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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

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The English Church Abroad

People say you must not try to abolish Christianity until
you have something better to put in its place. They might as
well say we must not take awray turnpikes and corn laws till
we have some other hindrances to put in their place. ^ Besides
no one wants to abolish Christianity—all we want is not to
be snubbed and bullied if we reject the miraculous part of it
for ourselves.

At Biella an English clergyman asked if I was a Roman
Catholic. 1 said, quite civilly, that I was not a Catholic.
He replied that he had asked me not if I was a Catholic but
if I was a Roman Catholic. What was I ? Was I an Anglican
Catholic ? So, seeing that he meant to argue, I replied :

" I do not know. I am a Londoner and of the same religion
as people generally are in London."

This made him angry.   He snorted:

" Oh, that's nothing at all;" and almost immediately
left the table.

As much as possible I keep away from English-frequented
hotels in Italy and Switzerland because I find that if I do
not go to service on Sunday I am made uncomfortable. It is
this bullying that I want to do away with. As regards Chris-
tianity I should hope and think that I am more Christian
than not.

People ought to be allowed to leave their cards at church,
instead of going inside. I have half a mind to try this next
time I am in a foreign hotel among English people.


When we were at Shrewsbury the other day, coming up the
Abbey Foregate, we met a funeral and debated whether or
not to take our hats off. We always do in Italy, that is to
say in the country and in villages and small towns, but wre
have been told that it is not the custom to do so in large
towns and in cities, which raises a question as to the exact
figure that should be reached by the population of a place
before one need not take off one's hat to a funeral in one of
its streets. At Shrewsbury seeing no one doing it we thought