up tomorrow. Poor fellow, he loses time, and time is money as the good proverb saysI never found it out though. Well. What now? You know I am not at home.
A man, sir, replied the servant, who was to the full as cool and negligent in his way as his master, has brought home the riding- whip you lost the other day. I told him you were out, but he said he was to wait while I brought it in, and wouldnt go till I did.
He was quite right, returned his master, and youre a blockhead, possessing no judgment or discretion whatever. Tell him to come in, and see that he rubs his shoes for exactly five minutes first.
The man laid the whip on a chair, and withdrew. The master, who had only heard his foot upon the ground and had not taken the trouble to turn round and look at him, shut his book, and pursued the train of ideas his entrance had disturbed.
If time were money, he said, handling his snuff-box, I would compound with my creditors, and give themlet me seehow much a day? Theres my nap after dinneran hourtheyre extremely welcome to that, and to make the most of it. In the morning, between my breakfast and the paper, I could spare them another hour; in the evening before dinner say another. Three hours a day. They might pay themselves in calls, with interest, in twelve months. I think I shall propose it to them. Ah, my centaur, are you there?
Here I am, replied Hugh, striding in, followed by a dog, as rough and sullen as himself; and trouble enough Ive had to get here. What do you ask me to come for, and keep me out when I do come?
My good fellow, returned the other, raising his head a little from the cushion and carelessly surveying him from top to toe, I am delighted to see you, and to have, in your being here, the very best proof that you are not kept out. How are you?
Im well enough, said Hugh impatiently.
You look a perfect marvel of health. Sit down.
Id rather stand, said Hugh.
Please yourself my good fellow, returned Mr Chester rising, slowly pulling off the loose robe he wore, and sitting down before the dressing-glass. Please yourself by all means.
Having said this in the politest and blandest tone possible, he went on dressing, and took no further notice of his guest, who stood in the same spot as uncertain what to do next, eyeing him sulkily from time to time.
Are you going to speak to me, master? he said, after a long silence.
My worthy creature, returned Mr Chester, you are a little ruffled and out of humour. Ill wait till youre quite yourself again. I am in no hurry.
This behaviour had its intended effect. It humbled and abashed the man, and made him still more irresolute and uncertain. Hard words he could have returned, violence he would have repaid with interest; but this cool, complacent, contemptuous, self-possessed reception, caused him to feel his inferiority more completely than the most elaborate arguments. Everything contributed to this effect. His own rough speech, contrasted with the soft persuasive accents of the other; his rude bearing, and Mr Chesters polished manner; the disorder and negligence of his ragged dress, and the elegant attire he saw before him; with all the unaccustomed luxuries and comforts of the room, and the silence that gave him leisure to observe these things, and feel how ill at ease they made him; all these influences, which have too often some effect on tutored minds and become of almost resistless power when brought to bear on such a mind as his, quelled Hugh completely. He moved by little and little nearer to Mr Chesters chair, and glancing over his shoulder
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