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pression than many newspaper refer- come the song of birds, sights and ences to Blue-books will give him. sounds which are to some more beauti
Round the church is the old church- ful than modern stained glass and the yard, which lies several feet above the florid anthems patiently endured by level of the roads. The oldest inhabi. tolerant congregations. There is a tant is said to recall the time when large memorial tablet inscribed with churchyard and roads were level with the names of the members of a family each other, and it is believed that the which lived long in the parish, and burying-ground has been raised to its with the dates of their births and present height by many years of use. deaths. Most of the writing is undeThe promoters of this theory do not cipherable through age, but a few of seem to have perceived the necessary the more modern additions can still be corollary that the church must have read. The last survivor passed to his floated up
the rising wave of rest not long ago. Shortly before his ground.
death he revisited the home of his A new cemetery has been secured childhood, and went once more to the and consecrated in recent years, and is old church where he and his forebeginning to lose the desolate look fathers had worshipped. He was blind which an uninhabited burying-place and unable to see the great tablet over presents. Far away from the other the organ, but in answer to his request graves, in a lonely corner, in hope of a ladder was fetched and he climbed resurrection to a happier life than this up and traced the names with his finworld offered, lie the mortal remains of ger. "Ah," he said at last, "there is one who in his lifetime lived most un- room for me," and so went his way. happily with his wife. Long time he A few months later the list was comendured, till he could endure no more. pleted. One anniversary of the wedding day A stranger would, perhaps, remark the wife was from home. On return- that more perfect cleanliness and tidiing she found an empty house and a ness might possibly be achieved by a brief letter: "If you want me, look in more liberal application of toil and the well.” The widow married again, soap. Inquiries on this point received and lives some considerable distance a sufficiently silencing answer. The away; but from time to time she re- caretaker is a woman of business invisits the old home, and professes her- stincts. The pay in a poor village is self happy and comfortable.
necessarily small. When she is critiThe memory of another pitiful ending cised, "I cleans according to my pay,” clings to the village. There is a stream she replies, and the argument is closed. which descends from the downs and One can only think with longing of a meanders through the vale till it is lost certain urban parish where a bachelor in the great river. Near its bank ruris vicar reigned supreme. As sometimes the main road to and over the hills, happens under these circumstances, and from this road may sometimes be there was an enthusiastic band of lady seen in the gloaming the sorrowing helpers in the parish. Did the vicar ghost of the poor girl who drowned quail as other vicars have quailed ? No; herself for the old sad reason.
he was a brave man and a wise one, The church is small, but pleasantly and he utilized the devout enthusiasm suggestive of quiet worship and peace- by enrolling corps of voluntary ful, holy thoughts. Through the win- church-cleaners. His church was a dows great green trees can be seen model of shining cleanliness. waving, and through the open doors The Sunday services are in striking
contrast to those to which the clerical of the village. A year ago he felt that sojourner is accustomed in London. the burden of age was becoming too The parson stands facing the congrega- heavy to be borne, and took to his bed tion, and he and they render the ser- in quiet expectation of the end. But vice heartily, with the clerk echoing Death chooses his own time, and the deeply from the west end and the choir old man regained health.
He kept helping lustily in the chancel behind. thenceforward, however, almost entireThe choir attracted the stranger's no- ly to his bed, varying the day only by tice, and he made inquiries concerning an occasional hour at the window some of the boys. "Oh, yes, that lad which looks into his garden and along in gray whom you ask about can sing the village street. The room which quite nicely, only he can't read; and he occupies is spotlessly clean, is light the boy next to him can read but can't and airy, and is kept cool in summer sing; and the one on the other side is and warm in winter by the thick deaf." Inquiries were prosecuted no thatch which hangs like a shaggy eyefurther.
brow over the little window. OccaIn the course of paying a pastoral sionally the clergyman visits him, and visit to a dear old cottage-woman of the old man will ask for passage after eighty-three the locum tenens made a passage of the Bible, passages which discovery which threw considerable he knows by heart and loves well, to light upon the vexed question why ser- be read to him. To him the sacred mons do or do not please, as the case pages are an unspeakable comfort, and
The conversation turned on he waits and waits in calm confidence health, and incidentally the old lady re- and sure faith. marked, "You're stouter than the vicar, The visitor, as he listens to him or are you not, sir?" The visitor dis- lets his eyes wander round the room guised his real sentiments as well as with its white walls relieved by homehe could, and she proceeded, “I was ly texts, thinks of another sick-room talking to a neighbor the other day, which he used to visit in a London and she said, 'Mr. does look nice back street, endea voring to carry help in the pulpit; he seems to fill it so.'" and comfort to a dying man. The street
Tempora mutantur; her father-it must was mean and ugly and noisy, the be nearly a century ago-used to pay house was filthy and offensive with the rent for land at the rate of 41. per sickening, pungent smell of vermin and acre. He was one of the pioneers who ill-health. The walls were alive; the introduced agricultural machinery, and sick man was tormented by the flies was the proud possessor of nineteen which crept over his face and into his threshing-machines which were worked eyes. He received the clergyman's by horse power. The fate of reform- ministrations without zeal and without ers overtook him, and his machines resentment, indifferently. He awaited were broken up by misguided laborers. death without much hope and without The blow was a heavy one to the farm- fear. Well, God is the Judge and will er, and he never got over the disaster. know where to lay the blame for the It was strange to sit and listen to his dirt and ignorance of a forgotten cordaughter telling of those days which ner of a densely populated parish, one generally looks upon as almost me- where an overworked vicar had tried diæval, and yet were all but within her in vain to minister to too many thouown memory.
sands of souls till one of the colleges In just such a cottage as hers, and established a church and mission in not far off, lives the oldest inhabitant the most neglected district. Perhaps "the system" is at fault in this case, conceivable that the laws relating to as "the system” is at fault in several attendance at parish churches might other matters where no individual is be revived in this twentieth century ever found to be blameworthy.
with the approval of the country; it is A stranger from London visiting the a fact that church rates are actually country is, of course, struck at every made there still by vestry meetingsturn by the contrasts between the made? ay, and paid. Could parish great city and the little village, be- feeling further go? tween the boundless desert of build- In London the solitary authentic relia ings with its few oases and the scat- of local patriotism is to be found tered groups of houses set in the far- among bands of youths who fight with stretching lands and overshadowed by belts for the honor of their district the mighty sky. Out of the multitude against other bands from other disof differences a few impress themselves tricts. Perhaps a trace of the same sharply on the mind; all the rest soon feeling may be discovered in the desire get taken for granted. In Lon- for marriage and christening in the don one's sleep is broken by the clatter parish church under whose shadow the of horses' hoofs and the rattle of family lived for years, or even generawheels; in the country it is broken by tions, till improvement schemes broke dogs, poultry, and birds. In London up the colony. A student of sociology it is the roads that outrage one's would be surprised were he to search nose; in the country it is the pigsty. the registers of such a church as St. These things one accepts without sur- Giles-in-the-Fields and note the abodes prise. It is a law of nature that per- of those whose names appear in their fect quiet and perfect sweetness should columns. be unattainable outside a hermitage. And the wages. The lowest weekly Two things, however, are a continual sum earned by a full-grown man in source of surprise and interest to the regular employment in London within present writer in his temporary exile- the experience of the present writer namely, the strength of parish feeling was nineteen shillings a week, earned and the low rate of wages. Compared by a railway porter at a great railway with these things the rest sink into in- terminus in a position beyond the reach significance.
of the tipping passenger.
He had a What does it matter to the man of wife and two children to support and towns what parish he lives in--except six shillings weekly rent to pay. As when the rate-collector leaves a de- a rule, a pound a week was considered mand-note? How many Londoners in that district to be the standard wage could tell you at what point or in what for unskilled labor. In Central London street they crossed the parish boun- the rate of wages is fifty per cent. dary? But in the country how differ- higher, but rents are higher too. In ent! There the parish is a living and Berkshire an agricultural laborer earns distinct unit. To be a parishioner is eleven shillings a week. True, he in itself an appeal to patriotism, to pays little or no rent for his cottage, think of another parish or to mention and he usually has a little garden from it is to rouse la tent hostility. This may which he supplies himself with vegebe due to the mere elementary fact of tables, but-eleven shillings! a wife, distance, and to the necessity of walk. four or five children, boots, clothes, ing a long way if you would reach an- luxuries, tobacco, doctors, oil, fuel other parish; but if so, the effects seem (with the summer price of coal standout of proportion to the cause. It is ing at one and sevenpence the hundred
weight) burials, and-eleven shillings! take him for gentle stroll after Years ago tea cost five shillings a pound, breakfast, and all the rest of the mornsugar cost eightpence, corn fetched ing he lies in wait for you. Is the fifty or sixty shillings a quarter, and door opened by the maid who brings in the laborer's wage was then as now the letters? In comes Don, with a tail eleven shillings. Doubtless he thanks that clears the room, to fetch you out, God that with the advent of Free departing reproachfully when you exTrade and owing to various causes be- plain that next Sunday's sermon will yond his knowledge prices have fallen, not brook these interruptions. You and that he now lives in luxury upon- come from your lunch intending to eleven shillings.
steal forty winks over the newspaper, It is said, by way of mitigation, that but Don is too much for you. Whack! he gets Michaelmas money and harvest Whack! Whack! goes his great tail money. Perhaps the Berkshire labor- from side to side of the hall, and his er enjoys a different kind of human big brown eyes, from which all their nature from the rest of us, never in- habitual sadness is for once banished, dulges in a harvest festival outside the beam at you till you yield feebly. Don church, but spreads out the money re- casts a hasty glance in passing at the ceived at these special times over the cat enjoying her frugal meal; two long rest of the year, like a little butter red licks-the plate is empty, and Don spread over a large slice of bread. It is half-way down the drive before pusis also urged that he is fond of living sy has completed her opening remarks. on bread and bacon-in fact, that he Down the village street he takes you, likes his bacon fat and full flavored. past thatched cottages, past cottages Possibly "Spartan sauce" makes it with red tiles, past cottages now bepalatable.
ginning to appear with slate roofs, One thing at least shall be set down past cottages, horribile visu, which have here to his credit. The writer, mov- their outlying portions covered with ing among the people for a short time, galvanized iron, past the inn from was begged from only once. The one which two friends, a St. Bernard and a beggar was a stranger from another retriever, run out to play (but Don says parish. A month does not permit suffi- coldly, “Go away, can't you see I've cient experience to justify generaliza- got a man to look after ?''), and so far tions, but what clergyman ever worked away over the downs or through the for a month in London without receiv- vale. Flop, fiop, flop, go the great ing endless tales of want and woe? paws, eating up the miles; splash, No sketch of the village would be splash, into every stream
that we complete without a passing reference cross; longing eyes are fixed on the to Don, who lies outside the study door sheep in the meadow; who so happy in waiting for any sound which can be con- the three kingdoms as Don? strued into an intention to take a walk. And he is shrewd, too. Get your biDon is the vicarage dog. His head re- cycle half an hour before lunch and calls mastiffs, his hind legs are asso- he will join you. He knows perfectly ciated with St. Bernards; it would re- well that you are going only to the quire an expert to interpret the rest of market town. Get your bicycle in the him. Suffice it to say that whatever early afternoon, and Don looks at you races are represented in his big body wisely. If you get out both bicycles are represented only by their virtues. he will accompany you, for he knows Don has but one weakness, an insatia- that his mistress will accommodate her ble appetite for hard exercise.
pace to that of a heavily built dog who
was never meant by nature to run very
"Down, Don! Down sir! Get away, you old nuisance, can't you see I'm busy writing? Get away-what on earth do you want? Ah well, I suppose I must-where are
my hat and stick ?"
H. G. D. Latham.
THE MAN WHO KNEW.
Bearded, bowed, with hard blue eyes walking well and striding long, with that questioned always, so we knew the gait of one that has good news, David Uyo as children; an old, remote- and he smiled at those he passed and ly quiet man, who was to be passed on nodded to them, unbeeding or not seethe other side of the street and in si- ing their strong surprise nor the alarm lence. I have wondered sometimes if he wrought to the children. He went the old man ever noticed the hush that straight to his little house, that overran before him and the clamor that looks a crowded garden and a pool of grew up behind, the games that held the dorp spruit, entered, and was seen breath while he went by, and the chil. no more alive. His servant, a sullen dren that judged him with wide eyes. Kaffir, found him in his bed when supHe alone, of all the people in the little per-time came, called him, looked, dorp, made his own world and pos- made sure, and ran off to spread the sessed it in solitude; about him, the news that David Uyo was dead. He folk held all interest in community and was lying, I have learned, as one would measured life by a trivial common lie who wished to die formally, with a standard. At bis doorstep, though, lay smile on his face and his arms duly the frontier of little things; he was crossed. This is copiously confirmed something beyond us all, and therefore by many women who crowded, after greater or less than we. The mere the manner of Boers, to see the corpse; pictorial value of his tall figure, the and of all connected with him, I think, dignity of his long, forked beard, and his end and the studied manner of it, the expectancy of his patient eye, must implying an ultimate deference to the have settled it that he was greater. I conventions, have most to do with the was a child when he died, and remem- awe in which his memory is preber only what I saw, but the rest was
served. talk, and so, perhaps, grew the more Now, a death so well conceived, so upon me.
aptly preluded, must, in the nature of One day he died. For years he had things, crown and complete a life of walked forth in the morning and back singular and strong quality. A murder to his house at noon, a purple spot without a good motive is merely folly; on the raw color of the town. He properly actuated, it is tragedy, and bad always been still and somewhat therefore of worth. So with a death: ominous and conveyed to all who saw one seldom dies well, in the technical bim a sense of looking for something. sense, without having lived well, in the But on this day he went back briskly, artistic sense; and a man who will ECLECTIC.