The Parish Clerk (1907) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 362 pages of information about The Parish Clerk (1907).

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Another north-country clerk-schoolmaster was obliged to relinquish his scholastic duties and make way for a certified teacher.  One day he heard the new master tell his pupils:  “‘A’ is an indefinite article.  ‘A’ is one, and can only be applied to one thing.  You cannot say a cats or a dogs; but only a cat, a dog.”  The clerk at once reported the matter to his rector.  “Here’s a pretty fellow you’ve got to keep school!  He says that you can only apply the article ‘a’ to nouns of the singular number; and here have I been singing ‘A—­men’ all my life, and your reverence has never once corrected me.”

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Communicated by Mrs. Williamson, Lydgate Vicarage: 

The old parish clerk of Radcliffe was secretary of the races committee, and would hurry out of church to attend these meetings.  Mr. Foxley, the rector, was told of this weakness of his clerk, so one Wednesday evening, when the rector knew there was a meeting, he got into the pulpit (a three-decker was then in the church), and began his sermon.  Half an hour went by, then the clerk began to be restless.  Another half-hour passed; the clerk looked up from his seat under the pulpit, but still the rector went on preaching.  It was too late then for the race-course meeting.  So when the sermon was at length finished, the clerk got up and gave out “the ’undred and nineteenth Psalm from yend to yend.  He’s preached all day, and we’ll sing all neet” (night).

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At Westhoughton Church, Lancashire, there was a clerk of the old school, one Platt, who just before the sermon would stretch his long arm and offer his snuff-box to his old friend Betty, and to other cronies who happened to be in his immediate neighbourhood.

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The clerk at Stratfieldsaye, who was a character, once astonished a strange clergyman who was taking the duty.  The choir sat in the gallery, and the numbers were few on that Sunday.  “Mon I ’elp them chaps? they be terrible few,” said the clerk.  The clergyman quite agreed that he should render them his valuable assistance, and sit in the gallery.  Presently a man came in late, and was kneeling down to say his private prayer, when the clergyman was horrified to see the clerk deliberately rise in the gallery and throw a book at the man’s head.  When remonstrated with after service the clerk replied carelessly, “Oh, it were only my way o’ telling him to sing up, as we were terrible short this marning.”



The old clerk of Clapham, Bedford, Mr. Thomas Maddams, always used to read his own version of Psalm xxxix. 12:  “Like as it were a moth fretting in a garment.”  Apparently his idea was of a moth annoyed at being in a garment from which it could not escape.

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The Parish Clerk (1907) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.