Page:An Old English Home and Its Dependencies.djvu/19

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5
PATERNAL ACRES

window. Of that not one half of the panes are whole; the gaps are stopped with rags.

And now the floor is rotted through overhead by the mouldering thatch that covers it in part, and the rain drips through.[1]

Accordingly my lady has taken refuge in an old chest, and keeps the lid up with a brick.

"Tes terr'ble cosy," says she.

Last year, having a Scottish gentleman staying with me, I took him over to call on "Marianne." We had a long interview. As we left, he turned to me with a look of dismay and said. "Good heavens! in the wildest parts of the Highlands such a thing would be impossible—and in England!"—he did not finish the sentence.

I went back to Marianne and said, "Now, tell me why you will go on living in this ruin?"

"My dear," said she, "us landed proprietors must hold on to our houses and acres. Tes a thing o' principle."

There is perhaps a margin of exaggeration

  1. In the illustration the place occupied by the old woman is beneath the heap on the right hand side.