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t/iag. * Account-ef Evans'; Spetim/ni
gagement with the pope to take the cross, whenever he thought it expedient, in order to expiate the murder of Thomas I Becket; and we shall hereafter fee, that, though this treaty was not executed by these princes, yet ir was not altogether without its effect.
As the pence of the kingdom, as Well as the continuance of the royal line, depended on the life of the young prince Philip, it is not at all strange, that the king should be extremely alarmed at an iccident ■which brought him to the very brink of the grave. He was but just able to ride, when his horse rnn away with him in the wood of Compeigne, in which he continued all night, and returned in the morning, so extremely frighted, that he fell into a grievous sit of sickness. This induced the king his father, according to the mode of those times, to resolve on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Thomas, that is, the tomb of Thomas a Becket at Canterbury. He was received there with great pomp by king Henry, made his offering, and returned back in the space of a week ; "but whether the fatigue of the journey, or the agitation of his mind was the cause, so it fell our, that he was struck with an apoplexy
of the ancient Welsh Poetry. 313
at his return; and though he recovered from this, by the help of his physicians, yet he continued paralytic on the right fide. This induced him to hasten the coronation of his son, vvlikh was performed with great solemnity by the cardinal archbishop cfRheims, the queen's brother, on the first of Novembcr. On this occasion, the young king Henry of England assisted, as duke of Normandy, and Philip, count of Flanders, carried the sword of state. At this time also the right of the archbishop of Rheims to perform the ceremony of the coronation was confirmed. Soon after the marriage of the young king Philip, with the niece of the count of Flanders, who now governed all, was settled; and the king, having languished about a year under this grievous malady, breathed his last on the l8:h of September, in the sixtieth year of his a;:e, and in the forty-fourth of his reign, being esteemed a pious and chaste prince; but as the English, as well as the French, historians observe^ less a politician than was requisite for the conjuncture in which he lived.
[To be continued.1
Acctunt of some Specimens of tie Poetry of the ancient Wei fit Bards, translated into English by the- Rev. Mr. Evan Evans.
'THE public has long since been presented with specimens of the poetry of the ancient hards of the northern part of this Isle, or rather (as the critics will have it) of Ire!»nd, in the poems of Ossian the son of Fingal. The success these met »ith was undoubtedly an encouragement to the publication of the June 1764;
pieces now before us, though the Rev. Editor assures us, that it did not put him upon the undertaking, nor are they intended to be set in competition with the works of Ossian. He had long been convinced, that no nation in Europe possessed greater remains of ancient and genuine pieces of this kind than the S1 We'.shi 314 Account of Evans'/ Sfecimtm
Welsh, and as such had been induced to think that a tranllation of some of them would be no unacceptable present to the public, which, he says, was first thought of and encouraged some years before the name of Offian was known in England. Thus much for the motives of his undertaking. With regard to the execution, the Rev. Editor very modestly tells us, that these poems in the original have great merit, and if there is none in the translation, it must be owing to his inability to do them justice. There was also another difficulty he laboured under, but which Mr. Macpherson, if his collection be genuine, did not, viz. that the oldest poets in the Erse language are still, it seems, perfectly intelligible; whereas those of the Welsh bards, who writ even a considerable time after Ostian, are hardly understood by the best critics and antiquarians in Wales. What this difference is owing to, as their language has not undergone more changes than the Erse, he leaves to others to determine ; but it seems to furnish an oblique argument against the authenticity of Olfian's poems, which those who dispute the genuineness of them, will doubtless be glad to lay hold of. This is also the reason that in the collection before us we find but one piece of the celebrated Taliesin's *, that too not the best, but the only one that is thoroughly understood; and none of the famous Lewarch Hen's. The rest are taken from different bards who wrote some hundreds of years after. In such a great variety it is impossible to give a specimen of all. We (hall therefore content ourselves with the following extract from the first poem in the book, composed by Owain Cvveiliog, prince of Powys,
of tbt cecient Welsh Potlry. Bfitrih who flourished about the year 11 Co, on account of a battle fought with the Englisli at Maelor, in the counties of Denbigh and Flint.
"When the dawn arose, the shout was given j the enemy gave an ominous presage ; our men were stained with blood, after a hard contest; and the borders of Maelor Drefred were beheld with wonder and astonishment.
"O cup-bearer, who, with patience, mindest thy duty, forsake us not; fetch the horn, that we may drink together, whose gloss is like the wave of the sea, whose green handles shew the skill of the artist, and are tipped with gold. Bring the best meath, and put it in Gwgan Diaws's hand, for the noble feats he hath atchieved: the offspring of Gronwy, who valiantly fought in the midst of dangers; a race of heroes for worthy acts renowned ; and men, who, in every hardship they undergo, deserve a reward; who are in the battle foremost: the guardians of Sabrina. Their friends exult when they hear their voice. The festal stiout will cease when they are! gone.
"Fill thou the yellow-tipped horn, badge of honour and mirth, full of frothing meath, and if thou art desirous to have thy life prolonged to the year's end, stop not the reward due to his virtue, for it is unjust; and bring it to Griffith, with the crimson lance. Bring wine in the transparent horn; for he is the guardian of Arwislli, the defence of its borders; a dragon of Owain the generous, whose descent is from Cynvyn; a dragon he was from the beginning, that never was terrified in the battle; his brave actions (hall follow him.
"Fill thou the horn; for it is my Mag. Account of a new
* Talielin (lourithad about the year 560, long after Offian.
delight, in the place where the defenders of our Country drink mead, and give it to Selyf the fearless, the defence of Gwygyr; woe to the wretch that offends him, eaglehearted hero; and to the son of Madoc, the famous and generous Tudur, like a wolf when he seizes bis prey, is his assault in the onset. Two heroes, who were sage in their counsels, but active in the field, two sons of Ynyr, who, on the day of battle were ready for the attack, heedless of danger, famous for their exploits; their assault was like that of strong lions, and they pierced their enemies like brave warriors, they were lords of the battle, and ruslied foremost with their crimson lances; the weight of their attack was not to be withstood; their shields were broke asunder with much force, as the high-sounding wind on the beach of the green sea, and the encroaching of the furious waves on the coast of Talgarth. f* Fill, cup bearer, as thou re
Syjltm of Philosophy. j t 5.
gardest thy life; fill the horn, badge of honour at feasts, the hirlas drinking-horn, which is a token of distinction, whose tip is adorned with silver, and its cover of the fame metal ; and bring it to Tudur, the eagle of battles, filled with the best wine; and if thou dost not bring us the best of all, thy head shall fly off: give it in the hand of Moreiddig, encourages of songs, whose praise in battle is celebrated; they were brethren of a distant clime, of an undaunted heart, and their valour was observable in their countenance.
Can 1 forget their services?
Impetuous warriors, wolves of the battle, their lances are besmeared with gore 5 they were the heroes of the chief of Mochnant,in the reigon of Powys. Their honour was soon purchased by them both; they seiaed every occasion to defend their country, in the time of need, with their bloody arms, and they kept their borders fiotn hostile invasion."
Some Account of A New System of Philosophy, by James Usher
TH E intention of this writer, who soundi bis philosophy on the wsintrsal operations of nature, is to overthrow the long-received system of mechanic philosophy, which, by supposing every thing to be the "Effects of the undirected concourse of particles of various shapes, sizes, and motions,'* does not, in his opinion, "afford a sufficient cause, or explication of the grandeur, the beauty, the order, and design of the visible creation." — We have not room to enter into a minute discussion of so abstruse a subject, but iball here lay before the reader a
part of our author's observations, which are as follow:
"It is the prevailing opinion, that all material bodies that grow, must necessarily perish, and suffer wreck by the hand of time; and that the only means of preserving youth and immortality to material beings, must be by miracle. This, like other trite opinions in general, arose from the present prospect which appears to the mind, and is true only with regard to our actual situation ; for did the different elements, of which the infant body is composed, attract only similar elements;
S s z or
or were the attractions of the constituent parts reciprocal and equal, so as to limit and fully employ each other's energy, and in mutual embraces to sleep in apathy and indifference to external corpuscles, I do not comprehend how such bodies could suffer decay or death.
"The fire annihilates nothing: what is consumed thereby ascends leisurely above the precincts of the flame in a thick cloud of smoak, and apparently mingles with the Æther. If in thtir passage, the ascending invisible particles meet with any body to which they may adhere, they gather upon it in (eft layers of foor, with which you may once more feed the flames. The tallow and wax of candles, in their recess net only affect your smell, you may catch them, over the flame on any substance, to which oily particles are apt to adhere.
"There is no reason then to suppose any the least corpuscle to be lost, altered, or annihilated by the fire; its effects are only to dissolve the crafts or union of the body. Every element, and every particle of matter, remain unalterable, and for ever the lame. Nor is there room to judge that fire intimately pervades the simple elements of matter, but only by its fluid activity, insinuates into the interstices, as water does into a spunge. A ball of iron red hot is not a ball of fire, but a
When the fire is afterwards exhaled, then the particles of the metal lie close and compact on each other* and the mask become; rigid.
"It hath been obseived justly, that men are often right in their piactice in opposition lo theory. While philosophers and scholars aintiscd the woild with a catholic matter, which formed bodies ot different kinds, according to the shapes; and sizes of its wamiering pattides that cohered into sensible masses; and while chemists on the credit of the sages of learning and knowledge,, were wasting their health and sottunes, endeavouring to hit on the texture and constitution that forms gold and the elixir of life, out of this catholic matter ; farmers, tradesmen and mechanics, blessed with plain common senle, and the want or learning, went on just as if the species of nature were permanent and unchangeable; they sowed corn, acorns, flax and hemp, and put out their sons to trades upon the expectancy that nature produces in kind, and that the next violent shuffle of corpuscles, or a windy March, would not by new evolutions and concussions, produce bodies of a confused kind, different from what tradesmen are skilled in. Such a prodigious and refined philosopher as Mr. Locke might contemplate his abstract and nominal essences. Tradesmen and pease.its
ball of iron perforated, and glowine deal only in the real things which Hag. BxtraSls from Mr. Macaulay V History of St. Kilda. j 17
with sire. When the fire has sepa rated all the minima naiurelia in bodie*, and thus become continuous, and those minima naturaiia are not volatile, as in metals, then they swim in the fluid sire, as (air does in water, and the superficies or bulk of the metal is considerably eucreascd.
they handle and possess. They nave no sort of acquaintance with abstract essences; and kind nature, from the days of Adam to this, has favoured them with similar productions; so as to enable them to make provisions, at a long distance of time, and to be certain of the kind of crop, while
nothing blade, or even before a green blade )« sprouts forth."
nothing yet appears but a green are found to want the principles into
In a note he hath the following uwiliar illustration :—" Since learning and system have so far vanquished common fense, as to make men deny the specific formations of nature, which women and children know, and of which birds and beasts, who cannot abstract, confess their fense in the most intelligible language imaginable, in their pursuits, their aversions, and their loves ; and since those who deny the specific productions of nature, in vindication of their system, produce the variations found by chemists in their analysis of the fame species, as a proof that nature doth not work re'£ular!y on the fame plan; I am obliged to point out the cause of the variations in question, and shew that they in reality may depend on specific or parallel natural productions: but first, that heedless people may not be imposed upon, by an equivoque in the objection, let it be observed, that, by the word Variation, or any equivalent thereto, is not meant that the onions of this year, are resolvable into the same chemical elements with the turnips of last year; or that the onions of this year
which they were resolvable two hundred years ago; or have changed, like the fashion in wooden furniture, from oak to walnut, and from waU nut to mahogany; the variation spoken of in the objection is not of this kind, but something very different, of which I am just going to speak.
"Any person who compares the wines of a hot, dry season, with the wines of a moist ool season ; or the fruits, the vegetables, and drugs that are produced in different soils and climates, will perceive, by the fenses, the variation which gives foundation to the objection : now can we suppose that the vine, whose fruit differs in the different seasons, is not the fame identical Being, and governed by the fame general laws, each of these two seasons? Certainly, no ; it is obvious then, since the fame identical stock in different circumstances,
ExtraSj from the History o/St. KlLDA
THE island of St. Kilda m y be ranked among the greatest curiosities of the British empire. The situation of the place, the genius of its inhabitants, their manners and customs, tbe constitution of their little commonwealth, that amazing dexterity with which they manage the most important branches of their business that unexampled courage,
, by the Rrv. Mr. Kenneth Macaulay.
with which they encounter dangers insurmountable to any other race of men, and that perhaps happy ignorance, which renders them absolute strangers to those extravagant desires and endless purluits, which keep the great and active world in a constant agitation; all these, and some- other extraordinary circumstances, taken together at one view,