At the National Eisteddfod of 1893, a prize was offered by Mr. Lascelles Carr, of the Western Mail, for the best translation of Ellis Wynne's Vision of Hell. The Adjudicators awarded the prize for the translation which is comprised in the present volume. The remaining Visions were subsequently rendered into English, and the complete work is now published in the hope that it may prove useful to those readers, who, being unacquainted with the Welsh language, yet desire to obtain some knowledge of its literature. Translated by Robert Gwyneddon Davies
ersona with a guide of shadowy or celestial nature who points out what the Bard is to see, and explains to him the mystery of the things around him, is a method frequently adopted by poets of all times. Dante is the best known instance, perhaps; but we find the method employed in Welsh, as in "The Dream of Paul, the Apostle," where Paul is led by Michael to view the punishments of Hell (vide Iolo MSS.). Ellis Wynne was probably acquainted with Vergil and Dante, and adopted the idea of supernatural guidance from them; in fact, apart from this, we meet with several passages which are eminently reminiscent of both these great poets.
But now, casting aside mere speculation, we come face to face with the indisputable fact that Ellis Wynne is to a considerable degree indebted to the Dreams of Gomez de Quevedo y Villegas, a voluminous Spanish author who flourished in the early part of the 17th century. In 1668, Sir Roger L'Estrange published his translation into English of the Dreams, which immediately became
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