Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

similar to those of the Ecclesiastical labor will have its full reward, nor Commission. This, it will be admitted, with such an object can any of it be is a comprehensive scheme of reform. thrown away. All well-wishers to the Some of its provisions—those especially Established Church, all who would disrelating to patronage and finance like to see her made the sport of political would command general approval in experiments or the prey of sectarian principle, though recent experience jealousy, will rejoice to see willingness shows that with regard to patronage on the part of the Church to reform herthere may be difficulty in carrying prin self, and facilities accorded to her for ciples into practice. The question of doing it. the position of the laity is in this scheme complicated, and might conceivably be wrecked, by proposed restriction to communicants; while that of discipline is taken into somewhat speculative

From The Spectator. regions by the suggestion of a "godly

CULPABLE LUXURY. discipline" for the laity. No bishop or What is culpable ,luxury? I know Church dignitary as yet lends bis name when you do not ask me,” said one of to the league. The need for reform is the fathers when he was challenged to naturally less apparent to highly-placed define time. One may almost say the and well-paid officials, many of whom same of culpable luxury. It is 177remain unaffected by the fall in tithes possible to deny that there is such a and other sources of clerical income, thing as culpable luxury. The comiand most of whom may be excused for mon opinion of the world at all times feeling that in their sphere of Church and in all places, is a sufficient proof work things are ordered for the best. of this fact. There is no society at Bishops, no doubt, are right to be present, and we believe there never cautious before committing themselves. has been, which has not condemned They have a difficult part to play, and luxury carried beyond a certain point. every one is ready to find fault with The literature of Rome and Greece them. But some expression of general and of the Middle Ages is full of atsympathy with Church reform would tacks on senseless and degrading luxnot have committed them, and might ury, and we cannot doubt that even strengthen the hands of those who de- in ancient Tyre or Carthage public sire to bring it about; and it would opinion professed to dislike the esincrease public confidence in the aggeration of the soft and enervating Episcopate by showing that at least life of the merchant princes. In modthey are alive to the fact that some re- ern times the notion of there being form is needed. Only one-the young- something per se wicked in excessive est but not the least able occupant of luxury is very strong. The preachers the bench, the Bishop of Rochester, and teachers of religion have always has authorized the league to print a inveighed against it in unmeasured letter from him of general sympathy terms, and it is hardly possible to with its aims and objects. Bishop Tal- point to any great religious movement bot has moved too much in other than which was unaccompanied with atpurely ecclesiastical circles not to be tacks on Dives for his soft couches aware of and to sympathize with much and delicate raiment, and for the that is being said and thought upon this money he wastes on his selfish pleassubject, nor, on the other hand, is heures. In spite of our Lord's reproof to likely to be unduly sanguine of imme. those who were scandalized at Mary diate results. “You have a long road Magdalene's use of the spikenard, the (he says) to travel and a hard task to murmur, “These useless luxuries accomplish.” But if at the end of the might have been sold and given to the road lies peace and permanence for the poor," has never been stilled. Church established in these realms the hear it from the mob-orator in the

We

son.

as

Park, we listen to it in the parish If one of the old Covenanters could church, and last week the Church return and look into a modern manse Congress took up the old complaint as tenanted by even the most self-sacof burning moment, and discussed a rificing of ministers he would feel a paper on the subject from Canon Wat- sense of horror at the effeminacy and

luxury around him. The stuffed Though we have no sort of desire to chairs, the carpets, the coverlets, the deny that there is such a thing as cul- kitchen range, the elaborate appapable luxury, we cannot refrain from ratus for making tea and coffee, the pointing out that there is a great lia- small cups and the big cups for varibility to “canting” on the subject. ous uses, and all the other little deHere, as in so many other cases, men vices for producing even a very modare very apt to compound for the sins erate degree of comfort, would seem they are inclined to by damning those to him to be calling down the venthey have no mind to! People are geance of an outraged heaven. Imagvery apt to define useless and ine, too, his feelings at hearing that wicked luxuries the pleasures of sense the minister had spent £20 on taking a for which they happen to have no holiday in visiting the cathedrals of sympathy. For example, the man who northern France. Twenty pounds does not smoke looks with horror on spent on personal pleasure! Why, the the notion of spending £10 on a box of sum might have been used for a hunvery choice cigars, but regards as al- dred pious purposes. Instead, it was most virtuous the collection of rare squandered on the most wanton of all books. Another condemns a taste for luxuries—the luxury of gadding about old china and Persian carpets, but and seeing the worship of idolators. thinks it perfectly legitimate to keep Yet now the most old-fashioned of a large stable of horses. Jones has a elders would not think it over-luxuritaste for vintages and sees no objec- ous of the minister to take a holiday tion to its indulgence in spite of the or to spend money on the pleasure of cost, but regards it as disgusting lux- travel

and sight-seeing. No ury to eat “a dinner-party dinner" again, at the present day thinks every day of one's life. Brown, a tee- theatre-going a culpable luxury. It is totaller, on the other hand, holds that looked on, no doubt, as an extravamoney is criminally wasted when gance for a poor man, but the rich spent on wine, but believes in the need man may indulge his taste for the for well-cooked food. In truth, one drama without reproach. Indeed, if man's luxury is often another man's he goes to see Shakespeare or to hear necessity as much as one man's meat serious opera, he feels he is doing a is another man's poison. Again, as good action and spends ten shillings Canon Watson admitted, luxury is on his seat without the slightest fear often a purely relative term, and to of reproach. Yet if he heard that a illustrate this he quoted Sir Walter neighbor sat at home and smoked two Scott's striking story of the Highland- five-shilling cigars, he probably would ers sleeping out the snow-clad be extremely indignant and talk moors. One of them made a pillow of loudly about it being culpable luxury a snowball. The others kicked it away of this sort that turned the working with disgust as a piece of culpable men into Socialists. luxury. Thus the poor man is very But though there is great danger of apt to talk of the rich wallowing in condemning culpable luxuries unholy luxury and living like swine things on which money may be spent in a golden sty, and to forget that the with perfect innocence, and though poor man of a former age would look we hate the cant which allows £500 with equal disgust on his own little to be spent on a ball supper, but looks comforts, or bare necessaries as he with horror on £100 worth of flowers calls them.

for decorations,"blossoms which will

one,

on

as

fade before the evening's over”—we ous style of life in all externals, but admit that there is such a thing as inside their apparent life they often culpable luxury. It is very difficult most carefully organize for themselves to define, but it does exist, In our and their children a simpler habit of opinion, however, the world is, as a existence. In the best of the rich Enrule, quite wrong when it confounds glish families there is a strong and culpable luxury with great expendi- sound tradition against personal luxture. That is a false issue. It is not ury which is very noticeable. It is the waste that makes the luxury cul- thought disgraceful, either for the men pable, nor, again, will the test of use- or the women, if they are not invalids, fulness do. If the test is to be utilita- to be over-zealous about their comrian, then all art and all music on a forts. So strong, indeed, is this ingrand scale must go, for art and music stinctive desire for protection against do not increase the supply of food and the effects of personal luxury that it clothing and warmth. A few prints is counted bad form to be always bothand a musical-box may be retained as ering about making life into a feather mental distractions, but the picture- bed. Great ladies are often far harder gallery and the opera are without de- upon their sons and daughters in the fence. But if waste, or non-produc- matter of the small luxuries of life tiveness, is not to be the test, what is than the ordinary middle-class parent. to be our touchstone? The amount ex- In fact it is, as we have said, considpended will clearly not do, because ered to be extremely bad form for a this is purely relative, and will make man to be over-luxurious in dress or culpable luxury an almost impossible in any of the personal appointments of crime for the great millionaires. No life. expenditure they are ever likely to undertake would be beyond their means, and therefore culpable luxury would have to be counted as the vice of the moderately well off and the poor. The real test of culpable luxury

From Blackwood's Magazine. is, we believe, the personal one. Cul

IN DARK DONEGAL. pable luxury is luxury which ener

THE TOURIST ON THE CELTIC FRINGE. vates and demoralizes the man who indulges in it. If a man worships com

"Twhat's thim?” said a Sligo bouchal fort like a god, cultivates the art of the other day as the Royal Society of smoothing down the roughness on the Irish Antiquaries rolled along on a road of life till he has made it like a dozen wagonettes through the rambutter-slide, and so arranges his ex- bling village of Grange on their way to istence that every conceivable physical the Cross of Drumcliff. want is instantly supplied to the full, “Thim's the Antiquarians," said the then, no doubt, he is indulging in stranger at his door. culpable luxury and is enervating him- “Is it by occupation or religion ?” said self body and soul.

Pat, perplexed, and with strong exMany very rich men know this in pression of distrust. “I suppose they'll stinctively, and guard themselves be takin' it all down and printin' it. most carefully against the demoraliza- Shee that island out there? William tion which comes from the too great O'Brien lived it wanst when he was easiness and softness of life. Plenty writin' a book-" and then he fell of millionaires have no better dinners away into some splendid irrelevances than their neighbors, not because they upon Parnellism and the big “clift," and are afraid of gout, but because they his ideas on Irish touristry were lost dread the effects of physical comfort to the world forever; for just as all carried to the extreme point. They roads lead to Rome, so all the channels may have great houses and a sumptu- of an Irishman's conversation ulti

LIVING AGE. VOL. XII. 610

more

mately find their way into the great sea Buncrana, Portsalon, Rosapenna, Dunof politics, and there is no return. fanaghy, Gweedore, Glenties, Dungloe,

The Sligo gossoon's labels will serve Ardara, Carrick, and Bundoran. Such the present purpose. Tourists "by comfortable hostelries as may be found occupation” would do well to keep clear at Donegal, Killybegs, Falcarragh, Milof the Celtic fringe. The traveller ford, and Letterkenny will more than whose ears are always pricked up for make up the dozen. No; if one has “the tocsin. of the soul,” who thinks nothing to complain of in Donegal but

of what he shall eat and the hotels, his grievances are purely what he shall drink than of the imaginary. But there are other elescenes among which he is moving and ments in the case. To do justice to the people he encounters, has really dark Donegal, one must be a tourist "by no business, and little pleasure, in religion," possessed of the enthusiasm Donegal or in Connemara. Truth to which carries a man through league tell, the care of the body, the purely after league of waste places, over bleak physical aspect of life, is of little mountain passes grey with a solitude moment there; the followers of Alcinous that may be felt, of the stoic calm which are sadly out of place amid bogs and can equably regard a succession of boulders. Yet even in this connection rainy days, of the callosity demanded it is well to correct wrong impressions. by Irish jaunting-cars in the winter of There has been much wild writing of their springs, rattling over roads that late on a wild subject. Since the meet- are surely the riddlings of creation, ing of the Irish Tourist Association at Yet if such a one endures to the end of the Imperial Institute, some startling his journey, he is blessed, and reaps a assertions have crept into the papers; fair guerdon beyond the dreams of his and with the lofty condescension of a luxurious brother, the tourist “by occuforeigner, the scribe in Fleet Street, pation." who has never reached Holyhead, and Who that has ever stood upon the garbles his "copy" from the pages of “One Man's Path" at Slieve Liag and some out-of-date guide-book, assures a watched the sun sink in his ocean bed, credulous public that on the main tours and the Atlantic thundering upon the ist routes in Ireland there are not half-a- cliffs two thousand feet below him, can dozen hotels where man may dine and forget the sight? From the top of sleep in tolerable comfort. "Every Muckish, looking over Sheep Haven, one knows it; it is a patent fact."

Tory, and the northern headlands, there The innocent scribe had better throw is a panorama for the equal of which Baedeker and Baddeley and Black, and one might search in vain from China all his minor prophets, into the fire, and to Peru. On the crags at Horn Head, come and see. Then, if he is a fair man, on the corrugated cliffs at Bundoran, he will go home and withdraw the cruel one breathes a pellucid air which excalumny in the next issue of his paper. hilarates like good wine. Glenveagh The present writer has more than once Lough in a storm, Errigal at twilight as made the grand tour of the Celtic fringe, viewed from the Gweedore Hotel, the and is now writing from one of its re- vale of Glen Gesh on a day when the motest points. He would extenuate sky is weeping Donegal Irish, when the nothing, but he makes bold to say that water comes tumbling over the glenin the Donegal Highlands alone-which sides in a hundred cascades—these are are at the back of the world—there are characteristic bits of Donegal scenery at least eight or nine first-class hotels, if which write themselves in indelible ink first-class means all that a reasonable on the memory. The country affords man expects. One cannot hope to walk other pictures less inspiring, deplorable into a Hotel Cecil on the slopes of examples of the sordid conditions under Errigal. Would the dubious tourist which body and soul may sometimes question their existence? Let the keep together; and for dirt-dirt that is places be set down in black and white: unrelieved by any speck of cleanliness, dirt that is naked and unashamed-it is had no climate, only "samples," must a bad place to beat. Of a truth Dirt- have landed on the Donegal seaboard. iness is next to Donegaliness.

It is true that the tears and the smiles The men of the mud cabins are a chase each other with astonishing strange conglomeration, and ethnology rapidity over this corner of Erin's fair is of more than usual interest in these face. Even the weather is a comproremote corners. The fishermen of the mise, and a continuous wet day is as rare Rosses, the kelp-burners of the Bloody as the great auk. Often fair is foul, Foreland, the stark stalwarts of Fanad and foul is fair, and the sou’wester of peninsula, the village communities of the morning gives place to the blazer Keel and Dooagh and Dooega in Achill, of the early afternoon. On the worst of furnish types which have stood still days one's asperity of temper is mitiwhile the great world bas been spinning gated on observing the demeanor of the down the grooves of change. Firbolgs natives under adversity. A Donegal and Fomorians and Tuatha de Danaans man is really in his element in a downare hopelessly and helplessly woven pour. It is impossible to feel depressed together, with many a foreign thread in face of his friend greeting, “Tha tangling the skein. What a jumble of sha bug thranona sho!" “It's fine and names, what a medley of languages! soft this evenin'!". And all the while Stewarts and Harkinses, M‘Faddens he shakes the water off what he terms and Sweeneys, Gallaghers and Patter- his “polite scantlins" with duck-like sons, dwell together in unity in the glee. same town-any two or more houses on Let us pay a yow, then, to Jupiter a hillside constitute a “town” in Don- Pluvius, and set out on our journey. As egal-Protestant M‘Kinley delves in the it is essential above all things that we same prairie patch with Roman Cath- be Irish, we start at Derry, half of olic M‘Kinley, and for his corrupt Irish which lies in another county, and the returns him a corrupter Scotch. The big half of whose inhabitants are by bee-hive houses of Achill are inhabited no means Irish, but fairly broad Scots. by—can one believe it?-Lavelles and Londonderry was originally named Toolises and Mangans.

Derry Columbkille, after that saint to If poor in this world's goods, these whom, while in Donegal, the stranger dwellers on the fringe are rich in must pay due reverence. Columbkille nature's endowments, which cannot be was as quick of foot as he was reputed estimated in silver or gold. The two to be quick of temper, or else he had the mighty voices of the sea and the moun- wings of a dove, for there is hardly a tain are ever in their ears, and whether mile of the country from Teelin Head to in storm or in sunshine they speak to Inishowen without some memorial of them with majestic eloquence. It may him. The history of Derry practically be that the native ear is dulled by long dates from the famous siege of 1688. association, but to the stranger eager Prior to that time it was happy in that with first impressions the voices are its annals were almost vacant. For the resonant. Rocking gently on the violet last two hundred years it has been the waters of one of the tortuous creeks of

scene of many heart-burnings and fifeSheep Haven, he dreams of Homer's tootlings. If a 'prentice boy knows any. ioedea móvrov. On the slopes of Erriga) thing, he knows how to play his big or Muckish on an autumn evening he drum and whistle “Derry Walls.” The catches glints of that sapphire blue Maiden is mpactly built, and which he has been wont to associate commandingly situated at the head of with Italy and Italy alone.

the broad estuary of the Foyle, "Its T'he weather is the great problem in walls,” to use Macaulay's words, "are Donegal. To uncertainties of race and to the Protestants of Ulster what the of language the tourist must add the trophy of Marathon was to the Athepainful uncertainty of climate. The nians.” Happily sectarian feuds are American who said that in Ireland we now of rare occurrence in the City on

« VorigeDoorgaan »