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head. His attitude to Napoleon proves Like the strong wind, or sleeping like that. When he had recovered from
the wind the despair of 1793 and the following
Within its awful caves.-From year to
year years, a political faith, founded on rea
Springs this indigenous produce far son, and inseparable from his philoso
and near; phy of life, kept him shrewd and No craft this subtle element can bind, steady ever after. His faith, which Rising like water from the soil, to find changed only in details, if at all, from In every nook a lip that it may cheer. that which had made him a champion
It was the faith in the ultimate vicof the Revolution, was in nationalities.
tory of this national soul over tyranny The soil and the virtues of the soil are
that enabled him to hope on, and even his constant cry; he preaches them alike in the great sonnets of the Napo
to rejoice when, in 1806, the English
were “the last that dare to struggle leonic wars and when a railway threat
with the Foe." And it was no visionens the mountains of the Lake district.
ary aspiration, of the kind which draws He believed intensely in nationality, because he believed intensely that
men away from the praises of their
country to sing of deeds and heroes of there was a national spirit and national virtues, the national “soul" as he calls
the past, or to build themselves remote them, which demanded and thrived in
palaces of art. Wordsworth's thought
worked a state of freedom. That is the burden of all the sonnets of 1808 to 1811.
Not in Utopia,-subterranean fields,-Crowns, armies, learning, wealth, even
some secreted island, Heaven "moral prudence"-nothing is of value
knows where! except this national soul.
But in the very world, which is the
world Winds blow and waters roll, Of all of us,—the place where, in the Strength to the brave, and Power, and end, Deity;
We find our happiness, or not at all! Yet in themselves are nothing! One
Though he wrote his pamphlet on the decree Spake laws to them, and said that by
Convention of Cintra, “not 'mid the the soul
world's vain objects that enslave,” but Only, the Nations shall be great and in the “school sublime" of "mighty Nafree.
ture,” he philosophized not "in the air,"
but with an eye that meanwhile was He sums it all up in the last sonnet
noting every detail of the actual strugbut one of the series:
gle. The power of Armies is visible It almost follows from this attitude thing,
of mind that his poetry is concerned Formal, and circumscribed in time and
comparatively little with battles and space;
victories. He saw through and beyond But who the limits of that power shall
success and failure in the field. And trace Which a brave People into light can
in that Ode on the Great Thanksgivbring
ing which, in spite of the terrible lines. Or hide, at will,-for freedom combat- about the "tubed engine” in church, is ing
one of the finest odes in the language, By just revenge' inflamed?' No foot
he speaks very straight on the subject. may chase,
As in defeat his "pure song" had not No eye can follow, to a fatal place That power, that spirit, whether on the shrunk from "the paramount duty" of wing
hope, so in victory his joy was tem
pered and fortified by humility based 1811 periods has led, perhaps, to a sestill on his reasoned faith in God and lection made on philosopbic rather man. It is this unity of principle than poetic grounds. The form which gives its permanence and its checked Wordsworth's tendency to revalue to Wordsworth's patriotic poetry. dundance; the spirit that fired him was And for its beauty, the sluggishness at once intense and exalted. If Wordswhich needed a strong stimulus found worth was happy in being an Englishit in the agonies of those tremendous man in those great days, England is years. In quoting, have been happy in having had a poet to sing her forced here and there to mutilate; and achievement so temperately, so wisely, the desire to incorporate almost every and so loftily as Wordsworth. sonnet of the 1802-1803, or the 1808
THE PLOUGHIN MATCH.
The little village of Oakleigh appeared to be holding a special spring festival of its own when old Robert Inkpen betook himself homewards for the midday meal. The dozen or so of ancient irregularly built houses clinging to the steep hillside were embowered in blossom, while the little gardens to the rear of each were enlivened by patches of wallflowers and early stocks, primroses and forget-me-nots; here and there a few lingering daffodils and jonquils lent a special brightness. Moreover, it being Monday, the budding hedges were bespread with newly washed linen, while from the lines overhead a variety of dangling garments added their share of picturesqueness to the scene. Blue shirts, pink pinafores, here a fine scarlet petticoat, yonder a man's nankeen jacketthe lighter objects occasionally fluttering in the brisk breeze, the heavier ones flapping and swaying; there was color and activity everywhere.
But old Robert's keen blue eyes gazed neither to right nor left; they looked fixedly, almost vengefully, in front of them, out of their network of lines; the mouth, too, was pinched and resolute: it was easy to guess that the old man was evolving some weighty purpose as he stumped along.
Turning in at battered little wooden gate set midway in a hedge that was partly of privet and partly of furze (the latter all ablaze with bloom), he went quickly up the flagged path bordered with polyanthuses, and throwing open the house door, burst into the kitchen.
"What's this I do hear about a ploughin'-match?” he inquired, throwing his hat on the table.
Mrs. Inkpen, a meek old woman in a faded print dress and limp sun-bonnet, cast a timid and deprecating glance upon her lord.
"What ploughin'-match?" she stammered, making the query obviously with the desire to gain time.
"Be there more than one?" retorted Robert sarcastically.
“Fred Stuckhey telled I to-day all about it. He did stop outside the field where I were hedgin', an' he telled I how 'twas all settled an' the names gived in an' all. There, to think as I did never hear one word about it! He could scarce believe it. 'Well!'he says, 'that be a-servin' of 'ee bad, you
did used to be the champion plougher, too. But as I did say to en, 'I do know very well why 'twas kep' a secret from I,' an' I do know. Where's Lyddy?"
"She be gone for your beer-she'll be back in a minute."
Mrs. Inkpen nervously removed her "master's" hat from among the plates and knives and forks in the center of the table, and began to arrange these in orderly fashion. Dinner would be ready in a minute, and Robert had not yet, according to his usual custom, performed his ablutions at the tap, but she did not dare remind him of the fact; he sat with his gnarled, earthy hands folded on the head of his stick, his mouth pursed, and his eyes riveted on the open doorway.
Presently the little gate creaked on its hinges, and Lyddy's trim figure came in sight; a slender lassie with a complexion as pink and white as apple-blossom, and hair that flamed in the sunshine.
"Halloa, father!" cried she. “You'm early to-day.”
“Halloa, hussy!” rejoined he with terrible emphasis. “I do 'low I be early. I comed home early a-purpose. I've a word or two to say to 'ee. You'm fond enough o' tittle-tattlin' when there be nothin' to tattle about, but you go an' keep sich a piece o' news as this here about the ploughin' match a secret from your father, what had the best right to know. Come now, what did 'ee do that for?"
Lyddy's face became suffused with guilty roses; she glanced appealingly at her mother, but receiving no help from that quarter, endeavored to carry off the situation by a desperate attempt at unconcern.
“There now, didn't I tell 'ee about the ploughin' match? Well, I wonder what I can ha' been thinkin' on. It's to be on Thursday week in the big field at back of the Black Horse, an' the prize be a silver watch. Ye'll like to go an' look at it, won't ye, father?"
“I be a-goin' for to do more nor that," rejoined Robert sternly. “I be a-goin' for to com-pete. That do surprise 'ee,
I d' 'low," he added. “You didn't think I'd be likely to want to do sich a thing, did ye? Else ye mid ha' chanced to mention it, midn't ye? It wasn't along o' not wantin' me to com-pete that ye kep' it a secret, was it?"
He fired off these queries with a mixture of severity and slyness, delivering the last, however, with a kind of roar that was nothing if not terrifying. Both women
loud in protestation against the accusation, but Lyddy grew pinker and pinker, and Mrs. Inkpen's hands trembled over their work. They just hadn't chanced to think of naming the matter. How could they suppose he'd be that much upset about it? Of course if they'd known he'd mind one way or another they would certainly have told him.
Robert rose, and marching solemnly across the room, pointed with his stick to three small frames which hung beside the chimney-piece.
"D'ye see this here?" he inquired, designating the first. “What do it say? It do say as Robert Inkpen was the winner o' Oakleigh Ploughin' Match in the year eighteen hundred an' fifty-four. I were but a lad then, an' we ploughed wi' oxen-ah, 'twas a curious sight that. Well, an' see here again. In eighteen hundred an' sixtyeight Robert Inkpen won Oakleigh Ploughin' Match again; an' in eighteen hundred an' ninety-two, which was the last time there was a ploughin' match held in Oakleigh, I done the same thing. Folks did allus say I were the Ploughin' Champion o' Oakleigh village. An' now it seems there's goin' to be another ploughin' match in Oakleigh-in memory o old times they do tell I Parson do say-an' if it hadn't ha' been for chance the Oakleigh champion 'ud have heard nothin' about it till 'twas too late to com-pete. There must be a reason for that, an' I do know the reason very well—you'm afeared as the wold Champion 'ull win
the prize again as he did win it afore. "He's altogether unfit for it," she There's somebody else what you do said. "It'll fair break his heart if he want to win the prize, Lyddy. A body don't win." don't need the wisdom o' King Solo- "How can he win?" returned Lyddy, mon to guess that."
not without a certain pride amid her Again the duet of protest and denial discomfiture. "He mid ha' been able was renewed, and received by the old to get the better of a few old folks, but man with equal incredulity.
I don't see how he can look to beat Jim. "There, no need to tell lies about it," Everybody do say there's never been he remarked, gradually recovering his Jim's match in the parish." good humor at the sight of their dis- "If he and your father started out comfiture; "I do know all about it, an' i’ the wold days he wouldn't hafound there bain't a bit o' use tryin' for to it so easy to beat en," said Mrs. Inkdeceive I. James Fry reckons he'll pen, with some indignation. “But at hare it all his own way and carry off father's time o' life-goin' on seventy, the prize same as he do reckon to carry and so scraggled as he be wi' the rheuyou off, Lyddy, my maid; wi'out matics, he must be mad to think on't. enough, nor half enough, to keep ye. An' what he'll do when he finds hisself an' a poor match every way. He do beat I can't think. He never could athink he need only crook his finger at bear to be beat in anything, and he did ye an' ye'll march off wi' he-an' I always reckon hisself champion at the reckon ye'd be soft enough to do it ploughin'." too, if ye hadn't a-got your old father "Well, 'tis a very bad job, I'm sure,” to look after ye."
groaned Lyddy. “Father's set enough A dead pause ensued, and Robert again Jim as it be, wi'out this-I'd wagged his head sagaciously.
'low this'll about finish his chance." "Ye haven't much to say, have ye?" “Ah, but I'm thinkin' o' father hishe cried triumphantly. "Ye reckoned self,” returned the mother, shaking her ye'd nothin' to do but hold your head. "He be so down on us, along o' tongues about the ploughin' match, an' thinkin' we kep' it from him to prevent Master James 'ud carry all before en; his winnin', when all we wanted was but I've put a spoke in his wheel for to prevent his losin'. But you'm right once. I've a-wrote my name down, an' for one thing," she added, with a cer'tis me what'll win the prize, same as I tain gloomy satisfaction, "It'll put an did win the other prizes, an' Master end to Jim's coortin'—the poor chap Jim 'ull jist have to do without it." 'ull never be let cross the door again.
Mother and daughter looked at each Dear to be sure, I can't think whatother in silence; and after a pause ever put it into Parson's head to start Mrs. Inkpen, in a small, insinuating this here match! I'm sure the menvoice, informed her husband that diu- folks is ready enough to get fightin' an' ner was ready.
quarrelin' for nothin' wi'out the Rev. The meal was a somewhat gloomy erend settin' 'em by the ears. I be one, but every now and then Robert
sorry for 'ee, Lyddy, my dear, but I cast a triumphant glance at his women- be afeard ye'll have to say goodbye to kind, obviously congratulating himself Jim." on the skill with which he had asserted Lyddy pondered with a downcast bis own rights and routed the preten- face, as she removed the dinner things; sions of his rival.
but presently her mother heard her Even after he had left the house, singing in a cheerful voice
as she Mrs. Inkpen spoke in a whisper.
washed them up at the sink.
"I'm sure I'm glad you be a-brightenin' up a bit, my dear,” she called out.
"I've got a plan," rejoined Lyddy, and hurrying up to her mother she caught her face in her damp hands and whispered in her ear.
"That's a good notion, bain't it?” she ended triumphantly. “That'll make it all right."
"It will,” conceded Mrs. Inkpen, doubtfully, "if he'll agree.”
In the afternoon Lyddy pulled down her sleeves, put on a clean apron over the print that was still crackling in its Monday freshness, and betook herself to the top of the lane to wait till Jim should stroll that way, as he generally did when his work was done.
Presently his tall active figure came in sight, swinging along at a brisk pace which quickened as he saw her.
"You'm in very good time to-day, maidie,” he remarked, after the first amenities. "I thought I was early an' reckoned I'd have to hang about for a bit.”
"I made so much haste as I could,” rejoined Lyddy, disengaging herself. “I've summat to tell 'ee."
“No bad noos, I hope?” said Jim anxiously.
"Well, not exactly bad noos, but things have fell out terr'ble ark'ard. Father—there he's got wind o' the ploughin’-match an' he've a-put down his name to take his chance wi' the rest."
Jim Fry whistled.
"I never heerd o' sich a thing! Why, he can scarce walk straight, let alone drive a straight furrow!
'Tis years an' years since he've tried sich a thing. His measter do keep en to light jobs now, don't he?"
"Mother an' me kep' it from en o' purpose, knowin' it ’ud be too much for en-an'he d' think we done it along o' not wishin' him to beat you."
Jim's face relaxed into a slow smile. “Be that what he do think?"
“He do. He've reg’lar made up his inind he be a-goin' to beat yean' I'll tell ye summat, Jim-he must beat ye.”
“What?" cried Jim, falling back aghast.
“Ye'll have to let him beat ye,” repeated Lyddy firmly; "ye'll have to let him beat ye for love o' me."
"Well, but-” the young man began, and then stopped short in mingled wrath and consternation.
"It be a good deal to ask,” resumed Lyddy, “but when I do tell 'ee 'tis for my sake ye'll not think it too much. Father have always been again ye, Jim, fro' the first," she added with extreme candor, “an' if you do go an' win the prize what he've a-set his heart on, an' shame him what used to be the champion, he'll never let I speak to ye again-an' what's more it'll kill him like as not, an' then I myself 'ull be forced to hate ye.”
Though young Fry was evidently struck by this latter argument, he was not altogether convinced of its justice. He gazed at the girl with a somewhat lowering brow, scratching his jaw ineditatively the while.
“It be pretty cool of ye to say that, my maid," he remarked; "you do seem to be pretty cool altogether-jist about cool," he added with increasing indignation. "I be to make a fool of myself before the whole parish jist to please your father what had never so much as a civil word for me."
“Not to please my father,” rejoined Lyddy, with dignity, "to please me. Ye did always talk so much about bein' wishful for to please me, an' now as I do show ye how to do it ye hang back."
"How can I help hangin' back?" cried the poor young fellow. "There, I d' 'low it bain't right what ye want I to do. It do seem to be a kind o' cheatin'. The folks as come to look on reckons everyone be a-doin' his best