half of the seventeenth century.85 By all accounts, the sharp twists and turns of the dances rendered them fiendishly difficult to perform well, and William Jones ruefully admitted that they were probably 'too fatiguing for the Bodies & Minds of the present Generation, & requiring much skill & Activity in the performance'.86 His happy knack of discovering ancient airs, melodies and stanzas-which often came to light while conversing with elderly folk-as well as his own tireless researches into manuscript and printed collections enabled Jones to supply Edward Jones, the King's Bard, with valuable material for his printed volumes.87 As he rummaged in dusty libraries in search of historical treasures, William Jones became ever more curious about the Welsh historical past and, like members of the Morris circle, resolved to rescue the native historical tradition from the neglect and condescension of well-meaning antiquarians and blinkered enthusiasts. It is worth emphasizing that he despised the 'contemptible dreams of lazy monks' and in particular the 'foolish fictions' peddled by Geoffrey of Monmouth, even though he was presumably aware that Historia Regum Britanniae had proved a powerful spur to patriotic sentiment.88 Much more pervasive, however, in their effects on the Welshman's memory were English and Scottish historians who, in Jones's view, 'through prejudice or ignorance, seldom do us justice in their records'.89 He protested vigorously against the 'belchings' of Lord Lyttelton, William Robertson and Tobias Smollett, partly because their accounts were implacably hostile to the Welsh princes and partly because they made no mention of the neglect, spoliation and contempt which the Welsh had been obliged to suffer in the pre-Tudor period.90 He confessed that his choleric temper (which his enemies called 'Welsh Feaver')91 meant that he bore malice against Saxons, and he refused to trace the ancestry of English nobles and gentlemen because he firmly believed most of them were descended from a variety of bastards, thieves and robbers.92 As an antidote to 'God save the King', 'Rule Britannia' and 'The Roast Beef of Old England', Jones composed a robust Welsh national anthem-the first of its kind in the modern period-which he fervently hoped would be sung 8!Lois Blake and W.S. Gwynn Williams, The Llangadfan Dances (2nd edn., Wrexham and Cardiff, 1954). '"N.L.W. MS. 171E, ff. 17-18,35-40. Ibid., ff. 17-18. See Ellis, Edward Jones, pp. 25-26, 98-100, 102-3, 112-13. 88N.L.W. MS. 168C, ff. 29-32; 1641B, ff. 34, 36; 13222C, ff. 367-69. 89N.L.W. MS. 1891E, f. 156. See also N.L.W. MS. 37B, f. 118. ""N.L.W. MS. 13221E, ff. 339-42; 13222C, ff. 220-21. "N.L.W. MS. 13221E, f. 368. 92N.L.W. MS. 1806E, f. 782.