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Rugry. I certainly did instruct orally so far as I could; as I consider—
'squire. Oh, we wont argufy that pint, if you please. The majority of this Board's (looking significantly at Dr. J.) mind's made up about that. If a master don't know enough to use a book, he don't know any too much—that's certain. And what are books made for, I should like to know, if they ain't to be used? Then, young man, over and above that, you didn't flog any at all. We (looking at Dr. J.) don't believe in coaxin' and moralizin' and sech. So, as a friend, young man, who wishes you well, I wouldn't, if I were you, be examined here to-day.
Dr. J. 'Squire, you can speak for yourself, but not yet for the Board. Under our advertisement Mr. Rugby is entitled to a fair and impartial examination.
'squire. Let him take it, if he wants it—and much good may it do him. We'll see by'n by, Dr. Justice, whether I speak for the Board, or who does.
Rugry. I thank you, Dr., for your kindness, but I will, under the circumstances, remain as a looker-on. [Seats himself.)
'squire. I see the canderdates have got done with their writin' the answers to them questions, so we'll now begin the examernation. Firstly, I shall ask you some questions about jography. The one who sets there (pointing to his extreme right) will answer fust, and the next the next, and so on. We can git on more harmoniously that way; and there's nothin' like system in any business, as I used to tell my scholars—for I've teached some too, I tell you (looking at Dr. J.)—but that's neither here nor there. What's your name (pointing as before)?
Button. Matthew Button, sir.
'squire. Mr. Button, what's the highest mountains in the earth? Button. The Himalaya.
'squire (taking up a well worn book). The what?
'squire. Do you mean the Himmerler? No—that wont do. Mr. Narr—the Board (looking at Dr. J.) knows your ntme—Mr. Narr, what do you say—which is the highest"' Narr. The Andes.
'squire. That's rights—well done, Mr. Narr. Frink. I agree, sir, with Mr. Button. I think all th« authorities put the Himalayas down as the highest 'squire. What may your name be, sir? Frink. Frink, sir, Francis Frink.
'squire. Well, Mr. Frink, old Malte Brown, sir, which 1 hold here in my hand, sir, and which was a good jography for us, sir, says the Andes, sir, and so I say, sir, and so I decide.
Dr. J. Allow me to look at the geography, 'Squire.
'squire (handing). There 'tis, Dr.—you don't ketch me nappin' often—there 'tis (pointing).
Dr. J. (reading the title-page and returning book.) I see this edition was printed in 181o.
'squire. What if it was? You don't suppose the Himmerlers have grown ahead of the Andes sence, do you? He —he—he! (faughs, in which Crispin and Narr and several spectators join.) Now the next to Mr. Narr—what's the name?
Dent. William Dent, sir.
'squire. Mr. Dent, which is the longest river in the earth? Dent. The Mississippi. 'squire. No—the next—what name? Brown. James Brown. 'squire. Mr. Brown, what's your answer? Brown. The same—the Mississippi. 'squire. Do you all say so? (All except Narr say " Ye*."} What do you say, Mr. Narr? Narr. I say the Amazon.
'squire. Right agin, Mr. Narr—right agin. Do you want to look agin, Doctor? (offering the book to Dr., with finger on the place—Dr. shakes his head.) Mebbe you spose the Misersip has stretched out some sence this book was writ. He—he —he! (laughter as before.) Next canderdate—what name?
High. Thomas High.
'squire. Mr. High, how many States is there among the United States? High. Thirty-seven.
'squire. Give us the names of all of 'em. Show us how <ast you can say 'em. (High n peats till he comes to West Vir~ lima.) Hold on a bit—hold on! You don't call that a State, do you? Why, 'taint no more a State than our town of Joppy is a State. Virginny—old Virginny—is the name.
High. All of our latest geographies, sir, class it as a State, sir; and it has been recognized as a State by Congress and by the Supreme Court of the United States.
'squire (excitedly). Who cares if it has? Who cares what Congress does, or the Supreme Court—that is, a part on it? I tell you, old Virginny don't recognize it—and that's enough for anybody. Don't bring in any of your blasted politics into school matters, Mr. High, that's the curse of teachin' and preach in'.
Dr. J. How many States does your geography give, 'Squire?
'squire. That is a small question. Jest as if we couldn't make as many States as we please—we, the sovereign, independent people!
Dr. J. Oh, I thought you didn't call West Virginia a State, although she was made such by the people and accepted by the people's representatives.
'squire. No more I don't, I say. Taint a State more'n I am. But I shan't talk politics with you now—the Board (looking significantly at Dr. J.) are examinin' now. That's enough for jography. The Board can tell well enough by this time who knows most about that. Now we'll examine in 'rethmetic—and if any canderdate don't know a good deal about that, I can tell him it'll be a poor show for him. 'Rethmetic is the most importance to us next to the Bible and the Constertution. What's your name, sir (to the next in order)?
Watson. Ralph Watson, sir.
'squire. How fur have you ciphered in 'rethmetic, Mr. Watson?
Watson. I have used different text-books, sir; and believe that I understand the principles involved in all the processes contained in them.
'squire. That don't answer the question. How fur have you ciphered, : ir?
Watson (looking at the others significantly). I have been through the book, sir.
'squire. That's the way I like to hear you talk. You've been clear through the book—in course, then, you've ciphered in Dabollses, and Adamses, and Pikeses. Now, Mr. Watson, what do you consider the most important rule in 'rethmetic—the rule, I mean, that'll show you how to do most any sum in the book?
Watson (hesitatmg). Why—why, sir
'squire. Don't you know that, and ben clear through? Why I knew it afore we got half way to it.
Watson. I think addition and subtraction involve ev«ry principle in arithmetic.
'squire. What! Them easy things? (looking derisively, tn which Crispin joins.) Way back to the beginning of the book! I'm afraid Mr.—Mr. Watson, you didn't learn every thing, if you did go clear through. What is your rule, Mr. Narr, wherever you can work it in—fust, last, and all the time?
Narr. The Rule of Three, sir. That'll git us out of about anything we ought to git out of—and when with that afore us we can't, we may be tol'ble sure we hadn't oughter.
'squire. That's so, Mr. Narr—every word is true. Why, genTmen, I can show you my sum book if you come to the house now, more'n two hundred sums, genTmen—more'n two hundred—and there ain't one in the whole kerboodle hut what's did—and did all straight, gittin' the answer jest as 'tis in the book—did by the Rule of Three. Mr. Bottom —that's your name, I b'lieve (pointing to Button).
Button. Button, sir—Matthew Button.
'squire. Beg your pardon—Mr. Button—you know all about fractions, don't you? How do you divide one fraction by another fraction? (Setting himself back in his chair and eying the candidate as if he had given him a "poser.")
Button. I add, subtract, and divide fractions by bringing them to a common denominator and adding, subtracting, and dividing their numerators as if they were whole numbers.
'squire. Whew! Say that over agin! (Button repeals more deliberately than before) Mr. Bottom—beg your pardon —Mr. Bottle—
Button. Button, sir.