Illuminations: An Anthology of Welsh Short Prose

By Meic Stephens | Go to book overview

and a tradition, and that put mettle in their characters. And hard though their labour was, from those slopes and within the old chapel's walls a few caught a glimpse of Jerusalem's towers in the clouds of the setting sun, and saw the sea of glass shining between them and the far horizon.

Lleufer (4, Gwanwyn, 1948)


A Trip to the Circus

T. J. Morgan

Although I was taken to the circus only once as a child, and once to a menagerie, when some time ago we saw a circus advertized as coming to the town of P—, 1 we had the feeling that the War had deprived our children of the great amusements we had regularly enjoyed in our own childhoods, and that we therefore had a duty to take them there, to make up for the loss in some part. And so it was arranged that we should go. According to the advertisement, there were to be jesters, an acrobat riding bareback on a prancing horse, a dog that could dance, doves like Branwen's 2 starlings (although that wasn't how the poster put it), a female juggler with a Chinese name, and so on; and to crown it all, there was going to be the most ferocious lioness in the whole world, and alone in its topless cage, the bravest of men and the most courageous of women would be suspended from ropes, performing acrobatic wonders within just a hair's breadth of those terrible jaws.

It would be an exaggeration to say that the place was packed out — and there I go, despite myself, starting to libel and make fun of the pitiful gaucherie claiming to be a miracle of entertainment, dexterity, and daring. And rather than proceed with my jeering, it would be more seemly if I rose to the heights of trivial moralising. So my first observation is this, that advertisements are now completely different from the things they advertise, and what's more, that the dissimilarity between the two is taken for granted, and that this is equally true of infallible drugs and grand concerts and letters of recommendation alike. These letters worry me, and the responsibility

-63-

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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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