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THE remarks made in a Tour through North Wales having met with a very flattering reception, it was suggested by friends, that unless I paid an equal attention to South Wales, I should justly stand charged with partiality to one part of the principality: especially
especially as I had traversed both with similar views of information and research.
I have been thus induced to submit the following observations on a very important part of the country to the public view ; fully sensible that if they possess any claim to attention it must be found in accuracy of investigation, and faithfulness of description. Most of them having been made with the objects in sight; and while present at the places to which they refer. If it should be urged, that many have travelled over this country, and that even Gleaning's have been published on the beauty of its scenery, and the peculiarity of its customs, I must reply by an observation made on a former occasion. Every man sees, or fancies that he sees, something unobserved before, and that error is detected, and truth confirmed by plenitude of information. In describing a beaten tract the utmost caution is necessary to escape animadversion; and if in such a case the description should possess any novelty, the author cannot justly be charged with indolence or inattention.
It may be added that few have travelled over this country in a scientific view : little therefore has been added to the stock of general information, which
Preface. Wales, from its numerous productions, it calculated to afford. The remarks of those who have travelled for pleasure have generally partaken of the nature of their motives; and the inaccuracy of their descriptions has, too often, resembled the rapidity of their steps. Useful travel has a twofold object. It endeavours to benefit the country it visits, while it labours to accumulate advantages for its own.
If in ascertaining facts I have sometimes slightly ánimadverted upon authors, who fancy themselves entitled to more veneration and respect, and who conceive I have been too free with their works, I say, disclaiming every idea of personality, “ Amicus Plato, Amicus Socrates, sed magis amica Veritas.”
The detail of castles and battles may, to the superficial reader, appear tedious and dull; but it was impossible for a mind awake to the reminiscence of the past not to advert to such eventful periods; and with the proud remains of other times in view not to recur to such extraordinary transactions.
The investigation of antiquities of a still moro early date, if not calculated to please, are interesting in a more important view; as tending to illustrate the obscure parts of British history; ushering into view facts mistated or suppressed ; raising up heroes inadvertently or politically consigned to oblivion ; and thus giving to historic truth its just celebrity. In this respect the otherwise puerile knowledge termed numismatology rises into consequence in the scale of science. For any digression of this nature therefore utility must be my apology.
Fine view from the Gam-Superstitious pilgrimage to a tomb
in Christ-church--Newport-Tale of Mrs. Williams-Its cas-
Neath, its castle and abbey-Gnoll Castle-Observation on arti-
ficial rivers-Cadoxton-Pedigree of the Williams's family-
-Pont Nedd Vychan-British fortifications-Various water-
marble--Swansea-Origin of the name-Its Castle, Abbey
Llanelly-Iron works-Its Priory--Cidwelly-Its Castle-Prowess
of Gwenllian, wife of Gryffydd ap Rhys-New town, coal works