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The following is a strange epistle, and is given literally as it was written :

REEVD SIR,-I beg you will Look on a Foolish and Almost insane young Man the only thing I Reqeire from yoor Revde is a an Enterview for 10 Minutes as I dred Suciede and that I shall Get yoor blessing to Protect or if not I Fear I will Full Fill the words of the Scriptuer that is to Say that I Shall Die as I have Lived For the Last 3 Months I am obed yoors

Veery Humble Patrick

Here is a joint resignation, most formally worded:

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Wexford, August 10.

REVD. SIR,-As our business requires us to take a little spirits occasionally we have come to the resolution of giving up the pledge-yours most respectfully


Nicholas *
Pat * * * *

PS Please send an answer by return of Post to Mr.

Mr. *

* * *


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Corn Market


An anonymous correspondent thus invites him to cover himself with glory in a new mission:

Dublin: Nov. 19th.

SIR,-I beg to be excused for sending you the letters of Ronge, which have been lately published in this city. You ought seriously to inquire in your closet, where you are not so likely to be led away by the breath of popular applause, whether if you can in your conscience support the corruptions denounced by Ronge, or whether you can in silence look on while others practise such delusions on the people. The movement of Ronge has penetrated the whole of Germany-the Papal power is shaken to its centre, and if you look to the first article in the last Quarterly Review, you will perceive that France is ready for a similar movement, and that it will shortly break out in an open way, as it has done in Germany. Take a bold step, follow the noble example of Ronge, and disabuse the people's minds of their false notions, you would be followed by so large a party that in one year Ireland would become as beautiful and prosperous as any other part of the empire, instead of being pointed at as the land of blood and murder. If you delay, there is no doubt that in a year or two the work will be done without you; but it may fall into the hands of those who may teach infidelity instead of religion. I am with great respect






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a Sincere Well-wisher to my Country.



The land agent of a well-known gentleman writes an urgent letter, imploring Father Mathew to use his influence with an overholding tenant, to give up a dwelling-house belonging to the agent, without,' as the writer continues, putting me to the cost, trouble, and inconvenience of seeking the possession from a court of law.'


One would be inclined to say, from the samples given, that Father Mathew's correspondence occupied no small portion of his time and attention.

From necessity, he was compelled to devote to hard work those hours which, in justice to himself, ought to be more properly devoted



to sleep; but he also availed himself of any favourable moment, during the day, to pay off some instalment of his accumulated debt to his correspondents. He was free from interruption during the silent hours of night, whereas during the day he was liable to be interfered with by his domestic tyrant-his servant John. The attachment of this austere servitor, however gratifying to his master's selflove, assumed, very frequently, most inconvenient opportunities for its manifestation. Thus, while Father Mathew was at work at his inkspattered desk, the floor covered with the results of his precious labours, John would take a fit of troublesome cleanliness; and, after elaborately flapping the more prominent features of Lord Morpeth's bust with a duster, proceed to remove ideal specks and imaginary stains from the sideboard or the table; and after he had satisfactorily performed this important task, he would then direct his best energies to the picture-frames, reserving his special solicitude for the works of high art in worsted, for the merits of which he entertained an exalted opinion. Gradually would John invade the neighbourhood of the desk, and even crumple beneath his feet the leaves of manuscript which, after having hastily dashed them off, his master had thrown upon the ground. If he dared, John would have submitted the inkbottle to a general cleansing, and given the desk itself a comprehensive wipe of his duster; but his audacity was usually limited to abortive efforts at opening a conversation respecting the habits and customs of the English aristocracy, and the innovations lately adopted in the science of laying the dinner-cloth in grand houses. Now, Father Mathew was a man of exemplary patience, and could, without murmur, endure as much as most men; but to be thus interrupted, perhaps in the middle of a subject of great moment, and to feel his coat subjected to an elaborate dusting process as he was commencing a new paragraph, or rounding a sentence with grace, was something beyond the limit of mortal endurance. And just as John had reached this point, his master would start from his chair, and, looking down at the startled culprit, who now feared he had been pushing matters too far, would hurl this awful threat at his domestic-' John, if you continue to go on in this dreadful way, I declare I must leave the house!' This tremendous threat never failed in its effect; and John invariably hid himself for a time in the darkest recess of his pantry.



Father Mathew's pecuniary Liabilities His Unhappiness-The Medal
Delusion-His Arrest-Items of Expenditure-Vindicatory Statement
-How the Money went-Silver Medals-The enduring Memorial-
An edifying Balance-sheet-Valuable Testimonies-The Soldier's

THERE was, however, a trouble far less difficult to bear then the pressure of hard work, or the intrusion of a favourite and indulged domestic; that trouble arose from the daily increasing amount of his pecuniary liabilities. At times, the shadow of debt darkened the very sunlight, and haunted him like a spectre in his solitude. There was a period, yet to come, when the tyranny of the ever present idea of his obligations became insupportable, and crushed him to the earth; but, though in his fifty-third year, in the year 1854, he still possessed the physical energy and vigour of ordinary men of thirty-five or forty, and the tone and strength of his mind were yet unimpaired. He could, therefore, better resist a painful impression at this period of his life than in half a dozen years after, when his constitution had received many severe shocks. Still the slavery of debt could not but have been keenly felt at any time, or under any circumstances, by a man of his extreme sensibility and high notions of personal honour. There was also an additional bitterness imparted to this sufficiently bitter feeling this arose from imputations as unjust as they were galling.

At the very moment when his liabilities amounted to a sum of 7,000l., it was asserted that he was in the possession of enormous wealth, and that he had enriched the very family whom his mission had almost impoverished. If the writers of these stupid calumnies could have known how they were wounding that sensitive heart-how they were rendering his nights wakeful and his days unhappy, by their monstrous accusations, it is only fair to believe they never would have made them.

At a festive meeting in Cork, held on the evening of St. Stephen's day, the bitterness of his soul found vent in these mournful words :— 'Although your excellent chairman has wished me the enjoyment of many happy days, I must say I enjoy very few moments of happiness. My heart is eaten up by care and solicitude of every kind.' These words fell upon that joyous assembly, consisting mostly of the young and the light-hearted, with an inexpressibly saddening effect, and a murmur of sympathy evinced the feeling which they had awakened in every breast.



The calumny against him was based upon the wildest assumption. Because Father Mathew had administered the pledge to so many millions of persons, therefore he had sold so many millions of medals, and therefore he had received 50,000l. for every million of followers ; and further, that if he had given the pledge to only three millions of persons, he had sold three millions of medals, and received 150,0007. If he had given the pledge to four millions of persons, of course he had received 200,000l.! This was actually put forward in one of the most influential of the Irish newspapers; and the writer even went the length of asserting, that if this number of medals were not sold, and this amount of money not received, the alleged number of followers was a gross delusion. The whole thing was based upon the utterly groundless supposition, that everyone who took the pledge also purchased a medal; whereas not more than one in ten, if so many, of those who did the one also did the other. Even if they had the inclination to purchase the medal, they were too poor to do so. Father Mathew's chief

success was amongst the humblest classes in the community; and at the very time when this imputation was made, it was admitted, on official authority, that there were two millions and a half of people in Ireland little above the condition of absolute destitution. Few medals were purchased by this class; and yet, happily, to a large extent, they had taken the pledge, and thereby preserved themselves from deeper misery.

Father Mathew's arrest, while publicly administering the pledge in Dublin, rudely dissipated the belief entertained by those who accused him of the possession of fabulous wealth. He was arrested for the balance of an account due to a medal manufacturer; and the bailiff to whom the duty was entrusted knelt down among the crowd, asked his blessing, and then quietly showed him the writ! It may be mentioned, as an instance of Father Mathew's presence of mind, that he did not falter even for an instant, but continued to administer the pledge, as if nothing had happened. This self-possession was fortunate for the bailiff, whom not even the temperance leader could have saved, had that treachery been made known at the moment. This painful circumstance dissipated calumny and slander into thin air; but it also aroused the liveliest sympathy throughout the country, and galvanised into activity those who had been talking of a colossal bust, or some such other 'testimonial,' as a fitting type of the nation's gratitude to its great benefactor. People then began to consider that it was far more wise to free Father Mathew from his embarrassments than to carve his effigy in stone or marble, and to enable him to prosecute his work rather than erect some benevolent institution in his name. And the more the question of how to act, and what to do, came to be discussed, the more

honouring was the result to the character of one of the most disinterested and generous of men.

How his liabilities grew upon him was now a matter of easy explanation. The readers of these pages have already seen sufficient to satisfy their minds upon the subject; but a few additional particulars may not be here out of place.

This fact should be distinctly borne in mind-namely, that upon one man, and upon one man alone, rested the responsibility of one of the most remarkable movements, and the support of one of the most extensive organisations, of modern times. Father Mathew was the centre of all, the one on whom the success or failure of the movement and the stability of the entire structure, depended. Without Father Mathew, the movement would never have been what it was; deprived of his exertions, his labours, his zeal, his self-sacrifice, his munificent liberality, it could not have progressed as it did. We may see a department of state exclusively engaged in undertakings less onerous, and with details less complicated or extended, than were involved in the mission to which Father Mathew voluntarily devoted his energies. What we witness every day done by large and well-endowed associations, with numerous and highly-paid officials, and a thoroughly efficient staff, Father Mathew undertook and accomplished single-handed. He had to provide and pay a sufficient staff; to print and disseminate handbills, tracts, and placards; to aid in the establishing of temperance reading-rooms, and the formation of temperance bands; to prevent local societies from falling into decay, and to supply funds towards their revival; to defray the principal expenses attendant on those demonstrations which were considered necessary as an example or an incentive; to meet the heavy charges for travelling with one or more attendants, and for hotels; to contribute the most generously to the charities whose claims he was invited to advocate; in fine, to satisfy the demands hourly made upon his compassion or his generosity, and which were of necessity multiplied in consequence of the very nature of his mission, and the prominence of the position it entailed.

Thus, for instance, he was in debt to the amount of 1,5007. before he made a single visit to any part of the country, or left the city of Cork, the first scene of his mission, even for a day. As we have described in the appropriate place, poor people came to him daily in great numbers, not merely from the surrounding country or the adjoining counties, but even from remote districts of Ireland, to receive the pledge at his hands; and he would as soon have thought of turning away a penitent unshrived from his confessional as of not relieving the wants of a weary and foot-sore pilgrim, who had walked forty or fifty miles with an intention that excited his gratitude almost as much as it did his sympathy. The amount of his debt at that time—in the year

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