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From the Sussex Express, 10th September 1867



Perhaps no season in the year is looked forward to by the agriculturalist with more anxious anticipation than that of Autumn, for on its favourableness, in a very great measure depends his success or failure. At this period, his operations during the entire year culminate, and the issue is certainly one of sufficient importance to justify the serious concern of the farmer. Happily during the present year the harvest-time has been most propitious, and the grave apprehensions which were entertained a month ago as to the weather which was to ensue, have subsequently been entirely falsified. In the majority of the southern counties the labours of harvest are being rapidly completed, and in many places they are already finished, and the Harvest home celebration has been observed. It is to chronicle one of these joyful and interesting festivals held on Friday last, at Glynde Place, the residence of the Right Hon H Brand, that we now invite attention. Many residents in the vicinity are aware that since Michaelmas last Mr Brand, who is attached to agricultural pursuits, has been himself farming Glynde Great Farm, previously in the occupation of Mr R Woodman, and the harvest home so liberally given by him on Friday, to the tradesmen in the village, the labourers on the estate, and the children attending the Sunday and village schools, was intended as a pleasing finale to the toils of the harvest, and an hearty acknowledgement of the goodwill and industry displayed by the labourers in its ingathering. Early in the morning a spacious tent was erected in the park, near to the family mansion, and here, almost precisely at one o'clock, a capital and substantial meal was partaken of by about 80 of the villagers and upwards of 70 schoolchildren. The Chair was kindly taken by Mr BRAND, who was supported by F F Thomas, esq (Ratton), Lieut Brand, RN, Capt Brand and other members of his family. The festival was also honoured by the presence of the Hon Mrs Brand, Miss G Brand, Miss M Brand, and Miss Maud Brand, Mrs F F Thomas, the Rev W W de St Croix, Mrs de St Croix and family, Mr C Brand and Mr A Brand. Amongst the company in the park later in the day were the Hon Col H Gage and the Hon Mrs Gage, Hon Miss Gage, Hon Miss A M Gage, Rev H Smith and Mrs Smith (Firle), Rev W D Parish, Rev B Drury, Miss Ellice, Miss B Ellice, Mr Pagden (Alfriston), Mrs Seymour and Miss Seymour, Mr Colgate, Miss Colgate, Mr Hasler, Mr Briscoe, Mr and Mrs Burnett (Boxgrove), Mr McLeod, etc.

On the removal of the cloth the CHAIRMAN, on rising to propose 'the Queen', said that in every assembly of Englishmen the first toast proposed, and very properly so, was the health of our Sovereign Lady the Queen. The toast he now called upon them to drink was honoured for two good reasons among many others. First, her Majesty is the centre of the authority and power; and secondly, because they had an affection for her person. He was quite sure that every Englishman had a feeling of true sympathy for a widow in her affliction, and therefore let them loyally drink the health of her Majesty the Queen (cheers).

'God save the Queen', by the church choir.

Mr PAGDEN said he had been requested to propose a toast, but he found that at this early hour of the day his machinery was hardly sufficiently oiled for him to do it in an easy manner, but he did it with great pleasure, because he was sure the toast would be received with enthusiasm. The gentleman whose health he was about to propose was a good master, a good landlord, and one whose friendship and esteem were valued by all, and he had great pleasure in calling upon them to drink 'the health of the Right Hon Mr and Mrs Brand'. He thought there was a peculiar interest attaching to these harvest homes, and he trusted they might become more numerous. One good result, in his opinion, effected by these gatherings, where landlord, master, and labourer met together in a social and friendly way, was that the distance between them was lessened, and the kindly feeling which ought to subsist between them was enhanced (cheers), because he labourer saw the active interest which was being taken in his behalf, and this feeling would in a great measure tend to wean him from the depraved pleasures of the tavern and beer-shop. After a few words of kindly and useful counsel to the labouring man, Mr Pagden concluded by again proposing the health of the Right Hon Mr and Mrs Brand (loud applause).

The toast was received most enthusiastically, and drank with three times three.

The CHAIRMAN, in replying, said - I really am very much obliged to you for drinking my health in the manner you have done, and I am very much obliged to Mr Pagden for the observations he has made upon the labouring classes in the village. We have assembled here today to keep what is called harvest home. Well now, that is a very common expression, but I don't know that we have always fully considered what it means. Now, I am no antiquarian, and I don't understand or know the origin of harvest homes, but I should think that they were as old as the creation of man. I look upon a harvest home as a record of gratitude to our God for His bounty in giving increase to the labourers of mankind. At all events, we may say this, that harvest home is an expression compounded, perhaps, of two of the sweetest words in the English language. Does any man know a sweeter word in the English language than home? I know something of what it is to have a home, and a very happy home, and I should be very thankful to think that every one here present also enjoyed a happy home, and I really believe that the happy home is to be found quite as often in the cottage as in the palace (cheers); and I am not sure that on the whole you won't find more real happiness in a well-conducted cottage than you will in the palace, because real happiness must have its foundation in industry and labour. I have seen in my life, life in various forms. I ave seen it in rough forms and in smooth forms; and after all my experience, I don't think there is anything in the world so much to be envied or so much to be desired as a happy English home (cheers). It is one of the oldest institutions in the world; it is older than thrones and parliament, and a happy home is one of the greatest blessings that can be conferred upon any man (applause). That you may all enjoy happy homes is my fervent wish. Mr Pagden has been good enough in his proposal to couple Mrs Brand's name with mine. Now, I am quite sure that if she were present she would prompt me to say on her behalf that she feels as warmly as anybody here present a desire that you may all enjoy perfect happiness at home, and may live to be assembled here from year to year, all enjoying happy homes (loud cheers).

The CHAIRMAN, on rising to propose the next toast, said - I want you all very much to drink the health of a man whom I have now known in this village for nearly a generation, and you have all of you known him probably for the same time. All those who have so known him must love him and respect him, and you will agree with me at once when I tell you the health I wish you to drink is that of the minister of our parish 'the Rev de St Croix' (cheers). You have always found him, as I am quite sure I have always found him, earnest and anxious in his sphere of duty; - he does his duty to his Master thoroughly as he does his duty to you thoroughly, and I am confident that as there is attachment on his part towards you, so there is love on yours towards him. That is the relation which ought to exist between a people and their minister and I am thankful to say it does exist in this parish (cheers). With those few words let me ask you to drink the health of our worthy minister, the Rev W de St Croix (applause). It is needless to add the toast was received most warmly, and responded to with three times three.

The Rev W DE ST CROIX, in responding to the toast, said - I feel great pleasure in responding to the toast so kindly proposed by Mr Brand, but I am very sorry to say that I must consider that I am not entitled to even a moderate share of your praised passed upon me. As Mr Brand says, I have known you all for a good many years, and I trust that you have always found me perfectly straightforward and open in all things (cheers). Of course it is a very difficult thing to occupy the position I occupy in this parish, because I often find the parson is the most abused man in the parish. There seems to be a peculiar characteristic attaching to the parson, which renders it impossible for him to be right for anybody (laughter). Therefore a man requires a great deal of tact and an intimate acquaintance with human nature in order that he may occupy that position in a parish like this. I thank you very much, but as I am not a brilliant orator like Mr Pagden (Laughter), I can only give you my earnest thanks for the manner in which you have received the toast. The rev gentleman concluded by proposing 'the health of Mr Colgate' in very flattering terms.

Mr COLGATE briefly acknowledged the toast, and thanked the men for the hearty and willing manner in which they had laboured during the harvest.

Mr McLEOD proposed 'The Plough, the Loom, and the Sail' in a very facetious and amusing manner, and after a few remarks from the hon chairman, the company quickly dispersed themselves over the undulating and prettily-timbered park, and were soon engaged in various pastimes - cricket, stoolball, and the inevitable 'Old Aunt Sally'. A match between the married and single resulted in the representatives of single-blessedness being defeated by 34 runs. Another match amongst the juveniles, sides being chosen by Mr A and Mr C Brand, was terminated most satisfactorily by a tie for 66. Although the weather might have been a trifle more propitious, still it was not sufficiently adverse to prevent the 'Butterflies' from organising a stoolball match which, after a delightful game, ended by a victory for neither side; as from the score we notice that both parties made 104. At five o'clock an admirable tea was provided, and after a few races the evening was concluded by a merry dance on the green sward to the strains of a capital band. We must not omit to mention that much of the success of the day is attributable to the indefatigable manner in which the Rev de St Croix devoted himself to the amusement and gratification of his parishioners, both young and old. He was here, there and everywhere, and under such an experienced superintendent it is unnecessary to add that everything passed off jollily. The schoolchildren seemed especially delighted, for at dinner their wants were most assiduously supplied by the Misses Brand and other young ladies, and in the afternoon they ran a number of races, and were rewarded with suitable prizes by the Hon Mrs Brand. At an advanced hour the lads and lasses, although reluctantly, wended their way homewards, and soon the deserted park, and all around, was still and calm;

- 'the noon of night
Was fast approaching; up th' beclouded sky
The glorious moon pursued her path of light,
And shed her silv'ry splendour far and nigh.

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