“I am afraid, that after your explanation, Major Carbonnell, I must, as a magistrate, bind over your friend, Mr Newland, to keep the peace.”
To this I consented, the Major and Timothy being taken as recognisances, and then I was permitted to depart. The Major sent for a hackney coach, and when we were going home he pointed out to me the folly of my conduct, and received my promise to be more careful for the future. Thus did this affair end, and for a short time I was more careful in my appearance, and not so very anxious to look into carriages; still, however, the idea haunted me, and I was often very melancholy. It was about a month afterwards, that I was sauntering with the Major, who now considered me to be insane upon that point, and who would seldom allow me to go out without him, when I again perceived the same carriage, with the gentleman inside as before.
“There he is, Major,” cried I.
“There is who?” replied he.
“The man so like my father.”
“What, in that carriage? that is the Bishop of E——, my good fellow. What a strange idea you have in your head, Newland; it almost amounts to madness. Do not be staring in that way—come along.”
Still my head was turned quite round, looking at the carriage after it had passed, till it was out of sight; but I knew who the party was, and for the time I was satisfied, as I determined to find out his address, and call upon him. I narrated to Timothy what had occurred, and referring to the Red Book, I looked out the bishop’s town address, and the next day, after breakfast, having arranged my toilet with the utmost precision, I made an excuse to the Major, and set off to Portland Place.
A Chapter of Mistakes—No
benefit of Clergy—I attack a Bishop, and
am beaten off—The Major hedges upon the filly stakes.
My hand trembled as I knocked at the door. It was opened. I sent in my card, requesting the honour of an audience with his lordship. After waiting a few minutes in an ante-room, I was ushered in. “My lord,” said I, in a flurried manner, “will you allow me to have a few minutes’ conversation with you alone?”
“This gentleman is my secretary, sir, but if you wish it, certainly, for although he is my confidant, I have no right to insist that he shall be yours. Mr Temple, will you oblige me by going up stairs for a little while.”
The secretary quitted the room, the bishop pointed to a chair, and I sat down. I looked him earnestly in the face—the nose was exact, and I imagined that even in the other features I could distinguish a resemblance. I was satisfied that I had a last gained the object of my search. “I believe, sir,” observed I, “that you will acknowledge, that in the heat and impetuosity of youth, we often rush into hasty and improvident connections.”
I paused, with my eyes fixed upon his. “Very true, my young sir; and when we do we are ashamed, and repent of them afterwards,” replied the bishop, rather astonished.