‘Mr. Evans lives in Wales, my dear.’
But he is travelling through Ireland, my dear, and he said he should return to Dublin, and, you know, there he certainly will hear it talked of; and I hope he will do me the favour to state what he has seen and knows to be the truth.’
’Be assured that I will do Mr. Burke justice—as far as it is in my power,’ said Lord Colambre, restraining himself much, that he might not say more than became his assumed character. He took leave of this worthy family that night, and, early the next morning, departed.
‘Ah!’ thought he, as he drove away from this well-regulated and flourishing place, ’how happy I might be, settled here with such a wife as—her of whom I must think no more.’
He pursued his way to Clonbrony, his father’s other estate, which was at a considerable distance from Colambre; he was resolved to know what kind of agent Mr. Nicholas Garraghty might be, who was to supersede Mr. Burke, and by power of attorney to be immediately entitled to receive and manage the Colambre as well as the Clonbrony estate.
Towards the evening of the second day’s journey, the driver of Lord Colambre’s hackney chaise stopped, and jumping off the wooden bar, on which he had been seated, exclaimed—
’We’re come to the bad step, now. The bad road’s beginning upon us, please your honour.’
’Bad road! that is very uncommon in this country. I never saw such fine roads as you have in Ireland.’
’That’s true; and God bless your honour, that’s sensible of that same, for it’s not what all the foreign quality I drive have the manners to notice. God bless your honour! I heard you’re a Welshman, but whether or no, I am sure you are a gentleman, anyway, Welsh or other.’
Notwithstanding the shabby greatcoat, the shrewd postillion perceived, by our hero’s language, that he was a gentleman. After much dragging at the horses’ heads, and pushing and lifting, the carriage was got over what the postillion said was the worst part of the bad step; but as the road ‘was not yet to say good,’ he continued walking beside the carriage.
‘It’s only bad just hereabouts, and that by accident,’ said he, ’on account of there being no jantleman resident in it, nor near; but only a bit of an under-agent, a great little rogue, who gets his own turn out of the roads, and of everything else in life. I, Larry Brady, that am telling your honour, have a good right to know, for myself, and my father, and my brother. Pat Brady, the wheelwright, had once a farm under him; but was ruined, horse and foot, all along with him, and cast out, and my brother forced to fly the country, and is now working in some coachmaker’s yard, in London; banished he is!—and here am I, forced to be what I am—and now that I’m reduced to drive a hack, the agent’s a curse to me still, with these bad roads, killing my horses and wheels and a shame to the country, which I think more of—Bad luck to him!’