Japhet, in Search of a Father eBook

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

And when I reflected, I could but acknowledge that the worthy apothecary might be right, and, that I was running after shadows; but this was only in my occasional fits of despondency.  I soon rallied, and was as sanguine as ever.  Undecided how to proceed, and annoyed by what Cophagus had said, I quitted the hotel, to walk out, in no very good humour.  As I went out, I perceived the agent M’Dermott speaking to the people in the bar, and the sight of him reminded me of what, for a moment, I had forgotten, which was, to ascertain whether Melchior and Sir Henry de Clare were one and the same person.  As I passed a crossing, a man in tattered habiliments, who was sweeping it, asked for alms, but being in no very charitable humour, I walked on.  He followed me, pestering me so much, that I gave him a tap with the cane in my hand, saying to him, “Be off, you scoundrel.”

“Oh! very well.  Be off, is it you mane?  By the blood of the O’Rourkes but you’ll answer for that same, anyhow.”

I passed on, and having perambulated the city of Dublin for some time, returned to the hotel.  A few minutes afterwards, I was told by the waiter that a Mr O’Donaghan wished to speak to me.  “I have not the honour of his acquaintance,” replied I, “but you may show him up.”

Mr O’Donaghan entered, a tall, thick-whiskered personage, in a shabby—­genteel dress, evidently not made for him, a pair of white cotton gloves, and a small stick.  “I believe that I have the honour of spaking to the gentleman who crossed over the street about two hours ago?”

“Upon my word, sir,” replied I, “that is so uncertain a definition, that I can hardly pretend to say whether I am the person you mean; indeed, from not having the pleasure of any one’s acquaintance in Dublin, I rather think there must be some mistake.”

“The devil a bit of a mistake, at all at all; for there’s the little bit of cane with which you paid my friend, Mr O’Rourke, the compliment over his shoulders.”

“I really am quite mystified, sir, and do not understand you; will you favour me with an explanation?”

“With all the pleasure in life, for then we shall come to a right understanding.  You were crossing the street, and a gentleman, a particular friend of mine, with a broom which he carries for his own amusement, did himself the honour to address you, whereupon of that same little stick of yours, you did him the honour to give him a slight taste.”

“What do you mean? do you refer to the sweeper, who was so importunate when I crossed over the road?”

“Then, by the powers, you’ve just hit it, as you did him.  That’s my particular friend, Thaddeus O’Rourke, gentleman.”

“Gentleman!” exclaimed I.

“And with as good and as true Milesian blood as any in Ireland.  If you think, sir, that because my friend, just for his own amusement, thinks proper to put on the worst of his clothes and carry a broom, just by way of exercise, to prevent his becoming too lusty, he is therefore to be struck like a hound, it’s a slight mistake, that’s all; and here, sir, is his card, and you will oblige me by mentioning any friend of yours with whom I may settle all the little points necessary before the meeting of two gentlemen.”

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Japhet, in Search of a Father from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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