“One would think that you were going to the East Indies, instead of to Richmond, by the way you talk.”
“No, Tim; I was offered a situation in the East Indies, and I refused it; but Mr Masterton and I have not been on good terms lately, and I wish him to know that I am out of debt. You know, for I told you all that passed between Emmanuel and myself, how he accepted five hundred pounds, and I paid him the thousand; and I wish Mr Masterton should know it too, and he will then be better pleased with me.”
“Never fear, sir,” said Tim, “I can tell the whole story with flourishes.”
“No, Tim, nothing but the truth; but it is time I should go. Farewell, my dear fellow. May God bless you and preserve you.” And, overcome by my feelings, I dropped my face on Timothy’s shoulder, and wept. “What is the matter? What do you mean, Japhet? Mr Newland—pray, sir, what is the matter?”
“Timothy—it is nothing,” replied I, recovering myself, “but I have been ill; nervous lately, as you well know, and even leaving the last and only friend I have, I may say for a few days, annoys and overcomes me.”
“Oh! sir—dear Japhet, do let us leave this house, and sell your furniture, and be off.”
“I mean that it shall be so, Tim. God bless you, and farewell.” I went downstairs, the hackney-coach was at the door. Timothy put in my portmanteau, and mounted the box. I wept bitterly. My readers may despise me, but they ought not; let them be in my situation, and feel that they have one sincere faithful friend, and then they will know the bitterness of parting. I recovered myself before I arrived at the coach, and shaking hands with Timothy, I lost sight of him; for how long, the reader will find out in the sequel of my adventures.
I arrived at Lady de Clare’s, and hardly need say that I was well received. They expressed their delight at my so soon coming again, and made a hundred inquiries—but I was unhappy and melancholy, not at my prospects, for in my infatuation I rejoiced at my anticipated beggary—but I wished to communicate with Fleta, for so I still call her. Fleta had known my history, for she had been present when I had related it to her mother, up to the time that I arrived in London; further than that she knew little. I was determined that before I quitted she should know all. I dared not trust the last part to her when I was present, but I resolved that I would do it in writing.
Lady de Clare made no difficulty whatever of leaving me with Fleta. She was now a beautiful creature, of between fifteen, and sixteen, bursting into womanhood, and lovely as the bud of the moss-rose; and she was precocious beyond her years in intellect. I stayed there three days, and had frequent opportunities of conversing with her; I told her that I wished her to be acquainted with my whole life, and interrogated her as to what she knew: I carefully filled up the chasms, until I brought it down to the time at which I placed her in the arms of her mother. “And now, Fleta,” said I, “you have much more to learn—you will learn that much at my departure. I have dedicated hours every night in writing it out; and, as you will find, have analysed my feelings, and have pointed out to you where I have been wrong. I have done it for my amusement, as it may be of service even to a female.”