Japhet, in Search of a Father eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.

“I shall be out of the way, sir; I mean to go with Harcourt to Lady de Clare’s.  I shall ask for the carriage.”

“He will certainly lend it to you, as he wishes to get rid of you; but here we are.  God bless you, my boy.”

Chapter LXXVIII

     The Bengal tiger taken in the toils, which promise a speedy end
     to mine—­I kindly permit my father to insist upon the marriage
     that I have set my heart upon.

I found my father, who had now completely recovered from his accident, walking up and down the room in a brown study.  He did not speak to me until after dinner, when he commenced with asking some questions relative to Cecilia de Clare.  I replied, “that I intended, if he did not want the carriage, to call there to-morrow with Mr Harcourt.”

“Is she very handsome?” inquired he.

“Very much so, sir.  I do not think I ever saw a handsomer young person.  Yes, I do recollect one.”

“Who was that?”

“A young lady with whom I was slightly acquainted, when living in the country.”

“I have been thinking, my dear boy, that with the competence which you will have, it is right that you should marry early; in so doing you will oblige your father, who is anxious to see his grandchildren before he dies.  My health is not very good.”

I could not help smiling at this pathetic touch of the old governor’s, who, if one could judge from appearances, was as strong as a lion, and likely to last almost as long as his dutiful son.  Moreover, his appetite was enormous, and he invariably finished his bottle every day.  I did not therefore feel any serious alarm as to his health, but I nevertheless replied, “Matrimony is a subject upon which I have never thought”—­(ahem! a De Benyon never tells an untruth!), “I am very young yet, and am too happy to remain with you.”

“But, my dear boy, I propose that you shall remain with me—­we will all live together.  I do not intend that we shall part.  I really wish, Japhet, you would think seriously of it.”

“My dear father, allow me to observe, that at present I am not in a situation to support a wife, and I should be sorry to be a tax upon you, at your age; you require many comforts and luxuries, and I presume that you live up to your income.”

“Then, my dear fellow, you are under a great mistake.  I can lay down one hundred thousand pounds on the day of your marriage, with any lady whom I approve of, and still not spend half my remaining income.”

“That, sir,” replied I, “certainly removes one difficulty, at the same time that it proves what a generous and indulgent father I am blessed with; but, sir, with such a fortune, I have a right to expect that the lady will also bring a handsome addition.  Miss De Clare is engaged, I believe, to Mr Harcourt, or I might have made strong interest in that quarter.”

“Something, my dear boy; but a moderate fortune now-a-days is all that we expect with wives, and the best wives are those who are not born to too much wealth; still she should bring something; but tell me, Japhet, who is that young lady whom you thought handsomer than Miss De Clare?”

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