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deformed Richard found that he was not made, and therefore complained that he had
* No delight to pass away the time.' Hence, to use his own words, as he could not prove a lover, he was determined to be a villain.' Now, as to nous autres, though we are not villains, and are neither deformed nor bloody, we think we have a right to the sportive tricks denied to crookbacked Richard, and seek a little innocent flirtation to pass away the time. Nay, don't scold, for do I not give chapter and verse for it, out of the best possible authority-your own Shakspeare ?"
This off-hand rattle, though it overpowered, did not convince me that there was not something selfish and even fraudulent, to use Fothergill's stern word, in regard to Miss Meadows, in playing with another's feelings, or even her weakness, for one's own sport, though death to the other party.
Seeing I looked serious upon it, my vivacious friend went on—“Come," said he, “I see, my grave and reverend signor, that my code of morality does not square with yours, and is disapproved by the sage philosophers of Cumberland and Queen's. Yet I would wager that you cannot convict me of unfair dealing; for am I doing more than standing in selfdefence ?"
66 Self-defence ?”
“ Yes ! as I will prove to any person of candour, though not perhaps to a fellow of Queen's, or emphatically to that sour tutor of yours, Bothergill, or Fothergill, or whatever his name is, who seems, whenever we see him, to be, ficulnus et inutile lignam, stuck up to frighten us fluttering birds.”
I was more and more astonished, nay horrified at this licentious attack on my tutor, by my once sober and sentimental friend. However, conscious as I then felt myself of my own inferior breeding, I supposed it one of the privileges of a superioris Ordinis Commenselis, and I told him so.
“ No ! indeed,” said he, “ for every one, in this college at least, thinks Fothergill a mere sour krout; and as to the females, who seem to have won you
for their knight, what would you yourself do if you saw one of these dashing girls, acting with the permission, perhaps encouragement, of both her honoured parents, full of a deep design upon your sweet person ? · Don't start, for I only mean in a lawful way: indeed no other would suit her purpose, or that of her reverend papa and mamma. Well, upon the strength of her own pretty person, and a sort of fashion about her from putting her clothes on well, she has become the toast of the university, from Christ Church down to I beg pardon, I must not say Queen's, but, for illustration's sake, will specify Alban Hall."
Somewhat hurt, I bowed my thanks for sparing my college pride; yet I was amused, and though at the same time startled, I continued to listen.
Well,” added he, “this acknowledged College Princess, not unnaturally, thinks the whole university, all the doctors, both the proctors, and, what is far better, all the grand compounders, gentlemen commoners, and even all the noblemen, at her feet. She is the Grand Turk in petticoats, and thinks she may throw her handkerchief to whom she pleases. She throws it to me, and if I catch it and play with it, nay keep it for a time, without meaning to pocket it, am I to be blamed for enjoying the amusement she so freely
offers ? After all, these ladies are mere belles de garnison, and Oxford is in this respect no more than a garrison. A flirtation, therefore, is only a passetems on both sides. It is true it ends sometimes in a mariage de garnison, which is proverbial for a mésal liance ; but of this I, at least, will not be an example. For be assured, I am not in the least disposed to fall really in love with second-hand people !”
“ I at least admire your superior taste, as well as your prudence,” said I," and your comparison of yourself with bloody Richard, as well as Oxford with country quarters, is singularly illustrative.”
“I thought I should convince you,” proceeded he, affecting to take me literally, “ and, to recur again to our old master, you will own, “it is the sport to have the engineer hoist with his own petard.””
Shall I confess that, what with this reckless gaiety, which also sat so easy upon him that he seemed assured of being in the right, and what with (by no means the smallest cause) his vast superiority of condition, now opening upon me more and more, from the licence it seemed to give him, I had nothing to reply; and though I did not descend to the meanness of flattering him by allowing he was right, I was confused enough, or coward enough, not to be able to tell him how he was wrong. I fell into a reverie upon the changes, great and glaring, which the difference of our educations, as well as lots in the world, had occasioned in so short a time, and sat dumb, and I fear stupid, before this specimen of what I thought the spoiled children of the world,
Hastings seemed fully conscious of his superiority; and my feeling that he was so, gave me no pleasure; so that it was a relief to me when his servant came in
with “Mi Lor Albany's compliment, and Monsieur Douce vas wait for to give de leçon of de box.”
“ Ha!” said he, “ I am summoned, and am afraid must leave you, which I know you will excuse, as you were always a good boy, and regular at lecture.”
So saying, he shook hands cordially enough, and reaching a pair of mufflers which hung over his chimney-piece, we proceeded down stairs together, he to his noble friend and fellow pupil, to what he called lecture, I to ponder all these novelties, which, in truth, caused me much thought, in a slow and moody retreat to my college.
MORTIFICATIONS AND AFFRONTS FROM INEQUALITY
The proud man's contumely.
“ This, then, is Oxford,” said I to myself, as I proceeded up a by-way which led to Queen's; “ this my earliest, my only, my dearest friend, the man with whom I was to go through the world ; the brother of Bertha. Ah! if she were to see or hear him now, would she approve or love him as she did when
The thought did not please, and I strove to banish the recollection of that morning, the most critical and, as I thought, auspicious of my life, when I first viewed her bounding, as I have described her, like a fawn, willingly into his arms, as her beloved brother, esteemed as much as beloved. “ No !” said I, “ she would not approve; she could not but blame this mockery of all that is serious; she was liveliness itself, but never light."
I hurried on my pace, seeking, perhaps, to get rid of my subject; then, suddenly stopping, “ And yet,” I continued, “may not all this be assumed ? May not there be a fashionable as well as a vulgar slang ? He was not wont to be thus, and he at least had no example for it at home."