The Letters Of
The Letters Of "Norah" On Her Tour Through Ireland By Margaret Dixon Mcdougall - Page 310 of 404 - First - Home

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I Was Referred To The Presbyterian Minister Of Clones For Information On The Antiquities Of Clones, And From His Lecture, Which He With Great Kindness Read To Me, I Gathered What Historical Hints I Have Inserted Here.

At the minister's I met with a pleasant-faced, motherly looking lady who talked to me of the Land question, the prevailing topic.

From remarks she made I gathered that she was an enthusiastic church member, but on the Land question she had no ideas of either justice or mercy that could possibly extend beyond the privileged classes. I referred to the excessive rents, she gave a mild shake of her motherly chin and spoke of the freedom of contract. I spoke of new landlords making new and oppressive office rules and raising the rents above the power to pay of the tenants he found there when coming into possession. She said they might suffer justly if they had no written guarantee. She actually considered that a gentleman was not bound by his word of promise, nor did he inherit any _verbal_ agreement entered into by the man from whom he inherited his property. I spoke of the hardship of a long life of toil and penury ending in the workhouse. She said when they knew they must go into the workhouse eventually why did they not go in at once without giving so much trouble. I asked her if she, who seemed to know what it was to be a mother, would not if it were her own case put off going into the workhouse, which meant parting with her children, to the very last.

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