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But in this last respect the Sila is sure to improve within the next few years ; Italians themselves will see to this, for the whole of Italy is becoming prosperous, and its inhabitants are daily * discovering 'new regions into which to escape from the heats of the plains. And the Calabrians are no exception to the rest of their countrymen ; the common people are already far better educated than those of the Neapolitan province, and Catanzaro can set an example to many a northern town as regards progressiveness. This was borne in upon me on the evening of my arrival there in a telling manner. I had entered a shop to buy some article, and found the shopman engaged in a hot argument with another customer : they were discussing the literary merits of Xenophon's Agesilaos. Hardly had I recovered from this shock when I received a greater : would I be so kind as to decide the question for them ? Glancing, in my hotel, at the table-knives, which all over Europe bear the familiar legend 'Sheffield ' or 'Solingen,' I noticed that these were proudly stamped ‘Catanzaro.' A race of such mental activity will not be long before they appreciate the summer charm of the Sila which lies at their house-doors. Soon there will probably be respectable inns established at many of its pretty sites, at the thirty-first or thirty-sixth milestone from Cosenza, for instance, which would combine accessibility with coolness and picturesqueness, and whither food-supplies from the rich Crati valley could be brought daily.

The hope of the Sila lies not in its altitude above the sea-the whole backbone of Italy is a wilderness of mountains—but in its forests. Viderint consules. The South Italian sobriety and objective view of life is a wholesome antidote to our sentimentalism and Schwaermerei, but it has dangers of its own. It is apt to degenerate into canniness of the wrong sort, into the canniness of those who overlook a distant but sure profit in their frenzy to grasp the present. The forests of the Sila may be exploited, but if they are exploited after the fashion of the Abruzzi and Apennines, the traveller in search of freshness and beauty will turn his steps elsewhere.




AMID all the drastic social changes of the last seventy or eighty years, none has been greater than the change in the life, and the scheme of life, the manners, the aim, the conduct of the English parson.

It is not only that the pompous, comfortable, dignified princes of the Church, with their fat emoluments and ample leisure to edit Greek plays, have given place to strenuous and younger prelates, who are lucky if they survive the herculean labours of their diocese a dozen years, and luckier still if they can make its income suffice to its new and monstrous needs. It is not only that the hunting parson of the shires-keeping his own pack of hounds, very likely—with his loud voice, his love of 'a cheerful glass,' and his limited, lax view of his obligations, has faded into a memory. Even in that most slow-moving and conservative of all places—a Cathedral close—the agitating hand of time has been at work, and, having roused from their decent and peaceful slumbers dean and archdeacon, has shaken into activity canons, prebendaries, and minor canons, so that none have entirely escaped the benefits—and the losses-of a great reform.

It may be not uninteresting, perhaps, to recall the memory of a parson who preceded that reform, who was a member of a society unusually witty and cultivated, and in himself an excellent type of an order of cleric which has passed away.

In the year 1835, when Blomfield was its bishop and Copleston its dean, St. Paul's Cathedral, in the City of London, was almost as different a place from the admirably cared for, the well swept and garnished Cathedral of to-day, as the placid city of the thirties without it was different from the roaring city of the twentieth century. A dim, misty, cobwebby place, this old Cathedral, where the infrequent services, droned out in the choir, lulled into deep, refreshing slumbers a few dark, scattered figures, who formed the sole congregation; where ancient and toothless vergers hobbled about, doing nothing in particular (for these were the blessed days

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when the fact that a man could no longer do his work was not held to be a reason why he should no longer be paid for it), and when the present numerous and eager parties of sightseers, intelligent about monuments, were replaced by a rare and solitary antiquary, roaming ghostlike through the aisles.

Without, in the Churchyard, were shops of ancient foundation and unimpeachable respectability ; lumbering stage coaches, up from the country; the prosperous gig of the City merchant; the phaeton of the man of fashion from the West; the residential houses of some of the Cathedral clergy, notably of Barham, the • Thomas Ingoldsby' of the ‘Ingoldsby Legends,' and, since 1821, Minor Canon of St. Paul's.

Hard by, at the end of Paternoster Row, there was, as there is now, Amen Court or Corner (a very dark corner), where great gates shut in, as they shut in still, the close or more residential houses of canons and minor canons, some squares of barren grass, some families of sooty but cheerful sparrows, and a welcome air of quiet in the midst of turmoil, and of solitude in the midst of crowds.

Here, since 1831, had lived, as Canon Residentiary, Sydney Smith, 'the wittiest Englishman since Swift'; kindliest, manliest straightest of parsons or diners-out; a radical reformer in a very sanctuary of Torydom; an excellent parish priest at a date when the country incumbent's conception of his duty was certainly easy.

Also in Amen Corner had lived, until his death in 1833, Canon Hughes, and that charming, accomplished Scotswoman, his wife, who made in the Corner the nearest approach to a salon the City of London ever knew, who was famous for her delightful singing, her wonderful répertoire of legends and ghost stories, and as the friend, the hostess, and correspondent of Sir Walter Scott. After 1833, Amen Corner was no longer her home; but her connexion with it still continued in her constant letters to and from Minor Canon Barham ; and it is largely to her legendary lore and energetic inspiration the world owes the publication of one of the classics of humoura fact ‘Thomas Ingoldsby' generously acknowledged when he wrote in her copy of the ‘ Legends':

To Mrs. Hughes, who made me do 'em.
Quod placeo est—si placeo-tuum.

No. 3 Amen Corner had been just vacated by Dr. Blomberg, the adopted son of good Queen Charlotte ; chaplain to his brotherby-adoption, George IV; Canon of St. Paul's, and an accomplished fiddler, so devoted to his art that it was whispered that, out of respect for his office and the sabbatarianism of the times, he kept a greased bow so that he could play silently on Sundays.

Into this No. 3-a dark, pleasant, roomy, comfortable, old house, with its torch extinguishers still above its doorstep, and its oak panelled rooms—there came, in 1835, a certain Minor Canon Hall, his wife, and a large little family. Holding his minor canonry since 1826, he was already one of the Cathedral circle, but had hitherto lived at Clerkenwell, or, very occasionally, at his country living of Sandon. Aged now about forty-three, cheery and round-faced, quick-tempered, generous, hospitable; with a full, benevolent chin above his bands; plenty of humour and shrewdness in the pleasant eyes; much good sense without cleverness, some scholarship, a little wit of his own, a great appreciation of wit in others, and so genially delighting in society he must needs have been delightful to it-this, if letters, portraits, memoirs, and memories are to be trusted, was certainly the man. Add to such qualities much sanguineness and briskness, an honest creed, unconfused and unperplexed, and a code of conduct not too exacting, but simply and faithfully followed.

He was already Chaplain in Ordinary to King William IV at his Majesty's Chapel Royal, and evening lecturer at the Church of St. Augustine and St. Faith, by St. Paul's. In this same 1835 he was made chaplain to Lord Oxford, an old friend of his wife's family, and inducted (in lieu of Sandon, resigned) into the more lucrative living of St. Bene't, Paul's Wharf-now the Welsh Church of London-a cold and depressing Wren edifice, looking on to the very undelectable thoroughfare of Upper Thames Street.

His wife, of gentler blood than himself—she came of an old Welsh family—still looks from a picture, painted in these early days of her life in Amen Corner, as a slight and gentle woman, bearing in the expression of her face the languor of ill-health, with brown curls shading the transparency of her complexion, and delicate, fair arms escaping from the lace of a scarf.

Long ill of an undefined and wasting complaint, her children -mites of delicate little girls for the most part-never remembered her healthy and well. But, though she died when the eldest of them was but thirteen, and though she was never a strong mind or even a strong character, there was in her so great and gentle

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å force of religious devotion, that the smallest and simplest of them felt its influence throughout their lives.

As a wife, she admired and obeyed her husband with all the Early-Victorian woman's simple faith in the man as necessarily the superior creature. But perhaps his Reverence knew-one fancies he did know—that in the languid figure on the sofa in the drawing-room upstairs lay the real power and influence of his house, and that the very orders and plans given always by the cheerful and busy master were not the less of her quiet inspiration.

The word 'busy' is used advisedly. Certainly, of the parson, town or country, of this day much more is required than of the parson of that day. But his Reverence was yet very far from idle. In that calm, dark study, smelling of the backs of books, with its heavy curtains and deep, silent carpet, he composed sermons which (they were duly published in a volume, bound in the thickest and most serious calf) would astonish the modern reader, if the modern reader ever looked at them, with their diligent references to all quarters of the Bible, and ample footnotes filled with quotations from the Fathers. Then, too, in those studious hours, undisturbed by guild services and charitable committees, his Reverence evolved à collection of ‘Psalms and Hymns,' which, appearing in 1836, enjoyed an immense popularity, until it was superseded by ‘Hymns Ancient and Modern.' The earlier production escapes many of the merits, and, perhaps, some of the defects, of the later. Long after * Ancient and Modern ' had ousted the ‘Psalms and Hymns ' from the churches, they still held their place in the chapels of her Majesty's prisons, and in those dreary surroundings died at last, not so very many years ago, a natural death.

Besides ' Psalms and Hymns,' his Reverence wrote a thoughtful volume on 'Purgatory,' to prove in the first instance to his congregation that there was no such thing. To be sure, it had never thought there was. But the startling progress of the Tractarian movement-it will be remembered that it was in 1833 that Dr. Pusey began to work on the 'Tracts' with Newman and Keble -frightened a Churchman who had hitherto been of the old high and dry' order, but who had moderation, conservatism, a deep mistrust of changes, not only in his mind, but in his blood and his bones. With very many of his brethren he began to think that, indeed, all paths lead to Rome. His 'Purgatory,' with most of the works inspired by that fear, is long forgotten.

But one episode connected with it deserves recollection. The
VOL. XXVI.—NO. 152, N.S.


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