Mr Cophagus offered to procure me another situation as soon as he could, and at the same time presented me with twenty guineas, as a proof of his regard and appreciation of my conduct—but this sum put in my hand decided me: I thanked him, and told him I had other views at present, but hoped he would let me know where I might find him hereafter, as I should be glad to see him again. He told me he would leave his address for me at the Foundling Hospital, and shaking me heartily by the hand, we parted. Timothy was then summoned. Mr Cophagus gave him five guineas, and wished him good fortune.
“And now, Japhet, what are you about to do?” said Timothy, as he descended into the shop.
“To do,” replied I; “I am about to leave you, which is the only thing I am sorry for. I am going, Timothy, in search of my father.”
“Well,” replied Timothy, “I feel as you do, Japhet, that it will be hard to part; and there is another thing on my mind—which is, I am very sorry that the bull did not break the rudimans (pointing to the iron mortar and pestle); had he had but half the spite I have against it, he would not have left a piece as big as a thimble. I’ve a great mind to have a smack at it before I go.”
“You will only injure Mr Cophagus, for the mortar will not then be paid for.”
“Very true; and as he has just given me five guineas, I will refrain from my just indignation. But now, Japhet, let me speak to you. I don’t know how you feel, but I feel as if I could not part with you. I do not want to go in search of my father particularly. They say it’s a wise child that knows its own father—but as there can be no doubt of my other parent—if I can only hit upon her, I have a strong inclination to go in search of my mother, and if you like my company, why I will go with you—always, my dear Japhet,” continued Tim, “keeping in my mind the great difference between a person who has been feed as an M.D., and a lad who only carries out his prescriptions.”
“Do you really mean to say, Tim, that you will go with me?”
“Yes, to the end of the world, Japhet, as your companion, your friend, and your servant, if you require it. I love you, Japhet, and I will serve you faithfully.”
“My dear Tim, I am delighted; now I am really happy: we will have but one purse, and but one interest; if I find good fortune, you shall share it.”
“And if you meet with ill luck, I will share that too—so the affair is settled—and as here come Mr Pleggit’s assistants with only one pair of eyes between them, the sooner we pack up the better.”
In half an hour all was ready; a bundle each, contained our wardrobes. We descended from our attic, walked proudly through the shop without making any observation, or taking any notice of our successors; all the notice taken was by Timothy, who turned round and shook his fist at his old enemies, the iron mortar and pestle; and there we were, standing on the pavement, with the wide world before us, and quite undecided which way we should go.