Welsh Journals

Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages

THE CAMBRIAN QUARTERLY MAGAZINE AND QttlXit Bepertorg* No. 18.—APRIL 1, 1833.—Vol. V. ESSAY ON THE ANTIQUE, THE PICTURESQUE, AND THE LITERARY SPIRIT IN WALES. To her antiquities and her scenery chiefly, Wales is indebted for what degree of celebrity she possesses. To these it is owing that the most strongly marked, the most beautiful, if not the most interesting, historically, of the three sister provinces of Great Britain is not to this day but a certain extent of acres, like the moors of Yorkshire, or fens of Lin¬ colnshire. That she does not possess claims of another kind, especially in her ancient national poetry, I am far from insinuating. On the contrary, although to my great regret not Cambro-British enough in my scholarship to enter into its beauties, I cannot doubt the fact so strongly avowed by the learned in Celtic lore that it is of a very high order. Even through all the disguise of translations, I have enjoyed starts of the vis vivida animi bursting out in some of her old poets, which do indeed "stir the heart like the sound of a trumpet." But my purpose, in the first place, is to consider that taste for the antique and the picturesque which has been instrumental in drawing to our mountains admirers, visitors, and residents; and hence, if in no more exalted a light, must be regarded as a subject of some in¬ terest to all Welshmen. THE TASTE FOR THE ANTIQUE. There is an old, very false, very prevalent scandal against antiquarianism, as a narrow-minded, grubbing, fusty, dusty, ridiculous kind of pursuit or rage. An antiquary! What is the image conjured up even in your mind, most enlight- XVIII. M