This article has been transcribed from a copy of the Cardiff Times in the online collection of scanned Welsh newspapers 1804-1919 in the National Library of Wales, with grateful recognition of the free access accorded to all readers. Paragraph breaks have been introduced for easier reading.

It is interesting to see Samuel registering the popularity of cycling. It is also good to be reminded that before the days of holiday pay, a compulsory day off might be damaging to family incomes. Other points of interest:

This young man would hire a hack to go for an Easter ride – and this is the result. Saddle dropped on the road some distance away.

UM: another holiday here, sir, — Easter too – and nice weather for it up to now. Seems likely to be a snee-zum, snift-ernum, 'god a dice cold id be 'ed,' stand and freeze sort of an Easter. But I suppose that I must prepare for the season by having an extra quantity of work in hand and an extra bit or two in the pocket. Mrs Samuel['s] says that she in going away for a day or two. I have suggested the Arctic Regions with the chill off. Fancy going away tripping weather like this. Better far stop at home and pile up the merry blaze, and concoct mulled ale, and try and think that the Christmas Holidays are on. You will not find that the latter effort makes very substantial calls on your imagination, though we are now in Spring, gentle spring — the sorriest time of the blessed year, with its catarrh, its spring onions that are inflicted on suffering humanity by those who eat 'em, its deadly pretence of being a mild season, and its— oh, dear; oh, dear – it[’]s SPRING CLEANING !!! Wirra, wirra, and oh, dear. Let me put on another lump of coal and endeavour to be calm.

The young lady who has 'positively nothing to go out in,' and who consequently hopes it will rain.

Oh, that's better. I wonder, seriously now, whether barring the one day when he is obliged to 'play,' namely, Good Friday (one of those days which always makes the week with[in] which it falls seem a week of Sundays) the workingman cares about the Easter Holidays. Take the ca[s]e of a man with a large family and a meagre income, and the two generally go together somehow, despite the compensations of Providence. Very frequently at Easter the place where he works is shut up from Thursday night till the following Wednesday morning, and during the period he is not only earning nothing, but he ought also, in order to be of the slightest good to himself or anyone else, to be spending not a little. Spending, indeed, all his brain is exhausted by Sunday noon, and then he has three weary, tobaccoless days to put in, that is unless he visits that relation whose crest consists of three brass balls, or lets his landlord go empty away — a thing he generally takes care to do. I have no doubt that the prosperous sweetness and light and disseminate 'culchah' gentlemen who are so fond of prating at tea-meetings about 'Rational Amusements for working Men' will dissent from this view of mine. They will cheerfully remark, 'Is not the Art Gallery open to the horny-handed son of toil (they have to be careful not to call him a ton of soil instead) on the Saturday? Can he not visit the Museum, with its beautiful assortment of bones and other cheerful objects on the Monday? Can he not on the Tuesday take his little children for a trip, there to have light refreshment, consisting of a bun and a mixture charged with being tea juice (and found innocent). But the British working man still loves the good old games of his sturdy forefathers, who made England what she is to-day; he still often likes honest ale and a merry song, and kiss-in-the-ring, and a rough jest with no spite in it. He may educate himself up to the art gallery in time — but the time has not yet come when any but the merest minority can gush about pictures, and spout some of the cant, of art.

The young lady who has 'positively nothing to go out in,' and who consequently hopes it will rain.

I am writing about Easter, mind ye, quite apart from its religious signification. All the festivals of the Church are, in the rush and turmoil of this age more or less obscured so far as their true intent goes, and I don't don't think that this is because the world is any the less religious in the best sense of the term. The method adopted by the general body of men and women of spending, in more or less harmless festivity, days set apart by the Church for prayer and meditation shows that in the bang and war of existence to-day men require days of recreation the more, rather than wish to exercise their religion the less, and they seize upon the whole days available to them. I would at this point ask the severest stickler for a religious Good Friday whether any man could spend a more penitential day than does the average tripper who puts in about 16 hours in a railway carriage (generally siding miles from anywhere) and one miserable hour at the place he intended to visit?

Off for that early train [….] no breakfast, boots uncleaned, cuffs [……] to miss the train.

To return to my own Easter prospects in this rambling article, sir, I intend to render myself the slave of circumstances. I intend to sally forth each day amply protected against the weather and to leave myself to fate and chance -- but, trust me, I shall studiously avoid the gigantic walk fiend, the man who prates about the breathfulness of long tramps, and who, when you set out with him, insists upon calling for refreshments at every hostelry on the road. I shall also avoid the bicycle fiend who wishes to get to some place apparently near Land's End and back all in two days, and who will probably come back so exhausted that he has to get his wife to feed him when he flops in his arm-chair. I shall also, so this is fair warning to several 'punters' who appear anxious to 'take me on,' studiously avoid the men who wish to induce me to go to the races and put 'a bit on' certain 'dead snips' (I don't mean deceased tailors), they affect to wot of. I have been there before, and I have been dead snipped to such an extent that I have left even my very last piece of 'family plate' (in the shape of a half-a-dollar) behind me. 'Have- a-bit-on' merchants, I'll none o’ ye.

This how the bicycle fiend comes home in a state of collapse.

I shall certainly not be beguiled into joining 'a nice little party of friends,' male and female, at the instance of some gushing acquaintance, for I know well what that means. It generally comes to this — that about sixteen ladies and six gentlemen only turn up, and then each gentleman, wretched mortal, has to trot about doing the polite to two or three females the whole day, and has, an he be at all of the polite sort, to pay all their expenses as well. Nice state of things. A» the other fellows who have not turned up have stayed comfortably at home and spent but a modicum of the sum disbursed by the unfortunates who have formed part of the nice little family party. I do renounce all these people, your worship, and I will bet my bottomest dollar, and the only two false teeth I have that I do not form one of the Sunday School 'kid-feeding' brigade, who allow dirty children to hop over them and to make bears of them (they are asses enough already to do such a thing), and to pull ’em to pieces. Oh, bother Easter, what have I got to do with it anyhow.

Last modified 30 March 2022