The Sussex Diarists. 55
The chief opponent of Mr. Gale in these multifarious money-getting pursuits was John Kent—" old Kent," as Gale irreverently calls him—the same who put his cross to the rules laid down for the management of the school; and no small part of the diary is occupied with the quarrels between the two. Gale having accompanied a neighbour on what was evidently a drinking bout, and the worthy pair having lost their road, and Gale slipped from a high bank, "butreceived no hurt," " Old Kent came to the knowledge of the above journey and told it to the Rev. Mr. Downall in a false manner, much to my disadvantage; he said that I got drunk and that that was the occasion of my falling, and that, not being content with what I had had, I went into the town that night for more."
And, shortly afterwards, "The old man entered the school with George Wilmhurst and Eliz. Hook and said they should be taught free. I asked him how many I was to teach free; without any further ado he flew into a violent passion. Among other abusive and scurrilous language he said I was an upstart, runnagate, beggarly dog, that I picked his pocket, and that I never knew how to teach a school in my life. He again called me upstart, runnagate, beggarly dog, clinched his fist in my face, and made a motion to strike me, and declared he would break my head. He did not strike me, but withdrew in a wonderful heat, and ended all with his general maxim, ' The greater scholler, the greater rogue.'" A maxim worthy of the age!
The division of the scholars into free boys and such as were paid for by their friends was one of the causes that ruined so many Grammar Schools and Free Schools. The free boys—those on the foundation—were neglected by the Master, and came to be looked down upon by the other scholars, until at last many a public school, like that at Midhurst, had not a scholar on the foundation and was shut up altogether.
We have said that Walter Gale, in spite of his dream of