The Path of Duty, and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about The Path of Duty, and Other Stories.
avoided entering it.  Since quite a young man my father had been employed as book-keeper in a large mercantile house in the city of Philadelphia, where we resided.  As he had ever proved trustworthy and faithful to the interests of his employers, they had seen fit, upon his marriage, to give him an increase of salary, which enabled him to purchase a small, but neat and convenient dwelling in a respectable street in Philadelphia, where we had lived in the enjoyment of all the comforts, and with many of the luxuries of life, to the time of the sad event which left me fatherless and my mother a widow.  I had never, as yet, attended any school.  My mother had been my only teacher, and as her own education had been thorough, she was amply qualified for the task.


Success at school.

About a year after my father’s death, my mother decided upon sending me to school, as she thought I was becoming too sedate and serious for a child only eleven years of age.  I had never been very familiar with the neighbouring children of my own age, and after the death of my father I cared still less for their companionship.  My chief enjoyment was in the society of my mother; and as we kept no servant, I found many ways of making myself useful to her; and every afternoon she devoted two or three hours to my lessons and needlework.  Thus passed away the first year after our great sorrow, when, as I have already said, my mother decided upon sending me to school.  It seemed to me, at the time, quite a formidable undertaking—­this going to school.  I had never been separated from my mother, and the five hours to be spent daily in the school-room seemed to my childish mind a very long time.  I had ever been shy and diffident in the presence of strangers, and the idea of entering a large school a stranger to both teacher and pupils, was very unpleasant to me.  But when I found it to be my mother’s wish that I should go, I endeavoured to overcome my reluctance, and assisted my mother in her preparations for entering me as a pupil at the beginning of the ensuing term.

It was with a feeling of timidity that I accompanied my mother through several streets to the school taught by Miss Edmonds.  My mother accompanied me to relieve me from any awkwardness I might feel in presenting myself for admission.  It was a select school for girls.  As my education had thus far been entirely conducted by my mother, I had of course, never been subjected to the rules of a school-room; and I must confess that I had formed an idea of school teachers in general that was not at all flattering.  I fancied them all to be old, sour and cross—­a mere walking bundle of rules and regulations, and I was quite unprepared to see the sweet-looking young lady who answered to my mother’s summons at the door.  Surely, thought I, this young lady cannot be Miss Edmonds; and when my mother enquired if such

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The Path of Duty, and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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