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DON QUIXOTE IN LONDON Simon Beecot was a country gentleman with a small income, a small estate and a mind considerably smaller than either. He dwelt at Wargrove in Essex and spent his idle hours—of which he possessed a daily and nightly twenty-four—in snarling at his faded wife and in snapping between whiles at his son. Mrs. Beecot, having been bullied into old age long before her time, accepted sour looks and hard words as necessary to God's providence, but Paul, a fiery youth, resented useless nagging. He owned more brain-power than his progenitor, and to this favoring of Nature paterfamilias naturally objected. Paul also desired fame, which was likewise a crime in the fire-side tyrant's eyes. As there were no other children Paul was heir to the Beecot acres, therefore their present proprietor suggested that his son should wait with idle hands for the falling in of the heritage. In plain words, Mr. Beecot, coming of a long line of middle-class loafers, wished his son to be a loafer also. Again, when Mrs. Beecot retired to a tearful rest, her bully found Paul a useful person on whom to expend his spleen. Should this whipping-boy leave, Mr. Beecot would have to forego this enjoyment, as servants object to being sworn at without cause. For years Mr. Beecot indulged in bouts of bad temper, till Paul, finding twenty-five too dignified an age to tolerate abuse, announced his intention of storming London as a scribbler. The parents objected in detail. Mrs. Beecot, after her kind, dissolved in tears, and made reference to young birds leaving the nest, while her husband, puffed out like a frog, and redder than the wattles of a turkey-cock, exhausted himself in well-chosen expressions. Paul increased the use of these by fixing a day for his departure. The female Beecot retired to bed with the assistance of a maid, burnt feathers and sal volatile, and the male, as a last and clinching argument, figuratively buttoned up his pockets. "Not one shilling will you get from me," said Beecot senior, with the graceful addition of vigorous adjectives

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