Page:Authors daughter v1.djvu/22

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18
THE AUTHOR'S DAUGHTER.

such exaggerated notions of dangers of bad company in public schools, that she had preferred enduring the annoyance of having a tutor in the house to sending her boys away from her side. But there had been long interregnums of idleness between the very limited monarchy of the tutors in the Aralewin school-room, and she could not help feeling that they were very backward, and that they could not expect to make any figure in England, where she hoped to be able to take them ere long.

She was delighted a day or two before my story opens, at the receipt of a letter from her husband, saying that he had been so fortunate as to secure for his boys the services of a gentleman of higher attainments and of more agreeable manners than any who had ever been at Aralewin. Mr. Hammond had been favourably impressed by his Oxford degree of Master of Arts, and by his credentials from the editors of various journals and periodicals to which he had been a contributor; he almost feared that the situation was not good enough for him. When he had seen the little girl, who must be considered in the light of an incumbrance, he had been equally taken with her, and thought she would be an excellent companion for his bush girls, as her acquirements appeared to him to be astonishing. He offered