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139 fardin to bless herself wid, and de childer, de craytures, often went to bed cowld, and me blackguardin' and gladiatorin' about de town, drinkin' here an' drinkin' dere, until one 'ud tink I'd burst, savin' yer presence; for de dickens a one ov me knows where I put it all-I was like a punchin on two legs. Yer reverence, I'm puzzled entirely to understand why one dosen't take half nor quarter de tay dat one does ov porter or punch; but if de tay we had here dis evenin' was punch, an' I in de ould times, 'tisn't de taycup, but de big jug, dat 'ud be my share dis blessed night. Well, ov coorse, dis kind ov ting couldn't go on widout bringin' me, an' de poor wife and childer, to sup sorrow. I first drank my own clothes into de pawn-den I drank my wife's cloak off ov her back-den I drank her flannel petticoat and her gound--den I drank de cups and de saucers out ov de cupboard-den I drank de plates and dishes off ov de dresser-den I drank de pot an' de kittle off ov de fire-den I drank de bedclothes from de bed, and de bed from under meself an' me wife-until, de Lord bless us! dere wasn't a mortial haport dat wasn't turned into gallons ov porter, an' glasses ov whisky, an' dandies ov punch! Well, what brought me to my sinses at last was de cowld flure, and de empty belly, and de poor childer cryin' 'Daddy, daddy, we're hungry.' I remimber de last night ov my blackguardin', dere wasn't a bit to ait, or a sup to taste, for de poor little tings, an' I tould dem to go to bed, an' to hould dere whisht, an' not bodder me. 'Daddy, daddy, we're hungry,' says de biggest fellow, and our mudder didn't ait a bit all day, an' she gave all she had to Katty and Billy!' 'Daddy, daddy,' says de littlest of de boys-dat's Billy'I can't go to sleep, I'm so cowld.' 'God forgive yer onnateral fader!' says I; 'for 'tis he's the purty boy intirely! wid his drinkin' and his blackguardin'. Hould yer whisht,' says I, 'an' I'll make ye comfortable;' an' wid dat, savin' yer presence, ladies, I takes me breeches-'tis no laughin' matter, I tell ye-an' I goes over to the craytures, an' I sticks one of de childer in one of de legs, an' anoder of de childer into de oder leg, an' I buttons de waistband round dere necks, and I tould dem for de life ov dem not to dare as much as sneeze for de rest of de night-an' dey didn't, poor childer. But be cockcrow in de mornin', Billy, who was a mighty airly bird, cries out, 'Daddy, daddy!' 'What's de matter?' says I. 'I want to get up, daddy,' says he. Well, get up, an' bad seran to ye,' says I. 'I can't,' says de young shaver. Why can't ye, ye kantankerous cur?' says I. Me an' Tommy is in de breeches,' says he. 'Get out ov it,' says I. 'Daddy, we're buttoned up,' says de little fellow, as smart as you plaze. So up I got, an' unbuttoned de craytures; an' I says to meself twas a burnin' shame that de children ov a Christian, lave 'lone a haythin', should be buttoned up in a breeches, instead ov lying in a dacent bed. So I slipped on de breeches on my own shanks, and off I goes to his reverence, an' I takes de pledge; an' 'twas de crown-piece dat yer reverence, God bless you! slipped into de heel ov my fist, dat set me up again in de world. Ladies and gentlemen, me story is tould; an' all I have to say is dis-dat I've lost de taste for whisky an' porter, an' for dandies of punch, too. An' dough I don't be for standing trates or takin' trates, still an' all, if a friend comes in de way he's welcome as de flowers of May; and, glory be to de Lord! and tanks to his reverence, dere's a clane place to resave him, an' a good leg ov mutton an' trimmins on de table, and a cead mille failtha into de bargain. Dat is what I calls de two sides ov de shillin'--de bad an' de good.

The reader may imagine the applause amid which Tim, proud of his oratorical success, retired to his former corner, where he was received by his blushing but happy wife, and listened with com

placency to the congratulations of his friends. Father Mathew heartily enjoyed Tim's description of the novel use to which he applied his small-clothes.


Father Mathew an Advocate of Law and Order-Warns the People against Secret Societies-Denounces Blood-spilling-His Rage for making Converts'-The Victim of Lemonade-The Deserters-The Cordials Testimonies-Sketched by Thackeray.

FATHER MATHEW was not only the preacher of temperance, but also the most earnest advocate of law and order. Those crimes which occasionally startled the public mind, and brought odium and disgrace upon the country, were denounced in unsparing terms by the good priest, to whose kindly and generous nature cruelty and violence were peculiarly abhorrent. Against secret societies-those pestilent nurseries of outrage-he constantly raised his voice, oftentimes with the happiest result. On several occasions he availed himself of the occurrence of some remarkable outrage to address the most salutary warnings to masses of the peasantry throughout every district of the country.

At Lucan, near Dublin, he thus referred to the machinations of the secret societies, and called upon his hearers to beware of their villanous emissaries. This was in June 1842::

I am sorry to hear, from a respected clergyman, that emissaries are in the habit of going into the coffee-rooms where teetotallers meet, for the purpose of ensnaring them into becoming members of Ribbon Societies. My dear friends, I caution you not to join them, whatever name they bear. If any of those emissaries address you, at once disclose the matter to your clergyman, or to the next magistrate; for these bloodthirsty wretches only seek to betray you, and, having effected their object, they would then go to a foreign land, there to live on the blood-money.

In the following month, at a meeting held in the county Tipperary, he again warns the people against the snares of those wicked organisations:

I have seen with the deepest regret, that it has been imputed to the district or Newport that secret societies exist there. This I am afflicted to hear-that any district where the temperance cause has been established could harbour such societies. I have always, earnestly, perseveringly, emphatically, cautioned the people against those societies, because they are filled with danger, with vice, with iniquity because they cut at the roots of social order—because they are the blight and bane of social happiness. I hope most earnestly that the people of Newport will use their best efforts to eradicate such societies, if any of them yet remain, and that they will persevere until every trace of them is obliterated. The authors and concoctors of those societies have no good object in view; they



only think how they can ensnare the unsuspecting into their hellish toils, and then they sell their victims to the offended laws of the country for the wages of iniquity. Beware of these wolves in sheep's clothing-they steal upon their intended victim under the disguise of assumed friendship; but they are only thinking of the blood-money at the time. My venerable and respected friend, Dr. Healy, who was the first of the clergy of the archdiocese to join the standard of temperance, has at all times cautioned his people against those societies; and I trust, most confidently, that the words of that exemplary priest will be listened to with attention, and that his warning voice will be heard amongst them.

In December of the same year, and in the presence of a vast multitude assembled in the same county, Father Mathew impressively enforced respect for the laws, and denounced, in thrilling language, two atrocious murders perpetrated but a short time before, at Kilfeacle and the Silver-mines:

The perpetrators of these red-handed murders (said he) cannot escape the just anger of God. Though the brand of Cain on their brow may not be apparent to the eyes of mortals, to the eye of the Eternal it is as plain as the sun at noon is to us. Let them hide in the solitude of a cavern, or even in the bowels of the earth, or though the waves of the sea rolled over them, the eye of Heaven pierces through every gloom, and marks out the wretch who has shed his brother's bloodwho, with impious hands, has taken away the life of a fellow-creature. The murderer may escape the arm of man's justice: but so surely as he quits this world, and stands trembling before the judgment-seat of God, so surely will he have to account to the Eternal Judge of the living and the dead for the crime of which he was guilty in this life. Crimes such as these, my dear friends, bring a curse on the land. Oh, in the name of God! hold fast to the temperance pledge, and shun, as you would the plague, the company of those who would seek to entrap you into secret and illegal associations, which are the authors of every wickedness. Listen to the voice of your clergy, your faithful and devoted friends, and they will warn you against the wretches who go about, like roaring lions, seeking whom they may devour.

Father Mathew was too wise to condemn those who did not join the temperance society, or who enjoyed the use of wine and other stimulants in moderation. He employed every art to obtain followers and converts, but his advocacy was always within the bounds of reason and good sense. He thus expressed his opinion upon what was then a vexed question with the advocates of total abstinence :-

While I laud temperance, and call on all to join its ranks, far be it from me to pass censure on those who use strong liquors in a moderate way. I no more condemn them than did St. Paul condemn the state of honourable wedlock; but I say that every motive that could influence a Christian to adopt any line of conduct calls on us to warn others to abstain. There is no gratification worthy of a Christian that cannot be enjoyed without tasting intoxicating liquors.

But having thus defended himself from the imputation of holding an opinion or advocating a doctrine which would have a tendency rather to repel than attract, he, in a few vigorous words, described the consequences, both temporal and eternal, which were brought about by habitual drunkenness :

Oh! my friends, if our bridewell, our lunatic asylum, or our prisons, or even Hell itself, were to trace on our adorned walls the history of the desolation, the agony, and the eternal ruin wrought by drunkenness, as did the mysterious hand upon the wall of the Court of the King, Balthazzar, the reading of it would cause our hearts to die within us, and our spirits to faint away.

In his zeal for making 'converts,' no man ever surpassed Father Mathew. Neither age, nor sex, nor condition, was a protection against his seductive arts. The venerable grandfather in his arm-chair, or the toddler drawing his 'go-cart'-the master or the man, the mistress or the maid—the porter, the clerk, or the merchant-the policeman or the prisoner-the priest at the altar or the boy wearing the alb-the schoolmaster and the schoolmistress, or the scholar with the jacket and the scholar with the frock-the nurse in the hospital or the patients in the sick ward-the gentleman of wide estate or the lodgekeeper at his gate-the editor of the newspaper or the 'devil' besmirched with ink-the nobleman or the sweep-the fine lady or the street-scavenger,—all were alike to Father Mathew, who never allowed slip an opportunity of adding a new follower to his standard. 'Did you see Father Mathew lately?' said one friend to another, whom he happened to meet travelling in the south of Ireland. 'I did,' was the reply. And I'll engage he made you take the pledge?' 'He did, indeed. But did you see him lately? To be sure I did.' 'And did he make you take it, too?' That he did.' 'There is no escaping him; but I am not sorry for it.' 'No, nor I, neither.'

Many a young fellow, who had as much notion of taking the pledge as he had of jumping over the moon, was caught, snaffled, bound hand and foot, before he knew where he was. 'My dear child, I know you wish to oblige me?' would be murmured in the softest and most winning accents of the practised entrapper of unsuspecting youth. This was one of his most deadly hooks, and seldom failed in its effect. 'Indeed I would, Father Mathew-you know that, sir,' the intended victim would incautiously reply. Well, my dear, you would greatly oblige me if you would join our society, and give me the benefit of your influence.' 'But, Father Mathew, I assure you I have no occasion for it-I was never drunk in my life.' 'Of course you were not, my dear; and therefore it will be no sacrifice to you-you have nothing to give up, as others have; and you will enjoy the consciousness of having afforded a good example to those who need it. My dear child, don't refuse me this favour.' And before the victim could frame an excuse or murmur a remonstrance, he found himself on his knees, repeating the words of the pledge, and on rising up, he was a Mathewite, enrolled in the ranks of temperance, with a silver medal hanging round his neck-the same medal which his captor had worn a moment before. Meet him in a coach or train; meet him in the


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street; visit him, or be visited by him; it was all the same-there was no escape, even for those who, to use their own words, did not require the pledge,' or 'had no occasion for it.' In flight alone was there protection from the wiles of one who was well versed in the arts of the recruiting sergeant as in the duties and responsibilities of chief and leader. Numbers of innocent boys and girls gladly did as he required of them, for the enjoyment of a holiday, or the possession of a picture-book or a doll; and if it were said that there was not much value in converts of this class, Father Mathew would reply, ‘I prefer them to all others. Besides, they will be men and women one of those days. It is on the youth of the country I place my chief dependence.' And thousands of silver medals, and hundreds of thousands of the ordinary medals, did these young teetotallers cost him who valued their accession so highly.

For his young lady friends he had an appeal which was generally irresistible: Surely, my dear child, you cannot refuse to do glory to God? You know not what may be the salutary influence of your example in preserving poor weak creatures from misery and crime. To save others from temptation is to do glory to God; and surely, my dear, you, who were so religiously brought up, cannot refuse to do that.' Down on her knees went the young girl thus appealed to. And in this manner did the temperance leader swell the ranks of his society, and extend its influence among the educated and wealthy classes of the community.

'Once a teetotaller, for ever a teetotaller,' was Father Mathew's declaration and policy. No miser ever clutched his golden coin with a more eager grasp than did Father Mathew his teetotallers. It was with a positive sense of pain that he became conscious of the desertion or backsliding of a single follower. He mourned over the loss of a stray sheep, and never rested till he had followed it into the wilderness of temptation, and brought it back, and placed it safely in the fold. There was one infallible mode by which the good man's temper might at any moment be ruffled. That was by returning him the card and medal, thereby formally seceding from the society, and renouncing the practice of temperance. He could retain his composure against open attack or malignant imputation, and no human being ever so readily forgave his enemies as he did; but to lay down the medal, and tell him that you no longer intended to adhere to temperance''-which meant total abstinence-was an offence for which he had no patience, and scarcely any forgiveness.


A gentleman called on him one day, at his house in Cove Street, and no sooner did Father Mathew hear his well-known voice than he hurried down stairs to welcome him. 6 My dear sir, I am delighted and proud to meet you, and glad to see you looking so well.' 'Indeed,

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