Front Page Titles (by Subject) Chapter I.: PERAMBULATION. - Illustrations of Taxation (1. The Park and the Paddock, 2. The Haycock, 3. The Jerseymen Meeting, 4. The Jerseymen Parting, 5. The Scholars of Arneside)
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Chapter I.: PERAMBULATION. - Harriet Martineau, Illustrations of Taxation (1. The Park and the Paddock, 2. The Haycock, 3. The Jerseymen Meeting, 4. The Jerseymen Parting, 5. The Scholars of Arneside) 
Illustrations of Taxation (1. The Park and the Paddock, 2. The Haycock, 3. The Jerseymen Meeting, 4. The Jerseymen Parting, 5. The Scholars of Arneside) (London: Charles Fox, 1834).
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Widow Lambert liked to be told, a very few years ago, that the Abbey Farm was as great an ornament to her native district as the abbey itself could ever have been in the days of its splendour. She recalled the tales with which she had been struck in her childhood, before her sober father forbade her climbing old apple-trees, and her strict mother ordained the adoption of the quaker cap, and the handkerchief she had worn ever since;—tales of the former grandeur of this religious house, with its eighty monks and its hundred and ten servants: and it gratified her maternal pride to be assured that her two comely sons and their labourers kept the estate in as flourishing a condition as their predecessors,—the ecclesiastics and their lay brethren who were subordinate to them.
This abbey was believed to have held a distinguished rank among the religious houses which existed before there was any division of land into parishes, or when a parish meant the same as a diocese does now: when every man paid his ecclesiastical dues to any church he thought fit, provided he paid them to some; and when these dues were delivered into the hands of the bishop, to be divided among the four objects to which they must be appropriated,—the ease of the bishop, the aid of the church, the relief of the poor, and the support of the administering clergyman. Nor was it afterwards in less repute, when the dignitaries of the church were otherwise amply provided for, and the tithes were appropriated to three objects instead of four. The monks were of opinion that a very small sum was sufficient for the maintenance of the officiating priest; and they were active in gathering in their dues on the plea of the wants of the poor, while their train of servants was lengthened, the beauty of their abbey improved, and their fields and gardens were made to abound in the means of luxurious living. By a liberal expenditure of their peculiar purchase-money, masses and obits, and sometimes by a sacrifice of solid gold, they obtained all the advowsons within their reach, and became patrons of a great many benefices. It was made worth while to royalty to grant its license for such appropriation; and the consent of the bishop was regularly granted in return for the promise that the service of the church should be duly cared for. The brethren, therefore, were enriched from year to year with tithe and glebe; while, instead of presenting any clerk, they themselves contributed as much as they chose to the spiritual aid of the flocks they had thus gathered into their own ample fold. This process of appropriation went on very smoothly, (to the brethren, however it might be to the people under their charge) till this spiritual corporation was dissolved by Henry VIII; his bluff majesty constituting himself parson in their stead. There was little wonder that he busied himself about the Faith when he became at once parson of more than one-third of the parishes of England. However zealous he might be in his office, it was too burdensome for any man. The work of appointing vicars to so many benefices was more than the king could undertake. He sold the appropriations,—not always to holy men, (for he had himself deprived the holy of the power of bidding high for the property he had to sell,) but to laymen who transmitted them to their children, or disposed of them to other laymen, without any scruple as to thus alienating the pious contributions of believers to the church. This alienation was made the more extensive by a statute of the same monarch which ordained that the church lands purchased by laymen should remain exempt from tithes, as if they still belonged to the ecclesiastics. In this respect alone did the Abbey Farm of Mrs. Lambert’s time resemble the abbey domain of the day of Henry VIII. Instead of the cowled company whose members issued in state from the splendid building, to mount their sleek steeds to go forth and counsel the punctual payment of their dues, there was now Sir William Hood, the impropriator of the parish, marking with quick eye, from the rectory window, the luxuriance of the abbey fields, and calculating the loss to himself from their being tithe-free. Instead of the shaven priest who went down when required to perform some spiritual service, there was the gowned student muttering Hebrew in the little vicarage garden, or allowing himself to be talked to by his daughter Alice, when she tempted him abroad among his people. Instead of travellers of high and low degree craving hospitality at the portal of the monastery, there was the staid widow Lambert moving quietly between the poultry yard and the dairy, while her sons were training their fruit-trees against the grey unroofed walls which had once echoed back the prayers of the devout and the jests of the convivial. All these things were changed; but the neighbouring soil still yielded its produce, as formerly, unquestioned as to the amount of its tenths.
Very unlike indeed was any thing that passed in these grounds in monkish times to the preparation now made by the Lamberts for the reception of the minister, the churchwardens and the parishioners on occasion of their annual perambulation of the parish. The widow, more neat, if possible, than usual, in her plaited cap, silk mittens and muslin handkerchief, consulted with her son Charles as to the sufficiency of the beer and buns provided for the host of visiters they were expecting: while Joseph gave another brush to his broad brim before he went to station himself at the gate by which the crowd must enter. The intercourse between the vicar and this family was not very frequent, and of a somewhat strange character. He could not help admiring Mrs. Lambert’s kindliness of spirit as much as he marvelled at her thrift; while she, distinguished above all things for good sense, was no less astonished at the manner in which he passed his time, and the mode in which he brought up his little daughter. She was at the same time drawn towards him by the simplicity of his manners and the evidence which his whole demeanour bore to his piety. On Sundays, he woke out of a reverie on his way to the church, when Mrs. Lambert passed him and bowed her head with a cheerful “Good morning to thee;” and on week days, the young men, however busy, were always ready to listen to the vicar’s suggestions in any affair which concerned the interests of their neighbours. Charles was his favourite of the two, when he had once learned to distinguish them; for Charles listened without distraction to what was said. Joseph wished to do the same; but he could not conquer his confusion when Alice looked likely to laugh at his calling her father Mark Hellyer. He was apt to twist his sentences, and be thinking how he should avoid Quaker peculiarities of speech, when Mr. Hellyer wanted his whole attention; and Charles was therefore pronounced by the vicar the more promising young man, and the most like his mother.
Joseph, however, was the first at his post this morning. When, standing at the gate, he heard the shouts from a distance, and could distinguish the tips of the white wands carried by the churchwardens, he took one more survey of his well-brushed suit, smoothed once more his sleek beaver, and was ready with a broad smile to welcome the crowd. The vicar was in the midst, smiling as broadly as any one, and as heartily amused as he had ever been by the choicest Greek epigram. The men and boys about him were equally diverted by the fulfilment of their prophecy that the vicar would not know the bounds of the parish any better this year than any preceding year. All possible pains had been taken, from his first entrance upon the vicarage, to instruct him in the localities which he had a direct interest in understanding; but he looked as much astonished as ever when informed that he must not go along this path, or through that gate, but must lead the way in traversing this fallow, and climbing the gap in that hedge. Mr. Peterson, a neighbour, who took a kind interest in his affairs, was now on one side of him, and Byrne, a labourer of the Lamberts, on the other; and all the little boys in the parish were at their heels, watching for his reverence’s mistakes, and daring each other to offer him cowslips from every field they passed. While in full progress towards Joseph, Mr. Hellyer was carried off to the right, to make an unwilling circuit before he could reach his young friend; and while he was performing this task, Joseph learned something of the events of the morning;—how there was no difficulty to-day about their crossing the rectory garden, Sir William Hood not being there to murmur at the ground lying half in one parish and half in another, and his lessee not having arrived: how Miss Alice had earnestly wished to be one of the perambulating party, and had been pacified under the impossibility only by being permitted to view the ceremony from the cottage of her nurse,—Byrne’s wife, who had married from the vicarage. The young lady had amused herself with the annual joke of throwing water upon the perambulators; and it was thought that her own father had not escaped a sprinkling. No such greeting had awaited the party as they passed Miss Fox’s school, where not a window was opened, and nothing could be seen but the sudden apparition of a dozen curled heads above the blinds, and their equally sudden disappearance. The poor young ladies there were kept in better order than Miss Alice. Mr. Parker had been more surly than ever, this morning, about the churchwardens crossing his hop ground; though the boys had been sent round by the lane, and not half a dozen hop poles thrown down. The vicar’s spirit had been roused, and it was thought he had made Mr. Parker ashamed of himself. He might take a lesson from old Mrs. Beverley. The gentlemen were very sorry that her house stood on the boundary, so that they had to pass through her little hall and out at her back gate; but the poor old lady made light of the disturbance, and desired her maid to let every body through that wished to pass, and always had her glass of gooseberry wine ready for the vicar and the churchwardens, even when (as was the case this year), she was too feeble to be brought down stairs to bid them welcome. She had said nothing about having lost one of her bantams last year. It would not have been known, but that the maid was observed to look very anxiously after the fowls this morning. The gentlemen were duly concerned, and had alarmed the maid with promises of such reparation as she feared would bring her mistress’s anger upon her for having betrayed the circumstance. The narrator concluded with an opinion that Mr. Parker might also take a lesson from Charles and Joseph Lambert, who always threw open their gates cheerfully on these occasions.
“My mother hopes thou wilt rest at the farm,” said Joseph to the vicar, justifying the compliment which he had just received, “and any of thy friends will be welcome also. My brother is expecting the whole company at the farm.”
The whole company poured into the field, appearing fully disposed to accept the invitation.
“If thou hast no objection,” he presently added, “I will step to John Byrne’s for thy daughter, and bring her to our summer house on the hill. We conceive that the finding the boundary this year, among the new enclosures, will be amusing; and I could conduct thy daughter and Jane Byrne to the summer house, while our friends here are refreshing themselves at the farm. Have I thy permission?”
“Alice? Yes; it is a pity Alice should not be here. You are very good. I think it is a pity Alice should not be here.”
The obliging Joseph only waited to see his guest under his brother’s charge, and then set off for Byrne’s cottage. He knew how fond the little girl was of this summer house on the hill, when the dog was silenced and chained up, and she was at liberty either to gather the wallflowers which grew around as profusely as common grass, or to look abroad over the vast prospect which was spread out below the high hill from which this building projected. As two fields and an extent of down had to be traversed before the hill could be climbed, no time was to be lost; and Joseph made all speed: and though Alice overheated herself with running, and left Mrs. Byrne to clamber up the ascent as she best could, she was only just in time to see the crowd leave the Abbey Farm house. When she had taken courage to rush past the chained dog, and was at length leaning out of the middle window, she said amidst her panting,
“What a little way they have to go now! It will be all over presently. I wish I had come here at first.”
Joseph pointed out to her that the extent of the landscape had led her into a mistake. The church, the vicarage, and Mr. Parker’s hopground were as far apart as usual, though from this height they appeared to lie close together.
“And all this farm of yours looks like a bit of a garden,” observed Alice; “and there is the farm house where uncle Jerom lives, and his little church. They seem to belong to us,—they lie so near.”
“Dost thou see thy uncle Jerom himself?” asked Joseph.
Alice looked every where, she thought, and could not see him;—down the steep white path which descended from the summer house, past the sheep-fold to the stile, but no one was there but Mrs. Byrne, mounting step by step;—along the grey abbey wall,—but nothing cast a shadow there in this fine May sunshine, but a ladder placed against the wall among the fruit-trees:—into the farm yard,—but if uncle Jerom was one of the moving group there, she could not distinguish him. Mrs. Lambert, with her white cap, and the churchwardens with their wands were alone recognizable. Somebody was stealing about in the churchyard, but so feebly, that he must be thirty years older than uncle Jerom. She saw, finally, a black dot or two on the green meadow which stretched far away to the right; but whether these were horses, cows, or men, she could defy Joseph to pronounce. She had not looked every where yet. Mrs. Byrne had by this time entered; but she was too breathless and dizzy to supply any effective eyesight. Alice must try again, assisted by a broad hint from Joseph. “O, I see, I see! but who would have thought of looking there?—in that bare field,—all in confusion with new banks and ditches. That is uncle Jerom, however; I know by his leaning backwards upon his stick, with both his hands behind him. What is he standing there for, as if he was looking for the stars to come out?”
“I dare say he is waiting for our friends,—perhaps to shake hands with thee across the boundary. The boundary passes along those new enclosures, as we shall see presently.”
“There, Jane,” said Alice to her nurse; “you are the only person, I do believe, that would not let me go the rounds. I am sure papa would have let me go, if you had said nothing about it; and there is uncle Jerom waiting for me now. I will go, after all,” she declared, jumping down from the chair on which she was lolling.
Mrs. Byrne believed uncle Jerom would be as much surprised to see his niece under such circumstances, as to behold the stars come out which Alice supposed him to be looking for through the sunshine. Joseph declared that the whole ceremony would be over before Alice could reach the new enclosures.
“Thoud’st better stay, and see what thou canst from this place, if I may advise,” said he. “It is my opinion that they are going to leave our farm yard now.”
“There they go! how slowly they seem to move!” cried Alice. “Those boys with the green boughs are certainly running as fast as they can go; but they scarcely get on at all. Though you say I must not go, there is Mrs. Lambert following them, you see. Look, Jane! why should not we be walking there as well as Mrs. Lambert?—O dear! she is turning back. She only went to see that the gate was shut,—that those staring calves might not take it into their heads to go too, I suppose.—No. They had rather stay with her. Do look how they rest their heads on her shoulders!”
Mrs. Byrne was now rested; and she came to see what was the reason of the shout which seemed to be prodigious, however faint it was made by distance. Joseph believed that there had been some jealousy between this parish and the next about the tithes being unequal, or something being wrong about the provision for the clergyman. He did not well understand the matter, as he paid no tithes, and did not interfere in disputes which arose out of them: but he hoped all jealousies were to be buried in these new enclosures, and that this must be what the people were shouting for.
“Then, if you do not pay tithes,” said Alice, — “But you will have quantities of hay, I am sure; and you see you have calves. Why do not you pay like other people?”
Joseph and Mrs. Byrne answered at the same moment. “My brother and I do not think it right to pay tithes. The Friends never pay tithes.”
“No body that rents the Abbey Farm pays tithes.”
“Well: if you do not pay tithes, I suppose there will be no hay-making for me to do in your meadows. I am to help to make papa’s haycock in the rectory field.”
“Has the vicar any claim upon the rectory field?”
“Yes; because papa says he is a specially endowed vicar.”
“Dost thou know what that means?”
“No: I only know that we have had three dear little chickens from Sir William Hood’s broods; and papa says we are to make a haycock, and to have some turnips by and bye, from the glebe.”
“And he has some glebe land too, has not he?”
“Yes to be sure: you know our field very well. I have not forgotten what a race you once gave me there, when you made me run over the young beans.—How they do shake hands!—papa and uncle Jerom. Uncle Jerom is going home with papa to tea, I think. He steps over the new bank into the field, you see. I wish I might gather some wall-flowers to carry home for them.”
Mrs. Byrne begged Joseph to be Alice’s guardian, as he knew best how to silence the dog which would certainly bark, and frighten Alice. He must be particularly careful not to let her go too near the edge of the projection on which the summer-house was built, and where the very finest of the wall-flowers grew. She, meanwhile, would watch from the window, and call them if any thing more was to be seen.—It was not long before she gave notice that the boys had thrown their green boughs into a corner of the churchyard, and that the ceremony seemed to be finished, as many were dispersing to their homes. As soon, therefore, as Alice had gathered more wall-flowers than she could conveniently carry, she was ready to proceed towards the vicarage, provided her companions could settle whether she was to rest on the way at the Abbey Farm, or at Mrs. Byrne’s cottage. It was certainly the Lamberts’ turn, as she had been at her nurse’s already to-day: but Mrs. Byrne had a little cream-cheese in readiness for the vicarage table, and she must go home with Alice, for the sake of carrying this cheese and a bunch of radishes for the gentlemen’s supper, as they were to sup together to-night. So Joseph had no more to do than to see his charge safe down the hill, before he hastened home to refresh himself with a draught of the ale that might be left, and to tell his mother that cream-cheeses were liked at the vicarage.