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province of Dyved, in South Wales, and in that of Powys, in North Wales, respectively, a short time previous to the revival of this Institution. And, since that period, two other associations, of a similar nature, have arisen in the remaining provinces of Gwynedd and Gwent*. During the last four years these societies have held annual meetings, alternately, in their respective districtst, at which considerable attention has been paid, and with no slight success, to the cultivation of the national music and poetry, an object which seems, as yet, to have formed the main concern of these provincial establishments ; but their ulterior views, as already noticed, have reference to the general patronage of Welsh literature in its loftier and more interesting departments.
It was on the 24th of June, 1820, that the first meeting for the formation of the CYMMRODORION took place at the Freemasons' Tavern; and it was attended by many distinguished and respectable individuals connected with the
Gwynedd and Powys, in North Wales, and Dyoed and Gwent, in South Wales, were the four ancient provinces of Wales; but the particular counties, appropriated to each on the present occasion, do not precisely agree with the former divisions. For the purpose of the national associations above noticed, the several provinces are thus composed :-Dyded, of the counties of Cardigan, Caermarthen, and Pembroke; Gwent, of those of Glamorgan, Brecon, Radnor, and Monmouth; Gwynedd, of Anglesey, Caernarvon, and Merioneth ; and Powys, of Montgomery, Denbigh, and Flint.
+ The several provincial anniversaries, here alluded to, were held in the following order:—that for Dyved, at Caer en, on the 8th of July, 1819 ; that for Powys, at Wrexham, on the 13th of September, 1820 ; that for Gwynedd, at Caernarvon, on the 12th of September, 1821; and that for Gwent, at Brecon, on the 25th of September, 1822. To these meetings the name of Eisteddvodau, or Bardic Sessions, was given; and it was intended, that they should not merely be confined to the respective districts in which they were held, but that each division should, in its turn, be considered as representing the whole Principality. Although one day only is above appropriated to each meeting, it may be proper to mention that, in every case, the Eisteddood continued for three or four days, during which the interest, so extensively evinced by individuals of all ranks in the celebration of their national festival, is worthy of particular praise.
Principality. Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, Bart. was, on this occasion, unanimously elected President of the Institution; and the following Resolutions, declaratory of its views, werey among others of a less public nature, at the same time, adopted.
I. That the Language and Literature of Wales are eminently worthy of cultivation, and that it is, therefore, highly desirable, that a Literary Institution, connected with this object, be established in London.
II. That, accordingly, the Society of CYMMRODORION, instituted in 1751, be revived, and that this Meeting do form itself into such Society, under the designation of the “ CYMMRODORION, or METROPOLITAN CAMBRIAN INSTITUTION."
III. That this Institution be in connection with the Societies already established in Wales for the same purpose, and that it be considered as forming a point of union between those Societies.
IV. That it shall be the paramount aim of this Institution to preserve and illustrate the ancient Remains of Welsh Literature, and to promote its cultivation in the present day by all the means in their power. V. That this end is to be most effectually securedFirst.-By collecting ancient Welsh Manuscripts, or copies thereof;
or, where that is impracticable, by procuring accurate Catalogues of
all such as are now known to exist. Secondly. By collecting such printed Books in the Welsh or any other
language, as are connected with Wales or its Literature, or with the
Essays on Welsh History and Literature, to be read at the General
Meetings of the Institution.
nal Compositions, as may be deemed worthy thereof; and, also, by
By promoting and encouraging such modern works of merit, as may tend to disseminate a knowledge of the History and Literature
of the Principality. Sixthly.-By corresponding with the Provincial Societies on these sub
jects, and by such other communications with individuals of learning and talent, as may conduce to the attainment of the ends contemplated by the Institution.
On the 2d of July following, the CYMMRODORION were honoured by His Majesty's patronage, most graciously communicated to the President, through Sir Benjamin Bloomfield; and thus, all that was necessary to give to the Society an acknowledged existence and a determinate character, was fortunately obtained; while its patriotic objects were to have the advantage of being pursued under the favouring auspices of the royal sanction.
During the two years that have elapsed since the establishment of this Institution, its proceedings have been, necessarily, rather of a preliminary nature than otherwise, confined, for the most part, to such arrangements and resolutions, as were to form the basis of its more effective exertions. However, even in this short space of time, some advantages to the cause of Cambrian literature have been achieved. The most important of these is the acquisition of a large body of Welsh MSS. in
prose and poetry, which had been the property of the late Mr. Owen Jones, by whom they were collected, and were recently in the possession of his widow. These have been purchased by the CYMMRODORION; and a complete Catalogue of them will be found at the close of this work. The particular object of the Society in making this purchase is, by a selection of the more interesting productions, to add another volume to that valuable national work the ARCHAIOLOGY OF WALES; and it would be difficult to point out any mode, at present within the attainment of the Institution, whereby the cause under consideration could be more essentially served.
In addition to what has just been noticed, the CYMMRODORION have, also, at their two anniversary meetings, rewarded, with prizes, the authors of the two best Welsh poems on certain given subjects, as well as of an English Essay on the Cultivation of the Welsh Tongue; and all the successful productions will be found in the following pages. At the last Anniversary * an effort was, likewise, made to give encouragement to the na
* On the 22d May, 1822.
tional music, both vocal and instrumental, by the establishment of a concert, peculiarly dedicated to this national purpose. And, from the success with which it was attended; there is reason to believe that future experiments, of a similar nature, might prove auxiliary to the more important views of the Institution.
Such have hitherto been the chief operations of the CYMMRODORION, and to which they are now about to add the publication of the FIRST VOLUME of their TRANSACTIONS. For, with respect to the REPORT, published last year, and referred to in the ensuing pages, it related rather to the mere Proceedings of the Society than to any thing more immediately allied with the essential objects of its foundation. Two productions, only, of this character were inserted in it, and these it has been judged advisable to transfer to the present work. Thus, the public will have in their possession all that the CYMMRODORION have, as yet, been the means of producing in reference to the cultivation of Welsh literature, or of the historical and antiquarian knowledge, of which it is the repository. And it may confidently be hoped, that those who are disposed to take pleasure in such pursuits will not rise wholly unsatisfied from the entertainment here set before them. But if, amidst the following miscellaneous collection, the critical reader should discover any of those imperfections,
QUAS AUT INCURIA FUDIT,
bis indulgence may unpresumingly be solicited, on account of the novelty of a work, which, at the same time that it may claim the merit, is, also, exposed to the disadvantage, of combining the first gleanings of any public association in this retired walk of intellectual research.
A defence might here, without difficulty, be offered of the particular objects, for the attainment of which this Institution was formed, were it not certain that, by the liberal and enlightened, such a vindication can never be required; while, on
the other hand, to those of an opposite character no arguments, of whatever weight, would carry the desired conviction. The former will not judge without a trial: the latter will, too probably, condemn, in defiance of the most powerful testimony. No alternative remains, then, but to entreat of those, who may take up this volume with any friendly feelings, that their decision may, at least, be founded on a candid and attentive perusal.
J. H. PARRY, Editor.