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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

white-moustached on his magnificent weight-carriers,
he had always ridden about the Packlestone country
with the air of a monarch. He belonged to the old
school of country gentlemen, ruling his estate with
semi-benevolent tyranny and turning his back on all
symptoms of social innovation. Under his domination
the Packlestone country had been looked after on
feudal system lines. His method of dealing with
epistolary complaints from discontented farmers was
to ignore them; in verbal intercourse he bullied them
and sent them about their business with a good round
oath. Such people, he firmly believed, were put there
by Providence to touch their hats and do as they were
told by their betters. As might be expected, he had
conventional eighteenth-century ideas about what
constituted masculine gallantry and sprightly con-
versation. Captain Harry defied all criticism because
he was a complete anachronism. And as such he con-
tinued beyond his eightieth year, until he fell into a
fish-pond on his estate and was buried by the parson
whose existence he had spurned by his arrogance.

It may well be wondered how the Hunt had sur-
vived the despotism of this old-world grandee, with
whom previous Masters had been obliged to co-
operate (as "best Master we've ever had" while they
reigned, and "good riddance of bad rubbish" when
they resigned and left him to find someone to replace
them).

An explanation of the continued prosperity of the
Packlestone was largely to be found in Mrs. Oakfield
of Thurrow Park, a lady who made friends wherever
she went. Since her childhood she had been intim-
ately associated with the Hunt, for her father had
been Master for more than twenty years. From her
large and well-managed estate she set an example of

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