a place like this it can only come while reclining on such a couch: we have no such articles of furniture in our world. If I could invent a couch like this I should make a splendid fortune.'
The thought of making a fortune set me thinking further and more deeply, and at any other time I would have laughed the idea to scorn; but now I asked myself seriously, Could I invent such a couch? The notion of converting larrikins into manufacturers of luxurious couches, on which honest elderly parties might repose their jaded limbs delightedly at the corners of public streets, was in itself so ludicrous that I laughed to myself for a long time, and yet I must have been overheard, for a faint echo of my laugh struck upon my ears; but was it more wonderful than the telegraph, or the phonograph, or the electric light?
A fortune, too! And what should I do with a fortune, who had been severely without one all my life? Build a grand house in town; drive through the streets four-in-hand on the box of an elegant drag filled with fine fashionable ladies and gentlemen; give splendid entertainments to the rich, obsequious world, his wife, and all his family, and leave the poor and miserable beings of the earth most haughtily and severely alone. Be the great Oliver Ubertus, the wealthy, the proud, the generous grandee, the inventor of the celebrated larrikin couch—the favourite of princes, the Buckingham of the nineteenth century, the observed of all observers!Suddenly I bounded to my feet in the greatest horror and alarm. But the luxurious couch lifted up itself, and pulled me down again. Every hair of my head stood on end with terror and anguish. Had a hundred red-hot needles started up from the cushion of that couch? Had a thousand belligerent scorpions invaded my garments? I roared like a mad bull with pain, and danced about like an infuriated