Friday, January 03, 2003

Church Made Easy

Ad Orientem links to a picture of a roller coaster ride which is remarkably reminiscent of old fashioned box pews. (Wait. That couldn’t actually be. . . .nah, I guess not.)

Which reminded me of this. Church-goin’ used to be a lot easier for some folks.

On one occasion, when very young, I went for the week-end to the manor house of a squire and land-owner. On Sunday we went to church under charming circumstances. The squire’s pew proved to be a square enclosure lined with green cloth, with a table in the center and seats round the side. When we stood up, only a full-grown person could be seen over the top. In one corner was a fire-place and over it a small cupboard. As it was winter there was a fire in the fire-place and when the rector gave out his text the squire rose, poked the fire, opened the cupboard, took out a glass, and then a bottle of golden wine, poured out a glassful of the elixir, drank it, sat down again and went to sleep. To the boy it seemed that that man must be very happy who could sit in his own green pew, poke the fire during service, drink yellow wine and sleep in church, without being interfered with a by a governess.”

-- Arthur K. Ashton, K.C. As I Went My Way (1880)