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such misuse of the power which the ownership of land gives, an end must be put in the interest of the community. In matters of this sort, first full publicity is needed, which the Parish Councils will be able to give ; and then compulsory powers of purchase by the local authority, to be used in the last resort only, under the supervision of some higher and impartial authority. There are many self-respecting working men who will not live all their lives where there is no public building under public control, available for their own organisations, and where the dwellings are to be held only on condition of keeping in the good books of the landlord's bailiff. And in some villages where the farmers are absolutely masters of the situation, and hold all the cottages, the position is even worse.
As for the village schools, it is a well-established educational principle that popular control and popular interest provide a stimulus of the best kind, and this is perfectly true for village as well as town. I quote here some words which put the matter better than I can. “No skill in organisation, no careful adaptation of the means in hand to the best ends, can do as much for education as the earnest co-operation of the people. Every arrangement which teaches the people to look on the schools as their own, which encourages them to take a share in the management, will do at least as much service as the wisest advice and the most skilful administration.
Nor can we allow great weight to the objection that ratepayers would govern the schools ill.” These are the views of Bishop Temple, Dean Hook, and their colleagues on the Commission which inquired into middle-class education. Every word applies to our village schools. They say themselves that the fact that the American schools are in the hands of the people gives them a force which makes up for all other deficiencies.
Our next step in educational organisation should be to obtain District School Authorities everywhere, elected for areas like the District Council areas of the future, which will be able to supply travelling teachers and other valuable means of lifting our country schools above their present level. Working with them should be found strong boards of elected managers in every parish where there is a school under public control. It is almost needless to say that the time has come where whenever, as in most villages, there is only one school available, that school should be under representative control. Here, too, the Parish Council, with perhaps one or two co-opted members, could do the work. As for Poor Law powers, the time may come when Parish Councils will have a consultative voice, but it may be well to see first how the work is done by popular elected bodies in the larger areas. In any case the Parish Council should have charge of charities and charity lands. On the drink question and on other matters intimately affecting the social and moral welfare of the people, it is clear that the parish must have initiative powers.
The general purport of what has been urged is this. Do not, for reasons of symmetry and simplicity, allow the parish to be overridden. Let such powers be given to parish authorities as may enable them, without undue interference with the amenities of private owners, or with the picturesqueness of country places, to obtain security of tenure for all buildings and land which are really necessary for the welfare of the community. Above all, give free scope for the expression of public opinion, court publicity in every way, which is the best cnemy of the petty tyrant who is not necessarily the landlord, but perhaps the farmer, the shopkeeper, the agent, or the working man who has risen a little above his fellows. There is splendid material yet in our villages. Let some small measure only of the opportunities be given to the village people which have helped to make the best of the working classes in our towns what they now are. Sixty or seventy years ago the condition of the working men and women in our towns was miserable in the extreme, their labour intensely severe, and independent association in order to improve their own condition almost impossible. But, though many evils yet remain, municipal life and freedom of association have reared up, in the towns, men of energy, insight, seriousness of purpose, men with zeal for justice and sympathy for broad and courageous views of life, men of self-respect and independence, of whom this country may well be proud. In our villages there is no municipal life, and in many of them there is no freedom for associated action. We may put the future of agriculture in this country at its worst, we may admit that independence alone will not make a hard worker or a happy home, but we are still bound to believe that much remains to be done. People complain that the labourers are ungrateful, suspicious, bitter. They will never respect others when they cannot respect themselves. Give them a sense of responsibility which will provide an education in good citizenship, rather than charity, which by itself never ennobled any human being. There is, indeed, much painful poverty needing relief, and there are, no doubt, many well-meant efforts to relieve it. But even hard poverty is less difficult to bear when men and women know that they count for something and have some personal responsibility for the welfare of the community in which they live. Put the village hall, the library, the entertainments, the playground, the schools, the allotments, the charities, the co-operative societies under the control of the inhabitants of the village, under the management of the men and women they themselves choose. Then those who deserve influence will obtain influence a thousandfold more potent than many of the so-called influences of the present day. Then those who leave our villages will take with them lessons which will stand them in good stead in the towns, and the lives of those who stay behind will be brightened, strengthened, and enriched. The representatives of various classes will then be drawn together, as they never have been before, with a basis of common interest to work upon. In all the new combined effort which will be brought about there will be much discouragement which Mazzini once wisely said was only another name for disenchanted cgotism. The spirit of despair and the spirit of distrust must be got rid of and the best must be got out of people in their own way, not in the way others think best for them. And then it may turn out that the narrowness and suspicion, which are the curses of much of our existing village life, will dwindle away, and that the social, moral, and material surroundings of those who are not drawn away from their village homes by the attractions of town life will be effectively and permanently improved
HY is it, I wonder, that pain is so deeply felt at the time,
and that its memory fades so quickly, while joy flits by almost unperceived, and yet leaves such deep traces behind ? At least, this is my experience. It may not be so with most people. They may, perhaps, suffer deeply and remember lightly; enjoy strongly and forget quickly. If so, I pity them with all my heart. When I sit down to write these stray memories it is not the sad recollections that come crowding before me; it is the bright, joyous moments which shape themselves most distinctly in my mind. Oh, what a light, frivolous nature you must have, then!” I hear some grave and reverend signior remark, if any such person ever deigns to read this flimsy chatter. Well, I am ready to plead guilty to the charge. I was made like that, and so nature is to blame, and not I. Why, I recollect when I was a very small personage, and first took to the stage, getting many a "wigging” for not paying attention. But I always forgot the scoldings, and only remembered the pats on the back and the sugar-plums which I received when I did well. I am bound to say, though, that in my very infantile period the sugar-plums bore a very small proportion to the slaps. For, until I really got fired with love of my art, I was a veritable “limb," and there was no doing anything with me.
In justice to myself, however, I must say that the ambition to become a good actress caught fire at a very early stage. The first play in which I acted was The Winter's Tale. I was cast for the part of Mamillius, and how my young heart swelled with pride—I can recall the sensation now—when I was told what I had to do. There is something, I suppose, in a woman's nature which always makes her recollect how she was dressed at any especially eventful moment of her life, and I can see myself, as though it were yesterday, in my little red and white coat-very short - very pink silk stockings, and a row of tight sausage curls—my mother was always very careful that they should be in perfect order and regularity—clustered round my head. . A small go-cart, which it was my duty to drag about the stage, was also a keen source of pride, and a great trouble to me. My first dramatic failure dates from that “go-cart.” I was told to run about with it on the stage, and while carrying out my instructions with more vigour than discretion, tripped over the handle, and down I came on my back. A titter ran through the house, and I felt that my career as an actress was ruined for ever. Bitter and copious were the tears I shed—but I am not sure that the incident has materially altered the course of
life. Although I was then only about eight or nine years old, the wonderful fire and genius of Mrs. Kean made a strong impression on me; and how I admired and loved and feared her! Later on the fear was replaced by gratitude, for no woman ever gave herself more trouble to train a young actress than did Mrs. Kean: the love and admiration remained and grew. It is rare that it falls to the lot of anyone to have such an accomplished teacher. Devoted to her art, conscientious to a degree in mastering the details and spirit of her part, and equally patient in explaining the meaning to anyone she was teaching, Mrs. Kean at the same time, through her vivid personality and force, had the faculty of chaining the attention and indelibly imprinting her rendering of a part on the imagination. Yet, under what disadvantages actresses suffered in those days! When I think of the costume in which Mrs. Kean used to play the part of Hermione, it seems marvellous to me that she could have produced the impression that she did. For instance, no matter what the character might be that she was taking, she always used to wear her hair drawn flat over her forehead and twisted-tight round her ears in a kind of a circular sweep, such as a writing-master makes when he attempts an extra grand flourish. And then the amount of petticoats she used to wear! Although Hermione is a Greek part, and classic ladies were not