Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
handsome face turned up, and his head reclining easily on his arm.
He was a person of great power in my eyes; that was, of course, the
reason of my mind running on him. No veiled future dimly glanced
upon him in the moonbeams. There was no shadowy picture of his
footsteps, in the garden that I dreamed of walking in all night.
MY 'FIRST HALF' AT SALEM HOUSE
School began in earnest next day. A profound impression was made
upon me, I remember, by the roar of voices in the schoolroom
suddenly becoming hushed as death when Mr. Creakle entered after
breakfast, and stood in the doorway looking round upon us like a
giant in a story-book surveying his captives.
Tungay stood at Mr. Creakle's elbow. He had no occasion, I
thought, to cry out 'Silence!' so ferociously, for the boys were
all struck speechless and motionless.
Mr. Creakle was seen to speak, and Tungay was heard, to this
'Now, boys, this is a new half. Take care what you're about, in
this new half. Come fresh up to the lessons, I advise you, for I
come fresh up to the punishment. I won't flinch. It will be of no
use your rubbing yourselves; you won't rub the marks out that I
shall give you. Now get to work, every boy!'
When this dreadful exordium was over, and Tungay had stumped out
again, Mr. Creakle came to where I sat, and told me that if I were
famous for biting, he was famous for biting, too. He then showed
me the cane, and asked me what I thought of THAT, for a tooth? Was
it a sharp tooth, hey? Was it a double tooth, hey? Had it a deep
prong, hey? Did it bite, hey? Did it bite? At every question he
gave me a fleshy cut with it that made me writhe; so I was very
soon made free of Salem House (as Steerforth said), and was very
soon in tears also.
Not that I mean to say these were special marks of distinction,
which only I received. On the contrary, a large majority of the
boys (especially the smaller ones) were visited with similar
instances of notice, as Mr. Creakle made the round of the