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"Hen Brydydd" sends us a literal translation of another very ancient Welsh hymn, rendered precisely into the same metre, and to be sung in the same tune as the original-well-known by thousands of the old Welsh people :—
O gariad! O gariad ! anfeidrol ei faint!
Fod llwch mor annheilwng yn meddu'r fath fraint
Cael heddwch cydwybod, a'i chlirio trwy'r gwaed,
A "chorff y farwolaeth" a phechod dan
What love! O! what infinite love shown to me!
That dust so unworthy so favoured should be,
With peace of pure conscience made clean through the blood,
While sin and "this body of death" are. down-trod.
Mr. Arthur Mee (Llanelly) forwards the following lines suggested by the old Welsh hymns :-
Weird harmonies! what mystic might
From lower bounds of gloom and clay,
To fields of bliss and light.
Whence comes your power? Perchance remains
An echo of the lofty strain
That thrill'd the Psalmist's harp again
Dear hymns! ye fill my waiting heart
And, as I list, my vision fills
With battlings in the stormy wave-
Live on sweet strains. Your message bear
In a letter in the British Medical Journal, Dr. T. Eyton Jones, of Wrexham, says:—
Having received several letters from Welsh medical men asking me to recon
sider my decision, and agree to be nominated as a candidate for one of the seats for England and Wales in the British Medical Council, I ask permission through your pages to reply to one and all. At this juncture I do not consider it wise to run any Welsh candidate, for he would not have a chance of success. This I do think, that it would have been more considerate and courteous to our national feeling to have mentioned specially in the Act a representative for Wales; and feeling, with many of my countrymen, that we have been slighted, I will join and work with any Welsh Committee to bring this matter before our members of Parliament with a view to its rectification. Englishmen, I regret to say, desire the extinction of national feeling, and the absorption of national sentiment into AngloSaxon ideas. This we know is strongly resented in Ireland. I know from personal observation in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the Western Highlands, that Scotchmen will not have it; and from fifty years' intimate knowledge of my fellow-countrymen, through being conversant with the Welsh language, I can assert that Welsh national feeling is growing stronger than ever, and that to have representative institutions of their own is now strongly agitating the Welsh people. Next week I start for three months' sojourn in that land of ancient and modern (social) plagues-Egypt: and if on my return with (I hope) restored health, my Welsh friends require my services, I shall be very happy to give them, to assist in obtaining such an alteration of the Medical Act as will satisfy their national aspirations. Of this I am sure, that, until England recognises this national feeling in Scotland, Ireland and Wales, so long will Parliamentary labours languish and become abortive, which you will allow is a great deal for an old fossilised Tory to admit, who, whilst placing the good of his country above every other consideration, cannot and will not forget that he is a Welshman.
A story is told of a Welsh jury, who, when a learned counsel had opened his case, and concluded by saying: "Now, gentlemen, I will call before you the witnesses who will bear out the statements I have made," replied unanimously, "Oh, Mr. Williams, you need not give yourself the trouble, we can believe you."
A correspondent of Notes and Queries (Nov. 13th) puts the following question as to the origin of wherries carrying the effigy of a Welsh girl on the east coast of England :-
Can anybody tell me why a large number, if not a majority, of Norfolk and Suffolk wherries carry as an ornament and balance to the vane, at their mastheads, the effigy of a Welsh girl (so she is entitled by the local authorities), rudely cut (out of sheet zinc) and painted in gay colours? Her tall hat (in the specimen which I have painted yellow, not black), and still more, the bunch of leeks in her right hand, proclaim her nationality more distinctly than the rest of her promiscuous garb. I have inquired her origin of wherry-owners, wherry-men, and of the principal purveyor of wherry appurtenances at Great Yarmouth, who, at over fifty, tells me he has made these "Welsh girls" for as long as he can recollect, but can assign no first cause of their being.
On Nov. 27th a reply appears to the effect that the figure "is intended to represent Jenny Jones, or Morgan, the heroine of the once popular song. This style of vane was first made for a wherry called the 'Jenny Morgan,' about thirty years ago, and for some reason became popular amongst the wherrymen about here [Great Yarmouth], and is still to be seen on most of the craft."
Some correspondence recently appeared in the "Notes and
Queries" section of the Red Dragon relative to the poet Shelley's residence in Wales. In The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley, by Professor Dowden, just published in two volumes, the following reminiscence of the poet is given:
As late as 1878 a tourist to Cwm Elan, who loved the poetry of Shelley and knew the story of his life, came at Nantgwillt upon an old woman who remembered a visitor at Mr. Grove's house when she was a little girl and carried the post-bag-"a very strange gentleman," one who on week-days wore a little cap, and had his neck bare, but went on Sundays in a tall hat, and so nice-looking, with his family to church; who bought for her at the sale at Nantgwillt House the little brass kettle on which she had set her heart-" him that put the fivepound note on the boat." Who could the strange gentleman have been but Shelley? And in the memory of old Elizabeth Jones probably reminiscences of Shelley's visits of 1811 and 1812 had run together. He loved, she said, to sail in the rapid mountain streams a wooden boat about a foot in length, and would run along the banks, using a pole to direct his craft and keep it from shipwreck on the rocks. On one memorable occasion a banknote served as sail, and little Elizabeth wished that it had been hers.
From a poem of Shelley's hitherto unprinted, entitled "The Retrospect: Cwm Elan, 1812," we take the following:
When James I. was on the road near Chester, during an expedition into Wales, he was met by large numbers of the Welsh, who came out of curiosity to see him. The weather was so dry, and the roads so dusty, that he was nearly suffocated. He was completely at a loss how to rid himself
of their civility. At last one of his attendants, putting his head out of the coach, said "It is His Majesty's pleasure that those who are the best gentlemen shou'd ride forward." Away scampered the Welsh, and but one solitary man was left behind. "And so, sir," said the King to him, "you are not a gentleman then ?" "Oh, yes, and please hur Majesty; hur is as good a shentleman as the rest; but her ceffyl (horse) is not so goot."
At Ruthin Town Council last month after the election of Mayor, while the members were taking refreshments, Alderman E. Roberts related several anecdotes of by-gone days, remarking that the Municipal Charter granted to Ruthin was now six hundred and four years old, it having been granted by King Edward I., in 1282. Two goblets were presented to the Corporation in 1632 by Bishop Goodman, and the names of the two then presiding aldermen, viz., Edward and Rice Jones, were engraved thereon. It appeared, however, from the corporation records, that Alderman Rice Jones committed a forgery, and afterwards a murder, for which he was tried, convicted, and hung. The corporation thinking that he had not by his various exploits added to their dignity, ordered that his name be erased. Some amusement was caused by the Town Clerk reading an extract from a resolution passed a few hundred years ago, ordering that the surveyor's salary should be increased to the "sum of fourpence weekly." The Mayor said that in a work published in 1817 the writer stated that one of the characteristics of Ruthin was the number of wild pigs that were allowed to run about.
The London correspondent of the Irish Times tells the following story :
A laughable holiday experience has been brought into Fleet Street by a couple of pressmen who have been spending a holiday by walking through part of Wales. Arriving at Welshpool they luckily put up at a hotel where one of them was well known, otherwise an unpleasant circumstance might have arisen. Strolling through the town after dinner, they called at a public-house, and got into conversation with a native. Having asked Taffy to drink, they proceeded to question him with regard to how they could obtain admission into Powis Castle. The over-cute Welshman thought he smelt a rat, and afterwards followed them back to their hotel. Button-holing the landlord, and in a deep stage whisper, he commenced, " David Evans, David Evans, do you know that you are harbouring Fenians? Those two fellows in the next room are bloodthirsty Fenians, they be'en seated in Richard Thomas's taproom drinking Irish whisky and plotting outrage. They asked me a lot of questions about the Castle, which they are going to blow up. Send for the police, man; send for the police." The worthy landlord, of course, laughed heartily at his timid townsman, and explained matters. Subsequently he told the joke to the two pedestrians, who vowed in future that the whisky drank by them out of Fleet Street shall be Scotch.
"It is curious," writes the London correspondent of the
Oswestry Advertizer, "to note the avidity with which English Churches snatch up the leading young men of the Welsh denominations. It is also somewhat painful to note the want of grip in this direction amongst Welsh Churches. The Welsh pulpit is rapidly losing its rising men. Mr. Evans, whom I have just mentioned, is a case in point. I find that Newtown is shortly to lose another able man in the person of the Rev. Owen Jones, whose excellent work on 'Some of the Great Preachers of Wales' was not long ago highly praised by the late Prime Minister. London has within the last year or two attracted to itself Mr. David Davies, Mr. Ossian Davies, Mr. Eynon Davies, Mr. J. M. Gibbon, and others, the transfer of whose services. cannot but be a serious loss to Welsh Nonconformity."
Writing, December 1st, to the St. James's Gazette, a correspondent signing himself "J.H." says:-
I had fancied that the Beddgelert legend had long ago been relegated to the limbo where William Tell, Eustace de St. Pierre, and other fabled heroes disport themselves for the edification of the groundlings. There is, however, no doubt as to the Sanscrit origin of the Welshmen's story. It is to be found in the Hitopadesa, whence it was transferred to the Anvar-i-Suhaili, better known i this country as Pilpay's Fables. The incident may be simply told. A Brahman's wife, residing in Oujein, had left the house to perform the customary ablutions after childbirth; and shortly afterwards the Brahman himself was sent for by the Rajah to celebrate a religious rite. The new-born babe was consequently left alone in the house in charge of a tame mongoose. On his return the Brahman was met at the threshold by the little animal, with its muzzle stained with blood. Hastily concluding that the mongoose had killed his child, he dealt the poor creature a fatal blow with the staff he carried in his hand. The babe, however, was asleep in its cradle; while on the floor lay stretched a venomous serpent which the mongoose had boldly attacked and slain.
Three days later another correspondent, signing himself "V.,' writing to the same journal, said:
To your correspondent "J. H.'s" statement should be added that the Spanish version of Kalila wa Dimna (or the Arabic version of the fables of Pilpay), printed in black letter at Saragossa, gives a large dog instead of the mongoose; and, I think, a wolf also instead of a serpent. In countries where serpents and mongoose are unknown, other animals would be substituted by the story-teller. This story belongs to the chapter on the Evils of Precipitation, and should be studied parti cularly by Mr. Gladstone's friends-what remains of them.
There is, apparently, no legend or tradition too sacred to escape the onslaught of the modern Goth.
The Republican candidate for the Lieutenant-Governorship of Pennsylvania is the Hon. Wm. T. Davies, of Towanda, an old Glamorganshire man.
Mr. David Cadwgan ("Cadwgan Fardd "), of Johnstown, Pa., traces the pedigree of Her Majesty Queen Victoria up to the Welshman Owen Tudor in the following succinct manner-ach