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BRIMSTONE MORNING AT DOTHEBOYS SCHOOL.

131

Ye are better than all the ballads
That ever were sung or said;
For ye are living poems,
And all the rest are dead.

BRIMSTONE MORNING AT DOTHEBOYS SCHOOL.

CHARLES DICKENS.

Mrs. SQueers stood at one of the desks, presiding over an immense basin of brimstone and treacle, of which delicious compound she administered a large installment to each boy in succession, using for the purpose a common wooden spoon, which inight have been originally manufactured for some gigantic top, and which widened every young gentleman's mouth considerably, they being all obliged, under heavy corporal penalties, to take in the whole of the bowl at a gasp. There was a long row of boys waiting, with countenances of no pleasant anticipation, to be treacled, and another file who had just escaped from the infliction, making a variety of wry mouths indicative of any thing but satisfaction. The whole were attired in such motley, ill-assorted, extraordinary garments, as would have been irresistibly ridiculous, but for the foul appearance of dirt, disorder, and disease, with which they were associated.

“Now,” said Squeers, giving the desk a great rap with his cane, which made half the little boys nearly jump out of their boots, " is that physicking over?”

"Just over,” said Mrs. Squeers, choking the last boy in her hurry, and tapping the crown of his head with the wooden spoon to restore him. Here, you Smike; take away now.

Look sharp."

Smike shuffled out with the basin, and Mrs. Squeers, having called up a little boy with a curly head, and wiped her hands upon it, hurried after him into a species of wash-house, where there was a small fire and a large kettle, together with a number of little wooden bowls which were arranged upon a board.

Into these bowls Mrs. Squeers, assisted by the hungry servant,

poured a brown composition which looked like diluted pincushions without the covers, and was called porridge. A minute wedge of brown bread was inserted in each bowl, and when they had eat their porridge by means of the bread, the boys eat the bread itself, and had finished their breakfast; whereupon Mr. Squeers said, in a solemn voice, “For what we have received may the Lord make us truly thankful!”—and went away to his own.

After some half-hour's delay Mr. Squeers reappeared, and the boys took their places and their books, of which latter commodity the average might be about one to eight learners. A few minutes having elapsed, during which Mr. Squeers looked very profound, as if he had a perfect apprehension of what was inside all the books, and could say every word of their contents by heart if he only chose to take the trouble, that gentleman called up the first class.

Obedient to this summons, there ranged themselves in front of the schoolmaster's desk half-a-dozen scarecrows, out at knees and elbows, one of whom placed a torn and filthy book beneath his learned eye.

“This is the first class in English spelling and philosophy, Nickleby," said Squeers, beckoning Nicholas to stand beside him. “We'll get up a Latin one, and hand that over to you. Now, then, where's the first boy ?"

“Please, Sir, he's cleaning the back parlor window," said the temporary head of the philosophical class.

“So he is, to be sure," rejoined Squeers. “We go upon the practical mode of teaching, Nickleby; the regular education system. C-l-e-a-n, clean, verb active, to make bright, to scour. W-i-n, win, d-e-r, der, winder, a casement. When the boy knows this out of book, he goes and does it. It's just the same principle as the use of the globes. Where's the second boy?

Please, Sir, he's weeding the garden,” replied a small voice. "To be sure,” said Squeers, by no means disconcerted. “So he is. B-o-t, bot, t-i-n, tin, bottin, n-e-y, ney, bottinney, noun substantive, a knowledge of plants. When he has learned that bottinney means a knowledge of plants, he goes and knows 'em. That's our system, Nickleby : what do you think of it?”

“It's a very useful one, at any rate," answered Nicholas, significantly.

MRS. CAUDLE'S CURTAIN LECTURE ON UMBRELLAS.

133

“I believe you,” rejoined Squeers, not remarking the emphasis of his usher. “ Third boy, what's a horse ?”

“A beast, Sir," replied the boy. "So it is," said Squeers. “ Ain't it, Nickleby?” “I believe there is no doubt of that, Sir," answered Nicholas. “Of course there isn't,” said Squeers.

“A horse is a quadruped, and quadruped's Latin for beast, as everybody that's gone through the grammar knows, or else where's the use of having grammars at all ?"

"Where, indeed!" said Nicholas, abstractedly.

" As you're perfect in that,” resumed Squeers, turning to the boy, “ go and look after mine, and rub him down well, or I'll rub you down.”

MRS. CAUDLE'S CURTAIN LECTURE ON UMBRELLAS.

DOUGLAS JERROLD. That's the third umbrella gone since Christmas.

What were you to do? Why, let him go home in the rain, to be sure. I'm very certain there was nothing about him that could spoil. Take cold, indeed! He doesn't look like one of the sort to take cold. Besides, he'd have better taken cold than take our only umbrella. Do you hear the rain, Mr. Candle ? I say, do you hear the rain ? And as I'm alive, if it isn't St. Swithin's day! Do you hear it against the windows? Nonsense; you don't impose upon me. You can't be asleep with such a shower as that? Do you hear it, I say? Oh, you do hear it ! Well, that's a pretty flood, I think, to last for six weeks; and no stirring all the time out of the house. Pooh! don't think me a fool, Mr. Caudle. Don't insult me. He return the umbrella! Anybody would think you were born yesterday. As if anybody ever did return an umbrella! There—do you hear it? Worse and worse ! Cats and dogs, and for six weeks—always six weeks. And no umbrella !

But I know why you lent the umbrella. Oh, yes; I know very well. I was going out to tea at dear mother's to-morrowyou knew that; and you did it on purpose. Don't tell me; you hate me to go there, and take every mean advantage to hinder me.

and you know oman, it's

But don't you think it, Mr. Candle. No, Sir; if it comes down in buckets-full, I'll go all the more. No; and I won't have a cab. Where do you think the money's to come from? You've got nice high notions at that club of yours. A cab, indeed !

Cost me sixteen pence at least-sixteen pence! two-and-eightpence, for there's back again. Cabs, indeed! I should like to know w ho's to pay for 'em; I can't pay for 'em, and I am sure you can't, if you go on as you do; throwing away your property, and beggaring your children—buying umbrellas !

Do you hear the rain, Mr. Candle ? I say, do you hear it? But I don't care—I'll go to mother's to-morrow: I will; what's more, I'll walk every step of the way,—and that will give me my death. Don't call me a foolish you that's the foolish man. Ugh! I do look forward with dread for to-morrow

! How I am to go to mother's I'm sure I can't tell. But if I die,

I'll do it. No, Sir; I won't borrow an umbrella. No; and you s

Shan't buy one. Now, Mr. Caudle, only listen to this: if you bring home another umbrella, I'll throw it in the street. I'll have my own umbrella, or none at all.

Ha! and it was only last week I had a new nozzle put to that umbrella. I'm sure, if I'd have known as much as I do now, it might have gone without one for me. Paying for new pozzles, for other people to laugh at you. Oh, it's all very well for you-you can go to sleep. You've no thought of your poor patient wife

, and your own dear children. You think of nothing but lending umbrellas!

Men, indeed!—call themselves lords of the creation !-pretty lords, when they can't even take care of an umbrella!

HOW THE MONEY GOES.

How goes the Money ?-Well,
I'm sure it isn't hard to tell;
It goes for rent, and water-rates,
For bread and butter, coal and grates,
Hats, caps, and carpets, hoops and hose, -
And that's the way the Money goes !

SAINT JONATHAN.

135

How goes the Money ?-Nay,
Don't everybody know the way?
It goes for bonnets, coats, and capes,
Silks, satins, muslins, velvets, crapes,
Shawl3, ribbons, furs, and furbelows,
And that's the way the Money goes!

How goes the Money ?-Sure,
I wish the ways were something fewer;
It goes for wages, taxes, debts ;
It goes for presents, goes for bets,
For paint, pomades, and eau de rose,
And that's the way the Money goes!
How goes the Money ?-Now,
I've scarce begun to mention how;
It goes for laces, feathers, rings,
Toys, dolls--and other baby-things,
Whips, whistles, candies, bells, and bows, -
And that's the way the Money goes!
How goes the Monoy ?-Come,
I know it doesn't go for rum;
It goes for schools and Sabbath chimes;
It goes for charity-sometimes;
For missions, and such things as those,
And that's the way the Money goes !
How goes the Money ?--There,
I'm out of patience, I declare;
It goes for plays, and diamond-pins,
For public alms, and private sins,
For hollow shams, and silly shows,--
And that's the way the Money goes !

SAINT JONATHAN.-JOHN G. SAXE.

THERE's many an excellent saint, -

St. George, with a dragon and lance; St. Patrick, so jolly and quaint;

St. Vitus, the saint of the dance;

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