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There was the Reverend Rodomont Precisian,
When I was about eight my mother died. This was the first time I really knew sorrow. I wept long and bitterly. They kept me as much as possible out of the way of the insignia of death ; but I did not the less feel my bereavement. For many months after, I would retire to some solitary room to give vent to my tears, for I had even at that age a strong idea that it was unbefitting my character to be seen to weep. I remember one circumstance which strongly illustrates this. The first time ter her death that I went into the society of some of my playmates, one of them, observing the deep mourning which I wore, asked with boyish heedlessness for whom I was in mourning. The question suddenly brought before
mind the full consciousness of my irreparable loss—the all-absorbing recollection of that mother's love which I had lost for ever. A tide of irrepressible emotion at once overwhelmed me. The boys had gathered round me, and I felt that I should betray what I considered my unmanly weakness. I raised my face towards the sky and closed my eyes, endeavouring to repress the big tears that were gathering and bursting from them. Thus I stood in silence, till some of them probably perceiving that something grieved me drew the others away. I then walked away also, and hid my tears and my sorrow in solitude. From that day, however, I wept no more.
Some time after this a person came to be private tutor to my brother and myself. He was, I think, a fellow of a college in Cambridge. His name was Judson, his christian name I forget, but I shall call him Judas; for whether that be his name or not, it fits his character well.
At first he was exceedingly soft and silky in his manner towards both of us. His countenance always wore a smile; his voice was always soft; and he appeared to be brimful of respect, of reverence for "our nobility.” But I have always been somewhat of a believer in physiognomy, and from the first there appeared to me something in Mr. Judson's countenance, notwithstanding his eternal smile, that forbade confidence; in short, something I did not like. His countenance, too, in spite of his attempts to render it so, was far from prepossessing. He had a large head; coarse features; the nose, in particular, ill-cut, and slightly turned up at the point; an eye which always appeared to me an “evil” one; and black greasy hair which was naturally quite straight, but which he used to have curled regularly every morning. He used to say, that he had the mathematical organ very finely developed in his head. But however that might be, I know well that he had certain other organs exceedingly large. What these are to which I allude, the reader will be able to judge for himself by the time I have done with Mr. Judson. But should he even then be in doubt, he will find some fine specimens of the developement in question on the heads of some of the felons, who, being less successful in their undertakings than Mr. Judson, terminate their career at the Old Bailey.
I confess that I took a dislike to the outward and visible portion of my Tutor, even before I had an opportunity of forming a very correct judgment respecting the value of his inner man. Not so my brother. Probably, indeed, the Reverend Mr. Judson, for he was in orders, laboured far more to ingratiate himself with the heir apparent of the powerful and opulent house of Plantagenet, than he was likely to do with a landless, livingless, and expectationless younger brother. However that might be, the result was apparent. He became more and more assiduous in his attention and obsequiousness to my brother. I said, that at first he showed a disposition to ingratiate himself with both of us. Probably he was then but feeling his ground,-observing how the land lay; for while his behaviour towards my brother was such as I have described, he began to treat me either with harshness or neglect. He even showed dispositions to proceed to personal chastisement; but I soon put a stop to that. The first time he attempted it, I threw a candlestick at his head with such force and precision of aim, that had he not made a sudden stoop, there was a very fair prospect