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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 308 pages of information about Grain and Chaff from an English Manor.

Sacred to the memory of

PENELOPE,

daughter of that renowned and distinguished
soldier, Colonel Henry Washington.  He was
descended from Sir William Washington,
Knight, of the county of Northampton, who
was highly esteemed by those most illustrious
Princes and best of Kings, Charles the First
and Second, for his valiant and successful warlike
deeds both in England and in Ireland: 
he married ELIZABETH, of the ancient and
noble stock of the Packingtons of Westwood,
a family of untarnished fidelity to its Prince
and love to its country.  Sprung from such
illustrious ancestry, PENELOPE was a diligent
and pious worshipper of her Heavenly Father. 
She was the consolation of her mother, her
only surviving parent; a prompt and liberal
benefactress of the sick and poor; humble and
pure in spirit, and wedded to Christ alone.

From this fleeting life she migrated
to her Spouse,
February 27, Anno Domini. 1697.

CHAPTER II.

THE FARM BAILIFF.

“If a job has to be done you may as well do it first as last.” 
          
                                          —­WILLIAM BELL.

The labourers born and bred in the Vale of Evesham are mostly tall and powerful men, and mine were no exception; where the land is good the men compare favourably in size and strength with those in less favoured localities, and the same applies to the horses, cattle, and sheep; but the Vale, with its moist climate, does not produce such ruddy complexions as the clear air of the Hills, and even the apples tell the same story in their less brilliant colouring, except after an unusually sunny summer.  In the days of the Whitsuntide gatherings for games of various kinds, sports, and contests of strength, the Vale men excelled, and certain parishes, famous for the growth of the best wheat, are still remembered as conspicuously successful.

My men, though grown up before education became compulsory, could all read and write, and they were in no way inferior to the young men of the present day.  They were highly skilled in all the more difficult agricultural operations, and it was easy to find among them good thatchers, drainers, hedgers, ploughmen, and stockmen; they were, mostly, married, with families of young children, and they lived close to their work in the cottages that went with the farm.  They exhibited the variations, usual in all communities, of character and disposition, and though somewhat prejudiced and wedded to old methods and customs they were open to reason, loyal, and anxious to see the land better farmed and restored to the condition in which the late tenant found it, when entering upon his occupation seven years previously.

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