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there a catalogue containing more books than would be found in many a royal library. The visitors, too, afforded him equal satisfaction ; and when he saw the apprentice in his grimy apron sitting next his master, and both busily engaged in reading, he, probably, began to think that there was more in our constitution and social institutions than foreigners are generally supposed to allow. But M. Rodenberg had no length of time to delay in Liverpool ; he was anxious to reach the country he had selected for his autuma excursion, and we soon find him seated in a train bound for Aber. Another dis-illusion awaited him on his journey, for he found Englishmen, whom he had always supposed to be wrapped up in their haughtiness like a garment, most ready to afford him any information in their power. The scenery, however, soon demanded his entire attention, and, after passing Mostyn, he was forced to confess that it was more lovely than any he had seen at home: not even the Belgian line between Verviers and Liége (which has always been a pet bit of our own, by the way) can be compared to it. On reaching Aber, M. Rodenberg began making inquiries as to the accommodation he could find, and was directed to an outlying farm, where he could procure good entertainment.

A dog barked at me, and immediately a woman appeared in the doorway, very respectably dressed, and a picture of good-nature. I handed her the card which had been given me, but she only smiled, for she could not read! I then explained to her that I wished to lodge in her house. She smiled again, for she did not understand English. In the mean while several children had come out, the dog kept on barking, and the confusion grew worse confounded; so that at last the good woman saw the only way of escape was to go back into the house, the children laughing and the dog barking in her rear. I was then left alone, and waited. In a short while the entire company returned, but on this occasion accompanied by a girl of about seventeen, with dark-brown eyes, fresh, rosy cheeks, and nut-brown hair, which she wore turned back behind her ears. As she stepped out the children giggled and crept behind their mother's apron, while they earnestly regarded their elder sister. The latter, after looking at her mother, blushed violently, and said, “My name is Sarah, and I am the eldest daughter. I can speak a little English. I am to ask the gentleman what he desires.” She had uttered these sentences hurriedly, and then stepped back, blushing up to the roots of her hair, to her mother's side. “My dear Sarah,” I replied, "if that card is a sufficient recommendation, I should like to lodge at your house for a few weeks.” With the help of my pretty interpretess, and after all had carefully examined me, I came to terms with the mother. Then the grandmother, an active old lady, who in honour of the stranger had put on a gigantic white cap, was called in, and it was settled that Hugh should fetch my traps from the inn. The exchange was soon effected, and by mid-day I was comfortably installed at Wern Farm and welcomed by the owner, Mr. Williams, by a hearty though silent squeeze of the hand.

Our author was certainly very fortunate in the residence he selected, for the scenery around was superb. It was close to the sea, and so exquisite was the silence of nature that the ripple of every wave could be heard, and as the heaving sea appeared but a continuation, in a different colour, of the corn-fields, so the murmur and rustling of both had a gloriously soothing effect on a poetic mind. M. Rodenberg spent the greater portion of his time with the family, striving to learn Welsh, and commence his collection of fairy episodes. He lived, too, with the family on their simple fare, only tasting meat on Sunday, and was in a fair way

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to return to a 'state of nature. But this idyl could not be perfect without the presence of love, and M. Rodenberg was soon enabled to complete the picture by a fortuitous discovery he made.

It was my habit every morning, after I had bathed on the solitary beach, to recline on the grass in the meadow behind the house, and, protected from the heat by the autumn-bronzed roof of leaves, to study the Welsh grammar. My usual companion was Sarah, who, although engaged with the fruit-trees, had time enough to spare in giving me lessons in the very difficult pronunciation, which gave abundant occasion for jests and laughter. One morning she was missing at the accustomed spot. Basket and fork were lying under a tree, many russet-leaves were strewn around, but my fair one was not visible. Not a trace of ber was to be found, either, around, so that I sauntered up the meadow to the skirt of the adjoining wood. Here I perceived Sarah at a short distance from me. She was seated on the hedge-bank, with her back turned towards me, and cozily chatting with a young man, who had one of his arms thrown round her waist. Only a few colts, grazing in the meadow, were my accomplices in watching this love-scene. I was inclined to turn back; for the picture I had seen there was too affectingly innocent and too charming to be disturbed by my clumsy interposition. But the colts, more attentive than the couple, who at the moment only lived in each other's eyes, had pricked up their ears on hearing me crush the grass beneath my footsteps, and, on seeing me, started away with such a loud neighing, that the couple looked round with a start and per. ceived me. Sarah sprang up hastily: her lover, too, had started back, and then they stood behind the intervening hedge, with downcast eyes, as if before their judge. I saluted them in the language of the country; but instead of returning my salutation, Sarah began to stammer, timidly, “ His name's Owen: he belongs to Gorddunoc Farm, over there”—and she pointed to an adjoining farm, whose handsome buildings stood beneath tall, leafy trees—" he is the eldest son,” she then added. And you are the eldest daughter on Wern Farm. Why, you'll make a capital match,” I continued. Sarah turned bright red at this remark, and Owen looked at his felt hat, which he had removed with both hands. “No, no, Sarah went on, eagerly, "it's not so. Last week, at Conway fair, Owen made me a present of a blue waist-riband - look here—this sky-blue riband, with steel buckle--and I wanted to show him to-day how well it suited me.” These last words, which Sarah had uttered with some difficulty, and then confirmed by repeating in Welsh, caused the true-hearted Owen to burst out in a loud laugh, which he immediately tried to suppress, for Sarah regarded him re: proachfully, and asked, “Why do you laugh, Owen P” The kindly reader will remark that even among nature-people dissimulation has fallen to the share of women, even if it be displayed so naïvely and innocently as on this occasion by Sarah.

In the schoolmaster of Llanfairfechan, M. Rodenberg found an admirable coadjutor, for he was a walking encyclopædia of fairy tales and legends. With him he visited Conway and Llandudno, picking up a rich store of fables and poetry by the way. At the same time, too, he was enabled to clear up a story, which appeared in his unsophisticated eyes to throw rather a lurid shade over Sarah's spotless innocence. M. Rodenberg had, numely, been enjoying the scenery till a later hour than usual, and, on returning home, found Sarah waiting for him at the garden gate. Full of penitence, he began to excuse himself, but Sarah abruptly told him that she was not staying up on his account. What followed had best be told in our author's own words :

I wished Sarah_good night, and went up-stairs. But I had scarce reached my room, when I heard the kitchen door and then the house door gently

opened. Growing curious, I went to the window, and saw, by the light of the moon, Sarah crossing the yard and proceeding towards a stall, from whose halfopen door a male figure speedily emerged, which could be no other than Owen. “By Jove!" I thought, “ she did not stay up on my account alone." I hoped to be witness of a Welsh pastoral in storm and rain; but I had deceived myself; the Phillis of our farm had arranged matters more comfortably. She walked back across the yard, and her faithful shepherd behind her, and then into the kitchen. How my astonishment increased, however, when, instead of sighs, oaths, and kisses, I only heard a sound intimating that Owen was pulling off his boots and Sarah her shoes. And I was right : they came up-stairs in their stocking feet, passed my door, and entered Sarah’s little chamber.“ No," I said to myself, " that is a little too much—that is beyond decency.” The girl was scarce eighteen years of age, with childish eyes, retiring behaviour, modesty in language and conduct. Celts! Celts! I'might have thought to myself at once that they would not belie their nature. But, what does it concern me? Perhaps we are living here in a Paradise, where the Serpent has not yet spoken!

M. Rodenberg's idyl was certainly sadly blighted, but a slight conversation with the friendly schoolmaster led him to judge less harshly of Sarah's conduct. He found that this nocturnal visit was meant as a formal offer of marriage, which would not be long delayed. It was, in fact, the Carw-ar-y-gwily, common enough in Wales, and is not regarded as anything unusual. A girl, who was insulted by her lover, on an opportunity like this, would fly from him with horror, and, as soon as the news was spread abroad, why, he had better shave and change his name, if he wished to escape the righteous vengeance of the maidens. Actæon's fate would certainly await him, if he dared to withstand the popular fury. Still, there is much truth in our author's remark, when he thus found Sarah's fair fame cleared : “ Sarah is excused; but as regards the custom, I would not recommend its application in countries where the people have hotter blood and a less stringent sense of duty than seems to be the case in Wales."

But there are many curious customs in Wales : thus, on visiting « Mother Moll,” who lives at Llanfairfechan, and suffers under more than a suspicion of being a witch, our author found that marriages depended considerably on locality. Thus Gwenni, the witch's fair daughter, though well inclined to Griffith, was not able to marry him, because she came from Penmaenmawr Way, and people could not marry across the mountains. Mother Moll was decidedly a character ; she had a strong faith in fairies, and it was her firm opinion that the railroad had driven them away. In fact, she had seen them pack up bag and baggage and depart on the very afternoon that the first train crossed the great Llandegai Meadow. They all assembled, the king and queen being at their head, and were very sorrowful, many of them weeping. After singing a parting strain, they mounted their white steeds, rose into the air, and were departed for ever. Their place was to know them no more. It is supposed, however, that they are making a bold stand, and will not be driven out of Wales, so long as mountains offer any opposition to the passage of the steam-horse ; and any one desiring to watch their sports is hereby recommended to go into Glamorgan and Caermarthen, which may be regarded as the last home of the fairies. They are still in the habit of visiting the dairies, but are not nearly so liberal as formerly,

when they never skimmed the pans without leaving a silver penny for the dairymaid.

But the autumn was advancing rapidly, and our author having made an extraordinary collection of pennillions and myths, which he honestly imparts to his readers, was anxious to return home. Still there was much he had not yet explored in Wales, and he therefore employed the period before Sarah's marriage " came off” (at which he had been bound by many oaths to assist), in making an excursion to Bangor and the surrounding country. But it was a sad change from the piquant simplicity of the Welsh farm when M. Rodenberg found himself drifting with that stream of tourists, who destroy all the charms of nature by their artificiality: On going to see Penrhyn Castle, the seat of Colonel Pennant, he found the court-yard thronged. Ladies with leathern gloves, not unlike fencinggloves, and with blue-silk “ uglies” in front of their straw bonnets ; gentlemen in plaid caps, and their necks pillowed in a stiff shirt-collar, for your true gentleman dares not to be too comfortable, even when travelling. The visitors were admitted into the castle in sections: every quarter of an hour the door opened to let out a couple of dozen and receive another batch. M. Rodenberg having nothing gentlemanlike about his appearance-for he carried a knotted stick and wore his shirt-collar turned down-was a special object of suspicion to the old lady who showed the treasures ; she never left his side, but watched his fingers, as if suspecting that he designed to carry off everything rich and rare in that fairy residence. But, on returning to Bangor, our author was consoled by the kindly greeting he met with from a charming hostess in a blacksilk dress, and a gold chain adorning her heaving bosom, and—true poet! -he admired her more than all the treasures of art he had been listlessly gazing on during the morning. But his troubles, connected with his return to civilisation, were not yet over, for in the coffee-room he fell into the clutches of three Birmingham bagmen, who clove to him, like the old man of the sea to the luckless Sindbad. He could not escape from them, and go to revel alone in the prospect from the Menai bridge, before he had promised to join them in an excursion to the slate quarries They evidently regarded a German who could talk English as a lusus nature. At length, however, M. Rodenberg was enabled to give them the slip for a while, and enjoy his solitude at Caernarvon.

My first walk, on arriving late in the afternoon, was on the terrace, which still runs along the old walls of the town, above the Menai Straits. It is the favourite promenade of the townsfolk, and the prospect extends over the town, the sea, and the immense castle; behind one are charming villas, set in a bed of refreshing verdure. Above all rises the Twt-hill, or Guard-hill, a rock from which a superb prospect is obtained. On one side the open sea, on the other the jagged blue lines of mountains, the Snowdon chain in all its splendour and beauty, and beneath one the town, above whose roofs the evening mist, illumined by the rays of the setting sun, slowly floated away, and the castle resting against the slope of the hill. The castle, although a ruin, is in such an excellent state of preservation, that, when compared with Conway, it seems almost modern; the walls are barer, not so densely clothed with ivy, and all is wider and broader. In the courts, lambs are grazing on pleasant-looking turf-plats, a peacock is boldly parading its plumage in the evening sun, over the plain floats the shadow of the great English banner from the Eagle Tower, and in the loopholes hangs the nest of the summer guest, the swallow that in temples broods."

The most celebrated of the towers is the one known as the eagle, so called, as the story runs, from a Roman aquila found in the keep of Saguntium, which once adorned the battlements. In this tower, too, are shown the naked walls of the chamber in which Queen Eleanor gave birth to the first Prince of Wales. This tower, the admiration of many centuries, is still in a perfect state of preservation. All is still firm, even to the steps that lead to the battlements; and a glance into the dark and gloomy court ices the heart. From the summit a different, though equally pleasant view, is obtained through each loophole : here the silent courts, the hill with its verdant glades, the town with its narrow streets and quaint houses ; on the other side the jagged tops of the mountains, and beneath thein Snowdon in the distance; then, again, the island of Anglesea, with its pleasant undulating hills, intersected by valleys, with white farms peeping out; and–far extended prospect-a brilliant plain of water reflecting the beams of the setting sun; the sea, and in the harbour the ships which bear the Welsh slate the present queens and princesses” of Wales—to Liverpool, Dublin, Belfast, and London, ay, even to Hamburg and America.

The next day M. Rodenberg started for Llanberis, meeting the inevitable bagmen once more on the road. The most curious fact, however, was, that the whole boyhood of Wales appeared to indulge in amateur begging. As they trooped out of school, the boys rushed after the coach begging for a halfpenny; and, as they were plump as partridges, it was evident that they indulged in this generally painful process out of sheer fun. One of the bagmen regarded the matter from a philosophical stand-point, and ascribed the begging to the fertility of Welsh women. “If there were not so many children in each house,” he said, “ they would not want to beg. Why should so small a village be allowed to bring so many children into the world?” But all the troubles were over when the coach stopped at Llanberis.

The scene was delicious. Grey masses of rock surrounded us, sinking down gradually to the Llynbadarn, the first lake in these biglılands, which stretched out, dark blue and motionless, into the distance. High on the right towered the mountains, and the glistening crest of Snowdon appeared in cloudless majesty and purity. The rocks refracted every tinge of grey; only sparsely did moss and heather grow on the mighty blocks. Where the village of Llanberis actually begins, pines and beeches close in the view, and I never saw any hotel more charmingly situated than the Victoria, perched on the side of a hill, with the ruins of Dolbadarn Castle frowning above it. To this must be added the peculiar life, half poetic, half humorous; pretty English women, with floating veils, galloping up from each ravine on daring ponies; gentlemen, young and old, coming down from Snowdon, with their sticks, their hats crushed, their tight clothes torn, and their hands bleeding; the guides and vagabond boys; the donkeys and ponies, all mingled with laughter, abuse, and every variety of sound; not to forget the eternal twanging of the harper, who sat at the entrance of the hotel; and, far above the busy scene, the fluttering of the English standard, which cast its shadow over the bright green turf and the tops of the pines that clothed the foot of the mountain. Such are the components of the pleasant scenery of the Victoria Hotel at Llanberis.

The only gloomy reminiscence connected with our author's otherwise pleasant stay at Llanberis was the ascent of Snowdon, which proved a decided failure. A mist set in to which a London fog would be mere child's play, and through this the party had to grope their way at the imminent risk of breaking their necks. The only satisfactory feature, in short, connected with the ascent, was the roaring fire in the little public at Gwrydd. But M. Rodenberg, at any rate, found that consolation

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