Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
to leave the room as usual; 'I am sorry to observe that you are of
a sullen disposition.'
'As sulky as a bear!' said Miss Murdstone.
I stood still, and hung my head.
'Now, David,' said Mr. Murdstone, 'a sullen obdurate disposition
is, of all tempers, the worst.'
'And the boy's is, of all such dispositions that ever I have seen,'
remarked his sister, 'the most confirmed and stubborn. I think, my
dear Clara, even you must observe it?'
'I beg your pardon, my dear Jane,' said my mother, 'but are you
quite sure - I am certain you'll excuse me, my dear Jane - that you
'I should be somewhat ashamed of myself, Clara,' returned Miss
Murdstone, 'if I could not understand the boy, or any boy. I don't
profess to be profound; but I do lay claim to common sense.'
'No doubt, my dear Jane,' returned my mother, 'your understanding
is very vigorous -'
'Oh dear, no! Pray don't say that, Clara,' interposed Miss
'But I am sure it is,' resumed my mother; 'and everybody knows it
is. I profit so much by it myself, in many ways - at least I ought
to - that no one can be more convinced of it than myself; and
therefore I speak with great diffidence, my dear Jane, I assure
'We'll say I don't understand the boy, Clara,' returned Miss
Murdstone, arranging the little fetters on her wrists. 'We'll
agree, if you please, that I don't understand him at all. He is
much too deep for me. But perhaps my brother's penetration may
enable him to have some insight into his character. And I believe
my brother was speaking on the subject when we - not very decently
- interrupted him.'
'I think, Clara,' said Mr. Murdstone, in a low grave voice, 'that
there may be better and more dispassionate judges of such a
question than you.'