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Uppingham by the Sea a Narrative of the Year at Borth   By: (1848-1923)

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UPPINGHAM BY THE SEA.

A Narrative of the Year at Borth.

BY J. H. S.

[Greek text].

London: MACMILLAN AND CO.

1878. [ All Rights reserved .]

CHARLES DICKENS AND EVANS, CRYSTAL PALACE PRESS.

EDUARDO THRING,

SCHOLAE UPPINGHAMIENSIS CONDITORI ALTERI , OB CIVES SERVATOS :

ET

MAGISTRIS ADJUTORIBUS, QUI, SALUTE COMMUNI IN ULTIMUM ADDUCTA DISCRIMEN, DE RE PUBLICA NON DESPERAVERUNT.

PREFACE.

In the spring of 1876 and of 1877, letters under the heading "Uppingham by the Sea" were published in The Times newspaper, and were read with interest by friends of the school. We have thought the following narrative would be best introduced to those readers under a name already pleasantly familiar to them, and have borrowed, with the writer's permission, the title of his sketches for our own more detailed account of the same events.

The readers whom we have in view will demand no apology for the attempt to supply a circumstantial record of so memorable an episode in the school's history. It deserves indeed an abler historian; but one qualification at any rate may be claimed by the present writer: an eye witness from first to last, but a minor actor only in the scenes he chronicles, he enjoyed good opportunities of watching the play, and risks no personal modesty in relating what he saw.

The best purpose of the narrative will have been served if any Uppingham boy, as he reads these pages, finds in them a new reason for loyalty to the society whose name he bears.

JUNE 27TH, 1878, FOUNDER'S DAY.

CHAPTER I. EXILES, OLD AND NEW.

" O what have we ta'en ?" said the fisher prince , " What have we ta'en this morning's tide ? Get thee down to the wave , my carl , And row me the net to the meadow's side ."

In he waded, the fisher carl , And " Here ," quoth he , " is a wondrous thing ! A cradle , prince , and a fair man child , Goodly to see as the son of a king !"

The fisher prince he caught the word , And " Hail ," he cried , " to the king to be ! Stranger he comes from the storm and the night ; But his fame shall wax, and his name be bright , While the hills look down on the Cymry sea ."

FINDING OF TALIESIN.

Elphin, son of Gwyddno, the prince who ruled the coasts between the Dovey and the Ystwith, came down on a May day morning to his father's fishing weir. All that was taken that morning was to be Elphin's, had Gwyddno said. Not a fish was taken that day; and Elphin, who was ever a luckless youth, would have gone home empty handed, but that one of his men found, entangled in the poles of the weir, a coracle, and a fair child in it. This was none other than he who was to be the father of Cymry minstrelsy, and whom then and there his rescuers named Taliesin, which means Radiant Brow. His mother, Ceridwen, seeking to be rid of her infant, but loath to have the child's blood on her head, had launched him in this sea proof cradle, to take the chance of wind and wave. The spot where he came to land bears at this day the name of Taliesin. On the hill top above it men show the grave where the bard reposes and "glories in his namesake shore."

There is something magnetic in a famous site: it attracts again a like history to the old stage. Thirteen centuries and a half after the finding of Taliesin, the same shore became once again an asylum for other outcasts, whose fortunes we propose to chronicle.

But since the day when they drifted to land the cradle of the bard, the waves have ebbed away from Gwyddno's weir, and left a broad stretch of marsh and meadow between it and the present coast, where stands the fishing village of Borth. The village fringes the sea line with half a mile of straggling cottages; but the eye is caught at once by a massive building of white stone, standing at the head of the long street, and forming a landmark in the plain... Continue reading book >>




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