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character was as different as that of the inhabitants on the two sides of the Pyrenees. The Rev. James Boyer was the upper master; but the Rev. Matthew Field presided over that portion of the apartment of which I had the good fortune to be a member. We lived a lite as careless as birds.
We talked and did just as we pleased, and nobody molested us. We carried an accidence, or a grammar, for form ; but, for any trouble it gave us, we might take two years in getting through the verbs deponent, and another two in forgetting all that we had learned about them. There was now and then the formality of saying a lesson. but if you had not learned it, a brush across the shoulders (just enough to disturb a fly) was the sole remonstrance. Field never used the rod ; and, in iruth, he wielded the cane with no great good will-holding it “ like a dancer.” It looked in his hands rather like an emblem than an instrument of authority ; and an emblem, too, he was ashamed of. He was a good easy man, that did not care to ruffle his own peace, nor perhaps set any great consideration upon the value of juvenile time. He came among us, now and then, but often staid away whole days from us ; and when he came, it made no difference to us—he had his private room to retire to, the short time he staid, to be out of the sound of our noise. Our mirth and uproar went on. had classics of our own, without being beholden to “ insolent Greece or haughty Rome,” that passed current among usPeter Wilkins; the Adventures of the Honourable Captain Robert Boyle; the fortunate Blue-Coat Boy; and the like. Or we cultivated a turn for mechanic or scientific operations; making little sun dials of paper; or weaving those ingenious parentheses called cat cradles ; or making dry peas to dance upon the end of a tin pipe; or studying the art military over tha: laudible game “ French and English,” and a hundred other such devices to pass away the time-mixing the useful with the agreeable-as would have made the souls of Rousseau and John Locke chuckle to see us.
Matthew Field belonged to that class of modest divines who affect to mix in equal proportion the gentleman, the scholar, and the Christian ; but, I know not how, the first ingredienu is generally found to be the predominating dose in the composition. He was engaged in gay parties, or with his courtly bow at some episcopal levee, when he should have been aitending upon us. He had for many years the classical charge of a hundred children, during the four or five first years of their education; and his very highest form seldom proceeded further than two or three of the introductory fables of Phædrus. How things were suffered to go on thus, I cannot
guess. Boyer, who was the proper person to have remedied these abuses, always affected, perhaps felt, a delicacy in interfering in a province not stricily his own. I have not been without my suspicions, that he was not altogether displeased at the contrast we presented to his end of the school.
We were a sort of Helots to his young Spartans. He would sometimes, with ironic deference, send to borrow a rod of the under master, and then, with sardonic grin, observe to one of his upper boys, “how neat and fresh the twigs looked.” While his pale students were battering their brains over Xenophon and Plato, with a silence as deep as that enjoined by the Samite, we were enjoying ourselves at our ease in our little Goshen. We saw a little into the secrets of his discipline, and the prospect did but the more reconcile us to our lot. His thunders rolled innocuous for us; his storms came near, but never touched us ; contrary to Gideon's miracle, while all around were drenched, our fleece was dry.* His boys turned out the better scholars ; we, I suspect, have the advantage in temper. His pupils cannot speak of him with out something of terror allaying their gratitude ; the remembrance of Field comes back with all the soothing images of indolence, and summer slumbers, and work like play, and innocent idleness, and Elysian exemptions, and life itself “a playing holyday.”
Though sufficiently removed from the jurisdiction of Boyer, we were near enough (as I have said) to understand a little of his system. We occasionally heard sounds of the Ululartes, and caught glances of Tartarus. B. was a rabid pedant. His English style was cramped to barbarism. His Easter anthems (for his duty obliged him to those periodical flights) were grating as scrannel pipes. He would laugh, ay, and neartily, but then it must be at Flaccus's quibble about Rexor at the tristis severitas in vultu, or inspicere in patinas, of Terence-thin jests, which at their first broaching could hardly have had vis enough to move a Roman muscle. He had two wigs, both pedantic, but of different omen. The one serene, smiling, fresh powdered, betokening a mild day. The other, an old, discoloured, ur kempt, angry caxon, denoting frequent and bloody execution. Wo to the school when he made his morning appearance in his passy, or passionate wig. No comet expounded surer. J. B. had a heavy hand. I have known him double his knotty fist at a poor trembling child, (the maternal milk hardly dry upon its lips,) with a Sirrah, do you presume to set your wils at me?" Nothing was more common than to see him make a headlong entry into the schoolroom, from his inner recess, or library, and, with turbulent eye, singling out a lad, roar out,“ Odd's my life, sirrah," (his favourite adjuration,)“ I have a great mind to whip you” --then, with as sudden a retracting impulse, fling back into his lair—and, after a cooling lapse of some minutes, (during which all but the culprit had totally forgotten the context,) drive headlong out again, piecing out his imperfect sense, as if it had been some devil's litany, with the expletory yell-" and I will, too." In his gentler moods, when the rabidus furor was assuaged, he had resort to an ingenious method, peculiar, for what I have heard, to himself, of whipping the boy and reading the Debates at the same time; a paragraph, and a lash between ; which in those times, when parliamentary oratory was most at a height and flourishing in these realms, was not calculated to impress the patient with a veneration for the diffuser graces of rhetoric.
† In this and everything B. was the antipodes of his coadjutor. While the former was digging his brains for crude anthems, worth a pignut, F. would be recreating his gentlemanly fancy in the more flowery walks of the muses. А little dramatic effusion of his, under the name of Vertumnus and Pomona, is not yet forgotten by the chroniclers of that sort of literature. It was accepted by Garrick, hut the town did not give it their sanction. B. used to say of it, in a way of half compliment, half irony, that it was too classical for representation
Once, and but once, the uplifted rod was known to fall ineffectual from his hand—when droll squinting W- having been caught putting the inside of the master's desk to a use for which the architect had clearly not designed it, to justify himself, with great simplicity averred, that he did not know that the thing had been forewarned. This exquisite irrecognition of any law antecedent to the oral or declaratory, struck so irresistibly upon the fancy of all who heard it, (the pedagogue himself not excepted,) that remission was unavoidable.
L. has given credit to B.'s great merits as an instructer. Coleridge, in his literary life, has pronounced a more intelligible and ample encomium on them. The author of the Country Spectator doubts not to compare him with the ablest teachers of antiquity. Perhaps we cannot dismiss him better than with the pious ejaculation of C- when he heard that his old master was on his deathbed—“ Poor J. B.! may all his faults be forgiven; and may he be wafted to bliss by little cherub boys, all head and wings, with no bottoms to reproach his sublunary infirmities."
Under him were many good and sound scholars bred. First Grecian of my time was Lancelot Pepys Stevens, kindest of boys and men, since co-grammar master (and inseparable companion) with Dr. T--e. What an edifying spectacle did this brace of friends present to those who re«
membered the anti-socialities of their predecessors! You never met the one by chance in the street without a wonder, which was quickly dissipated by the almost immediate subappearance of the other. Generally arm in arm, these kindly coadjutors lightened for each other the toilsome duties of their profession; and when, in advanced age, one found it con enient to retire, the other was not long in discovering tha it suited him to lay down the fasces also. Oh, it is pleasant, as it is rare, to find the same arm linked in yours at forty, which at thirteen helped it to turn over the Cicero de Amicitia, or some tale of antique friendship, which the young heart even then was burning to anticipate ! Co-Grecian with S. was Th- who has since executed with ability various diplomatic functions at the Northern courts. Thwas a tall, dark, saturnine youth, sparing of speech, with raven locks. Thomas Fanshaw Middleton followed him, (now bishop of Calcutta,) a scholar and gentleman in his teens. He has the reputation of an excellent critic; and is author (besides the Country Spectator) of a Treatise on the Greek article against Sharpe. M. is said to bear his mitre high in India, where the regni novitas (I dare say) sufficiently justifies the bearing. A humility quite as primitive as that of Jewel or Hooker might not be exactly fitted to impress the minds of those Anglo-Asiatic diocesans with a reverence for home institutions, and the church which those fathers watered. The manners of M. at school, though firm, were mild and unassuming. Next to M. (if not senior to him) was Richards, author of the Aboriginal Britons, the most spirited of the Oxford prize poems ; a pale, studions Grecian. Then followed pour S-, ill-fated M
.! of these the muse is silent. Finding some of Edward's race
Unhappy, pass their annals by. Come back into memory, like as thou wert in the daypring of thy fancies, with hope like a fiery column before hee—the dark pillar not yet turned-Samuel Taylor Colecidge, Logician, Metaphysician, Bard! How have I seer the casual passer through the cloisters stand still, entranced with admiration, (while he weighed the disproportion between the speech and the garb of the young Mirandula,) to hear thee unfold, in thy deep and sweet intonations, the mysteries of Jamblichus, or Plotinus, (for even in those years thou waxedst not pale at such philosophic draughts,) or reciting Homer in his Greek, or Pindar—while the walls of the old Gray Friars re-echoed to the accents of the inspired charity boy! Many were the ' wit combats” (to dally a while with the words of
old Fuller) between him and C. V. Le G
6 which two I behold like a Spanish great galleon, and an English man of war; Master Coleridge, like the former, Waw huilt far higher in learning, solid, but slow in his performances. C. V. L, with the English man-of-war, lesser in bulk, but lighter in sailing, could turn with all tides, tack about, and take advantage of all winds, by the quickness of his wit and invention."
Nor shalt thou, their compeer, be quickly forgotten, Allen, with a cordial smile, and still more cordial laugh, with which thou wert wont to make the old cloisters shake, in thy cognition of some poignant jest of theirs; or the anticipation of some more material, and, peradventure, practical one of thine
Extinct are those smiles, with that beautiful countenance, with which, (for thou wert the Nireus formosus of the school,) in the days of thy maturer waggery, thou didst disarm the wrath of infuriated town damsel, who, incensed by provoking pinch, turning tigresslike round, suddenly converted by thy angel look, exchanged the half-formed, terrible “bl—' for a gentler greeting—“ Bless thy handsome face !"
Next follow two, who ought to be now alive, and the friends of Elia—the junior Le G and F ---- ; who, impelled, the former by a roving temper, the latter by too quick a sense of neglect—ill capable of enduring the slights poor sizers are sometimes subject to in our seats of learning, exchanged their alma mater for the camp; perishing, one by climate, and one on the plains of Salamanca : Le G- sanguine, volatile, sweet natured ; F, dogged, faithful, anticipative of insult
, warm hearted, with something of the old Roman height about him.
Fine, frank-hearted Fr- -, the present master of Hertford, with Marmaduke T-, mildest of missionaries--and both my good friends still—close the catalogue of Grecians in my time.
THE TWO RACES OF MEN.
The human species, according to the best theory I can form of it, is composed of two distinct races, the men who borrow, and the men who lend. To these two original diversities may be reduced all those impertinent classifications of the Gothic and Celtic tribes, white men, black men, sed men