MY name is Mervington Smythers. I was born in London, but have not had the inestimable advantage of in any way profiting by my short residence in that centre of civilisation, being only some four years old when my parents landed in Sydney.
My father was a gentleman, living upon his income, as the term goes. I did not then know whence this income was derived: I do now. All I knew then was: that as far as my mother and I were concerned it seemed a very inadequate sort of income, although adapted to keep my father in good clothes, hansom cabs, the best cigars, and private delicacies for his own eating, when not dining out anywhere, which, however, was generally the case; for being a man endowed with great social talents he was in request at other people's tables—and he always preferred them to his own.
My mother was pale, quiet, and had evidently been very pretty. She never went out anywhere, was devoted to my father and me: the only two objects, in fact, that she lived for; and we bullied her. She educated me herself, and as I was a sharp boy, and she had received a more liberal education than most women get, I think I did as well, or better, than I would have done at school.
As I grew up and turned out a gentlemanly looking lad, with good taste in dress and not so much gawkishness about me as a boy between fourteen and fifteen usually possesses, my father began to take more notice of me, and gradually I became his companion and pupil, and my mother was left entirely to herself. Finding, I suppose, that her influence was gone, and that she was of no further use in this world, the gentle little soul died; and I must confess that as far as regarded my personal comfort I missed her very much.
My father was a man essentially formed for society. Out of it, in the solitude of his own home, he was—truth compels me to write it an unmitigated brute. He was always talking about his family: how he had offended them by his marriage—allying the blood of a Mervington Smythers with that of an Amberly, my mother's maiden name. We had a coat of arms which I studied assiduously, and believed in implicitly, as I did in a legend my father used to relate of it having been granted to an ancestor of his for prowess displayed at Chevy Chase. I used to quote as peculiarly appropriate,—A Romance of Kangaroo Point - eBook
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Dramingo (Ernest Favenc)
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