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SYBIL

129

(a) SYBIL OR THE TWO NATIONS

We quote a characteristic utterance of Lord Marney, the bad landlord of the novel. "His character as a landlord", (writes Mr. Monypenny in his Life of Disraeli)

"was revealed by the condition of the rural town of Marney: a collection of ruined hovels arranged in narrow and crowded lanes, in which the agricultural labourers lived amid surroundings of indescribable squalor till pestilence or famine released them from their misery. Their sufferings caused no qualms of conscience*) in Lord Marney."

"I wish the people were as well off in every part of the country as they are on my estate. They get their eight shillings a-week, always at least seven, and every hand is at this moment in employ, except a parcel of scoundrels who prefer wood-stealing and poaching if you gave them doublé the wages. The rate of wages is nothing; certainty is the thing; and every man at Marney may be sure of his seven shillings a week for at least nine months in the year; and for the other three, they can go to the House2), and a very proper place for them; it is heated

with hot air, and has every comfort The poor are well

off indeed. Their incomes are certain; that is a great point, and they have no cares. No anxieties; they always have a resource, they always have the House. People without cares do not require so much food as those whose life entails anxieties."

This is a glance at rural conditions. But Disraeli also shows us a gang issuing from a mine:

lï qualms [kwamz] of conscience: misgiving, scruple. 2. the House is the Workhouse (armenhuis), which was looked upon as worse than prison by the poor.

England in the 19**1 Cent. I.

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