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THE NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD. I Cymmrodorion Section. I The National Eisteddfod opened at Rhyl on Tuesday. On Monday evening, the Cymmrodorion section met at F>h.y 1 Town-hall, and the subject discussed, The Ideal of a National Library for Wales, tserved to attract a large and representative audience. Mr Herbert Lewis, M.P., presided, and supporting him were Sir John Williams, Bart., M.D., Mr Herbert Roberts, M.P., Mr Frank Edwards, M.P., Sir T. Marchant Williams, Dr. Alfred Daniell (Edinburgh), Mr L. J. Roberts, M.A. (his Majesty's inspector of schools), Dr. Abel J. Parry, Witteyn Wyn," Llyfr- bryf," Llew Wynn," the Lord Bishop of St. Asaph, Mr Vincent Evans (secretary), and others. The Chairman said that Sir John Williams bad laid Wales under a debt of gratitude for the practical and sympathetic interest he had taken in the question they were to discuss (applause). After a great career in one of the noblest professions, he was devoting the rest of his life to the service of his native country. Sir Isambard Owen, the deputy-chancellor of the University of Wales, had also a special claim to be heai d on this question, because he was requested by the Welsh Parliamentary Committee to draw up a scheme for the establishment of a national museum and a national library (applause). However, he hoped that when they had their own National Library Welsh students would be able to make free and unhampered progress in the great and inspiring literary and historical work that lay before them (applause). Speaking on The Ideal of a Welsh National Library," Sir John Williams. B:irt., described it as a collec ion of all the literature of all civilised countries. Continuing, Sir John said that, like all ideals, however, the ideal of a National Library was not attainable, and, therefore, he would leave the ideal and make some observations on the practicable—upon the Welsh National Library as it could, and as it would, be established in the Principality. What was the object of founding a Welsh National Library One object was the collection and pre- servation of our national literature, both ancient and modem. The National Library was not intended for the amusement of those who compassed sea and laud, and who hurried from the Gulf of Mexico to the White Sea. Nor was it for the novel reader, who would frequent it to skim the last shilling shocker'' nor was it for the gratification of those who would read the morning papers on their way to their offices or places of business norSvas it designed for the loafer, who would turn in of an afternoon and demand a volume as a soporific to ensure and hasten his siesta. There was another large contingent of the population to whom the National Library would not, to his deep regret, be of much service—that portion of our fellows who, by reason of want of time or deficient education and training, could not, or did not care to, make use of the resources of such an institution. But as to those who devoted time and labour to the study of special subjects, it was for their use that the National Library was intended. Where should the library be placed ? This was a delicate, a sensitive, indeed a "ticklish" subject. He had, how- ever, endeavoured to deprive it of this character. Should its home be in the centre of a large town, on the track of that special product of modern civilisation to whom he had referred in the midst of the noise and turmoil of the crowd, of the hurry and excitement of commerce and the Exchange ? Or should it be in some retired spot, far from such disturbing elements, where peace and quiet dwelt ? To his mmd, the better place was one where the student might pursue his researches undisturbed and undistracted, and not in the large and noisy city. Another point was the accessibility of the place. It was a point of apparent importance, but undue stress might be laid upon it from attaching too much value to some and overlooking other con- siderations. If they agreed that the library was an institution to be used by the student as he had broadly defined him, they would agree in this also—that the work to be done by the student in the library would require close attention for days, weeks, or, may be, months and if the student must reside near the library for some time it mattered little whether he travelled thereto at the rate of ten miles an hour or at the rate of forty, or whether the place could be reached by one train a day or by a dozen. The great desideratum in respect to the seat of the library was not accessibility in the sense of rapid transit thereto and therefrom, but comfortable rooms and cheap living thereat. He considered, therefore, that a small town, with its quietude, and cheap living, as a place in which to find a home for the library was pre- ferable to a large commercial town, with its noise and hurry, high rents, and expensive living. Then as to what the National Library should contain. He felt sure that they were agreed that its contents should be books, including under the term everything from the broadside or ballad to the ponderous volume, together with manuscripts of all sorts. The library should contain, as far as possible, the literature of every civilised country, and being the library of a country like Wales, which was a part of the British Empire, a prominent, place should be given to the literature of England but this alone, whatever its magnitude, would not constitute the institution a Welsh National Library. Proceeding downwards, he would come upon a collection of books written by Welshmen upon any subject and in any language. Lower still he discerned a multitude of books in the allied languages—Irish, Gaelic, Manx, Cornish, and Breton books on the allied races-the several branches of the Celtic race-in what- ever language. Lower still he discovered a number of volumes treating of Wales, the Welsh people, and the Welsh language, in whatsoever language and by whomsoever written. And, lastly, the foundation- books and manuscripts in the Welsh language. Upon this the whole superstructure would be built, and without it there could be no Welsh National Library. He would go ito the Welsh National Library expecting to find there, not the best collection of English or of some foreign literature, but the best and largest collection of Welsh literature. The library should contain all the Welsh literature which had escaped the ravages of the last three and a half centuries obtain- able. Then should follow in order of importance the classes of literature, which he had named-books treat- ing of Wales, its people, its language, in whatever language written the literature of the allied races or literature treating of those races; books written by Welshmen on any subject and in any language and, finally, English and foreign literature. But no library, whatever it might contain, could be truly called the Welsh National Library unless it contained the best and most complete collection of Welsh literature (applause). Two or three other prominent men spoke, and a paper by Dr. Isambard Owen was read by Mr Vincent Evans. The Morning Herald of Tuesday published an article by Mr Llewelyn Williams, who speaks thus of the opening of the Eisteddfod I I Prelate and preacher, Tory and Radical, peer and peasant-all will rub shoulders for a week in the republic of letters and art The fighting' Bishop of St. Asaph is the chairman of the Executive Committee, and Mr Lloyd George, M.P., the fighting' leader of the Dissenting forces, is president of one of the meetings. The lion will lie down with the lamb: Kuroki will, for a brief spell, hob-nob with Kuropatkin. For one week in the year a truce of God is proclaimed in Wales. The voice of faction is hushed, the strife of warring creeds is for- gotten, and Wales is 'a nation once again.' For one week Welshmen realise the aspiration which Thomas Davis vainly felt for Ireland, and ask with him What matter that at different times Our fathers won this sod ? What matter that at different shrines ii-e worshil) the same God? For the Eisteddfod, though essentially a Welsh in- stitution, is open to all-to the Welshman of a hundred generations and to the stranger within-and without- the gates. It is a novel and startling fact that this year there have been more entries for the chief choral com- petition from England than from Wales! The Druids and Bards and Ovates are formed into a body of their own, f'called the Gorsedd, and they claim to be the supreme rulers of the Eisteddfod. They boast that the Gorsedd has come down in unbroken succession from the ancient Druids, though recent researches have shown that it was probably originated in the fifteenth century, and was one of the many outcomes of the Jewish Khaballa. There are some who say that the Eisteddfod does more harm than good; that it is dominated by a clique, who do not represent the best in Welsh life; that it places false ideals of art and music before the people; and that it breeds pot-hunters' and pot-boilers.' There may be some truth in the criticism. It is certain that a good many Welsh literati are being gradually estranged from the ancient in- stitution, which is often run' by local committees, intent only on attracting visitors to seaside resorts. On the other hand, it cannot be denied that the National Eisteddfod has had the effect of stimulating the interest of the people in poetry and music. Those who know Wales best aver that if a visitor wishes to see the real Eisteddfod he should go, not to the national' gathering, with its Anglicised environment, but to one of the small local meetings which are held almost in every village in Welsh Wales. There he will see the labouring swains competing, not in rude play or rough sport—though of that they are. upon occasions, capable, as witness the success of Welsh football-but in the gentle arts of poesy and song." The National Eisteddfod at Rhyl opened with a charming gorsedd ceremony in brilliant sun- shine on Tuesday. Among those present at the first gorsedd were HNI-fa Mon," Watcyn Wyn," Dr. A. J. Parry, Sir T. Marchant Williams, Sir John Williams, Bart., Lord Mostyn, the Rev. J. T. Job, Gwvn- fe," and a considerable number of the Pan-Celtic friends, including the ever-popular M. Jaffrennon and the Hon. W. Gibson. The "corn gwlad" from Llanellv has now become almost as much on "exhibition as the penilIion singer. Mrs. Bui keley Owen presented a floral offering to the archdruid. The Gorsedd prayer was re- cited by Dr. A. J. Parry. After Eos Dar's" pithy penillion, "Cadfan" delivered a prose ad- dress, in the course of which he referred to the fact that that day was the archdruid's seventy- sixth birthday ¡ Lord Mostyn read a telegram received that morning from Bucharest from the Queen of Rou- mania" Carmen Sylva Please be a messenger of love to the beautiful eisteddfod, which will al- ways remain like music in my heart (loud cheer- ing). Lord Mostyn then pointed out an obelisk erected near the Gorsedd. It was, he said, Y garreg wen on which the late Queen Victoria stood when as Princess Victoria she was in Wales. Bardic adresses were then delivered by Taldir" (in the Breton language), Gwynedd," "Watcyn Wyn," and others. Eifionydd then took charge of the conferring of Gorsedd degrees upon various candidates, and there was some excitement when Princess Louise was escorted into the Gorsedd circle. Her High- ness took upon herself the bardic title of Dwyn- IN ell. Lord Mostyn took the chair, and on his right side sat the Princess Louise Augusta, of Schles- wig-Holstein, and other ladies. Ir. T. John was the conductor in the morning. The Town Clerk of Rhyl (Mr. Rowland) read an address of welcome to the Princess. Her High- ness in a clear voice briefly and appropriately res- ponded. It is an especial happiness, she said, to me that the first time I have taken part in the famous national festival I should have received an honour, of which I am most proud, and very deeply appreciate in the neighbourhood of a place in which I have spent many happy days. Then followed the reception of the Celtic dele- gates, representatives of the six branches of the Celtic race. M. Jaffrennon, wtho marched to the front, with the half of the Celtic sword in his hand, stood facing Watcyn Wyn," who held the other portion. Hwfa Mon," standing between the two blades, made the loud demand, A oes heddweh?" Then came from the Welsh host, the Breton sword-bearer, the representatives of the fiery Celts of Ireland, and those of the "canny Scot," a universal cry of Heddwch. Lord Mostyn, m a neat address, then gave the delegates an official welcome on behalf of the National Eisteddfod. Mr. E. Fournier d'Albe addressed the gather- ing in Irish, declaring that whatever the stranger might say, the union of the Celts had been accom- plished, and henceforth Welshmen and Irishmen would be shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart (applause). The Hon. W. Gibson, on behalf of the Gaelic League, also spoke. The Mayor of Carnarvon was glad to appear there for the first time to represent the whole of Wales. M. Jaffrennon, in the course of an excellent Welsh speech, said this was his fourth visit to the National Eisteddfod of Wales. He rejoiced in the marriage of the Celtic sword, and declared that Europe must see that they were working out their aspirations (applause). The Celtic nations numbered four millions of people who habitually used the language which prevailed throughout Western Europe in past times (applause). By re- taining it they retained their national character, and fostered their love of morality and beauty (applause). Their double sword typified their unity as well as their strength. They would not use it to attack other nations, but they would use it in defence of the sacred rights of immortal Keltia. In conclusion he wished Kymru, Brit- tany, and Keltia for ever (loud and continued cheering). Mr. Theodore Napier followed in English. "Hen Wild fv Nhadau" was then sung in Welsh by Eos Dar," in Irish by Miss Treacy, and in Breton bv M. Janrennou. the refrain in each case being in Welsh, in which all heartily joined. THE COMPETITIONS. In the contralto solo the test pieces were Oh! my harp immortal (Gounod), and "The City of Rest (C. Francis Lloyd). Adjudicators: Dr. W. H. Cummings and Mr. David Jenkins. There were no fewer than 39 entries, and of these the adjudicators heard ten. The prize was awarded to Miss Lily Fairenlev, of Church Road, Canton, Cardiff, a pupil of Madame Clara Novello Davies. In the pianoforte solo contest, Chopin's Study in C Minor," the prize was won by Mr. Percy Hughes (Aberdare). The prize of E30 for a drama illustrating any event in the history of Wales (14 competitors) was divided between Mr. Ifano Jones, Cardiff, and Miss Eilian Hughes, Amlwch. For best specimens of educational handwork in any material (pupils under 15 years of age), the winner was Master Tom Davies, Higher Grade School, Porth, Rhondda Valley. The £50 prize for an essay on Eminent Welsh- men who flourished from 1700 to 1900 was with- held for want of completeness, and it was inti- mated that the prize would be again offered by the Association at the Next North Wales National Eisteddfod. Recitation, "Morfa Rhuddlan": 1st. Mr. H. H. Davies, Llanfairfechan 2nd, Miss M. Jones, Ysbytty, near Bettws-y-Coed. The prize offered for a novel descriptive of Welsh life of the present day was withheld for want of merit. The adjudicators were Mr. LI. Williams, M.A., B.L.. and Mr. Caleb Rees. B.A. For the best selection of baskets made by school children, Master Tedy Evans, Carmarthen, obtained the prize. For the song, Y Baledwr ten compositions were sent in, and the prize divided between GiN-ili and Mr. Eilir Evans, of Cardiff. j Children's choir contest (40 to GO voices), prize P,10, test pieces Newid Cywair" (Tre- saine), and Dos, wanwvn, dos (D. Lloyd). Five choirs sang, viz., Liverpool, Bangor. Rhos (Bethlehem). Rhos (Jerusalem), and Holywell. Winners: "Plant y Pentre (Liverpool). For Welsh tweed, suitable for a lady's costume, and fancy Welsh flannel (prizes offered by Lady Eva Wyndliam-Quin), the winners were Messrs. I T. Williams and Sons, Treyriw. Her Ladyship's prize for a Welsh shawl or rug went to Messrs. Hughes and Sons, Denbigh and that for Welsh, blankets to Messrs. Edwards and Sons, Lam- I peter. In the quartette contest, the piece for which was Pinenti's In this hour of softened splen- dour," Mr. W. H. Prothero's party from Llanellv deservedly came off victorious. The ad judicators were Messrs. Francis Lloyd and D. Emlyn Evans. Translation into English of Ystorya de Carolo Maguo," from The Red Book of Hergest": Won by the Rev. Robert William- Llandudno, under the adjudication of Professors M. Jones, Bangor, Powell, Cardiff, and Anwyl, Aberyst- j itt Mr. William Jones, M.P., the afternoon presi. dent. in the course of an eloquent speech in Welsh said that hitherto in Wales they had been speak- ing loudly of their literary treasures, but doing scarcely anything to preserve those treasures, To-day the education of Wales was in the hands j of popularly-elected representatives, and woe be to them if they did not see to it that the rising generation were given an opportunity to acqii-iint. themselves with what was beat in the literature and history of Wales (hetir, hear). As to music, he asked why was it that in the chief choral contest to be decided on the morrow there was only one choir from ales as against four from England? One reason, he ventured to think, was that they had in Wales too man- other eistedd- fodau, making the choirs sing the same pieces, about half a dozen times, with the result that choral singing in Wales had gravitated into the competitive arena, whereas in North Staffordshire and other English districts choral singing was made, first of all, musical discipline to the singers before competitions were thought of (hear. hear). In concluding the speaker urged Wales to find for itself a capital. Cardiff was known the world over. True, some of them might renly that that town was half-Anglicised. If so. let them see to it that it was -ttii-ed for Welsh Xationalism- I (cheers)—and to do that they must heap more res- ponsibilities on that town in the maintenance of the traditions and the furtherance of the aspira- tions of Wales (applause). The second choral contest attracted but little interest, for out of the six choirs that had entered only three sang, viz., Cefnmawr. Brynbowvdd (Festiniog), and Nahtlle Vale (Carnarvon), the last-named, which was the successful choir, being conducted by Mr. T. T. Powell. The adjudicators were Dr. Cummings, and Messrs David Jenkins. Emlyn Evans, and Francis Lloyd. Dr. Cummings said he had never heard better singing than that, day (applause). He congratulated them upon the j change which had taken place. At one time it seemed as if the choirs that made the most noise carried off the prizes, but now they had come to the conclusion that art should have some?mg to do with it (applause). For a translation into Welsh of an extract from Lowell, Mr. D. E. Walters, Llandovery divided a JM prize with another competitor, whose name did not transpire. The first public performance of Mr. D. Emivn Evans' new oratorio. The Captivity." had been looked forward to with considerable pleasure by hundreds, and no one can deny the success of that portrayal in the oratorio as produced on Tues- day night. The music was written to the libretto of Goldsmith. There is an admirable Welsh ver- sion of the words bv "Elvet" attached to the; music, but as presented at Rhyl the English lib- retto in its original language was used. The Eisteddfod choir of 300 voices rendered the various numbers with a degree of excellpncv, which was highly commendable, and reflected great credit upon themselves and their conductor (Mr. Wilfrid Jones). It need scarcely be said, | however, that the first, presentation of the ora- torio elicited all the brilliant talent and Pntliiisi- astic care of Miss Maggie Davies especially, and t h at m i-s. Tayleui- ?N ir. ,\Ialdwyii Hiiiiipllr -evs, that Mrs. Tayleur, Mr. Maldwyn Humphreys, j and Mr. David Hughes acquitted themselves ad- mirably. No sooner had the second part been got through than the cries for the composer were re- newed, and he was escorted to the platform amid enthusiastic cheers. The success of the oratorio is assured. In the course of his presidential address Mr. H. Roberts, M.P., said that the scene witnessed that evening was living evidence that the eisteddfod remained a great power in the national life of Wales. An interesting feature that evening was the first performance of an oratorio composed by one of their most gifted Welsh musicians (ap- plause). He could not avoid the feeling that for some time they had in Wales rested their musical distinction to too far an extent upon mere vocal talent, and it was high time that the national genius found expression in some original produc- tion, which would take its place besides the masterpieces in the world's musical compositions (cheers). The receipts for the day amounted to £350. to which must be added a sum of £ 400 obtained in advance for the season tickets and reserved seats. The committee have thus obtained L750 of the £ 4.000 which they require. On Wednesday morning the proceedings at the pavillion were conducted by "Llew Tegid," and in the afternoon by Mr. Tom John. The presi- dent in the morning was Lord Ivenyon. Hand-made man's linen shirt—Miss Elizabeth Thjnnas, Llanelly. Flannel petticoat—Miss B. Richards, Carmar- then. Hand-knitted stockings—Miss Annie Evans, Carmarthen. Ladies' long-ribbed stockings—Miss Mary Evans Llanelly. For a collection of ferns, indigenous to Wales and classified by the competitor, the award was in. favour of Mrs. J. J. Jones, Llanelly. Chief choral contest.—A prize of t200 was offered to choirs of from 150 to 175 voices for the best rendering—(a) How dark, 0 Lord, from •Jeptlia' (Handel); (b) "Come with torches (Mendelssohn): and (c) "Cwsg fy Amvylyd" (" Sleep, my beloved"), unaccompanied (J. H. Roberts). Adjudicators: Dr. W. H. Cummings, Messrs. D. Emlyn Evans, D. Jenkins. and C. F. Lloyd. Five choirs had entered, and four res- ponded to the call in this order (1), Mid-Rhondda United Choir (conductor. Mr. Ted Hughes): (2) North Staffordshire District Choral Society (Mr. James Whewall); (3) Hanlev and District Choral Society (Mr. James Garner); and (4) West Lan- cashire Choral Society (Mr. H. Berry). In giving the adjudication. Dr. Cummings said: We are unanimous in our opinion as to which was the best choir, and unanimous also as to the second best. No. 1 choir (Mid-Rhondda) was the second best, and No. 2 choir (North Staffordshire) was the best (loud and prolonged cheers. This brought the second day's proceedings to a i close. The takings for Wednesday were stated to be £8,30,




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