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Northwold. Ase, Colonel, and albeit I am not an advocate for belabouring a man like a beast, merely because he serves his king for so many pence a day, yet that fellow has so gone out of the pale of humanity, that I would walk barefooted and bare headed from Hyde Park corner to Mile-end, in" thunder, lightning, and in rain," to see him so made an example of. But to finish the incident to which I allude; the clergyman was immediately taken into custody, carried off to the police office, and compelled, by the dealer in sedition and blasphemy, to pay the sum, I believe, of five pounds. This is a pretty strong instance of the aptitude with which brutes of the infidel school deal out against others the penalties of that law which they themselves are so continually infringing.
Colonel. But we have honoured the vender of blaspbemy and sedition too greatly, by condescending to mention him; let us turn to more worthy topics. I would take a glass of wine, but that I verily believe, after so nauseous a subject, it would act as an emetic.
Northwold. Heaven forefend! Here, Morgan, quick, bring the Colonel and myself two glasses of Cogniac.
Secretary. I propose, as an amendment, that it be a round-robin. What say you, Doctor?
Doctor. Oh! by all means; what says our silent member? (The silent member nods assent.)
Colonel. We honour the Dissenters, and, without prejudice to our own Church establishment, we always have, and always sball support religious toleration, for intoleration is abhorrent to our souls. With confidence we will appeal to the Dissenters themselves, to the author of Horæ Britannice and to Elvaliad, for in the hands of amiable and liberal men we are safe; but let the defamer bear in mind, that this our clemency is not to be tampered with, and that there is but one consideration which prevents our now bringing him to his senses; namely, the destruction that must fall upon those dependent on him for bread, who, however guilty he may be, are free from offence. Yet, severe as our pain would be to punish innocence with guilt, is calumnies against us are again promulgated from the same quarter, no consideration on earth shall prevent our immediate and ample redress in his punishment. The public will be unable to recognise the delinquent, nor do we at present desire that they should, but did we not arm ourselves, and caution them against the assassin's blow, we should exhibit an absence of nerve and of self-respect, which those who know us never would believe, but those who do not, might otherwise be inclined to credit. Longer on the defamer I shall not dwell; and I request the secretary to proceed with his observations on the Gwyneddigion, to me, I am sure, and I believe to all of us, a subject most interesting.
Secretary. It will be unnecessary to enter into a detailed account of the contests for medals at meetings of bards and minstrels, and elsewhere, under the auspices of the Gwyneddigion ; but the spirit of the patriots is unparalleled; and we find recorded in the Origin and Progress,” &c., an instance of Pennillion singers contending for thirteen hours! and in another notice, all night! In their literary contests, they shewed good taste in the selection of subjects; what could have been better than “An Essay on the Recovery of George III.,” “Liberty Hall, (a grousing tent on the Berwyn bills,)” “Owain Glendwr," " Essays on Liberty, on Truth, the Massacre of the Bards » Such have been the labours of the excellent Gwyneddigion, and, surely, in telling the world of their good deeds, we are not uselessly, or unprofitably employed. Nor, whilst the Gwyneddigion is thus rich in solid matier, is it destitute of romantic interest. One of their successful bards, poor Powel of Ysbytty Ivan, in crossing the mountains of Pen-Macbno, in Carnurvonshire, during a snow storm, perished in the wilds: a friend of ours, and a bard of high fame, possesses one of poor Powel's medals. When we touch the romantic, though not immediately connected with the subject before us, it may not be improper to state that Wales has her full share of materials, and among her minstrels, as well as the bards, tbe true pathos is to be found. Aged Griffydd Owen, of Towyn-Merionedd, was a very superior performer: none ever beard him strike the harp unmoved; Griffydd is yet alive, though paralised and feeble. Jle possessed a soul replete with poetry; and the workings of his mind have, on
many occaslons, portrayed themselves, when acutely touched, in bursts of positive Ossianic beauty. I will endeavour to render you an instance of the extreme poetical feeling and pathos, or awen, as the bards call it, which abounded in Griffydd. I must, however, premise that the incident, powerful as it is in the original, loses much of its brilliancy when told in English; the story is this: Some years ago, a gentleman was crossing the sands at Towyn; the sea-storm was terrific, and the desolate scenery of the shore was heigbtened by the dark outpouring of the tempest: bis attention was suddenly arrested by the appearance of a being, solitary and agonized; the kind heart cannot witness misery without endeavouring to soothe it, and thus it was with our friend: on bis accosting with pity the venerable man, wbose long and silvery locks played in the wind, and whose clasped hand and frenzied look shewed that, regardless of the storm witbout, a more terrible convulsion was rending his time-worn heart; the sufferer replied in a deep hollow tone, “My wife is dying, my son is mad, and my harp is unstrung !" Had the genius of Poetry herself uitered this splendid triad, instead of our mountain barper, it would not have dimmed the lofty flame around her diadem, but added a lustre to its beauty and purity;—that suffering, and bereaved being was Griffydd Owen.
Colonel. Surely the remarks of our correspondent, Le Marchand de Tabac, in his last letter respecting the degeneracy of the bards of the present day, are unfounded:"disgraceful to their country, degrading to the acknowledged literary reputation of the Cymry, and the worst enemies to Wales, in a moral point of view. The Welsh gentry, in encouraging the Eisteddvods, are giving premiums to vice, drunkenness, and debauchery. The quiet cottage, and clean hearth, which afforded comfort to a contented husband and a thrifty wife, surrounded by the smiling looks and fond endearments of innocent chubby cherubs, have become desolate; the scene of want, of stinging misery, and of maddened remorse, and bow? why the simple bonest peasant has been told that he has the awen, the poetic frenzy, or be conceives it; he spins his doggrel rhymes and barren thoughts into an englyn; he obtains the prize, for want of another, or a better; he is praised by empty-pated fatterers; he listens with delight; be adjourns to the pothouses, and spends the gold so easily earned, among those who hold him up as an idol of surpassing excellence; home has no further charms for him; he wanders from pothouse to pothouse, composing awdwl to this man and to that, begging a sack of meal, or a measure of malt, and he becomes 4-spectacle, a mass of corrupted worthlessness."
Such are the sentiments of Le Marchand, and I am sure you will agree with me, when I assert that he looks at the picture through a distorted lens. Now, Le Marchand should be cautious, for in directing his satire against the bards, he must bear in mind that a tale writer, (and a very pleasant and clever one he is,) may not be exactly qualified to pass sentence on them. In bis estimation of the vulgar sot, and the village buffoon, we agree; but as to his sweeping assertion directed against the bards generally, we could bring forward many time-honoured names of sterling genuine bards, and others who will, ere long, ripen into a deserved celebrity, the bare mention of whom would satisfactorily confute bis opinion. Oh! Monsieur le Marchand, verily thou hast resided too long in Belgium, and for once in thy life, non equum dicis.
Northwold. Magnificently spoken, Colonel; what a treasure must thou have been on a court-martial! Why, thou art a very Nestor. In the name of enthusiasm, a glass of wine; what shall we have ?
Colonel. Metheglin, to be sure: in what other fluid could I so worthily drink to The Bards of old Cambria? Fill, gentlemen, a bumper; ready, present, fire !
All. “ The Bards of old Cambria,” (three times three.)
Doctor. My dear professor, all tbis is extremely erudité, and very interesting, but pray give us a song:
Northwold. With all my heart (Sings.)
HARP OF THE WEST.
Habp of the west! 'mid mountains bour,
Thy notes are heard afar,
On high blaz'd Cambria's star;
The never dying strain:
Again thy strain,-again!
Now darkly sleep in death,
Which seal'd their tuneful breath;
For fresh as erst their hue,
Then sball we mourn for you?
All deluged with my tears,
Lo! Aneurint appears;
See shady forms arise;
Your strains now reach the skies.
Au. Bravissimo! professor.
Colonel. Who shall now say that a Saxon does not take an interest in Welsh story?
Northwold. No one, I trust. But as regards the bards, I have often wished that some gifted Scott or Moore might rise and gladden the echoes of their mountains: then would the soul-stirring legends of the bards,—the modern Eisteddfodau, the deeds of their honoured brave, and the loves of their beauteous fair, claim the attention they so greatly deserve. Whenever I think on the former greatness of Wales, when I ponder on her faded majesty, (and I assure you, gentlemen, that I do so, frequently and fervently,) I indulge in the belief that, in the present age of literary exertion, such a being must and will arise, and display before our delighted senses the nobility, the goodness, and the exemplary suffering of that beauteous land. Yes, gentlemen, I feel assured that the hitherto hidden glories of those our ancient British ancestors, will shine forth in all their splendor; when the ancient balls, the baronial magnificence, the joy of the least, the rapture of the lover, the gallantry of the knight, the din of battle, and the pride of chivalry, shall be celebrated in pages which will rival those of that master. spirit who has been truly called “the magician of the North;" and when the assembled world sball acknowledge that Cambria is indeed a land rich in poesy and song, even to overflowing.
Secretary. The Metheglin has, indeed, inspired our friend Northwold, and I trust that he may himself, on some bright auspicious day, apply his talents to the development of Cambrian story. But, to finish our detail, and in order that we may go along with the strain the Professor has so ably commenced, let me add of the Gwyneddigion, that by a great effort, (for with limited means all exertion is
* Anglicè, tbe le's ht, generally called Snowdon.
† Aneurin, of flowing muse; also called supreme of bards, or sovereign of the bards.
effort,) it produced, a few years after the appearance of Davydd ab Gwylym, a translation of Llewarch Hên, from the pen of Dr. Owen Pughe; but, as usual, the work was ill supported, and as “the Origin and Progress" informs us, is supposed to be lost, for not a copy was last year to be procured. A similar fate, as regards patronage, attended “the Cambrian Register,” established about the same time; and John Walters, on publishing his English and Welsh Dictionary, was, in point of pecuniary disappointment and loss, å martyr to the cause of literature. Indeed, a strange fatality has hitherto appeared to have hung over the productions of modern Welsh literature. A great part of Walters' book was lost in shipwreck; various old mss., perpetually referred to by old writers, have disappeared : Sir Watkin's collection of manuscripts was destroyed by fire; and the “History of the Gwyneddigion,” and an impression of “ The Cambrian Quarterly," were also accidentally burnt; the “Register," the “Greal,” and the “Cambro-Briton” were all doomed to sink and be no more: but, thanks to the latent, though not extinguished spark of old British feeling that yet exists in Wales, we stand, and, please Heaven! shall stand, notwithstanding the efforts of some who are our enemies. This digression, I trust, is pardonable. Again we address ourselves to the "Origin and Progress of the Gwyneddigion :" there we find that the utility of knowledge” was a contested subject; that, though loyal, they were the first to prevent injustice. A strong illustration of this occurred in the latter part of 1817: the Bishop of Chester appointed a gentleman, unacquainted with the Welsh language, to a living containing 8000 souls; the loud objections of the parish were seconded by the Gwyneddigion, and the consequence was that the clergyman learnt to read Welsh; in this instance the people did not resort to chapels, and the gentleman became known and honoured by his parishioners. That the Gwyneddigion has been composed of men of varied talent and celebrity is well authenticated, and I must, before closing my book for the night, allude to one distinguished person, Dr. Samwel, who was the companion of Cook the circumnavigator, and who witnessed the death of that great man. Dr. Samwel afterwards left his cabinet of South Sea curiosities to Trinity College, Cambridge: thus the Gwyneddigion became connected with one of the first academic institutions of England, and its member received at least the attention, if he did not enjoy the friendship of the immortal Cook. How little are these things known! how little appreciated! and how seldom acknowledged! (The Secretary closes the book, and receives the thanks and plaudits of the Club.),
Colonel. Bravo! « Wales has been, and Wales shall be."
Secretary. Why Northwold, you are pensive as the Doctor, who, I observe, has been looking unutterable things at your expense for the last len minutes. Doctor, (starting.) Who I? My thoughts were at Ramsgate.
Colonel. Ramsgate! What the devil is Ramsgate to us of the St. David's Club? Northwold across the Pyrenees, and the Doctor at Ramsgate! Oh, this is insanity!
Northwold. To say the truth, I am pensive; inasmuch as I have been wondering how our friends the ancient Britons will look, when they see my broad Lincolnshire name so conspicuous in this Club. I have sundry misgivings as to the proceedings of our Club being favorably received, notwithstanding your explanation given this evening to the Doctor. The good folks among the mountains will naturally wonder why I have been obtruded upon their notice, and, notwithstanding the great pleasure I have in occupying my present station, I do not feel my new honours sit so easily upon me as I should doubtless do, were I convinced of a good reception in Wales.
Secretury. Confound it, Northwold, if you turn phlegmatic, what will become of the rest of us? Be assured that our Cambrian friends are men of sense and judgment, and that they will not lightly misconstrue any additional exertion of mine and yours, merely because it may be new to them: they will see our motives and appreciate them. Besides, have we not this night talked and read of Wales enough to convince them of onr unflinching perseverance in their carise ? Then, as to your reception, (I will speak literally,) or that of all of you, in Wales, go there, Professor,—go there, Colonel and the Doctor, and if you do not find cheerful countenances and warm hearts, then am I a traitor to the Principality, and no true man.
Colonel. By the way, what do you think of a trip to the West, next long vacation? answer, thou professor of poetry and les belles lettres !
Northwold, (looking up.) Wake that miscalled silent member, who snores louder than a whale in the sunshine, (rising and shaking the silent member, who continues to snore.) Awake thou worse than dead man-tbou unquiet mortal-thou uncommon disturber of eloquence-thou antipode of all intellectual enjoyment—thou dormant sensualist—thou trough of animal solids and vegetable fluids -ibou receptacle of stupidity and darkness open thine eyes, is eyes thou hast, and look around on us! Do not our countenances sparkle i do not our tongues utter reason? do not music and poetry flow from our lips ? and do we not honour thee by our efforts to make thee partake thereof? It is in vain : what a fleshly doorpost! Surely be is in an apoplexy!
Doctor, (feeling his pulse.) Full and strong as Vulcan's bammer, but I stake my professional reputation there is no disease; none wbatever, beyond the effect of inordinate cramming.
Colonel. Who proposed and seconded such an insufferable brute, as a member of our Club? You, Northwold?
Northwold. Not I: I would as soon have balloted for a bullock from the Lincolnshire marshes.
Secretary. I, gentlemen, I alone am to blame; but I will explain. The fact is, that the establishment of our Club became more widely known than I had intended, or dreamt of, and, consequently, as secretary, I was immediately pestered, notwithstanding the caution to the public as to paying postage, with sundry expensive applications, wbich I did not well know what to do with, (troubling the Club with that point was out of the question;) amongst these was the request of our silent friend, that he might be one of the “select;" I was misled by his name. He is certainly not a brilliant character, although the son of a great genius, whom would to Heaven we bad in bis place! But, by all means, let us get rid of him, for bis nasal music would fill a cathedral; that lust grunt was like the drone of the most discordant bagpipe.
Colonel. Morgan, send one of your people to call a coach.
Northwold. How, in the name of all fair toping, did this animal get so mor tally drunk?
Colonel. Morgan can tell us, I dare say. I observed him, about an bour ago, while the rest of you were engaged in converse, find his way across the ball, by devious paths, towards Morgan; to wbom giving a sign, (for he appears, like a noviciate of the Pythagorean school, to be under a vow of the striciest silence,) he became possessed of the bowl of Llangollen, and, thrusting his brawny head into it, drained its splendid contents to the very bottom; since which, he bas presented a spectacle of the hog-like intoxication you now behold in him.
Morgan, (to the chairman.) The coach waits, sir.
Northwold. Now Colonel, Doctor, Secretary,- now Morgan and all, let us bear a band to lift this wonderful lump of degraded bumanity into his travelling machine. But stay; does any one know where he lives?
Secretary. His letters to me were invariably dated from the Chinese Clubhouse; but it will never do to send him there.
Northwold. No, no; write on a blank card, thou most able Secretary, from my dictation. Secretary, (taking up a card and pen.) I am ready.
Northwold. “ The 'Honourable Patrick Michael O'Clanocrough, Portland Place:" (reading it,) Aye, that will do: written in a fine bold full band, enough for any of the ancient kings of ould Ireland themselves. Now then to him, lads.
(The silent member is with some difficulty lifted from his arm-chair, and carried to the coach.)
Coachman. Where am I to drive the gemman to, your honours?
Colonel. You will find bis card in bis rigbt-hand waistcoat pocket; you had better take it out, and drive to his address; his servants will pay your fare.
(The coach departs.) All. Ha! ha! ba Northwold. Curse that fellow; be is heavy to carry, and, moreover, he has