‘The Sheepfold & the Common’ – & Other Colonial Ventures

In 1861 Timothy East published a book with the above title, from which I excerpt the following picture and accompanying text.  Think about the meanings lying behind the benevolent Christian actions that he describes – .a holiday evening replete with songs, good food, kindness to children and to one another, and polite conversation.

Herein is a most interesting backdrop formed by many novels in mid-19th Century England, in which idyllic scenes such as depicted in this book overlay the formation of a colonial empire that stretched from India to the New World.

Christmas eve, in 'The Sheepfold and the Commons'

Christmas eve, in ‘The Sheepfold and the Commons’

The conversation was here interrupted by the sweet voices of children singing a Christmas carol in front of the house. We listened for some minutes, when Mrs. Stevens proposed that the choir should be invited into the hall, where they would be sheltered from the snow which was drifting against them. I immediately opened the door, which threw them into some confusion, and they were on the eve of scampering away. I requested them to come in; and taking hold of the hand of the youngest girl, I brought her into the hall, when, after some backwardness and hesitation, the rest cheerfully[552] followed her.

Mrs. Stevens welcomed them, and was pleased to recognize in the young singers some of her own Sunday scholars, who, in spite of snow and drift, had carried out this plan of showing their attachment to her. Their bonnets and cloaks were taken off; and after they had had some refreshment and warmed themselves by the fire, Mr. Llewellin consented to play on the piano, and we all joined the youthful choristers in singing the praises of the Redeemer.

Thus pleasantly passed away the hours of the evening, without entailing guilt or self-reproach; and having rewarded those who came to afford us gratification, we allowed them to depart, happy and contented.

Source:  Timothy East “The Sheepfold and the common, or Within and Without”  1861

John Burckhardt
Walter Oudney
Mr. Fezziwig’s Ball Hand colored etching by Jo...

Mr. Fezziwig’s Ball Hand colored etching by John Leech from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Deutsch: John Leechs Illustration Mr. Fezziwig’s Ball in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
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One Response to ‘The Sheepfold & the Common’ – & Other Colonial Ventures

  1. Pingback: Here’s the PDF of: The Expert Testimony of Hans Jansen at the Geert Wilders Trial, from Kenn d’Oudney, DEMOCRACY DEFINED. |

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