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L E, OPEN LETTERS TO WELSH j LEADERS OF OPINION. NO. XXII. SIR HUSSEY VIVIAN BART. M.P. DEAR SIR Hcst EY.—I tell you candidly that I 'disagree with you in many things, and, though we are said to be of the same colour in politics, it is your politics that I don't care about. I hope you won't think by that that I hato you. No: for weaver may be my faults, I must say that I love and esteem a gentleman wherever I find one. My creed is Cromwell's, as that great Independent expounded it in a letter to a frienil who reproached him for not employing i: gentlemen as officers in his army. The answer of this great God's Englishman" was worthy of himself. 1 love and admire a gentleman as much as any," said he, whenever I find him. But I prefer to employ to those who call themselves gentlemen those russet-coated captains who know what they fight for. and love what they know." I'm not sura that the words are quire cor- rect, but the meaning is right. You can easily cor- rect the worus for yourself, for you have a much better library than 1. And you aro one of those whom Cromwell and the world would call a gentle- man. You are an upright, honourable man, -whose iafiuence and example are all on the side of right, truth and purity, A man who has thoroughly un- derstood what is meant by noblesse- oblige, who knows and has honourably fulfilled the duties which great wealth and a high position have en- on aira. You have shown a noble example to vour class, andtihe statue which has been exected to you in one of the principal streets of Swansea shows how generally you are esteemed in that ancient borough. It is but right that Swansea should be proud of her greatest crtizen. You are great as a manufacturer, as an analytical chemist, as an agriculturist, and as a mineralogist. The firm of Vivian and Sons is known all the wide world over. and your father, the late 3ohn 1 Henry Vivian, was familiarly known as the Copper Kina-. Your bre«d of short horns is known even ousLrie Wales, and I have heard even a omv'mr-v-r like the late Mr. Push, the M.P. for East Carmar- then, the octogenerian for whom the poet of Pen- brvn was so rudely, not to say cruelly thrown over —I have heard 21-7. Pugh speak highly of the purity of your stock. And praise from 'Sir Charles is praise indeed. Your farm, Park le BjK?os, in Cower—the old dwelling place of the ancient Norman knightly family of that ilk—is, I am told, It marvel of agricultural beauty but tot being sufficiently btcolie, I prefer to gaze on, and admire those stupendous works of yours at Trc- forris and in and around Swansea. It is your boast, though not a teetotaler, that you have never allowed a single public-house to be erected on your estate, and it speaks well for the spirit in which you have used your well-nigh fifty years- stewardship. Personally, I would prefer to see the right of refusing or allowing- the erection of a public-house in a certain district vested in the people. I am not a great believer in the patriarchal or paternal system of government. This is what Edward Da vies did at Llandinam the other day. and it is the more excellent way. It is gratifyinn-, however, to iind that ont of the strong1 -came forth sweetness," and that ysnr influence in the matter has been always excited, on the side of soberness. We can't expect, I suppose, men of your position to give up all at once the old-world i idea that the people cannot be trusted with looking After their own best interests nor can I believe that, after centuries of alternate paternal coddling and reproving, too much neglect or too much looking-after, the people are as able to judge what is best for them as ihey would had they been allowed an unfettered freedom of choice for generations. But. though your firm is better known as the great copper firm of Swansea," you have made a name for yourself as an authority—and some will say the greatest living authority— on the coal resources of England. It isn't only z, that your practical knowledge of the subject is so great. but you may not inaptly or incorrectly be termed the Poet of Coal. I know the vice-princi- pal of Jesus College, Oxford, won't like this, but I am a man of my own opinions, and in spite of the fact that the Rev. Llewellyn Thomas once won the Newdigate for a poem on "Coalfields," I re- iterate my opinion that !pm are the Poet of Coal. The vice-principal commences by apologising for his prosaic subject, and then goes on to talk prose in several hundred heroic couples. A man who begins by apologising for the prosiness of his sub- ject can never be a poet. Look at our great modern Welsh bards—Hwfa Mon or Gurnos, Ap Gwrda or Liwydfryn—they never apologise for their subject. Give them a brick wall to write an "awdl" on, and they'll compare it to the Tower of Babel and the walls of Nineveh and the sacred Temple, till the subject is no longer seen in its native hideousness hut iQ resplendent with all the hues with which a poetic fancy can invest it. That, now, is true poetry And that's where the Vice-principal fails and you excel. I don't mean to say that you write t; awl- au" or "pryddestan" on coal, though you are an eisteddfodwr. No, I have never yet seen a verse of your composition, but your prose is more like poetry than Sir Edward Reed's rhymes. You have never looked on coal as a prosaic subject, and you have made even dry-as-dust coal speeches in the House interesting- by your lively fancy and poetic imagination. Your first public glorification of coal was made as far back as 1856, before the Truro Institution. You had been then the member for Truro for four years; for though you were born at Singleton Abbey, the Vivians come of a good old Cornish stock. At that time you showed how the great towns," the foci of manufacturing industries, have multiplied and increased, how new cities, surpassing in magnitude the capitals of the proud nations of Europe, equalling in popula- tion the petty states of Germany, overflowing with wealth, exceeding the El Dorado of ancient Spain, have sprung up in the green meadows and haw- thorn glens of merry England and what but coal is the very essence, the being, the heart's blood and pulsation of this essential portion of our country." An old satirist once said that there was nothing like leather." You have modernised the aphorism, and changed it into nothing like coal." What is the reason, you asked, that the raw pro- duce of other lands is sent to England, and is re- exported to those very lands ? The answer is Coal. What is the reason that the railroads of America, of Russia, of France, of Germany, are all formed of English iron, some of English gold ? Still the answer is Coal. And the Cornish engine, of which the Welsh of Cornwall are so proud, on what does its fame rest ? Still Coal is the answer. It is needless to recount how, in your speech on the mineral resources of England in the House of Commons in 13M. you demolished Horsman's theories, and demonstrated that there was enough coal still left in England for five hundred years. But it was in. 1S36, in your speech for the institu- tion of a Royal Commission to inquire into the coal industry, that you surpassed yourself. I confess that my intellect is too feeble even to criticise your speech, but the theory which you propounded was at all events ingenious. You tried to show that many other stratifications besides the carboniferous represent an age more or less lengthy in the history of the world that each stratum had its flora, its deep woods, it may be its laden swamps, its tree ferns which, in the blast of the tornado or whirl of the torrent were swept, to lie until transformed into coal. And the morn- ing of each stratum, and its night, make the creative day, as pictorially represented to the mind of the Biblical narrator. I am not up in modern exegesis, nor dol know, except by repute, the works of heretics such as Marcus Dods, or investigators, such as Dr. Rees. of Bronaut. But ti) speak at a venture, I think I may say that your theory is sure to be othordox, for aren't you an earnest Church- man and a loyal Gladstonian You have drawn a very sombre picture of a coal-loss England. You have piled up agony on agony there would be no wealth, no commerce, no manufactures, no popula- tion in merry England, were there no coal. And after driving us nearly mad by contemplating the mere possibility of a coal-less existence, you appeal in a fine burst of rhetoric to the nobler inssincts of the Englishman. But for coal, You said, "peers would be as they are on the Continent, equal to our baronets, baronets would be squireens." Heaven make us thankful for our escape The Lord preserve us from the bare possibility! Fancy a most noble Marquis of Ailesbury being only equal to Sir Hussey Vivian, or an immaculate Sir William Gordon Gumming to a mere squireen like John Hampden. No, no anything but that. Let laws and learning, trade and commerce die, But save us our old aristocracy. The contemplation of the danger takes away one's breath, and cne feels inclined to fall down and worship that black diamond which has saved us. Thank the stars, we have still half a millenium left of cur glorious nobility, and our less resplendent but eminently respectable baronetage. Best of all is the lesson which coal has taught you with regard to the Land Question, and I only lope that your ideas on this subject arc as sensible low as they were in 1853 when you. a young man if 35, addressed your constituents at Truro. Land is chiefly," you then said, a vehicle 'or the manufacture of food, and the sooner this truth is recognised the more security shall we have for its due utilization—the sooner tvi.ll attempts cease to exact for it more than its lue in our social system." An excellent thought, ,rlily, and excellently expressed. Land is jhiefly a vehicle for the manufacture of food." [f this truth were more universally realised we would sooner be rid of the expansive and un- productive parks with which noblemen, and even some baronets and squireens, encircle their man- sions, of the neglect of landlords to encourage their tenants to cultivate their land; of the miserable, mean props of privilege which we satirically dignify and enoble by the name of Land Laws of the unrestrained and irresponsib] c tyranny and oppression of landlords and the grind- ing thrift and aoject helplessness of the pauper i peasant—aye. we would soon be rid of the tribe of landlords, "ppnitns ?nodi> i (,a (I make no apology for quoting a bit of Latin for I know I am addressing an Eton and Trinity, Cambridge, man.) Your utterances on the sub- ject of Welsh Disestablishment arc quite satisfactory, though possibly I am inclined to arrive at the same conclusion from different premises. Your political opinions to-day are the same in End as these of your father in 1832, when first he stood for Swansea. The principle which I shall take for my guide." he then said, is to preserve whatever is sound, to correct whatever is defective, and to reject whatever is unsound. I am not for violent changes, nor for pursuing vision- ary schemes." And as your father thought that no further measure of reform was needed after the great Bill of '32, so you thought that after the Bill of '84 nothing more was necessary in the way of radically reforming the constitution. You, like your father, are not in favour of violent cnanges or visionary schemes. You are a sound, hone.-t, prac- tical man. Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule Bill was at first, to you. a violent change, and the Nationalist movement in Wales is to you, to-day, a visionary scheme. You have never fully grasped the logical corollary of Mr. Gladstone's policy of granting Home Rule to Ireland. You wavered in your allegiance for a short time, and more cut of re- spect and loyalty to your time-honoured chisf than for any real insight into the significance of his policy, you threw in your lot at last with the Nationalists. I don't wonder at it that you have never quite grasped all that adherence to Mr. Gladstone's policy entails that it means the re- cognition of the right of a nationality to rule it- self that it confesses the truth of the visionary scheme of the Young Ireland party— That never lived a nation yet That ruled another well. You are doing your best to keep abreast with the times on this matter. You are reported by the South Walt* Liberal to have said that Wales is a nation on account of her homogeneity and her language. And you even quote Dr. Johnson to prove your point. But you show in that very speech that you but dimly understand the ques- tion. "The Welsh," you say, were an unmixed race, and had remained so from time immemorial." Even granting, for the sake of argument, that this is strictly true that no Normans invaded Glamor- gan, no Flemings conquered Pembroke, nc Irish settled on the banks of the Teifi and in North Wales, it is not homogeneity or the possession of a common language that makes a nation. Ireland is a nation, as you have admitted yet the Irish have lost their mother tongue and use but that of their conquerors. The men of Tipperary are 'said to be the most Irish of the Irish, Hiberniores Hibernis." and yet they are but the descendants of Cromwell's Puritan soldiers. There is something more subtle even than common origin and common Language required to make a nation. But we thank you for the admission that Wales is a nation. It is a step in the right direction, and we are glad to hear one of our lost countrymen—a Cymro o Gerp-yw "-hoiiourin- himself by honouring us. It is only a small step—but an important one— that you have still to take. Wales is no longer satisfied with a sentimental recognition of her nationality on Eisteddfod platforms and country hustings. She is demanding that she shall enjoy the rights and privileges of a nation the right of self-government, the right to regulate her own affairs, the right to work out her own salvation in her own way as best she may and God directs. I c You are a kindly, courtly gentleman of the old school. You are alive to the responsibilities and the duties of a member of Parliament. You know you are there to represent the opinions and the ideas of your constituents, and you try your best to act up to your responsibility. If in some things you are lacking, Wales will not on that account repudiate one of the honestest and ablest of her foster sons. If your sympathy is not as active with the Young Wales Party as some of us would wish, it will never be forgotten how, since 1857, first as the late Mr. Talbot's col- league for the county of Glamorgan, and then as member for the Swansea district. you have fought well and worthily for the cause of Welsh Liberalism. You have always taken a promi- nent share in the work of Welsh education, and there is no firmer believer in the virtue of educa- tion as a leveller-up. You have always, at some personal sacrifice, been true to your side, and some of your colleagues would do well to take a leaf out of your book and be as loyal as you are to your party. You have been a good society man, and your readiness to act as host and entertainer of the great ones of earth has been of great service. In 1881 you entertained the Prince and Princess of Wales when their Royal Highnesses opened the Alexandra Docks at Swansea. And next year you got your reward, for you were made a baronet and the equal of foreign noblemen. In 1887 Mr. Glad- stone, as a reward for your loyalty to the Liberal party, spent a few days at Singleton Abbey, and shook hands with thousands of hardy Welshmen, and opened the Public Library. Possibly a still greater reward is destined for you when the Liberals come into power at the next election. It has been truly said that if you wish to know a man as he is, enquire into his character at home. You needn't shirk from this test. There is no doubt of your great and enduring popularity at Swansea. You have been loyal to the town, and the town is loyal to you. Your services in promoting the new docks, in trying to get the University College for Swansea, your work as senior trustee, next to Mr. Dillwyn, of the Harbour Trust, and your ever- green faith in the town which you assert is destined to be the ocean-port of England" have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. It is true that as you have but little society to mix with at Swansea you appear to be a little haughty and reserved; but the men of Swansea can for- give the mannerism which only hides a warm heart. In business you are shrewd. Your word is your bond and once a thing is determined on, you carry it out. Your habits are plain and simple and though you employ no secretary, you are yet a prompt but laconic correspondent. You are generous, very generous, though not lavish. You have more method in dispensing your generosity than your father. You don't fling money among the people while riding from Single- ton to the town but your generosity is none the less noble because it is more systematic or less real because it is more secret. You are not a fluent speaker. Indeed, in spite of long practice you still hesitate, but your sentences read well, and though you use a few notes which you elaborate, they do not serve to restrain you too much. You are always listened to with respect and attention in the House, for your speeches are always sensible, well thought out, and to the point. » I have said that the people of Swansea know and appreciate your long services. They have already erected your statue in the main street of the town. And the people of Wales honour you equally. If they do not love you as they love those younger jnen who can speak to them in their own tongue, and can make articulate their own long-felt wants, and can clothe in words their own ideas, their heart is still large enough to find a warm place for one who has for nearly half a century done his duty nobly, painstakingly, and conscientiously by them. And among your many admirers and well-wishers you can reckon on none who esteems and loves you more than, dear Sir Hussey, your candid friend, THEODORE DODD. Next week Theodore Dodd" will address an Open Letter to the Right Hon. GEO. OSBORXE Morgan, M.P. NOTICE,—We wish to state that Theodore Dodd is a turn de plume and that the writer of the Open Letters is not Mr. J. Theodore Dodd, barrister-at-law, of Lincoln's Inn.

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