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Under the same recurring head is described his first attack on the twin sisters, and in the hope of again meeting them he is made to hurry over a funeral service, to refuse the hospitality of his parishioners, and especially “ of the mourners, who had hoped to receive at home a confirmation of the words of solace which had been spoken at the grave; all this he had declined on the plea of extreme haste ;” and whom he had wounded by a falsehood not less disgraceful in its origin than its commission. Now, is this, in any honest sense,
“ clerical duty,” as performed by the clergy of the Church of England ?
Next, we come to " Clerical Recreations,” which consist in the condúct of the intrigue above alluded to, and urging the caption of poachers. Are these, we ask, the recreations of the clergy? We shall add only two more passages, which are the very
climax of the substitution of the exception for the rule.
“Now you just show, at this moment, the folly of meddling in other people's affairs and preaching about other people's consciences,' said James, turning round from the window. 'I can tell you thai Sarah Swallow is going to be married. I know it for fact: for her intended told me of it himself. Indeed, he asked me to marry them. What do you think of this, Fanny ?
“I think just as I did before. If Sarah proved herself as light-minded and fickle as yourself—if she so injured and betrayed the interests of her sex,—how does that excuse your treachery to
“Now if you say another word about the sanctity of the Church, and the dignity of the clerical character, and all that, I will never set foot in my living again to the end of my days.'
" • I was not going to make any appeal to you, which I know to be so useless. The clerical character has no dignity in your keeping, and you take care that the Church shall have no sanctity in the eyes of your people.
«• That is not my fault.'
“ I know it. You can no more be a clergyman than you can be a musician or a sculptor. Your misfortune and that of your people is that you are called a clergyman.'
“« Ah ! I saw two old women dreadfully scandalized, the last time I came from a hunt. They thought I was over the ears in a pitcher of ale; but I heard them say, There's our parson, with not a thread of black on him but his neckcloth. The sin of the case lies with the Church, that makes a point of a black coat, while she tempts in
“ • Black hearts ! Hearts that must needs come out black from being steeped in the hypocrisy of a professed sanctity.'
“* I am sure I never professed sanctity.'
“ • Therefore your heart is not of the deepest black of all. But what has been your only alternative ? Leading your people to think that no sanctity exists.'
“ • That is the fault of the system,-not mine. The system made it a matter of course that I should be a clergyman. Here I am. I must either set my face at its full length, and play a damned deep part when I talk of righteousness, and temperance, and-and all that
And judgment to come,' said Richard, gravely. “ • Or if the people see I am thinking of anything but what I am saying, they can hardly believe that such threats signify much. You should lay the blame on those that put me into the Church.
They would plead that you were put there as a matter of course; that you were born to it. They would refer the blame farther back; where indeed, it ought to rest. The day must come when faithless parents must
be arraigned by their injured children; and then will your people, among a countless multitude besides, rise up in judgment against Mother Church, for having made an elaborate provision for not only desecrating the gospel, but generating infidelity towards both God and man.*.
** That may be all very true: but I cannot help my share of it now.'
6. You can stop the spread of the mischief which has sprung up through you. Come out of the Church. You look more astonished than there is any occasion for. Remember
Remember, sister, how it is with other professions. A bad physician does not give up practice; nor does an ignorant lawyer, because of incapacity.'
Remember that the physician and lawyer, who are as well known to be as unfit for their business as you are for your's, are not employed. In the profession of the Church alone are the incapable sure of their occupation and its recompense. But no one is more aware than you that the days are coming when, if the unqualified do not step out of the Church, they will be plucked out; or, if time be promised them to die out, it will be a chance whether the impatience of the long-betrayed people will not unroof the sunctuary from over their heads.'
We now arrive at the climax of misrepresentation, and should really be ashamed of citing such a passage, were it not that the reader could scarcely believe so strong an understanding could be so perverted by the pursuit of a favourite theory.
“ James put as little sanctity into the service (the marriage ceremony] as could be desired by the strongest foe to hypocrisy, or lamented by his astonished curate. Why Morse should be so proud as he was of being married by anybody who could marry him in such a manner as this was more than a stranger could comprehend. In the midst, the cry of hounds was heard, the clergyman stopped a moment, and went on uneasily. Another
followed, and he halted again. Morse made bold to step forward and whisper,
· If there had been no other clergyman here, I don't know that I should have suffered such a thing as to put our affair off till to-morrow; but, perhaps, that gent.— I think it is a pity, Sir, you should lose the hunt, Sir, on our account; that's all. But you are the best judge, Sir.'
“In another minute James had leaped upon his horse at the churchdoor, and his curate had taken his place at the altar,--so discomposed as to find it difficult to proceed as if nothing had happened. When all was done, Sarah was still pale with the sense of insult, while her husband was congratulating himself on his own good breeding in not standing in the way of his young master's pleasure.'
That a person of Miss Martineau's talents should have the bad taste to attack the Church by such stale stuff, we repeat, would be wonderful, were it not apparent that her hostility to the Establishment misleads her judgment ? To prove that we do not undervalue this threadbare story, we will trespass so far upon attention as to show in what way. Mr. Cooper, the American novelist, had employed the very same twenty timestold tradition Miss Martineau has impressed into her service. It is thus that he brings it into a conversation between an old seaman and his captain, in the.“ Water-Witch.”
* By such sweeping assertions Miss Martineau shows that she is not very careful, nor very conscientious, in marking the wide distinction between the intended use, and the unforeseen abuse, of endowments. This distinction taken, the greater part of the censure vanishes. 'Confound the two things, and a palpable hit is made at " Mother Church."
" Mr. Luff was of opinion that by altering the slings of the main-yard we should give a better set to the top-sail sheets; but it was little that could be done with the stick aloft; and I am ready to pay her Majesty the difference between the wear of the sheets as they stand now, and as Mr. Luff would have them, out of my pocket, though it is often as empty as a parish church, in which a fox-hunting parson preaches. I was present once when a real tally-ho was reading the service, and one of your godless squires got in the wake of a fox with his hounds, within hail of the church-windows ! The cries had some such effect on my roarer as a puff of wind would have on this ship; that is to say, he sprung his luff, and though he kept on muttering something, I never knew what, his eyes were in the fields the whole time the pack was in view. But this wasn't the worst of it, for when he got fairly back to his work again, the wind had been blowing the leaves of his book about, and he plumped us into the middle of the marriage ceremony. I am no great lawyer, but there were those who said it was a godsend that half the young men in the parish weren't married to their own grandmothers.
6. I hope the match was agreeable to the family,' said Ludlow, relieving one elbow, by resting the weight of his head the other.
Why, as to that, I will not take upon me to say, since the clerk corrected the parson's reckoning before the mischief was entirely done.”'
Enough of this; it is alike disgraceful to principle and ability.
Miss Martineau has represented with some, but not half enough, force, the vexation and the crime arising out of the system of surcharges under the assessed taxes. The bribe which is offered to the assessor in the division of all sums thus recovered between himself and the Government, at once incites and enables him to summon on the merest suspicion-(hundreds of such notices are served in every division)-in which he is still further countenanced by the abominable violation of the very
foundations of British jurisprudence-making the defendant prove a negative, or criminate himself,—a license allowed in no other courts. A person is surcharged for a horse, dog, or any other article.
Does the assessor prove he had the thing in his possession during the period ?-by
The Gospels are thrust into the hand of the summoned, and he is sworn to answer all questions. The consequence is they do swear. Only yesterday a man was surcharged for a game license, who had been convicted of being on lands in search of game with three others; and it was deposed by two witnesses at the hearing before the justices, that a gun was handed to one of his party, who fled with it. Before the taxcommissioners the assessor did not produce the depositions——the poacher swore there was no gun, and further that he had not kept a lurcher, though it was well known to all the village in which he lived that he had kept such a dog, and used it nightly during the whole season: but the man swore hardily, and was believed. Three instances of similar gross perjury, in one small town, have occurred under the eye of the writer of this article within the last ten days.
Touching the game-laws and their operation, our authoress lies under the error of attributing the effects of the former and repealed principles to the statute now in operation. She does not probably mean to authorize indiscriminate trespass upon landed property, because game is to be found thereon ? If not, all that justice demands is given under the existing laws. 1. The right of his property to the landowner—2. The power of selling and buying game to him and to the public-3. The pleasure of
148 Miss Martineau and her “ Illustrations of Taxation.” sporting, whenever permission of the proprietor of the land can be obtained. These are all the rights that ought to be, or can be, respected; for even if the diversions of the field were an universal right, conferred by Nature, that right has been merged in the security of property, established by social laws. What estate would be of any value, if the whole community could pass over it, on any pretence, at will ? Yet to such an extent does the assumption of the extinction of the game-laws proceed. Miss Martineau has obviously been very ill instructed in all thật relates to those very important disturbers of rural morality-game and poaching. And when it is considered that almost every man who comes to the gallows, or is sentenced to transportation, confesses that his first steps to crime are induced by this, according to Miss Martineau, very venial offence, her misrepresentations can but be productive of great mischief, if taken for admitted truths.
Here, then, we close our exposition. The errors are invested with the more importance, because Miss Martineau has of late been employed by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge to illustrate the poorlaws. Even the high name and countenance of the Lord Chancellor has been industriously put forth, to propagate, adorn, and dignify her labours. It is not easy to draw the line between the sanction thus impressed on one set of fables, and another which does not enjoy the same authority. Will the Society, or will Lord Brougham, justify either the principle or the manner of the assaults we have arraigned ? It is to be hoped they will not. Indeed there is strong reason to suspect that the bustle and stir made by these publications are subsiding-their very frequency destroys their power. And, moreover, all thinking people perceive how little knowledge is gained. They have been read as amusing tales, constructed with ingenuity and feeling ; but, as illustrations of political economy, their only end has been to give to those who look no farther the information contained in the lucid summaries at the close of the volumes; while those who really desire to obtain an adequate insight into this yet infant subject are but the more imperatively convinced that such knowledge is only to be gained by serious and sedulous reading of the best authors; by abstracting, comparing, and arranging their matter, and by sufficient reflection to digest and commit the few really established axioms of the science to memory.
The small and compact but admirable treatises of Sir Henry Parnell and Mr. Montgomery Martin contain not only a sound knowledge of the principles of taxation, but convey much more information, in respect to minute details, than could be learned from dozens of such illustrations by any mind capable to entertain such questions,
THE DEBTOR'S EXPERIENCE.
The reader having accompanied me thus far in my “ experience," I shall now proceed with a few portraits of characters with whom I was condemned to associate during my incarceration, which may perhaps more amusingly, if not more forcibly, illustrate the uselessness and cruelty of the law of imprisonment for debt, alike unavailing as it is to the interests of the creditor, and destructive of all principle in the debtor. And here I must take the opportunity of expressing my hope, in common with all philosophers who combine causes and effects together, that the Bill introduced into Parliament last session for its abolition, by his Majesty's present Attorney-General, may not be suffered to remain in abeyance in consequence of that gentleman's immediate absence from the House of Commons; persuaded as I am that a subject of more deep domestic importance never engaged the attention of its Honourable Members, nor one involving more seriously the best moral feelings and interests of a community, than that under consideration.
My table companions formed a grotesque medley. The one, however, to whom I was first introduced by my initiator*, a publican by trade, was a respectable, intelligent, and agreeable person, and had formerly been servant to a British officer, who had fought in the Peninsular war, ultimately “bringing up” at Waterloo. He frequently amused his hearers with anecdotes of the French and Bruxellois, having reference to that eventful period. At the termination of hostilities he accompanied his master to France, who remained in the " army of occupation during the period of its stay in that country.
In a town in the province of Normandy my table companion accidentally fell in with a French officer, of a Bourbon regiment,
which was also stationed there, who had formerly been a prisoner in England, and in the very town of which my“ spirituous ” hero was a native, where the latter had sundry opportunities of showing little civilities to the Gallic prisoners; and, amongst others, in an especial degree, to one who was exceedingly fond of sweetmeats, by sharing with him his own portions, and receiving in return various presents, specimens of the ingenuity of those clever persons with which the kingdom at that period abounded.
Years passed away; the French prisons were cleared—their inmates departed with joy pour la belle France ;" the donor and recipient of raspberry-tarts and plum-pudding were alike removed to other scenes, there to enact the parts allotted to them by Providence in the great drama of human life.
It was in the year 1818 that my fellow-prisoner chanced to meet his quondam friend, the Lieutenant de la Garde Napoléon, by whom, upon making himself known, he was received with the warmest affection, and immediately presented to the other officers of the regiment; these, desirous of testifying their réconnoissance for civilities shown to their brother during his “ captivity in a strange land,” overwhelmed the future dispenser of “ cordials” with the most obliging attentions. He frequently dined and passed much of his leisure time with them, to the great surprise of the Colonel, his master, who had more than once met his servant in
* The steward of the ward.