The Man of Feeling eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 117 pages of information about The Man of Feeling.

He led her to the chair, and returned to clear with the waiter, without ever once reflecting that he had no money in his pocket.  He was ashamed to make an excuse; yet an excuse must be made:  he was beginning to frame one, when the waiter cut him short by telling him that he could not run scores; but that, if he would leave his watch, or any other pledge, it would be as safe as if it lay in his pocket.  Harley jumped at the proposal, and pulling out his watch, delivered it into his hands immediately, and having, for once, had the precaution to take a note of the lodging he intended to visit next morning, sallied forth with a blush of triumph on his face, without taking notice of the sneer of the waiter, who, twirling the watch in his hand, made him a profound bow at the door, and whispered to a girl, who stood in the passage, something, in which the word Cully was honoured with a particular emphasis.

CHAPTER XXVII—­HIS SKILL IN PHYSIOGNOMY IS DOUBTED

After he had been some time with the company he had appointed to meet, and the last bottle was called for, he first recollected that he would be again at a loss how to discharge his share of the reckoning.  He applied, therefore, to one of them, with whom he was most intimate, acknowledging that he had not a farthing of money about him; and, upon being jocularly asked the reason, acquainted them with the two adventures we have just now related.  One of the company asked him if the old man in Hyde Park did not wear a brownish coat, with a narrow gold edging, and his companion an old green frock, with a buff-coloured waistcoat.  Upon Harley’s recollecting that they did, “Then,” said he, “you may be thankful you have come off so well; they are two as noted sharpers, in their way, as any in town, and but t’other night took me in for a much larger sum.  I had some thoughts of applying to a justice, but one does not like to be seen in those matters.”

Harley answered, “That he could not but fancy the gentleman was mistaken, as he never saw a face promise more honesty than that of the old man he had met with.”—­“His face!” said a grave-looking man, when sat opposite to him, squirting the juice of his tobacco obliquely into the grate.  There was something very emphatical in the action, for it was followed by a burst of laughter round the table.  “Gentlemen,” said Harley, “you are disposed to be merry; it may be as you imagine, for I confess myself ignorant of the town; but there is one thing which makes me hear the loss of my money with temper:  the young fellow who won it must have been miserably poor; I observed him borrow money for the stake from his friend:  he had distress and hunger in his countenance:  be his character what it may, his necessities at least plead for him.”  At this there was a louder laugh than before.  “Gentlemen,” said the lawyer, one of whose conversations with Harley we have already recorded, “here’s a pretty fellow for you! to have heard him talk some nights ago, as I did, you might have sworn he was a saint; yet now he games with sharpers, and loses his money, and is bubbled by a fine tale of the Dead Sea, and pawns his watch; here are sanctified doings with a witness!”

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The Man of Feeling from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.