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ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God").

The Welsh clergy are usually good readers and energetic preachers, and seem to enjoy doing full justice to their rich and expressive language, and even without being able to follow their meaning it is a pleasure to listen to them.

Among the numerous Englishmen who visit Wales for business or pleasure, few are aware to what an extent this ancient British form of speech is still in use among the people, how many are still unable to speak English, and what an amount of poetry and legend their language contains. Some account of this literature is to be found in that very interesting book, George Borrow's "Wild Wales," and he claims for Dafydd ap Gwilym, a contemporary of our Chaucer, the position of "the greatest poetical genius that has appeared in Europe since the revival of literature." At the present day there are no less than twenty weekly newspapers and about the same number of monthly magazines published in the Welsh language, besides one quarterly and two bi-monthly reviews. Abstracts of the principal Acts of Parliament and Parliamentary papers are translated into Welsh, and one bookseller, Messrs. Hughes and Son, of Wrexham, issue a list of more than three hundred Welsh books mostly published by themselves. Another indication of the wide use of the Welsh language and of the general education of the people, is the fact that the British and Foreign Bible Society now sell annually about 18,000 Bibles, 22,000 Testaments, and 10,000 special portions (as the Psalms, the Gospels, etc.); while the total sale of the Welsh Scriptures during the last century has been 3 millions. Considering that the total population of Wales is only about 1 millions, that two counties, Pembrokeshire and Radnorshire, do not speak Welsh, and that the great seaports and the mining districts contain large numbers of English and foreign workmen, we have ample proof that the Welsh are still a distinct nation with a peculiar language, literature, and history, and that the claim which they are now making for home rule, along with the other great subdivisions of the British Islands, is thoroughly justified.

Our two other indigenous Celtic languages, Gaelic and Irish, or Erse, appear to have a far less vigorous literary existence. I am informed by the Secretary of the National Bible Society of Scotland that about three thousand Bibles and a little more than two thousand Testaments are sold yearly. The number of people who habitually speak Gaelic is, however, less than a quarter of a million, and the language seems to be kept up in a literary sense more by few educated students and enthusiasts than to supply the needs of the people.

The Irish language is a form of Gaelic closely allied to that of Scotland, and there are still nearly a million people able to speak it, though only about one-tenth of that number use it exclusively. Owing to the prevalence of the Roman Catholic religion among the peasantry, very few copies of the Irish version of the Bible and Testament are now sold, and although the ancient literature was exceedingly rich and varied, any modern representative of it can hardly be said to exist. The strong vitality of the Welsh language as above sketched is therefore a very interesting feature of our country, and as it is undoubtedly suited to the genius of the people among whom it has survived, there seems to be no valid objection to its perpetuation. The familiar use of two languages does not appear to be in itself any disadvantage, while being able to appreciate and enjoy the literature of both must be a distinct addition to the pure intellectual pleasures of those who use them.

CHAPTER XII

SHROPSHIRE AND JACK MYTTON

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AFTER having finished our work in Brecknockshire returned to Kington for a few months, doing office-work and odd jobs of surveying in the surrounding country. Among these what most interested me was the country around Ludlow, in Shropshire, where there are beautiful valleys enclosed by steep low hills, often luxuriantly wooded, and watered by rapid streams of pure and sparkling water. I had by this time acquired some little knowledge of geology, and was interested in again being in an Old Red Sandstone country, which formation I had become well acquainted with in Brecknockshire, and which is so different from the Upper Silurian shales so prevalent in Radnorshire. In this country we were near the boundary of the two formations, and there were also occasional patches of limestone, and at every bit of rock that appeared during our work I used to stop a few moments to examine closely, and see which of the formations it belonged to. This was easily decided by the physical character of the rocks, which, though both varied considerably, had yet certain marked characteristics that distinguished them.

One day we were at work in a park near a country house named "Whittern," and my brother took a pencil sketch of it in his field-book. Just as he was finishing it the owner came out and talked with him, and seeing he was something of an artist, went to the house and brought out a portfolio of drawings in sepia, by his daughter, of views in the park and in the surrounding country. These seemed to me exceedingly well done and effective, and, of course, my brother praised them, but, as I thought, only moderately, and as

very good work for an amateur." I reproduce his sketch on a reduced scale as showing his delicacy of touch even in hasty out-of-door work, though, owing to the old yellowish paper, the pencil marks come out very faint in the process print.

While travelling by coach or staying at country inns in Shropshire, we used to hear a good deal of talk about Jack Mytton, of Halston, who had died a few years before, and whose wild exploits were notorious all over the west of England. He was a country gentleman of very old family, and had inherited a landed estate bringing in about £10,000 a year, while having been a minor for eighteen years, there was an accumulation of £60,000 when he came of age. In a few years he spent all these savings, and continued to live at such a rate that he had frequently to raise money. All the grand oaks for which his estates were celebrated were cut down, and it is said produced £70,000. About half his property was entailed, but the other half was sold at various times, and must have realized a very large amount; while in the last years of his life, which he spent either in prison for debt or in France, all the fine collection of pictures, many by the old masters, and the whole contents of his family mansion were sold, but did not suffice to pay his debts or prevent his dying in prison. From the account given by his intimate friend and biographer the total amount thus wasted in about fifteen years could not have been much less than half a million, but from the scanty details in his "Life" it seems clear that he could not really have expended anything like this amount, but that his extreme good nature and utter recklessness as to money led to his being robbed and plundered in various ways by the numerous unscrupulous persons who always congregate about such a character.

For those who have not read the account of his wasted life one or two examples illustrative of his character may be here given. Once, before he was of age, when dining out in the country, he had driven over in a gig with a pair of horses tandem-his favorite style. On some of the party expressing the opinion that this was a very dangerous mode

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