A Rogue's Life (Chapter 4, page 1 of 7)

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Chapter 4

I GAVE my orders to the colorman, and settled matters with my friend the
artist that day.

The next morning, before the hour at which I expected my sitter,
having just now as much interest in the life of Lady Malkinshaw as Mr.
Batterbury had in her death, I went to make kind inquiries after her
ladyship's health. The answer was most reassuring. Lady Malkinshaw had
no present intention of permitting me to survive her. She was, at that
very moment, meritoriously and heartily engaged in eating her breakfast.
My prospects being now of the best possible kind, I felt encouraged to
write once more to my father, telling him of my fresh start in life, and
proposing a renewal of our acquaintance. I regret to say that he was so
rude as not to answer my letter.

Mr. Batterbury was punctual to the moment. He gave a gasp of relief when
he beheld me, full of life, with my palette on my thumb, gazing fondly
on my new canvas.

"That's right!" he said. "I like to see you with your mind composed.
Annabella would have come with me; but she has a little headache this
morning. She sends her love and best wishes."

I seized my chalks and began with that confidence in myself which has
never forsaken me in any emergency. Being perfectly well aware of
the absolute dependence of the art of portrait-painting on the art
of flattery, I determined to start with making the mere outline of my
likeness a compliment to my sitter.

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