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peat fens, and morasses. Trees of a considerable size have been frequently found, buried many yards deep in some peat grounds. These probably were antediluvians; and left in the slime and sand, which must have accumulated in the upper vallies, at the retiring of the waters. Others have been found nearer the surface, with the appearance of having been cut down, or undergone the action of fire :In the latter case, the inference may be drawn, that peat bogs or moors did not give birth to such trees ; but the destruction of forests, from natural or artificial causes, have given rise to the peat bogs and
The trees having been thrown down and impeding the waters in their passage to the sea, the alternate growth and decay of aquatic vegetables has, in the course of time, produced the accumulation of inert vegetable matter, known under the name of peat.
Vid. Lord Dundonald, p. 32. It is demonstrated, therefore, that decayed vegetables afford the combustible property, which once ignited, by heating the interposed earth to a redness, forms the burning mass. The heat, procured from this substance, is neither great nor lasting: it emits in burning a strong smell; and some kinds produce a very offensive one. It burns to yellow ashes, which contain a vegetable colouring inatter, or small quantities of iron sometimes held in solution and found in the ashes. The quantity of ashes is not above one-nineteenth of the whole mass. This vegetable origin favours the tradition, that where peat has been cut, in a series of years it grows again.
It is cut from the morass, or bog, with an angular spade or scoop, which, at two motions, brings it out in oblong pieces about ten inches long and five thick; these are piled up in conical heaps to dry, and in favourable weather are housed for use in the mode above described.* While some were thus engaged in preparing for that inclement season, which bids all nature rue; others were equally busy gathering the scanty crops of grass; and making a provision for their cattle. Men, women, and children were employed, carefully turning it by hand, and looking with anxious eyes towards the heavens, which now darkly lowered, and threatened confusion to their laborious toil.
Such is the unevenness of the ground, that ploughs, as well as carts, are strangers to this district. The accessible parts, deemed fit for corn, are brought into culture by the spade ; and the manure, as in the arable tracts of the alps, is brought on horses' backs. Yet these poor people contrive to obtain a subsistence, which to many would appear impossible: but what nature has denied them they endeavour to supply by incessant toil,
“In tenui labor, at tenuis non gloria.” * It is generally, and with reason, supposed that tracts of peat are injurious to vegetation in the vicinity. Peat is retentive of mois. töre, holding it like a sponge; the solar rays produce a great dea gree of evaporation : and as heat is abstracted from surrounding objects and cold generated, effects will arise injurious to vegetation: and this not only to such plants, as require a greater degree of heat and nourishment than such soils will afford; but these effects will ex. tend to the drier lands, in the vicinity of such fens and morasses.
On the left the mountains finely opening; exhibited to us a grand view of the rugged and irregular summit of Aran Mowddwy, which rises statelily above the other mountains, that seern to crouch beneath his gigantic feet: A little farther up the vale' is the small village of Llan y Mowddwy, famous only for having its church dedicated to an uncanonized saint, (Tydecho). Who' this apocryphal devotee was, whom I have in vain 'sought for in the crowded Panagion of the Romish Church, it'is not'easy to learn: A legendary tale, that makes him an Abbot of some convent in Armorica, who retired to this spot in the time of king Arthur, is extant in verse, by a' bard of the noble house of Mathafarn in the reign of Henry VII. The cottages of this village and the neighbourhood are as rude as the face of the country: the walls are built of fragments of quartz and limestone, piled'orie upon another in an 'irregular manner with the interstices filled up with lumps of turf of peat. The roof is covered with broad coarse slates, and the chimney formed by a holé, surrounded for about two feet high with small sticks; kept in place by a rush or hay rope.
Pursuing the course of the river, we arrived at the celebrated pass of Bwlch y Groes; the road of the Cross ; so called from a cross that formerly stood on the summit of this pass, reckoned' the most difficult and dangerous in North Wales : supposed to have been erected as a memento for thanksgiving, when the traveller had effected this part of his journey in safety. The face of the country puts on a
terrific appearance, bidditig defiance to the traveller and chargiog him to proceed no farther..! A long range of : very high mountains, running nearly East and Wests and rising one above another ini tremendous grandeur, divide the counties of Merionethàndi Montgomery into two parts: a deep ravine through these forms the pass. It is a zigzagistaircase path of steep ascenti rendered still more dangerous by loose shivering 'slate: stones, that slider beneath the feet. But this danger 'is nearly vánishedt a noble road is making along the western side of the mountain, 'at: a vast expence; and will, when finished, make the communication between the North and South, if not easy, less difficult and perfectly, safe. The RUBUS IDÆUS and SAXIFRAGA NIVALIS flourish here:
On the northern side of this chain of mountains, on the banks of Llyn Tegid, in the parish of Llan y Cil, lies the small town of BALA.
It-is regular in its form, consisting of one prince pal street, the rest of the streets crossing it at right anglès; and derives its name from its situation, as a place'whi he a river falls into a lake. Much of its consequence arises from its large fairs and markets, which, owing to its central situation, are numerously attended from distant parts of the country. It has a very considerable manufactory of knit woollen goods, such as stockings, gloves, &c. Knitting being the common employment of the neighbourhood, for both sexes and all ages: even the men frequently take up the needles and assist the females
in the labour, whence the chief support of the family is derived. You see none idle, going out, or returning home; riding or walking they are occupied in this portable employment. During the long winter nights, from the dearness of candles and a social disposition, they form, what they call, Cymmortheu Gwau : numbers assemble at each others dwellings in rotation, and sitting round a turf fire, pursue their wonted task: while tales of other times beguile the hours, or the village harper thrums his dulcet' notes of harmony. The bills in the vicinity, particularly Tommen y Bala, are covered with these people in the summer months, spinning and knitting the woollen "Mean time the song goes round; and dance and sport, wisdom and friendly talk, progressive steal their hours away.”"
The wool is principally of one or at most two piles; and is chiefly bought at Llanrwst, except what is afforded by the neighbouring downs. The staple articles are woollen stockings, gloves, wigs, socks and other small knit articles. These are purchased by Welsh hosiers, who travel through the adjoining English counties, whence they are distributed through the Island. The stockings are of all colours; white, red, blue, native black and greys of every variety of shade: price from six to nine 'shillings per dozen. No conjecture can be made of the quantity manufactured at Bala and its vicinity; it must be very considerable, when froin two to five hundred pounds worth are sold every market day.