’But if you have a promise in writing of a renewal, surely you are safe, whether your landlord is absent or present?’
’Ah, no I that makes a great differ, when there’s no eye or hand over the agent. I would not wish to speak or think ill of him or any man; but was he an angel, he could not know to do the tenantry justice, the way he is living always in Dublin, and coming down to the country only the receiving days, to make a sweep among us, and gather up the rents in a hurry, and he in such haste back to town—can just stay to count over our money, and give the receipts. Happy for us, if we get that same!—but can’t expect he should have time to see or hear us, or mind our improvements, any more than listen to our complaints! Oh, there’s great excuse for the gentleman, if that was any comfort for us,’ added she, smiling.
’But, if he does not live amongst you himself, has not he some under-agent, who lives in the country?’ said Lord Colambre.
‘He has so.’
‘And he should know your concerns: does he mind them?’
’He should know—he should know better; but as to minding our concerns, your honour knows,’ continued she, smiling again, ’every one in this world must mind their own concerns; and it would be a good world, if it was even so. There’s a great deal in all things, that don’t appear at first sight. Mr. Dennis wanted Grace for a wife for his bailiff; but she would not have him; and Mr. Dennis was very sweet to her himself—but Grace is rather high with him as proper, and he has a grudge again’ us ever since. Yet, indeed, there,’ added she, after another pause, ’as you say, I think we are safe; for we have that memorandum in writing, with a pencil, given under his own hand, on the back of the lase, to me, by the same token when my good lord had his foot on the step of the coach, going away; and I’ll never forget the smile of her that got that good turn done for me, Miss Grace. And just when she was going to England and London, and, young as she was, to have the thought to stop and turn to the likes of me! Oh, then, if you could see her, and know