Japhet, in Search of a Father eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 546 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.
then have been happy and contented in some obscure situation; but you raised hopes only to prostrate them—­and imaginings which have led to my destruction.  Sacred is the duty of a parent, and heavy must be the account of those who desert their children, and are required by Heaven to render up an account of the important trust.  Couldst thou, oh! father, but now behold thy son!  God Almighty!—­but I will not curse you, father!  No, no”—­and I burst into tears, as I leant against the damp walls of the prison.

The day at last broke, and the sun rose, and poured his beaming rays through the barred windows.  I looked at myself, and was shocked at my appearance; my smock-frock was covered with black mud, my clothes were equally disfigured.  I had lost my hat when in the water, and I felt the dry mud cracking on my cheeks.  I put my hands up to my head, and I pulled a quantity of duck-weed out of my matted and tangled hair.  I thought of the appearance I should make when summoned before the magistrates, and how much it would go against me.  “Good God!” thought I, “who, of all the world of fashion—­who, of all those who once caught my salutation so eagerly—­who, of all those worldly-minded girls, who smiled upon me but one short twelve months since, would imagine, or believe, that Japhet Newland could ever have sunk so low—­and how has he so fallen?  Alas! because he would be honest, and had strength of mind enough to adhere to his resolution.  Well, well, God’s will be done; I care not for life; but still an ignominious death—­to go out of the world like a dog, and that too without finding out who is my father.”  And I put my fettered hands up and pressed my burning brow, and remained in a sort of apathetic sullen mood, until I was startled by the opening of the door, and the appearance of the constables.  They led me out among a crowd, through which, with difficulty, they could force their way, and followed by the majority of the population of Hounslow, who made their complimentary remarks upon the footpad, I was brought before the magistrates.  The large stout man was then called up to give his evidence, and deposed as follows:—­

“That he was walking to Hounslow from Brentford, whither he had been to purchase some clothes, when he was accosted by two fellows in smock-frocks, one of whom carried a bundle in his left hand.  They asked him what o’clock it was; and he took out his watch to tell them, when he received a blow from the one with the bundle (this one, sir, said he, pointing to me), on the back of his head; at the same time the other (the wounded man who was now in custody) snatched his watch.—­That at the time he had purchased his clothes at Brentford, he had also bought a bag of shot, fourteen pounds weight, which he had, for the convenience of carrying, tied up with the clothes in the bundle, and perceiving that he was about to be robbed, he had swung his bundle round his head, and with the weight of the shot, had knocked

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