“Thankye,” replied Newton, laughing; “but mine really is not law business.”
The noise of the handle of the door indicated that Mr Forster was about to re-open it to summon Newton; and the young man, with a hasty good morning, brushed by Newton and hastened into the street.
“HAMLET.—Is not parchment made of sheepskin?
HORATIO.—Ay, my lord, and of calves’ skins too.
HAMLET.—They are sheep and
Seek out their assurance in that.”
The door opened as intimated at the end of our last chapter, and Newton obeyed the injunction from the lawyer’s eye to follow him into the room.
“Now, sir, your pleasure?” said Mr Forster.
“I must introduce myself,” replied Newton: “I am your nephew, Newton Forster.”
“Humph! where’s your documents in proof of your assertion?”
“I did not consider that anything further than my word was necessary. I am the son of your brother, Nicholas Forster, who resided many years at Overton.”
“I never heard of Overton: Nicholas I recollect to have been the name of my third brother; but it is upwards of thirty years since I have seen or heard of him. I did not know whether he was alive or dead. Well, for the sake of argument, we’ll allow that you are my nephew;—what then?”
Newton coloured up at this peculiar reception. “What then, uncle?—why I did hope that you would have been glad to have seen me; but as you appear to be otherwise, I will wish you good morning;”—and Newton moved towards the door.
“Stop, young man; I presume that you did not come for nothing! Before you go, tell me what you came for.”
“To tell you the truth,” replied Newton with emotion, “it was to ask your assistance, and your advice; but—”
“But jumping up in a huff is not the way to obtain either. Sit down on that chair, and tell me what you came for.”
“To request you would interest yourself in behalf of my father and myself; we are both out of employ, and require your assistance.”
“Or probably I never should have seen you!”
“Most probably: we knew that you were in good circumstances, and thriving in the world; and as long as we could support ourselves honestly, should not have thrust ourselves upon you. All we wish now is that you will, by your interest and recommendation, put us in the way of being again independent by our own exertions; which we did not consider too much to ask from a brother and an uncle.”
“Humph!—so first you keep aloof from me because you knew that I was able to assist you, and now you come to me for the same reason!”
“Had we received the least intimation from you that our presence would have been welcome, you would have seen us before.”
“Perhaps so; but I did not know whether I had any relations alive.”