Theodore Buckley: The History of a Certain Grammar-School

First published in "Household Words", Volume III, Magazine 72, 9 August 1851, Pages: 457-461
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 GOOD many hun­dred years ago, a knight, named Sir Bad­lot de Seampiers, ate, drank, and slept, in a cas­tle which bore the fam­i­ly name. He was the ad­mi­ra­tion of the Court, whose mem­bers gen­er­al­ly were, like him­self, the ter­ror of vas­sals with wives or daugh­ters. He would have been ex­com­mu­ni­cat­ed, had his pri­vate con­fes­sor been less fond of good liv­ing.

Sir Bad­lot lived a mighty pleas­ant life of its kind. Be­tween mak­ing love in a very free fash­ion, hawk­ing, hunt­ing, danc­ing, get­ting drunk every night or morn­ing, as the case might be, oc­ca­sion­al­ly say­ing his prayers, and now and then wit­ness­ing the ex­e­cu­tion of one of his ten­ants for steal­ing some ar­ti­cle above the value of ten­pence half­pen­ny, his time was al­ways toler­ably oc­cu­pied. His virtues were much the same as his vices. He was very hos­pitable, be­cause he couldn't bear drink­ing alone. He was ex­treme­ly lib­er­al to peo­ple who pleased him, but scan­dal said that his lib­er­al­i­ty came out of the pock­ets of peo­ple who didn't please him. He was thor­oughly brave, be­cause he was al­ways ei­ther in a cruel or a drunk­en hu­mour — two states which per­haps re­sem­ble each other, more close­ly than is com­mon­ly sup­posed.

But there is an end to all things, and, as Voltaire some­where says, "if peo­ple don't leave off their vices, their vices leave them in the lurch," The time came when Sir Bad­lot was no longer a young man. As his life had al­ways been spent in the prof­itable way we have de­scribed, his con­sti­tu­tion began to ap­peal most pathet­ically to his feel­ings. In fact, the knight was "break­ing fast," and peo­ple said so — be­hind his back.

Like the gen­er­al­i­ty of peo­ple who have lived a high­ly moral and reg­u­lar life, Sir Bad­lot could not bear the idea of being ill. If he felt more than usu­al­ly fa­tigued after hunt­ing, he sim­ply cursed his horse, and kicked his groom, or squire, or any one else, who hap­pened to be at hand. If he felt the con­se­quences of one night's pota­tions rather in­con­ve­nient­ly, he got drunk again, in order to get over the in­con­ve­nience of think­ing about it. In short, the knight got thin­ner, paler, more ro­man­tic in ap­pear­ance, and less so in prac­tice, every day of his life. Peo­ple began to spec­u­late on the prob­a­bil­i­ty of his large es­tates chang­ing hands; and, as the knight pos­sessed no issue whose names were like­ly to ap­pear in his will, they hoped for some milder oc­cu­pant of the Seampiers prop­er­ty.

It is al­most un­nec­es­sary to ob­serve that the priest and fa­ther con­fes­sor, or ghost­ly ad­vis­er of Sir Bad­lot de Seampiers also acted as his bod­ily physi­cian. As the knight had never been ill be­yond an oc­ca­sion­al fever from over- drink­ing and over-feed­ing, the sim­ple ex­pe­di­ent of "bleed­ing," in more sens­es than one, an­swered, at first, tol­er­a­bly well. In fact, by re­al­ly cur­ing the knight from one or two such at­tacks, by never in­ter­fer­ing with his plea­sures, and by en­forc­ing the most se­vere and ar­bi­trary code of moral­i­ty upon ev­ery­body else, Fa­ther Blaz­ius de St. Erysipelas had gained a tol­er­a­ble in­flu­ence over Sir Bad­lot, and had al­ready, in imagina­tion, con­sti­tut­ed him­self Prior of a monastery to be en­dowed in a prince­ly man­ner at the knight's ex­pense.

To his con­fes­sor, then, went Sir Bad­lot, with a piti­ful list of suf­fer­ings. His head ached, his back ached, his feet ached, his chest ached, his shoul­ders ached, his stom­ach ached; his eyes were dim, his eyes were blood­shot, his eyes were filled with black spots, his eyes were un­steady; he had no ap­petite, no di­ges­tion, no rel­ish, When he swore, he didn't seem to enjoy it; when he was drunk, he was not jolly; when the last ex­e­cu­tion of a peas­ant for deer-steal­ing took place, he felt so in­dif­fer­ent about it, that he ab­so­lute­ly stayed at home, and went to bed early.

This was a sad state of things. To be sure, if the knight had al­ready left his money to found the con­vent, it wouldn't have much mat­tered.

His body would have been quite as well out of the way, and a few mass­es would have pro­vid­ed for the rest of him. But, as it un­for­tu­nate­ly hap­pened, Sir Bad­lot had done no such thing. Per­haps he thought that a lit­tle un­cer­tain­ty on that head might pro­mote the cer­tain­ty of his own longevi­ty.

But the sad­dest thing of all was, that the knight ab­so­lute­ly began to talk about his con­science, At the first men­tion of the word, the con­fes­sor near­ly faint­ed; at the sec­ond, he near­ly burst out laugh­ing; at the third, he felt ut­ter­ly at a loss what to do or say. He had had to do with con­sciences, no doubt, but they were con­sciences with­out lands or title, Xow, Sir Bad­lot's con­science was a thing of in­fant growth, and be­tween his fears of its ex­pir­ing of its own ac­cord, and his doubts as to the means of fos­ter­ing and pro­mot­ing its develop­ment, Fa­ther Blaz­ius felt, log­i­cal­ly speak­ing, on the horns of a dilem­ma.

Had times and men been dif­fer­ent, the wor­thy fa­ther would prob­a­bly have pre­scribed change of scene, light and nu­tri­tive diet, old Jacob Townsend's com­pound in­fu­sion of sarsaparil­la, and Ma­hommed's bath. For an ob­vi­ous chrono­logical rea­son, the two lat­ter reme­dies were im­practicable, and even Pe­ru­vian bark was not yet known. As far as the knight's con­science went, a lit­tle quiet med­i­ta­tive read­ing might have an­swered, But Sir Bad­lot's ed­u­ca­tion had been rather ne­glect­ed, and he couldn't read — with­out spelling all the lit­tle words and skip­ping all the big ones.

Plain­ly per­ceiv­ing that the knight had now only pow­ers enough for one vice at a time, Fa­ther Blaz­ius thought that fight­ing would be, per­haps, the least de­struc­tive, and sug­gest­ed a pil­grim­age which was like­ly to be at­tend­ed with some "rough ser­vice," He gave so many good rea­sons for it, that the knight ea­ger­ly em­braced the pro­pos­al, and, on the strength of the satis­faction it af­ford­ed to his con­science and consti­tution, got fran­ti­cal­ly drunk that very evening, and horse­whipped one of his hunts­men, the next morn­ing — both with great rel­ish.

We will not de­tail the par­tic­u­lars of our knight's pil­grim­age. We will pass over all the hair's-breadth es­capes, melan­choly confine­ments, and mirac­u­lous ad­ven­tures he encoun­tered dur­ing his re­li­gious trip. We mere­ly beg our read­ers to put to­geth­er all that they ever read in Sir John Man­dev­ille, Amadis de Gaul, and Scott's nov­els, and to be­lieve that the sum total falls far short of the ad­ven­tures of Sir Bad- lot, in the course of his visit to the tomb of Saint Cos­ta-di-mon­ga.

But it un­doubt­ed­ly had a splen­did ef­fect in restor­ing his health. Whether it was that he was often com­pelled to ride, day after day, through places where a pub­lic-house — we mean an hostel­ry — was an im­pos­si­bil­i­ty; whether the amuse­ment of spear­ing in­fi­dels acted as a tonic and agree­able stim­u­lant, cou­pled with the noble con­scious­ness of doing his duty; whether or no, he was so re­stored in men­tal and bod­i­ly vigour, that he re­turned to his own coun­try quite a new man, bring­ing with him the wife of an Ital­ian Baron, whom he had killed in sin­gle com­bat.

Sir Bad­lot had made a great mis­take in killing this Ital­ian Baron, or at all events in marry­ing his widow. The lady was a strong-mind­ed woman, and des­per­ate­ly re­li­gious. He found him­self lit­er­al­ly no­body in his own house. His drink­ing and swear­ing were in­ter­dict­ed; the place was filled with monks of all denomina­tions; often, when he want­ed his break­fast, he was qui­et­ly in­formed that his lady was with her con­fes­sor, and had got the keys. As to Fa­ther Blaz­ius, he seemed quite happy, was con­stant­ly with the Lady de Seampiers, and trou­bled him­self very lit­tle about his for­mer pa­tient. The knight was dragged to prayers at all man­ner of strange times, and if he de­murred, his bet­ter half re­sent­ed his con­duct by pray­ing aloud in bed, which the knight found more cruel than the worst cur­tain lec­ture. In a word, Sir Bad­lot de Seampiers was now ex­pi­at­ing his for­mer sins.

A few years rolled on; they had no chil­dren; Sir Bad­lot found him­self sink­ing fast. Un­hap­py at home, and un­able to stir out, taunt­ed with the idle re­mem­brances of a past life dis­grace­ful­ly spent, and just awak­en­ing to a real and ter­ri­ble con­scious­ness of the fu­ture, Sir Bad­lot sought to sti­fle his mem­o­ry with ex­ten­sive do­na­tions, and to com­pen­sate for a whole life of practi­cal blas­phe­my by ab­ject dis­plays of at­tri­tion, con­tri­tion, and other de­grees of priest-en­joined penance.

The sud­den loss of his lady might, at an ear­lier pe­ri­od, have re­sus­ci­tat­ed the fail­ing spir­its of Sir Bad­lot, but he was now too far gone to feel even that re­lief. Fa­ther Blaz­ius man­aged ev­ery­thing, and when the last day of the poor sin­ner's life had closed, when the halls of the Cas­tle de Seampiers were filled with mourn­ful hang­ings, and with vas­sals whose sad coun­tenances were but doubt­ful rep­re­sen­ta­tives of their real thoughts, there was a grand assem­blage of the monks of the new order of Saint Cos­ta-di-Mon­ga, and no one felt sur­prised at find­ing that the whole of the knight's im­mense do­main was given up to that wor­thy fra­ter­ni­ty.

We must pass over a long in­ter­val, dur­ing which a mag­nif­i­cent abbey rose upon the Seampiers es­tate: in the no­blest chapel of which, was a sump­tu­ous mon­u­ment to the mem­ory of the knight and his wife, whose ef­fi­gies lay side by side in greater har­mo­ny than the orig­i­nals had ever en­joyed. Al­le­gor­i­cal repre­sentations, in that pe­cu­liar style of art which we hope will be hence­forth con­fined to tomb­stones, told of the valiant deeds of Sir Bad­lot in the cause of Chris­tian­i­ty, and a most appropri­ately ex­ten­sive "brass" de­tailed his virtues and ac­com­plish­ments.

Abbeys, like the knights and kings who found them, have an end, A cer­tain king, tak­ing a vi­o­lent fancy to the rich es­tates of the order of Saint Cos­ta-di-Mon­ga, pil­laged its chapels of ev­ery­thing that could be turned into money; leav­ing only the relics of a few saints, which were not con­vert­ible into cash — the monks — and the empty build­ing, A few years after­wards, when the Order had some­what recov­ered this shock, a party of drunk­en sol­diers, not being able to force their en­trance for a sim­i­lar pur­pose, set fire to the build­ing, burnt out the monks, and left noth­ing but roof­less walls, and a few mon­u­ments.

Var­i­ous per­se­cu­tions and mis­for­tunes gradu­ally re­duced the wealthy order of Saint Costa to a poor, per­se­cut­ed, and much wor­thier, com­pa­ny of brethren. At length, every­thing con­nect­ed with the Abbey of Saint Cos­ta-di-Mon­ga was for­got­ten, ex­cept some ghast­ly ruins, and some very in­dis­tinct parch­ments.

But, land is land, and the lands of the Seampiers es­tate were more pro­duc­tive than ever, though no one knew what claim half the pre­sent pos­ses­sors had to them, A cel­e­brat­ed king, how­ev­er, re­ward­ed one of his no­bles — who had been en­gaged in some ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Papal See, rel­a­tive to a "del­i­cate af­fair" in which his royal mas­ter was con­cerned — with the lion's share of this noble do­main.

The whole sys­tem of things was changed, "Sir Xieho­las Garter, and Dorothy, his wife," (as they are called in a dirty white in­scrip­tion on two by no means com­pli­men­ta­ry por­traits which hang in the Chap­ter-House), were as good peo­ple as you would de­sire to see. Mythol­o­gy has placed the date of the Gold­en Age in the earli­est years of the world. It was oth­er­wise with the quon­dam Seampiers es­tates, for they had never known such good times as the pre­sent. Super­stition was fast yield­ing to the en­light­en­ment of a re­li­gion purged from its ef­fects; the ten­antry were pros­per­ous and un­mo­lest­ed, and felt their own in­ter­est and af­fec­tions bound up with that of their noble mas­ter. Mean­while, ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal af­fairs had been grad­u­al­ly re­stored to a bet­ter foot­ing. The ru­ined Abbey of Saint Costa was part­ly re­paired, part­ly re­built, and abun­dant­ly en­dowed with lands in var­i­ous parts of the king­dom. Sir Xieho­las Garter had taken a promi­nent part in the work of restora­tion, and the now Cathe­dral church was pro­vid­ed with a com­plete "founda­tion."

Al­though learn­ing was at a low ebb, as far as gen­er­al im­prove­ment was con­cerned, the bar­barous sys­tems of the triv­i­um and quadriv­i­um had given way, and some no­tion of an use­ful ed­u­ca­tion paved the way to the en­dow­ment of schools. In the pre­sent in­stance, pro­vi­sion was made for the in­struc­tion of a cer­tain num­ber of clerks in "all man­ner of good and prof­itable learn­ing," as well as for the main­te­nance and ed­ucation of sev­er­al poor boys on a hum­bler foot­ing, We need not trou­ble our read­ers with an ac­count of the pre­cise items left for each pur­pose, whether ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal or scholas­tic. Suf­fice it to say, that, com­pared with the mod­ern stan­dard, it seemed lu­di­crous­ly low, and high­ly sug­ges­tive of the times when a large pig was sold for fourpe­nee, a goose for three­half­pe­nee, and an ox for six and three­pence.

But the growth of pop­u­la­tion, the con­se­quent growth of hous­es, and the pro­por­tion­ate in­crease in the value of prop­er­ty, grad­u­al­ly pro­duced great and pleas­ant ef­fects on the pock­ets of the Rev­erend the Dean and Chap­ter of St. Roe­hford de Tame­sis, (such was the name which had dis­placed St. Cos­ta-di-Mon­ga), Fields and swamps be­came parish­es; prof­itable leas­es were grant­ed where turnips had grown; rich ready- money fines and com­pen­sa­tions, oc­ca­sion­al be­quests, and an un­remit­ting at­ten­tion to the im­provement of the prop­er­ty, unit­ed in ren­der­ing the Cathe­dral foun­da­tion of St, Roe­hford de Tame­sis one of the rich­est through­out the king­dom.

The Dean and Canons of this ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal gold­en egg had cer­tain­ly no rea­son to find fault with its hatch­ing. Most of them were men of fam­i­ly, ei­ther pos­sess­ing pri­vate prop­er­ty, or hold­ing some rich liv­ing or liv­ings joint­ly with their stalls. Peo­ple won­dered how it was that the Cathe­dral it­self was in bad re­pair, that scarce­ly half its space was avail­able for pur­pos­es of wor­ship, and that the sur­round­ing neighbour­hood was ne­glect­ed, dirty, and un­healthy, or was this the only mat­ter of won­der. The ser­vice with­in the Cathe­dral was neg­li­gent­ly per­formed. One or two of the canons might be there, it is true; but the ser­vice was read by the chap­lain, who had un­ac­count­ably sup­plant­ed the "minor canons" men­tioned in the orig­i­nal statutes. The choir had been clum­si­ly parti­tioned off, and was ill-adapt­ed for hear­ing. The or­gan­ist, whose salary was ab­surd­ly low, wise­ly left the week­ly duty to an in­dif­fer­ent deputy, and paid at­ten­tion to the more lu­cra­tive of­fice of giv­ing lessons at fash­ion­able ladies' schools. Grievance upon grievance began to de­vel­op it­self, Au­gus­tus Fres­co, Esq., R.A., rash­ly ven­tured to at­tempt sketch­ing a pic­turesque por­tion of the Cathe­dral, and was ush­ered out of the place by the verg­er. On mak­ing in­quiries at the Dean­ery, he was pa­tro­n­ised by the foot­man, and treat­ed rude­ly by the but­ler. For­getting that a pri­vate in­tro­duc­tion would have smoothed all dif­fi­cul­ties, or per­haps think­ing that pub­lic build­ings ought to be open to the pro­fes­sors of Art with­out any such in­ter­est, Mr, Au­gus­tus Fres­co wrote a spir­it­ed and sarcas­tic let­ter to the "Times" on the sub­ject; the "Times" fol­lowed up the mat­ter with a lead­ing ar­ti­cle; and the Rev. Mil­dred Ham­pere­hureh, Canon and Sub-Dean of St. Roe­hford, who had pur­chased Mr, Fres­co's last mas­ter­piece of "St, George and the Drag­on," felt re­al­ly vexed, and wrote a po­lite note to the artist, beg­ging him to con­sid­er the Sub-Dean­ery as his own res­i­dence should he again favour the antiqui­ties of St, Roe­hford with a visit, Mr, Au­gus­tus Fres­co replied in an equal spir­it of com­plai­sance, and ded­i­cat­ed a trea­tise on "Me­di­aw­al Perspec­tive" to the Very Rev. the Sub-Dean of St. Roe­hford, M.R.S.A., F.R.S., F.S.A., D.D. (by Royal Let­ters Patent), Cor­re­spond­ing Mem­ber of the Cologne Cathe­dral Fin­ish­ing So­ci­ety, &e., &e.

All the dis­sat­is­fac­tions aris­ing from the mis­management of the af­fairs of St. Roe­hford were not ad­just­ed in so am­i­ca­ble a man­ner. Dis­putes about church-rates, in which the parish­ioners claimed as­sis­tance from the Chap­ter, and in which the Chap­ter more posi­tively than po­lite­ly re­fused to ren­der as­sis­tance, led to angry dis­putes be­tween ac­tive churchwar­dens, and vi­cars who had lit­tle in­ter­est in their parish­es. Com­plaints re­spect­ing the ne­glect­ed con­di­tion of the streets, and re­spect­ing the char­acter of their in­hab­i­tants im­me­di­ate­ly in the neigh­bour­hood of the Cathe­dral, led to sarcas­tic re­marks in pop­u­lar jour­nals. Peo­ple began to talk about Church Re­form, and the Chap­ter of St. Roe­hford, in dis­agree­able con­nec­tion. The abus­es were, nev­er­the­less, not suf­fi­cient­ly in­di­vid­u­al in their ten­den­cy to be read­i­ly tan­gible; nor was there any of­fence so glar­ing as to com­pro­mise a party of men, whose po­si­tion and char­ac­ter in so­ci­ety, and whose known abil­ities, gen­er­al­ly placed them be­yond the reach of re­proach.

At length, how­ev­er, came an awk­ward event, with which the tran­quil se­cu­ri­ty of the St. Roe­hford Chap­ter might fair­ly be con­sid­ered at an end. The head-mas­ter of the foun­da­tion school died, and a suc­ces­sor to his du­ties and emol­u­ments was found with­out much dif­fi­cul­ty.

At first, ev­ery­thing went on ad­mirably, Mr, Hard­head was an ex­cel­lent schol­ar, a firm, but gen­tle­man­ly dis­ci­plinar­i­an, and took an enthu­siastic in­ter­est in his oc­cu­pa­tion. Two or three promis­ing boys got open schol­ar­ships in col­leges of high stand­ing; and, to do the Dean and Chap­ter jus­tice, they evinced a kind­ly dispo­sition to­wards the de­serv­ing schol­ars, and ren­dered much sub­stan­tial as­sis­tance to­wards their fu­ture ca­reer. But the Rev. Adol­phus Hard­head was not mere­ly a schol­ar and a school­master, He had fought his way against disad­vantages, had gained mod­er­ate in­de­pen­dence by the fruits of early ex­er­tions and con­stant, but by no means sor­did, econ­o­my; and, while disin­terested enough to un­der­val­ue abun­dance, was too wise not to know the value of money. He was an un­doubt­ed fi­naneial­ist, and never gave a far­thing with­out doing real good, be­cause he al­ways as­cer­tained the pur­pose and prob­a­ble ef­fect of his char­i­ty be­fore­hand. While he cau­tiously shunned the idle and un­de­serv­ing, he would work like a slave, with and for those who would work for them­selves; he would smooth the way for those who had in the first in­stance been their own pi­o­neers, and would help a man who had once been suc­cess­ful, to at­tain a yet greater suc­cess.

With such a dis­po­si­tion, it was not un­nat­u­ral that the fi­nan­cial state of the school should at­tract the no­tice of its new su­per­in­ten­dent. In the first place, the school-room forms were rick­ety, the desks and "lock­ers" gen­er­al­ly hung from one hinge in­stead of two, and the quan­ti­ty of fancy draw­ings and in­scrip­tions with which the wain­scot­ing was dec­o­rat­ed, dis­played a greater amount of ec­cen­tric­i­ty than was war­rant­ed by the rep­u­ta­tion hith­er­to achieved by the wits of the school. The great bed-room, or, more clas­sically speak­ing, the "dor­mi­to­ry," was ill venti­lated, and the roof and gut­ters thor­ough­ly out of re­pair, A din­ing-room, said to have been al­lotted to the cho­ris­ter boys, was not to be found at all, though some old peo­ple rather thought the site was oc­cu­pied by one of the canons' sta­bles, There was no sep­a­rate school­mas­ter for the cho­ris­ters, though one was men­tioned in the statutes; but a lit­tle care­less tu­ition was be­stowed upon them by one of the chap­lains, who re­ceived an ad­di­tion­al forty pounds a year for his trou­ble.

The most se­ri­ous mis­chief of all, was an unac­countable in­crease in the in­comes of the Dean and Chap­ter, and a most ex­traor­di­nary stag­nation and stand-still in the funds al­lot­ted to the schol­ars. As to the "poor boys" men­tioned in the statute, they ap­peared to have no exis­tence, Nev­er­the­less, Mr, Hard­head well knew that, as the funds were de­rived from a com­mon source, the cir­cum­stances which had bene­fited and in­creased the in­comes of one party, ought to have had a pro­por­tion­ate in­flu­ence upon all alike. Day after day did he spend in the cathe­dral li­brary, rak­ing up dry de­tails re­spect­ing es­tates, mort­gages, rentals, and en­dowments, Vol­ume after vol­ume of the dri­est and most te­dious de­tails did this in­de­fati­ga­ble searcher after truth turn over, com­mon-place, tran­scribe, and com­pare, Mass­es of acts of par­liament, quires of con­tra­dic­tions, and fo­lios of opin­ions, failed even to tire his as­siduity. Jour­ney after jour­ney did he take, au­thor­i­ty upon au­thor­i­ty did he con­sult, opin­ion upon opin­ion did he take, until he had made out what he con­sidered a suf­fi­cient­ly clear case. This found, he was too prac­ti­cal to re­main long with­out com­ing to the mat­ter at once. Too wise to ask for all at once, Mr. Hard­head began with com­plaints rel­a­tive to the state of the se­hool­house. He met with the an­swer he had ex­pect­ed. The Dean and Chap­ter ex­pressed their will­ing­ness to head a sub­scrip­tion to­wards the nec­es­sary re­pairs, but cau­tious­ly avoid­ed al­low­ing that there was any claim which they were bound to recog­nise. This was a bad be­gin­ning, and the Head Mas­ter could clear­ly per­ceive that even this mod­er­ate de­mand had stirred up a con­sid­er­able amount of ill-will and vex­a­tion.

But, when a let­ter, drawn up with legal minute­ness, and dis­play­ing a most dis­agree­able knowl­edge of dis­agree­able facts, was laid be­fore the Chap­ter, call­ing upon them to aug­ment sundry schol­ar­ships, which had re­mained at their orig­i­nal al­most noth­ing­ness, to re­store the foun­da­tion pro­vid­ed for the ed­u­ca­tion of "poor boys," and to re­fund a large sum of money which had ev­i­dent­ly been dis­tribut­ed in a man­ner con­trary to the let­ter or spir­it of the founder's will, they were per­fect­ly over­come with as­ton­ish­ment at the au­dac­i­ty of their Head Mas­ter,

The Rev­erend Blair Vorax nod­ded dis­tant­ly to the Rev­erend Mr, Hard­head the next morn­ing, ob­serv­ing that "he was sorry that he (the Rev­erend Mr, Hard­head) had thought fit to ad­dress such a let­ter to the mem­bers of the Chap­ter, but that he (the Rev­erend Mr. H.) knew his own af­fairs best," &e., &e.

The Rev­erend Michael Place, who had al­ways been bois­ter­ous­ly friend­ly, and was very hoity-toity in speech, spoke some­what as fol­lows:

"Yes! Ah! Humph! Well! Ah! That let­ter of yours — well! great pity — very sorry, hem! you know best. Yes! good morn­ing,"

The Very Rev­erend the Dean, sim­ply wrote as fol­lows:

"The Dean of St, Roe­hford in­forms the Rev. Mr. Hard­head that the Chap­ter of St. Roe­hford are not in the habit of con­sult­ing the Head Mas­ter of St. Roe­hford's Gram­mar School as to the em­ploy­ment and dis­tri­bu­tion of the cathe­dral prop­er­ty. 

The Rev. A. Hard­head"

Mr. Hard­head knew too much of human na­ture in gen­er­al, and ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal human na­ture in par­tic­u­lar, to en­ter­tain any ex­pec­ta­tion of suc­cess by such sim­ple mea­sures as he had al­ready adopt­ed, A pam­phlet ac­cord­ing­ly soon made its ap­pear­ance, bear­ing the title of "On the pre­sent Ap­pli­ca­tion of the En­dow­ments of Gram­mar Schools, with Hints to­wards estab­lishing a Com­mit­tee of In­quiry on this impor­tant Sub­ject," The press took the alarm, the pam­phlet was re­viewed, quot­ed, par­o­died, bul­lied, abused, praised, and puffed in every possi­ble man­ner. But, the Dean and Chap­ter of St. Roe­hford bit­ter­ly lament­ed their want of com­mon sense, in suf­fer­ing such de­tails to be­come pub­lic, and would glad­ly have re­con­sid­ered the pro­pos­als which had elicit­ed their angry reply.

We will not de­tail how many pri­vate and pub­lic bick­er­ings took place on the sub­ject, how many in­ge­nious at­tempts were made to ruin the en­ter­pris­ing cler­gy­man who had start­ed the in­quiry, how they were re­but­ted by his conscien­tious and well-di­rect­ed en­er­gy. The press be­gan to get more unan­i­mous in de­nounc­ing the Dean and Chap­ter of St. Roe­hford de Tame­sis; the Bish­op, who had claimed the pre­rog­a­tive of being the only man jus­ti­fied in in­ter­fer­ing in the mat­ter, and who had re­fused to in­ter­fere at all, shrunk under the winc­ing at­tacks of Sir Reuben Paul in "the House;" and the Rev­erend Mr, Hard­head was pro­mot­ed by a Cab­i­net Min­ister to a liv­ing of great value, which, while it ren­dered him in­de­pen­dent of the Chap­ter of St. Roe­hford, gave him a po­si­tion which lent addi­tional weight to his at­tacks.

And yet, we lament to say, things are still in the same con­di­tion. One of the canons is em­ployed in get­ting his house in order to re­build the in­te­ri­or in a mod­ern and el­e­gant style; an­other of them has gone to live in Italy, and if Italy fails, will try Madeira, for the bene­fit of his health. The Rev­erend Arthur Rose, chap­lain, has thrown up his sit­u­a­tion in order to bet­ter him­self, hav­ing ob­tained an un­der-mas­ter­ship, worth £100 a year, and hav­ing suf­fered much from acute bron­chi­tis in conse­quence of his lodg­ings over­look­ing a damp and often in­un­dat­ed mead­ow. Young Pe­ga­sus, one of the most promis­ing boys at St, Roe­hford, has just taken a dou­ble first at the uni­ver­si­ty, but is some­what ham­pered with debts. He is not an ex­pen­sive youth, but his schol­ar­ship is so very small in value, that, even with the oc­ca­sion­al five pounds sent him by his for­mer kind mas­ter, he can hard­ly make both ends meet.

The last we heard of the af­fairs of St. Roe­hford was a few months ago, when much as we lament­ed the rea­son for the re­mark, we could not help ad­mir­ing the cau­tious com­mon sense that dic­tat­ed it, A pleas­ant old gentle­man, whose for­tune was of his own get­ting, avowed to us his in­ten­tion of leav­ing a hand­some prop­er­ty to be de­vot­ed to the im­prove­ment of a Church of Eng­land school, and a Methodist train­ing acade­my. We ex­pressed some sur­prise at the ap­par­ent in­con­gruity of the two ob­jects of his char­i­ty.

"I have left my money in such a man­ner," he replied, "that the party who is guilty of mis­apli­ca­tion of the funds, will be held ac­count­able to the other, and the money will con­se­quent­ly be for­feit­ed. Thus, each board of trustees will act as a re­straint upon the other, and I may hope that the in­tend­ed good will be re­alised. Fur­ther­more, I have made a pro­por­tion­ate, not a pos­i­tive, scale of salaries and boun­ties, that all may ben­e­fit alike by the in­crease, and that none may un­du­ly suf­fer by the falling off of the means placed at their dis­pos­al,"

We thought this a good idea; and yet we grieved to think that re­li­gious dif­fer­ences should be thought the only se­cu­ri­ty for the UNITY OF CHAR­I­TY.