We were present at the head of the supper-table to hear our healths drunk. Sewis spoke like a half-caste oblivious of his training, and of the subjects he was at liberty to touch on as well. Evidently there was a weight of foreboding on his mind. He knew his master well. The squire excused him under the ejaculation, ‘Drunk, by the Lord!’ Sewis went so far as to mention my father ’He no disgrace, sar, he no disgrace, I say! but he pull one way, old house pull other way, and ’tween ’em my little Harry torn apieces, squire. He set out in the night “You not enter it any more!” Very well. I go my lawyer next day. You see my Will, squire. Years ago, and little Harry so high. Old Sewis not the man to change. He no turncoat, squire. God bless you, my master; you recollect, and ladies tell you if you forget, old Sewis no turncoat. You hate turncoat. You taught old Sewis, and God bless you, and Mr. Harry, and British Constitution, all Amen!’
With that he bounded to bed. He was dead next morning.
The squire was humorous over my legacy. It amounted to about seventeen hundred pounds invested in Government Stock, and he asked me what I meant to do with it; proposed a Charity to be established on behalf of decayed half-castes, insisting that servants’ money could never be appropriated to the uses of gentlemen. All the while he was muttering, ’Turncoat! eh? turncoat?’—proof that the word had struck where it was aimed. For me, after thinking on it, I had a superstitious respect for the legacy, so I determined, in spite of the squire’s laughter over ’Sixty pounds per annum!’ to let it rest in my name: I saw for the first time the possibility that I might not have my grandfather’s wealth to depend upon. He warned me of growing miserly. With my father in London, living freely on my property, I had not much fear of that. However, I said discreetly, ‘I don’t mind spending when I see my way.’
‘Oh! see your way,’ said he. ’Better a niggard than a chuckfist. Only, there ’s my girl: she ’s good at accounts. One ’ll do for them, Harry?— ha’n’t been long enough at home yet?’
Few were the occasions when our conversation did not diverge to this sort of interrogation. Temple and Heriot, with whom I took counsel, advised me to wait until the idea of the princess had worn its way into his understanding, and leave the work to Janet. ‘Though,’ said Heriot to me aside, ‘upon my soul, it’s slaughter.’ He believed that Janet felt keenly. But then, she admired him, and so they repaid one another.
I won my grandfather’s confidence in practical matters on a trip we took into Wales. But it was not enough for me to be a man of business, he affirmed; he wanted me to have some ambition; why not stand for our county at the next general election? He offered me his Welsh borough if I thought fit to decline a contest. This was to speak as mightily as a German prince. Virtually, in wealth and