he had better not try his spiteful tricks on him. He suddenly walked across the hearth, and looked over Philip's paper.
`Why, that's donkey with panniers - and a spaniel, and partridges in the corn!' he exclaimed, his tongue being completely loosed by surprise and admiration. `O my buttons!I wish I could draw like that. I'm to learn drawing this half - I wonder if I shall learn to make dogs and donkeys!'
`O you can do them without learning,' said Philip. `I never learned drawing.'
`Never learned?' said Tom, in amazement. `Why when I make dogs and horses and those things, the heads and the legs won't come right; though I can see how they ought to be very well. I can make houses, and all sorts of chimneys - chimneys going all down the wall, and windows in the roof and all that. But I daresay I could do dogs and horses if I was to try more,' he added, reflecting that Philip might falsely suppose that he was going to `knock under,' if he were too frank about the imperfection of his accomplishments.
`O yes,' said Philip, `It's very easy. You've only to look well at things, and draw them over and over again. What you do wrong once, you can alter the next time,'
`But haven't you been taught anything?' said Tom, beginning to have a puzzled suspicion that Philip's crooked back might be the source of remarkable faculties, `I thought you'd been to school a long while,'
`Yes,' said Philip, smiling. `I've been taught Latin and Greek and mathematics... and writing and such things.'
`O but, I say, you don't like Latin though do you?' said Tom, lowering his voice confidentially.
`Pretty well - I don't care much about it,' said Philip.
`Ah, but perhaps you haven't got into the Propiae quae maribus,' said Tom, nodding his head sideways, as much as to say, `that was the test: it was easy talking until you came to that.'
Philip felt some bitter complacency in the promising stupidity of this well-made active-looking boy; but made polite by his own extreme sensitiveness as well as by his desire to conciliate, he checked his inclination to laugh, and said quietly,
`I've done with the grammar: I don't learn that any more.'
`Then you won't have the same lessons as I shall,' said Tom, with a sense of disappointment.
`No; but I daresay I can help you. I shall be very glad to help you if I can.'
Tom did not say `Thank You,' for he was quite absorbed in the thought that Wakem's son did not seem so spiteful a fellow as might have been expected.
`I say,' he said presently, `do you love your father?'
`Yes,' said Philip, colouring deeply, `don't you love yours?'
`O yes... I only wanted to know,' said Tom, rather ashamed of himself now he saw Philip colouring and looking uncomfortable. He found much difficulty in adjusting his attitude of mind towards the son of Lawyer Wakem, and it had occurred to him that if Philip disliked his father, that fact might go some way towards clearing up his perplexity.
`Shall you learn drawing now?' he said, by way of changing the subject.
`No', said Philip. `My father wishes me to give all my time to other things now.'
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|