« VorigeDoorgaan »
No. XCVIII. SATURDAY, APRIL 15.
TO THE AUTHOR OF THE MIRROR. SIR,
I NOW send you a faithful narrative of the progress of our studies in Mr. Flint's family, from Monday morning to Saturday at bed time; carefully distinguishing the proficiency made in each day.
Mrs. Flint had previously informed me, that her son's constitution did not agree with much study before breakfast, and that, whenever he read on an empty stomach, he was apt to be disturbed with uneasy yawnings; we therefore resolved that he should have a short lesson only at eight in tho morning.
After waiting in the parlour till within a quarter of nine, I learned from Mrs. Flint, that her son had been observed to turn himself twice or thrice during the night, and that he seemed to be threatened with a sort of stuffing and wheesing; and that, by way of prevention, she judged it best to give him a litte senna ; and confine him to his chamber for a few hours ; but that, in the evening, we might prosecute our studies without farther interruption.
Accordingly, at six, nay pupil and I prepared to read the tenth satire of Juvenal. After having explained to him the general scope and method of the satirists, I began,
"Omnibus in terris quae sunt a Gadibus usque
At that moment I heard a gentle tap at the door, and then entered Miss Juliana and her sister, with
Mr. Flint and the captain, a little behind, and walk. ing on tiptoe. “ You must pardon our femelle cu6 riositié," said Miss Juliana, “ we come to see « Jemmy take his first lesson from you. What have
you got here? I fancy, from my knowledge of « French, that I could pick out the meaning of some
part of it. Oh! I understand, there is auroram, “ does not that mean break of day?
“ Que l'aurore
« I learned it in a French Chansong a boar." “ What o is that boar song ?" demanded Captain Winterbottom, “ is it a hunting one?" « Oh fy, no,” said Miss Juliana, " it is a drinking song." “ And “ who taught you drinking songs, sister Juddy ; did
you learn them from your outlandish ladies of ho“ nour?” A tremendous assault on the knocker announced the approach of a person of quality......... “ The Countess of ............" On this joyful news the ladies hurried to the drawing room.
Mrs. Flint presently returned. “I must make
an apology,” said she, “ for thus interrupting the 6 course of my son's studies ; but the countess has “ made a flying visit to tell me, that there is a meet 65 ing of young people at her house this evening, 46 and that there will be a dance and a little supper, " and she insists to have Jemmy of the party : but " I would not engage for any thing, without asking
your leave, as you have the whole charge of his “ education. There will be many rich folks, and
many fine folks ; and there will be Miss Punaise, " the great heiress; she has a vast improveable
estate, hard by the borough of Ayno, and who can " tell”.... The good woman was busy in weaving the web of futurities, when I reminded her that her son had taken medicine that morning, and that, possibly he might catch cold. At another time, the mention of catch cold would have awakened all her feelings ; but at present, Mrs. Flint was elevated above the region of alarms. 66 Never fear," said she, we are going to a close warm house, with
ont a breath of air in it. Come away, Jemmy, " and put on a pair of white silk stockings as fast as you can; the countess waits us."
My pupil has been kept out of bed so much, beyond his usual hour, that he did not make his appearance till after breakfast, “ Cheer up, my boy," cries Mrs. Flint, “ you look as if you had been "dreaming all night of your partner, Miss Punaise :
come, let us take an airing, and refresh ourselves " after the fatigues of the ball. hese late sittings " do not answer with my old bones. You see Mr.
............, that I have been as good as my word, " and that Jemmy, poor man, has caught no cold. " You shall go along with us on our airing; there is room for you in Mr. Flint's carriage and six, and you may talk over your lessons by the way; for you will find the carriage quite easy." Nothing, indeed could be more admirably calculated to elude every jolt ; and there wanted only solitude and independence to make it resemble a down bed. “ We
must, first of all, shut out the common enemy, "the east wind,” said Mrs. Flint, pulling up the glasses. The weather was warm, and Mrs. Flint grew eloquent on the fund of knowledge she had acquired the night before. She gave me the catalogue and character of the company : she dwelt most on her son's looks and dancing.“A gentleman at the "countess's, who said he was lately come from Paris, " told me, Jemmy was vastly like the Count de ProVence, the King of France's brother, particularly
« in the minuet : but remember, Jemmy, that to be “ a great scholar is a much finer thing than to be a “ great dancer. I am sure, Mr. ..........., that my * boy will profit by your instructions ; he has a « charming memory, and he will take in his learn“ ing as fast as you can give it him; and I am sure " that is saying a great deal ; for, from all that I
can discover, Mr. Flint could not have bestowed “ his money better."....She was going on; but, alas ! flattery vibrated faintly on my ear; we had got above pine-apple heat, and I became sick and op. pressed. I asked leave to get out, and walk home, as I felt myself not well. « Oh, to be sure," said she, “ I have known people sick in carriages for 66 want of practice ; do not be alarmed, Mr. ... “ but here, Jemmy, do you wrap this handker« chief about your neck, before the coach door is “ opened."
I walked home in great spirits, animated by every gale around me; and I forgot for a while that I was not my own master.
In the evening, my pupil came to me dressed out and powdered : “ Mamma,” said he sheepishly, “ has made me engage to drink tea with Miss Punaise, my last night's partner. I don't much " like her neither; for she is pitted with the small* pox, has a yellow skin, and a bleared eye ; and, " besides she dances out of time..... There was a " Miss with black hair”...Not inclining to become his confidant, I said, “ Master Flint, all engage“ ments that can be kept with honour must be " kept; and, therefore, you must go.” said he, “ there is not any must in the matter; for, “ I believe, the Miss with the black hair lives with " their Miss Punaise. However, I can do a double “ task to-morrow; and my aunt is wont to say, that
young man ought not to be always at his books."
He seemed to have treasured up this precious apophthegm in his memory.
My pupil was punctual to his hour. But we had hardly seated ourselves, when Captain Winterbottom arrived, “ No lessons to day,” roared he ; " this is my lady's wedding-day, and therefore we « keep holiday, and come for to be merry. Why you young dog, if it had not been so,
this day, you « would either have not been at all, or have been « a bastard.” It was, indeed, a day of festivity and
All the servants having dutifully got drunk over night, my pupil was not called, and so he overslept himself. He came down to the parlour about eleven, and we resumed the fatal first line of the tenth satire of Juvenal. 66 The French master is here,”. said a servant. I begged that he might return in about an hour ; but I soon learned that that was impossible without deranging the system of education in all parts of the city. " It is no great matter for an hour," said Miss Juliana, «
have always “ my nephew at your command ; but poor Signor 6 Bergamesco is much hurried, and his time is not « his own." “ Signor Bergamesco," cried I; “is
your French master an Italian ?” “ Yes,' said she, « of a noble family in the dominions of the Dog of “ Venice, but a younger brother with a small patri- . * mony, which he unfortunately consumed en traa vaillant par l'Europe. It was a fancy of my own ; * I thought that, after the Signor had taught my « nephew French, he might teach him Italian also ; “ for you know that it is a great loss to change pre