Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Inspiring Novel > The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle > Chapter 17
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
Chapter 17

Peregrine distinguishes himself among his School-fellows, exposes his Tutor, and attracts the particular Notice of the Master.

Thus left to the prosecution of his studies, Peregrine was in a little time a distinguished character, not only for his acuteness of apprehension, but also for that mischievous fertility of fancy, of which we have already given such pregnant examples. But as there was a great number of such luminaries in this new sphere to which he belonged, his talents were not so conspicuous while they shone in his single capacity, as they afterwards appeared, when they concentrated and reflected the rays of the whole constellation.

At first he confined himself to piddling game, exercising his genius upon his own tutor, who attracted his attention, by endeavouring to season his mind with certain political maxims, the fallacy of which he had discernment enough to perceive. Scarce a day passed in which he did not find means to render Mr. Jolter the object of ridicule: his violent prejudices, ludicrous vanity, awkward solemnity, and ignorance of mankind, afforded continual food for the raillery, petulance, and satire of his pupil, who never neglected an opportunity of laughing, and making others laugh, at his expense.

Sometimes in their parties, by mixing brandy in his wine, he decoyed this pedagogue into a debauch, during which his caution forsook him, and he exposed himself to the censure of the company. Sometimes, when the conversation turned upon intricate subjects, he practised upon him the Socratic method of confutation, and, under pretence of being informed, by an artful train of puzzling questions insensibly betrayed him into self-contradiction.

All the remains of authority which he had hitherto preserved over Peregrine soon vanished; so that, for the future, no sort of ceremony subsisted between them, and all Mr. Jolter’s precepts were conveyed in hints of friendly advice, which the other might either follow or neglect at his own pleasure. No wonder then that Peregrine gave a loose to his inclinations, and, by dint of genius and an enterprising temper, made a figure among the younger class of heroes in the school.

Before he had been a full year at Winchester, he had signallized himself in so many achievements, in defiance to the laws and regulations of the place, that he was looked upon with admiration, and actually chosen dux, or leader, by a large body of his contemporaries. It was not long before his fame reached the ears of the master, who sent for Mr. Jolter, communicated to him the informations he had received, and desired him to check the vivacity of his charge, and redouble his vigilance in time to come, else he should be obliged to make a public example of his pupil for the benefit of the school.

The governor, conscious of his own unimportance, was not a little disconcerted at this injunction, which it was not in his power to fulfil by any compulsive means. He therefore went home in a very pensive mood, and after mature deliberation, resolved to expostulate with Peregrine in the most familiar terms, and endeavour to dissuade him from practices which might affect his character as well as interest. He accordingly frankly told him the subject of the master’s discourse; represented the disgrace he might incur by neglecting this warning; and, putting him in mind of his own situation, hinted the consequences of the commodore’s displeasure, in case he should be brought to disapprove of his conduct. These insinuations made the greater impression as they were delivered with many expressions of friendship and concern. The young gentleman was not so raw, but that he could perceive the solidity of Mr, Jolter’s advice, to which he promised to conform, because his pride was interested in the affair, and he considered his own reformation as the only means of avoiding that infamy which even in idea he could not bear.

His governor, finding him so reasonable, profited by these moments of reflection; and, in order to prevent a relapse, proposed that he should engage in some delightful study that would agreeably amuse his imagination, and gradually detach him from those connections which had involved him in so many troublesome adventures. For this purpose, he, with many rapturous encomiums, recommended the mathematics, as yielding more rational and sensible pleasures to a youthful fancy than any other subject of contemplation; and actually began to read Euclid with him that same afternoon.

Peregrine entered upon this branch of learning with all that warmth of application which boys commonly yield on the first change of study............

Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved