Excitement in Lourdes - 5 June 1858

To a man with energy, a sufficient income is liberty. To one with intellect, it makes him a nuisance.

An intellectually illuminating chat with Mr Clement Yeobright, whom we happened to pick up on the way along Hollow Hill in the landau. Being a single, childless man in possession of an independent income, "Clym" is able to spend his time as a freelance agnostic busybody. There is said to be great sorrow in his past, for which he is universally held responsible, and he wears a deep-brimmed hat, as if to hide the world from the sadness in his eyes.

Mr Yeobright is in the habit of outdoor, non-sectarian preaching. On this occasion he was on his way to Casterbridge, to discourse on the events in Lourdes in France that have been reported these last few months. He tells me that a young girl has been having visions. Having spent some time in that troubled country himself, his view is that this is the type of Popish superstition that will in time be erased by logic and cold reason. If Mr Yeobright is correct, within twelve months nobody will even remember where Lourdes is.


  1. "Freelance agnostic busybody" - brilliant! The invention of pension schemes turned a lot of these loose upon the world ..........

  2. Down in my neck of the woods, we suffer more from the "freelance plus-catholique-que-le-pape busybody", and that in tne literal sense.