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" BRITISH ARTISTS FROM HOGARTH TO TURNER,"
“ EVERY MAN HIS OWN TRUMPETER,”
“Thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice."
Measure for Measure.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
THE MINER’S TALE.
FOUNDED ON A TRADITION CURRENT AMONG THE
MINERS OF CAERNARVONSHIRE.
A WEARY man was Griffith Owen ; sick at heart and sore of foot. Long seemed the mountain way, and heavy the load of glittering trinkets and rustic finery in his ponderous pack. Many a steep mile had Griffith, the sturdy pedlar, plodded since the sunrise ; at many an inn had he in vain displayed his tempting wares ; many x cottage had he fruitlessly visited. The times were bad; for war, like the Arab
wind of death, had swept over England, the angel of destruction had visited alike noble's tower and peasant's hut, nor had stayed his hand even at the “lintel dashed with blood."
Hard times they were, and the flames of civil war glowed over the land ; brother fought against brother, and armies more terrible than those of the stranger,
Like the wind's blast, never resting, homeless,
Hard times for the peasant, for what the Cavalier trooper spared, the Ironside bore off:
; and the mountaineer, who to-day might be playing the humble but generous host to some Royalist officers in his poor home, was to-morrow, perhaps, on his way, as a branded malignant, to a bloody grave in the courtyard of the nearest Puritan fortress.
What broad pieces had village lovers now to waste on pedlars' gewgaws, when half their hard - won earnings went to swell the forced loan of some parliamentary
commissioner, who had all the power of an Eastern despot without his attempering
? What heart had pale-cheeked maidens for gaudy love-knots and gay tirings, when they were either cowering by their father's hearth, spinning by firelight in the barred-up cottage, listening to some panicstricken messenger from the nearest town, or, mayhap, stealing out in the twilight to drive home the
almost wild sheep from
the rock-strewn mountain side ?
The Royalist cause, at the time of the great civil war, of which we now write, was at its lowest ebb. Monk, the sturdy wielder of the dead giant's sword, had overawed with it those who already longed for the restoration. Those beautiful valleys of Caernarvonshire, of which I write, had rung already with the din of fire-arms; long since had those mountains, on which Owen gazed now as he had done when an infant, given back the echoes of death as