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įn a few words ; we drink, dance, and are merry. Indeed, I do not know a people so much addicted to mirth. The com. plexion of their country, one would imagine, could not in. {pire such fentiments of festivity and joy. They sing, dance, and drink, not by hours, but by days and weeks; and measure time only by thę continuance of their mirth and pleasure. .

• The men estimate their strength not by feats of activity, as in other places, but by the quantities of ale they can dripk; and, I am told, it is no uncommon thing for a lover to boast to his mistress, what feats he has performed in this way. Such is the mark of prowess, by which the women judge of their paramour's vigor and strength of constitution. . From hence we may conclude that Bacchus does more execution in this country, than Mais does in Germany. Such, whose happy-poverty preclude them from procuring those liquors, which are the destruction of the more opulent, live to an advanced age. Whilft most of the gentry and squires, are carried off in their youth ; thus the heir does not long wait for the pofleflion of his estate, por does he long enjoy it. Thịs vice is hereditary in families, and descends from father to son, . *

i . Uno avulso non deficit aller

et fimili frondescie virga metallo. « The fescennine licence, is here enjoyed in its most unbound, ed extent. In conversation they take the utmost freedom and liberty with each other, which is generally borne in good part. They are always endeavouring to frame rustic jokes, not always the most delicate. Happy does he esteem himself, who comes off conqueror in this certamen of rustic wit.

! Unembarrassed with the pedantry of learning, and the disgusting forms of politeness, the good people of Merionydd are free, hospitable, and chearful. Let them enjoy their mirth unrivalled, undisturbed by foreigners, in security and ease. Tbey always will remain unenvied in the participation of that happiness, whịch none but a native of that country can feel.

! The Welsh language is here spoken with the greatest clar. fical purity. Here they boast of their Wellh bards, who are poets by nature. These bards are idle fellows, who subsist on the bounty of the Welsh gentry. They, and their alliesmen the harpers, who form a very numerous corps, are generally invited to entertain the company at their feasts, which is done by buffoc nery and illiberal abusive extempore rhyme. Sometimes a bard comes to the door, and demands admittance in

rhymne ; rhyme; he is answered by the bard within, in rhyme likewise; if the stranger, in the opinion of the company, gains the victory in this poetical contest; he is admitted to partake of the fealt, while the vanquished bard is turned out to the former's uncomfortable situation.

• Somewhat similar to this was the great feast which was made in South-Wales, where bards from various parts were invited to a poetical combat, and where it is said the NorthWales poets gained the victory.

« This vagabond poetical tribe, wese formerly a great nui fance in this country, and we find divers acts of parliament and regulations made to suppress them. It is said that Ed. ward I. cruelly destroyed them, it may be doubted whether it was not the greatest benefit he could do to the country. In Henry IV this time it was enacted, that, “ No westours, ry- 1 mours, minstrels, or other vagabonds, should go about pur faire Kymortha ou coilage.” The learned author of the ob- . fervations on the antient statutes, has mistaken the meaning of the word Kymortha, or rather Cymortha (the C in Welsh having the found of the English K) it fignifying a charitable aid or support. This is the signification it has in the act of ! 26 Henry VIII. where it is enacted, that " No one, without licence of the commillioners, Mall Kymortha under colour of marrying, singing first masses, &c." " TOT 19 --- --

Unacquainted with the Welsh language, we cannot decide upon the propriety of our author's encomiums upon it, As this people have made no very considerable progress in . a state of civilization, we might naturally be induced to think that their language is barbarous and uncultivated; but the contrary is true. It is not clogged with those many inhar- ;'* monious monosyllables, the signs of moods, tenses, and cases, as the English language. It is much more harmonious and expressive in its numbers and formation; one word in Welsh frequently expressing as much as a sentence in the English ; of which a late ingenious writer has given abundant Specimens.

? Though this is the language of a people, who inhabit a small barren spot of earth, scarce known in the world ; unimproved in the arts of life, entirely neglected and uncultivated ; ; and not spoken, except by such who willingly forfeit every claim to politeness ; yet its variety, copiousness, and even harmony, is to be equalled by few, perhaps excelled by none.

• But our wonder ceases, when we consider that it is not solely the language of a people confined in a little corner of this island. It is the language of populous and even civilized nations, the antient Celts. Hence its variety and its


harmony. It is the language of a brave people. Hence those founds that rouse the soul to action. Animated by these, they despised danger and death for their country.

Thus some account for the policy of Edward I. who in order to enllave the people, thought it a necessary previous step to destroy the bards, who cultivated their language and poetry,

*This language seems to be more particularly adapted for poetry; which, however extraordinary it may seem to some, on account of the multiplicity of gutturals and consonants with which it abounds, has the softness and harmony of the Italian, with the majesty and expression of the Greek. In the formation of its poetical numbers, it differs from all modern languages. Every line confists of a certain regular number of feet, like other languages; but herein it differs, that it has a certain kind of rhyme *, jingle, or alliteration, not that ter. minates the line, but runs through every part of it.

• The poets, or such as pretend to be such, arrogate to them. felves a most unwarrantable poetical licence of coining words, for the sake of found ; and this they will feldom scruple to do, whenever they want a word for rhyme. Hence the greatest part of their poetry, is nothing more than melodious nonsense, a perfe&t jargon of harmonious sounds. And when translated, karce reducible to common sense. This unbounded poetical licence, though generally, yet, is not universally adopted. For there are not wanting many poets, who feldom claim this wnwarrantable prerogative of coining words ad libitum.

It would trespafs too far upon the plan of our work to quote the entertaining abstract our writer has given of the Welsh history in the two last letters, We therefore refer to the work itself; affuring the reader, that his time will not be milfpent in the perusal.

* Giraldus Cambrensis, to sew the nature of Welsh poetry, quotes the following pentameter,

Fa&us es O pulcher pæne puella puer. The following Latin hexameter of Cicero, with the transition by Dryden, may with as much propriety be adduced to the fame purpose,

O fortunatam nalam me consule Romam.
Fortune, fortuned the dying note of Rome,
*Till I her consul's soul contoled her doom.'

II. A Candid Enquiry into ibe Present Ruined State of the French

Monarchy. With Remarks on the lare defporick Reduction of obe Interest of the National Debt of France. 8vo. Pr. 25. 6d. Almon,

THIS publication cannot fail to receive the approbation of

every one whose interest depends upon the continuance of peace between the British and French nations. It is written with perspicuity and elegance, and apparently with a profound knowledge of the subject it discusses. Were we to give intire credit to all the author's assertions with respect to the poverty and indigence of the French nation and its government, we might safely predict the commencement of hostilities by that nation against England or any other great power, to be a period reserved for a future age; but as we cannot help doubting the authority of some of those affertions, and as others are of such a nature that we can only have the author's bare word, we Mall not venture to deal in prophecy, but proceed to give our readers some extracts, which will not be unworthy their notice. After an introduction to the subject we are presented with the following character of Lewis XIV.

• Louis XIV. of France was the last fovereign in Europe, who alarmed the other princes in it with the danger of universal monarchy. Born at a time when all the neighbouring courts were sunk into a state of fupineness and inactivity, favourable to the projects of a young ambitious monarch, he did not fail to take the advantage of it, and indulge the fondnels he received from nature, of displaying his power, and acting the tyrant.

.. His ambition was indeed well supported by the abilities of his minifters, and the talents of his generals ; but after mak. ing, for more than half a century, such efforts in war, and such profuse expences in peace, as none of his predecessors had ever attempted, he lost, in the decline of life, that bril. liant reputation of a great sovereign, with which, in the me. ridian of his reign, he had imposed upon and over-awed all Europe ; and he descended to his grave, not with the character of a great or wise prince, but of the best actor of majesty that ever sat upon a throne.

"The wise administrations of Richlieu and Mazarine, the decline of the power of Spain, and many other causes, con. spired together to give him a power and superiority, with which he long insulted all his neighbours.

' By nature turbulent, haughty, and insolent, he at last becaine as odious to all Europe, as he ought to have been

deteft. deteftable to his own people, for the wanton, profuse manner in which he trifled away their blood and their treasure.

.. But from the splendor of his court, the magnificence of his buildings, the encouragement of arts, and by all the exterior pomp and appearance of glory and superior greatness, the people, through their national vanity, were se intoxicated, and the delufion amongst them was so general, till the last years of his reign, that, even amongst the lober thinking men, very few of them, I believe, saw halt the fatal confequences that would, in time, attend a reign of more than fifty years of the most absurd profusion, and ridiculous fplendor, that the western nations had ever been witness to.

· Louis XIV. of France, like Philip II. of Spain, left his fucceflor a ruined nation. He left him, what was worfe, his example and his principles of government, founded in ambition, in pride, in oftentation, and all the ridiculous shew and pageantry of state.?

The author is no less severe in drawing the character of the regent during the minority of the succeeding inonarch.

• The regent of France, during the minority of the present king, by nature giddy, bold, and intrepid, ignorant of the distresses to which the nation, by the expensive war for the Spanih fucceflion, was reduced, and hurried on by ambition to act the part of a sovereign, attempted, a few years after the tranquility of Europe was settled by the peace of Utrecht, to tear that crown from the brows of a prince of Bourbon, settled on the throne of Spain, which Louis XIV, had exhausted the very vitals of his country to place there. The regent still did worfe. Uninformed of, and a stranger to the wise principles of a modern statesman, he gave public credit many fatal wounds, which still 'are bleeding; and wantonly committed as many mistakes and frolicks with the finances of the nation, and the privare fortunes of the people, as could well be prefid into io short an administration ; for he ex. pired, according to the anecdotes I have heard, in a rapture of pleasure, in the arms of his mistress, in the year 1722,

Ő The conduct of the regent, during the inemorable trans. actions of the Missisippi scheme, will ever reinain a monument of his folly, injustice, and ambition. The wounds he then gave to the credit of France, were bitterly felt during the late war. They are still felt, and will continue to be so, whilst all the vices of the present form of government continue to fubfist in the nation,

The conduct of his present majesty, Louis XV. is represented as having been equally fatal to his country with that of his successors.


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