'At length and at last, the old gentleman's legs appeared upon the steps leading through the roof, and he came slowly down: bringing along with him, the gifted Mooney. This Mooney, gentlemen, was even more scientific in appearance than his friend; and had, as Tom often declared upon his word and honour, the dirtiest face we can possibly know of, in this imperfect state of existence.
'Gentlemen, you are all aware that if a scientific man isn't absent in his mind, he's of no good at all. Mr. Mooney was so absent, that when the old gentleman said to him, "Shake hands with Mr. Grig," he put out his leg. "Here's a mind, Mr. Grig!" cries the old gentleman in a rapture. "Here's philosophy! Here's rumination! Don't disturb him," he says, "for this is amazing!"
'Tom had no wish to disturb him, having nothing particular to say; but he was so uncommonly amazing, that the old gentleman got impatient, and determined to give him an electric shock to bring him to - "for you must know, Mr. Grig," he says, "that we always keep a strongly charged battery, ready for that purpose." These means being resorted to, gentlemen, the gifted Mooney revived with a loud roar, and he no sooner came to himself than both he and the old gentleman looked at Tom with compassion, and shed tears abundantly.
'"My dear friend," says the old gentleman to the Gifted, "prepare him."
'"I say," cries Tom, falling back, "none of that, you know. No preparing by Mr. Mooney if you please."
'"Alas!" replies the old gentleman, "you don't understand us. My friend, inform him of his fate. - I can't."
'The Gifted mustered up his voice, after many efforts, and informed Tom that his nativity had been carefully cast, and he would expire at exactly thirty-five minutes, twenty-seven seconds, and five- sixths of a second past nine o'clock, a.m., on that day two months.
'Gentlemen, I leave you to judge what were Tom's feelings at this announcement, on the eve of matrimony and endless riches. "I think," he says in a trembling voice, "there must be a mistake in the working of that sum. Will you do me the favour to cast it up again?" - "There is no mistake," replies the old gentleman, "it is confirmed by Francis Moore, Physician. Here is the prediction for to-morrow two months." And he showed him the page, where sure enough were these words - "The decease of a great person may be looked for, about this time."
'"Which," says the old gentleman, "is clearly you, Mr. Grig."
'"Too clearly," cries Tom, sinking into a chair, and giving one hand to the old gentleman, and one to the Gifted. "The orb of day has set on Thomas Grig for ever!"
'At this affecting remark, the Gifted shed tears again, and the other two mingled their tears with his, in a kind - if I may use the expression - of Mooney and Co.'s entire. But the old gentleman recovering first, observed that this was only a reason for hastening the marriage, in order that Tom's distinguished race might be transmitted to posterity; and requesting the Gifted to console Mr. Grig during his temporary absence, he withdrew to settle the preliminaries with his niece immediately.