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« Glad you like it, Sir; bred it myself, and fed it too: all grass and turnips ; none of your oilcakes, and such unnatural stuff for me. But talk of beef, I wish you'd tasted that ox over the fire-place: that was beef,—took the first prize at the Agricultural Meeting,-a hundred and ten stone, fourteen pound to the stone,-all meat and no bone, -such a beast! Seen the cup, I suppose; that's it on the mantelshelf; solid silver: wish my wife was at home, we'd have a jorum o'punch out of it. Come, Sir, you don't eat: now pray help to,-you don't drink nayther; let me fill up your glass.”
“ You speak ironically, Mr. Stubble ?”
“Exactly so; I always say what I think: no humbug in me, Mr. Swanquill.' Your health again, Sir.”
Being desirous of maintaining our credibility, we shall not say how much of honest John Stubble's beef, and bread, and cheese, and Bathcoss fall under our knife and fork within the next quarter of an hour: neither shall we notify the magnums of Anno Domini that are quaffed to the most patriotic toasts and social sentiments. Suffice it to say, there is no more shooting for us to-day; and when Mrs. Stubble comes home to tea at five o'clock, there are we, lolling at our ease on the horsehair sofa, with jug and glasses before us; and our worthy host smoking his pipe, and laying down the law like a second Lycurgus. .
Mrs. Stubble is the model of a farmer's wife; the most notable woman in the county. Like the butterfly, she has two states; the one so entirely different from the other, that a person who has not seen her in both would have some difficulty in recognizing the identity. In her chrysalis state, which occupies from cockcrow till about three o'clock in the afternoon, the good lady is habited in a dark cotton gown, at eightpence à yard, a checked apron, and black worsted stockings; the whole surmounted by a cap, which is neither a day-cap nor a night-cap, but à sort of cross between both. During this period, Mrs. Stubble is in a continual bustle of hands, and feet, and eyes, and ears, and tongue, and thought; running here, hurrying there; commanding this, countermanding that; feeding the chickens, cramming the turkeys, rolling the butter, pressing the cheese, shelling the peas, paring the apples, scolding the maid, beating the cat, pickling walnuts, preserving pears, drawing the beer, kneading the dough, et cætera, et cætera, the particulars of which I have not power to recollect, nor time to enumerate.
But, in the afternoon, how different a person is Mrs. Stubble! The very maids perceive and acknowledge the alteration; and those who were hail-fellow-well-met with her in the morning are now pénétrées with deference. She is the butterfly that was the pupa--the Columbine that was the Cinderella. Her cotton gown has given place to a silk dress, fitted up with patent bustle, buckram sleeves, and all those other little elegancies with which the ladies know so well how to beautify nature. Her black worsted stockings have been exchanged for white cotton, or perhaps silk ones, and are tastefully criss-crossed with black silk riband at twopence a yard. A halo of lace encircles her neck, scallop over scallop, vandyke over vandyke, eyelet-hole over eyelet-hole, wonderful to behold! Her cap,—but who shall describe that cap? Who shall attempt to picture in verbs and adjectives, nouns and participles, those towers of blond lace, those labyrinths of bobbin net, those rouleaux and nõuds of white satin or rose de Parnasse; those brides (brides, Mrs. Stubble calls them) of gauze riband, bobbing into all the tea-cups, and the gravy at supper, and furnishing Mr. Stubble with many a boisterous joke; those roses, and lilies, and major-convolvuluses, and ears of barley, interspersed with leaves of silver and green? Not we indeed; let Mrs. Bell's poet laureate undertake the task if he will : our pen is dumb.
A kind creature, after all, is Mrs. Stubble, and we won't hear a word said against her. What tea she makes ! black as Phlegethon, and strong as aqua-fortis. It takes the breath of one like a glass of Glenlivet, and makes one's hand shake for a month after. And what cream! Cream ! it an't cream : it's oyster sauce: that will never amalgamate with our Twankay ;-blob, blob,-you can't pour it, you are obliged to jerk it out. Won't mix, eh? Only stir it, and you'll see ;-whirr, whirr,-how, after a turn or two, every luscious blot melts in the foaming cordial, “ making the black one white !" Taste it now. My eyes ! this is tea, (pardon the lapsus ;) never knew what tea was till now, “ Stubble, my dear fellow, this beats your ale hollow. Mrs. Stubble, upon my word, you’re a phenix.”
Stubble, however, sticks to the ale; he never takes tea; considers it horrid slop, mere baby-lap, I know, only won't say só because we are drinking it. Mrs. Stubble, of course, is not proof against our praise. Takes a fancy to us, in fact; gives us the strongest tea; offers us the thinnest bits of bread and butter; wishes she'd got something better; begs we'll make free, and kindly intimates that she'll show us the cheeseroom, and the dairy, and the young peafowls, and the Guinea-pigs, as soon as ever “ the things are took away.”
We shall not insist on our reader's making this tour with us, as he has not partaken of Mr. Stubble's hospitality. For us there is no escape. Not a cheese but what is told over; not a milkpan but what is overhauled ; not a peafowl but is made to peck in our présence; not a Guinea-pig that is suffered to lie perdue among the straw while our head is in the pen. God forgive us the unfelt ecstasies we assume for our hostess' gratification! the “ beautifuls !” and “ charmings!” and “no, reallys !” and “ you don't say sos!” and “ dear little things!” that we pour forth into her too, too credulous ears! But no; we are not to be forgiven : punishment follows quickly on the heels of trangression. Mrs. Stubble insists on our accepting a couple of the peafowls, and the whole litter of Guinea-pigs, to keep for her sake.
Such was our last First OF SEPTEMBER.
BY THOMAS HAYNES BAYLY.
NO. 1.-DON'T TALK OF SEPTEMBER!
Don't talk of September !-a lady
Must think it of all months the worst; The men are preparing already
To take themselves off on the first: I try to arrange a small party,
The girls dance together,-how tame!
A supper I knew was the thing;
They ’re tempted-by birds on the wing! They shoulder their terrible rifles,
(It's really too much for my nerves !) And slighting my sweets and my trifles,
Prefer my Lord Harry's preserves !
Miss Lovemore, with great consternation,
Now hears of the horrible plan,
Was only a flash in the pan!
The men are all sparing of words;
iv. Go, false ones, your aim is so horrid,
That love at the sight of you dies : You care not for locks on the forehead,
The locks made by MANTON you prize! All thoughts sentimental exploding,
Like flints I behold you depart; You heed not, when priming and loading, The load you have left on my heart.
v. They talk about patent percussions,
And all preparations for sport; And these double barrel discussions
Exhaust double bottles of port!
As off on his pony he jogs;
The men are all gone to the dogs!
..CURATES OF IRELAND.
To the Editor of the New Monthly Magazine. SIR,_You have devoted much of your attention to law and lawyers, pray give a little of it to divinity and divines. After you haye so amply discussed the merits of the practitioners of the Irish bar, we should be well pleased to see you take up the cause of the curates of the Established Church in Ireland. There is no subject that more loudly calls for public attention; and your periodical, distinguished for its impartial insertions, and known not to be the advocate of any particular sect, is always read with that attention which is due to fair and candid representation, while its extensive circulation ensures that whatever information it contains will be generally spread abroad. It is by such means that the community are informed of the real state of things, public opinion is directed, and old abuses and established absurdities yield at length to the expression of its will, which becomes irresistible, because founded on common sense, and the unalterable reason of things.
It has been stated, that the total expense of the Established Church in Ireland was about 2,239,0001. per annum, and this is not overrated. It might have been further added, that this enormous sum is paid for the spiritual instruction of about 500,000. persons who frequent that particular service: and so, comparing the income of the pastors with the number of the flock, it is the richest Church that not only now is, but that ever was in the world.
Was this large sum allocated in any fair or reasonable proportions for the maintenance of the clergy, so that every one who ministered to others in spirituals should have a competent share of temporal things, it might serve to abate the public clamour against this immense and, as it appears to them, unnecessary expenditure; but when they see it accumulated in heaps, and monopolized by the indolent few, while the active, laborious, and efficient members are abandoned to absolute want; when they see the dignitaries like large wens on the human body, with the limbs that support it feeble and emaciated, while the whole nutriment is absorbed by a few unsightly and morbid excrescences,--they consider it not only a useless waste, but a scandalous abuse; and it is one of the principal causes which increases the sectarian congregations by the secession of Protestants from the establishment who first disapprove of, and then desert, what they call a worldly, mercenary, and unchristian system of worship.
In order that this opinion of the public may be fairly appreciated, let us see what grounds there are for it. There are in Ireland about three thousand clergymen of the Church of England. Of these two-thirds have no benefice of their own, but officiate for others as their curates or deputies. They are men who have all, or with very few exceptions, graduated in Trinity College, Dublin. Their education in a university more strict than those of England procures them a literary reputation to which they are well entitled; the certificates of grave and reverend men, who have known their deportment for some years before ordination, is a pledge of their moral worth; and the severe examination they must undergo by the archdeacon of the diocese renders it next to impossible that they can be other than men of religious knowledge. They are, moreover, gentlemen in rank and deportment, and their general conduct is such, that there is no class of persons more esteemed, and justly esteemed, in the community. When appointed to a duty, they are never absent from the spot, but always to be found in active service on their cure, officiating in church, baptizing infants, catechising children, visiting the sick, burying the dead, in fact performing all the necessary functions, and so supporting all the real interests of the Established Church. Yet what is their reward out of the expenditure of more than two millions of the public money? Their stipend, till of late
Sept. ---VOL. XXXIX, NO. CLIII.
years, was 601. and under. A trifling amelioration of their condition then took place, and it was fixed at 751., as an important favour, at the very time when the salary of the lowest clerk in the Custom-house of Dublin, down to the seventeenth grade, was raised to 801. with an arrangement for a gradual increase. Even this paltry addition of 15l. was not mandatory, and at this day some laborious curates are obliged to work for 501, and 601. Supposing, however, the whole to have been 75l., their case will stand thus : Expenditure of the Established Church for one year
2,239,000.. Stipend of 2000 curates at 751, each , . . . 150,0001. Thus it appears that, out of this enormous sum paid by the country for the support of the Church, the active, serviceable clergy, who do all the real duties, receive no more than one-fifteenth part!
It further appears that the following income is divided among the beneficed clergy, the majority of whom are pluralists, and hold two and three benefices at a time, so that the actual number of individuals who share this income does not amount to one thousand :Tithes of 2436 parishes
120,0001. Value of houses
102,0001. Marriage and other fees
12,0001. Ministers' money, Dublin
Income of 1000 beneficed clergy
. . . . 1,262,0001.
. 150,0001. The curate, who is bound to the soil, and cannot hold, because he cannot do the duty of, more than one cure, thus receives no more than one-sixteenth part of his rector's income, who, being usually a pluralist, is necessarily a non-resident on one or more of his livings, and so does no part at all of the duty. Finally, there are twenty-two * bishops whose income is as follows :
of 22 bishoprics in rent and fines . . 222,0001. Income of 2000 curates . . . . . 150,0001, Thus it appears that twenty-two persons, who are known to do comparatively nothing, receive more than one-and-a-half as much as the whole two thousand effective and operative members of the Church. In order that the operation of this system may be justly appreciated, I will take an individual case out of the multitude, because it has been recently made a subject of public notice. The living of Finglas, in the vicinity of Dublin, consists of a union of four parishes, on all of which there were formerly places of worship, as is evident by the existing ruins ; but at present there is but one church which has three clergymen nominally attached to it,-a rector, a vicar, and a curate. The rector is a pluralist: he holds, with Finglas, the benefice of Chapel Izod, in the county of Dublin, and the living of St. Werburgh's, in the city; he has, moreover, a stall in the Cathedral as Chancellor of the Chapter; enjoys the pay of Chaplain to the Dublin Regiment of Foot; and, finally, is one of the Chaplains to his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. The vicar is the son of the late Archbi. shop, and is also a pluralist. He holds a living in the diocese of Raphoe, and was appointed by his father to a stall in his Cathedral. The curate has not, nor cannot, have any other cure. The rector never goes near the parish, except to collect his tithes; he performs no duty, never officiated in
* Our Correspondent wrote before the Irish Church Reform Bill had passed.-Ed.
+ This young gentleman has been lately promoted to a much more lucrative benefice.--Ed.