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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 50 pages of information about Brother Jacob.
declared that such brilliant hopes as these made no difference to his conduct; he should work at his humble business and make his modest fortune at it all the same.  If the Jamaica estate was to come to him—­well and good.  It was nothing very surprising for one of the Freely family to have an estate left him, considering the lands that family had possessed in time gone by—­nay, still possessed in the Northumberland branch.  Would not Mr. Palfrey take another glass of rum? and also look at the last year’s balance of the accounts?  Mr. Freely was a man who cared to possess personal virtues, and did not pique himself on his family, though some men would.

We know how easily the great Leviathan may be led, when once there is a hook in his nose or a bridle in his jaws.  Mr. Palfrey was a large man, but, like Leviathan’s, his bulk went against him when once he had taken a turning.  He was not a mercurial man, who easily changed his point of view.  Enough.  Before two months were over, he had given his consent to Mr. Freely’s marriage with his daughter Penny, and having hit on a formula by which he could justify it, fenced off all doubts and objections, his own included.  The formula was this:  “I’m not a man to put my head up an entry before I know where it leads.”

Little Penny was very proud and fluttering, but hardly so happy as she expected to be in an engagement.  She wondered if young Towers cared much about it, for he had not been to the house lately, and her sister and brothers were rather inclined to sneer than to sympathize.  Grimworth rang with the news.  All men extolled Mr. Freely’s good fortune; while the women, with the tender solicitude characteristic of the sex, wished the marriage might turn out well.

While affairs were at this triumphant juncture, Mr. Freely one morning observed that a stone-carver who had been breakfasting in the eating-room had left a newspaper behind.  It was the X-shire Gazette, and X-shire being a county not unknown to Mr. Freely, he felt some curiosity to glance over it, and especially over the advertisements.  A slight flush came over his face as he read.  It was produced by the following announcement:—­“If David Faux, son of Jonathan Faux, late of Gilsbrook, will apply at the office of Mr. Strutt, attorney, of Rodham, he will hear of something to his advantage.”

“Father’s dead!” exclaimed Mr. Freely, involuntarily.  “Can he have left me a legacy?”

CHAPTER III

Perhaps it was a result quite different from your expectations, that Mr. David Faux should have returned from the West Indies only a few years after his arrival there, and have set up in his old business, like any plain man who has never travelled.  But these cases do occur in life.  Since, as we know, men change their skies and see new constellations without changing their souls, it will follow sometimes that they don’t change their business under those novel circumstances.

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