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Saturday was considered by the “ Till I grow weak with years, Celts as a lucky day to engage battle. And the rude anguish of death arrives, Thursday the reverse.
Let me not smile if I praise not Urien !"* The battle of Gwenn Estrad was won by Urien and the garrison of
In these poems, and in the address Caltraez, against the Saxon holders to Urien on occasion of a festival, of a fort in the valley of the Clyde. there seems somewhat more of the
and in the “Recompence of Urien,' The besieged were either buried under the ruins or drowned in attempting and yet independent poet friend. The
mercenary bard than of the devoted the neighbouring ford.
In the fight of Menao the Britons poems of Aneurin and Lywarch Hen were again the assailants and con
are beyond suspicion, owing to the
circumstances under which they were querors, led on by Urien
composed. Yet, withal, it is very * This year a chief, prodigal of wine, probable that Taliesin's odes were Of golden pieces, of mead, and of cou- equally sincere. Urien and Owen rage,
seem indeed deserving of most of Courage without cruelty, has pased the the praise they received. Nennius borders;
extols them, so does Gildas, who “ And, followed by a grove of lances,
considered it his duty to castigate And of chiefs united, and of brilliant the British princes for their vices. nobles,
Taliesin was as warm in his eulogium Has rushed to combat.
on the dead son of Urien as in his “What abounding spoils for the army !
praise of son or father when aliveEight times twenty beasts, and of one "Soul of Owen, son of Urien, colour
May the Lord regard your need! Calves and cows !
The chief of Reghed lies under the green
mound."+ “Milch cows, and oxen, and riches of every kind :
Taliesin's poetry, as will be felt, is I should soon cease to be gay, if Urien of a more cheerful character than had perished.
that of either of the other bards.
But that was due more to circum"I drink the wine of my chief;I often drink the wine, his be the praise.
stances than to temperament. The Me he inspires, he sustains, he guides: gallant Lywarch, the court favourite, No one is his peer in grandeur.
the captivating young nobleman, haci
he undertaken to describe the festivals “ If groans are heard in the valley, of his patron, would not have lacked It is Urien who is striking.
gaiety of heart and gaiety of expres
sion. The poetic remains of our bard “ If groans are heard on the hill, It is Urien who triumphs.
are preserved in the “Book of
Taliesin," a MS. of the twelfth cen“If groans rise on the hill side,
tury. Mr. D. W. Nash published an It is Urien who spreads the flame. English translation of these in 1858.
Those who have devoted time to “ If groans are heard in the walled fort, Urien is forcing the place.
the subject of this paper, and to the
manuscripts in which the different “There is no hunger for those
poems are preserved, have come to Who make a foray in his company. the conclusion that the remains of " When he combats, sheathed in armour,
Aneurin and Lywarch Hen have Armour inlaid with sparkling azure,
received but small damage in their His bright blue lance is lieutenant of transmission to our times.
It is, death,
however, to be regretted that a conIn the slaughter of his foes.
siderable portion of Taliesin's lays
* The translations given in this article, such as they are, have been made directly from the originals, and have received no aid whatever from any others yet made.
+ Ened Owen, mab Urien,
Gobouelled ë Reen
Reged uz a kuz trom glas.
were tampered with by successive racter of the people is different, I did not at bards and copyists prior to the twelfth first obtain much better success, though I century. Of the Bard Merzin or read in the eyes of the persons I addressed, Mirddhin, commonly called Merlin, in putting them in the path, and pressing it is supposed that not a single original them a little
, that they could gratify me it triplet has been preserved. Merlin they chose. But I was not known. I preand Taliesin being looked on as is suspicious. It was strange to see Monprophets, the temptation to adapt sieur explore the country with a paper-book their verses to the exigencies of poli- under his arm instead of a fowling piece, tics and public occurrences, was too and ask for the ballad of Arthur or Nomenar great for successive versifiers. rather than the hare's form or the part.
In concluding this article it is only ridge's nest. So he was silent and frequently just to pay a due tribute of respect had a smile of contempt on his lips as if to to the gentleman whose writings have show he was not to be duped.+' But the furnished its theme. Viscount Th. manor house and the presbytery came to Hersart de la Villemarqué, a scion of the mistrust of the peasant gave way, and
my aid, and before these two moral forces the Old Armorican Nobility, has di- bis tongue was unloosened in entering rected his life long labours to re- deeper into his contidence I learned the searches into the Archæology of the motive of his reserre. These pieces, of Ancient Cymry, whether of the North- which I had given title or extract, were west of Britain, of Wales, of Corn- those about which he felt a mysterious and wall, or of Brittany, and incidentally sacred interest without thoroughly under into the literary antiquities of Ire standing them. In his eyes they possessed land and the West Highlands. He a political and terrible meaning, which he has collected all the poetic remains of regarded with superstitieus veneration An Brittany from the mouths of the native and such songs to you for they contain a cer.
old man said to me, * They did not sing such people, published them with a literal tain virtue. The blood boils
, the hands tremtranslation into modern French, “The ble, the tirelveks rattle of themselves, merely Barzaz Breiz," Bards of Brittany, for hearing them. They contain words and and enriched the collection with nament which bring the froth of rage on copious and valuable notes."
the lips of the enemies of Christiane, He has also visited every library in and make their veins thrub. When we England and Wales where Welsh have
sung them marching against the Bleus, manuscripts were reported to be pre- horses at the discharge of the artillery. served, and given a circumstantial When we have been singing them at night account of such as he could discover, in the court-yard of the burat chatran of together with facsimiles of the most one of our nobles, the stares, firelochs, and valuable. Of the difficulties he over- pitchforks, puled behind us have rattled and came in his search for the old lays of clashed as if they were tired of rest. When his native province he has left us an we have bern teaching them to our children interesting account, portions of which in the evening, the Bleus, miles away, have we present
found it out, and next morning our houses
have been surrounded." "But how to succeed in obtaining these pieces of which I had after heard the utles We intend at some length in a fu. and some fragments of the veroes! I had ture article to treat of the Breton questioned many of the inhabitants of the MSS, and the exertions made in the and I readily believed then. Their un last and in the present century, to wazlike disputan made me mariude that rouse the public to a sense of the imthey attached little impitanie to those lays portance of the old literature, and the of which the forefathers were not the desiraileness of its preservation, heroet. In the mountains, where the cha
In our paper on the Cymry, L'NIVERSITY for Oktober, are furnished translations from this repitory.
+ Purt***s of this extract are a mere precis of the original. An English-speaking stranger would le a unsucrratul amang the native Gael at this day
1 These are the very anı sent waslike terima still preserved, and of which the living Bretons bave lost the meaningTbey run them * all
$ This word is bure used in an antagutuvlik bus to kieus, or revolutirni-ts.
ABOUT CHARLES LAMB, HIS FRIENDS AND BOOKS. ABOUT this unique and delightful tions, should, in his own works, have being there has been plenty written 'been gratified by all the little eleganin a loving, but official way. His cies of typography. To be a dandy, ways and manner of life have been or petit maitre, in such things is very woven for us into a piece, and as we pardonable; and there is a fond and go over it carefully we find but few delicate homage in the offering of fine threads dropped. Some of these, and type, broad margin, and toned paper, of very small importance indeed, may to a writer that we love almost akin be thought worth while picking up to the flowers and draperies with Anything, surely, will be welcome which the altar of a patron saint is that helps, even in a small way, to dressed. Charles Lamb would have bring us in contact with this engaging looked down the line of his own writer. As we might fancy ourselves books with fond admiration. They in his room after his death, taking up harmonize prettily. his inkstand-his pen--the book he One year Mr. Edward Moxon, last read, with the leaf turned down whose name, someway, always chimes --the folios; “my midnight darlings” in a sort of “third" with that of he called them, half pathetically, Lamb-the man to whom Leigh "huge armfuls "-even his forsworn Hunt called the “ bookseller of the pipe, (and with what reverence and poets, and with no disparagement to delicacy we would lay our hands him from the antithesis, a poet among on such relics); 80 we might relish booksellers'-starting in business, was these little “odds and ends,” gather- anxious to show the public with what ed up out of byways and out of elegance he would equip his books. corners-little shreds and patches of “You were desirous,” said his friend, no great quality beyond having a Lamb, to him, “of exhibiting a specireference to this arch-essayist, and men of the manner in which publicamost delightful man. For a writer so tions intrusted to your care would unique in his kind, where the species, appear. They are simply advertiseas he himself said of a book, is the ment verses. And thus was introwhole genus, surprisingly little bas duced this pretty little volume, “Albeen said. Yet he might be studied bum Verses, with a few others," by over and over again-lectured and Charles Lamb; an inviting title-page, commented on by the hour and by with a graceful vignette of a “pastoral the volume. It is pleasant to think boy" busily writing. A bright, gay that one so nice and dainty in palate little volume, printed by Bradbury as he was about the "dressing” of and Evans, now tolerably rare, and books--so sensitive and epicurean as not to be seen on the stalls. regards typography, paper, and edi- After all, there is a sort of fanciful VOL. LXV.-NO. CCCLXXXVI.
luxury in reading the book we love Charles Lamb telling how a copy was in the "original shape." Very few waiting for a friend "penes Taylor have had in their hands the first col. and Hessey'). It is tolerably rare. lected edition of the immortal essays At the end is a good analysis of that - small, bright_volume, entitled famous London magazine in which "Elia," not " The Essays of Elia," as they first appeared, requesting the at: they were
to become later. Someway tention of the public particularly there is an aroma about these original to the six hundred original articles books. It was the shape the author's written by “gentlemen of the first own eye rested on and approved. It talents;" and first in order among is a link between him and us ; just these contributions is placed "The as Charles Lamb, I believe, used by Essays of Elia.” How rich those a sort of chain of " handshakings six volumes were, may be conceived comically fancy he might bave indi. when they contained “The Opium rectly shaken Shakespeare's hand. Eater;" Allan Cunningham's "Scot
The delightful paper on books and tish Traditions;" poetry by Montgoeditions lets us into a hundred little mery, Keats, Clare, and Barry Cornwhims and minuuderies of this sort wall; and a pleasant class of paper which the book collector will compre- now unhappily dropped out of magahend. “On the contrary, I cannot zine province, on such subjects as read Beaumont and Fletcher but in “Specimens of the Early French folio; the octavo editions are painful Ports ; additions to Walpole's to look at. But there are "things “Royal and Noble Authors;" addiin books' clothing” which make one tions to “ Johnson's Lives;" "Table. writhe and shiver, and which distress talk;"" Speculations on Richter and the eye ;-the well-meant compromise the Germans.” between meanness and abundance- Pursuing this bibliographical rebetween cheapness and good measure view I have before me now a little
- between "nastiness” and a "good volume, in rather mean dress, dated armful" notion, which takes the shape 1796, being the “Poems on Various of the complete works” in “one Subjects, by S.T. Coleridge, late of vol." with double columns. “I know Jesus College, Cambridge," printed nothing," says Lamb, "more heartless by Robinson of London, and Cottle than the reprint of the 'Anatomy of of Bristol. It is curious that TalMelancholy." But he little dreamed fourd should not have noticed the he himself should be taken, packed appearance of three of Lamb's son. and compressed, into that mean, nets in this collection, which was a straitened suit, many sizes too small
, year previous to the "joint stock" like some predecessor's livery, all venture of Coleridge, Lamb, and straitened, without a fold, or even Lloyd, which is described in the a wrinkle. This seems a cruel and "Memorials." More curious still wanton degradation for one who that Lamb himself should seem to has gloried in fine clothes, and who forget this modest entrance on the could stretch his arms with freedom. stage of his little verses; for in a As he said of Burton, so it might be dedication that came long after, he said to Mr. Moxon, “ what need was says, addressing Coleridge, “it would there of unearthing the bones of that be a kind of disloyalty to offer to fantastic, old, great man, to expose any one but yourself a volume conthem in a winding sheet of the newest taining the early pieces which were fashion." Yet never were the "shabby first published among your poems genteel" double coluinns so fined and My friend Lloyd and myself came polished, or given in such rich mate. into our first battle under cover of the rial--best of type and paper ; but greater Ajax" Coleridge in his prestill nothing can carry of the cut face introduces those soft and pretty an i pattern. Had this abomination initials “C'. L.," which were to have fairly taken root in the days of "Ei," a sort of colour and harmony for what a pleasant protest he would the eye, and for forty years were to have given a ainst the well-meaning grow very familiar to the public. but grovelling fashion.
The Effusions," he mys, "signed The original “ Elia," now open be- C. L were written by Mr. CHARLES fore me, is at the sign of Taylor and LAMB, of the India Honse. IndepenHesser, 9s, Fleet-street (we hear dent of his signature their superior merit would have distinguished The whole was scarcely a column them." A style and title which in length; but it excited the deepest seems to have struck quaintly on resentment. Southey and Hunt Lamb's ear, for when the new poems rushed into the Times and into the were getting ready he wrote out a Examiner with stinging verses and full title-page with the same descrip- bitter prose. It was remembered tion.* These three sonnets are the long after, and yet it should have ones commencing, Was it some been recollected, that the Gazette had sweet device of fairy land ?” which done ample justice to Lamb's other becomes “Effusion XI." of Coleridge; productions, and that with the high and “Methinks how dainty sweet it standard Lamb bimself had furnished were,” which is “Effusion XII.;" and to his friends and admirers, these are "I could laugh to hear the midnight poor and weakly, though graceful, wind,” which in his collected poems rhymes. Long after noticing, “Elia's becomes one of a series, and is only Essays," the same journal alluded to distinguished by a number, but here the attacks that had been made on has a lofty title,
itself. “And nearly the whole of the
dirty would-be squibs and epigrams WRITTEN
which issued from the scribbling AT MIDNIGHT BY THE
clique alluded to, rang the changes on
Peter Pindar’s filthy idea expanded SEA-SIDE AFTER A VOYAGE.
into the corresponding rhyme. NoWhen the “ Album Verses" came thing could be more cordial than their out a smart but very short and welcome of the Essays. They did trifling criticism, done in a flippantly not visit on his head what they owed slashing style, welcomed them in the to his friends. “ But to return to Literary Gazette. It is inconceivable this delightful volume,” they said of at this distance of time how such a the “last essays,” which shall be comment, scarcely to be compared "bound in fresh-clad hopeful greenwith a really “severe” notice of our we were going to have said and gold day, could have caused such deep re- --but that is too costly for the daily sentment. But there was then savage wear and tear of its future destiny." warfare, semi-political, among those A genial expression of enjoyment, who used the pen professionally, and like what Leigh Hunt would have reviews were often the arms of poli- spoken. So, too, with the "Tales from tics.
Shakespeare." " The book is neatly "If anything,” said this notice, bound in coloured cloth-a species of "could prevent our laughing at the binding which has a very good effect; present collection of absurdities it though, we fear, not very lasting. would be a lamentable conviction of So with the “Specimens” _“a new the blinding and engrossing nature of and very neat edition of a book which vanity. We could forgive the folly ought to be never out of print, for it is of the original composition, but can full of sweetness and beauty." His not but marvel at the egotism which verses they could not tolerate, “The has preserved and the conceit which gems, it may be, are not all diamonds bas published. What an exaggerated and precious stones, but the Bristol notion must that man entertain of stones and garnets are extremely his talents who believes their slightest pretty, and the best of their kind.” efforts worthy of remembrance; one
After all, what was this to the who keeps a copy of the verses he attack of the old Monthly Review, writes in young ladies' albums, the now in a sort of toothless dotage, but proverbial receptacles for trash !" in which the old sour juices of
These were good set terms, and they Kenrick, chief of review * hacks,” finished with harder, giving great and of the Griffiths who wrung commendation to the typography, Goldsmith's heart, seemed still to but adding “we could have dispensed circulate. It led off in this fashion: with this specimen."
"Some few years ago there was in this
Lloyd could have had no share in this collection, as Coleridge acknowledges every one's assistance handsomely, even to the “rough sketch of Effusion XVI.," and to the "first half of Effusion XV."