This reminded me of the wonderful difference between the servile manner in which he had offered his hand in my new prosperity, saying, `May I?' and the ostentatious clemency with which he had just now exhibited the same fat five fingers.

`Hah!' he went on, handing me the bread-and-butter. `And air you a going to Joseph?'

`In heaven's name,' said I, firing in spite of myself, `what does it matter to you where I am going? Leave that teapot alone.'

It was the worst course I could have taken, because it gave Pumblechook the opportunity he wanted.

`Yes, young man,' said he, releasing the 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 shaycart. 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 going? I say to you, Sir, you air a going to Joseph.'

The waiter coughed, as if he modestly invited 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."'

  By PanEris using Melati.

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