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Father Mathew, I am not at all so well as I appear to be,' replied his friend, in dolorous tones. I am very sorry to hear it, my dear sir; perhaps you work too hard?' 'I do, sir, work pretty hard; but it is not that that injures me; the fact is, Father Mathew, it's the-lemonade.' 'The lemonade, my dear !—what lemonade?' 'The lemonade, sir, that I drink after dinner-it doesn't agree with my stomach.' 'Well, my dear, then don't drink it. You can have coffee instead ; and good water is wholesomer than anything else.' It then appeared that the gentleman had come to resign his pledge; at which intelligence the grief of Father Mathew was excessive, for he dreaded the influence which this example might have on others. He entreated and implored 'his old and much-loved friend, whom he had known from childhood,' to take back his medal, and not abandon the good and holy cause; but the much-loved friend was inexorable, explaining at the same time his conscientious belief that, from the peculiarly delicate nature of his constitution, and, in fact, intricate construction of his stomach, he required the mild stimulant of at least one tumbler of punch in the twenty-four hours. Then, sir, you may go and drink a bucketfull of it every day of your life,' said Father Mathew, losing all patience, and turning his back upon the victim of lemonade. For months after Father Mathew could not afford a civil word to the backslider, for his fall was as the fall of a tower; but the indignation died away in time, and the deserted leader could even laugh pleasantly at the sad effects of aërated beverages upon a delicate constitution.


The writer had dined and spent the evening with Father Mathew, and at nine o'clock was about leaving the house, being escorted to the door by his polite host; but just as he was bidding him adieu, there appeared in the doorway a great strapping fellow, more than six feet in stature. 'Let me see who this is,' said Father Mathew. เ Well, my dear, what is it you want?' said he to the countryman; 'perhaps you desire to take the pledge. If so, you will do a good work, and God will bless you for avoiding temptation. No good ever came from strong drink, my dear, either to body or soul.' The poor countryman seemed terribly embarrassed, and fumbled something between his fingers. 'Kneel down, my dear, and repeat the words of the pledge after me,' said the priest. "Tisn't that I want, yer reverence—' 'tis to give it up.' 'Give it up!-you surely don't mean to break your solemn pledge and to become a drunkard!' thundered the indignant temperance leader. 'No, yer reverence; but I am not well in my health, and the docther says I'd better be afther giving up the pledge-and here's the kard and middle.' Saying this, the countryman flung them both on the table in the little parlour, and made a rapid movement towards the door; but before he had reached the door, Father Mathew seized him by both shoulders, and treated him to a downright hearty

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shake, saying, 'Go away-go away, you great big booby! What a shame to think that a man of your size can't do without strong drink! Don't tell me of your doctors-I know better-you don't want whisky or porter-I don't want them. Go, sir! you will be one day sorry your foolishness.' And he shoved the recreant into the street, down which the poor fellow fled, as if the dogs of remorse were yelping at


his heels.

There might sometimes be seen a flying pledge-breaker, pursued by one of the clerks or by a volunteer, rushing down Drinan Streetwhich was immediately opposite the well-known dwelling in Cove Street-or down Cove Street, and Father Mathew watching the chase from the window or the street door. It occasionally happened that a head was popped inside the parlour door, and that a clink of some hard substance on the floor followed the words 'There 'tis for ye— I'm done with it anyhow;' and a rush towards the street door would bear witness to the fact that an audacious deserter was about escaping, having, as it were, flung down his firelock before the face of his commander. Away the brave Donnelly would rush in pursuit, aided, perhaps, by some sturdy son of temperance who happened to be in the parlour at the time; and if the culprit were overtaken and captured, and Father Mathew in the way, speedy repentance and prompt pardon were the result; but it as frequently occurred that the pian of escape had been too well matured, and that means had been taken to baffle pursuit, and prevent the possibility of capture. There was also a more simple and less perilous mode of giving up the pledge, which was largely availed of. This was by slipping the card or the medal under the hall door, or into the letter-box, or even sending it through the post-office; and to this safer mode of abandoning the cause, and 'taking to strong drink,' the dread of meeting Father Mathew, and encountering his anger, induced many to have recourse. But when,

wretched and woe-begone, with tattered clothes and pale faces, the deserters returned, after a week's debauch, there was no anger to dread-they knew that compassion and tenderness were always awaiting the poor penitent prodigal. Truly, there was more joy in that parlour at the return of one drunkard than at the enrolment of ninetynine sober, who had never fallen.

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The original pledge did not contain a clause against cordials; and, ere long, the evil of the omission was made apparent in a very injurious manner. A new trade sprang into existence, under the shadow and protection of the Temperance Society, and the practice of cordial drinking became but too general.

'Pat,' said a gentleman to his servant, who was oscillating on his legs in a strange manner, 'you have been drinking. Why, the man is drunk! Me drunk, sir! and I temperate those four years!



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said Pat, in a wronged and reproachful tone. Well, if you ar'n't drunk, I never saw a drunken man in my life-that's all. Sir, I'm temperate,' said Pat, who had at the same time to clutch the edge of the sideboard to save himself from an upset. Tell me, Pat, my poor fellow, what have you been taking that disagreed with you so?' enquired his master, with an air of intense solicitude. 'Well, then, sir, I'll tell you no lie; 'tis them cordials—the divil's cure to them for cordials!—indeed, I'm sure and certain there's poison in them, for I can't ketch a hoult of anything that it doesn't slip out of my hand; and it gives me enough to do to manage my legs, that's going under me, all the same as if I was a cripple. Bad luck to you for cordials!' Now, poor Pat was the type of many others, who-though nothing could induce them to break the pledge by taking the forbidden articles, whisky, porter, ale, or other 'strong drink '-freely indulged in what, after all, was much the same thing; for whisky was the base and chief ingredient of these 'cordials, fruit liquors, and the like,' against which Father Mathew now protested with all his energy. At a meeting near Blarney, in the year 1842, he referred to this too common practice of cordial drinking, and also to the medical dispensation in the original pledge-which, as his own statement proves, was liberally availed of by not a few of his followers :

There is one subject which I must particularly call your attention to, and I caution you against making use of those snares of Satan, temperance cordials, for they cannot be manufactured or compounded without the aid of whisky of the worst description; and, as Colonel Titus said to Oliver Cromwell, 'Shall we who fought the lion (whisky and porter) allow ourselves to be devoured by the wolf?' I would sooner a man would break his pledge openly, for he then would be a base pledge-breaker; but a man who drinks those cordials is not only a base pledge-breaker, but also a hypocrite. There was a dispensation placed in the pledge, that the use of spirits would be allowed for medical purposes, but when I introduced that clause I had no idea that a man in perfect health would have a doctor's certificate in his pocket, and then consider himself authorised to take wine and punch at his dinner; but my intention was, that he should bring his prescription to an apothecary or druggist, and anything he wished to give him he was perfectly welcome to take. I have now in my possession a certificate from a doctor, not forty miles from where we are at present, given to a pig-jobber, who could not do his business without a glass, and also another given to a carman, who wished to take a glass in the morning, and another in the evening, every day he went to Cork.

Thenceforward, Father Mathew might be heard announcing at the very top of his voice, and high above the heads of kneeling crowds, that the pledge included cider, cordials, fruit liquors, and the like'the latter comprehensive word being rather sung than spoken, and pronounced as if it were spelled 'loike.'

Relapses and backslidings were among the trials to which the



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temperance leader was subjected, and which, for the time, had a most depressing effect on a mind that, always sensitive, was occasionally sad. But he had his hours of consolation as well. Thus his heart rejoiced within him as he received accounts of the progress of temperance in distant parts of the world-America or India-or when he received invitations from Scotland and England, and also from the United States, expressed in the most flattering language, and giving glowing evidence of the spread and triumph of his beloved cause.

Nor was Father Mathew, humble and modest as he was, at all insensible to the eloquent praises of a well-written address, a gracefullypenned letter, or a happy speech. It was not his vanity that was flattered-it was his heart that was touched. Never was testimony so acceptable as when it did justice to his motives,-for there were, alas! too many who questioned their purity and disinterestedness, notwithstanding that he, with his own hand, had struck down the prosperity of his own family. Coming from those who differed from him in religious faith, these testimonies were still more acceptable to his harassed mind, which naturally sympathised with his jaded frame.

Thackeray, who certainly was no hero-worshipper, bore a just and discriminating testimony to the character of Father Mathew, whom he happily hit off in his 'Irish Sketch Book.' The age of Father Mathew at the time he was sketched by the author of 'Vanity Fair' was not two-and-forty, as he supposed it was, but two-and-fifty. The difference was in the reality, not in the appearance; for he did not look a day older than the age then attributed to him :

On the day we arrived at Cork, and as the passengers descended from the 'drag,' a stout, handsome, honest-looking man, of some two-and-forty years, was passing by, and received a number of bows from the crowd around. It was Theobald Mathew, with whose face a thousand little print-shop windows had already rendered me familiar. He shook hands with the master of the carriage very cordially, and just as cordially with the master's coachman, a disciple of temperance, as at least half Ireland is at present. There is nothing remarkable in Mr. Mathew's manner, except that it is exceedingly simple, hearty, and manly, and that he does not wear the downcast, demure look, which, I know not why, certainly characterises the chief part of the gentlemen of his profession. He is almost the only man, too, that I have met in Ireland, who, in speaking of public matters, did not talk as a partisan. With the state of the country, of landlord, tenant, and peasantry, he seemed to be most curiously and intimately acquainted; speaking of their wants, differences, and the means of bettering them, with the minutest practical knowledge. And it was impossible, in hearing him, to know, but from previous acquaintance, whether he was Whig or Tory, Catholic or Protestant. His knowledge of the people is prodigious, and their confidence in him as great; and what a touching attachment that is which these poor fellows show to anyone who has their cause at heart, even to anyone who says he has! Avoiding all political questions, no man seems more eager than he for the practical improvement of this country. Leases and rents, farming improvements, reading societies, music societies, he was full of these; and of his schemes of

temperance above all. He never misses a chance of making a convert, and has his hand ready and a pledge in his pocket for sick or poor. One of his disciples, in a livery-coat, came into the room with a tray; Mr. Mathew recognised him, and shook him by the hand directly; so he did with the strangers who were presented to him; and not with a courtly popularity-hunting air, but, as it seemed, from sheer hearty kindness and a desire to do everyone good. When breakfast was done (he took but one cup of tea, and says that, from having been a great consumer of tea and refreshing liquids before, a small cup of tea, and one glass of water at dinner, now serve him for his day's beverage), he took the ladies of our party to see his burying-ground, a new and handsome cemetery, lying a little way out of the town, and where, thank God! Protestants and Catholics may lie together without clergymen quarrelling over their coffins.

Invitations flowed in upon Father Mathew from various places in England and Scotland-from Catholic bishops, from temperance societies belonging to all sects, and also from private individuals of station and eminence. Early in the year 1842 he received a gratifying address from the ladies of Edinburgh, signed by 2,000 fair petitioners, who prayed him to commence his promised mission in Scotland in its capital. Invitations from many other places in Scotland were received likewise about the same time; to one of which-from Greenock-he replies:

The only regret I feel is in consequence of the impossibility of my fixing at present a period for my journey to Scotland. It would afford me great pleasure to hasten the time; but I must first heal the deep and festering wounds of the Irish people.


Desires to keep free of Politics-O'Connell a Teetotaller-The Easter
Procession of 1842-The Liberator and the Apostle-Tom Blewitt's
Speech-The Stranger's Evidence - Characteristic Incident-Father
Mathew's Considerateness.

To keep the temperance cause free from the slightest connection with the politics of the day, was one of Father Mathew's most anxious desires; and we doubt if, among the many anxieties consequent upon his position as the leader of a great movement, there was one which pressed so heavily upon him as that which he felt upon this head. To those who remember the period, from 1840 to 1845, it is well known that it was one of intense political excitement, when the public mind of Ireland was in a state of constant activity, and during which were held, in almost every part of the island, meetings and demonstrations unsurpassed in their magnitude and significance. Father Mathew had, on a hundred different occasions, proclaimed, and most truly, that his society was unsectarian and unpolitical, and that temperance had nothing

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