Brother Jacob eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 61 pages of information about Brother Jacob.

Certainly, this result was contrary to David’s own expectations.  He had looked forward, you are aware, to a brilliant career among “the blacks”; but, either because they had already seen too many white men, or for some other reason, they did not at once recognize him as a superior order of human being; besides, there were no princesses among them.  Nobody in Jamaica was anxious to maintain David for the mere pleasure of his society; and those hidden merits of a man which are so well known to himself were as little recognized there as they notoriously are in the effete society of the Old World.  So that in the dark hints that David threw out at the Oyster Club about that life of Sultanic self-indulgence spent by him in the luxurious Indies, I really think he was doing himself a wrong; I believe he worked for his bread, and, in fact, took to cooking as, after all, the only department in which he could offer skilled labour.  He had formed several ingenious plans by which he meant to circumvent people of large fortune and small faculty; but then he never met with exactly the right circumstances.  David’s devices for getting rich without work had apparently no direct relation with the world outside him, as his confectionery receipts had.  It is possible to pass a great many bad half pennies and bad half-crowns, but I believe there has no instance been known of passing a halfpenny or a half-crown as a sovereign.  A sharper can drive a brisk trade in this world:  it is undeniable that there may be a fine career for him, if he will dare consequences; but David was too timid to be a sharper, or venture in any way among the mantraps of the law.  He dared rob nobody but his mother.  And so he had to fall back on the genuine value there was in him—­to be content to pass as a good halfpenny, or, to speak more accurately, as a good confectioner.  For in spite of some additional reading and observation, there was nothing else he could make so much money by; nay, he found in himself even a capability of extending his skill in this direction, and embracing all forms of cookery; while, in other branches of human labour, he began to see that it was not possible for him to shine.  Fate was too strong for him; he had thought to master her inclination and had fled over the seas to that end; but she caught him, tied an apron round him, and snatching him from all other devices, made him devise cakes and patties in a kitchen at Kingstown.  He was getting submissive to her, since she paid him with tolerable gains; but fevers and prickly heat, and other evils incidental to cooks in ardent climates, made him long for his native land; so he took ship once more, carrying his six years’ savings, and seeing distinctly, this time, what were Fate’s intentions as to his career.  If you question me closely as to whether all the money with which he set up at Grimworth consisted of pure and simple earnings, I am obliged to confess that he got a sum or two for charitably abstaining from mentioning some other people’s misdemeanours.  Altogether, since no prospects were attached to his family name, and since a new christening seemed a suitable commencement of a new life, Mr. David Faux thought it as well to call himself Mr. Edward Freely.

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Brother Jacob from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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