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occasionally came up to London ; took his meals with the best society among his countrymen or at his own hermitlike table; and hired an humble lodging near the Museum, where it was his delight to go and study Welsh antiquities. Thus if he came to London, he brought his country with him ; found his bards and his very quiet about him, wherever he pleased, in the shape of books; and in default of his goats and mountains, could get among animals and things which perhaps he loved as well, and thought almost as real, the dragons and golden fields of Cambrian heraldry. Among other advantages of the remoteness and romantic nature of the sphere in which he grew up, it had kept him free from the small pedantry and self-sufficiency so often observable in the leading wits of country towns and minor cities, who think their own amount of knowledge the sum of all that is accomplished, and have a particular fancy for setting Londoners in the right. He had the humanity to think well of what he did not know. He loved his country's music and its poets, and in our fondness for an air on the piano-forte and an ode of Horace was pleased to discover something which he thought worthy both of his sympathy and his respect.
This pleasant Cambro-Briton, of whom we are speaking, once took us to see a countryman of his, whose taste in urbanities and antiquities resembled his own. He lived in a small quiet house near the fields ; and we found him up to the eyes in good humor, books, and a Welsh harp. If we are not much mistaken, this is the author of the Welsh Milton.
There is something very beautiful to us to see the whole souls of men yearning in this manner towards their native country, when its power has long ceased to exist. They have all the merit of adhering to a great friend in adversity; and yet the friend is perhaps greater than ever he was, and can reward them more. The ancient Britons had in them the seeds of a great nation, even in our modern sense of the word. They had courage ; they had reflection; they had imagination. When driven from their larger possessions by the mere power which the world then adored, they soon found out the two great secrets of adversity, — that of softening reality with romance, and of turning experience to reformation. They possessed, in an extraordinary degree, the spirit of legislative improvement. Power at last made a vassal of their prince. There were writers in those times ; harpers and bards, who made the instinct of that brute faculty turn cruel out of fear. But there were no presses to let all the world know what the writers thought, and to give intellectual power its fair chances with brute. They bequeathed to their countrymen, however, the glory of their memories. They, and time together, have consecrated their native hills, so as they were never before consecrated. Existing, in a manner, no longer as a thing of the common world, the country took an elevation nearer heaven. It lifted up
its head in the light of love and poetry, and its tops shine · to this day in the reverted eyes of its wanderers.
“ Fond impious man, thinkst thou yon sanguine cloud
Raised by thy breath, has quenched the orb of day?
And warms the nations with redoubled ray.” Violence is the grown childhood of the world. Its manhood is intellect and equanimity; and part of the grace of manhood consists in recollecting the better things of infancy. Edward the First, who made vassals of the Welsh, is now an inferior person in our eyes compared with Howell the legislator. We would rather see Alfred
the Great than the widest-ruling of all the Roman Emperors. We should expect more in his face. We should recognize in him a greater existing man,-a finer contemporary, or rather a more becoming fellow-creature for the Shakespeares and Bacons : for when we speak of modern times, we mean the intellectual times which such great men have produced for us. Even the smallness of the territory, to which the old Britons were confined, serves to concentrate and make strong the gaze of recollection. Mere greatness acts through the medium of pride or fear. It always inflicts a sort of uneasy consciousness of the gross nature of its pretensions. Break it, and it resolves its compounds into littleness. You can only contrast it with mere smallness, or pity it because it is not entire. It cannot afford to be otherwise. Its compounds have no principle of growth, — no power of voluntary aggrandizement, — no charm with which to call associations about them. But break a heart into a thousand shivers, and every atom shall be reverenced. Love is great enough for itself. Such phrases as the Great King and the Great Nation, even though warranted in point of physical power, are nothing but vanity, and are felt to be so. Both imply a want of individual importance, and by the same reason a want of general humanity. They make the recollections either too vaguely public, or too minutely private. The Persian in Greece, or the Turk in Candia, was angry at being killed by a petty republican, or regretted only his harem or his houris; but the Greek who “dying, thought of sweet Argos,” * and
* Sternitur infelix alieno vulnere, cælumque
Virgil, Lib. 10, V. 781.
the Florentine who turned at hearing Dante speak in his native language, and felt his heart live again at “the dialect of Arno's vale," thought of his home and his country as one.
It is a feeling connected with this love of country, which most particularly strikes us in the translation of Milton. Here is an author fond of authorship, an author living among Englishmen, and well aware of the universality of their language, and yet he contents his ambition with producing a long work which none but his countrymen shall understand. It is sufficient for him if he can give them a new source of pleasure. It is enough for the true largeness of his spirit if he can give a thousand times more than he can receive, — happy in obtaining the thanks of the modern Howells and Llewellyns, and in being renowned in a country about twice the size of Yorkshire.
On opening the book, we are then struck with the delight it must afford to those who have no other language, and amused with the unreadable face it presents to those who are not acquainted with it. One's familiarity with the original, and utter inability to make out its expounder, make up a very pleasant perplexity. We will quote a passage from both, which in Milton is like the coming of an army with music, and which must present high associations, of another sort, to the Welsh reader. Satan has just numbered his forces :
“And now his heart
Mix'd with auxiliar gods; and what resounds
Yna ym fulchra,
Urddolion Carlo Mawr ac efe ei hun.
Marchogton Prydain ac Armorica :
Yn y drin
Urddolion Carlo Mawr ac efe ei hun.