He thought a great deal on all his friend had said to his future poverty; but then, his ideas and Blake’s were very different about life. Blake’s idea of happiness was, the concentrating of every thing into a focus for his own enjoyment; whereas he, Frank, had only had recourse to dissipation and extravagance, because he had nothing to make home pleasant to him. If he once had Fanny Wyndham installed as Lady Ballindine, at Kelly’s Court, he was sure he could do his duty as a country gentleman, and live on his income, be it what it might, not only without grumbling, but without wishing for anything more. He was fond of his country, his name, and his countrymen: he was fully convinced of his folly in buying race-horses, and in allowing himself to be dragged on the turf: he would sell Brien Boru, and the other two Irish chieftains, for what they would fetch, and show Fanny and her guardian that he was in earnest in his intention of reforming. Blake might laugh at him if he liked; but he would not stay to be laughed at. He felt that Handicap Lodge was no place for him; and besides, why should he bear Dot’s disagreeable sarcasms? It was not the part of a real friend to say such cutting things as he continually did. After all, Lord Cashel would be a safer friend, or, at any rate, adviser; and, instead of trying to defeat him by coolness or insolence, he would at once tell him of all his intentions, explain to him exactly how matters stood, and prove his good resolutions by offering to take whatever steps the earl might recommend about the horses. This final determination made him easier in this mind, and, as he entered the gates of Grey Abbey Park, he was tolerably comfortable, trusting to his own good resolutions, and the effect which he felt certain the expression of them must have on Lord Cashel.
Grey Abbey is one of the largest but by no means one of the most picturesque demesnes in Ireland. It is situated in the county of Kildare, about two miles from the little town of Kilcullen, in a flat, uninteresting, and not very fertile country. The park itself is extensive and tolerably well wooded, but it wants water and undulation, and is deficient of any object of attraction, except that of size and not very magnificent timber. I suppose, years ago, there was an Abbey here, or near the spot, but there is now no vestige of it remaining. In a corner of the demesne there are standing the remains