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happy to quit this inauspicious island, where fortune had not been over prodigal to us of her favours. The road from this ferry to Caernarvon, winds along the shores of the Menai, and the scenery would have amply repayed me for the fatigue and mortification I had undergone, had I then been in a humour to have enjoyed it; but true it is, that when we cannot enjoy ourfelves, we are not much disposed to be fatisfied with any thing around us ; the finest objects lose their beauty; and what at other times would have afforded the highest gratification, are in those hours deprived of their relish. We reached Caernarvon, or Caer-ar-fon (fignifying a walled town), to breakfast; and it was not until I had eaten, or rather devoured, a certain quantity of toast and butter, that I began to recover the accustomed tone of my spirits. I intended to have closed this letter with an account of our transactions as far as the time of our departure from this place; but must defer the remainder till my, next, for some particular business has fallen upon my hands, which obliges me for the present to subscribe myself,
Tan y Bwlch, July 24, 1794. Of all the ruins which Wales has yet presented to me, the castle of Caernarvon is the most noble and magnificent. “ Vast as the pride of its founder,” it evinces the warlike and invincible genius of the first Edward, of whose military prowess this country, as well as Scotland, furnish such numerous and melancholy proofs. Thank heaven, these fabricks of despotism are at length either levelled with the ground, or present a memorable lesson to mankind of the futility of human ambition.
This castle was erected in order to secure the passage into the Isle of Anglesea, and to curb the people of the mountains, where the brave and hardy Britons had taken refuge from their insulting conquerors, resolved to prefer freedom and independance to ease and servitude. The eldest son of Edward was born here, and he was presented to the Welsh as their future prince. Such enormous buildings, abstractedly considered, excite only my abhorrence; because they have occasioned the exercise of a great deal of tyranny, and useless expence, and have been of no possible advantage to any nation; but have, on the contrary, afforded so many asylums wherein the sword of tyranny might take shelter ; and were chiefly calculated to keep the surrounding districts in awe and subjection. Every castle that now remains is a monument of shame to our ancestors, and of the ignoble bondage under which they bent: and hence in part arises that satisfaction, which the
mind is conscious of feeling, in contemplating their ruins ; for an association naturally takes place; and the recollection of the feudal vassalage and slavery of former days; is accompanied by the pleasing circumstances of the relative prosperity and freedom which we now enjoy. From this place we made a party of three, and crossed once more into Anglesea, where my ill stars seemed to have pre-ordained that I should meet with nothing but misfortunes. One of my companions was a very skilful botanist, and his botanical furor induced him at all times to despise danger and difficulty, when in pursuit of a favourite plant, and this was the object of our present enterprize; but we had scarcely set foot on that inhospitable fhore, before it began to rain with great violence, and very soon growing dark, we were obliged to make the best of our