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ALETHES, The result, I recollect, from Pallavicini ; and it was well that in needier places the blessing of a Cathedral, or a Monastic School, descended on the heads of the poor around. From what we have said, Eubulus, I am inclined to collect that the recent Professorships of Ecclesiastical History, and Pastoral Theology in Oxford, are but “auld claes” made new again!
EUBULUS, As you always speak in earnest, and with no sinister intent, there is no reason to disguise the truth. At the same time the Divinity and Hebrew Professorships were attached to Canonries at Christ Church before ; and the Chorister School has always been well looked to.
ALETHES. That I know; but in some Cathedrals the desire expressed in the “ Reformation of the Ecclesiastical Laws,” was not carried out. In a word, the “ Scholastic Prebend” did not fulfil his duties.
Et dici potuisse, et non potuisse refelli!” But so it is in all things under the sun! The duties of individuals need looking to, or the good of the community suffers.
But here, too, is a fallacy. The keenest of mortal vision, omitting its own duties, pries into those of another. There is enough of the eagle glance, and the subtle wisdom of the serpent; but the censurer himself full often needs the “humble, penitent, and obedient heart."
EUBULUS. True, true, Alethes ! But had the Clerici themselves been more zealous, there had not been such a forsaking in the midst of the land! We have much to answer for one and all of us. However, since the spoliation of Church property, in Henry VIIIth's time and since, the lords of the soil have placed themselves in no enviable position. Till driven to it by the pressure
from without, which caused compunction within, the vicar's stipend remained what it was before the increased value of property; and, as to the support of schools, and other charities, it is only till within of late years that such a thing has been thought of; and in many a parish I could name, even yet it is not thought of at all.
You would imply that those whose house is made of glass, should not be the first to throw stones !
The proverb is true enough, though I did not think of it. The fact is, I was painfully impressed with the fact that we had not done all that we might have done; and wicked as was the late spoliation of Cathedral property, I can scarce look upon it but in the light of a visitation. Since the Hanoverian Succession we have had too many political Divines ; and many have been thrust into the “ Priest's office to eat a piece of bread.”
And yet, Eubulus, the intended application of forfeited Church property (for I can call it by no other name) is hardly more violent than the appropriation of the property of the Regular to the Secular Clergy.
Had that been the only use made of the patrimony of the Church, the ground you take might have had more solidity ; but you know full well that it was miserably squandered on court sycophants and spendthrifts. Old Latimer lifted up his voice against the misapplication of the Church's revenue, as did others; and for this, if for this alone, their names should be had in honour.
Well ! Eubulus, you have the consolation to think that something has been done in the diocese of Chichester! I am told it was the intent of the late Bishop of Worcester, when Bishop of Chichester, had the “Écolâtre," or " Scholasticus" Prebend fallen vacant during his Episcopacy, to have appropriated it entirely to theological teaching.
EUBULUS. Time passed on, and a Diocesan School was established at Chichester; and the name of the amiable Bishop Otter will ever be connected with it:
“ Libertas quæ, sera tamen, respexit inertem !" It is the Priest’s house, when all is said and done, Alethes, which is the “ Domus Sapientiæ.” The Priesthood must teach the people, or they will be ill taught, and fall into all sorts of sectarian views and notions. This is well known under the Roman, or Papistic, scheme; and, to use an old expression of the Metamorphosis, in no hostile sense,
“ Fas est et ab hoste doceri !"
The schoolmaster is abroad. Whether for good, or for ill, -as schemes shall be ripened,—the teaching system is in the ascendant. I shall be glad to see the ancient model abided by, as far as it is possible. The further we remove from it, the worse it will be for us. There is but one solid school, when rightly considered, and that is the School of the Prophets. All education to be beneficial must be in the hands of the Church. At last the truth seems unwillingly acceded to. Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek, have assented to an armistice!
EURULUS. I wish the present calm may not portend a heavier storm! But I will confess the outward appearance of things is better : • God sitteth above the water flood !”
The question of the people's education is one on which I wish to be better informed. It is one, I know, on which you have long thought, and on which doubts of all sorts have risen up before you. I should like to know your more matured opinions.
EUBULUS. On another occasion. Meanwhile let us avail ourselves of the first day of spring, the first genial day we have had! The
children are calling for papa, and have their baskets filled with daisies and buttercups. The little sick boy, too, has made a flower necklace, which smells sweet as violets; and he says he wants me, as soon as I have read prayers to the widow, who sent but now, to gather him some still prettier posies, which he says he will wreath into a krantz for his mamma, who has been sitting by his bed-side since breakfast. The observant rogue
has caught the word from me. It simply means a "garland;" and so Shakspeare uses it in Hamlet. It was the every-day word when I was in Denmark, though commentators would read • chants.”
ALETHES. And so those pretty prattlers have taught you to pluck the flowers once more ! It was you that used to refer me to the words of Bacon, when I carelessly pulled a handful; and they were pretty words, too :-"And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air (when it comes and goes, like the warbling of music) than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that delight, than to know what be the flowers and plants that do best perfume the air 5." I can repeat them, you see, like a schoolboy!
EUBULUS. There is an old Grecian story, Alethes, of a great commander -(the Duke of Wellington of his day)—who was caught riding cock-horse with his children! And, soothe to say, they are imperious in their infancy. I am of Paley's mind, who rejoiced in the happiness of little children. None else would induce me to pluck a flower. Did you ever read those pretty lines of Walter Savage Landor's!-
“ And 'tis and ever was my wish and way
66 Yet here she is allowed her virgin crants,
Of bell and burial !”—Hamlet, Act v. Sc. i. 5 Essay of Gardens. Works, vol. i. p. 154.
6 Old Fuller says, after having quoted Horace's “ Equitare in arundine longâ,” “Such cases are no trespass on gravity, and married men may claim that privilege, to be judged by their Peers, and may herein appeal from the censuring verdict of Batchelors."-Holy State, book iii. c. xxi. See also Hales of Eaton, vol. ii. p. 86. Ed. 8vo.
Whene'er their Genius bids their souls depart
Well may you call them pretty! But come, the children are clamorous. Goldsmith must have seen such 66
noisy children just let loose from school !" For his line is alive!
* Landor's Poems. Fæsulan Idyl, p. 317.