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    “Ha!” cried the King; “I told you so! — he is addicted to counting syllables. This is a poet. Turn him over to the Lord High Dissuader from the Head Habit.”


      "Wet it," said Hector; "drop it over and get it wet."He said people in ships always wetted the sails before they put them up.


    You may be shore that the three-cornered noats came pretty thick now from the Griffinses. Miss was always a-writing them befoar; and now, nite, noon, and mornink, breakfast, dinner, and sopper, in they came, till my pantry (for master never read ’em, and I carried ’em out) was puffickly intolrabble from the odor of musk, ambygrease, bargymot, and other sense with which they were impregniated. Here’s the contense of three on ’em, which I’ve kep in my dex these twenty years as skeewriosities. Faw! I can smel ’em at this very minit, as I am copying them down.

    It chanced to be her good fortune to find Colonel Alexander Hamilton alone in his office, something that did not often happen in the experience of that great man, and it was also perhaps her good fortune to be altogether unconscious of how truly great he was, else she might not have marched so boldly into his presence and told her story in such a frank and fearless manner. Yet, who knows, there are big and little women the world over, who will stop at nothing, and know neither fear nor shrinking where a friend’s interests are concerned, especially such a brave, true friend as Starlight had always proved himself to be.

    And, taking the knight’s sword, he began to dig a grave in the soft clay. He dug hard, and a faint light of dawn had touched his hair and he had almost done his work when a cock crowed in the valley below. ‘Ah,’ he said, ‘I must have that bird’; and he ran down the narrow path to the valley.

    As Harry had not come, there must have been something to prevent him. Jack Ryan would as soon deny the existence of the Fire-Maidens as believe in Harry's indifference.

    Later, we made dinner, and afterwards had a very comfortable smoke, and then the bo’sun attended to our various hurts. And so through the afternoon we sat about upon the crest of the hill overlooking the hulk, and thrice had they in the ship to heave upon the big rope, and by evening they had made near thirty fathoms towards the island, the which they told us in reply to a query which the bo’sun desired me to send them, several messages having passed between us in the course of the afternoon, so that we had the carrier upon our side. Further than this, they explained that they would tend the rope during the night, so that the strain would be kept up, and, more, this would keep the ropes off the weed.

    And now his own narrative is published, and the world can judge as it pleases about the amazing romance. The view which will doubtless find general acceptance is that the whole is a figment of the brain, begotten of some harmless moorland adventure and the company of such religious maniacs as the shepherd and his sister. But some who knew the former sobriety and calmness of my friend’s mind may be disposed timorously and with deep hesitation to another verdict. They may accept the narrative, and believe that somewhere in those moorlands he met with a horrible primitive survival, passed through the strangest adventure, and had his finger on an epoch-making discovery. In this case they will be inclined to sympathise with the loneliness and misunderstanding of his latter days. It is not for me to decide the question. That which alone could bring proof is buried beneath a thousand tons of rock in the midst of an untrodden desert.

    Accentuation gives rise to no fallacious arguments, either as written or as spoken, except perhaps some few that might be made up; e.g. the following argument. ‘Is ou katalueis a house?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Is then ou katalueis the negation of katalueis?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘But you said that ou katalueis is a house: therefore the house is a negation.’ How one should solve this, is clear: for the word does not mean the same when spoken with an acuter and when spoken with a graver accent.

    After Oxford and Cambridge, one turns to[Pg 176] London and the non-resident foundations, all of them, I believe, modern. Here, as it seems to me, the English err again. Broadly speaking, these institutions, wittingly or unwittingly, devote their energies to the preparation of young men for the Civil Service. If you are an English board-school teacher at £80 a year and you discover that a second-class clerk in the Circumlocution Department commences at £300 a year, and that, roughly, the examination to be passed is the same as for matriculation at London, you naturally go in bald-headed for matriculation at London. For the learning you get by these efforts you have not the smallest respect. If, on presenting yourself for examination by the Civil Service Commissioners, you come out sufficiently high on the list to secure an appointment, well and good. If not, your labour has been wasted. It is this spirit which is at the bottom of the English ignorance. With them, learning, education, is a means to an end, and not in the least its own exceeding great reward. Hence a properly[Pg 177] educated Englishman is almost as rare as a blue rose. For the masses—the rascally lower orders, that is to say—there are the board schools. Here for thirty years past has been enacted about the sweetest travesty of education that the mind of man could conceive. For the teaching of the children of the rascally lower orders, the wise English Government, with the assistance of the wise English school boards, has invented what is to all intents and purposes a new type of man. And his name shall be called Schoolmaster. He began Heaven knows how. But if you inquire into him, you will find that he has spent three years at a Government training college, and that prior to this experience he was for some years a pupil teacher; also that he is a son of the people, and that his father drove an engine or kept a shop. In these latter circumstances he was, perhaps, fortunate. The marvellous fact about him is that, in spite of his years of pupil-teachership and of his three years at a Government training college, he is not a man of either learning or[Pg 178] culture. I am told that an English pupil teacher is not expected to fash himself by the study of either Latin or Greek. Two books of Euclid will see him through the stiffest of his examinations. He does not need to have even a nodding acquaintance with modern languages; and as for science, if he really wants some, he must pick it up at evening classes. Even when he passes into the Government training college,—where, by the way, he is instructed and boarded and lodged gratis,—his studies do not become in any way profound. The history of England, the geography of the world, arithmetic according to Barnard Smith, algebra according to Dr. Todhunter, Latin and Greek according to Dr. William Smith (Part I.), with a little French,—a very little French,—bring him to the end of his tether.


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