September 11th, 1848 (Monday)

September 11, 2010

All the servitors, with the exception of David, have for a long time been going on with great carelessness, in their general duty and their music. So I got them together, and told them how grievously all those who had any authority over them were complaining of their misconduct, and complained myself that all my talking to them seemed to produce no effect. Then told them they must understand that from this day forth I should take a different course; – that they must be chastised until amendment came, – that since the tongue was powerless we should try what the stick could avail, – and that if neither counsel nor thrashing proved effectual, – they must be sent away. Warned them that I was in earnest, and to remember the immense loss it would be to them if removed from the blessings and comforts of this place. Informed them that our feelings had greatly changed towards them from what they had once been, urged the necessity of trying to regain their place in our regards, and ended by saying that I should henceforth cease to talk, but that on every complaint of any magnitude they were to expect a whipping. This done, Monk and Howard proceeded to administer a most sound castigation upon 5 of them. Joseph’s expressions of pain assumed the form of sympathy for his person; – “Oh my poor back” was his repeated exclamation. Only that the occasion was so grave, it would have been highly amusing.

Mr Telford came to tune the organ, and give it its final finish. Every new organ very soon after its erection gets out of order, – but after settling down for a few months, if then regulated, is sure to stand well, – of course, supposing it to be a good instrument originally. He is utterly amazed at its stupendous power, and says there is nothing like it anywhere that he has been. He has heard several organs lately in England, and they all seem to him to be thin and hungry compared with this. In fact, though ours sounds very glorious, yet it obviously requires a very much larger building than the present Chapel to do it justice: and this, please God, we may have one day. In the meantime, its loudness is to be somewhat depressed by putting a broad hanging of cloth inside the ‘great’ and ‘choir’ fronts. The ‘mixture is too hard, even more than the Great Reeds require, so it is settled to soften this stop. It was proposed, also, to take two or three of the cast iron weights off the bellows, – but this was rejected. Mr Telford is thoroughly satisfied with the way the instrument has conducted itself.

Nugent Wade came today, bringing with him the proposed new statutes for St Columba’s. Read them over in the evening, and found them very hastily put together, very defective, and recognizing a constant reference to the Visitor against which Sewell and I strongly protested. The law about the fasts was not what we could wish. For though there could be no hesitation about its meaning, apart from the controversy on the point, yet after that controversy had arisen, it was obviously necessary to guard the law from all doubt, misconception, and evasion. We (Sewell and I) thought, too, that we could see in the tendency of Wade’s language, a wish to leave it to the Primate to interpret it laxly, while the imposers meant the strict view to be taken. We felt this so strongly, that we declared positively that we would have nothing to do with the College, unless a full statement of the bearing and intention of the statute was laid before his Grace. Altogether, we are uneasy on the matter, – for there does not seem to be any mind among them all capable of managing an arduous business, as this unquestionably is. Yet I am sure that firmness would carry the day. If they were to say to the Primate that the discipline of the Church must be recognized in the College, as law, – and that if he refuse assent, they will give up the College, – there is little doubt what the issue would be. Indeed, Wade seems resolved to do so, – as he is on his way to Ireland, and is invited to the Palace at Armagh. I am not without misgivings about the management of the matter.


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