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Negur girls :— Prudence had a little one by him. Prudence looked reproachfully at her master ; the child was in reality the offspring of Mr. - who fearing the inquiries of the world on the subject, fathered it upon his last tutor. But they must have been blind who could not discover that the child was sprung from Mr. H-; for it had the same vulgar forehead, the same vacant eye, and the same idiot laugh.
Mr. H. Do, my dear, examine the young man a little on literary matters. He seems to have read Pope.
Mrs. H. What, Sir, is your opinion of Mr. Pope's Ode on Solitude ?
Tutor. It is a tolerable production, madam, for a child.
Mrs. H. A tolerable production for a child ! Mercy on us! It is the most sublimest of his productions. But tastes sometimes differ. Have you read the words of Dr. Johnson? Which do you approve the most.
. Tutor. Why, Madam, if you allude to his poems, I should, in conformity with your judgment, give a decided preference to his Epitaph on a Duck, written, if I mistake not, when he
old. It need scarcely fear competition with Pope's Ode on Solitude. .
At this moment the eldest daughter of this learned lady, of this unsexed female, tripped into the room on light, fantastic toe.
daughter, said the lady, let this gentleman hear you repeat the Ode on Solitude.
Excuse me, Madam, cried I, taking up my hat and bowing:
Do hear the child, bawled Mr. H- I pray you Sir to excuse me, rejoined I.
Mrs. H. It will not take the child ten minutes.
Tutor. Ten minutes, madam, are the sixth part of an hour that will never return !
Mr. H. Politeness dictates it.
Sir. Mr. H. I cannot excuse you, I shall hire you as tutor, and I have a right to expect from
you submission. I may perhaps give you the sum of fifty pounds a year.
Don't mention it, Sir, said I. There again, you will have the goodness to excuse Madam, your most obedient. Miss, your very obsequious. Sir, your humble servant.*
My walk back to Charleston was along the shore of the Atlantic, whose waves naturally associated the idea of a home I despaired ever again to behold. Sorrow always begets in me a disposition for poetry; and the reflexions that
* It has been my object in this scene to soften the condition of private tutors in America, by putting up Mr. Hin signum terroris et memoriæę to other purse-proud planters. I write not from personal pique, but a desire to benefit society. Happy shall I think myself should this page hold the mirror up to the inflation of pride, and insolence of prosperity,
obtruded themselves in my lonely walk produced a little ode.
ODE ON HOME.
DEAR native soil ! where once my feet
Were wont thy flow'ry paths to roam,
From India's climes restor'd to home;
And cheer again a parent's eye?
Thro' endless troubles doom'd to sigh?
Or shall I, pensive and forlorn,
Ot penury be yet the prey,
Without a friend to guide my way?
Tho' blest with magic power of song;
Unheeded by the worldly throng.
It was not long before
long before my advertisement brought me other applications. The principal of Charleston-College honoured me with a letletter, whom, pursuant to his desire, I waited on at his house.
I found Mr. Drone in his study, consulting with great solemnity the ponderous lexicon of Schrevelius. I could not but feel a secret veneration from the scene before me. I was admitted to the presence of a man who was not less voluminous than learned; for no book under a folio ever stood on his shelf.
How stupendous, thought I, must be the erudution of this professor, who holds in sovereign contempt a volume of ordinary dimensions ! Every animal has an aliment peculiarly suited to its constitution. The ox finds nourishment only from the earth ; and a professor cannot derive knowledge from any volume but a folio.
Mr. Drone received me with all the little decorums of dulness. He, however, talked learnedly. He lamented the degeneracy of literature in England and America ; discovered that taste was on the decline ; and despaired of ever beholding the spirit of that age revived when writers sought not for new combinations of imagery, but were content to compile lexicons, and restore the true punctuation to an ancient poet.
Mr. Drone asked me whether I was conversant with Latin; and on my replying in the affirmative, he produced a Horace in folio, and desired I would construe the Ode of Quem tu Melpomene.
Horace had never before assumed so formi. dable an aspect. In the ordinary editions he had always looked at me placido lumine ; but he now appeared crabbed and sour, and I found his text completely buried amidst the rubbish of annotations.
By making isthmius labor the agent to clarabit, the difficulty of the inversion vanished; but when I came to analyze the construction of the ode, not having some rule for verbs construed at memory, I think it was the important one of
mio fit ui, as vomo vonui ;* the Professor, with a shake of his head, which doubtless put all his sagacity into motion, told me very gravely I had yet something to learn.
I ought to apologize to my reader for detaining him so long in the company of Professor Drone ; but it is a link in the chain of my history, however rusty. To be brief, he engaged me as an Assistant to his sublime College for three months; and had the vanity to assert, that in consequence of it I should become fama super æthera notus.
I was about to take leave of Mr. Drone, when his principal Tutor entered the room, to whom he introduced me. Mr. George taught the Greek and Latin classics at the College, and was not less distinguished by his genius than his erudition,
On surveying my new acquaintance, I could not but think that he deserved a better office than that of a Gerund-grinder. Nature seemed to have set her seal on him to give the world assurance of a man.
Mr. George laughed obstreperously at the pedantry of the Professor. Peace, said he, to all such! Old Duffey, my first school-master in Roscommon, concealed more learning under the coarseness of his brogue, than Drone will ever display with all his rhetoric of declamation. It is true he can talk of Luitprandus, Bertholdus, and
* Vide Lilly's Grammar.