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original endowment dated from before 1181. The lepers were well treated. Their daily allowance was “a loaf weighing five marks, and a gallon of ale to each, and betwixt every two a mess or commons of flesh three days in the week; and of fish, cheese, or butter on the remaining four; on high festivals, a double mess; and in particular, on the feast of St Cuthbert, in Lent, fresh salmon, if it could be had,—if not, other fresh fish; and on Michaelmas-day four messed on a goose, with fresh fish, flesh, or eggs,”—and so on. The sick leper had fire and candles, and all necessaries, till he should get better or die,—donec melioretur vel moriatur. In the seventeenth century, maimed seamen and soldiers were substituted for lepers.
Dr Bell wished to hold this office along with his living at Swanage; but this was found to be against the conditions of the Mastership. The bishop accordingly requested Dr Bell to write to his patron, Mr Calcraft, and beg him to present the living to a Mr Gale, the bishop's nominee. Mr Gale was not beloved by Swanage ; and this lack of affection was ardently returned. He writes in the plainest terms to Dr Bell : “My good cousin, you begin yours with saying you hope I am in love with Swanage. I told you the moment I saw it, and even before we arrived at it, my idea of it. You talk of summer. The fault is in winter, as you too well know. You are up to the neck in puddle and mire; and in summer you are smothered with the dust, and roasted in those parts where the houses are, by the burning sun. The very sight of the country gave poor Mr Saunders (the curate) the horrors.
I have told the bishop that, instead of doing me a service, the expense of this place will be the ruin of me; and I am most truly sorry that I was so great a fool as to come to it without having first seen it; and well for me had it been at the bottom of the sea before I ever arrived at it.” And yet Mr Gale's living in Yorkshire was only £150 a-year, while the Swanage rectory amounted to £600.
Applications for teachers trained on the Madras System, came in almost daily—from London, Twickenham, Plymouth, and many other places. As early as 1805, Dr Bell had recommended the establishment of a Board of Education for the whole country ; and
; in 1808 he published a ' Sketch of a National Institution for Training up the Children of the Poor in Moral and Religious Principles, and in Habits of Useful Industry.' And this was the beginning of the present National Society, which is still strong and prosperous.
The clergy of the diocese of Durham formed themselves in 1811 into “A Society for the Education of the Children of the Poor, according to the System invented by Dr Bell ;” and another society of the same kind was founded in Devonshire by Sir Thomas Acland. The formation of this Devonshire society was much quickened by the expressed intention of Mr Lancaster “ to visit this county in October;” by a report that he came “with royal authority;" and by his statement that "he will teach the people of Devonshire a lesson that will surprise them, and such as they have not been used to."
The System had been also adopted in the Preparatory
School of Christ's Hospital at Hertford ; and Mr Davis, on visiting it, tells Dr Bell that “I and my wife were delighted almost to tears. An intelligent, well-disposed, unobtrusive master-able, active, diligent, correct, cheerful teachers-happy boys, all employed-the hum of industry-marked books—registers beautifully keptreading and ciphering after your own heart, -all bespoke the carefulness and attention which had been paid to the directions given.” And their success seems to have fired Dr Bell with the ambition of applying the Madras System to classical education.
In the autumn of 1811, the controversy between the partisans of Bell and Lancaster broke out again, and with increased virulence. Lord Radstock, an admirer of Dr Bell's, sent to the ‘Morning Post' an extraordinary rhapsody,” to which he gave the title of “The Sleepers Awakened : a Vision.” In this paper, the writer dreams that he saw " the whole bench of bishops dressed in their robes, their mitres on their heads, and all of them seemingly in a most profound sleep.” Then there appeared "a chubby-faced little man, in an entire drab-coloured suit and a broad-brimmed hat,” who “exclaimed in a slow and sonorous tone of voice-'Ye slothful and mouldering puny dignitaries, have ye not slumbered your fill ?'” The bishops were frightened ; and " the whole of them rushed out of the hall together, in no less apparent agony than with precipitation.” The chubby-faced little man had “ dashed a scroll to the floor," and on the scroll was written “ Joseph Lancaster, the inventor of the Lancasterian System.” Then Lord Radstock, feeling “a gentle tap on the shoulder,”
turned and saw "a lovely youth standing by my side, clad in white, and of heavenly mien." (The lovely youth was Dr Bell, who had a heavy, fleshy, fiery-red face, -was fifty-eight, and, as he himself said, "a bad life.”) The youth The youth “spoke as follows: ‘Be of good
' cheer, thou friend to the Established Church, and fear not.'”. The editor of the 'Morning Post'appended the following note to the end of the paper:
• The above subject being of considerable importance to the public, it is scarcely necessary for us to state that we shall leave our columns open to the free and liberal discussion of it.”
The lists were now ready, and the challenge had been sounded. Mr Lancaster at once thought it necessary to address a series of letters to the “British Public,” in which he changed his attitude, became the attacking party, drew his sword, and threw away the scabbard. It was a pity. For whereas Lancaster had before thought only of his children, his work, and the wants of the country, he now descended into an arena of personalities, where the line of another man's consciousness is constantly crossed, and where motives and meannesses are lavishly and loudly imputed. He said that the King had sent for him; unsolicited and unexpectedly,” had honoured him with his name and patronage; and that then, and only then, “Dr Bell was dragged out of his retirement to claim a plan, the merit of which I assert is not his.” He accuses the reverend Doctor of having for years kept “the benefit of his boasted system even from the children of his own parish; and adds that, had it not been “for the glitter
and sound of the royal patronage,” he would never have left his solitude or his occupation “of planting cabbages.” He taunts Dr Bell with being an advocate for " the universal limitation of knowledge,” and quotes from one of Dr Bell's pamphlets the fatal words—“The children of the poor should not even be taught to write or to cipher.” Professor Marsh, who had the misfortune to preach a sermon in St Paul's to seven thousand charity children, in which he attacked Lancaster, joined in the controversy. The controversy quickly rose into higher regions; and, as was to be expected, the 'Edinburgh Review' took the side of Mr Lancaster, while Southey in the 'Quarterly' appeared as an ally of Dr Bell.