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

“And I have more than sixty,” said Timothy.  “Really, the profession was not unprofitable.”

“No,” replied I, laughing; “but recollect, Tim, that we had no outlay.  The public provided us with food, our lodging cost us nothing.  We have had no taxes to pay; and at the same time have taxed folly and credulity to a great extent.”

“That’s true, Japhet; and although I am glad to have the money, I am not sorry that we have abandoned the profession.”

“Nor am I, Tim; if you please, we will forget it altogether.  But tell me, what was the exception you were about to make?”

“Simply this.  Although upwards of three hundred pounds may be a great deal of money, yet, if we are to support the character and appearance of gentlemen, it will not last for ever.  For instance, we must have our valets.  What an expense that will be!  Our clothes too—­we shall soon lose our rank and station in society, without we obtain a situation under government.”

“We must make it last as long as we can, Timothy; and trust to good fortune to assist us.”

“That’s all very well, Japhet; but I had rather trust to our own prudence.  Now hear what I have to say.  You will be as much assisted by a trusty valet as by any other means.  I shall, as a gentleman, be only an expense and an incumbrance; but as a valet I shall be able to play into your hands, at the same time more than one half the expense will be avoided.  With your leave, therefore, I will take my proper situation, put on your livery, and thereby make myself of the greatest use.”

I could not help acknowledging the advantages to be derived from this proposal of Timothy’s; but I did not like to accept it.

“It is very kind of you, Timothy,” replied I; “but I can only look upon you as a friend and an equal.”

“There you are right and are wrong in the same breath.  You are right in looking upon me as a friend, Japhet; and you would be still more right in allowing me to prove my friendship as I propose; but you are wrong in looking upon me as an equal, for I am not so either in personal appearance, education, or anything else.  We are both foundlings, it is true; but you were christened after Abraham Newland, and I after the workhouse pump.  You were a gentleman foundling, presenting yourself with a fifty pound note, and good clothes.  I made my appearance in rags and misery.  If you find your parents, you will rise in the world; if I find mine, I shall, in all probability, have no reason to be proud of them.  I therefore must insist upon having my own choice in the part I am to play in the drama, and I will prove to you that it is my right to choose.  You forget that, when we started, your object was to search after your father, and I told you mine should be to look after my mother.  You have selected high life as the expected sphere in which he is to be found, and I select low life as that in which I am most likely

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