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THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN WELSH CHURCHES. 281 pleasant has been said about him when he particular line which he will take is of has been called a Philistine, though he may course dependent on accident. He may be have the vaguest possible conception of its an extreme Ritualist, or he may be ready to precise meaning. For some time indeed set up the worsbip of Humanity at a mothe majority of mankind had only the gen- ment's notice. Youthful conceit is not a eral impression that a Philistine was some- very heavy crime, and we may safely trust thing different from Mr. Matthew Arnold, that it will wear off in a few years' pracand therefore something very contemptible. tice; but just now it is rather more offenBut what were the precise merits which en- sive than usual, and partly because the titled him to be a child of light, and the ab- epithet of Philistine has given into the sence of which consigned the rest of the hands of ingenuous youth so ready a means world to the supreme contempt conveyed in of insulting the rest of the world. If the the word Philistine, remained a mystery. abounding self-confidence of the rising genAnd now that the name has met with con- eration should lead them to develop into a siderable acceptance, it is suffering in an- more definite school, it will be desirable other way. It is used so vaguely by people that the rest of the world should be furwho are themselves Philistines of the deep- nished with some means of retort by the est dye that it is in danger of losing its next inventor of nicknames. meaning. The sharpness of the weapon is disappearing under frequent use, and in the hands of certain writers it is becoming
From The London Review. merely a new term of abuse to throw at the heads of any one they dislike. By a grad
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN WELSH ual process of decay it will, it seems, be
CHURCHES. come equivalent to little more than Tory. THOSE conversant with the affairs of mis
Meanwhile, we confess to feeling another sions must be struck with the efforts made want more pressingly. Mr. Matthew Ar- to supply heathen nations with native teachnold has described the antithesis to a Phil-ers. We are a charmingly consistent peoistine as being a child of light. But, with ple. On the other side of the Severn there all respect to him, we fear that the name is is a land of hills and valleys, woods and rather too complimentary for the mass of rivers, with a population of something over his own disciples. Certainly the persons a million speaking a language not our own. in whose mouths the name of Philistine is We have been anxious at all times to supmost frequent are not entirely exempt from ply them with religious instruction. There human weakness. When we come to ex- are a good many fat livings in that country, amine the light by which they walk, we and people pay tithes there as regularly as fancy that it is sometimes of the nature of a we do ourselves. So we have been very farthing candle of their own. At the oppo- anxious at all times to supply the Welsh site pole to Philistinism are the young gen- with religious instructions. The Welsh tlemen who, until they have bloomed suffi- people as a rule speak Welsh, of course. ciently to deserve a specific name from some Since the days of Walpole we have thereacute observer, must be ranked under the fore sent them well-born and well-educated, general title of prigs. As a rule, they are though somewhat hungry, Englishmen to fresh from the Universities, and, indeed, fill their benefices and sees and give them are closely allied in some respects to the religious instruction. The pastors spoke least agreeable variety of dons. It is a one tongue, the flocks another. The preachrather unfortunate peculiarity of Oxford ers preached and pocketed the tithes - of and Cambridge just now that the teaching course they did; the flocks listened and bodies are to a great extent composed of paid the tithes, and if they didn't feel the very young men. Of course, a gentleman better for the exercise, why, it was their who has taken his degree within a few years own fault. The pastors often preached in considers himself to be at the very focus of Welsh, as well as they were able. They the intellectual light of the country. He did their best, perhaps, and, according to naturally and pardonably looks upon all the old adage, angels could do no more. persons a few years above him in University Mistakes no doubt were made — we all standing to be old fogies, and persons who know the errors committed by persons while are not at the University at all are unwor- they learn French, and generally long after. thy to do more than sit at his feet. Conse- The good Bishop Burgess, for instance, was quently, he cres out into the world pre- accustomed to bless the people after this pared to s p as a ready-made prophet, fashion – “the peace of God which passeth and to ap an immediate and final solu- all vengeance" (dial for deall). A clergytion to al che problems of the day. The man at “Capel Coleman," while speaking
of man's depravity, declared that “every in the north of Pembrokeshire. It was man is exceedingly tall by nature." The his first visit to that parish church, and the little men in the congregation looked in as- people naturally flocked to see him. They tonishment at each other, and seemed to were all Welsh, but most of them had a question - poor souls! — the truth of the little knowledge of English as well. The statement. “At last, however, one parish- bishop addressed them in both languages; ioner, clearer-sighted than the rest, discov- and subsequently declared himself delighted ered that the preacher meant to assert that with the attention paid to his remarks. “every man is exceedingly blind by nature." The vicar, however, afterwards interrogated The same preacher, on another occasion, some of his flock as to how they had liked inade-“ Hail, King of the Jews,” to mean his lordship's discourse. One answered for -“ An old cow of straw king of Ireland.” | the rest, and the rest agreed to his reply, Another once gave a curious turn to the “We liked the English part of the sermon clause, “but the righteous to life eternal,” very well, but we didn't understand the “but to some chickens the food of the Welsh part at all." geese.” A late dean in North Wales read A few years ago the Bishop of Bangor * Be Thou exalted, O God of heaven, above preached at Criccieth, in Carnarvonshire. the earth and firmament,” as “ Arise, O*. How did you like the bishop's sermon?" God, above the head of two hens, and the inquired a traveller of a publican's wife recrow's egg also.” Another clergyman read- siding in the neighbouring village of Ltaning “ the whole head is sick, and the whole ymstundwy. “I would not go to the other heart faint," was understood to say " the side of the road to hear him again,” signifiback parts are sick, and the middle of the cantly answered Peggy. A respectable back faint."
Welsh clergyman residing in the immediate After all, there is a serious side to the neighbourhood of Criccieth says, “I should matter. Some of the errors of Anglo- have no objection to my Bishop (Bangor) Welsh clergymen are positively unfit for delivering an extempore and unprepared publication. Occasionally the English cler- address to my communicants, but I should gyman in Wales has been made the subject not like him to occupy my pulpit. To some of a hoax. There is a story related of one extent he is able to speak the vernacular to English clergyman still living, who em- | the people, but his prepared sermons are ployed a native to prepare a sermon for in grammatical Welsh, which the people him. The Welshman was a wag, and took understand as much as they do Dutch." for his text, “Nimrod was a mighty hunter Like pastor, like people, says the old provbefore the Lord.” The sermon, gravely erb. Like bishop, like clergy also. Things delivered, proved to be a humorous de- are not in this respect so bad as they used scription of fox and hare-hunting, and kin- to be, but still numerous are the instances dred subjects. These things are true, not in which parishes with exclusively Welsh of the past inerely, but of the present. For populations are in the charge of clergymen at this moment the four Welsh bishops, as whose only language is the English. In “ well as a large number of the inferior former times all the best livings were given clergy in Welsh parishes, are in many cases to the relatives and personal friends of the total, in all cases comparative, strangers to bishops. The relations of the Bishop of St. the people, their language, their manners, Asaph forty years ago had £23,679, whilst and their customs. The Bishops of St. the general body of the clergy in the diocese David's, Llandaff, and Bangor are supposed received £18,391 per annum. The fortuto know something of the Welsh tongue, nate friends of a mitred chief were usually of course. Dr. Thirlwall, indeed, is well, absentees. In Anglesea, for instance, there few better, acquainted with the grammati- are seventy-five parishes. In 1832 there cal structure of the language. The Bishops were sixty-two parishes with non-resident of Llandaff and Bangor are more or less so incumbents, and fifty-five parishes without likewise. Still, even when they speak any resident clergyman of any kind, whilst Welsh, they speak one language, and the nineteen of these parishes were served by people still speak another; for the people only six curates. The effect was withering. as such may be said to be oblivious to the The clergy were strangers to the people, existence of a Welsh grammar. So the their language, manners, customs, and bishops speak grammatical Welsh, the peo- tastes. In hundreds of instances English ple talk the vernacular; and the bishops sermons were preached from the. pulpits. remain barbarians to the people, and the Fancy a Welsh sermon to a London congrepeople barbarians to the bishops. It is not gation! The bishops and clergy trampled very long since Dr. Thirlwall confirmed on every prejudice of the people. The a number of children in a pretty little church people were unable to benefit even by the little instruction doled out to them here and the custom of the Primitive Church, to and there. The nation was divided into have publick prayer in the church or to two parts. The clergy composed the one; minister the sacraments in a tongue not unthe people the other. They were in all es- derstanded of the people.” At length we sentials perfect strangers. Assimilation forgot all this, and sent English clergymen was simply impossible. How could there into Wales, and Wales for good or evil has be any assimilation under the circumstances ? reaped or will reap the fruit. There are in the characters of different races certain differences that resist all attempts at perfect assimilation. The character of the first inhabitants of a country
From The London Review. communicates itself to each new succession
THE DULNESS OF PLEASURE. of colonists, and often survives every possible change of laws, language, and civiliza- It does not at all require the temper of tion. The modern Frenchman is only a a philosopher, or the disposition of a poet, reproduction of the primitive Gaul. Our or the stomach of a dyspeptic to find out Irishman is still the impulsive creature that amusements are very often the most inwhich Patrick found him to be. The Welsh tolerable modes of enjoyment within the of to-day are very much the same people reach of men or women. At this moment that they were in the days of Giraldus, with there are thousands of people in London the exception of a few favourable traits, the groaning under the distressing tax with necessary results of Protestantism and a which the customs of the season assess their more tranquil state of society.
physical and moral energies, while the No one who is tolerably acquainted with streets swarm with specimens of the counboth can help remarking how completely try cousin bearing upon their very faces and opposite are the Welsh and English charac- in their gait proofs that the time of holiday ters. In dealing with Welsh religious mat- is a period of anything but unalloyed satisters, this should be kept constantly in view. faction. Evening parties at the best are The question is not whether, on social only happy reunions for those who are in grounds, it would be better or worse for love, or who think they are, which is the Wales to lose her language; but, what is same thing; and even to those simple creathe cause of the failure of the Establishment tures the fun of being parboiled in hot there? Now the admirable adaptation of rooms and regaled upon the confections the precepts of Christianity to all ages and and wines which prevail at those insticountries cannot be doubted, and yet it may tutions palls after a few weeks. In fact, be said that that religion itself cannot be the manner in which pleasure, as it is ironiimpressively taught and brought home to cally called, is taken in these days, converts the heart without the aid of that indefinable it into a penitential process which no one community of feeling which generally exists would willingly undergo if not impelled to between men of the same race. The fact do so by mere fashion. Take the Royal is we have tried to teach the Welsh people Academy, for instance. To say nothing of through the medium of a tongue they did what the Academicians have done to render not and do not understand. Of course the the galleries in Trafalgar-square trying to attempt was a failure. We have discov- the temper and the patience, the visitor will ered our error, and therefore now employ find that the whim which brings the young natives to teach the Gospel, in other coun-ladies of the West-end to the spot interferes tries. In Wales, the key to the hearts of with the chance of getting any enjoyment the people has been cast by the clergy into from the pictures. Whole droves of interthe hands of their opponents, and therefore esting creatures continue to pour into the it is that nine-tenths of the whole population rooms until each is as packed as a sheepare Dissenters. The result may have been washing pen, and the visitor, in despair, regood or bad - but the story is still a strange turns home with a determination not to one. At the Reformation, the contest was subject himself a second time to the inevitafor the Gospel in the “ tongue understanded ble discomforts of the show. This is only of the people.” The principle was applied mentioned as an example. Look into the equally to Wales. The Bible and the pit during the third act of a play, or of an Prayer-book were translated into Welsh; opera, and nine out of ten of the audience the Act of Uniformity at a later day enacted seem suffering as much mental distress as that in Wales, the services and the sermons if they were listening to the saws of a dull should be Welsh because the XXIV. Article sermon. Watch the London cads at Whitof the Church had declared that “it is a suntide following the instinct which forces thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God them into the country or the penny steamboats on this occasion. After the first excite- of interest in their attitudes or glances at ment is over, the fun begins rapidly to tell first, which gradually wears off, and leaves upon them. Exuberant leaders in a certain them blank, listless, and bored, but still paper perform delirious imitations of ex- faithful to their parts, or their chairs, stacy over the manner in which its patrons buoyed up with a queer distorted sense that
- the people-pursue their pleasure, but there is a certain propriety in the situation, the representation is not true to nature. and that society demands the sacrifice from The working man has in nine cases out of them. Without going into the depths of ten to fight his wife, to carry the baby, and this question either, and very unpleasant to hunt his unruly children all during the depths we should find them, it may be said course of the few hours in which he goes to that it is to be regretted that young men enjoy himself at Kew or Greenwich. The should not be able to have a good surfeit shop-boys and shop-girls come home in of dissipation without permanent loss of stuffy third-class carriages wearied and moral strength. Of course we know such tired, and surrounded with the other fol- a thing to be impossible. Amusements lowers of recreation, who are tired and without vice are not popular with the youth wearied or drunk, or perhaps all three. of the period, and we doubt if they were They cannot expect to fare better than their with the youth of any period; but vice itsuperiors. The best-ordered lawn party self— the sort of vice which seems most atwill entail vexatious troubles and annoyance; tractive and fascinating - becomes, accorda picnic is often enough a grim business ; ing to all accounts, as dull as virtue when while croquet matches, except to enthusi- pursued with a senseless perseverance. Inasts or to flirts, are wearisome in the ex- deed, satirists have written that men hare treme. That this is really the case there is wooed the latter when sick of the former, no doubt whatever. It is only very young not from a pious instigation, but simply from people who think otherwise-young in the a desire to change the modes of feelingway of experience. Ladies now often complain to enjoy new sensations. Sterne, in one that they must almost drive the men to their of his sermons, hints that Solomon's converhouses or to the grass-plots. Many of the sion arose from as degraded a motive. But "golden youths” begin to protest against the general effect of vice is to give its folthe pleasures of society as intolerable. lower a false appetite, and to make him Women bear those amusements easier and what the homilists designate - a slave to his more gracefully. They regard them partly, passions.” It must be said that the homiperhaps, in a business light, but certainly lists have the evidence of physiognomy on not to the extent with which they are ac- their sides at least. You shall see your credited by some of their censors. Still, it thoroughly dissipated men dreadfully out is a wonder they do not set their faces of sorts with themselves constantly. The against the hurry and haste which utterly master they serve pays them with scant deprives a cultivated idleness of its luxury. wages. To leave a ball at four o'clock, to attend Åre intellectual pleasures free from wearithe morning ride in the park, to assist at ness? It is hard to say that they are when afternoon tea, to visit, to drive, to prepare we read the personal history of the most for dinner, to go then to the opera or thea- intellectual men from whom we derive those tre, must, when pursued consecutively for sources of enjoyment. It is hard to say some weeks, try the strongest constitu- whether melancholy or joyousness forms the tion; yet numbers of girls are enduring note of true art, and of the two we are inthis probation at present, and regarding it clined to regard the former as the undertone as pleasurable.
which pervades every great artistic creation, If you want to see thoroughly unhappy whether of music, poetry, painting, sculpand discontented faces, look for them where ture, or architecture. This melancholy, or well-dressed loungers congregate - where the consciousness of it, is not, however, the men of pleasure have come to hunt the necessarily displeasing, but still it jades the only thing they care for. The dulness of senses after a very short time. Art, too, pleasure is upon them, and envelopes them. renders us dull by dropping us once more They suffer a constant ache for gratifica on the ground after we have had our heads in tion - an ache which is as distinct and irri- the elouds. To a musical person there is tating as a pain from a bad tooth. The an agitation of mind produced by certain emochairs in Hyde Park are daily tenanted by tional pieces which cause a pain and an excitepersons who labour under this complaint. ment. This is followed by a reactionary It becomes aggravated in expression if they stupor, and an awakening as from a pleasare by themselves, and have no one to ant dream. Even domestie pleasures the speak to. You notice a slight expression most innocent of all, as we are informed
are they not dull, dull as ditch-water, We might refer to other pleasures, which it oftener than fathers of families or mothers is even a burden and a distress to see others of children would like to confess? There suffering from. The unhappy young genis that venerable institution, the family fire- tlemen who bowl and bat under the broiling side, where the head of the house is seated, sun, who fag and field with frantic dextersurrounded with progeny. Intervals of ity, if they do not find the amusement dull, happiness may streak the situation; but, as must certainly find it worse. The dulness a rule, the whole lot are at heart protesting of angling when the trout or the salmon reagainst it. The young men, if any, are fuse to rise need not be dwelt upon; the longing to slip off to their club or cricket, dulness of shooting when the birds cannot or to anything that will bring them outside be found is intense. There is, then, but this family circle; the girls are reading one mode of staving off this enemy, and novels, or are in imagination following the that is by work, almost incessant work, fortunes of heroes and heroines; the good which will prevent that relaxation of the man himself is thinking of business; and faculties in which the complaint consists. the presiding lady has her mind occupied To many persons this remedy would at first with large or petty cares of some kind or appear to be worse than the disease; but another. There is either this or dulness. we would ask them to give it a trial. The
Without novelty or occupation dulness work, however, should not take the form will creep in everywhere, and, on the of pleasure, but should be a bracing induswhole, the men and women who are most try from which definite results would folfree from it are those whose minds are en- low. We are certain that, simple as this grossed completely in some particular pur- recipe appears, there are many to whom it suit or calling, and who have no room for never even occurred before. thinking of mere pleasure. Those people, however, if not dull, are the cause of dulress in others, and their society is frequently remembered with mixed sentiments.
From The Spectator, 27 June. Dulness must be taken to be the common
GERMANY AND ENGLAND. lot of mortals. It is some satisfaction to feel, when it descends upon us, that it will CounT VON MOLTKE's speech on the visit all alike. It is some gratification to “ Ironclad Loan,” made to the North Gerthose who have to exert themselves usefully man Parliament a few days since, deserves to know that those who can and do choose even more attention than it has received. to enjoy themselves will be pursued by this The Government of Berlin, which carries Nemesis. Poets are fond of alluding to its thrift into every department, had asked that epoch which is known amongst them as the Confederate Diet for the very moderate the morning of life, and at this vague pe- sum of 3,750,0001. for the purchase of riod it is understood that young persons ironclads, which, manned by Schleswigers, never dream of the dulness in store for Holsteiners, and men from the Baltic seathem. But this we do not believe. They board, will, it is believed, suffice to make have tasted it in some kind even at the of North Germany a respectable Naval powdawn of consciousness, and will continue to er. The Liberals, with a want of tact which taste it to the very end. This may be they too often display, resisted the demand, called only another way of turning the old on the ground that Parliament ought to advice as to the vanity of all things, the old have more control over the expenditure sermon with its metaphors of Dead Sea of the loan. The King's government fruit, and other rhetorical ornaments. Still or President's government, as it ought the truth of it is brought home to us with fresh to be called when the affair concerns all force when the weather becomes distress- North Germany - threatened to abandon ingly warm in town. The efforts of men the fleet rather than yield the point; and and women at this season to escape their the public, aware that the Army has been destiny is so notoriously frustrated that one made what it is by executive absolutism, turns to venerable causes to account for the aware also that stinginess, not extravagance, effect, if only for the satisfaction of verify- is the vice of Berlin departments, and biting the wisdom of our ancestors. We need terly disappointed in its hopes of maritime not, like Mr. Swinburne, recapitulate the power, did not heartily support the Liberals, burdens which are the end of every man's who found it expedient to accept a comprodesire. If we only confine ourselves to the mise. Parliament, as we understand a not burden of pleasure itself, to the burden of very clear arrangement, is to have as much mere social pleasure, we shall find that it is power over the naval as over the military a load heavy to bear at this particular time. I expenditure, but no more, - that is to say,