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spirit of inquiry had a good effect,-it prepared men's minds for the reception of the Gospel, the only scheme of truth that could give repose to the agitations of the disputants.
When Christianity had been incorporated with the civil constitution of Ireland, under the admirable administration of Olliott Molt, in the year 470, the abettors of the druidic superstitions were not expelled from the protection of the legislature. Neither occasional nor local worship was regarded as a standard to determine how far men ought to enjoy or forfeit the civil rights of society. Perhaps the policy of the monarch induced him to encourage hopes of patronage from both parties, that by holding the balance, he might turn the scale on either side, and rest the more secure himself. It is to this secret support that the druidic mysteries continued so long after interwoven in the poetical subjects of the Irish, as well as Cambrian bards; to this hope of restoration to power we may assign the careful secretion of the Mithratic caves, and to this is to be attributed the customs which now remain, and evince their former connection with the Helio-arkite rites,
I have the honour to remain,
SAMUEL R. MEYRICK, Goodrich Court;
April 23, 1832.
'Rwyf beunydd yn rhoi sèn ìr Byd,
Translation by the lute EDWARD Williams, of Glamorgan.
This world I slander to my shame,
• For the information of the English reader, it may be necessary to observe that Edward Williams, from whose poetry we occasionally extract, lived and died a poor Glamorganshire stone-cutter.
ADVENTURES OF A WELSH MEDICAL STUDENT.
(Founded on fact.)
The cessation of an awful storm, the escape from imminent peril, the reality of that which we deemed but the dream of mind, and romance of imagination, leaves a nervous excitation of the frame which quiet only, and contrasted repose of varied scenes, and placid events, can entirely dispel; and oh! the luxury of thus exchanging the turbulence of life's tempestuous ocean, for the verdant retreat of peace and solitude; to feel that after buffeting the briny billow, and almost sinking within its abyss, we have at last grasped the rock of safety, and laid the tremulent heart upon a spot where its throbs will be appeased, and its woes alleviated, far distant from the sphere of its misery and danger.
The impetuous attempt of human nature to struggle against the conflicting and volcanic effects of sudden events, and the endeavour to erase from the mind almost every trait of tragic incident, and to form anew the basis of reflection, so as to produce a contrast to the past, seems to be a leading feature in the history of the human affections and passions. The extraordinary occurrences of life possess such striking resemblances to each other, in some of their combinations, that we feel ourselves to be continually combating against a relapse of that feeling, which we know to be most fatal to our happiness, and most delusive to our prospects; but how mournful is the conviction amid all the natural causes of misery, either to fancy, or be assured that we have neglected to allay the tortures of others, by a disregard of their necessities, or even that we cannot recall a brief moment of existence, to whisper another thought of consolation, or convey some stronger expression of interest and friendship to them in their misfortunes and sorrows. Alas! to know that the closed eye hath shed its last tear, that the illumined beam hath become eclipsed by the impenetrable darkness of night, that the hand of friendship will never again be extended, and the coldness of the grave will grasp the once warm and vigorous frame of youth and elegance. In these sentiments, you, my readers will sympathise, but I should hope that you are not so unfortunate as to extend your sympathy to circumstances equally disastrous and awful with those I have related in my previous narrative. The drama of life seldom closes in so abrupt, or so tragic a manner, as in the instance alluded to. Age, with anxious decrepitude, youth and protracted suffering, are received within the portal of death's gloomy chamber, by nature's imperious dictates, but the broken and contrite heart, the victim of sudden remorse, arrested by
conscience, stricken and wounded, sinking beneath the weight of guilt, fully and sensibly alive to its irremediable state; at one moment convulsed with reflection, and at another receiving hope's last ray, and almost expiring with the ecstacy it afforded. To have witnessed the dissolution of the young, beautiful, and intellectual, when hope indulged in a long reign of enjoyment, and ambition presumed upon success in the daring schemes which the too fertile imagination of youth had depicted, and nourished; to see the bud, with the fresh and vigorous blush of nature apparently permanent on its leaf, and in a few brief succeeding hours to find it bereft of its charm, and broken by the tempest of misfortune, and prostrate with the earth. So chilling and discouraging are some of the lessons of experience, so disheartening, but too often, is the issue of the fairest prospect, that one regards human nature, in its loveliest and most attractive forms, with repining, on account of the uncertainty of its future destiny; and man frequently shrinks from the fashionable circle of life, lest the over sensitiveness of his disposition for the distresses of others, should, by sympathy, excite a corresponding unhappy state of mind in himself. Who is there existing in the gay sunshine of popularity, the object of admiration, and perhaps even of adoration, without knowing that the idol which at one moment is extolled, at another lies broken, the victim of injustice, and perhaps of persecution.
These ideas were the simple and natural reflections of my mind upon contemplating the remains of my deceased friend; and the usual rites having been performed, I endeavoured again to rally my discomposed spirits, which the reader will perceive by the tenor of the foregoing observations, were neither adapted for the arduous duties of life, nor calculated, in the tone of their despondency, to render me, in the society of my fellow-students, what medical professors should always endeavour to be, the cheerful and rational companion and friend. I determined, therefore, on exchanging the close and humid atmosphere of the metropolis, for the invigorating breezes of my native Cambria, and the fond companionship of my beloved and betrothed Emily. The third morning after my
resolution had been formed, I was seated on the then heavy Shrewsbury coach, and descried, on entering the vale of Shropshire, in the grey light of the dawn, the bold outline of the Welsh mountains.
How many and how varied had been my circumstances since I left this picturesque landscape! but how contrasted to them, and how glorious, and sublime, was the scene before me! Thę sun rose in grandeur and majesty, and the distant vallies reposed beneath its smiles; for it was that season of the year when the loveliness and warmth of summer was combined with the freshness and vigour of spring
The lover of the picturesque feels disposed to complain of the modern alterations in roads; but, at this time, the Holyhead road not being in existence, my taste for the wild and romantic scenery through a route almost unknown to the tourist, was most fully indulged. I proceeded on foot from Shrewsbury, and saw, for the first time, the beauties of Myvod, and the adjacent upland vales, until I arrived at the depopulated village of Llanvihangel, and then crossed the Berwen range, which divides the Dee and tributary streams of the Severn. Upon this mountainous expanse, as many of my readers are well aware, Henry II. was defeated by the intrepid heroes of Cambria, and it possesses, in addition, many features of interest to the artist, the botanist, and the antiquary.
From the far-famed mountain of Cader Bronwyn rushes upon the view the legendary pool of Bala, and its grandeur, for the moment, paralyses the senses: the grave where fell of old the barons of iniquity, the eternal monument of Heaven's retribution; its dark and sullen waters were expressive of the tale of mystery, and of woe. The abrupt and sombre mountains of Arrenig swayed majestically the north-west barrier; the pyramidal and more graceful Arran lay upon the left; the peaks of the hills were seen in dim reflection on the surface of Llyn Tegid, and the sublimity of the scene, and the composition of this terrific landscape was such, as to entrance the mind, and to prepare my imagination for the events of the succeeding morn.
Upon inquiring my road at the small cottage of a shepherd farmer, I received a hospitable welcome to share the evening meal, and sojourn for the night, which I gladly accepted; and, before sunrise, and ere the plover had offered its first plaintive whistle in apparent thankfulness for the repose and protection it had received in its bed of fragrant heather, I had resumed my pilgrimage, which, in the grey twilight, was more solemn than interesting. The dew, spiced with the wild fragrance of the hills, swept by the fresh early breeze, the golden ray of the sun just peeping o'er the distant rocky Bridden, awoke my mind to a higher contemplation of the beauties of nature, and the grandeur of scenery, than I had experienced even on the preceding evening. What! thought I, was this spot, now so exalted in majestic scenery, and its soil so prolific in affording the combined sweets of the mountain tlıyme and heather, once polluted by the mingled gore of Saxon and Walian heroes, whose uncurbed spirits form in history so striking a contrast to the still and peaceful scene around me? Did the wind, now so pure and odorous, once bear afạr upon its bosom, the death shrieks of the expiring brave, and the acclamations of the victors ? Yes! tradition, well authenticated, has consigned to this scene the defeat of England's second Harry, and the triumph of Gwynedd's Owain over the southern king and his mail-clad warriors. I was absorbed in the
reflection which the events, connected with the local history afforded, when my ear suddenly caught the almost inarticulate wailing of some one in distress ; I listened more attentively, and felt assured that my conjecture was correct.
I hurried to a spot of more extended view, and the unhappy object who attracted my notice, and who, even in her frenzy, appeared beautiful, was seated on the still dewy heath, wildly shrieking, and in desperation tearing her hair, which hung in disorder upon her uncovered neck. This was no moment for explanation, and, with the assistance of a neighbouring shepherd, we conveyed the unfortunate girl to her home, which was providentially not far distant. An interest in her untimely wretched fate having caused myself and some friends to procure for her a more comfortable asylum, in one of her lucid intervals she was induced to confide to me some particulars of her past romantic life, which I have wrought into a short story, and have entitled it
THE MANIAC MAID.
The light of reason has never been dispelled so entirely by my misfortunes, but that it returns dawning over my weakened senses, like the flickering of the grey morn, casting its shadows over that portion of my existence which might have been happy, and affording its light only where misery and despair have already much worn down my broken spirit, and distempered imagination. I was the only child of parents whose inheritance was the land which their forefathers had tilled for many past generations, the spot upon which they had lived, the tenure which they had cultivated, and the sacred yew-tree, beneath whose branches their remains had been laid, had been hallowed by the proud recollection of ancestral antiquity. Can I ever forget the fondness with which they regarded the gradual developement of my youthful attractions, and directed those accomplishments of mind, of which anxiety and wayward fortune have since almost deprived me. My village friends, who called me the flower of
-,* have many of them lived to see how little of the bloom hath remained; but there was one once, who esteemed even the wild fragrance of the lowly cottage bud : he was a neighbour, and his life was given to the ocean. Our loves were pledged almost before we knew the tenderness and strength of the bond of affection; he was a youth whom I hardly dare to recall to mind; it excites my over-heated brain, and makes me too bitterly think of my blighted hopes. How little did he think,-his lightly bounding step, his fine hazel eye, subduing the rising im
Anxious to avoid unpleasant allusions to places and persons in connexion with this narrative, the writer has been induced to omit their names, and in some instances to misplace localities.