Paul's EducationAFTER the lapse of some minutes, which appeared an immense time to little Paul Dombey on the table, Doctor Blimber came back. The Doctor's walk was stately, and calculated to impress the juvenile mind with solemn feelings. It was a sort of march; but when the Doctor put out his right foot, he gravely turned upon his axis, with a semi-circular sweep towards the left; and when he put out his left foot, he turned in the same manner towards the right. So that he seemed, at every stride he took, to look about him as though he were saying, `Can anybody have the goodness to indicate any subject, in any direction, on which I am uninformed? I rather think not.'
Mrs. Blimber and Miss Blimber came back in the Doctor's company; and the Doctor, lifting his new pupil off the table, delivered him over to Miss Blimber.
`Cornelia,' said the Doctor, `Dombey will be your charge at first. Bring him on, Cornelia, bring him on.'
Miss Blimber received her young ward from the Doctor's hands; and Paul, feeling that the spectacles were surveying him, cast down his eyes.
`How old are you, Dombey?' said Miss Blimber.
`Six,' answered Paul, wondering, as he stole a glance at the young lady, why her hair didn't grow long like Florence's, and why she was like a boy.
`How much do you know of your Latin Grammmar, Dombey?' said Miss Blimber.
`None of it,' answered Paul. Feeling that the answer was a shock to Miss Blimber's sensibility, he looked up at the three faces that were looking down at him, and said:
`I hav'n't been well. I have been a weak child. I couldn't learn a Latin Grammar when I was out, every day, with old Glubb. I wish you'd tell old Glubb to come and see me, if you please.'
`What a dreadful low name!' said Mrs. Blimber. `Unclassical to a degree! Who is the monster, child?'
`What monster?' inquired Paul.
`Glubb,' said Mrs. Blimber, with a great disrelish.
`He's no more a monster than you are,' returned Paul.
`What!' cried the Doctor, in a terrible voice. `Aye, aye, aye? Aha! What's that?'
Paul was dreadful frightened; but still he made a stand for the absent Glubb, though he did it trembling.
`He's a very nice old man, Ma'am,' he said. `He used to draw my couch. He knows all about the deep sea, and the fish that are in it, and the great monsters that come and lie on rocks in the sun, and dive into the water again when they're startled, blowing and splashing so, that they can be heard for miles. There are some creatures,' said Paul, warming with his subject, `I don't know how many yards long, and I forget their names, but Florence knows, that pretend to be in distress; and when a man goes near them, out of compassion, they open their great jaws, and attack him. But all he has got to do,' said Paul, boldly tendering this information to the very Doctor himself, `is to keep on turning as he runs away, and then, as they turn slowly, because they are so long, and can't bend, he's sure to beat them. And though old Glubb don't know why the sea should make me think of my Mama that's dead, or what it is that it is always saying--always saying! he knows a great deal about it. And I wish,' the child concluded with a sudden falling of his countenance, and failing in his animation, as he looked like one forlorn, upon the three strange face, `that you'd let old Glubb come here to see me, for I know him very well, and he knows me.'
`Ha!' said the Doctor, shaking his head: `this is bad, but study will do much.'
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