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butter not forming in the churn. They are also believed to poffefs the power of inflicting any disorder they think proper on man or beast, and that they never neglect to do it, if they have been offended. There are now living two celebrated conjurors, or fortune. tellers, who are consulted by all the neighbours, when their goods, or cattle are miffing; these are Sionet Gorn, of Denbigh, and Dick Smot, of Oswestry.
• The young people have many pretended modes of foretelling their future sweethearts, but moft of these being common also amongst the peasantry of our own country, it would be useless here to repeat them.
I have been informed, that a disorder something fimilar to St. Anthony's fire, called Yr Eryr, the eagle, is supposed by the labouring people to be always cured by the following kind of charm. A man or woman whose father, grandfather, or great-grandfather, have eaten the flesh of that bird, is to spit upon the part affected, and rub it, and they say that it will certainly go away. A servant girl, belonging to a friend of mine, who resides in Wales, says she was cured of this complaint by an old man, whose grandfather had eaten of an eagle's flesh; he made use also of some words, to allist in the charm, which she did not comprehend. · "There is an opinion, very commonly received within the diocese of St. David's, in Pembrokeshire, that, a Mort time before the death of any person, a light is frequently seen proceeding from the house, and even sometimes from the bed, where the sick person lies, and pursues its way to the church where the corpse is to be ina terred, precisely in the same track in 'which the funeral is afterwards to follow. This light is called Canwyll Corph, or the corpse candle,
• I have been told of a strange custom that prevails in some parts of North Wales, which no doubt the clergy ftudy to abolini, as much as lays (lies] in their power. When any person supposes him. self highly injured, it is not uncommon for him to repair to some church, dedicated to a celebrated faint, as Llan Elian, in Anglesea, and Clynog in Caernarvonshire, and there, as it is termied, to offer his enemy. He kneels down on his bare knees in the church, and offering a piece of money to the faint, utters the most virulent imprecations, calling down curses and misfortunes upon the offender and his family for generations to come, all which they have a firm belief will come to pass. Sometimes instead of a church they rea pair to some of the sacred wells, that are dedicated to the saints. Mr. Pennant mentions his being threatened by a fellow, who fancied he had been injured by him, “ with the vengeance of St. Elian, and a journey to his well, to curse him with effect."
• Some of these wells are in great repute for the cure of diseases, by means of the intercession of the saint. The faints are also applied to, when any kind of goods are loit, and are made the inftrue ments of recovering them, or of discovering the thief who has stolen them.
• St. George had formerly in the parish, of Abergeley, in Caer narvonshire, his holy well, at which this British Mars had his offering of horses; for the rich were, at certain times, accustomed to offer one, to secure his blessing on all the rest. St. George was the tutelar faint of those animals; and all that were distempered, were brought to this well, sprinkled with the water, and had this blessing bestowed : Rhad Duw a Saint Siors arnat, “ the blessing of God and St. George be on thee."
In the churches, when the name of the devil occurred, an unie versal spitting used forınerly to seize the congregation, as if in contempt of that evil spirit; and whenever Judas was mentioned, they expressed their abhorrence of him, by twiting their breasts.
• If a Ffynnon Vair, or Well of our Lady, or any other saint, was ncar, the water for baptisin was always brought from thence; and, after the ceremony was over, old women were very fond of washing their eyes in the water of the font.
• Upon Christmas day, about three o'clock in the morning, most of the parishioners assembled in the church, and, after prayers and a sermon, continued there singing psalms and hymns with great de. votion, till it was day-light; and if, through age or infirmity, any were disabled from attending, they never failed having prayers at home, and carols on our Saviour's nativity. The former part of the custom is still in some places preserved, bui too often perverted in.' to intemperance. This act of devotion is called Pulgen, or the crowing of the cock. It has been a general belief among the fu. perstitious, that instantly
• at his warning, Whether in sea, or fire, in earth, or air, Th'extravagant, and erring fpirit, hies
To his confine." « But during the holy season, the cock was supposed to exert his power throughout the night; from which undoubtedly originated the Welsh word Pulgen, as applied to this custom Accordingly Shakspeare finely describes this old opinion :
“ Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes,
So hallow'd, and so gracious is the time.” • The lower class of people of Caernarvonshire, Anglesea, and part of Merioneth Mire, have a mode of courtship, which, till within there few years, was Scarcely ever heard of in this kingdom.,, The lover generally comes, under the shadow of the night, and is taken, with. out any kind of reserve, into the bed of his fair one. Here, as it is generally understood, with part of his clothes still on, he breathes his tender paffion, and " tells how true he loves.” This custom seems to have originated in the scarcity of fuel, and in the disagreeableness of fitting together in cold weather without fire. Much has been said of the innocence with which those meetings are conducted; it may be so in some cases, but it is certainly not an uncommon thing for a son and heir to be brought into the world within two or three months after the marriage ceremony has taken place. No notice feems however to be taken of it, provided the marriage is over before the living witness is brought to light. As this custom is entire. ly confined to the labouring people, it is not so pregnant with danger as it might otherwise be supposed, for both parties being poor, they are constrained to marry, in order to secure their reputation, and, by that means, a method of getting a livelihood.' Vol. Ü. P. 222.
The thirteenth chapter of this volumc affords a very entertaining account of the druids and bards. The history of the latter is brought down to our own times, and will an:ply repay the trouble of perusal. Fifteen specimens of Welsh music compose an acceptable appendix to this section.
In the fourteenth chapter we have a dissertarion on the Welsh language, which Mr. Bingley derives from the Hebrew, and considers as the parent of the Cornish, Armoric, Irish, and Erse dialects.
Having now given ample testimony of our general approbation of this work, we must be excused when we say that it is by no means free from faults. We arc forry to observe that Mr. Bingley has not taken sufficient pains to correct the style of the memoranda from which these volumes are composed. The litile inelegancies which, in the distraction of travelling, every tourist will necessarily crowd into his pocket book, ought to have been carefully weeded out before they were presented to the public. Recurring to our first extract we find the following awkward sentence, which night have been very easily amended: • The windows are all very small, and, in addition to this, by far the greater part of them, with having been formerly broken, are blocked up with boards.?
- The sudden ihowers, which the attraction of the mountains renders them liable to be taken in-is the close of a period so destitute of melody as to be scarcely tolerable in the carelessness of converfation.
Vol. j. p. 71, Ics numerous beauties cannot fail in attraeling the attention'--p. 86, · The Welsh prince fortunately for himself got off '--p.118, · Despairing in the strength of his own army'-p. 241, . It would have been utterly impracticable for him, if he had desired ever so, to cross from Cwm Llân immediately over Snowdon to Dolbadarn'--p, 303, stands the poor reinains'--p. 307, “when the Lavan sands was habitable'--p. 312, the narrow flip of meadow which lays along its bottom of this vulgarism, the use of the verb lay for lie, we have to our great surprise noted, in the course of our perusal of thele volumes, upwards of a dozen instances, • We must also lament that the work abounds in typographical errors. A long list of errata is given at the end of each volume: but these lists do not by any means include every mistake. For infance, in p. 39, retiring ought to be retired; and in p. 44, at the beginning of the paragraph, by the insertion of and the confistency of the sentence is deitroyed. In the Thore Latin inscription given in Vol. ii. p. 87, no less than five typographic errors occur, none of which are noticed in the list.
So great is the general merit of this work, however, that we doubt not a second edition will in process of time be called for. We trust that Mr. Bingley will avail himself of that oppor. tunity to correct the errors both of style and of the press.
The views, designed by Mr. Bingley and engraved in aquatinta by Alken, are four in number. They are well executed, and confer on the volumes an appropriate and elegant ornainent.
Theatrum Poetarum Anglicanorum. Containing the Names and
Characters of all the English Poets, from the Reign of Henry III. to the Close of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, By Edward Phillips, the Nephew of Milton. First publi bred in 1675, and now enlarged by Additions to every Article from subsequerit Biographers and Critics. Svó. 8s. Boards. White 180o
THE editor of this work, Mr. Egerton Brydges, has shown confiderable taste in its selection and arrangement, Perhaps, however, it would have been improved if it had included an abridgement of Dr. Warton's History of English Poetry, in the manner of Massieu's History of French Poetry, Dr. Warton's work being too ponderous and minute for the general leder,
In an adverti.ement prefixed, the editor gives some account of Phillips, the original author; but he should also have subjoined some account of his work, which is constructed in al. jstrabeiical order, and consists of two parts or volumes, the first of 192 pages, the second of 261. The first volume relates to the ancient poets; the second to the modern ; and the work concludes with a supplement of omitted characters, and
an account of the ladies who have devoted their time to the muses.
The advertisement is followed by the preface of Phillips, which is full of Miltonisms, and was perhaps wholly written by his uncle, our immortal poer. To this succeeds a preface by the editor, in which he supposes that the late learned poet-laureat was the first who started the idea that Milton re-touched Phillips's work, while the real source of that notion may be found in the Maitland poems, published in 1986, p. cxxiji. Mr. Brydges justly observes that Dr. Johnson had no taste for the higher provinces of poetry; but our author's own discrimination certainly slumbers, when he classes the earl of Surry, sir Thomas Wyat, lord Buckhurst, lord Vaux, the earl of Oxford, fir Philip Sidney, and fir Walter Raleigh, among the fecondary poers who possess the most genuine merit, and retain to this day the most permanent fame.' Upon this subject we need only appeal to the judgement of the public; for, if this were the case, the poems of these authors would have been frequently printed, and have become the ornament alike of the library and the toilet, instead of being only known to a few literary men. We must ingenuously confess, that, whenever, from a strong and decided propensity towards ancient poetry, we have attempted to read these metrical effusions, we have uniformly found that they only excelled in insipidity. There are no living images, no burning words, no elegance of metaphor : the vis poëtica can scarcely even be discovered
in their prosaic pages. • Mr. Brydges gives some account of the successors of Phillips
in the department of poetical biography. In mentioning Cib. ber's lives of the poets, he first states the opinion of Dr. Johnfon, that it was the sole work of Shiels, and then subjoins the more complete information given in the Monthly Review, that only the rough draught was composed by Shiels, which was afterwards altered and corrected by Theophilus Cibber. We next meet with remarks on the collections by Dr. Johnson and Dr. Anderson, and on the ancient and modern selections of English poetry. The account of one ingenious editor we shall transcribe.
“In 1787, Mr. Hervey Headley, A.B. of Trinity-college, Oxford, published, 'Seleł Beauties of ancient English Poetry; with reniarks, in 2 volumes 8vo. He was, I believe, son of ihe Rev. Mr. Headley, of North-Walsham, in Norfolk, and educated at Norwich under Dr. Parr. Before he was twenty, he publified a volume of poems, which are said to have great merit; and was a contributor to the · Olla Podrida,' and a frequent correspondent of the Gentleman's Magazine under the signature T.C. O. but died at Norwich, on 15 Nov, 1788, at the early age of 23. He was an inti.