Hear it we must, but see it we shall not...

West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale, SH:7/ML/1056


Lawton, Ap[ril]: 13th Sat 1839


This letter for letter is the law of correspondents

yet I should not have been governed by it, had not

your silence of months and now of weeks, made

me doubt whether an uncalled for letter might not

interfere with your intention of gradually letting slip

not only from your memory, but from all claim upon

your time the friends of former days. I could quote

endless observations of your own on finding leisure to do

what we like, but n’importe, I was very glad to see

your hand-writing once more, and should have told

you this sooner, but that I wanted to claim your

congratulations and engage your sympathy to rejoice

with me in the happy circumstance of last Tuesday

having finally and forever freed us from the ministration

of the Mr. Frederick Ford. It was indeed a happy

day in our little Parish, the Bells rang merrily and

------

for that day at least all sorrow seemed to be forgotten.

I probably told you in my last that we had every chance

of getting rid of him, he had made the place too hot for

comfort and nothing less than this could possibly have served

our purpose, therefore the end has sanctified the means bad

and unbearable as they have been; for his conduct during

the last 2 months has been more like the Wolf seeking

to bite and devour, than the Lamb; enduring and suffering with

weakness as a minister of Peace is bound to do. It would

more than fill a sheet to tell you all he has said and done

suf fice it to say that he attacked the Clerk with ecclesiastical

law, common law, & Eschequer units, all for a debt, wh[ich] w[oul]d ha[ve]

been immediately paid w[oul]d he have named the amount due

to him, but instead of this he w[oul]d make the debtor name

the sum. Wh[ich] he knowing Mr. Ford had never kept any accounts

was too wise to do - as to me he is this moment threatening

me with an action in the Queens bench for asking some

of the poor people if they had received Blankets in the winter

----

& to their ans[wer] of no, inquiring if they know who had? Previous

to my going to York I ordered [six] pairs to be taken to Mr Ford

for the poor at the salt works. By a mistake of Mr Lawton’s

these blankets were sent to Mr Richardson instead, as soon as

I found out the mistake I send round to the people & wrote a

civil not[e] of explanation to the Rector, but he was in a grand furor

& declared I had accused him of stealing Blankets. In this belief,

but you will readily understand not the truth, he departed on Tuesday

last, and in his place we have got a quiet gentlemanly young

man, son of our neighbors the Tippings, he has during the

last 2 years been curate to Mr McGrath at Manchester, & is

in all points ready to commence the care of his little Parish with

diligence and interest. So much for the living objects around me

the change is hardly less great or ^less agreeable in the inanimate one’s.

You would hardly know the place it is so much improved, we

have now got all things pretty straight and I anticipate that we

shall look very gay and pretty this summer. We have a railway

landing over us which will cross the carriage road, & go thro’

the Marl ground, hear it we must but see it we shall not.

At first we were greatly discomforted about it, but if Railways

are to be the order of the day they are best off who may chance



to be near them, and should the line from Manchester take any

other route we sh[oul]d I fear cease to have any coaches at all. At present

there is some dispute as to the best way: if they decide on this we shall

have a station. Mr Lawton stipulates for this. Mrs. Milne is with me

& is pretty well I think at home. Ch[arles] likes her society, and we all

go on very comfortably together. As usual, I am never idle, and time

flies much faster than I like, for tho’ always engaged it appears as it

was not so profitably employed as it might be - Your time does also seem

to be fully taken up. But what are you now about? I thought you had discarded

your workmen. My promise, m[u]st still be a promise to be redeemed sometime, for at

present I cannot say when I can leave home. Had you written on any other

day than y[ou]r birthday, I mig[h]t probably ha[ve] had no difficulty in “forgiving.” For I

ha[ve] not changed my nature. When you do write I am pleased & delighted to

hear fr[o]m you, but you ha[ve] taught me not to measure the distance between

the date of y[ou]r letters, so that I ensure myself

an agreeable surprise whenever they do come.

Adieu! My kind love to Adney - always affectionately

Y[our]s MPL


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