Abbildungen der Seite

ous among the wealthy persons whom I men

“Well, sir," answered Mr. Dubbin, evitioned to you just now.

dently pleased, “it ought to be ; for it cost · St. Jude's was one of those spacious, a pretty penny, I can tell you. But what I modern churches which, without being always say is, pay a good price and get a good frankly ugly, like the churches of fifty years article. That's my system all through, and I ago, are yet almost more distressing than consider that we're justified in applying it to they to the appreciative, by reason of that our organist as well as to our organ. Your effect of vulgarity which attaches to preten- salary, sir, will be seventy pounds per annum.” tious failure. It was of the Victorian-Gothic While Brian was meditating over this anorder of architecture, and was not a very ti-climax, Mr. Peareth was heard to murmur happy specimen of that style, its proportions, something about character and testimonials. being all wrong, and its interior ornamen- But the great Dubbin waved these unworthy tation at once poor and florid. There was suspicions aside. a violent blue and yellow window at the east Never mind about that, Mr. Peareth, I end; encaustic tiles had been unsparingly know a gentleman when I see one,” he was applied to the floor and walls of the chancel; so kind as to declare, “and the information the whole edifice was cold, glaring, and smelt that we have received will be sufficient. of varnish.

Seventy pounds, Mr. Segrave, is not a large These details Brian hastily noted as he sum-did you speak, Mr. Prodgers ? Oh! followed his conductor into the building, I thought I heard you make some observawhere three persons, conversing together in tion. Seventy pounds, I say, is not a large the aisle, appeared to have been awaiting sum; it is a paltry sum, and I should be his arrival, with a view, no doubt, to putting precious sorry to have to live upon it myself, him through a sort of informal test-examina- I know; but such as it is, it's a little more tion. One of these, a burly man, who wore than we have given hitherto, and if you're a long black beard and no moustache, ad- disposed to undertake music or singing lesvanced to meet the new-comers with a certain sons, Mr. Segrave, you'll soon establish a air of proprietorship.

lucrative connection. With regard to your “How do you do to-day, Mr. Peareth ?” church duties, you will be required to take said he condescendingly. “Mrs. Peareth two choral services on Sundays, and one on and the young ones keeping pretty well, I Saints' days; choir practice three times a hope? That's right. I was just passing the week for boys and once for men and young remark to my friend Mr. Prodgers here that women as well. At Christmas and Easter we ought to have a handsome west window you may find a little extra drilling necessary; put in, and his answer was, “So we will, but, with these exceptions, the remainder of when we can afford it. Well, we shall see- your time will be at your own disposal.” we shall see.”

So far Mr. Dubbin had spoken as one who Obviously Dubbin the Magnificent. owns no superior ; but now he seemed sud

“And this,” he continued, turning to Brian, denly to recollect the presence of the Vicar “is our young aspirant, I presume? Well, and said, “I believe I have stated matters sir, I hope you will suit us; and so, no doubt, correctly, have I not, Mr. Peareth ?” do you." I have had the organ opened, so you “Quite correctly," answered Mr. Peareth, can give us a tune as soon as you please. rubbing his hands nervously.

It seemed to be the best thing to do. “And now," continued Mr. Dubbin, adBrian, with some inward amusement, played dressing himself once more to Brian, “I such a “tune ” as he thought would be likely must tell you that, although we wish our to give satisfaction to his audience, and services to be attractive and in harmony when he had finished, the man with the with modern feeling, we are distinctly opbeard cried, “Brayvo !” while one of his posed to Ritualism. I mention this because satellites said in an audible undertone, I understand that you have been a good deal

“I don't know whether you would wish mixed up with ritualistic parsons. Nothing to put any questions to the candidate, Mr. of the sort here, sir, if you please. No nonDubbin, sir

sense about confession or penance or purgaPresently, Mr. Prodgers, presently,” tory, or any other Romish inventions. answered the great man ; after which there "Really," observed Mr. Peareth, plucking was a pause.

up a little spirit, “it is not usual for an It was quite honestly, and without any organistdiplomatic intent, that Brian remarked, “ An organist, sir,” interrupted Mr. Dub** This is a very fine organ.”

bin severely, "is brought into contact with

my duties.”

the young; an organist may be a most per- few days, our hero installed himself. At the nicious person—a snake in the grass. I end of a fortnight he wrote to Monckton : don't make any accusation against our friend here; I merely caution him."

“I am prospering exceedingly, and at this “The caution is not needed,” said Brian rate, I shouldn't wonder if you were to see smiling; "I shall confine myself strictly to your hundred pounds back some fine day.

My salary is not magnificent ; but I have “That's right, young man ; you stick to got lots of pupils already, and am earning that rule and you'll get on in the world. about six pounds a week! What do you Well, Mr. Peareth, I think we may consider think of that for a beginning? I like my this matter settled ; and now, as I have work, and I believe I shall make the choir other things to attend to, I'll wish you good quite tidy in time, though I wish I could morning.'

tum out the young women and put the boys “I am afraid,” said Mr. Peareth timidly, into surplices. However, I daren't say a as Brian and he walked away from the word about that, because they are very Prochurch, “that you may have found Mr. Dub- testant hereabouts, and St. Jude's is conbin a little

sidered to be rather dangerously high in its He paused so long that Brian ventured to ritual even now. Mr. Peareth, the vicar, is fill up the hiatus.

a dear old fellow, a little out of his element “Offensive? Oh, no; I though he seemed here, and in mortal fear of offending his a well-meaning sort of fellow enough. He's rich parishioners, who ride over him roughan awful cad of course.'

shod. I should like to get him appointed to The phrase seemed to delight Mr. Peareth a canonry. He has a good little overworked immensely. He rubbed his hands and wife and a host of small children. Some of laughed softly for several minutes.

my pupils would amuse you, I think. Not"Well , well

, well !” he murmured. “But ably, a Miss Julia Sparks, a young lady fresh it doesn't do to say so, you know, Mr. Se from a boarding-school, with large black grave. At times, I confess, he appears to eyes which she rolls at me till I don't know me to take rather too much upon him; but which way to look. She is dying of curihe has been a most generous benefactor—we osity to hear my history and, I fancy, takes mustn't forget that. Mrs. Peareth thinks I me for a prince in disguise. Write me a ought not to allow myself to be-well, as long letter and tell me all about Kingscliff. she says, “sat upon’; but I am a family Has Puttick been backsliding again ? Has man-a man with a very large family—and Miss Huntley carried out her intention of I find that it is best to submit to things. So becoming a district visitor ? &c., &c., &c. long as no question of principle is involved, Answer all the questions I don't ask, and that is not an unjustifiable attitude, I trust.” He looked appealingly at his companion,

“Ever your attached friend, and Brian answered, in a cheerful tone,

“ BRIAN SEGRAVE.” “Oh, no; I shouldn't think so.'

“You see,” Mr. Peareth went on, “in Monckton replied promptly, and with as such a neighbourhood as this one cannot ex- much fulness as could be expected of a busy pect to find social intercourse exactly what man. He reported all the local intelligence one would choose. My congregation is that he could think of to his correspondent; composed almost exclusively of rich trades- but, unluckily, in his anxiety to answer the men ; Mr. Dubbin himself is a wholesale questions that Brian had not asked, he boot and shoe manufacturer, though I believe omitted to notice one of those that he had, he began as a small shopkeeper. They are and never mentioned Miss Huntley's name excellent people, many of them; but-well, at all. On the other hand, he had a word it is refreshing to meet with a member of or two of serious warning to say about Miss one's own class now and then ; and if you Sparks. “It is all very well,” he wrote, "to ever feel lonely, Mr. Segrave, I hope you laugh at the young lady who makes eyes at will drop in upon us informally. We shall you, but jokes of that kind sometimes turn always be very pleased to see you."

out to be no laughing matter.

If I were The good man had evidently discarded his you I should take care to have a third

person first misgivings and was inclined to be ex- present at Miss Sparks's music lessons. tremely friendly. He found cheap and not Brian smiled at an admonition which he uncomfortable quarters for Brian over a naturally thought superfluous. Indeed, he haker's shop, and there, in the course of a was too inexperienced to take in its signi

“ Believe me,

[ocr errors]

ficance, and fancied that Monckton was good deal at times, besides often singing cautioning him against falling in love with false in the choir, to which she þelonged, he his pupil. He had, as we know, the best of did his best to befriend her, and divert her securities against doing that; and so, in mind from sad thoughts by making her work serene consciousness of invulnerability, he hard—a form of consolation which she continued to give Miss Sparks musical in- scarcely appreciated, yet put up with, as struction twice a week, and never attempted being at any rate better than neglect. The to detain Mrs. Sparks when that corpulent innocent Brian thought that Miss Sparks matron rose and waddled out of the room, as only made eyes at him because it was her she usually did after listening to her daughter's way to make eyes, and when she sang Signor performance for five minutes or so.

Tosti's “Good-bye" with an intensity of The girl was rather pretty, and not more pathos which almost amounted to a howl, he vulgar than the generality of her class. She was dense enough to imagine that that heartwas over-dressed, as they all are nowadays; rending farewell was addressed to she wore her hair in a caricature of the pre- young man in the City whose income might vailing fashion, as they all do; she was fairly be inadequate to the support of a wife. well educated, which is perhaps more than So the days and weeks slipped away in a can be said for most of them ; and there not unpleasant monotony, and Christmas really was no harm in her, if there was no came and went; and though the organist of great good. Unfortunately, she had con- St. Jude's was not precisely merry at that ceived a romantic affection for Brian, and season he was extremely busy, which does this was, on many grounds, a pity. He, for nearly as well, if a man be not too exacting. his part, liked her after a fashion, and found It was in the early days of the new year her very diverting. She was apparently that he heard of the imminence of what Miss under the influence of an intense desire to Sparks had frequently referred to with awful learn who he was and where he came from, ambiguity as her “Fate.” Her father, a also (since he remained impervious to the brisk little bald-headed man, whom business broadest hints) of an impulse to reveal all detained in London from morning to nighther own secrets to him. This she was free fall, informed him one Sunday, after church, to indulge, and she did so with more or less that Julia was engaged to be married to Mr. of lucidity. From sundry mysterious allu- Dubbin. sions Brian gathered that she was not happy, "We look upon it as a great match for that her parents wished her to bestow her her,” the little man said cheerfully, “and hand where her heart had not been given, I'm glad that the girl has made up her mind and that she was a victim to the customary to it. It's true that he's a good many years unsatisfied yearnings.

older than she is, but I can't see anything to “Ah, Mr. Segrave," she would sigh, letting cry about in that—and he keeps his carriage. her fine eyes roam over the truly hideous She'll be happy enough once she's settled but expensively furnished drawing-room down, though she makes a fine to-do now which was the scene of these interviews, because he ain't young and handsome. As I “ wealth and luxury are not what people tell her, one can't look to have everything.” suppose! You know that, I am sure.

“I am not sure that I should care to marry "I have had no experience of either," my daughter to a man old enough to be her Brian would reply; “but I should think father, even if he did keep a carriage,” rethey were not to be despised.”

marked Brian, feeling bound to put in a Whereupon she would shake her head and word for the hapless Julia. say reproachfully, “Ah, you're laughing at “Heaven bless you, Mr. Segrave!" returned me!”-as indeed he was.

the other, without taking offence, “she However, he ceased to laugh at her when wouldn't do it if she didn't like it. I can't he found that laughter really hurt her feel- make her marry Dubbin, nor anybody else, ings, for, after all, it is quite possible to be she knows that precious well. Girls like a both lackadaisical and sincere, and there is no bit of romance, but they like a good position reason for refusing sympathy to those who too, and Julia values position just as much as are impelled by nature or education to ex- you or me, you may take your oath of that.” press their emotions in a grotesque manner,


sensible view of the matter reBrian, who surmised that this sighing damsel assured Brian, who thought to himself, “It's had been crossed in love, felt that she pos- an ill wind that blows nobody any good; sessed thereby special claims upon his kindly perhaps when she is Mrs. Dubbin she won't consideration, and although she bored him a want to sing in the choir any more.”

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


TELL do I remember the effect pro- the time when coming generations would tell

duced on the audience of students, of how certain contemplated changes had been which I was then one, when Lord Macaulay accomplished during the reign of “the Good delivered his Rectorial address in the Uni- Queen Victoria.” The phrase was accenversity of Glasgow, and when after giving tuated by an oratorical swing; and when it such pictures as he alone could paint of the was given, the tremendous burst of enthucharacter of the four centuries that had siasm showed that they who listened felt the closed since the University had been founded great historian had chosen the right epithet, —each epoch presenting a scene of bloodshed and that he intended it in the sense that as and misgovernment—he sketched the pos- some monarchs are called “Great” and some sible future of the college, and anticipated “Little," so for all time Victoria would be

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

"That star

named “the Good Queen.” This was said scarcely realise the extent of our dominion. forty years ago, before Tennyson had fixed The Roman Empire was one-fourth its size ; the “Household name,”

,” “ Albert the Good,” all the Russias contain an eighth less; it for

is sixteen times as large as France, and

three times as large as the United States. Which shone so close beside Thee, that ye made One light together."

The United Kingdom, with its Colonies and

Dependencies, includes about one-fifth of the The epoch in our history which is em entire globe. The 'rapidity with which braced between the years 1837 and 1887 is population has grown in some parts of our unparalleled. At no time in the history dominion may be measured by Australasia, of the nation or of the world has there been which in 1837 had 134,059, and in 1885 such rapid and beneficent progress.

We, 3,278,934, or twenty-three times as many who are citizens of “the old country,

When we turn from these figures to XXVIII-26


packets were al-
most the only
means of convey-
ance, and when
postage was a
serious burden.
The greatness of
the changes in
social life may be
realised when we
remember that so
recently as 1844
duelling was ban-
ished from the
code of honour;
that crime has
diminished 71 per
cent. since 1837;
and that while
fifty years ago
Government did
nothing for edu-
cation, there are
now 30,000 public
schools under the
Privy Council.
These facts are
suggestive of the
extent of the

Or if,
without touching
on the marvel-
lous victories of
Science, we try to
form an estimate

of religious proBirthplace of Her Majesty, Kensington.

gress, and take

the tables for Proconsider other fields of progress we are still testant Missions, as giving a fair indication more amazed. It goes without saying that of the zeal and self-sacrifice of the Churches, these last fifty years have seen the growth we find that while British contributions in of railways and steam-ships from their in- 1837 amounted to £316,610, in 1885 they fancy to their present world-embracing influ- reached £1,222,261. ence. The mileage of railways open in the It may be said with truth that the proUnited Kingdom in 1837 was about 294 gress thus indicated must have gone on, no miles, but a great proportion was worked by matter who sat on the throne ; but it would horses. In 1885 the mileage was 19,169, be unjust not to recognise the close influthe gross receipts, £69,555,774 ; they carence which the Crown has directly and ried about 1,275,000,000 passengers, and indirectly exercised on its advance. There employed 367,793 men. Not a steamer had has been no movement tending to the decrossed the Atlantic by steam alone when the velopment of the Arts and the Industries Queen came to the throne, and her accession of the country which has not enlisted the was in the year previous to that during which active sympathy of the Royal Family: Wheatstone in this country and Morse in From the first the Prince Consort recognised America introduced Electric Telegraphy. the important part which the Sovereign We, who enjoy express trains, sixpenny could fulfil in reference to the peaceful telegrams, halfpenny postcards, and the Parcel victories of Science and Art. Beginning Post, can scarcely realise that we are so with agriculture—the improvement of stock near the time when mail-coaches and sailing, and the better housing of agricultural la

[ocr errors]



« ZurückWeiter »