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pursuers could come up with him: here therefore they were completely thrown out, as there was no other bridge over the Wye, at that time, nearer than Bredwardine, thirty miles below.
“ Thus foiled and disappointed of their prize for the present, the English immediately returned downwards, to a ford known to some of the party, about eight miles below, now a ferry called Caban Twm Bach, or Little Tom's Ferry-boat. In the interim, it would seem that Llewelyn must have gained sufficient time to have distanced his followers, if he had made use of it; but he had not yet abandoned the expectation of meeting with assistance, and some hours may have been employed with the garrison of the castle of Builth, who, awed by the approach of Mortimer, refused to treat with or support him.
says, be was taken at Builth Castle, where, using reproachful words against the Englishmen, Sir Roger le Strange 'ran upon him and cut off his head, leaving his dead body on ' the ground. It is by no means improbable that he should have accused the garrison of Builth and the inhabitants of that country of perfidy; and, as Stowe says, used reproachful words towards the English: he may also have bestowed upon the men of Aberedwy as well as of Builth that epithat which has stuck by then ever since*, but he certainly was not slain at Builth Castle, or by Sir Roger le Strange; for being here repulsed by those from whom le had expected support, and based in his attempts to reduce them to obedience, he proceeded westward up the Vale of Irvon on the southern side, for about three miles, where he crossed the river a little above Llanynis church, over a bridge called Pont y Coed, or the Bridge of the Wood, &c.-- This passage once secured, he stationed the few troops who accompanied him on the northern side of the river, where from the ground being much higher and more precipitous. than the opposite bank, and at the same time covered with wood, a handful of men were able to defend the bridge against a more numerous enemy.
In this situation he pre. served a communication with the whole of Brecknockshire; and as he supposed that the river was at this season of the year [the depth of winter) wholly impassable, he waited with confidence and security while he commanded the pass, in hopes to hear further from his correspondents, or in expectation of being reinforced from the westward. By this means the English forces gained sufficient time to come up with him, and appearing on the southern side of the Irron, made a fruitless attempt to gain the bridge; and here they probably would have been compelled to abandon the pursuit, or at least Llewelyn might have escaped in safety to the mountains of Snowden, if a knight of the name of Sir Elias Walwyn, a descendent of Sir Philip Walwyn of Hay, had not discovered a ford at some little distance, whence a detachment of the English crossed the river, and coming unexpectedly on the backs of the Welsh at the bridge, they were immediately routed, and either in the pursuit,
*“ Bradwyr Aberedwy! Bradwyr Buallt! - Traitors of Aberedwy! Traitors of Builth!""
or while he was watching the motions of the main body of the enemy, who were still on the other side of the river, he was attacked in a small dell about two hundred yards below the scene of action, from him called Cwm Llewelyn, or Llewelyn's dingle, and slain unarmed (as some say) by one Adam de Francton, who plunged a spear into his body, and immediately joined his country, men to pursue the flying enemy;-When Francton returned after the engagement in hopes of plunder, he perceived that the person he had wounded, and who was still alive, was the Prince of Wales; and, on stripping him, a letter in cypher and his privy seal were found concealed about him. The Englishman, delighted with the discovery, immediately cut off his head, and sent it as the most acceptable present that could be conveyed to the King of England. The body of the unfortunate prince was dragged by the soldiers to a little distance, where the two roads from Builth now divide, one leading to Llanafan, and the other to Llangammarch: here they buried him, and this spot has ever since been known by the name of Cefn y Bedd, or Cefn Bedd Llewelyn; that is, the ridge of Llewelyn's grave."
P. 139. Thus fell the brave Llewelyn. His body, notwithstanding the intercession of Maud, or Matilda Longespee, to procure for it the rites of Christian sepulture, was suffered to rot in the unhallowed ground where it had first been deposited; and with still greater unteelingness, as we learn from Matthew of Westminster, and other writers (for Mr. Jones drops the subject with a short panegyric on the virtues of Llewelyn), the head of the ill-fated prince was, by the king's orders, conveyed to Loudon; where being met by the citizens in cavalcade, it was placed on the point of a lance; and the crown having been encircled with a silver chaplet, in derision of a pretended prophecy, it was paraded through the city in triumph, with the sound of trumpets and horns, and scornfully set upon the pillory in Cheapside. Here it continued some hours exo posed to mockery and brutal insult;, and it was, at last carried to the Tower, and fixed upon the walls, crowned with a diadem of ivy. In the following year, anno 1283, the head of David ap Griffith, Llewelyn's brother
, who was ignominiously hanged and quartered as a traitor, for bravely defending the independence of his country, was. also brought to the Tower, and fixed up near that of hisill-fated relative.
: From the particulars already given, the reader will readily appreciate the merit of the historical part of this volume, which now begins, much too decidedly, to identify itself with the general history of the nation.
The eighth chapter treats of the religion of this district
from the earliest notices by the Roman writers, mingled
Mr. Jones says,
" It cannot be denied that the plain undeviating rules of right and wrong are communicated in very few words; and that the eternal and immutable maxims of truth and justice require neither the aid of parchment or paper, nor even the more durable monu» ments of brass or stone, to be perpetuated: they are written in an universal language, and in characters equally indelible, though invisible, in the breast of the ignorant and the learned, the saint, the savage, and the sage.'
P. 200. We cannot altogether assent to this. If it proves any thing, it proves too much; for even oral record itself would be superfluous, if these 6 eternal and immutable maxims. of truth and justice” were really impressed within the breasts of the ignorant, as well as of the wise. That mankind, even in the lowest and most degraded state of nature, have a capacity to receive these truths, we are willing to acknowledge; but the vast diversity of opinion, as to what actually constitutes vice and virtue, which has existed in every age of the world, proves that there are no innute feelings in man to direct him in his choice of good and evil. If there be any one maxim that to a cultivated understanding would seem the most likely to be implanted in every heart, it is that which, in the langưage of the Mosaic dispensation, is contained in the words -- " Thou shalt not kill!" Yet in every part of the globe we are at present acquainted with, where man exists in a state of nature, we find that the taking away the life of a fellow-creature is scarcely held in any kind of abhorrence. To an European mind, the destruction of children is one of the greatest crimes; yet, in some islands of the Pacific Ocean, infanticide is common custom; and in China, the esposure of infants, on whatever motives of necessity it may be justified, is known to be frequently attended with death. In Europe, filial ingratitude is held to be detestable; yet the Hindoos expose their sick parents to the waves of the Ganges, with
out a thought of guilt, or a feeling of remorse. The Indian Bramin, too-he whose trembling heart shrinks from the destruction of the meanest reptile, and who envelopes his mouth and nostrils in a thin veil, lest a poor fly should be drawn in and perish---even he can light the funeral pyre, and feel pleasure in the act, on which the living and the dead are reduced to ashes in the same flames ! But what more than all, perhaps, will tend to prove the weakness of the position to the mind of him who has advanced it, is the fact stated by Cæsar, that the Druids of Gaul offered sacrifices of human victims. Where then shall we seek for that all-informing sentiment that should direct the ignorant to virtue? In the untutored breast it does not, it cannot, exist. To affirm therefore that it equally animates the bosom of “ the saint, the savage, and the sage,” may do to "round a period;" but, alas! the frail condition of human nature most indubitably evinces that the affirmation is untrue.
The summary of the opinions of the Druids in respect to the Divinity is given in the eloquent language of Mallet; in whose Northern Antiquities it describes the early tenets of the Scandinavians. We shall here re-quote the passage, premising only, that the words printed in italics are those of our author.
" The Druids first and principally inculcated the love of virtue and the detestation of vice, acknowledged and believed in the being of a supreme God, Master of the Universe, to whom all things were submissive and obedient. They called him the Author of every Thing that existeth; the Eternal, the Ancient, the Living and Awful Being; the Searcher into concealed Things; the Being that never changeth. They attributed to this Deity an infinite power, a boundless knowledge, an incorruptible justice. They were forbidden from representing him in a corporeal form: they were not even to think of confining him within the inclosure
of walls; but were taught that it was only within woods and consecrated groves they could serve him properly; as he seemed to reign there in silence, and to make hiinself felt by the respect he inspired.” P. 200.
Our limits will not permit us to follow Mr. Jones in his account of the druidical religion; nor is it perhaps particularly necessary, after the ample extracts from Mr. Owen's description of the bardic system, so recently inserted in our review of Sir R. C. Hoare's translation of Giraldus*
*** See Antijacobin Review, Vol. 31, P: 130. 133.
In some few particulars the accounts vary, but the more essential features are the same. Qur author seems fully inclined to acquit Edward the First of the inhuman policy ascribed to him of commanding the massacre of all the Welsh bards that fell into his hands; and we most readily accord with him in this acquittal, however widely a contrary belief has been spread, through the impression made by Gray's beautiful Ode, beginning,
• Ruin seize thee, ruthless king!' In pages 221 and 222 is inserted a petition that was presented to the Pope, from the Princes of North and South Wales, in behalf of the British Church. Among the grievances complained of in this petition, was that of " sending them English bishops, ignorant of the manners and language of the country," and who consequently “could neither preach the word of God to the people, nor receive their confessions, but through the medium of interpreters.” In a note to this passage, which from its extreme illiberality we should rather suppose had been foisted in unknown to Mr. Jones, than to have proceeded from his pen, so opposite is it to the general character of the work, there is an assertion which we can almost take upon us positively to contradict from our own knowledge: but first let us give
“."This rule of the English court (that is, sending English bishops] is founded in wisdom and sound policy; insomuch that it has been confirmed and acted upon up to this day, There is no knowing what mischief a bishop, who can speak and preach in the British tongue, may do among an irascible people, as the Welsh undoubtedly are: besides, the soil of that country is miserably poor, and does not produce men of sufficient learning to entitle them to hold the dignity."
Now in one of our autumnal excursions through the principality of Wales, we stopt on a Sunday at Bangor, ånd, going into the cathedral of that small city, heard a part of the service delivered in the Welsh language, and were there informed that the person officiating was the " Bishop of Bangor." We shall not comment on the unguarded expression of the soil of Wales being too poor to produce men of sufficient learning for a bishopric, any further than by asking what the barren soil of a country has to do with learning ?
The eighth chapter, which treats of the laws of Wales, is very interesting; and here, as may be imagined Mr. Jones, who is a professional man, is quite at home."