Obrazy na stronie

in Berkshire, his motive being, as A contented mind, "a simple and he himself explains, that he had healthy spirit which could be held his fellowship long enough, happy anywhere," is not a suffiand that he could not afford to cient way of accounting for such resign it with so small a bene- an extraordinary phenomenon. fice as Choldertor. "I shall be That it was not from any distaste more independent, and whether for work is plainly enough visisingle or married, my income ble, or from the absence of that will remain unaffected,—voilà le highest ambition which aims at motif,he says, which is also a the elevation of all around. The perfect blameless motive, but following letter shows both Franot of an elevated character. The zer's principles and practice at little country rectory; the little the time when he was only the rural community; the troublesome rector of one of these simple counsquire, who puts up his coat-collar try parishes :when he comes to church, in mute assertion of a draught, which the

“I want to see a great effort made provoked parson cannot discover, education. The masses are hostile to

to really popularise the Church and even with a lighted candle, any the one and indifferent to the other. signs of; the devoted but puzzled Why is this? and why are we clergy factotum, more like a Scotch -min- so misrepresented (as by Goldwin ister's man" than a dependant of Smith, who never misses the chance the richer establishment who never of having a shot at us) and so miscan quite understand his master's understood ? Here have I, for inways, but follows him wherever he stance, been working three nights a

week for fifteen weeks this winter, goes with boundless faithfulness, with twenty-four night scholars, not -make up a pretty and amusing one of whom, I venture to say, feels picture. The only wonder is how anything like gratitude to me for my in our active days, a man like trouble, or fancies that I have done Fraser could have satisfied himself anything to deserve thanks. I don't with such a limited sphere, could want thanks, but I wish they felt I have contained himself in it, while had been really labouring for their other men

good." were coursing like knights-errant about the world, It was to this quiet nook, where, pursuing a thousand objects, work- notwithstanding the matter-of-fact ing in every kind of volunteer way, way in which they took his services while he went tranquilly on, put to them, the people all loved him, ting in painted windows, superin- that Mr Gladstone's letter, offertending his village schoolmistress, ing him the bishopric of Manlooking after his old women. That chester, came. The country clergyhe should have made himself suf- man in his little parish was not, ficiently well known in these silent however, taken by surprise. He corners of the world to be called had been previously offered the

one public occupation after bishopric of Calcutta, which had another-sent on a mission to possibly prepared him for such an America to inquire into schools, emergency: and though he felt, as employed on other important com- all serious men must feel, those missions, and finally chosen as the “throbs and misgivings of my own bishop of an important see—is not heart” which are strongest often more surprising than that he could in those who have least reason to have thought himself sufficiently be alarmed by them, he seems to occupied in such tranquil places. have felt at once that there was no sufficient reason why he should without local knowledge, to unnot accept the great position offered derstand its weight and importo him.

After consulting the tance. It is one of the most friends whose judgment had most curious ironies of circumstance weight with him (there were that this fair, frank, large-minded, nine of them—which in itself is and honest-hearted man, of his a sign of character: for there are own nature indifferent to punctilio, few people who can boast of pos- and eager to penetrate to the soul sessing so many intimate coun- of that universal agreement which sellors) it is thus that he communi- exists, under whatsoever wrapcates to the Premier his accept- pings of indifference, among all ance of the offer:

good Christian men, should have “ It will be my desire, if called had to tackle one of the most upon to administer this great diocese, strange phenomena of modern to do so in a firm and independent, times, the equally honest, debut at the same time a generous and vout, and devoted fanatic, ready sympathising spirit. I never was, to go to the stake for the merest and never could be, a partisan. Even


of external adornment, wrongwhen seeing my way most clearly, I am always inclined to give credit to sible to reason, and yet a true

headed, narrow-minded, inaccesothers whose views may be different from my own for equal clearness of servant of God after all. It is vision, certainly for equal honesty of impossible to imagine a more perpurpose. As little of a dogmatiser as plexing problem, or one which it is possible to be, I yet see the use, would try more deeply the patience and indeed the necessity of dogma. of a man who was nothing if not But I have always wished to narrow reasonable, and to whom the rerather than to extend its field, because the less peremptorily articles of verse of that temper must have taith are imposed or defined, the more been peculiarly exasperating. We hope there is of eliciting agreements will not enter into the Miles rather than differences. Especially Platting case, or all those hopehave I been anxious to see the Church less struggles with the immovable adapt herself more genially and trust- martyr, ready to die at any mofully to the intellectual aspirations of ment for the colour of his stole or the age, not standing aloof in a tim- the candles on his altar, which orous or hostile attitude from the spirit of hostile inquiry, but rather taxed the Bishop's strength and endeavoring (as is her function) to temper more than all the real temper her ardour with the spirit of labours and difficulties of his reverence and godly fear. And fin- diocese. Rome is far too wise to ally, my great desire will be, without allow her priests to import the disguising my own opinions, or wish- element of ridicule into their real ing one set of minds to understand


struggle me in one sense, and another in the

antagonistic opposite, to throw myself on

world in this way. It seems to heart of the whole diocese of the la- have been reserved for England, ity as well as the clergy—of those supposedly the most practical of who differ from the Church as well nations, to develop this last climax as those who conform to her. I have of the impracticable. It is more a high ideal of what a bishop of the agreeable to turn from Mr Hughes's Church of England ought to be."

careful record of this ecclesiastiBishop Fraser's work at Man- cal conflict to his account of all chester is perhaps too recent to the Bishop's activities among his allow of an entire survey of it, or, people, and the effect he pro. indeed, to enable the spectator, duced on his first appearance



among them.

He threw himself articles. Here is a description into pastoral work of a kind given by one of them, not inrather different from the usual tended apparently to be favouroccupations of a bishop, breaking able, but which the reader will ground in his own person among probably accept as the best eulogy the crowds of Manchester, seizing of an active and laborious overevery opportunity to make him- seer of the Church that could be self known to, and become ac- made :quainted with, the mechanics and

" It is no uncommon thing to find factory-workers, and all the chil- him within the space of twenty-four dren of toil; and it is with gen- nours speaking half-a-dozen times in uine relish that Mr. Hughes de- as many places; and ranging, apart scribes the result :

from a very scanty theology, over a

field embracing such subjects as the “Room must still be found for evils of drunkenness, the statistics of some short notice of how this strange crime, mischievous agitators, working phenomenon of a bishop, striding hours, church collections, the evils of about his diocese on foot, carrying his ignorance, young men's means of savown blue bag containing his robes, ing money, the effect of the Licensing stopping runaway carts, and talking Act, and costly funerals. This is no familiarly with every one he met, exaggeration." gentle or simple, with a cheerful and In short, he interested himself in thinking about or interested in struck everything which concerned the the Lancastrian folk. The factory people under his charge, and spoke hands and working people generally always freely, sometimes perhaps a were taken as it were by storm, and little rashly, warmly, frankly, with had installed him long before the end full confidence in the ultimate triof the year in a place in their hearts umph in human hearts of the truth which he never lost. The following, and the right, whatever falsehood which could be multiplied to any extent, may be taken as fair instances of and guile might oppose. their attitude. A sturdy Dissenting

The picture grows warmer and operative waited for him at the bot- more genial as it comes to an end. tom of the stairs after one of his earli- The quiet country parson expands est meetings, and seized him by the into the bishop, with a feeling, so hand with the remark, 'Ah, Bishop, far as the spectator is concerned, thou'dst mak a foine Methody of a late but joyous development preacher!' Another waiting for him and almost elation in the larger outside church after a charity sermon, forced a sovereign into his hand with, stir and movement of life. His · Bishop, here's a pound for thee.' "readiness to talk to every one" Bishop, ·Thanks, my friend; for the reminds one of his friends of " what charity?' Operative, Nay, nay; for Thirlwall says of Socrates," that thyself.'"

“perhaps there was hardly a meSociety, as it exists in Man- chanic who had not at some time chester, was not, however, quite or another been puzzled or diverted so sure of this over-active prelate, by his questions." His practical who had not the slightest mind interference as arbiter, for instance, to pose in his lawn-sleeves as an between employers and their workobject of provincial adoration; men, does not seem to have been and the newspapers contended very successful. It was underover him with many divers opin- taken, however, with the same ions, but on the whole a genuine buoyant and eager desire to do enjoyment of a bishop who was good and make peace which, comcontinually furnishing subjects for bined with a perhaps excessive confidence in his own power to do tained the full measure of its so, fostered by success and applause, capabilities, although full of a is so apt to lead an impulsive man facile power which has received into trouble. The good Bishop the fullest acknowledgment from married, late in his cheerful the generation which it delighted. autumn, at this same exuberant It is the fashion of the present time, period; and it is pleasant, and at when it does notice the suitors for the same time pathetic, to hear its favour at all, to do so with an from the bridegroom of sixty that overwhelming, if capricious and "we are as happy as the days are arbitrary enthusiasm, of which it long." He ought to have been is difficult to make serious account, forty at the outside when this not always, indeed, choosing the stage of life was reached. As it wrong object for its admiration, was, the late happiness did not last yet carrying that admiration to very long.

such a wild transport of applause, Mr. Bryce, in a letter printed thal sober criticism, is put altoby Mr. Hughes in the Appendix gether out of court. Mr. Caldeto his volume, speaks of Bishop cott has been one of the recipients Fraser as the first of a new school of this boundless approval. His of prelates. “No bishop in our charming talent, so humorous, so time has been so popular or so easy, so enjoyable, a delight both useful as he; none certainly has to himself and the public, has been been so much lamented by the vaunted to every echo, as if it had masses of the people.” He was been the highest genius. We are the bishop of the laity, the bishop not perhaps very rich at this moof the Dissenters, of "all the deno- ment in serious art. But of such minations,” as he seems to have artists as we possess, no one, how. called himself; “ the first citizen ever high in aims or accomplished of his diocese, more influential in execution, has received so univerthan its political leaders or terri- sal a meed of honour and praise, as torial magnates, not by his official has sounded forth the early reputadignity, but because the active tion of the young maker of pictureduties of his post gave occasion books, the ready illustrator, the for the display in a large sphere lively and humorous artist of the of the civic virtues he possessed, roadside and the street. inexhaustible public spirit, untir- We have not one word to say ing energy, perfect candour and against Caldecott.

His picture honesty, quick and generous sym- books are delightful. They are pathy with every form of good- the toy-books of children of a ness. It would be difficult to larger growth, which have given say more of any man.

perhaps more pleasure to the Beside this lofty and large ex- generation than any other series istence, which filled, in its last stage of contemporary production in at least, so important a place in the the way of familiar art.

The public eye, it is a curious instance fountain was fresh and sparkling, of the levelling power of death a new and bright and fascinating that we should place a life incom- stream; the life, the fun, the underplete, too quickly ended, too im- standing in their gay and lively perfectly trained to have ever at- images is beyond praise,-under

1 Randolph Caldecott: His Early Art Career. By Henry Blackburn. London: Sampson Low & Co.

standing not only of men and their first; but his animals are always ways, but of the still more pathetic delightful. This generation, at humour and engaging simplicity least, will never outgrow the pleasof those dumb members of society, ure of them. They are perhaps the dogs and horses, the beast and above the range of the children birds, whose expression and charac- for whom they were originally ter are more difficult to seize than intended, in all the bravery of their those of men, and always capti- pinks and blues; but for the grownvating when a fine instinct finds up children few such simple feasts them out. All the animals for of pleasure and sympathetic laughinstance in the story of the Mad ter have ever been spread. Dog, how admirable they are ! from But having said this, and having the engaging innocence of the wist- done full justice at the same time ful puppy, so wise, so foolish, so to Caldecott's hunting-scenes, and irresistible, appealing to every the amusing groups which he picks human sentiment, up to the solid up on his travels, we cannot claim gravity of the big retriever, father for this genial, bright, and keenof dogs, tolerant and benignant as eyed artist any great or serious becomes his position, how many standing in art. He began to wonderful characteristic varieties ! maintain himself by his pencil And when the final tragedy arrives, before he had learned anything, and the hunted victim, with a while he was indeed no more than hoarse cry of anguish in his throat, a very clever and humorous amaand every hair upon his poor coat teur; and notwithstanding his constaring, dies in despair, the victim tinuous and never-flagging work, probably, like so many of his bet- he never had time to accomplish ters, of a misconception, how piti- the tremendous round of art eduful, yet how genuine, is the climax! cation, or to qualify himself thorThese dogs are almost more than oughly as an artist. There is men. They are men reflected in something in this very fact that the clearest, intensest mirror of a propitiates the English public. narrower consciousness—a reflec- Fond of the accidental in everytion almost always amusing, though thing, we are seldom more pleased in some cases tragic, the meaning than when we find that the sketch intensified by the dumb sugges- which takes our fancy, whether in tiveness both of pleasure and art or music or literature, has pain. The same force of expres- been executed by some one who sion descends even to still life. has no right to know anything How the spoon bridles and sim- about these high crafts, but has pers, while the dish puts on a by mere intuition, by stress of manly semblance of protection and genius, outstripped the students triumph! It is humanity masquer- and done better than all the ading, but with a delightful ab- qualified persons. Something of surdity and fatuity which goes the same feeling no doubt inspired beyond man. The men and women, the applause when the productions indeed, are the worst of the exhi- of a nameless young person calling bition. They require more from himself “ Boz came first before the hand of the artist than Calde- the public. These sketches, to our cott perhaps had to give; and this own mind, do not give half so much is the reason why his last picture promise of a Dickens as the prebooks dwindle as they go on, and ludes of Michael Angelo Titmarsh are by no means so strong as the gave of Thackeray; but the young

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