6. CHAPTER VI
Mr. Macey, tailor and parish-clerk, the latter of which functions
rheumatism had of late obliged him to share with a small-featured
young man who sat opposite him, held his white head on one side, and
twirled his thumbs with an air of complacency, slightly seasoned
with criticism. He smiled pityingly, in answer to the landlord's
appeal, and said--
"Aye, aye; I know, I know; but I let other folks talk. I've laid
by now, and gev up to the young uns. Ask them as have been to
school at Tarley: they've learnt pernouncing; that's come up since
"If you're pointing at me, Mr. Macey," said the deputy clerk, with
an air of anxious propriety, "I'm nowise a man to speak out of my
place. As the psalm says--
"I know what's right, nor only so,
But also practise what I know.""
"Well, then, I wish you'd keep hold o' the tune, when it's set for
you; if you're for practising, I wish you'd practise that,"
said a large jocose-looking man, an excellent wheelwright in his
week-day capacity, but on Sundays leader of the choir. He winked,
as he spoke, at two of the company, who were known officially as the
"bassoon" and the "key-bugle", in the confidence that he was
expressing the sense of the musical profession in Raveloe.
Mr. Tookey, the deputy-clerk, who shared the unpopularity common to
deputies, turned very red, but replied, with careful moderation--
"Mr. Winthrop, if you'll bring me any proof as I'm in the wrong,
I'm not the man to say I won't alter. But there's people set up
their own ears for a standard, and expect the whole choir to follow
'em. There may be two opinions, I hope."
"Aye, aye," said Mr. Macey, who felt very well satisfied with this
attack on youthful presumption; "you're right there, Tookey:
there's allays two 'pinions; there's the 'pinion a man has of
himsen, and there's the 'pinion other folks have on him. There'd be
two 'pinions about a cracked bell, if the bell could hear itself."