WE PASS A DELIGHTFUL EVENING, AND I HAVE A MORNING VISION
In a long saloon ornamented with stags’ horns and instruments of the chase, tusks of boars, spear-staves, boarknives, and silver horns, my father, I, and Temple sat down to a memorable breakfast, my father in his true form, dressed in black silken jacket and knee-breeches, purple-stockings and pumps; without a wig, I thanked heaven to see. How blithely he flung out his limbs and heaved his chest released from confinement! His face was stained brownish, but we drank old Rhine wine, and had no eye for appearances.
‘So you could bear it no longer, Richie?’ My father interrupted the narrative I doled out, anxious for his, and he began, and I interrupted him.
‘You did think of me often, papa, didn’t you?’
His eyes brimmed with tenderness.
‘Think of you!’ he sighed.
I gave him the account of my latest adventures in a few panting breaths, suppressing the Bench. He set my face to front him.
‘We are two fools, Mr. Temple,’ he said.
‘No, sir,’ said Temple.
‘Now you speak, papa,’ said I.
He smiled warmly.
‘Richie begins to remember me.’
I gazed at him to show it was true.
‘I do, papa—I’m not beginning to.’
At his request, I finished the tale of my life at school. ’Ah, well! that was bad fortune; this is good!’ he exclaimed. ’Tis your father, my son: ’tis day-light, though you look at it through a bed-curtain, and think you are half-dreaming. Now then for me, Richie.’
My father went on in this wise excitedly:
’I was laying the foundation of your fortune here, my boy. Heavens! when I was in that bronze shell I was astonished only at my continence in not bursting. You have grown,—you have shot up and filled out. I register my thanks to your grandfather Beltham; the same, in a minor degree, to Captain Jasper Welsh. Between that man Rippenger and me there shall be dealings. He flogged you: let that pass. He exposed you to the contempt of your school-fellows because of a breach in my correspondence with a base-born ferule-swinger. What are we coming to? Richie, my son, I was building a future for you here. And Colonel Goodwin-Colonel Goodwin, you encountered him too, and his marriageable daughter—I owe it to them that I have you here! Well, in the event of my sitting out the period this morning as the presentment of Prince Albrecht, I was to have won something would have astonished that unimpressionable countryman of ours. Goodness gracious, my boy! when I heard your English shout, it went to my marrow. Could they expect me to look down on my own flesh and blood, on my son—my son Richmond—after a separation of years, and continue a statue? Nay, I followed my paternal impulse. Grant that the show was spoilt, does the Markgrafin insist on