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appear!

this, the hero-soul of Caractacus shines out upon us like a star from the far distant sky, and the spirit of the appeal he uttered—no matter for the words he used-awaken responsive echoes in our hearts.

— All Rome is astir. Its streets of palaces are thronged with holiday multitudes, who have come forth to gaze on the British Prince whose fame has filled the world. High on his throne sits Claudius, the Empress Agrippina by his side; and here in line of battle are the Pretorian guards. Let the prisoner

See the captives approach-servants and soldiers who have been faithful to their King, and who share his misfortunes: here are borne the spoils of war-barbaric treasures of sacked cities in Britain : here women in fear and trembling at the appearance of the multitude, blushing as the bold eyes of the centurions are turned upon them; and the Roman ladies—arrayed in the gorgeous fashions of the day-lean forward and jest at the forlorn aspect of these “savages.” Lastly, the Prince himself-calm and unsubdued—who, standing before the throne of Claudius, speaks like a monarch and a man. The dignity and simplicity of his address touches the heart of his conquerors. His chains are removed. His wife and daughter are treated with honor. Rome is divided between the noble demeanour of the captive and the clemency of the Emperor. Caractacus is lionized, but he is a caged lion, and yearns for his wild home in Britain.

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WALES is essentially the country of rivers and mountains. It is grandly hilly; rocky escarpments, cliffs, peaks, pinnacles, and intricacy of outline frequently combine with neighbouring verdure, water and wood, to produce scenes of romantic and picturesque beauty. It has been said, that Wales as a Highland country is aggregately much inferior in the composition of its landscapes to a large portion of the Highlands of Scotland, or even to some select partsespecially the sea-board ones—of the Highlands of Ireland. But there is that in the landscape which indelibly impresses itself on the mind; it excites our admiration at every turn, and wood and water are so exquisitely blended as to render the country the favourite resort of artists.

To wander by the banks of the rivers leads us through scenery of the most diversified character, and amid localities which history and tradition have made memorable. Here in this neighbourhood, which the painter has so skilfully rendered, the fierce warfare of the Welsh and English was long sustained. Here the mountaineers

“Secure 'mid towering cliff or savage cave,

Or tangled masses of recesses deep,
High o'er the foeman bade defiance wave,

And still the baffled chase.”

Here they joined—forgetful of all meaner quarrel—to save their country from the yoke of England's surpremacy. The old Welsh Princes felt that they were born kings, and that as kings they should die. Thus answers Gryffyth to the messengers of Harold: “ Say to Harold the Saxon, ‘Ye have left us but the tomb of the Druid, and the hills of the eagle; but freedom and royalty are ours

12

PONT-Y-RHYDLAN FAIR.

in life and in death—not for you to demand them, nor for us to betray! Nor fear ye, O my chiefs, few but unmatched in glory and truth; fear not ye to

O perish by the hunger thus denounced as our doom on these heights that command the fruits of our own fields! No; die we may, but not mute and revengeless. Go back, whispering warrior; go back, false son of Cymry, and tell Harold to look well to his walls and his trenches. We will vouchsafe him grace for his grace; we will not take him by surprise, nor under the cloud of night. With the gleam of our spears and the clash of our shields, we will come from the hill; and famine-worn as he deems us, hold a feast within his walls which the vultures of Snowdon plume their pinions to share!”

Amongst Welsh scenery-and especially amongst Welsh scenery consecrated as it were by such threats and such defiances as these, the mind very naturally reverts to the old struggle—a struggle which has happily died out. But one cannot help appreciating the genius of those old Welsh Princes who knew nothing of “natural boundaries,” and were ready to shed their blood, and the blood of their children, to preserve intact the legacy of their fathers. Now-a-days the animosity has died out-we are Britishwe belong to one another-our races have commingled; and whether we meet as host and tourist on the banks of a Welsh river, or whether we fight side by side in a foreign

a campaign, our cause, our hopes—our nationality is identical.

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