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composing the circle. At length the candidate was sidered as released from bondage, and from the dominion of Satan, on which account great rejoicing took place. This outrageous affair was called a process of conversion ! such proceeding has ever disgraced the principality. It seems to me that the Welsh are not to be compared with the English, either for great excellence or for great absurdity. We never had a Newton, a Bacon, or a Locke in philosophy; and though we have had some very superior poets, we cannot boast of a Shakspeare, a Milton or a Young; neither have we had a a tenth of the absurd sects which good-natured England has brought forth and fondled in her lap.
The only practice of a fanatical character, in the principality, with which I am acquainted, is a turbulent manner of praising the Almighty, consisting of loud shouting, clapping of hands, and sometimes of jumping. This practice has been encouraged, I believe, by all the religious communities of Wales, to a certain extent; but it is getting very much into disrepute in the present day, and very few are now bold enough to defend it. The practice prevails among the less cultivated portion of the peasantry, whose feelings are strongly acted upon by addresses, on the most momentous subjects, from the pulpit. This sort of proceeding is called by some a revival in religion, but I have not been able to discover in what way it benefits the cause. In my opinion, most of these turbulent revivals have done much injury to religion. That revival is mostly to be desired, which begins in knowledge of God, which is carried on in a deep and serious feeling, and which ends in holiness of life and conversation. A revival of this kind took place, at one time, in the Parish Church of Llangeitho, whilst the minister and people were engaged in offering up the petitions contained in the litany. menced with the words, “ By thine agony and bloody sweat; by thy cross and passion; by thy precious death and burial; by thy glorious resurrection and ascension; and by the coming
of the Holy Ghost." The reading of the litany produced a similar effect at St. Dogmell's, in Pembrokeshire, whilst the late Rev. William Jones, the vicar of the parish, was engaged in performing the service. It commenced with an unusual solemnity and general sobbing through the whole congregation; and he ascribed it to the outpouring of the Spirit, in answer to the prayers that were, at the time, offered
up: But the extraordinary mode of praising God, which I have considered it my duty to censure, is not confined to Wales, It has been witnessed frequently among the English Methodists, and amongst various denominations in America. Nor is it peculiar to Christians, for some Mahometans have adopted a similar mode of conducting public worship. A celebrated painter has drawn the scene, at a meeting-house full of religious jumpers, with a Turk half-way through one of the gallery windows, enjoying the sight, and evincing his pleasure by grinning in a most picturesque and animated manner. This statement was made, about twelve years ago, by Sir D. K. Sandford, in his class in the University of Glasgow.
The insurrectionary proceedings of some misguided men called chartists, which took place at Llanidloes in the spring of 1839, and at Newport, Monmouthshire, in the ensuing November, cannot with any show of reason, be charged against the Welsh character. The hydra-headed monster called chartism, is not an offspring of Wales. It was England that gave it birth. There it was nursed and brought to maturity. In its sojourn it came to the hills of Monmouthshire, travelled onwards to Llanidloes, in Montgomeryshire, and then visited Merthyr, the Gehenna of Wales, where black beings dwell, amidst fire and smoke, who dive into deep caverns, where opportunities are afforded them to concoct their treasonable designs against the inhabitants of this upper world. The whole of Wales must not be charged with the disloyalty, and revolutionary intentions, of a few mixed and discontented workmen, led on by a Vincent and a Frost, whose names de
signate them as Englishmen. The great mass of the Welsh people, since the days of Owen Glyndwr, have been quiet, though they have had to endure much oppression, and to procure their subsistence by hard labour.
The natives of Wales have a strong feeling of nationality. Tracing their descent from the remotest antiquity, and conscious of their divine right to the country as first heirs of the soil, a feeling of exultation pervades the whole mass. To exist after so many and persevering attempts at their extinction, and to retain the vernacular use of their primitive, nervous, and enchanting language, after so many revolutions in their civil and religious circumstances, are facts in which they will ever glory; and no good reason appears why our English neighbours should deny us the consolation of these facts, or laugh at us, with so much sarcastic malevolence, when the matter is discussed in their society. It must, however, be confessed that many of our countrymen set too high a value upon these things, and provoke the ridicule and envy of their English neighbours by too frequent a reference to them. It is truly amusing to hear some of our rustic wise ones, who have dived a little into antiquities, talk of what the ancient Britons have been, the magnificent figure they have cut in the world, and the mighty achievments in war for which they have been celebrated; forgetting altogether our present insignificant position among the nations of the globe, and inducing those who will not take the trouble to inquire into the merits of our claims, to remind us of a certain Emperor in Africa, who dines on a few fruit, under one of the trees of the forest, after which he commands his herald to proclaim, with the sound of trumpet, that all the kings of the earth may take their dinner!
His national attachment accompanies a Welshman whithersoever he goes; and if there be any truth, in the description given of his feelings, in the poems entitled “The longings of a Welshman for his country in a foreign land,' their intensity
is very melancholy and distressing. This feeling seems almost peculiar to the Welsh, for the inhabitants of none of the other parts of Great Britain appear to have so great an affection for the land of their fathers. A Scotchman leaves his country, and if he can help it will not return; but a Welshman pants for an opportunity to return, and spend the evening of his life among his native hills. The few natives of the principality, who are settled in different parts of Yorkshire, have manifested the greatest solicitude for the welfare of Wales, by repeatedly petitioning the legislature for the redress of those grivances under which they have considered their countrymen to labour. The Welsh in London have particularly distinguished themselves by their zeal in behalf of the land which gave them birth. It was in the Metropolis that Mr. Owen Jones, (Myvyr,) resided, a man who stands foremost in the list of modern revivers of Welsh literature, and who laboured with great assiduity, for a long series of years, in collecting valuable manuscripts, and in publishing a most comprehensive repository of antiquarian lore. He was the founder of the Gwyneddigion Society, which has, for a great number of years, been watching over the literary interest of Wales, and doing as much good to the inhabitants as lay within its power. In conjunction with Owen Myvyr laboured the indefatigable Dr. W. 0. Pughe, who spent more than twenty years in making himself complete master of the Welsh language, and in compiling his very valuable Dictionary. These men devoted their time, their talents, and their money, for the benefit of their countrymen, without any prospect of remuneration. Another gentleman, resident in London, (Mr. Thomas Edwards,) who is well versed in Welsh literature, and a man of very acute penetration, has compiled a Dictionary, as a counterpart to that of Dr. Johnson, in which he has endeavoured to give corresponding words, in Welsh, to all, even the technical terms, in that work. The author has had to coin, or rather to compound words, from roots already existing, for
the purpose of achieving his design. Judging by the specimen which has appeared, he has executed his work in a very able manner, and it is much to be regretted that he has not obtained sufficient encouragement to proceed with the publication of it. By a new arrangement of the work, with a more economical plan, and a little zeal excited in its behalf, the object might still be accomplished. As long as the Welsh language is used, it is only by means of such a Dictionary that science can ever become general in Wales. The people cannot and will not acquire useful knowledge, through the medium of the hard and learned words which English writers use in their treatises. Technical terms from Welsh roots, combined according to the genius of the language, assist not only the memory but the understanding. And if we had scientific works, written with as much plainness as possible, and taught in schools to the rising generation, we should soon have an intelligent population in this country. If something of this kind be not done, the sooner the Welsh language is allowed to expire the better. But as it exists, in common use, it is nothing but fair that the people should be supplied with the means of moral and intellectual improvement in that language, that their ignorance be no longer an obstacle in the way of their advancement in the paths of wealth and honour.
THE LITERARY character of our nation claims a place in this Essay. Before that subject is discussed, however, it is proper to notice, in a prominent manner, the peculiar means which have acted, with so much power, to revive the literature of the principality, in the present age, I mean
THE EISTEDDVODAU. Originally the Eisteddvod was designated a Gorsedd, probably because from a gorsedd, which means a throne or supreme seat, degrees in bardism were conferred. It was a triennial assembly of the bards, to preserve bardism in its purity, to contest for the pre-eminence in the art of poetry,