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rymple committed suicide-Reuben had returned to the service of his mother, Mrs. Dalrymple. But, with her son, Mrs. Dalrymple had lost her means, and she told Reuben that she could not afford to keep a manservant, hardly a maid, but Reuben replied that he had saved more than enough money to keep himself, and should live with Mrs. Dalrymple without

and wait upon

her-he shouldn't leave her to the mercies of a dirty maid-of-all-work. And so he had done.

The farmer stopped to greet Reuben, and the two expatiated for some minutes, to their hearts' content, not in favour of Oscar Dalrymple.

“ Would you believe that he wanted to charge Mrs. Dalrymple rent for that poor house we are in? It's a fact : but don't you mention it again.”

Impossible,” said the farmer. On her own estate—at least, what was hers for years !"

“He did, and he gets it. Others manage it for her, for she couldn't afford to


it. He is a bad man. Ah! if my poor young master had not been so rash! He would have come into the Dalrymple estates, Mr. Lee."

“ What, Mr. Charles would ?”

“As true as we are here," said Reuben. “The heir, Sir Charles's only son, is dead, and my poor Mr. Charles was the next heir. Though I dare

say he never gave it a thought, in life, that the title and estates would ever drop to him.”

“Why, he'd have come to be a baronet then, if he had lived !"

“ A baronet with a large rent-roll. Sir Charles Dalrymple is in very bad health, and cannot last long."

“Does it come to that grasp-all ?” breathlessly uttered the farmer, jerking his head in the direction of the Grange.

" No; more's the blessing," returned Reuben. “Moat-Grange was entailed on him, but Dalrymple's not. At Sir Charles's death the title lapses now: and I'm sure I don't know who'll get the money, except that it won't be Oscar Dalrymple; he's no favourite there. I hope Sir Charles will remember my poor mistress.”

“ If folks tell true," said the farmer, “it is Sir Charles who has helped her ever since our Master Charles died.”

Reuben made no reply. He did not choose to assist the gossip of the neighbourhood.

“ And to think that Master Charles should have made away with himself, through a bit of temporary embarrassment, when if he had stood it out and battled with the storm, he would have succeeded to Dalrymple!" uttered the amazed farmer, as he said good day to Reuben.


POSITIVE rebellion came: open warfare between Oscar Dalrymple and his tenants. The notice of rent-raising, served upon several, had been withdrawn, and notice to quit substituted. To Farmer Lee amongst others. The farms were let over their heads, and it was known that the next thing would be ejectment. The whole neighbourhood, formerly so peaceable, was in excitement.

Michaelmas-day was very near, and a meeting was held one night at Farmer Lee's. It could not be called a secret meeting, for the farmer would have disdained the name, but several stole to it with caution, conscious that their hearts were ready to speak treason against their landlord. “ Have


heard the fresh movement ?” asked Farmer Watkins, when he entered.

“ I've heard it,” responded an eager voice. - Thoms is out."
“How did they get him out at last ?”
« Unroofed him."
« No!”

They did. As they did last week by the huts on the common. It's shameful

The next ejectment will be me,” said Farmer Lee. “They won't have to unroof this, though, for I shall go out quiet, when the time comes."

“ You will ?” echoed a neighbour, in surprise.

“What's the good of holding out? It would only draw down expense and trouble upon us. They have got the law on their side. We'll talk it over presently when all have come in, but I think we must decide to give up, and what one does, all had better do.”

“Give in to the hardship?” roared a farmer.

“The thing's this," said Mr. Lee, who was the largest holder on the estate," won't it make the hardship worse, to defy them ?"

“Well, let Dalrymple look to himself,” significantly observed Farmer Bumford. “He'll get served out, maybe.”

“ How can he? We have no power to serve him out.”

“We haven't; and should be afraid to use it, perhaps, if we had. But that unfortunate lot he ejected from the common, they arn't afraid. They are all collecting there now, as I came by, and if there ain't mischief brewing, my name's not Dick Bumford.”

" What do you think they will do ?" asked Miss Judith Lee, who had entered to bring a large silver tankard of ale, and heard the last sentence

“Why, they'll duck Dalrymple in the nearest horse-pond, the first time they catch him abroad, that's my opinion," answered jolly Mr. Bumford.

“ Is that all,” said Miss Judith; “I feared you meant worse, for they are a lawless lot, if provoked. A ducking would do him good. Poor things,” she added, “it's enough to make them lawless: the roofs torn off their heads and they forced out. I thought till now that such practices were confined to Ireland. What is he razing the cottages to the ground for ?"

“ To build up houses in their stead: which is what he means to do by Thoms's cottage. No danger that Oscar Dalrymple will go and unroof houses, unless they are to come down: he won't cost himself a useless penny."

The unfortunate lot, spoken of by Mr. Bumford, were collecting on the outskirts of the common, in view of their late homes, and had Mr. Dalrymple appeared then, he might have been thankful to escape with only a ducking, for anger and revenge were at work within them. The

with awe.

group were in harsh converse, when footsteps were heard advancing, and they turned their sullen faces towards the sound.

Who should it be but Mrs. Dalrymple of the Grange, Oscar's wife. She had been spending the day with her mother, and was now going home escorted by Reuben. She affected to look another way, perhaps afraid to look towards them. One of the body advanced and stood in

her way.

“ You'd hurry by, would you?” said he, in a tone that spoke more of plaint than threat. “Won't you turn your eyes once, to the ruin your husband has wrought? Look at the mud and mortar! If the walls warn't of warm brick or costly stone, they was good enough for us. Look at the spot! Them was our homes.”

Selina trembled visibly. She was aware of the awful feeling abroad against her husband, and a dread rushed into her heart that they might be going to visit it on her. Would they ill-use her?_kill her?

Reuben spoke up: but he was old and weak, and powerless against so many, and he knew it; therefore his tone was more conciliating than it would otherwise have been.

“What do you mean by molesting Mrs. Dalrymple? Stand away, Dyke, and let her pass. You wouldn't

hurt her: if she is Mr. Dalrymple's wife she was the squire's daughter, and he was always good to you. “Stand away yourself

, old man. Who said we was a going to hurt her ?" roughly retorted Dyke. “ 'Taint likely, and you've said the reason why. Ma'am, do you see them ruins ? Does they make


blush ?” “I am very sorry to see them, Dyke," answered Mrs. Dalrymple. “It is no fault of mine."

“Is it hard upon us, or not, that we should be turned out of the poor roofs that sheltered us? We paid our bit of rent, all on us, not one was a defaulter. How would you like to be turned out of your home, and told the poorhouse was afore you and a order for it, if you liked to go there ?"

“I can only say how very sorry I am,” returned Mrs. Dalrymple, much distressed, as well as terrified. “I wish I could help you. I wish I could put you into better cottages to-morrow, but I am as powerless as “ Will

you tell him to do it? We are a coming up to ask him. Will you tell him to come out and face us and look at them ruins, and then go and see our wives and babbies a huddling in barns, lent us out o'charity ? Tell him, ma'am, please.”

Dyke moved away, and Mrs. Dalrymple lost no time in speeding on to the Grange. Reuben, when he had seen her safe in, returned home.

Mr. Dalrymple was in the oak parlour, comfortless and cold-looking at that season without fire, when his wife entered. She threw herself into a chair and burst into tears.

“ I have been so terrified. As I came by the common, with Reuben, the men were there, and

“What men ?” interrupted Mr. Dalrymple.

“ Those you ejected from the cottages. They were not insolent to me, but they stopped me, and began to speak about their wrongs.”

6 Their-wrongs-did you say?" “ Yes, and I must say it," she firmly answered, goaded by fright and

you are.'

« Cruel wrongs.

excitement to remonstrate against the injustice she had hitherto not dared to interfere with.

Oscar, if you go on like this, oppressing all on the estate, you will be murdered as sure as you live. They will not bear it."

66 Who will not bear it?" “Any of them. I hear that there is a meeting at Lee's to-night."

“ Their chance of meeting on my estate will soon be ended," calmly responded Oscar Dalrymple. “They are a set of wretches, all; all in league against me, and that determined me to get rid of them.”

". It is your own fault that they are against you. They never were against papa." He did not think it worth while to reply.

“It is cruel to the farmers, to turn them away, but it is doubly cruel to these men to have forced them from their cottages," continued Selina.

They paid their rent. Their wives and children, poor creatures, are in refuge in barns. The men said would I tell you to go out and look at them, huddling there. I would not have acted so, if I had not a shilling in the world, for I should expect a judgment to overtake me for my cruelty.”

Mr. Dalrymple wheeled round his chair, and fixed his eyes on his wife.

“ Whose cruel 'conduct has been the cause of it?” he asked, in his cold voice, ten times worse than another's anger. “Who got into secret debt, to the tune of some six or seven thousand pounds, and let the bills come in to me?"

She dropped her eyes then, for his reproach was true.

“ And forced me to retrench, almost to starvation, and grind down the tenants, to keep me from a prison ? Was it you or I, Mrs. Dalrymple ?"

“ But things need not have proceeded to these extremes," she replied, her courage returning. “ I am sure the debts must be nearly liquidated by now, and we ought not to have lived in this niggardly way, and made the Grange a byword in the county. The management of the estate might have gone on as it did in papa's lifetime, and no oppression or cruelty been exercised. It would only have taken a little longer period to clear us. No, Oscar, though I have never liked to say so much, it is your own mean, grasping spirit which has prompted to this, not the debts. Í foresee that when you are clear and in the enjoyment of your

full income, you will still be a cruel landlord. It is

your nature.' “ If by exacting the last farthing from all who rent under me, means cruelty, yes,” he replied, “and I shall never live otherwise than we are living now, so don't let your hopes involve you in disappointment. The world's against me, and I'll be against the world. I'll snap my fingers at it, and show that I despise it.'

He took up a book, and set himself down to read, as he spoke. Mrs. Dalrymple fell into silence. She leaned her head upon her hand, and thought what a lamentable thing it was that he should be at the head of a fine estate. What a life's prospect was before her! And yet, perhaps, few would be inclined to pity her, for her own reckless extravagance, her deceit towards her husband, had led to it. But for that, he might never have become what he was.

Suddenly an even tramp of feet was heard outside the house, and before

it had struck Selina what it might be, and given time to bolt and bar the doors, the malcontents of the common were in the hall, their numbers considerably swelled. It looked a formidable invasion-was it murder they intended, or was it arson, or what was it not ? Selina, in her terror, flew to the top of the house, three stairs at a time, and the servant maid flew screeching after her: they both, with one accord, seized upon a rope, and the great ala rm-bell boomed out from the Grange.

Up came the people from far and near; up came the fire-engines, the latter feeling exceedingly aggrieved at finding no fire : the farmers, disturbed in the midst of their pipes and ale, rushed up from Mr. Lee's; Mrs. Dalrymple and Miss Lynn, followed by Reuben, also went; and, in short, everybody went.

: The hall was a scene of contention. Oscar Dalrymple stood in the midst of his undesirable visitors : he could not get rid of them, and they would insist upon being heard.

Poor old Reuben, grieved to the heart at the aspect of affairs altogether, went outside the house, and paced about in the moonlight, for it was a fine light night. He had strolled near the stables, when he was accosted by some one who stood aloof, under the shade of their side wall.

“ What's the matter here, that people should be running, in this way, into the Grange?”

“It's something like a rise, I should call it," answered Reuben. “The whole estate has been put upon awfully.” “ Who lives at the Grange? Mrs. Dalrymple ?"

Are you a stranger, then,” asked Reuben, - that you don't know ?” “I am a stranger. Until this night I have not been in the neighbourhood for many years. But I formerly was on intimate terms with the Dalrymple family, and have stayed here with them for weeks together.”

“ Have you now, though!" cried Reuben. “In the squire's time, sir?"

“ In the squire's time. I remember you, I think. Reuben."

“Ay, I am, sir. Sad changes have taken place since then. My old master's gone, and Mr. Charles is gone, and the Grange is now Oscar Dalrymple’s."

“I knew of Mr. Dalrymple's death. What became of his son?"
“ He soon followed his father. It will not do to talk of, sir.”
6 What was the cause of his death?" returned the stranger.

Before Reuben could answer, Mr. Lee came up, and commenced a warm comment on the night's work. “I hope there'll be no bloodshed," said he, “but Mr. Dalrymple has sent off a private messenger to the police station.”

“This gentleman used to know the family,” interposed Reuben," and has come to the place to-night for the first time for many years. It's a fine welcome for him, this riot.”

“I was asking some particulars of what has transpired since my absence,” explained the stranger. “I have been out of England, and now thought to renew my acquaintance with the family. What did Charles Dalrymple die of ; I knew him well.”

“ He fell into trouble, sir," answered Reuben. '"A nasty, random, ,

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