Memoir of a Brother

Thomas Hughes Memoir of a Brother
Thomas Hughes
Project Gutenberg
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This Memoir was written for, and at the request of, the near relatives, and intimate friends, of the home-loving country gentleman, whose unlooked-for death had made them all mourners indeed. Had it been meant originally for publication, it would have taken a very different form. In compiling it, my whole thoughts were fixed on my own sons and nephews, and not on the public. It tells of a life with which indeed the public has no concern in one sense; for my brother, with all his ability and power of different kinds, was one of the humblest and most retiring of men; who just did his own duty, and held his own tongue, without the slightest effort or wish for fame or notoriety of any kind. In another sense, however, I do see that it has a meaning and interest for Englishmen in general, and have therefore consented to its publication in the usual way, though not without a sense of discomfort and annoyance at having the veil even partially lifted from the intimacies of a private family circle. For, in a noisy and confused time like ours, it does seem to me that most of us have need to be reminded of, and will be the better for bearing in mind, the reserve of strength and power which lies quietly at the nation’s call, outside the whirl and din of public and fashionable life, and entirely ignored in the columns of the daily press. The subject of this memoir was only a good specimen of thousands of Englishmen of high culture, high courage, high principle, who are living their own quiet lives in every corner of the kingdom, from John o’ Groat’s to the Land’s-End, bringing up their families in the love of God and their neighbour, and keeping the atmosphere around them clean, and pure and strong, by their example,—men who would come to the front, and might be relied on, in any serious national crisis.

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