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the general mass of readers it was a "novel" in the most genuine sense. It would have deserved and commanded success for the healthy and manly tone in which Christian principles were made familiar to the schoolboy; it would have been interesting as a lively picture of Arnold's great work in the moral reform of public education; but for the multitude it had an interest beside and separate from these; it entered into minute and copious detail of all the arcana of schoolboy life; it described, from personal experience, the habits and modes of thought of a class with whom the majority of readers were wholly unacquainted. The public schoolboy was an animal whose natural history had never yet been investigated by any competent observer. It was popularly supposed, indeed, that the phenomena of his peculiar existence scarcely invited scientific analysis. Those who had already tried it had either signally failed, or brought to light results which were very disagreeable. His life was supposed to be a compound of petty vices, petty tyrannies, and petty sufferings, of mean evasions, and daring outbreaks, which, by some inscrutable law, usually resulted in the production of a perfect English gentlemen. Public schoolmen themselves knew better, of course; but they were content with their own recollections, and adopted the favourite fallacy of having "something better to do" than to put their 'school-days" into print. So when Tom Brown came out with his hearty and genial autobiography, and they who could speak from experience declared it to be a truthful picture, the majority of the reading world, who had never been at a public school, including, of course, all the mammas and sisters in the kingdom, rushed to hear this new revelation-as they would to Dr Livingstone or Mr Barnum-and were not disappointed. They almost realised in its pages that for which the jaded appetites of our literary age must so often sigh-a new sensation. They had rushed with almost equal eagerness to Alton Locke, to hear what a journeyman tailor had to say for himself; but they discouraged the young man at

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once, interesting as he was, when they found him falling in love with the dean's daughter. If that was original, it was highly improper; or if such were the habits of journeymen tailors, the less they were brought before the public the better. Those who draw the materials of fiction from the romance of the workshop, for the amusement and interest of the educated classes, labour under much the same difficulties as the writers who purvey the Mysteries of the Court for the penny journal. They are writing about things with which they can have but a very imperfect acquaintance. Even the very best of such stories, in spite of their cleverness and popularity, give us but a stage view, after all, of the life and feelings of the lower classes. And as to most attempts of the kind, the characters are about as real as the shepherds and milkmaids of the Trianon. But in the volumes before us we think we have the genuine article; the village lion is here the real animal, and not the "gentle beast, of a good conscience," made up for the ladies.

The scene of Adam Bede is laid in a north midland county-"Loamshire" bordering upon "Stonyshire," which we take to be Derby. The natives speak "what they call the dileck "-as we are informed by Mr Casson of the Donnithorne Arms, who has himself the advantage of having been "brought hup among the gentry," as butler in the Donnithorne family, and whose English is therefore undeniable. "It's what they call the dileck as is spoke hereabouts, sir; that's what I've heard Squire Donnithorne say many a time; it's the dileck, says he." The characters are the ordinary inhabitants of a country village; the old Squire and his popular nephew, the parson, the schoolmaster, the farmer and his wife, and the usual complement of mechanics and labourers. The hero of the story is a journeyman carpenter, with a natural turn for mathematics; a tall broadchested muscular Saxon, but with "thick black hair, tossed about like trodden meadow-grass whenever he raises his cap "-keen dark eyes and prominent eyebrows, "indicating a

mixture of Celtic blood." He has a brother, Seth Bede,-closely resembling him in the "large rugged features," and with the same hue of hair and complexion. But here the resemblance ends; "the strength of the family likeness only serving to render more conspicuous the remarkable difference of expression both in form and face." Adam is upright as a soldier; "Seth's broad shoulders have a slight stoop;" he has "blue dreamy eyes"-his hair is "thin and wavy"-and his glance, instead of being keen, like his brother's, confiding and benignant."

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"The idle tramps always felt sure they could get a copper from Seth; they scarcely ever spoke to Adam.”

This difference in their physical conformation is made, very artistically-perhaps with rather too much art-to typify the moral contrast in their characters, gradually evolved in the course of the story; and the mutual affection between the brothers, only knit the more firmly by conscious points of difference, is one of the most delicately-handled and pleasing parts of the book.

Adam is the type of a class, rarer now than even at the beginning of the century, which is the date chosen for the story.

"He was not an average man. Yet such men as he are reared here and there in every generation of our peasant artisans-with an inheritance of affections nurtured by a simple family life of common need and common industry, and an inheritance of faculties trained in skilful courageous labour: they make their way upward, rarely as geniuses, most commonly as painstaking honest men, with the skill and conscience to do well the tasks that lie before them. Their lives have no discernible echo beyond the neighbourhood where they dwelt, but you are almost sure to find there some good piece of road, some building, some application of mineral produce, some improvement in farming practice, some reform of parish abuses, with which their names are associated by one or two generations after them. Their employers were the richer for them, the work of their hands has worn well, and the work of their brains has guided well the hands of other men. They went about in their youth in flannel or paper caps, in coats black with coal-dust or streaked with lime or

red paint; in old age their white hairs are seen in a place of honour at church and at market, and they tell their welldressed sons and daughters, seated round the bright hearth on winter evenings, how pleased they were when they first earned their twopence a-day. Öthers there are who die poor, and never put off the workman's coat on week-days: they have not had the art of getting rich; but they are men of trust, and when they die before the work is all out of them, it is as if some main screw had got loose in a machine; the master who employed them says, 'Where shall I find their

like?""

Adam is a sound and conscientious churchman; his favourite books, bebesides the Bible-which, from a principle of reverence, he reads on Sundays only (vol. ii. p. 252)-are Taylor's Holy Living and Dying, and Poor Richard's Almanac; and the orthodox Old and New Versions, with an occasional anthem, content his love for music. Seth has become a Wesleyan, or, as he might prefer to express it, has" got religion," attends preachings and prayer-meetings on week-days-a proceeding, we must remember, almost as objectionable to "a Protestant public" in those times as the confessional in ours-studies with wonder and interest Wesley's Life of Madam Guyon-and sings hymns, which, in one phase of his life, he very innocently adopts as lovesongs (for which these compositions really seem sometimes to have been intended). Both brothers are alike earnest men; but Adam's religion takes rather the practical, Seth's the doctrinal development. With Adam, his work is part of his creed; not given to look deep into mysteries, one thing he thinks he sees clearly,

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that good carpentry is God's willthat form of God's will that most immediately concerns him." And the only notion he has of setting the world to rights is, so far as his own part may be done in it, to grapple with an evil which at least he does understand, and may help to remedy"the mischief caused by building houses with unseasoned timber""slovenly joiner's work-and hasty contracts, which can never be fulfilled without ruining somebody;" rather different, we observe, from most popular schemes of reform and

regeneration, in that it begins in his own class, and interferes with nobody. Here are his own notions on religious subjects:

"I've seen pretty clear ever since I was a young un, as religion's something else besides doctrines and notions. I look at it as if the doctrines was like finding names for your feelings, so as you can talk of 'em when you've never known 'em, just as a man may talk o' tools when he knows their names, though he's never so much as seen 'em, still less handled 'em. I've heard a deal o' doctrine i' my time, for I used to go after the dissenting preachers along wi' Seth, when I was a lad o' seventeen, and got puzzling myself a deal about th' Arminians and the Calvinists. The Wesleyans, you know, are strong Arminians; and Seth, who could never abide anything harsh, and was always for hoping the best, held fast by the Wesleyans from the very first; but I thought I could pick a hole or two in their notions, and I got disputing wi' one o' the class-leaders down at Treddles'on, and harassed him so, first o' this side and then o' that, till at last he said, Young man, it's the devil making use o' your pride and conceit as a weapon to war against the simplicity o' the truth. I couldn't help laughing then, but as I was going home, I thought the man wasn't far wrong. I began to see as all this weighing and sifting what this text means, and that text means, and whether folks are saved all by God's grace, or whether there goes an ounce o' their own will to't, was no part o' real religion at all. You may talk o' these things for hours on end, and you'll only be all the

more coxy and conceited for't.

And I found it better for my soul to be humble before the mysteries o' God's dealings, and not be making a clatter

about what I could never understand.

And they're poor foolish questions after all; for what have we got either inside or outside of us but what comes from God? If we've got a resolution to do right, He gave it us, I reckon, first or last; but I see plain enough we shall never do it without a resolution, and that's enough for me.'"

And so again he says

"There's such a thing as being over

speritial; we must have something be

side Gospel i' this world. Look at the

canals, an' th' aqueducs, an' th' coal-pit engines, and Arkwright's mills there at Cromford; a man must learn summat beside Gospel to make them things, I reckon. But t' hear some o' them

preachers, you'd think as a man must be doing nothing all's life but shutting's eyes and looking what's a-going on inside him. I know a man must have the love o' God in his soul, and the Bible's God's word. But what does the Bible say? Why, it says as God put his sperrit into the workman as built the tabernacle, to make him do all the carved work and things as wanted a nice hand. And this is my way o' looking at it: there's the sperrit o' God in all things and all times

weekday as well as Sunday—and i' the great works and inventions, and i' the figuring and the mechanics. And God helps us with our headpieces and our hands as well as with our souls; and if a man does bits o' jobs out o' working hours-builds an oven for 's wife to save her from going to the bakehouse, or scrats at his bit o' garden and makes two potatoes grow istead o' one, he's doing more good, and he's just as near to God, as if he was running after some preacher and a-praying and a-groaning."

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Seth's favourite text is, Take no thought for the morrow;" which, as their mother Lisbeth says, ends sometimes in Adam's having to take thought for him.

Adam's motto-

Which Lisbeth is surprised to find is not in the Bible-is, "God helps those that helps themselves;" and he sets himself manfully to act upon it. His favourite Scripture character, especially after grief has touched him, is Moses; one who "carried a hard other folks were going to reap the business well through, and died when fruits; a man must have courage to look at his life so, and think what will come of it after he is dead and gone." His faults-and grief and suffering make them plain to himself at lastare those which might be expected from his strong and self-reliant character, an independence of spirit and confidence in his own principles which almost amount to pride, and a want of tenderness towards the weaknesses of others. "I've always been thinking I knew better than them as belonged to me, and that's a poor sort of life." It is this point in his character, brought out as it is in strong relief by the loving humility of Seth, which will produce upon the minds of many-perhaps the majority of those who read the book-an effect which the author scarcely intended : in the story, as in real life, while our calmer judgment may approve the

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mixture of Celtic blood." He has a brother, Seth Bede,-closely resembling him in the "large rugged features," and with the same hue of hair and complexion. But here the resemblance ends; the strength of the family likeness only serving to render more conspicuous the remarkable difference of expression both in form and face." Adam is upright as a soldier; "Seth's broad shoulders have a slight stoop;" he has "blue dreamy eyes"-his hair is "thin and wavy"-and his glance, instead of being keen, like his brother's, confiding and benignant."

66

"The idle tramps always felt sure they could get a copper from Seth; they scarcely ever spoke to Adam."

This difference in their physical conformation is made, very artistically-perhaps with rather too much art-to typify the moral contrast in their characters, gradually evolved in the course of the story; and the mutual affection between the brothers, only knit the more firmly by conscious points of difference, is one of the most delicately-handled and pleasing parts of the book.

Adam is the type of a class, rarer now than even at the beginning of the century, which is the date chosen for the story.

"He was not an average man. Yet

such men as he are reared here and there

in every generation of our peasant artisans-with an inheritance of affections nurtured by a simple family life of common need and cominon industry, and an inheritance of faculties trained in skilful courageous labour: they make their way upward, rarely as geniuses, most com

monly as painstaking honest men, with

the skill and conscience to do well the tasks that lie before them. Their lives have no discernible echo beyond the neighbourhood where they dwelt, but you are almost sure to find there some good piece of road, some building, some application of mineral produce, some improvement in farming practice, some reform of parish abuses, with which their names are associated by one or two generations after them. Their employers were the richer for them, the work of their hands

has worn well, and the work of their brains has guided well the hands of other men. They went about in their youth in flannel or paper caps, in coats black with coal-dust or streaked with lime or

red paint; in old age their white hairs are seen in a place of honour at church and at market, and they tell their welldressed sons and daughters, seated round the bright hearth on winter evenings, how pleased they were when they first earned their twopence a-day. Others there are who die poor, and never put off the workman's coat on week-days: they have not had the art of getting rich; but they are men of trust, and when they die before the work is all out of them, it is as if some main screw had got loose in a machine; the master who employed them says, Where shall I find their like?'"

Adam is a sound and conscientious churchman; his favourite books, bebesides the Bible-which, from a principle of reverence, he reads on Sundays only (vol. ii. p. 252)—are Taylor's Holy Living and Dying, and Poor Richard's Almanac; and the orthodox Old and New Versions, with an occasional anthem, content his love for music. Seth has become a Wesleyan, or, as he might prefer to express it, has" got religion," attends preachings and prayer-meetings on week-days-a proceeding, we must remember, almost as objectionable to "a Protestant public" in those times as the confessional in ours-studies with wonder and interest Wesley's Life of Madam Guyon-and sings hymns, which, in one phase of his life, he very innocently adopts as lovesongs (for which these compositions really seem sometimes to have been intended). Both brothers are alike earnest men; but Adam's religion takes rather the practical, Seth's the doctrinal development. With Adam, his work is part of his creed; not given to look deep into mysteries, one thing he thinks he sees clearly, "that good carpentry is God's will that form of God's will that most immediately concerns him." And the only notion he has of setting the world to rights is, so far as his own part may be done in it, to grapple with an evil which at least he does understand, and may help to remedy

66

the mischief caused by building houses with unseasoned timber"

"slovenly joiner's work-and hasty contracts, which can never be fulfilled without ruining somebody;" rather different, we observe, from most popular schemes of reform and

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regeneration, in that it begins in his own class, and interferes with nobody. Here are his own notions on religious subjects :

"I've seen pretty clear ever since I was a young un, as religion's something else besides doctrines and notions. I look at it as if the doctrines was like finding names for your feelings, so as you can talk of 'em when you've never known 'em, just as a man may talk o' tools when he knows their names, though he's never so much as seen 'em, still less handled 'em. I've heard a deal o' doctrine i' my time, for I used to go after the dissenting preachers along wi' Seth, when I was a lad o' seventeen, and got puzzling myself a deal about th' Arminians and the Calvinists. The Wesleyans, you know, are strong Arminians; and Seth, who could never abide anything harsh, and was always for hoping the best, held fast by the Wesleyans from the very first; but I thought I could pick a hole or two in their notions, and I got disputing wi' one o' the class-leaders down at Tred

dles'on, and harassed him so, first o' this

side and then o' that, till at last he said, Young man, it's the devil making use o' your pride and conceit as a weapon to war against the simplicity o' the truth.' I couldn't help laughing then, but as I was going home, I thought the man wasn't far wrong. I began to see as all this weighing and sifting what this text means, and that text means, and whether folks are saved all by God's grace, or whether there goes an ounce o' their own will to't, was no part o' real religion at all. You may talk o' these things for hours on end, and you'll only be all the

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more coxy and conceited for't. And I found it better for my soul to be humble before the mysteries o' God's dealings, and not be making a clatter

about what I could never understand. And they're poor foolish questions after all; for what have we got either inside

or outside of us but what comes from God? If we've got a resolution to do right, He gave it us, I reckon, first or last; but I see plain enough we shall never do it without a resolution, and that's enough for me.'"

And so again he says—

"There's such a thing as being over

speritial; we must have something beside Gospel i' this world. Look at the canals, an' th' aqueducs, an' th' coal-pit engines, and Arkwright's mills there at Cromford; a man must learn summat beside Gospel to make them things, I reckon. But t' hear some o' them

preachers, you'd think as a man must be doing nothing all 's life but shutting's eyes and looking what's a-going on inside him. I know a man must have the love o' God in his soul, and the Bible's God's word. But what does the Bible say? Why, it says as God put his sperrit into the workman as built the tabernacle, to make him do all the carved work and things as wanted a nice hand. And this is my way o' looking at it: there's the sperrit o' God in all things and all times -weekday as well as Sunday-and i' the great works and inventions, and i' the figuring and the mechanics. And God helps us with our headpieces and our hands as well as with our souls; and if a man does bits o' jobs out o' working hours-builds an oven for 's wife to save her from going to the bakehouse, or scrats at his bit o' garden and makes two potatoes grow istead o' one, he's doing more good, and he's just as near to God, as if he was running after some preacher and a-praying and a-groaning."

Seth's favourite text is, "Take no thought for the morrow;" which, as times in Adam's having to take their mother Lisbeth says, ends somethought for him.

Adam's motto-which Lisbeth is surprised to find is not in the Bible-is, "God helps those that helps themselves;" and he sets himself manfully to act upon it. His favourite Scripture character, especially after grief has touched him, is Moses; one who "carried a hard business well through, and died when other folks were going to reap the fruits; a man must have courage to look at his life so, and think what will come of it after he is dead and gone." His faults-and grief and suffering make them plain to himself at lastare those which might be expected from his strong and self-reliant character, an independence of spirit and confidence in his own principles which almost amount to pride, and a want of tenderness towards the weaknesses of others. "I've always been thinking I knew better than them as belonged to me, and that's a poor sort of life." It is this point in his character, brought out as it is in strong relief by the loving humility of Seth, which will produce upon the minds of many-perhaps the majority of those who read the book-an effect which the author scarcely intended: in the story, as in real life, while our calmer judgment may approve the

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