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performed in one. To those who have much writing, what a blessing this must prove. To clergymen, ministers, and the literati, what a saving of time a knowledge of this system would effect. To all connected with the press—editors, reporters, readers and compositors—the advantage arising from a practical acquaintance with phonography will be readily apparent. One mode of contraction is as follows :-T being written thus | when made only half its usual size 1 and used in connexion with some other consonant, becomes tt. By adding a small hook on the right-hand side of t we get tl, on the left-hand side tr; right-hand side at bottom t-shn, left-hand side ditto in. And this principle applies to the whole of the consonants.
The halving law applies also to these double consonants. Besides this, each vowel and consonant, when standing alone, is used to represent some frequently-recurring word of our language, in which the sound of the consonant is distinctly heard ; thus p represents up, b be, &c. &c.
By still further contractions and abbreviations, it is made, for the use of reporting, the shortest of all systems of short-hand.
HEADS AND TAILS OF FAMILIES.
BY PAUL BELL.
No. III.-A RELIGIOUS SUBJECT. THERE is a small pair of bright, black, young eyes, peeping good-naturedly out from under a nine-cornered shovel hat (for your Beaver, if designed by Durandus and stamped by Neale, will get nine corners, perhaps more, in the course of a year and a half's parish business), which I meet some thrice a day coming and going—a thin pair of legs trotting along in large, coarse shoes, and a lean yellow hand perpetually on the outstretch for some other to shake—which are worth a good five pounds a year to any one who cares to keep alive his idea of unobtrusive piety and Christian beneficence in human form ; and to be convinced that there is “ a soul of goodness ” which can survive the dripping of party uncharitableness
and the batterings of controversial wraththat there lives a being who can stand upright and free in spite of authority and domination of Man's making, to speak the truth ; and to act up to his speakings. The Curate of St. Simon's will
never set the Irwell on fire by, his inventions. The: Ladies, I . find, call him very prosy in the pulpit ; and the Editors of The. Holy Poker, The Fiery Furnace, and The Symbolist, severally point to him as a " slip-between." -as one who, during the fierce strife waging between the Infallible Man and the Scarlet Lady, takes no part in the struggle ; under pretenee “ that the day's duty is enough for him." He has some uncouth absent tricks which will stand betwixt him and preferment (if, indeed, he wished for it); but for these, as the Lover says in the song about the woman who cannot read,
I love him all the better. And just now, as Church Tones, and Church Tiles, and Church Tales, Church Costumes, and Church Cakes, Church Development, and Church Denunciation, are all the fashion-why should not I
Share the triumph and partake the gale ? (the quotation, I am informed, employed by Mrs. Blackadder on the occasion of her own marriage), and offer my contribution of A Religious Subject to your gallery of Worthies and Zealous Industrials !
I must first, however, warn the Ladies (chief purchasers, they tell me of novels Papistic, Puseyite, M'Neileite, Muggletonian, Methodistic, Incognito-Lingual, and Plymouth-Fraternal) that my
Religious Subject” has a cut, a cast, a character of its own ; a doctrine, too, quite as good as the very best of theirs. Yet I have nothing new to impart concerning the Reverend Mr. Russell, who argued one gentleman out of Infidelity, and enticed three young Ladies into Infallibility. The consumptive Cottager--child of rude Parents who perpetually chances to fall into the way of the Impenitent, the Careless, and the Despondent, just at the critical . moment of their complaint, is, this time, warm under the blankets, forbidden to speak, since there are hopes of her recovery! The Brother and Sister of old family ; who are poetized into truth by haunting their own beautiful Church.; and by flouncing, frilling, and painting it up into “ favour and prettiness,” by ringing of bells, and chaunting of very ugly music, arrive at a refined peace and serene obedience, which places them beyond the shocks and assaults of that low-bred Cromwellian creature, Private Judgment, (giving them even a dab of pity to spare for poor
John Milton). Mr. Eustace and Miss Agnes, I say, are too busy over their-Black.ir Letter, to“show”in my simple story of Pewterer's Passage. There is nothing, moreover, about the unconverted Heathen,!? begin ; ning with the Irish, unreclaimed from thriftless habits-there is no peep at The Holy Week at Rome ; for or against The Pope with his fan of feathers (like Scott's Dame Nelly), or about the Miserere ; or in admiration of the beautifully-behaved English, who take bottles of beer with them into the Sistine Chapel, and work their way with corking-pins to “the anxious benches” where they can see best ) -not a word destined to knock down that gigantic Sin,“ struck to stone," Cologne Cathedral-not.“ a waving” of a Bishop's petticoat--not a shadow on the wall of a Vicar—not an orphrey, nor a brass bason for the offertory--nor a pinch of sulphur for the cooking of those who believe in dancing, and countenance Playactors. " What, then, in the name of patience,” cry
eager, energetic fair ones, who throng about " Books on Religious Subjects," -80 called, " like bees around a honey-crocke"-"are you going to give us, Mr. Bell ?-or is it merely a trick to make : us listen to some of your mockery?” &c. &c. &c. &c.
No trick ; my venerable Female Brethren ! (so the Reverend Onesiphorus Wheazeley was in the habit of styling the Dorcases among his congregation)--the good old Curate of St: Simon's is a Religious Subject, if there ever was such a being upon the Earth. Subject to the circumstances of most narrow fortunesubject to a love of Peace--subject to a sense of active selfsacrificing duty-subject to a humility which is proved by its very unconsciousness-subject to a respect for his calling, which leaves : him not a moment's time for quarrelling about precedences, or wrangling about trifles-subject to pain without its leaving a trace of soreness or sourness-subject to sorrow, which has mellowed his heart, not destroyed his happiness : as innocent as a child—as indefatigable as å middle-aged man-as wise and indulgent as a father-I know of no fault in “dear uncle Vavasour, as my children call him ; and but a few foibles. One is a love of dumb animals, which makes him sometimes break off in the midst of Church matters to be neighbourly with every ragged little cur that comes up to him in the street. It has stuffed his memory with impossible tales of Dogs that would not go to Chapel*
* It is to Mr. Vavasour that I owe my knowledge of the Epitaph in Camberwell Churchyard on the Lady who, as it now stands,
Went to Heaven and left her dog behind. The c and I in “ clog” (for cumber) having worn into the one Letter. I never saw the Curate of St. Simon's ruffled, save once-when this solution destroyed a story on which he dwelt with fondness.
-Dogs that only jumped up on corduroys, worn by Tory thighsDogs that preferred brown bread when their Masters were poor, and war-prices obtained-Dogs that would never cross a railway without a flag in their mouths—Dogs that barked when old Barnabas Dockwray the Clerk made the wrong responses, and the likeenough to set up Mr. Jesse with stuff for a score of volumes. I have heard him say-considerate man!—that he would publish these, if he had time; and if it was not “for fear of taking the bread out of the mouths of those poor authors;"-he with his meagre hundred a year! His other propensity is for a pipe ; and his enemies tell—unable, however, to bring one single witness—that he once absolutely mounted the reading-desk with “a yard of clay” in his mouth ; unaware of being thus furnished, till—on opening his lips to pray, the utensil dropped, and broke, to the scandal (saith the Lie) of all present. If the thing ever happened, it must be now forty-five years ago ; and do you expect me to agree with Miss Martha Le Grand, when she adduces a story of such long standing (as apocryphal, too, as that of my namesake and The Dragon) by way of reason for the poor Curate of St. Simon's being the poor Curate of St. Simon's still :-when Mr. Scrupler has married a rich wife, and Mr. Niblett another, and Mr. Blaze, (who compared H.M. the Queen Dowager to the Queen of Sheba, Dorcas, Helena the Mother of Constantine and Saint Elizabeth, all in one sermon) is already the Rector of Cooborough ; and to be made, they say, a Bishop !
But while we are talking about Bishops, and not "getting on,” I cannot but remember a passage of dear good Mr. Vavasour's youth, which may, perhaps, better explain his present obscurity than the tale of the tobacco-pipe. Once upon a time, he was Chaplain to the Bishop of
Now, in those days (not as now) Bishops did strange things. One, for instance, would attend at the Palace on Sunday evenings, behind the chair of the Lord's Anointed, and shuffle his cards for him—unable, pious man! to take his own episcopal part in the rubber, till midnight had struck !—There was such a feature, in many an ecclesiastical residence, then, as a back staircase for the Chaplains .. and the Ladies' maids . . . There were prelates in buckskins, (I never heard of “a pink ") who never failed to be riding abroad on “a visitation, when the hounds were out. To this past dispensation, belonged poor Vavasour's patron, the Bishop of
The Symbolists might describe him as &
mighty Card-player-since he managed, by trick after trick, to
à treasure for his enormous family, on which some seven fortunes since have been founded :-and as an eager Hunter-for he never failed to bring down his game though he were all day in the saddle—but to plain people who “call a spade, a spade,” he was merely a smooth, bland, urbane gentleman, who raised his eyes from the ground once a week, and his voice into a forte once a month, who had secret texts and smooth words for the greatest and the least of his subjects; and whose whole life was spent in “ doing the civil thing”-to borrow the Duchess Dowager of Preston's designation of churchgoing.
Now, following a curious law in Natural History (which I am invited by Miss Martha Le Grand, some once a month to discuss) his Lordship of
like other Prelates, had what some German writer calls “a daughter-full house," was the parent of eight fair young ladies, and one, to be gentle, “less fair than honest,”—I am loth to believe in Virtue and Beauty as one ;in ill-looks and Vice—but Miss Aurelia was a hard bargain, for one who desired as devoutly, as her father, to turn every treasure to account. Snub (not in nose, only, but in her whole figure) silly, satirical : with a sort of awry notion that men were to be best bewitched by contradiction, but lacking the means of carrying it out—she was in every one's way: spoiled the harmony of her grouped sisters : made a discord in their chorus :--set right her Papa (she was the only child who dared to called the bland Bishop “ Papa") in his divinity-at some portentous dinner openly rallied the man of men just when he was about to take the leap, and propose for one of the Nine ”-patronised low people when anybody was to be vexed by it—"had out” the topic of topics which was most inconvenient (when ever did great man's table lack such a secret ?) with all the tact of a provoking temper-got up when people were going to bed, and went to bed when people got up ; and in short, seems to have been as fair a subject for the poisons of a Lucretia as molested “a venerable circle.” There was no quieting her ; no hiding her ; no putting her out of court, no pensioning of her off : and what would become of her, was a standing object of curiosity with all who knew The Bishop and The Bishop's Daughters.
Now, one day, it chanced, when His Lordship of