Lord Hatherton is on a train, going to Malvern, to join Lady Hatherton.
In the train I was joined by Francis and Richard Fitzherbert of Swinnerton - men I have known all my life and whose society
I own I like - as I do that of all their order. They lounge life away comfortably in the houses of foxhunting squires and
attend races and steeple chases - going to London perhaps for three weeks at the time of Epsom and Ascot races - not troubling
their heads much about politics, albeit liberals, but leaving the affairs of government to wiser heads.
These men are becoming rare in the county. I imagine they abounded 50 years ago - the great days of the squirearchy and
helped very much to keep together the frame of society which was then more provincial. Nearly all the men I have known of
this sort have been a good sort of men. And if they were idlers in the world they were at least of a better description than
the frivolous blockheads who now throng to London and fashionable towns at what is called the Season.
I remember when I was about 18 that there were in Staffordshire about 20 gentlemen of this sort whom I well knew - 3 Fitzherberts,
4 Giffards, 5 Crockets, 2 Molineux, Mott, Port of Ilam - all excellent fellows and several minor stars of the same sort.
Railroads now carry people away from home and have relieved the inhabitants of the county from the necessity of cultivating
the resources of mere neighbourhood. The squires have consequently lost their local influence and importance and many of them
by the long depreciation of property since the peace, their estates. The mass of the middle orders have undoubtedly gained.