Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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66                 Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
sole survivor of this large family (and this is only a sample of the days of plague and small-pox and other enemies of the human race) began life with £200, and in two years and a half "ran out£150 of it"—not, as he pathetically says, "with ill husbandage, for I laboured night and day to save what I had left to me, but bad servants and trusting was the ruin of me."
So that times have not changed in these respects, for could not many a man say the same thing now in 1881? But Leonard Gale had the true stuff in him. He was a deeply religious man—of the Puritan type. "Then," he says, "I was in a great strait and knew not which way to steer, but I cryed unto the Lord with my whole heart and with tears, and He heard my cry, and put into my mind to try one year more, to see what I could do, for I resolved to spend nothing but mine own, and I resolved always to ' keep a conscience void of offence towards God and towards men.'"
" Then," he proceeds, " I took a boy to strike and to blow for me and a man to work by the piece, but kept no maid nor woman in myhouse; and then I so thrived that, within two years and a half, I got back all that I had lost before, so that, by the time I came to 21 years of age, I had lost £150 and got it again, and I began to be looked upon as a thriving man, and so I was, for all the time I kept a smith's forge I layd by £1oo a-year, one with another, and being burdened with free quartering of soldiers, I left off, and came down into Sussex, after one Spur, who owed me between £40 and £so, and he being in a bad capacity to pay me, though he did afterwards pay me all. Before I went home again, I took St. Leonard's forge, and so kept a shop to sell iron, and let out the smith's forge. ... I had not been in the country one year, but Mr. Walter Burrell, whom I looked upon as my mortal enemy, sent to speak with me, and when I came to him he told me he heard a very good report of me, and desired to be acquainted with me, and he told me if I would let his son Thomas come into partnership with me, he would help me to sows nearer and better and cheaper than I had bought
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