Indeed, it was amazing to note how the master had succeeded in arousing in the whole school an intense spirit of emulation. From little Johnnie Aird up to Thomas Finch, the pupils carried the hearts of soldiers. Through fractions, the "Rule of Three," percentages, and stocks, the senior class swept with a trail of glory. In vain old Peter MacRae strewed their path with his favorite posers.
The reverend superintendent had prepared an appalling array of "posers" in accordance with the laws of the state, but my cousin at my urgent request, assured him that I was an alumnus of one of the greatest institutions in the world, that I was a clergyman of his own denomination, that it was a waste of time to examine so distinguished a scholar, that dinner was ready, and the hungry dominie was seduced to the table where he partook of so much solid and liquid good cheer, that he quite forgot his official duty, and gave me the required certificate: thus I was saved from utter destruction.
He tells about a quarter of the truth, and then poses as truthful because a quarter of the truth is much simpler than the whole of it. He is the kind of man who goes about with posers for Bishops or for Socialists, with plain questions to which he wants a plain answer. His questions are plain only in the same sense that he himself is plain in the sense of being uncommonly ugly.
Indeed, something essentially youthful distinguishes all Thoreau's knock-down blows at current opinion. Like the posers of a child, they leave the orthodox in a kind of speechless agony. These know the thing is nonsense. They are sure there must be an answer, yet somehow cannot find it. So it is with his system of economy.
Besides the professional posers of the studio there are posers of the Row, the posers at afternoon teas, the posers in politics and the circus posers. All four classes are delightful, but only the last class is ever really decorative.
I want ye to be sure to be in the shop all afternoon I'll tell you what for downstairs." It was characteristic of him thus to make a mystery of business in front of the women. Edwin felt the net closing about him. Then he thought of one of those `posers' which often present themselves to youths of his age. "But to-morrow's Saturday," he said, perhaps perkily. "What about the Bible class?"
There is something in the simplicity of a decimal coinage which is revolting to the human mind; thus the French, in small affairs, reckon strictly by halfpence; and you have to solve, by a spasm of mental arithmetic, such posers as thirty-two, forty-five, or even a hundred halfpence.
He should maintain that a unity be evident in the group; of intent, of line, and of gradation. The first is subjective and must be felt by the posers. The other two qualifications are for the artist’s consideration. At such a time his acquaintance with examples of pictorial art will come to his aid.
For, when I consider whereunto the gifts of fellowships in some places are grown, the profit that ariseth at sundry elections of scholars out of grammar schools to the posers, schoolmasters, and preferers of them to our universities, the gifts of a great number of almshouses builded for the maimed and impotent soldiers by princes and good men heretofore moved with a pitiful consideration of the poor distressed, how rewards, pensions, and annuities also do reign in other cases whereby the giver is brought sometimes into extreme misery, and that not so much as the room of a common soldier is not obtained oftentimes without a "What will you give me?"
"The apostle I liked best," said Atherley, "was the American one. I really admired old Stamps, and old Stamps admired me; for she knew I thoroughly understood what an unmitigated humbug she was. She had a fine sense of humour, too. How her eyes used to twinkle when I asked posers at her prayer-meetings!" "Dreadful woman!" cried Lady Atherley. "Lucinda brought her to lunch once.