Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

22 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



CORRESPONDENCE. THE* -^ER'S^TWYTLI^LRERAJBY^AN^ROUNG MEN. SIR,—1 was very pleased to see in one of your Yeeent issues an reticle on the Free Library at Aberystwyth, and have since- been expecting to see the productions of m abler pen tiian mine 'following' you np;" but no one having yet approached tbe subject, I must beg of you the favour of a spaee in ycmr valuable' paper, to say a few words with reference to the Library. We have lately heard -a good deal' of preaching and lecturing on temperance ar.d the sister virtues; com- mittees have been formed fi-r the craTying out of cer- tain resolutions and persons have been appointed to convene the said ccnimittees. Very harl'lile!!s'predincfs, are they not! But public meetings, addressed even by the most popular men.-are not what the young mem of the present day want. V»hy, if speaking answered th« pur- pose, do we not hear sufficient of it at least )n., one day of the week? We have become so familiar with- hearing these "good things" poached wefk after week that if preaching alone were thcTIlBdium through- which- we are to be brought to our proper places, we, would have become perfect long ago No, S'*V a young man who works hard from six in the morning until six in the- evening must have spiritual nutriment c7tener than on-one day in each r week,unless he is to spen*5 his evenings in immorality and dissipation, and suffer tfee inevitable consequences of which we have daily-occurring instances. The kind minister says, Abstain from bad compar.ion.ship and- in- toxicating drinks." This is negative advice, all very well as far as it goes no doubt it has a good effect, and sounds well at the time. But when the meeting breaks up and the young man comes out again, he very naturally asks himself, what am I to do with-myself now;? I have ju&t been taught what I am not to-do. As for the manner in which, I am to spend my time, I was, before the meet- ing, as well informed as I am now," We are all aware that we must always be eSoing, and though there are innumerable ways of doing, they may all be reduced under two headings—doing good aad doing mischief-anèiwe are always doing one of these. Now, to return to the lifarary; is there anything which will keep young men from doing mischief, and thereby assist them in a great measure to do good ? Is there allythillgtJmding to the improvement of the minds of our young men -to raise them above idleness and licentiousness, and to 'implant ill them some higher ideas of pleasure than that which is supposed to be found in wasting their time in drunkenness and, dissipation ? We find some hesitation in answering this question. A glance at the library catalogue mil convince the reader that agreatmajorityofthe books are novels—"girls' I)-cioks"-really of no interest but to our novel-reading yoraig ladies, to whom love stories and idle tales have a peculiar fascination. Now, Mr. Editor, these are not the books which can be expected to have any beneficial effecft npon our young men, to inspire them with a laudable ambition to become great, or at least good men. Allow me to qpote one of the most eminent scholars of the present age ca. this question of novels. He writes— When I see our young men lolling on sofas and grinning over the sorry caricatures of humanity, with which the pages of Thackeray and other popular novelists are filled, I often wonder what sort of a human life can be expected to grow up from that, early habit of learning to sneer, or, at --est, to be amused at an age when seriousness and devout admiration are- the only seeds out of which any futujre nobleness can be expected to grow. Let, therefore, our youtg men study to make themselves familiar not with the fribbles, oddities, and monstrosities of hnmanity .set forth, in fictitious narratives, but with the blood and bone of human heroism which the select pagea of biography present. No man can contradict a fact; but the best fictions, without a deep moral significance beneath, are only iridescent froth, beautiful now, but which a single puff of air blows into nothing- ness." This is good sound advice, from a no less experienced teacher arwi scholar than Professor Blackie. I wish to see a good addition of valuable books made to the Aberystwyth Library, such as tend only to the in- struction :and edification of those who read them. As for the very important question of how are the books to be obtained ? I wculd beg to propose (will any of your readers, second me?) that a subscription list be opened immediately for the purpose of assisting the present funds. If two or three of the leading men in towa were to take the matter in hand, there is no doubt they would meet with a hearty respomilft from visitors and inhabitants alike, and would command, the gratitude of all the young men in town. By the way, here is an excellent field for those who have been lecturing so much not a hundred years ago, nor a hundred miles from Aberystwyth. If they are really desirous of benefitting young, people, let them show their faith by their works, and take this library grievance in hand, and they will confer as much benefit on their young charges as they would by means of preaching in six months. Also let such of the frequenters of the library as are sufficiently generous, and think, the cause deserving of their support, pay a trifle each tame they borrow a book; but leaving this entirely optional, or it might possibly have the- unde°- isirable effect of keeping away from the Library those very individuals whora. it is proposed to benefit. It is a prevalent opinion in town that something ought to be done for the Library at once, and I trust that some local philanthropist will plead this very worthy cause. Apologizing Sbr having thus trespassed upon your space, I am, &c., CAMBRIAN.


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