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For the morn and the noon and the eye,
Aye the year and the month and the day,
Not a trace, how they fleeted away.
Death comes, the dark night which we dread,
As at sun-set fast follows the gloom ;
For what, though the night may be dark,
Eternal's the day that must break;
But to sleep till to life we awake.
BY AN OLD RUGBEIAN.
AN APPEAL, “AD MISERICORDIAM.”
Will no one write a good book about our dear old school ? Must we content ourselves with the eighth edition of "Tom Brown," or rest satisfied with George Melly's - School Experiences of a Fag?” The first has hit the spirit of the age, but while mothers of promising ,
66 Arthurs ” buy the 12000th copy, and adoring sisters gloat over the horrors of the auto da fè by the school-room fire, an old Rugbeian like myself, sitting in his sinoking-room, admires the author's imaginative powers and doubts his facts. The second is deficient in pluck. What is Harby? Which is the house where the “demon” lived ?- in
time it was Price's, in my elder brother's,
Anstey's, in my uncle's, the school-house. Why can't a man speak out. Some of his descriptions are good. He has done the “house” life well; the “study” is his chef d'ouvre : report says his was the best at Rugby, after Whitbread (now philanthrophic M.P. for Bedford : how are the mighty fallen, he was cock of the school) had left Arnold's, and Cholmondely was no more known at Cotton's.
The work is still undone and wants doing. A sketch we have (by William Arnold) of what can be said when the right man writes in the right style. His sixth form football match is the only good thing we know of in the historical line. The days have passed away, and the spirit is subdued—we regret it while we write—but the description is life-like even now, and the pamphlet worthy of the son of Rugby's great Headmaster, and better than any page in “ Punjabee."
Then let some one “ try it.” The goal is unkicked; the public, “in goal," waits. The " Public School” can yet
“ win « the match.” Will no one “run in ? " We await your decision in every quarter of the globe; in every profession, gentle and simple. Antediluvian Rugbeians, who lived before Arnold's time, and who believe in the days when Wooll reigned, and old women kept “ boarding houses.” Mediæval Rugbeians, who were of the select few who knew Arnold to speak to, and exchanged kicks with Vaughan, Stanley, and Norris, and came off by no means second best, though now passed in the race of life by those great Headmasters, Canons and School Inspectors.
Modern Rugbeians, whose primary article of faith is, that Tait was the best of Headmasters, and is become the best of Bishops, who adored each child born in that ivycovered school-house, who mourned as if stricken in their
own households, when it pleased Divine Providence to call those little Rugby children unto Himself, and who have not yet forgotten how much they owe to the teaching of Cotton, Price, and Arnold. Oxford and Cambridge Rugbeians, fresh from Goulburn's Rugby, of which, as a cantankerous old grumbler, I will say that the less said may be the soonest mended; and, lastly, yourselves. Critics who can judge of what you know, and can estimate if the account is a true one, and worthy of your applause ; and if you applaud it, we will all accept it as the account of what things are, and compare it with our own still vivid recollections. Such is your audience; such will be your readers. Can
. no one write a good account of Rugby life and Rugby school? We promise you a good reception, a fair hearing; a large sale, if your book is honest, and true; and favourable reviews from all the papers with whom we old Rugbeians have an influence, and, if report speaks truly, they are not few, nor are they unimportant. But be faithful to the faith that is in you; speak the things you know; extenuate nothing, and set down naught in malice; abjure the aroma of saintliness which we trace in “ Tom Brown,” and the want of manly pluck which we feel in “ The Fag," and you will succeed.
AN OLD RUGBEIAN.
Roamer rest; thou mayst not wander
More in vague perplexity ;
Rest beneath the dark yew tree.
Oe'r thee grow the grasses green,
Fare thee well.
Now no earth throes wake thy wonder,
Nor red lightning's brilliancy ;
Fearest not the storm-lashed sea.
Fare thee well.
Fled for ever carking sorrow,
Ruthless tenant of thy breast,
Break not now thy peaceful rest.
Fare thee well.
AN OLD SCENE WITH AN OLD MORAL.
NEAR the western wall of the city of Athens, not far from the gate leading to the Piræus, stood a house well known to most Athenians. The district had not been a thickly populated one until the storm of Peloponesian war swept the peaceful country population of Attica into the city. The ground in this part of the town was hilly, and the house to which we have alluded stood on an eminence ; commanding from its upper rooms, which were, however, only inhabited by the domestics of the household, a striking and extensive view. To the east, north, and south, the eye beheld a motley mass of dwellings, consisting of the old streets of Athens, and the new and irregular groups of extemporised hovels; here and there a temple, cheek by jowl with some of the squalidest huts, and even seeing its own sanctity desecrated by some of the more daring of the new-comers; while over all glistened the marble buildings of the Acropolis, and the far-famed statue of “ The Goddess," who now, more than ever, in the midst of danger and distress, seemed to pious Athenian eyes to stretch a protecting hand over her own favoured people.
The house was a plain dwelling, not remarkable either for luxury or poverty.
The outer door was fast barred, though this seemed a needless precaution, as the street was quite deserted, and there was not even a harsh sound to disturb the old man who was lying within, in one of the front chambers, on a plain couch enveloped in sheep skins. His face bore too evident traces both of old
and habitual intoxication; yet not so as to obscure the intellectual brow, the laughter-loving eye, or the eloquent mouth with full humourous lips that had rolled out many a jest in their time; yet he was old, too old to engage in such drunken revels as the one in which he had the night before received the bruises that then kept him prisoner to his chamber, for which the only excuse was that it was the feast of Dionysus, when old and young did honour to the god and his wine bowl. On the fire some lentil-broth was simmering for him; but a beverage much more to his taste was a goblet of finely-flavoured Chian