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Notes from South Wales.


Notes from South Wales. (From our Special Correspondent.) Mr. Carnegie and Cardiff. It is hoped in Cardiff that Mr. Andrew Carnegie, millionaire and philanthropist, will be induced to visit Cardiff in the autumn to formally open the new Cathays Branch Library, towards the cost of which he was a very liberal sub- scriber. Mr. Carnegie would be certain of a hearty welcome. x Welsh and Irish: a Comparison. In reading the Manchester Guardian the other day, I noticed a reference to the St. David's and St. Patrick's services. The Guardian went on to say that the crowded Irish service in West- minster Cathedral was impressive, and far more distinctly recalled St. Patrick and his time than the Welsh service at St. Paul's on St. David's Eve recalls St. David." But is the St. David's service at St. Paul's a typically Welsh one ? And is it fair to take that service as the best criterion of a Welsh national religious cele- bration ? Palm Sunday. Last Sunday, being Palm Sunday, the ceme- teries in South Wales were, as usual, beautifully decorated with flowers. The idea of planting flowers on the graves of the dead is a touching one, but unfortunately the custom has now largely degenerated into a. kind of mere flower show. There is a good deal of rivalry as to who has the best display," and the thousands of spectators who visit the cemeteries on this day conduct themselves more after the fashion of a Bank Holiday crowd. A custom that should evoke a profound feeling of reverence simply arouses feelings of vulgar curiosity. Mr. Evan Roberts' Fame. A London contemporary recently remarked that the extent of Mr. Evan Roberts's fame can be gauged by the fact that his profile now appears on jam-jars sold by a Carnarvon firm." I may add that several South Wales grocers had almanacs, with photos of Mr. Evan Roberts as the principal feature, last winter, whilst cups and saucers and other ware, with the photo of the famous Welsh evangelist depicted thereon, have been sold in South Wales shops for many months past. Tregaron Lights." As a Welshman and a Nonconformist, I must say that I was heartily ashamed to notice the gross superstition recently displayed by a section of Welsh people in the Tregaron district. Mrs. Jones, of Egryn, a sincere and devout woman, no doubt, was conducting mission services there recently, and some of the Tregaronites actually believed that Mrs. Jones was followed by "mysterious lights." To quote one ex- pression They encircled her inside the chapel where she spoke." Of course, it is only a very Ignorant and superstitious person who can believe in this kind of thing, and the more intelligent section of Welsh Nonconformists would never for one moment believe that these "mysterious lights" were supernatural in any way. As a matter of fact, the Tregaron lights were simply the reflections from burning gorse. There is a vast difference between true religion and superstition, and I feel sure I am only voicing the opinions of all intelligent Welshmen, Nonconformists and Churchmen alike, when I say that the circulation of absurd stories such as those^of the "Tregaron lights" only tend to bring ridicule upon the Welsh people generally. I heard a reverend missioner the other day relate some of his experiences among the poor ignorant natives of West Africa, where they worshipped the moon and stars, but it seems to me that we have some people in our own beloved Wales, who do not appear to be very better than these poor deluded West Africans. Misleading Headings. The Aberystwyth Board of Guardians recently adopted a resolution in support of the appoint- ment of a Welsh-speaking successor to Mr. Bircham, the retiring Poor Law Inspector. The Aberystwyth Obse/ver heads the report of the same as Wales for the Welsh." Of course it is nothing of the kind. It was distinctly understood by the Guardians that they were only advocating a Welsh-speaking successor, and not necessarily a Welsh-speaking Welsh- man. An Englishman, a Scotchman, or an Irishman, would be quite as eligible as a Welsh man provided he could speak Welsh. A similar resolution was passed at the meeting of the Merthyr Board of Guardians, and here again the Guardians made it quite clear that what they advocated was a Welsh-speaking successor of any nationality. Yet the Merthyr Express heads its report the same as the Aberyslwjth Observer, viz, "Wales for the Welsh." It is through misleading headings of this kind that Welshmen have wrong constructions placed upon their views and wishes. Nobody, that I am aware of, desires Wales for the Welsh," but there are thousands of Welshmen who desire, and rightly so, that the leading public offices in Wales should be filled by officials who can speak the language of the people. Curious Incident at Holyhead. A recait incident that occurred at Holyhead has caused a great deal of comment, particularly in the northern portion of the Principality. It appears that Miss Peggy Williams, a scholar at the County School in that town, was expelled because she insisted on wearing a ring Miss Williams is the daughter of the Rev. John Williams, and wore the ring with the consent of her parent. But the headmaster recently made a rule-and a very ridiculous one, I should say— that in school no girl should wear a ring, and called on Miss Peggy Williams to comply with this regulation. Saying that her father allowed her to wear the ring, the scholar refused to take it off, whereupon the headmaster said that if she came to school wearing the ring again he would have to suspend her. After some corre- spondence the girl's father withdrew his daughter from the school; but the headmaster, taking no notice of this, formally expelled her. The Rev. John Williams complained of this proceeding to the governors of the school, and after a private meeting the headmaster was reprimanded by the governors. It is of the utmost importance that discipline should be carried out in all our public schools, but to refuse to let young girl pupils wear rings on their fingers in school is a too zealous form of discipline, and ridiculous in the extreme.




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