BLTC Press Titles

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Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)

Vanity Fair

William Thackery

The Secret Doctrine, Volume I Cosmogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour

Letters written during a tour through South Wales

by John Evans


Dear Sir,

Wales may with emphasis be called an historic country. Every ride and walk is strewed with vestiges of ancient warfare, or curious art; and every vale and mountain furnishes some marks to shew,

"Whenfe stern oppression led the close phalanx,

"And wild and desperate freedom made her just defence;

"Or led her sons to victory and revenge!"

Nor can the mind of sensibility avoid contemplating, as it passes, the scenes of such transactions; and by an association that memory never fails to furnish on the occasion, becoming a partaker in them. We experience a sort of soothing" melancholy, by assimilating our ideas to the face and appearance of a country; and while we feel the most poignant regret at the folly of mankind, and weep over the effects of oppression and cruelty, we feel relief in reflecting, that we live in a period, when the nature of society is much better understood; the powers of the governors, and the privileges of the governed so adjusted, as not to clash with each other; and when that protection and liberty which occasioned so much bloodshed and slaughter, are the unalienable birth-right of Britons, and guaranteed by the inestimable laws of our country; when armed petitioners are no longer necessary to procure the restoration of property alienated by violence, or to replace the ousted heir in the possession of his patrimony; when these massy piles termed castles are not expedient to procure the obedience of a turbulent society, in the hands of an aspiring aristocracy; or to check the inordinate strides of regal prerogative and oppressive power: a period when the great mass of the people are admitted into the back ground of the national picture ; and the opprobrious names of vassal and of villein no longer obtain a place in our statutes: when every individual is included in the family compact; the peer and the peasant are equally considered in the cognizance of the law, and the life, liberty, afld property of the one esteemed of equal importance with those of the other.

Various opinions have been stated respecting the situation and extent of the country inhabited by these warlike Britons, and antiquarians are far from being decisive on the question. Camden, allowing Ptolomy's authority, terms it the Wence Land of. Leland, the country called by the Welsh Deheubardd, or the southern territory; comprehending the counties of Hereford, Radnor, Brecknock, and Glamorgan. Tacitus derives their origin from Iberia, on account of their complexion; and P. D. Campo finds the name of Siluria among the Asturias of Spain. Others take it from the islands of Scilly, formerly denominated Serlings. That they were emigrants of Gaul there can be no doubt, from the similarity of their language, dress, and manners. It has been conjectured that they were called Silures from sil, aspicio, to look at; from their ruddy complexion and dark piercing eyes producing a boldness of countenance which struck terror into their enemies. By this trait they were known and distinguished among the Romans; for they are described by Tacitus, as a formidable fighting race, "Validamque pugnacemque Silurum gentem."

From this ferocious appearance and their prowess in war, they might have been noticed as the Silou among the petty kingdoms of Britain; and the Romans, to adopt it to the genius of their language, would call them Silures, and the country Siluria.* Even the author of the Affairs of Britain, who, as a Roman, must be partial to his own people, allows that the Britons shewed more courage than their Gaulish neighbours; and the Silures were remarkable for an obstinate intrepidity, dignified by the writer of the Annals with the emphatic term of pervicacia. And a better word ctfuld not be found in the Latin language for that determined bravery so frequently displayed in the conduct both of them and their descendants. Had not the author inform

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