صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]

England I'd as soon have met as “What could have induced you yourself. I'm Sam M'Gruder, Robert to go before the mast, Butler ?” M'Gruder's brother. You haven't said M‘Gruder, as he led Tony forgot him, I hope ?”

away. "That I haven't,” cried Tony, “Sheer necessity. I wanted to warmly returning the honest pres- earn my bread.” sure of the other's hand. “What “But you had got somethinga stupid dog I have been not to some place or other!” remember that you lived here! and “I was a messenger, but I lost I have a letter for you too from your my despatches, and was ashamed to brother!"

go home and say so." “I want no letter of introduction “Will you stop with me? Will with you, Tony; come home with you be a clerk ?” asked the other ; me. You're not going to sea this and a certain timidity in his voice time;' and, taking a pen, he drew showed that he was not quite asa broad line of ink across Tony's sured as he spoke. “My business name; and then turning, he whis- is like my brother's — we're in pered a few words in the consul's Rags.”

"And so should I be in a few “I hope,” said the consul, “Mr days," laughed out Tony, “if I Butler is not offended at the free- hadn't met you. I'll be your clerk, dom with which I commented on with a heart and a half—that is, if him.”

I be capable ; only don't give me “Not in the least," said Tony, anything where money enters, and laughing. “I thought at the time, as little writing as possible, and no if you knew me you would not arithmetic, if you can help it." have liked to have suggested my “That will be a strange sort of having been a runaway convict; clerkship,” said M'Gruder, with a and now that you do know me, the smile ; “but we'll see what can be shame you feel is more than enough done." to punish you."

[ocr errors]

IN THE GARDEN.

SUMMER is dying, slowly dying

She fades with every passing day;
In the garden alleys she wanders, sighing,

And pauses to grieve at the sad decay.

The flowers that came with the spring's first swallow,

When March crept timidly over the hill, And slept at noon in the sunny hollow

The snow-drop, the crocus, the daffodil,

The lily white for an angel to carry,

The violet faint with its spirit-breath, The passion-flower, and the fleeting, airy

Anemone—all have been struck by death.

Autumn the leaves is staining and strewing,

And spreading a veil o'er the landscape rare; The glory and gladness of summer are going,

And a feeling of sadness is in the air.

The purple hibiscus is shrivelled and withered,

And languid lolls its furry tongue ; The burning pomegranates are ripe to be gathered ;

The grilli their last farewell have sung;

The fading oleander is showing

Its last rose-clusters over the wall,
And the tubes of the trumpet-flower are strewing

The gravel-walks as they loosen and fall;

The crocketed spire of the hollyhock towers

For the sigbing breeze to rock and swing, On its top is the last of its bell-like flowers,

For the wandering bee its knell to ring.

In their earthen vases the lemons yellow,

The sun-drunk grapes grow lucent and thin, The pears on the sunny espalier mellow,

And the fat figs swell in their purple skin;

The petals have dropped from the spicy carnation,

But the heartless dahlia, formal and proud, Like a worldly lady of lofty station,

Loveless stares at the humble crowd.

And the sun-flower, too, looks boldly around her;

While the bella-donna, so wickedly fair, Shorn of the purple flowers that crowned her,

Is telling her Borgian beads in despair.

See! by the fountain that softly bubbles,

Spilling its rain in the lichened vase, Summer pauses !—her tender troubles

Shadowing over her pensive face.

The lizard stops on its brim to listen,

The butterfly wavers dreamily near,
And the dragonflies in their green mail glisten,

And watch her, as pausing she drops a tear

Not as she stood in her August perfection!

Not as she looked in the freshness of June ! But gazing around with a tender dejection,

And a weary face like the morning moon.

The breeze through the leafy garden quivers,

Dying away with a sigh and moan :
A shade o'er the darkening fountain shivers,
And Summer, ghostlike, hath vanished and gone.

W. W. S.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS REPORT

III. THE LONDON SCHOOLS.

The London Schools included in has his prospect limited even by the Commission of Inquiry were the elms of Warwickshire. four-Westminster, Charter-House, St Paul's and Merchant Taylors' St Paul's, and Merchant Taylors'. have nothing better than paved The Commissioners also obtained courts attached to them; the evidence, with a view of assisting cricket-grounds are distant and their general purpose, of the work- private, and their arrangements ing of the City of London School more like those of ordinary clubs. and King's College School, although Further, the majority of the boys their official duties did not extend at these London schools are dayto these comparatively modern scholars, and see very little indeed establishments.

of each other out of school hours. A London school, as the Report Even the minority who are boardobserves, differs from a country ers, are in many cases, as at Merschool by the mere fact of its posi- chant Taylors' and St Paul's, lodged tion; and, so far, very disadvan- in houses which have scarcely any tageously. Instead of the almost connection with the school itself, unrestricted freedom of range (now are not kept by masters, and are that the old-fashioned bounds have in no way under school discipline. become all but nominal) which Public-school life, under such limimakes schoolboy life at Eton, at tations, is shorn of many of its Harrow, or at Rugby so wholesome healthiest pleasures and most valuand delightful, the schoolboy in able associations ; it may be that it London is of necessity either re- also escapes some of its temptations strained within very close bounds to extravagance and idleness. It indeed, or remitted to the perilous may still be a life pleasant enough liberty of the streets. No “Crick for the boy, and excellent in its run" of some twelve miles over training for the future man ; full brook and through brier, as at of wholesome emulation to work, Rugby; no rambles of long hours and not without its genial comin Windsor Park, such as the young panionship in hours of relaxation : Etonian rejoices in, or over the incomparably better than any breezy “Hills” which are the time- French lycée or German gymhonoured haunts of Winchester nasium ; but yet wanting in some collegers and commoners, are known of the not least important elements to the young scholar whose school which go to make up the English life is in the great city. At West- idea of public education. As Dr minster, indeed, there is an en- Hessey admits, there is a “scanticlosure of ten acres, sufficient for ness in the recollections of 'lusisse the encouragement of cricket; and simul,' which has a tendency to there is the great highway of the make boys look back to their school Thames open for boating; Charter- as a place of mere work, and to House has also some five acres of their youthful days as a period of play-ground attached to it; but "solitude in a crowd,' checkered by these are, after all, but poor sub- no corporate feeling.” If, in spite stitutes for the liberty and variety of these drawbacks, Paulines, Merenjoyed by the public school boy chant Taylors', and Carthusians alike who looks from his study window regard their old school (as we are over the broad weald of Harrow, or assured they do) with loyalty and the playing-fields of Eton, or who gratitude, it says much for the sucVOL. XCVI.NO. DLXXXVIII.

2 H

cessive masters who have taught gentler age, had something to do there; much also for the strong with this decline; though in former tenacity of our English affections. days even this gave it a sort of

The precedence amongst the popularity. “ If you want to send metropolitan schools in general a boy to rough it in the army,” the reputation, though not in point of Duke of York used to say, “send numbers or antiquity, must be con- him to Westminster school."* It ceded to Queen Elizabeth's founda- has also been said that it was not tion at Westminster. It has lost always fortunate in its head-masters; nearly all its aristocratic prestige, but the main reason has lain, no and much of its old renown for doubt, where Dr Liddell finds itscholarship ; it has sunk from three in the increasing objections to the hundred to less than half the num- locality. The surroundings of the ber; it has had its name connected school are very different now from with terrible tales of bullying and what they were when snipes could fagging—partly fabulous, no doubt, be shot in Battersea fields. It is but with too much leavening of principally a mothers' question, as truth; yet still, the advantages of all the witnesses admit; and the a wealthy foundation, the strength strength of the conjugal influence of old traditions, and the eminence (perhaps not unfairly exercised on of some of its masters, have enabled such questions) comes out rather it to make a struggle more or less amusingly in the evidence. Fathers successful to retain its rank amongst -old Westminster men themselves public schools. Though it has no - make up their minds to send chance of competing with the great their boys to the old school ; but schools at cricket, it maintains the mothers come down and look a plucky though desperate con- at the place, and are shocked at test on the river against the over- the closeness and confinement; they whelming odds of Eton; and have “a prejudice" (as one of the though the days are past when Westminster masters loyally conalmost all the college tutors at siders it) in favour of country air. Christchurch were appointed from And in spite of the wish on the part the Westminster students (such of the fathers to keep up the old was their reputation for sound connection, “the general reply," scholarship!, yet the “old West- says this witness, “ used to be, 'I minsters " now at Oxford will not should be very glad to send my son, admit that they are looked upon as but my wife will not let me.'Sir in any way inferior to the men from James Graham himself, an enthusiany other public school.

astic lover of his old school, in a Nevertheless, the glories of Westbrilliant speech in the House, attri. minster have departed. “The old buted his first lessons in oratory to connection of the school with great having listened to the debates when families has gradually ceased to a boy at Westminster; yet he conexist." The late Duke of Richmond cluded with these words—" But I continued to send his sons there to do not send my son there, because the last; but, for nearly half a cen- Lady Graham objects to the situatury, the names of most other noble tion of the school.” One witness, families who once were hereditary however, gives it as his opinion Westminsters have disappeared from (which the Commissioners have the roll. Possibly the reputation been bold enough to print) that for fagging and bullying which this conjugal influence " is on the clung to the school for some gene wane.” rations, while public-school life else- Westminster School, like Eton, where was being softened down into is made up of two classes of scholars, better accordance with the tone of a combined for the purposes of educa

[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »