Gentlemen, Ill give you, if you please, Success to the ancient family of the Swivellers, and good luck to Mr Richard in particularMr Richard, gentlemen, said Dick with great emphasis, who spends all his money on his friends and is Bah!d for his pains. Hear, hear!
Dick! said the other, returning to his seat after having paced the room twice or thrice, will you talk seriously for two minutes, if I show you a way to make your fortune with very little trouble?
Youve shown me so many, returned Dick; and nothing has come of any one of em but empty pockets
Youll tell a different story of this one, before a very long time is over, said his companion, drawing his chair to the table. You saw my sister Nell?
What about her? returned Dick.
She has a pretty face, has she not?
Why, certainly, replied Dick. I must say for her that theres not any very strong family likeness between her and you.
Has she a pretty face? repeated his friend impatiently.
Yes, said Dick, she has a pretty face, a very pretty face. What of that?
Ill tell you, returned his friend Its very plain that the old man and I will remain at daggers-drawn to the end of our lives, and that I have nothing to expect from him. You see that, I suppose?
A bat might see that, with the sun shining, said Dick.
Its equally plain that the money which the old flintrot himfirst taught me to expect that I should share with her at his death, will all be hers, is it not?
I should said it was, replied Dick; unless the way in which I put the case to him, made an impression. It may have done so. It was powerful, Fred. Here is a jolly old grandfatherthat was strong, I thoughtvery friendly and natural. Did it strike you in that way?
It didnt strike him, returned the other, so we neednt discuss it. Now look here. Nell is nearly fourteen.
Fine girl of her age, but small, observed Richard Swiveller parenthetically.
If I am to go on, be quiet for one minute, returned Trent, fretting at the very slight interest the other appeared to take in the conversation. Now Im coming to the point.
Thats right, said Dick.
The girl has strong affections, and brought up as she has been, may, at her age, be easily influenced and persuaded. If I take her in hand, I will be bound by a very little coaxing and threatening to bend her to my will. Not to beat about the bush (for the advantages of the scheme would take a week to tell), whats to prevent your marrying her?
Richard Swiveller, who had been looking over the rim of the tumbler while his companion addressed the foregoing remarks to him with great energy and earnestness of manner, no sooner heard these words than he evinced the utmost consternation, and with difficulty ejaculated the monosyllable,
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