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spouse Shrub would have been a hedger and ditcher to this hour, as he was till he came maundering after Miss Tasker thirty years ago, and was sent about his business and told that she hadn't saved 141. to give it to the first fool that asked her. In three years Mr. Shrub had 20l. to show that he had laid by, and Miss Tasker's capital had grown also. Now they are in as pleasant a little house as you need wish to see. They say they don't care to have more than sixty acres, 'because, you see, we're a-getting up in the tooth, and we don't know as we could make it answer to move into a larger occupation.' But-and it is a very notable but-they have managed to set up their son in a farm twice as large as their own, and his landlord only regrets that he cannot be tempted to increase his holding.

Once a labourer always a labourer? Fiddlesticks!

I should only weary my readers if I multiplied examples which have come under my own observation without going a yard out of my way to seek for them-of men who have risen from the plough to an independent social position. The real difficulty comes with the sons of such men. They are apt now and then to be ashamed of their fathers' boast and to give themselves airs. When they take to that they almost invariably go to the bad. But that there is any real difficulty in the way of the intelligent, vigorous, sober, and selfdenying farm labourer making for himself a career is a delusionsuch a delusion as has been fostered by mere reiteration, that process which makes the wisest do the will of fools,' and which, if persisted in long enough and loudly enough, even in our nineteenth century, would make the million believe that the Ptolemaic system was right after all.

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British agriculture is not dead. Farmers will always grumble, sometimes with and sometimes without a cause; but, as a body, they are not the men to whine and wail and sit down in the chimney corner and let things go. They don't like changing their habits and adopting new methods of tillage and accommodating themselves to every change of circumstances that may arise. Let 'em alone and they'll come round somehow.'

Nor is all the land of this country going to be bought up by moneyed men just yet. The Pharaoh who shall be the one great monopolist of land in Britain is not yet born, nor his great-grandfather either. In England capital will always be more widely distributed than it was in Egypt, and it will continue to be so till we begin to build pyramids. Nor are the Little ones going to be swept away. The little and good' will still hold their own. The law is not against them, whatever Mrs. Grimbley may aver, nor is public opinion, nor is Ma'am Nature,' who goes on in her placid way with smiles of irony at our idle schemes to arrest her course or divert


it. The Little ones are not doomed to be swallowed up. They are the whales that have a tendency to become extinct-the whales and the mammoths, the megatherium and the dinornis. The sprats and the herrings hold their own, the flocks do not sensibly diminish, and the sparrows chirp a saucy defiance to all the bones of all the dodos. Such facts as Lord Tollemache's Peckford estate, in Cheshire, or the state of things in the Isle of Axholme, as described by Mr. Impey, do not stand alone; they are not isolated instances. So far from it, in large districts of this country they are much nearer the rule than the exception. Unhappily Mrs. Grimbley and her set, pinning their faith to the Rights of Man, do not read the Times newspaper.

Least of all can the position taken up by so generous and earnest a philanthropist as A. Y. be allowed to pass unchallenged. He asserts as though it were axiomatic that it is almost impossible for a peasant to rise in the social scale.' I believe that to be just as true, and no truer, as the converse that it is almost impossible for the peasant's employer to fall in the social scale.' If it ever should come to this, that any class among us sank to the helpless condition of a caste from which there was no rising, it would mean that a horde of pariahs had grown up in our midst, among whom enterprise and self-respect were palsied. Will anyone tell me that the new electorate are so hopelessly degraded? England's backbone is not broken, nor are the hard-handed tillers of the soil much worse than they were. Among them too there are those who have a

career-not the mere voluble talkers who never did work and never intend to, not the men of mere cleverness (for that is as common as dirt and almost as cheap), but the men of 'upright will and downright action,' the men of sterling character. To such men opportunities to rise in the social scale will come or they will make them. Who was it who used to say he did not understand the meaning of that word 'impossibility'? The peasantry themselves do not believe in any such impossibility to rise above their low estate. You who profess to commiserate their lot will find it hard to convince the objects of your pity. But if you succeed-and you will succeed most easily with the worst and the weakest and the wickedest among themperadventure you may discover that these downtrodden serfs are not as submissive as they should be, and on occasion may startle even you with their ferocity. From you who have preached up their wrongs they will sooner or later look for redress, and such redress as will cost you something more than the sport of flinging Christians to the lions.

Maddened by the futile chase that promised so much and brought them so little, the hounds of Acteon turned on their huntsman at last. AUGUSTUS JEssopp.

The bigger the taters the worse the rot,' was Mrs. Shrub's observation to me last year. I don't hold wi' growing they thunderers; them magnum bonums is my sort.' I wondered whether she meant the parvum bonums--the Little ones.


In this age of historical research and archaic realism, there is growing up a custom which, trivial and plausible in its beginnings, may become a nuisance and a scandal to literature. It is the custom of re-writing our old familiar proper names; of re-naming places and persons which are household words: heirlooms in the English language.

At first sight there seems something to be said for the fashion of writing historical names as they were written or spoken by contemporary men. To the thoughtless it suggests an air of scholarship and superior knowledge, gathered at first hand from original sources. Regarded as the coat-armour of some giant of historical research, there is something piquant in the unfamiliar writing of familiar names; and it is even pleasant to hear a great scholar talk of the mighty heroes as if he remembered them when a boy, and had often seen their handwriting himself. When Mr. Grote chose to write about Kekrops, Krete, Kleopatra, and Perikles, we were gratified by the peculiarity; and we only wondered why he retained Cyrus, Centaur, Cyprus and Thucydides. And when Professor Freeman taught us to speak of Charles the Great, and gave us three black marks for Charlemagne; or when, in the Saturday Review, we read about the Battle of Senlac, we all feel that we are superior people; and that to talk of Hastings would be a cockneyism.

But, in these days, the historical schools are growing in numbers and range. There are no longer merely Attic enthusiasts, and Somersætan champions, but other ages and races have thrown up their own historiographers and bards. There are Middle-English' as well as Old-English' votaries, and Eliza-ists, and Jacob-ists, and Ann-ists. Then there are the French, the German, the Italian, the Norse schools, to say nothing of Ægyptologists, Hebraists, Sanscritists, Accadians, Hittites, Moabites, and Cuneiform-ists. It becomes a very serious question, what will be the end of the English language if all of these are to have their way, and are to re-baptize the most familiar heroes of our youth and to re-spell the world-famous names.

Each specialist is full of his own era and subject, and is quite willing to leave the rest of the historical field to the popular style. But there is a higher tribunal beyond; and those who care for history as a whole, and for English literature in the sum, wonder how far this

revival in orthography is to be carried. Let us remember that, both in space and in time, there is a vast body of opinion of which account must be taken. There is the long succession of ages, there is the cultivated world of Europe and America, in both of which certain names have become traditional and customary. And if every knot of students is to re-name at will familiar persons and historic places, historical tradition and the custom of the civilised world are wantonly confused. This true filiation in literary history is of far more importance than any alphabetic precision.

About forty years ago, Mr. Grote began the practice of re-setting the old Greek names; but his spelling has not commended itself to the world. There seems much to be said for Themistokles and Kleon; but when we were asked to write Korkyra and Krete, we felt that the filiation of Corcyra and Crete with Latin and the modern tongues was needlessly disturbed. Kirke, Kilikia, Perdikkas, Katana, seemed rather harsh and too subversive. And if Sophokles and Sokrates are right, why Eschylus and Eneas, in lieu of Aischulos and Aineias? Besides, on what ground stop short at a k, leaving the vowels to a Latin corruption? The modern Greeks call the author of the Iliad-Oměros; and the victor of MarathonMeelteeaâthes; and it is highly probable that this is far nearer the true pronunciation than are Homer and Miltiades. To be consistent, we shall have to talk of Aias, Odusseus, Purrhos, Lukourgos, Thoukudides, Oidipous, Aischulos, and Kirke, wantonly interrupting the whole Greco-Roman filiation. And, whilst we plunge orthography into a hopeless welter, we shall stray even farther from the true ancient pronunciation. In the result, English literature has rejected the change with an instinctive sense that it would involve us in quicksands; and would to no sufficient purpose break the long tradition which bound Greece with Rome, and both with European literary


Mr. Carlyle would have all true men speak of Friedrich and Otto; the Kurfürst of Köln; of Trier, Prag, Regensburg, and Schlesien. But then he is quite willing to speak like any common person about Mahomet and the Koran, of Clovis and Lothar, of a Duke of Brunswick, and of Charles Amadeus of Savoy; he anglicizes Marseille, Preussen, Oesterreich, and Sachsen; nay, he actually talks about 'Charlemagne 'at' Aix-la-Chapelle.' Tradition and English literature are in fact too strong for him, except where he wishes to be particularly affectionate or unusually impressive. I venture to think that Frederick and Cologne are names so deeply embedded in our English speech that there is nothing affectionate or impressive in the effort to uproot them by foreign words which the mass of Englishmen cannot pronounce. It is ridiculous to write the Kurfürst of Köln.' It should be der Kurfürst von Köln.' But, then, we had better write in German at once.

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Of all the historical schools, that of Professor Freeman has been the most revolutionary in its method, and the most exacting in its demands. They go to their work of re-naming the personages of English history with the confident zeal of the Municipal Council in Paris, who will re-name a dozen historic streets in a morning sitting. It began by an onslaught on Charlemagne' and the Anglo-Saxons ;' and now to use either of these familiar old names is to be guilty of something which is almost a vulgarism, if not an impertinence. We have all learned to speak by the card of Karl and the Old English; and it does us good. This, however, was but the first trumpet before the battle. One by one, the familiar names of English history, the names that recur in every family, were recast into something grotesque in look and often very hard indeed to pronounce. Ecgberht, Cnut, or Knud, the Hwiccas, Ælfthryth, Hrofesceaster, and Cantwara-byryg had rather a queer look. Chlotachar, Chlodowig, Hrotland, were not pleasing. But when we are asked to give up Alfred, Edward, and Edgar, and to speak of Elfred, Eadweard, and Eadgar, we begin to reflect and to hark back.


Alfred, Edward, and Edgar are names which for a thousand years have filled English homes, and English poetry and prose. re-write those names is to break the tradition of history and literature at once. It is no doubt true that the contemporaries of these kings before the Conquest did, when writing in the vernacular, spell their names with the double vowels we are now invited to restore. But is that a sufficient reason? We are not talking their dialect, nor do we use their spelling. We write in modern English, not in old English; the places they knew, the titles they held, the words they used, have to be modernised, if we wish to be understood ourselves. We cannot preserve exactly either the sounds they uttered, or the phrases they spoke, or the names of places and offices familiar to them. Why then need we be curious to spell their names as their contemporaries did, when we have altered all else—pronunciation, orthography, titles, and indeed the entire outer form of the language? The precision for which we vainly strive in the spelling of names is after all a makeshift, very imperfectly observed by any one, and entirely neglected by others. And it has the defect of ignoring a long and suggestive unity in history, language and common civilisation.

It may be true that the contemporaries of 'Edward the Elder,' Edward the Martyr,' and 'Edward the Confessor' spelt the name Eadward, or Eadweard, if they wrote in English, though they did not usually do so when they wrote it in Latin. But did the 'Edwards' of Plantagenet so spell their name; or Edward' Tudor ; and will 'Edward the Seventh' so spell his name? And is Alfred, a name to conjure with wherever the English speech is heard, to be severed from the great king? 'Alfred' is a familiar name just as

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