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CHAPTER IV - IRELAND--MY FIRST TWO NOVELS - 1841-1848 (continued)
When I told my friends that I was going on this mission to Ireland they shook their heads, but said nothing to dissuade me. I think it must have been evident to all who were my friends that my life in London was not a success. My mother and elder brother were at this time abroad, and were not consulted;--did not even know my intention in time to protest against it. Indeed, I consulted no one, except a dear old cousin, our family lawyer, from whom I borrowed œ200 to help me out of England. He lent me the money, and looked upon me with pitying eyes--shaking his head. "After all, you were right to go," he said to me when I paid him the money a few years afterwards.
But nobody then thought I was right to go. To become clerk to an Irish surveyor, in Connaught, with a salary of œ100 a year, at twenty-six years of age! I did not think it right even myself,--except that anything was right which would take me away from the General Post Office and from London.
My ideas of the duties I was to perform were very vague, as were also my ideas of Ireland generally. Hitherto I had passed my time, seated at a desk, either writing letters myself, or copying into books those which others had written. I had never been called upon to do anything I was unable or unfitted to do. I now understood that in Ireland I was to be a deputy-inspector of country post offices, and that among other things to be inspected would be the postmasters' accounts! But as no other person asked a question as to my fitness for this work, it seemed unnecessary for me to do so.
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