Some pews in the fine old church at Malpas, Cheshire, possess a most amusing peculiarity. Each one consists of several seats, which are really, though not apparently, detached, and they look easy and comfortable. In this case appearances are deceitful, for should the occupant of any one seat lean forward while "nid, nid, nodding," over he goes on the floor. The seat is so constructed as easily to trip over when any weight is placed on its outer or front edge, and was so designed to prevent people from going to sleep in church.

We still find in a few of our ancient churches, the high pews, luxurious cushions, and curious fittings of former days.

In the good old times, when the squire was lord of all he surveyed in the village, his pew in the parish church was often a kind of sitting-room. One such pew occupies the whole of the south transept of the diminutive church at Gatton, in Surrey. It has a fireplace, a low seat which extends round two sides of the room, and blue tapestry decorations. Above it is another floor on which are three or four ordinary pews for the use of the squire's servants, and from it a covered way leads to Gatton Hall, Some few yards away. There may be some truth in the story that a former squire used to enjoy a pipe by the fireplace during the sermon, and that if he became weary he would go out through the private door for a short stroll in the church yard.

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December 7, 1899

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