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MERTHYR TYDFIL URBAN DISTRICT…

MERTHYR TYDFIL SCHOOL BOARD.

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MERTHYR TYDFIL.

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Family Notices

THURSDAY, MARCH 5TH, 1896.

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|SPAllKS FROM THE ANVIL.

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SPAllKS FROM THE ANVIL. By JOE HAMMERSMITH. Au old Welsh proverb says, "Trydydd tro bydd eoel." The Guardians have now elected a relieving officer for Aberdare for the third time. The choice on Saturday fell on Mr. Llewelyn Richards, a native of Aberdare, and undoubtedly an excellent man in every respect. Let us hope that everything will go on satis- factorily this third time. Mr. Thomas Thomas, the popular guardian," did well to call attention to a matter I touched upon in this column last week. There was a doubt, as I said, as to whether the Board's procedure was techntcallv regular. Mr. Price had withdrawn his candidature by reason of his being over the maximum age. Then the Board decided to elect one of the three other can- didates picked out-, along with Mr. Price, for final selection. Was this strictly regular? Or should the whole business have been gone through over again, beginning with an advertisement of the vacancy in the usual way? Mr. Thomas asked the clerk to explain the legal position of the Board, so as to avoid any further complication and delay. The clerk replied that the law did not compel the Board to advertise at all, md that their mode of procedure was well within the regulations. The real point of the matter, how- ever, was not the advertising, but the limiting of the final choice to three men. The gist of the problem is this: was Saturday's election a part or continuation of Saturday fortnight's election, or was it a fresh elec- tion? If the former, it was legal if the latter, the Local Government BoaiU may possibly give trouble. The Guardians and the clerk take the former view, which is now doubt as m')"h in accordance with the strict letter of the law as it is with the dictates of common sense. MrrP rice, as we have seen, was over the age. Cnri- ously enough, one of the three candidates on Saturday turned out to be under the age. Two of them were young, one You.ig by name, the other young in year. Mr. Young was not too young. The candidate who was too young was Mr. David Williat)t-, who was born just a few days too late for the purpose o: this appointment. I Wisli him better luck in the future. Time is !In his side. Out of-the four candidates chosen for final selection two wo to disqualified on the score of age. One was below the minimum, and the other over the maximum, One thought himself a little older than he really was, and the other a little younger. Both acted in good faith, and did not attempt wittingly to mislead tbo Board. But the moral of the affair, as I pointed out. a fortnight ago, and as the Board resolved on Satur- day week, is let every candidate in future produce a certificate of birth. The number of people, even of intelligent people, who are ignorant of their actual a^e. is astonishing, and a rule like the foregoing is absolutely necessary to obviate difficulties. Lunacy is on the increase in this country. In Eug- land and Wales the increase from 1885 to 1893 was 15'5 per cent. The increase in Ireland during the same period was 21'8. In 1893-4 the increase in Eng- land and Wales was only 2'5 per cent. Is that a feather in the Liberal Government's cap ? In Ireland, during the same period, the increase wae 5'7. The Lunacy Commissioners have made a special report with regard to Ireland, and among the causes of in. crease they mention the excessive use of tea. Verb SJ p. Sir Charles Dilke has a \ery interesting article oil fines and deductions in last week's Saturday liei ieic. Employers of a celtain class impose the most out- rageous and tyrannical fines on their workmen. It has often happened that the men, when pay-day comes round, actually owe their employers money by reason of the tines they have incurred. The plain and simple truth of the matter is that the tines and deductions are only a part and parcel of the sweating system. Some firms make ery tidy profits in this way. For instance, they deduct >'0 much for gas or steam power, but the deductions are far in excess of the gas and steam bills. It is maintained that tines are necessary from a disciplinary point of view. Punctuality, for example, cannot be secured, it is alleged, except with the assistance of this system. Sir Charles Dilke, how- ever, points out that some of the leading firms in all trades are abandoning fines altogether, and the results of that experiment have exceeded their most sanguine expectations. Fines annoy and irritate the employed they are a species of tyranny very difficult to tolerate and their removal produces the most salutary effects. Continental Governments do not permit employers to bleed and harass their employed in this manner. In France, fines and deductions must not exceed a certain proportion of the total earnings. In Germany the fines must be devoted to some objects that are of benefit to those who pay them. Sir Charles knows pretty well everything that is knowable in this world. His knowledge of fines is extensive and peculiar. But there is one species which he does not seem to have heard of. I refer to the fines imposed by Cardiff shonkeepers on their assistants for talking Welsh. Per naps he will investi- gate this part of the subject, and write another article thereon for the Saturday. What are things coming to., Professor Morris Jones is demolishing the Gorsedd, and now Ur. Edward Foulkes comes along, and says, in an article j in the Gwyl Dewi number of the Genincn, that he does not believe a tithe of what is given to us as the history of Dafydd ab Gwilym. If things go on at this rate the whole of antiquity will be swept away into the limbo of oblivion, and we shall be left forlorn without a single belief to oheer our dreary solitude. Dafydd is our greatest (x>et, but it is preeiou* little we kuow of his life. What generally passes as his biography is evidently only a mass of legends, which may be true, but which do not look as if they were. We have his poetry at least wc have a lot of it; and perhaps that should lie sufficient for us. It is not very likely that our curiosity about his earthly career will ever be satisfied. What we want now is a cheap and popular edition of Dafydd's poems. There are three or four men who could supply this very lung-felt want. They could give an accurate and reliable text, and elucidate that text with grammatical and historical notes, together with a glossary of difficult words. It is a pity the beauties and charm of our greatest poet should be almost entirely unknown to the mass's of Welsh readers. Professor Morris Jones employs himself in belabouring a puerile fetish which nobody except Morien beliek e; in. He would he doing us greater service, I rather think, if he gave us a good and popular edition of the works of Dafydd ab Gwilym. We are FDON iu' along," as Ai tenuis Ward would say, "slowly along" towards the goal of Liberal organisation. An association has been formed at Troedyrhiw, and next week a stait is to he made at Abercan lid. In Merthyr the Brecon-road Association is doing good work and gradually increasing in strength and influence. Something may be done one of these itne days in the Town Ward, and Dowlais may follow in the same path. The feeling generally prevails that the time lias come to join hands together once more, and bury the bitterness of the past in the grave of oblivion. Does the spirit of Henry Richard haunt St. Stephen's classic pile these days ? W hat does it c-av of the gigantic expenditure of public money un the Navy? It is something terrible to think of, this Na\v esti- mate. We are at peace with all the world. There i* not even a rumour of war. Yet we are going to spend money on our Navy as if Armageddon itself was to come off in the summer. Wo complain of comhiercial depression. ('11 tinental countries are stealing our trade from uand beating us in our own markets. The outlook generally is not very cheerful. We are gioaning under a lw,n y burden of taxation. Thrifty, hard-working folk lind it difficult to keep the wolf from the door. And yet the lories have nothing letter to suggest for the salvation of the country than to upend scores of ln.I,onf on 71ach"lt"' to shoot people into atoms. How w.ll it benefit us to kill iur neighbours ? 'Tis a mad world, my masters.

IMUSICAL GOSSIP.

M EET OF THE LLANWONNO HOUNDS.

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