Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 594 pages of information about Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent.
The truth, then, is, that I fear Mr. Hickman must have kept the disturbed state of your tenantry from your Lordship’s knowledge, owing probably to a reluctance in exposing his own laxity of management.  Indeed, I wish I could with a conscientious sense of my duty to your Lordship end here, so far as he is concerned.  But under every circumstance, truth, and honesty, and candor, will in the long run tell for themselves.  It is an unquestionable fact, then, that from whatever cause it may proceed, your tenantry and he, ever since my appointment, have had much intercourse of—­not exactly a public—–­nor can I decidedly term it—­a private nature; and it is equally true, that in proportion as this intercourse became extended and enlarged, so did the dissatisfaction of the people increase, until they are now almost ripe for outrage.  I have observed, I think, that poor Hickman never was remarkable for strength of mind, though not destitute of a certain kind of sagacity; and whether his tampering—­if it be tampering—­with these people,—­be the result of a foolish principle of envy, or whether on the other hand, there is anything political in it, I really cannot say.  All I can do is to state the facts, and leave the inference to your lordship’s superior penetration.

“If, however, it be the fact, that Hickman could stop to foment this unhappy feeling on your property, still, my Lord, he is not alone in it.  Indeed it is possible that the intercourse between him and them may after all be innocent, however suspicions it looks, I trust and hope it is so—­for there are two other families in the neighborhood, who, to my certain knowledge, have, by diffusing wicked and disloyal principles among the tenantry, done incalculable injury.  I had indeed some notion of communicating with government on the subject, but I have not as yet been able to get any information sufficiently tangible to work on.  In the meantime, I think the wisest and most prudent steps I could take for your Lordship’s advantage, would be to get them as quietly as possible off the estate.  I think, from a twofold sense of duty, I shall be forced to do so.  Their leases very fortunately have dropped in the first place, and it will not be your interest to renew them on political grounds; for they have lately expressed a determination to vote against your brother—­and in the next, we can get much larger fines from other sources.  Besides his large farm, one of these men, M’Loughlin, holds a smaller one of eighteen acres, of which there are fifteen years yet unexpired, yet on consulting with Mr. M’Slime, and examining the lease, he is of opinion that it contains a flaw, and can be broken.  I am sure, my lord, for your sake I shall be glad of it.

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