. Bullimore did not make much impression upon little John, except a slight fact which she accidentally told him, and which took such firm hold of his imagination that he remembered it all his life. There was a white-thorn tree in the school-yard, of rather large size, and the ancient schoolmistress told John that she herself, when young, had planted the tree, having carried the root from the fields in her pocket. The story struck the boy as something marvellous; it was to him a sort of revelation of nature, a peep into the mysteries of creation at the works of which he looked with feelings of unutterable amazement, not unmixed with awe. But there was little else that Mrs. Bullimore could teach John Clare, either in her schoolroom or in the yard. The instruction of the good old woman was, in the main, confined to two things--the initiation into the difficulties of A B C, and the reading from two books, of which she was the happy possessor. These books were 'The Death of Abel' and Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress.'
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