Illuminations: An Anthology of Welsh Short Prose

By Meic Stephens | Go to book overview

down; the only work he does better is to put up others in their place, and before them he prostrates himself utterly. He is full of the virtues and weaknesses of a man who is still growing. He cannot be ignored, for when he is aroused, he is dangerous. Scorned by many, he often forgets that his worst enemy is the man who stands on his shoulders in order to be seen.

This 'man in the street' is an important, interesting fellow. Though the world does not always recognize his worth, there could be no world without him. His heart is not far from being in the right place; he knows what it is to give his scant pennies for the building of a college, and to endeavour to provide a better chance for his children. He is a man, though not famous, who will often be found among the heroes of the hidden places.

It has been said more than once that he is not to be seen among the high and mighty. The level ground is where he dwells, and he enjoys neither reputation nor praise. Nevertheless, we have taken care at least once to accord him an honourable place in the company of the nation's great. At Westminster Abbey in London — the burial place of the famous — the tomb of the unknown soldier is to be seen. He is 'the man in the street', and he was never found in a more dignified spot. Whatever else is said about him, when the call comes he can die as well as the next man.

Dydd Calan ( Foyle, 1921)


Old Dent

T. Gwynn Jones

Old Dent, that's what we all called him, always, because none of us had ever seen him wearing a hat that didn't have a peculiar dent in it. I used to have difficulty understanding how he was able to make exactly the same kind of dent in every hat he wore. But I came to understand later. He never bought a new hat, I'm sure of it, all the eight years I lived in the district.

He was the son of a well-to-do farmer, and the family lived in one of the most fertile valleys of North Wales. His father belonged to that

-31-

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Illuminations: An Anthology of Welsh Short Prose
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • The Village School 1
  • Fear of the Sea 7
  • A Windy Night 9
  • The Late Lemuel Parry, Esq., J.P., O.B.E. 12
  • On Drowning a Cat 18
  • The House Across the Way 21
  • Weobley and St. Emilion 25
  • The Man in the Street 28
  • Old Dent 31
  • On Collecting Roads 34
  • 'their Land They Shall Lose' 42
  • The Red Flag 46
  • Strolling Players 50
  • One Sunday Afternoon 57
  • Salem 61
  • A Trip to the Circus 63
  • Thoughts on Coronation Day, 1953 68
  • From the Pulpit 72
  • How to Choose and Treat a Wife 77
  • To the Mountain 83
  • The Imperative Upon Me 88
  • Disenchantment 92
  • The Hiring Fair 94
  • The Man at Chapel House 97
  • Question and Answer 102
  • The Little Llandeilo Boots 105
  • My Last Day in Prison 108
  • A Discovery 118
  • A Land of Romance 121
  • Hi-Ho! 129
  • Ancestors 133
  • While Shaving 138
  • Of Time and Distance 141
  • A Methodist Deacon's Advice 146
  • Of Violets and Bells 148
  • Remembering Mrs Newbould 151
  • Good Morning, Lloyd 156
  • In Modesty and Trembling 162
  • Christmasn in the Valley 166
  • On Stammering 169
  • Butlins 172
  • A Millionaire 176
  • A Scene from Military Life 178
  • An Exile 180
  • The Fox Under Glass 183
  • A Doctor's Medicine 186
  • The Little Huts 189
  • Three Heads 191
  • On Memory 198
  • Uncle John's Boots 202
  • The Fur Coat 207
  • An Holy Kiss 214
  • Notes on Authors and Texts 217
  • Acknowledgements 238
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