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most pleasing traits in the character of Charles Murphy; for it is too frequently the case with wits," as they are termed, to make those who are seriously disposed the subject of their jest and banter. This is very sinful, for it is employing the intellect with which God has blessed such people, to the discomfort of those whom he loves, and whom he has taken under his peculiar care. I hope if any boys who feel they have wit should read this, they will follow Charles Murphy's example, and not degrade themselves, and displease the Lord, by scoffing at their pious companions. The danger of such conduct is forcibly shown in an account we find in Scripture of forty-two children or "young men," being destroyed by two she bears for mocking Elisha the prophet.* It has been said that, "a scoffing youth frequently grows up into a hardened, hoary-headed sinner; while, on the contrary, those who give the morning of their lives to God, flourish like the palm tree, and the cedar in Lebanon."
At length all of us took our seats, and our boxes were heaped upon the roof of the coach. Mr. White ascended last, and having given the signal, crack went "Coachy's" whip, and off started the horses. Whose hearts were lighter than ours at that moment? Charles Murphy's bugle, which he had purchased for this special occasion, struck up, and the rest waved their hats, and gave a parting hurrah. And then, as we passed along, there was not a person whom we met or overtook to whom we did not show that we
* See 2 Kings ii. 23, 24,
were joyous, boisterous, breaking-up school-boys! And as to the villages through which we passed, as our common observation was, we made them all alive." As the bugle sounded its long-drawn notes, and our voices shouted, the blacksmith would lay down his hammer, the carpenter his rule, and the tailor thrust his needle into the garment, and run to the doors of their shops to see what was the matter. There also might be seen many a group of children, who, as we passed, responded to our joy, and increased the din. Many of them would also follow us through the village at the top of their speed, and stop not till we were fairly out of sight. When we had cleared the village, then our boisterousness would cease, and we would congratulate ourselves in having let the rustics see that we were of some importance."
In passing along, as we lived at different parts, we were met by our parents at particular points of the road. Two or three were "dropped," as we used to term it, before myself, and it was truly delightful to see the friendship that subsisted between our master and the parents of these scholars. As for my own parents, when we were met by them, it was like the meeting of brothers and sisters, it was so affectionate and kind. "I meet you," my father used to say, "with more than common delight, for I consider you one of my best friends. For the kind and christian care you take of my son, you are entitled to my warmest gratitude and my sincerest friendship. I wish every parent was able to find such a master for his children, for not only
themselves, but their posterity, will rise up and call you blessed."
Mr. White used to answer my father with a warm shake of the hand, a tear of pleasure, and an expressive hope that his efforts would be made a blessing. As for myself, elated as I had been at the prospect of returning home, and rejoiced as I was to meet my parents, my feelings of joy were now mingled with regret. I loved my preceptor, and I loved my schoolfellows; and I had reason to believe that they loved me. Every hand would be held over the side of the coach for a parting shake with that of the "Philosopher," and another and another shake would be again and again demanded. Among the warmest were those of Arthur Sampson and Charles Murphy, and the latter frequently wished that we were not going to part. And that Charles was sincere in this wish I have every reason to believe, for he laid his bugle down among the luggage, and did nothing but look after me till the coach was out of sight: I also looked after him, as though he had been my brother.
IN the life of the young, perhaps, there is no season so full of hope as that which immediately precedes their leaving school. I well remember what feelings I possessed at that period; and these appear to have been held in common with the rest of my school-fellows. Often have I heard them exult in the prospect, and boast of the great doings they would perform when they left school. Charles Murphy, however, was one of the most lively I have ever met with, and, as we left Mr. White's school at the same time, I will relate a conversation on the subject, which we had previous to our departure.
I was sitting in the summer-house, reading. when I was suddenly joined by Charles. This was not very usual, for Charles was not inclined to study much after "study hours;" those being, as he used to observe, "sufficient for young heads." I was deeply interested in the book I was reading, and therefore took but little notice of my companion. We sat silently for some time, and I had almost forgotten Charles was with me, when he thus addressed me :
"Really, Philosopher, I cannot understand your character; your manner is so strange."
Taking my eyes off my book, and fixing them full in Charles's face, I asked him to explain himself.
Why," returned Charles, "I always knew you to be fond of books; but how you can read them at this time I cannot think. For my own part, my heart is so full of hope and joy that I can hardly attend to the lessons given me by Mr. White; and I am sure I could not read one page attentively of my own free will."
"How is that, Charles?" I inquired, laconically.
"How is that, Philosopher?" reiterated Charles; "how is that?" What! have you forgotten that we are about to give up all study and become men ?" Rising from my seat, I replied, "Give up all study, and become men! Why, certainly, Charles, I had not forgotten this; such a thought never entered into my head: for in me, at least, this would be ridiculous, seeing my frame is so very diminutive. Now, only look at me, should I not make a fine man ?”