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“ Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
A venerable mansion rose to view at the end of an avenue of aged trees, the seat of the late Arthur Blaney, Esq. a descendant from Brochwel Ys Chythrog. An elder branch of the family was ennobled in Ireland, in the year 1620, by the title of Lord Blaney, of Monoghan. On inquiring into the character of this gentleman, we soon discovered the great cause of all the neatness and cheerfulness we admired. He had lived near three generations on his own estate, amidst the smiles of an indulged and happy tenantry, in the old British style of dignified hospitality. Though possessed of an immense landed property, Mr. Blaney was virtually his own steward, No tenant of his was ever ruined or oppressed by the petty tyranny of an agent. He who received the rents, and he who paid them, were confronted together at the table of this truly great man. He en tered with paternal attention into all their little concerns, redressed their grievances, and supplied their wants. He knew their profits and their losses; the one received a smile of approbation, the other ho
commiserated and relieved. Virtuous industry, if unfortunate, always found in him a sympathizing friend : it gave him pleasure to see a numerous family rising into a state of comfort and consequence from the produce of that soil, which, exclusive of this just reward of labour, yielded him so affluent a portion. A respectable yeomanry and happy peasantry, he used to observe, were the pride and support of a country. As the language of Timoleon was his, the wish of Timoleon should have been his motto, “ Maluit se diligi quam metui." Cor. Nep.
This was the character of the proprietor of Beskrywer Parke in one relative duty; and in every other he acted consistent with himself. He is gone! and fearful lest they should never see his like again, the land laments and mourns. Happy would it be for the welfare of kingdoms, if those in power did but practically adhere to the solid maxims of this able politician,* Luxury may administer food to vanity, and wealth may add insolence to pride ; but it must be by a proper balance of importance amidst the different relations of society, that the safety of a Ştate can be secured; and on the strength of the component parts, its welfare and stability must depend. When a due equilibrium is preserved of stimulus and sensorial power in our corporeal system the body remains, in a state of health; but the least departure from this, is approximation to disease: only destroy this equilibrium, let the vital fluids flow
* Hanc enim speciem libertatis esse, si omnibus, quod quisque vellet, legibus experiri liceret,
unequally, the body becomes weak, the solids debi. litated, the functions of life gradually cease, and a continuance of the same fatal causes produces dissolution and death. A wretched peasantry is the body politic, paralysed at the extremities; and an oppressed and over-burthened yeomanry, the solids of the country in a state of
in a state of gangrene. Crossing the Severn over a wooden bridge we arrived at MONTGOMERY. Having ideally supposed that the County Town must be superior to all others in point of beauty and extent, we were disappointed to find it a small place, consisting of about a hundred half-timbered houses forming a miserable street. It is situated on the declivity of a hill, and under the shadow of another : and, not excepting St. Asaph, is the smallest town in the kingdom. In the upper part of it stands the Guildhall, a handsome stone building, where the Sessions are held, in rotation with Poole and the other session towns in the justiciary of Chester. At the bottom stood a large mansion, called Black-hall, the seat of the Herberts, long since destroyed by fire : and a deep foss now marks the scite where once it stood. This town was built by Baldwin, Lieutenant of the Welsh Marches, in the time of William the Conqueror, and called by the Welsh Tre’Faldwyn, i. e. Baldwyn's Town. It took the name of Montgomery from Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, who conquered it, whose inheritance it afterwards was, and by whom, according to Doomsday, the castle was built. It was made a free borough by charter from
King Edward III. who also conferred upon it, among other privileges, that of sending one member to Parfiament. But the privilege was not claimed till long after the grant; as the first Burgess summoned by the King's Writ was William Herbert, A. D. 1542, It is governed by a Bailiff and twelve capital Burgesses, in whom the right of electing the representative is vested. During the long contests between the Welsh and English, this place was considered a most important station; was defended by a castle, walls with watch towers, and had four gates. It carries on a small trade in tanning, but is now so inconsiderable, as to put on the appearance of a deserted village.
Mr. Pennant was disposed to be facetiqus when he made the following observations:--- Whether in old times this place abounded more than is usual with ladies of free lives and conversation, I do not pretend to say; but early the free Burgesses had the privilege of the Goging-stool, Cucking-stool, or Cokestool, or what the Saxons call the Scealfing-stole. Qụia, says my authority, per objurgatrices et nieretrices multa mala in villa oriuntur ; and these were to have the judgment de la goging stoole :' and therein to be placed with naked feet and dishevelled hair, as an example to all beholders. Probably this was not found to answer the end intended, therefore immersion or ducking was in after-times added, as an improvement to effect a radical cure.' Vid. Snow
both sexes upon
* The custom, still in use in Scotland, of placing fornicators of
what they call a repenting stool, in the church, and in full view of the congregation, was probably derived from this. Vid. Guthrie, Geog. p. 168.
donia, p. 370. Had the learned Antiquary told us what kind of instrument this was, the origin of the punishment, and the ceremony that took place on the occasion, we should have been informed as well as entertained ; but here he is silent : and why he should make this observation at Montgomery, in preference to any other part of the principality, it is difficult to conjecture; for this, so far from being a local, is not a provincial mode of correction : the custom was general to the whole island, and still remains as part of the Common Law of the Realm.
Blackstone observes in his Commentaries, B. iv. C. 13, “ A common scold, communis rixatrix, for our Common Law confines it to the feminine gender, is a public puisance to her neighbourhood : for which offence she may be indicted, and if convicted, shall be sentenced to be placed in a certain engine of correction, called the tre-bucket, castigatory, or cucking stool ;* though now it is frequently interpreted, ducking stool, because the residue of the judgment is, that when she is to be placed therein, she shall be
* It is called in Welsh Ystal Droch, literally a stool of mani.. festation or exposition. Coke interprets cuck, or guck, a scold or brawl, taken from the word, cuckow,, or guckow, and ing in the Saxon language means water, because a scolding woman was, for her punishment, soused in the water.. 3 Instit. 219. With all due deference to this high authority, such definitions corroborate the cynical remark upon etymology, that it is eruditio ad libitum. In the Teutonic language, to which the Saxon bears a very nean affinity, gauch signifies a fool. The word gawky, evidently derived from this, used in many parts of the kingdom, means the same ; gake is a cuckow, and figuratively. a. person despised : goking stool therefore must mean a stool of contempt and derision,