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every young fellow that's like you-strong an' hearty you are this day, my ould buck! God spare you to us for another twenty year, at any William was affected, but somewhat embarrassed, by the old lady's enthusiasm, which was fully shared in by her female friends in his neighbourhood.
A little incident in which William Martin was concerned will afford an interesting idea of the character of the man whom he sincerely admired. William could, when he so liked, and that was not rarely, be as obstinate as a mule. Father Mathew was quick, hot, and, at times, obstinate also. In fact, he had so long, not to say influenced, but even ruled, others, that he was-at intervals, and rarely, to be sure -impatient of contradiction. William was rough and resolute; his friend was warm and somewhat self-willed. Some question arose, respecting which the two friends had a difference of opinion, and neither would yield to the other; and so they fell out-William leaving the house in high dudgeon. Scarcely had the broad back of the sturdy Quaker been lost sight of at the corner of the street, when poor Father Mathew's anger vanished like smoke, and gave place to the keenest compunction. He was most unhappy at the notion of his having wounded the feelings of his good old friend, and would have followed him and implored his forgiveness, if he believed it would have been of any use. William was grieved in his own way, and became several degrees gruffer in consequence. A kind friend interposed, and explanations and assurances of mutual regard and esteem followed. Father Mathew quickly availed himself of the opportunity afforded to him, and proceeding to the place of business of honest William, flung himself upon his neck, and, kissing him on the cheek, humbly implored his pardon. That was another proud day for William Martin, between whom and Father Mathew no cloud, small even as a man's hand, ever again interposed.
The Pilgrimage to Cork-Father Mathew's Parlour'-The House in Cove Street--His Man John-The Great Powers of the Kitchen and the Pantry―The happy working of the Cause.
THE 200,000 on the roll of the society in the month of January 1839 were not exclusively from the city and county of Cork. It is true, the city and county contributed a large portion of the entire; but the number was partly made up by those who poured in from the adjoining counties of Kerry, Waterford, Limerick, Clare, and Tipperary, and even from remote Galway. The tidings of the great moral refor
mation worked in Cork quickly spread, through the agency of the public press, throughout the island, and to all parts of the United Kingdom. The speeches of Father Mathew and his assistants were copied from one paper into another, and with them accounts of the success of his mission, the benefits which it conferred on the community as well as on the individual, and the evils which it remedied or prevented. Attention was thus arrested and interest excited, and it was only natural that those who read or heard accounts of what was doing in Cork, should come to the conclusion that what was good for Cork was good for other places, and that what had done one person good would do another person good; and so, as Father Mathew did not come to them, they resolved on coming to him. Thus it was that the public conveyances brought numbers into Cork every day, and that multitudes of pilgrims might be seen on the roads leading into the city, with their little bundles in their hands, and generally lame and foot-sore after their long journey. To Cove Street the pilgrimage was directed. To see Father Mathew-to take the pledge from him—to be touched by him and blessed by him,-this was sufficient reward for the longest and most painful journey. But never did Father Mathew send the poor pilgrim from his door without having first fed and comforted him, and, where necessary, provided for his safe and easy return. A seat on a public car, or something in the pocket, enabled the poor traveller from a distance-often of 50 miles, sometimes of 100 milesto return happy and joyful to his home. Thus, through the accounts given by the early pilgrims, of the good man who had heard their story, who had sympathised with them, who had blessed them and prayed for them, who had treated them as a father and a benefactor. was the fame of Father Mathew spread abroad, even more effectually than through the columns of the public press.
The expense entailed on Father Mathew by what may be described as this pilgrimage to Cork, the Mecca of temperance, was considerable ; and before he sold a single medal, he was involved in debt to the amount of 1,5007., notwithstanding the numerous offerings which he continued to receive as a priest. His resources were not increased, but his expenditure, even thus early in the movement, was so to a very great
The lower apartment, or parlour, which was on a level with the street, was converted into a reception room for those who came to take the pledge and here was the pledge administered, and here were the names enrolled. It was in this celebrated apartment that scenes like the following might be witnessed. At all hours of the day and evening-even to ten or eleven o'clock at night—'batches' of ten, twenty, or even thirty, might be seen waiting to be enrolled. Some were sober and penitent; others smelling strongly of their recent potations,
STRANGE SCENE IN THE PARLOUR.
and ashamed to commit themselves by uttering a word; more boisterous and rude, their poor wives and mothers endeavouring to soothe and keep them under control. One of this class-a big, brawny fellow, with rough voice, bloodshot eyes, and tattered clothes-would roar out:-'I won't take the pledge; I'll be if I do. Is it me! What oc-oc-occashin have I for it? I won't demane myself by taking it. I always stood a trate, and I'll stand it agin. Me take it! Let me go, woman! I tell you, lave me go! 'Oh, Patsy, darlin', don't expose yourself. You know I'm for your good. And what would his reverence say to you if he heard you? Do, alanna, be quiet, an' wait for the holy priest.' 'Well, hould off of me, any way. Can't I take care of myself? Can't I do what I like? Who'll dare say I can't?' 'Oh Patsy, Patsy, darlin! Is, indeed! Patsy darlin'!" Let me go, woman!—and, bursting away from the trembling hands of the poor creature, who struggled to hold the drunken fool, Patsy would make a wild dash to the door, amidst muttered expressions of sympathy, such as God help you, honest woman! 'Tis you 're to be pitied with that quare man.' 'Yes,' another would remark, 'an' a fine man he is, and a decent man, too, if he'd only keep sober.' But just as Patsy was about effecting his escape, and swearing that he would never be the one of his name to demane himself by taking their dirty pledge,' he was certain to be arrested by Father Mathew himself, who at a glance knew the nature of the case. Catching Patsy with a grasp stronger than that from which he had escaped, Father Mathew would say, in a cheerful voice to Patsy, as if that gentleman had come of his own free will to implore the pledge at his hands-Welcome! welcome! my dear. Delighted to see you. Glad you are come to me. You are doing a good day's work for yourself and your family. You will have God's blessing on your head. Poverty is no crime, my dear child; it is sin alone that lowers us in the eyes of God. Kneel down, my dear (a strong pressure on Patsy's shoulder, under which Patsy reluctantly sinks on his knees), and repeat the words of the pledge after me; and then I will mark you with the sign of the Cross, and pray God to keep you from temptation.' What could poor Patsy do, but yield, as that magnetic hand rested affectionately on his tangled locks? And so Patsy's name was added to the long muster-roll of the pledged.
We doubt if there were a tap-room in Cork in which a more decided odour of whisky and porter-or, as the phrase went, strong drink-was apparent, than in 'Father Mathew's parlour-especially on the evenings of Saturday and Monday, but more especially on the latter. The odour did not, however, ascend higher, for a door, covered with faded green baize, shut off the upper from the lower part of the house; into which, if the reader have no objection, we shall take a peep.
If Father Mathew dwelt in a cloister, he could not have lived more modestly and quietly than he did. His principal room-his only room, save that in which he slept-was at once breakfast and dining-room, study and reception-room. It certainly did not exceed sixteen feet from wall to wall. Not a morsel of carpet concealed the well-washed boards; while the furniture consisted of the barest necessaries—a centre-table, a sideboard, a side-table, some chairs, and a writing-desk. On the side-table was a large-sized bust of Lord Morpeth, the popular Secretary of Ireland, and friend of Father Mathew. Two enormous volumes of the Sacred Scriptures, one containing the Old and the other the New Testament, flanked the bust; and a glass filled with flowers, when flowers were in season, completed the adornment of this show-table. On the wall opposite the fireplace hung a good oil painting a portrait of Cardinal Micara, the head of the Capuchins, who had constantly exhibited the deepest interest in the career of the illustrious Irish friar. Opposite the windows, a good engraving of a celebrated picture of the Holy Family was suspended. But, framed with richness and glazed with reverent care, was a marvellous production in worsted, intended to represent, and fondly believed by the donor and artist as well as by its grateful recipient to represent, the religious profession of St. Clare. The desk was fearfully bespattered with ink, and otherwise exhibited signs of its being an article of furniture more useful than ornamental. But everything, save the said desk, was neat and in perfect order. If it were poverty, it was poverty willingly and honestly assumed; but the neatness and order bespoke the presence and influence of a gentleman. In this modest apartment the Apostle of Temperance was visited by many of the great and distinguished of the earth; and here he exercised a hospitality which made those who partook of it experience that most agreeable of all feelings in the mind of a guest-namely, the consciousness of being welcome, and at home.
There was one, however, in that house who, in it, was a much greater man than its master. That was the servant John. Now, as much of Father Mathew's internal comfort and peace of mind depended upon John, and the mood in which John happened to be in, it is necessary to say something of that august potentate of the pantry.
John was a dried-up, wizened-faced, dapper old bachelor, who entertained the most exalted opinion of his own wisdom and knowledge of the world, and the profoundest contempt for nearly every other human creature, save Father Mathew and his own marvellously-old mother. John was sour of visage and still more sour of speech. The gleam of his small eyes, and the downward curl of his thin lips, were pretty good indications of his general state of mind, which was apt to be ruffled at the slightest provocation. He was eminently aristocratic, and hated to be bored by the poor. For his part, he did 'nt
HIS MAN JOHN.
83 know what the priest wanted with them, or they with him; but he could unhesitatingly say that he detested their knocks at the door, their constant enquiries, their vulgar manners, and the sight and smell of their clothes. John had served in a noble family-hence he was an infallible authority on all matters of taste, style, and fashion. He had been in London-therefore he was equally an authority on foreign travel and the world in general. There was one possession which he specially prized, and which, indeed, divided with Father Mathew and his venerable mother that small amount of affection which he condescended to bestow upon any one or anything save himself. This was a silver watch of formidable dimensions, which was encased in three leathern wrappers, no doubt as a precaution against chill or rheumatism. If one desired to conciliate the favour of the magnate, one perhaps might achieve that grand result by respectfully requesting to know what the exact hour was.' John would graciously proceed to satisfy a curiosity so natural, and would draw forth the well-protected timepiece, and gravely divest it of its three wrappers; then, having. glanced with a kind of scientific air at the dial, which was of prodigious surface, he would loftily announce the time, to the minute and to the second; having done which, he would caress the back with a tender hand, and at once restore the valuable article to its wrappers and its fob.
This sweet-tempered bachelor did not at all admire little boys. He didn't know what good they were, or why they were brought into the world, unless to stuff themselves unpleasantly with pastry, spoil tablecloths, and worry deserving and inoffensive servants. It was a source of anguish to him to be compelled to allow the priest's two nephews boys keen after sweets, and of daring appetite-to have the run of his pantry. But, 'John, give the boys that pie,' was too direct a command to be resisted; and John would retire with a grumble, while Father Mathew would stand looking on, his hands deep in his pockets, and a smile on his face, while the boys ploughed deep into the contents of a pie-dish, and made paste and fruit vanish before their combined attack. No doubt John must at times have wished that some unlookedfor ingredient had been mixed with the sweets, to punish the lads for the liberties which, on too frequent occasions, they took with him, and especially with his age, respecting which he was irritably sensitive.
The priest was in the habit of inviting young people to breakfast, always to John's disgust. On one occasion, a young fellow, nervous and awkward, spilled his tea, and upset his egg-the shame of which double catastrophe was terribly enhanced by the display of John's sublime disdain, and the ostentatious solemnity with which the mischief was temporarily repaired. The poor lad felt himself in a social Coventry-banished from polite society for ever.