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handle of the article in question, retiring a step
or two from my table, and speaking for the
behoof of the landlord and waiter at the door,
"I will leave that teapot alone. You are right,
young man. For once, you are right. I forgit
myself when I take such an interest in your
breakfast, as to wish your frame, exhausted by
the debilitating effects of prodigygality, to be
stimilated by the 'olesome nourishment of your
forefathers. And yet," said Pumblechook, turning
to the landlord and waiter, and pointing me
out at arm's length, "this is him as I ever
sported with in his days of happy infancy. Tell
me not it cannot be; I tell you this is him!"

A low murmur from the two replied. The
waiter appeared to be particularly affected.

"This is him," said Pumblechook, "as I
have rode in my shay-cart. This is him as I
have seen brought up by hand. This is him
untoe the sister of which I was uncle by
marriage, as her name was Georgiana M'ria from
her own mother, let him deny it if he can!"

The waiter seemed convinced that I could not
deny it, and that it gave the case a black look.

"Young man," said Pumblechook, screwing
his head at me in the old fashion, "you air
a going to Joseph. What does it matter to me,
you ask me, where you air a going? I say to
you, sir, you air a going to Joseph."

The waiter coughed, as if he modestly invited
me to get over that.

"Now," said Pumblechook, and all this with
a most exasperating air of saying in the cause
of virtue what was perfectly convincing and
conclusive, "I will tell you what to say to Joseph.
Here is Squires of the Boar present, known and
respected in this town, and here is William,
which his father's name was Potkins if I do not
deceive myself."

"You do not, sir," said William.

"In their presence," pursued Pumblechook, "I
will tell you, young man, what to say to Joseph.
Says you, 'Joseph, I have this day seen my
earliest benefactor and the founder of my
fortun's. I will name no names, Joseph, but
so they are pleased to call him up-town, and I
have seen that man.'"

"I swear I don't see him here," said I.

"Say that likewise," retorted Pumblechook.
"Say you said that, and even Joseph will
probably betray surprise."

"There you quite mistake him," said I. "I
know better."

"Says you," Pumblechook went on, "'Joseph,
I have seen that man, and that man bears you
no malice and bears me no malice. He knows
your character, Joseph, and is well acquainted
with your pig-headedness and ignorance; and
he knows my character, Joseph, and he knows
my want of gratitoode. Yes, Joseph,' says
you," here Pumblechook shook his head and
hand at me, "'he knows my total deficiency
of common human gratitoode. He knows it,
Joseph, as none can. You do not know it,
Joseph, having no call to know it, but that
man do.'"

Windy donkey as he was, it really amazed
me that he could have the face to talk thus to

"Says you, 'Joseph, he gave me a little
message, which I will now repeat. It was, that
in my being brought low, he saw the finger of
Providence. He knowed that finger when he
saw it, Joseph, and he saw it plain. It pinted
out this writing, Joseph. Reward of ingratitoode
to earliest benefactor, and founder of for
But that man said that he did not repent
of what he had done, Joseph. Not at all. It
was right to do it, it was kind to do it, it was
benevolent to do it, and he would do it again.'"

"It's a pity," said I, scornfully, as I finished
my interrupted breakfast, "that the man did
not say what he had done and would do again."

"Squires of the Boar!" Pumblechook was
now addressing the landlord, "and William! I
have no objections to your mentioning, either
up-town or down-town, if such should be your
wishes, that it was right to do it, kind to do it,
benevolent to do it, and that I would do it

With those words the Impostor shook them
both by the hand, with an air, and left the
house; leaving me much more astonished than
delighted by the virtues of that same indefinite
"it." I was not long after him in leaving the
house too, and when I went down the High-
street I saw him holding forth (no doubt to
the same effect) at his shop door, to a select
group, who honoured me with very unfavourable
glances as I passed on the opposite side of
the way.

But, it was only the pleasanter to turn to
Biddy and to Joe, whose great forbearance
shone more brightly than before, if that could
be, contrasted with this brazen pretender. I
went towards them slowly, for my limbs were
weak, but with a sense of increasing relief as I
drew nearer to them, and a sense of leaving
arrogance and untruthfulness further and
further behind.

The June weather was delicious. The sky
was blue, the larks were soaring high over the
green corn, I thought all that country-side
more beautiful and peaceful by far than I had
ever known it to be yet. Many pleasant
pictures of the life that I would lead there, and of
the change for the better that would come over
my character when I had a guiding spirit at my
side whose simple faith and clear home-wisdom
I had proved, beguiled my way. They awakened
a tender emotion in me; for, my heart was softened
by my return, and such a change had come
to pass, that I felt like one who was toiling
home barefoot from distant travel and whose
wanderings had lasted many years.

The schoolhouse where Biddy was mistress, I
had never seen; but, the little roundabout lane
by which I entered the village for quietness'
sake, took me past it. I was disappointed to
find that the day was a holiday; no children
were there, and Biddy's house was closed.
Some hopeful notion of seeing her busily
engaged in her daily duties, before she saw me,
had been in my mind and was defeated.