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Title: Oxford Days - or How Ross Got His Degree
Author: Weatherly, Frederic Edward
Language: English
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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.

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                             OXFORD DAYS;
                       HOW ROSS GOT HIS DEGREE.

                          BY A RESIDENT M.A.

                                London:
              SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON,
                  CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREET.
                                 1879.
                       [_All rights reserved._]

                                LONDON:
                   GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, PRINTERS,
                          ST. JOHN’S SQUARE.



PREFACE.


“Oxford Days” is not shaped on the lines of either _Verdant Green_ or
_Tom Brown at Oxford_. Its purpose, rather, is to furnish a practical
guide to all the features of University life; but it has been thought
that, by adopting the narrative form, the dry bones of a handbook may
be made to live.

_Oxford_, 1879.



CONTENTS.


                           PAGE

             CHAPTER I.

    GONE TO OXFORD            1

             CHAPTER II.

    AN OXFORD SUNDAY         23

             CHAPTER III.

    THE FRESHMAN’S TERM      39

             CHAPTER IV.

    THE EIGHTS               51

             CHAPTER V.

    THE LONG VACATION        68

             CHAPTER VI.

    “THE FLYING TERMS”       77

             CHAPTER VII.

    A READING PARTY          88

             CHAPTER VIII.

    IN THE THICK OF IT      120

             CHAPTER IX.

    THE CLOSE               139

             CHAPTER X.

    GOWN AT LAST            149



OXFORD DAYS; OR, HOW ROSS GOT HIS DEGREE.



CHAPTER I.

GONE TO OXFORD.


There was a long discussion between the Vicar of Porchester and
Mr. Ross, the lawyer, as they walked together after evening service
to the vicarage. Frank Ross was just eighteen, the eldest of six
brothers. He was still at school, but it was time for him to go to the
University. Oxford had been chosen--not from any notion of superiority
to Cambridge, but simply because of school and home associations.
The difficulty was the choice of a college. The vicar--a well-to-do
bachelor--an old Eton and Christ-Church man, advised his own college.
But Mr. Ross was frightened. “Christ-Church” to him had ever been a
terror, and meant waste of time and money, in the shape of cards,
drink, and horse-flesh; and all the vicar’s eloquence could not shake
his unfounded prejudice. The result of the discussion was that Mr. Ross
decided to write to a friend at Oxford, settled there as a “coach;” and
also to Mr. Rickards, a country doctor, with a family larger even than
his own. The doctor’s answer was as follows:--

    “DEAR ROSS,--My boy is going to Brasenose: at least, he goes
    up in May to try for a close scholarship. I can give you no
    advice, as I know nothing about the place. I sent him to the
    Hereford Cathedral School by a fluke some years ago; and as
    there are scholarships and exhibitions from the school to
    Brasenose, I am saved the difficulty of choosing a college.

        “Yours truly,

                                                     “W. RICKARDS.”

The vicar explained that a “close” scholarship was, like other
scholarships, a sum of money paid annually for four or five years as a
prize, but differed from them in being confined to competition among
boys from certain schools; and that the value of them varied from
45_l._ to 80_l._ per annum, part being paid in money, and part made
up in allowances in the way of diminished fees. The letter from the
“coach” was more valuable:--

    “DEAR MR. ROSS,--So much depends on your son’s abilities, your
    own means and wishes, that I cannot answer your question as to
    the best college, off-hand. I think I may assume that you do
    not want him to spend more money than is absolutely necessary;
    and possibly that you would wish him to ‘go in for honours’
    instead of taking a Pass Degree, that is, offering the smallest
    possible number of subjects for examination. I need hardly say
    that a high degree in honours opens the way to a Fellowship,
    or at any rate to good masterships in schools; and is, in
    fact, a distinct help, directly and indirectly, not only in
    educational, but in all professions.

    “It is far better for a lad to go to a good college, even
    though he is unable to obtain a scholarship or any other
    college endowment, than to go to an inferior college, where he
    may succeed in getting pecuniary assistance. To illustrate what
    I mean: I believe, in the long run, it would be wiser to send
    your son as a commoner to Balliol than as a scholar to Wadham.
    If, from a pecuniary point of view, you do not care for him
    to get a scholarship, nor want him to read for honours, and
    are not particular as to whether he spends 300_l._ or 500_l._
    a year (or even more), I should send him to Christ-Church,
    Brasenose, Exeter, or University. The first two especially were
    in my day emphatically popular colleges, and I believe are so
    still. But I would not send him to either unless you are fully
    prepared for the amount of expenditure which I have named.
    Possibly you might like our only denominational college--Keble.
    He would be most carefully looked after in every way, and
    his expenses kept within a fixed limit. The Warden and
    Tutors devote their whole energies to their men, and the men
    themselves speak in the most affectionate terms of them--a most
    exceptional fact, I assure you. But I must warn you that the
    religious tone of the college is distinctly pronounced, and
    inclines to ritualistic rather than to evangelical doctrines.

    “If your son’s college life will be a pinch to you (you
    will allow me to speak thus plainly on such a question),
    send him as an Unattached Student. But here, again, you and
    he should clearly understand that the life of an unattached
    student is isolated, and quite unlike the life of the college
    undergraduate. The only exception to this statement is when an
    undergraduate migrates, as for various reasons sometimes he
    is obliged, from his college to the body of the Unattached.
    His society, being already formed, remains unbroken. I should
    fancy your choice will lie between New College, Corpus, Paul’s,
    and Balliol. A scholarship at either means that the scholar
    is capable, with industry, of gaining the highest honours in
    his future University examinations. On the whole, I think, I
    incline to Paul’s. Unfortunately, you have just missed the
    examination for scholarships. There is, however, an ordinary
    matriculation examination for commoners in about three weeks’
    time. If your son holds a good position in his school, he ought
    to have no difficulty in passing even at this short notice, for
    the subjects are those which are read in forms lower than the
    highest at all schools. I shall be happy to do anything further
    in the matter for you that I can. He should come prepared for
    residence, in the event of his passing. The examination begins
    on the Wednesday after Easter, and will be over in time for
    successful candidates to ‘come into residence’ with the other
    men on the following Saturday. You should send an application
    to the Master of Paul’s at once. I enclose a list of subjects
    and fees, and am

        “Yours truly,

                                                “PHILIP WODEHOUSE.”

               “SUBJECTS FOR MATRICULATION AT PAUL’S.[1]

        “1. Translation from English into Latin prose.

        “2. Translation into English of an unprepared passage
        of Attic Greek.

        “3. Translation of some portion of a Greek and Latin
        author (to be selected by the candidate), with parsing
        and general grammar questions.

        “4. Arithmetic, including Vulgar and Decimal Fractions
        and Interest.

        “5. Euclid, Books I. and II.; _or_ Algebra, to Simple
        Equations.

                                “FEES.

        “(_a_) To the University at Matriculation 2_l._ 10_s._

        “(_b_) To the College, as caution-money 30_l._[2]

        “Room-rent varies from 10_l._ to 16_l._ per annum.
        This does not include furniture, which must be taken
        at a valuation from the previous tenant; 25_l._ is an
        average valuation-price. China, glass, linen, plate,
        and household necessaries must all be procured. It
        is wiser to bring plate and linen. The rest may be
        purchased from the ‘scout’ (servant) apportioned to the
        rooms. For this, say 10_l._ The immediate payments,
        therefore, amount to 2_l._ 10_s._ + 30_l._ + 10_l._ =
        42_l._ 10_s._ The payment for the furniture must be
        made early in term; and the establishment charges,
        tuition fees, expenses of board and rent, are paid
        terminally.”[3]

So Paul’s was chosen, and a letter of application forwarded to the
Master;[4] and Frank, who was then at home for the Easter vacation,
commenced polishing up his work in view of the approaching examination.
On Easter Tuesday he left home by an early train, with a note to Mr.
Wodehouse in his pocket. That gentleman entertained him at dinner with
a long list of examination stories, and about nine o’clock marched him
off to the Clarendon Hotel, where, with a word to the landlady, he left
him, nervous at the thought of the morrow, but conscious of his own
dignity and the near approach of the manhood which is supposed to date
from matriculation.

It was with some difficulty that Frank preserved his self-composure
in the presence of the waiters, as he sat at breakfast in the
“Clarendon” coffee-room. He did not particularly enjoy his meal, and,
in obedience to Mr. Wodehouse’s injunctions, left at half-past nine
to make his way to Paul’s. After one or two mistakes, he succeeded in
finding the college gates. His anxiety as to his next step was set at
rest by the sight that met him. About a dozen boys (to be called men
after matriculation) were hanging about the Lodge, in various typical
conditions of mind and body--some completely at their ease, chatting
unconcernedly; others standing nervously alone. Most wore black coats
and chimney-pot hats--the costume that only a few years ago was
rigorously insisted on. A few through ignorance, or in obedience to the
spirit of the day, wore defiantly light suits and bowler hats. Frank,
to his great delight, found a school-fellow whose coming up had, like
his own, been hurriedly decided in the vacation. The two friends had
not much time for conversation, for in a few minutes a respectable
middle-aged man, whom they knew afterwards to be the Porter, said, “You
are to walk this way, gentlemen, please,” and conducted them to the
College-Hall. It is a fine old place, with dark oak panels, coloured
windows, portraits, and coats-of-arms; and to the boy up in Oxford
for his first visit, and that visit so solemn a one as matriculation,
there is an unspeakable charm, and a novelty sobered into grandeur,
about everything. How the grave faces of the college founders and
celebrities looked down upon the wondering eyes! Bishop and knight,
king and duchess--there they stared! How the light streamed through
the coloured windows! Who could tell? Perhaps one day, Frank thought,
when he was a rich man, he might have that one vacant window filled, or
some of his descendants might present to the college a portrait of Sir
Francis Ross, attired in wig and gown, one of Her Majesty’s--or rather,
perhaps, His Majesty’s--judges, if not Lord Chancellor.

He started abruptly from his dreams, and came back to the first rung
on the ladder that was leading to such prospective fame. There before
him stretched three lines of tables and benches down the length of the
hall. Across the end, on a slightly-raised daïs, ran another table,
where the handsome chairs indicated beings superior to undergraduates.
It was, in fact, the High table, where the Master and Fellows dined,
and any resident Masters of Arts who cared to do so.

This morning it was devoted to the more serious purposes of
examination. Ten ink-bottles, fifteen blotting-pads, fifteen sheets of
white paper printed, with a few sheets of blue paper and two or three
quill pens lying by each: that was the fare this morning--“the feast
of reason” that was in such strong contrast to the “flow of soul” that
would grace the table at six o’clock that evening.

One of the junior Fellows was in charge of the examination. He was
reading the _Times_ as Frank and his companions entered, sitting on
the table, with his legs dangling in a graceful attitude of studied
negligence. He took no notice of the victims, till the Porter had
conducted them to the table and motioned them to take seats. Then he
looked up from his newspaper and said,--

“You will have till half-past twelve. Write your names clearly; and
please bear in mind that we expect answers from both books of Euclid.”

Then he resumed his newspaper and adopted a more dignified attitude.

Frank looked at his questions. Eleven in all; some definitions, six
propositions from the first book, and four from the second. He wrote
his name at the head of his paper, and made a great blot in doing so.
His hand grew hot. He dashed at the first definition,--

“_A circle is a plane figure contained in one straight line._”

His pen spluttered warningly at the word _straight_. A blot fell, and
fell luckily on the fatal word. He tore up the paper and commenced
again.

Making a good start, his hands grew cool, his head calm; and with the
old portraits beaming upon him, away he wrote. He completed the six
propositions of the first book; then, pausing for breath, saw that
almost everybody else had his watch on the table. Frank pulled out his.
_A quarter to twelve!_ He had blundered, he knew. He ought to have
timed himself, and left more time for the second book. However, his
success had put him at his ease, for he knew all the propositions well
so far; and he buckled-to vigorously. By hard writing he managed to do
three propositions. The last was the thirteenth. He knew he could not
do it in five minutes, and he must allow himself time to read over his
work. He had barely done even this when the papers were collected, and
they were dismissed, with instructions to appear again at two.

Frank went out with his friend, discussing the Euclid paper.

They lunched together at the “Clarendon,” wisely confining themselves
to a little cold meat and sherry, and at two o’clock were again
hard at work at Latin prose. It was a piece from “Pilgrim’s
Progress”--something about Giant Despair, his wife, and her bed. And
judging from the various unhappy faces, an observer might have thought
that the choice of the giant was somewhat prophetical. Frank, however,
had done, not the identical piece, but several pieces in the same style
before, and accordingly did not find so much difficulty.

Out at four o’clock, they strolled down Oriel Street, past Corpus, by
Merton Church, and into Christ-Church Broad Walk; and meeting three
friends, also up for matriculation at some other college, took a boat
from Salter’s and rowed to Iffley, Frank steering.

Luckily the river was not crowded, as in full term, or the erratic
course which Frank steered would have brought down upon him the shrill
abuse of some eight-oar’s coxswain, even if not a quiet spill into the
water.

Thursday passed much in the same way: Frank, on the whole, satisfied
with his work; Monkton, his friend, somewhat desponding. The hours
after work would have been dull had there not been so much to see.
The friends mooned about till half-past six, and then had meat-tea at
Monkton’s lodgings in Ship Street; and with “Verdant Green” and the
“Mysteries of the Isis” beguiled the evening till they turned into bed.
What a relief it was when Friday morning came, and with it the last
paper! At two that afternoon they were met in the Lodge by the Porter,
who had an important-looking paper in his hands.

“Please to wait a moment, gentlemen,” he said, as all the candidates
were hurrying off across the quadrangle to the hall; “these are the
gentlemen that are to go for _vivâ voce_.” And he proceeded to read out
six names, among which Frank and Monkton, to their great delight, heard
their own. They hardly thought of the disconsolate nine who, hearing
the last name on the list, hopelessly oozed one by one out at the
Lodge-gates.

Reaching the hall, the chosen six found the Master and six of the
Fellows, all attired in cap, gown, and dignity, seated at the High
table. They were told to sit down at one side of the hall, and then,
one by one, were summoned to that awful table and examined. Monkton’s
ordeal came first, and it was a trying one. He was first questioned
(very sharply, as it seemed to Frank) on some of his papers, and
then given some written questions and sent to a side table. Frank
was not aware, then, that this process--familiarly known as “second
paper”--meant that Monkton’s success hung by a thread on the result
of his work this afternoon. His own turn came next. The Fellow who
examined him saw he was nervous, and, as usual with almost every
examiner, spoke pleasantly and reassuringly to him.

“Take your Greek Testament, Mr. Ross,” he said, “and turn to the fifth
chapter of St. Matthew, and translate the first six verses.”

Frank turned to the passage indicated. He knew it at a glance, and
that reassured him; and when he was next told to open a “Cicero” that
was lying on the table he felt comparatively at his ease. He got
through about six lines of the Second Philippic, and was then asked a
few disconnected questions.

“Do you know what circumstances led to the delivery of this speech?”

He did know, but words failed him, and he bungled.

“Never mind,” answered the examiner. “Who was Hannibal? and what
battles did he fight?”

Frank answered, naming them.

“What is the construction after verbs of commanding in Latin?”

“Can you mention any of our Lord’s parables which teach the duty of
watchfulness?” and so forth.

Then came the pleasant dismissal,--

“That will do, thank you. You need not wait.”

Frank departed, and, making friends with the Porter, told him all that
had passed.

“Ah! you’re all right, sir,” said George; and George’s statement
proved true.

In about three-quarters of an hour the Master and Fellows came out of
the hall and dispersed to their respective rooms, and presently George
appeared with a piece of blue paper, which he nailed on the gate. Five
names--Frank’s second, and Monkton’s absent.

“Those gentlemen that mean to reside this term,” said George, “are to
call on the Dean between five and six this evening, and bring their
fees. Those that don’t are to leave Oxford at once, and notice will be
sent to them in the Long Vacation before next term begins.”

Frank meant to reside, and was one of the first to call on the Dean.
That gentleman received him courteously; told him he had done very
fairly in the examination; hoped he would read hard and be steady;
asked him his name, age, father’s name, residence, and profession,
and various other particulars, all of which he entered in a book;
received his caution-money (30_l._), and told him to ask the Porter the
staircase and number of the rooms allotted to him.

“Be here,” he added, as Frank was leaving, “at a quarter to ten
to-morrow morning, that I may take you before the Vice-Chancellor.”

At the Porter’s advice, Frank took a cab and drove to the “Clarendon,”
paid his bill, got his luggage together, and drove back to college. By
this time the Porter had the list of the newly-allotted rooms.

“Yours are No. 5, sir, three-pair right.”

Frank stared.

“No. 5 over the doorway, sir,” he then explained, pointing across the
quadrangle to a doorway, over which Frank discerned the wished-for
number; “three flights o’ stairs; the rooms on the right hand. No. 5,
three-pair right--that’s how we call it. You’ll find your scout there.
You’re too late for dinner. The hall-bell went twenty minutes ago.”

Frank crossed the quadrangle, climbed the stairs, and found his rooms.
They were neither large, nor particularly clean, as regarded paper and
paint; and the carpets and coverings were decidedly dingy. But they
were _his_ rooms, and he was an Oxford man! and that was _his_ scout
bustling in from the rooms opposite to welcome him. After a little
conversation, the fact of his ownership became still more apparent, for
the scout proceeded to show him a collection of glass and china and
household implements, on the merits and absolute necessity of which
he enlarged. The mere transfer of glass and china supplies a nice
little addition to the scout’s perquisites. The articles are, in the
first instance, purchased by some undergraduate who prefers his own
choice to what his scout has ready to offer him. He, on leaving his
rooms, bequeaths them to his scout. Custom is so tyrannical in Oxford.
The scout sells the articles to the next tenant, who, in his turn,
bequeaths them to the same willing legatee, when again they are sold to
the new-comer. How long this goes on it is hard to say. Sometimes the
smooth course is interrupted by some strong-minded undergraduate, who,
ignoring custom, takes his effects with him when he leaves. The little
bill was as follows:--

FRANK ROSS, ESQ., _to_ WILLIAM GREEN.

                                                            £ _s._ _d._
    3 Cut-glass Decanters                                   2   0   0
    Claret Jug                                              1   0   0
    3 dozen Wine-glasses (mixed)                            1  10   0
    8 Tumblers                                              0   9   6
    A Dessert Set                                           0  18   0
    15 Dinner Plates                                        0  13   6
    7 Cheese Plates                                         0   5   6
    Tea Set, consisting of Milk Jug, Sugar Basin, Bowl, 8
        Breakfast Cups, 6 Tea Cups, 9 Plates (all mixed)    2   2   0
    Metal Tea-pot                                           0   7   6
    Broom                                                   0   8   0
    Dustpan and Brush                                       0   3   6
    6 Dusters                                               0   6   0
    6 Tea-cloths                                            0   6   0
                                                           -----------
                                                           £9  19   6
                                                           ===========

Shortly afterwards, as Frank was unpacking, a youth of most obsequious
manners arrived, carrying a cap and gown for the Freshman, who received
them with a murmur of gratified pleasure, making no inquiries about the
cost or who had given the order; considering that, of course, what was
thus sent must be _en règle_. The bill arrived within a week, with a
polite intimation that payment was not requested, and an invitation to
inspect the stock of the obliging tailors.

FRANK ROSS, ESQ., _to_ Cutter and Co.

                         _s._ _d._
    A College Cap          7   6
    A Commoner’s Gown     15   0
                       ----------
                       £1  2   6
                       ==========

Three years later, when pressed by duns and threatened with proceedings
in the Vice-Chancellor’s Court, Frank remembered these gentle
disclaimers of any wish for payment.

What with talking to his scout and unpacking, nine o’clock soon
arrived: the hour when the kitchen and buttery were opened for supper.
William suggested that his master would like some supper, and in a
short time supper was brought.

“I shan’t eat all that,” expostulated Frank, when he saw the plateful
of meat and lumps of bread and butter.

“Only one ‘commons,’ sir,” replied William.

Frank said nothing, but saw distinctly that the standard called “one
commons,” for which his father would have to pay daily through his
three or four years, was based on the principle that “what is ordered
for one should be enough for two.” However, he enjoyed his supper; and
so did the scout, who carried home his share, with similar portions
from the other six rooms on the staircase to which it was his duty to
attend.

The following morning, duly attired in cap and gown, with white
tie and black coat at William’s suggestion, Frank betook himself
to the Dean’s rooms. There he met the four other Freshmen who had
“passed” with him, was asked if he had his fee ready, and then
conducted in a sheepish, silent procession, headed by the Dean, to the
Vice-Chancellor. There were several groups of Freshmen standing with
their respective Deans, Vice-Principals, or other college officials.
Then they were all told to write their names in a book in Latin--a
novel though not difficult feat, which Frank, with the assistance of
his Dean, accomplished.

“Ross, Franciscus, filius Armigeri, è collegio S. Pauli.”

He then handed in his fee, 2_l._ 10_s._, and received in return a
little piece of blue paper, the certificate of matriculation, together
with a copy of the University statutes. The Vice-Chancellor addressed
them all in a short Latin formula; and when this was over, Frank had
time to read the document, which ran thus:--

                                                      “Term. Pasch.
                          “Oxoniæ, die Ap. 27mo, Anno Domini 187--.

    “Quo die comparuit coram me Franciscus Ross, è Coll. S. Pauli,
    Arm. Fil. et admonitus est de observandis statutis hujus
    Universitatis et in matriculam Universitatis relatus est.

                                                  “----, Vice-Can.”

He was now fully matriculated, and amenable to all the details of
University discipline. At six o’clock he dined in Hall--his first
dinner--not without the usual blunder of seating himself at a table
appropriated to undergraduates at least two years his seniors; and at
eight went to chapel--the hour being changed on first nights in term
from half-past five to eight, to enable men from distant homes to put
in an appearance. The chapel was very much crowded, Paul’s having
considerably outgrown its accommodation; but it was only on first
nights that the inconvenience was felt, for as it was not necessary to
attend service more than four times in the week, all the men were never
there together.

Coming out, he met several old school-fellows, and the senior of them
carried them all off to his lodgings in Holywell Street, where over
wine and pipes they sat chatting till past ten o’clock; Frank, for the
most part, listening without saying much, for he was but a Freshman,
and this his first pipe.

When he got back to Paul’s he found the gates locked; but as he had
read “Verdant Green” very carefully, he did not think it necessary to
apologize to George for giving him the trouble of opening. He knew that
“knocking in” before eleven o’clock only meant twopence in his weekly
“battels.”[5]

That night, when he got into bed, though he did not feel quite a
“man,” he felt conscious of having undergone some considerable change
since he left home on Tuesday morning.



CHAPTER II.

AN OXFORD SUNDAY.


On Sunday morning he woke to the words that, without the slightest
variation in time or tone of delivery, called him daily for the three
years that he resided in college--“Half-past seven, sir! Do you
breakfast in?”

This was the scout’s gentle hint that chapel service was within half
an hour, and his form of inquiry whether his young master intended
breakfasting in his own rooms or was going elsewhere for the meal.

Frank, when he fully realized the meaning, answered “Yes,” and with a
freshman’s energy jumped out of bed, and was dressed before the chapel
bell began to ring. Hurrying down-stairs, in fear of being late, he was
stopped by William, with the suggestion that there was “no call to go
yet, till the bell began to swear!”

This elegant expression, Frank learnt, is applied to the quickened and
louder ringing of the bell for the five minutes immediately preceding
service. He found, not many days after, that it was quite possible, by
the aid of an Ulster, and postponement of ablutions, to get to chapel
in time if he slept till the “swearing” began.

There were not so many men present as on the previous evening. The
Master and Fellows wore surplices and hoods; the Scholars, being
undergraduates, surplices and no hoods; the commoners, black gowns. The
few--apparently senior men--who wore black gowns of longer and ampler
make than the commoners, were the Bachelors and Masters of Arts, still
“in residence,” but not on the foundation--_i.e._, neither Fellows nor
Scholars, and therefore not entitled to wear surplices. This was the
strict order for Sundays, and other high days; on other days every one
wore the black gown of his respective degree, with the single exception
of the Fellow who did chaplain’s duty for the week; for at Paul’s
there was no permanent chaplain. The first lesson was read by one of
the Scholars, the second by one of the Fellows, the prayers by the
chaplain, the Communion Service by the Master. There was no sermon; the
intention being that each undergraduate should attend “prayers” in his
own particular college-chapel, and afterwards hear a sermon preached in
the University-church to the members of the University in common. The
list of those who attend chapel is kept at Paul’s by the Bible-clerk,
at some colleges by the chapel-porter. The Bible-clerk’s further duties
are to find the lessons, to read them in the possible absence of the
proper person, and to say grace in Hall.

A man may lose caste by becoming a Bible-clerk, but it is by no
means necessary that he should. A cad (and there are many at Oxford)
distinctly degrades the post, and makes it shunned. A man wavering
between good sets and bad sets may possibly lose what little footing he
has in the former. But a thorough gentleman (it seems hardly necessary
to say so, except to disabuse many of their prejudices) need not,
and does not in the slightest degree, lower himself by holding such
a position. The emoluments amount (in money and allowances) often
to 80_l._ per annum; at Paul’s, 75_l._; but what makes the post so
especially valuable, from a pecuniary point of view, is that it can be
held with a Scholarship and an Exhibition. The Bible-clerk at Paul’s
during Frank’s first two years was holding a Scholarship of the value
of 60_l._, an Exhibition from his school of the value of 50_l._; so
that, with his clerkship of 75_l._, his income amounted to 185_l._, for
the academical year of six months. And he was one of the most popular
men in the college.

From him Frank learnt that he would have to read the first lesson
in chapel for six consecutive days in his turn; but that, being a
freshman, his turn would not come for some time yet.

On returning to his rooms he found his breakfast laid, the kettle
simmering, and letters lying on the table; one from home; the rest,
the circulars that flatter the freshman’s dignity, and coax him into
becoming a customer.

The foundation breakfast consists of bread, butter, and milk, and
in some colleges two eggs. These articles are brought by the scouts
from the buttery, and entered by the buttery-clerk to the respective
undergraduates. The bread, butter, and milk are distributed in
“commons,” the rate charged being above that of tradesmen outside
college, and the quantity being, in the case of most men, certainly too
much for one meal. The remains belong to the scout.

Fish, poultry, meat (and for luncheon, pastry), are supplied from
the kitchen. For some items the charges are reasonable, for others
exorbitant. Naturally, therefore, it is in “kitchen-orders” that the
careful student can economize, if only he can stand against the Oxford
custom, fostered by the scouts, of ordering too much. For at least
three days in the week the two customary eggs, with bread and butter,
are surely enough for breakfast, a kitchen-order being thereby avoided.
The too common habit, however, is to discard the eggs (paid for, it
must be remembered, whether eaten or not), and eat meat. It is quite
conceivable that, after one breakfast on one staircase where eight men
live, the scout may put into his basket sixteen eggs.

Tea, coffee, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, and so on, are in some colleges
procurable from the Common-room-stores, an establishment resembling an
Italian warehouse and wine-and-spirit-vault combined. Custom, if not
college regulations, will compel the undergraduate to deal with the
Common-room-man.

At Paul’s there is no such establishment, but William very kindly
supplied the deficiency by ordering in, from one of the nearest--and
dearest--grocers, a good stock of tea (at 4_s._ 6_d._ per pound,
of course), coffee, candles, matches, scented soap, biscuits, jam,
marmalade, till Frank was quite bewildered at the thought of the room
necessary for storing these delicacies. However, they did not last long.

One of the most iniquitous and yet plausible practices is that pursued
at some colleges--Paul’s among the number--of compelling undergraduates
to deal at certain shops.

Anything in the way of paper, paint, or furniture, has to be procured
at one of the shops attached to the college. These are invariably the
dearest, charging for their goods 25 and 30 per cent. more than the
many other establishments which struggle against these monopolies.

The reason given by the college authorities for this system is that
they are obliged to exercise some principle of selection of the workmen
allowed within the college walls, indiscriminate admission being open
to risk. The reason is plausible enough, but it is based entirely on
the supposition that the workmen employed by expensive firms alone are
honest. Further, what risk could there be in the conveyance of a piece
of furniture to the college gates, when its removal to the rooms of the
purchaser would be the work of the college servants?

The only method of avoiding the tyranny of the system is to employ one
of the railway carriers. The college porter, on the presumption that
the article has come by rail from the undergraduate’s home, is obliged
to admit it.

Anything like opposition to the regulation appears at present to
be useless. One daring undergraduate at Paul’s, who ventured to
remonstrate with his college dean (the authority in such matters),
was met with this characteristic answer:--“It is our system. If you
don’t like it, the college gates are open. You can remove your name
from the college books. We won’t detain you.”--an answer perfectly
admissible from the proprietor of any establishment, but insolent and
unwarrantable from one who, after all, is but an administrator in a
corporate institution.

And so it would be possible to go on and enumerate many instances in
which not only custom among his companions, but college regulations
compel the undergraduate to be extravagant and wasteful. Homes are
crippled, younger brothers and sisters deprived of the education which
is their due, and the much-vaunted University extension limited by
the very administration of the bodies that ought, and do profess, to
foster it. Questions of domestic economy are ignored by the various
commissions, though they lie at the very root of University extension.
Let additional Scholarships be founded to enable more students to
come to the University; let additional teaching power be endowed with
professorships, lectureships, and readerships, by all means; but let
perquisites be pruned down; let the enormous profits of catering cooks
and butlers be decreased; let room-rent be lowered; let “servants’
dues” pay the servants, and not need to be supplemented by charges
which never appear in the college accounts; let trade be free in the
town; let every man buy where he pleases; that is the way to extend
the benefits of University education--that is the way to enable those
to profit by it who are at present debarred--that is the way to enable
families, which now struggle to send one son to the University, to send
two for an equivalent outlay. There can be no doubt of the unnecessary
waste and extravagance in the domestic economy of the colleges when
it is remembered that though collegiate life, based as it is on
communistic principles, ought to be cheaper than any other form of
student life, as a matter of fact it is considerably more expensive.

To return to Frank’s breakfast. He found some difficulty in boiling his
eggs and making his tea. But he concealed his ignorance and ate the
eggs, and drank his tea like dish-water.

About a quarter to ten some one banged at his door, and entered with
the bang. The visitor was Crawford, of Brasenose, an old school-fellow
of Frank’s, who had gone up about three years previously.

“Hullo, young man! not finished breakfast yet!”

His cheery greeting was delightful to Frank, who felt he had in him a
true friend.

A man about three years senior to a freshman--what a power, for good or
evil, he has! His seniority inspires reverence and commands imitation.
Luckily, Crawford was a thoroughly sterling fellow. He had come to
Oxford in earnest. When he worked he worked; when he played he played.
There was the same vigour in his work as in his “stroke” on the river
or “rush” at football. He kept chapels regularly; he said, because
morning-chapel gave him a long day. There was a more earnest reason
concealed behind this; but he had a horror of the dangers of cant.
He knew what lectures were worth attending, and attended them. He
ridiculed and cut the worthless. He knew who were the best “coaches,”
and said so. He abused the charlatans. In all matters of social
etiquette he was an old-fashioned Conservative; for example, he always
wore a black coat and tall hat on Sundays, and roundly abused those who
loafed in light suits; and he never carried an umbrella or wore gloves
when attired in cap and gown--a rather silly custom, perhaps; but its
observance in the face of innovations marks the man.

After a little chat on school matters, Crawford told Frank he was
going to the University sermon; and without any compunction told
him--not asked him--to accompany him.

Frank, nothing loth, took his cap and gown, and they went together.

St. Mary’s does double duty: as a parish church and as the University
church; and here the University sermons are preached at 10.30 a.m.
and 2 p.m. on each Sunday in full term, except those of the Dean of
Christ-Church, or the Fellows of New College, Magdalen, and Merton,
which are or may be preached in the cathedral and in the chapels of
those colleges respectively.

The nave--the part appropriated to the University--was crowded when
Frank and his companion entered, for the preacher was a popular one. In
the gallery, facing that by the west window assigned to undergraduates,
the University organist, Mr. Taylor, was already seated at the organ,
with six or eight chorister boys round him. One of these hung a board,
with the number of the selected hymn, over the gallery, and then the
voluntary commenced.

At 10.30 precisely the procession entered at the north door: the
vice-chancellor, preceded by his mace-bearers, the esquire bedels and
marshals, and followed by the heads of houses, the preacher, and the
proctors. Then the whole congregation rose and, led by the choristers,
sang the hymn appointed. Afterwards came the quaint “bidding prayer,”
still used in most cathedrals, but made especially quaint in a
University city by the long lists of founders and benefactors; and then
the sermon. At a quarter to twelve all was over, and Frank was sitting
in the window of Crawford’s rooms in Brasenose; and as he looked out
on the sunny Radcliffe Square, with St. Mary’s graceful spire, the
black frowning “schools,” and the pepper-box towers of All Souls, he
heard with reverent admiration (for he was, in his way, somewhat of
a poet) that these were Bishop Heber’s rooms, that here he must have
sat, and here he must have written that famous Newdigate prize-poem,
“Palestine,” by which he will always be remembered.

Over the chimney looking-glass hung a gilded face, with an enormous
nose, the emblem of the college. The pictures on the panelled walls
Frank soon became more intimately acquainted with, for he found copies
in most of his friends’ rooms. There were “The Huguenots,” “The Black
Brunswicker,” Landseer’s “Challenge,” “Retreat,” and “Monarch of the
Glen,” of course, and many others of a more recent date. Three or
four pairs of boxing-gloves lay in one corner, dumb-bells in another.
Against the wall, in racks, pipes of various descriptions, from the
short briar-root to the china bowl of the German student (for Crawford
had spent six months once upon a time in Heidelberg), racket-bats,
and an oar, fondly cherished, that had helped to bring victory to the
Brasenose “four” a few years back at Henley.

At one o’clock Crawford’s scout appeared, and almost at the same moment
three invited friends, strangers to Frank. At Oxford luncheon or
breakfast parties, etiquette does not require that the guests should
arrive late. The lunch was as follows:--

    Leg of lamb.
    Couple of chicken.
    Ham cut in huge slices.
    Salad.
    Lumps of bread.
    Lumps of butter.
    Lumps of cheese.
    Celery.
    Three pots of jam.
    “French pastry” (in reality, English tarts).
    Cyder cup.
    Sherry and claret.

Fish, meat, and marmalade at nine that morning, and a prospective
dinner in Hall at six that evening, did not prevent Frank’s four
companions from doing ample justice to the fare. He himself was as yet
unused to these meals, by which circumstance Crawford’s scout profited.

After lunch, pipes. At three the guests dropped off; and the two
school-fellows walked to Cumnor--as a result of which Frank wasted
three hours on Monday evening, writing a poem about Amy Robsart’s tomb.

At five they got back to Oxford, and the freshman was introduced to
the reading and writing rooms of the Union Society, Crawford entering
his name as a probationary member, and telling him to call on Monday
to pay the fee--25_s._ There was hardly time to do more than glance at
the telegrams in the hall, and just look in at the numerous readers
and writers in the different rooms; but the view was quite enough to
enchant Frank. And then the friends parted for their respective chapels.

At dinner that evening he made friends with some freshmen, with one
of whom he proposed to go to St. Philip’s and St. James’ Church, for
evening service. Dinner being prolonged rather beyond the usual time,
they had to run pretty sharp, and even then were too late to get a
seat. They accordingly began to retrace their steps, determining
on future occasions, when they meant to go to either of the parish
churches, to make their dinner at lunch-time, and “take their names off
Hall”--_i.e._ remove their names from the list of those for whom dinner
in Hall was provided--and have supper in their rooms on their return
from service.

As they were walking on, they were suddenly stopped by a man having the
appearance of a policeman in plain clothes, who said,--

“The Proctor wants to speak to you, gentlemen.”

The next moment they saw a gentleman in black gown and large velvet
sleeves, who with formal politeness raised his cap and said,--

“Are you members of this University?”

Frank and his friend murmured that they were.

“Your names and colleges, if you please.”

“Ross, of Paul’s.”

“Mordaunt, of Paul’s.”

“Call on me to-morrow morning at nine, if you please.”

And the Proctor walked on, leaving Frank and Mordaunt rather
bewildered, and totally ignorant where they were to call in the
morning--for though they knew they had been “proctorized,” they did not
know either the Proctor’s name or his college.

The marshal (the Proctor’s head attendant; the rest being called
“bull-dogs”), seeing them standing in the road in evident uncertainty,
said to them,--

“You’d best go back to college, gentlemen;” and then, instinctively
gathering that they were freshmen, added,--

“Where’s your caps and gowns? You’ll find the Proctor at Christ-Church,
gentlemen,” and vanished with his bull-dogs after other unwary
undergraduates.

The interview somewhat damped their spirits: not that any fearful
punishment was hanging over their heads. Even the statutable fine of
five shillings for being without cap and gown would, they believed, be
remitted in consideration of their being freshmen. But Frank had hoped
to keep out of the way of the Proctors; and this was indeed an early
beginning.



CHAPTER III.

THE FRESHMAN’S TERM.


Strolling towards the Lodge on Monday morning--because everybody seemed
to be strolling in that direction--Frank had his attention called to
various notices posted in the gates. One was to the effect that “the
Master would see the gentlemen that morning between 10 a.m. and noon,
the freshmen on Tuesday, between the same hours.” Another that “the
Dean would be glad to see the freshmen at ten, the other gentlemen
after.” There was also a list of places in Hall; announcements of the
meetings of the College Debating Society, Boat Club, Cricket Club;
Greek Testament Lecture, _sine ulla solemnitate_ (_i.e._ without cap
and gown), at Mr. Wood’s house every Sunday evening at nine. He was one
of the married Fellows--a hard-working, energetic man.

Without quite knowing what “seeing the freshmen” meant, Frank got
his gown, and as it was five minutes to ten, made his way to the Dean’s
rooms. In the passage outside he found about twenty freshmen cooling
their heels, and engaged, some more and some less, in questions or
chaff with George, the Dean’s scout. George usually had the best of
it. In fact, the freshman who dared to argue with him on matters of
custom or local politics, and especially local politics, found himself
considerably “shut up.”

A door opened, and a sort of snort from within indicated to George
that the Dean was ready to see the freshmen. One by one they filed in,
and were greeted by the Dean with a smile that was naturally faint
but tried to be sweet, and a grasp of the hand that was meant to be
cordial but was unmistakably flabby. There were seats for all, but it
took some minutes to get into them. The interview did not last long:
just long enough, in fact, to enable the Dean to make one remark to
each of the freshmen. To one, without waiting for an answer, “How is
your father?” To another, “Does Mr. St. Leger intend coming forward for
Slowcombe?” To another, “Have you been in Devonshire this vacation,
Mr. Jones?”--Jones being, of course, a Yorkshireman who has never
travelled further south than Oxford, when he matriculated in February
last. To one or two a faint question as to their intentions. “Were they
going to read for Honours, or for a Pass?” On the whole, Frank left
the room depressed and disheartened as to his work. He had expected
to be questioned as to what he had done at school: what form he was
in: what books he had read; to be advised as to the turn his reading
should now take; whether he should read for Honours in one examination
or in more than one; or whether, in short, reading for Honours would be
beyond him, and therefore waste of time. The only piece of practical
information he gained was that Mr. Wood was his tutor, and to him he
must apply for all particulars as to Lectures and Examinations.

The plan at Paul’s is similar to that at most colleges. The
undergraduates are distributed among the tutors, a certain number
being apportioned to each. They are not necessarily to attend their
lectures, but they are to go to them for advice and private assistance
in their work. In many colleges, battels are paid by the undergraduate
to his own tutor. The tutors together draw up a scheme of lectures,
which the undergraduates attend simply according to the necessities of
the examination for which they are reading, and not according to the
particular tutor to whom they are assigned. Frank was assigned to Mr.
Wood, but did not attend his Lectures in his first term, as they were
for more advanced men. He learnt all this when he went to him at the
Dean’s direction. What he failed to find in the Dean he found in Mr.
Wood, who met him cordially, took him into his inner room, made him
sit comfortably on a sofa in the large bay window, and then chatted
with him for half an hour. The result of the conversation was that
Frank was to work for Responsions,[6] which would come on at the end
of the current term; not to think about Moderations[7] till he was
safe through this first ordeal; and to come on Sunday evenings to Mr.
Wood’s Greek Testament Lectures. The hours and subjects of the other
lectures, he told Frank, he would find posted on the Lodge-gate on
the following day. He asked him a few questions about his father and
the Vicar of Porchester, who was an old friend; about his school and
college friends; asked him whether he boated or played cricket; whether
he meant to join the Union; told him if he wanted any books out of
the college library to come to him; concluding hurriedly, as another
freshman, seeking advice, knocked timorously and entered.

The visit next morning to the Master was not unlike that to the
Dean--a purely formal one. The Master’s questions chiefly related to
cricket and boating, indicating an anxiety to discover the promising
men for the Eleven or the Boats. Frank, as he sat in the Master’s
arm-chair, while the old gentleman warmed his coat-tails by an
imaginary fire, could not help falling to making doggerel--

    “‘D’ stands for Discipline, Duty, and Dean;
    ‘M’ must the Master and Merriment mean.”

But there he stopped by lack of rhymes and a general stampede of the
Freshmen, to the great relief of the much-enduring Master.

Frank selected for Responsions the books he had offered for
Matriculation, the usual and natural course; and with the assistance of
Crawford to interpret the Lecture-List on the college gates, he made
out his own lecture-card as follows:--

    ----------+----------+-----------+-----------+------------
              |     9.   |    10.    |    11.    |    12.
              +----------+-----------+-----------+------------
              |          |           |           |
    Monday    |          |           |Greek Plays| Latin Prose
              |          |           | --Mr. Lang|   in Hall.
    Tuesday   |          |Cicero--Mr.|           | Grammar
              |          |  Henderson|           |   Paper.
    Wednesday |          |           |Greek Plays| Latin Prose
              |          |           | --Mr. Lang|   in Hall.
    Thursday  | Prose to |Cicero--Mr.|           | Grammar
              | Mr. Wood |  Henderson|           |   Paper.
    Friday    |          |           |Greek Plays| Latin Prose
              |          |           | --Mr. Lang|   in Hall.
    Saturday  |          |Cicero--Mr.|           | Grammar
              |          |  Henderson|           |   Paper.
    ----------+----------+-----------+-----------+------------

The lectures in his books were much the same as at school, except that
the undergraduates were treated with more respect than school-boys. A
certain quantity was set: the men were put on in turn to translate; and
general questions asked. Sometimes, if time permitted, the lecturer
would translate the lesson himself when the men had finished.

The grammar and prose in Hall were in the form of examination. The
men were called up one by one to be shown the mistakes in the papers
done on previous days, so that, with this interruption, not much more
than forty minutes were left for actual writing. The prose on Thursday
morning was the only tutorial link that bound Mr. Wood to his pupil,
and that was, as often as not, severed by a note to the effect that Mr.
Wood would be “unable to see Mr. Ross on Thursday morning.”

To Frank the work seemed as nothing after the long hours of school. It
never occurred to him to look ahead, and to think of Moderations; in
fact, he had been told not to do so. And so he commenced, energetically
it is true, going over work he already knew well enough to satisfy the
examiners, listening to the marvellous mistakes of his fellow-freshmen
and of those senior men who had been degraded because of failure in
previous terms. He soon learnt to think nothing of hearing mistakes
that would disgrace school-boys of fifteen; and to fancy that, because
he regularly prepared his work and attended his lectures, he was
working to the utmost extent that he could, or that was required of
him. And that is how so many first terms are wasted, and boys with
energy enough for eight or ten hours’ daily study drift into two or
three, and often into none at all. Failure sometimes rouses them; but
it is a questionable remedy, and more often demoralizes than benefits.

There is not much work done in the summer term; an outsider might say,
none at all. But then he would be judging from the external appearance
of the place: the quads crowded with lounging men, waiting for drags
to go to the cricket-ground; the wide-open windows with their gay
flowers, whence issue sounds and scents of the heavy luncheons of the
more languidly inclined; the river swarming with boats of all sorts and
sizes; the Union rooms full of readers leisurely scanning the papers or
dipping into the magazines, with ices or cigars to soothe or sweeten
the summer afternoons; the roads busy with rattling pony-carriages
bound for Woodstock or Abingdon, Witney or Thame; even the shops
themselves are full, whose windows from without and wares within tempt
the passing “loafer.” “Where are the reading men?” the stranger may
well ask.

There are plenty of them if you know where to find them. But it is just
because the stranger is a stranger that he won’t find them. What can
he know of the hours of heavy work got through in the quiet of those
bright summer afternoons; of the one close-shut room on this deserted
staircase of open, idle doors; of that back-quad attic, with its
sported oak; of the “coach’s” crowded chambers, where, unheeding the
charms of river or cricket-field, of Union-garden or leafy roads, he
and his hourly pupils sit, “grinding for the schools”?

Besides, the surprised and maybe shocked stranger must remember that
a large number of men who come to Oxford do not come there merely for
the sake of the degree. They take one if they can; the sooner they
can, so much the better are they pleased. They come to be made men
and gentlemen. A degree is only one of the many means to that end.
It is only because some make it their all-absorbing motive that the
University sends forth into the world so many prigs.

Within the first week Frank had made many friends, most of them friends
of Crawford’s, who had called at his suggestion. The secretaries of
the Boat and Cricket Clubs had looked him up, to whom Frank, with much
pleasure, had paid his entrance fee and annual subscriptions.

The captain of the Paul’s company in the Rifle Corps had come to
work upon his military ardour; the president of the College Debating
Society, to arouse his ambition for oratory; the collector for the
various Church Societies, to test his impartiality and charity. Frank
was enabled, by his father’s wish and the means he had placed at his
disposal, to join the various societies, and pay the subscriptions.
But it was not this pecuniary willingness alone that gained for our
freshman so much popularity. The pecuniary outlay was as follows:--

                                                           £ _s._ _d._
    Boat Club                                              3  10   0
    Cricket Club                                           2  10   0
    Paul’s Debating Society                                0   2   6
    Union Society                                          1   5   0
    Rifle Corps, including Band-Subscriptions and Uniform  5   0   0

There is no need to enter into Frank’s charitable subscriptions. They
were neither large nor small, but what they were, were given with
pleasure. About this time also came in the valuation of his rooms,
amounting to 30_l._ Our freshman is now, therefore, fairly started on
his career.



CHAPTER IV.

THE EIGHTS.


April slipped away, and it was the evening of the 30th. Frank had dined
in Hall; he had been to all his lectures that morning. He knew the
work for the next day. There was no need, therefore, he thought, for
further work. Turning out of the Lodge-gates, hardly knowing where he
was going, he strolled into the High; and just by Spiers’ he met a new
acquaintance--Morton, of Magdalen.

“Where are you off, Ross?” he asked.

“Don’t know,” answered Frank; “nowhere particular.”

The fact is, Frank had been drifting of late into these evening
rambles to “nowhere particular.” And a good deal of time they occupied
too.

“You’d better come down to my rooms. I’ve got one or two fellows coming
in for a hand at whist.”

Frank, not being the impossible model young man of the story-books, did
not resist the invitation, but, linking his arm into Morton’s, went
off to Magdalen. The April night was not so warm that a fire was not
pleasant. Morton’s rooms were in the old quad, looking out towards the
new buildings and the deer-park. The curtains were drawn and the lights
burning. Several little tables were laid with dessert, and one cleared
in the centre of the room, with packs of cards upon it. There were
about a dozen men present.

Dessert over, cards began; but it was not whist. Everybody voted that
slow. Frank himself thought that he never had played so enticing a game
as loo. When he knocked in that night at five minutes to twelve, he
fancied the porter eyed him suspiciously and knew that he had returned
_minus_ a few pounds and _plus_ a racking headache. His suspicions were
right. Few read more rightly or more quickly the character and career
of the undergraduates than the porters who open to them nightly.

But, in spite of his headache, Frank managed to be up at four o’clock
next morning. He had accepted Morton’s invitation to breakfast at six,
after hearing the choir sing the May-Morning Hymn on the college tower.
George, the porter, as he opened the Lodge-gates to Frank and others,
thought, in spite of his pale face, that he at least could not have
been up to much mischief last night, or he would not have been up so
early after it. And George, usually infallible, began to retract his
last night’s opinion.

As he stood on the leads and looked down through the grey battlements
on the faint fresh green that was brightening the trees in the
Botanical Gardens; on the distant spires and towers; and on the less
fortunate crowds in the street below; and as the sweet voices of the
choir rose and blended through the soft morning air, a feeling, whether
it was regret or remorse he hardly knew, came over him. Anyhow he felt
that this was a sweeter, purer pleasure than the gambling of last
night, and confessed to himself that he had been “an utter fool for his
pains.”

It was a blazing afternoon about the end of May. The river--meaning
thereby the Isis, the main river, to distinguish it from its tributary
the Cherwell--was deserted save for a few energetic men in outrigged
skiffs practising for sculling races, and the boatmen, in charge of the
various college barges, sweltering in the sun, and, as fast as the heat
would allow them, making preparations for the work of the evening. The
Cherwell, with its slow, shady stream, its winding banks and drooping
trees, was the favourite resort, but even here all was quiet. Every
now and then a canoe flashed by lazily, or a punt plunged up in search
of some cool nook. There was a momentary disturbance, perhaps, as it
bumped against one already moored; and pairs of sleepy eyes would look
up to scowl at the new-comer, if a stranger; or greet him lazily if a
friend.

Just in one of the pleasantest corners, Frank and Monkton had fixed
their craft, and were lying face upwards on a couple of enormous
cushions--Monkton smoking or pretending to smoke; Frank reading or
pretending to read.

“Are you going to stay for the Eights?” asked Monkton.

“Rather,” answered Frank. “Why? aren’t you?”

“No, not I! In the first place, I don’t care about them; and in the
second place, I’ve promised Morton to drive to Abingdon at seven. It’ll
be getting cool then.”

“It seems to me you’re rather fond of going to Abingdon,” answered
Frank. “What’s the attraction?”

“My dear boy, ask no questions and I’ll tell you no lies”--and at that
moment a punt ran right into them.

“Now then, sir, look ahead!” spluttered Monkton as their punt was
nearly upset, and his cigar falling from his mouth burnt a small hole
in his flannel trousers. The intruder apologized and plunged on again
to disturb the rest of other unlucky beings.

“Well,” went on Frank, “I’m glad I’ve not to pay your bill for
pony-traps, that’s all.”

“Oh, well, as far as that goes,” retorted Monkton, waking up a little,
“that don’t trouble me. I patronize the trustful Traces, and I’m sure
the trustful one would be quite embarrassed if I offered to pay him; so
I don’t. That’s all.”

“Does your governor give you an allowance?” asked Frank.

“Not he. He told me not to get into debt, and to send in the bills. And
a fellow can’t live like a hermit. I’ve always had a horse at home, so
I don’t see why I shouldn’t have one here. But I’m not proud, and so I
hire a pony instead, and I’m sure the old man ought not to mind.”

“Come out of that, you lazy young beggar!” called a voice in
Frank’s ears, and looking up he saw Crawford in one of those little
cockle-shells in which Mr. Verdant Green so highly distinguished
himself--“Aren’t you coming down to see the Eights?”

Monkton looked at Crawford with that expression of half insolence, half
fear, which characterizes so many freshmen, and drawled out,--

“Yes; Ross is going. He’s so energetic, you know.”

“That’s a blessing, at all events,” answered Crawford, “as long as
there are fellows like you, about.”

“By Jove!” said Frank, pulling out his watch, “it’s getting late. If
you’re going to Abingdon at seven, Monkton, you’ll have to look sharp.”

“Going to Abingdon?” asked Crawford, half to himself, and getting no
answer from Monkton.

“Look here! I say, you fellows! can’t you manage to get this punt back
to the barges, and let me cut up through the meadows?” said Monkton. “I
promised to be in Morton’s rooms at half-past six, and it’s just on six
now.”

“All right,” said Frank, “Crawford will help me back with the
punt”--really glad to get rid of him, for his younger and his older
friend did not hit it off exactly.

“It strikes me that young man is beginning rather early,” said Crawford
paternally, as he lashed his boat to the punt and got in, much to
Frank’s relief, for it was his first day in a punt.

The latter did not say much, for he had himself commenced various
extensive dealings with the trustful tradesmen--trustful, that is, for
two years, but most distrustful afterwards--and he feared questioning
and an inevitable lecture from Crawford.

By the time they reached the barges, the river and banks were getting
crowded. The band was assembling on the ’Varsity barge (that belonging
to the University Boat Club); and all the other college barges were
in a bustle of excitement. It was “the first night of the Eights,”
and many were the attempts to explain that somewhat elliptical phrase
to the uninitiated matrons and maidens who were flocking from every
quarter of the town.

Just at the mouth of the Cherwell, Crawford and Frank met a party of
ladies and escorted them to the Paul’s barge; and the latter, though he
fancied he was clear as to the meaning of “Eights” and “Torpids,” was
really not sorry to overhear his friend’s explanation.

“You see,” Crawford was saying to a pretty girl with bright blue eyes,
that certainly did not seem to be reminded that they could see--“You
see, every college, that is athletic enough, has a Boat Club; the best
eight oars, rowers I mean, constitute ‘_the_ Eight;’ the second best
eight are ‘the Torpid.’ The Torpid-races, or as we call them, ‘the
Torpids,’ take place in the Lent term; every college that has an Eight
and a Torpid enters the latter for the Torpid-races; and then they all
row to see which is best. Then in the Summer term ‘the Eights’ are on;
that is the races of the college Eight-oars; to-night is the first
night, you know. All the Eights are going to row to see which is best.”

“Yes; but,” said Blue-eyes, “why do they have more than one race?”

“Well, you see”--Crawford could not help the phrase--“that is--er--it’s
rather difficult to explain.”

But after a moment he took courage, and plunged into his explanation,
which was to this effect, and which may assist the uninitiated reader.

The river is too narrow to admit of boats racing abreast. They are
therefore arranged one behind the other, there being 120 feet from
the nose of one to the stern of the other. All start simultaneously,
the object of each being to “bump”--_i.e._ run into and touch the one
in front of it. When a “bump” has taken place, both the “bumper” and
the “bumped” row to the bank to let the others pass. There is a post
opposite the barges, where most of the spectators sit, and when once a
boat has passed this it cannot be bumped. The following night--called
“night,” but really meaning seven o’clock--the boats all start, with
this exception, that if, for example, on Monday Balliol has bumped
Christ-Church, on Tuesday Balliol will start ahead of Christ-Church.
The latter then has the chance of regaining its position by bumping
Balliol, but it is also exposed to the danger of being bumped by the
next boat. This goes on, in the case of the “Torpid,” for six days; of
the “Eights,” for eight “nights.” At the end, the boat that finishes
with all the others behind it, holds the proud position of “Head of
the River” for the year. It may have gained this by making “bumps,” or
by avoiding being “bumped.” How the order was, in the origin of the
races, settled, it is impossible to say; but it is the rule that any
college club which “puts on”--_i.e._ enters a boat for the races--for
the first time shall start at the bottom. Perhaps, after this
explanation, any remaining difficulty will be cleared up by suggesting,
as an illustration, a school-class, in which a place is gained for
a successful answer. The boats, by “bumping” and being “bumped,”
respectively gain and lose places.

Crawford was rowing in the Brasenose Eight. So, after seeing his lady
friends to seats on the top of the college barge, he ran down-stairs
to dress for the race. The men who rowed in the Brasenose Eight and
Torpid were unlike the majority of men of other colleges, in that they
walked to the river in _mufti_, and put on their boating-clothes in
their barge. Frank, pleading an excuse that he wanted to go down the
Berkshire bank to see the start, but chiefly because he was rather shy,
left Crawford’s party to the attention of some other men, and, crossing
in old George West’s punt, was soon lost in the crowd.

One by one the boats paddled down to the start, cheered by their own
men as they passed. The crowd thickened. A great surging mass pressed
up against the rails that enclosed the barges, and gazed enviously at
the lucky ones within the enclosure. A black line went coiling down the
pathway towards Iffley. Those were the men who would see the start, and
run back with the boats to cheer them on. Presently there was a great
silence. Everybody was looking right away to the Iffley Willows, or at
watches. Then the first gun went. Conversation flowed again for four
minutes. Then the one-minute gun--and then utter silence, till with the
third boom a roar of voices began, that came nearer and louder as the
great black line began coiling home again, as fast as it could.

Brasenose was Head of the River; and Blue-eyes was wearing the
Brasenose colours; and Blue-eyes’ heart, though she would not have
confessed it, was in a flutter of excitement. On came the boats.
Balliol was close behind Brasenose. The Brasenose men on bank and
barge shouted. The Balliol men shouted more loudly. They must catch
them. Blue-eyes hated the Balliol men; but, for all that, the nose of
the Balliol boat was within a foot of the Brasenose rudder. Now it
overlapped it, but failed to touch it, for the Brasenose coxswain, by a
sharp pull of the rudder-string, turned a rush of water against their
nose and washed them off.

The Brasenose men yelled till Blue-eyes felt the drums of her little
ears were nigh to cracking. And then Crawford, who was rowing stroke,
seemed to pull himself together for a final effort, and laying himself
well out, gave his men a longer stroke. Now they were clear--now there
was a foot between them--now two--now three. Then he quickened: his men
answered bravely. Foot by foot they drew ahead, and when they were on
the post, Balliol was a good length behind. Blue-eyes had often heard,
“See, the Conquering Hero comes,” but she could not make out why the
sound of it now gave her a choking feeling in the throat. Certainly she
saw no more of the races, though boat by boat came by, each in as keen
pursuit of the one just in advance of it as Balliol had been to catch
Brasenose.

There was a merry party that night in Crawford’s rooms, and Blue-eyes
sat by the host, and was highly amused at the plain fare he was obliged
to eat in the midst of the dainties of the supper-table; and she was
half inclined to be cross when at a quarter to ten the captain of the
Boat Club, who was present, firmly but politely suggested the breaking
up of the party--“unless,” he explained, “you want to see Brasenose go
down to-morrow night.”

But men must work, or at any rate go in for examinations, whatever
the women may do. So the “Eights” passed away, and Blue-eyes returned
to her home, taking with her, from many, the sunshine she had brought.
The Proctor’s notices recalled Frank and several hundred other
unfortunates to the stern realities of University life. Parted for a
while in the all-too-brief days of Blue-eyes’ supremacy, Monkton and
Frank drifted together again by the force of kindred obligations.
Together they went to the Junior Proctor, and entered their names for
Responsions (commonly called “Smalls,” “because such a werry small
number on ’em gets through,” as the guides will tell you); together
they parted with the statutable guinea, fondly hoping that in due time
they would get a tangible result in the shape of a testamur. Together
they gazed admiringly, nor yet without awe, at their names when they
appeared in the Gazette; and together, in white ties and “garments
of a subfusc hue,” as prescribed by the statutes, they proceeded one
bright morning in June to the Schools. There for two days, from nine to
twelve, and from half-past one to half-past three, they were examined
by papers. Then, after waiting a few days, Monkton’s _vivâ voce_ came
on, the order of this being alphabetical. But when at two o’clock the
same day the Clerk of the Schools read out a list of those who had
passed, and for the gladly-paid shilling handed over a small piece of
blue paper, testifying the fact in the handwriting of the much-enduring
Examiners, Monkton’s testamur was, alas! not forthcoming. Frank did not
pass as easily as he might have passed. The last few weeks had taken
the polish off his work. He got his testamur, it is true, but he was
rather ashamed of feeling relieved, for he knew that he ought never to
have had any fears of failing in such a school-boy examination.

He called on his tutor to consult him as to his future work. The First
Public Examination (commonly called Moderations) is, like Responsions,
obligatory on all; but here the student may offer either the minimum
amount of work, called “a Pass,” or go in for Honours either in
Classics or Mathematics. The Honours Examination is to chiefly test
style of translation from Latin and Greek authors into English, and
_vice versâ_, together with grammatical and critical questions bearing
on the contents, style, and literary history of the books offered.
Papers are also set in the Elements of Comparative Philology; the
History of the Greek Drama, with Aristotle’s Poetics; and the Elements
of Deductive Logic, with either selections from the Organon, or from
Mill’s “Inductive Logic.” The four Gospels in Greek, together with
questions on the subject-matter, are compulsory on all,--Passmen and
Classmen alike. After the examination is over, the examiners (in this
instance called Moderators) distribute the names of those whom they
judge to have shown sufficient merit into three classes, the names in
each class being arranged alphabetically. If a candidate is not good
enough to be placed in a class, but has yet shown as much knowledge as
is required of the ordinary Passmen, he receives a testamur to that
effect. This is called a “gulf.” The subjects for Pass Moderations are
Latin Prose (rather more difficult than for Responsions); the elements
of Logic, or Arithmetic and Algebra to Quadratic Equations; unseen
passages of Greek and Latin; and three authors, of whom one must be
Greek, and one must be either an Orator, Philosopher, or Historian.

After a little questioning, Mr. Wood’s advice to Frank was to go in
for a Pass, and, that over, to read for Honours in one of the Final
Schools, such as Modern History or Law. The advice was wise, for his
classical reading was not very much advanced; and even if he could have
got through the bare reading of the necessary text-books, he would not
have acquired the style of translation and elegance in composition
needed for the highest honours.

He chose Logic in preference to Mathematics, by Mr. Wood’s advice; and
for his authors, Herodotus (Books V. and VI.); Livy (Books V., VI., and
VII.), and Juvenal, certain Satires being omitted. Having purchased
these books, and laid in a good store of industrious intentions, he
left Oxford and his freshman’s term behind him, not at all sorry to be
going home.



CHAPTER V.

THE LONG VACATION.


There was a good deal of the school-boy’s pleasure in the commencement
of the holidays, mixed with the pride that he felt in his new
condition. There were only a few passengers for Porchester, and only
a few people on the platform when he alighted; but the few there were
knew him, and Oxford made the chief matter of their inquiries, and a
pleasant topic for him to dilate upon. But he was soon hurried off by
two of his admiring younger brothers, and seated at the side of old
John, the factotum, in the pony-carriage, talking hard, now to him,
now to his brothers, who sat behind. How familiar the road was! Did
green hedges ever look so green as those? or was summer twilight ever
so sweet as this that lay so peacefully about little Porchester? The
old church-tower rose like a soft shadow from the close trees. There,
beside it, peeped the vicarage gables and chimneys. There was old
Sally, the laundress, resting at her gateway, rubbing her wrinkled
fingers as though she would smooth away the signs of so much soap and
water. There was the postmaster putting up the shutters of his little
grocery-shop; the tailor in his garden, tending his standard roses; the
blacksmith at his silent smithy; there were the carrier’s horses just
being unharnessed from the van that in these primitive parts was no
mean rival of the railway. A few children here; a knot of women there,
chattering, scolding, laughing, staring, questioning; there a group of
men outside the “Anchor;” here some boys playing marbles.

How unchanged it all was! The term at Oxford seemed like a dream. Frank
could scarcely believe he had been away more than two months.

Now they are passing the vicarage garden. The gate is open, and
Frank, much to the amusement of Tom and Will in the hind-seat of
the pony-carriage, stares hard through the white posts and up the
lawn. Whatever his thoughts or hopes may have been, they are rudely
interrupted (and most probably shattered) by a couple of voices from
behind, which seem to be bubbling over with amusement, and to be
jostling each other for the first and loudest place.

“She’s away!”

“Who’s away?” asked Frank quietly, with assumed indifference.

“Who’s away?” repeat the two behind. “Why, who’re you looking for, eh?”

“_Are_ the vicarage people away, then?” said Frank.

“Rose is,” again comes from the bubbling voices.

But before the subject can be pursued further, old John, pointing with
his whip, says,--

“There’s the master, sir.”

And Frank, looking straight away up the road, discerns his father
coming towards them, and jumps out of the carriage.

“Why, Frank, my boy, I declare you’ve grown!”

Nor did his dignity decline the honour. He took his father’s arm, and,
letting the younger ones drive home with John and the luggage, walked
and talked with his father till they reached the house. His mother and
sisters were at the door to welcome him. Never had there been such a
pleasant, proud home-coming yet. The servants peeped from the upper
windows to see “Master Frank,” whom they doubtless expected to find
completely transformed, and John, taking the luggage from the carriage,
again took stock of him, and told the servants with an air that, as
always, carried weight,--

“Arter all, there’s no place like college to make a man of a young
gentleman.”

One scene more to complete the first act of our freshman’s life.

Mr. Ross was, as became a lawyer, a man of sound business-like habits.
Directly after breakfast on the following morning he called Frank into
his study, and they went together through all the bills.

The result of their investigation was as follows:--

                                                     £ _s._ _d._
    Travelling and Hotel Expenses at Matriculation   5  10   0
    Caution Money (to Paul’s)                       30   0   0
    Matriculation Fee (to the University)            2  10   0
    Glass and China (to the scout)                   9  19   6
    Cap and Gown                                     1   2   6
    Entrance Fee (Union Society)                     1   5   0
    Boat Club Subscription                           3  10   0
    Cricket Club                                     2  10   0
    Paul’s Debating Society                          0   2   6
    Rifle Corps                                      5   0   0
    Valuation of Furniture                          30   0   0
    Battels for Summer Term                         35   0   0
    Fee for Responsions                              1   0   0
    Books, Sundries, and Travelling Expenses        10   0   0

The summer passed. Frank had been to the Henley Regatta at Crawford’s
invitation, and had stayed with him at the old “Red Lion” with various
crews; had run down the bank at his side when he was practising for the
Diamond Sculls in the sweet June mornings, and had shouted with the
shouting crowd when he won the race, beating the London man and the
Cantab who had been training “dark.” Then he had gone to Crawford’s
home for a pleasant week; then back to little Porchester, where, with
garden-parties and cricket, with boating on the river that seemed so
deserted after the crowded Isis, and lawn-tennis, the time had passed
away happily enough. Of work for the “Schools” Frank had done little or
nought; but when in August the vicar’s daughter left Porchester for six
weeks, work somehow seemed easier, and he managed to get through a fair
amount; and again, when the boys went back to school about the middle
of September, and he was left alone with his parents and sisters, there
seemed fresh opportunities for study. But then--but then back came the
vicar’s daughter, and books were again forgotten. The village seemed to
have gained fresh beauties. Every old gate and stile seemed no longer
made of common wood, every hedge no longer clad with common green. The
organ-loft where she practised in the week was no longer a dusty, dark,
break-neck place, but the place for breaking something which, whatever
lovers may say, is often easily mended by

    “Time and the change the old man brings.”

And what a poet Frank was in those days! How he idealized, and in
his own fashion glorified, every little winding woodland path, every
glimpse of wold seen through the fading autumn leaves, every stretch of
quiet river, the old boats, the crumbling bridge, the dark weir, the
church-tower--that useful part of a young poet’s stock-in-trade.

In fact, when he returned to Oxford one Friday evening in October,
he quite agreed with the old woman’s and the sailor’s superstition
that Friday was an unlucky day; he wrapped himself in his rug, and
felt that if his heart was not breaking, he was at least deeply in
love. Silence was his consolation. He rejected the invitation of a
friend whom he met _en route_ to transfer himself and his goods to
the atmosphere of a smoking compartment. He stared gloomily at the
persistent bookstall-boys; rejected even the offer of a Banbury cake at
Didcot. In his condition, there was something positively comforting in
that most cheerless and wretched of all stations. The wind that moaned
in the telegraph-wires seemed to murmur “Rose.” The bell that rang
violently in the platform-porter’s hand seemed like the little single
bell in Porchester Church--of course much louder and harsher to Frank’s
imagination, but it was a bell, and it recalled Rose, and that was
enough.

Having passed safely through the turmoil of the Oxford platform,
and the loneliness of Friday night, on Saturday morning he rushed
precipitously to Davis’s picture-shop in “the Turl,”[8] and having
purchased a photograph of the Huguenot picture by Millais, hung it in a
corner by his chimney looking-glass. In that corner his friends noticed
he now was constantly to be found sitting. They, of course, did not
know that in that picture Frank saw Rose and himself under the vicarage
wall. He was at a loss, it is true, to account even to himself for the
pocket-handkerchief which is being bound round the reluctant arm. But
what mattered to him such a paltry detail, even though it made the
whole gist of the picture?

Term began with the usual routine. Chapel at half-past eight on
Saturday evening, at which all assembled except a few who were detained
by those convenient “tidal trains,” which always seem to be late when
one is coming back from a Long-Vacation scamper on the Continent, or
from the injured Emerald Isle, but never when one is thither bound.

And then comes Sunday morning, with the many good-intentioned
ones hurrying to their seats past the much-enduring Bible-clerk,
whose labours would, however, very soon lessen with the growth of
term;--Sunday, with the heavy luncheon;--Sunday, with the long
constitutional in the bright October sunlight--was a first Sunday in
Michaelmas Term ever other than a bright one? Dinner in Hall at six,
with the endless greetings that the confusion of Chapel had prevented.
Monday morning, with its formal calls on Master and Dean, Tutor and
Lecturer; and Monday evening, with its posted list of lectures,
club-meetings, and subscriptions; till Tuesday morning comes, with
the greater or less obedience of the victims of those various calls,
shows that term has begun in very earnest, no matter whether the
earnestness be the earnestness of industry or of that which flourishes
as abundantly--idleness.



CHAPTER VI.

“THE FLYING TERMS.”


It was a Thursday night; and the rooms of the “Union” were crowded,
for the debate was to be opened by a popular member. A few men were
in the reading-rooms, indifferent to the subject and its mover; a
few were in the writing-room, hurrying over their letters, in order
to be in time for the “private business,” which is usually the most
amusing part of the evening’s proceedings. There were several important
telegrams posted in the Hall, and the stopping of members to read them
considerably added to the general confusion. Ladies were hurrying
upstairs to the little uncomfortable gallery,[9] with amused looks
of curiosity, or the calm equanimity of accustomed visitors. No one
to-night waited to read, either for edification or for amusement,
the endless notices of those private tutors, to whom advertisement
seems a dire necessity--those manifestos of all shades, pleading,
peremptory, apologetic, confidential, and confident, which suggest the
question:--“Where are the pupils, to be instructed by these willing and
anxious instructors?”

The steward’s room is in possession of two attendants only, for the
steward and his indefatigable son are upstairs in the committee-room,
in attendance upon the committee.

It is eight o’clock, and the debating-room is crammed. Every seat is
filled; but those for whom there are not seats are quite content to
stand. The gallery is fringed with women’s faces, looking down upon the
mass of men below. There is a murmur of suppressed conversation, which
suddenly ceases on the cry of “Order.” The president enters, followed
by the treasurer, librarian, and most of the members of the committee.
He is in evening dress--the exception and not the rule; in his case it
is the sign of honour. He has been dining, for the first time, at the
High table of the college which has just elected him Fellow. To-night
is his first public appearance since his election, and, being a popular
man and officer, he is loudly cheered. The officers seat themselves,
and in a moment the president rises and proclaims “Order,” and the
business of the evening commences. He first reads a list of those
members of the University proposed for election, and those already
elected, and then calls upon the librarian to bring forth his list
of books. That officer, a big-headed, ungainly man, with a squint,
hurries through a list, to which prices and particulars are appended,
and then asks any, who wish, to challenge any book or books. If any are
challenged, they are temporarily withdrawn from the list, and the rest
are put to the vote and carried; after which the objections are made to
the particular books before challenged, and are met by the librarian
with considerable ability, and the books, with one exception, carried.
He then rises to propose “That ‘The Gorgon Head’ (much laughter), by
Mr. Tennyson Jones, presented by the author to the library, be accepted
by the society, and that a vote of thanks be given to the honourable
member for his present.”

No one wishing to challenge this proposition, it is formally put and
carried, with faint cheering.

The president then rises: “Does any honourable member wish to put any
question to the officers of this society relative to their official
duties?”

At least a dozen members rise in different parts of the room--we beg
pardon--the House.

A red-headed young gentleman, with spectacles, catches first the
president’s eye, and is put in possession of the House. His voice is
high and shrill.

“Sir--”

“Hear! hear!” from several facetious members encouragingly.

“Sir--I wish to ask the honourable treasurer--(loud cries of ‘Speak up,
sir’)--I wish to ask the honourable treasurer--”

“Hear! hear!” from a stentorian voice in one corner.

“Order! order!”

“Sir,” again resumes the luckless red-headed inquirer, “I--I--have
lost my umbrella. I--I--put it in the stand on Wednesday
evening--(‘Hear! hear!’)--on my way to--to--the smoking-room,
and--and--and--it was not there when I came back.” And the speaker
drops into his seat.

The treasurer takes no notice, but the president rises and says:--“I
must remind the honourable member that any statement he may have to
make must be introduced or followed by a question.”

The owner of the lost umbrella rises, and before he has opened his
mouth is told to “speak up.” This time he does speak up, in very
shrillness: “I wish to ask the honourable treasurer whether he will
take some steps for the recovery of my umbrella.”

The treasurer is a stout youth, short of speech and of stature. He
clips his sentences: “I must remind the honourable member that this
society is not a police institution. I regret the loss of his umbrella.
I regret still more that there are members in this society so careless
or so dishonest as to remove umbrellas not belonging to them.”

“Sir”--from another corner--“I consider the answer of the honourable
treasurer most unsatisfactory. I now beg to ask him whether he will
take steps to prevent the robbery--(‘Oh! oh!’)--yes--robbery of the
property of members of this society.”

The treasurer is again on his legs: “In answer to the last honourable
member, I beg to say that as far as I know anything of the funds of
this society, it is not in a position to pay for policemen to guard
the umbrellas of honourable members. If honourable members value their
umbrellas, I should recommend them to leave them in the steward’s room,
or carry them with them into whichever of the society’s rooms they may
go.”

“Sir”--from another quarter--“will you move for a committee of inquiry
into the loss of umbrellas and other property?” (Loud cheers.)

By this time the treasurer is white-hot:--“No, sir!” and he flumps into
his chair--(loud cheers from the treasurer’s partisans and from the
admirers of his doggedness). He is not, however, yet done with.

“I beg to ask the honourable treasurer,” says a grimy-looking youth,
“why there are so few nail-brushes in the lavatory?” (Roars of
laughter.)

“In answer to the honourable member,” says the treasurer, “I beg to
state that I have already given orders for a fresh and--as they seem so
much in request--a still larger supply.” (Cheers.)

Then there is a brief space of silence.

“Does any other honourable member wish to put any questions to the
officers of this society relative to their official duties?”

No one rising, the president says--

“The House will now proceed to public business;” and after waiting a
few seconds, to give those who wish the chance to leave, he reads from
a notice-board,--

“The motion before the House is, ‘That the present Ministry is unworthy
of the confidence of this House and of the nation,’ moved by Mr.
Dubber, of Trinity.”

There is a perfect uproar as Mr. Dubber rises and moves towards the
table--cheers from his supporters, groans from his opponents; but he
is too accustomed to the temper of his audience to take any notice. He
pours out a glass of water and leisurely drinks half the contents, and
waits confidently. His confidence commands attention; and in a clear,
ringing voice, he proceeds to rattle away a clever _résumé_ of the
stump speeches of his political party. There is no lack to-night of
speakers. No less than six rise directly he sits down.

And so the debate goes on unflaggingly until half-past ten, when, there
being no more speakers, the mover replies; and then the president reads
the motion once more, and says,--

“Those who are in favour of this motion will say ‘Aye;’ those who are
against it will say ‘No.’”

There are nearly 500 members present, and the noise may be imagined.

“The ‘Noes’ have it,” is the president’s ruling.

“Divide! divide!” from the “Ayes;” and the president accordingly gives
the order,--

“Those who are in favour of this motion will go to the right of the
chair; those who are against it to the left.”

Then follows a scene of indescribable confusion. In about ten minutes’
time the numerous tellers have agreed, and the president reads the
numbers,--

“Those who are in favour of this motion, 179; those who are against it,
290. The motion is therefore lost.”

Loud cheers, and the House separates.

Within a few days of the commencement of term, Frank had found his
name posted for rowing--that is, for rowing under the direction of the
senior men who were coaching the likely freshmen for the Torpid races,
which would come off in the ensuing Lent Term; and he took so kindly
to the work that he was soon regularly among the recognized set from
which the crew would eventually be picked. In fact, his performances
had attracted the notice of the president of the University Boat Club,
and he had been “down” with the men who were being coached with a view
to rowing against Cambridge. This was indeed an honour; and he strained
every energy to get chosen for one of the Trial Eights that were to
race at the end of term, and from which the University Eight (commonly
called “the ’Varsity”) would be selected.

His wishes were fulfilled, and he was put No. 6 in what was supposed
to be the better of the two boats. This, of course, insured his rowing
in his College Torpid next term, and in his College Eight in the summer
term, and it might have led to a seat in “the ’Varsity.”

As a matter of fact, it did not; but Frank was well content with the
honour of merely rowing in the “Trials,” and more especially as the
Eight in which he was rowing won the race in November. Towards the
close of term he was made a Freemason, and very proud he was to tell
his father, himself a Mason of some distinction, the various gossip
of his lodge, “The Apollo,” which claims among its members some of
England’s best-known brethren.

One other little distinction Frank had to relate on going down for
the Christmas vacation, and that was the flattering notice, in the
_Undergraduate’s Journal_, of a poem of his which had appeared in
the University magazine, _College Rhymes_;[10] and it may safely be
asserted that no one in Porchester was prouder of the poet than the
vicar’s daughter, who saw herself reflected in the mirror of his verse.

The Christmas vacation passed. Lent Term came, and with it the
Torpids. Paul’s made five bumps, and Frank duly posted copies of the
_Undergraduate’s Journal_, which recorded the fact, to the vicarage and
to his home. But with this proud event he abandoned for the present
most of his amusements, confined himself to the practice for the Eights
which were coming off in May, and to his work for Moderations, which
was fixed for about the same date. The college lectures not being
sufficient, he found himself obliged to “put on a coach”--_i.e._ employ
a private tutor--during the summer term; but when he got his “testamur”
in June, just a week before Commemoration, he and his father both felt
that the ten guineas[11] had been profitably expended.



CHAPTER VII.

A READING PARTY.


Moderations being thus thrown behind, the next step was the choice of
subjects in which to take a degree. For the Second Public or Final
Examination for the degree of B.A. there is yet further scope of
subject allowed. Here, again, a student has the option of taking a Pass
or an Honour Degree; and here also both Passmen and Classmen alike have
to pass an examination in the Rudiments of Faith and Religion, the
subjects of which are:--

(1) The Books of the Old and New Testament.

(2) The Holy Gospels and Acts of the Apostles in the original Greek.

(3) The Thirty-nine Articles.

But any candidate may for himself, or his parents or guardians for
him, object on religious grounds to this examination, and in this
case he is allowed to offer some books or subjects appointed for this
purpose by the Board of Studies.

The subjects for the Pass Degree are arranged in three groups, as
follows, the books specified being those which may now be offered till
further notice:--

    GROUP A.

    (1) Two books, either both Greek, or one Greek and one Latin;
    one being a Greek philosophical work, and the other a Greek or
    Latin historian.

        _e.g._ Aristotle’s Ethics, Books i.-iv., together with
        chapters 6-10 of Book x.

        Aristotle’s Politics, Books i., iii., vii.

        Plato--Republic, Books i.-iv.

        Herodotus--Books vii.-ix.

        Livy, Books xxi.-xxiv.

        Tacitus--Annals, Books i.-iv.

    With questions on the subject-matter of the books offered.

    (2) The outlines of Greek and Roman History, with a special
    period of one or the other, and English Composition.

        _e.g._ Greek--from the Legislation of Solon to the
        death of Alexander the Great.

        Roman--from the establishment of the Republic to the
        death of Domitian.

    Special periods.

        Greek--the Persian war; the Peloponnesian war.

        Roman--the second Punic war; the reign of Tiberius.

    GROUP B.

    (1) Either English History and a period or subject of English
    Literature, or a period of modern European History, with
    Political and Descriptive Geography, with English Composition
    in each case.

        _e.g._ English History to 1815, with one of the
        following:--

            (_a_) Piers Ploughman--the Prologue, Passus
            i.-vii.; Chaucer--the Prologue, the Knightes Tale,
            the Nonne Prestes Tale.

            (_b_) Shakespeare--The Tempest, King Lear, Richard
            II., Hamlet.

            (_c_) Dryden--Selections; Pope--Essay on Man,
            Epistles and Satires.

    (2) French or German, including Composition and a period of
    Literature.

        _e.g._ Molière, Le Tartuffe; Corneille, Les Horaces,
        _or_ Racine, Athalie; Voltaire, Siècle de Louis XIV.,
        Chapters i.-xxiv., with a general acquaintance with
        the History and Literature of the Age of Louis XIV.;
        unseen passages of French: _or_, Schiller, the Maid of
        Orleans; Goethe, Hermann and Dorothea, _or_ Lessing,
        Nathan der Weise; Goethe, Wahrheit und Dichtung, Books
        i.-iv., with a general acquaintance with the History
        of the Classical period of German Literature (from
        Klopstock to Goethe); unseen passages of German.

    (3) The Elements of Political Economy, to be read in Fawcett’s
    Manual, and Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations,” Books i. and ii.

    (4) Either Stephen’s “Blackstone,” Book ii., _or_ Justinian’s
    “Institutes,” omitting from Book ii., tit. 11, to Book iii.,
    tit. 12.

    GROUP C.

    (1) The Elements of Geometry, including Geometrical
    Trigonometry.

    (2) The Elements of Mechanics, solid and fluid, treated
    mathematically.

    (3) The Elements of Chemistry, with a practical examination.

    (4) The Elements of Physics, not necessarily treated
    mathematically.

Of the above subjects in the three groups each candidate is examined
in three, of which not more than two can be taken from any one of the
three groups, and of which one must be either A (1) or B (2). The
examinations in the three subjects may be passed in separate terms.

The commonest selections made are as follows:--

    GROUP A (1).

    GROUP B (3) and (4).

Those men who prefer History will naturally offer the outlines of
Ancient History, as it works well with the text-books in Group A
(1). Those who are going to the Bar or to be admitted as solicitors
will naturally offer one of the branches of Law, the Roman Law being
especially the favourite with Bar-students, as the Roman Law Bar
Examination may be studied for and passed almost simultaneously. The
choice for the Classman lies among the following:--

    1. LITERÆ HUMANIORES, including--

        (1) The Greek and Latin Languages.

            (_a_) Specified books and books not specially
            offered.

            (_b_) Translations into Greek and Latin Prose.

        (2) The Histories of Ancient Greece and Rome.

            (_a_) Specified periods.

            (_b_) General knowledge of Classical Geography and
            Antiquities.

        (3) Philosophy.

            (_a_) Logic.

            (_b_) The outlines of Moral Philosophy.

            (_c_) The outlines of Political Philosophy.

        3. MATHEMATICS.

            (_a_) Elementary Pure Mathematics.

            (_b_) Elementary Mechanics of Solid and Fluid Bodies.

            (_c_) Pure Mathematics.

            (_d_) Mechanics of Solid and Fluid Bodies.

            (_e_) Optics, Geometrical and Physical.

            (_f_) Newton’s Principia and Astronomy.

        4. NATURAL SCIENCE.

            Preliminary: Mechanics.
                         Physics.
                         Chemistry.

            Final:       Physics.
                         Chemistry.
                         Biology.

        And the following special subjects:--

            (_a_) Crystallography and Mineralogy.

            (_b_) Geology and Palæontology.

            (_c_) Zoology.

            (_d_) Botany.

        --taken respectively as supplementary to the general
        subjects.

    5. JURISPRUDENCE.

        (1) General Jurisprudence.

            The principles of Jurisprudence, the theory of
            Legislation, and the early history of Legal
            Institutions. Special reference to Austin’s
            Lectures, Bentham’s Principles of Morals and
            Legislation, and the works of Sir Henry Maine.

        (2) History of English Law.

            (_a_) Constitutional Law.

                The leading principles and the following
                topics:--Legislative power of Parliament, the
                modes in which it is exercised, and its extent
                as to territory and persons.

                The prerogatives of the Crown, the privileges
                of the Houses of Parliament.

                The constitutional position of the Privy
                Council, the Ministers of the Crown, the
                Established Church, the Courts of Law, and the
                Armed Forces.

                Reference to Blackstone or Stephens’
                “Commentaries,” Stubbs’ “Documents Illustrative
                of English History,” Hallam’s “Constitutional
                History,” and Sir T. E. May’s “Constitutional
                History.”

                The following statutes must be carefully read:
                Constitutions of Clarendon. Magna Charta, Stat.
                Westminster II. 13 Ed. 1, Stat. 1, c. 24.
                Petition of Right. Habeas Corpus Act, 31 Car.
                II. c. 2. Bill of Rights, 1 W. and M. Sess. 2,
                2. Act of Settlement, 12 and 13 Will. III. c. 2.

           (_b_) History of the Law of Real Property.

                Reference to Blackstone or Stephens’
                “Commentaries,” Digby’s “Introduction to the
                History of Real Property.” Principal statutes
                referred to in the latter must be mastered,
                and reference may with advantage be made
                to Williams’ “Treatise on the Law of Real
                Property.”

        (3) Roman Law.

            The Institutes of Gaius.

            The Institutes of Justinian.

        (4) English Law.

            The principles of the Law of Contracts.

        (5) International Law.

            (_a_) The outlines of International Law as a
            system.

            (_b_) The history of the law relating to seas,
            ships, and navigable rivers in time of peace.

            Reference to Woolsey’s “Introduction,” and
            Heffter’s “Europäisches Völkerrecht,” Wheaton’s
            “Elements,” or “Law of Nations,” by Sir Travers
            Twiss. On subject (_b_) Ortolan’s “Diplomatie de la
            Mer,” livre deuxième.

    6. MODERN HISTORY.

        (1) The continuous History of England.

        (2) General History during some selected period.

        (3) A special portion of History or a special
        Historical subject, carefully studied with reference to
        original authorities.

        (4) Political Economy, Constitutional Law, and
        Political and Descriptive Geography.

        (5) A subject or period of Literature (optional).

    7. THEOLOGY.

        (1) The Holy Scriptures (the New Testament in the
        Greek).

        (2) Dogmatic and Symbolic Theology.

        (3) Ecclesiastical History and the Fathers.

        (4) The Evidences of Religion.

        (5) Liturgies.

        (6) Sacred Criticism and the Archæology of the Old and
        New Testaments.

    Knowledge of Hebrew has great weight in the distribution of
    Honours.

Frank had always intended to go in for one of the Honour Schools, but
agreed with his father that there was no necessity to avail himself
of the longest allowance of time granted. He need not present himself
for three years, but his father decided that two years was quite long
enough, in addition to the year he had already spent. He must do what
he could in the two years.

There was no dispute between father and son. Their views corresponded.
Frank was to be called to the Bar, and the Honour School of Law
was chosen for the degree. The subjects for this would, in a great
measure, answer the further purpose of the Bar Call Examination. Mr.
Ross proposed to enter Frank’s name at the Inner Temple in the ensuing
Michaelmas Term. He should then “eat dinners” during the two years in
which he was reading for his Oxford degree; that taken, he should have
one year’s reading in a barrister’s chambers. This, he considered,
ought to qualify him not only in book-work, but practically for a call.
Moreover, it would give him just the necessary time to complete the
statutable number of terms.

Frank was anxious to enter at once, before the Trinity Term was
over, but on this point his father was firm. There was no need for
such immediate hurry. As it was, he would be qualified for a call, at
an age considerably below the average. Mr. Ross had noticed that the
first Long Vacation had been, comparatively speaking, wasted. He had
said nothing, but had resolved that the second and third should not
be a repetition of the first. He therefore directed Frank to write to
his college tutor, Mr. Woods, for particulars of the subjects for the
Honour Law School, and for advice as to a “coach” for part of the Long
Vacation; and he himself wrote to his old friend, Mr. Wodehouse, on the
latter point.

Frank’s letter from Mr. Woods was as follows:--

                                                           “Paul’s.

    “DEAR MR. ROSS,--I am very glad to hear that you have so soon
    made up your mind as to the subjects in which you propose to
    take your degree; and I have no doubt your father’s plan of
    entering you at the Inner Temple next Michaelmas Term is a wise
    one.

    “Mr. Edwards, of University College, is, I have every reason
    to believe, a most advisable Law ‘coach.’ He is just now
    arranging a reading party to Switzerland, and I should hope
    your father will consent to your joining. Tell him from me that
    reading parties are not what they were in my undergraduate
    days--mere pleasure-trips, in which work forms the very last
    consideration. The few men now who go with a reading party
    really go to read. You may mention my name in writing to Mr.
    Edwards. He will, of course, furnish you with all particulars.

        “Believe me, yours sincerely,

                                                        “J. WOODS.”

The letter from Mr. Wodehouse was characteristic:--

    “DEAR MR. ROSS,--Law is not my line, or I would take your boy
    myself; but I know an excellent coach, Edwards of University,
    who is now settling a reading party, for Switzerland, I
    believe. Send your boy with him; you can’t do better. I send
    by this post a copy of the Examination Regulations, revised to
    this date. Details, of course, you will get from Edwards.

        “I am yours truly,

                                                “PHILIP WODEHOUSE.”

After the letters, there was not much difficulty in deciding that
Edwards was the coach to be secured. But the Swiss tour! Frank said
nothing, nor did Mr. Ross--the former because he knew his father’s
disposition, the latter because he would not promise what he might not
be able, with justice to the rest of his family, to afford.

However, after a suspense of three days, Frank was summoned after
breakfast to the study. His father had received a letter from the
coach, telling him the probable cost of the tour, and he had decided
to send Frank. The party would leave London on the 1st of July. They
were to meet for dinner at the Grosvenor Hotel at six o’clock, and go
from Victoria by the mail that catches the night-boat from Dover to
Calais. Mr. Edwards added a few particulars as to books, and, rightly
conjecturing this to be Frank’s first journey abroad, some suggestions
as to clothes and necessaries generally.

Mr. Ross winced a little when he heard the route that was chosen. But
when he had made up his mind to an expense, he was not a man to worry
over the inevitable extras.

The few days of June that remained passed quickly enough. Frank,
somehow, was not at home as much as his brothers and sisters could have
wished. At meals there were sundry questions as to his doings, amused
looks at his evident confusion, till even Mr. Ross, usually oblivious
to the jokes that passed between the young folks, questioned his wife
as to their meaning.

When he heard the suggestion, he at first laughed at it as ridiculous,
then said the whole affair was “out of the question,” not from any
dislike to Rose, for he was indeed very fond of her, and finally saying
he would speak to Frank, said nothing after all.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was a soft, sweet evening, that of June 30th, and Frank, having
finished his packing, slipped out unnoticed after dinner. It was a
difficult matter to avoid the prying eyes of his brothers, but the
dessert that evening was unusually absorbing, and long after Mr.
and Mrs. Ross had left the table, the boys were diligently making
themselves ill. Seizing the opportunity, he was three fields beyond the
paddock before his absence was even mentioned.

He was sad, down-hearted, romantically melancholy. And yet he had a
delightful tour through Switzerland in store. Porchester had never
seemed such a lovely little place. No Swiss mountains could ever have
such beauty as those soft hills yonder; no glaciers the charm of the
gently flowing river; no Alpine forests the sweetness of these English
meadows, now silvering with the evening dew, and softening in the
falling mist. He stopped by a gate. He found his initials cut there,
just in one corner out of sight; and near them one other letter. Three
years ago he had broken his best knife, and cut his finger, over that
little work. And there it was still--lichened over now, but still
legible. He would not touch it. He wondered if it would still be there
when he came back. When he came back! Was the boy going to India for
twenty years, or to the North Pole? Who would touch the letters? Who
would even read them? Who that came by this way would be likely to stop
by that uninteresting gate, and draw aside those great dock-leaves
merely to see F. R. and R. clumsily carved? And who, if they saw them,
would trouble to deface them?

But Frank was in love and was proportionately melancholy. And lo! as in
answer to his thoughts, softly over the new-cut grass comes the vicar’s
daughter.

It should be clearly understood that the pathway along which Rose
came so opportunely was public, though seldom frequented. It led
from the village of Porchester to a ferry, and this carried you to a
hamlet, Wood Green, that lay within the vicar’s ministrations. Just
now there was illness in the hamlet, and Rose used daily to visit the
sick. Frank, on no such journeys bent, passed many hours of those last
days of June about the fields, and crossing and re-crossing in the
ferry-boat. Luckily this was worked by a marvellous contrivance of
wheels, ropes, and poles, and there was no observant Charon to wonder
at, and then report, the strange and repeated passages of the lawyer’s
son. Last evening, at the same time and place, he had met Rose: had
told her he was leaving for Switzerland: had gone so far as to ask her
if she was going to Wood Green the next evening; and she, because she
was Rose, told him yes. Perhaps there was another reason, the cause of
which lay in him. But she never speculated. He had asked her, and she
had told him. She was going to Wood Green, and why not say so?

They walked slowly, oh! so slowly, across the misty meadows. They
crossed, as lazily as the stream would suffer them, the little ferry.
They reached Wood Green. It was only a basket and a message that Rose
had to deliver to-night, and Frank had not long to wait at the little
white wicket at Vowles’s cottage. Then back again, across the ferry,
and up the fields; and then, just by the gateway where they had met,
they stopped, and he showed her something, pulling aside the gigantic
dock-leaves--three letters, rudely cut, and covered with lichen.

“I cut them three years ago,” he said. “Was it very silly?”

“I don’t know,” she answered.

“I loved you then, Rose,” he said softly, taking her hand, “but I love
you a thousand times more now, darling.”

And Rose has told him something that makes him utterly happy--something
they have known these many weeks, but neither has dared to express.
They are but children, but why should they not be happy? Only boy and
girl, but is that any reason why their love should not be true? And
so they walk back through the deepening summer night, he as proud as
knight of old, and she as happy as any “fair ladye.” And then by the
vicarage garden-gate they say good-bye. They have not thought of the
future. The present is theirs, and that is enough. She is a simple
little village girl, and he an undergraduate; that is all. But “all” is
a great deal to them.

At six o’clock in the evening of July 1st, Edwards and his six pupils
dined at the Grosvenor, wisely and not too well, in view of the passage
that night. The party consisted of Hoskins of Brasenose, reading for
Honours in Law; Lang and Kingdon of Christ Church, Maude of John’s, and
Royds of Exeter, reading for the Final Pass Schools; and Frank, who had
thus one companion only in work. Edwards was quite a young man. He had
been married about two years, but left his wife and child at home. He
was just of an age not to be “donnish,” and yet old enough to command a
certain amount of necessary respect.

The pecuniary arrangements were as usual. Each was to pay his own
personal expenses, and tuition-fee to Edwards at the rate of 10_l._
per month. But for the sake of convenience he would make the actual
payments, and divide the amounts weekly.

At Victoria they broke up, for most of the men wanted to smoke.
Edwards was not a smoker, and would have travelled to Dover alone
had not Frank got into his compartment. The coach’s weakness in this
respect was the one little difficulty on the tour, and afforded a fund
of amusement to the rest, who were young enough to regard a non-smoker
with feelings of surprise. With the exception of Royds, none of the
seven had ever been abroad. He spoke French slightly, and had a
smattering of German. Edwards could not speak a word of the former,
but knew enough of the latter for comfort in travelling. No one else
spoke either. Royds plumed himself on his position of superiority, not
without offence to the rest of the party, who one and all joined in
snubbing him whenever he forgot his relation to Edwards. He was just a
source of a little “pleasant acidity.”

“I should advise you to lie down, if you’re inclined to be sea-sick,”
said Royds, for the benefit of the party generally, when they were on
board. “I never am.”

Edwards retired to the centre of the boat; Frank rolled himself in a
rug on a bench near the central deck cabins. The rest again consoled
themselves with cigars. The passage was long, for the night was foggy;
but the water was calm as a duck-pond. Nevertheless, Royds looked very
pale as he landed at Calais.

They reached Paris in the early sweetness of the morning. And what
a charm the great city has at that hour, and to first-comers! The
brightness, the laughter, the sunshine of the town in its life! What a
contrast to the death and dirt of London at such an hour!

They rushed across to an hotel near the Lyons Station, and after a
hasty breakfast, breaking into three parties, drove all over the place,
seeing, not “doing,” as much as time allowed. In the evening they left
for Geneva. Here they stayed two nights, and then went on to Chamounix
by _diligence_. From Chamounix they ascended the Montanvert to cross
the Mer de Glace.

This was their first climb. Royds, of course, had been before;
and with quite a paternal air he selected a guide one evening, and
marshalled the party the following morning. Going up the pine-woods,
their weary eyes were refreshed by the sight of three female figures.
Without confessing as much to one another, they one and all quickened.
But still those much-wished-for forms retreated, nor did they stop
till the little hut on the top was reached. And then!--But we draw a
veil. They were charming ladies, and delighted to see these gay young
Englishmen. But, dear ladies! they were not young. However, they were
very pleasant, and the sound of the English tongue has a marvellous
charm among foreigners.

The following morning, at ten o’clock, the corner by the Hôtel de
l’Union was the centre of interest for the good folks of Chamounix.
There at the hotel door stood seven sturdy mules and two guides. And
presently, to the infinite delight of the bystanders, seven young
Englishmen, followed by many packages, emerged and mounted. They were
bound for Martigny, over the Col de Balme.

Poor guides! Unaccustomed to such riders, they started on their
journey in happy ignorance. That evening, at seven o’clock, after a
game struggle to keep within sight of their charges, they gave it up.
And the cavalcade, headed by Edwards, putting their mules to their
utmost speed (no contemptible pace considering their day’s work), raced
wildly by the wondering villagers into Martigny. Knapsacks banged and
flapped over the mules’ backs; tutor and pupils were boys once more,
and simply shouted with delight as they clattered through the quiet
streets. Much to his disgust the great Royds did not come in first. His
was the worst mule, he explained at _table-d’hôte_.

All slept soundly that night at Martigny.

There they again fell in with the ladies of the hut on Montanvert,
and talked, with all the energy of comrades in danger, of the
crossing of the Mer de Glace and the descent of the Mauvais Pas, to
the not-unreasonable amusement of Royds. Next morning they left for
Brieg, going by rail to Sierre, not without missing the first train,
and imprecating maledictions on the head of the landlord who, his
hotel being somewhat empty, was constrained to adopt some measures for
detaining his profitable guests. Arrived at Sierre, they were told
the _diligence_ for Brieg had started, and were offered carriages.
A little patience, however, proved this to be one of the usual
misrepresentations, and in due course, after a hearty _déjeûner_ in the
pretty old inn, they started in the company of a very fat ecclesiastic
and a young and happy couple of Americans. From Brieg, which they
reached at eight, after heavy rain, they were to ascend the Bel-alp,
where Edwards intended to stay for a clear fortnight or three weeks for
work.

There was no _diligence_ to the Bel-alp; that they knew; but they had
fondly hoped there was a carriage-road. They were quickly undeceived.
There was only a bridle-path, and it was now late and getting dark. But
Edwards had resolved to push on without further delay, and, seeing he
was firm, the landlord of “La Poste” raised no objections. The heavier
luggage was to be carried up, on the following day. The absolute
necessaries were packed on the sturdy shoulders of two guides; and at
half-past eight the party started. The rain, which had been falling
heavily all the afternoon, fortunately ceased, but there was no moon,
and the clouds hung thickly. The darkness intensified the grandeur of
the hills and made the climb seem harder. Once, as they passed between
a cluster of _châlets_, all dark and still, the moon struggled into
view, and far below they saw a great white sea; but it was only the
mist that lay along the valley. At half-past ten they reached the first
halting-place, a little _châlet_ perched on a level plateau. There was
no light, and only the sound of the bells on the cows whose slumbers
they had disturbed. But presently, after some patient knocking, the
door was opened by a young giant of seven feet, with a sturdy girl at
his side.

Royds, the officious, the experienced, the polite traveller, advanced,
took off his hat, and made some remarks in French; but neither host
nor hostess understood him, and the guide’s _patois_ was necessary
to explain. In they all trooped to the rough, low, wooden room, glad
enough to rest. The wine was sour, but it was the landlord’s best; and
they all made merry. Then one of the guides sang a Tyrolese ditty, of
which the following is a paraphrase:--

    “With rifle aye ready,
      A dog of sharp scent,
    And a maiden to love him,
      A lad is content.

    “What needs hath the hunter?
      The hunter hath none
    But a nut-brown-eyed maiden,
      A dog, and a gun.

    “On Sunday, the church-day,
      To dance we are gone;
    Andrew leads Peggy,
      Janet leads John.”

And then the guides, the landlord, and his wife all sang together; the
young giant representing the love-sick tenor in such a way as to make
every one shout with laughter:--

      _Tenor._ “Out of the Tyrol I come, a long, long way,
             To look for my sweetheart, my little May.
       _Bass._ What does he say?
    _Soprano._ Ah, poor lover!
        _All._ So long, so long he has not seen his love,
             So long he has not seen his love!

      _Tenor._ “As any bright penny was my little Jenny!
             And a dimple was in
             My Jenny’s sweet chin!
       _Bass._ What does he say?
        _All._ So long, so long he has not seen his love!

      _Tenor._ “’Tis two long years agone
             Since I left my love alone;
             I’d give my true love’s weight in gold
             Could I her face behold.
       _Bass._ Hark what he says!
    _Soprano._ O what a fond lover!
        _All._ So long, so long he has not seen his love!”

And then Edwards sang an English song, the rest joining in the chorus,
to the infinite delight of the Switzers. After which the guide
suggested moving on.

At half-past one they reached the Bel-alp, and found, somewhat to
their surprise, that there was no village, not even a _châlet_, but
only a great inn, half wooden, half stone. The landlord, a little, fat,
hoarse-speaking man, with a thick black moustache, and two cow-girls,
called chambermaids, with their faces swathed in flannel, met them; and
presently they slept soundly in their little bare rooms, with their
wooden walls and ceilings, that made them feel for all the world as
though they were dolls put to bed in boxes.

But what a view next morning! Down there in the valley, as they stand
at the inn door, they can just make out where Brieg lies. Beyond, the
entrance to the Simplon Pass; and, over all, the Matterhorn, Weisshorn,
Monte Leone, Mischabel, and the Fletschhorn. Up behind them towers
the great white Sparrenhorn. Down on the left crawls the broad Aletsh
Glacier, with its huge, rough, pale-blue waves moving and melting, and
foaming at the “snout” in torrents of stormy water.

The inn was full, and three weeks went pleasantly enough. People
came and went, for the most part bound to or from the Eggisch-horn.
Every now and then there was a brief excitement caused by the arrival
of some friend whom chance had brought. Some of the visitors were
regularly settled, and with these the men soon formed acquaintance:
notably, Professor Tyndall, who was there on one of his usual summer
visits, measuring the motion of the glaciers, and who, as “Father of
the Table-d’hôte,” made the meals doubly pleasant with his genial
talk and merry laugh. Then there was another, well known in the
public-school world, with his wife--a jolly pair--and a young couple
from Ireland, who, oddly enough, turned out to be distant connexions
of Lang. The husband fraternized with the men in their climbs. The
wife spent most of her time rambling along the mountain paths within
easy distance, in which she was not unfrequently accompanied by Royds,
who flattered himself on being eminently a “ladies’ man.” There were
several old ladies who, each evening, used to entice the men to whist.
Frank usually was one of those caught. Lang and Maude, the two lazy
ones of the party, always retired to the smoking-room, whence they
never emerged till midnight. The others, for the most part, read in the
common sitting-room. Edwards devoted four hours in the morning to his
pupils’ work, from 8 to 12, and one hour before dinner. Out of respect
for Lang and Maude, their hour was fixed at 11. But, as often as not,
when that hour arrived, on looking out of the window to call them in,
their coach would hear that they were not down yet, or would see them
strolling casually down the hill to meet the mules which brought the
letters or the day’s provisions from Brieg.

“Haven’t got any work ready yet,” would be Lang’s answer, if Edwards
managed to overtake them.

“Do you mind taking me after dinner?” from Maude.

But in spite of the idleness of these two, the average amount of work
achieved by the party was very creditable, and Edwards was satisfied.

At the end of the fixed three weeks, to the great regret of the
landlord (for he found the young Oxonians thirsty to a degree) and of
most of the guests, the party departed. They went as they came, on
foot, with a couple of horses to carry their luggage, and a couple of
guides to carry Lang, who had contrived to strain his ankle. They slept
one night in Brieg--a short, restless night, with the _diligences_
rolling through the streets and clattering into the courtyards, with
jingling bells and cracking whips, the shouts of the drivers, and the
agonized voices of weary and confused travellers. At six, in the fresh
clear dawn, they took the _diligence_ for the Rhone Glacier, and thence
over the Furka to Andermatt. There, also, they slept one night--in
fact, slept so soundly that when the _diligence_ started next morning
for Flüelen by the St. Gothard Pass, Edwards, Frank, and Royds alone
were in time for breakfast and for choice of seats; Hoskins and Kingdon
only saved their seats by chasing the _diligence_ after it had started;
while the first that Lang and Maude saw of the morning was the sight
of the _diligence_ turning a corner, with three of their companions
seated outside, and two running frantically after it. But they consoled
themselves with the reflection that this delay would furnish them
with an excellent excuse for “cutting” the next day’s lesson with
Edwards. Frank was separated from the rest of the party, having for his
companion a little soldier who spoke neither French nor German, but an
unintelligible _patois_ which made conversation impossible.

About ten o’clock they passed Altdorf. The little town looked so
bright and gay, full of reverence for its William Tell, and ignorant
of, or despising, the knowledge that makes his story a myth. Thence to
Flüelen, and thence over the clear waters of the Vierwaldstätter See to
Lucerne. What a change from the Bel-alp! Here all is softened--grown
Italian almost. Just in the distance a few snowy peaks; but the
frowning heights have melted to soft wooded hills--running down to
look at themselves in the glassy mirror. Lucerne was reached about
one o’clock; and here, at the Englischer Hof, right on the quay, a
hospitable welcome met them.

Lang and Maude revelled in the change. For them the Bel-alp was too
cold, too dull; but here they had the lake, the shops, the _cafés_,
the band at night, and all those countless charms which no English
town seems to possess. Here even Frank relaxed a little. They made
excursions every day, for the most part in the comfortable little
steamers. They went up the Rigi luxuriously in the train. Edwards,
Royds, and Frank climbed Pilatus; the rest were content with the Rigi.
They bought presents, useless as well as useful; they strummed on the
_salon_ piano, and sang in broken German, to the intense delight of
the waiters. They spent the evenings invariably in a little _café_
round the corner, where Gretchen’s merry black eyes flashed from one
to another, hardly divining the relationship of the party; or, if not
there, on the _boulevard_, listening to the band; and sometimes on the
lake; and it was on one of these occasions that Edwards astonished them
by his vocal as well as his poetical powers.

He called his song, “The Lay of the Vice-Chancellor,” and it ran as
follows:--

    “I’ve sung you many a ditty, some stupid and some witty,
      In our snug and cosy common-rooms after dinner many a day;
    But there’s one I have omitted, of a blunder I committed,
      That may serve you as a warning, and may while an hour away.
    When I was young and hearty, I took a reading party
                          (“Hear, hear!” from the audience)
      To study in America one summer long ago;
    And while out there we tarried, I went--and--I got married,
      And what that is, my bachelors, you very little know.
    But upon that little portion of my most unhappy tale,
    Will you kindly, will you kindly draw a veil, draw a veil?
        _Chorus._--Draw a veil! draw a veil!

    “But oh! when I reflected that I should be expected
      To forfeit either Fellowship or wife,
    I thought ’twould be a pity she should leave her native city
      And be tied to an old tutor all her life.
    When I pictured you all cosy, at your port wine old and rosy,
      And I was at cold mutton, and romance was growing cool--
    When I thought of you so gaily dining gloriously daily,
      I took a _single_ cabin in a ship for Liverpool.
    But upon the mix’d emotions of my hurried homeward sail,
    Will you kindly, will you kindly draw a veil, draw a veil?
        _Chorus_ (_very gently_).--Draw a veil! draw a veil!

    “Since then, by her unhamper’d, up fame’s ladder I have scamper’d,
      And run through all our snug berths in a trice;
    I’ve been Bursar, Dean, Professor, Public Orator, Assessor,
      And sat on a commission once or twice.
    I’ve told quite different stories to the Liberals and Tories;
      I’ve snarl’d among the Radicals, “Retrench!”
    But I really should not wonder if my friend Lord Blood-and-Thunder,
      On the very next occasion, should transfer me to the Bench.
    So really let me beg you on _that_ portion of my tale,
    Will you kindly, will you kindly draw a veil, draw a veil?
        _Chorus._--Draw a veil! draw a veil!”

When they were all back again in Oxford, even many terms afterwards,
“Draw a veil” was always a sort of pass-word between them.

A fortnight soon passed, and they travelled together to Paris. Here
they parted, Frank going straight to Porchester, Edwards to Oxford.
Frank had made a good start with his law reading, and, thanks to
Edwards’ style of teaching, had thoroughly grasped all that he had
touched, and what is more, liked his subjects. One practical point
before passing to other scenes: his expenses were 50_l._;--35_l._ for
railway fares, hotel bills, &c., 15_l._ to Edwards for tuition.



CHAPTER VIII.

IN THE THICK OF IT.


Paul’s had no Law Lecturers, and Frank was therefore compelled to
“put on a coach.” He accordingly wrote to Edwards, a week before term
commenced, to arrange with him. Much to his surprise, the College
offered to pay half the fee on his behalf, which after all was but
fair, considering that he had to pay his College tuition fees, although
there were no lectures for him. By Edwards’ advice he attended certain
of the Law Professors’ Lectures, which were open to the University at
large--in some cases on payment of 1_l._, in others free. Six hours in
each week were spent at these, and three hours with Edwards; and with
a daily average of four hours’ private reading he considered he was
industrious. His degree seemed so far off. He would work more when the
time was drawing nearer. So he consoled himself, and so the time went
by.

Of Crawford he saw little, for it was his last term, and he was in
for Honours in the Final Classical Schools in November. But on Sunday
they used to lunch together--alternately in one another’s rooms--and
go for a long constitutional afterwards. To Crawford alone of his many
friends he confided his hopes. To him alone he told his dreams of
Rose, of their engagement, and even of the marriage in the future. And
Crawford never laughed at him, or pooh-poohed the notion as a boyish
fancy; for he saw that if there was one thing more than another which
would keep him straight, and make him stick to his work, it was the
hope of one day making a home for Rose. But the Bar! How hopeless it
seemed! To talk of marriage, at least three years before the wig could
be worn, much less a brief gained! Still the boy was hopeful. And why
damp his energy? Besides, Crawford had a belief--he knew it was not a
prevalent one--that though there are so many barristers, the Bar as a
profession is not really so crowded as the world believes; that if you
eliminate the large numbers of so-called barristers who live by their
pen, by speculating--by anything, in fact, except the profession they
claim, the number of men left is by no means large enough to do the
work that offers. Again, he knew that he came of a family of lawyers,
with large firms in various towns, and at least one of considerable
eminence in London. So that altogether he by no means considered the
boy’s ambitions and dreams as baseless or silly. As for himself, he
hardly cared to confess his hopes. But Frank had always placed him,
in anticipation, in the position Crawford secretly desired. He seemed
fitted in every way for a Fellowship and Tutorship. To begin with, he
was a gentleman in birth and in heart. He would therefore know how to
feel with, and for, all the various grades of men with whom he would
come in contact: unlike the many who, with neither the breeding nor the
feelings of gentlemen, have nothing but their intellectual supremacy to
recommend them.

As to Crawford’s intellectual powers, he had already given ample
proof. He had taken a first class in Classical Moderations. He had
won the Chancellor’s prize for Latin Verse, and had been _proxime
accessit_ for the Stanhope Essay. And then, to crown all, from the
boyish undergraduate point of view, he had rowed in his College Eight,
and won the Diamond Sculls at Henley. Why, he was the very _beau-ideal_
of a Fellow. A handsome, clever, athletic English gentleman. Oxford
has had many such, and, thank God, she has them still. Men who
consider a fellowship and tutorship a sacred trust; who look upon the
undergraduates as friends to be helped, guided, and taught, but not in
mere learning for the schools; who will draw out, not crush, the fresh
hopefulness of youth; who will cheer, not cloud, boys’ ambitions; who
will look for good qualities, not watch and wait for errors; whose
chief thought will be what good they can do, and not what fines they
can impose.

“Do you see much of Monkton now?” Crawford asked, as they were walking
to Godstow by the upper river.

“Very little,” said Frank. “I can’t think what he does with himself.”

“Not much, I fancy. I see him loafing occasionally, and I believe
that’s pretty nearly all he does. However, I’m glad you don’t see much
of him.” And Crawford changed the subject. “What’s this I hear of you
and the _Undergraduates’ Journal_? You don’t mean to say you’ve taken
to write in it? I should have thought you had work enough to do.”

Frank got red and confused.

“Well, the fact is--I have written a few things; but it didn’t take
much time.”

“Ah! that’s just where it is,” said Crawford. “If you do anything of
that sort at all, it’s worth doing well--just as everything is, for
the matter of that. You haven’t time to do it well, and you square
the matter by doing it hurriedly. You’d far better stick to your Law
reading.”

“I say, old fellow,” remonstrated Frank, “I didn’t come out for a
lecture. You’re a regular old school-master. I only wrote three little
poems, or ‘sets of verses’ as I suppose I ought to call ’em: that’s the
extent of my writing.”

“Oh!” said Crawford, somewhat mollified. “Well, take my advice; get
your degree first and write afterwards.”

“That’s all very well,” retorted Frank; “but I should like to know how
you expect a fellow to be able to write without practice? Reading Law
and writing answers to papers don’t help one.”

“I don’t think we’ll discuss the question any further,” answered
Crawford. “You want to marry Rose, I know, as quickly as possible.
Well, my opinion is that you’ll do it a great deal more quickly by
reading Law than by writing poetry.”

Frank was silent. There was truth in what Crawford said, he knew; but
he could not help writing poetry. And whether he will ever be a known
poet, ever succeed in charming the hydra-headed public, or not, he
certainly had one requisite in a maker--spontaneity. Rose, of course,
considered him a poet in the highest sense of the term. In fact, she
cared for no poetry but his, which speaks volumes for her affection,
but little for her powers of criticism. But if lovers are to be
critics, Love may as well go to Mr. Critchet, and be operated on for
cataract.

Term, with all its activity, was passing quickly. Every day till two
o’clock Frank devoted himself to his work. From two till five he rowed,
or practised at the butts. From five till six he usually spent at the
Union, reading the papers or magazines. Dinner at six. He did not do
much work in the evening, for various reasons--chiefly, because he
was too lazy--excusing himself because he thought his eyes were weak;
and partly because of various engagements. On Tuesday evening there
was either a regular Apollo lodge-meeting, or a lodge of instruction.
Monday, the Paul’s Debating Society. Wednesday, the practice of the
Philharmonic, a somewhat different form of excitement from the usual
undergraduate amusements, owing to the presence of a large number of
ladies. Thursday, the debate at the Union, in which he usually took
part. Friday and Saturday had no definite fixture; but then there was
always something in the shape of nondescript entertainment at the
“Vic.,” or concert at the Town Hall or Corn Exchange; or else there was
a friend to be asked to dinner in Hall, or an invitation to dinner to
accept. Altogether, his evening work never amounted to more than one
hour on the average.

One evening, seeing a large poster announcing a performance by “the
great Bounce,” he turned up the narrow little passage which leads from
Magdalen Street to the “gaff” that is dignified by the name of theatre.
Here, by permission of the Very Reverend the Vice-Chancellor, and his
Worship the Mayor--a permission always necessary and always publicly
announced--entertainments of every description, as long as they are
not stage plays, are performed. Conjurors, mimics, ventriloquists,
mesmerists, Tyrolese singers, Japanese acrobats, music-hall singers
of every grade and degree, display themselves before a crowded
audience of undergraduates. But anything so demoralizing as a play
of Shakespeare or other healthy author is strictly forbidden. The
authorities doubtless have their reasons, but it is somewhat hard to
imagine what those reasons can be. An occasional concert is given in
the Town Hall or Corn Exchange, to which of course ladies can go; but
from the entertainments in the “Vic.,” good, bad, or indifferent, they
are absolutely debarred. And in very, very few instances do they miss
anything worth seeing.

The first person whom Frank recognized on entering was Monkton,
who was sitting in a stage-box, or at least in what does duty for
a stage-box. He was dressed in a somewhat startling costume of
ginger-colour check; a bright crimson necktie; his hat well on the side
of his head; an enormous cigar in his mouth, which he appeared to be
sucking rather than smoking. Between his knees, a gigantic bull-dog,
whose efforts to plunge upon the stage or into the orchestra he was
with difficulty controlling. Another man sat with him, dressed, if it
were possible, in louder style than he; and from the tone of their
voices they appeared not a little pleased with themselves and with the
impression they were creating. The theatre was crammed from floor to
ceiling; the University element decidedly predominating; the town being
represented by a gallery full of that peculiar style of cad and cadger
for which Oxford seems so famous. The smoke from pipes and cigars was
far too thick to allow of recognition except at a very short distance;
and Frank was much relieved to find that Monkton did not “spot” him.

We need not describe the performance. The vulgar, strutting,
swaggering comique, who supplies in fancied wit what he lacks in voice;
the booming tenor, who yells “Tom Bowling” to give respectability to
the entertainment; the brazen-throated “lady vocalist,” who disdains
to be called a singer, and who certainly doesn’t deserve the title,
are all too wearisome and sickening to merit notice, but for the
lamentable fact that they are patronized by the undergraduate because
the University authorities refuse to sanction anything better.

The entertainment had not proceeded very far before Monkton had
attracted the notice of the “star” of the evening, who, seeing that he
had the audience on his side, commenced, in the spoken portion of his
performance, to chaff “the gentleman in ginger.” Monkton’s position was
too prominent for him to venture to respond; perhaps, too, he was not
good at repartee. At all events, he drew back out of sight as far as
possible, contenting himself with allowing his dog to put his forefeet
on the cushion of the box and to growl an answer to the chaff.

The next performer happened to be a young lady not quite so much at
her ease as is usual in these persons. She was evidently frightened at
the dog; and Monkton, seeing his opportunity, made the brute growl and
spring forward as near the singer as possible. There were loud cries
of “Turn him out!” The singer stopped in the middle of her song, burst
into tears, and ran off at the wings. The manager came forward and
expostulated. By this time the gallery was infuriated. Then Monkton let
the dog go, and with a bound he cleared the orchestra and leapt on the
stage. The manager, in evident trepidation, rushed off. The orchestra
seized their instruments, and hastily began to decamp; some one in
the confusion turned out most of the gas; and at that moment a cry of
“Proctors!” was heard.

It was by the merest chance that the Senior Proctor happened to be
passing, and hearing the unusual disturbance, and the shouts which
were evidently not shouts of applause, came in. He sent two of his men
to one door, and he himself with two waited at the principal exit.
There they took everybody’s “name and College,” giving directions as
to the usual call on the following morning; and then, when the theatre
was emptied, sent for the manager, and learned the facts of the case.
Monkton had, of course, made his way out with the rest, with no further
notice from the Proctor than they; but his time was to come.

There was a great crowd at nine the next morning at the Senior
Proctor’s rooms. The men went as a matter of form, hardly expecting to
be fined for going to an entertainment sanctioned by the University,
and simply anticipating an order to attend before the Vice-Chancellor
for an investigation of the _fracas_ of the preceding evening. Monkton
appeared with the rest; and from the way in which every one gave him
the cold shoulder he saw pretty clearly that no one would screen him.
At twelve o’clock he received an official notice to answer before the
Vice-Chancellor to the charge of setting and inciting a bull-dog, with
intent to do bodily injury, and so forth.

At eleven o’clock on the following day there was such a crowd as had
not been seen in the Vice-Chancellor’s Court for many a long day. The
case was investigated as before a magistrate, the Vice-Chancellor being
_ex officio_ a justice of the peace for the city of Oxford, with,
however, far greater powers. There were plenty of undergraduates who
gave evidence in support of the charge, and the manager and singers
gladly exonerated the rest of the audience. It was acknowledged on
all sides that neither Monkton nor the “star” comique put in so
easy and unembarrassed an appearance before the Very Reverend the
Vice-Chancellor and the Proctors as they did in their respective
positions on the eventful evening. It was in vain that Monkton’s
solicitor urged provocation on the part of the “star.” There were
plenty of men ready to testify that they too had been chaffed. The
Vice-Chancellor gave the defendant a sharp reprimand, fined him 5_l._,
and “sent him down for a term.”

The Proctor’s summons to the rest of the men was allowed to pass, and
they heard no more of the matter.

The Michaelmas Law Term commenced on the 2nd of November, and Frank
obtained leave from the Dean to go to town to enter at the Inner Temple
and eat his first three dinners. He left at 9 a.m., with feelings
somewhat akin to those he had on starting from home for matriculation,
with the important difference, however, that there was no examination
to face. His father met him at Paddington, and they drove straight
to the Temple. At the gate of the “Inner” they found the two friends
who had promised to be sureties for the payment of fees. With them
they went to the Steward’s office, and there Frank presented a paper
signed by the Dean of Paul’s to the effect that he had passed a Public
Examination at Oxford. This exempted him from any examination on
admission as a student of the Inns of Court. On payment of one guinea
he obtained a form of admission, to be signed by two barristers to
vouch for his respectability, with which he and his father went to
the chambers of two friends, who gave the necessary signatures; then
back again to the Treasurer’s office, where the two sureties entered
into a bond to the amount of 50_l._; and by a further payment of five
guineas for the privilege of attending the Public Lectures of the Law
Professors, and 35_l._ 6_s._ 5_d._ for fees and stamp on admission, the
whole business was complete, and Frank was a student of the Honourable
Society of the Inner Temple.

A little pleasant chaff about the woolsack, and the quartet broke up,
the two sureties to their respective businesses, Frank and his father
to lunch. Then Mr. Ross took a cab to Paddington, leaving Frank at
the door of Maskelyne and Cooke’s mysterious entertainment, where he
proposed a little mild dissipation till it was time to go down to the
Temple to dine.

Hurrying through the crowd of students and newspaper-boys at the
lodge just before six o’clock, he met three friends, and the usual
expressions of mutual surprise were uttered. They agreed to make up a
mess together, and certainly would not have accepted the definition
of a mess as “a party of four who eye each other with feelings of
mutual distrust and suspicion.” Frank, as freshman, had to “stand”
the orthodox bottle of wine, and felt quite like an old fogey as he
“took wine” with the three. With the exception of wine, and the power
of sending for various sorts of liquors, the dinner was very much the
same as the usual dinner in Hall at Oxford. The servants were better
dressed, but waited worse. There was more order, from the fact that
everybody has to be present at grace before and after meat, failing
which, the dinner does not count. Then the diversity of age and style
of men struck Frank. Old men and beardless boys sitting side by side,
wearing the student’s gown; mild-looking students with pale faces and
spectacles; fast men, in whom the notion of study seemed a ridiculous
anomaly; dark faces from the East; and even a few of the thick lips
from Africa. All the rest--the Benchers at the high table, the
portraits overhead, the coloured windows, the fretted roof, the carved
panelling--it was all familiar; Oxford over again, simply transplanted
to the very heart of London.

After dinner they went to a theatre, and after that Frank was initiated
into the mysteries of Evans’s.

The three evenings passed all too quickly, and he was once more in
Oxford, with the sense of having at least made one distinct step
towards winning Rose, even though it was such a matter-of-fact affair
as the eating of three dinners.

There was not much to mark the succeeding Lent Term. There were
the “Torpids” as usual, in which Frank again rowed, and with such
decided improvement that he was considered safe for the “Eight” in the
summer term. There was the ordinary scarlet-fever scare; a suicide
of a studious undergraduate, the annual result of the climate, and
the Lenten depression of the social atmosphere; and there were the
Christ-Church Grinds,[12] and the Brasenose Ale Festival on Shrove
Tuesday.

To the former Frank went, surreptitiously of course, for the Grinds are
with annual regularity forbidden, but with equal regularity carried
out. The Proctors for the time being were not over-sharp, and imagined
that the simplest and easiest way to catch the men coming home from
Aylesbury was to go to the station and meet the in-trains. But, strange
to relate, not a single undergraduate was to be found! Innocently
confessing his failure on the following evening in Common Room, the
Senior Proctor drew upon himself the ridicule of one of the older
fellows, a sporting man, and the “inextinguishable laughter” of the
rest.

“You don’t mean to say you expected to find them at the station? Why,
man alive! what is easier than to tip the guard and engine-driver
half-a-sovereign, and have the train stopped just by the Goods-station?”

The Senior Proctor mentally resolved to be sharper in future. He was
sharper--when he caught men. But his sharpness was the sharpness of
acidity and not of acuteness.

The Brasenose Ale Festival is simply ordinary dinner in Hall, at which
some special ale, brewed by the College and kept for high occasions,
is given in unlimited quantities to the undergraduates. Possibly the
most important feature (certainly it is the most uncommon) is the
fact of the ale being given. Anything not paid for is a fact so rare
that of itself it deserves a festival to commemorate it. The ale is
celebrated in a poem which is supposed to be written by the College
Butler. College Butlers being, however, not necessarily gifted with the
poetic faculty, the honour or duty is deputed to some undergraduate.
The merits of the verses vary, apparently with the quality of the ale,
which is sometimes good, often bad, and usually indifferent. In a
collection of the productions of the laureates of the barrel, lately
published, are verses by Bishop Heber, by Garbett, once Professor of
Poetry, and others of less reputation. The various later authors may
be found in country rectories, doubtless endeavouring on temperance
principles to counteract the effects of the obnoxious liquor, which in
the days of their youth they celebrated in such festive fashion.

The College bounty did not stop short, however, at ale; cakes of ample
proportions were cut up and distributed. But when all rose to bless the
indirect giver, and the direct benefactor, it must of course have been
indigestion or malicious scepticism which made Frank’s host whisper to
him,--

“I wonder what the difference is between the pecuniary value of the
bequest, when it was made to the College, and its present value.”

Frank, not being able to hazard a conjecture, made the most apposite
remark his state of ignorance allowed,--

“You’d better ask the Bursar.”



CHAPTER IX.

THE CLOSE.


Frank read with Edwards in the Summer term, the College again
paying half the fee. He rowed in the Eights, and Paul’s made four
bumps, thereby getting head of the river. To commemorate the event a
“bump-supper” was given. All the men, with the exception of a very
few, subscribed the necessary guinea, and, as many brought guests, the
supper was emphatically a success. The exceptions were of the three
ordinary types: those who could not afford a guinea for such a purpose,
and who were not ashamed to say so; those who considered “bump-suppers”
and such-like entertainments as immoral orgies; and lastly, those who
both enjoyed them and who could afford to subscribe, but who were
too mean to do so, and preferred rather to extract an invitation to
another college bump-supper in the specious manner which usually
characterizes the tight-fingered. The Dons readily gave permission for
the use of the hall, with certain provisos as to time of termination
of the feast. Cooks and scouts vied with one another, in a spirit not
altogether disinterested, in supplying and laying out the best that
the College kitchen could provide. A gorgeous dessert was ordered from
a neighbouring confectioner, and wine came in without stint or stay.
Slap’s[13] excellent band was engaged, and discoursed most sweet music
from time to time during the evening. And then, what speeches were
made! What songs were sung! How they all cheered when the captain of
the boat-club returned thanks! And--tell it not in the Common Room,
whisper it not to the Dons (for the very simple reason that they know
by experience what it all means)--what aching eyes, what cracking
heads, what foul and furry tongues there were next morning! Nor did
the store of College legends fail to receive the additions usual on
such occasions; and one story even reached the Master’s ears: how that
the captain of the boat-club was observed, long after the last guest
had passed the porter’s lodge, sitting in a corner of one of the back
quadrangles, rowing with all his might at an imaginary oar, shouting
every now and then to “bow” to keep time, and telling the “cox” not to
put the rudder on so sharp.

Frank did not stay up for Commemoration; that he reserved as a
pleasure for the following year. His final examination would then be
over, and he would be able to enjoy all the fun and gaiety in his new
glory as Bachelor of Arts. Before going down he had a consultation
with Edwards as to his work in the “Long.” The latter was again going
to take a reading party abroad, but he advised Frank not to join; he
told him that in his present state of progress he could do more work
at home. Frank was relieved by the advice, for he knew his father
could not afford to send him abroad again. But he felt he might close
with Edwards’ proposal to come up a month before the Michaelmas Term
began, chiefly for the purpose of making his work safe for the first
Bar Examination in Roman Law, which was fixed for the end of October.
Edwards wished him to go in for this on his first opportunity; for he
felt that, apart from the direct advantage in passing, the examination
would prove of service as a partial test for the final Oxford
Examination in the ensuing summer.

Mr. Ross was not only satisfied but pleased with the scheme for Frank’s
work. He was a man who always looked ahead and tried to map out the
future. He felt that men for the most part create their own future,
and that where the object in view is clearly marked out, and the means
to that object carefully weighed and chosen with firm determination,
chance is but a trifling factor in a man’s career. He loathed that
comfortable philosophy which folds its hands and leaves “Time and the
hour” to work for one. So far his plans had been fulfilled; and if this
had made him somewhat dogmatic and obstinately fond of insisting that
“anything can be done if only there is the will to do it,” it had, at
all events, taught his children the lesson of dogged perseverance and
the value of far-sightedness.

Frank spent a pleasant “Long” vacation. He had plenty of cricket
and boating; he saw Rose at least three times every week. There were
endless picnics and lawn-tennis parties. Above all, he got through a
good deal of reading. During the three months he was at home he worked,
on an average, five hours every day; but by judiciously arranging
these he always found plenty of time for amusements. He bathed in the
river, wet or fine, every morning at seven; read from eight till nine;
breakfasted at nine; read from ten till one. By this plan he always
had done four hours’ work before luncheon; and he had no difficulty
in keeping up his average number by regulating the rest of his work
according to the general plans for the day’s amusements.

The month’s reading in Oxford during the “Long” was, of course, a
novelty, but he did not find the dulness he expected. He saw a good
deal more of Edwards than in his tutorial capacity, and soon made great
friends with his wife; and as young men are at a premium in Oxford out
of term, his social vanity was flattered by numerous invitations.

Towards the latter part of October he went to town for the Bar
Examination. He put up at the Inns of Court Hotel, to be near Lincoln’s
Inn, in the Hall of which he duly appeared one Saturday morning at ten
o’clock. He saw plenty of familiar faces and several friends. One of
the examiners also was an Oxford professor. The paper--there only was
one--was not difficult, and Frank had very nearly finished when, just
on the stroke of twelve o’clock, he was called up for _vivâ voce_. The
plan struck him as strange; and as he was kept waiting for at least
twenty minutes, he envied the other candidates who were still writing
or looking over their papers. His _vivâ voce_, however, did not last
very long, and he had ample time to correct his work carefully. Within
a week he received the pleasant news that he had passed, and went up in
November to eat his dinners, with a certain amount of pride at having
achieved one more distinct step towards his desired end.

Not long after this, Crawford, who had taken a “first” in the summer,
gained a Fellowship at Queen’s; and by an odd coincidence, another
of his friends, Monkton, was sent down about the same time. His
rustication after the escapade in the theatre had apparently failed
to inspire him with any awe of the University authorities, and he had
scorned the notion of the Proctors being able to track or catch him in
any of his favourite haunts, till one night he received palpable and
painful evidence to the contrary. The matter was promptly settled. He
was summoned before the Vice-Chancellor and the Proctors privately; his
previous offence was proved against him; a bad report came from his own
college authorities; his name was removed from the books, and he was
told to leave Oxford at once. The remainder of his history is neither
poetic nor uncommon. He disappeared from the surface for a season,
only to rise, however, on the tide of a theological college. Thence,
having easily satisfied a bishop--for he was by no means a fool--he was
ordained, and, having passed a few years as junior curate, was promoted
to be his vicar’s vicegerent, and glided into a more comfortable,
decent existence, much invited and much beslippered by the ladies of
his congregation.

The spring soon passed away, and with the end of May all the
examinations began.

Frank felt far more nervous when he appeared in the Schools for
Divinity than subsequently for Law. Failure in the former would prevent
him from taking his degree that term; and failure was quite possible
even to one who had a very good general knowledge of the matter and
teaching of the Bible. It is not easy to see what good is effected
by an examination which induces cramming, irreverence, and a cordial
dislike of its subject. It certainly furnishes an inexhaustible store
of amusing stories.

“_What do you know of Gamaliel?_”

“It is a mountain in Syria.”

“_Who was Mary Magdalene?_”

“The mother of our Lord.”

“_Who was Zacchæus?_”

“He was the man who climbed up a sycamore-tree, exclaiming, ‘If they do
these things in the green tree, what will they do in the dry?’”

“_Describe accurately the relations between the Jews and Samaritans
from the earliest periods._”

“The Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans.”

“_What is the meaning of phylactery?_”

“An establishment where love-philtres were made. The Pharisees did
a good business in these; hence the expression ‘Make broad your
phylacteries,’ means, ‘Extend your business.’”

“_Why was our Lord taken before the high priest first, and not before
Pilate?_”

“Because Peter had cut off his servant’s ear.”

“_Who was Malchus?_”

“He was the High priest’s servant whose ear Peter cut off, and supposed
to be the author of a treatise on population.”

Frank contributed one to the stock of blunders. Given the Greek words
and asked to explain the context of “The thorns sprang up and choked
it,” he translated them, “The thieves sprang up and choked him;” and
proceeded to give an elaborate description of the parable of the Good
Samaritan. He did not, however, end in the legendary manner: “He took
out two pence and gave them to the host, saying, ‘Whatsoever thou
spendest more, when I come again I will repay thee.’ This he said, well
knowing he should see his face no more.”

He answered the rest of the paper, as he thought, fairly; and,
from the short _vivâ voce_ he had a few days later, inferred that
the written part of his work was better than he imagined; and two
hours afterwards received in exchange for the customary shilling the
much-coveted piece of blue paper from the patient Parker, clerk of the
schools. A few days elapsed, and then he went in for Law. We need not
follow him through all the details. As so often happens, he did better
than he expected in the subjects he feared most, and worse in those he
fancied he should do better. But on the whole he was satisfied with his
performance. In _vivâ voce_ he considerably improved his position, and
to this he attributed the fact that when the class-list appeared he
found himself in the second instead of the third class. A first he had
never expected to get; but Edwards learnt from the examiners that he
was considered a good second-class man, having amply retrieved in _vivâ
voce_ the failure in one of his papers which had threatened to lower
him to the third.



CHAPTER X.

GOWN AT LAST.


So now it was all over--all the work and anxiety. The taking of
his degree remained, and--Commemoration. It was Thursday when the
class-list appeared. The following Sunday was Show Sunday, the
semi-official commencement of the festivities. He telegraphed to
his father: “Have got a second. You must come up for Commem. I hope
to put on my gown on Thursday.” He telegraphed to Rose. He wrote a
long letter to his mother by that night’s post, begging her to bring
one of his sisters and Rose. He wrote to Rose herself. He was in a
whirl of excitement, and to conceal his emotion he ordered an elegant
summer suit, which he did not in the least require, at a most obliging
tailor’s not a hundred yards from St. Mary’s Church. So obliging was
he, in fact, that it is matter of history that when a certain wealthy
and aristocratic Irishman, in a flow of unbounded extravagance,
ordered him to “send in his whole shop,” the tailor, with undisturbed
equanimity, replied, “Certainly, sir! What time would you like it?”

The receipt of Frank’s letter, and the request that his mother would
bring Rose, produced a little commotion. His father still tried to
pooh-pooh the notion of an engagement; but his mother, who had Frank’s
confidence, maintained that, as far as the two were concerned, the
engagement was a reality, and that it only waited the formal consent
of the parents and the means to marry. So it was at last decided that
Mr. and Mrs. Ross, and Frank’s elder sister, Mary, would go. The Vicar,
glad of an excuse to visit Oxford again, agreed to join the party
and bring Rose. And Rose herself--well, there was no need to ask her
consent. On Friday morning a telegram was despatched to Frank, telling
him they were coming on Saturday evening, and giving him directions to
secure lodgings; and Mary and Rose were together most of the day and
evening, arranging, selecting, altering, and making various articles of
adornment for the coming gaieties.

Pembroke concert had taken place on Thursday, Queen’s on Friday, and
there was nothing for Saturday. But that was no loss to Frank’s party,
for they were all too tired for any gaiety after their long journey.
By a fluke--for he was late in looking for lodgings--he found some
disengaged rooms in Grove Street; and the shady little corner, so close
to the sunny, busy High, was most pleasant and convenient. After supper
the Vicar went down to Christ-Church to “look up” some old friends,
still in residence as Senior Students,[14] and the rest strolled by
Merton to the river. Mr. and Mrs. Ross, not caring to trust themselves
to the boat which Frank had chosen, wandered round the paths by the
Cherwell, and, after losing themselves by the Botanical Gardens,
eventually got safe to Grove Street. Frank rowed Rose and Mary down
to Sandford, where he gave them tea in the little inn overlooking the
lock, and then took them round to see the lasher that has been so fatal
to many bright young lives.

Coming home, he pointed out to them all the spots of interest and
importance to the rowing man. The tavern at Iffley where the last of
the Eights starts in the races; the Green Barge, at the entrance to
the “Gut;” the Gut itself, that terror of young coxswains; the Long
Bridges; the White Willow where the boats make their final crossing
to the Berkshire bank on the journey home. Every spot had its little
history. Here, in the first Torpids, he had nearly “caught a crab.”
There his crew had made their final “spirt;” here they had bumped
Brasenose, when the coxswain would not acknowledge the bump. There
“bow” broke his oar, and nearly pitched out of the boat. Yonder,
strolling quietly down the Berkshire bank, was Harvey, the Humane
Society’s man. There was old George West on the Brasenose barge; there,
just above, was Timms, the “Father of the Crews,” leading a quiet time
of it, now that the “Eights” and the “Sculls” and “Pairs”[15] were
over. Frank took the girls into the ’Varsity barge, and showed them
the pictures of the old “oars,” who had rowed for Oxford at Henley
and Putney; and told them what little legends had come down to him of
Chitty and Meade-King, Arkell and Warre, Morrison and Woodgate; and,
coming to later times, of Tinney, Willan, Yarborough, and Darbishire,
the famous four who, besides their glories at Putney, licked the
Yankees from Harvard; and, in later times still, of Leslie and Houblon,
Edwards-Moss and Marriott. They were all heroes to Frank--these “brutal
rowing men,” as Mr. Wilkie Collins deems them--these savages whose only
glory is their brute strength. It has been said that English battles
have been won in the Eton playing-fields. Possibly the Isis and the
Cam have as much as anything to do with the feats of dogged endurance
and quiet pluck that have made Alma and Inkerman, Isandula and Rorke’s
Drift, immortal names in the annals of warfare.

On Sunday they all went to St. Mary’s. The Vicar’s gown admitted the
ladies to the seats appropriated to the wives of the Masters of Arts,
and Mr. Ross to the seats of the Masters themselves. Frank, being still
_de jure_ an undergraduate, had to retire to the upstair gallery.
The church was crowded. People were even standing in the aisles. The
sermon, by a silver-haired professor with a cherubic face, was a
discourse on friendship, delivered, if somewhat monotonously, with a
delicate utterance and in a delicate phraseology that was quite too
charming; and if it formed a rather strange contrast to the anathemas
thundered by rural Boanerges to placid congregations in sweltering
country churches, the contrast was a pleasing one rather than otherwise.

“Well,” said Mr. Ross as they emerged into the High, “that’s an odd
sort of sermon, eh, Vicar?”

Mr. Ross was a very sound lawyer, but he had not travelled much, nor
had he heard many sermons other than those of his friend the Vicar. The
Vicar smiled, and continued his explanations to Mrs. Ross of certain
allusions to Oxford celebrities made by the preacher. Frank also, to
whom his father appealed, had only a commonplace comment to make. His
studies not having been philosophical, he could not go into raptures
over every utterance of the new Plato.

The church was even more crowded, if that were possible, in the
afternoon, in spite of the awkwardness of the hour (two o’clock) and
the heat of the day. And what an assemblage of famous men was present!
Gladstone and Tyndall, Lord Selborne and Huxley, Forster and Sir
Stafford Northcote, Sir William Harcourt and the Oxford Conservative
member, all sitting amicably side by side, listening to one of those
eloquent attacks on men of science which satisfy and please those for
whom they are not needed, and only amuse those whom they are intended
to convince.

After the sermon the Vicar and Mr. Ross betook themselves to the
Union, to read the papers over a cup of coffee; and about a quarter
to five Frank started with his mother, sister, and Rose, to Magdalen
Chapel. Tickets had been, of course, difficult to get, and with all
his exertions he had only been able to secure two for the choir, and
two for the ante-chapel. The two former Mrs. Ross and Mary took,
without any resistance, for they knew that Rose would be happier to
be with Frank. How many husbands and wives come back in after-years
to Oxford, to go over again all the old days, to revisit all the old
spots, to find one particular tree the same, save, like themselves, a
little older; to sit in the same chapel, and listen perhaps to the very
same anthem they had listened to when they were boy and girl, sung by
different voices, but for them the same; to pass the same surly porter,
whose favour can only be purchased; to see the same placid gardener
tidying up the velvet grass under the grey walls; to hear the same
bells ringing; and, with it all, to feel as young as ever!

Frank and Rose, as they sat in the dim ante-chapel, under the great
brown window that sheds such a strange light over all, thought neither
of the past, for that was eclipsed, nor of the future, for that was
uncertain, but just lived in the present. And if he did hold her hand
during most of the service, nobody saw him, and therefore nobody’s
feelings were outraged.

Another happy pair emerged from another dim corner of the ante-chapel,
when the service was over--Crawford and the little lady, who doubtless
has not been forgotten, best known by the title “Blue-eyes.” She, too,
had in attendance on her a mother and sister; and they, too, had been
sitting in the choir. So that altogether, when the introductions took
place in the cloisters, all mentally agreed that the party was a most
symmetrical one--two mothers, two sisters, and two pairs of lovers.

After dinner at their respective lodgings the two parties met in Grove
Street, and went to the Broad Walk to see and contribute to the show of
visitors. The Vicar pronounced a melancholy eulogium on the glories of
past Show Sundays, from which the present was a sad falling-off, caused
chiefly as he explained by the indiscriminate admission of the “Town,”
and the consequent absence of the “Gown” element. His hearers, however,
having no historic past with which to contrast the present, though they
listened submissively to his diatribes, enjoyed themselves immensely,
stared at everybody, wondered, and questioned.

All the morning of Monday, Frank was engaged at a committee meeting
of the Masonic Fête, of which he was a steward: and as he and one or
two others were decidedly opposed to the general plan of disposal of
tickets, the meetings were not so peaceable as hitherto; he used to
return hot, tired, and annoyed. But Rose’s presence soon restored him
to his wonted equanimity.

On Monday afternoon there was a concert given by the Philharmonic
Society in the Sheldonian Theatre, and after a hurried tea he took his
party to the river to see the procession of boats. He had tickets for
them for the ’Varsity barge, and having got them good seats at the
lower corner, next to the Brasenose barge, hurried off to his own barge
to put on his boating clothes. To Rose and Mary, who had never seen
any river-boat except the “tubs” at Porchester, the long slender craft
were objects of much wonder, and they thoroughly enjoyed the sight of
the many “Eights” and “Torpids” rowing up and saluting Paul’s, the head
boat, which lay close under the ’Varsity barge. The cox--a facetious
young gentleman--could not resist the pleasure of shouting every
few minutes, “Eyes in the boat!” as he caught the eyes of his crew
wandering to the many fair faces that were looking down at them from
beneath the awning.

One by one the boats rowed up--it is to be feared not in the best
style, for the crews were for the most part mere “scratch” affairs got
together hurriedly for the procession, in the absence of the regular
men who had gone down. One by one they rowed up to the post opposite
to the ’Varsity barge, “easied,” and then, standing up, raised their
oars and saluted the head boat, “Well rowed, Paul’s!” to commemorate
the honour of the May races. Rose felt quite flattered, and took to
herself half the honour at least that was being given to Frank’s boat.
The proceeding repeated by some forty boats was growing somewhat
monotonous, when, to the intense delight and half-terror of the ladies,
one Eight upset--on purpose, of course; and there was much merriment
over the intentionally assumed danger and frantic efforts to get out of
the crowded water. When all the boats had saluted, they turned at Folly
Bridge (with what difficulty coxswains know to their cost), and dropped
down the stream to their respective barges.

Those who embark on the festivities of Commemoration have not much time
to spend in dreaming. Rose would fain have gone down the river quietly
in the cool of the evening; and yet--and yet--the thoughts of dancing
were perhaps sweeter.

Back to the town streamed the crowds: some to the Wadham concert;
some to rest before dressing for the University ball; many to summon
up their strength and energy for both. Among the latter were Mrs. Ross
and Mary, Rose and Frank. The fathers dined at Christ-Church, and spent
a cosy evening in the Common Room--the Vicar chatting away unceasingly
with old friends, and Mr. Ross making a very pleasant and amused
listener.

It was a lovely evening, and most of the people walked to Wadham--one
of the many things that struck the country folks as strange and yet
pleasant. The concert was held in the College Hall, beautifully
decorated for the purpose. After the first part, every one adjourned
to the gardens, where refreshments were served in a large tent, and
then wandered about, enjoying the cool air till the second part began.
Frank and his party did not return to the Hall, but went to the Corn
Exchange, to the University ball. And what a night they had! He and
Rose forgot to count how many times they danced together. Mary had
partners in abundance, for Frank’s friends were there in great force;
and they were all longing for a dance with Rose, but had chiefly to
console themselves with Mary, for Frank could not spare many dances.
However, from Mary’s happy face, as they walked down the High in the
sweet early morning air, Frank inferred that the consoling process had
been not unpleasant for all parties concerned.

Tuesday morning brought the much-needed rest, taken by some in chairs
at home, by others in punts on the river (Frank and Rose preferred the
latter). Tuesday afternoon--the flower-show held in the gardens of
New College. A Commemoration flower-show is more than a flower-show.
In fact, the flowers are almost the last thing regarded. Tuesday
evening--New College concert, always one of the best, and the Masonic
ball. Rose and Mary again in much request, but the former too deeply
engaged to Frank to be able to spare many dances. To this ball Mr.
Ross, being a Mason, went as a matter of course, and he even succeeded
in enticing the Vicar. The latter had a lurking love of vestments,
but Porchester gave him no encouragement; here, however, seeing the
aprons and scarves, and the cloaks of the Templars, he thought he
might satisfy his love. He would be a Mason, and though unable to
disport himself in picturesque attire to his congregation in church, he
might do so to his heart’s content to his brethren in the secrecy of
lodge-meetings, or the publicity of such a ball as this. So strongly
was he enamoured of the notion, that over supper, in a quiet corner
with Mr. and Mrs. Ross, he asked that gentleman to propose him for
election at a lodge in a town not far from Porchester, of which he was
Worshipful Master.

Then came Wednesday, the day of Encænia, or Commemoration of the
Founders and Benefactors. Who that has ever been present in the crowded
Sheldonian Theatre can forget the scene? The jostling, pushing,
squeezing that begins before ten o’clock, though the proceedings
themselves seldom begin before noon; the pause and quiet, till the
boldest undergraduate starts the chaff; the grave faces of the
officials as they hand the ladies to their seats, half amused, half
angry, when told by some wag in the gallery “not to squeeze her
hand;” the cheers for everybody and everything that the occasion
suggests--“the ladies in pink,” “the ladies in blue,” “the ladies who
are engaged;” the groans for this statesman, the cheers for the other,
for the ’Varsity Boat Club, the ’Varsity Eleven, the popular Proctors.
Then the chaff becomes more personal. “When is the Vice-Chancellor
coming?” “Poor old man, he’s nervous.” “Has the Senior Proctor gone
to Aylesbury?” (alluding to the Christ-Church grinds and the Senior
Proctor’s failure). “_Dissolvimus hanc Convocationem_,” uttered in
imitation of the Vice-Chancellor, and causing much amusement among
the Masters of Arts and others familiar with the phrase. Just then a
very white-headed gentleman enters the area, and is met with shouts of
“White hat!” “Turn him out!” For a long time the object of the shouts
is perfectly oblivious. At length he puts on his hat, and is of course
greeted with “Hats off!” How long the uproar would have continued is
hard to say, had not a huge paper fool’s-cap, with D.C.L. written
on it, been let down from the gallery. The white-headed gentleman
blessed the circumstance. The cap fluttering downwards paused, either
by accident or design, exactly opposite one of the galleries where a
Master of Arts on duty as Proproctor for the occasion was standing,
and was waved gently within a few feet of his face. “Put it on, sir!”
now came from all sides of the upper gallery; and somebody leaning
from above the Vice-Chancellor’s chair, seizing the opportunity of a
second’s lull, said in a sedate voice, “_Admitto te ad gradum Doctoris
in jure civili_.” All this time the intended recipient of this most
dubious honour was making frantic clutches at the cap, which it is
needless to state was bobbed up and down in front of him, while “Let
him have it!” “He knows what fits him!” greeted his indignation, which
now scarcely knew bounds. He dashed upstairs to find the offender;
but, just as his head appeared, the cap dropped into the area, and
his efforts to discover the author of the offence were fruitless. The
entry of the Vice-Chancellor, followed by the Doctors and Proctors and
various distinguished visitors, and the pealing of the organ, turned
the thoughts of the undergraduates, and under cover of the music and
applause the irate Proproctor beat an ignominious retreat. His conduct
was not only unpopular among the undergraduates, but was condemned by
senior and junior graduates alike.

The Vice-Chancellor, having taken his seat, opened Convocation with
the usual Latin speech. Dr. Bryce, Regius Professor of Civil Law, then
presented a number of distinguished men--bishops, judges, statesmen,
soldiers, poets, and historians--and in introducing each alluded in
brief Latin speeches to the peculiar merits that had called for the
honorary degree of D.C.L.--the highest honour which the University can
confer. After this the Creweian oration was delivered by the Public
Orator; but as he spoke in an indistinct voice, and in Latin, the
interesting allusions he made to past and present were scarcely even
heard, much less understood. He took the chaff hurled at him with
profound good humour, and ignoring the various injunctions to “Speak
up,” and “That will do, sir--now translate!” hurried bravely on, and
finished amid cheers of satisfaction. Then came the various prize
poems and essays, to none of which, except to the Newdigate, was the
slightest attention paid. But the Newdigate, though an exceptionally
good poem, was badly read, and most of the cheers were ironical--all
sorts of absurd constructions being at once fixed upon various lines.

The Masonic Fête on Wednesday afternoon was very delightful, but they
were getting tired of the incessant gaiety; and so was the Magdalen
concert and Christ-Church ball on Wednesday night; but they had had
enough of concerts and enough of dancing, and all their energies and
interest were centred in Thursday morning, when Frank was to take his
degree--a far important event to Rose than the conferring of honorary
D.C.L. on all the bishops, judges, statesmen, and soldiers put together.

It may be convenient here to enumerate roughly Frank’s expenses during
his three years’ academical career. It will be remembered that his
life has been that of an ordinary undergraduate. Its cost is therefore
considerably in excess of that of a great many. It is also considerably
below the level of comfort and luxury which in some cases folly
induces, and in others is justified by adequate means. He came to
Oxford not for intellectual advantages only, nor for social advantages
only, but for both. He wished to be neither a spendthrift nor a “smug,”
and he has been neither.

  COLLEGE EXPENSES.

  (_a_) First outlay

                                            £  _s._ _d._      £  _s._ _d._
  Caution money                             30   0   0
  Furniture at a valuation                  30   0   0
  Glass, china, &c.                          9  19   6
  Cap and gown                               1   2   6
  Books, sundries, and travelling expenses  10   0   0
                                           -----------
                                           £81   2   0        81   2   0
                                           -----------

  (_b_) Terminal

  Tuition                                   7    7   0
  Establishment charges                     6    0   0
  Room rent                                 3   10   0
  Battels, eight weeks, say at £2          16    0   0
  Coals, taking term with term              2    0   0
  Laundress                                 1    1   0
                                          ------------
                                          £35   18   0
  Gratuities to servants                    2    0   0
                                          ------------
                                          £37   18   0×9[16]=341   2   0
                                          ------------

  (_c_) On taking degree of B.A.                               5   0   0

  UNIVERSITY FEES.

  (_a_) Matriculation                       2   10   0
  (_b_) Examination Fees
        Responsions                         1    0   0
        Moderations                         1   10   0
        Rudiments of Faith and Religion     1    0   0
        Honour School of Jurisprudence      1   10   0
  (_c_) On taking degree of B.A.            7   10   0        15   0   0

  EXTRA TUITION.

  “Coach” for Moderations                  10   10   0
  Reading party to Switzerland             50    0   0
  “Coach” for Jurisprudence,
      six terms, the College
      paying half, 60 gs.--30 gs.          31   10   0        92   0   0

  PERSONAL EXPENSES.

  Wines and groceries                   }
  Clothes and travelling expenses       }  70    0   0
  Books and stationery                  } For three years    210   0   0
  Subscriptions to clubs and societies  }

  EXTRA ACADEMICAL.

  Inner Temple
    Entrance form                           1    1   0
    Stamps                                 25    1   3
    Fees                                   10    5   2
    Lecture fees                            5    5   0
                                          ------------
                                          £41   12   5        41  12   5
                                          ------------
  Annual fees, four terms at                1    6   1         5   4   4

On Thursday morning, having paid to the Dean the necessary College
fee, and from him obtained a certificate of twelve terms’ residence,
Frank, duly attired in cap and gown, white tie, and the statutable
garments “of a subfusc hue,” proceeded to the Apodyterium of the
Convocation House. There he paid the University fee, and showed to the
Registrar the testamurs gained in Moderations and the Rudiments of
Faith and Religion, and a certificate of his having been placed in the
second class in the Honour School of Jurisprudence.

These preliminaries over, he met his party and took them into the
Convocation House. There, having waited for half an hour, in a crowd
that made moving impossible, and speaking almost a difficulty, the
impatient spectators were informed that Convocation was removed to the
Sheldonian Theatre, a piece of information certainly welcome, but one
which they thought might have been given them before.

Perhaps it need not be said that four hearts at least were filled
to overflowing as Frank went up with several other Paul’s men to be
presented by the Dean to the Vice-Chancellor, and at least one pair
of bright eyes shone the brighter for the tears that would rise up in
them. And then with what pride Frank slipped on his gown and tipped his
scout, William, the customary sovereign, and what a happy party sat
down to lunch in Paul’s! Crawford was there, the new Fellow of Queen’s,
not yet grown donnish and distant; and little Blue-eyes too was there,
who had made firm friends with Rose, with whom she talked with pride of
their two lovers.

In the evening the young people went to Nuneham, Rose and Mary sitting
in the stern, Blue-eyes in the bows, where she paddled in the water
like a very child; Crawford and Frank rowing. Mary had brought her
sketching-book, and when they had had tea in the Moss Cottage, and a
stroll was proposed, nothing could induce her to accompany the others.
She wanted to sketch the rustic bridge and the river, and plenty of
time she found for the purpose. For surely never were folks so long
as Rose and Frank, Blue-eyes and Crawford, in walking through the
lovely Nuneham woods. Like the bright June leaves that hung over them,
life was young, and fresh, and bright; sobered, not saddened, by the
twilight of earnest thoughts of the work that lay before them. Oxford
had done her best for these two sons of hers; had not soured them; had
not robbed them of their early faith; had not taught them to posture as
the disciples of creeds as meaningless as they are cold and dead; had
not inflated them with the notion that Oxford thought leads England and
therefore the world; had not elated them with their academical success;
but was sending them forth full of energy and full of hope, with the
belief that life, that stern hard battle, was beginning and not ending
with the winning of a degree.

THE END.

LONDON: GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, PRINTERS, ST. JOHN’S SQUARE.



FOOTNOTES


[1] The subjects at other colleges are much the same, but the standard
of excellence required varies. No. 2 is usually omitted.

[2] At most colleges a reduction is made for scholars and exhibitioners.

[3] At some colleges quarterly.

[4] The titles given to the different Heads of Colleges vary. There
is the Warden of New College, the Provost of Oriel, the President of
Trinity, the Master of Balliol, the Principal of Brasenose, and the
Rector of Exeter.

[5] College bills.

[6] Responsions are obligatory on all except those who have passed
either the Previous Examination at Cambridge, or the Oxford and
Cambridge Schools’ Examination. There are five separate subjects
of examination, in each of which a candidate must satisfy the
Examiners (who, in this case, are called “Masters of the Schools”).
The principle of compensation is not recognized; failure in any
one subject rendering a candidate liable to a “pluck” (commonly
called “plough”). Subjects:--(1) Algebra: Addition, Subtraction,
Multiplication, Division, Greatest Common Measure, Least Common
Multiple, Fractions, Extraction of Square Root, Simple Equations
containing one or two unknown quantities, and problems producing such
Equations; or Geometry--such an amount as shall be equivalent to that
which is contained in Euclid I., II. (2) Arithmetic--the whole. (3)
Latin and Greek Grammar. (4) Translation from English into Latin prose;
it is sufficient if the Latin be grammatically written, without being
elegant in style; three or four violations of the simple rules of
Latin Syntax (commonly called “howlers”) will “plough” a candidate.
(5) One Greek and one Latin Author; candidates are free to offer any
standard classical authors, but the selection is usually made from the
following list:--Homer: any five consecutive books; Æschylus: any two
of the following plays--Agamemnon, Choephoræ, Eumenides, Prometheus
Vinctus, Septem contra Thebas. Sophocles: any two plays. Euripides:
any two of the following--Hecuba, Medea, Alcestis, Orestes, Phœnissæ,
Hippolytus, Bacchæ. Aristophanes: any two of the following--Nubes,
Ranæ, Acharnenses. Thucydides: any two consecutive books. Xenophon:
Anabasis, any four consecutive hooks. Æschines: In Ctesiphontem.
Virgil: (1) the Bucolics, with any three consecutive books of the
Æneid; or (2) the Georgics; or (3) any five consecutive books of
the Æneid. Horace: (1) any three books of the Odes, together with a
book of the Satires, or of the Epistles, or the Ars Poetica; or (2)
the Satires with the Ars Poetica; or (3) the Epistles with the Ars
Poetica. Juvenal: the whole except Satires II., VI., IX. Livy: any two
consecutive books, taken either from Books I.-V., or Books XXI.-XXV.
Cæsar: De Bello Gallico, any four consecutive books. Sallust: Bellum
Catilinarium, and Jugurthinum. Cicero: (1) the first three Philippics;
or (2) De Senectute and De Amicitia; or (3) four Catiline orations,
with the oration Pro Archia. The books most commonly chosen are
Euripides,--Hecuba, and Alcestis; and one of the combinations in Virgil
or Horace.

[7] Moderations or First Public Examination will be explained in due
course.

[8] Turl Street. High Street is “the High;” Broad Street, “the Broad,”
in Oxford vernacular.

[9] The new Debating Hall, now (October) almost complete, will provide
ample accommodation for visitors.

[10] Now--_O tempora! O mores!_--defunct.

[11] The customary fee for a term’s private tuition, consisting of
three lessons weekly, of one hour each.

[12] Steeplechases.

[13] Affectionate abbreviation for Slapoffski, unrivalled in Oxford,
and not unknown outside.

[14] Senior Students at Christ-Church correspond to Fellows at other
Colleges.

[15] _I.e._ races for sculling-boats and pair-oars.

[16] Three years contain twelve legal terms, but only nine of payment,
the Easter and Act terms being virtually one in matter of residence.





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