the Hebrews. It would indeed be absurd, were it the object

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Twonoblepersons,andunclesoftheauthorofthisbook,weresentthitherbytheking;namely,Henry,sonofkingHenryI 。

Two noble persons, and uncles of the author of this book, were sent thither by the king; namely, Henry, son of king Henry I., and uncle to king Henry II., by Nest, daughter of Rhys, prince of South Wales; and Robert Fitz-Stephen, brother to Henry, a man who in our days, shewing the way to others, first attacked Ireland, and whose fame is recorded in our Vaticinal History. Henry, actuated by too much valour, and ill supported, was pierced by a lance, and fell amongst the foremost, to the great concern of his attendants; and Robert, despairing of being able to defend himself, was badly wounded, and escaped with difficulty to the ships.

the Hebrews. It would indeed be absurd, were it the object

There is a small island, almost adjoining to Anglesey, which is inhabited by hermits, living by manual labour, and serving God. It is remarkable that when, by the influence of human passions, any discord arises among them, all their provisions are devoured and infected by a species of small mice, with which the island abounds; but when the discord ceases, they are no longer molested. Nor is it to be wondered at, if the servants of God sometimes disagree, since Jacob and Esau contended in the womb of Rebecca, and Paul and Barnabas differed; the disciples also of Jesus disputed which of them should be the greatest, for these are the temptations of human infirmity; yet virtue is often made perfect by infirmity, and faith is increased by tribulations. This island is called in Welsh, Ynys Lenach, { 167} or the ecclesiastical island, because many bodies of saints are deposited there, and no woman is suffered to enter it.

the Hebrews. It would indeed be absurd, were it the object

We saw in Anglesey a dog, who accidentally had lost his tail, and whose whole progeny bore the same defect. It is wonderful that nature should, as it were, conform itself in this particular to the accident of the father. We saw also a knight, named Earthbald, born in Devonshire, whose father, denying the child with which his mother was pregnant, and from motives of jealousy accusing her of inconstancy, nature alone decided the controversy by the birth of the child, who, by a miracle, exhibited on his upper lip a scar, similar to one his father bore in consequence of a wound he had received from a lance in one of his military expeditions. Stephen, the son of Earthbald, had a similar mark, the accident being in a manner converted into nature. A like miracle of nature occurred in earl Alberic, son of Alberic earl of Veer, { 168} whose father, during the pregnancy of his mother, the daughter of Henry of Essex, having laboured to procure a divorce, on account of the ignominy of her father, the child, when born, had the same blemish in its eye, as the father had got from a casual hurt. These defects may be entailed on the offspring, perhaps, by the impression made on the memory by frequent and steady observation; as it is reported that a queen, accustomed to see the picture of a negro in her chamber, unexpectedly brought forth a black child, and is exculpated by Quintilian, on account of the picture. In like manner it happened to the spotted sheep, given by Laban out of his flock to his nephew Jacob, and which conceived by means of variegated rods. { 169} Nor is the child always affected by the mother's imagination alone, but sometimes by that of the father; for it is well known that a man, seeing a passenger near him, who was convulsed both behind and before, on going home and telling his wife that he could not get the impression of this sight off his mind, begat a child who was affected in a similar manner.

the Hebrews. It would indeed be absurd, were it the object

Passage of the river Conwy in a boat, and of Dinas Emrys

On our return to Banchor from Mona, we were shown the tombs of prince Owen and his younger brother Cadwalader, { 170} who were buried in a double vault before the high altar, although Owen, on account of his public incest with his cousin-german, had died excommunicated by the blessed martyr St. Thomas, the bishop of that see having been enjoined to seize a proper opportunity of removing his body from the church. We continued our journey on the sea coast, confined on one side by steep rocks, and by the sea on the other, towards the river Conwy, which preserves its waters unadulterated by the sea. Not far from the source of the river Conwy, at the head of the Eryri mountain, which on this side extends itself towards the north, stands Dinas Emrys, that is, the promontory of Ambrosius, where Merlin { 171} uttered his prophecies, whilst Vortigern was seated upon the bank. There were two Merlins; the one called Ambrosius who prophesied in the time of king Vortigern, was begotten by a demon incubus, and found at Caermardin, from which circumstance that city derived its name of Caermardin, or the city of Merlin; the other Merlin, born in Scotland, was named Celidonius, from the Celidonian wood in which he prophesied; and Sylvester, because when engaged in martial conflict, he discovered in the air a terrible monster, and from that time grew mad, and taking shelter in a wood, passed the remainder of his days in a savage state. This Merlin lived in the time of king Arthur, and is said to have prophesied more fully and explicitly than the other. I shall pass over in silence what was done by the sons of Owen in our days, after his death, or while he was dying, who, from the wicked desire of reigning, totally disregarded the ties of fraternity; but I shall not omit mentioning another event which occurred likewise in our days. Owen, { 172} son of Gruffyth, prince of North Wales, had many sons, but only one legitimate, namely, Iorwerth Drwyndwn, which in Welsh means flat-nosed, who had a son named Llewelyn. This young man, being only twelve years of age, began, during the period of our journey, to molest his uncles David and Roderic, the sons of Owen by Christiana, his cousin-german; and although they had divided amongst themselves all North Wales, except the land of Conan, and although David, having married the sister of king Henry II., by whom he had one son, was powerfully supported by the English, yet within a few years the legitimate son, destitute of lands or money (by the aid of divine vengeance), bravely expelled from North Wales those who were born in public incest, though supported by their own wealth and by that of others, leaving them nothing but what the liberality of his own mind and the counsel of good men from pity suggested: a proof that adulterous and incestuous persons are displeasing to God.

I must not pass over in silence the mountains called by the Welsh Eryri, but by the English Snowdon, or Mountains of Snow, which gradually increasing from the land of the sons of Conan, and extending themselves northwards near Deganwy, seem to rear their lofty summits even to the clouds, when viewed from the opposite coast of Anglesey. They are said to be of so great an extent, that according to an ancient proverb, "As Mona could supply corn for all the inhabitants of Wales, so could the Eryri mountains afford sufficient pasture for all the herds, if collected together." Hence these lines of Virgil may be applied to them:-

"Et quantum longis carpent armenta diebus, Exigua tautum gelidus ros nocte reponet."

"And what is cropt by day the night renews, Shedding refreshful stores of cooling dews."

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