I renew old ties of
friendship, and seek new ones of
love—Obliged to take my father to task once more—He receives
his lesson with proper obedience.
I took the carriage the next day, and drove to Lord Windermear’s. He was at home, and I gave my name to the servant as Mr De Benyon. It was the first time that I had made use of my own name. His lordship was alone when I entered. He bowed, as if not recognising me, and waved his hand to a chair.
“My lord, I have given my true name, and you treat me as a perfect stranger. I will mention my former name, and I trust you will honour me with a recognition. I was Japhet Newland.”
“My dear Mr Newland, you must accept my apology; but it is so long since we met, and I did not expect to see you again.”
“I thought, my lord, that Mr Masterton had informed you of what had taken place.”
“No; I have just come from a visit to my sisters in Westmoreland, and have received no letters from him.”
“I have, my lord, at last succeeded in finding out the object of my mad search, as you were truly pleased to call it, in the Honourable General De Benyon, lately arrived from the East Indies.”
“Where his services are well known,” added his lordship. “Mr De Benyon, I congratulate you with all my heart. When you refused my offers of assistance, and left us all in that mad way, I certainly despaired of ever seeing you again. I am glad that you re-appear under such fortunate auspices. Has your father any family?”
“None, my lord, but myself; and my mother died in the East Indies.”
“Then I presume, from what I know at the Board of Control, that you may now safely be introduced as a young gentleman of large fortune; allow me at least to assist your father in placing you in your proper sphere in society. Where is your father?”
“At present, my lord, he is staying at the Adelphi hotel, confined to his room by an accident, but I trust that in a few days he will be able to come out.”
“Will you offer my congratulations to him, and tell him, that if he will allow me, I will have the honour of paying my respects to him. Will you dine with me on Monday next?”
I returned my thanks, accepted the invitation, and took my leave, his lordship saying as he shook hands with me, “You don’t know how happy this intelligence has made me. I trust that your father and I shall be good friends.”
When I returned to the carriage, as my father had desired me to take an airing, I thought I might as well have a companion, so I directed them to drive to Mr Cophagus’s. The servant knocked, and I went in as soon as the door was opened. Susannah and Mrs Cophagus were sitting in the room.
“Susannah,” said I, “I know you do not like to walk out, so I thought, perhaps, you would have no objection to take an airing in the carriage; my father has lent it to me. Will you come?—it will do you good.”