Slaithwaite Notes: Past and Present (1905) - Chapter XXVIII

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Chapter XXVIII. Old Malley

A sturdy and. an upright woman, with a strong will, a rich faith, and strong determination. The wonder was that one so marked should have married a man who, though much respected, was only weak when compared with his more energetic spouse. The old lady baked bread and went out with leeches, then largely recommended by the doctors to get bad blood away in disease, and she was as much in requisition as the medical man. Many are the times when one has seen the old lady with her pots going to a poorly house — to the youngster it was almost like going to a funeral; and often the two things went together, so that it left a gloomy effect on the mind. Sometimes when the dear old lady could not attend, the old man was given a chance, but he was not as expert as his wife. And, maybe, if there was a public-house near, he might have got a glass too much, and then would get a mild blessing when he got home. No; the people preferred the wife, for she could discourse about the scripture with the skill of a learned divine, and many are the consolations she would give, especially to those whom she called the elect. On this doctrine she was eminent, never missing a point or relenting an inch.

Such was the way with a number of people at that time. Gadsby had left a strong mark behind by his eloquent preaching on these hillsides, which stuck to old Malley strongly. She would talk to you at the door of her little baking shop at Hollins Row as long as ever she could spare time from her bread about the faith delivered to the saints. Then the old man (her husband) in some moods, coming home, would knock it all out again. It was an exclusive doctrine, but if you happened (as in my case) to be the child of one who went to her chapel, it made all the difference in the world. You had the best of bread to eat, and the strongest of leeches to get you well again.

It is a little world, but there is a greater beyond. When we get there we shall see whether “Malley” of the old or the newer faith was the better, but let us hope that both have led sinners to salvation.

Continue to Chapter XXIX. Tom Kirk...

Slaithwaite Notes: Past and Present (1905) by John Sugden

Slaithwaite Notes: Past and Present (1905) - Chapter XXVIII


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