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. A decorative initial has been added.

Samuel attempts to tackle the topic as a matter of individual experience as well as a product of the institutions and social practices known as 'amusements'. The fourth illustration shows an organ grinder. —— David Skilton

Decorated initial T

here is nothing so varied among the many foibles of humanity as enjoyment. The old adage has it that what 'is one man's meat is another man's poison,' and it is equally so with enjoyment, for what may be the perfection of it to one man would be scorned by another.

Like beauty, enjoyment is a pure matter of personal taste, and a man's individuality has as much to do with his ideas of enjoyment as with anything else in which he is directly or indirectly concerned. His enjoyment is a thing he cannot share, it is part and parcel of his inner nature, and though his own enjoyment may conduce to that of others it is none the less a separate and distinct sensation that affects him in some peculiar way that it does not them. Broadly speaking, enjoyment may be said to be an antidote to the bane of labour, the sunlight which lightens up the minds and lives of men and women when they have laboured long and desire that variety which is said to be the best of rest.

Has no Enjoyment

There can be no doubt that the much-talked-of 'rational' enjoyment is by far the best of any, but here again the individuality of the partaker thereof comes in again, and, before you can come to any logical conclusion on the subject, you will have to obtain from each and every individual his or her idea of what constitutes 'rational' enjoyment.

I should be inclined to put down as 'rational' any form of enjoyment which did not go to excess.

For enjoyment to be 'rational' it should produce such an effect upon the participator in it that he or she feels the better for it.

Enjoyment should strengthen men and women for the fight of life and leave them with a keener appetite for the labours they perform, even though those labours are self- allotted and optional.

Enjoys Himself ad lib.[without restraint]

To my mind the most pleasant form of enjoyment is to be found in the regulation respite from the perpetual round of work which the busy man of to-day has to grind through at high pressure pace from one year's end to another. To spend a pleasant holiday far from the madding crowd, where the city's din is never heard and where the hard struggle for fame and fortune is as a thing unknown, is to me one of the most perfect forms of enjoyment any reasonable man can wish for.

To those whose ideas of enjoyment are on a par with their ideas of life – which they consider ill-spent if slowly spent — it would be an interesting and forcible lesson to see how some of the residents in the outlying country villages obtain the enjoyments of their lives. To them, Nature in its simple garb, is a never-ending source of enjoyment. The birds, the trees, the rivers, all afford their daily and hourly modicums of enjoyment to the folks whose lives are spent apart from the hum of the commerce-laden world where men make fortunes and where women spend them.

These simple-minded people require no pick me-ups to assist their jaded appetites, and no new sensations to entice them to the enjoyment of even life itself. No, their lives are so ordered that they find an enjoyment all around them, and their enjoyment is of a kind their pleasure-surfeited brothers of the town know nothing of.

A Source of Enjoyment

French people have it that the English take their pleasures sadly, and have no idea of the reality of enjoyment.

The first illusion would be rudely shattered if a gay Parisian were to run over to Margate or tro[t?] down to Blackpool on a holiday time. He would find an absence of sadness in the atmosphere that would not only remove entirely his erroneous impressions, but would, in all probability, startle his weak nerves.

This is not Enjoyed

I am no advocate of the form of enjoyment indulged in by sea-side excursionists — the Fates forfend – for I hold it in abhorrence. Yet is a form of enjoyment in which those who indulge in it find their pleasure, and I am not certain in my own mind that they do not extract as much, if not more, pleasure from their rough-and-tumble racketing than do their more rational and less exuberant fellows.

I hold it to be part and parcel of man's duty to enjoy himself to the full extent of his opportunities with all reservation that in so doing he does not prevent others from doing the same, or does not neglect his trade, profession, or calling. Enjoyment is the salt of life, and if we were deprived of it the old query, 'Is life worth living[?]' would have to be answered in the negative.

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Last modified 2 May 2022