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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 142 pages of information about Barford Abbey.

This is the day when the Powis family are crown’d with felicity.—­I think on it with rapture.—­I will set it down on the heart of your dutiful and affectionate

E. Delves.

LETTER XLV.

Miss Delves to the same.

Barford Abbey

Surely I must smell of venison,—­roast beef, and plumb-puddings.—­Yes, I smell of the Old English hospitality.—­You, Madam, have no tenants to regale so;—­are safe from such troubles on my account.—­Will you believe me, Madam, I had rather see their honest old faces than go to the finest opera ever exhibited.—­What think you of a hundred-and-seven chearful farmers sitting at long tables spread with every thing the season can afford;—­two hogsheads of wine at their elbows;—­the servants waiting on them with assiduous respect:—­Their songs still echo in my ears.

I thought the roof would have come down, when Lord and Lady Darcey made their appearance.—­Some sung one tune,—­some another;—­some paid extempore congratulations;—­others that had not a genius, made use of ballads compos’d on the marriage of the King and Queen.—­One poor old soul cried to the Butler, because he could neither sing or repeat a verse.—­Seeing his distress, I went to him, and repeated a few lines applicable to the occasion, which he caught in a moment, and tun’d away with the best of them.

Lord and Lady Hampstead are so delighted with the honest rustics, that they declare every Christmas their tenants shall be regal’d at Hallum Grove.

What can one feel equal to the satisfaction which arises on looking out in the park?—­Three hundred poor are there feasting under a shed erected for the purpose;—­cloath’d by Sir James and Lady Powis;—­so clean,—­so warm,—­so comfortable, that to see them at this moment, one would suppose they had never tasted of poverty.

Lord Darcey has order’d two hundred guineas to be given amongst them,—­that to-morrow might not be less welcome to them than this day.

For my part, I have only two to provide for out of the number;—­a pretty little boy and girl, that pick’d me up before I came to the shed.—­The parents of those children were very good, and gave them to me on my first application.

Here comes Mrs. Jenkings.—­Well, what pleasing thing have you to tell me, Mrs. Jenkings?

Five hundred pounds, as I live, to be given to the poor to-morrow from Lady Mary Sutton.—­

What blessings will follow us on our journey!  I believe I have not told you, Madam, we set out for Faulcum Park on Monday.—­Not to stay:—­no, I thank God we are not to stay.—­If Lord and Lady Darcey were to inhabit Faulcum Park, yet it would not be to me like Barford Abbey,—­Barford Abbey is to be their home whilst Sir James and Lady Powis live.

Lord Hallum wants me to walk with him.—­Not I, indeed:—­I hate a tete-a-tete with heartless men.—­On second thoughts, I will go.

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