“Newland, you really quite unman me, and you may now see a miracle,” continued Carbonnell, as he pressed his hand to his eye, “the moisture of a tear on the cheek of a London roue, a man of the world, who has long lived for himself and for this world only. It never would be credited if asserted. Newland, there was a time when I was like yourself—the world took advantage of my ingenuousness and inexperience; my good feelings were the cause of my ruin, and then, by degrees, I became as callous and as hardened as the world itself. My dear fellow, I thought all affection, all sentiment, dried up within me, but it is not the case. You have made me feel that I have still a heart, and that I can love you. But this is all romance, and not fitted for the present time. It is now five o’clock, let us be on the ground early—it will give us an advantage.”
“I do not much like speaking to you on the subject, Carbonnell; but is there nothing that you might wish done in case of accident?”
“Nothing—why yes. I may as well. Give me a sheet of paper.” The Major sat down and wrote for a few minutes. “Now, send Timothy and another here. Timothy, and you, sir, see me sign this paper, and put my seal to it. I deliver this as my act and deed. Put your names as witnesses.” They complied with his request, and then the Major desired Timothy to call a hackney-coach. “Newland,” said the Major, putting the paper, folded up, in my pocket, along with the bank notes, “take care of this for me till we come back.”
“The coach is at the door, sir,” said Timothy, looking at me, as if to say, “What can all this be about?”
“You may come with us and see,” said the Major, observing Tim’s countenance, “and put that case into the coach.” Tim, who knew that it was the Major’s case of pistols, appeared still more alarmed, and stood still without obeying the order. “Never mind, Tim, your master is not the one who is to use them,” said the Major, patting him on the shoulder.
Timothy, relieved by this intelligence, went down stairs with the pistols; we followed him. Tim mounted on the box, and we drove to Chalk Farm. “Shall the coach wait?” inquired Timothy.
“Yes, by all means,” replied I, in a low voice. We arrived at the usual ground, where disputes of this kind were generally settled; and the Major took a survey of it with great composure.
“Now observe, Japhet,” said he, “if you can contrive—; but here they are. I will give you the notice agreed upon.” The peer, whose title was Lord Tineholme, now came up with his second, whom he introduced to me as Mr Osborn. “Mr Newland,” replied the Major, saluting Mr Osborn in return. We both took off our hats, bowed, and then proceeded to our duty. I must do my adversary’s second the justice to say, that his politeness was fully equal to mine. There was no mention, on either side, of explanations and retractions—the insult was too gross, and the character of his lordship, as well as that of Major Carbonnell, was too well known. Twelve paces were proposed by Mr Osborn, and agreed to by me—the pistols of Major Carbonnell were gained by drawing lots—we had nothing more to do but to place our principals. The Major took out his snuff-box, took a pinch, and blew his nose, turning towards a copse of beech trees.