Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

LETTER XV.

Observations on the Welsh language, poetry, music, bards and

minstrels-Congress termed Eisteddfod-One lately held at Caere
wys-Superstitions-Divination-Witchcraft-Fairies--Ghosts
- Plygan, or cock-crowing-Horse's head--Divining rod ---Cone

secrated water-Reflections on the origin and nature of supersti.

tion--Not so injurious to man as infidelity-Religious turn of the

generality of the Welsh-Dissenters increase by the inattention of

some of the clergy themselves-Refutation of the idle notion of

Jumpers being a sect-Author's plea for a tolerant spirit towards

persons differing from us in religious points—That it is his opinion

in the issue, by the protecting power of Him who bringeth good

out of evil, that even divisions will appear useful, and that

truth will eventually triumph over error--Compliment to the

devout spirit and resignation of the Welsh. ...,

..388

1

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

No apology is necessary for addressing you upon a subject that mutually interested us both at an early period of our lives : the romantic scenery, rare productions, and peculiar manners of a country which for ages was the asylum of Religion and Liberty, and for a series of years hurled defiance at the ambitious usurpation of the English Monarchy, and checked the tyrannical oppression of its votaries. The estimates, my Friend, of human existence, and human power, are generally made upon imaginary data. Few consider that thought is an energy of the mind, while action is only an effort of the body. The multiplicity of plans that are formed without being realized, convince ys it is easier to project than to execute; and while taglemonstrates the very limited power

it furnishes an unanswerable argument for the Immortality of the Soul.

- The scheme we had long in view of traversing these scenes together, from circumstances well known to you, was frustrated ; and the alternative was left

B.

of man,

to me to undertake the journey without the valuable company of so intelligent a Friend, or to give up those expectations which had been raised to a higher pitch by the recurrence of disappointment.

In the Summer of 1798, accompanied by persons calculated to give assistance to inquiry, and stimulus to research, I entered on a journey, that promised to open new sources of information and delight; and it is with conscious pleasure I am able to say, that my most sanguine hopes were realized. Į experienced pleasures, the recollection of which will tend to sweeten many an otherwise irksome hour, and made reflections on men and manners still more essentially useful in a maral and religious view, Rom flections which I hope will make me more humble in myself liberal towards others, and grateful to him who is the Author of every distinction, and every good in society,

Early in the month of June we arrived at the ancient town of Shrewsbury, which is too well known for a description of it to be interesting. Leaving the Oswestry road on our right, we directed our course westward, and took the road for Poole.

The first place that claimed our attention, was a small village near the Severn, named Buttington, over which is an ald bridge, remarkable for having been the place where the English obtained a decisive victory over the Danes, under their leader Hesten, A. D. 894. After having over-run great part of England, they were surrounded here by the Generals of the brave Alfred, who so closely block,

aded the Pagans, that they were obliged to feed upon their own horses. · At length reduced to despair by famine, attemping to cut their way through the Saxon Army, a terrible slaughter ensued, and scarcely sufficient were left alive to inform their countrymen of the disaster. By the road side grows in abundance, the ARTEMISIA ABSINTHIUM. It is used by the country people instead of hops, and has the peculiar property of destroying acescency in beer, grown hard for want of them. A property mentioned by Dr. Stokes, renders this á valuable plant. The leaves steeped in boiling water, and repeatedly applied to a recent bruise, remove the pain, and prevent the swelling and discoloration of the part. We reached Poole abont eight o'clock in the evening, and were pleased to find, though we had quitted England, we had not bade adieu to the comforts and civility for which its inns are famed. At the Royal Oak the accommodations are good, and the charges moderate. We sat down to a pleasing repast, well served up, and for the first time met with a fish called a Salmon Mort,* somewhat like a Salmon Trout, good eating, and in great plenty through most parts of North Wales. When at an inn I generally bespeak civility from the attendants, by taking an early opportunity of paying them a compliment. The waiter could searcely speak English. I observed that he was a

# This is a young salmon in its 3d year of growth; the 1st year they are called smelts; the 2d, sprods; the 3d, morts; the 4th, fork tails; the 5th, half fish; and the 6th, are dignified with the dame of salmon,

« AnteriorContinuar »