‘You know best,’ said I; ‘but I don’t believe that fairies are devils, and I don’t wish to hear them insulted. What learned men have said they are devils?’

‘Many have said it, young man, and, amongst others, Master Ellis Wyn, in that wonderful book of his, the BARDD CWSG.’

‘The BARDD CWSG,’ said I; ‘what kind of book is that? I have never heard of that book before.’

‘Heard of it before; I suppose not; how should you have heard of it before? By the bye, can you read?’

‘Very tolerably,’ said I; ‘so there are fairies in this book. What do you call it - the BARDD CWSG?’

‘Yes, the BARDD CWSG. You pronounce Welsh very fairly; have you ever been in Wales?’

‘Never,’ said I.

‘Not been in Wales; then, of course, you don’t understand Welsh; but we were talking of the BARDD CWSG - yes, there are fairies in the BARDD CWSG, - the author of it, Master Ellis Wyn, was carried away in his sleep by them over mountains and valleys, rivers and great waters, incurring mighty perils at their hands, till he was rescued from them by an angel of the Most High, who subsequently showed him many wonderful things.’

‘I beg your pardon,’ said I, ‘but what were those wonderful things?’

‘I see, young man,’ said Peter, smiling, ‘that you are not without curiosity; but I can easily pardon any one for being curious about the wonders contained in the book of Master Ellis Wyn. The angel showed him the course of this world, its pomps and vanities, its cruelty and its pride, its crimes and deceits. On another occasion, the angel showed him Death in his nether palace, surrounded by his grisly ministers, and by those who are continually falling victims to his power. And, on a third occasion, the state of the condemned in their place of everlasting torment.’

‘But this was all in his sleep,’ said I, ‘was it not?’

‘Yes,’ said Peter, ‘in his sleep; and on that account the book is called GWELEDIGAETHAU Y BARDD CWSG, or, VISIONS OF THE SLEEPING BARD.’

‘I do not care for wonders which occur in sleep,’ said I. ‘I prefer real ones; and perhaps, notwithstanding what he says, the man had no visions at all - they are probably of his own invention.’

‘They are substantially true, young man,’ said Peter; ‘like the dreams of Bunyan, they are founded on three tremendous facts, Sin, Death, and Hell; and like his they have done incalculable good, at least in my own country, in the language of which they are written. Many a guilty conscience has the BARDD CWSG aroused with its dreadful sights, its strong sighs, its puffs of smoke from the pit, and its showers of sparks from the mouth of the yet lower gulf of - Unknown - were it not for the BARDD CWSG perhaps I might not be here.’

‘I would sooner hear your own tale,’ said I, ‘than all the visions of the BARDD CWSG.’

Peter shook, bent his form nearly double, and covered his face with his hands. I sat still and motionless, with my eyes fixed upon him. Presently Winifred descended the hill, and joined us. ‘What is the matter?’ said she, looking at her husband, who still remained in the posture I have described. He made no answer; whereupon, laying her hand gently on his shoulder, she said, in the peculiar soft and tender tone which I had heard her use on a former occasion, ‘Take comfort, Peter; what has happened now to afflict thee?’ Peter removed his hand from his face. ‘The old pain, the old pain,’ said he; ‘I was talking with this young man, and he would fain know what brought me here, he would fain hear my tale, Winifred - my sin: O pechod Ysprydd Glan! O pechod Ysprydd Glan!’ and the poor man fell into a more fearful agony than before. Tears

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