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he was on very rugged ground, and probably out of
track. In this dilemma imagination, ever active in magnifying concealed danger, pictured my situation as tottering on the brink of some such chasm as that of the Devil's bridge. Here I might have exclaimed with Ossian's Colma :-“ It is night; I am alone, forlorn on the hill of storms. The wind is heard on the Mountains; the torrent shrieks down the rock. No hut receives me from the rain; forlorn on the hill of winds.” But to remain under such apprehensions were worse than to encounter danger, and I slowly moved on in almost total darkness ; until, making a sudden turn, I beheld the tops of the neighbouring hills illumined in a strange manner. In a few moments a gleam of light, transmitted by reflection through an opening in some trees, shone on my track, and discovered a dark huge figure standing at my horse's head. I was scarcely collected from my surprize when my bridle was forcibly arrested, and a loud but unintelligible voice seemed to demand that I should stop, Already was I conceiving how to repel the attack, when the man, observing that I did not understand Welch, civilly accosted me
in imperfect English, and assured me that I was on the edge of a precipice. Nor did he leave me with this service, but kindly led my horse to the little village of Pont-Y-PRIDD, then within a short distance. Here, while regaling over a mug of ale, my conductor accounted for the light that surprized me : it proceeded from an immense bonfire of a party of colliers in some distant mountains, rejoicing at the blessing of peace. At this place I determined to fix my quarters ; nor could the offer of a guide and lanthorn, to conduct me to the superior accommodation of the Bridgewater arms, induce me to tempt again the dangers of the night, or quit the coarse barley bread, salt butter, and miserable beer of the village alehouse.
Early in the morning my companion rejoined me, when we visited Pont-y-pridd, the celebrated bridge of Glamorganshire, This extraordinary piece of masonry consists of a single arch, whose chord is 147 feet, thrown across the Taffe. William Edward, an ingenious mason of this country, who built it, failed in two preceding attempts, which would have proved his ruin; but the gentry in the neighbourhood laudably sup
ported his ingenuity, although at first unsuccessfully exerted, and enabled him to complete the present structure. The great beauty of this arch arises from the simplicity of its construction, and indeed froin its very defect as a roadway; for the passage over the bridge is not sloped away into the adjoining roads, as it might be; but precipitately descends on each side, following the line of the arch. This circumstance, and its being defended with only a very low parapet, gives the bridge a remarkably light appearance. Situated in a romantic hollow, and abruptly jetting from the bold woody banks of the river, it looks a magic bow thrown across by the hands of fairies.
Two waterfalls in this neighbourhood deserve notice. One occurs about half a mile above the bridge. We proceeded to it through a delightful sylvan path on the bank of the river, and under the beetling brow of Craig-er-esk. The river is seen for a considerable distance struggling through a region of rocks, which in some places rise in large masses above its surface, and in others appear through the transparency of the stream shelving to a considerable depth; wearing
throughout throughout the odd appearance of a vast assemblage of cubes, variously heaped, but with one face constantly horizontal : at length the river breaks over a compact strata ; yet only in a fall of eight or ten feet, which is divided into several streams. The white foam of the river, and the light grey tint of the rocks, afford a strong contrast to the mixed verdure and dark shadows of its banks; but upon the whole the subject is rather to be noticed for its singularity than for any leading points of picturesque beauty. More agreeably composed appeared to us the other cascade of the tributary river Rhayder, about two miles distant from the bridge. The dark rocks that occasion the fall; the surrounding craigs; the light and pendant foliage that adorns them, and the vigorous trees that emerge from the banks, are all disposed with the utmost symmetry, and form a highlypleasing picture, though of inconsiderable dimensions.
THORNHILL CARDIFF CASTLE EC-
FROM Pont-y-pridd we made another excursion toward Merthyr-tidvill'; less to witness the lately-acquired importance of the town in consequence of the great iron-works established in its neighbourhood, than to trace the beauties of the Taffe through its romantic valley. At one time, a towering hill completely mantled with wood lifted its shaggy summit to the clouds; in succession, naked rocks perpendicularly descended to the water; or, through favoured hollows, a stripe of green meadow would gently slope and mix its verdure with the stream.