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Now it cried, like harried night-birds
Flying near; Now more nigh with multiplying Voice on voice,-" Oh Brechva, hear!”
Anon, descending to the postern, Brech va
sees thence the mystery of the circle
At the call;
When I opened, there the darkness
Of the street,
Deep as Aunwn lay the darkness,
But these eyes Yet more deep in their daik seeing, From that yrave saw light arise, Aud, therewith, a mist of shadows
lu a ring,Like the sea-mist on the sea-wind, Waxing, Waning, vawshing ;
Circling as the wheel of spirits
Whirled and spuu, Spun and whirled, tu forewarn Merlin Iu the woods of Caledon.
The spirits pass away, but a vision visits
Brechvu to a sound of joyous music,
Filled the air !
Three times fine,
Of old time,
Lo, the name,
And because of these things, Brechva waits
Death in great good cheer, and prays
Spent and done,
And no more, -
To his peace
Now, and Fate
Shades of meu, ay ! bards and warriors;
Wrought of air,
They were those
As they passed,
Ere I knew,-
THERE has, beyond question, been an out- the world over. And it should be added,
1 burst of national feeling in Wales of Wales as a leader in order that, having late years which has manifested itself chiefly worked out her own salvation, the way may in political directions. What is to be the be more open for others to follow. Let us result of it? Is it to end in smoke or to grow banish from our minds that exclusive feelinto a dominant directing spirit animating ing which glories in success because it every department of Welsh life and activity? means defeat of a rival. Rather let us be The answer will depend much upon the glad because the success of experiments in events of the next few years. The time national development means something conis clearly ripe for some really national move- tributed to the onward march of mankind. ment among the whole people which shall What, then, we may ask, is the step that focus and stimulate national aspirations should next be taken for the right developThere is a danger lest a bastard patriotism, ment and extension of the national feeling raising the cry of “Wales for the Welsh," in Wales? I am convinced that a national may divert the movement from its natural gathering or assembly held at some suitable course, at any rate for a time; but slowly and centre in Wales during the summer, after surely it will be realized that the only pat- the fashion of the Chautauqua Assembly riotism worthy the name is that which in the United States, would be of immense seeks to make Wales a leader in social, re- value to Wales at this juncture. ligious, educational, and political reform. I had the opportunity last July of visitWales possesses many natural advantages ing America and of spending a few days at for trying experiments in these directions. Chautauqua. I saw there much that was The country is small; the people possess a full of interest and afforded many sugcertain coherence by reason of theirlanguage, gestive hints to a Welshman watching it customs, and traditions, and in certain from the point of view of Wales. The matters public opinion is riper than in Eng- origin and nature of the movement may land. For example the interest in education briefly be described as follows. The puris remarkably widely spread and keen in pose of the Chautauqua movement, accordWales, and many educational experiments ing to its leaders, “is to make religion among could be tried in Wales with far more chance the people more intelligent, and recreation of success than in England. In some direc- more truly recreative.” The two gentletions, however, it must be admitted that men who started the movement twenty Wales is behind hand. The artistic side of years ago, the Rev. J. H. Vincent and Mr. character is hardly developed at all in Lewis Miller of Akron, Ohio, feeling keenly Wales, except only in the department of that something should be done for the better music. There is plenty of room for advance training of Sunday school teachers, deterif only a sufficiently high ideal seizes the mined to gather together a number of public imagination. Wales educating her teachers and scholars during a couple of people to the highest pitch, not only in- weeks in the summer for the purpose of tellectually, but inorally and physically; studying biblical literature and methods of Wales training her sons and daughters for teaching. From that beginning the movethe duties of citizenship and so develop- ment grew and widened its scope from year ing her institutions to the highest possible to year, taking in additional subjects and state of efficiency; Wales encouraging the including various means of recreation and development of industries by providing tech- entertainment, until to-day there is pronical education in all its various branches; vided in the Chautauqua Assembly Meetings in a word, Wales leading in social, political, something having an elevating tendency to educational, and religious reform,-here is meet the wants of every class of persons. an ideal worthy to call forth the best en- Chautauqua is the Indian name of a ergies of Welshmen and Welshwomen all beautiful little lake in the State of New
York, situated about eighteen miles to the stimulating effect upon the Summer Aseast of Lake Erie and at an elevation of sembly itself, for those in different parts of 1,300 feet above sea level.
America who began to read in connection the shores of this lake that the first gather with the Literary and Scientific Circles ing was held in 1873; and the movement were eager to come into closer relations with which then started, and the town which Chautauqua by visiting the Summer Asgrew out of it, have both taken the name sembly, and from that time the growth of the lake. The visitors to Chautauqua of the Assembly has been by large and include persons of diverse religious views; rapid strides. A list of books, setting out indeed there is no more impressive or im the course of reading for each year, is anportant feature of the Chautauqua As nounced by the Chautauqua Authorities. sembly than the meeting together on The list usually includes seven or eight common ground of members of all religious books covering the following range of denominations, who there sink for the time subjects:—History, Literature, Science, Philbeing their sectarian differences, and work osophy and Economics, and Religion. An together with the utmost cordiality for a attempt is also made to arrange the work common end. There was much in the pro of successive
sequence. ceedings to suggest Wales and Welsh ample, in 1892-3 Greek History and Literamethods. In the first place the Assembly ture was studied; in the present year was characterised throughout by a religious Roman History and Latin Literature; in
It is in her religious movements that 1894-5 English History and Literature, and Wales has most fully expressed herself, in 1895-6 American History and Literature. and any national movement in Wales is At the present time it is estimated that over bound to take account of the religious 70,000 members are actually doing daily clement in the Welsh character. It is clear systematic reading in connection with the that the religious bodies and their various Chautauqua Movement; and since 1878, developments—especially Sunday schools when this Home Reading branch was start-cannot be neglected if a successful move ed, over 200,000 persons have joined it ment in the direction of an intellectual and carried on the course of reading revival in Wales is contemplated. The prescribed. Chautauqua Assembly method seems to be It is exceedingly interesting, as an indicasingularly well suited to Welsh conditions. tion that the need for something of that The idea of a great gathering of people from kind is already felt in Wales, to find that all parts of the country is thoroughly Welsh. last year a gathering of ministers at I can hardly describe the Chautauqua As Llandrindod determined to hold a summer sembly more concisely than by saying School of Theology in the summer of the that it is an amalgamation of an “Associa present year, extending over a fortnight, tion” (Cymanfa), an “Eisteddfod,” and a for ministers and others. This is admir“College Summer Meeting for Students" all able, but is far from meeting the full need welded together. Wales has already the of Wales. An Assembly is needed embracelements at work separately. The time is ing all subjects of study and every departripe for a new national movement starting ment of life, in which a School of Theology with the people and among the people, would necessarily find its important place. taking out of these three differentinstitutions If such a movement was started, certain their best features, and drawing into itself conditions essential to success would need to the whole Welsh people.
be satisfied. In the first place it would Three or four years after the Chautauqua have to begin on a small scale; but whatMovement was started, the promoters felt ever was done, should be done supremely the need of encouraging reading and study well if the movement is to succeed. Every during the winter months, and they deter business detail would have to be carefully mined to establish a home reading system considered and efficiently carried out; lack under the name of the Chautauqua Literary of businesslikeness in management has and Scientific Circles. That was a most im
a good cause in Wales portant step, which had an immensely before now, and will ruin many a one yet
there is every reason to fear. The very Wales, given by some prominent minister or laybest lecturers would have to be secured for
inan of the particular body in each case. the work, so that there should be left an
Special talks (rather than formal lectures) for impression, upon all those who came, that
on subjects like sanitation, cookery,
health, nursing, etc. everything in its way was first-rate.
Every evening in the week something specially In the second place it is essential that a designed to interest the general public given in fund suificient to cover expenses should be
the largest available hall, for example, concerts obtained before anything is attempted. It
involving competitions in solo and chorus sing
ing after the manner of the Eisteddfod. is quite possible that the receipts, even in Lectures, illustrated by the oxy-hydrogen the first year, might come near covering lantern, on foreign travel, some attractive scientiexpenses; but it is certain that, if the ar fic topic, or other popular subjects. rangements had to be carried out in total Lectures on notable Welsh preachers, and any ignorance as to whether expenses would
other form of attractive entertainment having
an elevating tendancy. be met or not, the undertaking would as
Classes might be arranged in subjects like suredly be so crippled and hampered as to
wood-carving, painting, einbroidery, or other court failure.
form of artistic work. In the third place it ought to be really Conferences might be held during the fortnational, in the sense of not recognising
night on subjects of interest to Wales, like divisions of Wales into North and South,
Intermediate Education, the development of the
new University of Wales, local industries, etc. or other petty local jealousies; it should
Special training classes for Sunday school be for Wales as a whole.
teachers in biblical study might be arranged, In the fourth place it should absolutely
and one day during the Assembly might be ignore all political and sectarian differ
given up to a great gathering, when the prizes
and certificates in connection with the Sunday ences; it should be a movement open to school examinations might be awarded. liberal and conservative, churchman and
A parliamentary debating society might be non-conformist alike. For the Welsh people organized, meeting daily, which would be a to have one common end, for which they practising school for the cultivation of public could work heartily and harmoniously
and the management of public affairs ;
during its proceedings there would be constant without remembering the sectarian and
opportunities of discussing questions of policy political differences which separate them affecting the well-being of Wales. at other times and at other places, would Finally, a system of reading circles already be an inestimable boon to the country.
started in Wales should be connected with such Such an Assembly should be held in Aug
an Assembly as their centre and fountain head,
and the further development of such reading ust, at a time when people are taking their
circles all over the country ought to form an holiday and when schools are in vacation, important part of the business of the Assembly. for it seems likely that teachers in ele
The above are only thrown out as sug'mentary schools and secondary schools would largely attend the gathering. It gestions as to the scope of the activities of should probably, in the first instance, last ten
such a gathering. There are, no doubt, days or a fortnight, and during that time a
many other useful directions in which it programme including such items as the might extend. It seems clear that the time
has come for some broad movement of that following might be carried out:
kind among the whole people, which would A course of five lectures on Welsh History. stimulate and give form to national life.
A course of five lectures on some scientific But if such a movement is started, it topic, treated from the historical point of view, should be undertaken with a full sense of so as to illustrate the method of scientific study. One or two courses of five lectures each on
the immense responsibility involved in it, education and educational methods, with a spec
and with a full realization of the great ial view to teachers in secondary and elementary difficulties to be overcome in making it schools.
the supreme success which is essential for Lectures on the history of religious bodies in its satisfactory development and continuWales, dealing historically with the growth and
ance. It is idle to attempt to conceal the development of the organization rather than with its doctrinal characteristics; say, two lec
seriousness of the undertaking, and the tures on each of the leading religious bodies in many business difficulties connected with
its successful establishment. I press these sideration of all those who are stirred by
R. D. ROBERTS.
THE DIARY OF A BARD.
The diary of EBENEZER THOMAS (Eben Fardd), one of the best poets of Wales, is interesting for many reasons. It is a vivid description of the struggles through which the ambitious young men of Wales had to pass, during the first half of this century, in their search for knowledge. It places face to face with us one of the most striking characters in the history of Welsh literature, one who became the literary dictator of his time, in spite of his poverty. It tells us, better perhaps than anything else,'the history of the Eisteddfod in all its aspects.' It throws much light on the real character of the Welsh Revival, and on its effects upon thought and literature.
The diary is printed from a transcript made for John Jones (Myrddin Fardd), the blacksmith antiquarian of Chwilog. Myrddin Fardd works at the anvil until he has earned enough money to wander in search of Welsh manuscripts. Besides Eben Fardd's papers, he has a very extensive collection of manuscripts belonging to the last century and to this, manuscripts that would have been lost had it not been for his loving care.
The first few entries of tlic diary are in Latin, the rest in English.
The diary begins with a dry chronicle of facts, and then expands into the history of an uneventful, but exceedingly interesting life. 1802.
great concern about my an Wananmen
soul, judgment, &c. Born in the month of
About September or August; baptized on the 29th.
October, notice poetry
with some interest. Com1808.
mence learning trade. In May and June and
1812. July, I went to school at
To Llangybi school, Llanarmon church, under
under William Owen, Richard Price, master.
September 22nd. LearnAt this time, when I was
ing trade alternately at five years
102ace member a cruel punish
1813. ment. I had been imprisoned alone in the
Sore feet and legs, on church; and the master
crutches. Intense interappeared in the pulpit,
est in reading the Bible, with a surplice on, to
and poetry. frighten me. He inflict
1814. ed upon me other and
In school at Llangybi. more inhuman punish
September 10th, began ments.
ciphering. October 12th, 1810.
in Reduction. Usher. I went to school at
Unwell all this time. Llangybi church, under
Step-brother home octhe same master, for a
casionally. short time. I had a sore
1815. EBENEZER THOMAS (Elen Furda.) throat, and I saw the
At school in Llangybi, beginning of a long series of years of sickness. occasionally. April 20th, in Rule of Three
Inverse. In summer attended Abercrch 1811.
school, under same master.. Towards year's Removed from the house in which I was end step-brother home ill. My journey born. Went to the Society at Ysgoldy; with him to Llanhaiarn Creek, 'in the twilleam the licaver try
homelore Peore on Price!