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lant Grinder, however, being still there, politely offered to attend her to her own door; and as it was something to Miss Tox to be seen home by a youth whom Mr. Dombey had first inducted into those manly garments which are rarely mentioned by name, she very readily accepted the proposal.
After shaking hands with Mr. Toodle and Polly, and kissing all the children, Miss Tox left the house, therefore, with unlimited popularity, and carrying away with her so light a heart that it might have given Mrs. Chick offence if that good lady could have weighed it.
Rob the Grinder in his modesty wonld have walked behind, but Miss Tox desired him to keep beside her, for conversational purposes; and as she afterwards expressed it to his mother, "drew him out," upon the road.
He drew out so bright, and clear, and shining, that Miss Tox was charmed with him. The more Miss Tox drew him out, the finer he came—like wire. There never was a better or more promising youth-a more affectionate, steady, prudent, sober, honest, meek, candid young man-than Rob drew out, that night.
"I am quite glad," said Miss Tox, arrived at her own door, "to know you. I hope you'll consider me your friend, and that you'll come and see me as often as you like. Do you keep a money box ?"
“Yes, Ma'am,” returned Rob; "I'm saving up, against I've got enough to put in the bank, Ma'am."
"I'm glad to hear
"Very laudable indeed," said Miss Tox. it. Put this half crown into it, if you please."
"O thank you, Ma'am," replied Rob, "but really I couldn't think of depriving you."
"I commend your independent spirit," said Miss Tox, "but it's no deprivation, I assure you. I shall be offended if you
don't take it as a mark of my good will. Good night, Robin." "Good night, Ma'am," said Rob," and thank you!"
Who ran sniggering off to get change, and tossed it away with a pieman. But they never taught honor at the Grinders' School, where the system that prevailed was particularly strong in the engendering of hypocrisy. Insomuch, that many of the friends and masters of past Grinders said, if this were what came of education for the common people, let us have none. Some
more rational said, let us have a better one. But the governing powers of the Grinders' Company were always ready for them, by picking out a few boys who had turned out well in spite of the system, and roundly asserting that they could have only turned out well because of it. Which settled the business of those objectors out of hand, and established the glory of the Grinders' Institution.
Further Adventures of Captain Edward Cuttle, Mariner.
TIME, sure of foot, and strong of will, had so pressed onward, that the year enjoined by the old Instrument-maker, as the term during which his friend should refrain from opening the sealed packet accompanying the letter he had left for him, was now nearly expired, and Captain Cuttle began to look at it, of an evening, with feelings of mystery and uneasiness.
The Captain, in his honor, would as soon have thought of opening the parcel one hour before the expiration of the term, as he would have thought of opening himself, to study his own anatomy. He merely brought it out, at a certain stage of his first evening pipe, laid it on the table, and sat gazing at the outside of it, through the smoke, in silent gravity, for two or three hours at a spell. Sometimes, when he had contemplated it thus for a pretty long while, the Captain would hitch his chair, by degrees, further and further off, as if to get beyond the range of its fascination; but if this were his design, he never succeeded: for even when he was brought up by the parlor wall, the packet still attracted him; or if his eyes, in thoughtful wandering, roved to the ceiling or the fire, its image immediately followed, and posted itself conspicuously among the coals, or took up an advantageous position on the whitewash.
In respect of Heart's Delight, the Captain's parental regard and admiration knew no change. But since his last interview with Mr. Carker, Captain Cuttle had come to entertain doubts whether his former intervention in behalf of that young lady and his dear boy Wal'r, had proved altogether so favorable as he could have wished, and as he at the time believed. The Captain was troubled with a serious misgiving that he had done more harm than good, in short; and in his remorse and modesty he made the best atonement he could think of, by putting himself
out of the way of doing any harm to any one, and as it were, throwing himself overboard for a dangerous person.
Self-buried, therefore, among the instruments, the Captain never went near Mr. Dombey's house, or reported himself in any way to Florence or Miss Nipper. He even severed himself from Mr. Perch, on the occasion of his next visit, by drily informing that gentleman, that he thanked him for his company, but had cut himself adrift from all such acquaintance, as he didn't know what magazine he mightn't blow up, without meaning of it. In this self-imposed retirement, the Captain passed whole days and weeks without interchanging a word with any one but Rob the Grinder, whom he esteemed as a pattern of disinterested attachment and fidelity. In this retirement, the Captain, gazing at the packet of an evening, would sit smoking, and thinking of Florence and poor Walter, until they both seemed to his homely fancy to be dead, and to have passed away into eternal youth, the beautiful and innocent children of his first remembrance.
The Captain did not, however, in his musings, neglect his own improvement, or the mental culture of Rob the Grinder. That young man was generally required to read out of some book to the Captain, for one hour every evening; and as the Captain implicitly believed that all books were true, he accumulated, by this means, many remarkable facts. On Sunday nights, the Captain always read for himself, before going to bed, a certain Divine Sermon once delivered on a Mount; and although he was accustomed to quote the text, without book, after his own manner, hə appeared to read it with as reverent an understanding of its heavenly spirit, as if he had got it all by heart in Greek, and had been able to write any number of fierce theological disquisitions on its every phrase.
Rob the Grinder, whose reverence for the inspired writings, under the admirable system of the Grinders' School, had been developed by a perpetual bruising of his intellectual shins against all the proper names of all the tribes of Judah, and by the monotonous repetition of hard verses, especially by way of punishment, and bythe parading of him at six years old in leather breeches, three times a Sunday, very high up, in a very hot church, with a great organ buzzing against his drowsy head, like
an exceedingly busy bee-Rob the Grinder made a mighty show of being edified when the Captain ceased to read, and generally yawned and nodded while the reading was progress. The latter fact being never so much as suspected by the good Cap
Captain Cuttle also, as a man of business, took to keeping books. In these he entered observations on the weather, and on the currents of the wagons, and other vehicles, which he observed in that quarter, to set westward in the morning and during the greater part of the day, and eastward towards the evening. Two or three stragglers appearing in one week, wh "spoke him"-so the Captain entered it-on the subject of spectacles, and who, without positively purchasing, said they would look in again, the Captain decided that the business was improving, and made an entry in the day-book to that effect: the wind then blowing (which he first recorded) pretty fresh, west and by north; having changed in the night.
One of the Captain's chief difficulties was Mr. Toots, who called frequently, and who without saying much seemed to have an idea that the little back parlor was an eligible room to chuckle in, as he would sit and avail himself of its accommodations in that regard by the half-hour together, without at all advancing in intimacy with the Captain. The Captain, rendered cautious by his late experience, was unable quite to satisfy his mind whether Mr. Toots was the mild subject he appeared to be, or was a profoundly artful and dissimulating hypocrite. His frequent reference to Miss Dombey was suspicious; but the Captain had a secret kindness for Mr. Toots's apparent reliance on him, and forbore to decide against him for the present; merely eyeing him, with a sagacity not to be described, whenever he approached the subject that was nearest to his heart.
"Captain Gills," blurted out Mr. Toots, one day all at once, as his manner was, "do you think you could think favorably of that proposition of mine, and give me the pleasure of your acquaintance ?"
"Why, I'll tell you what it is, my lad," replied the Captain, who had at length concluded on a course of action; "I've been turning that there over."
"Captain Gills, it's very kind of you," retorted Mr. Toots.