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Which dead in wint'ry sepulchres appear,
In opposition to this, the Christians make use of rosemary, laurel, and ivy ;* signifying, that though the body was cut down, yet, like these plants, it would revive again ; and the soul was immortal, like these evergreens, on which the seasons make no change. Is it not therefore probable, that the planting of
yew in church-yards is derived from this origin? Because from its perpetual verdure it is an apt and elegant emblem of the doctrine of immortality; and placed here to shew the unlettered peasant, that although the body is committed to the earth, yet the soul still exists; and will exist for ever? Whoever visits this secluded spot will certainly ramble as far as Pont Fallwyd, to the falls of the Dovey. The scenery, whichever
eye turns, is prodigiously romantic. The mountains form a grand natural Amphitheatre, with sylvan sides ; through which peeps here and there a whitewashed cottage ; sufficient to remind us, that we
* Hedera quoque, vel laurus & hujusmodi, quæ semper servant virorem in sarcophago corpori substernentur, ad significandum, quod qui moriuntur in Christo, vivere nec desinunt ! nam licet mundo moriuntur secundum corpus, tamen secundum animam, vivunt & reviviscunt Deo.
DURAND. Rit. Lib. VII. c. 35.
were yet in an inhabited country. Camlin rising immediately with rude Majesty on our right, and the conical Arran lifting its resplendent head, with the different cwms were reflected in various tint and shade in the waters of the Dovey. Through the opening of the mountains, the ʼminished
of the distant vale, appeared in camera obscura before us. On the opposite view, the beautiful cascade formed by the Dovey was peculiarly fine. The river was swollen by the late 'rains, and impatient to rush through a narrow rocky channel, foaming against a high slate rock in the centre of the bed, it became irresistibly impetuous, and rushing into the pool beneath, hastened to meet the Æstuary of the Dovey.
The pool below,' fringed on its margin with brush wood, added to the brilliant appearance of its angry wave ; while the mountain bridge of one extensive arch with a small chord, and its stones whitened with several species of lichen, formed a pleasing boundary to the lovely scene.
Returning to our inn, sensible of the pointed attention of Lloyd and his family to our comforts, we could not help paying our tribute of respect ; and promising if ever Mallwyd should be in our route, we would endeavour to make a longer stay at the Cross Foxes.
Leaving Mallwyd, we passed a bridge of one arch over the Clwyedog, a small alpine stream that joins the Dovey near Mallwyd ; whose waters, black as ink, pass sluggishly through a dark chasın of slate
rock, rendered more gloomy by overhanging woods, Tradition says, it obtained the appellation of Sickly, from a bloody battle once fought on its banks; but more probably from the slow motion and unnatural appearance of its waters.
Whoever wishes to see the nature of a country, and become acquainted with the manners of its inhabitants, must not confine himself to the leading roads of it. He must frequently deviate from the beaten track, ascend the craggy steep, and traverse the secluded vale: he must enter the humble roof, and visit the habitations of the poor, who form the great mass of every society, where the customs of the peasantry have not amalgamated with those of their more polished neighbours.
Turning to the North, we made an excursion up the vale of the Mowddwy, on the banks of the Dovey. This valley, seven miles in length, is, in places, so narrow, as scarcely to admit a meadow between the river and the base of the mountains that form it. These rise here with such abruptness, as to appear to the eye almost perpendicular : others are verdant slopes, that furnish pasturage for nume. rous flocks. High up their sides the brown heath predominates, which affords shelter to quantities of the black and red grouse, * and ample amusement to
* But few of the black or moor game are now to be seen. The season for grouse shooting begins about six weeks before that of par. tridge shooting. The method is nearly the same. The grouse, which are very numerous on these peaty mountains, hide themselves under the heath or ling. Pointers, but more frequently setters and
the arduous sportsman : but their tops abound with bogs of greater consequence to the poor
inhabitants of this wild country. Numerous turbaries furnish them with the fuel wanted ; and equally curious and ingenious are the methods they use to bring the combustible treasure home. The mountains are so steep, that to use a cart or horses would be impossible; a sledge therefore is adopted, which is a machine formed of rail work similar to the bed, of a cart; and holds from two to four hundred weight : this the owner carries up the hill upon his back, " duris uterque labor," loads it with peat, then placing a cord over his breast, which is affixed to the sledge, he drags it to the verge of the summit ; reversing his position he now exerts all his strength to stop the velocity of the sledge, going before it backwards, and guiding its various motions, till he arrives at the foot of the mountain ; then reassuming his former position, draws the fuel home. When the turbaries are far distant, a small horse, which most of these cottagers possess, is brought up by a winding track, and employed to draw the peat to the edge of the declivity.
Such is the force of habit, that few accidents happen in this dangerous employment ; although from the angle which the descent makes with the plane of the horizon, being little less than a right one, we could not unincumbered find footing: and from the incumbent weight, a single false step would inevita
spaniels, are made use of, and the pursuers generally take a week's excursion ; carrying provisions with them, and running the chance of a cottage or farm for their repose at night.
bly overwhelm the unfortunate peasant and he would be dashed to pieces !! · The only fuel of many parts of North Wales is turf and peat. The once extensive woods are nearly consumed, and coal is not yet discovered in any considerable quantities.* In appearance it is a mass of black earth. It has been stated by some chymists, that the earth of peat is of a bituminous quality. This was an easy way of accounting for its property of combustion : but the light thrown upon the subject, by modern discoveries, has distinctly ascertained its real nature.. i
Peat consists of mixt vegetable matter, principally formed of the remains of aquatic vegetables, or such as only thrive in moist situations. Their nourishment is afforded, and their growth promoted by the absorption of atmospherie air, the decomposition of water, and the calcarious matter generally held by it in solution. These substances, it has been proyed, are sufficient to account for the production of aquatic vegetables ; and the accumulation of such quantities of vegetable combustible matter, on the surface of the earth, that forms the numerous
* Turf and peat differ in this, that the former contains the roots and stalks of vegetables with a mixture of peat, clay, marle or sand ; whereas the latter, when pure, contains no visible particles of any vegetable whateyer. They are frequently found together; the turf lying upon the surface, and the peat under, to six or seven feet deep. That which is found immediately beneath the turf, is esteemed the worst; and that at the greatest depth, the best. Sometimes in common life these names are indiscriminately applied to both substances.