+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

stethoscope persisted in declaring her
lungs to be sound.

This large assortment of voluntary paupers
who preferred receiving alms to working
honestlycomprised various editions of
character equally disgraceful. The vicar of
Albans West, St. Nancy de Lovell, was fast
proceeding to empty the shop and the
work-room of industrious hands, and to fill the
church with the worthy congregation thus
obtained. Servants began to talk of leaving
their places, unless they were allowed to go
out at extraordinary times of the morning;
assignations were planned at the same
convenient hour; and so rapidly was the work of
demoralisation spreading, that the "house of
prayer" was fast approaching the state which
its Lord and master once impressively
denounced. Soup-kitchens, blanket-distributions,
coal-tickets, Christmas dinners, instead
of being open to all whose toils and whose
poverty had deserved them, became the exclusive
property of the early idlers, who rose early
and revelled in the spoils of the charitable.
Meanwhile the vicar himself was spending
half his money in plans for the benefit of the
poor; yet every thing in the parish was
getting worse and worse. Indolence and
impertinence reigned supreme amongst half
the domestic servants; a charwoman came,
or stayed away, as happened to suit her
inclination; and a royal reign of dependent
independency set in among the Church party.
The Dissenters benefited by it; for they lost
several of their idlest and most profligate
members; who, taking a sudden fit of orthodoxy,
were triumphantly converted.

The perpetual curatewith all his rigorous
strictness in religious matters, all his severe
enforcing of Church disciplinewas an
unsuspecting character, as far removed from the
man of the world as a child newly born.
Transplanted abruptly from the quiet, regular
conventionalities of a college lifea life varied
with few events greater than occasionally
calling up an under-graduate for cutting
chapel, or auditing the college accounts, the
Reverend Bird Fowler was as little calculated
for the duties of a large parochial district,
as a recluse fresh gathered from the Eastern
deserts. Filled with mediæval rituals,
post-Apostolic controversies, and cloister-like ideas
of mankind, the incumbent of Albans West
found himself, at the end of two years,
surrounded by an uproarious and disaffected
laity; with a church out of repair, an
aggravated amount of real poverty, and a
respectable class of parishioners who
unwillingly withdrew their support from the
charities they found working to such evil
results. Many persons, mistaking the abuse
for the error, gave up all idea of assisting the
poor; and because their former aid had been
misapplied, turned a deaf ear to the petitions
even of the deserving. Thus did a clergyman,
who had spent much of his own means; who
had exhausted health and energy in a visionary
desire to blend the system of a monastery
with the active principles of a working
district, sever the rich from the poor, by the
very means by which he had sought to unite
them, and neutralised the effects of the example
he himself had set forth.

Burlington Square is dirtier, poorer, and
more debased than ever; and the publican at
the corner is building a villa at Holloway, to
which he intends to retire. I do not know
what he asks for the good-will of the business,
but I doubt not it will be something approaching
to the price of a well-timbered estate.
Where alms supersede work, and where
religion holds out a premium for idleness,
public-houses are an excellent investment.



OF all the fevers which afflict humanity,
none are so sudden and violent as the gold
fever. In the middle of last May a gentleman
named Hargreaves discovered indications of
gold in the soil around Summer-Hill Creek,
near Bathurst, Australia. The moment he made
this discovery public, the yellow fever spread
over the fifth section of the globe with
magical rapidity. Bathurst and its neighbourhood
became suddenly populated. People
came from every part of Australasia, not in
single spies, but in whole battalions, to pick,
and dig, and grub for gold. One lucky fellow
found a lump weighing down thirty-five
sovereigns. Another a piece of quartz, of the
weight of eight pounds; six pounds of which
were supposed to be pure gold. Every
fourth or fifth man managed to get a pinch
or two of the yellow snuff between his fingers.
The Government geologist started for the
spot, took up a bucket-full of earth; and
washed out of it twenty-one grains of gold.
Allured by this authentication, farmers, stockmen,
shepherds, overseers, editors, tradesmen,
and even magistrates, congregated around
Bathurst, with pickaxes, shovels, blankets,
pannikins, opossum-rugs, cradles, and the
approved appurtenances of the gold-seeker.
From all the country round, for hundreds of
milesespecially from Sydney, one hundred
and twenty miles awaylocust-clouds of men
swarmed towards, and settled upon, the

We have now before us "The Sydney Morning
Herald", dated a few days before the golden
news reached that colony. It is a modest
sheet, filled as usual with price-lists,
advertisements, little vignettes of ships "just about
to sail", criticisms on the Colonial Office, and
letters from complaining correspondents. We
turn over the file, and "The Sydney Morning
Herald" of May the 23rd blazes upon us. The
change is marvellous. The sheet is doubled,
and the contents entitle it to be called a
"Golden Number". The eye cannot rest
upon any comer without being dazzled with