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WELSH CRITICS CRITICISED. The concluding meeting; of tIe Menai Bridge Eisteddfod was held on Friday week, when the Lord Bishop of Bangor presided. Mr T. Morgan Owen, her Majesty's inspector of schools was one of the speakers. He eaid—in a certain sense we should imagine that Wales is a peculiarly happy country, because of its multitude of counsellors, advisers and critics (laughter). But, in another sense, we might be led to suppose that she is a very unhappy country, inasmuch as no two of these counsellors, advisers or critics appear to agree (continued laughter). Indeed, if these individuals had their way poor Wales would un- doubtedly follow the example of the weak minded old man who, in trying to please everybody, pleased nobody, and lost his jackass in the bargain (loud laughter). One man speaking concerning a Welshman, says he is "a conceited fellow another would exclaim upon seeing a Welshman, 0, what I a vainglorious man The critic ridicules our eisteddfodau and our habits, and scoffs at our aspirationp. We have also false friends, hollpw- hearted friends—(bear, hear)- who pat us on the, back when they address aWelsh audience and while j they are in Wales, and say, What a grand people the Welsh are; how noble, how ancient, how ( worthy of all praise But these very friends ( are silent when the Welsh are called" barbarians, t wretched, and uncivilised," in the House of E Commons. There not even a dog will wag his tail on behalf of poor Wales (loud cheers). If we Welsh were such soft-headed people as some would s have us to be, we should be more melancholy than J a Londoner under the influence of a November ] fog, and, like him, inclined to commit suicide ] (laughter). I shall not say anything concerning 1 eisteddfodau, as your bishop and others have ] delivered excellent addesses upon this subject. But I am anxious to draw your attention to the deeds < of our ancestors, in order that if there is any youth 1 present who is struggling amidst great difficulties, who is cast down or disheartened, he may be encouraged by the deeds of his forefathers to ] persevere and get on in the battle of life (loud applause). The recollection of such deeds will lire his brain, strengthen his arm and implant hope in j his bosom. I do not wish to speiik to you of ficton, but of historical facts (hear) Upon. reference to ( history it will be found that the Welsh have taken a most prominent part in three of the greatest events I that have taken place in this or any other country. I refer to the Norman Conquest,to Parliamentary Representation, and to the Refo:mation (cheers). Had it not been for the Welsh the Norman Conquest might have been delayed for years; indeed, it might not have taken place. I justify this conclusion thus, Griffith ot Wales was the son-in-law and the great friend of Algar, Eldor- man of Mercia. Again and again was Algar restored to his dominions by the Welsh —(cheers) —despite the efforts of the House of Godwin. Harold, son of Godwin, revenged this by invasions of Wales during one invasion he was supported by his brother Tosti. The Saxons were much weakened by these feuds and inroads (hear). A firm friendship continued to exist between the Welsh and the son of Algar. In consequence of this friendship, and also to revenge themselves upon Tosti, the Welsh took their part at the council of Northampton, where Tosti was doomed to perpetual banishment. When this doom was pronounced, then was rung out not only the death knell of the house of Godwin, but also of the Saxon dynasty (cheers). Tosti, wherever he turned his steps, raised foes against Eugland. He brought Harold of Norway to England. And the battle of Stamford Bridge again weakened the Saxon forces, and aho prevented Harold of England from meeting the Normans upon the seashore and preventing their landing (hear, hear). Thus it will be seen that the Saxons were weakened in the Welsh campaign; and that, owing to the Welsh, England was divided into two bitter factious, Tosti was banished, the Saxons weakened at Stamford Bridge and compelled to leave their southern coast undefended because they had been obliged to meet their Norwegian invaders in the north. But I have not yet done. The sons of Algar, strengthened by their Welsh allies, refused to meet Harold upon the field of Senlac. Had they joined him at the critical turn of that battle, the Normans would have been slain, captured or driven into the sea (applause). From these few statements, it will be seen that the Welsh took a leading part in that conquest, whose influence has become widespread (applause). I now pass on to the days of the only man who has been canonised by thepeopie.the only man whom the popular voice of his daylpronounced a saint, to the first Reformer, and the founder of Parliamentary reproeentaticD, to Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, the I father-in-law of Prince Llewelyn (cheers). I dare venture to assert that had it not been for the help of Llewelyn, Simon de Montfort would not have been able to gain his end and summon hist, first Parliament (loud cheers). It would be idle to enquire into the innumerable benefits that have been conferred upon this country and through this country, upon the world in general, by the people being represented in Parliament by the people. Once more the Welsh figured in history. Upon the battlefield of Bosworth a Welshman was hailed King of England, and by Welshmen too (hear, hear). Upon that battlefield was raised a banner, invisible it might have been then, but visible enough since and upon that banner was inscribed in letters of fire two words Reformation and Protestantism (enthusiastic applause). I say again, that in three events, each of which revolutionised the world, the Welsh, our forefathers, took a most prominent part. And to show you that the Welsh of tc-day are not unworthy of their ancestors I shall refer to one or two modern events. Nut long ago a shock of sympathy was aroused in the laud by the tale that some men were entombed in the Rhondda valby (cheers). Everybody seemed anxious to do something to rescue these poor people (cheers). Never before had public feeling been more strongly excited on behalf of a handtui of human beings. From the 1 Queen upon her throne to the milk-maid, prayers j were offered up for their delivery (cheers). Aud while public sympathy was active upon the face j of the earth, what were these men doing in the, valley of the shadow of death ? They were s expressing their trust in their Saviour and their God by singing Welsh hymns (loud applause). < And I am convinced of the fact that the angels of heaven joined with those poor colliers in those c hymns (continued cheering). Again, we may well 4 contrast the conduct of those on strike in Merthyr T Tydvil and in Lancashire. Your bishop can bear me out, as he was at Merthyr at the time, or had d but shortly left the place, that during the month f of that strike the poor people of Myrther were well behaved (cheers). Notwithstanding the fact that their wives and little children were starving, not- withstanding all their miseries week after week, not a hand was raised against an employer or his subordinates—not a torch was laid to the buildings or dwellings of the employers—(cheers)—scarcely 3 a thing was done out of order—(eheers)—and these men went to their places of worship as if J nothing was the matter (continued applause). And why did they do these things ? I will tell yoa. Because we Welsh have something to keep, to guard, to protect with jealous care, and that is, the E honour of our glorious ancestors—(loud cheers)— B and we remember that we have in our veins the oldest and purest blood of civilised peoples (ap- plause. But we must not forget that it was the bravest, the best natured and the most religious "\1 people upon the face of this earth that sent their thousands of money to keep gaunt famine and lingering death from the doors of the sufferers in the great strike that it was the noble English people who rewarded the colliers and fed the poor of South Wales (cheers). No wonder, then, that the Welsh are proud of their Queen and her empire. In conclusion, I have only this to say, that if there are any English critics present I trust they will speak of ua as they find us, and not describe us in the words of sarcasm and of decep- tion (continued applause). Mr Samuel Morley, M.P., was the next speaker, and he tried to raise a laugh at Mr Morgan Owen's expense by calling him Mr Williams and then Mr J one. He remarked tl he had been in the R House many years, and that he had never heard a word spoken against the Welsh, and that if any H one dared to do so he would be able to give a very H gcod account of them (the Welsh). Mr Morgan Owen rejoined by stating that there M could be no doubt about his name as he had the honour to have a good old Welsh name. The terms, barbarians, wretched, and uncivilised," he observed, had been applied to the ancestors of the Welsh by Lord Francis Hervey during the debate on Sir John Lubbock's Ancient Monuments Bill. He sarcastically remarked, to the evident ainuse- H, ment of the audience, that doubtless Mr Samuel Morley and every other" hiend" of Waiea was H' absent from the House daring that debate.






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