Графични страници
PDF файл

can assuage, how many a sorrow is made bearable by the fresh breeze that strains the cordage, and the laughing waves we cleave through so fast!

A few very eventful days, in which Tony's life passed less like reality than a mere dream, brought them to Leghorn; and the skipper, who had taken a sort of rough liking to the "Swell," as he still called him, offered to take him on to Liverpool, if he were willing to enter himself regularly on the ship's books as one of the crew.

"I am quite ready," said Tony, who thought by the time the brief Voyage was completed he should have picked up enough of the practice and the look of a sailor to obtain another employment easily. Accompanied by the skipper, he soon found himself in the consul's office, crowded with sailors and other maritime folk busily engaged in preferring complaints or making excuses, or as eagerly asking for relief against this or that exaction on the part of the foreign government.

The consul sat smoking his cigar with a friend at a window, little heeding the turmoil around, but leaving the charge of the various difficulties to his clerks, who only referred to him on some special occasions.

"Here's a man, sir," cried one of the clerks, "who wishes to be entered in the ship's books under an assumed name. I have told him it can't be done."

"Why does he ask it? Is he a runaway convict?" asked the consul. "Not exactly," said Tony, laughing; "but as I have not been brought up before the mast, and I have a few relatives who might not like to hear of me in that station- ""

A scamp, I take it," broke in the consul, 66 who, having done his worst on shore, takes to the sea for a refuge?"


'Partly right-partly wrong," was the dry answer.

"Well, my smart fellow, there's no help for it. You must give your name and your birthplace; and if they should prove false ones, take any consequences that might result."

"What sort of consequences might these be?" asked Tony, calmly; and the consul, having either spoken without any distinct knowledge attached to his words, or provoked by the pertinacity of the question, half irritably answered-"I've no time to throw away in discussing casualties give your name or go your way."


Yes, yes," murmured the skip

per. "Who knows anything about you down here?-just sign the sheet, and let's be moving."

The sort of good-humoured tone and look that went with the words decided Tony, and he took the pen and wrote "Tony Butler, Ireland."

The consul glanced at the writing, and said, "What part of Ireland? name a town or a village."

"I cannot; my father was a soldier, quartered in various places, and I'm not sure in what part of the island I was born."

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

"And are you from the North of Ireland near the Causeway?"

Tony nodded, while a flush of shame at the recognition covered his face.

"And do you know Dr Stewart, the Presbyterian minister in that neighbourhood?"

66 I should think so. The Burnside, where he lives, is not above a mile from us."

"That's it-the Burnside-that's the name of it. I'm as glad as fifty pounds in my pocket to see you, Tony Butler," cried he, grasping Tony's hand in both his own. "There's not a man from this to


England I'd as soon have met as yourself. I'm Sam M'Gruder, Robert M'Gruder's brother. You haven't forgot him, I hope?"

"That I haven't," cried Tony, warmly returning the honest pressure of the other's hand. "What a stupid dog I have been not to remember that you lived here! and I have a letter for you too from your brother!"

66 I want no letter of introduction with you, Tony; come home with me. You're not going to sea this time;" and, taking a pen, he drew a broad line of ink across Tony's name; and then turning, he whispered a few words in the consul's


"I hope," said the consul, "Mr Butler is not offended at the freeIdom with which I commented on him."

"Not in the least," said Tony, laughing. "I thought at the time, if you knew me you would not have liked to have suggested my having been a runaway convict; and now that you do know me, the shame you feel is more than enough to punish you."

What could have induced you to go before the mast, Butler?" said M'Gruder, as he led Tony

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


SUMMER is dying, slowly dying—
She fades with every passing day;
In the garden alleys she wanders, sighing,
And pauses to grieve at the sad decay.

The flowers that came with the spring's first swallow,
When March crept timidly over the hill,
And slept at noon in the sunny hollow-
The snow-drop, the crocus, the daffodil,

The lily white for an angel to carry,
The violet faint with its spirit-breath,
The passion-flower, and the fleeting, airy
Anemone all have been struck by death.

Autumn the leaves is staining and strewing,
And spreading a veil o'er the landscape rare;
The glory and gladness of summer are going,
And a feeling of sadness is in the air.

The purple hibiscus is shrivelled and withered,
And languid lolls its furry tongue;

The burning pomegranates are ripe to be gathered;
The grilli their last farewell have sung;

The fading oleander is showing

Its last rose-clusters over the wall,

And the tubes of the trumpet-flower are strewing
The gravel-walks as they loosen and fall;

The crocketed spire of the hollyhock towers
For the sighing breeze to rock and swing,
On its top is the last of its bell-like flowers,
For the wandering bee its knell to ring.

In their earthen vases the lemons yellow,
The sun-drunk grapes grow lucent and thin,
The pears on the sunny espalier mellow,

And the fat figs swell in their purple skin;

The petals have dropped from the spicy carnation, But the heartless dahlia, formal and proud, Like a worldly lady of lofty station,

Loveless stares at the humble crowd.

And the sun-flower, too, looks boldly around her;
While the bella-donna, so wickedly fair,
Shorn of the purple flowers that crowned her,
Is telling her Borgian beads in despair.

See! by the fountain that softly bubbles,
Spilling its rain in the lichened vase,
Summer pauses!-her tender troubles
Shadowing over her pensive face.

The lizard stops on its brim to listen,
The butterfly wavers dreamily near,

And the dragonflies in their green mail glisten,
And watch her, as pausing she drops a tear-

Not as she stood in her August perfection!
Not as she looked in the freshness of June!
But gazing around with a tender dejection,
And a weary face like the morning moon.

The breeze through the leafy garden quivers,
Dying away with a sigh and moan:

A shade o'er the darkening fountain shivers,
And Summer, ghostlike, hath vanished and gone.

[blocks in formation]



THE London Schools included in the Commission of Inquiry were four-Westminster, Charter-House, St Paul's, and Merchant Taylors'. The Commissioners also obtained evidence, with a view of assisting their general purpose, of the working of the City of London School and King's College School, although their official duties did not extend to these comparatively modern establishments.


A London school, as the Report I observes, differs from a country school by the mere fact of its position; and, so far, very disadvantageously. Instead of the almost unrestricted freedom of range (now that the old-fashioned bounds have become all but nominal) which makes schoolboy life at Eton, at Harrow, or at Rugby so wholesome and delightful, the schoolboy in London is of necessity either restrained within very close bounds indeed, or remitted to the perilous liberty of the streets. No Crick run" of some twelve miles over brook and through brier, as at Rugby; no rambles of long hours in Windsor Park, such as the young Etonian rejoices in, or over the breezy "Hills" which are the timehonoured haunts of Winchester collegers and commoners, are known to the young scholar whose schoollife is in the great city. At Westminster, indeed, there is an enclosure of ten acres, sufficient for the encouragement of cricket; and there is the great highway of the Thames open for boating; CharterHouse has also some five acres of play-ground attached to it; but these are, after all, but poor substitutes for the liberty and variety enjoyed by the public-school boy who looks from his study window over the broad weald of Harrow, or the playing-fields of Eton, or who


has his prospect limited even by the elms of Warwickshire.

St Paul's and Merchant Taylors' have nothing better than paved courts attached to them; the cricket-grounds are distant and private, and their arrangements more like those of ordinary clubs. Further, the majority of the boys at these London schools are dayscholars, and see very little indeed of each other out of school hours. Even the minority who are boarders, are in many cases, as at Merchant Taylors' and St Paul's, lodged in houses which have scarcely any connection with the school itself, are not kept by masters, and are in no way under school discipline. Public-school life, under such limitations, is shorn of many of its healthiest pleasures and most valuable associations; it may be that it also escapes some of its temptations to extravagance and idleness. It may still be a life pleasant enough for the boy, and excellent in its training for the future man; full of wholesome emulation to work, and not without its genial companionship in hours of relaxation : incomparably better than French lycée or German nasium; but yet wanting in some of the not least important elements which go to make up the English idea of public education. As Dr Hessey admits, there is a scantiness in the recollections of 'lusisse simul,' which has a tendency to make boys look back to their school as a place of mere work, and to their youthful days as a period of





solitude in a crowd,' checkered by no corporate feeling." If, in spite of these drawbacks, Paulines, Merchant Taylors', and Carthusians alike regard their old school (as we are assured they do) with loyalty and gratitude, it says much for the suc

2 H

« ПредишнаНапред »