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THURSDAY, JANUARY 31ST, 1895.…

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THURSDAY, JANUARY 31ST, 1895. NOTES AND COMMENTS. —— THE Oeniiieii for January is a strong number. Two articles are especially worthy of notice. In the first the question, What is nationalis discussed by a writer who calls himself" Dau Gyfaill," and who is called by others, unless we are sadly mis- taken, "Kmrvs ab Iwan." The writer takes a survey of the Principality, and tries to find some- thing that may justly be called national." He linds nothing. The press is not national, nor the eisteddfod, not- the colleges, nor the religious denominations, nor the politicians. All is vanity and vexation of spirit. In the writer's opinion. the nine qua non of nationality is the Welsh language. Unless a man knows Welsh, unless he always talks in Welsh, even with EngUsjim.cn who have been in Wales for more than three years, aijd unless he sends Welsh business letters to English fjrtus oyer the border, he is to Dau (,' N-fitill as an heathen man and a publican," a Dic-Shon-Dafydd, a be- trayer of his country. Could bigotry go further than this? Language is one of the distinctive 9 marks of nationality, not the inner, absolute esscncc. We have amongst us sterling patriots who cannot converse in Welsh, and ardent nation- alists who would not regard the extinction of the Welsh language as au unmixed calamity. Would Dau Gyfaillsay that the preacher is a patriot when delivering a Welsh sermon, and a traitor when delivering an English one? Would he say that Mr. O. M. Edwards isa Dr, Jckyll when editing Ci/ivm, and a Mr. Hyde when editing J!'u{" Let us bo ieasonable even in our patriotism. Let its cherish our language and teach it to our children in the elementary schools but it is foolish aii(I wrong to regard as essential that which is only incidental. In the other article Elpiun, with a pen dipped in gall and wormwood, criticises the Oxford species of Young Welshman. The skit is very cleverly done, and some of the points arc handled with admirable dexterity. If the victims do not wince under the lash we must envy them the thickness of their skin. That they have done much good work, "Elphiu" readily admits. But they arc rather ton fond of riding the high horse, and deplorably addicted to reading the Riot Act over the heads of their countrymeu. It was" ell that someone should let them know what is thought of them by the multitude. Elphin has done his work splendidly. He is candid without being brutal. He does not criticise without discrimina- tion. His identity is known only to the gods. himself, and the editor of the Veninm. But Mr. O. M. Edwards and Mr. J. Morris Jones would give a great deal to have the secret revealed. THE Rev. Mr. Ingram gave an interesting accennt, at the Wesley Chapel, Merthyr, on Tuesday night, of the work done during the year by the Weeleyan Home Mission. An idea of the extent of the work may be gleaned from the fact that the receipts for the year amounted to f35.523, the expenditure to f36,534, leaving a deficiency of £I,On. It may be mentioned, as an interesting item of information, that the sum of £7,566 was contributed by the juvenile associations. South Wales collected jEl,237 for the Home Mission Fund, which is a. very creditable record. It has received from the ) fund the .sum of £ 2,511. The Mission carries on extensive operations in South Wales, with Cardin and Pontypridd as centres. The Rev. So F. Collier started in Cardiff in October, 1893, with very satisfactory results and the Rev. John Evans, known to every Welshman as "Eglwysba.ch," is doing excellent work amongst the 150,000 people centred around Pontypridd. Much good is done in the army, navy, and amongst our sea-faring population. It is a pity there should be a deceit in the year's account of receipts and expenditure, for a more excellent work than that done by the Home Missiou was never undertaken by human effort. This is an age in which the missionary spirit has taken a firm hold of the public mind. it is an age of slum work," forward movements," and other means of bringing the masses under the influence of the Gospel, and to carry the blessings of civilisation into the darkest hovels and most depraved alleys of our large towns. The great Wesleyan denomination maintains a vast mission- ary work in heathen lands, and it is encouraging to understand that it in no way neglects the heathen element in our own country. MR. BIUCHAM S remarks at Saturday's meeting of fhc Board of Guardians, should be carefully studied by the medical officers of the Board. He found that these gentlemen did not send in their reports of visits to the pauper patients. It was not said or hinted that the doctors were in any way lax in attending to the paupers, and wo fed sure that that is not the case. But they arc supposed to send in periodical reports showing the number of visits paid and the condition of the patients. The Board unanimously resolved to instruct the Clerk to remind the doctors of this part of their duty. The Board should be quite firm on this matter, and insist that the reports are regularly and punctually forwarded. It was a humane and a praiseworthy thing to allow the Workhouse inmates to have bread with their dinner on Tuesdays. This change ill the dietary should have been made long ago. Next Saturday a most interesting question will be discussed at the Board, the question, namely, of providing rooms where aged married couples may live together. This is a reform which is sadlr needed. SIR William Harcourt s speech at Derby will give great satisfaction to the Temperance Party. He said two things alxmt the Local Veto Bill that arc extremely encouraging. The Bill is not to be dropped. It may and will have to wait its turn. and a pretty long interval may elapse before it can be taken up. But its time is sure to come eventu- ally. The Liberal Party are not in the habit of turning back once they put their hands to the plough. A more thoroughly democratic measure than the Local Veto it would be difficuit to conceive. The principle it is based upon is that the people themselves ought to be directlv respon- sible for the control of the drink traffic, In them will the authority be vested, and on their shoulders will rest the responsibility. The trade itself can- not justly oppose this principle. The licensed victuallers cannot reasonably argue that it is unjust to let the public control the public houses. The second thing that Sir William said is also satisfac- factory. The Bill is to be modified in one impor- tant respect. It will give power to the inhabitants of a locality to say how many public houses they require, if any. "As at first drafted, the Bill provided only for the total prohibition of the traffic. It now includes as well the other alterna- tive of reduction. On this point thp Welsh Bill has been followed. Let the Temperance Party be of good heart. The battle may belong and fierce, but there can be no doubt as to the ultimate issue. Loni) RANDOLPH CHI-RCHILE will live in history as the man who first- attempted to develop a I positive side to Toryism. He thought the Tories should do something besides defending aristocratic privileges. He maintained they should have a programme and a policy, and that they ought to extend their sympathy iu some practical form to the masses. Mr. Chamberlain tries his hand at tho same game nowadays. Poor Lord Raudolph failed, and it is extremely doubtful that Mr. Chamberlain will suececd, his programmes one after the other being scornfully brushed aside by the stern and unbending Tories. The Realm, the newest organ of up-to-date Toryism, declares that they want no programmes, that their sole business is to stem the tide of progress. Though descending from an aristocratic family, and though a man of great brilliancy and undoubted ability, the streaks of bitterness and vulgarity, we might almost say of brutality, in his character rendered Lord Randolph an impossible politician. Knowledge and ideas arc not the only equipments of the statesman. In order to succeed he must know how to lead, to humour, to handle his followers. Lord Randolph had none of this knowledge. On tho contrary, one of the best things he could do was to offend his party, and draw upon himself the wrath of his leaders and the contempt of his equals. Tho story is told of him that, when going out to Africa on board ship, he played cards in the saloon when his fellow-passengers, only a few yards off, were engaged in divine service. This story was vouchcd for at the time. But even if not literally true it shows very clearly the manner of man his lordship was. We all mourn his premature death. per- haps his political death, some years ago, following the beginning of a career of unusual promise, was a still more mournful calamity. But justicc con- strains us to say that his character is to be admired only in part, and that his record of achievement is nil. Had he lived, and had a stronger physical constitution being given him, the story of his life might have been a very different one. Tm. withdrawa1 of the Dowlais colliers from the Dowlais, Plymouth, and Cyfarthfa Conference is a thing both difficult to understand and to be deeply deplored. In a feH- weeks the Slidinf-scalc notice will run out. In order to meet the"crisis that will then ensue an attempt is being made to form a central organisation for the whole of South Wales. A branch of that organisation is pro- posed to be established in the Merthyr Valley, and the conference above-mentioned is now emm'-cd in carrying out that scheme. But the DowTais men withdraw, and say they are not prepared at pre- sent to join any organisation. What do they mean ? Surely this is not the time to stand aloof The present is a period when union is ahsolutclv neeessary if the Slidiug-scalc is to be improved. 1 he Scale may be a noble institution, but it would appear to have utterly demoralised the men in the matter ot unionism. THE Yaynor Parish Council wilt have their hands full for some time to come. They took up the Pontsticill Mater question, but the District Council stepped in and snatched it from them. So there are two councils competing for the honour of pro- viding a supply of drinking water for the goofl people of Pontsticill Our neighbours up the valley are to be envied and congratulated. Let us hope it will not be a case of two stools. Noticc was given at the last meeting of the Parish Council that attention will be drawn to the sanitary con- dition of Cefn. There is ample scope for reform here, as our correspondent Hen Lane has repeatedly pointed out. The chairman thought this too was a matter that came within the juris- diction of the District Council. The Parish Coun- cillors arc in revolt against this, and they arc going to make a thorough investigation into the subject, and get the relative duties of the two Councils clearly defined. THE Abel daie School Board are anxious to intro- duce the study ot Welsh into their schools. Therein they arc doing well. But there is a difficulty in the way. Of the 35 head teachers, only 25 arc conversant with the language. The other ten cannot possibly teach the language unless and until they master it. Now, the question is this Is it right that Welsh children should be debarred from a grammatical knowledge of their native tongue because their teachers arc not duly equipped for their duties ? The answer is ccrtain! y The not question is: Whether the children arc made for the teachers; or the teachcrs for the childvc.il. In the future, no teacher will be appointed to a Welsh school unless he knows and cau teach Welsh. Members of the scholastic pro- fession should lay this to heart. The death of the Welsh language might possibly be a ble*sin~ to Wales, and not a calamity. But it is not going to die just yet. An accurate knowledge of the lan- guage, and an insight into the history and litera- ture of their native laud, would be to the childm, of Wales an educational training the value of which cannot possibly be over-estimated. SOME of the new administrators on our loeal bodirr, Would seem to have been diligent students of thr; erstwhile famous book, Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures. Their courage and economic aeal arc very much to bo admired. But in their hnn<v»-r for cheap popularity they arc apt to make Too much capital out of things of no intrinsic import- ance. And perhaps they allow themselves occa- sionally to be carried away by excess of enthusi- asm. Last week they made terrific onslaughts, a fa. Mrs. Caudle, on sonic of the Council's servants. Abuse of officials is a royal roao to popular favour. There is nothing no easily done, nothing that- morf* surely wins for one the pluudits of the multitude. But after all, we mu..t remember thai officials, as fj, rule, arc just what theii superiors make them. It is bad form for councillors to abu&e their officials when the gentlemen of the press are within earshot. If it is wrong for an official to live in a certain place, nothing is gained, excepting