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.
as holy writ.’  Now, consider, somebody calls at the Foundling to ask after you—­which I acknowledge to be a satisfactory point—­his name is taken down by an illiterate brute, as Derbennon; but how you can decide upon the real name, and assume it is De Benyon, is really more than I can imagine, allowing every scope to fancy.  It is in the first instance, therefore, you are at fault, as there are many other names which may have been given by the party who called; nay, more, is it at all certain that the party, in a case like this, would give his real name?  Let us follow it up.  Allowing the name to have been De Benyon, you discover that one brother is not married, and that there are some papers belonging to him in the possession of an old woman who dies; and upon these slight grounds what would you attempt to establish? that because that person was known not to have married, therefore he was married (for you are stated to have been born in wedlock):  and because there is a packet of papers belonging to him in the possession of another party, that this packet of papers must refer to you.  Do you not perceive how you are led away by your excited feelings on the subject?”

I could not deny that Mr Masterton’s arguments had demolished the whole fabric which I had built up.  “You are right, sir,” replied I mournfully, “I wish I were dead.”

“Never speak in that way, Mr Newland, before me,” replied the old lawyer in an angry tone, “without you wish to forfeit my good opinion.”

“I beg your pardon, sir; but I am most miserable.  I am avoided by all who know me—­thrown out of all society—­I have not a parent or a relative.  Isolated being as I am, what have I to live for?”

“My dear fellow, you are not twenty-three years of age,” replied Mr Masterton, “and you have made two sincere friends, both powerful in their own way.  I mean Lord Windermear and myself; and you have had the pleasure of making others happy.  Believe me, that is much to have accomplished at so early an age.  You have much to live for—­live to gain more friends—­live to gain reputation—­live to do good—­to be grateful for the benefits you have received, and to be humble when chastened by Providence.  You have yet to learn where, and only where, true happiness is to be found.  Since you are so much out of spirits, go down to Lady de Clare’s, see her happiness, and that of her little girl; and then, when you reflect that it was your own work, you will hardly say that you have lived in vain.”  I was too much overpowered to speak.  After a pause, Mr Masterton continued, “When did you see them last?”

“I have never seen them, sir, since I was with you at their meeting.”

“What! have you not called—­now nearly two months?  Japhet, you are wrong; they will be hurt at your neglect and want of kindness.  Have you written or heard from them?”

“I have received one or two pressing invitations, sir; but I have not been in a state of mind to avail myself of their politeness.”

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