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time that "No, sir!" was always the right
answer to this gentleman, the chorus of No
was very strong. Only a few feeble stragglers
said Yes; among them Sissy Jupe.

"Girl number twenty," said the gentleman,
smiling in the calm strength of knowledge.

Sissy blushed, and stood up.

"So you would carpet your roomor your
husband's room, if you were a grown woman,
and had a husbandwith representations of
flowers, would you?" said the gentleman.
"Why would you?"

"If you please, sir, I am very fond of
flowers," returned the girl.

"And is that why you would put tables
and chairs upon them, and have people walking
over them with heavy boots?"

"It wouldn't hurt them, sir. They wouldn't
crush and wither if you please, sir. They
would be the pictures of what was very pretty
and pleasant, and I would fancy—"

"Ay, ay, ay! But you mustn't fancy,"
cried the gentleman, quite elated by coming
so happily to his point. "That's it! You
are never to fancy."

"You are not, Mary Jupe," Thomas
Gradgrind solemnly repeated, " to do anything of
that kind."

"Fact, fact, fact!" said the gentleman. And
"Fact, fact, fact!" repeated Thomas

"You are to be in all things regulated and
governed," said the gentleman," by fact.
We hope to have, before long, a board of fact,
composed of commissioners of fact, who will
force the people to be a people of fact, and
of nothing but fact. You must discard the
word Fancy altogether. You have nothing to
do with it. You are not to have, in any object
of use or ornament, what would be a
contradiction in fact. You don't walk upon flowers
in fact; you cannot be allowed to walk upon
flowers in carpets. You don't find that
foreign birds and butterflies come and perch
upon your crockery; you cannot be permitted
to paint foreign birds and butterflies upon
your crockery. You never meet with
quadrupeds going up and down walls; you must
not have quadrupeds represented upon walls.
You must use," said the gentleman, "for
all these purposes, combinations and
modifications (in primary colours) of mathematical
figures which are susceptible of proof and
demonstration. This is the new discovery.
This is fact. This is taste."

The girl curtseyed, and sat down. She was
very young, and she looked as if she were
frightened by the matter of fact prospect the
world afforded.

"Now, if Mr. M'Choakumchild," said the
gentleman, "will proceed to give his first
lesson here, Mr. Gradgrind, I shall be happy,
at your request, to observe his mode of

Mr. Gradgrind was much obliged. "Mr.
M'Choakumchild, we only wait for you."

So, Mr. M'Choakumchild began in his best
manner. He and some one hundred and forty
other school-masters, had been lately turned
at the same time, in the same factory, on the
same principles, like so many pianoforte legs.
He had been put through an immense variety
of paces, and had answered volumes of head-
breaking questions. Orthography, etymology,
syntax, and prosody, biography, astronomy,
geography, and general cosmography, the
sciences of compound proportion, algebra,
land surveying and levelling, vocal music, and
drawing from models, were all at the ends
of his ten chilled fingers. He had worked his
stoney way into Her Majesty's most Honorable
Privy Council's Schedule B, and had
taken the bloom off the higher branches of
mathematics and physical science, French,
German, Latin, and Greek. He knew all
about all the Water Sheds of all the world
(whatever they are), and all the histories of
all the peoples, and all the names of all the
rivers and mountains, and all the productions,
manners, and customs of all the countries, and
all their boundaries and bearings on the two
and thirty points of the compass. Ah, rather
overdone, M'Choakumchild. If he had only
learnt a little less, how infinitely better he
might have taught much more!

He went to work in this preparatory lesson,
not unlike Morgiana in the Forty Thieves:
looking into all the vessels ranged before him,
one after another, to see what they contained.
Say, good M'Choakumchild. When from thy
boiling store, thou shalt fill each jar brim
full by and by, dost thou think that thou wilt
always kill outright the robber Fancy lurking
withinor sometimes only maim him and
distort him!


MR. GRADGRIND walked homeward from
the school, in a state of considerable
satisfaction. It was his school, and he intended it
to be a model. He intended every child in it
to be a modeljust as the young Gradgrinds
were all models.

There were five young Gradgrinds, and they
were models every one. They had been
lectured at, from their tenderest years; coursed,
like little hares. Almost as soon as they could
run alone, they had been made to run to the
lecture-room. The first object with which
they had an association, or of which they had
a remembrance, was a large black board with
a dry Ogre chalking ghastly white figures
on it.

Not that they knew, by name or nature,
anything about an Ogre. Fact forbid! I
only use the word to express a monster in a
lecturing castle, with Heaven knows how
many heads manipulated into one, taking
childhood captive, and dragging it into gloomy
statistical dens by the hair.

No little Gradgrind had ever seen a face
in the moon; it was up in the moon before
it could speak distinctly. No little
Gradgrind had ever learnt the silly jingle, Twinkle