WE have read a volume of sermons published by the Rev. John Hughes, Vicar of Llanbadarn Fawr, and Incumbent Curate of St. Michael's, Aberystwith; the substance of which, the author states in his preface, was delivered at St. Michael's Chapel in the year 1837 The object of the author has been, To unfold the characters of the principal persons men- tioned in the Book of ROTH, and to illustrate and improve the various incidents related concerning them :—" How far Mr Hughes has succeeded in his attempt, will be best seen by reading these sermons, which ought to be placed by every head of a family before his household. Perhaps there is not a book in the Sacred volume, which contains more practical examples of the exercise of perseverance, firmness, and self-denial, and of the earthly rewards consequent upon the ex- ercise of these excellent qualities, than are to be met with in the Book of Ruth. This short book, of which it is probable Samuel was the penman, is thus spoken of by the Commentators Henry and Scott.- There is perhaps no history that has been wrought into so many different forms, transfused into so many diflerent languages, and accommodated to so many situations, as the history of Ruth." In each of these sermons Mr. Hughes has made an admirable application of the subject to his readers, and we think that the public are deeply indebted to him for his publication.- We have lately met with a little work, which can- not fail being read with intense interest, entitled, Translations into English verse from the Poems of DAVYTH AP GWILYM, a Welsh Bard of the fifteenth Century." prefixed to which is a sketch of the life of the renowned Bard who has been com- pared to Petrarch;" though in all the peculiarities of his genius, our Bard approaches more nearly to Burns than to any poet, whether of his own or other countries. He has the same originality, the same intense sympathy with nature, and, above all, the same magic transitions, from satire and raillery, to wild sublimity and deep pathos." The compiler of this sketch acknowledges, that for its materials he is indebted to the ingenuity and research of Dr. William Owen Pughe, to whom he dedicates, by permission, the volume before us; a tribute which, the Transla- lator says, is due from him to the illustrious preserver of the songs of the Demetian Nightingale." We purpose, from time to time, giving occasional extracts from this Sketch of the life of DAVYTH AP GWI- LYM," of which the following is the commencement. ONE of the most remarkable consequences of the conquest of Wales by Edward J. was the depression of that loftv poet- ical spirit which had previously distinguished the Welsh nation Before that event the Cambro-British bards appear to have devoted their genius to the grand theme of national independence. Habituated to regard the martial spirit of their countrymen as the only bulwark against foreign oppres- sion, they naturally selected the single virtue of military prowess as the great subject of their eulogy and their songs. Hence it was, that with the destruction of their country's freedom, they appear to have lost the only object of their art and the sole source oftheirinspiration; and nearly a century elapsed before we find any symptoms of its reviving influence To this result other causes must have powerfully coiiti-ibuted; the jealous policy of the English authorities, by whom the bards were justly viewed as the great promoters of a spirit of independence among the people; the fanaticism of the mendicant friars, who appear to have denounced many of the refinements and amusements oflife as at variance with Chris- tianity; and, above all, that general feeling of fear and des- pondency, which always pervades a recently subjugated nation, and destroys all sympathy with the joyous songs of the minstrel. About the middle of the fourteenth century the poetical genius of the Welsh began to break forth anew, but with its characteristics essentially ehanged both in sentiment and style, the, A%Yen*'of the bards had undergone a complete re- lution. We no longer meet in their works with those war- like scenes, and those songs in praise of the heroes of their country. which occur so often in the poems of their prede- cessors. The Welsh minstrel was now content to tune his harp to themes of love and social festivity; and sportive allusions to objects of nature, and to the picturesque manners of that interesting period, were made to supply the place of lays in celebration of martial achievements. Whatever may have been lost in fire and sublimity by this transition was perhaps more than compensated by the superior polish, vivacity, and imaginativeness, which distinguish the bards of the new school. The dawn of the epoch here noticed was signalized by the birth of Davyth ap Gwilym, on whom the appellation of the Petrarch of Wales has, with some degree of propriety, been bestowed.—To be continued. Awen' the term applied to the poetical inspiration of the bards.
THE JOLLY MILLER. A FRAGMENT. (From, Bentley's Miscellany.) IT was a sultry day in the month of July, and there was scarcely wind enough to blow a thistle down. Little urchins, with red faces, were chasing the but- terflies, jacket-in-hand; while some tried in vain to raise their paper-kites, running in every direction of the compass; but both Æolus and Boreas seemed out of breath, and they could not compass their design. Lolling indolently at the foot of his mill-steps, stood a stout miller whistling merrily, when a stranger, who had been for some time slowly toiling up the hill, ac- costed him. Why dost thou whistle, friend ?" said he. For lack of wind," replied the miller abruptly and the stranger smiled at the paradoxical reply. Thou art short-" continued he. Some six feet, at any rute," answered the miller, drawing himself up. Thou'rt a merry soul." Merry ?—pshaw !-flat as a cask of unbunged ale —no !—that's windy—rather like an unblown bladder, for that's flat for the same reason—want of wind." Then thou art only in spirits when thy mill's going like a race-horse." That's a bad comparison," said the miller, for my mill only goes when it's blown,-and that's just when a horse stops." True I should have said an ass, for that, too, goes the better for a blow." "Thou aast hit it," said the miller, laughing; and I shall never see a donkey without thinking "Of me? anticipated the stranger, joining in the laugh, Surely," continued he, thine is a happy vocation. Thy situation, too, is so much above the richest of thy neighl)ours, nay, even the great lord of the manor himself must look little from the height thou beholdest him." Why, yes," replied the miller and, although I be not a proud man, I look down upon all; for not only the peasant, but the squire, is beneath me. 'Tis true, like another tradesman, I depend upon my sails for a livelihood but I draw all my money from the farmer's till: and then, all the hungry look up to me for their meal." How grateful ought all to be for thy favours!" Ay, indeed for, where would be either the highest or the lowest bread without my exertions ? To be sure, if they be ungrateful I can give them the sack!" Every mouth ought to be filled with the miller's praise," said the stranger. Certainly, added the miller, for every mouth would be imperfect without the grinders." Here they both joined in a hearty laugh and the jolly miller., finding the stranger's opinions and senti- ments so flatteringly in unision with his own, gave him an invitation to taste his malt, while they con- versed upon his meal. H. W.
LAST NIGHT'S CONCERT. WE reserved a space in our colums for the purpose of noticing the performances of last night, and we re- joice to be enabled to report that this Concert was by far the most numerously attended of any we have witnessed in- Aberystwith. The noble Patron, with his family, came purposely from Hafod to honour the Concert with his presence; and we have every reason to believe his Grace was highly gratified. Spoffortli's Glee Health to my dear sung by the Misses Williams, and Mr. Williams, opened the Con- cert, and was followed by Rossini's celebrated Duet Lasciami, sung by Miss A. and Miss M. Williams, a composition which seems to us well suited to their voices and style. The exquisite manner in which these ladies sang this Duet, as well as the other pieces assigned to them, gave satisfactory proof of their having highly cultivated their great talents, so as to leave no doubt of their being soon destined to occupy a first-rate position amongst the Vocalists of the day. This Duet and a Cavatina of Meyerbeer "Robert toi que j'aime," by Miss A. Williams, were received with the most decided approbation; and Spohr's Trio Night's lingering shades," were each rapturously applauded. A Grand Fantasia by Mr. Hayward, and an Air with Variations by this gentleman, perfectly electrified the audience ;-his consummate mastery of the instrument is beyond any thing we could have anticipated. Whether we speak of his rapid and finished execution, or the variety of expression he diffused throughout the entire composition, we are at a loss to determine which delighted us most. His wonderful double and treble stopping his enchant- ing harmonics, single and double and his pizzicato passages, deservedly drew down the warmest plaudits. We need not, if even we had space, write an elaborate critique on Mr. Hay ward's performances; he is already too well known to the public to need our encomiums. We are happy that on Tuesday next, we shall have an opportunity of hearing him again and we would decidedly recommend all our friends who are in the least imbued with musical taste, to avail themselves of the offered treat. The Solo on the Flute, by an Amateur, was well performed.-Alr, Hopkins and Miss A. Williams played a Duet of Thalberg on two Piano Fortes. Miss A. Williams we have heard before, and we need only say she fully sustained her reputation. Of Mr. Hopkins we must remark that he displayed great skill on the instrument; and the Duet, which was one of the Composer's most difficult pieces, was ad- mirably performed. Mr. Harding, a talented Amateur, sung "The young Savoyard," with great taste and feeling, and was deservedly encored as was Miss A. Williams in "Farewell dearest." We must also notice that beautiful Canzonet "My mother bids me" which Miss M. Williams sang in a chaste and most expressive manner..—According to the programme the Concert was to have terminated with Bishop's Glee 0 by rivers," but immediately after this was sung, the National Anthem was called for, and which was sung by the whole of the performers. Never did we see a Concert pass off in so spirited a manner as this. The audience indeed seemed deter- mined to make a night of it; in a twinkling, the room was cleared of the benches by the gentlemen with as much expertness as if they had been drilled to the exercise, and quadrilles, waltzes and gallopes were kept up 'till a late hour:—a very excellent Quadrille band having promptly attended. We are sorry that there should have been any, the slightest, drawback on the evening's entertainment; at one period great interruption was occasioned by the loud talking of some gentlemen who, we presume, are not in the habit of attending Concerts.
MARRIED. ON Tuesday, August 25th, at Holywell, the Rev. Thomas Hughes, Wesleyan Minister, to Sarah only daughter of Mr. Thomas Parry of the above place. (Communicated.)
A CARD. 30, Pier Street, August 17, 1840. THE Misses S. and J. COX, in making their respectful acknowledgements to the Ladies of Aberystwith, and the Neighbourhood, for the countenance they have already received, beg leave to announce, that they have succeeded in making an engagement with an experienced assistant in the MSXXSSRAIKIR DSPARTMESIT, from a fashionable Establishment in REGENT STftEET, LONDON: by this arrangement they are enabled to execute all orders, in that branch, in the first style.