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POETRY.-Beggar of the Pont Neuf; Heart of Unbelief, 28.-To a Rivulet; The Years, 35. -The Tales of Old; In the House of Death, 42.-Disenchantment, 46.

PROSPECTUS. This work is conducted in the spirit of | now becomes every intelligent American to be informed Littell's Museum of Foreign Literature, (which was favor- of the condition and changes of foreign countries. And ably received by the public for twenty years,) but as it is this not only because of their nearer connection with ourtwice as large, and appears so often, we not only give selves, but because the nations seem to be hastening, spirit and freshness to it by many things which were through a rapid process of change, to some new state of excluded by a month's delay, but while thus extending our things, which the merely political prophet cannot compute scope and gathering a greater and more attractive variety, or foresee. are able so to increase the solid and substantial part of our literary, historical, and political harvest, as fully to satisfy the wants of the American reader.

The elaborate and stately Essays of the Edinburgh, Quarterly, and other Reviews; and Blackwood's noble criticisms on Poetry, his keen political Commentaries, highly wrought Tales, and vivid descriptions of rural and mountain Scenery; and the contributions to Literature, History, and Cominon Life, by the sagacious Spectator, the sparkling Examiner, the judicious Athenæum, the busy and industrious Literary Gazette, the sensible and comprehensive Britannia, the sober and respectable Christian Observer; these are intermixed with the Military and Naval reminiscences of the United Service, and with the best articles of the Dublin University, New Monthly, Fraser's, Tail's, Ainsworth's, Hood's, and Sporting Magazines, and of Chambers' admirable Journal. We do not consider it beneath our dignity to borrow wit and wisdom from Punch; and, when we think it good enough, make se of the thunder of The Times. We shall increase our variety by importations from the continent of Europe, and from the new growth of the British colonies.

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Or all the Periodical Journals devoted to literature and science which abound in Europe and in this country, this has appeared to me to be the most useful. It contains indeed the exposition ouly of the current literature of the English language, but this by its immense extent and comprehension includes a portraiture of the human mind in the utmost expansion of the present age. J. Q. ADAMS.

LITTELL'S LIVING AGE.-No. 295.-12 JANUARY, 1850.

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his answer, except at Dinasmawddwy;—yet
even here," he continued, "the houses have grown
within my recollection from one story to two, and
the whole costume and manners of the people have
99 The
assumed a comparatively modern aspect.
truth is, that within a hundred and ten years two
enormous changes, of which it would be difficult to
over-estimate the importance as regards the man-
ners and character of the people, have come over
the face of the Principality. It is to these changes,

imperfectly appreciated by the mass of Englishmen, that we propose to direct the attention of our readers. We shall draw largely for our details, and in some measure for our language, from the books of which the titles are prefixed to this article, without neglecting some other sources of information which circumstances have placed at our disposal.

GOD and his works abide, but man and his cus-hitherto we believe but little noticed, or at least toms change. It requires no ordinary degree of sagacity to foretell at any given period the changes which a new generation may be destined to witness, and scarcely less to appreciate some silent revolution of manners which may have been wrought almost in the memory of man. If we were asked to point out a part of the United Kingdom where the influence of innovation might least be expected, our first instinct would direct us to the Principality. If we imagine some real Rip Van Winkle just For some years we used to observe, on opening roused from his fairy slumber, his surprise would Our "Bradshaw," the involuntary respect with not be greater than that of the traveller who, fresh which even the stern genius of railways seemed to from the metropolis, penetrated the Principality a regard the territory of the ancient Britons. His century ago. Even on the borders and in the fire-breathing, iron-footed messengers (for so steam-county towns he heard a strange language, and saw engines would probably have been described by an a strange people, whose habits savored strangely ancient bard) might approach the Marches where of a bygone age. Still more did the impression Talbot wooed the fair Guendolen ;* but the "wild of strangeness increase at every step, as he adWales" of Taliessin's song seemed to be safe from vanced into some upland valley of the more mounintrusion. Whatever may have happened else- tainous districts. Round the humble church of where, here at least we might imagine the moun- some indigenous saint, such as Wales and Brittany tain fastnesses would retain their primitive charac- boast in numbers,* and generally on the banks of ter, and the children of the Cymry, cradled in the some stream just widening in a confluence of valhome of the torrent and the storm, would bear leys, were grouped a cluster of cottages. For the something of the unyielding impress which Nature fabric of the church in some cases an antiquity was has stamped upon their land. claimed as early as the fifth century. To the inhabitants, consisting chiefly of shepherds and fishermen, with occasionally a small freehold or shopkeeper, a combination of their church and the village inn represented the march of intellect, and On each shoulder and their valley the world. sloping side of the hills, the blue smoke of peat mingling with the mist gave token of a primitive homestead, and, as you ascended the streamlet's

Yet even in Wales, as elsewhere, Time, the great innovator, has wrought his appointed work. Though Snowdon stands as of old, its base is caverned by the miner, and Penmaenmawr is at length not only stricken as it were through the heart, and traversed by daily trains, but is in course of being carried away bodily to pave the streets of Liverpool. All along the coast, as well as in the quarries of Merioneth and Carnarvonshire, a hard-course, every nook, which offered shelter for sheep handed race of men has sprung up, whose largeboned frames attest (when compared to the upland shepherd) the severe labor they undergo, and the higher wages which they receive. A Welshman, who had spent many years in London, was asked on his return if he thought the Principality changed; "I find signs of improvement everywhere," was

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or promise of a scanty harvest, was dotted with a pastoral farm. The houses of one story, with

*An account of them, full of interest to the ecclesiastical historian, may be found in Mr. Rees' "Welsh Saints,"

as well as in Mr. John Williams' "Ecclesiastical An

tiquities of the Cymry," a book of research, which deserves perhaps more attention than it has met with. We have also to thank the learned Archdeacon of Cardigan for introducing us, in his "Claudia and Pudens," to a lady saint of uncommon interest. His work not only sheds an entirely new light upon the introduction of Christianity into Great Britain, but is full of ingenious historical reasoning in the steps by which he identifies his princess very probably with the Claudia of St. Paul. Many traditions, with less proof, are universally received.

enormous chimneys in which scythes were placed | were occasionally diversified by an organized fight. to exclude intruders, were more roomy and sub- The mode of raising supplies might have been stantial than a highland bothie, yet simple enough suggested by some genius who should have been of their kind. The farmers who inhabited them, chancellor of the Exchequer. If a young farmer though not without their pride of family and their wanted to marry, or had lost a cow, or was beown code of gentility, which reäcted upon the de- hindhand with his rent, he gave notice, after church, pendents with whom they associated, shared the that a barrel of cwrw (cervisia) would be ready at oatmeal and bacon which were the fare of the la- his house on a certain afternoon. The numerous borer. Shoes and stockings, in the modern sense kin and well-wishers of the family made a point of the latter word, were only partially in fashion; of obeying the summons. Among the amusements and the wool, which was the principal produce of expected was the singing of Penillion, a species the farm, was manufactured at home. Flannel has of song or epigram not unlike the Skolia of the from the earliest historical period been a staple of Greeks, but with an improvisatorial character, the country; and though the goods of the West of which must have tried the readiness of the rural England might penetrate to the county town, the wit. The exciseman in those days was not so incommercial bagman, or his smarter successor, found | quisitive as he has since become ; but if he appeared little temptation to face the driving shower which as an unbidden shadow of royalty, the jester of awaited him on a mountain road. The rural econo- the party would detain him about the door, until my was concentrated in one great maxim-to dis- some feminine Falstaff had converted the obnoxburse as little money as possible. Any stranger ious barrel into a chair, which her ample perwas welcome to his meal, but the money must be son might protect. Of course, if any guest at such reserved for the rent. If you asked the shepherd- a party came empty-handed, he would be greeted boy the meaning of a sinuous labyrinth he had with classical indignation in some such terms amused himself by cutting on the turf, he told you as "Tene asymbolum venire"-or, in other words, it was Caer Droiau, or Castra Troja, a term which the entertainment involved a contribution. A still seems to indicate some tradition from the Romans. more singular diversion, which yielded only after A man's name was generally inherited, not by his a struggle to the religious activity of a later date, son, but by his grandson, so that the generations consisted in a rude drama, resembling in its genius alternated, as seems to have been the case at the Mysteries of the middle ages. On some green Athens. The wife, however, retained through-sward, which presented a natural theatre, some out life the name of her own family, a circum- biblical story was displayed in action by a bard, stance which leads to some confusion in pedigrees. who unconsciously parodied the proceedings of Doubtless such a people might be called back- Thespis. Nor did the sacredness of his subject ward. On the other hand, that little freehold had preclude him from licentiousness, and still less from been inherited, it was said, for six hundred years-a liberal use of satire. The innkeeper, whose certainly from a period beyond written record-in malt was stinted, or the exciseman who raised its lineal descent from father to son. The adjoining price, or any offender against received laws, esfarm had also descended by tenure under the same pecially of hospitality, was gibbeted by some stray family, of whose heiress it had been the portion allusion, or by premature consignment to eternal in the reign of King John; and the simple ten- doom. We do not know how far this uncouth ant, in most benighted defiance of Maculloch and drama may have been of indigenous origin; but Mill, would have eaten his barley-bread somewhat the term interlude, however disfigured by a Welsh blacker, and have worked daily an hour longer, pronunciation, seems to suggest the contrary.* sooner than change his landlord for a stranger. The existence of such a state of things involved no contemptible amount of homely virtue and thrift; and whoever observes how often rapid progress is followed by rapid downfall, may trace a law of compensation, as he compares the circumstances which political economists admire or condemn.

Perhaps a tendency to drink, though on comparatively rare occasions, was the principal vice of the people. The village wakes were full of revelry, which was not yet considered heathenish; nor had the vain tinkling of the harp given way to the deeper excitement of the preacher. Sunday often, and the greater festivals always, brought their trials of speed or strength. Parish rivalries found vent in matches at football; and the saturnalia of fairs * In some cases, but more rarely, the name was renewed only in the third generation; and thus the posterity of Evan Robert Edward (for in the absence of sirnames three names were convenient for distinction) became known as Edward Evan Robert, Robert Edward Evan, and so in succession.

The traveller Pennant must be considered a highly favorable specimen of the Welsh gentry at a date somewhat later than the one of which we are speaking. The same remark would hold good of Sir John Philipps. Those of that rank seem in general only to have differed from the corresponding class in England in being somewhat more homely, and perhaps more profuse in their hospitality. We must give, however, one example, without coming down as low as Mrs. Thrale, of the fairer sex. A fellow of a college at Cambridge, (Moderator in 1750,) who held decidedly Protestant ideas as to the celibacy of the clergy, persuaded the heiress of a tolerable property in Flintshire to put on man's attire, and to accompany him, after a private marriage, on a visit to

* On the Welsh Anterluwt the reader will find something in Mr. Stephens' Literature of the Kymry (pp. 90-91.) To this work the prize given by H. R. H. the Prince of Wales was assigned at the late Abergavenny Eistedvodd. We hope to direct attention specially to ít in a future article.

his friends, as a young acquaintance from col-spirit was believed not only to be helped on its lege. Unfortunately their wedding tour took way by angels, but watched and liable to he interthem within reach of that terrible scourge, the cepted by the hounds of darkness, (cwn Annwn,) small-pox, and before the honey-moon was over the to whom the space between earth and heaven was husband died. The lady survived to marry a second allotted as a hunting-ground. Happy were the husband, and, having already tried a fellow, she parents whose children had died in infancy, for the selected on the second occasion an under-graduate. angelic spirits of their lost innocents might be exIt is seldom found that the inhabitants of a pected to light them with torches on their way, mountainous country are indifferent to religion. beset by perils, to the kingdom of Heaven.* On Nature herself imprints in them a certain sense of the first Sunday after a funeral we find it stated awe. At the period of which we are speaking, that the whole family of the deceased used to kneel though such laxity prevailed in the observance of down on the grave to say the Lord's prayer.† Sunday, that all sorts of amusement, even occa- We scarcely venture to affirm whether so late as sionally cockfighting, were allowed in the after- the period of which we are speaking the institunoon, yet in the morning no mountain family ever tion or caste of "sin-eaters" remained. If our failed to send its male representative to church. readers do not happen to be acquainted with Any absence of a householder was a signal for Brande's Popular Antiquities, they will probably inquiry, and for preparation to condole on some ask the meaning of the term. It may surprise anticipated disaster. All adult members of the them to learn that in the west of England in the congregation were also generally partakers of the sixteenth century, and in Wales probably at a Eucharist. The habitual tone of reverence, which later date, a class of persons existed, who, in consuch a custom may seem to imply, was not un-sideration of a certain dole of food or money, mingled with fragments of an older superstition, made themselves responsible for the sins of the deepened by legend or poetical influences. Many were the forewarnings of death; and in the diocese of St. David in particular, a power of "second sight" was claimed down to a very recent period. As St. Keynan, in Cornwall, gave matrimonial supremacy to wife or husband, as either drank first at his spring, so in Wales you might procure health for yourself from the healing wave of St. Winifred, and pining sickness for your enemy from the ill-omened fount of St. Elian. Nor was the Virgin Mary without her consecrated wells and other honors, which were only a century too soon to find favor with the professors of orthodoxy. Mr. Allies might have collected a fresh volume of cures wrought at St. Mary's many founts, and would have been delighted to find that the efficacy of baptism was enhanced by carefully carrying water from such sources to the font of the parish church. Not that we would ourselves sneer at the feeling which speaks in the following version (borrowed from Mr. Goronva Camlan) of what is termed an old Welsh prayer :—

"Mother, oh mother! tell me, art thou weeping?"
The infant Saviour asked, on Mary's breast;
"Child of th' Eternal, nay; I am but sleeping,
Though vexed by many a thought of dark unrest.”—
"Say, at what vision is thy courage failing?"—
"I see a crown of thorns, and bitter pain;
And thee, dread Child upon the Cross of wailing,
All heaven aghast, and rude mankind's disdain."
The original is, we are assured, a genuine tradi-
tion, and formed with the Creed and Ten Com-
mandments part of the peasant's daily devotion.
One of our authors, who mentions the fact, seems
to consider all the three formularies equally mis-
applied.*

The "passing-bell" was then no unmeaning sound. No person of ordinary piety neglected, as he heard it, to offer a brief petition for the soul of his neighbor passing to its account. Good need there seemed for such assistance; when the

* Drych yr Amseroedd, p. 48-9.

dead, and undertook to console the survivors, by
guaranteeing them at least security against being
haunted by the spirits of the departed. We can-
not assent to those who find the original of so
strange a custom in the Mosaic law, but should
rather look for a parallel amid the wilder super-
stitions of India; nor, with deference to Aubrey,
who affirms the fact, do we believe the system at any
time since the Reformation to have prevailed gener-
ally in Wales. The theory, which lay at the bottom
of the practice, had doubtless vanished from men's
minds long before the customary dole (Diodlas)
ceased to be given at funerals.
But it is not easy
to ascribe a precise date to those changes of sen-
timent, which are not only gradual but uneven in
their operation. If this is anywhere true, it em-
phatically holds good of a country where mountain
and river tend to isolate particular districts. Our
account of Wales a century ago would not bear to
be uniformly applied in any single year. Yet
each portion of the country in its turn had proba-
bly a period at which the impression we wish to
convey would be true. We necessarily strike a
rough average.

It may be said generally that among the stories of the fireside were unfailing legends, not turning so much as might be expected upon Arthur or Glendower, but oftener upon the agencies of the invisible world, and most of all, upon some instance of Divine retribution. Vengeance, such as overtook Ahab for diverting the inheritance of Naboth, was not only devoutly believed by the mountain farmer, but illustrated by modern instances, of which his hearers never doubted the truth. Here hereditary insanity, and here a property swept away, attested the immediate waiting of judgment upon wrong. The curious book, called Drych y Prif Oesoedd, or " Mirror of Old Ages," which mixes true histories with prodigies from Geoffrey and Giraldus, was published in 1740, * Ibid., p. 56. + Ibid., p. 50.

Dark and unfruitful were their doctrines, and there was not a sign that the breath of power and the holy flame wrought through them. The sum and substance of their teaching was this that man received his new birth at baptism; that every one must repent and amend his life, and come frequently to Church and Sacrament; that every one must do his best, and that Christ's merits would make up that in which he was defective: and that it was in man's own power to choose (qu. accept?) or reject grace and glory. Bodily chastening was accounted a sufficient mean, if not worthiness, to fit men for the kingdom of heaven. * * Now, this is darkness which may be felt, like that formerly in Egypt. It is as perilous to lay weight on such things as to build upon the sand.—Drych yr A., pp. 54, 55.

and seems to have become rapidly popular. Here, | little; the record of meek piety is written not as elsewhere, the march of intellect seems first to on earth; yet many families have traditions of have meddled with fairies. The "fair family," clerical ancestors, which do not accord with insinfor so the Welsh styled them, are said occasionally uations sometimes thrown out of general irreligto have revealed themselves to the solitary shep-ion. Probably sermons were too much in the herd or the drunken minstrel; and a highly in- cold style of the British essayists; but one sin telligent peasant once assured us that his father imputed to the clergy would appear from the folhad undoubtedly seen them. We suspect, how-lowing attack upon their memory to have been ever, that for some centuries they have by no their general adherence to the doctrines of the means kept the same hold upon the popular imag- Prayer Book. ination as ghosts or other spiritual beings, who, if not actually countenanced by Scripture, might at least be imagined to exercise a certain moral agency. In all things of this latter kind the Cambrian peasant believed firmly and universally; and to a certain extent, though faintly, he may be said to believe in them still. Supposing, however, ghosts or fairies to stalk in twilight, avenging crime or tempting innocence, it would naturally be the business of the clergyman to grapple with such foes. Accordingly, any clerical student who preferred black letter in his parsonage to good company at the inn, rarely escaped the imputation of conjuring- an art which was supposed to constitute one of the principal studies of the University of Oxford. What less accomplishment could have tempted the future pastor to undertake a journey of The same author accuses the congregations of so many miles, which he performed often on foot? valuing religious carols as highly as sermons, and Might not he have read his Bible at home? Only of readiness to believe in visions or portents: both then he would not have been able to send the moun- charges which sound curiously from the quarter tain Ariel upon errands, or to bind the evil spirit in which they are alleged. He also thinks the with the name of the Trinity, as if with a triple custom of offerings instead of fees at funerals had a clear reference to purgatory. ring.t Perhaps it might The smile, with which our enlightenment lis-only confirm him in this opinion to observe that tens to such fancies, should not be one of contempt. the same custom held (and holds) good at wedAs Poetry teaches wider truth than History, so de- dings. Without, however, subscribing such a bill vout error may approach the meaning of the true of indictment, it may be admitted that Wales did doctrine. When we consider the moral signifi- not escape that Laodicean tone which pervaded the cance of many of the older legends, and are told rest of the kingdom in the last century. of the eager thirst for knowledge which took the to have been as usual for the clergy to appear as students to read in the village church at five in the regulators of amusements, as for them to be guides morning, we cannot help imagining that any good in religion. One crying evil of the times was the might have been effected with such a people. not unfrequent appointment to purely Welsh parThe feelings of reverence and docility presented ishes of persons ill acquainted with the language. something capable of being moulded. But all In the case of Dr. Bowles, which was not legally history is full of the melancholy list of opportu- argued until 1770, and, we happen to know, is nities thrown away it is but too clear the vigi- only an instance out of many, the advocate for the lance was wanting which might have cherished incumbent used the following plea this hereditary reverence into an intelligent religion. Not that we place implicit confidence in allegations respecting "scandalous ministers" by men inheriting the spirit of Hugh Peters and his fellows, whom Sergeant Maynard well called " dalous judges;" undoubtedly many accounts of the older Welsh clergy come filtered through hostile channels. Of the best we probably hear

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Though the doctor does not understand the language, he is in possession, and cannot be turned out. Wales is a conquered country; it is proper to introduce the English language, and it is the duty of bishops to endeavor to promote Englishin order to introduce the language. The service was in Latin before the Reformation. How did they fare in Wales from the time of Henry VIII. to the time of Queen Elizabeth, when the act passed for translating the Scriptures into the Welsh language? It has always been the policy of the legislature to introduce the English language into Wales. We never heard of an Act of Parliament in Welsh. The English language is to be used in all the courts of judicature in Wales, and an English Bible is to be kept in all the churches, that by comparison of that with the Welsh they may sooner come to the knowledge of the English. Dr. Bowles

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