Mr. Tuliver contemplates sending his son to a good tutor where he can learn business and engineering and thus contend with the products of the devil: rats, weevils, and lawyers.
His friend, Mr. Riley, suggests an Oxford trained parson. This renders Mr. Tulliver meditative. ‘There’s one thing I’m thinking on,’ said Mr. T . . . . ‘Wouldn’t a parson be almost too high-learnt to bring up a lad to be a man of business? My notion of the parsons was as they’d got a sort o’ learning as lay mostly out o’ sight.’