[graphic][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

ment westward. This migration of nations N early com was the cause of conquest, of the growth munities the of classes by super-imposing conqueror on family tie was

conquered, of the mixture of blood by the of the strong- gradual assimilation of the two. est, and the

Before the daring Genoese and Portufamily circle

guese ventured out into the Western Ocean, was most ex

Wales lay on the very fringe of the known clusively world. From its mountains men gazed sacred. It was into the mystery of that unknown and impossible for limitless ocean, and felt that they had a stranger to reached the end of the earth. It was only enter into a

the most adventurous that reached our family that was shores,—from them came the Pelagius and

not his own, save the Abelard of history. by the fiction of adoption In the dimmest distance we see a great

and of pretending that race of short men, with dark hair and eyes, he was descended from the and of a swarthy complexion, moving

ancestral god of the family. northwards and westwards. They came, Stranger and enemy were the same. The perhaps, along the northern coast of the purity of the family blood was jealously Mediterranean, from Egypt and Arabia, guarded. The family honour was asserted from the home of weird beliefs about death, in many a fierce blood feud, the family from the deserts that have given the possessions could not be alienated except world so many heroes and so many great through ceremonies so elaborate that alien creeds. We have given them the name of ation was hardly possible at all.

Iberians. Their language has been lost, While the desire for isolation was so unless it lingers in a few place names, and strong, while the hatred of strangers was unless it explains some of the peculiarities so great, while possessions and religion of the grammar of our own language. But were bound up with the purity of the they are probably the most important family blood, why is it that the blood of element, at this very day, in the constitution the inhabitants of the remotest glens of

of the Welsh people. Wales or of the silent reaches of Sweden After them there came another people,is a mixture of the blood of

many races ?

greater in stature and mightier in war, The desire for keeping together is not with colder blood and more virtue. The the only desire that forms a motive power Celts were tall, with fair hair and blue in the history of man.

There is also a eyes. They came along the mountains desire for moving on. In the history of which divide the great northern plain of progressive nations,—from the mountains Europe from the peninsulas of the south. of central Asia to the shores of the Western They remained mighty hunters and Ocean,—there has been a continuous move warriors, despising the skill of the Iberian



craftsman, a skill they regarded as magic. apostle of the severe sanctity of marriage The Celts were the aristocratic rulers of and is the sullying of it due in a measure old Wales, it is the prowess of Celtic heroes to the presence of the more sensuous Iberian? and the fair beauty of Celtic women that are The migration did not cease when the described by the earliest poets of Iberian forests and the marshes of the north ceased blood.

to pour their barbarians into the Roman After the Celts came a race like them lands. The first Angles and Saxons hardly in many things, but uglier and less gifted. entered into modern Wales in the first days This Teutonic wave came along the great of conquest. But they came gradually, and northern plain, and it reached our islands were followed by those who had largely from the point at which the plain reaches intermingled with Celtic people, the the western sea, at the neck of the Jutland Flemings and Norsemen who have formed peninsula. This great migration did not so important a part of the inhabitants of cease for many centuries. It had begun our southern coast. before the birth of Christ, the Roman tried Later on, the towns of Wales were in vain to stem it, and its force was not practically garrisons of Englishmen,spent before one half of Wales was con- centres of civilization and of oppression,quered by the Norman knights it had selling their wares under the shadow of brought into Gaul.

the king's castles and by charteis granted Iberian, Celt, Teuton,—we are not any by the king. It is this that explains, for one of these, we are all of them. Our example, why Owen Glendower could not characteristics might be traced to one or carry his golden dragon into Carnarvon, the other of these, -genius and vice to the and why so much English is spoken at Iberian, strength and pride to the Celt, Carmarthen to-day. honesty and wilfulness to the Teuton. But In our own day, the migration from east our conclusions would probably be all wrong, to west is going on as rapidly as ever, for the elements are changed by intermix- though not attended with slaughter as beture. Besides, the existence of the elements fore. The discovery of the coal and iron themselves is largely a matter of inference. of Monmouth and Glamorgan has brought

But there is one question of supreme im- into Wales thousands of men who are by this portance concerning the difference between time an integral part of the Welsh people. them. It is this,-had they all reached the The continuity of the Welsh people is not marriage stage, or “the patriarchal stage,” that of Snowdon, it is that of the Severn. as it is called. Some say that the story of Not only do people come, they go. They human development begins with marriage, look upon our mountains as their home, others say that marriage itself is the crown of they go and are lost among other nations. a long course of development out of a horde It is thus that we were able to give French existence. This much is certain,—there are literature a Renan and English art a nations among whom the marriage tie is so Burne Jones. To the great towns of weak that it is impossible to find it, nations England Welsh emigration has been unwhose institutions do not presuppose the broken for centuries, Welshmen now flock existence of the family at all. Whether to Liverpool and Manchester as they once this is a relic of a stage previous to the flocked to Worcester and Chester. In family stage, or whether it is a falling away America they are among the most esteemed from it, must be left to be discussed by citizens, and the history of the United the supporters of Maine and Morgan re- States can not be told without giving spectively. But when we find, in the prominence to many of the sons of the Welsh laws, a community whose privileges mountains of Wales. are based on marriage existing side by side with a community with no family The last comers are, for a while, the privileges, we naturally ask,-Do we not most prominent element in the history of find here the Iberian and the Celt not yet the people. Then they die off and graduassimilated? We shall be tempted to go ally lose their prominence and power. To further and ask,–Did the Celt come as the take an instance where there can be no

are bwith a commually ask, buat not yet

mistake, it: is wonderful how soon most of of the last four centuries; it explains the the families of those who signed Magna cry for local government that will be, Carta became extinct. The first comer is possibly, the characteristic of four centuries the most acclimatized, and has the best to come. chance of surviving. The key to the his- Old Wales was feudal. It was under an tory of modern times is the gradual and aristocracy of princes. The reason is that peaceful upheaval of the lower classes. the various classes were not assimilated; Governing classes are gradually disappear- the religion of the time said that men ing. The old fashioned justice, combining must keep their stations, and exercise hunting with dispensing justice to those patience ; there was no means of taking who dared hunt on their own account, no the castles or of piercing the steel which longer: reigns supreme. The priest, who gave one class the power of ruling over could once curse the world and lock the another. gates of heaven, has no longer a monopoly New Wales is becoming democratic. of the explanation of truth and superstition. The perfection of gunpowder will probably The conqueror is being gradually divested make war so horrible before long that of the last power and of the last show of men will put an end to it. The spread of power he has so long held.

education will make every man his own

priest. The people will become self-governThe answer to the question “Who are ing, and the last vestige of a difference bethe Welsh people” is no idle or useless tween castes will disappear. The Iberian answer. It explains the growth of repre- is inevitably conquering his conquerors in sentation which has been the characteristic the end.


THE Cambrian Leather Works, Wrexham, Works now stand, and it is this specialty

: now employing about three hundred that has made Wrexham known to men, women, and boys, and having a large cotton spinners throughout the world. trade, not merely in Great Britain, but also One of the necessities of the cotton spinner in Russia, India, and America, have de- is to obtain a perfect covering for his steel veloped, during the last 120 years, out of a rollers, which, being of varying sizes, and small country tannery into a manufactory having varying rates of revolution, effect of light leather of all sorts, and especially the attenuation of the thread before it is of what is called “roller leather,” the pro- twisted. A first covering is provided by duction of which at Wrexham largely what is called “roller cloth," a special exceeds the total output of all other product of Lancashire. But outside this makers of roller leather in the United inner covering, which serves as a cushion, Kingdom.

an outer covering is required, which must Mr. A. : Seymour-Jones, one of the possess the several properties of elasticity, partners in the firm of Messrs. J. Meredith- toughness, thinness, and extreme smoothJones and Sons; the present proprietors of ness of surface. The only material which the Cambrian Leather Works, published in has been found in practice to fulfil this the autumn of 1893 an interesting little function with entire satisfaction is a special work on “Roller Leather,” in which the sort of leather. The skins of mountaindevelopment of the manufacture of that bred sheep are the best adapted for the product and the leading part taken in production of this le..ther, but the methods connection with it by the author's own of treating them, so as to secure the results firm, and by the predecessors of that firm, required, are so complex as to require great are clearly traced. Roller leather is be- experience and unceasing attention, and to lieved to have had its birth in the tannery make it intelligible why the manufacture on the site of which the Cambrian Leather of roller leather is not merely a specialty,


Seymour-Jonessrs. J. Meredis of

« ForrigeFortsett »