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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 485 pages of information about The Way of All Flesh.
for he was not the youth to hide his light under a bushel.  His uncle had had him taught Latin and Greek of an evening; he had taken kindly to these languages and had rapidly and easily mastered what many boys take years in acquiring.  I suppose his knowledge gave him a self-confidence which made itself felt whether he intended it or not; at any rate, he soon began to pose as a judge of literature, and from this to being a judge of art, architecture, music and everything else, the path was easy.  Like his father, he knew the value of money, but he was at once more ostentatious and less liberal than his father; while yet a boy he was a thorough little man of the world, and did well rather upon principles which he had tested by personal experiment, and recognised as principles, than from those profounder convictions which in his father were so instinctive that he could give no account concerning them.

His father, as I have said, wondered at him and let him alone.  His son had fairly distanced him, and in an inarticulate way the father knew it perfectly well.  After a few years he took to wearing his best clothes whenever his son came to stay with him, nor would he discard them for his ordinary ones till the young man had returned to London.  I believe old Mr Pontifex, along with his pride and affection, felt also a certain fear of his son, as though of something which he could not thoroughly understand, and whose ways, notwithstanding outward agreement, were nevertheless not as his ways.  Mrs Pontifex felt nothing of this; to her George was pure and absolute perfection, and she saw, or thought she saw, with pleasure, that he resembled her and her family in feature as well as in disposition rather than her husband and his.

When George was about twenty-five years old his uncle took him into partnership on very liberal terms.  He had little cause to regret this step.  The young man infused fresh vigour into a concern that was already vigorous, and by the time he was thirty found himself in the receipt of not less than 1500 pounds a year as his share of the profits.  Two years later he married a lady about seven years younger than himself, who brought him a handsome dowry.  She died in 1805, when her youngest child Alethea was born, and her husband did not marry again.

CHAPTER III

In the early years of the century five little children and a couple of nurses began to make periodical visits to Paleham.  It is needless to say they were a rising generation of Pontifexes, towards whom the old couple, their grandparents, were as tenderly deferential as they would have been to the children of the Lord Lieutenant of the County.  Their names were Eliza, Maria, John, Theobald (who like myself was born in 1802), and Alethea.  Mr Pontifex always put the prefix “master” or “miss” before the names of his grandchildren, except in the case of Alethea, who was his favourite.  To have resisted

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