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CARMARTHEN\ UNDER THE\ SEARCH-LIGHT.

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CARMARTHEN UNDER THE SEARCH-LIGHT. Come, come, and sit you down you shall not budge You shall not go, till I set you up a glass Where you may see the inmost part of you." SHAKESPEARE. The holidays arc unholy days. .x, -$ The beer drunk in Carmarthen during the last week would float a battleship or pay for a torpedo-boat. It is a peculiar fact in anthropology that the people whom Providence has blessed with the least amount of brains seem readiest to muddle that little on the slightest provocation. Shylock was annoyed by the "vile squeaking of the wry-necked fife." Carmar- then househnlders have been annoyed of late until the small hours of the morning with the vile wheezing of the asthmatic rnclodeon. The iiiclodcoii is so called because it is the most unmelodious con- trivance ever produced by the diabolical ingenuity of a misguided inventor. We hear a good deal about the insatiable clamour of the Turkish rabble for bachsheesh"; but I think even the Oriental would in an open competition be defeated in sheer importunity by the droves cf lazy and frowsy mendicants who swarm our streets like locusts on the morning of the ist January. There is a line irony in being wished a Happy New Y CJ. r" under such circumstances. *»'" If you open your door on the "happy morn," your premises will be over-run with a swarm of unwashed tatterdemallions belching foul alcoholic vapours and who dcmalld (not beg) lhcir "calenig." "Calenig" I may esplain fur the benefit of uninitiated Saxons is the Welsh for "backsh\csh. If you don't open the door the probability is that like Bishop Ilatto's rats they would come "down through the ceiling and up through the floor. Why an intelligent community like the Carmarthen public allows itself to be over-run by a crew of this kind passes all compre- hension. It is a pleasant idea to celebrate the New Year by making presents to friends or to those who deserve any consideration at one's hands. But the plague we have to put up with is a far more serious matter. The imperious demands made on New Year's day emanate on the whole from those who are not of the slightest use to themselves or to anybody else. Why will apparently sensible people be bullied into giving away money for no other reason than that the foul scum of society may be enabled to go reeling about the streets before dinner-time to the great accentuation of its already far too patent foulness ? Perhaps the saddest spectacle of all the I saturnalia is to see little children going about in droves, and one drove comparing notes with the other as to where the best hauls arc to be made. It was no uncommon sight under the circumstances to see children of the Standard IV." type dragging about little mites under three years old 011 their cadging expeditions. What will be the inevitable outcome of a training which at such a tender age initiates mere babies into all the "wrinkles" of the professional mendicant? People who encourage such practices are not only not doing good they are committing a grave offence against society. J # The Temperance friends, I see, have been consoling themselves with the fact that Canon Williams is with them and that, therefore, the attitude of the" Press" does not matter. Far be it from me to do anything to minimise the importance of the influence of such a popular and accomplished ecclesiastic as I know the worthy Canon to b; but his personality has nothing to do with the case. The Israelites had the "Lord in a pillar of a cloud leading them in the desert but they did and said some very foolish things there all the same. A fortiori the Temperance Party cannot consider them- selves as infallible because they boast of support in quarters howevei exalted. %T- Put all these petty sneers at the Press are very very small. The Press is open to the Temperance Party as well as to their critics but whenever a representative of that party has come forward—in my experience-he runs away before the question is thoroughly b thrashed out. I should really like to hear what is to be said for temperance crochets— as opposed to temperance advocacy-- apart from mere sweeping assertions made on a temperance platform where there is practically no field for free discussion. .t I should very mud. like to goad, the Temperance Party into DOING .SOMETHING rather than that they should continue to talk louder and louder and louder as a substitute for work. We can afford to leave "unsettled such pitifully small questions as the paupers' annual pint until we do something to put down such disgraceful scenes as took place on New Year's Day, If the Temperance Party want work instead of talk let them call a public meeting in the Town Hall and propose a resolution calling upon the magistrates to bring pressure to bear on the b publicans to close their premises on New Year's Day This would be an act worthy of a Temperance Party. On Saturday the licensed houses were not required to be open for the accommodation of market people and their being shut would have prevented the disgusting spectacles which were to be encountered at every turn. No publican would ever dare to defy the magistrates. The Temperance Party would thus "let their light shine before men instead of wasting it all in illuminating each other. What is the matter with St. Peter's Church that it is never decorated like so many other sacred edifices in the town on the occasion of Christmas and of harvest festivals ? Personally I regard it to be as easy to be devotional on the mountain top as in a Gothic cathedral but when people believe in decoration and are asked from the pulpit to do it, and only do it in a very shabby way there is evidently a screw loose somewhere. Where ? However, one may agree with the senti- ments expressed in Mr Daniel Jones' letter last week, rc the New Year's market, one cannot but regret that stress was laid on the fact that certain people were foreigners." The law knows no such distinction. When the rates are levied, the foreigners have to pay their share as well as other people; and we do not object to take the subscrip- tions and the help of foreigners for any local object. There may be good reason for criticising people's actions 011 the ground that they are ill-advised but none because they are foreigners. If an Englishman is a foreigner in Carmarthen, then numbers of Carmarthen men must be foreigners in England. I Nationality has got nothing whatever to do 1 with abstract questions. Every nation has its great men," said a celebrated ancient; and it might be added "every nation has its medio- crities and its nincompoops," Carmarthen has had its great men but then Shakespeare was something above the average too and i he came from Warwickshire. Patriotism is an excellent servant; but a bad master. If it leads us to take a pride in, and to endeavour to emulate our great men, it is a benefit: if it closes our eyes to the fact that there is a world beyond Johnstown and Abcrgwili, then it is a great evil. The old narrowness has gone to a great extent; but there are a few of us who would not receive the Evangel from Paul of Tarsus because he was not a St. Peter's boy." At the same tunc it is a great pity that the townspeople can seldom agree upon some united plan of action in regard to the closing or the opening of the shops on holidays, We have learned a good deal of late but it is yet easier for us to move individually rather than collectively. The difference between corporate and individual action is exactly that between an army and a crowd. P.S. Harries has added yet one more achievement to his record. On Thursday evening last week he discovered that the pigs in the styes of the Ivy Bush were in imminent danger from the flood. They were not long however left in their peril. The worthy Sergeant had them removed higher up in the Push, which probably prevented them ulti- mately finding themselves up a tree. There is no doubt that part of the site of the proposed railway station was under water last week. But they know little of engineer- ing who imagine that the plans are con- demned thereby. The permanent way between Carmarthen Station and the Junction was liable to flooding but on its being raised a few inches the difficulty was got oyer. Railways—like some men- seem able to defy any amount of wet by means of a little judicious elevation. The shed for the accommodation of the fire-escape has been completed to all intents and purposes. The Corporation can move with commendable promptitude in some cases. But what about the new lights which were to be provided in various parts of the town ? In a few months more they will not be required. I daresay plenty of excuses could be given for the delay. It would be better, however, to have the lamps than the excuses. The soup kitchen opens to-day (Friday); and will be open every Tuesday and Friday until further orders. The Mayor (Mr H. B. White) carries out very assiduously the work of orgaiiisatioii and receives subscriptions for this most deserving charity. Mr J. Howells, the G.W.R. to'n porter, has been astonishing the natives with a New Year's surprise in the shape of a luggage trolley. Carmarthen has lately made great advances in the matter of hansom-cabs and similar vehicles and it was only meet that the advent of iSy8 should be celebrated by the introduction of a handsome newly- designed and brightly-lettered luggage trolley, which will be an ornament in front of a business house instead of the dingy barrows on which the luggage of "commercial gents" is so often piled. < I was greatly disappointed with the meet of the hounds on Saturday. I was led to expect—now that the Corporation own blood- horses-that the Supt. of Police and the Borough Surveyor would throw aside for a day the cares of officialdom and—bestriding the municipal mounts—revel in the delights I of the chase. But a screw is evidently loose somewhere. Has a long course of scavenging tamed the wild spirit of the fiery Arabian steeds? Or were the quadrupeds quite so blooded in the first place as a confiding public were led to believe ? No reformatory boy or prowling Saxon tramp having marred the Arcadian simplicity of Carmarthen for the last three months, the business of the Quarter Sessions consisted on Monday of the Recorder and the foreman of the Grand Jury exchanging the compliments of the season. Happy town in which a Rccordership is a sinecure ifr llalf the drapers' shops were open on Saturday; but one by one they closed, until in the afternoon only one remained and defied the general somnolence. And this one remained open until the last I am urgently requested by one interested in the work of the Parish of St. Peters to enquire for information regarding the follow- ing institutions reported as missing :— I (1) Temperance meetings. (2) Welsh weekly prayer meeting. (3) Mother's meetings.. t (t) Hoys' Friendly Society. (•3) Bible class. (6) Towyside Band of llope. (7) Ptiory-street Band of Hope. (8) Penny BiDk in connection with same. (9) Band of Mercy. (10) Children's flower show. Any information will be thankfully received by the undersigned. I lave you heard, Miss X," asked a conversationalist of a Modern Education damsel on Tuesday evening, that Mr Rees Davies, M.P., has been appointed Attorney- General for the Bahamas." Indeed who arc they was the innocent response. You may hunt up a dozen books of etiquette before you learn what to say 011 an occasion like this. During the evening service at the Taber- nacle Chapel 011 Sunday last, Miss R. Thomas, of Mountain Ash, gave an excellent rendering of 0, ye that love the Lord," the test piece at the Newport National Eisteddfod, in which Miss Thomas proved successful. Miss Ihomas was accompanied on the piano- forte by Mr A. J. Hodges. Afterwards the respected pastor, Rev E. U. Thomas, preached a very impressive funeral sermon on the late Mrs Saph, of Johnstown, who was for many years a faithful member of the Tabernacle. "Ashes must not be deposited here," is the legend which decorates one of the entrances to a court in the centre of the town. And on Monday a nice little barrow- load of cinders confronted the passers-by, and testified to a healthy coiitenipt-oi, the part of someone for vexatious rules and regulations. A popular and esteemed public man was seen on New Year's Day carrying a gun and n going for his usual sport towards Llangunnor- 0 road. When about the middle of the Car- marthen Town Bridge he made a sudden stop, turned half way round, raised his gun and aimcd-but did not fire—in the direction of Mr Joseph's sawmills. There was neither game nor crows to be seen about. Perhaps he intended to give the old sawmills the first shot, and cause an accidental death with the view of getting the G.W.R. Company to replace same with the proposed new station. Privates William Morrish and Harry Williams—two butchers of the Army Service Corps who were on furlough in Carmarthen 0 —were re-called by telegraph on Monday, and proceeded forthwith to headquarters. This sudden order is believed to be connec- ted with the forward movement in Egypt. 0 The usual distribution of bread was made to the poor on New Year's day at St. Peter's Church. ALETKEIA. *— —■

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