Imagens da página

it pleased my callow overseer, when there openly, in open platters, for their own (210 has been any talking heard after we were tables, one out of two of every hot joint, gone to bed, to make the six last beds in

which the careful matron had been seeing the dormitory, where the youngest chil- scrupulously weighed out for our dinners? dren of us slept, answerable for an (160 These things were daily practised in that offence they neither dared to commit, magnificent apartment, which L. (grown nor had the power to hinder.—The same connoisseur since, we presume) praises execrable tyranny drove the younger part so highly for the grand paintings“by of us from the fires, when our feet were , , with which it is perishing with snow; and under the “hung round and adorned.” But the cruellest penalties, forbade the indulgence sight of sleek, well-fed blue-coat boys (220 of a drink of water, when we lay in sleep- in pictures was, at that time, I believe, less summer nights, fevered with the little consolatory to him, or us, the living season, and the day's sports.

ones, who saw the better part of our proThere was one — who, I (170 visions carried away before our faces by learned, in after days, was seen expiating harpies; and ourselves reduced (with the some maturer offence in the hulks. (Do I Trojan in the hall of Dido) fatter myself in fancying that this might “To feed our mind with idle portraiture.” be the planter of that name, who suffered-at Nevis, I think, or St. Kitts,

L. has recorded the repugnance of the -some few years since?. My friend school to gags, or the fat of fresh beef Tobin was the benevolent instrument of boiled; and sets it down to some super- [230 bringing him to the gallows.) This petty stition. But these unctuous morsels are Nero actually branded a boy who had offended him, with a red-hot iron; and (180 dren are universally fat-haters) and in

never grateful to young palates (chilnearly starved forty of us, with exacting strong, coarse, boiled meats, unsalted, are contributions, to the one half of our bread, detestable. A gag-eater in our time was to pamper a young ass, which, incredible equivalent to a goul, and held in equal as it may seem, with the connivance of

detestation. suffered under the imthe nurse's daughter (a young flame of

putation. his) he had contrived to smuggle in, and

'Twas said, keep upon the leads of the ward, as they

He ate strange flesh.” called our dormitories. This game went on for better than a week, till the foolish He was observed, after dinner, carefully beast, not able to fare well but he (190 to gather up the remnants left at his must cry roast meat-happier than Calig- table (not many, nor very choice fragula's minion, could he have kept his own ments, you may credit me)—and, in an counsel—but, foolisher, alas! than any of especial manner, these disreputable morhis species in the fables—waxing fat, and sels, which he would convey away, and kicking, in the fulness of bread, one un secretly stow in the settle that stood at lucky minute would needs proclaim his his bed-side. None saw when he ate good fortune to the world below; and, them. It was rumored that he privately laying out his simple throat, blew such a devoured them in the night. He was (250 ram's horn blast, as (toppling down the watched, but no traces of such midnight walls of his own Jericho) set con- (200 practices were discoverable.

Some recealment any longer at defiance. The ported, that, on leave-days, he had been client was dismissed, with certain atten- seen to carry out of the bounds a large tions, to Smithfield; but I never under- blue check handkerchief, full of somestood that the patron underwent any thing. This then must be the accursed censure on the occasion. This was in the thing. Conjecture next was at work to stewardship of L.'s admired Perry. imagine how he could dispose of it.

Under the same facile administration, Some said he sold it to the beggars. This can L. have forgotten the cool impunity belief generally prevailed. He went (260 with which the nurses used to carry away | about moping. None spake to him. No


one would play with him. He was ex- I was a hypochondriac lad; and the communicated; put out of the pale of sight of a boy in fetters, upon the day of the school. He was too powerful a boy my first putting on the blue clothes, was to be beaten, but he underwent every not exactly fitted to assuage the natural mode of that negative punishment, which terrors of initiation. I was of tender (320 is more grievous than many stripes. Still years, barely turned of seven; and had he persevered. At length he was ob- only read of such things in books, or seen served by two of his school-fellows, who them but in dreams. I was told he had were determined to get at the secret, [270 run away. This was the punishment for and had traced him one leave-day for the first offence. -As a novice I was soon that purpose, to enter a large worn-out after taken to see the dungeons. These building, such as there exist specimens were little, square, Bedlam cells, where of in Chancery Lane, which are let out to a boy could just lie at his length upon various scales of pauperism, with open straw and a blanket-a mattress, I think, door, and a common staircase. After was afterwards substituted—with a 1330 him they silently slunk in, and followed peep of light, let in askance, from a prisonby stealth up four flights, and saw him orifice at top, barely enough to read by. tap at a poor wicket, which was opened | Here the poor boy was locked in by himby an aged woman, meanly clad. [280 self all day, without sight of any but the Suspicion was now ripened into certainty. porter who brought him his bread and The informers had secured their victim. water—who might not speak to him,

or They had him in their toils. Accusation of the beadle, who came twice a week to was formally preferred, and retribution call him out to receive his periodical most signal was looked for. Mr. Hatha-chastisement, which was almost welcome, way, the then steward (for this happened because it separated him for a brief (340 a little after my time), with that patient interval from solitude:—and here he was sagacity which tempered all his conduct, shut up by himself of nights, out of the determined to investigate the matter, reach of any sound, to suffer whatever before he proceeded to sentence. (290 horrors the weak nerves, and superstiThe result was, that the supposed mendi- tion incident to his time of life, might cants, the receivers or purchasers of the subject him to. This was the penalty mysterious scraps, turned out to be the for the second offence.-Wouldst thou parents of —, an honest couple come like, reader, to see what became of him in to decay, -whom this seasonable supply the next degree? had, in all probability, saved from men- The culprit, who had been a third (350 dicancy; and that this young stork, at time an offender, and whose expulsion was the expense of his own good name, had at this time deemed irreversible, was all this while been only feeding the old brought forth, as at some solemn auto da birds!—The governors on this occa- 1300 se, arrayed in uncouth and most appalling sion, much to their honor, voted a present attire-all trace of his late “watchet relief to the family of — and presented weeds” carefully effaced, he was exposed him with a silver medal. The lesson in a jacket, resembling those which Lonwhich the steward read upon RASH JUDG- don lamplighters formerly delighted in, MENT, on the occasion of publicly deliver- with a cap of the same. The effect of ing the medal to -, I believe, would this divestiture was such as the in- [360 not be lost upon his auditory.- I had left genious devisers of it could have anticischool then, but I well remember pated. With his pale and frighted feaHe was a tall, shambling youth, with a tures, it was as if some of those disfigurecast in his eye, not at all calculated (310ments in Dante had seized upon him. to conciliate hostile prejudices. I have 1 One or two instances of lunacy, or attempted suicide,

accordingly, at length convinced the governors of the imsince seen him carrying a baker's basket.

policy of this part of the sentence, and the midnight torture I think I heard he did not do quite so

to the spirits was dispensed with. - This fancy of dungeons

for children was a sprout of Howard's brain; for which (savwell by himself, as he had done by the ing the reverence due to Holy Paul), methinks, I could wilold folks.

ingly spit upon his statue. (Howard's statue was in St. Paul's Cathedral.]


In this disguisement he was brought into molested us. We carried an accidence, the hall (L.'s favorite state-room), where or a grammar, for form; but, for any 1420 awaited him the whole number of his trouble it gave us, we might take two years schoolfellows, whose joint lessons and in getting through the verbs deponent, and sports he was thenceforth to share no another two in forgetting all that we had more; the awful presence of the stew- 1370 learned about them. There was now and ard, to be seen for the last time; of the then the formality of saying a lesson, but executioner beadle, clad in his state robe if you had not learned it, a brush across for the occasion; and of two faces more, of the shoulders (just enough to disturb a direr import, because never but in these fly) was the sole remonstrance. extremities visible. These were governors; never used the rod; and in truth he wielded two of whom, by choice, or charter, were the cane with no great good will — (430 always accustomed to officiate at these holding it "like a dancer.” It looked in Ultima Supplicia; not to mitigate (so at his hands rather like an emblem than an least we understood it), but to enforce | instrument of authority; and an emblem, the uttermost stripe. Old Bamber (380

Old Bamber (380 too, he was ashamed of. He was a good Gascoigne, and Peter Aubert, I remember, easy man, that did not care to ruffle his were colleagues on one occasion, when the

own peace, nor perhaps set any great beadle turning rather pale, a glass of consideration upon the value of juvenile brandy was ordered to prepare him for time. He came among us, now and then, the mysteries. The scourging was, after but often stayed away whole days from the old Roman fashion, long and stately. us; and when he came, it made no dif- (440 The lictor accompanied the criminal ference to us-he had his private room to quite round the hall. We were generally retire to, the short time he stayed, to be too faint with attending to the previous out of the sound of our noise. Our mirth disgusting circumstances, to make ac- (390 and uproar went on. We had classics of curate report with our eyes of the degree our own, without being beholden to of corporal suffering inflicted. Report, “insolent Greece or haughty Rome,” of course, gave out the back knotty and that passed current among us-Peter livid. After scourging, he was made over, Wilkins—the Adventures of the Hon. in his San Benito, to his friends, if he had | Capt. Robert Boyle—the Fortunate Blue any (but commonly such poor runagates Coat Boy—and the like. Or we culti- (450 were friendless), or to his parish officer, vated a turn for mechanic or scientific who, to enhance the effect of the scene, operation; making little sun-dials of paper; had his station allotted to him on the or weaving those ingenious parentheses, outside of the hall gate.

(400 called cat-cradles, or making dry peas to These solemn pageantries were not dance upon the end of a tin pipe; or studyplayed off so often as to spoil the general ing the art military over that laudable mirth of the community. We had plenty game "French and English," and a hunof exercise and recreation after school dred other such devices to pass away the hours; and, for myself, I must confess, time-mixing the useful with the agreethat I was never happier, than in them. able-as would have made the souls (460 The Upper and Lower Grammar Schools of Rousseau and John Locke chuckle to were held in the same room; and an have seen us. imaginary line only divided their bounds. Matthew Field belonged to that class Their character was as different as (410 of modest divines who affect to mix in that of the inhabitants on the two sides equal proportion the gentleman, the scholar, of the Pyrenees. The Rev. James Boyer and the Christian; but, I know not how, was the Upper Master; but the Rev. the first ingredient is generally found to Matthew Field presided over that portion be the predominating dose in the compoof the apartment, of which I had the sition. He was engaged in gay parties, good fortune to be a member. We lived or with his courtly bow at some epis- (470 a life as careless as birds. We talked and copal levée, when he should have been did just what we pleased, and nobody | attending upon us. He had for many


years the classical charge of a hundred but then it must be at Flaccus's quibble children, during the four or five first years about Rex-or at the tristis severitas in of their education; and his very highest vultu, or inspicere in patinas, of Terence form seldom proceeded further than two thin jests, which at their first broachor three of the introductory fables of ing could hardly have had vis enough to Phædrus. How things were suffered to move a Roman muscle.—He had two (530 go on thus, I cannot guess. Boyer, who wigs, both pedantic, but of different was the proper person to have reme- (480

The one serene, smiling, fresh died these abuses, always affected, per- powdered, betokening a mild day. The haps felt, a delicacy in interfering in a other, an old, discolored, unkempt, angry province not strictly his own. I have caxon, denoting frequent and bloody not been without my suspicions, that he execution. Woe to the school, when he was not altogether displeased at the con- made his morning appearance in his trast we presented to his end of the school. passy, or passionate wig. No comet exWe were a sort of Helots to his young pounded surer.-J. B. had a heavy hand. Spartans. He would sometimes, with I have known him double his knotty (540 ironic deference, send to borrow a rod fist at a poor trembling child (the maof the Under Master, and then, with (490 ternal milk hardly dry upon its lips) with sardonic grin, observe to one of his upper a “Sirrah, do you presume to set your boys, "how neat and fresh the twigs wits at me?”—Nothing was more comlooked.” While his pale students were mon than to see him make a headlong battering their brains over Xenophon entry into the schoolroom, from his inner and Plato, with a silence as deep as that recess, or library, and, with turbulent enjoined by the Samite, we were enjoying eye, singling out a lad, roar out, “Od's my ourselves at our ease in our little Goshen. | life, Sirrah” (his favorite adjuration), We saw a little into the secrets of his dis- “I have a great mind to whip you," — [550 cipline, and the prospect did but the more then, with as sudden a retracting impulse, reconcile us to our lot. His thunders [500 | fling back into his lair-and, after a coolrolled innocuous for us; his storms came ing lapse of some minutes (during which near, but never touched us; contrary to all but the culprit had totally forgotten Gideon's miracle, while all around were the context) drive headlong out again, drenched, our fleece was dry. His boys piecing out his imperfect sense, as if it turned out the better scholars; we, I sus- had been some Devil's Litany, with the pect, have the advantage in temper. His expletory yell—"and I WILL too.”—In his pupils cannot speak of him without some- gentler moods, when the rabidus furor thing of terror allaying their gratitude; the was assuaged, he had resort to an in- 1560 remembrance of Field comes back with all genious method, peculiar, for what I have the soothing images of indolence, and [510 heard, to himself, of whipping the boy, summer slumbers, and work like play, and and reading the Debates, at the same innocent idleness, and Elysian exemptions, time; a paragraph, and a lash between; and life itself a “playing holiday.”

which in those times, when parliamentary Though sufficiently removed from the oratory was most at a height and flourishjurisdiction of Boyer, we

ing in these realms, was not calculated enough (as I have said) to understand to impress the patient with a veneration a little of his system. We occasionally for the diffuser graces of rhetoric. heard sounds of the Ululantes, and caught Once, and but once, the uplifted (570 glances of Tartarus.

a rabid rod was known to fall ineffectual from his pedant. His English style was [520 hand-when droll squinting W— havcramped to barbarism. His Easter an- ing been caught putting the inside of the thems (for his duty obliged him to those

B. was

manly fancy in the more flowery walks of the Muses. A periodical flights) were grating as scrannel

little dramatic effusion of his, under the name of Vertumnus pipes. He would laugh, ay, and heartily,

and Pomona, is not yet forgotten by the chroniclers of that

sort of literature. It was accepted by Garrick, but the town 1 In this and every thing B. was the antipodes of his co- did not give it their sanction.-B. used to say of it, in a way adjutor. While the forme was digging his brains for cru of half-compliment, half-irony, that it was classical foi ant hems, worth a pig-nut, F. would be recreating his gentle- representation. (Lamb.)



master's desk to a use for which the of speech, with raven locks.—Thomas architect had clearly not designed it, to Fanshaw Middleton followed him (now justify himself, with great simplicity Bishop of Calcutta) a scholar and a [630 averred, that he did not know that the thing gentleman in his teens. He has the repuhad been forewarned. This exquisite irrec- tation of an excellent critic; and is author ognition of any law antecedent to the (besides the

(besides the Country Spectator) of a oral or declaratory struck so irre- [580 Treatise on the Greek Article, against sistibly upon the fancy of all who heard Sharpe-M. is said to bear his mitre high it (the pedagogue himself not excepted) in India, where the regni novitas (I dare that remission was unavoidable.

say) sufficiently justifies the bearing. A L. has given credit to B.'s great merits humility quite as primitive as that of as an instructor. Coleridge, in his literary Jewel or Hooker might not be exactly life, has pronounced a more intelligible fitted to impress the minds of those (640 and ample encomium on them. The Anglo-Asiatic diocesans with a reverence author of the Country Spectator doubts for home institutions, and the church not to compare him with the ablest which those fathers watered. The manteachers of antiquity. Perhaps we (590 ners of M. at school, though firm, were cannot dismiss him better than with the mild and unassuming.–Next to M. (if pious ejaculation of C.-when he heard not senior to him) was Richards, author that his old master was on his death of the Aboriginal Britons, the most bed—“Poor J. B.!--may all his faults spirited of the Oxford Prize Poems; a be forgiven; and may he be wasted to bliss pale, studious Grecian.—Then followed by little cherub boys, all head and wings, poor S-, ill-fated M—-! of these [650 with no bottoms to reproach his sublunary the Muse is silent. infirmities.”

Under him were many good and sound “Finding some of Edward's race scholars bred.-First Grecian of my (600 Unhappy, pass their annals by." time was Lancelot Pepys Stevens, kindest of boys and men, since Co-grammar- Come back into memory, like as thou master (and inseparable companion) with wert in the dayspring of thy fancies, with Dr. TM. What an edifying spectacle hope like a fiery column before theedid this brace of friends present to those the dark pillar not yet turned—Samuel who remembered the anti-socialities of Taylor Coleridge-Logician, Metaphytheir predecessors!—You never met the sician, Bard!-How have I seen the casual one by chance in the street without a passer through the Cloisters stand (660 wonder, which was quickly dissipated by still, entranced with admiration (while the almost immediate sub-appearance (610 he weighed the disproportion between of the other. Generally arm in arm, these the speech and the garb of the young kindly coadjutors lightened for each other Mirandula), to hear thee unfold, in thy the toilsome duties of their profession, deep and sweet intonations, the mysand when, in advanced age, one found it teries of Jamblichus, or Plotinus (for convenient to retire, the other was not even in those years thou waxedst not pale long in discovering that it suited him to at such philosophic draughts), or reciting lay down the fasces also. Oh, it is pleas- Homer in his Greek, or Pindar-while ant, as it is rare, to find the same arm the walls of the old Grey Friars re- (670 linked in yours at forty, which at thirteen echoed to the accents of the inspired helped it to turn over the Cicero De (620 charity-boy! Many were the "wit-comAmicitia, or some tale of Antique Friend bats” (to dally awhile with the words ship, which the young heart even then of old Fuller) between him and C. V. Le was burning to anticipate!--Co-Grecian G “which two Ibehold like a with S. was Th- -, who has since exe- Spanish great gallion, and an English cuted with ability various diplomatic man-of-war; Master Coleridge, like the functions at the Northern courts. Th- former, was built far higher in learning, was a tall, dark, saturnine youth, sparing solid, but slow in his performances. C.

« AnteriorContinuar »