Of his eldest son, who of course succeeded to his rank and property, there is not so much to be said at present, because he will appear, to some extent, as an actor in our drama. It is enough then to say here that he inherited his father’s vices, purged of their vulgarity and grossness, without a single particle of his uncertain and capricious good nature. In his manners he appeared more of the gentleman; was lively, shallow, and versatile; but having been educated at an English school and an English college, he felt, or affected to feel, all the fashionable prejudices of the day and of his class against his native country. He was an absentee from both pride and inclination, and it is not surprising then that he knew but little of Ireland, and that little was strongly to its disadvantage.
Another brother there was, whose unpretending character requires little else than merely that he should be named. The honorable Alexander Topertoe, who was also educated in England, from the moment his father stained what he conceived to be the honor of their family by receiving a title and twenty thousand pounds, as a bribe for his three votes against a native parliament—hung his head in mortification and shame, and having experienced at all times little else than neglect from his father and brother, he hurried soon afterwards to the continent with a heavy heart and a light purse, where for the present we must leave him.
CHAPTER II.—Birth and Origin of Mr. M’Clutchy
Christian Forgiveness—Mr. Hickman, the Head Agent—Darby O’Drive, the Bailiff—And an Instructive Dialogue.
Time, which passes with a slow but certain pace, had already crept twice around his yearly circle since the fair already described in the town of Castle Cumber. The lapse of three years, however, had made no change whatsoever in the heart or principles of Mr. Valentine M’Clutchy, although he had on his external manner and bearing. He now assumed more of the gentleman, and endeavored to impress himself upon those who came in contact with him, as a person of great authority and importance. One morning after the period just mentioned had! elapsed, he and his graceful son, “Mister Phil,” were sitting in the parlor of Constitution Cottage, for so they were pleased to designate a house which had no pretension whatever to that unpretending appellation.
“So father,” said Phil, “you don’t forget that such was the treatment M’Loughlin gave you!”