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.
had praised my magnanimity in making the disclosure—­even Harcourt fell off; and about a fortnight after I had arrived in town, told me that not finding the lodgings so convenient as his former abode, he intended to return to it.  He took a friendly leave; but I perceived that if we happened to meet in the streets, he often contrived to be looking another way; and at last, a slight recognition was all that I received.  Satisfied that it was intended, I no longer noticed him; he followed but the example of others.  So great was the outcry raised by those who had hoped to have secured me as a good match, that any young man of fashion who was seen with me, had, by many, his name erased from their visiting lists.  This decided my fate, and I was alone.  For some time I bore up proudly; I returned a glance of defiance, but this could not last.  The treatment of others received a slight check from the kindness of Lord Windermear, who repeatedly asked me to his table; but I perceived that even there, although suffered as a proteg of his lordship, anything more than common civility was studiously avoided, in order that no intimacy might result.  Mr Masterton, upon whom I occasionally called, saw that I was unwell and unhappy.  He encouraged me; but, alas! a man must be more than mortal, who, with fine feelings, can endure the scorn of the world.  Timothy, poor fellow, who witnessed more of my unhappy state of mind than anybody else, offered in vain his consolation.  “And this,” thought I, “is the reward of virtue and honesty.  Truly, virtue is its own reward, for it obtains no other.  As long as I was under false colours, allowing the world to deceive themselves, I was courted and flattered.  Now that I have thrown off the mask, and put on the raiment of truth, I am a despised, miserable being.  Yes; but is not this my own fault?  Did I not, by my own deception, bring all this upon myself?  Whether unmasked by others, or by myself, is it not equally true that I have been playing false, and am now punished for it?  What do the world care for your having returned to truth?  You have offended by deceiving them, and that is an offence which your repentance will not extenuate.”  It was but too true, I had brought it all on myself, and this reflection increased my misery.  For my dishonesty, I had been justly and severely punished:  whether I was ever to be rewarded for my subsequent honesty still remained to be proved; but I knew very well that most people would have written off such a reward as a bad debt.

Once I consulted with Mr Masterton as to the chance of there being any information relative to my birth in the packet left in the charge of Mr Cophagus.  “I have been thinking over it, my dear Newland,” said he, “and I wish I could give you any hopes, but I cannot.  Having succeeded with regard to your little protege, you are now so sanguine with respect to yourself, that a trifle light as air is magnified, as the poet says, ‘into confirmation strong

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