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the disparagement of all the rest. It was well meant; but he was not aware what bad passions were called into action by his kindness, and to what persecution he subjected his favourite. But this was not endured long. Having acquired all he could teach, I was about to be sent among strangers. The parting words of my first master, as he grasped my tiny hand, were :-“Ned, thou hast been a diligent boy, and if thou continuest to be so, I have no doubt thou wilt make a figure in the world; for honour and rewards are ever obtained by diligence."
My new master, Mr. White, was, in every sense of the word, a second parent. He had the fear of God before his eyes, and he was sensibly alive to the importance of his charge. Hence he would not receive more pupils under his care than he could inspect himself ; feeling that he could not properly delegate his trust to others.
I well remember the day when I went to this school. It was a beautiful morning on which I travelled to the village where my new master resided, and even had I not been of an ardent, hopeful, and cheerful disposition, the scenery would have been soothing. Everything, as we passed along, was beautiful to look upon. At the foot of the village, we passed under a verdant grove of chestnut trees ; then over a river whose meandering streams might be seen for many a long mile ; then ascended a gently rising hill, having on each side undulating fields, which were here and there overshadowed by the giant limbs of the oak, and by a great variety of forest trees indigenous to our native soil, and at length we halted before my future master's gate. Unlike most boys, my heart beat high with hope as we alighted, and I felt that, although separated from my parents, I should yet be happy.
Nor did the appearance of Mr. White remove that feeling ; rather it confirmed my hopes of happiness. There was nothing of that austerity about him which is by some deemed essential to form the schoolmaster. His face was calm and contemplative, and his manners such as indicated at once the scholar, the Christian, and the gentle
His appearance was, indeed, so pleasing, that, as I looked at him, I thought that I should love him ; not knowing then, that to love was better than to fear, and more likely to ensure my obedience and happiness. And, as his manners and appearance were pleasing, so also was his conversation. There was nothing of that rhetorical boast about him, which is the characteristic of the profession, and which, unhappily, seems necessary, in the present state of society, to en
Instead of running about to every nook of his dwelling and premises to show what advantages his pupils would derive from being placed under his roof, he seated himself calmly
in his chair, and conversed with me in language so kind and affable, as at once won my confidence and regard. He then took me by the hand, and led the way into the school-room.
Now, the thought of what companions I was likely to have had long occupied my attention. I knew, indeed, that they would be boys ; but, the question with me was, what sort of boys : how many would be big, and how many little, and whether any were so little as myself. The first thing I did, therefore, when I went into the school-room, was to give a broad stare at my new companions. Instantly I observed that there were about twenty, and that they were of all ages, from my own upwards. At the same time, I observed that they all seemed very happy, and were very respectful to their master.
I was reflecting upon this with childish satisfaction, when Mr. White, taking my hand and placing me full in front of them, observed, while every eye was directed full in my face, “I have brought you a new companion-one who is younger than most of you ; be kind to him, and I hope he will be fond of
you, and of your school, when he knows more of us.” Mr. White added :
“ As it is usual to give an extra half holiday when a new pupil arrives, perhaps you will have no objection to such a treat. All who would wish it, will be pleased to hold up their hands.”
Every hand was then held on high : for who loves and enjoys a holiday more than school-boys ?
“ All, I declare,” said Mr. White, pleasantly ; “and now all who do not wish it, will be pleased to hold up their hands.”
Not a hand was seen, for all thrust them into their pockets as by instinct.
None, positively,” resumed our master, laughing;
“ well then go, and our young friend may, if he wishes, accompany you."
I nodded assent, and dropping one tear as I parted with my parent, followed the joyous youths to their place of pastime, and in a few minutes, who in the wide world could be more happy than we? One flew his kite, and another whipped his top ; some were employed in cricket, while I and others were busied round the chalky ring, and all were as happy as the bee that hummed his pleasure as he whizzed by our ears. It was a little world of delight, for none cared for the morrow ; the passing moment was all and everything to
Like the giddy world at large, we laughed as time hastened on, and heeded not its rapid strides.