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main to us from early times, but as the
request has been granted, and he re ceived the results in his heart.
Now, far as this may be in detail from the ideas of other and older civilizations, yet when we see in the system of hieroglyphs which preceded alphabetic writing, the use of ideographic figures for an object or an action, quite apart from the expression of the sound of the word itself, we may fairly conclude that such a system of emblems of ideas initia--much like that of the North Americans-has also had place in Egypt and other lands. In fact, we have before us a typical product of the working of the mind, when aids to record and to memory are being first developed. We have thus just sighted a little of that stage of civilization which is perhaps the most noteworthy of all-where the mind has attained the greatest insight and feeling for nature, while it yet draws its ideas directly from the senses, and before conventionalism obtains its great power from the permanence of writing. We see how in the business of life the Egyptian had developed almost all that marked his later civilization. The weapons, the tools, the boats, the ornaments, and the various forms of his architecture were all reached before the use of writing. And though we have as yet no fine artistic work remaining from those same times, yet, when we see how on the earliest monuments of the age of hieroglyphs the sculptures of the animals and men are unsurpassed in their truth and beauty by any later period, we are almost bound to place the rise of this skill and taste in the age before writing. In Dacia we also see the arms and the costumes of a people who had a high development in the arts of life, and who yet had no writing except what they later borrowed from the Romans. And in Greece we have perhaps the fullest bloom of purely artistic work, in the splendid decorative and natural designs on architecture and jewelry, belonging to the age when but few traces of any mode of writing can be discerned, and when certainly no influence on the mind could have resulted from it. All of these countries show us that the highest skill, the finest
taste, the keenest insight are reached without the use of recorded words; and we may see that the true place of writing is for registering details that are too many for the mind to carry, or for rapid and distant communication. It is, in short, one of the requirements of a complex civilization, but not in itself of any virtue. On the contrary, it brings the great evil in its train of trusting the imperfect record of the senses of others, in place of the true development of the mind on the basis of the natural growth of the faculties. Its real place is by the side of the railway and the telegraph, things that do not add the least to the nature of the mind, but are mere tools imposed upon us by the need of not being outstripped by those who use them. The horseman who leisurely rides over the hill with a light heart in the sunshine cannot possibly compete against the express train that is tearing through the level tunnel far beneath his feet. Yet who sees most? Does life consist in what man is or what he does? Is the highest product a reflective and well-nourished mind or a restless body? Are we to think most of the means or of the ends which they should serve? There is a lesson for us in this retrospect-the lesson that the mind is greater than all its tools and appliances, and that even knowledge and its record are but the means to a greater end. Prof. Flinders Petrie (Address before the British Association for the Advancement of Science.)
From Blackwood's Magazine.
TEA-TIME IN THE VILLAGE. If one were bidden to choose a single hour of the day as that best calculated to show the different aspects of village life, one would, I think, name five o'clock. Five o'clock in the afternoon, be it understood. The hamlet is, indeed, awake and on foot when, in the early morning, the hands of the tall "grandfather's clock" boasted by nearly every household point to the same hour. Then busy matrons are already astir, raking out grates and VOL. XII. 599
sweeping kitchens; sleepy lasses, with warm, rosy faces, come yawning downstairs, tying their aprons on the way; little children in their attic-nests are twittering like swallows under the eaves; and the bread-winners, still curled up under their piles of blankets, hear the morning clatter and bustle and know that their hour is at hand. Soon the crackling and spluttering of the newly kindled wood will be succeeded by the singing of the kettle and the hissing of bacon in the pan; "th' missus" will come to the foot of the stairs presently, and shout; and if she does not at once hear the thud of bare feet on the floor, she will mount to give her "gaffer" a wifely shake and to pull the bedclothes off the lads. It is not altogether a cheerful hour this, especially in the dark cold mornings when the outer world is as yet invisible, and the little world within is lit but dimly by a single candle, or an evil-smelling paraffin-lamp. "Feyther's rheumatiz" is apt to "catch him awful" as he prepares to sally forth, and the young folk grumble while their stiff frozen fingers fumble with button or brace.
But when the aforesaid clock-hands, having jerked and clicked round their circle, take up the same position in the afternoon, things have a very different aspect. Even from afar the hamlet wears a cosy and jubilant look that must gladden the hearts of the toilers who plod homewards. Especially is this the case when the days are light enough to show the glow of time-worn brick and yellow stone, the glint of hay and corn-stacks, the golden-green of sun-warmed leaves and lichenbespread roofs. Matrons are gossiping in their open doorways while they await the advent of the men-folk; they have "cleaned them" after their day's work, and hair is shining and faces are aglow; their fresh aprons hang in crisp folds, and the little ones, clinging to their skirts, or balanced on their arms, rejoice in clean "bishops" and "tie-ups" of various hues. But the neatness of these small fry, too helpless to break away from motherly
control, is not imitated by their elder the drivers' whips and the sound of
brothers and sisters. Yonder a group may be seen playing hop-scotch or marbles; sturdy, well-grown lads and lasses, with hands comfortably grimy, and round, rosy faces smeared with reminiscences of recent excursions to the sweet-shop. Now and then an irate mother will make a descent, and seizing "our Teddy" or "our Maggie" by the arm, desires him or her with a vigorous shake to "give over that nonsense. "Goo an' clean thysel,' do. For shame of thee-thou's ha' no tay, if thou mak's sich a seet o' thysel'!"
But a more ignorant parent will perhaps allow her scapegrace to enjoy his game in peace, and even present him with a "traycle-butty" to munch the while.
Out of this open gate come Farmer Prescott's milking-cows, making for the field, sedately threading their way through the children. A whistling urchin follows them, looking very important and cracking a broken cartwhip; occasionally he interrupts his shrill and rather quavering music to utter a gruff admonition in a manner copied from "Feyther," and to bring down his whip on the sleek flank of the hindmost; whereupon she breaks into a clumsy trot, and, with deeptoned remonstrances and tossing of horned heads, the company proceeds in transitory disorder. Here comes a team of horses newly released from plough or harrow; the head of the laborer who walks beside them reaches only to the leader's dappled shoulder; the great shaggy limbs move slowly. the immense hoofs ring on the hard road; the tails and manes are plaited and fancifully decorated with ribbons and straw, and perhaps a green branch or a bunch of flowers is fastened in their bridles; their well-groomed skins gleam in the sun; the brass and iron mountings of the harness glitter again; our North-country folk are proud of their animals, and treat them well.
Now there echoes from afar off the clatter of a string of wagons returning from the town. Some time before the long row comes in sight the crack of
their voices can be heard, even above the roll of the wheels, which, at certain moments, when the train reaches a turn in the road, amounts to a kind of roar; and now little bands of laborers make their appearance, walking leisurely, though they are "sharp set" and ready for their tea. These, emerging from this door-way in the high wall which forms the right-hand boundary to the village, are all employed at "the Hall." Here are the two carpenters and the boy who holds the nails and the pots of paint; there are the mason and his assistant, and the herd and his underling, and the gardener and his men-one remains behind in the "bothy" to see to the hot-houses. After a short interval the keepers come; the hindmost, a taciturn, sternlooking old man, has a large piece cut out of his boot; he has long been "under the doctor" for that foot of his, but no earthly persuasion will induce him to forego even one hour of his daily tramp.. There was a question recently of finding him some lighter work, but the headkeeper, who knows him better than any one else, gave it as his opinion that he would "dee straight off" if the question were so much as mooted; so until the other foot is in the grave the old fellow will somehow hobble round his beat.
At last the wagons are actually lumbering through the village, each drawn by two, or even three, horses, harnessed in single file; empty baskets are piled on some, and others are laden with manure, a yielding and odoriferous bed for such of the drivers as are drowsy after their long day, and, perhaps frequent calls at divers places of refreshment. Now there is a stir and a bustle indeed; children shouting and climbing on to the wagons as the horses plod on-mothers giving a last distracted scream to their progeny, ere they return to their fire-lit kitchens to lay the table and make the tea. Hens begin to draw near to the back-doors; dogs emerge from their kennels, with a sudden rattling of chains, and cast amiably expectant glances in the same
"Why not?" asked his neighbor, pausing with his mouth full, and casting a slow and appreciative glance at the solid viands. "I dunnot see aught amiss. Theer's plenty an' more nor plenty, an' th' yäale's noan so ill neither." This was tantamount to enthusiasm in a North-countryman; but the sense of injury was strong. upon Farmer Frith.
"Ye dunnot see aught amiss?" he cried witheringly, "an' theer isn't a single mince-poy!"
As it happened to be a sweltering July day, the absence of this particular dainty might not have been considered astonishing; but now that their attention was drawn to it, the rest of the guests began to feel aggrieved. This was a pretty sort of do! No mincepies! Healths were drunk with a gloomy air, and when Farmer Frith remarked towards the end of the repast that he wouldn't say but what they'd known "jov'aler meetin's," it was felt that he expressed the general opinion.
direction; puss leaves her place of spread table, was overheard to remark ambush among the gooseberry bushes, that this wasn't what he called "a and steps daintily across the threshold; gradely do." there is much squealing and grunting and running to and fro in the pigsties; all the dumb things know it is tea-time. The kettle bubbles on every kitchen-hob. The table is spread in the warmest corner-summer and winter alike with preparations for a good solid meal. After a hard day's work in field or garden the men-folk are not to be put off with a mere snack, and the children can always do "wi' a bit extry." The teapot is set down on the hob; the contents, well stewed and bitter, and rendered still more palatable by a dash of spirits, will make the good-man of the house feel he has had the full worth of that portion of his wage which went to purchase a pound of "best mixed" last Saturday. On the shining fender lies a smoking dish of buttered toast, or it may be a homebaked cake, very solid and pale, with but few raisins imbedded in its stodgy depths, but exceedingly satisfying. Possibly a slice or two of cold bacon is set forth to give a relish to the crusty loaf on the table; and in the houses of the more well-to-do a knuckle of ham or a goodly piece of beef invites the attentions of the farmer and his men. "Eh, I cannot do wi' clemmin' folks," observed a sturdy old housewife once, on being laughingly taken to task for extravagance. "As mich mate as ever they can heyt-an' good drink to 't I give 'em at meal-time an' theer's allus a bite o' summat an' a loaf set yonder o' th' dresser as they con come an' cut at if they'n a mind." The quantity of the food set before them concerns these big-framed hard-working rustics more than its quality; though some of the older men are "a bit 'tickle an' dainty" at times, and upset the equanimity of their "missuses" by calling out for apple-sauce with their pork, and grumbling at the scarcity of gravy with the Sunday beef. Not long ago a portly and red-faced old farmer was observed to lay down his knife and fork at a certain rent-dinner, and, after rolling a dissatisfied eye over the well
But to return to the village.
A few minutes after five every table is surrounded. "Feyther" divests himself of his coat (if he has been wearing one) and his boots; which precaution, besides suiting his own idea of comfort, falls in with his wife's notions of economy and cleanliness; he eats hugely and gulps down cupful after cupful of tea. When the inner man is partially restored he begins to notice external things. He has a grunt in answer to the "missus's" sigh about "yon taxman as looked in again this arternoon," and tells her he saw squire drive past, or that "owd Tommy Latham seems to be warsenin';" or, he has been to "town," he will perhaps announce that "taters" is down again. By and by his rugged face will crease itself into a slow and good-natured smile, and leaning forward he will uplift the chin of one of the little folk so busily at work with tightly-clenched spoons, and inquire how is our Annie
to-day? or what mischief has our Willie "agate"? laughing loudly at the lisped response. One or more of the babies will be clambering on his knees presently, and the others will gather round to search his capacious pockets and be regaled with sweets, or "bracelets," as the little girls call the strings of bright-colored beads he brings them, though the chubby wrists are not to be adorned by them, but the round sunburnt necks. Perhaps if "feyther" is of a literary turn he will produce a newspaper from his pocket, folded into a square and greasy little slab. When "th' missus" has "sided" the tea-things, and washed up, and fed the chickens, and put the children to bed, and got through the remainder of her "odd jobs," she will sit down and spell out its contents for the edification of herself and the elder members of her family. Politics are not considered entertaining, nor accounts of the doings of royalty; though a transient excitement is perceptible when it is mentioned that the queen is indisposed, and some one will observe "hoo's gettin' into years same as th' rest on us," with a pleasurable sense of triumph at the discovery. A ship wreck or a good burglary is what the family circle finds most exhilaratingunless it be, perhaps, the announcement of the birth of triplets somewhere. Even toothless granny in the corner wakes up to cackle and clap her hands over that.
"Eh, dear o' me! to think on't," says th' missus meditatively. "An' th' queen sent her three pounds! Fancy that now! Hoo'd be pleased I doubt, poor soul. Eh, but however would hoo manage wi' so many? Three on 'em! Hoo'd be very nigh druv mad wi' 'em, I reckon. All skrikin' an' yammerin' together, an' two on 'em wakin' up as like as not, soon's iver hoo'd getten th' third to sleep."
"Happen they'll not live," says "feyther," after ruminating for a moment. "It's a'most to be 'oped not," he adds, casting a sudden anxious glance towards his good dame, who, as the other matrons say, "is nobbut a young
woman yet an' hasn't finished wi' her fam'ly." There is no knowing what may yet be in store for him. But granny presently reassures him by giving it as her opinion that "they twins an' sich-like seldom grow up same's other childer." Then, searching her memory, she begins to relate how she heard once as a bricklayer's wife up Bootle way had three babies at a birth-"or were it four?"
"Ho, ho!" chuckles her son "weren't it five now-or happen six! Put a twothree more to't while yo're at it."
"It were four," cries grandma doggedly. "Theer's no need to laugh. I mind it well. It were four." Mrs. Clark as towd me heerd it fro' her cousin as lived at Bootle—an' hoo said they was all put together in a clothesbasket-mich same as kittens they looked, hoo said-an' folks was tramplin' in an' out fro' morn to neet to look at 'em. An' the mother charged a penny a-piece, for hoo couldn't do wi’ sich a many strangers comin' in, yo' known, an' pullin' blankets off th' childer an' handlin' 'em. But they didn't live so long I don't think."
"Feyther" is struck dumb; but mother and the children are much interested, and granny is plied with questions anent this remarkable occurrence for the remainder of the evening.
But it is long past five o'clock when these discussions take place; the teahour is never unduly prolonged, though it is comfortable and restful. There is still much business to be got through before people have time to read newspapers. The pig is to be fed. and sticks for kindling have to be chopped, and "th' garden is gettin' shameful weedy," the missus complains, and "they cabbages mun be thinned out"-she will find plenty of jobs for her gaffer to do while she is busy within.