useful; if you belong to those that fall, a penny would be no more useless. When I was myself thrown unexpectedly upon the world, it was my fortune to possess an art: I knew a good cigar. Do you know nothing, Mr. Somerset?'
`Not even law,' was the reply.
`The answer is worthy of a sage,' returned Mr. Godall. `And you, sir,' he continued, turning to Challoner, `as the friend of Mr. Somerset, may I be allowed to address you the same question?'
`Well,' replied Challoner, `I play a fair hand at whist.'
`How many persons are there in London,' returned the salesman, `who have two-and-thirty teeth? Believe me, young gentleman, there are more still who play a fair hand at whist. Whist, sir, is wide as the world; `tis an accomplishment like breathing. I once knew a youth who announced that he was studying to be Chancellor of England; the design was certainly ambitious; but I find it less excessive than that of the man who aspires to make a livelihood by whist.'
`Dear me,' said Challoner, `I am afraid I shall have to fall to be a working man.'
`Fall to be a working man?' echoed Mr. Godall. `Suppose a rural dean to be unfrocked, does he fall to be a major? suppose a captain were cashiered, would he fall to be a puisne judge? The ignorance of your middle class surprises me. Outside itself, it thinks the world to lie quite ignorant and equal, sunk in a common degradation; but to the eye of the observer, all ranks are seen to stand in ordered hierarchies, and each adorned with its particular aptitudes and knowledge. By the defects of your education you are more disqualified to be a working man than to be the ruler of an empire. The gulf, sir, is below; and the true learned arts - those which alone are safe from the competition of insurgent laymen - are those which give his title to the artisan.'
`This is a very pompous fellow,' said Challoner, in the ear of his companion.
`He is immense,' said Somerset.
Just then the door of the divan was opened, and a third young fellow made his appearance, and rather bashfully requested some tobacco. He was younger than the others; and, in a somewhat meaningless and altogether English way, he was a handsome lad. When he had been served, and had lighted his pipe and taken his place upon the sofa, he recalled himself to Challoner by the name of Desborough.
`Desborough, to be sure,' cried Challoner. `Well, Desborough, and what do you do?'
`The fact is,' said Desborough, `that I am doing nothing.'
`A private fortune possibly?' inquired the other.
`Well, no,' replied Desborough, rather sulkily. `The fact is that I am waiting for something to turn up.'
`All in the same boat!' cried Somerset. `And have you, too, one hundred pounds?'
`Worse luck,' said Mr. Desborough.
`This is a very pathetic sight, Mr. Godall,' said Somerset: `Three futiles.'
`A character of this crowded age,' returned the salesman.
`Sir,' said Somerset, `I deny that the age is crowded; I will admit one fact, and one fact only: that I am futile, that he is futile, and that we are all three as futile as the devil. What am I? I have smattered law, smattered letters, smattered geography, smattered mathematics; I have even a working knowledge of judicial astrology; and
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