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or even of military or political celebrity. Who does not love the names of Virgil and Horace more than those of their patrons, Mecænas, or even Augustus, though master of the world ?”
MY FELLOW STUDENTS.
This speech of yours hath moved me,
THE lectures of my sagacious tutor in moral philosophy (for such I call the conversations in the chapter last recorded) did me as much, or more good than all the academical lore he instilled into me; which was not a little. I began to think I profited by them. It is certain such conversations, by alarming my self-love (if self-respect ought to be so called), went far to correct much of that enthusiasm which Fothergill said belonged to me, and which so blinds us all to the truth of things. I began in earnest (for hitherto I had only flattered myself that I did so) to reflect upon the folly I had been guilty of, in having for a moment thought that a gentleman-farmer's son (for with all my Norman blood, mixed and muddled as it was in its descent, I was no more), could presume to hope to gain the affection of one so much above him as Bertha. Or if, with the fond illusions with which love
can beguile a youth of twenty, I could in fancy think I might one day be beloved, what, short of raving madness, could generate the notion that I could be accepted ?
This, and the pictures set before nie by Fothergill, of the mischiefs usually attendant upon disproportioned matches, began to tell with me; and the absence, nay, total removal of Foljambe from Oxford, to say nothing of the total rupture of our friendship, contributed to leave my mind open to conviction. And thus for the first time I listened to reason.
I could now, therefore, tread the walks of the place or lose myself in reverie upon a bench in Merton gardens, without hankering after the motions of Bertha's brother, or the fear of overhearing things revolting to my pride.
I began also to know and to be known. Fothergill, who was universally respected for his knowledge of the world as well as his learning, and who acted like a father to me, procured me by his influence a welcome into many academical families, whose female members were by no means to be slighted, either on account of their persons, manners, or cultivation. And though I could not but remember the biting things which in his recklessness (I fear I might say insolence) Foljambe had indulged his satirical vein in laying to their charge, the Foljambe who thus accused them, no longer my friend, no longer possessed that weight with me which made
word he uttered a law. Exclusive of this, I was myself no longer a freshman, and was as capable as resolved to judge in my
own person. , But though in so judging I am bound to allow I found a few amiable and accomplished females, the die seemed cast against my feeling it. I found many agrémens in their society, but nothing of that touching magic which a finger held up by Mr. Hastings' daughter always created. I studied their characters, and of some of them acknowledged the beauty, but it was only when they were actually present; for I parted with them without regret, and saw them again without interest.
I succeeded better with the men. With them, there was no contrast to their disadvantage; no tender recollections, no prejudices, and of course none of the absorbing interests derived from sex. Accordingly, my mind had free scope for all its operations, whenever characters or objects worth notice presented themselves, and under Fothergill's guidance of my own natural disposition in this respect, I became, for my age, an intense observer of my fellow-men.
It must be owned, Oxford afforded much food for this sort of curiosity, and as my tutor's forte was knowledge of men, which he inculcated fully as much as knowledge of books, the interest he took in my progress made
prosper. It was as curious as pleasant to observe Fothergill, when he, as his phrase was, got hold of a character, and set it up as a beacon to warn his pupils (if, as he used to say, they were worth warning), against the various vices and weaknesses of young men,-in detecting and ridiculing which no one went beyond him.
The traits of a few of their characters it might be amusing to mention, as well as of my own, of which, he used to tell me, the vice was pride, and the weakness jealousy, to say nothing of visionary romance.
One character was rather a favourite speculation of his, from being, as he said, so perfect of its kind, though that kind was not very perfect in itself. The name of the gentleman who owned this character was Mr. Courtenay Waldegrave Shanks, the foolish son of a foolish father, who thought the two first names, which were baptismal, and for which there was no earthly pretence, might make up for the vulgarity of the last.
Mr. Jeremiah Shanks, the father, had, from small beginnings, raised himself to the rank of a millionaire in the good town of Manchester, which he had for some time left, for one of the best houses in Portman Square, London. On the strength of this, an unlimited allowance, and these great names, he intended to push his son into the very highest society, first of Oxford, and afterwards in the great world,in which it was the acme of his ambition, if it cost him half his fortune, that his son should marry into a nobleman's family, not under the degree of an earl. For
though the name of Shanks was not very euphonical, · with a Lady Louisa, or Lady Olivia, prefixed to it, it would pass very well.
The young man's own ambition seconded that of his father ; but unfortunately, not having a single acquaintance in the university, and there being no