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the tumult and uproar, for my mother's voice was not pitched in the lowest key, and I was bawling lustily, after some time learned that his second son was a most incorrigible blockhead. He expostulated mildly, and in the most friendly and gratifying tone on my unhappy waste of time, wished me to learn for my own sake; declaring, that he'was convinced that I had capacity sufficient to become a scholar, if I would exert myself. This method of conduct soon soothed my irritated mind, and softened my wounded pride. At length; after much talking on both sides, great kindness on his, some tears on mine, with the exchange of many an angry and indignant glance between my mother and me, it was stipulated, that, as soon as I could read, without spelling, the first chapter in St. Matthew's Gospel, I should leave my present preceptress, be put into breeches, and go to a Latin school. These preliminaries being agreed on, I forthwith applied diligently, and, within a month from that day, read the appointed chapter, put on my breeches, and entered the Latin school. At this seminary, only as a day-boy, I remained four years, when it. was found utterly impossible to keep me at home any longer, for my father's house and peace of mind was utterly disturbed and broken by my continual battles with my elder brother, some four years before me in age, in all which I got thoroughly and soundly beaten; my frequent brawls with my mother, whom I no longer suffered to use mantal arguments in our disputes ; and the incredible mischief of which my unlucky clambering and handling were productive, such as dashing a marble through the most costly mirror in the house, breaking the largest china bowl, pulling down from their stand at the top of the room, and shattering to pieces, two very expensive globes, laming one of the chaise-horses, and many other things of this kind, which were not easily repaired by my father's moderate income. Wherefore it was determined that I should first go to a private seminary at ................, and thence into the college founded by Accordingly, at the age of nine, I travelled seventy miles from home, in company with my father, whose mildness, and benevolence, and affection, joined with a clear, and sound, and accurate, and mighty, and highly polished, and cultivated intellect, and an excellent, and upright, and incorruptible heart, breathing the meek, and lowly, and amiable spirit of Christianity, served, in some degree, to reconcile me to what I then deemed a harsh measure, the being exiled from home, while the rest of my brothers and sisters remained under the paternal roof. To .................... We came, and a most dreary journey I had travelled ; not a peasant, not. a cow, not a horse, not a sheep, not a dog did I see, but I heartily envied its situation, and lamented my unhappy lot, for I but too well anticipated what such a mind as mine would suffer under the narrow and crooked policy, and arbitrary, and cruel, and indiscriminating domination of a dull, and ignorant, and self-witted pedagogue.
whenever a vacancy made room ;
father's interest with some of the fellows enabled him to get me into that celebrated school of the muses.
In compliance with my promise, on a former occasion, I proceed to attempt to show, that in proportion as a man extends his knowledge and cultivates his mind, he renders his risible faculties more various, more extatic, more perfect. The smith who beats upon the anvil; the peasant who hangs over the plough; the artisan who toils at the loom; and the cobler who beats upon his last, have all, severally, their faculties of risibility: the offering an empty cup to him who asks for drink; the lolling out of the tongue, or putting it into the left cheek; the distorting of the countenance into ridiculous shapes; and the various ebullitions of manual wit, as the sly pinch, the slap on the back, the dextrous conveyance of the handkerchief from the pocket, the ingenious mode of pulling by the hair, while in apparent conversation with the person so pulled: these, and a thousand such exercitations of intellect, serve to call forth and excite the
laughter of the cobler, of the weaver, of the ploughman, and of the smith. The farmer, when his corn is well sold at market; the miller who buys that corn ; the tradesman who has made a good day of it; the landlord who sells the ale, and the exciseman who gauges that ale, rise higher in the scale of risibility; no manual helps, no aids from without, are called in ; to their head alone they trust for their stock of mirth; and convulsive bursts of laughter are excited by the anecdotes retailed, at second hand, from the squire, the driver of the stagecoach, a fine and civil-behaved gentleman that came into the tradesman's shop that morning and bought some ladies gloves of his wife, who told her husband the story, from the groom of a great man, whose master passed on while the servant sat on his horse's back to drink a pint, and from the justices and collectors of excise' at a 'meeting held for the purpose of fining and punishing smugglers; and now and then by an original observation, or pun, or witticism of their own. Next come the parson, the lawyer, and the apothecary of a