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Title: Dorothea Beale of Cheltenham
Author: Raikes, Elizabeth
Language: English
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DOROTHEA BEALE OF CHELTENHAM


[Illustration: _Photo. J. C. Hughes_

_Dorothea Beale_

_from the portrait by J. J. Shannon._]


DOROTHEA BEALE OF CHELTENHAM

by

ELIZABETH RAIKES


Illustrated



London
Archibald Constable
and Company Ltd.
1908

Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty



TO ‘HER CHILDREN’



PREFACE


Miss Beale left ample materials for the history of her work. Not only
were all business documents, such as minutes of council meetings,
nomination papers, examination questions carefully preserved, she kept
also all letters which could be of any interest. She went further than
merely arranging materials for a future book. In 1900 she compiled a very
complete _History of the Ladies’ College_. Here she traced its origin,
growth, and expansion; here, too, she named most carefully all who by
earnest work and self-denial, by industry, talent, or generous gift, had
in any way contributed to its wellbeing and influence. She was anxious
that all faithful work should be known.

But Miss Beale recognised that after her death there would be a demand
for something more. She was earnestly desirous that in any account which
might appear of herself, the work for which she lived should have the
first place. With her innate sensitiveness, she shrank from the thought
of a Life. It would not indeed be possible to write a life of Dorothea
Beale which was not also, fully and intimately, a Life of the Ladies’
College, Cheltenham. Yet Miss Beale left some materials for the more
personal side of the book—many letters, diaries, and autobiographical
fragments. One paper opens thus:

    ‘In these days we all live in glass houses, and it seems
    useless to say, Let nothing appear in print. The life of
    the College, for which I have lived forty years, some
    reminiscences of the state of things as regards education,
    and some traces of the way in which the Potter has formed
    the vessel for the service of the household, may perhaps be
    allowed. It seems to me that the story of the inward life
    may be helpful. I should relate only those things which, on
    looking back over my long life, seem to have exercised a
    formative influence upon my own character, and tended under
    God’s Providence to fit me for the work which was given me to
    do. The circumstances and ideals of my childhood, the family
    influences, sometimes what seems a chance acquaintance, or even
    a passing remark; these viewed from within might have had an
    influence little dreamed of at the time.’

I have endeavoured in this book to follow Miss Beale’s own suggestions,
but also to give some faint idea of what she was to the many she inspired
and taught. In her _History of the Ladies’ College_ she left little
historical fact unmentioned: it is possible for another to show that she
was the real founder, the main builder.

Many thanks are owing to those who kindly furnished me with letters
from Miss Beale. It was difficult to select from the very large number
received, and it was with much regret that many had to be excluded, lest
the book should become unwieldy.

It remains but to add one word on my gratitude for the unfailing kindness
and generous help of those who have read this book in manuscript and
proof; to Mrs. Reynolds and Miss Bertha Synge; to Miss Helen Cunliffe who
undertook the somewhat wearisome task of deciphering the diaries, and,
lastly, to Miss Alice Andrews, whose name Miss Beale associated with mine
when she asked me to write a History of the College.

                                                        ELIZABETH RAIKES.

_June 2, 1908._



CONTENTS


    CHAP.                                          PAGE

       I. CHILDHOOD                                   1

      II. QUEEN’S COLLEGE                            17

     III. CASTERTON                                  36

      IV. AN INTERVAL                                60

       V. CHELTENHAM                                 81

      VI. EARLY HISTORY OF THE LADIES’ COLLEGE      108

     VII. A ROYAL COMMISSION                        134

    VIII. ORGANISATION                              158

      IX. DE PROFUNDIS                              179

       X. THE GUILD                                 203

      XI. ST. HILDA’S WORK                          226

     XII. TEACHER AND PRINCIPAL                     254

    XIII. PARERGA                                   286

     XIV. HONOURS                                   312

      XV. THE LAST TERM                             349

     XVI. LETTERS                                   371

          INDEX                                     427



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


    DOROTHEA BEALE. From the Portrait by J. J. Shannon,
        A.R.A                                              _Frontispiece_

    CAROLINE FRANCES CORNWALLIS. From a Painting by
        Herself                                         _to face page_ 4

    CAMBRAY HOUSE. From an Old Engraving                      ”       90

    MISS DOROTHEA BEALE, 1859                                 ”      108

    MR. T. HOUGHTON BRANCKER                                  ”      120

    THE LOWER HALL, LADIES’ COLLEGE, CHELTENHAM.
        A Photograph by Miss Bertha Synge                     ”      216

    S. HILDA’S HALL, OXFORD                                   ”      238

    LADIES’ COLLEGE AND GARDEN, 1908                          ”      254

    THE EMPRESS FREDERICK AT CHELTENHAM. From a
        Photograph by Mr. Domenico Barnett                    ”      334

    DOROTHEA BEALE, LL.D.                                     ”      340



CHAPTER I

CHILDHOOD

    ‘Wisdom goeth about seeking them that are worthy of her, and in
    their paths she appeareth graciously, and in every purpose she
    meeteth them.

    ‘For her true beginning is desire of discipline; and the care
    for discipline is love of her; and love of her is observance of
    laws.’

                               _Wisdom of Solomon_, vi. 16, 17, 18.


Dorothea Beale was born on March 21, 1831. The story of her childhood and
youth forms a good illustration of the best education that girls of the
early Victorian time could obtain. It gives also a glimpse of the fears
and hopes, the silent struggles, the disappointments of many a girl who
strove to wrest, as from a grudging Fate, the opportunity to inform and
use her mind. As far as possible this story is told autobiographically.

Miss Beale belonged to a Gloucestershire family. One ancestor, in the
early days of the manufacturing settlement in the Stroud Valley, married
a Miss Hyde, a relation of the Chancellor. She brought to her husband
Hyde Court, Chalford, where Miss Beale’s brother, Mr. Henry Beale,
now resides. Miss Beale’s own father, however, never lived there. His
parents, who married young, settled at Brownshill in Gloucestershire, and
here his father (Dorothea’s grandfather) died, leaving a widow aged only
twenty-four with three children, John, Miles, and Mary, to be brought
up on very slender means. Mrs. John Beale removed to Bath, where she
remained till the boys left school for Guy’s Hospital. Then she came to
live with them in Essex, where for a time they practised in partnership.
In 1824 Miles married Dorothea Margaret Complin, a lady of Huguenot
extraction; her grandfather had practised as a physician in Spital
Square, one of the original settlements of the French immigrants.

In 1830 the young couple with three children came to live in St. Helen’s
parish, Bishopsgate, where a year later Dorothea, their fourth child and
third daughter, was born. She was baptized in the ancient church of St.
Helen’s on June 10, 1831. ‘Awoke early. Baptism Day. Read the service,’
she wrote in her diary in 1891.

The Complins were a family of wide connections. Mrs. Beale’s aunt, Mrs.
Cornwallis, wife of the Rev. William Cornwallis, rector of Wittersham,
Kent, was an active, benevolent woman with literary tastes and
occupations. She took a great interest in her two young nieces, Elizabeth
and Dorothea Margaret Complin, who at an early age lost their own mother,
her sister. The two little girls were sent to school at Ealing, where the
elder, Elizabeth, gained many prizes or ‘Rewards of Merit,’ as school
prizes were then called. After her sister’s marriage to Mr. Miles Beale,
Elizabeth Complin lived for some time with her clever aunt and cousin,
Mrs. Cornwallis and her daughter Caroline, sharing their interests and
studies. On the death of her brother’s wife she came to live in London.
There she was brought into immediate touch with her nieces, Dorothea
Beale and her sisters, whom she delighted to help and advise in their
reading, and who by her means became familiar with the aims and ideals of
the Cornwallises. These more distant relations, whose intellectual aims
and work Miss Beale always reckoned among the influences of her early
life, were themselves authors of no mean merit. ‘Mrs. Cornwallis wrote
several devotional books, and is said to have learned Hebrew in the first
instance to teach her grandson, James Trimmer. She wrote also for him a
series of papers on the canonical Scriptures, in four volumes. This was
published by subscription, as was the custom with expensive works in
those days. The Queen and a number of great people entered their names,
and with the profits Mrs. Cornwallis was able to build schools in her
husband’s parish.’[1]

James Trimmer died when only twelve. His other grandmother was also
literary—Mrs. Sarah Trimmer, famous in her own day as the author of
nearly thirty volumes for the young. Her _Sacred History_ was the most
important of these, but perhaps the best known now is _The History of the
Robins_.

    ‘One story of his childhood,’ runs the autobiography, ‘was a
    great favourite with us as children. His uncle had settled
    to sell a pony of which James was very fond, and many were
    the tears he shed. His grandmother (Mrs. Cornwallis) said, “I
    think, James, that this life is a journey upwards; each time we
    do right, or bear a sorrow patiently, we get up one step of the
    ladder to Heaven.” So he dried his eyes and was quite cheerful
    once more. Meanwhile, his uncle, seeing the boy’s sorrow,
    cancelled the sale, and brought news to James that the pony was
    his once more. Again to his surprise, James burst into tears,
    and at length it was drawn from him that he feared now he would
    have to come down from that step of the ladder. He was finally
    consoled by some such doctrine as Browning has commended in the
    words, “’Tis not what man does that exalts him, but what man
    _would_ do.” All her pupils were not as responsive as James.
    Once, after expending her eloquence on a plough-boy whom she
    was preparing for confirmation, she said: “Now, are you not
    glad that you have a soul?” to which she could only get the
    reply, “I don’t care very little about it....”

    ‘Mr. Cornwallis was a scholar; he was a descendant of
    Archbishop Cornwallis. I do not know any details of his
    College career; but he taught his only unmarried daughter
    Latin and Greek classics, and she gained such a rare facility
    in understanding that he used to read the classics aloud to
    her, and expect her to follow. He was a friend of Sismondi,
    from whom Miss Cornwallis received an offer of marriage,
    which she declined on the ground of great disparity of age.
    Sismondi lent her afterwards his villa at Pisa, and my aunt,
    her great friend, accompanied her there. A journey to Italy
    for two ladies was a great undertaking, and many interesting
    reminiscences used we to hear from my aunt. She there acquired
    a good knowledge of Italian, by which we benefited later.’[2]

In after years Miss Caroline Cornwallis moved to Maidstone, where she
exercised her many talents and versatile mind in varied occupations.
Miss Cornwallis not only studied Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, but such
questions of the day as criminal procedure; she also read philosophy.
She wrote besides articles for the _Westminster Review_ and _Fraser’s
Magazine_, several books in a series entitled ‘_Small Books on Great
Subjects_—edited by a few well-wishers to knowledge.’ The first was
_Philosophical Theories and Experience of a Pariah_. She said women were
regarded as pariahs, and were it known that the book was written by a
woman it would not be read.[3] Others of the series which she wrote
were some volumes entitled _A Brief View of Greek Philosophy_, and some
historical works, _The State of the World before the Introduction of
Christianity_. She also wrote a classical novel called _Pericles and
Aspasia_. Miss Cornwallis rejoiced in the fact that as a woman, though
unknown, she obtained for her writings the praise of ‘big-wigs.’

    ‘“I long,” she wrote to a friend after one of her works had
    received flattering notices in the _British Medical Journal_,
    “to knock all the big-wigs together and say it was a woman that
    did all this—a woman that laughed at you all and despised your
    praise. And if, like Caligula’s wish, I could put all mankind
    into one and leave you to say that in its ears when I am gone
    quietly to my grave, I think it would be glorious. It is as
    a woman, and not as the individual C.F.C., that I enjoy my
    triumph; for, as regards my own proper self, I like to creep in
    a corner and be quiet; but to raise my whole sex and with it
    the world is an object worth fagging for. Heart and hand to the
    work.”’

[Illustration: _Caroline Frances Cornwallis_

_From a painting by herself_]

Miss Cornwallis reflects the thought of her day with regard to women’s
work. It was one of the tasks of her cousin, Dorothea Beale—whose
‘fagging’ in the next generation did so much for her own sex and the
world—to show that the best work is done when the question of what will
be said about it does not affect it one way or the other.[4]

The authorship of the _Small Books_ was a well-kept secret.

    ‘We did not know who wrote the books till after her death,
    though my aunt, who gave them to us, often stayed with her as
    her amanuensis. Miss Cornwallis was a skilled handworker, too.
    Before the Society for Home Arts existed she learned to bind
    books for her library. She was no mean artist, and her portrait
    of herself in her library is considered very successful. I
    have heard how she fitted up a marionette theatre for the
    amusement of friends. I did not know her personally; she died
    when I was young; but the talk of her ability and knowledge,
    and the association with my aunt, Elizabeth Complin, who
    was her friend, had much to do with calling out my literary
    ambition.’[5]

The Beales were a very large family, with more than twenty years between
the eldest and youngest children; and all those things which make home
life at once precious in itself and valuable as a training for the
world’s work were theirs to a full extent: mutual love and toil and
suffering, the elder serving the younger, the little ones looking up to
the wise elder sisters, the constant practice of all those qualities
which are the law of a well-ordered religious home. Both parents from the
midst of their own absorbing personal occupations found time to lead out
the mental abilities of their children, by reading aloud to them, giving
verses of Scripture and poetry to be learned by heart, and finding time
to hear them repeated. The home atmosphere was serious and intellectual.
Dorothea said she owed much to the literary tastes of her parents. ‘I
shall never forget,’ she said, ‘how we learned to love Shakspere, through
my father’s reading to us, when we were quite young, selected portions. I
still remember the terror which, as a very small child, I felt as I heard
Portia pronounce the verdict. I thought Shylock had really gained the
day.[6]

‘History and general literature we would read with our mother, and listen
with delight to her stories of the eventful era she had lived through.’

Miles Beale, like his wife, belonged to a family with cultivated tastes
and interests. Among his relations he could reckon the eminent geologist
and archæologist, William Symonds,[7] rector of Pendock, Gloucestershire,
whose daughter married Sir Joseph Hooker. In connection with his friend
the Rev. Charles Mackenzie, vicar of St. Helen’s, and others, Mr. Beale
joined a committee known as the Literary Society, of which he became
honorary secretary, for the institution of lectures in Crosby Hall. A
library and evening classes were also formed, and these became in time
the basis of the present City of London College for young men. He was
much helped by Miss Maria Hackett, well known for her diligent efforts
to rescue old endowments which, granted for girls’ education, had been
alienated to boys. Mr. Beale, who was fond of music, was also a prime
mover in getting up concerts of sacred music. ‘This made us acquainted
with some musicians, and amongst others with Mrs. Bartholomew and her
husband, the friend of Mendelssohn, who translated many of the German
songs. He was a most interesting and cultivated man, an artist and
dramatist.’[8]

The growing children were often allowed to be present when their father’s
friends came, and thus silently heard much thoughtful and intellectual
conversation. They looked up to him as to one who expected them to care
for books and for matters of public moment, and he strove to interest
them in his own pursuits and reading, and to give them a taste for what
was really good. ‘“Blessed are the pure in heart”—poor Swift,’ he said
one day as he handled a volume of the great satirist. ‘That,’ said
Dorothea long after, ‘was the best literature lesson I ever received.’
The daughter must have resembled her father both in literary taste and
zeal. This busy man, who found time to pursue so many interests, would
accuse himself of being ‘naturally idle.’ It may come as a surprise to
many who knew the strenuous life at Cheltenham to find this was a fault
of which the Principal constantly accused herself.

One friend who was much with the Beales, often dining with them on
Sundays, was Charles Mackenzie, then headmaster of St. Olave’s Grammar
School, and successively vicar of St. Helen’s, Bishopsgate, and St.
Benet’s, Gracechurch Street, and prebendary of St. Paul’s. Dorothea felt
she owed much to his teaching; he prepared her for confirmation in 1847.
As children she and her brothers and sisters attended St. Helen’s. Again
to quote her autobiography:

    ‘To come to the nearer influences of my childhood. There was
    the faith of my parents, the morning and evening prayer. There
    was the Bible picture-book and the Sunday lessons. The church
    we went to was an old one, St. Helen’s, and at the entrance
    were the words, “This is none other than the House of God, and
    this is the Gate of Heaven.” There were high pews, and the
    service was almost a duet between clergyman and clerk, yet I
    realised, even more than I ever have in the most beautiful
    cathedral and perfect services, that the Lord was in that
    place, even as Jacob realised in the desert what he had failed
    to find at home. There was over the East window an oval coat
    of arms with strange scrolls which seemed to have eyes, and
    reclining on each side two life-sized golden angels. This thing
    seemed to speak strangely to my spiritual consciousness. Our
    clergyman must have read well. I remember how, as the story of
    the Crucifixion was read, the church would grow dark, as it
    seemed. There were no hymn-books, only a few hymns pasted on a
    card, and generally we sang from Tate and Brady. I know nothing
    of the substance of the sermons now, but I remember the emotion
    they often called forth, and how I with difficulty restrained
    my tears. There was a Tuesday evening service, at which I
    suppose there were never a dozen present, but I found there
    great help, and to be obliged to go elsewhere on that night was
    a great privation. The hymns were a great power in my life. I
    remember the joy with which I would sing, in my own room, Ken’s
    Evening Hymn, and the awful joy of the Trinity hymn, “Holy,
    holy, holy.”

    ‘The books that we read most on Sunday—for no secular book was
    allowed—were Mant’s Bible with pictures, which were explained
    by my mother, and a book of Martyrs with dreadful pictures;
    Bunyan’s _Pilgrim’s Progress_, with the outline drawings, and
    a number of tracts, such as Parley the Porter, and stories of
    good and bad children.

    ‘An aunt, my godmother, lived with us, and was often my
    friend in my childish troubles. I shall not speak much of
    the governesses we had in succession, because they left but
    little impression on my inner life, nor need I speak of all my
    brothers and sisters, except so far as they come into my inner
    life. The strongest influence was that of my sister Eliza. We
    were constantly together. She had a very lively imagination,
    and on most nights would tell me stories that she had invented.
    Early in the mornings she would transform our bedroom into some
    wild magic scene, and we would play at Alexander the Great, and
    ride Pegasus on the foot of our four-post bedstead. I remember
    now how Mangnall furnished her with mental pictures of heathen
    gods, which were cut out in paper and painted. London children
    had no outdoor games.’[9]

The elder daughters were at first educated by daily governesses. Dorothea
said that among her earliest reminiscences about 1840 were those relating
to the choice of a governess.

    ‘My mother advertised and hundreds of answers were sent. She
    began by eliminating all those in which bad spelling occurred
    (a proceeding which as a spelling reformer I must now condemn),
    next the wording and composition were criticised, and lastly a
    few of the writers were interviewed and a selection was made.
    But alas! an inspection of our exercise-books revealed so many
    uncorrected faults, that a dismissal followed, and another
    search resulted in the same way. I can remember only one really
    clever and competent teacher; she had been educated in a good
    French school and grounded us well in the language.’[10]

Memory preserves the name—Miss Wright—of the lady who earned this word of
praise. When she left, the girls were sent to school.

    ‘It was a school,’ again to quote Miss Beale’s own account
    of her education, ‘considered much above the average for
    sound instruction; our mistresses were women who had read and
    thought; they had taken pains to arrange various schemes of
    knowledge; yet what miserable teaching we had in many subjects;
    history was learned by committing to memory little manuals;
    rules of arithmetic were taught, but the principles were never
    explained. Instead of reading and learning the masterpieces of
    literature, we repeated week by week the Lamentations of King
    Hezekiah, the pretty but somewhat weak “Mother’s Picture” of
    Cowper, and worse doggrel verses on the solar system.’[11]

The arrangements were doubtless similar to those of the period in all
schools of the same kind, such as were described by Miss Beale in one of
her early articles on the Education of Girls.

    ‘I know one school,’ she wrote, ‘existing to the end of the
    first half of the nineteenth century, in which the terms were
    not less than £100 a year. The following was the arrangement of
    hours: Rise at seven o’clock ... Lessons till eight; breakfast,
    consisting of bread and butter, with extremely weak coffee;
    lessons till twelve, luncheon, consisting of bread and butter,
    or bread and jam, and “turns” till one o’clock. These “turns”
    consisted in going thirty times post haste round and round the
    garden; they could scarcely be accomplished unless the luncheon
    were carried round in the hand and eaten _en route_. Lessons
    from one o’clock until three forty-five. Dinner four o’clock,
    and “turns” in fine weather immediately following, as after
    luncheon. Lessons until eight, then tea, and bed at nine.’[12]

The school was at Stratford, and it lent perhaps a personal reminiscence
to a favourite line of Chaucer’s _Prologue_, on which, in the literature
lessons at Cheltenham, Miss Beale never failed to dwell.

    ‘After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe,
    For Frensch of Parys was to hire unknowe.’

She always had a horror of schoolgirl French, and the practice at one
time so common of permitting no talk except in French.

    ‘Our thinking power was hindered from developing by intercourse
    with one another, because we were required to speak in a tongue
    in which we could indeed talk, but in which conversation was
    impossible; and the language we spoke was one peculiar to
    English boarding schools.’[13]

Young as Dorothea was when she went to school, she was no doubt
distinguished there for her industry and ability, and certainly for her
conscientiousness. A little story of this remains. On one occasion she
fainted in church, and when some kindly hand removed her bonnet, she
revived, and clung to it desperately, because she would not have her
head uncovered in church. The weary rounds in the garden lingered in
the memory of those who performed them, and there were those who would
tell in after years how faithfully the little Dorothea would perform her
‘turns,’ while some girls were not above cheating a little.

The school-days were not prolonged, for ‘fortunately,’ she says,—

    ‘Ill-health compelled me to leave at thirteen, and then began
    a valuable time of education under the direction of myself,
    during which I expended a great deal of energy in useless
    directions, but gained more than I should have probably done at
    any existing school; dreaming much, and seeking for a fuller
    realisation of the great spiritual realities, which make one
    feel that all knowledge is sacred. We had access to two large
    libraries; one that of the London Institution, the other that
    of Crosby Hall; besides which the Medical Book Club circulated
    many books of general interest, which were read by all and
    talked over at meal-times and in the evening, when my father
    used often to read aloud to us. Novels rarely came our way, but
    we found pasturage enough. We read a great deal of history:
    the works of Froissart, Thierry, Thiers, Alison, Miller’s
    _Philosophy of History_, Sir James Stephen’s books, Prescott’s,
    Creasy’s stand out very distinctly to memory.’[14]

The reading of a book named _Scientific Dialogues_ she counted also as
an era in her mental history. All the good reviews of the time, the
_Edinburgh_, _Quarterly_, and _Blackwood’s Magazine_, came in her way,
with books of travel and biographies. She made elaborate tables on all
sorts of subjects, some of which in neat handwriting may still be seen.
She had access to all Whately’s works, and worked up alone his _Logic and
Rhetoric_.

This unwearied study was no accumulation of knowledge for its own
sake, it was the outcome of a true if youthful admiration for what
was noble and good. ‘I worshipped for years Isabella of Castile. Sir
James Stephen’s essay on George the Third filled my imagination with
magnificent visions; his Port Royalists were my ideal characters;
especially was Pascal a hero, I read and re-read his _Life and Provincial
Letters_.’[15]

Pascal’s life perhaps breathed for her a spirit of emulation. ‘I borrowed
a Euclid, and without any help read the first six books, carefully
working through the whole of the fifth, as I did not know what was
usually done. It did not occur to me to ask my father for lessons in
such subjects.’[16] She also made some way with algebra, and calculated
for herself the distance to the moon. Much time, she owned, was wasted
by working alone. But the very difficulties proved a source of help,
showing her the value of knowledge acquired by effort and search, as
opposed to mere information received from another. In all her reading
she received both help and sympathy from her aunt, Elizabeth Complin,
who herself understood Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, had considerable taste
for mathematics, and was fond of philosophy. She was one of the first
subscribers to Mudie’s. The London Library was also a mine of wealth to
the young readers.

Outside her home, the chief educational influence for Dorothea at this
period must have been the lectures of the Literary Institution at Crosby
Hall, and more especially the Gresham Lectures. She attended some of
these in company with a younger sister, who often grew weary and
hungry when Dorothea, after a long morning’s work, would stay to talk
abstrusely with a professor, or linger over a bookstall on the way home
to dinner. The professor was probably Mr. Pullen, of whose lectures on
astronomy she wrote that they ‘inspired a passionate desire to know
more of mathematics, and to understand all the processes described. I
obtained books on mechanics and spelt them out as well as I was able, but
was often baffled. The mysteries of the Calculus I pored over in vain
... not knowing that I lacked the knowledge which alone could make it
intelligible.’[17]

Dorothea’s educational fortune proved itself to be better than that of
the Prioress, for in 1847 she was sent with two elder sisters, their
characters ‘ripe for observation,’ to Mrs. Bray’s fashionable school for
English girls in the Champs Elysées. This school, kept by English ladies,
was supposed to offer a good English education, as well as French.

    ‘Imagine our disgust,’ writes Miss Beale, ‘at being required
    to read English history in Mrs. Trimmer, to learn by heart all
    Murray’s grammar, to learn even lists of prepositions by heart,
    in order that we might parse without the trouble of thinking.
    I learned them with such anger that the list was burnt into
    my brain, and I can say it now. The “Use of the Globes,” too,
    we were taught, and very impertinent was I thought for asking
    a reason for some of the tricks we were made to play with a
    globe under the direction of Keith. We used indeed to read
    collectively Robertson’s _Charles the Fifth_, i.e. it was read
    aloud on dancing evenings. Each class went out in succession
    for the dancing lesson; thus no one read the whole book, though
    the school in its corporate capacity did. I felt oppressed with
    the routine life; I, who had been able to moon, grub, alone for
    hours, to live in a world of dreams and thoughts of my own,
    was now put into a cage and had to walk round and round like a
    squirrel. I felt thought was killed. Still, I know now that the
    time was well spent. The mechanical order, the system of the
    French school was worth seeing, worth living in, only not for
    long.’[18]

One personal glimpse we have of the sisters at school in a letter of Mr.
Beale’s to Dorothea: ‘I thought your last letter very nicely written;
tell Eliza so, though it did not apply to hers. She does not write
much, though in the right spirit too: but a genteel hand is of great
importance. I am aware it requires much practice.’

The old-fashioned word exactly describes the neat, fine, pointed
handwriting, which is preserved for us in two or three French
exercise-books of the time. This writing soon after began to suffer
from too much of the German character, and later still more from unduly
ambitious haste. There is also in existence a thin book of _dictées_
signed _Dorothée_, belonging to this period. The teacher has written at
the foot of one or two of these, after the enumeration of a few omitted
commas and accents, a word surely inapt as bestowed on this pupil,
‘_Etourdie_.’

The school was brought to an untimely end by the Revolution of 1848, when
a mob surrounded the house demanding garden-tools as firearms. These were
not available, but Miss Bray faced the men and persuaded them to leave
quietly. Before this incident occurred Dorothea Beale and her sisters had
been fetched home by a brother, who did not, however, leave Paris without
taking them round the city to see as much as they could of the movements
of the Revolution.

This return from school may be considered the close of childhood; for
Dorothea was now seventeen. A grave and quiet girl, so we learn from
one or two friends of her youth, with a sweet, earnest expression, and
deliberate speech; also with a sunshiny smile and a merry laugh on
occasion. She was remarkable even in a studious, sedentary family for her
love of reading and study. For her the fields of literature had taken
the place of those other fields and gardens now held to be a necessity
for the best development of children’s bodies and minds. But her life
in the less favourable surroundings of a great city was made bright by
‘the light that never was on sea or land, the consecration and the poet’s
dream.’ The joys of imagination and fancy, the delight of entering into
the thoughts of the great, were hers, and lifted her above what was small
and trivial. She knew also, and from babyhood seems to have known, a
stern side of life. An innate sense of duty, that guide she never failed
to observe, already hedged her steps, protecting her strong, eager spirit
from flights of ‘unchartered freedom,’ leading it through restraint and
self-denial towards a glorious liberty.

There was plenty to do at home; younger sisters to be taught and
schoolboys’ lessons to be superintended. The boys were at Merchant
Taylors’ School, where the education was neither better nor worse than
in other public schools of the day. Such as it was, it gave Dorothea
a horror of the old-fashioned methods by which boys were taught Latin
and Euclid, without intelligence and without sympathy. It was one of
her tasks at this time to aid in the daily grind of this uninteresting
work. Mrs. Frederick Sewell, an old friend of the family, remembers the
boys going off to their lessons under the supervision of the clever
elder sister. Uncongenial as must have been to her the work of directing
boys already wearied with a long day at school, it was evidently done
in a spirit of dutifulness and high endeavour. In 1876, a brother, the
Reverend Edward Beale of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, Cowley,
wrote to her after what proved to be a final parting: ‘Our lives seem
wonderfully linked together, and I am more conscious every year how much
my life has been influenced by your early teaching. If I had followed
that way of _Duty_ I should have found the entrance less rugged to the
more excellent way.’ Nor was the task a wasted one for Dorothea herself.
She determined, she tells us, to follow her brothers’ lessons on her
own account as well as theirs, and thus was enabled to gain a thorough
knowledge of Latin grammar.

The younger sisters remember the careful and regular teaching given them
by the elder ones, the quiet instructive games they were encouraged to
play with little pictures from Greek mythology, and the rewards bestowed
on industrious pupils. It is on record that Dorothea herself dressed a
doll for a little sister’s birthday.

For she was by no means unequal to feminine pursuits. She could be what
is called _useful_ at home; the inevitable sock-darning which falls to a
girl’s portion in a family of many boys was not neglected; though carried
on simultaneously with the mental exercise of learning German verbs.
An exquisitely fine piece of tatting remains to testify to skilfulness
of fingers, as well as to the perseverance she more gladly devoted to
intellectual efforts. Such was the interleaved New Testament, a monument
of patient toil, into which she copied in very small writing whole
passages of comment from the Fathers and other writers. So full of work
was the home life that there can have been scarcely any leisure; but a
few so-called holidays were spent in rubbing brasses in the ancient city
churches. There was full occupation even for the strenuous spirit of
Dorothea Beale, in the interests and affairs of home, but a wider field
for her energies was to open with the gates of Queen’s College in 1848.



CHAPTER II

QUEEN’S COLLEGE

    ‘Long shall the College live and grow,
      When we three sleep in peace,
    And scholars better far than we
      Its glory shall increase.’

    _Eliza Beale on the Jubilee of Queen’s College._


Mr. Llewelyn Davis rightly said that the establishment of Queen’s
College was an epoch in women’s education. Like that of all really great
institutions, its development and growth were an outcome of the needs
of the time. But the movement which led up to it was ‘not from beneath
but from above. It was compassion in the hearts of a few good men which
moved them to help a forlorn class of solitary and ill-paid workers, that
seemed the immediate cause. A little band of men full of faith and good
works came to the help of a man whose influence was quiet but strong.’
The good man of whom Miss Beale thus spoke was David Laing, who was vicar
of Holy Trinity Church, Kentish Town, from 1847 to 1858. Good he was, in
many senses of the word: a man of education, wide culture, and personal
force. He showed both large-hearted charity and wisdom in dealing with
the needs of those for whom it was his duty to care, and he was ready to
make any self-sacrifice required in carrying out his schemes for them.

In 1843 he became Honorary Secretary of the Governesses’ Benevolent
Institution, a position he occupied till his death in 1860, and the
lamentable state of women’s education, particularly that of professing
teachers, was brought forcibly before him. The society, which had had
a kind of passive existence only for two or three years, began at once
under Mr. Laing to develop manifold activities. Within a year the work
of help for which it was primarily intended was in full swing, and its
scope of usefulness was enlarged by the establishment of a registry and a
scheme for granting diplomas to governesses.

It was soon found to be a real difficulty to know the efficient teacher
from the mere pretender. For the lack of education is frequently seen in
an assumption of knowledge. In the days when women were required to teach
everything, a confession of ignorance on almost any subject was regarded
as a disgrace. The advance of true education is marked by the fact that
it is no longer necessary for a governess to pretend to knowledge she
does not possess.

It was soon seen that if the registry for teachers was to be of any
value, some test must be established for the women it undertook to
recommend. The first efforts at examination revealed such depths of
ignorance, that the further necessity of instructing those who wished
to avail themselves of the society’s diplomas was perceived. This need
happily coalesced with the generous plan of Miss Murray, Maid of Honour
to the Queen. She seems first to have thought of a college for women, and
had already received donations of money towards such an object. These
she transferred to Mr. Laing, when in 1844 he entered into communication
with the Government respecting the establishment of a college. In 1847
Queen Victoria graciously gave her permission for the adoption of the
title ‘Queen’s College,’ and a house in Harley Street, adjacent to that
occupied by the Governesses’ Benevolent Institution was taken. Mr. Laing
then called upon some of the Professors of King’s College to help him in
the work by giving lectures to governesses and others, and it was largely
owing to their talent and unwearied kindness that the College became
rapidly so successful.

It should not, however, be thought that Queen’s College was destined
by its founders solely to help governesses, though in this direction
its usefulness was immediately seen. Miss Murray and Mr. Laing, like
Alfred Tennyson and others less immediately interested in the scheme,
looked beyond such direct results to the larger needs of women. The time
had come when it was recognised that marriage could not be the lot of
all,—that there might be purpose and interest in a woman’s life even
when she could not be married, and that to use marriage merely as an
escape from an empty impoverished existence was an act unworthy of a good
woman. Women were now willing to fit themselves for life independently
of marriage, and for this end were seeking intellectual development.
Therefore the founders of Queen’s College planned that the education
should be general, and not merely an initiation into a craft which a
governess might learn as if she were a member of a certain guild. For the
governess herself, it was surely best that she should be educated as if
she had interests in common with the rest of her sex, and for all women
it was needful that they should seek means to inform, occupy, and control
their own active minds and ‘wandering affections.’ Mr. Laing thought
with compassionate horror of the wasted lives of many women, of their
capabilities and sympathies which were meant to enrich the lives of
others, degraded by misuse or disuse into positively harmful activities.
After Queen’s College had been opened for some months he wrote, in words
which some will recognise as a favourite quotation of Miss Beale’s, ‘the
fate of some victim of a conventional marriage, or of a life of celibacy
ending in deranged health, is particularly sad and pitiful. Like the
daughters of Pandarus who, after being nurtured by the goddesses and fed
on honey and incense by the Graces, are snatched away by the Harpies,
“And doomed for all their loving eyes, To serve the Furies who hate
constantly.”’

Miles Beale was among those who shared such thoughts for women. It was
his aim to give his daughters every opportunity to cultivate their minds
and pursue any path of knowledge they should desire. Above all, he wished
that they should not regard marriage as a necessity.

The inaugural lecture on the opening of Queen’s College was delivered
by the Rev. F. D. Maurice, the first Head of the College, on Wednesday,
March 29, 1848. As his inspiring but stern words fell upon the ears of
Dorothea Beale, we may well believe that the sense of vocation which
must early have grown for her out of her natural dutifulness, became
to her more clearly shaped. Certainly, in reading them now, we feel we
are tracing back to its source a stream of that thought with which she
herself in due time awed and inspired many a young teacher. ‘The vocation
of a teacher is an awful one; you cannot do her real good, she will do
others unspeakable harm if she is not aware of its usefulness. Merely
to supply her with necessaries, merely to assist her in procuring them
for herself ... is not fitting her for her work. You may but confirm
her in the notion that the training of an immortal spirit may be
just as lawfully undertaken in a case of emergency as that of selling
ribbands. How can you give a woman self-respect, how can you win for her
the respect of others, in whom such a notion or any modification of it
dwells? Your business is by all means to dispossess her of it; to make
her feel the greatness of her work, and yet to show her that it can be
honestly performed.’

The speaker went on to deal with the word ‘Accomplishments,’ a word which
at that time was supposed to cover the whole of a woman’s education; and
he pleaded that something more than finish, something substantial and
elementary was needed for those whose duty was ‘to watch closely the
first utterances of infancy, the first dawnings of intelligence;—how
thoughts spring into acts, how acts pass into habits. Surely they ought,
above all others, to feel that the truths which lie nearest to us are the
most wonderful ... that study is not worth much if it is not busy about
the roots of things.’

Again, with what responsive if silent joy must the girl who had toiled
alone at Euclid and Algebra have heard his encouraging words on
Mathematics, then held to be an unfeminine pursuit. ‘To regard numbers
with the kind of wonder with which a child regards them, to feel that
when we are learning the laws of number we are looking into the very laws
of the universe,—this makes the study of exceeding worth to the mind
and character; yet it does not create the least impatience of ordinary
occupations; ... on the contrary ... it helps us to know that nothing is
mean but what is false.’

The concluding thoughts of Mr. Maurice’s address must be familiar to
Cheltenham pupils: ‘The teacher in every department, if he does his duty,
will admonish his pupils that they are not to make fashion, or public
opinion, their rule ... that if these are their ends, they will not be
sincere in their work or do it well.... Colleges for men and women ...
exist to testify that opinion is not the God they ought to worship.’ We
can hardly realise, after nearly sixty years of the liberal education won
for us largely through this first concerted effort of earnest men and
women, the trembling joy and diffidence of those pupils,—some of them
mere girls, some already themselves engaged in the work of teaching,—who
formed the first classes in Harley Street. We have become so accustomed
to the new order of things then inaugurated, that their allusions to
Tennyson’s _Princess_, their fear of being regarded as _outré_ seem to
us almost self-conscious and unnecessary. Professor Maurice opened his
address with an apology for the word ‘College’; on another occasion he
spoke of the project as ‘equally extravagant if not equally imaginative
with that lately set forth by our great poet.’ Miss Wedgwood recalls
dismay under the ‘witless laughter roused by the mention of the College
after I had been its pupil for more than a year.’

Nor was this all. A more annoying opposition took shape in articles
in the _Quarterly_ in which the theological opinions of the lecturers
were attacked. The writer found fault in the first place on such points
as these: the early age of admission was likely to lead to desultory
education; the absence of proper framework and machinery, and the want of
proper authority were to be deplored; the low rate of payment might lead
governesses availing themselves of the classes to get by their means a
smattering of knowledge. He then proceeded to attack the professors for
a ‘sort of modified Pantheism and Latitudinarianism prevailing in their
so-called theology,’ adding that the lecturer on English Composition
distinguished himself above the rest of his company by the ‘Germanisms
embroidered on his prose.’ Mr. Laing took up a vigorous pen to answer
the _Quarterly_, and in defence of Maurice, Kingsley, and the rest,
exclaimed: ‘These men are doing a righteous and godly work in the face of
heaven and earth.’

It is a wonderful history. Remarkable, too, were the women and girls who
seized the advantages offered them, who were waiting almost literally for
the College doors to be opened. Mrs. Davenport, then Miss Sarah Woodman,
records with natural pride the fact that she was the first pupil. She was
quickly followed by Miss King, and we may be sure that the three Miss
Beales were not far behind them.

Among the earliest pupils beside those already named, were Miss Buss,
Miss Frances Martin, Miss Jex-Blake, Miss Elizabeth Gilbert, and Miss
Adelaide Anne Procter, whose simple holland dress without ornament, bands
of dark hair, pale complexion, and regular features are noted for us by a
young fellow-student, Miss Wardell. And the teachers were worthy of the
pupils. Among the lecturers and examiners were the Rev. F. D. Maurice,
the Rev. E. H. Plumptre, afterwards Dean of Wells, the translator of
Dante, the Rev. Charles Kingsley, the Rev. R. C. Trench, then Dean of
Westminster, afterwards Archbishop of Dublin, John Hullah, W. Sterndale
Bennett, Dr. Brewer the historian, Professors Bernays and Brasseur.
These are well-known names, but there were many others almost forgotten
to-day, who were interesting and inspiring teachers. There were no
lady-teachers at first, but Miss Beale enumerates with grateful words a
staff of lady-visitors, ‘who undertook, of course gratuitously, the often
burdensome duty of chaperoning. Lady Stanley of Alderley, stately and
beautiful all her life, but especially then; Mrs. Wedgwood, the daughter
of Sir James Mackintosh, so clever and kind, whom everybody liked;
Miss Elizabeth Twining, Lady Monteagle, and Lady Page Wood were often
present; and a Mrs. Hayes, of whom I have lost sight, was one of the most
diligent. I never happened to meet Lady Canning, she went to India almost
immediately.’

Before tracing Miss Beale’s own connection with Queen’s, it is worth
while to read the following letters written to her by Miss Buss in 1889,
in which the working of the College, especially with regard to the
evening classes, is shown in a detailed and personal way:

                                                _January 13, 1889._

    ‘Queen’s College was distinctly an outcome of the Governesses’
    Benevolent Institution. It was found that governesses living
    in the Home in Harley Street were often very ignorant, and
    Mr. Laing, a University man himself, asked some of the King’s
    College professors to give some lectures to the ladies living
    in the Home, so that they might be better informed when leaving
    to take a situation. The professors responded, some lectures
    were given, but it soon became evident that outsiders must be
    admitted to help to pay expenses—so the College was opened in
    1848....

    ‘Mr. Laing kept his original idea before him, and soon induced
    some of the professors to give, free of charge, courses of
    evening lectures to women actually engaged in teaching. I was
    a member at the very outset, being the youngest woman then
    attending the evening lectures. A very able man, Mr. Clark,
    Principal of Battersea, gave a splendid course of Geography
    lectures (of England, I think), Mr. Cock took Arithmetic, Mr.
    Brewer, Latin translation—he was a first-rate teacher. Some
    one else took Latin Grammar, Mr. Laing gave Scripture. The
    first term I attended six nights a week, the second, four. F.
    D. Maurice took Elizabethan Literature somewhat later; Trench
    gave his lectures on English from his manuscript notes, and how
    delightful they were! English Past and Present, etc. I do not
    remember Kingsley, I was not introduced to him until many years
    after. Nicolay gave Ancient History, and was not popular....

    ‘Queen’s College began the Women’s Education Movement
    undoubtedly, but it became conservative, and did not grow....
    There was a Rev. A. B. Strettel, who taught grammar well, but
    only to the day-students, I think. Recalling the old days in
    this way takes one back to one’s youth. Queen’s College opened
    a new life to me, I mean intellectually. To come in contact
    with the minds of such men was indeed delightful, and it was
    a new experience to me and to most of the women who were
    fortunate enough to become students.... Believe me, as always,
    yours affectionately and admiringly,

                                                  FRANCES M. BUSS.’

In reply to some questions from Miss Beale in answer to the above, Miss
Buss wrote again on January 17, 1889:—

    ‘The day classes were of course attended by girls and women
    from outside. I attended the evening classes in 1849. Our
    school was opened in 1850, and then as we began with sixty
    girls, and ended the first quarter with eighty, I had not time
    to attend and work as I had done before. Mr. Laing always
    wanted to help women teachers, and he was strong enough to get
    the King’s College men to teach governesses gratuitously in the
    evening, each professor only attending one night in the week.
    The men had plenty of work and pay for their day lectures.
    The evening classes went on for some time, and were very well
    attended by women, all of whom were teaching. Some of these
    women (I among them) presented themselves for the irregularly
    conducted examinations, for which certificates were offered.
    Each professor did as he liked, he saw the candidate alone—at
    any rate in my case it was so—told her to write answers to
    questions set by him, asked a few _vivâ voce_ questions, and
    then gave a certificate. No papers were printed, therefore no
    one could know what line the examiner would take. I have three
    of these certificates. Later, the examination became more
    formal and more valuable; a sort of standard was created.’

Dorothea Beale was, as a matter of fact, strictly a pupil of Queen’s
College for an even shorter time than her great contemporary. But there
for the first time she obtained the object of her ambition—mathematical
training, given by Mr. Astley Cock. Of this she characteristically
remarked, ‘as the class was small I could go at my own pace. The work
was however elementary, and as I had read a good deal alone, I found
private lessons necessary.... I read with him privately Trigonometry,
Conics, and the Differential Calculus.’ After a time Miss Beale was asked
to help in teaching mathematics, and in 1849 was appointed the first
lady mathematical tutor. ‘I had the _entrée_ of any class I liked, being
tutor, and attended at various times—Latin, Greek, German, and Mental
Science.’ She speaks also of the delight she had ‘at the opening of a
Greek class by Professor Plumptre. The class, it is true, languished and
died in less than two years. For nearly a year it consisted of myself and
a friend, and most thoroughly did we enjoy reading Plato and Sophocles
under such a teacher.’ Miss Beale also much enjoyed an interesting German
literature class held by Dr. Bernays.[19] The formal reports of progress
made, of attendance, and even of good conduct at the classes may still
be seen. The attendance, it goes without saying, was always regular, the
conduct very good, and the progress most satisfactory.

In 1854 Mr. Plumptre required help with the Latin tuition, and asked Miss
Beale to take a junior class. In the same year she was offered the post
of head teacher in the school under Miss Parry, from whom she says she
received ‘much kindness, and learned from her many valuable lessons; we
travelled abroad together during one long vacation.’

Queen’s College, both by the tuition it afforded, and the experience
it gave in teaching and managing classes, was an important factor in
Dorothea Beale’s training for her life’s work. There was a yet further
advantage in its certificates. Miss Beale and her sisters, like Miss
Buss and others engaged in the work of education, desired and obtained
from the College diplomas certifying their ability to teach. These were
obtained by examinations, which in the earliest days were conducted in
the manner described in Miss Buss’s letter already quoted. Miss Dorothea
Beale herself spoke with unmitigated pleasure of her first examination
conducted by Professor Maurice. ‘The _vivâ voce_ was a delightful
conversation; he led us on by his sympathetic manner and kindly
appreciation, so that we hardly remembered he was an examiner’; and she
says later, ‘I remember to this day what a pleasant hour we had of _vivâ
voce_; his wonderful power of intellectual sympathy came out, and made
us forget that we were being examined; he seemed to take pleasure in
following up our thoughts on the bearings of the history we had read,
so that it appeared we were holding a delightful conversation on the
subject. Again, in speaking of language, he wanted not merely formal
and conventional grammar, and showed such pleasure when a grammatical
definition was enlarged beyond the scope of ordinary school-books.’

It should be remembered that the examination which proved to be so
‘delightful’ was on the result of her own private reading encouraged
by home sympathy, and a few public lectures. The questions asked were
of wide scope; some were quite simple, almost superficial; others were
framed so as to draw upon intelligence or a reserve of knowledge.

The educational certificates of sixty years ago, the first ever given,
have a great and touching interest for those who love to follow the
development of intellectual advance. The simple way in which the
advantages offered by the examinations held by the Committee of Queen’s
College are set forth speaks of effort and hope, unconnected with the
school routine and studied preparation made necessary by the large and
complicated system of the present day. Below the lists of Patrons,
Committee, and Lady Visitors, it is stated that the Committee is prepared
to give certificates in any of the following subjects: The knowledge of
Scripture; English Grammar and Literature; History, Ancient or Modern;
French, German, Italian, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, etc.; Music, Vocal or
Instrumental; Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry; Geography, Geology, Natural
Philosophy, Botany, etc.; Drawing, Painting in any style; Principles and
Methods of Teaching. To this truly magnificent offer,—infinite indeed
if any value is to be attributed to ‘etc.’—is attached the note: ‘As it
would be absurd to suppose that any governess could combine all these
varied subjects, the List is offered, that Parents may select those to
which they attach most importance; and may observe how the certificates
meet their wishes.’

Miss Dorothea Beale obtained six of these certificates, and four of the
later ones, granted under slightly different conditions. The first, dated
June 12, 1848, for English Literature and English Grammar, states that
the examiner, Professor Maurice, is of opinion that Miss Dorothea Beale
‘has shown much intelligence, and a very satisfactory acquaintance with
these subjects.’ The diploma bears also, as do the other certificates,
the signature of Mr. Laing, the Honorary Secretary, and of the Rev. C. F.
Nicolay, Deputy Chairman, and afterwards called Dean of Queen’s College.
Mr. Nicolay was also Librarian of King’s College. The next certificate,
for French, is only three days later in date, June 15, 1848. On this,
Professor Isidore Brasseur states that he considers Miss Dorothea Beale
‘well qualified to teach that language (which she speaks fluently, having
acquired it in France) theoretically and by practice.’ The two diplomas
gained in December of the same year are of even greater interest for her
pupils at Cheltenham. The first of these, dated December 11, 1848, and
signed by the Rev. Thomas Jackson, Principal of the Battersea Training
College, who had examined her in the Principles and Method of Teaching,
states that ‘she has paid praiseworthy attention to the subject, and
is likely to become an accomplished teacher.’ We note the office of
the examiner. Already then, in 1848, itself a mere infant, elementary
education was giving the lead in this important subject; for when at
last, after a long day of desultory and often unfruitful toil, those who
were the professed teachers of the rich sought to learn the meaning and
methods of their work, they found that they could only do so in England
from the teachers of the poor.

The date of the next certificate, December 26, shows how much these
diplomas were dependent on voluntary and individual attention, and
opportunity on the part of the examiners. This, signed by Professor
Plumptre, states that in her knowledge of Holy Scripture, Miss Dorothea
Beale exhibits ‘a very intimate knowledge of its history and Scripture.’
On January 16, of the following year, a certificate for Geography was
signed by Mr. Nicolay, who is of opinion that ‘she has studied the
subject carefully in its details, and that her knowledge in its various
branches is satisfactory.’

In November 1850 Miss Beale received from her mathematical tutor, the
Rev. T. Cock, a certificate of efficiency in Arithmetic, Geometry,
Algebra, and Trigonometry. He is of opinion that ‘she has acquired a
sound knowledge of the first principles of these four subjects, showing
considerable ingenuity in the application of them to examples and
problems; that she possesses the power of defining and distinguishing
with clearness and brevity, and that appreciation of mathematical
reasoning which, if further cultivated, will enable her to study with
success those treatises on Natural Philosophy which require a knowledge
of the exact sciences.’

In 1855, after the certificates had become classified, this diploma was
exchanged for a first-class certificate. And in the course of these later
years she received two other first-class certificates, one for Latin, and
one for German; and, for pianoforte playing, a second-class certificate,
signed by W. Sterndale Bennett. For this was required the performance
of the more important sonatas of Mozart (without accompaniments), the
early sonatas of Beethoven, the ‘Lieder ohne Worte’ of Mendelssohn, and
Cramer’s Studies. This must have been for Dorothea Beale a period of
happy and fruitful life and work, during which her interests enlarged
in many directions. The connection with Queen’s College brought much
congenial acquaintance, while at home she was working vigorously at
German and still following the classical work of her brothers.

In 1851 Miss Beale’s family removed to 31 Finsbury Square, then a great
medical centre; thirty-one houses were occupied by medical men. There
were friends to share her aims and interests. Among these we specially
note Mrs. Blenkarne and Miss Elizabeth Alston. To the first of these
Dorothea confided her hopes and aims, and gained from her sympathy and
help, a boon she never forgot. The links of the friendship so begun ran
on throughout her life. Mrs. Blenkarne’s daughters and great nieces were
educated at Cheltenham.

In Elizabeth Alston Dorothea had a friend of her own age—a friend who
survives to tell of the many happy hours the young girls spent together,
of the books they read and discussed, their philanthropic works, and
dreams of good. Dorothea, always fond of teaching, gladly instructed
her friends. Miss Alston learned from her to read St. Mark in Greek,
and in return taught her to sing. ‘We would linger long at the piano,
as I sought to make her convey by her singing the depth of meaning in
the words, “But the Lord is mindful of his own.” She told me it was a
revelation to her.’

As late as 1902 Miss Beale wrote to that friend of her youth: ‘I think
with gratitude of those lessons you gave me in singing; this, I believe,
has helped much to make me able to teach without fatigue. “In questa
tomba oscura” was fine for a chest voice. I suppose you are as much
interested in music as ever.’ And in 1903, with an allusion to those
designs on all knowledge which the friends had shared, she wrote:
‘Sanscrit is very fascinating; my Sanscrit studies were cut short by my
coming here.’

The vacations of this period were spent sometimes at watering-places like
Brighton, or Blackheath, where she would be in charge of the younger
members of the family. To this day is remembered her conscientious way
of taking them for a walk with her watch in her hand. Sometimes she went
to Germany or Switzerland, where she took every opportunity of studying
schools and methods of education. She was most happy in her work. The
actual teaching, apart from the subject, was in itself a delight. That
power of inspiration which she held should be one of the gifts a teacher
should earnestly covet, was already hers. This was felt not only by the
elder pupils, whose minds under her guidance opened to the interests
of Latin and mathematics. The children in the school knew it also. An
unexpected tribute from one of these once reached Miss Beale, when the
parent of a pupil wrote: ‘I have just learned from my little girl that
the Lady Principal of the Cheltenham Ladies’ College was my dear and
valued teacher of olden days, at Queen’s College.... I assure you I
have never ceased to cherish a warm affection for you, and I have never
forgotten your great kindness to me in Harley Street.’ In 1905, at the
time of the College jubilee, one who had been a child pupil of Miss
Beale’s wrote to her: ‘The few months during which I was under your
tuition more than fifty years ago were an epoch to me. Young as I was,
I ever afterwards judged teaching by the standard set by yours, and
very seldom indeed, I may truly say, has it been subsequently reached.
The fifty years that have since passed, full as they have been, have
never effaced the impression then received, both of your teaching and
of something more comprehensive than teaching, which contact with you
engendered, and which impels me to take this opportunity—late in the day
as it is—to express and to thank you for.... I had a most keen desire to
visit Cheltenham and the buildings and institutions which embody in so
grand a manner the impress which my childish mind received.’

There is also ample evidence that the professors and lady-visitors of the
College highly esteemed Miss Beale’s work there. ‘The flattering regard
in which you are held at Queen’s,’ wrote her father to her just after she
had left the College, are words fully justified by other letters which
exist.

It is clear that this spring of work was full of hope and delight, as
well as of scrupulous effort. Dorothea Beale possessed at this time
a growing confidence in her own powers, educational ideals which were
slowly shaping themselves, and a consciousness of her fitness for the
work on which she was engaged.

Then, at the end of 1856, the connection with Queen’s College came rather
abruptly to an end by Miss Beale’s own wish. She appears to have been
some time feeling that there was a tendency for the whole administration
of the College to get too much into the hands of one person; and that
there was consequently not enough scope for that womanly influence
which she felt to be so important where the education of young girls is
concerned. She returned to her work after the summer holiday of 1856—a
holiday spent in visiting Swiss and German schools—to find the power of
the lady-visitors more restricted than ever. In fact, she said, ‘the time
had come when it could be truly said, “the lady-visitors have no power.”’
As she was not in a position to effect the changes she desired, she sent
in her resignation, and her friend and fellow-teacher, Miss Rowley, did
the same. The actual moment for doing this in November seems to have
been decided for Miss Beale by hearing she could obtain the post of
head-teacher at Casterton.

Miss Beale’s connection with Queen’s College had been long and close, and
her gratitude to it was so great that she hoped to be allowed to resign
without explanation. This was during the headship of Dr. Plumptre. When
Miss Beale’s resignation reached him, he urged her to make the reasons
for it known, and his letter on the subject shows something of the
consideration in which she was held.

    ‘If there is an evil which cannot be remedied, are you right
    in leaving those to whom the welfare of the College is very
    dear to all the discomfort of feeling or imagining that there
    is something amiss without giving them any clue to that which,
    whatever it be, has been at all important enough to lead you
    to resign? Are you right in exposing the College itself to the
    consequence of the construction which will inevitably be put
    upon your conduct—whether that construction be true or false?
    I may form three or four conjectures as to the motives that
    have led you to this decision—but it is all guess work—I think
    the decision itself to be deplored. We shall lose an able
    and earnest fellow-worker. You will lose a position of great
    usefulness—you give up a work to which you have been called and
    opportunities of doing good. I believe that these lamentable
    results might have been avoided, but it is too late for this;
    there is at any rate time for the openness which, I think, we
    have a right to look for.

    ‘I will not end without thanking you for your consideration
    in calling to tell me what you had done, and for all the
    assistance you have given me in my College work.—I am, yours
    most sincerely,

                                                   E. H. PLUMPTRE.’

Miss Beale finally gave the desired explanation with full detail and this
preface:—

    ‘Before consenting to answer any questions, I think it right
    that we should state that when we sent in our resignation, we
    naturally supposed we should be allowed to do so without being
    required to give any reasons.

    ‘It was only after several weeks of resistance that, at the
    earnest appeal of Mr. Plumptre, who placed it before us as a
    moral duty, that we at last reluctantly consented to speak to
    him and to the Lady Visitors. From the course we adopted, I
    think you will see we are prompted [solely] ... by a desire for
    the good of a College in which we feel the warmest interest.’

The defects she deplored—pioneer mistakes she called them later—were
then enumerated in detail, and she dwelt especially on the hindrance to
education caused by so much authority being left to one individual, who
could not possibly be in a position to know the abilities and standard of
work of every pupil. Much harm, she pleaded, had been done

    ‘by withdrawing pupils from the school, compelling them
    without my consent and contrary to the wishes of their parents
    to attend College classes, although they are unable to spell
    correctly and are ignorant of the first principles of grammar;
    classes in which you know it is impossible to give that
    individual attention required by children of twelve, who, owing
    to the rank from which so many of our pupils are now derived,
    are singularly deficient in mental training, and require to be
    obliged in extra time to do work given them; to be trained,
    watched, educated by ladies (who alone can understand, and
    therefore truly educate) girls. My pupils in the school are not
    removed by competent professors who understand the subjects
    there taught. The instruction which is in itself good, and if
    given four or five years later would be beneficial, has been
    rendered useless.’

On learning Miss Beale’s reasons for leaving, and that her decision was
irrevocable, Mr. Plumptre wrote: ‘I wish to state at once that I believe
most thoroughly that what you have done has been done conscientiously
because it seemed to you—painful as it was—to be in the line of duty.’
But before this letter reached her, Dorothea had accepted another post,
that of head-teacher in the Clergy Daughters’ School at Casterton.



CHAPTER III

CASTERTON

            ‘O lift your natures up:
    Embrace our aims.’

       TENNYSON, _The Princess_, ii.


‘It was a year full of great suffering mingled with a peace which the
world cannot give.... I look on this as one of the most profitable years
of my life, but I could not long have borne the strain of work and
anxiety.’

Thus, long after, when in the distance of years the events of earlier
life could be seen in their relation to each other and to the future,
Miss Beale wrote of the year at Casterton. But she did not often
speak of it. To the end it gave her pain to go in thought over that
time of loneliness and strain. Even late in life, if she entered into
conversation about it, she would turn from the subject saying it
distressed her too much; ‘some other time she would try’ to speak of
it. But, none the less, she knew she had gained much at Casterton. She,
who was ever ready to learn from mistakes, from pain, from adverse
circumstances, gratefully acknowledged her debt to all that had shown her
the real difficulties of her vocation, and her own weakness, and which
had deepened her consciousness of the only source of strength. Some lives
are led so much at haphazard, that it really hardly appears to matter
whether at any given period they have taken one direction or another. In
the lives of those who, like Dorothea Beale, are always conscious of an
over-ruling and ordering Power, every year is not only known, but seen
to have its place. The very errors, nay failures, are sunk deep into
the foundations to become supports to the House of Life which, under
the direction of the Master Builder, is rendered more stately with each
added touch of Time. Hence, this year—not a successful one, as success is
generally reckoned—has its special interest.

It was a year in which she learned much, not only about herself
individually, but of feminine human nature in general. Those matters
which she longed—and longed ineffectually at the time—to re-arrange in
the system and time-tables she found existing at Casterton, prepared
her for the organisation of the great school to which she was shortly
afterwards to be called. Daily contact with many, who were more or less
out of sympathy with her, must have been useful for one whose work was
largely to be in the direction of influence on women and girls of varying
natures and opinions. Doubtless the very loneliness of the position was
bracing to her sensitive nature. ‘Above all,’ she had written to Mr.
Plumptre when she accepted it, ‘it involves leaving home.’ She had seen
from the first how hard a trial this would be to her, but strength and
insight were won out of the suffering it cost.

The manuscript account from which the opening words of this chapter are
taken, and which has been quoted before, was written many years ago.
As late as 1905 Miss Beale wrote to Canon Burton, the present vicar of
Casterton and chaplain to the school, that she felt she owed much to
it, and ‘in grateful remembrance of her connection with it’ founded a
scholarship from the school to Cheltenham. The first Casterton-Beale
scholar is now at the Ladies’ College.

There were many reasons why Dorothea Beale could neither be happy nor
rightly appreciated at Casterton in 1857. She went at a difficult moment
when the school had not recovered from the relaxed discipline consequent
on the troubles of the year before. There had been a serious outbreak of
scarlet fever, the Lady Superintendent herself being one of the victims.
The head-teacher had left in September, and it was not convenient to
supply her place before the end of the half-year. The ‘School for
Clergymen’s Daughters’ is one, like many others, of which it is the
reverse of disparagement to say that its present is far above its past.
And it is permissible to think that if Miss Beale had found herself in
any other large boarding-school of the period, she would have encountered
many of the same difficulties and disappointments as those which beset
her life at Casterton. Of this school she wrote much later, describing
it as she felt it to be when she was there, that it was ‘in an unhealthy
state. There was a spirit of open irreligion and a spirit of defiance
very sad to witness; but the constant restraints, the monotonous life,
the want of healthy amusements were in a great measure answerable for
this.’[20] A strange tale this to us, who know of the walks and rambles,
the games and matches enjoyed by the girls of Casterton to-day.

But the causes of her dissatisfaction were by no means due entirely
to the school, for the engagement seems to have been entered upon on
Miss Beale’s part without a real understanding of all that it involved.
Her father hints this when he writes, ‘perhaps we were to blame in not
learning more.’ She was engaged, not by the Lady Superintendent, but
by a member of the Committee, who probably did not explain matters so
fully as a woman might have done. The work was taken up in a moment of
impulse, as if she were glad of the opportunity it suggested of sending
in her resignation to Queen’s College, instead of waiting till Christmas,
as she had at first intended. Those who knew her best did not expect her
to be happy in it. Mr. Plumptre wrote: ‘I am glad to hear you have found
so important a work before you as that at Casterton. It may have altered
within the last few years, as otherwise I should not have thought its
tone, religious as well as social, likely to be congenial to you.’

She had never lived away from home for any length of time. The short
periods of school life had been shared with sisters. The north was an
unknown land with which the Beale family had no connection. She knew
nothing of country life. She would be entirely among strangers, and that
alone, for a shy and sensitive nature, is often a great trial, while
boarding-school life, such as existed at Casterton, was practically
unknown to her. The salary was smaller than what she had received at
Queen’s College. But in leaving Queen’s College she lost far more than
salary. There she had been a beloved teacher, a valued tutor whose
resignation was deplored; at Casterton she was simply a new governess.
Her judgment was surely at fault in thus hastily and almost impulsively
accepting such a post. Though she may have greeted the offer as guidance
in her difficulty about leaving Queen’s, she must have known that at
Casterton it would be impossible for her to work in accord with religious
opinions which were alien to her; also that in going so far she was
cutting off much that was congenial and delightful from her life—such as
home, friends, libraries, lectures.

Though Mr. Beale obviously doubted if his daughter could be happy in the
atmosphere of Casterton, he did not fail to perceive the ideal side of
the work there. Appreciating the aims and generosity of the founders of
the school, he held that from the great advantages it offered, it ought
to become a national institution. She too went to her post there in
something of a missionary spirit. Her success with her classes, and with
pupils of different ages, justified her in feeling that she would be able
to introduce fresh and better methods, while the very fact that a teacher
of her individual experience had been chosen pointed to the belief that
the authorities were anxious to bring the school into line with the
advance of women’s education.

Casterton is a small village, near Kirby Lonsdale, in Westmoreland,
where that county touches Lancashire and Yorkshire. Even to-day railway
communication is defective, and the country thinly populated, so that the
school in its isolated position is constrained to be as self-sufficing
as possible. The beauty of its surroundings may surely be reckoned among
its advantages, for it is placed amid lovely country within sight of
Ingleborough. Members of the school speak with delight of rambles over
the surrounding fells. Perhaps Miss Beale’s habit of thinking over her
lessons out of doors began here, for she afterwards told Miss Alston of
the long lonely walks she used to take at Casterton.

This well-known school was founded in 1823 by Mr. Carus Wilson in order
to help the clergy of the Church of England, principally those of the
northern dioceses. Many of the clergy of the north were known to be
absolutely unable to provide any education for their children, who at
home led the simplest life with bare necessaries only. Several of these
were received, boarded, educated, and partially clothed free, and the
terms for all were ludicrously small. These facts should be remembered
when comment is made upon the régime at Casterton, or at Cowan Bridge,
where the school was originally placed, a position far less favourable
and healthy than its present one.

It should also be remembered that Dorothea Beale had never herself known
what it was to be poor; she could hardly realise, for instance, the
comfort that might exist in the uniform school dress for children whose
parents were actually too poor to provide them with proper clothing.

As an institution the school was destined not only to assist the poor
clergy, but, springing as it did from devoted religious effort, to save
souls and promote the highest kind of education. It was from the first
definitely associated with those ‘Calvinistic opinions’ on account of
which the Bishop of Chester had rejected its founder for ordination in
1814.[21] The dark horror of Calvinism, permitted doubtless as a scourge
after much open irreligion and careless living, was in mercy overruled
in countless instances for the conviction of sin, and generally to
prepare the way for a wider and more comprehending acceptance of the
grace which is in Christ Jesus. But its direct results on the education
of the young were disastrous indeed. Hearts, by its agency, were turned
to stone, or depressed into hopeless terror; worst of all, religious
forms, phraseology, even emotions were assumed by those who were prone to
self-deception, or over anxious to please.

About 1845 Mr. Carus Wilson’s health broke down as a consequence of
his unsparing and strenuous labours, and the management of his schools
passed into the hands of others. In 1857 the Clergy Daughters’ School was
governed by a Committee of six clergymen, all personal friends of the
founder, men of good standing in the neighbourhood. Archdeacon Evans was
Chairman. This Committee sought to obtain the best teachers possible for
what was then—even more than now—an out-of-the-way place, as far as the
centres of education were concerned. They also aimed at fitting the girls
in the school to earn their own living.

High testimonials were given to Miss Beale by the professors and
lady-visitors of Queen’s College, on her appointment as head-teacher
at Casterton. One from Prebendary Mackenzie is of special interest, as
it shows that in accepting the work she had not in any way identified
herself with the particular religious views then prevailing in the
institution.

              ‘WESTBOURNE COLLEGE, BAYSWATER ROAD, _November 1856_.

    ‘I am happy to be able to give very satisfactory replies to
    your enquiries respecting Miss D. Beale. She is a young lady of
    high moral and religious character, sober-minded and discreet.
    Her parents have been careful to avoid party views, and I have
    no doubt Miss Dorothea Beale is free from them. She certainly
    is a most conscientious person, with a deep sense of her
    religious responsibilities. I feel certain that her influence
    will always be for good.’

Mr. Plumptre wrote to the Lady Superintendent:—

    ‘I am unwilling that (Miss Beale) should enter on her work
    at Casterton without your hearing from me ... the high
    opinion which I entertained both as to her attainments and
    her conscientiousness in discharging any duties that may be
    assigned her.... I am convinced that in receiving her at
    Casterton you will gain a fellow-worker in whose zeal and
    Christian principle you may place entire confidence.’

And Mr. Denton:—

    ‘I should esteem any institution fortunate that had her
    services. She is a person of quiet, sincere piety, and an
    intelligent Churchwoman.’

Dorothea Beale went to Casterton on the Epiphany, January 6, 1857. Her
diary of 1891 records the memory of this and of the Holy Eucharist at St.
Bartholomew’s at six o’clock, before her long day’s journey, a journey
which ended almost in terror, so alarming to this daughter of the City
were the ‘high, wild hills and rough, uneven ways’ which had to be
crossed between the railway station and the school.

At first, as was natural, she seems to have thought she would like
her work. Mrs. Wedgwood, writing to her in February, says: ‘I felt so
much our loss in you that I could hardly join in the wishes of the
lady-visitors of Queen’s that you might find your new work pleasant.
However, I am truly glad now that you find your new home more agreeable
than you had been led to expect, and that you think the children are
happy, and times are unlike Jane Eyre.’

Very soon the strain of teaching the large number of subjects required
to be taught began to be felt. A less conscientious worker might have
entered lightly upon these at a period when only the most superficial
textbook knowledge was required; but to Dorothea Beale, to whom each
lesson meant much preparation and thought, they soon became a burden.
She said afterwards that the work left her no time for exercise or
recreation, and not enough for sleep. She found herself expected to
teach Scripture, arithmetic, mathematics, ancient, modern, and Church
history, physical and political geography, English literature, grammar
and composition, French, German, Latin, and Italian. Of the last she had
written when she accepted the post: ‘I do not know much of Italian, I
will, however, take lessons till Christmas.’

It was obviously impossible for one person to teach all these subjects
properly, and it is not surprising that Miss Beale soon wrote home that
she found the work hard; she does not seem to have complained of anything
else. She said, among other things, that she took eight Bible-classes
every week, two of which consisted of about fifty girls at a time. Her
father replied with the evident intention of bracing and cheering:—

    ‘Employment is a blessed state, it is to the body what sleep
    is to the mind.... I cannot be sorry when I hear you are fully
    employed. I am sure it will be usefully, and then by and bye
    when the body and the mind alike have perished, and work and
    sleep are no longer needed, but the soul shall burst into
    existence, how shall we wonder at the willing slaves we have
    been during our probation, for the meat which perishes. You see
    I am thoughtful,—it is fit.... I feel I can bear your being
    so far and so entirely away, with some philosophy, and I am
    delighted that your letters bear the tone of contentment, and
    that you have been taken notice of by people who seem disposed
    to be kind to you.... You will see I have not a thing to
    tell you, and I cannot now write any more about thick coming
    fancies, but give an old man’s love to all your pupils, and may
    they make their Fathers as happy as you do. God bless you, my
    dear Dorothea.’

This letter was written in March 1857. Shortly after came another for her
birthday on the 21st, showing how much her absence from home was felt,
and that the parents were doubtful if she were in the right place.

    ‘God bless you and give you many happy birthdays. I fear the
    present is not one of the most agreeable; it is spent at least
    in the path of what you considered duty, and so will never be
    looked back upon but with pleasure.... Do not, however, my
    dear girl, think of remaining long in a position which may be
    irksome to you, for thus I think it will hardly be profitable
    to others, and indeed I question whether you would maintain
    your health where the employment was so great and duty the only
    stimulus to action. You have heard me often quote: “The hand’s
    best sinew ever is the heart.”’

In May another letter is evidently called forth by some expression of a
longing to be at home, and perhaps by hints of difficulties from Dorothea.

                                                       ‘_May 1857._

    ‘I think I feel the weeks go more slowly than you do. I long
    to see you again very much. I cannot get reconciled to your
    position and feel satisfied that it is your place.... God bless
    you, my dear girl, and blunt your feelings for the rubs of the
    world, and quicken your vision for the beautiful and unseen of
    the world above us.’

The last words show how well her father knew the sensitive nature hurt
even by trifles, and prone to take small matters too seriously.

So the long half wore on, and we know, from some of the few who remain to
tell, that Miss Beale was making her mark at Casterton. There were many
there who could appreciate her careful work and inspiring lessons. Some
found especially valuable her accurate teaching of Latin and mathematics,
and the enormous pains she took to make her lessons intelligible to
the dullest; never content to let them merely accept a given fact or
explanation, but leading them on step by step to see and comprehend.
Her literature classes, again, led some into a new world of ideas and
thoughts, and they responded to the thrill of some noble and beautiful
line which would cause their teacher’s eyes to fill with tears as she
read. One, who was Miss Beale’s pupil in the first class at Casterton at
this time, speaks of it with extreme gratitude:—

    ‘I was seventeen, and had only had home teaching before.
    Great was the delight to be taught by one whom you felt to be
    complete mistress of any subject she undertook. I was a dunce
    at Arithmetic and Euclid. She cut slips of paper to illustrate
    the Pons Asinorum, etc., and with her aid I mastered the first
    book of Euclid, which has always been useful to me. Latin
    grammar we also learned from Miss Beale. She instilled strict
    accuracy by making us write verbs and declensions from memory.
    Out of class she showed us much friendliness, inviting us to
    her room in the evening, when sometimes she would read aloud
    to us, sometimes tell us about the students at Queen’s. It
    interested us to hear of those not very young ones who wore
    caps. Her appearance, as I remember it then, was charming.
    Her figure was of medium height. The rather pale oval face,
    high, broad forehead, large, expressive grey eyes, all showed
    intellectual character. Her dress was remarkable in its
    neatness. She wore black cashmere in the week, and a pretty,
    mouse-coloured grey dress on Sundays.’

A little notebook remains to show how she prepared her lessons; how
little she was content with repetition acquired by rote. There are also
one or two little books of Scripture notes belonging to this time,
interesting as the first of an immense series, marking the beginning
of the work which was to be her great means of influence. One of these
is on the Book of Proverbs, a book she never read again with a class;
it was probably not her own choice at this time. The lessons she drew
from it were of the most practical nature for daily life, and contain
much teaching on true and false unworldliness. She had even then the
satisfaction of knowing that her Bible teaching was acceptable to many.
She wrote home: ‘Several of the first class make a practice of taking
notes and afterwards copy them out into a book. This I never tell them
to do, nor do I so far encourage it as to look at the notes after they
are written. In the lower part of the school I do not allow them to take
notes without special permission.’

Some notes on the Church services show traces of the pain she felt over
instances of irreverence which she had seen in the school. Those who
remember the almost awful silence in which Miss Beale’s Scripture lessons
at Cheltenham were given, how she wished it to signify the humility and
reverence of spirit necessary for those who would study God’s Word, can
understand how she must have suffered when she saw flippant and careless
behaviour at prayers and Bible classes.

Amongst the numbers of children, many who had been comparatively untaught
before they were brought into this continual round of religious exercise,
it is not surprising to find that there were some who disliked the
appeal made to heart and conscience, and who found this strict sense of
reverence irksome. There was even one naughty girl who in these first
days refused to attend Miss Beale’s classes.

It is clear that Miss Beale conveyed to her classes and to her
fellow-workers, that she had come to Casterton in a missionary spirit.
Though there were many who could appreciate her sacrifice in doing this,
it placed her at a disadvantage with others. She knew herself to be in
the forefront of women’s education, she knew that this school, for all
the excellent intention of the authorities, could not be abreast of the
movement; but she failed to realise, until she personally experienced it,
that a self-appointed guide is not always welcomed.

In the summer holidays, which Miss Beale spent at home, it was noticed
that she was much depressed. The second half-year’s work began in August.
Doubtless she had talked over her difficulties, and her parents knew
that she might soon give up her work. Soon after her return she seems to
have written very strongly about things she would have liked to alter.
Especially was she troubled by the low tone prevailing, the want of
respect for authority, the mischief making and unhealthy friendships.
She found this important school through which pious intention and effort
strove to help the very poorest by protecting them from all dangerous
influences, by instilling definite religious opinions of a certain
type, by giving such an education as should be an effective means of
livelihood, very far from being the ideal college of her dreams. She
began to specify her dissatisfaction and to form ideas for radical
improvement. She thought its isolation against it, and that it was a
drawback to have only one class of girls; she felt there should have been
more communication with home,—some of the children did not even go home
for the holidays;—that the life was too monotonous and uniform. Above all
she deprecated a repressive system which had punishments but no prizes;
a system in which all the virtues were negative, the highest obtainable
being obedience to the ever-repeated ‘Thou shalt not.’

It was not possible for Dorothea Beale to see anything wrong, and to act
as if in any way consenting to it, by going on quietly with her own share
like one not called upon to take a leading part. She felt that steps
might be taken to improve some of the matters which distressed her, and
after efforts which seemed to her ineffectual, she sought an interview
with the Committee. Her father was kept fully informed of what she was
thinking and striving to do, as may be seen by the following extracts
from his letters to her:—

                                                           ‘_1857._

    ‘I think we must be content to wait, at any rate for the
    present, and see if any good comes from your interview with the
    Committee. You notice two points chiefly,—the low moral tone of
    the school, and the absence of prizes. The want of sympathy and
    love (the great source of woman’s influence in every condition
    of life) was the prominent feature of the establishment in my
    mind, after talking it over with you. But nothing can flourish
    if love be not the ruling incentive, and this must be awakened
    by the teacher and Principal showing that for it they sacrifice
    any consideration of self. This I know my dear girl, you
    entirely do, and you do it ineffectually, nay, perhaps worse
    than uselessly, if you are not supported. But, as you have
    gone so far, be not easily discouraged. Weigh the matter well
    before this Christmas, and if you find no changes are made, the
    same cold management continued, with the negation of confidence
    in the pupils as instanced in the matter of letters, etc.,
    send in your resignation, and above all, state your reasons as
    they bear upon the school, and upon yourself and the class you
    represent.

    ‘I cannot contemplate your not coming up at Christmas. As we
    grow older, each year makes us more desirous of the company of
    those we love; perhaps because we feel how soon we shall part
    with it altogether, perhaps because we are become more selfish,
    but such is the fact.’

And again on the same subject:—

                                              ‘_September 2, 1857._

    ‘I cannot think you would be right to say you sought to be
    put into communication with the Committee because you heard
    that they were not satisfied. Surely your application [to see
    them] came first. I wrote because I thought the position and
    designation of head-teacher to you implied responsibilities
    in connection with the authorities; because you thought the
    general moral tone of the school lower than it should be, and
    the discipline to correct it defective; because your counsel
    was not sought, or, if given, not much heeded. Perhaps we were
    to blame in not learning more, that the head-teacher was only
    an ordinary teacher at Casterton. But the world would [think it
    more]; and your own experience of classes ought to enable you
    to be a judge of what was reasonable to expect in the bearing
    of pupils, both educational and general. I know your feelings,
    not to quit hastily what you have chosen, and considered a
    post of duty, and in writing upon the subject I try to put
    out of the question my own feelings and those of your mother
    to have you at home, or at least nearer home, and really to
    view the matter from the same point of view as yourself. Your
    remaining at Casterton is, I think, only to be entertained if
    such changes in the management are made as are likely in your
    view to raise the character of the establishment. I feel your
    own education and standing are worthy of better things [than
    the position] of an ordinary teacher at Casterton, and of a
    better salary. But I cannot doubt if you fairly and without
    hesitation state your objections and views, you will convince
    some at least that you are acting independently and without
    any personal feelings ... I am much as I was, anxious about
    you all, conscious how little I can do, and praying that we
    may all see clearly that the game of life, whoever may be the
    players, is not one of chance or destiny; ... Write to me when
    you can—Ever your affectionate father,

                                                      MILES BEALE.’

It was unusual though not unknown for a teacher at Casterton to appeal to
the Committee, and the six gentlemen who composed it, were not very eager
to hear Miss Beale. They may have suspected personal motives, and some
of them, no doubt, mistrusted her religious principles. Miss Beale has
left notes of her interview, so interesting to us, as the first occasion
on which she tried to gain her own ends—always the best—from a body of
persons who were in the position of directors of education. It suggests a
contrast with the Cheltenham Council meetings of her last years, when her
lightest wish had weight.

The way had been prepared for her by letters which had passed between the
chairman (Archdeacon Evans) and her father. In her first interview, which
was of a preliminary nature, she began by saying: ‘I wished before saying
anything, to know whether it was their wish to hear what I had to say, or
whether they would rather I did not speak. There was a hesitation. Then
Mr. Morewood, in rather a doubtful way said they were always willing.
I said I understood from the Committee last time, and the Chairman’s
letters to my father, that they wished it; then the others joined in with
“Oh yes, certainly.”’ After making her statements on the need for reform,
Miss Beale concluded by saying she should be happy to resign if the
Committee were dissatisfied. The reply was: ‘Oh no, certainly not.’

At a second interview, the Committee allowed her to put before them
her own suggestions for alterations. On this occasion Miss Beale began
with a testimony to what the Lady Superintendent had effected in the
school; then mentioned the prevailing faults which so much distressed
her, especially irreverence and unsuitable language; then boldly went on
to point out the details of the system which might easily be improved,
notably, that some prizes might be given, and that letters to and from
parents should not be supervised. She said:—

‘I think an institution in which the government is entirely by
punishments not likely to produce the best moral effects. I think that
reports should be sent home more frequently than twice a year.’ On being
asked to give instances of disregard of religion, she mentioned one
or two in general terms, saying she should not think it right to give
individual examples. Mr. Rose replied by saying, ‘Unfortunately, such
things will occur in large schools; perhaps you came expecting to find
clergymen’s daughters better than others.’ Some discussion took place on
the subject of prizes, during which ‘occurred the very sapient remark
that we do hear of angels being punished, but not of their going up
higher, etc.... I afterwards explained what I meant by rewards, viz.,
distinctions, privileges, and the opportunity of doing good ... and I
concluded by saying that unless I felt that the institution were doing
moral good I should not care to stay.’

The interview had been less disagreeable than she had anticipated; she
thought her complaint had had a fair hearing, and in spite of the strain
of work and the anxiety connected with it, she felt her efforts were not
wasted.

    ‘So many,’ she wrote home, ‘ask if they may come and speak
    to me; more of them listen when I talk of religion, and come
    privately to ask advice which I know they try to follow. I do
    feel that I am of use.... I believe I ought to wait here until
    either I feel it wrong to stay, or God calls me elsewhere.
    He has given me much more strength than I had any reason
    to expect. I shall look forward with greater longing for
    Christmas; but do get me the papers I want as soon as you can.
    I want to do as much as possible before I leave.

    ‘I wrote this last night; take care of it as well as the
    Committee paper; I may want them. I have a headache to-day, and
    I am afraid I show the effect. Do not tell Papa anything, if
    you think it will worry him, but let me have some advice and
    hear as often as you can.’

But discomfort almost inevitably succeeds complaint. There were fresh
interviews with the Committee; some of the matters which most tried her
in the school régime were naturally more acutely felt, as she herself
grew strained with both anxiety and work. The tone of her letters home
grew more sad as she began to see that after all she must give up her
post. She could not bear to relinquish work that she felt had been given
her to do; but she wrote:—

    ‘I do not see how it is possible to do much good. I may work
    upon a few individuals, but the whole tone of the school is
    unhealthy, and I never felt anything like the depression
    arising from the constant jar upon one’s feelings caused by
    seeing great girls constantly professing not to care about
    religion.... It is next to impossible to bear rudeness and
    hear so much evil-speaking about all set over them, and keep
    up one’s spirits so as to be able to teach energetically; I
    would not want to run away if I thought I could do much good
    by staying, but I have come to the conclusion that it is time
    to send in my resignation. I have gained valuable experience,
    and do not think I have been useless; but under present
    circumstances it does not seem possible to get on.

    ‘I was very glad of your nice long letter before, and if you
    think I am right, should send in perhaps a slight summary of
    the causes for it with my resignation as soon as I can. I am
    glad to hear Mama is better.’

Miss Beale’s difficulties were no doubt aggravated by religious
questions. Her chief friend on the Committee, one who appreciated her
sense of duty and intellectual power, did not wish her to remain at the
school. He disliked her theological opinions. She seems hardly to have
realised this at the time, though her father may have done so, as can be
seen from the following letter:—

                                               ‘_November 8, 1857._

    ‘Say, if you have an opportunity, as much of what you have
    written to the Committee as will show them you sought the
    situation at Casterton for the sake of the school. For this
    I accepted for you—for this alone. Do not retain it without
    sufficient authority to carry forward the minds and morals of
    the pupils. You went there in a missionary spirit, I know,
    as to a post of usefulness; and you have hitherto retained
    it in the same spirit. Maintain this feeling, but assert it
    with meekness. We shall all be rejoiced to find you are coming
    home; but I dare not urge you beyond this. I was a party to the
    compact by which your remuneration was arranged, and I felt no
    difficulty in making any concession between what I felt was due
    to the order of educated governesses which you represented,
    and what the institution could afford to pay; but I would not
    recommend you to compromise one iota of authority which may be
    fit to carry forward the minds of your pupils, or of discipline
    to enforce obedience. Your pupils are no longer children, and,
    as the daughters of clergymen and intended to teach others, are
    lights upon a hill, and in point of education, manners, and
    morals, great charges indeed. I am witness, too, how roundly
    and unequivocally you stated your religious principle....
    I mention this much because I think you have been treated
    unfairly on this subject. If the denial of the doctrine of
    regeneration by baptism were a _sine quâ non_ by the governess,
    it ought to have been so stated. Mr. Mariner represented their
    religious basis as far more broad. Doubtless the Committee
    have a right to limit the assent of their teachers to such
    points; and doing so, I cannot object to Mr. Shepheard’s voting
    for your exclusion, neither do I see how they can accept
    money from those who think differently from the Committee.
    It is a question which has divided larger societies than at
    Casterton ... and I can remember when it convulsed the Choral
    Society.... You and I are both labouring to raise the status
    and influence of the governess, and you will do it, first
    by your attainments and education, and rectitude of conduct
    under all circumstances, and I by bringing before those public
    bodies interested in the matter, the influence and importance
    of legislating for their protection and recognition. We may
    neither of us live to see the changes which shall come, but
    even in our limited spheres we are breaking ground, and you are
    gaining whilst yet young most valuable experience.

    ‘ ... Above all things take care of your health.... I am quite
    sure that you have a long course of usefulness before you. The
    flattering regard in which you are held at Queen’s College,
    and the constant means you always have in London of constantly
    improving yourself, must teach you somewhat of your own value;
    though I would not indeed presume upon it farther than to give
    you confidence to act rightly. But good governesses are very
    scarce, and are far better treated than they used to be, though
    not as well as they deserve.

    ‘Casterton ought to be from the great advantages it offers, a
    national institution; but it will not be so if its principles
    are narrowed by anything like sectarian jealousy, or if its
    standard of education be not high. But Casterton has not yet
    been as fortunate as the good intentions of its founder would
    seem to deserve. The time will come, I hope, when this and
    kindred establishments will seek the visit and inspection of
    examiners from the Board of Government, Inspectors of Schools,
    and governesses.... I write to you when I begin _currente
    calamo_, and could do so much longer upon a theme in which we
    are both interested, and I fear I have given you no direction.
    Fear nothing; be firm, but very gentle.’

The matter of the resignation seems to have been hanging on all through
the month of November. Miss Beale evidently wrote home again for advice,
for on the 26th she received another letter from her father:—

                                              ‘_November 26, 1857._

    ‘Far from dissuading you from sending in your resignation, I
    think it will be expected. We did not appeal to the Committee
    that their attention should end in talk, but in giving you
    support moral and professional. With less than this, it is
    inconsistent with self-respect, or the duty you owe to the
    children, to remain.... Now Christmas is approaching, and, as
    matters remain as they were, certainly not improved,—I would
    seek at once to be relieved. Do not suppose for a moment I
    shall consider you are forsaking an appointment to which you
    have been called, or in which time would afford you redress....
    Leave it then, and if nothing more congenial presents itself,
    we can afford to wait our time, and let us try together if
    we cannot carry forward, or at least make more widely known,
    our views of what might be effected if your half of the human
    family more extensively used that influence of which they are
    all the dispensers, as men are of their power. This is indeed,
    as Christ said to the woman of Samaria, “living water,” if
    derived from Him, satisfying all thirst from its welling up
    from within; and by its purity testing the value of everything
    it is brought in contact with. You say you have learned much at
    Casterton. What matters it if you have to wait for the Harvest
    that we are sure “we shall reap if we faint not,” and gather
    “fruit unto life eternal.” It is often in this world, indeed,
    that “one soweth and another reapeth,” but though delayed the
    seed is not lost.’

Before Miss Beale could formally send in her threatened resignation to
the Committee, she received the following letter from the Chairman:—

    ‘On your last interview with the Committee you implied an
    intention of resigning in case certain alterations should not
    be made by the Committee....

    ‘The Committee are of opinion that under the circumstances it
    would be better that your connection with the school should
    cease after Christmas next, they paying you a quarter’s salary
    in advance.

It will readily be imagined that this summary step on the part of the
Committee caused great distress to one of Miss Beale’s sensitive nature.
Nor was it easy for her to see why the difficult part she had taken upon
herself for the good of the school should be misunderstood. At that
moment it must have seemed like a sentence of failure,—

    ‘For who can so forecast the years,
    To find in loss a gain to match.’

Among the crowning successes of later life she recognised that the blow
had had its place in fashioning her life’s work. Her letter home on the
subject is not preserved, but the following is evidently an answer to
it:—

                                                  ‘_December 1857._

    ‘MY DEAR GIRL,—Be sure I have been with you in heart every day
    and all day.... We shall all be delighted to have you at home.
    I would not have you commit yourself to writing statements
    on any account. You have given proof of the truth of your
    assertion by offering and sending in your resignation, and
    thus relinquishing your salary and the occupation of teaching
    to which you had felt yourself called, because you could not
    retain the one or follow the other conscientiously. Though you
    have not accomplished all you sought, you have sowed seed which
    will bear fruit; it may be for others’ benefit altogether;
    but to doubt the ultimate result were a want of faith. Whilst
    I object to writing, I think you owe it to yourself to seek
    rather than shun an interview with Mr. Wilson. His countenance
    of you I should consider very valuable.... Is not this again
    an instance of the influence of women, ... the dispensers of
    influence for good or evil? How important, then, to cultivate
    that principle of rightly discerning. Do you remember the
    apologue of Esdras? “The first wrote: Wine is the strongest.
    The second wrote: The king is the strongest. The third wrote:
    Women are strongest. But above all things Truth beareth away
    the victory.” How irresistible, then, is truth, if urged by
    the self-denial and patient perseverance of an enlightened
    and Christian woman! It is very possible, my dear Dorothea,
    that you have never been fairly represented or appreciated at
    Casterton, and now you are called to rest content with the
    consciousness of acting from right motives, secure that you
    possess too the regard and love of all those who can value such
    sacrifices as you have made of home, and ease, and peace for
    others’ good. I write in great haste, but I will write as often
    as you like until we see you.’

Thus was Dorothea cheered and supported from home. Encouragement came
from others also. On December 7, Mr. Plumptre wrote:—

    ‘I have been informed to-day that you are going to leave
    Casterton at Christmas. I fear from this that you have not
    found your work there so pleasant as you hoped. If there are
    any particulars connected with your change of plan which you
    would like to tell me, or anything as to your prospects for
    the future, I need not say that I shall be glad to hear them.
    Should you feel disposed to resume any part of your work at
    Queen’s College? The place of Assistant is of course being
    worthily occupied, and so far as I know not likely to be
    vacant; but tutorships in Mathematics and other subjects might
    probably be open.’

Mr. Shepheard, curate-in-charge of Casterton, and chaplain to the school,
wrote thus to Miss Beale on her leaving:—

    ‘It is natural that you should wish to have my testimony, and
    right that I should give it you regarding the line of conduct
    you have persevered in, and the difficult position in which you
    have been placed, as well as regarding your general principles.

    ‘It is no more than your due that I should say to others what
    I have said to yourself, that I think your conduct throughout
    the painful circumstances of your connection with the Clergy
    Daughters’ School has been such as to reflect the highest
    honour upon yourself. You have only done your duty in boldly
    expressing what you thought required correction in the school.
    And if your faithful discharge of that duty has brought
    discomfiture on yourself, you have the comfort of knowing that
    it is no dishonour to suffer for well-doing.

    ‘I have the greatest pleasure in offering you my cordial esteem
    and regard. And though there are points of religious doctrine,
    and those not small nor secondary, on which we must agree to
    differ, this cannot affect my opinion of the high principle and
    conscientious conduct which you have manifested throughout your
    stay at Casterton.

    ‘Of your abilities and acquirements I need not speak. They
    are well known here, and can better be described by those who
    have had the opportunity of witnessing and benefiting by them
    personally, than by myself; and of such witnesses there are no
    lack.

    ‘We shall always be glad to hear of your happiness, and hope to
    retain your friendship when removed to a distance from us.—I
    am, dear Miss Beale, very sincerely yours,

                                         H. SHEPHEARD (Incumbent).’

The letter shows, what was indeed true, that difficulties and differences
both in the Committee and the school were aggravated by bitterness on the
subject of religious opinions. This comes out still more clearly in a
correspondence Miss Beale kept up for a little time with Mrs. Shepheard,
who was a daughter of Mr. Carus Wilson, the aged founder of the school,
and at this time infirm and worn by the immense labours of his younger
days.

The Bishop and Dean of Carlisle, being called upon to advise the
Committee, patiently heard evidence for eight hours. Mr. Carus Wilson
also decided to visit the school himself; but before he went north, Mrs.
Shepheard arranged an interview between him and Miss Beale, writing
to her: ‘Do not be afraid of my beloved father—tall, grey-headed, and
anxious, but clear and open as you please.’ A memorable meeting surely
this, of two who with widely differing methods were alike in high,
earnest aim and self-devotion. It took place in February, and in the same
month Mr. Wilson made one of his last visits to his old home and flock.
Mrs. Shepheard notes that ‘it is supposed that nine hundred were in this
little church last Sunday to hear my father!’

In the course of the year 1858 many changes were made in the management
of the Clergy Daughters’ School, and this chapter on Casterton may fitly
close with an extract from a letter written to Miss Beale by her friend,
Mrs. Greene, of Whittington Hall:—

    ‘ ... There was a little music yesterday evening at the Clergy
    School, and Miss Vincent asked me to be present. I know your
    kind heart will give interest to what goes on there, and so I
    waited till it was over to tell you how it went off, etc.... I
    assure you the performance was extremely good, and the girls’
    manners and appearance were those of young English Gentlewomen;
    this I consider good praise. Miss Vincent appears to me the
    very person to fill so important a post.... We spoke much of
    you, she evidently appreciates you; and when the music was
    over, I went to one or two of the ladies near, and asked, “Were
    you acquainted with Miss Beale?” One came forward with a
    beaming face and replied, “Oh, I know her well, and have heard
    from her.” I replied, “So have I; and I shall write to her
    to-morrow.” I do not know who my friend was, but perhaps you
    will.

    ‘And now let me tell you how delighted I am you are so
    comfortable; that you are doing much good I am equally sure....
    I hope we may sometimes meet. Would you even spare us a little
    time here? If so, I would offer you a hearty welcome.’



CHAPTER IV

AN INTERVAL

    ‘O dignitosa coscienza e netto
      Come t’e picciol fallo amaro morso.’

                DANTE, _Purgatorio_, iii.


The early part of the year 1858 is the one period in the life of Dorothea
Beale when she could have been called really free. It was a time when
it became her part to choose what she would do; to wait for what was
suitable, to decide between conflicting claims. She came home depressed,
defeated, disappointed; but she had discovered her own weakness and real
strength; she had increased her knowledge of human nature through some
experience of a boarding-school and its Committee. She had learned for
one thing, that it would be best for herself and for the world that she
should be head of a school, and she submitted to wait for one. But in the
meantime other calls and needs besides that of education were heard and
considered.

The fact of apparent failure in her recent position at Casterton might
have been taken as an indication that her energies should perhaps be
directed to a fresh field of action. She was not under the necessity
of earning her bread; she loved her home and had a circle of friends
and interests about her. Various kinds of good work for others appealed
to her, and her ability and gifts made it clear that she might have
succeeded in other walks of life than the one in which her steps were
finally directed.

Though Dorothea had inherited, in a strong degree, her father’s antipathy
to a _mariage de convenance_, though she was far from regarding marriage
as the necessary completion of a woman’s life, she had not—at this time
at least—made any definite refusal of it. This is a subject to which
it will not be necessary to return in Miss Beale’s life, devoted as it
became to one great cause. But here, before her vocation had distinctly
declared itself, it is right to say that in the course of events she was
not only not without opportunities of marriage, she also gave it her
full consideration. Flippant scholars might echo the words of Punch,
‘How different from us, Miss Beale and Miss Buss!’ But in the sense in
which the words were intended, this was not true in either case. Suffice
it to say, that Dorothea Beale knew what it was to be admired, loved,
even for a short time engaged to be married. She knew also, among other
experiences, what it was to sacrifice a girlish romance because it was
right to put away vain regret; to forget the things that are behind, and
in this matter as in others, to use any sense of personal loss in such a
way that it strengthened her character.

To pass from this subject, which, as it happens, does not appear to
have had any place in the short period which elapsed between Casterton
and Cheltenham, it is interesting to note what kinds of work Miss Beale
considered with a view to taking them up.

Philanthropic occupations in the ordinary sense of the term she had had
but few. Her duties as a tutor at Queen’s College were first undertaken
when she was still eighteen, and up to then her time had been filled
with interests arising from her own education and that of her brothers.
Yet, while at Queen’s, busy as she was, she had made time to aid one
less fortunate than herself. In 1853 her friend Miss Alston consulted
her how best to help a clever boy brought up in a charity school. Miss
Beale volunteered to teach him Euclid and algebra, and for four months
gave him a lesson a week in each of these subjects. In that time he went
through the first four books of Euclid and part of the sixth. Miss Beale
enjoyed these lessons, for her pupil was keen and intelligent and took a
delight in working out things for himself. Doubtless he too responded to
the teaching of one whose method was ever to lead a pupil on to perceive
a truth before accepting it. When, after a time, he came under the
instruction of the headmaster of a public school, the latter remarked to
Miss Alston _à propos_ of Miss Beale’s teaching: ‘What a well-balanced
head your friend must have!’

She had never, however, been engaged in the Sunday School teaching
and visiting of the poor, such as was not infrequently undertaken
by thoughtful girls of her day. Her strong intellectual bent, her
well-defined sense of purpose possibly kept her from even good
occupations which might have seemed desultory. But one kind of work for
others seems actually to have been considered. This was in connection
with Mrs. Lancaster whom for some years Miss Beale had helped by
collecting money for the Church Penitentiary Association, and for a
Diocesan Home at Highgate. Mrs. Lancaster became in 1861 the founder
of St. Peter’s Sisterhood. She died in 1874. ‘She was,’ says one who
knew her, ‘a very remarkable woman, of great charm and cleverness, and
wholly devoted to the service of God.’ Her letters to Miss Beale at this
time show that she was at once drawn to her young helper, so active in
inspiring others to share in the good work, so punctual in her payments.

It was work in which Miss Beale was interested all her life, to which she
gave largely, and which she ever promoted as far as her much filled time
and thought permitted. Mrs. Lancaster greeted her first sign of interest
with a warm welcome to the new worker. ‘Indeed, it was a great joy to me
to see another drawn in by the Good Shepherd to help in seeking His lost
sheep. May He bless and strengthen your will and power for the work.’

Dorothea appears to have been an assistant secretary, and to have
collected money from her sisters and friends for this object. It is
unnecessary, perhaps, to say that this money was always paid on the same
date of each year.

After a time, when it seemed likely that Miss Beale would not remain at
Casterton, Mrs. Lancaster obviously hoped to find in her one who would
give up her life and talents to this cause. ‘I wish,’ she wrote, ‘for
the sake of poor Penitents that you were more free, for I fancy you are
a _real, steady, orderly doer_, and that is worth much in such a cause.
Still, you do what you can, and may well be grateful to help in any way.
Thank your sister too very much; it is very delightful to get young
interest.’

Then, when an occasion arrived on which it was absolutely necessary to
find a worker for the Highgate Home, she wrote: ‘_Are you sure_ that
you don’t know of a really good young lady not _over_ accomplished, and
she need know neither Greek nor Hindostanee, who would come and _live_
at the Home, with a salary of £30 only, and _poor people’s_ diet?’ This
was followed by a still more practical suggestion: ‘Is there any chance
(I don’t like the word) of your liking to take the Headship of a large
Penitentiary to be worked by Sisters, but the whole under strict, honest,
English principles—more like Kaiserwerth than anything we have now?’
Dorothea’s answer seems to have emboldened Mrs. Lancaster to make a
definite suggestion to her to come herself, either as a Sister or a lay
worker, and the following note from Mrs. Lancaster, written during the
summer holidays of the Casterton year, shows that the idea was to some
extent entertained. It is interesting also in the history of the work and
institution established by that lady.

    ‘As your mind does not altogether say “No” to my proposal at
    once, I write a line to beg you not to _decide against_ the
    thought of what I wrote to you about, without weighing very
    seriously these considerations:

        ‘What is the highest work?

        ‘What constitutes a call to God’s service?

        ‘Is it lawful to give up a higher for a lower work?

    ‘If, when you have considered it well, you feel at all drawn
    towards it, then will you write either to me or to the Rev.
    John Oliver of St. Mary’s House of Mercy, Highgate, appointing
    with him to see you (for the appointment is in his hands),
    and he will not make it unless he is fully convinced that the
    lady would work it on strictly English principles, and that
    her _heart_ was given to God first. He is very earnest and
    very honest, and all there seems most hopeful if regarded as a
    beginning and a foundation, for at present there are only two
    Sisters and one other lady at work. The house and grounds are
    delightful, the Penitents in a good healthy state, and if but
    a _wise_ lady is given to the work I should be very hopeful of
    seeing _there_, _such_ a Sisterhood as we have talked about
    but have not been privileged to see growing up in English
    soil. Pray do consult your sister, or your parents, but please
    confidentially, as I think we ought to do these _preliminaries_
    as quietly as possible. I have mentioned your name _quite_ in
    confidence to Mr. Oliver, and I _do_ hope you will see him and
    talk it out to _the bottom_ with him before you decide. I know
    you will do what is better than all, ask for guidance that
    cannot fail.

    ‘I do not think your parents would object, after allowing
    you to go to Casterton and Queen’s College, because in point
    of position, this is _now_ felt to be _all_ that a lady need
    care about. I am so _very_ anxious about Highgate because it
    seems so _hopeful_ as regards soundness of principle _now_, but
    I will say no more excepting to beg you to remember that the
    appointment does not _rest_ with me even if you felt you could
    and would take it.—Ever yours affectionately and sincerely,

                                                  ROSA: LANCASTER.’

It is probable that Mrs. Lancaster’s friendship and the glimpse of
Sisterhood life which she obtained by means of it deepened the sense
of vocation with which Miss Beale was prepared to take up the new work
for which she was waiting in 1858. It may also have had its influence
on outside matters such as dress, which we know, when engaged on her
work of teaching, was in early days especially very plain and simple.
Mrs. Lancaster was obviously a friend whom she revered, one to whom she
could speak of religious matters, and with whose devoted work among poor
women she fully sympathised; but the conventual side of it never really
appealed to her.

Through Miss Twining, who began her work in 1850, Miss Beale became much
interested in the reform of workhouses, and the idea even passed through
her mind of seeking a position as matron in order to help to promote a
better state of affairs. We can only wonder what would have been wrought
had that great personality and unwearied diligence, that refusal to
accept anything but the best, been brought to bear on the Poor Law, on
Vestries, or Boards of Guardians.

The education of girls of her own class was of far deeper interest to her
than any other work for women. She was trained for it, was conscious of
her own power and knowledge of what a school should be, and she decided
to wait till she could find a headship and carry out her own ideas. It
was not quite easy to find the post she wanted. As she put it herself,
‘They might say, “She could not get on at Queen’s, she could not get
on at Casterton”’; and it is obvious from her diary, that though she
was actually told as early as January 1858 of the possible vacancy at
Cheltenham, she tried for more than one school before she was elected
there in June.

While she waited, she worked. There was plenty of home interest, a
pleasant circle of friends about her: she took her share in the life of
others, and yet led her own and accomplished a large amount in those few
months. During a part of this time she gave weekly lessons in mathematics
and Latin at Miss Elwall’s school at Barnes, a school which afterwards
became well known under Miss Eliza Beale, already in 1858 an assistant
teacher there. But the great occupation of these months was _The
Student’s Textbook of English and General History_.

In point of time this important work was the third book produced by Miss
Beale, and a word on its first predecessor will not be out of place here.

The little volume on the Deaconesses’ Institution at Kaiserwerth was the
outcome of a visit there during one of two summers passed in Germany for
the sake of studying schools and foreign methods of education. Miss Beale
stayed for a few days with the founder, Pastor Fliedner, and his wife,
and studied each department of work. She was specially pleased with the
Hospital and Sunday-school, of which she wrote with much appreciation:
‘I never was present at a lesson which seemed to give so much pleasure
to children and listeners, as well as to the teacher, who certainly
understood the art of drawing out children by means of questions.’

Germany, its schools and similar institutions, its literature and
language, even its handwriting, had a great attraction for Miss Beale.
She had a few German lessons at the Paris school and afterwards worked at
it alone, finally perfecting herself in the language by two long visits
to the country, when she stayed principally at Brunswick and Dresden. On
one occasion she resided for some time in a German family. In after years
she would talk of this time to the girls at Cheltenham, telling them how
she would make a point of conversing with the person she understood least
easily at any gathering, inquiring the meaning of any word she did not
know, to make use of it herself at the first opportunity. ‘And of course
I did not mind being laughed at a little,’ she would add with a smile.
Hence the praise that German ladies teaching at Cheltenham would accord
her knowledge of the language, saying that she never made a mistake
either in speaking or writing. She frequently made use of the German
character in writing her diary.

The book on Kaiserwerth, written as it was for a special cause, has
naturally long since had its day, though on its appearance it was
accepted widely enough to justify the thought of a second edition. Mrs.
Lancaster was greatly interested by it, and showed it to the Bishop of
London,[22] who had just signed the Rule of the newly-founded Sisterhood.
Both Bishop Jackson and Dean Trench declined, in friendly letters,
dedications to themselves of a second edition, and none appears to have
been issued; possibly on account of difficulties suggested by Mrs.
Lancaster, who wished the scope of the book enlarged to embrace work
of a similar nature in England. In the event of this being done, she
begged Miss Beale to add a notice of the infant Community of St. Peter’s,
then in Broughton Square. To-day the book can scarcely be called extant,
but there is certainly one copy in England and one in Kaiserwerth. It
is interesting because it shows, like other writing of this time, the
continuity of Miss Beale’s ideas and thoughts. Her sowing had been
betimes and abundant, and she could already gather as she needed. She did
not give till she had the wherewithal, and though in her long years she
frequently sowed afresh—was ever disciple as well as teacher—she was an
early husbandman, a wise householder, able continuously and opportunely
to bring out things new and old. The simile of Jairus’s daughter,
occurring for the first time in the passage quoted below, was one she
often quoted in connection with that awakening of women’s energies it had
been her lot to share; and one she finally enshrined for her children in
the window placed in the College to the memory of Miss Buckoll in 1890.
And like much of her later work, the little book shows also how much her
religion went hand in hand with all her work for others. There was no
thought of the emancipation of women, no word of rights; she spoke only
of duties, of scope to do good; but even these were quite secondary to
the desire, the will to make the effort, the ear to hear the bidding
voice. Here is a passage to illustrate this:

    ‘It has occurred to me that a more detailed description than
    that given six years ago by Miss Nightingale of an institution
    in which she was herself trained, and which has since that
    time many new features, might assist those who are considering
    the best way of turning to account the wasted energy of our
    country-women, of those whose highest happiness it would be to
    be like Mary, Joanna, and Susannah, to follow Christ.... There
    are many who, when they pray to God “to comfort and succour
    all them who ... are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any
    other adversity,” cannot be satisfied without giving a small
    portion of their money, who tremble at the thought of being
    numbered with the women who are at ease, with the careless
    daughters. O that Christ would take us by the hand. He has but
    to speak the word: “Daughter, I say unto thee, Arise”; and
    we shall arise and minister to Him: then will the scorners
    acknowledge we were only sleeping, and our souls will magnify
    the Lord.’[23]

Two other short extracts must be permitted:

    ‘I could not but contrast the aimless existence of many of my
    own country-women, the dreary regions of the fashionable world,
    with the wide field under cultivation by this band of Sisters,
    who, by God’s blessing, penetrate year by year farther into
    the wilderness, and rescue so many of their fellow-creatures
    from evils more to be dreaded than famine, pestilence, and the
    sword.’[24]

Finally, the following passage tells how the strengthening thought of the
Communion of Saints, of which she spoke to Miss Gore on the last Sunday
of her life, was already beginning to be hers:

    ‘The happiness of a Deaconess does not arise from external
    circumstances; it is a peace which the world cannot give. She
    must be prepared to live away from the world, without any
    society but that of a few sick persons and children, without
    beautiful services; to believe, in the midst of unbelief and
    sin, in the Holy Catholic Church and the Communion of Saints.
    She must always be watching for her Lord’s coming, for in the
    midst of the pestilence and near the field of battle is her
    post.’[25]

A second visit to Kaiserwerth, ten years later, gave Miss Beale great
pleasure. She was delighted with the work being done and the extension of
the small beginnings she had seen in 1856. In 1905, at Oeynhausen, she
met accidentally a Deaconess of Kaiserwerth, was much attracted by her,
and invited her to come and see her and talk to her of the institution,
and after her return to England exchanged letters with her.

The _Textbook of History_ entailed a great deal of labour and study,
which must have been a boon to its writer at a time of depression and
uncertainty. Though the scheme of it was no doubt in her mind before she
left Casterton, and the book was probably begun in the summer holidays of
1857, it was not till after Christmas that she was free to devote herself
to it. Then she threw into the work every hour she could justly secure,
striving at the same time not to neglect family claims. The conditions
under which it was done were little short of heroic. In order to secure
freedom from interruption both for herself and her books of reference,
she chose for her study a large empty room, where she worked in the midst
of open volumes spread round her on the floor. It was winter, but she
was glad to avail herself of the difficulty of keeping up a daily fire
at the top of the old City house, in order to give less attraction to
any other members of the household to sit with her and take up time in
conversation. The empty grate by which she wrote lends significance to
an entry in the diary of March 1858: ‘Self-indulgence because of cold.’
The self-denial and concentration of the writer bore early fruit, for
this book, a digest of world-wide histories, was published in August
1858, just after its author had come to Cheltenham. The production of
this textbook is an instance of the way in which Miss Beale would see
and seize an opportunity. There was a real need for such a work. In her
introduction she alludes to objections which could be raised to similar
books then in use, and which were stated in articles which appeared in
the _Times_ of January 1857.

Miss Beale’s reference is doubtless to two letters headed ‘The
Corruption of Popular School Books.’ The first of these, by the noted Dr.
Cumming, appeared on January 17, and dealt with certain changes which had
been made, in a Romish direction, in a widely used textbook of English
history by Henry Ince. A new edition had lately appeared, professing
itself to be much extended and improved, in wide circulation, and
sanctioned by her Majesty’s Committee of the Council of Education. This
edition, pleaded the writer of the _Times_ letter, contained statements
which made it ‘unsuitable for use in Protestant schools.’ Those quoted,
_e.g._ that ‘Queen Elizabeth was a mistress in the art of dissembling,’
do not seem very reprehensible, but enough savour of Papistry had been
introduced into the book to cause the Committee above-mentioned and the
Society of Arts to strike the book off their lists. Dorothea Beale was
quick to see and seize the opportunity thus afforded for a new textbook.

The very large scope of the work, embracing as it does the whole
history of the world since the beginning of the Christian era, with the
history of England given in rather fuller detail than the rest, makes
it imperative that its hundred and seventy closely printed pages should
be rather dry. The _Textbook_ is intended for the teacher rather than
the pupil; highly useful in its arrangement of facts, and names, and
suggestions of ideas, but not in itself a complete lesson-book. Its
clearness and fulness are not more characteristic of the writer than the
dramatic instinct which led her to give such names, titles, and short
quotations as tend at once to fix a fact in the memory, and to conjure up
visions of the conditions under which such and such events took place.
Miss Beale had a remarkable quickness in seizing on the important matter
and stating it in a few telling words. It is interesting to take at
haphazard her history of any century, and mark what a wealth of interest
rather than of information is brought together in a few short pages to
stimulate the reader’s thirst for knowledge. But it is sufficient to
point out the titles chosen for the centuries, as showing what seemed to
her of greatest importance to the progress of mankind.[26]

The book is completed with an account of the English Constitution and
some genealogical tables. It reached a seventh edition, but Miss Beale
was disinclined to bring it up to quite modern times, doubtless because
she felt there are now other books to cover the ground as well or better
than her own. Consequently the nineteenth century is left uncompleted.
The book, however, played a useful part at a time when the teaching of
history was very imperfect, and was well received by those who knew its
author. ‘The plan of the book,’ wrote Mr. Plumptre, ‘seems to me very
good, and I cannot doubt that you have carried into the details the same
painstaking accuracy with which we used to be familiar in your work with
us.’

Mr. Mackenzie, at the writer’s request, made an elaborate criticism, from
which it is enough to quote his ‘_chief_ complaint’: ‘Your unfairness to
your own sex, and your willingness to believe and repeat the calumnies
uttered against them by male writers, a fault to which the old monks were
especially prone; but they were not quite silent, as you are, upon the
virtues of the royal and noble Anglo-Saxon ladies, who did so much, even
in the darkest ages, towards educating and refining the barbarous people
by whom they were surrounded.’

Mr. Beale mentioned it more than once in his letters to the daughter in
whose talent he had such pride: ‘The success of your little book is
very encouraging. E. says they call it “Beale’s Ince.” ... I dined at
the Adams’ last week, a doctor’s party. Dr. Daldy was loud in praise of
the _Textbook_.’ And again, ‘Underneath D. Beale in my own copy I have
written “sed summa sequar festigia rerum.”’ And to the end it was a
source of satisfaction to the writer herself. ‘You could not have done so
well without my _Textbook_, could you?’ she said to an old pupil whose
Histories for Schools have been widely accepted.

The third work of this period was a little book entitled
_Self-Examination_. This was chiefly designed for schools, and was edited
by Mr. Denton, the vicar of St. Bartholomew’s, Moor Lane. This book,
too, written when books of devotion were far less common than they are
now, and in order to supply a real need of schoolgirls, has been long
superseded by others, but in many cases the works for which it has been
put on one side are less thoughtful and penetrating. The questions and
meditations are arranged round the subjects of ‘My Duty towards God, and
my Duty towards my Neighbour,’ and with the comment of verses from the
Bible are presented in that tabular form which Miss Beale loved.[27]
The actual questions for self-examination are throughout slight and
few in proportion to what is suggested by the Scripture texts and the
meditations; the reason doubtless being to make the reader think for
herself.

This little work brings us face to face with that religion which all her
life long was the motive power of Dorothea’s life. Deep religious feeling
was no phase nor change of thought which came to her with years or
experience. It was not wrought for her in the furnace of sorrow, though
many times there renewed and purified. It was so much the dominating
force of her mind and life, that, by which every day as every year she
was controlled and inspired, that it may be reverently regarded as a
special gift to one called to a great service. ‘I cannot,’ she wrote,
‘look back upon the time when God was not a present Friend. I would throw
myself on my knees in trouble, and He gave of His compassion. How (as a
child) I used to follow the service and wish it were possible to think of
what God was;—to think of Him as mere Light was the nearest approach.’
And as an old woman—despite the love of friends, and her well-deserved
honours, often alone and sick and weary—she wrote, ‘The Lord is my
Light.’ But the religion of Dorothea Beale was far indeed from being a
mere succession of beautiful and comforting thoughts. It meant authority.
It involved all the difficulties of daily obedience, it meant the fatigue
of watching, the pains of battle, sometimes the humiliation of defeat.
Intense as was her feeling on religious subjects, it was never permitted
to go off in steam, as she would term it, but became at once a practical
matter for everyday life. Sorrow and regret for sin and mistakes passed
into fresh effort against them; the perception of a beautiful thought or
idea became a new motive for definite acts of charity and diligence. With
regard to such a religious life as hers, the mind dwelling habitually in
a region which is beyond controversy, it seems like a descent to a lower
plane to speak of religious _opinions_. Yet no approximately true history
of her can be related without reference to these. Even if there were no
record of it as there is, it is obvious that one at once so large-minded
and clear-headed, whose life displayed so much organisation and
arrangement, must have definitely faced the great problems of eternity,
must have listened to every appeal of Christianity, and with her own
eyes have looked up each avenue of thought which promised an approach
to Truth. And this she undoubtedly did. But in the knowledge of Divine
things, as in that which she would scarcely permit to be called secular,
her faithfulness and simple obedience to early teaching directed her mind
to certain religious duties and opinions from which she never parted: ‘If
any man will do His will he shall know of the doctrine,’ is a text she
was fond of quoting to her Scripture classes. She lived to realise it.
Very early and continuously she ruled her life by the commandments of the
Lord, and when storms arose, when winds and floods of doubt threatened
ruin, when she was herself ready to cry, ‘All is gone,’ the foundations
of the house of faith were yet secure, and thereon love rebuilt.

And so it may be truly said that the framework of her personal religion
was in age what it had been in youth. She had her own distinctly outlined
path to which she had been guided early by such friends as her father
and Mr. Mackenzie. This has been sometimes lost sight of, possibly owing
to her deep sympathy and interest in matters of doubt and difficulty.
When any of her children turned to her in distress of this nature, she
felt, more than at any other time, the yearning of a mother’s heart, and
was fearful of saying any word or even of showing any opinion of her own
which might alarm or seal up confidence. Hence people of widely different
views wished to claim her as of their own way of thinking when often
she was not. She did not think it of paramount importance when speaking
to the unorthodox, or even to the agnostic, to state her own beliefs
precisely. She did not seek to proselytise but to help, to remove, as
far as power was given her, all hindrances to the light, to persuade
those who were in darkness still to obey. But she knew that she could not
make any _see_; she recognised faith as the gift of God.

Miles Beale was a Churchman of the type known best by its nickname ‘High
and Dry.’ His daughters were still quite young when they found this
was a school to which not all the world belonged, and they began to
appreciate religious differences. They heard, between St. Helen’s and St.
Bartholomew’s, preachers of varying shades of thought. Mr. Mackenzie was
succeeded at St. Helen’s by an incumbent of evangelical views. Some of
Mr. Denton’s curates at St. Bartholomew’s went over to Rome; one became
Father Ignatius.

Dorothea was only sixteen when her father wrote to her on the subject of
the Hampden-Gorham dispute, as of a matter she well understood and found
interesting. And this recalls the fact that religious controversy of
that day raged specially round the question of Baptismal Regeneration.
A letter written to the Council of the Ladies’ College after her
appointment[28] shows how clearly and concisely, and without reference
to books, Miss Beale could state her opinions. It deals with her views
of the Sacraments, marking her religious position at the time and
indeed to the end;—it was for her Prayer-book that she asked in the one
clear moment of the last unconsciousness. This letter contains a bare,
unemotional statement of belief, to which may well be added this: that
while she held firmly the doctrine of ‘Two only, as generally necessary
to salvation,’ the life of grace through the Sacraments was the power
by which she lived. She recognised herself as fortunate in her special
heritage of Christian thought, writing of it thus:—

    ‘It was a time of great religious revival: the bald services
    of my childhood were beginning to develop into the musical
    services of our own time.... The beautiful music of to-day
    is not more dear to me than those plain services with often
    grotesque accompaniments where I learned to see Heaven opened.
    Miss Sewell’s writings, especially _The Experience of Life_,
    helped me in early youth to work out the problems of my daily
    life. Religion quickened the intellectual life, for Sacramental
    teaching was to the leaders of that movement no narrow
    dogmatism, but the discovery of the river of the water of
    life flowing through the whole desert of human existence, and
    making it rejoice and blossom as the rose, revealing a unity in
    creation, a continuity in history, a glory in art, a purpose in
    life, making life infinitely worth living.’[29]

When quite young she began the practice of Sunday Communion, and many a
week day found her at the 6 A.M. celebration at St. Bartholomew’s Church.
From first to last her scanty diary records this service among the
leading facts of ordinary life.

In the power thus gained she had ever before her the thought of
co-operation, of working out salvation, of putting on Christ by daily
dying to self by minute watchfulness, and in every sense of the word
painstaking diligence. At a time when the pulpits of Cheltenham were
ringing with statements which seemed to her to misrepresent the great
doctrine of the Atonement, she was speaking to her children of the true
nature of the Redeemer’s Blood, of the living stream flowing from the
Heart through all the members; she was seeking for herself and for them
the righteousness of Christ, not as a mere substitution, but as a real
attainment won by the union of a soul wholly surrendered to the workings
of the grace of God.

This chapter may fitly close with a passage from the diary, which she
appears to have begun to keep for the first time this year, when she
was to some extent forced back upon herself, when she was making her
own scheme of daily work. Begun on Ash Wednesday, February 17, 1858,
it was continued intermittently at least to 1901, when the increasing
infirmities of age made all reading and writing difficult. Sometimes
dropped for many months, it was taken up again as if with the suggestion
of a sense of culpability for neglect. It was never full; never, so far
as outward events are concerned, of any great interest. Some of these,
indeed, as the writing of certain letters, the visits of certain friends,
or business engagements, are just mentioned and no more; doubtless for
the sake of reference only. It remains for us as a revelation of the
keen self-scrutiny with which she, who had to guide and warn others, was
daily searching her own soul. Very often for weeks there is no mention
of anything done, or seen, or thought as far as the matters of this
world are concerned; but she never failed to note what she regarded as
the real life, spiritual growth or the reverse, right or wrong conduct,
faithful or unfaithful performance of religious duties. This diary cannot
be ignored if a true presentment of Dorothea Beale is to be given.
Hence, intimate as it is, enough extracts as may display the persistent
effort of her life are inserted here. They are not consecutive, but
chosen as characteristic and interesting, and showing to some extent the
occupations of the period. Scanty traces indeed of what she was doing
and thinking, they are yet enough to show a little of the anxiety and
conflict of which she wrote in 1901 to Miss Margaret Richardson, in these
words: ‘Once I had an interval of work, and I thought perhaps God would
not give it me again—but after that interval He called me here. I think
now I can see better how I needed that time of comparative quiet and
solitude, and a time to think over my failures, and a time to be more
helpful to my family.’

    EXTRACTS FROM DIARY OF 1858

    ‘_February 17th._—Ash Wednesday. [To] S. M’s. [Applied] for
    school at Holloway. Lip-service. Snappish. _Resolution._ [to
    strive for more] humility, patience, charity.

    ‘_February 26th._—Miss Alston came. Idle [meditation] on peace.
    To be less anxious.

    ‘_February 27th._—History for seven hours. Church. Some
    idleness.

    ‘_March 5th._—Went to see Mr. Sankey about boy’s evening
    school. To church. History. Many impatient answers to Mama.

    ‘_March 6th._—History. Aunt E. came. Cross at not getting my
    own way. Some idleness. Impatient manner.

    ‘_March 7th_, Sunday.—Went to H. E. without prayer. Not a
    devoted service. Morning prayer nothing but vain thoughts. At
    evening Church. Very cross.

    ‘_April 14th._—History. Elizabeth. Called on Mrs. Blenkarne.
    Dined at Chapter House. Idle. Indulgence in reading story at
    my time for evening prayer. Unpunctual in morning. Thoughtless
    about Mama.

    ‘_April 20th._—History, 16th Century. Felt terribly cross. O
    grant me calmness.

    ‘_April 22nd._—Went about servants till 11.30. Wrote to Miss
    Hyde. Still some tempest within.

    ‘_June 2nd._—Copying. Dinner party. Eliza at home. Worldly.

    ‘_June 3rd._—Headache. To Mrs. Northcote’s. [Wrote] preface.

    ‘_June 4th._—Saw Mrs. Barrett. Copied. Neglected prayer
    greatly. Very worldly.

    ‘_June 7th._—Wrote letters. A terrible blank of worldliness.
    Idle.

    ‘_June 9th._—Wrote to Miss Elwall. Letter from Cheltenham. M.
    copied certificates. Worldly. Spoke angrily to A.

    ‘_June 10th._—Wrote to Cheltenham. Saxon Exhibition. Selfish
    and worldly.

    ‘_June 13th._—S. Bartholomew’s twice. H. E. Inattentive twice.
    Unkind thoughts and words.

    ‘_June 14th._—Letter to go to Cheltenham.

    ‘_June 16th._—Elected.’



CHAPTER V

CHELTENHAM

    ‘He builded better than he knew.’—EMERSON.


Dorothea Beale in age remembered that in youth she had planned ‘an
air-castle school, with a central quadrangle, cloisters and rooms over.’

To few is it given, as it was given to her, to realise so nearly the
dreams of youth, for few possess the sense of purpose and the indomitable
will which fell to her portion. But the college of her vision did not
come into being without a process of development so slow that for
some years progress could hardly be recorded, nor without infinite
disappointment even in matters which seemed at the time vital; not
without ceaseless effort, seen and unseen, on the part of the Lady
Principal.

We have reached, in the twentieth century, a period in the history of
education in which schools may be said to be founded ready-made. A great
and fine ‘plant,’ opening ceremonies, royal patronage, appear necessities
from the beginning. The Ladies’ College, Cheltenham, was twenty years
old before it had a building of its own, its first stone was laid by
an unknown hand, its opening rite consisted of school prayers in the
ordinary way on a Monday morning, at 9 A.M., with the addition of a few
words rather nervously read by the Lady Principal. The college has never
had a patron, nor did it even have any specially distinguished visitor,
till the Empress Frederick came in 1897.

The Ladies’ College did not originate with Miss Beale. She brought to it,
when it was but a weakling and like to perish, all her dreams and all her
energies. She made it emphatically her own; but its first inception was
with a small number of Cheltenham residents, notably with the Reverend H.
Walford Bellairs, then H.M. Inspector of Schools for Gloucestershire,[30]
and the Reverend C. A. Bromby,[31] Principal of the Training Colleges.
Its foundation was a continuation of work already begun in the town with
the opening of Cheltenham College, in 1843. This was one of the earliest
of the great nineteenth century public schools, and one of the very few
which has no ancient origin. A very slight glance at the history of the
town, which has produced two great colleges, will serve to show that
their work in its midst has been almost that of a quiet and beneficent
revolution.

The mild air and fertile soil of the great plain below the Cotswold
Hills were recognised as early as the days of Edward the Confessor, when
Cheltenham was called upon to furnish a large amount of bread for the
royal kennels. For centuries only a little market town with a beautiful
Early Gothic church on the banks of an insignificant stream, it crept
out of obscurity in the pages of Ogilby who, in 1785, described it
as inhabited by people ‘much given to plant tobacco, though they are
suppressed by authority.’

Forty years after this the discovery of the medicinal properties of
its waters made the place attractive to those who could afford to take
the remedy, and in the later years of George the Third, it came to be
the ‘Queen of watering places.’ Details of the long royal visit of
1788 may be read in the pages of Fanny Burney and others. The King
would afterwards speak of Cheltenham and the Vale of Gloucester as ‘the
finest part of my kingdom that I have beheld.’ Other distinguished
visitors followed: the Prince Regent, who gave a ball; Charles James
Fox; Wellington, within a year of Waterloo; Louis Philippe and Marie
Amélie in their exile; and many others, among whom, as a boy, came Byron,
to wander, according to a continental biographer, ‘on the seashore at
Cheltenham!’

As late as 1870 there was in Cheltenham scarcely a house which did not
testify by its grandiose, pseudo-classic[32] architecture to the past
magnificence of a town which had striven to be worthy of a court. Even
to-day there are but few which do not follow the lines laid down by the
builders of the early years of the nineteenth century, a time at which
the town grew with mushroom speed. It was a period when population was
rapidly increasing all over the country; but in few places were the leaps
and bounds so marked as in Cheltenham, where in 1840, a census return was
tenfold larger than it had been in 1804.

This rapid growth was due, less to the famous wells and pump-rooms than
to the reputation of its climate, and the absence of any great winter
severity, attractive to those who had lived in tropical countries. Hence
Cheltenham became a favourite residence for Anglo-Indians, military and
civil. The town grew perhaps a little less distinguished, but not less
gay and popular. The fashion in Cheltenham waters passed; kings and dukes
sought their ‘cure’ abroad; but it was possible to have balls and other
amusements without a Prince Regent, while the hunting season especially
became a time of festivity. And side by side with the lovers of pleasure,
who formed so large and sparkling a part of Cheltenham society, existed
those who took all life with deep, almost forbidding seriousness.

To meet the needs of the rapidly growing population during the first
forty years of the nineteenth century, several churches were built
under the auspices of different persons. Church-building in the days of
proprietary sittings was a not unprofitable investment; there were also
liberal benefactors to support Mr. Close, who was incumbent of Cheltenham
for nearly thirty years, in his schemes for the welfare of his flock.

Francis Close, a disciple of Charles Simeon, came to Cheltenham in 1824,
as curate-in-charge of Holy Trinity, a newly erected chapel-of-ease to
the parish church. The living of Cheltenham was already at that time
in the hands of Simeon, who had purchased it from its various patrons,
and presented it to the Reverend C. Jervis. On the death of Mr. Jervis,
Simeon appointed young Close to this important charge. From the first
Mr. Close was a very popular preacher. ‘It was,’ says an admirer, ‘a new
and interesting sight to see so singularly handsome a young man filled
with such religious zeal.’ A man of pronounced and narrow views, immense
activity and determination, combined with geniality and cheerfulness, he
sought to regulate the ways of society, and to some extent succeeded. He
ruled the town from the pulpit of the parish church as from a throne,
and earned, among those who loved him least, the name of the ‘Pope of
Cheltenham.’[33] He preached against racing, acting, dancing. But if, as
has been said, he established dinner-parties and destroyed the theatre,
he acted only with others of his school of thought. Those were the days
of eating and drinking, since some form of recreation was necessary,
and, moreover, abstinence had a suspiciously Roman look. They were days
when all forms of art, not that of the theatre alone, were regarded with
distrust. It is true that Mr. Close gave a lecture on ‘Literature and
the Fine Arts considered as Legitimate Pursuits of a Religious Man’;
he also preached a sermon entitled ‘The Restoration of Churches is the
Restoration of Popery,’ and he said to the head-mistress of a fashionable
boarding-school where dancing was included in the curriculum: ‘When Mrs.
Close wished my daughters taught dancing, I reminded her of her marriage
vow.’

Mr. Close’s energies took visible and permanent shape in the buildings
which arose during his long incumbency. Eight churches grew up around
the parish church, but that, alas! was not their model. Most of the
new ones displayed all the worst features of a debased style of church
architecture: a diminutive chancel, three-decker arrangements for parson
and clerk, high pews, with safe doors for the congregation.

National schools were built, and training colleges founded, also under
the direction of Mr. Close, and he took his share in the institution of
the Proprietary College for Boys, in 1843.

With the new churches came new clergy, among whom, the most popular
name at the time, was that of Archibald Boyd, vicar of Christchurch, a
very eloquent preacher who brought the little schoolroom in the hamlet
of Alstone, where he lectured on Sunday evenings, into rivalry with the
parish church. To-day, he is famous for having had as his curate, for
five years, the young Frederick Robertson, whose afternoon sermons at
Christchurch, in spite of the suspicion of unorthodoxy which early began
to attach itself to his name, drew many thoughtful hearers, such as the
Principal of Cheltenham College.

The most leading mind at the time among the younger clergy was that of
Charles Henry Bromby, who became vicar of St. Paul’s in 1843. He was a
man of large mental gifts, and had special perception of the intellectual
needs of his day. The Working Men’s Club, which he established in
his parish, was among the very first in the country. All the great
educational institutions of Cheltenham are indebted to his outlook and
zeal. Joint-founder of Cheltenham College, and later, though he took no
public part and earned no name in the matter, of that for ‘Young Ladies
and Children,’ his most active interest and work was for the teaching
of the poor. He became first Principal of the Training Colleges[34] for
headmasters and mistresses of national schools, starting the work on wise
and secure lines, and rapidly bringing it to the front among that of
kindred institutions.

Mr. Bellairs was actively as well as zealously associated with Mr. Bromby
in all the great schemes, by which Cheltenham, rich and poor, was to be
enlightened, and in the case of the Proprietary College for Ladies, it is
his name which comes to the front, and it was in his house that the first
meeting to draw up its constitution was held.

There was every reason to hope that a high-class day-school for girls,
then almost unknown, might succeed in Cheltenham, where parents had had
a successful experience of such a school for their boys. Everywhere,
people, who cared about a good education for girls, found it difficult
to obtain even at great cost. Many liked to keep their children with
them; those who were indifferent would be glad to avail themselves of the
cheaper method of the day-school, provided it could be run on exclusive
lines. There had been for some years in the town, select boarding
schools, where a few day-scholars were received. The advantage over these
of a large public school, necessarily of a more permanent character than
a small private institution could be, was obvious.

At the meeting in the house of Mr. Bellairs, on September 30, 1853,
a date which Miss Beale has noted as the birthday of the Ladies’
College, there were present but three others. These were the Reverend
W. Dobson, Principal of Cheltenham College, the Reverend H. A. Holden,
Vice-Principal, and Dr. S. E. Comyn. One other gentleman should be named
among these early builders, namely, Mr. Nathaniel Hartland. Colonel
Fitzmaurice was also a member of the first council.

The founders of this college and day-school for girls were anxious to
make it clear that their aim was to develop in the pupils character and
fitness for the duties of later life. Hence the first report states that
it was intended ‘to afford, on reasonable terms, an education based upon
religious principles which, preserving the modesty and gentleness of the
female character, should so far cultivate [a girl’s] intellectual powers
as to fit her for the discharge of those responsible duties which devolve
upon her as a wife, mother, mistress and friend, the natural companion
and helpmeet for man.’ In framing the constitutions Mr. Bellairs and his
colleagues had before their minds the successful College for Boys, and
adopted its rules with regard to religious instruction, and the social
rank of the pupils.

The draft of the resolutions, made at the first meeting, may still be
read. Hardly less remarkable than the development of later days is the
permanent nature of the impress given to the College at its first start.
Some of the resolutions were:—

    ‘That an Institution for the daughters and young children of
    Noblemen and Gentlemen be established in Cheltenham, and be
    entitled the Cheltenham College for the education of young
    Ladies and Children.

    ‘The College to be established by means of one hundred shares
    of £10 each; the possessor of each share to have the power of
    nominating a Pupil, and a vote at annual and special meetings.

    ...

    ‘That the management of the College for the ensuing year shall
    be vested in the Founders, viz.... who for this purpose shall
    be constituted the Committee of Management after the expiration
    of the first year, exclusive of the Treasurer and Honorary
    Secretary, who will be _ex officio_ members of the Board, they
    being shareholders and members of the Church of England....

    ‘That the College be under the direction of a Principal, a
    Lady from whom the pupils will receive religious instruction
    at appointed times in accordance with the doctrine and the
    teaching of the Church of England....

    ‘That at the end of each year the pupils be examined by
    competent persons appointed by the Committee.

    ‘That the College shall consist of two departments, the Junior
    for children of both sexes, admissible after five years of age,
    the boys to be removed when they have attained their eighth
    year.

    ‘The appointment of the Lady Principal and all subordinate
    teachers and officers to be vested in the Committee.’

With few alterations these resolutions passed into the prospectus issued
to the public in November 1853, an exact copy of which will be found in
the appendix.[35] Experimental prospectuses, which never left the hands
of the Committee, exist to show how the founders formed and modified
their views for the College. It was proposed at one time to have a noble
patron and a visitor, besides the working Committee; but as Miss Beale
somewhat whimsically relates, this was found to be impracticable. ‘It was
thought that it would add to the prestige of the College, and diminish
the prejudice which then existed, to have a distinguished patron, and
so Lord de Saumerez, then resident in Cheltenham, was applied to, but
in vain. So there was no Patron.’[36] There was also no visitor until
1875, when Dr. Ellicott, then Bishop of Gloucester, kindly undertook the
charge. The difficulty of securing patronage was probably what caused
the Council, in virtue of one of their own rules, to invite Mr. Close to
accept the office of President, with a seat at the Board. At the same
time Mr. Bellairs was appointed Vice-President.

In the first instance it was intended that the College should be confined
to day-scholars; then, in case this restriction should limit the scope
of the work and perhaps injure it financially, a sort of half-measure
was planned, and it was proposed to state that: ‘the Committee will
not interfere with any arrangements made by the Parents and Friends
of pupils for Boarding their Children, provided the numbers in any
given Boarding-House do not exceed six. Should Boarding-Houses ever be
opened offering accommodation to a greater number of pupils than six,
the Committee reserve to themselves the power of insisting upon and
conferring a License, before Children in such Boarding-Houses be allowed
the privilege of becoming Students in the College.’

As early as the 1st of November three ladies had been found to undertake
boarding-houses, and they were not restricted as to numbers. The
low terms of the boarding-houses (£40 a year including all expenses,
of course without the tuition fees) suggest that the ideas of the
liberal-minded Committee may have forestalled those of the future Lady
Principal, ever eager to help on those who deserved but could not afford
education. The tuition fees were on the same low scale; from six guineas
to twenty guineas, and including pianoforte lessons, class singing,
elementary drawing and needlework, besides English subjects and French.

Shares had been taken up to the number of one hundred and fifty-seven, so
the Council had enough money at their disposal to justify the necessary
initial outlay. After an unsuccessful effort to obtain Lake House,
which its owner declined to let for the purposes of a school, Cambray
House, a fine old Georgian building with a beautiful garden, was taken
at a rent of £200 a year. Some hundreds of pounds were spent in making
this house suitable for its purpose, arranging a schoolroom (40 by 30
feet), a system of heating, and so on, while a part of it was set aside
as a residence for the Lady Principal. The Committee appointed in this
capacity Mrs. Procter, widow of Colonel Procter, ‘a highly educated
officer,’ but her daughter Annie Procter, who was called Vice-Principal,
was the actual head of the College. ‘The former,’ ran the first report,
‘is possessed of that age and experience which are necessary for the
training of the young; the latter of that youth and vigour which are
necessary for teaching.’ A younger sister had the post of assistant
secretary, and several regular teachers and professors were also
appointed.

[Illustration: _Cambray House._

_From an old engraving._]

The College was actually opened on February 13, 1854, the pupils,
eighty-two in number, having been examined a week before that date. Thus
the inauguration ceremony was the actual beginning of work. When writing
her Jubilee history of the College, Miss Beale collected reminiscences
from some who were present on the opening day. Nothing more impressive
was forthcoming than a scrimmage of dogs in the cloak-room, the calling
over of names, followed by immediate sorting into classes already
arranged as a result of the examination, and that ‘various old gentlemen
promenaded about the first few days, and held conclaves in a Board-Room
on the right hand of the front door.’ The age of the pupils varied
considerably from that of tiny mites to that of grown-up girls. They were
arranged in different departments, the lowest being a kind of infant
school on raised benches.

At first the numbers increased rapidly, and by the end of the year there
were one hundred and twenty pupils. But the fees were too low, and the
Committee soon had cause for anxiety over expenses. In the first year,
1854, more than £1300 was expended in regular salaries and in payments
to visiting teachers; the accounts in December showed a deficit of £400.
Matters improved but slowly in 1855, and in order to lessen expenses,
various changes were suggested, such as the substitution of German, which
the Vice-Principal could teach, for Latin, and an arrangement by which
the pianoforte should be taught on a class system. In the general meeting
of that year, it was resolved no longer to admit boys to the College, and
with them disappeared the whole of the infant department, not to reappear
till the Kindergarten was opened in 1882.

This change led to a slight diminution of numbers, and the report
of the year 1856 (published in and dated February 1857), while it
embodied many words of praise from the examiners and showed a balance
of receipts above expenditure in the current expenses, yet breathed a
consciousness of many difficulties and obstacles to be overcome. It was
acknowledged that had it been desirable to purchase furniture for the
Lady Principal instead of paying her £25 a year for the use of her own,
it could not have been done from the funds in hand. ‘In conclusion,’
said the Chairman, ‘your Council beg to express their thanks to those
parents who, during the past year, have continued to place confidence in
the College and its system. On their own part and on that of the Lady
Principal and the Vice-Principal, they desire to assure the public that
no efforts shall be wanting on their part to amend what may appear, on
mature consideration, to be defective.... They cannot depart from their
fundamental principle, which, as they stated, is soundness rather than
show; _magna est veritas et prævalebit_.’

Next year, 1857, the numbers crept down, first to ninety-three, then to
eighty-nine, and the capital account, which had never gone up, was little
above £400. Shares which should have been £10, were offered for half that
sum. The want of success was partly due to want of harmony between Miss
Procter and the Council on points of educational method. In May 1858,
when the numbers were again reduced, and the prospect of improvement very
small, the Procters resigned; also the ladies who took boarders one by
one gave up. So poor was the outlook for the College at this time that
the Council might have felt justified in abandoning the whole scheme.
Fortunately, however, those who possessed the foresight and courage,
which could still carry it on, were supported by the circumstance that
the lease of Cambray House had a couple more years to run. So it came to
pass that in May 1858, within a fortnight of Miss Procter’s resignation,
the Council advertised for a Lady Principal thus:—

    CHELTENHAM LADIES’ COLLEGE

    ‘A Vacancy having occurred in the Office of Lady Principal,
    Candidates for the Appointment are requested to apply by letter
    (with references) before the 1st of June, to J. P. Bell, Esq.,
    Hon. Sec., Cheltenham.

    ‘A well-educated and experienced Lady (between the ages of 35
    and 45) is desired, capable of conducting an Institution with
    not less than 100 day-pupils.

    ‘A competent knowledge of German and French, and a good
    acquaintance with general English Literature, Arithmetic, and
    the common branches of female education, are expected.

    ‘Salary, upwards of £200 a year, with furnished apartments, and
    other advantages.

    ‘No Testimonials to be sent until applied for, and no answers
    will be returned except to Candidates apparently eligible.’

The shareholders requested a general meeting in order to receive an
explanation of the cause which led to the resignation of Miss Procter,
and this was convened for June 2. The Committee was occupied during the
fortnight which succeeded this in selecting and interviewing some of the
fifty candidates for the Headship, and Miss Beale was elected on June 13.
In July Miss Procter took her final leave in the following letter to Mr.
Hartland:—

                                   GLENDALE HOUSE, _July 28, 1858_.

    ‘MY DEAR SIR,—I thank you much for your kind letter enclosing
    your cheque for £41, 10s. 6d.

    ‘I take this opportunity of sending you the keys of the
    College. The house has been cleaned throughout. The Chimneys
    have all been swept.

    ‘Some few stores,—nearly a ¼ cwt. of soap, some dip candles,
    and two new scrubbing brushes,—are in a closet in the pantry.

    ‘The new zinc ventilator is in the press used for the drawing
    materials.

    ‘Two cast-iron fenders, of mine, have been removed from two of
    the class-rooms.—I remain, my dear Sir, yours very sincerely,

                                                  S. ANNE PROCTER.’

Miss Beale heard of a vacancy on the staff of the Ladies’ College in
January 1858, when a Queen’s College friend, Miss Mulcaster, wrote her
a letter interesting for the glimpses it gives both of Casterton and
Cheltenham.

    ‘I am anxious,’ the letter ran, ‘that you should as soon as
    possible receive this letter, which is the very earliest reply
    in my power to make to yours.... I cannot feel very sorry on
    your own account for your leaving Casterton, although I do
    so at the manner of it.... I am very glad that you feel the
    discipline and teaching have been useful to you. I do not
    know that anything better could be desired for you than a
    return to Queen’s, but I have something, or rather a _shadow_
    of something I wish you to know in case you are disappointed
    there. I believe a place in the Ladies’ College at Cheltenham
    is vacant, and if so it might suit you. Miss Procter the
    Superintendent and many of the Committee are considered High
    Church. Miss Brewer, I am sure, would be very much pleased to
    hear from you, and I think would be disposed to facilitate your
    appointment, if there is still a vacancy. She, being one of the
    teachers, could answer any inquiries better than I. There is no
    home provided for the teachers by the Committee, but they have
    hitherto made private arrangements to live together.

    ‘Cheltenham, to my mind, presents unusual advantages as a place
    of residence; combining those of town and country, and last but
    not least those to be derived from Canon Boyd’s ministry and
    dear Mr. Bromby’s. I could give you some introductions, but it
    is too soon to talk of those things yet....’

Miss Beale must have answered this, and probably wrote at the same time
to Miss Brewer, whom she had known at Queen’s; but there are no further
letters existing on the subject. But she herself told in later life
that she declined to apply for the post as she had resolved to seek a
Headship. There is no mention of Cheltenham in the diary until May, but
it appears that other schools were either applied for or considered. On
February 17 we have ‘For school at Holloway.’ On February 18, ‘A letter
from a Greenwich school.’ This was perhaps visited on the 22nd, when the
diary mentions a journey to Greenwich; but it is not named again. On
March 2 we find ‘Mamma wrote to Mrs. Birch about school at Reigate.’ On
March 24, ‘Talked to Mr. Hyde about College at Camberwell.’ This possibly
appears again in the record of April 17: ‘Mary decides against Camberwell
scheme.’

A letter mentioned in Miss Beale’s diary as received from Cheltenham
on May 18 was doubtless in answer to her application, after the
advertisement had appeared, to inform her that she was accepted as
a candidate for the vacant Headship. The record of the next few
weeks, brief as it is, bears marks of the zeal and activity with
which everything possible was done to procure testimonials and the
recommendations of friends; while, at the same time, the work went on at
Barnes, and the sheets of the _Textbook_ were passing through the press.
The writer was obviously full of anxiety and hope, having perceived in
Cheltenham a promising sphere of work; but she did not relax the daily
spiritual combat to which we owe the existence of the diary.

On receipt of a favourable answer she went at once to see Mr. Plumptre,
and wrote to Dr. Trench. After the Casterton experience it was necessary
to have further recommendations than those which she had taken there from
Queen’s College. Among the friends to whom she wrote was Mrs. Lancaster,
who replied by return:—

                                   ‘ENGLEMERE, _Whit. Tues., 1858_.

    ‘I am very sorry that you did not tell me about Cheltenham
    before: I am one of the Proprietors! or Committee or something!
    and my brother is Vice-Principal—indeed he almost established
    it. I have now written to him telling him my thoughts as
    to the maturity of your mind and judgment, and I hope it
    may be successful. If you are not quite determined against
    Penitentiary work there is a very nice thing for a Lady
    Superintendent ... about which the Hon. and Rev. C. Harris
    ... would give you full particulars.... It is worked by a
    Committee, but the Lady Superintendent would be allowed to do
    as she liked....’

In the course of the next fortnight many more letters were received.
Among them one from Miss Elwall of the Barnes School. She wrote:—

    ‘ ... You have succeeded in making subjects usually styled dry,
    positively attractive, whilst your plan has been successful in
    forming not merely superficial scholars even whilst producing
    results in a remarkably short period.

    ‘Your gentleness of manner, patience, and lady-like deportment
    are all that could be desired, and should you leave me I shall
    feel the greatest regret at the termination of an engagement
    which has been equally agreeable to myself and to my pupils.—I
    am, dear Miss Beale, with much esteem, yours most sincerely,

                                                     M. J. ELWALL.’

One from Mrs. Curling, the wife of Dr. Curling, an eminent physician and
her father’s friend, runs:—

                             ‘39 GROSVENOR STREET, _June 12, 1858_.

    ‘ ... I shall be truly happy if any recommendation of mine
    can promote your success. I have had the pleasure of knowing
    you many years, and in your journeys with me abroad I have
    had frequent opportunities of witnessing your tact and common
    sense, as well as good temper, and believe you to possess
    in addition the power of management essential for such an
    appointment. I am sure that the College would be fortunate in
    obtaining your assistance.’

Some friends wrote direct to the Cheltenham Council. The testimony
borne to Miss Beale’s high character is genuine and strong, if quaintly
expressed according to present-day notions in some of these. Mr.
Shepheard wrote:—

                                          ‘SILVERDALE, _June 1858_.

    ‘I have the greatest pleasure in expressing my high opinion of
    Miss Beale’s character and attainments generally. Though she
    holds opinions on the subject of sacramental grace entirely
    opposed to my own, it is no more than her due that I should
    say that her high sense of duty, and inflexible integrity of
    principle, and conscientious following of the path of duty
    without regard to consequences, have won my highest respect and
    esteem.

    ‘The circumstances under which she left the Clergy Daughters’
    School in this place, were such, that I cannot speak of them in
    detail, out of unwillingness to reflect on the conduct of the
    authorities there, but I consider her dismissal by them to have
    been highly honourable to herself.

    ‘As a Teacher, I have reason to believe that she is very highly
    accomplished and has been very successful—though I say this
    from general impressions only.

                                                 H. SHEPHEARD, M.A.

    _Incumbent of Casterton, late Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford,
    and late Head Master of Cheam School, Surrey._’

and Miss Reynolds privately approached Mr. Bellairs:—

                                      ‘TRINITY TERRACE, CHELTENHAM.

    ‘A friend has asked me whether I can do anything to advance the
    interests of Miss Beale....

    ‘Miss Beale is not personally known to me, but from all I have
    heard she is a very conscientious and hard-working person,
    as well as one whose attainments are very high in most and I
    believe _all_ of the departments necessary for the successful
    discharge of so important an office. Whether her talents for
    government correspond with her educational skill, and her _very
    high religious and moral character_, I know not; but I have
    been anxious to fulfil her wish in drawing your attention to
    her application, which she feared might be overlooked as one
    among many.

The most interesting of this series of letters is one from Miss Alston
to Mrs. Lancaster. This, through Mr. Bellairs, undoubtedly helped to
influence the Council, whose members were wise enough to seek for
character as much as attainment in the new Head. Others had dwelt on Miss
Beale’s talent and power and single-hearted devotion to her calling; Miss
Alston could also speak of her life and value at home.

                              ‘DONNINGTON RECTORY, _June 12, 1858_.

    ‘ ... I heard from Miss Beale this morning that the Cheltenham
    College had written for her testimonials. I hope she may
    obtain the appointment she desires, it seems one for which
    she is so well qualified. Of her power of teaching others,
    and making them delight in their studies, there is no doubt.
    But you do not know her as I do, in her home and daily life;
    there all look up to her and seek her counsel. Our friendship
    commenced when we were eighteen; since that time I have not
    only profited, I trust, by the instruction she has given me in
    the pursuit of various studies, but I have always consulted
    her on all my plans, where the welfare of others has been
    concerned, and have found her counsel full of common sense
    and kind consideration for the feelings of those we desired
    to help or instruct. She is good-tempered and has plenty of
    tact, but shows instantly her dislike to anything untrue in
    word or act. Forgive this long letter, but I thought you might
    have some influence, and I am much interested for my friend,
    and at the same time feel that I should rather place any one I
    loved under her than with any one else I have met. With kind
    regards,—Believe me yours very sincerely,

                                                 ELIZA ANN ALSTON.’

On June 14 came a letter summoning Miss Beale to Cheltenham. Her diary
does not tell us where she stayed, or give any particulars of the
interviews she had with the Council as a body, or with individuals. It
records her election on the 16th, and the fact that Mr. Bellairs came
to breakfast on the 17th. On the same day she saw Mr. Hartland and Dr.
Comyn. By the single word ‘dress,’ which concludes her meagre entries of
what were such momentous events for her, hangs a little tale of personal
need supplied by the kind thought of a sister who willingly lent a blue
silk gown for the would-be Lady Principal to wear at her first interview
with her Council. Absorption in the _Textbook_ and kindred subjects had
precluded care of the writer’s wardrobe, and when this important moment
came, it was felt that neither the simple black nor the mouse-coloured
grey was equal to the occasion. The conscientious care of the borrowed
plumes is still remembered.

On June 18 she returned from Cheltenham, full of hope, to write
innumerable letters—stamps, under their ancient name of ‘heads,’
became almost a daily entrance in the diary, which sometimes served as
account-book;—to finish the lessons at Barnes, for the school year had
not yet ended; and to correct the proofs of the _Textbook_, with the
satisfaction of feeling that she had in it something that would help in
the formation of her teachers-to-be. She received many congratulations.
Some letters were kept; Mr. Shepheard’s is given, as it bears upon a
subject which was about to cause fresh trouble.

                                      ‘SILVERDALE, _June 24, 1858_.

    ‘ ... I must tell you how pleased I am on your account
    personally, at your success—and the triumph of justice in your
    case over unfairness and tyranny. My pleasure would be indeed
    great, if I had any hope that you might be led to reconsider
    those opinions on sacramental grace which have formed the only
    subject of division in opinion between us. The longer I live
    the more I am convinced of their danger as containing in fact
    the germ of all popery; and subverting the very nature and
    essence of vital godliness, by substituting the _form_ for the
    _reality_, the outward _act_ for the inward spiritual power and
    operation.

    ‘I wish you would read Mr. Litton’s book, _The Church of
    Christ_, on that subject; it is unanswerable.

    ‘What is exactly the name and nature of your College?—Very
    sincerely yours with all kindest regards,

                                                     H. SHEPHEARD.’

There were also through these weeks a good many interchanged visits on
matters both of business and pleasure. The name of Miss Vincent occurs
twice among others mentioned in the diary. This is the lady who in August
of 1858 became Lady Superintendent at Casterton, and remained there till
1888, when she died there in harness at the age of seventy-five.

Dorothea Beale was not, however, destined to take possession of her
kingdom without a conflict. The old religious dispute was handed on from
Casterton, for Mr. Shepheard, with one other whose name does not appear,
felt he could not but mention the points he held to be ‘dangerous’ in
her religious beliefs. And there was certainly still another letter to
discourage the Council, from M. Mariette to Mr. Penrice Bell, questioning
Miss Beale’s suitability for the post of Head Mistress on the ground that
she was not sympathetic in manner. This appears to have been disregarded,
but the partisans of Dean Close felt bound to consider the accusation of
High Church opinions. Miss Beale first learned of the opposition which
had arisen to her appointment on July 12, in the following letter from
Mr. Bell:—

                                                  ‘_July 10, 1858._

    ‘DEAR MISS BEALE,—Letters have been put into my hand to-day
    which cause me much anxiety, and before consulting the Council
    upon the subject, I think it best to communicate with you,
    begging an immediate reply in the same spirit of unreserve and
    candour and frankness as that in which I now write.

    ‘When here I took pains to impress upon your mind the fact
    that the Council could not in justice to those whom they
    represent accept a Lady Principal who holds High Church views
    or sympathises with them; and that they had rejected most
    satisfactory testimonials from one of the candidates solely
    on the ground of her professing doctrinal views of that
    character. I was thus explicit with you in order to prevent
    any misunderstanding upon this most important question, but
    nothing fell from your lips to lead me to suppose you were
    open to an objection of that nature. I forbore from motives of
    delicacy (and probably the other members of the Council did the
    same), to press this subject upon you in the shape of direct
    enquiry, feeling sure you would not conceal your real views
    if they were indeed such as I plainly stated to be opposed
    to those entertained by the founders of the institution. The
    letters are marked “Private,” so I am not at liberty to name
    the writers, but I will quote the material portions; and I may
    remark that both gentlemen speak in the highest terms of your
    qualifications in general.

    ‘“She, Miss Beale, is very High Church to say the least, and
    holds ultra views of Baptismal Regeneration.” ... “She has
    also a serious and deep religious feeling, and a self-denying
    character. _But_ she is decidedly High Church. Her opinions
    on the vital and critical question of sacramental grace
    are altogether those of the High Church or Tractarian
    School—assuming the _opus operatum_ of the Sacraments to
    convey, of necessity and in all cases, the inward grace of
    which that Sacrament is the sign.”

    ‘“It is right to add that Miss Beale avows her belief in the
    _Bible_ as the rule of faith.”

    ‘Now you have undoubtedly full right to entertain such opinions
    as in your conscience you believe to be true, but at the same
    time you are (and were) bound in honour of good faith, on such
    occasion as the offering of yourself for the important position
    to which you have been recently appointed, to _avow_ your
    opinions openly and distinctly; especially when made acquainted
    with the views of those responsible for your selection.

    ‘If it be the fact that you do hold opinions such as are
    attributed to you, it is clear that you will not only inflict
    serious injury on the Institution, but also on yourself, by
    assuming the office—for if you hold us to the appointment the
    Council would and must, I imagine, at once give you the three
    months’ notice (or salary equivalent), and cancel it at the
    earliest period, publishing their reasons for so extraordinary
    a step. If, however, you are misrepresented, I shall heartily
    rejoice on every account, but I beg of you, _by return of
    post_, to favour me with a definite reply to the two questions
    I feel it now my duty to put to you:—

    ‘1st. Do you or do you not hold the doctrine of the _opus
    operatum_ in the Sacrament of Baptism?

    ‘2nd. Do you or not sympathise with and are attached to the
    principles of the High Church party?—Believe me to remain,
    yours very truly,

                                       J. PENRICE BELL, _Hon. Sec._

    ‘_PS._—I think it better not to print the Prospectus until the
    present difficulty is settled in some way.’

This letter, which must have come as a bolt from the blue, was a blow,
but not of a crushing nature to one whose energies were ever braced
by conflict. Miss Beale wrote at once to Mr. Bellairs to tell him what
had happened, and to Mr. Bell in answer to his attack. Both letters are
given, as they clearly state her religious position. To Mr. Bellairs she
wrote:—

                                    ‘31 FINSBURY SQUARE, _July 12_.

    ‘ ... Although our acquaintance has been very short, owing
    to the kindness with which you received me, I cannot help
    considering you in some measure as a friend, and feeling that
    you will understand me: perhaps, also, your office both as
    Clergyman and Vice-President of the Cheltenham Ladies’ College
    gives me some right to trouble you upon this occasion.

    ‘I received this morning a note from Mr. Bell, accusing me
    of want of candour in not speaking of my religious views,
    although they were in no way alluded to by the Council, and
    telling me he has been informed that my opinions are those of
    the Tractarian School. Now, as I have never seen more than a
    few pages of the “Tracts,” I cannot positively contradict such
    a statement. I have explained somewhat at large to him what
    are my opinions; I will not repeat them to you, as you will
    no doubt see the letter. That my views differ considerably
    from those of the ultra-evangelical party, of which Mr. Carus
    Wilson is one of the leaders, and the _Record_ the accredited
    organ, I freely acknowledge; but I think them those of a
    moderate member of the English Church, and on seeing your
    name as Vice-President, I concluded the Ladies’ College was
    not identified with any exclusive party. I have endeavoured
    to be perfectly candid, for I could not undertake so great a
    work without the hope of God’s blessing. Should my own letter
    not be considered decisive evidence against me, perhaps you
    would think it worth while to write to Mrs. Lancaster or Mrs.
    Greene (with whom I think you said you were acquainted). With
    both of them I have spoken freely on religious subjects, and
    they would tell you whether they believed my opinions to be
    extreme. As nothing is farther from my wishes than to deceive
    the Council, I forward to you by this post two books, which I
    have published without my name—not because I was ashamed of
    expressing what I thought right, but because one naturally
    shrinks from exposing without necessity one’s inner religious
    life. I feel this more especially with regard to the smaller
    book, which I must therefore ask you not to mention to others.
    I send them to you, because they may assist you in coming to a
    right conclusion, whether for or against my retaining the post
    to which I have been appointed, and I think the Council will be
    in a great measure guided by your decision.’

To Mr. Penrice Bell:—

                              ‘31 FINSBURY SQUARE, _July 12, 1858_.

    ‘On looking at the Prospectus of the Casterton School,
    I saw on the Committee the names of those who professed
    ultra-evangelical views; I therefore felt it my duty distinctly
    to explain, before accepting the appointment, wherein my
    opinions differed from those which I knew them to hold. It
    was _after_ I had made that statement that I was appointed.
    On looking at the papers of the Cheltenham College, I found
    the name of Mr. Close in conjunction with that of Mr. Bellairs
    and others. From this and what I had heard privately I was led
    to conclude that you were not identified with any particular
    party in the Church; that your views were not more exclusive
    than those of the Educational Committee of Queen’s College,
    who had expressed themselves satisfied with my teaching. I
    also placed in your hands a testimonial from the Professor of
    Theology there; my opinion was still further strengthened by
    your accepting the recommendation of the Dean of Westminster
    and including the Liturgy of the Church of England amongst the
    subjects taught.

    ‘Believing myself to hold moderate, certainly not ultra, views
    I did not feel myself open to the charge brought against me
    after my appointment. I think you will remember the subject of
    religion was in no way alluded to before.

    ‘Having thus, I hope, justified myself from any accusation of
    want of candour, I proceed to answer your questions as briefly
    as I can.

    ‘If you understand by the _opus operatum_ “efficacy” of
    Baptism,—that all who are baptized are therefore saved (a
    doctrine which Mr. Shepheard assured me was held by some), I
    explicitly state that I do not hold that doctrine. I believe
    Baptism to be “an outward and visible sign of an inward and
    spiritual grace given unto us” (Catechism); to be the appointed
    means for admitting members into the Church of Christ,
    according to St. Paul’s teaching that “Christ gave Himself for
    the Church that He might save it and cleanse it by the washing
    of water by the word” (Eph. v. 26); that “according to His
    mercy we are saved by the washing of regeneration and renewing
    of the Holy Ghost” (Tit. iii. 5); that we are therein made
    “members of Christ” and adopted “children of God”; but when I
    use the word “regeneration” I do not understand that spoken
    of by St. John when he says, “he that is born of God cannot
    sin,” but that gift of life without which we are unable even
    to _think_ any good thing; a gift which the Bishop solemnly
    declares to have been already received by those who come to
    be confirmed (Confirmation Service), but which requires daily
    renewal, a gift which we may lose by grieving God’s Holy
    Spirit by neglecting the means of grace, by hiding our Lord’s
    treasure. And this teaching I hold because I find it in the
    Bible, which I acknowledge with the sixth article to be our
    only rule of faith—because it seems to me the basis of St.
    Paul’s teaching (1 Cor. iii.; 2 Cor. vi. 10)—and it makes our
    responsibilities higher and deeper if we acknowledge with
    the Apostle in the language which he used to the whole of
    the Corinthian Church, that we are “the temples of the Holy
    Ghost.” I feel that any partial views which tell us of God’s
    grace being given to some and not to others are contrary to the
    whole tenor of Scripture. Your second question again cannot be
    categorically answered, since it has never been defined what
    are the opinions of the High Church party; I would say that I
    differ from some who assume that title....[37] I think no one
    could entertain a greater dread than I of those Romish opinions
    entertained by some “who went out from us, but were not of
    us”; indeed during the last six months I have been engaged in
    preparing an English History for the use of schools, _because_
    Ince’s _Outlines_ (a book used in your College) inculcates
    Romish doctrines.

    ‘In conclusion, I must apologize for the unmethodical way in
    which I have expressed myself, as I am writing in great haste
    to catch the next post, and I have thought it right to reply to
    you without consulting any person or book, except the Bible and
    Prayer Book. I have endeavoured to be perfectly candid;—should
    the Council decide that my views are so unsound that I am unfit
    to occupy the position to which I have been appointed, I shall
    trust that they will allow me to make as public a statement of
    my opinions as they are obliged to make of my dismissal, for
    I shall feel that after this no person of moderate views will
    trust me, and my own conscience would not allow me to work with
    the extreme party in either high or low church.’

The diary of these two days gives a hint of the anxiety Miss Beale
underwent when the attack was made upon her, and before she could receive
answers to her own letters:—

    ‘_July 12._—Mr. B(ell)’s letter about H(igh) Church from
    Cheltenham, and my answer. Some vanity. (Prayer) for
    resignation.

    ‘_July 13._—Sent proofs to Cheltenham. Dined at the Curlings.
    Dr. Clarke very agreeable. Felt angry with Mr. Shepheard.’

Mr. Bell’s reply to Miss Beale’s letter suggests that the difficulty
before the Council was less directly one of religious principle than that
of working a school where certain precise opinions were not professed.

                                                  ‘_July 13, 1858._

    ‘MY DEAR MISS BEALE,—I have to-day laid your reply before Mr.
    Hartland and Dr. Comyn, the only two of my colleagues now here,
    and we have no fault to find with its tenor, which is explicit
    enough. Whether or not the fact of your holding the opinions
    thus avowed will lead to difficulties hereafter, we cannot
    say. If you feel conscientiously bound in and out of class to
    make known and inculcate your distinctive views of doctrine
    according to your interpretation of scripture and of our
    Liturgy and Articles, then it is easy to foresee the result.
    If, however (as I hope), you regard it of primary importance
    in the instruction of the children to inculcate love to God
    and His Son, and charity (in its manifold phases and with its
    relative duties), towards our fellows—treating as of far minor
    importance the doctrinal points about which good men differ so
    widely,—then I should not anticipate any active opposition from
    those to whom your peculiar opinions may be known.

    ‘The gentleman (a resident clergyman of some influence) to
    whom the two quoted letters were addressed, is now absent for
    a few days; and it remains to be seen whether his scruples and
    objections are, if not removed, at least rendered quiescent
    by your reply. If he should withdraw his children, and make
    known the grounds of doing so, the effect would undoubtedly be
    prejudicial to the College, and the experiment of conducting it
    under your auspices might be futile. Much may depend on what
    answer you can conscientiously make to this question:—

    Holding the opinions you have expressed, should you consider
    it a duty and feel it incumbent on you to inculcate them in
    your Divinity instruction to the pupils?

    If you could favour me by a few lines by _return_ of post (as I
    leave before post hour on Friday morning) on this point, which
    I can annex to your letter of to-day, I could see my colleagues
    on the subject once more, and arrange what shall be done in my
    absence.—Yours truly,

                                      J. PENRICE BELL, _Hon. Sec._’

Among Miss Beale’s papers exists an undated and much erased note, which
appears to be her answer to the above. It begins with the remark: ‘I am
glad to find the Council has not decided that I am so great a heretic
as from your first letter I feared they would’; and it closes with the
statement: ‘I quite feel it to be a Christian duty, if it be possible
to live peaceably with all men, not giving heed to those things which
minister questions rather than godly edifying, but I am sure you will
feel I should be unworthy of your confidence could I through any fear of
consequences resort to the least untruthfulness.’ Meanwhile Mr. Bellairs
also wrote:—

    ‘ ... Mr. Bell’s letter was, I imagine, of a private character,
    as I had heard nothing of the subject of it before the arrival
    of your note of to-day.

    ‘So far as I am concerned, my impression is that we of the
    Council have nothing to do _now_ with your private Theological
    opinions, whatever they are, unless they are so extreme as
    would damage the College (and within tolerably wide limits,
    I individually am very indifferent on the matter). I trust
    you have good sense and propriety sufficient to induce you
    to avoid all teaching which would in any degree disturb the
    character which the College ought, in my opinion, to maintain:
    viz. a place of learning in which all members of the Church
    of England may receive religious instruction in an honest and
    straightforward way, according to the teaching of the Bible and
    the formularies of the Church, without extreme interpretation
    one way or the other. I shall probably hear more of this matter
    when I see Mr. Bell.’

The storm was over. Though individuals of quite opposing views would,
later on, occasionally cavil at points in Miss Beale’s method of
teaching Scripture, she never really experienced further trouble on this
ground. There are many, like the unknown lady to whose ‘High Church’
opinions the Council took objection, who would have felt they could not
work in the spirit of compromise implied in the letters of Mr. Bell and
Mr. Bellairs. There are some who might have agreed to do so, and in
terror of offending, would have shirked the difficult task of religious
instruction to the point of making it a lifeless thing. Miss Beale
undertook it with her eyes open, and in spite, or possibly because of the
hindrances in the way, her Scripture lessons became the very pivot of her
teaching.

The diary again is very characteristic at this point. The anxiety of mind
caused by her trouble was not permitted to excuse ill-temper. ‘July 4.
Letter from Cheltenham. Neglect of prayer. Several times rude.’ This was
the day which practically settled the fate of the Ladies’ College, and
was the greatest visible landmark in Miss Beale’s life. In the ensuing
fortnight, the last she spent at home, though there is an entry for
every day, the name of Cheltenham does not occur. Two visits from Miss
Brewer, who had been re-appointed to the Cheltenham staff with the title
of Vice-Principal, ‘shopping,’ and ‘turning out,’ suggest preparations.
There is no entry of the day on which she went, but from deduction it was
August 4, and in the company of her mother.



CHAPTER VI

EARLY HISTORY OF THE LADIES’ COLLEGE

    ‘Old fables are not all a lie
      Which tell of wondrous birth;
    Of Titan children, Father Sky,
      And wondrous Mother Earth.

    Earth-born, my sister, thou art still
      A daughter of the sky;
    Oh, climb for ever up the hill
      Of thy divinity.

    ...

    For cause and end of all thy strife,
      And unrest as thou art—
    Still stings thee to a higher life
      The Father at thy heart.’

          GEORGE MACDONALD, _To my Sister,
            on her Twenty-first Birthday_.


Cambray House, which was Miss Beale’s home for fifteen years, is one of
the finest buildings erected in the period when Cheltenham was being laid
out with a view to royal visits. The Duke of Wellington himself stayed
there in 1823.

[Illustration: _Miss Dorothea Beale_

_1859._]

The garden, mentioned in the early College reports as the ‘pleasure
grounds,’ was a special delight to Miss Beale. In 1858 it was still
untouched, and had many beautiful trees; one, a standard apricot tree,
was—happy omen! covered with golden fruit in that first autumn of
her life at Cheltenham. The house itself was beginning to change its
character of family residence to that of a building adapted for school
purposes, and before very long even the rooms given up for the use of the
Principal and the Vice-Principal were encroached upon. Nor were those
rooms furnished in character with the stately outside of the house.
‘The second-hand furniture procured would not have delighted people of
æsthetic taste. Curtains were dispensed with as far as possible, and it
was questioned whether a carving-knife was required by the Principal
in her furnished apartments.’[38] To such domestic details Miss Beale
was indifferent, but it must have been less easy to practise an economy
which limited the extension of her work. ‘The teaching staff was reduced
as low as possible, and the Principal and Vice-Principal gave up their
half-holiday to chaperone those who took lessons from masters. The
Principal taught all the English subjects to Classes I. and II., besides
giving weekly lessons in Holy Scripture throughout the College.’

So long as the chief task of the Lady Principal was to prevent the
College losing further ground, so long as her time and thought outside
school hours were absorbed by anxiety over every pupil who came and went,
still more over those who failed to come, there could be no rapid process
of development. But it would have been impossible for Miss Beale to take
up an existing educational work without at once making her individual
mark upon it, and from the first the school felt the grasp of her able
hand. At Casterton she had longed at once to change, to reform. At
Cheltenham remodelling rather than revolution was her aim—fulfilment and
wise development.

To understand the way in which she gave fresh life, and gradually
refashioned the methods she found, it is necessary to go back to the
prehistoric days before her arrival in 1858. There is little record of
the educational system and teaching of that period, but it is certain
that both were liberal and thorough, free from narrowness and petty
tyranny, in advance of those existing in the ordinary boarding-school
of the day. The curriculum, it is noteworthy, was arranged with a view
to developing the mind and character. Latin was taught at first ‘very
thoroughly,’ and the change by which after the first year it was replaced
by German, which the Lady Principal could teach, was a question of
economy, not of conciliation of parents who might think dead languages
useless subjects of study. In making the substitution it was hoped,
so runs the report of 1856, that instruction in German ‘might be made
equally instrumental with that in the Latin language for conveying an
accurate, exact, and logical knowledge of the principles of general
Grammar. In this impression (your Council) find ... that they have not
been mistaken.’

This attitude with regard to German was no new idea to Miss Beale,
and she pursued the aims of the founders when she made the language a
necessary subject of study for all pupils above the lower classes. Latin
she discouraged, except in the case of those who were near the top of the
College, maintaining that girls of seventeen and eighteen could learn in
a few months as much Latin as would absorb the greater part of a boy’s
whole time at school.

On the question of music the founders had shown themselves out of
sympathy with the fashionable practice of a day when every ‘young lady’
was expected to perform on the piano, every governess to teach it. They
conceded so far as to include music in the regular curriculum, but the
expense of providing the requisite number of teachers and pianos for so
many pupils was heavy. To meet this a system of class instruction was
devised, by which the teacher gave a lesson to four pupils at once, the
same piece being performed simultaneously on the treble and bass of two
pianos. Whether such an arrangement was conducive to the production of
good music or the formation of taste may be doubted. It suggests, indeed,
a certain irony in those who hit upon a scheme that might just satisfy a
foolish popular demand, assured that any who really cared for music would
not grudge payment to the good teachers provided for the extra classes.
The music difficulty occupies some space in the early reports which,
in somewhat stilted and solemn fashion, set forth new ideals for the
education of the ‘fairer sex.’ The following is quoted from the report of
February 1856:—

    ‘Your Council cannot refrain from stating their belief that
    as long as the singular and extraordinary notion continues
    to prevail in the minds of those forming the upper classes
    of English Society, that dexterity of fingering on a single
    instrument is _the_ most important part of female education,
    against, it might have been thought, not only the suggestions
    of common sense, but the practical lessons of later life, so
    long will the time required to be given for attaining even
    a low amount of proficiency in this sleight of hand, most
    seriously interfere with progress in all education and mental
    cultivation worthy of the name.

    ‘How far the acknowledged deficiency of many of the fairer
    sex in logical qualities and reasoning powers is due to this
    strange delusion, it is not for your Council to discuss; but
    they are not without hopes that the time may not be far distant
    when they will be supported in an arrangement which will
    place instrumental music altogether among the extra subjects,
    and leave them and the teachers free to elevate and improve,
    morally and intellectually, the condition of the female mind,
    unembarrassed by so unessential an accomplishment.’

These remarks were followed in 1857 by others:—

    ‘Your Council have nothing to add to or retract from what
    was said upon this subject in that Report: but, while they
    believe that the instruction in this so-called accomplishment
    is as efficient within these walls as it is capable, under all
    circumstances, of being made, they must repeat their regret
    that so vast a portion of valuable time should be sacrificed,
    in the earlier years of almost every Englishwoman who hopes
    to become a wife and mother, to that which is confessedly of
    no value in an intellectual point of view; and can, by no
    possibility, be of service to her in either of these two most
    important, and generally much coveted capacities.’

The College had opened with a goodly array of teachers of
‘accomplishments,’ as it was hoped thus to attract bye-students. These
were gradually dismissed, and it cannot have added to the reputation
of the school that some of the best-known masters, such as M. Théodore
Colson, were considered too expensive. When the new Principal came there
were only two teachers of music, one of whom was Mrs. Lloyd, mother of
the great singer. Of this lady’s skill and loyalty Miss Beale always
spoke with affectionate remembrance. The Lady Principal gained her
support in a reform instituted very early in her reign, when separate
piano lessons were again introduced, and the class system, disliked by
Miss Beale on other than musical grounds, was swept away. She could
not permit an arrangement which withdrew four pupils at once from the
ordinary work of the school; through which important lessons were lost,
and ‘collisions between class and music teachers made frequent.’ That
the Council allowed such a change to be made is a testimony to their
confidence in the new Principal. The immediate result was disastrous to
the funds, and continued to be so until Mr. Brancker introduced his new
financial scheme in 1860.

The founders of the College were not men to be content with knowledge
obtained from epitomes; Miss Procter, also, was earnest and devoted
in her work, and took trouble to teach by means of lectures; but only
dictated notes were given, and these were not corrected. Her lessons were
evidently interesting:—

    ‘We worked hard, and the teaching was very thorough. I have
    no doubt many of the pupils beside myself would willingly own
    the great debt of gratitude they owe to Miss Procter; not so
    much, perhaps, for what she taught, as for the way in which
    she educated us by developing and enlarging our minds. She
    possessed a good library, and we were often sent for books
    of reference, and shown the bearings of the subject we were
    studying. Physical geography was taught by Miss Brewer, who
    always carefully prepared her lessons. M. Tiesset made our
    French lessons delightful, even the grammar was a pleasure, and
    he seemed to enjoy teaching us as much as we did being taught
    by him.’

So wrote Mrs. Coulson (_née_ Hartland) for Miss Beale’s _History of the
Ladies’ College_, and another old pupil added:—

    ‘We had interesting lectures on Ancient History in general,
    and Greek History and Literature, from Miss Procter.... M.
    Tiesset and his sister taught French very well indeed, and I
    especially remember a chart of irregular verbs, M. Tiesset’s
    own arrangement, which, I believe, was a valuable help.’

Greek history was a favourite subject with Miss Procter, who neglected
for it the teaching of any other. Miss Beale, fresh from her _Textbook_,
at once began English and general history with her young first class.
Regardless of the additional labour it brought her, she also taught the
children to take notes, which she corrected for them. She gave weekly
examinations on the subjects studied, thus affording opportunity for
English composition.

No science nor mathematics were taught in the early days. Miss Beale
would have liked to introduce Euclid at once, but says, ‘Had I done so, I
might have been the death of the College, so I had to wait for the tide.
I began my innovations with the introduction of scientific teaching, and
under the name of physical geography I was able to teach a good deal.
This subject was unobjectionable, as few boys learned geography.’

In one particular Miss Beale found the authorities of her new school
striving to be abreast with the times. It was a rule of the constitution
that the pupils should be examined annually, and each year a graduate of
Oxford or Cambridge had undertaken the task. The first examiner (in 1853)
was Mr. Nicolay, then Dean of Queen’s College, Harley Street. In the
succeeding years a College master or some other local scholar conducted
the examination and sent in a report to the Council.

The few specimens left of those early examination questions, even without
the answers, mark a tide-line now interesting to trace.

At first the review of all knowledge was comprehended in twelve very
simple questions, the most difficult mathematical calculation set before
the first class being, ‘The Price of 3 ozs. of tea at 4s. 4d. per lb.’
The paper concluded thus:—

    ‘11. Write out that part of your duty towards your neighbour
    which explains the fifth commandment, and prove each assertion
    from Scripture.

    ‘12. Write out the following sentence in large text, and small
    hand, as specimens of your handwriting:

    ‘Integrity of understanding, and nicety of discernment, were
    not allotted.

    ‘(Attach to this paper specimens of your needlework and of your
    drawing).’

To the true teacher the interest of her work lies, beyond and above all
subjects and methods, in the child. No tale, alas! nor letter remains
to show what Miss Beale thought of her children when she first came
among them. In one respect there must have been disappointment. Miss
Procter had opened a rival school, which had drawn off the elder pupils;
consequently the first class consisted of girls of thirteen and fourteen.
But fortunately there are some of those same children who can recall
the first impression made upon themselves by the new Principal, as she
appeared on August 19, 1858. Mrs. Mace, a daughter of the late Bishop
Bromby, was among these. She writes:—

    ‘I well remember Miss Beale’s first appearance at College,
    and how I and three or four special friends, who were already
    there ... felt fiercely loyal to the former rule, and told
    each other we knew exactly what the new Principal would be
    like, “thin, tall, spectacled, and old-maidy.” I can see her
    now as she appeared in reality,—the slight, young figure, the
    very gentle, gliding movements, the quiet face with its look
    of intense thoughtfulness and utter absence of all poor and
    common stress and turmoil, the intellectual brow, the wonderful
    eyes with their calm outlook and their expression of inner
    vision. You may be sure it was not long before the captious
    thirteen-year-olds were changed into warm admirers.

    ‘I do not think her quiet dignity, her strength and
    personality, her power of influence, could at any time of
    her strenuous and successful life have been greater or more
    impressive. We were few in number then, and, of course, saw
    more of her than was possible for later pupils.

    ‘I never remember her raising her voice, scolding us, being
    satirical or impatient with dulness or inattention. She was not
    satirical even when a small girl, on being asked what criticism
    might be passed on Milton’s treatment of _Paradise Lost_,
    ventured the audacious suggestion that the poet was “verbose.”’

Small instances of the new Principal’s own powers of observation and use
of outside facts stand out through the mists of time; for instance,

    ‘an afternoon when she visited the needlework room and found
    me being most justly blamed for inefficiency. In kindly tones
    she said to the shy and clumsy culprit, “You ought to sew well,
    for your mother has such beautiful long fingers,” and somehow
    I felt comforted and encouraged. Then there was a day when I
    summoned up courage to go and tell her that I had been guilty
    of some small disobedience, as well as others who had been
    detected and punished. She seized the opportunity of impressing
    upon me that as I was (though only fourteen) a teacher in my
    father’s Sunday-school,—a fact of which I did not know she was
    aware,—I must surely see that obedience to rule was necessary.
    I can still hear the low, earnest tones in which she made her
    appeal to my sense of justice and right.’

The incident suggests a laxer state of discipline than was ever known
after. Assuredly on this point Miss Beale found a good deal to do. Some
of the ‘young ladies’ treated the good-natured French master as their
brothers at Cheltenham College might have done. There is a story, too, of
a convenient cupboard at the end of the schoolroom, large enough for a
quiet game or gossip, and of the consternation produced on a little knot
of girls who thought they had assembled unobserved, when the door was
quietly opened upon them by the Lady Principal herself.

In the matter of discipline, as of tuition, Miss Beale appears to
have worked on lines already laid down. Perhaps she kept before her
mind counsel which she later gave to a pupil who left Cheltenham to
be head of a Foundation School: ‘Remember the school belongs to the
governors, not to you.’ But we are equally certain that she would not
have worked on any lines which she did not approve. She found no system
of rules and penalties. She did not wish to introduce one; but she
made real and abiding, in a manner hardly credited by those outside,
the rule introduced by Miss Procter, by which no pupil might speak
to another without leave. With regard to this rule, which at once
taught self-control and produced order, the ‘quietness which minimises
irritability,’ it may be further remarked that in a place and time of
‘exclusive’ views, the College could hardly have existed without it.
The rule, kept, in itself prevented any pupil from making friends for
the first time in College; at any rate, it enabled her not to do so.
There was, however, when Miss Beale first came, a good deal of speaking
without leave. This disobedience with other irregularities she gradually
overcame, not by an overawing personality alone, but with the ‘quiet’
ways and the word in season of which more than one old pupil speaks.

Tracing in sequence the history of Miss Beale’s first two years, when
the College, though in the eyes of the world slowly perishing, was
really sinking strong foundations, the Report of 1859 stands out with
its commendation of the new Lady Principal. ‘Of Miss Beale herself it
may suffice to remark, that to varied and extensive knowledge in all
branches of Education, and skill in imparting it, she unites a manner
and disposition which at once command the respect and win the affection
of her Pupils, and renders it pleasant to your Council to maintain that
frequent personal communication with her which is greatly conducive to
the wellbeing of the Institution.’ Beyond this there is little definite
to record, save the steady half-yearly diminution in the number of
pupils and of the balance at the bank, and the consequent retrenchments,
implying fresh burden and effort for the small teaching staff.

In her _History of the College_, Miss Beale dismissed as with a smile the
tale of her early struggles, when each quarter it seemed less likely that
the school could live, till in the last half-year of 1859 there were only
sixty-five pupils and but a few pounds in the bank. But she admitted that
perhaps only a barrister sitting in his chambers, and waiting in vain for
briefs, could sympathise with the anxiety of that time, when upon one or
two pupils more or less depended the very existence of the College. The
story she tells of recalling pupils, sent from the door by a servant who
said she was at dinner, shows her unwearying zeal: ‘I sent her to fetch
them back, saying, I am never at dinner.’ No pupil was lost for want of
watchfulness. None could give notice without her knowing the reason, and
in many cases getting the notice recalled. The problem was to live on,
working in a way the public had not learned to appreciate. Those were
days when nervous strain was little known and scarcely feared. School
hours were long; the time-table of the College then involved morning and
afternoon school for most days in the week. To one who sought ever to
instruct with freshness and zeal, and to take trouble to make her pupils
think for themselves, the work of teaching twice a day through the long
half-years would now be counted an undue effort and strain. In addition
to this, Dorothea Beale took upon herself, as if it were her own personal
need (and she made it so), the daily fretting anxiety of making the
College pay. This she never really threw off, though in the last years
of established success it became somewhat modified. The economic strain
was relaxed when Mr. Brancker’s able hand was laid upon the finances; the
labour of teaching was lightened when the hours were changed, and when
with gradually improving fortunes more and better teachers were engaged.
Doubtless she might have taken advantage of these improvements to give
herself more ease of body and mind. But she cared for no reward, save the
‘wages of going on.’ Her eager, nobly ambitious nature responded but too
quickly to the claims of the College, so with each step made certain,
there was ever immediately before her another to be fought for and won.
It were hardly possible to say too much in praise of the enthusiastic
self-sacrifice which made the College what it is; but some of the results
of the early strife with fortune were to be deplored. It left her too
conscious of the place of the institution in the public eye; it made it
hard for her to justify a more generous expenditure than was possible at
first.

The improved discipline, the invigorating teaching, even the efforts
of the new Principal herself, failed to attract pupils, and when in
1860 the lease of Cambray House expired, no one was willing to take the
responsibility of renewing it.

Forty years later, when looking back on that time of gloom, Miss Beale
wrote: ‘How often I was full of discouragement. It was not so much the
want of money as the want of ideals which depressed me. If I went into
society I heard it said, “What is the good of education for our girls?
They have not to earn their living.” Those who spoke did not see that
for women as for men it is a sin to bury the talents God has given; they
seemed not to know that the baptismal right was the same for girls as for
boys, alike enrolled in the army of light, soldiers of Jesus Christ.

‘But helpers were sent with a faith and courage greater than mine.’

First among these was Mr. J. Houghton Brancker, who, already a member
of the Council, became at the moment of deepest need, auditor of the
accounts, and brought to the service of the College his great knowledge
of business and enthusiastic interest in education. Mr. Brancker had come
to live in Cheltenham for the sake of his daughters, in the year that
Miss Beale became Principal. He was churchwarden to Mr. Bromby, whose
liberal views he shared. Mr. Brancker had more than zeal and interest;
he could think out a plan and pursue it. He spared no effort or trouble
where a good end was to be obtained. When he became financier of the
College he gave it ‘a large share of his time, and as a paid secretary
could not be afforded, he undertook all duties gratuitously.’ He made
out a new scheme by which the ordinary fees were lowered, but music and
drawing became extras. It was too great a venture to renew the lease of
Cambray House; but the owner of the house consented to take the College
on as a yearly tenant. The new scheme of payment helped at once to bring
improvement, the number of pupils went up, and Mr. Brancker went so far
as to order ‘seven new benches, three of them with backs.’

[Illustration: _Mr. T. Houghton Brancker_]

This act of extravagance was followed almost immediately by an
enlargement of the schoolroom, making it seventy feet long. Mr. Brancker
proved that this additional space was really a financial economy; for
with it all the pupils could be contained in one room, and the necessity
of increasing the staff was deferred. As an alternative to the extension
he breathed the suggestion, for the first time probably in the history of
the College, of a new building, a building of its own, should a suitable
site be obtained. In his letter on this subject to Mr. Hartland, the
‘young ladies’ for the first time appear as ‘children.’ Mr. Brancker’s
dream was destined to be deferred for ten years; but was borne in mind
by those whom it most concerned. It may be thought he was premature even
in the enlargement, in spending at once the small profit made out of the
increasing number of pupils. But he did not aim at making a fortune for
the College. From the first it was proposed that the shareholders should
reap no financial profit, and Mr. Brancker wished it to be evident that
every penny was needed for the improvement of the work: hence, it was no
part of his plan to have a balance in hand. His effort was to keep up the
prestige of the College in every way, and in order to do this he limited
the number of shares issued to the actual number of pupils, in order that
they might not be advertised for sale at a lower price than that at which
they were purchased.

In three years from the time at which Mr. Brancker became auditor, he
was able to write: ‘February 1863. We promised assets over £1000, they
are £1076. We promised a money balance of over £200, and it is £356.
So I think the shareholders may have confidence in their Chancellor of
the Exchequer. We may well be proud of the result, but we are _deeply_
indebted to Miss Beale’s exertions for it, and I am glad her remuneration
(by capitation fees) is so much increased.’

By 1864 all pressing anxiety for the existence of the College was over.
With its one hundred and thirty pupils it was practically full. A
regularly constituted boarding-house was opened. Here the day-pupils,
whose parents were leaving Cheltenham, could be taken, and thus another
cause of diminution in the number of pupils was put an end to. Undivided
attention and care could now be given to the work.

In February a change which greatly told on this was made, a change which
now seems to have been only wise and reasonable, but which was at the
time regarded as extraordinary and revolutionary. Longer morning hours
were substituted for morning and afternoon school each day, Thursday
afternoons being set apart for dancing and needlework. Possibly Miss
Beale anticipated the outcry that would be raised; for she asked the
mother of one of the pupils, one likely to be opposed to the change, to
be with her at the Council meeting at which it was determined, ostensibly
because she herself dreaded the meeting, but doubtless in order that a
representative of the parents might hear the subject fully discussed. No
notice of the change was sent to the shareholders, parents and guardians
received an intimation scarcely a week before it took place. Before that
week was over, stormy articles appeared in the local papers, notices of
removal were sent in, and a memorial from the shareholders and others
caused Mr. Brancker hastily to summon another Council meeting, and to
write to Mr. Hartland, ‘May I specially beg that you will attend ... as
I consider the vital interests and the future prospects of the College
are at stake.’ Mr. Brancker and Miss Beale recognised that now or never
the battle must be won. Either the College authorities must rule, or the
local papers and popular clamour.

The objections of the memorialists were that the change was a _coup
d’état_; that four hours’ continuous study was too much for the children;
that the governesses were idle in wanting a half-holiday every afternoon.
But the real ground of dislike was doubtless that parents shirked the
responsibility of looking after their children in the afternoons,
and preferred schoolroom arrangements which would provide them with
occupation during the whole day.

The Council replied in a circular to the parents that they would limit
the experiment to a period of two months, after which they would act
upon the opinion of the parents; and should the new plan be adopted, the
quarter’s fees should be returned to those who wished to remove their
children. The advantages of the change were then set forth.

It had been made to meet the objections raised to physical and mental
effort following immediately upon a hurried meal; to the young ladies
passing constantly through the streets, to the trouble of sending
servants, the exertion of so much walking, the time wasted in dressing
and undressing, and to many others.

Medical men, among whom were Dr. Barlow and Dr. Gull,[39] were asked
for their opinions; these were uniformly favourable to the change. The
long morning hours were lightened by the introduction of calisthenics,
drawing, and needlework, and it was arranged that certain teachers
should attend the College every afternoon to supervise the preparation
of lessons when the parents desired it. When a general meeting on the
subject took place at the end of the specified two months, only eight
voted for the old system. ‘It was found,’ says Miss Beale, ‘that more
work was done in less time, for attention was closer ... teachers and
children had been able to get some afternoon exercise.’

What was then thought so extraordinary has since become the order of the
day for girls’ schools. In this matter Cheltenham led the way, a similar
change was made by Miss Buss in 1865, and when the hours of the Girls’
Public Day School Company were arranged in 1873, it was on the plan of
putting all regular studies into the morning hours.

At the end of Miss Beale’s first six years the College was in a much
improved condition. There were ten classes, where she had found six.
The notable changes on the staff, which was now larger, were that Miss
Brewer had left to open a school for little boys in Brighton, and Miss
Anna Beale and the Miss Eatons had joined. Increased prosperity, and
above all an older first class, enabled Miss Beale to introduce some of
the subjects which at first were thought to be too unacceptable to be
safe. There was, of course, opposition from those who were constantly
repeating that ‘girls would be turned into boys by studying the same
subjects.’ What, it was asked by some parents, do girls want with Euclid
or advanced arithmetic? There were, however, a few who understood Miss
Beale’s aims, and she was ever grateful for the support they gave her.

The method of annual examinations was gradually improved. When there was
so little money available, local examiners, some of whom had no claim
to the position, were chosen. Miss Beale records her conviction that a
German examiner, who was at the time teaching in a local school, was a
waiter from some hotel who had come to England out of the season. One
English examiner recommended that history should be taught backwards.
This was then regarded as an astounding proposition. Mr. Brancker fully
sympathised with Miss Beale’s wish to improve the standard by obtaining
examiners from one of the universities, and obtained permission from
the Council to seek them himself in Oxford. The result was that for
two or three years Mr. Sidney Owen undertook the principal part of the
annual examination. His name was the first of a long list of men notable
for scholarly achievement or educational progress, who in later years
conducted these examinations at Cheltenham. In his first report Mr. Owen
said much for the moral characteristics revealed by the intellectual work
it was his business to survey. He concludes a very favourable judgment by
saying he must not omit to mention that there were particular instances
of remarkable excellence of which the College may justly be proud. Some
of the papers he said, ‘would do credit to any Institution and gain high
marks in any public examination.... May the College long give the lie to
the miserable and pernicious fancy that accomplishments ought to be the
staple of a lady’s education, and that her reason is not designed by the
Almighty to be highly cultivated.’ But he thought the papers too long.
Mr. Owen was indeed the very first adventurer into that flood of response
which examination questions cause to flow from uncontrolled feminine
pens. Mr. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) was in 1863 the first university
examiner in arithmetic and mathematics.

This year was a fruitful one to Miss Beale for yet another reason. It was
the year of the completion of her _Chart_. Always interested in history,
ideally and practically, she had as early as the Queen’s College days
adopted a French scheme by which the learning of dates was to be simple
and easy, and the connections of history, the bearing of facts and events
upon each other, were to be seen at a glance. She now perfected and
brought it into use. The plan was based on the assumption that a fact is
more readily grasped through the eye, than by the ear. By means of large
squares, which were to represent centuries, enclosing smaller ones, which
should denote years, the whole coloured in different shades according to
the different ruling dominions and dynasties, a complete outline of the
history of a country was to appear on one page. The reckoning was made
by which ninety-nine was counted as the last year of a century, with the
result that in the year 1900 the chart found itself somewhat discredited.
But this method of counting, of course, in no way interfered with the
system. In learning dates at the College, great stress was laid upon
having a chart open before the student, so that she might grow familiar
with its look, and become able to call up the knowledge of any special
event by remembering the position of a dot in a certain square. There
were those to say with Canon Francis Holland, founder of the Church of
England High Schools in London, ‘Why was I born before such aids were
given to the understanding?’ Whether this system was indeed the royal
road Miss Beale had planned for her pupils may well be questioned;
but the _Chart_ had at any rate the value of a simple _vade mecum_ of
chronology, introducing every girl at College to the minimum of facts she
should know in the history of the world.

The _Chart_ drew for its author a last kind word of recognition from an
old friend, when Mr. Mackenzie wrote:—

                                         ‘WESTBOURNE COLLEGE, 1863.

    ‘ ... I am proud to think that I had any part, however humble,
    in directing your mind to the Tabular style of teaching; and I
    am gratified to find that one of whom I had so early formed a
    favourable opinion, has proved to be so able a worker in the
    great cause of Education.

    ‘I hope that you and your sisters, as well as my Godson, quite
    understand that I entertain for you all the feelings of an old
    friend, who values you on your own account as well as for the
    sake of both your Parents.—Believe me to be always your sincere
    Friend,

                                                     C. MACKENZIE.’

So, in the best sense the College grew. Not in outward prosperity alone,
in teaching power, in class rooms; but within. The invisible fabric of
mind, and will, and heart, co-ordinated by one great idea, was slowly
being raised. The ‘aborigines,’ as those who were girls of the Cambray
House time call themselves, even insist that at no time of her career was
Miss Beale’s personal influence so direct as then, when teaching so many
subjects herself, and in small classes, she came personally in contact
with nearly all the older pupils. All classes had their place and desks
in the long hall; but the lowest division had a separate schoolroom as
soon as funds justified it, and the rooms of the house, even on occasion
those appointed to the Principal, were used as classrooms. Miss Beale
did not often teach in the large hall. The young ones were cleared out
of their division room when she gave a big lecture; a small class, such
as one for German translation, would be taken in her drawing-room. There
came a moment when even her bedroom was invaded. Those small classes
of mathematics or German were more especially the ones which endeared
teacher and pupils to each other. There was always enough personal awe
and inspiration about the Lady Principal to ensure a well-prepared lesson
from really interested pupils, and often beyond the lesson there would
be delightful talk. _Iphigenie in Tauris_ recalls many thoughts beyond
German translation, and the verbal exercise itself was deprived of every
vestige of dulness by her great interest in the growth and development of
words. No noble thought, no fine simile was allowed to pass unnoticed;
other poems were compared, or perhaps a passage would be given to be
translated into English verse. In the mere suggestion of this, what hope
and encouragement lay for many who hardly liked to own their pleasure in
such an attempt, or who had found earlier efforts of the kind thwarted by
criticism too bracing for beginners! It may indeed be thought that Miss
Beale had always an unwarranted admiration for the verse-making of her
pupils. If in this she sometimes offended the cause of pure literature,
her attitude towards it was yet surely the right one for a teacher.

This must indeed have been one of the happiest periods of her work, when
she first came into near touch with the children she had seen grow up
about her, and felt herself able to give impetus and training to growing
aspirations and developing thought, when her sympathy was constantly
appealed to in the way in which she could best give it.

    ‘It is my peculiar privilege to have spent all my College
    career in her class, to go through years of her special
    personal teaching. In later days, when the College assumed
    larger dimensions, such an experience must have been rare;
    to those who could claim it, it meant a potent influence for
    life. How vividly can I recall her sitting on her little
    dais, scanning the long school-room and discovering anything
    amiss at the far end of it; or making a tour of inspection to
    the various classes with a smiling countenance that banished
    terror.’

So writes one old pupil of that time. Another speaks of that deep
tenderness which she ever felt, but often concealed, and was not afraid
of showing in a case of special need.

    ‘When I was almost a child at College I lost my mother, and
    shall never forget Miss Beale’s tender sympathy and help. She
    took such interest in my preparation for Confirmation, and
    brought me herself to my first Communion,—just she and I alone;
    a day I shall always remember. All through my girlhood she was
    a kind and ready adviser, and continued her interest throughout
    my married life. One always felt whatever happened to one, Now
    I must tell Miss Beale.’

It is sad to know that Miss Beale was often depressed in that hopeful
spring-time of the College by the tongues of gossip and slander. She had
so profound a horror of petty talk about other people’s business, that
she possibly exaggerated the importance of carelessly repeated and untrue
reports. She mentions the local gossip from which the College had to
suffer.

    ‘Tales were handed about that it was impossible to trace. It
    was said that accomplishments were neglected, that the pupils
    played on dumb pianos. Persons who did not exist, and others
    who would never have been admitted, were said to attend the
    College. News was sent out to Canada that the cattle plague
    was prevailing, and the report was half believed. The mere
    circulation of absurd falsehoods is, however, often enough to
    decide a mother to place her daughter elsewhere; sometimes no
    falsehood at all, a contemptuous tone is enough. Such things
    can only be met by silence and steady and unobtrusive work.
    Perhaps one is better off without the children of those who
    accept their rule of life from Mrs. Grundy. Certainly such
    opposition and persecution prove an excellent tonic, and
    I personally feel grateful for it, though it was a bitter
    draught. We had to remember that the interests of some were
    injured by the establishment of the College; the wish being
    father to the thought, people would sometimes believe what they
    said.’

Matters reached a climax when an absolutely untrue statement concerning
cruelty to animals was set on foot about Mrs. Fraser, who had opened a
boarding-house in connection with the College. The real gravity of the
report lay in the circumstance that some in the College had listened to
it, and it was necessary to address the teachers on the subject. It was a
painful task, but bravely faced by the Lady Principal, who said:

    ‘Now I have nothing to do to judge them that are without. We
    must cheerfully bear evil-speaking. But if it come from within,
    the matter is for that reason a serious one; for this reason I
    feel it must be traced up to its source.... I feel I can appeal
    to you as lovers of truth, as those who feel that no advantages
    of education, of health, or any other, can compensate for the
    disadvantage which would arise to any children who lived in an
    atmosphere of evil-speaking, lying, and slandering.’

Thus grasped, the nettle ceased to sting. It was perhaps a small incident
scarcely worth noting. But Miss Beale remembered it as one which caused
great discomfort at the time, and it had far-reaching consequences. Her
power then was more limited than in after years. She learned through this
difficulty the need for more liberty to act independently of the Council
in the internal management of the College. In her efforts to get the
evil rooted out from their midst, she nearly exceeded her powers. This,
doubtless, taught her to prosecute her reforms more warily. Above all,
it may be believed that she gained a fresh access of that self-control
so necessary to all governors. For it is only in fiction that difficulty
can be overcome by a sudden word or action; in real life work has to be
carried on despite the obstacle;—growth takes place under pressure.

Outside the work of the College there is not a great deal to relate about
Miss Beale’s life at this period. Her holidays were sometimes spent in
visits to her family.

After the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. John Beale, Hyde Court, the old family
house came into the possession of Miss Beale’s mother, who had been left
a widow in 1862. In 1868 Mrs. Beale came with two daughters to reside at
Hyde Court until her death in 1881. There the Lady Principal often went
in the holidays, finding pleasure in the beautiful surroundings. An old
pupil tells of the delights of a visit to her there,—of Mrs. Beale, whom
her daughter Dorothea greatly resembled, calm and majestic looking, of
the glorious view from the windows of the room appropriated to Miss Beale
and her large correspondence.

A good part of the holidays even then was spent in Cheltenham, but there
were some visits abroad. One year Miss Beale accompanied her brother
Edward, then recovering from illness, to the Black Forest. On another
occasion she went with her sister to Chamounix, and enjoyed the mountain
walks. In 1864 she spent some time at Zürich. More than once she went
to Paris. This continental travel was by no means for recreation and
refreshment only. It nearly always implied visits to schools, where
fresh and foreign methods were studied. No opportunity of gaining new
ideas was ever neglected, for Miss Beale could not understand ever
living apart from her work. In the holidays, as in school-time, she was
still working, though in a different way. In Cheltenham itself there
was little time or opportunity for recreation. Society, as the word is
generally understood, had little to say to the new head-mistress, whose
insignificant figure and plain dress did not provoke much interest. Her
absence of small talk, her quiet intellectual face, her reputation as
a clever woman, her connection with Queen’s College, all represented
something unwonted and new. She had received no welcome from the
religious world of Cheltenham, whose leaders, Mr. Close and Mr. Boyd,
though one of them had accepted a seat on the Council, remained aloof
from the interests of the Ladies’ College, perhaps sharing the prejudice
still prevalent against any departure from the beaten track of women’s
education.

It was of little moment to Miss Beale to find herself unsought by
society, for she seldom cared to spend an evening from her work. She
could not understand the position, which some have thought it wise to
take up, that it is good for a school to have its head seen in society.
She held it to be best for a school that its head should give herself
unremittingly to her work,—disastrous to the welfare of any pupils for
their teacher to sacrifice to social engagements the time she ought to
give to the preparation of lessons. The friends of that early time were a
few thoughtful people who were interested like herself in education.

On first coming to Cheltenham Miss Beale, to please Miss Brewer, she
said, attended Christchurch, but she soon left this for St. Philip’s
and St. James’ at Leckhampton, and for St. Paul’s. Both these churches
were less obviously in the possession of wealthy seat-holders than the
churches in the town. To St. Philip’s she went at that time when she
‘wanted to be quiet,’ taking up a position near the door. All the middle
of that church was then occupied by charity children and the poor, but
there were in the rich part of the congregation many whose names have
interest from one cause or another.

The incumbent of St. Philip’s, the Rev. A. E. Riddle, was a man of much
learning. He had been Bampton Lecturer in 1832, and was the author of a
well-known Latin Dictionary and other books. Miss Beale felt at home in
his great library, and visits to Mrs. Riddle at Tudor Lodge were among
the few recreations. Mr. Riddle died in 1859, and for the next few years
she seems to have regularly attended St. Paul’s or Holy Trinity churches.
She found real friends in the parsonage-house at St. Paul’s, but the
immediate tie was soon broken, for in 1864 Mr. Bromby was made Bishop of
Tasmania.

The claims of relationship and early friendship were not forgotten,
but there was little time for letter-writing beyond the ever-growing
correspondence connected with work. Mr. Beale wrote playfully of his
daughter’s growing absorption:—

    ‘You always write as if you were at the top of your speed,
    and this is not good. I doubt not you have a great deal to
    occupy your time and your attention, but pray do not be always
    in a hurry, you will inevitably break down if you are so—you
    will lose in power what you gain in speed, as certainly as in
    mechanics; and with greater danger to the regularity of the
    machine.... I am really fearful to take up your time.... I
    daresay now you are scrambling through my note without that
    respect to which the writer and the subject are entitled. But
    pray remember that to neglect (the care of your health) is the
    worst economy in the world....

    ‘I will now release you, but I was unwilling quite to lose
    your correspondence, though do not write to me until you have a
    little patient leisure.’

Thus, in difficulty and obscurity, the life-work of Dorothea Beale was
begun. But hers was a light which could not long be hid. Each year it
burned more surely and shone further afield. By 1864, when the Endowed
Schools’ Inquiry Commission was instituted, she was known as a successful
head-mistress whose views and methods were worth hearing. With Miss Buss
and others she was asked to give evidence.



CHAPTER VII

A ROYAL COMMISSION

    ‘I learnt the royal genealogies
    Of Oviedo, the internal laws
    Of the Burmese Empire,—by how many feet
    Mount Chimborazo outsoars Teneriffe,
    What navigable river joins itself
    To Lara, and what census of the year five
    Was taken at Klagenfurt....
    I learnt much music, ...
                          fine sleights of hand
    And unimagined fingering.’

                  E. B. BROWNING, _Aurora Leigh_.


This volume, which memorialises one great name in one field of women’s
work, is not the place in which to dwell upon the details of that work in
other departments. But it may be remarked in passing that the educational
movement itself was but a part—an essential part—of a larger one. It
seemed, Miss Beale often said in speaking of this time, that women, like
the damsel of old, heard the Voice of the Master penetrating the slumber
of death, bidding them Arise. And they obeyed. They arose in many and
various ways to minister to Him.

The first sign of this awakening was publicly seen in 1844, when Dr.
Pusey engaged several leading laymen, among whom was Mr. Gladstone,
to help him in the foundation of an Anglican Sisterhood. Two or three
Orders date from before the opening of Queen’s College in 1848; those
at Clewer and Wantage followed soon after. The devotion of Florence
Nightingale and her little band in 1854 led many to follow her example,
and the reform of nursing steadily if slowly followed. In 1866, before
the reports of the Schools’ Inquiry were published, Dr. Elizabeth
Blackwell took an M.D. degree in Switzerland, and Miss Garrett began to
study for one in London. The desire for better teaching and training was
widespread. The establishment of the Cheltenham Ladies’ College was a
part of a larger movement which was affecting the whole country. Sixteen
years had passed since the opening of Queen’s College had unsealed the
fountain of knowledge for women. Immediately after, in 1849, a college
had been established on undenominational lines. This was Bedford College,
which found a liberal donor in Mr. Reid, and among its first teachers
counted Francis Newman, De Morgan, and Dr. Carpenter. These led the way.
Then in 1850 the great school which will for ever be associated with the
name of Frances Mary Buss was opened in Camden Road, its enterprising
head-mistress having there removed the private school she had carried
on successfully for some years, to develop it on the lines of a public
school, under the enlightened supervision of Mr. Laing. Cheltenham
followed four years later, and these two, for many years the only public
schools for girls in the country, may be considered the direct offspring
of Queen’s College.

The general condition of girls’ education remained unimproved some years
longer. Yet amid the thousands of private schools where worthless or
poor teaching prevailed, there were a few which had come into the hands
of capable women who had been inspired by the noble ideals of those
who led the religious and intellectual thought of the day. The name of
Elizabeth Sewell is representative of these; but for the most part they
lived and died unknown, because their work was of less public moment
than that of the great leaders. Yet, in an account of women’s education
it seems ungracious to name only the well known, however great, and to
pass unnoticed the wise virgins, less prominent but not less faithful,
whose lamps shone and were replenished through the night. In her death,
as in her work on earth, Dorothea Beale was not alone. Miss Sewell, aged
ninety, passed but a few weeks before her, and very shortly after two
other unknown fellow-workers, who had not laboured in vain. The _Times_
of January 1907 told of Miss Piper, the founder and head of Laleham. Of
Miss Piper it could be said, that at a time when the instruction given
to girls was of a formal character, ‘she set herself to make her pupils
think, to stimulate interest, to enforce thoroughness.’ These were the
very points on which the Schools’ Commission found girls’ education
defective. A fortnight later died Emily Milner, who was for fifty years
head of St. Mary’s School at Brighton, to which she devoted all her small
income. She taught with marvellous energy and freshness, inspiring her
pupils themselves to be zealous and persevering, and keeping them in
touch with all that was best in the rapid advance and change of modern
education. But such head-mistresses were rare. The Commissioners seldom
found either thoroughness or freshness in the schools they inspected.

The Schools’ Inquiry Commission was instituted in 1864, a year in which
John Ruskin, in a lecture at Manchester, made a passionate appeal to rich
women to claim their right to serve—and reign. His cry did not reach
a larger public until, eight years later, the lecture was published
under the title ‘Of Queens’ Gardens’ in _Sesame and Lilies_. Like the
simultaneous discovery of some great star, by watchers strange to one
another and half a continent apart, the movement for enlarging the
scope of women’s work was furthered by men of divers ways and methods,
heralded by visionaries like Tennyson and Ruskin, marshalled into
deliberate order by high-hearted officials like the Secretary of the
Governesses’ Benevolent Society and the School Inspector Joshua Fitch.
Possibly no Assistant Commissioner, as he drew up his report, recalled
the ringing words of Ruskin. But though the medium varies to the stretch
of difference between the inspiration of a great poem and the deliberate
statements of a blue-book, we recognise the same force behind both, and
see both alike to be channels for one great stream of tendency. The
conclusions drawn from the report, the resulting effects seen in new
schools and organised public examinations, miss nothing of their special
value if regarded in connection with such words as these:—

    ‘Let a girl’s education be as serious as a boy’s. You bring up
    your girls as if they were meant for side-board ornaments, and
    then complain of their frivolity. Give them the same advantages
    that you give their brothers ... teach _them_, also, that
    courage and truth are the pillars of their being.... There is
    hardly a girl’s school in this Christian Kingdom where the
    children’s courage and sincerity would be thought of half
    so much importance as their way of coming in at a door....
    And give them, lastly, not only noble teachings, but noble
    teachers.’[40]

The Schools’ Inquiry Commission was instituted to examine into the
existing state of education above the elementary grade, and to report
on measures needed for its improvement, having special regard to all
endowments applicable, or which could rightly be made applicable,
thereto. By the instance of Miss Emily Davies, girls’ schools were
included in the inquiry. Among the Commissioners was Lord Lyttelton,
who was regarded by those who wished to improve women’s education as a
friend to girls. He had manfully asserted their right to a share of the
endowments, and of women to a share in the management of girls’ schools.
Sir Stafford Northcote, Dr. Temple, and Mr. Forster were also members of
the Commission. Among the Assistant Commissioners, whose business it was
to visit and report upon schools, were such well-known names as those of
T. H. Green, J. G. Fitch, and J. Bryce.

No schools outside the eight selected districts were visited, but the
Principals of some beyond their limit were requested to give evidence
before the Commissioners in London. In the year 1868-9 reports and
evidence were gradually issued in a series of twenty large blue-books. Of
these volumes about nineteen-twentieths related to the education of boys
and general questions, and about one-twentieth to the education of girls
alone.

Miss Beale hailed the Commission as a means of bringing the thousand
inefficiencies of girls’ education to the light. She took advantage
of it in an address she gave in 1865 at Bristol, at a meeting of that
now extinct body, the Social Science Congress, when she pleaded that,
for boys and girls alike, education should be planned with the view of
developing character. Her argument was none the less weighty because so
carefully guarded:—

    ‘Let me say at once that I desire to institute no comparison
    between the mental abilities of boys and girls, but simply to
    say what seems to be the right means of training girls, so that
    they may best perform that subordinate part in the world to
    which, I believe, they have been called.

    ‘First, then, I think that the education of girls has too
    often been made showy, rather than real and useful; that
    accomplishments have been made the main thing, because these
    would, it was thought, enable a girl to shine and attract,
    while those branches of study especially calculated to form the
    judgment, to cultivate the understanding, and to discipline the
    character (which would fit her to perform the duties of life)
    have been neglected; and thus, while temporary pleasure and
    profit have been sought, the great moral ends of education have
    been too often lost sight of.

    ‘To the poorer classes the toil and struggle of their daily
    life do, to some extent, afford an education which gives
    earnestness, and strength, and reality; and if we would not
    have the daughters of the higher classes idle and frivolous,
    they too must be taught to appreciate the value of work. We
    must endeavour to give them, while young, such habits, studies,
    and occupations as will brace the mind, improve the taste, and
    develop the moral character. They must learn, not for the sake
    of display, but from motives of duty. They must not choose the
    easy and agreeable, and neglect what is dull and uninviting.
    They must not expect to speak languages without mastering the
    rudiments; nor require to be finished in a year or two, but
    impatiently refuse to labour at a foundation.’

These words were pioneers of the Commissioners’ reports, in which they
find a literal echo. The reports, with her own evidence and that of
other ladies interested in education, were by Miss Beale preserved for
posterity. She perceived instinctively that if they were not brought
into general circulation all would soon be forgotten, much never known
at all. With that stern sense of economy which caused her never to waste
an opportunity or a scrap of material, she took the task upon herself.
She obtained permission to republish the matter relating to girls’
schools in a single volume, for which she wrote a preface. In this she
dealt with the evidence of the Commissioners, discussing at some length
the questions of examinations and overwork. But she sought chiefly,
as she had already done a few years before in an article in _Fraser’s
Magazine_,[41] to show the need of real study for women, the advantage
to be gained for character and mind from such subjects as history and
literature.

The general report of the Commissioners on Girls’ Education forms the
first chapter of Miss Beale’s blue-book. It opened with a quotation
to the effect that an educated mother is of even more importance than
an educated father. Miss Beale may have thought this an exaggerated
statement; but she must have welcomed and republished it with some
satisfaction. She was for ever having it dinned into her ears, by those
who opposed all serious study for their daughters, that girls should be
educated to be wives and mothers. Mrs. Grey showed the real fallacy of
the statement, in a paper which was the direct result of the republished
reports, when she pointed out that girls were not being educated to _be_
wives, but to _get_ husbands. A happy marriage Mrs. Grey held to be ‘the
_summum bonum_ of a woman’s life ... not an object to be striven for,
but to be received as the supreme grace of fate when the right time and
the right person come.’[42] With Miss Beale and Miss Emily Davies she
deprecated the education which is designed from the first to fit and
prepare for a special position in life. She would have women and men
alike, working men, tradesmen, men of fortune educated as human beings,
not technically instructed for some special walk in life. In eloquent
words she pictured the ideal for which she and others like-minded
were striving, and were seeking to attain by the practical method
of enlightening public opinion, founding schools, asking for public
examinations. She wrote:—

    ‘The true meaning of the word education is not instruction....
    It is intellectual, moral, and physical development, the
    development of a sound mind in a sound body, the training of
    reason to form just judgments, the disciplining of the will and
    affections to obey the supreme law of duty, the kindling and
    strengthening of the love of knowledge, of beauty, of goodness,
    till they become governing motives of action.’

Mrs. Grey’s conclusions were the same as those of the Commissioners,
who complained that there was no demand for the education of girls, the
cause of the indifference being that low idea which regards only the
money value of education, and estimates it solely as a means of getting
on. Girls were taught with a view to increasing their attractiveness
before marriage, rather than with that of increasing their happiness and
usefulness after. This was the general cause of dissatisfaction, but
there were many details.

One and all complained that, with the exception of quite a few schools,
the education of girls in the middle classes was much worse than that
existing in the elementary schools of the day. This was of course
specially the case in subjects like arithmetic, and arose greatly from
the mistaken notion that they were of no use to girls. The Commissioners
were unanimous in condemning the prevailing method of instruction by
means of such books as _Mangnall’s Questions_ and the like, termed by
Mr. Bryce ‘the noxious brood of catechisms.’ Of this, be it said, Miss
Mangnall’s famous work, which bears witness to its author’s well-stored
mind, and which reached nearly a hundred editions, was the best. The
‘Questions’ demanded indeed the knowledge of such useless facts as the
number of houses burned in the Great Fire of London; but there were in
use, in the numerous small private schools of the period, cheaper and
more stupid books, in which the information was not merely useless,
but even defied common sense. A small catechism on ‘Science,’ entitled
‘Why and Because,’ concluded a long list of inept questions with:
‘Why do pensioners and aged cottagers put their teapots on the hob to
draw?’ In some books, facts of varying nature—of history, geography,
grammar, etc.—were all jumbled together. It is not surprising that girls
instructed by the parrot-like, inconsequent methods of such lesson-books,
passed from school with no love of reading.

The Commissioners complained further, that though French and music were
held to be the most important subjects to which a girl should devote
herself, they were nearly always very badly taught. They spoke of time
wasted at the piano; they calculated the thousands of hours given to
music which was not worth hearing at the last. They gave instances of
ludicrous mistakes in French, which no effort of visiting masters could
improve into anything like a real knowledge of the language, because
rudimentary grammar had never been mastered. They spoke of drawing taught
with an equal disregard of thoroughness, and with still more disastrous
result. ‘The common practice of masters touching up their pupils’
performances for exhibition at home fosters a habit of dishonesty,
and that too prevalent tendency running through the whole of female
education, the tendency to care more for appearance than reality, to seem
rather than to be.’[43]

Some spoke of the absence of healthy interests, of the need for games,
a need which appealed but little to Miss Beale, in whose own youth play
was marked by its absence only. Many urged the necessity for founding in
every town public schools similar to boys’ grammar schools, where girls
could obtain a sound education, without accomplishments, at a low cost.

These reports embody a number of facts concerning a state of things
now happily passed away. Hundreds of small private schools might have
read their doom in them, for the establishment of many public schools,
endowed and otherwise, soon followed the inquiry. We see the poor sham
education, with its wrong notions of the beautiful and the best, vanish
without a regret. Yet, since all human effort has its worth and place,
is it possible and fair to say one word above its grave? Was there no
genuine wish to give pleasure pleading in the miserable pieces of the
boarding-school young lady, and even in the painful drawings which
the master’s touch failed to make tolerable? They testify at least to
something out of the work-a-day sphere, to the desire for the ‘something
afar,’ often the first step to a truer vision. Precious years of girlhood
spent on the vain effort to attain accomplishments speak of some dim
perception of the refinement and uplifting which men look for in women.
Ill-devised, badly attempted, poorly carried out, the thought of giving
delight was not only mercenary in aim; behind it was some consciousness
of a real human need. The educators of women to-day should know better
than to despise its pleading, however imperfectly expressed. ‘May I not
have _one_ ornamental one?’ said a brother when a third sister was about
to devote herself to obtaining certificates for mathematics.

Nine ladies, including Miss Emily Davies, Miss Buss, and Miss Beale,
were asked to give evidence before the Commission. Miss Beale’s, which
was taken in 1865, is of double interest, at once touching the state of
girls’ education in general, and the advance being made in the Ladies’
College, Cheltenham. She took with her a hundred entrance examination
papers arranged in order for inspection. Actuated perhaps by the
marvellous carefulness which lost nothing, and seeing a use even in what
would often be considered waste papers, as well as by the definite aim of
preserving a record of progress, she had kept all the answers written by
her pupils to entrance examination questions. With the College papers,
she showed also some written by children in one of the national schools
at Cheltenham, in order that the Commissioners might make a comparison
for themselves.

On being questioned, Miss Beale explained in detail the whole system of
the College, interesting the Commissioners in the method of teaching
Euclid, one which at some points antedated by many years the present
teaching of geometry in the public schools, and which has lately been
adopted by the universities. At a time when schoolboys were learning
Euclid by heart, Miss Beale was teaching it to girls by a method of
explanation which they had to follow and finally reproduce without any
learning by rote.

With regard to the teaching of Holy Scripture she said, ‘Each class
teacher takes her own class, and that, I think, very important’; but on
this subject little was said.

On the question of discipline and moral difficulties she explained that
the government of the College was chiefly by personal influence, and that
her plan was to make use of very simple means, such as changing the seat
of a child who was suspected of being dishonest in her work. ‘It is a
small thing, but it indicates want of trust, and it is by small things we
govern.’ Such discipline obviously appeared slight to Dr. Storrar, who
asked on hearing it, ‘Perhaps girls are more sensitive than boys in such
matters?’ ‘I will not attempt to decide,’ replied Miss Beale, ‘but my
opinion is that they are not.’

Asked her opinion on a system of examination, Miss Beale recommended
a general Board for the examination of teachers, to be founded with
national sanction, and an inspection of the schools under the management
of those who had passed the examination. ‘There is one other point,’ she
added: ‘the cause might be helped on by the establishment of a model
school for the training of teachers; I hardly know how such would work.’

The evidence of the Commission, published in 1868, produced a great
impression on Mrs. William Grey and her sister, Miss Shireff. Under
their able leadership there was formed, in 1871, ‘The National Union
for Improving the Education of Women,’ for the purpose of organising
effort and helping to create a sounder public opinion with regard to
education itself. The work of this society led two years later to the
foundation of the Girls’ Public Day-School Company. By this agency, which
was commercial as well as educational, High Schools were established
in most of the important towns of England. There followed the numerous
independent efforts and companies which have covered the country with
a network of secondary schools for girls. In 1872, Miss Buss giving
up her private property in her very successful school, by an act of
self-sacrifice and generosity made it a public school by placing it in
trust. A lower school was also established in Camden Town under the same
management.

Miss Emily Davies also found her work aided by the Commission. She was
largely instrumental in the opening of Local Examinations to girls. The
foundation of the first women’s college at a university was laid by her
when, in 1873, the college she had opened at Hitchin four years earlier
was removed to Cambridge, where it became known as Girton. This step
was perhaps even less of a venture, though more startling to the public
mind, than the first beginning at Hitchin. Of this Miss Maria Hackett had
written to Miss Beale:—

    ‘The proposed Foundation of a College for the Superior
    Education of Women is another most important measure in the
    same direction. I had much correspondence about twenty years
    ago, with your dear father, Mr. Mackenzie, and Mr. Storrs, on
    the subject, but I did not venture upon so extensive a scheme.’

Public examinations for girls necessarily followed the work of the
Commission, the opening of women’s colleges, and the establishment of
public schools for girls. Head-mistresses were called upon to face all
the difficulties and drawbacks of these, as well as to accept their
advantages, and in some cases also to incur odium, as they worked with
measures which they knew to be not in themselves the best, but only
the best attainable. Miss Beale had her own vision of what a public
examination for girls should be. She had said at Bristol in 1865 that
parents

    ‘are afraid of popular outcry, afraid that their children
    should take a low place, forgetting that (if the examination be
    conducted without any of the improper excitement of publicity),
    it is also a test and means of moral training, since those who
    work from the right motives simply do their best and are not
    overanxious about results. I do not desire that there should be
    a system of competitive examinations, but a general testing of
    the work done, and if this cannot be responded to in a quiet,
    lady-like manner, it does not speak well for the moral training
    of the school.’

She had also said:—

    ‘I do not think the plan for admitting girls to the same
    examination with boys in the University local examinations a
    wise one; the subjects seem to me in many respects unsuited for
    girls, and such an examination as the one proposed is likely
    to further a spirit of rivalry most undesirable. I should
    much regret that the desire of distinction should be made in
    any degree a prime motive, for we should ever remember that
    moral training is the end, education the means. The habits of
    obedience to duty, of self-restraint, which the process of
    acquiring knowledge induces, the humility which a thoughtful
    and comprehensive study of the great works in literature and
    science tends to produce, these we would specially cultivate in
    a woman, that she may wear the true woman’s ornament of a meek
    and quiet spirit. As for the pretentiousness and conceit which
    are associated with the name of “blue-stocking,” and which some
    people fancy to be the result of education, they are only an
    evidence of shallowness and vulgarity; we meet with the same
    thing in the dogmatic conceit of the so-called “self-educated
    man,” who has picked up learning, but has not had the benefit
    of a systematic training and a liberal education.’

The formal admission of girls to the Cambridge Local Examinations took
place in 1865, though they had been informally accepted as candidates as
early as 1863. Miss Beale did not accept the examination at Cheltenham,
mainly because its arrangements did not fall in with those of the College
year; but she closely observed its working, noted each set of questions
and reports, recognising that with these examinations new impetus had
been given to the progress of education. She wrote and spoke on the
subject, holding it to be the duty of the teacher to seek to guide this
movement, which must increasingly affect girls’ schools.

The following extract from one of her papers is chosen because of its
bearing on the larger and still unanswered question of university
degrees:—

    ‘Examiners must be prepared not to domineer but to learn that
    the art is yet in its infancy, and their knowledge of what
    girls can or ought to do is at present very slight. They must
    be ready to admit the possibility of a teacher knowing better
    than his judges. The latter are sometimes tempted to exclaim,
    _Quis custodiat ipsos custodes?_ If the school curriculum and
    the examinations are so far out of harmony that a large amount
    of special preparation is required, either the curriculum is
    at fault or the examination an evil.... I know that some make
    a great point of having the actual University examinations
    opened, because a mere “women’s examination” is spoken of
    contemptuously. I believe that in trying to avoid this, we
    should encounter greater evils, and that the wish is connected
    with a misplaced reverence which many women entertain for the
    learning of a “pass man.”’

After some years of consideration a decision was practically forced upon
Miss Beale. She must choose for her clever girls either to pass a public
examination which she thought more suited for men, or to fall behind
in a path which was surely leading in the right direction. She did not
hesitate, but saw that on this, as on many occasions, it must be her part
to labour to remove obstructions, to overcome obstacles.

In her interview with the Commissioners, on being asked if she would
approve of the establishment of a special examination for ladies up to
the standard of attainment of the London matriculation, she had replied,
‘Certainly,’ but advocated that it should be made possible for women to
take German instead of Greek. This examination, she agreed, might be
taken as a measure, though the measure might not be filled with the same
subjects as for men. She was soon called upon to act in this matter, for
in 1869 it was opened to women, and the University of Cambridge also
instituted an examination for women over eighteen years of age.

Miss Beale accepted both for the College, but for some years there was
no regular organisation of work for those who were taking the Cambridge
examination. This was partly due to the higher limit of age. It was
then thought extraordinary that girls should stay at school after they
were eighteen. It was difficult to persuade many to do so. Some were
‘wanted at home,’ some wished to ‘come out’; those who were intending to
be teachers thought they should be already earning. Then the absorbing
work for the London examination made it difficult to arrange for much of
a wholly different character. Consequently, at first, the older pupils
and the young teachers who sought to pass the Cambridge examination had
to look after themselves a good deal. Miss Beale would certainly not
consider this a drawback. They had the additional advantage of lectures
from herself on literature and history.

The ‘London’ must have seemed better worth while for many reasons. It
might prove a first step to a definite degree. The degree examinations
were not opened till ten years later, and might not have followed at all
had zeal and courage not been shown by women over the matriculation.
Again, the matriculation certificate enabled men to offer themselves as
candidates for further examination with a view to certain careers, such
as the medical profession. This would hold good for women. For it had the
real advantage of being a recognised standard, while a certificate for an
examination arranged specially for women would be like ‘foreign coin.’

One cannot too much admire the qualities which bore teacher and pupils
up that steep initial step of the London examination; for steep it was.
At that time it demanded a certain knowledge of subjects which were
generally regarded as the prerogative of men. Hardly any of the girls who
hoped to pass in them had, when they began their special preparation six
terms before the examination, learned any Latin, chemistry, geometry,
algebra, or natural philosophy—this last being a term which embraced
some acquaintance with optics, statics, dynamics, and hydrostatics.
Little more than the rudiments of these new subjects had to be mastered,
for the examination at that time required ‘a collection of minima, a
smattering of everything, enforced with Procrustean rigour on Philistine
lines.’ Primarily designed for boys with a grammar-school education, the
Latin paper included some knowledge of Horace. It is scarcely necessary
to say that disappointment as well as hope was woven into the strand
of these brave beginnings. Many failed. Some who were not really equal
to the work were persuaded to enter. Some who passed, complained that
they could not retain knowledge which had been acquired too rapidly
and not assimilated. Not avowedly, not ever consciously to herself—her
sense of responsibility for the individual was too great for that, and
she reckoned the training of value even if there were no success at the
end—but in actual fact, the failures were accepted by Dorothea Beale as a
necessary complement of victory to be.

    ‘Let the victors when they come,
    When the forts of folly fall,
    Find thy body by the wall!’

All the weakness of the position was known to her. And she showed not
only courage and daring, but patience and humility still harder to
practise. On one occasion, after a specially difficult Latin paper,
which had proved too much for many examinees, she wrote to another
head-mistress whose disappointment was as keen as her own:—

    ‘The more I reflect, the more I think any protest unadvisable.
    No doubt some have passed (even in Class I.) in former years,
    who were worse in Latin than one at least who has failed this
    time. But then there are many things that may be urged.
    Perhaps the good have not done themselves justice, and the bad
    more than justice. Besides, I cannot myself, even in looking
    over one set of papers, unless I correct all at a sitting, mark
    them fairly even to my own mind; how much more difficult it
    must be when the examiners change, and the papers come in after
    a year’s interval. We, by submitting ourselves to examination,
    pledge ourselves in some sort to be content. It will never do,
    in my opinion, to impugn the justice of a University, and I
    really think they will do justice. Any expression of discontent
    would tend to throw back the granting of degrees. I believe
    the unification is more likely to take place soon, if we are
    patient. Remember, too, the decision has not been that of one
    individual examiner, but has been in some sort confirmed by the
    Senate.

    ‘My impression is that the papers will be very carefully set
    next year, and that we must bear our disappointment this year
    as well as we can. I am very sorry you feel it so much. Your
    candidates have done so well in other subjects, that if they
    should try again next year, you might be certain of a large
    measure of success, and _then_ a protest, or any remarks from
    us would tell so much more. I certainly do not mean to send in
    a large number, but I am pledged to a few, and to those who
    failed, if they like to go in again.’

This conclusion showed special insight, willingness to bear, and
readiness to learn; for the Latin paper was a far more real test of
knowledge than any of the others. To have complained of it might have
been to acknowledge inferiority which did not seek improvement. And
looking back, it may be seen that the failures and mistakes were not of
much moment. The real importance and the real triumph lay with the aim
and effort. Miss Beale early foresaw what has been literally fulfilled.

‘It is clear,’ she said, ‘that it will before long be impossible in
England, as it is now on the Continent, for any one to obtain employment
as a teacher without some such attestation,’ _i.e._ as a certificate.
If she could help it, Miss Beale would not let girls who were intending
to teach, pass from her without one; she persuaded the pupil, she
reasoned with the parent, she frequently mastered both; she silently
bore contradiction and misconception. She refused to be thwarted by any
obstacle, much as she might wish to change it—such as the time of year at
which it was held, the difficulty of sending candidates to London, or by
any hesitation on her own part. She might write to a newspaper, ‘it is to
some extent an open question what education is most suitable for girls,’
but she inspired her class to prepare for ‘the London’ with zealous
drudgery and in the power of self-denial, as the best they could do to
fit themselves for work.

Yet the College list of successes was from the first good. In 1869,
the first year of examination, eight in all England went in for the
matriculation examination, and six failed. The only candidate from
Cheltenham passed. This was Miss Susan Wood. In the next year, of the
three who passed from Cheltenham one was the famous Greek scholar, Miss
Jane Harrison, another bore the name—so dear to its generation—of Marian
Belcher.

There was plenty of criticism. There were many to repeat the old
complaint that women were being unfitted for their proper duties. It was
Miss Beale’s delight to show that those who did well in examinations
could also excel in domestic duties. She would tell how one successful
candidate of the London examination proved first a helpful sister, then a
devoted wife and mother. She would show with pride a letter she received
from one of whose ability and success she had great reason to be proud,
signed ‘Yours in flour and dripping.’

It may be mentioned here that there is a home distinction connected with
the Ladies’ College, Cheltenham. In 1868 it was resolved at an annual
general meeting that pupils who reached a certain specified standard in
the College examinations, and whose general conduct was approved, should
be entitled to receive certificates. The first certificates under this
resolution were awarded in 1869 to four pupils. In 1875 it was resolved
at a Council meeting that those who obtained the College certificate
should be entitled Associates of the Ladies’ College, Cheltenham. These
associates are, with the consent of the Lady Principal, allowed to attend
any ordinary classes of the College without the payment of fees.

Following hard upon the introduction of public examinations for girls
came the cry of overwork. There was some reason in it; but it was
much, very much due to timidity and want of knowledge, as well as to
exaggeration. It is not necessary to repeat here the evidence which
Miss Beale began to collect even before she was a teacher herself,
and to which she was ever adding, to the effect that idleness and
_ennui_ have more and sadder victims than even misdirected energy and
overwork. A healthy prejudice against an empty, self-centred life is
steadily growing. The movement which its followers have named Christian
Science—also that which is preferably called Faith Healing—daily bring
to light instances of self-destruction caused by the slothful mind and
unruled will. None the less, the cry of overwork was not an empty one.
When first girls began to work for examinations, it was not known how
much or how little they could do. Miss Beale’s own opinions upon this,
as put before the Commission, were quite tentative. Clever teachers did
not always allow for slower-moving brains than their own. Nor was the
difference of temperament sufficiently observed and considered. The eager
and artistic mind would feel strain and fatigue where one less delicately
balanced might toil unwearied. It was not recognised how willing girls
are to be pressed, how eager they are to please, how unreasonable they
often are in their own arrangements for work, or how easy it is for them
to fall into the insincerity of making protracted hours of reading take
the place of concentrated mental effort. Head-mistresses and others who
had mastered difficulties alone, and who still carefully prepared every
lesson they gave, in spite of the pressure of daily affairs, had to learn
to reckon with these drawbacks. Examinations when first introduced must
from their very novelty have been a great anxiety to both teachers and
pupils. The best way of working for them and of resting before them had
to be discovered by experience. The pressure was less obvious with those
actually first in the field, as they would naturally be all of good
ability. The danger began when girls of smaller brain-power and equal
ambition, but ignorant of their limitations, dared to follow.

Complaints of overwork came often from homes where there was little
cultivation or regard for the things of the mind. Girls who could
produce, in what they called their ‘notes of lectures,’ statements
concerning ‘_heroic cutlets_’[44] and ‘_Lincoln’s hotel_’[45] had not,
it may be well understood, much intellectual background. Yet the wholly
unfounded complaints of the parents of such pupils would receive public
attention that was little deserved. There were others, whose parents
would have had them play a pretty part in home life in the afternoon and
evening, but who naturally did not find enough time for lessons unless
they sat up late or slurred them over. As it was never Miss Beale’s
intention that day-pupils should consider themselves to be anything but
‘in the schoolroom,’ the home work was not arranged to allow time for
more than the necessary walk or recreation.

The question of overwork is one that still agitates the scholastic
world. The real difficulty, at Cheltenham as elsewhere, is not with the
schoolgirl whose life is under supervision, but with the young teachers
and the elder pupils who have the management of their own time and
health, and have not yet learned their own limitations, or acquired a due
measure of self-control.

During the early period of the history of the College, Miss Beale came in
contact with minds and ideas outside her own school, chiefly by means of
the Schools’ Inquiry Commission, and the matter of public examinations.
Those who wished had the opportunity of learning her views through her
magazine articles and the pamphlets which she began at this time to
publish. The most notable of these was ‘The Address to Parents.’ Much of
this valuable little paper—one which in her early years as head-mistress
made Miss Beale’s ideas widely known among those who cared for real
education—had been anticipated in her address to the Social Science
Congress in 1865. Then she pleaded the cause of day-schools, urging for
them that they offered a training which did not separate children from
the influence of home.

    ‘Of course when children are educated at home, and an anxious
    mother daily sees and suffers from her children’s faults of
    temper and disposition, she will be tempted to think that she
    had better give up the training into other hands, and send them
    away. Doubtless this is sometimes wise, often unavoidable; but
    how frequently without necessity is the burden of parental
    responsibility temporarily cast aside, only to press with
    tenfold weight in later years. How many parents have learned
    bitterly to regret that they removed a daughter from the
    divinely appointed influences of home, and severed by long
    separation those bonds of affection which might have checked
    the young in the hour of temptation, and been the support and
    comfort of their own declining years.’

In 1869, in another address to the same Society, Miss Beale unfolded for
the first time her ideas of the help which should be given to girls who
were in need of education they could not afford, more especially to those
who wished to prepare for a life of teaching. ‘I propose,’ she said, ‘the
foundation of a new Benevolent Society, which shall be distinguished from
other societies by its rigid adherence to the principle of giving nothing
away.’ Instead of gifts, she suggested yearly loans of money, for the use
of which an exact account and report of work done should be rendered.
This Society has never been founded, but the work Dorothea Beale wished
it should do was carried on by herself, quietly and thriftily, but with
ever-widening operations, to the day of her death.

At one other point did Miss Beale at this period touch opinion outside
her own sphere. This was by writing for the Kensington Society,—a little
semi-educational association which during its short life included many
names of women who were in their day leaders in philanthropic work and
thought. The topics on which its members wrote or deliberated were such
as these:—

                                 17 CUNNINGHAM PLACE, LONDON, N.W.,
                                               _November 15, 1865_.

    _The Kensington Society._

    1. What are the limitations within which it is desirable to
    exercise personal influence?

    2. What are the evils attendant upon philanthropic efforts
    among the poor, and how may they be avoided?

    3. How does the cultivation of artistic taste affect the
    wellbeing of society?

Meanwhile the general work of the Ladies’ College, Cheltenham, was going
on quietly and steadily, developing in every best way. The valuable time
of the Principal was no longer taken up with the superintendence of
lessons and chaperoning music pupils. A larger and gradually improving
staff enabled her to arrange her own work so that it might be of the
greatest service to the College. But her increasing interest in education
at large, her ever-growing sense of having a special place in a large
movement, were never allowed to distract her mind from the work of the
hour. Rather, she used them as an inspiration for daily drudgery.

The preparation of lessons, the minute and careful correction of notes of
lectures,—monotonous work which demands a continuous strain of attention,
went on week by week. By means of this quiet, diligent toil she and
her fellow-workers were building the real College, of which the fine
structure whose first edition was opened in 1873 is but a sign and a
symbol.



CHAPTER VIII

ORGANISATION

    ‘Shepherds of the people had need know the Calendar of Tempests
    in the State; which are commonly greatest when things grow to
    equality, as natural tempests about the equinoctia.’—BACON.


    ‘With no feeling of exultation should we meet to-day, my
    children. Those of us who have long laboured at the work
    are indeed grateful that we have been permitted to see its
    accomplishment, but we are also deeply sensible that every
    increase of influence means an increase of responsibility;—that
    he who had five talents was required to bring other five.
    With larger numbers there is a stronger sense that we are a
    collective power for good or evil. And shall we doubt which is
    stronger? We dare not be so faithless. There is such a mighty
    prevailing power in the spirit of earnest devotion, that when
    only two or three are gathered together in His Name, for work
    as well as for prayer, His power is felt. What a power might we
    be for good if we were His disciples _indeed_.

    ‘Some say our school is Church-like. I am glad, for Churches
    are built to remind us that God is not far away, but very
    near to us, and this is the thought which should keep us from
    evil and fill us with gladness. May His Presence be seen in
    this house, seen in the lives and hearts of His children: May
    they remember that they, too, form one spiritual building.
    As each stone stands here in its appointed place, resting on
    one stone, supporting others; so are we a little community, a
    spiritual building; each is placed in her own niche, each has
    her appointed place, appointed by the Spiritual Architect; each
    is needful for the perfection of His design.

    ‘May we ever form part of that spiritual building, whose
    foundations are laid in faith and obedience. “Whoso heareth
    these sayings of mine and doeth them, he is like a man who
    laid the foundation and digged deep, and built his house upon
    a rock.” St. John wished for one of his converts that he
    might “prosper even as his soul prospered.” Let us desire only
    such prosperity. Let us ask for true wisdom, for lowliness of
    heart, that we may esteem others better than ourselves. Let
    us ask, above all, for that most excellent gift of charity,
    without which all else is as sounding brass, or a tinkling
    cymbal. Something of this spirit of love for one another does
    live among us, as we see by those who have come to join their
    prayers with ours to-day. I would ask them not to forget us
    afterwards, but to remember us when they return to their homes;
    and I would fain hope that this bond will last through coming
    years, and that the College, though transplanted to a new
    place, will always be to you “_the old College_.”’

In these words the Lady Principal addressed her staff, pupils, and a
small sprinkling of friends on the first morning of assembling in the new
building which, begun in January of previous year, was thus opened on
March 17, 1873. As the school hours ended on Saturday the 15th, a simple
order had been given to take home all the books, and to bring them to the
new College at the usual time on Monday. In the course of the afternoon
all desks and portable fittings were moved and arranged in order for
work. The appointment of places in the new hall was, so far as can be
remembered, a matter of a few minutes only, so quiet and free from fuss
was all College organisation. There was certainly not half an hour of
the ordinary lesson time lost. Yet it was a change which made an undying
impression. The quietness with which it came was wholly in accordance
with the spirit of the school. The regular work, undisturbed even for an
hour by the totally new surroundings, spoke emphatically of the response
of duty to every fresh inspiration and larger freedom.

And how beautiful those new surroundings seemed to the hundred and fifty
girls who were privileged to experience the change from the square,
unadorned rooms of Cambray House. Two churches at that time, one with
its high, fine spire, another with its lavish decoration, were all
that the town could show of the Gothic Renaissance which followed the
teachings of Ruskin and Morris. The Ladies’ College was early among
non-ecclesiastical buildings of this type. To some it may have seemed
florid, but not to the eyes of youth and hope, which took delight in
the pierced and patterned stone, the flowers in the coloured glass, the
arch of the windows, the unusual design of the lecture-rooms. These
caused teachers and pupils to ignore for the most part the undoubted
chilliness of the new rooms, and the ‘currents of air,’ about which some
parents wrote complaining letters, for at that time people were even
more afraid of draughts than they are to-day. It is worth mentioning, as
characteristic of Miss Beale’s mind, that she forgot very soon the exact
date of entrance into the new College; though when reminded of it each
year by her own birthday, or by the approach of spring and Lady Day, she
would on some suitable March morning say a few words at prayers: ‘It is
—— years to-day since we entered,’ etc.

In 1873 the building was but begun. It is a question if Miss Beale
herself dreamed of all that was to follow. There was as yet no house for
the Lady Principal, and for a year, while it was being built, she lived
with Mrs. Fraser, who had one of the three boarding-houses then existing.
The house completed in 1874, there followed in 1875 the first enlargement
of the College, the two hundred and twenty pupils for whom it was first
designed having rapidly become three hundred. At this time a second large
hall and more classrooms were added. In seven years the College had
doubled its numbers; hence in 1882 were built the art and music wings and
the kindergarten rooms, to be followed almost immediately by science
rooms and laboratories. After this the sound of the hammer was not heard
for nearly four years; but it is one which has a resounding echo in the
memories of College life. There were a few peaceful half-hours when it
was stopped for Scripture lessons, at all other times it was but a too
persistent reminder of prosperity and growth. A memory also abides of
crowded doorways and passages, overfull lecture-rooms, and a continual
looking forward to the increased accommodation which each new enlargement
would give.

This constant expansion as funds permitted was entirely after Miss
Beale’s heart. In 1891 she wrote to Miss Arnold:—

    ‘Yes, I do hope you will build, a good building is the best
    investment for money, if you have it. Let it be done gradually,
    as ours was. Plan for more than you can do at first, and build
    only what you can afford at the time. Don’t beg: it is much
    better to earn one’s living.’

Strange as it may appear, the building of a fit home for the College had
not taken place without opposition. Miss Beale relates in her _History_
that after the site for it had been purchased, the annual general meeting
of proprietors in 1871 voted by a majority interested in the Cambray
property that it should be re-sold. Dr. Jex-Blake, the Principal of the
Cheltenham College, and a member of the Ladies’ College Council, came to
the rescue, and in a special meeting of the same year spoke earnestly in
support of the plan for building. ‘Teachers so able and energetic and
successful have a right to the greatest consideration, and the very best
arrangements for teaching. A Ladies’ College so distinguished, second
to none in England, has a right to every advantage that can be secured
for it, a right to be lodged in a building of its own, a building
perfect in its internal arrangements, and outwardly of some architectural
attractiveness; one that should be a College, and should look like a
College. It is quite right to say, “Let well alone,” but that does not
involve letting _ill_ alone. The College has achieved brilliant success,
but that was not due to its having been cramped for room; and when no
longer cramped, its success will be greater.’ The resolution of the
earlier meeting was rescinded by fifty-nine votes to nine, and two months
later a contract was accepted for building from Mr. John Middleton’s
design. The site, for which £800 was given, was a part of the old Well
Walk where, between their glasses, George the Third and other famous
water-drinkers had once taken their daily constitutional.

In the matter of the building, Miss Beale had a struggle to get her
bold and comprehensive ideas carried out, but eventually she won the
day. It was hard for her, at the very moment when she seemed about to
realise her dreams for the expansion of the work of the College, to
receive orders which she felt to be new limitations. She had constantly
to explain her reasons and requirements to those who had a deep interest
in the welfare of the school, but who had not also the knowledge needed
for arrangements which Miss Beale felt and intended should be in the
hands of the Principal alone. The following letter which she wrote to a
member of the Council suggests some of her difficulties, and also her
method of skilfully and apparently accidentally stating the inconvenience
or disaster which would ensue if another arrangement than her own were
adopted:—

    ‘I have drawn up a ground-plan and tables, by the help of which
    I hope I may succeed in making clear to you the impossibility
    of conducting the College without the use of four class-rooms.
    I have never in the slightest degree departed from my original
    intention. Time-tables, classes, teachers, furniture, and
    building were all arranged to harmonise. It never occurred
    to me that any one would wish to interfere in the internal
    management, as it had never been done during the fifteen years
    I have been here. Great, therefore, was my surprise to receive
    a letter saying,—“I have had strict injunctions not to have
    desks put back into room 2.” If it is thought well to reduce
    the number of pupils, it can be done after Midsummer but not
    now, and to give up two class-rooms we must reduce our numbers
    not by twenty, but by fifty, _i.e._ by two whole classes. Our
    Hall is only ten feet longer than that in Cambray, and we then
    had the use of four class-rooms and one supplementary room,
    besides that assigned to Drawing and Callisthenics. With fifty
    additional pupils we cannot do with less, even though the
    class-rooms are larger. It is not impossible to teach a class
    sitting on chairs, I should not, therefore, insist on having
    desks, but they will certainly be much more convenient, and
    much more sightly; chairs will always look untidy. The desks I
    have match the furniture, the room was built to fit them, for
    examinations. I am therefore unwilling to have them sold for
    nothing. It is certainly necessary for the well-being of the
    College that the internal arrangements should be in the hands
    of one person; if this is not done, I can only foresee the
    occurrence of such disasters as we are familiar with, when the
    Head Master of a public school is interfered with by those who
    cannot see the daily working, and know all the complications.’

The new building was not the only cause of difference. The Lady
Principal, with her advanced ideas on women’s examinations, her desire
to help teachers, to increase the number of the pupils, seemed to some
members of the Council to be pushing the work into other fields than
those for which it was intended when first the Proprietary College for
Ladies was founded. ‘Local interest,’ a term not ominous of good in the
ears of great educators, demanded a good day-school for the daughters
of gentlemen, and nothing more. Some felt that, in the pursuit of
mathematical and scientific attainments for which special teachers and
classrooms were required, accomplishments such as drawing and painting
would be neglected. Some, who had watched the growth of the infant
College, and looked upon it almost as their own, interfered in small
ways, as in the arrangements of seats and rooms. The gossip mentioned
already was at its height during the first year in the new College, and
Miss Beale thought that it might have been prevented or much minimised
had all connected followed her counsel of perfection by being superior to
town talk.

More than all she felt the need of a larger outlook. The Council
should in her view include some members whose personal acquaintance
with the College and the needs of the town would give them a special
interest in it; but she desired to unite with these men and women of
intellectual power and large views whose experience would rank them among
educationists. And for the management of the boarding-houses, which were
now becoming each year a more important element in the College life,
opinion which could be untouched by local prejudices was needed.

Some of the anxieties of this time were expressed by Miss Beale in a
paper which she may have thought of reading to the Council. It began
thus:—

    ‘Until we moved into the new College a year ago, I had been
    singularly free from interference. The lesson learned when
    Miss Procter resigned and our College was nearly wrecked,
    had not been forgotten. Besides, we were poor, so there was
    little to quarrel about. With the removal to Bays Hill our
    real difficulties began. I had drawn the ground-plan with the
    greatest regard to economy of space. I was told the porch must
    not be used for entrance, and I was obliged to show we could
    not do without it.... Then I was asked to do with two instead
    of four or five lecture-rooms, and so on. I was obliged to
    prepare elaborate documents with ground-plans, etc., ere I
    could get leave to use the space provided, and without which
    the College could not be carried on.’

There were perhaps others who cared for the College, who realised no
less strongly than Miss Beale the advantage it would be to bring on to
the Council those who were less interested in it as a local institution
than as one of educational value for the country at large, but it was she
who undoubtedly took the lead in the steps made to this end. In this she
showed courage, for even those members of the Council who best understood
her views hesitated to support them, fearing an abrupt change which would
do more harm than good. They wrote to caution her:—

    ‘You must not expect men of Mr. Lowe’s mark to work on the
    C.L.C. Council; and you must not expect to see all go as
    you would wish at the meeting. You will find no member of
    Council but myself anxious to increase the powers of the Lady
    Principal, and probably they will not be much increased. And
    if you secure the majority of Council being non-local, which
    will be hard to secure, you will not secure their attendance at
    meetings held out of London.

    ‘And to get a satisfactory List to propose to Shareholders will
    be hard, for the best-known men in England will not join; and
    those who will join will not command votes largely; and so I
    advise moderation. I did my best at this last Council meeting
    to prepare the way for a “bloodless revolution” or quiet
    transition ... and I have seen Mr. Verrall. He is very friendly
    to you and to the College, and is a man of very good judgment
    as well as energy, and you are safe in talking or writing to
    him. For myself I feel less and less inclined to advise strong
    measures; and I do not see my way to getting the College on
    as broad a basis as I think it should stand on.... I advise
    you to think well and long before you get into an inextricable
    difficulty; and I think you will find your best friend and best
    support in one who for fifteen years (or nearly) has given much
    time and thought to the College, Mr. Brancker.

    ‘At the last Council meeting you showed great wisdom in
    accepting the adverse Resolution with equanimity.’

Differences of this kind pointed to a change of administration. As early
as 1865, in her address at Bristol, Miss Beale had pointed out the
difficulties besetting a school organised on the lines of Cheltenham:—

    ‘The machinery of proprietary colleges is somewhat complicated,
    and it is liable to get out of order. Thus, for example, if
    the shareholders agitate when a measure does not at once
    commend itself to their judgment, they may interfere with the
    efficiency, and endanger the existence of the institution.
    Secondly, none must attempt to carry out reforms in education,
    unless they have faith enough in their own system to work on
    quietly for a time, in the face of popular opposition, and
    unless they have a capital to fall back upon.’

Union for the general good—a single purpose in Principal, Council,
shareholders alike—this alone could prevent all serious and hindering
differences of opinion among them. It was for this union Miss Beale was
specially striving now. Her paper to the Council went on thus:—

    ‘ ... I should like this and other matters fixed, not in
    reference to my personal wishes, but according to what the
    most experienced persons think best. I shall see the Heads of
    all the principal Girls’ Schools probably when I am in London,
    and probably also an Endowed Schools’ Committee, and I shall
    learn from Mrs. William Grey what has been done at the Board
    of the Girls’ Day School Company; perhaps this may modify my
    views. Meanwhile I enclose a few suggestions I sent to Mr.
    Verrall.... I feel very strongly with you that if the College
    is at all to go on doing good work, it must not be governed
    by local members, and that it is a matter of the greatest
    importance that we should have upon our Board men of experience
    and judgment in educational matters. I would not keep more than
    two or three members of the present Council. It should be made
    a rule that no person who derives pecuniary profit, either
    directly or indirectly, should be a member of it. The point on
    which I feel most strongly just now is that the Principal must
    be able to select her fellow-workers, to appoint and dismiss.’

There is also an interesting letter to Mr. Verrall on the subject of her
authority:—

    ‘Of course, you are more likely than I am to know what is best
    in matters of government, still I think it may be well to
    express, as clearly as I can, what I feel in reference to the
    subject of my authority.

    ‘It does not seem to me as if things would be likely to go
    on long without revolutions in an institution governed by
    two irresponsible powers. The authority of an irresponsible
    Principal must of course be checked in _some way_, if not by
    constitutional means, then by a Russian system. It may be that
    the Czarina has been trying to carry out some good reforms,
    but if her plans differ from those of the Councillors, there
    is an end of them. Our present Councillors are now afraid of
    being in their turn made an end of by a shareholders’ meeting,
    but if the constitution, as I understood it, were carried,
    the shareholders would be powerless, and the Council might,
    for mere personal dislike, get rid of a Principal who opposed
    what was wrong. Of course, it will not do for a Committee
    to interfere with the Principal’s choice of teachers, and
    there will be anarchy unless she has the power of dismissal;
    but virtually there will always be a power of appeal to the
    Committee inasmuch as they _would_, if partisans of any
    official, dismiss the Principal to reinstate her.’

Many members of the College Council desired change and enlargement. One
wrote: ‘I cannot think it right to leave Miss Beale or any other Lady
Principal to the mercies of a purely local Council ... for I think with
such a Council no good Lady Principal could long agree.’

Among those whom Miss Beale consulted at this crisis, and from whom she
received sympathy, were Dr. Jex-Blake, then head-master of Rugby, and Sir
Joshua Fitch, who later on became a member of the Council.

The desired reform was brought about in 1875, when at a general meeting
in March the relative powers of the proprietors, Council, and Principal
were more clearly defined and the number of the governing body
increased. The Council then elected consisted of the following:—

    LIFE MEMBERS

    The Right Hon. Earl Granville, K.G., D.C.L., F.R.S., Chancellor
    of the University of London.

    The Right Hon. Lord Lyttelton.

    The Right Hon. Sir Edward Ryan, M.A., F.R.S.

    J. Storrar, Esq., M.D., Chairman of Convocation of the
    University of London.

    The Rev. H. Walford Bellairs, Rector of Nuneaton.

    The Rev. Canon Barry, Principal of King’s College, London.

    Miss Buss, Principal of the North London Collegiate School for
    Girls.

    W. Dunn, Esq., Cheltenham.

    H. Verrall, Esq., Brighton.

    T. Marriott, Esq., Victoria Street, Westminster.

    S. S. Johnson, Esq., Nottingham.

    ORDINARY MEMBERS

    The Rev. Herbert Kynaston, Principal of the Cheltenham College.

    The Rev. W. Wilberforce Gedge, Malvern Wells.

    The Rev. Dr. Morton Brown, Cheltenham.

    E. T. Wilson, Esq., M.B. (Oxon.), Cheltenham.

    General M’Causland, Cheltenham.

    F. D. Longe, Esq., Cheltenham.

    John Middleton, Esq., Cheltenham.

    T. Morley Rooke, Esq., M.D. (London), Cheltenham.

    Miss Mary Gurney, London.

    Miss Lucy March Phillipps, Cheltenham.

    Mrs. James Owen, Cheltenham.

    Miss Catherine Winkworth, Clifton.

Much was gained by this remodelling, but the period of uneasy development
was not yet over. One annual meeting which discussed the constitution
of the College appears in private notes made by the Principal for her
_History_ as ‘Bear Garden.’ Reorganisation was seen to be essential.
The College, founded in 1853 as a voluntary association, had by 1880
grown far beyond the calculations of its founders. Besides the school
buildings and the Lady Principal’s house, it possessed Fauconberg House
and the sanatorium at Leckhampton. To give it a safe legal foundation it
was therefore registered ‘with limited liability’ under the Companies’
Acts of 1862 and 1867, without the addition of the word ‘limited’ to its
name. New regulations concerning the holding of shares and property—the
appointment of officers—were also made.

    ‘The Shareholders formally renounced all interest on their
    shares, and on January 31, 1880, the College was duly
    incorporated. On May 1 of the same year, the Lady Principal and
    other officials were formally re-elected.

    ‘The new Constitution provided for a Governing Body of
    twenty-four Members, of whom eighteen, namely twelve men and
    six women, were to be Members elected by the Shareholders,
    and the remaining six Representative Members, each holding
    office for six years. The six Representative Members were to be
    appointed by: (1) The Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol; (2) The
    Hebdomadal Council of the University of Oxford; (3) The Council
    of the Senate of the University of Cambridge; (4) The Senate of
    the University of London; (5) The Lady Principal; and (6) The
    Teachers.

Miss Beale did not often speak of the difficulties which necessarily
she had to meet, as one called upon to direct the development of a
great institution. But she had counsel and sympathy for those who were
similarly placed. Miss Buss wrote thus to Miss Ridley of help she
obtained from her:—

    ‘I had a long and grave talk to Miss Beale, who counsels fight,
    but not on any personal ground. She says, “Resign, if there is
    interference with the mistress’ liberty of action. That is a
    public question, and one of public interest.” She was so good
    and loving; she was so tender; and she is so wise and calm. She
    told me some of her own worries, and said that sometimes she
    quivered in every nerve at her own Council meetings. People
    came in and asked for information, involving hours of work for
    no result; ignored all that had been done, and talked as if
    they alone had done everything and knew everything. She urged
    me to try and be _im_personal, so to speak; to remember that
    these and similar difficulties would always occur where there
    are several people. She said that _women_ were always accused
    of being _too personal_, and harm was done by giving a handle
    to such an assertion.’[46]

The first efforts of the new Council to grapple with their task
revealed that one source of difficulty lay in the government of the
boarding-houses. The early founders had foreseen this when, in their
first prospectus, they announced that they would not be responsible for
any houses. Experience, however, soon showed that by this policy, grave
dangers were at the same time incurred. Into Miss Beale’s early struggle
for pupils the question of boarding-houses scarcely entered, though
for the want of them she often had sadly to witness the loss of good
pupils to the College. There were among the day-pupils many children of
Anglo-Indians in England for a time. On the return of these parents to
India, they were forced to make boarding arrangements for the children
left behind. It was not till 1864 that the first regularly constituted
boarding-house was opened under Miss Caines. This was at 24 Lansdown
Place, now joined to No. 25, and known as St. Helen’s. In 1870 Miss
Caines removed to Fauconberg House, the first property purchased by the
College.

It was only through actual experience that the position of the
boarding-house and its head could be defined. In point of fact, this
situation had to grow and develop according to the requirements of
the College, which as formerly had to constitute precedents and make
experiments. It is but seldom that the details of any great scheme can
be arranged beforehand with deliberate judgment, that all difficulties
can be foreseen, and occasions of conflict avoided. They are more
often worked out by single-minded intention which can endure through
small errors and trifling disputes. The Lady Principal’s position was
rendered more difficult by the tacit opposition of ‘local interest’ to
the extension of boarding-house accommodation. The very existence of the
College had been for many years precarious. Few people in Cheltenham
wished it to become anything more than a suitable day-school for the
sisters of boys at the College. Consequently a lady who took boarders was
regarded with no special favour, and her actions were very often severely
criticised.

In the difficult work of forming and increasing boarding-houses, mistakes
were made by many. Miss Beale’s own belief in others, her habit of
accepting people at their own estimate, of believing they were what she
wished them to be, of judging character from her wide experience of books
rather than from that of life, sometimes led her astray in her choice
of fellow-workers. She who in her lonely position often felt the need
of sympathy, to which she was ever responsive, was anxious to give it,
even where she could not understand. This made her slow to bring about
a change, lest sufficient opportunity for amendment had not been given.
On the other hand, sometimes she could see that a change should be made
promptly, but as she could not act alone a dangerous delay would ensue.

At first the position of a head of a boarding-house was little defined,
and it was hard sometimes for a clever, well-intentioned woman, anxious
to do the best for the children in her care, not to regard the work of
the house as primary, that of the College as secondary only. One lady,
who was extremely capable and interested in her work, was ambitious to
make her boarding-house a complete institution in itself, rather than an
integral part of the College. Many of the girls in her charge came as
her own relations or friends; she chose to adopt the position that it
was right for her to decide whether they should be taught at her house
or sent to College, and she denied the right of any one to interfere in
her management. She also claimed the right to take another house for
herself and her own children, where she could receive and entertain her
friends. As soon as Miss Beale’s eyes were opened to the danger of such
independent action, she did not hesitate a moment on the right course to
be pursued with regard to the boarding-house management. She perceived
that in this matter, as in the work of the school, there was no standing
ground between obedience and independence. ‘I am so sorry for Miss
Beale,’ wrote Mrs. William Grey to Miss Buss, ‘and so glad our Council
determined to have nothing to do with Boarding-Houses. I cannot help
thinking that the wisest course for the Cheltenham Council would be to
wash their hands of them, only reserving to themselves, as we have, the
right to refuse pupils from a house they disapprove of. There seems to me
no tolerable alternative between this and the hostelry system.’

It may be safely said that never, even in moments of worst annoyance,
did Miss Beale ever propose to ‘wash her hands’ of the boarding-houses.
She felt they should be ‘organically related’ to the College life, a
part of it which she could not do without, one which had in it great
possibilities for extending and strengthening the influence of the
College teaching, one which, neglected, must be an infinite source
of difficulty, by which the standard of the corporate life might be
lowered, and its best work hindered.

So she persisted, lending her whole mind and strength to help in the
evolution of a system which should be fair to individuals and the best
for the College as a body. In 1890, after she had won her point, she
wrote to Miss Arnold, then head-mistress of the Truro High School, who
had consulted her on the subject:—

    ‘I think I told you that after many years, I have prevailed on
    our Council to take the whole risk of the boarding-houses,—the
    pecuniary risk is of course very great, and in case of war
    or sudden depression, I don’t exactly see how we should meet
    it, but one must have risks, and we find the moral risks of
    not taking pecuniary ones so great that we decided for the
    latter—and indeed we had to pay pretty considerable sums in
    law expenses and to get rid of unjust claims too. We could not
    _prove_ that these ladies had not lost money, if they said they
    had—and if they were bad managers they did perhaps lose—and an
    outcry was raised that we ruined poor ladies!’

But the difficulties to be encountered on the way to this consummation
were by no means slight, and involved great personal anxiety and pain. It
was especially hard to her that she should be known by her own pupils to
be in opposition to any who had been set over them. It was hard to feel
that many with their partial knowledge of facts must misunderstand her,
or childishly attribute her actions to commonplace motives of jealousy
and love of power. Some part of these difficulties became fully public
in 1882, when the College was involved in a libel case, and a lawsuit
which was settled by arbitration. Exoneration from all blame followed in
both instances. In the arbitration case the judgment was delivered by
Mr. Justice Charles, and placed in a sealed envelope with the injunction
that either party might open it on payment of £350. The Council did not
think it necessary to pay this money. Eventually those who had brought
the action against the College did so, to find that the judgment had been
pronounced against them on every count. It was a victory for the College
and the Principal, but it had not been achieved without great toil and
suffering on Miss Beale’s part. She dreaded the cross-examination with
all the nervousness of a sensitive nature. Speaking of it afterwards, and
of all it had cost her, she ever associated with the pain the remembrance
of the immense help and sympathy she had received from her friend Mrs.
James Owen, then a member of the Council, and would say, ‘Mrs. Owen
said I should not be scorched in the fire.’ She was also upborne by
the loyalty of her fellow-workers, both teachers and boarding-house
mistresses, who signed a joint expression of their sympathy with her in
her time of anxiety. Miss Buss gave more than words of sympathy, she was
present herself in the arbitration-room when the case was tried. When it
was over she wrote to her friend to this effect: ‘Yesterday I made the
personal acquaintance of Miss ——. I fell in love with her because she is
so intensely loyal to Cheltenham and to “dear Miss Beale.” I think if you
could have heard her talk, unknown to her, you would have felt that the
severe trial you have had to go through was more than compensated for by
the love and loyalty it has called out to you and the College.’

The increase in the number of the boarding-houses, with their slightly
different characteristics, brought an obvious advantage to the College.
It led the way to still cheaper houses, and to the promotion of that
work so dear always to Miss Beale, helping poor students and training
teachers. Never heartily sympathetic with what is generally called
charitable work, afraid of seeing money given without a really
equivalent return in usefulness and good work, there was one appeal to
which she never turned a deaf ear. Probably she never knew any case of a
girl honestly trying to improve herself, and failing in the effort for
want of means, without trying to help her. Her usual plan was to advance
money, which she found was almost invariably returned to her in the
course of time. She would, wherever it seemed right, ask for its return
on the ground that it might be of use to others, and because she was ever
careful to make those she helped recognise that the possession of money
is a stewardship only. But it was offered and lent and sometimes given
in such a way that there should be no personal feeling of obligation
and debt. ‘There is a loan fund,’ she would say when there occurred a
question of the removal of a promising pupil from the College on the
score of expense. And hardly any one ever heard her say more than this of
the large system of help which she initiated and to a very great extent
sustained alone. Some of the boarding-house mistresses generously took
one girl free, or for very low terms, but the work was quietly done,
known only to few.

The establishment of scholarships did not fit into Miss Beale’s
educational schemes. She was not wholly opposed to them. One, in 1870,
was accepted for the College, when Colonel Pearce bestowed a gift of
£1000 to found the Pearce Scholarship for the daughter of an army
officer, and Miss Beale in the last year of her life established one for
Casterton. But she had a great horror of a system by which one school or
college could buy promising pupils from others, and she held that it was
hard on earnest students who were not naturally quick to see assistance
given only to ability. ‘I have refused,’ she said at a later period,
‘all scholarships except one, the chief condition of which is poverty.
Three scholarships have been offered unasked, and an endowment for two
prizes, which would have formed a good advertisement, every year, but I
have refused all.’

As the College grew, Miss Beale felt more and more the need of a house
where those who were trying to train themselves to be teachers could
board inexpensively, and in 1876 was made that beginning which, as she
said, was ‘full of blessing to the College, and of much use beyond its
bounds.’ This was before the Maria Grey Training College was opened,
and when there was no institution at all in which women could receive
definite preparation for becoming teachers in secondary schools.

Miss Mary Margaretta Newman, member of a family which had shown itself
sympathetic and interested in Miss Beale’s work from the first, offered
to take a furnished house for a small number of students, to give her
services, and contribute besides £75 a year towards expenses. Miss Newman
had seen, whilst helping Miss Selwyn in her school at Sandwell, how much
some such assistance was needed; how many girls of good social standing
were struggling to obtain the training necessary to fit them to earn
their living as teachers. She therefore provided a home for a few, and
by her quiet, gentle influence supplemented the College work, and won
the affections of her household. ‘What we felt most was the simplicity
with which she gave so much. She seemed unconscious that she was doing
anything remarkable in going to live in a small house, with one servant,
and undertaking all the labour such an economy implied.’[47]

Miss Newman’s work went on for scarcely a year, for at the end of 1877,
after a very short illness, aggravated by the burden she had willingly
laid upon herself, she died, leaving the work but just begun indeed,
yet full of promise, and rendered by her sacrifice and death a sacred
charge to the College and the Lady Principal. So indeed Miss Beale felt
it to be, and in after years she would remember the life given in the
cause she herself had so much at heart, and would write in her diary on
December 31: ‘I think of Miss Newman’s death. Shall I not follow her
example?’ Then for the first time Miss Beale, who had always maintained
and acted on the principle that the College should earn its own living,
asked for money to buy and furnish a suitable house for girls who could
not afford the terms of the boarding-houses. She could not bear to refuse
the many applications she received from those who were too poor to
help themselves. About £1200 was immediately collected, one half being
contributed by the College staff.

The work thus begun extended so rapidly that in little more than five
years it was seen to be necessary that it should have a building of
its own, and the trustees who had the management of the funds decided
to build a residential College. This was opened under the name of St.
Hilda’s in 1885.

The first ten years in the new buildings were a time of larger
development for the College than any other in its history. Miss Beale’s
own active life was also more full, and not less anxious, than it had
ever been. There was never again a time of depression such as the year
1871 had been, when the College seemed to be almost losing ground, when
in the whole course of the year only three fresh pupils entered. But
the rapid increase on every hand of new, good, cheap schools naturally
fed her anxiety at a period when she had to justify to the Council her
constant demand for more classrooms, music-rooms, halls, laboratories.
She saw the immense importance of keeping ahead in these things. Other
schools had endowments or guaranteed capital, the College could only
increase and improve its plant out of the fees paid by the pupils. The
Lady Principal did not wish it otherwise; but the constant remembrance
of this made her very careful in expenditure, and ever desirous that all
individual interest should be lost to sight in regard for the common
welfare. There was something sharper than anxiety to bear over the
boarding-house difficulties and the reconstitution of the Council. So
much patience was needed, so much judgment in decisions, in avoiding
mistakes, in retrieving them when made, that time and thought might well
have been occupied with the care of actualities alone.

Yet it will not be surprising to some to know that it was just in these
years that her inner life also became more full and more active, and that
she was called upon to go through mental crises of great moment. The
habit of prayer, difficult to maintain in a busy life, was strengthened
by attendance at Retreats; a practice begun in 1877 to be continued
yearly. Reading of every kind, with the exception of fiction, was
diligently kept up, and thought was never more active.

The intellectual and spiritual struggles of this time permanently
affected Miss Beale’s work and teaching. They cannot be passed over.



CHAPTER IX

DE PROFUNDIS

    ‘Es sind die, so viel erlitten
    Trübsal, Schmerzen, Angst, und Noth,
    Im Gebet auch oft gestritten
    Mit dem hochgelobten Gott.’

                         THEODOR SCHENK.


Dorothea Beale—largely owing to her sensitive nature and high ideals—had
had her full share of the sufferings and disappointments of youth. And
when she had gained the experience and habits of more mature years,
when she had schooled herself to bear, when her position was assured,
when she was free to associate largely with those most sympathetic to
her, her zeal for the best ever caused a pressing sense of effort and
strain. Certain commonplace troubles she had not known, as, for example,
the want of money—a need which in fact she never experienced, and never
really understood in others. And on the whole her health had been good.
She regarded it as one of her first duties to consider this, and except
for the fact that she had an inherent indifference to the character of
the food she ate, the duty was not neglected. But in 1878 she was called
upon to go through a period of weakness and anxiety which limited her
powers for the time. In spite of her great self-control she was obliged
to relax a little, to take more rest, while the effort to preserve that
self-control made her seem, to some who knew nothing of it, hard and
unsympathetic. Very little indeed did she say of what she went through
at this time, because she thought it best for others that she should be
reserved and silent on the subject. The College and Miss Beale seemed to
have a stability which could not be touched or changed, and she knew the
value of this characteristic to her work. Probably no one in the College,
and hardly any one outside it, perhaps none except her sisters and Miss
Clarke, knew how near she was at this time to an absolute breakdown. The
diary, still persistently kept, continued to be little more than a record
of struggle against particular faults; yet here, from an occasional word
and expression, the weariness and anxiety of the time may be gauged.

The year opened for Miss Beale with a special renewal of effort. Canon
Body’s addresses at a Retreat she attended in Warrington Crescent in
the first days of January were full of inspiration to her. This meant
actively fresh effort, keener self-scrutiny, more watchfulness. ‘I
remember,’ she wrote on January 24, the opening day of College, ‘I
remember with grief the many neglects of the past. Forsake me not,
neither reward me after my deserts.’

The next few weeks show a pathetic struggle against a growing sense of
weakness. At first she blamed herself if duty was neglected, then as
she knew herself to be ill, still felt that more might have been done,
refusing to take sickness as an excuse. There are many living who were
at College at this period, and to them the picture of this effort and
suffering going on in the background of all that then seemed unfailingly
vital and positive must have a double interest,—increasing tenderness for
the memory of her who for their sakes was bearing a daily burden of pain,
encouraging to fresh zeal by showing what a brave spirit may do even in
weakness and depression. A few extracts to show this follow:—

    ‘Jan. 26. Nothing of real work done since school, and but
              little in the morning.

       ”  31. Inattentive. Spoke unkindly without cause. Irritable.

     Feb.  3. Did not do best for literature class. Felt feeble and
              did not try as I ought.

       ”   9. [There] ought to be more industry in writing for
              Saturday lectures. The night cometh.

       ”  11. I grieve for the stupid lesson I gave Division III.,
              because not well prepared.

       ”  14. Still great waste of time. How much have I to
              learn in this little time of life left to me.

       ”  15. Too much depressed, feeling I _can’t_. Perhaps more
              variety and exercise wanted. Certainly more trust
              and energy.

       ”  16. More than one hour wasted in idle thoughts, 5-6 A.M.,
              and yet I have work for others which I ought to
              have thought of, and lessons. I deserve to be left
              without help. _Evening._ Not much matter or order
              in lessons. Tired and discontented with self. Neglect
              of books. More trust and energy wanted.

       ”  26. I have idled away precious time, neglected individual
              work. Because my own will is weak, I could
              not strengthen [another].

       ”  27. In bed all day. There are duties still undone,
              though I see death near.

       ”  28. Not in College. Much time wasted and [I was]
              disobedient to the voice of duty.

     March 1. Still great waste of energy in idle thoughts. Talk
              of zeal but no religious work done to-day, though
              there are so many individuals I am ever putting off.

       ”   2. Omitted teachers’ class, which with less of idle
              thoughts I might have done.

       ”   5. Too exhausted to do much. Give me true contrition
              for the past.

       ”   6. Time not well used in afternoon. Letter to Miss
              Clarke.

       ”  14. Was ill last night. Almost no individual work.

       ”  15. A little more work for my children to-day. I thank
              Thee for some help. May I consecrate time and
              energies to Thee.

       ”  17. Have not prayed well for to-morrow—was tired,
              but did waste some time. Not attentive enough at
              Church.... Surely to-day’s negligence might
              humble me!

       ”  18. Rose thirty-five minutes late through carelessness.

       ”  19. Back to College. Shall I patiently resign my work
              as soon as He bids?

       ”  20. Evening examination shortened because delayed.
              It was not necessary, though I am idle. Ordered
              away. Thy will be done.

       ”  21. Sent to Hyde. Forty-seven. (This was her birthday.)
              For the grievous neglect of past time enter
              not into judgment. Sanctify the future!

       ”  22. Make me ever more constant to resign to Thee
              my will.

       ”  23. More ill, so tried to be idle, but did what thought
              I could. Vain thoughts of self-pity.

       ”  24. No Church. Have wasted time. Great inattention
              at prayer.

       ”  25. Talking, and therefore late, at least half an hour.
              Miss Belcher came.

       ”  27. George came. Was ill most of afternoon. Did
              nothing.

       ”  28. I thank Thee for hopes of more work. Make me
              more restful and faithful. Power of prayer fails.
              Grant me the spirit of holy fear.

     April 2. Back at Cheltenham.

       ”   3. I ought to have specially husbanded strength.

       ”   5. Tried, but not successfully, with my Confirmation
              children. Feeling too ill to do well. Thy will be
              done.

       ”   7. Holy Eucharist. Ill at night. The Lord thy
              refuge, and underneath the everlasting arms.

       ”   8. Better class. Was helped.

       ”  13. Not punctual because sleepless. Read Mr. Hinton’s
              _Life_ and was helped by it. Confirmation at Christchurch.
              _Summary_ [of the term]. Time wasted, idle prayer,
              boasting. Intercessions [neglected] because too selfish.

       ”  16. Came to Hyde [for the holidays].’

So ended a term of great anxiety. One medical opinion, doubtless referred
to in her diary of March 20, was of such a nature, that Miss Beale
thought she must resign her work at once. At Hyde her sisters persuaded
her to rest and to see another doctor, who took a more hopeful view,
which was wholly justified by her gradual return to health.

Among the few who knew of this sorrow was the old pupil and friend,
Miss Margaret Clarke. To her Miss Beale wrote from Hyde before she had
received the second medical opinion, and the reply shows, far more than
the diary can tell us, how deep was the gloom which hung over her way at
this time. It might well have been written three years later, when Miss
Beale was called upon to undergo greater suffering than any bodily pain
alone can give, and suggests to those who read it now, that the darkness
of that later time was shadowing her spirit even as early as this. The
interest of it is the greater because it shows another who like Dorothea
Beale, while faithful to her work, unsparing in care and thought for her
children, had been called upon personally to know spiritual anguish. Such
suffering, such loss, such deeper realisation of Divine love as are read
in this letter are surely the portion of those who, having given much and
helped many, are called to some further work of sympathy, needing perhaps
‘heart’s blood.’

    ‘MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,—Your letter touches me so nearly, and
    calls out such true sympathy, that I cannot help yielding
    myself to the impulse to answer you, as one who, by her own
    experience, knows the pain and suffering you are now passing
    through. Last year at this time I was in it, and possibly just
    where you are now, where my complete faith in all that was most
    dear to me was tested; yes, tested and sifted, till all human
    longings and cravings, even those the most lawful, were laid
    low; God Himself seemed to draw near, and strip the soul of all
    it prized, and was proud of, asking one thing after another
    of it, and last of all the heart, whole and unshared, until,
    when Good Friday came, it could sympathise with the Crucified,
    as it had never done before. Not that all that had not been
    done before as I believed, but this was in a way deeper, more
    searching than the soul had yet realised. I do not know if I
    am making myself clear to you, for it is difficult to put it
    into words. It was the unlearning human wisdom, and the getting
    ready to be “a little child,” to learn Divine Wisdom, in the
    school of the Kingdom of the Incarnate Word.

    ‘And then, when all was yielded, at least in will, then came a
    desolation time, which none but those who have passed through
    it can know—a living death, as it were; the soul having just
    power to cling to the Invisible Cross, and say the Creed, as a
    witness perhaps more to itself, that faith was alive, than to
    God as an act of faith in Him. I never slept, (I was for) whole
    nights awake, (the) brain always at work trying to solve the
    difficult problems of God’s wisdom, and circumstances in my own
    life, and to find out what _was_ right, what _was_ His Will. At
    last I was given a simple faith _blindly_ to give myself to God
    for whatever He wished for me. To let go reasonings and what
    I thought, etc., and say just as a little child “Our Father”
    with intention for what He willed. I did not know what it might
    be, but He knew, and I would trust Him, and then I went on to
    (think of) that seventeenth chapter of St. John, and claimed
    my share in the benefits of that prayer, in the answer that is
    ever coming to each separate member of Christ’s Body all along
    the years since it was prayed.

    ‘And so, gradually, the passage was made into a nearer region,
    a nearer relationship to God, if I may so express myself. But
    I must not go on writing in this way. I can only tell you that
    what was then only a trembling venture of Faith has become a
    substantial reality in the life of the soul; the whole being,
    body, soul and spirit being penetrated by it, and the whole of
    life transformed by the “sunshine” which makes itself felt,
    even through stray clouds, which must come sometimes, and there
    is rest and peace in the soul—divine peace.

    ‘Forgive me, dear Miss Beale, for writing in a way I scarcely
    ever do to any one.

    ‘I know how impossible it will be for you to rest, but do try
    to do so, as long as you can.’

After the Easter holidays Miss Beale was much better in health, and
though her work through the summer was carried on with a good deal of
strain and weariness, she was able to do it as fully as usual. The summer
holidays were spent partly at Hyde Court with her mother, and partly at
Cheltenham, and by the end of them she was much rested and again able
to take the walks she enjoyed. The opening day of the autumn term was
September 17. ‘Help me not to disgrace my profession!’ she exclaimed in
her diary of that day.

Two years after this date Hyde Court ceased to be the regular holiday
home, for in November 1881 Mrs. Beale died. In one of her later letters
to her ‘Principal’ daughter she had written: ‘I hunger to see you, my
darling. You have been so good to me always, your reward will come.’
Such words of praise are dear indeed when the lips that spoke them are
cold. They were treasured by Miss Beale. But in this bereavement, as in
all times when made conscious of the shadow of death, specially of her
own, she tried to face the mystery with clear-sighted gaze, to realise
sincerely the impression it was meant to produce. She would not let
expressions of comfort and hope, which she welcomed and accepted to the
full, or any brightness brought by the kindness of the living, hide for
her the penitential aspect of death.

The following fragmentary thoughts seem to come from the very chamber of
death, and were written on the day of the month which was to be the date
of her own death, twenty-five years later:—

                                               ‘_November 9, 1881._

    ‘At first death seemed, as I looked at that pale face, simply
    terrible—how could I die? This morning I went again and touched
    the cold hand, and gazed into the face, so calm and wax-like.
    She who had rejoiced over my birth fifty years ago was now
    perhaps watching me. Does the spirit linger round its earthly
    tabernacle for a while? The memory of old times came back—not
    only the love and unselfishness, but the harshness too, the
    faults, the sins, I find in myself—surely she feels it now as
    the light shines on her. Does she not see herself more as God
    sees her? For every sinful word we shall give account. Surely
    this sorrow is a purifying fire, and the words are true, if we
    would judge ourselves here we shall not be judged.

    ‘Here, where we have partaken together of His Body and Blood,
    I kneel near that empty tabernacle—but a spiritual Presence is
    with us—purifying us both and drawing us nearer to Him in Whom
    living and dead are one.

    ‘Bless and purify our spirits, O Lord, with the dew of Thy
    grace, make us gentler and holier. Through the veil we seem to
    see Thee nearer. Longing, praying that we may not, as the rich
    man, have to feel the burning shame for our unloving spirit,
    now that we see His love, His tender, searching eye.

    ‘It becomes to me a sacred chapel, I can scarcely bear to part.
    The room is fragrant with the gifts of tender flowers from
    loving friends, and there is a peace here abiding in the sense
    of God’s continued, loving, healing discipline. “I change not!”’

During these years outside interests multiplied. New friendships were
formed; some old ones were strengthened. The College Magazine, the first
definite link forged with old pupils, was begun in 1880. Miss Beale made
more acquaintances outside the College. In London she met many who shared
her educational interests. In Cheltenham she attended, and often read
and spoke at, a small literary gathering called the Society of Friends,
which met from time to time at different houses. The diary becomes full
of reference to Mrs. Middleton and Mrs. Owen. Through Mrs. Middleton
she came to know Mr. Wilkinson’s[48] great evangelistic work in his
fashionable London parish. She often went to hear him preach, read his
books, and showed them to others. Mrs. Owen introduced her to the _Life_
and philosophy of James Hinton, which made a very deep impression. At
Mr. Owen’s house she met many earnest social workers and thinkers. Among
these was Miss Ellice Hopkins, whose devoted work revived in tenfold
force her early pity for those who need to be ‘found.’ The increasing
vigour of the College life and work was ever bringing in new ideas. Men
who were making their mark as thinkers and teachers of their own special
subjects often came to lecture. Among the most enthralled listeners to
the eloquence of Professor William Knight, to the marvellous fairy-tales
of science told by Professor Barrett, was the Lady Principal herself.
Teachers and educationists of widely different views came to see the work
of the school, often to find that the successful head-mistress who was
able to show them so much was willing and eager to learn from them, and
to see matters from their standpoint. Meanwhile she was reading as widely
and eagerly as ever.

It was a time when long-accepted opinions were unsettled for many, by new
scientific theories, or by a greater sensitiveness to the mystery of pain
and the apparent indifference of a part of the so-called religious world
in presence of the deepest wrongs and suffering. Dorothea Beale had to
take her part in the special difficulties of her own day. The battle has
been shifted to another ground for this generation, which scarcely knows
what resistance was made, what suffering was endured by some heroic souls
in the last, and at what a price a larger spiritual consciousness was
bought.

The contact with so many minds, the widening circle of acquaintance with
workers of different views and methods, and especially the appeal for
aid in religious perplexity constantly made by those who came under her
influence, doubtless helped to precipitate that sorrow, which, though in
its acutest phase of short duration, was the sharpest trial Miss Beale
was ever called upon to experience; one on which she never ceased to look
back with horror. She who had said that she ‘could truly take to herself
the words of Faber,’[49] who had been from earliest childhood conscious
of a protecting Presence, and had even then ‘found prayer a joy,’ now in
late middle life felt herself, as it were, cast out. At an age when the
inexperienced questionings of youth were over, when she hoped to find
faith and hope strengthened by knowledge, it seemed for a moment as if
they had died down altogether.

    ‘Nel mezzo cammin di nostra vita
    Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
    Che la diritta via era smarrita.’

To write of it is to turn a page of soul-history so intimate, and for a
moment so painful, that it may well be thought it should be passed over
in silence. But to omit it would not be wholly faithful to the memory
of one who wished certainly that this story of her inner life should be
known to all who could be helped by it. To tell it, moreover, is to use
her own words, for she wrote of it herself, more than once or twice.
She felt, when she looked back on it afterwards, that she was obliged
to go through this time of suffering in order that she might be better
fitted to do the work given her, in order that others who had lost faith
and hope might be helped to regain them, by knowing how she herself had
passed from destruction and despair to hope and rebuilding.

The diary of this whole period is more than ever indicative of inward
strife and unrest from which she would not by her own will escape to any
comfort other than the highest. Among the entries, which are for the most
part self-analytical and depressed, it is curious to find this: ‘Letter
from —— Some vanity perhaps in the refusal.’

It was an offer of marriage from an old friend.

Once or twice there is a hint of coming sorrow before she was
conscious what its nature would be. Once, when marking the anniversary
of a friend’s death, she noted herself as ‘perplexed with the
Incomprehensible.’ On June 27, 1881, a year before the darkness closed
in, she wrote: ‘A great dread of coming sorrow, as of a calvary before
me. If some bitter cup is to be poured out, Thy will be done. Only
forsake me not! _Salvator Mundi!_’

The new year (of 1882) opened as usual with renewed self-dedication; but
she mentions that she came back to Cheltenham on January 14, after the
annual Retreat, ‘very broken.’ Though a persistent effort to keep up
her religious rule was maintained, the clear shining of faith was much
clouded. One who went to her for help at that time writes of it thus:—

    ‘I went to her in sore trouble at the beginning of 1882, in one
    of the overwhelming griefs of extreme youth, when the whole
    aspect of life has suddenly changed from a lovely rose-garden
    ... to a hideous waste. The very things which made it lovely
    seemed to be shining and horrible shams, with undreamed-of
    treachery and horror lurking behind everything. It was the
    culminating disillusionment to turn to her who had been such
    a tower of patient strength all through school-life, and find
    _nothing_, no help, no comfort, no explanation, no hope to
    give! Yet while there were many at that time whom I could not
    endure to see, or do with because of the feeling of betrayal
    all round, there was never that with her. It never dawned on my
    _mind_ for a moment that she was herself in the horrible mire,
    but I understood, I suppose, in my heart. I felt sorry for her
    and loved her better than ever before, and I never understood
    till now the reason of the tender intimacy of that time, which
    lay under the apparent disappointment of finding no help or
    comfort where I had made sure of it.’

This powerlessness to help those who turned to her in their spiritual
need made more poignant the sense of loss to one who loved to give
freely as a mother to her children. ‘Then others came,’ she wrote
afterwards of this time, ‘and one felt like the starving mother who saw
the babe at her empty breast. I had no simple truths, no milk of the word
to give them that they might grow thereby.’

A letter to a friend mentions books which had a destructive effect as
read at this time. It was not Miss Beale’s habit deliberately to read a
book which was likely to disturb or weaken faith. To an old pupil who
once wrote to her of Strauss’s book, _The Old Faith and the New_, she had
replied:—

                                                 ‘_September 1873._

    ‘I feel sorry you have read Strauss, but, of course, if you
    felt it your duty to do so, you _were_ right. Still, I do not
    think one is bound to read everything, any more than one is to
    listen to all that can be said against all one’s friends. I
    mean a person might be ever so good, yet if we were constantly
    to listen to insinuations against them, if we were frequently
    _with_ those who disbelieved in their goodness, and looked
    contemptuous when we trusted, a most well-founded confidence
    might result in doubt and distrust. I think we should act in
    religious matters as we ought in a case of friendship—refuse
    to hear insinuations, but ask for the grounds, arguments—not
    let our mind be biassed against our will and better judgment. I
    believe with many that these doubts are “spectres of the cave,”
    that if we have courage to face them, we shall see them fade
    away. But then we must be very much in earnest, spend time and
    labour and much thought upon this, as upon other subjects, and
    pray for the spirit of truth. I have not read Strauss, I know
    the general line of his arguments, but as you say he gives none
    here, I need not get the book to meet them.’

Now, in this period of doubt and anxiety, books by any whom Miss Beale
thought to be earnest seekers for truth, whether they were orthodox or
not, were freely read.

The sense of loss and discomfort seems to have grown gradually all the
year. ‘Poor lesson because depressed,’ she notes on a day in February.
A fortnight later in church she was ‘wrestling like Jacob; Tell me Thy
Name.’ Palm Sunday, however, brought some peace. ‘I think I touched His
garment’s hem.’ Each day in that Holy Week she was at an early service
before school hours began, and on Easter Day wrote: ‘This Lent has been
blessed.’ In Easter week she notes that she finished reading Jukes’s _New
Man_, ‘a beautiful book.’

But before the holidays were over there was ‘a dread of coming sorrow,’
a renewed feeling of deadness and want of devotion, only ‘passive
following the inward guide.’ ‘Much troubled this morning,’ she wrote
on Whit-Sunday, and the need for a ‘new life-pulse’ grew larger as the
summer term wore on. Yet she persisted in striving to keep her devotional
rules, and for her apparent want of zeal blamed only herself. At the
end of that busy term, so full of work and interests and anxieties, she
wrote: ‘Be with me in the holidays. I fear them.’

Of the suffering of that time she afterwards wrote fully, tracing the
steps by which she was gradually led to think that the historical
evidence on which she thought her faith rested was of no value. An
extract from one account is given:—

    ‘Even if historical evidence were there, it could not be for
    all. And was it there?

    ‘No, [only] fragments by nobodies, inconsistent versions. If
    God gave a perfect Man, He could not be for an age, but for all
    time, and how if His life passed, and we have no writing, only
    untrustworthy accounts? Surely, then, the life was worthless
    which God did not care to save for us. He stored up coal and
    light, our physical life, but He cared not to preserve Jesus,
    the spiritual life, He who had been called the Light of the
    world. Then it must be a delusion that He was, and God has
    deceived us, and we were deceived. The Pharisees were right in
    testing His claims. They watched Him on the Cross and there
    bade Him cry to the God Whom He had claimed as Father,—and He
    cried as the fabled prophet of old, Eli! Eli! and God disowned
    Him, and the words followed which proved that He was forsaken,
    that the thirst of soul was unappeased and His life was indeed
    over. And so the darkness gathered round the Cross, ever
    darkening as I listened to the cry. Was God indeed mocking our
    hopes? The old pagan vision rose before me. The symbols of
    the Christ were confounded with grotesque forms. I could not
    utter the Creeds of the Church. Yet strange to say I yet clung
    to a consciousness of a Father of the visible. In my troubled
    dreams, which haunted me day and night, I still seemed to feel
    there was a God, though no voice was heard for me among the
    trees of the garden.[50]

    ‘I said I will not give up my trust in God, I must reconstruct.
    I will not, as some who have lost faith in Christ and the
    eternal, give away the trust in a Father. This I thought
    would survive without, but with that (my faith in Christ)
    went all belief in the existence of any other. As I listened
    to the voice of creation unharmonised by the interpretation
    of generous love proceeding from the soul, it seemed simply
    horrible: the martyr slowly consuming in the fire, God looking
    on, refusing to interfere with natural causes. I had seen this
    before, but, as in that beautiful parable of the Septuagint, I
    had seen God was with him, and the joy overpowered the pain,
    and the true life was purified, and they thanked God in the
    fires. Now I saw no immortal hope, no resurrection; all was
    dark horror and amazement. No; could I keep belief in a God who
    had deceived mankind? Should I trust Him, pray “to Him”?[51]

    ‘For months I read and thought of nothing else; whenever the
    pressing claims of work left me for a moment, I felt the light
    was gone from my life. Sometimes a deeper sympathy filled
    me,—as I seemed like a gladiator standing with my fellows.
    _Morituri te salutant._ But generally I felt myself growing
    hardened by the want of power to find sympathy in my sorrow,
    nor could I pray. I did not often, and when I did, it was one
    cry—“Why, why hast Thou left us, O God—without answer to our
    cries? Why hast Thou uttered no word of consolation to all the
    groans of earth? If Thou hast not heard Jesus, none of us need
    pray.” He trusted in God that He would deliver Him, and was
    forsaken, and men have waited through the ages, as a little
    child would wait, shut up in prison by some cruel father, and
    would not at first believe that he was to be starved to death.
    And at last they realised that God for them was not,—only the
    prison-house He had built, in which they passed away their
    lives, in which, like a starving man, they dreamed of palaces
    and feasts, the delusions of their fevered brain.

    ‘How that old passage came home to one’s fevered soul,—“the
    desert shall blossom as the rose”—as the thought of one’s old
    Christian faith came back. What would one not give, I thought,
    to believe it true once more! For that lighted up the whole
    world, then there were living waters, consolation in every
    sorrow, a well-spring of divine sympathy, inexhaustible,—wells
    from which one could drink for ever, and pour out of one’s
    abundance.

    ‘Sometimes one did look up to the parched heavens, and though
    no rain fell, each time there was a little refreshing dew,
    as if God were answering when one let Him speak, instead of
    running into desert places, crying with Io, forsaken and
    maddened by a cruel God. Sometimes the words came then, “I will
    see you again.”

    ‘But the vision of green pasture, of waters that would quench
    the parching thirst of the desert, it seemed a mirage,—and no
    good Shepherd waded out to me in my desert. Sometimes I found
    other wanderers, who asked of me the waters, and this seemed to
    fill my heart with deeper anguish; like Hagar, I could die in
    the wilderness, but I could not see my child die. So I tried to
    escape, but I could not, and I was obliged to lift my eyes to
    Heaven for their sakes. I did not tell them that what I took
    for mirage was real,—I did not try to turn stones into bread,
    I could only tell them of what I felt must be the creed of
    Goethe, that creation is the garment of God, and these shores
    of earth could not be all; there must be something true and
    substantial behind the phenomenal. The philosophy of St. John
    interpreted by Browning, the consciousness of love in my own
    nature, bore witness to the greater love of God. The Spirit
    within bore witness that there was a Father of spiritual life,
    and therefore that a divine sonship was possible for us. And as
    in our desolation we looked up together, it seemed as if the
    old truth _was_ coming back to us, but in a new way. Jesus had
    taught it, only we had not seen it before.... If we felt the
    witness of the Spirit prompting us to cry, Abba Father, and if
    there was a Father, this prompting must come from Him. And so
    I listened once more for this Voice. And I was not left alone
    in the desert, as I waited in my first grief. God sent to me
    messengers when I had lain down there in the stupefaction of
    spiritual sleep. They offered me angels’ food. I watered it
    with tears, but I took it,—I ate it, whilst praying that God
    would take away my life,—take it, lest I should tempt others
    into the stony desert. Yes, I, who had refused to take others
    to the Lord’s Table, because they were faint and hungry, and
    in the highways of the world,—I, who had thought it profane,
    thought now that my mere hunger gave me a right to come. If He
    was indeed there, He might fill the empty cruse with oil. He
    might hear me as I said, “We have no wine.” And I remembered as
    I dared to come in my unbelief, the words I had been taught,
    of the hungry being filled. I thought I had once been of the
    mighty and rich, now I knew I was weak and hungry, so I came.
    But I saw not the Master, only a stranger whom I knew not, for
    my eyes were holden, and I did not recognise Him.

    ‘Oh how often did I pine for death, not but that I could have
    taken the suffering. I thought that was possible, if I could
    have borne it alone. The grief was to feel that I should
    lead others away, whether I spoke or was silent. This only
    was right, never to say an untrue word, to teach what truth
    I had. But I was pledged like a clergyman. Still I did not
    yet know what I thought. I might read a little, for if I must
    find Christ was dead, I hoped, begged, God would take my life,
    that others might not die through me. With what joy did I see
    sickness come, and what disappointment there was when it was
    not unto death.

    ‘Sometimes I thought I would take some spiritual opiate,—think
    no more, but try to kill self into a state in which probability
    should content me. But I could not work nor pray by such
    means. And if I could content myself by a sedative, could I my
    children? No; I must go on till I could feel the truth of those
    words ever recurring to me, “And dying rise, and rising with
    Him, raise His brethren, ransomed by His own dear life.”

    ‘In darkness, I thought, “He descended into hell,” and I felt I
    would not rise unless I could bring my children too with me.

    ‘What was the state of thought [at that time]? One could only
    look and read and see amongst the most intellectual the loss of
    hold on Christianity, and with those who believed, one felt it
    had been as with oneself, the belief would not bear the strain
    that would come; the tints were put on, were not our life
    through assimilation.’[52]

Probably those to whom Miss Beale turned at first realised little of the
distress that prompted her questions.

    ‘I said, “Surely there must be some one who can help where I am
    too weak and ignorant,” so I went to a distinguished [teacher]
    whom I thought so able and strong, and his concluding words
    sounded like a knell. “Nothing can be done.”’[53]

The darkest hour came during the early days of August when staying with
friends, from whom she vainly hoped to conceal her sorrow.

    ‘At first I was silent, but as I could only weep day and night,
    I was obliged to tell them.... They kept me when I could not
    pay other visits. Whilst wondering at my misery they tried to
    help me by getting [books].’[54]

It was perhaps some relief—as of one who faces the worst—to note in her
diary each fresh incoming wave of sorrowful thought.

    ‘_1882, August 6, Sunday._ At church. A nice sermon on the
    parable of the Unjust Steward. Talk of Newman’s books. J. said
    A. had some. I, thinking of J. H. N., asked to borrow. [The
    book] proved to be by the brother, F. Newman.

    ‘_Monday, August 7._ Read some [of F. Newman’s book]. Pitied
    him much.

    ‘_Tuesday, August 8._ 6 A.M.-8, read more. Miserable. After
    breakfast walked alone. No letter. Could not go to dinner.
    Terrible neuralgia. Wept nearly all day.

    ‘_Wednesday, August 9._ Awake at 4 A.M. Not up to breakfast.
    Decided must write [my resignation]. All is dark. “Such clouds
    of nameless sorrow cross, All night before my darkened eyes.”
    The light has gone out of the heavens. Why [does] God leave us
    without one word, His children orphans? Can He have left us to
    delusions? Tears are my meat day and night. I cannot live an
    untrue life. If Jesus be what I once believed Him, He would not
    wish it. “Every one that is of the truth heareth My Voice.”
    Tried to pray harder. Woke [as] in a dreary pine forest with
    beautiful ferns. Felt there must be a presence behind them.
    Then the trouble revived once more.

    ‘_Thursday, August 10._ Wrote my resignation. May my children
    never know this sorrow. Christian teaching spiritualised, as I
    have seen it, is the holiest and purest. Their souls need not
    be orphaned as mine. [I] cannot stay [with them]. I could not
    play the hypocrite, I should hate myself. Without Christ, I
    should not be what I was. If I could attempt to go on, which I
    could not for a moment contemplate since it is untrue, think if
    I were found out, the moral blow for my children. They would
    think I had been false when teaching them my deepest faith,—the
    joy of my life,—that which made all the suffering bearable, and
    all gladness double, the love of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom
    I would suffer the loss of all things if I might win Christ and
    be found in Him.

    ‘O Lord, Thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived.’

The immediate sequel to the story of these few days was told in a letter
to a friend:—

                                                    ‘_August 1882._

    ‘I was engaged to attend a religious conference at the end of
    a week. I did not quite like to give it up, for there might
    _possibly_ be some hope of help, though I felt there was
    none. My friends begged me to go,—there was just a chance. I
    went,—but almost turned back after I had started, for I was so
    broken down I could not restrain my tears, and I was ashamed to
    be seen. Well, I met there [some] men of powerful mind, leaders
    of thought in their different departments, who had gone through
    periods of darkness, but had waited for the dawn, and now they
    believed.... After two days I told my grief to a sympathising
    friend, who was surprised at my wretchedness, and her calm
    faith gave me a little calmness too. So the day before we were
    to leave I ventured to tell all my trouble to the clergyman
    who had invited me. I think I may dare to say that my faith
    has come back—not as it was before, but more spiritual; once
    more I can say the Creed, and I think I shall be able to teach
    again....’

The ‘religious conference’ was at Stoke, a little village in Shropshire,
where the rector, the Rev. Rowland Corbet, was in the habit of gathering
some who were earnestly studying the difficult questions of the day.
Miss Beale wrote of these gatherings in the letter already quoted:—

    ‘There are only about twelve staying in the house. No one is
    put out of the synagogue for not seeing the truth, and they are
    not afraid to ask questions, but none are invited who are not
    supposed to be seeking for the light.’

That a door to the light was at this conference quickly opened for Miss
Beale may be seen in the letters she wrote, on her return to Cheltenham
after it was over, to the friends who had helped her so much:—

                                                ‘_August 19, 1882._

    ‘DEAR MR. CORBET,—I could not say one word of thanks this
    morning: I think you understood.

    ‘It is good for us tempest-tossed people to see the restful
    faith of the veterans who come to help us. Certainly the old
    ship in which I have somehow sailed upon the waves for so many
    years is a wreck. I must try to believe He will set my feet
    upon a rock.

    ‘Yesterday things began to get clearer: your kind and patient
    explanations of the alphabet of the spiritual made me follow
    the discussion better afterwards, and I felt I could begin
    again to join in the Church’s Creed with a deeper meaning than
    before. I suppose one can’t expect to come out of the grave at
    once,—but how different is this Saturday from last, it seems
    as if some æon had gone by. I don’t know yet what I think,
    except that I believe I shall see the light and rise and always
    remain, yours very gratefully,

                                                         D. BEALE.’

To Mrs. Russell Gurney:—

                                                ‘_August 27, 1882._

    ‘DEAR MRS. RUSSELL GURNEY,—I have had such a happy Sunday,—I
    can hardly believe it is the same earth that seemed to me
    so dead the week before, when I could not go to Church, but
    wandered about quite desolate.

    ‘Three weeks ago, if any one had spoken, as I am doing now, I
    should have thought it superstitious, and I don’t think it will
    be well either for myself or others to speak much of it now,
    only to one who, like you, understands—and who helped to take
    off the “grave-clothes.”

    ‘I want to use my limbs first, to get back to my old work now,
    and see if there is really a new life; I want to see if I can
    help some for whom I could do nothing before.

    ‘I am with delightful people. Mr. Webb is just a living picture
    of Chaucer’s Good Parson and well known in the scientific
    world: his special field is astronomy. He showed us a wonderful
    gas-nebula on Saturday night. He quite believes in spiritual
    manifestations, and seems to think with Professor Barrett about
    the ether.

    ‘I have to thank you much, dear Mrs. Gurney, for your sympathy.
    It was such a help to me to be able to speak to you. I meant to
    say nothing to _any one_, but I could not help it. The story
    of your own vision helped me, as it was something like my own:
    it is so much what Browning describes at the end of “Saul,”
    when David has realised the Divine love, and feels the living
    pulse beating in all nature. Everybody helped me in some way,
    but especially Mr. Corbet’s teaching, which seems wonderfully
    beautiful.

    ‘I dare say it was the same last year; but different to me,
    because I was comparatively satisfied then, not poor and needy
    (as I came this time), and therefore ready to understand.

    ‘“I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice”: my text
    for to-day.’

She felt like one set free from prison, but the newly recovered liberty
was used with caution. ‘You will like to know,’ she wrote to a friend
in the following year, ‘that the fitful gleams of sunlight, which used
to come after the dark night, have become now something like a steady
shining. I was able to get a few quiet days at Christmas, and then first
I began to feel that I should be able to give thanks for this terrible
experience, and the thankfulness has grown ever since.’

As she said, the thankfulness grew. But in the very heart of the fire she
had felt no regret, known no complaining. She was willing to suffer, if
by that means she might help the more. On August 15, just a week after
the day she always remembered as ‘Tuesday the 8th,’ she wrote of one
whose calling in life was to teach others: ‘You say he has been reading
sceptical books; I want him to go on doing so. He must know how deep the
questions go, or he will be fighting windmills, as I have done.’

It will be asked by what steps the ascent was made, and what the
height from which the new spiritual horizons were discerned; what was
the train of thought which brought back the possibility of saying the
Church’s Creed? The mental process, if it can be disentangled from
an exercise which engaged all the faculties of soul and spirit, was
probably that suggested in the words of Amiel: ‘Chacun ne comprend que
ce qu’il retrouve en soi.’ But the research and the retrieval were not
simply individual and within, they involved the scrutiny of widespread
religious instincts, cravings and needs. They were aided above all by
the contemplation of martyr deaths and martyr lives, which in their
continuous and abiding witness to the faith are seen to constitute a
claim to authority.

Miss Beale herself strove to show how the doubting spirit was silenced by
an answer of faith, in a little paper called ‘Building,’ which is dated
September 8. Here she wrote:—

    ‘Sweep away external proofs, we must believe in a God and in
    His love.

    ‘We see He speaks to His children through the wondrous language
    of Nature, drawing them to His Heart and teaching ever new
    trust through it.

    ‘He shows His Father Heart in the love of the human,
    ignorant,—for the child.

    ‘In all ages He has made man feel His Presence in the heart and
    yearn after Him.

    ‘There is a long witness down the ages that to those who long
    for His Presence and follow holiness, He gives the great reward
    of His conscious sympathy, speaking in their hearts, so that
    they know it is His Voice. In different ages, in different
    ways, as men need the language they understand.

    ‘To Abraham and the prophets, to Socrates, to Buddha teaching
    the Karma, to Moses the divine writing,—to saints who sought
    Him in later times.

    ‘Why impeach the testimony of Christendom as to the
    Resurrection, if it is what we must believe in, if it is just
    the good news for which the world was then dying? We know Paul
    and John believed it, and men believed them then; and the
    miracle of the Christian Church which is before our eyes, and
    the teaching of the Christ is found to be the food of the soul,
    and in prayer as men drink it in, they hand on Sacramental
    life, which is its own witness. We want that!

    ‘We can believe that for some inscrutable reason the Eternal
    educates His children in time.

    ‘Perhaps we have to go through these depths of blankness that
    we may not bottle up the spiritual to one time or church or
    country, but believe God is really eternal, omnipresent; that
    He does dwell with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit,
    and who trembles at His Presence felt in the darkness. We have
    to learn to see the Spirit of Christ dwelling in each man,
    regenerating him to the true and higher life.

    ‘We have to see it is God’s method to work through the
    man,—therefore the treasure is in earthen vessels,—the light is
    dimmed by the medium. But if it were given whole and complete
    by angels, the moral nature could no more be drawn out than the
    intellect could have been, had God revealed the kalendars and
    Kepler’s Laws.

    ‘So through the Man Christ Jesus, Who emptied Himself ere He
    could speak to man, Who, as His wondrous teaching, life and
    resurrection testify, stood in some different relation to God
    than other men, God has spoken to the whole world.’

Another paper of this period, entitled ‘Of my Religious Opinions,’
concludes thus:—

    ‘Yes, it was this. The consciousness of a universal life of
    God in man which lifted me up once more to see God in Christ,
    to see the New Man coming to the birth in all for whom Christ
    lived, and the whole world existed that this might be, that the
    whole being of the creature might be lifted into responsive
    sympathy with a sympathetic Father, and those followers of
    Christ Who was ever preaching the religion of Humanity were to
    lift the imperfect yet real Church of Christ to a higher life.
    Upon a world which seemed dead, which no prophet staff could
    restore, they were to stretch themselves, heart to heart, their
    own warm palpitating life was to rouse, and the power of love
    could raise the dead. We must learn that old lesson that no
    creature is common or unclean. We must enter as never before
    into the full meaning of the Name by which God was known to
    Abraham—I AM,—the Eternal. Ours has been a God of time, He is
    the Living God, lighting every man that cometh into the world.
    But here, light is struggling with darkness. There shall be no
    night there in that day dawn beyond the tomb.

    ‘Have you not been taught that the written word is imperfect
    without the heavenly interpretation, and does not your own
    experience confirm this, and the history of the records of the
    Christ bear it out? Enough we have as a foundation, but we must
    build thereon, or there will be no home for our soul. This is
    the method of God, revealing to us that we can only _help_ one
    another. God must _teach_ us all. They shall be all taught of
    God, here and hereafter.

    ‘Here the phenomenal and the imperfect is the only possible
    revelation to man, but through these he is being educated for
    the real, the actual. He will one day know God.’

The writer of these words might indeed have sung, ‘Thou hast set my feet
in a large room.’ But the daily journal shows no trace of exultation,
far less of relaxing watchfulness. It is surely impossible to exaggerate
the importance of the jealous care with which devotional rules were
guarded. More than all the high thoughts and noble imaginings with which
she was so wonderfully gifted, this lifelong obedience came to her aid
in the great crisis. Habits of prayer, daily acts of self-sacrifice and
self-consecration, had been maintained even when their meaning seemed to
be clouded. When sight was restored, when a greater sense of spaciousness
came into her life, they were there to protect her in the newly found
liberty. The tale of them remains to show that the doubts of this dark
year were akin to that thirst for God which in all ages has been the
portion of the saints.

May it not be said that they were the outcome of a passionate desire to
help; that this descent into darkness as of the grave was necessary to
one who yearned to give herself utterly to aid others to find the way to
the light? ‘Can ye drink indeed?’ was asked of those who willed to share
the divine work and joy, and in all times it has been given to a few to
be brought through suffering into that region of consciousness in which
they are made ‘able.’



CHAPTER X

THE GUILD

    ‘We have a picture which gives the ideal of a College—the
    Golden Staircase—whence each should go forth into the great
    world carrying some beautiful instrument with which to utter
    the music which is in her heart.’—D. BEALE, Guild Address, 1894.


Miss Beale’s circle of influence definitely widened beyond the College
itself in 1880 when the first number of the Magazine appeared. It opened
with a characteristic introduction from the Lady Principal, who up to her
death remained the editor.

The Magazine was started, said Miss Beale, in order that past and
present members of the College might enrich each other by interchange
of thoughts. Mere information concerning the temporary doings of one’s
friends was a secondary consideration, the value of which was, however,
fortunately seen by sub-editors and others. A column of births, deaths,
and marriages became established in the Magazine as early as the second
number. This naturally in time developed in interest. The obituary column
came to include all who had the slightest connection with the College;
newspaper accounts of those who were in any way distinguished were also
added.

In 1887 the first Chronicle of passing events belonging to the College
and its old members was inserted, though the space for it was grudgingly
afforded by the editor, who could not bear to limit her space for the
budding ideas she loved to foster. Soon, however, she came to value what
was practically a contemporary history of the College, and as her pride
in her old pupils increased with years, it became a great pleasure to
notice all their doings in varied walks of life. Engaged in philanthropic
work, in literature, in art or society, they were all of interest to her,
and not among the least dear were those whose homes lay in foreign parts,
those closely connected with the diplomatic service and the growth of the
British Empire.[55] The Chronicle was a portion of the Magazine sure of
finding readers, but there was no page more welcome to all than the brief
but pithy preface in which the editor named the chief contents, touched
on some matter of note to the readers, or urged forward the lagging
subscriber.

As the College interest widened with the ever-increasing number of old
pupils, the Chronicle became too limited a record to stand alone. When
the Magazine was about seventeen years old ‘Parerga’ appeared for the
first time, telling of activities which lay outside the immediate scope
of College work, yet were due in part to the influence of the Alma Mater,
to ‘the spiritual force, the higher volition and action.’ Miss Beale,
who found in the Magazine a strong link with her large scattered family,
also in later years freely printed letters she received from various
members abroad. She did not care much for articles on travel, writing on
one occasion that she received too many descriptions, and would like in
their place to have more records of observation in the fields of natural
history and other sciences. But she treasured letters, and showed them
widely. Indeed, it was sometimes startling for the writer of a private
letter to Miss Beale to find whole extracts published in the Magazine for
all the world to see.

Almost from the beginning there were reviews of books. These were
generally written by the editor. There were also notices of books by old
pupils. Of these Miss Beale was proud, and she never failed to mention
them, often reprinting portions of reviews by the press; but she would
not review them herself, saying, ‘Books by old pupils claim our _notice_;
we must leave criticism to those less interested in the writers.’

Fortunately Miss Beale was not content with merely reviewing and editing.
Many a number of the Magazine contained a long contribution from herself,
such as an article reprinted from another periodical, an address given
at a gathering of old pupils, or at some more general meeting. The first
two editions of the _History of the College_ were also printed here. Of
her articles which were not of special College interest, the most notable
were those upon Browning. One of these, written in spring 1890, shortly
after the poet’s death, contains a brief clear statement of the value of
his philosophy. The other writers of the Magazine have been chiefly old
pupils, some of whose names, as, for example, those of Jane Harrison,
Beatrice Harraden, Bertha Synge, May Sinclair, are known in wider
fields of literature. But any who made a sincere effort were welcomed,
encouraged, and—edited. Present pupils have rarely written, but of late
an attempt has been made to secure more contributions from these. Members
of the Council, and others connected with the College by the ties of
friendship or work, frequently helped the Magazine with papers or
verses. For years every number was enriched with a poem or article from
the pen of Mrs. James Owen, that friend whose keen intellectual interests
and strong sympathy were put so largely at Miss Beale’s service when this
literary venture was first made.

To find contributors Miss Beale went even beyond the outer circle of the
College. ‘We always hope to have some good writing in our Magazine, thus
to maintain a high standard,’ she had said at the beginning. She liked
to gain the notice of those who were eminent in literature or science
for this dearly loved literary child, and as occasion brought her in
contact with any who were distinguished for the things she appreciated
she would send them the Magazine, often asking for a paper. Letters
from people of widely differing thought and position, acknowledging the
receipt of the Magazine, are now in the College archives. They vary in
warmth and interest. The late Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol wrote in
1889: ‘However busy I may be, I always find time to read portions of
[the Magazine], and I am always thankful to recognise not merely the
cultivated, but the wise and—what we men specially value—the womanly
tone that characterises it. I read with much interest your article on
the Sorbonne gathering.’ Bishop Westcott in 1890 wrote, on receiving
the number containing Miss Beale’s ‘In Memoriam’ article on Browning:
‘May I confess that when the copy of the Ladies’ College Magazine
came this morning with the letters, my correspondence was at once
interrupted? I felt constrained to read your words on Browning, just and
wise and helpful and suggestive.’ Some notes are little more than the
acknowledgment of a polite friend who had ‘already cut the pages.’ The
request for contributions was not always granted; sometimes it was won
by a little importunity. It brought about rather an amusing incident with
Mr. Ruskin, whose letters on the subject and on some of Miss Beale’s own
Magazine articles are too characteristic to be omitted.

Miss Beale sent him the number containing her paper on ‘Britomart.’ He
replied at once:—

                                                 ‘_March 12, 1887._

    ‘Have you not yet to add to your Britomart, at p. 219,
    due justification of Feminine—may we not rather call it
    Disguise—than Lie? And, for myself, may I say that I think
    Britomart should have sung to the Red Knight, not he to
    Britomart.—Ever faithfully yours,

                                                        J. RUSKIN.’

Five days later he wrote:—

    ‘But I much more than like your essay on Britomart.

    ‘I am most thankful to have found the head of a Girls’ College
    able to do such a piece of work, and having such convictions
    and aspirations, and can only assure you how glad I shall be to
    find myself capable of aiding you in anything.... I trespass
    no further on you to-day, but have something to say concerning
    ball-play as a Britomartian exercise, before saying which,
    however, I will inquire of the Librarian what _ground_ spaces
    the College commands, being so limited in its bookshelves.—And
    believe me, ever your faithful servt.,

                                                      JOHN RUSKIN.’

Miss Beale replied to this by sending her paper on ‘Lear,’ to which came
this response:—

                                                 ‘_March 22, 1887._

    ‘I am entirely glad to hear of the Oxford plan, which seems
    faultless, and am most happy to get the King Lear, though I
    hope you have never learned as much of human life as to be
    able to read him as you can Britomart. What I want to know is
    whether Cordelia was ever so little in love—with _any_ body,
    except her Father.’

Two days later came the following:—

                                                 ‘_March 24, 1887._

    ‘I have been reading your Lear with very great interest. It is
    one of the subtlest and truest pieces of Shakespeare criticism
    I ever saw, but just as I guessed—misses the key note. You
    never enter on the question what it is that drives Lear mad!
    And throughout you fall into the fault which women nearly
    always commit if they don’t err on the other side,—of always
    talking of love as if it had nothing to do with sex.... I
    am extremely glad to note your interest in and knowledge of
    music.—Ever faithfully and respectfully yours,

                                                        J. RUSKIN.’

After this letter there was a pause in a correspondence which had been
kept up pretty briskly on various subjects. In June, however, Miss Beale
wrote again,—the purport of her letter may be gathered from the answer.

                                                   ‘_June 8, 1887._

    ‘I never have been ill this year; the reports you heard or saw
    in papers were variously malicious or interested. But I have
    been busy, in very painful or sorrowful business—at Oxford or
    at home—nor even in the usual tenor of spring occupation could
    I have answered rightly the different questions you sent me.
    Especially, I could not tell you anything of your paper on
    Lear, because I think women should never write on Shakespeare,
    or Homer, or Æschylus, or Dante, or any of the greater powers
    in literature. Spenser, or Chaucer, or Molière, or any of the
    second and third order of classics—but not the leaders. And you
    really had missed much more in Lear than I should like to tell
    you.

    ‘I really thought I had given the College my books—but if I
    haven’t, I won’t—not even if you set the Librarian to ask me;
    for it does seem to me such a shame that a girl can always give
    her dentist a guinea for an hour’s work, and her physician for
    an opinion; and she can’t give me one for what has cost me half
    my life to learn, and will help her till the end of hers to
    know.

    ‘Please go on with your book exactly as you like to have it.
    I have neither mind nor time for reading just now.—Ever most
    truly yrs.,

                                                        J. RUSKIN.’

Mr. Ruskin permitted the reprint of a few extracts from his own writings
in the Magazine, on which his criticism as a whole was not very
encouraging. One of his letters, indeed, called forth a protest from Miss
Beale, to which he replied thus:—

                                                  ‘_June 15, 1887._

    ‘DEAR MISS BEALE,—I am grieved very deeply to have written
    what I did of your dear friend’s verses. If you knew how full
    my own life has been of sorrow, how every day of it begins
    with a death-knell, you would bear with me in what I will yet
    venture to say to you as the head of a noble school of woman’s
    thought, that no personal feelings should ever be allowed to
    influence you in what you permit your scholars either to read
    or to publish.’

And again a few days later:—

                 ‘BRANTWOOD, CONISTON, LANCASHIRE, _June 19, 1887_.

    ‘DEAR MISS BEALE,—So many thanks, and again and again I ask
    your pardon for the pain I gave you. I had no idea of the kind
    of person you were, I thought you were merely clever and proud.

    ‘These substituted verses are lovely.—Ever gratefully (1) yrs.,

                                                             ‘J. R.

    ‘(1) I mean, for the way you have borne with my letters. You
    will not think it was because I did not like my own work to
    have the other with it that I spoke as I did.’

Mr. Shorthouse also once contributed to the Magazine, sending a little
story called ‘An Apologue.’

The work entailed by the Magazine was, on the whole, pleasant and
interesting to its editor. But she was grieved sometimes if she thought
old pupils did not appreciate it, or if contributions fell short. It was
not always easy to get enough articles of the kind she desired, and the
difficulty was increased by the severe censorship she exercised. ‘About
one hour wasted in fretting over Magazine,’ runs the diary of April 2,
1891.

The Magazine was not without its faults. ‘How bad the best of us!’
says _Punch_, according to Ruskin. But it had the conspicuous merit
of offering encouragement to young writers, of promoting a spirit of
unity, and fostering sympathetic interest among those whose lives were
necessarily far apart. ‘We hope,’ Miss Beale had said in her first
preface, ‘that the papers on work may be helpful in suggesting ways of
usefulness.’[56] This hope was practically realised. How far the young
writers profited by each other’s thoughts can be less easily gauged;
but doubtless some learned at least one lesson the Magazine was meant
to teach, that if they intended to work, they ‘must not shrink from the
hardest and most fruitful work, i.e. _thinking_.’[57]

Miss Beale’s influence was again extended in manifold and ever-developing
ways when, in 1883, the first meeting of former pupils was held in the
College.

At this date the number of regular pupils was five hundred. Only six
years before a proposal had been made to limit the numbers to three
hundred, but each year saw an increase, and a consequent addition to the
ranks of those who carried the influence of the College into the larger
world outside.

It had been felt for some time by the Principal and others to whom the
College was dear, that an association of old pupils should be formed, but
of what nature and name could not be determined without a representative
meeting. A suitable occasion for this presented itself in 1883, which
was a sort of Jubilee year for the College, Miss Beale having then been
its Principal for twenty-five years. Many old pupils expressed a wish
to mark the great occasion by a personal gift to Miss Beale; she, as
was to be expected, asked that it might be given to her ‘husband,’ the
College. It was a moment of almost unsullied prosperity, as could be
seen by the buildings which were constantly growing more stately and
suitable. In the previous year they had been much enlarged, and the
whole College life benefited by the addition of the Music and Art wing.
The old music-rooms were little better than cupboards, the new ones
contained light, air, and space, as well as the necessary pianoforte. The
first drawing-room was but an insufficient classroom, in which a cast of
any size could not be placed. The new studio was spacious and properly
lighted. Both additions at this period spoke of Miss Beale’s method in
educational development, also of the order in which her own full mental
life unfolded. First she would have the exact, the severe, the discipline
of grammar and rule, then the expansion of beauty in thought and symbol.

And the gift of the old pupils could not have been better chosen. It
took the form of an organ for what was then the largest hall, the First
Division Room. Here the daily prayers of the three divisions took place.
Sir Walter Parratt settled the specifications for the organ, which was
placed above the Lady Principal’s dais.

The choir, which up to this time had been dependent on the aid of a
harmonium, was augmented and improved, and the daily music at the school
prayers became a feature of College life in which Miss Beale took
delight. Occasionally her directions to the choir were embarrassing. She
liked music to be very _piano_, and required a great deal of expression
to bring out the full meaning of the words sung.

Mr. Ruskin was also momentarily interested by it. He was as suggestive
and dogmatic on the subject as on any other that he touched. Once he
wrote to Miss Beale, ‘All music properly so called is of the Celestial
Spheres. It aids and gives law to Joy, or it ennobles and comforts
Sorrow.’ On hearing of the organ and ‘girl-organist,’ he hoped ‘to be
able to work out some old plans with her,’ and unfolded them thus:—

    ‘I think _you_ may be willing to help _me_ in the plan chiefly
    for the last four or five years in my mind, of getting a
    girls’ choral service well organised in a college chapel. The
    most beautiful service I have ever heard in any church of any
    country is that of the Convent of the Trinità at Rome, entirely
    sung by the sisters, unseen; and quite my primary idea in girl
    education—peasant or princess, is to get the voice perfectly
    trained in the simplest music of noblest schools. Finding your
    organist is a girl, and that she is interested in the book on
    Plain Chant I sent her, it seems to me my time has come, and I
    am going to write to Miss Lefevre at Somerville, Miss Gladstone
    at Newnham, and Miss Welch at Girton, to beg them to consider
    with you what steps they could take to this end. If _you_ could
    begin by giving enough time for the training of the younger
    girls, I think I could, with that foundation, press for a more
    advanced action in the matter at Cambridge and Oxford.’

Miss Beale obviously replied to this with some questions about the
training of the choir, for Mr. Ruskin’s next and rapidly following letter
closes thus:—

    ‘As for the choir, nothing is necessary but a due attention
    to girls’ singing, as well as their dancing. It ought to
    be as great a shame for a girl not to be able to sing, up
    to the faculty of her voice, might I say, as to speak bad
    grammar. You could never rival the Trinità di Monte, but could
    always command the chanting of the psalms with sweetness and
    clearness, and a graceful Te Deum and Magnificat.’

Besides the organ, Miss Beale’s wedding gifts included the first light of
a stained-glass window above the new grand staircase. This was drawn by
Miss Thompson, and executed by Clayton and Bell. Miss Beale herself chose
the subject for the whole—a series of scenes from her beloved story of
‘Britomart.’

Over and above the opening of the new buildings, and the installation of
the wedding gifts, there was in the early part of the summer term some
excitement and much pleasant sense of preparation for the gathering of
old pupils fixed for the 6th and 7th of July.

Then, into the midst of the glad anticipation, came as with transcendent
suddenness Mrs. Owen’s death on June 19. Hers was indeed

                    ‘a spirit that went forth
    And left upon the mountain-tops of death
    A light that made them lovely.’

But for many the happiness of the coming meeting was marred, most of all
for her in whose honour it had been largely arranged. Miss Beale made no
change, but went through all the proceedings as they had been planned,
dwelling never for a moment on her sense of bereavement and loss, but
speaking calmly even in public of the life that had passed out of sight.

The first meeting, on the evening of July 6, was a conversazione in
the Upper or Second Division Hall. An unexpectedly large number of old
pupils were present, and on the next day at the ordinary College prayers
Miss Beale gave what was practically the first Guild address. Though
made on an occasion of so much personal interest and gratification to
herself, this address was remarkable not only for the piercing insight
with which she ever penetrated below what was apparent or obvious, but
also for what, for want of a better word, must be called its soberness.
Touched, emotional as the speaker always was, keenly alive to the sense
of union and communion with all lives that in the highest sense had come
in contact with her own, happy in recognising the College to be a step
by which souls might ascend out of mere material interests, marking with
joy its noble work in the progress of the ‘higher education’ of women,
she chastened all excess of feeling by the calm sincerity with which she
could contemplate ‘Even in the green, the faded tree.’ ‘Schools too,’ she
said, ‘like the members of which they are composed, have their period
of growth, manhood, and decay. Some tell us the first is over for us,
and that we, too, have settled down into vigorous manhood. I am not so
sure that we have quite done with growth, even in the outside body; but
however that may be, I trust there is that among us, which is not even
like the most substantial building, not like the outward form, liable to
decay and death.’

Thus quietly she spoke, marking for all that heard her that there was no
commonplace elation or poor ambition in her thoughts and feelings for
her school. On this really momentous occasion for the College, when its
members as a whole were summoned to catch a glimpse of all it could be
of help and blessing in a far larger world than its own, the Principal
spoke less of work accomplished than of growth, and ‘the silent witness
of a beautiful life as a power to bless.’ She said less about the gifts
with which the College had been enriched, than of some visible sacraments
of Nature with which these gifts should bring them into touch. She dwelt
specially on the great meanings of music. ‘In the Psalm of Life each is
necessary to the perfection of that glorious music, which we shall hear
and understand when the discords of earth have been resolved.’

In conclusion Miss Beale sketched the possibility of an association of
old pupils, such as already existed in some boys’ schools, and was not
wholly unknown among girls. ‘When I read of meetings of old Etonians,
Rugbeians, Marlburians, and of works undertaken by them in common, and
know how strong is the tie of affection which binds many of our old
pupils to their Alma Mater, I have often wished there were some means of
uniting us into an association.’ She named also the uses and aims of such
an association. It is needless to say that though its members strive to
bear in mind the objects their Principal and President put before them,
rules, precisely to embody them, could not be framed.

    ‘Members should consider themselves united together to help
    in sustaining, especially in distant countries, as high an
    intellectual and social standard as possible, first amongst
    those of their own class. Thus reading societies, mutual
    improvement societies, libraries, etc., would be helped on
    by them. They would bear in mind the College motto, “Let no
    man think or maintain that a man can search too far or be too
    well studied in the Book of God’s Word, or in the Book of
    God’s Works; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress
    and proficiency in both; only let men beware that they apply
    both to charity and not to grovelling; to use and not to
    ostentation.”[58] Some articles of their creed would be—(_a_)
    that influence radiates from a centre, and hence it is a duty
    all through life to continue one’s own education; (_b_) that
    the nearer we stand in intellectual and social position,
    the stronger are our ties to any, and the greater are our
    duties; (_c_) that the worst thing one can do with any talent
    one possesses is to bury it. Rules would have to be framed
    concerning admission.’

Miss Beale added that secretaries to the proposed association had already
been appointed: Mrs. Ashley Smith for the general work and organisation,
Miss Flora Ker as local secretary. This announcement of her appointment
to what proved to be a very strenuous work was the first suggestion that
Mrs. Smith received that she should even undertake it. In an article in
the next Magazine Miss Beale unfolded her plan more fully, suggesting a
few rules. She proposed further that the badge of the association should
be a little brooch engraved with a figure of her beloved Britomart.

The idea of a guild of old pupils was eagerly received, and a committee
at once formed to deal with its organisation. In all these arrangements
Miss Beale showed great strength of mind and self-control in being able
to stand aside and let others work out the details of the scheme, even
submitting her own judgment to that of the younger ones, whom she thought
called upon to do the work. Yet she was in a true sense President of the
Guild, guiding and directing where she would not command. Indeed, this
ever-growing society which multiplied interests for her was largely her
own inception, at a time when her special work, the College, was also
increasing rapidly. The power of mind which could keep the right hold on
both is certainly rare.

The first committee consisted of associates of the College and a few
other old pupils. Meetings were held to draw up the organisation of the
new society, and this was made known at large in a delightful article
by Mrs. Ashley Smith in the Magazine for spring 1884. In this the
writer adventured far enough into the future to be able to suggest the
possibility, at no very distant date, of some corporate work, ‘such as
is done by many boys’ schools,’ but in 1884 the time for this had not
arrived for Cheltenham girls.

[Illustration: _The Lower Hall, Ladies’ College Cheltenham_

_from a photograph by Miss Bertha Synge._]

The second large gathering of old pupils, which took place on July 8
and 9, 1884, is always reckoned as the first meeting of the Guild, the
association being on that occasion formally founded under the name of
‘The Guild of the Cheltenham Ladies’ College.’ It is interesting to
note that what then seemed a large gathering really included less than
eighty former pupils of the College; ten years later, at the fourth Guild
meeting, there were nearly five hundred, and the number has increased
ever since. The daisy was chosen as an emblem for the Guild: its choice
and its significance were explained by the President in her address on
Saturday, July 9. In a second address at this time, given after the
candidates for Guild membership had received their ‘Masonic sign,’ Miss
Beale dwelt chiefly on the practical questions arising out of the
existence of the new association. She spoke of the difficulty of decision
among the many opinions which must necessarily exist in a large college;
she hoped that ‘whatever decision might finally be arrived at, all would
cheerfully submit to it, and if their own individual tastes were not in
every case gratified, would find their satisfaction in giving up their
own wishes for the sake of the majority. She herself had had to submit,
she hoped cheerfully, to an adverse vote.’ The rules were then read. Of
these it is sufficient to say here that they made it difficult for any
one whose life was spent in a mere pleasure-seeking spirit to be a member
of the Guild. The rules were accepted for two years, and two courses of
study were suggested for junior members.

In the year following these meetings, Mrs. Ashley Smith wrote an article
for the Magazine on the reports received from various members and on the
general working of the Guild, which by the end of 1885 numbered nearly
two hundred members. This is now an old story, nor is there anything
specially remarkable in the many details of work in Sunday-schools and
coffee-clubs. Yet even at the time when the Guild, compared with its
present self, looked little more than ‘seven maids with seven mops,’ the
tale of individual work done shows that already much quiet persistent
effort was being made by Miss Beale’s old girls. This association,
founded on principles rather than rules, was indicative of its origin in
a mind which habitually dwelt rather on _being_ than _doing_. The small
beginning, the gradual steady growth, the outcome of ideals and thoughts,
were consistent with the whole of the College history. And to re-read the
story of the foundation of the Guild is to remember once more how many
quiet, unobtrusive, untiring workers have helped to make that history.
In especial, the immense work and patience of the secretaries can
perhaps never be adequately recognised: the labour of merely reading and
tabulating the reports was considerable.

    ‘The General Secretary,’ wrote Mrs. Ashley Smith on one
    occasion, ‘on receiving the reports enters under more than
    sixty different headings the occupations of all the Guild
    members. It will be easily understood that the task of reducing
    to order and collating a chaotic mass of miscellaneous
    information on all subjects, from the keeping of poultry to the
    study of Hebrew, from making the beds to organising institutes,
    is not a very simple affair, and that therefore an immense
    saving of time and trouble is effected when the proper form is
    used, and it does not become necessary to wade through a letter
    full of apologies and exculpatory remarks, before one can
    arrive at the gist of the report.’

On another occasion, after enumerating the different charitable and
self-improving societies to which Guild members belonged, she said:

    ‘It almost gives one a headache to read this long list
    of occupations; and when at the end, hoping for a little
    breathing space, we come to an “odd minute society,” it
    puts the finishing touch to the bewildering sensation
    of restless activity, and one begins to wish for a
    “Sit-down-in-peace-and-calm-yourself Society.”’

The reports, a matter of obligation to the junior members of the
Guild, were often looked over by the President, who would surprise the
secretaries by her detailed knowledge of the home surroundings and
characters of girls whom she hardly knew by sight. ‘What is so-and-so
doing now?’ she would ask, and on being told, would say, ‘She ought to
be doing more,’ or ‘less,’ and perhaps make some other criticism. Not
less surprising was her memory of former discussions. ‘She never forgot,’
writes Mrs. Griffith, ‘what had been said. Sometimes she began again,
continuing the conversation just where we left off, after a three months’
interval.’

The secretaries were also impressed by the way in which the President
held herself bound by its smallest rules. Miss Helen Mugliston, who
succeeded Mrs. Griffith as General Secretary in 1898, said Miss Beale
was ‘perfect to work under. Having given you the task, she gave also her
absolute trust and support throughout the whole of it.’

The second meeting of the Guild was held in June 1886, lasting from a
Friday evening to the following Tuesday morning. The President’s opening
address dealt with work and duty. This year, for the first time, the
Guild was also addressed by an outside speaker, the Dean of Gloucester.
Mrs. Ashley Smith, in summing up her impressions of the gatherings of
this year, rejoiced in the interest the members took in the proceedings.
‘We cannot,’ she added, ‘certainly be accused of a servile unanimity
in opinions or in the expression of them; but I hope we are united in
underlying principles.’

It was not until two years later that the sense of fellowship was
strengthened, and the individual desires to help others directed by the
resolve to organise a corporate work, a work in which not only all Guild
members might help according to their opportunities, but in which also
all old pupils and others connected with the College might be invited to
join. This was formally proposed at the Guild meeting of 1888, and an
idea as to what shape it might take was thrown out in a paper then read,
which told for the first time something of what Miss Beale had done by
means of the Loan Fund.

To say that Miss Beale wished the corporate work to be of such a nature
as to carry on that which she had long been doing for impecunious
students, but feebly expresses what was really an earnest desire and
hope. The claim she had upon the Guild, the importance that must attach
to her lightest wish, was recognised; and yet,—yet, many felt that there
were stronger reasons still why another kind of work should be chosen.
Consequently no decision could be made at once, and those who had heard
and discussed the paper parted after merely voting that the Guild
‘should undertake some corporate work.’ Among so many workers there were
necessarily many ideas; the question was too important to be hastily
decided, and it was resolved to give time for suggestions to be made
and considered before anything final was done. The Committee appointed
to consider these reduced them to three schemes of work, on which all
members were asked to vote. These were:—

    1. A scheme for educating at College a few pupils who were
    worthy of education, but unable to pay the fees.

    2. A scheme for taking over an elementary school in order to
    work it through teachers who had been trained in College.

    3. The third scheme, which was carried, was submitted to the
    Guild in these words: ‘That the corporate fund be devoted to
    starting and supporting a mission in one of our large towns,
    the place to be decided by the votes of the Guild Members.’

It was but natural that President and members should have different ideas
on such an occasion. Dorothea Beale, who had never ceased to hear and
obey the call she had received as a girl to help women, and with them the
race, by means of improved education, longed to see those she had taught
and trained freely sharing with others the very same advantages they had
received. The difficulties which beset her own youth were still fresh in
her mind. The need for good teachers still existed. She had seen the work
she wanted the Guild to take up in operation for years, knew that it did
not pauperise, that it blessed giver and receiver, and was increasingly
fruitful, like good seed in good ground. On the other hand, she had a
profound suspicion of much charitable work of the day, thinking that
‘it will quickly perish because it does not aim at developing energy,
inward power. To do for others what they ought to do for themselves is
to degrade them in the order of creation.’[59] She could far more easily
bear to see people suffering from hunger and nakedness than from loss of
will power and sense of responsibility. This was partly, perhaps, because
she did not know nor in the least realise the miseries and difficulties
of extreme poverty.

Miss Beale’s misgivings about the East End work were probably never quite
set at rest. Writing to Mrs. Charles Robinson in 1899, she said: ‘I shall
perhaps sleep two nights at St. Hilda’s East. I feel the whole question
of Settlements most difficult. It was undertaken against my judgment, and
yet the guidance all the way seems to point to its being right. Sisters
and Deaconesses are much better for this work, yet there are some whom we
can enlist who will never join and could not join “Orders.”’

The Guild members who had been trained by their head not always
acquiescingly to ‘do the next thing,’ but to think out questions, to plan
carefully for the best if hardest, belonged to a new generation and had
received another call. They saw how greatly educated women were needed to
deal with charity organisation, with labour problems, with the children
of the poor in schools and workhouses. Many of them were already at work
for these. They felt, too, that they should take their part in helping to
rouse others to study and work for the poor. On the other hand, they saw
the need for cheap, good girls’ education to be one which was lessening
every year. They had never felt it themselves, had had no struggle for
training under pressure of adverse circumstances. Finally, they must
have known that it was work which Miss Beale would not fail to carry on,
meeting every necessity which was brought to her personal notice.

On May 6, 1889, a general meeting of the Guild was held in London to
consider further the lines on which the adopted scheme should be carried
out. It was decided that the Guild Settlement should be made in London,
in the parish of St. John’s, Bethnal Green, described by its vicar, the
Rev. G. Bromby, who warmly welcomed the Cheltenham workers, as a ‘typical
East End parish of the better sort.’

At this meeting the President introduced the subject by saying:

    ‘I trust we shall be able to try to win harmony out of notes
    not altogether concordant. Some of us come with a feeling of
    disappointment that the scheme we desired has been rejected;—I
    am one of these. I not only accept my defeat, I feel sure that
    you have sought guidance of that inward oracle which must ever
    be our supreme ruler, you have done what conscience bade, and
    so it is right. As regards my own scheme, I only allude to it
    to say, that having now to continue it single-handed, I cannot
    help you as much as I could wish, and I just refer to it to-day
    in the hope that you will remember it when I am no longer here.’

In these few words only did Miss Beale at the time announce her own
disappointment and anxiety. There was much more she might have said,
which she did in effect say in an early draft of her speech, which she
fortunately did not destroy. Here her misgivings show themselves plainly.
They were due to her foresight and judgment, yet it is likely that in
some ways the untried workers, whom she feared were lightly taking upon
themselves responsibilities to which they might prove unequal, really
knew more than herself of the scope and details of the actual task before
them.

This is what Miss Beale wrote but did not say:—

    ‘It is no use concealing from you, for I could not, that I am
    greatly disappointed. But when I have said that, I have done;
    I accept the defeat. Others whose schemes have equally been
    rejected are suffering, thinking, perhaps, it is hard they have
    been met with so little sympathy. If they do not think well to
    join in this, no one will blame them, I hope, but will believe
    that they refuse because they ought not to give except as
    conscience requires, but let them give or spend in the best way
    they can all they would have bestowed on the Guild scheme of
    their heart’s choice.

    ‘This matter has brought before me many things which seem to
    show that our organisation needs some more distinct ideal.
    Like some “Topsy,” it could say in its infancy, “’spects I
    growed!” But when it undertakes to do something on its own
    account, then questions of power and how much power it should
    exercise, the questions of law and liberty which need to be
    faced, and which we shall, I trust, grow stronger and wiser in
    facing,—these have come before me with painful strength because
    as your President I had to face them. I was strongly opposed
    to the London scheme; I felt we were far too young, both in
    the age of the majority of our members, and also in the age of
    our organisation, to undertake such a great scheme. I had the
    strongest dislike to fashions in philanthropy, and especially
    is it most undesirable to familiarise the young with lives led
    in the slums of heathen London. Only those whose faith has had
    years to grow strong seem called to such work.

    ‘I could not see the Head whom I could trust with its
    management, and such a centre of work could not be ruled
    by several equal Heads, or by a committee with almost no
    experience and but little _individual_ responsibility. The
    whole thing seemed to me a mistake, and my heart sank as I
    thought of myself as President over our Guild, working what
    seemed an impossible scheme. Yet it is one of the first
    principles of education to let children who are not grounded
    properly make mistakes and so learn where they fail.’

Much happened to reconcile Miss Beale to the Settlement scheme. Miss
Catherine Newman, as her sister had done ten years before in aid of
poor students, volunteered to undertake the management of the work
gratuitously, and to pay her own expenses. Miss Newman was an old College
pupil and a member of the Guild. She was also a trained nurse, with
long experience of work among the poor. Miss Newman’s offer and the
appeal of her old friend, Mr. Bromby, had weight with Miss Beale. She
felt less anxious about the efforts of her ‘children’ if safe-guarded
by the experience of those she knew and trusted. Miss Newman could also
sympathise with Miss Beale’s own disappointment and anxiety, while
she was confident of her large-mindedness in this matter. This may be
gathered from a letter she wrote to her in the course of the proceedings
at this time:—

    ‘ ... It is very good of you to set aside your own wishes and
    to throw yourself into this scheme. I have thought many times
    since the corporate work was talked about, that the freedom
    both teachers and old pupils felt in proposing schemes of work
    spoke volumes for their confidence in your generosity. Several
    members of the Guild who felt drawn towards the mission scheme
    said to me, “If I thought Miss Beale would wish me to vote
    for the Loan Fund because it was her scheme I would do so,
    but I believe that she would prefer that we should think for
    ourselves and vote for the scheme which most commends itself to
    us individually.” This confidence in your generosity and sense
    of justice struck me greatly; they knew you too well to fear
    for an instant that you might resent their taking a different
    line, and I felt sure from all I had ever known or seen of you
    that their confidence was not misplaced. Had you been able to
    unfold your scheme to them the result might have been very
    different, but of course it is too late now. If we were to
    renounce the idea of the Home for workers in the East-end, the
    elementary school would certainly take its place, and I am sure
    that you have realised ere now that it would be unjust both to
    the workers and the parish in which the Settlement is made to
    make it a temporary thing. Either it must be the corporate work
    of the Guild or it must be given up altogether,—at least so
    it seems to me. We could not expect enthusiasm either to work
    or support if it might be withdrawn at any moment. As regards
    your scheme, dear Miss Beale, I am truly sorry that it had
    not really a fair chance from the accident of its not being
    ripe yet for publicity. Two years hence might have been soon
    enough, yet I need not remind you that the “corporate work” was
    suggested by _yourself_. I am not afraid to say, however, that
    your scheme is sure of support and success, and this I trust
    while your powers are still unimpaired; but if, unfortunately,
    your strength should oblige you to limit your useful labour
    before it is fairly launched, I have every confidence that your
    friends and “children” would look upon it as a sacred legacy,
    which it would be their pride and pleasure to inherit from you.’

At the very moment that the Cheltenham Settlement was about to be opened
in Bethnal Green, the ladies of Oxford were prepared to start one in the
same district. For the convenience of both, an arrangement was made by
which the two sets of workers could live together for a time, under one
head, Miss Newman, until the resources of each, and the work they were
called upon to do, were better known. Mayfield House, close to St. John’s
Church, was therefore taken and formally opened as a Ladies’ Settlement
(at that time the second in London), on October 26, 1889. Four years
later, as suddenly as her sister at Jersey House, Miss Newman died at her
post. ‘What can one feel,’ wrote a friend to Miss Beale, ‘except that her
death seems to seal the whole life with the heroism of _service_.’

This trouble was the first link in a chain of circumstances which led,
in the course of three or four years, to the removal of the Settlement
to Shoreditch, where it became an important branch of that work to which
Miss Beale gave the title of St. Hilda’s.



CHAPTER XI

ST. HILDA’S WORK

    ‘Thy kindred with the great of old.’

        TENNYSON, _In Memoriam_, lxxiv.


Those who had often the advantage of hearing Miss Beale speak, either
in general addresses to present or past pupils, or in the more regular
course of literature lessons, soon learned that there were certain heroic
names which had for her an almost romantic fascination. Among those of
great women who influenced her imagination are specially to be remembered
St. Hilda, St. Catherine of Siena, la Mère Angélique, Mme. Guyon. Of
these the most dominant, the most inspiring was that of the great
Northumbrian abbess, known to those whom she taught and ruled by the name
of ‘Mother,’ not by virtue of her office, but on account of her signal
piety and grace.[60] Hilda, the earnest student who ‘had been diligently
instructed by learned men, who so loved order that she immediately began
to reduce all things to a regular system.’ Hilda, the patron of the first
English religious poet, ‘who obliged those under her to attend much to
the reading of the Holy Scriptures; who taught the strict observance of
justice and other virtues, particularly of peace and charity.’[61] This
great Hilda and her work were to Dorothea Beale not merely romantic
names, they were an ideal, an inspiration. And when the due time came,
though for the sake of Miss Newman she hesitated for a moment over the
alternative title of St. Margaret’s Hall, the name of St. Hilda was the
one she chose to grace her own foundations. There are, possibly, members
of the Ladies’ College who felt a pang of envy when the Students’ House
became St. Hilda’s College. They could have borne to exchange the prim
early Victorian title bestowed by the godfathers of 1856 for this more
inspiring name. There is, however, consolation in the thought that the
Ladies’ College is still free to adopt the name of its second founder.

St. Hilda’s Hall, as it was at first called, was formally opened on
November 27, 1886; but its real building was a much longer process, even
if dated only from Miss Margaret Newman’s death at the close of 1877.
Miss Beale thought much and anxiously how she could best lay out the
money which she and her staff and some friends had given in order that
Miss Newman’s work might be carried on and enlarged. She advised with a
few who cared for education and for the College. Among those who helped
and counselled were Miss Soames, who subscribed largely to St. Hilda’s,
and Mr. Brancker, some of whose letters on the subject remain. If there
seems now to be little that is original in the suggestions and plans
discussed by Miss Beale and Mr. Brancker, it is because they were to a
great extent pioneers, and among the first to bring about a real system
for attaining the educational objects they had at heart. In 1878 Mr.
Brancker wrote:—

    ‘The object you advocate is a very desirable one, and one I
    have longed for many a time as an adjunct of the Ladies’
    College—but while we were struggling upwards I could never see
    an opportune time to advocate my ideas on the subject. The
    means you suggest are very undesirable, to my mind at least, as
    partaking too much of the “charitable object” idea to commend
    themselves to me.

    ‘So necessary do I consider the future training of those who
    in their turns have to teach that for the present I should be
    inclined to treat every case on its own merits; as there may
    be many who may be anxious to get their education on such easy
    terms and yet have not the very least idea of imparting that
    knowledge to others, and in such cases the object you seek is
    not attained.

    ‘My idea, which is perhaps a crude one, would be that the
    capabilities of each pupil as regards teaching should be
    tested, and if she showed suitable powers she should be drafted
    into one of the boarding-houses, or if thought better into a
    separate house; that the fees of the College in her case be
    remitted, and that the expense of her board be paid all or
    in part by the College. That for this she should engage to
    become a regular teacher; that the College should have the
    first claim on her services, and that she should pass all
    the necessary examinations appointed by the College. If in a
    boarding-house she might assist in keeping order and authority,
    not as a governess but as an elder pupil,—not as a spy but by
    moral power, keep her position, something like a præpostor in
    a public school; a great deal of evil might then be prevented
    by being nipped in the bud. Should she eventually wish to take
    a College degree she should be assisted by the College if she
    remained with them or under their control. My great object
    would be to get ladies to accept such a position, as there
    must be many who would come within the rules of the College
    as to position who would be very glad to have such a vocation
    in prospect, and the College ought to be in a position now,
    unless the funds have been unnecessarily squandered, to afford
    to assist such cases in the hope that in the future they would
    help it.

    ‘Such are my rough ideas on the subject, as I do not believe in
    the isolation of those who want a practical knowledge of human
    nature to enable them to become teachers worth their salt.’

In a second letter on the same subject Mr. Brancker said:—

    ‘I _quite_ understand what you feel about this matter relating
    to the governess of the future, and it was only my fear that
    you might be unwittingly getting into troubled waters that
    induced me to write you at once about it. It is a _very_
    difficult question to solve, and one that wants a good deal
    more thought so that no mistake may be made. My plan is to
    take up the idea of a “pupil teacher” in Government Schools,
    and from that form some plan for the education of those who
    aspire to be the teachers of the future. I should then carry
    out the idea I have always entertained of giving a preference
    to our own pupils, and working them up to our standard. I
    have always regretted that we missed Bessie Calrow, as she
    was a born teacher and would have delighted in the work. It
    seems to me that as you do not take these pupils until they
    are seventeen, you have a great chance among your own pupils,
    and would certainly know their own character better than any
    stranger; therefore, to any one who had passed through the
    College—could pass the necessary examination, and was willing
    to be such pupil teacher—I would pay the College fees and half
    the boarding-house expenses, or all if you like, and would give
    her a fair trial, and if at the end of twelve months, or longer
    as might be thought desirable, it was not satisfactory to all
    parties, let her depart and no harm would be done. This is a
    far better and more dignified position than being educated by
    _charity_; and the person enjoying it would lose nothing of her
    dignity, if it was not even added to by the position. If the
    plan is to do any good it must be grafted on to the College,
    and I for one should be very sorry to see that obliged to go to
    the public for any funds it requires to do good. I would make
    the pupils sign nothing on my plan, my hold upon them would be
    their association with the College. I can quite understand the
    difficulties raised by the boarding-houses about new pupils at
    that age, but with old ones that difficulty is at once removed;
    as, like the præpostors, they would have certain privileges,
    but at the same time they must submit to the discipline of the
    house. My plan may be, and no doubt is very crude, but these
    are the lines I should start from and feel my way tentatively,
    so as not to destroy the independence of the individual. Look
    where you get the best masters of public schools:—The man who
    succeeds is a scholar and very likely Fellow of his College;
    he may have been Bible-clerk, sizar, or undergraduate, and so
    has worked his way upwards and obtained his position from hard
    work, thus adding to his dignity and power of teaching. And I
    should follow as much as possible in these tracks.’

Eventually the ideas expressed in these letters were carried out in
the arrangement of St. Hilda’s, which became not only a home for pupils
who could not afford the normal boarding fees, but also a residence for
senior students who needed more liberty than they could have in the other
houses. By this means the house was put on a self-supporting basis. Miss
Beale could have borne with no other. The Loan Fund, up to this time,
had been the means of assisting over a hundred students. Miss Beale now
asked a few personal friends to support it, pointing out that such a
means of help was far better than any system of scholarships, which she
never ceased to dislike, and against which she continually spoke and
wrote. Her chief objections to scholarships have been already noted.[62]
She was moreover opposed to the principle of material giving involved
in the system. She only cared, at any time, to give what would embrace
and ennoble character. She thought it best that people should pay for
advantages received, thought they would value them more, thought it made
girls more careful and self-denying when first the management of money
came into their own hands, to feel that it was not their own to do as
they pleased with. A mere gift seemed to her like a dead thing compared
with the money which, lent and returned and then lent to others, was
thus used over and over again. Yet the want of response to appeals for
the Loan Fund must have been partly due to a difference of opinion on
its method rather than to want of sympathy with Miss Beale’s aims. There
are many who feel an objection to saddling with a loan a young teacher
starting on her work, or who recognise that an unpaid loan may help to
lower the standard in money affairs, and on that account shrink from
giving help in this way. There are few indeed who could lend money
so successfully as Miss Beale could, because there are few who could
so successfully command repayment. Of the first £500 advanced by the
Loan Fund, £495 was repaid in a very few years. The pressure she would
exercise for repayment sometimes led to the wrong notion that she cared
for money for its own sake. She had at all times great skill in wringing
the utmost use out of a sum of money to promote those ends for which
she lived; but in the ordinary commonplace sense she was indifferent to
money and the things for which it is usually exchanged. Her own personal
life was as bare of luxury when she was a rich woman as it was when
her capital was reckoned in hundreds only. But she did care deeply for
character, and anxiously avoided all forms of easy generosity which might
injure those she sought to help.

For several years before a turf was cut for St. Hilda’s College, Miss
Beale was, as she would herself have expressed it, building it: student
teachers were being trained in the College, and in 1881 one of these
passed the Cambridge Examination in the Theory and Practice of Education.
Gradually she gathered an increasing body of students in a separate
house—a house which was as unlike as any could possibly be to the
beautiful home which was shortly to be opened. She waited year after year
for money with which to build without interrupting the work she had begun
in assisted education, and for the reasons named made no public appeal
for it. It was enough, she maintained, to state the real needs—to show
the value of a work by the way it was done—and thus let it make its own
appeal for support. She had a horror of _plant_ which might be a mere
empty shell, or which in its establishment might become a diversion of
energy from spiritual work. She felt this especially in the matter of
church building, as may be seen in the following extract from a letter:
‘What I disapproved of was the amount of begging for the Cathedral. I do
not disapprove of _it_, but I think you know what I felt. However, the
Bishop will do all he can to make it a strong spiritual centre. I can
never get over the feeling of spiritual destitution at one very beautiful
cathedral.’ It was also, perhaps less consciously, a principle not to
take money except from those who were willing for her to carry out her
own ideas. She wrote to one friend in 1888:—

    ‘As regards our Students’ Home, I have given up the idea of
    a public meeting. It seemed not right to refuse the offer
    at first. But I shall go on with the work, and I doubt not
    the money will come. There is such a great need for training
    teachers. If we had a meeting things might be said and money be
    given in a way which would pledge us, or be thought to pledge
    us, and now we shall be free.’

And again in 1884 to one who helped her Oxford scheme:—

    ‘I grieve over that Protestant spirit which forbids people
    to read books, to associate with people, who do not think
    precisely in their way. Is this done in Science? No; we put
    various theories before the student and show _why_ we accept
    them. But we don’t ever want to impose our beliefs; so I want
    not to impose mine in religion, but to bring the learner to
    the “fountain of living water.” Any transferred opinion is
    without root, and cannot endure the storm. Teachers must, if
    they are to help, gain the sympathy they need by entering into
    the religious modes of seeing and feeling of many different
    souls. I think in a University town they would come in contact
    with various influences, and in a house like St. Hilda’s I
    should want thoughtful people who have gone through some of the
    experience of life,—old teachers to help the young. There is a
    little more of my dream, but I am quite content to wait. If it
    be God’s will that such a house should grow up, the way will
    be pointed out. I felt I could not say all this to you when we
    meet, and I have got to care that you should not misunderstand
    me.’

As the time to begin the actual erection of the house drew near she had
no exultation over the fulfilment of a dream. Yet in the beginning of
August 1885, surrounded by young teachers from her own and other schools
drawn together for a Retreat and a brief educational conference, her mind
was naturally full of that dream. Some few of her own thoughts about it
she wrote down; such as the following, with their characteristic heading:—

    ‘_Sunday, Aug. 2, 1885_—on St. Hilda’s. Some thoughts at church.

    ‘God fulfils Himself in many ways. Lest one good custom should
    corrupt the world.

    ‘How often have we seen endowments thus rendered injurious, not
    helpful. So it is with many of the institutions around us. Can
    we hope better things from this one? No, we can only hope for
    it not a perfection but a temporary usefulness. “He, after he
    had served his generation according to the will of God, fell
    on sleep”;—so it is with men, so with institutions, they need
    not a body but a spirit. As long as the spirit lives the body
    is the instrument of all good works. When the spirit dies, the
    body becomes the source of disease and corruption. For this
    reason I have cared more to awaken the spirit than to gather
    funds and build first. The spirit will, I hope, shape the body.

    ‘Now what we want is a body of women whose one desire is to
    consecrate themselves to the ministry of teaching.

    ‘“Get work in this world.

    ‘Be sure ’tis better than what you work to get.”

    ‘Ye are the salt of the earth,—light of the world, said the
    Lord to the teachers He sent forth.’

The first stone of St. Hilda’s College was quietly laid by Canon Medd
(one of the trustees and a member of the Ladies’ College Council) in
1884. The opening, which took place on November 27, 1885, was far more
dignified than that its illustrious parent had known in 1856.

‘The ceremony of opening the institution,’ so ran the account in the
Cheltenham _Examiner_, ‘which was performed by the Bishop of the diocese,
took place at three o’clock, and was attended by a large and influential
company, who assembled in the study, a spacious—but on this occasion
none too spacious—apartment on the ground floor.’ Among those present
were the Dean of Winchester,[63] then Chairman of the College Council,
who conducted the short service, the late Bishop of Ely, and many of the
clergy of the town, besides the friends and benefactors of St. Hilda’s.
On entering the study the eye was caught at once by the words which
Miss Beale quoted so often that they seemed like the motto of her work:
‘Knowledge puffeth up, but charity buildeth up.’ Here, in this ‘Godly
Place,’ as he called the house, the Bishop of Gloucester, who since 1875
had been both nominally and actually Visitor of the Ladies’ College, gave
an address full of sympathy for the ideals of the founder.

Thus the first resident Training College for teachers, other than
elementary, was planned, and built, and opened. In order to make its
position more permanent it was constituted into a separate College with
a Council of its own. In 1886 a statue of St. Hilda was presented and
placed in the hall. On unveiling it, Miss Beale spoke of the Saint’s
life, and especially of her work as a teacher. She concluded with a
thought, the deeper for the personal touch in it, of memory of what
she had had to bear in the past, and indeed in later years also, of
misconception and misrepresentation.

    ‘Shall I touch in conclusion upon the mythical elements in St.
    Hilda’s story? Myths are truths expressed in poetry. You see
    the ammonite at her feet, one of the serpents that she, like
    St. Patrick, is fabled to have turned into stone. There may
    have been, once, at Whitby, serpents who, with the poisoned
    tooth of calumny and evil-speaking, wounded and slew. I think
    she turned them into stone with her look of sorrow. We have not
    represented the wild geese, whom she is said to have destroyed
    because they wasted her lands. I half believe that story too; I
    feel sure that all these disappeared from her abbey lands, but
    perhaps they were turned into swans.’

St. Hilda’s College was scarcely built and opened before it was necessary
to enlarge it by adding a new wing. It was not until this had been done
that Miss Beale felt free to devote herself to another foundation, which
also was to bear the name of the sainted Abbess.

As early as the year 1882 Miss Beale, attracted by the increasing
facilities offered to women by the elder universities, had purchased
three acres of land in north Oxford. These she retained for building
uses should the right moment or a definite reason for such a purpose
occur. But no one showed much sympathy with the scheme, there was no
offer of money, and for long much of her own capital was absorbed in St.
Hilda’s, Cheltenham. Impulsive to a fault as she often was, Miss Beale
could school herself to wait. After five years came an opportunity of
purchasing a ready-made college in Dr. Child’s beautiful house on the
Cherwell. It seemed well to accept this, and begin there the new house of
education.

There were many reasons why Miss Beale allowed so long a time to elapse
between her purpose and her act. Her own ideas and her aims for her Hall
at Oxford shaped themselves but gradually. Somerville College[64] and
Lady Margaret Hall were still in their first youth. Miss Beale’s scheme
seemed uncalled for where there were already so many workers for the
cause of women’s education in the field. Her educational experience
had been different from that of those whose minds had developed among
university surroundings; her methods were unacademic, unconventional.
Consequently there were some to warn her as she prepared to take her new
step: ‘The University may easily receive a shock from which it will take
long to recover.’

It may well be asked even now, as it was often asked at the time, why
Miss Beale wanted to come to Oxford at all, and particularly while she
was uncertain of the value of University Examinations for women. But
she valued even more than the certificate gained by taking schools
the atmosphere of Oxford. She saw that the students of St. Hilda’s,
Cheltenham, missed this. When she founded that institution she had
written of it, that she hoped it ‘would be a Hall similar to the Halls
at Oxford and Cambridge.’ Now she felt the need of what only the older
universities could give. She hoped her new house might become a place of
intellectual enlargement and refreshment such as Oxford could best supply
to some who had already begun their work of teaching, and who needed new
thoughts and inspiration, more time for thought, a higher intellectual
standard. She thought that a year at Oxford could supply that feature in
education which is sometimes more developed at home.

    ‘I have often felt ... that a year in which they should be
    allowed to expatiate in intellectual pastures in a way that
    we older women used to do before examinations for women
    existed, would be of great value. And they can do this best
    in some University town, where they can have libraries and
    museums and such lectures and private help as they most
    require—both hearing and asking questions, rather than being
    asked and answering.... Many could take one year who could
    not take three.... The students of St. Hilda’s (Oxford)
    will have the same opportunities of attending lectures and
    offering themselves for examinations as at the other Ladies’
    Colleges—but we should not press examination upon any who can
    do better work without. Of course we must be assured that those
    who come to us will work seriously.’

Yet these reasons were secondary. The purchase of three acres of ground
at Oxford was a definite result of her own suffering of mind in 1882. As
she emerged from that she at once began to build in vision a house where
teachers should be established in the faith, where they should learn to
feel that their calling was not to do mere journeyman work, but to deal
with the deep problems of life.

Finally, it may be added that, whether conscious of it or not, she could
not keep herself out of the great movement which was enabling women
to share with men many of the incomparable advantages of University
life, she had also her own conception of what University life might do
for women, and by means of a College at Oxford for her own College at
Cheltenham. For Cheltenham the connection would be of great value. Seeing
all that might be won by a well-placed move, she planned that move,
waited, then made it at the right moment. ‘I bewail your news,’ wrote
an Oxford friend to whom she communicated the fact that St. Hilda’s was
about to be opened, ‘and disclaim all responsibility for your mistake.’
Miss Beale opened her Hall and begged the students to accept the words
_Non frustra vixi_ as their motto, that being the thought which the
ammonite at the feet of St. Hilda’s statue now suggested to her.

In October 1893 seven students took up their residence at St. Hilda’s.
Mrs. Burrows, who had had a College boarding-house at Cheltenham, came to
be head of the new Hall, assisted by her daughter, who had been a student
at Lady Margaret Hall. The house was formally but quietly opened on
November 6 by the Bishop of the diocese, Dr. Stubbs, who placed himself
at Miss Beale’s disposal for all arrangements. ‘I will keep,’ he wrote,
‘November 6 free for Miss Beale, but she must let me hear what, when, and
how what is to be done’; and to Miss Beale, ‘You do not want me to bring
robes on the 6th, do you? A line to reassure me would be grateful.’

On the occasion of the opening, after the little service conducted by the
Dean of Winchester, the Bishop of Oxford spoke a few ‘grave and weighty
words’ on the duty of ‘self-culture of the whole mind, soul, and spirit.’
The Dean, who thanked him for his address, said that ‘the new venture of
the Cheltenham Ladies’ College was by no means so ambitious as the Bishop
seemed to think.’ He spoke of the way in which it might prepare women
to be of real service in their generation, and added: ‘One cannot think
of this opening day for the Oxford St. Hilda’s without strong emotions
of gratitude and hope. This is the crown and highest result of all that
work for women’s education which has been carried on under Miss Beale’s
wise rule at Cheltenham these many years past; the College, with its
varieties of activity, and its eight hundred students, justly claims to
be represented here in the home of highest education.’

[Illustration: _Photo. W. H. Rogers_

_S. Hilda’s Hall, Oxford._]

Among the friends gathered for this opening ceremony was the founder of
the Ladies’ College, Cheltenham, Canon Bellairs. He welcomed this house
in Oxford, though he would have named it differently.

    ‘I am very glad to hear,’ he had written a month before, ‘that
    you are starting what will no doubt become a veritable College.
    You should christen it at once. St. Clare would be appropriate.
    She founded an Order, and your College will be the foundation
    of an order. I do hope the G. W. R. will alter its time-table
    to suit your convenience. It would do so if it had as high an
    opinion of your excellence as the Father of your College, and
    your Pupils and all that know you have. Fancy, thirty-five
    years since we first met! What a period for evolution.... I
    should like very much to have a chat with you to see where you
    are now.’

After five years, St. Hilda’s, Oxford, was recognised by the Association
for the Education of Women in Oxford as St. Hilda’s Hall. Miss Beale
finally, in 1900, connected it with St. Hilda’s, Cheltenham, by
presenting it to the Association of that College.

That Miss Beale was fully alive to changes that must come in the course
of time to such an institution as St. Hilda’s Hall, and could be content
to see her own personal wishes set aside in everything that did not
affect the essential life of the place, is clear from the following
letter to Mrs. Wells in January 1903:—

    ‘Thanks for your nice letter and the suggestions. I think
    with you that the giving of scholarships will have to be
    reconsidered, and some clear rules made. I am, however, no less
    strongly opposed to the modern slave trade than before, and
    should be much grieved if we entered upon it. I see you would
    limit the giving to those who need help. Of course I see that
    I can no longer have the freedom I had in choosing scholars
    when the house was mine, and I alone was responsible for all
    expenses, and Mrs. Hay allowed me to dispose of her gifts, but
    I do hope we shall go on somewhat the same lines.

    ‘1. That we shall not ask for money.

    ‘2. That we shall not advertise in order to get scholars.

    ‘3. That we shall not pledge ourselves to choose merely by
    intellectual pre-eminence.

    ‘4. I think we are justified in giving the preference to
    Cheltenham girls.

    ‘Might we not say that a scholarship should be offered on
    certain fixed conditions to certain girls, say to associates
    and to those who, not having been long enough to gain this,
    should have taken a high rank in the Cambridge room.’

The year marked by this crown and result of labour was saddened by the
death of Miss Catherine Newman at Mayfield House. It was a death which
caused not only personal sorrow, but extreme perplexity and loss to all
connected with the Mission. They found themselves at the end of four
years’ trial of their scheme without a head, with a scattered band of
workers, and an insanitary house. No one felt the sorrow of it all more
than Miss Beale; no one was more courageous in meeting it. The necessary,
difficult, and toilsome work which was the result of the crisis did not
indeed fall to her share, but to that of some members of the committee
on whom the responsibility specially pressed. But such difficulties to
be met, such a death for a cause, were exactly what roused Miss Beale to
feel the worth of it as she had never done before.

A small untiring sub-committee was formed, with Mrs. Batten as secretary,
to re-arrange the work. The cost of efficient drainage operations was
so heavy that at first it seemed better to seek a new house for the
Settlement than to undertake such a great expense. A long search in the
neighbourhood for such a house proved fruitless. It therefore became a
question whether the Guild members should move their work from the place
they had deliberately chosen at a large general meeting, or go to the
expense required for making Mayfield House fit for habitation. However,
an appeal to the surveyor resulted in the cost of the drainage work
being thrown upon the landlord, who consequently made harder terms for
his tenants. The question whether to stay or go came before the Guild in
1894, and a vote for continuing the work at Mayfield House was passed
by a large majority. After an interval of some months the house was
re-opened under a new Lady Warden, Miss Corbett,—no Cheltenham worker
having been found to undertake it.

In her first report Miss Corbett was able to show a full complement of
workers. There was no falling off, but in less than two years it became
evident that a more complete change must be made. The Oxford workers, who
by a temporary arrangement lived at first in Mayfield House, had now a
prosperous Settlement of their own—St. Margaret’s—in the very same square
as Mayfield House. This Settlement of the Ladies’ Branch of the Oxford
House could not well be in any other neighbourhood. It was seen to be
ludicrous that two large communities of women workers should concentrate
their energies on one small corner of the vast field of London work.
Added to this, the high rent and rates of Mayfield House pointed to the
need of a change, and at the Guild meeting of 1896 it was definitely
proposed to move either to East Ham or Lambeth. Finally, however,
Shoreditch was chosen, a district having sore needs, and near enough to
Bethnal Green to enable those members of the Settlement engaged there in
Board School management, charity organisation, and other extra parochial
work still to carry it on.

Then came the question of a house. There was none. It was clearly
necessary to build, but for so large an undertaking the reserve fund was
insufficient. Miss Beale, always averse to begging for money, refused to
make any definite appeal for charity, but as a happy inspiration, the
idea came to her that the Guild should meet the difficulty with the same
kind of means used by Mrs. Grey in starting high schools in 1874. This
idea took shape in February 1897. Miss Verrall, who had been Treasurer
of the Settlement from the beginning, sent out notices to members of the
Guild to inquire whether shares for £3000 would be taken up, and a ready
response was given, all the shares being quickly appropriated within
a fortnight. This, which seems to be a mere business transaction, was
really a great deal more. It was rather a channel for interest and help
which had been so far unable to force their way freely. The money was
subscribed in the form of debenture stock at three per cent., repayable
at the end of eighty years. £3800 was subscribed within a fortnight by
310 subscribers. A large part came from women to whom the sacrifice of
control or recovery of the capital made it practically a gift. To most
the yearly-paid few shillings of interest meant little in comparison
with a few pounds available for immediate expenditure. Of the money
subscribed, over £400 has now been released by gift from the holders.
Other holders have authorised the Council of St. Hilda’s East to retain
their interest. This brings in about £30 a year. The transaction was a
fine example of Miss Beale’s use of this world’s goods, as means to great
ends, and a fine instance of the response she could command from those
she had led to her own point of view. Generous aid came also from Mr.
Dutton, whose sister was an old Cheltonian,[65] and who undertook all
the legal business gratuitously; also from the honorary architect, Mr.
Philip Day, the husband of an old pupil, who volunteered his services for
the new house. The workers found temporary quarters during the building,
which took less than a year; and on April 26, 1898, the house was opened
by Dr. Creighton, the Bishop of London, under the name of St. Hilda’s,
Shoreditch. For Miss Beale remained faithful to the name and all the
ideas it implied for her. On the letter of a friend who wrote, ‘Could
not the new house be called Cheltenham House or some such, binding it to
the College? It would be better than a picturesque saint’—she wrote, ‘I
disagree.’ Mrs. Reynolds, an old pupil, became head of the Settlement
during the busy time of furnishing and organisation of work in a new
centre. A year later she was succeeded by another old pupil, Miss Bruce,
the present Lady Warden, who had worked in the Settlement from the first.
Since that time the house has twice been enlarged. The growth of the
Settlement, as its beginning had been, was marked by the loss through
death of an enthusiastic worker when Mrs. Moyle, who was for a time its
secretary, died in July 1899.

As the permanence of the Settlement became assured, and the interest
of both past and present pupils increased, being augmented by the
organisation of shares, and by the formation of St. Hilda’s Association,
Miss Beale’s own interest in the work grew. She regarded St. Hilda’s East
less as a centre of help for the poor than as a place of training for
workers. In this aspect it appealed to her as rightly an integral part of
the work of the College. In the year 1898, which she said might be called
for the College an _annus mirabilis_, she was able to point to the three
institutions bearing the name of St. Hilda, each firmly established,
flourishing, and full of promise of future usefulness.

    ‘This year St. Hilda’s, enlarged from six to sixty students, is
    full and free from debt.

    ‘This year the link with the University of Oxford, so early
    formed, has been made permanent by St. Hilda’s, Oxford,
    becoming a Hall of the University.

    ‘Above all, this year St. Hilda’s East has been built by the
    spontaneous co-operation of past and present girls, and this
    has specially cheered us, that those who have left us for other
    spheres, the Heads of other great Schools, still stretch out
    their hands to us, work with us in the Guild and the Mission,
    and the old ties are not broken.’

But the three great institutions bearing the name of St. Hilda by no
means included all that thought-training work which was what Miss Beale
specially associated with it.

The existence of St. Hilda’s College at Cheltenham made it convenient,
if not imperative, to find exercise for the energy there inspired and
directed, and to supply classes for practice. To keep this stream of
energy within her own guidance for a longer period than the time of
training involved, it was necessary to have scope for it at hand. Even
the great and growing College was not large enough to employ all the
workers it trained, and the Principal was ever alive to the necessity
of having a certain number of teachers from outside, bringing with them
fresh ideas and methods.

The Kindergarten was the first addition to the Ladies’ College proper
to need such young helpers as Miss Beale now had at her disposal. It
began, like Miss Beale’s other creations, without a local habitation of
its own in 1876. The College, owing to the quick perception of its Lady
Principal, who was sensitive to each fresh tendency in education, was
one of the first schools in England to avail itself of the Kindergarten
mistresses trained by Madame Michaelis, who began her work in her own
house at Croydon as early as 1874.

Miss Beale at once secured a mistress, and on her arrival a number of
little boys and girls were immediately found to constitute a Kindergarten
in Miss Beale’s own drawing-room. ‘The’ drawing-room, as she always
called it, did not well bear out its title. As a baby-class room it
looked well. Morris’s daisy and columbine paper, then a new thing, was
on the walls, to suggest the thought, which was probably correct, that
in first choosing it Miss Beale had already an intention of beginning a
Kindergarten, though she did not find it advisable to mention it then to
the Council. Some of the younger teachers in College helped a little with
this baby-class. The system and organisation, the carefully trained head,
all seemed rather alarming in those days when Froebelian ideas and German
methods were little known in England.

As early as 1876 there were twenty-five children in the Kindergarten, for
which a classroom had to be found in the College. In 1881 Miss Welldon
came to Cheltenham as head of the Kindergarten. Hers was one of the first
appointments made by the Croydon Kindergarten Company, which had been
founded in 1876, with Madame Michaelis as Principal.

In 1882 the new room, purposely built and fitted for a Kindergarten,
was opened. It was much enlarged in 1887. But soon again more scope was
needed for the large number of students who now flocked to Cheltenham.
Miss Beale could not bear to let one of these escape her. She recognised
their needs, she saw their possible value. There were then very
few places in England where they could be trained; the demand for
Kindergarten mistresses daily increased. The immediate difficulty was
met in 1889 by the establishment of a Kindergarten school in connection
with St. Stephen’s Church in Cheltenham, supported by the vicar of the
parish and a few voluntary contributors. This was staffed by Kindergarten
students of the Ladies’ College. Fifty-seven children actually appeared
in the school the first day, and the numbers rapidly increased in spite
of the fact that each child paid twopence weekly. Five years later
College students penetrated into a still poorer school at Naunton, a
hamlet adjoining the town of Cheltenham. In 1896 the infant school of
the parish of Holy Trinity in the town invited teachers from the College.

In 1889 Cambray House was offered for sale. Miss Beale, who had a strong
lingering affection for this first home of her school, had with regret
seen it ‘alienated to barbarian boys,’ the trees cut down, and the garden
turned into an asphalted playground. The building was well fitted for
the school purposes for which it had been adapted and long used. There
was enough space in the part which had not been altered, and which was
not wanted for a day-school, to be utilised as a boarding-house. Miss
Beale seized the chance she saw of opening a school which should serve
the double purpose of taking overflow pupils or others for whom, for
many reasons, the Ladies’ College was not suited, and of affording an
opening under her own eye for some of the teachers she was training. The
rules for admission, discipline, etc., were identical with those of the
College. By this time, too, she saw the use of the racquet-courts and
tennis-grounds. It was a great satisfaction to get back this house. She
wrote of it to Miss Arnold:—

    ‘I dare not take any extra fatigue, as I have so much on my
    hands—I must try to be alone for a while. I have just bought
    back the old Cambray House in which I began thirty-one years
    ago. I want a second Miss Wilderspin, I have got to put it in
    order and furnish by May.... I heard Canon Body at All Saints,
    Margaret Street, last Friday. It was a very good sermon, and
    seemed to fit in well with the thoughts that came to me, as
    I had just got my offer for Cambray accepted, rather to my
    surprise.’

In 1895 Cambray was enlarged at a cost of about £2000, and in October
1897 Miss Beale, by deed of gift, made over the property to the Ladies’
College, though it was arranged that she should still continue there
the school and boarding-house. Miss Beale marked this return of Cambray
House, ‘enlarged and alive again with girls,’ into the possession of the
College, as another notable event of the _annus mirabilis_.

Cambray House, on its acquisition by the College through the gift
of Miss Beale, was leased to her for a nominal rent; the school and
boarding-house being carried on as a private venture until 1906, when
their existence was recognised in the College prospectus for the first
time. Miss Beale spent another £2000 out of her own income upon additions
and improvements after she had made over the house to the College. This
was a large sum, but even from a financial point of view by no means
wasted. In five years the profits of school and boarding-house amounted
to £1000, for which Miss Beale planned further fruitful use.

Cambray School, or, to give it its true title, Cheltenham Ladies’ College
School, and Cambray boarding-house, which took pupils belonging to both
the new school and the College, was not the only undertaking for which
Miss Beale made herself personally responsible. She also started, and
placed in a good financial position, two cheap boarding-houses, St.
Helen’s and St. Austin’s, and in course of time presented them to the
College. Her position in regard to all these institutions was surely
very unusual, not to say unique. The foundation of a school of over one
hundred pupils, and of houses containing the same number of boarders,
would be a respectable life’s work for many a woman. This work appears
to have been only one of the many occupations Miss Beale found for
the little leisure left her by the cares of the great College and its
ever-multiplying interests.

It was perhaps primarily interest in young teachers which led Miss Beale
to join a movement made in 1897 to induce ladies to take up work in
elementary schools. Miss Beale was present at a large meeting held that
year in Westminster Town Hall, when the need and importance of this work
were set forth in speeches by the Bishop of Stepney,[66] Sir Joshua
Fitch, and others. As a result a Government Training Department was at
once formed at the Ladies’ College, and work began with seven students,
who in the same year were encouraged by addresses from Sir H. E. Oakeley,
H.M.I., and Sir Joshua Fitch. The field of practice for these students
was found in All Saints’ Schools, where there were four departments
all supplied with the best apparatus. Other schools in the town were
also glad at different times to receive these teachers. Miss Beale
became much interested in the work, and proposed to build a practising
school of her own for the elementary department of the College, engaged
a head-mistress, and bought land for building. Then in 1901 came the
regulations for local education committees, which would have put Miss
Beale’s school under local control. She therefore gave up the idea of
building and sold her land. Later regulations made her find it impossible
to continue the elementary work on the lines she wished. The Government
demands proved a fetter to one who felt she should be free to work
towards her ideal. To her mind the real progress of elementary education
in the country depended, not on the ‘introduction of new subjects of
instruction, which must impose new and burdensome labour on teachers
and children. It should be gained by the better training of teachers,
by the adoption of better methods, by a wiser economy of time, and by
showing teachers how to put more knowledge, more skill, more thought,
more love, and more enthusiasm into their work.’ The legislation of
1901 made her feel that ‘My Lords’ did not recognise these principles as
all-important; that they undervalued such an effort as she was making at
Cheltenham; that they were unjust to voluntary schools. She felt as if
she were playing an unfair game, and declined any longer to help forward
a movement of which she could not see the goal. It may be marked also
that she could never feel full sympathy for _free_ education. From this
time she again limited herself to training secondary teachers. Conditions
which made elementary training the one serious work which Miss Beale took
up only to abandon it, are indeed to be regretted. The magnificent plant,
the fine opportunities for learning and practising, such as the Ladies’
College could supply, above all the large-minded teaching, the sense of
real education which the Lady Principal would give, were thus lost to a
cause which affects the wellbeing of the whole nation.

The Secondary Training Department became a recognised division of the
College in 1885. So high a value did Miss Beale put upon this that she
wrote of the work of the mistress in whose charge it was, as ‘only second
in importance to that of the Head.’

St. Hilda’s work, using the term which Miss Beale herself would have
used, meant much more than teaching definite subjects and preparing for
examinations: it meant inspiration and the leading out of minds. It
demanded unlimited devotion to a cause. It is probable that Miss Beale
had for long cherished, and had only gradually relinquished a hope,
though she never formed any definite plan, of seeing arise out of her
work for education a body of women willing to form a teaching order.
Opposed to sisterhood schools as she was, chiefly because her ideal of
education was so high and apart, that she could not bear to see it
receive in any way a secondary place, she recognised the immense value
that some kind of rule would have, if voluntarily imposed _for the sake
of education_. In other words, while she did not like to see people
taking up teachers’ work because they were Sisters, she would have liked
to see those she inspired and trained voluntarily take upon themselves
some of the restrictions of a Sister’s life because they were teachers.
The thought may have come to her first when, in 1856 and 1858, Mrs.
Lancaster pressed her to undertake penitentiary work under rule. It
was this which led to the severity of her dress and grave demeanour at
Casterton, this which was echoed in a half-expressed wish that her staff
at Cheltenham should wear black. When, after long years of waiting, it
became her part to train women for the work of education, the aim of
inducing them to adopt a separate devoted life, with or without visible
signs of it, was ever before her.

Now that St. Hilda’s work may be witnessed in the three great
institutions bearing this name, it is of no common interest to trace Miss
Beale’s own plan for its development. The plan itself and the noble ideal
behind it are not more remarkable than the ability with which she waited,
resigned her individual fancy, and became an agent rather than an author.
The following extract (_circa_ 1884) states her first design:—

    ‘It is thought that a protest in act is specially needed in
    these days, now that teachers are so highly paid, and that an
    association of teachers who should be ready to take up any work
    required, whether it was paid or not, would be able to carry on
    work more effectively and continuously than an unorganised body
    of women.

    ‘It is proposed, therefore, that after three years,—ten of
    those who agree in this general principle should unite together
    as members of the Society of St. Hilda,—that they should pay,
    if young, into the funds of the Society whatever they earn
    from that time (but keeping complete control over any invested
    property), the Society providing them a fixed salary, a home
    when disengaged or out of health, but holding a right to send
    them out to any work which seems needed. The community may, if
    two-thirds agree, reject any member on returning to her what
    she has paid in, minus a fair sum for her maintenance. A member
    may withdraw with half any calculated surplus of earnings over
    expenditure, on giving one year’s notice. Some members might
    reside permanently and assist in various ways as writers and
    editors.

    ‘It is proposed that the members contributing the money should
    form the governing body,—elect a Superior,—that the votes
    should be in proportion to the money contributed. That all the
    money should, after paying maintenance, be expended, after
    leaving a moderate reserve fund, on providing some charitable
    work, and that the members should, at the will of the Superior,
    be assigned to any post she may think fit.

    ‘The work should be primarily teaching or assisting in some way
    in educational work amongst rich or poor, specially religious
    teaching, to which, it is hoped, some members will chiefly
    devote themselves, _e.g._ by lectures, by corresponding with
    those who need advice or help in religious matters, opening the
    house to receive as visitors any who need a time of quiet and
    retreat doing mission work at home and abroad. There should be
    only a very simple rule to be signed by the workers. Prayer at
    morning, evening, and midday; and such special rules as seem
    desirable. A holiday in proportion to the character of the
    work. The dress should be simple, but not conspicuous, and some
    badge should be worn by the members.’

In this connection it is interesting to read this extract from a letter
written to a teacher who was unsettled as to her vocation, and was
contemplating entering a sisterhood:—

                                                       ‘_April 89._

    ‘I was much interested in your letter. I feel strongly that
    when in God’s Providence we have been trained for one work,
    we should not lightly turn to another. As you say, there is
    more scope in a large sisterhood. Miss —— is very happy at
    Clewer. Still, I think the rules of an ordinary sisterhood are
    difficult to combine with the life of a teacher. I cannot help
    thinking that out of the Society of the Holy Name may grow up
    a somewhat freer teaching sisterhood.... I hold strongly that
    there ought to be some women, whose energies should be devoted
    to sending out young teachers, with a true sense of their
    vocation. You have gifts as a teacher; you ought not, it seems
    to me, to bury them....’

Among the women whose saintly lives were a source of inspiration to
Dorothea Beale, there was one whose acquaintance (so to speak) she did
not make until herself in mature life. None the less did the name of Mary
Astell become a thought of encouragement and hope to one whose heart
was ever fresh. When in 1890, after various unsuccessful experiments,
a properly managed house was opened for the regular teachers in the
College, Miss Beale named it Astell House, after the lady who, in the
reign of Anne, put forth ‘a plan of a College for the higher education
of woman, which should be at the same time a religious house. The ladies
were to spend some time in study as well as prayer, Mrs. Astell holding
that they had as much right as men to improve their minds.... Their
special work was to be the education of girls of the higher class, and
also, if their means would admit, of the daughters of poor gentlemen,
who must otherwise remain untaught.... Mrs. Astell’s scheme aroused
considerable interest, and an unnamed lady (supposed to be the Queen)
was ready to give £10,000 for the foundation of such an institution;
but Bishop Burnet, who seems to have been consulted in the matter, put
an end to the plan, saying it would be too much like a nunnery.’ Miss
Beale certainly wanted a nunnery no more than did the timorous Bishop. As
time went on she cared less for the outward shape the spirit she strove
to foster might adopt; but she grew more and more earnest and active in
seeking to influence young teachers to become serious and high-minded
and self-sacrificing. The Quiet Days, which were instituted chiefly to
this end, affected many wholly outside the College. They are therefore
better mentioned in connection with those other interests which, to
borrow her own nomenclature in the Magazine, may be included under the
title of ‘Parerga.’



CHAPTER XII

TEACHER AND PRINCIPAL

    ‘Languor is not in your heart,
    Weakness is not in your word,
    Weariness not on your brow.’

         M. ARNOLD, ‘Rugby Chapel.’


A true history of the Cheltenham Ladies’ College would not be merely a
faithful record of dated events, of building, enlargement, expansion, of
the introduction of examinations, of distinctions gained; it must also
suggest, if only in outline, the working of the spirit which informed the
whole, that by which it grew and became, in spite of its size and the
different elements it embraced, homogeneous in itself and full of force.

[Illustration: _Photo. G. H. Martyn & Sons._

_Ladies’ College and Garden 1908._]

That she was but one worker among many, that she was only part of an
‘order’ which must be temporary, were facts ever before Miss Beale’s
eyes. Those who remember their school-days at Cheltenham with love
and gratitude think not only of the Principal, but of many others,
some of whom passed out of sight before her, some of whom are still
faithfully carrying out the ideas she inspired, but whose influence,
like her own, left an abiding impression. One spirit, one aim, an equal
strenuous effort were what she strove before all things to gain for her
fellow-labourers, and did undoubtedly to a marvellous extent produce
throughout the College. Though Miss Beale did occasionally make mistakes
in her choice of workers, expecting too much, or perhaps taking too much
for granted, this was very rarely the case where class-teachers were
concerned. These, who had the responsibility of forming character as well
as of giving instruction, were always teachers whom she thoroughly knew
and trusted, and had generally trained herself. By these, the thought and
inspiration of the Head were handed on. But beyond this, all who passed
through the College, even if they did not have the opportunity of knowing
Miss Beale personally, came in contact with her in one way or another.
Even the youngest heard her Scripture lessons; all the pupils in Division
I. had their marks read by her, and thus came individually before her.
Those who were confirmed while at school were brought into closer touch
with her, and many through some incident in their school career, or
through peculiar circumstances of home life, learned to know her as a
friend. The highest class in College, and the pupils who were hopefully
named B.A.’s, saw a good deal of her even to the end. And from first to
last in her long headship, it was possible for any child, big or little,
in any part of the College, to know the Principal,—by herself taking
notice of her. Miss Beale’s fastidious honesty, which led her to dread
even the least appearance of stealing hearts away from home, largely held
her back from making personal friends among the girls still at College.
‘Yearned to be loved,’ she wrote once in her diary; but consistently
brought to her work a special gift of self-sacrifice in never seeking
affection for herself personally. She had, moreover, a horror of the
unhealthy attachments which are often a source of danger in girls’
schools. In this connection may be read one of her many letters to Miss
Clara Arnold:[67]—

    ‘Yes, you are right, that does point to a fatal error. If we
    make our children lean on us (broken reeds), they will not
    stand long. If they make an idol of any human being, when the
    idol is broken their faith goes too. We must try to bid them
    fly upwards into the sunlight; they must not tumble about on
    the ground like those poor birds whose wings are clipped. They
    must look up, not to us, but with us, to our common Lord. What
    miserable, weak, sickly creatures many women are, who must
    always have a Pope. The children should give you respect and
    esteem, and you can give them sympathy and affection too, and
    as they are children they may have a helping hand, but make
    them give up, if possible, sentimental worship. They must not
    do right for love of you, but because it is right.

    ‘How fight against this? Well, tell the children some of these
    things, and talk it over with Miss —— and the other teachers.
    There must be harmony of action. I speak strongly, because I
    have seen this spirit eat away the higher life of one large
    school. I have such a dread of its getting in here.

    ‘I know there must be a certain amount of hero-worship in the
    young. They need help from parents and teacher, but we must
    train them out of dependence. This sort of thing, too, leads
    to injustice to those who are not worshipped. They are “puffed
    up _for_ one, against another.” They waste time and strength
    in day-dreams about their idol. When a little older they are
    always fancying themselves in love, because they have got used
    to an excitement of feeling.

    ‘I feel inclined to say I wish I could help you more; always
    ask me if you think I can. But I advise you chiefly to make
    this a subject of prayer. I say daily that Collect for
    Whitsunday, about a “right judgment in all things.” Then I
    think I should see where the evil is most apparent, not speak
    to the whole class but to some few. Very likely, if you try
    to prevent this wrong worship, you will create an antagonism
    which will give you much trouble; such affection easily turns
    to hatred.... This sort of thing does make homes so unhappy
    because the wife takes “tiffs.” Try earnestly to brace them, my
    dear child.’

Miss Beale’s own shyness also stood in the way of her personal intimacy
with her pupils. She liked to be met more than half-way. She liked the
birthday-book brought to her to sign,[68] the rare wild-flower found and
gathered for her, the little note of sympathy or inquiry or thanks. A
hundred reasons would keep most girls back from taking the simple steps
which would have led them early to find a friend in Miss Beale. While
they were reverencing in silence and at a distance there would come along
some bright thing of quick perception, accustomed to society and to be
welcome everywhere, untroubled by self-consciousness, who would approach
the throne with no ‘unaccustomed awe,’ but stand, and chat, and smile,
and be obviously acceptable to the lonely sovereign. ‘You know, A.,’ she
said once to an old girl, ‘it was your freedom from shyness with me that
first drew me to you.’ And, as a matter of fact, Miss Beale was really
the most accessible of sovereigns. She longed to know all her children,
and to help each personally. It was only a girl whose career was very
short or wholly uneventful, and led in the lower classes of the school,
who could remain wholly unacquainted with her. Even then, it would be
found that the ten minutes’ individual talk which the Principal had with
each as she left the College finally, impressed itself on the mind of the
hearer. Her sympathies were ever most readily drawn out by those likely
in after years to exercise influence—in some prominent, possibly Imperial
position, or as teachers.

At all times a silent, strong, unconscious impression was produced upon
most by Miss Beale’s rare absence from her post, her minute attention
to her own share of the work of the College, her obvious self-devotion.
‘I can’t picture the College without her, she always seemed to be
everywhere,’ one wrote after her death. Another said, ‘Although she might
never speak to you, still the fact that she was not there on any day
always made the College feel strange and empty.’

Her memory for all who had passed through the College was simply
extraordinary. A married pupil, visiting Cheltenham after many years’
interval, writes of her amazement at finding that Miss Beale could tell
her of every girl she had been with in class, and in many cases by whom
she had sat, whom she had liked, and so on. Another, who was for two
years at the College, only spoke twice to the Principal during that
period, and left without the least idea that Miss Beale could know her
as an individual. Two years after leaving the first great sorrow of
her life came, in the death of her class-teacher, Miss Aitken. ‘That
friendship,’ she writes, ‘had never degenerated into any foolish or
selfish attachment. I still count it as one of the strongest motives of
my life.’ In the deep grief over her friend’s death came a letter from
Miss Beale: ‘Just the fact that she remembered and understood was like a
revelation. It was through that that I first realised the possibility of
the individual love and care of God.’

Naturally, it was in the earliest days, when the first class was small
and Miss Beale taught many subjects herself, that an intimate tie between
the head and the pupil was most easily formed. But Miss Beale’s wonderful
freshness of mind and heart enabled her to continue not only the old
friendships so made, but yearly to make new ones. She had a wonderful
way, too, of maintaining friendship. A girl might pass through the school
knowing her but a little, but loyalty to College fostered by the Guild
meetings would each year bring her into closer touch with the Principal.
‘I hope we may meet again,’ she wrote in 1876 to one who had had a deep
love and reverence for her, but not much more than a slight acquaintance
with her in College. Twenty years after, when events drew them together
again, a close mutual friendship which greatly brightened Miss Beale’s
declining years grew out of the seed sown so long before.

Miss Beale herself held that the influence of the Principal on the school
should be through the teachers. ‘She can do more with five hundred if she
has a staff thoroughly in sympathy with her than if she brought direct
personal influence to bear upon a school of a hundred. “If you want a
thing done, do not do it yourself,” should be the motto of a ruler for
everyday use. Act through others, educate them thereby to independence,
and reserve your strength for things that none but a Head can do.’

In teaching, Miss Beale’s definite aim was to inspire. She sought but
little to inform, but much to kindle a thirst for knowledge, a love
of good and beautiful things, and to awaken thinking power. This she
undoubtedly did, though the process was slow; working itself out quietly
in the mind and character of those she taught, in nobler views of life,
more refined appreciations, improved sense of proportion. When there was
a question of preparation for examination, or of the definite knowledge
such as was required in mathematical subjects, it was necessary to
supplement the lessons of the Principal. Yet her teaching of the exact
sciences was hardly less illuminative than of those which make a more
direct appeal to the imagination. She would interest the class in a
mathematical problem, induce the mind to work, leave it at the end of a
lesson impressed and roused, but at the same time not clear about the
subject she had been putting before it. Then afterwards the explanation
up to which she had been leading would often come like a flash to the
puzzling brain.

Naturally the teaching of history was a great opportunity to one who
could so clothe her subject with life. In this she was more than merely
picturesque and vivid, she would allow her own delighted interest to show
itself. Who that heard them could forget her lectures on the reign of
George the Third, in which she and her whole class were transported to
the old Parliament House, listening, it might be, to the younger Pitt’s
maiden speech, or to some stirring debate between him and his rival,
hearing the applause, the dissentient murmurs, even a joke under the
breath of some listener? She would lead up to a climax with dramatic
force. With what astonishment did her audience hear, as if it were a
startling piece of political news of their own day, of the Coalition
Ministry![69]

The study of history has now become organised and scientific. Miss
Beale’s own methods were out of date long before her death; she ceased
indeed to teach the subject herself about 1874, but she never lost the
enthusiasm with which she first entered upon it. As an example she was
always anxious that those who were lecturing on history should adopt the
views she considered just about certain personages. Once, when the Tudor
period was being studied in the College, she summoned the teachers, as
the school hours ended at one o’clock, into a classroom to hear what she
believed to be the truth about Cranmer—with a few words making a terrible
picture of time-serving and cowardice. On the other hand, she was always
anxious that what was great in Elizabeth should be recognised; that every
possible excuse should be made for her faults.

But if Miss Beale’s methods of teaching history have been to some extent
superseded, it should be remembered that she was among the first to
insist on the importance of general history. Though assured of the value
of detailed and special knowledge, she was not content to let one period
stand alone unlinked with its context. She would not cut off the history
of England as a thing by itself, but showed its place in the stream of
time, in the lives of the nations. So almost every class was obliged to
learn something of outline and general history, and here it was that the
_Chart_ and _Textbook_ played so important a part.

Miss Beale’s English literature lessons may, more than any others she
gave, be described as _sui generis_. ‘Miss Beale gives literature lessons
of a peculiar kind,’ was the appreciation of a new pupil who had studied
the subject before coming to Cheltenham. Her literature lesson, indeed,
had many functions. The subject became the vehicle of much teaching
that it was not convenient to give in a Bible lesson. She sought to
interest her class in books, in reading, in noble thoughts, in fine
prose and poetry. But this was by no means all. She sought primarily
to give views of life, conduct, and character such as would enable her
hearers to go from school into a larger world, already prepared to know
what to find. Under the names of friend and friendship much was said
which might apply equally to the choice of a husband and to marriage.
Knowledge of character, she would often say, is so important for women.
Hence she liked, if possible, once a year to read and lecture upon one
of Shakspere’s great plays to the first class. Though ever fresh and
interesting, and herself as interested as ever in these readings, though
the lectures were constantly brightened and enriched by new books and
thoughts brought to bear upon them, there was very little variation
in the treatment of the main theme. At certain crises in the story,
over certain characters, hearers of long standing knew what to expect.
Ophelia, to take an instance, was for all the generations of girls who
read _Hamlet_ at Cheltenham the woman who failed a man because she
could not dare to be true. A matter like this was vital to Miss Beale.
Could any class-teacher in the College have represented Ophelia in any
other light, the Lady Principal would have spared no pains to point out
the error of the treatment, both to her and to those she had misled.
Desdemona, again, was always marked as the wife who not unnaturally
roused the suspicions of a jealous-minded husband, because he knew that
in marrying him she had deceived her father. The misery that may follow a
secret wilful marriage was always hinted at when this story was told.

But there were other and less weighty considerations than influence and
marriage in these lectures. They supplied opportunity for suggestions on
simple affairs such as the choice of books, ways of spending time and
money, manners, conversation, and the like. Often questions of the day,
politics in a very general sense, and social problems were led up to.

Miss Beale might be unacademic to a fault in these lectures, but she
had that power of inspiration which made every poem she prized, every
character she admired, live immortally for those who heard her speak
of them. The actual reading—specially of poetry—was a delight to both
reader and hearers. Miss Beale had a strong dramatic instinct, a keen
enjoyment of poetry and the right use of words. She had also a wonderful
voice, which she managed well, and though always quiet and restrained in
manner carried her audience with her unweariedly. The literature lesson
was long, specially in the early days when, owing to short distances
and small numbers, no time was occupied by arrangements for prayers. For
thirty or forty minutes corrected notes were returned and criticised,
then the lecture proper would begin and go on for a full hour. Sometimes
the whole time, an hour and a half, was taken up by the lecture. It was
certainly very unusual for any one to find it too long.

A further interest in these lectures lay in an effort to make them
language lessons. As a matter of fact, though much interested in language
herself, Miss Beale did little more than inspire a wish to study it
further. Perhaps this was her aim in touching upon it at all. She would
often bring to her lesson a table of Grimm’s Law, explain it very
rapidly, and appear to expect that it should be as rapidly remembered.

Miss Beale’s literature was by no means confined to Shakspere’s plays.
All the greatest and many lesser works in the English tongue were taken
in their turn. But she would seldom take the works of any whose thought
seemed to her inferior; would have little, for instance, to do with
Dryden and Pope. Style in itself had no attraction, and the growth of
literary form, unless accompanied by the development of noble thought,
was of little interest. No subject, perhaps, was more after her own
choice than the poems of Spenser. She would dwell with unfailing delight
on the complicated allegories of the _Faëry Queene_, or on the Hymns to
‘Heavenly Love’ and ‘Heavenly Beauty.’ Nor was a school year ever allowed
to pass without her introducing the higher classes in the College to some
of Browning’s works. How many must have learned to know his greater short
poems by hearing her read them.[70]

But the subject with which the name of Dorothea Beale as a teacher will
ever be associated is that of Holy Scripture. For this her greatest force
was reserved. This was the soul of her work, as any who listened to her
lessons with a hearing ear, or who marked the deep reverence prevailing
in her class, could not fail to observe. Trammelled she was in many ways,
at first by the narrowness which had almost prevented her coming to
Cheltenham; increasingly, as time went on, by the numbers of her hearers
who held opposing views on religion or who had no views at all; much
always by her own dread of ‘offending’ or of hindering an earnest seeker
for truth by a positive assertion. These causes made it inevitable that
her teaching should seem to many vague or insufficient, since she could
not bear to miss putting herself beside those who were as babes, unable
to venture a step into the untried. An old pupil has well described this
attitude:—

    ‘She did not go very much into every sort of detail, but I
    wonder what use can be made of doctrinal details by people
    whose general scheme of things is one into which they don’t
    fit? and that, I suppose, is the trouble of most people who
    are puzzled by such things at all. Whereas Miss Beale, in
    anticipation of this difficulty, always seemed to me to set
    forth a spiritual construction of the universe, into which no
    spiritual truth learned afterwards could possibly fail to fit,
    supposing it to be a truth in very deed. I do not see how any
    teacher can possibly do a greater work; though I do not say for
    a moment that she did no more.’

Certainly in the weekly lesson to the whole First Division of the school
she did a great deal more. Another old pupil may be quoted here:—

    ‘Speaking for myself, I can say without hesitation that it was
    from her that I learned the truth of the sacramental life.
    One thing she said to me, and she repeated it with emphasis
    at the time of my Confirmation, is as fresh in my mind to-day
    as the day she said it. Again, I can say for myself, and my
    reading has been fairly wide, that her influence has been
    entirely against any weakening of faith. Knowing something at
    least of her character and intellectual power, it was natural
    to feel that where she was steadfast one need not be afraid.
    More than that, her direct teaching by its sympathetic insight
    into the deepest aspects of life was always, and always will be
    inspiring. If it is true that there was something vague in her
    utterances, I believe it was because she had reached a plane of
    thought where the words which have become the current thought
    of everyday life are inadequate forms of expression.’

If, in order to seek some erring spirit, Miss Beale did at times seem
to neglect others, it must be remembered that in teaching the Bible,
more than at any other time, she really took up the humble position of
simply bringing her hearers to think and listen for themselves. This
was the intention which lay below the reverent behaviour exacted from a
Scripture class. By means of this she strove to impress the importance to
the hearer of being still, ready, attentive, free from selfish or idle
thought. She prepared not only the lesson, but also herself to give it,
with a devotion and self-denial which she never allowed to become relaxed
by pressing business, age, or infirmity.

Not only was Friday evening strictly kept for the final preparation
of the lesson, but the ordinary details of school business attended
to before prayers were put aside on the day it was given. No one in
the College would have thought on those days of speaking to Miss Beale
beforehand except on some urgent matter. Writing to a young teacher in
1880, she said: ‘I used to prepare my lessons on my knees, (don’t say
this to others). You would find it a help, I think, to do this sometimes.’

This earnestness and diligence were shared by many of the class-teachers.
In a short account of Miss Belcher, which appeared in the College
Magazine of 1898, Miss Beale said: ‘Only those who knew her intimately
were aware of the long study and extreme pains she took with her
Scripture lessons. Every Friday at Cheltenham we used to meet and go over
the Saturday lesson together.’

The annual midsummer examination was no mere test of knowledge gained,
but, like the weekly notes, a real exercise of thought. In this matter
Miss Beale received the full sympathy and co-operation of the Rev. E.
Worsley, who for many years examined the upper classes of the College in
Scripture.[71]

The subject of Miss Beale’s Scripture lessons was generally a Gospel
or an Epistle. Occasionally she would take the book of Genesis, from
which she would draw much instruction on Sin, Freewill, Faith. Perhaps
her favourite subject was the Gospel of St. John. Remembering the
Saturday class, the awe with which she would speak of the Logos, or with
passionate devotion follow the sublime teaching of the later chapters of
that book, the glowing ardour with which she would heap up fact and proof
concerning the Resurrection, occur at once to the memory.

Letters to old pupils who had become teachers in other schools show Miss
Beale’s reasons for dwelling on certain points. To Miss Wolseley Lewis,
head-mistress of the Graham Street Church High School, she wrote in 1897
concerning 1 Cor. vii.:—

    ‘Yes—I have taken it. There is no need to insist on every
    word. In reading one’s Bible some things are not suitable for
    children, but the teaching of those chapters regarding the
    sacredness of the body is extremely valuable. Robertson on
    Corinthians is very helpful.

    ‘I will see if I can find my notes, they would be useful to
    you; but you need not be afraid to take it, you will like it.’

And again in January 1898 on the same subject:—

    ‘I have looked in vain for my notes on Corinthians. I think
    Robertson will give you much useful help in working out the
    more difficult chapters. It is very important with elder girls
    not to leave out the teaching which comes naturally out of the
    Epistle, on the sacredness of marriage, and the responsibility
    of choice,—on the certain promises that if we ask guidance
    it will be given. The example of Abraham in choosing a wife
    for his son may be cited,—the necessity of waiting for
    guidance,—praying for light until it comes, when we are called
    on to decide the most important question of our whole lives.
    One may insist on the duty of being so equipped that we can
    earn our own living, and not be tempted into the disgrace of
    a mercenary marriage. One may just touch upon the detestable
    teaching of some modern works, that our affections and acts are
    beyond our control. I feel sure you will find you can do much
    to help girls thus.’

To Miss Arnold at Truro she wrote:—

    ‘As regards Acts: I should say not; because one is so much
    drawn aside to history and geography; but one may work in
    Epistles, etc., if there is an examination required. I made up
    my mind I would not take it again.’

And again, in 1891, on the use of Scripture teaching:—

    ‘I think what we should do is to make it come home to the
    children in their daily life as a clergyman hardly can. We know
    their faults and temptations. I often take the baptismal vow. I
    really can’t find time to write much, and it is so impossible
    to suggest much. I am sure you will find things easier when you
    begin.’

The immense detail of the teaching, following as it did the innumerable
suggestions that one text might give, was sometimes confusing to a
new class. A term’s lessons might be occupied with a few verses only.
Then there is no doubt that Miss Beale’s large way of thinking and
comprehensive form of expression was difficult to follow. This did not
lessen with age. New pupils, particularly of late years, were often
filled with despair at the prospect of having to write out the lessons.
Many felt the Sunday work it involved to be a strain. This was less the
case at first, when perhaps intellectual interests had more undisputed
sway. The life in College, as in other spheres, has become more full and
offers fewer spaces for uninterrupted thought. Sometimes a whisper that
her Scripture lessons were too difficult reached the Lady Principal. It
grieved her, but she never quite believed it. She wrote of it to Miss
Arnold:—

    ‘I like you to tell me what is said, but then I do not like to
    know more.... There are others much older to whom I address
    myself, and I see they do enter more and more as the year goes
    on, and I am teaching more now for the future. I do think I
    fortify some more for the trials of their future life than I
    did when you were here. Those who cannot follow, ought to be
    put into a class where the teaching is less difficult. They
    do not say this, I hope, about my Monday lessons, only the
    Saturday....’

The patient correction and explanation of the pupils’ essays on the
lessons was not the least part of the Scripture work. How full,
elaborate, and diligent this correction was will not readily be
understood by any who do not know the Cheltenham system. But though Miss
Beale wrote a great deal in the girls’ books, her corrections were often
framed on the Socratic method so much prized by her. To take an example.
A vague use of the word _infinitely_ has written against it, ‘Do you
mean from eternity?’ ‘The _universe_,’ writes one pupil lightly, to have
the word underlined and with ‘_Meaning_’ written above it. And she had
a wonderful eye for thought and effort. No writer, however poor, whose
work showed signs of these was discouraged. One writes of this:—

    ‘I have one of my old Scripture books, and on looking it over,
    for the first time for many years, I am most struck by her
    power of seeing good in the very crude attempts of a girl of
    sixteen. It seems to me marvellous that she, with her great
    intellect, could have put herself on our level, so as to see
    when we had _thought_, and to encourage us with the “s” and “g”
    that we valued so highly. I am afraid I used to look out more
    for the “g’s” than for the comments and corrections that showed
    how much pains she took _herself_ with each attempt of ours.’

A good deal of enthusiastic drudgery was needed for the corrector of
twenty or thirty Scripture books every week. Even Miss Beale found it
hard at times, and would write:—

    ‘Much idle time again. At 10 P.M. Thursday not touched a
    correction. Thus unfaithful while I am so much helped.’

And:—

    ‘Tired, but terribly negligent. Put off books in a really
    unpardonable way, and felt irritable at work.’

In dealing with individual character, faults, and weakness Miss Beale
showed no common tact, and often surpassing astuteness. To begin with,
she was herself so well disciplined, so well attuned to the highest
thought of work for others, that probably she did not even feel irritated
by the errors and mistakes of her children. Certainly she never showed
annoyance. It is impossible even to think of her being satirical or
sarcastic either in teaching or in dealing with faults of manner or
character. She would have considered it unpardonable in an under-teacher
to be so, almost as reprehensible as to treat or speak of a child as
stupid. She had indeed a special love for ‘ugly ducklings,’ in whom she
would frequently perceive and draw out a latent swanhood.

Some things—such as what she termed the ‘petty larceny of her time’ by
those who prolonged an interview by aimless small talk—did irritate her;
but she would no more have been annoyed by the shortcomings of a child
than a doctor would be at the illness of a patient. Though able to adapt
herself spontaneously to individual characteristics, she had certain
distinct lines along which she worked. Dealing with ordinary childish
faults she would make no appeal on high religious grounds, used no set
or stock phrases. Always, in big and little things, she would show the
child some ground for expecting right action from her, pointing out
something probably connected with her home which, a legitimate source
of satisfaction, should be also a spur to do well. Or she would treat a
rebellious act in such a way as to rob it of all its delight. An amusing
instance of this was told by a writer in the _Guardian_ of November 21,
1906: ‘On one occasion a very clever student, with an unruly temper,
refused, because some one had annoyed her, to eat her breakfast on the
day of an important examination. Her form mistress begged Miss Beale to
persuade the girl to have at least some milk. She was sent to Miss Beale,
and was greatly startled by—“I hear you are fasting to-day; for a temper
like yours it is probably a wise discipline.” Nothing more was said, but
the girl did not refuse her luncheon.’ Such homœopathic treatment was
sometimes also applied to idleness, a rare fault in a schoolgirl. It was,
in ancient days, occasionally known in the Third Division at Cheltenham.
Quite rarely, in consequence, a little girl would be allowed to do
nothing but sit still all the morning. No one had a chance of showing
obstinacy. It was a relief to more than one young teacher to be told that
‘You must never let a child have the satisfaction of holding out against
you.’ If such a thing did occur, there was no contest, no opposition of
superior power on the part of a teacher; a few, very few words from the
Lady Principal would make the child see the futility and silliness of her
attitude.

A moral delinquency was, however, met with the very greatest seriousness.
Parents were sometimes surprised at the extraordinary pains Miss Beale
would take to obtain the confession of such a fault as copying a lesson.
The slightest suspicion of dishonesty was always followed up at once, but
the act was never brought home to the offender until there was positive
proof. Then the way would be made easy for her, the lie prevented by
something like this: ‘My child, I am sure you have too good a conscience
to rest with such a thing as this upon it.’ Conviction and confession
of a fault made it immediately possible to show how it came about,
how it might be prevented in the future. Especially in the matter of
untruthfulness Miss Beale would trace the outside fault to its source,
showing it to be a symptom of some corrupting force within, cowardice,
vanity, or idleness. In this connection it is well worth while to read
her remarkable little paper on Truth.[72]

One tale of her discrimination may well be told. A class-teacher received
some anonymous letters which she took to Miss Beale, naming the girl she
took to be the writer. Some days passed. The teacher thought the matter
forgotten, when one morning Miss Beale said to her, ‘Send —— to me. I can
see by her face this morning that she will tell me all.’ Miss Beale was
not disappointed either in the confession or its effects.

No one could reprove like Miss Beale. Her grief, her admonition were
expressed not only with so much sympathy, but with such an absolute
impersonal sense of rightness and justice, that it was impossible to
resent them. ‘Nothing is more touching,’ she wrote in 1898, ‘than the
penitence of children, when they find that we have seen the good which is
hidden, and not only the evil that comes forth; that we know, not only
what is done, but what is resisted.’[73] Any who had so failed became a
special care. ‘We try,’ she wrote once, ‘to make her feel there is no
anger at all, but sympathy and an anxious watchfulness which will, we
hope, make her more watchful over herself.’

To break the rule of silence was always regarded as a great fault. A
careless pupil, conscious of breaking it only once or twice, would be
surprised to find in her term’s report, ‘Disobedient to rule.’

A girl whose influence was seen to be a source of evil—a single act or
conversation might be enough to prove it—was instantly removed. Careful
as Miss Beale was to let no pupil go who might by any possibility be
induced to stay, she never hesitated a moment in a case of this kind. The
extreme seriousness with which she regarded this may be gathered from the
following letter to a head-mistress:—

    ‘This is grievous. How is it that girls were allowed to go
    out by themselves? I wonder, too, that Miss —— did not _see_
    there was something wrong. No girls can act thus without some
    unnatural excitement. Then are there no prefects in the house?
    no elder girls to be relied on?—no confidential servant? I
    don’t see how you can keep _any_ one of the three, but perhaps
    there are degrees of guilt. It was so different at ——. A girl
    began to _talk_ as she ought not—the younger girls told the
    seniors, the seniors came to ——; she told me, and within two
    hours the girl had left the house. There ought to be such
    confidence between the seniors and the head of the house, and
    constant vigilance over the girls’ characters and _insight_. I
    always feel that a school is at the mercy of one naughty girl,
    and we must never relax our vigilance. It is sad to think that
    they have degraded women in the eyes of all that know it.’

Such instances are stated, not because it was continually the part of
the Principal and her staff to deal with iniquity. On the contrary,
the order and conduct of the school were singularly good,—the sense of
duty, fostered by a call to exercise it rather than by precept, was
unusually high. One means by which this was maintained was the constant
collaboration of the parents. In all matters Miss Beale tried to take
them with her, encouraged them to come to her, to talk over the children,
spoke to the children about them, wrote to them on special matters, tried
to get them to understand her aims. Her letters, too, show what pains she
took to bring about a real co-operation. On one occasion no less than ten
letters passed between Principal, parent, and class-teacher on so simple
a matter as a child returning in the afternoon, according to a school
rule, to do a lesson over again. Miss Beale won the child to see and do
what was right, but she also wrote to the mother:—

    ‘I fear you have led your child to think there is a question to
    be settled now as to which is the supreme authority. Of course,
    if this is so, it is much to be deplored; it is something like
    a conflict between father and mother before their child. We
    so earnestly wish that the home and school should be one in
    spirit. If this cannot be, it is best, as I have already said,
    that the child should be placed in another school.’

One letter to a parent on a matter of the same kind ended with this
postscript: ‘Sometimes we cannot, and sometimes we ought not, to keep a
promise made under a wrong impression. Consider Herod’s case.’

Parents who did not send their children back on the right day, or who
kept them at home for insufficient reason, always heard from her. She
would write thus:

‘Had I known how difficult it would be for —— to return, I should have
advised her remaining here for her holiday’; or, ‘I know things are not
considered so serious at a girls’ school as at a boys’ school, but no boy
would be received back, I am sure, at one of our great public schools who
had been absent without the leave of the Head-master.’

On the other hand, Miss Beale was always most anxious to support the
authority and dignity of the parent. Once, when this seemed not to have
been done by a teacher, she wrote: ‘She saw when I pointed it out how
very wrong it was even to hint to a child that I thought her mother in
the wrong.’ ‘She was never tired,’ ran a notice by an old pupil after her
death, ‘of impressing upon the girls that home must come first in their
affections. It was indeed pathetic to hear her speak, as she did almost
weekly in her addresses to the assembled divisions, of the beauty of the
relation of a child to its parents.’

It is impossible to do more than refer to the many letters which show the
confidence and gratitude of the College parents, but, as an example, one
from a father who held high official rank, on his daughter’s passing an
examination in 1877, may be quoted, with its good wishes which were so
entirely realised:—

    ‘Excuse my sending you one line of sincere thanks for your
    valuable (and inestimable, I may call it) friendship towards my
    dear daughter.

    ‘We were immensely pleased at her success, which we attribute
    entirely to the love of work instilled into her by your system
    at College generally, as well as by your personal influence.
    You not only obtain the respect and the devoted love and
    loyalty of your girls, but through them the admiration of their
    parents and all those who take an interest in their careers. I
    am sure few persons in the army of teachers are more highly
    esteemed than yourself, few for whom more hearty prayers are
    offered for a long, long life of usefulness.

    ‘We feel so proud of our [girl’s] success. With every good
    wish for the health and prosperity both of yourself and your
    glorious College,’ etc.

Lastly and supremely, it was through Miss Beale’s own personal influence
upon her teachers, her clearly defined example always before them, that
the spirit of the College came to be what it was. She had the gift of
inspiration in that rare degree which makes actual direction of less
value. She did not neglect details; she would indicate minor matters
deserving of attention which others would overlook; she often quoted
at a teachers’ meeting the example of the great general who, on taking
over a command, first paid attention to the boots of his men. But it was
never necessary for her to harp upon little things, or to go personally
to see if her wishes had been carried out. One, who had had some years’
experience in teaching before she arrived at Cheltenham as a student,
spoke with something like rapture of the College organisation as it
appeared to her coming fresh from other places of education.

    ‘If I had a spare hour in the morning, it was useless to
    try and concentrate my thoughts on any study, I was simply
    fascinated by the superior attraction of watching Miss Beale’s
    government of her little kingdom. No monarch ever had more
    absolute sway over his subjects; all the threads responded to
    her lightest touch....

    ‘The College, as Miss Beale made it, was an organism, the
    product of inner forces needing constant renewal of vitality,
    not a vast machine, working without friction for the production
    of clever women.

    ‘Then, for the first time, my soul conceived the possibility
    of a beneficent Spirit watching over the general good, and yet
    caring for the needs of the humblest individual. Thus she,
    who so loved to point out that outward things are sacramental
    exponents of the invisible, became herself a channel through
    which I realised things unseen.’

This influence was not gained through the more ordinary ways of intimacy.
In one sense Miss Beale saw very little of her teachers, some, as the
staff became very large, she hardly knew at all, though naturally with a
few of the older ones she became more really intimate. There were also
a few special instances of close friendship. Notably may be mentioned
that of Miss Martha Brown, who came to Cheltenham about 1873, no longer
young or strong. Her actual work in the College lasted but a short time,
for her health soon failed altogether, though a keen mind, occupied and
interested by a true love of knowledge and desire to impart it, kept her
up for a year or so, until she was forced to resign herself to her last
illness. For more than a year she remained in Miss Beale’s house, Miss
Beale herself sometimes sharing with Miss Gore the task of nursing and
caring for her in every way, holding it, indeed, a privilege to wait
upon one whose spirit so soared above her circumstances,—she was poor as
well as hopelessly ill,—one who, regarding the mysteries of science as
a lesson-book given to man by God, did not weary in her study of them
even when near the gates of death. Miss Brown is often mentioned in Miss
Beale’s diary, and later her name occurs frequently among those who had
passed beyond the veil, and whom Miss Beale specially loved to honour at
a Guild meeting.

With regard to the greater number of the staff, though it is to be feared
that her dislike of spending trifling sums of money stood in the way
of even small hospitalities, this can have been but a secondary reason
why she did not see more of them. It was a principle with her to spend
time on recreation only so far as would help work; it was a principle to
use the short interviews which alone were possible among large numbers
in the most economical way; finally, it was a principle that influence
may be stronger and better for detachment from everyday occasions. To
spend time on small talk would only fritter away good influence. Yet,
in thinking of this, there must occur to the memory of some, at least,
that she had a kind of dread of the word influence, as implying something
personal, that she thought it dangerous to try to establish a sphere of
influence, that she never consciously tried to acquire it. Once when a
petition was put forward against the suffrage for women, Miss Beale, who
declined to sign it, said that one reason urged upon her for doing so
seemed so poor, namely, that the vote would impair the influence of women
with men.

One aim, a common self-devotion in all was what she desired. To further
it meetings of the staff were constantly held, when she would speak
serious words which would burn themselves into the soul of many a
young teacher. Her intense earnestness impressed, her tremendous claim
was irresistible. Nothing for self! all for those committed to your
care,—your whole life arranged so as best to further your work! This
was the claim she made, and to this she found response. Individually
she helped much by a quiet word now and then, by a little unexpected
note, sometimes by a long letter. One young teacher, who was apt to
become excited in the enjoyment of her work, was surprised one morning
to receive in the midst of it a little note, which, when deciphered,
ran, ‘My dear child, try to work quietly. We must not let good feeling
go off in steam.’ Those who were long at Cheltenham could tell of many
such instances of watchful kindness; letters to those who left to work
elsewhere are full of it. She had a wonderfully keen perception for
reality of intention and earnestness in work, and was quick to encourage
any who showed these qualities. One who was long on the staff at
Cheltenham has written thus of the help she received from the Principal
when she first went:—

    ‘I often think of the days when I first began to teach, just
    a beginner. How Miss Beale encouraged and inspired one.
    I remember when she came in to one of my early geography
    lessons, an atrociously bad one, she spoke so kindly to me
    afterwards about it, and suggested that I should give up the
    subject for a time and study it before I taught it again.
    Later, she showed me a book with new ideas on the teaching of
    geography, and asked if I would try again. I did, and it became
    my special subject whilst I was at College, all through her
    kindly encouragement and help. She was always so delightfully
    sympathetic about one’s family and friends too, and she never
    forgot one’s home circumstances.’

When it was necessary to find fault or alter an arrangement Miss Beale
never shrank from doing what she believed to be for the good of the
whole, even at the cost of personal convenience. But she was always
careful not to reprove except in such a way as to leave an absolute
sense of justice. There was no sting in her rebuke. And she could own
herself wrong. She had no foolish fear about giving herself away. One
member of the staff could tell of long and repeated application for an
arrangement which she knew to be right, but which Miss Beale absolutely
and bluntly refused. At last it was granted. Miss Beale herself came and
stood patiently watching the removal of desks, etc., involved. It took at
least an hour. When she had seen it finished, she said: ‘I see you were
right in insisting on this.’ ‘She has given in, and I could die for her!’
exclaimed the teacher, as she reported the incident to another concerned
in it.

It has often been said that the College teachers were overworked. It
would be truer, perhaps, to state that too many chose to overwork, and
that it was easy to do so. Miss Beale, who taught, read, wrote so much,
interviewed people, conducted any amount of College business, and yet
found time to write upon Browning or the Fourth Dimension, was unable
rightly to estimate how little a young woman of average intelligence can
do. She had to learn it by actual experience of cases, and she tried to
learn it. She was always anxious to readjust a burden, took infinite
trouble to do so, but did not always realise the weakness of many a
willing horse, or the want of common-sense, which will make people
heap up tasks or work without plan. She never wanted to play herself,
could not understand that any one should seriously wish to do so; she
therefore regarded such a thing as the teachers’ tennis-ground as quite
superfluous.[74] Nor could she understand why any should wish to live
out of sight of the place of their work. Even in the summer holidays
she frequently chose the Sanatorium for a residence. Her own house was
gradually absorbed by the College buildings, until it became almost
as shut from the outer world as the women’s apartments in an oriental
establishment, with no proper air and light of its own, only such as
was derived from the surrounding corridors of the beloved College. Miss
Beale preferred it should be so. Yet this attitude was but the defect
of the great qualities by which she was enabled to make a complete
self-surrender, and to call upon others to do the same ‘for the work’s
sake.’ The only teachers who really felt ill-used or misunderstood, and
who perhaps had some genuine ground for their complaint, were those
who were unwilling to take trouble over fresh methods and subjects,
or who were unable to rise to the high standard put before them,
innocently thinking that the profession of a school-mistress was just
an interesting occupation, or a means of earning a livelihood. Yet the
practical side had its place. It was to Miss Beale’s foresight and
initiative that the Pension Fund was in the first instance due.

Miss Beale’s letters to Miss Clara Arnold, with whom she had a close
correspondence from the time Miss Arnold left the College to become a
teacher until her death in March 1906, show at once her ideal, and her
close individual care for her own child. Some of the most interesting are
quoted here:—

    ‘May God bless you and prosper your work. You look to me too
    eager,—will you understand my word? Try to feel more what I was
    saying to-day, that work is not ours but God’s, and so we may
    look up peacefully, trustingly, committing our work to Him. If
    we try to serve Him in sincerity, He will perfect that which
    is lacking. Are not those chapters in Ezekiel comforting, when
    we feel our shortcomings, and that we sometimes lead children
    wrongly? Because the shepherds made them to err—“I myself will
    be their shepherd.”’

       *       *       *       *       *

                                                      ‘_June 1881._

    ‘I wish I could help you, my dear child. I have copied out for
    you parts of an address given to teachers some years ago by Mr.
    Body.[75] I took notes of it and send some to you. You must not
    let your spiritual life die down, you must get oil to burn in
    the lamp of your being: that spirit of grace and life and light
    of the soul. Such times of dryness do seem to be sent at times
    to try our faith; whether we serve God for His gifts and the
    joys of religion, but often they are the result of disobedience
    to the Voice of the Spirit. “Because I called and ye refused,”
    etc. Some unfaithfulness to what we knew to be right, some
    self-indulgent ways, some sloth. Sometimes there is a sin
    unknown, and God would make us search it out; sometimes hidden
    like Achan’s piece of gold, it causes us to turn our backs on
    our enemies. We have to find out and acknowledge the sin.

    ‘I don’t understand about your Sundays. I find I need so
    much that quiet day. I think you should _resist_ making it a
    _social_ day, as friends expect,—have a good portion alone for
    prayer and study—for the study of rather deep books. “Build
    yourselves up, beloved, in your most holy faith.” Take portions
    of the Bible and work them out with good commentaries, above
    all with prayerful study.

    ‘Do you intercede enough? If our prayers become selfish they
    lose life. Remember the cruse of oil.

    ‘I wonder if you could sometimes go to St. Peter’s, Eaton
    Square, to a Bible class, which Mr. Wilkinson holds generally
    once a fortnight on Fridays after afternoon service. I should
    like you to see him; but I care for his teaching on Sundays
    less than on week-days. It is a fashionable congregation and
    the church crowded, still I wish you would go, because he seems
    to feel the presence of a living God more than almost any one I
    have heard.

    ‘Do you go to Church now or to the Brethren’s services? To me
    the Church services and seasons, and especially the silent
    half-hour while others are communicating, is full of teaching.
    “I will come to them and make them to sit down to meat and will
    serve them.” Do you know the “Imitation”? If not, let me send
    you a copy. Perhaps God speaks to _you_ better in other ways.

    ‘Have you let opportunities slip of helping others? Now see if
    there is some one to whom you might give a cup of cold water.
    Thank God for such an opportunity, and ask Him to refresh your
    own soul and He will, but you must be patient. Not at first
    does He answer. Partly this dryness is to teach you humility
    and sympathy.

    ‘I would recommend you to be sympathetic in spite of it. Make
    some definite rule for devotion and _keep_ to it.

    ‘Be particular about _time_, one may waste so much in mere
    talk; have some rule and respect it.

    ‘Take a little time at mid-day for prayer. Then if you don’t
    feel right, just go on quietly and untroubled, trying to _do_
    as well as you can.

    ‘Read some daily portion on your knees and look up in faith. He
    “feedeth the young ravens that call upon Him.”

To one who wrote that she found the character of the county in which her
school was placed ‘detestable.’

    ‘I am most sorry about your finding the —— character
    “detestable.” If you have seemed called to work there, you must
    be intended to love them, to see what is good in them first,
    then what needs correction. I dare say their good qualities are
    just complementary to yours, just what you want.

    ‘How does your Bishop feel about the flock over which the Great
    Shepherd has made him overseer? and how does the Great Shepherd
    Himself feel towards our detestable characters?

Many letters to young teachers dealt with the care of health, which was
always impressed as a sacred duty upon girls and teachers alike. Body and
mind should be kept fit for duty. Hence social engagements which would
make it imperative to sit up late at night should be cut off as far as
possible. Holidays should be spent in such a way as to gain complete
freshness and rest and where there was no risk of infection, not even of
taking cold.

Here is one to Miss Arnold:—

    ‘I am so vexed to hear about this chronic headache. Remember it
    is one of your duties to God, Who has given you work, to keep
    yourself fit, so you must use every means. I dare say a tonic
    _would_ do you good.

    ‘Take warning too by —— and do not put too great a spiritual
    strain upon your soul; the body is to have rest and not too
    great excitement. There have been times of weakness when I have
    not dared to let myself feel,—not at church or I should have
    broken down. You are not as weak as that, I hope. I believe you
    ought to do less in the holidays.’

Again, a month later she wrote:—

    ‘But I often think that you drive your _poor_ body too hard;
    if we do that, we have to carry “the ass” instead of the ass
    carrying us, and then we break down under the burden.’

Here is a letter to another head-mistress:—

    ‘I do wish you would take a real rest and holiday. I feel sure
    it would be more economical in the end. You have led two lives,
    and for awhile I want you to lead none, go to sleep.... Those
    whom you have inspired will carry on your work, and then I hope
    you will come back with fresh energy to take up not all, but a
    part of the work you have done.’

Miss Beale could also enter into the feelings of exhaustion and
depression which follow some special trial connected with work. But the
sympathy she showed was ever bracing, as may be seen in the following
extracts from letters:—

    ‘I feel anxious about you, but don’t know what can be done,
    and think that the school must suffer if you let these private
    troubles occupy your field of vision.’

       *       *       *       *       *

    ‘I am grieved that you are feeling so exhausted. If your post
    is clearly at Truro, if you have no call to leave it, then you
    must brace yourself again, and the work _will_ be done all
    right, whether in joy or sorrow. If God has given it you, He
    will give the strength to do it. We are inclined to lie like
    the impotent man thinking “I can’t.” Directly we hear Christ’s
    voice—we can! but it may be this body which you starved and
    ill-treated and worked so hard—“the ass,” as St. Francis, I
    think, called it, has been overdriven.’

There were many teachers who heard from Miss Beale just at the moment
when they seemed to need help. A few words of encouragement would come at
such times as the beginning of new work. To one she wrote always for the
opening day of the term. Two such letters follow:—

                                               ‘_January 18, 1897._

    ‘I am thinking of you on this your opening day, and this text
    seemed given me for you. “Be strong, and He shall comfort
    (strengthen, _i.e._) thine heart, and put thou thy trust in the
    Lord.”

    ‘Try, my child, to live more this year for your children, and
    to enter, as you are doing, more into the thought that to save
    our lives we must lose them.’

       *       *       *       *       *

                                             ‘_September 18, 1899._

    ‘I have been thinking about you, and supposed you would begin
    to-morrow.

    ‘What a glorious Epistle for this week. May you be strengthened
    with might by the Spirit, and be filled with all the fulness of
    God. His power does work in it, above all that we ask or think.

    ‘The prayer in “Great Souls” speaks specially of those worn
    down by sickness. I am sorry you feel weak, but the heat has
    tried every one, and I think you will revive when your children
    gather round you.

    ‘Perhaps this sort of class will be better for you, and I think
    you are suited for it, because you are sympathetic, and will
    encourage those who feel themselves backward or not clever, to
    use the powers they have, to do what they can. May our Lord
    bless and comfort and guide you, my dear child.’

The College was not an easy place to leave. Miss Beale was proud of the
number of head-mistresses she sent out, but she grudged parting with her
best teachers. And there were many who, like Miss Belcher,[76] sacrificed
their own interests to that of the College.

The following is a characteristic letter on the subject:—

                                                  ‘_February 1894._

    ‘Miss Wolseley Lewis, who has been here nineteen years as pupil
    and teacher, who is B.A., gold medallist, all round, a charming
    character, good churchwoman, excellent influence, has come to
    ask me for a testimonial! I wish I could write she is horrid!

    ‘I am losing Miss Edmonds, another gold medallist, and so good
    all round, because she wants to be M.D. and missionary. I think
    it is cruel to take people at this time of year. Is there any
    chance of Canon Holland waiting?’

But when Miss Wolseley Lewis went to Graham Street, she wrote to her:—

    ‘You have been much in my thoughts this last Sunday. The sorrow
    of this year[77] seems to have drawn us nearer, and it is hard
    to part with you; but I feel you have been called to this work,
    and I am in the depths of my heart glad. May you in some degree
    realise the life of the ideal woman, through the indwelling of
    the Holy Ghost.’

‘I have known her,’ wrote a head-mistress after the death of Miss Beale,
‘for thirty-six years now, and she has been the truest and most valued
of friends to me. How we who are head-mistresses of smaller schools will
miss her advice and help it is difficult to express.’

And Miss Beale could be most generous in parting with her best even in
obedience to the claims of ordinary life, claims which she did not find
it easy always to recognise. The following letter gives an example of
this:—

    ‘There can be only one answer under the circumstances,—you
    feel you could not return, and I should feel as you do in your
    place. It is a great blow to me, for we have learned to feel
    such trust in one another, and one cannot trust these young
    teachers to every one.... I shall miss from my staff one whom
    I had learned to regard as a dear and faithful friend and
    fellow-worker.’

Many more extracts might be made from Miss Beale’s letters to show her
care for teachers and her supreme interest in all that concerned their
welfare, but in many cases they suffer by separation from their context.
Therefore, from the large mass of correspondence left, a certain number
of letters dealing with various subjects have been selected to form a
chapter by themselves.



CHAPTER XIII

PARERGA

    ‘All the great mystics have been energetic and influential, and
    their business capacity is specially noted in a curiously large
    number of cases.’

                             INGE, _Bampton Lectures_, Preface vii.


One outcome of Miss Beale’s time of personal spiritual distress, one
which bore directly on what she considered as St. Hilda’s work, was an
arrangement made for the first time in 1884 for devotional meetings
for teachers at the end of the summer term. After 1885, when a second
gathering took place, they were held alternately with the biennial Guild
meetings. Like much of Miss Beale’s work, these Quiet Days, as they were
called, resulted rather from a definite idea than from a formal plan.
Their arrangement and character appear to have been due to the occurrence
of certain conditions and circumstances while Miss Beale was forming a
decision to help others who might be suffering as she herself had done.
Plans for this help began to pass through her mind as early as the summer
of 1882, while she was herself, as she would have expressed it, ‘in the
fire.’ In July 1882 she wrote to a friend:—

                                                  ‘_July 25, 1882._

    ‘What occurred to me was this—that something of a more definite
    Retreat might be held for teachers during the vacation. Mr.
    Wilkinson had at Christmas some Quiet Days which were very
    valuable and helpful. Still these were not quite like a regular
    Retreat:—because very few who went were able to be really quiet
    in London lodgings, and so could not get the absolute silence
    and repose which make a Retreat valuable.... Most of the
    regular Retreats are too general to give teachers the _special_
    help, and many are so distinctly High Church, that one could
    not venture to recommend young teachers to go.... I _can’t_
    accept the decision “nothing can be done”; theories of distress
    which reach me as the old light seems to go out, and the dark
    waves close in, are too distressing. We cannot administer “a
    universal pill”; but we can to some extent support and comfort
    those who are passing through the darkness; one can out of
    one’s own experience tell them that the stars will shine out
    once more; one can teach some few simple lessons of faith and
    patience and hope; one can show that there are _a priori_ and
    _a posteriori_ grounds for the faith we hold,—though mysteries
    unfathomable remain in every department of thought; and in such
    a meeting, personal help and advice might be given to meet
    special individual difficulties. It is here that the Christian
    Evidence Society fails. Teachers have not time for _much_
    reading and there are masses of books, many of them containing
    very little matter and plenty of words and arguments, which are
    useless for our special difficulties. Of course Retreats are
    not simply for such intellectual treatment of doubts, and one
    would look for a quickening of faith by the special services
    and united prayers. So I thought it might seem good to hold
    some sort of Retreat in Oxford next year.’

It was not till the beginning of 1883 while attending a Retreat in
Warrington Crescent—a time to which she often recurred as of much help
and strengthening—that Miss Beale was able definitely to consider what
might be done. There were friends to whom she could turn, who took
trouble to help her by thinking over the matter from her point of view.
Among these may specially be mentioned the late Archbishop of Canterbury
and Mrs. Benson, the late Bishop of St. Andrews, and Canon Body. To Mrs.
Benson she wrote:—

                                                 ‘_Epiphany, 1883._

    ‘Whilst others were rejoicing at the recent appointment I
    have been conscious of a mixed feeling, for the Archbishop of
    Canterbury will not be able to do what the Bishop of Truro had
    half promised, in the way of helping by some kind of Retreat,
    teachers who have difficulties of belief. Mr. Wilkinson has
    also been unable to give us the Quiet Days for which we had
    hoped. So some Head Mistresses, who were in Retreat, and felt
    the great need, asked for special prayers for teachers in
    Colleges and High Schools, and that some way might be found to
    help them. Mr. Body responded very heartily to our request, and
    desired us to make it the subject of our special petition each
    week during the year. Afterwards in conversation, he spoke of
    the valuable help you had been able to give, and this has set
    me thinking whether we could not ask you to make your knowledge
    and experience more widely useful.

    ‘Our main difficulty would be to meet the doubts of those who
    have them, without suggesting doubts to those who have not been
    called to encounter this trial.

    ‘It has occurred to me, that perhaps there might be something
    on the model of the Guild for the Sick, combining the principle
    of the “Instruction by Correspondence” classes.

    ‘ ... Perhaps you may think me intruding—my acquaintance with
    you is so slight—and unpractical, but the need is great and
    immediate, and I think you will feel this too. I have gained
    such painful experience, both from within and without, of the
    misery of those who have once seen and then lost the sight
    of the invisible; those who have left, especially those who
    become teachers, often turn to me for help, which I feel so
    incompetent to give, and which I have not time to do properly.
    One is writing to me now, who is in a school in which there are
    sixteen teachers, ten of whom have given up all outward sign of
    the religious life. I long to be able to refer those who need
    guidance to some who are able to help them. Every other trial
    can be borne, but this is utter misery.

    ‘ ... It is not enough to preach sermons, and print books, as
    well might we furnish a treatise on Arithmetic to a child whose
    sum is wrong; we must find out and show why it is wrong. The
    Church did not make its way by such means at first, at least
    not without daily discussions “in the school of one Tyrannus.”
    Of course I do not overlook that some of the difficulties of
    belief are moral, but these could be met by the means I suggest.

    ‘I think it is _very_ important that members should be able to
    enquire anonymously; come “by night” as it were, and should be
    assured that no one would try to find out the name.’

To Canon Body, who had sent her a letter full of sympathy and interest,
she wrote:—

    ‘I am so glad you wrote thus freely, for it has made me
    understand better how much you can feel for those in this
    deepest sorrow, and yet have a sure and certain hope that they
    will rise out of that Hades. It is, as you say, most cheering
    to find movements of the same kind in different places. If
    there is a spiritual tide, the waters can only be lifted by
    extra mundane force.’

Gradually the plan shaped itself. For a time Miss Beale hoped to be able
to arrange at Oxford a Retreat followed by a conference, with lectures
and discussions on theological subjects. This proved to be impracticable.
Then she sought to carry out the plan at Cheltenham. She was advised
to limit herself to two or three days of quiet study and devotion with
addresses. She would not, however, relinquish the idea of some kind of
conference. The scheme stated in the following extract from a letter was
very much what was actually carried out:—

    ‘I hope the archbishop will be so good as to ask some one to
    give the addresses in the Quiet Days.... I should be there and
    a few of my friends, head mistresses, and we should make our
    subsequent lessons harmonise with the previous instruction,
    so that there should be unity. I do not mean to give lessons
    on _methods_ of teaching in the ordinary mechanical sense;
    but on our vocation and the moral aspects of our work, and
    then I thought we could get some one to give Bible lessons
    on the books set by Oxford and Cambridge, some one who knows
    the difference between dead and living teaching. We must have
    enough to occupy those who come for the whole month, though I
    expect only a few of those who come will remain so long. There
    will, I find, be a large proportion of earnest teachers who
    will be able to help and strengthen the weak.’

The Rev. V. H. Stanton[78] kindly acceded to Miss Beale’s request to give
the addresses at the three Quiet Days which opened the conference in
1884. In the following year Canon Mason did this. It is noticeable that
on almost every occasion the conductor of this Retreat for teachers was
drawn from the ranks of Cambridge. The reason for this Miss Beale often
explained, as in the following letter written as late as April 1904:—

    ‘I have had nearly all the book you sent read to me; there
    are some beautiful thoughts, but I don’t feel quite at home
    in the general atmosphere. It is difficult to describe, but
    I remember when Archbishop Benson was choosing a Conductor
    for our Retreat, he said one day, he would rather choose from
    the Cambridge school of thought. I asked him what was the
    difference between Cambridge and Oxford, and he said, “The
    latter began with the thought of sin, the former with the
    thought of the Divine Life in man.”

    ‘Some day when we meet I may be able to make clearer what I
    mean.’

Mr. Stanton’s earnest sympathetic addresses were greatly valued by those
who were present in 1884. Not less prized was the generous kindness of
the Lady Principal in the weeks which followed the Retreat. Miss Beale
not only gave frequent addresses on various subjects, continuing in some
the line of thought begun on the Quiet Days, she was also constantly at
the service of any member of the party for discussion or counsel.

‘I expected certainly to see something of you,’ one who had been present
wrote afterwards to her, ‘but that you would constitute yourself the
mother of the party, be with us at meals, and do so very much for our
improvement and entertainment was quite undreamt of. Indeed, we were all
touched by it. I think those quiet days at the beginning gave a special
tone of earnestness to the gathering.’

Mrs. Soulsby wrote of the ‘help and comfort you gave to me and so many
others by arranging that Retreat. I have never been present at anything
so calculated to do steady and lasting good.’

And many spoke of the ‘sense of fellowship’ which had been gained by
meeting so many with like aims and interests; they told how they were
going back to work with ‘new hope for the future,’ or with ‘many new
lights and helpful suggestions to aid’ them. Some said the work of
teaching had been represented to them in a new light, some that the
conference helped them to a new start. One told how she was ‘in danger
of making shipwreck when your wise counsel saved me.’ Another said: ‘One
thing struck me very much, the fellow-feeling and anxiety to help that
teachers who have been at Cheltenham have for each other.’

More than a hundred teachers, many of them belonging to Cheltenham, were
present for the first days of the conference in 1884. Some twenty outside
teachers remained for the whole month. The time was long enough to foster
real intimacy. A great deal of time and thought had been devoted to
arrangements beforehand, in order that all might get the utmost benefit
from the time. In this Miss Beale received much willing co-operation from
her own staff, and Miss Caines lent Fauconberg House and her servants.
Miss Beale was specially anxious that during the Quiet Days all should
have the opportunity of keeping well the silence which was observed.
Those who had no rooms of their own had little sitting-rooms assigned
them in the College, the music-rooms being available for this purpose.
That part of the Cheltenham world which still regarded Miss Beale with
suspicion and to whom a Retreat appeared, even as late as 1884, to be a
dangerous High Church innovation, raised a cry of alarm. The music-rooms
had been turned into cells! It is not known what the word implied to
those who made the outcry, and it was soon silenced, but it caused a
little annoyance at the time.

The month passed in teaching and helping, though gladly given out of her
own holidays, was an undoubted physical strain to Miss Beale. She wrote
to Mrs. Benson:—

    ‘I wish I had never said I would try to write a paper for
    Thursday at the Health Exhibition. I do not like to leave even
    for a day, as one ought to go on trying to help those who
    remain. We do feel so grateful for all the time and thought you
    and the Archbishop have been good enough to give us, especially
    in the selection of Mr. Stanton. For myself, I should never
    have had the courage to go on; (one gets nervous)....’

And she was tired. The last entry in her diary for that month is this:—

    ‘_August 27._—End of month at Fauconberg. Last address not
    good, and result of neglect.’

Yet Miss Beale probably felt such a strain far less than any other
head-mistress would have done, so absorbingly interesting to her was this
kind of work. She always looked back with great pleasure on that time.
She treasured the letters she received afterwards from those who had been
present, dated from it lasting friendships made with some who had come
from other schools, and felt it had drawn her nearer to some of her own
teachers.

Miss Beale’s outside interests were concerned, as was natural, chiefly
with education. With every educational movement made during the last
fifty years in the direction of progress she became to some extent
associated. She presided at the first meeting of head-mistresses held
in 1874 at Myra Lodge, when the Association for Head-mistresses was
founded with Miss Buss as president. ‘I see,’ said Miss Beale of this
meeting in 1906, ‘it is recorded that I presided. My recollections
are only of lying in great pain on the sofa and taking only a feeble
part in the discussion. I little thought that I should be allowed to
address a conference which more than thirty years after numbers over two
hundred and thirty members.... At our first meeting certain principles
were asserted which tended to settle some difficult questions.’ Miss
Beale here doubtless refers to the very first resolution passed by this
aristocratic body, which was to the effect that no school can work
satisfactorily unless the head-mistress be entirely responsible for its
internal management. Miss Ridley, in writing of Miss Buss,[79] (to ‘whose
insight and foresight,’ said Miss Beale, ‘the founding of the Association
was entirely due,’) has shown that the passing of this resolution was in
itself almost a _raison d’être_ for the Association. For the rightful
position of a head-mistress was not recognised without some difficulty
and controversy. The governing bodies of girls’ schools could not at
first be selected on the ground of interest and experience in educational
matters. Another resolution passed on that occasion was to the effect
that an examination to test the power of teachers is desirable.

On the death of Miss Buss, in 1895, Miss Beale became president until
1897, when her term of office expired. She never sought re-election, her
increasing deafness making it difficult for her to conduct meetings. She
thought a great deal of the importance of the Association and of the
discussions which took place at its meetings, and strove in every way to
render them not only earnest but fair-minded. ‘I hope,’ she said on one
occasion, ‘that our assemblies will not become such as the discussions
in Parliament, merely formal, every one having taken a side before and
being unmoved by anything said.’ Miss Beale several times read papers to
the Association, and in later years the deferential welcome she received
from its members was very noticeable. Her last address, given on the
request of the Association in June 1906, only a few months before her
death, may be regarded as her farewell to the educational world.

When the Association for Assistant Mistresses was formed, Miss Beale
regarded it at first with some anxiety. She feared the clash of interests
and promotion of suspicion between a head and her staff. Later, when she
understood the work of the Association, she received it into favour, and
on one occasion addressed a meeting of the western branch at St. Hilda’s.
Members of the Association were welcomed, and sometimes spent the morning
at College when they came over for branch meetings. Miss Beale, too,
was always willing to let those of her staff who belonged to the A.A.M.
Committee go up to London to attend meetings in term time, and was
pleased when it fell to Miss Lumby, as President of the Association, to
give evidence together with Mrs. Withiel, before the Bryce Commission in
1895.

The Teachers’ Guild, founded by Miss Buss in 1883, met with warm support
from the head-mistresses of the Association. A branch was started at
Cheltenham in the following year, and a paper by Miss Beale read, she
herself being indisposed at the time. She used her influence with her own
teachers to join the Guild, and frequently addressed the branch meetings
on such subjects as the Value of Examinations. In the Froebel Society she
was also much interested and subscribed to it regularly. When the Church
Schools’ Company was founded in 1883, Miss Beale became at once a member
of the Council. She was proud that the College supplied head-mistresses
to both the Graham Street and Baker Street Schools.

The hopefulness no increase of years or disappointment could abate, the
open mind ever quick to receive what was good and original from those
younger and less experienced than herself, were seen in the way Miss
Beale greeted the work of the Child-Study Association.

With her consent Miss Louch, then a member of the College staff,
proceeded to America in 1894 to attend a course of lectures by Dr.
Stanley Hall on child-study. On her return the Association was formed in
Edinburgh, and in the same year a branch was started in Cheltenham, with
Miss Beale as local president. Before her death she was president of the
whole Association, and presided over the conference held in Cheltenham
in 1906, the year of her death. When the _Paidologist_, the organ of the
Child-Study Association, was started, Miss Beale contributed largely
to the guarantee fund, and for five years was a member of the Magazine
Committee. She promoted the work of the Association by trying to get the
College staff, boarding-house mistresses, and parents of pupils to join
and assist in it.

Miss Beale was among those consulted by Miss Mason when, in 1888, she
definitely sought to give the Parents’ Educational Union, which had had
a successful year’s work in Bradford, a national name and character. The
work of the society appealed greatly to Miss Beale, and the Cheltenham
branch was one of the earliest founded. Her name appears among those of
the vice-presidents in 1892.

To pass beyond the limits of the work in which, from the fact of her
position, the Lady Principal of Cheltenham was called upon to take
a part, it may be noticed that she was always much interested in
Sunday-school teaching, and wrote many articles upon it. Several of these
have been printed. Her interest was caused largely by the numbers of old
pupils who took up this work, and who came to her for advice about it,
as well as to the congenial nature of religious instruction. Dissatisfied
with the methods or want of method prevailing in many Sunday-schools,
she had a high ideal of the work for the sake both of teacher and
children, and was always ready with sympathy and suggestion. To an old
pupil engaged on a paper intended to point out some existing ills in
Sunday-schools she wrote in 1880:—

    ‘I should say begin with all the good done—the necessity for
    them at the time, etc. Then speak of the evils, and with
    each sort suggest a remedy, and admit that the evils are not
    universal. Try to put it in rather a different shape, and I
    think it would do good in overthrowing some self-complacency.
    Especially is it an evil when quite raw girls—some ignorant
    girls such as we have at College—pretend to teach. Children
    accustomed to proper teaching of course fidget. I should have
    been a little rebel myself, if I had had to hear the wretched
    stuff that some children do at Sunday School. But it does, when
    done properly, draw classes together.’

Institutions and societies designed to help the poor of Cheltenham
came of course before Miss Beale’s notice. She never, however, allowed
herself to be drawn from the pressing requirements of her own work, so
as to become acquainted with the details of that which, to some extent,
grows up round every church. She was, indeed, on principle, chary in her
support of this, maintaining that in a town there was generally great
waste of funds and labours, owing to the lack of combination. She wrote
as early as 1881 in reference to Cheltenham:—

    ‘I am so anxious that we should all work in the direction
    pointed out by our Rural Dean, get all Church people to work
    together as one, for works which cannot or ought not to be
    merely parochial, and in all charitable work, wherever it
    is possible, to get all, whether Church or not, to join in
    opposing all forms of evil.... I think we should take works
    in order of importance. I may be wrong, but I have regretted
    the erection of Church steeples when there was other work that
    seemed to me of more importance [left unsupported]. I think
    the increase of offertories in churches, good as it is in many
    ways, has tended to hinder united work in the town. I do not
    know whether there ever could be a sort of Council for the
    administration of at least part of the funds so collected;
    but it does seem as if the present plan gave too much to some
    districts and too little to others, and left some institutions
    which have a claim upon all, with scarcely any support, because
    what is everybody’s business is nobody’s.... The laity have
    very little influence in the distribution of money collected
    in churches, which tends always to become a larger proportion
    of what is given away, so that much of the power to organise
    united work must rest with the clergy. And _living_ forces,
    which are enormously more important than money, are wasted by
    “congregationalism.” Could there not be some larger association
    of Church workers from which some sort of administrative
    council might select persons suitable for any special work?
    Could not work sometimes be done collectively, instead of each
    clergyman doing it separately for his own congregation? I do
    hope that more and more, in one work after another, we may
    unite our forces, and if once people can be induced to look
    into the evils which exist at their very doors, they will be
    moved to work with one heart and mind to remove what is a
    disgrace to our town.’

Among the institutions of Cheltenham, for which Miss Beale specially
claimed the need of united action, was the Working Men’s College.
She herself on one occasion read a paper there, her subject being
‘Self-support and Self-government from the point of view, not of the
individual, but of the College.’ The paper, simple and direct, shows how
Miss Beale could throw herself into the minds of those she addressed,
appealing to all that was best in them, while at the same time putting
her own thoughts into them. It embodies her favourite theories of the
danger of helping people through gifts:—

    ‘I do not think there are many belonging to this College
    who could not pay a few shillings annually. Self-denial adds
    value to energy.... Everybody does not agree with me. Some
    think you will misunderstand,—think we do not want help. I do
    not think you will, to judge by my own feelings. I like to be
    independent. You look at the Ladies’ College and say, “You have
    got all you want.” But time was when we were very poor, so poor
    that our Council said, ... we will have but another year’s
    trial and then shut up. We never said we would beg people to
    help us: we would make it self-supporting, or it should die....
    I feel certain if you working-men were to say, We will take
    the management ourselves, and it shall be a success, that it
    would be, and I think that if other people manage and pay for
    it, that some of the strongest and most independent would stand
    aloof.... I am quite sure that our College would not have been
    what it is if we had had money to fall back upon. I might
    myself have left the helm and gone to sit quietly in the cabin
    while the vessel drifted on to the rocks.’

Among Miss Beale’s papers there exists a very simple address entitled,
‘Is Death the End?’ She intended to read it at a little mission-room,
maintained in a very poor street by her friends, Mr. and Mrs. James Owen.
The subject was one which had taken strong hold of her fancy at the time.
Some one had discovered a dragon-fly emerging from its chrysalis on a
water-lily in the little pond which then existed in the Fauconberg House
garden adjoining the College grounds. It was taken to Miss Beale, who
saw enacted before her own eyes a living parable of resurrection-life.
Her childlike delight in this came out in almost every Scripture lesson
she gave that summer. The pond was watched for chrysalids; they were
taken into the classrooms for the children to see the creatures creep
out of their tombs, lie soft and sleepy for a little, then sail away
on new-found wings. This true story of the dragon-fly and all it could
teach of life, through death, Miss Beale longed to tell to Mrs. Owen’s
poor friends. She wrote it carefully, and had little illustrations made;
but the lecture was never given. ‘Mrs. Owen would not let me,’ she said
sadly, ‘but I think I could have interested them in the dragon-fly.’ But
Mrs. Owen was probably right, since the audience for whom the paper was
intended was such as Miss Beale knew only in the pages of Browning’s
_Christmas Eve_.

In the work of the Church abroad, in the needs and claims of heathen
peoples governed by England, in the various problems which arise out of
these vast considerations, Miss Beale was interested only in a secondary
way. That is to say, when they came before her in the work of her own
pupils, when her girls turned to her for sympathy and help, then she
would consider them enough to be able to form some definite opinion, and
to give sound advice. The teachings of Hindoo religions and philosophy,
and the progress of Christianity in India, came before her as matters
of real interest in 1883, when Pundita Ramabai was sent by the Wantage
Sisters to study at the College. Miss Beale received her with the utmost
warmth and friendship. She made every possible arrangement for her health
and protection: she not only put at her disposal every advantage the
College could offer, but gave up a large portion of her own valuable time
in order to help her personally. She welcomed Ramabai’s long letters on
religious questions and difficulties, answering them at equal length.
She obtained introductions and arranged interviews for her with many
whom she thought could help her. Ramabai’s ‘appetite for philosophy’
(to quote Miss Beale), her enthusiasm and unsparing devotion to the
cause of her unhappy sisters in India, touched her deeply, and when
the Home for Widows was established at Poona,[80] Miss Beale became a
large and regular subscriber to it. Among her papers there is one which
was perhaps sent to India, or was perhaps just one of those written
expressions of some thought which had seized and filled her mind. It was
evidently intended to be an appeal against the cruelty which made such
homes for widows necessary:—

    ‘My heart,’ it runs, ‘is stirred by sorrow and pity for those
    suffering widows of India; but there are some whom I pity
    more,—those who inflict the sorrows on them, since it is far
    better to suffer than to do wrong.... But what grieves me,
    too, is the thought of the waste of all that wonderful amount
    of energy and life which God has given your country-women in
    order to bless others. If the men of India believe in God’s
    goodness and wisdom, as I think they must, even though they
    may not trust Him, they must think He has not made all those
    widows to be a burden and misery to themselves and others, but
    to do good work. What mistakes people make when they think that
    they are wiser than God.... I look forward to the future and
    rejoice and think that as India grows wiser with that wisdom
    which trusts the infinitely wise and good God, Whom we worship,
    she will send out her clever and good women, who are now
    crushed by sorrow and unkindness, into the rich harvest-fields
    of the world, will cheer them on in their work for others,
    and they will become a blessing; surely that is the only joy
    of a woman’s heart.... Not this only, there will be many who
    will gladly give up all thought of the happiness of wife or
    of mother, in its limited sense, and go forth to live for
    others.... I can remember when Old Maid was a term of contempt
    in England, but it is not so now; you have seen me and sixty
    old maids working together happy and content, and if I could
    send out a hundred women where I can now send one, I should not
    have too many, so constant are the demands for “old maids,”
    as you would call them,—for teachers, nurses, missionaries,
    and all sorts of good work.... India will some time feel all
    that her wasted women’s life can do. God will put it into the
    hearts of men and of the happy women, who are sometimes hard
    on the unhappy, to set these women free to do all that is in
    their heart, and other good women will teach them to use their
    precious gift of liberty as in God’s sight.’

Ramabai undoubtedly made Miss Beale realise the need for definite
Christian teaching in India. Here is an interesting extract from a letter
on this subject:—

                                                           ‘_1884._

    ‘Rama Bai is very learned and thoughtful, and says how
    powerless most missionaries are, for want of the knowledge of
    native philosophy and religion.... I thought that the native
    religions were feeding the higher life, but it seems not so
    now; but the state is much the same as in Greece and Rome just
    before the Christian era. She spoke much as Plato does in
    the _Republic_ about the character of the gods in the Indian
    poetry, and felt the wonderful power of the perfect Example,
    and the inward Grace to follow it.’

On hearing of Miss Beale’s death Ramabai wrote: ‘It is over twenty-one
years since I saw Miss Beale for the last time. But her sacred memory
is quite fresh, and I seem to hear her pray and give Bible instruction.
Her love and influence, her words of encouragement and her prayers on my
behalf, have helped me much in my life and work.’

In South Africa, a school at Bloemfontein, still more one at Grahamstown,
became of interest at Cheltenham through the influence of Miss Strong,
who prepared herself to work in them by some periods of time at the
College. Many teachers at the Diocesan School, Grahamstown, were drawn
from Cheltenham, and its association of old pupils was for a time
affiliated with the Guild. Other old pupils went to India, China, Japan.
As the number of Cheltenham missionaries increased, the importance and
needs of their work became impressed more and more on some members of
the Guild. In 1878 Miss Beale, whose own interest in foreign missions
grew steadily in later years, allowed the formation of a Missionary Study
Circle within the Guild.[81] This is the only special work other than
that of the London Settlement she ever sanctioned, and this one was much
safeguarded. When the _Occasional Leaflet_, the organ of this circle, was
first published, she made it a condition that there should be no begging
for money, nor even a definite urging of the claims of foreign mission
work. She feared girls might be drawn by the attraction of distant and
more heroic-seeming activities to neglect duty at home. And, as the
present editor of the _Leaflet_ has remarked, ‘She hardly realised how
careful societies are in selecting and training would-be missionaries.’

On one occasion Miss Beale, by the request of the late Bishop of
Grahamstown,[82] actually addressed a small missionary meeting. She began
by saying:—

    ‘I have been asked to speak to you a few words to-day, and
    I have consented on condition that I should not advocate a
    cause. It is sometimes said, “Will you not collect money or
    bring forward such an institution?” and I say “No! my duty is
    to give principles, and to leave the definite application.”
    And if the carrying out of the principles deprives of helpers
    myself and the work that is nearest to my heart I am content,
    and so I am sure the Bishop is.’ She continued, ‘I admit there
    is sometimes a call to go abroad for those who want to serve
    Christ, and lack resolution to be cut off from home ties. We
    cannot so easily forget we are soldiers if we go out to an
    enemy’s country. We read in history of brave people who failed
    in war because when they had won a battle they could not be
    kept together; but disappeared into their own homes, and had to
    be got together again on the next emergency. So, I think some
    who feel themselves weak do well to join some army bound for
    foreign parts. They can’t run away on the first repulse, or
    give up when tired;—and the raw recruit comes back a veteran
    from his foreign campaign, able to lead the volunteers who
    have to be trained at home. Not only does a foreign campaign
    help us to break the bondage of self-indulgent habits, but
    it unites us too. There is nothing like going away from home
    and facing a common foe to unite us to those from whom we
    were severed. A neighbour whom we scarcely knew in Cheltenham
    is a friend at once in China or Africa. In the presence of
    unbelief Christians who are separated feel their differences
    in minor matters, matters of taste and feelings rather than
    of principle, to be insignificant;—and unite in the great
    battle against sin. Whilst, on the other hand, they feel the
    immense power, the great need of faith, living and real, to
    sustain them when the props of Society, of Church Services,
    of sympathetic friends are taken away;—they have to dig down
    to the rock.... In any case the battle must not begin without
    training and discipline. Useless women, because undisciplined
    in thought, in will, in action, what havoc they make! Having
    a name to live, yet dead;—these bring in confusion. Those
    who have not learned obedience, those who want credit for
    themselves, or excitement, never help to win victory.’

There was one matter outside her own proper sphere of activity in which
Miss Beale was never sparing of money or personal trouble. This was
the work to which Mrs. Lancaster had first drawn her in her youth, the
rescue and protection of women. It became, as life went on, specially
linked with the memory of that other friend, of whom she loved to think
as Britomart, rescuing her sister from the fire. When Mrs. Owen died, it
was felt instinctively that her work for others must and should continue.
There seemed no memorial so fit as a Home for Friendless Girls for one
whose chosen task it had been to seek the lost piece of silver. Miss
Beale translated, as it were, all her poetical thoughts, all her most
tender memories into active co-operation, taking the chair at committees,
addressing meetings, making known the needs of the Home, finding workers
for it.

Miss Beale herself had learned much since 1856. As time went on she felt
less inclined to seek remedies for evil than to prevent its beginning;
she looked more to causes than to resulting facts. When in 1885 Mrs.
William Grey made an appeal for help in organising some definite movement
among the mothers of England against the sins which create the necessity
for rescue, Miss Beale responded warmly, urging her to come forward
herself to lead it.

                    ‘LADIES’ COLLEGE, CHELTENHAM, _August 5, 1885_.

    ‘DEAR MRS. GREY,—Your beautiful letter was sent me by an old
    pupil, who with her husband, Mr. Mitchell, is one of the most
    earnest workers in the cause. The labours they have gone
    through patiently and quietly for years are immense.

    ‘Well: it seems to me that we ought to have a Union, as large
    as the one you established, and which did such wonderful work
    before; but this time for—shall I say shepherding those who
    have no proper protectors, and my thoughts turn to you to
    lead in this also. (1) Because I am sure that the work you
    have done has alone made it possible to hope that we may roll
    back this flood of corruption instead of being submerged by
    it; the improvement in education has shown what women can do,
    and won for the time a respect from men, which they had not
    before. These large schools have taught them to work together
    organically, and the solid studies have strengthened them in
    every way. (2) Because you have such faith—I remember how
    strong it was when mine failed. (3) Because you would be able
    to unite people of various creeds and classes and ranks in this
    great national work—people would trust your delicacy and your
    judgment, and you would emphasise the patriotic grounds. I
    never forget your speech at Bristol, and your words about our
    “dear, dear country.” You can _both_ stir the heart, and guide
    the judgment. I think that perhaps God has restored your health
    that you may lead once more.

    ‘Dim visions float before my mind of an Union of Women which
    should embrace and work with the existing organisations, such
    as the Girls’ Friendly, the Metropolitan Association, and the
    Christian Young Women,—which should welcome help from all; for
    what are sectarian distinctions in the presence of such evils?
    “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ” join—and those
    too who, not naming His name, live according to His life....

    ‘Women band themselves together to go out to nurse in the
    armies—once that was thought impossible.... _Perhaps_ I am
    talking of what is impracticable. It is hard to keep calm
    enough to see clearly, when such visions hover before one.
    It is so important to keep calm, that one may neither be
    paralysed, nor make fantastic strokes instead of striking
    truly; and therefore I want you to think and guide.

    ‘I am sure we teachers must not let ourselves be diverted
    from _our_ proper work, of inspiring and setting others to
    work—indirectly, not directly, can we act. I often have to stop
    earnest teachers, who would break themselves down, and say—“If
    you want a thing done, don’t do it yourself.” But we do need
    more and more not to think of the mere giving of knowledge, but
    of lifting through education the girls’ characters; giving them
    proper ideas of marriage and what it ought to be: we should
    abolish all the frivolities of the marriage ceremonial. Would
    we had more weddings like that I attended yesterday of one of
    our teachers. I had never before been present at one which
    had really satisfied me, and there were crowds of poor people
    belonging to the “unwashed” amongst whom she had laboured,
    who behaved as fashionable congregations do not, and who must
    have gone away with a deeper sense of the meaning of a true
    marriage. We need, I think, a marriage reform association as
    much as a funeral reform. I am afraid my letter is a little
    incoherent. I am in bed with headache, after a somewhat
    exhausting week. We have had a teachers’ meeting again this
    year, beginning with some Quiet Days, and addresses to teachers
    by Canon Mason, whom the Archbishop of Canterbury kindly asked.
    I think we all thoroughly enjoyed these and our after meetings,
    and our country excursions and social gatherings.

    ‘Miss Helen Gladstone was with us, and Ramabai, with teachers
    from all parts.

    ‘Give my love to dear Miss Shireff. I don’t know what she will
    say to my urging work on you.’

Mrs. Grey did not decline the task thus sent back to her, so far as she
was able to do it by writing. She was then living abroad in enfeebled
health, but her passionate words touched many in England, and a movement
which received the name of the Women’s League was set on foot in the
usual routine way with committees and meetings. Miss Beale attended one
or two of these, but does not appear to have been quite happy at them.
She was necessarily hampered by the fact that the name of the College
ought not to be associated with this special work. She felt also that
she had not sufficiently studied the subject, nor knew enough about the
organisation of societies other than educational, to be able to make
suggestions before others of wide experience. On one occasion, when a
difference of opinion arose about admission to the League, she felt she
had not spoken as decisively as she should, and she wrote afterwards to
Mrs. Grey: ‘I enclose the two circulars; but please do not question me.
It seemed impertinent to speak when there were four or five Bishops’
wives present, and I doubt my judgment. I have given all my thought to
other forms of organisation, and I live so much out of the world.’ And to
the lady with whom she had specially differed she wrote thus:—

    ‘I have been trying to think how it was possible for you to
    misunderstand me, as I saw you did on Saturday. I thought you
    knew me too well to think I _could_ wish any one to conceal
    their colours. I was _very_ tired, and I see I did not make
    myself clear. May I try now?

    ‘There are two parties who call themselves Agnostics: there
    are those who reject the Christian moral law, and teach a
    truly abominable doctrine; with such one could have absolutely
    _nothing_ to do; no league _we_ could ever join could include
    these, for they are our enemies.

    ‘There are others, who hold _all_ that Christ has taught us,
    who would fully accept the Christian moral law, as the one and
    only rule. I know some of these; their whole heart is with us;
    they do the work of Christ, for they go into the wilderness and
    find those wounded and stripped by thieves, and bring them to
    our inn, and bid us take care of them.

    ‘I am sure our Lord will one day place such on His right hand,
    though they may question, “Lord, when saw we Thee?” I would not
    separate from them, lest I should be parted from Him Whose love
    is certainly working in them, tho’ their “eyes are holden” that
    they know Him not.

    ‘I know still that we cannot join them, _so_ as to do the
    _same_ work, and they know it too. They gather in, they go into
    the highways and hedges; they leave the inner work to those who
    are actually disciples. One I know has just now got the care of
    two neglected portionless girls, and sent them to good Church
    schools....

    ‘I shall be deeply grieved, if in a crisis of such danger, we
    show the enemy that we are so divided that we cannot welcome as
    allies those who are doing Christ’s work, and acknowledging the
    perfection of His teaching, because we cannot understand their
    difficulties in accepting the doctrines _we_ hold sacred. We
    shall not “water down” our teaching, nor would they wish us to
    do so. We shall not give up prayer, because we do not impose
    special rules.’

Another letter of this period (March 1886) to Mrs. Grey shows Miss
Beale’s calm judgment as well as her sympathy in the difficult work of
the League:—

    ‘ ... I am disappointed to find that some, even of mature age,
    seem to think it right to shut their eyes.... Of course one
    would be glad that such subjects as this should not be brought
    up without necessity, and I suppose that many of us have grown
    up without a notion that some of the crimes alluded to in
    your paper were possible. It does darken the whole world and
    sadden the lives of the young to know that such wickedness is
    possible; it may destroy their faith in God, to know it before
    their moral constitution has attained its full vigour, and
    plunge them into pessimism: one cannot help wishing to conceal
    these loathsome visions from those we love. I do not go with
    Miss Ellice Hopkins in her wish that the young should be very
    early warned. It seems to me that there is a parallel between
    that and our action in cases of bodily disease: one who looked
    on passively is sickened and made ill;—the nurse or surgeon
    bent on healing does not suffer.

    ‘And I do feel that there is a great danger in bringing before
    the mind temptations which are connected with the bodily
    organisation. A nervous excitement seems to be produced,
    something of the nature of hysteria, and there is a sort of
    criminal fascination such as those feel who throw themselves
    from heights: the judgment seems utterly in abeyance. The same
    thought seems expressed in the story of Medusa.

    ‘For this reason I do feel a little hesitation in giving
    countenance to the indefinite extension of Blue-ribbon armies,
    necessary and beneficent as they are in cases where there
    is strong temptation, or persons are moved to work actively
    against intemperance; and I would rather that the campaign
    should be one of missionaries, so to speak, of those who have
    bound themselves to some active work in the cause. I think
    that such great evils might arise from the terrible mistakes
    which might be committed by those who undertook the ostracism
    without having a fair chance of arriving at a correct judgment.
    It is so easy to stab to death the character of an innocent
    man; the devil may steal as well as buy a man’s shadow; he may
    sell as well as buy....

    ‘So what seems to me best would be to have a small band of wise
    and calm leaders; and not to invite a general public to give
    any pledge, only trust to the working of such leaven as these
    would form.

    ‘Some of the points to which they direct attention should be
    the abolition of the frivolities of the marriage ceremony....

    ‘As regards material measures, I would still urge the formation
    of a body of women-policemen, who could safely do work which
    could not be done by men-policemen or clergymen. These should
    undertake to watch over registries for women, shops where women
    work, to establish labour registers themselves, and take care
    that women were not paid starvation wages; to enter (under
    protection) suspected houses; to watch railway stations and
    ships, etc. etc.

    ‘So you see, dear Mrs. Grey, tho’ my heart is altogether with
    you, my judgment does not quite go with the recommendations. I
    do not fear your misunderstanding me, because we are so truly
    one, and can only differ about the best modes of work....’

As time went on Miss Beale’s continued sympathy with this particular
work was evidenced in larger subscriptions to the National Vigilance
Association, to which she also left a legacy. The letters of the last
years show her interest in it, and that her horror of a worldly marriage
was as great as ever. She wrote to Miss Ellice Hopkins in 1903:—

    ‘I meant that marriage without the spiritual ideal was
    intolerable, but the body is transfigured; there is a
    “metamorphosis,” as the New Testament insists so often; but the
    Scripture teaching is so different from the mere sentimental. I
    don’t like the tendency of _Lady Rose’s Daughter_. I dislike,
    of course, much of Sarah Grand, but the end of the _Heavenly
    Twins_ does bring before people the horrors of such a marriage
    as the Bishop’s wife promotes. It is a long and ever-renewed
    struggle with these wicked laws.... It is sad to see that this
    new Education Act is shutting out women, and making the hope
    of the suffrage less. Here the Town Council and the County
    Council both asked me to nominate a woman—and four of our staff
    here have been asked to be managers of schools—but of course
    two or three women will be able to do very little.’

Cheltenham pupils who in course of time took up the cause of the poor
and degraded, found the greatest sympathy and help from Miss Beale. She
was always specially ready with sympathy for those who were engaged in
an unpopular struggle for good. Among them may be specially mentioned
Miss Annette Bear, whose labours in 1894 were instrumental in getting
a clause dealing with children employed on the stage added to the Act,
afterwards known as the Children’s Charter, and who after her marriage
worked successfully for the women’s vote in Australia. A short account of
Annette Bear Crawford appeared in the College Magazines for 1899 and 1900.

To an old pupil trying to help her unhappy sisters in Africa she wrote:
‘I must tell you how glad I was to see your name on the Ladies’ National
List, and to hear from yourself on the subject. I am so rejoiced when my
old girls take up this trying question. Only refined and educated women
can handle it successfully.’ She also begged her not to be discouraged
by failure, ‘but remember the real thing to aim at is the Suffrage.
Without the vote you may cut off one evil to find it coming up again in a
worse form, and often, but for the personal discipline, might as well be
knocking your head against a stone wall.’

As time went on this question of the vote for women seemed more and more
important to Miss Beale. She became a Vice-President of the Central
Society for Women’s Suffrage, besides being a regular subscriber.

Naturally, Miss Beale hoped for reform by means of the cultivation of
the mind. Much evil she considered came from want of proper interests and
from deficient knowledge of life, such as even good reading could to some
extent supply. ‘Give them literature lessons,’ she said to an old pupil
who had a large class of intelligent Yorkshire factory girls. A letter to
another worker shows in what way she hoped women school managers might
help to hinder the spread of corruption. It has the additional interest
of suggesting a measure akin to one lately adopted by the educational
authorities in some counties:—

                                                   ‘_(circa) 1889._

    ‘Perhaps I ought not to say much; my own vineyard I must keep.
    It does seem to me that both men and women who are wanting to
    mend things ought to take municipal offices and all sorts of
    legal and government work.

    ‘Schools ought to be able to keep children longer and gradually
    reduce school time, and could not one get a law that children
    without employment should be at school? They must have in
    clerical language a “title” to leave school control by showing
    their parents are able to look after them or that they have an
    employer. This wholesale feeding does seem a serious matter, as
    weakening the sense of parental responsibility. I do hope we
    shall not go in for pauperising in Bethnal Green. I feel sure
    we shall not under Miss Newman....

    ‘The monstrous evil is, however, hydra-headed, and one’s
    courage sometimes sinks; but there is, no doubt, a much higher
    public opinion than there was.’

Miss Beale’s pity for the helpless was not confined to women. She felt
deeply the needs of discharged prisoners, and more than once sent
donations of money to one of her old girls who was in a position to help
them. She also supported Miss Agnes Weston’s work for sailors.

Another class whose needs she fully recognised was that of poor gentle
people. Impoverished Irish ladies, governesses, and others, she was
always anxious to help, and frequently maintained the duty which richer
members of their own class owed to them. Those who asked her aid for
these often found her unexpectedly generous. It has been shown how much
she undertook, both in money payment and trouble, for girls who could not
afford an education befitting their position. Outside this, indeed, her
interests may have been held to have been comparatively few; but when she
did permit herself to study the problems of her day, she made it evident
that the force of mind and will which she concentrated on her own work
could also have effected great results in other fields of labour.



CHAPTER XIV

HONOURS

    ‘He deserved well of his country.’


‘Shall we try to deserve more rather than to win more?’ said Miss Beale
when she quoted the phrase of the Roman senate, which heads this chapter,
to some children—not of Cheltenham—who were to receive prizes. It well
expresses her feeling about rewards. They should grow out of the work;
should be some fresh privilege of service. Hence her indifference to
prizes in the College. They were given on a percentage of marks obtained
in the midsummer examinations. They were announced when the marks of the
classes were read to them on the first morning of the next term, but
they were never presented: they had to be fetched by the individuals who
earned them from the secretary’s room.

    ‘I was opposed,’ she wrote on one occasion, ‘to this custom. I
    did not think it necessary to make pupils work, they seemed as
    earnest and painstaking before prizes were given as since. I
    felt it was better they should work from a love of knowledge or
    a simple sense of duty, but the Council took another view, and
    as there is much to be said on their side of the question, I
    yielded.

    ‘In life, prizes must be to a great extent the reward of
    thoughtful industry, and it seems to me that on the one hand
    we may thereby teach the children to put success at its true
    value, and point out to them that it is at the bar of our own
    conscience alone that we must stand approved or condemned;
    that on the other hand they may learn to bear disappointment
    patiently. I do not find that prizes create any feelings of
    jealousy or ill-will, nor can I blame a child who looks forward
    with pleasure to carrying home to her parents this proof that
    she has tried to do as they would have her. It appears to me
    a matter of less importance than is usually supposed, and in
    any case can affect only a few pupils at the head of a class.
    Stimulants to exertion, however, are rarely needed. There are
    very few who are not interested and earnest in their work, and
    our difficulty is more frequently to check too great zeal, and
    to insist on the observation of those limits we place to the
    time devoted to study than to demand more.’

The high ideal of _deserving_ rather than _gaining_ was what Miss Beale
set before herself as true wealth to be desired. So she was careful, when
the management of large public funds and a much increased personal income
came to her, to remain as frugal, as poor as ever. It was not merely that
she liked simplicity. Her simplicity of life was a deliberate intention.
There was a personal note in the fervour with which she would read the
words of Abraham to the king of Sodom: ‘I will not take from a thread
even to a shoe-latchet, ... lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram
rich.’ No monk was ever more faithful to his chosen bride of Poverty than
Miss Beale remained with her large income and successful investments. She
was consistent also in preferring for those she loved a simple personal
life, which would leave mind and time free for thought and the needs of
others.

When first Miss Beale went to Cheltenham she adopted a very simple mode
of living, such as she thought would sufficiently meet her needs, and
she never changed it. At the age of seventy she would even help to lay
her own table for the frugal midday meal, if the general servant had
been delayed by household work in the morning. She would walk to the
station to save a cab fare, and invariably chose the simplest means of
conveyance unless on a matter of urgency. It is true she became rather
grander in dress as years went on. ‘What did I wear,’ she wrote to Miss
Brown about 1876, after some function she had attended, ‘“velvet and
ostrich feathers?” Well, what could I wear but my felt bonnet and old
velvet cloak and old black serge? I looked quite smart enough.’ Kind
friends there were who liked to see the Lady Principal beautifully
dressed, and who were allowed in later life to guide her into velvet and
ostrich feathers. She submitted for the sake of the College, for whose
good she would cheerfully have worn either sackcloth or cloth of gold!

For the sake of the College, still more for the sake of that work for
women and the race which the College represented, Miss Beale gladly
greeted honours. That they had anything to do with herself personally,
she was not even aware. Her work did indeed receive recognition far and
wide from those who prized education, and who regarded it from various
points of view.

Among the first to honour it with special notice and a substantial, even
magnificent gift, was John Ruskin, when in 1885 he presented to the
College two beautiful and valuable manuscripts—one, of the four Gospels,
in Greek, written in the eleventh century; another (_Antiphonarium
Romanum_) of the thirteenth century. He gave also a collection of printed
books. These were the occasion of an interesting series of letters from
Mr. Ruskin to Miss Beale. Some of them are printed here.

             ‘BRANTWOOD, CONISTON, LANCASHIRE, _February 10, 1882_.

    ‘DEAR MISS BEALE,—I have to ask your pardon for never having
    replied to your former letter; but it came when I was already
    over-wrought and threatened with illness, and it gave me more
    to think of than it was possible then to review.

    ‘I am now, however, most seriously bent on understanding the
    principles and knowing some of the results of modern girl
    education....

    ‘A very few lines would enable me to become of some use to
    you—in my own fields of work—and without moving from my fields
    of rest.

    ‘I have the deepest respect for Mr. Shields’ work, nevertheless
    it is out of my _way_; and such drawing models as I may send
    you would be altogether different in feeling.

    ‘But the first thing I want to know is what kind of library
    or schoolroom you have, for quiet separate reading, and what
    standard books the College possesses in Lexicons, works on
    natural history, and classic literature, and what place Latin
    and Italian have in your code of studies.—Ever faithfully yours,

                                                        J. RUSKIN.’

       *       *       *       *       *

             ‘BRANTWOOD, CONISTON, LANCASHIRE, _February 18, 1887_.

    ‘DEAR MISS BEALE,—I can only thank you to-day for the most
    interesting parcel, which gives me an idea of the College and
    its branches, admitting every degree of enthusiasm in its
    Principal.

    ‘ ... but for the moment, entirely puzzling to me, as I neither
    want to confuse the strict College work with that of Ruskin
    societies, nor the elementary and general teaching with that of
    artists’ studios, or of general papers in your Magazine.

    ‘And when I give you books I should like them to be accessible
    to the classes in general. I can’t scatter them among the
    boarding-houses or give them only to the senior students at St.
    Hilda’s. You can surely put up some shelves for me in a corner
    of some generally inhabited room, and put them under the care
    of an official librarian. It seems to me the office might be
    given for a term at a time to any girl who cared to take it,
    involving also the curatorship of any drawings, casts of coins,
    or the like, which I could at times lend or present to you.

    ‘In the meantime, will you let me have a list of the classes,
    with the books used in them, and times of required attendance.

    ‘Dr. Watson has trusted me for the present to arrange the work
    for his daughter, without reference to any competitive honours
    or testing examinations. I wish to keep her well at her music,
    French, and if she cares for it, elementary drawing, with
    beginning of Latin and the first making out of classic history.
    What I chiefly need to know is the method of instruction in
    the music and drawing classes. (Do your seniors touch Greek at
    all?)

    ‘I have just been reading an excellent paper by Miss _Sophia_
    Beale on Art instruction, in which, however, the general sense
    and truth of the author’s views are prevented from taking a
    practical form by her falling into the scarcely in our time
    avoidable error of supposing that accuracy of drawing can only
    be taught by the figure.

    ‘The figure can never be drawn accurately unless life is given
    to the task. But a triangle, an arch, a cinquefoil, and a wild
    rose are within the reach of ordinary girlhood’s observation
    and delineation, to ordinary girlhood’s extreme profit.—Believe
    me, dear Madam, your faithful servant,

                                                      JOHN RUSKIN.’

       *       *       *       *       *

                 ‘BRANTWOOD, CONISTON, LANCASHIRE, _March 3, 1887_.

    ‘DEAR MISS BEALE,—I shall be most thankful if you can find
    anything in my books that the girls will like to have in the
    Magazine: the ivied trunks were sent in no high spiritual but
    lowly practical intent, simply as the sort of models which you
    can’t cut and bring in for yourselves, and which, once drawn
    real size, will teach more than all my talking.

    ‘I think her librarian cares will be ever so good for my wild
    flower, and am looking out more fine books for her to-day,
    chiefly a perfect edit, of Scott’s poetry and Heyne’s beautiful
    _Virgil_.

    ‘I am wholly with you in liking Greek better than Latin, but
    only as added to Latin by clever girls. The entire history of
    the Catholic Church being in Latin, and half the language of
    Europe derived from it, I would make every girl who passed
    through any course of literature begin with understanding her
    Pater Noster and Te Deum.

    ‘But I have put a lovely edition of _Hesiod_ aside for next
    dispatch to the wild librarian.

    ‘I don’t quite know what the “Kyrle” Society means, but imagine
    I have stores of things they could put to use.—Ever faithfully
    yours,

                                                         J. RUSKIN.

    ‘Enclosed may be a pretty little gift to any of your good
    girls.’

       *       *       *       *       *

                 ‘BRANTWOOD, CONISTON, LANCASHIRE, _March 7, 1887_.

    ‘DEAR MISS BEALE,—I have put the little volume of poems into my
    near bookcase at the back of my arm-chair. They look really
    very nice, and show an extremely high tone in the school.

    ‘I am going to send you with the Pindar, a beautiful 13th
    cent. MS., with the Gregorian notes all written to the old
    Latin songs. I think the College will be proud of it, and your
    organist interested by it.

    ‘I shall be delighted to see whatever the teachers care to send
    me. I have been languid and stupid this spring, or should have
    written something for the drawing classes before now.—Ever
    faithfully and respectfully yours,

                                                        J. RUSKIN.’

       *       *       *       *       *

                ‘BRANTWOOD, CONISTON, LANCASHIRE, _March 11, 1887_.

    ‘DEAR MISS BEALE,—There is no way of enlarging those Kate
    sketches: they were calculated for the little confusion
    caused by their smallness, and are not well drawn enough for
    magnifying.

    ‘I will send you some prettier ones for framing. I am very
    glad the books have come safe. The grace and dignity of the
    engravings in Heyne are of great educational value, and the two
    MSS. are extremely good of the kind. They cost, curiously, the
    same price each, £100 or £105,—I forget which.

    ‘The wild librarian sends me an extremely bad account of
    herself to-day. I have sent her a beautifully impressive and
    didactic answer, which she ought to show you.—Ever faithfully
    yours,

                                                         J. RUSKIN.

    ‘I have sent your organist a Magister for himself. I am so glad
    he likes it. I couldn’t make out his initials, or would have
    put his name in it; people ought always to sign in print.

                                                 A.B.C. So and So.’

       *       *       *       *       *

                ‘BRANTWOOD, CONISTON, LANCASHIRE, _March 12, 1887_.

    ‘DEAR MISS BEALE,—I send you two books to-day with real
    pleasure. The old book of towns containing images of the
    things that once were, in spite of their stiffness, liker the
    realities now lost than any wooden efforts at restoration,
    while the Arabian book is a type of all the subtle and faithful
    skill of France can do at its present best.

    ‘I call it the _faithful_ skill of France. There is no nation
    has ever produced such honest work in love of its subjects,
    not in vanity, as the _Desc. de l’Egypte_ and the illustrated
    beautiful books of modern times. The great Cuvier series is
    degraded by its filthy anatomies, but in mere engraving and
    colours stands alone. But I am going to send you some birds,
    also matchless, as I can’t send you the Cuvier for its horror.

    ‘The English book on the Dee, with its rotten paper and vulgar
    woodcuts, illustrates our English meanness in comparison, but
    has its poor use too....’

       *       *       *       *       *

                ‘BRANTWOOD, CONISTON, LANCASHIRE, _March 14, 1887_.

    ‘DEAR MISS BEALE,—There is not the least need of this flame
    of gratitude. I am only too glad to find a place where I can
    send books likely to be permanently useful to English girls. I
    am sending three more to-day, which I think likely to be far
    more serviceable than those finer ones, containing as they do,
    quantities of sound historical information given in a simple
    and graceful way on subjects which every Christian girl should
    have knowledge of, while I suppose not one in fifty ever hears
    any truth about them. They are nice collegiate books too, to
    look at.

    ‘I am mightily pleased too at your having a girl-organist, and
    hope to work out some old plans with her.—Ever most truly yours,

                                                        J. RUSKIN.’

       *       *       *       *       *

                      ‘BRANTWOOD, CONISTON, LANCASHIRE, _March 24_.

    ‘DEAR MISS BEALE,—These candlesticks are lovely, but a little
    too loose and catchy to be quite good design. The fillets of
    the bases should be bars, and branch into the foliage, not be
    entangled in it. But I am heartily glad to see such work.

    ‘The glass for the MSS. will be excellent,—but only the lazuli
    and gold will stand sunlight—all colours of time fade in full
    light. But there’s no harm in a little fading of the Greek
    Evangelists, or the musical notes on a single page.

    ‘That Norway Bishops’ book will be a lovely companion to the
    Old Geography.

    ‘You needn’t mind who is or isn’t in association with you.

    ‘You have plenty of power alone—and inventiveness enough to
    boot.—Ever affectly. yrs.,

                                                             J. R.’

Mr. Ruskin’s munificent gifts did not stand alone. Almost every number
of the Magazine chronicled some present to the College, some book or
picture, scientific apparatus or specimen. Special mention should be
made of Dr. Wright’s collection of fossils which formed the foundation
for a museum, and of the grant of flint instruments and many animals
obtained through Sir William Flower from the British Museum.

The distinctions which came to both Principal and College in the later
years of Miss Beale’s headship were very numerous and came from widely
differing sources. The College gained gold medals for educational
exhibits at the Paris Exhibitions of 1889 and 1900.

The name of Dorothea Beale became known abroad as that of one who had
a real interest in education for its own sake and who had no exclusive
or insular views. The warm welcome she would extend to educationists of
every kind and tongue, the care with which she would personally answer
letters of inquiry, the high tone of her addresses at public gatherings,
her pamphlets and articles made the name of Cheltenham respected afar.
To this may be added the freshness and openness of mind with which she
would lend attention to new methods. She always took them seriously,
however empirical they might appear,—considered them, tried them if they
seemed hopeful, persevered in them if they were proved to be effective,
abandoned them if they were inferior to methods already in use. There
were many examples of this. Once, for instance, in the eighties, she
heard of a method of teaching reading and of preserving discipline which
had been evolved by Mrs. Fielden, a clever lady who had established a
good elementary school in a Yorkshire manufacturing village. Miss Beale
sent an old pupil who lived in the neighbourhood to visit the school,
watch its working, and send her full details of the management. After
receiving her report, she obtained the loan of one of Mrs. Fielden’s
teachers for a week, and had the system introduced by her into the
schoolroom of the Third (Junior) Division. It lived but a short time.
Miss Nixon, head-mistress of the division, found it mechanical, and it
was abandoned.

In Miss Beale’s last term, in September 1906, Mrs. Arthur Somervell’s
_Rhythmical Mathematics_ came to her notice. She not only wrote to the
author ‘The book is beautiful and the method very suggestive,’ but within
a few days introduced it to the teachers whom it concerned and had its
principles explained to a class of little children.

Foreign pupils were always welcomed at the College, and made to feel
at home. When first it was suggested that some Siamese girls should be
received there, Miss Beale wrote eagerly to secure them, and always
took the greatest interest in their work. The foreign teachers found
her sympathetic and interested, able to understand and allow for their
different training and points of view. With some it was not merely a
case of mutual esteem. There were those who found she welcomed their
friendship and returned it with kindred affection and confidence.

In the summer term of 1889 several foreign educationists came to
Cheltenham. Mrs. E. H. Monroe was sent by the Government of the United
States, and Signora Zampini Salazaro by the Italian Government, to study
English schools and methods. Madame Garnier-Gentilhomme, Officier de
l’Instruction Publique, spent a week with Miss Beale. These visits were
perhaps not unconnected with the International Congresses of Education
which met in Paris in August. These Miss Beale attended, and herself
wrote an account of them in the Magazine of autumn 1889, from which some
brief extracts are made.

    ‘I cannot sufficiently regret that so few English took part
    in the most interesting International Congress of Secondary
    and Superior Instruction which has just concluded in Paris.
    It was an assembly such as one can scarcely hope to see in
    a life-time. One had an opportunity of hearing not only the
    leading educational authorities of France, who are doing a
    great work for their country, but distinguished men from all
    parts of the world.’

After enumerating the representatives present from different countries,
she continues:—

    ‘From England, the near neighbour of France, came the
    Honourable Lyulph Stanley, member of the School Board, but not
    one person having official rank as a member of the Education
    Department, not one representative of a university. There was
    one Professor from Edinburgh, the Secretary of the College of
    Science from Dublin, Mr. Widgery, of University College School,
    the Editor of the _Schoolmaster_, Miss Buss with one of her
    staff, Miss Beale of Cheltenham with four, and two private
    governesses.

    ‘ ... The first step was to add to the Committee a number of
    foreign members; eighteen were chosen, amongst whom were Mr.
    Stanley and myself. Then, after arranging the order of the day,
    we separated and formed ourselves into sections, each person
    selecting the question which interested him most. In each
    section a President and Vice-Presidents and a reporter were
    elected. I was chosen a Vice-President of Section IV.[83] ...

    ‘I was told that we were to speak our own language, as was the
    case at the Congress held at the Health Exhibition in London.
    However, the general wish was at last complied with, that we
    should all produce our thoughts in more or less foreign French,
    and it was nearly always intelligible.

    ‘ ... One question (“The methods best adapted for the Secondary
    Instruction of girls, specially as regards Modern Languages
    and Science”) gave rise to a good deal of warm discussion.
    We were surprised to find that less than two hours in a week
    were given to a modern language in French schools for girls.
    The importance of beginning very early was not generally
    recognised. The English, specially Mr. Widgery and Miss Beale,
    contributed a great deal to this part of the discussion,
    insisting much on a truly scientific gymnastic of sound as
    opposed to the haphazard mode of teaching pronunciation.’

The Misses Andrews who accompanied Miss Beale on this occasion were
impressed by the way she was received and heard. Her deafness did not
prevent her taking a part in the discussion, and speaking as she did in
a foreign tongue, she yet dominated her large international audience.
She showed extraordinary indifference to her own comfort. Miss Alice
Andrews remembers, for instance, a luncheon in the neighbourhood of the
Sorbonne, at a little restaurant to which they had been guided by some
acquaintance. Miss Beale and Miss Buss found themselves in the midst of
artists and students, some of whom carried on pronounced flirtations with
the waitress girls. Miss Beale sat calmly writing her speech for the next
meeting, indifferent to her déjeûner and unconscious of her surroundings.

The Congress of Secondary and Superior Instruction was followed by a
Congress of Primary Teachers, for which Miss Beale was induced to stay.
One day she addressed it:—

    ‘I said a few words on the work of teachers in enlarging the
    sympathies and diminishing prejudice and enabling us therefore
    to understand one another better.

    ‘It is the seen, the material, about which nations quarrel; it
    is the unseen, that which belongs to the intellect, the spirit,
    which unites us in a generous emulation, in which all are
    gainers, for in such contests all may obtain the prize.’

Greatly pleased as Miss Beale was with much she saw, she quickly
perceived that she could not work herself with such a system as prevailed
in France. ‘I do not wish to see secondary education in England subject
in any way to a Government department, or secondary schools in England
assimilated to primary.’

All the intervals of the Congress were filled with visits to various
educational institutions and interviews with leading educationists. There
was a visit to Fontenay-aux-Roses, to a deaf school, to a primary school
and kindergarten, to the Musée Pédagogique. There were also some visits
less of the nature of business. Once, at least, they went by invitation
to the Théâtre Français, where they witnessed a representation of the
_Femmes Savantes_. There were also many receptions. Miss Alice Andrews
wrote:—

    ‘We had two evenings at the Ministère de l’Instruction
    Publique, just for the members of the Congresses. These were
    more like our Guild meetings; no amusement was provided, but
    the members found it for themselves in walking about and
    conversing; and so did we, for by the end we had made many
    acquaintances and a few friends, and there we met some of
    those who, in the day, had been seated on platforms and had
    interested us by their eloquence. On the last evening there was
    a dinner-party of about fifty persons, at which the principal
    foreign members of the Congress were entertained. To this Miss
    Beale was invited, and placed at table on the right hand of the
    minister.’[84]

It was a great happiness to Miss Beale to see so much good work going on,
and to meet so many who really cared for the cause for which she lived.

    ‘Many were the promises of visits; we left Paris with a
    higher idea of the great work that France is accomplishing,
    and grateful for the generous hospitality with which we were
    welcomed, and allowed to see all that is being done by those
    who are directing education in France.’

The immediate result to the College of this Congress of 1889 was an
honour for its Principal when Miss Beale was made Officier d’Académie.
In the following year a meeting of the ‘Société des Professeurs de
Langues Vivantes’ met at Cheltenham. Miss Beale was elected a member of
this Society, by means of which many French students came to Cheltenham.
After her death a little article upon Miss Beale appeared in _Les Langues
Modernes_, the monthly organ of this Society. It rightly acknowledged
the welcome and the constant kindness that foreign students always
received from her.

    ‘Il faudrait un volume pour analyser sa vie et son œuvre.
    Les Anglais l’avaient bien comprise, parce qu’elle résumait
    au plus haut point les qualités de leur race. Les étrangères
    ont pu admirer son esprit d’initiative, son énergie et son
    enthousiasme communicatif. Les jeunes filles françaises qui
    ont eu la bonne fortune d’étudier à Cheltenham, lui étaient
    particulièrement reconnaissantes de la sympathie large qu’elle
    leur témoignait. La vivacité et la spontanéité françaises,
    que les Anglais confondent volontiers avec la légèreté et
    l’insouciance, étaient des qualités qu’elle prisait beaucoup.
    La bienveillance pour nous se traduisait en actes. Dans ce
    collège aristocratique où les frais d’études étaient assez
    considérables, où l’on n’admettait que les jeunes filles
    appartenant à un milieu social élevé, Miss Beale réduisait
    volontiers les frais d’études des Françaises, et facilitait
    leurs relations avec des familles anglaises distinguées.

    ‘Elle eut pour plusieurs de mes compatriotes et moi des
    attentions qui nous allèrent au cœur. Quand nous la
    rencontrions dans les couloirs avec son petit bonnet blanc
    de douairière, ou quand elle nous invitait au thé dans son
    home, elles s’informait de nos études, corrigeant elle-même
    dans la conversation nos phrases défectueuses, nous parlant
    avec sympathie de notre pays, et nous rappelant le souvenir
    agréable qu’elle avait gardé de Paris, où elle était venue
    passer quelques mois dans sa jeunesse, en vue de compléter son
    instruction.’

A further result was the permission granted by the French Government for
the admission of students from the College to Fontenay-aux-Roses. This
permission was much prized by Miss Beale, who was comforted by it for
delays which had occurred in the opening of St. Hilda’s, Oxford.

Another recognition of her work for education came to Miss Beale in 1896,
when Durham University conferred upon her the distinction of Tutor in
Letters. The widespread influence of that work was emphasised by her
election in 1898 as a Corresponding Member of the National Education
Association, U.S.A. In her letter acknowledging this honour Miss Beale
said: ‘We receive much inspiration from the States, and possess in our
Library a large number of valuable works from Americans on Philosophy and
Education.’ She was specially attached to the writings of Dr. Harris.

The contrasts existing between girls’ education as it was in 1865 and
thirty years later must have been brought very forcibly before Miss
Beale when, in 1894, she was again asked to give evidence before a Royal
Commission. The chairman of this was Mr. Bryce, who had himself inspected
and reported for the Taunton Commission of 1864-7. The composition of
this later body marked the advance that had been made. Of its seventeen
members three were women. Well might Miss Beale say that the changes she
had witnessed were ‘inconceivably great.’ Her own position was changed.
On the first occasion she had merely been the able representative of a
little known and rather despised class of workers. On the second she came
as one of the recognised leaders of a band whose work was becoming yearly
more valuable and more important.

Miss Beale was first questioned on the co-operation and co-relation of
different schools in one neighbourhood. She expressed herself in favour
of the co-operation of teachers, not of unity in governing bodies,
‘because one governing body is rather apt to generalise and say that
everything that is suitable for boys should be done for girls.’ She
was also careful to say that there must be a supreme authority in each
school. One point of special interest to-day is the discussion which took
place on the teaching of the classics to girls. Miss Beale, as has been
shown, was never in favour of teaching either Latin or Greek to young
girls, and she maintained her objections on this occasion. She thought
it a mistake to begin Greek at the age of eleven or twelve, though she
admitted that it was easier to learn than Latin. ‘But children,’ she
said, ‘do not enter into the delicacies and refinements of the Greek
language, ... and they get tired of it.... I do not think the most
intelligent teacher could make a child like the intricacies of grammar
early.’[85]

Miss Beale does not seem to have mentioned one reason why she would
not teach Latin early until, in 1898, she wrote in _Work and Play_: ‘I
feel strongly that Latin should, however, properly come after German,
specially for girls. There is a pestilential atmosphere in the Campania,
and one needs to have one’s moral fibre braced by the poetry of the
Hebrews and of England and Germany, if one would remain unaffected by
writings saturated with heathen thought.’

Other points discussed were the training of teachers, a subject on
which Miss Beale had much to say. She insisted on the advantages of
associating training colleges with large schools: ‘If students get simply
lectures, and ideas which they have not an opportunity of carrying into
practice, they become unpractical, and they have to learn the practical
parts of their profession when they become teachers.’ The question of
scholarships was introduced; Miss Beale enunciated her theory that they
should be given irrespective of place. It ought not to be possible for
one institution to buy up scholars from another. She admitted that she
would like to make necessity a condition of holding a scholarship. ‘Would
not that,’ asked Dr. Fairbairn, I carry with it to a large extent what
one may term a social distinction,—even a stigma in certain cases?’ ‘I
think,’ was the reply, ‘if people are ashamed of being poor, they ought
to be ashamed of being ashamed of it.’

Some points there were on which the Commissioners desired enlightenment
from Miss Beale’s experience, but got little help. One of these was by
what means a passage might be effected from primary to secondary schools
and the universities. Miss Beale, who disliked free education, had in
1895 even less sympathy with elementary teaching than she had a few
years later, when she undertook to train students for it. The indication
she gave the Commission was a suggestion that to meet the needs of the
prize pupils of the elementary schools, it would be best to found higher
schools of the same class, as she maintained that, owing largely to the
influences of their homes, children coming from primary schools could not
profit by the kind of education existing in secondary schools as they are.

Three or four times the chairman also sought to obtain an opinion from
her on the difference between boys and girls, but was always met by some
such answer as, ‘I do not profess to say much about boys.’

It was an excellent thing that Miss Beale was asked by Messrs. Longmans,
Green and Co. to put forth her own original ideas, and state something of
her long experience concerning education, in the volume which appeared
in 1898 under the title _Work and Play in Girls’ Schools_. Designed
primarily for the enlightenment of the generation which first received
it, the book will remain as an historical record of methods actually in
use at the Ladies’ College.

With the two last sections of this work Miss Beale had nothing to do:
that on the ‘Moral Side of Education’ was written by Miss Soulsby,
the concluding chapter on the ‘Cultivation of the Body’ was from the
pen of Miss Dove. Yet it is worthy of notice that both these able and
original-minded head-mistresses were for a time teachers at Cheltenham.
Miss Beale felt that Miss Soulsby’s chapter should have been first in the
book; but as her own section is so very much the longest, and as it would
have been impossible to her to treat of education from the intellectual
side only and apart from its bearing on character, there is nothing to be
regretted in the arrangement. One of Miss Beale’s chapters is, moreover,
devoted to the question of Philosophy and Religion.

A letter she wrote to Miss Strong on this subject is interesting:—

                                                   ‘_January 1897._

    ‘I have ventured to accept Mr. Longmans’ proposal. I am afraid
    it is rather rash, and I hope I shall find that he gives me
    the Midsummer holidays. This is what he puts in his programme.
    “Order of importance. Cultivation of the body, cultivation
    of the moral character, cultivation of the mind,” and so he
    arranges the subjects in that order. You see what I have said,
    it makes me so vexed to hear people say, “Of course health is
    the first thing,” when I know they mean to put pleasure before
    duty. In order of _importance_, of course, Miss Soulsby is
    first.’

This book, the most important of Miss Beale’s mature age—she was verging
on sixty when it was published—was written with all the enthusiasm of
youth. The hopefulness and freshness of a young teacher, heightened
rather than restrained by the experience of years, glow on every page.
Nor is the idealism of the student missing. Notice specially for this
the passage on astronomy on page 254:[86] ‘Thus [is] the mathematical
passion awakened; surely most of us can remember the first time that our
soul really ascended into the seventh heaven.’ The chapter entitled
Psychological Order of Study,’ in which this passage occurs, is perhaps
the most suggestive in the book, which abounds in the results of ripened
thought and knowledge. But that on the ‘Relation of School to Home’ was
most impressive to those who did not already know the writer’s views on
the subject. In ‘A Few Practical Precepts’ occur one or two phrases which
might well pass into scholastic proverbs, as for instance this: ‘It is a
worse fault to teach below than above the powers of a child.’

Miss Beale did not write the whole of that part of the book for which
she made herself responsible. Some parts were given to specialists upon
the College staff, in order that all the subjects might be treated with
expert knowledge.

Miss Beale’s own life during this later period naturally became more
social than ever before. She attended many public functions, and was
brought constantly into touch with those who shared her high intellectual
aims or literary work. Among these was Dr. Jowett, to whom she felt she
owed a special debt for his translation of the _Republic_. A day came at
last, in 1893, when, as a witty friend said, she and the Master lunched
together, ‘with Plato as an unobtrusive third.’

In 1894, accompanied by Miss Draper, she made another visit to Paris,
to be present at the wedding of Lady Victoria Blackwood and Mr. W. L.
Plunket. She greatly enjoyed the experience, especially Lord Dufferin’s
friendliness.

    ‘Lord Dufferin proposed to send a young man to take us out
    in the morning, and show us something of Paris. I rather
    wondered that we grey-haired ladies should require an escort,
    but of course accepted, and we were awaiting our young man in
    the salon of the Hôtel Normandie when, to our surprise and
    pleasure, we heard Lord Dufferin’s own voice in the hall.
    Though he had to be present at the civil wedding at twelve
    o’clock, he most kindly found time to take us up the Heights of
    Montmartre. We had much interesting conversation on the way.’

The diary which Miss Beale still kept carefully, though briefly, gives a
glimpse of this fuller outside life, but remains faithful to its early
character as a record of thought and aspiration. A few extracts from the
last years are given.

         1893.

    ‘_Jan._   15. Retreat at Brondesbury. Canon Body 9th to 13th.

       ”      22. Last Sunday of Epiphany.... Perfect revelation of
                    God’s character only possible to man in Christ.
                    Arise, shine! Magi faithful to what was given....

       ”      24. More earnestness in work needed. Unnecessary
                    speaking of others’ faults.

       ”      31. Again a quarter of an hour wasted....

    _Feb._     2. Edward died.[87] Presentation in the Temple.

       ”      14. Friendless Girls’ meeting.

    _Mar._    31. All Saints. Mr. Illingworth.

    _May_     10. In London. Degree Day. Radley.

       ”      11. Ascension Day. H. C. Radley. At Cowley
                    House. Froude’s Lecture. Lunch at Balliol.

       ”      12. Text. “In Him was Life and the Life was the
                    Light.”

       ”      14. Mrs. Russell Gurney lunched.

    _June_  7-10. Royal Society. Staying with the Samuelsons.

       ”      19. Grandchildren’s party. Twenty-three present.
                    Five absent.

       ”      24. Council. Baker Street. Queen’s College. Greek
                    Play.

       ”      25. At Miss Clarke’s.

       ”      26. Oxford. Home.

    _Dec._ (31?). Was at Sudeley for Christmas.

         1896.

    _April_   21. Cambridge Conference.[88] Stayed at the [Vice-]
                    Chancellor’s.[89]

    _May_      3. Pressed in spirit. “I stand at the door and knock.”
                    Read Bishop French’s Life.

       ”       6. Girls came back.

       ”       7. First day. Full of self.

       ”      13. Slept at Bethnal Green.

         1897.

    _Feb_.     9. Bishop came.

      ”       10. Miss Clarke died.

      ”       15. Went to funeral. “He giveth grace for grace.” As we
                    spend, more pours in, the water level is kept up.
                    “He that watereth shall be watered also himself.”

      ”       25. Telegram to say £3000 subscribed by the Guild
                    [for St. Hilda’s East].

         1898.

    _Jan._     8. Council.

      ”       14. After reading to-day [I thought] ... the smallest
                    living thing can stir tides of the boundless ocean,
                    the atom move the infinite.

      ”       23. H. C., St. Philip’s. Woman touched garment.
                    Sermon and lesson, to be healed of that weakness
                    which is undermining spiritual strength, not by
                    thinking, but by touching Jesus Christ.

    _Sept._   13. Had a very refreshing holiday. (1) Lord Farrer’s;
                    (2) Lodgings; (3) Miss Bidder’s; (4) Bonchurch;
                    (5) Forest; (6) Woodchester.

      ”        9. Studio looks well and all rooms.

      ”       23. Opened.

      ”       25. H. C. Fresh resolutions against spirit of indolence.’

The year 1895, which opened sadly with the death of Miss Buss, was marked
by wide extensions of the Cheltenham College work. The playground was now
in daily use. A triumph of the athletic tendency of the age, it was also
an emphatic mark of Miss Beale’s acceptance of new ideas. To the end she
could not quite understand why it was wanted, but she saw it had to be,
and even grew proud of it in its way.

In 1895 the old Cheltenham theatre, which the College had purchased a
few years before, was razed to the ground, and the erection of a new,
fine building in its place, as an integral part of the College buildings,
was begun. This was an immense hall,[90] capable of holding nearly two
thousand people, and possessed of remarkable acoustic qualities. It was
fitted up with a large stage and everything necessary for the acting
which had already become a feature of the Guild meetings. The Guild plays
grew to be Miss Beale’s recreation in her old age. It was an immense
pleasure to see the stories and poems she had prized all her life made
living on the stage. She had a keen dramatic sense, and delighted in
watching rehearsals and personally coaching some of the individual
actors. She was interested even in getting details of dress as correct as
possible, and in the schemes of colour, objecting to a predominance of
red, a colour she always disliked. The Guild plays were of course chosen,
like the subjects of her literature lessons, with a view to elevate
rather than to entertain. Three performances specially stand out in the
memory: _Comus_, in 1896, with its exquisite dancing and dressing; that
of _Griselda_, in 1904; and the last of all, with its prophetic note of
farewell, _Hatshepset_, in 1906. Probably _Griselda_ most of all appealed
to Miss Beale, who gave an interpretation all her own to Chaucer’s tale.
She saw in it a spiritual allegory of God’s dealings with the soul, and
she set it forth in a beautiful little introduction to the story. Years
before it had been proposed that Sir Edwin Arnold’s _Griselda_ should be
taken for the College play. She wrote very strongly against it to Miss
Wolseley Lewis:—

    ‘I am sure none of you would be able to bear the modernised
    dramatised Griselda if you learned it. It is like painting
    the face of an unearthly mediæval saint and clothing her with
    garments which show the human form. In the Griselda of Chaucer
    there is nothing of the vulgar love-making of the “merchant.”
    The love of the “markis” comes as a gift from heaven.

    ‘Then that scene in which she ministers to his pleasure
    by music; it is all such a low kind of ministry. Whereas
    in the original, hers is just the worship of perfect
    _faith_,—obedience to his _will_, because she will not question
    it.... The whole thing jars on me.... The quiet, grave “markis”
    (of Chaucer) may be a type of Him who tries us to confirm our
    faith, but this human “marquis” is of the earth earthy, and
    cannot stand for a spiritual type. It reminds me of the passage
    in which Ruskin comments on the attitude of the Prophets in
    “The Transfiguration.”[91] Do you remember it in _Modern
    Painters_?

    ‘There! enough! I wish it might be _Comus_, or _The Princess_
    or _Alcestis_ would not cost so much trouble as something
    new,—but better nothing than something not really high.

    ‘There, I don’t want to dictate or to say you shall not do
    what you wish, but I hope you won’t wish this _Griselda_.... I
    do think we should like _Comus_, and we might have such good
    music.’

In the early part of 1895 Miss Beale was more than usually active and
well. In the Easter holidays she paid a long-promised visit to Miss
Mason’s House of Education at Ambleside. Here she gave a lecture to the
students on Geometry. The visit was a great pleasure, she was in full
sympathy with Miss Mason’s work, and she enjoyed meeting Miss Arnold
at Fox Howe, and many friends and pupils. In June she was present at a
performance of the _Alcestis_ at Bradfield College; she also went again
to the Royal Society conversazione.

The active enjoyment of this summer received a check at the term-holiday,
when, while walking on Leckhampton Hill, Miss Beale slipped and broke her
leg. The period of forced inaction which followed was generally held to
be good for her, and she was well enough to be carried into the College
for the addresses of the Quiet Days at the end of the term. She was
unable, however, to be present at the Oxford summer meeting in August.
The paper she had written for this on the Professional Education of
Teachers was read by Mr. Worsley.

A school which has neither prize-giving nor speech-day does not easily
obtain very highly distinguished visitors. It was not till 1897 that the
College was honoured by the presence of Royalty. In that year the Empress
Frederick of Germany proposed a visit. Her interest in education led
her to wish to see the classes at work in their usual conditions. She
therefore went with Miss Beale from one room to another while the actual
teaching was going on. A few days after her visit Miss Beale received the
following letter from Major-General Russell, who was at that time member
for Cheltenham:—

                             FRANKFORT, GERMANY, _August 13, 1897_.

    ‘DEAR MISS BEALE,—Yesterday I had the honour of lunching with
    the Empress Frederick at Cronberg. As soon as I arrived there
    she called me on one side, and begged that I would convey to
    you the pleasure and satisfaction that she had derived from
    her visit to the Ladies’ College at Cheltenham. She begged me
    to tell you that she was much gratified by what she saw of the
    arrangements, and what she learned of the system of education
    pursued there. She was much impressed by the happiness and
    contentment which appeared to be universal among the pupils,
    and also with the strict and excellent discipline which she
    hears and remarked you maintain both among the instructors and
    the students themselves.

    ‘She added that she fully appreciates the great work that you
    have accomplished in the interest of education, as well as the
    personal sacrifice and self-devotion which you have consecrated
    to the task.

    ‘I need not say how much pleasure it has afforded me to be the
    medium of conveying to you Her Imperial Majesty’s gracious
    message, and, I remain, yours sincerely,

                                                 FRANK S. RUSSELL.’

Two years later the Princess Henry of Battenberg came to unveil a marble
bust of Queen Victoria, the work of Countess Feodora Gleichen, which had
been presented to the College.

[Illustration: _The Empress Frederick at Cheltenham_

_from a photograph by Mr. Domenico Barnett_]

Among Miss Beale’s triumphs of this period should surely be mentioned
her mastery of the tricycle at the age of sixty-seven. It became a great
delight to her. She used it chiefly in the early morning—often very
early—when the streets were empty. ‘The men in the milk-carts know me
and keep out of my way,’ she would say. She greatly enjoyed the fresh air
and complete solitude gained with so little effort.

In 1898 England received a severe visitation of small-pox. No town in
the country suffered more than Gloucester, where for long it raged among
the unvaccinated, and even devoted nurses and doctors fell victims. It
was five times introduced into Cheltenham, but owing, Miss Beale was
pleased to hint in the Magazine, to the healthiness of the climate and
the good sanitation of the town, it never got a hold there. Cheltenham
largely owed its immunity to the exertions of the Lady Principal, who
insisted on revaccination where it was necessary for every one connected
with the College. This meant not only teachers, pupils, servants, but
all who had to do with any College girl in any capacity—all in the homes
of the day-pupils—all in the shops which served the boarding-houses—the
whole railway staff at the different stations. The College custom was too
good to lose, and she carried her point. Such a drastic measure had its
comic side, as was perceived by the saucy butcher-boy who shouted to a
boarding-house cook, ‘I must know if you are vaccinated before I deliver
this meat.’

Among the College victims was a girl within a few weeks of an important
examination. The daughter of an anti-vaccinator, she had of course never
been ‘done,’ and the father telegraphed that he would not permit it.
A married sister staying in the town urged the College authorities to
act on their own responsibility; but that Miss Beale would not do. The
girl made another appeal to her father; but a cab was actually at the
door to take her to the station, when his answer arrived in the second
telegram—‘May do as she pleases.’ This modified permission saved the
situation.

Miss Beale’s determined and successful action in this matter was
doubtless remembered when, in 1901, the Mayor and Corporation resolved to
bestow upon her the freedom of the borough. This was ceremonially done on
October 28, the Town Council, Governing Body of the College, and a large
number of Miss Beale’s friends being present.

‘The honour,’ said the Mayor (Mr. Norman) in his preliminary address to
the Council, ‘is given with discrimination, and somewhat rarely. We in
Cheltenham, during the thirty years of our corporate life, have only
conferred it in two instances.... I am charged to-day with the proposing
of a resolution which will add a third to that number. The resolution is
in these terms:—

    “That, in recognition of the great work she has done for the
    education of women in England, and especially of the unique
    position to which under her direction the Cheltenham Ladies’
    College has attained among the educational institutions of the
    country, Miss Dorothea Beale be, in pursuance and exercise of
    the provisions of the Honorary Freedom of Boroughs’ Act, 1885,
    admitted to the honorary freedom of this borough.”

‘When I first approached Miss Beale on this subject, I did not know
whether any lady had before been admitted a freeman of the borough. But
from the wording of the Act of Parliament I was quite sure that the term
“freeman” in the section quoted was used in a generic sense, and that
ladies were as eligible as men to the honour which we propose to confer
upon Miss Beale. I was therefore prepared to create a precedent, if
necessary. But since then I have learned that at least in one case, that
of Baroness Burdett Coutts, this honour has been conferred upon a lady.’

In her reply Miss Beale said:—

    ‘ ... In some places those who should work together stand
    opposed; elsewhere we have heard of fights between town
    and gown; at some seats of learning women have been denied
    titles that they have earned. In Cheltenham we have a happy
    conciliation of opposites.... You Municipal authorities
    recognise that; you care not only for pure water and open
    spaces and cleanliness, but for the Free Library and Science
    Schools and Art Galleries and healthy recreations; and we
    school authorities cannot but make the body healthier by mental
    discipline, by the sunshine of truth, by inspiring the young
    with high aspirations, and so lifting them out of the rudeness
    which is the outward sign of selfishness. I look upon to-day’s
    ceremony as a sign of our faith for the individual and for the
    community, health in its largest sense, _mens sana in corpore
    sano_, is to be realised only by the harmonious working of the
    inward and outward law. To invite a woman to be a Freeman of
    a Town is, I venture to believe, an expression of the thought
    that not the individual but the family, with its twofold life,
    is the true unit and type of the state, that social and civil
    and national prosperity depend on the communion of labour, and
    that the ideal commonwealth is realised only in proportion as
    the dream of one of our poets is fulfilled, and men and women

                        “Walk this world
        Yoked in all exercise of noble ends.”

    ‘ ... Formerly we had no women Guardians, but one who is called
    in her own town “the Guardian Angel”[92] visited us and won all
    hearts, and then there were elected two ladies, who have been
    re-elected ever since, who by their insight and gentleness and
    wisdom have destroyed the last vestige of prejudice.

    ‘ ... Mrs. Owen was also a link between the Ladies’ College
    and the Cheltenham College, that elder brother, under whose
    protection alone our College could have grown up. It is a
    strange thing that women are threatened with exclusion from the
    projected Educational Authority; women, who are born to the
    care of children, who are so much needed to hold the outposts
    in our educational army, which are being deserted by men.
    Visions I have of a closer union between all the schools of our
    town.... Cheltenham, too, has made progress intellectually. A
    Literary Institution died a natural death shortly after I came;
    it was, I hope, only a case of _post hoc_. In my early days the
    provision of books was scanty indeed. I tried to get Tennyson’s
    last poem in one of the principal shops of the Promenade. I was
    told, “We never have had any poetic effusions in our library,
    and I do not think we shall begin now.” There was no Permanent
    Library, and a Free Library was impossible and unthought of,
    and in our own College I was fain to be content with a grant of
    £5 for books. But more than all the material and intellectual
    progress has been the raising of public opinion regarding the
    moral law. Much there is still to deplore, much to amend, and
    we long to see more efforts made to promote temperance, but I
    am sure that the higher education of women, the opening to them
    of larger opportunities of usefulness, has helped to lift many
    above the unsatisfying pleasures of a frivolous life, and won
    for them the respect which is always a blessing both to “him
    that gives and him that takes.” We have, indeed, reason to
    thank God and take courage.’

In the same year Miss Beale was co-opted a member of the Advisory Board
of the University of London.

The recognition by the town was from every point of view a triumph and
an honour. The year in which it took place and the preceding one were
marked by large extension of boarding-house property and many other
signs of wealth. But for Miss Beale herself it can have been no time of
great gladness. Though her vitality was as great as ever, her health was
less good, her deafness much increasing, her sight impaired. Constantly
she was called upon to part by death from some old and valued friend
or fellow-worker. In January she shared the general mourning for Queen
Victoria. In March 1901 Miss Caines died; a month later the beloved
sister Eliza and Canon Hutchinson, of whom Miss Beale spoke as a friend
and pastor of many years, were buried on the same day. Miss Beale turned
from her sister’s grave to write last words to be read after her own
death should she be called away while still head of the College. She also
revised her will and wrote directions concerning her personal belongings
and her funeral.

But if the road to the Dark Tower grew lonely,[93] it was greatly
brightened by the love of those she had taught, inspired, and helped. No
parent was ever more closely encompassed by the love of children. There
were those at Cheltenham who thought for her, waited on her, read to
her—no light task—those who, should she desire it, were ever at her beck
and call. Some of these were on the College Council. One, in particular,
Miss Flora Ker, who lived at Cheltenham, was always at hand, making the
interests of the College and little attentions to Miss Beale the first
duty of her day. Another, who had become head of a boarding-house,
thought of her daily needs to the smallest details. A third habitually
accompanied her on the visits which became so great an enjoyment in these
later years, and on the frequent business journeys to London, making
them easy by many little thoughtful arrangements. Miss Beale would seem
unconscious of these at the moment, but she deeply valued the thought
and the loving service of which she availed herself to the full. The
Chairman and different members of the Council showed also much personal
consideration for the Principal. Nor could she travel anywhere without
finding ‘old girls’ ready to welcome and make much of her in every way.
In these things she had indeed ‘all that should accompany old age.’

In 1902 came a crowning honour for the Ladies’ College when its Principal
was offered the LL.D. by the Edinburgh University, in recognition of her
services to education. Miss Beale was simply and unfeignedly delighted
with this acknowledgment of the worth of women’s work. Her loyal staff
seized the occasion to give her a personal sense of satisfaction also.
They presented her with her robes, which were made as costly and
beautiful as possible. A journey to Scotland was a great adventure to
Miss Beale, but the occasion warranted the effort. As usual, all the
arrangements were left in the hands of Miss Alice Andrews, who with
others of the College staff accompanied the Principal. It was examination
week at Cheltenham, or such a flight of teachers would not have been
possible. The degree was conferred on April 11 in the M’Ewan Hall of
Edinburgh University. Others who received it on the same occasion were
Lord Alverstone, Mr. Asquith, Mr. Austin Dobson, Sir John Batty Tuke, and
Dr. Rücker.[94] Only once before had the University conferred this degree
on a woman, viz. on Miss Ormerod, in recognition of her great services to
agriculture.

[Illustration: _Photo. G. H. Martyn & Sons_

_Dorothea Beale, LL.D._]

Sir Ludovic Grant, Dean of the Faculty of Law, thus summed up Miss
Beale’s claim to a national recognition:—

    ‘No feature of the national progress during the last fifty
    years is more remarkable than the revolution which has
    transformed our girls’ schools from occidental zenanas into
    centres of healthy activity. In the great crusade which has
    been crowned with this most desirable consummation, the
    foremost champion was the cultured and intrepid lady who
    guides the destinies of the Ladies’ College, Cheltenham. It
    was largely due to Miss Beale’s indomitable advocacy, on
    platform and on paper, that the barriers of parental prejudice
    were broken down, that the ancient idols venerated by a
    former generation—Mangnall, Pinnock, and Lindley Murray—were
    shattered, and that barren catechism and lifeless epitome
    were compelled to give place to fructifying studies, and the
    futile promenade to invigorating recreations. I need not
    remind you that Miss Beale’s apostolic ardour is equalled by
    her administrative abilities. When she went to Cheltenham her
    pupils were counted by tens; to-day they are to be counted by
    hundreds, and the institution in respect of organisation and
    educational efficiency will bear comparison with the best of
    the great English public schools. Among the collateral benefits
    resulting from the great movement for the higher education
    of women, in which Miss Beale has played so conspicuous a
    part, not the least important is the power which the Scotch
    Universities have obtained of conferring their honorary degrees
    upon women, and therefore it is with no ordinary satisfaction
    that the University of Edinburgh now exercises this power by
    begging Miss Beale’s acceptance of an honour which has been
    brought within the reach of her sex largely through her own
    endeavours.’

Her account of the ceremony is best read in her own letter to the
Vice-Principal:—

                                                 ‘_April 12, 1902._

    ‘Just a few lines while waiting for breakfast. We start at
    eleven for Glasgow, and I am in the midst of the agonies of
    packing.

    ‘Yesterday was a long day. We started at 9.20, as it is a
    long drive to the M’Ewan Hall. In the voting-room we met
    our Chairman and various distinguished professors—Laurie,
    Saintsbury, Professor Rücker—of the people I knew; but the
    most important of all was the beadle. In a little while our
    names were called, and one had to step into place. First came
    the Doctors of Divinity. There were six LL.D.’s, headed by
    the Lord Chief-Justice, who was followed by Mr. Asquith, whom
    I followed in every subsequent procession.... Arrived at the
    hall, we sat as it were in the front row below the stage in
    our hall. There were central steps, opposite which sat the
    Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Principal. Each went up and stood with
    his back to the audience whilst the leader of his faculty
    expatiated on his claims to the honours; he looked like a
    person being reprimanded. Then the beadle invested him with the
    hood, the V.-P. put the cap over his head, he wrote his name
    in a book, and then seated himself with other exalted persons
    on the platform. Various speeches followed, but none were made
    to ordinary graduates. Music played, no sticks or umbrellas
    were allowed, and no cries such as the savages utter at English
    Universities; the only amusement was to fly paper from the
    galleries; some seems to have been made into windmills, they
    flew rather well. Then procession again to the voting-room,
    where I was first to claim my box; there was nothing to
    compare with my shabby things—cardboard most of them, but I am
    persuaded that my robes were far superior to any other. Ask
    those who saw them from a distance.

    ‘Well, we next proceeded to church, and St. Giles’ looked most
    beautiful. The sermon I did not hear, but am assured that
    was because the preacher had an Aberdeen accent. One thing I
    omitted. Just after I had taken the degree, as I was seated on
    the platform, came a porter with a telegram for me. I opened
    it and found congratulations from the Kindergarten. Please
    tell them how smartly it arrived at the right moment. The
    others kindly sent arrived at the hotel, and I found them on my
    return; please thank the senders.

    ‘After church some nice Miss Stevensons carried us off. They
    have a beautiful house and a splendid view of the heights,—one
    is Chairman of the School Board. They are always at work. Then
    we came back and were visited by various old girls.’

At Glasgow Miss Beale stayed with a married pupil, and found herself in
the midst of ‘old girls,’ who made much of her. From Glasgow she wrote a
second letter, to be read to the assembled College before the dispersion
for the holidays:—

                                                 ‘_April 16, 1902._

    ‘We are often in spirit in Cheltenham, and I must send a few
    last words, to wish you all very happy holidays.

    ‘We are very busy. The first thing we visited was the Queen
    Margaret Settlement, which is something like our St. Hilda’s.
    It is a very large place, and a school for invalid children
    was being held. Miss Bruce came down to the opening. On Monday
    a large number of distinguished people were invited to meet
    us, and yesterday afternoon we had a party of about thirty
    Cheltonians. In the evening we dined with Professor and Mrs.
    George Adam Smith. I sat next to Professor Henry Jones, who
    has written a book on Browning, and on the other side was the
    Rector, Dr. Story. He has kindly promised to take us over the
    University this morning. There are about three hundred girls
    studying here,[95] and they have a charming Miss Galloway;
    she is as fond of Glasgow University as I am of our College.
    To-morrow we are to go over the Cathedral.

    ‘I think we shall come back refreshed and with some new ideas.

    ‘I am glad to hear all is going on well.’

From Mrs. Osborne in Glasgow Miss Beale went on to stay with other old
pupils in Scotland, coming afterwards to Newcastle, where she was asked
to launch a ship. Her ignorance of use and wont under conditions fairly
well known to most people came out when she attired herself for this
event in well-looped-up dress and indiarubber shoes. Much as she disliked
adventure, she was prepared to march into the Tyne if the glory of the
Ladies’ College demanded it. However, she much enjoyed the ceremony
that actually took place,—the drive to the docks, the description she
received of the vessel, the bouquet of roses presented to her in honour
of St. George’s Day. Her diary at this point becomes crowded with facts
concerning steamers and dock labourers. From Newcastle Miss Beale went to
Durham, where she stayed with the Dean; then to York. Wherever she went
there were schools to visit, and perhaps address, ‘old girls’ to see. A
night in London ended the wanderings, and she came home well and happy
to enter in her diary: ‘Arrived to the hour, exactly three weeks after
starting, having spent the night in nine different places, and feeling
quite refreshed by meeting with so much kindness, and so many charming
old girls.’

The year which had so bright a spring brought but a sorry autumn for
Miss Beale. In October 1902 she was—an unheard-of thing—obliged to
leave Cheltenham for her health, and went to Bath, accompanied by Miss
Berridge, for several weeks. Her sight was a special anxiety, and during
this time she was not allowed to write or read. A letter from Miss
Berridge to Miss Sturge gives a glimpse of the life at Bath:—

                                                   ‘_October 1902._

    ‘We brought with us Adam Smith’s work on the _Minor Prophets_,
    and also Jane Austen’s _Persuasion_. At first we stuck to the
    _Prophets_, but at last Jane got a hearing, and since then
    she has utterly ousted the _Prophets_. It has been rather
    amusing to note how many excellent reasons there were for
    giving Jane the preference. Miss Beale was—tired—or sleepy—or
    not very well, and could not attend to anything that required
    thought—or it was near lunch—or tea—or supper-time, and
    therefore it was not worth while, etc. etc., and I think she
    has really liked the story very much. Please tell Miss Alice
    Andrews,—it is her book, and Miss Beale at first refused to
    bring it, but thought _I_ might do so, as it might amuse me.
    The result of the experiment is that we are now going to read
    some of Scott’s, beginning with _The Antiquary_. Miss Beale is
    very much better, though of course far from being her former
    energetic self. But we have still more than a fortnight before
    us, and if she makes as much progress in that time as she has
    done in the fortnight just gone, we may be very well satisfied.

    ‘Bath is a very pretty place, but, of course, I have not seen
    much of it. Miss Beale is now able to take short walks; to-day
    she went to Milsom Street.

    ‘I have written such multitudes of letters that I really do not
    know to whom they have all been.’

Miss Beale was able to return to work before the end of the term. She
seemed in most ways as vigorous as ever. A doctor, whom she consulted
about her deafness in 1903, told her she had the pulse of a woman of
forty. But she became more and more careful about her health. Her summer
holidays were spent at Oeynhausen, where she followed a ‘Kur.’ There she
took with her always some friend who devoted herself to the care of Miss
Beale, and at the same time was a congenial companion, reading aloud to
her, or listening while Miss Beale read. On one occasion Miss Amy Giles
went, on another Fräulein Grzywacz. The life at the baths was carefully
planned even to minutes. Miss Beale liked to have her morning letters
before the early walk, which the daily régime demanded. While waiting for
the postman, even watching his appearance along the street, she would
have some deep book read aloud to her, able to give her whole attention.
‘The postman is just here, Miss Beale,’ Fräulein Grzywacz would say, as
she finished a chapter. ‘He is still ten doors off, you can read another
paragraph,’ would be the reply.

In 1902 a determined and successful effort was made to get a worthy
portrait of Miss Beale. Early in the College history a picture, which
bore but a faint resemblance to the original and was wholly unworthy of
her, had been painted, and at a Council meeting in 1873 it was ‘resolved
that it be placed (veiled) over the door of the Council room, as most in
accordance with the wishes of the donors.’ In 1889 the Council itself
approached Miss Beale on the subject of a portrait, Sir Samuel Johnson,
then chairman, writing to her:—

                                              ‘_February 25, 1889._

    ‘You cannot, you must not leave the College without something
    that will identify it with the Founder. Fancy what unavailing
    attempts will be made some day to supply the want! and the
    blame which will attach to us for not having left something
    behind worthy of such a woman! Think again, and do not let your
    feelings stand in the way of a plain duty.’

On the envelope containing this letter Miss Beale wrote in pencil the
characteristic note: ‘Miss Stirling might make a clay or terra-cotta.’
A modelling class had recently been opened in the College under Miss
Stirling; Miss Beale was much interested in it and anxious to encourage
it.

The wish of the Council took the form of a resolution to which Miss Beale
replied:—

                                                      ‘_June 1889._

    ‘I certainly have a very great objection to the thought of my
    portrait being placed in the Ladies’ College during my life.
    When our Guild asked me to allow this last year I refused.

    ‘Secondly, I should _much_ regret the diversion of funds which
    are so much needed for improvements in the College, and for the
    extension of work in many directions; whether that money is
    contributed from public or private sources.

    ‘Lastly, I believe that putting myself forward in this way
    would be a real hindrance to my work, as it would give a false
    impression regarding the share I have been allowed to take in
    helping on the growth of this College.

    ‘I thought of getting Miss Stirling, who models portraits, to
    take one in clay, this would be executed in stone by Mr. Martyn
    at small cost, and would answer all historical purposes. I have
    a variety of photos, too.’

Later, she consented to give a few sittings to Mrs. Lea Merritt, for
whose work she had a great admiration. The approach of the College
Jubilee made a new moment for appealing to her again on this subject,
and at the Guild meeting of 1902 she was presented with the following
address, composed by Miss Amy Lumby and signed by a large number of old
pupils:—

    ‘DEAR MISS BEALE,—We, the undersigned, your “children,” once
    in learning and always in affection, approach you with a very
    earnest wish. There is not one amongst us who does not look
    back with loving delight to the time when she saw your face
    daily, and learnt from your lips what things were best worth
    learning.

    ‘The face we can never forget, but we should like to be able
    to have it constantly before us in such a form as shall call
    up again the spirit of those happy bygone days. There exists
    as yet no counterfeit presentment of our “School-mother”
    which does this; only a great artist can accomplish the task
    worthily; and so we beg, and beg most earnestly that, for our
    sake and for the sake of those who come after us, you will
    consent to let a portrait of yourself be painted by such an
    one, and will accept it for the College in commemoration of the
    Jubilee.’

Miss Beale was much touched by this appeal. She received it in eloquent
silence, but at the last gathering before the Guild members separated her
reply was read aloud by Miss Ker:—

    ‘I am touched by the kind wish of the Guild conveyed to me in
    the resolution of yesterday. I am afraid a third attempt would
    be no more successful than the preceding. The unbiassed artist
    represents his subject as she is, not as she seems to be to
    those who are good enough to overlook her defects, and love her
    in spite of them. Still, if it is really wished that another
    attempt should be made, I will willingly sit once more.’

The work was entrusted to Mr. J. J. Shannon, R.A., who had proved
his ability for the task by the portraits of Miss Clough and Miss
Wordsworth. No effort was spared by the painter to realise Miss Beale
at her best,[96] and she gave a good deal of time to sittings, which
were employed also in listening to reading aloud. Dr. Illingworth’s
_Personality Human and Divine_, a very favourite work of hers, was often
chosen. Sometimes this work was displaced by _Lorna Doone_, which Miss
Beale said ‘amused the painter.’ The Lady Principal was painted in her
LL.D. robes, but also in her familiar head-dress, _son petit bonnet de
douairière_. She is represented as looking up with the glance well known
to those who had watched her when she lectured. The attitude, which is as
much that of disciple as teacher, was fitly chosen.

The portrait was formally presented by the Duchess of Bedford on November
8, 1904, and with it an illuminated book containing the names of the
donors. Miss Beale in her reply said:—

    ‘You have all come here moved by loyalty to your College.
    Loyalty is not a personal matter.... Tribute was due not to
    Tiberius but to Caesar; so you wanted a portrait of a Lady
    Principal—not of the person but of the representative,—and the
    Principal has a great advantage over the person in that the
    former lasts on when the latter passes away; loyalty outlasts
    life:—so I look on your gift as a page of College history. But
    not only have you brought a present for the College. I find
    also a beautiful book for my own personal self, not my official
    self, a record of affection from my children, which warms my
    heart, and makes me long to be more worthy of it.

    ‘But if the affection of those we love is an energising power,
    it produces a moral tension, not unmingled with fear.... He who
    recorded the names in the ancient church wrote: “Let us fear
    lest we also come short.” But as I have said, the Principal
    does not die. Like the Lama she is re-incarnated. In her, if
    the body dies, the _esprit de corps_ survives, and I look
    forward to the time when another shall reign in my stead, ...
    and a procession of rulers greater than their ancestors ...
    shall see developments which we cannot foresee.’

For various reasons it was necessary to postpone the College Jubilee
celebrations until May 1905. On this occasion a bust of Miss Beale was
presented to the College by some admirers of her work who were not
connected with it. A large new wing built for science teaching was opened
by Lord Londonderry, then President of the Board of Education; and there
were many distinguished guests. Two memorable speeches were made on
this great occasion. One by the Chairman of the Council, Dr. Magrath,
Provost of Queen’s College, Oxford, who made a brief but very sympathetic
retrospect of the past history of the Ladies’ College. The other was from
Mrs. Bryant, Head-mistress of the North London Collegiate School. She,
as was fitting, looked forward to the future, and foreshadowed a large
development of the work so well begun and established at Cheltenham. This
Jubilee Day was the only public commemoration the Ladies’ College ever
had. It was fitting that there should be one great public acknowledgment
of Miss Beale’s work before the day came when she must leave it to the
guidance of another.



CHAPTER XV

THE LAST TERM

    ‘And, when the day was done, relieved at once.’

        BROWNING, _How it strikes a Contemporary_.


At the beginning of the year 1905 Miss Beale sought to induce Bishop
Ellicott, who had then resigned his see of Gloucester, to continue to
visit the Ladies’ College, Cheltenham, as he had done for upwards of
thirty years. He declined on the ground of ill-health, saying, ‘Among the
many things that I regret being unable to attend to, I regret none more
than the addresses to the bright-eyed attentive hearers I always secured
at the College. But all things must have an end.’ This was written but a
few months before the Bishop’s death.

Miss Beale, happily for her active spirit, was not thus summoned to
retire from work owing to age or feeble health. She had expressed more
than once the wish that she might die in harness, and her letters since
1900 had frequently breathed the wonder that she should still last on,
and up to the summer of 1906 there was nothing to suggest that the end
was really drawing near.

The last Christmas holidays were happy. Miss Beale made a round of
visits. At Lindfield she stayed with Miss Keyl, an old Gloucestershire
friend, in London with Mrs. Tallents, an old pupil. Lastly, having been
joined by Miss Alice Andrews, she went for a few days to Miss Wedgwood,
whose sister, Lady Farrer, was also staying with her. Miss Beale greatly
enjoyed her time with these old friends whom she had first known as
pupils at Queen’s College. She was singularly active. ‘I dare say you
would like to do just one thing each day,’ said one hostess to her,
little realising the vitality which would carry her on through a long
series of events such as would tire out most younger people.

The spring passed with little special incident, but for Miss Beale it was
saddened by the death of Mrs. Charles Robinson in March.

In the Easter holidays Miss Beale much enjoyed a visit to Miss Mellish,
Head-mistress of the Ladies’ College, Guernsey. Here she made many new
acquaintances, took drives, saw places of interest, and kept an account
of all in her diary. But the draft of a letter to some friend during this
visit shows, that in spite of her courageous spirit, she felt her own
term of work in this world to be practically over.

                                           ‘GUERNSEY, _April 1906_.

    ‘I arrived here yesterday. I am staying with a very nice old
    girl who is Head-mistress of the College here. I have long
    wished to see this beautiful island where I have many friends.
    I have one of our staff with me who is a geologist, and is
    enjoying rambles. I don’t go about now without some one, a
    “lady-in-waiting,” to take care of me.

    ‘The revolutionary changes make one anxious, the Bill to
    legalise “peaceful persuasion” especially. Perhaps the German
    conquest may change all. That a contest must come there seems
    no doubt, but it is better not to prophesy till after the
    event....

    ‘There are problems enough for our successors on this planet. I
    wonder what we shall find to do,—what battles to fight when we
    pass out of sight.... I don’t think we shall want only _rest_.’

In the summer, having at first declined the invitation, Miss Beale
was persuaded to address the Head-mistresses’ Conference, which met
on June 8 and 9 at the Clapham High School. In spite of the deafness,
which made her dread committee meetings, she took her share in the
discussions. Speaking on a resolution concerning the suffrage she said:
‘The underpayment of women went to the heart of all as a crying evil, and
made every one earnest about the extension of the suffrage.’ She also
in a later discussion expressed her emphatic disapproval of afternoon
compulsory school, and related the history of the change made at
Cheltenham in 1864.

The address to the assembled head-mistresses on the following morning,
Miss Beale’s last public utterance, may well find a place here. Full of
the tenderest regard for the past, appreciating as no younger worker
could the ideals and conflicts of her own generation, that utterance
showed a front of marvellous courage and hope to the anxieties of the
present and future.

    ‘I feel a sorrowful pride as I remember some of the Heads of
    the great Schools, who have passed out of sight, but whose
    works follow them. We were happy in our founder:[97] with such
    a leader one felt ashamed of any evil spirit of competition:
    she always wanted to impart any good gift and introduce
    improved methods of teaching: to recommend new books, and to
    propose arrangements for the better organisation of schools,
    for the training of teachers, for extending the sphere of
    women’s work, for relieving them of the pressure of anxiety
    about old age: these things occupied her thoughts while she was
    still herself bearing the burden of financial responsibility,
    and generously caring for those bound to her by strong ties of
    family affection.... It was the celestial light which shone
    inwardly that irradiated her outward life. Of external work
    she undertook perhaps more than she ought to have done. She
    was on the Governing Body of the Church Schools Company, a
    member of our Governing Body, and of that of several other
    schools. She spared no pains in labouring for others, always
    sympathising and sustaining, fighting for the best good. Above
    all, actuating her, and enabling her to go on bravely, was that
    optimism which came from the belief that God had given her
    this work to do, and that His Spirit would sustain her. Most
    gracefully did she descend from her throne when the end came. I
    shall not forget our last interview, when she playfully alluded
    to the fact that she had now to become again as a little child,
    to obey where she had ruled, and she was content to pass on the
    work into the hands of one so able, so beloved, so trusted as
    Mrs. Bryant.

    ‘Another early member was Miss Benson, the first Head-mistress
    of the Girls’ Public Day Schools Company’s School at Oxford,
    and afterwards, for a few months, at Bedford; she was a burning
    and a shining light, unsparing in her demands upon herself and
    others;—she might have been called Zelotes.

    ‘Of her successor, our own beloved Miss Belcher, it is hard
    for me to speak. She was the soul of honour. I remember
    one day she and her friend[98] came to me and said one of
    them would like to apply for a good post, at a time when
    head-mistress-ships did not abound. I said, “I think I ought
    to tell you that events are impending which may shake our
    College to its foundations.” Some would have said, “Let us
    seek another shelter.” Their answer was, “We shall not apply.”
    Sometimes one thinks that if she could have had a less onerous
    work than the rule over the great school at Bedford, which
    left but little leisure for exercise, she might be at work
    now. But we will put aside “Might-have-beens,” as we see how
    her spirit lives in her school. One of the Bedford Council
    thought when a salary of over £1000 was offered, there would
    be many applications—thought we might send a second Head as
    her successor, but not one of our staff would apply, for Miss
    Belcher had chosen.

    ‘This year has taken from us one of my best-beloved pupils, the
    late Head-mistress of Truro High School, afterwards the wife of
    Canon Charles Robinson; all who knew her regarded her as indeed
    a saint.

    ‘I may not speak of the living—none are happy till their
    death—but it is a joy to me (now the most ancient grandmother
    of all) to see with intimate knowledge the good work being
    done by those whom I have learned to know as friends and
    fellow-workers. Specially close ties bind me to those
    Head-mistresses whom we ourselves have sent forth. Of these in
    the Association there are now twenty presiding over important
    schools, and ten who are no longer Heads, not to name many who
    for various reasons do not belong to our Association.

    ‘To turn to less personal matters, we who belong to Secondary
    Schools have been happy in escaping the troubles which beset
    those schools which receive Government grants. So far,
    Secondary Schools have been allowed some individuality. I
    think we may give thanks for the liberty of “prophesying,”
    that we have hitherto enjoyed. I rather dread the result of
    the absorption into Trusts of the great School Companies. “Wha
    dare meddle wi’ me?” has been the cry of some of us, and the
    prickles have protected the flower.

    ‘Then we have escaped payment by results, and interference from
    inspectors, some of whom are able to see the body but not the
    soul which moves it.

    ‘The present troubles bring us into closer sympathy with those
    who have been enduring what seemed to us an Egyptian bondage,
    but who were doing grand work in disciplining and drilling the
    masses. Many of those who are now to take up the management of
    Council schools are now brought into closer relation with ours.

    ‘ ... And now what is the main issue before us? When the
    Secondary Schools are absorbed into the national system, and
    orders are issued to us from the Education Department, shall
    we be told that we also are to give only secular instruction,
    and forbidden to give definite teaching regarding the creeds
    and ritual which express the truths by which we live;—shall
    we be forbidden to ask any questions about the fitness of the
    teachers whom we wish to appoint? These are matters which seem
    to press for answers.

    ‘Only a few thoughts can I throw out to-day on this subject.
    First, it seems inconceivable that there should be any such
    limitations of the realms of knowledge as is implied in the
    word “secular.” Man’s thoughts cannot be shut in by space or
    time, he must seek the real beneath the phenomenal, he must
    search for the ultimate; more than any earthly or secular
    good he desires to know and live for the things which belong
    to an eternal world,—the true, the beautiful, the good.
    All literature, all history, attests this. Whence then the
    discordant cries, some demanding secular teaching only, others
    fearing it?

    ‘I think we are confused sometimes, because we do not
    remember or recognise sufficiently that there are two ways
    of approaching the subject of religious teaching and of all
    subjects of thought. Take for an illustration the subject now
    occupying the scientific world. Can we retain the conception
    of the atom as formulated in the last century? Is matter an
    aggregate of impenetrable, indivisible nodules, or is an atom
    merely a centre of force? Have we nothing that we should call
    solid, only vortices? Is solidity a flux of ions? These are
    all matters on which the wisest may differ, but there are
    certain fundamental facts on which all are agreed—the fact
    that there must be one all-embracing medium through which
    relations are realised. So in the world of spirit, the fact
    is indisputable that we are conscious of forces affecting us
    and on which we individually react, indisputable that we can
    interpret facts of sensation, and this necessitates a belief
    in the correspondence of our mind with one all-embracing
    spirit; it seems impossible to doubt that in interpreting
    the universe we are corresponding with and holding communion
    with an infinite mind revealed in Nature, and we repeat
    with inner conviction the first article of our Creed—“God
    created,”—we pass on to the second half—“God created man in
    His own image,” and so we go on to speak of other articles of
    faith. Philosophy, which has so large a place in the Bible
    teaching and which is always based on the facts of our inner
    consciousness and our moral sense, ought, I believe, to have
    a larger space in our teaching, but we should endeavour more
    to build on foundations which cannot be shaken. The mystery of
    our own being, the distinction of the “I” and the “Me,” the
    facts of conscience, the συνείδησις which lifts us out of the
    mere individual or animal, and speaks of the relation of the
    true self to the eternal, the kingdom of righteousness,—the
    evolution of human thought through the ages,—leads on to the
    faith that man is indeed the child of God, that His Spirit is
    inspiring us.

    ‘What seem to us present troubles are perhaps intended to
    make us dig deeper in the field wherein the great treasure
    of spiritual truth is hidden, so that we may say with fuller
    conscious conviction, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”—“is
    within you.”’

On her way to Paddington after the Head-mistresses’ Conference, the cab
which contained Miss Beale and Miss Andrews was run into by another, a
shaft shattering the window beside Miss Beale.

She did not realise her danger or that her shawl was full of bits of
broken glass. The accident is alluded to in the letter she afterwards
wrote to Mrs. Woodhouse, whose guest she had been at Clapham.

    ‘I am so glad I was able to be present. It was a most
    interesting meeting; and very glad to see your beautiful
    school....

    ‘Lord Aberdeen [once] complimented me on not suffering from
    “train fever”; I am afraid I seemed to do so at lunch. It was
    well that we allowed a little spare time to be run into. One
    needs to allow for motors!’

It was the year of the Guild meetings. A very large number of old
pupils, larger than ever before, came to Cheltenham in June, for every
year saw additions to the roll of members and no falling off among the
elder ones, who felt each time might be the last occasion on which the
beloved Principal would preside. The subject chosen for the play was the
very unusual one of a story from Egyptian history. No pains were spared
to render it truthfully; Dr. Budge was consulted, the Book of the Dead
studied; Miss Beale herself gave a lecture on the history of Egypt, a
subject she had never worked up before. The story of the great queen
whose life was given up to her country, ordered wholly for their good,
with no private interests; whose marriage was an act of sacrifice; who
ruled her people with large-minded beneficence, and under whom they
prospered; who finally, as age came upon her, resigned for their sake,
seemed strangely appropriate for the close of Miss Beale’s long work for
Cheltenham. The very remoteness of the story, its gravity, the absence
from it of such didacticism as abounded in Miss Beale’s interpretation
of Britomart and Griselda, made it all the more forcible. It was in no
way premeditated. Miss Beale herself said she did not much care for it,
as it contained so little spiritual teaching. But as the curtain fell
upon Hatshepset’s resignation and death, the crowded audiences of past
and present pupils palpably realised that for them the inevitable change
awaiting the College had been, if unconsciously, foreshadowed.

The Guild arrangements, which generally included an address from Miss
Beale on Saturday morning and a closing one on Monday from some speaker
invited for the purpose, were altered in 1906 to suit the convenience
of the Bishop of Stepney. The earlier address was given by the Bishop
after the College prayers, which Miss Beale herself read as usual. His
subject was the work of St. Hilda’s East and the needs of East London.
He held his hearers enthralled as he spoke to them of those other girls
and women whom they were meant to help. But even more striking than the
strong words of the young Bishop was the sight of the frail and aged form
of her, so long their teacher and inspirer, to whom most of those present
were consciously and deeply indebted for much that was best in their
lives. Miss Beale, with the familiar smile which marked her enthusiastic
approval, stood the whole time close to the Bishop, straining to hear
every word, her eye alert to trace the effect of what he was saying
on his audience. Many who saw her thus saw her for the last time, as
they had to leave Cheltenham when the morning Guild meetings were over.
Miss Beale herself left before the end, unequal to the long strain they
involved.

On Sunday the usual admission of new members took place. On Monday Miss
Beale addressed the Guild for the last time. It was not unnatural that
she should speak on this occasion as one who looked back on the changes
and progress of fifty years. Miss Beale conveyed to her hearers the
suggestion that it was not with unmixed satisfaction that she surveyed
matters from this standpoint. In the midst of advantages, such as the
last generation could not know, their eyes opened to the needs of others,
needs they could supply, many women remained not serious, not devoted.
She appealed for more earnestness in all, that there might be none
wearing the Guild badge who should not be able to use the motto of St.
Hilda’s, Oxford: _Non frustra vixi_.

So passed this great gathering of friends. It was only afterwards that it
came to be known that below her joyous affectionate welcome, her ready
sympathy and quick memory for her children and their concerns, lay a deep
reason for personal anxiety, that she was beginning to suspect herself
to be the victim of a serious malady. Only once was there a sign of
uneasiness, when she seemed much distressed not to have seen again an old
pupil and Guild member, Dr. Aldrich-Blake, who had been obliged to leave
Cheltenham without saying good-bye to her.

The summer holidays were again spent at Oeynhausen. She wrote in the
course of them that she was deriving benefit from the treatment, but
certainly it was far less effective than before. Nor did she give herself
a chance of throwing off the cares of work. In the ordinary sense of the
word, indeed, Miss Beale could never rest, and though physically less
strong her brain seemed inexhaustibly active. She corrected the Magazine
proofs, engaged new teachers, and wrote many letters to the College
secretary, going as usual into all kinds of details about arrangements
for new pupils. Nor did she even rest from study. She wrote to Cheltenham
for a table of German genders; while from Mr. Worsley she asked the
Scripture examination papers, which he had as usual undertaken. Her
letter shows this continued activity of mind:—

                                             ‘_September 12, 1906._

    ‘Thanks for your note. I think I should like to have all the
    papers; we can better show the girls where they have failed to
    enter into the full meaning. I looked at mine, and thought they
    had kept to very outside things.

    ‘Have you seen Montague Owen’s record of the Sewell family?
    It is privately printed, but I can lend you my copy. They
    certainly were a wonderful and original people. Now Elizabeth
    is gone at the age of ninety-one. You were, I think, at Radley.

    ‘We re-open next week with one hundred and fifty new pupils to
    fill our vacancies.’

She was glad to get back to Cheltenham, but those who knew her best saw
that it was only by a stern effort of will that she nerved herself to
begin her work in the ordinary way. They began to hope that she might not
much longer be called upon to make what was visibly a tremendous effort.
Nothing was left undone.

School began on September 22. Miss Beale, as usual on the first day of
term, gave a short address after prayers to the assembled teachers and
children. She spoke, as often before, of the parable of the Talents, but
mainly of the joy of the Lord—the joy and reward of being fellow-workers
with God. Strangely fitting did her words afterwards seem for the last
time she addressed the College as a body.

In the month which followed only a few saw signs of the weakness and
illness which had really begun. She had undertaken the usual courses of
lectures, and missed none. The College numbers were very large, the life
as full and vigorous as ever. There was even a new department started for
the first time that term, in the arrangement—the revolution of Time’s
wheel having been made—of courses of lessons in cookery.

On October 16 the annual Council meeting was held in London. In order
to spare herself fatigue, Miss Beale did not as usual accompany Miss
Alice Andrews to the Oxford meeting on the previous evening, but went
up alone from Cheltenham the next morning. It meant a long day and an
early start, earlier than ever before, as the time of departure had been
altered. This Miss Beale only learned the same morning, but with her
habit of being ready long beforehand she was able to catch the train.
This, by the new arrangement, did not wait for the Oxford train by which
Miss Andrews went up. Consequently, when Miss Andrews arrived at the
Paddington Hotel, Miss Beale had already gone to see her doctor, Miss
Aldrich-Blake. Probably she preferred to make this visit alone.

To Miss Aldrich-Blake she owned that she was tired, that she felt her
much impaired hearing and sight to be a hindrance to work; but she
made light of the malady which was her real and undefined dread. Miss
Aldrich-Blake, however, advised an immediate operation, in spite of the
annual general meeting fixed for November 16,[99] on account of which
Miss Beale wished to put it off for the present. On leaving the doctor’s
house Miss Beale went on alone to keep one or two appointments. At the
Council meeting in the afternoon she showed no fatigue, but read her
report with animation. Miss Andrews then joined her for St. Hilda’s
committee meeting. They left this meeting in time to catch the afternoon
train back to Cheltenham. Miss Beale generally slept for part of this
journey; that day she was wakeful and tired, but she said nothing then to
Miss Andrews of what the doctor had told her. She did, however, shortly
tell Miss Rowand, who persuaded her to see Dr. Cardew. He confirmed Dr.
Aldrich-Blake’s opinion, and Miss Beale then made up her mind to enter a
nursing home, hard by the College, on Monday, October 22. During these
intervening days she went on with her usual work, and silently made
preparation for what might be a final parting from it. On Sunday, which
she spent alone but for a visit from Fräulein Grzywacz, she wrote a large
number of letters. One was to the Vice-Principal, Miss Sturge:—

    ‘I have been feeling very unwell since my return from Germany,
    and two doctors whom I have consulted say I must have a few
    weeks away. I am sorry to throw any of my work on others, but
    I thought the week in which our half-term holiday comes my
    absence would be less felt. Also, as the Bishop gives five
    lectures, these would take the place of mine on Saturdays.... I
    thought some one who has taught the Fairy Queen could take [my
    literature lesson]. The doctor who knows me best fixed three
    weeks as the date of my return.’

One to Miss Gore:—

    ‘I have not told any one but Miss Rowand the reason why I
    shall have to be absent, perhaps for a few weeks—perhaps for
    ever—from my beloved College. I want you to come and stay in
    the house till we see which way things will go. I hope you will
    manage to come, and that you will put on a cheerful countenance
    and not let any one suspect that there is so serious a cause
    for my absence. I am very grateful for having been allowed
    to do so many years of work, very grateful for the loyal
    and affectionate support of my colleagues and our Council,
    specially the Chairman. I think I feel content whichever way
    things may be ordered for me by Him who doth not willingly
    afflict, but chastens for our profit.—Yours affectionately,

                                                         D. BEALE.’

On Monday, October 22, Miss Beale read prayers as usual, choosing a hymn
by Miss Fermi from the collection of school hymns she herself had made:—

    ‘All the way our Father leadeth,
        Whether dark or bright.’

After prayers she gave her last Scripture lesson—the usual Monday lesson
to the assembled First Division. The subject was the Healing of the Body,
in connection with thoughts suggested by St. Luke’s Day, and the Gospel
for the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity. It was a remarkable lesson. One
who had not been present said that, when she entered the Hall after it
was over, people were talking of Miss Beale’s wonderful Scripture lesson.
In it she dwelt, as often before, on the duty of the care of health; and
yet it was not to be the first consideration. She showed why sickness of
the body is often for our profit. Then, having touched on wrong teachings
about the body, as, for instance, those of Buddhism, she showed that the
Incarnation brought unity of the whole being, at-one-ment of body, soul,
and spirit. She concluded with the words: ‘The Body of our Lord Jesus
Christ preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.’

After the lesson Miss Beale read the weekly class marks, as usual on
Mondays. In the course of the morning she discussed a paper she had
written, for the American National Educational Association, with Miss
Alice Andrews. Miss Andrews told her that a member of the staff had lost
her mother, and during the day Miss Beale wrote a note of sympathy. In
a second interview that morning Miss Beale told Miss Andrews that the
doctor had told her she must lie up for some weeks. ‘But I am not going
away, I shall be amongst you all.’

Miss Sturge noticed that Miss Beale lingered in the Hall when school was
over, as if unwilling to leave. She seemed pathetically anxious to leave
nothing undone. Finally, after discussing several small matters, she
said, ‘Good-bye; I hope to come back in three weeks, and you can just
say I am resting. I will not tell you where, and then if you are asked
you will not know.’ Then she added wistfully, ‘Perhaps I may never come
back.’ On that afternoon, accompanied by Miss Rowand, she went to the
nursing home.

The operation took place next day. Miss Beale found it hard just at
first to reconcile herself to the position of patient, and the absolute
obedience and dependence it involved. But in the charge of Miss Lane and
her staff she was surrounded with loving care, to which she was most
responsive, once pointing out to a friend the nurse who was standing by
as ‘the one who spoils me so.’ Miss Gore and Miss Rowand saw her from
time to time. The mid-term holiday was approaching, and she spoke of
arrangements for it, and begged Miss Rowand to send her party for their
usual expedition in charge of the house-governesses, and to remain at
home herself.

Up to the morning of Sunday the 28th all seemed to go well. Very early
that day she seemed ill, and wandering in mind, getting up and saying she
must go to early service. In the afternoon she was quiet and calm, and
saw one or two friends. To Miss Gore she spoke of the coming All Saints’
Day, saying how much the Communion of Saints meant to her.

On this day also, by the hand of Miss Lane—but she signed it herself—she
wrote a last letter to Miss Amy Giles[100]:—

    ‘I went up to a Council Meeting, and afterwards consulted Dr.
    Aldrich-Blake. I had had my suspicions for some time, and she
    at once confirmed them. I went on to Paddington, as we had a
    meeting of our Council, and returned at three o’clock. Then
    after a few days we decided to enter a Home, and here I am....
    They say I am going on very well, but I had to leave my work.
    My doctor says I can come back probably at the end of three
    weeks, which I am anxious to do, as I have a General Meeting
    (annual) on the 16th November. I am very contented, and the
    Head of the Home takes great care of me. The only people I
    allow to know are Miss Rowand and Miss Gore, who are coming
    to see me to-day. I have had a not very cheerful Sunday, and
    I wonder whether I shall get right, sometimes I hope not. I
    wonder if we shall meet again. I hope some day. I need not say
    how dear you are to me. We have lost many friends this last
    year. At least, I ought not to say that, they have passed out
    of sight. I think you have not heard that both Mr. and Mrs.
    Rix, who came to our first Retreat, have passed away within the
    month, so those three friends have met once more.[101] ... I
    have been talking to the Head of this Home, who is very anxious
    to have a Home for six ladies, I have promised her £100. What
    do you think of a site? I know your father built one in the
    Isle of Wight, but it is an expensive place. There, I don’t
    think I have any more to say.—Yours very affectionately,

                                                   DOROTHEA BEALE.’

On Monday came the change for the worse; nervous prostration, from which
she never rallied, although one day there seemed a gleam of hope, and
during the brief improvement she dictated to Miss Lane, at the doctor’s
request, some details of the days before the operation:—

    ‘On Tuesday (the 16th October) I went up to London hurriedly
    at 6.37, full of the thought of what was before me. I went
    straight to Dr. Aldrich-Blake, an old pupil. She condemned me.
    Then I saw, as I had arranged, a new attendant. I looked into
    shops and felt giddy, and went on to the place of meeting,
    where I saw two others, and lastly several friends, and those
    who were to dine together to attend the meeting of our Council,
    and next a meeting of our St. Hilda’s Council, and then came
    down to Cheltenham, thinking of course of what I should do. The
    following Tuesday you know I decided and you arranged for the
    operator to come from Birmingham, and you can report further.
    I gave all my lessons as usual, and corrected all my exercises
    until the evening of Monday. Whatever my work was I did it.
    My last lesson was on Monday morning. I had planned to give a
    Confirmation lesson on Tuesday, but this the doctor forbade.’

Once after this she recognised the doctor. Once she asked for her
Prayer-book and spectacles, but before they could be brought she had
lapsed again into unconsciousness. When her sister addressed her by
name, she turned her head, but did not open her eyes. Then on November
8 appeared more alarming bulletins, and on the 9th the fatal notice,
‘Miss Beale is sinking.’ ‘We went through the morning,’ says Miss Sturge,
‘feeling like Elisha. “Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy
master from thy head to-day? Yea, I know it, hold ye your peace.”’

Not in Cheltenham only, but far and wide her children were praying for
her; watching for news, remembering and repeating to each other things
she had said. It was stormy weather, and more than one thought of
Wordsworth’s lines—lines which she had often read to her class—written
when he was expecting to hear of the death of Charles James Fox:—

    ‘A power is passing from the earth
    To breathless Nature’s dark abyss.’

Miss Beale died on Friday, November 9, at 12.15, during College hours. It
was thought best that the girls should hear of her death before leaving.
When all were assembled in the Princess Hall the Vice-Principal said:

‘It has pleased God to take from us our beloved Principal.’ In a few
words she told the history of the last few days, and then said: ‘We feel
that it is what she would have desired,—no long waiting in suffering or
helplessness, but to go home straight from her work with her splendid
powers scarcely impaired.

    “Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail
    Or knock the breast; no weakness, no contempt,
    Dispraise, or blame; nothing but well and fair,
    And what may quiet us in a death so noble.”

‘“The readiness is all.” Let us bear our grief with calmness and dignity.
We know that it would be her wish that work should go on as usual.... We
believe that love lasts on, and that the noble work she did for fifty
years has done much for England and for womanhood, and that not only we
who have been blessed by her gracious presence, but generations also to
come shall reap the fruit of her toil, and rise up and call her blessed.
Let us pray.’ Then followed a thanksgiving, adapted from the form of
memorial service issued by authority in January 1901 after the death of
Queen Victoria.

Of the days immediately following Miss Beale’s death, Miss Sturge wrote:
‘Many of the staff and elder pupils were privileged to see the beloved
form as it lay in the peace and majesty of death. Though not one of the
thousand workers at College can have been unconscious of the mighty
change that had come for all, the work went on as usual, and the College
was closed only on November 16, the day of the funeral.’

The paper which Miss Beale intended should be read at College prayers on
her death was not found at the time. This was well. She certainly had not
weighed what the effect of her words, written with calm deliberate detail
years before, would be if read to assembled numbers at the very moment of
shock and loss.

In this paper she first explained the directions she had left in her will
about the funeral:—

    ‘First let me say I have put in my will two things, which have
    to do with the disposal of this perishable body.

    ‘(1) I desire that it should be cremated. It seems so wrong to
    place in the ground the disease germs which may injure others,
    when they could be destroyed. No feeling of sentiment should
    hinder our doing what is reasonable or right.

    ‘(2) I have asked, and I hope my wish may be respected by all,
    that no flowers should be bought for my funeral. They are
    beautiful emblems, and if any could gather a few wild flowers
    or bring a few from their own gardens, it would be good, but
    I should not like any wholesale destruction, any waste of
    life, even with wild flowers, and it seems to me quite wrong
    to spend large sums in decking a grave, when there is so much
    to be done for the living. If the present pupils and teachers
    were to give only sixpence each it would come to about £30, and
    if we take in old pupils and friends, and those who give much
    more, I fear a large sum would be wasted, which, wisely spent,
    would not perish like cut flowers, but bear real fruit. Still,
    flowers are all beautiful things, and gifts of our Father to
    teach and cheer us: they are patterns of things in the heavens,
    and flowers speak to us of ἀνάστασις, rising. I often said to
    you I do not like the word resurrection because it means rising
    again, and gives the impression that the body that rises is the
    same that was buried; whereas St. Paul has taught that we sow
    not that body that shall be.’

But this was only a preface. She spoke chiefly of rising through death to
fuller and higher life,—of the purification which all who would see God
must desire. Finally she asked:—

    ‘Shall I pray for my children who are now on earth, for this
    College which I have loved, and which has, I dare hope, been a
    means of blessing to some? Has it through my fault hidden the
    spiritual instead of revealing it, like the trees of Paradise?
    Will you see that the sunshine of Heaven, the love and holiness
    which can dwell only in souls, may light up the school-rooms
    and boarding-houses, and kindle hearts and send forth many
    light-bearers? And will you ask sometimes for me that I may be
    purified of the evil that obscured the heavenly light that yet
    burned feebly within the earthly pitcher? May He send you a
    worthier teacher! May you, above all things, hear the Voice of
    Him who stands at the door and knocks, may you open your eyes
    to the Blessed Spirit, the Paraclete!’

On Monday, November 12, the body was cremated at Perry Barr, the Reverend
Dr. Magrath reading the committal service. Next day came the offer
from the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester of ‘a tomb in the Cathedral to
Dorothea Beale,’ and on the 16th the funeral took place. Everything
that could lend dignity and honour to the occasion was done. Those who
were present can never forget the impression of that day. The sombre
beauty of the Cathedral in the November rain, the music, the well-ordered
procession, the crowds, produced a sense of fitness for an occasion which
was not merely one of grief. Rather was it an act of solemn thanksgiving
for the long, faithful labours ended, an act of resignation through the
heart and will of thousands of the life which had blessed them, to the
continuous love of a merciful Creator. Many were there who held high
position, in educational or municipal life, many friends and parents of
pupils, many former teachers, and of course the whole staff. But the
crowd which filled the great nave from end to end was made up for the
most part of pupils past and present. Eight hundred girls still at the
College came voluntarily, walking in grave silence in pairs from the
station to the Cathedral. Only a small proportion of this crowd could
be present in the Lady Chapel for the latter part of the service, but
all when it was over filed quietly past the open grave surrounded by its
home-made wreaths of flowers and laurel.

Meanwhile, in Cheltenham, those who were unable to come to Gloucester
filled St. Matthew’s Church, where a service was held simultaneously with
that in the Cathedral. At St. Paul’s Cathedral at the same time the dome
was filled for a memorial service, which included a short address from
the Bishop of Stepney. An old pupil present wrote of this:—

    ‘A memorial service in St. Paul’s Cathedral is an honour
    accorded to very few women, and befitting but very few. But to
    the great throng assembled in the wide spaces of the dome on
    November 16, there was a profound sense of congruity in this
    mourning for a woman whose real distinction was described on
    that occasion by the Bishop of Stepney when he called Miss
    Beale “great.”

    ‘Miss Beale’s greatness—that indefinable, unmistakable,
    inestimable quality so rare in her sex—gave her a right to be
    commemorated there, at the very heart of the world of the
    living, in presence of the memorials of the nation’s mighty
    dead. Listening to the mysterious, hope-inspiring sentences,
    and to the lesson from 1 Corinthians xv., so often chosen
    by her at College prayers, it seemed that but a very slight
    veil divided us from that eager, unquenchable, quickening
    spirit, then exploring the “vasty halls of Death.” And the
    reverberating thunders of the “Dead March in Saul” have an
    appropriateness for every strenuous life. Effort in growth and
    development, conflict with difficulties, the surmounting of
    obstacles, were certainly of the very essence of Miss Beale’s
    nature.’

Services were also held at Bowdon Parish Church and at Sunderland. At
Bakewell, on the Sunday after she died, thanks were offered for the life
and work of Dorothea Beale.

There was widespread appreciation both spoken and written of Miss Beale’s
life and work, with barely a discordant note. Many of the notices[102]
gave a really striking impression both of herself and of what she had
done for the cause of education. Apart from that work she did not care to
be known; it is but an obvious truth that its greatness was dependent on
the greatness of her character.

A number of old Cheltenham pupils were once asked what they considered
the special result of the teaching they had received at the College.
Their replies were to the most part to the effect that they had learned
the worth of the strenuous life. They would perhaps have been nearer
a complete statement of the truth had they said ‘an idea of Duty.’
For it was surely this—a consciousness of responsibility, a sense of
stewardship, some perception of the ‘thanks and use’[103] owing for
each excellence that had been lent out to them—which was brought home
by the teaching, both of word and life, of Dorothea Beale to all,
even the youngest and least clever, who came within the circle of her
influence. Through such knowledge of duty Miss Beale’s own idea of the
‘strenuous life’ might be perceived. Among the words most often on her
lips, especially when speaking to teachers, were such as vivifying,
energising, quickening, inspiration. She did not hesitate to say that to
her all forms of life were a manifestation of God. Work was to her mind
a privilege,—the active will, a Divine gift,—slothfulness was death. It
was the defect of a great quality that she sometimes hasted overmuch,
that she found it hard to wait in trifling matters, that she seemed even
to exaggerate the importance of the College. She was not spared—she
would not have asked to be spared—the inevitable sacrifice demanded of
all genius, of all lives devoted to a cause. It was the sign of her
self-consecration that in any great emergency, before any important
decision, she was calm and full of patience. It should be remembered
also that each generation has its own mission. To that of Dorothea Beale
belonged especially the duty of crying to the careless daughters of
England, ‘Rise up ye women that are at ease.’ To another it may be given
to serve by waiting.

What, it is often asked, was the secret of her really marvellous
influence? Personal magnetism she undoubtedly possessed, and that of a
rare and abiding quality, a quick eye to perceive, and a touch which
could evoke the best even in the most unlikely. But her influence and
power for good came surely as much from what she would not do as from
what she actually did for her children. Her strength lay in what she
would herself call ‘passive activity.’ It was her claim not to teach
them so much as to lead them to the One Teacher, to bring them into
such relationship with Him that they could hear His Voice. For that
inner Voice which must at all costs be obeyed she bade them listen, with
pure and undefiled conscience,—the ear of the soul. Thus each who tried
to follow her teaching left the College not merely as a devoted pupil
of Miss Beale, possibly even indifferent to her, but with a clearer
consciousness of the ‘Light that lighteth every man,’ and the paramount
necessity of walking in it.

Was the strenuous life all they learned at Cheltenham? It was doubtless
not easy to tell the whole. The strength and greatness of their Head lay
not alone in devising and carrying out important and detailed work. It
lay also—though this was less readily seen—in an unwearied watchfulness
of affection, in a sympathy never estranged, in active thoughtfulness, in
a memory for all that was hopeful and fair in the lives and characters
which came under her care. Remembering these, there comes ultimately to
the mind the thought of how little she really cared for human judgment,
just or unjust; how she would say that there was but one Voice to listen
for, one word of approval worth earning, since the Lord Himself had said
about a woman’s work, ‘She hath done what she could.’



CHAPTER XVI

LETTERS

    ‘The living record of your memory.’

               SHAKSPERE, _Sonnet_ lv.


Miss Beale enjoyed both receiving and writing letters. She kept a very
large number, especially of those from old pupils. A letter which told of
help or inspiration gained through the life at College would be put away,
labelled in her own peculiar and favourite abbreviated way: ‘Sent 2 chēr
me.’ She was a very ready and at times a very voluminous correspondent.
She attended to all her letters herself, and answered all to which she
intended to reply, not merely by return of post, but often the moment she
received them. If her answer was of some importance she would keep it
by her for a time, and often rewrite it before finally sending it. Her
papers include a very large number of drafts and copies of letters which
she sent. The chief part of her correspondence was done before the school
hours began each morning, and she generally came to her place at 9 A.M.
with her morning letters already answered. Where she found she could help
by means of letters she would spare no pains nor time over them.

Perhaps Mrs. Charles Robinson received more than any one else. In 1878
Mrs. Robinson, then Miss Arnold, left Cheltenham to become a teacher
at the Dulwich High School. She was at that time in a state of great
religious perplexity; dissatisfied with the teaching of the Plymouth
Brethren, among whom she had been brought up, unable to accept that of
the Church, she would not attend the services of either. During this
time of gloom Miss Beale wrote every week to Miss Arnold a letter she
might receive on Sunday morning, and all her life remained a constant
correspondent. It is fitting that this chapter of letters should begin
with some of those written to the ‘best-beloved child.’[104]

To Miss Arnold:—

                                                      ‘_July 1880._

    ‘It seems to me you have failed in trying to keep the first
    commandment, and so of course in the others. “Thou shalt
    worship the Lord Thy God and Him _only_ shalt Thou serve.” You
    see it is not _when_ we feel inclined; _when_ we can realise
    His presence, _when_ we have plenty of spare time.

    ‘Then in your life and work has it not been that you have
    thought more of pleasing others, of doing work, of being so
    laborious, so useful, etc. etc., instead of serving Him, too
    much of being well thought of yourself. This often leads to
    greed of work: we do not say: “Lord, what wouldst Thou have me
    to do?” but, “I want to do this or that.”

    ‘Then as regards your public worship. Do not you think, if you
    told your father that you felt Church services more helpful, he
    would be less grieved that you should go to Church than go in
    deadness. He chose the Brethren because he felt his religious
    life quickened with them; would he not wish you to act in the
    same spirit? Could you not frankly talk it over with him?’

In 1881 Miss Beale wrote to urge Miss Arnold to attend some addresses Mr.
Wilkinson was about to give:—

    ‘You will make some effort and some sacrifices, if necessary,
    to come, will you not, my dear child? Even the love of Miss ——
    for which you should give thanks, is a danger too, lest you
    should learn to look at yourself with the indulgence that we
    give to those we love, and do not see clearly the faults and
    failings. Mr. Wilkinson does help to show how much ground there
    is for humility.’

To the same:—

                                                           ‘_1882._

    ‘Your letter grieves me very much, just as the painful illness
    of one I love would; because you have to go through it; but it
    is right, if you go through it rightly, seeking the truth. Only
    one cannot in a letter, nor in a little while, nor off-hand
    deal with these difficulties. As in every science, thought, and
    earnest labour, and aspiration, and desire are necessary if we
    would find truth; so in religion, the knowledge of absolute
    wisdom and goodness, which transcends all we can know, there
    must be a deep devotion to truth, which spares no pains in the
    search.

    ‘Will you begin with a simple and clear book first,—I noticed
    it in the last Magazine,—by Godet. It is translated by Canon
    Lyttelton. I think it shows conclusively the fact of our Lord’s
    resurrection, and with that goes the testimony of miracles,
    not as wonders but as signs. When you have got thus far, you
    will find, I trust, the repulsion to the supernatural element
    diminished, if it exists in you. Don’t _ever_ let yourself
    say, “We can’t know.” We can know enough to believe and trust
    in God’s goodness, and one must go on seeking by _prayer_,
    _thought_, _obedience_, very, very patiently, and then through
    eternity one will draw nearer and nearer.

    ‘As regards your conception of inspiration, I think it requires
    correction; claims have been made for the Bible which it never
    made for itself. Holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy
    Spirit; but the _literal dictation_ of every word we are not
    taught.

    ‘But I cannot attempt to answer piecemeal. I have gone through
    all these questionings, but I think my faith strengthens
    from year to year,—if I dare say so. So that it seems to
    me marvellous that any one can fail to _feel_ the divine,
    underlying all the superficial, the phenomenal which men verily
    call realities. Do you remember how Browning makes Lazarus
    feel “marvel that they too see not with his opened eyes!” That
    objection to the Israelites destroying the Canaanites seems to
    me so frightfully superficial. Are there not evils far worse
    than death? Would it not be enormously preferable to die than
    to live as many do? What should we say if we could see beyond
    the grave? We judge knowing only one side of the grave. And
    if God saw well that these people should die at once, would
    it not be part perhaps of the education of a nation chosen
    to do a particular work, that God should make them burn with
    indignation against the detestable, unspeakable, moral evils,
    and make them the executioners of His justice? It would not
    degrade them to do this, if they did it as a judge condemns
    the guilty, with no personal hatred. We cannot sit in judgment
    thus. In the world’s history we see God ever employing men to
    do the work He has to do. There may be necessities for this,
    of which we know nothing; I mean in the nature of things:
    certainly there is good as regards the moral training of men.

    ‘Go on wishing and praying and seeking all your life, never
    saying anything which you do not believe, and then the God of
    truth will hear you as you say, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I
    may see the wondrous things of Thy law.” “Lighten our darkness,
    we beseech Thee!” _Feeling_ must come in, as the Brethren
    rightly say. We must love, and desire, and know Him to be our
    Father; we must trust Him. We can’t understand even an earthly
    friend without trust, but we must use the powers He has given
    us, we dare not bury them. We shall have to wait for the
    solution of much hereafter; but we shall grow in grace and in
    the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour.

    ‘My poor child, would I could help you more, but God will
    help you. “Though He tarry, wait.” Use the means natural and
    supernatural. Tell me from time to time how you are getting on,
    and I will try to put you on a _course_ of reading.’

To the same:—

                                                           ‘_1882._

    ‘My poor child, I do indeed feel for you in your loneliness,
    but remember him whose eyes were opened spiritually and he was
    _therefore_ cast out of the synagogue,—but Jesus found him. Do
    not fear that because the disciples call down fire that the
    Lord will [send it]. “Come unto Me all that are heavy-laden,”
    He says to us now as then. To those who are “without guile,”
    _i.e._ sincerely seeking truth, He still promises that they
    shall see greater things than they have ever done.... No; we
    cannot and we would not believe that He who is infinitely
    wiser than man can be less good. He is not a Pharaoh to bid us
    make bricks without straw. He does not tell us to do what we
    cannot and then punish us for not doing it. “She hath done
    what she could” was the sentence of the Lord when others found
    fault. God is love, and if _we_ pity and long to draw to our
    hands any suffering child of earth, must not He? If we pity
    those who suffer in a _less_ degree, must not He those who are
    suffering the sorrow greatest of all, the loss in any degree of
    His presence, of that faith which makes all things possible?
    Go on, my poor child, looking up to Him, and trusting in His
    utter love who will not leave us, not when we cry, “Depart from
    me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” It is hard sometimes to
    believe we are not wrong, when we see the disciples, those who
    really want to do right, acting so differently from the way in
    which He acted. But we know that in all ages some of the most
    unchristian things have been done by those who thought they
    were doing God’s will.

    ‘I do not think from what you tell me that you can go on at
    the Meeting. If your father wishes it you might for a while
    abstain from going to church; but if so, let the time you would
    have spent in public worship be passed in private prayer and
    studying; just looking up with childlike spirit to the Father,
    feeling His presence, His love.

    ‘I do not think you should, however, absent yourself long from
    communion with some body of believers. All Scripture and our
    spiritual experience is against this. If you decide for St.
    Peter’s, I think I can tell you of a friend’s house where you
    would be welcome most Sundays; and we must have you among us
    for the Quiet Days at Christmas.

    ‘You know I do not want to proselytise; if with the Brethren
    you had found spiritual nourishment, I would have had you rest
    there; but now you are starving it is different, like that poor
    dove who found no rest for the sole of her feet, you need to be
    taken into an ark.

    ‘I do not want you to be dependent on man, but it is the order
    of God’s providence that He sends disciples to lead others to
    Him, and so we are to help one another. And you have a period
    of trouble before you, outward and inward, until you are able
    to stand upon the rock once more. Trust God if you should have
    to walk through that dark valley where you cannot see Him. Each
    trial will one day result in joy,—the joy of being able to help
    other troubled souls especially. He descended into Hades, He
    rose again! I shall remember you in prayer, and I shall ask
    prayers for you at St. Peter’s, of course without their knowing
    the least who you are, but that you are suffering and in
    darkness. Be patient and I think your father’s heart will come
    back.’

To the same:—

                                                           ‘_1882._

    ‘Now, my dear child, do not fret about this trial. Just try to
    look up and wait. I believe your father’s heart will come back.
    You see he has obeyed his opinions before, and truth is like
    the sun which ever rises higher upon our earthly day, and does
    not sink as the natural sun. We need sometimes to remember the
    words, “Call no man your father upon earth.” I mean that there
    is the all-embracing Fatherhood, in which we see all earthly
    relations: we do not, must not, cast those off, but they must
    be swallowed up in the greater. Write to me whenever you feel
    it would comfort you, I will try to help you, until you feel
    again that you need not outward help.... One feels more and
    more how slowly one learns and how infinite is God’s truth; how
    one need’s patience and deep humility, and utter faith in Him
    who is the Light.’

To the same:—

                                                   ‘_January 1883._

    ‘My poor child, you must not grieve thus. Since God loves your
    father, He is giving to him only that discipline, whatever
    it be that is necessary. Yes, believe this, even though
    the suffering has come through you, for we must believe it
    _universally_. I do not say you will not suffer for it, or that
    there may not have been some wrong in it on your part. But
    if, as you know, he does wish you to know and serve God more
    perfectly, then through this God is leading him on to know and
    serve Him better, and you must trust God to know _what_ He is
    about. You _must_ go on for your own sake (and for the sake of
    the children God has given you), seeking for light.’

To the same:—

                                                   ‘_January 1883._

    ‘I always feel as if I must write by return. Your letters draw
    out my heart to you so. I am glad you went and felt the love
    shining in on you.

    ‘Now, as regards the _a priori_ argument; it is just the
    fundamental thing. Did you read my Browning paper? See, it is
    just _the_ thought that comes out in “Saul.” We, if we love
    ourselves, we _must_ believe in God’s love. He must be better
    if He is greater in every other way; it cannot be that we excel
    Him in the power of love, which is the highest gift of all. We
    can’t think that He does not care for His children, that He has
    left them orphans.

    ‘I think one can see too that He in whom dwelt the Divine
    Spirit without measure, yet who was truly man, and who
    therefore grew as man in insight as we do, felt that utter
    faith grow, tower up, as that intense love, that utter
    self-devotion which He felt within, _told_ Him of His oneness
    with God; as He prayed that we might be one, even as He was one
    with the Father.

    ‘And He, trusting the Father, knew He could _not_ be deceived
    by that Father; and we knowing Him, know He could not deceive
    us.... So I come _a priori_ to belief in the story of that
    Life, and when I get to it by inward reasons, I am able first
    to look at the outward [reasons], which to many are enough
    without the inward, but are not to me. It was in this way too
    Kant got back to belief in Christianity. I read it was the
    moral law within which taught him, and all St. John’s teaching
    seems to me to be that we must feel the Spirit within ere we
    can recognise the Christ without. But then He does give freely
    of His Spirit,—if we seek, we shall find. He knocks at the door
    of man’s heart, “If _any one_ will hear He will come in.”

    ‘My child, do remember those comforting words, “If ye were
    blind ye should have _no sin_, but now ye say, we see;
    therefore your sin remaineth.” So blindness is no sin in
    itself, if is lazy, conceited ignorance that is sin.

    ‘I wish you could be in the House of Rest from Friday to
    Monday, and have all Saturday of the Quiet Days. I wish you
    could have one talk with Mr. Wilkinson before he leaves.’

To the same:—

                                                   ‘_January 1883._

    ‘It does seem to me such a strange idea that our service should
    be acceptable to God in proportion to its difficulty. It is
    really at bottom the same thing that makes people torture
    themselves. It lies at the root of that idea regarding the
    Sabbath, which our Lord condemned so strongly. He came to make
    us know better the Father’s heart. Surely He loves to make it
    easy to His children to draw near. “I will allure her into the
    wilderness and will speak comfortably unto her.” Under the old
    dispensation He appointed a solemn ritual, and why did St. Paul
    exhort us to use psalms and hymns but that by the joy of music
    our hearts may be loosened from their deadness, and then we can
    trust them whither we will. It seems to me of course that our
    service is much more in conformity with the apostolic model
    handed down, and with allusions in the Bible. But I do not want
    to dispute about that. God has left us free. If your father
    says, “I wish you to go to the meeting,” you should, supposing
    you think it not wrong, obey. But I don’t believe he would, if
    you told him you went merely in obedience to his wishes; that
    you felt it did not help your spiritual life.

    ‘If it is finally decided that you go to St. Peter’s, I should
    like to ask Mr. Wilkinson to see you, and I would tell him some
    of your difficulties; he is so wise.

    ‘I have been thinking much these holidays about the many who
    like yourself are full of difficulties and questions. One thing
    some of us are going to do, and I want you to join: make each
    week special prayers for the teachers in Colleges and High
    Schools,—(you will specially remember me), and ask that some
    means may be found of helping them....

    ‘Need you dwell upon that question of eternal death? Could you
    not say, “Father, I see not yet what Thou doest, but I trust
    Thee?” If the death of any of His creatures whom He loves is
    _inevitable_, then it does not make us believe Him unloving, we
    know how He yearns to serve us.’

To the same:—

                                                     ‘_March 1883._

    ‘I do not mean either to say that the carelessness of a time in
    which you did see and were able to realise divine things was
    _nothing_ to do with the present trial. Who can judge another?
    I begged him not to be unhappy if your religious life took
    another form....

    ‘Yes, I was so glad to see your father. I feel I know him much
    better, and perhaps he knows me better.

    ‘I quite understand his strong language about the Church, only
    those evils are not inherent in it, but in our sinful nature,
    and similar ones appear even among the Brethren. The unreality
    does not depend upon the amount of ritual....’

To the same:—

                                                     ‘_April 1883._

    ‘I have very much enjoyed Professor Edward Caird’s _Hegel_.
    It is 3s. 6d., published by Blackwood. I am not quite sure it
    would help you, but think it would. I want you to get deeper,
    and to be very patient until God shows you more light. He
    is showing it to you, only until you and I are able to see
    more clearly He must wait. You have not suffered so much for
    nothing, but I trust you may one day help others. If you get
    Westcott on the Resurrection, read the end first on Positivism,
    there is much in it that is so Christian, and much in what is
    called Christianity which St. Paul would have called carnal.
    All that about the Lord’s glorified Body in St. John and St.
    Paul speak to us of a spirit glorified and no longer bound in
    any space, but a life-giving power, real, substantial....

    ‘Poor George Eliot. She had a passionate nature, and she came
    into circumstances so sad. Her life is a great sorrow to those
    who feel that her teaching was in some way noble, though in
    others it was really weakening. He who knows all will judge
    her: “Whose mercy endureth for ever.” She was a long way above
    Lewes. If you come across Hutton’s Essays you ought to read
    them. I always get a good bit of reading in the holidays that
    demands thought....’

To the same:—

                                                       ‘_May 1883._

    ‘I am glad you find the work comforting again, and that God
    has sent you help through some one else. Don’t fret and look
    forward to next holidays, you don’t know yet how full of
    blessing they may be. Just remember it is a command, “Be not
    anxious for to-morrow,” and so we can obey. I remember once
    that thought that I must stay seemed the only thing to save me
    from breaking down, and so failing to do as I ought the work
    God had given me. See that it is a sin to fret and be anxious
    about your father’s health, or your future relations to home,
    or anything. We have to do our best, and then trust to Him “who
    ordereth all things according to the counsel of His Will.”

    ‘Then as regards past sins. It seems to me that it enervates
    you to dwell upon them as you are doing. I may be wrong, but it
    seems to me that the sense of guiltiness in the past makes you
    afraid of God, as you ought not to be. If a child were ever so
    naughty to you, did ever so many wrong things to you, would it
    shut her out from your love? You know it would not; you would
    sorrow over her, and seek to do her good. Only her continuing
    naughty, continuing to hate and distrust you, could _prevent_
    your doing her good. “Ye are not straitened in God, but in your
    own heart.” “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to
    forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us.” We can’t think of Him
    not forgiving us, without thinking of Him as less good than
    He is, and He is infinitely good. Of course this does not mean
    that He will not give us due discipline for our past failures,
    in order that we may be healed of the sins which caused them;
    but then we are glad of this, it is only a sign of His love for
    us.

    ‘We should confess to Him because He is judge, _i.e._ He
    separates and enables us to discern, distinguish the good from
    the evil in us, and separate. One whom I have often quoted to
    you said, “I forbid you to look at your sins except at the foot
    of the Cross.” Do you do this sometimes? The consciousness
    of guilt would be hardening without the consciousness of the
    abounding love. This purifies. I wonder if I have met your
    thought....’

To the same:—

                                                       ‘_May 1883._

    ‘You say you don’t know what to pray for. I think, perhaps,
    you are praying too exclusively for yourself. Ask for God’s
    grace, and power to respond. Intercede much for your children,
    your relations, your father, teachers and friends, and any one
    whom God gives you the means of helping. Especially at Holy
    Communion pray for the Church and all who are separated by
    darkness from one another, and put yourself quietly in God’s
    Hands. Some of our collects help me; one Mr. Wilkinson was so
    fond of: “Who knowest our necessities before we ask,” etc.
    etc.: do you know it? I think of Him then as coming to us all
    in Holy Communion, and from His own Hands giving us the pledges
    of His love, to make us know He is giving us His own glorified
    Life; the Life of God in such a way that we can receive
    it,—emptying Himself in Christ of that glory which we can’t
    know: the Absolute Being, the Infinite we cannot conceive. We
    must trust His word ... and this faith makes us strong, saves
    us from sickness, delivers us from the power of sin; yes,
    though we fall again and again, enables us to arise.

    ‘I so want you not to have that crushing fear, which, I may be
    wrong, but I think, you sometimes feel of God. He must be so
    sorry, if we don’t understand Him and feel like that.... “I
    fell at His feet as dead, and He laid His hand on me, saying,
    _Fear_ not.” Think of this and of the parting words, “Peace be
    unto you.”’

To the same:—

                                                      ‘_July 1883._

    ‘ ... You will have heard of our great loss, and yet I ought
    not to call it so,—in dear Mrs. Owen. It is good to have known
    her, and one feels what it is to live and work in the hearts of
    others, seeing such a life and death. I will tell you more of
    what she has taught [me] when you come.’

To the same:—

                                                      ‘_July 1883._

    ‘My dear child, I will certainly ask for both of you to come.
    Yes, it is a naughty letter. You must love not only with pity,
    but with a stretching forth to sympathise. What if we feel
    ourselves better than another, because the Spirit has stirred
    the once cold depths of our soul, and so there is some light.
    Is it not because there has been so little that souls near us
    have remained cold? Can we ever glance at their faults without
    shame in thinking we are responsible for so much? How we shall
    long to make them some amends, how gladly we shall bear any
    punishment, or even harshness, if we can through this show our
    yearning love, alleviate our self-reproval! We cannot feel
    we are better. Our Church service does at least try to keep
    us humble by our repeated confessions, especially at Holy
    Communion.’

To the same:—

    ‘So very glad you have had a happy time. God is good in giving
    us playgrounds as well as workrooms; we want both, and in
    both He shines on us, and is glad in our gladness as well as
    afflicted in our afflictions....’

To the same:—

                                                   ‘_October 1885._

    ‘I object to your sentence, that you would rather your father
    thought what was not true, than that he should think what is
    certainly the truth, viz. that he has been in some way to
    blame. Also to that “I cannot bear this sorrow to fall on
    him.” We have simply to do the right, and believe that God
    knows what He is about, when He lets pain come upon us for our
    mistakes; pains us, yes, “shatters us,” that we may know the
    truth better. How many a parent or teacher tries to spare a
    child _pain_, and wrongly. You will not, of course, _willingly_
    pain any, much less the father whom you love so much, but
    you have both of you simply to speak the truth and do what
    conscience bids you.... Say frankly and firmly what you _feel_
    you _must_ do, and then drop the subject.... You remind me of
    those good Christians who beg us not to hang a man, “_lest_
    he should fall into the hands of God.” God can care for people
    whether alive or dead, but I believe your father would really
    suffer less, and be worried less, by a simple straightforward
    course of conduct. You are thinking of self too much, thinking
    _yourself_ of _too_ much importance when you say, “I am only
    thinking of the sorrow that threatens him and how I can bear
    it.” Perhaps God is leading him to truer views of the Father.’

The following letter, written in August 1888, refers to Miss Arnold’s
appointment as Head-mistress of the Truro High School:—

To the same:—

                                                    ‘_August 1888._

    ‘Do not trouble yourself about whatever you _ought_ to have
    done _now_. It is done, and you thought it right, so it was
    right. I think of your Bishop saying in his quiet way, “I do
    the best I can, and then I just leave it.” I dare say the Lakes
    will refresh you. It is “heart-rending,” I doubt not. I wept
    all the day that I left Queen’s, but it was well. We are having
    a delightful time....

    ‘Now I must stop my 15th letter. I had to get up at 5 A.M., the
    days are so full.’

To the same:—

                                                 ‘_September 1888._

    ‘I think you are beginning to-day, at least you are a good
    deal in my thoughts, and you will want a lot of wisdom. It is
    a comfort to remember, “If any man lack wisdom let him ask of
    God, who giveth to all men liberally.” I am so glad you have
    Miss ——. It is a great thing to have a few who work for love
    only....

    ‘Don’t be hasty in making changes, and don’t take to caps!’

To the same:—

    ‘Be sure the rooms will brighten when you have prayed some
    sunshine into them. It is terrible to have such a lot of
    servants!

    ‘Miss Buss gets her girls to help adorn.

    ‘I am glad we open on St. Matthew’s Day.’

To the same:—

                                                    ‘_August 1888._

    ‘Miss H. and Miss E. wanted me to advise your going out
    socially a little. I said I thought there were as yet
    difficulties, as a Head-mistress cannot choose; that I thought
    for the first term it might be best to abstain; then you can
    look round you and judge better. They did not think there were
    many who would ask you, that those who would were nice, and it
    would be better for you not to be quite shut up. What do you
    think of saying you will go out not more than once a week? You
    have had so active a life; and intercourse with other people,
    and varied interests are good for school teachers. Also they
    think for the school it is good. I merely tell you this, I said
    I could not judge for you.

    ‘I hope you will not be led by anything I said to speak, if
    you do not think it is quite best, or indeed to do anything. I
    cannot judge, and if I could, the responsibility is yours, and
    I should grieve if I misled you.

    ‘I am so glad you feel refreshed. It is our general meeting; I
    shall be glad when it is over.

    ‘All best wishes, dear child, for you and yours, the children
    whom God has given you.’

To the same:—

                                                   ‘_October 1888._

    ‘“Be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” I should not
    answer people who lay snares, we have a good example of this to
    guide us.

    ‘It is so absurd of people to expect one to make up one’s mind
    on all subjects. We can no more judge of many questions of
    foreign or domestic policy than we can about the steering of a
    ship. But we can of questions of morality and cruelty.

    ‘Mrs. Grey’s new book, _Last Words to Girls_, is so grand. I
    hope it will be useful.’

To the same:—

                                                   ‘_October 1888._

    ‘We must put things in the ideal way. Religiosity is the death
    of religion, the grave-clothes which keep the living soul bound
    in the sepulchre; which you have to help to loosen that it may
    come forth at Christ’s word.

    ‘No, I don’t know the Bishop at all personally. I think if he
    will let you consult him, you will find his judgment a great
    help, but after all the responsibility rests on you, you can’t
    put it on any one.’

To the same:—

                                                      ‘_July 1889._

    ‘We have, I should think, quite full numbers now. I have not
    got the lists, but we have at least seventy new pupils; it is
    strange.

    ‘I am better, have managed to be in College every day, by means
    of spending the end in bed. I hope I shall pick up, for work is
    a tonic.’

To the same:—

                                                  ‘_February 1889._

    ‘I am so thankful God gives me any words to help you, my dear
    child. I think, however, it was that passage I sent you from
    Canon Body’s notes, was it not, that really helped you, not
    what I said myself?’

To the same:—

                                                   ‘_January 1890._

    ‘It was nice to see you. Be sure that nothing would be worse
    for you than to have no worries, to have all speak well of you.
    Besides the more you need wisdom the more you will ask and seek
    it, and the more it will come for your needs.

    ‘And it is only by patience under our trials that you can bear
    witness to her and others of the spirit that is in you.’

To the same:—

                                                    ‘_August 1890._

    ‘I shall not, I expect, see you. I do not go to Oxford till
    Saturday, and leave on Monday. I hope you will not be made
    ill at Ammergau; I mean to keep as quiet as I can. I have
    already begun a good read; all Lotze’s book on Religion, _The
    Children of Gibeon_, part of Stanley, a good deal of Green’s
    philosophical works, and _Lux Mundi_, and endless magazines.’

To the same:—

                                                    ‘_August 1890._

    ‘Thanks for your very interesting letter. I think I should
    have felt as you did. I once went to something of the kind in
    Switzerland, and liked some of the early scenes, but after the
    Agony in the Garden I felt I could see no more, and came out....

    ‘I have had such cheering letters lately. One from a girl whom
    I thought the most tiresome I ever knew, about thirty-four
    years ago. She has been writing and saying how sorry she is,
    and wants to send her niece to be under me: “after many days
    thou shalt find it.”’

To the same:—

                                                  ‘_November 1890._

    ‘All good wishes for “more life and fuller.” Don’t trouble
    about not _feeling_. Remember the Lord’s words to those
    unfeeling disciples who went to sleep during His agony: “The
    spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” There is winter as
    well as spring or summer in our spiritual life. “Die Blume
    verblüht, die Frucht muss treiben.” You complain of the outward
    excitement of others, yet you want inward excitement. See how
    in the _Imitatio_ one finds the same sort of feeling. I foresaw
    some reaction; there have been times during the last few years,
    during which you have been overstrained, and now you want a
    period of hybernation, I believe. You will, of course, go on
    doing just the same, as if you felt and saw, and you will
    believe in the Presence, and do your best.’

To the same:—

                                                      ‘_June 1891._

    ‘Don’t fret about what “they say,” not even listen, except to
    learn. I dare say they are right, and have sides of truth that
    we have not. In Tara there are beggars who go about saying:
    “What God gives, I will take”; each of us can only do that.

    ‘I am glad you have got advice; you have been too careless
    with this marvellous body, so complicated and needing to be
    well-treated. You have driven it on, like some poor ass, with
    sticks! Now you must be a little kind to it or it will stand
    still and kick.’

To the same:—

                                                  ‘_February 1892._

    ‘Your Bishop came last Wednesday, and I spoke to him for the
    first time in my life, after having known him for so many
    years. He seemed so bright, and I hope the removal of the load
    of responsibility will restore him, and he will be able to take
    up some less heavy work. He cannot but do good where-ever he
    is: it is wonderful what a spiritual power he is felt to be.
    He did just manage to see us before we broke up, but only in a
    hurried way; then he lunched with me, and when all were gone he
    gave me his blessing, which made me feel worse and better. Do
    you understand?

    ‘I am so glad you are feeling cheered about the school. Don’t
    you think it is right to be content with prosperity as well as
    with adversity?...

    ‘Yes, I read _The Wages of Sin_ when it was coming out, a thing
    I seldom do, but I was much struck with its power. The author
    is a daughter of Kingsley. I don’t feel inclined to read Mrs.
    Ward’s new book.’

To the same:—

                                                      ‘_June 1892._

    ‘ ... I am enjoying my work. I was on the top of Battledown
    before 7 A.M. to-day. It is the best time for a walk....’

To the same:—

                                                      ‘_July 1892._

    ‘Our new building is to begin, and I am miserable at having to
    turn out of my house, which is to be pulled down.’

To the same:—

                                                    ‘_August 1892._

    ‘I think this state is partly reaction; do not bustle about
    it, but take rest. The excitement of last year is, I fancy,
    likely to lead to this; our spiritual faculties need rest after
    overfatigue, so seek repose, “O rest in the Lord.” Read, too,
    some lighter literature. Farrer’s story of Nero’s time I should
    like you to read. It shows what Christianity has done. I had
    a restful time at our Sanatorium after I had got out of my
    house, and now I have had a very pleasant week with my sisters
    at Woodchester. I really think it would be good for you one
    day to make your headquarters at Leckhampton. The country is
    so lovely, the air bracing, and there are all sorts of nice
    excursions by train and omnibus, to most lovely places, and
    there is such variety....

    ‘Be not anxious. Let me recommend you, as a diversion, to learn
    shorthand. I find it very good. Script phonography, it is an
    easy system, you could teach yourself. I am taking lessons; it
    is much liked.’

To the same:—

                                                   ‘_January 1893._

    ‘ ... We began to-day. I dare say I shall feel better when
    we are once more immersed. We are about the same in numbers,
    but there is a great deal of illness about, and we are half
    thinking of having a whooping-cough class, under a separate
    teacher, for Division III.’

To the same:—

                                                      ‘_June 1893._

    ‘I have had a great pleasure lately. Mrs. Russell Gurney
    has been spending six weeks here. You must get her _Dante’s
    Pilgrim’s Progress_, just brought out, you will enjoy it; I
    have given a copy to Mrs. Rix. Mr. Alfred Gurney came to stay
    with her, and he has sent me his _Parsifal_, a little book of
    about eighty pages; it is beautiful too.

    ‘I should like you to read (in part) Mrs. Booth’s _Life_. It is
    very interesting, and I am quite surprised at the clearness and
    truth of her teaching. She seems never to have joined a party,
    but always looked for truth, and hates the God of Calvin and
    the doctrine “of assurance,” and the idea that Christ could be
    good _for us_ and we need not be good. Her utter devotion is
    beautiful. I have not finished it, and I can’t see how the work
    was carried on after the person “was saved.”’

To the same:—

                                                    ‘_August 1894._

    ‘I am so glad you are feeling somewhat refreshed. You really
    _must_ forget “the things that are behind”—the bad things as
    well as the good, or the heart “would fail in looking back.”
    And if no other way opens, and you are both called to go back
    to Truro, you will be able. “I can do all things,” and the
    sorrows for both of you will be like the mist which, though it
    came up from the face of the ground, yet watered Paradise and
    made it fruitful. Does not all consciousness of sin and failure
    bring us nearer not only to Him in Whom alone is strength, but
    to our brothers and sisters in sympathy and compassion. We are
    touched with the feeling of their infirmities.

    ‘So, my dear child (I feel inclined to say children, for this
    has made me feel nearer to your friend), “lift up the hands
    that hang down and the feeble knees, lest that which is weak
    be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed” by your
    sorrows—your wounds too.

    ‘I have had a very pleasant but exhausting time since we met.
    I spent a fortnight at Oxford, attending both Oxford Extension
    and British Association. We heard a good deal about social and
    economic problems. Mr. Sydney Webb and Dr. Rein of Jena, who
    trains men as teachers, gave some nice lectures. Miss Louch
    is come back, having had a delightful time at the Educational
    Congress at the Clarke University, under the Presidency of
    Dr. Stanley Hall. She says she has learned a great deal....
    I think our Training Department has as many if not more than
    any College there is, in spite of not having received any of
    the thousands that have been given to them—or, shall I say,
    because of it? I am sure it is good to have to pay one’s way.
    I believe our Universities would do better work if they had
    nothing. “Then welcome each rebuff.”

    ‘We had many parties at St. Hilda’s, and everybody admired the
    house. The girls enjoy the boat very much; I hope there will be
    no accidents. It is a very safe one, but one is always nervous
    about the water....

    ‘I am pleased with the Higher Cambridge List ... and I am glad
    that we manage to keep up our lists, _because_ we do not buy
    up our neighbours’ girls, and try not to make examinations the
    end. Glad your girl has done so well.

    ‘I am working hard at the Magazine and my Reports to the
    Council, and trying to rest a little after my Oxford labours.
    On Tuesday I hope to go to the hills near Stroud.

    ‘I must lend you some day _Streets and Lanes_, by the late Miss
    Benson. The Archbishop has sent me a copy.

    ‘May God bless and comfort your hearts, my dear children, and
    make this light affliction, which is but for a moment, work out
    an eternal good.’

To the same:—

                                            ‘AMBLESIDE, _May 1895_.

    ‘ ... The lakes are more beautiful and lovable than I had
    imagined. There is a singular charm in the hills round
    Ambleside, they ripple like the sea.

    ‘You must not “feel” while you are so weak, just lie, as
    it were, in the sepulchre, and then come out as Browning’s
    Lazarus.’

To the same:—

                                                      ‘_July 1897._

    ‘I got home from London late last night, and it troubled me,
    and you were much in my mind when I went to church; and in the
    service it seemed to me that it must be your energies were
    to be used to the full, and yet your married life, to which
    you have now been called, does in some degree restrain you.
    Hitherto I have thought you wanted, like an electric eel, to
    recuperate; you have gone through too much lately. To-day, it
    seemed to me as if you should still speak, but in writing; you
    have the power of writing well. I think I speak better than I
    write; I don’t know how you speak, but you can write. Now see
    if speaking is not to be your work whether writing is. How I
    feel I need solitude, and can’t write for want of it; but you
    have solitude enough to enable you to write. A little later,
    as I waited for a message, which sometimes comes at the quiet
    times, the words came: “I became dumb, and opened not my mouth,
    for it was Thy doing.” I thought it was to be sent on to you,
    so there it is; not with your mouth, but with your hand, and
    perhaps to a larger audience. I think the solitude of the cycle
    will help you too....’

There was one friend and old pupil, a writer for whose philosophical
and poetical work in particular Miss Beale had a great admiration, who
received many letters from her. A few extracts from these are given. To
Miss ——:—

                                                  ‘_December 1886._

    ‘I don’t think you will get any food in Spinoza. You say, may
    we not adopt Agnosticism and say of these problems honestly, “I
    will give it up”? But you _cannot_. We may try to, but it is
    not _human_ to be content to be caged in by this little world
    of time and space. That restless discontent reaching out to
    wider knowledge, to the infinite, is surely its own witness.
    If not, Man, the crown of all things on earth, is the only
    irrational creature upon it. You will not be able to give up
    philosophy.

    ‘I quite agree that we are not to be allowed here so to “make
    up our minds.” That spirit ever open to receive more light, is
    what our Master spoke of as the childlike spirit.

    ‘Have you seen a little sixpenny book by Armstrong of Leeds?
    He is a Unitarian, so I do not agree with the end; but all
    the early chapters on the Belief in God are very good, and I
    think you would like it. There are also some very satisfactory
    sermons by Professor Momerie on the existence of the soul.
    I read a great deal of philosophy when I get time. Have you
    read Martineau’s _Types of Ethical History_? If not, do. Also
    Green’s _Prolegomena to Ethics_. Last summer I read Lotze’s
    _Microcosmus_, but I should recommend the two others rather.

    ‘I wish you entered more than I think you do into Browning’s
    thoughts. He has, it seems to me, so clearly set forth the main
    basis of Faith, not systematically, but recurrently.

    ‘We must work out these matters for ourselves; but rest
    we cannot. You cannot in the presence of your brother’s
    suffering—you cannot in the presence of death say: “I care not
    to lift the veil, or ever to know whether there is a curtain
    behind which we pass or a dark abyss.”

    ‘Indeed, dear child, I do feel for you. When you are freer, you
    must come and see me, and we will talk over things. I shall
    not think you wicked, but believe that you do want to know
    God, and that He is sorry for you, because you do care, but
    cannot see.... It is only the contemptuous, what I may call the
    omniscient Agnostic, that I do not want to have anything to do
    with; those who _sneer_ at the most pathetic aspirations and
    hopes. The reverent and yet sorrowful doubt which yet longs for
    dawn, shall one day be blest by the sunrise, here or hereafter.’

To the same:—

                                                ‘_January 5, 1887._

    ‘MY DEAR CHILD,—No; I don’t mind your saying anything that is
    in your heart.

    ‘As regards knowledge. We use this word, it seems, in different
    senses. It is not at all identical with “to form a conception
    of”: _e.g._ I cannot form a conception of what gravitation or
    electricity is, but I _know_ each in a sense. These are names
    for something without which the kosmos as it is could not be.
    Or I might perhaps illustrate better by saying I can form no
    _conception_ of the Universe, no _complete_ conception, and
    yet from my isolated spot I look up and say, _it is_. Of what
    _can_ we form a complete conception? Not of the “flower in the
    crannied wall.”

    ‘Any other explanation of the facts of the Universe seems to
    me incredible, except one, viz., that it is the utterance
    of supreme Wisdom and Love, and that it is adapted to the
    intelligence of finite beings. The Unity of law tells us there
    is _one_ God, the Creator and Ruler. As regards the hypothesis
    of order coming out of chance atoms—the myth of a primæval
    chaos—can any one entertain it? _Ex nihil nihil_; the order we
    see in evolution must have existed with the original atoms, if
    such were the basis of created life.

    ‘No, I do not think it your _fault_, but the fault of Spinoza’s
    system that it cannot give you satisfaction. It is a revival,
    only in another form, too, of the old Greek thought of Zeus,
    over whom there was another God, Fate. So Spinoza’s and the
    Greek Supreme were not Supreme.

    ‘Of course I can do nothing in a letter but suggest lines of
    thought and lines of reading. After Armstrong, I should most
    like you to take either Green’s _Prolegomena_ or Martineau’s
    _Types_, and read both several times. Green will help you to
    see the unity underlying all possibility of knowledge.

    ‘It is perhaps more than anything the harmony of the Threefold
    Unity which helps me to realise the conception of the divine
    which Jesus uttered most clearly.

    ‘One sees the absolute physical unity, each atom forming part
    of the complete whole, and standing in vital relation to the
    whole.

    ‘One sees all knowledge as real, only when it takes its place
    as in (can I say part of?) the Universal thought. One can see
    things only when one sees all in God. But one sees that this
    which we have separated off as physical nature, is yet the
    means and the condition of the intellectual too; for Light,
    which is necessary to vital processes, is the means by which
    the Universal thought is revealed to our intelligence, by which
    God touches, as it were, from without and awakens, and causes
    truly to live, our intellectual being.

    ‘Thirdly, each—the physical, the intellectual—are felt by us
    to be the means to the highest of all, the perfection of the
    moral nature. Without this, goodness, power, and intellect
    would be worthless or horrible; and as the material can only be
    translated into the conception by the intellectual, so we feel
    that the moral alone can interpret the intellectual.

    ‘That the full solution is not ours must seem natural to us,
    who know ourselves to be shut in by space and time. But I am
    sure that men will not long remain blind to other facts, as
    they have been to some extent in this generation, owing to the
    scientific sudden growth of our day.

    ‘The facts of conscience are to me quite inexplicable on
    any other hypothesis than that of One who is supremely good
    speaking to His children, not through “eye or ear,” but
    directly. There is the unity of consciousness which makes
    memory possible, and moral judgment possible; and yet there
    is a secondary consciousness, the “categorical imperative,”
    the ideal goodness, ever revealing to man a higher and
    better. What if the conscience has never—I should say Except
    in One—received the perfect vision of goodness? This is only
    to say that the receiver is limited and imperfect, not that
    the perfect spiritual sun is not, or rather I should say the
    universal light, for the sun is a localisation of that which
    is invisible; is saturating through infinite space. Words ever
    fail.

    ‘I know that endless questions are still unanswered, but this
    seems to me to be a real knowledge, which is consistent and
    which gives peace, that all other theories are inconsistent,
    and that the highest, the moral being is starved upon them.’

To the same:—

                                               ‘_January 27, 1892._

    ‘ ... The Bishop of Gloucester was here to-day, and began
    talking about your Goethe, which he praised; he is a good
    judge. I thought you would like to know. Would you send him the
    book, and say I have asked you; he will tell people about it.
    He reads philosophy too, and specially advises _Lotze_.’

To the same:—

          ‘Written from SUDELEY CASTLE, (probably) _December 1893_.

    ‘I fetched your Magazine from the Post Office about five
    o’clock, and I have just read it through. I must express to you
    how delighted I am with it. It is so clear, so well written, it
    gets to the centre of things. I have seen nothing you have done
    at all to compare with it. I must get the number. I think I
    shall take in the Magazine, it looks good throughout. A friend
    takes the philosophical review and lends it to me. I might
    take this and lend it to her. I have a paper in hand against
    an article in that, but I fear I shall not be able to polish
    it off. You must have had days, _weeks_, of quiet thought to
    write this. This makes me want you still more to go to Oxford,
    and get to know Caird. Did I tell you I lunched with Jowett
    _tête-à-tête_ not long before his death?

    ‘You must come and see me if I can’t come to you....’

    ‘PS.—If you lend it to other friends, ascertain about the
    postage.’

To the same:—

                                                  ‘_November 1895._

    ‘ ... I am sending you a little book on _Psychology_ by a young
    teacher and writer. I wish she had shown me the MS. or the
    proof. If you feel inclined to look at it, and give her a few
    written criticisms I should be glad. We want so much common
    language in all these subjects, words are used so differently;
    _e.g._ “conception” is not generally used as she does.
    Intuition is another which we must fix the meaning of, for
    each book one reads. _Real_, _reason_, etc., want defining. A
    dictionary of philosophical terms should be made by some people
    authorised to establish an Eirenicon.’

To the same:—

                                                         ‘_? 1896._

    ‘No; I am sure you _ought not_ to give anything. I am sorry
    even that the notice was sent you. Perhaps, however, you may
    know some one or ones who may have money that they want to put
    out in some way for the Master’s service, and might think this
    a right way. We shall not get on if the Guild has to produce
    funds unasked. I don’t want _any one_ to be asked, but they
    might be shown a paper.’

To the same:—

                                                   ‘_January 1897._

    ‘ ... I find I read _Not made in Germany_ without knowing it
    was yours. It is prettily written, but I don’t consider such
    things worthy of you, and the variations on that _one_ tune
    are so very numerous. I wish we, like the Greeks, had things
    written which turned on other problems. These things are very
    well as a diversion. I wonder what is the subject of the novel.

    ‘One of our teachers has been translating a book of Herbart’s.
    I have sent for his introduction to philosophy. I will tell you
    if I think it would do for what I want; something giving the
    fundamental questions which come before beginners. Herbart is
    much read now, but he is difficult to translate, and the people
    who have tried have not been very successful; I wonder if you
    have read any of him.

    ‘I send a letter of introduction to Miss Swanwick, I suppose
    you know her translations and writings. I think she is only
    second to Mrs. Browning, and she is charming, and young still.
    When I last saw her, the friend of so many distinguished
    people, her memory was wonderful. Tennyson had one of her books
    open upon his table during the last days.’

To the same:—

                                                 ‘(Date uncertain.)

    ‘ ... Herbart is a power. I have not got the book yet. You
    really must not let yourself be diverted altogether from
    philosophy. You have not thought and suffered so much for
    nothing, and though your philosophy will come out in most
    things, even in stories, you _must_ give it us sometimes
    “neat.” You remind me of Darwin’s earth-worms; you have
    had to burrow and work underground, and you have turned up
    some fruitful soil. Well, the Spirit which led you into the
    wilderness will bring you out of it, and anoint you to tell
    some good tidings.’

To the same:—

                                                   ‘_July 4, 1898._

    ‘ ... I am glad to hear you have come to a satisfactory
    agreement with Blackwood. It is an advantage to have a leading
    publisher. Now as regards the sonnet. I don’t feel as if
    anything could make the Eros of later Greek religion pure. He
    and Aphrodite have fallen from heaven, and I cannot think of
    them at the same time with the Sufferer on Calvary—so it rather
    jars on my feelings.

    ‘I know there is behind the myth the thought of love, of one
    who is the offspring of truth and purity, of perfect beauty.
    But love, associated with Eros as we know him, is not love....

    ‘I am feeling wonderfully well; the body responds to the
    spirit, and is refreshed too by the sympathy of my dear
    children.’

Miss Beale’s correspondence with her ‘children’ frequently concerned
spiritual and mental difficulties of various kinds. One or two of the
letters she wrote on such questions follow.

To one in religious doubt:—

                                                        ‘(Undated.)

    ‘ ... How I wish some one abler and better than I could help
    you now, but as God has given you to me, and something of a
    mother’s heart with my children, I must try.

    ‘First: I would resolve to take some fixed time each day, say
    ten minutes on first rising, just to plume one’s feathers for
    some short flights above the earth.

    ‘Secondly: I would think of some of the blessings and thank God
    for them.

    ‘Thirdly: Then I would plead for light; “Show me Thy glory;
    but I would ask in humility, being content to wait till the
    third or even the fourth watch.” I would ask, “Show me the
    Father and it sufficeth; let me know Thy love, if I cannot
    bear Thy glory.” And I would utter _the prayer_ not only in
    aspiration in spoken words, or only in feeling (which is the
    music of prayer), but I would utter it in act, by reading in
    a childlike spirit some Scripture—climbing as it were the
    Delectable Mountains with the shepherds, and trying to make out
    something through their glasses. Ask that same Spirit, which
    has taught the spirit of man, and which I believe taught you
    specially,—not for your own, but for the Church’s sake, to show
    to you spiritual truths.

    ‘Fourthly: Then I would see if there was some selfishness, some
    “Evil Eye” preventing my seeing, and ask deliverance from any
    besetting sin.

    ‘Fifthly: I would ask God to let me offer some sacrifice,
    permit me to join with Him, to hold communion with Him in
    blessing another, and try to look for some to whom I might give
    some cup of refreshment, some way of entering into His joy, and
    of crucifying self.

    ‘Sixthly: I would place myself under such influences as have
    lifted the souls of others. I would join in common worship as
    much as possible in our prayers here and at Church.

    ‘Seventhly: I would receive the teaching of Jesus, and through
    the bread and wine of earth ask God to feed me with the
    Heavenly Manna.

    ‘Will you, my child, try some of these ways, and not be soon
    weary? In _due_ season you will reap, if you faint not.

    ‘Perhaps you will soon find some ways more suited to yourself
    than some of those I have suggested; but you asked me. I
    will try to get a beautiful prayer I have heard asking for
    light. It may be that the answer will be a baptism of fire;—a
    heaping coals of fire on our heads, and thus purifying us from
    evil. I would say earnestly, compel yourself (though often
    unwillingly), to look up to the Father, as the noblest souls
    have done in all ages, whether Christian or not. You must catch
    some beams of heavenly light, and see, as St. Stephen did, that
    man may be glorified to stand at the Right Hand of God, and to
    share with Him in carrying out His purposes of love. I think
    you will be led on to see the Father revealed in the Son; to me
    He is the Way, and it seems His words are true for us now: “No
    man cometh _unto_ the Father (cometh near so as to see and know
    Him) but by Me.”

    ‘May the Good Shepherd lead you to green pastures and the still
    waters of comfort.’

To one who found danger and unreality in forms and ceremonies, and who
wrote: ‘I feel I am cutting myself off from you in writing like this.’
She replied:—

    ‘_PS._—Nothing will cut you off from me. I thought I had given
    no rules, only such suggestions as a heathen philosopher might
    have followed. I wrote my letter hastily; I should like to see
    what I said.

    ‘Your letter gave me pain, which was partly selfish, to find I
    was too ignorant to help you. We must have a little talk some
    day.’

To one who had written that she had to fight hard against pessimism
caused by much unaccountable and apparently needless suffering. She
answered:—

                                              ‘_November 10, 1895._

    ‘I think our faith in God, as in any person, rests more on what
    He is than what He does....

    ‘Now I come to the conclusion:—

    ‘(1) That in Nature is revealed an intelligence whose limits
    we cannot see; One, _i.e._ infinitely wise and mighty. (2) In
    good men we see benevolence, the earnest desire to bless up to
    the limits of their power. In the Christ we see this without
    any limit of selfishness, and we say, If Man, the Son, is thus
    loving, then the Father is love. “No man knoweth the Father,
    but the Son.” We can approach God, so as to know the character
    of God, only thus, it seems to me. You have here the argument
    of Saul (Browning). Then when you allege against the witness
    of the heart, the facts of Nature, I answer that however
    inexplicable by us these facts are, this witness for God, which
    comes from within, cannot be overthrown.

    ‘Nor, indeed, does that fact of animals preying on one another
    trouble me much. Death to them, _i.e._ the stopping of the
    activities of life suddenly, whilst they are in full vigour,
    seems better than the gradual decay of sickness. There is with
    them no anticipation and no joy in cruelty.

    ‘The facts of moral evil, those are what seem to overwhelm
    one at times. There are children born into such terrible
    surroundings, we say. There again we can see a little way up
    into the darkness, and trust. We do see that the redemption of
    the lost is often effected by the knowledge that others suffer
    through their sin....

    ‘Do we not know enough of our interests and God’s infinite
    wisdom to make us trust God for the universal good? Men must be
    left to work out the consequences of evil, to bear them, and
    learn it is God’s purpose for them to rise out of the darkness
    into increasing love of His holy will. At length regenerated
    humanity will so enter into sympathy with the Spirit of God
    mediated through the indwelling Christ, that things in Heaven
    and earth will be recapitulated in Him the Head, and will
    become intelligently and lovingly obedient to that will. The
    cost of suffering is as nothing compared with the infinite
    good. I can only sketch the outline of my faith.’

The letter which follows was written to a pupil who, while she was at
school, did not personally know Miss Beale very well. A talk at a Guild
meeting eleven years after she left revealed to Miss Beale’s penetrating
eye some distress caused by disillusionment and disappointment. A
fortnight afterwards she wrote:—

                                                      ‘_July 1898._

    ‘I have so often thought of our interrupted conversation, and
    must take a bit of my first Saturday evening to write a line.

    ‘You were feeling, I judge, somewhat as Wordsworth did when
    he wrote the _Ode on Immortality._ This is, I think, how the
    matter stands. When we are young, we think that perfection,
    _i.e._ the ideal, can be found on earth—we set up, perhaps,
    some earthly idol, and endow it with every excellence. Then
    we find that we have been in a measure mistaken. What shall
    we do? Doubtless there does then come upon us the shadow of
    a great darkness, as we find how much evil there is, and
    we are tempted to believe the lying word of Satan, that
    the kingdoms of the world are his. Shall we then lower our
    ideal, say we will conform to that which is, or believe the
    heavenly proclamation—“the kingdoms of this world are become
    the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ”—and work on to
    make this as true as we can for our own souls, and for those
    near us? We see that the ideals cannot be realised on earth,
    because this is a place of discipline. Many make a worldly
    marriage because they give up their ideal, and conform to what
    is, instead of ever striving to bring about what ought to
    be—nothing can make that right. But on the other hand we must
    be content to be the companions of those who, like ourselves,
    are “compassed about with infirmities,” to arm them for the
    fight with evil, and to love those who are not perfect, as
    Britomart did the Red Cross Knight. What I want you all to
    keep before you is that one day the ideal will be realised, as
    the Bible and our own hearts assure us, and to join the army
    of light and go right on, confident of eventual victory. You
    have, my dear child, a somewhat heavy burden of responsibility
    for your age, and you miss the sustaining hand, but you must
    not look down, but up! Take our first Cambridge Room motto:

        “As the soar falcon, so I strive to fly,
        In contemplation of the immortal sky.”

    There we may look for the realisation of our earthly
    endeavours, as Abt Vogler teaches. I wonder if you read
    Browning. I wish you had a Browning Society.—With much
    sympathy, ...’

To one who had written of the ‘Intolerance of Church people’:—

                                                      ‘_July 1884._

    ‘ ... But it does seem to me quite impossible in education
    to leave religion an open question, _i.e._, to teach without
    hypothesis. How could we unite into one coherent whole the
    teaching of optics, unless we presuppose the undulatory theory?
    Or the facts of astronomy without the theory of gravitation?
    Yet both may be, and are questioned. For some philosophical
    theory must underlie all things, and no one can, it seems to
    me, teach history, or geography, or science without it. We who
    believe in Christian philosophy, and feel that it alone makes
    the universe intelligible, and life worth living for ourselves
    or others; who think that it is the power needed to give life
    to the world, and to deliver us from evil and all the misery
    which oppresses us, naturally desire with all the energy of
    our being to teach it, and we most of us would not let little
    differences hinder our working with those who acknowledge the
    immeasurable blessings of Christ’s teaching. Here I found
    dissenters wishing that the teaching of our College should
    be Church; because they said there must be some basis; that
    they would rather let their children hear sometimes what they
    disagreed with, and judge for themselves, than that there
    should be no definite teaching. They thought our Church was on
    the whole the most liberal.

    ‘I am so grieved, dear friend, that any of us should bring
    disgrace on our Teacher by our faults, but when we do what our
    Master, the Truth, disapproved, the blame should not rest on
    Him. It would not be just to you if we called a child who was
    in your class and loved you, by your name when she told a lie.
    Nor should you say, “See what Christians do,” when they sin
    against Christ. _In so far_ as they are untruthful they are
    un-Christian.

    ‘Then, had you not, even as you admit, condemned utterly those
    whose conduct admitted of a more favourable interpretation?
    We are not utterly truthful, unless we do more than act up
    to our convictions, unless we do our utmost to make those
    convictions as near the truth as we are able. And do you know
    I felt so disappointed after talking to you the other day,
    because it seemed to me as if you had not cared to search
    into the depths of things, as if you were content to float
    about instead of searching for the rock beneath the flood.
    Our apprehension of the truth regarding the goodness of God,
    and His purpose for us, and our duty to our Father and to one
    another, seems to me the priceless pearl. I found you had not
    read what I thought you would have read, the works in which the
    ages have indeed drawn for us pictures of those who wrestled
    with God in the darkness and cried—“Tell me Thy Name.” And now
    you disappoint me again, as some other of my dear Agnostic
    friends. They seem wanting in the tenderness of those who ever
    look up to Jesus Christ, and therefore learn to feel in the
    light of His example. This our miserable failure, the habitual
    self-examination and definite confession of sin, helps us to.
    There, I have told you what is in my heart. The former on
    thinking over our conversation I meant to say, because I love
    you. The latter, (the want of sympathy,) I did not know of. I
    wonder if you will misunderstand me now,—perhaps,—but I have
    felt you did not before.’

The following was written to a former student, who after a time of great
religious privilege had been assailed by special temptation:—

                                                    ‘_August 1888._

    ‘MY DEAR FRIEND,—I am grieved that you have suffered so much,
    and yet it was not sent you in vain. It was to correct faults
    in yourself, and to help you in your vocation to correct those
    in others. You did not, I feel sure, yield to the wrong, but
    fought against it, and temptation is not sin.

    ‘I have been thinking what you could read. Do you know
    Froebel’s own works? I think some of these (which are not light
    reading) would be nice for you on your travels. I like always a
    book that is suitable for a little reading and much thinking.
    He is so bathed in the spirit of love, so deeply Christian and
    so full of the spirit of liberty. When you come home you must
    come and pay us a visit,—that and Rosmini I should like you to
    read. I have asked Miss Gore to send you one of my photos, in
    case you care to have it, when we go home.—With deep sympathy,
    yours most sincerely,

                                                         D. BEALE.’

Among the letters are many to old pupils on the deaths of relations or
friends. The next was written to Miss Alice Owen, now Mrs. Mark Collet,
on the anniversary of her mother’s death:—

                                                      ‘_June 1891._

    ‘This was a birthday eight years ago into a world of larger
    scope than this, and I feel as if her spirit were still
    watching over those she loved on earth....

    ‘Surely the tides of eternal love, flowing in upon our narrow
    lives, will make us all of one spirit, sorrowing and rejoicing
    with one another, instead of judging, because we feel, as she
    taught in that beautiful parable, that we are one.

    ‘May our Lord give you an ever larger measure of His own love.’

The next letter refers to the death of Mrs. Russell Gurney:—

                                                   ‘_October 1896._

    ‘I got a letter from Orme Square this morning. Our beloved
    friend entered into rest yesterday. I think of the glad meeting
    of those who were kindred souls on earth. I had also a note
    from Addington saying how thankful Mrs. Benson is, and happy in
    spite of her loss.’

Several other letters of a kindred nature follow.

To Miss Giles, on the death of her father:—

                                                     ‘_April 1871._

    ‘Still in one way we who are old suffer less from parting. To
    us the time seems so short, ere we may hope to meet once more
    where are no more partings or tears.’

To Miss Susan Wood, on the death of her mother:—

                                                       ‘_May 1880._

    ‘I need not tell you I have felt much for you. One could not
    have wished the suffering prolonged, and yet one does not feel
    the loss less. Happily, one seems generally to forget, when all
    is over, the last painful incidents of the sickness, and to
    remember the past years. Few have had a more devoted mother.
    How proud she was of your successes! How old it makes us feel
    when we take our place in the front rank of the army of life;
    may we be able to say, when we too are struck down, “I have
    fought a good fight.” May God bless your work, my dear child,
    to the everlasting weal of those whom He has given you.’

To Miss Frances Crawley, afterwards Mrs. Wells:—

                                                      ‘_July 1881._

    ‘I must write you one line of sympathy in this great sorrow. I
    know how much you loved your dear father, and had longed for
    this visit, and now there will be a great blank. You will not
    think now “How glad he will be if I do well.” But on the other
    hand, my dear child, you will feel you must be more than ever
    to your mother. You children will be all to her now. Besides,
    God never takes but He also gives—only we often miss the gift
    because we don’t look for it. He will help you to know Him
    better as your Father, partly because you will think of your
    own father as near Him, for where our treasure is, there our
    hearts are also. You will think more of pleasing Him, and so
    preparing to meet those who have loved you and loved God, where
    there will be no more death for ever.’

To an old pupil, on the death of her father:—

                                               ‘_November 9, 1896._

    ‘MY DEAR CHILD,—This is indeed a blessed death for one so good
    as your father; you must give thanks for him.

    ‘There is no service I think so strengthening as the burial;
    may you be comforted and strengthened for the battle of life
    by a clearer vision of that unseen host which is ever near,
    though “our eyes are holden that we see them not” through want
    of faith. Soon must we join their ranks. Shall we join in their
    psalms of thanksgiving?’

To Miss Strong, on the death of Miss Margaret Clarke:—

                                               ‘_February 3, 1897._

    ‘Indeed I am grieved; she has been a power for good, and has
    sent out some grand workers, and I shall miss her greatly. I am
    thankful I was with her at Christmas.

    ‘One feels sure “her works will follow her,” and He who gave
    her power will raise up others. It is, so far as one can see,
    too heavy a burden for Kate alone. Her memory will be a power,
    her life was so wonderfully guided, and one feels sure she has
    work to do beyond, for which the training of earth will have
    prepared her.’

To Miss Rowand, on the death of her mother:—

                                                      ‘_June 1901._

    ‘It is grievous for you and those who loved that dear and
    noble, simple-minded woman, for her goodness gave unity to her
    life. Now the alabaster box is broken, only the fragrance of
    the life remains. She has been spared the living death such as
    I have seen, when the soul finds in the body a tomb. She is
    released and doubtless carries on ministries of love with your
    noble father and beloved brother.

    ‘I have just seen Fräulein, whose only sister has just passed
    away.

    ‘How little the sorrows of earth will seem to us as we look
    back, I think; even as many which even here issue in blessing.
    We realise that all things do indeed “work together for good to
    them that love God,” and I know that through this fresh sorrow
    the fire will burn up more and more of the earthly, so that the
    spirit may shine forth more brightly “to give light to all that
    are in the house.”—Yours with deep sympathy and affection.’

To Miss Caines, just before her death:—

                                                     ‘_March 1901._

    ‘MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,—We can only pray now that if it be God’s
    will you may be spared to the many who love you, and to whom
    you have been a blessing during these many years of faithful
    service. But if the Master should come and call for you, then
    He will go with you through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
    His Rod and Staff which stay your tottering steps will comfort
    you, and He will bring you forth to the light.

    ‘We must say for you and for ourselves;—“Jesus, I trust Thee.”
    We do believe that what the world calls Death is birth into a
    brighter world.

    ‘May we all meet again where sorrow and sighing are no
    more.—With much love, your very affectionate.’

To a friend, on the death of Miss Caines:—

    ‘This morning my dear friend passed away, full of peace and
    content to go. The children have been all that we could wish,
    full of sympathy, but quietly impressed and very sorrowful.
    We do not wish them to leave, but to learn to look calmly on
    death, and hopefully up to Him Who has taught His servants to
    triumph over death....

    ‘The loss to me is more than I can say. God’s will be done.’

The next letter is to Mrs. Cooper,[105] a much-loved old pupil, who in
1902 lost a son, a promising young artist, and seven months later her
husband through death:—

                                                      ‘_June 1903._

    ‘I am sending you such a nice sermon by our good bishop, which
    I think you will like. I quite agree with you that one ought
    not to seek intercourse through mediums. I would never join
    the Psychical Society. It was _right_ to enquire as these
    scientific men have done, but the inexperienced are almost sure
    to be taken in by such, and it seems to me that we ought not to
    try to draw aside the veil but wait until God’s herald bids us
    enter.

    ‘I think you must expect to feel the sense of loss becoming
    greater, but then you will get to feel how short is the time of
    mourning on earth, and to ascend in heart and mind—and so to
    be above the storms and clouds of earth—even as the lark—and
    yet with him to hover over the earthly home, “that nest which
    you can drop into at will,—Those quivering limbs comprest.”
    You will want to speak to and help others with the comfort
    wherewith you are comforted of God....

    ‘It is nice to look back on that time forty years ago. I
    remember your confessions to me then. Well, you have not been
    forsaken, nor left to beg your bread.’

To the same:—

                                                   ‘_October 1903._

    ‘I have just heard of this fresh trouble. Surely you must be
    intended to do some work for others specially needing heart’s
    blood.—This paper was put into my hands just as I heard of your
    fresh disappointment and anxiety.’

To the Misses Hibbert Ware, on the death of their sister:—

                                                     ‘_March 1905._

    ‘Indeed one ought only to give thanks for her. I think of her
    looking down on us all at peace having escaped from the long
    enduring pain associated with this earthly body, and springing
    up like the lark into the larger heaven.

    ‘Well, we must wait to understand these things which it has
    not entered into the heart of man to conceive in all their
    joyful reality, though in some measure they are revealed here
    to saintly souls which have been made partakers of Christ’s
    sufferings.’

To Mrs. Mace, on the death of her husband:—

                                                       ‘_May 1906._

    ‘Only to-day did I hear of the death of Mr. Mace.... It did
    seem grievous after his suffering with so much courage and
    hope the operation. One can only give thanks now that the soul
    has escaped from “the body of humiliation,” through which
    it has risen to the spiritual life. I don’t like the word
    resurrection, ἀνάστασις does not suggest that the soul has put
    on its old clothing, after being delivered from the body of
    corruption. You must be glad that he is free.’

Miss Beale wrote several letters, from which extracts are given, to Miss
Belcher during her last illness.

The following was written after the Head-mistresses’ Conference on
October 8 and 9 at Oxford in 1898:—

                                                   ‘_October 1898._

    ‘MY DEAR FRIEND,—I got home last night. Everybody was asking
    and thinking about you and missing you so much. I hoped for a
    line this morning; Susan will doubtless write to-day. I brought
    back Agnes Body for the Sunday here. The text in my birthday
    book for to-day is: “I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail
    not.” I know this prayer is fulfilled for you. How I long to
    have some real talk with you now; but I think even in the body
    there is communion, and still more out of the body. It seems
    to me as if Miss Carter must be with you. Your love and care
    for her was returned in blessings on your own life, and through
    you on others. Miss Strong looks ill. She has been staying with
    her Bishop; that will strengthen her. That good Miss Day of
    Westminster was there, and sweet Mrs. Woodhouse of Sheffield.

    ‘I feel sure the Conference will do good, there were so many
    good women there;—only we missed _one_.’

A day or two later she wrote:—

    ‘MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,—I feel somewhat cheered by Susan’s letter
    to-night. Each morning I have so many enquiries, “Have you
    heard?” Susan is good in writing. Here are three letters from
    some staying at St. Hilda’s, where we were always thinking of
    you....

    ‘Just two years on the 11th, since the Archbishop fell asleep.
    I wonder if he looks down at the school, and its first
    Head-mistress too. Shall we see and be able in some measure to
    “succour” those on earth? May the peace of God which passeth
    all understanding be with you.’

The next alludes to a proposed visit of Miss Beale to Miss Belcher:—

                                                 ‘_St. Luke’s Day._

    ‘DEAR FRIEND,—I am so looking forward to Friday. I thought
    of you so much on this the Physician’s day, as we sang that
    beautiful hymn and Psalm xxx.; and our window told of the
    raising of the daughter by the Healer. My own life seems to me
    almost a resurrection, I must hope that you too may be raised
    up to do work on earth, ere you go to a higher sphere.’

After this visit Miss Belcher wrote:—

    ‘MY DEAR FRIEND,—The strength and comfort of your visit has
    been with me ever since, and far from its doing me any harm it
    has done me untold good. May God bless you for having imparted
    to me so richly of the “comfort wherewith you yourself have
    been comforted of God.” I do so trust you were not over-tired;
    hope to hear from some one to-morrow.

    ‘Will you call me Marian in our private letters? I have never
    liked being only Miss Belcher, and since the close communion
    and rich gift of yesterday, I feel I should like it.’

Miss Beale’s reply was:—

                                               ‘_October 23, 1898._

    ‘DEAREST MARIAN,—It is good to hear that you were none the
    worse for my visit, and that our Lord put into my mouth some
    words of comfort. I shall hope to hear about Dr. Broadbent. I
    had a nice note from Susan. All here were so glad to get news
    of you direct....

    ‘I wonder if you know Fechner’s little book; there is one
    chapter I like much, from which I am sending you some extracts.’

The next letter was written after an operation Miss Belcher had
undergone:—

    ‘ ... I lingered this morning, and the postman brought me
    Susan’s cheerful letter, just as I was starting, and I was able
    to make the service specially a Eucharist on your account.
    What a wonderful epistle; it is one to feed on. It tells
    how suffering strengthens the inner man, and enlarges one’s
    sympathies and makes us know the love of God. And the Gospel
    tells of renewed life after going down nearly to the grave.
    You and I can give thanks for both; may St. Paul’s wish be
    accomplished in us.’

Miss Belcher replied:—

                                                 ‘_Sunday Evening._

    ‘MY DEAR MISS BEALE,—My first few lines written by myself must
    be to you. All through last week the Epistle and your words
    about it have been such a help. It was just like one of your
    Scripture lessons every day all to myself. I am still going on
    so well, but of course it must take time, and I am not out of
    the wood. Still, as you said, all is well and will be well.
    Thank you so much for Lilla’s letter. I am so sorry she is not
    well, and Lucy Soulsby too. I am so rejoiced to hear you are
    so well and vigorous, and that College is overflowing. How
    wonderful it all is, and so inspiring.

    ‘I had begun Archbishop Benson’s _St. Cyprian_ and your book
    before the operation, but have been too weak to read since. I
    hope to begin to-morrow. If you have read anything lately you
    think I should like, will you tell me the names? It must not
    be philosophy. I hope to have the best papers of the Church
    Congress read to me....’

Shortly after this Miss Belcher wrote herself on an anticipated visit
from another physician:—

    ‘MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,— ... Dr. Robson of Leeds comes to-morrow.
    I know you will pray that the “right judgment” will be given.
    It is thought he will operate, but not certain. Please let
    Eliza and Susan Draper know. I cannot forget all I owe to
    you, my friend and guide, of so many years. We have a private
    celebration to-morrow at eight, but you will not get this in
    time to think of us.—Ever your loving and grateful friend,

                                                       ‘M. BELCHER.

    ‘You shall hear as soon as possible.’

       *       *       *       *       *

    ‘_Dearest Marian_,—I have heard from Susan.... Of course we
    can’t understand, and we only know that all is well. I thought
    of you so much at prayers this morning. I read the Lesson
    instead of the Epistle. “The souls of the righteous are in the
    hands of God, and there shall no torment touch them.” We missed
    your accustomed visit on the term holiday yesterday.’

       *       *       *       *       *

                                   ‘_First Sunday in Advent, 1898._

    ‘MY VERY DEAR MARIAN,—We were all so full of hope at first,
    and are much disappointed that relief has not come, but that
    you are still stretched upon the cross. “No chastening for the
    present seemeth to be joyous but grievous, yet at such times
    one can just _think_ of the ‘Mystery of Pain,’ and realise
    that each sufferer does in uniting his will with God’s in some
    measure, ‘fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of
    Christ ... for His body’s sake.’” I think perhaps you may be
    suffering specially for one, that her faith may be once more
    awakened. Every sufferer thus “lifted up” does in a measure
    draw the hearts of others to Him through whom we are able to
    reveal the power of faith.... I said to Miss Drummond, “I dare
    say you would not have been spared any of the suffering”; she
    answered so heartily, “not one half-hour.” We see now what a
    wonderful work she did among the College boys, and it must be
    that your suffering is a part of the work God has given you to
    do for the school, and that you, too, will be enabled to say
    “not one half-hour,” when the darkness passes away, and the
    true light shines into the things of earth, and we know as we
    are known. I know that suffering so _claims_ the attention, but
    one can only know and believe, not feel it; but it is much to
    live by faith. Faith is the illuminating power through which
    alone we truly know. Was not Miss Carter’s suffering felt by
    you to be mediatorial too, and you are her successor. I shall
    try to spend a few days with Miss Martin at Christmas.

    ‘To-day the Jairus window comes before me; the thought of the
    Lord sending away all those who pressed round the maiden, that
    she might know the advent of Him who is the Lord and Giver of
    life.’

The following is the last letter Miss Beale wrote to Miss Belcher:—

                                               ‘_December 5, 1898._

    ‘MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,—I have tried to write several times,
    but tore up what I wrote. Susan is good in telling me about
    you, and at times my heart sinks, when I think of all you are
    suffering, though there do seem to me to be some hopeful
    signs.... Well, we ought not, I suppose, to wish, we are so
    sure that “in all our afflictions He is afflicted,” and “the
    angel of His presence saves us,” and makes our souls strong to
    bear and our “light affliction is but for a moment.”

    ‘I dare say this term has seemed to you unending. I think when
    the strain of thinking about school is taken off, you will feel
    stronger. I hope to go to Kilburn from January 5 to the 9th;
    there we shall think much about you. I am just writing about
    St. Hilda’s East.... Things seem going on well, I think I shall
    stay there after the Retreat, and try to get more into touch.’

Enclosed in this letter were some verses from Ken’s ‘Midnight Hymn,’ with
the words, ‘I thought you might like this if awake at night.’

After Miss Belcher’s death on December 15, 1898, Miss Beale wrote to Miss
Strong: ‘Three of my noble-hearted friends gone so lately—Miss Buss, Miss
Clarke, and Marian Belcher. The road to the Dark Tower gets lonely, but
we look beyond.’

A few letters on general subjects are given. The first of these was
written to Miss Susan Wood, in 1897, in reply to an inquiry about women
teachers:—

    ‘I should not like to say I would have none but women teachers.
    I consider a combination good, better than either men or women
    only. Still, if a woman is equal in knowledge and ability, I
    consider she generally teaches better than a man. If all women
    are ultimately forced to go to the University, the higher
    teaching will be taken out of their hands, or else women will
    teach there.’

The following extract, from a letter to Miss Sturge in October 1902,
deals with the developments of the College:—

    ‘The numbers enable us to have an aggregate of schools and to
    have virtually about seven who might have and ought—Headships
    elsewhere, had they not an independent sphere of their own.

    ‘Lastly, are you right in saying that an inspiring personality
    can be taken away? The inspiration is not from any person
    who can pass away; we are but the earthen vessels; the light
    persists and is given just so long as it is needed, to any one
    who has to give light. The inspiration for the Headship will be
    given to my successor in turn....

    ‘I do hope God may allow me to go on longer, and it is a
    comfort to feel that you are glad I should.

    ‘As regards the growing size of the College. I may add in
    addition to what I have said, that I have never wished
    independently to add to the size merely, and that in each
    development I have felt I was obliged to go on, though often
    I dreaded it; _e.g._ the training of teachers could not be
    refused when Miss Newman offered. Then the Kindergarten grew
    up, and the elementary teachers was really forced on one. It
    is unprofitable in money (the Elementary School Department),
    and a great strain on me, but I feel we have to do this special
    work. In fact, it is not our work, but we are set here by the
    great Captain, and I trust we are taking our share in advancing
    somewhat the kingdom of truth and righteousness. I cannot see
    that in this erection of buildings, or in any other way, we are
    acting from self, but under direction. I have not yet read the
    comments on the buildings, but wanted to reply to the letter at
    once.’

The following was written to Bishop Fraser of Manchester, who had
publicly referred with approbation to the saying of Thucydides, that
‘that woman was most to be admired who was least spoken of whether for
good or evil’:—

                                                  ‘_December 1878._

    ‘MY LORD,—We owe to you so much for education work that I
    cannot but feel sorry you should by your recent quotation
    from Thucydides place before women a standard lower than the
    highest. I felt bound to protest against it, when a few days
    later I read a paper before the Social Science Congress in my
    own schoolroom.

    ‘Will the excuse be received from us: “I was afraid of being
    spoken of for good, and so I hid my talent in a napkin?” Must
    we not expect that our work will be measured, as was that of
    another woman by the words, “She hath done what she could?” I
    venture to enclose a few lines from an article of mine, signed
    “A Utopian,” in a Fraser[106] of 1866. It was provoked by the
    same quotation from Thucydides in a _Quarterly_ of that year.—I
    am, my Lord, yours with sincere respect and esteem,

                                                         D. BEALE.’

To Mrs. Ashley Smith, at that date Miss Lucy Hall, a relation of Bishop
Fraser’s, on the same subject:—

                                              ‘_December 12, 1878._

    ‘DEAR LUCY,—I was glad to hear you thought you could be of
    use in the Board School. Could you not teach the boys some
    mathematics? If you could, I will send you an amusing book
    about Euclid.

    ‘I have asked Miss Gore to send you a copy of what I wrote to
    the Bishop. I think he should have got his secretary just to
    send me a line. I did not do it in a perky spirit, but I felt
    bound to protest, and having protested, I thought I should
    rather say to him, why. Many women do leave undone the things
    they ought to do, because they shrink from coming forward. I
    have done so myself. If he would preach that we should do what
    we ought in God’s sight, and never trouble our heads about what
    people say, when our conscience speaks, it would be better.
    Perhaps he will think twice before he again quotes that, and if
    so, I shall be satisfied. I would not care, if he were not so
    good and clever that people listen to what he says. He is, too,
    not conventional, yet he says what may promote a wrong kind of
    conventionality. I have since seen such a nice bit of a sermon
    about the idle lives that women lead; so if you do see him, I
    should like you to ask him about this too.

    ‘You must let me know when you really get to work as manager.’

To Miss Laurie, after reading _Pasteur’s Life_:—

                                                           ‘_1902._

    ‘I want to have a general conference about organising our
    Science work better; we are using razors for stone-cutting.
    I should like a great deal of the correcting taken from the
    “Professoriate,” and young specialists entrusted with work
    under superintendence. Talk with M. Reid and A. Johnson. We
    ought to let our superior minds “expatiate,” and let me have a
    few notes, as I can’t talk much now. We might bring up a body
    of inspirers as well as workers. Pasteur’s life has specially
    excited me to ask what more we could do. The teachers ought to
    read more of the lives of discoverers, _e.g._ Lodge (though
    that is too slight, _History of Matter_, etc. etc.).

    ‘If there are disadvantages in the London changes, at least I
    hope we shall get more liberty; let us try to find “a soul of
    goodness in things evil.”

    ‘What a beautiful character is Pasteur’s. I find it quite a
    Sunday book.’

To Miss Nixon, on Henry George’s _Progress and Poverty_:—

                                                     ‘_April 1884._

    ‘I am sorry to have given you pain, but I do hope you will read
    the writings of those who understand political economy better
    than we do. I think if you had read about the evils which
    preceded the abolition of the old Poor Law, you would have seen
    why I cannot approve Mr. George’s plans, and not thought that
    I desire less than you do that these miseries of the people
    should be lessened. It is so important for us teachers to try
    to get right views about history; to pray by our acts that we
    may have “a right judgment in all things.”

    ‘It is more pathetic than anything to see people led by false
    hopes to follow wandering fires to their destruction; and
    such, I am sure, are some of the new lights. The history of
    the Crusades and the French Revolution ought not to have been
    written in vain for us. There are three articles that I think
    you ought to read,—the Duke of Argyle’s, Mr. Herbert Spencer’s,
    and Mr. Brodrick’s, in the last _Nineteenth Century_ and
    _Contemporary_.

    ‘Reforms I _earnestly_ desire on laws of succession, land
    transfer, etc. etc., but I am sure that no external bettering
    of conditions can do good without this is the outcome of right
    principles, and that people can be raised only by raising the
    moral standard of all. Perhaps we may have time to talk some
    day.

To Mr. Coates after a lecture he had given at Cheltenham:—

                                                      ‘_July 1888._

    ‘DEAR MR. COATES,— ... What I especially regretted was that the
    lecture raised a number of questions to which it furnished no
    answers, but seemed to me to suggest erroneous ones; words were
    used which were not defined.

    ‘(1) Persecution; (2) Official dignity; (3) Rights of the
    individual in relation to the community.

    ‘(1) Now as regards persecution, you said people could not, if
    they were in earnest, help persecuting. That was equivalent
    to the assertion that persecution was right; but you did not
    say what you understood by persecution. Everything depends on
    that to girls accustomed to associate persecution with bodily
    torture. I think what you said would suggest wrong ideas. I
    can’t agree with your general proposition, but of course I may
    be wrong.

    ‘(2) “A Dog in Office” is to me a different being from one who
    has not been appointed to the charge. He feels it, and I feel
    it. He respects himself more, and by his “investiture,” though
    it be only by a costermonger, he becomes capable of acts of
    which he would otherwise have been incapable, and his bearing,
    in combination with his legitimate title derived from the owner
    of the barrow, obtains recognition from all the street curs.

    ‘I may, of course, be superstitious, but I do regard a
    consecrated king, a President elected deliberately by a great
    nation, a man solemnly set apart to serve a church, as in some
    sense different from others. It seems to me that this is a
    matter of some importance in these days, when the sacredness of
    human relationships is called in question. I think we teachers
    cannot feel too strongly the duty of doing for thought what
    the feudal lords did for material forces in erecting bulwarks
    or breakwaters against the floods of undisciplined opinions in
    question, passion clothed in rags of thought. We want, like the
    old alchemists, to make the indeterminate clouds of smoke like
    actual forms.

    ‘I do not think you and I really differ, but I suppose the
    fact of my having a little kingdom has aggravated my sense of
    responsibility, and I can’t help always regarding teaching
    as purposeful. I hold in abhorrence the maxim “Art for Art’s
    sake.” I _always_ want it to have a purifying influence on the
    character. I believe you do the same, only you are afraid of
    “preaching.”

    ‘You will be saying, “I wish some one else shared my aversion,”
    so I will spare you No. 3. I hope you will not misunderstand
    me.’

To Mrs. Rix:—

                                                   ‘_January 1891._

    ‘It is always an anxious thing when people of different nations
    marry....

    ‘I hope your good husband will not desert his post. I feel
    sure these scientific things were given us to prevent our
    feeling crushed by the weight of the “unintelligible world”
    of philosophy, and the atonement of science and philosophy is
    the work of our age—through nature we have to go to find the
    spiritual Christ. Poor Mr. Lant Carpenter. I wonder if it was
    the Sphinx who killed him.’

To Sir Joshua Fitch, after the death of Miss Buss:—

                                                  ‘_July (?) 1897._

    ‘I have been thinking what I could write to you about Miss
    Buss. I don’t think I could send you anything that would help
    in an article, or say much more than I have in the Guardian. I
    am spoken of as her life-long friend, but I did not know her
    until long after I came to Cheltenham, a little before you
    joined our Council. It is said in many papers that I attended
    with her the evening classes at Queen’s College. I never did.
    She assisted at the evolution which transformed our governing
    body from a local Committee to what it is now, and by getting
    an enlarged Council we were saved from dying of atrophy....

    ‘From that time we were intimately associated in educational
    movements, and I ever felt that she was utterly to be trusted
    never to think,—much less to do anything but what was true,
    straightforward, unselfish. She was deeply, unostentatiously
    religious, lived in the spirit of prayer, and had the love of
    God in its twofold sense ever guiding her thought and actions.
    Often have we knelt together, at her request, the last thing at
    night and said together the Veni Creator.

    ‘If I spoke the other day of troubles with the governing
    bodies—it was not from anything definite that she said to me;
    but she has often, to allay my impatience, repeated what one of
    her Governors said: “Do you think we come here to register your
    decrees?” She received it as a deserved reproof, though, of
    course, she must have known what was best for the school, and
    never desired her selfish good,—only that of the School.

    ‘The large view she took of the general outlook for the growing
    up teachers struck me much. The provision for the future, the
    opening of new occupations, the health and bodily development.
    Her gymnasium, I think, she herself built and gave to the
    school.... She had a lady doctor to examine the girls, weigh
    them, etc., etc.

    ‘The formation of the Head-mistresses’ Association was entirely
    due to her. The first meeting, and, I think, the second was
    held at Myra Lodge. She was very anxious about the “Teachers’
    Guild.”

    ‘I sat with her on the Council of the Church Schools’ Company,
    and was surprised at the amount of time and thought she gave
    to it. With such solicitude she used to say, “My dear, we must
    help these young Head-mistresses.” Whenever any school-mistress
    got into difficulties she was of such sympathy and help.

    ‘Then she tried so much to help her old girls, to promote the
    love of reading in her staff, to call out their helpfulness in
    many ways. That exhibition of things made that cost nothing,
    was a very original idea, and taught economy by an object
    lesson....

    ‘The ways in which she used to help poor girls were hardly
    known to any one; clothes she used to get sent to them, and she
    had friends to whom she could mention cases where money help
    was needed and get it. Then she was not one to give up because
    she could not influence people by what were _for her_ the
    highest motives; but appealed to the best _in them_, would give
    ethics when she could not give religion, and when she spoke of
    wrong, it was with a sorrow which covered the indignation.

    ‘There was a real solicitude, in spite of her many occupations,
    to help all teachers. She would get books to send round to
    other schools to help them, and never seemed to think of any
    being rivals, but rather fellow-workers.

    ‘But you must know most of what I am saying, for you knew her
    well, and she specially loved your wife. I am only writing what
    comes to my mind to do what I can; but you see I have so few
    definite facts, and I knew her only when she was full-grown in
    character and her work established.

    ‘I think, having a Boarding House as well as a School was a
    mistake, and she felt it so at last. It was impossible for her
    to attend to it much herself; and I think she should not have
    rushed off on foreign tours at Christmas.

    ‘Finally, perhaps, I may say that she was, it seemed to me,
    always pained and surprised at wrong in others, and expectant
    of good, and able to see the latent good underlying the
    apparent evil. She had the charity that hopeth all things.

    ‘Her generosity in money matters was very great, especially
    to her family. She used to speak with such joy and pride of
    the battles her brother fought in Shoreditch, and her brave
    sister-in-law, and great was her affection for her nephew.

    ‘Forgive my incoherence please, and take the will for the deed.’

Miss Beale wrote but little about herself, but in her correspondence with
an intimate friend, she would give glimpses of her own personal life,
even of her doings, as well as of her thought and reading. Her letters to
Miss Amy Giles are the most interesting from this point of view, covering
as they do the last period of her life. Some extracts from these are
given:—

                                                   ‘_July 6, 1897._

    ‘DEAR AMY,—I wonder what you will do now that you have quite
    lost your beloved mother. I was talking with Miss Sewell about
    you, and said I wished you could come and spend a week here....
    If you came the week after next, perhaps you would like to stay
    for our Quiet Days at the end.’

To the same:—

                                                ‘_August 15, 1897._

    ‘I have kept your letter so long, hoping I might see my way
    to pay you a visit, which I should so very much like to do,
    but I am afraid the prospect is a diminishing one. It was a
    great pleasure to renew my acquaintance with one whom I had
    loved as a pupil, and to find we had grown even nearer during
    the intervening years. It would, too, be a pleasure to see
    Miss Sewell, for whom I have so great an admiration. I will
    not altogether give up hopes, but I am much afraid it will be
    impossible. The work for Longmans is to fill two hundred pages.
    I get ordinarily a hundred and fifty letters a week on College
    business, and now that we are beginning this Elementary work,
    there is a Head to be found, prospectuses to be drawn up, the
    Education Office to be consulted, etc., and also the Magazine
    to be edited, and some few people I must see....

    ‘There are many things one has to deny one’s self “for the
    work’s sake,” but it is worth while. I cannot be too thankful
    for being allowed to do it.’

To the same:—

                                                ‘_August 25, 1898._

    ‘My sister has come home on purpose, and I am spending a week
    with her on the hills; my niece helping to copy the MS.’

In the summer holidays of 1898 Miss Beale stayed with Miss Giles at
Bonchurch. They afterwards visited Marlborough College and Savernake
Forest together, parting at Marlborough station. Miss Beale wrote after
this to Miss Giles:—

                                                ‘_August 28, 1898._

    ‘I will own that after you were gone all things seemed
    colder.... The doctor thought me wonderfully well, and my ears
    much better than usual after so long an absence. He says I can
    go to-morrow, and highly approves of cycling if I can do it....
    May the spiritual sun ever rise for you, my dear child, more
    and more until the perfect day.’

To the same:—

                                              ‘_September 7, 1898._

    ‘I had some bicycle lessons at Woodchester, but all united in
    recommending tricycling instead for me.’

To the same:—

                                                   ‘_October 1898._

    ‘That cycling is wonderful, I am so much better.’

To the same:—

                                              ‘_November 13, 1898._

    ‘Miss Belcher is still very ill, but yesterday brought me a
    gleam of hope. Thanks to you I am wonderfully well. I have
    cycled two mornings as far as our Sanatorium, and got back
    about 8 A.M. ... I think this renewed life must mean that there
    is some more work for me to do, or that I want strength to bear
    some coming trials....

    ‘We have been getting some lectures from Mr. de Sélincourt,
    also a son-in-law. We like him very much.... Next Saturday I
    have to attend six meetings. I had to go to London lately, and
    spent a night at St. Hilda’s East; it looks so nice, and seems
    going on so well.’

To the same:—

                                              ‘_November 29, 1898._

    ‘I am glad you have seen the Chapel of the Ascension. Mr.
    Shields is far the best interpreter I have ever seen of Bible
    thoughts in pictures.... Thanks to you I am wonderfully strong
    this term.... I have joined the Aristotelian Society. I shall
    almost never, perhaps _never_ be able to attend the meetings,
    but I shall get papers.... Miss Belcher is still battling with
    the disease. Sometimes we hope, and then we fear we may lose
    her, but to gain time is much.’

To the same. Written when there was some idea of Miss Giles living
abroad:—

                                                   ‘_May 14, 1899._

    ‘I don’t like the idea of your being uprooted from England....
    It is different to go for a time, but it seems to me that most
    English people who live abroad have their lives comparatively
    wasted.’

To the same. After alluding to the death of Mrs. Moyle:—

                                                  ‘_July 16, 1899._

    ‘It seems so wonderful that I should be alive, and see so many
    dear children pass away.’

To the same. Speaking of the South African War:—

                                              ‘_December 26, 1899._

    ‘It is indeed a sad time, and I don’t see how it is to end;
    surely we as a nation have to pass through the fire.... I think
    all the advantages we women have had this last half century
    were to prepare us for some terrible trials. Shall we be able
    to look up and lift up our heads above this earth, and know
    that salvation draweth nigh? I think you will understand me.’

To the same. Also about the South African War:—

                                              ‘_February 10, 1900._

    ‘It is difficult to keep up one’s active powers with this
    nightmare: one is so sure that all suffering is intended to be
    purifying, and so we must glorify God in the fires. War does
    seem to be waged in a more humane spirit than ever before, that
    is one comfort, and there are many others.’

To the same. Miss Giles had sent a paper for the Magazine:—

                                                 ‘_September 1900._

    ‘I feel sure I shall not accept Guinevere as a subject for our
    magazine. I am not fond of the Idylls.’

To the same. On recovering from bronchitis:—

                                                           ‘_1903._

    ‘Thanks for your kind offer, but I must not ask any one to stay
    this term; I must reserve every bit of strength for the work.’

To the same. Towards the end of the Easter holidays, when she had been
confined to her room with a bronchial attack:—

    ‘I have been reading a very pretty book, _The House of Quiet_.
    Now I have Herbert Spencer’s _Autobiography_, which I am not
    reading, but a friend picks out bits for me. I have been going
    over again some old friends, _Dr. Jekyl_, _Cecilia de Noel_,
    etc.’

To the same:—

                                                      ‘_June 1905._

    ‘I had a very enjoyable visit to Winchester to the annual
    meeting of head-mistresses, and last week I dined at the
    Clothworkers’, my first experience of a City company’s dinner.
    There were many interesting people.’

In the summer holidays of 1905 Miss Giles accompanied Miss Beale to
Oeynhausen. The two following letters concern the preparation made for
this visit to the German baths.

                                                      ‘_July 1905._

    ‘Have you quite made up your mind not to come to the Quiet
    Days?... remember you will have a period of spiritual
    starvation as regards church-going....

    ‘I mean to take as little as possible ... we do no visiting ...
    a few books I must have. If you come, you could write out your
    notes of addresses and read them to me, as I am not likely to
    hear them.... We have had twelve concerts, and I was present at
    most of them. I have not yet signed a report, and have taken
    leave of only some of the _about_ one hundred and twenty who
    will leave.

    ‘I thought of taking Illingworth’s _Personality_,—and perhaps
    _Lux Mundi_, if you do not know it well; also some _Hamlet_
    books: but I shall take chiefly light books, in a material
    sense.’

On returning from Germany Miss Beale went to Hyde Court for her niece’s
wedding, and wrote on arrival to Miss Giles.

                                                 ‘_September 1905._

    ‘Lena looks lovely!’

A letter followed describing the wedding, and concluding thus:—

    ‘The country is looking lovely—even in the rain; but the
    swallows are flying about in great excitement. I think they
    must be departing at once. I wonder how long I shall be
    privileged to go on working before I too migrate. I do hope I
    may be able to work on to the end....’

To the same:—

                                                 ‘_September 1905._

    ‘I had nightmare last night about war in India. Russia is quite
    ready to turn her armies into Afghanistan, and she is allowed
    to keep all ready in Manchuria. Well, one can only hope that
    still out of the strife will come soul evolution.’

In September 1905 Miss Beale’s letters speak of exhaustion, but others
wrote of her that she was busy, full of energy, and ‘does not seem to
tire.’

To the same. Speaking of her visit to London in the Christmas holidays:—

                                               ‘_January 15, 1906._

    ‘One afternoon I spent with Mrs. Benson, and Miss Benson lent
    me the book recounting her digging up of the Temple of Mut.
    Arthur Benson too was there, and Miss Tait and Mrs. Henry
    Sidgwick.

    ‘What a revolution we have! If we had stood still things might
    have been as they are in Russia. One could not be satisfied
    with the late government, but one dreads violent changes; it is
    well there are a few strong men in the Ministry. Mr. Balfour
    deserves his fate for not bringing in a re-distribution Bill,
    and for tyrannising—but one feels sorry for him too.

    ‘_PS._—Think of us on Tuesday’ (the opening day of term), ‘I
    feel so weak.’

The weakness to which Miss Beale alluded was destined to continue, but
amid the decay of natural health long-rooted hopes grew strong and
blossomed afresh. But a few weeks before her own death she wrote to a
friend who had recently lost her mother:—

    ‘You will miss your beloved mother, but it is well. I suppose
    none of us desire to live after our faculties fail.... I am
    feeling old age is creeping on.... Well, we shall soon all
    meet—Behind the veil, behind the veil!’



FOOTNOTES


[1] MS. Autobiography.—D. Beale.

[2] MS. autobiography.

[3] ‘Have you seen Miss Cornwallis’ _Letters_? A very remarkable
woman, though a little uncomfortable to herself and others, and a
little too audacious now and then. She wrote these _Small Books on
Great Subjects_ which were much thought of at the time, and always
considered a man’s work.’—_Letters of Dr. John Brown_, CLXXXIV.,
‘To Lady Airlie.’ (Adam Black, 1906.)

[4] See chap. xv., Letter to the Bishop of Manchester.

[5] William Cornwallis Harris, Major H.E.I.C., was also a cousin
of Mr. Beale’s. Major Harris saw service in India, shot big game
in the heart of Africa, was sent in charge of a mission to Shoa in
Abyssinia, returning after arranging a commercial treaty. For this
he was knighted. He died in India in 1848, aged 41.

[6] MS. autobiography written about 1895.

[7] Author of _Malvern Chase_ and other works.

[8] MS. autobiography.

[9] MS. autobiography.

[10] _Ibid._

[11] MS. autobiography.

[12] On the Education of Girls.—_Fraser’s Magazine_, October 1866.

[13] MS. autobiography.

[14] MS. autobiography.

[15] MS. autobiography.

[16] _Ibid._

[17] MS. autobiography.

[18] _Ibid._

[19] See Appendix A.

[20] _Nineteenth Century_, April 1888.

[21] Mr. Carus Wilson was ordained the following year by the
Archbishop of Canterbury.

[22] Bishop Jackson.

[23] _Kaiserwerth Deaconesses._ By a Lady.

[24] _Ibid._

[25] _Ibid._

[26] See Appendix B.

[27] See Appendix C.

[28] See chap. v.

[29] _Nineteenth Century_, 1888.

[30] Mr. Bellairs was subsequently Vicar of Nuneaton, and Hon.
Canon of Worcester.

[31] Afterwards first Bishop of Tasmania.

[32] ‘Cheltenham is Attica in architecture and Bœotia in
understanding.’—_Gentleman’s Magazine_, 1828.

[33] ‘Cheltenham: a polka, parson-worshipping place of which
Francis Close is Pope, besides pumps and pump-rooms, chalybeates,
quadrilles, and one of the prettiest counties of Britain.’—A.
TENNYSON, Letter, 1845.

[34] These were among the first in the country.

[35] See Appendix D.

[36] _History of Ladies’ College_, p. 12.

[37] These marks of omission occur in the copy of Miss Beale’s
letter left among her papers.

[38] _History of the Ladies’ College_, p. 22.

[39] Afterwards Sir Thomas Barlow and Sir William Gull.

[40] ‘Of Queens’ Gardens,’ _Sesame and Lilies_, J. Ruskin.

[41] See p. 11.

[42] On the Education of Women. A Paper read by Mr. William Grey at
the meeting of the Society of Arts, May 31, 1871.

[43] Mrs. Grey.

[44] Heroic couplets.

[45] Lincoln’s Inn.

[46] _Francis Mary Buss and Her Work for Education_, A. E. Ridley,
p. 242.

[47] _History of the Ladies’ College._

[48] The Rev. G. H. Wilkinson, D.D., then Vicar of St. Peter’s,
Eaton Square. At his death, Bishop of St. Andrews and Primus of the
Scottish Church.

[49] _Poems_, F. W. Faber.

[50] ‘In Retreat, 1883.’

[51] ‘Building.’

[52] ‘In Retreat, 1883.’

[53] Letter to a friend.

[54] _Ibid._

[55] In every embassy in Europe, in many Government houses in our
colonies, and in several courts of Asia, wives and mothers are
living who have drawn their earliest principles from the ideal
teachings of Dorothea Beale.—_Court Journal_, November 24, 1906.

[56] First preface.

[57] _Ibid._

[58] Bacon’s _Advancement of Learning_.

[59] Guild Address, 1888.

[60] See Bishop Lightfoot’s ‘Sermon on St. Hilda,’ _C.L.C. Mag._,
Spring 1886.

[61] See Miss Beale’s paper, ‘St. Hilda’s,’ _C.L.C. Mag._, Autumn
1886.

[62] Chap. VIII.

[63] Dr. Kitchin, now Dean of Durham.

[64] Then Somerville Hall.

[65] Mrs. C. T. Mitchell, who has from the first been connected
with the Guild work.

[66] Now Bishop of London.

[67] Afterwards Mrs. Charles Robinson.

[68] Even such an act as this had nothing personal in it. ‘Once,’
writes an old girl, ‘I asked Miss Beale to sign a photograph on
the last afternoon of the term. She said her hand was tired with
shaking hands, and asked if next term would do. When I said it was
a Christmas present for Mother, and I wanted to give it complete,
she at once sat down and signed it.’

[69] Compare with this Miss Beale’s remarks on history as an
educational subject, _Work and Play_, p. 114.

[70] Miss Beale published some of her lectures on literature in
1902 in the volume entitled, _Literary Studies of Poems New and
Old_: G. Bell and Sons.

[71] So much did Miss Beale dislike a formal study of the Bible,
that when first the Oxford Local Examinations were taken in the
College, she induced the parents of pupils entering for them to
sign a conscience clause to the effect that they did not wish their
children to take a Scripture examination. The amount set for study
was afterwards lessened, and could therefore be more thoroughly
taught. Thus her objections were minimised.

[72] _Relation of Home to School Life, No. II., Truth._

[73] _Work and Play in Girls’ Schools._

[74] She spoke of tennis as ‘playing archery.’

[75] At Miss Clarke’s school in the Christmas holidays of 1877, the
first Retreat Miss Beale attended.

[76] See chap. xv.

[77] Death of Miss Newman at Mayfield House.

[78] Now Ely Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, and Canon of Ely.

[79] _Frances Mary Buss and her Work for Education._

[80] Now at Mukti, Poona District.

[81] Its objects are: a systematic study of mission work in all
lands; formation of closer links with those old College girls who
are now missionaries.

[82] Bishop Webb.

[83] In this section the methods best adapted for the secondary
instruction of girls, specially as regards Modern Languages and
Science, were discussed.

[84] M. Fallières, then Ministre de l’Instruction publique.

[85] It is interesting to compare this opinion with those expressed
in the last Head-masters’ Conference (December 1907) by the
Head-masters of Eton and Winchester, who were in the minority which
would have lessened the amount of scholarship Greek required from
boys of thirteen and fourteen.

[86] The marvels of astronomy had always a special fascination for
Miss Beale. When the Leonid meteors were expected on one night in
1898 the Chief Constable, Admiral Christian, by her wish instructed
the police as soon as they appeared to ring up Miss Beale, and she
was to pull the alarm-bell to rouse the girls.

[87] The news reached Miss Beale two days later. See Appendix E.

[88] On Secondary Education.

[89] Charles Smith, M.A., Master of Sidney Sussex College.

[90] Designed by Mr. E. R. Robson, F.S.A.

[91] Raphael.

[92] Mrs. James Owen.

[93] Letter to Miss Strong.

[94] Now Sir Arthur Rücker.

[95] Queen Margaret’s College.

[96] He was surreptitiously introduced into the gallery of the Hall
while Miss Beale was giving a lesson.

[97] Miss Buss.

[98] Miss Gretton.

[99] This proved to be the date of her funeral.

[100] See Letters.

[101] The allusion is to Mrs. Charles Robinson.

[102] See Appendix F.

[103]

                          ‘Nature never lends
    The smallest scruple of her excellence,
    But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
    Herself ...
    Both thanks and use.’—_Measure for Measure._

A favourite quotation of Miss Beale’s.

[104] After Mrs. Robinson’s death in 1906, Miss Beale wrote to
Canon Robinson, ‘I think I may say that Clara was the best beloved
of all my children.’

[105] F. Du Pré.

[106] _Fraser’s Magazine_, October 1866.



APPENDIX A, Page 28.


A lady who attended Dr. Bernays’ German classes with Miss Beale has
interesting recollections of her. She remembers her as in appearance
‘very fair and slight and interesting looking,’ with a quiet dignity and
attraction about her which gave her an influence; one remarkable instance
of this may be told.

Dorothea and Anna Beale were once absent from the German class on its
first meeting for a new term. Dr. Bernays said they should read _Faust_,
and accordingly all the pupils brought copies of _Faust_ to the next
class. When all were seated, Dorothea stood up and said quietly and
respectfully that she thought _Faust_ objectionable reading for young
girls, and suggested some other book. Dr. Bernays looked just a little
annoyed, but listened quite kindly. He said it was a pity the books had
been bought, but put it to the class what should be done. Such was Miss
Beale’s influence that all decided to submit to her judgment.



APPENDIX B, Page 74.

TITLES OF CHAPTERS IN MISS BEALE’S _TEXTBOOK_ 1858.


    A.D.   FIRST CENTURY.—Christianity.
     ”   SECOND         ”     Good Emperors.
     ”   THIRD          ”     Barbarian Invasions.
     ”   FOURTH         ”     Establishment of Christianity in the
                                Roman Empire.
     ”   FIFTH          ”     Fall of the Roman Empire.
     ”   SIXTH          ”     Struggles of the Eastern Emperors with
                               the Barbarian Kings.
     ”   SEVENTH        ”     Saracens.
     ”   EIGHTH         ”     Charlemagne.
     ”   NINTH          ”     Northmen.
     ”   TENTH          ”     Cities increase in importance.
     ”   ELEVENTH       ”     Hildebrand.
     ”   TWELFTH        ”     Crusades.
     ”   THIRTEENTH     ”     The Age of the Schoolmen.
     ”   FOURTEENTH     ”     The Middle Classes increase in importance.
     ”   FIFTEENTH      ”     Invention of Printing.
     ”   SIXTEENTH      ”     Reformation.
     ”   SEVENTEENTH    ”     Religious Wars.
     ”   EIGHTEENTH     ”     Struggles for Political Liberty.



APPENDIX C, Page 75.

A PAGE OF MISS BEALE’S _SELF-EXAMINATION_ 1858.


  Have I been       | The ungodly borroweth   | Most of the forms of
  always careful to | and payeth not          | injustice come under the
  return anything   | again.—_Ps._ xxxvii.    | head of sins of the tongue;
  borrowed?         | 21.                     | _e.g._, ascribing false
                    |                         | motives, evil-speaking,
                    | The spoil of the        | &c. Cheapening, making
                    | poor is in your houses. | bargains, is generally
                    | What mean ye that ye    | injustice. Also, delaying
                    | grind the faces of the  | to pay what you owe—you
                    | poor.—_Is._ iii. 15.    | may deceive yourself,
                    |                         | so far as to think
                    | Woe unto him that       | that you are only anxious
                    | buildeth his house by   | to be economical, that
                    | unrighteousness, and    | you may have more to give
                    | his chambers by         | away; but will it not be an
                    | wrong; that useth his   | insult to God to offer Him
                    | neighbours’ service     | part of your unjust gain?
                    | without wages, and      | It is much more charitable
                    | giveth him not for his  | to pay justly, than to
                    | work.—_Is._ xvii. 13.   | give; but there is not so
                    |                         | much chance of praise.
                    | I will be a swift       |
                    | witness against them    |
                    | that oppress the        |
                    | hireling in his         |
                    | wages.—_Mal._ iii. 5.   |
                    |                         |
                    | Say not unto thy        |
                    | neighbour go, and       |
                    | come again, and         |
                    | to-morrow I will give,  |
                    | when thou hast it by    |
                    | thee.—_Prov._ iii. 28.  |
                    |                         |
  Have I indulged   | Whatsoever thy          | Do not leave yourself time
  my body           | hand findeth to do, do  | to think about anything it
  by idleness, not  | it with all thy         | is your duty to do.
  rising when I     | might.—_Eph._ x. 9.     |
  ought, taking     |                         | Idleness, by delaying,
  unnecessary rest? | Be not slothful in      | conquers; stop to parley
                    | business.—_Rom._        | and you have lost the day.
                    | xii. 11.                | It is a great help in
                    |                         | getting up, or beginning
  Wasting time      | Early in the morning    | any occupation, to have
  with unprofitable | will I direct my        | some signal, and then never
  or idle talking,  | prayer unto Thee, and   | allow yourself one second
  or reading?       | will look up.—_Ps._     | after. Be careful to make
                    |                         | some fixed arrangement
  Allowing idle     | Rising a great while    | of your time, as far as
  thoughts to run   | before day, He departed | possible; at any rate,
  on unchecked?     | into a solitary         | put in as many landmarks
                    | place, and there        | as you can in the day; but
  Refusing prompt   | prayed.—_S. Matt._      | do not praise yourself
  and cheerful      | i. 35.                  | for your conscientious
  obedience because |                         | arrangement of your time,
  unwilling to      |                         | or you will find, in a few
  give up some      |                         | days, that you have become
  interesting       |                         | quite unpunctual.
  occupation?       |                         |



APPENDIX D, p. 90

PROSPECTUS OF THE CHELTENHAM COLLEGE FOR YOUNG LADIES

NOVEMBER 1, 1853


                               PROSPECTUS

                                   OF

                   THE CHELTENHAM COLLEGE INSTITUTION

                                   FOR

                      THE EDUCATION OF YOUNG LADIES

                                 AND OF

                   CHILDREN UNDER EIGHT YEARS OF AGE;

                             Cambray House.

Committee:

    REV. H. W. BELLAIRS, M.A., one of H.M.’s Inspectors of Schools,
    _3, Priory Parade_.

    REV. W. DOBSON, M.A., Principal of the Cheltenham College, _2,
    Sandford Place_.

    REV. H. A. HOLDEN, M.A., Vice Principal of the Cheltenham
    College, Fellow and late Assistant Tutor of Trinity College,
    Cambridge, _The Queen’s Hotel_.

    LIEUT.-COL. FITZMAURICE, K.H., _14, Royal Crescent_.

    S. E. COMYN, ESQ., M.D., _4, Berkeley Place_.

    NATH. HARTLAND, ESQ., _The Oaklands, Charlton Kings_.

Honorary Secretary:

    REV. HUBERT A. HOLDEN, M.A.

Treasurer:

    NATHANIEL HARTLAND, ESQ.

The COMMITTEE are now able to publish a detailed Prospectus of the Course
and Arrangements of this Institution, with the Hours and Terms for the
various Departments and Classes.

The management of the educational Working of the College, which it is
proposed to open after the ensuing Christmas Vacation, will be committed
to a LADY PRINCIPAL to be assisted by Teachers and Professors, appointed
by the Committee.

FEES, PAYABLE HALF YEARLY IN ADVANCE.

The Pupils of the Institution will be arranged in FOUR DIVISIONS,
according to attainments; and the terms will be regulated according to
the following scale:—

    FOR THE FIRST DIVISION    12 _Guineas for the Half Yearly Session_.
    FOR THE SECOND DIVISION    9 _Guineas_      ”        ”
    FOR THE THIRD DIVISION     6 _Guineas_      ”        ”
    FOR THE FOURTH DIVISION    4 _Guineas_      ”        ”

Children will be admitted after the completion of their Fourth year; but
Boys must be withdrawn on the completion of their Seventh year.

REGULAR COURSE OF STUDY:

    HOLY SCRIPTURE AND THE LITURGY OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND,
    The PRINCIPLES OF GRAMMAR and the Elements of LATIN,
    ARITHMETIC,
    CALISTHENIC EXERCISES,
    DRAWING,
    FRENCH,
    GEOGRAPHY,
    HISTORY,
    MUSIC,
    NEEDLEWORK.

EXTRA AND BYE COURSE OF STUDY:

    GERMAN,
    ITALIAN,
    DANCING.

For Pupils desirous of availing themselves of _extra_ Lessons in MUSIC
and DRAWING from Professors attached to the College, extra Classes will
be formed and extra charges made.

EXTRA OR BYE STUDENTS.

Students, not engaged in the Regular Routine of the College Course, will
be at liberty to attend the Bye Course of Study and also the _extra_
Classes in MUSIC and DRAWING. Such Students may be nominated upon either
Ordinary or Bye Shares (issued at £10 each), and will be required to pay
a Fee of _Two Guineas_ a year to the College, exclusive of the Fee to the
Professor.

HOURS OF ATTENDANCE.

MORNING.—From a Quarter past Nine to a Quarter past Twelve.

AFTERNOON.—From Half-past Two to Half-past Four.

(_Wednesday and Saturday Half Holidays._)

Children under Seven Years of Age will attend in the Mornings only.

_Members of Classes for Religious Instruction under the Parochial Clergy,
will be excused attendance at the College on Monday Afternoons._

BOARDING HOUSES

for the reception of Pupils will be opened, with the sanction of the
Committee, in the immediate neighbourhood of CAMBRAY HOUSE, under the
Superintendence of the following Ladies:—Mrs. MURGEAUD, _7, Oriel
Terrace_; Miss ATKINSON, _of Kingsbridge, Devon._; Mrs. TREW, _of
Stoneham House, Bath Road_.

The Charge for Boarders is £35 per annum. Extras: Washing £4, 4s.; Seat
in Church £1, 1s.

A few of the Fifty £20 Shares remain to be disposed of; application for
which should be made to the Hon. Secretary. The Proprietors of such
Shares will have the option of nominating either one Regular or two Bye
Students.

Several Teachers and Professors have been appointed, the announcement of
whose names is deferred for the present, till the list is complete.

_November 1, 1853._



APPENDIX E, Page 332.

EDWARD BEALE.


The Reverend Edward Beale, a member of the Society of St. John the
Evangelist, Cowley, died at Mazagon, Bombay Presidency, on February 3,
1894. He was a younger brother to whom Miss Beale was much attached.
His early promise of a brilliant career was cut short by severe illness
while he was still an undergraduate at Oxford. For years he was wholly
incapacitated, but on recovering partial health he received deacon’s
orders, and before joining St. John’s Society, worked for a time at
Warminster. Here he gave the addresses afterwards published under the
title of _The Mind of Christ_.

From Cowley Mr. Beale was sent to the Society’s Mission in Bombay. He was
much beloved and looked up to by those among whom he worked. At the time
of his death (which occurred after a very short illness) he was engaged
to read a paper at the coming Diocesan Conference on ‘The Necessity of
Faith in the Church as the Fullest Possible Manifestation of the Life of
God in Creation.’ His funeral was attended by a crowd of the poorest poor.

The following lines in her brother Edward’s handwriting, found among Miss
Beale’s papers, seem to be undoubtedly original, and to tell the history
of his consecrated life:—

INDIA—WRITTEN IN ILLNESS, 1884.

    Once I was wont to prize
    Glance from approving eyes,
    And sun myself too fondly in their light.
    Too eager to entwine
    The flowers about Love’s shrine
    With pulses throbbing with a wild delight.
    And one who loved me said,
    With voice of boding dread,
    ‘Oh child, these hopes will fade, these flowers will die,
    And what will then remain
    To ease the long, slow pain,
    Unless your heart be lifted up on high?
    ...
    Once when I heard a name
    Of high heroic fame,
    Of lives of lasting influence for good,
    I felt my heart on fire
    With one long vague desire
    To join the ranks of those who have withstood.
    But now I do not ask
    For such heroic task,
    My heart is all too faint to stand the glare,
    My eyes too weak to see
    The path laid out for me,
    I only wait and feel that One is there.
    ...
    One, at whose blessed feet
    I lie in silence sweet
    Perhaps unheeded as the world goes by,
    There only lying still
    Waiting to know His Will,
    Till He shall bend on me His gracious eye.
    Then in that glorious gleam
    Shall every earthborn dream,
    Darkness, delusion, doubt all flee away:
    Truth shall be brought to light,
    Faith shall be lost in sight,
    In the clear shining of the perfect day!



APPENDIX F, Page 368.


The following notice by an old pupil, now a head-mistress, appeared in
the _Times_ of November 17:—

    ‘Miss Beale’s personality made itself everywhere strongly felt,
    but most of all in her own school. Even in later days, when
    she could come in contact with a very small minority of the
    1000 under her care, her absence was felt by all as a loss of
    moral support, almost a lessening of tension. Strenuousness was
    a dominant note of the tone she inspired by the force of her
    own vitality, and, to use a favourite word of her own, she was
    always “energizing” the school. And it told. “I am sending my
    girl to Cheltenham,” said one, “because I find that those who
    have been there do their work—paid or unpaid—with thoroughness
    and attention to detail,” and others paid the same testimony to
    the training. This thoroughness was eminently characteristic of
    Miss Beale’s own work. To the end she prepared her lessons with
    the same care she would have asked from the merest beginner in
    teaching. Her correspondence was unlimited, and an astonishing
    amount of it was written in her own hand. She superintended
    every detail of the building which she loved—which was indeed
    her hobby. While allowing her subordinates much scope and
    encouraging suggestion, she kept the threads of the intricate
    organisation in her own hands. Her physical energy was
    only second to her force of will, though her “spirit” was
    pathetically shown in latter days by her refusal to accept the
    limitations set by failing health. “We have talked for three
    minutes about my health,” she said to one who saw her after a
    serious illness, “let us speak of something more interesting.”
    And, though she had lost the sight of one eye, and was so
    deaf that listening to others reading must have been a strain
    rather than a pleasure, she still continued to read every book
    of importance as it appeared. Her intellectual vigour was
    fresh to the end, and her keen interest in every new branch of
    learning unimpaired. She would plunge on a railway journey into
    a discussion of the last book on psychology, or demonstrate
    the latest method of teaching shorthand. She was astonishingly
    young in thought, always “up to date,” and often in advance of
    the general progress.

    ‘Her personal influence, though strong, and in some cases
    almost overpowering, was peculiarly free from any weakening
    element. She did not encourage demonstration, and, though
    in later years she allowed her tenderness more play, the
    atmosphere about her was always bracing. Perhaps she was
    more in touch with the strong than the weak. She had little
    understanding of, or sympathy with any form of frivolity, still
    less of flippancy. She made decisions herself on principles
    always, and she expected the same from others. Very often
    she induced it by her mere expectation, and so made the weak
    strong. It was this partly which made so many come to her for
    the advice which was given at the cost of any amount of time
    or trouble to any “old girl.” And, though she never sought,
    or perhaps enjoyed, popularity in the ordinary sense of the
    word, many who had feared her in their school-days, grew
    afterwards to love her as well as to admire her, and often to
    depend on her. She had a great reverence for the conscience
    of each with whom she dealt. She brought up her “children” to
    think for themselves, and, though naturally disappointed when
    they differed from her, she always acknowledged their right to
    hold their own opinions. She was incapable of pettiness, and
    nothing could exceed her generosity in owning herself mistaken.
    Indeed she loved a fair fight, and greatly appreciated an
    honourable opponent, and she welcomed as fellow-workers those
    of very different views from herself, and had, indeed, the most
    wonderful power of discovering worth in all.

    ‘Much of her outward success was due, no doubt, to her shrewd
    business capacity—her physique, her intellectual strength, her
    single-minded absorption in the cause of education, and its
    concrete embodiment in her own school. But the real success,
    her power of inspiring others, was due to her greatness of
    character. The Guild meetings, at which there was often an
    attendance of some hundreds of old girls, were the source of
    inspiration to many. “I come back feeling a poor thing, but
    knowing that great things are possible,” was the feeling of
    many, if not expressed in these words. And this was due, not to
    her organising power, nor even to her freshness of thought, but
    to her spiritual genius. She was a seer, perhaps, rather than
    a prophet, for, though of original mind, she found accurate
    expression of thought difficult. “I never understood Miss
    Beale’s Scripture lessons,” said an old pupil, “they were so
    vague; but I always felt a bigness of thought about them, and
    sometimes the meaning of things she said begins to dawn on me
    now.” Her religious life was not expressed formally; but it was
    beyond all doubt a real force and the source of her strength.
    The feeling was there and was intense. Years after she could
    not speak without tears of a time of doubt and uncertainty. She
    was rapt in prayer, and at times fervent to passion. It was
    with absolute reality that she taught that the important thing
    was to know and do the will of God, and it is this above all
    else which is causing thousands of her children to “rise up and
    call her blessed.”’

The following extract is from a notice in the _Guardian_ of November 21,
1906:—

    DOROTHEA BEALE. IN THANKFUL REMEMBRANCE.

    ‘Miss Beale is dead. To many of us who loved and reverenced
    her, death seems the wrong word to use, she looked forward with
    such loving hopefulness to the great time of direct revelation,
    that one would rather (following Dr. Pusey’s practice) call her
    deathday her last and greatest birthday. Much has been said and
    written of her work—comparatively little of her personality. As
    one who was honoured by her friendship for over thirty years, I
    would ask for a little space in which to describe her. Her most
    marked characteristic was her profound reverence for truth.
    If truth hurt her, none the less did she accept it loyally.
    This sanctified her scholarship. Her generous gratitude to all
    who in any way helped her evidenced her large-heartedness.
    Especially did she remember her father’s indirect, unconscious
    teaching....

    ‘Among the most treasured memories of the present writer are
    those of certain Sunday afternoons spent at Cheltenham with
    Miss Beale, her great friend, Miss Buss, and another friend
    who has also entered into rest. After saying the Veni Creator
    together we talked with perfect openness of those things we
    most loved and dreaded. This close personal communion with
    such personalities as those of our two great leaders was
    at once a privilege and a responsibility. Mention has been
    made elsewhere of Miss Beale’s reading at College prayers.
    Even more penetratingly beautiful was her reading on some of
    those afternoons. In a time of great trouble she read to us
    Kingsley’s _St. Maura_. And the pathos with which she lingered
    on the words, “Who ever found the Cross a pleasant bed?” made,
    at least on one of her hearers, an indelible impression.

    ‘Perhaps the words which most adequately describe her whole
    life are, “I have set God always before me.” She has been, and
    still is, to those who knew her, a true Dorothea—the gift of
    God.’

                                                         E. T. DAY.



INDEX


    Address to Parents, 155.

    Aitken, Miss V., 258.

    Aldrich-Blake, Dr., 357, 362, 363.

    Alston, Miss, 30, 40, 62, 79, 97, 98.

    Alverstone, Lord, 340.

    Ambleside, 333, 388.

    Andrews, Miss A., 322, 323, 340, 344, 354, 358, 359, 361.

    Angélique, La Mère, 226.

    Arnold, Miss C., 161, 173, 246, 267, 268, 280, 282, 283, 372-389.

    Asquith, Mr., 340, 341.

    Assistant Mistresses’ Association, 294.

    Astell, Mrs., 252.

    Austin’s, St. (boarding-house), 247.

    Autobiography, Miss Beale’s, 3-13.


    Balliol College, 330.

    Barlow, Sir T., 123.

    Barnes, 66, 95, 96, 99.

    Barrett, Mrs., 79.

    —— Professor, 187, 198.

    Barry, Canon, 168.

    Bartholomew, Mrs., 7.

    Bath, 343.

    Batten, Mrs., 240.

    Battenberg, Princess Henry of, 334.

    Beale, Anna, 123.

    —— Dorothea, childhood, 1-9;
      schools, 9-14;
      home life, 15, 16, 60-66;
      Queen’s College, 20-35;
      Principal of Cheltenham Ladies’ College, 98, 115;
      as teacher, 43, 45, 127, 254-275;
      early difficulties, 128;
      Blue-book, 138;
      as principal, 276-285;
      religious faith, 73-89, 187-202, 264, 268;
      honours, 319, 323, 324, 336, 339;
      letters, 150, 161, 162, 164, 192, 196, 197, 221, 239, 246, 251,
        255, 266, 267, 268, 272, 273, 280-285, 287-290, 292, 296, 304-310,
        314, 328, 332, 341, 342, 350, 357, 371-419.

    Beale, Edward, 15, 130, Appendix E.

    —— Eliza, 8, 13, 66, 79, 338.

    —— Henry, 1.

    —— Miles, 1, 2, 6, 7, 20, 38, 39, 44, 45, 48, 49, 50, 53, 54, 56, 74,
      76, 132.

    —— Mrs., 2, 95, 107, 130.

    Bedford College, 135.

    —— Duchess of, 347.

    —— High School, 352.

    Belcher, Miss, 152, 182, 265, 284, 352, 404-408, 416.

    Bell, Mr., J.P., 95, 100, 102, 107.

    Bellairs, Canon, 82, 86, 89, 97, 98, 102-107, 168, 238.

    Bennett, W. Sterndale, 23, 30.

    Benson, Archbishop, 287, 290, 388.

    —— Mrs., 287, 292, 400, 419.

    —— Miss, 352.

    Bernays, Professor, 23, Appendix A.

    Berridge, Miss, 343.

    Bidder, Miss, 343.

    Blackwell, Dr. Elizabeth, 135.

    Blackwood, Lady Victoria, 329.

    Blenkarne, Mrs., 30, 79.

    Bloemfontein, 301.

    Boarding-houses, 89, 170-175.

    Body, Canon, 182, 249, 289, 291, 330, 386.

    Bonchurch, 331, 415.

    Boyd, Dean, 85, 94, 131.

    Bradfield, 333.

    Brancker, Mr. J. H., 112, 120-124, 165, 227, 228.

    Brasseur, Professor, 23, 28.

    Bray, Mrs., 13.

    Brewer, Professor, 23, 24.

    —— Miss, 94, 107, 113, 123, 131.

    Bromby, Bishop, 82, 86, 94, 115, 119, 132.

    —— Rev. G., 222, 224.

    Brown, Miss M., 276, 314.

    —— Dr. Morton, 168.

    Bruce, Miss, 243, 342.

    Bryant, Mrs., 348.

    Bryce, Sir J., 141, 325.

    —— Commission, 294, 325.

    Buckoll, Miss, 68.

    Budge, Professor, 355.

    Burdett-Coutts, Baroness, 336.

    Burney, Fanny, 83.

    Burrows, Mrs., 237.

    Burton, Canon, 37.

    Buss, Miss, 23, 24, 25, 27, 61, 123, 133, 135, 143, 145, 168, 169,
      172, 174, 292, 293, 321, 323, 331, 382, 408.


    Caines, Miss, 170, 291, 338, 402.

    Caird, Dr. Edward, 378, 392.

    Cambray House, 90, 92, 108, 126.

    —— —— School, 246, 247.

    Cambridge, 330.

    Cardew, Dr., 359.

    Carpenter, Dr., 135.

    —— Mr. Lant, 413.

    Carter, Miss, 404, 407.

    Casterton, 33, 35, 36-61, 63, 66, 100, 175.

    Catherine, St., of Siena, 226.

    Charles, Mr. Justice, 173.

    _Chart_, the, 126, 261.

    Cheltenham, 66, 81, 82, 291, 337.

    —— College, 86.

    Child-Study Association, 295.

    Child, Dr., 235.

    Church Schools’ Company, 294.

    Clark, Rev. S., 24.

    Clarke, Miss Margaret, 180, 183, 282, 330, 331, 401, 408.

    Clewer, 134, 251.

    Close, Dean, 84, 85, 89, 100, 103, 131.

    Clough, Miss, 347.

    Coates, Mr., 411, 412.

    Cock, Rev. T. A., 24, 26, 29.

    Collet, Mrs. Mark, 400.

    Colson, M. Théodore, 112.

    Complin, Dorothea M. See Mrs. Beale.

    —— Elizabeth, 2, 5.

    Compton, Bishop, Lord Alwyne, 234.

    Comyn, Dr. S. E., 87, 98, 105.

    Cooper, Mrs., 403.

    Corbet, Rev. R., 196, 197.

    Corbett, Miss, 241.

    Cornwallis, Archbishop, 3.

    Cornwallis, Caroline F., 2, 4, 5.

    —— Mrs., 2, 3.

    —— Rev., 2, 3.

    Coulson, Mrs., 113.

    Council, Ladies’ College, 163, 168.

    Cowan Bridge, 41.

    Cowley House, 330.

    Crawford, Annette Bear, 309.

    Creighton, Bishop, 242.

    Crosby Hall, 6, 11, 12.

    Curling, Dr. and Mrs., 96, 105.


    Daldy, Dr., 73.

    Davenport, Mrs., 23.

    Davies, Miss E., 137, 140, 143, 145.

    Davis, Rev. L., 17.

    Day, Miss E., 404, Appendix F.

    —— Mr. Philip, 242.

    Degree, Edinburgh University, 339.

    De Morgan, Mr., 135.

    Denton, Rev. W., 42, 73, 76.

    Diary, Miss Beale’s, 70, 79, 105, 107, 181, 185, 189, 191, 195, 233,
      255, 292, 330.

    Dobson, Rev. W., 87.

    —— Mr. Austin, 340.

    Dove, Miss, 327.

    Draper, Miss, 329.

    Drummond, Miss, 407.

    Dufferin, Lord, 329.

    Dunn, Mr. W., 168.

    Durham, 343.

    —— University, 324.


    Eaton, Miss, 123.

    Edinburgh, 339, 341.

    Edmonds, Miss, 284.

    Eliot, George, 379.

    Ellicott, Bishop, 89, 169, 206, 234, 349, 392.

    Elwall, Miss, 66, 79, 96.

    Endowed Schools’ Commission, 133, 136-145.

    Evans, Archdeacon, 42, 50.

    Examinations, 114, 124, 146, 153, 231.


    Fairbairn, Dr., 326.

    Fallières, M., 323.

    Fauconberg House, 169, 170, 291.

    Fermi, Miss, 360.

    Fielden, Mrs., 319.

    Fitch, Sir Joshua, 137, 138, 167, 284, 413.

    Fitzmaurice, Colonel, 87.

    Fliedner, Pastor, 66.

    Flower, Sir William, 319.

    Fontenay-aux-Roses, 322, 324.

    Forster, Mr., 138.

    Frankfort, 334.

    Fraser, Bishop, 409.

    —— Mrs., 129, 160.

    Frederick, the Empress, 81, 333.

    Freedom of Cheltenham, 336.

    French, Bishop, 330.

    Froebel Society, 294.


    Galloway, Miss, 342.

    Garnier-Gentilhomme, Mme., 320.

    Garrett, Miss, 135.

    Gedge, Rev. W. W., 168.

    George III., 82.

    Gilbert, Miss E., 23.

    Giles, Miss A., 344, 415-419.

    Girls’ Public Day-School Company, 123, 145, 166.

    Girton, 146.

    Gladstone, Mr., 134.

    —— Miss H., 305.

    Gleichen, Countess F., 334.

    Gloucester, 335, 367.

    —— Dean of, 219, 366.

    Gore, Miss, 360, 362, 399, 410.

    Governesses’ Benevolent Institution, 18, 19.

    Grahamstown, 301.

    Grant, Sir Ludovic, 340.

    Granville, Lord, 168.

    Green, Mr. T. H., 138.

    Greene, Mrs., 58, 102.

    Gresham Lectures, 12.

    Gretton, Miss, 352.

    Grey, Mrs. William, 140, 141, 145, 166, 172, 241, 304, 308, 383.

    Griffith, Mrs., 218.

    Grzywacz, Fräulein, 344, 360.

    Guernsey, 350.

    Guild, the, 213-221.

    —— —— Plays, 332, 355.

    —— —— Settlement, 221-225.

    Gull, Sir William, 123.

    Gurney, Mrs. Russell, 197, 198, 330, 387, 400.

    —— Rev. Alfred, 387.

    —— Miss M., 168.

    Guyon, Mme., 226.


    Hackett, Miss Maria, 7, 146.

    Hall, Dr. Stanley, 295.

    Harraden, Miss B., 205.

    Harris, Dr., 325.

    —— Hon. and Rev. C., 95.

    Harrison, Miss J., 152, 205.

    Hartland, Mr. N., 87, 93-95, 105, 120, 122.

    Hay, Mrs., 239.

    Hayes, Mrs., 24.

    Head-mistresses’ Association, 292, 293.

    —— Conference, 351, 404, 418.

    Helen’s, St., Church, Bishopsgate, 2, 8.

    —— —— (boarding-house), 170, 247.

    Hibbert-Ware, the Misses, 403.

    Hilda, St., 226, 234.

    Hilda’s, St., Association, 243.

    —— —— College, Cheltenham, 177, 227, 231, 235.

    —— —— East, 242, 331, 342, 356.

    —— —— Hall, Oxford, 235-240, 324, 388.

    —— —— Work, 243, 250, 251, 252.

    Hinton, James, 182, 186.

    History of the Ladies’ College, 205.

    Hitchin, 146.

    Holden, Rev. H. A., 87.

    Holland, Canon Francis, 125, 284.

    Hopkins, Miss Ellice, 186, 307, 308.

    House of Education, 333.

    Hullah, Mr. John, 23.

    Hutchinson, Canon, 338.

    Hyde Court, 1, 130, 182, 183, 185, 418.


    Illingworth, Rev. Dr., 330, 347.

    Ince, H., _Outlines_, 71, 73, 104.

    International Congress of Education, 320.


    Jackson, Bishop, 67.

    —— Rev. T., 69.

    Jervis, Rev. C., 84.

    Jex-Blake, Dean, 161, 167.

    —— Miss, 23.

    Johnson, Miss A., 410.

    —— Sir S., 345.

    Jowett, Dr., 329, 392.

    Jubilee of Ladies’ College, 348.


    Kaiserwerth, 64, 66-69.

    Kensington Society, 156.

    Ker, Miss F., 215, 239, 346.

    Keyl, Miss, 349.

    Kindergarten, 91, 244-246, 248.

    King, Miss, 23.

    Kingsley, Rev. C., 23, 24.

    Kirby Lonsdale, 40.

    Kitchin, Dean, 234, 238.

    Knight, Professor, 187.

    Kynaston, Canon, 168.


    Ladies’ College, 81, 82, 86, 109-130, 135, 157;
      new buildings, 158-163;
      constitution, 167, 169;
      extensions, organ, etc., 211, 212;
      Princess Hall, 331;
      science wing, 348.

    Lady Margaret Hall, 235, 237.

    Laing, Rev. D., 17, 20, 23, 24, 25, 28, 135.

    Lancaster, Mrs., 62-65, 67, 95, 97, 102, 250, 303.

    Lane, Miss, 362.

    Laurie, Miss, 410.

    —— Professor, 341.

    Leckhampton, 169, 333, 386.

    Lewis, Miss Wolseley, 266, 284, 332.

    Lloyd, Mrs., 112.

    Loan Fund, 230, 231.

    London, Bishop of, 248.

    —— Institution, 11.

    —— University, 338.

    Londonderry, Lord, 348.

    Longe, Mr. F. D., 168.

    Louch, Miss, 295, 387.

    Lowe, Mr., 165.

    Lumby, Miss A., 294, 346.

    Lyttelton, Lord, 168.


    M’Causland, General, 168.

    Mace, Mrs., 115, 404.

    Mackenzie, Prebendary, 6, 7, 42, 72, 76, 126, 146.

    Mackintosh, Sir J., 24.

    Magazine, Ladies’ College, 186, 203-210.

    Magrath, Rev. Dr., 348, 366.

    Manchester, 136.

    _Mangnall’s Questions_, 141, 340.

    Margaret’s, St., Bethnal Green, 241.

    Maria Grey Training College, 176.

    Marlborough, 416.

    Marriott, Mr. T., 168.

    Martin, Miss, 23, 407.

    Mason, Canon, 290, 305.

    Mason, Miss C., 295, 333.

    Maurice, Professor F. D., 20-24, 27, 28.

    Mayfield House, 225, 240, 241.

    Medd, Canon, 233.

    Mellish, Miss, 350.

    Merchant Taylors’ School, 15.

    Merritt, Mrs. Lea, 346.

    Michaelis, Mme., 245.

    Middleton, Mr. J., 162, 168.

    —— Mrs., 186.

    Milner, Miss E., 136.

    Missionary Study Circle, 301.

    Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, 304.

    Monroe, Mrs. E. H., 320.

    Monteagle, Lady, 24.

    Moyle, Mrs., 243, 419.

    Mugliston, Miss H., 219.

    Mulcaster, Miss, 94.

    Murray, Miss, 18, 19.

    Music-teaching, 110-112.


    National Education Association, U.S.A., 324.

    —— Vigilance Association, 308.

    Newcastle, 342.

    Newman, Miss C., 223, 224, 240, 310.

    —— Miss M., 176, 177, 227, 411.

    —— Francis, 195.

    —— J. H., 195.

    Nicolay, Rev. C. F., 25, 28, 114.

    Nightingale, Miss F., 67, 135.

    Nixon, Miss, 320, 411.

    Norman, Mr., 336.

    Northcote, Sir S., 138.


    Oakeley, Sir H. E., 248.

    Oeynhausen, 69, 344, 357.

    Officier d’Académie, 323.

    Oliver, Rev. J., 64.

    Ormerod, Miss, 340.

    Osborne, Mrs., 342.

    Overwork, 153, 278.

    Owen, Mrs. J., 168, 174, 186, 206, 213, 298, 299, 303.

    —— Mr. S., 124, 125.


    _Paidologist, The_, 295.

    Parents’ Educational Union, 295.

    Paris, 320, 329.

    Parratt, Sir W., 211.

    Parry, Miss, 26.

    Pearce, Colonel, 175.

    Phillipps, Miss L. March, 168.

    Piper, Miss, 136.

    Plumptre, Dean, 23, 26, 29, 33, 34, 35, 37, 39, 42, 56, 57, 72, 95.

    Plunket, Mr. W. L., 329.

    Procter, Mrs., 90, 92.

    —— Miss, 90, 92, 93, 94, 113, 115, 116, 164.

    —— Adelaide, 23.

    Pullen, Professor, 12.

    Pusey, Dr., 134.


    Queen’s College, 19-35, 131, 135.


    Radley, 330.

    Ramabai, Pundita, 299, 300, 301, 305.

    Reid, Mr., 135.

    —— Miss M., 410.

    Rein, Dr., 387.

    Retreats, 286-291.

    Reynolds, Mrs., 243.

    —— Miss, 97.

    Richardson, Miss M., 78.

    Riddle, Rev. A. E., 132.

    Ridley, Miss A., 169, 293.

    Rix, Mr. and Mrs., 363.

    Robertson, Rev. F., 86.

    Robinson, Mrs. C., 221, 255, 352. See Miss C. Arnold.

    Rooke, Mr. T. M., 168.

    Rowand, Miss, 359, 361, 362, 402.

    Rowley, Miss, 33.

    Rücker, Sir A., 340, 341.

    Ruskin, Mr., 136, 137;
      letters, 207-212, 314-318.

    Russell, Major-General, 334.

    Ryan, Sir E., 168.


    Saintsbury, Professor, 341.

    Salazaro, Signora Zampini, 320.

    Samuelson, Lady, 320.

    Saumerez, Lord de, 89.

    Scholarships, 175, 176, 230, 239.

    _Self-Examination Questions_, 73, Appendix C.

    Sélincourt, Mr. de, 416.

    Selwyn, Miss, 176.

    Sewell, Miss E., 135, 136, 358, 415.

    —— Mrs., 15.

    Shannon, Mr. J. J., 347.

    Shepheard, Rev. H., 53, 57, 58, 96, 99, 103, 105.

    —— Mrs., 58.

    Shields, Mr. F., 315, 416.

    Shireff, Miss, 145, 305.

    Shorthouse, Mr. S., 209.

    Simeon, Rev. C., 84.

    Sinclair, Miss M., 205.

    Smith, Mrs. Ashley, 215-218, 411.

    —— Rev. Charles, 330.

    —— Professor G. A., 342.

    Soames, Miss, 227.

    Social Science Congress, 138, 146, 147, 155, 156, 166, 409.

    Somervell, Mrs. A., 320.

    Somerville College, 235.

    Soulsby, Mrs., 290.

    —— Miss, 327, 328.

    Stanley, Lady, of Alderley, 24.

    —— Hon. Lyulph, 321.

    Stanton, Rev. V. H., 289, 290, 292.

    Stepney, Bishop of, 356, 367.

    Stevenson, the Misses, 342.

    Stirling, Miss, 345, 346.

    Stoke, 190.

    Storrar, Dr., 144, 168.

    Storrs, Mr., 146.

    Story, Dr., 342.

    Strettel, Rev. A. B., 25.

    Strong, Miss L., 301, 328, 338, 401, 404, 408.

    Stroud, 1, 388.

    Stubbs, Bishop, 238.

    Sturge, Miss, 360, 361, 365, 408.

    Sudeley Castle, 392.

    Swanwick, Miss A., 393.

    Symonds. Rev. W., 6.

    Synge, Miss B., 205.


    Tait, Miss, 419.

    Tallents, Mrs., 349.

    Teachers’ Guild, 294.

    Temple, Bishop, 138.

    Tennyson, Alfred, 19, 137.

    _Textbook of General History_, 66, 70, 73, 95, 99, 104, 261,
      Appendix B.

    Thompson, Miss, 212.

    Tiesset, M. and Mademoiselle, 113.

    Training of Teachers, 29, 86, 151, 176, 228, 229, 231, 246, 249, 277,
      289, 409.

    Trench, Dean, 23, 24, 67, 95.

    Trimmer, James, 3.

    —— Sarah, 3.

    Tuke, Sir John Batty, 340.

    Twining, Miss, 24, 65.


    Vaccination, 335.

    Verrall, Mr. H., 165, 167, 168.

    —— Miss A., 241.

    Victoria, Queen, 334, 338, 367.

    Vincent, Miss, 58, 99.


    Wantage, 13, 299.

    Wardell, Miss, 23.

    Webb, Bishop, 302.

    —— Mr. S., 387.

    Wedgwood, Mrs., 25, 43.

    —— Miss, 22, 350.

    Welldon, Miss, 245.

    Wellington, Duke of, 83, 108.

    Wells, Mrs., 239, 403.

    Westcott, Bishop, 206.

    Weston, Miss Agnes, 310.

    Widgery, Mr., 321.

    Wilderspin, Miss, 246.

    Wilkinson, Bishop, 186, 281, 286, 374, 377, 378, 380, 382, 383, 385.

    Wilson, Rev. C., 40, 41, 58, 102.

    —— Mr. E. T., 168.

    Winkworth, Miss C., 168.

    Withiel, Mrs., 294.

    Wood, Lady Page, 24.

    —— Miss S., 152, 400, 408.

    Woodchester, 331, 338.

    Woodhouse, Mrs., 354, 404.

    Wordsworth, Miss, 347.

    _Work and Play_, 326-329.

    Working Men’s College, Cheltenham, 297.

    Worsley, Rev. E., 335, 357.

    Wright, Dr., 319.


    York, 343.


Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty at the Edinburgh
University Press





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