en the sounds of obscene singing from the road, where men were blundering homewards late from the public-houses in the town, have startled me out of my first sleep. Then, besides the distresses brought upon the people by their own folly, there were others thrust upon them by their economic condition. Of poverty, with its attendant sicknesses and neglects, there has never been any end to the tales, while the desolations due to accidents in the day's work, on the railway, or with horses, or upon scaffoldings of buildings, or in collapsing gravel-quarries, have become almost a commonplace. In short, there is no room for sentimentality about the village life. Could its annals be written they would make no idyll; they would be too much stained by tragedy and vice and misery.
Yet the knowledge of all this--and it was not possible to live here long without such knowledge--left the other impressions I have spoken of quite unimpaired. Disorders were the exception, after all. As a general rule the village charac