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no other sign of vitality, looked (as she
always did) like an indifferently executed
transparency of a small female figure, without
enough light behind it.

"She kept a chandler's shop," pursued
Bounderby, "and kept me in an egg-box.
That was the cot of my infancy; an old egg-
box. As soon as I was big enough to run
away, of course I ran away. Then I became
a young vagabond; and instead of one old
woman knocking me about and starving me,
everybody of all ages knocked me about and
starved me. They were right; they had no
business to do anything else. I was a
nuisance, an incumbrance, and a pest. I
know that, very well."

His pride in having at any time of his life
achieved such a great social distinction as to
be a nuisance, an incumbrance, and a pest,
was only to be satisfied by three sonorous
repetitions of the boast.

"I was to pull through it I suppose, Mrs.
Gradgrind. Whether I was to do it or not,
ma'am, I did it. I pulled through it, though
nobody threw me out a rope. Vagabond,
errand-boy, vagabond, labourer, porter,
clerk, chief manager, small partner, Josiah
Bounderby of Coketown. Those are the antecedents,
and the culmination. Josiah Bounderby
of Coketown learnt his letters from the outsides
of the shops, Mrs. Gradgrind, and was first
able to tell the time upon a dial-plate, from
studying the steeple clock of St. Giles's Church,
London, under the direction of a drunken
cripple, who was a convicted thief and an
incorrigible vagrant. Tell Josiah
Bounderby of Coketown, of your district schools,
and your model schools, and your training
schools, and your whole kettle- of- fish of
schools; and Josiah Bounderby of Coketown
tells you plainly, all right, all correcthe
hadn't such advantagesbut let us have
hard-headed, solid-fisted peoplethe education
that made him won't do for everybody,
he knows wellsuch and such his education
was, however, and you may force him to
swallow boiling fat, but you shall never force
him to suppress the facts of his life."

Being heated when he arrived at this
climax, Josiah Bounderby of Coketown
stopped. He stopped just as his eminently
practical friend, still accompanied by the two
young culprits, entered the room. His
eminently practical friend, on seeing him, stopped
also, and gave Louisa a reproachful look that
plainly said, "Behold your Bounderby!"

"Well!" blustered Mr. Bounderby, "what's
the matter? What is young Thomas in the
dumps about?"

He spoke of young Thomas, but he looked
at Louisa.

"We were peeping at the circus," muttered
Louisa haughtily, without lifting up her eyes,
"and father caught us."

"And Mrs. Gradgrind," said her husband
in a lofty manner, "I should as soon have
expected to find my children reading poetry."

"Dear me," whimpered Mrs. Gradgrind.
"How can you, Louisa and Thomas! I
wonder at you. I declare you're enough to
make one regret ever having had a family at
all. I have a great mind to say I wish I
hadn't. Then what would you have done, I
should like to know."

Mr. Gradgrind did not seem favourably
impressed by these cogent remarks. He
frowned impatiently.

"As if, with my head in its present throbbing
state, you couldn't go and look at the
shells and minerals and things provided for
you, instead of circuses!" said Mrs.
Gradgrind. "You know, as well as I do, no young
people have circus masters, or keep circuses
in cabinets, or attend lectures about circuses.
What can you possibly want to know of
circuses then? I am sure you have enough to
do, if that's what you want. With my head in
its present state, I couldn't remember the
mere names of half the facts you have got
to attend to."

"That's the reason!" pouted Louisa.

"Don't tell me that's the reason, because it
can be nothing of the sort," said Mrs. Gradgrind.
"Go and be somethingological directly."
Mrs. Gradgrind was not a scientific character,
and usually dismissed her children to their
studies with this general injunction to choose
their pursuit.

In truth, Mrs. Gradgrind's stock of facts in
general was woefully defective, but Mr.
Gradgrind in raising her to her high matrimonial
position had been influenced by two reasons.
Firstly, she was most satisfactory as a question
of figures; and, secondly, she had " no
nonsense" about her. By nonsense he meant
fancy; and truly it is probable she was as
free from any alloy of that nature, as any
human being not arrived at the perfection of
an absolute idiot, ever was.

The simple circumstance of being left alone
with her husband and Mr. Bounderby, was
sufficient to stun this admirable lady again,
without collision between herself and any
other fact. So, she once more died away, and
nobody minded her.

"Bounderby," said Mr. Gradgrind, drawing
a chair to the fireside, "you are always so
interested in my young peopleparticularly
in Louisathat I make no apology for saying
to you, I am very much vexed by this
discovery. I have systematically devoted myself
(as you know) to the education of the reason
of my family. The reason is (as you know)
the only faculty to which education should be
addressed. And yet, Bounderby, it would
appear from this unexpected circumstance of
to-day, though in itself a trifling one, as if
something had crept into Thomas's and
Louisa's minds which isor rather, which is
notI don't know that I can express myself
better than by sayingwhich has never been
intended to be developed, and in which their
reason has no part."

"There certainly is no reason in looking