Treats of apologies,
and love coming from church—We finesse with
the nabob to win me a wife—I am successful in my suit, yet the
lawyer is still to play the cards to enable me to win the game.
I arrived at Mr Masterton’s, and walked into his room, when whom should I find in company with him but Harcourt.
“Japhet, I’m glad to see you: allow me to introduce you to Mr Harcourt—Mr De Benyon,” and the old gentleman grinned maliciously, but I was not to be taken aback.
“Harcourt,” said I, extending my hand, “I have to apologise to you for a rude reception and for unjust suspicions, but I was vexed at the time—if you will admit that as an excuse.”
“My dear Japhet,” replied Harcourt, taking my hand and shaking it warmly, “I have to apologise to you for much more unworthy behaviour, and it will be a great relief to my mind if you will once more enrol me in the list of your friends.”
“And now, Mr Masterton,” said I, “as apologies appear to be the order of the day, I bring you one from the general, who has requested me to make one to you for having called you an old thief of a lawyer, of which he was totally ignorant until I reminded him of it to-day.”
Harcourt burst into a laugh.
“Well, Japhet, you may tell your old tiger, that I did not feel particularly affronted, as I took his expression professionally and not personally, and if he meant it in that sense, he was not far wrong. Japhet, to-morrow is Sunday; do you go to meeting or to church?”
“I believe, sir, that I shall go to church.”
“Well, then, come with me:—be here at half-past two—we will go to evening service at St James’s.”
“I have received many invitations, but I never yet received an invitation to go to church,” replied I.
“You will hear an extra lesson of the day—a portion of Susannah and the Elders.”
I took the equivoque, which was incomprehensible to Harcourt: I hardly need say, that the latter and I were on the best terms. When we separated, Harcourt requested leave to call upon me the next morning, and Mr Masterton said that he should also pay his respects to the tiger, as he invariably called my most honoured parent.
Harcourt was with me very soon after breakfast, and after I had introduced him to my “Governor,” we retired to talk without interruption.
“I have much to say to you, De Benyon,” commenced Harcourt: “first let me tell you, that after I rose from my bed, and discovered that you had disappeared, I resolved, if possible, to find you out and induce you to come back. Timothy, who looked very sly at me, would tell me nothing, but that the last that was heard of you was at Lady de Clare’s, at Richmond. Having no other clue, I went down there, introduced myself, and, as they will tell you, candidly acknowledged that I had treated you ill. I then requested that they would give me any clue by which you might be found, for I had an opportunity of offering to you a situation which was at my father’s disposal, and which any gentleman might have accepted, although it was not very lucrative.”