Page:Diary of ten years.djvu/326

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business. I have got the ground in front of the house laid out regularly and skilfully; the windows, doors, and verandah painted, the gates fresh hung, and many little alterations, so that already it looks well, whereas in its previous dilapidated state, it looked like a gloomy deserted barrack. I have not yet been able to get a table to put in my room (proper for it), or a bedstead to put my mattrass on. My furniture, in the way of tables, consist of two small card tables, one of which is the same old one I had in college (I believe), or at all events one I brought with me. My mattrass is spread on the floor, and that is the whole preparation. Such furniture is now rarely to be met with, and the carpenters are all so occupied that there is no such a thing as getting anything made in reasonable time. The gardener charged me 26s. for about three days work; the painter charges £7 12s. for painting the outside of the doors and windows.—J— has been to York since I was here, and has brought over 27 wethers for the market. His principal business was to see 103 lambs drawn off, to be separated from their mothers and divided and marked for me, after the proportion was deducted for the men who kept them. There has been a very singular disease among some flocks this year at York, something like apoplexy. They die very suddenly. I think it arises from eating too freely of the young grass, which springs as if by magic after the first showers. Several sheep on the Swan have been attacked by blindness, which appears to me to be only a milder form of the same sort of illness, caused by the rupture of a small blood vessel about the eye. I have had one lamb and two goats affected, but by copious bleeding they appear to have been relieved.

Monday.—Have been occupied in writing a long opinion upon the propriety of the Government charging a fine of 6d. an acre on the lands of absentees who have not made the requisite expenditure, according to the terms of the original assignment, and also of resuming such lands, absolutely, if not