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essential to our manufactures, but to place their: in their proper subordinate rank, and to say, that mining should never meet with pointed encou. ragement till the agriculture of a country is in an Improved and respectable condition.

Your's, &c.

J. E.

LETTER X).

DEAR SIR,
I

MUST not forget the language of the country, nor the enthusiastic rage for poetry and music ; nor must I pass, with common and regard less eye, their bards and minstrels.

The Welsh language lays claim to high antiquity, as being a branch of the Jaspian, or that dialect of the Hebrew spoken by the posterity of Japhet; it is evidently like the old Gallic, of Celtic origio.* Both in its formation as well as grammatical con+ struction, it bears a near resemblance to the He+ brew; and its affinity is further traced by the learned Rowlands in his comparative table of three hundred words, similar, in sound and meaning, to so many Hebrew ones; whence it appears to be the most primitive and uncorrupt living language in the western world.

It is rich and copious, abounding with original words, more especially technical terms, which other languages borrow from the Greek, or express by circumlocutions; and, from its aptitude to forin verba sesquipedalia by composition, which are not, owing to the change of consonants, barsh in sound, and are highly significant, it is peculiarly fitted for poetry and oratory; its accent, like the Hebrew, being

* Vid. Mr. Ballet, Mem. sur le lang, Celt.

chiefly confined to the Penultima, produces sometimes a sameness, but, at the same time, a dignity of sound; the multiplicity of consonants gives it an appearance of uncouthness to the eye, but, as these are not all pronounced as such, and many of them different in sound to what the English scholar would expect, it is more in appearance than reality; its copiousness gives it a variety and harmony to be equalled by few, perhaps exceeded by none ; it unites the expressive majesty of the Greek with the harmonious softness of the Italian ; it is, therefore, particularly adapted for poetical expression. From the numerous gutturals and the frequent recurrence of the canine letter R, it has been termed rugged and incapable of expressing soft and melodious sounds; but these frequent gutturals, this repetition of R, and the assemblage of the most broad-sounding vowels and diphthongs render it capable of displaying one of the chief beauties of poetry, the sound corresponding with the sense ; thus on thunder,

• Tân a dwr yn ymw riaw

Yw'r taranau dreigiau draw."
The roaring thunder dreadful in its ire,
Is water warring with aerial fire.

Yet, as a proof that it is capable of expressing a great degree of softness, take the following on the harp:

« Mae mil o leisian meluson

Mal mel o hyd ym mola fhon."
Within the concave of the womb is found,
The magic scale of soul-enchanting sound.

The laws of poetical composition were so strict among the Welsh (for the Cambrian Muse gloried in twenty-four ancient measures) that it must have eramped the genius of their Bards, had it not been for the extent of the language and its aptitude for alliteration; a figure they considered as a special beauty in poetical composition, 'thus,

" Gwyr a wna gwr yn wral:

Gwr a wna gwyr yn ei ol.”
Brave men with brav'ry will their leaders fire,
Brave chiefs their men with brav'ry will inspire.

To this, they added the figure of adopting the sound so as to be an echo of the sense; and no poets, perhaps, were ever more distinguished for a masterly use of this beauty, nor any language better calculated for its exhibition. A third was what Mr. Walters calls “ a peculiar ingenuity in the selection and

arrangement of words, so as to produce a rhythmical concatenation of sounds in every verse." Yid. Diss. The most favoured measures seem to have been the triplet and tetrastich; Llewarch Hên has an Englyri rhiming every three lines, and each stanza commencing with the same phrase. The hanes of Taliesin consists of eight tetrastichs, and Eyry Mynydd of Llywarch Hên of twelve octonary stanzas ; so great was this syllabic or jingling rage, that he was considered the best poet who could reach the greatest 'monotonous extent. The cyngor of Taliesin has sixteen lines ending in on; and a Cywydd

Cc

of Dafydd ap Gwilim has fifty-two, terminating in

af.

of the great

Most of the printed books in the Welsh language are either translations or the works of moderns; the principal MSS. are preserved in the libraries of Wynnestay, Gloddaeth, Bodscallen, Corsygeddol, Gwedir, the Duke of Ancaster's, and the Archives of Jesus College, Oxford; but many of them have been lost and destroyed; for Edward not only cruelly tried to exterminate learned men from amongst the Welsh, but also to destroy the means of information. Upon the conquest, many of the and learned men were carried to the Tower and permitted to take with, then their books and manuscripts to'amuse them under confinement; but a pretence was soon found to seize upon them ; the insurrection of Glyndwr gave an additional pretext for destroying them, and all that could possibly bé collected were burnt by one Skolen, as recorded in this Englyn.

Llyfran Cymrn au Llofrudd
Ir twr gowyn aethantar gudd
Ysceler oedd Yscolan
Fwrw'r twrr lifran ir tan.,

Gutto'r Glyn. A. D. 1450. The language is getting into disuse; the gentlemen, educated in England, pretend not to speak it, and some have not scrupled to wish for its extermination'; the example of the higher classes is become contagious, and, ere long, this language and the manners of the Welsh will merge and be lost in the

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