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mother had so sedulously inculcated, viz. that he must accommodate to the world in order to get on in life.
When a vessel is inclined to make too much lee-way, a skilful mariner would naturally exert himself to keep her upright in a contrary direction. There are some few young persons of austere and unsocial character, who are disposed to fly in the face of the world, and render themselves unnecessarily disagreeable in society; but, generally speaking, it is more requisite (setting religion out of the question) to guard young people against the influence of the world, than to strengthen that influence, especially in the case of one like young Bonville, whose exterior was more than commonly pleasing, and who possessed those sort of talents which would make him peculiarly acceptable in gay society ; for he had a fine ear for music, a graceful carriage, and a talent for the pencil.
But we were speaking of Mr. Dalben, and of that feeling by which he never could do that by halves which he had undertaken to do at all. He therefore, when the Hargraves were gone, sent for Edgar, and established him in the closet within his study, continually entreating him not to leave his books; and keeping such an eye upon him, that he was compelled, in a certain measure, to bring something to pass. But, alas ! when that which should have been the work of many years, is to be crowded into a few months, the same effect cannot be produced, even on the strongest mind, that a more gradual acquirement of ideas would produce.
In the language of Scripture, the stomach is the type of the mind ; and the more we consider this emblem, the more does its correctness appear. If, then, the stomach is the type of the mind, the aliment which is received therein is the emblem of the ideas admitted into the mind; and the senses are the channels by which all these ideas are received ;--that is, all ideas which are natural, and not those which are divinely introduced, and which cannot be said exactly to be the objects of sense. But if the members are to receive their nourishment from the stomach, the nutriment which is to be therein admitted, must be good in quality, and no more in quantity than the stomach can digest. Therefore it ensues, that a certain time must be allowed for this process of digestion; and that any attempt to increase the nutriment which is to pass to the members, beyond a certain point, must only excite loathing and disease. In like manner, every attempt to force the mind beyond its power, instead of strengthening the intellectual man, will but too often produce a debility and weakness of intellect, and even in many cases total imbecility
Those who are most skilful in the management of the young mind are therefore particularly careful not to load the intellectual stomach, or to present more or stronger ideas than it can digest and convert to nutriment. Hence the system of cramming never can produce the same effect of strengthening and invigorating the mind, as that of a more slow and regular process, by which the ideas become, as it were, a part of the man, and mingled, as it might be, with the mode of his existence. But I will not enlarge on this subject, but will simply add a caution to my young reader.
If your intellects have not been enriched by a long course of nutritive instruction, lose no time, but endeavour immediately to supply its needs. Do not trust to cramming at the last, or think it possible that one who has been half-starved from his infancy should become plump and comely by dining for three days at an alderman's table.”
I shall conclude this chapter with the copy of a letter which Edgar received from his mother,
when he had been at Mr. Dalben's about three weeks :
“ Brighton, July “ MY DEAR EDGAR, “I rejoice to hear that you are so happy at Mr. Dalben’s. My uncle—by-the-bye, I hope you call him uncle—though you are not his nephew farther than by courtesy; for you know he has no relations, and has a pretty fortune entirely in his own power. He is a worthy man indeed, but as you must have perceived, somewhat singular, and you must endeavour to please him. And it is kind of him to overlook your studies--but I am hurt at that affair of the Hargraves. Mrs. Hargrave is a very old friend of mine--you should have called upon her; but if Mr. Dalben was determined, what could you do? However, I cannot bear that you should seem odd. You know, Edgar, that we must conform to the world. By-the-bye, my uncle will make quite a fool of that pet of his, and I never saw a boy of his age who knew so little of life. I was quite ashamed of him that day at the Hargraves-quite ashamed of him ; but I told you all about it.
" I expect my friend Lady and the young Lady Applebys to be at Malvern in August; and I do trust that Mr. Dalben will not object to your calling on them. Lady Maria Appleby is engaged to one of the great banker's sons—I just now forget his name. I am very bad at remembering the names of commoners; but Lady Charlotte is still to be had, and the Applebys have each twenty thousand pounds, independent of their parents. Why should not one commoner do as well as another? You understand me, Edgar. Lady Charlotte Bonville-how well it would sound.
“ But, my dear boy, you will attend to your studies—I am sure you will. Think how much depends upon it. I am as poor as a church
I find this a very expensive place—for you know one must live like other people ; but if you get your degree, and are ordained, we shall do vastly well—it is a good eight hundred pounds a-year, Dr. Crochet tells me, and a charming house, and it will be hard if you cannot get a charming wife with some thousands, and I can live with you a while, and let my jointure run up to liquidate debts; and then, when it is clear, we shall be on our four wheels again. So pray mind your books, my dear boy ; say every thing that is proper for me to Mr. Dalben, but be sure burn my letter.