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miles a day; but we now and then got a lift in an empty waggon or cart, which was a great help to us.
8. One day we met with a farmer returning with his team from market, who let me ride, and entered into conversation with me. I told him of my adventures, by which he seemed much interested ; and learning that I was skilled in managing trees, he acquainted me that a nobleman in his neighbourhood was making great plantations, and would very likely be glad to engage me; and he offered to carry us to the place. As all I was seeking was a living by my labour, I thought the sooner I got it the better; so I thankfully accepted his offer.
9. He took us to the nobleman's steward, and made known our case. The steward wrote to my old master for a character, and receiving a favourable one, he hired me as the principal manager of a new plantation, and settled me and my family in a snug cottage near it. He advanced us some money for a little furniture and present food, and we had once more a home. Oh, sir ! how many blessings are contained in that word to those who have known the want of it!
10. I entered upon my new employment with as much satisfaction as if I was taking possession of an estate. My wife had enough to do in taking care of the house and children, so it lay with me to provide for all ; and I may say that I was not idle. Besides my weekly pay from the steward, I contrived to make a little money at leisure times by pruning and dressing gentlemen's fruit-trees. I was allowed a piece of waste ground behind the house for a garden ; and I spent a good deal of labour in bringing it into order. My old master sent me down for a present some choice young trees and flower-roots, which I planted, and they throve wonderfully. Things went on almost as well as I could desire: the situation being dry and healthy, my wife recovered her lost bloom, and the children sprang up like my plants. I began to hope that I was almost out of the reach of further misfortune; but it was not so ordered.
1. I had been three years in this situation, and increased my family with another child, when my lord died. He was succeeded by a very dissipated' young man, deep in debt, who presently put a stop to the planting and improving of the estate, and sent orders to turn off all the workmen. This was a great blow to me. However, I still hoped to be allowed to keep my little house and garden ; Dissipate, to cast abroad.
Hence a dissipated young man is one who heedlessly squanders his money, his time, and his talents.
and I thought I could then maintain myself as a nurseryman and gardener. But a new steward was sent down, with directions to rack’ the tenants to the utmost. He asked me as much rent for the place as if I had found the garden ready made to my hands; and when I told him it was impossible for me to pay it, he gave me notice to quit immediately. He would neither suffer me to take away my trees and plants, nor allow me anything for them; his view, I found, was to put in a favourite of his own, and set him up at my expense. I remonstrated against this cruel injustice, but could obtain nothing but hard words.
2. As I saw it would be the ruin of me to be turned out in that manner, I determined, rather hastily, to go up to London and plead my cause with my new lord.
I took a sorrowful leave of my family, and walking to the next market town, I got a place on the outside of the stage-coach. When we were within thirty or forty miles of London, the coachman overturned the carriage, and I was pitched directly on my head and taken up senseless. Nobody knew anything about me; so I was carried to the next village, where the overseer had me taken to the parish workhouse. Here I lay a fortnight, much neglected, before I came to my senses.
3. As soon as I became sensible of my condition, I was almost distracted in thinking of the distress my poor wife must be under on my
· Rack the tenants, make them pay as much as possible.
account, not hearing anything of me. I lay another fortnight before I was fit to travel ; for besides the hurt on my head, I had a broken collar-bone and several bruises. My money had somehow all got out of my pocket, and I had no other means of getting away than by being passed to my own parish.
4. I returned in sad plight indeed, and found my wife very ill in bed ; my children were crying about her, and almost starving. We should now have been quite lost had I not raised a little money by selling our furniture ; for I was yet unable to work. As soon as my wife was somewhat recovered, we were forced to quit our house. I cried like a child on leaving my blooming garden and flourishing plantations, and was almost tempted to demolish them rather than another should unjustly reap the fruit of my labours; but I checked myself, and I am glad I did so.
5. We took lodgings in a neighbouring village, and I went round among the gentlemen of the country to see if I could get a little employment. In the mean time, the former steward came down to settle accounts with his successor, and was much concerned to find me in such a condition. He was a very able and honest man, and had been engaged by another nobleman to superintend a large estate in a distant part of the kingdom. He told me, if I would try my fortune with him once more, he would endeavour to procure me a new settlement.
6. I had nothing to lose, and therefore was willing enough to go; but I had no to convey my family to such a distance. My good friend, who was much provoked at the injustice of the new steward, said so much to him that he brought him to make me an allowance for my garden : and with that I was enabled to make another removal ; it was to the place I now inhabit.
7. When I came here, sir, all this farm was a naked common, like that you crossed in coming. A dreary spot, to be sure, it looked at first, enough to sink a man's heart to sit down upon it. I had a little unfinished cottage given me to live in ; and as I had nothing to stock a farm, I was for some years employed as head labourer and planter about the new enclosures. By very hard working and saving, together with a little help, I was at length enabled to take the small part of the ground I now occupy.
8. I had various discouragements, from bad seasons and other accidents. One year the distemper carried off four out of seven cows that I kept; another year I lost two of my best horses.
I . A high wind once almost entirely destroyed an orchard I had just planted, and blew down my biggest barn. But I was too much used to misfortunes to be easily disheartened, and my way always was to set about repairing them in the best manner I could, and leave the rest to Heaven.
9. This method seems to have answered at last ; I have now gone on many ycars in a course of