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SPIRIT OF THE WELSH PRESS, [BY GWYLIEEYDD."] The all-important proposal to dismember the United Kingdom—which pretty nearly absorbs the attention of the English press-is entirely ignored by the Welsh newspapers, except a casual notice in the summary of the past year in the Celt, in the following terms:—"The sooner an Irish Parliament meets in College Green the better. Between everything, the tyrannical English aristocracy are in sad pin and sore travail. They know not what to do. They may as well take pills against earthquakes as to prevent the Irish people having Home Rule. And there is no doubt but that Wales will find a deliverer to lead the people—as Moses led the children of Israel-from the English tyranny under which they now groan. Let our people be ready, with staffs in their hands, to respond to his call when he comes." It is difficult, if not impossible, to account for the grossly and palpably erroneous statements made with regard to political matters by the editors and conductors of the Radical press of Wales. It would be a libel on their moral cha- racters to say that they state what they know to be untrue. But if we were to acquit them of this charge, the other alternative-ignorance of the subject-would place them in an almost equally reprehensible condition. I am inclined to place them in the latter category, and will give a few illustrations in support of my opinion.' The Goleuad says:—" Whatever Mr. Gladstone's greatness as a home legislator and reformer may be, we believe that his foreign policy, in ages to come, will be regarded with equal brilliancy and admiration. He was never seen to better advan- tage than in the negotiations with Russia last year, in the matter of the boundary between that country and Afghanistan. If Lord Salisbury bad been in office last March we should have been plunged in war with Russia." The Gwyliedydd, having drank from the same dirty foun- tain as his Calvinistic brother, makes the following statement:—" Let not our readers forget the great political fact of the year, if not of the century, namely, the coolness and determination with which Mr. Gladstone grasped the reins of the red horse that was prancing and snorting in Afghanistan, tamed him, and turned him back." And the Genedl follows suit thus:—" We narrowly escaped a bloody war on the borders of Afghanistan between the Powers of England and Russia. But, owing to the matchless skill and heroic determination of Mr. Gladstone, such a fearful disaster was turned aside. We cannot but congratulate the country that Mr. Gladstone was in power at the time, for if the other party had been in office a fearful war would have ensued." It is very possible that these reverend editors copied, or, rather, translated, their Reviews of the year 1885," from some low Radical print. There is a strong family likeness between them. The absorbing subject of interest this week is the strike at Llanberis Quarries. Mr. Assheton Smith, the owner, has refused to submit to arbitra- tors the question whether he or the workmen are to manage the works. The North Wales Radical press is furious, and threaten all kinds of pains and penalties upon Mr. Smith if he does not give in. The Baner, in its heavy, authoritative style, leads off thus:—" Let Mr. Vivian understand that such conduct as his may lead to serious conse- quences, and we would advise Mr. Assheton Smith to close his door against the gossiping parsons and curates who are endeavouring to injure good and honest workmen because they cannot repeat their religious shibboleth." The Genedl follows: And who is this Mr. Vivian who traduces the character of the workmen ? A sprig of nobility without sense, experience, and, maybe, principle also, who came among them two or three years ago. Will Wales stand this?" The Goleuad condemns the managers, the Herald re- commends arbitration, and Gwalia is silent. A straw will show which way the wind blows. The advice to Mr. Assheton Smith not to admit the parsons" into his house indi- cates the origin and purpose of the demand of the men to discharge the present manager. The disJ trict is over-run with chapels, and many of the preachers are working in the quarries. But of late the Church has been making steady progress, and the managers, being of that persuasion, sym- pathise more with men of their own faith than with those of a hostile creed. The spread of Church prin- ciples among the workmen lessens the attendance at the chapels, and diminishes the amount of the collections. A close reader of the Nonconformist press must have noticed of late years the increase of complaints of chapel debts and the difficulties attendant upon keeping matters going. A corre- spondent of the Seven has a long letter on the sub- ject, and shows a sad state of poverty among many of the Baptist Churches of Wales. Of Llanberis he writes:—" The debts are frightful (arswydus), and the poor brethren are in great trouble. Here are three small churches, near each other, with the following heavy debts due upon them:— Clwtybont, £ 800; Llanberis, zC600 Peny- groes, £ 1,200." This refers to a com- paratively small denomination; but if the facts were known it would appear that the Methodists and Independents are in the same insolvent condition. The state of things is becoming desperate, and desperate efforts must be made to stem the steady progress of the Church. The recent elections have exposed the nakedness of the land. Instead of nine out of every ten of the people being Radical and Nonconformist-as was freely alleged twelve months ago-they are not three to one. If the strike continues we shall find these good and intelligent" quarry- men stumping the country in pairs, and appealing for help against the tyranny of Mr. Assheton Smith and his agents. There will be as great a row as there was over the Blue Books in 1848. Great satisfaction is expressed by the Baner and other papers with the meetings of tenant farmers that have been held in several parts of the country of late. Soiiie demand the same treatment of the landlords as was extended to Ireland by Mr. Glad- stone. The Sum complains that many farmers voted for the Tories at the late election, and adds: The farmers may as well expect to obtain relief from the Conservatives as to expect light from darkness." It has always been a mystery to me to understand how it can be to the interest of a tonant farmor or a labourer to vote in opposition to his landlord or employer. Persons sailing in the same boat should pull together. The truth is that the farming interest suffers from the fact that other countries can grow corn and meat cheaper than we can. And it has been proved in scores of in- stances that farms will not pay rent free. The dissatisfied, especially those who endeavour to set class against class, ought to emigrate. A writer in tho last number of the Dryck states that any quantity of land may be had in America for a few dollars per acre, and that a company has been formed to establish a Welsh colony in that country and to help their countrymen to emigrate. The Goleuad devotes its chief leader to heal the breach occasioned by the attacks made upon the Rev. Edward Matthews for having written a sym- pathetic letter to Mr. J. T. D. Llewelyn, the Conser- vative candidate for South Glamorgan. The power and influence of Mr. Matthews are too great to be affected by the men who have attacked him. The editor of the Goleuad takes these scribblers to task, and says: We are bound to admit that Mr. Matthews holds Conservative views on politics, which he advocates with as much conscientious- ness as we do ours; and we are bound also to allow him the same liberty which we claim for our- selves. It is not impossible for a person to be an out-and-out Tory and a Christian, too; 'Rhydd i bob meddwl ei farn ac i bob barn ei llafar.' We ad- vise our Liberal friends in South Glamorgan not to lose their temper at the appearance of any letter, even from the eloquent and popular author of I Nyth y Ddryw. A spirited writer in Gwalia says that the attack upon Mr. Matthews reminds him of the cur that barked at the moon. Mr. Matthews knows how to handle his pen, and if his traducers came out in their true colours he would make short work of them." J have heard that the Monthly Tidings, in which a dirty attack was made upon Mr. Matthews by tho editor, .1 has been taken with the decline," and that its death is only a question of time. The Turian gives a report of a number of con- I gratulatory meetings held in honour of Mr. Abraham, M.P., in the Rhondda Valley. At one place lie received a handsome walkiug stick, and at another he sang, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau," at the urgent request of the people, in which they joined. The Gweithiwr, on the other band, allows Mr. David Morgan, of Mountain Ash, and others to abuse and throw dirt at him in its columns. It will do Mabon no harm, but it cannot do the paper any good. The Baner prints the adjudications of Professors Powel and Roberts on the translations of" Alcestis" elicited by a prize offered by the Marquess of Bute at the Aberdaro Eisteddfod. Professor Powel gives a short general notice in choice language, which makes one regret that he does not more often write in Welsh. Professor Roberts goes elaborately into the consideration of the several compositions, and treats them with marked ability and thoroughness. He com- plains of the bad Welsh of many of the competitors. "The Welsh is remarkably poor"; I "The Welsh is wretched The Welsh is feeble," are specimens. Professor Roberts is one of the best Greek scholars in the kingdom, and a credit- able Welsh scholar, too. He has done good service by exposing Welsh writers who are ignorant of the grammar and idiosyncracies of their language. The practice has grown in consequence of the readiness of adjudicators and Eisteddfodic com- mittees to reward the best-and, perhaps, most unworthy—composition under the false notion that they are thereby promoting Welsh literature. The National Eisteddfod Associa- tion has done much mischief in this respect by giving prizes for unfinished productions after the adjudicators have condemned them. They have done so at Denbigh, Cardiff, Liverpool, and Aberdare, with no doubt good intentions, but with most injurious effects. Productions having the stamp of the Eisteddfod should be as near per- fection as possible, otherwise the educational character of the institution will suffer and the standard of merit be reduced. The Herald condemns in strong terms-and very properly-the action of the Liverpool Committee in awarding a prize for an essay after the adjudicators had declared it un- worthy of it. If the Society for the Utilisation of the Welsh Language were to take this matter in hand they would render their country good service. I must reserve my notice of the Haul until next week.