The Convent Is A Building, But Does Not Look Like A Home; It
Is Too Big, Too General.
So this barn, with its few windows, seemed too
immense to belong to any one man.
The tithe barn has so completely
dropped out of modern life that it may be well to briefly mention that
its use was to hold the tenth sheaf from every wheat-field in the parish.
The parson's tithe was the real actual tenth sheaf bodily taken from
every field of corn in the district. A visible tenth, you see; a very
solid thing. Imagine the vast heap they would have made, imagine the
hundreds and hundreds of sacks of wheat they filled when they were
threshed. I have often thought that it would perhaps be a good thing if
this contribution of the real tenth could be brought back again for
another purpose. If such a barn could be filled now, and its produce
applied to the help of the poor and aged and injured of the village, we
might get rid of that blot on our civilisation - the workhouse. Mr.
Besant, in his late capital story, 'The Children of Gibeon,' most truly
pointed out that it was custom which rendered all men indifferent to the
sufferings of their fellow-creatures. In the old Roman days men were
crucified so often that it ceased even to be a show; the soldiers played
at dice under the miserable wretches: the peasant women stepping by
jested and laughed and sang.
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