The Recreations of a Country Parson eBook

Andrew Kennedy Hutchison Boyd
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 487 pages of information about The Recreations of a Country Parson.
readers by scores; while yet one cannot really see why any of the others might not have taken its place.  Or of a score of coarse comic songs, nineteen shall never get beyond the walls of the Cyder Cellars (I understand there is a place of the name), while the twentieth, no wise superior in any respect, comes to be sung about the streets, known by everybody, turned into polkas and quadrilles and in fact to become for the time one of the institutions of this great and intelligent country.  I remember how, a year or two since, that contemptible Rat-catcher’s Daughter, without a thing to recommend it, with no music, no wit, no sentiment, nothing but vulgar brutality, might be heard in every separate town of England and Scotland, sung about the streets by every ragged urchin; while the other songs of the vivacious Cowell fell dead from his lips.  The will of the sovereign people has decided that so it shall be.  And as likings and dislikings in most cases are things strongly felt, but impossible to account for even by the person who feels them, so is it ffith the enormous admiration, regard, and success which fall to the lot of many to whom popularity is success.  Actors, statesmen, authors, preachers, have often in England their day of quite undeserved popular ovation; and by and bye their day of entire neglect.  It is the rocket and the stick.  We are told that Bishop Butler, about the period of the great excesses of the French Revolution, was walking in his garden with his chaplain.  After a long fit of musing, the Bishop turned to the chaplain, and asked the question whether nations might not go mad, as well as individuals?  Classes of society, I think, may certainly have attacks of temporary insanity on some one point.  The Jenny Lind fever was such an attack.  Such was the popularity of the boy-actor Betty.  Such the popularity of the Small Coal Man some time in the last century; such that of the hippopotamus at the Regent’s Park; such that of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

But this essay must have an end.  It is far too long already.  I am tired of it, and a fortiori my reader must be so.  Let me try the effect of an abrupt conclusion.


Concerning Scylla and Charybdis;

Some thoughts upon the swing of the pendulum.

[Footnote:  For the suggestion of the subject of this essay, and for many valuable hints as to its treatment, I am indebted to the kindness of the Archbishop of Dublin.  Indeed, in all that part of the essay which treats of Secondary Vulgar Errwi, I have done little more than expand and illustrate the skeleton of thought supplied to me by Archbishop Whately.]

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The Recreations of a Country Parson from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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