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MACHYNLLETH is a borough and market town in Wales, and more regularly built than most Welsh towns. Its name originally signified the place at the upper end of the flat, said to refer to its position on the estuary of the Dovey. The Romans fortified this place, to keep in awe the mountaineers, who, many centuries after the Romans had quitted our shores for ever, here established themselves and bade defiance to their old enemies the English.
There is an old building in Machynlleth, called the Senate House, in which Owen Glendower convoked the nobles and commoners, and was crowned Prince of Wales in 1402. There is very little to suggest such a meeting in the present appearance of the building, but imagination may clothe its walls with interest, and crowd its courts with the patriots who rallied round their leader and crowned him Prince.
To this man, whose birth was said to have been attended with signs and wonders in the heavens above and the earth beneath, the Welsh looked for guidance. He was to be their prince and leader, the foremost man in the fray and at the Council. But there was one treacherous man present-a dove-feathered raven—who was ready to do homage with the rest, and lead the shout that hailed Glendower king; but he carried a dagger under his vest, and was bent on the murder of the new-crowned ruler. Fortunately for Glendower and the patriotic cause of Wales, his purpose was detected. What could he expect but death? Had he not deserved a traitor's doom? But the Welsh were merciful, and spared his life; and from the prison to which he was consigned he managed to escape, and was welcomed and pensioned at the English Court.
Recalling such events as these, and the miserable condition of the Welsh during the unhappy warfare which for so many centuries devastated the land, we are reminded of the similarity of another mountainous race-the Swisswho have struggled no less nobly, and have been far more successful in maintaining the integrity of their independence. The lines of Mrs. Hemans, whose muse was inspired, and who tuned her lyre amid the mountain scenery of Wales, recur at these allusions:
We must speak low amidst our ancient hills,
And meets the shepherd in his mountain home.
Yet with the faces best-beloved in sight:
Like a frail harp-string, shaken by the storm.
And she, that ever through her home had moved
And timid in her happiness the while,
And took her fair child to her holy breast,
As it found language:-" Are we thus oppress'd?
And let thine eagle-glance my joy restore!
I can bear all, but seeing thee subdued,—
"Go forth beside the waters, and along
The chamois-paths, and through the forests go;
To the brave hearts that 'midst the hamlets glow-