Графични страници
PDF файл

case would be different. We had moreover an offer of a vast collection of Nursery Rhymes in all languages, “ done” into Latin and Greek after the most approved models of the Cami Arundines ; and the outline of a series of essays intended to prove the connexion between Sanscrit and every other tongue under heaven.

under heaven. We have been asked, where are the boasted treasures of our chest ? May we, in answer, be allowed to say a few serious words on our aim and expectations in launching our little barque ?

Publications, like the Eton Bureau, are looked upon as trifles; to write an article subjects the bold author to the badinage of his curious friends. If the work raise a smile, or serves to wile away a heavy hour, it has, in the opinion of many, fulfilled its office. To us it seems that something higher is involved. A feather will show which way the wind blows; an ephemeral production, thrown up on the surface of the stream, indicates in what direction the current of popular opinion is setting. If we can succeed in placing the Eton Bureau on the wide basis of general support; if we can represent the various shades of feeling prevalent among us, we may trust that our efforts will not have been misdirected. Still more, if we speak the words of those in our little world most worthy to be heard and followed, we shall be conferring a lasting benefit on all who may thus listen to the collected voice of the good and learned, the real aristocracy of our young community. We shall reflect in our mirror the thoughts, the tastes, and the characters which stand out from the undiscerning crowd ; if we can arrest and embody that reflection, we shall deserve the gratitude which we hope to receive. With this view we do not hesitate to ask for contributions as numerous and varied as the industry of our friends can furnish, that our selection may comprehend something of overy class in literature. True, we must thus reject much which we would fain insert, let this declaration be onr excuse. At all events, the records of ancient Etonians, such as our chest contained, should be postponed to those which exhibit a transcript of living feeling and character. We have acted upon this conviction, and crave pardon for a promise, issued at a time when we could scarcely calculate on such ample assistance as we have since received.

It could not be expected that these views should be entirely carried out in our first attempt. We confidently predict that they will develop themselves in greater fulness as our work advances.* To those who have received in no censorious spirit the first earnest of our intentions, we would offer this acknowledgment of our gratitude. If hereafter, in the same kindly spirit, they should criticise our imperfections, we trust that they will add examples to their rules, and by their own contributions illustrate the excellences wbich they recommend.

*Αμφ' ώμοισι σάκος θέτο.-ΗοΜ.

Where narrow'd Thamesis 'neath Eton's towers
Submissive creeps among his osier bowers,
Conflicts I viewed, as quickly borne along
I fought my way amid th' innumerous throng;
Conflicts full worthy of the Poet's rhyme,
That charm against th' oblivious touch of Time.
Sing, Muse, of Hockey, wont erewhile to tell,
How Eton's heroes hobbled, charged, and fell.

* We have given proof that we have no fears for the continuance of our work, by inserting the first part of Lycophron, to be continued by the same able hand.

See troop on troop outpoured upon the field,
In fierce dispute their wordy weapons wield ;
Or in small knots, exclusively select,
Prophetic skill in wagers bold affect,
Where some tall hero, confident and loud,
With vaunts of prowess charms the gaping crowd.
But what enticed them from their narrow bounds ?
Was it a bonfire, or a pack of hounds?
A badger-bait, or jump of sixteen feet?
A match at football, or a beagle-meet?
Had Henry's statue, from its sculptured base,
Walked down to view the consecrated place ?
Or had the Fair, by necromancer's skill,
Been charmed awhile from Windsor's castled hill?
No! higher hopes the ardent breast inspire,
Quicken the pulse, light up the eye with fire;
'Tis Emulation feeds the smouldering flame,
And blind Ambition paves the way to shame.
But oh! what mortal tongue untaught may trace
The changeful story of that emulous race?
Aid thou, whose touch attuned the Mantuan shell,
Fabling how erst beleaguered Ilium fell ;
Hither on lightning speed, Parnassian boy,
Sing " sacks of Eton" for the “ sack of Troy ;"
Tell how each warrior, as the strife drew nigh,
Decked his broad back in seamless panoply:
'Tis said, from even to the morning light,
They kept long vigils through the yesternight ;
And, as the watchman paced his weary round,
Stretch'd out upon the cold and hallowed ground,
They lay in sackcloth, and with fancy's eye,
Scanned darkling all the morrow's destiny.

The hour is come; each pulls his packthread tight, And stands conspicuous in a " Lilly-white."

Anon the stalwart umpires loudly claim
“ Clear course" for runners in the sacred game,
The wands are broken ;-" Off!" the heralds cry;
Off! off!" the hedgerows and the banks reply.
The chieftains jostle; mummy-like and slow,
Sidelong, diagonal,-every way they go !
With course meandering, and unsteady gait,
Debarred alone from ever moving straight.
So have I seen, adown a highway side,
A gipsy's donkey, with its fore legs tied,
Hobbling along ridiculous, where the ditch
Exposed a tempting mouthful-out of reach.
Tell, (for thou canst) Pierian Clio, tell
How fared the rear, and what the van befell ;
How Bh sought with canvass wings to fly,
And I wooed the kiss-of victory.
Lo! where among the foremost in the race
Our Hog in armour claims a victor's place;
Ah! vain his hopes, vain his incipient boast,
That dared to ridicule the distanced host,
Who headlong thrust by gravity of head,
Fall unrecorded 'mong the helpless dead;
In vain, with Fate contending, on the ground
He falls, and, falling, knows he's lost--a pound.
So fell Achilles, breathless on the plain,
While the fresh tortoise smiled, and bade him try again.
Sing we the man who gave the rest the sack,
And left each white-robed novice at his back;
In vain does Damon follow in the track
Where Pythias first his zigzag course pursues,
Though bellowing multitudes new hopes infuse.
So some proud Galleon on the Spanish main,
Spreading her labouring canvass, spreads in vain,
Deep in the waves her yawning timbers quake,
And ocean trembles foaming in her wake.

The goal is won; the hempen bonds relax,
And liberate the tenants of the sacks;
On Pythias all their noisy welcomes pour
In soul triumphant, nor in body sore.



It was

(Concluded.) Turn we again to the hall at Herstmonceux. noon, and the tables were groaning under the weight of ancient baronial hospitality. At the dais sat the Lord Dacre, attended only by his wife and the chaplain of his castle; his boon companions had been long since dismissed. There was an air of melancholy on his brow, as if some secret sorrow was ruling in his breast, which not even the anxious affection of his fair lady could chase away.

The silence which saddened at least the upper end of the hall was suddenly dis pelled by the harsh sound of a horn from without the castle. The cause was speedily explained by the entrance of a pursuivant, followed by two men at arms.

“ What would ye here, my masters ?" said the Baron, “ that ye disturb thus the privacy of my house? What would ye with Thomas of Herstmonceux ?”

“ I bear you, my Lord,” said the officer,“ such tidings as better beseem your private car than the public audience of your household. Nevertheless," he continued, on Lord Dacre's beckoning him to proceed, "an it pleases you best to hear them in this place, know that our Lord the King would examine you touching a certain affray in the park of Sir Nicholas Pelham of Laughton. And he wills

« ПредишнаНапред »