make free with my name at her dd supper-table, and advertise my engagement over the three kingdoms? After all, what right have you to say I am engaged, or to meddle in my business at all, Dobbin?
It seems to me, Captain Dobbin began.
Seems be hanged, Dobbin, his junior interrupted him. I am under obligations to you, I know it, a dd deal too well too; but I wont be always sermonised by you because youre five years my senior. Im hanged if Ill stand your airs of superiority and infernal pity and patronage. Pity and patronage! I should like to know in what Im your inferior?
Are you engaged? Captain Dobbin interposed.
What the devils that to you or any one here if I am?
Are you ashamed of it? Dobbin resumed.
What right have you to ask me that question, sir? I should like to know, George said.
Good God, you dont mean to say you want to break off? asked Dobbin, starting up.
In other words, you ask me if Im a man of honour, said Osborne, fiercely; is that what you mean? Youve adopted such a tone regarding me lately that Im if Ill bear it any more.
What have I done? Ive told you you were neglecting a sweet girl, George. Ive told you that when you go to town you ought to go to her, and not to the gambling- houses about St. Jamess.
You want your money back, I suppose, said George, with a sneer.
Of course I doI always did, didnt I? says Dobbin. You speak like a generous fellow.
No, hang it, William, I beg your pardonhere George interposed in a fit of remorse; you have been my friend in a hundred ways, Heaven knows. Youve got me out of a score of scrapes. When Crawley of the Guards won that sum of money of me I should have been done but for you: I know I should. But you shouldnt deal so hardly with me; you shouldnt be always catechising me. I am very fond of Amelia; I adore her, and that sort of thing. Dont look angry. Shes faultless; I know she is. But you see theres no fun in winning a thing unless you play for it. Hang it: the regiments just back from the West Indies, I must have a little fling, and then when Im married Ill reform; I will upon my honour, now. AndI sayDobdont be angry with me, and Ill give you a hundred next month, when I know my father will stand something handsome; and Ill ask Heavytop for leave, and Ill go to town, and see Amelia to-morrowthere now, will that satisfy you?
It is impossible to be long angry with you, George, said the good-natured Captain; and as for the money, old boy, you know if I wanted it youd share your last shilling with me.
That I would, by Jove, Dobbin, George said, with the greatest generosity, though by the way he never had any money to spare.
Only I wish you had sown those wild oats of yours, George. If you could have seen poor little Miss Emmys face when she asked me about you the other day, you would have pitched those billiard-balls to the deuce. Go and comfort her, you rascal. Go and write her a long letter. Do something to make her happy; a very little will.
I believe shes dd fond of me, the Lieutenant said, with a self-satisfied air; and went off to finish the evening with some jolly fellows in the mess-room.
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