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WELSH CONGREGATIONALISM.

THE VACANT PROFESSORSHIP AT…

A TRIPLET OF GIRLS.

A TRAMP ACROSS WALES.

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A TRAMP ACROSS WALES. [BY THE RET. J. H. STOWELL, M.A.] VII.—THE HOTEL BOOK-WELSH CHAPEL- SINGING — THE PITT ROCK — MOUN- TAINEERING—RHYD-DD U. The Colwyn Temperance Hotel at Beddgelert is welcome to the free advertisement of being men- tioned here, but I can by no means endorse all that has been said "of it in the visitors' book. If ever I heard an unmitigated praising of very ordinary merits, it was there. I wanted another book in which a visitor might insert an honest complaint or two on leaving1. Yet the inanities of the unsolicited testimonials in this book were re- lieved by occasional humour, and I am sorry now I neglected to cull a few of the choicer specimens both of prose and verse. My eye, however, was struck by the following as being quit^ laconic, if not perfectly classical, in style :—" Hugh D Jane D-- get a good coffee at Colwyn and the next on the lij-t, which evidently aimed at being classical, but left in ambiguity the point as to whether the enjoyment in question was due to the excellence of the hotel or to other causes "Recovering from a severe illness. I drove here, accompanied by Miss S. A. W., and enjoyed a most lovely summer afternoon. Signed, D. M. R-. 8. A. W- To which had been added, 1 suspect by a later hand, "fy nr/rtriad anwyl, Sali Bach." I am not a Welsh scholar, but with the aid of a dictionary, I have been able to conjecture that the postcript suggests a certain theory of the un- feigned delight that animated Mr. D. II. R. as he penned the testimonial. Next morning after my arrival, being Sunday morning, I made full enquiries about churches and chapels and schools, and finally as to the religious persuasion of the landlady herself. She was a Calvinistic Methodist, and so graciously offered me a seat in her pew if I would accompany her to the morning service at the neighbouring chapel that I at once agreed. About a hundred yards beyond the hotel stands the chapel, a big, plain, square building, and I was duly marched into the hotpl pew. A good congregation assembled, punctually [ at eleven o'clock, the grave deacons gathered in the pew under ipulpit, and a refined, but some- what sad-lookiin-, elderly preacher conducted the service. It wa? il in Welsh, so 1 had little beyond my own medifcss.:«>ns to edify me. stimulated by the occasional recurrence of the sonorous, and to me intelligible, words "Gogoniant" and ¡; Ar- glwydd." It was a peaceful and impressive sight, these two hundred or more shepherd-folk gathered from hiils and homesteads many miles around, now silent and devout and now rising with some quaint impassioned hymn to a perfect rhapsody of harmonious son, What do I think of the Welsh singing? Well, I had heard it now unmistakably, and my verdict was I should like to hear it ag<un. It was slow, but well sustained, and full of feeling. At first it seemed rough and artless, and I felt inclined to smile at it as a sort of go-as-you-please concert, one man throwing in his profound bass quite casually, and his neigh- bour suddenly breaking out into a soaring tenor. Yet they were all deadly in earnest; and presently the strange blending and dying away of half- formed harmonies would thrill one to the very marrow, with simple earnestness, I suppose. These people could sing, I thought. They meant it, and, further, could show that they meant it'; they could put their souls into sound, and that is genius and will thrill anybody. Talented singers can I sing cleverly, and force you to admire their clever- ness but men of genius are those who put soul into their work whether it be singing, or poetry, or preaching, or any form of art. And this Welsh congregation had genius. their singing may not have been very good, but it was real singing, and might have gone on for ever without tiring anybody. Two great sunbeams poured down upon us from the South windows and as I sat listening to the calmly delivered sermon, in which no approach was made to the familiar hwyl," I could see through the half-opened door across the valley to the sunlit sides of the distant mountain. At length we were dismissed, and I was told the sermon had been a very good one. And now I had a very difficult question to de- cide. Here was I, strong and eager for the fray there was Snowdon basking in sunshine, and appa- rently pining to be climbed before the weather should change. But it was Sunday. How much of a mountain constitutes a Sabbath Day's journey I wondered should I be making myself a stumbling block to Sabbath breakers if I tried to get to the top that afternoon ? On the whole I thought not, and determined to start, especially as I noticed the weather was inclined to be fickle. So I paid my reckoning, and munching my frugal dinner from a piece of paper, trudged up the road towards Rhyd-ddu, rrom which the shortest ascent of Snowdon commences. And here I must apolo- gise to the reader for another spell of bad weather. I couldn't help it, and it is really the last, all but a single thunderstorm that comes later on. Tire sunshine that brightened the morning went, and the clouds descended and the rain fell, and my boots were soon working on the hydraulic prin- ciple previously described. At a solitary farm- house I called and laid in as large a supply of fresh milk as convenient, and then faced what anyone would have told me was a wild and impossible task, under the circumstances, the ascent of Snowdon. The first disadvantage that I had to fight against was that I couldn't see the mountain. But the guide-book gave directions, and I pressed on along the main road till, reaching a great boulder- shaped curiosity like a man's head, and called the Pitt Rock, from a supposed likeness to the great statesmen. Here I turned aside and passed a farmhouse, and presently crossed an old cart road, at which, according to my book, I was to regard myself as genuinely at the foot of my mountain. But it was the wrong foot, as I fou-ndto my cost. The rain was beginning to swell the mountain torrents, and it was with great difficulty I clambered a few hundred yards, and looked fruit- lessly for the proper land-marks. So I turned back and pursued the old cart-road for a little distance, thinking I might have left it too soon. It led me temptingly alone till I came to a stream now greatly swollen and to my horror I found the bridge across had com- pletely broken away in the middle. So I had to go higher up and find stones on which. I could cross ankle-deep. Beyond this the road led upward past some rocks and sheep-pens not unlike those described in the guide book but the rain was awful; I was sodden and, moreover I was pretty clearly on the wrong track. so I took shelter for half an hour in one of these sheep-pens com- forting myself with biscuits and: condensed'milk. Then I retraced my steps, and after an adventurous recrossing of the stream I tried once more the road I had previously abandoned, feeling certain there were only these two alterations, and one must be right. And I struggled on for hours strangely exhilarated by the tempest. Sometimes the rain would cease, and the sweeping mist would lift itself from a great expanse of the tower ranges of the mountains. But I never saw the tops, and that was a pity, for if I had had only one true glimpse of Snowdon I should, have seen that I was'nt on it at all! Once, after a violent struggle up an almost perpendicular slope I found myself in a hurricane of mist, but at the top of something. There was no road on the right hand or left; and in front of me was only a roaring invisible abyss into which I felt all the winds of heaven were trying to sweep me. I had to turn round and creep down again as I could. Five hours I spent wandering over the hillsides looking for the road to Snowdon. I stooped on the brink of slate quarries two hundred feet deep, and flung great chunks of slate with a fine splash into the water at the bottom. I halloed, and sang, and ate biscnits, and began to get sick of condensed milk, and to think that this was truly the strangest Sunday afternoon I had ever spent. I had not got to the top of Snowdon yet; that was a fact. And I had better make my way back to civilization before nightfall; that was another. So I descended and made my way to the village of Rhyd-ddu, The villagers were all in chapel, even the hotel proprietress and her family so I went there too. But my physical condition was a distraction alike to myself and to the other worshippers so with a message I got the hotel people to put down their hymn books and attend to me. They provided me with some dry clothes, and I sat with them round the kitchen fire far into the evening. The chief singer from the chapel dropped in, and another young man, and these, with two sons and a daughter of mine hostess made up quite a sweet-voiced choir and sang for me again the hymns I had heard in the morniner. (To be continued.)

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MINERS' PROVIDENT FUND. --♦—

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IBRIDGEND NOTES.-.--

ITHE WELSH DISESTABLISHMENT…

BLAENGARW NOTES.

IISENSATIONAL AFFAIlt AT MAESTEG.…

BRIDGEND PETry SESSIONS. ..

NEW MASONIC HALL AT BRIDGEND.

ISOUTH WALES COAL TRADE. I.

THE SLIDING-SCALE ARRANGEMENT.

LAHOCH WAR IN AMERICA,

THE CARDIFF BUILDING STRIKE.

COMMUNICATION WITH LIGHTHOUSES.

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A LIBERAL UNIONIST ON WALES.