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treatment, but, at the same time, violently rebellious and untractable when harshly used. He shewed, at an early age, a decided aversion to every kind of dissimulation, and prided himself upon a degree of
openness which amounted even to rudeness.
While residing at Clifton Castle, he had accidentally overheard some remarks made upon his father's character, and certain ridiculous allusions to his formality, preciseness, and awkward imitations of the great man. These observations were, undoubtedly, never meant to reach Robert's ears: but they had reached them, and had thus awakened sensations which could never be destroyed, and which co-operating with the natural bent of his own mind, tended to produce a character as directly contrary to that of his father as two characters could possibly be.
When Robert was placed under the care of Mr. Day, that excellent man soon made himself acquainted with his pupil's dispositions; and, observing the errors into which he had been allowed to fall, he set himself to counteract them by instilling into his mind, as soon as possible, those pure Christian principles by the exercise and application of which the valleys are exalted, the mountains brought low, and the rough places made plain: and, through the divine blessing on his labours, there is no doubt that Mr. Day would, in time, have succeeded in rendering his pupil all that he could have wished, had there not been a counteracting influence continually at work to undo all that the good tutor was endeavouring to effect.
Mr. Day possessed sufficient authority to keep Master Robert out of the way of the flatteries of the servants and dependents of the family; but he could not protect him from the misplaced and ill-timed interferences of his father, who considered himself dreadfully scandalized by the roughnesses of his son's deportment, and was, therefore, most eagerly desirous to see the little boy as delicate in his appearance, and as graceful in his manners, as some of the puny sprigs of nobility with whom he had become acquainted at Clifton Castle.
It was in vain that Mr. Day continually reasoned with Mr. Lambert on this subject, and advised him to wait until the operation of a good and gentlemanly education
should have produced its usual fruits of gentility and politeness in his son. On this point Mr. Lambert would hear no reason. He insisted upon it, that Robert should be polished first, and educated afterwards; and, in favour of his own views, he pleaded the example of several children whom he had seen at Lord V- 's, whose elegance of manner had been evident from the cradle.
To these remarks, Mr. Day would reply, that, in the present imperfect state of human nature, all natural perfections were never found in the same person, some children being endowed with one pleasing quality, and others with another; some being born with a certain elegance of carriage which others can acquire but with difficulty, and that only in an imperfect degree, even by a long course of tuition. “ Your son Robert, Mr. Lambert, happens not to have this natural elegance,” added Mr. Day: “ but there is, however that in him which, with the divine blessing, will make a valuable man and a gentleman; yet, by endeavouring to force him out of his natural line, we shall only render his manners constrained and awkward. Let him see nothing but what is in good taste, let him be required to render civility to every one about him, and to give a proper attention to the cultivation of his mind; and there is no fear but that, in time, his outward deportment will become gentlemanly and graceful.”
Mr. Day's arguments were good; but they were quite above the comprehension of Mr. Lambert, who could by no means think of waiting to let Robert grow up, before he should become such a gentleman as he wished him to be. He therefore, as I have said, continually marred the simple and pious plans of the tutor, and kept up a perpetual irritation in the mind of his boy, by constant, ill-timed, and injudicious interferences.
Instead of leaving little Robert in peace to study in Mr. Day's apartment, to walk out with this same beloved tutor when the tasks were concluded, to dig with dirty hands in some obscure corner of the shrubbery, and to amass snail-shells, painting-stones, and string, in his own way; he was continually forcing him into view, and then reproaching him, if, when thus dragged forth, he did not appear with all the ease, freedom, and propriety,
easy confidence of a first rate jockey. “There is Lady V's
carriage,” Mr. Lambert would say: "fly, Robert; hand her ladyship through the hall. But, stop: are your hands clean ?-Mr. Day, look at the boy's hand. Where is Cox? Where is your valet, Robert? Why did he suffer you to come to breakfast with such hands? O, you have been grubbing for snail-shells! No excuse at all: pity you were not born among the beggars. You never will be a gentleman; you were never intended for a gentleman. You are using your fork, Master Lambert, instead of your spoon. Cox, a spoon for Master Robert: not a large spoon; a dessert-spoon. What! did you never sit down to dinner with gentlemen before ?" And then would commonly follow pathetic calls on the butler, the gentleman out of livery, and every footman, in his turn. “Is there no one here who can give Master Lambert a spoon ?-Llewellyn, Burton, John, Thomas,-is it impossible to make interest for a spoon ? Not a tablespoon, I beseech you. Does no one here know a dessertspoon from a table-spoon? Mr. Day, my dear Mr. Day, I beseech you, do see that the boy does not contract such horrid habits."
In tbis manner Robert was tutored from day to day, from hour to hour. It is no wonder, then, if the boy's prejudices against his father's peculiarities grew stronger every moment, and if, notwithstanding the counteracting influence of Mr. Day, he still retained his natural roughness and untractability of character.
While things were proceeding thus, an only sister of Mr. Lambert's, the widow of a clergyman, died ; leaving a son, about one year younger than Robert, of which son she appointed her brother the guardian, bequeathing the whole of her property, which was something more than three thousand pounds, to his care, for the use of her child.
Mr. Lambert had been fond of his sister, though he had not seen her for many years. As soon, therefore, as he heard of her death, he sent for the child, purposing to educate him with his own son, and to allow his fortune to accumulate for his use against he came of age. He accordingly sent one of his servants for Frederick Falconer; and, as Mr. Day gladly undertook his tuition without an increase of salary, every thing was speedily arranged for the reception of the orphan, while Robert
looked forward with pleasure to the prospect of having a little companion of his own sex. Lady V
was in Mr. Lambert's drawing-room, conversing with her brother-in-law on their favourite scheme, which was the marriage of Augusta and Robert, and Mr. Lambert was expressing a hope that Augusta would be enabled to give the polish be so ardently wished to see in her intended husband, the want, however, of which Lady V-did not greatly regard, as she felt much rather desirous that her future son-in-law should continue what he was, than be in the least like his father; when the carriage which brought little Falconer drove up to the door.
Robert and Augusta were, at the same time, playing in the hall, from whence they ran with glee into the drawing-room to announce the little stranger.
“ Bring him in, bring him in," said Lady V--, with vivacity: « let us see what kind of creature he is.
“He is very pretty, mamma,” said Augusta, whispering in her mother's ear: “I have seen him."
The servant now appeared, bringing in Frederick, who was dressed in a new suit of deep mourning, with his shirt-frill as white as snow, plaited neatly, and giving an elegant finish to his dress. At the door he bowed, and stood still till desired to approach. This little boy had been brought up under the
eye widowed and intelligent mother, and possessed also in an uncommon degree all those exterior perfections, the want of which had so embittered the life of Robert Lambert. He was tall for his age, elegantly formed, and, instead of having ha.. which, like poor Robert's, either stood directly upright, like bristles on the back of a certain inelegant quadruped not to be mentioned in genteel company, or hung over his forehead in inglorious confusion, was arranged by nature in the most picturesque curls, parted on the brow, and shading the sides of his blooming cheeks. These ringlets were of the darkest and richest auburn, his eyes were deep his eye-lashes long, his features regularly beautiful, and his complexion was fair, though glowing. In short, it was impossible to behold a more graceful or lovely boy than licile Frederick Falconer; and when he was introduced to his uncle, there was a mixture of affection and timidity in
his manner which was peculiarly captivating, and remarkably adapted to his friendless situation. “ Is he not pretty?” said Augusta, whispering to her
" What is his name?" “ Frederick Falconer,” replied Lady V.
“And may I play with him?" asked the little lady, looking upon him as a new and delightful toy.
“ He is tired now,” said Lady V
“ Are you tired, little Master Frederick ?” said Augusta, stroking his face with her dimpled hand. or Will you play with me when you have rested ?”
The little boy smiled, but did not speak.
“Will you come, Master Frederick, in a few days?” said Augusta, repeating her mother's words, while she held out her hand to him.
The little boy took the offered hand, but at the same moment burst into tears.
Why do you cry, little Master Frederick?” said Augusta: and she looked at Lady V-, as if for an explanation.
Why do you shed tears, my little dear?” asked Lady V
Because she looks so like my little Emily; and Emily is dead.”
“ Émily!” repeated Augusta; “ what Emily?"
• My little sister Emily,” said the orphan boy, sobbing; and Emily is dead."
Augusta could bear no more: her tender bosom swelled, and a gentle colour suffused her whole face; for her feelings had not yet been rendered callous by the cold, prudential system of a worldly education. Her lovely eyes at the same time became filled with tears, and she hid her face in her mother's bosom.
In the mean time, Robert stood looking on, being touched with the tears of his young companions, and having no apprehension of the consequences which might ensue from the arrival of his handsome little cou
Little Frederick was, soon afterwards, sent into Mr. Day's apartment to partake of some refreshments, and thither the other two children followed him.