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responsibility of his situation in so doing, His look and manner, at such moments, strongly resembled that of Cornelius Agrippa's adventurous servant, in the act of pronouncing the fearful spell which summoned to his aid spirits of unknown powers, but invaluable assistance, during any great press of business.

Nobody knew Ponty's particular dwellingplace. He was a sort of all-pervading spirit; -the kind of man who runs his umbrella into your eye at the corner of every street, and nods to you from every coffee-house window: he was quite a hydra-headed acquaintance ;"like Cerberus, three gentlemen at once:". he seemed to hover in the air, and drop down upon you when you least expected it, like a cock-chafer at the end of May;—and I never knew a man who so well deserved the name of


a gentleman about town:" egad! one met him at every turning! Ponty's particular em ployments were also a mystery to the curious vulgar (for he had retired from the army on half-pay); but he was certainly in the habit of walking rapidly from the United Service Club to the Strand, and then as rapidly returning,

with a certain business-like air, and a look of severe speculation; and I never passed Limmer's Hotel, at any hour of the day, without seeing Bob Pontifex standing in the door


When we were children, my mother could not endure the sight of him; and, even after my father's death, she only tolerated his visits for the sake of old days and recollections: of this antipathy he seemed to have a sort of dull comprehension, in spite of her polite efforts to conceal it; he was less pompous than usual in her presence, and never ventured upon a dull joke, or stale anecdote, without a deprecating look in her direction, and a nervous laugh, which seemed at once to beseech sympathy and pardon.

Though Bob Pontifex was in the habit of talking much on most subjects, the theme he was most particularly addicted to, was the education of his only son, and the vast stock of erudition he was acquiring at the Rev. Dr. Pliant's academy, near Greenwich. On this subject, he was not only loquacious he was

eloquent: men wondered, while he spoke, whether they could consider themselves educated at all, who had not sucked in learning at this fountain-head of science,-who had not sat at the feet of this Doctor of Doctors. Even Mrs. Pliant came in for a part of his adoration; if such things are shared, she laid claim to the halo matrimonial. But the great object of all his thoughts, hopes, desires, and expectations, was the treasure he had placed in the Pliant mansion-his only son James, whom he talked of as the ninth wonder of the world, an admirable Crichton the second. If you began the conversation in the remotest regions of metaphysics, if you spoke of the philosopher's stone, or the wandering Jew, or the grotto of Antiparos, or the Reform Bill, or any thing, apparently, as far as possible removed from any allusion to his favourite subject-in two minutes you found yourself discussing the benefits of Dr. Pliant's system of education, inquiring his terms, and summing up the "washing, extras, &c."

For us youngsters, though we thought Dr. Pliant must be a great man, we thought Bob Pontifex a greater: the oracles of Delphos

and Dodona were not listened to, in their day, with greater reverence. We looked upon him as a Bacon for wisdom, and a Luttrel for wit: we quoted his opinions-we repeated his witticisms-we echoed his laugh: we wearied my poor mother with a constant supply of secondhand advice, whose first great source was Bob Pontifex. Sometimes we commenced the attack boldly, as thus :—

"Mother! James Pontifex is to have tails this May!"" Is he, my love?"

"Do you know, mother, Ponty says that I and George are grown much too tall for round jackets! None of the fellows at Dr. Pliant's put up with them any longer."-"Indeed! my dear."

There was ever a hopeless obstinacy about my mother's "Indeed!" which generally routed us for the moment: we would renew the assault with more circumspection.

"Mother! I met Jack Stapleton to-day, at the Johnsons'."—" Did you, my love?"

"Colonel Pontifex was saying he's grown quite another fellow since he went to Dr. Pliant's-that's where James is, mother!" "Yes, my love."

"Colonel Pontifex says, mother, that Dr. Pliant is the only man in the world to ground a fellow properly in mathematics!"-" Indeed! my dear."

It was evident that my mother did not consider the words "Colonel Pontifex says," equal in force to "the master has said it," of the ancient philosopher; for we continued to pine in vain for tails, and the forbidden glories of Dr. Pliant's academy.

The last three interviews I ever had with my father's old friend were at long intervals; and circumstances have indelibly impressed them on my memory. Some relation of Colonel Pontifex's deceased wife, to whom he had been much attached, procured a Writership in the East India Company's service for James; and his father, who had nothing to leave him hereafter, and little beside his half


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