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who were for a time puzzled to discover how that which they had all along regarded as erroneous or false, had surreptitiously arrogated to itself the appellation and office of truth and virtue! The word regalia, however, has most amply avenged Mr. Pratt's attempt at its expulsion from the nomenclature of Odd-fellowship, and other affiliated bodies. He some time ago discovered a law, which stated that no regalia was to be used at funerals, other than black scarfs and white gloves. The sceptres, etc., were therefore abolished. No doubt, Mr. Pratt rejoiced exceedingly at this step "in the right direction," however graciously he may tolerate the absurd horsehair wig and other professional paraphernalia peculiar to courts of law; however benignantly he may smile on the Lord Mayor's clumsy and tawdry gilt coach, the huge ugliness of the barbarously carved big dolls, "Gog and Magog," or the button bedizend biped yclept a "gentleman's tiger." Yes, the voluntary extinction of the emblems of office and the objects of the society was, in the opinion of the registrar no doubt, a move in the right direction; but still the offensive word regalia remained. The censor's pen, therefore, speedily extinguishes it; a huge black blotch occupies its place, and mourns its untoward fall. But the destroyer's hand is suddenly


arrested the moment he commences the labour of reconstruction. Furniture is a good word, a very good word indeed, but it is not exactly an improvement on regalia when such articles as emblematical scarfs and white gloves are alone referred to. Shall the obnoxious term be again summoned into existence? No, no; at whatever sacrifice, the royal phraseology shall not be profaned by plebeian breath. The official brain again teems; a bright idea is ushered into the world; our descriptive vocabulary receives, at the hands of the registrar, another most brilliant addition! Regalia, like everything else in the universe, may, it appears, be seen at least under two aspects; to wit,-furniture and clothing." The latter term is duly installed in the rule above the mourning blotch, and the members, especially those who believe that Odd-fellowship was invented in the Garden of Eden by a working-man, a semi-nude tiller of the soil, named Adam,-the members were astounded and horrified at the electric rapidity of the retrogessive movement, which in the nineteenth century, legally prohibited their following to the grave the remains of a deceased friend, unless they consented to appear-perfectly naked? No; not quite naked, but with no clothing upon their brotherly bodies except black scarfs and white gloves!

It is certainly a pity that the labours of those who are toiling to induce all societies to submit their rules for enrolment, should be in any way obstructed by the exhibition of such ridiculous, such unnecessary interference.

There are, however, two or three matters of much graver importance, in which I conceive the registrar has overstepped his function. He now resolutely expunges any rule referring to the arrangements for a lodge anniversary or annual dinner. He formerly did not object to a rule of this character. In the 71st General Law, of the Manchester Unity, power is given to lodges and districts " to make such laws as they may think proper for the attendance of members who may reside within the distance of five miles from the lodge-house at funerals and anniversaries." In this very law likewise occur the words regalia, with reference to funerals, and laws instead of rules. This section has been enrolled too by Mr. Tidd Pratt, and is at present in force in the Manchester Unity. Yet he presumes to strike out any by-laws, such as those referred to, when made by lodge or district branches under this certified clause! Nay, he continually refuses to certify laws which have been copied from others, which have previously received his sanction! On some occasions, when he accidentally encounters a

secretary more sturdy than the generality of officials, he is induced to retrace his steps, and yield before the evidence which demonstrates his inconsistency. I have reason to know that Mr. Pratt has been much pestered by certain narrow-souled, ungenial-hearted, members of parliament and others, who regard the slightest convivial enjoyment by working men as approaching very nearly to open profanity. These quasi saints, on finding a registered law referring to a Friendly Society's annual dinner, fall foul on the registrar for neglect of duty, and bore him with such questions as, "Does the law recognise eating and drinking as one of the objects of a Friendly Society ?" "Do you consider feasting and guzzling to be reasonable and proper under such circumstances?" And so on, to the end of the chapter. I understand that it is to some such pressure as this that the change in the registrar's practice is to be attributed. I, however, respectfully but firmly maintain that, in interfering with the lodge anniversary, he not only exceeds his duty but creates a vast amount of useless litigation, and engenders some duplicity. Lodges still act as though he had certified the by-law, because he has enrolled the general law of the Manchester Unity, which empowers them so to act. In case of litigation, they know that the board of arbitrators, appointed by the general law and accepted by the branch law, will decide in their favour. If Mr. Tidd Pratt chooses to create an inconsistency, he must not be surprised that other individuals refuse to be parties to it.

But it is said the Act of Parliament makes no mention of anniversary dinners. Granted. It, however, likewise makes no allusion to either regalia or clothing at funeral processions. It makes no allusion to the meetings taking place at either temperance hotels or public-houses. It makes no reference whatever to any method of advertising to the public the existence of any society. The legislature wisely left the management of their own business to the practical knowledge and good sense of the people themselves. But on the other hand I ask, does the Act prohibit anniversaries? I answer, No! Does any other Act prohibit the members of any other legal society from dining together once a year or oftener if they choose? I say, No! Are the members of other societies in the habit of dining together? I answer, Yes; hundreds of every class and character, including bodies religious, bodies politic, bodies corporate, bodies social, bodies literary, scientific, and artistic, not forgetting the poor pauper bodies, who doubtless enjoy amazingly the extra Christmas fare occasionally prepared for them! Has it been customary for the members of Friendly Societies to dine together? I answer, Yes, from time immemorial; and the members of parliament knew it when the Act was passed! These anniversaries and processions are generally attended by the clergy or some of the neighbouring gentry, and are really the only means, in country districts especially, by which such societies and their objects are prominently brought before the notice of working men. It appears, however, that all philanthropists are not imbued with this, to me, very vulgar prejudice against Friendly Society anniversaries; for I find that the Rev. Nash Stephenson, in a clever paper, read before the last meeting of the "National Association for the Promotion of Social Science," on the social evils arising out of what are termed “statute fairs" in various parts of the country, thus incidentally alludes to the question-"Let there be mingling of class with class. Let the squirearchy and the clergy, and the employers of labour, uphold by their purse and sanction by their person the anniversary of the well-ordered benefit club, the harvest home, or the parish feast. When this has been accomplished or attempted, the upper classes will be enabled with a better grace to ascend the public platform, and with a clearer conscience denounce the demoralising amusements of the day of the statute fairs."

I have long ceased to feel any personal enjoyment from feasting in public, and care as little for processions and gewgaws of any description as most other individuals; but I submit that the permission granted by the registered general law of the Manchester Unity to its branches to act in this respect, within certain restrictions, as may to themselves seem most desirable, is valid according to the law of the land, and that Mr. Pratt exceeds his duty, and most certainly does not add to the dignity of his office, when he condescends to interfere in such matters.

Several of the branches of the Manchester Unity, both lodges and districts, however, complain of a species of "Tidd Pratt law," which demands the serious consideration of all the affiliated bodies. It is of so much importance that, if he continues to persist in his course, they will be compelled in self-defence either to restrain him by a new Act of Parlia ment or petition the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt for his removal from the office of registrar. It appears that Mr. Pratt is unable to comprehend, even yet, the constitution of an affiliated Friendly Society, or that he is wilfully determined to annoy its members. In a communication recently received, in reply to a remonstrance, he says:"In Rules 23, 24, and 25, there is nothing illegal; but in the copy sent to me I struck them out, as they appeared to be unnecessary, as every lodge can make its own rules, and cannot be compelled to adopt the rules laid down by the district." Why, every district binds itself to obey the general laws of the Manchester Unity, and to make bye-laws only within the limits therein permitted; and every lodge covenants to the same extent, with the privilege of making bye-laws, for management purposes chiefly, within those enacted by the district; and all this appears on the face of the very code of rules submitted for enrolment. Mr. Tidd Pratt further says:-"The 49th section of 18 and 19 Victoria recognizes in every branch a distinct society!" Does it indeed so far outrage common sense and violate the Queen's English. Let it speak for itself. Here it is :"XLIX.-The word 'Society' shall extend to and include every branch of a Society, by whatever name it may be designated."

If extending the meaning of the word society so that it includes every branch, does not, and was not intended to operate precisely in a contrary manner to Mr. Pratt's interpretation, I submit it would be as well if Parliament in future would employ a national schoolmaster to put its behests into intelligible language. No affiliated body could exist for an hour with such a constitution, and if Mr. Pratt does not know it, I fear that at his time of life it will be useless to attempt his instruction.

One other specimen of "Registrar's law" and I will conclude. Mr. Pratt, in one instance, which has recently come to the knowledge of the Directors of the Manchester Unity, coolly assures his correspondent that a declaration of the officers, that the amendments proposed for certification have been made in conformity with the provisions of their own law, is "not required," at least so far as any alterations or additions made by him are concerned. What impertinence! If the registrar chooses, contrary to the statute, to knowingly certify alterations which were never made or assented to by the parties alone legally entitled to give them validity, of course he can do so at his own peril; but if any member of the Manchester Unity acts on his suggestion without direct authority from those legally empowered to agree to, or reject, the proposed alterations, the society's law will be thereby infringed, and the offender subjected to punishment. But the loose moral tone which underlies this last assumption of authority will be amply sufficient in itself to ensure its utter condemnation with the public without any further effor of mine.



SOME years ago, being then but newly married, I chanced one day to meet an acquaintance whom I had not seen since my submission to the pleasant yoke of matrimony.

My friend had heard of the event; and after the first few words of congratulation, he said: "Well, you must bring her to see us. I have a beautiful place at B- -, magnificent house and grounds, enormous gardens, hayfields, everything that makes the country delightful, only eight miles from town, omnibus passes the lodge gate; do run down, now,say the first fine Sunday!"

The offer was so cordially made, and the prospect of a summer's day in the country so attractive, that I at once assented, and thereupon my friend and I shook hands and parted;-he to wait for the first fine Sunday, I to prepare my wife for the way in which it was to be disposed of.

It may be thought that no great preparation was necessary for so simple an affair as an expedition to a place almost within an hour's drive of home, but there is something to explain. My friend was a medical man: not in the ordinary sense of the term, that is to say, not a mere mixer of com pounds and setter of dislocated limbs, but a practitioner of skill, qualified alike in surgery and medicine, in both of which branches he had achieved some eminence, but who, from some cause not known to me, had suddenly abandoned general practice and taken up a particular line: that particular line was insanity;-in fact, my friend was at the head of a private establishment which, though not long founded, was already large,-a consequence, no doubt, of his well-deserved reputation. He said nothing about this, for he knew I was aware of his position, but confined himself to the praise of his rural abode. I, however, was bound to be more explicit, a visit to a lunatic asylum being somewhat out of the ordinary routine of social amenities.

I will not stop to inquire whether my wife's reply to my proposition might not have been influenced by a slight degree of curiosity; but, be that as it may, she answered cheerfully that wherever I liked to go she was always happy to accompany me, and the visit was agreed to on her part as promptly as it had been on mine, and when the fine Sunday arrived we set off to fulfil our engagement.

Not caring to put ourselves to the expense of a private conveyance, we made up our minds to take the convenient omnibus, walked three miles to the point of departure, and left London at noon. The day was hot, the omnibus full, and the journey rather tedious, but we were reconciled to these disagrements by the pleasure in store. There was a slight drawback on that pleasure in the announcement, when we arrived at B- that on account of its being Sunday the fares were doubled, so that in point of economy we had not gained much by travelling in popular fashion; but as this could not now be helped we made the best of it, paid the unexpected charge, and leaving the omnibus to pursue its course along the dusty high road, turned down the shady green lane that led to W- House, and soon came in sight of "the lodge." It was scarcely worth my friend's while to have spoken of this outwork, because it was untenanted: an inscription


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on the gate, however, did duty for a lodge-keeper, and we entered the grounds which, basking beneath the rays of a July sun, did not belie its rural reputation. The new-made hay smelt deliciously, the trees wore their greenest livery, and the thrushes and blackbirds poured forth their sweetest song.

"Upon my word," I exclaimed, "this is a nice place! If ever I should happen to go" my wife looked up anxiously in my face,-"I mean," I continued, correcting myself, "if ever we are able to afford it we certainly will live in the country."

"I was afraid," said my wife, with the tears just starting, "that you were going to say something very different."

"Foolish!" I returned; but to whom the epithet applied I leave unsaid. We paused for a moment where the path, winding through a shrubbery, shut out the view, and when we moved on again my wife's rosy smile satisfied me that she thought no more of my hasty exclamation.

We now came within sight of W- House. It was a very large, handsome edifice, and must have been erected for a person of good fortune. Such, indeed, was the case. A nobleman first, a nabob next, and then an army contractor, had successively occupied it; all three had outlived their means, and after the last possessor came an interval of twenty years, during which W. House, in spite of the most alluring advertisements, was always "to be let or sold." The locality might be "one of the most esteemed in the neighbourhood of the metropolis;" the house might be "planed in the most perfect manner," and possess "every accommodation for a gentleman's family;" it might "stand in its park-like domain ;" be "approached by a carriage drive, with an ornamental lodge at the entrance;" be surrounded with gardens and pleasure grounds;" be everything, in short, which an auctioneer could say to set it off, but still it remained unlet and unsold, till the advertisement caught the eye of Dr. F., who obtained a lease on favourable terms, and introduced a set of inmates only a little more positively mad than the nobleman, the nabob, and the army contrac tor, who had each ruined himself, in turn, by wasteful and ridiculous expenditure.

I was directing my wife's attention to a fine magnolia, which covered nearly half the building, when from beneath the shade of a lofty elm, where he had been standing, in the expectation of our arrival, Dr. F. came to greet us. Mrs. F., he said, had been employed rather longer than usual with domestic cares-we guessed the hospitable meaning of this intimation and was not quite ready to receive us; would we take a turn in the gardens before we went in? Of course, yes; and in the direction he proposed we accompanied our host. Near the garden gate a tall, welldressed, gentleman-like man was loitering. He took off his hat at our approach, and Dr. F., saluting him by name, asked him to join us. The invitation seemed to give him great pleasure; he smiled, and bowed, held out a tremulous hand to the Doctor, threw open the gate with alacrity, waited till we had all passed, and then followed, attaching himself to my wife, with whom he directly entered into conversation. His discourse was of flowers and plants; and he spoke with the nervous eagerness which some display who are much attached to any special study.

"Is your friend a botanist?" I inquired of Dr. F., as we took the way a few paces in advance.

"My friend," he replied, smiling, "is one of my patients. Don't be alarmed! He is a very harmless one. His was only a case of delirium tremens-bad enough, it is true, when first he came here, for then he could talk of nothing but assassination, which was his constant apprehension; or, if he changed the subject, it was to count up marvellous sums of

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