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is it that people who have much to tell, so often have no faculty of setting it down in words and sentences? We boast of our advance in education, and yet what has it done for us-what is it doing for us?

I mean my son to be really educated. I mean him to be able to sit down to an organ and satisfy his soul as he dreams his dreams or sends forth his wail of aspiration, or sobs out his grief and penitence, or laughs forth his ecstasy of rapture, now in a passion of melody, now in subtle tangle of mysterious fugue, now in awful billows of harmony, making full concert to the angelic symphony. I mean him to be able to catch the laugh of the child, or the scowl of the ruffian, or the smirk of the swindler, or the wonder and triumph and joy and pride of the maiden who has just listened to her lover's tale, or the sombre beauty of the aged when the twilight deepens and they are thinking of the dawn. I mean my son to have the power to catch these things, and to hold them and show them to me, saying, 'Look! there they are for you and me to dwell on when we will.' Then, and not till then, will that lad of promise have begun to be educated. But we-or such as I-what upstarts we are! We that talk badly, write worse, and fumble and bungle miserably with that beggarly vehicle of communication between man and man which we call language—that wretched calculus which serves just a very little way towards helping us to hold converse with men as foolish as ourselves, but leaves us helpless to make the throstle feel how much we love him, and which we fling aside as a mere burden when our hearts are dying in us with what we call our loneliness or our despair. Educated! Who is educated? Certainly not the man who, having his memory full of a vast assemblage of odds and ends, can no more bring them out and produce them in an intelligible shape than I can produce on canvas the face of yonder old beldame with the square jaw and the bushy brows and the blazing eyes, and that burlesque of a bonnet, square and round and oval at one and the same moment, and no more capable of being described in words than of being written out in musical notation.

Yet it is undeniable that the knack of Mr. Gigadibs is a convenient knack, and it is a pity that my friend Mr. Cadaverous has not got it; he is of those who know.' Gigadibs is of those who can juggle with the parts of speech, and very pretty jugglery it is. I envy Gigadibs whenever I am compelled to relate things at second hand; for who can help lying when he tries to bear evidence upon what others have seen and heard and felt and-worst of all-have reasoned about?

It may have been observed that when I last wrote on the subject of the country parson's trials, I dwelt first upon those annoyances and

positive wrongs which he is compelled to submit to at the hands of the powers that be, and which may be classed under the head of Financial; and, secondly, upon such as are inherent in his position as a personage living a life apart from those among whom he has to discharge his peculiar duties.

As far as regards the mere peasant, this isolation is only what anyone must expect who is brought into relations more or less intimate with a class socially and intellectually below or above his own. But there are villages and villages, and the differences between them are as great as between the East End of London and the West, between May Fair and Red Lion Square. The ideal village is a happy valley, where a simple people are living sweetly under the paternal care of a gracious landowner, benevolent, open-handed, large-hearted, devout, a man of wealth and culture, his wife a Lady Bountiful; his daughters the judicious dispensers of liberal charity; his house the home of all that is refining, cheering, elevating. There the happy parson always finds a cordial welcome, and all those social advantages which make life pleasant and serene for himself and his family. Parson and squire work together in perfect harmony, the rectory and the hall are but the greater and the lesser parts of a well-adjusted piece of machinery which moves on with no friction and never comes to a dead stop. This is the ideal village.

How different are the real villages and how various! Take the case of my friend Burney's parish. An oblong surface through which a high road runs straight as a ruler-wide ditches dividing the fields, with never a hedge and never a tree-nine square miles of land with a population of 900 human beings, here and there collected into an ugly hamlet each with a central alehouse, and a few feeble poplars looking as if they were ashamed of themselves. There is not a farmer in the parish who occupies 300 acres of land. There is not a gentleman's house within a radius of eleven miles from the rectory door. The nearest market town is six miles off, the nearest railway station five. Friend Burney has his house and garden and perhaps 350l. a year to spend that is quite the outside. Every morning he goes to his school a long mile off, every afternoon he has some one to look after,' to visit in sickness or sorrow, to watch or advise or comfort. One year with another he calculates that he has to walk at least 1,500 miles in the way of duty. As to the mere Sunday work, that needs no dwelling on; take it all in all, it is about the least wearing and least troublesome part of the parson's duties, always provided he puts his heart into it and has some faculty for it. But in all that tract of country over which he is sometimes cruelly assumed to be no more than a spiritual overseer, among all those 900 people, there is not a single man, woman, or child that cares to talk to him, or ever does talk to him, about anything outside the parish and its concerns. Nay! I

forgot the schoolmaster and his wife. They are young, intelligent, hopeful, and they came out of Yorkshire, and have something to say of their experience in the North. But they are just a little— undeniably a little sore, just a little touchy: they have a grievance. When they first came down to X., Mrs. Rector did not leave her card on Mrs. Petticogges. It was a slight. It was hoitytoity, it was airified. That is not all; the farmers are not, as you may say, cordial with the schoolmaster; and Farmer Gay, the big man who holds 700 acres in the next parish and gives lawn-tennis parties, never had the grace to take any notice of the Petticogges, does not in fact know the Petticogges. Meanwhile, friend Burney is manager of the school, and by far the largest contributor to the funds, and day by day he is in and out, he and his daughters. But there is no time to talk or confer. The Petticogges have their hands full; when their day's work is over they have had enough of it. Round and round and round they go in the dreary mill; every now and then there is a new regulation of My Lords to worry them, a new book to get up, a new code to study. Then there are the pupil teachers to look after, and returns to make up, and all the dull routine which has to be got through. How can an elementary schoolmaster in a remote country village be a reading-man, or what motive has he to get out of the narrow groove in which he has been brought up? The best teachers, as a rule, are they who know their work best and very little indeed outside it. How is it that at Dumpfield they don't get a larger grant?' I asked one day of an inspector noted for his shrewdness and good sense. 'Surely Coxe is by far the ablest and most brilliant teacher for miles round; he is almost a man of genius?' 'Precisely so,' was the reply, the man's out of place. These brilliant men with a touch of genius are a nuisance in an elementary school. My dear fellow, never let a man of views come into your school. Keep him out. Beware of the being who is for revolutionising spelling and grammar!'

Mr. Petticogge is not a man of genius, only a better sort of elementary schoolmaster, and entirely absorbed in his work. He too, as all the members of his fraternity do, occupies a position of isolation, and between him and the parson there is just so much in common as to make each hold aloof from the other without making either of them congenial to their other neighbours. As for the rest of friend Burney's neighbours, take them in the gross, and you may say of them what the ticket-of-leave man said of the Ten Commandments; 'They're rather a poor lot and you can't make much out of 'em.' I know no class of men who are less sociable than the smaller farmers, as we reckon smallness in the East. I mean the men who hold a couple of hundred acres and under. It has often been laid to the charge of the great occupiers in West Norfolk and elsewhere that in the good times they were lavish beyond all reason in their hospi


talities. I believe there never has been anything of the sort among the smaller men; they are not unfriendly, they are not wanting in cordiality, but they are not companionable.

It is my privilege to know some who are notable exceptions to the all but universal rule. I have not far to go from my own door to find one whom I never pay a visit to without pleasure and profit, one who has for many years been a great reader of Lord Tennyson's poems, has strong opinions on politics and the questions of the day, a thoughtful, resolute, and true-hearted woman, who farms a hundred acres of land without a bailiff, and, among other evidences of her good taste and intelligence, is a diligent student of this Review. But such are few and far between. It is one of the trials of the country parson that, as soon as he passes out of the stratum to which the labourer belongs, he finds himself in a stratum where there is nothing that has any of the interest of originality, picturesqueness, or even passion. The people who live and move in that stratum are dismally like the ticket-of-leave man's ten commandments. My neighbours hardly believe me when I tell them I can see, even among the smaller farmers, much to admire, much to respect, and something to love; but I do not wonder that many a country parson 'can't make much out of 'em.' These men are having rather a hard life just now, but they have not to learn the most elementary lessons of thrift and frugality. As a class they have always practised these virtues, and as a class they are far less complaining than those who belong to the higher stratum; they bear their burdens silently, perhaps too silently, and they tell you that it's no good grumbling-that,' one of them said to me, 'only makes things worse, 'cause it makes you worse!' Take them all in all, they whom I have elsewhere called the little ones are usually those of his parishioners with whom the parson seldom comes into unpleasant relations; they are usually very hard at work, very practical, very straightforward, and very seldom indeed prone to give themselves airs.

It is often very different with the large occupiers. In the good times the large farmers must have made very large profits, the percentage upon the actual capital embarked (unless my information has been strangely untrue and the calculations that have been laid before me strangely inaccurate) being in many cases larger even than that which the shipowners earned in their good times. Is it to be wondered at that they became frequently intoxicated by their success, and got to believe that they were a superior order on whom the welfare of the nation depended? Or, again, can we be surprised that their wakening from their dream has not been pleasurable, and has somewhat soured them? Ten years ago a gentleman farmer-and every man who farmed 500 acres was a gentleman farmer-looked lown upon the retail tradesman as quite beneath him in station, and VOL. XXII.-No. 126.

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