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" OLD BRECKNOCK CHIPS." A Column of Antiquarian Chit-Chat relating to the County of Brecknock. NOTES, QUERIES, AND REPLIES, on Subjects inter¬ esting to Breconshire, must be addressed to EDITOR, Brecon County Times, Brecon. Real names and addresses must be given in confidence, and MSS. must be written legibly, on one side of the paper only. OCTOBER 1st, 1886. NOTES. LONGFELLOW AND PATTL— In Longfellow's journal, January 17th, 1860, is following entry : " Went to hear Rossini's 'Barber of Seville,' with young Adelina Patti as Eosina. She is still crude but full of promise; a very pretty charming girl of 16. Too young to appear on stage," Again: " 31st, at the Opera ; the « Somnambula,' I never saw a better Aminathan little Patti." Bath. T.S. THE WELSH LANGUAGE IN BRE¬ CON SHIRE.—The following extract from a paper—" Celtic Language of British Isles " —read by R. E. G. Ravenstein, F.R.G.S., some seven years ago, at King's College, London, will certainly be an interesting "chip:"— "Breconshire is much influenced by its contact "with English speaking districts, but, for the present, the language of the majority is Welsh. English is invading the county from three points, viz., Builth, Hay, and Abereravenny, on the Usk. The immediate neighbourhood of Builth, including villages having such thoroughly Welsh names as Maesmynis and Llanddewi'rcwm, has become quite English, and only on rare occasions can a Welsh sermon be heard there. Hay, on the Hereford frontier, and the neighbouring parishes of Llanigon and Aberllynfi, are likewise English, Welsh being only spoken by a few old people and immigrants. It appears to have survived longest at Capel-y-ffin, an outlying hamlet of Llanigon, near the head of Afon Honddu. At Talgarth Welsh was common many years ago, but is now spoken only by a minority. At Crickhowell, on the Usk, it is spoken only by old people, and Welsh services are no longer heard in the parish church, though stiU continued in four Dissenting chapels. The neigh¬ bouring parish—Llangenny—has become completely Anglicised. Brecknock, the capital, in the very centre of the county, has become a fourth focus, whence English spreads in all directions. Welsh is 5*{*y used by the older people, and declining rapidly, throughout the remainder of the county Welsh rernains to the present day the language of the vast majority, it being heard most frequently in the country extending from the river Usk towards Glamorganshire. In the districts to the north of the Usk it is spoken by about 80 per cent., and in "*® valley of Irfon, in the north west, by 75 per pent.; Llanwrtyd, however, on the Carmarthen border, being wholly Welsh. The only large town *& which Welsh is spoken by a majority is f^rynrnawr, on the Monmouthshire frontier. Welsh is said to lose ground—in some cases rapidly— throughout, but in the south and extreme west it is said to maintain itself, though English is coming into general use." The above is curious marking the gradual decline of a National language. Welsh, I believe, is not taught in the schools—either public or otherwise. At the present time, 1886, at Brecknock, there is a Welsh service and sermon on Sunday evening at the Priory Church of St. John; there are also four Dissenting chapels for Welsh service, and these are all well attended. Brecon. A.S. THE NEWSPAPER PRESS IN BRE¬ CON.'—Is there any record extant of newspapers, which have appeared in the ancient borough previous to the establishment of the County Times ? In the British Museum I have met with a small periodical, published I think by a Mr Gunn, which is interesting inasmuch as it records the beginnings of the public life of men who occupy now a prominent position in the town. But with this exception, I have found it difficult to trace in that wonderful institution any other such periodical. When was the first real Brecon paper first pub¬ lished ? This is a question which you may solve perhaps, and it would be useful to know this in order to facilitate the enquiry into the history of the Brecon newspaper press. Mr Gunn's periodical is about thirty years old, or to state it more accurately, the copies which are preserved are of that date. Pre¬ vious to the foundation of the first newspaper, the conditions of life in Brecon must not have been very attractive, and the means of communication between the inhabitants and the outer world were not what we should consider satisfactory. Blegyrwyd. QUERIES. THE BOUNDARY LINE BETWEEN BRECONSHIRE AND RADNORSHIRE. —Can anyone define the boundary line be¬ tween these counties, or refer me to an authority on the subject ? Q. THE PRICE OF FARM STOCK AND PRODUCE 50 YEARS AGO.—Will some farmer or landowner, who may have old estate or account books by them, just tell us what was the price realized for stock and produce 50 years ago in our county ? I have been told that in 1851 the prices were similar to what they are now. But do not the farmers now reap greater advantages from " the march of civilization " than they did then ? Agricola. CHAINED BIBLES.—Can any reader say whether one of these mementos of the dark ages is preserved in our county, and whether a chained Bible has been found in any of our churches during the past 100 years? Enquirer.