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Any person furnishing Mr. F.'s correct
address, shall receive £1. 1s. reward. He was
last seen," &c. Within twenty-four hours I
had ample proof of the wide circulation of
the "Times." My office was besieged with
beggars of every degree, men and women,
lame and blind, Irish, Scotch, and English,
some on crutches, some in bowls, some in
go-carts. They all knew him as "the gentleman,"
and I must do the regular fraternity of
tramps the justice to say that not one would
answer a question until he made certain that
I meant the "gentleman" no harm.

One evening, about three weeks after the
appearance of the advertisement, my clerk
announced "another beggar." There came in
an old man leaning upon a staff, clad in a
soldier's great coat all patched and torn, with
a battered hat, from under which a mass of
tangled hair fell over his shoulders and half
concealed his face. The beggar, in a weak,
wheezy, hesitating tone, said, "You have advertised
for Molinos Fitzroy. I hope you don't
mean him any harm; he is sunk, I think, too low
for enmity now; and surely no one would sport
with such misery as his." These last words
were uttered in a sort of piteous whisper.

I answered quickly, "Heaven forbid I
should sport with misery: I mean and hope to
do him good, as well as myself."

"Then, Sir, I am Molinos Fitz-Roy!"

While we were conversing candles had
been brought in. I have not very tender
nervesmy head would not agree with them
but I own I started and shuddered when I
saw and knew that the wretched creature
before me was under thirty years of age and
once a gentleman. Sharp, aquiline features,
reduced to literal skin and bone, were begrimed
and covered with dry fair hair; the white
teeth of the half-open mouth chattered with
eagerness, and made more hideous the foul
pallor of the rest of the countenance. As he
stood leaning on a staff half bent, his long,
yellow bony fingers clasped over the crutch-
head of his stick, he was indeed a picture of
misery, famine, squalor, and premature age,
too horrible to dwell upon. I made him sit
down, sent for some refreshment which he
devoured like a ghoul, and set to work to
unravel his story. It was difficult to keep
him to the point; but with pains I learned
what convinced me that he was entitled to
some property, whether great or small there
was no evidence. On parting, I said "Now
Mr. F., you must stay in town while I make
proper enquiries. What allowance will be
enough to keep you comfortably?"

He answered humbly after much pressing,
"Would you think ten shillings too much?"

I don't like, if I do those things at all, to do
them shabbily, so I said, "Come every Saturday
and you shall have a pound." He was
profuse in thanks of course, as all such men
are as long as distress lasts.

I had previously learned that my ragged
client's wife was in England, living in a
splendid house in Hyde Park Gardens, under
her maiden name. On the following day the
Earl of Owing called upon me, wanting five
thousand pounds by five o'clock the same
evening. It was a case of life or death with
him, so I made my terms and took advantage
of his pressure to execute a coup de main. I
proposed that he should drive me home to
receive the money, calling at Mrs. Molinos in
Hyde Park Gardens, on our way. I knew
that the coronet and liveries of his father, the
Marquis, would ensure me an audience with
Mrs. Molinos Fitz-Roy.

My scheme answered. I was introduced
into the lady's presence. She was, and
probably is, a very stately, handsome woman,
with a pale complexion, high solid forehead,
regular features, thin, pinched, self-satisfied
mouth. My interview was very short. I
plunged into the middle of the affair, but had
scarcely mentioned the word husband, when
she interrupted me with "I presume you have
lent this profligate person money, and want
me to pay you." She paused, and then said,
"He shall not have a farthing." As she spoke,
her white face became scarlet.

"But, Madam, the man is starving. I have
strong reasons for believing he is entitled to
property, and if you refuse any assistance, I
must take other measures." She rang the
bell, wrote something rapidly on a card; and,
as the footman appeared, pushed it towards
me across the table, with the air of touching
a toad, saying, "There, Sir, is the address of
my solicitors; apply to them if you think you
have any claim. Robert, show the person out,
and take care he is not admitted again."

So far I had effected nothing; and, to tell the
truth, felt rather crest-fallen under the
influence of that grand manner peculiar to
certain great ladies and to all great actresses.

My next visit was to the attorneys
Messrs. Leasem and Fashun, of Lincoln's Inn
Square, and there I was at home. I had had
dealings with the firm before. They are
agents for half the aristocracy, who always
run in crowds like sheep after the same wine-
merchants, the same architects, the same
horse-dealers, and the same law-agents. It
may be doubted whether the quality of law
and land management they get on this
principle is quite equal to their wine and horses.
At any rate, my friends of Lincoln's Inn,
like others of the same class, are distinguished
by their courteous manners, deliberate
proceedings, innocence of legal technicalities, long
credit and heavy charges. Leasem, the elder
partner, wears powder and a huge bunch of
seals, lives in Queen Square, drives a brougham,
gives the dinners and does the cordial
department. He is so strict in performing the
latter duty, that he once addressed a poacher
who had shot a Duke's keeper, as "my dear
creature," although he afterwards hung him.

Fashun has chambers in St. James Street,
drives a cab, wears a tip, and does the grand
haha style.

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