Owen Jones to Iolo Morganwg, 11 July 1779
(NLW 21281E, Letter 226)
Owen Jones to Iolo Morganwg
11 July 1779
Address: Mr Iorwerth Gwilym Bardd Postmark: none
Source: NLW 21281E, no. 226
London 11th. July 1779
My kind friend,
This is the first opportunity I have had to acknowledge my debt to you for your acceptable present, namely the cywyddau &c. You said that you have written more than one letter with me in mind, but that they displeased you; since I know that there must have been sense, amusement and instruction in them I feel their loss. In his list of the works of the Bards Moses Williams attributes the cywydd which begins like this
"Do they know more of my object?" to O. Ll. Moel;
"The faultless girl, sweet goddess" to Bedo Brwynllys;
and for the other two, he did not know who wrote them, but there is no doubt that one of them is Dafydd's work and that it is a very sweet cywydd which he sang after he had stolen Morfydd from her husband. Siôn Ceiriog and Robin Ddu greet you with a cywydd which they made about the meat knife to repay you for your poem. Here is a cywydd for you which is not in the collection of the work of Dafydd ap Gwilym which I received from Doctor Roberts of Dolgellau and if I knew that there was anything else in my possession that would do you good or give you pleasure I would send it to you immediately. I sent to Mr Walters the history of the 24 kings who built the fortresses of the Island of Britain. This is a valuable story according to Lewis Morris in his Celtic Remains. If I had the time I would present you with a copy of it, but I know that you can easily get hold of one from the Rector. I received a letter recently from the Reverend Mr Thomas asking for a copy of the `Conceit of Einion son of Gwalchmai'. I do not have any more of Einion's work except what is to be found in Ieuan Hir's book. If you have the Conceit, please be so kind as to send it to me or Mr Walters may well have it. Mr Thomas is busily translating the `Gododdin', `Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd's Conceit' &c.
When you find yourself at leisure I would be pleased to receive a letter from you. I have no news at all that is worth the mention. Mr Morris's son is busily preparing the Celtic Remains for publication next winter, and I can warrant you that it is a copious and learned work. Is there any work underway in south Wales which might be of benefit to the language and the country?
I did tentatively enquire whether I might borrow the collection of the work of the old bards from Mr Walters. What do you say about this? If you get an opportunity, try and gauge his feeling about this.
Our friend Ceiriog is improving most excellently in his knowledge of the language and poetry and he has ingenious notions about the music &c. You will perhaps remember hearing that Mr Morris owned a book of the old British music which is now in the hands of Doctor Burney, and if he can interpret it he promises to set out a great deal of it in his general history of the art of music. I will write at greater length to you next time. You will see clearly in this letter that I have but very little time to write at present.
I am your sincere friend,