The Fudges In England. Letter VI. From Miss Biddy Fudge, To Mrs. Elizabeth ----.

A poem by Thomas Moore

How I grieve you're not with us!--pray, come, if you can,
Ere we're robbed of this dear, oratorical man,
Who combines in himself all the multiple glory
Of, Orangeman, Saint, quondam Papist and Tory;--
(Choice mixture! like that from which, duly confounded,
The best sort of brass was, in old times, compounded.)--
The sly and the saintly, the worldly and godly,
All fused down, in brogue so deliciously oddly!
In short, he's a dear--and such audiences draws,
Such loud peals of laughter and shouts of applause,
As can't but do good to the Protestant cause.

Poor dear Irish Church!--he today sketched a view
Of her history and prospect, to me at least new,
And which (if it takes as it ought) must arouse
The whole Christian world her just rights to espouse.
As to reasoning--you know, dear, that's now of no use,
People still will their facts and dry figures produce,
As if saving the souls of a Protestant flock were
A thing to be managed "according to Cocker!"
In vain do we say, (when rude radicals hector
At paying some thousands a year to a Rector,
In places where Protestants never yet were,)
"Who knows but young Protestants may be born there?"
And granting such accident, think, what a shame,
If they didn’t find Rector and Clerk when they came!
It is clear that, without such a staff on full pay,
These little Church embryos must go astray;
And, while fools are computing what Parsons would cost,
Precious souls are meanwhile to the Establishment lost!

In vain do we put the case sensibly thus;--
They'll still with their figures and facts make a fuss,
And ask "if, while all, choosing each his own road,
Journey on, as we can, towards the Heavenly Abode,
It is right that seven eighths of the travellers should pay
For one eighth that goes quite a different way?"--
Just as if, foolish people, this wasn't, in reality,
A proof of the Church's extreme liberality,
That tho' hating Popery in other respects,
She to Catholic money in no way objects;
And so liberal her very best Saints, in this sense,
That they even go to heaven at the Catholic's expense.

But tho' clear to our minds all these arguments be,
People cannot or will not their cogency see;
And I grieve to confess, did the poor Irish Church
Stand on reasoning alone, she'd be left in the lurch.
It was therefore, dear Lizzy, with joy most sincere,
That I heard this nice Reverend O'something we've here,
Produce, from the depths of his knowledge and reading,
A view of that marvellous Church, far exceeding,
In novelty, force, and profoundness of thought,
All that Irving himself in his glory e'er taught.

Looking thro' the whole history, present and past,
Of the Irish Law Church, from the first to the last;
Considering how strange its original birth--
Such a thing having never before been on earth--
How opposed to the instinct, the law and the force
Of nature and reason has been its whole course;
Thro' centuries encountering repugnance, resistance,
Scorn, hate, execration--yet still in existence!
Considering all this, the conclusion he draws
Is that Nature exempts this one Church from her laws--
That Reason, dumb-foundered, gives up the dispute,
And before the portentous anomaly stands mute;
That in short 'tis a Miracle! and, once begun,
And transmitted thro' ages, from father to son,
For the honor of miracles, ought to go on.

Never yet was conclusion so cogent and sound,
Or so fitted the Church's weak foes to confound.
For observe the more low all her merits they place,
The more they make out the miraculous case,
And the more all good Christians must deem it profane
To disturb such a prodigy's marvellous reign.

As for scriptural proofs, he quite placed beyond doubt
That the whole in the Apocalypse may be found out,
As clear and well-proved, he would venture to swear,
As anything else has been ever found there:--
While the mode in which, bless the dear fellow, he deals
With that whole lot of vials and trumpets and seals,
And the ease with which vial on vial he strings,
Shows him quite a first-rate at all these sort of things.

So much for theology:--as for the affairs
Of this temporal world--the light drawing-room cares
And gay toils of the toilet, which, God knows, I seek,
From no love of such things, but in humbleness meek,
And to be, as the Apostle, was, "weak with the weak,"
Thou wilt find quite enough (till I'm somewhat less busy)
In the extracts inclosed, my dear news-loving Lizzy.

EXTRACTS FROM MY DIARY.

Thursday.

Last night, having naught more holy to do,
Wrote a letter to dear Sir Andrew Agnew,
About the "Do-nothing-on-Sunday-club,"
Which we wish by some shorter name to dub:--
As the use of more vowels and Consonants
Than a Christian on Sunday really wants,
Is a grievance that ought to be done away,
And the Alphabet left to rest, that day.

Sunday.

Sir Andrew's answer!--but, shocking to say,
Being franked unthinkingly yesterday.
To the horror of Agnews yet unborn,
It arrived on this blessed Sunday morn!!--
How shocking!--the postman's self cried "shame on't,"
Seeing the immaculate Andrew's name on't!!
What will the Club do?--meet, no doubt.
'Tis a matter that touches the Class Devout,
And the friends of the Sabbath must speak out.

Tuesday.

Saw to-day, at the raffle--and saw it with pain--
That those stylish Fitzwigrams begin to dress plain.
Even gay little Sophy smart trimmings renounces--
She who long has stood by me thro' all sorts of flounces,
And showed by upholding the toilet's sweet rites,
That we girls may be Christians without being frights.
This, I own, much alarms me; for tho' one's religious,
And strict and--all that, there's no need to be hideous;
And why a nice bonnet should stand in the way
Of one's going to heaven, 'tisn't easy to say.

Then, there's Gimp, the poor thing--if her custom we drop,
Pray what's to become of her soul and her shop?
If by saints like ourselves no more orders are given,
She'll lose all the interest she now takes in heaven;
And this nice little "fire-brand, pluckt from the burning,"
May fall in again at the very next turning.

Wednesday.

Mem.--To write to the India Mission Society;
And send £20--heavy tax upon piety!

Of all Indian luxuries we now-a-days boast,
Making "Company's Christians" perhaps costs the most.
And the worst of it is, that these converts full grown,
Having lived in our faith mostly die in their own,[1]
Praying hard, at the last, to some god who, they say,
When incarnate on earth, used to steal curds and whey.[2]
Think, how horrid, my dear!--so that all's thrown away;
And (what is still worse) for the rum and the rice
They consumed, while believers, we saints pay the price.

Still 'tis cheering to find that we do save a few--
The Report gives six Christians for Cunnangcadoo;
Doorkotchum reckons seven, and four Trevandrum,
While but one and a half's left at Cooroopadum.
In this last-mentioned place 'tis the barbers enslave 'em,
For once they turn Christians no barber will shave 'em.[3]

To atone for this rather small Heathen amount,
Some Papists, turned Christians,[4] are tackt to the account.
And tho' to catch Papists, one needn't go so far,
Such fish are worth hooking, wherever they are;
And now, when so great of such converts the lack is,
One Papist well caught is worth millions of Blackies.

Friday.

Last night had a dream so odd and funny,
I cannot resist recording it here.--
Methought that the Genius of Matrimony
Before me stood with a joyous leer,
Leading a husband in each hand,
And both for me, which lookt rather queer;--
One I could perfectly understand,
But why there were two wasn’t quite so clear.
T'was meant however, I soon could see,
To afford me a choice--a most excellent plan;
And--who should this brace of candidates be,
But Messrs. O'Mulligan and Magan:--
A thing, I suppose, unheard of till then,
To dream, at once, of two Irishmen!--
That handsome Magan, too, with wings on his shoulders
(For all this past in the realms of the Blest.)
And quite a creature to dazzle beholders;
While even O'Mulligan, feathered and drest
As an elderly cherub, was looking his best.
Ah Liz, you, who know me, scarce can doubt
As to which of the two I singled out.
But--awful to tell--when, all in dread
Of losing so bright a vision's charms,
I graspt at Magan, his image fled,
Like a mist, away, and I found but the head
Of O'Mulligan, wings and all, in my arms!
The Angel had flown to some nest divine.
And the elderly Cherub alone was mine!

Heigho!--it is certain that foolish Magan
Either can'tor won’t see that he might be the man;
And, perhaps, dear--who knows?--if naught better befall
But--O'Mulligan may be the man, after all.

N. B.

Next week mean to have my first scriptural rout,
For the special discussion of matters devout;--
Like those soirées, at Powerscourt, so justly renowned,
For the zeal with which doctrine and negus went round;
Those theology-routs which the pious Lord Roden,
That pink of Christianity, first set the mode in;
Where, blessed down-pouring[5]from tea until nine,
The subjects lay all in the Prophecy line;--
Then, supper--and then, if for topics hard driven,
From thence until bed-time to Satan was given;
While Roden, deep read in each topic and tome,
On all subjects (especially the last) was at home.

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