“A good job? Of course it’s a good job, but it is no more than I expected. It wasn’t likely that such an eligible investment, as they say in the advertisements, would be allowed to go begging for long. But that’s just the way with you; the moment there’s a hitch you come with your long face and your uneducated sort of way, and swear that we are all ruined and that the country is breaking up, and that there’s nothing before us but the workhouse, and nobody knows what.”
George reflected that the Squire had forgotten that not an hour before he himself had been vowing that they were ruined, while he, George, had stoutly sworn that something would turn up to help them. But his back was accustomed to those vicarious burdens, nor to tell the truth did they go nigh to the breaking of it.
“Well, it’s a good job anyway, and I thank God Almighty for it,” said he, “and more especial since there’ll be the money to take over the Moat Farm and give that varmint Janter the boot.”
“Give him what?”
“Why, kick him out, sir, for good and all, begging your pardon, sir.”
“Oh, I see. I do wish that you would respect the Queen’s English a little more, George, and the name of the Creator too. By the way the parson was speaking to me again yesterday about your continued absence from church. It really is disgraceful; you are a most confirmed Sabbath-breaker. And now you mustn’t waste my time here any longer. Go and look after your affairs. Stop a minute, would you like a glass of port?”
“Well, thank you, sir,” said George reflectively, “we hev had a lot of talk and I don’t mind if I do, and as for that there parson, begging his pardon, I wish he would mind his own affairs and leave me to mind mine.”
Edward Cossey drove from the Castle in a far from happy frame of mind. To begin with, the Squire and his condescending way of doing business irritated him very much, so much that once or twice in the course of the conversation he was within an ace of breaking the whole thing off, and only restrained himself with difficulty from doing so. As it was, notwithstanding all the sacrifices and money risks which he was undergoing to take up these mortgages, and they were very considerable even to a man of his great prospects, he felt that he had been placed in the position of a person who receives a favour rather than of a person who grants one. Moreover there was an assumption of superiority about the old man, a visible recognition of the gulf which used to be fixed between the gentleman of family and the man of business who has grown rich by trading in money and money’s worth, which was the more galling because it was founded on actual fact, and Edward Cossey knew it. All his foibles and oddities notwithstanding, it would have been impossible for any person of discernment to entertain a comparison