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THE “ADVANCED” SCHOOL IN THE CHURCH-MR. MAURICE.
and that those persons with whom it rested the head of what was known as the Broad to purify towns and cities, and to prevent or Church, as the leader of those young and remove the causes of disease, have not been generous enthusiasts who desired to make sufficiently active in regard to such matters. their religion a living power, and who thereLord Palmerston would therefore suggest that fore advocated what has been called Christian the best course which the people of this socialism. We have already glanced at the country can pursue to deserve that the further position taken by Charles Kingsley and others progress of the cholera should be stayed, will in relation to the often painful and always be to employ the interval that will elapse be- solemn social problems of the time. It is tween the present time and the beginning of enough here to say that Mr. Maurice was the next spring in planning and executing mea- master to whose pure and unselfish teaching sures by which those portions of their towns they had listened, and by whom their religious and cities which are inhabited by the poorest opinions had been greatly influenced. Mr. classes, and which, from the nature of things, Maurice made no secret of his views on the most need purification and improvement, may subject of the professed doctrine of eternal be freed from those causes and sources of con- punishment, and it was to a correspondence tagion which, if allowed to remain, will in- on this subject, as it was treated in his Theofallibly breed pestilence and be fruitful in logical Essays, that the attention of the death in spite of all the prayers and fastings council of the college was directed by Prinof a united but inactive nation. When man cipal Jelf. The council came to the conclusion has done his utmost for his own safety then that the opinions set forth and the doubts is the time to invoke the blessing of Heaven expressed in the essay were of a dangerous to give effect to his exertions."
tendency, and likely to unsettle the minds of Of course this was not an exhaustive answer, theological students; and that the continuance and a good deal might reasonably have been of Mr. Maurice's connection with the college said against so rough and ready a way of re- would be seriously detrimental to its usefulply; but it was not an irreverent one, and there
It was in vain for him to remonstrate, were but too many obvious proofs in the calling upon the council to state which of the streets that the Scottish as well as the Eng- articles of faith condemned his teaching. lish municipal authorities had not faithfully “I cannot, my lords and gentlemen," he said, attended to their immediate duties. There “ believe that, great as are the privileges which was an outcry against the letter, of course, and the right reverend bench has conceded to the while some of the religious sections of the com- principal of the King's College, their lordships, munity denounced it from their point of view, the bishops, ever intended to give him an it was made use of by unscrupulous satirists authority superior to their own, superior to as the foundation for a jest to the effect that that of the articles by which they are bound. the ex-foreign minister treated Heaven itself I cannot think that they wish to constitute as a “foreign power;" but the jest was a very him and the council, arbiters of the theology poor one-so poor that its want of reverence of the English Church. Such a claim would was not to be excused for its wit.
be as alarming, I apprehend, to the public as to
our ecclesiastical rulers. If some parents have This was in the autumn of 1853, and there been suspicious of the influence I might exwere at that time other symptoms of orthodox ercise over their sons, I believe that there are significance, one of them being the dismissal few parents in England who will not complain of the Rev. Frederic Denison Maurice from that the college has departed from its original the professorships of ecclesiastical history and principle when it gives such a scope to the of English literature in King's College. Mr. private judgment of its chief officer, or even Maurice had long been as remarkable for his to the judgment of the body which manages piety and simplicity of character as for his its affairs.
If I have violated any attainments. He was perhaps not so much law of the church, that law can be at once
SJANDALOUS CHARGES AGAINST PRINCE ALBERT.
coarsely, lost much of their offensiveness be- enough from his letters and speeches that cause of the peculiar humour which gave Palmerston had very little of the reticence supthem a different effect; and even the reader posed to be essential to a responsible minister, of a letter like this would recall the familiar and that he was in the habit, to use a common inamer of the writer. Palmerston as the expression, of “letting his tongue run” when “judicious bottle-holder”--Palmerston as the it would have been more discreet if he had keen-faced, wide-awake sporting man, biting been silent. Whether he was responsible for a straw or a flower stem, as he appeared in it or not, no sooner had his resignation been the caricatures of Punch—was the popular rumoured than those newspapers which supfavourite, and hundreds who were not among ported his foreign policy recommenced their the populace believed implicitly in the ready i scarcely veiled attacks upon the prince. He wit and consummate tact, which, combined was represented to be the chief agent of “the with the practical staightforward temper that Austro-Belgian-Coburg-Orleans clique, the is prompt to act and refuses to acknowledge avowed enemies of England and the sulserthe probability of failure, was regarded as vient tools of Russia, he was present at the peculiarly " English.” But it was doubted by conferences between the queen and her minispeople of greater penetration whether the ters, the queen herself discussed with him the noble lord was quite so straightforward as he foreign as well as the domestic policy of the pretended to be. He had given his advice to country, and her opinions were perpetually the prime-minister, he was hankering after subject to his influence,—was that influence the power if not the place of minister of war not exercised to defeat a foreign policy which or of foreign minister, and was urging that would be national and patriotic, for the purthe allied fleets should be sent at once to the pose of advancing that of foreign rulers with scene of conflict. The cabinet hesitated to whom he was in constant correspondence, to accept his dicta, enforced though they were by whom he could reveal the secrets of her letters and circulars, and it was suddenly majesty's council? Of course these insinuannounced that Lord Palmerston had re- ations—and they sometimes grew to the prosigned. It will be remembered that on a portions of direct allegations need now only former occasion (in 1851), when he had relin- to be examined for their absurdity to be disquished office, his resignation had been pre- covered. It would have been little to the adceded and accompanied by a number of vantage of the prince to diminish the prestige rumours almost amounting to deliberate ac- of the British government and to injure the cusations against Prince Albert, charging him interests of the queen for the sake of foreign with using his influence to control the govern- rulers or distant family relations, with whose ment and to turn its policy towards the advan- opinions he had over and over again emphatitage of foreign interests. The position of the cally shown that he was at variance. Amidst prince consort was assailed, and it was in- all the imputations that were made not a sinuated that he used it for the purpose of single fact was adduced that had the least sending despatches and tampering with foreign weight; nor did any of the political leaders affairs to the detriment of British indepen- on either side pay any serious regard to dence. It was an unfortunate circumstance such charges, though they must have known, that the same or similar insinuations reap- and some of them would surely have repeared at this juncture, and it is scarcely to be sented any such actions as were made the wondered at that Palmerston was suspected subject of these scandalous suggestions. There of having some hand in them either directly, | is no need at the present day to enter into any or by recklessly giving expression to his vindication of the prince; his letters, speeches, opinion that the opposition with which his conversations of that time have been pubproposals were received by the cabinet was to lished, and the refutation of the calumnies to be attributed to the influence of the prince, which he was subject has long been completed and through him of the queen. It is plain in the story of his life and of the true rela
with what genuine graphic force he wrote even in ordinary correspondence. It occurs in a letter to Mr. Ashworth:-"I have been for some weeks in one of the most secluded corners of England. Although my letter is dated from the quiet little close borough of Midhurst, the house in which I am living is about one and a half mile distant, in the neighbouring rural parish of Heyshott. The
roof which now shelters me is the one under which I was born, and the room where I now sleep is the one in which I first drew breath. It is an old farm-house, which had for many years been turned into labourers' cottages. With the aid of the whitewasher and carpenter we have made a comfortable, weatherproof retreat for summer; and we are surrounded with pleasant woods and within a couple of miles of the summit of the South Down Hills, where we have the finest air and some of the prettiest views in England. At some future day I shall be delighted to initiate you into rural life. A Sussex hill-side village will be an interesting field for an exploring excursion for you. We have a population under three hundred in our parish. The acreage is about 2000, of which one proprietor, Colonel Wyndham, owns 1200 acres. He is a non-resident, as indeed are all the other proprietors. The clergyman is also non-resident. He lives at the village of Sledham, about three miles distant, where he has another living and a parsonage-house. He comes over to our parish to perform service once on Sundays alternately in the morning and afternoon. The church is in a ruinous state, the tower having fallen down many years ago. The parson draws about £300 a year in tithes, besides the produce of a few acres of glebeland. He is a decent man with a large family, spoken well of by everybody, and himself admits the evils of clerical absenteeism. We have no school and no schoolmaster, unless I give that title to a couple of cottages where illiterate old women collect a score or two of infants while their parents are in the fields. Thus 'our village' is without resident proprietors, or clergyman, or schoolmaster. Add to these disadvantages that the farmers are generally deficient of capital and do not
employ so many labourers as they might. The rates have been up to this time about six shillings in the pound. We are not under the new poor-law but in a Gilbert's Union, and almost all our expense is for outdoor relief. Here is a picture which will lead you to expect, when you visit us, a very ignorant and very poor population. There is no postoffice in the village. Every morning an old man aged about seventy goes into Midhurst for the letters. He charges a penny for every despatch he carries, including such miscellaneous articles as horse-collars, legs of mutton, empty sacks, and wheel-barrows. His letterbag for the whole village contains on an average from two to three letters daily, including newspapers. The only newspapers which enter the parish are two copies of Bell's Weekly Messenger, a sound old Tory Protectionist much patronized by drowsy farmers. The wages paid by the farmers are very low, not exceeding eight shillings a week. I am employing an old man nearly seventy, and his son about twenty-two, and his nephew about nineteen, at digging and removing some fences. I pay the two former nine shillings a week and the last eight shillings, and I am giving a shilling a week more than anybody else is paying. What surprises me is to observe how well the poor fellows work and how long they last. The South Down air, in the absence of South Down mutton, has something to do with the healthiness of these people, I dare say. The labourers have generally a garden and an allotment of a quarter of an acre; for the latter they pay 38. 9d. a year rent. We are in the midst of woods and on the border of common land, so that fuel is cheap. All the poor have a right to cut turf on the common for their firing, which costs 28. 3d. per thousand. The labourers who live in my cottages have pigs in their sties, but I believe it is not so universally. I have satisfied myself that however badly off the labourers may be at present, their condition was worse in the time of high-priced corn. In 1847, when bread was double its present price, the wages of the farm labourers were not raised more than two to three shillings a week. At that time a man with a family spent all that he
"THE PEOPLE'S" ANTI-WAR BUDGET.
earned for bread, and still had not enough to sustain his household. I have it both from the labourers themselves and the millers from whom they buy their flour that they ran so deeply in debt for food during the high prices of 1847 that they have scarcely been able, in some cases up to the present, to pay off their score. The class feeling among the agricultural labourers is in favour of a cheap loaf. They dare not say much about it openly, but their instincts are serving them in the absence of economical knowledge, and they are unanimously against Chowler and the Protectionists. I can hardly pretend that in this world's-end spot we can say that any impulse has been given to the demand for agricultural labourers by the free-trade policy. Ours is about the last place that will feel its good effects. But there is one good sign that augurs well for the future. Skilled labourers, such as masons, joiners, blacksmiths, painters, and so on, are in very great request, and it is difficult to get work of that kind done in moderate time. I am inclined to think that in more favourable situations an impulse has likewise been imparted to unskilled labour. It is certain that during the late harvest-time there was a great difficulty in obtaining hands on the south side of the Downs towards the sea-coast, where labour is in more demand than here under the north side of the hills. I long to live to see an agricultural labourer strike for wages!" Without reference to the opinions expressed it will be seen how large a number of important topics is included in this extract from a simple friendly letter, and the ready ease with which each of those topics is in turn made strongly suggestive. The whole quotation may stand for an example of Cobden's style and manner of writing and speaking-the only difference being the added strength of terse and often vivid illustration, and earnest though quiet emphasis when he was addressing an audience. But we must look at him for a moment in relation to the war.
Cobden had strong and mostly positive opinions on those subjects which were agitating political circles. For Irish difficulties he had but one plan, though he confessed he did not know how it could be enforced. He would
have cut up the land into small properties, leaving no estates so large as to favour absenteeism even from the parish. In order to provide the means of reducing taxation he would have proposed a "people's budget," an outline of which he sketched in a letter to Mr. Bright, and the provisions of which were doubtless in accord with the efforts of the Financial Reform Association. "I have been thinking and talking," he said, "about concocting a national budget” to serve for an object for financial reformers to work up to and to prevent their losing their time upon vague generalities. The plan must be one to unite all classes and interests, and to bring into one agitation the counties and the towns. I propose to reduce the army, navy, and ordnance from £18,500,000 to £10,000,000, and thus save £8,500,000. Upon the civil expenditure in all its branches, including the cost of collecting revenue and the management of crownlands, I propose to save £500,000. I propose to lay a probate and legacy duty on real property to affect both entailed and unentailed estates, by which would be got £1,500,000. Here is £11,500,000 to be used in reducing and abolishing duties, which I propose to dispose of as follows:
"Customs.-Tea, reduce duty to 18. per lb.; wood and timber, abolish duties; butter and cheese, abolish duties.
"Upwards of 100 smaller articles of the tariff to be abolished. (I would only leave about fifteen articles in the tariff paying customs duties.)
"Excise.-Malt, paper, soap, and hops, all duty abolished; window-tax and advertisement duty, all off.
"All these changes could be effected with £11,500,000. There are other duties which I should prefer to remove instead of one or two of them; but I have been guided materially by rially by a desire to bring all interests to sympathize with the scheme. Thus the tea is to catch the merchants and all the old women in the country; the wood and timber, the shipbuilder; the malt and hops, the farmers; paper and soap, the Scotch anti-excise people; the window-tax, the shopocracy of London, Bath, &c.; the advertisements, the press."