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here is the base for a nice little calculation, which will end by telling how much it costs the country to reimburse a man who has become president."
“ Well," continued the other, “here the case was different. A teacher cannot, by hook or crock, get back his money as others can; his only revenge can be poor work furnished to those whom he has to buy, and this affects the whole community-the innocent as well as the guilty. Mr. H. had the reputation of being a good teacher, and he had no business to bribe our school officers, as we were very glad to get him. But these gentlemen took good care to make him understand that the door that led to their favor, was a liberal treat whenever occasion presented itself, and the young man was only too willing to ingratiate himself with them in that way. At our next annual meeting a certain Ketcher, now removed from the district, was made clerk; as he kept a saloon and was a man of rather loose principles, I opposed his election on the ground that he would favor such candidates as would serve his personal interests; but our friend Calker defeated my opposition, and, to appease me, he caused my election to the office of director which was vacant by resignation."
“ And great thanks I got for putting you in office," laughed Calker. “It was like yoking a buffalo with a mule. We shan't make that mistake again, you bet."
“I suppose not, and I am not sorry either. But, to continne-when the meeting adjourned, all, as is the custom here, went to Ketcher's saloon to be treated by the new clerk.”
“Yes; and you were shabby enough to refuse to stand your share of the treat," put in the boss.
“I never abandon a principle, let the world say what it pleases," said Perkins, with emphasis. “I refused to corrupt my voters by bad whisky, and to reward them for an office given to me by steeping their dazed intellects in lager-beer. As might be expected these men jeered and laughed at the cold water man,' but such shallow jests never influence me in the least."
“Don't forget to tell about the fine speech you made on that occasion,” said Calker, “or rather, let une repeat it, for I remember it well.
, . Brethren,' says you,”
“ . My friends,' I think it was," interrupted Perkins.
“O, was it? I thought it commenced after the manner of a campmeeting sermon. Well, then, “My friends,' says you, 'you all expect a grand treat, and I am quite willing you should have it, though not after the usual fashion. My friends, whoever has a strong thirst for useful knowledge, a longing for good, sound reading matters, is wel
come to my books and papers, of which I have a nice supply. Beer and liquor you can can have every day, and there are many who treat you to that, but good books and papers are scarce and worth a good deal more.
Come one, come all, and welcome!' You ought to have seen the faces of those self-same disappointed fellows, Mr. Pen; there
; were some among them worthy of Nast's pencil.”
“ It might have been expected, as well as the remarks made by some about ' filthy avarice;' but no matter about that. A week or two later Ketcher notified me that he had engaged Mr. H. for our school. Meanwhile ill reports concerning this young man had continued to reach me, but knowing that I could do nothing in the matter just then, I sent word that I would sign the contract if Mr. H. would present himself with it, and he accordingly made his appearance the next day.”
“I belong to those men who believe in first impressions. Not that I claim infallibility in this matter, but I think our first impression is generally confirmed by subsequent experience. My first glimpse of the candidate made me feel sure that he was not a desirable acquisition, no matter how good his education and his talent for teaching might be. He was hardly of medium size, slim, with straight sandy hair and moustache, with a dingy, unhealthy complexion, and sharp, pinched features. Although his blue eyes and well-formed forehead bespoke intelligence, the general expression of his face indicated a lack of character, of moral firmness and energy, which, together with his demeanor made the impression of manhood undeveloped or already lost, of a weak mental backbone which his evident good nature might excuse but could not supply. His voice, somewhat high-pitched and womanish, was unpleasant to the ear, considering that it belonged to a man. His suit was well worn and showed signs of fast approaching shabbiness, especially the left sleeve of his coat of blue navy cloth, which was badly stained with ink. It is generally believed that clean linen is one of the most distinctive marks of a gentleman. I'll not consider it an axiom, but where it is wanting we grow suspicious, and Mr. H.'s linen was certainly on the wane, and so were his boots in spite of their polish."
“I am an enemy to everything that smacks of foppery, and I always question the moral qualifications of a teacher who copies the fashion plates too scrupulously, or who makes himself conspicuous by an abundance of jewelry. But I want him trim and clean, a model of propriety in dress and manners. Neither the dandy nor the incipient vagabond have any business in the school-room, and Mr. H. seemed on the way to become a member of the latter class. Still he seemed aware of it, and being sensitive and not devoid of shame, he blushed like a cul: prit when he noticed my surprised glance at the tell-tale sleeve. During
our interview the poor fellow was painfully nervous, and as meek and submissive as a child that hopes to avert punishment by docility.”
“ No wonder,” cried Calker, rubbing his hands in great glee, almost frightened him out of his wits by telling him all sorts of terrible things about you. We made him believe that you exacted a kind of a temperance oath of all with whom you had to deal officially, and that you were in the habit of raw-hiding those who displeased you. He dreaded you as much as we would a renowned scalping Indian, were we to meet one on the war-path."
“I suspected something of the kind,” resumed Perkins," and so I spoke to him kindly, to convince him that I was no Moloch. I led him from topic to topic, until I found a chance to speak to the point; I spoke of the vices of intemperance, of gambling, and of the consequent idleness which kept so mnany of my neighbors poor, while fattening a few-and, God knows, not the best ones either. I then turned to the school, spoke of the sacredness of the teacher's calling, of his many moral duties that required purity of heart and strength of purpose, and how we all hoped that our new teacher would prove a blessing to the school. I also hinted that the tavern was the last place where a teacher ought to spend his leisure hours, and that whenever he chose to be my guest, he would be welcome. My books and papers and a warm corner at the fireplace would always be at his command. He was profuse in his thanks, and promised to make free use of my hospitality. On being asked, he said that he would board at Ketcher's. To tell the truth, Ketcher's house and my own were the only ones fit to receive boarders, unless the latter were willing to dispense with erery comfort that a man is entitled to when boarding; so I felt it my duty to offer him a home with me in case he found the tavern too noisy. But Mr. H. pleaded previous arrangements made with the inn-keeper, and politely but firinly refused to accept my offer."
During the first few weeks of the school-term there seemed to be a promise of Mr. H's doing pretty well; the children liked him and made good progress in their studies. But by and by they began to make remarks among themselves that alarmed me considerably. One day I heard Polly say to her mother, Mr. H. slept in school this afternoou,' and Peter added, "Yes, and the whole room smelled of liquor.' I never allow
children to criticise their teachers and school matters, or to tell long stories of things that happened at school or elsewhere, as I think it encourages children to lie and slander, and gives them a relish for idle gossip. So I felt sure that Polly spoke from necessity, and I questioned her and the boy rather sternly concerning the facts. I was informed that the pupils commenced calling their teacher by the
wicked names bestowed on him at the tavern, speaking of him as * Joe'; that he indulged in short naps in recess and even during school hours; that his hands were often dirty, and Polly thought he 'smelled bad.' I was grieved at what I heard, and forbade my children to make further remarks on the subject. Next day I went to the school house, and after recitation hours I had a plain talk with the young man. I showed him what he was coming to, how he was losing his reputation, and would soon lose kis position as well. I warned him of the consequences of a career like that on which he was entering, and bade him fly from temptation since he was too weak to resist it.
“On inquiry he confessed that he had parents living, and that he had left home in the stubborn blindness of passionate youth. He wept when he recalled the beautiful days of his childhood, when he was the only beloved son of kind parents, the idolized brother of his sisters, and he seemed to repent deeply and bitterly the folly which had driven him from them. He had received a liberal education at a first-class college, and after leaving home he taught school in various places, became book-keeper, teller, tłen turned to teaching again. I earnestly entreated him to seek his father's pardon, and return to his home, as he would never be able to avoid drinking to excess while among habitual tipplers. But he only shook his head. No, he would not go backnot until his fortunes had mended and he could return a self-made man. In vain I remonstrated with him, pointing out the impossibility of redeeming his character while under the influence of men who were themselves devoid of character. I told him the only way of reform was a casting off of all the vices that had led him astray; but he was deaf to my arguments. He would do beiter, he said; he would not yield to temptation again, but would try to do his duty. As for leaving, he could not do that, it would be making a beggar of him, positions being scarce, and a return home out of the question until he could
back honorably. You see, here was another instance of that curious selfdeception that ruins so many by its false logic. How many men and women secretly wish to reform, but from false pride refuse to take the right road. On the whole, I suspected that poor Joe's resolves would not last long—from what I had heard I feared that he had learned to love the vice which he felt would ruin him. The poet knew human nature when he wrote the words:
· Vice is à monster of such hideous mien
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.' Still I felt it my duty to do all I could to encourage him in his resolves, repeated my invitation to spend his evenings at my house, and bade
him remember that his whole future depended upon speedy reform. He vowed that he would shun the bar-room and those who frequented it, ard attend to his duties.
“For a time he kept one promise at least—he did his duty in school, but he never visited my house, and the taverns counted him among tbeir regular guests. That evil quality of sensitive men, false pride, prevented his carrying out his good resolutions. But these same men who blush when anyone makes a satirical remark on a virtue (and I count abstinence one), will laugh when a companion says, 'Well, Joe, you were as drunk as a pig yesterday!'
“ When the cold weather set in after New Year, Polly again complained, this time to me, that she was troubled with sick headaches and nausea, as the teacher would not allow the room to be ventilated during school hours, notwithstanding a good fire being kept up all day. She said the air was stifling, and that some of the children bled from the nose and complained of feeling ill. As a reason for this strange conduct on the teacher's part, she said that Mr. H.'s clothes were in a bad condition, being ripped and torn in many places, and his boots in sad need of repair. I pitied the poor fellow, and would have sent him some clothes had that mended the matter, but I felt that it would be only encouraging his extravagance in case his self respect permitted him to accept such a present. I wrote him a note, politely requesting him to ventilate the school room, and advising him to protect himself from the cold by warmer clothing. He complied with my request a couple of days, then closed the windows again and told Polly, who ventured to remonstrate, to mind her business. So I had to keep my daughter at home in preference to having her health injured, while others were too indifferent to attend to the matter.
“ Peter still went to school, boys find it easier to work off the influence of long confinement in the close room, as they spend their free time in healthy, invigorating sport. Through him I heard how the teacher got along with his school; when sober and not too much fatigued with the previous night's carousing, he did very well, but that was rather an exceptional state of things, as a rule he was sleepy, more or less under the influence of liquor, and disinclined to exert himself. From others I heard that he left school only to go to the tavern where he staid—the center of a so-called jolly company-till after midnight. This was especially the case whenever he received his wages, when he would be coaxed and teazed into treating the company, until the last shilling was spent. But he had credit with the inn-keepers, and was persuaded to make use of it. I was told that he had made a few attempts to stay away from the saloon, or, when there, to refuse to
2-[Vol. II.-No. 9.]