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A FREN'CH VIEW ? OF WALE8.

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(?.MBtyMs-Ress?e?) A FREN'CH VIEW OF WALE8. ENTERTAINING ARTICLE BY M. PAUL BAEBIEE. FEBYID DESCRIPTION OF FAULTS AND VIRTUES. M.PAULBABBIBR. An Englishman who gloried in the fact of his being able to traca bis pedigree, not only as far ba.ok a.3 William the Conqueror. as two-thirds of his countrymen say they can. but as far back as Noali, once invited one of his most intimate friends to visit him. After showing- him around his grounds, his vineries, his ng trees, his horses. his picture gallery, and silver plate, he took him to the library, and there exhibited with prida the portraits of his ancestors and his family pedigree. His g-uest, much to his chagrin, examined the roll of parchment with the utmost indifference. This not only annoyed, but greatly puzzled, the host. "Are you not astonished that my family make one long, unbroken chain from the days of Noah? Why. sir, ours is the o?-est family in England." "Stay, my friend," said his g'u€?t, "I cannot grant you that." "Aud why, pray ?" queried mine host with just & tinga of sarcasm in his tone. "Well," said his friend, "last summer I was travelling in South Wales, when I was shown a, ganealogica.1 tree which covered three large parohments, and contained many thousands of nan'cs. In the middle of the second were the following words, which made. the Welshmen very proud indeed 'About this time God created the world.' this time God created the world.' Pride of the past is a. feature of the Welsh race. I have observed it bordering almost on vanity in its literature, language, and customs. The Welsh language. possesses the oldest living records of any modern European tongue. We have undoubted proofs that the Brython has oonfbinu.ed Yry near the E!Mne at least for thirteen hundred years; the compositions of the famous ba.rd Talie'sin, the two Merddius. Aneurin, and Prince Llywarch Hen, &o., all who flourished in the nfth century, being at this day parfeotly intetlligiblo in this language. In spite of hostile, social, and political circum- stances, it is still the language of the home, the playground, the Church, and the chapel. Those counties in Wales that speak Welsh are those counties where the statistician meets with fewer crimes, less perjury, and purer social life. In this latter respect the Irish peasantry carry the palm. For family purity the Irish peasant stands unrivalled amongst the peasants of Europe. It seems that the Welshman, is a more obedient son, a more affectionate father, a more devoted husband. The respect for parental authority and old age, so much weakened in England, and almost extinguished in America,, is with the Welsh, as it is with the Celtic race in a religion. Through the Welsh University Colleges the Welsh lan- guage is growing aggressive, is nghting its way I into the schools and colleges of the nation. It is a recognised branch of academical studies for a university degree. This is a great achieve- ment, and is entirely due to the true patriotism of a few plucky Welshmen and to the breath of statesmanship of the/Guizcts of Welsh edu- cation, Lord Aberdare a.nd Mr. Acland. In other climes the Welsh language is not much used; but I may point out the case of America to prove the tenacity with which the sons of Cambria stick to their language and institutions. The Welsh possess actually more than 2,000 MSS. containing examples of writers from the nfth century up to our present time. For a Welshman to speak Welsh and willingly not to be able to read the literature of his lan- guage and write it is to confess himself a very simple boor (I quote the expression). He ought to try to understand the language gram- matically, and to speak it with the light of reason. To speak Welsh a.s an English gentle- man speaks English, or an educated French- man speaks French, and an erudite German speaks German, ought to be the ambition of a Welshman. To speak Welsh is no longer a stigma.. Jeering and disparaging remarks have not killed the Welsh language yet. Let the race by all means leam the bread- winning languages, but don't eradicate the affection a whole neople has for the speech God gave it. I often hear it said that this language is harsh, guttural, that it has a superabundance. of consonants and long v.'ords, which accounts for its being an uncommercial language, but that is, it seems to me, to the eye only. For the ear it is harmonious, as I hear the Welsh language spoken by my pretty, modest, and cheery Keltic kinswomen, the Welsh women students. It has a sweet, low, and winning sound. Does not this magical power of language explain the fewness of old maids in Wales, and account for this branch of English social organism not taking kindly root in the Keltic soil? If my Welsh women students made it a craft to write as many letters in Welsh as their good-looking and dÙtinfínéeJ English slaters do in their own native language, they would contri- bute to create a branch of literature which is neglected in Wales. We should have eventually I a few De Sevignes in the vales and glens of Gwalia. If French be the language of men, German of soldiers, Spanish of God's saints, Italian of woman, English of birds, surely Welsh is that of angels? It is an extraordinary circumstance, studied as the Welsh is, admired by those who understand it, despised and vilified only by those ,vho are of it, tha,t its beauties have not been asserted nor its force and energy fairly In its construction verbal modes of expressions I detect a simi- larity with the Hebrew. There is no actual present tense in either Hebrew or Welsh. So- rapid is thought and the progress of time that the ileeting moment now may be regarded as past while we are yet speaking it. In reciting the Creed in both languages one is obliged to use the future tense, "I shall believe," not I believe." If modes of expressions, style, language, are man himself, we may infer that some of the Qualities of the Hebrews of old will be found in the Welsh. They are fond of pastoral life, they a.re an agricultural people. If they are not enterprising men on a large scale, they are venturesome; if they do not make money, they save it. They are good bankers. Take a banking directory and you will meet with. as I did, names of managers of banks that are Welsh. You will mark the Bevans, the Lloyds, the Edwa.rdses, the Williamses, the Evanses, &o. Evidently, it is a saving and calculating people. Generous to their own kin, the Welsh will be so to those of other nationalities, with a reticent, reflective rnent&l attitude. Unlike the Hebrew, who has not changed a.nd moved on with the time, when everything around it changes and moves on according to the eternal order of nature, the Welsh hae changed. Its vernacular press, its oratorioa,! performances, its living literature, its rich vooatbulary, eminen!tly stamp the language with that elasticity of expressions and terms required in order to express modern ideas. Had not the language possessed inhe- rently these living elements the race would have stuck to its primitive genius, would have kept a.ioof, would have remained wilfuMy isolated, would have declined in the scale of civilig.a.tion. UuHke the Hebrew, who ha<; reina.ined isolated in his majestic and solita.ry grandeur, the Welsh ha;s not remained a stronger to foreign in'Suence, he has wel- comed the idea.s of other more advanjed races, be has become stronger. Misfortunes will inevita.bly befal obstina.t.e national indi- vidualism tha.t refuses to enter into the <'on- gross ot tne inteiieotuai oommuniNes 01 tne world. Evidences are not wanting that Wales has chained her destiny to the wheel!S of civilisation's oliariot. It is a strange co- in.oidence and a remarkable fact that 0 those 0 countries which have been most refractory and rebellious to modern tendencies and spirit, have kept longest the worship of old habits, cus- toms, and thought, are the oldest lands in Europe. When the Spirit of God moved upon the fa&e of the waters,, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. Brittany in France and Wales rose up from the depth of th'e dark waters of the mysterious ocean. and have atood since like a stone wall against the devastating surges of the stormy main. At that time the lands now called England, Ger- many a.nd France were under the waters, and remained submerged for ages. From Liver- pool to Geneva, one would have met with nothing but a vast lake. it has been calculated that under present conditi-'ns it would take more than 120 million years to accumulate a bed of coal 25ft. thick. From this my readers can form an opinion of the :<€ of their country, a.nd understand fully the ?y';ng ".M old as the hills." Possessing such a, fasc.inatirg claim on the imagination, the \Tclsh have invested their native land a.nd ancient speech with it zealous a.ifection and pecul'arre.pect. Rightly, they keenly resent the .lests and unkind treatment they have received, and are receiving, from the English. Tlia.t the Welsh still retain their hereditary resentment toward everyone who speaks the English tong'.e is a fact I have observed. I confessed deplore the fact. The fault does not lie with them, but with the peoples who fail to under'tan d their ideas, their intense love both for country a.nd language, their de- votion to music, and their high moral and re- ligious principles. Can the Welsh peasantry, deeply read as they are in the Biblical litera- ture (for the Welsh is a nation of Bible readers), discover from anything but second sight that the English had ceased to treat them as a con- quered race when the spirit prevails in the bro;.d nineteanth century in social ciroles.a.nd the public press, that would scarcely allow them a place in the rank of civilized nations. Some two vearg ago I chanced to read the "Hereford Journal." In its columns t met with the following remarks :On Saturday last our stately-historic cathedral was invaded, and many a would-be worshipper must have had his or her feelings sadly disturbed by the yells of Cymric infants, whose mothers endeavoured to soothe with hearty shakes, bangs and slaps, the result being increased noi&e. Adult Cymry wandered about staring, wondering, and lo.jdiy laboring ir. the language of the Ancient Britons, which is so soft and melodious. It needed no great stretch of imagination to think that the cathedral had been seized by Barnum or Buifalo Bill, and that the nave wa..s baing Riled up at 3d per head. Bewildered and horror-struck sacris- tans rushed vainly about from one grou- to j another, imploring and suggesting less uproar, but to no purpose. Some Cymry shouteo, 'Was kind of place is this?' and others, by their behaviour, seemed to think the sacred edifice was built as a show-place, and for their amusement. Personally, I trust that in future they will keep to their own hills, dales, and mines', and oea.sa to trouble the fair city of Hereford until a portion of this century s j civilisation has permeated into their homes, minds, and manners.—July 50." I read in Warrington's "History of Wales": When any Welshman ccmeth to RutbIaM with mercha.ndise, if he refuses whatsoever any Englishman oSereth, he is forthwith sent to"pri?cn %nd the buyer hath the thing and the King hath the price, then the soldiers of the Castele nrst spoil him and beat the Welsh- man, a.nd then cause him to pay he a.nd let him go. If any Welshman 'ring's anything in Ruthlan a.nd any Englishman do meet him, he will take it from him a.nd will give him less than he paid for it." The treatment Wales experienced in the past, the sad consequences, the conquest, the annexation, of Wales left, coupled with thej jeering sarcasm and funny jokes of the Eng- lish of our day, do not tend to conciliate the Welsh. li, with that. admirable sense of equity and marvellous practical benevolence whLoh) characterise tihe English, they had shown le&s ha.ug-hty pride and had exhibited more sympathy with their annexed races, they would "have conciliated them, would have won their aFections. Englishmen would have solved, to the greatness of their race, the poli- tical problem—On.e heart, one people. When I iirst came over to Wales T made it a pcint to read somethi.ig that would help me to fonn a clear ludgment of the people amongst wl.om I was called upon. to live. In the triads mv attention dwelt "n some remarkable national sentiments. The love the Welshman has for his native hills, for his nation, is, for instance, strikingly worded. "Three things should a Welshman always bear in mind lest he dishonours them his father, his country, and his najne Cymro. There aje three things for which a Cymro should be willing to die— hi'! country, his good I aiiie, and the truth, wherever it be. Three things it specially behoves a Cymro to choose from his own country—his chief, hi wife, and his friend When I hear Welshmen and Scotchmen speak of th'Jir native hills and moi.i tains it reminds me of a pai-ticula.r ceremony of a Persian Am- bassador in France, who every morning before ha went abroad .religiously &alutpd a turf of earth out of his own native &oil, to remind iim. that in all the transactions of the day he wa.s to think of his country and pursue its aclnJn- taK'es. So it was of old, so it is now. ihey inter-marry amongst themselves, celebrate the -virtues of their heroes, keep up their customs, Thev surround their ba.rds vlth honours Like the Hebrew prophets, the patriotism and patriotic imT.?'ina.tion of the Welsh bards is simply intense. The known function of the poet is to give, by usinsr becoming words, utterance to emotions and thoughts which he conceived within for the purpose of mcying- -olcasurablv or stirring and exciting the minds Mid hearts of his hearts In the crafty and fikHful hands of the burds Ca.mbi-ia can boa,st th:tt she haa a. :anguag-e excelling a.ny provin- r.i:d tongue in Europe; she h3,s among her native hills men capable of soaring abova all vulgar height, in their intercom'se with the Muses, and. to be sure, surpassing any of her CeHi ripighbours. TIie influence of 'burds on Wales is a. delicate topic to handle. Bardic literature seems to become the naSon'd necessity. Men must have it. Hence its power in the formation of national -QLe' "l'>\i1 sentiment and character. Asthesoftwa-x receives the ngure of the sea!, the moral he&i't of the people is receiving the impress of the effusion of the bard. Tills literature engrosses too much, it seems to me, the gttention of the nation. Facts are to the Welsh bard but the raw material from which in fancy's loom ha weaves the glorious garments with which he clothes the actors in the pomp of his airy fabric. There may be no deceit intended thereby. On the other h&nd—and into this error the Welsh fall—a- too fa.nciful and fervid imagination of poetical bardic temperament, unbalanced by the perception of actual facts, mistakes the bard's glittering pageant for sober every-da.y reality. I have seen this poetic imagination in the province of pa.trioti&m appropriating! both persons and events from the histories of other countries and churning' for itself t"e origination, the genesis, of their moat peculiar sentiments. Is not the Queen a Welshwoman? Was not America, discovered by a Cymro? Is proof of it, are there not Welsh Indians that smoke the same kind of pipe as those Welsh- men used to smoke? Is not Stanley a- Welsh- man ? Was not Boulanger a. countryman of General Roberts, himself a. Welshman? Was not his mother a Miss Grinlth? This un- restrained imagination works detrimentally in more directions than one. It strengthened the old love of sunerstition- Superstition still exists, yet by what I resd and hear, not more so than in other countries where the railways, telegraph, and telephone inventions have brought in their rear mpnta.1 change:! of a, healthier character. The g,- mt love the Welshwomen had for the music of the Jews' harp was accounted for by the effect that innocent instrument had in driving the devil oack from moisting our Lord on the occasion of His tempta.t.io.n in the Wilderness. That is a thing of the past- The belief that frightened so many children, a,nd still entertained in some remote Traces, that the devil aDT)e,irs ou the hills at the stroke of twelve o'clock at night, then disn.ppea.red, leaving behind traces of sulphur and brimstones, may be traced to the Revere. doctrine about hell, and to in'umcient food. For the Welsli mind tis devil is no abstract idea., phantom, no specula- tive philosophical theme, but a living and bodily evil existence that prowls about the valleys ana mountains of Wales, seeking and devouring. If there be less superstition, I ascribe it tjot only to the fo.ilities which our locomotJOD systems a-nord for conveying men and tra!iS_ milting thought, but chieSy to a. better food regime. Is there not; for instance, no connection between food, cookery, and German character- Is it not possible to trace in the strong navour< and strong mixturf-s of sweets and sours beloved by tha.t people the germ of the bold a?serti?' without the charm, the lovableness which 11101" be said to the German I> there not something suggestive between t"c oleaginous diet of the Southern nations and the smoothness of their language and the slipperiness of their morals? Take my countrymen, the ga.iest hearted a.nd the longest; living peOP le in Europe. Of every thousand inhabitants il England. 132 rea,oh the age of 60 a.nd above; Or Italy, 150; in <?erma,ny. 159; in France, 2? Have not the French the most delicate, ethe- realised cuisine food elevated into poetry of aaY people we know? Is it not the land of cl? thought, of lucidity, of postive truth a.nd lis eternal import? the land of Ca.lvin, of Pasca, of Montesquieu? &c. ..A

CY?MN?

XODE'RN HERESY.

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