Page images

pri 1741 of 80 years he was called away, leaving behind him nothing but his writesi ings and the memory of his good works, which is still cherished by people of every persuasion..

The Rev. Dr. Troy was a short, fat man, of an exceedingly kind disposition, ** and an active and useful clergyman. Without compromising the interest of the Church over which he presided, he was distinguished by his attach- " ment to the government of the country; and his various addresses and 'exhortations to his flock, in times of peril and commotion, are a proof of his zeal and utility at a trying period. The whole income of this Archbishop, 6 who presided over the spiritual concerns of five millions of people, did not exceed 8001. per ann., the voluntary contributions of his flock, and this sum he immediately returned to those who gave it. He was never known to have a shilling in his pocket; he was so liberal to others and so careless of himself, that he would have wanted common necessaries if his friends. did not take care of him; and when he died, at the age of 85, it was well known that he did not leave enough to bury him.

Of Dr. Eager's services to his Church I am unable to speak, not being 4 acquainted with them. I know, however, that he was neither so tall as Dr. Moody, nor so fat as Dr. Troy, nor so liberal or charitable as either of them. "? He had an income of about 12,0001. per ann., which he endeavoured to in crease by every allowable means. He sold the venerable archiepiscopal residence in Kevin-street to government for 70001., and the Bishop's Palaceti is now a soldier's barracks. But there was one expedient for increasing his income which the curates of his diocese, at least, will never forget.' It b was once upon a time a practice in the Church, as the curate of our parish o tells me, for bishops, as ETT LOKOTT 01, or overseers, to visit their clergy in perad son, and inspect their parishes; on which occasion certain among the clergy were appointed procuratores to provide a suitable dinner for the bishop when he came. But when prelates fell into that love of ease, which too much wealth naturally brings into it, instead of visiting their clergy, they enjoined their clergy to visit them; and as they came from different distances to a strange place, the bishop always provided for them the same kind of dinner which they were accustomed to provide for him. But in order that this should be attended with no expense to the prelate, they were still obliged to pay for it under the form of fees, called, in their visitation ticket, proxies (quasi procuratores) and exhibits, which every clergyman is obliged to pay when he visits his bishop on this occasion. During the prelacy of Dr. E, the dinner was omitted, though the proxies or price of it was regularly exacted. This was really a severe privation to the curates, some of whom looked forward to the periodical enjoyment of a good dinner, wine, and the society of friends, as indulgences which their own scanty means never allowed. Many of them came from distant parts of the country, and had no friends in the metropolis who would give them a dinner. On this occasion the worthy curate of our parish always sent out into the highways to collect stragglers. He could not well afford it, but he could not see his brethren hungry in the streets while he could procure any thing to give them to eat. Dr. Eager died, like his contemporaries, at the advanced age of 80, but left behind him rather more money: his property sworn to, I think, amounted to 200,0001.

It is to this mercenary character of the Church here, to which the conduct of some of its dignitaries gives too much cause, that is to be attributed much of that disrepute into which it has fallen, and from which all the excellence of its pure and tolerant doctrines, and apostolic and becoming discipline, cannot rescue it; for that it has fallen, and is falling, in publio estimation, its real friends at once admit and deplore. In fact, what part of the community have any feeling of interest or sympathy in its prosperity, out of the seven millions of people among whom it is established ? Five millions of Catholics hate it as an usurpation on their own, refuse to pay its tithos, and loudly complain of the misapplication of those immense

funds, which they say were much more equally and usefully applied by themselves. One million of Dissenters profess to despise it, as a mere worldly establishment, whose ministers, they say, sacrifice not to God but to Mammon. Even the half million of its own members think of it without affection and talk of it without respect; while two-thirds of the ministers who officiate within its walls have reason to repine at its injustice, and to wish that their lot had been cast in any other establishment. It is quite idle to talk of its numerous conversions of late from the Catholic Church, and of the “ mass of Papists which," the Warder says, “ had melted down before the light and heat of Protestantism." The mass, I am sorry to say, remains unchanged, and the only real and efficient conversions have been from the Established Church to the Dissenters. To be convinced of this, it is only necessary to visit a Dublin church, where the people are not attracted by fashion, or some temporary cause. Let any stranger, for example, enter the Church of St. Nicholas Within or St. Nicholas Without, or Št. - , of which I am myself a Churchwarden, and contemplate their empty pews on a Sunday morning. Should he wish to know what has become of their congregations, let him go to meeting-houses in Plunketstreet, Whitefriar-street, York-street, &c., and there he will see them in crowds.

The projected reform, therefore, in the temporalities of the Church of Ireland is what every well-wisher to its character and stability have long and ardently wished for. In this reformation it is to be hoped that the deserving curates will not be forgotten, and that we shall no longer see that bitter satire on its conduct exhibited by the late Archbishop, a beggingbox set up in a bookseller's shop to collect charity “ for the unprovided for and deserving clergy of the Established Church in Dublin."



[ocr errors]

A VILLAGE TOMBSTONE. ra APPROACH! thou visitant of gorgeous tombs,

"And costly mausoleums, whose august

- And sculptured massiveness bespeaks the dust Xin Beneath once noble,--here no statue glooms Tom Rebuke from its dark niche, nor earth resumes 961 0Her own with ghastly pageantry; nor bust, biline 9Nor aught of grandeur's dim heraldic trust, goint+ Here flatters the poor clay that clay consumes. -DC Approach, and mark where last the sod hath heaved, 'I' 14 And trace one record of the lowly dead, in “He lived-he died." What sculptor e'er achieved Cars More on rich marble, trusted not when read ? ** This simple stone speaks truth, and is believed. Bishop Wearmouth.

G * * * *



MR. SMITH. I died on the 1st of April, 1823; and if the reader will go to the parish-church of Smithton, ask the sexton for the key, and, having gained admission, if he will walk up the left-hand side aisle, he wili perceive my family pew, beneath which is my family vault, where my mortal remains are now reposing; and against the wall, over the very spot where I used to sit every Sunday, he will see a very handsome white marble monument: a female figure is represented in an attitude of de spair, weeping over an urn, and on that urn is the following inscrip. tion:

“ Sacred
to the Memory



of Smithton Hall,
who departed this life

on the 1st of April, 1823.
The integrity of his conduct and the amiability of his temper

endeared him
to a wide circle of friends :
he has left an inconsolable Widow,

and by her
this Monument is erected."

The gentle reader may now pretty well understand my position when alive; popularity had always been my aim, and my wealth and situation in society enabled me to attain what I so ardently desired. At county meetings at the head of my own table-among the poor of the parish I was decidedly popular, and the name of Smith was always breathed with a blessing or a commendation. My wife adored me; no wonder, therefore. that at my demise she erected a monument to my memory, and designated herself, in all the lasting durability of marble, my“inconsolable widow.” I had a presentiment that I should not be long-lived, but this rather increased my thirst for popularity; and, feeling the improbability of my living very long in the sight of Mrs. Smith and my many dear friends. I was the more anxious to live in their hearts. Nothing could exceed my amiability,—my life was one smile, my sayings were conciliatory, my doings benevolent, my questions endearing, my answers affirmative. I was determined that my will, unlike most wills, should be satisfactory to everybody. I silently studied the wants and wishes of those around me, and endeavoured to arrange my leavings so that each legatee should hereafter breathe my name with a blessing, and talk of “that dear good fellow Smith,” always at the same time having recourse to a pockethandkerchief. I perpetually sat for my picture, and I gave my resemblances to all the dear friends who were hereafter to receive “the benefit of my dying."

So far I have confined my narrative to the humdrum probabilities of every-day life; what I have now to relate may strike some of my

Post-mortem Cogitations of the late Mr. Smith.? 76 readers as less probable, bút, nevertheless, it is not one jot the less true. I was anxious not only to attain a degree of popularity which should survive my brief existence; I panted to witness that popularity; unseen, to see the tears that would be shed,---unheard, to mingle with the mute mõurners who would lament my death. Where is the advantage of being lamented if one cannot hear the lamentations ? But how was this privilege to be attained ? Alas! attained it was ; but the means shall never be divulged to my readers. Never shall another Mr. Smith, self-satisfied and exulting in his popularity, be taught by me to see what I have seen, to feel what I have felt.

I had perused St. Leon ; I therefore knew that perpetually-renovated youth had been sought and had been bought. I had read Frankenstein, and I had seen that wonders, equally astonishing and supernatural, had been attained by mortals. I wanted to watch my own weepers, nod at my own plumes, count my own mourning-coaches, and read with my own eyes the laudatory paragraph that announced my own demise in the county newspaper. I gained my point, - I did all this, and more than this, but I would not advise any universally-admired gentleman and fondly-idolized husband to follow my example. What devilish arts I used, what spells, what conjurations, never will I reveal; suffice it to say that I attained the object of my desires. Two peeps was I to have at those I left behind me,-one exactly a month after my demise, the Becond on that day ten years!

And now for the result of peep the first.

In some degree my thirst for posthumous popularity was certainly gratified; and I will begin with the pleasantest part of my own" post mortem examination.”

My own house (or rather the house that had been mine) looked doleful enough: no mirth, no guests, no music; the servants in deep mourning, and a hatchment over the door. My own wife (or rather my relict) was a perfect picture of misery and mourning, in the extreme of the fashion. She heaved the deepest sighs, she was trimmed with the deepest crape, and wore the deepest hems that ever were seen. The depth of her despondency was truly gratifying. Her cap was most conscientiously hideous, and beneath its folds every hair upon her head lay hid. She was a moving mass of crape and bombasin. In her right hand was à pocket-handkerchief, in her left a smelling-bottle, and in her eye a tear. She was closeted with a gentleman, but it was no rival-nothing to arouse one jealous pang in the bosom of a departed husband. It was, in fact, a marble masonic meeting. She was giving directions about my monument, and putting herself into the attitude of lamentation in which she wished to be represented (and is represented), bending over my urn: she burst into a torrent of tears, and in scarce articulate accents called for her "sainted Anthony." When she came á little to herself, she grumbled somewhat at the extravagance of the estimåte, knocking off here and there some little ornamental monumental decoration, bargaining about my inscription, and cheapening my urn! · She was interrupted by the entrance of a milliner, who was ordered to prepare a black velvet cloak lined with ermine; and no expense was to be spared. Alas! thought I, the widow's “ inky cloak” may well be Warm; my black marble covering will be cold comfort to her. “ Just to amuse you, ma'am," said the marchande des modes,“ do look at some things that are going home for Miss Jones's wedding."

. The widow, said nothing, and I thought it was with a vacant, eye that she gazed apathetically at satin, blonde, and feathers white as the driven snow. At length she cried abruptly, "I cannot cannot wear them !!! and covering her face with her handkerchief, she wept more 'loudly than before. Happy late husband that I was surely for me she wept! A housemaid was blubbering on the stairs, a footman sighing in the hall; this is as it should be, thought I: and when I heard that a temporary reduction in the establishment was determined on, and that the weeping and sighing individuals had been just discharged, I felt the soothing conviction, that leaving their living mistress tore open the wounds inflicted by the loss of their late master, and made them bleed afresh. My dog howled as I passed him, my horse ran wild in the paddock, and the clock in my own sitting-room maintained a sad and stubborn silence, wanting my hand to wind it up. · Things evidently did not go on in the old routine without me, and this was soothing to my spirit. My own portrait was turned with its face to the wall: my widow having no longer the original to look at, could not endure gazing at the mute resemblance! What, after all, thought I, is the use of a portrait? When the original lives, we have something better to look at; and when the original is gone, we cannot bear to look at it. ; Be that as it may, I did not the less appreciate my widow's sensibility. . '

. .. on - On the village green the idle boys played cricket; they mourned me not-but what of that? a boy will skip in the rear of his grandmother's funeral. The village butcher, stood disconsolately at the door of his shop, and said to the village baker, who was despondingly passing by, “ Dull times these, neighbour Bonebread! dull times. Ah! we miss the good squire, and the feastings at the hall.”.

On a dead wall I read, “ Smith for ever.” “For ever," thought I, " is a long time to talk about.” Close to it, I saw, “ Mitts for ever, written in letters equally large, and much more fresh. He was my parliamentary successor, and his politics were the same as my own. This was cheering; my constituents had not deserted my principles--more than that I could not expect. The “ SMITH," who, they said, was to be their representative “ FOR EVER," was now just as dead as the wall upon which his name was chalked !

Again I retired to my resting-place under the family, pew in the church of Smithton, quite satisfied that, at the expiration of ten years, I should take my second peep at equally gratifying, though rather softened, evidences of my popularity. ,

Les en . TEN YEARS! What a brief period to look back upon! What an age in perspective! How little do we dread that which is certain not to befall us for ten years! Yet how swiftly to all of us will ten years seem to fly! What changes, too, will ten years bring to all! Yon schoolboy of ten, with his toys and his noise, will be the lover of twenty! The man now in the prime of life will, in ten years, see Time's snow mingling with his dark and glossy curls! And they who now are old-the kind, the cheerful, looking, as we say, so much younger than they really are what will ten years bring to them?

The ten years of my sepulchral slumber passed away, and the day arrived for my second and last peep at my disconsolate widow, and wide circle of affectionate friends.

The monument already mentioned opened “its ponderous and marble

« PreviousContinue »