« السابقةمتابعة »
her marvellous language, softer and sweeter and more flexible and of wider coinpass than the tones of an organ; by her free institutions and public spirit; by her great men; by her inspiring traditions and her wonderful mythology, was fitted to be the University of all nations. We think also of the grand facilities she had within herself for noble schools; of her groves which Cimon planted; of her beautiful public buildings which Pericles erected and Phidias adorned; of her porticoes, surrounding the Agora, filled with superb paintings and delicious sculptures. We think of her sweet poets and eloquent orators, whose inspiring words thrill and sway our hearts to-day as they thrilled and swayed the living multitudes to whom they were addressed. But above all we think of her great philosophers, to whom even kings came for instruction, and who were surrounded by a crowd of youths out of every nation under heaven. We seem to see them in their chosen retreats just outside the din of the great city, yet where they could hear the drowsy murmur of its bustle and traffic, directing, by the compass of their learning, the fascinations of their culture and the force of their enthusiasm, the minds of their hearers to the most sublime contemplations. Those were the conditions in which both nature and art combined to produce a degree of intellectual refinement without a rival either in ancient or modern times.
But wherever, in any age, similar results have been achieved it has been under a combination of like advantages. I will not pause now to cite instances. I need only point you to our own fortunate position. The New World herself does not embrace a lovelier spot than this. On whichever side the eye turns, it com
mands a fairer prospect than that 'which inflamed the heart of Lot when he beheld all the plain of Jordan fertile and well watered everywhere. It is in close contact, too, with a great commercial metropolis-a grand city which presents many aspects of resemblance to ancient Athens, not the least of which is her intense intellectual activity, and her schools and teachers whose renown is co-extensive with civilization. Just here, then, is the place for a great college, however modestly it may assert its claims in the beginning, to grow up and flourish. Surely it does not require any very painful stretch of the faculties to see, in a future not greatly remote, this hill crowned with noble architecture, peeping out from amid embowering trees, and to hear the thronging footsteps of youths coming from the East and from the West, from the North and from the South, to enjoy the sweet repose of its quiet shades, and to feel the kindling impulse of its mental life.
MORNING AND AFTERNOON CHAPEL. From “Tom Brown's School Days." By THOMAS HUGHES.
HE chapel-bell began to ring at a quarter to
eleven, and Tom got in early and took his place in the lowest row, and watched all the other boys come in and take their places, filling row after row; and tried to construe the Greek text which was inscribed over the door with the slightest possible success, and wondered which of the masters, who walked down the chapel and took their seats in the exalted boxes at the end, would be his lord. And then came the closing of the doors, and the Doctor in his robes, and the service, which, however, didn't impress him much, for his feeling of wonder and curiosity was too strong. And the boy on one side of him was scratching his name on the oak panelling in front, and he couldn't help watching to see what the name was, and whether it was well scratched; and the boy on the other side went to sleep and kept falling against him; and on the whole, though many boys even in that part of the School were serious and attentive, the general atmosphere was by no means devotional; and when he got out into the close again, he didn't feel at all comfortable, or as if he had been to church.
But at afternoon chapel it was quite another thing. He had spent the time after dinner in writing home to his mother, and so was in a better frame of mind; and his first curiosity was over, and he could attend more to the service. As the hymn after the prayers was being sung, and the chapel was getting a little dark, he was beginning to feel that he had been really worshipping. And then came that great event in his, as
in every Rugby boy's life of that day, the first sermon from the Doctor.
More worthy pens than mine have described that scene. The oak pulpit standing out by itself above the School seats. The tall gallant form, the kindling eye, the voice, now soft as the low notes of a flute, now clear and stirring as the call of the light infantry bugle, of him who stood there Sunday after Sunday, witnessing and pleading for his Lord, the King of righteousness and love and glory, with whose spirit he was filled, and in whose power he spoke. The long lines of young faces, rising tier above tier down the whole length of the chapel, from the little boy's who had just left his mother to the young man's who was going out next week into the great world rejoicing in his strength. It was a great and solemn sight, and never more so than at this time of year, when the only lights in the chapel were in the pulpit and at the seats of the præpostors of the week, and the soft twilight stole over the rest of the chapel, deepening into darkness in the high gallery behind the organ.
But what was it after all which seized and held these three hundred boys, dragging them out of themselves, willing or unwilling, for twenty minutes, on Sunday afternoon? True, there always were boys scattered up and down the School, who in heart and head were worthy to hear and able to carry away the deepest and wisest words there spoken. But these were a minority always, generally a very small one, often so small a one as to be countable on the fingers of your hand. What was it that moved and held us, the rest of the three hundred reckless, childish boys, who feared the Doctor with all our hearts, and very little besides in heaven or earth: who thought more of our seats in the School than of the Church of Christ, and put the traditions of Rugby and the public opinion of boys in our daily life above the laws of God? We couldn't enter into half that we heard; we hadn't the knowledge of our own hearts or the knowledge of one another; and little enough of the faith, hope, and love needed to that end. But we listened, as all boys in their better moods will listen (ay, and men, too, for the matter of that), to a man whom we felt to be, with all his heart and soul and strength, striving against whatever was mean and unmanly and unrighteous in our little world. It was not the cold clear voice of one giving advice and warning from serene heights to those who were struggling and sinning below, but the warm living voice of one who was fighting for us and by our sides, and calling on us to help him and our. selves and one another. And so, wearily and little by little, but surely and steadily on the whole, was brought home to the young boy, for the first time, the meaning of his life: that it was no fool's or sluggard's paradise into which he had wandered by chance, but a battle-field ordained from of old, where there are no spectators, but the youngest must take his side, and the stakes are life and death. And he who roused this consciousness in them showed them at the same time, by every word he spoke in the pulpit, and by his whole daily life, how the battle was to be fought; and stood there before them their fellow-soldier and the captain of their band. The true sort of captain, too, for a boys' army, one who had no misgivings and gave no uncertain word of command, and, let who would yield or make a truce, would fight the fight out (so every