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hereditary estate, which he felt would be rather endangered than promoted by any attempt on his own part towards a more intimate commerce with a man of Sir Everard's habits and opinions.
Thus, by a sort of tacit compromise, little Edward was permitted to pass the greater part of the year at the Hall, and appeared to stand in the same intimate relation to both families, although their intercourse was otherwise limited to formal messages and more formal visits. The education of the youth was regulated alternately by the taste and opinions of his uncle and of his father. But more of this in a subsequent chapter.
The education of our hero, Edward Waverley, was of a nature somewhat desultory. In infancy his health suffered, or was supposed to suffer (which is quite the same thing), by the air of London. As soon, therefore, as official duties, attendance on Parliament, or the prosecution of any of his plans of interest or ambition, called his father to town, which was his usual residence for eight months in the year, ed Edward was transferred to Waverley-Honour, and experienced a change of instructors and of lessons, as well as of residence. This might have been remedied had his father placed him under the superintendence of a permanent tutor. But he considered that one of his chusing would probably have been unacceptable at Waverley-Honour, and that such a selection as Sir Everard might have made, were the matter left to him, would have burdened him with a disagreeable inmate, if not
a political spy, in his family. He therefore prevailed upon his private secretary, a young man of taste and accomplishment, to bestow an hour or two on Edward's education while at Brere-wood Lodge, and left bis uncle answerable for his improvement in literature while an inmate at the Hall.
This was in some degree respectably provided for. Sir Everard's chaplain, an Oxonian, who had lost his fellowship for declining to take the oaths at the accession of George I., was not only an excellent classical scholar, but reasonably skilled in science, and master of most modern languages. He was, however, old and indulgent, and the recurring interregnum, during which Edward was entirely freed from his discipline, occasioned such a relaxation of authority, that the youth was permitted, in a great measure, to learn as he pleased, what he pleased, and when he pleased.
This looseness of rule would have been ruinous to a boy of slow understanding, who, feeling labour in the acquisition of knowledge, would have altogether neglected it, save for the command of a task-master, and it might have proved equally dangerous to a youth whose animal spirits were more powerful than his imagination or his feelings, and whom the irresistible influence of Alma, when seated in his arms and legs, would have engaged in
field sports from morning till night. But the character of Edward Waverley was remote from either of these. His powers of apprehension were so uncommonly quick, as almost to resemble intuition, and the chief care of his preceptor was to prevent him, as a sportsman would phrase it, from over-running bis game, that is from acquiring his knowledge in a slight, flimsy, and inadequate manner. And here the instructor had to combat another propensity too often united with brilliancy of fancy and vivacity of talent,--that indolence, namely, of disposition, which can only be stirred by some strong motive of gratification, and which renounces study so soon as curiosity is gratified, the pleasure of conquering the first difficulties exhausted, and the novelty of pursuit at an end. Edward would throw himself with spirit upon any classical author of which his preceptor proposed the perusal, make himself master of the style so far as to understand the story, and if that pleased or interested him, he finished the volume. But it was in vain to attempt fixing his attention on critical distinctions of philology, upon the difference of idiom, the beauty of felicitous expression, or the artificial combinations of syntax. «I can read and understand a Latin author,» said young Edward, with the self-confidence and rash reasoning of fifteen, « and Scaliger or Bentley could not do much more. »
Alas! while he was thus permitted to read only for the gratification of his own amusement, he foresaw not that he was losing for ever the opportunity of acquiring habits of firm and incumbent application, of gaining the art of controling, directing, and concentrating the powers of his own mind for earnest investigation,—an art far more essential than even that learning which is the primary object of study.
I am aware I may be here reminded of the necessity of rendering instruction agreeable to youth, and of Tasso's infusion of honey into the medicine prepared for a child; but an age in which children are taught the driest doctrines by the insinuating method of instructive games, bas little reason to dread the consequence of study being rendered too serious or severe. The history of England is now reduced to a game at cards, the problems of * mathematics to puzzles and riddles, and the doctrines of arithmetic may, we are assured, be sufficiently acquired by spending a few hours a-week at a new and complicated edition of the Royal Game of the Goose. There wants but one step further, and the Creed and Ten Commandments may be taught in the same manner, without the necessity of the grave face, deliberate tone of recital, and devout attention hitherto exacted from the wellgoverned childhood of this realm. It may in