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with this traveller; and though the remarks which he now communicates to the public are, for the sake of convenience of method, related as if made during one journey, we learn that they are, in fact, the result of repeated excursions into the districts to which they refer. Hasty views, therefore, -- the common defect of tourists,-cannot be attributed to Mr. D.; or at least, as being given to us under these circumstances, we ought to be justified in considering his details as free from the imperfections of superficial acquaintance with the subject.
Mr. D.'s entrance into this part of Wales calls from him a glowing and animated tribute to the prowess and bravery of its antient inhabitants, the warlike Silures; and after having given a lively sketch of Agricola's proceedings in Britain, he states that
« This skilful general was determined to rule with a strong hand, as the immediate overthrow of the Ordovices for their tenerily in cutting off a party of Roman horse that had been stationed to overawe them, not long before his arrival, prored suficiently. He entered the country with an irresistible force, and destroyed every thing before him with fire and sword; if, indeed, the testimony of the historians who relate the event can be accredited, he nearly extirpated the whole people. This striking instance of Roman vengeance : the conquest of Anglesea : the defcat of the Caledonians : and passive obedience of the other states of Britain; ail which took place within the course of the three first years of Agricola's government, must have convinced the Silures how feeble and ineffectual would have been their endeavours at such a period to burst the shackles of their servitude : they fell under the yoke of the Roman power, but they fell with honour; and submitted only, when their only safety was in sub. mission. « The Britons,” Tacitus fairly tells us at that critical epoch of time, “ are conquered, not broken hearted; reduced ta obedience, not subdued to slavery,"
We can here discover no trace of that abjectness and imbe. cility which have been represented as characteristic of the Celts. Indeed, never was an extravagant paradox confidently advanced, that received less countenance from history.
• After traversing the road for a mile beyond Crick, we came,' says the author, to the foot of the gradual ascent, upon which the poor remains of Caerwent, the Venta Silurum of the ancienta, stand.
• This place, which like Caerleon, flourished under the auspices of the Romans, was once a proud and important city: the great rival of Careleon ; or perhaps as Richard of Cirencester las suggested, at one epoch of time, even, the capital of the Silurian province. But alas ! such is the mutability of all human grandeur ; such the inefficiency of all distinction founded alone on ancient greatness, the glory of Caerwent has passed away, in the bold and impressive diction of the poet, " like the baseless fabric of a vision ;"
this pride of cities is no more : an humble village' now occupies its sci e, and mocks its memory, while it assumes the name of Caerwen!!
• Memorials of its former consequence have yet survived the ravages of ages, they yet exist in the early record of the historian ; and in the more fair hful vestiges of its ruins, that have long been known, or that are still discovered daily -- Huge fragments of its massive walls, of fallen columns, capitals and shafts of admired workmanship, tesselated pavements of singular beauty, and coins in amazing numbers ; all which, in the lapse of former ages, had been levelled with the dust, and are now occasionally discovered within its precincts, upon the removal of a few feet of earth, which has so long concealed them.'
• Under the dominion of the Romans, Caerwent received the name of Venta Silurum ; and arose, we may presume, to an eminent degree of prosperity. The scite of the old Roman city, occupies the higher ground of a very gradual acclivity: surrounded in part by walls ; or traces of masonry, the foundations of those which have fallen to decay; and appear altogether, to encluse an area of about a mile in circumference. The outline of its external figure is nearly square, with the corners rounded ; and the great Roman high way, which passes through it from east to west, divides it into two parts, that on the north side is allowed to be rather larger than the other.
• The size and form of ancient Caerwent may hence be pretty clearly ascertained. From the remaining fragments of the walls some near conclusion may be also made of the manner in which the place was originally defended : of the buildings that formerly stood within the walls, the ruins, accidentally discovered at intervals, are assuredly too obscure to authorise the most remote conjecture Caerwent, in its present state, requires a few words only to Jelineate : the area is disposed into fields and orchards, and includes a single church and parvonage house, with an inconsiderable number of small farms and cottages.
. Such is precisely the condition of modern Caerwent, and such nearly has been its state for the two preceding centuries, if we can rely on the evidence of Leland, who passed through this country, in the reign of Henry the Eighth “ Yt was,” says that writer in the language of his days, “sum time a fair and large cyte. The places where the üiii gates was, yet appere, and the most part of the wal yet standeh, but al to minischyd, and torne. In the lower part of the walle toward a little valey standeth yet the ruin of a .... * stronge. Within and abowt the waulle be a xvi or xvii smaul houses for husbondmen of a new making, and a Paroche Chirch of S. Stephyn. In the town yet appear paviments of old streates, and yn digging
• * Thia blank was never filled up in the original M.S. and neither Stow, nor either of his later annotators, have (has] supplied the desiciency. We may believe he intended to speak of the half bastions in the south wall, or perhaps of the tower of Caerwent Castle, in a valley at gome distance from the wall.'
they finde foundations of great brykos, Tessallata pavimento, e numis mala argentea simul et area Jiin v 5 f. 5.
• Leland attributes the decay of Caerwent to the increasing con. sequence and superior advantages of Chepstow, as a port in former tines " A great likelihod ys," says thið writer, " that when Cair. guent began to decay, then began Chepstow to fiorisch, for it stand. eth far better as upon Wy, there ebbyng and flowing by the rage cumming out of Severn. So that to Chepstowe may come greate shyppes."
The walls which are still seen at this place ' are more perfect and more considerable, than the remains of any other similar Roman structure, either in Monmouthshire or the Principality.'
• The field below the southern wall, or rather adjoining to it, we observed in passing onward, to be abundantly bestrewed with those fragments of half-smeltcd iron ore, which are known among the in. habitants of this place by the name of Roman cinders. These, when found in plenty in any particular situation, convenient for the Purpose of the Roman smelters, are believed, and perhaps not Wiimui ufficient reason, to indicate the scite of some one of their an en boneries; a conjecture, it will be highly pardonable to in. dulze, in the present case, at least when we consider the relative po. sili in of the field in which they lie, to an ancient station possessed undoub-edly by the Romans. The ore itself was not probably found near the spot, but the mineral riches of the county is [are) well known to consist chiefly in coal and iron; and the latter might be therefore brought at a comparatively small expence from the mweɛ, only a few miles distant, in order to be smelted at the Roman works established on this spot The appearance of these cinders, as they are termed, replete with a large proportion of very excellent metal, naturally excites a question in the mind of the observer, whether these were in
reality the refuse of the Roman smelting works in the time alluded . to, oi nut: if they were not designed to undergo any further process,
with the view of extracting the ore they still contained, it festifies beyond a doubt, that to whatever degree of erainence, and skill, the Romans had arrived in other arts, that of smelting still remained in a staie of infancy.'
Of the famous Caerleon, we have the following particulars :
• The flourishing condition of Caerleon at some remote period of time, is so'well attested by the numerous memorials of its humbled grandeur, at this day visible, that it would be absurd to dispute the fact; and scepticism the most unpardonable to distrust entirely the evidence of those, who, but a few centuries ago, saw much more of these remains, than are at present to be observed.--Such was its extent, according to tradition, that the city, with the suburbs ga both sides of the river, covered a tract of country nine miles in circumference ; extending from the present town as far as Christ Church and St Julian's, in a south and westerly direction. To this the doggerel metre of the old poet alludes,
“ The citie reacht to Creetchurch than,
And to Saint Gillyans both :
CHURCHYARD. This space of ground is now converted into fields, besprinkled with a few gardens and little cottages. The vast profusion of broken bricks, stones, and other building materials, that lie scattered in the earth at a considerable distance beyond the precincts of the present town, leave us no reason to doubt that the suburbs once extend. ed very
; whether to the limits which tradition mentions, is ant quite so certain. -Great quantities of Roman bricks, coins, and jas, per tesseræ have been discovered, according to Mr. Coxe, botki at St. Julian's and Penros, but this proves very little : such remains may only mark the stations of some magnificent Roman villas, that were sicuated remote from the town., , On.che other hand, it is not to be forgotten, that the vestiges of ancient buildings are every where perceptible in the fields that lie on this side of the city-walls to a considerable distance; and it is even possible that the streets of the suburbs might have once extended thus far.'
While treating of this place, Mr. D. is led to speak of its renowned resident Arthur, of whose existence and fame he is a defender. The mention of him, indeed, by Llywarch Hen, and the other early British poets, seems to be decisive on the point. Llywarch calls him an Emperor, using the term apparently in a figurative sense, as indicative of the superior prowess of the chieftain. Mr. Gibbon's disquisition on this topic is in his best manner, and highly satisfactory.
Having lately very minutely noticed the ample information with respect to the interesting county of Glamorgan which has been given by Mr. Malkin *, we find nothing that is particularly worthy of attention in the pages now before us that has escaped the author's predecessor,
The adjoining county of Carmarthen, however, seems to have struck Mr. Malkin less that it affects travellers in general, and than it seems to have done in the case of Mr. Donovan. Its scenery, its monuments of past grandeur, and the recollection of celebrated and renowned personages who once illustrated it, rouse the enthusiasm of this author, and occasion him to speak of it in the language of rapture. Mr. Donovan is an able naturalist, but it appears that he does not deern it incumbent on him to be accurate in respect to geography and civil history. He every where dignifies Caermarthen with the name of city, while in reality, though complimented as the metropolis of South Wales, it is no more than a simple borough.-Thus advantageously does he describe his approach to the capital of the *antient Britons :
. See Rev. Vol. xlyi. N. S. j. 2.16.
Thc • The eye wanders with an emotion of infioite delight across a charmi g extent of country, as our road winds down the hill towards the vale of lowey, in the midst of which the city of Caermarthen stands embosomes. Fancy had nor anticipated too much from the imperfect glimpse the summit of those hills afforded of it. The vaic unfolds a prospect of unrivalled beauty, placid, open, lovely, and luxuriant : combining the milder attributes of landscape with an air of digniry and features of magniticence. Such a scene Light inspire he muse to a bolder flight of energetic diction ; sure, we may exclain,
- Some rural deity
“ Yes, some advan god Spreads wide the varied prospect; waves the woods,
Lifts the proud hills; did clears the silụer stream.” • (acrmarthen city, a small one truly, considered as the capital of South Waes, rises upon the ascerit of a gradual eminence, at the font of which rolls the full flowing stream of the silver Towey, a river that may be observed for in les from the hills we just descended; for after passing Caermarthen, it waves its course through a fine open country to the southward, which it fertilizes, and enlivens in a peculiar manner, till its waiers fall into the Bristol channel, about ten miles distant.'
As the term city much better suits the lively and flattering description of the tourist, we regret that our duty obliges us to interpose the unsuitable correction which we have offered.
Though the famed Merlin, and the renowned Sir Rhys ap Thomas, and the legislator of Cambria, Howel Dha, illustrate the records of this county, the consideration of them is postponed by the present tourist, in order to pay the first tribute to a knight of the pen, Sir Richard Steele; and perhaps a fellow feeling will not permit us severely to arraign him tor this violation of etiquette. He may probably be of opinion that the author of the Conscious Lovers bequeathed a more valuable legacy to posterity, than any of the other personages to whom we have alluded. The account has interested us, and it appears to communicate some new particulars.
• There is a certain share of celebrity attached to the city of Caermarthen, for having been, during a period of some years, the retreat of that eninent literary character, Sir Richard Steele, once the friend of Swift and Addison, and editor of the Spectator.
• Towards the close of an active life, devoted chic fly to his voluminous periodical concerns, and the services of the dramatic muse, he was compelled to retire, iu no very easy circumstances, to a small estate in the vale of Towey, he had before acquired by his marriage