Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

263

"WILL YOU ACCEPT THAT?”

about it, when there came a knock at the door, and before I had time to say "Come in," my friend F entered. Seeing me on my knees, he apologized for intruding, and in his shy way put a ten-pound note into my hand, saying, "I am ashamed it is not more; but will you accept that?" With this, he made for the door; but I detained him, in order to show him the part of my letter I had not read in the morning. I said, "I was just reading it to the Lord; and look, while I was still on my knees, He has sent you with the answer. It is the exact sum I want, so do not apologize for it. I thank God and thank yon. I will send this off at once."

[ocr errors]

CHAPTER XXX.

Tregoney.

1855.

T was time now to be returning southward and homeward; which I did by several stages, stopping to preach in various places on the way. At length, I reached the village in Cornwall, where my family were lodging in the farmhouse I have already mentioned.

Here, the two clergymen were rather afraid of me, and avoided asking me to preach in the church. They had both been converted (or, at least, so they said) more than a year; but instead of working for God, they were bent on Romanizing. One of them said that there was no salvation in the Church of England; and the other showed me a sealed letter he had in his desk, which, he said, he "dared not open." It was from a brother of his, who went to Rome, and contained his reasons for so doing. "Ah," he said, "if I open that letter, I feel sure that I shall have to go too." This fascinating dread was upon him till he really did go, six months afterwards. I tried to deter these men from the erroneous step they were contemplating, by getting them into active work for the Lord. Sometimes I preached

"LEWD FELLOWS, OF THE baser SORT." 265 I am sorry

in this church, but more often in the open air. to say my friends were but half-hearted in their co-operation, so that after a few weeks I left, and went to the west.

On my way thither, a clergyman, who happened to be inside the coach, gave me his card, and then came outside for the purpose of talking with me. He asked me if I would take charge of his church and parish for six weeks. I said I would, but could not do so for a week or two. We agreed as to time, and on the promised Saturday I arrived at the place.

I walked there from a neighbouring town, having several calls to make on the way, and left my luggage to follow by the van. In the evening, about eight o'clock, I went down to meet this conveyance, and tell the man where to deliver me bag. I found a crowd of people in front of the inn where the van stopped, and heard the driver say, in reply to some question, "I've not got him, but I've got his bag." "Where is he?" said a voice. "I don't know," one said, "but I saw a queer little chap go into Mrs. M's house." "That's the place," said the driver; "that's where I'm a-going to take his bag. Come on, and let's see if he'll have it."

I went in and out among the crowd, as it was dark, asking questions, and found out that they "would like to duck the fellow if they could catch him;" they "did not want any such Revivalist chap as that amongst them," and so forth. They were greatly excited, and wondered which road he was likely to come, for they would go to meet him. Some one asked, "What is he like?" One answered, "Oh, he is a rum-looking little fellow that stoops. I should know him again anywhere." Hearing this, I held up my head like a soldier, in order to look as large as possible, and waited about till they dispersed.

Then I joined a young man, and, talking with him,

ascertained what it was all about. I passed the house where I was to lodge, for I saw that the people were watching the door. I came back among them, and, pointing to the door, said, "Is that where he stops?

""

"Yes," one replied, "he is there. The man brought his bag and left it; he is there, sure enough."

I said, "Let us go in and see him; come alongcome !"

22

So saying, I made for the door and knocked, beckoning to the others to follow me; but they would not do so. As soon as the door was opened I went in, and the landlady speedily closed it after me, saying, "I am glad you are come. How did you manage to get here? I have sent word to the constable to look out for you, and he is still watching somewhere."

"Why," I asked, "what is it all about? What is the matter?"

66

'Why, some of the lads here say, that if they could catch you, they would give you a good ducking in the pond."

"Indeed!" I said. "Then I don't think I will give them that pleasure to-night." So, sitting down by the fire, I made myself comfortable, and after supper went to bed.

In the morning, while at breakfast, I saw a number of men playing in the open space in front of the house. Some were tossing pence, some playing at ball and other games, while many were standing about smoking, with their hands in their pockets.

"There, that's the way they spend their Sundays in this place," said the landlady.

After watching them from the window for a little time, I put on my hat and went out, and told them "it was time to go home and get ready for church; that would be far better,” I said, "than playing like this on Sunday. It is a

267

PELTED!

disgrace to men like you-married men, too, with families! It would be bad enough if you were a parcel of boys. I am quite ashamed of you!"

They slunk away one by one, and I walked down the street to look about me, and to see the schoolroom, where there was no school; but I intended to have a prayermeeting there in the evening, after the service. I put up a notice to this effect, and then came back to my lodgings, till it was near church-time, when I set out, arrayed in my gown and bands, for the sacred edifice.

On the way there I observed stones flying past me in every direction; but I walked on, till at last I was struck on the cheek with a patch of muddy clay which was thrown at me. There was an universal shout of laughter when the men and boys saw that I had been hit. I put my hand to the place, and found that the pat of clay was sticking to my cheek, so I pressed it there, hoping, by the help of my whiskers, that it would remain. I said to the crowd, who were laughing at me, "That was not a bad shot. Now, if you come to church you shall see it there; I will keep it on as long as I can." So saying, I walked on amidst the jeers of the people.

When I arrived at the vestry, the clerk was in great trouble when he knew what had happened. He said, “Do

let me wash the mud off, sir."

66

'Oh, no," I replied, "I mean to show that all day, if I

can."

During the morning service, at which there were about fifty people present, I succeeded in keeping on my mudpatch, and returned to dinner with the same.

In the afternoon I said that I would have a service for children, as there was no Sunday school, to which about twenty came. Before addressing them, seeing that they were intently looking at the patch on my cheek, I told them

« AnteriorContinua »