BOOK THE SECOND - REAPING
3. Chapter Iii - the Whelp
IT was very remarkable that a young gentleman who had been brought
up under one continuous system of unnatural restraint, should be a
hypocrite; but it was certainly the case with Tom. It was very
strange that a young gentleman who had never been left to his own
guidance for five consecutive minutes, should be incapable at last
of governing himself; but so it was with Tom. It was altogether
unaccountable that a young gentleman whose imagination had been
strangled in his cradle, should be still inconvenienced by its
ghost in the form of grovelling sensualities; but such a monster,
beyond all doubt, was Tom.
'Do you smoke?' asked Mr. James Harthouse, when they came to the
'I believe you!' said Tom.
He could do no less than ask Tom up; and Tom could do no less than
go up. What with a cooling drink adapted to the weather, but not
so weak as cool; and what with a rarer tobacco than was to be
bought in those parts; Tom was soon in a highly free and easy state
at his end of the sofa, and more than ever disposed to admire his
new friend at the other end.
Tom blew his smoke aside, after he had been smoking a little while,
and took an observation of his friend. 'He don't seem to care
about his dress,' thought Tom, 'and yet how capitally he does it.
What an easy swell he is!'
Mr. James Harthouse, happening to catch Tom's eye, remarked that he
drank nothing, and filled his glass with his own negligent hand.
'Thank'ee,' said Tom. 'Thank'ee. Well, Mr. Harthouse, I hope you
have had about a dose of old Bounderby to-night.' Tom said this
with one eye shut up again, and looking over his glass knowingly,
at his entertainer.
'A very good fellow indeed!' returned Mr. James Harthouse.
'You think so, don't you?' said Tom. And shut up his eye again.