I looked at the person who addressed me; gradually the figure became darker and darker, until it changed to Mr Cophagus, with his stick up to his nose. “Japhet, all nonsense—very good bridge—um—walk over—find father—and so on.” I dashed over the bridge, which appeared to float on the water, and to be composed of paper, gained the other side, and was received with shouts of congratulation, and the embraces of the crowd. I perceived an elderly gentleman come forward; I knew it was my father, and I threw myself into his arms. I awoke, and found myself rolling on the floor, embracing the bolster with all my might. Such was the vivid impression of this dream, that I could not turn my thoughts away from it, and at last I considered that it was a divine interposition. All my scruples vanished, and before the day had dawned I determined that I would follow the advice of Timothy. An enthusiast is easily led to believe what he wishes, and he mistakes his own feelings for warnings; the dreams arising from his daily contemplations for the interference of Heaven. He thinks himself armed by supernatural assistance, and warranted by the Almighty to pursue his course, even if that course should be contrary to the Almighty’s precepts. Thus was I led away by my own imaginings, and thus was my monomania increased to an impetus which forced before it all consideration of what was right or wrong.
An important chapter—I
make some important acquaintances, obtain
some important papers which I am importunate to read through.
The next morning I told my dream to Timothy, who laughed very heartily at my idea of the finger of Providence. At last, perceiving that I was angry with him, he pretended to be convinced. When I had finished my breakfast, I sent to inquire the number in the square of Lord Windermear’s town house, and wrote the following simple note to his lordship, “Japhet Newland has arrived from his tour at the Piazza, Covent Garden.” This was confided to Timothy, and I then set off with the other letter to Mr Masterton, which was addressed to Lincoln’s Inn. By reading the addresses of the several legal gentlemen, I found out that Mr Masterton was located on the first floor. I rang the bell, which had the effect of “Open, Sesame,” as the door appeared to swing to admit me without any assistance. I entered an ante-room, and from thence found myself in the presence of Mr Masterton—a little old man, with spectacles on his nose, sitting at a table covered with papers. He offered me a chair, and I presented the letter.
“I see that I am addressing Mr Neville,” said he, after he had perused the letter. “I congratulate you on your return. You may not, perhaps, remember me?”
“Indeed, sir, I cannot say that I do, exactly.”
“I could not expect it, my dear sir, you have been so long away. You have very much improved in person, I must say; yet still, I recollect your features as a mere boy. Without compliment, I had no idea that you would ever have made so handsome a man.” I bowed to the compliment. “Have you heard from your uncle?”