of the place was that of an Irish village. It was dominated by a ruined castle, and possessed a church fast lapsing to ruin, and was girt in by walls long ago reduced to heaps. One Christmas Day the curate went to the church for the celebration of the Holy Communion, and found the altar covered with snow that had blown in through the battered east window and under the cracked slates of the roof.
"I'll sweep it off," said the clerk.
"On no account. God has spread His table," said the curate; and he celebrated on the white sheet of snow.
In the cottage that served as parsonage it was not much better. The curate had two rooms downstairs and one above. One room was slate-paved. Upstairs there was no ceiling, and he had occasionally to spread his umbrella over his head and pillow when he went to bed.
Now all is changed, or changing.
The church has been restored, and is a model of what a church should be. The old parsonage has been pulled down, and stables built on the site, and the late Mr. Street, the architect, erected an absurd Scottish castle with angle turrets and extinguisher caps to serve as rectory. The ruinous houses are being replaced by trim, if ugly, habitations. Only the gaunt castle remains gutted.
About fifty years ago the clerk was addicted to lifting his elbow too freely, and came to church occasionally in a hilarious condition. The climax was reached at a funeral, when he tumbled into the grave before the coffin, and apostrophised the dead man