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THE LATE EVAN DAVIES. L.L.D.…

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THE LATE EVAN DAVIES. L.L.D. PHOEM. The biography of the great and good has ever been a subject of careful and attentive study. By perusing the record of their life, work, and labours, we become acquainted with their thoughts, feelings, and aspirationsâ the difficulties with which they had to contend, their struggles and triumphs. and the means employed in sur mounting the obstacles which constantly passed athwart their path. In the biography of such men we meet: too, with incidents, circumstances, and events little tilings done, or a few words said, which directly tend to reveal the true characterâthe inner life of the man whose memoir we read and stu (y. Necessarily, to many minds, this life of those who have dazzled the world by the splendour of their achievements, has a peculiar charm an intense fascination. It is, however, questionable, whether their deeds havp contributed rather towards retarding than in advancing civilization and the hap- piness of man. Vt e candidly own our preference to the life of the student rather than the military com- mander. The citizen, who has consecrated his time, talents, and his intellectual and moral power to the public good, to active benevolence, to promote those movements and institutions which have for their design and objects a higher mental culture, an in- tenser love of goodness and virtue â institutions which seek to create a profounder attachment, to our country and a deeper, warmer, and an intenser desire to promote the material, the intellectual, an spiritual welfare and interest of the race we regard the life and labours of such a man as far more worthy of our admira- tion, veneration, and esteem than even that of Welling- ton, a Napoleon, or a Napier. It is given to l>ut few men of this character, who so work and labour, to earn, during their life. the applause of the world. As a rule, humanity is more disposed to admire the grand and heroic than the simple and useful. Thus the world jog* on. The stream advances and we advance with the stream, and ever antI anon one true soldier after another drops on life's battle-fieldâa soldier whose value is not sufficiently estimatell nor his loss realized until the mortal has been consigned to the tomb. Hut even men of this high type had, when living, their enemies. This is, indeed, the lot of all good men. But the grave buries every errorâcovers every defectâextinguishes every re- sentment From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections. Here all war ceases. Hue all passion is buried. From the tomb there comes the accents of expiring love. And when we look into the grave of the departed we associate the life of the dead only with virtue and gentlenessâwith good- ness and truth. With such feelings as these we looked into the tomb of our departed friend the other morning, and our regret was that one so useful, who had wrought such good works, should have been cut down in the flower of his manhood. But he is gone He for whom we entertained feelings of the profoundest respect, has been removed for ever from the scene of life's struggles and triumphs. EARLY YEARS. In the upper division of the hundred of Cayo, but paitly in the hundred of Catheynog, in the county of Carmarthen, though on the borders of Cardiganshire, is situate the small parish of Llan-y-crwys. In that parish is a farm called Gelli, which was occupied and cultivated by its owner, the late Mr. Timothy Davies, father of the deceased. As yet we have seen no record of the date of his birth, but before concluding this notice we shall have occasiun 10 refer tu a circumstance which wtll satisfac- torily show that the deceased was horn in the year 18:W. We have, since writing the ahove, ascertained tilat he was horn on the2(5thof June, in that year Of hisearlyyearswe know but little but in the winter of 1833 or 1834 we find that he attended a day school which was held in the old congregational chapel called Faidyhrenin, and the teacher was Mr. David Evans, now Professor Evans, of Carmarthen College. It appears the deceased made con- siderable progress in his studies under the tuition of Mr. Evans, and feeling a disinclination to follow his father's pursuits as a yeoman, he continued to prosecute hi., studies, antI subsequently became a pupil of the late Dr. William Davies, of .Ffroodvale. where he remained until the year 1841. From Ffroodvale he went for twelve months to Dr. Alfred Day's school, at Bristol, which he left in the year 1842. During the time Mr. Davies was at Ffroodvale, while he gave great attention to his books, yet he did not neglect to cultivate other sciences. He was very fond of playin." at ball, but was still fonder of using the how. which he often managed to smuggle into the school under his coa, and now and then he would let fly an arrow at the shins of some new comer, or some aged pupd, who, writhing in agony, would go up and make his complaint to the master. Instead of resorting to the cane, the doctor would take down a copy of Virgil or Homer, and mark in pencil fifty or sixty lines, and placing the book in Evan's hand would sayâ"Get that ready out of book IInd construe it before leaving school." These tasks generally produced a flood of tears, which, however, only lasted for a few minutes when he would commence 111 earnest the task assigned him, which he would accomplish in less than an hour. It was during the penod of his aca- demical studies at Ffroodvale that the deceased commence 1 the study of music, ana the raptl progress he mule hoth in acquiring a profound scientific acquaintance with the principles of music, and the great mastery over his voice, gave a promise of his future eminence. His early taste for music became ultimately a passion, and if he had continued its cultivation and devoted the whole of his years to this harmonizing and refining branch of learning, it is almost certain that he would have become one of the ablest musicians of this generation. Providence, however, directed his steps otherwise. He was destined for a noble work- and his life is associated with one of the greatest efforts which our nation put forth for the advancement of educationâthe intellectual progress of the people. His life is most intimately connected and closely identified with the progress of education in Wales during the last twenty-six years. The chief part of his public career was connected with teaching. He brought to bear upon his work ripe scholarship, and an intimate acquaintance with almost every branch of humour bearing. He taught by the use of illustrations, hence his lessons were ever remembered by his pupils. This, added to his plodding, wall the secret of his success. We question whether there has ever lived a man who excelled our late friend as a teacher. UNIVERSITY LIFE. We have already referred to the late Dr. Davies's studies at Bristol. We do not know if he had then any definite object in life, but as he had become a member of the church at Faldybrenin. in September, 1840, it is more than probable that he intended to devote his life to the work of the Christian ministry. This opinion is COD- firmed by the fallowing circumstance An eminent Welshman, Dr. Williams, left an estate which he placed in the hands of trustees. By his will he directed these trustees to provide exhibitions for suitably-qualified young men, natives of South Britain, and devoted co the ministry among Nonconformists. His estates bequeathed to the College supply six buisaries of JE40 per annum each, to be held by under graduates for three years, and of JE45 when they became graduates. Under the will certific ttes were required of age, residence, and moral character. Satisfactory proof was to be given by each candidate of his intention to study for the Christian ministry. Before, however, a candidate could secure an exhibition, he had to pass a satisfactory examination in the 1st Book of Livy Cicero dcSenectute; Virgil's Georgies; Horace's Odes, 1st Book Homer's Iliad, 1st four Books Arith- metic Algebra, including Simple Equations and the first three Books of Euclid. On "the 21st of September, 1842, Mr. Evan Davies, aged 16, of Flood Vule School, Llandovery, applied for one of the vacant exhibitions at Glasgow, and the necessary certificates having been read, he was admitted as a candidate, and attendeil the com- mittee meeting on the following Wednesday-28th Sep- tember, 1842âto be examined, with Mr. John Falding, of Ecclesfield, near Sheffield, and Mr. George Washington Harris. Mr. Davies and Mr. Harris were elected, but Mr. Falding failed to satisfy the Committee," and hence failed to pass. During his college years at Glasgow he was, emphati- cally, an earnest student. We have the testimony of a college friend, that he was a great reader, while he remembered everything he read. Thus he stored his mind with factsâhe surveyed almost the whole field of human enquiry, but he never neglected preparation for the various classes he attended. For his tutors he was always ready, never missing a single attendance, and his work was always done in such a manner as to earn the high enconiums of the various professors of Glasgow. After remaining at the University the usual time, he obtained his M. A. degree, and in 1858, the University, to show its high appreciation of our deceased friend as a scholar and teacher, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws. THE TEACHER. In the year 1844 there was great agitation in Wales respecting the establishment of day schools, and the training of efficient teachers. For more than fifty years prior to this time Nonconformists had taken the lead in Sunday Schools, and while they had many educational establishments, presided over by able and trained tutors. The nationai want, however, was far from being supplied. Everywhere there was a large number of children who did not attend any week-day school, while there were hundredsof placesin which no school existed. This stateof things led to a conference-of Nonconformists and Church- men, which was held a.t Llandovery in the year 1841. At this conference the question of primary education in Wales was discussed in all its bearings, and before the delegates separated they came to a resolution to establish a Normal College tor the training of teachers which should be unsectarian in character, and be supported by the voluntary offerings of the friends of education. It was also resolved that the College should be established in the town of Brecon in consequence of its central position. Having taken this step, the next question was if there was a man connected with the Principality who possessed sumcient ability to preside over the College As it was expected that no inconsiderable number of the students would be Welsh-speaking young men, a knowledge of that language was regarded as of primary importance. About this time our late friend had passed his examination for the M.A. degree at Glasgow University with great ecldt, and some way his name was brought before the committee of the new proposed educational institution. But Mr. Davies was then a mere boyânot out of his teens. ever, an interview between him and the committee took place, and the impression which his bearing produced was so strongly favourable that they invited him to be- come the principal of the new College. This matter being arranged, Mr. Davies proceeded to the training school of the British and Foreign School Society, London, where he remained for several months, and during the time he spent there his attention was wholly engrossed with the system of teaching pursued, not only in the college but in the day school connected with it. When he left there he had thoroughly mastered the system in all its various details and bearings. We believe he remained at the Borough Road, London, until the close of the session of 1844, when he returned to Wales, the land of his hume and Ãüø leve and his warmest affection. Early ÃI1 the year 1845 the Normal College was opened at Brecon, with Mr. Davies as principal. It was located in a large building which had been previously used as an hotel, and was situate opposite the old Town Hall. The building containerl a large number of rooms with a large yard at the back, which was used as a play-ground for the children, and a drill ground for the students. Mr. Davies, as soon as the College was opened, commenced his work in earnest. Every morning the students were up and at their classes at 0 o'clock in the morning, and they con- tinued to study until eight, when an hour was given for breakfast, prayers, and booc cleaning. Part of the students then went to teach in the day school, and the restâthe raw recruitsâto their lessons. Thus he kept ,euf at their work with the exception of two hours in the â¢lddle of the day, and the hour for tea, until 9 o'clock at night, when they had supper and went to bed. For four years, or nearly four years, the College remained at Brecon, and during those years a large number of able and efficient teachers were sent out, and as the college roje into form, the students had no difficulty in obtaining schools, though t ie salaries then paid was in all cases sufficiently large. to induce the whole of the pupils to continue the profession. Hence many sought other em- ployments. while a few left the country for other lands. From Brecon the ( ollege was removed to Swansea. This took place in January, 181\), and was continued here as a public training college until the year 1851. In Mr. Davies' examination before Sir John Pakington's educa- tion committee in May, lStid, he said that during the six years of the existence of the College he passed 140 pupils, and that the committee were successful in esta- blishing about 12U day schools in Wales. 45 of which were in lSGij connected with Government at that date. W hen the Normal College ceased te exist as a training college, Mr. Davies resolved to carry it on as a private grammar school ile brought to his aid high class teachersâuniversity menâand his school rose yearly in public opinion and public contidence. If pupils of other schools failed in passing severe examinations, his never tailed; but almosc always stood first on the list of success ul candidates. Recently we had the testimony of on- ot the best men which Oxford has sent out-this gentleman was then a teacher of a Glamorgan grammar school that he di.l not care a fig for all pupils who came as competitors with his scholars, except those who had been trained by Mr. Davies. Indeed bis fame went through all the lan I-and his school became the admi- ration of all who could appreciate high mental culture. As a public school, it stood, of course, on its own merits. From no quarter did he receive any assistanceâany pecuniary aidâyet he continued to train up young men tur the scholastlC PI" ,fesslOn, frolll whom, in many cases, he received but a scanty remuneration. In answer to Mr. Bruce, when examined by the committee already adudedto, he saidâ"I have pupils now who are pre- paring for schoolmasters; I have generally two, three, or four, and sometimes half-a-dozen of such pupils." He continued his connection with the college until 1S67, and from the time he commenced his career as a teacher, in 1845, until 1867, he sent out some of the best men Wales has ever producedâmen who adorn the station they occupy, and the professiou to which they belong. He gave them a start in life. He implanted in their bosom a love of study and a desire to excel. He urged upon them the importance of hard work if they desired to attain eminence. The result of his own example and teaching is, that all over W ales, and many parts of England, are gentlemen who are discharging their duty to their country and to societyâmen, who are an honour to Walesâwho, had it not been for Evan Davies, would to-day be toiling at the plough, or pursuing some mechanical calling. By means of his teaching and ex- ample he nas raided intellectually, and educationally, the Cambrian nation. He has left in his age a mark which the iron ban [ of time will never remove. He has contributed in pre-eminent degree to change the destiny of our nation. He lived for a noble purposeâhis death will ever be lamented. CHANGE UP PROFESSION. When Mr. Davies gave up his ,-chool in lSG7, he articled himself t,) Mr. Smith, when he at once commenced the study of law. In this as in all things he was an earnest studen t. While he gave great attention to the study of the general principles of jurisprudence, he was not the less attentive to the practical illustration of the prin- ciples in which he giounded himself. In this he acted wi-ely, because law in its practice and application is made up chiefly of technicalities Being a graduate of an University he had received the degree of Doctor of Laws in 1S58. He had only to study for three years before going up to pass his final examination. This examina- tion he passed most creditably, and immediately after- wanls he commenced practice at his offices in 1{utland- street on his own account. Fortunately for him he had not, as have many young lawyers, few clients. When he beg an he had ill the otfice work which "uuld take him two or three months to complete. But when there opened up to him the certain prospect of a brilliant pro- fessional career, he was taken ill, an illness which had been brought on doubtless by hard study and unwearied diligence, and the disease fiom which he suffered has, unhappily, proved fatal. When the School Board was established he was appinted the first secretary, and he brought to bear upon the deliberations of the Board an acquaintance with the subject which was as extensive as it was profound. He was emp ^atically the right man for t ie post, and we believe every member of the Board deeply deplores his loss. Had our friend lived, he would have got into a magnificent practice, and would have secured for himself a splendid name in the roll of his professional brethren. THE SCHOLAR AND PATRIOT. Although the deceased was not a greOLt scholar, nor did he possess in pre-eminent degree the power of general- iza'ion, yet but few men of his or any age acquired in such brief life such general knowledge of mcn and books. As a Greek scholar he was above the average. He was a good Latinist. As an arithmetician and mathematician he distanced almost all his competitors. He was well read in history, in biography, in natural science, in poetry, and general literature and criticism. He was an excellent singer, anti a capItal Judge Of.IUU81C, possesslllg the most delicate ear, so as to detect in a moment the least jar in any of the parts. As a public man he took up all liberal measures with the greatest heartiness and warmth. At the last general election he worked hard for the liberal cause, and contributed in a great degree in securing the great triumph of the liberal party in feouth ales. For many years he was closely connected with the Liberation Society, with the Peace Society, and when the Swansea Nonconformist Association was re- cently established, he was appointed its hon. secretary. He took a deep interest in the liberal newspaper press of South Wales, and, we believe, contributed many leaders to the "Daily Leader'' after its removal to Swansea. When the Rev. Thomas Jones became pastor of the NeW Congregational Church, he (Mr. Davies) undertook the training of the choir, and if his health had continued he would doubtless have been its permanent leader. It was a great misfortune to the choir there when he was obliged to discontinue his labours. The members of the choir and the members of the church worshipping there deeply feel his loss. The wise and weighty words and the eloquent appeals which the pastor of that church made to his congregation last Sunday morning, in reviewing the life and la' ours of Mr. Davies, will not soon Le forgottPIJ by his sorrowing church and weeping congregation. [We hope to give an epitome of the sermon in our next.] DEAD, YET SPEAKS. Dr. Davies is dead, but he yet speaks. He speaks to us in a life of self-sacrifice and practical benevolence- His own interest and welfare were often made subservient to the interests and welfare of others. To do good wa9 with him a matter of more momentous importance than pecuniary gain. Time which he ought to have devoted to his own affairs was given to the publIc. Every benevolent institution had his warmest support, hUI cordial and ready assistance. His life was characterised by pure benevolence, personal gain being regarded by him as the small dust in the balance compared with the claims which institutions of a charitable nature had upon his time and services. He delighted to do good, to help the weak ones, to elevate the people. He has thus left aU example which the young men of Wales would do wisely to follow. He ?peaks to us in the constancy and fidelity of his friendship. A friend he never forsook. In this his heart was as true as steel. Some of his earliest friends were the chief mourners. The tie formed early grew stronger and stronger as years advanced They lived in each others love, and sympathy. In his departure they lost the truest and best friend outside their own family circle they ever had- He speaks to us in a life of devotion to the intellectual and educational improvement of his country. He has thus left upon his age an impress which time will not ob- literate. When we compare the educational and intel- lectual status of these days, with the days when the Normal College was first opened at Brecon, we see what an immense advance there has been, and this progress, directly and indirectly, is chiefly traceable to his effort? and self-denying labours. He speaks to us, too, in hi» love of country, in his patriotic effort to advocate the cause of progress, of liberty, and useful and beneficial reforms. Trained up in a Nonconformist family and school it was but natural he should continue cl< sjiy identified with the Liberal party, with Liberal move- ments, and Nonconformity. To the last he was a Congre- gationalist, having been admitted a memher at Saldy* brenin, in 1840. His was a life of fidelity to principles, to liberty, and to his country. Indeed, He was a man take him for all in all, We shall not look upon his like again" We have now said our say. We have paid our tribute to the memory of a noble Cambrian son. Peace be to his dust. He lived a manly, an heroic, and practically useful life and through the ages his name will li e as a successful teacher, a true friend, and a deep and profound lover of his country. He lived for a noble purpose, and his works will follow him.

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