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CYLCHGRAWN LLYFRGELL GENEDLAETHOL CYMRU THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF WALES JOURNAL VOLUME VI. Winter, 1949 NUMBER 2. GERALD THE WELSHMAN'S ITINERARY THROUGH WALES AND < DESCRIPTION OF WALES n An Appreciation and Analysis I. THE ITINERARY THROUGH WALES §I. A wanderer through the countryside near Bangor, in North Wales, a few days before Easter in the year 1188 would have seen a strange sight an unwarlike company of travel-stained horsemen leading their horses along a steep path which led up the hillside from the valley below. After watching them trudge along for a while he would have seen them sit down to rest, worn out by their arduous climb. One of the company, short of stature, dark-complexioned and somewhat thin, found a resting- place on the trunk of an oak-tree uprooted by the wind. Close by this central figure, whom all there revered as their lord and master, stood a fair, tall man with remark- ably fine features and although he too, like the others, showed deference to his seated companion, his whole bearing proclaimed that he was a man of pride and ambition, in whose veins ran the noble blood of princes. In spite of his general air of gravity and religious devotion, the thin figure seated so unceremoniously on the tree-trunk must have been endowed with an impish sense of humour; for, turning with a twinkle in his eye to his breathless companions, he asked who amongst them could now delight his wearied ears by whistling. Anyone who has tried to whistle when he is out of breath will appreciate the pleasantry of this remark, and be ready to concede that the speaker, who added at once that he himself could do so if he de- sired, must have been a man of more than ordinary stamina. Fortunately for the other members of the company, not one of them was called upon to perform what would have been a difficult task, for their attention was diverted by the sweet notes of a bird warbling in the woods nearby and soon they were all engaged in a heated argument as to what bird it was that could so charm them with its song. Some