The Pirate and The Three Cutters
The Pirate and The Three Cutters
On the evening of the same day on which the child and the two negroes had been saved from the wreck by the fortunate appearance of the frigate, Mr. Witherington, of Finsbury Square, was sitting alone in his dining-room, wondering what could have become of the Circassian , and why he had not received intelligence of her arrival. Mr. Witherington, as we said before, was alone; he had his port and his sherry before him; and although the weather was rather warm, there was a small fire in the grate, because, as Mr. Witherington asserted, it looked comfortable. Mr. Witherington having watched the ceiling of the room for some time, although there was certainly nothing new to be discovered, filled another glass of wine, and then proceeded to make himself more comfortable by unbuttoning three more buttons of his waistcoat, pushing his wig farther off his head, and casting loose all the buttons at the knees of his breeches; he completed his arrangements by dragging towards him two chairs within his reach, putting his legs upon one while he rested his arm upon the other. And why was not Mr. Witherington to make himself comfortable? He had good health, a good conscience, and eight thousand a year.
Satisfied with all his little arrangements, Mr. Witherington sipped his port wine, and putting down his glass again, fell back in his chair, placed his hands on his breast, interwove his fingers; and in this most comfortable position recommenced his speculations as to the non-arrival of the Circassian .
We will leave him to his cogitations while we introduce him more particularly to our readers.
The father of Mr. Witherington was a younger son of one of the oldest and proudest families in the West Riding of Yorkshire; he had his choice of the four professions allotted to younger sons whose veins are filled with patrician blood-the army, the navy, the law, and the Church. The army did not suit him, he said, as marching and counter-marching were not comfortable; the navy did not suit him, as there was little comfort in gales of wind and mouldy biscuit; the law did not suit him, as he was not sure that he would be at ease with his conscience, which would not be comfortable; the Church was also rejected, as it was, with him, connected with the idea of a small stipend, hard duty, a wife and eleven children, which were anything but comfortable. Much to the horror of his family he eschewed all the liberal professions, and embraced the offer of an old backslider of an uncle, who proposed to him a situation in his banking-house, and a partnership as soon as he deserved it; the consequence was, that his relations bade him an indignant farewell, and then made no further inquiries about him: he was as decidedly cut as one of the female branches of the family would have been had she committed a faux pas .
Nevertheless Mr. Witherington senior stuck diligently to his business, in a few years was partner, and at the death of the old gentleman, his uncle, found himself in possession of a good property, and every year coining money at his bank.
Mr. Witherington senior then purchased a house in Finsbury Square, and thought it advisable to look out for a wife.
Having still much of the family pride in his composition, he resolved not to muddle the blood of the Witheringtons by any cross from Cateaton Street or Mincing Lane; and after a proper degree of research, he selected the daughter of a Scotch earl, who went to London with a bevy of nine in a Leith smack to barter blood for wealth. Mr. Witherington being so unfortunate as to be the first comer, had the pick of the nine ladies by courtesy; his choice was light-haired, blue-eyed, a little freckled, and very tall, by no means bad-loo