“I cannot but say,” observed Timothy, “but that this is very fortunate. Had the Major not persuaded you to borrow money, he never would have won so large a sum. Had he lived he would have squandered it away; but just in the nick of time he is killed, and makes you his heir.”
“There is truth in your observation, Timothy; but now you must go to Mr Emmanuel, that I may pay him off. I will repay the L1000 lent me by Lord Windermear into his banker’s, and then I must execute one part of the poor Major’s will. He left his diamond solitaire as a memento to his lordship. Bring it to me, and I will call and present it.”
A chapter full of morality,
which ends in a Jew refusing upwards of
L1000, proving the Millenium to be nearly at hand.
This conversation took place the day after the funeral, and, attired in deep mourning, I called upon his lordship, and was admitted. His lordship had sent his carriage to attend the funeral, and was also in mourning when he received me. I executed my commission, and after a long conversation with his lordship, in which I confided to him the contents of the will, and the amount of property of the deceased, I rose to take my leave.
“Excuse me, Mr Newland,” said he, “but what do you now propose to do? I confess I feel a strong interest about you, and had wished that you had come to me oftener without an invitation. I perceive that you never will. Have you no intention of following up any pursuit?”
“Yes, my lord, I intend to search after my father; and I trust that, by husbanding my unexpected resources, I shall now be able.”
“You have the credit, in the fashionable world, of possessing a large fortune.”
“That is not my fault, my lord: it is through Major Carbonnell’s mistake that the world is deceived. Still I must acknowledge myself so far participator, that I have never contradicted the report.”
“Meaning, I presume, by some good match, to reap the advantage of the supposition.”
“Not so, my lord, I assure you. People may deceive themselves, but I will not deceive them.”
“Nor undeceive them, Mr Newland?”
“Undeceive them I will not; nay, if I did make the attempt, I should not be believed. They never would believe it possible that I could have lived so long with your relative, without having had a large supply of money. They might believe that I had run through my money, but not that I never had any.”
“There is a knowledge of the world in that remark,” replied his lordship; “but I interrupted you, so proceed.”
“I mean to observe, my lord, and you, by your knowledge of my previous history, can best judge how far I am warranted in saying so; that I have as yet steered the middle course between that which is dishonest and honest. If the world deceives itself, you would say that, in strict honesty, I ought to undeceive it. So I would, my lord, if it were not for my peculiar situation; but at the same time I never will, if possible, be guilty of direct deceit; that is to say, I would not take advantage of my supposed wealth, to marry a young person of large fortune. I would state myself a beggar, and gain her affections as a beggar. A woman can have little confidence in a man who deceives her before marriage.”