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learned he had a vast capacity, with my father, as a sort of ratification of the contract under wbich I was to be given over bodily and mentally to Mr. Walker, the following day, to do with the same as he thought fit, in consideration, of course, of a certain sum sterling per quarter.
“ This is my young gentleman," my father said, as I entered. “ I hope you'll make a scholar of him.”
I grinned, of course, and looked up at Mr. Walker, who rose from his chair as I entered ; instantly I became disturbed in my mind. Ilis face seemed to me wonderfully like the fox's which I was accustomed to see at the Zoological Gardens. From the earliest time that I was able to make what in my mind were comparisons, I had a faculty of discovering analogies in the countenances of my fellow-beings, and those of animals of the lower order. My precocious intelligence and sharp observation were, I suppose, the cause of this. The practice has continued with me ever since; at this moment I point to a man with whom I bave intimate intercourse as having, as nearly as possible, the face of a gorilla, as presented in authentic portraits. Another man of my acquaintance, I have satisfied myself, has the countenance of a sleek tabby ; a third, too, I feel no doubt, has the facial expression of the camel. Mr. Walker, I repeat, had a face strikingly like the fox's; the general effect of it, however, was far worse than that much contemned animals. This digression is, I feel, not at all ad rem. ; however, I pass on to say, that Mr. Walker, after my introduction to him, smiled down on me in an exceedingly uncomfortable manner. He was taking my measure, to use the common phrase ; I, too, was taking his as well as I could. He was a small, mean-looking man, carrying a large misshapen head, much on the one side, which give him a singular and unpleasant appearance. He had fiery red hair, whiskers of a similar bue, and it occurred to me that he had fiery red eyes also, which glared fiercely whether he liked or
His attire was an old and seedy suit of black, very roomy in every department, the cuffs of his body coat were turned up very much, which allowed a full, and to me, I recollect, a very unsatisfictory view of large bony, hair-covered hands, very suggestive of mischief. The general aspect of Mr. Walker was exceedingly depressing to me that evening, because I was always very susceptible of first impressions, and here, let me say, had somehow formed a rapid conviction concerning Mr. Walker, of a disagreeable character, which was, that if Mr. Walker happened upon any ocrasion to fall out with his young gentlemen, the consequences would certainly be personally disastrous to them. The fact that I was to become one of Mr. Walker's young gentlemen, therefore, made me feel rather queer, and I would gladly have abandoned my ambitious yearning to be free from any further acquaintance with that gentle
I endeavoured, however, to keep up my spirits, and my replies to some mild interrogatories put by Mr, Walker to test my education al proficiency, were such as to elicit that gentleman's warm commendations ; indeed he was good enough to indulge in a prophetic
statement that he would be bound he'd make a scholar of me, or he would know the reason why.
“I never met one, sir,” said he to my father, that I could not hammer it (the learning) into—not one.
I will expect my young friend to-morrow at ten.” Mr. Walker then withdrew.
At ten o'clock next morning, I was ascending, in company with my mother, the stairs leading to Mr. Walker's Academy, which was on the second floor of an old dilapidated mansion, situated as already stated in Cork Street. As we approached the door of the front apartment, a low, amalgamated hum of many voices was perceptible, and when the door was opened by Mr. Walker hinself, in answer to the knock given by my mother, a somewhat noisy clattering from the young gentlemen inside burst on our ears. quickly handed over to Mr. Walker's care, and as my mother descended the stairs, I was being conducted to a seat in the Academy by my master. The school-room was not over-cheerful in aspect ; a large, old-fashioned apartment with badly-whitened walls, the ceiling of dingy bue, discolored in many places near the windows by damp; still, however, with the decayed remains of former ornamentation in the corners and centre, which showed that in old times the house was a highly respectable structure. It was lighted by two long and narrow windows, looking into the street, the light struggling feebly through the murky panes, patched here and there with pieces of glass and paper. · The eff:ct was most dispiriting. Several common desks were ranged along the room, with forms, on which were seated the pupils of Mr. Walker, to the number of between thirty and forts, varying in age, as I afterwards was enabled to see, from six to fourteen years. They all appeared to be industriously engaged with their lessons ; eyes steady on the books, voices repeating progress; a confused chant, of which the hearer could at first make nothing.
Mr. Walker seated me on a forin along-ide another young gentleman, who seemed to be studying hard; and having inspected my books, which consisted of “ Carpenter—". Tables”-“ Murray's Grammar”“ Catechism," and one or two other standard worksset me to stu ly for the next day, as it was understood I was not to commence till then, active business. This done, Mr. Walker repaired to a sort of presidential seat near to the fire-place; across this seat there lay a long and thick cane, and on the mantel-piece I observed a plethoric mahogany ruler.
It would seem that my entrance had disturbed Mr. Walker in the immediate hearing of a grammar class, for on resuming his seat, he took up the long and thick cane, and with a slash of it across a noighbouring desk, that made my heart thump, he roared out—“. Grammar Class,-quick boy3,-or I'll know why!" Feeling no doubt Mr. Walker would know why, according to custom, about a dozen lads, who, I suppose, were there summoned, dived from their seats and ranged themselves in a line before Mr. Walker, book in hand, and with a most uneasy expression of countenance.
“Small !” shouted Mr. Walker, “ you are not placed right, my boy ; how is this ? You were fifth, not fourth-distinctly fifth – that is one-out with it, my boy !"
The party thus addressed, a diminutive lad of seven, with a worn face, evidencing continued mental anxiety, prompóly extended his left hand, but then, with a rapid, nervous movement, kept it going backwards and forwards. Mr. Walker cunningly inserted the end of the thick cane under the boy's hand, accompanied the movement for a moment or two, then suddenly drawing it back, delivered a stinging smack across the top of Small's fingers. The boy gave a convulsive start; he shook his hand in the air several times, then put it under his right arm, where he held it tightly, but he uttered nothing. I began to get frightened.
“D, that again, Smill,” said Mr. Walker, “and you won't like it."
If Mr. Walker meant to convey that Small absolutely likod it, then I think he was cruelly jesting, but this seemed to be Mr. Walker's manner.
The class being arranged in such oriler as pot to challenge any further emendations of Mr. Walker, that gentleman proceeded to put the boys through their grammır exercise. I am unable just now to say whether the performance was creditable or not to the young gentlemen; but I am quite clear about the fact, that during the prozress of the “hearing,” more than one hnndred slashes of the thick cane were adininistered by Mr. Walker amongst the class. I counted them as an exercise in addition, but could not tell how many fell to the lot of each boy, for all the boys were constantly changing, up to the head and down to the foot, each change downward being to the party concerned a change for the worse. The scene indeed wis rather terrifying, at lea:t it was so to me, who never saw anything like it before. The villanous playing of Mr. Walker's cane under the bands as they shifted to avoid the stroke, eyes of the young victims gleaming with fright, the heavy slashes across the fingers ; the contorted faces of the sufferers; their spasmodic writhings for the instant --- all these I saw from my sca', and my heart sa ik.at the notion that I too was in due time to take my place, anl the contingencies attaching thereto, in Mr. Walker's clisses.
The horrid proceedings I am mentioning attracted more or less of the attention of some of the young gentlemen in various parts of the room ; many of them raised their eyes from their books or slates for a moment to see who was "citching it,” as schoolboys say;
but it turned out a misfortune to them to have dine so, for Mr. Walker, after he had dismissed the class to their seats with hands on fire, made a tour of the apartment, and bestowed on the ears of sundry young gentlemen heavy clouts with the mihogany ruler, for general in ittention to business in the way already mentioned. As well as I recollect, Mr. Walker beard other classes during the forevoon, attended by similar events to those already described; his cane was rarely off the hands of the pupils; he appeared to me to relis'i amazingly his privilege of inflic'ing his torturing
pandies” on the poor little fellows that were trembling before him. At two o'clock he issued a mandate for copies, and forth with nearly all the lads, except a few of the very young, produced their copy-books from their desks, and pen in band went through their lines as best they could. From desk to desk Mr. Walker went, inspecting the caligraphy of his boys; he carried with him the plethoric ruler, and for causes to this writer ever unknown, he dealt out severe punishmen“. I heard no improvements in the style of writing suggestel or illustrated by Mr. Walker; no word of commendation was uttered, but a slight glance over the copy of each pupil seemed to disclose sufficient cause for the infliction upon him of the pains and penalties in which Mr. Walker delighted. At times, too, I observed with surprise young gentlemen, engaged in writing, would leave their seats, walk deliberately up to where Mr. Walker might be standing, and without any ostensible reason, hold out their hands to Mr. Walker, who, as if qnite understanding the whole thing, chastised the hands as usual. I wished to know what was the sense of this mysterious proceeding, and to that end interrogated my young friend beside me, who was good enough to inform me that whoever had the misfor. tune to make a blot, ever so small, on his copy, was liable therefore to a “pandy,” that all blots were counted by Mr. Walker in his inspection, with a view to balance accounts, and as it was better to take out the punishment by instalments than in the aggregate, the writers preferred, when a blot occurred, to wipe off that at once by going straight to Mr. Walker, and pro lucing their hands for the use of his ruler.
“ That's the way it is," my little friend added, it's worse with the slates ?"
“ How with the slates ?" I enquired.
“ Arithmetic,” he replied, suns. Wait till you see. One is nothing; two is something; three comes on; four is a flogging. Toat's the way it is,” said the little boy, after he had recited his dismal illustration of Mr. Walker's rue in arithmetic. “Six were fogged yesterday,” he continued, for sums. I was flogged yesterday. Purhips you'll be fogged to-morrow."
This statement, spoken rather confidently, very much increased the gener il uneasiness I felt at my situation ; I wished I had never become a pupil of Mr. Walker's.
" You don't believe me,” suid my little friend, seeing I was in a brown study ; "well, su:ns will be on in a minute or two, and you will see.”
He was right. Mr. Walker, having satisfictorily disposed of his writing-class, summoned about twothirds of his academy to arithmetical exercises. The boys were seated on forns in a half circle before him, with their slates and pencils ready, and their eyes fixed intently on him. Mr. Walker opened “Gough” at a particular place, and therefrom stated the arithmetical problem that was to be solved, which was duly taken down, so at all events, I presume, on each slate. He then gave five minutes for the working off by the class of the solution. Busily the boy's went to work, bard and fast they kept at it; one finished, put bis slate on a
chair near Mr. Walker, figured face down; another fiuishes, puts his slate on top of first; all in turn do the same.
Mr Walker takes up the last slate, looks at it, and puts it by, saying nothing. The owner of that slate brightens up. The next slate is examined, and Mr. Walker ntters the word, “Jones, one; mind yourself, Jones!”
“ Jones was flogged yesterday, too,” said my young companion ; and the diy before. He is never right io sums"
The prophetic tone of my little friend mide me quake for Jones; I had a presentiment that I was that day to witness the fogging of Jones, and the prospect made me feel sick.
Well, Mr. Walker went through all the slates ; some he passed as being right; others he announced to have incurred 66 one.”
Ayain a problem was put : taken down, worked at, and the slates examined. A few escaped. “One” and “two" against certaio boys of the class respectively were announced by Mr. Walker; the process is repeatel, then it is “
one, two, three," as the case may be ; finally there is one, two, three, and four, the latter in a couple of cases, and the exercise closed, and the class broke up. Two boys remained in their seats with horror-stricken faces.
“It's Jones and Green, again,” said my informant. “ There's the cat." He pointed to something which I had not previously noticed hanging on a nail over the mantel-piece. To a juvenile it appeared at first sight to be a confi cated instrument termed a “lashers,” for the lashing of tops. I soon saw that it fulfilled an exactly contrary duty.
Mr. Walker with his cane scored off the accounts of those of the arithmetic class, against whom “one” and “ two" were recorded. I observed that his manner was savage in doing this, as if he felt he was cheated somehow by the boys not having incurred the fatal“ four.” He then approached the mantel-piece, and standing on a chair, took down from the wall the cat. This instrument of torture comprised a wooden handle about twelve inches long, to which were attached nine pieces of whip cord, each piece baving several hard knots; between these knots small pieces of tin were fastened to the cord.
“ Jones first !" said Mr. Walker, laying the cat on a desk, and taking off his coat, as if he was preparing hims If for a flogging. Jones, aged ten, approached, deadly pale.
“He always takes off his coat,” said my little friend, « lest he might burst it,-he did so onca.
Mr. Walker, when Jones approached bim, laid hold of that unhappy lad's collar, and desired bim, in a low voice, to remove his outer garments. Jones, standing within three inches of Mr. Walker, quietly took off his little jacket and vest.
“Byrne, come here," said Mr. Walker, taking up the cat.
Byrne, a stoutly-made boy, seemin ly the biggest in the school, walked from his seat.
“ Hoist Jones," continued Mr. Walker.
The stout lad took Jones in his arms, placed him on a form, then took hiin on his back. I was shivering.
with fright. The assem'lage in the schoolroom seemed ratherawe-stricken; all were awaiting the next act, which was not long coming.
Mr. Walker, having Jones hoisted comfortably, quickly completed the usual arrangements for flogging that boy, after the fashion in which the privates in the British army are flogged, only Mr. Walker inflicted more indignity upon the sufferer, and perhaps more brutality. He lashed the bare skin of Jones till the blood was ready to burst through, unmindful of the shrieks of the lad, which were piercing, and then said, “ Unhorse Jones !"
Byrne put the boy down, who was still howling.
“Dress yourself qnickly, Jones,” said Mr. Walker, “and mind yourself; to-morrow I won't let you off so easily; you must mind your business, or I'll know the reason why."
The boy shrunk away with his clothes to a corner.
“ Come here, Green !" said Mr. Walker, preparing for a repetition of the scene. Tae victim came up slowly. He was eleven years
age, and of delicate frame; his face was blanched.
“Strip, my boy !" Mr. Walker said, looking at bim as a hyena would eye a sheep.
“ For the love of God, master, let me off this time,” cried Green, in a voice of intense earnestness. “ Do, master-oh, do-for the love of God !" —He fell on his knees at Mr. Walker's feet, and looked up piteously at him.
"Let you off," replied Mr. Walker calmly, "let you off, Green. Not at all-co ne hurry, my boy-hurry, I say (shaking him roughly by the shoulder), or l’il tear the clothes off you.”
the cost bear is–I can't
, I can't ; vul die—oh
let me off, m ister; let me off this time,” yelled Green, thro ving himself at full length on the ground, and writhing in an agony of terror.
Mi. Walker stooped, grasped Green with both han is, and lifted him to a form. He then, despite the resistance of the boy, who in his desperation did resist to the utmost, tore off his j icket, waistcoat, and shirt, and placed bim struggling, kicking, and screaming for mercy on the back of Byrne, who grasped the boy's legs tightly, and then Greeu was flogged with the cat till the pain had almost brought on convulsions. He was at length released, and sent to dress himself. The horrible de. tails of these scenes of horror are to this bour impressed upon my memory. I was a fascinated spec'ator while they were being enacted. My sensations throughout were terror and disgust. I regarded Mr. Walker's schoolroom as a torture-chamber, and Mr. Walker bimself as an executioner, and mentally resolved, before the day had closed, that come what would, never again should I place myself in that man's power.
At three o'clock the school was dismissed, Mr. Walker, as I was going out, said, “Bu in to-morrow at ten; any boy that comes late is punished.” I answered that I would be in at ten, but did not mean to keep my word. I bade my young friend adieu in the street below, and went home. To th: q'uestions of my parents as to how I liked Mr. Walker's academy, I made but very
scant replies. I was ashamed to open my mind then on the subject, fearing that I would be regarded as too soft-hearted. I went to bed, however, determined to 6. mitch--that was the word amongst schoolboys—the following day. And I did so. I went with my baize bag and lunch to the Park instead of Mr. Walker's academy in Cork street. I wandered about the Fifteen Acres, as I thought, till long after school hours, but I was mistaken, for I reached home at two o'clock. My father asked me what brought me home at that hour. I confess I at once told a lie. I said Mr. Walker had given a half holiday, and the explanation was accepted fr a time. During the evening, however, I was questioned on several matters connected with the school, and my rep'ies were such as to excite suspicion that I had absented myself that day from Mr. Walker's. Our female servant was sent to Cork street to make due inquiry, and she came back with the following note addressed to my father :
“Dear Sir,- Please send Master Thomas to school at nine A.M. to-morrow, that he may be chastised for playing truant and telling falsehood, before business commences at ten.— Yours truly, J. WALKER.”
When this doleful communication was read for me, I at once got into a paroxysm of fright, and I raised such an outcry as seriously alarmed my family. I recounted then, all I saw the day previous at Mr. Walker's—the pandying, the flogging, the general tortures inflicted, and I screeched out that I would never go to Mr. Walker's school. And I was never sent. My father willingly forfeited my quarter's pension (paid in advance) sooner than subject me to Mr. Walker's discipline. Nor did that gentleman trouble himself about me any further. When he found I was not sent to the academy, he let the matter rest there. I have in this little sketch exaggerated nothing of what occurred at Mr. Walker's scuool. The terror which possessed me on the occasion was not the result of my uncommon timidity. I was just as legitimately strung-minded as any lad of my age; but having always been treated with the utmost kindness at home, and in my previous schooling, I was unprepared for the barbarous system of Mr. Walker, and the development of it suddenly made me succumb. Since then I have roughed it in other schools, at home and in the country, without complaining; but I must confess that they were of a different stamp to Mr. Walker’s. I have not yet realized the expectations of my friends of becoming a counsellor, but hope one of those days to be “ called to the bar," after the fashion so graphically described in a recent number of The Hibernian. Let me repeat that I have not been dealing in fiction. I know that there are some grown-up men in this metropolis who could evidence my little narrative, and depose, if necessary upon oath, that what I described was something like the daily routine of Mr. Walker's academy, for years before and years after the day it was my lot to spend in that most unpleasant educational establishment.
THE BUCCANEERS' CASTLE. “ To the right, wheel !" said the colonel.
The regiment, at his word, turned sharply, their scab. bards jingling, their swords flashing, and a rolling cloud of dust overhead, as they thundered along the level strand.
“ Halt !”
The dust-cloud ascended slowly into the air, disclosing beneath four long lines of horsemen, as they now sat their steeds like statues, facing the straight verge of the sunny sea, which scarcely rippled on the grey sand.
On rode the colonel with his orderly behind him, casting many a sharp look on the appointments and accoutrements of the men as he proceeded. The strand upon which glittered his long lines of horsemen stretched away along the estuary of a broad and navigable river in the south of Ireland. At its north-eastern extremity lay the town, a busy and flourishing seaport, many of the inhabitants of which were now congregated upon the green, sloping shore above, to witness the review of that splendid cavalry regiment before its embarkation for the Low Countries.
He halted as he came to the extreme left of the line, right in front of a young lieutenant, who sat his horse as though he were part and parcel of the animal. This young officer was a fine-looking man in every sense of the worl, tall and strongly built, and with that exquisite proportion of limb that betokens a combination of strength and agility. His age might have been twenty-four, or thereabouts, but there was that in the expression of his bronzed face and piercing black eyes, which showed that he had seen more of the “ups and downs," and vicissitudes of the world than many of his seniors in the regiment into which le had exchanged about a week previously, flis name was Bernard Neville.
Now what was it that made Bernard Neville's brown cheek wax pale, and his coal-black eyes burn with an ominous and sinister light as the colouel halted opposite him ? It will be seen presently.
“Sir," said the colonel, “ why is it that you have not put on your new gorget, in obedience to my general order to the regiment to-day ?"
Neville's eyes only sparkled brighter, but he answered not a word.
“Speak, sir," resumed the colonel, angrily. « And since we are in the humour for questions, why is it that you have mounted that light hunter instead of the regimental troop-horse ?"
“Because I was better employed,” answered Neville, with a strange sneer.
“What !” exclaimed the colonel, endeavouring to keep down his rising anger.
You had better weigt your words, Mr. Neville, ere you speak thus to your commander. How were you employed, pray, that you were prevented from obeying the order ?
“I was talking to an old man, who was formerly my
father's servant, and who is now a disabled soldier in the town.”
“What has that to do with the present case, Mr. Neville ? You had better answer clearly, or you sball march back to the barracks under arrest !"
“ It has everything to do with the question,” answered Neville, making his horse pace forward to within about half a perch from his colonel—“ everything, and I will answer clearly according to the order. Do you remember," continued he, in a low, husky, but fierce tone, “that at Amsterdam, twenty years ago, you shot an officer unfairly in a duel ? I am that officer's son, but I knew not how my father died till an hour ago, when his servant, the poor soldier, told me. I am that officer's son, but I knew not till to-day that you were his murderer. I am his son, base villain, and I thank my stars I have lived to be his avenger !"
With that he suddenly drew one of his pistols, which he had ready in the holster for the terrible occasion, levelled it at his commander, and fired. The ball passed right through the old colonel's breast, and he fell heavily from his horse, mortally wounded, on the sand,
A strong gust of wind at the same instant blew over the waters and rolled the waves noisily on the shore. The dragoons and a few officers who were near, sprang from their horses and surrounded the dying man, but so confused were all at the suddenness of the deed that they made no attempt to secure the vengeful lieutenant till the latter, giving spur and bridle to his swift horse, was sweeping up the height where stood the townspeople, trembling witnesses of the dreadful scene,
“ Alter him !” exclaimed the expiring colonel, with his hand upon his breast, vainly eudeavouring to keep back the blood—“Right about-pursue! pursue ! pu:
“Now," muttered Nevi le to himself, “ I happen to know this shore, and however swiftly they ride, I hope to elude them, for the night is coming on. “Quick! qnick!” continued he, addressing his noble steed, that bravely bore him up that toilsome ascent-"quick, boyThey think they will have me soon, but you will save me
At length he gained the summit of the promontory, and looking back once more, beheld his pursuers toiling upward, their arms and helmets glittering in the ruddy light of the setting sun, and their scattered array appe uring like a red flame driven on its devouring course by the autumn wind up the side of a dry heathery mountaiv.
“ A vay, away !” resumed he to his horse, as he swept down the descent at the other side. they top the hill they will find their prey not such a Taggard as they think!"
The gust of wind that had arisen at the moment the old colonel fell from his horse had been followed by another of greater strength and longer duration, and now a continous gale blew towards the shore, raising the heretofore tranquil water into white waves, an l dashing them upon the rocks with a hollow and melancholy murmır, the hoarse and dreary sound of which upon that coast was the suro presage of an approaching storm. Beyond the dark summits of a distant range of hills the blood-red sun was sinkin, amid two masse3 of driving cloud that threatened soon to blot out its light altogether, and right in front of the fugitive the ruddy and fitful beams were reflected by a narrow arm of the sea that stretched several miles inland. This shallow inlet, about a furlong inside its mouth, was partly fordable at low water, but now the tide was rapidly coming in, and where, during the greater part of the day a flat sandy strip stretched almost entirely across, Bernard Neville, as he looked eagerly forward, beheld a
long line of white foam careering inward, followed at regular intervals by others switter and higher, till at length, as he approached the place, the whole shallow appeared one unbroken expanse of water.
The dragoons, instead of keeping right behind him, now struck upward across the desolate moorland, in order to intercept him, should he, as they imagined he would, turn by the shore in order to get round the inlet. But they had to do with a desperate and courageous man, for instead of endeavouring by increased speed to get beyond them as they expected, Neville now brought his horse to a sober canter as he approached the edge of the water, and taking a solitary crag on the other side as a landmark, at once dashed in, and then floundered onward bravely for some moments. His pursuers, with a simultaneous shout as they observed this, turned sharply to the left, and came rushing on over the waste with the hope of reaching the beginning of the shallow ere he had got out of the range of their short carbines. The water, as he went on, was scarcely beyond a fo in depth, but as he gained a point near the middle of the inlet, it gradually began to get deeper, and at last lay before him in a narrow channel, up which
Then it was that, as their colonel dropped back in his last sleep, the whole regiment, as if by a common impulse, turned, levelled their carbii.es, and fired after the wild fugitive as he topped the height. But he esa caped the volley, and now, as he shaped his mad course along the shore, that splendid body of horse at last thundered after him in pursuit.
The shore along which Bernard Neville now urged his horse at its topinost speed at first sloped gently down to the water, but about half a mile beyond, became more precipitous, and at last ended apparently on the far horizon in a jagged promontory, beyond which, however, it extended far away between the melancholy sea at one side, and at the other a wide waste of bog and rolling moorland without a single human babitation to relieve its black, barren, and stern aspect of loneliness and desolation. Keeping still close to the edge of the sea he swept on, never for a moment even looking back apon his pursuers, till he approached the craggy ascent of the aforesaid promon'ory. As his horse toiled up this rugged height, he turned in the saddle, and beheld the dragoons in scattered troops rattling away upon his track along the low shore behind, pointing towards him with their swords, and calling to each other to increase their speed.