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Title: The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green
Author: Bede, Cuthbert, 1827-1889
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


By Cuthbert Bede

Scanned and proofed by R.W. Jones .

Note: With the use of a text-to-speech player and the hard copies
      of the original editions themselves, this revised electronic
      edition has been specifically conformed as regards spelling,
      punctuation and content to the 1853, 1854 and 1857 first
      editions (save frontispiece and the c1923 edition introductory
      remarks and page headings, which have been retained here. The
      first editions' frontispiece have the quotation: ' "A college
      joke to cure the dumps" -Swift.').
      The first editions differ in minor respects not only from the
      popular c1923 Herbert Jenkins edition from which version 1.0
      was prepared but also as between themselves; e.g. "number"
      in the second sentence of Part I., Chapter One of the first
      edition becomes "name" in the corresponding part of the 1853
      third edition;  minor inconsistencies in spelling occur
      (e.g. "shew" in Part I is spelt "show" later in the work;
      "Gig-lamps" in Part I becomes "Giglamps" in Parts II and III;
      etc). Where the first editions contain clear typographical
      errors which have been corrected in the Herbert Jenkins or
      other editions, these corrections (very few in number) are
      indicated in the narrative below by brackets.

      See etext03/verda11h.zip:

[NB this e-text contains corrections to the Herbert Jenkins edition
made by reference to the consolidated version held by The British
Library which combines the first editions of each of the three parts
originally published 1853-7.
Greek letters in the original are rendered in Roman script and
designated: "{ }".
Italics are indicated: "~".
The illustrations are designated "".
The introductory remarks below appear only in the Herbert Jenkins
edition, not in the several originals.]

[1      ]

                                        THE ADVENTURES OF
                                        MR. VERDANT GREEN

[2      ]

                                WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT

"Let the poker be heated" were the fearful words which greeted Mr.
Verdant Green on his initiation into a spoof Lodge of Freemasonry at
Oxford.  This was one of the many "rags" of which he was the butt
during his days at the university.

In this humorous classic there is told the story of a very raw
youth's introduction to university life, of fights between "town and
gown," escapes from proctors, wiles of bed-makers, days on the river,
or on and off horseback, and nights when "he kept his spirits up by
pouring spirits down."

These amusing experiences and diverting mishaps of an Oxford Freshman
need no introduction to a public that has already read and laughed
over them many times before.

The great feature of the volume is that it contains the whole 188
illustrations originally contributed by the Author.

[3      ]
                                THE ADVENTURES OF
                                MR. VERDANT GREEN


                                CUTHBERT BEDE

                                WITH 188 ILLUSTRATIONS
                                BY THE AUTHOR


                                HERBERT JENKINS LIMITED
                                3 YORK STREET LONDON S.W.1

[4      ]
                                A HERBERT JENKINS' BOOK

        ~Printed in Great Britain by~ Garden City Press, Letchworth.

[5      ]

                                        PART I






        SENSATION  ...........................................41

        CHAPEL ...............................................51

        LICENSED TO SELL"  ...................................6l

        SO PLEASANT AS HIS EVENING DIVERSIONS  ...............72




        OXFORD FRESHMAN  .....................................114

                                        PART  II

        AN OXFORD UNDERGRADUATE  .............................123


        UP BY POURING SPIRITS DOWN  ..........................134

        TOWN AND GOWN ........................................145

[6      CONTENTS]



        AND DEXTERITY  .......................................167

        A SPREAD-EAGLE .......................................176

        A HAPPY NEW YEAR  ....................................184

        ANY BOARDS ...........................................191

X       MR. VERDANT GREEN ENJOYS A REAL CIGAR  ...............202


        COMMEMORATION  .......................................2l8

                                        PART  III

I       MR. VERDANT GREEN TRAVELS NORTH  .....................222

        FROM THE HORNS OF A DILEMMA  .........................227

        OF YE NATYVES  .......................................238

        SOME ONE'S SNAP .......................................243

        MONSTER  .............................................251

        PIC-NIC  .............................................258



IX      MR. VERDANT GREEN ASKS PAPA  .........................280

X       MR. VERDANT GREEN IS MADE A MASON  ...................288

        AND  ENTERS FOR A GRIND  .............................297

XII     MR. VERDANT GREEN TAKES HIS DEGREE  ..................302


[7      ]
                        THE ADVENTURES OF MR. VERDANT GREEN.

                                        CHAPTER I.


IF you will refer to the unpublished volume of "Burke's Landed
Gentry", and turn to letter G, article "GREEN," you will see that the
Verdant Greens are a family of some respectability and of
considerable antiquity.  We meet with them as early as 1096, flocking
to the Crusades among the followers of Peter the Hermit, when one of
their number, Greene surnamed the Witless, mortgaged his lands in order
to supply his poorer companions with the sinews of war.  The family
estate, however, appears to have been redeemed and greatly increased
by his great-grandson, Hugo de Greene, but was again jeoparded in the
year 1456, when Basil Greene, being commissioned by Henry the Sixth
to enrich his sovereign by discovering the philosopher's stone,
squandered the greater part of his fortune in unavailing experiments;
while his son, who was also infected with the spirit of the age, was
blown up in his laboratory when just on the point of discovering the
elixir of life.  It seems to have been about this time that the
Greenes became connected by marriage with the equally old family of
the Verdants; and, in the year 1510, we find a Verdant Greene as
justice of the peace for the county of Warwick, presiding at the
trial of three decrepid old women, who, being found guilty of
transforming themselves into cats, and in that shape attending the
nightly assemblies of evil spirits, were very properly pronounced by
him to be witches, and were burnt with all due solemnity.

In tracing the records of the family, we do not find that any of its
members attained to great eminence in the state, either in the
counsels of the senate or the active services of the field; or that
they amassed any unusual amount of wealth or landed property.  But we
may perhaps ascribe these circumstances to the fact of finding the
Greens, generation after generation, made the dupes of more astute
minds, and when the hour of


danger came, left to manage their own affairs in the best way they
could, - a way that commonly ended in their mismanagement and total
confusion.  Indeed, the idiosyncrasy of the family appears to have
been so well known, that we continually meet with them performing the
character of catspaw to some monkey who had seen and understood much
more of the world than they had, - putting their hands to the fire,
and only finding out their mistake when they had burned their fingers.

In this way the family of the Verdant Greens never got beyond a
certain point either in wealth or station, but were always the same
unsuspicious, credulous, respectable, easy-going people in one
century as another, with the same boundless confidence in their
fellow-creatures, and the same readiness to oblige society by putting
their names to little bills, merely for form's and friendship's sake.
 The Vavasour Verdant Green, with the slashed velvet doublet and
point-lace fall, who (having a well-stocked purse) was among the
favoured courtiers of the Merry Monarch, and who allowed that monarch
in his merriness to borrow his purse, with the simple I.O.U. of
"Odd's fish! you shall take mine to-morrow!" and who never (of
course) saw the sun rise on the day of repayment, was but the
prototype of the Verdant Greens in the full-bottomed wigs, and
buckles and shorts of George I.'s day, who were nearly beggared by the
bursting of the Mississippi Scheme and South-Sea Bubble; and these,
in their turn, were duly represented by their successors.  And thus
the family character was handed down with the family nose, until they
both re-appeared (according to the veracious chronicle of Burke, to
which we have referred) in
"VERDANT GREEN, of the Manor Green, Co. Warwick, Gent., who married
Mary, only surviving child of Samuel Sappey, Esq., of Sapcot Hall,
Co. Salop; by whom he has issue, one son, and three daughters:

Mr. Burke is unfeeling enough to give the dates when this bunch of
Greens first made their appearance in the world; but these dates we
withhold, from a delicate regard to personal feelings, which will be
duly appreciated by those who have felt the sacredness of their
domestic hearth to be tampered with by the obtrusive impertinences of
a census-paper.

It is sufficient for our purpose to say, that our hero, Mr. Verdant
Green, junior, was born much in the same way as other folk.  And
although pronounced by Mrs. Toosypegs his nurse, when yet in the
first crimson blush of his existence, to be "a perfect progidy, mum,
which I ought to be able to pronounce, 'avin nuss'd a many parties
through their trouble, and being aweer of what is doo to a Hinfant,"
- yet we are not aware that his ~debut~ on the stage of life,
although thus applauded


by such a ~clacqueur~ as the indiscriminating Toosypegs, was
announced to the world at large by any other means than the notices
in the county papers, and the six-shilling advertisement in the

"Progidy" though he was, even as a baby, yet Mr. Verdant Green's
nativity seems to have been chronicled merely in this everyday
manner, and does not appear to have been accompanied by any of those
more monstrous phenomena, which in earlier ages attended the
production of a ~genuine~ prodigy.  We are not aware that Mrs.
Green's favourite Alderney spoke on that occasion, or conducted
itself otherwise than as unaccustomed to public speaking as usual.
Neither can we verify the assertion of the intelligent Mr. Mole the
gardener, that the plaster Apollo in the Long Walk was observed to be
bathed in a profuse perspiration, either from its feeling compelled
to keep up the good old classical custom, or because the weather was
damp.  Neither are we bold enough to entertain an opinion that the
chickens in the poultry-yard refused their customary food; or that
the horses in the stable shook with trembling fear; or that any
thing, or any body, saving and excepting Mrs. Toosypegs, betrayed any
consciousness that a real and genuine prodigy had been given to the

However, during the first two years of his life, which were passed
chiefly in drinking, crying, and sleeping, Mr. Verdant Green met with
as much attention, and received as fair a share of approbation, as
usually falls to the lot of the most favoured of infants.  Then Mrs.
Toosypegs again took up her position in the house, and his reign was
over.  Faithful to her mission, she pronounced the new baby to be
~the~ "progidy," and she was believed.  But thus it is all through
life; the new baby displaces the old; the second love supplants the
first; we find fresh friends to shut out the memories of former ones;
and in nearly everything we discover that there is a Number 2 which
can put out of joint the nose of Number 1.

Once more the shadow of Mrs. Toosypegs fell upon the walls of Manor
Green; and then, her mission being accomplished, she passed away for
ever; and our hero was left to be the sole son and heir, and the prop
and pride of the house of Green.

And if it be true that the external forms of nature exert a hidden
but powerful sway over the dawning perceptions of the mind, and shape
its thoughts to harmony with the things around, then most certainly
ought Mr. Verdant Green to have been born a poet; for he grew up amid
those scenes whose immortality is, that they inspired the soul of
Shakespeare with his deathless fancies!

The Manor Green was situated in one of the loveliest spots in all
Warwickshire; a county so rich in all that constitutes the


picturesqueness of a true English landscape.  Looking from the
drawing-room windows of the house, you saw in the near foreground the
pretty French garden, with its fantastic parti-coloured beds, and its
broad gravelled walks and terrace; proudly promenading which, or
perched on the stone balustrade might be seen perchance a peacock
flaunting his beauties in the sun.  Then came the carefully kept
gardens, bounded on the one side by the Long Walk and a grove of
shrubs and oaks; and on the other side by a double avenue of stately
elms, that led, through velvet turf of brightest green, down past a
little rustic lodge, to a gently sloping valley, where were white
walls and rose-clustered gables of cottages peeping out from the
embosoming trees, that betrayed the village beauties they seemed loth
to hide.  Then came the grey church-tower, dark with shrouding ivy;
then another clump of stately elms, tenanted by cawing rooks; then a
yellow stretch of bright meadow-land, dappled over with browsing kine
knee-deep in grass and flowers; then a deep pool that mirrored all,
and shone like silver; then more trees with floating shade, and
homesteads rich in wheat-stacks; then a willowy brook that sparkled
on merrily to an old mill-wheel, whose slippery stairs it lazily got
down, and sank to quiet rest in the stream below; then came, crowding
in rich profusion, wide-spreading woods and antlered oaks; and golden
gorse and purple heather; and sunny orchards, with their dark-green
waves that in Spring foamed white with blossoms; and then gently
swelling hills that rose to close the scene and frame the picture.

Such was the view from the Manor Green.  And full of inspiration as
such a scene was, yet Mr. Verdant Green never accomplished (as far as
poetical inspiration was concerned) more than an "Address to the
Moon," which he could just as well have written in any other part of
the country, and which, commencing with the noble aspiration,

                "O moon, that shinest in the heaven so blue,
                I only wish that I could shine like you!"

and terminating with one of those fine touches of nature which rise
superior to the trammels of ordinary versification,

                "But I to bed must be going soon,
                So I will not address thee more, O moon!"

will no doubt go down to posterity in the Album of his sister Mary.

For the first fourteen years of his life, the education of Mr.
Verdant Green was conducted wholly under the shadow of his paternal
roof, upon principles fondly imagined to be the soundest and purest
for the formation of his character.  Mrs. Green, who was as good and
motherly a soul as ever lived,


was yet (as we have shown) one of the Sappeys of Sapcot, a family
that were not renowned either for common sense or worldly wisdom, and
her notions of a boy's education were of that kind laid down by her
favourite poet, Cowper, in his "Tirocinium" that we are

                "Well-tutor'd ~only~ while we share
                A mother's lectures and a nurse's care;"

and in her horror of all other kind of instruction (not that she
admitted Mrs. Toosypegs to her counsels), she fondly kept Master
Verdant at her own apron-strings.  The task of teaching his young
idea how to shoot was committed chiefly to his sisters' governess,
and he regularly took his place with them in the school-room.  These
daily exercises and mental drillings were subject to the inspection
of their maiden-aunt, Miss Virginia Verdant, a first cousin of Mr.
Green's, who had come to visit at the Manor during Master Verdant's
infancy, and had remained there ever since; and this generalship was
crowned with such success, that her nephew grew up the girlish
companion of his sisters, with no knowledge of boyish sports, and no
desire for them.

The motherly and spinsterial views regarding his education were
favoured by the fact that he had no playmates of his own sex and age;
and since his father was an only child, and his mother's brothers had
died in their infancy, there were no cousins to initiate him into the
mysteries of boyish games and feelings. Mr. Green was a man who only
cared to live a quiet, easy-going life, and would have troubled
himself but little about his neighbours, if he had had any; but the
Manor Green lay in an agricultural district, and, saving the Rectory,
there was no other large house for miles around.  The rector's wife,
Mrs. Larkyns, had died shortly after the birth of her first child, a
son, who was being educated at a public school; and this was enough,
in Mrs. Green's eyes, to make a too intimate acquaintance between her
boy and Master Larkyns a thing by no means to be desired.  With her
favourite poet she would say,

                "For public schools, 'tis public folly feeds;"

and, regarding them as the very hotbeds of all that is wrong, she
would turn a deaf, though polite, ear to the rector whenever he said,
"Why don't you let your Verdant go with my Charley? Charley is three
years older than Verdant, and would take him under his wing." Mrs.
Green would as soon think of putting one of her chickens under the
wing of a hawk, as intrusting the innocent Verdant to the care of the
scape-grace Charley; so she still persisted in her own system of
education, despite all that the rector could advise to the contrary.


As for Master Verdant, he was only too glad at his mother's decision,
for he partook of all her alarm about public schools, though from a
different cause.  It was not very often that he visited at the
Rectory during Master Charley's holidays; but when he did, that young
gentleman favoured him with such accounts of the peculiar knack the
second master possessed of finding out all your tenderest places when
he "licked a feller" for a false quantity, "that, by Jove! you couldn't
sit down for a fortnight without squeaking;" and of the jolly mills
they used to have with the town cads, who would lie in wait for you,
and half kill you if they caught you alone; and of the fun it was to
make a junior form fag for you, and do all your dirty work; - that
Master Verdant's hair would almost stand on end at such horrors, and
he would gasp for very dread lest such should ever be ~his~ dreadful

And then Master Charley would take a malicious pleasure in consoling
him, by saying, "Of course, you know, you'll only have to fag for the
first two or three years; then - if you get into the fourth form -
you'll be able to have a fag for yourself.  And it's awful fun, I can
tell you, to see the way some of the fags get riled at cricket! You
get a feller to give you a few balls, just for practice, and you hit
the ball into another feller's ground; and then you tell your fag to
go and pick it up.  So he goes to do it, when the other feller sings
out, 'Don't touch that ball, or I'll lick you!' So you tell the fag
to come to you, and you say, 'Why don't you do as I tell you?' And he
says, 'Please, sir!' and then the little beggar blubbers.  So you say
to him, 'None of that, sir! Touch your toes!' We always make 'em wear
straps on purpose.  And then his trousers go tight and beautiful, and
you take out your strap and warm him! And then he goes to get the
ball, and the other feller sings out, 'I told you to let that ball
alone! Come here, sir! Touch your toes!' So he warms him too; and
then we go on all jolly.  It's awful fun, I can tell you!"

Master Verdant would think it awful indeed; and, by his own fireside,
would recount the deeds of horror to his trembling mother and
sisters, whose imagination shuddered at the scenes from which they
hoped their darling would be preserved.

Perhaps Master Charley had his own reasons for making matters worse
than they really were; but, as long as the information he derived
concerning public schools was of this description, so long did Master
Verdant Green feel thankful at being kept away from them.  He had a
secret dread, too, of his friend's superior age and knowledge; and in
his presence felt a bashful awe that made him glad to get back from
the Rectory to his own sisters; while Master Charley, on the other
hand, entertained a lad's contempt for one that could not fire


off a gun, or drive a cricket-ball, or jump a ditch without falling
into it.  So the Rectory and the Manor Green lads saw but very little
of each other; and, while the one went through his public-school
course, the other was brought up at the women's apron-string.

But though thus put under petticoat government, Mr. Verdant Green
was not altogether freed from those tyrants of youth, - the dead
languages.  His aunt Virginia was as learned a Blue as her esteemed
ancestress in the court of Elizabeth, the very Virgin Queen of Blues;
and under her guidance Master Verdant was dragged with painful
diligence through the first steps of the road that was to take him to
Parnassus.  It was a great sight to see her sitting stiff and
straight, - with her wonderfully undeceptive "false front" of
(somebody else's) black hair, graced on either side by four
sausage-looking curls, - as, with spectacles on nose and dictionary in
hand, she instructed her nephew in those ingenuous arts which should
soften his manners, and not permit him to be brutal.  And, when they
together entered upon the romantic page of Virgil (which was the
extent of her classical reading), nothing would delight her more than
to declaim their sonorous Arma-virumque-cano lines, where the
intrinsic qualities of the verse surpassed the quantities that she
gave to them.

Fain would Miss Virginia have made Virgil the end and aim of an
educational existence, and so have kept her pupil entirely under her
own care; but, alas! she knew nothing further; she had no
acquaintance with Greek, and she had never flirted with Euclid; and
the rector persuaded Mr. Green that these were indispensable to a
boy's education.  So, when Mr. Verdant Green was (in stable language)
"rising" sixteen, he went thrice a week to the Rectory, where Mr.
Larkyns bestowed upon him a couple of hours, and taught him to
conjugate {tupto}, and get over the ~Pons Asinorum~.  Mr. Larkyns
found his pupil not a particularly brilliant scholar, but he was a
plodding one; and though he learned slowly, yet the little he did
learn was learned well.

Thus the Rectory and the home studies went hand and hand, and
continued so, with but little interruption, for more than two years;
and Mr. Verdant Green had for some time assumed the ~toga virilis~ of
stick-up collars and swallow-tail coats, that so effectually cut us
off from the age of innocence; and the small family festival that
annually celebrated his birthday had just been held for the
eighteenth time, when

                "A change came o'er the spirit of ~his~ dream."


                                        CHAPTER II

                        MR. VERDANT GREEN IS TO BE AN OXFORD-MAN.

ONE day when the family at the Manor Green had assembled for
luncheon, the rector was announced.  He came in and joined them,
saying,with his usual friendly ~bonhomie~, "A very well-timed visit,
I think!  Your bell rang out its summons as I came up the avenue.
Mrs. Green, I've gone through the formality of looking over the
accounts of your clothing-club, and, as usual, I find them
correctness itself; and here is my subscription for the next year.
Miss Green, I hope that you have not forgotten the lesson in logic
that Tommy Jones gave you yesterday afternoon?"

"Oh, what was that?" cried her two sisters; who took it in turns with
her to go for a short time in every day to the village-school which
their father and the rector had established: "Pray tell us, Mr.
Larkyns! Mary has said nothing about it."  "Then," replied the
rector, "I am tongue-tied, until I have my fair friend's permission
to reveal how the teacher was taught."

Mary shook her sunny ringlets, and laughingly gave him the required

"You must know, then," said Mr. Larkyns, "that Miss Mary was giving
one of those delightful object-lessons, wherein she blends so much

"I'll trouble you for the butter, Mr. Larkyns," interrupted Mary,
rather maliciously.

The rector was grey-headed, and a privileged friend.  "My dear," he
said, "I was just giving it you.  However, the object-lesson was
going on; the subject being ~Quadrupeds~, which Miss Mary very
properly explained to be 'things with four legs.' Presently, she said
to her class, 'Tell me the names of some quadrupeds?' when Tommy
Jones, thrusting out his hand with the full conviction that he was
making an important suggestion, exclaimed, 'Chairs and tables!' That
was turning the tables upon Miss Mary with a vengeance!"

During luncheon the conversation glided into a favourite theme with
Mrs. Green and Miss Virginia, - Verdant's studies: when Mr. Larkyns,
after some good-natured praise of his diligence, said, "By the way,
Green, he's now quite old enough, and prepared enough for
matriculation: and I suppose you are thinking of it."

Mr. Green was thinking of no such thing.  He had never been at
college himself, and had never heard of his father having been there;
and having the old-fashioned,
what-was-good-enough-for-my-father-is-good-enough-for-me sort of feel-


ing, it had never occurred to him that his son should be brought up
otherwise than he himself had been.  The setting-out of Charles
Larkyns for college, two years before, had suggested no other thought
to Mr. Green's mind, than that a university was the natural sequence
of a public school; and since Verdant had not been through the career
of the one, he deemed him to be exempt from the other.

The motherly ears of Mrs. Green had been caught by the word
"matriculation," a phrase quite unknown to her; and she said, "If
it's vaccination that you mean, Mr. Larkyns, my dear Verdant was done
only last year, when we thought the small-pox was about; so I think
he's quite safe."

Mr. Larkyns' politeness was sorely tried to restrain himself from
giving vent to his feelings in a loud burst of laughter; but Mary
gallantly came to his relief by saying, "Matriculation means, being
entered at a university.  Don't you remember, dearest mamma, when Mr.
Charles Larkyns went up to Oxford to be matriculated last January two

"Ah, yes! I do now.  But I wish I had your memory, my dear."

And Mary blushed, and flattered herself that she succeeded in looking
as though Mr. Charles Larkyns and his movements were objects of
perfect indifference to her.

So, after luncheon, Mr. Green and the rector paced up and down the
long-walk, and talked the matter over.  The burden of Mr. Green's
discourse was this: "You see, sir, I don't intend my boy to go into
the Church, like yours; but, when anything happens to me, he'll come
into the estate, and have to settle down as the squire of the parish.
 So I don't exactly see what would be the use of sending him to a
university, where, I dare say, he'd spend a good deal of money, - not
that I should grudge that, though; - and perhaps not be quite such a
good lad as he's always been to me, sir.  And, by George! (I beg your
pardon,) I think his mother would break her heart to lose him; and I
don't know what we should do without him, as he's never been away
from us a day, and his sisters would miss him.  And he's not a lad,
like your Charley, that could fight his way in the world, and I don't
think he'd be altogether happy.  And as he's not got to depend upon
his talents for his bread and cheese, the knowledge he's got at home,
and from you, sir, seems to me quite enough to carry him through
life.  So, altogether, I think Verdant will do very well as he is,
and perhaps we'd better say no more about the matriculation."

But the rector ~would~ say more; and he expressed his mind thus: "It
is not so much from what Verdant would learn in Latin and Greek, and
such things as make up a part of the education, that I advise your
sending him to a university;


but more from what he would gain by mixing with a large body of young
men of his own age, who represent the best classes of a mixed
society, and who may justly be taken as fair samples of its feelings
and talents.  It is formation of character that I regard as one of
the greatest of the many great ends of a university system; and if
for this reason alone, I should advise you to send your future
country squire to college.  Where else will he be able to meet with
so great a number of those of his own class, with whom he will have
to mix in the after changes of life, and for whose feelings and tone
a college-course will give him the proper key-note? Where else can he
learn so quickly in three years, what other men will perhaps be
striving for through life, without attaining, - that self-reliance
which will enable him to mix at ease in any society, and to feel the
equal of its members? And, besides all this, - and each of these
points in the education of a young man is, to my mind, a strong one, -
where else could he be more completely 'under tutors and governors,'
and more thoroughly under ~surveillance~, than in a place where
college-laws are no respecters of persons, and seek to keep the wild
blood of youth within its due bounds? There is something in the very
atmosphere of a university that seems to engender refined thoughts
and noble feelings; and lamentable indeed must be the state of any
young man who can pass through the three years of his college
residence, and bring away no higher aims, no worthier purposes, no
better thoughts, from all the holy associations which have been
crowded around him.  Such advantages as these are not to be regarded
with indifference; and though they come in secondary ways, and
possess the mind almost imperceptibly, yet they are of primary
importance in the formation of character, and may mould it into the
more perfect man.  And as long as I had the power, I would no more
think of depriving a child of mine of such good means towards a good
end, than I would of keeping him from any thing else that was likely
to improve his mind or affect his heart."

Mr. Larkyns put matters in a new light; and Mr. Green began to think
that a university career might be looked at from more than one point
of view.  But as old prejudices are not so easily overthrown as the
lath-and-plaster erections of mere newly-formed opinion, Mr. Green was
not yet won over by Mr. Larkyns' arguments.  "There was my father,"
he said, "who was one of the worthiest and kindest men living; and I
believe he never went to college, nor did he think it necessary that
I should go; and I trust I'm no worse a man than my father."

"Ah! Green," replied the rector; "the old argument! But you must not
judge the present age by the past; nor measure out to ~your~ son the
same degree of education that


your father might think sufficient for ~you~.  When you and I were
boys, Green, these things were thought of very differently to what
they are in the present day; and when your father gave you a
respectable education at a classical school, he did all that he
thought was requisite to form you into a country gentleman, and fit
you for that station in life you were destined to fill. But consider
what a progressive age it is that we live in; and you will see that
the standard of education has been considerably raised since the days
when you and I did the 'propria quae maribus' together; and that when
he comes to mix in society, more will be demanded of the son than was
expected from the father.  And besides this, think in how many ways
it will benefit Verdant to send him to college.  By mixing more in
the world, and being called upon to act and think for himself, he
will gradually gain that experience, without which a man cannot arm
himself to meet the difficulties that beset all of us, more or less,
in the battle of life.  He is just of an age, when some change from
the narrowed circle of home is necessary.  God forbid that I should
ever speak in any but the highest terms of the moral good it must do
every young man to live under his mother's watchful eye, and be ever
in the company of pure-minded sisters. Indeed I feel this more
perhaps than many other parents would, because my lad, from his
earliest years, has been deprived of such tender training, and cut
off from such sweet society. But yet, with all this high regard for
such home influences, I put it to you, if there will not grow up in
the boy's mind, when he begins to draw near to man's estate, a very
weariness of all this, from its very sameness; a surfeiting, as it
were, of all these delicacies, and a longing for something to break
the monotony of what will gradually become to him a humdrum
horse-in-the-mill kind of country life? And it is just at this
critical time that college life steps in to his aid.  With his new
life a new light bursts upon his mind; he finds that he is not the
little household-god he had fancied himself to be; his word is no
longer the law of the Medes and Persians, as it was at home; he meets
with none of those little flatteries from partial relatives, or
fawning servants, that were growing into a part of his existence; but
he has to bear contradiction and reproof, to find himself only an
equal with others, when he can gain that equality by his own deserts;
and, in short, he daily progresses in that knowledge of himself,
which, from the ~gnothiseauton~ days down to our own, has been found
to be about the most useful of all knowledge; for it gives a man
stability of character, and braces up his mental energies to a
healthy enjoyment of the business of life.  And so, Green, I would
advise you, above all things, to let Verdant go to college."


Much more did the rector say, not only on this occasion, but on
others; and the more frequently he returned to the charge, the less
resistance were his arguments met with; and the result was, that Mr.
Green was fully persuaded that a university was the proper sphere for
his son to move in.  But it was not without many a pang and much
secret misgiving that Mrs. Green would consent to suffer her beloved
Verdant to run the risk of those dreadful contaminations which she
imagined would inevitably accompany every college career.  Indeed,
she thought it an act of the greatest heroism (or, if you object to
the word, heroineism) to be won over to say "yes" to the proposal;
and it was not until Miss Virginia had recited to her the deeds of
all the mothers of Greece and Rome who had suffered for their
children's sake, that Mrs. Green would consent to sacrifice her
maternal feelings at the sacred altar of duty.

When the point had been duly settled, that Mr. Verdant Green was to
receive a university education, the next question to be decided was,
to which of the three Universities should he go? To Oxford,
Cambridge, or Durham? But this was a matter which was soon determined
upon.  Mr. Green at once put Durham aside, on account of its infancy,
and its wanting the ~prestige~ that attaches to the names of the two
great Universities.  Cambridge was treated quite as summarily,
because Mr. Green had conceived the notion that nothing but
mathematics were ever thought or talked of there; and as he himself
had always had an abhorrence of them from his youth up, when he was
hebdomadally flogged for not getting-up his weekly propositions, he
thought that his son should be spared some of the personal
disagreeables that he himself had encountered; for Mr. Green
remembered to have heard that the great Newton was horsed during the
time that he was a Cambridge undergraduate, and he had a hazy idea
that the same indignities were still practised there.

But the circumstance that chiefly decided Mr. Green to choose Oxford
as the arena for Verdant's performances was, that he would have a
companion, and, as he hoped, a mentor, in the rector's son, Mr.
Charles Larkyns, who would not only be able to cheer him on his first
entrance, but also would introduce him to select and quiet friends,
put him in the way of lectures, and initiate him into all the
mysteries of the place; all which the rector professed his son would
be glad to do, and would be delighted to see his old friend and
playfellow within the classic walls of Alma Mater.

Oxford having been selected for the university, the next point to be
decided was the college.

"You cannot," said the rector, "find a much better college


than Brazenface, where my lad is.  It always stands well in the
class-list, and keeps a good name with its tutors.  There are a nice
gentlemanly set of men there; and I am proud to say, that my lad would
be able to introduce Verdant to some of the best.  This will of
course be much to his advantage.  And besides this, I am on very
intimate terms with Dr. Portman, the master of the college; and, if
they should not happen to be very full, no doubt I could get Verdant
admitted at once.  This too will be of advantage to him; for I can
tell you that there are secrets in all these matters, and that at
many colleges that I could name, unless you knew the principal, or
had some introduction or other potent spell to work with, your son's
name would have to remain on the books two or three years before he
could be entered; and this, at Verdant's age, would be a serious
objection.  At one or two of the colleges indeed this is almost
necessary, under any circumstances, on account of the great number of
applicants; but at Brazenface there is not this over-crowding; and I
have no doubt, if I write to Dr. Portman, but what I can get rooms
for Verdant without much loss of time."

"Brazenface be it then!" said Mr. Green, "and I am sure that Verdant
will enter there with very many advantages; and the sooner the
better, so that he may be the longer with Mr. Charles. But when must
his - his what-d'ye-call-it, come off?"

"His matriculation?" replied the rector;  "why although it is not
usual for men to commence residence at the time of their
matriculation, still it is sometimes done.  And as my lad will, if
all goes on well, be leaving Oxford next year, perhaps it would be
better, on that account, that Verdant should enter upon his residence
as soon as he has matriculated."  Mr. Green thought so too; and
Verdant, upon being appealed to, had no objection to this course, or,
indeed, to any other that was decided to be necessary for him;
though it must be confessed, that he secretly shared somewhat of his
mother's feelings as he looked forward into the blank and uncertain
prospect of his college life.  Like a good and dutiful son, however,
his father's wishes were law; and he no more thought of opposing
them, than he did of discovering the north pole, or paying off the
national debt.

So all this being duly settled, and Mrs. Green being entirely won
over to the proceeding, the rector at once wrote to Dr. Portman, and
in due time received a reply to the effect, that they were very full
at Brazenface, but that luckily there was one set of rooms which
would be vacant at the commencement of the Easter term; at which time
he should be very glad to see the gentleman his friend spoke of.

[20     ]

                                Portraits of

1. Mr. Green, senior.

2. Miss Virginia Verdant.

3. Mrs. Green.

4. Mr. Verdant Green.

5. Miss Helen Green.

6. Miss Fanny Green.

7. Miss Mary Green.


                                        CHAPTER III.


THE time till Easter passed very quickly, for much had to be done in
it.  Verdant read up most desperately for his matriculation,
associating that initiatory examination with the most dismal visions
of plucking, and other college tortures.

His mother was laying in for him a new stock of linen, sufficient in
quantity to provide him for years of emigration; while his father was
busying himself about the plate that it was requisite to take, buying
it bran-new, and of the most solid silver, and having it splendidly
engraved with the family crest, and the motto "Semper virens."

Infatuated Mr. Green! If you could have foreseen that those spoons
and forks would have soon passed, - by a mysterious system of loss
which undergraduate powers can never fathom, - into the property of
Mr. Robert Filcher, the excellent, though occasionally erratic, scout
of your beloved son, and from thence have melted, not "into thin
air," but into a residuum whose mass might be expressed by the
equivalent of coins of a thin and golden description, - if you could
but have foreseen this, then, infatuated but affectionate parent, you
would have been content to have let your son and heir represent the
ancestral wealth by mere electro-plate, albata, or any sham that
would equally well have served his purpose!

As for Miss Virginia Verdant, and the other woman portion of the
Green community, they fully occupied their time until the day of
separation came, by elaborating articles of feminine workmanship, as
~souvenirs~, by which dear Verdant might, in the land of the strangers,
recall visions of home.  These were presented to him with all due
state on the morning of the day previous to that on which he was to
leave the home of his ancestors.

All the articles were useful as well as ornamental.  There was a
purse from Helen, which, besides being a triumph of art in the way of
bead decoration, was also, it must be allowed, a very useful present,
unless one happened to carry one's riches in a ~porte-monnaie~.
There was a pair of braces from Mary, worked with an ecclesiastical
pattern of a severe character - very appropriate for academical wear,
and extremely effective for all occasions when the coat had to be
taken off in public.  And there was a watch-pocket from Fanny, to
hang over Verdant's night-capped head, and serve as a depository for
the golden mechanical turnip that had been handed down in the family,
as a watch, for the last three generations.  And


there was a pair of woollen comforters knit by Miss Virginia's own
fair hands; and there were other woollen articles of domestic use,
which were contributed by Mrs. Green for her son's personal comfort.
To these, Miss Virginia thoughtfully added an infallible recipe for
the toothache, - an infliction to which she was a martyr, and for the
general relief of which in others, she constituted herself a species
of toothache missionary; for, as she said, "You might, my dear
Verdant, be seized with that painful disease, and not have me by your
side to cure  it": which it was very probable he would
not, if college rules were strictly carried out at Brazenface.

All these articles were presented to Mr. Verdant Green with many
speeches and great ceremony; while Mr. Green stood by, and smiled
benignantly upon the scene, and his son beamed through his glasses
(which his defective sight obliged him constantly to wear) with the
most serene aspect.

It was altogether a great day of preparation, and one which it was
well for the constitution of the household did not happen very often;
for the house was reduced to that summerset condition usually known
in domestic parlance as "upside down."  Mr. Verdant Green personally
superintended the packing of his goods; a performance which was only
effected by the united strength of the establishment.  Butler,
Footman, Coachman, Lady's-maid, Housemaid, and Buttons were all
pressed into the service; and the coachman, being a man of


some weight, was found to be of great use in effecting a junction of
the locks and hasps of over-filled book-boxes.  It was astonishing to
see all the amount of literature that Mr. Verdant Green was about to
convey to the seat of learning: there was enough to stock a small
Bodleian. As the owner stood, with his hands behind him, placidly
surveying the scene of preparation, a meditative spectator might have
possibly compared him to the hero of the engraving "Moses going to
the fair," that was then hanging just over his head; for no one could
have set out for the great Oxford booth of this Vanity Fair with more
simplicity and trusting confidence than Mr. Verdant Green.

When the trunks had at last been packed, they were then, by the
thoughtful suggestion of Miss Virginia, provided each with a canvas
covering, after the manner of the luggage of  females, and
labelled with large direction-cards filled with the most ample
particulars concerning their owner and his destination.

It had been decided that Mr. Verdant Green, instead of reaching
Oxford by rail, should make his ~entree~ behind the four horses that
drew the Birmingham and Oxford coach; - one of the few four-horse
coaches that still ran for any distance*; and which, as the more
pleasant means of conveyance, was generally patronized by Mr. Charles
Larkyns in preference to the rail; for the coach passed within three
miles of the Manor Green, whereas the nearest railway was at a much
greater distance, and could not be so conveniently reached.  Mr.
Green had determined upon accompanying Verdant to Oxford, that he
might have the satisfaction of seeing him safely landed there, and
might also himself form an acquaintance with a city of which he had
heard so much, and which would be doubly interesting to him now that
his son was enrolled a member of its University.  Their seats had
been secured a fortnight previous; for the rector had told Mr. Green
that so many men went up by the coach, that unless he made an early

* This well-known coach ceased to run between Birmingham and Oxford
in the last week of August 1852, on the opening of the Birmingham
and Oxford Railway.


he would altogether fail in obtaining places; so a letter had been
dispatched to "the Swan" coach-office at Birmingham, from which place
the coach started, and two outside seats had been put at Mr. Green's

The day at length arrived, when Mr. Verdant Green for the first time
in his life (on any important occasion) was to leave the paternal
roof; and it must be confessed that it was a proceeding which caused
him some anxiety, and that he was not  sorry when the
carriage was at the door to bear him away, before (shall it be
confessed?) his tears had got the mastery over him.  As it was, by
the judicious help of his sisters, he passed the Rubicon in
courageous style, and went through the form of breakfast with the
greatest hilarity, although with several narrow escapes of
suffocation from choking.  The thought that he was going to be an
Oxford MAN fortunately assisted him in the preservation of that
tranquil dignity and careless ease which he considered to be the
necessary adjuncts of the manly character, more especially as
developed in that peculiar biped he was about to be transformed into;
and Mr. Verdant Green was enabled to say "Good-by" with a firm voice
and undimmed spectacles.

All crowded to the door to have a last shake of the hand;


the maid-servants peeped from the upper windows; and Miss Virginia
sobbed out a blessing, which was rendered of a striking and original
character by being mixed up with instructions never to forget what
she had taught him in his Latin grammar, and always to be careful to
guard against the toothache.  And amid the good-byes and write-oftens
that usually accompany a departure, the carriage rolled down the
avenue to the lodge, where was Mr. Mole the gardener, and also Mrs.
Mole, and, moreover, the Mole olive-branches, all gathered at the
open gate to say farewell to the young master.  And just as they were
about to mount the hill leading out of the village, who should be
there but the rector lying in wait for them and ready to walk up the
hill by their side, and say a few kindly words at parting.  Well
might Mr. Verdant Green begin to regard himself as the topic of the
village, and think that going to Oxford was really an affair of some

They were in good time for the coach; and the ringing notes of the
guard's bugle made them aware of its approach some time before they
saw it rattling merrily along in its cloud of dust.  What a sight it
was when it did come near! The cloud that had enveloped it was
discovered to be not dust only, but smoke from the cigars,
meerschaums, and short clay pipes of a full complement of gentlemen
passengers, scarcely one of whom seemed to have passed his twentieth
year.  No bonnet betokening a female traveller could be seen either
inside or out; and that lady was indeed lucky who escaped being an
inside passenger on the following day.  Nothing but a lapse of time,
or the complete re-lining of the coach, could purify it from the
attacks of the four gentlemen who were now doing their best to
convert it into a divan; and the consumption of tobacco on that day
between Birmingham and Oxford must have materially benefited the
revenue.  The passengers were not limited to the two-legged ones,
there were four-footed ones also.  Sporting dogs, fancy dogs, ugly
dogs, rat-killing dogs, short-haired dogs, long-haired dogs, dogs
like muffs, dogs like mops, dogs of all colours and of all breeds and
sizes, appeared thrusting out their black noses from all parts of the
coach.  Portmanteaus were piled upon the roof; gun-boxes peeped out
suspiciously here and there; bundles of sticks, canes, foils,
fishing-rods, and whips, appeared strapped together in every
direction; while all round about the coach,

                "Like a swarth Indian with his belt of beads,"

hat-boxes dangled in leathery profusion.  The Oxford coach on an
occasion like this was a sight to be remembered.

A "Wo-ho-ho, my beauties!" brought the smoking wheelers upon their
haunches; and Jehu, saluting with his elbow and


whip finger, called out in the husky voice peculiar to a
dram-drinker, "Are you the two houtside gents for Hoxfut?"  To which
Mr. Green replied in the affirmative; and while the luggage (the
canvas-covered, ladylike look of which was such a contrast to that of
the other passengers) was being quickly transferred to the coach-top,
he and Verdant ascended to the places reserved for them behind the
coachman.  Mr. Green saw at a glance that all the passengers were
Oxford men, dressed in every variety of Oxford fashion, and
exhibiting a pleasing diversity of Oxford manners.  Their private
remarks on the two new-comers were, like stage "asides," perfectly

"Decided case of governor!" said one.

"Undoubted ditto of freshman!" observed another.

"Looks ferociously mild in his gig-lamps!" remarked a third, alluding
to Mr. Verdant Green's spectacles.

"And jolly green all over!" wound up a fourth.

Mr. Green, hearing his name (as he thought) mentioned, turned to the
small young gentleman who had spoken, and politely said, "Yes, my
name is Green; but you have the advantage of me, sir."

"Oh! have I?" replied the young gentleman in the most affable manner,
and not in the least disconcerted; "my name's Bouncer: I remember
seeing you when I was a babby.  How's the old woman?" And without
waiting to hear Mr. Green loftily reply, "Mrs. Green - my WIFE, sir -
is quite well - and I do NOT remember to have seen you, or ever heard
your name, sir!" - little Mr. Bouncer made some most unearthly noises
on a post-horn as tall as himself, which he had brought for the
delectation of himself and his friends, and the alarm of every
village they passed through.

"Never mind the dog, sir," said the gentleman who sat between Mr.
Bouncer and Mr. Green; "he won't hurt you.  It's only his play; he
always takes notice of strangers."

"But he is tearing my trousers," expostulated Mr. Green, who was by
no means partial to the "play" of a thoroughbred terrier.

"Ah! he's an uncommon sensible dog," observed his master; "he's
always on the look-out for rats everywhere.  It's the Wellington
boots that does it; he's accustomed to have a rat put into a boot,
and he worries it out how he can.  I daresay he thinks you've got one
in yours."

"But I've got nothing of the sort, sir; I must request you to keep
your dog--" A violent fit of coughing, caused by a well-directed
volley of smoke from his neighbour's lips, put a stop to Mr. Green's

"I hope my weed is no annoyance?" said the gentleman; "if it is, I
will throw it away."


To which piece of politeness Mr. Green could, of course, only reply,
between fits of coughing, "Not in the least I - assure you, - I am
very fond - of tobacco - in the open air."

"Then I daresay you'll do as we are doing, and smoke a weed
yourself," said the gentleman, as he offered Mr. Green a plethoric
cigar-case.  But Mr. Green's expression of approbation regarding
tobacco was simply theoretical; so he treated his neighbour's offer
as magazine editors do the MSS. of unknown contributors - it was
"declined with thanks."

Mr. Verdant Green had already had to make a similar reply to a like
proposal on the part of his left-hand neighbour, who was now
expressing violent admiration for our hero's top-coat.

"Ain't that a good style of coat, Charley?" he observed to his
neighbour.  "I wish I'd seen it before I got this over-coat! There's
something sensible about a real, unadulterated top-coat; and there's a
style in the way in which they've let down the skirts, and put on the
velvet collar and cuffs regardless of expense, that really quite goes
to one's heart.  Now I daresay the man that built that," he said,
more particularly addressing the owner of the coat, "condescends to
live in a village, and waste his sweetness on the desert air, while a
noble field might be found for his talent in a University town.  That
coat will make quite a sensation in Oxford.  Won't it, Charley?"

And when Charley, quoting a popular actor (totally unknown to our
hero), said, "I believe you, my bo-oy!"  Mr. Verdant Green began to
feel quite proud of the abilities of their village tailor, and
thought what two delightful companions he had met with.  The rest of
the journey further cemented (as he thought) their friendship; so
that he was fairly astonished, when on meeting them the next day
they stared him full in the face, and passed on without taking any
more notice of him.  But freshmen cannot learn the mysteries of
college etiquette in a day.

However, we are anticipating.  They had not yet got to Oxford,
though, from the pace at which they were going, it appeared as if
they would soon reach there; for the coachman had given up his seat
and the reins to the box-passenger, who appeared to be as used to the
business as the coachman himself; and he was now driving them, not
only in a most scientific manner, but also at a great pace.  Mr.
Green was not particularly pleased with the change in the
four-wheeled government; but when they went down a hill at a quick
trot, the heavy luggage making the coach rock to and fro with the
speed, his fears increased painfully.  They culminated, as the trot
increased into a canter, and then broke into a gallop as they swept
along the level road at the bottom of the hill, and rattled up the
rise of another.  As the horses walked over the brow


of the hill, with smoking flanks and jingling harness, Mr. Green
recovered sufficient breath to expostulate with the coachman for
suffering - "a mere lad," he was about to say 
but fortunately checked himself in time, - for suffering any one else
than the regular driver to have the charge of the coach.  "You never
fret yourself about that, sir," replied the man; "I knows my
bis'ness, as well as my dooties to self and purprietors, and I'd
never go for to give up the ribbins to any party but wot had showed
hisself fitted to 'andle 'em.  And I think I may say this for the
genelman as has got 'em now, that


he's fit to be fust vip to the Queen herself; and I'm proud to call
him my poople.  Why, sir, - if his honour here will pardon me for
makin' so free, - this 'ere gent is Four-in-hand Fosbrooke, of which
you ~must~ have heerd on."

Mr. Green replied that he had not had that pleasure.

"Ah! a pleasure you ~may~ call it, sir, with parfect truth," replied
the coachman; "but, lor bless me, sir, weer ~can~ you have lived?"

The "poople" who had listened to this, highly amused, slightly turned
his head, and said to Mr. Green, "Pray don't feel any alarm, sir; I
believe you are quite safe under my guidance.  This is not the first
time by many that I have driven this coach, - not to mention others;
and you may conclude that I should not have gained the ~sobriquet~ to
which my worthy friend has alluded without having ~some~ pretensions
to a knowledge of the art of driving."

Mr. Green murmured his apologies for his mistrust, - expressed perfect
faith in Mr. Fosbrooke's skill - and then lapsed into silent
meditation on the various arts and sciences in which the gentlemen of
the University of Oxford seemed to be most proficient, and pictured
to himself what would be his feelings if he ever came to see Verdant
driving a coach! There certainly did not appear to be much
probability of such an event; but can any ~pater familias~ say what
even the most carefully brought up young Hopeful will do when he has
arrived at years of indiscretion?

Altogether, Mr. Green did not particularly enjoy the journey.
Besides the dogs and cigars, which to him were equal nuisances,
little Mr. Bouncer was perpetually producing unpleasant post-horn
effects, - which he called "sounding his octaves," - and destroying the
effect of the airs on the guard's key-bugle, by joining in them at
improper times and with discordant measures.  Mr. Green, too, could
not but perceive that the majority of the conversation that was
addressed to himself and his son (though more particularly to the
latter), although couched in politest form, was yet of a tendency
calculated to "draw them out" for the amusement of their
fellow-passengers.  He also observed that the young gentlemen
severally exhibited great capacity for the beer of Bass and the
porter of Guinness, and were not averse even to liquids of a more
spirituous description.  Moreover, Mr. Green remarked that the
ministering Hebes were invariably addressed by their Christian names,
and were familiarly conversed with as old acquaintances; most of them
receiving direct offers of marriage or the option of putting up the
banns on any Sunday in the middle of the week; while the inquiries
after their grandmothers and the various members of their family
circles were both numerous and gratifying.  In


all these verbal encounters little Mr. Bouncer particularly
distinguished himself.

Woodstock was reached: "Four-in-hand Fosbrooke" gave up the reins to
the professional Jehu; and at last the towers, spires, and domes of
Oxford appeared in sight.  The first view of the City of Colleges is
always one that will be long remembered.  Even the railway traveller,
who enters by the least imposing approach, and can scarcely see that
he is in Oxford before he has reached Folly Bridge, must yet regard
the city with mingled feelings of delight and surprise as he looks
across the Christ Church meadows and rolls past the Tom Tower.  But
he who approaches Oxford from the Henley Road, and looks upon that
unsurpassed prospect from Magdalen Bridge, - or he who enters the
city, as Mr. Green did, from the Woodstock Road, and rolls down the
shady avenue of St. Giles', between St. John's College and the Taylor
Buildings, and past the graceful Martyrs' Memorial, will receive
impressions such as probably no other city in the world could

As the coach clattered down the Corn-market, and turned the corner by
Carfax into High Street, Mr. Bouncer, having been compelled in
deference to University scruples to lay aside his post-horn, was
consoling himself by chanting the following words, selected probably
in compliment to Mr. Verdant Green.

                        "To Oxford, a Freshman so modest,
                        I enter'd one morning in March;
                        And the figure I cut was the oddest,
                        All spectacles, choker, and starch.
                                Whack fol lol, lol iddity, &c.

                        From the top of 'the Royal Defiance,'
                        Jack Adams, who coaches so well,
                        Set me down in these regions of science,
                        In front of the Mitre Hotel.
                                Whack fol lol, lol iddity, &c.

                        'Sure never man's prospects were brighter,'
                        I said, as I jumped from my perch;
                        'So quickly arrived at the Mitre,
                        Oh, I'm sure, to get on in the Church!'
                                Whack fol lol, lol iddity, &c."

By the time Mr. Bouncer finished these words, the coach appropriately
drew up at the "Mitre," and the passengers tumbled off amid a knot of
gownsmen collected on the pavement to receive them.  But no sooner
were Mr. Green and our hero set down, than they were attacked by a
horde of the aborigines of Oxford, who, knowing by vulture-like
sagacity the aspect of a freshman and his governor, swooped down upon
them in the guise of impromptu porters, and made an indiscriminate
attack upon the luggage.  It was only by the display of the greatest
presence of mind that Mr. Verdant Green recovered his effects, and
prevented his canvas-covered boxes from being


carried off in the wheel-barrows that were trundling off in all
directions to the various colleges. 


But at last all were safely secured.  And soon, when a snug dinner
had been discussed in a quiet room, and a bottle of the famous
(though I have heard some call it "in-famous") Oxford port had been
produced, Mr. Green, under its kindly influence, opened his heart to
his son, and gave him much advice as to his forthcoming University
career; being, of course, well calculated to do this from his
intimate acquaintance with the subject.

Whether it was the extra glass of port, or whether it was the
 nature of his father's discourse, or whether it was the
novelty of his situation, or whether it was all these circumstances
combined, yet certain it was that Mr. Verdant Green's first night in
Oxford was distinguished by a series, or rather confusion, of most
remarkable dreams, in which bishops, archbishops, and hobgoblins
elbowed one another for precedence; a beneficent female crowned him
with laurel, while Fame lustily proclaimed the honours he had
received, and unrolled the class-list in which his name had first

Sweet land of visions, that will with such ease confer even a
~treble~ first upon the weary sleeper, why must he awake from thy
gentle thraldom, to find the class-list a stern reality, and
Graduateship too often but an empty dream!


                                        CHAPTER IV.


MR. VERDANT GREEN arose in the morning more or less refreshed; and
after breakfast proceeded with his father to Brazenface College to
call upon the Master; the porter directed them where to go, and they
sent up their cards.  Dr. Portman was at home, and they were soon
introduced to his presence.

Instead of the stern, imposing-looking personage that Mr. Verdant
Green had expected to see in the ruler among dons, and the terror of
offending undergraduates, the master of Brazenface was a mild-looking
old gentleman, with an inoffensive amiability of expression and a
shy, retiring manner that seemed to intimate that he was more alarmed
at the strangers than they had need to be at him.  Dr. Portman seemed
to be quite a part of his college, for he had passed the greatest
portion of his life there.  He had graduated there, he had taken
Scholarships there, he had even gained a prize-poem there; he had
been elected a Fellow there, he had become a Tutor there, he had been
Proctor and College Dean there; there, during the long vacation, he
had written his celebrated "Disquisition on the Greek Particles,"
afterwards published in eight octavo volumes; and finally, there he
had been elected Master of his college, in which office, honoured and
respected, he appeared likely to end his days.  He was unmarried;
perhaps he had never found time to think of a wife; perhaps he had
never had the courage to propose for one; perhaps he had met with
early crosses and disappointments, and had shrined in his heart a
fair image that should never be displaced.  Who knows? for dons are
mortals, and have been undergraduates once.

The little hair he had was of a silvery white, although his eye-brows
retained their black hue; and to judge from the fine fresh-coloured
features and the dark eyes that were now nervously twinkling upon Mr.
Green, Dr. Portman must, in his more youthful days, have had an ample
share of good looks.  He was dressed in an old-fashioned reverend
suit of black, with knee-breeches and gaiters, and a massive
watch-seal dangling from under his waistcoat, and was deep in the
study of his favourite particles.  He received our hero and his
father both nervously and graciously, and bade them be seated.

"I shall al-ways," he said, in monosyllabic tones, as though he were
reading out of a child's primer, - "I shall al-ways be glad to see any
of the young friends of my old col-lege friend Lar-kyns; and I do
re-joice to be a-ble to serve you, Mis-ter Green; and I hope your
son, Mis-ter, Mis-ter Vir---Vir-gin-ius,--"


"Verdant, Dr. Portman," interrupted Mr. Green, suggestively,

"Oh! true, true, true! and I do hope that he will be a ve-ry good
young man, and try to do hon-our to his col-lege."

"I trust he will, indeed, sir," replied Mr. Green; "it is the great
wish of my heart.  And I am sure that you will find my son both quiet
and orderly in his conduct, regular in his duties, and always in bed
by ten o'clock."

"Well, I hope so too, Mis-ter Green," said Dr. Portman,
monosyllabically; "but all the young gen-tle-men do pro-mise to be
regu-lar and or-der-ly when they first come up, but a 
term makes a great dif-fer-ence.  But I dare say my young friend
Mis-ter Vir-gin-ius,---"

"Verdant," smilingly suggested Mr. Green.

"I beg your par-don," apologized Dr. Portman; "but I dare say that he
will do as you say, for in-deed, my friend Lar-kyns speaks well of

"I am delighted - proud!" murmured Mr. Green, while Verdant felt
himself blushing up to his spectacles.

"We are ve-ry full," Dr. Portman went on to say, "but as I do ex-pect
great things from Mis-ter Vir-gin --- Verdant, Verdant, I have put some
rooms at his ser-vice; and if you would like to see them, my ser-vant
shall shew you the way."  The servant was accordingly summoned, and
received orders to that effect; while the Master told Verdant that he


at two o'clock, present himself to Mr. Slowcoach, his tutor, who
would examine him for his matriculation.

"I am sor-ry, Mis-ter Green," said Dr. Portman, "that my
en-gage-ments will pre-vent me from ask-ing you and Mis-ter Virg--
Ver-dant, to dine with me to-day; but I do hope that the next time
you come to Ox-ford I shall be more for-tu-nate."

Old John, the Common-room man, who had heard this speech made to
hundreds of "governors" through many generations of freshmen, could
not repress a few pantomimic asides, that  were suggestive
of anything but full credence in his master's words.  But Mr. Green
was delighted with Dr. Portman's affability, and perceiving that the
interview was at an end, made his ~conge~, and left the Master of
Brazenface to his Greek particles.

They had just got outside, when the servant said, "Oh, there is the
scout! ~Your~ scout, sir!" at which our hero blushed from the
consciousness of his new dignity; and, by way of appearing at his
ease, inquired the scout's name.

"Robert Filcher, sir," replied the servant; "but the gentlemen always
call 'em by their Christian names."  And beckoning the scout to him,
he bade him shew the gentlemen


to the rooms kept for Mr. Verdant Green; and then took himself back
to the Master.

Mr. Robert Filcher might perhaps have been forty years of age,
perhaps fifty; there was cunning enough in his face to fill even a
century of wily years; and there was a depth of expression in his
look, as he asked our hero if ~he~ was Mr. Verdant Green, that
proclaimed his custom of reading a freshman at a glance.  Mr. Filcher
was laden with coats and boots that had just been brushed and blacked
for their respective masters; and he was bearing a jug of Buttery ale
(they are renowned for their ale at Brazenface) to the gentleman who
owned the pair of "tops" that were now flashing in the sun as they
dangled from the scout's hand.

"Please to follow me, gentlemen," he said; "it's only just across the
quad.  Third floor, No. 4 staircase, fust quad; that's about the
mark, ~I~ think, sir."

Mr. Verdant Green glanced curiously round the Quadrangle, with its
picturesque irregularity of outline, its towers and turrets and
battlements, its grey time-eaten walls, its rows of mullioned
heavy-headed windows, and the quiet cloistered air that spoke of
study and reflection; and perceiving on one side a row of large
windows, with great buttresses between, and a species of steeple on
the high-pitched roof, he made bold (just to try the effect) to
address Mr. Filcher by the name assigned to him at an early period of
his life by his godfathers and godmothers, and inquired if that
building was the chapel.

"No, sir," replied Robert, "that there's the 'All, sir, ~that~ is, -
where you dines, sir, leastways when you ain't 'AEger,' or elseweer.
That at the top is the lantern, sir, ~that~ is; called so because it
never has no candle in it.  The chapel's the hopposite side, sir.
-Please not to walk on the grass, sir; there's a fine agen it, unless
you're a Master.  This way if ~you~ please, gentlemen!"  Thus the
scout beguiled them, as he led them to an open doorway with a large 4
painted over it; inside was a door on either hand, while a coal-bin
displayed its black face from under a staircase that rose immediately
before them.  Up this they went, following the scout (who had
vanished for a moment with the boots and beer), and when they had
passed the first floor they found the ascent by no means easy to the
body, or pleasant to the sight.  The once white-washed walls were
coated with the uncleansed dust of the three past terms; and where
the plaster had not been chipped off by flying porter-bottles, or the
heels of Wellington boots, its surface had afforded an irresistible
temptation to those imaginative undergraduates who displayed their
artistic genius in candle-smoke cartoons of the heads of the
University, and other popular and unpopular characters.  All Mr.
Green's caution, as he crept up the


dark, twisting staircase, could not prevent him from crushing his hat
against the low, cobwebbed ceiling, and he gave vent to a very strong
but quiet anathema, which glided quietly and audibly into the remark,
"Confounded awkward staircase, I think!"

"Just what Mr. Bouncer says," replied the scout, "although he don't
reach so high as you, sir; but he ~do~ say, sir, when he, comes home
pleasant at night from some wine-party, that it ~is~ the aukardest
staircase as was ever put before a gentleman's  legs.  And
he ~did~ go so far, sir, as to ask the Master, if it wouldn't be
better to have a staircase as would go up of hisself, and take the
gentlemen up with it, like one as they has at some public show in
London - the Call-and-see-em, I think he said."

"The Colosseum, probably," suggested Mr. Green.  "And what did Dr.
Portman say to that, pray?"

"Why he said, sir, - leastways so Mr. Bouncer reported, - that it
worn't by no means a bad idea, and that p'raps Mr. Bouncer'd find
it done in six months' time, when he come back again from the
country.  For you see, sir, Mr. Bouncer had made hisself so pleasant,
that he'd been and got the porter out o' bed, and corked his face
dreadful; and then, sir, he'd been and got a Hinn-board from
somewhere out of the town, and hung it on the Master's private door;
so that when they went to early chapel in the morning, they read as
how the Master was 'licensed to sell beer by retail,' and 'to be drunk


on the premises'.  So when the Master came to know who it was as did
it, which in course the porter told him, he said as how Mr. Bouncer
had better go down into the country for a year, for change of hair,
and to visit his friends."

"Very kind, indeed, of Dr. Portman," said our hero, who missed the
moral of the story, and took the rustication for a kind forgiveness
of injuries.

"Just what Mr. Bouncer said, sir," replied the scout, "he said it
~were~ pertickler kind and thoughtful.  This is his room, sir, he
come up on'y yesterday."  And he pointed to a door, above which was
painted in white letters on a black ground, "BOUNCER."

"Why," said Mr. Green to his son, "now I think of it, Bouncer was the
name of that short young gentleman who came with us on the coach
yesterday, and made himself so - so unpleasant with a tin horn."

"That's the gent, sir," observed the scout; "that's Mr. Bouncer,
agoing the complete unicorn, as he calls it.  I dare say you'll find
him a pleasant neighbour, sir.  Your rooms is next to his."

With some doubts of these prospective pleasures, the Mr. Greens,
~pere et fils~, entered through a double door painted over the
outside, with the name of "SMALLS"; to which Mr. Filcher directed our
hero's attention by saying, "You can have that name took out, sir,
and your own name painted in.  Mr. Smalls has just moved hisself to
the other quad, and that's why the rooms is vacant, sir."

Mr. Filcher then went on to point out the properties and capabilities
of the rooms, and also their mechanical contrivances.

"This is the hoak, this 'ere outer door is, sir, which the gentlemen
sports, that is to say, shuts, sir, when they're a readin'.  Not as
Mr. Smalls ever hinterfered with his constitootion by too much 'ard
study, sir; he only sported his hoak when people used to get
troublesome about their little bills.  Here's a place for coals, sir,
though Mr. Smalls, he kept his bull-terrier there, which was agin the
regulations, as ~you~ know, sir."  (Verdant nodded his head, as though
he were perfectly aware of the fact.) "This ere's your bed-room, sir.
 Very small, did you say, sir? Oh, no, sir; not by no means!  ~We~
thinks that in college reether a biggish bed-room, sir.  Mr. Smalls
thought so, sir, and he's in his second year, ~he~ is."  (Mr. Filcher
thoroughly understood the science of "flooring" a freshman.)

"This is ~my~ room, sir, this is, for keepin' your cups and saucers,
and wine-glasses and tumblers, and them sort o' things, and washin'
'em up when you wants 'em.  If you likes to keep


your wine and sperrits here, sir - Mr. Smalls always did - you'll
find it a nice cool place, sir: or else here's this 'ere winder-seat;
you see, sir, it opens with a lid, 'andy for the purpose."

"If you act upon that suggestion, Verdant," remarked Mr. Green aside
to his son, "I trust that a lock will be added."

There was not a superfluity of furniture in the room; and Mr. Smalls
having conveyed away the luxurious part of it, that which was left
had more of the useful than the ornamental character; but as Mr.
Verdant Green was no Sybarite, this  point was but of
little consequence.  The window looked with a sunny aspect down upon
the quad, and over the opposite buildings were seen the spires of
churches, the dome of the Radcliffe, and the gables, pinnacles, and
turrets of other colleges.  This was pleasant enough: pleasanter than
the stale odours of the Virginian weed that rose from the faded green
window-curtains, and from the old Kidderminster carpet that had been
charred and burnt into holes with the fag-ends of cigars.

"Well, Verdant," said Mr. Green, when they had completed their
inspection, "the rooms are not so very bad, and I think you may be
able to make yourself comfortable in them.  But I wish they were not
so high up.  I don't see how you can escape if a fire was to break
out, and I am afraid collegians must be very careless on these
points.  Indeed, your mother made me promise that I would speak to
Dr. Portman about it, and ask


him to please to allow your tutor, or somebody, to see that your fire
was safely raked out at night; and I had intended to have done so,
but somehow it quite escaped me.  How your mother and all at home
would like to see you in your own college room!" And the thoughts of
father and son flew back to the Manor Green and its occupants, who
were doubtless at the same time thinking of them.

Mr. Filcher then explained the system of thirds, by which the
furniture of the room was to be paid for; and, having accompanied his
future master and Mr. Green downstairs,  the latter
accomplishing the descent not without difficulty and contusions, and
having pointed out the way to Mr. Slowcoach's rooms, Mr. Robert
Filcher relieved his feelings by indulging in a ballet of action, or
~pas d'extase~; in which poetry of motion he declared his joy at the
last valuable addition to Brazenface, and his own perquisites.

Mr. Slowcoach was within, and would see Mr. Verdant Green.  So that
young gentleman, trembling with agitation, and feeling as though he
would have given pounds for the staircase to have been as high as
that of Babel, followed the servant upstairs, and left his father, in
almost as great a state of nervousness, pacing the quad below.  But
it was not the formidable affair, nor was Mr. Slowcoach the
formidable man, that Mr. Verdant Green had anticipated; and by the
time that he had turned a piece of ~Spectator~ into Latin, our hero
had somewhat recovered his usual equanimity of mind and serenity of
expression: and the construing of half a dozen lines of Livy and
Homer, and the answering of a few questions, was a mere form; for Mr.
Slowcoach's long practice enabled him to see in a very few minutes if
the freshman before him (however nervous he might be) had the usual
average of abilities, and was up to the business of lectures.  So Mr.
Verdant Green was soon dismissed, and returned to his father radiant
and happy.


                                        CHAPTER V.


AS they went out at the gate, they inquired of the porter for Mr.
Charles Larkyns, but they found that he had not yet returned from the
friend's house where he had been during the vacation; whereupon Mr.
Green said that they  would go and look at the Oxford
lions, so that he might be able to answer any of the questions that
should be put to him on his return.  They soon found a guide, one of
those wonderful people to which show-places give birth, and of whom
Oxford can boast a very goodly average; and under this gentleman's
guidance Mr. Verdant Green made his first acquaintance with the fair
outside of his Alma Mater.

The short, thick stick of the guide served to direct attention to the
various objects he enumerated in his rapid career: "This here's
Christ Church College," he said, as he trotted them down St Aldate's,
"built by Card'nal Hoolsy four underd feet long and the famous Tom
Tower as tolls wun underd and wun hevery night that being the number
of stoodents on the


foundation;" and thus the guide went on, perfectly independent of the
artificial trammels of punctuation, and not particular whether his
hearers understood him or not: that was not ~his~ business.  And as
it was that gentleman's boast that he "could do the alls, collidges,
and principal hedifices in a nour and a naff," it could not be
expected but that Mr. Green should take back to Warwickshire
otherwise than a slightly confused impression of Oxford.

When he unrolled that rich panorama before his "mind's eye," all its
component parts were strangely out of place.  The rich spire of St.
Mary's claimed acquaintance with her  poorer sister at the
cathedral.  The cupola of the Tom Tower got into close quarters with
the huge dome of the Radcliffe, that shrugged up its great round
shoulders at the intrusion of the cross-bred Graeco-Gothic tower of
All Saints.  The theatre had walked up to St. Giles's to see how the
Taylor Buildings agreed with the University galleries; while the
Martyrs' Memorial had stepped down to Magdalen Bridge, in time to see
the college taking a walk in the Botanic Gardens.  The Schools and
the Bodleian had set their back against the stately portico of the
Clarendon Press; while the antiquated Ashmolean had given place to
the more modern Townhall.  The time-honoured, black-looking front of
University College had changed into the cold cleanliness of the
"classic" ~facade~ of Queen's.  The two towers of All Souls', - whose
several stages seem to be pulled out of each other like the parts of
a telescope, - had, somehow, removed themselves from the rest of the
building, which had gone, nevertheless, on a tour to Broad Street;
behind which, as every one knows, are the Broad Walk and the Christ
Church meadows.  Merton Chapel had got into ~New~ quarters; and
Wadham had gone to Worcester for change of


air.  Lincoln had migrated from near Exeter to Pembroke; and
Brasenose had its nose quite put out of joint by St. John's.  In
short, if the maps of Oxford are to be trusted, there had been a
general ~pousset~ movement among its public buildings.

But if such a shrewd and practised observer as Sir Walter Scott,
after a week's hard and systematic sight-seeing, could only say of
Oxford, "The time has been much too short to convey to me separate
and distinct ideas of all the variety of wonders that I saw: my
memory only at present furnishes a grand but indistinct picture of
towers, and chapels, and oriels, and vaulted halls, and libraries,
and paintings;" - if Sir Walter Scott could say this after a week's
work, it is not to be wondered at that Mr. Green, after so brief and
rapid a survey of the city at the heels of an unintelligent guide,
should feel himself slightly confused when, on his return to the
Manor Green, he attempted to give a slight description of the
wonderful sights of Oxford.

There was ~one~ lion of Oxford, however, whose individuality of
expression was too striking either to be forgotten or confused with
the many other lions around.  Although (as in Byron's ~Dream~)

                                        "A mass of many images
                                Crowded like waves upon"

Mr. Green, yet clear and distinct through all there ran

                "The stream-like windings of that glorious street,"*

to which one of the first critics of the age+ has given this high
testimony of praise: "The High Street of Oxford has not its equal in
the whole world."

Mr. Green could not, of course, leave Oxford until he had seen his
beloved son in that elegant cap and preposterous gown which
constitute the present academical dress of the Oxford undergraduate;
and to assume which, with a legal right to the same, matriculation is
first necessary.  As that amusing and instructive book, the
University Statutes, says in its own delightful and unrivalled
canine Latin, "~Statutum est, quod nemo pro Studente, seu Scholari,
habeatur, nec ullis Universitatis privilegiis, aut beneficiis~" (the
cap and gown, of course, being among these), "~gaudeat, nisi qui in
aliquod Collegium vel Aulam admissus fuerit, et intra quindenam post
talem admissionem in matriculam Universitatis fuerit relatus.~"  So
our hero put on the required white tie, and then went forth to
complete his proper costume.

There were so many persons purporting to be "Academical robe-makers,"
that Mr. Green was some little time in deciding who should be the
tradesman favoured with the order for

* Wordsworth, Miscellaneous Sonnets.
+ Dr. Waagen, Art and Artists in England.


his son's adornment.  At last he fixed upon a shop, the window of
which contained a more imposing display than its neighbours of gowns,
hoods, surplices, and robes of all shapes and colours, from the black
velvet-sleeved proctor's to the blushing gorgeousness of the scarlet
robe and crimson silk sleeves of the D.C.L.

"I wish you," said Mr. Green, advancing towards a smirking
individual, who was in his shirt-sleeves and slippers, but in all
other respects was attired with great magnificence, - "I wish you to
measure this gentleman for his academical robes, and also to allow
him the use of some to be matriculated in."

"Certainly, sir," said the robe-maker, who stood bowing and smirking
before them, - as Hood expressively says,

        "Washing his hands with invisible soap,
        In imperceptible water;"-

"certainly, sir, if you wish it: but it will scarcely be necessary,
sir; as our custom is so extensive, that we keep a large ready-made
stock constantly on hand."

"Oh, that will do just as well," said Mr. Green; "better, indeed.
Let us see some."

"What description of robe would be required?" said the smirking
gentleman, again making use of the invisible soap; "a scholar's?"

"A scholar's!" repeated Mr. Green, very much wondering at the
question, and imagining that all students must of necessity be also
scholars; "yes, a scholar's, of course."

A scholar's gown was accordingly produced: and its deep, wide
sleeves, and ample length and breadth, were soon displayed to some
advantage on Mr. Verdant Green's tall figure.  Reflected in a large
mirror, its charms were seen in their full perfection; and when the
delighted Mr. Green exclaimed, "Why, Verdant, I never saw you look so
well as you do now!" our hero was inclined to think that his father's
words were the words of truth, and that a scholar's gown was indeed
The ~tout ensemble~ was complete when the cap had been added to the
gown; more especially as Verdant put it on in such a manner that the
polite robe-maker was obliged to say, "The hother way, if you please,
sir.  Immaterial perhaps, but generally preferred.  In fact, the
shallow part is ~always~ the forehead, - at least, in Oxford, sir."

While Mr. Green was paying for the cap and gown (N.B. the money of
governors is never refused), the robe-maker smirked, and said,
"Hexcuse the question; but may I hask, sir, if this is the gentleman
that has just gained the Scotland Scholarship?"

"No," replied Mr. Green. "My son has just gained his matriculation,
and, I believe, very creditably; but nothing more, as we only came
here yesterday."


"Then I think, sir," said the robe-maker, with redoubled smirks, - "I
think, sir, there is a leetle mistake here.  The gentleman will be
hinfringing the University statues, if he wears a scholar's gown and
hasn't got a scholarship; and these robes'll be of no use to the
gentleman, yet awhile at least.  It  will be an
undergraduate's gown that he requires, sir."

It was fortunate for our hero that the mistake was discovered so
soon, and could be rectified without any of those unpleasant
consequences of iconoclasm to which the robe-maker's infringement of
the "statues" seemed to point; but as that gentleman put the
scholar's gown on one side, and brought out a commoner's, he might
have been heard to mutter, "I don't know which is the freshest, - the
freshman or his guv'nor."

When Mr. Verdant Green once more looked in the glass, and saw hanging
straight from his shoulders a yard of blueish-black stuff, garnished
with a little lappet, and two streamers whose upper parts were
gathered into double plaits, he regretted that he was not indeed a
scholar, if it were only for the privilege of wearing so elegant a
gown.  However, his father smiled approvingly, the robe-maker smirked
judiciously; so he came to the gratifying conclusion that the
commoner's gown was by no means ugly, and would be thought a great
deal of at the Manor Green when he took it home at the end of the

Leaving his hat with the robe-maker, who, with many more smirks and
imaginary washings of the hands, hoped to be favoured with the
gentleman's patronage on future occasions, and begged further to
trouble him with a card of his establishment, - our hero proceeded
with his father along the High Street, and turned round by St.
Mary's, and so up Cat Street to the Schools, where they made their
way to the classic


"Pig-market,"* to await the arrival of the Vice-Chancellor.  When he
came, our freshman and two other white-tied fellow-freshmen were
summoned to the great man's presence; and there, in the ante-chamber
of the Convocation House,+ the edifying and imposing spectacle of
Matriculation was enacted.  In the first place, Mr. Verdant Green
took divers oaths, and sincerely promised and swore that he would be
faithful and bear true allegiance to her Majesty Queen Victoria.  He
also professed (very much to his own astonishment) that he did "from
his heart abhor, detest, and abjure, as impious and heretical, that
damnable doctrine and position, that princes excommunicated or
deprived by the pope, or any authority of the see of Rome, may be
deposed or murdered by their subjects, or any other whatsoever." And,
having almost lost his breath at this novel "position," Mr. Verdant
Green could only gasp his declaration, "that no foreign prince,
person, prelate, state, or potentate, hath, or ought to have, any
jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence, or authority,
ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm."  When he had
sufficiently recovered his presence of mind, Mr. Verdant Green
inserted his name in the University books as "Generosi filius natu
maximus"; and then signed his name to the Thirty-nine Articles, -
though he did not endanger his matriculation, as Theodore Hook did,
by professing his readiness to sign forty if they wished it! Then the
Vice-Chancellor concluded the performance by presenting to the three
freshmen (in the most liberal manner) three brown-looking volumes,
with these words: "Scitote vos in Matriculam Universitatis hodie
relatos esse, sub hac conditione, nempe ut omnia Statuta hoc libro
comprehensa pro virili observetis."  And the ceremony was at an end,
and Mr. Verdant Green was a matriculated member of the University of
Oxford.  He was far too nervous, - from the weakening effect of the
popes, and the excommunicate princes, and their murderous subjects, -
to be able to translate and understand what the Vice-Chancellor had
said to him, but he

* The reason why such a name has been given to the Schools'
quadrangle may be found in the following extract from ~Ingram's
Memorials:~ "The schools built by Abbot Hokenorton being inadequate
to the increasing wants of the University, they applied to the Abbot
of Reading for stone to rebuild them; and in the year 1532 it appears
that considerable sums of money were expended on them; but they went
to decay in the latter part of the reign of Henry VIII, and during
the whole reign of Edward VI.  The change of religion having
occasioned a suspension of the usual exercises and scholastic acts in
the University, in the year 1540 only two of these schools were used
by determiners, and within two years after none at all.  The whole
area between these schools and the divinity school was subsequently
converted into a garden and ~pig-market~; and the schools themselves,
being completely abandoned by the masters and scholars, were used by
glovers and laundresses."
+ "In apodyterio domui congregationis."


thought his present to be particularly kind; and he found it a copy
of the University Statutes, which he determined forthwith to read and

Though if he had known that he had sworn to observe statutes which
required him, among other things, to wear garments only of a black or
"subfusk" hue; to abstain from that absurd and proud custom of
walking in public ~in boots~, and the ridiculous one of wearing the
hair long;* - statutes, moreover, which demanded of him to refrain
from all taverns, wine-shops, and houses in which they sold wine or
any other  drink, and the herb called nicotiana or
"tobacco"; not to hunt wild beasts with dogs or snares or nets; not
to carry cross-bows or other "bombarding" weapons, or keep hawks for
fowling; not to frequent theatres or the strifes of gladiators; and
only to carry a bow and arrows for the sake of honest recreation;+ -
if Mr. Verdant Green had known that he had covenanted to do this, he
would, perhaps, have felt some scruples in taking the oaths of
matriculation. But this by the way.

Now that Mr. Green had seen all that he wished to see, nothing
remained for him but to discharge his hotel bill.  It was accordingly
called for, and produced by the waiter, whose face - by a visitation
of that complaint against which vaccination is usually considered a
safeguard - had been reduced to a

* See the Oxford Statutes, tit. xiv, "De vestitu et habitu
+ Ditto, tit. xv, "De moribus conformandis."


state resembling the interior half of a sliced muffin.  To judge from
the expression of Mr. Green's features as he regarded the document
that had been put into his hand, it is probable that he had not been
much accustomed to Oxford hotels; for he ran over the several items
of the bill with a look in which surprise contended with indignation
for the mastery, while the muffin-faced waiter handled his plated
salver, and looked fixedly at nothing.

Mr. Green, however, refraining from observations, paid the bill; and,
muffling himself in greatcoat and travelling-cap, he prepared himself
to take a comfortable journey back to Warwickshire, inside the
Birmingham and Oxford coach.  It was not loaded in the same way that
it had been when he came up by it, and his fellow-passengers were of
a very different description; and it must be confessed that, in the
absence of Mr. Bouncer's tin horn, the attacks of intrusive terriers,
and the involuntary fumigation of himself with tobacco (although its
presence was still perceptible within the coach), Mr. Green found his
journey ~from~ Oxford much more agreeable than it had been ~to~ that
place.  He took an affectionate farewell of his son, somewhat after
the manner of the "heavy fathers" of the stage; and then the coach
bore him away from the last lingering look of our hero, who felt any
thing but heroic  at being left for the first time in his
life to shift for himself.  His luggage had been sent up to
Brazenface, so thither he turned his steps, and with some little
difficulty found his room.  Mr. Filcher had partly unpacked his
master's things, and had left everything uncomfortable and in "the
most admired disorder"; and Mr. Verdant Green sat himself down upon
the "practicable" window-seat, and resigned himself to his thoughts.
If they had not already flown to the Manor Green, they would soon
have been carried there; for a German band, just outside the
college-gates, began to play "Home, sweet home," with that truth and
delicacy of expression which the wandering minstrels of Germany seem
to acquire intuitively.  The sweet melancholy


of the simple air, as it came subdued by distance into softer tones,
would have powerfully affected most people who had just been torn
from the bosom of their homes, to fight, all inexperienced, the
battle of life; but it had such an effect on Mr. Verdant Green, that
- but it little matters saying ~what~ he did; many people will give
way to feelings in private that they would stifle in company; and if
Mr. Filcher on his return found his master wiping his spectacles, why
that was only a simple proceeding which all glasses frequently

To divert his thoughts, and to impress upon himself and others the
fact that he was an Oxford MAN, our freshman set out for a stroll;
and as the unaccustomed feeling of the gown  about his
shoulders made him feel somewhat embarrassed as to the carriage of
his arms, he stepped into a shop on the way and purchased a light
cane, which he considered would greatly add to the effect of the cap
and gown.  Armed with this weapon, he proceeded to disport himself in
the Christ Church meadows, and promenaded up and down the Broad Walk.

The beautiful meadows lay green and bright in the sun; the arching
trees threw a softened light, and made a chequered pavement of the
great Broad Walk; "witch-elms ~did~ counter-change the floor" of the
gravel-walks that wound with the windings of the Cherwell; the
drooping willows were mirrored in its stream; through openings in the
trees there were glimpses of grey, old college-buildings; then came
the walk along the banks, the Isis shining like molten silver, and
fringed around with barges and boats; then another stretch of green
meadows; then a cloud of steam from the railway-station; and a
background of gently-rising hills.  It was a cheerful scene, and the
variety of figures gave life and animation to the whole.

Young ladies and unprotected females were found in abundance, dressed
in all the engaging variety of light spring dresses; and, as may be
supposed, our hero attracted a great deal of their attention, and
afforded them no small amusement.  But the unusual and terrific
appearance of a spectacled


 gownsman with a cane produced the greatest alarm among
the juveniles, who imagined our freshman to be a new description


of beadle or Bogy, summoned up by the exigencies of the times to
preserve a rigorous discipline among the young people; and, regarding
his cane as the symbol of his stern sway, they harassed their
nursemaids by unceasingly charging at their petticoats for protection.

Altogether, Mr. Verdant Green made quite a sensation.

                                        CHAPTER VI.


OUR hero dressed himself with great care, that he might make his
first appearance in Hall with proper ~eclat~ - and, having made his
way towards the lantern-surmounted building, he walked up the steps
and under the groined archway with a crowd of hungry undergraduates
who were hurrying in to dinner.  The clatter of plates would have
alone been sufficient to guide his steps; and, passing through one
of the doors in the elaborately carved screen that shut off the
passage and the buttery, he found himself within the hall of
Brazenface.  It was of noble size, lighted by lofty windows, and
carried up to a great height by an open roof, dark (save where it
opened to the lantern) with great oak beams, and rich with carved
pendants and gilded bosses. The ample fire-places displayed the
capaciousness of those collegiate mouths of "the wind-pipes of
hospitality," and gave an idea of the dimensions of the kitchen
ranges.  In the centre of the hall was a huge plate-warmer,
elaborately worked in brass with the college arms.  Founders and
benefactors were seen, or suggested, on all sides; their arms gleamed
from the windows in all the glories of stained glass; and their faces
peered out from the massive gilt frames on the walls, as though their
shadows loved to linger about the spot that had been benefited by
their substance.  At the further end of the hall a deep bay-window
threw its painted light upon a dais, along which stretched the table
for the Dons; Masters and Bachelors occupied side-tables; and the
other tables were filled up by the undergraduates; every one, from
the Don downwards, being in his gown.

Our hero was considerably impressed with the (to him) singular
character of the scene; and from the "Benedictus benedicat"
grace-before-meat to the "Benedicto benedicamur" after-meat, he gazed
curiously around him in silent wonderment.  So much indeed was he
wrapped up in the novelty of the scene, that he ran a great risk of
losing his dinner.  The scouts fled about in all directions with
plates, and glasses, and pewter dishes, and massive silver mugs that
had gone round the tables


for the last two centuries, and still no one waited upon Mr. Verdant
Green. He twice ventured to timidly say, "Waiter!" but as no one
answered to his call, and as he was too bashful and occupied with his
own thoughts to make another attempt, it is probable that he would
have risen from dinner as unsatisfied as when he sat down, had not
his right-hand companion (having partly relieved his own wants)
perceived his neighbour to be a freshman, and kindly said to him, "I
think you'd better begin your dinner, because we don't stay here
What is your scout's name?" And when he had been told it, he turned
to Mr. Filcher and asked him, "What the doose he meant by not waiting
on his master?" which, with the addition of a few gratuitous threats,
had the effect of bringing that gentleman to his master's side, and
reducing Mr. Verdant Green to a state of mind in which gratitude to
his companion and a desire to beg his scout's pardon were confusedly
blended.  Not seeing any dishes upon the table to select from, he
referred to the list, and fell back on the standard roast beef.

"I am sure I am very much obliged to you," said Verdant, turning to
his friendly neighbour.  "My rooms are next to yours, and I had the
pleasure of being driven by you on the coach the other day."


"Oh!" said Mr. Fosbrooke, for it was he; "ah, I remember you now!  I
suppose the old bird was your governor.  ~He~ seemed to think it
any thing but a pleasure, being driven by Four-in-hand Fosbrooke."

"Why, pap - my father - is rather nervous on a coach," replied
Verdant: "he was bringing me to college for the first time."  "Then
you are the man that has just come into Smalls' old rooms?  Oh, I
see.  Don't you ever drink with your dinner?  If you don't holler for
your rascal, he'll never half wait upon you.  Always bully them well
at first, and then they learn manners."

So, by way of commencing the bullying system without loss of time,
our hero called out very fiercely "Robert!" and then, as Mr. Filcher
glided to his side, he timidly dropped his tone into a mild "Glass of
water, if you please, Robert."

He felt rather relieved when dinner was over, and retired at once to
his own rooms; where, making a rather quiet and sudden entrance, he
found them tenanted by an old woman, who wore a huge bonnet tilted on
the top of her head, and was busily and dubiously engaged at one of
his open boxes.  "Ahem!" he coughed, at which note of warning the old
lady jumped round very quickly, and said, - dabbing curtseys where
there were stops, like the beats of a conductor's ~baton~, - "Law
bless me, sir.  It's beggin' your parding that I am.  Not seein' you
a comin' in. Bein' 'ard of hearin' from a hinfant.  And havin' my
back turned.  I was just a puttin' your things to rights, sir.  If
you please, sir, I'm Mrs. Tester.  Your bed-maker, sir."

"Oh, thank you," said our freshman, with the shadow of a suspicion that
Mrs. Tester was doing something more than merely "putting to rights"
the pots of jam and marmalade, and the packages of tea and coffee,
which his doting mother had thoughtfully placed in his box as a
provision against immediate distress.  "Thank you."

"I've done my rooms, sir," dabbed Mrs. Tester.  "Which if thought
agreeable, I'd stay and put these things in their places.  Which it
certainly is Robert's place.  But I never minds putting myself out.
As I always perpetually am minded. So long as I can obleege the

So, as our hero was of a yielding disposition, and could, under
skilful hands, easily be moulded into any form, he allowed Mrs.
Tester to remain, and conclude the unpacking and putting away of his
goods, in which operations she displayed great generalship.

"You've a deal of tea and coffee, sir," she said, keeping time by
curtseys.  "Which it's a great blessin' to have a mother.  And not to
be left dissolute like some gentlemen.  And tea


and coffee is what I mostly lives on.  And mortial dear it is to poor
folks. And a package the likes of this, sir, were a blessin' I should
never even dream on."

"Well, then," said Verdant, in a most benevolent mood, "you can take
one of the packages for your trouble."

Upon this, Mrs. Tester appeared to be greatly overcome.  "Which I
once had a son myself," she said.  "And as fine a young man as you
are, sir.  With a strawberry mark in the small of his back.  And
beautiful red whiskers, sir; with a tendency to drink.  Which it were
his rewing, and took him to be enlisted for a sojer.  When he went
across the seas to the West Injies.  And was took with the yaller
fever, and buried there.  Which the remembrance, sir, brings on my
spazzums.  To which I'm an hafflicted martyr, sir.  And can only be
heased with three spots of brandy on a lump of sugar.  Which your
good mother, sir, has put a bottle of brandy.  Along with the jam and
the clean linen, sir.  As though a purpose for my complaint.  Ugh!

And Mrs. Tester forthwith began pressing and thumping her sides in
such a terrific manner, and appeared to be undergoing such internal
agony, that Mr. Verdant Green not only gave her brandy there and
then, for her immediate relief - "which it heases the spazzums
deerectly, bless you," observed Mrs. Tester, parenthetically; but
also told her where she could find the bottle, in case she should
again be attacked when in his rooms; attacks which, it is needless to
say, were repeated at every subsequent visit.  Mrs. Tester then
finished putting away the tea and coffee, and entered into further
particulars about her late son; though what connection there was
between him and the packages of tea, our hero could not perceive.
Nevertheless he was much interested with her narrative, and thought
Mrs. Tester a very affectionate, motherly sort of woman; more
especially, when (Robert having placed his tea-things on the table)
she showed him how to make the tea; an apparently simple feat that
the freshman found himself perfectly unable to accomplish.  And then
Mrs. Tester made a final dab, and her exit, and our hero sat over his
tea as long as he could, because it gave an idea of cheerfulness; and
then, after directing Robert to be sure not to forget to call him in
time for morning chapel, he retired to bed.

The bed was very hard, and so small, that, had it not been for the
wall, our hero's legs would have been visible (literally) at the
foot; but despite these novelties, he sank into a sound rest, which
at length passed into the following dream.  He thought that he was
back again at dinner at the Manor Green, but that the room was
curiously like the hall of Brazenface, and that Mrs. Tester and Dr.
Portman were on either side of


him, with Mr. Fosbrooke and Robert talking to his sisters; and that
he was reaching his hand to help Mrs. Tester to a packet of tea,
which her son had sent them from the West Indies, when he threw over
a wax-light, and set every thing on fire; and that the parish engine
came up; and that there was a great noise, and a loud hammering; and,
"Eh? yes! oh! the half-hour is it?  Oh, yes! thank you!"  And Mr.
Verdant Green sprang out of bed much relieved in mind to find
 that the alarm of fire was nothing more than his scout
knocking vigorously at his door, and that it was chapel-time.

"Want any warm water, sir?" asked Mr. Filcher, putting his head in at
the door.

"No, thank you," replied our hero; "I - I -"

"Shave with cold.  Ah! I see, sir.  It's much 'ealthier, and makes the
'air grow.  But any thing as you ~does~ want, sir, you've only to

"If there is any thing that I want, Robert," said Verdant, "I will

"Bless you, sir," observed Mr. Filcher, "there ain't no bells never
in colleges! They'd be rung off their wires in no time.  Mr. Bouncer,
sir, he uses a trumpet like they does on board ship.  By the same
token, that's it, sir!"  And Mr. Filcher vanished, just in time to
prevent little Mr. Bouncer from finishing a furious solo, from an
entirely new version of ~Robert le Diable~, which he was giving with
novel effects through the medium of a speaking-trumpet.

Verdant found his bed-room inconveniently small; so


contracted, indeed, in its dimensions, that his toilette was not
completed without his elbows having first suffered severe abrasions.
His mechanical turnip showed him that he had no time to lose, and the
furious ringing of a bell, whose noise was echoed by the bells of
other colleges, made him dress with a rapidity quite unusual, and
hurry down stairs and across quad. to the chapel steps, up which a
throng of students were hastening.  Nearly all betrayed symptoms of
having been aroused from their sleep without having had any spare
time  for an elaborate toilette, and many, indeed, were
completing it, by thrusting themselves into surplices and gowns as
they hurried up the steps.

Mr. Fosbrooke was one of these; and when he saw Verdant close to him,
he benevolently recognized him, and said, "Let me put you up to a
wrinkle.  When they ring you up sharp for chapel, don't you lose any
time about your absolutions, - washing, you know; but just jump into a
pair of bags and Wellingtons; clap a top-coat on you, and button it
up to the chin, and there you are, ready dressed in the twinkling of
a bed-post."

Before Mr. Verdant Green could at all comprehend why a person should
jump into two bags, instead of dressing himself in the normal manner,
they went through the ante-chapel, or "Court of the Gentiles," as Mr.
Fosbrooke termed it, and entered the choir of the chapel through a
screen elaborately decorated in the Jacobean style, with pillars and
arches, and festoons of fruit and flowers, and bells and
pomegranates.  On either side of the door were two men, who quickly


at each one who passed, and as quickly pricked a mark against his
name on the chapel lists.  As the freshman went by, they made a
careful study of his person, and took mental daguerreotypes of his
features.  Seeing no beadle, or pew-opener (or, for the matter of
that, any pews), or any one to direct him to a place, Mr. Verdant
Green quietly took a seat in the first place that he found empty,
which happened to be the stall on the  right hand of the
door.  Unconscious of the trespass he was committing, he at once put
his cap to his face and knelt down; but he had no sooner risen from
his knees, than he found an imposing-looking Don, as large as life
and quite as natural, who was staring at him with the greatest
astonishment, and motioning him to immediately "come out of that!"
This our hero did with the greatest speed and confusion, and sank
breathless on the end of the nearest bench; when, just as in his
agitation, he had again said his prayer, the service fortunately
commenced, and somewhat relieved him of his embarrassment.

Although he had the glories of Magdalen, Merton, and New


College chapels fresh in his mind, yet Verdant was considerably
impressed with the solemn beauties of his own college chapel.  He
admired its harmonious proportions, and the elaborate carving of its
decorated tracery.  He noted every thing: the great eagle that seemed
to be spreading its wings for an upward flight, - the pavement of
black and white marble, - the dark canopied stalls, rich with the
later work of Grinling Gibbons, - the elegant tracery of the windows;
and he lost himself in  a solemn reverie as he looked up
at the saintly forms through which the rays of the morning sun
streamed in rainbow tints.

But the lesson had just begun; and the man on Verdant's right
appeared to be attentively following it.  Our freshman, however,
could not help seeing the book, and, much to his astonishment, he
found it to be a Livy, out of which his neighbour was getting up his
morning's lecture.  He was still more astonished, when the lesson had
come to an end, by being suddenly pulled back when he attempted to
rise, and finding the streamers of his gown had been put to a use
never intended for them, by being tied round the finial of the stall
behind him, - the silly work of a boyish gentleman, who, in his desire
to play off a practical joke on a freshman, forgot the sacredness of
the place where college rules compelled him to shew himself on
morning parade.


Chapel over, our hero hurried back to his rooms, and there, to his
great joy, found a budget of letters from home; and surely the little
items of intelligence that made up the news of the Manor Green had
never seemed to possess such interest as now!  The reading and
re-reading of these occupied him during the whole of breakfast-time;
and Mr. Filcher found him still engaged in perusing them when he came
to clear away the things.  Then it was that Verdant discovered the
extended meaning that the word "perquisites" possesses in the eyes of
 a scout, for, to a remark that he had made, Robert
replied in a tone of surprise, "Put away these bits o' things as is
left, sir!" and then added, with an air of mild correction, "you see,
sir, you's fresh to the place, and don't know that gentlemen never
likes that sort o' thing done ~here~, sir; but you gets your commons,
sir, fresh and fresh every morning and evening, which must be much
more agreeable to the 'ealth than a heating of stale bread and such
like.  No, sir!" continued Mr. Filcher, with a manner that was truly
parental, "no sir! you trust to me, sir, and I'll take care of your
things, I will."  And from the way that he carried off the eatables,
it seemed probable that he would make good his words.  But our
freshman felt considerable awe of his scout, and murmuring broken
accents, that sounded like "ignorance - customs - University," he


endeavoured, by a liberal use of his pocket-handkerchief, to appear
as if he were not blushing.

As Mr. Slowcoach had told him that he would not have to begin
lectures until the following day, and as the Greek play fixed for the
lecture was one with which he had been made well acquainted by Mr.
Larkyns, Verdant began to consider what he could do with himself,
when the thought of Mr. Larkyns suggested the idea that his son
Charles had probably by this time returned to college.  He
determined therefore  at once to go in search of him;
and looking out a letter which the rector had commissioned him to
deliver to his son, he inquired of Robert, if he was aware whether Mr.
Charles Larkyns had come back from his holidays.

"'Ollidays, sir?," said Mr. Filcher.  "Oh! I see, sir! Vacation, you
mean, sir.  Young gentlemen as is ~men~, sir, likes to call their
'ollidays by a different name to boys', sir.  Yes, sir, Mr. Charles
Larkyns, he come up last arternoon, sir; but he and Mr. Smalls, the
gent as he's been down with this vacation, the same as had these
rooms, sir, they didn't come to 'All, sir, but went and had their
dinners comfortable at the Star, sir; and very pleasant they made
theirselves; and Thomas, their scout, sir, has had quite a horder for
sober-water this morning, sir."


With somewhat of a feeling of wonder how one scout contrived to know
so much of the proceedings of gentlemen who were waited on by another
scout, and wholly ignorant of his allusion to his fellow-servant's
dealings in soda-water, Mr. Verdant Green inquired where he could
find Mr. Larkyns, and as the rooms were but just on the other side of
the quad., he put on his hat, and made his way to them.  The scout
was just going into the room, so our hero gave a tap at the door and
followed him.

                                        CHAPTER VII.

                                        TO SELL."

MR. VERDANT GREEN found himself in a room that had a pleasant
look-out over the gardens of Brazenface, from which a noble chestnut
tree brought its pyramids of bloom close up to the very windows.  The
walls of the room were decorated with engravings in gilt frames,
their variety of subject denoting the catholic taste of their
proprietor. "The start for the Derby," and other coloured hunting
prints, shewed his taste for the field and horseflesh; Landseer's
"Distinguished Member of the Humane Society," "Dignity and
Impudence," and others, displayed his fondness for dog-flesh; while
Byron beauties, "Amy Robsart," and some extremely ~au naturel~ pets
of the ballet, proclaimed his passion for the fair sex in general.
Over the fire-place was a mirror (for Mr. Charles Larkyns was not
averse to the reflection of his good-looking features, and was rather
glad than otherwise of "an excuse for the glass,") its frame stuck
full of tradesmen's cards and (unpaid) bills, invites, "bits of
pasteboard" pencilled with a mystic "wine," and other odds and ends:
- no private letters though!  Mr. Larkyns was too wary to leave his
"family secrets" for the delectation of his scout.  Over the mirror
was displayed a fox's mask, gazing vacantly from between two brushes;
leaving the spectator to imagine that Mr. Charles Larkyns was a
second Nimrod, and had in some way or other been intimately concerned
in the capture of these trophies of the chase.  This supposition of
the imaginative spectator would be strengthened by the appearance of
a list of hunting appointments (of the past season) pinned up over a
list of lectures, and not quite in character with the tabular views
of prophecies, kings of Israel and Judah, and the Thirty-nine
Articles, which did duty elsewhere on the walls, where they were
presumed to be studied in spare minutes - which were remarkably
spare indeed.


The sporting character of the proprietor of the rooms was further
suggested by the huge pair of antlers over the door, bearing on their
tines a collection of sticks, whips, and spurs; while, to prove that
Mr. Larkyns was not wholly taken up by the charms of the chase,
fishing-rods, tandem-whips, cricket-bats, and Joe Mantons, were piled
up in odd corners; and single-sticks, boxing-gloves, and foils,
gracefully arranged upon the walls, shewed that he occasionally
devoted himself to athletic pursuits.  An ingenious wire-rack for
pipes and meerschaums, and the presence of one or two
suspicious-looking boxes, labelled "collorados," "regalia,"
"lukotilla," and with other unknown words, seemed to intimate, that
if Mr. Larkyns was no smoker himself, he at least kept a bountiful
supply of "smoke" for his friends; but the perfumed cloud that was
proceeding from his lips as Verdant entered the room, dispelled all
doubts on the subject.

He was much changed in appearance during the somewhat long interval
since Verdant had last seen him, and his handsome features had
assumed a more manly, though perhaps a more rakish look.  He was
lolling on a couch in the ~neglige~ attire of dressing-gown and
slippers, with his pink striped shirt comfortably open at the neck.
Lounging in an easy chair opposite to him was a gentleman clad in
tartan-plaid, whose face might only be partially discerned through
the glass bottom of a pewter, out of which he was draining the last
draught.  Between them was a table covered with the ordinary
appointments for a breakfast, and the extra-ordinary ones of beer-cup
and soda-water.  Two Skye terriers, hearing a strange footstep,
immediately barked out a challenge of "Who goes there?" and made Mr.
Larkyns aware that an intruder was at hand.

Slightly turning his head, he dimly saw through the smoke a
spectacled figure taking off his hat, and holding out an envelope,
and without looking further, he said, "It's no use coming here, young
man, and stealing a march in this way!  I don't owe ~you~ any thing;
and if I did, it is not convenient to pay it.  I told Spavin not to
send me any more of his confounded reminders; so go back and tell him
that he'll find it all right in the long-run, and that I'm really
going to read this term, and shall stump the examiners at last. And
now, my friend, you'd better make yourself scarce and vanish! You
know where the door lies!"

Our hero was so confounded at this unusual manner of receiving a
friend, that he was some little time before he could gasp out, "Why,
Charles Larkyns - don't you remember me?  Verdant Green!"

Mr. Larkyns, astonished in his turn, jumped up directly, and came to
him with outstretched hands.  "'Pon my word,


old fellow," he said, "I really beg you ten thousand pardons for not
recognizing you; but you are so altered - allow me to add, improved, -
since I last saw you; you were not a bashaw of two tails, then, you
know; and, really, wearing your beaver up, like Hamlet's uncle, I
altogether took you for a dun.  For I am a victim of a very
remarkable monomania.  There are in this place wretched beings
calling themselves tradesmen, who labour under the impression that I
owe them what they facetiously term little bills; and though I have
frequently assured  their messengers, who are kind enough
to come here to inquire for Mr. Larkyns, that that unfortunate
gentleman has been obliged to hide himself from persecution in a
convent abroad, yet the wretches still hammer at my oak, and disturb
my peace of mind.  But bring yourself to an anchor, old fellow!  This
man is Smalls; a capital fellow, whose chief merit consists in his
devotion to literature; indeed, he reads so hard that he is called a
~fast~ man.  Smalls! let me introduce my friend Verdant Green, a
freshman, - ahem! - and the proprietor, I believe, of your old rooms."

Our hero made a profound bow to Mr. Smalls, who returned it with
great gravity, and said he "had great pleasure in forming the
acquaintance of a freshman like Mr. Verdant Green;" which was
doubtless quite true; and he then evinced his devotion to literature
by continuing the perusal of one of those


vivid and refined accounts of "a rattling set-to between Nobby Buffer
and Hammer Sykes," for which ~Tintinnabulum's Life~ is so justly

"I heard from my governor," said Mr. Larkyns, "that you were coming
up; and in the course of the morning I should have come and looked
you up; but the - the fatigues of travelling yesterday," continued
Mr. Larkyns, as a lively recollection of the preceding evening's
symposium stole over his mind, "made me rather later than usual this
morning.  Have you done any thing in this way?"

Verdant replied that he had breakfasted, although he had not done
any thing in the way of cigars, because he never smoked.

"Never smoked! Is it possible!" exclaimed Mr. Smalls, violently
interrupting himself in the perusal of ~Tintinnabulum's Life~, while
some private signals were rapidly telegraphed between him and Mr.
Larkyns; "ah! you'll soon get the better of that weakness! Now, as
you're a freshman, you'll perhaps allow me to give you a little
advice.  The Germans, you know, would never be the deep readers that
they are, unless they smoked; and I should advise you to go to the
Vice-Chancellor as soon as possible, and ask him for an order for
some weeds.  He'd be delighted to think you are beginning to set to
work so soon!"  To which our hero replied, that he was much obliged
to Mr. Smalls for his kind advice, and if such were the customs of
the place, he should do his best to fulfil them.

"Perhaps you'll be surprised at our simple repast, Verdant," said Mr.
Larkyns; "but it's our misfortune.  It all comes of hard reading and
late hours: the midnight oil, you know, must be supplied, and ~will~
be paid for; the nervous system gets strained to excess, and you have
to call in the doctor.  Well, what does he do? Why, he prescribes a
regular course of tonics; and I flatter myself that I am a very
docile patient, and take my bitter beer regularly, and without
complaining."  In proof of which Mr. Charles Larkyns took a long pull
at the pewter.

"But you know, Larkyns," observed Mr. Smalls, "that was nothing to my
case, when I got laid up with elephantiasis on the biceps of the
lungs, and had a fur coat in my stomach!"

"Dear me!" said Verdant sympathizingly; "and was that also through
too much study?"

"Why, of course!" replied Mr. Smalls; "it couldn't have been anything
else - from the symptoms, you know!  But then the sweets of learning
surpass the bitters.  Talk of the pleasures of the dead languages,
indeed! why, how many jolly nights have you and I, Larkyns, passed
'down among the dead men!' "

Charles Larkyns had just been looking over the letter which


Verdant had brought him, and said, "The governor writes that you'd
like me to put you up to the ways of the place, because they are
fresh to you, and you are fresh (ahem! very!) to them.  Now, I am
going to wine with Smalls to-night, to meet a few nice, quiet,
hard-working men (eh, Smalls?), and I daresay Smalls will do the
civil, and ask you also."

"Certainly!" said Mr. Smalls, who saw a prospect of amusement,
"delighted, I assure you! I hope to see you - after  Hall,
you know, - but I hope you don't object to a very quiet party?"

"Oh, dear no!" replied Verdant; "I much prefer a quiet party; indeed,
I have always been used to quiet parties; and I shall be very glad to

"Well, that's settled then," said Charles Larkyns; "and, in the
mean time, Verdant, let us take a prowl about the old place, and I'll
put you up to a thing or two, and shew you some of the freshman's
sights.  But you must go and get your cap and gown, old fellow, and
then by that time I'll be ready for you."

Whether there are really any sights in Oxford that are more
especially devoted, or adapted, to its freshmen, we will not


undertake to affirm; but if there are, they could not have had a
better expositor than Mr. Charles Larkyns, or a more credible visitor
than Mr. Verdant Green.

His credibility was rather strongly put to the test as they
 turned into the High Street, when his companion
directed his attention to an individual on the opposite side of the
street, with a voluminous gown, and enormous cocked hat profusely
adorned with gold lace.  "I suppose you know who that is, Verdant?
No! Why, that's the Bishop of Oxford! Ah, I see, he's a very
different-looking man to what you had expected; but then these
university robes so change the appearance.  That is his official
dress, as the Visitor of the Ashmolean!"

Mr. Verdant Green having "swallowed" this, his friend was thereby
enabled, not only to use up old "sells," but also to draw largely on
his invention for new ones.  Just then, there came along the street,
walking in a sort of young procession, - the Vice-Chancellor, with his
Esquire and Yeoman-bedels.  The silver maces, carried by these latter
gentlemen, made them by far the most showy part of the procession,
and accordingly Mr. Larkyns seized the favourable opportunity to
point out the foremost bedel, and say, "You see that man with the
poker and loose cap?  Well, that's the Vice-Chancellor."

"But what does he walk in procession for?" inquired our freshman.

"Ah, poor man!" said Mr. Larkyns, "he's obliged to do it."  'Uneasy
lies the head that wears a crown,' you know; and he can never go
anywhere, or do anything, without carrying that poker, and having the
other minor pokers to follow him.  They never leave him, not even at
night.  Two of the pokers stand on each side his bed, and relieve
each other every two hours. So, I need hardly say, that he is obliged
to be a bachelor."

"It must be a very wearisome office," remarked our freshman, who
fully believed all that was told to him.

"Wearisome, indeed; and that's the reason why they are obliged to
change the Vice-Chancellors so often.  It would


kill most people, only they are always selected for their strength, -
and height," he added, as a brilliant idea just struck 
him.  They had turned down Magpie Lane, and so by Oriel College,
where one of the fire-plug notices had caught Mr. Larkyns' eye.  "You
see that," he said; "well, that's one of the plates they put up to
record the Vice's height.  F.P. 7 feet, you see: the initials of his
name, - Frederick Plumptre!"

"He scarcely seemed so tall as that," said our hero, "though
certainly a tall man.  But the gown makes a difference, I suppose."
"His height was a very lucky thing for him, however," continued Mr.
Larkyns;  "I dare say when you have heard that it was only those who
stood high in the University that were elected to rule it, you little
thought of the true meaning of the term?"

"I certainly never did," said the freshman, innocently; "but I knew
that the customs of Oxford must of course be very different from
those of other places."

"Yes, you'll soon find that out," replied Mr. Larkyns, meaningly.
"But here we are at Merton, whose Merton ale is as celebrated as
Burton ale.  You see the man giving in the letters  to
the porter?  Well, he's one of their principal men.  Each college
does its own postal department; and at Merton there are fourteen
postmasters,* for they get no end of letters there."

"Oh, yes!" said our hero, "I remember Mr. Larkyns, - your father, the
rector, I mean, - telling us that the son of one of his old friends
had been a postmaster of Merton; but I fancied that he had said it
had something to do with a scholarship."

* Exhibitioners of Merton College are called "postmasters."


"Ah, you see, it's a long while since the governor was here, and his
memory fails him," remarked Mr. Charles Larkyns, very unfilially.
"Let us turn down the Merton fields, and round into St. Aldate's.  We
may perhaps be in time to see the Vice come down to Christ Church."

"What does he go there for?" asked Mr. Verdant Green.

"To wind up the great clock, and put big Tom in order.  Tom is the
bell that you hear at nine each night; the Vice has to see that he is
in proper condition, and, as you have seen, goes out with his pokers
for that purpose."

On their way, Charles Larkyns pointed out, close to Folly Bridge, a
house profusely decorated with figures and indescribable ornaments,
which he informed our freshman was Blackfriars' Hall, where all the
men who had been once plucked  were obliged to migrate to;
and that Folly Bridge received its name from its propinquity to the
Hall.  They were too late to see the Vice-Chancellor wind up the
clock of Christ Church; but as they passed by the college, they met
two gownsmen who recognized Mr. Larkyns by a slight nod.  "Those are
two Christ Church men," he said, "and noblemen.  The one with the
Skye-terrier's coat and eye-glass is the Earl of Whitechapel, the
Duke of Minories' son.  I dare say you know the other man.  No! Why,
he is Lord Thomas Peeper, eldest son of the Lord Godiva who hunts our
county.  I knew him in the field."

"But why do they wear ~gold~ tassels to their caps?" inquired the

"Ah," said the ingenious Mr. Larkyns, shaking his head; "I had rather
you'd not have asked me that question, because that's the disgraceful
part of the business.  But these lords, you see, they ~will~ live at
a faster pace than us commoners, who can't stand a champagne
breakfast above once a term or so.  Why, those gold tassels are the
badges of drunkenness!"*

"Of drunkenness! dear me!"

"Yes, it's very sad, isn't it?" pursued Mr. Larkyns; "and I wonder
that Peeper in particular should give way to such

* As "Tufts" and "Tuft-hunters" have become "household words," it is
perhaps needless to tell any one that the gold tassel is the
distinguishing mark of a nobleman.


things.  But you see how they brazen it out, and walk about as coolly
as though nothing had happened.  It's just the same sort of
punishment," continued Mr. Larkyns, whose inventive powers increased
with the demand that the freshman's gullibility imposed upon them, -
"it is just the same sort of thing that they do with the Greenwich
pensioners.  When ~they~ have been trangressing the laws of sobriety,
you know, they are made marked men by having to wear a yellow coat as
a punishment; and our dons borrowed the idea, and made yellow tassels
the badges of intoxication. But for the credit of the University, I'm
glad to say that you'll not find many men so disgraced."

They now turned down the New Road, and came to a strongly castellated
building, which Mr. Larkyns pointed out (and truly) as Oxford Castle
or the Gaol; and he added (untruly), "if you hear Botany-Bay College*
spoken of, this is the place that's meant.  It's a delicate way of
referring to the temporary sojourn that any undergrad has been forced
to make there, to say that he belongs to Botany-Bay College."

They now turned back, up Queen Street and High Street, when, as they
were passing All Saints, Mr. Larkyns pointed out a pale, intellectual
looking man who passed them, and said, "That man is Cram, the patent
safety.  He's the first coach in Oxford."

"A coach!" said our freshman, in some wonder.

"Oh, I forgot you didn't know college-slang.  I suppose a royal mail
is the only gentleman coach that ~you~ know of.  Why, in Oxford, a
coach means a private tutor, you must know; and those who can't
afford a coach, get a cab, - ~alias~ a crib, - ~alias~ a translation.
You see, Verdant, you are gradually being initiated into Oxford

"I am, indeed," said our hero, to whom a new world was opening.

They had now turned round by the west end of St. Mary's, and were
passing Brasenose; and Mr. Larkyns drew Verdant's attention to the
brazen nose that is such a conspicuous object  over the
entrance-gate.  "That," said he, "was modelled from a cast of the
Principal feature of the first Head of the college; and so the
college was named Brazen-nose.+  The nose was formerly used as a
place of punishment for any misbehaving Brazennosian, who had to sit
upon it for two hours, and was

* A name given to Worcester College, from its being the most distant
+ Although we have a great respect for Mr. Larkyns, yet we strongly
[footnote continues next page]


not ~countenanced~ until he had done so.  These punishments were so
frequent that they gradually wore down the nose to its present small

"This round building," continued Mr. Larkyns, pointing to the
Radcliffe, "is the Vice-Chancellor's house.  He has to go each night
up to that balcony on the top, and look round to see if all's safe.
Those heads," he said, as they passed the Ashmolean, "are supposed to
be the twelve Caesars; only there happen, I believe, to be thirteen
of them.  I think that they are the busts of the original Heads of

Mr. Larkyns' inventive powers having been now somewhat exhausted, he
proposed that they should go back to Brazenface and have some lunch.
This they did; after which Mr. Verdant Green wrote to his mother a
long account of his friend's kindness, and the trouble he had taken
to explain the most interesting sights that could be seen by a

"Are you writing to your governor, Verdant?" asked the friend, who
had made his way to our hero's rooms, and was now perfuming them with
a little tobacco-smoke.

"No; I am writing to my mama - mother, I mean!"

"Oh! to the missis!" was the reply; "that's just the same.

[cont.] pect that he is intentionally deceiving his friend.  He has,
however, the benefit of a doubt, as the authorities differ on the
origin and meaning of the word Brasenose, as may be seen by the
following notices, to the last two of which the editor of ~Notes and
Queries~ has directed our attention:

"This curious appellation, which, whatever was the origin of it, has
been perpetuated by the symbol of a brazen nose here and at Stamford,
occurs with the modern orthography, but in one undivided word, so
early as 1278, in an inquisition now printed in ~The Hundred Rolls~,
though quoted by Wood from the manuscript record." -~Ingram's
Memorials of Oxford~.

"There is a spot in the centre of the city where Alfred is said to
have lived, and which may be called the native place or river-head of
three separate societies still existing, University, Oriel, and
Brasenose.  Brasenose claims his palace, Oriel his church, and
University his school or academy.  Of these, Brasenose College is
still called in its formal style ' the King's Hall,' which is the
name by which Alfred himself, in his laws, calls his palace; and it
has its present singular name from a corruption of ~brasinium~, or
~brasin-huse~, as having been originally located in that part of the
royal mansion which was devoted to the then important accommodation
of a brew house."  -~From a Review of Ingram's Memorials in the
British Critic~, vol. xxiv, p. 139.

"Brasen Nose Hall, as the Oxford antiquary has shewn, may be traced
as far back as the time of Henry III., about the middle of the
thirteenth century; and early in the succeeding reign, 6th Edward I.,
1278, it was known by the name of Brasen Nose Hall, which peculiar
name was undoubtedly owing, as the same author observes, to the
circumstance of a nose of brass affixed to the gate.  It is presumed,
however, that this conspicuous appendage of the portal was not formed
of the mixed metal which the word now denotes, but the genuine
produce of the mine; as is the nose, or rather face, of a lion or
leopard still remaining at Stamford, which also gave name to the
edifice it adorned.  And hence, when Henry VIII. debased the coin by
an alloy of ~copper~, it was a common remark or proverb, that
'Testons were gone to Oxford, to study in ~Brasen~ Nose.' "
-~Churton's Life of Bishop Smyth~, p. 227.


Well, had you not better take the opportunity to ask them to send you
a proper certificate that you have been vaccinated, and had the
measles favourably?"

"But what is that for?" inquired our Freshman, always anxious to
learn.  "Your father sent up the certificate of my baptism, and I
thought that was the only one wanted."

"Oh," said Mr. Charles Larkyns, "they give you no end of trouble at
these places; and they require the vaccination certificate before you
go in for your responsions, - the Little-go, you know.  You need not
mention my name in your letter as having told you this.  It will be
quite enough to say that you understand such a thing is required."

Verdant accordingly penned the request; and Charles Larkyns smoked
on, and thought his friend the very beau-ideal of a Freshman.  "By
the way, Verdant," he said, desirous not to lose any opportunity,
"you are going to wine with Smalls this evening; and, - excuse me
mentioning it, - but I suppose you would go properly dressed, - white
tie, kids, and that sort of thing, eh? Well! ta, ta, till then.  'We
meet again at Philippi!' "

Acting upon the hint thus given, our hero, when Hall was over made
himself uncommonly spruce in a new white tie, and spotless kids; and
as he was dressing, drew a mental picture of the party to which he
was going.  It was to be composed of quiet, steady men, who were such
hard readers as to be called "fast men."  He should therefore hear
some delightful and rational conversation on the literature of
ancient Greece and Rome, the present standard of scholarship in the
University, speculations on the forthcoming prize-poems, comparisons
between various expectant class-men, and delightful topics of
 a kindred nature; and the evening would be passed in a
grave and sedate manner; and after a couple of glasses of wine had
been leisurely sipped, they should have a very enjoyable tea, and
would separate for an early rest, mutually gratified and improved.

This was the nature of Mr. Verdant Green's speculations; but whether
they were realized or no, may be judged by transferring the scene a
few hours later to Mr. Smalls' room.


                                        CHAPTER VIII.


MR. SMALLS' room was filled with smoke and noise.  Supper had been
cleared away; the glasses were now sparkling on the board, and the
wine was ruby bright.  The table, moreover, was supplied with
spirituous liquors and mixtures of all descriptions, together with
many varieties of "cup," - a cup which not only cheers, but
occasionally inebriates; and this miscellany of liquids was now being
drunk on the premises by some score and a half of gentlemen, who were
sitting round the table, and standing or lounging about in various
parts of the room.  Heading the table, sat the host, loosely attired
in a neat dressing gown of crimson and blue, in an attitude which
allowed him to swing his legs easily, if not gracefully, over the arm
of his chair, and to converse cheerfully with Charles Larkyns, who
was leaning over the chair-back.  Visible to the naked eye, on Mr.
Smalls' left hand, appeared the white tie and full evening dress
which decorated the person of Mr. Verdant Green.

A great consumption of tobacco was going on, not only through the
medium of cigars, but also of meerschaums, short "dhudheens" of
envied colour, and the genuine yard of clay; and Verdant, while he
was scarcely aware of what he was doing, found himself, to his great
amazement, with a real cigar in his mouth, which he was industriously
sucking, and with great difficulty keeping alight.  Our hero felt
that the unexpected exigencies of the case demanded from him some
sacrifice; while he consoled himself by the reflection, that, on the
homoeopathic principle of "likes cure likes," a cigar was the best
preventive against any ill effects arising from the combination of
the thirty gentlemen who were generating smoke with all the ardour of
lime-kilns or young volcanoes, and filling Mr. Smalls' small room
with an atmosphere that was of the smoke, smoky.  Smoke produces
thirst; and the cup, punch, egg-flip, sherry-cobblers, and other
liquids, which had been so liberally provided, were being consumed by
the members of the party as though it had been their drink from
childhood; while the conversation was of a kind very different to
what our hero had anticipated, being for the most part vapid and
unmeaning, and (must it be confessed?) occasionally too highly
flavoured with improprieties for it to be faithfully recorded in
these pages of most perfect propriety.

The literature of ancient Greece and Rome was not even referred to;
and when Verdant, who, from the unusual com-


bination of the smoke and liquids, was beginning to feel extremely
amiable and talkative, - made a reflective observation (addressed to
the company generally) which sounded like the words "Nunc vino
pellite curas, Cras ingens,"* - he was immediately interrupted by the
voice of Mr. Bouncer, crying out, "Who's that talking shop about
engines? Holloa, Giglamps!" - Mr. Bouncer, it must be observed, had
facetiously adopted the ~sobriquet~ which had been bestowed on
 Verdant and his spectacles on their first appearance
outside the Oxford coach, - "Holloa, Giglamps, is that you
ill-treating the dead languages?  I'm ashamed of you! a venerable
party like you ought to be above such things.  There! don't blush,
old feller, but give us a song! It's the punishment for talking shop,
you know."

There was an immediate hammering of tables and jingling of glasses,
accompanied with loud cries of "Mr. Green for a song! Mr. Green! Mr.
Giglamps' song!" cries which nearly brought our hero to the verge of

Charles Larkyns saw this, and came to the rescue.  "Gentlemen," he
said, addressing the company, "I know that my friend Verdant ~can~
sing, and that, like a good bird, he ~will~

* Horace, car. i od. vii


sing.  But while he is mentally looking over his numerous stock of
songs, and selecting one for our amusement, I beg to fill up our
valuable time, by asking you to fill up a bumper to the health of our
esteemed host Smalls (~vociferous cheers~) - a man whose private
worth is only to be equalled by the purity of his milk-punch and the
excellence of his weeds (~hear hear~).  Bumpers, gentlemen, and no
heel-taps! and though I am sorry to interfere with Mr. Fosbrooke's
private enjoyments, yet I must beg to suggest to him that he has been
so much engaged in drowning his personal cares in the bowl over which
he is so skilfully presiding, that my glass has been allowed to
sparkle on the board empty and useless." And as Charles Larkyns held
out his glass towards Mr. Fosbrooke and the punch-bowl, he trolled
out, in a rich, manly voice, old Cowley's anacreontic:

                        "Fill up the bowl then, fill it high!
                        Fill all the glasses there! For why
                        Should every creature drink but I?
                        Why, man of morals, tell me why?"

By the time that the "man of morals" had ladled out for the company,
and that Mr. Smalls' health had been drunk and responded to amid
uproarious applause, Charles Larkyns' friendly diversion in our
hero's favour had succeeded, and Mr. Verdant Green had regained his
confidence, and had decided upon one of those vocal efforts which, in
the bosom of his own family, and to the pianoforte accompaniment of
his sisters, was accustomed to meet with great applause.  And when he
had hastily tossed off another glass of milk-punch (merely to clear
his throat), he felt bold enough to answer the spirit-rappings which
were again demanding "Mr. Green's song!"  It was given much in the
following manner:

~Mr. Verdant Green (in low plaintive tones, and fresh alarm at
hearing the sounds of his own voice)~.  "I dreamt that I dwe-elt in
mar-arble halls, with" -

~Mr. Bouncer (interrupting)~.  "Spit it out, Giglamps! Dis child
can't hear whether it's Maudlin Hall you're singing about, or what."

~Omnes~. "Order! or-~der~! Shut up, Bouncer!"

~Charles Larkyns (encouragingly)~.  "Try back, Verdant: never mind."

~Mr. Verdant Green (tries back, with increased confusion of ideas,
resulting principally from the milk-punch and tobacco)~.  "I dreamt
that I dwe-elt in mar-arble halls, with vassals and serfs at my
si-hi-hide; and - and -  I beg your pardon, gentlemen, I really
forget - oh, I know! - and I also dre-eamt, which ple-eased me most -
no, that's not it" -

~Mr. Bouncer (who does not particularly care for the words of a


song, but only appreciates the chorus)~ - "That'll do, old feller! We
aint pertickler,-(~rushes with great deliberation and noise to the
chorus~) "That you lo-oved me sti-ill the sa-ha-hame - chorus,

~Omnes (in various keys and time)~.  "That you lo-oved me sti-ill the

~Mr. Bouncer (to Mr. Green, alluding remotely to the opera)~.  "Now
my Bohemian gal, can't you come out to-night?  Spit us out a yard or
two more, Giglamps."

~Mr. Verdant Green (who has again taken the opportunity to clear his
throat)~.  "I dreamt that I dwe-elt in mar-arble- no! I beg pardon!
sang that (~desperately~) - that sui-uitors sou-ught my hand, that
knights on their (~hic~) ben-ended kne-e-ee - had (~hic~) riches too
gre-eat to" - (~Mr. Verdant Green smiles benignantly upon the
company~) - "Don't rec'lect anymo."

~Mr. Bouncer (who is not to be defrauded of the chorus)~.  "Chorus,
gentlemen! - That you'll lo-ove me sti-ill the sa-a-hame!"

~Omnes (ad libitum)~.  "That you'll lo-ove me sti-ill the same!"

Though our hero had ceased to sing, he was still continuing to clear
his throat by the aid of the milk-punch, and was again industriously
sucking his cigar, which he had not yet succeeded in getting half
through, although he had re-lighted it about twenty times.  All this
was observed by the watchful eyes of  Mr. Bouncer, who, whispering to
his neighbour, and bestowing a distributive wink on the company
generally, rose and made the following remarks:-

"Mr. Smalls, and gents all: I don't often get on my pins to trouble
you with a neat and appropriate speech; but on an occasion like the
present, when we are honoured with the presence of a party who has
just delighted us with what I may call a flood of harmony (~hear,
hear~), - and has pitched it so uncommon strong in the vocal line, as to
considerably take the shine out of the woodpecker-tapping, that we've
read of in the pages of history (~hear, hear: "Go it again,
Bouncer!"~), - when, gentlemen, I see before me this old original
Little Wobbler, - need I say that I allude to Mr. Verdant Green? -
(~vociferous cheers~)- I feel it a sort of, what you call a
privilege, d'ye see, to stand on my pins, and propose that respected
party's jolly good health (~renewed cheers~).  Mr. Verdant Green,
gentlemen, has but lately come among us, and is, in point of fact,
what you call a freshman; but, gentlemen, we've already seen enough
of him to feel aware that - that Brazenface has gained an
acquisition, which - which - (~cries of "Tally-ho! Yoicks! Hark
forrud!"~) Exactly so, gentlemen: so, as I see you are all anxious to
do honour to our freshman, I beg, without further preface, to give
you the health of Mr. Verdant Green! With all the honours.  Chorus,


                "For he's a jolly good fellow!
                For he's a jolly good fellow!!
                For he's a jolly good f-e-e-ell-ow!!!
                        Which nobody can deny!"

This chorus was taken up and prolonged in the most indefinite manner;
little Mr. Bouncer fairly revelling in it, and only regretting that
he had not his post-horn with him to further contribute to the
harmony of the evening.  It seemed to be a great art in the singers
of the chorus to dwell as long as possible on the third repetition of
the word "fellow," and in the most defiant manner to pounce down on
the bold affirmation by which it is followed; and then to lyrically
proclaim that, not only was it a way they had in the Varsity to drive
dull care away, but that the same practice was also pursued in the
army and navy for the attainment of a similar end.

When the chorus had been sung over three or four times, and Mr.
Verdant Green's name had been proclaimed with equal noise, that
gentleman rose (with great difficulty), to return thanks.  He was
understood to speak as follows: 

"Genelum anladies (~cheers~), - I meangenelum. (~"That's about the
ticket, old feller!" from Mr. Bouncer.~) Customd syam plic speakn, I
- I -(~hear, hear~) - feel bliged drinkmyel.  I'm fresman, genelum,
and prowtitle (~loud cheers~).  Myfren Misserboucer, fallowme callm
myfren! (~"In course, Giglamps, you do me proud, old feller."~)
Myfren Misserboucer seszime fresman - prow title, sureyou (~hear,
hear~).  Genelmun, werall jolgoodfles, anwe wogohotillmorrin! (~"We
won't, we won't! not a bit of it!"~) Gelmul, I'm fresmal, an
namesgreel, gelmul (~cheers~).  Fanyul dousmewor,
herescardinpock'lltellm!  Misser Verdalgreel, Braseface, Oxul
fresmal, anprowtitle!  (~Great cheering and rattling of glasses,
during which Mr. Verdant Green's coat-tails are made the receptacles
for empty bottles, lobsters' claws, and other miscellaneous
articles.~) Misserboucer said was fresmal.  If Misserboucer


wantsultme (~"No, no!"~), herescardinpocklltellm namesverdalgreel,
Braseface!  Not shameofitgelmul! prowtitle! (~Great applause.~) I
doewaltilsul Misserboucer! thenwhysee sultme? thaswaw Iwaltknow!
(~Loud cheers, and roars of laughter, in which Mr. Verdant Green
suddenly joins to the best of his ability.~) I'm anoxful fresmal,
gelmul, 'fmyfrel Misserboucer loumecallimso.  (~Cheers and laughter,
in which Mr. Verdant Green feebly joins.~) Anweerall jolgoodfles,
anwe wogohotilmorril, an I'm fresmal, gelmul, anfanyul dowsmewor -
an I - doefeel quiwell!"

This was the termination of Mr. Verdant Green's speech, for after
making a few unintelligible sounds, his knees suddenly gave way, and
with a benevolent smile he disappeared beneath the table.

*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

Half an hour afterwards two gentlemen might have been seen, bearing
with staggering steps across the moonlit quad the  huddled
form of a third gentleman, who was clothed in full evening dress, and
appeared incapable of taking care of himself.  The two first
gentlemen set down their burden under an open doorway, painted over
with a large _4_; and then, by pulling and pushing, assisted it to
guide its steps up a narrow and intricate staircase, until they had
gained the third floor, and stood before a door, over which the
moonlight revealed, in newly-painted white letters, the name of "MR.

"Well, old feller," said the first gentleman, "how do you feel now,
after 'Sich a getting up stairs'?"

"Feel much berrer now," said their late burden; "feel quite-comfurble!

"Well, Giglamps," said the first speaker, "and By-by won't be at all
a bad move for you.  D'ye think you can unrig yourself and get
between the sheets, eh, my beauty?"

"Its allri, allri!" was the reply; "limycandle!"

"No, no," said the second gentleman, as he pulled up the
window-blind, and let in the moonlight; "here's quite as much light
as you want.  It's almost morning."

"Sotis," said the gentleman in the evening costume: "anlittlebirds
beginsingsoon! Ilike littlebirds sing! jollittlebirds!"  The speaker
had suddenly fallen upon his bed, and was lying thereon at full
length, with his feet on the pillow.


"He'll be best left in this way," said the second speaker, as he
removed the pillow to the proper place, and raised the prostrate
gentleman's head; "I'll take off his choker and make him easy about
the neck, and then we'll shut him up, and leave him.  Why the beggar's
asleep already!"  And so the two gentlemen went away, and left him
safe and sleeping.

It is conjectured, however, that he must have got up shortly after
this, and finding himself with his clothes on, must have considered
that a lighted candle was indispensably necessary to undress by; for
when Mrs. Tester came at her usual early hour to light the fires and
prepare the sitting-rooms, she discovered him lying on the carpet
embracing the coal-skuttle,  with a candle by his side.
The good woman raised him, and did not leave him until she had, in
the most motherly manner, safely tucked him up in bed.

                *               *               *

Clink, clank! clink, clank! tingle, tangle! tingle, tangle! Are
demons smiting ringing hammers into Mr. Verdant Green's brain, or is
the dreadful bell summoning him to rise for morning chapel?

Mr. Filcher puts an end to the doubt by putting his head in at the
bedroom door, and saying, "Time for chapel, sir! Chapel," thought Mr.
Filcher; "here is a chap ill, indeed! - Bain't you well, sir?
Restless you look!"

Oh, the shame and agony that Mr. Verdant Green felt! The desire to
bury his head under the clothes, away from Robert's and everyone
else's sight; the fever that throbbed his brain and parched his lips,
and made him long to drink up Ocean; the eyes that felt like burning
lead; the powerless hands that trembled like a weak old man's; the
voice that came in faltering tones that jarred the brain at every
word! How he despised himself; how he loathed the very idea of wine;
how he resolved never, never to transgress so again! But perhaps Mr.
Verdant Green was not the only Oxford freshman who has made this

"Bain't you well, sir?" repeated Mr. Filcher, with a passing thought
that freshmen were sadly degenerating, and could


not manage their three bottles as they did when he was first a scout:
"bain't you well, sir?"

"Not very well, Robert, thank you.  I - my head aches, and I'm afraid
I shall not be able to get up for chapel.  Will the Master be very

"Well, he ~might~ be, you see, sir," replied Mr. Filcher, who never
lost an opportunity of making anything out of his master's
infirmities; "but if you'll leave it to me, sir, I'll make it all
right for you, ~I~ will.  Of course you'd like to take out an
~aeger~, sir; and I can bring you your Commons just the same.  Will
that do, sir?".

"Oh, thank you; yes, any thing.  You will find five shillings in my
waistcoat-pocket, Robert; please to take it; but I can't eat."

"Thank'ee, sir," said the scout, as he abstracted the five shillings;
"but you'd better have a bit of somethin', sir; - a cup of strong
tea, or somethin'.  Mr. Smalls, sir, when he were pleasant, he always
had beer, sir; but p'raps you ain't been used to bein' pleasant, sir,
and slops might suit you better, sir."

"Oh, any thing, any thing!" groaned our poor, unheroic hero, as he
turned his face to the wall, and endeavoured to recollect in what way
he had been "pleasant" the night before.  But, alas! the wells of his
memory had, for the time, been poisoned, and nothing clear or pure
could be drawn therefrom.  So he got up and looked at himself in the
glass, and scarcely recognized the tangled-haired, sallow-faced
wretch, whose bloodshot eyes gazed heavily at him from the mirror.
So he nervously drained the water-bottle, and buried himself once
more among the tossed and tumbled bed-clothes.

The tea really did him some good, and enabled him to recover
sufficient nerve to go feebly through the operation of dressing;
though it was lucky that nature had not yet brought Mr. Verdant Green
to the necessity of shaving, for the handling of a razor might have
been attended with suicidal results, and have brought these veracious
memoirs and their hero to an untimely end.

He had just sat down to a second edition of tea, and was reading a
letter that the post had brought him from his sister Mary, in which
she said, "I dare say by this time you have found Mr. Charles Larkyns
a very ~delightful~ companion, and I ~am sure~ a very ~valuable~ one;
as, from what the rector says, he appears to be so ~steady~, and has
such ~nice quiet~ companions:" - our hero had read as far as this,
when a great noise just without his door, caused the letter to drop
from his trembling hands; and, between loud ~fanfares~ from a
post-horn, and heavy thumps upon the oak, a voice was heard,
demanding "Entrance in the Proctor's name."


Mr. Verdant Green had for the first time "sported his oak."  Under
any circumstances it would have been a mere form, since his bashful
politeness would have induced him to open it to any comer; but, at
the dreaded name of the Proctor, he sprang from his chair, and while
impositions, rustications, and expulsions rushed tumultuously through
his disordered brain, he nervously undid the springlock, and admitted
- not the Proctor, but the "steady" Mr. Charles Larkyns and his "nice
quiet companion," little Mr. Bouncer, who testified his joy at the
success of their ~coup d'etat~, by blowing on his horn loud blasts
that might have been borne by Fontarabian echoes, and which rang
through poor Verdant's head with indescribable jarrings.

"Well, Verdant," said Charles Larkyns, "how do you find yourself this
morning? You look rather shaky."

"He ain't a very lively picter, is he?" remarked little Mr. Bouncer,
with the air of a connoisseur; "peakyish you feel, don't you, now,
with a touch of the mulligrubs in your collywobbles?  Ah, I know what
it is, my boy."

It was more than our hero did; and he could only reply that he did
not feel very well.  "I - I had a glass of claret after some
lobster-salad, and I think it disagreed with me."

"Not a doubt of it, Verdant," said Charles Larkyns very gravely; "it
would have precisely the same effect that the salmon always has at a
public dinner, - bring on great hilarity, succeeded by a pleasing
delirium, and concluding in a horizontal position, and a demand for

"I hope," said our hero, rather faintly, "that I did not conduct
myself in an unbecoming manner last night; for I am sorry to say that
I do not remember all that occurred."

"I should think not, Giglamps, You were as drunk as a besom," said
little Mr. Bouncer, with a side wink to Mr. Larkyns, to prepare that
gentleman for what was to follow.  "Why, you got on pretty well till
old Slowcoach came in, and then you certainly did go it, and no

"Mr. Slowcoach!" groaned the freshman.  "Good gracious! is it
possible that ~he~ saw me? I don't remember it."

"And it would be lucky for you if ~he~ didn't," replied Mr, Bouncer.
"Why his rooms, you know, are in the same angle of the quad as
Smalls'; so, when you came to shy the empty bottles out of Smalls'
window at ~his~ window -"

"Shy empty bottles! Oh!" gasped the freshman.

"Why, of course, you see, he couldn't stand that sort of game, - it
wasn't to be expected; so he puts his head out of the bedroom window,
- and then, don't you remember crying out, as you pointed to the
tassel of his night-cap sticking up straight


on end, 'Tally-ho! Unearth'd at last! Look at his brush!' Don't you
remember that, Giglamps?"

"Oh, oh, no!" groaned Mr. Bouncer's victim; "I can't remember, - oh,
what ~could~ have induced me!"

"By Jove, you ~must~ have been screwed!  Then I daresay you don't
remember wanting to have a polka with him, when he came up to Smalls'

"A polka! Oh dear! Oh no! Oh!"

"Or asking him if his mother knew he was out, - and what he'd take for
his cap without the tassel; and telling him that he was the joy of
your heart, - and that you should never be happy unless he'd smile as
he was won't to smile, and would love you then as now, - and saying all
sorts of bosh?  What, not remember it!  'Oh, what a noble mind is
here o'erthrown!' as some cove says in Shakespeare.  But how screwed
you ~must~ have been, Giglamps!"

"And do you think," inquired our hero, after a short but sufficiently
painful reflection, - "do you think that Mr. Slowcoach will - oh! -
expel me?"

"Why, it's rather a shave for it," replied his tormentor; "but the
best thing you can do is to write an apology at once: pitch it pretty
strong in the pathetic line, - say it's your first offence, and that
you'll never be a naughty boy again, and all that sort of thing.  You
just do that, Giglamps, and I'll see that the note goes to - the
proper place."

"Oh, thank you!" said the freshman; and while, with equal difficulty
from agitation both of mind and body, he composed and penned the
note, Mr. Bouncer ordered up some buttery  beer, and
Charles Larkyns prepared some soda-water with a dash of brandy, which
he gave Verdant to drink, and which considerably refreshed that
gentleman.  "And I should advise you," he said, "to go out for a
constitutional; for walking-time's come, although you have but just
done your breakfast.  A blow up Headington Hill will do you good, and
set you on your legs again."

So Verdant, after delivering up his note to Mr. Bouncer, took his
friend's advice, and set out for his constitutional in his cap and
gown, feeling afraid to move without them, lest he


should thereby trespass some law.  This, of course, gained him some
attention after he had crossed Magdalen Bridge; and he might have
almost been taken for the original of that impossible gownsman who
appears in Turner's well-known "View of Oxford, from Ferry Hincksey,"
as wandering-

                        "Remote, unfriended, solitary, ~slow,~" -

in a corn-field, in the company of an umbrella!
Among the many pedestrians and equestrians that he encountered, our
freshman espied a short and very stout gentleman, whose shovel-hat,
short apron, and general decanical costume, proclaimed him to be a
don of some importance.  

He was riding a pad-nag, who ambled placidly along, without so much
as hinting at an outbreak into a canter; a performance that, as it
seemed, might have been attended with disastrous consequences to his
rider.  Our hero noticed, that the trio of undergraduates who were
walking before him, while they passed others, who were evidently
dons, without the slightest notice (being in mufti), yet not only
raised their hats to the stout gentleman, but also separated for that
purpose, and performed the salute at intervals of about ten yards.
And he further remarked, that while the stout gentleman appeared to
be exceedingly gratified at the notice he received, yet that he had
also very great difficulty in returning the rapid salutations; and
only accomplished them and retained his seat by catching at the
pommel of his saddle, or the mane of his steed, - a proceeding which
the pad-nag seemed perfectly used to.

Mr. Verdant Green returned home from his walk, feeling all the better
for the fresh air and change of scene; but he still


looked, as his neighbour, Mr. Bouncer, kindly informed him, "uncommon
seedy, and doosid fishy about the eyes;" and it was some days even
before he had quite recovered from the novel excitement of Mr.
Smalls' "quiet party."

                                        CHAPTER IX.


OUR freshman, like all other freshmen, now began to think seriously
of work, and plunged desperately into all the lectures that it was
possible for him to attend, beginning every course with a zealousness
that shewed him to be filled with the idea that such a plan was
eminently necessary for the attainment of his degree; in all this in
every respect deserving the Humane Society's medal for his brave
plunge into the depths of the Pierian spring, to fish up the beauties
that had been immersed therein by the poets of old.  When we say that
our freshman, like other freshmen, "began" this course, we use the
verb advisedly; for, like many other freshmen who start with a burst
in learning's race, he soon got winded, and fell back among the ruck.
 But the course of lectures, like the course of true love, will not
always run smooth, even to those who undertake it with the same
courage as Mr. Verdant Green.

The dryness of the daily routine of lectures, which varied about as
much as the steak-and-chop, chop-and-steak dinners of ancient
taverns, was occasionally relieved by episodes, which, though not
witty in themselves, were yet the cause of wit in others; for it
takes but little to cause amusement in a lecture-room, where a bad
construe; or the imaginative excuses of late-comers; or the confusion
of some young gentleman who has to turn over the leaf of his Greek
play and finds it uncut; or the pounding of the same gentleman in the
middle of the first chorus; or his offensive extrication therefrom
through the medium of some Cumberland barbarian; or the officiousness
of the same barbarian to pursue the lecture when every one else has,
with singular unanimity, "read no further;" - all these circumstances,
although perhaps dull enough in themselves, are nevertheless
productive of some mirth in a lecture-room.

But if there were often late-comers to the lectures, there were
occasionally early-goers from them.  Had Mr. Four-in-hand Fosbrooke
an engagement to ride his horse ~Tearaway~ in the amateur
steeple-chase, and was he constrained, by circumstances over which
(as he protested) he had no control, to put


in a regular appearance at Mr. Slowcoach's lectures, what was it
necessary for him to do more than to come to lecture in a long
greatcoat, put his handkerchief to his face as though his nose were
bleeding, look appealingly at Mr. Slowcoach, and, as he made his
exit, pull aside the long greatcoat, and display to his admiring
colleagues the snowy cords and tops that would soon be pressing
against ~Tearaway's~ sides, that gallant animal being then in
waiting, with its trusty groom, in the alley at the back of
Brazenface?  And if little Mr. Bouncer, for astute 
reasons of his own, wished Mr. Slowcoach to believe that he (Mr. B.)
was particularly struck with his (Mr. S.'s) remarks on the force of
{kata} in composition, what was to prevent Mr. Bouncer from feigning
to make a note of these remarks by the aid of a cigar instead of an
ordinary pencil?

But besides the regular lectures of Mr. Slowcoach, our hero had also
the privilege of attending those of the Rev. Richard Harmony.  Much
learning, though it had not made Mr. Harmony mad, had, at least in
conjunction with his natural tendencies, contributed to make him
extremely eccentric; while to much perusal of Greek and Hebrew MSS.,
he probably owed his defective vision.  These infirmities, instead of
being regarded with sympathy, as wounds received by Mr. Harmony in
the classical engagements in the various fields of literature, were,
to Mr. Verdant Green's surprise, much imposed upon;


for it was a favourite pastime with the gentlemen who attended Mr.
Harmony's lectures, to gradually raise up the lecture-table by a
concerted action, and when Mr. Harmony's book had nearly reached to
the level of his nose, to then suddenly drop the table to its
original level; upon which Mr. Harmony, to the immense gratification
of all concerned, would rub his eyes, wipe his glasses, and murmur,
"Dear me! dear me! how my head swims this morning!"  And then he
would perhaps ring  for his servant, and order his usual
remedy, an orange, at which he would suck abstractedly, nor discover
any difference in the flavour even when a lemon was surreptitiously
substituted.  And thus he would go on through the lecture, sucking
his orange (or lemon), explaining and expounding in the most skilful
and lucid manner, and yet, as far as the "table-movement" was
concerned, as unsuspecting and as witless as a little child.

Mr. Verdant Green not only (at first) attended lectures with
exemplary diligence and regularity, but he also duly went to morning
and evening chapel; nor, when Sundays came, did he neglect to turn
his feet towards St. Mary's to hear the University sermons.  Their
effect was as striking to him as it probably is to most persons who
have only been accustomed to the usual services of country churches.
First, there was the peculiar character of the congregation: down
below, the vice-chancellor in his throne, overlooking the other dons


their stalls (being "a complete realization of stalled Oxon!" as
Charles Larkyns whispered to our hero), who were relieved in colour
by their crimson or scarlet hoods; and then, "upstairs," in the north
and the great west galleries, the black  mass of
undergraduates; while a few ladies' bonnets and heads of male
visitors peeped from the pews in the aisles, or looked out from the
curtains of the organ-gallery, where, "by the kind permission of Dr.
Elvey," they were accommodated with seats, and watched with wonder,

                        "The wild wizard's fingers,
                        With magical skill,
                        Made music that lingers,
                        In memory still."

Then there was the bidding-prayer, in which Mr. Verdant Green was
somewhat astonished to hear the long list of founders


and benefactors, "such as were, Philip Pluckton, Bishop of Iffley;
King Edward the Seventh; Stephen de Henley, Earl of Bagley, and Maud
his wife; Nuneham Courtney, knight," with a long et-cetera; though,
as the preacher happened to be a Brazenface man, our hero found that
he was "most chiefly bound to praise Clement Abingdon, Bishop of
Jericho, and founder of the college of Brazenface; Richard Glover,
Duke of Woodstock; Giles Peckwater, Abbot of Beney; and Binsey
Green, Doctor of Music; - benefactors of the same."

Then there was the sermon itself; the abstrusely learned and
classical character of which, at first, also astonished him, after
having been so long used to the plain and highly practical advice
which the rector, Mr. Larkyns, knew how to convey so well and so
simply to his rustic hearers.  But as soon as he had reflected on the
very different characters of the two congregations, Mr. Verdant Green
at once recognized the appropriateness of each class of sermons to
its peculiar hearers; yet he could not altogether drive away the
thought, how the generality of those who had on previous Sundays been
his fellow-worshippers would open their blue Saxon eyes, and ransack
their rustic brains, as to "what ~could~ ha' come to rector," if he
were to indulge in Greek and Latin quotations, - ~somewhat~ after the
following style. "And though this interpretation may in these days be
disputed, yet we shall find that it was once very generally received.
 For the learned St. Chrysostom is very clear on this point, where he
says, 'Arma virumque cano, rusticus expectat, sub tegmine fagi'; of
which the words of Irenaeus are a confirmation -
{otototoio, papaperax, poluphloisboio thalassaes}."
Our hero, indeed, could not but help wondering what the fairer portion
of the congregation made of these parts of the sermons, to whom,
probably, the sentences just quoted would have sounded as full of
meaning as those they really heard.

*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

"Hallo, Giglamps!" said the cheery voice of little Mr. Bouncer, as
he looked one morning into Verdant's rooms, followed by his two
bull-terriers; "why don't you sport something in the dog line?
Something in the bloodhound or tarrier way.  Ain't you fond o' dogs?"

"Oh, very!" replied our hero.  "I once had a very nice one, - a King

"Oh!" observed Mr. Bouncer, "one of them beggars that you have to
feed with spring chickens, and get up with curling tongs.  Ah!
they're all very well in their way, and do for women and
carriage-exercise; but give ~me~ this sort of thing!" and Mr. Bouncer
patted one of his villainous looking pets, who


wagged his corkscrew tail in reply.  "Now, these are beauties, and no
mistake! What you call useful and ornamental; ain't you, Buzzy? The
beggars are brothers; so I call them Huz and Buz:- Huz his
first-born, you know, and Buz his brother."

"I should like a dog," said Verdant; "but where could I keep one?"

"Oh, anywhere!" replied Mr. Bouncer confidently.  "I keep these
beggars in the little shop for coal, just outside the door.  It ain't
the law, I know; but what's the odds as long as they're happy?
~They~ think it no end of a lark.  I once had a Newfunland, and tried
~him~ there; but the obstinate brute considered it too small for him,
and barked himself in such an unnatural manner, that at last he'd got
no wool on the top of his head, - just the place where the wool ought
to grow, you know; so I swopped the beggar to a Skimmery* man for a
regular slap-up set of pets of the ballet, framed and glazed,
petticoats and all, mind you.  But about your dog, Giglamps: -that
cupboard there would be just the ticket; you could put him under the
wine-bottles, and then there'd be wine above and whine below.
~Videsne puer~?  D'ye twig, young 'un?  But if you're squeamish about
that, there are heaps of places in the town where you could keep a

So, when our hero had been persuaded that the possession of an animal
of the terrier species was absolutely necessary to a University man's
existence, he had not to look about long without having the void
filled up.  Money will in most places procure any thing, from a grant
of arms to a pair of wooden legs; so it is not surprising if, in
Oxford, such an every-day commodity as a dog can be obtained through
the medium of "filthy lucre;" for there was a well-known dog-fancier
and proprietor, whose surname was that of the rich substantive just
mentioned, to which had been prefixed the "filthy" adjective,
probably for the sake of euphony.  As usual, Filthy Lucre was
clumping with his lame leg up and down the pavement just in front of
the Brazenface gate, accompanied by his last "new and extensive
assortment" of terriers of every variety, which he now pulled up for
the inspection of Mr. Verdant Green.

"Is it a long-aird dawg, or a smooth 'un, as you'd most fancy?"
inquired Mr. Lucre. "Har, sir!" he continued, in a flattering tone, as
he saw our hero's eye dwelling on a Skye terrier; "I see you're a
gent as ~does~ know a good style of dawg, when you see 'un! It ain't
often as you see a Skye sich as that, sir! Look at his colour, sir,
and the way he looks out of his 'air! He answers to the name of
~Mop~, sir, in

* Oxford slang for "St. Mary's Hall."


consekvence of the length of his 'air; and he's cheap as dirt, sir,
at four-ten! It's a throwin' of him away at the price; and I
shouldn't do it, but I've got more dawgs than I've room for; so I'm
obligated to make a sacrifice.  Four-ten, sir! 'Ad the distemper, and
everythink, and a reg'lar good 'un for the varmin."

His merits also being testified to by Mr. Larkyns and Mr. Bouncer
(who was considered a high authority in canine  matters),
and Verdant also liking the quaint appearance of the dog, ~Mop~
eventually became his property, for "four-ten" ~minus~ five
shillings, but ~plus~ a pint of buttery beer, which Mr. Lucre always
pronounced to be customary "in all dealins whatsumever atween
gentlemen." Verdant was highly gratified at possessing a real
University dog, and he patted ~Mop~, and said, "Poo dog! poo Mop! poo
fellow then!" and thought what a pet his sisters would make of him
when he took him back home with him for the holi - the Vacation!

~Mop~ was for following Mr. Lucre, who had clumped away up the
street; and his new master had some difficulty in keeping him at his
heels.  By Mr. Bouncer's advice, he at once took him over the river
to the field opposite the Christ Church


meadows, in order to test his rat-killing powers.  How this could be
done out in the open country, our hero was at a loss to know; but he
discreetly held his tongue, for he was gradually becoming aware that
a freshman in Oxford must live to learn, and that, as with most men,
~experientia docet~.

They had just been punted over the river, and ~Mop~ had been restored
to ~terra firma~, when Mr. Bouncer's remark of  "There's the cove
that'll do the trick for you!" directed Verdant's 
attention to an individual, who, from his general appearance, might
have been first cousin to "Filthy Lucre," only that his live stock
was of a different description.  Slung from his shoulders was a large
but shallow wire cage, in which were about a dozen doomed rats, whose
futile endeavours to make their escape by running up the sides of
their prison were regarded with the most intense earnestness by a
group of terriers, who gave way to various phases of excitement.  In
his hand he carried a small circular cage, containing two or three
rats for immediate use.  On the receipt of sixpence, one of these was
liberated; and a few yards start being (sportsmanlike) allowed, the
speculator's terrier was then let loose, joined gratuitously, after a
short interval, by a perfect pack in full cry, with a human chorus of
"Hoo rat! Too loo! loo dog!"  The rat turned, twisted, doubled,
became confused,


was overtaken, and, with one grip and a shake, was dead; while the
excited pack returned to watch and jump at the wire cages until
another doomed prisoner was tossed forth to them.  Gentlemen on their
way for a walk were thus enabled to wile away a few minutes at the
noble sport, and indulge themselves and their dogs with a little
healthy excitement; while the boating costume of other gentlemen
shewed that they had for a while left aquatic pursuits, and had
strolled up from the river to indulge in "the sports of the fancy."

Although his new master invested several sixpences on ~Mop's~ behalf,
yet that ungrateful animal, being of a passive temperament of mind as
regarded rats, and a slow movement of body, in consequence of his
long hair impeding his progress, rather disgraced himself by allowing
the sport to be taken from his very teeth.  But he still further
disgraced himself, when he had been taken back to Brazenface, by
howling all through the night in the cupboard where he had been
placed, thereby setting on Mr. Bouncer's two bull-terriers, Huz and
Buz, to echo the sounds with redoubled fury from their coal-hole
quarters; thus causing loss of sleep and a great outlay of Saxon
expletives to all the dwellers on the staircase.  It was in vain that
our hero got out of bed and opened the cupboard-door, and said, "Poo
Mop! good dog, then!" it was in vain that Mr. Bouncer shied boots at
the coal-hole, and threatened Huz and Buz with loss of life; it was
in vain that the tenant of the attic, Mr. Sloe, who was a
reading-man, and sat up half the night, working for his degree, - it
was in vain that he opened his door, and mildly declared (over the
banisters), that it was impossible to get up Aristotle while such a
noise was being made; it was in vain that Mr. Four-in-hand Fosbrooke,
whose rooms were on the other side of Verdant's, came and
administered to ~Mop~ severe punishment with a tandem-whip (it was a
favourite boast with Mr. Fosbrooke, that he could flick a fly from
his leader's ear); it was in vain to coax ~Mop~ with chicken-bones:
he would neither be bribed nor frightened, and after a deceitful lull
of a few minutes, just when every one was getting to sleep again, his
melancholy howl would be raised with renewed vigour, and Huz and Buz
would join for sympathy.

"I tell you what, Giglamps," said Mr. Bouncer the next morning;
"this game'll never do.  Bark's a very good thing to take in its
proper way, when you're in want of it, and get it with port wine; but
when you get it by itself and in too large doses, it ain't pleasant,
you know.  Huz and Buz are quiet enough, as long as they're let
alone; and I should advise you to keep ~Mop~ down at Spavin's
stables, or somewhere.  But first, just let me give the brute the
hiding he deserves."


Poor ~Mop~ underwent his punishment like a martyr; and in the course
of the day an arrangement was made with Mr. Spavin for ~Mop's~ board
and lodging at his stables.  But when Verdant called there the next
day, for the purpose of taking him for a walk, there was no ~Mop~ to
be found; taking advantage of the carelessness of one of Mr. Spavin's
men, he had bolted through the open door, and made his escape.  Mr.
Bouncer, at a subsequent period, declared that he met ~Mop~ in the
company of a well-known Regent-street fancier; but, however that may
be, ~Mop~ was lost to Mr. Verdant Green.

                                        CHAPTER X.


THE state of Mr. Verdant Green's outward man had long offended Mr.
Charles Larkyns' more civilized taste; and he one day took occasion
delicately to hint to his friend, that it would conduce more to his
appearance as an Oxford undergraduate, if he forswore the primitive
garments that his country-tailor had condemned him to wear, and
adapted the "build" of his dress to the peculiar requirements of
university fashion.

Acting upon this friendly hint, our freshman at once betook himself
to the shop where he had bought his cap and gown, and found its
proprietor making use of the invisible soap and washing his hands in
the imperceptible water, as though he had not left that act of
imaginary cleanliness since Verdant and his father had last seen him.

"Oh, certainly, sir; an abundant variety," was his reply to Verdant's
question, if he could show him any patterns that were fashionable in
Oxford.  "The greatest stock hout of London, I should say, sir,
decidedly.  This is a nice unpretending gentlemanly thing, sir, that
we make up a good deal!" and he spread a shaggy substance before the
freshman's eyes.

"What do you make it up for?" inquired our hero, who thought it more
nearly resembled the hide of his lamented ~Mop~ than any other

"Oh, morning garments, sir! Reading and walking-coats, for erudition
and the promenade, sir! Looks well with vest of the same material,
sprinkled down with coral currant buttons! We've some sweet things in
vests, sir; and some neat, quiet trouserings, that I'm sure would give
satisfaction."  And the tailor and robe-maker, between washings with
the invisible soap, so visibly "soaped" our hero in what is
understood to


be the shop-sense of the word, and so surrounded him with a perfect
irradiation of aggressive patterns of oriental gorgeousness, that Mr.
Verdant Green  became bewildered, and finally made choice
of one of the unpretending gentlemanly ~mop~-like coats, and "vest
and trouserings," of a neat, quiet, plaid-pattern, in red and green,
which, he was informed, were all the rage.

When these had been sent home to him, together with a neck-tie of
Oxford-blue from Randall's, and an immaculate guinea
Lincoln-and-Bennett, our hero was delighted with the general effect
of the costume; and after calling in at the tailor's to express his
approbation, he at once sallied forth to "do the High," and display
his new purchases.  A drawn silk bonnet of pale lavender, from which
floated some bewitching ringlets, quickly attracted our hero's
attention; and the sight of an arch, French-looking face, which (to
his short-sighted imagination) smiled upon him as the young lady
rustled by, immediately plunged him into the depths of first-love.
Without the slightest encouragement being given him, he stalked this
little deer to her lair, and, after some difficulty, discovered the
enchantress to be Mademoiselle Mouslin de Laine, one of the presiding
goddesses of a fancy hosiery warehouse. There, for the next fortnight,
- until which immense period his ardent passion had not subsided, -
our hero was daily to be seen purchasing articles for which he had no
earthly use, but fully recompensed for his outlay by the artless
(ill-natured people said, artful) smiles, and engaging, piquant
conversation of mademoiselle.  Our hero, when reminded of this at a
subsequent period, protested that he had thus acted merely to improve
his French, and only conversed with mademoiselle for educational
purposes.  But we have our doubts.  ~Credat Judaeus!~

About this time also our hero laid the nest-eggs for a very pro-


mising brood of bills, by acquiring an expensive habit of strolling
in to shops, and purchasing "an extensive assortment of articles of
 every description," for no other consideration than that
he should not be called upon to pay for them until he had taken his
degree.  He also decorated the walls of his rooms with choice
specimens of engravings: for the turning over of portfolios at
Ryman's, and Wyatt's, usually leads to the eventual turning over of a
considerable amount of cash; and our hero had not yet become
acquainted with the cheaper circulating-system of pictures, which
gives you a fresh set every term, and passes on your old ones to some
other subscriber.  But, in the meantime, it is very delightful, when
you admire any thing, to be able to say, "Send that to my room!" and
to be obsequiously obeyed, "no questions asked," and no payment
demanded; and as for the future, why - as Mr. Larkyns observed, as
they strolled down the High - "I suppose the bills ~will~ come in
some day or other, but the governor will see to them; and though he
may grumble and pull a long face, yet he'll only be too glad you've
got your degree, and, in the fulness of his heart, he will open his
cheque-book.  I daresay old Horace gives very good advice when he
says, 'carpe diem'; but when he adds, 'quam minimum credula
postero,'* about 'not giving the least credit to the succeeding day,'
it is clear that he never looked forward to the Oxford tradesmen and
the credit-system.  Do you ever read Wordsworth, Verdant?" continued
Mr. Larkyns, as they stopped at the corner of Oriel Street, to look
in at a spacious range of shop-windows, that were crowded with a
costly and glittering profusion of ~papier mache~ articles,
statuettes, bronzes, glass, and every kind of "fancy goods" that
could be classed as "art-workmanship."

"Why, I've not read much of Wordsworth myself," replied

* Car. i. od. xi.


our hero; "but I've heard my sister Mary read a great deal of his

"Shews her taste," said Charles Larkyns.  "Well, this shop - you see
the name - is Spiers'; and Wordsworth, in his sonnet to Oxford, has
immortalized him.  Don't you remember the lines?-

                'O ye Spiers of Oxford! your presence overpowers
                The soberness of reason!'*

It was very queer that Wordsworth should ascribe to Messrs. Spiers
all the intoxication of the place; but then he was a 
Cambridge man, and prejudiced.  Nice shop, though, isn't it?
Particularly useful, and no less ornamental.  It's one of the
greatest lounges of the place.  Let us go in and have a look at what
Mrs. Caudle calls the articles of bigotry and virtue."

Mr. Verdant Green was soon deeply engaged in an inspection of those
~papier-mache~ "remembrances of Oxford" for which the Messrs. Spiers
are so justly famed; but after turning over tables, trays, screens,
desks, albums, portfolios, and other things, - all of which displayed
views of Oxford from every variety of aspect, and were executed with
such truth and perception of the higher qualities of art, that they
formed in

* We suspect that Mr. Larkyns is again intentionally deceiving his
freshman friend; for on looking into our Wordsworth (~Misc. Son.~
iii. 2) we find that the poet does ~not~ refer to the establishment
of Messrs. Spiers and Son, and that the lines, truly quoted, are,

        "O ye ~spires~ of Oxford! domes and towers!
        Gardens and groves! Your presence," &c.
We blush for Mr. Larkyns!


themselves quite a small but gratuitous Academy exhibition, - our hero
became so confused among the bewildering allurements around him, as
to feel quite an ~embarras de richesses~, and to be in a state of
mind in which he was nearly giving Mr. Spiers the most extensive (and
expensive) order which probably that gentleman had ever received from
an undergraduate.  Fortunately for his purse, his attention was
somewhat distracted by perceiving that Mr. Slowcoach was at his
elbow, looking over ink-stands and reading-lamps, and also by Charles
Larkyns calling upon him to decide whether he should have the
cigar-case he had purchased emblazoned with the heraldic device of
the Larkyns, or illuminated with the Euripidean motto,-

         {To bakchikon doraema labe, se gar philo.}

When this point had been decided, Mr. Larkyns proposed to Verdant
that he should astonish and delight his governor by having the Green
arms emblazoned on a fire-screen, and taking it home with him as a
gift.  "Or else," he said, "order one with the garden-view of
Brazenface, and then they'll have more satisfaction in looking at
that than at one of those offensive cockatoos, in an arabesque
landscape, under a bronze sky, which usually sprawls over every thing
that is ~papier mache~.  But you won't see that sort of thing here; so
you can't well go wrong, whatever you buy."  Finally, Mr. Verdant
Green (N.B. Mr. Green, senior, would have eventually to pay the bill)
ordered a fire-screen to be prepared with the family-arms, as a
present for his father; a ditto, with the view of his college, for
his mother; a writing-case, with the High Street view, for his aunt;
a netting-box, card-case, and a model of the Martyrs' Memorial, for
his three sisters; and having thus bountifully remembered his
family-circle, he treated himself with a modest paper-knife, and was
treated in return by Mr. Spiers with a perfect ~bijou~ of art, in the
shape of "a memorial for visitors to Oxford," in which the chief
glories of that city were set forth in gold and colours, in the most
attractive form, and which our hero immediately posted off to the
Manor Green.

"And now, Verdant," said Mr. Larkyns, "you may just as well get a
hack, and come for a ride with me.  You've kept up your riding, of

"Oh, yes - a little!" faltered our hero.

Now, the reader may perhaps remember, that in an early part of our
veracious chronicle we hinted that Mr. Verdant Green's equestrian
performances were but of a humble character.  They were, in fact,
limited to an occasional ride with his sisters when they required a
cavalier; but on these occasions, the old cob, which Verdant called
his own, was warranted not


to kick, or plunge, or start, or do anything derogatory to its age
and infirmities.  So that Charles Larkyns' proposition caused him
some little nervous agitation; nevertheless, as he was ashamed to
confess his fears, he, in a moment of weakness, consented to
accompany his friend.

"We'll go to Symonds'," said Mr. Larkyns; "I keep my hack there; and
you can depend upon having a good one."

So they made their way to Holywell Street, and turned under a
gateway, and up a paved yard, to the stables.  The upper part of the
yard was littered down with straw, and covered in by a light, open
roof; and in the stables there was accommodation for a hundred
horses.  At the back of the stables, and separated from the Wadham
Gardens by a narrow lane, was a paddock; and here they found Mr.
Fosbrooke, and one or two of his friends, inspecting the leaping
abilities of a fine hunter, which one of the stable-boys was taking
backwards and forwards over the hurdles and fences erected for that

The horses were soon ready, and Verdant summoned up enough courage to
say, with the Count in ~Mazeppa~, "Bring forth the steed!" And when
the steed was brought, in all the exuberance of (literally) animal
spirits, he felt that he was about to be another Mazeppa, and perform
feats on the back of a wild horse; and he could not help saying to
the ostler, "He looks rather -vicious, I'm afraid!"

"Wicious, sir," replied the groom; "bless you, sir! she's as
sweet-tempered as any young ooman you ever paid your intentions to.
The mare's as quiet a mare as was ever crossed; this 'ere's ony her
play at comin' fresh out of the stable!"

Verdant, however, had a presentiment that the play would soon become
earnest; but he seated himself in the saddle (after a short delirious
dance on one toe), and in a state of extreme agitation, not to say
perspiration, proceeded at a walk, by Mr. Larkyns' side, up Holywell
Street.  Here the mare, who doubtless soon understood what sort of
rider she had got on her back, began to be more demonstrative of the
"fresh"ness of her animal spirits.  Broad Street was scarcely broad
enough to contain the series of ~tableaux vivants~ and heraldic
attitudes that she assumed.  "Don't pull the curb-rein so!" shouted
Charles Larkyns; but Verdant was in far too dreadful a state of mind
to understand what he said, or even to know which ~was~ the
curb-rein; and after convulsively clutching at the mane and the
pommel, in his endeavours to keep his seat, he first "lost his head,"
and then his seat, and ignominiously gliding over the mare's tail,
found that his lodging was on the cold ground.  Relieved of her
burden, the mare quietly trotted back to her stables; while Verdant,
finding himself unhurt, got up, replaced his hat and spectacles,


and registered a mental vow never to mount an Oxford hack again.
"Never mind, old fellow!" said Charles Larkyns, 
consolingly; "these little accidents ~will~ occur, you know, even
with the best regulated riders! There were not ~more~ than a dozen
ladies saw you, though you certainly made very creditable exertions
to ride over one or two of them.  Well! if you say you won't go back
to Symonds', and get another hack, I must go on solus; but I shall
see you at the Bump-supper to-night!  I got old Blades to ask you to
it.  I'm going now in search of an appetite, and I should advise you
to take a turn round the Parks and do the same.  ~Au re~ser~voir!~"

So our hero, after he had compensated the livery-stable keeper,
followed his friend's advice, and strolled round the neatly-kept
potato-gardens denominated "the Parks," looking in vain for the deer
that have never been there, and finding them represented only by
nursery-maids and - others.

*        *        *        *        *        *        *        *

Mr. Blades, familiarly known as "old Blades" and "Billy," was a
gentleman who was fashioned somewhat after the model of the torso of
Hercules; and, as Stroke of the Brazenface boat, was held in high
estimation, not only by the men of his own college, but also by the
boating men of the University at large.  His University existence
seemed to be engaged in one long struggle, the end and aim of which
was to place the Brazenface boat in that envied position known in
aquatic anatomy as "the head of the river;" and in this struggle all
Mr. Blades' energies of mind and body, - though particularly of body, -
were engaged.  Not a freshman was allowed to enter Brazenface, but
immediately Mr. Blades' eye was upon him; and if the expansion of the
upper part of his coat and waistcoat denoted that his muscular
development of chest and arms was of a kind that might be serviceable
to the great object aforesaid - the placing


of the Brazenface boat at the head of the river, - then Mr. Blades
came and made flattering proposals to the new-comer to assist in the
great work.  But he was also indefatigable, as secretary to his
college club, in seeking out all freshmen, even if their thews and
sinews were not muscular models, and inducing them to aid the
glorious cause by becoming members of the club.  A Bump-supper - that
is, O ye uninitiated! a supper to commemorate the fact of the boat of
one college  having, in the annual races, bumped, or
touched the boat of another college immediately in its front, thereby
gaining a place towards the head of the river, - a Bump-supper was a
famous opportunity for discovering both the rowing and paying
capabilities of freshmen, who, in the enthusiasm of the moment, would
put down their two or three guineas, and at once propose their names
to be enrolled as members at the next meeting of the club.

And thus it was with Mr. Verdant Green, who, before the evening was
over, found that he had not only given in his name ("proposed by
Charles Larkyns, Esq., seconded by Henry Bouncer, Esq."), but that a
desire was burning within his breast to distinguish himself in
aquatic pursuits. Scarcely any thing else was talked of during the
whole evening but the prospective chances of Brazenface bumping
Balliol and Brasenose, and thereby getting to the head of the river.
It was also mysteriously whispered, that Worcester and Christ Church
were doing well, and might prove formidable; and that Exeter, Lincoln,


and Wadham were very shady, and not doing the things that were
expected of them.  Great excitement too was caused by the
announcement, that the Balliol stroke had knocked up, or knocked
down, or done some thing which Mr. Verdant Green concluded he ought
not to have done; and that the Brasenose bow had been seen with a
cigar in his mouth, and also eating pastry in Hall, -things shocking
in themselves, and quite contrary to all training principles.  Then
there were anticipations of Henley; and criticisms on the new eight
out-rigger  that Searle was laying down for the University
crew; and comparisons between somebody's stroke and somebody else's
spurt; and a good deal of reference to Clasper and Coombes, and
Newall and Pococke, who might have been heathen deities for all that
our hero knew, and from the manner in which they were mentioned.

The aquatic desires that were now burning in Mr. Verdant Green's
breast could only be put out by the water; so to the river he next
day went, and, by Charles Larkyns' advice, made his first essay in a
"tub" from Hall's.  Being a complete novice with the oars, our hero
had no sooner pulled off his coat and given a pull, than he
succeeded in catching a tremendous "crab," the effect of which was to
throw him backwards, and almost to upset the boat.  Fortunately,
however, "tubs" recover their equilibrium almost as easily as
tombolas, and "the Sylph" did not belie its character; so the
freshman again assumed a proper position, and was shoved off with a
boat-hook.  At first he made some hopeless splashes in the stream,
the only effect of which was to make the boat turn with a circular
movement towards Folly Bridge; but Charles Larkyns


at once came to the rescue with the simple but energetic compendium
of boating instruction, "Put your oar in deep, and bring it out with
a jerk!"

Bearing this in mind, our hero's efforts met with well-merited
success; and he soon passed that mansion which, instead of cellars,
appears to have an ingenious system of small rivers to thoroughly
irrigate its foundations.  One by one, too, he passed those
house-boats which are more like the Noah's  arks of
toy-shops than anything else, and sometimes contain quite as original
a mixture of animal specimens.  Warming with his exertions, Mr.
Verdant Green passed the University barge in great style, just as the
eight was preparing to start; and though he was not able to "feather
his oars with skill and dexterity," like the jolly young waterman in
the song, yet his sleight-of-hand performances with them proved not
only a source of great satisfaction to the crews on the river, but
also to the promenaders on the shore.

He had left the Christ Church meadows far behind, and was beginning
to feel slightly exhausted by his unwonted exertions, when he reached
that bewildering part of the river termed "the Gut."  So confusing
were the intestine commotions of this gut, that, after passing a
chequered existence as an aquatic shuttlecock, and being assailed
with a slang-dictionary-full of opprobrious epithets, Mr. Verdant
Green caught another


tremendous crab, and before he could recover himself, the "tub"
received a shock, and, with a loud cry of "Boat ahead!" ringing in
his ears, the University Eight passed over the place where he and
"the Sylph" had so lately disported themselves.

With the wind nearly knocked out of his body by the blade of the
bow-oar striking him on the chest as he rose to the surface, our
unfortunate hero was immediately dragged from the water, in a
condition like that of the child in ~The Stranger~ (the only joke, by
the way, in that most dreary play) "not dead, but very wet!" and
forthwith placed in safety in his deliverer's boat.

"Hallo, Giglamps! who the doose had thought of seeing you here,
devouring Isis in this expensive way!" said a voice very coolly.  And
our hero found that he had been rescued by little Mr. Bouncer, who
had been tacking up the river in company with Huz and Buz and his
meerschaum. "You ~have~ been and gone and done it now, young man!"
continued the vivacious little gentleman, as he surveyed our hero's
draggled and forlorn condition.  "If you'd only a comb and a glass in
your hand, you'd look distressingly like a cross-breed with a
mermaid! You ain't subject to the whatdyecallems - the rheumatics,
are you? Because, if so, I could put you on shore at a tidy little
shop where you can get a glass of brandy-and-water, and have your
clothes dried; and then mamma won't scold."

"Indeed," chattered our hero, "I shall be very glad indeed; for I
feel - rather cold. But what am I to do with my boat?"

"Oh, the Lively Polly, or whatever her name is, will find her way
back safe enough.  There are plenty of boatmen on the river who'll
see to her and take her back to her owner; and if you got her from
Hall's, I daresay she'll dream that she's dreamt in marble halls,
like you did, Giglamps, that night at Smalls', when you got wet in
rather a more lively style than you've done to-day.  Now I'll tack
you up to that little shop I told you of."

So there our hero was put on shore, and Mr. Bouncer made fast his
boat and accompanied him; and did not leave him until he had seen him
between the blankets, drinking a glass of hot brandy-and-water, the
while his clothes were smoking before the fire.

This little adventure (for a time at least) checked Mr. Verdant
Green's aspirations to distinguish himself on the river; and he
therefore renounced the sweets of the Isis, and contented himself by
practising with a punt on the Cherwell.  There, after repeatedly
overbalancing himself in the most suicidal manner, he at length
peacefully settled down into the lounging blissfulness of a "Cherwell
water-lily;" and on the hot days,


among those gentlemen who had moored their punts underneath the
overhanging boughs of the willows and limes, and  beneath
their cool shade were lying, in ~dolce far niente~ fashion, with
their legs up and a weed in their mouth, reading the last new novel,
or some less immaculate work, - among these gentlemen might haply have
been discerned the form and spectacles of Mr. Verdant Green.

                                        CHAPTER XI.

                        MR. VERDANT GREEN'S SPORTS AND PASTIMES.

ARCHERY was all the fashion at Brazenface.  They had as fine a lawn
for it as the Trinity men had; and all day long there was somebody to
be seen making holes in the targets, and endeavouring to realize the
~pose~ of the Apollo Belvidere; - rather a difficult thing to do,
when you come to wear plaid trousers and shaggy coats.  As Mr.
Verdant Green felt desirous not only to uphold all the institutions
of the University, but also to make himself acquainted with the
sports and pastimes of the place, he forthwith joined the Archery and
Cricket Clubs.  He at once inspected the manufactures of Muir and
Buchanan; and after selecting from their stores a fancy-wood bow,
with arrows, belt, quiver, guard, tips, tassels, and grease-pot, he
felt himself to be duly prepared to


represent the Toxophilite character.  But the sustaining it was a
more difficult thing than he had conceived; for although he thought
that it would be next to impossible to miss a shot  when
the target was so large, and the arrow went so easily from the bow,
yet our hero soon discovered that even in the first steps of archery
there was something to be learnt, and that the mere stringing of his
bow was a performance attended with considerable difficulty.  It was
always slipping from his instep, or twisting the wrong way, or
threatening to snap in sunder, or refusing to allow his fingers to
slip the knot, or doing something that was dreadfully uncomfortable,
 and productive of perspiration; and two or three times
he was reduced to the abject necessity of asking his friends to
string his bow for him.

But when he had mastered this slight difficulty, he found that the
arrows (to use Mr. Bouncer's phrase) "wobbled," and had a
predilection for going anywhere but into the target, notwithstanding
its size; and unfortunately one went into the body of the Honourable
Mr. Stormer's favourite Skye terrier, though, thanks to its shaggy
coat and the bluntness of the arrow, it did not do a great amount of
mischief; nevertheless, the vials of Mr. Stormer's


wrath were outpoured upon Mr. Verdant Green's head; and 
such ~epea pteroenta~ followed the winged arrow, that our hero became
alarmed, and for the time forswore archery practice.

As he had fully equipped himself for archery, so also Mr. Verdant
Green, (on the authority of Mr. Bouncer) got himself up for cricket
regardless of expense; and he made his first appearance in the field
in a straw hat with blue ribbon, and "flannels," and spiked shoes of
perfect propriety.  As Mr. Bouncer had told him that, in cricket,
attitude was every thing, Verdant,  as soon as he went in
for his innings, took up what he considered to be a very good
position at the wicket.  Little Mr. Bouncer, who was bowling,
delivered the ball with a swiftness that seemed rather astonishing in
such a small gentleman.  The first ball was "wide;" nevertheless,
Verdant (after it had passed) struck at it, raising his bat high in
the air, and bringing it straight down to the ground as though it
were an executioner's axe.  The second ball was nearer to the mark;
but it came in with such swiftness, that, as Mr. Verdant Green was


quite new to round bowling, it was rather too quick for him, and hit
him severely on the -, well, never mind, - on the trousers.

"Hallo, Giglamps!" shouted the delighted Mr. Bouncer, "nothing like
backing up; but it's no use assuming a stern appearance; you'll get
your hand in soon, old feller!"

But Verdant found that before he could get his hand in, the ball was
got into his wicket; and that while he was preparing for the strike,
the ball shot by; and, as Mr. Stumps, the wicket-keeper, kindly
informed him, "there was a row in his timber-yard."  Thus Verdant's
score was always on the ~lucus a non lucendo~ principle of
derivation, for not even to a quarter of a score did it ever reach;
and he felt that he should never rival a Mynn or be a Parr with
anyone of the "All England" players.

Besides these out-of-door sports, our hero also devoted a good deal
of his time to acquiring in-door games, being quickly initiated into
the mysteries of billiards, and plunging headlong into pool.  It was
in the billiard-room that Verdant first formed his acquaintance with
Mr. Fluke of Christ Church, well known to be the best player in the
University, and who, if report spoke truly, always made his five
hundred a year by his skill in the game.  Mr. Fluke kindly put our
hero "into the way to become a player;" and Verdant soon found the
apprenticeship was attended with rather heavy fees.

At the wine-parties also that he attended he became rather a greater
adept at cards than he had formerly been.  "Van John" was the
favourite game; and he was not long in discovering that [s]taking
shillings and half-crowns, instead of counters and "fish," and going
odds on the colours, and losing five pounds before he was aware of
it, was a very different thing to playing ~vingt-et-un~ at home with
his sisters for "love" -


(though perhaps cards afford the only way in which young ladies at
twenty-one will ~play~ for love).

In returning to Brazenface late from these parties, our hero was
sometimes frightfully alarmed by suddenly finding himself face to
face with a dreadful apparition, to which, by constant familiarity,
he gradually became accustomed, and learned to look upon as the
proctor with his marshal and bulldogs.  At first, too, he was on such
occasions greatly alarmed  at finding the gates of
Brazenface closed, obliging him thereby to "knock-in;" and not only
did he apologize to the porter for troubling him to open the wicket,
but he also volunteered elaborate explanations of the reasons that
had kept him out after time, - explanations that were not received in
the spirit with which they were tendered.  When our freshman became
aware of the mysteries of a gate-bill, he felt more at his ease.  Mr.
Verdant Green learned many things during his freshman's term, and,
among others, he discovered that the quiet retirement of
college-rooms, of which he had heard so much, was in many cases an
unsubstantial idea, founded on imagination, and built up by fancy.
One day that he had been writing a letter in Mr. Smalls' rooms, which
were on the ground-floor, Verdant congratulated himself that his own
rooms were on the third floor,


and were thus removed from the possibility of his friends, when he
had sported his oak, being able to get through his window to "chaff"
him; but he soon discovered that rooms upstairs had also
objectionable points in their private character, and were not
altogether such eligible apartments as he had at first anticipated.
First, there was the getting up and down the dislocated staircase, a
feat which at night was sometimes attended with difficulty.  Then,
when he had accomplished  this feat, there was no way of
escaping from the noise of his neighbours.  Mr. Sloe, the reading-man
in the garret above, was one of those abominable nuisances, a
peripatetic student, who "got up" every subject by pacing up and down
his limited apartment, and, like the sentry, "walked his dreary
round" at unseasonable hours of the night, at which time could be
plainly heard the wretched chuckle, and crackings of knuckles (Mr.
Sloe's way of expressing intense delight), with which he welcomed
some miserable joke of Aristophanes, painfully elaborated by the help
of Liddell-and-Scott; or the disgustingly sonorous way in which he
declaimed his Greek choruses.  This was bad enough at night; but in
the day-time there was a still greater nuisance.  The rooms
immediately beneath Verdant's were possessed by a gentleman whose
musical powers were of an unusually limited description, but who,
unfortunately for


his neighbours, possessed the idea that the cornet-a-piston was a
beautiful instrument for pic-nics, races, boating-parties, and
 other long-vacation amusements, and sedulously
practised "In my cottage near a wood," "Away with melancholy," and
other airs of a lively character, in a doleful and distracted way,
that would have fully justified his immediate homicide, or, at any
rate, the confiscation of his offending instrument.

Then, on the one side of Verdant's room, was Mr. Bouncer, sounding
his octaves, and "going the complete unicorn;" and his bull-terriers,
Huz and Buz, all and each of whom were of a restless and loud
temperament; while, on the other side, were Mr. Four-in-hand
Fosbrooke's rooms, in which fencing, boxing, single-stick, and other
violent sports, were gone through, with a great expenditure of "Sa-ha!
sa-ha!" and stampings.  Verdant was sometimes induced to go in, and
never could sufficiently admire the way in which men could be rapped
with single-sticks without crying out  or flinching; for
it made him almost sore even to look at them. Mr. Blades, the stroke,
was a frequent visitor there, and developed his muscles in the most
satisfactory manner.

After many refusals, our hero was at length persuaded to put on the
gloves, and have a friendly bout with Mr. Blades.  The result was as
might have been anticipated; and Mr. Smalls doubtless gave a very
correct ~resume~ of the proceeding (for, as we have before said, he
was thoroughly conversant with the sporting slang of ~Tintinnabulum's
Life~), when he told Verdant,


that his claret had been repeatedly tapped, his bread-basket walked
into, his day-lights darkened, his ivories rattled, his nozzle
barked, his whisker-bed napped heavily, his kissing-trap countered,
his ribs roasted, his nut spanked, and his whole person put in
chancery, stung, bruised, fibbed, propped, fiddled, 
slogged, and otherwise ill-treated.  So it is hardly to be wondered
at if Mr. Verdant Green from thenceforth gave up boxing, as a
senseless and ungentlemanly amusement.

But while these pleasures(?) of the body were being attended to, the
recreation of the mind was not forgotten.  Mr. Larkyns had proposed
Verdant's name at the Union; and, to that gentleman's great
satisfaction, he was not black-balled.  He daily, therefore,
frequented the reading-room, and made a point of looking through all
the magazines and newspapers; while he felt quite a pride in sitting
in luxurious state upstairs, writing his letters to the home
department on the very best note-paper, and sealing them extensively
with "the Oxford Union" seal; though he could not at first be
persuaded that trusting his letters to a wire closet was at all a
safe system of postage.

He also attended the Debates, which were then held in the
 long room behind Wyatt's; and he was particularly
charmed with the manner in which vital questions, that (as he learned
from the newspapers) had proved stumbling-blocks to the greatest
statesmen of the land, were rapidly solved by the embryo statesmen of
the Oxford Union.  It was quite a sight, in that long picture-room,
to see the rows of light iron seats densely crowded with young men -
some of whom would perhaps rise to be Cannings, or Peels, or
Gladstones - and to hear how one beardless gentleman would call
another beardless gentleman his "honourable friend," and appeal "to
the sense of the House," and address himself to "Mr. Speaker;" and
how they would all juggle the same tricks of rhetoric as their
fathers were doing in certain other debates in a certain other House.
 And it was curious, too, to mark the points of resemblance between
the two Houses; and how the smaller one had, on its smaller scale,


its Hume, and its Lord John, and its "Dizzy;" and how they went
through the same traditional forms, and preserved the same
time-honoured ideas, and debated in the fullest houses, with the
greatest spirit and the greatest length, on such points 
 as, "What course is it advisable for this country to take in regard
to the government of its Indian possessions, and the imprisonment of
Mr. Jones by the Rajah of Humbugpoopoonah?"   Indeed,
Mr. Verdant Green was so excited by this interesting debate, that on
the third night of its adjournment he rose to address the House; but
being "no orator as Brutus is," his few broken words were received
with laughter, and the honourable gentleman was coughed down.

Our hero had, as an Oxford freshman, to go through that cheerful form
called "sitting in the schools," - a form which consisted in the
following ceremony.  Through a door in the right-hand corner of the
Schools Quadrangle, - (Oh, that door!


does it not bring a pang into your heart only to think of it? to
remember the day when you went in there as pale as the little pair of
bands in which you were dressed for your sacrifice; and came out all
in a glow and a chill when your examination was over; and posted your
bosom-friend there to receive from Purdue the little slip of paper,
and bring you the thrilling intelligence that you had passed; or to
come empty-handed, and say that you had been plucked! Oh, that door!
well   might be inscribed there the line which, on Dante's
authority, is assigned to the door of another place, -


- entering through this door in company with several other
unfortunates, our hero passed between two galleries through a
passage, by which, if the place had been a circus, the horses would
have entered, and found himself in a tolerably large room lighted on
either side by windows, and panelled half-way up the walls.  Down the
centre of this room ran a large green-baize-covered table, on the one
side of which were some eight or ten miserable beings who were then
undergoing examination, and were supplied with pens, ink,
blotting-pad, and large sheets of thin "scribble-paper," on which
they were struggling to impress their ideas; or else had a book set
before them,


out of which they were construing, or being racked with questions
that touched now on one subject and now on another, like a bee among
flowers.  The large table was liberally supplied with all the
apparatus and instruments of torture; and on the other side of it sat
the three examiners, as dreadful and  formidable as the
terrible three of Venice.  At the upper end of the room was a chair
of state for the Vice-Chancellor, whenever he deigned to personally
superintend the torture; to the right and left of which accommodation
was provided for other victims.  On the right hand of the room was a
small open  gallery of two seats (like those seen in
infant schools); and here, from 10 in the morning till 4 in the
afternoon, with only the interval of a quarter of an hour for
luncheon, Mr. Verdant Green was compelled to sit and watch the
proceedings, his perseverance being attested to by a certificate
which he received as a reward for his meritorious conduct. If this
"sitting in the schools"* was established as an ~in terrorem~ form
for the spectators, it undoubtedly generally had the desired effect;
and what with the misery of sitting through a whole day on a hard
bench with nothing to do, and the agony of seeing your
fellow-creatures plucked, and having visions of the same prospective
fate for yourself, the day on which the sitting takes place is

* This form has been abolished (1853) under the new regulations.


usually regarded as one of those which, "if 'twere done, 'twere well
it should be done quickly."

As an appropriate sequel to this proceeding, Mr. Verdant Green
attended the interesting ceremony of conferring degrees; where he
discovered that the apparently insane promenade of the proctor gave
rise to the name bestowed on (what Mr. Larkyns called) the equally
insane custom of "plucking."*  There too our hero saw the
Vice-Chancellor in all his glory; and so agreeable were the
proceedings, that altogether he had a great deal of Bliss.+

                                        CHAPTER XII.


"BEFORE I go home," said Mr. Verdant Green, as he expelled a volume
of smoke from his lips, - for he had overcome his first weakness, and
now "took his weed" regularly, - "before I go home, I must see what I
owe in the  place; for my father said he did not like for
me to run in debt, but wished me to settle my bills terminally."

"What, you're afraid of having what we call bill-ious fever, I
suppose, eh?" laughed Charles Larkyns.  "All exploded

* When the degrees are conferred, the name of each person is read out
before he is presented to the Vice-Chancellor.  The proctor then
walks once up and down the room, so that any person who objects to
the degree being granted may signify the same by pulling or
"plucking" the proctor's robes.  This has been occasionally done by
tradesmen in order to obtain payment of their "little bills;" but
such a proceeding is very rare, and the proctor's promenade is
usually undisturbed.
+ The Rev. Philip Bliss, D.C.L., after holding the onerous post of
Registrar of the University for many years, and discharging its
duties in a way that called forth the unanimous thanks of the
University, resigned office in 1853.


ideas, my dear fellow.  They do very well in their way, but they
don't answer; don't pay, in fact; and the shopkeepers don't like it
either.  By the way, I can shew you a great curiosity; - the
autograph of an Oxford tradesman, ~very rare~! I think of presenting
it to the Ashmolean."  And Mr. Larkyns opened his writing-desk, and
took therefrom an Oxford pastrycook's bill, on which appeared the
magic word, "Received."  

"Now, there is one thing," continued Mr. Larkyns, "which you really
must do before you go down, and that is to see Blenheim.  And the
best thing that you can do is to join Fosbrooke and Bouncer and me,
in a trap to Woodstock to-morrow.  We'll go in good time, and make a
day of it."

Verdant readily agreed to make one of the party; and the next
morning, after a breakfast in Charles Larkyns' rooms, they made their
way to a side street leading out of Beaumont Street, where the
dog-cart was in waiting.  As it was drawn by two horses, placed in
tandem fashion, Mr. Fosbrooke had an opportunity of displaying his
Jehu powers; which he did to great advantage, not allowing his leader
to run his nose into the cart, and being enabled to turn sharp
corners without chipping the bricks, or running the wheel up the bank.

They reached Woodstock after a very pleasant ride, and clattered up
its one long street to the principal hotel; but Mr. Fosbrooke whipped
into the yard to the left so rapidly, that our hero, who was not much
used to the back seat of a dog-cart, flew off by some means at a
tangent to the right, and was consequently degraded in the eyes of
the inhabitants.


After ordering for dinner every thing that the house was enabled to
supply, they made their way in the first place (as it could only be
seen between 11 and 1) to Blenheim; the princely splendours of which
were not only costly in themselves, but, as our hero soon found,
costly also to the sight-seer.  The doors in the ~suite~ of
apartments were all opposite to each other, so that, as a crimson
cord was passed from one to the other, the spectator was kept
entirely to the one side of the room, and merely a glance could be
obtained of the Raffaelle, the glorious Rubens's,* the Vandycks, and
the almost equally fine Sir Joshuas.  But even the glance they had
was but a passing one, as the servant trotted them through the rooms
with the rapidity of locomotion and explanation of a Westminster
Abbey verger; and he made a fierce attack on Verdant, who had lagged
behind, and was short-sightedly peering at the celebrated "Charles
the First" of Vandyck, as though he had lingered in order to
surreptitiously appropriate some of the tables, couches, and other
trifling articles that ornamented the rooms.  In this way they went
at railroad pace through the ~suite~ of rooms and the library, - where
the chief thing pointed out appeared to be a grease-mark on the floor
made by somebody at somebody else's wedding-breakfast, - and to the
chapel, where they admired the ingenuity of the sparrows and other
birds that built about Rysbrach's monumental mountain of marble to
the memory of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough; - and then to the
so-called "Titian room" (shade of mighty Titian, forgive the insult!)
where they saw the Loves of the Gods represented in the most
unloveable manner,+ and where a flunkey lounged lazily at the door,
and, in spite of Mr. Bouncer's expostulatory "chaff," demanded
half-a-crown for the sight.

Indeed, the sight-seeing at Blenheim seemed to be a system of
half-crowns.  The first servant would take them a little way, and
then say, "I don't go any further, sir; half-a-crown!" and hand them
over to servant number two, who, after a short interval, would pass
them on (half-a-crown!) to the servant who shewed the chapel
(half-a-crown!), who would forward them on to the "Titian" Gallery
(half-a-crown!), who would hand them over to the flower-garden
(half-a-crown!),who would entrust them to the rose-garden
(half-a-crown!), who would give them up to another, who shewed parts
of the Park, and

* Dr Waagen says that the Rubens collection at Blenheim is only
surpassed by the royal galleries of Munich, Vienna, Madrid, and Paris.
+ The ladies alone would repel one by their gaunt ugliness, their
flesh being apparently composed of the article on which the pictures
are painted, leather.  The only picture not by "Titian" in this room
is a Rubens, - "the Rape of Proserpine" - to see which is well worth
the half-crown ~charged~ for the sight of the others.


the rest of it.  Somewhat in this manner an Oxford party sees
Blenheim (the present of the nation); and Mr. Verdant Green found it
the most expensive show-place he had ever seen.  Some of the Park,
however, was free (though they were two or three times ordered to
"get off the grass"); and they rambled about among the noble trees,
and admired the fine views of the Hall, and smoked their weeds, and
became very pathetic at Rosamond's Spring.  They then came back into
Woodstock, which they found to be like all Oxford towns, only
 rather duller perhaps, the principal signs of life being
some fowls lazily pecking about in the grass-grown street, and two
cats sporting without fear of interruption from a dog, who was too
much overcome by the ~ennui~ of the place to interfere with them.

Mr. Bouncer then led the way to an inn, where the bar was presided
over by a young lady, "on whom," he said, "he was desperately sweet,"
and with whom he conversed in the most affable and brotherly manner,
and for whom also he had brought, as an appropriate present, a Book
of Comic Songs; "for," said the little gentleman, "hang it! she's a
girl of what you call ~mind~, you know! and she's heard of the opera,
and begun the piano, - though she don't get much time, you see, for it
in the bar, - and she sings regular slap-up, and no mistake!"

So they left this young lady drawing bitter beer for Mr.


Bouncer, and otherwise attending to her adorer's wants, and
endeavoured to have a game of billiards on a wooden table that had no
cushions, with curious cues that had no leathers.  Slightly failing
in this difficult game, they strolled about till dinner-time, when
Mr. Verdant Green became mysteriously lost for some time, and was
eventually found by Charles Larkyns and Mr. Fosbrooke in a glover's
shop, where he was sitting on a high stool, and basking in the
sunshiny smiles of two "neat little glovers."  Our hero at first
feigned to be simply making purchases of Woodstock gloves and purses,
as ~souvenirs~ of his visit, and presents for his sisters; but in the
course of the evening, being greatly "chaffed" on the subject, he
began to exercise his imagination, and talk of the "great fun" he had
had; - though what particular fun there may be in smiling amiably
across a counter at a feminine shopkeeper who is selling you gloves,
it is hard to say: perhaps Dr. Sterne could help us to an answer.

They spent altogether a very lively day; and after a rather
protracted sitting over their wine, they returned to Oxford with
great hilarity, Mr. Bouncer's post-horn coming out with great effect
in the stillness of the moonlight night.  Unfortunately their mirth
was somewhat checked when they had got as far as Peyman's Gate; for
the proctor, with mistaken kindness, had taken the trouble to meet
them there, lest they should escape him by entering Oxford by any
devious way; and the marshal and the bull-dogs were at the leader's
head just as Mr. Fosbrooke was triumphantly guiding them through the
turnpike.  Verdant gave up his name and that of his college with a
thrill of terror, and nearly fell off the drag from fright, when he
was told to call upon the proctor the next morning.

"Keep your pecker up, old feller!" said Mr. Bouncer, in an
encouraging tone, as they drove into Oxford, "and don't be down in
the mouth about a dirty trick like this.  He won't hurt you much,
Giglamps! Gate and chapel you; or give you some old Greek party to
write out; or send you down to your mammy for a twelve-month; or
some little trifle of that sort.  I only wish the beggar would come
up our staircase! if Huz, and Buz his brother, didn't do their duty
by him, it would be doosid odd.  Now, don't you go and get bad
dreams, Giglamps! because it don't pay; and you'll soon get used to
these sort of things; and what's the odds, as long as you're happy? I
like to take things coolly, I do."

To judge from Mr. Bouncer's serenity, and the far-from-nervous manner
in which he "sounded his octaves," ~he~ at least appeared to be
thoroughly used to "that sort of thing," and doubtless slept as
tranquilly as though nothing wrong had occurred.  But it was far
different with our hero, who passed


a sleepless night of terror as to his probable fate on the morrow.

And when the morrow came, and he found himself in the dreaded
presence of the constituted authority, armed with all the power of
the law, he was so overcome, that he fell on his knees and made an
abject spectacle of himself, imploring that he might not be expelled,
and bring down his father's grey hairs in the usually quoted manner.
To his immense relief, however, he was treated in a more lenient way;
and as the term had nearly expired, his punishment could not be of
long duration; and as for the impositions, why, as Mr. Bouncer said,
"Ain't there coves to ~barber~ise 'em* for you, Giglamps?"

Thus our freshman gained experience daily; so that by  the
end of the term, he found that short as the time had been, it had
been long enough for him to learn what Oxford life was like, and that
there was in it a great deal to be copied, as well as some things to
be shunned.  The freshness he had so freely shown on entering Oxford
had gradually yielded as the term went on; and, when he had run
halloing the Brazenface boat all the way up from Iffley, and had seen
Mr. Blades realize his most sanguine dreams as to "the head of the
river;" and when, from the gallery of the theatre, he had taken part
in the licensed saturnalia of the Commemoration, and had cheered for
the ladies in pink and blue, and even given "one more" for the very
proctor who had so lately interfered with his liberties; and when he
had gone to a farewell pass-party (which Charles Larkyns did ~not~
give), and had assisted in the other festivities that usually mark
the end of the academical year, - Mr. Verdant Green found himself to
be possessed of a considerable acquisition of knowledge of a most
miscellaneous character; and on the authority, and in the figurative
eastern language of Mr. Bouncer, "he was sharpened up no end, by
being well rubbed against university bricks.  So, good by, old
feller!" said the little gentleman, with a kind remembrance of

* Impositions are often performed by deputy.


individuals, "and give my love to Sairey and the little uns."  And Mr.
Bouncer "went the complete unicorn," for the last time in that term,
by extemporising a farewell solo to Verdant, which was of such an
agonizing character of execution, that Huz, and Buz his brother,
lifted up their noses and howled.  

"Which they're the very moral of Christyuns, sir!" observed Mrs.
Tester, who was dabbing her curtseys in thankfulness for the large
amount with which our hero had "tipped" her.  "And has ears for
moosic, sir.  With grateful thanks to you, sir, for the same.  And
it's obleeged I feel in my art.  Which it reelly were like what my
own son would do, sir.  As was found in drink for his rewing.  And
were took to the West Injies for a sojer.  Which he were - ugh! oh,
oh!  Which you be'old me a hafflicted martyr to these spazzums, sir.
And  how I am to get through them doorin' the veecation.
 Without a havin' 'em eased by a-goin' to your cupboard, sir.  For
just three spots o' brandy on a lump o' sugar, sir.  Is a summut as
I'm afeered to think on.  Oh! ugh!"  Upon which Mrs. Tester's grief
and spasms so completely overcame her, that our hero presented her
with an extra half-sovereign, wherewith to purchase the medicine that
was so peculiarly adapted to her complaint.  Mr. Robert Filcher was
also "tipped" in the same liberal manner; and our hero completed his
first term's residence in Brazenface by establishing himself as a
decided favourite.  Among those who seemed disposed to join in this
opinion was


the Jehu of the Warwickshire coach, who expressed his conviction to
our delighted hero, that "he wos a young gent as had much himproved
hisself since he tooled him up to the 'Varsity with his guvnor."  To
fully deserve which high opinion, Mr. Verdant Green tipped for the
box-seat, smoked  more than was good for him, and besides
finding the coachman in weeds, drank with him at every "change" on
the road.

The carriage met him at the appointed place, and his luggage (no
longer encased in canvas, after the manner of females) was soon
transferred to it; and away went our hero to the Manor Green, where
he was received with the greatest demonstrations of delight.
Restored to the bosom of his family, our hero was converted into a
kind of domestic idol; while it was proposed by Miss Mary Green,
seconded by Miss Fanny, and carried by unanimous acclamation, that
Mr. Verdant Green's University career had greatly enhanced his

The opinion of the drawing-room was echoed from the servants'-hall,
the ladies' maid in particular being heard freely to declare, that
"Oxford College had made quite a man of Master Verdant!"

As the little circumstance on which she probably grounded her
encomium had fallen under the notice of Miss Virginia Verdant, it may
have accounted for that most correct-minded lady being more reserved
in expressing her opinion of her nephew's improvement than were the
rest of the family; but she nevertheless thought a great deal on the


"Well, Verdant!" said Mr. Green, after hearing divers anecdotes of
his son's college-life, carefully prepared for home-consumption; "now
tell us what you've learnt in Oxford."

"Why," replied our hero, as he reflected on his freshman's career, "I
have learnt to think for myself, and not to believe every thing that I
hear; and I think I could fight my way in the world; and I can chaff
a cad -"

"Chaff a cad! oh!" groaned Miss Virginia to herself, thinking it was
something extremely dreadful.

"And I have learnt to row - at least, not quite; but I can smoke a
weed - a cigar, you know. I've learnt that."

"Oh, Verdant, you naughty boy!" said Mrs. Green, with maternal
fondness.  "I was sadly afraid that Charles Larkyns would teach you
all his wicked school habits!"

"Why, mama," said Mary, who was sitting on a footstool at her
brother's knee, and spoke up in defence of his college friend; "why,
mama, all gentlemen smoke; and of course Mr. Charles Larkyns and
Verdant must do as others do.  But I dare say, Verdant, he taught you
more useful things than that, did he not?"

"Oh, yes," replied Verdant; "he taught me to grill a devil."

"Grill a devil!" groaned Miss Virginia.  "Infatuated young man!"

"And to make shandy-gaff and sherry-cobbler, and brew bishop and
egg-flip: oh, it's capital! I'll teach you how to make 
it; and we'll have some to-night!"

And thus the young gentleman astonished his family with the extent of
his learning, and proved how a youth of ordinary natural attainments
may acquire other knowledge in his University career than what simply
pertains to classical literature.

And so much experience had our hero gained during his freshman's
term, that when the pleasures of the Long Vacation were at an end,
and he had returned to Brazenface, with his firm and fast friend
Charles Larkyns, he felt himself entitled to assume a patronizing air
to the freshmen who then entered, and even sought to impose upon
their credulity in ways which his own personal experience suggested.

It was clear that Mr. Verdant Green had made his farewell bow as an
Oxford Freshman.

[123    ]
                                                PART II.

                                                CHAPTER I.

                                AS AN OXFORD UNDERGRADUATE.

  THE intelligent reader - which epithet I take to be a
synonym for every one who has perused the first part of the
Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green, - will remember the statement, that
the hero of the narrative "had gained so much experience during his
Freshman's term, that, when the pleasures of the Long Vacation were
at an end, and he had returned to Brazenface with his firm and fast
friend Charles Larkyns, he felt himself entitled to assume a
patronizing air to the Freshmen, who then entered, and even sought to
impose upon their credulity in ways which his own personal experience
suggested."  And the intelligent reader will further call to mind the
fact that the first part of these memoirs concluded with the words
-"it was clear that Mr. Verdant Green had made his farewell bow as an
Oxford Freshman."

But, although Mr. Verdant Green had of necessity ceased to be "a
Freshman" as soon as he had entered upon his second term of residence,
- the name being given to students in their first term only, - yet
this necessity, which, as we all know, ~non habet leges~, will
occasionally prove its rule by an exception; and if Mr. Verdant Green
was no longer a freshman in name, he still continued to be one by
nature.  And the intelligent reader will perceive when he comes to
study these veracious memoirs, that, although their hero will no
longer display those peculiarly virulent symptoms of freshness, which
drew towards him so much friendly sympathy during the earlier part of
his University career, yet that he will still, by his innocent simpli-


city and credulity, occasionally evidence the truth of the Horatian

                        "Quo semel est imbuta recens, servabit odorem
                        Testa diu;"*

which, when ~Smart~-ly translated, means, "A cask will long preserve
the flavour, with which, when new, it was once impregnated;" and
which, when rendered in the Saxon vulgate, signifieth, "What is bred
in the bone will come out in the flesh."

It would, indeed, take more than a Freshman's term, - a two months'
residence in Oxford, - to remove the simple gaucheries of the country
Squire's hobbodehoy, and convert the girlish youth, the pupil of that
Nestor of Spinsters, Miss Virginia Verdant, into the MAN whose school
was the University, whose Alma Mater was Oxonia herself.  We do not
cut our wise teeth in a day; some people, indeed, are so unfortunate
as never to cut them at all; at the best, two months is but a brief
space in which to get through this sapient teething operation, a
short time in which to graft our cutting on the tree of Wisdom, more
especially when the tender plant happens to be a Verdant Green.  The
golden age is past when the full-formed goddess of Wisdom sprang from
the brain of Jove complete in all her parts.  If our Vulcans
now-a-days were to trepan the heads of our Jupiters, they would find
nothing in them! In these degenerate times it will take more than one
splitting headache to produce ~our~ wisdom.

So it was with our hero.  The splitting headache, for example, which
had wound up the pleasures of Mr. Small's "quiet party," had taught
him that the good things of this life were not given to be abused,
and that he could not exceed the bounds of temperance and moderation
without being made to pay the penalty of the trespass.  It had taught
him that kind of wisdom which even "makes fools wise"; for it had
taught him Experience.  And yet, it was but a portion of that lesson
of Experience which it is sometimes so hard to learn, but which, when
once got by heart, is like the catechism of our early days, - it is
never forgotten, - it directs us, it warns us, it advises us; it not
only adorns the tale of our life, but it points the moral which may
bring that tale to a happy and peaceful end.

Experience! Experience! What will it not do? It is a staff which will
help us on when we are jostled by the designing crowds of our Vanity
Fair.  It is a telescope that will reveal to us the dark spots on
what seemed to be a fair face.  It is a finger-post to show us
whither the crooked paths of worldly

* Horace, Ep. Lib. I. ii., 69.


ways will lead us.  It is a scar that tells of the wound which the
soldier has received in the battle of life.  It is a lighthouse that
warns us off those hidden rocks and quicksands where the wrecks of
long past joys that once smiled so fairly, and were loved so dearly,
now lie buried in all their ghastliness, stripped of grace and
beauty, things to shudder at and dread.  Experience! Why, even Alma
Mater's doctors prescribe it to be taken in the largest quantities!
"Experientia - ~dose it~!" they say: and very largely some of us have
to pay for the dose.  But the dose does us good; and (for it is an
allopathic remedy), the greater the dose, the greater is the benefit
to be derived.

The two months' allopathic dose of Experience, which had been
administered to Mr. Verdant Green, chiefly through the agency of
those skilful professors, Messrs. Larkyns, Fosbrooke, Smalls, and
Bouncer, had been so far beneficial to him, that, in the figurative
Eastern language of the last-named gentleman, he had not only been
"sharpened up no end by being well rubbed against University bricks,"
but he had, moreover, "become so considerably wide-awake, that he
would very soon be able to take the shine out of the old original
Weazel, whom the pages of History had recorded as never having been
discovered in a state of somnolence."

Now, as Mr. Bouncer was a gentleman of considerable experience and
was, too, (although addicted to expressions not to be found in "the
Polite Preceptor,"), quite free from the vulgar habit of personal
flattery, - or, as he thought fit to express it, in words which would
have taken away my Lord Chesterfield's appetite, "buttering a party
to his face in the cheekiest manner," - we may fairly presume, on this
strong evidence, that Mr. Verdant Green had really gained a
considerable amount of experience during his freshman's term,
although there were still left in his character and conduct many
marks of viridity which

                        "Time's effacing fingers,"

assisted by Mr. Bouncer's instructions, would gradually remove.
However, Mr. Verdant Green had, at any rate, ceased to be "a
Freshman" in name; and had received that University promotion, which
Mr. Charles Larkyns commemorated by the following ~affiche~, which
our hero, on his return from his first morning chapel in the
Michaelmas term, found in a conspicuous position on his oak,

                          OF OXFORD.

    MR. VERDANT GREEN to be an Oxford Undergraduate, ~vice~ Oxford
Freshman, SOLD out.

It is generally found to be the case, that the youthful Undergraduate
first seeks to prove he is no longer a "Freshman," by endeavouring to
impose on the credulity of those young


gentlemen who come up as freshmen in his second term.  And, in this,
there is an analogy between the biped and the quadruped; for, the
wild, gambolling, schoolboy elephant, when he has been brought into a
new circle, and has been trained to new habits, will take pleasure in
ensnaring and deluding his late companions in play.

The "sells" by which our hero had been "sold out" as a Freshman, now
formed a stock in trade for the Undergraduate, which his experience
enabled him to dispose of (with considerable interest) to the most
credulous members of the generations of Freshmen who came up after
him.  Perhaps no Freshman had ever gone through a more severe course
of hoaxing - to survive it - than Mr. Verdant Green; and yet, by a
system of retaliation, only paralleled by the quadrupedal case of the
before-mentioned elephant, and the biped-beadle case of the
illustrious Mr. Bumble, who after having his own ears boxed by the
late Mrs. Corney, relieved his feelings by boxing the ears of the
small boy who opened the gate for him, - our hero took the greatest
delight in seeking every opportunity to play off upon a Freshman some
one of those numerous hoaxes which had been so successfully practised
on himself.  And while, in referring to the early part of his
University career, he omitted all mention of such anecdotes as
displayed his own personal credulity in the strongest light - which
anecdotes the faithful historian has thought fit to record, - he,
nevertheless, dwelt with extreme pleasure on the reminiscences of a
few isolated facts, in which he himself appeared in the character of
the hoaxer.

These facts, when neatly garnished with a little fiction, made very
palatable dishes for University entertainment, and were served up by
our hero, when he went "down into the country," to select parties of
relatives and friends (N.B. - Females preferred).  On such occasions,
the following hoax formed Mr. Verdant Green's ~piece de resistance~.

                                                CHAPTER II.

                        MR. VERDANT GREEN DOES AS HE HAS BEEN DONE BY.

ONE morning, Mr. Verdant Green and Mr. Bouncer were lounging in the
venerable gateway of Brazenface.  The former gentleman, being of an
amiable, tame-rabbit-keeping disposition, was making himself very
happy by whistling popular airs to the Porter's pet bullfinch, who
was laboriously engaged on a small tread-mill, winding up his private
supply of water.  Mr. Bouncer, being of a more volatile temperament,
was amusing himself by asking the Porter's opinion


on the foreign policy of Great Britain, and by making very audible
remarks on the passers-by. His attention was at length riveted by the
appearance on the other side of the street, of a modest-looking
young gentleman, who appeared to be so ill at ease in his frock-coat
and "stick-up" collars, as to lead to the strong presumption that he
wore those articles of manly dress for the first time.

"I'll bet you a bottle of blacking, Giglamps," said little Mr.
Bouncer, as he directed our hero's attention to the stranger, "that
this respected party is an intending Freshman.  Look at his customary
suits of solemn black, as Othello, or Hamlet, or some other swell,
says in Shakespeare.  And, besides his black go-to-meeting bags,
please to observe," continued the little gentleman, in the tone of a
wax-work showman; "please to ~h~observe the pecooliarity hof the
hair-chain, likewise the straps of the period.  Look! he's coming
this way.  Giglamps, I vote we take a rise out of the youth.  Hem!
Good morning! Can we have the pleasure of assisting you in anything?"

 "Yes, sir! thank you, sir," replied the youthful stranger, who was
flushing like a girl up to the very roots of his curly, auburn hair;
"perhaps, sir, you can direct me to Brazenface College, sir?"

"Well, sir! it's not at all improbable, sir, but what I could, sir;"
replied Mr. Bouncer; "but, perhaps, sir, you'll first favour me with
your name, and your business there, sir."

"Certainly, sir!" rejoined the stranger; and, while he fumbled at his
card-case, the experienced Mr. Bouncer whispered to our hero, "Told
you he was a sucking Freshman, Giglamps! He has got a bran new
card-case, and says 'sir' at the sight of the academicals."  The card
handed to Mr. Bouncer, bore the name of "MR. JAMES PUCKER;" and, in
smaller characters in the corner of the card, were the words,
"~Brazenface College, Oxford~."

"I came, sir," said the blushing Mr. Pucker, "to enter for my
matriculation examination, and I wished to see the gentleman who will
have to examine me, sir."

"The doose you do!" said Mr. Bouncer sternly; "then young man, allow
me to say, that you've regularly been and gone and done it, and put
your foot in it most completely."

"How-ow-ow, how, sir?" stammered the dupe.

"How?" replied Mr. Bouncer, still more sternly; "do you mean to
brazen out your offence by asking how? What ~could~ have induced you,
sir, to have had printed on this card the name of this College, when
you've not a prospect of belonging to it - it may be for years, it
may be for never, as the bard says.  You've committed a most grievous
offence against the University statutes, young gentleman; and so this
gentleman here -


Mr. Pluckem, the junior examiner - will tell you!" and with that,
little Mr. Bouncer nudged Mr. Verdant Green, who took his cue with
astonishing aptitude, and glared through his glasses at the trembling
Mr. Pucker, who stood blushing, and bowing, and heartily repenting
that his school-boy vanity had led him to invest four-and-sixpence in
"100 cards, and plate, engraved with name and address."

"Put the cards in your pocket, sir, and don't let me see them again!"
said our hero in his newly-confirmed title of the junior examiner;
quite rejoiced at the opportunity afforded him of proving to his
friend that ~he~ was no longer a Freshman.

"He forgives you for the sake of your family, young man!" said Mr.
Bouncer with pathos; "you've come to the right shop, for ~this~ is
Brazenface; and you've come just at the right time, for here is the
gentleman who will assist Mr. Pluckem in examining you;" and Mr.
Bouncer pointed to Mr. Four-in-hand Fosbrooke, who was coming up the
street on his way from the Schools, where he was making a very
laudable (but as it proved, futile) endeavour "to get through his
smalls," or, in other words, to pass his Little-go examination.  The
hoax which had been suggested to the ingenious mind of Mr. Bouncer,
was based upon the fact of Mr. Fosbrooke's being properly got-up for
his sacrifice in a white tie, and a pair of very small bands - the
two articles, which, with the usual academicals, form the costume
demanded by Alma Mater of all her children when they take their
places in her Schools.  And, as Mr. Fosbrooke was far too politic a
gentleman to irritate the Examiners by appearing in a "loud" or
sporting costume, he had carried out the idea of clerical character
suggested by the bands and choker, by a quiet, gentlemanly suit of
black, which, he had fondly hoped, would have softened his Examiners'
manners, and not permitted them to be brutal.

Mr. Four-in-hand Fosbrooke, therefore, to the unsophisticated eye of
the blushing Mr. Pucker, presented a very fine specimen of the
Examining Tutor; and this impression on Mr. Pucker's mind was
heightened by Mr. Fosbrooke, after a few minutes' private
conversation with the other two gentlemen, turning to him, and
saying, "It will be extremely inconvenient to me to examine you now;
but as you probably wish to return home as soon as possible, I will
endeavour to conclude the business at once - this gentleman, Mr.
Pluckem," pointing to our hero, "having kindly promised to assist me.
 Mr. Bouncer, will you have the goodness to follow with the young
gentleman to my rooms?"

Leaving Mr. Pucker to express his thanks for this great kindness, and
Mr. Bouncer to plunge him into the depths of trepidation by telling
him terrible ~stories~ of the Examiner's


fondness for rejecting the candidates for examination, Mr. Fosbrooke
and our hero ascended to the rooms of the former, where they hastily
cleared away cigar-boxes and pipes, turned certain French pictures
with their faces to the wall, and covered over with an outspread
~Times~ a regiment of porter and spirit bottles which had just been
smuggled in, and were drawn up rank-and-file on the sofa.  Having
made this preparation, and furnished the table with pens, ink, and
scribble-paper, Mr. Bouncer and the victim were admitted. 

"Take a seat, sir," said Mr. Fosbrooke, gravely; and Mr. Pucker put
his hat on the ground, and sat down at the table in a state of
blushing nervousness.  "Have you been at a public school?"

"Yes, sir," stammered the victim; "a very public one, sir; it was a
boarding-school, sir; forty boarders, and thirty day-boys, sir; I was
a day-boy, sir, and in the first class."

"First class of an uncommon slow train!" muttered Mr. Bouncer.

"And are you going back to the boarding-school?" asked Mr. Verdant
Green, with the air of an assistant judge.

"No sir," replied Mr. Pucker, "I have just done with it; quite done
with school, sir, this last half; and papa is going to put me to read
with a clergyman until it is time for me to come to college."

"Refreshing innocence!" murmured Mr. Bouncer; while Mr. Fosbrooke and
our hero conferred together, and hastily wrote on two sheets of the

"Now, sir," said Mr. Fosbrooke to the victim, after a paper had been
completed, "let us see what your Latin writing is


like.  Have the goodness to turn what I have written into Latin; and
be very careful, sir," added Mr. Fosbrooke, sternly, "be very careful
that it is Cicero's Latin, sir!" and he handed Mr. Pucker a sheet of
paper, on which he had scribbled the following:


        "If, therefore, any on your bench, my luds, or in this
assembly, should entertain an opinion that the proximate parts of a
mellifluous mind are for ever conjoined and unconnected, I submit to
you, my luds, that it will of necessity follow, that such clandestine
conduct being a mere nothing, - or, in the noble language of our
philosophers, bosh, - every individual act of overt misunderstanding
will bring interminable limits to the empiricism of thought, and will
rebound in the very lowest degree to the credit of the malefactor."

         OF TACITUS.

        "She went into the garden to cut a cabbage to make an
apple-pie.  Just then, a great she-bear coming down the street, poked
its nose into the shop-window.  'What! no soap?' So he died, and she
(very imprudently) married the barber.  And there were present at the
wedding the Joblillies, and the Piccannies, and the Gobelites, and
the great Panjandrum himself, with the little button on top.  So they
all set to playing Catch-who-catch-can, till the gunpowder ran out at
the heels of their boots."

It was well for the purposes of the hoaxers that Mr. Pucker's
trepidation prevented him from making a calm perusal of the paper;
and he was nervously doing his best to turn the nonsensical English
word by word into equally nonsensical Latin, when his limited powers
of Latin writing were brought to a full stop by the untranslateable
word "Bosh".  As he could make nothing of this, he wiped the
perspiration from his forehead, and gazed appealingly at the
benignant features of Mr. Verdant Green.  The appealing gaze was
answered by our hero ordering Mr. Pucker to hand in his paper for
examination, and to endeavour to answer the questions which he and
his brother examiner had been writing down for him.

Mr. Pucker took the two papers of questions, and read as follows:


"1.     Draw a historical parallel (after the manner of Plutarch)
between Hannibal and Annie Laurie.
"2.     What internal evidence does the Odyssey afford, that Homer
sold his Trojan war-ballads at three yards an obolus?
"3.     Show the strong presumption there is, that Nox was the god of
"4.     State reasons for presuming that the practice of lithography
may be traced back to the time of Perseus and the Gorgon's head.
"5.     In what way were the shades on the banks of the Styx supplied
with spirits?
"6.     Show the probability of the College Hornpipe having been used
by the students of the Academia; and give passages from Thucydides
and Tennyson in support of your answer.


"7.     Give a brief account of the Roman Emperors who visited the
United States, and state what they did there.
"8.     Show from the redundancy of the word {gas} in Sophocles, that
gas must have been used by the Athenians; also state, if the
expression {oi barbaroi} would seem to signify that they were close
"9.     Show from the words 'Hoc erat in votis' (Sat. VI., Lib. II.,)
that Horace's favourite wine was hock, and that he meant to say 'he
always voted for hock.'
"10.    Draw a parallel between the Children in the Wood and Achilles
in the Styx.
"11.    When it is stated that Ariadne, being deserted by Theseus,
fell in love with Bacchus, is it the poetical way of asserting that
she took to drinking to drown her grief?
"12.    Name the ~prima donnas~ who have appeared in the operas of
Virgil and Horace since the 'Virgilii Opera,' and 'Horatii Opera'
were composed."

                                "EUCLID, ARITHMETIC, and ALGEBRA.

"1.     'The extremities of a line are points.' Prove this by the
rule of railways.
"2.     Show the fallacy of defining an angle, as 'a worm at one end
and a fool at the other.'
"3.     If one side of a triangle be produced, what is there to
prevent the other two sides from also being brought forward?
"4.     Let A and B be squares having their respective boundaries in
E and W ends, and let C and D be circles moving in them; the circle D
will be superior to the circle C.
"5.     In equal circles, equal figures from various squares will
stand upon the same footing.
"6.     If two parts of a circle fall out, the one part will cut the
"7. Describe a square which shall be larger than Belgrave Square.
"8. If the gnomon of a sun-dial be divided into two equal, and also
into two unequal parts, what would be its value?
"9.     Describe a perpendicular triangle having the squares of the
semi-circle equal to half the extremity between the points of
"10. If an Austrian florin is worth 5.61 francs, what will be the
value of Pennsylvanian bonds? Prove by rule-of-three inverse.
"11.    If seven horses eat twenty-five acres of grass in three days,
what will be their condition on the fourth day? Prove by practice.
"12. If a coach-wheel, 6 5/30 in diameter and 5 9/47 in
circumference, makes 240 4/19 revolutions in a second, how many men
will it take to do the same piece of work in ten days?
"13.    Find the greatest common measure of a quart bottle of Oxford
"14.    Find the value of a 'bob,' a 'tanner,' 'a joey,' and a
"15. Explain the common denominators 'brick,' 'trump,' 'spoon,'
'muff,' and state what was the greatest common denominator in the
last term.
"16.    Reduce two academical years to their lowest terms.
"17.    Reduce a Christ Church tuft to the level of a Teddy Hall man.
"18.    If a freshman ~A~ have any mouth ~x~, and a bottle of wine
~y~, show how many applications of ~x~ to ~y~ will place ~y~+~y~
before ~A~."

Mr. Pucker did not know what to make of such extraordinary and
unexpected questions.  He blushed, attempted to write, fingered his
curls, tried to collect his faculties, and then appeared to give
himself over to despair; whereupon little Mr. Bouncer was seized with
an immoderate fit of coughing which had well nigh brought the farce
to its ~denouement~.


"I'm afraid, young gentleman," said Mr. Four-in-hand Fosbrooke, as he
carelessly settled his white tie and bands, "I am afraid, Mr. Pucker,
that your learning is not yet up to the Brazenface standard.  We are
particularly cautious about admitting any gentleman whose
acquirements are not of the highest order.  But we will be as lenient
to you as we are able, and give you one more chance to retrieve
yourself.  We will try a little ~viva voce~, Mr. Pucker.  Perhaps,
sir, you will favour me with your opinions on the Fourth Punic War,
and will also give me a slight sketch of the constitution of ancient

Mr. Pucker waxed, if possible, redder and hotter than before[,] he
gasped like a fish out of water; and, like Dryden's prince, "unable
to conceal his pain," he

                "Sigh'd and look'd, sigh'd and look'd,
                Sigh'd and look'd, and sigh'd again."

But all was to no purpose: he was unable to frame an answer to Mr.
Fosbrooke's questions.

"Ah, sir," continued his tormentor, "I see that you will not do for
us yet awhile, and I am therefore under the painful necessity of
rejecting you.  I should advise you, sir, to read hard for another
twelvemonths, and endeavour to master those subjects in which you
have now failed.  For, a young man, Mr. Pucker, who knows nothing
about the Fourth Punic War, and the constitution of ancient
Heliopolis, is quite unfit to be enrolled among the members of such a
learned college as Brazenface.  Mr. Pluckem quite coincides with me
in this decision."  (Here Mr. Verdant Green gave a Burleigh nod.)
"We feel very sorry for you, Mr. Pucker, and also for your
unfortunate family; but we recommend you to add to your present stock
of knowledge, and to keep those visiting-cards for another
twelvemonth."  And Mr. Fosbrooke and our hero - disregarding poor Mr.
Pucker's entreaties that they would consider his pa and ma, and would
please to matriculate him this once, and he would read very hard,
indeed he would - turned to Mr. Bouncer and gave some private
instructions, which caused that gentleman immediately to vanish, and
seek out Mr. Robert Filcher.

Five minutes after, that excellent Scout met the dejected Mr. Pucker
as he was crossing the Quad on his way from Mr. Fosbrooke's rooms.

"Beg your pardon, sir," said Mr. Filcher, touching his forehead; for,
as Mr. Filcher, after the manner of his tribe, never was seen in a
head-covering, he was unable to raise his hat or cap; "beg your
pardon, sir! but was you a lookin' for the party as examines the
young gents for their matrickylation?"


"Eh?-no! I have just come from him," replied Mr. Pucker, dolefully.

"Beg your pardon, sir," remarked Mr. Filcher, "but his rooms ain't
that way at all. Mr. Slowcoach, as is the party you ~ought~ to have
seed, has ~his~ rooms quite in a hopposite direction, sir; and he's
the honly party as examines the matrickylatin' gents."

"But I ~have~ been examined," observed Mr. Pucker, with the
 air of a plucked man; "and I am sorry to say that I was
rejected, and" -

"I dessay, sir," interrupted Mr. Filcher; "but I think it's a 'oax,

"A what?" stammered Mr. Pucker.

"A 'oax - a sell;" replied the Scout confidentially.  "You see, sir,
I think some of the gents have been makin' a little game of you, sir;
they often does with fresh parties like you, sir, that seem fresh and
hinnocent like; and I dessay they've been makin' believe to examine
you, sir, and a pretendin' that you wasn't clever enough.  But they
don't mean no harm, sir; it's only their play, bless you!"

"Then," said Mr. Pucker, whose countenance had been gradually
clearing with every word the Scout spoke; "then I'm not really
rejected, but have still a chance of passing my examination?"

"Percisely so, sir," replied Mr. Filcher; "and - hexcuse me, sir, for a
hintin' of it to you, - but, if you would let me adwise you, sir, you
wouldn't go for to mention anythin' about the 'oax to Mr. Slowcoach;
~he~ wouldn't be pleased, sir, and ~you'd~ only get laughed at.  If
you like to go to him now, sir, I know he's in his rooms, and I'll
show you the way there with the greatest of pleasure."

Mr. Pucker, immensely relieved in mind, gladly put himself under the
Scout's guidance, and was admitted into the presence of Mr.
Slowcoach.  In twenty minutes after this he issued from the examining
tutor's rooms with a joyful countenance, and again encountered Mr.
Robert Filcher.

"Hope you've done the job this time, sir," said the Scout.


"Yes," replied the radiant Mr. Pucker; "and at two o'clock I am to
see the Vice-Chancellor; and I shall be able to come to college this
time next year."

"Werry glad of it, indeed, sir!" observed Mr. Filcher, with genuine
emotion, and an eye to future perquisites; "and I suppose, sir, you
didn't say a word about the 'oax?"

"Not a word!" replied Mr. Pucker.

"Then, sir," said Mr. Filcher, with enthusiasm, "hexcuse me, but
you're a trump, sir! And Mr. Fosbrooke's compliments to you, sir, and
he'll be 'appy if you'll come up into his rooms, and take a glass of
wine after the fatigues of the examination.  And, - hexcuse me again,
sir, for a hintin' of it to you, but of course you can't be aweer of
the customs of the place, unless somebody tells you on 'em, - I shall
be werry glad to drink your werry good health, sir."

Need it be stated that the blushing Mr. Pucker, delirious with joy at
the sudden change in the state of affairs, and the delightful
prospect of being a member of the University, not only tipped Mr.
Filcher a five-shilling piece, but also paid a second visit to Mr.
Fosbrooke's rooms, where he found that gentleman in his usual
costume, and by him was introduced to the Mr. Pluckem, who now bore
the name of Mr. Verdant Green?  Need it be stated that the nervous
Mr. Pucker blushed and laughed, and laughed and blushed, while his
two pseudo-examiners took wine with him in the most friendly manner;
Mr. Bouncer pronouncing him to be "an out-and-outer, and no mistake!"
And need it be stated that, after this undergraduate display of
hoaxing, Mr. Verdant Green would feel exceedingly offended were he
still to be called "an Oxford Freshman?"

                                        CHAPTER III.

                BY POURING SPIRITS DOWN.

IT was the evening of the fifth of November; the day which the
Protestant youth of England dedicate to the memory of that martyr of
gunpowder, the firework Faux, and which the youth of Oxford, by a
three months' anticipation of the calendar, devote to the celebration
of those scholastic sports for which the day of St. Scholastica the
Virgin was once so famous.*

* Town and Gown disturbances are of considerable antiquity.  Fuller
and Matthew Paris give accounts of some which occurred as early as
the year 1238.  These disputes not unfrequently terminated fatally to
some of the combatants.  One of the most serious Town and Gown rows
on record took place on the day of St. Scholastica the Virgin,
February 10th, 1345, when several lives were lost on either side.
The University was at
[footnote continues next page]


Rumour with its hundred tongues had spread far and wide the news,
that a more than ordinary demonstration would be made of the might of
Town, and that this demonstration would be met by a corresponding
increase of prowess on the side of Gown.  It was darkly whispered
that the purlieus of Jericho would send forth champions to the fight.
 It was mentioned that the Parish of St. Thomas would be powerfully
represented by its Bargee lodgers.  It was confidently reported that
St. Aldate's** would come forth in all its olden strength.  It was
told as a fact that St. Clement's had departed from the spirit of
clemency, and was up in arms.  From an early hour of the evening, the
Townsmen had gathered in threatening groups; and their determined
aspect, and words of chaff, had told of the coming storm.  It was to
be a tremendous Town and Gown!

The Poet has forcibly observed-

                "Strange that there should such diff'rence be,
                'Twixt Tweedledum and Tweedledee!"

But the difference between Town and Gown, is not to be classed with
the Tweedledum and Tweedledee difference.  It is something more than
a mere difference of two letters.  The lettered Gown lorded it over
the unlettered Town: the plebeian Town was perpetually snubbed by the
aristocratic Gown.  If Gown even wished to associate with Town, he
could only do so under certain restrictions imposed by the statutes;
and Town was thus made to feel exceedingly honoured by the gracious
condescension of Gown.  But Town, moreover, maintained its existence,
that it might contribute to the pleasure and amusements, the needs
and necessities, of Gown.  And very expensively was Town occasionally
made to pay for its existence; so expensively indeed, that if it had

[cont.] that time in the Lincoln diocese; and Grostete, the Bishop,
placed the townspeople under an interdict, from which they were not
released till 1357, and then only on condition that the mayor and
sixty of the chief burgesses should, on every anniversary of the day
of St. Scholastica, attend St. Mary's Church and offer up mass for
the souls of the slain scholars; and should also individually present
an offering of one penny at the high altar.  They, moreover, paid a
yearly fine of 100 marks to the University, with the penalty of an
additional fine of the same sum for every omission in attending at
St. Mary's.  This continued up to the time of the Reformation, when
it gradually fell into abeyance.  In the fifteenth year of Elizabeth,
however, the University asserted their claim to all arrears.  The
matter being brought to trial, it was decided that the town should
continue the annual fine and penance, though the arrears were
forgiven.  The fine was yearly paid on the 10th of February up to our
own time: the mayor and chief burgesses attended at St. Mary's, and
made the offering at the conclusion of the litany, which, on that
occasion, was read from the altar.  This was at length put an end to
by Convocation in the year 1825.

** Corrupted by Oxford pronunciation (which makes Magdalen ~Maudlin~)
into St. ~Old's~.


been for the great interest which Town assumed on Gown's account, the
former's business-life would have soon failed.  But, on many
accounts, or rather, ~in~ many accounts, Gown was deeply indebted to
Town; and, although Gown was often loth to own the obligation, yet
Town never forgot it, but always placed it to Gown's credit.
Occasionally, in his early freshness, Gown would seek to compensate
Town for his obliging favours; but Town would gently run counter to
this wish, and preferred that the evidences of Gown's friendly
intercourse with him should accumulate, until he could, with renewed
interest (as we understand from the authority of an aged pun), obtain
his payments by Degrees.

When Gown was absent, Town was miserable: it was dull; it did
nothing; it lost its customer-y application to business.  When Gown
returned, there was no small change, - the benefit was a sovereign one
to Town.  Notes, too, passed between them; of which, those received
by Town were occasionally of intrinsic value.  Town thanked Gown for
these, - even thanked him when his civility had only been met by
checks, - and smirked, and fawned, and flattered; and Gown patronised
Town, and was offensively condescending.  What a relief then must it
have been to the pent-up feelings of Town, when the Saturnalia of a
Guy-Faux day brought its usual license, and Town could stand up
against Gown and try a game of fisticuffs! And if, when there was a
cry "To arms!" we could always settle the dispute in an English
fashion with those arms with which we have been supplied by nature,
there would then, perhaps, be fewer weeping widows and desolate
orphans in the world than there are just at present.

On the evening of the fifth of November, then, Mr. Bouncer's rooms
were occupied by a wine-party; and, among the gentlemen assembled, we
noticed (as newspaper reporters say), Mr. Verdant Green, Mr. Charles
Larkyns, Mr. Fosbrooke, Mr. Smalls, and Mr. Blades.  The table was
liberally supplied with wine; and a "dessert at eighteen-pence per
head," - as Mr. Bouncer would afterwards be informed through the
medium of his confectioner's bill; - and, while an animated
conversation was being held on the expected Town and Gown, the party
were fortifying themselves for the ~emeute~ by a rapid consumption of
the liquids before them.  Our hero, and some of the younger ones of
the party, who had not yet left off their juvenile likings, were hard
at work at the dessert in that delightful, disregardless-of-dyspepsia
manner, in which boys so love to indulge, even when they have passed
into University ~men~.  As usual, the ~bouquet~ of the wine was
somewhat interfered with by those narcotic odours, which, to a
smoker, are as the gales of Araby the Blest.


Mr. Blades was conspicuous among the party, not only from his
dimensions, - or, as he phrased it, from "his breadth of beam," - but
also from his free-and-easy costume.  "To get himself into wind," as
he alleged, Mr. Blades had just been knocking the wind out of the
Honourable Flexible Shanks (youngest son of the Earl of Buttonhole),
a Tuft from Christ Church, who had left his luxurious rooms in the
Canterbury Quad chiefly for the purpose of preparing himself for the
forthcoming Town and Gown, by putting on the gloves with his boating
friend.  The bout having terminated by Mr. Flexible Shanks having
been sent backwards into a tray of wine-glasses with which Mr.
Filcher was just entering the room, the gloves were put aside, and
the combatants had an amicable set-to at a bottle of Carbonell's
"Forty-four," which Mr. Bouncer brought out of a wine-closet in his
bed-room for their especial delectation.  Mr. Blades, who was of
opinion that, in dress, ease should always be consulted before
elegance, had not resumed that part of his attire of which he had
divested himself for fistianic purposes; and, with a greater display
of linen than is usually to be seen in society, was seated
comfortably in a lounging chair, smoking the pipe of peace.  Since he
had achieved the proud feat of placing the Brazenface boat at the
head of the river, Mr. Blades had gained increased renown, more
especially in his own college, where he was regarded in the light of
a tutelary river deity; and, as training was not going on, he was now
enabled to indulge in a second glass of wine, and also in the luxury
of a cigar.  Mr. Blades' shirt-sleeves were turned up so as to
display the anatomical proportion of his arms; and little Mr.
Bouncer, with the grave aspect of a doctor feeling a pulse, was
engaged in fingering his deltoid and biceps muscles, and in uttering
panegyrics on his friend's torso-of-Hercules condition.

"My gum, Billy!" (it must be observed, ~en passant~, that, although
the name given to Mr. Blades at an early age was Frank, yet that when
he was not called "old Blades," he was always addressed as "Billy," -
it being a custom which has obtained in universities, that wrong
names should be familiarly given to certain gentlemen, more as a mark
of friendly intimacy than of derision or caprice.) "My gum, Billy!"
observed Mr. Bouncer, "you're as hard as nails! What an extensive
assortment of muscles you've got on hand, - to say nothing about the
arms.  I wish I'd got such a good stock in trade for our customers
to-night; I'd soon sarve 'em out, and make 'em sing peccavi."

"The fact is," said Mr. Flexible Shanks, who was leaning smoking
against the mantelpiece behind him, "Billy is like a respectable
family of bivalves - he is nothing but mussels."


"Or like an old Turk," joined in Mr. Bouncer, "for he's a regular

"Oh! Shanks! Bouncer!" cried Charles Larkyns, "what stale jokes! Do
open the window, somebody, - it's really offensive."

"Ah!" said Mr. Blades, modestly, "you only just wait till Footelights
brings the Pet, and then you'll see real muscles."

"It was rather a good move," said Mr. Cheke, a gentleman Commoner of
Corpus, who was lounging in an easy chair, smoking a meerschaum
through an elastic tube a yard long, - "it was rather a good move of
yours, Fossy," he said, addressing himself to Mr. Four-in-hand
Fosbrooke, "to secure the Pet's services.  The feller will do us some
service, and will astonish the ~oi polloi~ no end."

"Oh! how prime it ~will~ be," cried little Mr. Bouncer, in ecstacies
with the prospect before him, "to see the Pet pitching into the cads,
and walking into their small affections with his one, two, three! And
don't I just pity them when he gets them into Chancery! Were you ever
in Chancery, Giglamps?"

"No, indeed!" replied the innocent Mr. Verdant Green; "and I hope
that I shall always keep out of it: lawsuits are "so very
disagreeable and expensive."

Mr. Bouncer had only time to remark ~sotto voce~ to Mr. Flexible
Shanks, "it is so jolly refreshing to take a rise out of old
Giglamps!" when a knock at the oak was heard; and, as Mr. Bouncer
roared out, "Come in!" the knocker entered.  He was rather dressy in
his style of costume, and wore his long dark hair parted in the
middle.  Opening the door, and striking into an attitude, he
exclaimed in a theatrical tone and manner: "Scene, Mr. Bouncer's
rooms in Brazenface: in the centre a table, at which Mr. B. and party
are discovered drinking log-juice, and smoking cabbage-leaves.  Door,
left, third entrance; enter the Putney Pet.  Slow music; lights
half-down."  And standing on one side, the speaker motioned to a
second gentleman to enter the room.

There was no mistaking the profession of this gentleman; even the
inexperience of Mr. Verdant Green did not require to be informed that
the Putney Pet was a prizefighter.  "Bruiser" was plainly written in
his personal appearance, from his hard-featured, low-browed,
battered, hang-dog face, to his thickset frame, and the powerful
muscular development of the upper part of his person.  His
close-cropped thatch of hair was brushed down tightly to his head,
but was permitted to burst into the luxuriance of two small ringlets,
which dangled in front of each huge ear, and were as carefully curled
and oiled as though they had graced the face of beauty.  The Pet was
attired in a dark olive-green cutaway coat, buttoned


over a waistcoat of a violent-coloured plaid, -a pair of white cord
trousers that fitted tightly to the leg, - and a white-spotted blue
handkerchief, which was twisted round a neck that might have served
as a model for the Minotaur's.  In his mouth, the Pet cherished,
according to his wont, a sprig of parsley; small fragments of which
herb he was accustomed to chew and spit out, as a pleasing relief to
the monotony of conversation.  

The Pet, after having been proclaimed victor in more than one of
those playfully frolicsome "Frolics of the Fancy," in which nobly
born but ignobly-minded "Corinthians" formerly invested so much
interest and money, had at length matched his powers against the
gentleman who bore the title of "the champion of the ring"; but,
after a protracted contest of two hours and a half, in which one
hundred and nineteen rounds had been fought, the Pet's eyes had been
completely closed up by an amusing series of blows from the heavy
fists of the more skilful champion; and as the Pet, moreover, was so
battered and bruised, and was altogether so "groggy" that he was
barely able to stand up to be knocked down, his humane second had
thrown up the sponge in acknowledgment of his defeat.  But though
unable to deprive the champion of his belt, yet - as ~Tintinnabulum's
Life~ informed its readers on the


following Sunday, in its report of this "matchless encounter," - the
Putney Pet had "established a reputation;" and a reputation ~is~ a
reputation, even though it be one which may be offensive to the
nostrils.  Retiring, therefore, from the more active public duties of
his profession, he took unto himself a wife and a beershop, - for it
seems to be a freak of "the Fancy," when they retire from one public
line to go into another, - and placing the former in charge of the
latter, the Pet came forth to the world as a "Professor of the noble
art of Self-defence."

It was in this phase of his existence, that Mr. Fosbrooke had the
pleasure of forming his acquaintance.  Mr. Fosbrooke had received a
card, which intimated that the Pet would have great pleasure in
giving him "~lessons in the noble and manly art of Self-defence,
either at the gentleman's own residence, or at the Pet's spacious
Sparring Academy, 5, Cribb Court, Drury Lane, which is fitted up with
every regard to the comfort and convenience of his pupils.  Gloves
are provided.  N.B. - Ratting sports at the above crib every evening.
 Plenty of rats always on hand.  Use of the Pit gratis.~"  Mr.
Fosbrooke, having come to the wise conclusion that every Englishman
ought to know how to be able to use his fists in case of need, and
being quite of the opinion of the gentleman who said: - "my son should
even learn to box, for do we not meet with imposing toll-keepers, and
insolent cabmen? and, as he can't call them out, he should be able to
knock them down,"* at once put himself under the Pet's tuition; and,
as we have before seen, still kept up his practice with the gloves,
when he had got to his own rooms at Brazenface.

But the Pet had other Oxford pupils than Mr. Fosbrooke; and he took
such an affectionate interest in their welfare, that he came down
from Town two or three times in each term, to see if his pupils'
practice had made them perfect in the art.  One of the Pet's pupils,
was the gentleman who had now introduced him to Mr. Bouncer's rooms.
His name was Foote, but he was commonly called "Footelights;" the
addition having been made to his name by way of ~sobriquet~ to
express his unusual fondness for the stage, which amounted to so
great a passion, that his very conversation was redolent of "the
footlights."  He had only been at St. John's a couple of terms, and
Mr. Fosbrooke had picked up his acquaintance through the medium of
the Pet, and had afterwards made him known to most of the men who
were now assembled at Mr. Bouncer's wine.

"Your servant, gents!" said the Pet, touching his forehead, and
making a scrape with his leg, by way of salutation.

* "A Bachelor of Arts", Act I.


"Hullo, Pet!" returned Mr. Bouncer; "bring yourself to an anchor, my
man."  The Pet accordingly anchored himself by dropping on to the edge
of a chair, and placing his hat underneath it; while Huz and Buz
smelt suspiciously round his legs, and looked at him with an
expression of countenance which bore a wonderful resemblance to that
which they gazed upon.

"Never mind the dogs; they're amiable little beggars," observed Mr.
Bouncer, "and they never bite any one except in play.  Now then, Pet,
what sort of liquors are you given to? Here are Claret liquors, Port
liquors, Sherry liquors, egg-flip liquors, Cup liquors.  You pays
your money, and you takes your choice!

"Well, sir, thankee!" replied the Pet, "I ain't no ways pertikler,
but if you ~have~ sich a thing as a glass o' sperrits, I'd prefer
that - if not objectionable."

"In course not, Pet! always call for what you like.  We keep all
sorts of liquors, and are allowed to get drunk on the premises.
Ain't we, Giglamps?"  Firing this raking shot as he passed our hero,
little Mr. Bouncer dived into the cupboard which served as his
wine-bin, and brought therefrom two bottles of brandy and whiskey
which he set before the Pet.  "If you like gin or rum, or
cherry-brandy, or old old-tom, better than these liquors," said Mr.
Bouncer, astonishing the Pet with the resources of a College
wine-cellar, "just say the word, and you shall have them. 'I can call
spirits from the vasty deep;' as Shikspur says.  How will you take
it, Pet?  Neat, or adulterated?  Are you for ~callidum cum~, or
~frigidum sine~ - for hot-with, or cold-without?"

"I generally takes my sperrits 'ot, sir - if not objectionable,"
replied the Pet deferentially.  Whereupon Mr. Bouncer seizing his
speaking-trumpet, roared through it from the top of the stairs,
"Rob-ert! Rob-ert!"  But, as Mr. Filcher did not answer the summons,
Mr. Bouncer threw up the window of his room, and bellowed out
"Rob-ert" in tones which must have been perfectly audible in the High
Street.  "Doose take the feller, he's always over at the Buttery;"
said the incensed gentleman.

"I'll go up to old Sloe's room, and get his kettle," said Mr. Smalls;
"he teas all day long to keep himself awake for reading.  If he don't
mind, he'll blow himself up with his gunpowder tea before he can take
his double-first."

By the time Mr. Smalls had re-appeared with the kettle, Mr. Filcher
had thought it prudent to answer his master's summons.

"Did you call, sir?" asked the scout, as though he was doubtful on
that point.


"Call!" said Mr. Bouncer, with great irony; "oh, no! of course not! I
should rather think not! Do you suppose that you are kept here that
parties may have the chance of hollering out their lungs for you?
Don't answer me, sir! but get some hot water, and some more glasses;
and be quick about it."  Mr. Filcher was gone immediately; and, in
three minutes, everything was settled to Mr. Bouncer's satisfaction,
and he gave Mr. Filcher farther orders to bring up coffee and anchovy
toast, at half-past eight o'clock.  "Now, Pet, my 
beauty!" said the little gentleman, "you just walk into the liquors;
because you've got some toughish work before you, you know."

The Pet did not require any pressing, but did as he was told; and,
bestowing a collective nod on the company, drank their healths with
the prefatory remark, "I looks to-~wards~ you gents!"

"Will you poke a smipe, Pet?" asked Mr. Bouncer, rather
enigmatically; but, as he at the same time placed before Pet a "yard
of clay" and a box of cigars, the professor of the art of
self-defence perceived that he was asked to smoke a pipe.

"That's right, Pet!" said the Honourable Flexible Shanks,
condescendingly, as the prizefighter scientifically filled the bowl
of his pipe; "I'm glad to see you join us in a bit of smoke.  We're
all ~Baccy~-nalians now!"  "Shanks, you're incorrigible!" said
Charles Larkyns; "and don't you remember what the ~Oxford Parodies~
say?" and in his clear, rich voice, Mr. Larkyns sang the two
following verses to the air of "Love not:"-

                Smoke not, smoke not, your weeds nor pipes of clay!
                Cigars they are made from leaves of cauliflowers;-


                Things that are doomed no duty e'er to pay;-
                Grown, made, and smoked in a few short hours.
                                                Smoke not - smoke not!
                Smoke not, smoke not, the weed you smoke may change
                The healthfulness of your stomachic tone;
                Things to the eye grow queer and passing strange;
                All thoughts seem undefined - save one - to be alone!
                                                Smoke not - smoke not!

"I know what you're thinking about, Giglamps," said Mr. Bouncer, as
Charles Larkyns ceased his parody amid an approving clatter of
glasses; "you were thinking of your first weed on the night of
Smalls' quiet party: wer'nt you now, old feller? Ah, you've learnt
to poke a smipe, beautiful, since then.  Pet, here's your health.
I'll give you a toast and s~i~ntiment, gentlemen.  May the Gown give
the Town a jolly good hiding!"  The sentiment was received with great
applause, and the toast was drunk with all the honours, and followed
by the customary but inappropriate chorus, "For he's a jolly good
fellow!" without the singing of which Mr. Bouncer could not allow any
toast to pass.

"How many cads could you lick at once, one off and the other on?"
asked Mr. Fosbrooke of the Pet, with the air of Boswell when he
wanted to draw out the Doctor.

"Well, sir," said the Pet, with the modesty of true genius, "I
wouldn't be pertickler to a score or so, as long as I'd got my back
well up agin some'ut, and could hit out."

"What an effective tableau it would be!" observed Mr. Foote, who had
always an eye to dramatic situations.  "Enter the Pet, followed by
twenty townspeople.  First T.P. - Yield, traitor! Pet - Never! the
man who would yield when ordered to do so, is unworthy the name of a
Pet and an Englishman!  Floors the twenty T.P.'s one after the other.
 Tableau, blue fire.  Why, it would surpass the British sailor's
broadsword combat for six, and bring down the house."

"Talking of bringing down", said Mr. Blades, "did you remember to
bring down a cap and gown for the Pet, as I told you?"

"Well, I believe those ~were~ the stage directions," answered Mr.
Foote; "but, really, the wardrobe was so ill provided that it would
only supply a cap.  But perhaps that will do for a super."

"If by a super you mean a supernumerary, Footelights," said Mr.
Cheke, the gentleman Commoner of Corpus, "then the Pet isn't one.
He's the leading character of what you would call the ~dramatis

"True," replied Mr. Foote, "he's cast for the hero; though he will
create a new ~role~ as the walking-into-them gentleman."

"You see, Footelights," said Mr. Blades, "that the Pet is to


lead our forces; and we depend upon him to help us on to victory: and
we must put him into academicals, not only because the town cads must
think he is one of us, but also because the proctors might otherwise
deprive us of his services - and old Towzer, the Senior Proctor, in
particular, is sure to be all alive.  Who's got an old gown?"

"I will lend mine with pleasure," said Mr. Verdant Green.

"But you'll want it yourself," said Mr. Blades.

"Why, thank you," faltered our hero, "I'd rather, I think, keep
within college.  I can see the - the fun - yes, the fun - from the

"Oh, blow it, Giglamps!" ejaculated Mr. Bouncer, "you'll never go to
do the mean, and show the white feather, will you?"

"Music expressive of trepidation," murmured Mr. Foote, by way of

"But," pursued our hero, apologetically, "there will be, I dare say,
a large crowd."

"A very powerful ~caste~, no doubt," observed Mr. Foote.

"And I may get my - yes, my spectacles broken; and then" -

"And then, Giglamps," said Mr. Bouncer, "why, and then you shall be
presented with another pair as a testimonial of affection from yours
truly.  Come, Giglamps, don't do the mean! a man of your standing,
and with a chest like that!" and the little gentleman sounded on our
hero's shirt-front, as doctors do when they stethoscope a patient.

"Come, Giglamps, old feller, you mustn't refuse.  You didn't ought
to was, as Shakespeare says."

"Pardon me! Not Shakespeare, but Wright, in the 'Green Bushes,' "
interrupted Mr. Foote, who was as painfully anxious as Mr. Payne
Collier himself that the text of the great poet should be free from

So Mr. Verdant Green, reluctantly, it must be confessed, suffered
himself to be persuaded to join that section of the Gown which was to
be placed under the leadership of the redoubted Pet; while little Mr.
Bouncer, who had gone up into Mr. Sloe's rooms, and had vainly
endeavoured to persuade that gentleman to join in the forthcoming
~melee~, returned with an undergraduate's gown, and forthwith
invested the Pet with it.

"I don't mind this 'ere mortar-board, sir," remarked the professor of
the noble art of self-defence, as he pointed to the academical cap
which surmounted his head, "I don't mind the mortar-board, sir; but I
shall never be able to do nothink with this 'ere toggery on my
shudders.  I couldn't use my mawleys no how!"  And the Pet illustrated
his remark in a professional manner, by sparring at an imaginary
opponent in a feeble and unscientific fashion.


"But you can tie the tail-curtain round your shoulders - like this!"
said Mr. Fosbrooke, as he twisted his own gown tightly round him.

But the Pet had taken a decided objection to the drapery: "The
costume would interfere with the action," as Mr. Foote remarked, "and
the management of a train requires great practice."

"You see, sir," said the Pet, "I ain't used to the feel of it, and I
couldn't go to business properly, or give a straight nosender no how.
 But the mortar-board ain't of so much consekvence."  So a compromise
was made; and it was agreed that the Pet was to wear the academicals
until he had arrived at the scene of action, where he could then
pocket the gown, and resume it on any alarm of the Proctor's approach.

"Here, Giglamps, old feller! get a priming of fighting-powder!" said
little Mr. Bouncer to our hero, as the party were on the point of
sallying forth; "it'll make you hit out from your shoulder like a
steam-engine with the chill off."  And, as Mr. Bouncer whispered to
Charles Larkyns,

                        "So he kept his spirits up
                        By pouring spirits down,"

Verdant - who felt extremely nervous, either from excitement or from
fear, or from a pleasing mixture of both sensations-drank off a deep
draught of something which was evidently not drawn from Nature's
spring or the college pump; for it first took away his breath, and
made his eyes water; and it next made him cough, and endeavour to
choke himself; and it then made his face flush, and caused him to
declare that "the first snob who 'sulted him should have a sound

"Brayvo, Giglamps!" cried little Mr. Bouncer, as he patted him on
the shoulder; "come along! You're the right sort of fellow for a Town
and Gown, after all!"

                                        CHAPTER IV.

                                        AND GOWN.

IT was ten minutes past nine, and Tom,* with a sonorous voice, was
ordering all College gates to be shut, when the wine party, which had
just left Mr. Bouncer's room, passed round the corner of St. Mary's,
and dashed across the High.  The Town and Gown had already begun.

* The great bell of Christ Church. It tolls 101 times each evening at
ten minutes past nine o'clock (there being 101 students on the
foundation) and marks the time for the closing of the college gates.
"Tom" is one of the lions of Oxford.  It formerly belonged to Oseney
Abbey, and weighs about 17,000 pounds, being more than double the
weight of the great bell of St. Paul's.


As usual, the Town had taken the initiative; and, in a dense body,
had made their customary sweep of the High Street, driving all before
them.  After this gallant exploit had been accomplished to the entire
satisfaction of the oppidans, the Town had separated into two or
three portions, which had betaken themselves to the most probable
fighting points, and had gone where glory waited them, thirsting for
the blood, or, at any rate, for the bloody noses of the gowned
aristocrats.  Woe betide the luckless gownsman, who, on such an
occasion, ventures abroad without an escort, or trusts to his own
unassisted powers to defend himself! He is forthwith pounced upon by
some score of valiant Townsmen, who are on the watch for these
favourable opportunities for a display of their personal prowess, and
he may consider himself very fortunate if he is able to get back to
his College with nothing worse than black eyes and bruises.  It is so
seldom that the members of the Oxford snobocracy have the privilege
afforded them of using their fists on the faces and persons of the
members of the Oxford aristocracy, that when they ~do~ get the
chance, they are unwilling to let it slip through their fingers.
Dark tales have, indeed, been told, of solitary and unoffending
undergraduates having, on such occasions, not only received a severe
handling from those same fingers, but also having been afterwards,
through their agency, bound by their own leading strings to the rails
of the Radcliffe, and there left ignominiously to struggle, and shout
for assistance.  And darker tales still have been told of luckless
Gownsmen having been borne "leg and wing" fashion to the very banks
of the Isis, and there ducked, amidst the jeers and taunts of their
persecutors.  But such tales as these are of too dreadful a nature
for the conversation of Gownsmen, and are very properly believed to
be myths scandalously propagated by the Town.

The crescent moon shone down on Mr. Bouncer's party, and gave ample

                To light ~them~ on ~their~ prey.

A noise and shouting, - which quickly made our hero's Bob-Acreish
resolutions ooze out at his fingers' ends, - was heard coming from the
direction of Oriel Street; and a small knot of Gownsmen, who had been
cut off from a larger body, appeared, manfully retreating with their
faces to the foe, fighting as they fell back, but driven by superior
numbers up the narrow street, by St. Mary's Hall, and past the side
of Spiers's shop into the High Street.

"Gown to the rescue!" shouted Mr. Blades as he dashed across the
street; "come on, Pet! here we are in the thick of it, just in the
nick of time!" and, closely followed by Charles Larkyns, Mr.
Fosbrooke, Mr. Smalls, Mr. Bouncer, Mr. Flexible


Shanks, Mr. Cheke, Mr. Foote, and our hero, and the rest of the
party, they soon plunged ~in medias res~.

The movement was particularly well-timed, for the small 
body of Gownsmen were beginning to get roughly handled; but the
succour afforded by the Pet and his party soon changed the aspect of
affairs; and, after a brief skirmish, there was a temporary cessation
of hostilities.  As reinforcements poured in on either side, the mob
which represented the Town, wavered, and spread themselves across on
each side of the High; while a huge, lumbering bargeman, who appeared
to be the generalissimo of their forces, delivered himself of a brief
but energetic speech, in which he delivered his opinion of Gownsmen
in general, and his immediate foes in particular, in a way which
would have to be expressed in proper print chiefly by blanks, and
which would have assuredly entailed upon him a succession of
five-shilling fines, had he been in a court of justice, and before a

"Here's a pretty blank, I don't think!" he observed in conclusion, as
he pointed to Mr. Verdant Green, who was nervously settling his
spectacles, and wishing himself safe back in his own rooms; "I
would'nt give a blank for such a blank blank.  I'm blank if he don't
look as though he'd swaller'd a blank codfish, and had bust out into
blank barnacles!"  As the Bargee was apparently regarded by his party
as a gentleman of infinite humour, his highly-flavoured blank remarks
were received by them with shouts of laughter; while our hero
obtained far more of the ~digito monstrari~ share of public notice
than he wished for.

For some brief space, the warfare between the rival parties of Town
and Gown continued to be one merely of words - a mutual discharge of
~epea pteroenta~ (~vulgariter~ "chaff"), in which a small amount of
sarcasm was mingled with a large


share of vituperation.  At length, a slang rhyme of peculiar
offensiveness was used to a Wadham gentleman, which so exasperated
him that he immediately, by way of a forcible reply, sent his fist
full into the speaker's face.  On this, a collision took place
between those who formed the outside of the crowd; and the Gowns
flocked together to charge ~en masse~.  Mr. Verdant Green was not
quite aware of this sudden movement, and, for a moment, was cut off
from the rest.  This did not escape the eyes of the valiant Bargee,
who had already  singled out our hero as the one whom he
could most easily punish, with the least chance of getting quick returns
for his small profits.  Forthwith, therefore, he rushed to his
victim, and aimed a heavy blow at him, which Verdant only half
avoided by stooping.  Instinctively doubling his fists, our hero
found that Necessity was, indeed, the mother of Invention; and, with
a passing thought of what would be his mother's and Aunt Virginia's
feelings could they see him fighting in the public streets with a
common bargeman, he contrived to guard off the second blow.   But at
the next furious l[ ]unge of the Bargee he was not quite so fortunate,
and, receiving that gentleman's heavy fist full in his forehead, he
staggered backwards, and was only prevented from measuring his length
on the pavement by falling against the iron gates of St. Mary's.  The
delighted Bargee was just on the point of putting the ~coup de grace~
to his attack, when, to Verdant's inexpressible delight and relief,
his lumbering antagonist was sent sprawling by a well-directed blow
on his right ear.  Charles Larkyns, who had kept a friendly eye on
our hero, had spied his condition, and had sprung to his assistance.
He was closely followed by the Pet, who had divested himself of the
gown which had encumbered his shoulders, and was now freely striking


in all directions.  The fight had become general, and fresh
combatants had sprung up on either side.

"Keep close to me, Verdant," said Charles Larkyns, - quite
unnecessarily, by the way, as our hero had no intention of
 doing otherwise until he saw a way to escape; "keep close
to me, and I'll take care you are not hurt."

"Here ye are!" cried the Pet, as he set his back against the
stone-work flanking the iron gates of the church, immediately in
front of one of the curiously twisted pillars of the Porch;* "come
on, half a dozen of ye, and let me have a rap at your smellers!" and
he looked at the mob in the "Come one, come

* The porch was erected in 1637 by order of Archbishop Laud.  In the
centre of the porch is a statue of the Virgin with the Child in her
arms, holding a small crucifix; which at the time of its erection
gave such offence to the Puritans that it was included in the
articles of impeachment against the Archbishop.  The statue remains
to this day.


all defiant" fashion of Fitz-James; while Charles Larkyns and Verdant
set their backs against the church gates, and prepared for a rush.

The Bargee came up furious, and hit out wildly at Charles Larkyns;
but science was more than a match for brute force; and, after
receiving two or three blows which caused him to shake his head in a
don't-like-it sort of way, he endeavoured to turn his attention to
Mr. Verdant Green, who, with head in air, was taking the greatest
care of his spectacles, and endeavouring to ward off the
indiscriminate lunges of half a dozen townsmen.  The Bargee's
charitable designs on our hero were, however, frustrated by the
opportune appearance of Mr. Blades and Mr. Cheke, the gentleman-
commoner of Corpus, who, in their turn, were closely followed by Mr.
Smalls and Mr. Flexible Shanks; and Mr. Blades exclaiming, "There's a
smasher for your ivories, my fine fellow!" followed up his remark
with a practical application of his fist to the part referred to;
whereupon the Bargee fell back with a howl, and gave vent to several
curse-ory observations, and blank remarks.

All this time the Pet was laying about him in the most determined
manner; and, to judge from his professional observations, his
scientific acquirements were in full play.  He had agreeable remarks
for each of his opponents; and, doubtless, the punishment which they
received from his stalwart arms came with more stinging force when
the parts affected were pointed out by his illustrative language.  To
one gentleman he would pleasantly observe, as he tapped him on the
chest, "Bellows to mend for you, my buck!" or else, "There's a
regular rib-roaster for you!" or else, in the still more elegant
imagery of the Ring, "There's a squelcher in the breadbasket, that'll
stop ~your~ dancing, my kivey!"  While to another he would cheerfully
remark, "Your head-rails were loosened there, wasn't they?" or, "How
about the kissing-trap?" or, "That draws the bung from the
beer-barrel I'm a thinkin'."  While to another he would say, as a
fact not to be disputed, "You napp'd it heavily on your whisker-bed,
didn't you?" or, "That'll raise a tidy mouse on your ogle, my lad!"
or, "That'll take the bark from your nozzle, and distil the Dutch
pink for you, won't it?"  While to another he would mention as an
interesting item of news, "Now we'll tap your best October!" or,
"There's a crack on your snuff-box!" or, "That'll damage your
potato-trap!"  Or else he would kindly inquire of one gentleman, "What
d'ye ask a pint for your cochineal dye?" or would amiably recommend
another that, as his peepers were a goin' fast, he'd best put up the
shutters, because the early-closing movement ought to be follered
out.  All this was done in the cheeriest manner; while, at the same


time, the Pet proved himself to be not only a perfect master of his
profession, but also a skilful adept in those figures of speech, or
"nice derangements of epitaphs," as Mrs. Malaprop calls them, in
which the admirers of the fistic art so much delight.  At every blow,
a fresh opponent either fell or staggered off; the supremacy of the
Pet was complete, and his claim to be considered a Professor of the
noble and manly art of Self-defence was triumphantly established.
"The Putney Pet" was a decidedly valuable acquisition to the side of

Soon the crowd became thinner, as those of the Town who liked to
give, but not to receive hard blows, stole off to other quarters; and
the Pet and his party would have been left peaceably to themselves.
But this was not what they wanted, as long as fighting was going on
elsewhere; even Mr. Verdant Green began to feel desperately
courageous as the Town took to their heels, and fled; and, having
performed prodigies of valour in almost knocking down a small cad who
had had the temerity to attack him, our hero felt himself to be a
hero indeed, and announced his intention of pursuing the mob, and
sticking close to Charles Larkyns, - taking especial care to do the

                        "All the savage soul of ~fight~ was up";

and the Gown following the scattered remnant of the flying Town, ran
them round by All Saints' Church, and up the Turl.  Here another Town
and Gown party had fought their way from the Corn-market; and the
Gown, getting considerably the worst of the conflict, had taken
refuge within Exeter College by the express order of the Senior
Proctor, the Rev. Thomas Tozer, more familiarly known as "old
Towzer."  He had endeavoured to assert his proctorial authority over


mob of the townspeople; but the ~profanum vulgus~ had not only
scoffed and jeered him, but had even torn his gown, and treated his
velvet sleeves with the indignity of mud; while the only fireworks
which had been exhibited on that evening had been let off in his very
face.  Pushed on, and hustled by the mob, and only partially
protected by his Marshal and Bulldogs,* he was saved from further
indignity by the arrival of a small knot of Gownsmen, who rushed to
his rescue.  Their number was too small, however, to make head
against the mob, and the best that they could do was to cover the
Proctor's retreat.  Now, the Rev. Thomas Tozer was short, and
inclined to corpulence, and, although not wanting for courage, yet
the exertion of defending himself from a superior force, was not only
a fruitless one, but was, moreover, productive of much unpleasantness
and perspiration.  Deeming, therefore, that discretion was the better
part of valour, he fled (like those who tended, or ~ought~ to have
attended to, the flocks of Mr. Norval, Sen.)

                        "for safety and for succour;"

and, being rather short of the necessary article of wind, by the time
that he had reached Exeter College, he had barely breath enough left
to tell the porter to keep the gate shut until he had assembled a
body of Gownsmen to assist him in capturing those daring ringleaders
of the mob who had set his authority at defiance.  This was soon
done; the call to arms was made, and every Exeter man who was not
already out, ran to "old Towzer's" assistance.

"Now, Porter," said Mr. Tozer, "unbar the gate without noise, and I
will look forth to observe the position of the mob.  Gentlemen, hold
yourselves in readiness to secure the ringleaders."

The porter undid the wicket, and the Rev. Thomas Tozer cautiously put
forth his head.  It was a rash act; for, no sooner had his nose
appeared round the edge of the wicket, than it received a flattening
blow from the fist of an active gentleman, who, like a clever
cricketer, had been on the lookout for an opportunity to get in to
his adversary's wicket.

"Oh, this is painful! this is very painful!" ejaculated Mr. Tozer, as
he rapidly drew in his head.  "Close the wicket directly, porter, and
keep it fast."  It was like closing the gates of Hougomont.  The
active gentleman who had damaged Mr. Tozer's nose threw himself
against the wicket, his comrades assisted him, and the porter had
some difficulty in obeying the Proctor's orders.

* The Marshal is the Proctor's chief officer.  The name of
"Bull-dogs" is given to the two inferior officers who attend the
Proctor in his nightly rounds.


"Oh, this is painful!" murmured the Rev. Thomas Tozer, as he applied
a handkerchief to his bleeding nose; "this is painful, this is very
painful! this is exceedingly painful, gentlemen!"

He was immediately surrounded by sympathizing undergraduates, who
begged him to allow them at once to charge the Town; but "old
Towzer's" spirit seemed to have been aroused by the indignity to
which he had been forced so publicly to submit, and he replied that,
as soon as the bleeding  had ceased, he would lead them
forth in person.  An encouraging cheer followed this courageous
resolve, and was echoed from without by the derisive applause of the

When Mr. Tozer's nose had ceased to bleed, the signal was given for
the gates to be thrown open; and out rushed Proctor, Marshal,
Bull-dogs, and undergraduates.  The Town was in great force, and the
fight became desperate.  To the credit of the Town, be it said, they
discarded bludgeons and stones, and fought, in John Bull fashion,
with their fists.  Scarcely a stick was to be seen.  Singling out his
man, Mr. Tozer made at him valiantly, supported by his Bull-dogs, and
a small band of Gownsmen.  But the heavy gown and velvet sleeves were
a grievous hindrance to the Proctor's prowess; and, although
supported on either side by his two attendant Bull-dogs. yet


the weight of his robes made poor Mr. Tozer almost as harmless as the
blind King of Bohemia between his two faithful knights at the battle
of Crecy; and, as each of the party had to look to, and fight for
himself, the Senior Proctor soon found himself in an awkward

The cry of "Gown to the rescue!" therefore, fell pleasantly on his
ears; and the reinforcement headed by Mr. Charles Larkyns and his
party, materially improved the aspect of affairs on the side of Gown.
 Knocking down a cowardly fellow, who was using his heavy-heeled
boots on the body of a prostrate undergraduate, Mr. Blades, closely
followed by the Pet, dashed in to the Proctor's assistance; and never
in a Town and Gown was assistance more timely rendered; for the Rev.
Thomas Tozer had just received his first knock-down blow!  By the
help of Mr. Blades the fallen chieftain was quickly replaced upon his
legs; while the Pet stepped before him, and struck out skilfully
right and left.  Ten more minutes of scientific pugilism, and the
fate of the battle was decided.  The Town fled every way; some round
the corner by Lincoln College; some up the Turl towards Trinity; some
down Ship Street; and some down by Jesus College, and Market Street.
A few of the more resolute made a stand in Broad Street; but it was
of no avail; and they received a sound punishment at the hands of the
Gown, on the spot, where, some three centuries before, certain mitred
Gownsmen had bravely suffered martyrdom.*

Now, the Rev. Thomas Tozer was a strict disciplinarian, and, although
he had so materially benefited by the Pet's assistance, yet, when he
perceived that that pugilistic gentleman was not possessed of the
full complement of academical attire, the duties of the Proctor rose
superior to the gratitude of the Man; and, with all the sternness of
an ancient Roman Father, he said to the Pet,  "Why have you not on
your gown, sir?"

"I ax your pardon, guv'nor!" replied the Pet, deferentially;  "I
didn't so much care about the mortar-board, but I couldn't do nothin'
nohow with t'other thing, so I pocketted him; but some cove must have
gone and prigged him, for he ain't here."

"I am unable to comprehend the nature of your language, sir,"
observed the Rev. Thomas Tozer, angrily; for, what with his own
excitement, and the shades of evening which had stolen over and
obscured the Pet's features, he was unable to read

* The ~exact~ spot where Archbishop Cranmer and Bishops Ridley and
Latimer suffered martyrdom is not known.  "The most likely
supposition is, that it was in the town ditch, the site of which is
now occupied by the houses in Broad Street, which are immediately
opposite the gateway of Balliol College, or the footpath in front of
them, where an extensive layer of wood-ashes is known to remain." -


that gentleman's character and profession in his face, and therefore
came to the conclusion that he was being chaffed by some impudent
undergraduate.  "I don't in the least understand you, sir; but I
desire at once to know your name, and College, sir!"

The Putney Pet stared.  If the Rev. Thomas Tozer had asked him for
the name of his Academy, he would have been able to have referred him
to his spacious and convenient Sparring Academy, 5, Cribb Court,
Drury Lane; but the inquiry  for his "College," was, in the
language of his profession, a "regular floorer".  Mr. Blades,
however, stepped forward, and explained matters to the Proctor, in a
satisfactory manner.

"Well, well!" said the pacified Mr. Tozer to
the Pet; "you have used your skill very much to our advantage, and
displayed pugilistic powers not unworthy of the athletes, and xystics
of the noblest days of Rome.  As a palaestrite you would have gained
palms in the gymnastic exercises of the Circus Maximus.  You might
even have proved a formidable rival to Dares, who, as you, Mr.
Blades, will remember, caused the death of Butes at Hector's tomb.
You will remember, Mr. Blades, that Virgil makes mention of his
'humeros latos,' and says:-

                        'Nec quisquam ex agmine tanto
        Audet adire virum, manibusque inducere caestus;' *

* AEn., Book v., 378.


which, in our English idiom, would signify, that every one was afraid
to put on the gloves with him.  And, as your skill," resumed Mr.
Tozer, turning to the Pet, "has been exercised in defence of my
person, and in upholding the authority of the University, I will
overlook your offence in assuming that portion of the academical
attire, to which you gave the offensive epithet of 'mortar-board ;'
more especially, as you acted at the suggestion and bidding of those
who ought to have known better.  And now, go home, sir, and resume
your customary head-dress; and - stay! here's five shillings for you."

"I'm much obleeged to you, guv'nor," said the Pet, who had been
listening with considerable surprise to the Proctor's quotations and
comparisons, and wondering whether the gentleman named Dares, who
caused the death of beauties, was a member of the P.R., and whether
they made it out a case of manslaughter against him? and if the
gaining palms in a circus was the customary "flapper-shaking" before
"toeing the scratch for business?" - "I'm much obleeged to you,
guv'nor," said the Pet, as he made a scrape with his leg; "and,
whenever you ~does~ come up to London, I 'ope you'll drop in at Cribb
Court, and have a turn with the gloves!"  And the Pet, very politely,
handed one of his professional cards to the Rev. Thomas Tozer.

A little later than this, a very jovial supper party might have been
seen assembled in a principal room at "the Roebuck." To enable them
to be back within their college walls, and save their gates, before
the hour of midnight should arrive, the work of consuming the grilled
bones and welch-rabbits was going on with all reasonable speed, the
heavier articles being washed down by draughts of "heavy." After the
cloth was withdrawn, several songs of a miscellaneous character were
sung by "the professional gentlemen present," including, "by
particular request," the celebrated "Marble Halls" song of our hero,
which was given with more coherency than on a previous occasion, but
was no less energetically led in its "you-loved-me-still-the-same"
chorus by Mr. Bouncer.  The Pet was proudly placed on the right hand
of the chairman, Mr. Blades; and, when his health was proposed, "with
many thanks to him for the gallant and plucky manner in which he had
led on the Gown to a glorious victory," the "three times three," and
the "one cheer more," and the "again," and "again," and the "one
other little un!" were uproariously given (as Mr. Foote expressed
it), "by the whole strength of the company, assisted by Messrs.
Larkyns, Smalls, Fosbrooke, Flexible Shanks, Cheke, and Verdant

The forehead of the last-named gentleman was decorated with a patch
of brown paper, from which arose an aroma, as


though of vinegar.  The battle of "Town and Gown" was over; and Mr.
Verdant Green was among the number of the wounded.

                                        CHAPTER V.


"COME in, whoever you are! don't mind the dogs!" shouted little Mr.
Bouncer, as he lay, in an extremely inelegant attitude, in, a red
morocco chair, which was  considerably the worse for wear,
chiefly on account of the ill-usage it had to put up with, in being
made to represent its owner's antagonist, whenever Mr. Bouncer
thought fit to practise his fencing.  "Oh! it's you and Giglamps is
it, Charley? I'm just refreshing myself with a weed, for I've been
desperately hard at work."

"What! Harry Bouncer devoting himself to study!  But this is the age
of wonders," said Charles Larkyns, who entered the room in company
with Mr. Verdant Green, whose forehead still betrayed the effects of
the blow he had received a few nights before.

"It ain't reading that I meant," replied Mr. Bouncer, "though that
always ~does~ floor me, and no mistake!  and what's the use of their
making us peg away so at Latin and Greek, I can't make out.  When I
go out into society, I don't want to talk about those old Greek and
Latin birds that they make us get up.  I don't want to ask any old
dowager I happen to fall in with at a tea-fight, whether she believes
all the crammers that Herodotus tells us, or whether she's well up in
the naughty tales and rummy nuisances that we have to pass no end of
our years in getting by heart.  And when I go to a ball, and do the
light fantastic, I don't want to ask my partner what she thinks about
Euripides, or whether she prefers Ovid's Metamorphoses to Ovid's Art
of Love, and all that sort of thing; and as for requesting her to do
me a problem of


Euclid, instead of working me any glorified slippers or woolleries,
I'd scorn the ~h~action.  I ain't like you, Charley, and I'm not
~guv~ in the classics: I saw too much of the beggars 
while I was at Eton to take kindly to 'em; and just let me once get
through my Greats, and see if I don't precious soon drop the
acquaintance of those old classical parties!"

"No you won't, old fellow!" said Charles Larkyns; "you'll find that
they'll stick to you through life, just like poor relations, and you
won't be able to shake them off.  And you ought not to wish to do so,
more especially as, in the end, you will find them to have been very
rich relations."

"A sort of 'O my prophetic soul, my uncle!' I suppose, Master
Charley."  observed Mr. Bouncer; "but what I meant when I said that I
had been hard at work was, that I had been writing a letter; and,
though I say it that ought not to say it, I flatter myself it's no
end of a good letter."

"Is it a love-letter?" asked Charles Larkyns, who was leaning against
the mantelpiece, amusing himself with a cigar which he had taken from
Mr. Bouncer's box.

"A love-letter?" replied the little gentleman, contemptuously - "my
gum! no; I should rayther think not! I may have done many foolish
things in my life, but I can't have the tender passion laid to my
charge.  No! I've been writing my letter to the Mum: I always write
to her once a term."  Mr. Bouncer, it must be observed, always
referred to his maternal relative (his father had been long dead) by
the epithet of "the Mum."

"Once a term!" said our hero, in a tone of surprise; "why I always
write home once or twice every week."

"You don't mean to say so, Giglamps!" replied Mr. Bouncer, with
admiration.  "Well, some fellers have what you call a genius for that
sort of thing, you see, though what


you can find to tell 'em I can't imagine.  But if I'd gone at that
pace I should have got right through the Guide Book by this time, and
then it would have been all U P, and I should have been obleeged to
have invented another dodge.  You don't seem to take, Giglamps?"

"Well, I really don't know what you mean," answered our hero.

"Why," continued Mr. Bouncer, "you see, there's only the Mum and
Fanny at home: Fanny's my sister, Giglamps - a regular stunner - just
suit you! - and they, you understand, don't care to hear about wines,
and Town and Gowns, and all that sort of thing; and, you see, I ain't
inventive and that, and can't spin a yarn about nothing; so, as soon
as ever I came up to Oxford, I invested money in a Guide Book; and I
began at the beginning, and I gave the Mum three pages of Guide Book
in each letter.  Of course, you see, the Mum imagines it's all my own
observation; and she thinks no end of my letters, and says that they
make her know Oxford almost as well as if she lived here; and she, of
course, makes a good deal of me; and as Oxford's the place where I
hang out, you see, she takes an interest in reading something about
the jolly old place."

"Of course," observed Mr. Verdant Green - "my mamma - mother, at
least - and sisters, always take pleasure in hearing about Oxford;
but your plan never occurred to me."

"It's a first-rater, and no mistake," said Mr. Bouncer, confidently,
"and saves a deal of trouble.  I think of taking out a patent for it
- 'Bouncer's Complete Letter-Writer,' - or get some literary swell to
put it into a book, 'with a portrait of the inventor;' it would be
sure to sell.  You see, it's what you call amusement blended with
information; and that's more than you can say of most men's letters
to the Home department."

"Cocky Palmer's, for instance," said Charles Larkyns, "which always
contained a full, true, and particular account of his Wheatley
doings.  He used to go over there, Verdant, to indulge in the noble
sport of cock-fighting, for which he had a most unamiable and
unenviable weakness; that was the reason why he was called 'Cocky'
Palmer.  His elder brother - who was a Pembroke man - was
distinguished by the pronomen 'Snuffy,' to express his excessive
partiality for that titillating compound."

"And Snuffy Palmer," remarked Mr. Bouncer, "was a long sight better
feller than Cocky, who was in the very worst set in Brazenface.  But
Cocky did the Wheatley dodge once too often, and it was a good job
for the King of Oude when his friend Cocky came to grief, and had to
take his name off the books."

"You look as though you wanted a translation of this,"


said Charles Larkyns to our hero, who had been listening to the
conversation with some wonderment, - understanding about as much of it
as many persons who attend the St. James's Theatre understand the
dialogue of the French Plays.  "There are College ~cabalia~, as well
as Jewish; and College surnames are among these.  'The King of Oude'
was a man of the name of Towlinson, who always used to carry into
Hall with him a bottle of the '~King of Oude's Sauce~,' for which he
had some mysterious liking, and without which he professed himself
unable to get through his dinner.  At one time he was a great friend
of Cocky Palmer's, and used to go with him to the cock-fights at
Wheatley - that village just on the other side Shotover Hill - where
we did a 'constitutional' the other day.  Cocky, as our respected
friend says, 'Came to grief,' but was allowed to save himself from
expulsion by voluntarily, or rather in-voluntarily, taking his name
off the books.  When his connection with Cocky had thus been
ruthlessly broken, 'the King' got into a better set, and retrieved
his character."

"The moral of which, my beloved Giglamps," observed Mr. Bouncer, "is,
that there are as many sets of men in a College as there are of
quadrilles in a ball-room, and that it's just as easy to take your
place in one as it is in another; but, that when you've once taken up
your position, you'll find it ain't an easy thing, you see, to make a
change for yourself, till the set is broken up.  Whereby, Giglamps,
you may comprehend what a grateful bird you ought to be, for
Charley's having put you into the best set in Brazenface."

Mr. Verdant Green was heard to murmur, "sensible of honour, - grateful
for kindness, - endeavours to deserve," - and the other broken
sentiments which are commonly made use of by gentlemen who get upon
their legs to return thanks for having been "tea-potted."

"If you like to hear it," said Mr. Bouncer, "I'll read you my letter
to the Mum.  It ain't very private; and I flatter myself, Giglamps,
that it'll serve you as a model."

"Let's have it by all means, Harry," said Charles Larkyns. "It
must be an interesting document; and I am curious to hear what it is
that you consider a model for epistolary communi-


cation from an undergraduate to his maternal relative."

"Off she goes then;" observed Mr. Bouncer; "lend me your ears - list,
list, O list! as the recruiting-sergeant or some other feller says in
the Play.  'Now, my little dears! look straight for'ard - blow your
noses, and don't brathe on the glasses!'" and Mr. Bouncer read the
letter, interspersing it with explanatory observations:-

~" 'My dearest mother, - I have been quite well since I left you, and
I hope you and Fanny have been equally salubrious.~'- That's doing
the civil, you see: now we pass on to statistics. - '~We had rain the
day before yesterday, but we shall have a new moon to-night.~' - You
see, the Mum always likes to hear about the weather, so I get that
out of the Almanack.  Now we get on to the interesting part of the
letter. - '~I will now tell you a little about Merton College.~' -
That's where I had just got to.  We go right through the Guide Book,
you understand. - '~The history of this establishment is of peculiar
importance, as exhibiting the primary model of all the collegiate
bodies in Oxford and Cambridge.  The statutes of Walter de Merton had
been more or less copied by all other founders in succession; and the
whole constitution of both Universities, as we now behold them, may
be, not without reason, ascribed to the liberality and munificence of
this truly great man.~' - Truly great man! that's no end good, ain't
it? observed Mr. Bouncer, in the manner of the 'mobled queen is good'
of Polonius.  - '~His sagacity and wisdom led him to profit by the
spirit of the times; his opulence enabled him to lay the foundation
of a nobler system; and the splendour of his example induced others,
in subsequent ages, to raise a superstructure at once attractive and
solid.~' - That's piling it up mountaynious, ain't it? - '~The
students were no longer dispersed through the streets and lanes of
the city, dwelling in insulated houses, halls, inns, or hostels,
subject to dubious control and precarious discipline.~' - That's
stunnin', isn't it? just like those ~Times~ fellers write. - '~But
placed under the immediate superintendence of tutors and governors,
and lodged in comfortable chambers.  This was little less than an
academical revolution; and a new order of things may be dated from
this memorable era.  Love to Fanny; and, believe me your affectionate
Son, Henry Bouncer.~' - If the Mum don't say that's first-rate, I'm a
Dutchman!  You see, I don't write very close, so that this
respectably fills up three sides of a sheet of note-paper.  Oh,
here's something over the leaf. '~P.S. I hope Stump and Rowdy have
got something for me, because I want some tin very bad.~'  That's
all!  Well, Giglamps! don't you call that quite a model letter for a
University man to send to his tender parient?"

"It certainly contains some interesting information," said our Hero,
with a Quaker-like indirectness of reply.


"It seems to me, Harry," said Charles Larkyns, "that the pith of it,
like a lady's letter, lies in the postscript - the demand for money."

"You see," observed the little gentleman in explanation, "Stump and
Rowdy are the beggars that have got all my property till I come of
age next year; and they only let me have money at certain times,
because it's what they facetiously call ~tied-up~: though ~why~
they've tied it up, or ~where~ they've tied it up, I hav'nt the
smallest idea.  So, though I tick for nearly everything, - for men at
College, Giglamps, go upon tick as naturally as the crows do on the
sheep's backs, - I sometimes am rather hard up for ready dibs; and
then I give the Mum a gentlemanly hint of this, and she tips me.
By-the-way," continued Mr. Bouncer, as he re-read his postscript, "I
must alter the word 'tin' into 'money'; or else she'll be taking it
literally, just as she did with the ponies.  Know what a pony is,

"Why, of course I do," replied Mr. Verdant Green; "besides which, I
have kept one: he was an Exmoor pony, - a bay one, with a long tail."

"Oh, Giglamps! You'll be the death of me some fine day," faintly
exclaimed little Mr. Bouncer, as he slowly recovered from an
exhausting fit of laughter.  "You're as bad as the Mum was.  A pony
means twenty-five pound, old feller.  But the Mum didn't know that;
and when I wrote to her and said, 'I'm very short; please to send me
two ponies;' meaning, of course, that I wanted fifty pound; what must
she do, but write  back and say, that, with some
difficulty, she had procured for me two Shetland ponies, and that, as
I was short, she hoped they would suit my size.  And, before I had
time to send her another letter, the two little beggars came.  Well,
I couldn't ride them both at once, like the fellers do at Astley's;
so I left one at Tollitt's, and I rode the other down the High, as
cool as a cucumber.  You see, though I ain't a giant, and that, yet I
was big for the pony; and as Shelties are rum-looking little beggars,
I dare say we look'd rather queer and original.  But the Proctor
happened to see me; and he cut up so doosed rough about it, that I
couldn't show on the Shelties any


more; and Tollitt was obliged to get rid of them for me."

"Well, Harry," said Charles Larkyns, "it is to Tollitt's that you
must now go, as you keep your horse there.  We want you to join us in
a ride."

"What!" cried out Mr. Bouncer, "old Giglamps going outside an Oxford
hack once more! Why, I thought you'd made a vow never to do so

"Why, I certainly did so," replied Mr. Verdant Green; "but Charles
Larkyns, during the holidays - the vacation, at least - was kind
enough to take me out several rides; so I have had a great deal of
practice since last term."

"And you don't require to be strapped on, or to get inside and pull
down the blinds?" inquired Mr. Bouncer.

"Oh dear, no!"

The fact was, that during the long vacation Charles Larkyns had paid
considerable attention to our hero's equestrian exercises; not so
much, it must be confessed, out of friendship for his friend, as that
he might have an opportunity of riding by the side of that friend's
fair sister Mary, for whom he entertained something more than a
partiality.  And herein, probably,


Mr. Charles Larkyns showed both taste and judgment.  For there may be
many things less pleasant in this world than cantering down a green
Warwickshire lane - on some soft summer's day when the green is
greenest and the blossoms brightest - side by side with a charming
girl whose nature is as light and sunny as the summer air and the
summer sky.  Pleasant it is to watch the flushing cheek glow rosier
than the rosiest of all the briar-roses that stoop to kiss it.
Pleasant it is to look into the lustrous light of tender eyes; and to
see the loosened ringlets reeling with the motion of the ride.
Pleasant it is to canter on from lane to lane over soft moss, and
springy turf, between the high honeysuckle hedges, and the
broad-branched beeches that meet overhead in a tangled embrace.  But
pleasanter by far than all is it, to hug to one's heart the darling
fancy that she who is cantering on by your side in all the witchery
of her maiden beauty, holds you in her dearest thoughts, and dowers
you with all her wealth of love.  Pleasant rides indeed, pleasant
fancies, and pleasant day-dreams, had the long vacation brought to
Charles Larkyns!

"Well, come along, Verdant," said Mr. Larkyns, "we'll go to Charley
Symonds' and get our hacks.  You can meet us, Harry, just over the
Maudlin Bridge; and we'll have a canter along the Henley road."

So Mr. Verdant Green and his friend walked into Holywell Street, and
passed under the archway up to Symonds' stables.  But the nervous
trepidation which our hero had felt in the same place on a previous
occasion returned with full force when his horse was led out in an
exuberantly playful and "fresh" condition.  The beast he had
bestridden during his long vacation rides, with his sister and his
(and sister's) friend, was a cob-like steed, whose placidity of
temper was fully equalled by its gravity of demeanour; and who would
as soon have thought of flying over a five-bar gate as he would of
kicking up his respectable heels both behind and before in the
low-lived manner recorded of the Ethiopian "Old Joe."  But, if
"Charley Symonds'" hacks had been of this pacific and easygoing kind,
it is highly probable that Mr. C. S. and his stud would not have
acquired that popularity which they had deservedly achieved.  For it
seems to be a ~sine-qua-non~ with an Oxford hack, that to general
showiness of exterior, it must add the power of enduring any amount
of hard riding and rough treatment in the course of the day which its
~pro-tem.~ proprietor may think fit to inflict upon it; it being an
axiom which has obtained, as well in Universities as in other places,
that it is of no advantage to hire a hack unless you get out of him
as much as you can for your money; you won't want to use him
to-morrow, so you don't care about over-riding him to-day.


But, all this time, Mr. Verdant Green is drawing on his gloves, in
the nervous manner that tongue-tied gentlemen go through the same
performance during the conversational spasms of the first-set of
Quadrilles; the groom is leading out the exuberantly playful
quadruped on whose back Mr. Verdant Green is to disport himself;
Charles Larkyns is mounted; the November sun is shining brightly on
the perspective of the  yard and stables, and the tower of
New College; the dark archway gives one a peep of Holywell Street;
while the cold blue sky is flecked with gleaming pigeons.

At last, Mr. Verdant Green has scrambled into his saddle, and is
riding cautiously down the yard, while his heart beats in an alarming
alarum-like way.  As they ride under the archway, there, in the
little room underneath it, is Mr. Four-in-hand Fosbrooke, selecting
his particular tandem-whip from a group of some two score of similar
whips kept there in readiness for their respective owners.

"Charley, you're a beast!" says Mr. Fosbrooke, politely addressing
himself to Mr. Larkyns; "I wanted Bouncer to come with me in the cart
to Abingdon, and I find that the little man is engaged to you."  Upon
which, Mr. Fosbrooke playfully raising his tandem-whip, Mr. Verdant
Green's horse


plunges, and brings his rider's head into concussion with the lamp
which hangs within the gateway; whereupon, the hat falls off, and our
hero is within an ace of following his hat's example.

By a powerful exertion, however, he recovers his proper 
position in the saddle, and proceeds in an agitated and jolted
condition, by Charles Larkyns's side, down Holywell Street, past the
Music Room,* and round by the Long Wall, and over Magdalen Bridge.
Here they are soon joined by Mr. Bouncer, mounted, according to the
custom of small men, on one of Tollitt's tallest horses, of
ever-so-many hands high.  As by this time our hero has got more
accustomed to his steed, his courage gradually returns, and he rides
on with his companions very pleasantly, enjoying the magnificent
distant view of his University.  When they have passed Cowley, some
very tempting fences are met with; and Mr. Bouncer and Mr. Larkyns,
being unable to resist their fascinations, put their horses at them,
and leap in and out of the road in an insane Vandycking kind of way;
while an excited agriculturist, whose smock-frock heaves with
indignation, pours down denunciations on their heads.

"Blow that bucolical party!" says Mr. Bouncer; "he's no right to
interfere with the enjoyments of the animals.  If they break the
fences, it ain't their faults; it's the fault of the farmers for not
making the fences strong enough to bear them.  Come along, Giglamps!
put your beast at that hedge! he'll take you over as easy as if you
were sitting in an arm-chair."

But Mr. Verdant Green has doubts about the performance of this piece
of equestrian upholstery; and, thinking that the arm-chair would soon
become a reclining one, he is firm in his refusal to put the leaping
powers of his steed to the test.  But having, afterwards, obtained
some "jumping powder" at a certain small road-side hostelry to which
Mr. Bouncer has piloted the party, our hero, on his way back to
Oxford, screws up his courage sufficiently to gallop his steed
desperately at a ditch which yawns, a foot wide, before him.  But to
his immense astonishment - not to say, disgust - the obtuse-minded
quadruped gives a leap which would have taken him clear over a canal;
and our hero, not being prepared for this very needless

* Now used for the Museum of the Oxford Architectural Society.


display of agility, flies off the saddle at a tangent, and finds that
his "vaulting ambition" had o'erleap'd itself, and fallen on the
other side - of the ditch.

"It ain't your fault, Giglamps!" says Mr. Bouncer, when he has
galloped after Verdant's steed, and has led it up to him, and when he
has ascertained that his friend is not in  the least hurt;
but has only broken - his glasses; "it ain't your fault, Giglamps,
old feller! it's the clumsiness of the hack.  He tossed you up, and
couldn't catch you again!"

And so our hero rides back to Oxford.  But, before the Term has
ended, he has become more accustomed to Oxford hacks, and has made
himself acquainted with the respective merits of the stables of
Messrs. Symonds, Tollitt, and Pigg; and has, moreover, ridden with
the drag, and, in this way, hunted the fabled foxes of Bagley Wood,
and Whichwood Forest.

                                        CHAPTER VI.


NOVEMBER is not always the month of fog and mist and dulness.
Oftentimes there are brilliant exceptions to that generally-received
rule of depressing weather which, in this month (according to our
lively neighbours), induces the natives of our English metropolis to
leap in crowds from the Bridge of Waterloo.  There are in November,
days of calm beauty, which are peculiar to that month - that kind of
calm beauty which is so often seen as the herald of decay.

But, whatever weather the month may bring to Oxford, it never brings
gloom or despondency to Oxford men.  They are a happily constituted
set of beings, and can always create their own amusements; they crown
Minerva with flowers without


heeding her influenza, and never seem to think that the rosy-bosomed
Hours may be laid up with bronchitis.  Winter and summer appear to be
pretty much the same to them: reading and recreation go hand-in-hand
all the year round; and, among other pleasures, that of boating finds
as many votaries in cold November, as it did in sunny June - indeed,
the chillness of  the air, in the former month, gives zest
to an amusement which degenerates to hard labour in the dog-days.
The classic Isis in the month of November, therefore, whenever the
weather is anything like favourable, presents an animated scene.
Eight-oars pass along, the measured pull of the oars in the rowlocks
marking the time in musical cadence with their plashing dip in the
water; perilous skiffs flit like fire-flies over the glassy surface
of the river; men lounge about in the house-boats and barges, or
gather together at King's, or Hall's, and industriously promulgate
small talk and tobacco-smoke.  All is gay and bustling.  Although the
feet of the strollers in the Christ Church meadows rustle through the
sere and yellow leaf, yet rich masses of brown and russet foliage
still hang upon the


trees, and light up into gold in the sun.  The sky is of a cold but
bright blue; the distant hills and woods are mellowed into sober
purplish-gray tints, but over them the sun looks down with that
peculiar red glow which is only seen in November.  

It was one of these bright days of "the month of gloom," that Mr.
Verdant Green and Mr. Charles Larkyns being in the room of their
friend Mr. Bouncer, the little gentleman inquired, "Now then! what
are you two fellers up to? I'm game for anything, I am! from
pitch-and-toss to manslaughter."

"I'm afraid," said Charles Larkyns, "that we can't accommodate you in
either amusement, although we are going down to the river, with which
Verdant wishes to renew his acquaintance.  Last term, you remember,
you picked him up in the Gut, when he had been played with at
pitch-and-toss in a way that very nearly resembled manslaughter."

"I remember, I remember, how old Giglamps floated by!" said Mr.
Bouncer; "you looked like a half-bred mermaid Giglamps."

"But the gallant youth," continued Mr. Larkyns, "undismayed by the
perils from which he was then happily preserved, has boldly come
forward and declared himself a worshipper of Isis, in a way worthy of
the ancient Egyptians, or of Tom Moore's Epicurean."

"Well! stop a minute you fellers," said Mr. Bouncer; "I must have my
beer first: I can't do without my Bass relief.


I'm like the party in the old song, and I likes a drop of good beer."
And as he uncorked a bottle of Bass, little Mr. Bouncer sang, in
notes as musical as those produced from his own tin horn-

                'Twixt wet and dry I always try
                  Between the extremes to steer;
                Though I always shrunk from getting -- intoxicated,
                   I was always fond of my beer!
                        For I likes a drop of good beer!
                        I'm particularly partial to beer!
                                Porter and swipes
                                Always give me the - stomach-ache!
                                But that's never the case with beer!"

"Bravo, Harry!" cried Charles Larkyns; "you roar us an' twere any
nightingale.  It would do old Bishop Still's heart good to hear you;
and 'sure ~I~ think, that ~you~ can drink with any that wears a
hood,' or that ~will~ wear a hood when you take your Bachelor's, and
put on your gown."  And Charles Larkyns sang, rather more musically
than Mr. Bouncer had done, from that song which, three centuries ago,
the Bishop had written in praise of good ale,-

                Let back and side go bare, go bare,
                Both hand and foot go cold:
                But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
                Whether it be new or old.

They were soon down at the river side, where Verdant was carefully
put into a tub (alas! the dear, awkward, safe, old things are fast
passing away; they are giving place to suicidal skiffs, and will soon
be numbered among the boats of other days!)- and was started off with
almost as much difficulty as on his first essay.  The tub - which
was, indeed, his old friend the ~Sylph,~ - betrayed an awkward
propensity for veering round towards Folly Bridge, which our hero at
first failed to overcome; and it was not until he had performed a
considerable amount of crab-catching, that he was enabled to steer
himself in the proper direction.  Charles Larkyns had taken his seat
in an outrigger skiff (so frail and shaky that it made Verdant
nervous to look at it), and, with one or two powerful strokes, had
shot ahead, backed water, turned, and pulled back round the tub long
before Verdant had succeeded in passing that eccentric mansion, to
which allusion has before been made, as possessing in the place of
cellars, an ingenious system of small rivers to thoroughly irrigate
its foundation - a hydropathic treatment which may (or may not) be
agreeable in Venice, but strikes one as being decidedly cold and
comfortless when applied to Oxford, - at any rate, in the month of
November.  Walking on the lawn which stretched from this house
towards the river, our hero espied two extremely pretty young ladies,
whose hearts he endeavoured at once to take captive by dis-


playing all his powers in that elegant exercise in which they saw him
engaged.  It may reasonably be presumed that Mr. Verdant Green's
hopes were doomed to be blighted.

Let us leave him, and take a look at Mr. Bouncer.

Mr. Bouncer had been content to represent the prowess of his college
in the cricket-field, and had never aspired to any fame as an oar.
The exertions, as well as the fame, of aquatic honours, he had left
to Mr. Blades, and those others like him, who considered it a trifle
to pull down to Iffley and back  again, two or three times
a day, at racing pace with a fresh spurt put on every five minutes.
Mr. Bouncer, too, had an antipathy to eat beefsteaks otherwise than in
the state in which they are usually brought to table; and, as it
seemed a ~sine qua non~ with the gentleman who superintended the
training for the boat-races, that his pupils should daily devour
beefsteaks which had merely looked at the fire, Mr. Bouncer, not
having been brought up to cannibal habits, was unable to conform
himself to this, and those other vital principles which seemed to
regulate the science of aquatic training.  The little gentleman
moreover, did not join with the "Torpids" (as the second boats of a
college are called), either, because he had a soul above them, - he
would be ~aut Caesar, aut nullus~; either in the eight, or nowhere, -
or else, because even the Torpids would cause him more trouble and
pleasurable pain than would be agreeable to him.  When Mr. Bouncer
sat down on any hard substance, he liked to be able to do so without
betraying any emotion that the action caused him personal discomfort;
and he had noticed that many of the Torpids - not to mention one or
two of the eight - were more particular than young men usually are
about having a very easy, soft, and yielding chair to sit on.  Mr.
Bouncer, too, was of opinion that continued blisters


were both unsightly and unpleasant; and that rawness was bad enough
when taken in conjunction with beefsteaks, without being extended to
one's own hands.  He had also a summer passion for ices and creams,
which were forbidden luxuries to one in training, - although
(paradoxical as it may seem to say so) they trained on Isis!  He had
also acquired a bad habit of getting up in one day, and going to bed
in the next, - keeping late hours, and only rising early when
absolutely compelled to do so in order to keep morning chapel - a
habit which the trainer would have interfered with, considerably to
the little gentleman's advantage.  He had also an amiable weakness
for pastry, port, claret, "et ~hock~ genus omne"; and would have felt
it a cruelty to have been deprived of his daily modicum of "smoke";
and in all these points, boat-training would have materially
interfered with his comfort.

Mr. Bouncer, therefore, amused himself equally as much to his own
satisfaction as if he had been one of the envied eight, by
occasionally paddling about with Charles Larkyns in an old pair-oar,
built by Davis and King, and bought by Mr. Bouncer of its late
Brazenfacian proprietor, when that gentleman, after a humorous series
of plucks, rustications, and heavy debts, had finally been compelled
to migrate to the King's Bench, for that purification of purse and
person commonly designated "whitewashing."  When Charles Larkyns and
his partner did not use their pair-oar, the former occupied his
outrigger skiff; and the latter, taking Huz and Buz on board a
sailing boat, tacked up and down the river with great skill, the
smoke gracefully curling from his meerschaum or short black pipe, -
for Mr. Bouncer disapproved of smoking cigars at those times when the
wind would have assisted him to get through them.

"Hullo, Giglamps! here we are! as the clown says in the pantermime,"
sung out the little gentleman as he came up with our hero, who was
performing some extraordinary feats in full sight of the University
crew, who were just starting from their barge; "you get no end of
exercise out of your tub, I should think, by the style you work those
paddles.  They go in and out beautiful! Splish, splash; splish,
splash! You must be one of the ~wherry~ identical Row-brothers-row,
whose voices kept tune and whose ears kept time, you know.  You ought
to go and splish-splash in the Freshman's River, Giglamps; - but I
forgot - you ain't a freshman now, are you, old feller? Those swells in
the University boats look as though they were bursting with envy - not
to say, with laughter," added Mr. Bouncer, ~sotto voce~. "Who taught
you to do the dodge in such a stunning way, Giglamps?"

"Why, last term, Charles Larkyns did," responded Mr. Verdant Green,
with the freshness of a Freshman still lingering


lovingly upon him.  "I've not forgotten what he told me, - to put in
my oar deep, and to bring it out with a jerk.  But though I make them
go as deep as I can, and jerk them out as much as possible, yet the
boat ~will~ keep turning round, and I can't keep it straight at all;
and the oars are very heavy and unmanageable, and keep slipping out
of the rowlocks -"

"Commonly called ~rullocks~," put in Mr. Bouncer, as a parenthetical
correction, or marginal note on Mr. Verdant Green's words.

"And when the Trinity boat went by, I could scarcely get out of their
way; and they said very unpleasant things to me; and, altogether, I
can assure you that it has made me very hot."

"And a capital thing,
too, Giglamps, this cold November day," said Mr. Bouncer; 'I'm
obliged to keep my coppers warm with this pea-coat, and my pipe.
Charley came alongside me just now, on purpose to fire off one of his
poetical quotations.  He said that I reminded him of Beattie's

                'Dainties he needed not, nor gaud, nor toy,
                Save one short pipe.'

I think that was something like it.  But you see, Giglamps, I
haven't got a figure-head for these sort of things like Charley has,
so I couldn't return his shot; but since then, to me deeply
pondering, as those old Greek parties say, a fine sample of our
superior old crusted jokes has come to hand; and when Charley next
pulls alongside, I shall tell him that I am like that beggar we read
about in old Slowcoach's lecture the other day, and that, if I had
been in the humour, I could have sung out, Io Bacche!*  ~I owe baccy~
- d'ye see, Giglamps?  Well, old

* - "Si collibuisset, ab ovo
"Usque ad mala citaret, Io Bacche!" - Hor. Sat. Lib. I. 3.


feller! you look rather puffed, so clap on your coat; and, if there's
a rope's end, or a chain, in your tub, and you'll just pay it out
here, I'll make you fast astern, and pull you down the river; and
then you'll be in prime condition to work yourself up again.  The
wind's in our back, and we shall get on jolly."  So our hero made
fast the tub to his friend's sailing-boat, and was towed as far as
the Haystack.  During the voyage Mr. Bouncer ascertained that Mr.
Charles Larkyns had  improved some of the shining hours of
the long vacation considerably to Mr. Verdant Green's benefit, by
teaching him the art of swimming - a polite accomplishment of which
our hero had been hitherto ignorant.  Little Mr. Bouncer, therefore,
felt easier in his mind, if any repetition of his involuntary bath in
the Gut should befal our hero; and, after giving him (wonderful to
say) some correct advice regarding the management of the oars, he
cast off the ~Sylph,~ and left her and our hero to their own devices.
 But, profiting by the friendly hints which he had received, Mr.
Verdant Green made considerable progress in the skill and dexterity
with which he feathered his oars; and he sat in his tub looking as
wise as Diogenes may (perhaps) have done in ~his~.  He moreover
pulled the boat back to Hall's without meeting with any accident
worth mentioning; and when he had got on shore he was highly
complimented by Mr. Blades and a group of boating gentlemen "for the
admirable display of science which he had afforded them."  Mr.
Verdant Green was afterwards taken alternately by Charles Larkyns and
Mr. Bouncer in their pair-oar; so that, by the end of the term, he at
any rate knew more of boating than to accept as one of its
fundamental rules, "put your oar in deep, and bring it out with a

In the first week in December he had an opportunity of pulling over a
fresh piece of water.  One of those inundations occurred to which
Oxford is so liable, and the meadow-land to the south and west of the
city was covered by the flood.  Boats


plied to and from the railway station in place of omnibuses; the
Great Western was not to be seen for water; and, at the Abingdon-road
bridge, at Cold-harbour, the rails were washed away, and the trains
brought to a stand-still.  The Isis was amplified to the width of the
Christ Church meadows; the Broad Walk had a peep of itself upside
down in the glassy mirror; the windings of the Cherwell could only be
traced by the trees on its banks. There was

                        "Water, water everywhere,"

and a disagreeable quantity of it too, as those Christ Church
 men whose ground-floor rooms were towards the meadows
soon discovered.  Mr. Bouncer is supposed to have brought out one of
his "fine, old, crusted jokes," when he asserted in reference to the
inundation, that "Nature had assumed a lake complexion."  Posts and
rails, and hay, and a miscellaneous collection of articles, were
swept along by the current, together with the bodies of hapless sheep
and pigs.  But, in spite of these incumbrances, boats of all
descriptions were to be seen sailing, pulling, skiffing, and punting,
over the flooded meadows.  Numerous were the disasters, and many were
the boats that were upset.

Indeed, the adventures of Mr. Verdant Green would probably have here
terminated in a misadventure, had he not (thanks to Charles Larkyns)
mastered the art of swimming; for he was in Mr. Bouncer's
sailing-boat, which was sailing very merrily over the flood, when its
merriness was suddenly checked by its grounding on the stump of a
lopped pollard


willow, and forthwith capsizing.  Our hero, who had been sitting in
the bows, was at once swept over by the sail, and, for a moment, was
in great peril; but, disengaging himself from the cordage, he struck
out, and swam to a willow whose friendly boughs and top had just
formed an asylum for Mr. Bouncer, who in great anxiety was coaxing
Huz and Buz to swim to the same ark of safety.

Mr. Verdant Green and Mr. Bouncer were speedily rescued from their
position, and were not a little thankful for their escape.

                                        CHAPTER VII.


"HULLO, Giglamps, you lazy beggar!" said the cheery voice of little
Mr. Bouncer, as he walked into our hero's bedroom one morning towards
the end of term, and found Mr. Verdant Green in bed, though
sufficiently awakened by the sounding of Mr. Bouncer's octaves for
the purposes of conversation; "this'll never do, you know, Giglamps!
Cutting chapel to do the downy!  Why, what do you mean, sir?  Didn't
you ever learn in the nursery what happened to old Daddy Longlegs
when he wouldn't say his prayers?"

"Robert ~did~ call me," said our hero, rubbing his eyes; "but I felt
tired, so I told him to put in an ~aeger~."

"Upon my word, young un," observed Mr. Bouncer, "you're a coming it,
you are! and only in your second term, too.  What makes you wear a
nightcap, Giglamps?  Is it to make your hair curl, or to keep your
venerable head warm? Nightcaps ain't healthy; they are only fit for
long-tailed babbies, and old birds that are as bald as coots; or else
for gents that grease their wool with 'thine incomparable oil,
Macassar,' as the noble poet justly remarks."

"It ain't always pleasant," continued the little gentleman, who was
perched up on the side of the bed, and seemed in a communicative
disposition, "it ain't always pleasant to turn out for morning
chapel, is it, Giglamps?  But it's just like the eels with their
skinning: it goes against the grain at first, but you soon get used
to it.  When I first came up, I was a frightful lazy beggar, and I
got such a heap of impositions for not keeping my morning chapels,
that I was obliged to have three fellers constantly at work writing
'em out for me.  This was rather expensive, you see; and then the
dons threatened to take away my term altogether, and bring me to
grief, if I didn't be more regular.  So I was obliged to make a
virtuous resolu-


tion, and I told Robert that he was to insist on my getting up in a
morning, and I should tip him at the end of term if he succeeded.  So
at first he used to come and hammer at  the door; but
that was no go.  So then he used to come in and shake me, and try to
pull the clothes off; but, you see, I always used to prepare for him,
by taking a good supply of boots and things to bed with me; so I
 was able to take shies at the beggar till he vanished,
and left me to snooze peaceably.  You see, it ain't every feller
as likes to have a Wellington boot at his head; but that rascal of a
Robert is used to those trifles, and I was obliged to try another
dodge.  This you know was only of a morning when I was in bed.
When I had had my breakfast, and got my imposition, and become
virtuous again, I used to slang him awful for having let me cut
chapel; and then I told him that he must always stand at the door
until he heard me out of bed.  But, when the morning came, it seemed
running such a risk,


you see, to one's lungs and all those sort of things to turn out of
the warm bed into the cold chapel, that I would answer Robert when he
hammered at the door; but, instead of getting up, I would knock my
boots against the floor, as though I was out of bed, don't you see,
and was padding about.  But that wretch of a Robert was too old a
bird to be caught with this dodge; so he used to sing out, 'You must
show a leg, sir!' and, as he kept on hammering at the door till I
~did~ - for, you see, Giglamps, he was looking out for the tip at
the end of term, so it made him persevere - and as his beastly
hammering used, of course, to put a stopper on my going to sleep
again, I used to rush out in a frightful state of wax, and show a
leg.  And then, being well up, you see, it was no use doing the downy
again, so it was just as well to make one's ~twilight~ and go to
chapel.  Don't gape, Giglamps; it's beastly rude, and I havn't done
yet.  I'm going to tell you another dodge - one of old Smalls'.  He
invested money in an alarum, with a string from it tied on to the
bed-clothes, so as to pull them off at whatever time you chose to set
it.  But I never saw the fun of being left high and dry on your bed:
it would be a shock to the system which I couldn't stand.  But even
this dreadful expedient would be better than posting an ~aeger~;
which, you know, you didn't ought to was, Giglamps.  Well, turn out,
old feller!  I've told Robert to take your commons* into my room.
Smalls and Charley are coming, and I've got a dove-tart and a

"Whatever are they?" asked Mr. Verdant Green.

"Not know what they are!" cried Mr. Bouncer; "why a dove-tart is what
mortals call a pigeon-pie.  I ain't much in Tennyson's line, but it
strikes me that dove-tarts are more poetical than the other thing;
spread-eagle is a barn-door fowl smashed out flat, and made jolly
with mushroom sauce, and no end of good things.  I don't know how
they squash it, but I should say that they sit upon it; I daresay, if
we were to inquire, we should find that they kept a fat feller on
purpose.  But you just come, and try how it eats."  And, as Mr.
Verdant Green's bedroom barely afforded standing room, even for one,
Mr. Bouncer walked into the sitting-room, while his friend arose from
his couch like a youthful Adonis, and proceeded to bathe his
ambrosial person, by taking certain sanatory measures in splashing
about in a species of tub - a per-

* The rations of bread, butter, and milk, supplied from the buttery.
The breakfast-giver tells his scout the names of those ~in~-college
men who are coming to breakfast with him.  The scout then collects
their commons, which thus forms the substratum of the entertainment.
The other things are of course supplied by the giver of the
breakfast, and are sent in by the confectioner.  As to the knives and
forks and crockery, the scout produces them from his common stock.


formance which Mr. Bouncer was wont to term "doing tumbies."

"What'll you take for your letters, Giglamps?" called out the little
gentleman from the other room; "the Post's in, and here are three for
you.  Two are from women, - young uns I should say, from the regular
ups and downs, and right angles: they look like billyduxes.  Give you
a bob for them, at a venture! they may be funny.  The other is
suspiciously like a tick, and ought to be looked shy on.  I should
advise you not to open it, but to pitch it in the fire: it may save a
fit of the blues.  If you want any help over shaving, just say so,
Giglamps, will you, before I go; and then I'll hold your nose for
you, or do anything else that's civil and accommodating.  And, when
you've done your tumbies, come in to the dove-tart and the
spread-eagle."  And off went Mr. Bouncer, making terrible noises with
his post-horn, in his strenuous but futile endeavours to discover the

Our hero soon concluded his "tumbies" and his dressing (~not~
including the shaving), and made his way to Mr. Bouncer's rooms,
where he did full justice to the dove-tart, and admired the
spread-eagle so much, that he thought of bribing the confectioner for
the recipe to take home as a Christmas-box for his mother.

"Well, Giglamps," said Mr. Bouncer, when breakfast was over, "to
spare the blushes on your venerable cheeks, I won't even so much as
refer to the billyduxes; but, I'll only ask, what was the damage of
the tick?"

"Oh! it was not a bill," replied Mr. Verdant Green; "it was a letter
about a dog from the man of whom I bought Mop last term."

"What! Filthy Lucre?" cried Mr. Bouncer; "well, I thought, somehow, I
knew the fist! he writes just as if he'd learnt from imitating his
dogs' hind-legs.  Let's have a sight of it if it ain't private and

"Oh dear no! on the contrary, I was going to show it to you, and ask
your advice on the contents."  And Verdant


handed to Mr. Bouncer a letter, which had been elaborately sealed
with the aid of a key, and was directed high up in the left-hand
corner to

                "Virdon grene esqre braisenface
                        collidge Oxford."

"You look beastly lazy, Charley!" said Mr. Bouncer to Mr. Charles
Larkyns; "so, while I fill my pipe, just spit out the 
letter, ~pro bono~."  And Charles Larkyns, lying in Mr. Bouncer's
easiest lounging chair, read as follows:-

        "Onnerd sir i tak the libbaty of a Dressin of you in respex
of A dog which i wor sorry For to ear of your Loss in mop which i had
The pleshur of Sellin of 2 you onnerd sir A going astray And not a
turnin hup Bein of A unsurtin Tempor and guv to A folarin of
strandgers which wor maybe as ow You wor a lusein on him onnerd Sir
bein Overdogd at this ere present i can let you have A rale good
teryer at A barrging which wold giv sattefacshun onnered Sir it wor
12 munth ago i Sold to Bounser esqre a red smooth air terier Dog
anserin 2 nam of Tug as wor rite down goodun and No mistake onnerd
Sir the purpurt Of this ere is too say as ow i have a Hone brother to
Tug black tann and ful ears and If you wold like him i shold bee
prowd too wate on you onnerd Sir he wor by robbingsons Twister out of
mister jones of abingdons Fan of witch brede Bounser esqre nose on
the merritts onnerd Sir he is very Smal and smooth air and most xlent
aither for wood Or warter a liter before Tug onnerd Sir is nam is
Vermin and he hant got his nam by no mistake as No Vermin not even
poll katts can live long before him onnerd Sir I considders as vermin
is very sootble compannion for a Gent indors or hout and bein lively
wold give amoose-


ment i shall fele it A plesure a waitin on you onnerd Sir opin you
will pardin the libbaty of a Dressin of you but my head wor ful of
vermin and i wishd to tel you

                                        "onnerd Sir yures
                                                2 komand j. Looker."

"The nasty beggar!" said Mr. Bouncer, in reference to the last
paragraph.  "Well, Giglamps! Filthy Lucre doesn't tell fibs when he
says that Tug came of a good breed: but he was so doosed pugnacious,
that he was always having set-to's with Huz and Buz, in the coal-shop
just outside the door here; and so, as I'd nowhere else to stow them,
I was obliged to give Tug away.  Dr. What's-his-name says, 'Let dogs
delight to bark and bite, for 'tis their nature to.'  But then, you
see, it's only a delight when they bite ~somebody else's~ dog; and if
Dr. What's-his-name had had a kennel of his own, he would'nt have
took it so coolly; and, whether it was their nature so to do or not,
he wouldn't have let the little beggars, that he fork'd out thirteen
bob a-year for to the government, amuse themselves by biting each
other, or tearing out each other's eyes; he'd have turn'd them over,
don't you see, to his neighbours' dogs, and have let them do the
biting department on ~them~.  And, altogether, Giglamps, I'd advise
you to let Filthy Lucre's Vermin alone, and have nothing to do with
the breed."

So Mr. Verdant Green took his friend's advice, and then took himself
off to learn boxing at the hands, and gloves, of the Putney Pet; for
our hero, at the suggestion of Mr. Charles Larkyns, had thought it
advisable to receive a few lessons in the fistic art, in order that
he might be the better able to defend himself, should he be engaged
in a second Town and Gown.  He found the Pet in attendance upon Mr.
Foote; and, by their mutual aid, speedily mastered the elements of
the Art of Self-defence.

Mr. Foote's rooms at St. John's were in the further corner to the
right-hand side of the Quad, and had windows looking into the
gardens.  When Charles had held his Court at St. John's, and when the
loyal College had melted down its plate to coin into money for the
King's necessities, the Royal visitor had occupied these very rooms.
But it was not on this account alone that they were the show rooms of
the College, and that tutors sent their compliments to Mr. Foote,
with the request that he would allow a party of friends to see his
rooms.  It was chiefly on account of the lavish manner in which Mr.
Foote had furnished his rooms, with what he theatrically called
"properties," that made them so sought out: and country lionisers of
Oxford, who took their impressions of an Oxford student's room from
those of Mr. Foote, must have entertained very highly coloured ideas
of the internal aspect of the sober-looking old Colleges.


The sitting-room was large and lofty, and was panelled with oak
throughout.  At the further end was an elaborately carved book-case
of walnut wood, filled with books gorgeously bound in every tint of
morocco and vellum, with their backs richly tooled in gold.  It was
currently reported in the College that "Footelights" had given an
order for a certain number of ~feet~ of books, - not being at all
proud as to their contents, - and had laid down the sum of a thousand
pounds (or thereabouts) for their binding.  This might have been
scandal; but the fact of his father being a Colossus of (the iron)
Roads, and indulging his son and heir in every expense, gave some
colour to the rumour.

The panels were covered with the choicest engravings (all
proofs-before-letters), and with water-colour drawings by Cattermole,
Cox, Fripp, Hunt, and Frederick Tayler - their wide, white margins
being sunk in light gilt frames.  Above these gleamed groups of
armour, standing out effectively (and theatrically), against the dark
oak panels, and full of "reflected lights," that would have gladdened
the heart of Maclise.  There were couches of velvet, and lounging
chairs of every variety and shape.  There was a Broadwood's grand
pianoforte, on which Mr. Foote, although uninstructed, could play
skilfully.  There were round tables and square tables, and writing
tables; and there were side tables with statuettes, and Swiss
carvings, and old china, and gold apostle-spoons, and lava ware, and
Etruscan vases, and a swarm of Spiers's elegant knick-knackeries.
There were reading-stands of all sorts; Briarean-armed brazen ones
that fastened on to the chair you sat in, - sloping ones to rest on
the table before you, elaborately carved in open work, and an upright
one of severe Gothic, like a lectern, where you were to stand and
read without contracting your chest.  Then there were all kinds of
stands to hold books: sliding ones, expanding ones, portable ones,
heavy fixture ones, plain mahogany ones, and oak ones made glorious
by Margetts with the arms of Oxford and St. John's, carved and
emblazoned on the ends.

Mr. Foote's rooms were altogether a very gorgeous instance of a
Collegian's apartment; and Mr. Foote himself was a very striking
example of the theatrical undergraduate.  Possessing great powers of
mimicry and facial expression, he was able to imitate any
peculiarities which were to be observed either in Dons or
Undergraduates, in Presidents or Scouts.  He could sit down at his
piano, and give you - after the manner of Theodore Hook, or John
Parry - a burlesque opera; singing high up in his head for the prima
donna, and going down to his boots for the ~basso profondo~ of the
great Lablache.  He could also draw corks, saw wood, do a bee in a


and make monkeys, cats, dogs, a farm-yard, or a full band, with equal
facility.  He would also give you Mr. Keeley, in "Betsy Baker;" Mr.
Paul Bedford, as "I believe you my bo-o-oy"; Mr. Buckstone, as Cousin
Joe, and "Box and Cox;" or Mr. Wright, as Paul Pry, or Mr. Felix
Fluffy. Besides the comedians, Mr. Footelights would also give you
the leading tragedians, and would favour you (through his nose) with
the popular burlesque imitation of Mr. Charles Kean, as ~Hablet~.  He
 would fling himself down on the carpet, and grovel there
as Hamlet does in the play-scene, and would exclaim, with frantic
vehemence, "He poisods hib i' the garded, for his estate.   His
dabe's Godzago: the story is extadt, ad writted id very choice
Italiad.  You shall see adod, how the burderer gets the love of
Godzago's wife."  Moreover, as his room possessed the singularity of
a trap-door leading down into a wine-cellar, Mr. "Footelights" was
thus enabled to leap down into the aperture, and carry on the
personation of Hamlet in Ophelia's grave.  As the theatrical trait in
his character was productive of much amusement, and as he was also
considered to be one of those hilarious fragments of masonry,
popularly known as "jolly bricks," Mr. Foote's society was greatly
cultivated; and Mr. Verdant Green struck up a warm friendship with

But the Michaelmas term was drawing to its close.  Buttery and
kitchen books were adding up their sums total; bursars were preparing
for battels;* witless men were cramming for

* Battels are the accounts of the expenses of each student.  It is
stated in Todd's ~Johnson~ that this singular word is derived from
the Saxon verb, meaning "to count or reckon."  But it is stated in
the ~Gentleman's Magazine~ for 1792, that the word may probably be
derived from the Low-German word ~bettahlen~, "to pay," whence may
come our English word, ~tale~ or ~score~.


Collections;* scouts and bedmakers were looking for tips; and
tradesmen were hopelessly expecting their little accounts.  And, in a
few days, Mr. Verdant Green might have been seen at the railway
station, in company with Mr. Charles Larkyns and Mr. Bouncer, setting
out for the Manor Green, ~via~ London - this being, as is well known,
the most direct route from Oxford to Warwickshire.

Mr. Bouncer, who when travelling was never easy in his mind unless
Huz and Buz were with him in the same carriage, had placed these two
interesting specimens of the canine species in a small light box,
partially ventilated by means of holes drilled through the top.  But
Huz and Buz, not much admiring this contracted mode of conveyance,
and probably suffering from incipient asphyxia, in spite of the
admonitory kicks against their box, gave way to dismal howls, at the
very moment when the guard came to look at the tickets.  "Can't allow
dogs in here, sir! they must go in the locker," said the guard.

"Dogs?" cried Mr. Bouncer, in apparent astonishment: "they're

"Rabbits!" ejaculated the guard, in his turn.  "Oh, come, sir! what
makes rabbits bark?"

"What makes 'em bark? Why, because they've got the pip, poor
beggars!" replied Mr. Bouncer, promptly.  At which the guard
graciously laughed, and retired; probably thinking that he should, in
the end, be a gainer if he allowed Huz and Buz to journey in the same
first-class carriage with their master.


                                        CHAPTER VIII.

                                        NEW YEAR.

CHRISTMAS had come; the season of kindness, and hospitality; the
season when the streams of benevolence flow full in their channels;
the season when the Honourable Miss Hyems indulges herself with ice,
while the vulgar Jack Frost regales himself with cold-without.
Christmas had come, and had brought with it an old fashioned winter;
and, as Mr. Verdant Green stands with his hands in his pockets, and
gazes from the drawing-room of his paternal mansion, he looks forth
upon a white world.

The snow is everywhere.  The shrubs are weighed down by masses of it;
the terrace is knee-deep in it; the plaster Apollo, in the long-walk,
is more than knee-deep in it, and is furnished

* College Terminal Examinations.


with a surplice and wig, like a half-blown Bishop.  The distant
country looks the very ghost of a landscape: the white-walled
cottages seem part and parcel of the snow-drifts around them, -drifts
that take every variety of form, and are swept by the wind into faery
wreaths, and fantastic caves.  The old mill-wheel is locked fast, and
gemmed with giant icicles; its slippery stairs are more slippery than
ever.  Golden gorse and purple heather are now all of a colour;
orchards put forth blossoms of real snow; the gently swelling hills
look bright and dazzling in the wintry sun; the grey church tower has
grown from grey to white; nothing looks black, except the swarms of
rooks that dot the snowy fields, or make their caws (long as any
Chancery-suit) to be heard from among the dark branches of the
stately elms that form the avenue to the Manor-Green.

It is a rare
busy time for the intelligent Mr. Mole the gardener! he is always
sweeping at that avenue, and, do what he will, he cannot keep it
clear from snow.  As Mr. Verdant Green looks forth upon the white
world, his gaze is more particularly directed to this avenue, as
though the form of the intelligent Mr. Mole was an object of
interest.  From time to time Mr. Verdant Green consults his watch in
a nervous manner, and is utterly indifferent to the appeals of the
robin-redbreast  who is hopping about outside, in
expectation of the dinner which has been daily given to him.

Just when the robin, emboldened by hunger, has begun to tap fiercely
with his bill against the window-pane, as a gentle hint that the
smallest donations of crumbs of comfort will be thankfully received,
- Mr. Verdant Green, utterly oblivious of robins in general, and of
the sharp pecks of this one in particular, takes no notice of the
little redbreast waiter with the bill, but, slightly colouring up,
fixes his gaze upon the lodge-gate through which a group of ladies
and gentlemen are passing.  Stepping back for a moment, and stealing
a glance at himself in the mirror, Mr. Verdant Green hurriedly
arranges and disarranges his hair - pulls about his collar - ties and


unties his neck-handkerchief-buttons and then unbuttons his coat
-takes another look from the window - sees the intelligent Mr. Mole.
(besom in hand) salaaming the party, and then makes a rush for the
vestibule, to be at the door to receive them.

Let us take a look at them as they come up the avenue.  ~Place aux
dames~, is the proper sort of thing; but as there is no rule without
its exception, and no adage without its counter-proverb, we will give
the gentlemen the priority of description.

Hale and hearty, the picture of amiability and gentlemanly feeling,
comes the Rector, Mr. Larkyns, sturdily crunching the frozen snow,
which has defied all the besom powers of the intelligent Mr. Mole.
Here, too, is Mr. Charles Larkyns, and, moreover, his friend Henry
Bouncer, Esq., who has come to christmas at the Rectory.  Following
in their wake is a fourth gentleman attired in the costume peculiar
to clergymen, dissenting ministers, linen-drapers' assistants, and
tavern waiters.  He happens to belong to the first-named section, and
is no less a person than the Rev. Josiah Meek, B.A., (St.
Christopher's Coll., Oxon.) - who, for the last three months, has
officiated as Mr. Larkyns's curate.  He appears to be of a
peace-loving, lamb-like disposition; and, though sportive as a lamb
when occasion requires, is yet of timid ways and manners.  He is
timid, too, in voice, - speaking in a feeble treble; he is timid, too,
in his address, - more particularly as regards females; and he has
mild-looking whiskers, that are far too timid to assume any decided
or obtrusive colour, and have fallen back on a generalized
whitey-brown tint.  But, though timid enough in society, he was bold
and energetic in the discharge of his pastoral duties, and had
already won the esteem of every one in the parish.  So, Verdant had
been told, when, on his return from college, he had asked his sisters
how they liked the new curate.  They had not only heard of his good
deeds, but they had witnessed many of them in their visits to the
schools and among the poor.  Mary and Fanny were loud in his praise;
and if Helen said but little, it was perhaps because she thought the
more; for Helen was now of the susceptible age of "sweet seventeen,"
an age that not only feels warmly but thinks deeply; and, who shall
say what feelings and thoughts may lie beneath the pure waters of
that sea of maidenhood whose surface is so still and calm?  Love
alone can tell: - Love, the bold diver, who can cleave that still
surface, and bring up into the light of heaven the rich treasures
that are of Heaven's own creation.

With the four gentlemen come two ladies - young ladies, moreover,
who, as penny-a-liners say, are "possessed of con-


siderable personal attractions."  These are the Misses Honeywood, the
blooming daughters of the rector's only sister; and they have come
from the far land of the North, and are looking as fresh and sweet as
their own heathery hills.  The roses of health that bloom upon their
cheeks have been brought into full blow by the keen, sharp breeze;
the shepherd's-plaid shawls drawn tightly around them give the
outline of figures that gently swell into the luxuriant line of
beauty and grace.  Altogether, they are damsels who are pleasant to
the eye, and very fair to look upon.

Since they had last visited their uncle four years had passed, and,
in that time, they had shot up to womanhood, although they were not
yet out of their teens.  Their father was a landed proprietor living
in north Northumberland; and, like other landed proprietors who live
under the shade of the Cheviots, was rich in his flocks, and his
herds, and his men-servants and his maid-servants, and his he-asses
and his she-asses, and was quite a modern patriarch.  During the past
summer, the rector had taken a trip to Northumberland, in order to
see his sister, and refresh himself with a  clergyman's
fortnight at Honeywood Hall, and he would not leave his sister and
her husband until he had extracted from them a promise that they
would bring down their two eldest daughters and christmas in
Warwickshire.  This was accordingly agreed to, and, more than that,
acted upon; and little Mr. Bouncer and his sister Fanny were asked to
meet them; but, to relieve the rector of a superfluity of lady
guests, Miss Bouncer's quarters had been removed to the Manor Green.

It was quite an event in the history of our hero and his sisters.  Four
years ago, they, and Kitty and Patty Honeywood, were mere chits, for
whom dolls had not altogether lost their interest, and who considered
it as promotion when they sat in the drawing-room on com-


pany evenings, instead of being shown up at dessert.  Four years at
this period of life makes a vast change in young ladies, and the
Green and Honeywood girls had so altered since last they met, that
they had almost needed a fresh introduction to each other.  But a
day's intimacy made them bosom friends; and the Manor Green soon saw
such revels as it had not seen for many a long year.

Every night there were (in the language of the play-bills of
provincial theatres) "singing and dancing, with a variety of other
entertainments;" the "other entertainments" occasionally consisting
(as is scandalously affirmed) of a very favourite class of
entertainment - popular at all times, but running mad riot at the
Christmas season - wherein two performers of either sex take their
places beneath a white-berried bough, and go through a species of
dance, or ~pas de fascination~, accompanied by mysterious rites and
solemnities that have been scrupulously observed, and handed down to
us, from the earliest age.

Mr. Verdant Green, during the short - alas! ~too~ short - Christmas
week, had performed more polkas than he had ever danced in his life;
and, under the charming tuition of Miss Patty Honeywood, was fast
becoming a proficient in the ~valse a deux temps~.  As yet, the whirl
of the dance brought on a corresponding rotatory motion of the brain,
that made everything swim before his spectacles in a way which will
be easily understood by all bad travellers who have crossed from
Dover to Calais with a chopping sea and a gale of wind.  But Miss
Patty Honeywood was both good-natured and persevering: and she
allowed our hero to dance on her feet without a murmur, and
watchfully guided him when his giddy vision would have led them into
contact with foreign bodies.


It is an old saying, that Gratitude begets Love.  Mr. Verdant Green
had already reached the first part of this dangerous creation, for he
felt grateful to the pretty Patty for the good-humoured trouble she
bestowed on the awkwardness, which he now, for the first time, began
painfully to perceive.  But, what his gratitude might end in, he had
perhaps never taken the trouble to inquire.  It was enough to Mr.
Verdant Green that he enjoyed the present; and, as to the future, he
fully followed out the Horatian precept-

                        Quid sit futurum cras, fuge quaerere;
                                 *  *  *  nec dulces amores
                                Sperne, puer, neque tu choreas.

  It was perhaps ungrateful in our hero to prefer Miss
Patty Honeywood to Miss Fanny Bouncer, especially when the latter was
staying in the house, and had been so warmly recommended to his
notice by her vivacious brother.  Especially, too, as there was
nothing to be objected to in Miss Bouncer, saving the fact that some
might have affirmed she was a trifle too much inclined to
~embonpoint~, and was indeed a bouncer in person as well as in name.
Especially, too, as Miss Fanny Bouncer was both good-humoured and
clever, and, besides being mistress of the usual young-lady
accomplishments, was a clever proficient in the fascinating art of
photography, and had brought her camera and chemicals, and had not
only calotyped Mr. Verdant Green, but had made no end of duplicates
of him, in a manner that was suggestive of the deepest admiration and
affection.  But these sort of likings are not made to rule, and Mr.
Verdant Green could see Miss Fanny


Bouncer approach without betraying any of those symptoms of
excitement, under the influence of which we had the privilege to see
him, as he gazed from the window of his paternal mansion, and then,
on beholding the approaching form of Miss Patty Honeywood, rush
wildly to the vestibule.

The party had no occasion to ring, for the hall door was already
opened for them, and Mr. Verdant Green was soon exchanging a
delightful pressure of the hand with the blooming Patty.

"We were such a formidable party," said that young lady, as she
laughed merrily, and thereby disclosed to the enraptured gazer a
remarkably even set of white teeth ("All her own, too!" as little Mr.
Bouncer afterwards remarked to the enraptured gazer); "we were such a
formidable party," said Miss Patty, "that papa and mamma declared
they would stay behind at the Rectory, and would not join in such a

Mr. Verdant Green replies, "Oh dear! I am very sorry," and looks
remarkably delighted - though it certainly may not be at the absence
of the respected couple; and he then proclaims that everything is
ready, and that Miss Bouncer and his sisters had found out some
capital words.

"What a mysterious communication, Verdant!" remarks the rector, as
they pass into the house.  But the rector is only to be let so far
into the secret as to be informed that, at the evening party which
is to be held at the Manor Green that night, a charade or two will be
acted, in order to diversify the amusements.  The Misses Honeywood
are great adepts in this sort of pastime; so, also, are Miss Bouncer
and her brother.  For although the latter does not shine as a mimic,
yet, as he is never deserted by his accustomed coolness, he has
plenty of the ~nonchalance~ and readiness which is a requisite for
charade acting.  The Miss Honeywoods and Mr. Bouncer have therefore
suggested to Mr. Verdant Green and his sisters, that to get up a
little amateur performance would be "great fun;" and the suggestion
has met with a warm approval.

The drawing-room at the Manor Green opened by large folding-doors to
the library; so (as Mr. Bouncer observed to our hero), "there you've
got your stage and your drop-scene as right as a trivet; and, if you
stick a lot of candles and lights on each side of the doors in the
library, there you'll have a regular flare-up that'll show off your
venerable giglamps no end."

So charades were determined on; and, when words had been hunted up, a
council of war was called.  But, as the ladies and gentlemen hold
their council with closed doors, we cannot intrude upon them.  We
must therefore wait till the evening, when the result of their
deliberations will be publicly manifested.



                                                CHAPTER IX.


IT is the last night of December.  The old year, worn out and spent
with age, lies a dying, wrapped in sheets of snow.  A stern stillness
reigns around.  The steps of men are muffled; no echoing footfalls
disturb the solemn nature of the time.  The little runnels weep icy
tears.  The dark pines hang out their funereal plumes, and nod with
their weight of snow.  The elms have thrown off their green robes of
joy, and,  standing up in gaunt nakedness, wildly toss to
heaven their imploring arms.  The old year lies a dying.

Silently through the snow steal certain carriages to the portals of
the Manor Green: and, with a ringing of bells and a banging of steps,
the occupants disappear in a stream of light that issues from the
hall door.  Mr. Green's small sanctum to the right of the hall has
been converted into a cloak-room, and is fitted up with a
ladies'-maid and a looking-glass, in a manner not to be remembered by
the oldest inhabitant.

There the finishing stroke of ravishment is given to the toilette
disarranged by a long drive through the impeding snow.  There Miss
Parkington (whose papa has lately revived his old school friendship
with Mr. Green) discovers, to her unspeakable disgust, that the
ten mile drive through the cold has invested her cheek with purple
tints, and given to her ~retrousse~ (ill-natured people call it
"pug") nose a hue that mocks

                                The turkey's crested fringe.

There, too, Miss Waters (whose paternities had hitherto only been on
morning-call terms with the Manor Green people, but had brushed up
their acquaintance now that there was a son of marriageable years and
heir to an independent fortune) discovers to her dismay that the
joltings received during a six-mile drive through snowed-up lanes,
have somewhat


deteriorated the very full-dress aspect of her attire, and
considerably flattened its former balloon-like dimensions.  And
there, too, Miss Brindle (whose family have been hunted up for the
occasion) makes the alarming discovery that, in the  lurch
which their hack-fly had made at the cross roads, her brother
Alfred's patent boots had not only dragged off some yards (more or
less) of her flounces, but had also - to use her own mystical
language - "torn her skirt at the gathers!"

All, however, is put right as far as possible.  A warm at the
sanctum's fire diminishes the purple in Miss Parkington's cheeks; and
the maid, by some hocus-pocus peculiar to her craft, again inflates
Miss Waters into a balloon, and stitches up Miss Brindle's flounces
and "gathers."  The ladies join their respective gentlemen, who have
been cooling their toes and uttering warm anathemas in the hall; and
the party sail, arm-in-arm, into the drawing-room, and forthwith fall
to lively remarks on that neutral ground of conversation, the
weather.  Mr. Verdant Green is there, dressed with elaborate
magnificence; but he continues in a state of listless apathy, and is
indifferent to the "lively" rattle of the balloon-like Miss Waters,
until John the footman (who is suffering from influenza) rouses him
into animation by the magic talisman "Bister, Bissis, an' the Biss
"Oneywoods;" when he beams through his spectacles in the most benign
and satisfied manner.


The Misses Honeywood are as blooming as usual: the cold air, instead
of spoiling their good looks, has but improved their healthy style of
beauty; and they smile, laugh, and talk in a perfectly easy,
unaffected, and natural manner.  Mr. Verdant Green at once makes his
way to Miss Patty Honeywood's side, and, gracefully standing beside
her, coffee-cup in hand, plunges headlong into the depths of a
tangled conversation.  

Meanwhile, the drawing-room of the Manor Green becomes filled in a
way that has not been seen for many a long year; and the intelligent
Mr. Mole, the gardener (who has been impressed as an odd man for the
occasion, and is served up in a pseudo-livery to make him more
presentable), sees more "genteel" people than have, for a long time,
been visible to his naked eye.  The intelligent Mr. Mole, when he has
afterwards been restored to the bosom of Mrs. Mole and his family,
confides to his equally intelligent helpmate that, in his opinion,
"Master has guv the party to get husbands for the young ladies" - an
opinion which, though perhaps not founded on


fact so far as it related to the party which was the subject of Mr.
Mole's remark, would doubtless be applicable to many similar parties
given under somewhat similar circumstances.

It is not improbable that the intelligent Mr. Mole may have based his
opinion on a circumstance - which, to a gentleman of his sagacity,
must have carried great weight - namely, that whenever in the course
of the evening the hall was made the promenade for the loungers and
dancers, he perceived, firstly, that Miss Green was invariably
accompanied by Mr. Charles Larkyns; secondly, that the Rev. Josiah
Meek kept Miss Helen dallying about the wine and lemonade tray much
longer than was necessary for the mere consumption of the cooling
liquids; and thirdly, that Miss Fanny, who was a pert, talkative Miss
of sixteen, was continually to be found there with either Mr. Henry
Bouncer or Mr. Alfred Brindle dancing attendance upon her.  But, be
this as it may, the intelligent Mr. Mole was impressed with the
conviction that Mr. Green had called his young friends together as to
a matrimonial auction, and that his daughters were to be put up
without reserve, and knocked down to the highest bidder.

All the party have arrived.  The weather has been talked over for the
last time (for the present); a harp, violin, and a cornet-a-piston
from the county town, influenced by the spirit of gin-and-water, are
heard discoursing most eloquent music in the dining-room, which has
been cleared out for the dance.  Miss Patty Honeywood, accepting the
offer of Mr. Verdant Green's arm, swims joyously out of the room;
other ladies and gentlemen pair, and follow: the ball is opened.

A polka follows the quadrille; and, while the dancers rest awhile
from their exertions, or crowd around the piano in the drawing-room
to hear the balloon-like Miss Waters play a firework piece of music,
in which execution takes the place of melody, and chromatic scales
are discharged from her fingers like showers of rockets, Mr. Verdant
Green mysteriously weeds out certain members of the party, and
vanishes with them up-stairs.

When Miss Waters has discharged all her fireworks, and has descended
from the throne of her music-stool, a set of Lancers is formed; and,
while the usual mistakes are being made in the figures, the dancers
find a fruitful subject of conversation in surmises that a charade is
going to be acted.  The surmise proves to be correct; for when the
set has been brought to an end with that peculiar in-and-out
tum-tum-tiddle-iddle-tum-tum-tum movement which characterizes the
last figure of ~Les Lanciers~, the trippers on the light fantastic
toe are requested to assemble in the drawing-room, where the chairs
and couches have been pulled up to face the folding


doors that lead into the library.  Mr. Verdant Green appears; and,
after announcing that the word to be acted will be one of three
syllables, and that each syllable will be represented by itself, and
that then the complete word will be given, throws open the folding
doors for

SCENE I. ~Syllable~ 1. - Enter the Miss Honeywoods, dressed in
fashionable bonnets and shawls.  They are shown in by a footman (Mr.
Bouncer) attired in a peculiarly ingenious and  effective
livery, made by pulling up the trousers to the knee, and wearing the
dress-coat inside out, so as to display the crimson silk linings of
the sleeves: the effect of Mr. Bouncer's appearance is considerably
heightened by a judicious outlay of flour sprinkled over his hair.
Mr. Bouncer (as footman) gives the ladies chairs, and inquires, "What
name shall I be pleased to say, mem?"  Miss Patty answers in a
languid and fashionable voice, "The Ladies Louisa and Arabella
Mountfidget."  Mr. Bouncer evaporates with a low bow, leaving the
ladies to play with their parasols, and converse.  Lady Arabella
(Miss Patty) then expresses a devout wish that Lady Trotter (wife of
Sir Lambkin Trotter, Bart.), in whose house they are supposed to be,
will not keep them waiting as long as she detained her aunt, Lady
Bellwether, when the poor old lady fell asleep from sheer fatigue,
and was found snoring on the sofa.  Lady


Louisa then falls to an inspection of the card-tray, and reads the
paste-boards of some high-sounding titles not to be found in Debrett,
and expresses wonder as to where Lady Trotter can have picked up the
Duchess of Ditchwater's card, as she (Lady Louisa) is morally
convinced that her Grace can never have condescended to have even
sent in her card by a footman.  Becoming impatient at the
non-appearance of Lady Trotter, Miss Patty Honeywood then rings the
bell, and, with much asperity of manner, inquires of Mr. Bouncer (as
footman) if Lady Trotter is informed that the Ladies Louisa and
Arabella Mountfidget are waiting to see her? Mr. Bouncer replies,
with a footman's bow, and a footman's ~h~exasperation of his h's, "Me
lady is haweer hof your ladyships' visit; but me lady is at present
hunable to happear: me lady, 'owever, has give me a message, which
she hasks me to deliver to your ladyships."  Then why don't you
deliver it at once," says Miss Patty, "and not waste the valuable
time of the Ladies Louisa and Arabella Mountfidget?  What ~is~ the
message?"  "Me lady," replies Mr. Bouncer, "requests me to present
her compliments to your ladyships, and begs me to hinform you that me
lady is a cleaning of herself!"  Amid great laughter from the
audience, the Ladies Mountfidget toss their heads and flutter grandly
out of the room, followed by the floured footman; while Mr. Verdant
Green, unseen by those in front, pushes-to the folding doors, to show
that the first syllable is performed.

Praises of the acting, and guesses at the word, agreeably fill up the
time till the next scene.  The Rev.d Josiah Meek, who is not much
used to charades, confides to Miss Helen Green that he surmises the
word to be, either "visitor" or "impudence;" but, as the only ground
to this surmise rests on these two words being words of three
syllables, Miss Helen gently repels the idea, and sagely observes,
"we shall see more in the next scene."

SCENE II. ~Syllable~ 2. - The folding-doors open, and discover Mr.
Verdant Green, as a sick gentleman, lying on a sofa, in a
dressing-gown, with pillows under his head, and Miss Patty Honeywood
in attendance upon him.  A table, covered with glasses and medicine
bottles, is drawn up to the sufferer's couch in an inviting manner.
Miss Patty informs the sufferer that the time is come for him to take
his draught.  The sufferer groans in a dismal manner, and says, "Oh!
is it, my dear?"  She replies, "Yes! you must take it now;" and
sternly pours some sherry wine out of the medicine bottle into a cup.
 The sufferer makes piteous faces, and exclaims, "It is so nasty, I
can't take it, my love!"  (It is to be observed that Mr. Verdant
Green, skilfully taking advantage of the circumstance that Miss


Patty Honeywood is supposed to represent the wife of the sufferer,
plentifully besprinkles his conversation with endearing epithets.)
When, after much persuasion and groaning, the sufferer has been
induced to take his medicine, his spouse announces the arrival of the
doctor; when, enter Mr. Bouncer, still floured as to his head, but
wearing spectacles, a long black coat, and a shirt-frill, and having
his dress otherwise altered so as to represent a medical man of the
old school.  The doctor asks what sort of a night his patient has
had, inspects his  tongue with professional gravity, feels
his pulse, looks at his watch, and mysteriously shakes his head.  He
then commences thrusting and poking Mr. Verdant Green in various
parts of his body, - after the manner of doctors with their victims,
and farmers with their beasts, - inquiring between each poke, "Does
that hurt you?" and being answered by a convulsive "Oh!" and a groan
of agony.  The doctor then prescribes a draught to be taken every
half-hour, with the pills and blister at bed-time; and, after
covering his two fellow-actors with confusion, by observing that he
leaves his patient in admirable hands, and, that in an affection of
the heart, the application of lip-salve and warm treatment will give
a decided tone to the system, and produce soothing and grateful
emotions - takes his leave; and the folding-doors are closed on the
blushes of Miss Patty Honeywood, and Mr. Verdant Green.


More applause: more agreeable conversation: more ingenious
speculations.  The Revd. Josiah Meek is now of opinion that the word
is either "medicine" or "suffering." Miss Helen still sagely
observes, "we shall see more in the next scene."

SCENE III. ~Syllable~ 3. - Mr. Verdant Green discovered sitting at a
table furnished with pens and ink, books, and rolls of paper.  Mr.
Verdant Green wears on his head a Chelsea pensioner's cocked-hat (the
"property" of the Family, - as Mr. Footelights would have said),
folded into a shovel shape; and is supposed to accurately represent
the outside of a London publisher.  To him enter Mr. Bouncer - the
flour off his head - coat buttoned tightly to the throat, no visible
linen, and wearing in his face and appearance generally, "the garb of
humility."  Says the publisher "Now, sir, please to state your
business, and be quick about it: I am much engaged in looking over
for the press a work of a distinguished author, which I am just about
to publish."  Meekly replies the other, as he holds under his arm an
immense paper packet: "It is about a work of my own, sir, that I have
now ventured to intrude upon you.  I have here, sir, a small
manuscript," (producing his roll of a book), "which I am ambitious to
see given to the world through the medium of your printing
establishment."  To him, the Publisher - "Already am I inundated with
manuscripts on all possible subjects, and cannot undertake to look at
any more for some time to come.  What is the nature of your
manuscript?"  Meekly replies the other - "The theme of my work, sir,
is a History of England before the Flood.  The subject is both new
and interesting.  It is to be presumed that our beloved country
existed before the Flood: if so, it must have had a history.  I have
therefore endeavoured to fill up what is lacking in the annals of our
land, by a record of its antediluvian state, adapted to the meanest
comprehension, and founded on the most baseless facts.  I am
desirous, sir, to see myself in print.  I should like my work, sir,
to appear in large letters; in very large letters, sir.  Indeed, sir,
it would give me joy, if you would condescend to print it altogether
in capital letters: my ~magnum opus~ might then be called with truth,
a capital work."  To him, the Publisher - "Much certainly depends on
the character of the printing."  Meekly the author - "Indeed, sir, it
does.  A great book, sir, should be printed in great letters.  If you
will permit me, I will show you the size of the letters in which I
should wish my book to be printed."  Mr. Bouncer then points out in
some books on the table, the printing he most admires; and,
beseeching the Publisher to read over his manuscript, and think
favourably of his History of England before the Flood, makes his bow
to Mr. Verdant Green and the Chelsea pensioner's cocked hat.


More applause, and speculations.  The Revd. Josiah Meek confident
that he has discovered the word.  It must be either "publisher" or
"authorship."  Miss Helen still sage.

SCENE IV.  ~The Word~. - Miss Bouncer discovered with her camera,
arranging her photographic chemicals.  She soliloquizes: "There! now,
all is ready for my sitter."  She calls the footman (Mr. Verdant
Green), and says, "John, you may show the Lady Fitz-Canute upstairs."
 The footman shows in Miss Honeywood, dressed in an antiquated bonnet
and mantle, waving a huge fan.  John gives her a chair, into which
she drops, exclaiming, "What an insufferable toil it is to ascend to
these elevated Photographic rooms;" and makes good use of her fan.
Miss Bouncer then fixes the focus of her camera, and begs the Lady
Fitz-Canute to sit perfectly still, and to call up an agreeable smile
to her face.  Miss Honeywood thereupon disposes her face in ludicrous
"wreathed smiles;" and Miss Bouncer's head disappears under the velvet
hood of the camera.  "I am afraid," at length says Miss Bouncer, "I
am afraid that I shall not be able to succeed in taking a likeness of
your ladyship this morning."  "And why, pray?" asks her ladyship with
haughty surprise.  "Because it is a gloomy day," replies the
Photographer, "and much depends upon the rays of light."  "Then
procure the rays of light!"  "That is more than I can do."  "Indeed!
I suppose if the Lady Fitz-Canute wishes for the rays of light, and
condescends to pay for the rays of light, she can obtain the rays of
light."  Miss Bouncer considers this too ~exigeant~, and puts her
sitter off by promising to complete a most fascinating portrait of
her on some more favourable day.  Lady Fitz-Canute appears to be
somewhat mollified at this, and is graciously pleased to observe,
"Then I will undergo the fatigue of ascending to these elevated
Photographic-rooms at some future period.  But, mind, when I next
come, that you procure the rays of light!"  So she is shown out by
Mr. Verdant Green, and the folding-doors are closed amid applause,
and the audience distract themselves with guesses as to the word.

"Photograph" is a general favourite, but is found not to agree with
the three first scenes, although much ingenuity is expended in
endeavouring to make them fit the word.  The Curate makes a headlong
rush at the word "Daguerreotype," and is confident that he has solved
the problem, until he is informed that it is a word of more than
three syllables.  Charles Larkyns has already whispered the word to
Mary Green; but they keep their discovery to themselves.  At length,
the Revd. Josiah Meek, in a moment of inspiration, hits upon the
word, and proclaims it to be CALOTYPE ("Call - oh! - type;") upon
which Mr. Alfred Brindle declares to Miss Fanny Green that


he had fancied it must be that, all along, and, in fact, was just on
the point of saying it: and the actors, coming in in a body, receive
the violet-crowns and laurel-wreaths of praise as the meed of their
exertions.  Perhaps, the Miss Honeywoods and Mr. Bouncer receive
larger crowns than the others, but Mr. Verdant Green gets his due
share, and is fully satisfied with his first appearance on "the

Dancing then succeeds, varied by songs from the young ladies, and
discharges of chromatic fireworks from the fingers  of
Miss Waters, for whom Charles Larkyns does the polite, in turning
over the leaves of her music.  Then some carol-singers come to the
Hall-door, and the bells of the church proclaim, in joyful peals, the
birth of the New Year; - a new year of hopes, and joys, and cares,
and griefs, and unions, and partings; - a new year of which, who then
present shall see the end? who shall be there to welcome in its
successor? who shall be absent, laid in the secret places of the
earth?  Ah, ~who~?  For, even in the midst of revelry and youth, the
joy-peals of those old church bells can strike the key-note of a wail
of grief.

Another charade follows, in which new actors join.  Then comes a
merry supper, in which Mr. Alfred Brindle, in order to give himself
courage to appear in the next charade, takes more


champagne than is good for him; in which, too (probably, from similar
champagney reasons), Miss Parkington's unfortunately self-willed nose
again assumes a more roseate hue than is becoming to a maiden; in
which, too, Mr. Verdant Green being called upon to return thanks for
"the ladies" -(toast, proposed in eloquent terms by H. Bouncer, Esq.,
and drunk "with the usual honours,")- is so alarmed at finding himself
upon his legs, that his ideas altogether vanish, and in great
confusion of utterance, he observes, - "I-I-ladies and
gentleman-feel-I-I-a-feel-assure you-grattered and flattified-I mean,
flattered and gratified-being called on-return thanks-I-I-a-the
ladies-give a larm to chife - I mean, charm to
life-(~applause~)-and-a-a-grace by their table this presence, -I
mean-a-a-(~applause~),-and joytened our eye-I mean, heighted our joy,
to-night-(~applause~),-in their name-thanks-honour."  Mr. Verdant
Green takes advantage of the applause which follows these incoherent
remarks, and sits down, covered with confusion, but thankful that the
struggle is over.

More dancing follows.  Our hero performs prodigies in the ~valse a
deux temps~, and twirls about until he has not a leg left  to stand
upon.  The harp, the violin, and the cornet-a-piston, from the county
town, play mechanically in their sleep, and can only be roused by
repeated applications of gin-and-water.  Carriages are ordered round:
wraps are in requisition: the mysterious rites under the
white-berried  bush are stealthily repeated for the last time: the
guests depart, as it were, in a heap; the Rectory party being the
last to leave.  The intelligent Mr. Mole, who has fuddled himself by
an injudicious mixture of the half-glasses of wine left on the
supper-table, is exasperated with the butler for not allowing him to
assist in putting away the silver; and declares that he (the butler)
is "a hold himage," for which, he (the intelligent Mr. M.), "don't
care a button!" and, as the epithet "image" appears to wondrously
offend the butler, Mr. Mole is removed from further consequences by
his intelligent wife, who is waiting to conduct her lord and master

At length, the last light is out in the Manor Green.  Mr. Verdant
Green is lying uncomfortably upon his back, and is waltzing through
Dreamland with the blooming Patty Honeywood.


                                        CHAPTER X.

                        MR. VERDANT GREEN ENJOYS A REAL CIGAR.

THE Christmas vacation passed rapidly away; the Honeywood family
returned to the far north; and, once more, Mr. Verdant Green found
himself within the walls of Brazenface.  He and Mr. Bouncer had
together gone up to Oxford, leaving Charles Larkyns behind to keep a

Charles Larkyns had determined to take a good degree.  For some time
past, he had been reading steadily; and, though only a few hours in
each day may be given to books - yet, when that is done, with
regularity and painstaking, a real and sensible progress is made.  He
knew that he had good abilities, and he had determined not to let
them remain idle any longer, but to make that use of them for which
they were given to him.  His examination would come on during the
next term; and he hoped to turn the interval to good account, and be
able in the end to take a respectable degree.  He was destined for
the Bar; and, as he had no wish to be a briefless Barrister, he knew
that college honours would be of great advantage to him in his after
career.  He, at once, therefore, set bodily to work to read up his
subjects; while his father assisted him in his labours, and Mary
Green smiled a kind approval.

Meanwhile, his friends, Mr. Verdant Green and Mr. Henry Bouncer, were
enjoying Oxford life, and disporting themselves among the crowd of
skaters in the Christ Church meadows.  And a very different scene did
the meadows present to the time when they had last skimmed over its
surface.  Then, the green fields were covered with Sailing-boats,
out-riggers, and punts, and Mr. Verdant Green had nearly come to an
untimely end in the waters.  But now the scene was changed! Jack
Frost had stepped in, and had seized the flood in his frozen fingers,
and had bound it up in an icy breast-plate.

And a capital place did the meadows make for any Undergraduate who
was either a professed skater, or whose skating education (as in the
case of our hero) had been altogether neglected.  For the water was
only of a moderate depth; so that, in the event of the ice giving
way, there was nothing to fear beyond a slight and partial ducking.
This was especially fortunate for Mr. Verdant Green, who, after
having experienced total submersion and a narrow escape from drowning
on that very spot, would never have been induced to again commit
himself to the surface of the deep, had he not been fully convinced
that the deep had now subsided into a shallow.  With his breast
fortified by this resolution, he therefore fell a victim to the syren
tongue of Mr. Bouncer, when that gentle-


man observed to him with sincere feeling, "Giglamps, old fellow! it
would be a beastly shame, when there's such jolly ice, if you did not
learn to skate; especially, as I can show you the trick."

For, Mr. Bouncer was not only skilful with his hands and arms, but
could also perform feats with his feet.  He could not only dance
quadrilles in dress boots in a ball-room, but he could also go
through the figures on the ice in a pair of skates.  He could do the
outside edge at a more acute angle than the generality of people; he
could cut figures of eight that were worthy of Cocker himself, he
could display spread-eagles that would have astonished the Fellows of
the Zoological Society.  He could skim over the thinnest ice in the
most don't-care  way; and, when at full speed, would stoop to pick up
a stone.  He would take a hop-skip-and-a-jump; and would vault over
walking-sticks, as easily as if he were on dry land, - an
accomplishment which he had learnt of the Count Doembrownski, a
Russian gentleman, who, in his own country, lived chiefly on skates,
and, in this country, on pigeons, and whose short residence in Oxford
was suddenly brought to a full stop by the arbitrary power of the
Vice-Chancellor.  So, Mr. Verdant Green was persuaded to purchase,
and put on a pair of skates, and to make his first appearance as a
skater in the Christ Church meadows, under the auspices of Mr.

The sensation of first finding yourself in a pair of skates is
peculiar.  It is not unlike the sensation which must have been felt
by the young bear, when he was dropped from his mamma's mouth, and,
for the first time, told to walk.  The poor little bear felt, that it
was all very well to say "walk,"- but how was he to do it? Was he to
walk with his right fore-leg only? or, with his left fore-leg? or,
with both his fore-legs? or, was he to walk with his right hind-leg?,
or, with his left hind-leg? or, with both his hind-legs? or, was he
to make a combination of hind and fore-legs, and walk with all four
at once? or, what was he to do?  So he tried each of these ways; and
they all failed.  Poor little bear!

Mr. Verdant Green felt very much in the little bear's condition.  He
was undecided whether to skate with his right leg, or with his left
leg, or with both his legs.  He tried his right leg, and immediately
it glided off at right angles with his body, while his left leg
performed a similar and spontaneous movement in the contrary
direction.  Having captured his left leg, he put it cautiously
forwards, and immediately it twisted under him, while his right leg
amused itself by describing an altogether unnecessary circle.
Obtaining a brief mastery over both legs, he put them forwards at the
same moment, and they fled from beneath him,


and he was flung - bump!- on his back.  Poor little bear!  But, if it
is hard to make a start in a pair of skates  when you are
in a perpendicular position, how much is the difficulty increased
when your position has become a horizontal one! You raise yourself on
your knees, - you assist yourself with your hands, - and, no sooner
have you got one leg right, than away slides the other, and down you
go.  It is like the movement in that scene with the pair of short
stilts, in which the French clowns are so amusing, and it is almost
as difficult to perform.  Mr. Verdant Green soon found that though he
might be ambitious to excel in the polite accomplishment of skating,
yet that his ambition was destined to meet with many a fall. But he
persevered, and perseverance will achieve wonders, especially when
aided by the tuition of such an indefatigable gentleman as Mr.

"You get on stunningly, Giglamps," said the little gentleman, "and
hav'nt been on your beam ends more than once a minute.  But I should
advise you, old fellow, to get your sit-upons seated with
wash-leather, - just like the eleventh hussars do with their
cherry-coloured pants.  It'll come cheaper in the end, and may be
productive of comfort.  And now, after all these exciting ups and
downs, let us go and have a quiet hand at billiards."  So the two
friends strolled up the High, where they saw two Queensmen
"confessing their shame," as Mr. Bouncer phrased it, by standing
under the gateway of their college; and went on to Bickerton's, where
they found all the tables occupied, and Jonathan playing a match with
Mr. Fluke of Christ Church.  So,  after watching the celebrated
marker long enough to inspire them with a desire to accomplish
similar feats of dexterity, they continued their walk to Broad
Street, and, turning up a yard opposite to the Clarendon, found that
Betteris had an upstair room at liberty.  Here they accomplished
several pleasing mathematical problems with the balls, and
contributed their modicum towards the smoking of the ceiling of the

Since Mr. Verdant Green had acquired the art of getting


through a cigar without making himself ill, he had looked upon
himself as a genuine smoker; and had, from time to time, bragged of
his powers as regarded the fumigation of "the herb Nicotiana,
commonly called tobacco," (as the Oxford statute  tersely
says).  This was an amiable weakness on his part that had not escaped
the observant eye of Mr. Bouncer, who had frequently taken occasion,
in the presence of his friends, to defer to Mr. Verdant Green's
judgment in the matter of  cigars.  The train of
adulation being thus laid, an opportunity was only needed to fire it.
 It soon came.

"Once upon a time," as the story-books say, it chanced that Mr.
Bouncer was consuming his minutes and cigars at his tobacconist's,
when his eye lighted for the thousandth time on the roll of
cabbage-leaves, brown paper, and refuse tobacco, which being done up
into the form of a monster cigar (a foot long, and of proportionate
thickness), was hung in the shop window, and did duty as a truthful
token of the commodity vended within.  Mr. Bouncer had looked at this


nine hundred and ninety-nine times, without its suggesting anything
else to his mind, than its being of the same class of art as the
monster mis-representations outside wild-beast shows; but he now
gazed upon it with new sensations.  In short, Mr. Bouncer took such a
fancy to the thing, that he purchased it, and took it off to his
rooms, - though he did not mention this fact to his friend, Mr.
Verdant Green, when he saw him soon afterwards, and spoke to him of
his excellent judgment in tobacco.

"A taste for smoke comes natural, Giglamps!" said Mr. Bouncer.
"It's what you call a ~nascitur non fit~; and, if you haven't the
gift, why you can't purchase it.  Now, you're a judge of smoke; it's
a gift with you, don't you see; and you could no more help knowing a
good weed from a bad one, than you could help waggling your tail if
you were a baa-lamb."

Mr. Verdant Green bowed, and blushed, in acknowledgment of this
delightful flattery.

"Now, there's old Footelights, you know; he's got an uncle, who's a
governor, or some great swell, out in Barbadoes.  Well, every now and
then the old trump sends Footelights no end of a box of weeds; not
common ones, you understand, but regular tip-toppers; but they're
quite thrown away on poor Footelights, who'd think as much of
cabbage-leaves as he would of real Havannahs, so he's always obliged
to ask somebody else's opinion about them.  Well, he's got a sample
of a weed of a most terrific kind: - ~Magnifico Pomposo~ is the name;
- no end uncommon, and at least a foot long.  We don't meet with 'em
in England because they're too expensive to import.  Well, it
would'nt do to throw away such a weed as this on any one; so,
Footelights wants to have the opinion of a man who's really a judge
of what a good weed is.  I refused, because my taste has been rather
out of order lately; and Billy Blades is in training for Henley, so
he's obliged to decline; so I told him of you, Giglamps, and said,
that if there was a man in Brazenface that could tell him what his
Magnifico Pomposo was worth, that man was Verdant Green.  Don't
blush, old feller! you can't help having a fine judgment, you know;
so don't be ashamed of it.  Now, you must wine with me this evening;
Footelights and some more men are coming; and we're all anxious to
hear your opinion about these new weeds, because, if it's favourable
we can club together, and import a box."  Mr. Bouncer's victim, being
perfectly unconscious of the trap laid for him, promised to come to
the wine, and give his opinion on this weed of fabled size and merit.

When the evening and company had come, he was rather staggered at
beholding the dimensions of the pseudo-cigar; but, rashly judging
that to express surprise would be to betray


ignorance, Mr. Verdant Green inspected the formidable monster with
the air of a connoisseur, and smelt, pinched, and rolled his tongue
round it, after the manner of the best critics.  If this was a
diverting spectacle to the assembled guests of Mr. 
Bouncer, how must the humour of the scene have been increased, when
our hero, with great difficulty, lighted the cigar, and, with still
greater difficulty, held it in his mouth, and endeavoured to smoke
it!  As Mr. Foote afterwards observed, "it was a situation for a
screaming farce."

"It doesn't draw well!" faltered the victim, as the bundle of rubbish
went out for the fourth time.

"Why, that's always the case with the Barbadoes baccy!" said Mr.
Bouncer; "it takes a long pull, and a strong pull, and a pull all
together to get it to make a start; but when once it does go, it goes
beautiful - like a house a-fire.  But you can't expect it to be like
a common threepenny weed.  Here! let me light him for you, Giglamps;
I'll give the beggar a dig in his ribs, as a gentle persuader."  Mr.
Bouncer thereupon poked his pen-knife through the rubbish, and after
a time induced it to "draw"; and Mr. Verdant Green pulled at it
furiously, and made his eyes water with the unusual cloud of smoke
that he raised.

"And now, what d'ye think of it, my beauty?" inquired Mr. Bouncer.
"It's something out of the common, ain't it?"

"It has a beautiful ash!" observed Mr. Smalls.

"And diffuses an aroma that makes me long to defy the trainer, and
smoke one like it!" said Mr. Blades.

"So pray give me your reading - at least, your opinion, - on my
Magnifico Pomposo!" asked Mr. Foote.

"Well," answered Mr. Verdant Green, slowly - turning very pale as he
spoke, - "at first, I thought it was be-yew-tiful; but, altogether, I
think-that-the Barbadoes tobacco-doesn't quite-agree with-my
stom-" the speaker abruptly concluded by dropping the cigar, putting
his handkerchief to his mouth, and rushing into Mr. Bouncer's
bed-room.  The Magnifico Pomposo had been too much for him, and had
produced sensations accurately interpreted by Mr. Bouncer, who
forthwith represented in expressive pantomime, the actions of a
distressed voyager, when he feebly murmurs "Steward!"


To atone for the "chaffing" which he had been the means of inflicting
on his friend, the little gentleman, a few days afterwards, proposed
to take our hero to the Chipping Norton Steeple-chase, - Mr. Smalls
and Mr. Fosbrooke making up the quartet for a tandem.  It was on
their return from the races, that, after having stopped at ~The Bear~
at Woodstock, "to wash out the horses' mouths," and having done this
so effectually that the horses had appeared to have no mouths left,
and had refused to answer the reins, and had smashed the cart against

a house, which had seemed to have danced into the middle of the road
for their diversion, - and, after having put back to ~The Bear~, and
prevailed upon that animal to lend them a nondescript vehicle of the
"pre-adamite buggy" species, described by Sidney Smith, - that, much
time having been consumed by the progress of this chapter of
accidents, they did not reach Peyman's Gate until a late hour; and
Mr. Verdant Green found that he was once more in difficulties.  For
they had no sooner got through the gate, than the wild octaves from
Mr. Bouncer's post-horn were suddenly brought to a full stop, and Mr.
Fosbrooke, who was the "waggoner," was brought to Woh! and was
compelled to pull up in obedience to the command of the proctor, who,
as on a previous occasion, suddenly appeared from behind the
toll-house, in company with his marshal and bull-dogs.

The Sentence pronounced on our hero the next day, was, "Sir! - You
will translate all your lectures; have your name crossed on the
buttery and kitchen books; and be confined to chapel, hall, and

This sentence was chiefly annoying, inasmuch as it somewhat
interfered with the duties and pleasures attendant upon his


boating practice.  For, wonderful to relate, Mr. Verdant Green had so
much improved in the science, that he was now "Number 3" of his
college "Torpid," and was in hard training.  The Torpid races
commenced on March 10th, and were continued on the following days.
Our hero sent his father a copy of ~Tintinnabulum's Life~, which -
after informing the Manor Green family that "the boats took up
positions in the following order: "Brazenose, Exeter I, Wadham,
Balliol, St. John's, Pembroke, University, Oriel, Brazenface, Christ
Church I, Worcester, Jesus, Queen's, Christ Church 2, Exeter 2" -
proceeded to enter into particulars of each day's sport, of which it
is only necessary to record such as gave interest to our hero's

"First day. *** Brazenface refused to acknowledge the bump by Christ
Church (I) before they came to the Cherwell.  There is very little
doubt but that they were bumped at the Gut and the Willows. ***

"Second day. *** Brazenface rowed pluckily away from  Worcester. ***

"Third day. *** A splendid race between Brazenface and Worcester; and,
at the flag, the latter were within a foot; they did not, however,
succeed in bumping.  The cheering from the Brazenface barge was
vociferous. ***

"Fourth day. *** Worcester was more fortunate, and succeeded in making
the bump at the Cherwell, in consequence of No. 3 of the Brazenface
boat fainting from fatigue."

Under "No. 3" Mr. Verdant Green had drawn a pencil line, and had
written " V.G." He shortly after related to his family the gloomy
particulars of the bump, when he returned home for the Easter


                                        CHAPTER XI.


DESPITE  the  hindrance  which the ~grande passion~ is supposed to
bring to the student, Charles Larkyns had made very good use of the
opportunities afforded him by the leisure of his grace-term.  Indeed,
as he himself observed,

                "Who hath not owned,  with rapture-smitten frame,
                The power of ~grace~!"

And as he felt that the hours of his grace-term had not been wasted
in idleness, but had been turned to profitable account, it is not at
all unlikely that his pleasures of hope regarding his
Degree-examination, and the position his name would occupy in the
Class-list, were of a roseate hue.  He, therefore, when the Easter
vacation had come to an end, returned to Oxford in


high spirits, with our hero and his friend Mr. Bouncer, who, after a
brief visit to "the Mum," had passed the remainder of the vacation at
the Manor Green.  During these few holiday weeks, Charles Larkyns had
acted as private tutor to his two friends, and had, in the language
of Mr. Bouncer, "put them through their paces uncommon;" for the
little gentleman was going in for his Degree, ~alias~ Great-go,
~alias~ Greats; and our hero for his first examination ~in literis
humanioribus~, ~alias~ Responsions, ~alias~ Little-go, ~alias~
Smalls.  Thus the friends returned to Oxford mutually benefited; but,
as the time for examination drew nearer and still nearer, the fears
of Mr. Bouncer rose in a gradation of terrors, that threatened to
culminate in an actual panic.

"You see," said the little gentleman, "the Mum's set her heart on my
getting through, and I must read like the doose.  And I haven't got
the head, you see, for Latin and Greek; and that beastly Euclid
altogether stumps me; and I feel as though I should come to grief.
I'm blowed," the little gentleman would cry, earnestly and sadly,
"I'm blow'd if I don't think they must have given me too much pap
when I was a babby, and softened my brains! or else, why can't I walk
into these classical parties just as easy as you, Charley, or old
Giglamps there? But I can't, you see: my brains are addled.  They
say it ain't a bad thing for reading to get your head shaved.  It
cools your brains, and gives full play to what you call your
intellectual faculties.  I think I shall try the dodge, and get a
gent's real head of hair, till after the exam.; and then, when I've
stumped the examiners, I can wear my own luxuriant locks again."

And, as Mr. Bouncer professed, so did he; and, not many days after,
astonished his friends and the University generally by appearing in a
wig of curly black hair.  It was a pleasing sight to see the little
gentleman with a scalp like a billiard ball, a pipe in his mouth, and
the wig mounted on a block, with books spread before him,
endeavouring to persuade himself that he was working up his subjects.
 It was still more pleasing to view him, in moments of hilarity,
divest himself of his wig, and hurl it at the scout, or any other
offensive object that appeared before him.  And it was a sight not to
be forgotten by the beholders, when, after too recklessly partaking
of an indiscriminate mixture of egg-flip, sangaree, and cider-cup, he
feebly threw his wig at the spectacles of Mr. Verdant Green, and,
overbalanced by the exertion, fell back into the coal-scuttle, where
he lay, bald-headed and helpless, laughing and weeping by turns, and
caressed by Huz and Buz.   But the shaving of his head was not the
only feature (or,


rather, loss of feature) that distinguished Mr. Bouncer's reading for
his degree.  The gentleman with the limited knowledge of the
cornet-a-piston, who had the rooms immediately beneath those of our
hero and his friend, had made such slow progress in his musical
education, that he had even now scarcely got into his "Cottage near a
Wood."  This gentleman was Mr. Bouncer's Frankenstein.  He was always
rising up when he was not wanted.  When Mr. Bouncer felt as if he
could read, and sat down to his books, wigless and determined, the
doleful legend of the cottage near a wood was  forced upon
him in an unpleasingly obtrusive and distracting manner.  It was in
vain that Mr. Bouncer sounded his octaves in all their discordant
variations; the gentleman had no ear, and was not to be put out of
his cottage on any terms: Mr. Bouncer's notices of ejectment were
always disregarded.  He had hoped that the ears of Mr. Slowcoach
(whose rooms were in the angle of the Quad) would have been pierced
by the noise, and that he would have put a stop to the nuisance; but,
either from its being too customary a custom, or that the ears of Mr.
Slowcoach had grown callous, the nuisance was suffered to continue

Mr. Bouncer resolved, therefore, on some desperate method of calling
attention to one nuisance, by creating another of a louder
description; and, as his octaves appeared to fail in this,
-notwithstanding the energy and annoying ability that he threw into
them, - he conceived the idea of setting up a drum! The plan was no
sooner thought of than carried out.  He met with an instrument
sufficiently large and formidable for his purpose, - hired it, and had
it stealthily conveyed into college


(like another Falstaff) in a linen "buck-basket."  He waited his
opportunity; and, the next time that the gentleman in the rooms
beneath took his cornet to his cottage near a wood, Mr. Bouncer,
stationed on the landing above, played a thundering accompaniment on
his big drum. 

The echoes from the tightened parchment rolled round the Quad, and
brought to the spot a rush of curious and excited undergraduates.
Mr. Bouncer, - after taking off his wig in honour of the air, - then
treated them to the National Anthem, arranged as a drum solo for two
sticks, the chorus being sustained by the voices of those present;
when in the midst of the entertainment, the reproachful features of
Mr. Slowcoach appeared upon the scene.  Sternly the tutor demanded
the reason of the strange hubbub; and was answered by Mr. Bouncer,
that, as one gentleman was allowed to play ~his~ favourite instrument
whenever he chose, for his own but no one else's gratification, he
could not see why he (Mr. Bouncer) might not also, whenever he
pleased, play for ~his~ own gratification his favourite instrument -
the big drum.  This specious excuse, although logical, was not
altogether satisfactory to Mr. Slowcoach; and, with some asperity, he
ordered Mr. Bouncer never again to indulge in, what he termed (in
reference probably to the little gentleman's bald head), "such an
indecent exhibition."  But, as he further  ordered that the
cornet-a-piston gentleman was to instrumentally enter into his
cottage near a wood, only at stated hours in the afternoon, Mr.
Bouncer had gained his point in putting a stop to the nuisance so far
as it interfered with his reading; and, thenceforth, he might be seen
on brief occasions persuading himself that he was furiously reading
and getting up his subjects by the aid of those royal roads to
knowledge, variously known as cribs, crams, plugs, abstracts,
analyses, or epitomes.

But, besides the assistance thus  afforded to him ~out~ of the
schools, Mr. Bouncer, like many others, idle as well as


ignorant, intended to assist himself when ~in~ the schools by any
contrivance that his ingenuity could suggest, or his audacity carry

"It's quite fair," was the little gentleman's argument, "to do the
examiners in any way that you can, as long as you only go in for a
pass.  Of course, if you were going in for a class, or a scholarship,
or anything of that sort, it would be no end mean and dirty to crib;
and the gent that did it ought to be kicked out of the society of
gentlemen.  But when you only go in for a pass, and ain't doing any
one any harm by a little bit of cribbing, but choose to run the risk
to save yourself the bother of being ploughed, why then, I think, a
feller's bound to do what he can for himself.  And, you see, in my
case, Giglamps, there's the Mum to be considered; she'd cut up
doosid, if I didn't get through; so I must crib a bit, if it's only
for ~her~ sake."

But although the little gentleman thus made filial tenderness the
excuse for his deceit, and the salve for his conscience, yet he could
neither persuade Mr. Verdant Green to follow his example, nor to be a
convert to his opinions; nor would he be persuaded by our hero to
relinquish his designs.

"Why, look here, Giglamps!"  Mr. Bouncer would say; "how ~can~ I
relinquish them, after having had all this trouble?  I'll put you up
to a few of my dodges - free, gratis, for nothing.  In the first
place, Giglamps, you see here's a small circular bit of paper,
covered  with Peloponnesian and Punic wars, and no end of dates, -
written small and short, you see, but quite legible, - with the chief
things done in red ink.  Well, this gentleman goes in the front of my
watch, under the glass; and, when I get stumped for a date, out comes
the watch; - I look at the time of day - you understand, and down
goes the date.  Here's another dodge!" added the little gentleman -
who might well have been called "the Artful Dodger" - as he produced
a shirt from a drawer.  "Look here, at the wristbands! Here are all
the Kings of Israel and Judah, with their dates and prophets, written
down in India-ink, so as to wash out again.  You twitch up the cuff
of your coat, quite accidentally, and then you book your king.  You
see, Giglamps, I don't like to trust, as some fellows do, to having
what you want, written down small and shoved into a quill, and passed
to you by some man sitting in the schools; that's dangerous, don't
you see.  And I don't like to hold cards in my hand; I've improved on
that, and invented a first-rate dodge of my own, that I intend to
take out a patent for.  Like all truly great inventions, it's no end
simple.  In the first place, look straight afore you, my little dear,
and you will see this pack of cards, - all made of a size, nice to
hold in the palm of your hand;


they're about all sorts of rum things, - everything that I want.  And
you see that each beggar's got a hole drilled in him.  And you see,
here's a longish string with a little bit of hooked wire at the end,
made so that I can easily hang the card on it.  Well, I pass the
string up my coat sleeve, and down under my waistcoat; and here, you
see, I've got the wire end in the palm of my hand.  Then, I slip out
the card I want, and hook it on to the wire, so that I can have it
just before me as I   write.  Then, if any of the
examiners look suspicious, or if one of them comes round to spy, I
just pull the bit of string that hangs under the bottom of my
waistcoat, and away flies the card up my coat sleeve; and when the
examiner comes round, he sees that my hand's never moved, and that
there's nothing in it! So he walks off satisfied; and then I shake
the little beggar out of my sleeve again, and the same game goes on
as before.  And when the string's tight, even straightening your body
is quite sufficient to hoist the card into your sleeve, without
moving either of your hands.  I've got an Examination-coat made on
purpose, with a heap of pockets, in which I can stow my cards in
regular order.  These three pockets," said Mr. Bouncer, as he
produced the coat, "are entirely for Euclid.  Here's each problem
written right out on a card; they're laid regularly in order, and I
turn them over in my pocket, till I get hold of the one I want, and
then I take it out, and work it.  So you see, Giglamps, I'm safe to
get through! - it's impossible for them to plough me, with all these
contrivances. That's a consolation for a cove in distress, ain't it,
old feller?"

Both our hero and Charles Larkyns endeavoured to persuade


Mr. Bouncer that his conduct would, at the very least, be foolhardy,
and that he had much better throw his pack of cards into the fire,
wash the Kings of Israel and Judah off his shirt, destroy his strings
and hooked wires, and keep his Examination-coat for a shooting one.
But all their arguments were in vain, and the infatuated little
gentleman, like a deaf adder, shut his ears at the voice of the

What between the Cowley cricketings, and the Isis boatings, Mr.
Verdant Green only read by spasmodic fits; but, as he was very fairly
up in his subjects - thanks to Charles Larkyns and the Rector - and
as the Little-go was not such a very formidable affair, or demanded a
scholar of first-rate calibre, the only terrors that the examination
could bring him were those which were begotten of nervousness.  At
length the lists were out; and our hero read among the names of
candidates, that of

                        "GREEN, ~Verdant, e Coll. AEn. Fac.~"

There is a peculiar sensation on first seeing your name in print.
Instances are on record where people have taken a world of trouble
merely that they may have the pleasure of perusing their names "among
the fashionables present" at the Countess of So-and-so's
evening-reception; and cases are not wanting where young ladies and
gentlemen have expended no small amount of pocket-money in purchasing
copies of ~The Times~ (no reduction, too, being made on taking a
quantity!) in order that their sympathizing friends might have the
pride of seeing their names as coming out at drawing-rooms and
~levees~.  When a young M.P. has stammered out his ~coup-d'essai~ in
the House, he views, with mingled emotions, his name given to the
world, for the first time, in capital letters.  When young authors
and artists first see their names in print, is it not a pleasure to
them?  When Ensign Dash sees himself gazetted, does he not look on
his name with a peculiar sensation, and forthwith send an impression
of the paper to Master Jones, who was flogged with him last week for
stealing apples?  When Mr. Smith is called to the Bar, and Mr.
Robinson can dub himself M.R.C.S., do they not behold their names in
print with feelings of rapture?  And when Miss Brown has been to her
first ball, does she not anxiously await the coming of the next
county newspaper, in order to have the happiness of reading her name

But, different to these are the sensations that attend the seeing
your name first in print in a College examination-list.  They are,
probably, somewhat similar to the sensations you would feel on seeing
your name in a death-warrant.  Your blood runs hot, then cold, then
hot again; your pulse goes at


fever pace; the throbbing arteries of your brow almost jerk your cap
off.  You know that the worst is come, - that the law of the Dons,
which altereth not, has fixed your name there, and that there is no
escape.  The courage of despair then takes possession of your soul,
and nerves you for the worst.  You join the crowd of nervous
fellow-sufferers who are thronging round the buttery-door to examine
the list, and you begin with them calmly to parcel out the names by
sixes and eights,  and then to arrive at an opinion when
your day of execution will be.  If your name comes at the head of the
list, you wish that you were "YOUNG, ~Carolus, e Coll. Vigorn.~" that
you might have a reprieve of your sentence.  If your name is at the
end of the list, you wish that you were "ADAMS, ~Edvardus Jacobus, e
Coll. Univ.~" that you might go in at once, and be put out of your
misery.  If your name is in the middle of the list, you wish that it
were elsewhere: and then you wish that it were out of the list

Through these varying shades of emotion did Mr. Verdant Green pass,
until at length they were all lost in the deeper gloom of actual
entrance into the schools.  When once there, his fright soon passed
away.  Reassured by the kindly voice of the examiner, telling him to
read over his Greek before construing it, our hero recovered his
equanimity, and got through his ~viva voce~ with flying colours; and,
on glancing over his paper-work, soon saw that the questions were
within his scope, and that he could answer most of them.  Without
hazarding his success by making "bad shots," he contented himself by
answering those questions only on which he felt sure; and, when his
examination was over, he left the schools with a


pretty safe conviction that he was safe, "and was well through his

He could not but help, however, feeling some anxiety on the subject,
until he was relieved from all further fears, by the arrival of
Messrs. Fosbrooke, Smalls, and Blades, with a slip of paper (not
unlike those which Mr. Levi, the sheriff's officer, makes use of), on
which was written and printed as follows:-

                                "GREEN, VERDANT, E COLL. AEN. FAC.
        Quaestionibus Magistrorum Scholarum in Parviso pro forma

                                                {GULIELMUS SMITH,
                                Ita testamur,   {
                                                {ROBERTUS JONES.

        ~Junii~ 7, 18--."

Alas for Mr. Bouncer! Though he had put in practice all the ingenious
plans which were without a doubt to ensure his success; and though he
had worked his cribs with consummate coolness, and had not been
discovered; yet, nevertheless, his friends came to him empty-handed.
The infatuated little gentleman had either trusted too much to his
own astuteness, or else he had over-reached himself, and had used his
card-knowledge in wrong places; or, perhaps, the examiners may have
suspected his deeds from the nature of his papers, and may have
refused to pass him.  But whatever might be the cause, the little
gentleman had to defer taking his degree for some months at least.
In a word - and a dreadful word it is to all undergraduates - Mr.
Bouncer was PLUCKED!  He bore his unexpected reverse of fortune very
philosophically, and professed to regret it only for "the Mum's"
sake; but he seemed to feel that the Dons of his college would look
shy upon him, and he expressed his opinion that it would be better
for him to migrate to the Tavern.*

But, while Mr. Bouncer was thus deservedly punished for his idleness
and duplicity, Charles Larkyns was rewarded for all his toil.  He did
even better than he had expected: for, not only did his name appear
in the second class, but the following extra news concerning him was
published in the daily papers, under the very appropriate heading of
"University ~Intelligence~."

        "OXFORD, June 9. -The Chancellor's prizes have been awarded
as follows:-

        "Latin Essay, Charles Larkyns, Commoner of Brazenface.  The
Newdigate Prize for English Verse was also awarded to the same

His writing for the prize poem had been a secret.  He had conceived
the idea of doing so when the subject had been given out in the
previous "long:" he had worked at the subject

* A name given to New Inn Hall, not only from its title, "New Inn,"
but also because the buttery is open all day, and the members of the
Hall can call for what they please at any hour, the same as in a


privately, and, when the day (April 1) on which the poems had to be
sent in, had come, he had watched his opportunity, and secretly
dropped through the wired slit in the door of the registrar's office
at the Clarendon, a manuscript poem, distinguished by the motto:-

                        "Oh for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
                        And the sound of a voice that is still."

We may be quite sure that there was great rejoicing at the Manor
Green and the Rectory, when the news arrived of the success of
Charles Larkyns and Mr. Verdant Green.


                                                CHAPTER XII.


THE Commemoration had come;  and, among the people who were drawn to
the sight from all parts of the country, the Warwickshire coach
landed in Oxford our friends Mr. Green, his two eldest daughters, and
the Rector - for all of whom Charles Larkyns had secured very
comfortable lodgings in Oriel Street.

The weather was of the finest; and the beautiful city of colleges
looked at its best.  While the Rector met with old friends, and heard
his son's praises, and renewed his acquaintance with his old haunts
of study, Mr. Green again lionized Oxford in a much more comfortable
and satisfactory manner than he had previously done at the heels of a
professional guide.  As for the young ladies, they were charmed with
everything; for they had never before been in a University town, and
all things had the fascination of novelty.  Great were the luncheons
held in Mr. Verdant Green's and Charles Larkyns' rooms; musical was
the laughter that floated merrily through the grave old quads of
Brazenface; happy were the two hearts that held converse with each
other in those cool cloisters and shady gardens.  How a few flounces
and bright girlish smiles can change the aspect of the sternest homes
of knowledge!  How sunlight can be brought into the gloomiest nooks
of learning by the beams that irradiate happy girlish faces, where
the light of love and truth shines out clear and joyous! How the
appearance of the Commemoration week is influenced in a way thus
described by one of Oxonia's poets:-

 "Peace!  for in the gay procession brighter forms are borne along-
 Fairer scholars, pleasure-beaming, float amid the classic throng.
 Blither laughter's ringing music fills the haunts of men awhile,
 And the sternest priests of knowledge blush beneath a maiden's


 Maidens teach a softer science - laughing Love his pinions dips,
 Hush'd to hear fantastic whispers murmur'd from a pedant's lips.
 Oh, believe it, throbbing pulses flutter under folds of starch,
 And the Dons are human-hearted if the ladies' smiles be arch."

Thanks to the influence of Charles Larkyns and his father, the party
were enabled to see all that was to be seen during the Commemoration
week.  On the Saturday night they went to the amateur concert at the
Town Hall, in aid of which, strange to say, Mr. Bouncer's proffer of
his big drum had been  declined.  On the Sunday they went,
in the morning, to St. Mary's to hear the Bampton lecture; and, in
the afternoon, to the magnificent choral service at New College.  In
the evening they attended the customary "Show Sunday" promenade in
Christ Church Broad Walk, where, under the delicious cool of the
luxuriant foliage, they met all the rank, beauty, and fashion that
were assembled in Oxford; and where, until Tom "tolled the hour for
retiring," they threaded their way amid a miscellaneous crowd of Dons
and Doctors, and Tufts and Heads of Houses, -

                With prudes for Proctors, dowagers for Deans,
                And bright girl-graduates with their golden hair.

On the Monday they had a party to Woodstock and Blenheim; and in the
evening went, on the Brazenface barge, to see the procession of
boats, where the Misses Green had the satisfaction to see their
brother pulling in one of the fifteen torpids that followed
immediately in the wake of the other boats.  They concluded the
evening's entertainments in a most satisfactory manner, by going to
the ball at the Town Hall.


Indeed, the way the two young ladies worked was worthy of all credit,
and proved them to be possessed of the most vigorous constitutions;
for, although they danced till an  early hour in the
morning, they not only, on the next day, went to the anniversary
sermon for the Radcliffe, and after that to the horticultural show in
the Botanical Gardens, and after that to the concert in the
Sheldonian Theatre, but - as though they had not had enough to
fatigue them already - they must, forsooth - Brazenface being one of
the ball-giving colleges - wind up the night by accepting the polite
invitation of Mr. Verdant Green and Mr. Charles Larkyns to a ball
given in their college hall.  And how many polkas these young ladies
danced, and how many waltzes they waltzed, and how many ices they
consumed, and how many too susceptible partners they drove  to the
verge of desperation, it would be improper, if not impossible, to say.

But, however much they might have been fagged by their exertions of
feet and features, it is certain that, by ten of the clock the next
morning, they appeared, quite fresh and charming to the view, in the
ladies' gallery in the theatre.  There - after the proceedings had
been opened by the undergraduates in ~their~ peculiar way, and by the
vice-chancellor in ~his~ peculiar way - and, after the degrees had
been conferred, and the public orator had delivered an oration in a
tongue not understanded of the people, our friends from Warwickshire
had the delight of beholding Mr. Charles Larkyns ascend the rostrums
to deliver, in their proper order, the Latin Essay and the English
Verse.  He had chosen his friend Verdant to be his prompter; so that
the well-known "gig-lamps" of our hero formed, as it were, a very
focus of attraction: but it was well for Mr. Charles Larkyns that he
was possessed of self-control and a good memory, for Mr. Verdant
Green was far too nervous to have prompted him in any efficient
manner.  We may be sure, that in all that bevy of fair women, at
least one pair of bright eyes kindled with rapture, and one heart
beat with exulting joy, when the deafening cheers that followed the


poet's description of the moon, the sea, and woman's love (the three
ingredients which are apparently necessary for the sweetening of all
prize poems), rang through the theatre and made its walls re-echo to
the shouting.  And we may be sure that, when it was all over, and
when the Commemoration had come to an end, Charles Larkyns felt
rewarded for all his hours  of labour by the deep love
garnered up in his heart by the trustful affection of one who had
become as dear to him as life itself!

*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *

It was one morning after they had all returned to the Manor Green
that our hero said to his friend, "How I ~do~ wish that this day week
were come!"

"I dare say you do," replied the friend: "and I dare say that the
pretty Patty is wishing the same wish."  Upon which Mr. Verdant Green
not only laughed but blushed!

For it seemed that he, together with his sisters, Mr. Charles
Larkyns, and Mr. Bouncer, were about to pay a long-vacation visit to
Honeywood Hall, in the county of Northumberland; and the young man
was naturally looking forward to it with all the ardour of a first
and consuming passion.

[222    ]

                                                PART III.

                                                CHAPTER I.

                                MR. VERDANT GREEN TRAVELS NORTH.

  JULY: fierce and burning! A day to tinge the green corn
with a golden hue.  A day to scorch grass into hay between sunrise
and sunset.  A day in which to rejoice in the cool thick masses of
trees, and to lie on one's back under their canopy, and look dreamily
up, through its rents, at the peep of hot, cloudless, blue sky.  A
day to sit on shady banks upon yielding cushions of moss and heather,
from whence you gaze on bright flowers blazing in the blazing sun,
and rest your eyes again upon your book to find the lines swimming in
a radiance of mingled green and red.  A day that fills you with
amphibious feelings, and makes you desire to be even a dog, that you
might bathe and paddle and swim in every roadside brook and pond,
without the exertion of dressing and undressing, and yet with
propriety.  A day that sends you out by willow-hung streams, to fish,
as an excuse for idleness.  A day that drives you dinnerless from
smoking joints, and plunges you thirstfully into barrels of beer.  A
day that induces apathetic listlessness and total prostration of
energy, even under the aggravating warfare of gnats and wasps.  A day
that engenders pity for the ranks of ruddy haymakers, hotly marching
on under the merciless glare of the noonday sun.  A day when the very
air, steaming up from the earth, seems to palpitate with the heat.  A
day when Society has left its cool and pleasant country-house, and
finds itself baked and burnt up in town, condemned to ovens of
operas, and fiery furnaces of levees and drawing-rooms.  A day when
even ice is warm, and perspiring visitors to the Zoological Gardens
envy the hippopotamus living in his bath.  A day when a hot,
frizzling, sweltering smell ascends from the


ground, as though it was the earth's great ironing day.  And - above
all - a day that converts a railway traveller into a martyr, and a
first-class carriage into a moving representation of the Black Hole
of Calcutta.

So thought Mr. Verdant Green, as he was whirled onward to the far
north, in company with his three sisters, Miss Bouncer, and Mr.
Charles Larkyns.  Being six in number, they formed a snug (and hot)
family party, and filled the carriage, to the exclusion of little Mr.
Bouncer, who, nevertheless, bore this temporary and unavoidable
separation with a tranquil mind, inasmuch as it enabled him to ride
in a second-class carriage, where he could the more conveniently
indulge in the furtive pleasures of the Virginian weed.  But, to keep
up his connection with the party, and to prove that his interest in
them could not be diminished by a brief and enforced absence, Mr.
Bouncer paid them flying visits at every station, keeping his pipe
alight by a puff into the carriage, accompanied with an expression of
his full conviction that Miss Fanny Green had been smoking, in
defiance of the company's by-laws.  These rapid interviews were
enlivened by Mr. Bouncer informing his friends that Huz and Buz (who
were panting in a locker) were as well as could be expected, and
giving any other interesting particulars regarding himself, his
fellow-travellers, or the country in general, that could be
compressed into the space of sixty seconds or thereabouts; and the
visits were regularly and ruthlessly brought to an abrupt termination
by the angry "Now, then, sir!" of the guard, and the reckless
thrusting of the little gentleman into his second-class carriage, to
the endangerment of his life and limbs, and the exaggerated display
of authority on the part of the railway official.  Mr. Bouncer's
mercurial temperament had enabled him to get over the little
misfortune that had followed upon his examination for his degree; but
he still preserved a memento of that hapless period in the shape of a
wig of curly black hair.  For he found, during the summer months,
such coolness from his shaven poll, that, in spite of "the mum's"
entreaties, he would not suffer his own luxuriant locks to grow, but
declared that, till the winter at any rate, he would wear his gent's
real head of hair; and in order that our railway party should not
forget the reason for its existence, Mr. Bouncer occasionally
favoured them with a sight of his bald head, and also narrated to
them, with great glee, how, when a very starchy lady of a certain age
had left their carriage, he had called after her upon the platform -
holding out his wig as he did so - that she had left some of her
property behind her; and how the passengers and porters had grinned,
and the starchy lady had lost all her stiffening through the hotness
of her wrath.  York at last!  A half-hour's escape from the hot


and a hasty dinner on cold lamb and cool salad in the pleasant
refreshment-room hung round with engravings.  Mr. Bouncer's dinner is
got over with incredible rapidity, in order that the little gentleman
may carry out his humane intention of releasing Huz and Buz from
their locker, and giving them their dinner and a run on the remote
end of the platform, at a distance from timid spectators; which
design is satisfactorily performed, and crowned with a douche bath
from the engine-pump.  Then,  away again to the
rabbit-hole of a locker, the smoky second-class carriage, and the
stuffy first-class; incarcerated in which black-hole, the plump Miss
Bouncer, notwithstanding that she has removed her bonnet and all
superfluous coverings, gets hotter than ever in the afternoon sun,
and is seen, ever and anon, to  pass over her glowing face a
handkerchief cooled with the waters of Cologne.  And, when the man
with the grease-pot comes round to look at the tires of the wheels,
the sight of it increases her warmth by suggesting a desire (which
cannot be gratified) for lemon ice.  Nevertheless, they have with
them a variety of cooling refreshments, and their hot-house fruit and
strawberries are most acceptable.  The Misses Green have wisely
followed their friend's example, in the removal of bonnets and
mantles; and, as they amuse themselves with books and embroidery, the
black-hole bears, as far as possible, a resemblance to a boudoir.
Charles Larkyns favours the company with extracts from ~The Times~;
reads to them the last number of Dickens's new tale, or directs their
attention to the most note-worthy points on their route.  Mr. Verdant
Green is seated ~vis-a-vis~ to the plump Miss Bouncer, and
benignantly beams upon her through his glasses, or musingly consults
his ~Bradshaw~ to count how much nearer they have crept to their
destination, the while his thoughts have travelled on in the very
quickest of express trains, and have already reached the far north.

Thus they journey: crawling under the stately old walls of York;
then, with a rush and a roar, sliding rapidly over the


level landscape, from whence they can look back upon the glorious
Minster towers standing out grey and cold from the sunlit plain.
Then, to Darlington; and on by porters proclaiming the names of
stations in uncouth Dunelmian tongue, informing passengers that they
have reached "Faweyill" and "Fensoosen," instead of "Ferry Hill" and
"Fence Houses," and terrifying nervous people by the command to
"Change here for Doom!" when only the propinquity of the palatinate
city is signified.  And so, on by the triple towers of Durham that
gleam in the sun with a ruddy orange hue; on, leaving to the left
that last resting-place of Bede and St. Cuthbert, on the rock

                "Where his cathedral, huge and vast,
                Looks down upon the Wear."

On, past the wonderfully out-of-place "Durham monument," a Grecian
temple on a naked hill among the coal-pits; on, with a double curve,
over the Wear, laden with its Rhine-like rafts; on, to grimy
Gateshead and smoky Newcastle, and, with a scream and a rattle, over
the wonderful High Level (then barely completed), looking down with a
sort of self-satisfied shudder upon the bridge, and the Tyne, and the
fleet of colliers, and the busy quays, and the quaint timber-built
houses with their overlapping storys, and picturesque black and white
gables.  Then, on again, after a cool delay and brief release from
the black-hole; on, into Northumbrian ground, over the Wansbeck; past
Morpeth; by Warkworth, and its castle, and hermitage; over the Coquet
stream, beloved by the friends of gentle Izaak Walton; on, by the
sea-side - almost along the very sands - with the refreshing
sea-breeze, and the murmuring plash of the breakers - the Misses
Green giving way to childish delight at this their first glimpse of
the sea; on, over the Aln, and past Alnwick; and so on, still further
north, to a certain little station, which is the terminus of their
railway journey, and the signal of their deliverance from the

There, on the platform is Mr. Honeywood, looking hale and happy, and
delighted to receive his posse of visitors; and there, outside the
little station, is the carriage and dog-cart, and a spring-cart for
the luggage.  Charles Larkyns takes possession of the dog-cart, in
company with Mary and Fanny Green, and little Mr. Bouncer; while Huz
and Buz, released from their weary imprisonment, caracole gracefully
around the vehicle.  Mr. Honeywood takes the reins of his own
carriage; Mr. Verdant Green mounts the box beside him; Miss Bouncer
and Miss Helen Green take possession of the open interior of the
carriage; the spring-cart, with the servants and luggage, follows in
the rear; and off they go.

But, though the two blood-horses are by no means slow of


action, and do, in truth, gallop apace like fiery-footed steeds, yet
to Mr. Verdant Green's anxious mind they seem to make but slow
progress; and the magnificent country through which they pass offers
but slight charms for his abstracted thoughts; until (at last) they
come in sight of a broken mountain-range, and Mr. Honeywood, pointing
with his whip, exclaims, "Yon's the Cheevyuts, as they say in these
parts; there are the Cheviot Hills; and there, just where you see
that gleam of light on a white house among some trees - there is
Honeywood Hall."

Did Mr. Verdant Green remove his eyes from that object of attraction,
save when intervening hills, for a time, hid it from his view? did
he, when they neared it, and he saw its landscape beauties bathed in
the golden splendours of a July sunset, did he think it a very
paradise that held within its bowers the Peri of his heart's worship?
did he - as they passed the lodge, and drove up an avenue of firs -
did he scan the windows of the house, and immediately determine in
his own mind which was HER window, oblivious to the fact that SHE
might sleep on the other side of the building? did he, as they pulled
up at the door, scrutinize the female figures who were there to
receive them, and experience a feeling made up of doubt and
certainty, that there was one who, though not present, was waiting
near with a heart beating as anxiously as his own? did he make wild
remarks, and return incoherent answers, until the long-expected
moment had come that brought him face to face with the adorable
Patty? did he envy Charles Larkyns for possessing and practising the
cousinly privilege of bestowing a kiss upon her rosy cheeks? and did
he, as he pressed her hand, and marked the heightened glow of her
happy face, did he feel within his heart an exultant thrill of joy as
the fervid thought fired his brain - one day she may be mine?


                                        CHAPTER II.

                THE HORNS OF A DILEMMA.

  EVEN if Mr. Verdant Green had not been filled with the
peculiarly pleasurable sensations to which allusion has just been
made, it is yet exceedingly probable that he would have found his
visit to Honeywood Hall one of those agreeable and notable events
which the memory of after-years invests with the ~couleur du rose~.

In the first place - even if Miss Patty was left out of the question
- every one was so particularly attentive to him, that all his wants,
as regarded amusement and occupation, were promptly supplied, and not
a minute was allowed to hang heavily upon his hands.  And, in the
second place, the country, and its people and customs, had so much
freshness and peculiarity, that he could not stir abroad without
meeting with novelty.  New ideas were constantly received; and other
sensations of a still more delightful nature were daily deepened.
Thus the time passed pleasantly away at Honeywood Hall, and the hours
chased each other with flying feet.

Mr. Honeywood was a squire, or laird; and though the prospect from
the hall was far too extensive to allow of his being monarch of ~all~
that he surveyed, yet he was the proprietor of no inconsiderable
portion.  The small village of Honeybourn, - which brought its one
wide street of long, low, lime-washed houses hard by the hall, - owned
no other master than Mr. Honeywood; and all its inhabitants were, in
one way or other, his labourers.  They had their own blacksmith,
shoemaker, tailor, and carpenter; they maintained a general shop of
the tea-coffee-tobacco-and-snuff genus; and they lived as one family,
entirely independent of any other village.  In fact, the villages in
that district were as sparingly distributed as are "livings" among
poor curates, and, when met with, were equally as small; and so it
happened, that as the landowners usually resided, like Mr. Honeywood,
among their own people, a gentleman would occasionally be as badly
off for a neighbour, as though he had been a resident in the
backwoods of Canada.  This evil, however, was productive of good, in
that it set aside


the possibility of a deliberate interchange of formal morning-calls,
and obliged neighbours to be hospitable to each other, ~sans
ceremonie~, and with all good fellowship.  To drive fifteen, twenty,
or even five-and-twenty miles, to a dinner party was so common an
occurrence, that it excited surprise only in a stranger, whose
wonderment at this voluntary fatigue would be quickly dispelled on
witnessing the hearty hospitality and friendly freedom that made a
north country visit so enjoyable, and robbed the dinner party of its
ordinary character of an English solemnity.

Close to Honeybourn village was the Squire's model farm, with its
wide-spreading yards and buildings, and its comfortable bailiff's
house.  In a morning at sunrise, when our Warwickshire friends were
yet in bed, such of them as were light sleepers would hear a not very
melodious fanfare from a cow's horn - the signal to the village that
the day's work was begun, which signal was repeated at sunset.  This
old custom  possessed uncommon charms for Mr. Bouncer, whose only
regret was that he had left behind him his celebrated tin horn.  But
he took to the cow-horn with the readiness of a child to a new
plaything; and, having placed himself under the instruction of
 the Northumbrian Koenig, was speedily enabled to sound
his octaves and go the complete unicorn (as he was wont to express
it, in his peculiarly figurative eastern language) with a still more
astounding effect than he had done on his former instrument.  The
little gentleman always made a point of thus signalling the times of
the arrival and departure of the post, - greatly to the delight of
small Jock Muir, who, girded with his letter-bag, and mounted on a
highly-trained donkey, rode to and fro to the neighbouring post-town.

Although Mr. Verdant Green was not (according to Mr. Bouncer) "a
bucolical party," and had not any very amazing taste for agriculture,
he nevertheless could not but feel interested in what he saw around
him.  To one who was so accustomed to the small enclosures and
timbered hedge-rows of the midland counties, the country of the
Cheviots appeared in a grand, though naked aspect, like some stalwart
gladiator of the stern old times.  The fields were of large extent;
and it was no uncommon sight to see, within one boundary fence, a


hundred acres of wheat, rippling into mimic waves, like some inland
sea.  The flocks and herds, too, were on a grand scale; men counted
their sheep, not by tens, but by hundreds.  Everything seemed to be
influenced, as it were, by the large character of the scenery.  The
green hills, with their short sweet grass, gave good pasture for the
fleecy tribe, who were dotted over the sward in almost countless
numbers; and Mr. Verdant Green was as much gratified with "the silly
sheep," as with anything else that he witnessed in that land of
novelty.  To see the shepherd, with his bonnet and grey plaid, and
long slinging step, walking first, and the flock following him, - to
hear him call the sheep by name, and to perceive how he knew them
individually, and how they each and all would answer to his voice,
was a realization of Scripture reading, and a northern picture of
Eastern life.

The head shepherd, old Andrew Graham - an active youth whose long
snowy locks had been bleached by the snows of eighty winters - was an
especial favourite of Mr. Verdant Green's, who would never tire of
his company, or of his anecdotes of his marvellous dogs.  His cottage
was at a distance from the village, up in a snug hollow of one of the
hills.  There he lived, and there had been brought up his six sons,
and as many daughters.  Of the latter, two were out at service in
noble families of the county; one was maid to the Misses Honeywood,
and the three others were at home.  How they and the other inmates of
the cottage were housed, was a mystery; for, although old Andrew was
of a superior condition in life to the other cottagers of Honeybourn,
yet his domicile was like all the rest in its arrangements and
accommodation.  It was one moderately large room, fitted up with
cupboards, in which, one above another, were berths, like to those on
board a steamer.  In what way the morning and evening toilettes were
performed was a still greater mystery to our Warwickshire friends;
nevertheless, the good-looking trio of damsels were always to be
found neat, clean, and presentable; and, as their mother one day
proudly remarked, they were "douce, sonsy bairns, wi' weel-faur'd
nebs; and, for puir folks, would be weel tochered."  Upon which our
hero said "Indeed!" which, as he had not the slightest idea what the
good woman meant, was, perhaps, the wisest remark that he could have

One of them was generally to be found spinning at her muckle wheel,
retiring and advancing to the music of its cheerful hum, the while
her spun thread was rapidly coiled up on the spindle.  The others, as
they busied themselves in their household duties, or brightened up
the delf and pewter, and set it out on the shelf to its best
advantage, would join in some plaintive Scotch ballad, with such good
taste and skill that our friends would


frequently love to linger within hearing, though out of sight.

But these artless ditties were sometimes specially sung for them when
they paid the cottage-room a visit, and sat around its canopied,
projecting fire-place.  For, old Andrew was a great smoker; and
little Mr. Bouncer was exceedingly fond of waylaying him on his
return home, and "blowing a cloud" with so loquacious and novel a
companion.  And Mr. Verdant Green sometimes joined him in these
visits; on which occasions, as harmony was the order of the day, he
would do his best to further it by singing "Marble Halls," or any
other song that his limited ~repertoire~ could boast; while old
Andrew would burst into "Tullochgorum," or do violence to "Get up
and bar the door."

It must be confessed, that the conversation at such times was
sustained not without difficulty.  Old Andrew, his wife, and the
major portion of his family, were barely able to understand the
language of their guests, whom they persisted in generalizing as
"cannie Soothrons;" while the guests, on their part, could not
altogether arrive at the meaning of observations that were couched in
the most incomprehensible ~patois~ that was ever invented.  It was
"neither fish, flesh, nor good red herring," although it was
flavoured with the Northumbrian burr, and mixed with a species of
Scotch; and the historian of these pages would feel almost as much
difficulty in setting  down this north-Northumbrian dialect, as he
would do were he to attempt to reduce to words the bird-like chatter
of the Bosjesmen.

When, for example, the bewigged Mr. Bouncer - "the laddie wi' the
black pow," as they called him - was addressed as "Hinny! jist come
ben, and crook yer hough on the settle, and het yersen by the
chimney-lug," it was as much by action as by word that he understood
an invitation to be seated; though the "wet yer thrapple wi' a drap
o' whuskie, mon!" was easier of comprehension when accompanied with
the presentation of the whiskey-horn.  In like manner, when Mr.


Verdant Green's arrival was announced by the furious barking of the
faithful dogs, the apology that "the camstary breutes of dougs would
not steek their clatterin' gabs," was accepted as an ample
explanation, more from the dogs being quieted than from the lucidity
of the remark that explained their uproar.

There was one class of lady-labourers, peculiar to that part
 of the country, who were called Bondagers, - great
strapping damsels of three or four - woman - power, whose occupation it
was to draw water, and perform some of the rougher duties attendant
upon agricultural pursuits.  The sturdy legs of these young ladies
were equipped in greaves of leather, which protected them from the
cutting attacks of stubble, thistles, and all other lacerating
specimens of botany, and their exuberant figures were clad in
buskins, and many-coloured garments, that were not long enough to
conceal their greaves and clod-hopping boots.  Altogether, these
young women, when engaged at their ordinary avocations by the side of
a spring, formed no unpicturesque subject for the sketcher's pencil,
and might have been advantageously transferred to canvas by many an
artist who travels to greater distances in search of lesser

But many peculiar subjects for the pencil might there have been
found.  One day when they were all going to see the ewe-milking
(which of itself would have furnished material

* In north-Northumberland, farm-labourers are usually hired by the
year - from Whitsunday to Whitsunday - and are paid mostly in kind, -
so many bolls of oats, barley, and peas - so much flax and wheat -
the keep of a cow, and the addition of a few pounds in money.  Every
hind or labourer is bound, in return for his house, to provide a
woman labourer to the farmer, for so much a day throughout the
year-which is usually tenpence a day in summer, and eightpence in
winter; and as it often happens that he has none of his own family
fit for the work, he has to hire a woman, at large wages, to do it.
As the demand is greater than the supply there is not always a strict
inquiry into the "bondager's" character.  As with the case of
hop-pickers - whom these bondagers somewhat resemble both socially
and morally - they are oftentimes the inhabitants of
densely-populated towns, who are tempted to live a brief agricultural
life, not so much from the temptation of the wages, as from the
desire to pass a summer-time in the country.


for a host of sketches), they suddenly came upon the following
scene.  Round by the gable of a cottage was seated  a
shock-headed rustic Absalom, and standing over him was another
rustic, who, with a large pair of shears, was acting as an amateur
Tonson, and was earnestly engaged in reducing the other's profuse
head of hair; an occupation upon which he busied himself with more
zeal than discretion.  Of this little scene Miss Patty Honeywood
forthwith made a memorandum.

For Miss Patty possessed the enviable accomplishment of sketching
from nature; and, leaving the beaten track of young-lady
figure-artists, who usually limit their efforts to chalk-heads and
crayon smudges, she boldy launched into the more difficult, but far
more pleasing undertaking of delineating the human form divine from
the very life.  Mr. Verdant Green found this sketching from nature to
be so pretty a pastime, that though unable of himself to produce the
feeblest specimen of art, he yet took the greatest delight in
watching the facility with which Miss Patty's taper fingers
transferred to paper the ~vraisemblance~ of a pair of sturdy
Bondagers, or the miniature reflection of a grand landscape.  Happily
for him, also, by way of an excuse for bestowing his company upon
Miss Patty, he was enabled to be of some use to her in carrying her
sketching-block and box of moist water-colours, or in bringing to her
water from a neighbouring spring, or in sharpening her pencils.  On
these occasions Verdant would have preferred their being left to the
sole enjoyment of each other's company; but this was not so to be,
for they were always favoured with the attendance of at least a third

But (at last!) on one happy day, when the bright sunshine was
reflected in Miss Patty Honeywood's bright-beaming face, Mr. Verdant
Green found himself wandering forth,

                "All in the blue, unclouded weather,"

with his heart's idol, and no third person to intrude upon their
duet.  The alleged purport of the walk was, that Miss Patty might
sketch the ruined church of Lasthope, which was about


two miles distant from the Hall.  To reach it they had to follow the
course of the Swirl, which ran through the Squire's grounds.

The Swirl was a brawling, picturesque stream; at one place narrowing
into threads of silver between lichen-covered stones and fragments of
rock; at another place flowing on in deep pools -

                "Wimpling, dimpling, staying never-
                Lisping, gurgling, ever going,
                Sipping, slipping, ever flowing,
                Toying round the polish'd stone;"*

fretting "in rough, shingly shallows wide," and then "bickering down
the sunny day."  On one day, it might, in places, and with the aid of
stepping-stones, be crossed dryshod; and within twenty-four hours it
might be swelled by mountain torrents into a river wider than the
Thames at Richmond.  This sudden growth of the

                                "Infant of the weeping hills,"

was the reason why the high road was carried over the Swirl by a
bridge of ten arches - a circumstance which had greatly excited
little Mr. Bouncer's ideas of the ridiculous when he perceived the
narrow stream scarcely wide enough to wet the sides of one of the
arches of the great bridge that straggled over it, like a railway
viaduct over a canal.  But, ere his visit to Honeywood Hall had come
to an end, the little gentleman had more than once seen the Swirl
swollen to its fullest dimensions, and been enabled to recognize the
use of the bridge, and the full force of the local expression - "the
waeter is grit."

As Verdant and Miss Patty made their way along the bank of this most
changeable stream, they came upon Mr. Charles Larkyns knee-deep in
it, equipped in his wading-boots and fishing dress, and industriously
whipping the water for trout.  The Swirl was a famous trout-stream,
and Mr. Honeywood's coachman was a noted fisherman, and was
accustomed to pass many of his nights fishing the stream with a white
moth.  It appeared that the finny inhabitants of the Swirl were as
fond of whitebait as are Cabinet Ministers and London aldermen; for
the coachman's deeds of darkness invariably resulted in the
production of a fine dish of freshly-caught trout for the

"It must be hard work," said Verdant to his friend, as they stopped
awhile to watch him; "it must be hard work to make your way against
the stream, and to clamber in and out among the rocks and stones."

"Not at all hard work," was Charles Larkyns's reply, "but play.
Play, too, in more senses than one.  See! I have just struck a fish.
Watch, while I play him.

* Thomas Aird


'The play's the thing!'  Wait awhile and you'll see me land him, or
I'm much mistaken."

  So they waited awhile and watched this fisherman at
play, until he had triumphantly landed his fish, and then they
pursued their way.

Miss Patty had great conversational abilities and immense power of
small talk, so that Verdant felt quite at ease in her society, and
found his natural timidity and quiet bashfulness to be greatly
diminished, even if they were not altogether put on one side.  They
were always such capital friends, and Miss Patty was so kind and
thoughtful in making Verdant appear to the best advantage, and in
looking over any little ~gaucheries~ to which his bashfulness might
give birth, that it is not to be wondered at if the young gentleman
should feel great delight in her society, and should seek for it at
every opportunity.  In fact, Miss Patty Honeywood was beginning to be
quite necessary to Mr. Verdant Green's happy existence.  It may be
that the young lady was not altogether ignorant of this, but was
enabled to read the young man's state of mind, and to judge pretty
accurately of his inward feelings, from those minute details of
outward evidence which womankind are so quick to mark, and so skilful
in tracing to their true source.  It may be, also, that the young
lady did not choose either to check these feelings or to alter this
state of mind - which she certainly ought to have done if she was
solicitous for her companion's happiness, and was unable to increase
it in the way that he wished.

But, at any rate, with mutual satisfaction for the present, they
strolled together along the Swirl's rocky banks, and passing into a
large enclosure, they advanced midway through the fields to a spot
which seemed a suitable one for Miss Patty's purpose.  The brawling
stream made a good foreground for the picture, which, on the one
side, was shut in by a steep hill rising precipitously from the
water's rough bed, and on the other side opened out into a
mountainous landscape, having in the near view the ruined church of
Lasthope, with the still more ruinous minister's house, a fir
plantation, and a rude bridge; with a middle distance of bold,
sheep-dotted hills; and for a background the "sow-backed" Cheviot


Miss Patty had made her outline of this scene, and was preparing to
wash it in, when, as her companion came up from  the
stream with a little tin can of water, he saw, to his equal terror
and amazement, a huge bull of the most uninviting aspect stealthily
approaching the seated figure of the unconscious young lady.   Mr.
Verdant Green looked hastily around and at once perceived the danger
that menaced his fair friend.  It was evident that the bull had come
up from the further end of the large enclosure, the while they had
been too occupied to observe his stealthy approach.  No one was in
sight save Charles Larkyns, who was too far off to be of any use.
The nearest gate was about a hundred and fifty yards distant; and the
bull was so placed that he could overtake them before they would be
able to reach it.  Overtake them! - yes!   But suppose they
separated? then, as the brute could not go two ways at once, there
would be a chance for one of them to get through the gate in safety.
Love, which induces people to take extraordinary steps, prompted Mr.
Verdant Green to jump at a conclusion.  He determined, with less
display but more sincerity than melodramatic heroes, to save Miss
Patty, or "perish in the attempt."

She was seated on the rising bank altogether ignorant of the presence
of danger; and, as Verdant returned to her with the tin can of water,
she received him with a happy smile, and a gush of pleasant small
talk, which our hero immediately repressed by saying, "Don't be
frightened - there is no danger - but there is a bull coming towards
us.  Walk quietly to that gate, and keep your face towards him as
much as possible, and don't let him see that you are afraid of him.
I will take off his attention till you are safe at the gate, and then
I can wade through the stream and get out of his reach."

Miss Patty had at once sprung to her feet, and her smile had changed
to a terrified expression.  "Oh, but he will hurt you!" she cried;
"do come with me.  It is papa's bull ~Roarer~; he is very savage.  I
can't think what brings him here - he is generally up at the
bailiff's.  Pray do come; I can take care of myself."


Miss Patty in her agitation and anxiety had taken hold of Mr. Verdant
Green's hand; but, although the young gentleman would at any other
time have very willingly allowed her to retain possession of it, on
the present occasion he disengaged it from her clasp, and said, "Pray
don't lose time, or it will be too late for both of us.  I assure you
that I can easily take care of myself.  Now do go, pray; quietly, but
quickly."  So Miss Patty, with an earnest, searching gaze into her
companion's face, did as he bade her, and retreated with her face to
the foe.
In a few seconds, however, the object of her movement had dawned upon
Mr. Roarer's dull understanding, upon which discovery he set up a
bellow of fury, and stamped the ground in very undignified wrath.
But, more than this, like a skilful general who has satisfactorily
worked out the forty-seventh proposition of the First Book of Euclid,
and knows therefrom that the square of the hypothenuse equals both
that of the base and perpendicular, he unconsciously commenced the
solution of the problem, by making a galloping charge in the
direction of the gate to which Miss Patty was hastening.  Thereupon,
Mr. Verdant Green, perceiving the young lady's peril, deliberately
ran towards Mr. Roarer, shouting and brandishing the sketch-book.  Mr.
Roarer paused in wonder and perplexity.  Mr. Verdant Green shouted
and advanced; Miss Patty steadily retreated.  After a few moments of
indecision Mr. Roarer abandoned his design of pursuing the
petticoats, and resolved that the gentleman should be his first
victim.  Accordingly he sounded his trumpet for the conflict, gave
another roar and a stamp, and then ran towards Mr. Verdant Green,
who, having picked up a large stone, threw it dexterously into Mr.
Roarer's face, which brought that broad-chested gentleman to a
stand-still of astonishment and a search for the missile.  Of this Mr.
Verdant Green took advantage, and made a Parthian retreat.  Glancing
towards Miss Patty he saw that she was within thirty yards of the
gate, and in a minute or two would be in safety - saved through his

A bellow from Mr. Roarer's powerful lungs prevented him for the
present from pursuing this delightful theme.  In another moment the
bull charged, and Mr. Verdant Green - braced up, as it were, to
energetic proceedings by the screams with which Miss Patty had now
begun to shrilly echo Mr. Roarer's deep-mouthed bellowings - waited
for his approach, and then, as the bull rushed on him - like a
massive rock hurled forward by an avalanche - he leaped aside, nimble
as a doubling hare.  As he did so, he threw down his wide-awake,
which the irate Mr. Roarer forthwith fell upon, and tossed, and
tossed, and tore into shreds.  By this time, Verdant had reached the
bank of the Swirl; but before he could proceed further, the


bull was upon him again.  Verdant was prepared for this, and had
taken off his coat.  As the bull dashed heavily towards him, with
head bent wickedly to the ground, Verdant again doubled, and, with
the dexterity of a matador, threw his coat upon the horns.  Blinded
by this, Mr. Roarer's headlong career was temporarily checked; and it
was three minutes before he had torn to shreds the imaginary body of
his enemy; but this three minutes' pause was of very great
importance, and in all probability prevented the memoirs of Mr.
Verdant Green  from coming to an untimely end at this portion of the

Miss Patty's continued screams had been signals of distress that had
not only brought up Charles Larkyns, but four labourers also, who
were working in a field within ear-shot.  This ~corps de reserve~ ran
up to the spot with all speed, shouting as they did so, in order to
distract Mr. Roarer's attention.  By this time Mr. Verdant Green had
waded into the water, and was making the best of his way across the
Swirl, in order that he might reach the precipitous hill to the
right; up this he could scramble and bid defiance to Mr. Roarer.  But
there is many a slip 'tween cup and lip.  Poor Verdant chanced to
make a stepping-stone of a treacherous boulder, and fell headlong
into the water; and ere he could regain his feet, the bull had
plunged with a bellow into the stream, and was within a yard of his
prostrate form, when -

When you may imagine Mr. Verdant Green's delight and Miss Patty
Honeywood's thankfulness at seeing one of the labourers run into the
stream, and strike the bull a heavy stroke with a sharp hoe, the pain
of which wound caused  Mr. Roarer to suddenly wheel round and engage
with his new adversary, who followed up his advantage, and cut into
his enemy with might and main.  Then Charles Larkyns and the other
three labourers came up, and the bull was prevented from doing an
injury to any one until a farm-servant had arrived upon the scene
with a strong halter, when Mr. Roarer, somewhat spent with wrath, and
suffering from considerable depression of animal spirits, was
conducted to the obscure retirement and littered ease of the

This little adventure has been recorded here, inasmuch as from it was
forged, by the hand of Cupid, a golden link in our hero's chain of
fate; for to this occurrence Miss Patty attached no slight
importance.  She exalted Mr. Verdant Green's conduct on this occasion
into an act of heroism worthy to be ranked with far more notable
deeds of valour.  She looked  upon him as a Bayard who had
chivalrously risked his life in the cause of - love, was it? or only
of - a lady.  Her gratitude, she considered, ought to be very great
to one who had, at so great a venture, preserved her from so horrible
a death.  For


that she would have been dreadfully gored, and would have lost her
life, if she had not been rescued by Mr. Verdant Green, Miss Patty
had most fully and unalterably decided - which, certainly, might have
been the case.

At any rate, our hero had no reason to regret that portion of his
life's drama in which Mr. Roarer had made his appearance.

                                        CHAPTER III.


  MISS Patty Honeywood was not only distinguished for
unlimited powers of conversation, but was also equally famous for her
equestrian abilities.  She and her sister were the first horsewomen
in that part of the county; and, if their father had permitted, they
would have been delighted to ride to hounds, and to cross country
with the foremost flight, for they had pluck enough for anything.
They had such light hands and good seats, and in every respect rode
so well, that, as a matter of course, they looked well - never
better, perhaps, than - when on horseback.  Their bright, happy faces
- which were far more beautiful in their piquant irregularities of
feature, and gave one far more pleasure in the contemplation than if
they had been moulded in the coldly chiselled forms of classic beauty
- appeared with no diminution of charms, when set off by their pretty
felt riding-hats; and their full, firm, and well-rounded figures were
seen to the greatest advantage when clad in the graceful dress that
passes by the name of a riding-habit.

Every morning, after breakfast, the two young ladies were accustomed
to visit the stables, where they had interviews with their respective
steeds - steeds and mistresses appearing to be equally gratified
thereby.  It is perhaps needless to state that during Mr. Verdant
Green's sojourn at Honeywood Hall, Miss Patty's stable calls were
generally made in his company.

Such rides as they took in those happy days - wild, pic-nic sort of
rides, over country equally as wild and removed from


formality - rides by duets and rides in duodecimos; sometimes a
solitary couple or two; sometimes a round dozen of them, scampering
and racing over hill and heather, with startled grouse and black-cock
skirring up from under the very hoofs of the equally startled
horses;- rides by tumbling streams, like the Swirl - splashing
through them, with pulled-up or draggled habits - then cantering on
"over bank, bush, and scaur," like so many fair Ellens and young
Lochinvars - clambering up very precipices, and creeping down
break-neck hills - laughing  and talking, and singing, and
whistling, and even (so far as Mr. Bouncer was concerned) blowing
cows' horns!  What vagabond, rollicking rides were those!  What a
healthy contrast to the necessarily formal, groom-attended canter on
Society's Rotten Row!

A legion of dogs accompanied them on these occasions; a miscellaneous
pack composed of Masters Huz and Buz (in great spirits at finding
themselves in such capital quarters), a black Newfoundland (answering
to the name of "Nigger"), a couple of setters (with titles from the
heathen mythology - "Juno" and "Flora"), a ridiculous-looking,
bandy-legged otter-hound (called "Gripper"), a wiry, rat-catching
terrier ("Nipper"), and two silky-haired, long-backed, short-legged,
sharp-nosed, bright-eyed, pepper-and-salt Skye-terriers, who
respectively answered to the names of "Whisky" and "Toddy," and were
the property of the Misses Honeywood.  The lordly shepherds' dogs,
whom they encountered on their journeys, would have nothing to do
with such a medley of unruly scamps, but turned from their overtures
of friendship with patrician disdain.  They routed up rabbits; they


out hedgehogs;  and, at their approach, they made the game fly with a
WHIR-R-R-R-R-R-R arranged as a ~diminuendo~.

These free-and-easy equestrian expeditions were not only agreeable to
Mr. Verdant Green's feelings, but they were also useful to him as so
many lessons of horsemanship, and so greatly advanced him in the
practice of that noble science, that the admiring Squire one day said
to him - "I'll tell you what, Verdant! before we've done with you, we
shall make you ride  like a Shafto!"  At which high
eulogium Mr. Verdant Green blushed, and made an inward resolution
that, as soon as he had returned home, he would subscribe to the
Warwickshire hounds, and make his appearance in the field.

On Sundays the Honeywood party usually rode and drove to the church
of a small market-town, some seven or eight miles distant.  If it was
a wet day, they walked to the ruined church of Lasthope - the place
Miss Patty was sketching when disturbed by Mr. Roarer.  Lasthope was
in lay hands; and its lay rector, who lived far away, had so little
care for the edifice, or the proper conduct of divine service, that
he allowed the one to continue in its ruins, and suffered the other
to be got through anyhow, or not at all - just as it happened.
Clergymen were engaged to perform the service (there was but one each
day) at the lowest price of the clerical market.  Occasionally it was
announced, in the vernacular of the district, that there would be no
church, "because the priest had gone for the sea-bathing," or because
the waters were out, and the priest could not get


across.  As a matter of course, in consequence of the uncertainty of
finding any one to perform the service when they had got to church,
and of the slovenly way in which the service was scrambled through
when they had got a clergyman there, the congregation generally
preferred attending the large Presbyterian meeting-house, which was
about two miles from Lasthope.  Here, at any rate, they met with the
reverse of coldness in the conduct of the service.

Mr. Verdant Green and his male friends strayed there one Sunday for
curiosity's sake, and found a minister of indefatigable eloquence and
enviable power of lungs, who had arrived at such a pitch of heat,
from the combined effects of the weather and his own exertions, that
in the very middle of his discourse - and literally in the heat of it
- he paused to divest himself of his gown, heavily braided with serge
and velvet, and, hanging it over the side of the pulpit ("the
pilput," his congregation called it), mopped his head with his
handkerchief, and then pursued his theme like a giant refreshed.  At
this stage in the proceedings, little Mr. Bouncer became in a high
state of pleasurable excitement, from the expectation that the
minister would next divest himself of his coat, and would struggle
through the rest of his argument in his shirt-sleeves; but Mr.
Bouncer's improper wishes were not gratified.

The sermon was so extremely metaphorical, was founded on such
abstruse passages, and was delivered in so broad a dialect, that it
was ~caviare~ to Mr. Verdant Green and his friends; but it seemed to
be far otherwise with the attentive and crowded congregation, who
relieved their minister at intervals by loud bursts of singing, that
were impressive from their fervency though not particularly
harmonious to a delicately-musical ear.  Near to the close of the
service there was a collection, which induced Mr. Bouncer to whisper
to Verdant - as an axiom deduced from his long experience - that "you
never come to a strange place, but what you are sure to drop in for a
collection;" but, on finding that it was a weekly offering, and that
no one was expected to give more than a copper, the little gentleman
relented, and cheerfully dropped a piece of silver into the wooden
box.  It was astonishing to see the throngs of people, that, in so
thinly inhabited a district, could be assembled at this
meeting-house.  Though it seemed almost incredible to our
midland-county friends, yet not a few of these poor, simple,
earnest-minded people would walk from a distance of fifteen miles,
starting at an early hour, coming by easy stages, and bringing with
them their dinner, so as to enable them to stay for the afternoon
service.  On the Sunday mornings the red  cloaks and grey plaids of
these pious men and women might be seen dotting the green
hillsides,and slowly moving towards


the gaunt and grim red brick meeting-house.  And around it, on great
occasions, were tents pitched for the between-service accommodation
of the worshippers.

Both they and it contrasted, in every way, with the ruined church of
Lasthope, whose worship seemed also to have gone to ruin with the
uncared-for edifice.  Its aisles had tumbled down, and their material
had been rudely built up within the arches of the nave.  The church
was thus converted into the non-ecclesiastical form of a
parallelogram, and was fitted up with the very rudest and ugliest of
deal enclosures, which were dignified with the names of pews, but
ought to have been termed pens.

During the time of Mr. Verdant Green's visit, the service at this
ecclesiastical ruin was performed by a clergyman who had apparently
been selected for the duty from his harmonious resemblance to the
place; for he also was an ecclesiastical ruin - a schoolmaster in
holy orders, who, having to slave hard all through the working-days
of the week, had to work still harder on the day of rest.  For,
first, the Ruin had to ride his stumbling old pony a distance of
twelve miles (and twelve ~such~ miles!) to Lasthope, where he stabled
it (bringing the feed of corn in his pocket, and leading it to drink
at the Swirl) in the dilapidated stable of the tumbled-down
rectory-house.  Then he had to get through the morning service
without any loss of time, to enable him to ride eight miles in
another direction (eating his sandwich dinner as he went along),
where he had to take the afternoon duty and occasional services at a
second church.  When this was done, he might find his way home as
well as he could, and enjoy with his family as much of the day of
rest as he had leisure and strength for.  The stipend that the Ruin
received for his labours was greatly below the wages given to a
butler by the lay rector, who pocketed a very nice income by this
respectable transaction.  But the Butler was a stately edifice in
perfect repair, both outside and in, so far as clothes and food went;
and the Parson was an ill-conditioned Ruin left to moulder away in an
obscure situation, without even the ivy of luxuriance to make him
graceful and picturesque.

Mr. Honeywood's family were the only "respectable" persons who
occasionally attended the Ruin's ministrations in Lasthope church.
The other people who made up the scanty congregation were old Andrew
Graham and his children, and a few of the poorer sort of Honeybourn.
They all brought their dogs with them as a matter of course.  On
entering the church the men hung up their bonnets on a row of pegs
provided for that purpose, and fixed, as an ecclesiastical ornament,
along the western wall of the church.  They then took their places in
their pens, accompanied by their dogs, who usually behaved with
remarkable propriety, and, during the sermon, set their


masters an example of watchfulness.  On one occasion the proceedings
were interrupted by a rat hunt; the dogs gave tongue, and leaped the
pews in the excitement of the chase - their masters followed them and
laid about them with their sticks - and when with difficulty order
had been restored, the service was proceeded with.  It must be
confessed that Mr. Bouncer was so badly disposed as to wish for a
repetition of this scene; but (happily) he was disappointed.

The choir of Lasthope Church was centred in the person of the clerk,
who apparently sang tunes of his own composing, in which the
congregation joined at their discretion, though usually to different
airs.  The result was a discordant struggle, through which the clerk
bravely maintained his own until he had exhausted himself, when he
shut up his book and sat down, and the congregation had to shut up
also.  During the singing the intelligence of the dogs was displayed
in their giving a stifled utterance to howls of anguish, which were
repeated ~ad libitum~ throughout the hymn; but as this was a
customary proceeding it attracted no attention, unless a dog
expressed his sufferings more loudly than was wont, when he received
a clout from his master's staff that silenced him, and sent him under
the pew-seat, as to a species of ecclesiastical St. Helena.

Such was Lasthope Church, its Ruin, and its service; and, as may be
imagined from these notes which the veracious historian has thought
fit to chronicle, Mr. Verdant Green found that his Sundays in
Northumberland produced as much novelty as the week-days.

                                        CHAPTER IV.


THERE was a gate in the kitchen-garden of Honeywood Hall, that led
into an orchard; and in this orchard there was a certain apple-tree
that had assumed one of those peculiarities of form to which the
children of Pomona are addicted.  After growing upright for about a
foot and a half, it had suddenly shot out at right angles, with a
gentle upward slope for a length of between three and four feet, and
had then again struck up into the perpendicular.  It thus formed a
natural orchard seat, capable of holding two persons comfortably -
provided that they regarded a close proximity as comfortable sitting.

One day Miss Patty directed Verdant's attention to this vagary of
nature.  "This is one of my favourite haunts," she said.  "I often
steal here on a hot day with some work or a


book.  You see this upper branch makes quite a little table, and I
can rest my book upon it.  It is so pleasant to be under the shade
here, with the fruit or blossoms over one's head; and it is so snug
and retired, and out of the way of every one."

"It ~is~ very snug - and very retired," said Mr. Verdant Green; and
he thought that now would be the very time to put in execution a
project that had for some days past been haunting his brain.

"When Kitty and I," said Miss Patty, "have any secrets we come here
and tell them to each other while we sit at our work.  No one can
hear what we say; and we are quite snug all to ourselves."

Very odd, thought Verdant, that they should fix on this particular
spot for confidential communications, and take the trouble to come
here to make them, when they could do so in their own rooms at the
house.  And yet it isn't such a bad spot either.

"Try how comfortable a seat it is!" said Miss Patty.

Mr. Verdant Green began to feel hot.  He sat down, however, and
tested the comforts of the seat, much in the same way as he would try
the spring of a lounging chair, and apparently with a like result,
for he said, "Yes it ~is~ very comfortable - very comfortable indeed."

"I thought you'd like it," said Miss Patty; "and you see how nicely
the branches droop all round: they make it quite an arbour.  If Kitty
had been here with me I think you would have had some trouble to have
found us."

"I think I should; it is quite a place to hide in," said Verdant.
But the young lady and gentleman must have been speaking with the
spirit of ostriches, and have imagined that, when they had hidden
their heads, they had altogether concealed themselves from
observation; for the branches of the apple-tree only drooped low
enough to conceal the upper part of their figures, and left the rest
exposed to view.  "Won't you sit down, also?" asked Verdant, with a
gasp and a sensation in his head as though he had been drinking
champagne too freely.

"I'm afraid there's scarcely room for me," pleaded Miss Patty.

"Oh yes, there is, indeed! pray sit down."
So she sat down on the lower part of the trunk.  Mr. Verdant Green
glanced rapidly round and perceived that they were quite alone, and
partly shrouded from view.  The following highly interesting
conversation then took place.

~He.~ "Won't you change places with me?  you'll slip off."
~She.~  "No - I think I can manage."
~He.~   "But you can come closer."
~She.~ "Thanks." (~She comes closer.~)


~He.~ "Isn't that more comfortable?"
~She.~ "Yes - very much."
~He.~ (~Very hot, and not knowing what to say~) - "I - I think you'll
~She.~ "Oh no!  it's very comfortable indeed."
(That is to say - thinks Mr. Verdant Green-that sitting BY ME is very
comfortable. Hurrah!)
~She.~ "It's very hot, don't you think?"
~He.~ "How very odd!  I was just thinking the same."
~She.~ "I think I shall take my hat off - it is so warm.  Dear me!
how stupid! - the strings are in a knot."
~He.~ "Let me see if I can untie them for you."
~She.~ "Thanks! no!  I can manage." (~But she cannot.~)
~He.~  "You'd better let me try!  now do!"
~She.~ "Oh, thanks! but I'm sorry you should have the trouble."
~He.~ "No trouble at all.  Quite a pleasure."

In a very hot condition of mind and fingers, Mr. Verdant Green then
endeavoured to release the strings from their entanglement.  But all
in vain: he tugged, and pulled, and only made matters worse.  Once or
twice in the struggle his hands touched Miss Patty's chin; and no
highly-charged electrical machine could have imparted a shock greater
than that tingling sensation of pleasure which Mr. Verdant Green
experienced when his fingers, for the fraction of a second, touched
Miss Patty's soft dimpled chin.  Then there was her beautiful neck,
so white, and with such blue veins! he had an irresistible desire to
stroke it for its very smoothness - as one loves to feel the polish
of marble, or the glaze of wedding cards - instead of employing his
hands in fumbling at the brown ribands, whose knots became more
complicated than ever.  Then there was her happy rosy face, so close
to which his own was brought; and her bright, laughing, hazel eyes,
in which, as he timidly looked up, he saw little daguerreotypes of
himself.  Would that he could retain such a photographer by his side
through life! Miss Bouncer's camera was as nothing compared with the
~camera lucida~ of those clear eyes, that shone upon him so
truthfully, and mirrored for him such pretty pictures.  And what with
these eyes, and the face, and the chin, and the neck, Mr. Verdant
Green was brought into such an irretrievable state of mental
excitement that he was perfectly unable to render Miss Patty the
service he had proffered.  But, more than that, he as yet lacked
sufficient courage to carry out his darling project.

At length Miss Patty herself untied the rebellious knot, and took off
her hat.  The highly interesting conversation was then resumed.
~She.~  "What a frightful state my hair is in!" (~Loops up an


escaped lock.~) "You must think me so untidy.  But out in the
country, and in a place like this where no one sees us, it makes one
careless of appearance."
~He.~  "I like 'a sweetneglect,' especially in - in some people; it
suits them so well.  I - 'pon my word, it's very hot!"
~She.~ "But how much hotter it must be from under the shade.  It is
so pleasant here.  It seems so dreamlike to sit among the shadows and
look out upon the bright landscape."
~He.~ "It ~is~ - very jolly - soothing, at least!" (~A pause.~) "I
think you'll slip.  Do you know, I think it will be safer if you will
let me" (~here his courage fails him.  He endeavours to say~ put my
arm round your waist, ~but his tongue refuses to speak the words; so
he substitutes~) "change places with you."
~She.~ (~Rises, with a look of amused vexation.~) "Certainly! If you
so particularly wish it." (~They change places.~) "Now, you see, you
have lost by the change.  You are too tall for that end of the seat,
and it did very nicely for a little body like me."
~He.~ (~With a thrill of delight and a sudden burst of strategy.~) "I
can hold on to this branch, if my arm will not inconvenience you."
~She.~ "Oh no! not particularly:" (~he passes his right arm behind
her, and takes hold of a bough:~) "but I should think it's not very
comfortable for you."
~He.~ "I couldn't be more comfortable, I'm sure." (~Nearly slips off
the tree, and doubles up his legs into an unpicturesque attitude
highly suggestive of misery. - A pause~) "And do you tell your
secrets here?"
~She.~ "My secrets? Oh, I see - you mean, with Kitty.  Oh, yes! if
this tree could talk, it would be able to tell such dreadful stories."
~He.~  "I wonder if it could tell any dreadful stories of - ~me?~"


~She.~ "Of you? Oh, no! Why should it? We are only severe on those we
~He.~ "Then you don't dislike me?"
~She.~ "No! - why should we?"
~He.~ "Well - I don't know - but I thought you might.  Well, I'm glad
of that - I'm ~very~ glad of that.  'Pon my word, it's ~very~ hot!
don't you think so?"
~She.~ "Yes! I'm burning.  But I don't think we should find a cooler
place." (~Does not evince any symptoms of moving.~)
~He.~ "Well, p'raps we shouldn't." (~A pause.~) "Do you know that I'm
very glad you don't dislike me; because, it wouldn't have been
pleasant to be disliked by you, would it?"
~She.~ "Well - of course, I can't tell.  It depends upon one's own
~He.~ "Then you don't dislike me?"
~She.~ "Oh dear, no! why should I?"
~He.~ "And if you don't dislike me, you must like me?"
~She.~ "Yes - at least - yes, I suppose so."

At this stage of the proceedings, the arm that Mr. Verdant Green had
passed behind Miss Patty thrilled with such a peculiar sensation that
his hand slipped down the bough, and the arm consequently came
against Miss Patty's waist, where it rested.  The necessity for
saying something, the wish to make that something the something that
was bursting his heart and brain, and the dread of letting it escape
his lips - these three varied and mingled sensations so distracted
poor Mr. Verdant Green's mind, that he was no more conscious of what
he was giving utterance to than if he had been talking in a dream.
But there was Miss Patty by his side - a very tangible and delightful
reality - playing (somewhat nervously) with those rebellious strings
of her hat, which loosely hung in her hand, while the dappled shadows
flickered on the waving masses of her rich brown hair, - so something
must be said; and, if it should lead to ~the~ something, why, so much
the better.

Returning, therefore, to the subject of like and dislike, Mr. Verdant
Green managed to say, in a choking, faltering tone, "I wonder how
much you like me - very much?"
~She.~ "Oh, I couldn't tell - how should I?  What strange questions
you ask! You saved my life; so, of course, I am very, very grateful;
and I hope I shall always be your friend."
~He.~ "Yes, I hope so indeed - always - and something more.  Do you
hope the same?"
~She.~ "What ~do~ you mean? Hadn't we better go back to the house?"
~He.~ "Not just yet - it's so cool here - at least, not cool exactly,
but hot - pleasanter, that is - much pleasanter here.


~You~ said so, you know, a little while since.  Don't mind me; I
always feel hot when - when I'm out of doors."
~She.~ "Then we'd better go indoors."
~He.~ "Pray don't - not yet - do stop a little longer."

And the hand that had been on the bough of the tree, timidly seized
Miss Patty's arm, and then naturally, but very gently, fell upon her
waist.  A thrill shot through Mr. Verdant Green, like an electric
flash, and, after traversing from his head to his heels, probably
passed out safely at his boots - for it did him no harm, but, on the
contrary, made him feel all the better.

"But," said the young lady, as she felt the hand upon her waist - not
that she was really displeased at the proceeding, but perhaps she
thought it best, under the circumstances, to say something that
should have the resemblance of a veto - "but it is not necessary to
hold me a prisoner."

"It's ~you~ that hold ~me~ a prisoner!" said Mr. Verdant Green, with
a sudden burst of enthusiasm and blushes, and a great stress upon the

"Now you are talking nonsense, and, if so, I must go!" said Miss
Patty.  And she also blushed; perhaps it was from the heat.  But she
removed Mr. Verdant Green's hand from her waist, and he was much too
frightened to replace it.

"Oh! ~do~ stay a little!" gasped the young gentleman, with an awkward
sensation of want of employment for his hands.  "You said that
secrets were told here.  I don't want to talk nonsense; I don't
indeed; but the truth.  ~I've~ a secret to tell you.  Should you like
to hear it?"

"Oh yes!" laughed Miss Patty.  "I like to hear secrets."  Now, how
very absurd it was in Mr. Verdant Green wasting time in beating about
the bush in this ridiculously timid way! Why could he not at once
boldly secure his bird by a straightforward shot? She did not fly out
of his range - did she? And yet, here he was making himself
unnecessarily hot and uncomfortable, when he might, by taking it
coolly, have been at his ease in a moment.  What a foolish young man!
Nay, he still further lost time and evaded his purpose, by saying
once again to Miss Patty - instead of immediately replying to her
observation - "'Pon my word, it's uncommonly hot! don't you think so?"

Upon which Miss Patty replied, with some little chagrin, "And was
that your secret?"  If she had lived in the Elizabethan era she
could have adjured him with a "Marry, come up!" which would have
brought him to the point without any further trouble; but living in a
Victorian age, she could do no more than say what she did, and leave
the rest of her meaning to the language of the eyes.

"Don't laugh at me!" urged the bashful and weak-minded


young man; "don't laugh at me! If you only knew what I feel when you
laugh at me, you'd" -

"Cry, I dare say!" said Miss Patty, cutting him short with a merry
smile, and (it must be confessed) a most wickedly-roguish expression
about those bright flashing hazel eyes of hers. "Now, you haven't
told me this wonderful secret!"

"Why," said Mr. Verdant Green, slowly and deliberately - feeling that
his time was coming on, and cowardly anxious still to fight off the
fatal words - "you said that you didn't dislike me; and, in fact,
that you liked me very much; and" -

But here Miss Patty cut him short again.  She turned sharply round
upon him, with those bright eyes and that merry face, and said, "Oh!
how ~can~ you say so?  I never said anything of the sort!"

"Well," said Mr. Verdant Green, who was now desperate, and mentally
prepared to take the dreaded plunge into that throbbing sea that
beats upon the strand of matrimony, "whether ~you~ like ~me~ very
much or not, ~I~ like ~you~ very much! - very much indeed!  Ever
since I saw you, since last Christmas, I've - I've liked you - very
much indeed."

Mr. Verdant Green, in a very hot and excited state, had, 
while he was speaking, timidly brought his hand once more to Miss
Patty's waist; and she did not interfere with its position.  In fact,
she was bending down her head, and was gazing intently on another
knot that she had wilfully made in her hat-strings; and she was
working so violently at that occupation of untying the knot, that
very probably she might not have been aware of the situation of Mr.
Verdant Green's hand.  At any rate, her own hands were too much
busied to suffer her to interfere with his.


At last the climax had arrived.  Mr. Verdant Green had screwed his
courage to the sticking point, and had resolved to tell the secret of
his love.  He had got to the very edge of the precipice, and was on
the point of jumping over head and ears into the stream of his
destiny, and of bursting into any excited form of words that should
make known his affection and his designs, when - when a vile perfume
of tobacco, a sudden barking rush of Huz and Buz, and the horrid
voice of little Mr. Bouncer, dispelled the bright vision, dispersed
his ideas, and prevented the fulfilment of his purpose.

"Holloa, Giglamps!" roared the little gentleman, as he removed a
short pipe from his mouth, and expelled an ascending curl of smoke;
"I've been looking for you everywhere! Here we are, - as Hamlet's
uncle said, - all in the horchard! I hope he's not been pouring poison
in ~your~ ear, Miss Honeywood; he looks rather guilty.  The Mum - I
mean your mother - sent me to find you.  The luncheon's been on the
table more than an hour!"

Luckily for Mr. Verdant Green and Miss Patty Honeywood, little Mr.
Bouncer rattled on without waiting for any reply to his observations,
and thus enabled the young lady to somewhat recover her presence of
mind, and to effect a hasty retreat from under the apple tree, and
through the garden gate.

"I say, old feller," said Mr. Bouncer, as he criticized Mr. Verdant
Green's countenance over the bowl of his pipe, "you look rather in a
stew! What's up? My gum!" cried the little gentleman, as an idea of
the truth suddenly flashed upon him; "you don't mean to say you've
been doing the spooney - what you call making love - have you?"

"Oh!" groaned the person addressed, as he followed out the train of
his own ideas; "if you ~had~ but have come five minutes later - or
not at all! It's most provoking!"

"Well, you're a grateful bird, I don't think!" said Mr. Bouncer. "Cut
after her into luncheon, and have it out over the cold mutton and

"Oh no!" responded the luckless lover; "I can't' eat - especially
before the others! I mean - I couldn't talk to her before the others.
 Oh! I don't know what I'm saying."

"Well, I don't think you do, old feller!" said Mr. Bouncer, puffing
away at his pipe.  "I'm sorry I was in the road, though! because,
though I fight shy of those sort of things myself, yet I don't want
to interfere with the little weaknesses of other folks.  But come and
have a pipe, old feller, and we'll talk matters over, and see what
pips are on the cards, and what's the state of the game."

Now, a pipe was Mr. Bouncer's panacea for every kind of
indisposition, both mental and bodily.


                                        CHAPTER V.


  MENTION had frequently been made by the members of the
Honeywood family, but more especially by Miss Patty, of a cousin - a
male cousin - to whom they all seemed to be exceedingly partial - far more
partial, as Mr. Verdant Green thought, with regard to Miss Patty, than he
would have wished her to have been.  This cousin was Mr. Frank
Delaval, a son of their father's sister.  According to their
description, he possessed good looks, and an equivalently good
fortune, with all sorts of accomplishments, both useful and
ornamental; and was, in short (in their eyes at least), a very
admirable Crichton of the nineteenth century.

Mr. Verdant Green had heard from Miss Patty so much of her cousin
Frank, and of the pleasure they were anticipating from a visit he had
promised shortly to make to them, that he had at length begun to
suspect that the young lady's maiden meditations were not altogether
"fancy free," and that her thoughts dwelt upon this handsome cousin
far more than was palatable to Mr. Verdant Green's feelings.  In the
most unreasonable manner, therefore, he conceived a violent antipathy
to Mr. Frank Delaval, even before he had set eyes upon him, and
considered that the Honeywood family had, one and all, greatly
overrated him.  But these suppositions and suspicions made him doubly
anxious to come to an understanding with Miss Patty before the
arrival of the dreaded Adonis; and it was this thought that had
helped to nerve him through the terrors of the orchard scene, and
which, but for Mr. Bouncer's ~malapropos~ intrusion, would have
brought things to a crisis.

However, after he had had a talk with Mr. Bouncer, and had been
fortified by that little gentleman's pithy admonitions to "go in and
win," and to "strike while the iron's hot," and that "faint heart
never won a nice young 'ooman," he determined to seek out Miss Patty
at once, and bring to an end their unfinished conversation.  For this
purpose he returned to the hall, where he found a great commotion,
and a carriage at the door; and out of the carriage jumped a handsome
young man, with a black moustache, who ran up to the open hall-door
(where Miss Patty


was standing with her sister), seized Miss Kitty by the hand, and
placed his moustache under her nose, and then seized Miss Patty by
~her~ hand, and removed the moustache to beneath ~her~ nose! And all
this unblushingly and as a matter of course, out in the sunshine, and
before the servants! Mr. Verdant Green retreated without having been
seen, and, plunging into the shrubbery, told his woes to the
evergreens, and while he listened to

                "The dry-tongued laurel's pattering talk,"

he thought, "It is as I feared! I am nothing more to her than a
simple friend."  Though, why he so morosely arrived at this idea it
would be hard to say.  Perhaps other jealous lovers have been
similarly unreasonable and unreasoning in their conclusions, and, of
their own accord, run to the dark side of the cloud, when they might
have pleasantly remained within its silver lining.

But when Frank Delaval had been seen, and heard, and made
acquaintance with, Verdant, who was much too simple-hearted to
dislike any one without just grounds for so doing, entered (even
after half an hour's knowledge) into the band of his  
admirers; and that same evening, in the drawing-room, while Miss
Kitty was playing one of Schulhoff's mazurkas, with her moustached
cousin standing by her side, and turning over the music-leaves,
Verdant privately declared, over a chessboard, to Miss Patty, that
Mr. Frank Delaval was the handsomest and most delightful man he had
ever met.  And when Miss Patty's eyes sparkled at this proof of his
truth and disinterestedness, Verdant mistook the bright signals; and
further misconstruing


the cause why (as they continued to speak of her cousin) she made a
most egregious blunder, that caused her opponent to pronounce the
word "Mated!" he regarded it as a fatal omen, more especially as Mr.
Frank came to her side at that very moment; and when the young lady
laughed, and said, "What a goose I am! whatever could I have been
thinking of?" he thought within himself (persisting in his illogical
and perverse conclusions), "It is very plain what she is thinking
about! I was afraid that she loved him, and now I know it."  So he put
up the chess-men, while she went to the piano with her cousin; and he
even wished that Mr. Bouncer had interrupted their apple-tree
conversation at its commencement; but was thankful to him for coming
in time to save him from the pain of being rejected in favour of
another.  Then, in five minutes, he changed his mind, and had decided
that it would have spared him much misery if he could have heard his
fate from his Patty's own lips.  Then he wished that he had never
come to Northumberland at all, and began to think how he should spend
his time in the purgatory that Honeywood Hall would now be to him.

When they separated for the night, HE again placed his moustache
beneath HER nose.  Mr. Verdant Green turned away his head at such a
sickly exhibition.  It was a presumption upon cousinship. Charles
Larkyns did not kiss her; and he was equally as much her cousin as
Frank Delaval.

And yet, when the young men went into the back kitchen for a pipe and
a chat before going to bed, Verdant was so delighted with that
handsome cousin Frank, that he thought, "If I was a girl, I should
think as ~she~ does."

"And why should she not love him?" meditated the poor fellow, when he
was lying awake in his bed that self-same night, rendered sleepless
by the pain of his new wound; "why should she not love him? how could
she do otherwise? thrown together as they have been from children -
speaking to each other as 'Patty' and 'Fred'- kissing each other -
and being as brother and sister.  Would that they were so! How he
kept near her all the evening - coming to her even when she was
playing chess with ~me~, then singing with her, and playing her
accompaniments.  She said that no one could play her accompaniments
like ~he~ could - he had such good taste, and such a firm, delicate
touch.  Then, when they talked about sketching, she said how she had
missed him, and that she had been reserving the view from Brankham
Law, in order that they might sketch it together.  Then he showed her
his last drawings - and they were beautiful.  What can I do against
this?" groaned poor Verdant, from under the bed-clothes; "he has
accomplishments, and I have none; he has good looks, and I haven't;


he has a moustache and a pair of whiskers, - and I have only a pair of
spectacles! I cannot shine in society, and win admiration, like he
does; I have nothing to offer her but my love.  Lucky fellow! he is
worthier of her than I am - and I hope they will be very happy."  At
which thought, Verdant felt highly the reverse, and went off into
dismal dreams.

In the morning, when Miss Patty and her cousin were setting out for
the hill called Brankham Law, Verdant, who had retreated to a
garden-seat beneath a fine old cedar, was roused from a very
abstracted perusal of "The Dream of Fair Women," by the apparition of
one who, in his eyes, was fairer than them all.

"I have been searching for you everywhere," said Miss Patty.  "Mamma
said that you were not riding with the others, so I knew that you
must be somewhere about.  I think I shall lock up my ~Tennyson~, if
it takes you so much out of our society.  Won't you come up Brankham
Law with Frank and me?"

"Willingly if you wish it," answered Verdant, though with an
unwilling air; "but of what use can I be? - Othello's occupation is
gone.  Your cousin can fill my place much better than if I were
there."   "How very ungrateful you are!" said Miss Patty; "you really
deserve a good scolding! I allow you to watch me when I am painting,
in order that you may gain a lesson, and just when you are beginning
to learn something, then you give up.  But, at any rate, take Fred
for your master, and come and watch ~him~; he ~can~ draw.  If you
were to go to any of the great men to have a lesson of them, all that
they would do would be to paint before you, and leave you to look on
and pick up what knowledge you could.  I know that ~I~ cannot draw
anything worth looking at, -"

"Indeed, but -"

"But Fred," continued Miss Patty, who was going at too great a pace
to be stopped, "but Fred is as good as many masters that you would
meet with; so it will be an advantage to you to come and look over

"I think I should prefer to look over you."

"Now you are paying compliments, and I don't like them.  But, if you
will come, you will really be useful.  You see I am mercenary in my
wishes, after all.  Here is Fred with a load of sketching materials;
won't you take pity on him, and relieve him of my share of his

If I could take ~you~ off his hands, thought Verdant, I should be
better pleased.  But Miss Patty won the day; and Verdant took
possession of her sketching-block and drawing materials, and set off
with them to Brankham Law.

Frederick Delaval was a yachtsman, and owner of the ~Fleur-


de-lys~, a cutter yacht, of fifty tons.  Besides being inclined to
amateur nautical pursuits, he was also partial to an amateur nautical
costume; and he further dressed the character of a yachtsman by
slinging round him his telescope, which was protected from storms and
salt water by a leathern case.  This telescope was, in a moment,
uncased and brought to bear upon everybody and everything, at every
opportunity, in proper nautical fashion, being used by him for
distant objects as other people would use an eyeglass for nearer
things.  And no sooner had they arrived at the grassy ~plateau~ that
marked the summit of Brankham Law, than the telescope was unslung,
and its proprietor swept the horizon - for there was a distant view
of the ocean - in search of the ~Fleur-de-lys~.

"I am afraid," he said, "that we shall not be able to make
 her out; the distance is almost too great to distinguish
her from other vessels, although the whiteness of her sails would
assist us to a recognition.  If the skipper got under way at the hour
I told him, he ought about this time to be rounding the headland that
you see stretching out yonder."

"I think I see a white sail in that direction," said Miss Patty, as
she shaded her eyes with her hand, and looked out earnestly in the
required quarter.

"My dear Patty," laughed her cousin, "if you knew anything of
nautical matters, you would see that it was not a cutter yacht, for
she has more than one mast; though, certainly, as you saw her, she
seemed to have but one, for she was just coming about, and was in


"In stays!" exclaimed Miss Patty; "why what singular expressions you
sailors have!"

"Oh yes!" said Frederick Delaval, "and some vessels have waists -
like young ladies.  But now I think I see the ~Fleur-de-lys~! that
gaff tops'l yard was never carried by a coasting vessel.  To be sure
it is! the skipper knows how to handle her; and, if the breeze holds,
she will soon reach her port.  Come and have a look at her, Patty,
while I rest the glass for you."  So he balanced it on his shoulder,
while Miss Patty looked through it with her one eye, and placed her
fingers upon the other - after the manner of young ladies when they
look through a telescope; and then burst into such animated, but not
thoughtful observations, as "Oh! I can see it quite plainly.  Oh! it
is rolling about so! Oh! there are two little men in it! Oh! one of
them's pulling a rope! Oh! it all seems to be brought so near!" as if
there had been some doubt on the matter, and she had expected the
telescope to make things invisible.  Miss Patty was quite in childish
delight at watching the ~Fleur-de-lys~' movements, and seemed to
forget all about the proposed sketch, although Mr. Verdant Green had
found her a comfortable rock seat, and had placed her drawing
materials ready for use.

"How happy and confiding they are!" he thought, as he gazed upon them
thus standing together; "they seem to be made for each other.  He is
far more fitted for her than I am.  I wonder if I shall ever see them
after they are - married.  ~I~ shall never be married."  And, after
this morbid fashion, the young gentleman took a melancholy pleasure
in arranging his future.

It was about this time that the divine afflatus - which had lain
almost dormant since his boyish "Address to the Moon" - was again
manifested in him by the production of numberless poetical effusions,
in which his own poignant anguish and Miss Patty's incomparable
attractions were brought forward in verses of various degrees of
mediocrity.  They were also equally varied in their style and
treatment; one being written in a fierce and gloomy Byronic strain,
while another followed the lighter childish style of Wordsworth.  To
this latter class, perhaps, belonged the following lines, which,
having accidentally fallen into the hands of Mr. Bouncer, were
pronounced by him to be "no end good! first-rate fun!" for the little
gentleman put a highly erroneous construction upon them, and, to the
great laceration of the author's feelings, imagined them to be
altogether of a comic tendency.  But, when Mr. Verdant Green wrote
them, he probably thought that "deep meaning lieth oft in childish


                "Pretty Patty Honeywood,
                Fresh, and fair, and plump,
                Into your affections
                I should like to jump!
                Into your good graces
                I should like to steal;
                That you lov'd me truly
                I should like to feel.

                "Pretty Patty Honeywood,
                You can little know
                How my sea of passion
                Unto you doth flow;
                How it ever hastens,
                With a swelling tide,
                To its strand of happiness
                At thy darling side.

                "Pretty Patty Honeywood,
                Would that you and I
                Could ask the surpliced parson
                Our wedding knot to tie!
                Oh! my life of sunshine
                Then would be begun,
                Pretty Patty Honeywood,
                When you and I were one."

But by far his greatest poetical achievement was his "Legend of the
Fair Margaret," written in Spenserian metre, and commenced at this
period of his career, though never completed.  The plot was of the
most dismal and intricate kind.  The Fair Margaret was beloved by two
young men, one of whom (Sir Frederico) was dark, and (necessarily,
therefore) as badly disposed a young man as you would desire to keep
out of your family circle, and the other (Sir Verdour) was light, and
(consequently) as mild and amiable as any given number of maiden
aunts could wish.  As a matter of course, therefore, the Fair
Margaret perversely preferred the dark Sir Frederico, who had
poisoned her ears, and told her the most abominable falsehoods about
the good and innocent Sir Verdour; when just as Sir Frederico was
about to forcibly carry away the Fair Margaret-

Why, just then, circumstances over which Mr. Verdant Green had no
control, prevented the ~denouement~, and the completion of "the


                                        CHAPTER VI.


  SOME weeks had passed away very pleasantly to all -
pleasantly even to Mr. Verdant Green; for, although he had not
renewed  his apple-tree conversation with Miss Patty, and was making
progress with his "Legend of the Fair Margaret," yet - it may
possibly have been that the exertion to make "dove" rhyme with
"love," and "gloom" with "doom," occupied his mind to the exclusion
of needless sorrow - he contrived to make himself mournfully amiable,
even if not tolerably happy, in the society of the fair enchantress.

The Honeywood party were indeed a model household; and rode, and
drove, and walked, and fished, and sketched, as a large family of
brothers and sisters might do - perhaps with a little more piquancy
than is generally found in the home-made dish.

They had had more than one little friendly pic-nic and excursion, and
had seen Warkworth, and grown excessively sentimental in its
hermitage; they had lionised Alnwick, and gone over its noble castle,
and sat in Hotspur's chair, and fallen into raptures at the Duchess's
bijou of a dairy, and viewed the pillared ~passant~ lion, with his
tail blowing straight out (owing, probably, to the breezy nature of
his position), and seen the Duke's herd of buffaloes tearing along
their park with streaming manes; and they had gone back to Honeywood
Hall, and received Honeywood guests, and been entertained by them in

But the squire was now about to give a pic-nic on a large scale; and
as it was important, not only in its dimensions and preparations, but
also in bringing about an occurrence that in no small degree affected
Mr. Verdant Green's future life, it becomes his historian's duty to
chronicle the event with the fulness that it merits.  The pic-nic,
moreover, deserves mention because it possessed an individuality of
character, and was unlike the ordinary solemnities attending the
pic-nics of every-day life.

In the first place, the party had to reach the appointed spot - which
was Chillingham - in an unusual manner.  At least half


of the road that had to be traversed was impassable for carriages.
Bridgeless brooks had to be crossed; and what were called "roads"
were little better than the beds of mountain torrents, and in wet
weather might have been taken for such.  Deep channels were worn in
them by the rush of impetuous streams, and no known carriage-springs
could have lived out such ruts.  Carriages, therefore, in this part
of the country, were out of the question.  The squire did what was
usual on such occasions: he appointed, as a rendezvous, a certain
little inn at the extremity of the carriageable part of the road, and
there all the party met, and left their chariots and horses.  They
then - after a little preparatory pic-nic, for many of them had come
from long distances - took possession of certain wagons that were in
waiting for them.

These wagons, though apparently of light build, were constructed for
the country, and were capable of sustaining the severe test of the
rough roads.  Within them were lashed hay-sacks, which, when covered
with railway rugs, formed sufficiently comfortable seats, on which
the divisions of the party sat ~vis-a-vis~, like omnibus travellers.
Frederick Delaval and a few others, on horses and ponies, as
outriders, accompanied the wagon procession, which was by no means
deficient in materials for the picturesque.  The teams of horses were
turned out to their best advantage, and decorated with flowers.  The
fore horse of each team bore his collar of little brass bells, which
clashed out a wild music as they moved along.  The ruddy-faced
wagoners were in their shirt-sleeves, which were tied round with
ribbons; they had gay ribbons also on their hats and whips, and did
not lack bouquets and flowers for the further adornment of their
persons.  Altogether they were most theatrical-looking fellows, and
appeared perfectly prepared to take their places in the ~Sonnambula~,
or any other opera in which decorated rustics have to appear and
unanimously shout their joy and grief at the nightly rate of two
shillings per head.  The light summer dresses of the ladies helped to
make an agreeable variety of colour, as the wagons moved slowly along
the dark heathery hills, now by the side of a brawling brook, and now
by a rugged road.

The joltings of these same roads were, as little Mr. Bouncer
feelingly remarked, facts that must be felt to be believed.  For,
when the wheel of any vehicle is suddenly plunged into a rut or hole
of a foot's depth, and from thence violently extracted with a jerk,
plunge, and wrench, to be again dropped into another hole or rut, and
withdrawn from thence in a like manner, - and when this process is
being simultaneously repeated, with discordant variations, by other
three wheels attached to the self-same vehicle, it will follow, as a
matter of course, that the result


of this experiment will be the violent agitation and commingling of
the movable contents of the said vehicle; and, when these contents
chance to take the semblance of humanity, it may   readily
be imagined what must have been the scene presented to the view as
the pic-nic wagons, with their human freight, laboured thro' the
mountain roads that led towards Chillingham.  But all this only gave
a zest to the day's enjoyment; and, if Miss Patty Honeywood was
unable to maintain her seat without assistance from her neighbour,
Mr. Verdant Green, it is not at all improbable but that she approved
of his kind attention, and that the other young ladies who were
similarly situated accepted similar attentions with similar gratitude.

In this way they literally jogged along to Chillingham, where they
alighted from their novel carriages and four, and then leisurely made
their way to the castle.  When they had sufficiently lionized it, and
had strolled through the gardens, they went to have a look at the
famous wild cattle.  Our Warwickshire friends had frequently had a
distant view of them; for the cattle kept together in a herd, and as
their park was on the slope of a dark hill, they were visible from
afar off as a moving white patch on the landscape.  On the present
occasion they found that the cattle, which numbered their full herd
of about a hundred strong, were quietly grazing on the border of
their pine-wood, where a few of their fellow-tenants, the original
red-deer, were lifting their enormous antlers.  From their position
the pic-nic party were unable to obtain a very near view of them; but
the curiosity of the young ladies was strongly excited, and would not
be allayed without a closer acquaintance with these formidable but
beautiful creatures.  And it therefore happened that, when the
courageous Miss Bouncer proposed that they should make an incursion
into the very territory of the Wild Cattle, her proposition was not
only seconded, but was carried almost unanimously.  It was in vain


that Mr. Honeywood, and the seniors and chaperones of the party,
reminded the younger people of the grisly head they had just seen
hanging up in the lodge, and those straight sharp horns that had
gored to death the brave keeper who had risked his own life to save
his master's friend; it was in vain that Charles Larkyns, fearful for
his Mary's sake, quoted the "Bride of Lammermoor," and urged the
improbability of another Master of Ravenswood starting out of the
bushes to the rescue of a second Lucy Ashton; it was in vain that
anecdotes were told of the fury of these cattle - how they would
single out some aged or wounded companion, and drive him out of the
herd until he miserably died, and how they would hide themselves for
days within their dark pine-wood, where no one dare attack them; it
was in vain that Mr. Verdant Green reminded Miss Patty Honeywood of
her narrow escape from Mr. Roarer, and warned her that her then
danger was now increased a hundredfold; all in vain, for Miss Patty
assured him that the cattle were as peaceable as they were beautiful,
and that they only attacked people in self-defence when provoked or
molested.  So, as the young ladies were positively bent upon having a
nearer view of the milk-white herd, the greater number of the
gentlemen were obliged to accompany them.

It was no easy matter to get into the Wild Cattle's enclosure, as the
boundary fence was of unusual height, and the difficulty of its being
scaled by ladies was proportionately increased.  Nevertheless, the
fence and the difficulty were alike surmounted, and the party were
safely landed within the park.  They had promised to obey Mr.
Honeywood's advice, and to abstain from that mill-stream murmur of
conversation in which a party of young ladies usually indulge, and to
walk quietly among the trees, across an angle of the park, at some
two or three hundred yards' distance from the herd, so as not to
unnecessarily attract their attention; and then to scale the fence at
a point higher up the hill.  Following this advice, they walked
quietly across the mossy grass, keeping behind trees, and escaping
the notice of the cattle.  They had reached midway in their proposed
path, and, with silent admiration, were watching the movements of the
herd as they placidly grazed at a short distance from them, when Miss
Bouncer, who was addicted to uncontrollable fits of laughter at
improper seasons, was so tickled at some ~sotto voce~ remark of
Frederick Delaval's, that she burst into a hearty ringing laugh,
which, ere she could smother its noise with her handkerchief, had
startled the watchful ears of the monarch of the herd.

The Bull raised his magnificent head, and looked round in the
direction from whence the disturbance had proceeded.  As he perceived
it, he sniffed the air, made a rapid movement with his


pink-edged ears, and gave an ominous bellow.  This signal awoke the
attention of the other bulls, their wives, and children, who
simultaneously left off grazing and commenced gazing.  The bovine
monarch gave another bellow, stamped upon the ground, lashed his
tail, advanced about twenty yards in a threatening manner, and then
paused, and gazed fixedly upon the pic-nic party and Miss Bouncer,
who too late regretted her malapropos laugh.  "For heaven's sake!"
whispered Mr. Honeywood, "do not speak; but get to the fence as
quietly and quickly as you can."

The young ladies obeyed, and forbore either to scream or faint - for
the present.  The Bull gave another stamp and bellow, and made a
second advance.  This time he came about fifty yards before he
paused, and he was followed at a short distance, and at a walking
pace, by the rest of the herd.  The ladies retreated quietly, the
gentlemen came after them, but the park-fence appeared to be at a
terribly long distance, and it was evident that if the herd made a
sudden rush upon them, nothing could save them - unless they could
climb the trees; but this did not seem very practicable.  Mr. Verdant
Green, however, caught at the probability of such need, and anxiously
looked round for the most likely tree for his purpose.

The Bull had made another advance, and was gaining upon them.  It
seemed curious that he should stand forth as the champion of the
herd, and do all the roaring and stamping, while the other bulls
remained mute, and followed with the rest of the herd, yet so it was;
but there seemed no reason to disbelieve the unpleasant fact that the
monarch's example would be imitated by his subjects.  The herd had
now drawn so near, and the young ladies had made such a comparatively
slow retreat, that they were yet many yards distant from the boundary
fence, and it was quite plain that they could not reach it before the
advancing milk-white mass would be hurled against them.  Some of the
young ladies were beginning to feel faint and hysterical, and their
alarm was more or less shared by all the party.

It was now, by Charles Larkyns's advice, that the more active
gentlemen mounted on to the lower branches of the wide-spreading
trees, and, aided by others upon the ground, began to lift up the
ladies to places of security.  But, the party being a large one, this
caring for its more valued but less athletic members was a business
that could not be transacted without the expenditure of some little
time and trouble, more, as it seemed, than could now be bestowed;
for, the onward movement of the Chillingham Cattle was more rapid
than the corresponding upward movement of the Northumbrian
pic-nickers.  And, even if Charles Larkyns's plan should have a


favourable issue, it did not seem a very agreeable prospect to be
detained up in a tree, with a century of bulls bellowing beneath,
until casual assistance should arrive; and yet, what was this state
of affairs when compared with the terrors of that impending fate from
which, for some of them at least, there seemed no escape? Mr. Verdant
Green fully realized the horrors of this alternative when he looked
at Miss Patty Honeywood, who had not yet joined those ladies who,
clinging fearfully to the boughs, and crouching among the branches
like roosting guinea-fowls, were for the present in comparative
safety, and out of the reach of the Cattle.

The monarch of the herd had now come within forty yards' distance, and
then stopped, lashing his tail and bellowing defiance, as he appeared
to be preparing for a final rush.  Behind him, in a dense phalanx,
white and terrible, were the rest of the herd.  Suddenly, and before
the Snowy Bull had made his advance, Frederick Delaval, to the
wondering fear of all, stepped boldly forth to meet him.  As has been
said, he was one of the equestrians of the party, and he carried a
heavy-handled whip, furnished with a long and powerful lash.  He
wrapped this lash round his hand, and walked resolutely towards the
Bull, fixing his eyes steadily upon him.  The Bull chafed angrily,
and stamped upon the ground, but did not advance.  The herd, also,
were motionless; but their dark, lustrous eyes were centred upon
Frederick Delaval's advancing figure.  The members of the pic-nic
party were also watching him with intense interest.  If they could,
they would have prevented his purpose; for to all appearance he was
about to lose his own life in order that the rest of the party might
gain time to reach a place of safety.  The very expectation of this
prevented many of the ladies availing themselves of the opportunity
thus so boldly purchased, and they stood transfixed with terror and
astonishment, breathlessly awaiting the result.

They watched him draw near the wild white Bull, who stood there yet,
foaming and stamping up the turf, but not advancing.  His huge horned
head was held erect, and his mane bristled up, as he looked upon the
adversary who thus dared to brave him.  He suffered Frederick Delaval
to approach him, and only betrayed a consciousness of his presence by
his heavy snorting, angry lashing of the tail, and quick motion of
his bright eye.  All this time the young man had looked the Bull
steadfastly in the front, and had drawn near him with an equal and
steady step.  Suppressed screams broke from more than one witness of
his bravery, when he at length stood within a step of his huge
adversary.  He gazed fixedly into the Bull's eyes, and, after a
moment's pause, suddenly raised his riding-whip, and lashed the
animal heavily over the shoulders.  The Bull tossed round,


and roared with fury.  The whole herd became agitated, and other
bulls trotted up to support their monarch.

Still looking him steadfastly in the eyes, Frederick Delaval again
raised his heavy whip, and lashed him more severely than before.  The
Wild Bull butted down, swerved round, and dashed out with his heels.
As he did so, Frederick again struck him heavily with the whip, and,
at the same time, blew a piercing signal on the boatswain's whistle
that he usually carried with him.  The sudden shriek of the whistle
appeared to put the ~coup de grace~ to the young man's bold attack,
for the animal had no sooner heard it than he tossed up his head and
threw forward his ears, as though to ask from whence the novel noise
proceeded.  Frederick Delaval again blew a piercing shriek on the
whistle; and when the Wild Bull heard it, and once more felt the
stinging lash of the heavy whip, he swerved round, and with a bellow
of pain and fury trotted back to the herd.  The young man blew
another shrill whistle, and cracked the long lash of his whip until
its echoes reverberated like so many pistol-shots.  The Wild Bull's
trot increased to a gallop, and he and the whole herd of the
Chillingham Cattle dashed rapidly away from the pic-nic party, and in
a little time were lost to view in the recesses of their forest.

"Thank God!" said Mr. Honeywood; and it was echoed in the hearts of
all.  But the Squire's emotion was too deep for words, as he went to
meet Frederick Delaval, and pressed him by the hand.

"Get the women outside the park as quickly as possible," said
Frederick, "and I will join you."

But when this was done, and Mr. Honeywood had returned to him, he
found him lying motionless beneath the tree.


                                        CHAPTER VII.


  AMONG other things that Mr. Honeywood had thoughtfully
provided for the pic-nic was a flask of pale brandy, which, for its
better preservation, he had kept in his own pocket.  This was
fortunate, as it enabled the Squire to make use of it for Frederick
Delaval's recovery.  He had fainted: his concentrated courage and
resolution had borne him bravely up to a certain point, and then his
overtaxed energies had given way when the necessity for their
exertion was removed.  When he had come to himself, he appeared to be
particularly thankful that there had not been a spectator of (what he
deemed to be) his unpardonable foolishness in giving way to a
weakness that he considered should be indulged in by none other than
faint-hearted women; and he earnestly begged the Squire to be silent
on this little episode in the day's adventure.

When they had left the Wild Cattle's park, and had joined the rest of
the party, Frederick Delaval received the hearty thanks that he so
richly deserved; and this, with such an exuberant display of feminine
gratitude as to lead Mr. Bouncer to observe that, if Mr. Delaval
chose to take a mean advantage of his position, he could have
immediately proposed to two-thirds of the ladies, without the
possibility of their declining his offer: at which remark Mr. Verdant
Green experienced an uncomfortable sensation, as he thought of the
probable issue of events if Mr. Delaval should partly act upon Mr.
Bouncer's suggestion, by selecting one young lady - his cousin Patty
- and proposing to her.  This reflection became strengthened into a
determination to set the matter at rest, decide his doubts, and put
an end to his suspense, by taking the first opportunity to renew with
Miss Patty that most interesting apple-tree conversation that had
been interrupted by Mr. Bouncer at such a critical moment.

The pic-nic party, broken up into couples and groups, slowly made
their way up the hill to Ros Castle - the doubly-intrenched British
fort on the summit - where the dinner was to take place.  It was a
rugged road, running along the side of the


park, bounded by rocky banks, and shaded by trees.  It was tenanted
as usual by a Faw gang, - a band of gipsies, whose wild and gay
attire, with their accompaniments of tents, carts, horses, dogs, and
fires, added picturesqueness to the scene.  With the characteristic
of their race - which appears to be a shrewd mixture of mendicity and
mendacity - they at once abandoned their business of tinkering and
peg-making; and, resuming their other business of fortune-telling and
begging, they judiciously distributed themselves among the various
divisions of the pic-nic party.

Mr. Verdant Green was strolling up the hill lost in meditation, and
so inattentive to the wiles of Miss Eleonora Morkin, and her sister
Letitia Jane (two fascinating young ladies who were bent upon turning
the pic-nic to account), that they had left him, and had forcibly
attached themselves to Mr. Poletiss (a soft young gentleman from the
neighbourhood of Wooler), when a gipsy woman, with a baby at her back
and two children at her heels, singled out our hero as a not unlikely
victim, and began at once to tell his fate, dispensing with the aid
of stops:-

"May the heavens rain blessings on your head my pretty gentleman give
the poor gipsy a piece of silver to buy her a bit for the bairns and
I can read by the lines in your face my pretty gentleman that you're
born to ride in a golden coach and wear buckles of diemints and that
your heart's opening like a flower to help the poor gipsy to get her
a trifle for her poor famishing bairns that I see the tears of pity
astanding like pearls in your eyes my pretty gentleman and may you
never know the want of the shilling that I see you're going to give
the poor gipsy who will send you all the rich blessings of heaven if
you will but cross her hand with the bright pieces of silver that are
not half so bright as the sweet eyes of the lady that's awaiting and
athinking of you my pretty gentleman."

This unpunctuated exhortation of the dark-eyed prophetess was here
diverted into a new channel by the arrival of Miss Patty Honeywood,
who had left her cousin Frank, and had brought her sketch-book to the
spot where "the pretty gentleman" and the fortune-teller were

"I do so want to draw a real gipsy," she said.  "I have never yet
sketched one; and this is a good opportunity.  These little brownies
of children, with their Italian faces and hair, are very picturesque
in their rags."

"Oh! do draw them!" said Verdant enthusiastically, as he perceived
that the rest of the party had passed out of sight.   "It is a
capital opportunity, and I dare say they will have no objection to be

"May the heavens be the hardest bed you'll ever have to lie on my
pretty rosebud," said the unpunctuating descendant of


John Faa, as she addressed herself to Miss Patty; "and you're welcome
to take the poor gipsy's picture and to cross her hand 
with the shining silver while she reads the stars and picks you out a
prince of a husband and twelve pretty bairns like the" -

"No, no!" said Miss Patty, checking the gipsy in her bounteous
promises. "I'll give you something for letting me sketch you, but I
won't have my fortune told.  I know it already; at least as much as
I care to know."  A speech which Mr. Verdant Green interpreted thus:
Frederick Delaval has proposed, and has been accepted.

"Pray don't let me keep you from the rest of the party," said Miss
Patty to our hero, while the gipsy shot out fragments of persuasive
oratory.  "I can get on very well by myself."

"She wants to get rid of me," thought Verdant.   "I dare say her
cousin is coming back to her."  But he said, "At any rate let me stay
until Mr. Delaval rejoins you."

"Oh! he is gone on with the rest, like a polite man.   The Miss
Maxwells and their cousins were all by themselves."

"But ~you~ are all by ~yourself~" and, by your own showing, I ought
to prove my politeness by staying with you."

"I suppose that is Oxford logic," said Miss Patty, as she went on
with her sketch of the two gipsy children.  "I wish these small
persons would stand quiet.  Put your hands on your stick, my boy, and
not before your face.  - But there are the Miss Morkins, with one
gentleman for the two; and I dare say you would much rather be with
Miss Eleonora.  Now, wouldn't you?" and the young lady, as she
rapidly sketched the figures before her, stole a sly look at the
enamoured gentleman by her side, who forthwith protested, in an
excited and confused manner, that he would rather stand near her for
one minute than walk and talk for a whole day with the Miss Morkins;
and then, having made this (for him) unusually strong avowal, he
timidly blushed, and retired within himself.

"Oh yes!  I dare say," said Miss Patty; "but I don't believe in
compliments.  If you choose to victimize yourself by


staying here, of course you can do so. - Look at me, little girl; you
needn't be frightened; I shan't eat you. - And perhaps you can be
useful.  I want some water to wash-in these figures; and if they were
literally washed in it, it would be very much to their advantage,
wouldn't it?"

Of course it would; and of course Mr. Verdant Green was delighted to
obey the command.  "What spirits she is in!" he thought, as he dipped
the little can of water into the spring.  "I dare say it is because
she and her cousin Frederick have come to an understanding."

"If you are anxious to hear a fortune told," said Miss Patty, "here
is the old gipsy coming back to us, and you had better let her tell

"I am afraid that I know it."

"And do you like the prospect of it?"

"Not at all!" and as he said this Mr. Verdant Green's countenance
fell.  Singularly enough, a shade of sadness also stole over Miss
Patty's sunny face.  What could he mean?

A somewhat disagreeable silence was broken by the gipsy most volubly
echoing Miss Patty's request.

"You had better let her tell you your fortune," said the young lady;
"perhaps it may be an improvement on what you expected.  And I shall
be able to make a better sketch of her in her true character of a

Then, like as Martivalle inspected Quentin Durward's palm, according
to the form of the mystic arts which he practised, so the swarthy
prophetess opened her Book of Fate, and favoured Mr. Verdant Green
with choice extracts from its contents.  First, she told the pretty
gentleman a long rigmarole about the stars, and a planet that ought
to have shone upon him, but didn't.  Then she discoursed of a
beautiful young lady, with a heart as full of love as a pomegranate
was full of seeds, - painting, in pretty exact colours, a lively
portraiture of Miss Patty, which was no very difficult task, while
the fair original was close at hand; nevertheless, the infatuated
pretty gentleman was deeply impressed with the gipsy narrative, and
began to think that the practice and knowledge of the occult sciences
may, after all, have been handed down to the modern representatives
of the ancient Egyptians.  He was still further impressed with this
belief when the gipsy proceeded to tell him that he was passionately
attached to the pomegranate-hearted young lady, but that his path of
true love was crossed by a rival - a dark man.

Frederick Delaval! This is really most extraordinary! thought Mr.
Verdant Green, who was not familiar with a fortune-teller's stock in
trade; and he waited with some anxiety for the further unravelling of
his fate.


The cunning gipsy saw this, and broadly hinted that another piece of
silver placed upon the junction of two cross lines in the 
pretty gentleman's right palm would materially propitiate the stars,
and assist in the happy solution of his fortune.  When the hint had
been taken she pursued her romantic narrative.  Her elaborate but
discursive summing-up comprehended the triumph of Mr. Verdant Green,
the defeat of the dark man, the marriage of the former to the
pomegranate-hearted young lady, a yellow carriage and four white
horses with long tails, and, last but certainly not least, a family
of twelve children: at which childish termination Miss Patty laughed,
and asked our hero if that was the fate that he had dreaded?

Her sketch being concluded, she remunerated her models so
munificently as to draw down upon her head a rapid series of the most
wordy and incoherent blessings she had ever heard, under cover of
which she effected her escape, and proceeded with her companion to
rejoin the others.  They were not very far in advance.  The gipsies
had beset them at divers points in their progress, and had made no
small number of them yield to their importunities to cross their
hands with silver.  When the various members of the pic-nic party
afterwards came to compare notes as to the fortunes that had been
told them, it was discovered that a remarkable similarity pervaded
the fates of all, though their destinies were greatly influenced by
the amount expended in crossing the hand; and it was observable that
the number of children promised to bless the nuptial tie was also
regulated by a sliding-scale of payment - the largest payers being
rewarded with the assurance of the largest families.  It was also
discovered that the description of the favoured lover was invariably
the verbal delineation of the lady or gentleman who chanced to be at
that time walking with the person whose fortune was being told - a
prophetic discrimination worthy of all praise, since it had the
pretty good security of being correct in more than one case, and in
the other cases there was the


chance of the prophecy coming true, however improbable present events
would appear.  Thus, Miss Eleonora Morkin received, and was perfectly
satisfied with, a description of Mr. Poletiss; while Miss Letitia
Jane Morkin was made supremely happy with a promise of a
similarly-described gentleman; until the two sisters had compared
notes, when they discovered that the same husband had been promised
to both of them - which by no means improved their sororal amiability.

As Verdant walked up the hill with Miss Patty, he thought very
seriously on his feelings towards her, and pondered what might be the
nature of her feelings in regard to him.  He believed that she was
engaged to her cousin Frederick.  All her little looks, and acts, and
words to himself, he could construe as the mere tokens of the
friendship of a warm-hearted girl.  If she was inclined to a little
flirtation, there was then an additional reason for her notice of
him.  Then he thought that she was of far too noble a disposition to
lead him on to a love which she could not, or might not wish to,
return; and that she would not have said and done many little things
that he fondly recalled, unless she had chosen to show him that he
was dearer to her than a mere friend.  Having ascended to the heights
of happiness by this thought, Verdant immediately plunged from thence
into the depths of misery, by calling to mind various other little
things that she had said and done in connection with her cousin; and
he again forced himself into the conviction that in Frederick Delaval
he had a rival, and, what was more, a successful one.  He determined,
before the day was over, to end his tortures of suspense by putting
to Miss Patty the plain question whether or no she was engaged to her
cousin, and to trust to her kindness to forgive the question if it
was an impertinent one.  He was unable to do this for the present,
partly from lack of courage, and partly from the too close
neighbourhood of others of the party; but he concocted several
sentences that seemed to him to be admirably adapted to bring about
the desired result.

"How abstracted you are!" said Miss Patty to him rather abruptly.
"Why don't you make yourself agreeable? For the last three minutes
you have not taken your eyes off Kitty."  (She was walking just before
them, with her cousin Frederick.) "What were you thinking about?"

Perhaps it was that he was suddenly roused from deep thought, and had
no time to frame an evasive reply; but at any rate Mr. Verdant Green
answered, "I was thinking that Mr. Delaval had proposed, and had been
accepted."  And then he was frightened at what he had said; for Miss
Patty looked confused and surprised.  "I see that it is so," he
sighed, and his heart sank within him.


"How did you find it out?" she replied.  "It is a secret for the
present; and we do not wish any one to know of it."

"My dear Patty," said Frederick Delaval, who had waited for them to
come up, "wherever have you been? We thought the gipsies had stolen
you.  I am dying to tell you my fortune.  I was with Miss Maxwell at
the time, and the old woman described her to me as my future wife.
The fortune-teller was slightly on the wrong tack, wasn't she?"  So
Frederick Delaval and the Misses Honeywood laughed; and Mr. Verdant
Green also laughed in a very savage manner; and they all seemed to
think it a very capital joke, and walked on together in very capital

"My last hope is gone!" thought Verdant.  "I have now heard my fate
from her own lips."

                                        CHAPTER VIII.

                        MR. VERDANT GREEN CROSSES THE RUBICON.

  THE pic-nic dinner was laid near to the brow of the hill of
Ros Castle, on the shady side of the park wall.  In this cool
retreat, with the thick summer foliage to screen them from the hot
sun, they could feast undisturbed either by the Wild Cattle or the
noon-day glare, and drink in draughts of beauty from the wide-spread
landscape before them.

The hill on which they were seated was broken up into the most
picturesque undulations; here, the rock cropped out from the mossy
turf; there, the blaeberries (the bilberries of more southern
counties) clustered in myrtle-like bushes.  The intrenched hill
sloped down to a rich plain, spreading out for many miles, traversed
by the great north road, and dotted over with hamlets.  Then came a
brown belt of sand, and a broken white line of breakers; and then the
sea, flecked with crested waves, and sails that glimmered in the
dreamy distance.  Holy Island was also in sight, together with the
rugged Castle of Bamborough, and the picturesque groups of the Staple
and the Farn Islands, covered with sea-birds, and circled with pearls
of foam.  The immediate foreground presented a very cheering pros-


pect to hungry folks.  The snowy table-cloth - held down upon the
grass by fragments of rock against the surprise of high winds - was
dappled over with loins of lamb, and lobster salads, and pigeon-pies,
and veal cakes, and grouse, and game, and ducks, and cold fowls, and
ruddy hams, and helpless tongues, and cool cucumbers, and pickled
salmon, and roast-beef of old England, and oyster patties, and
venison pasties, and all sorts of pastries, and jellies, and
custards, and ice: to say nothing of piles of peaches, and
nectarines, and grapes, and melons, and pines.  Everything had been
remembered - even the salt, and the knives and forks, which are
usually forgotten at ~alfresco~ entertainments.  All this was very
cheering, and suggestive of enjoyment and creature comforts.  Wines
and humbler liquids stood around; and, for the especial delectation
of the ladies, a goodly supply of champagne lay cooling itself in
some ice-pails, under the tilt of the cart that had brought it.  This
cart-tilt, draped over with loose sacking, formed a very good
imitation of a gipsy tent, that did not in the least detract from the
rusticity of the scene, more especially as close behind it was
burning a gipsy fire, surmounted by a triple gibbet, on which hung a
kettle, melodious even then, and singing through its swan-like neck
an intimation of its readiness to aid, at a moment's notice, in the
manufacture of whisky-toddy.

The dinner was a very merry affair.  The gentlemen vied with the
servants in attending to the wants of the ladies, and 
were assiduous in the duties of cutting and carving; while the sharp
popping of the champagne, and the heavier artillery of the pale ale
and porter bottles, made a pleasant fusillade.  Little Mr. Bouncer
was especially deserving of notice.  He sat with his legs in the
shape of the letter V inverted, his legs being forced to retain their
position from the fact of three dishes of various dimensions being
arranged between them in a diminuendo passage.  These three dishes he
vigorously attacked, not only on his own account, but also on behalf
of his neighbours, more especially Miss Fanny Green, who reclined by
his side in an oriental posture, and made a table of her lap.  The
disposition of the rest of


the ~dramatis personae~ was also noticeable, as also their positions
- their sitting ~a la~ Turk or tailor, and their ~degages~ attitudes
and costumes.  Charles Larkyns had got by Mary Green; Mr. Poletiss
was placed, sandwich-like, between the two Miss Morkins, who were
both making love to him at once; Frederick Delaval was sitting in a
similar fashion between the two Miss Honeywoods, who were not,
however, both making love to him at once; and on the other side of
Miss Patty was Mr. Verdant Green.  The infatuated young man could not
drag himself away from his conqueror.  Although, from her own
confession, he had learnt what he had many times suspected - that
Frederick Delaval had proposed and had been accepted - yet he still
felt a pleasure in burning his wings and fluttering round his light
of love.  "An affection of the heart cannot be cured at a moment's
notice," thought Verdant; "to-morrow I will endeavour to begin the
task of forgetting - to-day, remembrance is too recent; besides,
every one is expected to enjoy himself at a pic-nic, and I must
appear to do the same."

But it did not seem as though Miss Patty had any intention of
allowing those in her immediate vicinity to betake themselves to the
dismals, or to the produce of wet-blankets, for she was in the very
highest spirits, and insisted, as it were, that those around her
should catch the contagion of her cheerfulness.  And it accordingly
happened that Mr. Verdant Green seemed to be as merry as was old King
Cole, and laughed and talked as though black care was anywhere else
than between himself and Miss Patty Honeywood.

Close behind Miss Patty was the gipsy-tent-looking cart-tilt; and
when the dinner was over, and there was a slight change of places,
while the fragments were being cleared away and the dessert and wine
were being placed on the table - that is to say, the cloth - Miss
Patty, under pretence of escaping from a ray of sunshine that had
pierced the trees and found its way to her face, retreated a yard or
so, and crouched beneath the pseudo gipsy-tent.  And what so natural
but that Mr. Verdant Green should also find the sun disagreeable, and
should follow his light of love, to burn his wings a little more, and
flutter round her fascinations? At any rate, whether natural or no,
Verdant also drew back a yard or so, and found himself half within
the cart-tilt, and very close to Miss Patty.

The pic-nic party were stretched at their ease upon the grass,
drinking wine, munching fruit, talking, laughing, and flirting, with
the blue sea before them and the bluer sky above them, when said the
squire in heroic strain, "Song alone is wanting to crown our feast!
Charles Larkyns, you have not only the face of a singer, but, as we
all know, you have the


voice of one.  I therefore call upon you to set our minstrels an
example; and, as a propitiatory measure, I beg to propose 
your health, with eulogistic thanks for the song you are about to
sing!"  Which was unanimously seconded amid laughter and cheers; and
the pop of the champagne bottles gave Charles Larkyns the key-note
for his song.  It was suited to the occasion (perhaps it was composed
for it?), being a paean for a pic-nic, and it stated (in chorus)-

                        "Then these aids to success
                        Should a pic-nic possess
                        For the cup of its joy to be brimming:
                        Three things there should shine
                        Fair, agreeable, and fine-
                        The Weather, the Wine, and the Women!"

A rule of pic-nics which, if properly worked out, could not fail to

Other songs followed; and Mr. Poletiss, being a young gentleman of a
meek appearance and still meeker voice, lyrically informed the
company that "Oh! he was a pirate bold, The scourge of the wide, wide
sea, With a murd'rous thirst for gold, And a life that was wild and
free!"  And when Mr. Poletiss arrived at this point, he repeated the
last word two or three times over - just as if he had been King
George the Third visiting Whitbread's Brewery-

  "Grains, grains!" said majesty, "to fill their crops?
  Grains, grains! that comes from hops - yes, hops, hops, hops!"

So Mr. Poletiss sang, "And a life that was wild and free, free, free,
And a life that was wild and free."  To this charming lyric there was
a chorus of, "Then hurrah for the pirate bold, And hurrah for the
rover wild, And hurrah for the yellow gold, And hurrah for the
ocean's child!" the mild enunciation of which highly moral and
appropriate chant appeared to give Mr. Poletiss great satisfaction,
as he turned his half-shut eyes to the sky, and fashioned his mouth
into a smile.  Mr. Bouncer's love for a chorus was conspicuously
displayed on this occasion;


and Miss Eleonora and Miss Letitia Jane Morkin added their feeble
trebles to the hurrahs with which Mr. Poletiss, in his George the
Third fashion, meekly hailed the advantages to be derived from a
pirate's career.

But what was Mr. Verdant Green doing all this time? The sunbeam had
pursued him, and proved so annoying that he had found it necessary to
withdraw altogether into the shade of the pseudo gipsy-tent.  Miss
Patty Honeywood had made such room for him that she was entirely
hidden from the rest of the party by the rude drapery of the tent.
By the time that Mr. Poletiss had commenced his piratical song, Miss
Patty and Verdant were deep in a whispered conversation.  It was she
who had started the conversation, and it was about the gipsy and her

Just when Mr. Poletiss had given his first imitation of King George,
and was mildly plunging into his hurrah chorus, Mr. Verdant Green -
whose timidity, fears, and depression of spirits had somewhat been
dispelled and alleviated by the allied powers of Miss Patty and the
champagne - was speaking thus: "And do you really think that she was
only inventing, and that the dark man she spoke of was a creature of
her own imagination?"

"Of course!" answered Miss Patty; "you surely don't believe that she
could have meant any one in particular, either in the gentleman's
case or in the lady's?"

"But, in the lady's, she evidently described ~you~."

"Very likely! just as she would have described any other young lady
who might have chanced to be with you: Miss Morkin, for example.  The
gipsy knew her trade."

"Many true words are spoken in jest.  Perhaps it was not altogether
idly that she spoke; perhaps I ~did~ care for the lady she described."

The sunbeam must surely have penetrated through the tent's coarse
covering, for both Miss Patty and Mr. Verdant Green were becoming
very hot - hotter even than they had been under the apple-tree in the
orchard.  Mr. Poletiss was all this time giving his imitations of
George the Third, and lyrically expressing his opinion as to the
advantages to be derived from the profession of a pirate; and, as his
song was almost as long as "Chevy Chase," and mainly consisted of a
chorus, which was energetically led by Mr. Bouncer, there was noise
enough made to drown any whispered conversation in the pseudo

"But," continued Verdant, "perhaps the lady she described did not
care for me, or she would not have given all her love to the dark

"I think," faltered Miss Patty, "the gipsy seemed to say


that the lady preferred the light man.  But you do not believe what
she told you?"

"I would have done so a few days ago - if it had been repeated by

"I scarcely know what you mean."

"Until to-day I had hoped.  It seems that I have built my hopes on a
false foundation, and one word of yours has crumbled them into the

This pretty sentence embodied an idea that he had stolen from his own
~Legend of the Fair Margaret~.  He felt so much pride in his property
that, as Miss Patty looked slightly bewildered and remained
speechless, he reiterated the little quotation  about his
crumbling hopes.  "Whatever can I have done," said the young lady,
with a smile, "to cause such a ruin?"

"It caused you no pain to utter the words," replied Verdant; "and why
should it? but, to me, they tolled the knell of my happiness."  (This
was another quotation from his ~Legend.~)

"Then hurrah for the pirate bold.  And hurrah for the rover wild!"
sang the meek Mr. Poletiss.

Miss Patty Honeywood began to suspect that Mr. Verdant Green had
taken too much champagne!

"What ~do~ you mean?" she said.  "Whatever have I said or done to you
that you make use of such remarkable expressions?"

"And hurrah for the yellow gold, And hurrah for the ocean's child!"
chorussed Messrs. Poletiss, Bouncer, and Co.

Looking as sentimental as his spectacles would allow, Mr. Verdant
Green replied in verse -

                        " 'Hopes that once we've loved to cherish
                        May fade and droop, but never perish!'

as Shakespeare says."  (Although he modestly attributed this
sentiment to the Swan of Avon, it was, nevertheless, another
quotation from his own ~Legend~.) "And it is my case.  ~I~ cannot
forget the Past, though ~you~ may!"


"Really you are as enigmatical as the Sphinx!" said Miss Patty, who
again thought of Mr. Verdant Green in connection with champagne.
"Pray condescend to speak more plainly, for I was never clever at
finding out riddles."

"And have you forgotten what you said to me, in reply to a question
that I asked you, as we came up the hill?"

"Yes, I have quite forgotten.  I dare say I said many foolish things;
but what was the particular foolish thing that so dwells on your

"If it is so soon forgotten, it is not worth repeating."

"Oh, it is! Pray gratify my curiosity.  I am sorry my bad memory
should have given you any pain."

"It was not your bad memory, but your words."

"My bad words?"

"No, not bad; but words that shut out a bright future, and changed my
life to gloom."  (The ~Legend~ again.)

Miss Patty looked more perplexed than ever; while Mr. Poletiss
politely filled up the gap of silence with an imitation of King
George the Third.

"I really do not know what you mean," said Miss Patty.   "If I have
said or done anything that has caused you pain, I can assure you it
was quite unwittingly on my part, and I am very sorry for it; but, if
you will tell me what it was, perhaps I may be able to explain it
away, and disabuse your mind of a false impression."

"I am quite sure that you did not intend to pain me," replied
Verdant; "and I know that it was presumptuous in me to think as I
did.  It was scarcely probable that you would feel as I felt; and I
ought to have made up my mind to it, and have borne my sufferings
with a patient heart."  (The ~Legend~ again!) "And yet when the shock
~does~ come, it is very hard to be borne."

Miss Patty's bright eyes were dilated with wonder, and she again
thought of Mr. Verdant Green in connection with champagne.  Mr.
Poletiss was still taking his pirate through all sorts of flats and
sharps, and chromatic imitations of King George.

"But, what ~is~ this shock?" asked Miss Patty.  "Perhaps I can
relieve it; and I ought to do so if it came through my means."

"You cannot help me," said Verdant.  "My suspicions were confirmed by
your words, and they have sealed my fate."

"But you have not yet told me what those words were, and I must
really insist upon knowing," said Miss Patty, who had begun to look
very seriously perplexed.

"And, can you have forgotten!" was the reply.  "Do you not remember,
that, as we came up the hill, I put a certain


question to you about Mr. Delaval having proposed and having been

"Yes! I remember it very well!  And, what then?"

"And, what then!" echoed Mr. Verdant Green, in the greatest wonder at
the young lady's calmness; "what then! why, when you told me that he
~had~ been accepted, was not that sufficient for me to know? - to
know that all my love had been given to one who was another's, and
that all my hopes were blighted! was not this sufficient to crush me,
and to change the colour of my life?"  And Verdant's face showed
that, though he might be quoting from his ~Legend~, he was yet
speaking from his heart.

"Oh! I little expected this!" faltered Miss Patty, in real grief; "I
little thought of this.  Why did you not speak sooner to some one -
to me, for instance - and have spared yourself this misery? If you
had been earlier made acquainted with Frederick's attachment, you
might then have checked your own.  I did not ever dream of this!"  And
Miss Patty, who had turned pale, and trembled with agitation, could
not restrain a tear.

"It is very kind of you thus to feel for me!" said Verdant; "and all
I ask is, that you will still remain my friend."

"Indeed, I will.  And I am sure Kitty will always wish to be the
same.  She will be sadly grieved to hear of this; for, I can assure
you that she had no suspicion you were attached to her."

"Attached to HER!" cried Verdant, with vast surprise.  "What ever do
you mean?"

"Have you not been telling me of your secret love for her?" answered
Miss Patty, who again turned her thoughts to the champagne.

"Love for ~her~?  No! nothing of the kind."

"What! and not spoken about your grief when I told you that Frederick
Delaval had proposed to her, and had been accepted?"

"Proposed to ~her~?" cried Verdant, in a kind of dreamy swoon.

"Yes!  to whom else do you suppose he would propose?"

"To ~you~!"

"To ME!"

"Yes, to you! Why, have you not been telling me that you were engaged
to him?"

"Telling you that ~I~ was engaged to Fred!" rejoined Miss Patty.
"Why, what could put such an idea into your head? Fred is engaged to
Kitty.  You asked me if it was not so; and I told you, yes, but that
it was a secret at present.  Why, then of whom were ~you~ talking?"


"Of ~you~!"

"Of ~me~?"

"Yes, of you!"  And the scales fell from the eyes of both, and they saw
their mutual mistake.

There was a silence, which Verdant was the first to break.

"It seems that love is really blind.  I now perceive how we have been
playing at cross questions and crooked answers.  When I asked you
about Mr. Delaval, my thoughts were wholly of you, and I spoke of
you, and not of your sister, as you imagined; and I fancied that you
answered not for your sister but for yourself.  When I spoke of my
attachment, it did not refer to your sister, but to you."

"To me?" softly said Miss Patty, as a delicious tremor stole over
her.  "To you, and to you alone," answered Verdant.  The great
stumbling-block of his doubts was now removed, and his way lay clear
before him.  Then, after a momentary pause to nerve his
determination, and without further prelude, or beating about the
bush, he said, "Patty - my dear Miss Honeywood - I love you! do you
love me?"

There it was at last! The dreaded question over which he had passed
so many hours of thought, was at length spoken.  The elaborate
sentences that he had devised for its introduction, had all been
forgotten; and his artificial flowers of oratory had been exchanged
for those simpler blossoms of honesty and truth - "I love you - do
you love me?"  He had imagined that he should put the question to her
when they were alone in some quiet room; or, better still, when they
were wandering together in some sequestered garden walk or shady
lane; and, now, here he had unexpectedly, and undesignedly, found his
opportunity at a pic-nic dinner, with half a hundred people close
beside him, and his ears assaulted with a songster's praises of
piracy and murder.  Strange accompaniments to a declaration of the
tender passion!  But, like others before him, he had found that there
was no such privacy as that of a crowd - the fear of interruption
probably adding a spur to determination, while the laughter and busy
talking of others assist to fill up awkward pauses of agitation in
the converse of the loving couple.

Despite the heat, Miss Patty's cheeks paled for a moment, as Verdant
put to her that question, "Do you love me?"  Then a deep blush stole
over them, as she whispered "I do."

What need for more? what need for pressure of hands or lips, and vows
of love and constancy? What need even for the elder and more
desperate of the Miss Morkins to maliciously suggest that Mr.
Poletiss - who had concluded, amid a great display of approbation
(probably because it ~was~ concluded) his mild piratical chant, and
his imitations of King George the


Third - should call upon Mr. Verdant Green, who, as she understood,
was a very good singer?  "And, dear me! where could he have gone to,
when he was here just now, you know! and, good gracious! why there he
was, under the cart-tilt - and well, I never was so surprised - Miss
Martha Honeywood with him, flirting now, I dare say? shouldn't you
think so?"

No need for this stroke of generalship!  No need for Miss Letitia
Jane Morkin to prompt Miss Fanny Green to bring her brother out of
his retirement.  No need for Mr. Frederick Delaval to say "I thought
you were never going to slip from your moorings!"  Or for little Mr.
Bouncer to cry, "Yoicks! unearthed at last!"  No need for anything,
save the parental sanction to the newly-formed engagement.  Mr.
Verdant Green had proposed, and had been accepted; and Miss Patty
Honeywood could exclaim with Schiller's heroine, "Ich habe gelebt und
geliebet! - I have lived, and have loved!"

                                        CHAPTER IX.

                        MR. VERDANT GREEN ASKS PAPA.

  MISS MORKIN met with her reward before many hours.  The
pic-nic party were on their way home, and had reached within a short
distance of the inn where their wagons had to be exchanged for
carriages.  It has been mentioned that, among the difficulties of the
way, they had to drive through bridgeless brooks; and one of these
was not half-a-mile distant from the inn.
It happened that the mild Mr. Poletiss was seated at the tail end of
the wagon, next to the fair Miss Morkin, who was laying violent siege
to him, with a battery of words, if not of charms.  If the position
of Mr. Poletiss, as to deliverance from his fair foe, was a difficult
one, his position, as to maintaining his seat during the violent
throes and tossings to and fro of the wagon, was even more difficult;
for Mr. Poletiss's mildness of voice was surpassed by his mildness of
manner, and he was far too timid to grasp at the side of the wagon by
placing his arm behind the fair Miss Morkin, lest it should be
supposed that he was assuming the privileged position of a partner in
a ~valse~.  Mr. Poletiss, therefore, whenever they jolted through
ruts or brooks, held on to his hay hassock, and preserved his
equilibrium as best he could.


On the same side of the wagon, but at its upper and safer end, was
seated Mr. Bouncer, who was not slow to perceive that a very slight
~accident~ would destroy Mr. Poletiss's equilibrium; and the little
gentleman's fertile brain speedily concocted a plan, which he
forthwith communicated to Miss Fanny Green, who sat next to him.  It
was this:- that when they were plunging through the brook, and every
one was swaying to and fro, and was thrown off their balance, Mr.
Bouncer should take advantage of the critical moment, and (by
accident, of course!) give Miss Fanny Green a heavy push; this would
drive her against her next neighbour, Miss Patty Honeywood; who, from
the recoil, would literally be precipitated into the arms of Mr.
Verdant Green, who would be pushed against Miss Letitia Jane Morkin,
who would be driven against her sister, who would be propelled
against Mr. Poletiss, and thus give him that ~coup de grace~, which,
as Mr. Bouncer hoped, would have the effect of quietly tumbling him
out of the wagon, and partially ducking him in the brook.  "It won't
hurt him," said the little gentleman; "it'll do him good.  The brook
ain't deep, and a bath will be pleasant such a day as this.  He can
dry his clothes at the inn, and get some steaming toddy, if he's
afraid of catching cold.  And it will be such a lark to see him in
the water.  Perhaps Miss Morkin will take a header, and plunge in to
save him; and he will promise her his hand, and a medal from the
Humane Society! The wagon will be sure to give a heavy lurch as we
come up out of the brook, and what so natural as that we should all
be jolted, against each other?"  It is not necessary to state whether
or no Miss Fanny Green seconded or opposed Mr. Bouncer's motion;
suffice it to say that it was carried out.

They had reached the brook.  Miss Morkin was exclaiming, "Oh, dear!
here's another of those dreadful brooks - the last, I hope, for I
always feel so timid at water, and I never bathe at the sea-side
without shutting my eyes and being pushed into it by the old woman -
and, my goodness! here we are, and I feel convinced that we shall all
be thrown in by those dreadful wagoners, who are quite tipsy I'm sure
- don't you think so, Mr. Poletiss?"

But, ere Mr. Poletiss could meekly respond, the horses had been
quickened into a trot, the wagon had gone down into the brook -
through it - and was bounding up the opposite side - everybody was
holding tightly to anything that came nearest to hand - when, at that
fatal moment, little Mr. Bouncer gave the preconcerted push, which
was passed on, unpremeditatedly, from one to another, until it had
gained its electrical climax in the person of Miss Morkin, who, with
a shriek, was propelled against Mr. Poletiss, and gave the necessary
momentum that


toppled him from the wagon into the brook.  But, dreadful to relate,
Mr. Bouncer's practical joke did not terminate at this fixed point.
Mr. Poletiss, in the suddenness of his fall, naturally struck out at
any straw that might save him; and the straw that he caught was the
dress of Miss Morkin.  She being at that moment off her balance, and
the wagon moving rapidly at an angle of 45°, was unable to save
herself from following the example of Mr. Poletiss, and she also
toppled over into the brook.  A third victim would have been added to
Mr. Bouncer's list, had not Mr. Verdant Green, with considerable
presence of mind, plucked Miss Letitia Jane Morkin from the violent
hands that her sister was laying upon her, in making the same
endeavours after safety that had been so futilely employed by the
luckless Mr. Poletiss.

No sooner had he fallen with a splash into the brook, than Miss
Eleonora Morkin was not only after but upon him.  This was so far
fortunate for the lady, that it released her with only a partial
wetting, and she speedily rolled from off her submerged companion on
to the shore; but it rendered the ducking of Mr. Poletiss a more
complete one, and he scrambled from the brook, dripping and heavy
with wet, like an old ewe emerging from a sheep-shearing tank.  The
wagon had been immediately stopped, and Mr. Bouncer and the other
gentlemen had at once sprung down to Miss Morkin's assistance.  Being
thus surrounded  by a male bodyguard, the young lady could
do no less than go into hysterics, and fall into the nearest
gentleman's arms, and as this gentleman was little Mr. Bouncer he was
partially punished for his practical joke.  Indeed, he afterwards
declared that a severe cold which troubled him for the next fortnight
was attributable to his having held in his arms the damp form of the
dishevelled naiad.  On her recovery - which was effected by Mr.
Bouncer giving way under his burden, and lowering it to the ground -
she utterly refused to be again carried in the wagon; and, as walking
was perhaps better for her under the circumstances, she and


Mr. Poletiss were escorted in procession to the inn hard by, where
dry changes of costume were provided for them by the landlord and his
fair daughter.

As this little misadventure was believed by all, save the privileged
few, to have been purely the result of accident, it was not
permitted, so Mr. Bouncer said, to do as Miss Morkin had done by him
- throw a damp upon the party; and as the couple who had taken a
watery bath met with great sympathy, they had no reason to complain
of the incident.  Especially had the fair Miss Morkin cause to
rejoice therein, for the mild Mr. Poletiss had to make her so many
apologies for having been the innocent cause of her fall, and, as a
reparation, felt  bound to so particularly devote himself
to her for the remainder of the evening, that Miss Morkin was in the
highest state of feminine gratification, and observed to her sister,
when they were preparing themselves for rest, "I am quite sure,
Letitia Jane, that the gipsy woman spoke the truth, and could read
the stars and whatdyecallems as easy as ~a b c~.  She told me that I
should be married to a man with light whiskers and a soft voice, and
that he would come to me from over the water; and it's quite evident
that she referred to Mr. Poletiss and his falling into the brook; and
I'm sure if he'd have had a proper opportunity he'd have said
something definite to-night."  So Miss Eleonora Morkin laid her head
upon her pillow, and dreamt of bride-cake and wedding-favours.
Perhaps another young lady under the same roof was dreaming the same

A ball at Honeywood Hall terminated the pleasures of the day.  The
guests had brought with them a change of garments, and were therefore
enabled to make their reappearance in evening costume.  This quiet
interval for dressing was the first moment that Verdant could secure
for sitting down by himself to think over the events of the day.  As
yet the time was too early for him to reflect calmly on the step he
had taken.  His brain was in that kind of delicious stupor which we
experience when, having been aroused from sleep, we again shut our
eyes for a moment's doze.  Past, present, and future were


agreeably mingled in his fancies.  One thought quickly followed upon
another; there was no dwelling upon one special point, but a
succession of crowding feelings chased rapidly through his mind, all
pervaded by that sunny hue that shines out from the knowledge of love

He could not rest until he had told his sister Mary, and made her a
sharer in his happiness.  He found her just without the door,
strolling up and down the drive with Charles Larkyns, so he joined
them; and, as they walked in the pleasant cool of the evening down a
shady walk, he stammered out to them, with many blushes, that Patty
Honeywood had promised to be his wife.

"Cousin Patty is the very girl for you!" said Charles Larkyns, "the
very best choice you could have made.  She will trim you up and keep
you tight, as old Tennyson hath it.  For what says 'the fat-faced
curate Edward Bull?'

                "'I take it, God made the woman for the man
                And for the good and increase of the world.
                A pretty face is well, and this is well,
                To have a dame indoors, that trims us up
                And keeps us tight.'

"Verdant, you are a lucky fellow to have won the love of such a good
and honest-hearted girl, and if there is any room left to mould you
into a better fellow than what you are, Miss Patty is the very one
for the modeller."

At the same time that he was thus being congratulated on his good
fortune and happy prospects, Miss Patty was making a similar
confession to her mother and sister, and receiving the like good
wishes.  And it is probable that Mrs. Honeywood made no delay in
communicating this piece of family news to her liege lord and master;
for when, half an hour afterwards, Mr. Verdant Green had screwed up
his courage sufficiently to enable him to request a private interview
with Mr. Honeywood in the library, the Squire most humanely relieved
him from a large load of embarrassment, and checked the hems and hums
and haws that our hero was letting off like squibs, to enliven his
conversation, by saying, "I think I guess the nature of your errand -
to ask my consent to your engagement with my daughter Martha? Am I

And so, by this grateful helping of a very lame dog over a very
difficult stile, the diplomatic relations and circumlocutions that
are usually observed at horrible interviews of this description were
altogether avoided, and the business was speedily brought to a
satisfactory termination.

When Mr. Verdant Green issued from the library, he felt himself at
least ten years older and a much more important person than when he
had entered it, so greatly is our bump of self-


esteem increased by the knowledge that there is a being in existence
who holds us dearer than aught else in the whole wide world.  But not
even a misogynist would have dared to assert that, in the present
instance, love was but an excess of self-love; for if ever there was
a true attachment that honestly sprang from the purest feelings of
the heart, it was that which existed between Miss Patty Honeywood and
Mr. Verdant Green.

What need to dwell further on the daily events of that happy time?
What need to tell how the several engagements of the two Miss
Honeywoods were made known, and how, with Miss Mary Green and Mr.
Charles Larkyns, there were thus three ~bona fide~ "engaged couples"
in the house at the same time, to say nothing of what looked like an
embryo engagement between Miss Fanny Green and Mr. Bouncer?  But if
this last-named attachment should come to anything, it would probably
be owing to the severe aggravation which the little gentleman felt on
continually finding himself ~de trop~ at some scene of tender

If, for example, he entered the library, its tenants, perhaps, would
be Verdant and Patty, who would be discovered, with agitated
expressions, standing or sitting at intervals of three yards, thereby
endeavouring to convey to the spectator the idea that those positions
had been relatively maintained by them up to the moment of his
entering the room, an idea which the spectator invariably rejected.
When Mr. Bouncer had retired with figurative Eastern apologies from
the library, he would perhaps enter the drawing-room, there to find
that Frederick Delaval and Miss Kitty Honeywood had sprung into
remote positions (as certain bodies rebound upon contact), and were
regarding him as an unwelcome intruder.  Thence, with more apologies,
he would betake himself to the breakfast-room, to see what was going
on in that quarter, and there he would flush a third brace of
betrotheds, a proceeding that was not much sport to either party.  It
could hardly be a matter of surprise, therefore, if Mr. Bouncer
should be seized with the prevailing epidemic, and, from the
circumstances of his position, should be driven more than he might
otherwise have been into Miss Fanny Green's society.  And though the
little gentleman had no serious intentions in all this, yet it seemed
highly probable that something might come of it, and that Mr. Alfred
Brindle (whose attentions at the Christmas charade-party at the Manor
Green had been of so marked a character) would have to resign his
pretensions to Miss Fanny Green's hand in favour of Mr. Henry Bouncer.

But it is needless to describe the daily lives of these betrothed
couples - how they rode, and sketched, and walked, and talked,  and
drove, and fished, and shot, and visited, and pic-nic'd -


how they went out to sea in Frederick Delaval's yacht, and were
overtaken by rough weather, and became so unromantically ill that
they prayed to be put on shore again - how, on a chosen day, when the
sea was as calm as a duckpond, they sailed from Bamborough to the
Longstone, and nevertheless took provisions with them for three days,
because, if storms should arise, they might have found it impossible
to put back from the island to the shore; but how, nevertheless, they
were altogether fortunate, and had not to lengthen out their pic-nic
to such an uncomfortable extent - and how they went over the
Lighthouse, and talked about the brave and gentle Grace Darling; and
how that handsome, grey-headed old man, her father, showed them the
presents that had been sent to his daughter by Queen, and Lords, and
Commons, in token of her deed of daring; and how he was garrulous
about them and her, with the pardonable pride of a

                                "fond old man,
                        Fourscore and upward,"

who had been the father of such a daughter.  It is needless to detail
all this; let us rather pass to the evening of the day preceding that
which should see the group of visitors on their way back to

Mr. Verdant Green and Miss Patty Honeywood have been taking a
farewell after-dinner stroll in the garden, and have now wandered
into the deserted breakfast-room, under the pretence of finding a
water-colour drawing of Honeywood Hall, that the young lady had made
for our hero.

"Now, you must promise me," she said to him, "that you will take it
to Oxford."

"Certainly, if I go there again.  But -"

"~But~, sir! but I thought you had promised to give up to me on that
point.  You naughty boy! if you already break your promises in this
way, who knows but what you will forget your promise to remember me
when you have gone away from here?"

Mr. Verdant Green here did what is usual in such cases.  He kissed
the young lady, and said, "You silly little woman! as though I
~could~ forget you!" ~et cetera~, ~et cetera~.

"Ah!  I don't know," said Miss Patty.

Mr. Verdant Green repeated the kiss and the ~et ceteras~.

"Very well, then, I'll believe you," at length said Miss Patty.  "But
I won't love you one bit unless you'll faithfully promise that you
will go back to Oxford.  Whatever would be the use of your giving up
your studies?"

"A great deal of use;  we could be married at once."

"Oh no, we couldn't.  Papa is quite firm on this point.  You know
that he thinks us much too young to be married."


"But," pleaded our hero, "if we are old enough to fall in love,
surely we must  be old enough to be married."

"Oxford logic again, I suppose," laughed Miss Patty, "but it won't
persuade papa, nevertheless.   I am not quite nineteen, you know, and
papa has always said that I should never be married until I was
one-and-twenty.  By that time you will have done with college and
taken your degree, and I should so like to know that you have passed
all your examinations, and are a Bachelor of Arts."

"But," said Verdant, "I don't think I shall be able to pass.
Examinations are very nervous affairs, and suppose I should be
plucked.  You wouldn't like to marry a man who had disgraced himself."

"Do you see that picture?" asked Miss Patty; and she directed
Verdant's attention to a small but exquisite oil-painting by Maclise.
 It was in illustration of one of Moore's melodies, "Come, rest in
this bosom, my own stricken deer!"  The lover had fallen upon one knee
at his mistress's feet, and was locked in her embrace.  With a look
of fondest love she had pillowed his head upon her bosom, as if to
assure him, "Though the herd have all left thee, thy home it is here."

"Do you see that picture?" asked Miss Patty.  "I would do as she did.
 If all others rejected you yet would I never.  You would still find
your home here," and she nestled fondly to his side.

"But," she said, after one of those delightful pauses which lovers
know so well how to fill up, "you must not conjure up such silly
fancies.  Charles has often told me how easily you


passed your - Little-go, isn't it called? - and he says you will have
no trouble in obtaining your degree."

"But two years is such a tremendous time to wait," urged our hero,
who, like all lovers, was anxious to crown his happiness without much

"If you are resolved to think it long," said Miss Patty; "but it will
enable you to tell whether you really like me.  You might, you know,
marry in haste, and then have to repent at leisure."

And the end of this conversation was, that the fair special-pleader
gained her cause, and that Mr. Verdant Green consented to return to
Oxford, and not to dream of marriage until two years had passed over
his head.

The next night he slept at the Manor Green, Warwickshire.

                                        CHAPTER  X.

                        MR. VERDANT GREEN IS MADE A MASON.

  MR. VERDANT GREEN and Mr. Bouncer were once more in
Oxford, and on a certain morning had turned into the coffee-room of
"The Mitre" to "do bitters," as Mr. Bouncer phrased the act of
drinking bitter beer, when said the little gentleman, as he dangled
his legs from a table,
"Giglamps, old feller! you ain't a mason."
"A mason! of course not."
"And why do you say 'of course not'?"
"Why, what would be the use of it?"
"That's what parties always say, my tulip.  Be a mason, and then
you'll soon see the use of it."

"But I am independent of trade."
"Trade?  Oh, I twig.  My gum, Giglamps!  you'll be the death of me
some fine day.  I didn't mean a mason with a hod of mortar; he'd be a
hod-fellow, don't you see? - there's a fine old crusted joke for you
- I meant a mason with a petticut, a freemason."

"Oh, a freemason.  Well, I really don't seem to care much about being
one.  As far as I can see, there's a great deal of mystery and very
little use in it."

"Oh, that's because you know nothing about it.  If you were a mason
you'd soon see the use of it.  For one thing, when you go abroad
you'd find it no end of a help to you.  If you'll stand another
tankard of beer I'll tell you an ~apropos~ tale."

So when a fresh supply of the bitter beverage had been


ordered and brought, little Mr. Bouncer, perched upon the table, and
dangling his legs, discoursed as follows:-

"Last Long, Billy Blades went on to the continent, and in the course
of his wanderings he came across some gentlemen who turned out to be
bandits, although they weren't dressed in tall hats and ribbons, and
scarves, and watches, and velvet sit-upons, like you see them in
pictures and at theatres; but they were rough customers for all that,
and they laid hands upon Master Billy, and politely asked him for his
money or his life.  

Billy wasn't inclined to give them either, but he was all alone, with
nothing but his knapsack and a stick, for it was a frequented road,
and he had no idea that there were such things as banditti in
existence.   Well, as you're aware, Giglamps, Billy's a modern
Hercules, with an unusual development of biceps, and he not only sent
out left and right, and gave them a touch of Hammer Lane and the
Putney Pet combined, but he also applied his shoemaker to another
gentleman's tailor with considerable effect.  However, this didn't
get him kudos, or mend matters one bit; and, after being knocked
about much more than was agreeable to his feelings, he was forced to
yield to superior numbers.  They gagged and blindfolded him, formed
him into a procession, and marched him off; and when in about
half-an-hour they again let him have the use of his eyes and tongue,
he found himself in a rude hut, with his banditti friends around him.
 They had pistols, and poniards, and long knives, with which they
made threatening demonstrations.  They had cut open his knapsack and
tumbled out its contents, but not a ~sou~ could they find; for Billy,
I should


have told you, had left the place where he was staying, for a few
days' walking tour, and he had only taken what little money he
required; of this he had one or two pieces left, which he gave them.
But it wouldn't satisfy the beggars, and they signified to him - for
you see, Giglamps, Billy didn't understand a quarter of their lingo
- that he must fork out with his tin unless he wished to be forked
into with their steel.  Pleasant position, wasn't it?"


"Well, they searched him, and when they found that they really
couldn't get anything more out of him, they made him understand that
he must write to some one for a ransom, and that he wouldn't be
released until the money came.  Pleasant again, wasn't it?"

"Excessively.  But what has all this to do with freemasonry?"

"Giglamps, you're as bad as a girl who peeps at the end of a novel
before she begins to read it.  Drink your beer, and let me tell my
tale in my own way.  Well, now we come to volume the third, chapter
the last.  Master Billy found that there was nothing for it but to
obey orders, so he sent off a note to his banker, stating his
requirements.  As soon as this business was transacted, the amiable
bandits turned to pleasure, and produced a bottle of wine, of which
they politely asked Billy to partake.  He thought at first that it
might be poison, and he wasn't very far wrong, for it was most
villainous stuff.  However, the other fellows took to it kindly, and
got more amiable than ever over it; so much so that they offered
Billy one of his own weeds, and they all got very jolly, and were as
thick as thieves.  Billy made himself so much at home - he's a beggar
that can always adapt himself to circumstances - that at last the
chief bandit proposed his health, and then they all shook hands with
him.  Well, now comes the moral of my story.  When the captain of the
bandits was drinking Billy's Health in this flipper-shaking way, it
all at once occurred to Billy to give him the masonic grip.  I must
not tell you what it was, but he gave it, and, lo and behold! the
bandit returned it.  Both Billy and the bandit opened their eyes
pretty considerably at this.  The bandit also opened his arms and
embraced his captive; and the long and short of it was that he begged
Billy's pardon for the trouble and delay they had caused him,
returned him his money and knapsack, and all the weeds that were not
smoked, set aside the ransom, and escorted him back to the high road,
guaranteeing him a free and unmolested passage if he should come that
way again.  And all this because Billy was a mason; so you see,
Giglamps, what use it is to a feller.  But," said Mr. Bouncer, as he
ended his tale, "talking's mon-


strously dry work.  So, I looks to-wards you, Giglamps! to which, if
you wish to do the correct thing, you should reply 'I likewise
bows!'"  And, little Mr. Bouncer, winking affably to his friend,
raised the silver tankard to his lips, and kept it there for the
space of ten seconds.

"I suppose," said Verdant, "that the real moral of your story is,
that I must become a freemason, because I might travel abroad and be
attacked by a scamp who was also a freemason. Now, I think I had
better decline joining a society that numbers banditti among its

"Oh, but that was an exceptional case.  I dare say, if the truth was
known, Billy's friend had once been a highly respectable party, and
had paid his water-rate and income-tax like any other civilized
being.  But all masons are not like Billy's friend, and the more you
know of them the more you'll thank me for having advised you to join
them.  But it isn't altogether that.  Every Oxford man who is really
a man is a mason, and that, Giglamps, is quite a sufficient reason
why ~you~ should be one."

So Verdant said, Very well, he had no objection; and little Mr.
Bouncer promised to arrange the necessary preliminaries.  What these
were will be seen if we advance the progress of events a few days

Messrs. Bouncer, Blades, Foote, and Flexible Shanks - who were all
masons, and could affix to their names more letters than members of
far more learned societies could do - had undertaken that Mr. Verdant
Green's initiation into the mysteries of the craft should be
altogether a private one.  Verdant felt that this was exceedingly
kind of them; for, if it must be confessed, he had adopted the
popular idea that the admission of members was in some way or other
connected with the free use of a red-hot poker, and though he was
reluctant to breathe his fears on this point, yet he looked forward
to the ceremony with no little dread.  He was therefore immensely
relieved when he found that, by the kindness of his friends, his
initiation would not take place in the presence of the assembled
members of the Lodge.

For a week Mr. Verdant Green was benevolently left to ponder and
speculate on the ceremonial horrors that would attend his
introduction to the mysteries of freemasonry, and by the appointed
day he had worked himself into such a state of nervous excitement
that he was burning more with the fever of apprehension than that of
curiosity.  There was no help for him, however; he had promised to go
through the ordeal, whatever it might be, and he had no desire to be
laughed at for having abandoned his purpose through fear.

The Lodge of Cemented Bricks, of which Messrs. Bouncer and


Co. had promised to make Mr. Verdant Green a member, occupied
spacious rooms in a certain large house in a certain small street not
a hundred miles from the High Street.  The ascent to the Lodge-room,
which was at the top of the house, was by a rather formidable flight
of stairs, up which Mr. Verdant Green tremblingly climbed, attended
by Mr. Bouncer as his ~fidus Achates~.  The little gentleman, in that
figurative Oriental language to which he was so partial,
considerately advised his friend to keep up his pecker and never say
die; but his exhortation of "Now, don't you be frightened, Giglamps,
we shan't hurt you more than we can help," only increased the anguish
of our hero's sensations; and when at the last he found himself at
the top of the stairs, and before a door which was guarded by Mr.
Foote, who held a drawn sword, and was dressed in unusually full
masonic costume, and looked stern and unearthly in the dusky gloom,
he turned back, and would have made his escape had he not been
prevented by Mr. "Footelights' " naked weapon.  Mr. Bouncer had
previously cautioned him that he must not in any way evince a
recognition of his friends until the ceremonies of the initiation
were completed, and that the infringement of this command would lead
to his total expulsion from his friends' society.  Mr. Bouncer had
also told him that he must not be surprised at anything that he might
see or hear; which, under the circumstances, was very seasonable as
well as sensible advice.  Mr. Verdant Green, therefore, submitted to
his fate, and to Mr. Footelights' drawn sword.

"The first step, Giglamps," whispered Mr. Bouncer, "is the
blindfolding; the next is the challenge, which is in Coptic, the
original language, you know, of the members of the first Lodge of
Cemented Bricks.  Swordbearer and Deputy Past Pantile Foote will do
this for you.  I must go and put my things on.  Remember, you musn't
recognize me when you come into the Lodge.  Adoo, Samiwel! keep your
pecker up."  Mr. Verdant Green wrung his friend's hand, pocketed his
spectacles, and submitted to be blindfolded.

Mr. Footelights then took him by the hand, and knocked three times at
the door.  A voice, which Verdant recognized as that of Mr. Blades,
inquired, "Kilaricum luricum tweedlecum twee?"

To which Mr. Footelights replied, "Astrakansa siphonia bostrukizon!"
and laid the cold steel blade against Mr. Verdant Green's cheek in a
way which made that gentleman shiver.

Mr. Blades' voice then said, "Swordbearer and Deputy Past Pantile,
pass in the neophyte who seeks to be a Cemented Brick"; and Mr.
Verdant Green was thereupon guided into the room.

"Gropelos toldery lol! remove the handkerchief," said the voice of
Mr. Blades.


The glare from numerous wax-lights, reflected as it was from polished
gold, silver, and marble, affected Mr. Verdant Green's bandaged eyes,
and prevented him for a time from seeing anything distinctly, but on
Mr. Foote motioning to him that he might resume his spectacles, he
was soon enabled by their aid to survey the scene.  Around him stood
Mr. Bouncer, Mr. Blades, Mr. Flexible Shanks, and Mr. Foote.  Each
held a drawn and gleaming sword; each wore aprons, scarves, or
mantles; each was decorated with mystic masonic jewellery; each was
silent and preternaturally serious.  The room was large and was
furnished with the greatest splendour, but its contents seemed
strange and mysterious to our hero's eyes.

"Advance the neophyte! Oodiny dulipy sing!" said Mr. Blades, who
walked to the other end of the room, stepped upon a dais, ascended
his throne, and laid aside the sword for a sceptre.  Mr. Foote and
Mr. Flexible Shanks then took Mr. Verdant Green by either shoulder,
and escorted him up the room with their drawn swords turned towards
him, while Mr. Bouncer followed, and playfully prodded him in the

In the front of Mr. Blades' throne there was a species of altar, of
which the chief ornaments were a large sword, a skull and
cross-bones, illuminated by a great wax light placed in a tall silver
candlestick.  Silver globes and pillars stood upon the dais on either
side of the throne; and luxuriously-velveted chairs and rows of seats
were ranged around.  Before the altar-like erection a small funereal
black and white carpet was spread upon the black and white lozenged
floor; and on this carpet were arranged the following articles:- a
money chest, a ballot box (very like Miss Bouncer's Camera), two
pairs of swords, three little mallets, and a skull and cross-bones -
the display of which emblems of mortality confirmed Mr. Verdant Green
in his previously-formed opinion, that the Lodge-room was a veritable
chamber of horrors, and he would willingly have preferred a visit to
that "lodge in some vast wilderness," for which the poet sighed, and
to have forgone all those promised benefits that were to be derived
from Freemasonry.

But wishing could not save him.  He had no sooner arrived in front of
the skull and cross-bones than the procession halted, and Mr. Blades,
rising from his throne, said, "Let the Sword-bearer and Deputy Past
Pantile, together with the Provincial Grand Mortar-board, do their
duty! Ramohun roy azalea tong! Produce the poker! Past Grand Hodman,
remain on guard!"

Mr. Foote and Mr. Flexible Shanks removed their hands and swords from
Mr. Verdant Green, and walked solemnly down the room, leaving little
Mr. Bouncer standing beside our hero, and holding the drawn sword
above his head.  Mr. Foote and Mr.


Flexible Shanks returned, escorting between them the poker.  It was
cold! that was a relief.  But how long was it to remain so?

"Past Grand Hodman!" said Mr. Blades, "instruct the neophyte in the
primary proceedings of the Cemented Bricks."

At Mr. Bouncer's bidding, Mr. Verdant Green then sat down upon the
lozenged floor, and held his knees with his hands.  Mr. Flexible
Shanks then brought to him the poker, and said, "Tetrao urogallus
orygometra crex!"  The poker was then,  by the assistance
of Mr. Foote, placed under the knees and over the arms of Mr. Verdant
Green, who thus sat like a trussed fowl, and equally helpless.

"Recite to the neophyte the oath of the Cemented Bricks!" said Mr.

"Ramphastidinae toco scolopendra tinnunculus cracticornis bos!"
exclaimed Mr. Flexible Shanks.

"Do you swear to obey through fire and water, and bricks and mortar,
the words of this oath?" asked Mr. Blades from his throne.

"You must say, I do!" whispered Mr. Bouncer to Mr. Verdant Green, who
accordingly muttered the response.

"Let the oath be witnessed and registered by Swordbearer and Deputy
Past Pantile, Provincial Grand Mortar-board, and Past Grand Hodman!"
said Mr. Blades; and the three gentlemen thus designated stood on
either side of and behind Mr. Verdant Green, and, with theatrical
gestures, clashed their swords over his head.

"Keemo kimo lingtum nipcat!  let him rise," said Mr.


Blades; and the poker was thereupon withdrawn from its position, and
Mr. Verdant Green, being untrussed, but somewhat stiff and cramped,
was assisted upon his legs.

He hoped that his troubles were now at an end; but this pleasing
delusion was speedily dispelled, by Mr. Blades saying - "The next
part of the ceremonial is the delivery of the red-hot poker.  Let the
poker be heated!"

Mr. Verdant Green went chill with dread as he watched the terrible
instrument borne from the room by Mr. Foote and Mr. Flexible Shanks,
while Mr. Bouncer resumed his guard over him with the drawn sword.
All was quiet save a smothered sound from the other side of the door,
which, under other circumstances, Verdant would have taken for
suppressed laughter; but, the solemnity of the proceedings repelled
the idea.

At length the poker was brought in, red-hot and smoking, whereupon
Mr. Blades left his throne and walked to the other end of the room,
and there took his seat upon a second throne, before which was a
second altar, garnished - as Mr. Verdant Green soon perceived, to his
horror and amazement - with a human head (or the representation of
one) projecting from a black cloth that concealed the neck, and,
doubtless, the marks of decapitation.  Its ghastly features were
clearly displayed by the aid of a wax light placed in a tall silver
candlestick by its side.

Mr. Blades received the poker from Mr. Foote, and commanded the
neophyte to advance.  Mr. Verdant Green did so, and took up a
trembling position to the left of the throne, while Mr. Foote and Mr.
Flexible Shanks proceeded to the organ, which was to the right of the
entrance door.  Mr. Blades then delivered the poker to Mr. Verdant
Green, who, at first, imagined that he was required to seize it by
its red-hot end, but was greatly relieved in his mind when he found
that he had merely to take it by the handle, and repeat (as well as
he could) a form of gibberish that Mr. Blades dictated.  Having done
this he was desired to transfer the poker to the Past Grand Hodman -
Mr. Bouncer.

He had just come to the joyful conclusion that the much dreaded poker
portion of the business was now at an end, when


Mr. Blades ruthlessly cast a dark cloud over his gleam of happiness,
by saying - "The next part of the ceremony will be the branding with
the red-hot poker.  Let the organist call in the aid of music to
drown the shrieks of the victim!" and, thereupon, Mr. Foote struck up
(with the full swell of the organ) a heart-rending air that sounded
like "the cries of the wounded" from ~the Battle of Prague~.

Now, it happened that little Mr. Bouncer - like his sister - was
subject to uncontrollable fits of laughter at improper seasons.  For
the last half-hour he had suffered severely from the torture of
suppressed mirth, and now, as he saw Mr. Verdant Green's climax of
fright at the anticipated branding, human nature could not longer
bear up against an explosion of merriment, and Mr. Bouncer burst into
shouts of laughter, and, with convulsive sobs, flung himself upon the
nearest seat.  His example was contagious; Mr. Blades, Mr. Foote, and
Mr. Flexible Shanks, one after another, joined in the roar, and
relieved their pent-up feelings with a rush of uproarious laughter.

At the first Mr. Verdant Green looked surprised, and in doubt whether
or no this was but a part of the usual proceedings attendant upon the
initiation of a member into the Lodge of Cemented Bricks.  Then the
truth dawned upon him, and he blushed up to his spectacles.

"Sold again, Giglamps!" shouted little Mr. Bouncer. "I didn't think
we could carry out the joke so far, I wonder if this will be hoax the
last for Mr. Verdant Green?"

"I hope so indeed!" replied our hero; "for I have no wish to continue
a Freshman all through my college life.  But I'll give you full
liberty to hoax me again - if you can."  And Mr. Verdant Green joined
good-humouredly in the laughter raised at his own expense.

Not many days after this he was really made a Mason; although the
Lodge was not that of the Cemented Bricks, or the forms of initiation
those invented by his four friends.


                                        CHAPTER XI.

                                        FOR A GRIND.

  LITTLE Mr. Bouncer had abandoned his intention of
obtaining a ~licet migrare~ to "the Tavern," and had decided (the
Dons being propitious) to remain at Brazenface, in the nearer
neighbourhood of his friends.  He had resumed his reading for his
degree; and, at various odd times, and in various odd ways, he
crammed himself for his forthcoming examination with the most
confused and confusing scraps of knowledge.  He was determined, he
said, "to stump the examiners."

One day, when Mr. Verdant Green had come from morning chapel, and had
been refreshed by the perusal of an unusually long epistle from his
charming Northumbrian correspondent, he betook himself to his
friend's rooms, and found the little gentleman - notwithstanding that
he was expecting a breakfast party - still luxuriating in bed.  His
curly black wig reposed on its block on the dressing table, and the
closely shaven skull that it daily decorated shone whiter than the
pillow that it pressed; for although Mr. Bouncer considered that
night-caps might be worn by "long-tailed babbies," and by "old birds
that were as bald as coots," yet, he, being a young bird - though not
a baby - declined to ensconce his head within any kind of white
covering, after the fashion of the portraits of the poet Cowper.  The
smallness of Mr. Bouncer's dormitory caused his wash-hand-stand to be
brought against his bed's head; and the little gentleman had availed
himself of this conveniency, to place within the basin a blubbering,
bubbling, gurgling hookah, from which a long stem curled in vine-like
tendrils, until it found a resting place in Mr. Bouncer's mouth. The
little gentleman lay comfortably propped on pillows, with his hands
tucked under his head, and his knees crooked up to form a rest for a
manuscript book of choice "crams," that had been gleaned by him from
those various fields of knowledge from which the true labourer reaps
so rich and ripe a store.  Huz and Buz reposed on the counterpane, to
complete this picture of Reading for a Pass.

"The top o' the morning to you, Giglamps!" he said, as he saluted
his friend with a volley of smoke - a salute similar as to the smoke,
but superior, in the absence of noise and slightness


of expense, to that which would have greeted Mr. Verdant Green's
approach had he been of the royal blood - "here I am! sweating away,
as usual, for that beastly examination."    (It was a
popular fallacy with Mr. Bouncer, that he read very hard and very
regularly.)  "I thought I'd cut chapel this morning,  and coach up
for my Divinity paper.  Do you know who Hadassah was, old feller?"
"No!  I never heard of her."

"Ha! you may depend upon it, those are the sort of questions that
pluck a man;" said Mr. Bouncer, who thought - as others like him have
thought - that the getting up of a few abstruse proper names would be
proof sufficient for a thorough knowledge of the whole subject. "But
I'm not going to let them gulph me a second time; though, they ought
not to plough a man who's been at Harrow, ought they, old feller?"

"Don't make bad jokes."

"So I shall work well at these crams, although, of course, I shall
put on my examination coat, and trust a good deal to my cards, and
watch papers, and shirt wristbands, and so on."

"I should have thought," said Verdant, "that after those sort of
crutches had broken down with you once, you would not fly to their
support a second time."

"Oh, I shall though! - I must, you know!" replied the infatuated Mr.
Bouncer. "The Mum cut up doosid this last time; you've no idea how
she turned on the main, and did the briny! and, I must make things
sure this time.  After all, I believe it was those Second Aorists
that ploughed me."

It is remarkable, that, not only in Mr. Bouncer's case, but in many
others, also, of a like nature, gentlemen who have been plucked can
always attribute their totally-unexpected failures to a Second
Aorist, or a something equivalent to "the salmon," or "the melted
butter," or "that glass of sherry," which are recognized as the
causes for so many morning reflections.  This curious circumstance
suggests an interesting source of inquiry for the speculative.

"Well!" said Mr. Bouncer meditatively; "I'm not so sorry, after all,
that they cut up rough, and ploughed me.  It's enabled me, you see,
to come back here, and be jolly.  I


shouldn't have known what to do with myself away from Oxford.  A man
can't be always going to feeds and tea-fights; and that's all that I
have to do when I'm down in the country with the Mum - she likes me,
you know, to do the filial, and go about with her.  And it's not a
bad thing to have something to work at! it keeps what you call your
intellectual faculties on the move.  I don't wonder at thingumbob
crying when he'd no more whatdyecallems to conquer! he was regularly
used up, I dare say."

Mr. Bouncer, upon this, rolled out some curls of smoke from the
corner of his mouth, and then observed, "I'm glad I started this
hookah! 'the judicious Hooker,' ain't it, Giglamps? it is so jolly,
at night, to smoke oneself to sleep, with the tail end of it in one's
mouth, and to find it there in the morning, all ready for a fresh
start.  It makes me get on with my coaching like a house on fire."

Here there was a rush of men into the adjacent room, who hailed Mr.
Bouncer as a disgusting Sybarite, and, flinging their caps and gowns
into a corner, forthwith fell upon the good fare which Mr. Robert
Filcher had spread before them; at the same time carrying on a lively
conversation with their host, the occupant of the bed-room.  "Well! I
suppose I must turn out, and do tumbies!" said Mr. Bouncer.  So he
got up, and went into his tub; and presently, sat down comfortably to
breakfast, in his shirt-sleeves.

When Mr. Bouncer had refreshed his inner man, and strengthened
himself for his severe course of reading by the consumption of a
singular mixture of coffee and kidneys, beef-steaks and beer; and
when he had rested from his exertions, and had resumed his pipe -
which was not "the judicious Hooker," but a short clay, smoked to a
swarthy hue, and on that account, as well as from its presumed
medicatory power, called "the Black Doctor," - just then, Mr. Smalls,
and a detachment of invited guests, who had been to an early lecture,
dropped in to breakfast.  Huz and Buz, setting up a terrific bark,
darted towards a minute specimen of the canine species, which, with
the aid of a powerful microscope, might have been discovered at the
feet of its proud proprietor, Mr. Smalls. It was the first dog of its
kind imported into Oxford, and it was destined to set on foot a
fashion that soon bade fair to drive out of the field those
long-haired Skye-terriers, with two or three specimens of which
species, he entered the room.

"Kill 'em, Lympy!" said Mr. Smalls to his pet, who, with an extreme
display of pugnacity, was submitting to the curious and minute
inspection of Huz and Buz. "Lympy" was a black and tan terrier, with
smooth hair, glossy coat, bead-like eyes, cropped ears, pointed tail,
limbs of a cobwebby structure,


and so diminutive in its proportions, that its owner was accustomed
to carry it inside the breast of his waistcoat, as a precaution,
probably, against its being blown away.  And it was called "Lympy,"
as an abbreviation of "Olympus," which was the name derisively given
to it for its smallness, on the ~lucus a non lucendo~ principle that
miscalls the lengthy "brief" of the barrister, the "living" -
not-sufficient-to-support-life - of the poor vicar, the uncertain
"certain age," the unfair "fare" and the son-ruled "governor."

"Lympy" was placed upon the table, in order that he might be duly
admired; an exaltation at which Huz and Buz and the Skye-terriers
chafed with jealousy.  "Be quiet, you beggars! he's prettier than
you!" said Mr. Smalls; whereupon, a mild punster present propounded
the canine query,  "Did it ever occur to a cur to be lauded to the
Skyes?" at which there was a shout of indignation, and he was sconced
by the unanimous vote of the company.

"Lympy ain't a bad style of dog," said little Mr. Bouncer, as he
puffed away at the Black Doctor.  "He'd be perfect, if he hadn't one
fault."  "And what's his fault, pray?" asked his anxious owner.
"There's rather too much of him!" observed Mr. Bouncer, gravely.
"Robert!" shouted the little gentleman to his scout; "Robert! doose
take the feller, he's always out of the way when he's wanted."  And,
when the performance of a variety of octaves on the post-horn,
combined with the free use of the speaking-trumpet, had brought Mr.
Robert Filcher to his presence, Mr. Bouncer received him with
objurgations, and ordered another tankard of beer from the buttery.

In the meantime, the conversation had taken a sporting turn.  "Do you
meet Drake's to-morrow?" asked Mr. Blades of Mr. Four-in-hand

"No!  the old Berkshire," was the reply.  "Where's the meet?"

"At Buscot Park.  I send my horse to Thompson's, at the
Farringdon-Road station, and go to meet him by rail."

"And, what about the Grind?" asked Mr. Smalls of the company

"Oh yes!" said Mr. Bouncer, "let us talk over the Grind.  Giglamps,
old feller, you must join."

"Certainly, if you wish it," said Mr. Verdant Green, who,


however, had as little idea as the man in the moon what they were
talking about.  But, as he was no longer a Freshman, he was unwilling
to betray his ignorance on any matter pertaining to college life; so
he looked much wiser than he felt, and saved himself from saying more
on the subject, by sipping a hot spiced draught from a silver cup
that was pushed round to him.   "That's the very cup that
Four-in-hand Fosbrooke won at the last Grind," said Mr. Bouncer.

"Was it indeed!" safely answered Mr. Verdant Green, who looked at the
silver cup (on which was engraven a coat of arms with the words
"Brazenface Grind.- Fosbrooke,"), and wondered what "a Grind" might
be.  A medical student would have told [him] that a "Grind" meant the
reading up for an examination [under] the tuition of one who was
familiarly termed "a Grinder" - a process which Mr. Verdant Green's
friends would phrase as "Coaching" under "a Coach;" but the
conversation that followed upon Mr. Smalls' introduction of the
subject, made our hero aware, that, to a University man, a Grind did
not possess any reading signification, but a riding one.  In fact, it
was a steeple-chase, slightly varying in its details according to the
college that patronized the pastime.  At Brazenface, "the Grind" was
usually over a known line of country, marked out with flags by the
gentleman (familiarly known as Anniseed) who attended to this
business, and full of leaps of various kinds, and various degrees of
stiffness.  By sweepstakes and subscriptions, a sum of from ten to
fifteen pounds was raised for the purchase of a silver cup, wherewith
to grace the winner's wines and breakfast parties; but, as the winner
had occasionally been known to pay as much as fifteen pounds for the
day's hire of the blood horse who was to land him first at the goal,
and as he had, moreover, to discharge many other little expenses,
including the by no means little one of a dinner to the losers, the
conqueror for the cup usually obtained more glory than profit.

"I suppose you'll enter ~Tearaway~, as before?" asked Mr. Smalls of
Mr. Fosbrooke.

"Yes! for I want to get him in condition for the Aylesbury
steeple-chase," replied the owner of ~Tearaway~, who was rather too
fond of vaunting his blue silk and black cap before the eyes of the
sporting public.

"You've not much to fear from this man," said Mr. Bouncer, indicating
(with the Black Doctor) the stalwart form of Mr.


Blades.  "Billy's too big in the Westphalias.  Giglamps, you're the
boy to cook Fosbrooke's goose.  Don't you remember what old
father-in-law Honeywood told you, - that you might, would, should, and
could, ride like a Shafto? and lives there a man with soul so dead, -
as Shikspur or some other cove observes - who wouldn't like to show
what stuff he was made of?  I can put you up to a wrinkle," said the
little gentleman, sinking his voice to a whisper.  "Tollitt has got a
mare who can lick ~Tearaway~ into fits.  She is as easy as a chair,
and jumps like a cat.  All that you have to do is to sit back, clip
the pig-skin, and send her at it; and, she'll take you over without
touching a twig.  He'd promised her to me, but I intend to cut the
Grind altogether; it interferes too much, don't you see, with my
coaching.  So I can make Tollitt keep her for you.  Think how well
the cup would look on your side-board, when you've blossomed into a
parient, and changed the adorable Patty into Mrs. Verdant.  Think of
that, Master Giglamps!"

Mr. Bouncer's argument was a persuasive one, and Mr. Verdant Green
consented to be one of the twelve gentlemen, who cheerfully paid
their sovereigns to be allowed to make their appearance as amateur
jockeys at the forthcoming Grind.  After much debate, "the Wet Ensham
course" was decided upon; and three o'clock in the afternoon of that
day fortnight was fixed for the start.   Mr. Smalls gained ~kudos~ by
offering to give the luncheon at his rooms; and the host of the Red
Lion, at Ensham, was ordered to prepare one of his very best dinners,
for the winding up of the day's sport.

"I don't mind paying for it," said Verdant to Mr. Bouncer, "if I can
but win the cup, and show it to Patty, when she comes to us at

"Keep your pecker up, old feller! and put your trust in old beans,"
was Mr.Bouncer's reply.

                                                CHAPTER XII.

                                MR. VERDANT GREEN TAKES HIS DEGREE.

DURING the fortnight that intervened between Mr. Bouncer's breakfast
party and the Grind, Mr. Verdant Green got himself into training for
his first appearance as a steeple-chase rider, by practising a
variety of equestrian feats over leaping-bars and gorse stuck
hurdles; in which he acquitted himself with tolerable success, and
came off with fewer bruises than might have been expected.  At this
period of his career, too, he strengthened his bodily powers by
practising himself in those varieties of the "manly exercises" that
found most favour in Oxford.


The adoption of some portion of these was partly attributable to his
having been made a Mason; for, whenever he attended the meetings of
his Lodge, he had to pass the two rooms where Mr. MacLaren conducted
his fencing-school and gymnasium.  The fencing-room - which was the
larger of the two, and was of the same dimensions as the Lodge-room
above it - was usually tenanted by the proprietor and his assistant
(who, as Mr.  Bouncer phrased it, "put the pupils through
their paces,") and re-echoed to the sounds of stampings, and the cries
of "On guard! quick! parry! lunge!" with the various other terms of
Defence and Attack, uttered in French and English.  At the upper end
of the room, over the fire-place, was a stand of curious arms,
flanked on either side by files of single-sticks.  The centre of the
room was left clear for the fencing; while the lower end was occupied
by the parallel bars, a regiment of Indian clubs, and a mattress
apparatus for the delectation of the sect of jumpers.

Here Mr. Verdant Green, properly equipped for the purpose, was
accustomed to swing his clubs after the presumed Indian manner, to
lift himself off his feet and hang suspended between the parallel
bars, to leap the string on to the mattress, to be rapped and thumped
with single-sticks and boxing-gloves by any one else than Mr. Blades
(who had developed his muscles in a most formidable manner), and to
go through his parades of ~quarte~ and ~tierce~ with the flannel-


clothed assistant.  Occasionally he had a fencing bout with
 the good-humoured Mr. MacLaren, who - professionally
protected by his padded leathern ~plastron~ - politely and obligingly
did his best to assure him, both by precept and example, of the truth
of the wise old saw, "mens sana in corpore sano."

The lower room at MacLaren's presented a very different appearance to
the fencing-room.  The wall to the right hand, as well as a part of
the wall at the upper end, was hung around - not

                        "With pikes, and guns, and bows,"

like the fine old English gentleman's, - but nevertheless,

                         "With swords, and good old cutlasses,"

and foils, and fencing masks, and fencing gloves, and boxing gloves,
and pads, and belts, and light white shoes.  Opposite to the door, was
the vaulting-horse, on whose wooden back the gymnasiast sprang at a
bound, and over which the tyro (with the aid of the spring-board)
usually pitched himself headlong.  Then, commencing at the further
end, was a series of poles and ropes - the turning pole, the hanging
poles, the rings, and the ~trapeze~, - on either or all of which the
pupil could exercise himself; and, if he had the skill so to do,
could jerk himself from one to the other, and finally hang himself
upon the sloping ladder, before the momentum of his spring had passed

Mr. Bouncer, who could do most things with his hands and feet, was a
very distinguished pupil of Mr. MacLaren's; for the little gentleman
was as active as a monkey, and - to quote his own remarkably
figurative expression - was "a great deal livelier than ~the Bug and

Mr. Bouncer, then, would go through the full series of gymnastic
performances, and finally pull himself up the rounds of the ladder,
with the greatest apparent ease, much to the envy of Mr. Verdant
Green, who, bathed in perspiration, and nearly dislocating every bone
in his body, would vainly struggle (in

* A name given to Mr. Hope's Entomological Museum.


attitudes like to those of "the perspiring frog" of Count Smorltork)
to imitate his mercurial friend, and would finally drop exhausted on
the padded floor.

And, Mr. Verdant Green did not confine himself to these indoor
amusements; but studied the Oxford Book of Sports in various
out-of-door ways.  Besides his Grinds, and cricketing, and boating,
and hunting, he would paddle down to Wyatt's  for a little
pistol practice, or to indulge in the exciting amusement of
rifle-shooting at empty bottles, or to practise, on the leaping and
swinging poles, the lessons he was learning at MacLaren's, or to play
at skittles with Mr. Bouncer (who was very expert in knocking down
three out of the four); or to kick football until he became (to use
Mr. Bouncer's expression) "as stiff as a biscuit."

Or, he would attend the shooting parties given by William Brown,
Esquire, of University House; where blue-rocks and brown rabbits were
turned out of traps for the sport of the assembled bipeds and
quadrupeds.  The luckless pigeons and rabbits had but a poor chance
for their lives; for, if the gentleman who paid for the privilege of
the shot missed his rabbit (which was within the bounds of
probability) the other guns were at once discharged, and the dogs of


Town and Gown let slip.  And, if any rabbit was nimble and
 fortunate enough to run this gauntlet with the loss of
only a tail or ear, and, Galatea-like,

                                "fugit ad salices,"

and rushed into the willow-girt ditches, it speedily fell before the
clubs of the "cads," who were there to watch, and profit by the
sports of their more aristocratic neighbours.*

Mr. Verdant Green would also study the news of the day, in the
floating reading-room of the University Barge; and, from these
comfortable quarters, indite a letter to Miss Patty, and look out
upon the picturesque river with its moving life of eights and
four-oars sweeping past with measured stroke.  A great feature of the
river picture, just about this time, was the crowd of newly
introduced canoes; their occupants, in every variety of
bright-coloured shirts and caps, flashing up and down a double
paddle, the ends of which were painted in gay colours, or emblazoned
with the owner's crest.  But Mr. Verdant Green, with a due regard for
his own preservation from drowning, was content with looking at these
cranky canoes, as they flitted, like gaudy dragon-flies, over the
surface of the water.

Fain would the writer of these pages linger over these memoirs of Mr.
Verdant Green.  Fain would he tell how his hero  did
many things that might be thought worthy of mention, besides those
which have been already chronicled; but, this narrative has already
reached its assigned limits, and, even a historian must submit to be
kept within reasonable bounds.  The Dramatist has the privilege of
escaping many difficulties, and passing swiftly over confusing
details, by the simple intimation that "An interval of twenty years
is supposed to take place between the

* "The Vice-Chancellor, by the direction of the Hebdomadal Council,
has issued a notice against the practice of pigeon-shooting, &c., in
the neighbourhood of the University." - ~Oxford Intelligence~, Decr.


Acts."  Suffice it, therefore, for Mr. Verdant Green's historian, to
avail himself of this dramatic art, and, in a very few sentences, to
pass over the varied events of two years, in order that he may arrive
at a most important passage in his hero's career.

The Grind came off without Mr. Verdant Green being enabled to
communicate to Miss Patty Honeywood, that he was the winner of a
silver cup.  Indeed, he did not arrive at the winning post until half
an hour after it had been first reached by Mr. Four-in-hand Fosbrooke
on his horse ~Tearaway~; for, after narrowly escaping a blow from the
hatchet of an irate agriculturist who professed great displeasure at
any one presuming to come a galloperin' and a tromplin' over his
fences, Mr. Verdant Green finally "came to grief," by being flung
into a disagreeably-moist ditch.  And though, for that evening, he
forgot his troubles, in the jovial dinner that took place at ~the Red
Lion~, yet, the next morning, they were immensely aggravated, when
the Tutor told them that he had heard of the steeple-chase, and
should expel every gentleman who had taken part in it.  The Tutor,
however, relented, and did not carry out his threat; though Mr.
Verdant Green suffered almost as much as if he had really kept it.

The infatuated Mr. Bouncer madly persisted (despite the entreaties
and remonstrances of his friends) in going into the Schools clad in
his examination coat, and padded over with a host of crams.  His fate
was a warning that similar offenders should lay to heart, and profit
by; for the little gentleman was again plucked.  Although he was
grieved at this on "the Mum's" account, his mercurial temperament
enabled him to thoroughly enjoy the Christmas vacation at the Manor
Green, where were again gathered together the same party who had met
there the previous Christmas.  The cheerful society of Miss Fanny
Green did much, probably, towards restoring Mr. Bouncer to his usual
happy frame of mind; and, after Christmas, he gladly returned to his
beloved Oxford, leaving Brazenface, and migrating ("through
circumstances over which he had no control," as he said) to "the
Tavern."  But when the time for his examination drew on, the little
gentleman was seized with such trepidation, and "funked" so greatly,
that he came to the resolution not to trouble the Examiners again,
and to dispense with the honours of a Degree.  And so, at length,
greatly to Mr. Verdant Green's sorrow, and "regretted by all that
knew him," Mr. Bouncer sounded his final octaves and went the
complete unicorn for the last time in a College quad, and gave his
last Wine (wherein he produced some "very old port, my teacakes! -
I've had it since last term!") and then, as an undergraduate, bade
his last farewell to Oxford, with the parting declaration, that,
though he had not taken his


Degree, yet that he had got through with great ~credit~, for that he
had left behind him a heap of unpaid bills.

By this time, or shortly after, many of Mr. Verdant Green's earliest
friends had taken their Degrees, and had left College; and their
places were occupied by a new set of men, among whom our hero found
many pleasant companions, whose names and titles need not be recorded

When June had come, there was a "grand Commemoration," and this was
quite a sufficient reason that the Miss Honeywoods should take their
first peep at Oxford, at so favourable an opportunity.  Accordingly
there they came, together with the Squire, and were met by a portion
of Mr. Verdant Green's family, and by Mr. Bouncer; and there were
they duly taken to all the lions, and initiated into some of the
mysteries of College life.  Miss Patty was enchanted with everything
that she saw - even carrying her admiration to Verdant's
undergraduate's gown - and was proudly escorted from College to
College by her enamoured swain.

                        "Pleasant it was, when woods were green,
                        And winds were soft and low,"

when in a House-boat, and in four-oars, they made an expedition ("a
wine and water party," as Mr. Bouncer called it) to Nuneham, and,
after safely passing through the perils of the pound-locks of Iffley
and Sandford, arrived at the pretty thatched cottage, and pic-nic'd
in the round-house, and strolled through the nut plantations up to
Carfax hill, to see the glorious view of Oxford, and looked at the
Conduit, and Bab's-tree, and  paced over the little rustic
bridge to the island, where Verdant and Patty talked as lovers love
to talk.

Then did Mr. Verdant Green accompany his lady-love to Northumberland;
from whence, after spending a pleasant month that, all too quickly,
came to an end, he departed (~via~ Warwickshire) for a continental
tour, which he took in the company of Mr. and


Mrs. Charles Larkyns (~nee~ Mary Green), who were there for the

Then he returned to Oxford; and when the month of May had again come
round, he went in for his Degree examination.  He passed with flying
colours, and was duly presented with that much-prized shabby piece of
paper, on which was printed and written the following brief form:-

                Green Verdant e Coll. AEn. Fac.
                ~Die 28° Mensis~ Maii ~Anni~ 185-

~Examinatus, prout Statuta requirunt, satisfecit nobis

                        {J. Smith.              }
Ita testamur            {Gul. Brown.            } Examinatores in
                            {Jac. L. Jones.         } Literis Humanio-
                        {R. Robinson.           } ribus

Owing to Mr. Verdant Green having entered upon residence at the time
of his matriculation, he was obliged, for the present, to defer the
putting on of his gown, and, consequently, of arriving at the ~full~
dignity of a Bachelor of Arts.  Nevertheless, he had taken his Degree
~de facto~, if not ~de jure~; and he, therefore - for reasons which
will appear - gave the usual Degree dinner, on the day of his taking
his Testamur.

He also cleared his rooms, giving some of his things away, sending
others to Richards's sale-rooms, and resigning his china and glass to
the inexorable Mr. Robert Filcher, who would forthwith dispose of
these gifts (much over their cost price) to the next Freshman who
came under his care.

Moreover, as the adorning of College chimney-pieces with the
photographic portraits of all the owner's College friends, had just
then come into fashion, Mr. Verdant Green's beaming countenance and
spectacles were daguerreotyped in every variety of Ethiopian
distortion; and, being enclosed in miniature frames, were distributed
as souvenirs among his admiring friends.

Then, Mr. Verdant Green went down to Warwickshire; and, within three
months, travelled up to Northumberland on a special mission.

                                        CHAPTER THE LAST.

                        MR. VERDANT GREEN IS MARRIED AND DONE FOR.

LASTHOPE'S ruined Church, since it had become a ruin - which was many
a long year ago - had never held within its mouldering walls so
numerous a congregation as was assembled therein on one particular
September morning,


somewhere about the middle of the present century.  It must be
confessed that this unusual assemblage had not been drawn together to
see and hear the officiating Clergyman (who had never, at any time,
been a special attraction), although that ecclesiastical Ruin was
present, and looked almost picturesque in the unwonted glories of a
clean surplice and white kid gloves.  But, this decorative appearance
of the Ruin, coupled with the fact that it was made on a week-day,
was a sufficient proof that no ordinary circumstance had brought
about this goodly assemblage.

At length, after much expectant waiting, those on the outside of the
Church discerned the figure of small Jock Muir mounted on his highly
trained donkey, and galloping along at a tearing pace from the
direction of Honeywood Hall.  It soon became evident that he was the
advance guard of two carriages that were being rapidly whirled along
the rough road that led by the rocky banks of the Swirl.  Before
small Jock drew rein, he had struggled to relieve his own excitement,
and that of the crowd, by pointing to the carriages and shouting,
"Yon's the greums, wi' the t'other priest!" the correctness of which
assertion was speedily manifested by the arrival of the "grooms" in
question, who were none other than Mr. Verdant Green and Mr.
Frederick Delaval, accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Larkyns (who was to
"assist" at the ceremony) and their "best men," who were Mr. Bouncer
and a cousin of Frederick Delaval's.  Which quintet of gentlemen at
once went into the Church, and commenced a whispered conversation
with the ecclesiastical Ruin. These circumstances, taken in
conjunction with the gorgeous attire of the gentlemen, their white
gloves, their waistcoats "equal to any emergency" (as Mr. Bouncer had
observed), and the bows of white satin ribbon that gave a festive
appearance to themselves, their carriage-horses, and postilions -
sufficiently proclaimed the fact that a wedding - and that, too, a
double one - was at hand.

The assembled crowd had now sufficient to engage their attention, by
the approach of a very special train of carriages, that was brought
to a grand termination by two travelling-carriages, respectively
drawn by four greys, which were decorated with flowers and white
ribbons, and were bestridden by gay postilions in gold-tasseled caps
and scarlet jackets.  No wonder that so unusual a procession should
have attracted such an assemblage; no wonder that Old Andrew Graham
(who was there with his well-favoured daughters) should pronounce it
"a brae sight for weak een."

As the clatter of the carriages announced their near approach to
Lasthope Church, Mr. Verdant Green - who had been in the highest
state of excitement, and had distractedly occupied him-


self in looking at his watch to see if it was twelve o'clock; in
arranging his Oxford-blue tie; in futilely endeavouring to button his
gloves; in getting ready, for the fiftieth time, the gratuity that
should make the Ruin's heart to leap for joy; in longing for brandy
and water; and in attending to the highly-out-of-place advice of Mr.
Bouncer, relative to the sustaining of his "pecker" - Mr. Verdant
Green was thereupon seized with the fearful apprehension that he had
lost the ring; and, after an agonizing and trembling search in all
his pockets, was only relieved by finding it in his glove (where he
had put it for safety) just as the double bridal procession entered
the church.

Of the proceedings of the next hour or two, Mr. Verdant Green never
had a clear perception.  He had a dreamy idea of seeing a bevy of
ladies and gentlemen pouring into the church, in a mingled stream of
bright-coloured silks and satins, and dark-coloured broadcloths, and
lace, and ribbons, and mantles, and opera cloaks, and bouquets; and,
that this bright stream, followed by a rush of dark shepherd's-plaid
waves, surged up the aisle, and, dividing confusedly, shot out from
their centre a blue coat and brass buttons (in which, by the way, was
Mr. Honeywood), on the arms of which were hanging two white-robed
figures, partially shrouded with Honiton-lace veils, and crowned with
orange blossoms.

Mr. Verdant Green has a dim remembrance of the party being marshalled
to their places by a confused clerk, who assigned the wrong brides to
the wrong bridegrooms, and appeared excessively anxious that his
mistake should not be corrected.  Mr. Verdant Green also had an idea
that he himself was in that state of mind in which he would passively
have allowed himself to be united to Miss Kitty Honeywood, or to Miss
Letitia Jane Morkin (who was one of Miss Patty's bridesmaids), or to
Mrs. Hannah More, or to the Hottentot Venus, or to any one in the
female shape who might have thought proper to take his bride's place.
Mr. Verdant Green also had a general recollection of making
responses, and feeling much as he did when in for his ~viva voce~
examination at college; and of experiencing a difficulty when called
upon to place the ring on one of the fingers of the white hand held
forth to him, and of his probable selection of the thumb for the
ring's resting place, had not the bride considerately poked out the
proper finger, and assisted him to place the golden circlet in its
assigned position.  Mr. Verdant Green had also a misty idea that the
service terminated with kisses, tears, and congratulations; and, that
there was a great deal of writing and signing of names in two
documentary-looking books; and that he had mingled feelings that it
was all over, that he was made very happy, and that he wished he
could forthwith project himself into the middle of the next week.


Mr. Verdant Green had also a dozy idea that he was guided into a
carriage by a hand that lay lovingly upon his arm; and, that he shook
a variety of less delicate hands that there were thrust out to him in
hearty northern fashion; and, that the two cracked old bells of
Lasthope Church made a lunatic attempt to ring a wedding peal, and
only succeeded in producing music like to that which attends the
hiving of bees; and, that he jumped into the carriage, amid a burst
of cheering and God-blessings; and, that he heard the carriage-steps
and door shut to with a clang; and that he felt a sensation of being
whirled on by moving figures, and sliding scenery; and, that he found
the carriage tenanted by one other person, and that person, his WIFE.

"My darling wife! My dearest wife! My own wife!" It was all that his
heart could find to say.  It was sufficient, for the present, to ring
the tuneful changes on that novel word, and to clasp the little hand
that trembled under its load of happiness, and to press that little
magic circle, out of which the necromancy of Marriage should conjure
such wonders and delights.

The wedding breakfast - which was attended, among others, by Mr. and
Mrs. Poletiss (~nee~ Morkins), and by Charles Larkyns and his wife,
who was now

                        "The mother of the sweetest little maid
                        That ever crow'd for kisses,"-

the wedding breakfast, notwithstanding that it was such a substantial
reality, appeared to Mr. Verdant Green's bewildered mind to resemble
somewhat the pageant of a dream.  There was the usual spasmodic
gaiety of conversation that is inherent to bridal banquets, and
toasts were proclaimed and honoured, and speeches were made - indeed,
he himself made one, of which he could not recall a word.  Sufficient
let it be for our present purpose, therefore, to briefly record the
speech of Mr. Bouncer, who was deputed to return thanks for the
duplicate bodies of bridesmaids.

Mr. Bouncer (who with some difficulty checked his propensity to
indulge in Oriental figurativeness of expression) was understood to
observe, that on interesting occasions like the present, it was the
custom for the youngest groomsman to return thanks on behalf of the
bridesmaids; and that he, not being the youngest, had considered
himself safe from this onerous duty. For though the task was a
pleasing one, yet it was one of fearful responsibility.  It was
usually regarded as a sufficiently difficult and hazardous
experiment, when one single gentleman attempted to express the
sentiments of one single lady; but when, as in the present case,
there were ten single ladies, whose unknown opinions had to be
conveyed through the medium of one single gentleman, then the experi-


ment became one from which the boldest heart might well shrink.  He
confessed that he experienced these emotions of timidity on the
present occasion.  (~Cries of "Oh!"~) He felt, that to adequately
discharge the duties entrusted would require the might of an engine
of ten-bridesmaid power.  He would say more, but his feelings
overcame him.  (~Renewed cries of "Oh!"~) Under these circumstances
he thought that he had better take his leave of the subject,
convinced that the reply to the toast would be most eloquently
conveyed by the speaking eyes of the ten blooming bridesmaids.  (~Mr.
Bouncer resumes his seat amid great approbation.~)

Then the brides disappeared, and after a time made their
re-appearance in travelling dresses. Then there were tears and
"doubtful joys," and blessings, and farewells, and the departure of
the two carriages-and-four (under a brisk fire of old shoes) to the
nearest railway station, from whence the happy couples set out, the
one for Paris, the other for the Cumberland Lakes; and it was amid
those romantic lakes, with their mountains and waterfalls, that Mr.
Verdant Green sipped the sweets of the honeymoon, and realized the
stupendous fact that he was a married man.

        *       *       *       *       *       *       *

The honeymoon had barely passed, and November had come, when Mr.
Verdant Green was again to be seen in Oxford - a bachelor only in the
University sense of the term, for his wife was with him, and they had
rooms in the High Street.  Mr. Bouncer was also there, and had
prevailed upon Verdant to invite his sister Fanny to join them and be
properly chaperoned by Mrs. Verdant.  For, that wedding-day in
Northumberland had put an effectual stop to the little gentleman's
determination to refrain from the wedded state, and he could now say
with Benedick, "When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I
should live till I were married."  But Miss Fanny Green had looked so
particularly charming in her bridesmaid's dress, that little Mr.
Bouncer was inspired with the notable idea, that he should like to
see her playing first fiddle, and attired in the still more
interesting costume of a bride.  On communicating this inspiration
(couched, it must be confessed, in rather extraordinary language) to
Miss Fanny, he found that the young lady was far from averse to
assisting him to carry out his idea; and in further conversation with
her, it was settled that she should follow the example of her sister
Helen (who was "engaged" to the Rev. Josiah Meek, now the rector of a
Worcestershire parish), and consider herself as "engaged" to Mr.
Bouncer.  Which facetious idea of the little gentleman's was rendered
the more amusing from its being accepted and agreed to by the


young lady's parents and "the Mum."  So here was Mr. Bouncer again in
Oxford, an "engaged" man, in company with the object of his
affections, both being prepared as soon as possible to follow the
example of Mr. and Mrs. Verdant Green.  Before Verdant could "put on
his gown," certain preliminaries had to be observed.  First, he had
to call, as a matter of courtesy, on the head of his College, to whom
he had to show his Testamur, and whose formal permission he requested
that he might put on his gown.

"Oh yes!" replied Dr. Portman, in his monosyllabic tones, as though
he were reading aloud from a child's primer; "oh yes, cer-tain-ly! I
was de-light-ed to know that you had pass-ed and that you have been
such a cred-it to your col-lege.  You will o-blige me, if you please,
by pre-sent-ing your-self to the Dean of Arts."  And then Dr. Portman
shook hands with Verdant, wished him good morning, and resumed his
favourite study of the Greek particles.

Then, at an appointed hour in the evening, Verdant, in company with
other men of his college, went to the Dean of Arts, who heard them
read through the Thirty-nine Articles, and dismissed them with this
parting intimation - "Now, gentlemen! 
I shall expect to see you at the Divinity School in the morning at
ten o'clock.  You must come with your bands and gown, and fees; and
be sure, gentlemen, that you do not forget the fees!"  So in the
morning Verdant takes Patty to the Schools, and commits her to the
charge of Mr. Bouncer, who conducts her and Miss Fanny to one of the
raised seats in the Convocation House, from whence they will have a
good view of the conferring of Degrees.  Mr. Verdant Green finds the


precincts of the Schools tenanted by droves of college Butlers,
Porters, and Scouts, hanging about for the usual fees and old gowns,
and carrying blue bags, in which are the new gowns.  Then - having
seen that Mr. Robert Filcher is in attendance with his own particular
gown - he struggles through the Pig-market,* thronged with bustling
Bedels and University Marshals, and other officials.  Then, as
opportunity offers, he presents himself to the senior Squire Bedel in
Arts, George Valentine Cox, Esq., who sits behind a table, and, in
his polite and scholarly manner, puts the usual questions to him, and
permits him, on the due payment of all the fees, to write his name in
a large book, and to place "Fil. Gen."+  after his autograph.  Then
he has to wait some time until the superior Degrees are conferred,
and the Doctors and Masters have taken their seats, and the Proctors
have made their apparently insane promenade.++

Then the Deans come into the ante-chamber to see if the men of their
respective Colleges are duly present, properly dressed, and have
faithfully paid the fees.  Then, when the Deans, having
satisfactorily ascertained these facts, have gone back again into the
Convocation House, the Yeoman Bedel rushes forth with his silver
"poker," and summons all the Bachelors, in a very precipitate and far
from impressive manner, with "Now, then, gentlemen! please all of you
to come in! you're wanted!"  Then the Bachelors enter the Convocation
House in a troop, and stand in the area, in front of the
Vice-Chancellor and the two Proctors.  Then are these young men duly
quizzed by the strangers present, especially by the young ladies,
who, besides noticing their own friends, amuse themselves by picking
out such as they suppose to have been reading men, fast men, or slow
men - taking the face as the index of the mind.  We may be sure that
there is a young married lady present who does not indulge in futile
speculations of this sort, but fixes her whole attention on the
figure of Mr. Verdant Green.

Then the Bedel comes with a pile of Testaments, and gives one to each
man; Dr. Bliss, the Registrar of the University, administers to them
the oath, and they kiss the book.  Then the Deans present them to the
Vice-Chancellor in a short Latin form; and then the Vice-Chancellor,
standing up uncovered, with the Proctors standing on either side,
addresses them in these words: "Domini, ego admitto vos ad lectionem
cujuslibet libri Logices Aristotelis; et insuper earum Artium, quas
et quatenus per Statuta audivisse tenemini; insuper autoritate mea et
totius universitatis, do vobis potestatem intrandi

[* The derivation of this word has already been given.  See Part I,
p. 46.]
+ ~i.e.~, Filius Generosi - the son of a gentleman of independent means.
++ See note, Part I, p. 114.


scholas, legendi, disputandi, et reliqua omnia faciendi, quae ad
gradum Baccalaurei in Artibus spectant."

When the Vice-Chancellor has spoken these remarkable words which,
after three years of university reading and expense, grant so much
that has not been asked or wished for, the newly-made Bachelors rush
out of the Convocation House in wild confusion, and stand on one side
to allow the Vice-Chancellarian procession to pass.  Then, on
emerging from the Pig-market, they hear St. Mary's bells, which sound
to them sweeter than ever.  

Mrs. Verdant Green is especially delighted with her husband's
voluminous bachelor's gown and white-furred hood (articles which Mr.
Robert Filcher, when helping to put them on his master in the
ante-chamber, had declared to be "the most becomingest things as was
ever wore on a gentleman's shoulders"), and forthwith carries him off
to be photographed while the gloss of his new glory is yet upon him.
Of course, Mr. Verdant Green and all the new Bachelors are most
profusely "capped;" and, of course, all this servile homage -
although appreciated at its full worth, and repaid by shillings and
quarts of buttery beer - of course it is most grateful to the
feelings, and is as delightfully intoxicating to the imagination as
any incense of flattery can be.

What a pride does Mr. Verdant Green feel as he takes his bride
through the streets of his beautiful Oxford! how complacently he
conducts her to lunch at the confectioner's who had supplied ~their~
wedding-cake! how he escorts her (under the pretence of making
purchases) to every shop at which he has


dealt, that he may gratify his innocent vanity in showing off his
charming bride! how boldly he catches at the merest college
acquaintance, solely that he may have the proud pleasure of
introducing "My wife!"

But what said Mrs. Tester, the bed-maker? "Law bless you, sir!" said
that estimable lady, dabbing her curtseys where there were stops,
like the beats of a conductor's ~baton~ - "Law bless you, sir! I've
bin a wife meself, sir.  And I knows your feelings."

And what said Mr. Robert Filcher? "Mr. Verdant Green," said he, "I'm
sorry as how you've done with Oxford, sir, and that we're agoing to
lose you.  And this I ~will~ say, sir! if ever there was a gentleman
I were sorry to part with, it's you, sir.  But I hopes, sir, that
you've got a wife as'll be a good wife to you, sir; and make you ten
times happier than you've been in Oxford, sir!"

        And so say we.

                                                THE END.


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