My First Tutor

I also very well remember that on another occasion the father dean said:

‘In order that at responsible age a man may be a real man and not a parasite, his education must without fail be based on the following ten principles.

‘From early childhood there should be instilled in the child:

Belief in receiving punishment for disobedience.

Hope of receiving reward only for merit.

Love of God—but indifference to the saints.

Remorse of conscience for the ill-treatment of animals.

Fear of grieving parents and teachers.

Fearlessness towards devils, snakes and mice.

Joy in being content merely with what one has.

Sorrow at the loss of the goodwill of others.

Patient endurance of pain and hunger.

The striving early to earn one’s bread.To my great distress, I did not happen to be present during the last days of this worthy and, for our time, remarkable man, in order to pay the last debt of earthly life to him, my unforgettable tutor, my second father.

One Sunday, many the years after his death, the priests and congregation of the Kars Military Cathedral much astonished and interested when a man quite unknown in the neighbourhood requested the full funeral service to be held over a lonely and forgotten grave, the only one within the grounds of the cathedral. And they saw how this stranger with difficulty held back his tears and, having generously recompensed the priests and without looking at anyone, told the coachman to drive to the station.

Rest in peace, dear Teacher! I do not know whether I have justified or am justifying your dreams, but the commandments you gave me I have never once in all my life broken.