Glimpses Of Our Ancestors In Sussex - online book

With Sketches Of Sussex Characters, Remarkable Incidents &c

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The Old Sussex Tory.
HE present age knows no such being as the Old Tory—he is dead and buried ; nor do I know that it would be desirable to resuscitate him or the world in which he lived. But he had his good points, and, at all events, he was a reality: something upon which you could lay your finger, and, in due course of time, fix your memory, with the consciousness that there was something to rest upon. Your Conservative is a mere name: the man who answers to it to-day was something else yesterday, and may be something else to-morrow. Nor does he even know to-day very clearly what he is. His is a transitory, uncertain state of being. But the old Tory never changed. My Uncle Mason never changed. The world— that is, his world—moral, political, literary—might fall to pieces around him; he, like the righteous man of Horace, remained erect and immovable. He was born a Tory; he lived a Tory; and he died a Tory.
How he came to be born a Tory I don't know—not having known his mother. But she must have been a strong-minded woman and very difficult to be turned from a thing when she had made up her mind to it. Her partner in life must have found her a great help—and a great hindrance. She must have exercised his patience and sharpened his temper. I hold to the opinion (and in this I, too, am a bit of a Tory, for I have no foundation for my opinion) that we derive a large share of what we call character from our maternal parent
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