Castle Rackrent/Glossary/4

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GLOSSARY 4. THE TENANTS WERE SENT AWAY WITHOUT THEIR WHISKY.

—It is usual with some landlords to give their inferior tenants a glass of whisky when they pay their rents. Thady calls it THEIR whisky; not that the whisky is actually the property of the tenants, but that it becomes their RIGHT after it has been often given to them. In this general mode of reasoning respecting RIGHTS the lower Irish are not singular, but they are peculiarly quick and tenacious in claiming these rights. 'Last year your honour gave me some straw for the roof of my house and I EXPECT your honour will be after doing the same this year.' In this manner gifts are frequently turned into tributes. The high and low are not always dissimilar in their habits. It is said, that the Sublime Ottoman Forte is very apt to claim gifts as tributes: thus it is dangerous to send the Grand Seignor a fine horse on his birthday one year, lest on his next birthday he should expect a similar present, and should proceed to demonstrate the reasonableness of his expectations.