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consideration. The little family were present, for they always had a most decided objection to retire to rest without their parents being with them. There was considerable skill displayed in the way Mrs. Tompkins urged her husband's consent. Timothy, Sally, Jacob, Jem, and Moses separately pleaded in support of their mother's position. Mr. Tompkins was most willing that his industrious partner should have the proper training of the mental capacities of her children. He did not care to take much trouble to himself. So long as his wife could satisfy herself, he was satisfied. It would have been opposed to his philosophy for him to have acted otherwise. The little Tompkins's were in the world—that was an unmistakeable fact. The little urchins must be attended to in some sort of waythat was another unmistakeable fact. Mr. Tompkins never interfered, beyond a passing consideration or so, with the way in which his wife conducted the home. To be sure he sometimes sickened at the sight of his children when soap and water were in perspective; but as time fled these sights became familiar, and he gradually came to look upon them, as did his wife, as matter of little import.
Now the time had arrived when it was found necessary to send the five little cherubs to school. Questions, which had never before disturbed the naturally tranquil mind of Mrs. Tompkins, began to oppress. Mr. Tompkins gently suggested to his affectionate wife that Miss Fanny Blakeley, in whose
charge the young aspirants to knowledge were to be placed, would never receive them without proper cleanly attention being daily paid to them. Mrs. Tompkins did not blush or scold as some foolish mothers would have done. She said it was a villainous shame that a decent young woman like Miss Fanny Blakeley should be so essentially finicking; but since it was likely to prove a condition in the children's reception in the school, why she would, by dint of early rising and motherly determination, bestow a due quantum of soap and water on the visible parts of her children's bodies. So far all was satisfactorily settled. That night the five children kept up a noise of rejoicing enough to deafen the ears of their mother and stimulate the passionate anger of their father.
Miss Fanny Blakeley was a young woman of about 23 years of age. She was an orphan, left entirely to herself to battle the difficulties of existence. Her parents, when living, resided within a few yards of the room she kept for her school. They were poor, honest, intelligent, sober folk, loved by most of the people with whom they came in contact. They both of them died within a couple of months of each other. Thus Fanny, their only child, was cruelly deprived, by the impervious mandate of Death, of her only earthly friends. She was 19 years of age when her parents died. She suffered the severe struggle with the patience of a martyr, and, after various other efforts at securing a livelihood, entered on her duties of governess.
Fanny was a favourite with the good, quiet townfolk who knew her. She was a good singer and had full
scope for that Divine faculty in the Parish Church, where she was a constant attendant. There was nothing connected with the observances of the church more highly prized by its members than
the choir. Miss Fanny Blakeley was the principal female singer. The leader of the choir was a young man, Walter Masson, the son of a banker. He was a magnificent singer, and prided himself, too, on his other musical qualifications.
Miss Fanny Blakeley could not have chosen a more suitable task, nor one more likely to prove a success than when she instituted her school.
A neat little circular, carefully worded, was sent round to most of the middle-class and working-class people within a mile of the school The delivery of this circular was entrusted to Mr. Tompkins, whose integrity was unimpeachable. The school was speedily in a flourishing condition, Miss Fanny Blakeley giving the best satisfaction to all her patrons. The pupils generally grew to love her, and were rarely known to cry to stay at home.
One morning Miss Fanny Blakeley was made acquainted with the fact that five more scholars awaited her presence. She was not long in attending to them. Mrs. Tompkins herself was with them, a circumstance for reflection, since she had scarcely been once out of her calling since her marriage. Now Miss Fanny Blakeley was a very obliging young woman, one very desirous of pleasing. She was not proud or condescending in her speech; yet it must be confessed, when she saw the small family of Tompkins's, she felt little desire to cultivate their acquaintance. What could she do? It would not accord with her notions of propriety to refuse admission to the unruly stock. Then, when her eye caught the persuasive glance of the mother, she could not but yearn towards them and admit them.
Mrs. Tompkins was a mother, and that must account for the wild joy expressed in the presence of Miss Fanny Blakeley as soon as the children were entered in Miss Fanny's sanctum sanctorum. There was, as one must expect, a sudden silence in the school as the new scholars were placed together on a low form. Soon, however, all went on as usual. The young schoolmistress devoted the most strenuous care in the almost fruitless effort to bring out in bold existenee the mental faculties of these five young Tompkins's. Timothy, the eldest, was by far the worst behaved. He repeatedly called down upon his unlucky back the little cane which Miss Fanny Blakely kept for all such incorrigibles. He was, in spite of all, very apt at his lessons when he could be coaxed into attention, which was not often. Sally was the quietest and the dullest, whilst the younger Moses was anything but sweet-tempered or disposed to profit from his school hours. Jacob and Jem were always playful, and gave considerable annoyance to Miss Fanny by their vulgar habit of gigling. Three months went round, and the five children still added their persons and pranks to Miss Fanny Blakeley's annoyance. She was puzzled to a serious degree to know how to act towards them. She could not feel it in her heart to send them home, so she strove heroically to incline the wills of these self-willed children.
Miss Fanny Blakely found she had undertaken a task. But with a strong genial spirit she persevered, gaining the encouragement of
· her own conscience and a slight improvement in all the children except Timothy. Whether by dint of natural stubborness or other cause, it happened that the more she strove with Timothy the more prankish and wicked he became. The boy was never at rest constantly in mischicf. His happiest school moments were those which caused Miss Fanny Blakely the most annoyance.
If she placed in his hands a small book with pictures, in order to make him conduct himself with decorum, she would be sure to be shocked by seeing the leaves in a thousand pieces scattered about the floor. If she gave him a slate and pencil, setting him to write a lesson, he would offend her by the most offensive sketches. He had a natural taste for drawing, but all his drawings were of a most ludicrous kind. For instance, he felt a wicked delight in scratching on his slate a female figure, with a very ugly head and slender body, with a book in one hand and a cane in the other. He would then cause the children to laugh loud, by making them know that it was meant for a portrait of Miss Fanny Blakely. The young schoolmistress would get very very angry and scold him; but it was all fuel to the fire of the boy's involuntary mirth. Six months had gone past since the Tompkins's family first entered Miss Fanny Blakeley's school. She had bestowed three times more care in their education than all the other schoolchildren needed.
A circumstance took place which thoroughly put Miss Fanny Blakely out of humour. It was drawing near Christmas. There would be a vacation for a couple of weeks. She had instructed the foremost of her scholars to write, each of them, a letter to their parents or friends. The pupils were in ecstacies at the idea, and tortured their fingers and patience in order to do their best. At length the letters were completed, carefully collected by Miss Fanny Blakeley, and placed away in her desk. She had decided that they should be placed in envelopes the next day and sent to their destination,
The meal hour came in due course. The children who lived near went home to dine; those like the Tompkins's, who lived some distance from the school, took their dinners in the school-room. On this occasion Miss Fanny Blakely inadvertently left the key in her desk. This was perceived by the boy Timothy, who thoughtlessly went to the desk, urged by curiosity, and commenced rumaging its contents. While he was thus occupied, he heard the approach of Miss Fanny, and, with all speed, endeavoured to get from the desk. He was so awkward in this endeavour, that he knocked over an inkstand full of red ink; the vermilion fluid went into the desk and completely saturated the whole of the letters which Miss Fanny Blakely had placed there, besides doing other damage.
This conduct was too vile to be forgiven. Miss Fanny boxed his ears dexterously while Timothy repaid her generosity with vigorous kicks on her legs. The little family went home that evening, carrying with them a letter bearing their dismissal from the school.
Hypocrites are never original ; and affectation is the hypocrisy of morals.-Ellinburgh Literary Almanac.
THE GRAVES OF ENGLAND IN HER OLD CHURCH YARD.
Tread not, incautious stranger-friend, those consecrated graves ;-
Crocker's Poetical Works. Chichester: Mason and Wilmshurst.
Thirty years ago, Charles Crocker modestly appeared for the first time before the public. His poetical productions were welcomed by men of mind and position as giving evidence of quiet, philosophic, and true poetic power. His poems are, with two or three exceptions, short, graceful, and unpretending. Charles Crocker, born in Chichester, in early life, knew much of struggle. He was the son of poor parents, who, having a numerous family to maintain, found it impracticable to give their children education.
It appears, however, that Charles found friends who secured him admission to the “Grey-Coat School” in his native city. Four years' application enabled our poet to master some of the rudiments of learning. He grew enamoured of books, found delight and profit in the Bible,” “Robinson Crusoe,” and Pilgrim's Progress.'
At the age of twelve he was apprenticed, and was initiated to the mysteries of the shoemaking craft. During his apprenticeship, Charles Crocker devoted his spare time to study. He found out the secret of literary success—knew that “there is no royal road to intellectual eminence.” Stimulated by hope and encouraged by success, he persevered, never being too proud to acquire, or too elated to hold by his "craft." His pet ideal was poetical. He invented rhymes, and moulded into his verse the passing reflections and events of his own life.
For many years Crocker followed the “last,” poetising at intervals during the time. He had little ambition other than to excel in the walks of Genius and Taste. Nor does he appear to have had the least possible idea (as so many young aspirants to fame have) of presenting his productions for public scrutiny. Crocker wisely made the works of Milton, Cowper, Goldsmith, Collins, and other of the world's acknowledged minstrels, companions of his solitude. He familiarised himself with their best thoughts and most expressive images. His taste was cultivated, his passion intensified. Some of his poems were seen by gentlemen competent to pass judgement. They desired to see a collection of the poems of this gifted shoemaker in print. Subscriptions came in—the poems were published, won favour, elevated the author, and were in demand.
It must not be supposed that even this unlooked-for and most gratifying encouragement turned the brain of this humble bard. He had taken unto himself a wife, had started as a journeyman shoemaker, and was never ashamed of his profession. His wife was a true companion to him, his home yielded serenity and contentment. This was not to continue without a break. In two years after wedlock the poet of Chichester was bereft of his loved and loving partner, who left behind her as a legacy an infant daughter. The melancholy suffering of this period of the poet's life has tortured his muse into song.
When the Poems of Crocker were noised abroad, and the humble bard, was receiving testimonials from admirers on all hands, he was honoured by a visit from Southey, who afterwards reviewed him in