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AND STASSIN ET XAVIER, 9, RUE DU COQ.
SOLD ALSO BY ANIYOT, RUE DE LA PAIX; TRUCHY, BOULEVARD DES ITALIENS;
AND 'BY ALL THE PRINCIPAL BOOKSELLERS ON THE CONTINENT.
, , a THE LOTTERY OF LIFE.
CHAPTER I. BORN of humble but honest parents, I was so fortunate as to attract the notice of Abraham Mortimer, a retired banker, who had purchased a large estate, on which was the small farm occupied by my father, Richard Wallingford. Mr. Mortimer had married late in life, and lost the object of his affections, who died soon after giving birth to an only son. The child was little less than idolized by his doting parent; and, when old enough to have a preceptor, it was suggested that a play-fellow, to in his exercise would tend to give him more pleasure in them. I, then in my twelfth year, was selected to fill this post. I had often attracted the notice of Mr. Mortimer as he rode by the door of my father, who was his tenant, and who having three other children, and not being in affluent circumstances, was not unwilling to accept the kind offer of his landlord, to undertake the education of his son, and afterwards to place him in some reputable profession.
Percy Mortimer, unlike the generality of only sons, was wholly unspoilt by the indulgence of his father. Good-tempered, kindhearted, and generous, he hailed the acquisition of a companion
of his own age with delight, and soon became fondly attached to me, who regarded the young master," as the child was Bestyled, with the warmest affection.
The emulation excited between us never engendered an Lenvious feeling in the breasts of either. The commendations Havished on Percy by his doting father, were even more gratifying to me than to the object of them; and often would Percy interrupt the eulogiums, by reminding his parent that I merited them quite as well as he did. The only interruptions to the happiness I enjoyed, originated in the contemptuous treatment I not unfrequently experienced from the servants of my benefactor.
“Marry come up!”would Mrs. Turnbull, the fat housekeeper, say, often loud enough to be heard by me, as she beheld us mount our ponies together, ". if it isn't queer to see a trumpery farmer's son treated for all the world like the young squire, and not the least difference made between them.”
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“Set a beggar on horseback and he'll ride to the--,'chimed the butler. “ Well, I hope master won't have no cause to repent his generosity, or to remember the old saying about pulling a rod to whip himself."
“. Some people have the luck of it,” resumed Mrs. Turnbull. “Now, if master had taken your little boy, Mr. Manningtree, I'd have thought it quite nat'ral like, seeing as how you've served in the family so long; and I'm sure he's a nice spirited little fellow, and so I have thought ever since he broke the gardener's windows for forbidding him to touch the fruit, and set his dog at the beggars' children."
“Why, yes, Mrs. Turnbull, I must say as how Billy is as sharp a chap as a man can see in a ride of twenty miles. Why, be knocked out a tooth of widow Browning's son t'other day, and has boxed half the boys in the school, as their black eyes bear witness. Though I say it, as shouldn't say it, Billy is as cute a boy as any in the parish; ay, and would be as good-looking a boy, too, only for his bandy legs, that little cast he has in his eyes, and his hair being so red."
“As for a cast in the heyes, Mr. Manningtree," observed Mrs. Turnbull," there's many a one as thinks it a beauty; and as for red hair, doesn't it bring white skin with it?"
Now, be it known that Mrs. Turnbull, squinted, and had very red hair, which the butler had totally forgotten, when he referred to their being detrimental to comeliness.
“Oh! in a woman, Mrs. Turnbull, 'they certainly are a beauty, of that there can't be a doubt; for only look at the picturs of Teeshin, 'I mean of them there pretty creturs, who have not so much clothes on as might be wished, owing, I suppose, to chintz, muslin, and cotton not being so cheap when he painted as these articles are now.”
“ Fye, Mr. Manningtree! don't mention such things. I'm sure I never go into the breakfast room, to take orders of a morning, without being ashamed to meet master's eye, on account of that there Wenús, who is lolloping, half dressed, and them other plump creturs as is bathing in a river."
"Faith! Mrs. Turnbull, I never look at'em without thinking of you."
“For shame! for shame! Mr. Manningtree; don't go for to mention such a thing; what would people say if they heard you! I've been a married woman, Mr. Manningtrec, a matter of twenty-five years, and poor Thomas Turnbull, peace be to his soul, never said no such thing in his life.”
"May be he never saw a Teeshin pictur, Mrs. Turnbull? if he had, he could not help seeing the likeness.”
“Now, I declare, Mr. Manningtree, you make me all no how, indeed you do-for shame! But we was a talking about that there young chap, Dick Wallingford, I think as. how be takes on, and gives himself great airs."
“So do I, Mrs. Turnbull. He's a cunding fellow, too; and I can't abide cunning people.” “No, nor I neither, Mr. Manningtree."
"Why, would you believe it, the day after James, the new footman, came, the young master was mad because he had not cleaned the shoes of Master Richard (as we are told to call him); for I had been telling him, the evening before, as how he was only the son of a poor trumpery farmer, as was taken in out of charity, to divart the young squire. Well, when the young chap finds his shoes dirty, what does he do but begins cleaning 'em with his poeket handkerchief and some water, when in comes Mary, housemaid, and tells him, it is a shame for him to dirt the room after such a fashion, and that it was easy to see he was not a gentleman born, or he wou'd not go for to do such a thing as to clean his own shoes. Mary, housemaid, spoke so loud, that the young master heard her, came into the room, ordered her to leave it directly, and then sent for me, and said, “If ever any one neglected to clean the shoes of Master Richard, he would tell his papa, and get them discharged.' Would you believe it, Mrs. Turnbull, that there young hypocrite turns round in a jiffy, and says, he hopes Master Percy won't say another word about the matter, for that he doesn't mind doing every thing for himself, just the same as be'd have to do, if he was in his father's house; and then the young master goes up to him, and puts his arm round his shoulders, quite like a brother, and says, ' But you sha’n’t, my dear Richard; the servants shall wait on you the same as on me, that they shall; so mind what I say, Manningtree, or I'll tell my papa."
“Did I ever?-no, I never heard of such doings. No good will come of it, Mr. Manningtree.”.
The good temper, for which I always had credit, and the desire of not giving trouble, which I invariably evinced, were insufficient to conciliate the good-will of the servants of my patron, and many were the slights and humiliations they endeavoured to inflict on me, but which this same good temper of mine, and a certain portion of good sense, not often met with in people of my age, lightened the sense of.
Time passed rapidly on, and we had each now completed our nineteenth year. Percy was to be entered at Christ Church