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• Do go 'long, you bald-headed old thing !' said Mrs. Bates, and attend to your business, if you have got any to attend to; for my part, the life is almost worn out of me with work. I must go and dress myself to return some calls.'
It was very cruel of Mrs Bales to call her husband a “bald-headed old thing,' for although his hair was rather scant, his head was all covered, except a small spot about the size of a dollar on the crown. Mr. Bates, however, did not show any anger, if he felt any; but quietly putting on his hat and gloves, he returned to his duties at the counting-room, while his wife put on her showy satin hat and feathers, and walked with all possible speed to Mr. Tremlett's house, where she inquired for Mrs. Swazey; and the good house-keeper being at home, the two ladies, after despatching a few unimportant matters, began to impart to each other their guesses and surmises in relation to our hero and his kind benefactor, until they were mutually agreed that some folks were not quite so deep as they thought for; and that some people could see quite as far in the dark as some other folks.'
It does not often happen that when two ladies meet together for the express purpose of scandalizing a third person, that the result of their labors is beneficial to any body; but it was so in this instance. For Mrs. Bates having convinced Mrs. Swazey that Mr. Tremlett was moved by a stronger principle than benevolence in adopting our hero, the feelings of that excellent house-keeper underwent a complete revolution. For she very naturally concluded that the surest way of ingratiating herself into the good graces of her employer, would be by treating bis favorite with kindness. And to do the good woman justice, she was in truth glad of an excuse for treating him with con. sideration; for he was every day winning over her affections, in spite of her former animosity to him. And Bridget, seeing that her superior in station had changed her mode of treatment, gave a loose to her feelings, and almost devoured the youngster every time he came within her reach.
INTRODUCES TO THE READER THE LEARNED PROFESSOR DOBBINS.
MR. TREMLETT had delayed sending our hero to school from day to day, until he had become so accustomed to his lively prattle, and affectionate ways, that he could not bring himself to think of even a temporary separation.
• Alas, alas !' said the old gentleman, one night, as he retired to his bed, after having stolen quietly into the chamber, which adjoined his own, where his adopted son was sleeping, ‘ah, me! that I should have let the best years of my existence flit away without ever having tasted of those pure streams of delight which flow from the domestic fountains! If I can feel such an attachment for a nameless young vagabond, after a few days' acquaintance only, what would be the warmth of my affections, if I could call the dear child my own! But he shall be my own, and I will treat him with a father's tenderness, if I cannot love him with a father's love; and if any thing short of the promptings of instinct can command it, he shall love me with the love of a child.
And he determined at last to have a private tutor for the boy; having succeeded in convincing himself that he was afraid to trust the youngster in a public school, lest his morals should be corrupted. But as he doubted his own fitness for selecting a competent person for this high trust, he concluded to take the advice of the brother-inlaw of Mr. Bates, Pro ssor Dobbins, who of course could not be otherwise than competent, because he was a professor.
It fortunately happened that the professor was staying at the house of Mr. Bates for a few days; and when Mr. Tremlett signified to the book-keeper that he wished to consult with his brother-in-law on such an important occasion, that gentleman extolled the learning and accomplishments of his
relation to such a degree, that the kind-hearted old gentleman resolved to see him that very night, and insisted on accompanying Mr. Bates, when he went home to his tea. The book keeper could not refuse such an honor, of course ; but he would bave been very glad to have had an opportunity of getting his wife's consent first; but as the time would not admit of it, he made a very desperate resolution not to care for any thing that she might say or do.
When they entered the house, Mr. Bates left his employer in the parlor, and went into the kitchen to acquaint his wife with what he had done.
• The fact is, dear,' said Mr. Bates, ‘he wants to consult with the professor, about a tutor for the young gentleman.'
• He shall do no such thing !' said the lady, “and do you go and turn the old sinner out of my house : my brother shall not keep com. pany with such people; if you see fit to do so, you may; but my family shall not disgrace themselves !'
Why, the fact is, dear, we must treat him respectfully, you know, because I expect one of these days to be taken into the firm. And beside, every body is liable to do wrong, sometimes,' added Mr. Bates.
*Now do n't provoke me, do n't!' said the lady ; 'the land knows I have trials enough already. But what do you stand there for? Why do n't you go and talk to him, till the professor comes home? Do go and leave me, or I shall fly out of my
skin. Mr. Bates returned to the parlor, to entertain his employer; and Mrs. Bates immediately began to wash the children's faces, and to give the most imperative orders to her servant about setting the teatable. It was surprising to see with what earnestness and dexterity she set herself to work to snug up the tea-room; and with what a lavish hand she dished out preserved plumbs and quinces from earthen pots, which were tied up and labelled in the most careful manner. Such racing up and down the back stairs, and such a commotion in the kitchen, had not been known before. One would have thought that the lady was making preparation to entertain a very distinguished guest, instead of one whom she held in such utter abhorrence. But if the exertions of Mrs. Bates, in her preparations for tea, were cal. culated to excite surprise, after the scene between her and Mr. Bates, what will the reader think, when he is informed that that virtuous lady not only dressed her person in her most elegant dress, but that she clothed her face in the sweetest smiles of which it was capable, as
she entered the parlor, and requested Mr. Tremlett and her husband to walk out to tea. And as she took her seat at the table, she apologized for every thing upon it, and declared that there was nothing fit to eat, but that if she had only known Mr. Tremlett was going to honor her with his company, she would have endeavored to get something for him.'
The professor did not come home until they had arisen from the tea-table ; but as he was engaged to deliver a lecture that evening on the early settlement of Byefield, he did not take any tea. He was a tall young man, with high cheek bones, and a pointed chin. His hair was very light, and there was but little of it. As soon as he was informed of the object of Mr. Tremlett's visit, he broke out in a discourse on education, and particularly self-education, in which he made a display of the most thrilling eloquence. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bates listened with the most profound admiration, and Mr. Tremlett appeared to be very much puzzled, if he was not very much pleased.
Education, Sir,' said the professor,' is like a river; while it is made up of innumerable little springs, insignificant in themselves, it flows on with majestic grandeur, irresistible in its might, self-acting, independent, fertilizing in its course, and bearing upon its bosom the meanest and the mightiest things : increasing in might and in magnitude as it flows, it suddenly becomes lost in the wide ocean, and its end is as insignificant and obscure as its rise. So with the human mind, or what we call education; at first, it is but a little rivulet of reason, but every day the springs of life rush in and swell its volume and its capacity, until it increases in might, so that it begins to weigh the stars, and grasp at the hidden things of nature; when suddenly, just as its flood is the strongest, it becomes swallowed up in the wide ocean of eternity, and is seen no more. But the places through which it has flown, will bear witness of its presence ; and the banks it has fertilized will yield a full harvest of rich fruits and bright flowers. That, Sir, is my view of education ; and, Sir
• It is very correct, no doubt,' said Mr. Tremlett; but is there no particular system that you would recommend ?'
. The system that I would recommend,' said the professor, “is the system of nature; follow nature.'
But it is not a very easy matter to determine what nature is,' said Mr. Tremlett.
• Nature is every where !' replied the professor ; ' listen to her ; she speaks to you in the hoarse cataract, in the gently-falling dews; the stars, the sun, the moon, all speak to you ; the fierce flashes of the electric fluid, and the pale tints of the lowly violet -- all, all speak to you!'
* Very true,' said the merchant, but they do not speak an intelligible language; and I have generally observed, that they who associate most with Nature, have the least knowledge of her.'
• Then study the works of men's hands,' replied the professor ; ‘a noble cathedral speaks a sublimer language than any poem, satire, or painting; all men can read it.'
• But we have no cathedrals,' replied the merchant. • Then build them,' said the professor, instead of buying books.'
But do you not consider books essential in educating youth ?? asked Mr. Tremlett.
Books are well enough,' replied the professor ; 'Hesiod, Homer, Horace, and Heraclitus; Plato, Plutarch, Pliny, and Polybius; Socrates, Simonides, Sophocles, and, and — Smollet; all contain something. The languages, too, it is well enough to know something about; study Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Syriac, and Persian; read all the English classics ; in short, read every thing; the German is a very good language; read a plenty of that, then read Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese authors; even Dutch — something may be learned from the Dutch; they bave several valuable works on the cultivation of cabbages and tulips. Practice engineering and surveying; speak in public assemblages ;, cultivate the soil; play on the violin and organ; deliver lectures; mingle with your fellow creatures; something may be learned from them; frequent the society of women
• The fact is,' said Mr. Bates, interposing, ‘the professor has got so much learning himself, that he
'I hope you are not going to pretend to correct the professor,' said Mrs. Bates, scornfully, for she began to feel that she had played the amiable long enough.
'I was only going to observe, dear,' replied Mr. Bates, meekly, 'that
* Then I desire you just won't!' said the lady; upon which her obedient husband suspended his opinion.
The professor, thinking no doubt that he had sufficiently impressed Mr. Tremlett with a high idea of his abilities, very generously offered to resign his situation as Professor of Belles-lettres and Penmanship in the Byefield Academy, and undertake the education of our hero himself, for a reasonable compensation.
I will give you a specimen of my manner of teaching,' said he. • Peter, step out and answer a few questions.'
This was addressed to Mr. Bates' eldest son, who immediately stepped out in front of his mother, and made a bow.
The fact is,” said Mr. Bates, 'it is only three days since the professor took Peter in hand, and I think he has learned astonishing.'
Now, Peter,' said the professor, 'what is existence ?' * Existence is a word,' answered Peter.
• Very good,' said the professor ;'' what idea does the word convey to the mental perception ?'
* It is a word signifying to be, to be done, and suffer,' replied the pupil.
* Peter!' exclaimed the professor, sternly, 'consider what you are saying !
• The fact is, Peter is a little confused,' said the father, turning to his employer ; "he is a very remarkable child, when there is nobody by.'
·0, now I know!' said Peter;'. existence is a troglodyte.'
Merciful powers !' exclaimed the professor, 'I believe the child has lost his senses.'
* The boy is only in his ninth year,' interposed the father.
But never mind existence,' said the professor ; 'we will ascend to the higher branches. Now, what is man? VOL. XV.
• A man
- a man is a brute !' answered Peter. • How, my nephew!' exclaimed Professor Dobbins. "A man – a man — is a beast !' replied the remarkable child. *How exceedingly annoying,' said the agitated professor. • That is what mother says,' replied Peter.
* To be sure I say so,' said the lady, turning crimson ; and why don't
you teach him, brother, to say that a man is a nonsensical, hypocritical, wicked creature ?'
* Because, sister,' said the professor, with forced calmness, that is the definition of woman.'
At this the lady, who had been waiting for an opportunity to show off, burst into tears, and catching up her son Peter, rushed out of the room, leaving the professor and Mr. Tremlett overwhelmed with astonishment; but Mr. Bates followed after her, to soothe her. Mr. Tremlett immediately took his hat, and bidding the professor good night, walked home.
RELATES AN ACCIDENT WHICH ALMOST BRINGS THIS HISTORY TO A CONCLUSION.
ALTHOUGH Mr. Tuck loved money, and was, of course, extremely parsimonious, he was not entirely destitute of human feelings; and if he was rarely generous, he was always just. His younger brother had died a few years before the commencement of this history, and left but limited means for the support of his family; and Mr. Tuck had, perhaps in an unguarded moment, when the sluices of his heart were forced open by a flood of grief, promised to educate his children, two boys and a girl. Both of the boys were older than our hero, but the girl was about his age, or rather his apparent age, for the precise period of his birth was unknown.
When Mr. Tremlett related to his partner the terrible occurrences at Mr. Bates', and told him of the embarrassment he was under in relation to a tutor for his son, (for by that name he began to call our hero,) Mr. Tuck advised him to send the youngster to the same school with his nephewe; it being but a short distance from Mr. Tremlett's house, he agreed to do so, and young Tremlett was accordingly put under the care of the Rev. Mr. Hodges, who found the young gentleman quick to learn, extremely docile, and although by no means lacking in spirit, yet almost girlish in bis gentle and affectionate manners.
And as he was beautiful in person, and presumptive heir to a fortune, it will not be accounted a strange matter that the school-master conceived a great liking for his new pupil, nor that he took great pains, as well as pride, in instructing him. And under his tutelage our hero learned a good deal of Latin, and something about fluxions and decimal fractions; but under the instruction of the two young Tucks, he acquired a knowledge of a good many matters which boys generally learn at school, but for which no extra charge is made. In those days, young ladies' seminaries and female colleges were not as common as they are at the present enlightened period of the world ; and little girls generally received the rudiments of their education under the same roof with little boys. It was the case in the present instance; and little Julia Tuck was always accompanied to school by one or both of her