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Comments and Criticisms.


Comments and Criticisms. BY "C0CHFARF." It cannot be said any longer that the Welsh ladiea of Cardiff lack zeal in promoting the Welsh language, for at the St. David's dinner on Friday night the loyal toast was followed by Miss Eilir Evans singing" Dow Gadwo'n Teyrn in fine Cymraeg. The incident was somewhat novel even to such champions of Cymraeg as were present at the dinner, but Miss Evans sang with such spirit and excellent enunciation that, notwithstanding the words being, on account of the death of Queen Vic- toria and the accession of King Edward VII., a new translation, the company had, by the time the last verse was reached, thoroughly caught up the new version, and I prophesy that it has come to stay. Bravo, Miss Evans! I am sure that many will be glad to have an opportunity to read the verses and preserve them for future use. The translation is by Mr. W. Eilir Evans, and was made at the request of Mrs. H. Hughes Thomas. An almost buried talent is discovered here. and Mr. Evans will fail in his duty to his country if he does not exercise his undoubted gift more fre- quently. Melus moes eto." DUW GADWO'N TEYRN. I I. Duw gadwo'n graslawn Deyrn; Hir oes i'n mwynaf Deyrn; Duw gadwo'n Teyrn. Coroned llwydd ei waitli; Caed ddedwydd, glodfawr daith, A chaed deyrnasu'n faith; Duw gadwo'n Teyrn. n. Bendithion goreu'r net Ddisgynont arno ef; Hir oes i'n Teyrn: Cartrefle yn ei fron Caed rheithiau'r Devrnas hon, Modd gallom ganu'n lion, Duw gadwo'n Term. in. Pob gelyn. Arglwydd lor, Gwna'n ddim ar dir a mor Drv: barthau'r byd; Rhag brad (Uffvna'n Llyw. A drygau oJsob rhyw; Ein gobaitjf Iorwerth yw; Duw'n cadwo i gyd. E. In the March number of Celtia," the organ of the Pan-Celtic movement, M. Francois Vallee—the author of the Welsh telegram received from Brittany at the Cardiff St. David's banquet on Saturday night —has commenced a. Welsh and Breton vocabulary, commencing with Food" (Bwyd). Indeed, the question may be asked, Where is the difference. taking the following words as samples ?—Bwyd (bloued), blawd (bleut), bara (bara), ymenyn (amonen), caws (keus), cig (kig). pysgod (peaked), ffa (fa), afal (afal), dwfr (doner), ervin (irvin), crammwyth (krampoez—North Wales, crempog), mel (mel), and so on to the end. I noticed in Saturday's papers an account of a sheep-stealing case in Breconshire, and that the thief was entrapped through certain marks being found on a sheepskin in hie possession. A very interesting chapter in connection with the agricultural life of the Principality could be written upon the various means devised to identify sheep that were lost in times when sheep-etealing was one of the most common fekmie*; indeedi, in the earlier part of the last oentury the offence was punishable by hanging. There are two methods of marking sheep in vogue to this da.y. One is by a pitch. or tar, mark made on the leg or shoulder of the sheep and the other by punc- turing or notching or catting one or both of the ears, rbc ta-r mark takes the furm of the initials of the owner, but the ear-marking is made in as many ways, and with as many different definitions as tradesmen's priva.te trade marks. Old shepherds, otherwise illite- rate, will become quite eloguent over the mystery of ear-marking. The chief object of tar-ma<rki»g is to assist Jarmers whoso sheep-flocks graze promiscu- ously, say, on common Land or sheep-runs, to distinguish their property when necessary; but the ear-marking is a precaution against sheep-stealing, for, if a thief destroys tihe ear when skinning his ill-gotten prize, it is prima facie evidence that the skin is not his own property, and, if preserved, the private mark becomes ievidence against him; hence, the skins of stolen shesp, particularly in the long ago, when sheep-stealing was pretty common, were buried deep im the earth as a msans of elud- ing detection. Indleed, when there was a general suspicion of there being a sheep- stealer in a neighbourhood it was cautiously Sla-ild tha.t he sold1 more carcases at the market than he did skins to the tanner. The word ear-marked" is applied to many things in commercial and social life by this time, one old English proverb has under- gone a peculiar and interesting change, espe- cially among sea-gomg people who know noth- ing of rural customs. "To Jose a sheep for a ha'p'orth of tar" has become, "To lose a ship for a ha'p'orth of tar," and, indeed, the moral of the proverb in accentuated by the change, which is intended1 to point out a meanine similar to the "penny wise pound foolish" illus- tration of false economy. I remember the late respected Mr. Peter Price, J.P., disputing this opinion with me many years ago at a meet- in of too Cardiff Town Council, but a refe- rence to Proverbs" confirmed my view. Mr. Price was glad to be corrected1, for he was a native of the noted sheep-breeding county of Breconshire, and eventually re-oalled to mind the tar-making custom that* was common among his native hills. The joker is irrepressible, but there is no greater difference of opinion in this world' than as to what is, and what is not, a. good joke. "Why Botha about De Wet?" is one of the last advertisements, "but wear Blank and waterproofs"; but if the owner of the comic paper that contained the joke which cawed a Sunderland shipwright to die of laughter knows his busi- ness he will advertise his property, and the in- cident I have mentioned, very largely. It may be said that people do not wish to die of laughter, but such is the inqudsitivenes9 of our generation that everybody would want to see this killing joke, let the result be what it will. But it would be equally interesting to discover how many readers would deem this remarkable joke as being worth laughing at in any degree. but would regard the unfortunate shipwright as being extremely sensitive to humour, but a poor judge of a joke nevertheless. Although only moving in the humbler walks of life, a very remarkable character was John Ellis, the seamen's missionary of Holyhead. He was a man who, without turning to the right or to the left, devoted himself to the spiritual uplifting of his seagoing comrades, but so widespread was his fame in the religious world that he was a close personal friend of the 'ate C. HI. Spurgeon, the latter having noticed him pursuing his work by means of his little "Bethel" boat when the great Baptist preacher was passing to Ireland via Holyhead, and after that Ellis visited the Metropolitan Tabernacle en great occasions, and was given a front placVby its world-known pastor. But gerat as wad the building and strange the language Ellis never failed! to demonstrate the Welsh "hwyl"—and with Welsh exclamations such as "Diolch"! John Ellis was buried in the sacred island of Anglesea on the day of the accession of King Edward VII. He had benefited recently by a legacy of £1,000 left him by a Church of Eng- land clergyman, although Ellis was one of the strictest of strict Baptists. Sincerity disarms prejudice, and good work honestly done is always appreciated,

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