excerpt from 'My Life and Times, or An Old Man's Memories' pp. 32–33 (384 words)

excerpt from 'My Life and Times, or An Old Man's Memories' pp. 32–33 (384 words)

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My Life and Times, or An Old Man's Memories

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It was on Whit-Sunday, May 13, 1852, that Richard Hudson of Crow-trees and myself, paid a visit to Stonyhurst. Neither of us had been there before. The morning was beautiful, and we made a start at 5 a.m. over the hills, the distance is about 14 miles each way, and every yard had to be walked, no chance of a lift from a passing conveyance in those days. We reached Whalley in good time […] After an hour's rest, we did the remainder of our walk to Stonyhurst, and was just in time for morning service at 10.30. On entering the yard, our attention was drawn at once to the procession, which was led by an old monk, with his bald head and long pigtail, then followed several priests, then came 24 young men in surplices, and red skirts, what a show, I thought to be sure. But the best part was when the splendid organ pealed forth the melodious strains of Mozart’s 12th mass, On hearing this, I felt satisfied that I might hear a part at least to-our satisfaction, for I had been practicing it for some time, and to my mind, I think, would be a long way in advance of all the Mummery and Tingling of bells. A Mr. Woods was the Organist, the choir consisted of about 40 students (all male singers) and what a choir of powerful voices, what splendour and show, and tingling of bells, surely I thought if religion depended on all this king [sic] of Rig-a-mi-jig, they would have a splendid chance, while many of us would be left a long way in the rear. Anyone wishing to see a theatrical performance should visit this place. But little sympathy is shown to strangers, for we had to pay silver at the door, and a collection was made inside the building, also we never got to sit down, so we could please ourselves whether we stood up or knelt down on one knee all the time. They did not know how far we had walked, and if they had, I don't think it would have made much difference. On our departure the organ struck up a powerful voluntary, which sounded like so many peals of thunder, enough to make one crouch down whilst passing underneath the organ loft, as if in reality.

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excerpt from 'My Life and Times, or An Old Man's Memories' pp. 32–33 (384 words)


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