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As might have been expected, the Muse of Cambria is this year prolific in Jubilee Odes. We published last month a characteristic Welsh specimen from the pen of "Nathan Dyfed " (Bencerdd). This month we select from the large number submitted to us the following, of which the writer, a Cardiff gentleman, chooses to be known only by his initials, "M.S.":—
Morien, in his interesting " Welsh Notes," in the Weekly Mail, says:-I was much gratified by the receipt of a letter from Mr. Gladstone from Cambridge, in which he asked me for information with reference to the old Bardism of the Cymry. He is now writing a book on the pagan religion of the old philosophers of Greece, and he has learnt that there is a great similarity between the old religion of our ancestors and that of the Greeks. He was desirous to know something about the "bardic trinity" ---Plenydd, Alawn, and Gwron-inasmuch as they resembled the
old trinity of Greece-namely, Zeus, Poseidon, and Dis. Well, be it known to the bards, from Caergybi (Holyhead) to Caerdydd (Cardiff), that I have replied, and have unfolded before him the ancient mysteries of our fathers. As did Nehemiah of old unto Jerusalem, I restored Bryn Gwyddon and Côr Gawr (Avebury and Stonehenge), and I did what Nehemiah did not,that is, I replaced Plenydd, Alawn, and Gwron, and with them, Calan, Morwen, and Blodwen, in their ancient seats.
Addfwyn gaer sydd ar glawr gweilgi:
This is one of the old stanzas used by the Welsh tribes when marching towards the great Sanctuary of Britain. It compares the island to a cover on the ocean or sea. "Calan ei Rhi” means the beginning of a new year, which is God's gift. Plenydd, Alawn, Gwron, were names which denoted the three chief attributes of the Creator, and they are even to this day represented at every Gorsedd by the three most highly gifted and esteemed bards.
The British Weekly says that Mr. Frank N. Hill, late editor of the Daily News, was originally a Unitarian minister at Merthyr Tydvil, Glamorganshire. He was for a considerable time the editor of the Northern Whig at Belfast, where he did not abandon his interest in theology, contributing on that subject to the Spectator. His brilliant "Political Portraits," and "The Political Adventures of Lord Beaconsfield," are not forgotten. There are a great many sound judges who think that the loss of this able Welsh journalist's services is one which the proprietors of the Daily News must now feel to be a disaster.
Canon Isaac Taylor, writing to "Notes and Queries' (7th S., iii. 161), is astonished to find the "old pre-scientific notion" still held that "the Keltic languages have largely borrowed their vocabulary from Greek and Latin." A few words such as eglwys, a church; gramadeg, a grammar; bendith, a blessing; pont, a bridge, &c., may have been borrowed from the Latin or even from the Greek through the Latin. But with such exceptions those numerous Keltic words which resemble the corresponding terms in Greek and Latin have not been borrowed from either, but " are descended from the primitive Aryan tongue spoken by the common ancestors of Kelts and Latins before the separation of the Indo-European races." The writer then instances a number of words (Welsh, Irish, Latin, Sanskrit, and German) resembling in form, the result not of a borrowing between cousins, but of a common inheritance from a remote ancestor.
The following triads for travellers were appended to an article entitled "Travelling in Taffyland," which appeared in Blackwood's Magazine, April, 1848:-
Three mountains that everybody goes up-Snowdon, Cadr Idris, and Penmaen Mawr.
Three mountains that nobody will repent going up-Holyhead Mountain, Carn Madryn, and the Breidden.
Three mountains that nobody goes up-Plinlimmon, Arrenig, and Carnedd Llewelyn.
Three Castles that everybody sees-Caernarvon, Conway, and Harlech.
Three castles that everybody ought to see-Beaumaris, Criccieth, and Denbigh.
Three castles that nobody sees-Flint, Dolwyddelan, and Castell Prysor.
Three wells that everybody should go and drink fromHolywell, Wygfair, and Ffynon Beuno.
The three great waterfalls of Caernarvonshire-Rhaiadr-yWenol, the Falls of Conway, and the Falls of the Ogwen.
The three great waterfalls of Merionethshire-Pistell-y-Cain, Rhaiadr-y-Mawddach, and Rhaiadr ddu.
The three grandest scenes in Wales-Llyn Idwal, Y Glas Lyn, and Pen-y-Cil.
The three sweetest scenes in North Wales-Beddgelert, Tary-Bwlch, and the Banks of the Menai.
The three beautiful lakes-Llyn Gwynant, Llyn Peris, and Llyn Tegid.
Three vales that everybody ought to see-the Vale of Ffestiniog, the Vale of Llanrwst, and the Vale of Dolgelly.
The three rich vales-the Vale of the Clwyd, the Vale of the Dee, and the Vale of the Severn.
Three passes that everybody ought to go through-the pass of Llanberis, the pass of Aberglaslyn, and the pass of Nantfrancon.
Three good pools for anglers-Llyn Tegid, Llyn Ogwen, and Llyn Cwlid.
Three good rivers for fishermen -the Dee, the Conway, and the Vyrniw.
The three finest abbeys of North Wales-Valle Crucis, Cymmer, and Basingwerk.
The three finest churches in North Wales-Wrexham, Gresford, and Mold.
The three bridges of North Wales-Conway Bridge, Menai Bridge, and Llanrwst Bridge.
Three out-of-the-way places that people should go toAberdaron, Amlwch, and Dinas Mawddwy.
Three islands that are worth visiting -Puffin Island, Bardsey Island, and the South Stack.
Three places that no man dares go to the end of—Twll Du in the Llidr, Cilin Point in Llyn, and Sarn Badric off Barmouth.
Three things that nobody knows the end of—A Welshman's pedigree, a Welsh woman's tongue, and the landlord's bill
Three things without which no.pedestrian should adventure into Wales-a stout pair of shoes, a light wallet, and a waterproof cape. (Some learned travellers have proposed to substitute "stick" for "wallet," in this triad, but the fact is that when you go to Wales, you may cut your stick.)
The three companions of the Welsh tourist-a telescope, a sketch book, and a fishing rod.
The three luxuries of travelling in Wales-a stout pony, a pleasant companion, and plenty of money.
Three things which, whoever visits Wales, is sure to take away with him-Worn-out shoes, a shocking bad hat, and a delightful recollection of the country.
Three things without which no man can enjoy travelling in Wales-good health, good spirits, and good humour.
The three nastiest things in Wales-buttermilk, cwrw da, and bacon and eggs.
Three things that the tourist should not do-travel in the dark, wait in-doors because it may be a rainy day, and try to keep his feet dry.
The three qualifications for properly pronouncing the Welsh language-a cold in the head, a knot in the tongue, and a husk of barley in the throat.
The three languages which a man may speak in Wales when he does not know Welsh-that of the Chinese, that of the Cherokees, and that of the Houhnyhms.
The three languages which will carry a man all over Wales, without knowing a word of Welsh-that of the arms, that of the eyes, and that of the pocket.-Farewell! dear reader, nos-dda-wch!
We have received a great many congratulatory letters with reference to the publication of an admirable index to our "Notes and Queries" from the commencement to the end of December, 1886. We have much pleasure in informing our readers that the credit of compilation is due to a frequent contributor to the department-Mr. G. H. Brierley, late of Oswestry, but now of Cardiff.
THE GREAT METALOPOLIS MYSTERY:
POLLY MORGAN, PIT GIRL.
ANGUS MACALISTER, ANTIQUARY.
Compiled from an old MS. in the possession of the Editor.
I, Jeremiah Jellicoe, gentleman (so described by various legal documents in my possession, omitting the epithet "poor," as irrelevant), who send this MS. to the printer, claim no credit for the story it contains. That, as you will see from the heading, I give over, wholly and unreservedly, to another. Inasmuch, however, as I hold a handle in the machinery of the narration, you may be induced to think it a little excusable in me if I begin with a bit of personal history. In order that the infliction may fall as lightly as possible, I shall take the time of this present writing as my starting point, and plunge right into the heart of things by saying that I have often debated with myself the question whether, were I a man of means, I should be known by my neighbours as a book collector in the same sense that another is known as a china collector or a picture collector. It is probable, nay certain, I should have come under some one or other of the heads set out by D'Israeli and some Frenchman before him, whose name I forgetPeignot perhaps for those folk who suffer from the book madness. I love a good book, with good print and good binding. I can stroke its back and sides with the pleasant thrill which I fancy (for I never had animals of my own except children) must be the connoisseur's in horse flesh when he pats the neck or rubs the ribs of the favourite of his stable. I can feast my eyes upon it, too, as it stands on its shelf in my study; but, then, all this is not enough for me. I do not keep such things to look at. I could not, like Pygmalion, fall in love with a statue. The form must first breathe; let it be marble afterwards if it like—although (between ourselves) I had much rather it didn't. In other words, I must enjoy my book in the reading as well as in other ways. And I can honestly say I do so with zest.