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Notes of the Week.


Notes of the Week. The Murder of Duke Sergius.—No civilised mind can think of the assassination of the Czar's uncle without shuddering. The details of the tragedy are too horrible to be written. And the worst of all such acts is that they never do any good. The attainment of freedom for the downtrodden millions of Russians is not brought a day nearer by blowing the Grand Duke Sergius to atoms. In no case does the end justify the means, much less such means as bomb throwing. At the same time, it ought to be recognised that this terrible deed is the natural fruit of Sergius's long career of cruelty, and the result, in particular of the inhuman massacre of the people in St. Petersburg on Vladimir's Day. There are after all limits to the endurance of human nature. It is very long-suffering, it carries crushing burdens for a long time very patiently, it allows itself to be illtreated up to a certain point without retaliating. But at last it turns upon its oppressor, and when it does so it cares not what weapons it uses. We may be sure that such deeds are not committed without there being a cause sufficient to account for them. Human nature is not a demon. That was proved in this very case. The murderer when arrested expressed his satisfaction that the Grand Duchess was not in the carriage with her husband. We quite believe that the perpetra- tors of such deeds are as sorry as the rest of the world for all innocent lives sacrificed. First Days of the Session.—There have not been many signs yet that the Government is going to pieces very soon. In fact it seems to have gained considerable stability since Parlia- ment met, a week ago. That, perhaps, was only natural, though hardly anyone thought of it beforehand. In the House of Commons the Unionist Party is still in a majority of over eighty, whilst everywhere in the country it has been defeated and disgraced. When it found itself in St. Stephen it breathed a different atmosphere to that which it had breathed during the last six months, and consequently feels itself invigorated. The Opposition, too, has given it considerable assistance to recuper- ate. To challenge the Government on a direct issue such as contained in Mr. Asquith's amendment is very doubtful tactics. It gave all the Unionist sections a pretext to draw together with the result that it was defeated by a majority of 63. And somehow or other the fight made by the Opposition lacked vigour. We are no admirers of the methods of the Prime Minister, but he is a far better fighter than anyone who sits on the Front Bench opposite to him. Some of the younger men on that side are quite able to hold their own against him but for some unaccountable reason not one of them took part in the debate. And should the Liberal Party come into office, unless some "new blood" be infused into the leadership, it will fare badly at the hands of Balfour and Chamberlain. But an early dissolution looks far less probable to-day than it did a fortnight ago. w Preparing for the Inquiry.-Wales is all aglow at the prospect of having a National Library and Museum, and already there are signs of active preparations for the visit of the Com- mittee of Inquiry. When we referred to the matter last week we had had no opportunity of finding out what were the views of any of our fellow-countrymen. But we find now that we gauged the general view much more correctly than we thought. There seems to be a pretty general agreement that the Library must be located at Aberystwyth. Not because of its central position alone. No library can have any claim to the title of Welsh National Library unless it includes at least three collec- tions of Welsh books and MSS., viz.. those in possession of Mr. W. R. M. Wynne of Peniarth, Sir John Williams of Plas Llanstephan, and Mr. _n_ J. H. Davies of Cwrt Mawr. Sir John Williams has secured the reversion of the Peniarth Library, and both he and Mr. J. H. Davies have expressed their intention of handing over their treasures to the Welsh nation provided Aberystwyth is selected. This fact in itself is almost sufficient to decide the question. But there is to be a keen competition for the Museum. Swansea is going to make a strong bid for it. Several of its most prominent citizens such as Sir John Llewelyn and Alderman Griffith Thomas, have already promised their thousands towards a suitable building. Yet, we feel pretty confident that the real fight will be between Carnarvon and Cardiff. In many respects Carnarvon Castle would be an ideal home for such an institution; on the other hand, the great population of Cardiff and the surrounding districts tells strongly in favour of the southern town. No Welsh CapitaI.-A writer in the Manchester Guardian calls attention to the interesting fact that Wales never had a capital. The two most influential princes of the days of Welsh Inde- pendence-" Llewelyn our Last Prince," and Lord Rhys "-held their Courts respectively in Aberffraw and Dynevor. It is needless to remark that neither of those two places are of the slightest importance in the Wales of to-day. Llewelyn the Great called the Welsh princes together to hold councils at Aberdovey and Strata Florida. Owen Glyndwr summoned his Welsh Parliament to Machynlleth. In the later middle ages, after the English had become rulers, Carnarvon and Carmarthen were for a time the administrative centres for North and South Wales respectively. At a later time when the Council of the Marches ruled Wales, Ludlow, in Shropshire, where Milton's Comus was acted before the Lord President's Court, was undoubtedly the administrative capital. Could one of the towns that are now anxious to give a home to the Library and Museum bring forth some evidence that it was, even for a short period, the capital of the whole of Wales, that town might beat down all its rivals.

Am Gymry LluncHin.