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the driest and most frivolous of his occupations-so that they whom he nourishes shall be aware of more health in the food which comes from his hand, though they know not in what its peculiarity consists. To point to the worldly chances, which such a highminded view of the aspirings and condescensions of Genius, if practised, is sure to bring in its train, is no purpose of mine. It is The Artist's happiness which is in question—à busy youth for him— a placid manhood—an old age not soured by perpetual consciousness of injustice ; not soiled by a perpetual contact with those jealous thoughts, those humiliating concessions, which those supported on alms, or pensioned beneath their own self-estimate, must needs become familiar with. It is his influence, in all its force and brightness, I would fain see secured ; it is the greatness of his calling I would maintain among those to whom he should be a Prophet and a Teacher: not a Fool to be exhibited—not a child to be coerced-not a diseased man to be charitably laid on soft pillows in an hospital, with a brief read on Sundays for his benefit! And—seeing that there is nothing in such a picture of life, as I would draw for him, to allure the weak, the sensual, or those whose vocation is not realwere the view I propose more generally taken, whether by the Gifted, or the World, how vast would be the gain, in the falling off of pretenders, in the army being deprived of all save fighting men ! It would then mean something in a man to announce himself as a Poet, a Painter, a Musician, in place of, as now, being too often justifiably read, as a sign that all labour and self-control are distasteful, and that to scramble on, railing the while at Lady Fortune, or wasting strength in efforts which have no proportion and coherence, is more congenial than a life of Duty, and a death of calm hope in the Future ! O let the Men of Genius give themselves the patronage of discipline!-the support of an unlimited reverence to their own mission on carth!—the cnjoyments of geniality of appreciation, without Luxury in possession! Let them remember how much richer are they in tastes, fancies, perceptions, than the richest Cræsus,-let them feed themselves on these--in place of struggling for that which no success can enable them to compass completely : and a life is before them, of such content and usefulness and exertion,—that the world shall envy, rather than pity them! Beyond the power of vicissitude no man can place himself, but one shall court the storm, and another shall be found when it comes, in armour of proof. Which is the wiser ?


The social miseries of the rich will afford a theme for many illustrations, if we ever exhaust the interest belonging to the sufferings of the poor. The splendidly-disguised monotony of a town life and the ennui that hides itself among green shades in the country; the hollowness of a great part of “ respectable education ; the want of noble thoughts and purposes for mind and soul ; the sacrifice of heart to cant and fastion ;

these are miseries, though less obvious than the want of bread.

As an instance of some of the evils to which I refer, I may tell a story of misdirected education.

Old Squire Benlow, of Copseley, was worth something less than a thousand

a year.

I knew young Tom Benlow well. If he had not been led out of the right way by cant, he would have been a good specimen of a country squire. IIe had good faculties and a strong but not a bad temper. At school he was a fearless fellow in every description of row, and had no malice about him. At home he was the hero of the village cricket-club, and his presence gave animation to the sports of Copseley Green. Ile was noted for his droll, extemporaneous puns, and delighted to indulge in a vein of humourous exaggeration in his stories of field sports and other matters. But let it not be thought that Tom was essentially a vulgar character. IIe had little learning; but he was no dolt : though he seldom talked of books, he sometimes read. I remember that he once surprised me by expressing cven an enthusiastic admiration of Goldsmith's “ Vicar of Wakefield,” which he declared to be “worth a waggon-load of the trash in our circulating libraries.” Tom had a superior mind in some respects, and this was especially the case in music. IIe played a little on the organ; and, though his execution was limited, he delighted in the true style of that instrument. IIe would often express, in a humourous way, his contempt of the trivial music, — “ti-tum-ti-tum-tilly-tilly, as he called it, -strummed upon so many pianofortes. Yes ; in some points Tom was even in advance of his age. Ile led the sports on the green before D'Israeli and Lord John Manners had pronounced it orthodox for young squires to do so. But a higher

of our

proof of his ability was his reformation of the parish choir. The singing had been a combination of grating discords. Tom declared that it had been the cause of several violent cases of colic. But he was not content with sitting in his pew and pulling sour faces towards the gallery — he took his station there, armed with his violoncello ; he collected some boys from the village school, and trained them to sing a few psalm tunes melodiously; then he drove away the incorrigible discord-makers and mended those who stayed ; so that the l'opseley choir soon rose above the par country churches. By this small achievement, I say, Tom placed himself in advance of a great number of our country squires — he did something, however little, to raise the people.

Now what was Tom Benlow's mission ? (the word has been hackneyed; but it is not a bad one.)—The question is easily answered. Without a doubt, he was sent into the world to make some improvement in human life at ('opseley—to be the true aristocrat of Copseley, that is, to be the helper and the mender of the place. This would have been as worthy an object of life as writing a book on the l'niversal Millennium. Mr. Carlyle is quite right when he prefers the man who would really make one village better, to the preacher who only shouts that common-place—“All men want mending !”–Well, Tom might have been a true man if his best instincts had been encouraged; but this was not the

With good, warm feelings, he had no deep self-knowledge, no determined view of life, no steady resolution ; thus he became the victim of cant. But before telling his perverted education, I must refer to the occasion of it. Tom often visited the house of Samuel Wilson, a farmer at Copsend. There was no mystery in the motive of Tom's visits ; for the farmer was a violoncello-player and had three daughters---fine, tall, darked-eyed girls, who were good singers. It was, indeed, a truly superior though not a wealthy family, and it was no wonder if a stronger motive than even the love of music soon led young Benlow more frequently to Copsend ; for where could he have found, among all the selftitled gentry of the neighbourhood, a girl so worthy to be loved as Elizabeth Wilson? For some time this love remained a secret ; but signs of a stronger character than could be attributed to the mere love of music appeared. Tom could not spend one day happily without an evening visit to Copsend. At last, old Squire Benlow found out the secret. “Of course,” said he to Mrs. B., “the Wilsons are decent people—they are fine girls—but


for Tom to go there for a wife !-hang the boy! what low notions he has ! We have neglected Tom's education too long—this must be mended !

Accordingly, the rector of Copseley was invited to dine with the Squire, that an after-dinner consultation might take place on the question of our young Squire's destiny. Mr. Baker, the rector, was a man with a low forehead, a large rubicund visage, and a heavy figure. IIe was not rapid either as a thinker or a speaker. IIo never considered any weighty matter upon an empty stomach ; and therefore, dinner passed over without any mention of the great topic. The time was favourable, as the young Squire was engaged in a cricket-match between Copseley and little Bilton. After dinner, the leg of a roasted goose seemed insoluble on the rector's stomach, and required the help of cognac and hot water. Two or three doses of this medicinc seemed to clear at once the rector's stomach and his ideas-he became clear, sure, and positive on the case of young Tom Benlow, and hardly seemed to feel the responsibility of pronouncing a decision on which a young man's happiness might (lepend. “Yes," said he, gazing through the dark-red glass of mixture at the wax-lightsTom must go to Oxford. It is the right place for him. It will be the means of breaking off”—To finish the sentence, the rector shut his right eye, inclining his head towards Copsend, and then drank the contents of his glass. This solemn oracle seemed to have its due effect upon the old Squire. At this decisive moment, young Benlow stepped into the room.

We were just talking about you, Tom,” said the Squire ; 'you must go to Oxford, my boy!

“Must I ?” said Tom ; « but first of all, I should like a glass of small-beer-sherry and soda-water—anything cooling! We're had a splendid game.

I was in an hour and hit the ball into the tent twice. Poor little Bilton! It never was so small as it is to-day!”

“ You must throw aside the cricket-bat and take up the Greek, my boy!" said the Squire. • Ilang the Greek! What was it made for, Mr. Baker ? said Tom.

Only two or three years at it, and then you are a man!” said the rector.

• Mr. Baker, I think I have told you," said the Squire, have had a parson in our family for three

generations. " I hope there will not be one in the fourth," said Tom.



66 WC


“ That must be as God pleases," said the Squire, emptying his glass, as if to reward himself for such a pious observation; “but, Tom, you must be colucated like a gentleman.”.

“Yes: that is the right view of the case,” said the rector.

So it was decided that Tom should go to college. As a preparatory step, a tutor was soon found for him : this was a neighbouring curate, Mr. Ilolmes, a quiet little man who had edited some Greek books. Tom opened his lexicon with a frownnothing could make liim profess the least love for any of the worthies of ancient literature, or any sympathy with the woes of (Edipus, l'hiloctetes and lecuba ; but he was not a dolt, as I have said ; his father and the cant and fashion of the demanded it ; so he crammed is much Greek as was thought necessary: Ile did a harder thing, too, and a more absurd service to cant-he ceased visiting L'opsend Farm, and tried to forget Elizabeth Wilson.

A young man stifling the life and truth of his own heart, and studying the obsolete sorrows of old King (Edipus! is not the absurdity grotesque ?

As Tom proceeded with his studies, a change became observable in his person. IIe had been a molel of manly health—now there was some sallowness in his face, and he even condescended to take medicine. Study was dry work ; and Tom told me that one of the choruses in Sophocles had required six glasses of gin-and-water for its solution. IIc adopted the homeopathic system when his intellect was cloudy, by fumigating the old dramas with a cloud of cigar-smoke.

At last, Tom went to Oxford, and passed his examination very well, expressing his decision on several points of theology, of which he had never thought for five minutes. Ile was only reconciled to this by the conviction that it was the custom,”-it was " respectable.

The course of study at Oxford may be, for certain minds with whom it agrees well, the best possible mode of forming a welldeveloped character ; but it was utterly uncongenial with Benlow's constitution. Nothing can truly educate a man but the leading out of his best and highest faculties into a proper sphere of exercise. The heart, too, must have its place in every good system. If this is neglected, the mind becomes confused, and all the affections that have been slighted rise in revolt against the oppression practised upon them. Let our pro-formå teachers repeat as often

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