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in the town or country, why what signifies talking any more about it; can't ye go and cut down a tree?” “ Which tree, please your honour ? ” I made bold to say.
Any tree at all that's good to burn,” said sir Condy; o send off smart and get one down, and the fires lighted, before my lady gets up to breakfast, or the house will be too hot to hold us.” He was always very considerate in all things about my lady, and she wanted for nothing whilst he had it to give. Well, when things were tight with them about this time, my son Jason put in a word again about the lodge, and made a genteel offer to lay down the purchase-money, to relieve sir Condy's distresses. Now sir Condy had it from the best authority, that there were two writs come down to the sheriff against his person, and the sheriff, as ill luck would have it, was no friend of his, and talked how he must do his duty, and how he would do it, if it was against the first man in the country, or even his own brother; let alone one who had voted against him at the last election, as sir Condy had done. So sir Condy was fain to take the purchase-money of the lodge from my son Jason to settle matters; and sure enough it was a good bargain for both parties, for my son bought the fee-simple of a good house for him and his heirs for ever, for little or nothing, and by selling of it for that same, my master saved himself from a gaol. Every way it turned out fortunate for sir Condy; for before the
there came a general election, and he being so well beloved in the county, and one of the oldest families,
money was all
no one had a better right to stand candidate for the vacancy; and he was called upon by all his friends, and the whole county I may say, to declare himself against the old member, who had little thought of a contest. My master did not relish the thoughts of a troublesome canvass, and all the ill-will he might bring upon himself by disturbing the peace of the county, besides the expense, which was no trifle ; but all his friends called upon one another to subscribe, and they formed themselves into a committee, and wrote all his circular letters for him, and engaged all his agents, and did all the business unknown to him; and he was well pleased that it should be so at last, and my lady herself was very sanguine about the election; and there was open house kept night and day at Castle Rackrent, and I thought I never saw my lady look so well in her life as she did at that time; there were grand dinners, and all the gentlemen drinking success to sir Condy till they were carried off; and then dances and balls, and the ladies all finishing with a raking pot of tea in the morning. Indeed it was well the company
made it their choice to sit up all nights, for there were not half beds enough for the sights of people that were in it, though there were shakedowns in the drawing-room always made up before sunrise for those that liked it. For my part, when I saw the doings that were going on, and the loads of claret that went down the throats of them that had no right to be asking for it, and the sights of meat that went up to table and never came down,
besides what was carried off to one or t’other below stairs, I could'nt but pity my poor master, who was to pay for all; but I said nothing, for fear of gaining myself ill-will. The day of election will come some time or other,
says I to myself, and all will be over; and so it did, and a glorious day it was as any I ever had the happiness to see. “ Huzza! huzza ! sir Condy Rackrent for ever!” was the first thing I hears in the morning, and the same and nothing else all day, and not a soul sober only just when polling, enough to give their votes as became 'em, and to stand the browbeating of the lawyers, who came tight enough upon us; and many of our freeholders were knocked off, having never a freehold that they could safely swear to, and sir Condy was not willing to have any man perjure himself for his sake, as was done on the other side, God knows, but no matter for that. Some of our friends were dumb-founded, by the lawyers asking them: Had they ever been upon the ground where their freeholds lay? Now sir Condy being tender of the consciences of them that had not been on the ground, and so could not swear to a freehold when cross-examined by them lawyers, sent out for a couple of cleaves-full of the sods of his farm of Gulteeshinnagh:* and as soon as the sods came into town he set each man upon his sod, and so then, ever after, you know, they could fairly swear they had been upon the ground.* We gained the day by this piece of honesty. I thought I should have died in the streets for joy when I seed my poor master chaired, and he bareheaded, and it raining as hard as it could pour; but all the crowds following him up and downl, and he bowing and shaking hands with the whole town. « Is that sir Condy Rackrent in the chair ? ” says a stranger man in the crowd. “ The same,” says I; “ who else should it be? God bless him!” “ And I take it, then, you belong to him ?
* At St. Patrick's meeting, London, March, 1806, the duke of Sussex said he had the honour of bearing an Irish title, and, with the permission of the company, he should tell them an anecdote of what he had experienced on his travels. When he was at Rome, he went to visit an Irish seminary, and when they heard who he was, and that he had an Irish title, some of them * This was actually done at an election in Ireland. † To put him up-to put him in gaol.
6 Not at all,” says I, “ but I live under him, and have done so these two hundred years and upwards, me and mine." “ It's lucky for you, then,” rejoins he, " that he is where he is; for was he
where else but in the chair, this minute he'd be in a worse place; for I was sent down on purpose to put him up,t and here's my order for so doing in my pocket." It was a writ that villain the wine merchant had marked against my poor master for some hundreds of an old debt, which it was a shame to be talking
asked him, “ Please your Royal Highness, since you are an Irish Peer, will you tell us if you ever trod upon Irish ground ? When he told them he had not, “ O, then,” said one of the
shall soon do so.” They then spread some earth, which had been brought from Ireland, on a marble slab, and made him stand upon it.
of at such a time as this. “ Put it in your pocket again, and think no more of it any ways for seven years to come, my honest friend,” says I; “ he's a member of Parliament now, praised be God, and such as you can't touch him: and if you'll take a fool's advice, I'd have you keep out of the way this day, or you'll run a good chance of getting your deserts amongst my master's friends, unless you choose to drink his health like every body else.” “ I've no objection to that in life,” said he ; so we went into one of the public houses kept open
my master; and we had a great deal of talk about this thing and that. "And how is it," says he, “ your master keeps on so well upon his legs? I heard say he was off Holantide twelvemonth past.” - Never was better or heartier in his life,” said I.
" It's not that I'm after speaking of,” said he ; “ but there was a great report of his being ruined.”
“ No matter," says I, “ the sheriffs two years running were his particular friends, and the sub-sheriffs were both of them gentlemen, and were properly spoken to; and so the writs lay snug with them, and they, as I understand by my son Jason the custom in them cases is, returned the writs as they came to them to those that sent 'em ; much good may it do them ! with a word in Latin, that no such person as sir Condy Rackrent, bart., was to be found in those parts." “Oh, I understand all those ways better, no offence, than you," says he, laughing, and at the same time filling his glass to my master's good health, which convinced me he was a warm friend in his heart after all,