Dick o' the Fens
"Why, you ignorant young cub," cried the squire, "do you suppose you are always to be running over the ice in pattens, and fishing and shooting?"
"Well, no, not always," said Dick, "but--"
"But--get out with your buts, sir. Won't it be better to have solid land about us instead of marsh, and beef and mutton instead of birds, and wheat instead of fish?"
"No, I don't think so, father."
"Well, then, sir, I do," said the squire. "I suppose you wouldn't like the ague driven away?"
"I don't mind, father," said Dick laughing. "I never get it."
"No, but others do, and pains in their joints, and rheumatics. I say, Tallington, when they get as old as we are, eh?"
"Yes, they'll find out the difference, squire; but do you know, that's how all the fen-men'll talk."
"Let 'em," said the squ