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effect of a weak or distempered mind, he communicated to the king of Bretaigne ; who, probably from interelted mo ives, took advantage of this incident to act on the weakness of this prince, and on the credulity of his nation; which, in common with every other people in the same stage of refinement, always paid a high veneration to men, who, acting under the impulse of a warm and euthufiaftic spirit, fancied themselves indued with the power of revealing future events.
Having consulted the prophetic books of the two Merlins, which were deemed sacred as the pages of the Roman sybils, Alan told him, they predicted the ruin of the British empire, until the time that the bones of king Cadwalader should be brought back from Rome. He then advised him to act up to the patriotic design, and to follow the impuse of his vilion. Thus confirmed in the delufion, Cadwalader proceeded to Rome; and, agreeably to the interested views of the Romani pontiffs, was kindly received by pope Sergius. After he had submitted to have his head shaven, and to be initiated into the order of white monks, Cadwalader lived eight years as a reli. gious recluse ; exemplary in the piety of those days, but in a situation unworthy of a prince ; as it secluded him from the practice of active virtue, and of consequence, from promoting the interests of his people ; for which great end alone princes are delegated to rule mankind.'
In this part of the work, our author describes the modes of life, and private manners of the Welsh, whose character bears a great resemblance to that of the other Celtic nations. They are represented to be a people light and nimble, and more fierce than strong. Their chief sustenance was cattle and oats; besides milk, cheese, and butter; though they usually ate more plentifully of flesh-meat than of bread.
Being little engaged in the occupations of traffic, their time was chiefly employed in military affairs. They entertained an idea that it was a disgrace to die in their beds, but an honour to fall in the field. There was not a beggar to be seen in the whole country, for the tables were common to all ; and hospitality was esteemed one of the chief virtues. Pride of anceitry, and nobility of family, were extremely predominant. A Welsh-man was considered as honourable, if among his ancestors there had been neither slave, nor foreigner, nor infamous person. Yet if any foreigner had saved the life of a Welshman, or delivered him from captivity, he might be naturalized; and any foreign family, having resided in Wales for four generations, was entitled to the same privilege.
Our author obferves, concerning Roderic, who has received from his countrymen the title of Great, that, if to produce the wealth and grandeur, the safety and happiness of a state, be the means of attaining such a title, the conduct of this
prince gave him little claim to so honourable a distinction. For Roderic, without precedent to palliate, or apparent neceflity to enforce fuch a measure, yielded up the independency of Wales ; enjoining his posterity, by a folemn rescript, to pay to the Saxon kings, as a mark of subordination, a yearly tribute, which afterwards became the foundation of the claim of supremacy, asserted by the English. Such a tribute had, indeed, been paid by the Cambrian to the British princes ; but this, certainly, could impose no fimilar obligation upon the descendents of those Britons, who had been forced to abandon their native country to the usurped dominion of the Sax
The division which Roderic made of his territories, proved likewise the source of civil dissensions, and national weakness, which produced in the end a decline of patriotism.
In the fourth book, our author recites the history of Wales, from the Death of Roderic to that of Bleddyn ap Cynvyn, the king of North Wales and Powis, in the latter part of the ele. venth century. The bad effects of the policy of Roderic now became conspicuous : for in consequence of it, Bleddyn ap Cynvyn deigned to receive his crown from the hands of that power which was the hereditary foe of his country, and conlented to hold it as a tributary of the English princes. In the next Book, we find William Rufus entering Wales with a royal army, and asserting a fuperiority to which he had no legal pretensions.
In the same Book we meet with the following transaction, which, in its origin, bears an affinity to an incident that produced a revolution in the Roman government.
• In the Christmas holidays, Cadwgan ap Bleddyn invited the chieftains in his neighbourhood to a feast at his house in Dyvet. In the course of the entertainment, medh, or mead, the wine of this country, having raised their fpirits, Neft, the wife of Gerald, governor in Pembroke castle, was spoken of in terms of admiration ; 'the beauty and elegance of whose per fon, it was said, exceeded those of any lady in Wales. The curiosity of Owen, the son of Cadwgan, was strongly excited to see her; and he had little doubt of obtaining admittance, as there was a degree of relationship sublifting between them. Under colour of a friendly visit, the young chieftain, with a few of his attendants, was introduced into the cattle. Finding that fame had been cold in her praise, he returned home deep ly enamoured of her beauty, and fired with an eager defire of enjoying her. The same night, returning with a troop of his wild companions, he secretly entered the caftle, and, in the contusion, occafioneu by letting it on fire, surrounded the chamber in which Gerald and his wite dept. Awaked by the noise, he sulied suddenly out of bed to inquire into the cause of the
diftar bance; but his wife, suspecting some treachery, prevented his opening the door; then, advising him to retire to the privy, he pulled up the board ; and still farther assisting her husband, he let himself down, and made his escape. Owen and his followers instantly broke open the door; but on searching the chamber, not finding Gerald, they seized his wife and two of his fons, besides a son and daughter which he had by a concubine; then leaving the castle in fames, and ravaging the country, he carried off Nest and the children into Powis. This adventure gave Cadwgan the g:eatest uneasiness. Afraid, left Henry might revenge on his head the atrocious action of his son, he came into Powis, and requested Owen that he would send back to Gerald his wife and children, as well as the plunder which he had taken. The young chieftain, whose love was heightened by the possession of his mistress, refused to reftore her. Whether the yielded to the violence of her lover form choice or from neceffity, is uncertain ; but he soon after sent back to Gerald all his children, at her particular request.'
The sixth Book contains the narrative from the Death of Gryffydh ap Cynan to the Accession of Llewelyn ap Jorwerth; and the seventh, from this period to the Death of David ap Llewelyn. Mr. Warrington observes, that the Welsh annals are discoloured for some years by hideous pictures of savage manners ; parents, brothers, sons, engaging with each other in fierce and unnatural contests. Bat with the delicacy becoming a judicious historian, he has drawn a veil over those scenes of horror, which could only prove difgufting to humanity. His attention is bestowed on national objects; and, in the course of his narrative, we behold the Welsh exhibiting the most magnanimous efforts for the liberty of their country. Sometimes, by a sudden viciffitude of fortune, they rise to the height of profperity; and at other times, in a moment, fink into difunion aud vassalage.
The eighth Book contains the history from the Acceffion of Owen and Llewelyn, the Sons of Gryffydh ap Llewelyn, to the Death of Lewelyn, the last Prince of North Wales : and the ninth, from the Accession of David ap Gryffydh, to the entire Conquest of Wales. This important event was accomplished during the reign of Edward the First, after an obfti. nate ftruggle with several preceding kings of the Norman race. The people of both nations can now reflect with compofure, on those violent animofities which actuated their ancestors through a series of ages ; and even the descendants of the vanquished will readily acknowledge, that the eventual introduction of juftice and order into their country, has more than compenfated for the abolition of their ancient and long disputed independency. These falutary effects, however, must
be ascribed entirely to the ambition, not to the virtue or magnanimity of the Englih monarch. For his conquest of the Welth was fullied with an act of barbarity, which could be fuggefled only by the policy of a tyrant, the most atrocious and illiberal; we mean the massacre of the Welsh bards. Of this class of ancient Britons our author has favoured us with a short history, which he relates with the fame perspicuity and precision as the former parts of the work.
A transcript of various national documents, partly in Eng, Jifh, partly in Latin, relative to Wales, are fubjoined in an Appendix to the work.
In an age, when the industry of writers has pre-occupied every fertile field in the regions of history, Mr. Warrington has happily taken poffefion of a mountainous tract, never before cultivated with any suitable degree of application. The detail of provincial transactions is not a subject which necessarily calls forth the exertion of the most vigorous abilities; but we may perceive the display of genius on a small, as well as on an extensive theatre ; and we cannot hesitate to conclude, that he who has treated of the affairs of Wales with such dig. nity of tyle, and propriety of sentiment, is qualified for the attainment of applause in more important departments of history.
The Heiresso A Comedy, in Five Afts. As performed at the
Theatre-Royal, Drury-Lane. 8vo. Is. 6d.' Debrett.
ners of the world, and not only to catch the reigning folly of the day, but to delineate the minuter features which distinguilh the period of the author, the Heiress has confiderable claims to our applause, and we can join in the generál acclamations of the crouded theatre. The characters of this play are properly varied, and often contrafted with peculiar fkill : the fituations are perplexing, without too studied intricacy; and the language is lively, elegant, and polished. In fort, if we try our auth's on one part only of the statute, he will be acquitted with honour, and his trial be terminated with applause. In other views, he will not be equally successful. Novelty of character, peculiar and friking fituations, and a fufpenfe, which stands on tip-toe, eager for the denouement, we in vain look for : but perhaps it may be faftidious to expect too much; and, if we are gratified both with the progress of the story and the event, we ought not to complain of the fource from which our gratifications are derived.
The story is a common one. Lord Gayville is designed by his uncle for a rich heiress, the daughter of an attorney, mcan, vulgar, and unfeeling; but ostentations and ambitious. He pursues mifs Alfcript only for her wealth ; yet, accidentally meeting miss Alton, becomes sensible that wealth alone cannot fill the void in a feeling heart. Though this lady appears in a low situation, his dishonourable advances are checked with a de. cided firmness, and a virtuous resolution. His tutor, friend, and companion Clifford, loves lord Gayville's fifter, lady Emily ; but, conscious of nis ftuation, adores her as a star, • which, he can never hope to reach :' he, in return, fees his merirs, and is furtille of their efret ; she is, however, under the eye of a threwd, fuspicious uncle, and, fearing to disco. ver her sentiments, vcils them under the mask of a lively fafhionable gaiety, Miss Alton, to avoid Gayville, seeks for the protection of fome lady, with whom she may remain as a humble companion : the is, by chance, directed to miss Alscrip, who receives her with a haughty dignity; and he is treated by the rest of the family with the moit familiar illibe. rality. Gayville, having lost his favourite, vifits inits Alfcrip, who, in a fit of ill humour, fends her confidante to him to double her, ' like a second actress at Paris, when the firit has the vapours.' She goes, and sees in lord Gayville her former persecutor, whom the had known only by the name of Heartly. He immediately addresses her with warmth and affection, is discovered by miss. Alscrip, who chuses to see how her double performs, and leaves them, affuring the latter that he can no longer offer her his heart.
In the mean time, Clifford and fis Clement are endeavouring to prevent the progress of Gayville's new connection: they go to Alfcrip's, and, by the address of the Frenchman, who has himself a tendre for 'mademoiselle la Musicienne,' are introduced to Tiffany, miss Aļscrip's waiting-maid, infiead of miss Alton. She is pert and faucy at the first enquiries of Clifford; but, being interrupted, deires him to put his proposals in writing. This confirms them in the opinion, that Gayville's object is an adventurer, and Clifford writes to her by the name of miss Alton. The Frenchman, by whom the letter is also fept, suspects, from the ambiguity of Clifford's language, that his trick is discovered, and faithfully delivers it as directed. Miss Alton is extremely agitated with her unexpected happiness, for the finds it comes from her brother. She had been left under the protection of an uncle, from whom she escaped, on bis attempting to force her to marry a man se detests. She discovers herself to her brother ; he corveys her from miss Alscrip's, and conceals her in his own