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In the course of the autumn several American friends, including Mrs. Beecher Stowe, made pilgrimages to Eversley; among them one from the Southern States thus recalls the Rectory life in 1856:
"... It is your own fault if Eversley does no more seem to me a name. When I think of Mrs. Kingsley and of you I seem to myself to be sitting with you still in those quaint old rooms. Still Maurice comes by with an insect or a flower, or just a general wonder and life in his eyes-still I hear the merry laugh of the little Princess, and see Dandy lying lazy, smiling and winking in the sun; and I fill my olive-wood pipe, and saunter in and out of the aromatic old study, and lounge, a new man and a happier one, on the sloping green lawn, under the good old fir-trees. And so I talk 'on as if I were with friends long known, and known long to be cherished much. All of which is wholly your fault and Mrs. Kingsley's. . . . If you are not too busy, I am sure you will write and tell me how the novel advances (Two Years Ago !), and how Eversley in all its regions is. . . ."
THE FATHER IN HIS HOME-AN ATMOSPHERE of Joy - THE OUTDOOR NURSERY - LIfe on the MOUNT - HAPPY SUNDAYS-FEAR AND FALSEHOOD - THE TRAINING OF LOVE - FAVORITES AND FRIENDS IN THE HOUSE, IN THE Stable, and ON THE LAWN.
"Come to me, O ye children!
For I hear you at your play,
In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,
But in mine is the wind of autumn,
And the first fall of the snow.
E must pause a moment in the midst of work and letters; we have seen the rector in his church and parish, and now must see
the father in his home. "Cheerfulness or joyousness," said Jean Paul Richter, "is the atmosphere under which all things thrive - especially the young" and with this atmosphere the parents tried to surround the children at the Rectory not only as a means of present enjoyment, but as a tonic to brace the young creatures to meet the inevitable trials of life. They had the best of everything; the sunniest and largest rooms indoors; and because the house was on low ground, - the grass sloping down from the churchyard, their father built them on the "Mount," - the highest and loveliest point of moorland in the glebe, a real bit of primeval forest as an outdoor nursery, a hut, where they kept books, toys, and tea-things, and spent long happy days; and there he would join them when his parish work was done, bringing them some fresh treasure picked up in his walk, a choice wild flower or fern, or rare beetle, sometimes a lizard or a fieldmouse; ever waking up their sense of wonder, calling out their powers of observation, and teaching them lessons out of God's great green book, without their knowing how much they were learning.
And then the Sundays, the hardest day of the week to him, were bright to the children, who began the day with decking the graves in the dear churchyard, an example which the poor people learnt to follow, so that before morning service it looked like a flower garden; and when his day's work was done, however weary he might be, there was always the Sunday walk, a stroll on the moor, and some fresh object of natural beauty pointed out at every step. Indoors, the Sunday picture books were brought out. Each child had
its own, and chose its subject for the father to draw, either some Bible story, or bird, or beast, or flower mentioned in Scripture. Happy Sundays! never associated with gloom or restrictions, but with God's works as well as His word, and with sermons that never wearied.
Punishment was a thing little known in his house. Corporal punishment was never allowed. His own childish experience of the sense of degradation and unhealthy fear it produced, of the antagonism it called out between a child and its parents, a pupil and his teachers, gave him a horror of it. It had other evils, too, he considered, besides degrading both parties concerned. "More than half the lying of children," he said, "is, I believe, the result of fear, and the fear of punishment." On these grounds he made it a rule (from which he never departed) not to take a child suspected of a fault, at unawares, by sudden question or hasty accusation, the stronger thus taking an unfair advantage of the weaker and defenceless creature, who, in the mere confusion of the moment, might be tempted to deny or equivocate. "Do we not," he asked, "pray daily, 'Lord, confound me not,' and shall we dare to confound our own children by sudden accusation, or angry suspicion, making them give evidence against themselves, when we don't allow a criminal to do that in a court of law? The finer the nature the more easily is it confounded, whether it be of child, dog, or horse. Suspicion destroys confidence between parent and child." "Do not train a child," he once said to a friend, "as men train a horse, by letting anger and punishment be the first announcement of his having sinned.
If you do, you induce two bad habits: first, the boy regards his parent with a kind of blind dread, as a being who may be offended by actions which to him are innocent, and whose wrath he expects to fall upon him any moment in his most pure and unselfish happiness. Alas! for such a childhood! Eidos λéyw! Next, and worse still, the boy learns not to fear sin, but the punishment of it, and thus he learns to lie. At every first fault, and offence too, teach him the principle which makes it sinful -illustrate it by a familiar parable and then, if he sins again it will be with his eyes open!" He was careful, too, not to confuse or "confound" his children by a multiplicity of small rules. Certain broad, distinct laws of conduct were laid down. "It is difficult enough to keep the Ten Commandments," he would say "without making an eleventh in every direction." This, combined with his equable rule, gave them a sense of utter confidence and perfect freedom with him. They knew what they were about and where to find him, for he had no moods" with them, while with theirs he could yet sympathize and be patient. "Where others so often fail" as a friend remarked of him, "in the family, there he shone." To see him at his best and highest was to see him in his home-to see "the tender, adoring husband, so gentle and so strong"- the father" who treated his daughters like princesses,' his sons as trusted companions, his servants as friends, those faithful servants who thought no labor heavy to give him ease and comfort, and who, when they followed their beloved master to the grave, had lived half a lifetime in his service. It was truly said of him, that in "that inner circle