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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 persuarle 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. à Welsh jury,” to the minds of some, means a body of men bent upon defeating the In realing 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,
a few Welsh triads,These misconceptions are all due to 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 filled him with “an agreeable kind of
The three hardest things,-a granite block, a
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.
Three things are best when hung, -salt fish, a 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 by the hour about his pedigree. During oak; a miser's chest unlocked, and impartiality in
. the same century the Welsh peasants were not so far advanced in matters of sanita
Three things my heart loves to see,--honey on
my bread, the face of the girl I love, and a halter tion as the English middle class travellers. round an Englishman's neck.
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 à 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 à 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
of a flint-stone, for grass and hay they world, no ways able to recompense the toil know as little as oats; and they will run of conquest. They lived many ages unupon the ridge of a mountain as thin as disturbed, and as safe as a thief in a mill, the back of a knife, with as much security till our Edward, with much ado, cudgelled and speed as an accomplished race-horse them into humanity, and persuaded them, will exert upon Newmarket Heath or -sore against their will,--to live a little Salisbury Plain. They want not store of like the rest of their neighbours. mutton that is tolerably sweet, for meat Wolves were formerly as plentiful among so lean ; but goat's flesh, -as more suitable them as pick-pockets at a conventicle, till to their own rank constitution,-has the their princes, being obliged to pay a preference; this, forsooth, they call rock- yearly tribute of three hundred, in process venison. These goats are such excellent of time no noxious vermin, but the inclimbers that the only way to be familiarly habitants, were left in the land. They acquainted with them is to render your have this in common with the Jews, that respects by a musket-ball. Little want they ever marry in their own tribe, which, is there of fish, such as trout, gwyniad, as it is detrimental to them, so it is highly salmon, lobsters, and the like. Their advantageous to all others. beef is as tough as an artillery man's Their language is inarticulate and gutcoat upon a training day, and requires tural, and sounds more like the gobbling of a very ostrich's stomach to digest it. geese or turkeys than the speech of rational You cannot suppose they want pork creatures. It is stuffed as full with aps as in a country so very swinish. Their ever you saw a leg of veal with parsley. dressing victuals serves to verify an old They are so well versed in the history of proverb, that " where God sends meat, their descents that you shall hear a poor somebody else will furnish them with beggar-woman derive her extraction from cooks.”
the first maid of honour to Nimrod's wife, Their houses generally consist but of one or else she thinks she is nobody. room, but that plentifully stocked with If they want a pewter spoon or porringer inhabitants; for besides the proprietors, in their house, yet will they by no means their children, and servants, you shall have be without a pedigree. two or three swine, and hard to say which They are such great lovers of cleanliness, are the greater brutes. These houses have that they never shift above four times a holes dug in their sides that serve them for year, and that exactly upon quarter-day, a double purpose, both to let in light and except it happen to be leap year. Most of to let out smoke. They represent both the middle, and all the meaner_sort, are windows and chimneys; for, should a man as absolute strangers to shoes and stockings, have a chimney perching on the top of his as to mortal honesty, whereby their legs thatched mansion there, he would stand in and feet become in time so callous that great danger of being pricked down for hardly anything will hurt them. high sheriff. Cow-dung is their principal For their Christianity,—if you'll believe firing, and the neater sort use swine's dung Tertullian,—they came by it very easily;
but, like an old coat, it is now grown so Thus much for their habitations; now thread-bare that you can hardly make it for those that dwell in them.
out that there ever was such a thing as
Christianity among them. They preface Some suppose them to be descended from everything, with Got” and “St. Taphy the same common parents with us; but to knows;" which saint was a very worthy hear one of them talk you would take gentleman, that could play at back-sword them for a sort of Præ-Adamites, nor can well. You may read of him plentifully in there be anything imagined so troublesome that excellent book called The History of the as a Welshman when possessed with the Seven Champions; to which I refer you for spirit of genealogy. They are, doubtless, further information. Their most usual imthe true offspring of the ancient Britons, precations are these,—"May her never and have crept into this obscure corner of the wear leak more;” “ May her be choked
instead of soap.
with toasted cheese ;” and “The tiphill bite football. You may expect, but will not her head off.” Their churches somewhat re- find, any rings of bells here; yet most of semble the Jewish Tabernacle converted their churches have one, about the bigness into a pigeon-house. Their pews look ex- of a large candlestick, hung upon,—not in, actly like the pens for geese, calves, and a thing like a steeple, as a mushroom is hogs in Rumford market or West Smith- a millpost. This is generally rung out field. And there it is, that,—by way of upon any joyful news. I remember once ornament, not use,—they deposit those few we had a church warden's accounts canvassBibles they have. Their pulpits,-generally ed in court, and among other things, there the trunk of some hollow tree,-are badly are these that follow,covered, and worse lined. Their priests, –
ITEM: Threepence for a twisted hay-rope to which are made of the vilest of the people, the bell at St. Mary's Church. -have just Latin enough to entitle them ITEM: Sevenpence for a gate, to keep off to the benefit of clergy, and no more. Thomas ap Richard's cow from devouring the For Greek, it suffices them to have heard aforesaid rope. there is such a thing in the world; they The churchyards serve the dead for a never trouble themselves about it. Hebrew, burying and the living for a dancing place, they are the best qualified for that as can be, and that every Sunday; for there you partly in regard of their own guttural shall see a blind harper mounted upon a pronunciation, and partly because its roots gravestone, making admirable harmony, flourish best in barren ground; but they surrounded by the long eared tribe, like are as absolute strangers to it as the rest another Orpheus amongst the beasts. of the uncircumcised world. Yet it is rare For their civil government, it is after the to see any of them without the rubric, and model of England ; but, in many things, as Cambridge arms, Lucem and Pocula, fire much varies from it as the Turkish Alcoran and cups in their faces; so very comform- does from the Scotch Directory. They able are they. The surplices are full as have judges of their own, that carry with coarse,-and almost as white,—as carmen's them in their circuits an itinerant chancery, frocks; they are perpetually wiping their king's bench, common pleas, and exnoses on them. Five marks a year credit chequer; so that the same hand that inflicts ably and comfortably maintain one of those the wound at common law, applies the illiterate Sir Johns, his wife, and six child- equity plaister also. In three weeks' time ren; nor do they deserve one penny more they will sue a man to an outlawry. It than they have. They are universally the is the form of one of their proclasow-gelders and alehouse-keepers of their mations, respective parishes.
Morgan Cadwaladar, gent., come forth and Āt Penmorthey, some of our younger sort answer to Jane ap Rice Williams, in a plea of sent one evening for a fiddler; and who do dower, or else you lose three kine, price fifteen you think should come but the reverend shillings. doctor of the parish, who pulled a small They are very favourable to their own squeaking instrument,-miscalled a violin, countrymen, and will by no means subject -out of a slit in his cassock, and began them to any capital punishment; an into make as good melody as three or four stance of which we had in our circuit, cats in a garret at midnight. A person where we could not hang one man. There present threw a cake of butter at him, was a fellow indicted for sheep stealing, which so obnubilated one side of his ecclesi- and a very pregnant evidence of his guilt astic chaps, he threatened to complain to produced, yet the thick-skulled jury brought his diocesan, who was a justice of the peace, him in guilty of manslaughter. But but was soon stopped, by a present of six- strangers are not to expect such fair pence, a sight, I suppose, he had not been quarter. blessed with since last Easter offerings. Their civil actions are brought upon very After which he was so very pliant to the frivolous accounts, -as for your hens scraphumours of the company that you might, ing up a daisy in your neighbour's garden; without offence, have kicked him like a for a fillip on the nose; for saying you are
no true Welshman, and the like. No man yellowish complexion, mixed with green ; will appear there, either upon a jury or a and you must hold your nose in your own witness, unless he be called by his aridition defence, before you can put it into your of quality, as well as name; as Hugh mouth. However, 'tis very good to grease Owen, Esq., Evan Roberts, gent. Nay, it cart wheels. Eggs bear no price unless has been known, that when my lords the they have chickens in them, and then they judges have, in their circuits, been so are as much coveted as toasted cheese. This crowded as to be well nigh stifled upon epitomizes all dainties with them; and they the bench, and the sherift has found all eat it with as much luxury as the Scotch his mandates to keep the king's peice upon do steenbarnack, or the Irish bonniclabber. pain of rebellion invalid, he has at last It is made of cows’ milk, mixed with that been forced to cry,—“All you that are gentle- of goats, bitches, and mares; so that an men of Wales, and ancient Britons, stand Englishman would as soon choose to dine off, and keep your distance;" which has
with a hungry Tartar, upon sun-burnt effectually done the business.
horse-flesh, as put a bit of it into his mouth. They are of a hot, choleric temper, and Forks they never use, looking upon will, upon a word's speaking, run at you fingers as the more primitive institution. with their knives full drive. But as their Their liquor is of a pale deceitful comvalour is soon kindled, so it as quickly plexion, but as treacherous in its effects as evaporates.
the worst of those that either brew or use For their women, they are happy that it. know them only by report.
To sum up their character in one word,— Reading is a valuable accomplishment they live lazily and heathenishly, they among both sexes; but, to be able to write eat and drink nastily, lodge hardily, snore too, makes them presently commence profoundly, and smoke tobacco everrabbis : for many, even of the better sort, lastingly. think themselves no mean scholar, if they have once attained to be able to set their An account
my entertainment marks to a deed.
amongst them must now ensue. Their wenches unspit meat with their naked teeth, which are full as sweet as * The account of E. B.'s entertainment in North Wales will be clean; so that had Cornelius Agrippa seen
given in the next number. In the following number will come
an answer, by a very fiery Welshman, an answer printed in 170:. Wales, 'tis more than probable he had The fiery Welshman says that E. B. stand for Eternal Booby, and
calls his own book,- NORTH WALES DEFENDED, or an answer ranked their cookery amongst his vanities to an immodest and scurrilous libel lately published and entitled of science. Butter is there of a dark
A Trip to North Wales, being, as the author pretended, a description of that country and people.”