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A TRAMP ACROSS WALES. | [BY THE REV. J. H. STOWELL, M.A.] [ 9- No. VI.—PENRHYN, CYNICHT, PONT ABER- GLASLYN, BEDDGELERT. Now began my sixth day's journey, which, ac- cording to calculations, was to bring me to the foot of Snowdon. Far ahead I could see this king of hills, surrounded by a group hardly in- ferior in height and majesty. And forethought began to vie with imagination as I contemplated the end and aim of my long journey, the clamber- ing to the summiti of the highest mountain in South Britain. What if there should be storm and mist, and what if I should lose the track and fall headlong from a precipice, or unwittingly settle myself to sleep as so many travellers do on mountains five inches from a stupendous abyss ? What adventures awaited me, I wondered? And my thoughts flew to my-appetite. At least I could provide for that. I ought to lay in a stock of -something or other eatable, so that my strength, even if I had to spend a whole day and whole night on Snowdon, should not run out for want of food. So before leaving Harlech I entered a grocer's shop, and looking round on all the varieties of edibles concentrated into little tins, what should I hit upon but a tin of condensed milk. This with biscuits would turely keep me alive for 24 hours, I thought. And my mind went back to the good old school-days when condensed milk ranked only second to Turkish Delight among the sweetmeats that made life worth living. We used to club together,.three or four of us. and purchase a fourpence-halfpenny tin of it. Then we made two little holes with a penknife, one to admit the air freely to a vacuum that we created inside the tin by applying our mouths in equitable rotation to the other. Much of this early charm had gone, and it was not with epicurean impulse that I purchased the tin now, but on the sober calculation that if ordinary milk is nourishing, condensed milk must be positively fattening when a man is in danger of starvation. I pl.1t the tin at the bottom of my knapsack with a small packet of biscuits, resolved not to touch,, taste, or handle them again until I began to die from hunger on the mountains. The walk northward from Harlech is not unin- j teresting, but no special features attracted my attention till leaving the main road. I had to cross the railway bridge over an iulet of the ftea just in the angle of the bay between Harlech and Port Madoc. On the further side I found myself in the little town of Penrhyn. and though I had at first intended to pass through Port Madoc and Tremadoc, I saw from the map it would save a few miles to make a cross-country cut without inflicting my presence at all upon these estimable towns. Pcnrhyn is full of temperance lodging-houses. Almost every third house has a signboard affixed with the simple legend li Temperance," to indicate that, at least, one lodger can be accommodated for a night, if he will confine his requirements to non-alcoholics. This informal, unlicensed, and economical form of hotel seems to be greatly is favour in North Wales. My quarters in Harlech had been of this descrip- tion, though rather superior, I suppose, as there was a shop attached and meals were served in a large coffee-rooom. and thers was a strange word Gorphwysdra," on the signboard, which I took to be a distinctive title. Some little distance from Penrhyn—by the way, is this the town that gave the name to Arthur Penrhyn Stanley. the illus- trious Dean of West minister J I came upon a very striking mountain view. Rising far into tha sky in solitary grandeur there was a perfectly un- impeachable peak. It fulfilled all my stipulations. As I have previously intimated, I had resolved mot to almire any mountain very much until I had beheld at least one that couldn't by any possibility be mis- taken for anything but a mountain. And here was the specimen—the type and standard of what I wanted. I thought it must surely be Snowdon, as I had been told Snowdon was easily to be dis- tinguished. But it turned out to be Cynicht-not the chief, but one of the most pointed heights in the Snowdon range. Again and again, as the road turned. I got fresh views of the huge cone-shaped summit, and I felt my tramp had not been in vain. I had beheld a mountain face to face. And then I had an adventure. Round the base of a hill just ahead of me, along a road that pre- sently joined the one I was travelling along, came a figure. At first I took it to be the figure of an old man. Then, as we came nearer to each other along the converging roads, I saw it was a woman without hat, and in the strangest imaginable medley of wearing apparel, and with boots that "were very nearly a match for my own. It was a lonely spot, and I t know what such a vcreature might do to an intruder. But, thought I, ;if one of us has to run away, if shall not be the man from Barry, near Cardiff. So, in the blandest "possible manner, I stepped forward, and enquired whether she could direct me to Pont Aberglaslyn, for Beddgelert. She turned and, instead of a wrinkled and wicked-looking old woman, I found 'I had addressed the most beautiful maiden that it had been my fortune to encounter, let me say at -any rate in North Wales. Her face was nearly as brown as the rocks in front of us, and her bright 'eyes and laughing mouth showed not the least -shyness or embarassment. Ii 'Ess," she said, point- ing and nodding with a smile, Ii this way, straight -there." "Iam going there, too," she added, otter- ing to show me the way. So side by side we walked for nearly a mile while she prattled in her broken English quite delighted and excited at having a visitor to talk to. A sheep dog followed her, and every few minutes she would whistle and shout some instructions that sent him scampering after the sheep and lambs that were grazing on the hill-sides. She explained that they wanted the sheep kept on the higher pastures, and she "had been round the mountain driving them up from the valleys. Surely, this nut brown-maid ',wa.<; the prototype of Wordsworth's highland girl .1 I thought: Remote from men, thou dost not need The embarrassed look of thy distress, And maidenly shamefacedness. Thou wear'gt upon thy forehead clear The freedom of a. mountaineer. A face with gladness overspread Soft smiles, by human kindness brel And seemliness complete, that swaya Thy courtesies about the plays; With no restraint but such as springs From quick and eager visitings Of thoughts, that lie beyond the reach Of thy few words of English speech. ê[n a few minutes we came to a farmhouse. x ou -live here!" I asked. "'ess." she said, and beckoned me to come." A man was loading manure in the yard, and with a few words of "greeting she tripped past him into the house and "brought her mother, with milk and some bread and 'butter for the stranger. The mother had similar wearing apparel, but few of the compensating graces of her daughter, whom she excelled only -in volubility. I sat on a low wall, and went for the bread and milk, while these two nymphs tried to talk my head off. It seemed as though a flood 'pent up and increasing through long months of "Silence had now its outlet. The mother began a tale of their troubles on the farm, told piteously 'of higli rents and uncertain tenure, and how a rich man who had made his money in a public- 'house was threatening to buy the farm over their heads. "Indeed we do want a new law, Sir; the old laws are very bad indeed, Sir, against us Spoor people. Will you not, Sir, perhaps, if you have a chance, up in London "there, Sir, do some- thing to get the old laws altered?" Yes, verily, I thought. And here at last was compensation for the jibes and suspicious that had been levelled at me in the earlier part of my pilgrimage, these good mountain folk couldn't conceive my being anything less than a member of Parliament. Had they heard that Lord Randolph Churchill was given to roam- ing deserts as a relief from Parliamentary toils, and did they think they had really got hold of him or some other live English lord ? A mischievous spirit tempted me to tell them that I was Lord Randolph, and give them half-a-sovereign to prove it; but I refrained. I gave them sixpence with a honest expression of sympathy and thanks, and a promise to use my iniuencc in getting the Land Laws altered. A few miles turtaer on i came to ine xaiuuus Pont Aberglaslyn, where a torrent rushes along an Alpine pass of great beauty, a worthy entrance for the traveller into the inner regions of Bnowdonia. Here the road from Penrhyn rejoins the main road from Beddgelert, a peaceful little town lying in the bosom of a triple valley. On all sides the vast mountains rise, in front there is the head of Snow- don, Y Wyddfa as it is called; to the left a road running along the valley of Carnarvon to the right another road running past two beautiful lakes to Capel Curig and Bettws-y-Coed. Now Gelert's Gmve is the one spot that since childhood I have had an unwavering desire to visit. Of course we have all been told that the story is one of the Aryan myths, but that doesn't matter; I don't care whether a story is a myth or not, as long as it is a good one, and I am not going to let my childhood's tears be wasted for the quibbling of a literary critic. I was told the grave was really to be seen, and I demanded of the first person I met, Where is the grave ?" I was pointed to the middle of a grassy field, where I found a mouldering gravestone fenced in and shaded by a couple of delicate trees. I don't doubt a bit that the dog is buried there, and that Prince Llewellyn there hung his horn and spear And there, as evening fell, In fancy's ear he oft would hear Poor Gelert's dying yell. I could hear it myself. After strolling through the town, inspecting the church and the stream, and the various shops and "Temperances" and other hotels. I entered a very tidy-looking house called the Colwyn Temperance Hotel," and called for tea and chops.







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