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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.

After having disposed of what was of no service to me, I found that, deducting the thousand pounds paid into the banker’s, for Lord Windermear, I had a little above three thousand pounds in ready money, and what to do with this I could not well decide.  I applied to Mr Masterton, stating the exact amount of my finances, on the day that I dined with him, and he replied, “You have two good tenants, bringing you in one hundred and sixty pounds per annum—­if this money is put out on mortgage, I can procure you five per cent., which will be one hundred and fifty pounds per annum.  Now, the question is, do you think that you can live upon three hundred and ten pounds per annum?  You have no rent to pay, and I should think that, as you are not at any great expense for a servant, you might, with economy, do very well.  Recollect, that if your money is lent on mortgage, you will not be able to obtain it at a moment’s warning.  So reflect well before you decide.”

I consulted with Timothy, and agreed to lend the money, reserving about two hundred pounds to go on with, until I should receive my rents and interest.  On the Friday I went to dine with Mr Masterton, and narrated what had passed between me and Lady Maelstrom.  He was very much diverted, and laughed immoderately.  “Upon my faith, Mr Newland, but you have a singular species of madness; you first attack Lord Windermear, then a bishop, and, to crown all, you attack a dowager peeress.  I must acknowledge, that if you do not find out your parents, it will not be for want of inquiry.  Altogether, you are a most singular character; your history is most singular, and your good fortune is equally so.  You have made more friends before you have come to age, than most people do in their whole lives.  You commence the world with nothing, and here you are, with almost a competence—­have paid off a loan of one thousand pounds, which was not required—­and are moving in the best society.  Now the only drawback I perceive in all this is, that you are in society under false colours, having made people suppose that you are possessed of a large fortune.”

“It was not exactly my assertion, sir.”

“No, I grant, not exactly; but you have been a party to it, and I cannot allow that there is any difference.  Now, do you mean to allow this supposition to remain uncontradicted?”

“I hardly know what to say, sir; if I were to state that I have nothing but a bare competence, it will be only injurious to the memory of Major Carbonnell.  All the world will suppose that he has ruined me, and that I had the fortune, whereas, on the contrary, it is to him that I am indebted for my present favourable position.”

“That may be very true, Mr Newland; but if I am to consider you as my protege, and I may add the protege of Lord Windermear, I must make you quite honest—­I will be no party to fraud in any shape.  Are you prepared to resign your borrowed plumes, and appear before the world as you really are?”

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