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up system” is branded. Not that we would deny that there is a very real evil, often too prevalent in schools, in this direction ; of the sin (for we dare not call it by any lighter name) of feminizing poor little white-handed curly-headed boys, we would speak with as much warmth and as much abhorrence as the author of Eric himself. But the moral of Eric seems to have a much wider tendency; it leaves the impression that any intimacy between boys at school of considerable difference of age or standing must be, (at least generally is), if not of this poisonous cast, at all events of a cast from which much evil and no good is to be looked for. Now is this really the case ? Are all school friendships to be, as Aristotle would express it, biniai kat' ισότητα ? Is there no place left for φιλίαι καθ' υπεροχην, so that they are ever to be classed in the category of the bad? We confess that we are unwilling, even unable to believe it so. We believe, on the contrary, that there have subsisted within the walls of Rugby, and of other public schools too, friendships of this class in which there was not only no community of sinful feeling or act of

any but from which the very highest blessings have resulted to either party.-We would not undervalue for an instant the blessing of having among those who are placed in an exactly similar position to our own one or two sincere trusting and trusted friends; life would indeed be desolate without such sympathy : But there is much to be said too on behalf of friendships of the other class : There is more generosity about them, more thorough unselfishness, less of the unavoidable quid pro quo sort of feeling that sometimes steals into the former class.—The very sense of dependence on the one side, and of moral influence on the other, is in itself a great good : we hold it to be a very


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great error, (and one which has corrupted human thought much more widely than we are at present concerned to discuss) to confuse dependence with culpable weakness and self-destruction: we all ought to have respect to those who are before us in the path of life, but we do not thereby compromise our own individuality: rather do we gain strength in proportion as we lose the feeling of quixotic self-reliance in the higher and nobler consciousness of the chain which links together generation to generation and man to man !—The symbolism of the lampadephoria is as true of the moral as of the intellectual history of the world :--and as, to carry on the image, each man received the torch from his immediate predecessor in the race, so we believe that in many ways a fellow two or three years removed from another in standing at school, is in the very best position to guide the latter in the right course. Again, the blessing of exercising such guidance to the older fellow will, we think, be somewhat more than the mutual reaction of a good deed upon the doer.—Doubtless every good deed is 'twice blessed,' blessing 'him that gives and him that takes':- But we believe also that an older fellow may derive great good from the very contemplation of a younger one striving as he strove a year or two before, treading where he trod in the path of duty. If his own goodness be in danger, as it often will be, of becoming of too stereotyped and wooden a character, it will be most fittingly corrected by the fresher and more instinctive sense of right of his younger friend.

An astronomical and humorous friend of mine assures me that he finds a strong confirmation of the truth of the foregoing observations in the analogy of the physical configuration of the solar system. He says he quite agrees with me in thinking it very pleasant to have a satellite: he allows that there may be some high and holy natures so deeply bathed, like the inferior planets, in the glorious sunlight of truth from their closer proximity to its source, to whom such a concomitant is needless; that there may be again, other natures of so little solidity of character that, like the superior planets, they must needs feed their vanity in the false lustre of a corona of satellites; but to us, he says, if to have no satellite be more divine, if to have many satellites be more worldly, to have one nice little one, like the moon, seems more human.-It must be confessed that my astronomical friend's theory is a little fanciful, but it is rather a happy illustration of what we have been saying.

One word more, and we have done. - It should perhaps have been pointed out that a Monitorial system offers the greatest possible facility to the growth of such friendships, as we have been speaking of : perhaps the author of Eric would tell us that they were rendered impossible at Roslyn from its absence.—Make general supervision a school duty, and such special supervision, as that of which we have been urging the desirability, is at once rescued from the deserved suspicion with which its abuse is regarded.“ Taking up is no longer, necessarily, a school vice.


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THERE is no one who does not view the end of the halfyear without peculiar feelings. On the one hand there is great joy at the close of what to some has been a period of hard work; to others of purposes of working which somehow or other never could be brought into action; to all a period



of happiness; and on the other, a sort of regret that this happy time is gone for ever, and that old Time has stolen from us another large portion of our school-boy life. The first of these feelings is quite universal; every one shares in it, from the youth now hard at work upon the examination in which he will soon carry off, at least, three firsts, to the small boy who has hardly the dubious privilege (?) of an examination at all, and whose sole hope, and that but a faint one, is that he may just get out of his form. But every breast is secretly filled with this joy, and much as we all love our school, we shall be very glad when we catch our last glimpse of the now bare, dark-looking elms that seem fully to appreciate our desertion of them, and look dismal accordingly. But the second of these feelings is, for the most part, chiefly felt by those who know that a few more such halves as the one we are now concluding must sever them for ever from their school, and carry them to do their work elsewhere. Such as these appreciate to a wonderful degree the swiftness of time; they, if any, feel a sort of dismay at the fate that is impending, and, in spite of all that they are told of the joyousness of the future University career, know that the first part of their stage of youth is fast slipping from beneath their feet, and feel grieved at it. To those even who have been longest among us, how short does the time appear since they were “coxy new fellows" ! How clearly can they remember every little fact on their first appearance here! And now,fugit interea fugit irreparabile tempus. But away such thoughts as these ! Let us not meet our troubles half-way, although disagreeable impressions of the future may occasionally slip in. The present, the present is all we can call our own, although our hopes reach far beyond it. Has the glorious present


then no bitterness ? Know'st thou not vain, foolish mortal that there is now staring thee in the face that EXAMINATION which thou hast so long dreaded, and for which thou hast so often made resolutions to prepare ? Here is an objective fact with a vengeance; and one which gives you quite a sort of “all-overish” feeling. No anticipation needed here. Is it not true that already you have had two papers, and are now expecting another ? and that the “subjects” will be upon you in one short week ? And you. But it seems as if difficulties, doubts, and dangers met us everywhere. Surely now we may speak of something pleasurable. Yes ! Through all this we keep our mind's eye steadily fixed on that morning when we shall start hence some of us with the feeling that we have not worked for nothing; others, that we have got off better than we deserved; and a few who in their present joy can afford to be just with the sentiment that they have just got what they deserved. This is highly gratifying. All are content, and doubtless their contentment preserves them from many other feelings, such as envy, shame, or something equally disagreeable. And now, when the worst. is over, how mightily are we inclined are we to be good boys after passing through Charybdis ! How devoutly is it to be wished that all the good resolutions of that joyous morning may hereafter not fade before the sad, stern, yet tender gaze of next half.


Yes, it leaves not a trace that it was,

As the shadow moves over the stone;
The sun by immutable laws

Shines again where before he has shone.

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