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As an instance of the leniency of the Fellows, I well remember, some years ago, at the Hilary examination of the Senior-sophister year, a student, whose knowledge of Optics was of the minutest amount conceivable, missing every question in that science. The examiner, before “cautioning" him, promised to let him off if he could explain what conjugate foci meant.
Fancy, had he answered it which he did not-what might the consequence have been ? He would have left the Hall, having obtained credit for his knowledge of Optics; and had any professor of an English University, meeting him perchance in society, questioned him even the rudiments of this science, he might easily have drawn his own conclusions as to the amount of learning necessary for passing a term examination in the Dublin College !
However, let it not be imagined that every person, no matter how ill prepared in his business, can shuffle through it. When Peter Dowd went up in Greek, in his first year, he was handed a book by the examiner, with the polite request, “ Please, go on there, sir.”
The work was newly printed, and looked fresh, for it had but recently issued from the press. "The clerk can best read in his own book" was a truthful saying in the dark ages-easily understood, and requiring no interpretation, when I state that poor Dowd longed for his own old well-thumbed edition of the Iliad, where he had a cue to Nestor's speech by a large blot of ink, the “blue-eyed goddess” was always underlined, and the crest tossing Hector remembered by a cross. He was “fairly bothered," as he said himself; turning over to the titlepage, he exclaimed, to the no small amazement of the examiner :
“Begad! it's Homer.”
“Please, sir, I don't know contracted Greek!” said Peter, returning him the book.
“Well, that's not contracted Greek!” replied the Fellow, with surprise. “Oh! Is n't it? Then, please, sir, I dont know any Greek at all!”
Peter Dowd did not gain first honors at that examination, as you may conjecture.
In conclusion, I must bear testimony to the superiority of the Divinity school in Dublin University; and to the impartiality of the Fellows at all examinations. I could wish, for the credit of the College, that its students wore an improved appearance, and that the library oath might be dispensed with! And, pro augmentis scientiarum, no one should be permitted to graduate unless educated according to the intention of its course, then the learned Fellows of Trinity might become more generally known than at present they are to the representatives of the Sosii in this our day.
Morning Misery - The “ Little Parlour smelling of Lavender”-An unexpected l'isitor.
We left Tom in the hands of sundry good Samaritans, being conveyed, full of spirits and honours, to his home; and we will look upon him again, where those kind persons left him, namely—on his own bed, outside the counterpane; with his clothes on, one boot hanging on his foot by the leg part only, and the other under his shoulder, for a pillow, in company with his hat; with his hair over his face, with his mouth wide open, snoring, and asleep : a sight for any maiden in Christendom !
Somewhere about nine in the morning (certainly a long while after the usual time for Tom's opening his shop) the queer little mortal, of the female sex, who “ did for him,' appeared at his bed-room door, for about the seventh time; and after making her knuckles raw with thumping, she shuffled in, with her loose shoes playing a tune behind her on the floor as she walked, and gave her master a hearty shakc—the only result was a deep groan; another shake followed—“Hear, hear!” muttered Tom ; another—"Well, but Ada, my dear,” mumbled Tom, again; another and a savager shake—“Hey, oh, what the deuce !-oh, it's you, Sally!” and Mr. Thomas Suffrage opened his eyes, lifted his head, gave one blank stare, then, laying his cheek on his boot and hat-prepared for another doze. This the girl would not permit: she shook him again, , and pulled the boot from under him-"I hear you! Go down, you little imp, you!” muttered Tom, still with his eyes shut, and a fierce expression on his countenance.
“If you please, sir, yer breakfast is ready this hour, sir; and yer egg was as hard as brass, and Mr. Sniggers ate it; and your coffee is as cold as a stone, and Mr. Sniggers is a drinking of it; and yer customers is a standing round the door a waitin' for yer to get up!"
“Oh, Mr. Sniggers is here, is he? Then I'll be down directly!”so the slippers played another tune, and the owner of them vanished.
After a tempest of yawns and stretchings, Tom tumbled off his bed; with his head as rough as a sweeper's broom; one cheek blackened, in the most picturesque manner, by the use of the boot for a pillow; and, to crown all, a splitting headache. He had never felt so miserable before: so wretched, indeed, was he, that all his energies seemed to have given him notice. Instead of immediately setting to work like a Christian, and giving himself a good hearty wash, he plumped down on the side of the bed, ran his fingers through his hair (which did n't want it, heaven knows !), and began to speculate within himself, as to whether all democratic societies were the same; and whether it was absolutely necessary for a man to be top-heavy before he made a stand for freedom, or to be a beast before he became a patriot. Tom passed his hands through and through his hair trying to understand it, and the more he rubbed his head the duller it seemed to become. Just as he had a glimmering, and was about to reconcile very satisfactorily hard drinking with true freedom, the voice of Sniggers resounded on the stairs, like artificial thunder at a theatre, and demanded whether he should finish the breakfast or wait for him to come down and help him.
“Coming," said Tom, gloomily.
“Oh, I know you're not, by your voice," said Sniggers. “I'll come up to you,” and he sprang up. “By Jove, I never saw such a mess in my life: do make yourself look like a human being !"
"Do I look like a patriot so very much ?” asked Tom, with melancholy satire.
“ Come, Tom, none of that! said Sniggers, with an austere and offended look : " come, Tom, do n't rail against the noble Institution of which you are a member; but get your face washed, while I tell you what I am come about."
"Well, I'll wash my face," said Tom, in a moody tone; “but—but I think I shall cut it.”
“ Cut what, your face ?”
“ Tom, Tom, don't go on-I am ashamed of you. I thought you were a man! Because you got helplessly drunk, must you be unsteady to your solemn vows? What, will you desert the banner round which you
have so nobly rallied ? No, Tom, I did not think it of you!'
Say no more about Sniggers,” said Tom“I suppose I must stick by it now I've begun—but,”
“ Stick by it! of course you must. Why, man, there is a course of glory open to you—a regular road to fame, macadamized and everythingand you 've got nothing to do but march along it !-passport and all granted, and no turnpikes to pay! What do you think I came about?
Don't know, eh ? Well I came to tell you how we got on after you were floored, because I don't think you heard much of the proceedings. Oh, how jolly you were ! You were as drunk as
“ A patriot! said Tom. Mr. Sniggers looked severe.
Only fancy Ada seeing you—or hearing—”
“Don't, Sniggers !” and Tom looked as if that would be very horrid indeed ; and added, hastily, “Well, what did you come about ?
Why, I read to the Society a letter which I had received from Winnegar, the other day, and he says he does n't mind standing at the election. Is n't that prime? He is a stunning fellow; but, of course, you know that everyone knows that !”
“Well, his principles are all right,” said Tom, putting on a knowing air; for although he had never heard of the great man Winnegar before, yet he did not wish Sniggers to think so. · Right! I should think so—regular ‘nine points' man.
Oh! I see you do n't know much about him, or you would be nearly mad about him—I am!"
“ Are you? Well, I must confess I do n't know much about himthat is, I've not heard much about him lately~"
“Ah! I see you do n't know anything. Why, good heavens! he is a glorious man—a grand man!” Here Mr. Sniggers got excited; nearly swept a tumbler off the dressing-table, in the energy of his action ; replaced it again, and went on; getting up the steam as he progressed : “Oh! he's the man of the age, sir—the man who is ready and waiting for the HOUR to come. He is—he is, in fact, an organized, a humanized PRINCIPLE—a moving motive to this century!” With this rather obscure eulogium, which was delivered in lecture style, and a painful emphasis on the substantives, Mr. Sniggers cooled down suddenly, and pulling out his handkerchief, with a jerk, which wafted essence of bergamot through the length and breadth of the room, and elaborately polishing his upper lip, he pitied Tom's ignorance, by lifting up both hands, and shaking his head.
“Well, I can't help it," said Tom, feeling very ashamed indeed, that he did not know the glorious Winnegar.
you do n't know him, you do n’t: so much more the pity. When you look on Winnegar, sir, you look on the inan of whom his country shall speak in the ages to come. At any rate, he's coming here now,
to do his best for us : he says he knows there's no chance of getting in; but he thinks it his duty to spend his money for his country. Is n't that fine? Ah, he is a glorious fellow! He was a poor man once, in the tin line, somewhere or other; but he got his money not by that, but by a lucky hit in the railway speculating line. So he wanted some
thing upon which to employ his noble mind; he wanted something stirring, and he turned patriot. Can't he speak! and he has got such a forehead, as you never saw-a regular Shakspeare. He is the savagest man I ever knew. He is just like a monk too: eats nothing but cabbage, and drinks nothing but water, always has a frown on his face, never made love in luis life, never got mellow in his life; and is, in fact, a regular saviour of his country! That's the man we're going to stick up for Lower Fleecington!”. A heavy slap on Tom's back.
"Is it?" said Tom, much impressed.
"Raytler ! and now, Tom, get yourself washed and humanized. I've eaten your breakfast, so it is n't getting cold; I've told you what I came for, so good morning! But, mind you come to the Society toright: we are going to get up a committee for Winnegar, and we can't do without you ! ”
'But—" hesitated Tom, “I must go and see Ada to-night.”
“Nonsense,” said Sniggers, with the knob of the door in Iris hand; “you write a note, and tell her she must excuse you to-night-she'll forgive you-girls always forgive what they cannot help; but we must have
you there. I tell you we can't do without you !” The door was pulled to, and Tom was left to himself, in a high state of pleasure, to think he was so much needed in the council of Lower Fleecington, which governed England, and, through England, the world!
And now, leaving Tom to humanize his appearance, and get down as soon as might be to his counter, we have no doubt our fair readers will nót quarrel with us if we return to little Ada.
That dear little creature, when we last heard of her, was tripping up stairs with her heart as light and as leaping as an India-rubber ball, and hier spirits very far above proof. She felt certain Tom would not give up her love, for the sake of his vote-she felt sure Tom would never lose her, for the sake of his country. “His country—what nonsense ! what good had it ever done him?” For her part she could not imagine why people made such a bother of their country—not she. Thus thought little Ada ; and thus, we will warrant, thinks every lady, within the scope acquaintance, except the “strong-minded " minority.
But Tom did n't come the next night; and a very kind crcature, who had seen him go into the door of the “Cat and Trumpet,” told her of it. Then little Ada's heart did n't jump so much as before like a dear kind Heart, as it was, it began to feel a great deal afraid for Tom, and not a little for itself. What was worse, too, her father was in the room at the time, and knit his brow, and dabbed his hat on, and went out muttering; and she heard him outside, immediately afterwards, venting his illhumour on his foreman.