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EN OCH HUGHES. "
BY DANIEL OWEN,
no sign of sanctity. And to be fair to Abel FAIR WALES.
· Hughes, he never used to shut his eyes except when
in the hwyl.* He was as keen sighted as anyone, FNOCH HUGHES was a love-child, but he was
and he called things by their right names too. No not born in Anglesey. The nook where he
doubt, if he was alive now, he would be considered was born was nearer England, and its inhabitants talked finer Welsh, and, in their own opinion, were
a plain-spoken, harsh man. It is certain that Abel
Hughes, like old fellows generally, was a little too more cultivated and polished, though they were
plain in his speech; but it is to be feared that, in not more religious. The bells were not rung at
these present days, our danger is affectation and his birth, and no signs of rejoicing of any sort were seen or heard. Even the fact that he was a boy,
over nicety,-not calling things by their Welsh
names, and even not calling them by any names at and not a girl, did not bring so much as a smile
all. Have the things themselves ceased to exist ? Or to the face of any of his relations when they were told of his arrival in the world.
have we got some new light on them? Does such
Indeed, some of the neighbours maintained that so little interest
a place as hell exist in these days ? Such a place was felt in him that it was not known, for some
used to be spoken of some time ago, but you
seldom hear such a place mentioned now,-except days, to which gender he belonged, and that it was quite by accident that the matter became evident
by some rather old fashioned person. Is there
such a thing as incontinence ? One hears now and —and that by the carelessness of Enoch himself.
then about “disagreeable circumstances.” But no The reason for all this unconcern about the new
doubt the world has become more mannerly, and arrival was this,-- no one expected him or wanted
care must be taken how it is conversed with. to see him. I have said too much; there was one who did expect him. How many sleepless nights, There was only one, as has been said, who exhow much grief and anguish and torment of mind, pected Enoch to come into the world, and there how much bitter and true repentance, of self loath
was not one who wanted him in the world. He ing that almost bordered on distraction, this ex- was looked upon as an intruder. Enoch, poor pectation had cost, God alone knows. I know fellow, knew nothing of this; and if he had known this is a tender and touchy matter to hint about that his appearance would have created so much I know that it would be pleasanter to one's feel- consternation, and have occasioned so many disings to be listening to one with a good voice comforts and bitter feelings, it is doubtful whether singing,—“Fair Wales, land of song,” and to en
he would not have committed suicide rather than core it, and for him to give us in response,
face so inhospitable a world. But Enoch faced it “White gloves are e'er her offer,
quite innocently and defencelessly. The doctor A glorious land is Wales."
testified that Enoch was one of the finest boys he But the man who thought that he had got the
had ever seen, and that there was only one imperwhole history of Wales in those two songs would
fection in him, which was this,--that three of the be an idiot. I recollect, when I was a lad, that that
toes of his left foot were stuck together, like a good man Abel Hughes, when quite lost in the
• Hwyl. As far as I know there is no English word that gives service in chapel, used to shut his eyes, especially the exact meaning of “ hwyl.” It describes a state of fervour in when singing, and that I got to believe that shut- public worship, when the worshipper has forgotten himself in
the exquisite enjoyment of a purely spiritual world. It is also ting the eyes was a sure sign of godliness. I
used of a preacher whose voice has become mellow under the have changed my opinion, Shutting the eyes is influence of overpowering emotion.-ED.
duck's. Whether this denoted that Enoch would be a good swimmer, the doctor did not attempt to determine. But this was neither here nor there.
mother-whom he had buried about a year previous to this—than he had ever seen her. He looked fixedly at her pallid face, and his heart began to soften. But he turned his eyes and saw Enoch, with his pink face, flat nose, and bald head, and Mr. Davies' anger and wounded pride returned, and he sighed heavily. Ellen opened her eyelids and disclosed a pair of eyes that her father had looked at thousands of times with admiration. Her father was not the only person who had admired those eyes. From the whiteness of her face Ellen's eyes seemed to her father to be blacker, brighter, and more beautiful than ever. But Ellen, his dear Ellen, whom he had looked upon as a model of perfection, without a flaw or a wrinkle in it, like the very light itself, had sinned. And in all fairness to the father, it was her sin and not the disgrace,—though he felt that deeply,—that was like a canker gnawing at his heart-for Mr. Davies was a particular, religious, and godly man in his own way. Ellen opened her eyes, as has been said, and looked imploringly, though silently, into her father's eyes. After a minute's silence she said brokenly,–
“Father, wont you speak to me?”
Mr. Davies did not answer a word, but the workings of his face and throat showed that he was the chief sufferer.
Father,” repeated Ellen, “I have asked Jesus Christ a thousand times to forgive me. think he will, father?”
Mr. Davies looked at Enoch, and clutched the bedpost still more tightly, but he did not break his oath. Ellen said a second time,
“If mother was alive,--and she is alive, I saw her last night--and she has forgiven me. Wont you forgive me, darling father? I have been a bad, bad, bad daughter; but wont you forgive me, darling father?
Mr. Davies let go the bedpost, swayed like a drunken man, took a step forward, kissed his daughter once and again, and returned to his old place without taking his eyes off her; but he never uttered a word. Ellen smiled happily and then turned her eyes to Enoch. As though guided by instinct, one of the nurses, who was a mother, understood her wish, and put the baby's face to his mother's cold lips. Enoch only grunted sleepily when he was kissed for the last time by his mother. After doing this Ellen looked as though she had done with everybody and everything, and gazed upwards without cessation. Mr. Davies did not take his eyes off her; and even when the doctor came in, he did not appear conscious of his arrival. The doctor perceived at once that poor Ellen was on the point of departing this life, and did not try to make her take the medicine. For some minutes
Before Enoch was a month old,-if his senses had developed enough, and if he had not been comfortably asleep by the side of his mother,-he might have been an eye witness of a sight that he would never have forgotten. The bedroom was large and comfortable, which denoted that its owner was in better circumstances than usual. It was a Saturday night, or rather Sunday morning, for the clock had just struck midnight. The doctor had just left the room, intending to return soon with some medicine to help Enoch's mother to cross the river-or, in other words, to die. Before leaving the house the doctor said to her father, who was a very proud man,—“I will come back in a few minutes Mr. Davies, but I am afraid that poor Ellen will not see the dawn. You had better go and see her. Go, Mr. Davies; go, or you will be
sorry for it after this.” Mr. Davies had not seen Ellen since the day Enoch was born. Ellen was his only child, his only comfort, his idol. But on the day Enoch was born, Mr. Davies took an oath that he would never speak to his daughter again. However, when the doctor said to him that Ellen would not see another morning, he felt his heart give a turn, and his blood as it were freezing within him. He walked up and down the parlour half a dozen times, and the twitchings of his face showed the deep torments of his proud heart. He started up the stairs, and then turned back; started again, and turned back again. Yes, he had taken an oath that he would never speak to her again. But he remembered—and he was glad to remember itthat he had not said that he would not see her. He started up the stairs again, and this time did not turn back. Mr. Davies was a handsome and strong man, and he had never before now felt any difficulty in going up the stairs. But this time he felt his legs almost giving way. There were two nurses in the room talking in low voices, and they were frightened at Mr. Davies' unexpected appearance, but neither of them uttered a word. Ellen's eyes were shut, her face was as white as the pillow under her head, and her long hair, which was as black as her sin, was strewed loosely and carelessly about her. Mr. Davies clutched the bedpost, as though from necessity, and looked fixedly at the face of his dear daughter. What a change he saw! Was this Ellen, his dear Ellen? Incredible! She was only a shadow of what she had been. Yet, thought Mr. Davies, in spite of all the change, she had lost none of the beauty that he had always felt so proud of. And, indeed, Ellen was more like her
Ellen continued to gaze upwards, then she said stances, and was highly respected. His daughter audibly,
Ellen, before the circuinstances we have touched “I an am coming now, mother,—now.”
upon, was a favourite, even with her own sex, which convulsive twitch, one long sigh, her spirit took is saying a good deal. Her fall was a blow to wing
scores of her friends and acquaintances, and no one, “She has gone" said the doctor quietly, and at
so far as I know, showed any joy at her disgrace. the same time he took hold of Mr. Davies' arm and
It is not always thus, worse luck. And of all disled him down stairs. The doctor was glad to get
graceful things, the most disgraceful is for any one to the bottom in safety, for Mr. Davies leaned
to rejoice in the misfortune of his friend. The symheavily on him. The father's anguish was terrible,
pathy for Mr. Davies, in his bitter trial, was deep and when he fell heavily into his chair, he pressed
and true, and its manifestation copious. But he his head between his hands and groaned aloud,
his head again. The arrow had gone
straight to his heart, and no one could draw it out. “Oh Ellen! Ellen! my darling Ellen !”
He sold all his goods and chattels; and the last Suddenly he jumped excitedly to his feet, struck of his old neighbours that Mr. Davies spoke to was the table several times till the blood spurted from David Jones, the man who used to cut letters on his knuckles; and, as though addressing the table, the gravestones. he said fiercely,—
“David Jones," said he, "put these words on the “Enoch Hughes, if you are not already in hell, stone that is over my wife, never mind the age and may the curse of God follow you every step of your date,
Also He repeated the mad words several times. The
ELLEN DAVIES, doctor stayed with him till he quieted down. Mr.
'The pitcher was broken at the well.'” Davies was comparatively young, scarcely forty years old. He was looked upon, in the village And without so much as wishing good bye to his where he lived, as being in comfortable circum friends, Mr. Davies left the country.
become conscious of their unity as a ancient tradition, began upon an honournation, there is a tendency in English litera- able respect, and worn as a memorable ture to contrast England with Wales, and trophy of predeceased valour. In Ben the Englishman with the Welshman. To Jonson and in the minor Elizabethan the Norman, the Welsh were foxes; to the dramatists, Wales is held in equally high Englishman they have been, at different honour. times, gentlemen and buffoons. During During the seventeenth century the the sixteenth century, when the Welsh reputation of Welshmen began to decline. chieftains crowded into the court of the Their loyalty, it is true, endeared them to Tudors, and found favour in the eyes of the Royalist; their superstition aroused sovereigns of their own race, the Welsh
the pity rather than the contempt of the was regarded
Puritan. But, in the eyes of all parties, Shakespeare saw the greatness of Glen- they lost their old reputation for valour in dower through the prejudices of Lan
war. The battles of Tewkesbury and St. castrian times,
Fagan's took away from the Welshman “In faith he is a worthy gentleman,
what the battles of Cressy and Agincourt Exceedingly well read, and profited
had given him. In strange concealments, valiant as a lion,
It was during the eighteenth century And wondrous affable, and as bountiful As mines of India."
that the Welshman sunk lowest in English
eyes. All the modern misconceptions conThe greatest of English dramatists hon- cerning the Welsh character, often affecting
Witician that all Wenade by some heated persuade that had in that I have tried was
At the begcenery and this peoples I
an Englishman's judgment, can be traced A sparing use of water and ignorance of back to some book or song written during the functions of soap are unpardonable to the eighteenth century. Pilfering is almost an Englishman. I know a lady who found unknown in Wales, still there is a vague that a maid in a continental hotel was belief among Englishmen that Taffy is a ignorant enough about soap to take a bite thief. Truth is undoubtedly as highly out of her unscented Pears, thinking it was honoured in Wales as in any country, still toffee. It is in vain that I have tried to I have met Englishmen who insist on persuade that lady to believe there ever believing a statement made by some heated was civilization in Italy or thought in politician that all Welshmen are liars. A Germany. “Welsh jury,” to the minds of some, means a body of men bent upon defeating the In reading the English descriptions of ends of justice; and it is readily taken for Wales I am giving, let not the Welshman granted, in ignorance of all English history, suppose that he has been more tolerant that an English juryman has always been than the Englishman. In order to illusthe incarnation of immaculate impartiality. trate this warning I translate, at the outset, These misconceptions are all due to
a few Welsh triads,eighteenth century writers, and I have Three things there are that can never be found gone to the trouble of finding the origin of out, -God's counsels, the first drop of the sea, and all the stock libels about Wales. I shall an Englishman's wiles. publish them, month after month, in order Three things will penetrate to the ends of the that it may be seen from what hole of a world, -sunlight, the praise of a fine fellow, and pit they are dug.
an Englishman's boasting.
Three things the further they are the better, At the beginning of the eighteenth mad dogs, God's curse, and an Englishman. century the scenery and the people of Three things are easy to see,—the mid-day sun, Wales were barbarous to English eyes. I water in the Severn, and an Englishman's bruneed not say that, at that time, the delight tality. in wild scenery was no part of English Three things are difficult to get,-gold from a thought. The beauty of mountain and
miser, love from the devil, and courtesy from an
Englishman. moor and sea had not been discovered,
Three fickle things,--the new moon, a weatherthough we find the germs of it in Addison
cock, and English fidelity. when he says that the scenery of Lausanne
The three hardest things,-a granite block, a filled him with “an agreeable kind of miser's barley loaf, and an Englishman's heart. horror.” At the beginning of the eight- The three chief enemies of a Welshman,-his eenth century the English traveller found own credulous heart, a winged devil from the delight in “the trim and neat” fields of nether regions, and an Englishman. England, and thought that the Welsh Three things necessary in a song for the devil,mountains were unsightly masses of rock the dying squeal of a sow, a cursing priest, and which could not be turned to any account. English.
Three things are best when hung,—salt fish, a The people were no less strange than the The people were no less strange than the
wet hat, and an Englishman. country to English eyes. It has been the
Three things will take a long time to do,misfortune of Wales that Englishmen drying the Atlantic, climbing to the sun, and began to travel in it at a time when unvillaining an Englishman. English and Welsh were most unlike each Three things will not soon be seen the seaother. During the eighteenth century the crow covering Snowdon, reaping wheat on the Englishman disliked and despised senti
Atlantic, and truth in an Englishman. ment, and believed in the fashionable theory Three things attack the weak,--the cat, the of the equality of men; the Welshman
sea-crow, and the Englishman. was full of sentimental conceits, and talked
Three things difficult to find,--a salmon in an
oak, a miser's chest unlocked, and impartiality in by the hour about his pedigree. During
an Englishman. the same century the Welsh peasants were
Three things my heart loves to see,--honey on not so far advanced in matters of sanita- my bread, the face of the girl I love, and a halter tion as the English middle class travellers. round an Englishman's neck.
though we sea had "6264 of mountainglish
BEING A DESCRIPTION OF THAT COUNTRY AND PEOPLE IN 1700.
I KNOW not by what fatality it came somewhat of. This consists of six entire,
to pass that I was bred up to though small, counties, viz. Montgomery, the study of the law, but surely the Flint, Denbigh, Merioneth, Carnarvon, and importunity of others had a greater hand the Isle of Anglesea, and is separated from
in it than any inclination of my own; England by the rivers Dee and Severn. . for I was ever of opinion a young barrister The air is the best thing it has to boast
without an estate,-my case,-made as of, and will sooner procure you an apawkward a figure as a dancing-master in petite than furnish you with means to the habit of a non-con parson, in regard supply it. The country looks like the fag such rarely get their bread till they have end of the creation, the very rubbish of lost their teeth to eat it. However, being Noah's flood, and will,-if any thing,—serve called to the Bar, I began to consider what to confirm an Epicurean in his creed that way I might best settle myself into the world was made by chance. The business with the least certainty of ex- highest hills that ever I saw in England, pense and the greatest probability of such as Penygant, Ingleborough, and the advantage. Amongst all the numerous like, are mere cherry-stones to the British projects that filled my head I could think Alps; and no more to be compared with of none like going a Welsh circuit. For them, for stature, than a grasshopper with · happening one day,-in Trinity term,—to Goliath of Gath. So that there is not, in dine at a Welsh judge's house, with whom the whole world, a people that live so I was acquainted, I met there some attor- near to, and yet so far from heaven, as nies of that country, who, in less time than the Welsh do. You cannot travel from a man might say over a Paternoster, made town to town but you must needs take the all that was set upon the table invisible, clouds in your way, who so gratefully reand then, to make us amends, entertained sent your civility in calling upon them, us with a romantic harangue of the that you will have no occasion to complain felicities of North Wales, which they they send you away dry; for you may, talked of as if they had been describing at your journey's end, beshake your clothes the land of promise that flowed with milk with as good a grace as any water-dog and honey; nay, they wanted little of does his shaggy pantaloons. persuading me that broad cloth of twelve A tree challenges as many lookers on shillings a yard grew upon the hedges; here, as a blazing star or an African monand every now and then a request was ster does elsewhere. And for green things, wedged in that I would come and practise -leeks only excepted,—you might have amongst them. There needed not half so seen as many in Egypt when the locusts many arguments to put me upon a thing I had been rapareeing the country. was naturally forward enough to under- Coaches in many parts were never SO take. So the bargain was quickly struck much as heard of, nor can the natives form up, and I fully determined to visit Wales . any ideas of them that are not as disprothe very next circuit.
portioned to the truth as Montezuma's conBut, before I proceed any further, I will ception of the sea, who had never seen first premise some account of the place anything longer than a horse-pond. Carts and inhabitants, and then speak of my are about the size, and somewhat of the own treatment there.
shape, of brewers' drays. Horses are no Wales then,-anciently called Cimbria, rarities, but very easily mistaken for -is divided into North and South Wales. mastiff dogs, unless viewed attentively; 'Tis the former of these I propose to say they will live half a week upon the juice