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thereof; which charge is here avoided. Secondly, for the plenty. Lastly, for the purity thereof; insomuch that there was great probability for a long time that it would have proved a mine royal. Which hope was frustrated at last, to the great gain of the owners thereof. For a leaden mine is a silver mine to such subjects as possess it; whilst a silver mine is but a leaden one unto them from whom the property is taken, as then accruing to the crown or state, by virtue of its prerogative.
In Latin capri, à carpendo, from cropping (therefore forbidden to be kept in some places, because destructive to young woods), are, when young, most nimble and frisking (whence our English phrase to caper); but afterwards put on so great gravity, that an he-goat is recounted by wise Agur amongst "the four creatures which are comely in going."* Yea, if that ornamental excrement which groweth beneath the chin be the standard of wisdom, they carry it from Aristotle himself. They are strong above their proportion, and an he-goat will beat a ram of equal bigness. Hence it is that, in Daniel, the Persian monarchy is compared to a ram,† and the Macedonian, which subdued the Persian, resembled to a goat. They can clamber the highest hills, without help of a ladder; delighting in steep and craggy places, seeming rather to hang than stand, as they are feeding.‡
Their flesh, disguised with good cookery, may deceive a judicious palate, as it did Isaac's, for venison.§ Of their skins excellent gloves are made, which may be called our English cordovant, soft, supple, and stretching, whence the expression of cheverel-consciences, which will stretch any way for advantage. Coarse coverings are made of their shag; God himself not despising the present of goats hair,|| which made the outward case of the tabernacle. Their milk is accounted cordia against consumptions; yea, their very stench is used for a perfume in Arabia the Happy, where they might surfeit of the sweetness of spices, if not hereby allayed. In a word, goats are best for food, where sheep cannot be had.
Plenty of these are bred in Wales, especially in Montgomeryshire, which mindeth me of a pleasant passage, during the restraint of the lady Elizabeth. When she was so strictly watched by Sir Henry Benefield that none were admitted access unto her, a goat was espied by a merry fellow (one of the warders) walking along with her. Whereupon, taking the goat on his shoulders, he in all haste hurried him to Sir Henry. "I pray, Sir," said he, "examine this fellow, whom I found walking with
• Proverbs xxx. 31.
"Dumosâ pendêre procul de rupe capellæ." Exodus xxv. 4.
§ Genesis xxvii. 25.
+ Daniel viii. 4, 7.
her grace; but what talk they had I know not, not understanding his language. He seems to me a stranger, and I believe a Welchman by his frieze coat."*
To return to our subject; I am not so knowing in goats, as either to confirm or confute what Pliny reports, that "Adhuc lactantes generant;" (they beget young ones, whilst they themselves as yet suck their dams.)† He addeth, that they are great enemies to the olive trees (which they embarren with licking it), and therefore are never sacrificed to Minerva. Sure I am, a true deity accepted them for his service; as many kids, well nigh, as lambs being offered in the Old Testament.
The British generally bearing themselves high on the account of their gentle extraction, have spirits which can better comport with designs of sudden danger than long difficulty; and are better pleased in the employing of their valour than their labour. Indeed some souls are over-lovers of liberty, so that they mistake all industry to be degrees of slavery. I doubt not but posterity may see the Welch commodities improved by art far more than the present age doth behold; the English as yet as far excelling the Welch, as the Dutch exceed the English, in manufactures. But let us instance in such as this country doth afford.
This is a coarse kind of cloth, than which none warmer to be worn in winter, and the finest sort thereof very fashionable and genteel. Prince Henry had a frieze suit, by which he was known many weeks together; and when a bold courtier checked him for appearing so often in one suit, "Would," said he, "that the cloth of my country (being prince of Wales) would last always!" Indeed it will daily grow more into use, especially since the gentry of the land, being generally much impoverished, abate much of their gallantry, and lately resigned rich clothes to be worn by those (not whose persons may best become them, but) whose purses can best pay for the price thereof.
This is milk, by art so consolidated that it will keep uncorrupted for some years. It was anciently (and is still) the staple food for armies in their marching; witness when David was sent with ten cheeses to recruit the provisions of his brethren;‡ and when Barzillai with cheeses (amongst other food) victualled army of king David.§ Such as are made in this country are very tender and palatable; and once one merrily (without offence, I hope) thus derived the pedigree thereof:
* Fox, Acts and Monuments, p. 2095. 1 Samuel xvii. 18.
† Nat. Hist. lib. viii. cap. 50.
§ 2 Samuel xvii. 29.
"Adams nawn Cusson was her by her birth;
Foxes are said to be the best tasters of the fineness of flesh flies of the sweetest grapes, and mice of the tenderest cheese; and the last (when they could compass choice in that kind) have given their verdict for the goodness of the Welch. What should be the reason that so many people should have an antipathy against cheese (more than any one manner of meat) I leave to the skilful in the mysteries of nature to decide.
Some will have this word of Greek extraction, from péðv αἰγλήεν, contracted αἰγλῆν. But the British will not so let go their non-countryman Matthew Glin, but will have it purum potum Cambricum, wholly of Welch original. Whencesoever the word is made, the liquor is compounded of water, honey, and other ingredients, being most wholesome for man's body. Pollio Romulus, who was an hundred years old, being asked of Augustus Cæsar by what means especially he had so long preserved his vigour both of mind and body; made answer, "Intus mulso, foris oleo," (by taking metheglen inward, and oil outward.)*
It differeth from mede, ut vinum à lorâ,† as wine from that weak stuff which is the last running from the grapes pressed before. It is a most generous liquor, as it is made in this country; in so much that had Mercator, who so highly praised the mede of Egra, for the best in the world; I say, had he tasted of this Welch hydromel, he would have confined his commendation to Germany alone, and allowed ours the precedency. Queen Elizabeth, who by the Tudors was of Welch descent, much loved this her native liquor, recruiting an annual stock thereof for her own use; and here take, if you please,
The receipt thereof."First, gather a bushel of sweet-briar leaves, and a bushel of thyme, half a bushel of rosemary, and a peck of bay-leaves. Seethe all these (being well washed) in furnace of fair water; and let them boil the space of half an hour, or better, and then pour out all the water and herbs into a vat, and let it stand till it be but milk-warm; then strain the water from the herbs, and take to every six gallons of water one gallon of the finest honey, and put into the boorn,§ and labour it together half an hour; then let it stand two days, stirring it well twice or thrice each day. Then take the liquor, and boil it anew; and when it doth seethe, skim it as long as there remaineth any dross. When it is clear, put it into the vat as before, and there let it be cooled. You must then have in readiness
*Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. xxii. cap. 24.
† Varro de Lingua Latinâ.
$ That is the wort of boiled liquor.-F.
Atlas, in Bohemia.
a kind of new ale or beer, which, as soon as you have emptied, suddenly whelm it upside down, and set it up again, and presently put in the metheglen, and let it stand three days a-working. And then tun it up in barrels, tying at every tap-hole (by a pack-thred) a little bag of beaten cloves and mace, to the value of an ounce. It must stand half a year before it be drunk.
The Holy Spirit complaineth, that "great men build desolate places for themselves;" therein taxing their avarice, ambition, or both.
Avarice, "they join house to house [by match, purchase, or oppression], that they may be alone in the land;" that their covetousness may have elbow-room, to lie down at full length, and wallow itself round about. These love not, because they need not neighbours, whose numerous families can subsist of themselves.
Or else their ambition is therein reproved, singling out desolate places for themselves, because scorning to take that fruitfulness which nature doth tender, and desiring as it were to be petty creators, enforcing artificial fertility on a place where they found none before.
I well knew that wealthy man, who, being a great improver of ground, was wont to say, "that he would never come into that place which might not be made better;" on the same token, that one tartly returned, "that then he would never go to heaven, for that place was at the best." But the truth is, fertilizing of barren ground may be termed a charitable curiosity employing many poor people therein.
It is confessed that Wales affordeth plenty of barren places; (yielding the benefit of the best air); but the Italian humour of building hath not affected, not to say infected, the British nation-I say the Italian humour, who have a merry proverb, "Let him that would be happy for a day, go to the barber; for a week, marry a wife; for a month, buy him a new horse; for a year, build him a new house; for all his life time, be an honest-man." But it seems that the Welch are not tempted to enjoy such short happiness for a year's continu
For their buildings, generally, they are like those of the old Britons, neither big nor beautiful, but such as their ancestors in this Isle formerly lived in for when Caractacus, that valiant British general (who for nine years resisted here the Romans' puissance), after his captivity and imprisonment, was enlarged, and carried about to see the magnificence of Rome; "Why do you," said he, "so greedily desire our poor cottages, whereas you have such stately and magnificent palaces of your own?"§ The simplicity of their common building for private persons
+ Isaiah v. 8.
*Job iii. 14.
may be conjectured by the palaces of their princes; for Hoell Dha prince of Wales, about the year 800, built a house, for his own residence, of white hurdles, or watling; therefore called TyGwin, that is, the White-house, or White-hall if you please.
However there are brave buildings in Wales, though not Welch buildings, many stately castles, which the English erected therein. And though such of them as survive at this day may now be beheld as beauties, they were first intended as bridles to their country. Otherwise their private houses are very mean indeed. Probably they have read what Master Camden writes," that the building of great houses was the bane of good house-keeping in England;" and therefore they are contented with the worse habitations, as loath to lose their beloved hospitality; the rather, because it hath been observed, that such Welch buildings as conform to the English mode have their chimneys, though more convenient, less charitable, seeing as fewer eyes are offended, fewer bellies are fed, with the smoking thereof.
But, though the lone houses in Wales be worse than those in England; their market towns generally are built better than ours; the gentry, it seems, having many of their habitations therein.
These are twofold: 1. Such as the English pass on the Welch: 2. Such as the Welch make on the English. The latter come not under my cognizance, as being in the British tongue, to me altogether unknown. Besides, my friend Master James Howel, in a treatise on that subject, hath so feasted his reader, that he hath starved such as shall come after him, for want of new provisions.
As for the former sort of proverbs, we insist on one or two of them.
"His Welsh blood is up."]
A double reason may be rendered, why the Welch are subject
1. Moral.-Give losers leave to speak, and that passionately too. They have lost their land, and we Englishmen have driven their ancestors out of a fruitful country, and pent them up in barren mountains.
2. Natural.-Choler having a predominancy in their constitution, which soundeth nothing to their disgrace. Impiger iracundus is the beginning of the character of Achilles himself.* Yea, valour would want an edge, if anger were not a whetstone unto it. And as it is an increaser of courage, it is an attendant on wit: "Ingeniosi sunt cholerici." The best is, the anger of the Welch doth soon arise, and soon abate; as if it were an emblem of their country, up and down, and depressions.
chequered with elevations