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Sir R. B. W. BULKELEY, BARONET,
I am per
As a mark of the highest respect which a humble individual is able to manifest, the following Essay, in the English language, is dedicated to you. suaded that a dedication, clothed in high strains of eulogy, would be unacceptable to your intelligent mind and correct taste. Indisposed as I am to employ the language of flattery, still it appears to me that commendation, where it is merited, is sanctioned both by inspired example and the general usage of society. As a resident landlord, anxious to promote the agricultural interest of your native country, and a liberal contributor to all undertakings which tend to improve the state of society, I am desirous of testifying my respect for your character.
The state of Wales, in regard to EDUCATION AND Science, presents before us
an unbounded field for improvement. Should any suggestions contained in the ensuing pages be
productive of some good to the principality, I shall consider the labour bestowed in the composition of them well rewarded. In discussing the numerous subjects embraced in the Essay, I am not aware of having been actuated by any sentiment except a regard for the truth, and a wish to see GENERAL JMPROVEMENT taking place; and I fully expect that the same candour will be exercised, by those who will honour my pages with a perusal, as I have shown towards individuals and societies, whilst exhibiting their character. Wishing you much usefulness, in the present state of existence, in the commanding position which you occupy, and happiness in the interminable state which is to succeed,
I have the honour to be,
I FORM no sanguine expectation that the following Essay will elicit much applause from the public. The English part may require the candour of readers of refined taste and correct scholarship. Having been brought up in a part of the country where the means of education were of the most imperfect character, my acquaintance with the English language was but very slight before I reached my twentieth year. Since that time literature has been, in a great measure, my
business and pleasure; still I have had, for a long period, to carry on a friendly contest with difficulties which required, and continue to require, the most energetic exertions on my part, to surmount them. In addition to the duties of my profession, I have a large family to superintend and educate. The Essay has been composed and revised for the press, at the expense of my repose, but not at the expense of my comfort.
I am sensible of the imperfections of the whole performance ; and it would be in my power to remove many of them by more extended observations, but as a large book is said to be a great evil, I have been induced to present the Essay, in its present form, before the public. In revising the composition, several articles have been added to the original matter, that a fuller view might be given of the different sections of the community. This has obtained the approbation of some of the leading Gentlemen connected with the late Gordovigion Eisteddvod.
It is proper to bear in mind that the business of the writer was not to write a history, nor to compose memoirs, but to exhibit the character of the Welsh as a nation in the present age. In endeavouring to classify the people, in religious and moral points of view, I found the exceptions, in some instances, so large that I was under the necessity of referring to them, wherefore a twofold character is given, the one differing from the other. Those must have but very superficially observed human societies, who do not see the propriety, in certain cases, of exercising such a caution, in delineating a whole nation. My great aim has been to give truthfulness to the statements contained in the work. Nothing is set down in malice ; but justice, charity, and impartiality, have been the principles by which I endeavoured to conduct my pen. If the imperfections of some communities are honestly pointed out, equal justice is done to their commendable qualities. Those who cannot bear their faults to be, in the spirit of charity, made known, do not deserve to have their virtues exhibited. My object is not to foment political or religious discord, but to allay, as much as possible, the existing animosity.