Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

think they would not have done the like toward others, (because the Spaniard is most cruel, perfidious, and inhuman, and, therefore, enemy to all nations), which is proved by López, a Spaniard, and Benzo of Milan, and others who have written the history of America and the West Indies, who have been constrained to confess, that the cruelty, avarice, blasphemy, and wickedness of the Spaniards, have altogether alienated the poor Indians from the religion which the said Spaniards are said to hold. And all write that they are less worth than the idolatrous Indians, by the cruel usage done to the said Indians.

“ After the camp was wholly broken, I distributed my patients into the hands of the surgeons of the city, to finish their cure; then I took leave of Monsieur De Guise, came back towards the king, who received me with a loving countenance, and demanded of me, how I did enter into the city of Mets. I recounted to him all that I had done: he caused two hundred crowns to be given me, and one hundred I had at my going out ; and he told me, he would not leave me poor: then I thanked him, most humbly, for the good and the honour which he pleased to do me.”

which follows “ For si woul

At the siege of Hedin, which follows next, Parey appears to have passed his time very uncomfortably. “For," says he, “ council was held, where I was called to know, if I would sign, as divers captains, gentlemen, and others, had done, that the plạce should be rendered up. I made answer, that it was not possible to be held, and that I would sign it; for the little hope that I had, that we could resist the enemies, and also, for the great desire which I had to be out of this torment and hell; for I slept not, either by night or day, by reason of the great number of hurt people, which were about two hundred. When I entered into one lodging, soldiers attended me at the door, to go and dress others at another lodging ; when I went forth, there was striving who should have me, and they carried me, like a holy body, not touching the ground with my foot, in spite one of another. Nor could I satisfy so great a number of hurt people.”. Such was the general estimation in which this celebrated man was held.

We shall conclude our extracts from this work with the following instance of Parey's love of his country. After relating: the manner in which he was taken prisoner, he thus proceeds ::

“ The emperor's surgeon took me apart, and told me, if I would remain with him, that he would use me very well. I thanked him very kindly for the honour he did me; and told him, that I had no desire to do any service to the enemies of my country. Then he told me, I was a fool, and if he were prisoner as I, he would serve the devil to get his liberty. I told him flatly that I would not dwellat all with him."

VOL, XI. PART 1.

.: The works of Ambrose Parey were collected and translated into Latin by an unknown hand, and published at Paris, in the year 1582, by his pupil, Jacques Guillemeau, surgeon to the King of France. They were afterwards translated into most of the European languages; and, in the year 1634, an English version of them, by Thomas Johnson, a surgeon of some eminence, appeared, dedicated to Lord Herbert, of Cherbury. The Travels, not being contained in the Latin edition, were translated from the French, by George Barker.

Art. IV.--A Relation of Ghosts and Apparitions, which com

monly appear in the Principality of Wales. By the Rev. Edmund Jones, Preacher of the Gospel at Monmouth. Bristol, 1767.

While the customs, manners, and traditions of Scotland and Ireland have been displayed and depicted in every form and manner, those of Wales have been most culpably neglected. Her ancient literature and poetry, indeed, have met with a better fate; but even these have been confined in their diffusion, and limited in their utility by the injudicious mode adopted for their dissemination. The two or three works which have been devoted to their preservation are so decidedly and particularly national, that their object has been entirely defeated by their exclusive addiction to subjects merely antiquarian, or to those which possess only a limited and partial interest. Had the contents of these works been varied by lively descriptions of scenery and manners, they would have proved infinitely more acceptable to the general reader, and would have answered more abundantly the purpose of their projectors, by conveying to the public at large an adequate idea of the interest and importance of our ancient British literature.

The “reading public,” taken in the aggregate, is not willing to bestow much time or attention upon the perusal of old historical records. The antiquarian scholar, indeed, will gloat over the contents of a worm-eaten chronicle, and feast rapturously on the illegibility of an ancient manuscript. But the antiquary is generally too much wrapt up in the profundity of his harmless recreations, to assist in conveying instruction to others, by converting his studies into a source of public utility. The Welsh antiquary, even when he is inclined to give

ow muchis workers inducoing un.

publicity to his lucubrations, has rarely adopted the most judicious method of doing so. A laudable desire, and one which every Cambro-Briton must heartily admire—of preserving uncontaminated the language of his ancestors, has induced more than one learned individual to publish his works in the Welsh tongue; and we need not say how much is lost to the English reader by such a plan. We may instance, as one example of this fashion, that noble work, the ARCHAIOLOGY OF WALES, the contents of which are as a “book sealed” to the great majority of those persons who would profit by them. We do not mean to censure the learned and excellent editor of that splendid monument of Cambrian lore for printing the original MSS. in their original language : highly would he have been to blame had he not done so. Surely, a translation would not have been supererogatory. .

Yet, after all, the great cause of this limited knowledge of the literary treasures of the Principality originates in the obstinate apathy of the natives themselves. In matters of literature the Welsh have hitherto been most lamentably negligent. Nobody can admire more than we do the general character of the Cambro-British. It is replete with loyalty, generosity, frank and open-hearted hospitality ; but the exercise of these good qualities does not extend either to the fostering of living talent, or the rescuing from oblivion the genius of past ages. The Welsh country gentleman, alas! cares little for the Homers, who have been, or might have been, born to sing the wars of the Cimrians.

Was it not, in fact, this discouraging apathy which nipped in the bud the expanding genius of a Goronwy Owen -which chilled the glowing spirit of an Evan Evans---and which permitted that noble monument of Cymric literature, the ARCHAIOLOGY OF WALES, to be collected, printed, and published, at the sole expense of Owen Jones, “ the Thames Street furrier?

In addition to other causes, the influence of sectarianism has been particularly effective in the promotion of that indifference which the natives of the Principality have manifested towards the interests of literature. Nay, 'we have been sometimes inclined to believe, that the apathy in question has even had its root in those peculiar religious propensities to which Wales has, for a long series of years, been proverbially subject, and which have established their exclusive dominion over the mind. Hence, as a natural consequence, a taste for the literæ humaniores---for the more polished learning of the world-has been too often obscured by the gloom of fanaticism, or lost in the baneful vortex of theological controversy. We do not state this, however, as an universal position ; but that it is the general case, every candid mind must admit. Even with those of the most liberal attainments, whatever knowledge they possess of the Welsh tongue, is, in most cases, devoted rather to the objects we have briefly alluded to, than to the more classical purpose of illustrating those valuable treasures which antiquity has to reveal. Whatever be the grounds upon which this peculiarity in the character of the Welsh is to be defended, it is no less true that it is the main cause of their general disrelish for those literary pursuits, in which other nations are known to excel. · But, while Welshmen in general are thus inattentive to the interests and encouragement of literature, there are a few liberal-minded and spirited individuals, whose utmost efforts have been exercised to counteract the effects of this reproachful indifference; and these are the patriotic members of the different societies, which have been established by Welshmen for the purpose of rescuing their country from the disgraceful gloom in which it has hitherto been shrouded. Of these societies, the principal are the Gwyneddigion, or North-Wales men; and the Cymmrodorion, or Fellow-Countrymen ; each being particularly devoted to the purpose above-mentioned. The first of these institutions was founded in the year 1771, by Owen Jones, the collector of the Archaiology, whose life was dedicated to the preservation of the literary treasures of his country. This excellent man, with a perseverance as ardent as it was inflexible, employed his time and his purse in the col-, lection of all the ancient manuscripts relating to the history, the poetry, and the antiquities of Wales; and in addition to those of which the Archaiology consists, he succeeded in obtaining nearly one hundred quarto volumes of Welsh poetry, which have been lately published by the Cymmrodorion Society.

There is one event relating to the beneficence of this generous Welshman, which cannot be too highly estimated. A few years after the establishment of the Gwyneddigion society, the author of a celebrated Welsh essay, to which one of the society's prizes had been awarded, attracted, in consequence, the notice of its liberal founder. A correspondence between them was the result, in the course of which this Cambrian Mecænas urged his new friend to give his talents the benefit of an academical education, using, in his letter on this occasion, these characteristic words. “ I will bear your expenses; draw upon me for any sum of money you may be in need of whilst at College. And the condition of the obligation is this; that if, by any reverse of fortune, I should become poor, and you in a state of affluence, then you must maintain me.” No stronger

proof of his generosity can be required. It is proper to add, that the person here alluded to was only once under the necessity of trespassing upon his patron's munificence, and he then found him true to his promise : yet it detracts nothing from the merit of his intention that it was not more fully executed. It must, also, be remembered, that by his discernment in this instance, and by his encouraging instigation, he was the means of bringing into public notice an individual, moving in the lowest paths of life, who has since proved himself a distinguished ornament to the national literature of his country, and filled a station in the church with great credit to himself, and extensive utility to his flock.

The Cymurodorian Society, of which we are happy to observe Sir Walter Scott and Dr. Southey are members, has been established little more than three years. * It was founded by some of the leading members of the Gwyneddigion, and is more likely to prove beneficial to the literary interests of the Principality, than any other society with which we are acquainted. Its avowed object is “ to preserve and illustrate the remains of ancient British literature, and to promote its future cultivation by every means in its power.” If the members will be active and vigilant, much good will undoubtedly accrue from their proceedings; and we rejoice to find that the preparations for their second volume of Transactions evince such good and tangible proofs of their exertions. But they must not relax in their efforts; the utmost activity and perseverance must be exercised, if they wish to achieve those ends which their society is so well calculated to accomplish; and if they will exert themselves, we shall not be without hope, that

“ Learning once more shall round high Snowdon rise,

Beam o'er his head, and blossom to the skies;
On Truth's bright wings to Fame eternal soar,
Till time shall fail, and record be no more.”

But the existence of this and of other institutions does not by any means invalidate the strength of our assertion, respecting the indolence and inattention of the Welsh. On the contrary, it renders our position the more obvious; for, although

* Properly speaking, this institution was originally formed in the year 1751 ; but during the late long-protracted war it sunk into inaction, and, in fact, ceased to exist. Its present revival, under the sanction and patronage of his present majesty, may be considered, in every respect, as an original formation.

« ZurückWeiter »