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CYMEU FU: " Notes and Çueries" relating to the past History of Wales and the Border Counties. VOL. I. "WEEKLY MAIL," JÜLY 2, 1887. NOTES. MARKET PRICES IN WALES 1N 1796.—I n his Gleanings in Wales (1796), tlie versatile Mr. Pratt writes from Aberystwith a letter in which he laments the high prices of provisions in the Prin- cipality in comparison with what they were a dozen years earlier. He adds: " Nevertheless, a good economist might, intlie family way, even at the present day, make one hundred pounds tell in this country to three hundred in any othpr belonging, properly, to England. I hear speak, however, of comparative prices in the smaller towns and villages ; in the cities the estimate must be about two to one in favour of Wales. In Caermarthen and Carnarton, for example, the one a principal town to the southward, the other northward, you get fi8h, fowl, butcher's meat, eggs, bacon, and firing—certainly the grand atticles in domestic establishment—on an average at the following rates:—Salmon, fresh and fine from the market, per pound, 2d.; a fine turbot, ditto, 2§d.; fine cod, each, ld.; eggs, eight to ten for ld.; couple of ducka or fowls, fit for killing, ls. (very often lOd.); chickens, half-grown, each for 3d.; bacon, per pound, 5d.; beef, mutton, &c, 3d ; coals, or rather culm, per bushel, 2d." Whitchurch. S. H. J. TALE OF A BIBULOUS WELSHMAN—In one of his " Merrye Tales," published about the middle of the sixteenth century, Skelton, who was the Poet Laureate of his time, has a satire upon the practice which prevailed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, of obtaining letters-patent of monopoly from the Crown, and also upon the bibulous propensities of Welshmfìn. The effusion is entitled " How the Welshman dyd desyre Skel- ton to ayde him in his sute to the kynge for a patent to sell dryncke." It runs as follows:—- " Skelton, when he was in London, went to the Kynge's Court, where there did come to hym a welshman, saying,« Syr, is it so, that manye dooth come upp of my country to the Kvnge's Court, and some doth get of the kynge by "patent a castell, and some a parke, and somea forest.and some one fee, |and some another, and they dooe lwe lyke hcnest men ; and I should ly ve as honestly as the best, if I myght have a patent for good dryncke, therefore I dooe praye you to write a few words for me in a little byll to geve the same to the kynge's handes, and I will geve you well for your laboure.' - ' I am contented,' sayde Skelton. * Syte downe then,* sayde the Ẃelshman, and write. « What shall I write ?' sayde Skelton. The Welsh- man sayde, * Wryte, dryncke. Nowe,' sayde the Welshman, * write more dryncke.' ' What now 'r" sayae Skelton. ' Wryte nowe a great deal of drynche' ' Nowe,' said the Welshman,' putte to ali this dryncke a littell crome of breade, and a great dealof dryncTce to it, and reade once agayne.' Skelton d'yd reade, * Uryncke, more dryncke, and a great deal of drynche, and a littell crome o? breade, and a great deaì of dryncke to iV Then the Weísh- man sayde,'Put. cute the littell crome of breade, and sette in all dryncke and no Irreade. And, it'J might Iiave tliis sygned of the kynge,' sayde the Welshman,' I care íor no more. as longe as I dooe ly ve.' ' Well, then,' sayde Sfcelton, * when you have thys sygned of the kynge, then will I labour for a patent to have bread, thatyou wyth your dryncke, and I with the breade may fare well, and seeke our livinge with bagge and staffe.'" Ch'.pstOW. ANTIQUARY. SWANSEA AS SEEN BY AN ACTOR FORTY YEARS AG-O.—Mr. James R. Anderson, the well- known tragedian of bygone days, is publishing a series of articles entitled "Seven Decades of an Actor's Life." In June, 1846, it appears, he ful- filled an engagement at Swansea, whence he was conveyed by mail from Bristol, the ride, he re- marks, being horribly fatiguing. The next morning he rose early to have a look at Swansea. He says:— " l was not particularly enchanted with the place. It reseinbles an overgrown village run up for the convenience of the miners (at work every- where in the neighbourhood) more than an oíd Welsh town of long standing. The bay looks rather pretty when there is any water in it, which happens once in a tide. At other times it is only mud. The atmosphere is dense with coal and copper smoke, a jolly thing for an asthmatic old actor playing Hamlet to a bad house; and the only merchandise I saw vended in the streets was cockles and mussels, sold by dozens of dirty little girls at every corner. But the Welsh women, in gaudy shawls, and wearing men's chimney-pot hats, looked picturesque and catching. Swansea ia called a fashionable watering place, but to my mind the fashion of it very much resembled Mad