining that they originally descended from that peo. ple. All these derivations I look upon as vague and groundless conjectures. I chuse to avoid adopting any such ; for in my opinion the names of different nations are generally more owing to casual events, than they are descriptive of either their defçent or conntry.'
The following account of the inhabitants of North Wales is entertaining. The character of the ancient inhabitants.of this country, is given us in very unfavorable terms, by many historians. The English in those times were almost always in a state of war with this people, and were biassed by their interest and passions to represent them in the most odious colours. Gie raldus Cambrensis, whose connections and descent might have prejudiced him in favour of this country, failed not to pay court to Henry II. by traducing the Welsh. What is still more extraordinary, the accurate and ingenious lord Lyttleton, has implicitly adopted the character given of them by the false and infamous Giraldus. They are represented by these hifto. rians, as having no kind idea of chastity. Promiscuous concubinage, they say, was in a manner allowed, and no stigma fixed upon it. If my lord Lyttleton had consulted Howel Dha's code, he would there have seen how highly they disapproved of even the appearances of an unlawful commerce between the sexes. I fall transcribe only one passage, which fully proves what I have said. “ Si fæmina convicta fierie criminis turpis cum alieno viro patrati, nempe osculationis, vel contractationis, vel adulterii, viro suo licet illam repudiare, et illa omiitet dotem integram fibi primitus a viro suo alignatam, fi tantum exofculata fuerit, fi a cæteris abfit.” By the same laws, if a man betrothed a woman, who did not prove
to be a virgin, he was at liberty to repudiate her. Thus we see how cautiously the Welsh laws guarded the morals of the women, and how unjustly they were accused by Giraldus, and those that have asserted the faine on his authority. The manners of every uncivilized nation are in some degree similar, Sixteen hundred years ago, the inhabitants of Wales were nearly in the same state of civilization, as the American savages are at this day. We are told of Jofeph of Arimathea's coming to Britain to plant the gospel. This depends upon the authority of the monkish historians, who scarce contain a word of truth or probability. But it is allowed that fome kind of Christianity was planted very early in Britain, before the coming of the Saxons. Long after the Saxons came over they continued Pagans; whilst the Britons, according to thefe historians, enjoyed the light of the gospel. Before these Britons were converted to Christianity, one would think it was necessary to convert them from favages to men. From the accounts that I have read, by their converfion to Christianity, no more is meant than their being baptised, without so much as the imparting of any kind of faith or knowledge. This is precisely the case with the modern missionaries, who send accounts of the conversion of thousands, who have only been ceremoniously baptised, without Christian instruction.
• In the time of Henry II. the inhabitants of Wales were so deplorably dark, that they could not with the least propriety be called Christians, and many of them even professed Pagans. The Don Quixot archbishop, with his Sancho Pancha, Giraldus, went upon an expedition to convert these heathens.
The archbishop preached to the poor Welsh in Latin, they were baptised, kissed the cross, and so the mission ended, to their no small edification.
• So late as the reign of Elizabeth, if we may believe Penry, there were but two or three that could preach in the whole principality of Wales. Some of late years have greatly promoted the cause of religion, by the translation of pious books into that language, and distributing them among the poor. There is still great room for improvement, as they are not only in want, but defirous of religious knowledge.'
• In former times, the inhabitants of Wales were described to be a nation of soldiers. Every man being obliged to take up arms, in times of distress. Thus, though a small country, they could bring large armies to the field. They used very light armour, as they carried on the war by incursions, and forced marches ; and conquered their enemies rather by surprise, than strength or courage.
• They had only a small target to defend their breaft, and ufed the javelin as a weapon of offence. Thus armed, and thus defended, they were no way equal to the English in a pitched battle, who fought with heavy armour, helinets and targets, and armed at all points.
They always fought on foot. Like all undisciplined foldiers, they made one furious onset, which if resisted, they were immediately put in confusion, and could not be rallied. They fled to the mountains, where they waited for another opportunity to fall upon their enemies.
They despised trade and mechanical arts, as they in gene. ral do to this day. Though they had no money among them, yet there were no beggars in the country, for they were all poor. They are described to have been impetuous in their disposition, fickle, revengeful, and bloody. But let it be remembered, that this character is given them by their ene. mies.
· Their superstition was excessive. They paid the greatest veneration to their prielts, and looked upon them and their habitations as facred.'
Having described his journey from Cherer to Denbigh, our writer proceeds on his tour to Carnarvon, over the stupendous rocks of Penmaenmawr, The account he gives of the ceremonies attending the marriages of the Well affords entertainment.
• The bridegroom on the morning of the wedding, accompanied with a troop of his friends, as well equipped as the country will allow, comes and demands the bride. Her friends, who are likewise well mounted on their merlins, give a positive refusal to their demands, whereupon a mock scuffle ensues between the parties. The bride is mounted on one of the best steeds, behind her next kiosman, who rides away with her in full career. The bridegroom and his friends, pursue them with loud thouts. It is not uncommon to fee, on such an occasion, two or three hundred of these merlins, mounted by sturdy Cambro Britons, riding with full speed, crossing and joftling each other, to the no small amusement of the spectators. When they have pretty well fatigued themselves and their horses, the bridegroom is permitted to overtake his bride. He leads her away in triumph, as the Romans did the Sabine nymphs. They all return in amity, and the whole is concluded with festivity and mirth,
• Let us now view the woinen, in the very essential characters of wives and mothers. You would naturally suppose, that a young woman who had, without fear or restraint, enjoyed an alınost unbounded liberty in a single state, would not be R 3
easily debarred from enjoying the same in the married. But the case is the very reverse. Infidelity to the bed of Hymen, is scarce ever known or heard of in this country. Adultery is a weed that grows in the rank foil of a court, fostered by luxury and vanity.
Mankind form an untrue judginent from external appear. ances; those are esteemed virtuous, who have had their education in a boarding-school or nunnery. Persuaded I am, the case is quite different. The greater number of shackles with which we fetter human nature, the more she strives to gain her native freedom. Forbidden pleasures are coveted, whilst those within our reach are neglected. The various methods of confinement in foreign countries, makes their taste for illicit pleasures more poignant, and incites them to run risks for their gratification. When you indulge them in the power, you in fome degree take away the temptation to vice.
? In the character of wives, the women of this country are laboricus, industrious, and chaste. In that of mothers, they nurture their robust offspring, not in sloth and ina&tivity, but enure them early to undergo hardihips and fatigues.
Let the fair daughters of indolence and ease, contemplate the characters of these patterns of industry, who are happily unacquainted with the gay follies of life. Who enjoy health without medicine, and happiness without affluence. Equally remote from the grandeur and the miseries of life, they participate of the sweet blellings of content, under the homely dwelling of a straw-built cottage.
The following reinarks, if just, demonßrate all our writers to have mistaken the natural disposition of the Welsh, which has always been considered as fiery, hot, and passionate. ! I will not fay the 'squires in Wales, differ materially from those of the same rank in England, except that they are more devoted to the jolly god. For like the Thracians of old, when a stranger comes among them, they will do him the honors of the house, by obliging him to drink intemperately ; and will at least expect him to make a compliment of his reason, in return for their hospitality. They have, however, some good qualities, in a greater degree than the English. They keep better houses, employ a greater number of poor, are less ava. ritious, and far more charitable.
The clergy are in general the only people that have any knowledge of letters; to qualify them for orders, they have the advantage of a good school-education; and spend a confiderable time at the university. It is the general, and I believe well founded, complaint of the country, that they return from thence very little improved, in their morals or learning. A
certain air of pedantry, accompanied with vain assurance, and the acquisition of some fashionable vices, are too often the only means of distinguishing such as have had an university education.
• An academy, under proper regulations, in the country, would, I think, be a more suitable place for instructing youth for the church. It would be attended with less expence, and greater care might be taken of their morals and religion, the principal object.
. Most of the clergy have two or three churches each to serve, and consequently it is imposible the duty should be properly discharged. Evening prayers are feldom read, and in many places they scarce ever preach. The benefices are for the most part of pretty considerable value, being a decent maintenance for a clergyman. Except in a few towns, and on the borders of England, the service of their churches is performed altogether in the Welsh or old British tongue.
• The yeomanry and peasants are very civil and obliging in their behaviour. They have not the ferocious disposition, which characterises the English, flowing from that fpirit of liberty and independence, which animates the soul of an Englishman. They are shrewd and actful in their dealings. They have an inveterate rooted antipathy to all foreigners, especially English and Irish. If a stranger is so unfortunate as to go and live amongst them, they look upon him with a jealous eye, as one who comes with an intent to deprive them of their subsistence.
• The manner of living of the lower class of people, is ex. tremely poor. The chief of their subsistence being barley and oat bread. They scarce ever eat Aesh, or drink any thing but milk. They are not of that passionate and choleric temper as the English describe them, but flow, deliberate, and wary in their speech and conduct, and submissive in their difpofition. I know not whether to attribute it to their manner of life, or to the great power the 'squires exercise over them. Certain it is, that the people of this country in general, have no greater idea of English liberty than the peasants of France."
Our readers will be pleased with the following remarks on the manners and language of the people round Merionydd,
• They are more purely Britith than those of any other part of · Wales. Like the clans of Scotland, or Hebrew tribes, they
scarce ever intermarry, except with those of their own lineage, Through the whole county, they are all cousins, all of the same Welsh plood, and most of them of the same names,
• If you would ask them, how they spend their lives in this part of the world; they have it in their power to answer you