"When do you think he WILL come? Don't you think we OUGHT to write?"--there was nothing like that inquiry, we found by experience, for carrying off an awkwardness. "For dreadful--dreadfulness!" "Oh, how delicious!" cried one of the women. The essay was for him the chief labour of his week and every Tuesday, as he marched from home to the school, he read his fate in the incidents of the way, pitting himself against some figure ahead of him and quickening his pace to outstrip it before a certain goal was reached or planting his steps scrupulously in the spaces of the patchwork of the pathway and telling himself that he would be first and not first in the weekly essay. The like severity, no doubt, was used, if aught were impiously written against their esteemed gods.