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“ Then, cruel maid,” cried Dunalbion, drawing his sword, “this instant will I die ; for since thou abhorrest me, life cannot longer be endured.”
“O, for the love of mercy!” exclaimed Utha, “put up frightful weapon and convey us first, as you promised, from these infernal dwellings of men-eaters in safety to our own country, and then you may come back and give up your carcass, as soon as you please, for the benefit of your hungry companions.
“And wouldst thou die, Dunalbion,” said the princess, “and leave me here a prey to these thy wild and ruthless chiefs ?-a trembling bird beneath the talons of the vulture ! O, Dunalbion, recall thy wonted tenderness to mind when we wandered together in the forest of Caer Conan, when I thought thee the gentlest, truest, fondest of thy sex, whose love for me was measureless as the heavens, and whose faithfulness was eternal as the sun that witnessed our mutual vows. Dunalbion, to thee I kneel for mercy; have some little compassion on her whom thy cruelty has hurled down from the highest pinnacle of hope and happiness to the darkest depths of wretchedness and despair. Cast me not from thy protection ; save me, save me, I beseech thee, from falling into the hands of these bloodthirsty men !"
“ Dwell here with me,” returned the chief, "and all my conquering sword can win shall be thine. My daily worship shall be devoted to thee, and all my thoughts employed to make thee blest. My love is still the truest, fondest ever felt on earth. I cannot live if thou depart from hencespeak—for life or instant death to me hang on thy pale and trembling lips."
“Ah, Dunalbion,” sighed the princess, sinking on his bosom,“ life without thee were worse a thousand times than death with torture! I will not, cannot, quit thee, stained as thou art with barbarous crimes; no, I will tarry and die in thine arms; for sure it is, if I behold that banquet of blood again, I shall expire with horror !”
“ Transporting, glorious maid, now art thou mine indeed! Never shall those lovely eyes be again blasted by such a disgusting scene! Let these glowing kisses speak the fondest admiration of thy truth and constancy, and renew the rosy tints of thy faded cheek. Thou canst not abhor those detested, cannibal feasts, on which our tribe has been wont to regale with high and revengeful delight, uttering yells of
savage triumph o'er the mangled limbs of their enemies, more than I do, Dalclutha, who have revelled and delighted in all the pure refinements and splendid scenes of Roman pomp. Forgive me, sweet princess, it was but to prove to the uttermost thy love for me, that I suffered yon horrid banquet of the dead to be prepared of those unransomed captives, doomed by warriors to fall by the sword, and my chief warriors to assemble again around a board wont to be furnished with such hideous repasts. Never shall those blood-revels of other days be again renewed among us; and though these battle-times compel us, as rovers, to make incursions among the foes by whom we are surrounded on every side, yet by my example and firmness, and the sweettoned eloquence of thy lips, we will so refine and humanize our wildly-savage tribe of wanderers, that nothing which could offend the sight and ear of the most refined Roman shall, ere long, be seen or heard within the precincts of our warlike camp.”
"O, my lord,” returned Dalclutha, “ I fear this sudden change will overpower my feelings, and I shall now expire in thine arms with joy !"
“Well do I know the trial which thou hast endured has been cruelly severe, and be assured, my pangs, Dalclutha, have equalled thine. But among the gay and voluptuous Romans I had been taught to believe that woman's love was neither strong, devoted, nor sincere; and I swore never to wed one to whose constancy I had not first given trial by the strongest and most terrible test. Thou, my own Dalclutha, hast fully proved that woman's love exceeds in height and depth,in changeless devotedness and strength, all other things beneath the sun, and thy bright triumph completes my bliss! Come, dearest maid, the Druid priests wait for us, by the heaven o'ercanopied altar of eternal fire, to join our hands. Thither let us now repair, and other banquet than that of demon-like cannibals shall crown our bridal vows.”
“There they go!" said Utha to herself; “Poor silly, silly woman! What coaxing wheedlers these men are! Well, no matter-things have turned out far better than I anticipated ; and 'tis some consolation to learn that we are no longer in danger of being roasted like bustards, or stewed down like young fawns into soup, to fill the stomachs of these voracious mountaineers. I do not think I shall now have any great objection to these tented dwellings, for they
are far more sumptuous and beautiful than the cold and dingy walls of Caer Conan castle: and then the warriors too. I like the look of these men far better than those of their smock-faced chief; they are so truly of the fine old British character and appearance. As for he—why the man looks, I declare, like a perfect chit-faced Roman; with his beardless lips, his brow as deadly white as a great pearl, and his cheek with no more colour in it than a wild rose! I wonder where my lady's eyes could have been when she made choice of such a milk-face! I wish his followers would prevail on him to have a couple of sky-blue wolves scarified into his cheeks, and a fine yellow sun emblazoned on his pale forehead, with a few stars round his broad chin; then, indeed, he would look something like a man !—Well, as these warriors are to leave off devouring their own species, they will become quite charming; exactly to my taste, and I positively think, before the night is over, that I shall get rid of all my fears, and give my hand in the dance (for of course we shall dance,) to one of the best painted among them, in honour of my lady's nuptials.”
BY J. CLARE, THE NORTHAMPTONSHIRE PEASANT.
All Nature owns with one accord
darkness smiles to wear
Till Earth, right loth the proof to miss,
Cydnebydd Anian o un vryd,
ON THE ANCIENT MONEY OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND.
BY SIR SAMUEL RUSH MEYRICK.
GENTLEMEN, ALMOST two years have elapsed since the Cymmrodorian Society proposed as a prize, the royal medal and five guineas for the best essay in English, the subject of which should be “ An inquiry into the coinage of the ancient Britons from the earliest period, but more especially from the departure of the Romans to the death of Llewelyn ab Grufydd.” I begin, therefore, to despair of the literary world obtaining any light on this subject. None but a Cambrian who is well versed in the poetry of the latter period can have at his command any probable data for this elucidation ; for if such exist at all there can be no doubt but these curious remains of private transactions are the most likely sources from which they might be expected.
By way of encouragement to your countrymen to undertake the investigation, I will trouble you with what has occurred to me on the subject, fairly confessing that I cannot entirely satisfy myself whether the Welsh princes did or did not coin money, though I am strongly inclined to believe they did. The Welsh language is so instructive in its etymons, when treated rationally, that it is a rule I have laid down in all matters connected with Cambria and ancient Britain, to try what information it may afford. When the subject is of the highest antiquity, I examine whether the name of it can by possibility be derived from the Latin, as, if so, I think myself bound, in most cases, to allow that the Britons derived it from the Romans; but if the word appears indigenous, I conceive myself fully entitled to claim it as originally British.
Now, the Welsh word for money is Arian, which shews that the pecuniary transactions were in silver; but, as it may be derived from Argentum, as many have contended, I will not assert that it is British, however I might be inclined to consider it and aur (aurum) to be Celtic words. But although I allow, with Dr. Wotton, that, among the terms for money, Punt may be derived from the Roman Pondus: Morc, from the Anglo-Saxon Mearc; Swlld, from Solidus; Dimmei, from Dimidium; and Fyrlhing, from the Anglo