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And so I go; and yet in spite
Of all the joys I long to know;
Though I look onward with delight,
With something of regret I go,
And young or old, on land or sea,
One guiding memory I shall take
Of what She prayed that I might be,
And what I will be for her sake!


Now, first of all, I should like to know
what you mean by a story? You mean
what other people do? And pray what is
that? You know, but you can't exactly tell.
I thought so! In the course of a pretty long
legal experience, I have never yet met with
a party out of my late profession, who was
capable of giving a correct definition of anything.

To judge by your looks, I suspect you are
amused at my talking of any such thing ever
having belonged to me as a profession. Ha! ha!
Here I am, with my toes out of my boots, with-
out a shirt to my back or a rap in my pocket,
except the fourpence I get out of this charity
(against the present administration of which
I protestbut that's not the point), and yet
not two years ago I was an attorney in large
practice in a bursting big country town. I
had a house in the High Street. Such a
giant of a house that you had to get up six
steps to knock at the front door. I had a
footman to drive tramps like me off all or any
one of my six hearth-stoned steps, if they
dared sit down on all or any one of my six
hearth-stoned steps; —a footman who would
give me into custody now if I tried to shake
hands with him in the streets. I decline
to answer your questions if you ask me any.
How I got into trouble, and dropped down
to where I am now, is my secret.

Now, I absolutely decline to tell you a
story. But, though I won't tell a story, I
am ready to make a statement. A statement
is a matter of fact; therefore the exact
opposite of a story, which is a matter of
fiction. What I am now going to tell you
really happened to me.

I served my timenever mind in whose
office; and I started in business for myself,
in one of our English country townsI
decline stating which. I hadn't a quarter of
the capital I ought to have had to begin
with; and my friends in the neighbourhood
were poor and useless enough, with one ex-
ception. That exception was Mr. Frank
Gatliffe, son of Mr. Gatliffe, member for the
county, the richest man and the proudest
for many a mile round about our parts.—
Stop a bit! you man in the corner there;
you needn't perk up and look knowing. You
won't trace any particulars by the name of
Gatliffe. I'm not bound to commit myself
or anybody else by mentioning names. I have
given you the first that came into my head.

Well! Mr. Frank was a staunch friend of
mine, and ready to recommend me whenever he
got the chance. I had given him a little timely
helpfor a consideration, of courseborrowing
money at a fair rate of interest: in
fact, I had saved him from the Jews. The
money was borrowed while Mr. Frank was
at college. He came back from college, and
stopped at home a little while: and then
there got spread about all our neighbourhood,
a report that he had fallen in love,
as the saying is, with his young sister's
governess, and that his mind was made up
to marry her. —What! you're at it again,
my man in the corner! You want to know
her name, don't you? What do you think
of Smith?

Speaking as a lawyer, I consider Report,
in a general way, to be a fool and a liar. But
in this case report turned out to be something
very different. Mr. Frank told me he
was really in love, and said upon his honour
(an absurd expression which young chaps of his
age are always using) he was determined to
marry Smith the governessthe sweet darling
girl, as he called her; but I'm not sentimental,
and I call her Smith the governess (with an
eye, of course, to refreshing the memory of
my friend in the corner). Mr. Frank's
father, being as proud as Lucifer, said " No"
as to marrying the governess, when Mr.
Frank wanted him to say " Yes." He
was a man of business, was old Gatliffe,
and he took the proper business course.
He sent the governess away with a first-
rate character and a spanking present; and
then he looked about him to get something
for Mr, Frank to do. While he was
looking about, Mr. Frank bolted to London
after the governess, who had nobody alive
belonging to her to go to but an aunther
father's sister. The aunt refuses to let Mr.
Frank in without the squire's permission.
Mr. Frank writes to his father, and says he
will marry the girl as soon as he is of age, or
shoot himself. Up to town comes the squire,
and his wife, and his daughter; and a lot of
sentimentality, not in the slightest degree
material to the present statement, takes place
among them; and the upshot of it is that
old Gatliffe is forced into withdrawing the
word No, and substituting the word Yes.

I don't believe he would ever have done it,
though, but for one lucky peculiarity in the case.
The governess's father was a man of good family
pretty nigh as good as Gatliffe's own. He
had been in the army; had sold out; set up
as a wine-merchantfaileddied: ditto his
wife, as to the dying part of it. No relation,
in fact, left for the squire to make inquiries
about but the father's sister; who had
behaved, as old Gatliffe said, like a thoroughbred
gentlewoman in shutting the door
against Mr. Frank in the first instance. So,
to cut the matter short, things were at last
made up pleasant enough. The time was
fixed for the wedding, and an announcement
about itMarriage in High Life and all