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boys, in such treatment of their instructors. Why, I am sorry you engaged in such a place, Locke.” “O, I don't know,” said Mr. Amsden; “they seem rather rough, according to Locke's story, to be sure ; but it may do him good to place him among folks that will wake him up a little. There's spunk enough in him, if you could get it to the surface, I rather guess. At all events, now he has engaged, I would do my best to carry it out, if I was he.” “So would I,” promptly responded Ben. “Why, I’ve seen those Horn-of-the-Moon boys often enough at the wrestling rings at the muster trainings. Some of 'em, particularly the Bunkers, are as strong as mooses, sure enough ; but, in any case that takes real grit to carry it out, I don’t believe they are any great scratch. I saw a little up-and-coming sort of a fellow, from Sodom corner, in a fracas that a lot of 'em got into at the last muster, fairly scare from the ground a fellow of the Horn gang as big as two of him; and then stumped all the rest to come on, one at a time, and there was n’t a soul of the whole boodle that dared go it. Concern 'em I could contrive a way to manage 'em.” “And what would be the general features of your plan of operations, my learned brother ?” said Locke, smiling goodnaturedly at the thought of the other turning adviser in matters of school-keeping. “I am learned enough to know what is the best way of getting along with such a pack as the Horn-of-the-Moon boys, at any rate, I think,” replied Ben, slightly nettled; “ and that is more than you know, or can do, without help, i. fear. But if you want to know my plan, I will tell you : — In the first place, I would give out, in some way, that I was most furious quick-tempered, and so unfortunate bad and ructious, that from a child, when any one crossed and disputed me, I would fly all to pieces, and, without knowing what I did, lay hold of the first thing I could find, and knock him down. Now, don’t you think they would be rather careful what they did, after they believed that ?” “I shall go on and endeavor to do my duty in a proper and decided manner,” said Locke, in reply; “but to adopt your plan, though it might have its effect for a while, would yet be practising a deception to which I could never condescend.” “That is right, my son,” said Mrs. Amsden : “I approve your determination to practise no deception ; I would not, whatever the result.” “Why, mother,” said Ben, “to fight Old Nick with Old Nick’s play, if we must fight him at all, I thought was right, the world over.” “No, Benjamin,” rejoined the mother seriously, but kindly, “that is a bad principle to act upon. Deception never long prospers; and, by its destructive effect on the morals of him who begins to practise it, generally ends in the ruin of him and all his plans.” Ben did not attempt to controvert his mother's general position, but still manifested a disposition to adhere to his opinion respecting the right and expediency of adopting the particular project he had advanced; and muttering, “Well, Ilocke must be helped for all that,” fell to musing and devising some means by which his plan might be carried into effect without his brother's agency; but, not seeing fit to make known any of his conclusions, his remarks were soon forgotten, and the whole subject being at length dropped, the family retired for the night.
“Delightful task to rear the tender thought-
THOSE who have had much experience in the business of School-keeping, before yielding their unqualified assent to the oft-quoted sentiment of the great rural poet which we have placed over this chapter, would generally, we apprehend, wish to offer, as legislators say, an amendment to the proposition, in the shape of a proviso, something like the following: — Provided always, that the teacher can have the privilege of selecting his pupils. Such, at all events, were the feelings of our hero, as, with many misgivings, he set out, on the appointed day, for the place where he was to establish a government, in which (since the understood failure of Mr. Jefferson’s experiment of introducing selfgovernment, on the principles of a republic, into the college of which he was the founder) the golden mean between absolute monarchy and anarchy is wholly wanting — a government over what, he had reason to believe, would prove, in the present instance, as rebellious a set of subjects as were ever brought to order beneath the birchen sceptre of a pedagogue. But however mild his disposition, or unassuming his
general demeanor, Locke Amsden was by no means wanting in resolution. He possessed, indeed, one of those seemingly paradoxical characters, so often to be found in the world, and yet almost as often misunderstood, in which great diffidence of manner is united with great firmness of purpose, and a full confidence in the ability to execute. And, consequently, whatever his fears and misgivings, he bravely combated them, and endeavored to fortify his mind against the approaching hour of trial. In this, he was much aided by his resolute little brother, Ben ; who, for some Secret reason, had contrived to defeat a previously-made different arrangement for the present journey, that he might himself attend the former, in whose success his pride and interest seemed to be wonderfully awakened.
On reaching the district where he had been engaged, Locke repaired at once to the residence of his employer, at whose house, it had been before arranged, he should first take up his lodgings, as the beginning of that round of boarding through the district, which here, as in many other places, was made to add variety, to say the least of it, to the monotonous life of the schoolmaster. He was received with much rough cordiality by Bunker, and with some show of respect by his mastiff-mannered boys. The good dame of the house, soon began to bestir herself in preparation for a meal for the “new master’’ and his brother, the latter of whom, it was understood, after obtaining refreshment for himself and horse, was to return home that evening.
While the dinner was preparing, Ben, having departed for the stables, to see to his horse, in company with the boys, with whom he seemed determined to scrape acquaintance, Locke and his host soon became engaged in conversation on those topics in which they had previously discovered themselves to feel a mutual interest.
“I have felt considerable curiosity, since I became acquainted with you, the other day,” observed our hero, at a point in the conversation when the remark might seem appropriately introduced, “to know how it could have happened, that so thinking a man as yourself had never learned to read P’’
“Are you quite certain I should have been so much of a thinker as I am, if I had received a book-education P’’ said Bunker, in reply. “Your knowledge would have been more extensive, in that ase, doubtless, sir; and if you had been the worse thinker for it, the fault would have been your own, I imagine,” eplied the other. “All that may be,” remarked Bunker, musingly, “and perhaps it is so — perhaps it is with learning, as it is with
property, which we never keep and improve so well when given to us, or get easily, as when it is obtained by our own exertions — by hard knocks and long digging. But whether this is so or not, one thing to my mind is certain, and that is, that more than half of your great book-men are, after all, but very shallow thinkers; though the way they dress up a subject with language, generally procures them the credit of being otherwise; for it is curious enough to see what a deal of real ignorance a few long words and learned terms are made to conceal.” “Ay,” said Locke, “but does not your argument run against the abuse of learning, rather than its use ** “Possibly,” replied Bunker; “but, at any rate, I have often thought, that if I had received an education equal to some of your great scholars, I should have found out rather more than most of them appear to have done.” “Your impressions,” rejoined Locke, “are, I suspect, by no means uncommon. I formerly thought so myself; but the more I study, the more I am convinced, that the unlearned are accustomed to expect much more from the learned than they should do. Scholars, however profound, can never discover what God has purposely hidden from the human mind.” “There may be something in your remarks,” observed the