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confer rewards, irrespective of their qualifications for the task. That under these circumstances so much unanimity should reign, and so many qualified persons should be willing to undertake Eisteddfodic duties, is highly creditable to the nation, and forms a just claim for the extension and consoli. dation of the power of the Eisteddfod.
It is not surprising that under the disadvantages we have mentioned, Eisteddfod committees should become too local in their management, and too commercial in their actions. Local bodies have a tendency to identify the interests of knowledge with the commercial interests of their own town or locality. They are more anxious to attract visitors, in order to cover the pecuniary risks that they guarantee, than to advance any permanent object embraced within the scope of an Eisteddfod proper. Nor is it to be supposed that the world will be ready to bow to such a self-elected body, changing as the scene changes. Dissatisfaction with, and disputes concerning, the adjudications and the disposal of surplus funds are too often the unfortunate but unavoidable results of the present system.
To sum up these arguments. If the Eisteddfod of the present, in the hands of varying and self-constituted bodies with no authority and very little responsibility, is a useful and a popular institution, how much more So might be the Eisteddfod of the future, with disorder reduced to order, anarchy to government, isolated efforts to centralisation ?
NID DA, LLE BO GWELL. Many of the warmest friends of the Eisteddfod have long felt the force of this proverb, and have directed their efforts to the creation of a permanent and central committee.
The time is ripe for change: for a change that shall give full effect to our aspirations. But how can this be accomplished ? Surely, by giving authority to the Eisteddfod. We conceive that this result might be brought about as follows.
The Eisteddfod might be incorporated as a society under a royal charter, for the performance of the third function already alluded to, viz., the encouragement of poetry, music, and art (understanding art in its widest sense).
Sufficient permanent funds should be provided for working the machinery. A constitution, following on historical lines as far as possible, should be drawn up, defining the duties and powers of the Eisteddfod and regulating the appointment of its central governing body.
This governing body or council should be carefully chosen from individuals of mark sufficient to give weight to their decisions. On questions of music and philology there are certain Welsh names that at once present themselves, whose owners would anywhere be accepted as fully competent and valuable members of such a council. Nor would it probably be difficult in time to form a Ford Gron, a round table, capable of doing good and honest service to the cause of Welsh literature generally. Other branches of literature might also be brought, for the benefit of Wales, within the scope of the Eisteddfodic Council : and there is no fear that the task of finding competent members of the council or worthy adjudicators would prove difficult, with the whole world to choose from. The London or Scotch Universities (or any of the bodies incorporated for special objects) have never been at a loss for persons able to perform similar duties, while they have money to command their services.
In this way security would be taken that the prizes and degrees conferred—the mịntmarks of approval—should guarantee the work as standard gold, above suspicion (and this would necessarily be the case if competent adjudicators were elected by the central authority).
The second point to be carefully considered is, that room should be left within these safeguards for the play of that liberty enjoyed by local committees in the selection of the place for holding the Eisteddfod, and even the method of conducting it, and the management (or mismanagement) of local funds.
Nor (and surely this is important) should the working man be discouraged-that class which in Wales takes so unique an interest in Eisteddfodau. The standard of excellence in the republic of letters is high and difficult of attainment by those who earn their daily bread by the labour of their hands. Bearing also in view the important fact that every degree conferred should be worthily conferred, and no sham, the Eisteddfodic Council might institute degrees of various order, so giving to all merit due recognition, whether it flourish in sunshine or in shadow.
Thus, whether in poetry, in art, in science, in classical or modern language, in mathematics or philology (for all these and more might be subjects for competition), the distinction given would be what it professed to be. In this way, room would be left for the action of the general and local bodies respectively. The distinction of higher and lower degrees was not unknown to the historic Eisteddfod : witness the grades of Druid, Bard and Ovate: and, coming from the source which we have indicated, there would be no gainsaying them.
An authoritative centre—such a centre as would command at once the confidence of scholars and of the country—is an absolute necessity.
It is obvious therefore that some organised body must be appointed to act with effect in discussing and defining the constitution of the Eisteddfod of the future, its objects and duties, its general and local action : in a word, in furthering the appointment of a properly constituted Eisteddfod authority. By such a proceeding, order would arise out of chaos, real merit be honoured, pretentiousness discouraged, learning promoted, Welsh literature receive due recognition ; and
last, but by no means least, care would be taken of the Eisteddfod exchequer, that funds might not be lacking for its various purposes. Obtaining this, Wales would obtain what it has long sought. Such a body responsible for the collection and employment of public and private funds would thus inspire confidence.
It would be presumptuous to attempt detail or to lay down dogmatically what range of subjects should be embraced by the Eisteddfod, and whether its sweep should be broader or narrower than at present. Enough, if the writers have succeeded in indicating a real necessity in connexion with our country's peculiar and honoured institution; and in suggest
; ing that some organised body would best set about its consolidation.
It will be for such a body as we have indicated to consider, as a preliminary step, the desirability of seeking a Royal Commission, which should make enquiries and collect into one focus information as to the requirements and claims of the Principality, the ancient uses of the Eisteddfod, and its adaptability to modern purposes : or whether it would be better, on the other hand, to seek at once a Royal Charter of Incorporation, from which would arise a duly constituted body, having authority,“ a local habitation and a name."
LEWIS MORRIS (LLEWELYN DDU) TO EDWARD
RICHARD OF YSTRADMEURIG.
(Continued from Vol. i, p. 170.)
TO EDWARD RICHARD.
Penbryn, June 22nd, 1760. “ DEAR SIR,—We have flies that are begot, come to perfection and play, engender their kind, and lay their eggs and die in one day, and the next day a new brood comes, and goes on the same for the whole summer, generation after generation; and these do as much, and to as much purpose, as most of us that annoy and distress one another, as if we were to live for ever. How many ages of those flies is it since I have heard from you and my little ones? Is your library almost finished ? and when will you put up the books ? God send that it is not ill-timed, for the taste of our age seems to be quite otherwise. If you had lived in the time of the Primitive Christians, some good might have been expected from such a thing, and the Church would have sainted you for it; but those days are over, and the like of them will never be, for our shepherds are turned wolves and foxes, and my son, perhaps, will see your successor incapable of reading the title pages of the books you collect. Thus our schemes, though ever so well founded, are very narrow and shallow; but an active mind must be doing of something, let it end where it will. Most of the ancient philosophers (except