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YR EISTEDDFOD! WHO IS TO BLAME- THE EISTEDDFOD COMMITTEE OR GWILYM TAWE? To the Editor of the North IVates Chronicle. Sir -1 have always considered it the duty of a man acting in a public capacity to sacrifice his individual interest for the promotion of great ends, so long as those rendered silence on his own wrongs, or the repres- sion of his own feelings be advisable for the good of the scheme in which he takes a part. On this principle I have acted iu the shabby squabble raised by a selfish clique in the Eisteddfod Council, and thrust so obtru- sively on public notice at Llandudno lately. While there was a likelihood of the publication of my stric- tures resulting in evil to the Llar.dudno Eisteddfod, I refrained from parading my cause before the newspaper readers of Wales. Now, however, that the Council, losing self-restraint, have brought to the climax of stu- pidity their solicitation—as importunate as an impend- ing bankrupt's pressure for your name to a bill, of a paltry X50, I think it high time to speak out on the question-to let a little light in behind the scenes, and to show the actors otherwise than dressed in character. Whether it would not have become the Rector of Neath and others who have been prominent in this transac- tion, to have shewn a little of that charity which" suf. fereth long and is kind," and to have allowed patience to have her perfect work," remains to be seen, and to be decided by the public. In the meantime, I, as a person unwarrantably and unexpectedly attacked at a meeting conspicuollsly-(in fact, packed and prepared to act) ad- verse to a proper investigation of the question, ask, through you, a hearing from the public, well aware that, however much I may feel the smart of ill-usage, I shall not give the enemies of W.,tles--itative and foreign- cause to sneer, and say, "See how these Welshmen hate one another "-as my traducers have done; in addition to the folly of bringing the Rev. George Dawson, of Birmingham, from the city alike of lacquered jewellery and Christianity, to mock, as he did at Llandudno, with solann jeer, the national feeling of the Cymry. The question of my.returning, or not returning, the X50 voted to me by the Local Committee of the Swan- sea Eisteddfod, for services faithfully performed to them and Eisteddfodau generally, involves far wider results thai refer to myself; they go out to this much at least- -Can Yr Eisteddfod be conducted on such a system as that contemplated (and enforced with spleen and cla- mour) by the Rector of Neath and others ? Is it to be laid down as a maxim of Eisteddfod policy, that pay- ments voted to their Secretaries (and they only) are to be & sham and a pretence—that they are to yield them- selves to this gold-plated patriotism and promote the success of Eisteddfodau by becoming partners in a plot of practical hypocrisy. Well did Mr. John Williams, of Bodtfon, say at Llandudno, that ho would consider it an insult to be offered anything for his services" -coupled with the conditions exemplified in the de. bate preceeding his remark, and the resolution founded on it-that all persons receiving such rewards as the local committee should think themselves justified in givingr-looking at the kind and amount of work done, should throw those rewards in their face and hand over the money to the Council, with I have sinned," and the iccusation "so have they." Either a laboureris worthy of his hire or he is not. If h. is, why ask its return in such a manner as to im- ply insult to the donors; if he is not, let it be distinctly proclaimed that all future workers in favour of Eistedd- fadau are to labour gratis, and to exert themselves with- out fee, however great their services and their sacrifices —however successful their efforts, pecuniarily or other- wise. I Btand up against this persistent clamour, not for the mere value of the jMO,—of which sum I probably think less, in itself, than do many of those who ought pro- fessionally to be-not greedy of filthy lucre but I stand up against it to assert right and justice agruust the paltry and mean. Why all this huckstering about jMO by men who, neglecting my advice, threw away hun- dreds. I advised them to accept all the responsibilities of the Carnarvon Eisteddfod, and receive all the receipts; they refused, and so lost ESOO to the funds of the Coun- cil. I repeated the same recommendation in respect to the Swansea Eisteddfod; they followed their former timid policy, and lost the control over a surplus of nearly 9500. They used this advice in regard to Llanduduo, but by their thoughtlessness and extrava- gance in the erection of the pavilion there (by refusing to accept the offer of a better pavilion for ?.MO than they got up at a cost of little less than ?600) they m- volved themselves in loss where gain might clearly have resulted. Thus they, in a sense, squandered more than £ 1,500, and beg me to help them out of their scrape, by niving them the £ 50 voted to me for services rendered, while at the same time this very Council is indebted _L .L to me upwards of E60, whicli tney ao not, even onei w pay It is, of course, more blessed to give than to receive but we are bound not to give if our giving would encou-; rage carelessness and improvidenee, or gratify those who stir up envy and strife, as a means of getting money But I shall now come to the direct question of giving, and am certain that a very "plain tale "will "put down the calumny of my assailants and revilers. I gave annual subscriptions to Yr Eisteddfod, like many others; I gave, like other members of the Council, my guarantee for X5 in case of any loss I travelled, without cost to the Eisteddfod, to Aberdare, Merthyr, Dowlais, &c., &c., to obtain handsome subscriptions to it in these districts; I have, for several years, attend- ed, at my own cost, the meetingsof the Couticil, held so frequently at Shrewsbury and Carnarvon I prepared and printed, at my own cost, a suggested scheme for the more permanent national celebration of Eisteddfodau, which, after being widely circulated for suggested amendments, was, with a few trivial alterations, adopt- ed by this very Council as the basis on which the Eis- tedfod should be conducted in the future and in many other ways contributed unpaid labour and interest, be- sides money, to the financial success of our national ga- therings. I shall mention only one other matter on this head. To the failure, up to the very hour of the Eis- teddfod's opening, of the Council to provide funds for the prizes offered at Swansea, which they ought to have furnished, if they wished to obtain control over the funds, for so ran the agreement, I offered and suggested to join the Rector of Neath and Mr. Hugh Owen in a bill on which money might be advanced to pay the prizes. The Rectcr evaded the offer, not with his elo- quent tongue, but by a less eloquent, though more forci. ble, mode than speech-a significant shrug of his shoulder. I got him, however, to promise and see Mr. Hugh Owen on his arrival at Swansea that evening, and arrang°ed, in case he consented, to meet them at the Bankearly the following morning. They did not meet me, nor did 1 receive any communication from the Rector on the subject until I met him on the platform when the Eisteddfod was about to commence. He then told me that Mr. Hugh Owcn distinctly declined to incur any liability, beyond his personal guarantee, which I, in common with others, had also undertaken, of f5, should there be any deficiency. I felt chagrined and disappointed at meeting so direct a refusal, in a quarter where 1 most of all anticipated ready aid; and, unwill- ing that, at the last hour, the Eisteddfod at Swansea should merge into a local one, I again solicited the pe- cuniary assistance of the Rector. He replied by good- tempered evasiveness. On this very morning of the Eisteddfod, when there, was not a penny at the Coun- cil's credit iu the Bank for the prizes, and after the re- peated refusals of the Rector, I issued cheques, on my own responsibility, without any stipulation or hesitation for the sums given in prizes, as they were awarded- thus saving the credit of all concerned in the Eisteddfod at the risk of my own and with the palpable result of over-rtrawing my account, and becoming liable for dis- count charges, &c. This I did to the extent of about X260. On Thursday (the third day), fearing that I was over-drawing my account, I again solicited the aid of the Rector, either by loan or such other means, as Le might select. I got nearly the same reply; for he con- tehted himself by stating, that if he was at home ho miaht be able to aid. This answer will be properly ap- preciated when I say that Neath is only eight miles from Swansea, and that the Bank there is a branch of the one I drew cheques on at Swansea. Generous and honourable conduct," truly We see how unwilling the Chairman of the Council is to accept responsibility on its behalf. Was it that he feared th's fact creeping abroad that lie is so touchy now about newspaper para- graphs 1 Of course, people are ready to say the Coun- cil with the Rector of Neath at its head, released me from a predicament so prejudicial to a business man, by paying up at once, the sums thus expended on their ac- count. No such thing. I was only relieved by the Lo- cal Committee, and that after the lapse of a period of three months; and on this, no discount charges or inte- rest has, as yet, been offered to me by the Council not4 has any other notice of my haste to the rescue been taken by those whose honour I redeemed, except the shameful intrigue of which I have been the victim. The thanks they give me is—PERSECUTION. Perhaps some of my (late) fellow-members of the Council may be able to give a better account of their givings perhaps my co-Secretary for a time, and my supplanter in the Council now, may be able to shew a balance in his favour of the same, of a better sort; if so, the public will thank me for opening their eyes to the number of their public-spirited benefactors, and to the extent and amount—in very hard cash," of their devo- tion to Yr Eisteddfod,.and for obtaining proofs of their "generous and honourable conduct!" such as they have not had as yet. It is easy to say of the Swansea Eisteddfod alone that the Council received no personal pecuniary remunera- tion, for they lost control over the surplus by their hesi- tation to refuse liability; and it does not follow that be- cause there was nothing to get, those who call public attention to the emptiness of their hands would not have filled them if it could have been bad. Let me instance a few matters—not invidiously—but only as illustra- tions. The Rector of Neath asserted at the meeting at Llandudno, that he never received a peuny of Eistedd- fod money yet I find his name in the printed accounts just issued (and issued very opportunely for me) of the Carnarvon Eisteddfod for X6 10.3. as an adjudicator! Surely the Rector could not have forgotten the payment to him of C6 10s. sc recently as the Carnarvon Eistedd- fod In the same account another member of the Council has £10 10s. as an adjudicator, £10 as conduc- tor, and £1 Gs. as expenses. Total £21 16s.! Dr. Evan Davies received payment as an adjudicator, as did the Rev. W. Roberts (Nefydd)—both of them members of the Council. These are specimens of pickings of which I never got, asked, or wished a share. In short, £ 126 10s. was divided among the patriotic (?) gentlemen who have raised this clamour, either as adjudicators or conductors; and yet they are the very persons who deny payment to otheis., It is simply a disreputable attempt to wrest well-earned monies from one set of officials, who laboured iudefatigably aud successfully on behalf of the Local Committee, to divide among another wh) have far less claim to it, if indeed they have any claim at all. When I return my gratuity, at the right time and in a proper vtay—wheii my mind has been satisfied upon the points at issue, will they return theirs ? tlurely," what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander Dr. Evan Davies has given back, as the Council say, his X50. On this one act of his they found their claim on me, not ou the justice of their cause. Is Dr. Davies, then, the exemplary one whom all are to imitate ? Is Dr. Davies so far ahead of Gwilym Tawe, then, in his generosity ? I shall accept his o,vn hypothesis. The printing and sale of pro- grammes was, lie said, equivalent to a present to me of X30. The right to do so I received from the Local Committee, as did the printer of the programmes at Carnarvon, and, later, still, at Llandudno, each giving what I proposed to give for the copyright— £ 5. Dr. Davies, failing to bow to the decision of a majority, ob- jected, and resigned. Not to interfere with the success of the Eisteddfod, threatened by his stubbornness, I gave that up. If I return my X50 gratuity, will he pay in an equivalent for this £ 30; and also pay about £50 expended by me in travelling expenses to the meetings of the Council (he having attended two only), and the interest due to me on the loan of X260, &c. ? On page 14 of the programme of the Swansea Eisteddfod will be seen a "list of subscribers" to the "Triple Harp Scholar- ship;" but, conspicuously, on the next page, I do not find a list of the subscribers to the Vocal Scholarships." Wales has a right to know her benefactors. If Dr. Da- vies lost by this affair we should know it, that we may make it up to him, not rob him of his due if he did not, the names of other donors ought not to be eclipsed, nor their interest in the Eisteddfod concealed for his renown. It is right to undertake to pay a given sum, and then to trade on the patriotic feeling of Welshmen to make up that sum, and to be bound only to pay the guarantee (and not even pay that)-whatever the surplus t Would not that be to trade in, and speculate upon, the nation's good feeling ? I do not accuse Dr. Evan Da- vies of this; but I wish to know how many of the pride and glory of Wales—its aristocracy and people—shared in Dr. Davies's enthusiasm for Vocal Scholarships ?" We could then estimate the amount of enthusiasm taken in the subject, the persons by whom this is taken, and the amonnt of self-sacrifice to which Dr. Davies, as gua- rantor, has been subjected. Perhaps, too, a balance- sheet of the monster concerts held at Swansea, Aber- dare, Merthyr, Cardiff, &c., for the same object, might advantageously be given. I want to know, too, by what right Dr. Davies received the music (which cost the Swansea Local Committee above 946) from the Council, or a member of it. Is it a wonder that my country- men are beginning to raise a cry against Eisteddfod I bvonritilDl I" The Rector of Neath charged me at Llandudno with being the writer of, or the authority for, a certain article in a newspaper, animadverting on the Council; and he reached this conclusion by the following most prepos- terous logica report of a meeting got abroad—it must have got abroad from a person present—Mr. Morris was present :-therefore Mr. Morris gave the information. A conclusion which would have been logically correct only if Mr. Morris had been the meeting, when indeed, it would not have been a "private" one. This word private, too, contains a snare. The meetings of the Council are public, and reported when it suits it to have its preceedings known; but when it has anything dark on hand it is marked "private." Public bodies cannot hold private meetings. The charge of having connec- tion with newspaper articles no one has a right to make to the supposed writer. There is a legitimate way of getting at that fact—by application to the editor. That editor has, in this case, publicly exonerated me from all complicity in the matter, in a lengthy and masterly ar. ticle in the Journal of Saturday last. The writer, or even the informant, is not the sole party concerned in an affair of this sort, and ought not to be compelled or constrained to make an acknowledgement, or give a denial. Such a thing Archbishop Whately said, is only attempted by a knave or a fool. It is not necessary for me now either to confess or deny, so I take myself out of the latter class, and my assailants can choose their own. I however here and now assert, that the contents of that article, with a few verbal exceptions, are quite correct, and founded on trustworthy information, how. ever gained. The use of the meetings of the Council as a censorship on the Welsh press is seriously reprehensi- ble. Honest men do not require their doings hidden, nor would they even wish their misdoings concealed. Objections may be felt, and must be taken, by some party in every public concern, and it is a wrong to the public to quiet down a minority from the only appeal they have, by penalty of abusing criticism of the news- papers, which secures publicity, and attempt to force men to supply the names of those whom the country rightly desirous to be anonymous—the writers of its journals. Let ns judge of the truth by itself, uniuflu. enced by the magic of names. I may just note another piece of curious logic ia the Rector of Neath, who says that that article" charged him personally with having received £10 as an adjudica- tor," whereas the paper says their President was to have £10 for being a conductor at Swansea, and X 10 for being a judge, for which sum that President has been ever since unclerically Clamorous." Another sample of how the Hector of Neath can twist and distort the truth to serve a clique in their mean and disreputable purposes I As Shakespeare says, "Oh, judgement! thou art fled to British beasts, And men have lost their reason." Regarding my not replying to a private note forward- ed to me by the Rev. Hector, taxing me—with consider- able asperity—with being the author or the authority for the article on which so much has been unfairly said, I have only to say to this railing accusation, I wrote an answer in the same spirit, but, on reflection, determined not to returu railing t'oi railing. I forfore posting it, and I have not been able as yet to frame a soft answer," as I have no desire to turn aside wrath" which is unde. served. The very head and front of my offending hath this extent, no more." Then again, I am charged with having been the sug- gestor to the Mayor of Swansea of the voting of these gratuities which the Local Committee thought proper to give, but which the Council brand as extravagant, and of which they demand the return from me alone I I reiterate my denial, in that I, first or at any time, suggested to the worshipful the Mayor that gratuities should be given. He spoke to me ifrst on the subject, asserting that all officials should be paid as a matter of principle, and asked what had been done elsewhere, and I told him, on being asked, of the Carnarvon grants but the originator of the question, as betaeen us, was his worship. I am at a loss to account for the lapse of memory on this subject under which he labours. I can recount the whole conversation, and circumstances, in detail' I (lid, under pressure, and in haste, conditionally pro- mise to present the Council with the £ 50. To do so, even if the condition was fulfilled, and it is not, would, however, I now see, countenance a sham and shame— pretending to pay but not paying official servants, would be to pronounce judgment against the Local Committee of Swansea as squanderers of money fhey had no right to use lavishly-while the first and most express condi- tion of the Eisteddfod was, that if the whole pecuniary responsibity was borne by either the Local Committee or the Council, that responsible body should have abso- lute control over the surplus proceeds. Now, between the Local Committee and myself, all the responsibility was incurred and paid, and the Local Committee had the right to dispose of the funds, for any right purpose, as they choose. It would be to yield to clamour and ill-usage what ought only to be yielded to right and justice; it Would be to encourage buUying and brow- beating as a means of extorting money from individuals less able perhaps than myself to bear the loss; and would be to acknowledge that the direction of our Great National Eisteddfod could only be carried on by a system of gratuitous labour, graduating from the bill-stickers and door-keepers up to the artistes and conductors, and, perhaps, even extending to the successful competitors— or cooked accounts, in which'credit was given for money to be first received and then returned for a certain amount of oily-mouthed soft sawder. I am not inclined to set my zeal by an act of this sort, and I believe that in the judgment of my fellow-countrymen I shall be found in the right :— Thrice is he armed who hath his quarrel just, And those but naked though locked up in steel Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted." The right time having come, I have, after long endur- ance of undeserved scorn, which patient merit from the unworthy bears," given a frank statement of my reasons for n jt succumbing at this time, and in those circumstances, to the clamour and mis-statements of clique or cabal, by returning jC50, honestly mine, and I leave the public to say, Who is to blame, the Eisteddfod Council, or Your obedient Servant, WiLLIAM MORRIS (fiwilym. Tawe) Stamp-Office, Swansea, Sept. 5th, 1864.


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