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gradual from the sacrifice of the most valued ornaments or weapons, to that of inferior and even miniature articles, and the practice may here and there have died out in outline representations of the objects required". For determining the date of the tablet, Mr. Harrison finds no decisive evidence.
On a subject of this kind only the opinions of experts can have any value. But to the uninitiated Mr. Harrison's pages will be interesting as illustrating the method on which a skilled archæologist proceeds in endeavouring to work out the solution of his problems.
CAER PENSAUELCOIT, A LONG LOST UNROMANISED BRITISH METROPOLIS A REASSERTION. With a Sketch Map. London Reeves and Turner. 1882,
IN 1877, the author of this interesting Reassertion, Thomas Kerslake, Esq., of Bristol, printed a small pamphlet entitled, A Primeval British Metropolis, in which he maintained with much ingenuity and cogency of argument, that the little village of Penselwood in East Somerset represents the “ Caer Pensauelcoit" of Nennius, and the "Kaerpen-Huelgoit" of Brut Tyssilio (Myv. Arch., ii, 193 ; pp. 451, 452 of Gee's edn.), the British stronghold besieged by Vespasian. Mr. Kerslake argued very convincingly that Penhuelgoit is merely a later form of Pensauelcoit, and that "Penselwood" is again simply Pensauelcoit" with the last element translated. He further maintained that the famous Pen Pits, which had puzzled generations of antiquaries, are or were, as they have now mostly been "improved" away-the sites of the old dwellings which constituted the "primæval British metropolis", Pensauelcoit. After reading Mr. Kerslake's pamphlet, we felt that few archæological questions had been so fairly cleared up. Not so, however, thought some members of the
Somersetshire Archæological Society, a learned body, which appointed an Exploration Committee to inquire into the matter and presumably settle it for ever. The investigations of this Committee appear to have been carried on in a somewhat desultory manner, and the results were not very conclusive. But the majority seem to have been unable to accept Mr. Kerslake's view, hence the present pamphlet, in which the author handles rather severely one of his opponents. Mr. Kerslake writes with vigour, and enlivens his argument with a good deal of dry humour, His paper is at once sound archæology and amusing reading.
The Folk-Lore of Wales.
MANY of our readers will be aware that there appeared some three or four years ago a periodical named Mélusine, devoted exclusively to Folk-lore, and edited by MM. Roland and Gaidoz, the latter the well-known accomplished editor of the Revue Celtique, and a contributor to our present number. A correspondent has been good enough to call our attention to the fact that our rough sketch of the field of popular literature in the last number of the Cymmrodor so closely resembles the plan on which Mélusine was conducted as to lay us open to the charge, or at least the suspicion, of having derived inspiration from that most interesting periodical, without any acknowledgment of our obligation. To this we can only say in answer that we were not consciously plagiarising, and that the sole and simple reason why Mélusine was not mentioned in the article is that it did not occur to our mind while writing. Now, however, we are glad to say that any of our readers who may feel disposed to become collectors, and may be fortunate enough to possess or acquire (we think it can
still be obtained) a copy of Mélusine, cannot do better than adopt it as a model.
Possibly, some readers may be disposed to consider the collection of such things as riddles, etc., a proof of extreme childishness. Be it so; they will, however, remember that a Plato did not think it derogatory to represent "the wisest of the Greeks" as using riddles-and not very brilliant ones either to illustrate his "divine philosophy"; and that riddles are found even in the Bible. And what would these critics not give to know the riddles-for such, doubtless, her "hard questions" were-with which the Queen of Sheba tested the wisdom of Solomon? Our Cymric riddles are not destined to take such an honoured place in the world's literature; but we should not, therefore, despise them. To us they should be valuable as helping in their measure to fill in the picture of that past, the traces of which are disappearing all too rapidly. Besides, these scraps have a certain philological value, and not unfrequently contain words and expressions not found in the literary language. Cared doeth yr encilion.
Our appeal for the co-operation of members has met with no very encouraging response hitherto. We have no obligations to acknowledge, except to one member, the Rev. Griffith Ellis, M.A., of Bootle, who has sent the following version of a well-known and widely-spread legend. It is very imperfect, as will be observed, but it has at least the merit of being given as it dropped from the narrator, without any of that literary tinkering which has spoiled most of what has been attempted in this field hitherto. A version of the story is given in Sike's British Goblins, p. 92.
"Hen wr oedd yn byw mewn crefydd,
Ac yn gweddio'n ddyfal beunydd,
Ysgrifenwyd Awst 25, 1881, o enau hen wraig sydd yn ymyl 91 mlwydd oed, yr hon a'i dysgasai gan ei mam. Yr oedd ei mam yn enedigol o Landudno.
The expression "byw mewn crefydd" is noticeable, and seems to mean "live as a religieux”, the hero of the story being generally a monk. "Racher", in line 15, appears to be for "Roger".
In lines 17 to 20 we have an adaptation of one of the regular formulæ with which the conteur introduced or closed his tale.
1. Beth sy'n dringad y graig.
Nid gwr, nid gwraig,
Nid march pedolog,
Nid 'deryn asgellog?
What climbs the rock-not man, not woman, not shod steed, not winged bird?
2. Beth â yn gynt na'r gwynt, yn gynt na'r g’law,
O'r fan yma i'r fan draw?
Ateb. Y Meddwl.
What goes swifter than the wind, swifter than the rain, from this place to yonder place?
Ans. The Mind.
3. Beth sy'n myn'd hwy hwy wrth dori 'i ddoupen?
What becomes longer and longer by the cutting of both ends?
Ans. A Peat Pit.
4. Beth sy dip, dip, yn y ty, gnoc gnoc yn y cô'd, jo ho ar y mynydd ?
Ateb. Gwagar Sycan.
What goes drip, drip in the house, knock, knock in the wood, gee ho on the mountain? Ans. A strainer (lit. a flummery sieve), the riddle hinting at the wood and horsehair of which it is made, and the sound accompanying the use of it.
5. Beth sy'n cysgu a'i fys yn 'i lygad?
Ateb. Eirw' (ie., Aerwy).
What sleeps with its finger in its eye?
Ans. A cow collar.
6. Pwy fu farw cyn i i' dad gâl i eni?
Ateb. Abel, neu unrhyw un o blant Adda.