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The author of this announcement certainly
had not achieved a victory over the English
language.

THE DUKE'S AGENT.

AMONGST the green, hills of Dolbyshire,
stands the village of Ashridge; and, not far
from it, a goodly and substantial farm-house
called Ash-Lum. Ashridge is named,
obviously enough, from standing on a ridge, and
from being sprinkled with a number of ash-
treesalmost the only trees which, till the
modern spirit of planting had found its way
into the county, were to be met with over
miles of the higher regions of that beautiful
and unique district. In this farm-house has
lived for generations a family of Quakers, of the
name of Arrowman. From father to son, the
lands have descended as uninterruptedly as if
they were their own; although, in fact, they
were only rented of the great nobleman, the
Duke of Anyshire. Lying at some distance
from the Duke's splendid abode, and having
no particular attractions to draw the attention
of people in general thither, the place
seemed to have altogether escaped the notice
of the proprietor. Possibly, this might be
owing in a great measure to the punctuality
with which the Arrowmans had always
reimbursed the Duke; for the rent had been as
regularly paid to the day, as if the retention of
the farm depended expressly on punctuality.
Be this as it may, neither proprietor nor even
steward had ever been seen on the place
during the last century. The farm, which, in
the time of the grandfather of the present
Mr. Arrowman, had been a wild tract of high,
cold, and naked land, scattered with furze-
bushes, and in many places overgrown with
heather, was now (though to an eye accustomed
to the rich lowlands of England still
naked) green and mostly cultivated. Rounded
hills stretched on all sides, bare of trees,
divided into large fields by walls of the
limestone of the district. Here and there, a circular
pool, called a mere, which served for the cattle,
was visible. It was fed with rain; for on
these hills, except where some boisterous little
rivulet hurries along, there is no other water;
the whole district consisting of solid black
limestone, or still harder trap.

Green as the hills were, they had yet a chill
and northern aspect, and, till quite late in the
spring, the cold was sharp and searching to a
visitor from a more southern or more sheltered
part of the country. The farmers and their
men, as you saw them looking over their stone
walls, had a complexion almost purple, from
the keen quality of the atmosphere. But
amid this nakedness and chillness of scene,
there were now evidences of no insignificant
wealth on the spot. Fine herds of cattle and
flocks of sheep were scattered over these highland
pastures. Every wall was maintained in
the completest condition, though built only of
loose stones. The gates were all in the nicest
order; and, in the midst of the verdant solitude,
stood the farm-house, with its outbuildings, all
erected of solid grey stone, and roofed with
grey flagstones. A few large ash-trees gave
their shade to the immediate neighbourhood
of the house, and presented a striking contrast
to the utter absence of woods everywhere
else. A good gardenalso enclosed with a
solid stone walladjoined the dwelling,
with a numerous collection of beehives, and
a good stock of all sorts of culinary
vegetables.

In summer, when the sun was shining
warmly on the place, it was not destitute of a
certain homely beauty. The fruit-trees on
the walls, and those in the garden (now
in full leaf) gave a clothed aspect to the
abode; and the bees threw a cheerful note
into the deep solitude, by their active
humming. The fields around, at this season,
also, had assumed a peculiar beauty. They
were actually golden with flowers, with which
the short but tender grass was thickly strewn.
Even a stranger, at such a time, might find a
charm in this secluded place. The flowers
waving in myriads, and in richest colours, in
the breeze; the air and sky clear and blue;
and the larks in hundreds, high over-head,
making the whole region glad with their
joyous minstrelsy.

For those who delight in more bold and
picturesque features of nature, there ran within
half-a-mile of the house, a wild dell, with
high enclosing rocks, and rapid clear trout
stream, beautiful enough to charm the warmest
lover of the romantic.

The Arrowmans, however, were not amongst
the poetical and picturesque-loving class.
They were simple and pious disciples of
George Fox, who had acquired a strong
attachment to their dwelling-place by long
habit, and the memory of many happy quiet
days there. The old farmer was now become
somewhat infirm. Rheumatism, in consequence
of exposure to the driving cold rains
of this elevated region, had to a degree
crippled him. He could get aboutwith the aid
of his two stout sticksin his farm; but he
could no longer mount his horse; and his two
sons, now in the prime of youth, relieved him
from the necessity of going to market. His
longest travels now were to the meetings
of his religious society, which he could by
no means consent to forego, and which he
accomplished in his ample forest-cart, driven
by his wife.

Mrs. Arrowman, a genuine specimen of
the country Quakeress of the last
generation, visited markets, meetings, and other
places, just as ever. Time had covered
her once fair face with a fine network of
wrinkles, such as may be seen in a portrait of
one of Denner's old men or women, but had
not abated one iota of her spirit or physical
energy. Quiet she was, but active and
persevering. Mounted on a pillion, on a
stout chestnut-coloured horse, behind an old

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