170 TYLNEY HALL. locks, hanging-trippets, and Cornish hugs, Sir Thomas Parkyns, Baronet, of Bunny Park. Indeed it was said by some of the elders of the village, that Uriah, when a young man, had been a notorious wrestler and cudgelplayer, although as P. P., the clerk of the parish, says in his autobiography, f( he had now laid aside the carnal delights and powdered vanities of his youth, considering himself, as it were, a shred of the linen vestment of Aaron." In the opinion of his followers his ministry was blessed with abundant fruits, that is to say, the walls of his con- venticle sometimes rang again with the shrieks, and groans, and yells, and the whole building shook and rattled with the frantic stamping and jumping. The old men went crazy, the old women into fits, and the young men and maidens kissed one another, and ranted, and canted, and anticked their caps off their heads, and the clothes off their backs. The same frenzy pursued them to their homes and hearths. Now and then a fanatic mother haggled her little boy's throat instead of cutting his bread and butter, or strangled her little girl instead of tying her pinafore ; but the Devil got all the blame of the deed, and the fame of Uriah increased. * To some ears, however, there was something inexpressibly shocking in passing the chapel door, and hearing the innocent voices of childhood chanting an infernal chorus, literally extracted from a hymn book : " I am, I am out of Hell " ! And to some eyes on a week day, when the chapel was converted to a school-room, it was no less repulsive to see the same children, with horror-stricken faces, and abject souls, trembling and shivering at the very name of God ; their young hopeless hearts withering the while under the harrowing denunciations of a frantic bellowing monster, with a face like an ogre, by way of illustrating the divine invitation of " suffer little children to come to me !" But to sweep off prematurely all the bright beautiful bloom of childhood ; to blot out the serene blue heaven of its thoughts with the foul sulphurous smoke of the infernal pit to scorch up what Shakspeare calls the dew of youth with the heat of nameless fires to trail over all nature
TYLNEY HALL. 1?1 the slime of original sin, and the hlight of the universal curse to involve Hope and Joy, like the sons of Laocoon, in the endless folds of the old Serpent to exhibit this wondrous fair creation hovered over, not by an em- blematic dove, but a ravening vulture to invest the Deity himself identically with the fiendish attributes of Satan yes, even this horrible and blasphemous transfiguration passes with some depraved minds for piety and an act of service to religion ; as if from such a faith to infidelity would not be an alluring and natural transition. The spiritual calling of Uriah was of no slight advantage to his worldly interest ; his customers never thought of weighing tea or soap after such a pattern of sanctity ; they were gravel-blind to the sand in the moist sugar, and di- gested the pebbles in his currants like so many ostriches. In promoting the consumption of one article, indeed, his preaching had a direct effect ; for Uriah dealt in candles, and so effectually had he stuffed the imaginations of his juvenile hearers with devils and pitchforks, and cauldrons of boiling brimstone, that half the poor children of the parish would not sleep without a rushlight in the room. It may be doubted, therefore, whether he would have attacked the proprietor 'of the Hive quite so offensively, if he had not happened to receive a consignment of goods by the same waggon which carried Twigg's hardware to Hollington, a circumstance from which the shopkeeper inferred that the family was generally to be supplied from London, instead of patronising his own emporium. A man's private affairs are generally considered sacred from intrusion, and his religion is, or ought to be, held the most sacred of his private affairs ; but our ranter felt no delicacy or diffidence in accosting a perfect stranger, and prying into the con- cerns of his soul. is Modesty no characteristic of the fraternity, and, to use Uriah's own words, whenever he took the work in hand, he rubbed his face over with a brass candlestick. The sequel has been told. Twigg took to and the preacher, with a triumphant flourish of his heels ; his stick, resumed his course, exulting that he had made a sinner shake in his shoes ; and moreover a sinner that in- dulged in the vanities of blue and orange liveries, a stately coach, and a heathen behind, as black as Beelzebub himself.