92 CHRISTMAS DAY
fine and clear, the most of the family walked to the church, which was a very old building of gray stone, and stood near a village, about half-a-mile from the park gate. Adjoining it was a low snug parsonage, which seemed coeval with the church. The front of it was perfectly matted with a yew-tree that had been trained against its walls, through the dense foliage of which apertures had been formed to admit light into the small antique lattices. As we passed this sheltered nest, the parson issued forth and preceded us.
I had expected to see a sleek well-conditioned pastor, such as is often found in a snug living in the vicinity of a rich patron's table ; but I was disappointed. The parson was a little, meagre, black-looking man, with a grizzled wig that was too wide, and stood off from each ear; so that his head seemed to have shrunk away within it, like a dried filbert in its shell. He wore a rusty coat, with great skirts, and pockets that would