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been a single society supper this spring, of an author that she has been the at which a bumper has not been dedi- subject of the critic's animadversions. cated to “our CHAMPION De Jar To make this point clear is the inVIE.” I remain your much obliged tention of the friend who thus at once servant,
puts an end to the mystery implied in ANDREW FAIRSERVICE.
a defence which leaves the nature of Dreepdaily, May 1818.
the attack unexplained. A LADY. Edinburgh, 12th May 1818.
Note by the Editor. LETTER FROM A FRIEND OF MRS
The above was handed to us by a GRANT
lady who is in habits of intimate
friendship with the distinguished MR EDITOR,
person, a wanton attack upon whose The attack on Mrs Grant's literary character gave rise to the statement character in the Glasgow Chronicle, which it has been her wish to exand the defence in your Magazine, are plain. The delicate expressions uncalculated to give a degree of painful der which she has veiled her indignapublicity to the name of an individual tion, cannot prevent our readers from who has for some time past withdrawn perceiving what the nature of the from public notice.
assault on Mrs Grant's character really It may be satisfactory to her friends was. It is true, as our correspondent at a distance to know, that her per- says, that the literary character alone sonal character was no way implicated of her friend was professedly the ob in this attack. It was merely a blun- ject of the Glasgow critic's animadverdering attempt at discovery in the sions. But those who have perused his Terra Incognita of Literature. The tedious and vulgar paragraphs on the Chronicler had first attacked the subject in question (which we ourselves « Tales of my Landlord,” in a most have this day done for the first time), acrimonious criticism, and then, with will have no difficulty in observing, that all the certainty of self-conceit, as the blow aimed apparently at the ausured the public that the lady in thoress alone, was in fact insidiously inquestion had all the demerit of their tended to fall also upon the lady. We imputed impiety and indecency. have neither leisure nor inclination to
Such charges that lady should never enter at present into the minutiæ of have thought of repelling, considering this deservedly obscure controversy. them as equally unfounded in them. There are not many papers in Scotselves and inapplicable to her. Fear- land which make any pretence to litering, however, that entire silence might ary character at all. A few exceptions, be considered as acquiescence, and and one or two happy ones, may be disdaining, even from folly and ig found. The Glasgow Chronicle is not norance, credit for a performance so one of these. It seems to be a paper greatly above her powers, she refuted conducted on principles not widely dif. the assertion in strong terms.
ferent from those of the lowest engines The Chronicle still continued the of the mob-party in London. It is complimentary process of filling daily a humble provincial imitation of the columns with specimens from Mrs Statesman, proceeding upon the absurd Grant's writings, opposed to parallel mistake, that a small town, abounding columns from “ The great unknown," in intelligence, where every body is to shew that there was a “ river in known to every body, and every scandal Macedon, and a river in Monmouth, is at once searched to the bottom, can and, doubtless, salmon in both.” Cap- possibly be a fit place for the same tain Fluellin, however, will be allowed foolish misrepresentations, and the by all good judges of geography and same malicious virulencies, which are literature, to have produced a more found so well adapted to the endless happy and complete resemblance than crowds and tumults of an overgrown the Chronicler. The reflections on capital. Like those of its prototype, its her acknowledged writings are easily criticisms are full of all manner of affec, forgiven, and the friends of the object tation, ignorance, and insolence. To be of all this criticism will be pleased to a good or great man in any departs krow, that it is only in the character inent, is sufficient to draw upon your
head the abuse of these Plebeian wits. first conversed, and whom she first They may sell a few more copies of their believed, and was deceived by him?”. journal than they would otherwise do, With the Rev. Edmund Jones, a by means of their personalities. But we disbelief in ghosts is equivalent to a suppose, after all, their success is not disbelief of immortality, and all incregreat, as there are few places so devoid dulous persons are by him uniformly of all taste or feeling, as to swallow called Sadducees. He has collected a mere malevolence and vulgarity, un- great number of well-authenticated sweetened by the smallest admixture ghost-stories to overwhelm the Saddueither of wit, humour, or sense. We cees with confusion, more particularly shall have an opportunity of returning those who are such thorough-paced to this subject at considerable length, infidels as to despise, not only corpsein an Essay which we hope soon to lay candles and Kyhirraeths, but itinerant before our readers, “On the History preachers and baptist meetings. Yet and Principles of the present Scottish I suspect, that in his work, silly, and Newspapers."
EDITOR. absurd, and ill arranged as it is, we can
discern the leading features of the Welsh superstitions. As Mr Jones'
book is circulated only among the lowON SOME POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS IN e WALES.
few copies of it have ever penetrated
into England, and probably none at all NR EDITOR,
into Scotland, I have thought that a The popular superstitions of the Scotch few selections from a work so little Highlanders have been often and ably known, may perhaps amuse many of treated of,--and many are the singu- your readers more than any original lar and striking stories on record, il dissertations with which I could have lustrative of their imaginative charac- favoured them. Perhaps, too, they ter. In Wales, the popular supersti- may be the means of directing the at tious creed cannot but be poetical, and tention of your more learned contribuprobably similar, in many striking tors to a new field of inquiry, alike inpoints, to that of Albyn. 'I am but teresting to the philosopher and the little conversant with the history of antiquarian, as to those who seek, in the Welsh, and am unable to supply their reading, for nothing more than you with much authentic information amusement, I have classed myextracts on the subject of their popular super under different heads. In Mr Jones' stitions ; but now I venture to throw book no attempt at any sort of arrangeout a hint to the zealous natives of the ment is made. The tears with which Principality, that some detailed philo- his mind was agitated, were too powersophical account of their ghosts, spirits, ful to leave him either power or wish demons, fairies, &c. could not but par- to distinguish dogs of hell from fairies, ticipate of deep and universal interest. or demons from witches.
I lately laid my hands upon a curious enough little book, entitled, “A
1.-Witch Stories. Relation of Apparitions of Spirits, in « At one time two gypsies came to the the County of Monmouth, and the house of Lewis Thomas, son of Mr Tho. Principality of Wales ;" By the late mas Lewis of Lanharan in Glamorgan. Rev. Edmund Jones of the Tranch. shire, when he was not at home, and seeing The worthy Divine maintains, in a his
his wife by herself, began to be bold and prefatory Vindication of his Treatise,
very importunate for this and that which is That they are chiefly women, and
they wanted; but she having an aversion
for those kind of people, commanded them men of weak womanish understand to be gone, which they refused to do, till ing, who chiefly speak against the ac- she took down a stick and threatening to count of spirits and apparitions. In beat them (being a strong courageous wosome women it comes from a certain man), at which the gypsies went away mutproud fineness, excessive delicacy, and tering and threatening revenge. Some a superfine disposition, which cannot night after, they heard like a bowl rolling bear to be disturbed with what is
above stairs, from the upper end of the strange and disagreeable to a vain
chamber to the middle of the room-stopmind. But why should the daughters
ping a while then rowling down to the
foot of the stairs; upon which Lewis Thoof mother Eve be so averse to hear of mas said to his wife, • I believe the old the adversary Satan, with whom she gypsey is come to give thee a visit." Next morning when she arose, she saw on the it was the spirit of one Juan White, who floor the print of a bare foot without a toe, lived, time out of mind, in these parts, and dipped in soot! and gone from the foot of was thought to be a witch; because the the stair toward the door! The next day mountain was not haunted with her appariwhen they went to churn, the cream soon tion until after her death. When people began to froth as if it was turning to butter, first lost their way, and saw her, they thought but it did not, though they churned much; it was a real woman which knew the way ; they at length poured it into a vessel, where, they were glad to see her, and endeavoured after it had stayed some tiine, came a thick to overtake her to inquire about the way ; slimy cream above, and underneath it was but they could never overtake her, neither water coloured with a little milk. They would she ever look back to see them ; so boiled the cream, having a notion it would that they never saw her face.” torment the witch, and they were no more disturbed that way." " About the end of the sixth century,
u II.-Stories of Ghosts, Evil Spirits, there lived in the valley of Sirhowy, in this
Demons, &c. parish, David Ziles, an honest substantial “ John Jenkins, a poor man, who lived Freeholder; his house was often troubled by near Abertilery, hanged himself in an haynight with witches, who were very mischiev. loft ; his sister presently after perceived him ous, destroying the milk, &c. In process of hanging, she cried out with a loud voice; time, Hopkin David, a quaker, by trade a upon which Jeremiah James, who lived in turner, came there to work : one night when Abertilery-house, looking towards the place he was there, those witches made a disture where John Jenkins lived, saw the resembance, which he supposed was moving his blance of a man coming from the hay-loft, tools ; he rose from bed and went down and violently turning upwards and downstairs, there he saw them like so many cats, wards topsy-turvy towards the river ; which and knowing what they were, spoke to them, was a dreadful sight to a serious godly man, and asked one, Who art thou, and what who saw the catastrophe, and was very im. is thy name?' to which she answered, pressing ; for it could be no other but an • Ellor-Sir-Gare,' (Carmarthenshire Elenor). evil spirit going with his prey, the self-murHe then asked another, “Who art thou ?' derer, to hell." the answer was, Mawd Anghyvion,' (Uo- “ The Parish of Mynydduslwyn. Some righteous Mawd); and the other answered, years since, John, the son of Watkin Elias • Isbel Anonest,' (Unjust Jesebel); to which Jones, a substantial man of this parish, afhe answered, “ Unjust is thy work in med. ter his father's death, ploughing in a field, ling with my tools.' He severely reproved when the oxen rested, sent the lad which and threatened them. As they betrayed drove the oxen to fetch something which he themselves, and knew they were in danger of wanted, and before the lad came back, he punishment, they did not trouble the house saw a cloud coming across the field towards afterwards. This good the honest quaker him, which came to him, and shadowed the did to an irinocent honest family."
sun from him ; and out of the cloud came “ Llanhyddel mountain was formerly a voice to him, which asked him, which of much talked of, and still remembered con- these three diseases he would chuse to die cerning an apparition which led many peo- of, the fever, the dropsy, or the consumpple astray both by day and by night, upon tion, for one of them he must chuse in orthis mountain. The apparition was the der to his end. He said he would rather resemblance of a poor old woman, with die of the consumption. He let the lad go an oblong four-cornered hat, ash-coloured home with the oxen, and finding himself clothes, her apron thrown across her shoul. inclined to sleep, he laid down and slept ; der, with a pot or wooden can in her hand, when he awoke he was indisposed, and fell such as poor people carry to fetch milk with, by degrees into the consumption whereof he always going before them, sometimes crying died; yet he lived more than a year after he out wow UP. Whoever saw this appari. had seen the apparition in the cloud, and tion, whether by night or in a misty day, heard the supernatural voice out of it. Some though well acquainted with the road, they say that he saw the similitude of a venerable would be sure to lose their way; for the road old man in the cloud speaking to him, and appeared quite different to what it really I believe it was so, and that it was the diswas; and so far sometimes the fascination embodied Spirit of some good man, likely was, that they thought they were going to one of his ancestors, and not an angel ; for their journey's end when they were really angels do not appear like old men, nor is it going the contrary way. Sometimes they proper they should, because there is no de. heard her cry wow up, when they did not cay in them as in men subject to mortality.” see her. Sometimes, when they went out “ Mary M. living near Crumlin Bridge, by night to fetch coal, water, &c. they and standing on the Bridge one evening, would hear the cry very near them, and heard a weak voice like a person in distress presently would hear it afar off, as if it was going up the river, saying, o Duw beth y on the opposite mountain, in the parish of wnaf fi o Duw beth'y wnaf fi ?-(0 God Aberystruth, and sometimes passing by their what shall I do? O God what shall I do?) ears. The people have it by tradition, that At first she thought it a human voice of one
in distress ; but while she was considering to damp him. It would have damped him to think what the voice was like, a great yet more, if he had shewn him James ii. 19. terror seized her suddenly, so that she · The devils believe and tremble.' But he thought her hair moved, and she could nei. had enough for one time.” ther move forward or backward from the “ In Cardiganshire.-The circumstance place where she stood ; but seeing her cous. which I am going to relate is concerning Sir in standing in the yard belonging to the David Llwyd, who lived near Y spythihouse near the bridge, with great difficulty Ystwyth, in this county, who was a curate, called her, who also had heard the lament. likely of that church, and a physician ; but able voice, and came to her; when she being known to deal in the magic art, he came to the house she fainted. The voice was turned out of the curacy, and obliged to which she heard was most probably the live by practising physic:--There was once voice of some disembodied spirit, who had a tailor, a profane man, and a great drunk. lived and died in sin, and felt the wrath of ard, who having been to a fair, and coming God for it; which will make all impenitent home drunk, met a certain man on horsesinners cry at last!'
back, who asked him if he was a tailor? He " The Parish of Bedroas.--Mr Henry said he was. The man on horseback asked Lewelin having been sent to Samuel Davies him if he would make clothes for him ? He of Ystrad Defodoc parish, in Glamorgan- said he would, and received a piece of cloth, shire, to fetch a load of books, viz. Bibles, with a charge to be sure to be at hone on Testaments, Watts' Psalms, Hymns, and such a day, and such an hour, to take his Songs for children, and coming home by measure. The tailor said he would. Al. night, towards Mynydduslwyn, having just though he was drunk, he observed this per passed by Clwyd yr Helygen® ale-house, son's feet was not like a man's, but like and being in a dry fair part of the lane, the horses' feet; and some other circumstances mare which he rode stood still, and would which made him concerned; the more he go no farther, but drew backward ; and considered it, his fear increased, thinking it presently he could see a living thing round was not a man, but something belonging to like a bowl, rolling from the right hand to the devil ; he being in great fear about the the left, crossing the lane, moving some matter, went to Sir David to ask his opinion times slow, and sometimes very swift, swift. about it, from whom he received the follow. er than a bird could fly, though it had nei. ing advice :-To delay the measuring of ther wings nor feet; altering also its size. him as much as possible, and not to stand It appeared three times lesser one time than before but behind him ; he bid him be sure another; it appeared least when near him, to be at home the time appointed, and that and seemed to roll towards the mare's belly. he (Sir David) would come to meet him that The mare then would go forward, but he time. The supposed min came, and the stopped her to see more carefully what it tailor, in great fear, began to measure him, was. He stayed, as he thought, about three at the same time fearing he was something minutes, to look at it; but fearing to see a not good ; and according to the advice giv. worse sight, thought it time to speak to it, en him, delayed measuring him, pretending and said, “What seekest thou, thou foul that he wanted this and that thing : at last thing? In the name of the Lord Jesus go the supposed man said to him, thou art very away ;'--and by speaking this, it vanished, long about it, and why standest thou behind as if it sunk in the ground near the mare's my back? why dost thou not come before feet. It appeared to be of a redish colour me? The tailor being in greater fear, thought with a mixture of an ash colour."
every minute a long time, expecting Sir “ In Denbighshire.The Rev. Mr Tho David to come according to his promise ; mas Baddy, who lived in Denbigh town, accordingly he came, and having looked on and was a dissenting minister in that place, the strange man who was come to be meas. went into his study one night, and while he ured, said to him, What is your business was reading or writing, he heard some one be. here? Go away ; and he went away. This hind him laughing and grinning at him, which the tailor told to all who inquired about it, made him stop a little. It came again, and and it passed through the country.” there he wrote on a piece of paper, that devil wounding scripture, 1 John iii. •For this was the Son of God manifested, that he
III.-Ştories of Fairies. might destroy the works of the devil,' and “W. E. of Hafodafel, going a journey held it backwards towards him, and the upon the Beacon Mountain, very early in laughing ceased for ever ; for it was a mel the morning, passed by the perfect likeness ancholy word to a scoffing devil, and enough of a coal race, where really there was none;
there he saw many people very busy ; some
cutting the coal, some carrying it to fill “ * Near Clwyd yr Helygen, in times past, the sacks, some rising the loads upon the and near the place where the apparition was horses' backs, &c. This was the agency of seen, the Lord's day was greatly profaned. the fairies upon his visive faculty, and it It may be, also, the adversary was angry at was a wonderful extra-natural thing, and the good books and the bringer of them; made a considerable impression upon his for it know what burden the mare carried.” mind. He was of undoubted veracity,
great man in the world,-and above telling Fairies on each side of him, some dancing. an untruth. The power of spirits, both He also heard the sound of a bugle-horn, good and bad, is very great, not having the like persons humting; he then began to be weight of bodies to incumber and hinder afraid ; but recollecting his having heard their agility.”
that if any person should happen to see any “ W. L. M. told me, that going upon an fairies, if they draw out their knife they errand by night, from the house of Jane will vanish directly; he did so, and he saw Edmund of Abertilery, he heard like the them no more. This the old gentleman voice of many persons speaking one to the seriously related to me. He was a sober other, at some distance from him ; he again man, and of such strict veracity, that I listened attentively, then he heard like the heard him confess a truth against himself, falling of a tree, which seemed to break when he was like to suffer loss for an imother trees as it fell ; he then heard a weak prudent step; and though he was persuadvoice, like the voice of a person in pain and ed by some not to do it, yet he would permisery, which frightened him much, and sist in telling the truth, though it was to prevented him proceeding on his journey. his own hurt." Those were fairies which spoke in his hear. “ The Parish of Llanhyddel. Rees John ing, and they doubtless spoke about his Rosser, born at Hen-dy in this parish, a death, and imitated the moan which he very religious young man, on going very made, when some time after he fell from off early in the morning to feed the oxen, at a a tree, which proved his death. This ac. barn called Ysgybor y lann, and having fed count, previous to his death, he gave me the oxen, he lay himself upon the hay to himself. He was a man much alienated rest. While he lay there he heard like the from the life of God, though surrounded sound of music coming near the barn ; prewith the means of knowledge and grace; sently a large company came in the barn but there was no cause to question the vera with stripped clothes, some appearing more city of his relation.”
gay than others, and there danced at their * The Parish of Bedwellty. From un- music. He lay there as quiet as he could, der the hand of the Rev. Mr Roger Rogers, thinking they would not see him, but in born and bred in this parish, I have the fol- vain ; for one of them, a woman, appearing lowing remarkable relation: A very remarka. better than the rest, brought him a stripped ble and odd sight was seen in July 1760, ac- cushion with four tassels, one at each corknowledged and confessed by several credi. ner of it, to put under his head. After ble eye-witnesses of the same, i. e. by Lewis some time the cock crew at the house of Thomas Jenkin's two daughters, virtuous Blaen y Coome hard by, upon which they and good young women (their father a good appeared as if they were either surprised man and substantial freeholder), his man- or displeased; the cushion was then hasservant, his maid-servant, Elizabeth David, tily taken from under his head, and they a neighbour and tenant of the said Lewis went away." Thomas, and Edmund Roger, a neighbour; “ This young woman's grandfather, Wilwho were all making hay in a field called liam Jenkins, for some time kept a school Y Weirglod Fuwr Dufolog. The first at Trefethin church, and coming home late sight they saw was the resemblance of an in the evening, used to see the fairies under innumerable flock of sheep over a hill, call- an oak, within two or three fields from the ed Cefen Rhychdir, opposite the place where church, between that and Neaynidd bridge. the spectators stood, about a quarter of a And one time he went to see the ground mile distant from them. Soon after they about the oak, and there was a reddish cirsaw them go up to a place called Cefen cle upon the grass, such as have been often Rhychdir ucha, about half a mile distant seen under the female oak, called Brenhin-bren from them, and then they went out of their (King-tree), wherein they danced. He was sight, as if they vanished in the air. About more apt to see them on Friday evenings half an hour before sunset they saw them all than any other day of the week. Some say, again ; but all did not see them in the same in this country, that Friday is apt to differ manner; they saw them in different forms. often from the rest of the week with respect Two of these persons saw them like sheep, to the weather. That when the rest of the some saw them like gray-hounds, some like days of the weck are fair, Friday is apt to swine, and some like naked infants : they be rainy or cloudy ; and when the weather appeared in the shade of the mountain be- foul, Friday is apt to be more fair. If tween them and the sun. The first sight there is any thing in it, I believe it must was as if they rose up out of the earth. be with large and frequent exceptions, which This was a notable appearance of the fairies yet may possibly consist with some measure seen by credible witnesses. The sons of in- of reality in the matter ; but of this I am fidelity are very unreasonable not to be- no judge, having neglected to make obserlieve the testimonies of so many witnesses vation of the matter.' of the being of spirits.”
“ I am now going to relate one of the “ E. T. travelling by night over Bedwell- most extraordinary apparitions that ever ly mountain, towards the valley of Elroy was communicated to me, either by word Fawr, where his house and estate were, of mouth or by letter, which I received within the parish of Aberystruth, saw the from the bard of a pious young gentleman