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Satan Snatching A Man Up Into The Air


Source: Welsh Folk-lore

It would appear that poor Bob was doomed to a sad end. His last exploit
is thus given:--

Wrth fyned adre o chware cardia, ar Bont Maesgwyn gwelai Robert Llwyd
Hari gylch crwn o dan; bu agos iddo droi yn ol, cymerodd galon eilwaith
gan gofio fod ganddo Feibl yn ei boced, ac i ffordd ag e rhyngddo a'r
tan, a phan oedd yn passio fe'i cipiwyd i fyny i'r awyr gan y Gwr Drwg,
ond gallodd ddyweyd rhiw air wrth y D---, gollyngodd ef i lawr nes ydoedd
yn disgyn yn farw mewn llyn a elwir Llyn Hari.

Which in English is as follows:--

When going home from playing cards, on Maesgwyn Bridge Robert Llwyd Hari
saw a hoop of fire; he was half inclined to turn back, but took heart,
remembering that he had a Bible in his pocket. So on he went, and when
passing the fire he was snatched up into the air by the Bad Man, but he
was able to utter a certain word to the D---, he was dropped down, and
fell dead into a lake called Harry's Lake.

Many tales, varying slightly from the preceding three stories, are still
extant in Wales, but these given are so typical of all the rest that it
is unnecessary to record more.

It may be remarked that card playing was looked upon in the last
century--and the feeling has not by any means disappeared in our days--as
a deadly sin, and consequently a work pleasing to the Evil One, but it
appears singular that the aid of Satan himself should have been invoked
to put down a practice calculated to further his own interests. The
incongruity of such a proceeding did not apparently enter into the minds
of those who gave currency to these unequal contests. But in the tales
we detect the existence of a tradition that Satan formerly joined in the
pastimes of the people, and, if for card playing some other game were
substituted, such as dancing, we should have a reproduction of those
fabulous times, when satyrs and demigods and other prototypes of Satan
are said to have been upon familiar terms with mortals, and joined in
their sports.

The reader will have noticed that the poor man who lost his life in the
Lake thought himself safe because he had a Bible in his pocket. This
shows that the Bible was looked upon as a talisman. But in this instance
its efficacy was only partial. I shall have more to say on this subject
in another part of this work.

Satan in the preceding tales, and others, which shall by and by be
related, is represented as transforming himself into a ball, or wheel of
fire--into fire, the emblem of an old religion, a religion which has its
votaries in certain parts of the world even in this century, and which,
at one period in the history of the human race, was widespread. It is
very suggestive that Satan should be spoken of as assuming the form of
the Fire God, when his personality is detected, and the hint, conveyed by
this transformation, would imply that he was himself the Fire God.

Having made these few comments on the preceding tales, I will now record
a few stories in which Satan is made to take a role similar to that
ascribed to him in the card-playing stories.

In the following tales Satan's aid is invoked to bring about a
reformation in the observance of the Sabbath day.

Next: Satan Frightening A Man For Gathering Nuts On Sunday

Previous: Satan Playing Cards On Rhyd-y-cae Bridge_ _pentrevoelas

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