Japhet, in Search of a Father eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 546 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.

“Then how in the name of fortune do you expect to find your father, when you will not take advantage of such an opportunity of getting into society?  It is by getting possession of other people’s secrets, that you will worm out your own.”

“But it is dishonest, Timothy.”

“A letter is addressed to you, in which you have certain directions; you break the seal with confidence, and you read what you find is possibly not for you; but, depend upon it, Japhet, that a secret obtained is one of the surest roads to promotion.  Recollect your position; cut off from the world, you have to re-unite yourself with it, to recover your footing, and create an interest.  You have not those who love you to help you—­you must not scruple to obtain your object by fear.”

“That is a melancholy truth, Tim,” replied I; “and I believe I must put my strict morality in my pocket.”

“Do, sir, pray, until you can afford to be moral; it’s a very expensive virtue that; a deficiency of it made you an outcast from the world, you must not scruple at a slight deficiency on your own part, to regain your position.”

There was so much shrewdness, so much of the wisdom of the serpent in the remarks of Timothy, that, added to my ardent desire to discover my father, which since my quitting the gipsy camp had returned upon me with two-fold force, my scruples were overcome, and I resolved that I would not lose such an opportunity.  Still I hesitated, and went up into my room, that I might reflect upon what I should do.  I went to bed, revolving the matter in my mind, and turning over from one position to the other, at one time deciding that I would not take advantage of the mistake, at another quite as resolved that I would not throw away such an opening for the prosecution of my search; at last I fell into an uneasy slumber, and had a strange dream.  I thought that I was standing upon an isolated rock, with the waters raging around me; the tide was rising, and at last the waves were roaring at my feet.  I was in a state of agony, and expected that, in a short time, I should be swallowed up.  The main land was not far off, and I perceived well-dressed people in crowds, who were enjoying themselves, feasting, dancing, and laughing in merry peals.  I held out my hands—­I shouted to them—­they saw, and heard me, but heeded me not.  My horror at being swept away by the tide was dreadful.  I shrieked as the water rose.  At last I perceived something unroll itself from the main land, and gradually advancing to the inland, form a bridge by which I could walk over and be saved.  I was about to hasten over, when “Private, and no thoroughfare,” appeared at the end nearest me, in large letters of fire.  I started back with amazement, and would not, dared not pass them.  When all of a sudden, a figure in white appeared by my side, and said to me, pointing to the bridge, “Self-preservation is the first law of nature.”

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