I and Brien, and Bottom, crossed over last Friday night, and, thanks to the God of storms, were allowed to get quietly through it. The young chieftain didn’t like being boxed on the quay a bit too well; the rattling of the chains upset him, and the fellows there are so infernally noisy and awkward, that I wonder he was ever got on board. It’s difficult to make an Irishman handy, but it’s the very devil to make him quiet. There were four at his head, and three at his tail, two at the wheel, turning, and one up aloft, hallooing like a demon in the air; and when Master Brien showed a little aversion to this comic performance, they were going to drag him into the box bon gre, mal gre, till Bottom interposed and saved the men and the horse from destroying each other.
We got safe to Middleham on Saturday night, the greatest part of the way by rail. Scott has a splendid string of horses. These English fellows do their work in tiptop style, only they think more of spending money than they do of making it. I waited to see him out on Monday, when he’d got a trot, and he was as bright as though he’d never left the Curragh. Scott says he’s a little too fine; but you know of course he must find some fault. To give Igoe his due, he could not be in better condition, and Scott was obliged to own that, considering where he came from, he was very well. I came on here on Tuesday, and have taken thirteen wherever I could get it, and thought the money safe. I have got a good deal on, and won’t budge till I do it at six to one; and I’m sure I’ll bring him to that. I think he’ll rise quickly, as he wants so little training, and as his qualities must be at once known now he’s in Scott’s stables; so if you mean to put any more on you had better do it at once.
So much for the stables. I left the other two at home, but have one of my own string here, as maybe I’ll pick up a match: and now I wish to let you know a report that I heard this morning—at least a secret, which bids fair to become a report. It is said that Kilcullen is to marry F—— W——, and that he has already paid Heaven only knows how many thousand pounds of debt with her money; that the old earl has arranged it all, and that the beautiful heiress has reluctantly agreed to be made a viscountess. I’m very far from saying that I believe this; but it may suit you to know that I heard the arrangement mentioned before two other persons, one of whom was Morris;—strange enough this, as he was one of the set at Handicap Lodge when you told them that the match with yourself was still on. I have no doubt the plan would suit father and son; you best know how far the lady may have been likely to accede. At any rate, my dear Frank, if you’ll take my advice, you’ll not sit quiet till she does marry some one. You can’t expect she’ll wear the willow for you very long, if you do nothing yourself. Write to her by post, and write to the earl by the same post,