“Old Deaker—You have me fast, and you know it—so I suppose must is the word; now I’ll tell you what I want, you old villain; I want two thousand pounds, and if M’Clutchy is to get the agency, I must have the money—so there is my must as well as yours. In the meantime I have written to Hickman on the same subject, want of money, I mean—what the consequences may be, I know not, but I fancy I can guess them.
—Duties of an Irish Landlord—An Apologue on Property—Reasons for Appointing an Agent—M’Clutchy’s Notions of His Duties—Receipt to make a Forty Shilling Freeholder.
Lord Cumber to Henry Hickman, Esq.
“London, April 1st, 18—
“My Dear Hickman,
“I wrote to you the day before yesterday, and, as the letter was one of a very pressing nature, I hope its influence won’t be lost upon you. To you who are so well acquainted with the cursed pickle in which I am placed, it is unnecessary to say that I shall be fairly done up, unless you can squeeze something for me out of those rascally tenants of mine. Fairly done up is not the proper term either; for between you and me, I strongly suspect a young fellow called Swingler, an ironmonger’s son, of giving me a twist too much, on more than one occasion. He was introduced, that is, proposed as a member of our club, by Sir Robert Ratsbane, whose grandfather was a druggist, and seconded by Lord Loadstone, the celebrated lady-killer, as a regular pigeon, who dropped, by the death of old ‘burn the wind,’ into half a million at least. The fellow did appear to be a very capital speculation, but the whole thing, however, was a trick, as I strongly suspect; for after losing to a tolerably smart tune, our gentleman began to illustrate the doctrine of reaction, and has, under the character of a pigeon, already fleeced half a score of us. Last week I suffered to the tune of eight hundred—Sir Heavyhead to that of twelve—Bill Swag five—and the Hon. Tom Trickman himself, who scarcely ever loses, gave bills for six fifties. I can’t stand this, Hickman, that is, I cannot afford to stand it. What is fifteen thousand a year to a man like me, who must support his rank, or be driven to the purgatorial alternative of being imprisoned on his own estate? Hickman, you have no bowels for me, although you can have for the hard-fisted boors on my property, who wont pay up as they ought, and all through your indolence and neglect. You must send me money, get it where you will; beg, borrow, rob, drive, cant, sell out—for money I must have. Two thousand within a fortnight, and no disappointment, or I’m dished. You know not the demands upon me, and therefore you, naturally enough, think very easily—much too easily—of my confounded difficulties. If you had an opera girl to keep, as I have—and a devilish