Myths and Folk-Lore of Ireland/Dedication

 
 

Major J. W. POWELL, LL.D.,


Of Harvard and Heidelberg,


Chief of the Geological Survey of the United States, Director of the Bureau of Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.


Sir,—

You inherit the name and possibly the blood of one of the great lawgivers of Europe,—Howell Dda, or Howell the Good, of Wales. The name has come down to us in three forms, I believe,—Powell (shortened from Ap Howell, son of Howell), Howell, and Howells.

The Welsh or Kymric people, whether at home, or abroad, are famous for devotion to letters and the effectual and tender care with which they have guarded and cherished the language of their fathers,—a language which contains so much that is beautiful, so much that it would be a sin to let die.

In many States of our Union the Kymri meet at great festivals, where they contend for rewards of literary excellence with a spirit which gives them a place of peculiar distinction among men who have settled America.

In their native land, Welshmen have maintained their intellectual integrity with such resolution and success that the great English statesman of the age, in noting this fact, has described the people, with their country, in three words which will be associated henceforth with the name of William Ewart Gladstone.

These three words are, "Gallant little Wales."

To you, a distinguished American of Kymric descent, I beg to inscribe this my first contribution to the ancient lore of the Kelts, because you are deeply devoted to the early history of man, and because through you I wish to express my respect for the people of Wales, whose action deserves to be studied and weighed by their kinsmen, the Gael of Alba and Erin.

Jeremiah Curtin.

Cascade Mountains,
State of Washington,
Nov. 30, 1889.