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used the word Sabbath, or spoke in favour of
schooling and education, my lady stepped out
of her corner, and drew up the window with
a decided clang and clash.

I must tell you something more about Mr.
Gray. The presentation to the living of
Hanbury was vested in two trustees, of
whom Lady Ludlow was one; Lord Ludlow
had exercised this right in the appointment
of Mr. Mountford, who had won his lordship's
favour by his excellent horsemanship. Nor
was Mr. Mountford a bad clergyman, as
clergymen went in those days. He did not
drink, though he liked good eating as much
as any one. And if any poor person was ill,
and he heard of it, he would send them plates
from his own dinner of what he himself liked
best; sometimes of dishes which were almost
as bad as poison to sick people. He meant
kindly to everybody except dissenters, whom
Lady Ludlow and he united in trying to
drive out of the parish; and among dissenters
he particularly abhorred Methodistssome
one said, because John Wesley had objected
to his hunting. But that must have been
long ago, for when I knew him he was far
too stout and too heavy to hunt; besides,
the bishop of the diocese disapproved of
hunting, and had intimated his disapprobation
to the clergy. For my own part, I think
a good run would not have come amiss, even
in a moral point of view, to Mr. Mountford.
He ate so much, and took so little exercise,
that we young women often heard of his
being in terrible passions with his servants,
and the sexton and clerk. But they none of
them minded him much, for he soon came to
himself, and was sure to make them some
present or othersome said in proportion to
his anger; so that the sexton, who was a bit
of a wag (as all sextons are, I think), said
that the vicar's saying, "the Devil take you,"
was worth a shilling any day, whereas "the
Deuce" was a shabby sixpenny speech, only
fit for a curate.

There was a great deal of good in Mr.
Mountford, too. He could not bear to see
pain, or sorrow, or misery, of any kind; and,
if it came under his notice, he was never easy
till he had relieved it, for the time, at any
rate. But he was afraid of being made
uncomfortable; so, if he possibly could, he would
avoid seeing any one who was ill or unhappy;
and he did not thank any one for telling him
about them.

"What would your ladyship have me to do?"
he once said to my Lady Ludlow, when she
wished him to go and see a poor man who had
broken his leg. "I cannot piece the leg as
the doctor can; I cannot nurse him as well
as his wife does; I may talk to him, but he
no more understands me than I do the
language of the alchemists. My coming
puts him out; he stiffens himself into an
uncomfortable posture, out of respect to
the cloth, and dare not take the comfort
of kicking and swearing, and scolding
his wife, while I am there. I hear him, with
my figurative ears, my lady, heave a sigh of
relief when my back is turned, and the sermon
that he thinks I ought to have kept for the
pulpit, and have delivered to his neighbours
(whose case, as he fancies, it would just have
fitted, as it seemed to him to be addressed
to the sinful), is all ended, and done for
the day. I judge others as myself: I do
to them as I would be done to. That's
Christianity, at any rate. I should hate
saving your ladyship's presenceto have my
Lord Ludlow coming and seeing me, if I were
ill. 'Twould be a great honour, no doubt;
but I should have to put on a clean nightcap
for the occasion; and sham patience, in
order to be polite, and not weary his lordship
with my complaints. I should be twice as
thankful to him if he would send me game,
or a good fat haunch, to bring me up to that
pitch of health and strength one ought to be
in, to appreciate the honour of a visit from a
nobleman. So I shall send Jerry Butler a
good dinner every day till he is strong again;
and spare the poor old fellow my presence
and advice."

My lady would be puzzled by this, and by
many other of Mr. Mountford's speeches.
But he had been appointed by my lord, and
she could not question her dead husband's
wisdom; and she knew that the dinners were
always sent, and often a guinea or two to help
to pay the doctor's bills; and Mr. Mountford
was true blue, as we call it, to the back-bone;
hated the dissenters and the French; and
could hardly drink a dish of tea without
giving out the toast of "Church and King, and
Down with the Rump." Moreover, he had
once had the honour of preaching before the
King and Queen, and two of the Princesses,
at Weymouth; and the King had applauded
his sermon audibly with,—Very good; very
good; and that was a seal put upon his merit
in my lady's eyes.

Besides, in the long winter Sunday evenings,
he would come up to the Court, and read a
sermon to us girls, and play a game of picquet
with my lady afterwards; which served to
shorten the tedium of the time. My lady
would, on those occasions, invite him to sup
with her on the dais; but as her meal was
invariably bread and milk only, Mr. Mountford
preferred sitting down amongst us, and
made a joke about its being wicked and
heterodox to eat meagre on Sunday, a festival
of the Church. We smiled at this joke just
as much the twentieth time we heard it as
we did at the first; for we knew it was
coming, because he always coughed a little
nervously before he made a joke, for fear my
lady should not approve: and neither she nor
he seemed to remember that he had ever hit
upon the idea before.

Mr. Mountford died quite suddenly at last.
We were all very sorry to lose him. He left
some of his property (for he had a private
estate) to the poor of the parish, to furnish