Page:What will he do with it.djvu/160

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—teach him another name,—too late, too late. We cannot afford the delay."

"I don't see why he should be called any name at all. He observes your signs just as well without."

"If I had but discovered that at the beginning. Pity! Such a fine name too. Sir Isaac! Vanitas vanitatum! What desire chiefly kindles the ambitious? To create a name, perhaps bequeath a title,—exalt into Sir Isaacs a progeny of slops! And, after all, it is possible (let us hope it in this instance) that a sensible young dog may learn his letters and shoulder his musket just as well, though all the appellations by which humanity knows him be condensed into a pitiful monosyllable. Nevertheless (as you will find when you are older), people are obliged in practice to renounce for themselves the application of those rules which they philosophically prescribe for others. Thus, while I grant that a change of name for that dog is a question belonging to the policy of Ifs and Buts, commonly called the policy of Expediency, about which one may differ from others and one's own self every quarter of an hour, a change of name for me belongs to the policy of Must and Shall; namely the policy of Necessity, against which let no dog bark,—though I have known dogs howl at it! William Waife is no more: he is dead; he is buried; and even Juliet Araminta is the baseless fabric of a vision."

Sophy raised inquiringly her blue guileless eyes.

"You see before you a man who has used up the name of Waife, and who on entering the town of Gatesboro' becomes a sober, staid, and respectable personage, under the appellation of Chapman. You are Miss Chapman. Rugge and his Exhibition 'leave not a wrack behind.'"

Sophy smiled, and then sighed,—the smile for her grandfather's gay spirits; wherefore the sigh? Was it that some instinct in that fresh, loyal nature revolted from the thought of these aliases, which, if requisite for safety, were still akin to imposture? If so, poor child, she had much yet to set right with her conscience! All I can say is, that after she had smiled she sighed. And more reasonably might a reader ask his author to subject a zephyr to the microscope than a female's sigh to analysis.

"Take the dog with you, my dear, back into the lane; I will join you in a few minutes. You are neatly dressed, and, if not, would look so. I, in this old coat, have the air of a pedler, so I will change it, and enter the town of Gatesboro' in the character of—a man whom you will soon see before you. Leave those things alone, de-Isaacized Sir Isaac! Follow your mistress,—go!"