“I told him that I was examining the lady’s ear-rings, as very remarkable,” replied I.
“You appear to be able to deceive everybody but me, my good fellow. I know that you were examining the lady herself.” I left the Major in his error, by making no reply.
I borrow money upon my estate, and upon very favourable terms.
When I came down to breakfast the next morning, the Major said, “My dear Newland, I have taken the liberty of requesting a very old friend of mine to come and meet you this morning. I will not disguise from you that it is Emmanuel, the money-lender. Money you must have until my affairs are decided, one way or the other; and, in this instance, I will most faithfully repay the sum borrowed, as soon as I receive the amount of my bets, or am certain of succeeding to the title, which is one and the same thing.”
I bit my lips, for I was not a little annoyed; but what could be done? I must have either confessed my real situation to the Major, or have appeared to raise scruples, which, as the supposed heir to a large fortune, would have appeared to him to be very frivolous. I thought it better to let the affair take its chance. “Well,” replied I, “if it must be, it must be: but it shall be on my own terms.”
“Nay,” observed the Major, “there is no fear but that he will consent, and without any trouble.”
After a moment’s reflection I went up stairs and rang for Timothy. “Tim,” said I, “hear me; I now make you a solemn promise, on my honour as a gentleman, that I will never borrow money upon interest, and until you release me from it, I shall adhere to my word.”
“Very well, sir,” replied Timothy; “I guess your reason for so doing, and I expect you will keep your word. Is that all?”
“Yes; now you may take up the urn.”
We had finished our breakfast, when Timothy announced Mr Emmanuel, who followed him into the room.
“Well, old cent per cent, how are you?” said the Major. “Allow me to introduce my most particular friend, Mr Newland.”
“Auh! Master Major,” replied the descendant of Abraham, a little puny creature, bent double with infirmity, and carrying one hand behind his back, as if to counterbalance the projection of his head and shoulders. “You vash please to call me shent per shent. I wish I vash able to make de monies pay that. Mr Newland, can I be of any little shervice to you?”
“Sit down, sit down, Emmanuel. You have my warrant for Mr Newland’s respectability, and the sooner we get over the business the better.”
“Auh, Mr Major, it ish true, you was recommend many good—no, not always good—customers to me, and I was very much obliged. Vat can I do for your handsome young friend? De young gentlemen always vant money; and it is de youth which is de time for de pleasure and enjoyment.”