Chapter 59574965

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Chapter NumberVIII
Chapter TitleAN ADVENTURE TEACHER.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59574965
Full Date1878-08-17
Page Number3
Corrections0
Word Count1461
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleMercury and Weekly Courier (Vic. : 1878 - 1903)
Trove TitleAda and her Cousin Charles, A Tale for Victorian Boys and Girls
article text

ADA AND HER 'COUSIN CHARLES, SI .... - A TATE 'FOR VICTORIAN BOYS AND GIRLS. BYE. A.:SAM ON. S OAPTER VIII:. AN ADVENTURE TEACHER. "I can assure you;Miss Editl,' that in this matter you are as mnch mistaken as you were 'in that of my not being able to write poetry. For I have been taught drawing,' and by a' very cslever man indeed. The' teacher that my mamma chose for me` had been a bank clerk, or something of that sort, and not getting on well with his manager a very unpleasant' man,- very difficult to get on with, had, so he told her, sent in his resgeation. I did 'hear it after wards whispered about that he had been ignominiously dismissed for grave iiregularities, the exact nature of which, however, did not transpire. But I know that though he tried desperately for some time: he, could - never get another situation,as a clerk. Now, the poor man had to live somehow ; he didn't like hard' work, in fact he was unfitfor~it, and he knew no handicraft on which he could fall back for bread and cheese.. So it occurred to him that the easiest thing to do to obtain the' where withal temporarily to minister to his wants was to award himself credentials of fitness and capacity as a teacher of drawing, and have the same engraved on a brass a plate. His scheme succeeded beyond his most sanguine anticipations. As he .never made his pupils'do any thing .that was. disagreeable to them. and as he was.as,sleek and deferential in his inanner'to the papas 'and mammas asCadldlbeiany fluukey he soon became very popular., I was with him for three month? anid in that time I drew-as he showed me bow, by tracing it stencil fashion-a windmill, with a bucket and a broom, a barrow and.a bag of ivhent, ih-t.e foregron.db. - It ias so ..vre that mfy fiktl~ i liaid't frziaied and it

her paraout-ift' is m tch %dinred'by all her visitors, to whom she never fails to point it, out. . I wish you would go and look at it yourself, I know you would like it. Well, when he took it home to her he said, bowing to the ground as she paid him his rather exorbitant fee of six guineas, that T had a decided talent for drawing, and that I had, into the bargain, an artist's eye. She was delighted with the praise he awarded me, so, of course, you see you are in error, for my mamma, who was very fond of me, persistently maintains that the opinion he then expressed about me was a very true one. Besides, he must have known, as he had had very great experience, for he was such a really good teacher you know-the best proof of which was that he charged exorbitantly, and had crowds of pupils. He is a splendid example that pre liminary preparation for his work is a disqualification rather than otherwise for one who would follow the avocation of a teacher, and that a good character is anything but a requisite essential. In fact, there was at the time a draw ing master in Melbourne, holding the highest credentials, both as a man of correct habits, and as one highly skilled in his profession. He had, in addition, diplomas from the Royal Academies of London and Paris, in which institutions he had graduated. His fees were also moderate-three guineas a' quarter. But all the young people said he didn't know how to teach a bit. And, of course, they are the best judges of what a teacher is and how he ought to give his instruction, especially when their parents are above the necessities ofpractising "little economics." And, only fancy, this poor creature wanted his pupils to learn to draw straight lines and curves, and all that sort of dry rubbish before he would give them a picture or a head to do, and then, what was worse still, he would never put in any touches-of his own to finish off a landscape and make it look well before it was sent home. Of course, as you iday suppse, this very impolitic line of conduct, gave great displeasure to everybody, and as he had to sue two or three of his "wealthy employers" for the fees that he had earned, but which they dishonestly withheld from him because he would not allow them any discount on them, he made for himself many enemies. The mammas and the papas who had thus properly treated him for his bad manners had long purses, and thought the tinkling coins they held would purchase talents for their offspring., What they wanted was to have a something more or less artistic, whether done entirely by their children orifiot, they :wonuld never care to ask so long as they had a picture or two to display upon the walls of their vulgarly over-furnished drawing-rooms, and be able to say to those who called upon-thein, iSee w'hat Johnny has done ! or, "Look at Emily's drawings!" and then have thegratification of listen ing to suchexceladiations in reply as "See, now I Law ! what a clever child I Dear me, what a genius ! Really an undeveloped Titian! A Turner in embyro !" iand soon. Well, as this man had far too high an opinion of him self, was dreadfully conceited, and prated much about honour and truthful ness in art, abjured trickery, especially stencilled 'pictures, and being of an independent turn of mind; would not cringe to wealth as such, but esteemed himself, in this democratic country, the equal of all reputable and respectable men, he couldn't earn enough to pay for his board and lodging and clothe himself. Hoping against hope, and trusting that his earnest work would be ultimately rewarded, he lived a life of penury, ultimately fell into debt for common necessaries, was held, in conse quence of his poverty, in disrespect by the tradespeople, and died, not like Haydn under similar circumstances by his own hand, but of despair and a broken heart. So the ex-clerk, my teacher, you see, beat him out of the fie!d altogether, and in a short time he got a good Government appointment. This was obtained for him by a rich patron, a man who had made his money by cunningly defrauding the Customs, and employing dummy selectors, for many years before his nefarious prac tices became a matter of public comment and of subsequent parliamentary in quiry. As, however,; he had, in the meantime, amassed a plethoric banking account, he was much admired and looked up to by all the "great men," asnid was very tenderly dealt with; noth ing was, therefore, proved against him, and,thius whitewashed, he was presently appointed a bank director, chairman of a society for the conservation of honesty in commercial transactions, and the prosecution of peculating errand boys, nominated a trustee for a cathedral by Right Reverend Bishop, and was simply worshipped and bowed down to, and kow-towed-to, and made a Baal of by his baker, his butcher, and his grocer. In addition to all this, the sumptuous dinners he gave paid (because im pecunious) trading politicians enabled him toexercise much political influence. Well, to make a long story short, my drawing master allowed himself to ,be ised by this august personage (who, by-the-yy, could scarcely rea or write, and who distributed his " h's" most impa'rtially) just as be treated hiulap dog, his parlour spaniel, patting him on the back or kicking him out of the way, as the humour of the moment prevailed. As, moreover, he was careful never to offend his children, but let them do or not do just as they liked, and be as rude, as supercilious, and as impertinent to him as they chose, he found favour with the family and was rewarded, as I have said, at the expense of the country (not at his patron's, the woold-be Mecenas was too cute for that) by an appointment of three hundred a year created on purpoese for him-his oner ous duties, in exchange for these golden effigies of the Queen, being to seal with red wax, and tie with red tape, sundry despatches and missives, issued from the Swamps and Coal Mine Office, in which free selectors were snubbed with polite oflicial contumely." Mr. Pipkins had never before been known to make sech a long speech. Edith hardly knew whether he was in jest or in earnest, and I must say, felt somewhat almshed at hearing him give -entto nuch beterodox opinion, for he had tbe'adacity-to Ispeakwih di paraement of si rich, masn. -HIwIver,

recovering in a moment her usual presence of mind, she, as usual, attacked