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and beauty issuing from an intelligent daily
industry, which works on behalf, not of vanity
and wasteful pleasure, but of home.


THE church, organ had, for years, been the
great musical anxiety of the parochial district
of Twirlington. It was a "Father Smith;"
had seen its best days; and, to use the idiom of
Captain O'Sullivan, bothered the organist
entirely. If he played on the full organ,
people complained that the shrill sesquialtra
drowned their voices. If he played on the
diapasons, or the choir organ, people could
hear nothing, and could not follow the tune.
If he used the swell, it jerked the people into
the middle of the next verse. One half the
congregation said the organ wanted power;
the other half thought it too loud. The first
half thought there was too much music in
the service; the second half declared that the
Litany and responses ought to be chanted, as
at St. Bell's Church, Oxford Place, Cambridge
Street. The only matter they agreed
in, was in worrying the organist, and in determining
not to spend a shilling on the organ
to make it better.

After some seven or eight years of badgering,
the organist gave up his situation, very
much impaired in health, and reduced in
spirits to a state of chronic melancholia.
The vicar had contrived to get the parish
into debt, for certain repairs and alterations
of the church by a contract, the terms of
which few of the rate-payers understood;
and, having made a sort of composition
with a wealthy tallow-chandler for the settlement
of the contract, the tallow-chandler's
daughter was quietly inducted into the vacant
situation. Nobody understood anything about
the reasons for the choice, except that Miss
Kidd was an indifferent pianist, and that her
father was a sort of bill-discounter, and had a
great deal of property, together with six votes
in all parochial elections. Although the vicar's
"set" were satisfied, people of taste became

Matters, however, went on as usual. The
vicar, the Reverend Prebend Shuckscuttle
preached as heavily, and spent the same
number of months in the country, as of old.
The new organist's style was execrable, and
her touch unsteady. She took a long time to
forget that an organ was not a stringed instrument;
and, instead of holding down the keys
to sustain the sounds of the longer notes,
brought out the fine old psalm tunes in short
puffs of the most aggravating staccato. To increase
the tortures of the Twirlington amateurs,
Miss Kidd's brothers, sisters, and intimate
friends, got up such a powerful choir, that
while it advantageously drowned the organ,
it bawled down the voices of the congregation.
The service itself was neither cathedral nor
parochial; but a clumsy medley of both. One
set of psalms were chanted, and others read,
without even a rubrical reason for the distinction.
The choir, destitute alike of taste or
training, sang the penitential and thanksgiving
psalms with the same deafening, but
unsteady, vigour. The whole performance,
vocal and instrumental, seemed to consist of
a series of jerks, which made people tremble
for the organ case and the organ gallery. One
beautiful feature throughout, was the compact
uniformity of the whole service; for no
one could detect the slightest variation in
the import of the words, or in the character of
the melodies.

The Reverend Prebend Shuckscuttle cared
very little about things in general, and still
less about music. He hated the pedal pipes
at St. Doncaster cathedral, because they
burred over his head while he dozed through
the afternoon cathedral prayers; and he had
an indistinct notion of the musical profession
as being made up respectively of organists, of
people who gave lessons, and of theatrical
performers. Fog, the junior churchwarden,
made a bother now and then, but he was
afraid of the vicar; and Stegg, the senior,
or vicar's churchwarden, never said anything
but what the vicar said about anything.

Just about this time, the Reverend Epitaph
Bronze threw the neighbouring parish of
Foxglove-upon-Willows into a fearful turmoil,
by suddenly turning to the East, cutting down
his ample shirt collar to the even dimensions
of a hoop, and opening an extensive account
for wax candles with Mr. Kidd, senior. People
began to draw invidious comparisons; and, it
was soon currently reported that the Kidd
family supplied both parishes with candles,
and that their hearts turned towards Rome.
Miss Kidd's supposed religion gave more
offence than her bad playing; and the vicar
stood attainted with the charge of bringing
in a Roman Catholic organist, to serve matters
of private convenience.

But the Reverend Prebend Shuckscuttle
was not easily put out of his way. He evaded
the pertinent questions of influential individuals,
and took care never to listen to those
of the mediocracy. As to interfering with the
organ, "he could not think of putting the
parish to any expense."

At length, fortunately for the Twirlington
parish, the Bishop of Smithering rewarded
the Reverend Prebend Shuckscuttle for having
a great deal of money, by giving him a great
deal more, in the rich living of Duggenfield
West. A successor was appointed immediately.
This gentleman was an active and
pleasant sort of man, liked things properly
done, and began to remedy much of his
predecessor's mismanagement. Miss Kidd
troubled him sadly. He could not get rid
of her, because the appointment was understood
to be permanent; although a nominal
re-election was kept up every Easter Monday.
He was, moreover, too much the gentleman
to interfere with a female under any circumstances.
He, however, quietly cashiered the