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Feb., 1882. BYE-GONE S. upon the qui vive. Also, I would add that not being fifty years old it takes all my recollection to enable me to say that I have really seen a yoke of oxen at plough. This being premised,! would now say what I have heard re¬ peated as traditionary about the ox :— 1. There was an approved traditional mode for his being broken-in to work, which ensured his becoming a useful animal. 2. He was to be fed and treated according to some traditional usage, without which he would not thrive. 3. He required the encouragement of song to induce him to put forth his strength willingly into the work; and there was a specified kind of song, the characteristics of which I will speak of presently and illustrate by an example. 4. He was credited with the possession of a kind of occult intelligence somewhat resembling that which old villagers ascribe to bees. He had to be informed of the death of his master, and of any important event in the family of his owner—such as a marriage—with some small form and ceremony before all would be well; else would he "grieve," pine, lose flesh, and perhaps die. There is a trace of this superstition in the wassailling customs of Herefordshire and some other English counties. I am not able to enlarge upon either the mode in which he should be first put under the yoke or the usage he should receive in stall or yard, for I have long left the neighbourhood to which I am referring, and am at too great a distance from it to make the necessary inquiries. But of the songs I can speak with some confidence. The first essential of a boy ox-driver in the past was that he should possess a good voice and have his memory stored with many of the songs which had been composed in times past for his use and tradition had handed down. If he were gifted with the poetical awen he might compose a few tribanau himself—but it was well understood that it was not any song which would please the fastidious ears of his cattle. They liked something funny, even non¬ sensical, but yet there must be wisdom also blended with it. By way of variation he might sing some lines in praise of the animals themselves, in which he was licensed to go to the verge of flattery—all of which will be found in the following specimens of Hen Dribanau Morganwg. Yr oedd hen ddyn a'i fachgen, Yn bildo pont pren derwen, A chwedi cwplo, yn y fan Higwmpodd 'rhan ei hunain. Mae Taf yn afon rwysgis; Mae Taf yn afreolus; Mae Taf yn digid buwyd cant Mae'n rhedeg pant ychrydis. Ta geni aur ag arian, Ta geni diroedd llydan, Mi roddwn i nhw gyd yn rydd, I'r llengcyn rhyddgoch llawen. Tri dawnswr goreu'n ghymru: Sir Charles o' Gefn-Mably, Y scwier Lewis gwych o'r Fan, A Sir John Carne o'r Wenny. Cabitshan ar y baili, Doi dop yn tyfi arni; Y gwynt a syrthiodd hi i lawr, Ar hen hwch fawr bwytodd hi, Mi hifas gawl i gino, A felly swpper heno, Mi wela'i mastras yn y diawl, Cyn hifa'i chawl hi eto. Mi welas b&th na welas pawb, Y cwd a'r blawd yn cerad, Y fran yn toi ar ben y tu, Arpia'n dala'rharad. Mae genu wech o uchain Sy'n well na chant o fechgyn ; Os gallau'i cadw nw yn fuw, Mi rheda rhiw Penderyn. Tri pheth sydd anodd 'nabod : Dyn, Derwen, a diwrnod; Y dydd sydd hir, ar pren sydd goi, Ar dyn sydd dau wynepog. Rwyn drigain oed yn seriws Wrth llyfr mawr yr eglwys ; Ni welais i erioed shwd llap, A mab Cnap Sant Dinwtts. I am indebted to a friend in the Vale of Glamorgan for these "Tribanau." If the reference to Sir John Carne of Ewenny is considered sufficient to fettle the date of the verses they must be at least two hundred and eighty years old, for Sir John was High Sheriff of Glamorganshire in the year 1589 and again in 1601. A Cardiganshire friend tells me that he remembers many similar songs sung in his native county "fifty years ago," but is unable to re¬ call any of the words to mind now. In conclusion I may perhaps be permitted to point out how universal the cus¬ tom is to sing to oxen while working, and to cite Lady Duff Gordon's evidence thereupon. In one of her charm¬ ing "Letters from Egypt," she says— "As I rode through the green fields along the dyke a little boy sang to the ox which turned round the musically- creaking Sakiyeh—i.e., a water wheel—the eternal Sakiyeh tune. The words are ad libitum and my little friend chanted Turn, O Sakiyeh to the right, and turn to the left ; Who will take care of me if my father dies ! Turn, O Sakiyeh to the right, and turn to the left; Pour water on the figs, and the grapes, and the water melons, Turn, O Sakiyeh to the right, &c, &c. Nothing is so pathetic as that Sakiyeh song." D.J. QUERIES. "SCOLDS" AT ABERYSTWYTH.—Amongst the entries from the Corporation books of Aberystwyth, recently published in the Cambrian News, there is a "presentment" before the Mayor as follows:—" May 1730, before Richard Hughes, Esq, Mayor. We present Elizabeth, the wife of Lewis Lloyd of this Towne labourer for being a Common Scold." The punishment is not stated. Did Aberystwyth possess a "Scold's Bridle" in those good old times ? G.G. SHROPSHIRE MEDICINES.—Can any of your readers give an outline of the history of one or all of the Quack Medicines hailing from the county of Salop ? In an advertisement of Nov. 1S33, we have "Mr. Smith's Plough¬ man's Drops," as sold at "Ploughman's Hall, Upton Magna, near Shrewsbury." How old is this nostrum, and how came it to command such a price as 22s. a bottle ? Then there was " Beeton's British Oil," "Allen's Pills," and "Parr's Life Pills," but Beeton and Parr, I think, have already been noticed in Bye-gones. Of Allen's the marvel is how so eminent a practitioner as William James Clement should have allowed his certificate to be published as recommending them. It was as if the Bishop of the Diocese was to become sponsor for the minister of Little Bethel, or Cardinal Manning was to urge his fol¬ lowers to take their spiritual consolation from an Evan¬ gelical curate. Salopian.