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SECTION VII. A Dialogue between two School Boys on Dancing. Henry. Tom, when are you going to begin your dancing? you
will be so old in a short time as to be ashamed to be seen taking your five positions.
Thomas. I don't know as I shall begin at all. Father says he don't care a fig whether I learn to jump any better than I do now; and as I am to be a tradesman, he is determined, at present, to keep me at the reading and writing schools.
Henry. That must be very dull and dry for you. And what good will all such learning do you, so long as you make the awkward appearance you do at present? I am surprised at your father's folly. So, because you are to be a tradesman, you are not to learn the graces! I expect to learn a trade too. But my papa says I shall first learn the dancing trade; and then, if I never learn any other, I shall make my way through the world well enough.
Thom. I don't know which discovers the most folly, your
father or mine. Old folks certainly know more than young ones; and my father is much the older man.
Hen. I don't believe that doctrine. There's Jack Up: ore start knows more than his father and mother both. And he is but nineteen yet. And he says the present generation under five and twenty years
age, knows more than fifteen generations that have gone before us.
Thom. I don't know how that is. But father early taught me this proverb, “ Young folks think old folks are fools ; but old folks know young ones to be so." But to return to schools. Pray how far have you gone in your
Hen. Arithmetic! I have not begun that yet; nor shall I till I have completed dancing. That is a dry study; I know I shall never like it.
Thom. Writing I suppose you are fond of.
Hen. I can't say I am, Thomas. I once had a tolerable fondness for it. But since I began dancing, I have held it in utter contempt. It may be well enough for a person to write a legible hand; but it is no mark of a gentleman to write elegantly.
Thom. You would have a gentleman spell well I suppose.
even | B fra | any
TE | life?
queri | day
Hen. I would have him spell so well as to be understood; and that is enough for
any man. Thom. What say you to grammar and geography? Four du
Hen. Don't name them I entreat you. There is nohan" thing I so much abhor, as to hear your learned schoolboys
jabbering over their nouns, their pronouns, their werbs, fit their parables, their congregations, their imperfections, and any la confluctions. I'll tell you what, Thomas, I had rather be he is master of one hornpipe, than to understand all the
grammars which have been published since the art of printing was discovered.
Thom. I am sorry, friend Henry, to hear you speak so ng a contemptuously of the solid sciences. I hope you don't
mean to neglect them entirely. If you do, you must expect to live in poverty; and die, the scorn and derision of all Hen. Never fear that, Thomas.
I shall take care of myself, I warrant you. You are much mistaken in your prognostications. Why, there's Tim Fiddlefaddle—he can't even write his name; and as for reading, he scarcely knows B from a broomstick; and yet he can dance a minuet with
any master of the art in Christendom. And the ladies all Jack love him dearly. He is invited to their balls, routs, assem
blies, card-parties, &c. &c. and he diverts them like any at pul monkey.
Thom. And does he expect it will be the same through
life? How is he to be maintained when he becomes old? Fly tip and how is he to amuse himself after he is unable to dance;
as you say he can neither read nor write?
Hen. Why, in fact, I never thought of these things before. I confess there appears to be some weight in these
queries. I don't know but it will be best for me to spare a A day or two in a week from my dancing, to attend to the branches
you are pursuing. Thom. You will make but little progress in that way. My master always told me that the solid sciences ought to be secured first. He says, when his scholars have once entered the dancing school, their heads, in general, are so full of balls, assemblies, minuets, and cotillions, that he never can find much room for any thing else.
Hen. I will still maintain it, notwithstanding all you can say in favour of your solid sciences, as you call them, that the art of dancing is the art of all arts. It will, of itself, carry a man to the very pinnacle of fame. Whereas, with
out it, all your writing, arithmetic, grammar, and geogra. phy, will not raise one above the common level of a clown.
Thom. There are so many pursuits that are very useful, that if we were disposed to improve our time to the best advantage, I think we could employ it much better than in learning to dance. We will suppose, for instance, that you learn the trade of a carpenter; I would ask you if it would not be necessary to understand figures, so that you might be able to keep your own accounts; and so much geometry as to be able to measure heights and distances, superficies and solids? Would it not be very convenient to know a little of history, in order to acquaint yourself with the various orders of architecture, and where they had their origin? If you were shown a picture of St. Peter's Church, or a plan of Grand Cairo, would you not like to know enough of geography to tell in what part of the world they are situated ?
Hen. These are subjects which cousin Tim says never are agitated in the fashionable circles which he visits. And so I bid you good bye. AMERICAN PRECEPTOR.
it he lims
, Tha and
SECTION VIII. The Vicar of Wakefield's account of the Adventure of his auch
son Moses, when he sent him to the fair to sell his colt.
1. All this conversation however, was only preparatory to another scheme, and indeed I dreaded as much. This thes
the bwas nothing less than, as we were now to hold up our heads a little higher in the world, it would be proper
to sell the colt, which was grown old, at a neighbouring fair, som and buy us a horse that would carry single or double upon an occasion, and make a pretty appearance at church, or 2. This at first I opposed stoutly, but it was as stoutly
1C defended. However, as I weakened, my antagonists gained whe strength, till at last it was resolved to part with him.
3. As the fair happened on the following day, I had intentions of going myself; but my wife persuaded me that I had got a cold, and nothing could prevail upon her to permit me to go from home. "No my dear, said she, our son Moses is a discreet boy, and can buy and sell to
'n very good advantage; you know all our great bargains are of his purchasing. He always stands out and higgles, and actually tires them till he gets a bargain.'
upon a visit.
I for don
4. As I had some opinion of my son's prudence, I was a cha willing enough to entrust him with this commission: and
the next morning I perceived his sisters mighty busy in the be fitting out Moses for the fair; trimming his hair, brushing than his buckles, and cocking his hat with pins.
5. The business of the toilet being over, we had at last
the satisfaction of seeing him mounted upon the colt, with hat
a deal-box before him to bring home groceries in. He had on a coat made of that cloth they call thunder and lightning, which, though grown too short, was much too good
to be thrown away.
6. His waistcoat was of gosling green, and his sisters had tied his hair with a broad black ribbon. We all fol. lowed him several paces from the door, bawling after him, 'Good luck! good luck!' till we could see him no longer.
7. Towards evening, my wife and a gentleman of our acquaintance, being engaged in a conversation that appeared likely to become unpleasant, I changed the subject, by seeming to wonder what could keep our son so long at the fair, as it was now almost night-fall.
8. Never mind our son,' cried my wife; 'depend upon it he knows what he is about. I'll warrant we'll never see him sell his hen on a rainy day. I have seen him buy such bargains as would amaze one. I'll tell you a good story about that, that will make you shake your sides with laughing. But, yonder comes Moses, without a horse, and the box. at his back.'
9. As she spoke, Moses came slowly on foot, and sweating under the deal-box, which he had strapped round his shoulders like a pedlar. “Welcome! welcome, Moses ! well, my boy, what have you brought us from the fair ?'I have brought you myself,' cried Moses, with a sly look, and resting the box on the dresser.
10. ‘Aye, Moses, cried my wife, that we know, but where is the horse?'_'I have sold him,' cried Moses, "for three pounds five shillings and two-pence,'- Well done, my good boy,' returned she, “I knew you would touch them off. Between ourselves, three pounds five shillings and two-pence is no bad day's work. Come, let us have it then.'
11. 'I have brought back no money,' cried Moses again. 'I have laid it all out in a bargain, and here it is,' pulling out a bundle from his breast; "here they are; a groce of green spectacles, with silver rims and shagreen cases.'' A
groce of green spectacles ! repeated my wife, in a faint voice. And you have parted with the colt, and brought us back nothing but a groce of green paltry spectacles! 12. “Dear mother, cried the boy, “why won't you
listen to reason? I had them a dead bargain, or I should not have bought them. The silver rims alone will sell for double the money.'—' A fig for the silver rims ! cried my wife, in a passion: 'I dare say they won't sell for above half the money at the rate of broken silver, five shillings an ounce.'
13. You need be under no uneasiness,' cried I, about selling the rims, for they are not worth sixpence, for I per i ceive they are only copper, varnished over.'—What,' cried my wife, 'not silver! the rims not silver !—No,' cried I, no more silver than your saucepan.' 14. · And so,' returned she, we have parted with the
$ colt, and have only got a groce of green spectacles, with a su copper rims and shagreen cases! The blockhead has been imposed upon, and should have known his company better! There, my dear, cried I, you are wrong; should not have known them at all.'—'If I had them,' returned she, “I would throw them in the fire.'
15. “There again you are wrong, my dear,' cried I ‘for the though they are copper, we will keep them by us, as copperna spectacles, you know, are better than nothing.'
16. By this time the unfortunate Moses was undeceived. He now saw that he had indeed been imposed upon by a prowling sharper, who, observing his figure, had marked him for an easy prey. I therefore asked him the circumstances of his deception. He sold the horse it seems, and walked the fair in search of another.
17. A reverend-looking man brought him to a tent, under pretence of having one to sell. Here,' continued Moses, we met another man very well dressed, who desired to borrow twenty pounds upon these, saying that he want- %, ti ed money,
and would dispose of them for a third of the value.
18. The first gentleman, who pretended to be my friend, bet whispered me to buy them, and cautioned me not to let so good an offer pass. I sent for Mr. Flamborough, and they foute talked him up as finely as they did me; and so at last we were persuaded to buy the two groce between us.'