The Story of the National Eisteddfod By H. FRANCIS JONES (Old Colwyn) WHEN the National Eisteddfod of Wales is held at Colwyn Bay in August next I wonder how many will realise that the prevailing speech in all parts of the district will be the same speech as that Julius Caesar heard on these shores when he first met the Britons two thousand years ago-55 years before the birth of Christ But such will be the case. The oldest speech in Western Europe, the Welsh language has dominated this comer of the land throughout all civilised ages, and it requires no great gift of prophesy to predict that when the Eisteddfod opens a few months hence it will attract a greater concourse of Welsh- speaking people than at any time in its long history. That keen Welsh historian, the late W. Llewelyn Williams, once remarked-" How the ancient speech of the Britons, after battling for eighteen centuries against three such powerful languages as Latin, French and English has survived at all is a mystery; the fact that it is today more studied, more written and more read than ever it was before, is a miracle. What accounts for the extraordinary tenacity with which the Welsh cling to their language, and still cling to it." Professor Zimmern had little difficulty in answering this question. And be it remembered, Zimmern was not a Welshman. He, however, was a scholar of exceptional qualities, and always wrote with authority and understanding. The Welsh language," he said, is not only old and distinctive it is also great in quality. How truly distinctive Welsh civilisation is becomes clear to anyone who will reflect on the significance of the Welsh language. Welsh has survived because it represents something-a spirit, a culture, a national character, an atmosphere which, unlike its comperes in Scotland and Ireland, in Cornwall and the Isle of Man, cannot survive the transformation into English." For more than fourteen hundred years this spirit, this culture, this national character and atmosphere, common throughout every province in Wales, have been particularly identified with the inhabitants of this old cantref." The first castle built by Prince Maelgwyn Gwynedd on the hill summit above Deganwy, between Colwyn Bay and Llandudno, was not simply a means of defence against the invader-it was a recognised centre of cultural pursuits, and most of the things the National Eisteddfod