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OPEN LETTERS TO WELSH LEADERS…

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OPEN LETTERS TO WELSH LEADERS OF OPINION. Xo. XII. DAVID RANDELL, M.P. Mv DEAR DAVIE,—You are an eager, anx- ious, restless, rotund little man and though you like to know that your public work is ap- preciated—and no man can thrive better on praise than you—still you can bear criticism, even though it be with a grin as well as any or them. That is a healthy condition, and indicates great possibilities. You live and learn better than most of your colleagues. And though, now and again, you delight to revel in a few sentences of high falutin flattery, I know you do not care for that species of compliments called tomb epithets. You like sincerity, and do not feel satisfied unless at all times you earn the compliments that are bestowed upon you. There is a healthy, straightforward ring about you that is really very admirable, and your manly, independent bearing wins even the respect of your opponents. But even the sun has spots. You are not flawless. The joints of your harness are easily seen, and your weak points are known to all. But when we view you all abound, and have regard to the difficulties you had to grapple with and overcome before you could sit in ] St. Stephen's, our admiration for you increases abundantly. It was no well-paved highway j you had to travel, but a rugged, thorny path, ] beset with swamps and quagmires, and where lions prowled. But you are made of good, honest, dauntless stuff, and difficulties but < sharpened your energies and nerved you to 1 greater eTorta. You never lose your little ] 9 -head. Mabon. who is apt to get flustered at times, savs you are a cool customer, and the tribune of the Rhondda is right. Weare all j apt to minimise those qualities in others which ( are lacking in ourselves, and Mabon sees and admires in vou what Nature and art have 1 denied to him. But do not grow vain, Davie, j lest some evil star should settle o er your path. Remember, Paul himself, that he might be j kent humble, had to be buffetted y i messenger of Satan. I cannot tell you w a that messenger was, but that he was an ug y j > monster lam pretty certain. My friend and your colleague, Mr. Warmington, who is a local ■preacher, and therefore deeply versed in apos- tolic lore, assures me that St. Paul s fleshy thorn Was an impediment in his speech, which hm- dered him from ascending those regions of elo- quence after which he hankered. Be that as it may, his case stands as a beacon and a warn- ing to us all to be humble and lowly in spirit. You assume a good deal of the humble dodge, but you are not quite as humble by a good bit as your meek demeanour would lead us to con- clude. Oh, no like Stuart Rendel, you have an average opinion of yourself. I do not think you are to be greatly blamed for that. The man who does not sufficiently estimate his own talents will assuredly fail in this world. Look at Sonley Johnstone. Sonley is gifted to steer the helm of State, and yet because of his modesty he is content to edit a newspaper. But think for a moment what the country has lost because c: a man's humility. True greatness, said an epi- grammatic Frenchman, is always humble. What f udo-e. I wouldn't believe that though it ^ere writfen by Max O'Rell—nay, not though it fell from the lips of Professor Barbier himself. Where humility prevails there can be no real greatness. To accomplish anything really great a man must know his own powers and appreciate them. In no walk of life is this so true and so essential as in politics. Just look at the House of Commons. Run your lieen eye along the benches, Davie, and estimate the qualities of the men who are in the front. Are they modest men are they humble men are they men who esteem others better than "themselves ? Not they. Take Balfour for example. Is he a modest or a humble man ? Why, he is simply bursting with vanity. And then have a look at Sir W. Harcourt. If any- one who knows the ponderous baronet will say that he is afflicted with modesty. I will present him with a leather medal and double my sub- scription to the infirmary besides. No humility plays no part in political success. The best talent in the House of Commons is not on the front benches; it is, with solitary exceptions, in the rear. But I do not think there is the slightest fear that you will tail because of your humility. There is nothing too great for you to attempt, nor too small for vou to achieve. You are not a man of much learning, and even I, your most indulgent friend can hardly describe you as eloquent of speech. But be not dismayed common sense and a voluble tongue are not one and the same thing. As John Gunn would say, they are not synonymous. Nay, indeed, they most fre- quently belong to different species. Cromwell Was a poor man on the husting, and on the floor of the house his speech was accounted barbarous. And there was Moses himself, who could scarcely utter words at all. And He is the most gifted poet That ever breathed a word. And never earth's philosopher, Traced with his golden pen On the deathless page truths half so sage As he wrote down for men. Aye, aye such is the world's history. Tall Words and beautiful thoughts do not always rush from the same rock. And yet the gift of oratory is one of God's highest gifts to man. Cultivate that gift. David, and excel in it if you can. It will help you wonderfully in your Upward career. I do not mean that you should attempt fine speech you will surely come to grief if you attempt the grandiloquent trick. But to be able to talk, sensibly, pointedly, and clearly is a consummation devoutly to be wished by all men such as you who desire to become leaders of men. And you are a leader of men. It is not every M.P. who can be truthfully described as a leader. But you area leader, and you have won the coveted position by hard application, and a careful study of methods which prevail amongst the Yankees. You have reduced the art known as wire-pull- ing to a system, and there is no more skilful manipulator of the method thf n you. And you do it all so quietly- Noiselessly as the spring-time Her course of verdure weaves,. And all the trees on all the hills Opan their thousand leaves, that we scarcely know the thing is in operation at all. And you so well assume the virtues that is not within you, not one of us suspected you to be afflicted with political ambition until you stepped into power and threw down the gauntlet to the squire of Penlle'rgare. And you both had your reward. John became Sir John and you became an M.P. But you worked the thing nicely. You rallied the workingmen around you as if you had been the man whom prophets foretold would come to redeem the toiling multitudes from the thraldom of this groaning and sweating age. What wonderful things you did promise. Gladstone himself couldn't have talked with greater assurance. And through it all ran that pretty captivating vein of simple modesty that all hearts, that had no other objects to serve, were fas- cinated by you. The working men had for a long time been your special field of operation. You devoted your at- tention to them most carefully, and on the principle that one good turn de- serves another-known in commercial affairs as reciprocity—you helped the tin-plate workers in many things and while they never dreamt that David Randell had thoughts of sitting in Parliament and legislating for Llanelly, you were all the time making your position secure when the opportunity came. You were true to the working men, and thej^did not forget you at the right moment. And as you defeated the Squire of Penlle'rgare when he was plain John Llewelyn, so you will wreck him when he is a baronet of high degree. Have no fears as to the result of the next contest. The battle is yours. You are a tried politician, who has performed his duties faithfully, and won his spurs in Par- liament. You have many little weaknesses which you would be better without. You look upon yourself as a man of greater weight and importance in Parliament than you really are and you are grievously afflicted with vain desires. But, in spite of these defects, you are no mean representative, and have acquitted yourself with more than ordinary credit in the House. You have no great abilities but you possess the kind of ability that wins Parlia- mentary success. You are clear-sighted and adroit and there are few who can manoeuvre better than you and, to crown all, you are endowed with a most enviable political instinct. You know the right thing when yon see it, and you can discern the opportune moment as few of .your colleagues can. Your sympathies are, in the first place, with the working class. To help them is your mission, and you have never failed in your effects. But you have also large sympathies with the national aspirations of Wales, and, unlike some of your more noisy colleagues, you are in earnest about your country.' You are ready to help any movement, no matter by whom it is launched, if it promises to benefit Wales. That is most admirable for, alas alas it is notorious that the Welsh repre- sentatives try to strangle every proposal that does not emanate from their individual selves. You have accomplishments, too, that many a Welsh representative is without. You are well up in French, owing to the fact that you re- ceived part of your early training in France. I heard a strange story once-that you spoke French in the company of Sam Eva-is and Lloyd George. They didn't understand what you meant, and when it did dawn on them that you were speaking to them in a language they did not understand, they retaliated by talking Welsh. It is too bad, though, that you don't speak Welsh. I don't say this in an un- kind spirii, but I am sure sure you will yourself agree with me that it is only right that a Welsh Nationalist should know the language of the country of his birth. And you are a Welsh Nationalist of the right sort. You are not one who has taken it up for the vake of currying favour with Young Wales 01* to secure a seat in Parliament. Before ever it became fashionable to be a Welsh Rome Ruler, you were one aye, and you advocated Welsh Home Rule even when Sir Edward Reed was fuming and fretting because he could not spout )ut his views. You are the right man in the right place. You represent a Welsh consti- tuency, and though your name and your speech .s English, your heart is thoroughly Welsh. You ire prominent at Eisteddfodau, and every Welsh institution finds in you a loyal supporter. You represent a working constituency, and, though 1 lawyer, you have shown that you possess the most intimate acquaintance with the condition )f the working man, and your name will always be honourably known in connection with several reforms in the working of mines. The working men recognise in you a true represen- tative, and when delegates were sent to the International Congress of Labour the name of David Randell was about the first to be sub- mitted and approved. You seem to have a little jteiichauf (this I say out of deference to your French training) towards International Congresses. Only the other day you wee at another at Rome—the International Peace Congress. I must say you didn't make an ideal peace representative. There's a fire in your dark eye, a firmness and squareness about your forehead, an aggressiveness about your chin, and a general air of sturdy independence, not to say pugnacity, about your whole manner that single you out as a jingo more than a peace-at- any-price man. But, to parody the old pro- verb, peaceful is as peaceful does. With talents that some men would belittle, you have won for yourself a position that is envied by many and if you do not become too high and mighty, but always remember whence you sprang, there is a future before you that will take the shine out of those who to-day offer you patronage. I have w;i chad your career with interest, and you" repeated suc- cesses have afforded me a satisfaction that does not fall to my lot every day in the year. But take my advice, and don't give up certainty for hope. You are clever, but you may run with the hare and follow the hounds once too often. Wire-pulling is a fine art, but the wins some- times go away. Take a hint, Davie, from your friend and well-wisher, THEODORE DODD. Next week Theodore Dodd will address an Open Letter to Mr. BOWEN ROWLANDS, Q.C., M.P.

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