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LOCAL INTELLIGENCE. The evidence on the utilization cf sewage taken before { the Blackburn committee of the House of Commons, which 3 has recently closed its inqniriea, has been printed. It is A very strongly in favour of irrigation, and the committee de- cided unanimously to recommend that use of the sewage of the above borough. J THE MERTHYR BALLOT Box.—Through the kindness of R. Fothergill, Esq.,M. P., the merits of Mr. Gould's ballot box are likely to be fairly tested by the Government. This S is all that Mr. Gould and his friends solicited, and if the ( examination be a fair one, as it 110 doubt will, then they ( have every confidence in believing that, for secrecy of voting, and difficulty of committing fraud with it, it will be found superior to any other form of ballot-voting hither- to placed before the public. THE PLYMOUTH PUDDLERS.—Some slight misunderstand- ing occurred a week or two ago between the puildlers of Plymouth and their employers, respecting the advanced rate of wages. They very wisely continued their work, under the hope that matters would during the month settle themselves. They have not been disappointed in this ex- pectation, for we learn that all matters in dispute have now been arranged, and that they will continue their work with that vigourwndcontentmentcharacteristic of the "Plymouth Brethren MERTHYK BRITISH SCHOOLS.—The Government exami- nation of these schools was held last Thursday and Friday (19th and 20th inst.) by Her Majesty's Inspector, J. Bow. stead, Esq., assisted by D. J. Davics, Esq There were over a thousand children present on the days of examina- tion, and 550 of them were examined by the above gelJtle- men in reading, writing, and arithmetic. The result of the examination of this year is quite as creditable as that of last year the boys passing 99.3 per cent. the girls having only one partial failure, and the infants none. The official reports will not be received for some time, but look- ing at the above results, they cannot but be very satisfac- tory, and highly gratifying to all connected WIILI^ these schools. OPENING OF THE VALE OF NEATH STATION REFRI SH- MEitT KoOMS.—OU Saturday last these handsome and con- vtmient tir8t and second class refreshment rooms were opened by Mr Alexander Gunn. The preparations for the physical requirements of the public are on an extensive scale, and very great taste is displayed in the manner in which they are presented. We understand that since the opening- ot these rooms the public have manifested a IlIO,¡t extraordinary curiosity in ascertaining at the Station whether there IJ any change in the arrival and departuie of trains, and also that scarcely a train arrives but that many in the town are in the refreshment rooms waiting the expec- ted arrival of friends. They thus prove a great and unex- pected convenience, and wehopo that Mr Gunn, who in conjunction with bis family, is so greatly respected in the towu, will find that his enterprise will prove a commercial success. RIFLE SHOOTING COMPETITION.—On Thursday last this competition (which seems to have been less known locally than at a distance) came off at the rifle ranges. Several "crack" shots from different parts of England attended. The ranges for the chief prize, that for all comers, were 200 and 5UU yards, and seven rounds at each ran"e. The large number of entries (about 120) necessitated the erec- tion of extra targets, so that four squads nrght fire at the same time. The day being fine, and extra Lrams running to aud fro, the attendance was very nUluerou8. 1 he winiiei of the first prize, value .i:12, was private David Evans, oi Dowlais, who made 44 points; the second best being Cor- poral Peake, of Manchester, who made the same number of points, though not so many at the longest range. Ou account of our having to go to press at an early hour we are precluded from giving, this week, an extended report. ♦ — DOWLAIS. IVOR CHAPEL.— The Sabbath School anniversary in connection with the Congregational Church at Ivor, was held on Sunday last. In the forenoon the classes repeated their respective portions of the 24th chapter of Matthew, and were examined by the Ilev. J. Ll. James, the minister. This chapter, containing our Saviour's predictions of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the end of the world, pre- sented a fair field for critical and historical examination, and the classes gave general satisfaction in their prompt and accurate replies to the minister's questions. [u the afternoon the boys were examined in the history of Elijah, and the girls in the history of Moses. Several recitations were given in the three services. In the evening the Hev. gentleman delivered a.senuon to the young, from Proverbs 8th chap. 17th verse. The three services were well at- tended. + MUSICAL AND EDUCATIONAL EISTEDDFOD. The eisteddfod announced last week came off on Monday last at the Temperance Hall. The attendance in the moru- ing was very small, the hall not being half tilled, and most of those present being school childr. n. e btlieve the ob- ject of the promoters of these competitive meetings was most praiseworthy, and they ought to have received a more general encouragement from the public. Unfortunately, however, they not only had to give their time and labour gratuitously, which they were no doubt fully prepared ttl do, but there can be no question but that they have been called upou to suffer great pecuniary loss, as the number of prizes and incidentalexpanses must have been consider- able. Of the competitions generally they were very credit- able to the young lads and girls who came forward some of them, especially in writmg and mental arithmetic, showing that they had paid much attention to their studies, and that they were subject to good training. The coinpe- tiou in the boys' department appeared to be almost exclu- sively confined to the smaller public schools of the district, alld tbese generally of the Natiullal form of schools. This is much to be regretted, though we can well appreciate the honourable motives of the teachers of the British Schools at Merthyr and Duw- lais, in abstaining altogether from placing their pupils in competition with small schools, where pupils necessarily suffer comparative disadvantages in the way of instruc- tion. Should any competitive meetings of a similar kind take place ayaiu, which is not probable after the experience of the past, it would be well to have two classes ot prizes, the tirst to be competed for between the pupils of the Dow- lais and Merthyr British Schools, and open also to the private schools of the town, and the second class to be limited to the National Schools, and the- small British Schools of the neighbourhood. should thus obtain a rivalry under fair conditions, and there is no doubt but that the higher attaiuments of the pupils of the superior schools would have a beneficial effect upon the teachers and pupils of the humbler scnools, and induce an emulation which, if not entirely successful in its results, would at least be profitable. The President of this Eisteddfod was the Rev. John Griffith, Rector, and in every respect, even when he had to occasionally to damp the exuberant ardour of a National Schoolmaster, did he perform the duties With great satis- faction. The adjudicators were:—Mr J. C. Fowler, Mr C. H. James, Mr W. Jones, Cyfarthfa Office; Mr A. J. VIorris, Plymouth (office; Mr \V. E. Jones, artist; Mr U. Rosser, Aberdare; Mr Bawden, leader of the Cyfarthfa string band and Mr D. W. Jones (Dafydd Morganwg.") Mr John Morgan, Mr John Jones, and Mr Joseph Williams, were also present, as chairman, treasurer, and secretary, of the committee. The first business was the address of the Rev. Chairman, who amidst considerable cheering, spoke as follows: — As far as it is possible for a man to feel pleasure when he arises to address a public audience, I can, with all honesty, say that it gives me great pleasure to acct pt the honour you have done me—to be the presideut of tins eisteddfod. I say this with all the terrors of the English press before me; and should again and again, ttinu,h the Times and the Saiurday Review were to bowl against Welsh eisteddfodau ever so loudly. Indeed, did the time permit me, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to hurl back their coarso invectives, i know the match would be a very unequal one that of Little Jack" agaiust the Kreat ogres Fee-fo-fum" and" Bloo lybones." Yet Little Jack killed the giants and I am of opinion that the VV eish language will kill the Times newspaper and the Saturday Review before the Saturday Review and the Times newspaper will ever kill the Welstt language. Their great objection to eisteddfodau is the fond delusion that we hold them in order to keep up the Welsh language There never was a great absurdity. The Welsh language has lived, does live, and will live, though au eisteddfod had never been held. As well may you say that the cham- pion swimmer of England could not swim one single stroke as say that eisteddfodau are inteuded to keep up the Welsh language. Such an argument is a mere windbag," as Carlyle saya and it only requires the prick of a pin to make it instantly collapsc. 1 venture to say it that tnere is a power of self-sustentation in the Welsh language with which au eisteddfod has nothing to do. It is more spoken, more read, more written in at the present moment than it has ever been before. To bear we out here, there is scarcely any place of note in the world that the language is not spoken in. I could call witnesses from Australia, North America, New Zealand, Patagonia, London, Liverpool, Manchester, and even ostr friend Mr Fowler, an English- man to the back-bone, and be will tell you what he and I know to be the fact, that this old language has increased in his jurisdiction since he has come to this district. And as for dying, Lord bless you it i* onty the English living amongst us. and Anglo- Welshclergy holding Welsh livings, who ever think of it, the wish being father to the thought.' Dying, indeed Why, I can tell you the acorn is not yet planted that shall live to be a tree ot a thousand years' growth, which shall yield the plank, that shall form the timber, that shall make the coffin to bury the remains ill of the Welsh language. Not that I mean to give it hut an existence of a thousand years. No, no I beueve with the old bard mentioned by Giraldus Oambrensis 800 years ago, That when the day of judgment comes, there will be some corner of this world which shall answer in no other language than the Welsh l' And that, let me add, not a day uf judgment calculated according to the method of Dr Cum- ] tiling s computation. Then why do we hold eisteddfodau ? Why, because we wish to bring out local talent. And this eisteddfodau have done most successfully- there IS Brio- ley Richards, one of the greatest pianists 10 the world John Parry, the great buffo; John Thomas, Pencerdd Gwalia Lewis Thomas, his brother Edith Wynne, thb Jenny Lind of Wales, and our own Miss Watts, together with a host of other names, which are now household words, and which we never should have heard of had it not j been for eisteddfodau. Surely that is better thau eating suet pudding for the most, or grinning through a collar, or J running in sacks, or climbing up a greasy pole, or trying to catch a squeaking pig with his tail shaved those grand 1 and intellectual and improving games which our fcjaxou brethren are so noted for when they hold their festivals. ] Then, let us remember who are the promoters of our eisteddfodau —not the gentry, but that class of people who, j in an English provincial town, thiuk it a great intellectual feat if they can get up a pony or a galloway race, and suo- I ceed, which is no very difficult matter, to get themselves and ail around them eo muddled and fwtikd that they can 1 leither see nor stand. At the same time wo have newish j io be hard on PJiigl.-md, th"iiuli she does not >'pire her eltLr uid weaker sister, old Cambria. For England, too, has ler eisteddfodau, tlmujli "he calls them hy ,.i:"tiler name. For example, what is that. gre<lr, 11l1d"i! now sitting ill London about the opening of which there is so much eclat .11 the month 0f May ? I mean the Royal Academy. For an eisteddfod is nothing bir a compeiitivr and tbe exhibition at the Aeac1V,lJY is one of the highest sort. They shoult! remember, therefore, w hell > theylaugh.whatltistheyareiaughingat. The object of rtn. eisteddfod issimplytostrivewho is the best man, and s who is the best woman. That is a plil!ci¡;]e iuherent ill hnmannature. We all like to be the licstii we can. Some may call it a weakness others will call it it a virtue Anyhow, here it is, a part of ourselves. It began with (Jur dear old grandmother. 1 twas something more than the taste of the apple that led her to eat So it has been eversitice. (Loud Laughter.) 'This principle is living within ns, stimulating us to cor) pete with our neighbours, and, if we can, wrest the prize fi nn them The whole of life is made up of one great eisteddfod, wh,"re we are all of us the actors. There is no man 1 ving that does not in some wav or other cOIl1['ete-lorrls, 1 idies, ¡,ishop> judges, lawyers, and ckr^ymen —we are a gr at competitive band, jost like the young people are lure to-day. The sovereign only is placed above competition. Though, if the story oe true about the Prince of Wales ànd Prince Alfred, when boys iuthe school-room, the day may yet come when sovereignty itself shall be competed for. Come don't you come the bully over me,' said Prince Alfred one day, just becau-e you are Prince of Wales. 1 shall very likely be King of England yet before you. Minima is sure to live fifty years, and by that time huere will lie a competitive examination for the throne, and I know I can beat you in that any day. (Cheers ) The following prizes were then competed for :— To the male who wOllld best sing any Welshair (not being successful before), prize, 5s. A young limn with the cog- nomen "Llewelyn o'r Llwyn was the « incer. For the best recitation, by boys between io and 18 years of age, of a. translation by Pedr Mostyn, on "'Sieep. Three competitors. Won hy "Gwilym o'r Pant." For the best specimens of two I ills of p.reels, by boys under 16 years of age first prize, 5s., second prize, 2s. (3d. Won hy David Evans and Herbert Evans, of the Saint David's National School. For the best specimen of bills of parcels by girls under 16 yearsof age first prize, 5- second pr,z". 2..6.1. Won hy M n'y James, of the Troedyrhiw National Schools and S trail Davies and Miss Harvey of the Merthyr British Schools. To the female (not successful before) who would best sing Home, sweet home priz ns. It was won by Mary Ann James, who was highly complimented. For tile best answers to six questions (given at the time) in Mental arithmetic; first prize. 5s.; won by Charles Owen second prize, 2s. WOI1 by Samuel Thomas, both of the St. David's National School. To the choir of children under Hi years of age that would best sing "Only beginning the journey." Prze.i;110s; two choirs only competed —the Zoar Band of Hope Choir, aud Bethel Band of Hope Choir, both of Merthyr. The former choir seemed to have all tUe praise, but to tbe litter cuoir was awarded the prize. AFTERNOON MEETING. To the best buss singer of Ann arm ye brave "— Prize, 7s. (id eleven competed, and the prize was awarded to Mr Daniel Evans, Aberdare. For the best recitation by girls from twelve to eighteen years of age of "The Tempest." —Prize, 5s. ten giils re- cited, and the adjudicator thought the rtciting of Ann Powell, pupil at tlie i entrebach Schools, the best. To the best writer, under twelve years of age, of the First Psalm (open to boys only). —First prize, I). second prize, 2s. 6d. The first prize was won by David Evans, Tramroad Side, and the second prize by 1'. Rees, Friend- ship Inn, both of the National Suhool. The writing of Daniel Evans and D. M. Evans, lads at the Pentrebach Schools, was very highly coiumemUd by the adjudicators For the best map of England and Wales (24 inches by 18 inches) by a male or fen.ale under 17 years of age first prize Ids., second prize 2s. 6d. The successful competitors were, tirst prize John WILiams, Twynyrodin, pupil teacher ,t the National second prize \V. J. Pugil, Cdll, and the third prize Margareita Morgan. Pentrebach School. v| [- Fowler, in making his adjudication, made the fol- lowing practical remarks Mr Chairman. Ladies ar.d Gen- n-ineii. -1 have carefully examined aud compared the marts of England and Wales which have been selt to me by th; competitor-* for this prize. They are eleven in nuinl><r. Phe qualifications which maps ought to have are chiefly these: -1st. That they should give to the eye the b-st and IlIoSt accurate representation tlLtt is possible of the IJatural and artificial landmarks of the country delineated, such "s the rivers, mountains, bkes. awl tenitorial divisions. Trie ines of latidude and longitude should a,lso lie marked, and as many of theprinoipat towns as can bo given consistently with clearness. III the next place the map sholll I be executed with neatness and distinctness. I:Lwillc! COIII- pared the maps before me with reference to these p >ints. t nave no hesitation in awarding the first prize to tne candi- date whose motto is" Devotion and Harmony," No. 9. It is a clear, full, and intelligent picture of the leading fea- tures of England and Wales. I award the secon I p is? to "Gwalia." His mapis larger than the rest, ;:n.l very neatly executed, but it is less full of information than the other. alld many important towns are omitted in it. Never- theless it is a handsome map, and does much ere lit to the competitor. ihere is one other unp which deserves a special remark. It is sent in by a schnol-gjrl. It is drawn upon a different system, and in my opinion is not so in- structive, und (if I may so speak of a man) so picturesque asthoselhavenamed. But it has cost t'ie school-girl a great deal of trouble; it is very clear; and 1 am sorry there is no third prze to gi ve her. I shall however present her with a copy of the Tauchnitz Testament as a little me- mento of the great pains she has taken. Thewhoteofthe cOllJpeting maps are credit:, hie tu tire COlli petitors. Tirey are all clean and neat. and show care ami pains Those who are not successful must- not consider their time and trouble thrown away. There is nothing more useful and improving than the drawing of maps for the student not "lIly draws them on hIs broad sheet, hut, ho draws them on his memory. The two best methods of learning geography are the careful drawing of maps and, secondly, the read- ing of travels with a map by your side, and fodowiug the tra< eller to every place he visits. For the best singing (hy a male and female) of a duet When a little farm we keep." Prize, RK Five couples competed, and the prize was won by Mr ,fumes and Miss Magor, of Mountain Ash, whose singing was excellent. To the boy or girl, under 16 years of age, who would answer most correctly, six questions (giv< 11 at the time) in English History, during tiie reign of Queen Eiiztbtth first prize, 4s. second prize, 2s. Sixteen competed, and the whole of the questions were answered correctly by a lad ten years of age named Amos Jones, a pupil at the National School. The second prize was awarded to David Evans. The answers of a lad named Thomas Roderick being so satisfactory. the adjudicator presented him with a third prize Thetwolastnamedlads were jiupils at the Pentrebach School. To the best tenor singer (not successful before in this piece) of The Ptlgriulof Love.Priu, 7s. 6,1. Seven competed, and a tadn-uned Thomns Hewchyn, Cyfarthfa Row, won the prize. To the choir of one congregation, not less than 40 in number (not having won a. prize of £10 a; any previous Eisteddfod), that would b«st sing Y Ffrvvd," by Gwilym Gwent, priz 1:55". The following choirs competed: — "Tanybryn," Caepantywyli; Horeb," Penydarren and GlYL! Elyreh," Riiymney. The prize was awarded to ianybryu'' choir-leader Mr Will. Powell. EVENING MEFTING. The President took the chair soon after seven o'clock, and the proceedings commenced immediately afterwards. The attendance was much better than at the morning and afternoon meetings. For the best Recitation, by boys from 12 to 15 years of age. of Y Ni" prize. 5s seventeen competed. Mr James in adjudicating, stated that not one of the seventeen competi- tors had recited it correctly, as they all failed in their em- phasis. The two be-t he thought .vere George Griffiths, Abercanaid, and William Jeukius, Dowlais, between whom the prize was divided. For the best singing of a duet by any two, not before successful prize, 8s eight couples competed tor the prize, which was won by Airs Davies, (Eos Dowlais), Plymouth- street, and a youth named Robert Davies, of Cefn. Mr Rosser stated that he did not beiice he had evf-r heard a alto voice than that possessed by Master Davies. For the best Free-hand Drawing, shaded or otherwise, open to boys or girls of 16 vearsof age; first prize, 5s second prize, 2s 6d. Wr. E. Jones, E-q artist, was the ad- judicator, and iu consequence of i Iness iu nis family be did not appear personally, but wrote his adjudication, which the Chairman read There were ten competitors, the first prize being awarded to Herbert Evaus, auti the second t., J chn Williams. The adjudicator stated that there was a fair amount of talent evinced in each of the drawings, and he doubted not, that if the lads persevered that they would ultimately be able to sketch very well from nature. He considered the drawing of the third best so good that there being no third prize, he generously gave one himself. (The three lads were pupils at the St. David's National School ) To the choir of one congregation, not less than 40 in number, that would best smg Handel's Halleluj ih Chorus," prize £ 12. This was the chief courietitioii of the day, and four choirs competed,—"Glyn Eiyrc'a," Rhyinney, leader Air John Jones Penuel Cnapel Choir, Rhvmney, leader, Mr William Griffiths Zoar Choir. Mer- thyr,—leader, Mr William Davies and the Tan-y-Bryn (Caepantwyll Methodist Choir), leader, Mr Williaiu Powell. Mr Rosser observed, in adj udwatlug, that the chorus were so well knownto all that he was very uiuc'i surprised that they had not had better singing. He then stated that the sinking of the Glyn Elyrch" choir and the choir were the best, and therefore the prize would be (divi- ded between them.—The decision was hailed with much applause. For the best recitation of the" Quarrel of Brutus and Cas>ius by two boys under 16 years of age, piize, 10s.— Five couples competed. The winners were G. Olven and Samuel Thomas, of the National Schools Mr James re- marked that the reciting of the four other couples was altio very good. To the best four players on brass instruments of "Rhosyn yr Haf," prize £ 1.—The brothers England, of Cyfarthfa, were the only competitors, and after playing the piece the prize was aWàrded to them. To the female who will best sing any secular song, prize, 7s 6d —Awarded to Miss Magor. Mountain Ash To the girl under H; ypars of age, who woul I best write the 1st Psalm —First prize, 5s second ditto, 2s 6d —There were 16 competitors, the tirst prize being won by Ann Jones (British School), and the second ditto by Mary Roberts, Troedyrhiw.—The writing was excellent, and Ie. flected credit upon the teachers of the youn;. girls. To the boy or girl under 16 years of age w ho would sing at first sight, any piece of music given in the Tonic Sol-fa Notation,—prize, os. The following competed Miss Han- nah Jones, Caepantywyll; David Davies, Cefn D. Davies, Morgan Town David Rees and John Lloyd, Caepanty wyll. —Tlie whole of the competitors sang the pieces without any mistake whatever, and Mr Hosser remarked that this was the most difficult to decide amongst the whole of the competitors. To avoid any difficulty he would, with he permission of the committee, add another 5s, and than divide the 10s equally among them. j For the best singing, by three males, of any of the follow- ( 4 ing:—"Master Speaker," The Laughing Catch," Theil Sueezing Catch, prlzo, 6s — \1 r Evau Jones and party, of Khyinney, were the only competitors, and afte? singing t Master Speaker'' very clearly, aud amidst much laughter f were awarded the prize. To the three who would best sing" Life's a Bumper prize 15s. Two parties competed: JMesars 1). Wajton Williams (tenor), S Edwards (alto), and Henry Edwarda 1 (bass); and Air M. Haddock (tenor). Mrs Davies, Hot DOlo. lais, (alto), and R. Kees (bass). —Mr Rosso" awarded the 11 prize to the first named trio. This brought the Eisteddfod to a close, and after the < usual vote of thanks to the President and adjud.oakr pco«*iiB$9 tonoiaited, at 12 ) 1