« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
"Out of the water he cries for help,
Can find no grace from Heaven."
THE romantic waterfall of Rhaiadyr-y-Wenol is associated with the following tradition, solemnly whispered into your ear by the guide, and accompanied by the wild scream of the cataract as it dashes itself to foam and spray on the water beneath.
Once upon a time there was a cruel lord in these parts, a man of hard heart and iron hand. What did he? What did he not? There was nothing his evil nature shrank from as too atrocious to be done. His dark frown or his gay smile were alike dangerous. He was as deceitful as he was cruel, and it was sport to him to do mischief. But he died. In his death-agony all the horrow of his situation rushed upon him: he shrieked as others had shriekedinnocent victims of his malice-but cried in vain for mercy-he is shrieking for it still hear his voice in the roar of the waterfall, now moaning dismally, now yelling in frightful agony, now sobbing bitter sobs. It is not a pleasant story, and as you listen to the guide, who seems as though he faithfully believed all he uttered, you begin to fancy that you hear the voice.
With what a mighty rush the thundering water falls; how strange faces seem to stare out at you from the gleaming depths; what majestic grandeur in its fearful plunge: once heard, the roar of that waterfall is not easily forgotten, and seems, if you be at all of an imaginative turn of mind, to tell the wild, terrible story of the guilty man whose tragical end superstition has associated with that fall.
Apart from such considerations as these there is much that is picturesquely attractive in the place itself. Says a recent writer:
"Although close to the road, it is wholly concealed by rocks and trees. A small gate at the road-side opens to a winding path, which decends steeply amidst luxuriant foliage. A secure standing place will be found at the bottom, whence an advantageous view of this beautiful and most impressive cataract is obtained. The water of the Llugwy is precipitated down a chasm, which in its widest part measures sixty feet across. It does not form a single sheet from top to bottom, but is broken into three large falls partly precipitous and partly shelving; and these are again subdivided and broken by the jutting crags,
which disperse and dash about the waters in all directions, and then the stream rushes on impetuously to the romantic bridge of Pont-y-Pair. The impressiveness of this waterfall is materially aided by its accessories, the union of beauty and grandeur in the surrounding scenery, the luxuriant wildness of the overhanging trees, the dark, solemn colour of the rocky walls, and the form of the rugged basin into which the water rushes."
Turning from the waterfall with its singular legends, it is possible that our eye may rest on a monumental structure commanding the cascade. It is erected in memory of-tell it not in Westminster-the termination of a law-suit! Ah me, what thoughts are suggested by that monument-thoughts of legal silk and forensic horse hair-the skins of the innocent sheep turned to dread parchment, to Wills and Deeds, and all sorts of terrible documents to set plaintiff's and defendants fighting: well-the action, whatever it was, came to an end-and there is the monument to commemorate its successful issue.
BEAUMARIS, which signifies the beautiful Marsh, is a borough and sea-port town of North Wales, and may be reached either by ferry from Garth-Point, near Bangor, or by way of the Suspension Bridge and the North-west bank of the Menai Strait. The town is nobly situated at the head of the bay commanding some of the finest views in the surrounding country. It is well built, and has for many years been a favourite resort as a Watering Place. The fine, firm sands of the beach form a delightful promenade, and can scarcely be surpassed. The hotels are excellent, and a regular steam-packet communication is kept up between Beaumaris, Liverpool, Caernarvon and Dublin.
The old Church, formerly called the Chauntry of Our Lady of Beaumaris, contains several highly interesting monuments; there are four Chapels belonging to Dissenting denominations; and a Free Grammar School, founded by David Hughes of Norfolk, in 1603. The Town Hall is a commodious modern structure, containing a spacious Ball-room; there are also a County Hall, a County Prison, and a Custom House.
But the most interesting feature of Beaumaris is its Castle. This structure, standing within the grounds of Sir R. W. Bulkeley, was erected by Edward I. towards the close of the thirteenth century. The building is nearly quadrangular, with a round tower at each angle; it is surrounded by a fosse, flanked by twelve circular bastions, and although in a very dilapidated condition is a remarkably fine building. The Banqueting Hall, the State-rooms, the domestic apartments, and a small Chapel, may still be seen. All that remains is well preserved, and assists the thoughtful visitor in reverting to the troublous times when the Welsh and English were at war with each other, and Edward the king, trained in the school of the Crusades, came down upon the struggling people with a mighty stroke, and ended the campaign by uniting Wales to England. The expediency of the measure did not, could not justify the act, and the brilliancy which surrounds the memory of the chivalrous king ought not to make us insensible to the virtue and heroism of the brave people whom he overcame. According to ancient writers, no people could be more courteous in time of peace, notwithstanding the injuries constantly inflicted upon them by their neighbours; whenever an Anglo-Norman or Englishman visited them in