Welsh Journals

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WALES. Vol. II] NOVEMBER, 1895. [No. 19. A NEW POWER IN WALES. HE Guild of tellectual conditions of different districts, Graduates of the University of Wales may become a new power in Wales. It may, on the other hand, fall back into a shadowy noth¬ ing. The choice is before it, and it must make the choice very soon. The Guild consists of the graduates and the teachers of the University. All graduates of any British University who have spent a certain time at a Welsh University College are now recognized as members of the Guild. The number of the graduate members will rapidly increase, and the professor element will soon be a comparatively unimportant one. The Guild will practically be the graduates of Wales, who have had a similar education and who share the same University traditions, spread over Wales. It will be an organization of the leaders of all the districts of Wales,— men who have enjoyed a more liberal edu¬ cation than their fellows, and whose horizon is wider. Such leaders there have been in time past, men who taught themselves or found their way to foreign Universities, and made themselves the intellectual rulers of their districts, opening a new world of theology, music, literature, or science before their fellows. But these men did not know of each other, they were not cheered on by seeing others walking along the same path, and they were deprived of the power given by the contagion of companionship in doing good. One of the most striking features of Welsh life is the great difference between the in- often contiguous districts. I know of more than one mountain ridge in crossing which, from one district to the other, one seems to be going back a hundred years. One parish is decidedly intellectual, every peasant buys and reads books; the next parish is intellectually stagnant. The difference can be traced, in almost every case, to the in¬ fluence of some one man. I know of a man who left behind him a district full of readers, of another who left behind him a district full of singers. But these men, though exercising a wonderful influence over their own neighbourhoods, were un¬ known outside of those neighbourhoods. Had there been any means by which they could have met and known each other, their influence would have been doubled. But, save for religious purposes only, these heroes of the past had to work on un- cheered by each other's voice. The Guild of Graduates will supply the great deficiency in the development of thought and culture in Wales in the past. It will be a bond of union between those who are trying to hasten the intellectual progress of their fellow countrymen; and the meetings of the Guild will be a constant source of encouragement to those who feel it to be their duty and their pleasure to arouse the interest of their neighbours in knowledge, especially in literature and science. There are two considerations that appeal very forcibly to me as I think of the first " University week." The one is that the days of voluntary work for Welsh education are not over. It is true that the educational system, from the University down, is completed; but we have other work to do than to look at the machinery going and to 31 481