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WHAT a delightful thing is liberty, both at home and abroad! Were we compelled to roam the mountain and the moor, when disposed to indulge in the comforts of domestic life; or constrained to be housekeepers, when our spirits urged us on to visit distant scenes and solitary places, it would be a trouble to us all. He who has health, a spirit of enterprise, a keen conception of the "sublime and beautiful" in nature, a grateful heart, a holy reverence for Divine things, and the means and opportunity to wander wide, has enough to fill his bosom with joy, and to occupy his tongue with praise.

"Though sluggards deem it but a foolish chase,

And marvel men should quit their easy chair,
The toilsome way, and long, long league to trace;
Oh! there is sweetness in the mountain air,
And life, that bloated ease can never hope to share."

There are moments when a spirit of eager

enterprise is indulged in by the ardent lover of nature's varied beauties; and then no mountain is high enough, no excavation deep enough, no rifted crag clothed enough with awe and terror, and no spot sufficiently romantic, fully to satisfy his unreasonable expectations. Such a moment is the present one with me; my heart, old as it is, is beating, my pulse throbbing, and my eye brightening with excitement; and no wonder ! Who can gaze on the piled-up heights, the fearful depths, the rugged rifts, the rushing torrents, and the roaring falls of this British Switzerland, without emotion !

He who has never visited Pont Bren, trod the vale of Nant Francon, (the valley of beavers,) mused on the three-headed mountain of Trivaen, gazed on the falls of Ogwen, ascended Great Orme's Head, nor stood in triumph on the top of Snowdon, can hardly enter into my present excitement. But a word or two on


It was in my boyhood that I first visited the principality. No wonder that its high mountains, its rushing rivers, its tumbling cataracts, and its overawing loneliness, should much affect my youthful mind. It appeared to me as a new creation; instead of the low unmeaning hills and monotonous flats to which I had been ac

customed, giant mountains presented themselves on every side. In natural scenery, objects of magnitude always impress the mind, more than objects of mere beauty.


The various forms which this full world presents,
Like rivals to his choice, what human breast
E'er doubts, before the transient and minute,
To prize the vast, the awful, the sublime ?
Who, that from heights aerial sends his eye
Around a wide horizon, and surveys

Indus, or Ganges, rolling his broad wave
Through mountains, plains, and spacious cities old;
And regions dark with woods, will turn away
To mark the path of some penurious rill
That murmurs at his feet?"

The mountains were Andes and Dhawaligiras in my estimation, and the rushing cataracts were rivals of Niagara; while the remains of proud castles, frowning on the rocky steeps, proclaimed the power and boldness of the ancient inhabitants of the country. We are most of us educated to think highly of those who have dared to defend their own possessions against the attack of an aggressor. The commonwealths of Rome resisted the invading power of Persia; and, in more modern times, the patriots of Switzerland dared to defend their mountain fastnesses against their invaders; but scarcely did

the Romans or the Swiss more resolutely defend their country, than the Welsh did theirs, before the Roman, the Saxon, the Dane, and the Norman, overcame them. These things were present to my youthful memory, as well as the knowledge that the Welsh were honest, hospitable, and devotional: I therefore honoured the people around me, and gazed on their mountains and valleys with admiration and joy.

Since then, years have rolled away: the boy has become a man; and the stripling, whose heart beat with such emotion, amidst these wilds and solitudes, has shared the multiplied mercies of maturer years: yet still, with grey hairs on his head, he cannot, even now, gaze on these goodly scenes without emotions of awe and delight.

There are so many parts of North and South Wales, which alone would exhaust the powers of the most eloquent speaker, or the most enthusiastic writer, in their description, that it will be but common prudence in me to confine my present remarks to this fairy scene. Leaving Cader Idris, and the Peak of Snowdon, whence may be seen at once Wales, England, Scotland, and Ireland; and where

"The increasing prospect tires our wandering eyes; Hills high o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise."

Leaving the vales of Dyffryn, Clwyd, and Llangollen; the lakes of Bala and Llyn Ogwen; the falls of the Cynfall and Dovey; the castles of Powys, Conway, and Carnarvon; and the far-famed Menai Bridge, where science and enterprise have been seen to

"Raise the tall pier, extend the massy chain,
And lead the millions o'er the subject main;
Alike serenely when the tempest roars,

And when the placid waters greet the shores."

Leaving all these, let me shortly describe, in such manner as I may, surrounded by all that is huge and awful, turbulent and terrible in natural scenery, the far-famed fairy-land of Devil's Bridge.

Dark traditions, and dark unearthly stories, are yet perpetuated concerning the place; and truly its general character is well adapted to call forth the wonder, and excite the imagination, of those who are far better educated than the olden inhabitants of this rocky domain. The most sober and probable account of the Devil's Bridge, so far as its name is concerned, is this: when the monks of Ystrad Fflur abbey, situated near the source of the Tivy, had succeeded in flinging the bridge Pont y Monach (bridge of the monks) across the fearful rent in the earth,

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