Wish fulfilled - Extraordinary figure - Bueno - Noah - The two faces - I dont blame him - Too fond of money - Were I an Armenian.
THE fulfilment of the Armenians grand wish was nearer at hand than either he or I had anticipated. Partly owing to the success of a bold speculation, in which he had some time previously engaged, and partly owing to the bequest of a large sum of money by one of his nation who died at this period in Paris, he found himself in the possession of a fortune somewhat exceeding two hundred thousand pounds; this fact he communicated to me one evening about an hour after the close of Change; the hour at which I generally called, and at which I mostly found him at home.
Well, said I, and what do you intend to do next?
I scarcely know, said the Armenian. I was thinking of that when you came in. I dont see anything that I can do, save going on in my former course. After all, I was perhaps too moderate in making the possession of two hundred thousand pounds the summit of my ambition; there are many individuals in this town who possess three times that sum, and are not yet satisfied. No, I think I can do no better than pursue the old career; who knows but I may make the two hundred thousand three or four? - there is already a surplus, which is an encouragement; however, we will consider the matter over a goblet of wine; I have observed of late that you have become partial to my Cyprus.
And it came to pass that, as we were seated over the Cyprus wine, we heard a knock at the door. Adelante! cried the Armenian; whereupon the door opened, and in walked a somewhat extraordinary figure - a man in a long loose tunic of a stuff striped with black and yellow; breeches of plush velvet, silk stockings, and shoes with silver buckles. On his head he wore a high-peaked hat; he was tall, had a hooked nose, and in age was about fifty.
Welcome, Rabbi Manasseh, said the Armenian. I know your knock - you are welcome; sit down.
I am welcome, said Manasseh, sitting down; he - he - he! you know my knock - I bring you money - bueno!
There was something very peculiar in the sound of that bueno - I never forgot it.
Thereupon a conversation ensued between Rabbi Manasseh and the Armenian, in a language which I knew to be Spanish, though a peculiar dialect. It related to a mercantile transaction. The Rabbi sighed heavily as he delivered to the other a considerable sum of money.
It is right, said the Armenian, handing a receipt. It is right; and I am quite satisfied.
You are satisfied - you have taken money. bueno, I have nothing to say against your being satisfied.
Come, Rabbi, said the Armenian, do not despond; it may be your turn next to take money; in the meantime, cant you be persuaded to taste my Cyprus?
He - he - he! senor, you know I do not love wine. I love Noah when he is himself; but, as Janus, I love him not. But you are merry; bueno, you have a right to be so.
Excuse me, said I; but does Noah ever appear as Janus?
He - he - he! said the Rabbi, he only appeared as Janus once - una vez quando estuvo borracho; which means -
I understand, said I; when he was . . . and I drew the side of my right hand sharply across my left wrist.
Are you one of our people? said the Rabbi.
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