“I cannot conclude without feeling grateful to Heaven for having given me such a son as I am blessed with. He is, indeed, quite invaluable to me in managing these refractory people, and were it not for his aid and vigor, I could not have been able to send your lordship the last remittance. He is truly zealous in your cause, but I regret to say, that I am not likely to be able to avail myself long of his services. He is about taking a large farm in a different part of the country with a view to marriage, a circumstance which just now occasions me much anxiety of mind, as he will be a serious loss to both your lordship and me. I am also looking out for an under agent, but cannot find one to my satisfaction. Will your lordship be kind enough to acknowledge the remittance of last week?
“I have the honor to be, my lord,
Lord Cumber to Val M’C, Esq.:—
“The check came safely to hand, and seasonably, and the oftener I receive such communications the better. The best part of it, however, is gone to the devil already, for I lost six hundred on Alley Croker at the last Ascot meeting; I write in a hurry, but have time to desire you to keep your son, if possible, on the property. By the way, as the under agency is vacant, I request you will let him have it—and, if he wants a farm to marry on, try and find him one somewhere on the estate: who has a better right? and, I dare say, he will make as good a tenant as another. As to Hickman, I think you are quite mistaken, the truth being that he resigned, but was not dismissed the agency, and if he has not a wish to get himself replaced—which I do not think—I don’t know what the deuce he should begin to plot about. I rather think the cause of complaint amongst the people is, that they find some difference between his laxity and your rigor; if so, you must only let them growl away, and when, ever they resort to violence, of course punish them.
“Very truly yours,
“P.S.—By all means get those mischievous fellows—I forget their names—off the property, as I shall have no tenant under me who will create disturbance or sow dissension among the people. I thank you for the fine hamper of fowl, and have only to say, as above, that the oftener, &c, &c.
CHAPTER VII.—Reflections on Absenteeism
—Virtues of a Loyal Magistrate—A
Small Dose of Flattery—A Brace of
Blessings—Darby has Notions of becoming a Convert—Hints to a Trusty
Bailiff, with a Bit of Mystery—Drum Dhu, and the Comforts of Christmas