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Nosque ubi primus equis Oriens afflavit anhelis,
The Britons had taught the Saxons to read, and given them the first of all things in Christianity itself, which they spread and adorned with ten Cathedrals.'
turies appear uncouth. The bard had to do with a harsh, though nervous language, frowned on by the Court, neglected by the Gentry, and disguised by a most unintelligible mode of spelling.-J.P. A.
The son of Owain Gwynedd, Hywel, (who fell in the contention for his father's throne) brother to Madog the navigator, hath Our written his own battles in verse, and some love verses in a most elegant manner, of which we have several copies in Wales. Princes and chieftains continued this custom of writing their own actions, as late as Henry the Second's time, the age of Hywel. Poetry was so sacred with these people, that they never suffered invented fables, the chief ingredient in heroic poetry, to have a footing in it, which is the reason that neither the Gauls, Britons, Irish, Picts, Cornish or Armoricans, ever had to this day a poem in the "Poetry," says Mr. Morris," hath nature of the Iliad or Eneid. been with us the sacred repository of the actions of great men; and it hath been so, from the most ancient times, in other nations; as the song of Moses, among the Jews, of the defeat of the Egyptians. Taliessin's historical poem of the Tombs of the Warriors of Britain is a noble piece of antiquity, and strikes great light on the events of those times, when compared with the Triades, the Brut y Brenhinoedd, and the succeeding writers. The book of Triades, in British Trioedd Yns Prydain, or the Threes of the Island of Britain, seems to have been written about the year 650, and some parts of it collected out of the most ancient monuments of the kingdom, but not from the same fountain as Brut y Brenhinoedd; as there are facts and matters in the Triades not to be found in the Brut, and also several things which the author of the Brut never would have. omitted, if he had met with them. The Triades hath always been quoted by our British poets from age to age, though Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Latin translator of Tyssillio, never saw it, or else he would have embellished his translation with its contents, instead of, the ridiculous things which he hath added to it from Myrddyn Emrys, and oral tradition." It is called by some writers, and by the translator of Camden, the Book of Triplicities. The Britons, as well as other nations of old, had a particular veneration for odd numbers, and especially for that of Three. Their most ancient poetry consists of Three lined stanzas, called Englyn Milwr, the Warrior's Verse. Their most remote history is divided into sections, being combina tions of some Three similar events. All men of note, whether famous or infamous, were classed together by Threes; Virtues and Vices were tripled together in the same manner; and the Druids conveyed their instructions in moral and natural philosophy to their people, in sentences of Three parts,'
The sovereigns of North Wales preserved their title of Princes till 1282, on the death of the last Llywelin. The kingly title ended with Gruffudd ab Cynan.' However, there was no representation for Cheshire or Wales in the English House of Commons, till the Welsh incorporating acts of Henry the Eighth.'
At p. 84, Mr. Yorke has clearly traced the Genealogy of his present Majesty:
From Ann, Countess of Cambridge, the heiress of England and Wales, and to whom our gracious Sovereign, in every rule of right, the Catholic line necessarily excluded, is lawful heir and lineal suc
George the Third, the eldest son, by Augusta of Saxgotha, of Frederick, Prince of Wales, the son of George the Second, the son of George the First, the son of Ernest Augustus, Elector of Ha. nover, by Sophia, the daughter of Frederick Elector Palatine, and Elizabeth, the daughter of James the First, the son of Lord Darnley, and Mary, Queen of Scotland, the daughter of James the Fifth, the son of James the Fourth by Margaret, the eldest daughter of Henry the Seventh by Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Edward the Fourth, the eldest son of Richard Duke of York, the son of Richard of Conisburg Earl of Cambridge, by Anne daughter and heiress of Roger Earl of Marche, the son of Edmund, Earl of Marche, by Philippa daughter and sole heiress of Lionel Duke of Clarence, the third son of Edward the Third. This Edmund was the son of Edmund Mortimer, the son of Roger, the first Earl of Marche of this family, the son of Edmund, the son of Roger, the son of Ralph by Gwladys Ddu, or the Black, the heiress of her brother Dafydd ab Llywelyn, the son of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, or Leolinus Magnus, Prince of North Wales, the eldest son of Iorwerth drwyn-dwnn, the eldest son of Owain Gwynedd, the son of Gruffudd ab Cynan, the son of Cynan, the son of Iago or James, the son of Idwal, the son of Meurig, the son of Idwal foel, the son of Anarawd, the eldest son of Rhodri fawr, or Roderick the Great, the son of Merfyn frŷch, and Esyllt, the daughter and heiress of the last Prince Cynan Tindaethwy, the son of Rhodri Molwynog, the son of Idwal iwrch (or the roe) the son of Cadwaladr, the last King of the Britons, who abdicated, and died at Rome in 688. His present gracious Majesty is right heir, in lineal succession, to the British, Cambro-British, Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Norman, English and Scottish Kings.'
There appears to be some mistake in the author's chronglogy, in saying, p. 86, that Petrarch, attributes the defeats suffered by the French, about this time, (that is, during the victories of Henry Vth,) to their drunkenness. Their success under Dumourier of late is said to have arisen from it.' Now Petrarch died 1374, and the Vth Henry began his reign in 1414. How is this? Petrarch, being contemporary with
REV. Nov. 1799.
our Edward IIId, may have spoken of the French defeats du ring that reign.
Mr. Yorke tells us, in the note to p. 90, that James the First was not personally unknown to the Welsh:
He had progressed to Chester in 1617, and was attended by great numbers of our countrymen, who came out of curiosity to see him. The weather was very dry, the roads dusty, and the King almost suffocated. He did not know well how to get civilly rid of them, when one of his attendants, putting his head out of the coach, said, "It was his Majesty's pleasure, that those, who were the best Gentlemen, should ride forwards." Away scampered the Welsh ; and one solitary man was left behind. "And so, Sir," says the King to him, and you are not a Gentleman then?" "Oh yes, and please hur Majesty, hur is as good a Shentleman, as the rest; but hur Keffyl, God help hur, is not so good."
Speaking of the Herbert family, p. 92, the author has given the following short and accurate character of the wild and eccentric Ed. Herbert, Baron of Cherbury ;-whom he calls,
the historical, the philosophical, that right whimsical Peer, Edward Herbert, first Baron of Cherbury; a man at once and together, the negociator, the scholar, statesman, soldier; the genius and absurdity of his time and nation.'
On the whole, we have found considerable entertainment, as well as information, in the perusal of this work; and the portraits of illustrious persons, natives of the Principality, admirably engraved, are elegant embellishments. The paper and typography also (in spite of a copious list of errata) are such as do credit to the provincial press of Wrexham in Denbighshire, near the author's charming residence.
The work is terminated by the following
The Author of this small work would attempt to enlarge it through the Fifteen Common Tribes, and would hazard another publication (correcting the errors of this) with some additional Engravings, if the Families descended from them were pleased to communicate their Pedigrees, and what biographical matter and anecdote belong to them. This is the more necessary, nay indispensable, as the Founders of these Tribes have little, or no notice taken of them in History.'
We hope that the persons, to whom this Advertisement is addressed, will pay speedy and proper attention to it, for their own honour, and for that of their country.
ART. III. An Investigation into our present received Chronology Wherein it is proposed clearly to point out and prove several essential Errors, of very considerable Magnitude, contained in the Pe-riod of Time comprehended between the Birth of Abram, and the Birth of Christ; insomuch, that although it is over-reckoned materially in two Instances, yet upon the Whole it is evidently under-reckoned as much as 115 Years, viz. that Christ was born in the Year 4119, and not in the Year 4004. The whole indisputably proved from the Scripture, which is its own best Interpreter. By a Friend of Truth. Printed at Shrewsbury. 8vo. pp. 106. 25. Longman, London. 1798.
HER ERE is another laudable attempt to systematize and reconcile the various and jarring parts of what is called Sacred Chronology. The propositions, which the author endeavours to establish, are the following:
• PROPOSITION I.
That there does exist an error of 60 years, over-reckoned from the birth of Abram, till he was called to leave his father's house, at age of 75, to go to the land of Canaan.
• PROPOSITION II.
6 That our commentators have, one and all, totally misconstrued and misunderstood the meaning of that passage of St. Paul, in the iii. ch. of Galatians, in supposing and concluding that the 430 years mentioned there, in the 17th verse, is to begin to be reckoned from the first promise to Abram.
• PROPOSITION III.
That there exists an error of no less than 215 years under-reckoned respecting the time which the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt.
That there are a few other small errors, amounting in all to 13 years, under-reckoned from the foundation of the temple to the return of the Jews from their 70 years captivity in the first year of Cyrus.
That there is a further error in the computation of cur chronologists, from the first year of Cyrus, to the birth of Christ, of as much as 53 years, over-reckoned during that period.
• PROPOSITION VI.
In order further to illustrate and confirm the truth of the last proposition, I undertake to shew, that the period of time, Dan. viii. 14, represented under the figurative term of 230 days, that is, years, did not expire in the year 1750, according to the opinion of the late Mr. Fletcher, (which it would have done had the chronology from the first year of Cyrus been right) but that it does expire in or with the year 1798.
We have lately noticed several productions of this kind.
• PROPOSITION VII.
In order further to demonstrate that the whole statement of the chronology is strictly correct, I fhall shew, that there is every reason to believe, and infer, and that it appears very clearly, that the precise time when Abram was called of God, to offer up his son Isaac, on Mount Moria, as a type of Christ, was at exactly the half of the period from the creation of the world, to the crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.'
We have neither leisure nor inclination for an elaborate critique on the arguments which the author employs to support these propositions, which would require an article as bulky as the Investigation' itself. We must observe, however, that his reasoning is generally founded on a very questionable principle; viz. that the dates in the Hebre scriptures, as they stand in the present copies, are infallible data. On the contrary, we think that they are often visibly wrong, and never infallibly certain. The Hebrew historians, like others, we believe, gave the best dates that they could find, whether from oral traditions or from written annals: but what reason have we for supposing that those annals and those traditions were themselves free from the possibility of error? We have three schemes of chronology in the book of Genesis only; and who will affirm that any one. of them is indubitably certain, or even which of them is the most probable? One author may employ all his talents in supporting the Hebrew computation, another that of the Septua-d gint, and a third that of the Samaritan; and all this is excellent amusement for the chronological antiquary: but if the chrono-" logical antiquary should go a step farther, and obstinately maintain that his favourite system is the only true, the only divine system,—the sober critic must smile, and the sour critic will not scruple to sneer.
At this Friend of Truth, however, we will neither sneer nor smile; because we sincerely believe him to be what he professes; and, indeed, we agree with him in some of his propositions; although not precisely for the reasons which he adduces. For example, we are persuaded that, in our common calculations, made from the present Hebrew text, there is an error of sixty years in the chronology of Abram: but we would not, in order. to prove this over-reckoning, invalidate the testimony of Stephen, to save the credit of Moses. We would rather, with honest Stackhouse, reject the present Hebrew reading, and adopt the Samaritan, which perfectly agrees with Stephen; with whom there could be no collusion.
In maintaining his second proposition, the present author endeavours to shew that the promise mentioned by St. Paul, Galat. iii. 17. has no relation to the first promise made to Abram,