THE BELGIAN REVEREND VAN DOORNE
The owner of champion Orlando &
breeder of champions Jack Thyr & Frigga
His curriculum vitae . Henry Van Doorne was born in 1841 at Poeke , a small rural village in the East of Flanders [30 miles west of Appelterre] , as the son of Joannes Van Doorne, the burgomaster of Poeke who was also a wealthy notary .
Henry was an ex-student of the famous Flemish poet Guido Gezelle who teached him at the seminary of Roeselare where also English pupils resided . Gezelle , who craved to become a missionary in England , only became appointed as co-director at the English college and as a teacher at the Seminarium Anglo-Belgicum , both in Bruges . But under the impulse of the English converts and art-lovers residing at Bruges , a wave of ‘Anglomania’ arised between Flemish colleagues . It became proclaimed that Englishmen should embrace Catholicism if there should be enough priests .
Gezelle’s pupil Hendrik Van Doorne succeeded in his master’s dream and became ordained Roman Catholic priest at Melior Street , South East London , by Bishop Thomas Grant [1816-1870] , August 24th 1865 , after that he continued his studies at Rome . In September 1866 the Reverend Van Doorne became rector of a Convent at St-Leonard nearby Hastings on the South Coast , further on he became appointed at the mission of the port of Southampton and in 1871 he once again moved to another mission at the South Coast , Christ Church some seven miles West of Lymington where he got acquainted with the aristocratic John Weld of the Lodge . Being a skilled hunter , enamoured by horses and pedigree dogs, he ever was a welcome guest at the Lymington’ Lodge in the nearby of the Isle of Wight . Later on , when working in the London’ Southwark area , he loved to spend some days at the Lodge . In 1878 he accompanied Bishop Danell on his educational trip by railway into the direction of Lymington ,where they stayed at the Weld’ Lodge at the borders of New Forest . In 1873 he became rector of the Convent at Roehampton , North of Wimbledon and the following year he became chaplain of Joseph Charles Mc Grath , the Presbytery, Camberwell New Road nr Lambeth . Rev. Mc Grath was his old fellow student at the Seminarium Anglo-Belgicum at Bruges .
The Reverend Van Doorne was preferably active at Brixton where he justly in 1881 became appointed as pastor . At Brixton wasn’t a chapel nor a school and the parish only counted 75 catholics . The expansion of Brixton parish should become his life’s work remaining there till February 1901 . Many well-to-do families resided there in stately mansions . Father Van Doorne sojourned gladly and easily in higher companies , a/o befriended with James Barry-Ball , the otorinolaryngologist who wrote several medical studies an who was married Flora Weld ‘sis Clara , daughter of Joseph Weld of Lymington . Also a great number of scientists and artists belonged to his circle of friends .
The Reverend Van Doorne was also co-founder and vice-warden of the ‘ Guild of St-Gregory and St-Luke ’ , aiming the promotion of the study of the Christian Antiquity & Archeology and the renewal of the Christian art according to the genuine Neogothic principles . The founding of the Guild was inspired by an ex student of the Seminarium at Bruges , namely James Waele and the first warden was Sir Stuart Knill , ex Mayor of London . It counted under their members a/o the painter PH Westlake , the archeologist Edmund Bishop and the architects JH Eastwood & John Bentley , the latter being the designer of ‘ Westminster Cathedral by order of Cardinal Vaughan' .
A group portrait fr l to r ~ Reverend Henry Van Doorne , Guido Gezelle’ nephew Reverend Caesar Gezelle , Dr Hullin , Miss Eliza Weld & an unknown woman. At right - the cover of Rev Van Doorne' three-fold dramatic love novel, autobiographical and full of puns, as the title (Van Noorde from Van Doorne) already indicates. The book, issued in 1881 for the benefit of religious work, ie the construction of his church at Brixton, is to contemporary standards barely readable. But presumably in that time the necessary copies were sold.
In 1881 he searched after an appropriate ground for his Neo-gothic parish church and found a propriety ‘ No 4 , Gwydyr House ‘, Trent Road Brixton Rise Brixton , only 500 yards away Her Majesty' Convict Prison Brixton built in 1819 . After episcopal opposition regarding financial support and being a son out of a race of wealthy Flemish notaries , he decided to take the entire charge on one self and bought the mansion & grounds for £ 2.600.
He also constantly collected for the building of his church but also for his school . In this respect , he organised a/o a ‘Grand Garden Party‘ in the Gardens of Gwydyr House , where the well-known artist Westlake signed ‘collecting cards .
Reverend Henry Van Doorne leaved this whole ‘school action ‘ to a group of prominent ladies , under whom maybe also Dr John Sidney Turner’ wife Mrs Isabella Scott , born at Stockwell village , part of Brixton Parish .
Already the next year the Reverend Van Doorne could open a ‘Convent School‘ at Brixton Hill, trusted to the ‘ Notre Dam Nuns ‘ , originating from Namur , a provincial capital in Belgium . Later on it became ‘ Lambeth College ‘ . In 1882 he ordered J Bentley to design a plan for a Neogothic ‘ Corpus Christi ‘ church in red bricks and a spire 190 feet high , costs were estimated at £ 20.000 . On June 12th 1887 , Bishop Butt opened in state the East part and the left transept and the parish of Brixton flourished , counting eight hundred Catholics but pastor Van Doorne had still to collect for the remaining expansion of his Neogothic Church till he resigned in 1901 .
Due to the industrialisation of the area , many rich families has left Brixton and gradually Brixton became housed by a majority of workers and unemployed people . One couldn’t expect much interest regarding the expansion of a ‘cathedral church ‘ !
Some source mentions that justly before his resignation he stayed some time at the Lodge or Lulworth Castle as a guest of the aristocratic ‘ Joseph Weld family ‘ , conspicuous for its zeal for the Roman Catholic Church .
An interesting note is that the Mastiff breeder JS Cockerton resided only two miles away from Lulworth castle (see illustration below at rightt) ; he bred a/o Princess Staffordia b April 1892 sired by ch Lord Stafford out of a daughter of the Rev HKE Van Doorne’ champion Jack Thyr , Amalaswintha [Queen of the Ostrogoths , a Germanic tribe that influenced the Roman Empire during the 6th century] !
This dramatic 17th century hunting lodge was inspired by chivalric literature so loved by the Jacobean Court . In 1643 the estate was purchased by Humphrey Weld, a wealthy Londoner , and it became the Weld family’ principal home , superbly set into beautiful parkland with views on the Channel . In the park was built the Catholic church of St Mary by Flora Weld’ great-grandfather , Thomas Weld . A neo-classical building looking like a large garden temple . The interior has a central dome and a marble altar obtained from Rome . Thomas Weld’ son Thomas Weld (1773-1837) was ordained Cardinal (see below at left) in 1829 while his other son , Flora Weld’ grandfather launched in 1830 the famous cutter yacht ‘ Alarm ‘ at 1993 tons , the biggest ever built to that time . It became known as the ‘ Queen of the South ‘ being one of the products of Joseph Weld’ knowledge and understanding of the relatively new science of naval architecture as applied for yachts .
Following the Census Returns of 1891 , the Rev. van Doorne had taken British citizenship and was the head of the household , containing Arthur de Backer , born in 1866 , a painter and listed as a visitor . Probably it was a craftsman who decorated the ‘ Corpus Christi ‘ church .
The Reverend Henry Van Doorne was obviously a Jack-of-all-trades , known as a keen collector of religious & other ‘antiques’ and being a poet and novelist , publishing in 1881 his autobiographical novel ‘ Jan van Noorde ‘ , wherein some didactical references concerning the consequences of alcoholism , the education of children and the benefactions of physical exercises , being very fond of hunting & horse riding .
at left ~ Cardinal Thomas Weld [ 1773-1837] , son of Miss Flora Weld ’ great-grandfather .
During his missionary he made regularly holiday at Poeke where he loved to hunt and ride on horseback in the neighbourhood of the Ruiselede’ farmhouse & wood , owned by the Van Doorne family . In 1901 the Reverend , being weary and ill , returned finally back to Poeke where he resided in his parental house . Miss Flora Weld [1861-1935] , the daughter of his best friend Joseph Weld of the Lodge , followed him some time later and became his governess at Poeke. She managed the work of the maids and looked after his goats & pedigree dogs …If he brought , when on holiday , Orlando or other Mastiff stock with him at Poeke , isn’t known nor if he owned Mastiffs during his retirement there .
The Reverend Henry Van Doorne suffered from liver cancer and he regularly moved via Ostend ~ Dover to Dr James Barry Ball London for an X-ray treatment , but finally he died in 1914 , just before the break out of the 1st World War .
His Mastiff involvement
Since 1878 , the Reverend Henry KE Van Doorne attended the principal Mastiff shows, but he only started his show career in 1886 at the Crystal Palace where his Holda got 1st puppy prize under the eminent judge , Dr John Sidney Turner of Stanton House , Upper Norwood , London SE.
The show report mentioned ' Mastiff bitch puppies had but two entries , much to the regret of the Reverend owner of Holda , who met a warm welcome from Mastiff men , and upon whom the mantle of his old friend , Father J.B. Rowe , may descent .
Holda is of the highest promise and has wonderful size , length of body , perfect symmetry , standing on legs which for bone and shape I never have seen equalled ; her skull and muzzle are very good , her teeth level and but for a light eye and rather light mask .
It would be difficult to find a fault ; her weight at eight months is 117 lbs in fair condition , her toilet was all that could be desired and reflected the greatest credit upon her Belgian keeper, Reverend Henry Van Doorne of Brixron Rise ' .
It seems that the Reverend must have maintained some regular contact with Dr Turner of Upper Norwood , only some 3 fair miles away from Brixton and quite accessible by train . Holda was bred by the Rev. Van Doorne out of Wunna sired by the well-known champion Dr John Sidney Turner' Orlando who later on , according to 'de Bylandt ' , became in the ownership of the Belgian Reverend .
Dr Turner’ Cedric The Saxon sired Wunna , which was his only successful mating according to the Stud Books. He got back to Big Ben and ch Wolsey's brother Prince . Wunna's dam was Mona , pedigree stated in the Stud Books as unknown ; nevertheless it seems interesting to seek after the origin of Holda's mentioned qualities .
Wunna had also a sister , named ' Gytha II ' , so maybe related to Githa b. 1875 , bred by Mr Fritzgerald . She was sister to Crown Prince's dam Merlin b. 1876 , bred by Mr Fitzherbert . They were out of Rhoda sired by the famous ch. The Shah whose [presumably younger] sister Mona , owned by her breeder Mr Balleston , has given a litter in 1878 sired by ch. Wolsey . It could be possible that later on Fitzherbert acquired this Mona and mated [± 1881] her to Cedric The Saxon with as result Wunna and Gytha II , as such called after her niece Githa . In this case Wunna and Gytha II were also going back to the very much-used ' The Shah ' line along his sis Mona .
Maybe , as stud fee , both puppies were firstly possessed by Dr Turner who preferred for some opportunity to conceal Mona's ancestry because of the already omnipresence of The Shah's double grandson, Crown Prince in his own breeding stock and later on they changed hands for some reason and the Reverend Van Doorne became the owner . The Mastiff breeding of Henry Van Doorne was very close , almost an inbreeding to his foundation stock , Wunna , Gytha II & Orlando .
Rev Van Doorne bred two champions , ie Frigga b 1886 & Jack Thyr b 1886 ; the following was mentioned in the Kennel Gazette review ' The past year 1889 ' written by ' A Young Breeder ' [maybe Mr Charles Court Rice' nom de plume , breeder of champions Frigga Secunda (out of Van Doorne’ ch Frigga) & Elgiva] .
It is noteworthy that in respect to almost all breeds there is an agreement as to the improvement in general quality . It ssems to be practically admitted that the average winnersd of the present day are almost equal to the phenomenal dogs of a few years ago , and that even if entries are comparatively smaller than formerly , it is simply because inferior specimens , such as formed the rank and file in days gone by , are now seldom shown .
At left ~ ch Jack Thyr’ sire ch Orlando , brother to a/o ch Hotspur & uncle to ch Beaufort ; at rigt ch Jack Thyr’ grandsire along the maternal line , ch His Majesty King Canute (see above at right) , brother to Mrs Geo Willins’ ch Cambrian Princess , the dam of the Am. ch Minting ; Canute was also half brother to ch Beaufort . Interesting to note is that ch Jack Thyr’ GGG sire , Gurth [ch The Shah x Rev Hichens’ Mab] was also owned by Mrs Geo Willins of Bradmore House , Hammersmith ; reports about HM King Canute were as following ~ ‘ extraordinary size [206 lbs] , well knit frame , very typical head , rather too much lip ; lacked condition , not straight in his pasterns & now narrow in his thighs .’
A Kennel Gazette' annual report mentions a/o - ' Jack Thyr has since come into Challenge class , where he should do well . Now that Minting is dead I believe Jack to be the best Mastiff living , coming nearer to my ideal than any other dog we have ; he is not a tall dog ( 28 ½ at shoulder , 156 lbs weight ) but has wonderful bone and substance . I consider his skull and muzzle excellent , and his wide and powerful under-jaw put the finishing touch to a very good tout emsemble . His eyes and mask might be darker and there is undoubtedly more of the navvy than of the gentlemen in his look. But I may add that I do not consider this latter characteristic a fault , for I feel that an English Mastiff should be the reverse of a carpet knight .
Frigga is as good a bitch as we need wish for , I consider that she would be perfect but for her large ears and her slight tendency to straightness in hocks.'
Later on , Frigga became the dam of the well-known ' Frigga Secunda ' sired by ch Beaufort's son Sir Stafford and bred by Mr Court Rice ; dam & daughter served as models for the drawing ' Ideal Mastiffs ' by Arthur Wardle .
The Reverend’ most influential own-bred Mastiff was Orlando II born August 1887 who sired ch Ogilvie . Orlando II [Orlando ex Holda’ sis Hertha] was described by the Ilford breeder Richard Cook of Ilford kennels [July 1888] ~ ' a very massive dog for his age , with large skull, immense chest & good forelegs but moves badly . '
Ogilvie's breeder Capt. Piddocke (Feb. 1889) described him as : ' has a grand skull frontispiece , with heavy bone , but appears to inherit the weakness of his sire Orlando in hind quarters .'
Orlando II ' son , ch Ogilvie was the ancestor of all the Mastiff champions born after March 1891 , only two years after Ogilvie's birth ; this can be considered as an unique record also the fact Ogilvie [vide RH Moore’ drawing above at left] shared with the Bulldog ‘British Monarch’ the first prize for best Non-sporting Dog at the Bristol championship show 1891 was a very rare event in the breed history .
Rev Van Doorne resided at the Vicarage , Trent Road , nearby his lifework , the Corpus Christi Church (see blue arrow) at Brixton Hill and nearby the Windmill [see blue point] where convicts of Brixton Prison had to perform penal servitude in the treadmill . The whip ‘Cat o’nine tails’ , so called because it leaves marks like the scratches of a cat , was invented in ancient Egypt and also used in Victorian prisons ; it consisted of nine knotted cords fastened to a handle.
The Reverend's maiden performance of judging Mastiffs was at the Kennel Club show (Agricultural Hall) in 1890 where he already wrote an very extensive report , only surpassed in length by those of Malcolm Bush Wynn . Van Doorne mentioned a/o ' The late Rev. J.B. Rowe , one of the great & leading authorities on Mastiffs some twenty years ago [bred ch Stella , niece to ch. Hale's Lion] and who used to be not an infrequent visitor of my kennels , always professed himself a strong adherer to the under hung style of muzzle which is now spoken and condemned by many as the 'modern Bulldog type ' .
In the Field Jan 1st 1869 , the Rev. Rowe writes ' I believe that none of our present dogs can be traced back above 5 or 6 generations . Now as none can be found without some slight stain on their pedigree , we must select that cross which partakes most of the true Mastiff character , and this is , I believe , the Bulldog ; of all strains , if strain must be called , fear the Bulldog least , for it will keep up the character of the dog , if it will lessens his size . He followed the line cut out by Youatt who says the Mastiff head considerably resembles that of the Bulldog , but with ears dependant , also other many other Mastiff critics were expressed in the Field about that same date , almost all of them advocating undershotness . How then can the accusation that the short bluff undershot muzzle is a 'modern Bulldog type' be substantiated ? How differently the leading organ of sport (The Field) judged then from its reports of to day : - ' Quantum mutatus ab illo .' And yet Stonehenge knew what he was about . I want a Mastiff that possess a bluff, blunt and short muzzle , not to excess , of course , but he must be broad under the eye and carry that width right down to end of the snout . That is where Jack so admirably excels .
In the challenge class the Reverend gave 1st prizes to WK Taunton' ch Hotspur and Mr Court Rice' ch Frigga but it were the 1st prizes of Open Class who got the challenge awards , Captain Piddocke' Ogilvie and Mrs Lee' Holda . The Reverend' last show entry into the Studbooks was with his champion Jack Thyr , winning the challenge award at Crufts 1891 , beating WK Taunton' Hotspur and Dr Turner' Ayrshire while the bitch cc was awarded to Mr Court Rice' ch Frigga , bred by the Rev. Van Doorne who bred his 11th and also last registered Mastiff litter some months later after which he disappeared from the scene . From 1886 till 1891 only Mr Jason Hutchings has bred more litters , namely 21 .
The Reverend Henry van Doorne named many of his Mastiff stock after Norse mythology . Jack Thyr, Tyr , god of war & athletic sports , whom one hand was bitten off by the wolf Fenris ; Frigga , Frigg , goddess of marriage and the wife of the chief Norse god , Odin ; Heimdal , Heimdall , watchman of the bridge Bifrost which led to the underworld ; Edda , Edda , goddess of myth , oral history & inspiration of poets ; Gerda , Gerd , giant goddess of light , the most beautiful of creatures ; Widar , Vidar , Odin’ son . Orlando [named by Dr Turner] was probably derived from the poem ‘ Orlando Furioso ‘ by Ludovico Ariosto [1473-1533] who described the love of the knight Orlando for Angelica and later on it became a worldwide known opera .
It was at Crystal Palace that Rev Van Doorne made his show début , winning 1st prize puppy class in ‘86 with Holda under Dr Turner . His Jack Thyr got the challenge twice at Crystal Palace [in ‘89 with his son Piddocke’ Don Juan II 2nd Open class after Andrews’ Lord Stafford & in ‘90 , Piddocke’ Ogilvie winning Open Class] . Mr Rice’ Frigga , bred by Rev Van Doorne, got the highest female honours there in ‘90 & ‘91 , beating Dr Turner’ Seabreeze & C Rice’ Frigga Secunda , her daughter .
Crystal Palace was admirably adapted for big exhibitions such as the annual Dog Show of the Kennel Club . The animals were benched all along the nave , which was 1608 ft long . The central transept was reserved for the Judges’ rings . The Palace was a good location because its light airy atmosphere made the barking of the dogs more tolerably than they would have been in a smaller building . The best bred dogs in the country were sent to the show . The Kennel Club had the same authority in the world of dogs as the Jockey Club had on the Turf .
Rev Van Doorne' inspirator JB Rowe , breeder of ch Rajah' sire Griffin
Clare Priory is one of the oldest religious houses in England situated in the shadows of Clare Castle on the banks of the River Stour , Suffolk . Established in 1248 at the invitation of Richard de Clare it was the first house of the Austin aka Augustinian Friars in England . The Rule of St. Augustine emphasises the need to search for God together in order to achieve oneness of mind and heart . Following its suppression in 1538 , the house passed through many hands and uses . From around 1862 until the mid 1880s boys aged between 9 and 14 attended the school and an earlier census attests that there were three masters to 25 boys ! The school moved to The Priory from Nethergate House when an incoming headmaster was offered the building .
The new headmaster , a Mr Joseph Benson Gee accepted the offer , preferring the Priory because being isolated , its inmates would be less liable to contagious or infectious diseases ; and further , because of the roomy character of the dormitories , and the spacious grounds - six acres - which could be applied to recreative purposes . A few excerpts from the school' November 1873 prospectus reveals some interesting insights into life at the school - ‘The Bath Room contains a bath holding above 300 gallons water .
Each pupil is required to take a tepid (eighty degree) bath weekly, unless a special request is made to the contrary . Strict discipline is maintained without having recourse to corporal punishment . The school attends the parish church twice on each Sunday , the Priory pew occupying the whole of a side chapel there, with a private entrance , but a pew is also provided at the Congregational Chapel for those parents who prefer it .
College caps are worn on Sundays , and also for walking dress . These can be bought from home or purchased at the School .The holidays are from the end of July to September 8th and from about 21st December to the 26th of January. No holiday is given at Easter unless specially desired .
Joseph Benson Gee’ eldest son Frederick William Gee owned ch Stella b 1867 , bred by Rev James Boone Rowe 1825-1888 of St Mary's Training College – Hammersmith , founded in 1850 on the initiative of Cardinal Wiseman . The Catholic Poor School Committee which was concerned with providing primary education to children of poor Roman Catholics throughout the United Kingdom , purchased a former girls school at Brook Green House , Hammersmith, and adapted it for use as a college with accommodation for 40 men students . A legal trust created on 16 Jul 1851 in connection with this property and its use as a training college for Catholic schoolmasters was confirmed in perpetuity .
The college was established similar to the Brothers of Christian Instruction - les Frères d'Instruction Chrétienne - at Ploermel Brittany , where English students were sent between 1848-1851 . The French Brother Melanie was initially placed in charge of St Mary' College until the appointment of an English principal in 1851 , ie Rev John Melville Glennie in 1851 who after his retirement in 1868 was succeeded by Father James Boone Rowe , a fellow Brompton Oratory Father & Mastiff breeder befriended with the Belgian Rev HKE Van Doorne .
Here below a portrait of of Father JB Rowe' Prior , Father Faber at the Brompton Oratory (see illustration at the right) ; in the centre an excerpt of a judge report by Rev Van Doorne dd 1890 mentioning a/o his mentor Father Rowe . Rev Van Doorne , also a Roman Catholic priest, resided in the 1870s at Camberwell , only four miles away from the Brompton Oratory , Brompton Rd - London .
Frederick William Faber - 1814-1863 & other converts founded a London Oratory . They purchased a 3 ½ acre property off Brompton Rd in 1852 for £16,000 and an Oratory House was built first followed by a temporary church both designed by J J Scoles . An appeal was launched in ‘74 for funds to build a church .
The college opened with six men students who had begun their training at the novitiate of the Brothers of Christian Instruction , Ploermel - Brittany .
It was expected that students would join the teaching religious order , however in 1854 in response to a shortage of suitably qualified candidates the decision was taken to admit lay students to the college accommodation was provided for 50 lay students .
By 1860 only lay students were attending the college . Rev JB Rowe bred FW Gee' ch Stella out of Donna sired by his stud Leo , ch Hales’ Lion’ brother .Donna’ great-granddam Lord Darnley’ Nell supposed by Mr H de Spencer Kingdon to be as nearly or quite half Bull-Terrier !
At which MB Wynn replied as following – ‘I have pointed out a few of Mr Kingdon’ me judice distorted facts , and all that remains is to ‘let every man follow the fashion of his clan’ and we shall see in a few years , who will produce the largest , heaviest , and biggest headed dogs , with all the muscular power of the Darnley strain , combining the bone of Hanbury’ Prince and Lindoe’ Druid ‘.
Rev JB Rowe might maybe not be remembered as the breeder of ch Stella , a bitch without issue , his ‘honour’ lies in the breeding of ‘Griffin'’ , that out of his ch King’ sis Nell sired by Hanbury’ Prince –Governor ex Bill George’ daughter ch Duchess- . This Griffin mated to Phillis –Bill George’ Wolf ex Hanbury Prince’ sis Phoebe – produced ch Rajah , thé breed stud pillar behind almost all important strains.
Note - Rev Van Doorne’ Jan Van Noorde. - It is, as it were, a transparent key novel, and his birthplace Poeke and its surroundings are, among other things, the places of action. Hendrik van Doorne had a weakness for anagrams and in his novel existing people and places occur under all kinds of bizarre forms: Nevele becomes Levene, Aalter Ratel, Leerne Neerle, Deinze Zieden; next to van Noorde from Doorne we find Van hauteecke for van Eeckhaute from Deinze. Poeke is central to the novel: he simply calls it C. Van Doorne has given a few pages here that best recall Guido Gezelle' teaching: praise from the birthplace, the evocation of a trial, the description of a farmhouse kitchen, ...
The story is on the melodramatic side, which is completely in keeping with the spirit of the times. This means that Jan Van Noorde marries a girl from Zieden aka Deinze - ca 6 mls from Poeke -. Out of jealousy, a French employee of that merchant family at Deinze has sworn to destroy the van Noordes. By all kinds of tricks he knows how to lure Jan Van Noordes' wife away from home, and then he succeeds in getting the daughter away. After a lot of trouble, Jan Van Noordes son, a missionary in England, will find the abandoned daughter in London. Later everything comes together with the return of the wife. That the autobiographical element is the main dish of the novel, confirms the author where he writes in his lock: ‘Everything about, that I am here describing and describing, has happened, has been committed and has been suffered'. If the novel does not appeal to the contemporary reader anymore, then the local ruler can still benefit from some pages where the past times are called up.
Here a passus about the inauguration of the mayor where the idyllic betrays the optimistic view of life of the writer: ‘A true Flemish feast was on the village, just as our ancestors feasted strikingly. Everyone rejoiced, and everyone was open to radiance of laughter and life, and in the inns all the members of the procession were allowed to go to meals, the town hall kept a tractate for the councilors in their families, and every innkeeper knew how many tons of beer he was allowed to tap, there was a lot of bowling, bagging and papeting, as well as a free ring ride for the horsemen, and many other amusing games for clothes, cramps, and egg-cakes. In the evening, among the green limes, there were joyful dances on the sound of drums and flutes, which rose upon vain tunes. Farmer Gampelaars, as the first shovel, opened the swagger with the young bride, and soon he was tripping over the green grass with such a companion, while the bridegroom peasantin led Gampelaars over the perk. Mother Van Houteecke got young legs in her old age, and flickered ahead, as if she were only seven times seven times old. The officer took part in the vogue, scourged Frans and walked with hope and until Eugeen seemed to have forgotten his cattle. The joy continued until the evening; but with the darkness all the turmoil broke, and when the clock of the law fell on the trumpets - (but the burghers had made half of them) by order of our young hero, out of respect for the clergy - all houses were cleared and closed.
Each went to home, and so that day ended, without misdeeds or night parties, but each and the one had to be glad, that the C tos knew to celebrate and to keep vacations. In the novel there are also some didactic pieces: the bad effects of alcoholism, the education of the children, the benefits of physical exercise; perhaps the latter comes from his English experiences and the van Doornes were keen on hunting and horseback riding. We find loving criticism in the round of dd 5.6.1881 - of course, because Van Doorne was an employee - and also in Le Bien Public, which advertised West-Flemish particularism in this way: 'La langue qu'il écrit est bien la vieille et bonne langue flamande, avec son allure abondante, pittoresque et nervous, and un mot, avec toutes les qualités populaires et natives dont l'esprit "néerlandais" and officiel l'a dépouillée '. The novel is written in West Flemish and there are already gaps in the language knowledge of Van Doorne, due to his stay in England.