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WALES. JUNE, 1894. [No. 2. ENOCH HUGHES. By Daniel Owen, Author of The Autobiography of Rhys Lewis, Owen Tomos, $c. Translated from the "Welsh by the Hon. Claud Vivian. CHAPTEE I. PAIR WALES. PNOCH HUGHES was a love-child, but he was not born in Anglesey. The nook where he was born was nearer England, and its inhabitants talked finer Welsh, and, in their own opinion, were more cultivated and polished, though they were not more religious. The bells were not rung at his birth, and no signs of rejoicing of any sort were seen or heard. Even the fact that he was a boy, and not a girl, did not bring so much as a smile to the face of any of his relations when they were told of his arrival in the world. Indeed, some of the neighboui-s maintained that so little interest Was felt in him that it was not known, for some days, to which gender he belonged, and that it was quite by accident that the matter became evident —and that by the carelessness of Enoch himself. The reason for all this unconcern about the new arrival was this,—no one expected him or wanted to see him. I have said too much ; there was one who did expect him. How many sleepless nights, how much grief and anguish and torment of mind, how much bitter and true repentance, of self loath¬ ing that almost bordered on distraction, this ex¬ pectation had cost, God alone knows. I know this is a tender and touchy matter to hint about. I know that it would be pleasanter to one's feel¬ ings to be listening to one with a good voice singing,—" Fair Wales, land of song," and to en¬ core it, and for him to give us in response,— " White gloves are e'er her offer, A glorious land is Wales." But the man who thought that he had got the whole history of Wales in those two songs would be an idiot. I recollect, when I was a lad, that that good man Abel Hughes, when quite lost in the service in chapel, used to shut his eyes, especially when singing, and that I got to believe that shut¬ ting the eyes was a sure sign of godliness. I have changed my opinion. Shutting the eyes is no sign of sanctity. "And to be fair to Abel Hughes, he never used to shut his eyes except when in the hwyl.* He was as keen sighted as anyone, and he called things by their right names too. No doubt, if he was alive now, he would be considered a plain-spoken, harsh man. It is certain that Abel Hughes, like old fellows generally, was a little too plain in his speech; but it is to be feared that, in these present days, our danger is affectation and over nicety,—not calling things by their Welsh names, and even not calling them by any names at all. Have the things themselves ceased to exist ? Or have we got some new light on them ? Does such a place as hell exist in these days ? Such a place used to be spoken of some time ago, but you seldom hear such a place mentioned now,—except by some rather old fashioned person. Is there such a thing as incontinence ? One hears now and then about "disagreeable circumstances." But no doubt the world has become more mannerly, and care must be taken how it is conversed with. There was only one, as has been said, who ex¬ pected Enoch to come into the world, and there was not one who wanted him in the world. He was looked upon as an intruder. Enoch, poor fellow, knew nothing of this; and if he had known that his appearance would have created so much consternation, and have occasioned so many dis¬ comforts and bitter feelings, it is doubtful whether he would not have committed suicide rather than face so inhospitable a world. But Enoch faced it quite innocently and defencelessly. The doctor testified that Enoch was one of the finest boys he had ever seen, and that there was only one imper¬ fection in him, which was this,—that three of the toes of his left foot were stuck together, like a * Hwyl. As far as I know there is no English word that gives the exact meaning of " hwyl." It describes a state of fervour in public worship, when the worshipper has forgotten himself in the exquisite enjoyment of a purely spiritual world. It is also used of a preacher whose voice has become mellow under the influence of overpowering emotion.—Ep. 49 4