of these he always brought with him as a present to my
mother, who used to say, 'Mr. Motteux evidently thinks the
nearest way to my heart is down my throat.'
A couple of years after my father's death, Motteux wrote to
my mother proposing marriage, and, to enhance his personal
attractions, (in figure and dress he was a duplicate of the
immortal Pickwick,) stated that he had made his will and had
bequeathed Sandringham to me, adding that, should he die
without issue, I was to inherit the remainder of his estates.
Rather to my surprise, my mother handed the letter to me with
evident signs of embarrassment and distress. My first
exclamation was: 'How jolly! The shooting's first rate, and
the old boy is over seventy, if he's a day.'
My mother apparently did not see it in this light. She
clearly, to my disappointments did not care for the shooting;
and my exultation only brought tears into her eyes.
'Why, mother,' I exclaimed, 'what's up? Don't you - don't
you care for Johnny Motteux?'
She confessed that she did not.
'Then why don't you tell him so, and not bother about his
'If I refuse him you will lose Sandringham.'
'But he says here he has already left it to me.'
'He will alter his will.'
'Let him!' cried I, flying out at such prospective meanness.