Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
to my present way of thinking, to have left school without natural
regret. The separation has not made the impression on me, that
other separations have. I try in vain to recall how I felt about
it, and what its circumstances were; but it is not momentous in my
recollection. I suppose the opening prospect confused me. I know
that my juvenile experiences went for little or nothing then; and
that life was more like a great fairy story, which I was just about
to begin to read, than anything else.
MY aunt and I had held many grave deliberations on the calling to
which I should be devoted. For a year or more I had endeavoured to
find a satisfactory answer to her often-repeated question, 'What I
would like to be?' But I had no particular liking, that I could
discover, for anything. If I could have been inspired with a
knowledge of the science of navigation, taken the command of a
fast-sailing expedition, and gone round the world on a triumphant
voyage of discovery, I think I might have considered myself
completely suited. But, in the absence of any such miraculous
provision, my desire was to apply myself to some pursuit that would
not lie too heavily upon her purse; and to do my duty in it,
whatever it might be.
Mr. Dick had regularly assisted at our councils, with a meditative
and sage demeanour. He never made a suggestion but once; and on
that occasion (I don't know what put it in his head), he suddenly
proposed that I should be 'a Brazier'. My aunt received this
proposal so very ungraciously, that he never ventured on a second;
but ever afterwards confined himself to looking watchfully at her
for her suggestions, and rattling his money.
'Trot, I tell you what, my dear,' said my aunt, one morning in the
Christmas season when I left school: 'as this knotty point is still
unsettled, and as we must not make a mistake in our decision if we
can help it, I think we had better take a little breathing-time.
In the meanwhile, you must try to look at it from a new point of
view, and not as a schoolboy.'
'I will, aunt.'
'It has occurred to me,' pursued my aunt, 'that a little change,
and a glimpse of life out of doors, may be useful in helping you to
know your own mind, and form a cooler judgement. Suppose you were
to go down into the old part of the country again, for instance,
and see that - that out-of-the-way woman with the savagest of
names,' said my aunt, rubbing her nose, for she could never