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extensively into arrears, they presented their
bill, and an alarming one it was.

There isn't any doubt that Dr. Gudgeon,
when he made the promise, really meant to
perform it. At all events, he was obliged
to do something in the matter; but his
indolence prevented him calculating, in the
first instance, what steps must be taken in
order to satisfy the Commissioners. Moreover,
Dr. Van Gudgeon laboured under a
serious error, extremely common amongst
mankind. He was very fond of money. Not
that it steeled his mind against better impressions,
but he couldn't resist the Apostolic
desire of dying worth eighty thousand or
one hundred thousand pounds sterling. On
the other hand, his wife liked a couple of
carriages; his sons liked horses, and one of
them revelled in a private "trap" of his own:
one of his daughters couldn't live except at
Madeira or the South of France; some of his
sons, who were too idle even for the Church,
wanted cadetships, or promotion by purchase.
Furthermore, a butler was a necessary item
in the family respectability, and where a
butler was, there must be a couple of footmen,
besides various other adjuncts. Mrs. Van
Gudgeon was passionately fond of flowers, and
this taste required a head gardener, who in
turn required several subordinate gardeners,
off and on. Besides this, some sons and
daughters married, and married people want
money, especially when their families begin to
increase. Then the Doctor was largely
insured, and people who insure heavily must
pay heavy policies. In short, what with one
expense or another, the worthy Doctor, with
a regular income of five or six thousand a
year, and frequent droppings in of good luck,
found it very difficult to keep up his family
state and his banker's account at the same
time. The consequence was, an unwillingness
in the Doctor to part with any money it was
possible to retain. To a man so unhappily
situated, a sudden call for upwards of two
thousand pounds, as well as for the production
of documents not always satisfactory in their
bearing, and likely to lead to farther concessions,
was a cruel refinement of torture,
beyond the soothing powers even of a
Turkey carpet and unexceptionable Port

The Dean sat sipping his wine, now and
then looking sadly at the last uncorrected
proof of his Lexicon, and then more
ruthfully at the "Times," that heartless journal,
which believed that a Dean might live upon
less than five thousand a year. It was a
painful scene. Had the author of that
"leader" been present, he must have gone
home, put his writing-desk into the fire, and
turned Church philanthropist at once.

And what were the old Dean's thoughts?
Were they so fraught with easy indolence or
confident pedantry, as those of his past life?
Was the nose of St. Ursula the only cause of
his troubled feelings? Decidedly not.

The readers of ascetic literature doubtless
remember the cruel temptations and curious
visions to which some of the early Christian
monastics were exposedSt. Anthony in
particular. Those who are "up" in German
divinity, also, doubtless remember that such
visions have been looked upon as mere mental
delusions, dreams, or ecstacies, in some cases
proceeding from a stomach empty through
tasting. Now, whether, the effects of vexation
and Port wine had absolutely sent the
worthy Dr. Van Gudgeon to sleep, we are too
polite to have even an opinion on the subject;
but, however, it happened the Doctor's mind
passed through a most extraordinary review
of the day's occurrences, and those of some
years previous.

He seemed to be suddenly transported into
the childhood of his now lengthened career,
when coarse, wholesome diet, and a strange,
quaint "livery," formed his food and clothing
at the humble grammar-school of St. Agnus
Dei. All the recollections of early hardships,
of bodily fights against big boys, of intellectual
struggles against clever ones, crowded
upon his memory. Stoutly had he fought,
and well had he conquered. Scholarships
and exhibitions had set him afloat in the
wider field of University contests, and a
substantial fellowship had paved the way
to great and profitable advancement. So
whispered gratified ambition; so vanity
proclaimed; so self-complacency persuaded itself:
but conscience hung back unsatisfied, and
religion seemed to remind him of a certain
parable, in which men were judged, not
according to the talents they possessed, but
according to the manner in which they had
used them.

Had he ever lightened the toils, assuaged
the anxiety of those who were toiling up the
same steep road? In his most influential
capacity, had he ever brought forward
unknown talent? had he ever held out the
helping hand, except when family connections
or worldly prosperity rendered it almost
unnecessary? Had he ever searched for
objects worthy his continued and earnest
patronage; or had all his deeds of charity
been mere yieldings to a natural, easy
impulse of simple good-nature, done in a
kindly spirit, but done indiscriminately; and,
when done, grossly disproportionate to the
large means he possessed of doing better?
Indolence hung its head abashed, as Truth

Nor were his parochial recollections more
satisfactory. True, he had paid one or two
visits to his parish within the last three or
four years, and had asked some of the
farmers to dinner. Mrs. Van Gudgeon had
been dreadfully bored on the occasion,
although she herself had once been governess
in a third-rate family. But of the state of the
parish which yielded so handsome a contribution
towards his large income, the Reverend
the Dean of St. Vitus knew literally nothing.