Were I to imitate the action of an epic poem, it would now be the time to give the history of the Governor, before he had set out upon his travels; deducing my narrative from his early years. His ancestry also might be touched upon; but the fact is, as I have said, I know little about him prior to the time of his setting out; and still less of his descent, and pedigree. I should be better pleased if I had it in my power to give some account of the progenitors of Teague, as being a character of greater singularity; but that is not in my power. From his ambition for eminence, I should think it very probable that his descent was noble, and from some of the old Irish kings, if the heraldry could be traced; but, in the sacking of towns, and burning of castles in the civil wars in Ireland, and foreign conquests by Danes, and by John Bull, all documents of ancestry have been lost; so that we are at liberty to imagine what we please upon this head. Philosophers dispute with each other; but the divines all agree that we all came from Adam. If the divines are right, we are all relations tag rag, and bobtail; kings, emperors, and bog-trotters. I am content to have it so; for it is a way of thinking, favourable to benevolence; and I do not know that I should gain any thing by the idea of there having been different stocks; for though I should get quit of some rascals, that have sprung from Adam, I might have others on my hand not much better. The truth is, I know nothing of my own ancestry, farther back than the year 1715, where a certain M'Donald did good service with his claymore at the batte of Killicrankey, under Dundee. He was the grand father of my father, by the maternal line. I mention him, because he is the only one I have ever heard spoken of as being a dead-doing man. My father's father, called out in a conscription of feudalists under Argyle, fell at the battle of Culloden; and this is all I know of him.
rich is the breeze in the gay sunny vallies,
The ridge o' green brecken, would have done as well as the glen; for it grows on the ridge as well as in the valley, which is the meaning of the word glen, a narrow valley, overhung by a ridge on each side; and so lone or lonely; that is wild and romantic, by the small stream murmuring through it. This is the origin of the name breckan, or brackenridge. But I am running off at a tangent, and wandering from my subject. Having nothing to say of the ancestry of the Governor, or of that of the bog-trotter, I must omit, or rather cannot accomplish the dramatic form of the epic.
The neighbouring country being peopled a good deal from the north of Ireland, the early teachers of youth were from thence. What were called redemptioners, or persons unable to pay for their passage, contracting to be sold in this country for what time might be necessary to raise the money, were bought for schoolmasters; or put to that employment in the summer; and in the winter to weaving, or cord-waining, or whatever other trade, or occupation, they were qualified to exercise, from the use of it in the old country. It was in this way that Greece had her first preceptors from Crete; and again, Rome from Greece. And in the same manner, letters were brought into Italy, by the emigrants after the fall of Constantinople. It was under the tuition of one of these that the governor had been taught the first elements. The master, as he was called, had a small staff attached to a strap of leather cut into thongs; the flagellum, or whip, and ferule in the same instrument. Nor was he sparing in the use of this inforcer of discipline. For as he had not a facility of communication of ideas, it was necessary to drive more by hand; for "when the iron is blunt, you must put to more strength:" which was rendered still more necessary from the want of those introductions to spelling, by division of words into syllables, which are now in use. Thornton in his prize essay, on the facilitating early pronunciation, has shown the advantage of beginning with the consonants, to give the sounds, and letting the vowels follow. This, ba, be, instead of ab, or eb. But such nicety was not attended to by the resolute men by whom the youth of that day were initiated in the first mysteries. The conjoining, and the reaching of sounds, was less studied; the system being that of direct force. I have seen a score go through their facings on a Monday morning, by flagellation; for it was thought most advisable to whip first, and go to get their tasks afterwards. --And in proportion as the scholar was a favourite, he was the more roughly handled.