Page images
[blocks in formation]

gates who came over to Wales from Patagonia to lay the case of the Welsh colonists before the British Government, has an important work on the Colony ready for the press. It is dedicated to the memory of his father, the late Principal Michael D. Jones, and his wife, Mrs. Jones, of Bodiwan, Bala. In addition to giving a sketch of the history of the settlement, the book gives an account of several expeditions into the Andes and elsewhere, of which Llwyd ap Iwan was chief.

[blocks in formation]

"Still they come!" This is a cry which may be very properly applied to biographies in Wales. We have had quite a host of memoirs during the last few years, and two or three more are on One is by the verge of publication. Dr. Pan Jones, of Mostyn. He has been engaged for a long time on the biography of the late Principal Michael D. Jones, of Bala, a man who occupied a prominent place in the history of Independia for a quarter of a century. The chapter dealing with the Old and the New Constitution is likely to be an exciting one, and could not be written except by "Pan" himself.

The bevy of modern Florence Nightingales presented at Marlborough House recently, would, of course, have been singularly incomplete without a

Welsh contingent. Miss Alicia Williams, sister of the town clerk of Brecon, was one of the Welsh nurses who rendered such valued aid in the South African War, and also Miss Williams left Brecon, in order that she might form one of the number of nurses who would attend Marlborough House in order to receive from the King of England a medal in commemoration of good work well done. Miss Williams has had an extension of time, but will be returning to South Africa soon.


Here is a young Welshman destined to help in uniting the two races in South Africa. The Rev. Henry Richard Lloyd, of Conway, went out some months ago from the North Wales College, Bangor, under Dr. Probert, and the appointment has been than justified. three Mr. Lloyd in about months had acquired sufficient knowledge of the Dutch language to be able to conduct Dutch services. With the Rev. T. J. Galley he has a very large district in which to labor, but naturaily the restrictions of martial law somewhat hinder their work. He bears very warm testimony to the unabated loyalty of the colored people. More men of the same stamp will be needed by all the Free Churches for South Africa.

Dr. Zachariah Williams was befriended in his old age by Dr. Johnson, and at his death the doctor wrote thus of him: "On Saturday, July 12, 1755, about twelve at night died Mr. Zachariah Williams, in his eighty-third year, after an illness of eight months, in full possession of his mental faculties. He has been long known to philosophers and seamen for his skill in magnetism, and his proposal to ascertain the longitude by a peculiar system. He was a man of industry, indefatigable, of conversation inoffensive, patient of adversity and disease, eminently sober, temperate, and pious, and worthy to have ended life with better fortune."

Mr. O. M. Edwards in "Cymru,” states that a very great inconvenience in Wales is that nearly all the people have the same names. Mr. Jones, especially, is omnipresent. The reason is clear. In the olden days it was by his family, and not his neighborhood, a man was known in Wales. The styles of the names was Rhys ab Tewdwr and Gruffydd ab Cynan. But it was by their localities the Romans were calledHugh of Montgomery, Gilbert de Clare, Martin de Tours. When Welshmen lost their old family system, and when land became the possession of the few instead of the whole community, they did not borrow their names from the land, but clung to the old method. By that time they had taken the names of Normans and of saints, such as John, Robert, Richard and Thomas.

"The death of Dean Lewis, of Bangor," writes a correspondent, "raises the question as to whether his successor will be chosen from among the Welsh clergy. Unlike St. Asaph and Llandaff, where the English clergy are not always overlooked, Bangor and St. David's have been more nationalist in the matter of preferments, and will probably remain so. It was from North Wales that a storm of disapproval came when Bishop Ollivant nominated Dean Vaughan to Llandaff. It would be a graceful exchange of feeling if some successful English clergyman who has served the Welsh Church well were to be given the Deanery of Bangor. Who more deserving, for example, than the late eloquent Vicar of Cardiff?"


The theory that Welsh was the language in the Garden of Eden is by no means new. An ingenious advocate of this view-a Welsh divine of the Middle Ages-strengthened his arguments in the following curious manner. "The two great books of the world," he contended, "were the Bible and Homer's Iliad. The first word in the Bible was


the Hebrew word 'bara,' and the first word in the Iliad was the Greek word 'menyn.' These two languages-Hebrew and Greek-had their origin in the confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel. The one original, pure, and undefiled tongue, he held, was the Welsh, and for witness there was-'bara menyn'-Welsh for bread and butter."


Young Wales has done very well at the older universities this year. Oxford and Cambridge the following graduated first-class honors in their different subjects: David Miall Edwards, theology; Norman Jones, Semetic languages; J. C. Evans, mathematics; Idwal Griffiths, mathematics; Olwen Rhys, modern languages; Chris. Preece, eleventh wrangler; R. J. Richards, thirteenth wrangler; H. Madge, twentysecond wrangler; Jadie Price, modern languages; David Phillips, first in firstclass honors mental and moral science. If any names are omitted, perhaps some correspondent will let us know. One of the most successful in this list hails from Glamorgan, and his distinction is all the more creditable from the fact that before entering college he was a collier.

Mr. O. M. Edwards's "Wales," in "The Stories of the Nations," is now in the hands of readers. This work has been eagerly looked forward to by Mr. Edwards's numerous friends, and a feeling exists among them that it will not be the least interesting of the "Stories" that have already been published. So fascinating has been the task to him, indeed, that he already contemplates issuing a larger book dealing with the same subject immediately he has discharged his undertaking to the publishers of the above work. Now that we are writing of Mr. Edwards, we may remind readers that in his serial "History of Wales," published from month to month in "Cymru," he has come to "Owain Glyndwr's" period, and his portrayal of the stirring incidents in the life of

this national hero is particularly vivid and stirring.

(By request, Mr. J. T. Jacob has given an English rendering of "Isiwyn's" popular Welsh hymn, "Hapus Dyrfa." The following is the result:)

Look beyond time's clouds of darkness, O, my soul, behold the sphere, Where the breeze is ever gentle, Where the sky is ever clear,

Hosts seraphic

In its peace enjoyment find.

Wells of life therein are springing,
Peaceful rivers through it flow;
Watered thus, its lovely valleys
In immortal beauty grow.
And salvation

There is breathed for evermore.

Stormy winds in death's dark valley

There shall lull themselves to rest; Sorrow's groans be turned to anthems. Sung by souls for ever blest.

The last tear-drop

Shall in Jordan's waves be lost.

My sad heart is wildly bounding
As I now rejoice on earth,
In the hope I shall inherit

These possessions of great worth.
Happy mortals

Are they all who seek that land.
J. T. Jacob.
Cardiff, May 3.

Water of Douereyn.-This is the written form of a place-name in the parish of Swansea, descriptive of the boundary limit in one of the surveys of Gower between 1400 and 1450. It is clear that the scribe was not acquainted with the Welsh language, but he deserves the credit of having done the best he could by writing the name in such orthography as represented the nearest approach to the sound of the name as pronounced to him, probably by a native, and to make sure he evidently ascertained its meaning, as he, when writadded a part English ing it down, translation to it.. In the first syllable of "Douer" he fairly caught the phonetic

sound of the Welsh word "Dwr" water, which it means, by writing Douer, but added "water of" to prevent mistakes possibly. He was not, however, so successful with the second syllable "eyn' in Douereyn, which in Welsh is "hynt,' a way, a course, so that the original Welsh form of the name is "dwrhynt," or "dwfrhynt," a water-course, a da.e, through which a river runs, and from which the word "dyffryn"-a valleyis derived. This instance of an imperfection in the writing of Welsh placenames in ancient documents by writers wholly ignorant of the Welsh language, exemplifies the difficulty we have to experience in tracing the origin and meaning, as well as the derivation of Welsh place-names which have been, through the ignorance of the writers, handed down to us in such an orthographic garb as to entirely disguise the original Welsh form of the name. In another form, the word "Dwrhynt" is tioned in the "Welsh Laws" as "Dyffrynt," a valley through which a river flows, as mentioned above, as will be seen from the following extract: derfydd bod ymryson am ynysoedd yn nyffrynt"-if there arise a quarrel about islands in a river."




The following hymn, it is said, was composed by the well-known Welsh poet his Robert Davies, of Nantglyn, on deathbed a few hours before he died: Dad, rho nerth i dreulio heddyw

Yn dy ofn ac er dy giod;
Dyma ddiwrnod ge's o'r newydd,
Ni bu 'rioed o'r blaen mewn bod.
'Nhragwyddoldeb maith, diddechreu,
Ddoe yr ydoedd heb ei roi;
'Nhragwyddoldeb maith, diddiwedd,
Y bydd fory wedi ffoi.

It is also said that hearing the following being sung at a place of divine worship induced the Rev. W. Williams, of Pantycelyn, to turn his thoughts to write hymns:

[blocks in formation]

Ce's arfau da reiol a chleddyf da gamp, Er isel y cwmpais, mi godais yn giamp. Towards the end of the eighteenth century there was in the village of Llangynwyd a prominent member of the little Nonconformist fraternity, the parent church in the "old Parish," who had been found guilty of stealing a hatchet from the workshop of Ed. Williams, a carpenter living at Brynyfro, and the father of a well known clergyman at that time who was highly gifted with the "awen barod" (ready muse). The thief happened to be the leader of the singing at Bethesda, and the reverend bard suggested that the following should be given out and sung on the following Sunday:

O am 'nestrwydd yn y gwreiddyn,
O am iechyd yn y gwa'd;

O am nerth i wrthod lladrad,
A bwyelli siop fy nhad.

Glan yw 'nestrwydd,
Glan yw 'nestrwydd,

O na feddwn ar fath beth. Whether the parody was sung as the jester had intended or not, cannot say, but I heard it repeated, and many other bits of the witticisms of offeiriad Brynyfro. Catrawd.

[blocks in formation]

greater advantage his gift for sarcasm, and his power as a jester than that in the "Haul" for 1837, entitled, "A History of a Conference, composed of Reverend Gentlemen, together with Lords, Deacons, Presbyiers, &c.," assembled at a chapel which he playfully called "Self," in which he describes the minister, "Mr. Ho," unctuously delivering a discourse on a subject he had previously been asked to preach upon before the association. The text was-Whether it was a moral or a natural duty for a man to comb his hair; and from what, obligation a man, when in a state of probation, kills certain small vermin which may be causing uneasiness in his hair. He treated (that is the preacher) very carefully on the nature of the obligation, after that its reasonableness, and following he gave some exhortations to be followed. He stated that in part they were moral. and in part natural. And as regards the latter phase of the subject he explained what was understood by it, and how it was a state of probation; and that a man in that state was really obliged, and indeed compelled to kill the various kind of vermin, from different motives; and that the obligations include constitution, relationship, influence, persons, moralizations, naturalizations and diversifications. The three last words in Welsh figured by the veteran genius are too hard to give their equivalents in English. Let anyone try:



« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »