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.
that I heard something about it.  Harcourt’s elder brother died, and he’s come into the property, and I heard somebody say that he would in all probability succeed in gaining the handsomest girl in London, with a large fortune—­that it was said to be a match.  Now, if such be the case, and you broke in upon a quiet reunion between two young people about to be united, almost without announcement, and so unexpectedly, after a lapse of so long a time, surely you cannot be surprised at there being a degree of confusion and restraint—­more especially after what had passed between Harcourt and you.  Depend upon it, that was the cause of it.  Had Lady de Clare and her daughter been alone, your reception would have been very different; indeed, Cecilia’s following you down stairs, proves that it was not from coolness towards you; and Harcourt calling upon you, and the conversation which took place, is another proof that you have been mistaken.”

“I never viewed it in that light, certainly, sir,” observed I.  “I merely perceived that I was considered intrusive, and finding in the company one who had treated me ill, and had been my antagonist in the field, I naturally supposed that he had prejudiced them against me.  I hope I may be wrong; but I have seen so much of the world, young as I am, that I have become very suspicious.”

“Then discard suspicion as fast as you can, it will only make you unhappy, and not prevent your being deceived.  If you are suspicious, you will have the constant fear of deception hanging over you, which poisons existence.”

After these remarks I remained silent for some time; I was analysing my own feelings, and I felt that I had acted in a very absurd manner.  The fact was, that one of my castle buildings had been, that I was to marry Fleta as soon as I had found my own father, and this it was which had actuated me, almost without my knowing it.  I felt jealous of Harcourt, and that, without being in love with Miss de Clare, but actually passionately fond of another person; I felt as if I could have married her without loving her, and that I could give up Susannah Temple, whom I did love, rather than that a being whom I considered as almost of my own creation, should herself presume to fall in love, or that another should dare to love her, until I had made up my mind whether I should take her myself:  and this after so long an absence, and their having given up all hopes of ever seeing me again.  The reader may smile at the absurdity, still more at the selfishness of this feeling; so did I, when I had reflected upon it, and I despised myself for my vanity and folly.

“What are you thinking of, Japhet?” observed Mr Masterton, tired with my long abstraction.

“That I have been making a most egregious fool of myself, sir,” replied I, “with respect to the De Clares.”

“I did not say so, Japhet; but, to tell you the truth, I thought something very like it.  Now tell me, were you not jealous at finding her in company with Harcourt?”

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