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getting in, the difficulty of not losing one of the five in doing it! He could remember their birthdays too, and make a festival of Christmas. He did make a festival of that first Christmas after the ash tree came down—a wonderful, cheap Christmas, with little money and much thought, Clara and her mother away, and riotous games in the shabby old house. And so he went, feeling his way, seeking duty, only duty, till by degrees he began to lose all aptitude for anything else; till, lo ! it became pleasure to him, the one thing in his life. Gradually he came to live for that only, for the boys, their work, their play, their ambition and success. Month in, month out, year in, year out, nothing else much troubled him, nothing else at all gave him pleasure. When he discovered Francis' real aptitude for literature he was a happy man, perhaps almost as happy as when he had discovered his own ; he felt that fate had been kinder to him than he deserved. Inly he determined that Francis should have all the training possible to get, all the encouragement possible to give ; in him, if it could be, the dream-people should live and not die. Thus things went, not for months but for years. There were fifteen years of bondage; then came release. Of course the bonds had slackened a little before then, as far as immediate money pressure was concerned. Uncle John's estimate of his nephew had gradually risen, and with justice; and the nephew's salary had risen too; but improved income had only meant greater advantages for the boys. Now, however, at the end of fifteen years, old John died, leaving young John (he was forty) sole possessor of the business and much stored wealth besides. The yoke was off at last. At last ! He sat alone in the little bedroom which had seen so many struggles first to write, and afterwards far more terrible struggles not to write. The ink-love had died hard, how hard no one knew ; over and over again in the years which were gone the stump of the ash tree had sprouted and put forth twigs seeking life; and over and over again he had cut them away. But by degrees they had grown less frequent and weaker, and at last ceased altogether. The little bare room had seen all this and much besides. He looked round him now and tried to realise what had been and what freedom meant. He stretched his limbs as a man who puts down a burden ; and, stretching, he looked at them almost unconsciously, and somehow became aware that his boots were meat and worn, that his coat-sleeves were neat and worn, that there was about him somehow an all-pervading air at once neat and worn. It filled him with a curious feeling of pain, and somehow surprise. He rose and looked in the small glass that stood upon his dressing-table. The face that looked back at him was a grave, kindly face, lined and marked a little, and with hair about the temples thinning and turning grey. There was nothing at all striking in the face, nothing to make it unlike hundreds of other faces that one can see any day, nothing that suggested that this man was not as other men. Perhaps a certain air of patient resignation, but certainly no touch of the divine fire—it was nea: and worn too. John had got used to that face and the charge that had come so gradually; it ought not to have startled him. as it did. He ought to have forgotten the face of fifteen years ago, restless, hopeful, young. He had forgotten till now, but now he remembered, and somehow almost expected to see it back. There were other things he expected back too—was sure would come in the new leisure which was dawning: the do nature, the old tastes, the old powers, the dream-people whom he had slain.
But, alas ! they did not come; the leisure was there, but to the power to use it. His back had so long been bent to the burdo that he could not quite straighten it now. His ash tree, his beautif: tree with its all-shading branches and greedy roots, had been or down; it had been lopped and chopped, burnt with fire, dug cut destroyed, there was but a half-charred stump left, a landmark few but he could see, without life or hope of budding. It was des: past all recall. He did not believe it, he expected life to come back with leisure, he sought to recall it; and when it did not come to sought again and again—no one knew how he sought. He wornot accept defeat any more than he accepted defeat in his earstruggles. But this was another matter and one beyond to control. “I must give it time,” he said; “it will come in to I have forgotten, but I can relearn.”
But it did not come, it never came again; at last he knew for he could not deceive himself. The love of the craftsman T. still his, even though the skill was gone; he could not mistake t counterfeit for the real, and the real was gone from him. A. when he knew this for the first and last time, he strove no morbut quietly put the whole from him and laid away the little -inkpot which had come out again, as a mother lays by her dea baby’s shoes.
For the family, of course, the fortune was a considerable blessing.
The married sisters felt the advantage—they were all married now,
Clara too; she had bestowed herself rather late on a poor curate,
who was the poorer for the bestowal. The boys benefited much ;
they were men now, even Francis and Hugh were almost men,
but the money helped them all a little. They were mostly out
in the world, some abroad, some with homes of their own; Francis,
however, was still at home, and for him and in him John rejoiced.
For him at least the fortune had not come too late—Francis should
travel, Francis should work only at the congenial work of literature,
Francis should have what he himself had dreamed of, Francis should be great.
And Francis had it all and did it all, and more than fulfilled the
hopes and ambitions. And—some people find this surprising— really remained much attached to John even though he did not understand the legend of the cabbage garden. He did not, of course, always continue to live at home with John ; it would have been inconvenient all round, he said—and John acquiesced. So when he began to be famous and independent he had chambers in town; not quite the part where John had them long ago, further west. And John and his mother lived together some way out of town. They had a beautiful garden and many pear trees, which pleased John, and a brougham, which pleased his mother; and usually one or other of the daughters or their children to stay with them, for Mrs. Feversham still found John poor company. And John was content. Only perhaps sometimes—not very often, just now and then—he found himself thinking rather hungrily of the old days of cramped means and circus pits, of Euclid and face-washing and church-going and young brothers in whom he lived. But quickly he would call himself to order and remember the other children, the nieces and nephews who were all so absurdly, astonishingly, and unreasonably fond of Uncle John—Uncle John who was never too tired or too busy for children's sorrows and joys, never too wise or too hard for youth's wrongs, hopes, and distresses—Uncle John whom Divine Wisdom saved from the dream-people to bestow thus upon the real.
The cabbage-grower had said he failed when he tried to grow roses in his parable garden—the roses of loves and joys beside the humble cabbages of duty—and perhaps he did. Yet the roses seem to have come there; thickly they came, flourishing and blooming of their own accord in these later days, blooming everywhere about the path, a success even as the cabbages. And they were a magnificent success, especially the Great Feversham. But who really was the Great Feversham some may question, for there is a certain old saying which runs ‘Greater is he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.’
DOROTHEA BEALE was born in the year 1831; and perhaps no time could have been more appropriate for one whose life was to be spent in educational reform. Whatever the cause, indisputably the training of Early Victorian women had degenerated into a system whose aim was a mere show of ornamental achievement, whilst its discipline imposed crushing restraints, as if ornamental beings were recognised to be necessities of a highly dangerous character. Napoleon, we know, reserved religion for special use in girls’ schools, where it was to be maintained ‘in full severity'; and when amongst his reasons he instanced the unsteadiness of women's ideas, their need of constant resignation and of a kind of indulgent and easy charity, it is likely that he expressed the views of a later day than his own. Dorothea Beale was not the first in her family to rebel against accepted traditions. In the preceding generation her cousin, Miss Caroline Cornwallis, dreamt already of “raising her sex, and with it the world,” and her writings, audacious and for the best of reasons anonymous, had made some stir and received the compliment of being taken for the work of a man. Something of Miss Cornwallis's combative spirit belonged also to Dorothea Beale, in addition to her own more solid qualities of judgment, patience, and devotion to duty. The story of her childhood forecasts with singular accuracy the mature woman. It is on record that she once dressed a doll; and that she had holidays we know, for they were spent “rubbing brasses' in the old city churches, or, later, taking the younger members of the family for walks, “watch in hand”; but play, in the ordinary sense, neither then nor afterwards did she need or understand the need of in others. At the age of thirteen she had already begun to teach, with herself as her first pupil. Four years later she was amongst those who listened to F. D. Maurice at the opening of Queen's College. In 1849 she became mathematical tutor in the same college ; in 1854, head-teacher. Ideas as to the right and wrong ways of conducting girls’ schools crystallised early in Miss Beale's Dorothea Beale, by E. Raikes.