The next day I went to the banker’s, drew out L150, and set off with Timothy for ——. Fleta threw herself into my arms, and sobbed with joy. When I told her Timothy was outside, and wished to see her, she asked why he did not come in; and, to show how much she had been accustomed to see, without making remarks, when he made his appearance in his livery, she did not, by her countenance, express the least surprise, nor, indeed, did she put any questions to me on the subject. The lady who kept the school praised her very much for docility and attention, and shortly after left the room. Fleta then took the chain from around her neck into her hand, and told me that she did recollect something about it, which was, that the lady whom she remembered, wore a long pair of ear-rings, of the same make and materials. She could not, however, call to mind anything else. I remained with the little girl for three hours, and then returned to London—taking my luggage from the hotel, and installed myself into the apartments of Major Carbonnell.
The Major adhered to his promise; we certainly lived well, for he could not live otherwise; but in every other point, he was very careful not to add to expense. The season was now over, and everybody of consequence quitted the metropolis. To remain in town would be to lose caste, and we had a conference where we should proceed.
“Newland,” said the Major, “you have created a sensation this season, which has done great honour to my patronage; but I trust, next spring, that I shall see you form a good alliance; for, believe me, out of the many heartless beings we have mingled with, there are still not only daughters, but mothers, who are not influenced by base and sordid views.”
“Why, Carbonnell, I never heard you venture upon so long a moral speech before.”
“True, Newland, and it may be a long while before I do so again; the world is my oyster, which I must open, that I may live; but recollect, I am only trying to recover my own, which the world has swindled me out of. There was a time when I was even more disinterested, more confiding, and more innocent than you were when I first took you in hand. I suffered, and was ruined by my good qualities; and I now live and do well by having discarded them. We must fight the world with its own weapons; but still, as I said before, there is some good in it, some pure ore amongst the dross; and it is possible to find high rank and large fortune, and at the same time an innocent mind. If you do marry, I will try hard but you shall possess both; not that fortune can be of much consequence to you.”
“Depend upon it, Carbonnell, I never will marry without fortune.”
“I did not know that I had schooled you so well; be it so—it is but fair that you should expect it; and it shall be an item in the match, if I have anything to do with it.”
“But why are you so anxious that I should marry, Carbonnell?”