Georgy is Made a Gentleman
Georgy Osborne was now fairly established in his grandfather’s mansion in Russell Square, occupant of his father’s room in the house and heir apparent of all the splendours there. The good looks, gallant bearing, and gentlemanlike appearance of the boy won the grandsire’s heart for him. Mr. Osborne was as proud of him as ever he had been of the elder George.
The child had many more luxuries and indulgences than had been awarded his father. Osborne’s commerce had prospered greatly of late years. His wealth and importance in the City had very much increased. He had been glad enough in former days to put the elder George to a good private school; and a commission in the army for his son had been a source of no small pride to him; for little George and his future prospects the old man looked much higher. He would make a gentleman of the little chap, was Mr. Osborne’s constant saying regarding little Georgy. He saw him in his mind’s eye, a collegian, a Parliament man, a Baronet, perhaps. The old man thought he would die contented if he could see his grandson in a fair way to such honours. He would have none but a tip-top college man to educate him—none of your quacks and pretenders—no, no. A few years before, he used to be savage, and inveigh against all parsons, scholars, and the like declaring that they were a pack of humbugs, and quacks that weren’t fit to get their living but by grinding Latin and Greek, and a set of supercilious dogs that pretended to look down upon British merchants and gentlemen, who could buy up half a hundred of ’em. He would mourn now, in a very solemn manner, that his own education had been neglected, and repeatedly point out, in pompous orations to Georgy, the necessity and excellence of classical acquirements.
When they met at dinner the grandsire used to ask the lad what he had been reading during the day, and was greatly interested at the report the boy gave of his own studies, pretending to understand little George when he spoke regarding them. He made a hundred blunders and showed his ignorance many a time. It did not increase the respect which the child had for his senior. A quick brain and a better education elsewhere showed the boy very soon that his grandsire was a dullard, and he began accordingly to command him and to look down upon him; for his previous education, humble and contracted as it had been, had made a much better gentleman of Georgy than any plans of his grandfather could make him. He had been brought up by a kind, weak, and tender woman, who had no pride about anything but about him, and whose heart was so pure and whose bearing was so meek and humble that she could not but needs be a true lady. She busied herself in gentle offices and quiet duties; if she never said brilliant things, she never spoke or thought unkind ones; guileless and artless, loving and pure, indeed how could our poor little Amelia be other than a real gentlewoman!