Welsh Journals

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FOURTH SERIES.—No. XXVIII. OCTOBER, 1876. ON THE MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF WALES: AN ATTEMPT TO INTERPRET THEM. {Read at the Abergavenny Meeting.) To reconstruct the primitive history of a people anterior to the period of their written records, we must make the best use of such material as may be available. It may not, indeed, be the best possible; but with careful handling it may serve the purpose in the absence of better. Such material we .may find in the legends and myths in which, from generation to generation, father handed down to son the stories of the past. And just as we should look to the saws and proverbs of a people for their philosophy, to their institutions and customs for their practical wisdom, and to their primitive songs for the story of their loves and their wars; so for their early history and science in its different aspects we should turn to their mythology and legendary lore. These, indeed, form the literary storehouse of all early races, embodied though they be, with varying skill, in tales that take their hue, partly from the national characteristics of those who produced them, and partly from the physical surroundings of those who have appropriated them in the modified form in which they have come down to us. A nation like the ancient Cymry, quick and impulsive in temperament, dwelling among wild and rugged 4th see., vol. vii. 16