My New Curate

P.A. Sheehan
My New Curate, by

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Title: My New Curate
Author: P.A. Sheehan
Release Date: January 6, 2007 [EBook #20295]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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[Illustration: So there they were at last, the dream of half a life time. (p. 475.)]

Gathered from the Stray Leaves of an Old Diary

Author of "Geoffrey Austin: Student," "The Triumph of Failure," &c.

I. The Change 1
II. A Retrospect 14
III. A Night Call 23
IV. The Pantechnicon 34
V. A Slight Misunderstanding 48
VI. At the Station 61
VII. Scruples 74
VIII. Our Concert 83
IX. Severely Reprimanded 97
X. Over the Walnuts, and the ---- 113
XI. Beside the Singing River 129
XII. Church Improvements 140
XIII. "All Things to All Men" 154
XIV. First Fridays 170
XV. Holly and Ivy 187
XVI. Violent Contrasts 205
XVII. A Clerical Symposium 226
XVIII. The Kampaner Thal 241
XIX. Literary Attempts 255
XX. Madonna Mia 272
XXI. The Factory 297
XXII. The May Conference 316
XXIII. A Battle of Giants 332
XXIV. The Sermon 349
XXV. May Devotions 364
XXVI. At the Zenith 378
XXVII. The "Star of the Sea" 394
XXVIII. Sub Nube 410
XXIX. Stigmata? 429
XXX. All's Well 449
XXXI. Farewell! 475

"So there they were at last, the dream of half a lifetime" Frontispiece
"You will take something?" I said. "You have had a long drive" facing 10
"My door was suddenly flung open, and a bunch of keys was thrown angrily on the table" 49
"Do you call that clean?" 54
"Here I am, your Reverence!" facing 56
"Good Heavens!" was all I could say facing 94
"The orator was caught by the nape of the neck" 133
"'T is the way we wants to go to confession, Fader" 176
"And why don't you tell his reverence about the rice puddin'?" 223
"It broke in my fingers and revealed the little dreams and ambitions of nearly forty years ago" 262
"Was there anything wrong with the chicken?" facing 294
"I read that over three times to make quite sure of it" 321
"Ahem!--Reginald Ormsby, wilt thou take Mrs. Darcy--" facing 390
"Come down to Mrs. Haley's; there isn't a better dhrop betune this and Dublin" facing 450
"Come on, you ruffian!" 451
"For the love of God, Jem, is 't yourself or your ghost?" 453
"Hallo, there!... who the ---- are ye?" facing 460
Waiting for my New Curate 479

Gathered from Stray Leaves of an Old Diary by an Irish Parish Priest
It is all my own fault. I was too free with my tongue. I said in a moment of bitterness: "What can a Bishop do with a parish priest? He's independent of him." It was not grammatical, and it was not respectful. But the bad grammar and the impertinence were carried to his Lordship, and he answered: "What can I do? I can send him a curate who will break his heart in six weeks."
I was not too much surprised, then, when one evening my dear old friend and curate, Father Tom Laverty, came to me, with tears in his eyes and an open letter in his hand:--
"I am off, Father Dan. Look at this!"
It was a succinct, laconic order to present himself to a parish priest twenty miles distant, and to be in time to discharge his duties in that parish the following Saturday and Sunday, for his jurisdiction was transferred, etc.
It was a hard stroke. I was genuinely attached to Father Tom. We had the same tastes and habits,--easy, contented, conservative, with a cordial dislike of innovations of any kind. We held the same political opinions, preached the same sermons, administered the Sacraments in the old way, and had a reverence for antiquities in general. It was a sad break in my life to part with him; and it is a harmless vanity on my part to say that he was sorry to part from me.
"I suppose there's no help for it?" said he.
"No," said I; "but if you care--"
"No use," said he; "when he has made up his mind you might as well be talking to a milestone."
"And you must be off to-morrow?" said I, consulting the bishop's letter.
"Yes," said he, "short shrift."
"And who am I getting?" I wondered.
"Hard to guess," said he. He was in no humor for conversation.
The following week, that most melancholy of processions, a curate's furniture en route, filed slowly through the village, and out along the highroad, that led through bog and fen, and by lake borders to the town of N----. First came three loads of black turf, carefully piled and roped; then two loads
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