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Wales and the French Revolution Series
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First instalment of an essay on government

Of GOVERNMENT

Location: Marion Löffler, Welsh Responses to the French Revolution: Press and Public Discourse (2012), doc 7.1

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POB llywodraeth, yn ddechreuol, sy’n deilliaw oddi wrth yr hwn a greodd, ac sy’n cynnal a chyflawni pob peth, yn ol ei ddoethineb a’i ewyllys ei hun; ond, o ran y dull o lywodraethu, mae hynny wedi adael i ddynion i’w ddewis fal creaduriaid rhesymmol. Awdur trefn yw Duw: ac y mae pob math o anrhefn yn dymchwelyd ei gyfreithiau cyfiawn, eglur, a phur; gellir galw beth bynnag sydd wrthwyneb i hyn, yn draws-lywodraeth. Pob teulu a chymdeithas, a ddysg yr angenrheidrwydd o lywodraeth, ac ufudd-dod i’r gyfraith: er y dichon fod mewn teuluoedd wahanol ddull o reolaeth, etto, pan fyddont yn cydsynnio yn ngwneuthuriad cyfreithiau, rhaid ufuddhau iddynt, hyd nes gwelont yn well eu newid, chwanegu at, neu dynnu oddi wrthynt. – Mae’r awdurdod hon yn ddifai gan bob teulu; – heb achos i’w gymmydog ofyn, Pa beth yr wyt yn ei wneuthur? – Heb lywodraeth, ni byddai’r byd ond cymmysgfa o annibendod; (oddi eithr dileu trosedd o hono) pob math o ormes ac anrhefn a dardda o’r ffynnon, pechod. Ac fal yr amlha anwiredd, yr amlha traws-arglwyddiaeth, hyd oni chyflawnir mesur yr anwiredd. Na ryfedded neb ddywedyd o honom, “Pob llywodraeth yn ddechreuol sy’n deilliaw oddi wrth Duw.” Ie, pe dywedem fod llywodraeth Pharao, wrth ei orchymyn, ni cham-synniem lawer, canys “I hyn yma y’th gyfodais, medd yr Arglwydd.” Wrth alwad JEHOFAH y goresgynnodd Nebucodonozor Judea: a gwas Duw ydoedd Cyrus drachefn, i’w gwaredu. Ni buasai gan Pilat awdurdod ar Iesu, ond fal y rhoddwyd iddo; ac ni’s gallasai’r milwyr dan Titus, lai nâ dinystrio’r deml yn Jerusalem; canys yr oedd Crist wedi rhag-ddywedyd “Na adewid yno garreg ar garreg.” Gwahanol amserau, sy’n galw am wahanol lywodraeth, weithiau’n dyner, weithiau’n greulon. Duw yn taro’r ddaear â barn, ac fal yr ymostyngo ei bobl, mae yn ymweled â hwynt mewn trugaredd. – Rhaid i Babyddiaeth a Mahometaniaeth gael eu dileu o’r byd; ond ni wyddom yn iawn pa fodd, na phwy fydd yr offerynau; rhagor nâ’u bod yn offerynau cyfiawnder a chreulondeb. – Yr Arglwydd sy’n teyrnasu. Mae hynny yn ddigon i’r duwiol. “Ymddarostynged pob enaid i’r awdurdodau goruchel, canys nid oes awdurdod, ond oddi wrth Dduw; a’r awdurdodau sydd, gan Dduw maent wedi hordeinio. Telwch gan hynny i bawb eu dyledion: teyrnged i’r hwn y mae teyrnged yn ddyledus, toll i’r hwn y mae toll; ofn i’r hwn y mae ofn; parch i’r hwn y mae parch yn ddyledus. Rhoddwch yr eiddo Cesar i Cesar, a’r eiddo Duw i Dduw. Ie, ofnwch Dduw, ac anrhydeddwch y brenin.” Ond gwybyddwch, nad yw hyn mewn un mesur yn dinystrio’r hawl sydd gan bob dyn, fal aelod o’r gymdeithas, i fod a llais, yn newisiad y swyddwyr gwladol; eithr ein dysgu i ufuddhau i’r awdurdodau sydd mewn bod yn y cyfamser; a hynny ddim ymhellach, nag y bo gair yr Arglwydd yn rheol i’n hufudd-dod: os amgen, dioddefodd y merthyron i gyd yn ofer.

Ond nid yw’n cylch ni, i sôn llawer am lywodraeth; ein diben yw, yn fwyaf neillduol, roddi hanes, (yn ei dro) am drefn llywodraethau’r byd, &c. ac ni a ddechreuwn gartref, trwy roddi portreiad byrr, o lywodraeth Lloegr, yr hon sydd fal tri-phlyg, yn cynnwys Un bennaeth (Monarchy) yn y brenin. Pendefigaeth (Aristocracy) yn yr arglwyddi, a gwladwriaeth, (Democracy) yn y cyffredin. – Mae’r awdurdod o wneud cyfreithiau, a chodi trethi, yn gysylltiedig yn y tri: ond gan y senedd gyffredin yn unig mae’r awdurdod i enwi’r pethau a drethir, &c. ac ni all yr arglwyddi newid bil yr arian, heb ei wrthod a’i anfon yn ol drachefn i’r senedd gyffredin. – Os derbyn yr arglwyddi’r biliau, fe ddichon y brenin eu gwrthod; ond os derbyn hwynt, mae’n gosod ei sêl wrthynt: yn ganlynol, mae’r gyfraith mewn grym.

– Mae’n perthyn i’r brenin gyhoeddi rhyfel, a gwneud heddwch; danfon neu dderbyn cenhadau – creu swyddwyr, galw ynghyd, oedi, a gollwng ymaith y Parliament; rhoi teitlau o anrhydedd, a chreu rhagor o arglwyddi, gwneud ammodau â theyrnasoedd eraill, gwneuthur arian. Efe yw (generalissimo) pen cadpen yr holl fyddinoedd ar dir, a’r llyngesau ar y môr. Efe sy’n dewis, enwi, appwyntio swyddwyr uchel-radd; yn trefnu’r holl drysordai, cestyll, ymddiffynfaoedd, aberoedd, porth-laddoedd. Y Militia hefyd sydd dan ei awdurdod; yr holl gynghorwyr, dadleuwyr, swyddogion y’stad, a barnwyr cyfiawnder a osodir ganddo, ac yn pardynu’r neb a fynno; geill naill ai maddeu’r trosedd neu leihau’r gosp.

Ei fawrhydi, hefyd, yw goruchel-ben yr eglwys sefydledig, yn Lloegr, rhysgwydd, a rhoddwr yr holl esgobaethau. Trwy yr awdurdod hwn y dichon alw cymmanfaoedd (synods) eu gohirio a’u gollwng ymaith. Creu arch-esgobion, esgobion, deans, &c. ac yn oruchwyliwr ar y colegau a’r brenhinol ysgolion, &c. cymmaint yw’r anrhydedd a ddangosir iddo gan ei ddeiliaid, a’u bod yn bennoeth, nid yn unig yn ei ŵydd; ond hefyd pan na fyddo yn bresennol, os bydd yn y lle gadair frenhinol: yn y cyfarchiad cyntaf, mae pawb yn penlinio o’i flaen, ac yn derbyn ei orchmynion felly. Mewn perthynas i berson y brenin, mae’r gyfraith yn ei gyfrif yn uchel-frad, (high-treason) i feddwl neu fwriadu niweid iddo. Mae’r gyfraith hefyd yn cyfrif iddo ben arglwyddiaeth, perffeithrwydd mewn meddwl a gweithred. – Ni all y brenin wneud dim allan o’i le, (meddant) am nad yw’n gwneud dim heb ei gynghoriaid; ac y mae ymhob man ar yr un waith, am fod ei weision yno yn gwasanaethu ei swyddau.

Pan byddo’r brenin yn galw ei Barliament ynghyd, mae’n eu cyfarfod y tro cyntaf yn Nhŷ’r arglwyddi, yn ei wisg frenhinol, a’i goron ar ei ben: yna ei fawrhydi, neu’r arglwydd Canghellwr, a draetha achos y cyfarfod, yngwydd yr arglwyddi ysprydawl a thymhorawl, a’r senedd gyffredin. – Yna maent yn myned ynghyd â gorchwylion y deyrnas, gwneuthur cyfreithiau, diddymmu eraill, &c. Nifer yr arglwyddi yw 236, yn y senedd-dŷ uchaf – nifer y marchogion yn y senedd-dŷ isaf yw 558. Yn y rhifedi cyntaf yr ydys yn cyfrif 16 o arglwyddi’r Alban, ac yn yr olaf 45 o farchogion yr Alban, a 24 o farchogion Cynmru.

Gellir profi nad oes nemmawr o wledydd i’w cystadlu â Brudain fawr; mae’n atteb arwyddoccad y gair, sef, Brô-dêg, a honno yn llawn o ychen, gwartheg, a defaid; gwenith, haidd, a phob rhyw lafur; gerddi dymunol a phob rhyw ffrwythau. – Mynyddoedd yn llawn o fwyn-gloddiau, arian, copr, haiarn a phlwm. Afonydd a chornentydd yn dyfrhau’r glynnoedd, ac yn sirioli’r maesydd ar eu ffordd i’r weilgi; yr Eos, yn ymbyngcio gyd â’r mân adar, ym mrig y dymunol goedydd, nes yw’r gelltydd yn barod i ddawnsio wrth eu muwsic. Mae pob peth yn y deyrnas hon (ond y dyn anniolchgar) yn gosod allan ogoniant y Creawdwr, ac yn cyhoeddi’n uchel, mai efe sydd Dduw. – Mae’r môr yn ein hamgylchu; â llongau Brudain yn britho’r cenfor, o’r naill Begwn i’r llall, ac yn dwyn eu gwerthfawr farsiandaeth i bob porthladd, at gyfoethogi’n gwlad. Ie, gellir yn gyfiawn honni pe b’ai Brudain ond byw heb ryfel, a’r bobl yn gweled bod yn dda i ddiwygio eu bucheddau: y byddai’n baradwys i’w thrigolion. Onid hynod ei bod yn gallu talu, dwy fyrddiwn ar bymtheg o bunnau, o drethi, yn y flwyddyn, ac etto fod digon o arian yn y deyrnas!

Ac oni bae difrawch y Cynmro, gallai ei enedigol wlad fod yn un o’r gwledydd mwyaf ardderchog dan y nef. Pa le mae’r fath borthladdoedd? Aber-dau-gleddyf, &c. Pa le mae’r fath fynyddoedd godidog, llawn o fwyn-gloddiau, haiarn, copr, plwm, a glô? Pa le mae’r fath frôydd glân-deg, llawn o lafur, ac anifeiliaid pedwar carnol, digon i borthi’r deg cymmaint o drigolion? Pa le mae’r fath ffynhonnau rhinweddol, ac afonydd llawn o bysgod, a’r môr yn fwy nâ hanner amgylchynu’n tir? Pa ham gan hynny na ellid gwneud Cynmru fal gwlad Canaan gynt, yn cnydio ar ei chanfed? Ie, pa’m na sefydlid ar frys, bob math o weith-dai ynddi? at drin y gwlan, cotton, haiarn, copr, tin, &c. ac yna fe redai golud trwyddi, fal y mae’r afonydd yn rheged tu a’r môr. (I’w Barhau).

Cylch-grawn Cynmraeg; Neu Drysorfa Gwybodaeth, Rhifyn Cyntaf … am Chwefror 1793, 42–5.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION
EVERY government, in the beginning, emanates from him who created and who maintains and accomplishes everything, according to his own wisdom and his will; but as regards the method of governing, that is left to men to choose as creatures endowed with reason. The author of order is God: and every kind of disorder overturns his just, clear and pure laws; whatever is contrary to this may be called tyranny. Every family and society teaches the necessity of government, and obedience to the law. Though there may be different methods of ruling in families, yet, when they agree in the making of laws, they must be obeyed, until they see fit to change them, add to them, or take away from them. – This authority properly rests with each family; – without cause for its neighbour to ask, What are you doing? – Without government the world would be nothing but a hotchpotch of confusion; (unless crime were deleted from it) all kinds of oppression and disorder have one source, sin. And as untruth spreads, so does tyranny, until the measure of the untruth is complete. Let none wonder at our saying, “Every government, in the beginning, emanates from God.” Yeah, if we said that the Pharaoh ruled by His command, we would not be much mistaken, because “Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, said the Lord.” It was by order of JEHOVAH that Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judaea: and Cyrus, who delivered it, was also the Lord’s servant. Pilate only had authority over Jesus, because it was given him; and the soldiers under Titus could not but destroy the temple in Jerusalem; for Christ had foretold, “There shall not be left here one stone upon another.” Different times call for different governments, sometimes gentle, sometimes cruel. God strikes the earth with judgement, but as His people submit themselves, He visits them in mercy. – Catholicism and Mahometism must be deleted out from the world; but we do not know clearly in what manner, or who will be the instruments; any more than that they will be instruments of justice and cruelty. – It is the Lord who reigns. This is enough for the godly. “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake … For so is the will of God. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. Yeah, fear God and honour the king.” But you should know, that this does not in the least abolish every man’s right, as a member of society, to have a voice in the choice of officers of state; but rather, it teaches us to obey the authorities which are in existence at the time; and that no further than the Lord’s word is the rule of our obedience: otherwise, the martyrs all suffered in vain.

But it is not our scope to talk much about government as such; our aim is, more particularly, to give the history, (each in its turn) of the system of the governments of the world, &c. and we shall begin at home, by presenting a short description of the government of England, which is as if threefold, containing Monarchy in the king. Aristocracy in the lords, and Democracy in the commons. – The authority to make laws and raise taxes is connected in all three: but only the common parliament has the authority to decide the things which are to be taxed, &c. and the lords cannot change the bill of the money without refusing it and sending it back to the common parliament. – If the lords accept the bills, the king may yet refuse them; but if he accepts them, he sets his seal on them: as a result, the law is in force.

– It appertains to the king to declare war and make peace; send or receive ambassadors – create officials, summon, adjourn or dissolve Parliament; award honorary titles, and create more lords, agree treaties with other realms and make money. He is the (generalissimo) commander in chief of all the armies on land and the fleets on sea. He chooses, names and appoints high-ranking officials; governs all treasuries, castles, fortifications, estuaries, and ports. The Militia is also under his authority; all councillors, advocates, estate officials and judges of justice are installed by him, and he can pardon whoever he wants; he can either forgive the crime or reduce the punishment.

His majesty is also the head of the established church in England, patron and giver of all the bishoprics. By this authority he can call synods, adjourn them or dissolve them. [He can] create archbishops, bishops, deans, &c. and oversee the colleges and the royal schools, &c. Such is the respect shown to him by his subjects, that they are bare-headed, not only in his presence; but also when he is not present if there is a royal chair in the location: at the first greeting, every man kneels before him, and receives his commands thus. In relation to the king’s person, the law counts it as high treason to purpose or intend an injury to him. The law also ascribes to him overlordship, and perfection in thought and action. – The king can do no wrong, (they say) because he does nothing without his councillors; and he is everywhere at the same time, because his servants there fulfil his offices.

When the king calls his Parliament together, he first meets them in the House of Lords, in his royal robes, with his crown on his head: then his majesty or the lord Chancellor declares the reason for the meeting, in the presence of the spiritual and secular lords, and the common parliament. – Then they go about the tasks of the kingdom, make laws, abolish others, &c. The number of the lords is 236, in the higher house of parliament – the number of knights in the lower house of parliament is 558. The first number includes 16 lords from Scotland, and the last, 45 knights from Scotland and 24 knights from Wales.

It can be proved that there are but few countries to compete with Great Britain; it answers the meaning of the word, namely, Fair-country, one which is full of oxen, cattle, and sheep; wheat, barley, and every kind of corn; pleasant gardens and every kind of fruits. – Mountains full of ore-mines, silver, copper, iron and lead. Rivers and streams water the vales, and refresh the plains on their way to the ocean; the Nightingale trills with the other birds, on the branches of the pleasant forests, until the hillsides are ready to dance to their music. Every thing in this kingdom (except the ungrateful man) sets outs the glory of the Creator, and proclaims aloud that he is God. – The seas surround us; and Britain’s ships speckle the ocean, from one pole to the other, carrying their valuable merchandise to every port, to enrich our country. Yeah, one can justly claim that if only Britain lived without war, and if the people saw fit to reform their lives: it would be a paradise for its inhabitants. Is it not it remarkable that it can pay seventeen million pounds of tax per year, and yet there is enough money in the kingdom?

And were it was not for the apathy of the Welshman, his native country could be one of the most glorious countries under heaven. Where else are such ports? Milford Haven, &c. Where else are such magnificent mountains, full of ore-mines, iron, copper, lead and coal? Where else are such comely vales, full of corn, and four-hoofed animals, enough to feed ten times the inhabitants? Where else are such healing wells, and rivers full of fish, and the sea more than half encircling our land? Why, then, could Wales not be made as the land of Canaan of yore, increasing yields a hundred-fold? Yeah, why should every kind of factory not be established in it forthwith? For treating wool, cotton, iron, copper, tin, &c., and then wealth would run through it, as the rivers run towards the sea. (To be continued.)


Cylch-grawn Cynmraeg; Neu Drysorfa Gwybodaeth, Rhifyn Cyntaf … am Chwefror 1793 (Welsh Magazine; or Treasury of Knowledge, the First Number … for February 1793), 42–5.


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