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drinking. Mr. Salt was eminent with us for a single word. Mr. Sandiford surpassed him, for he had two famous audible phrases. There was, it is true, no great variety in them. One was “the dispensation of Moses :” the other (with a due interval of hum), “ the Mosaic dispensation.”. These he used to repeat so often, that in our caricatures of him they sufficed for an entire portrait. The reader may conceive a large church, (it was Christ Church, Newgate Street,) with six hundred boys, seated like charity-children up in the air, on each side the organ, Mr. Sandiford humming in the valley, and a few maid-servants who formed his afternoon congregation. We did not dare to go to sleep. We were not allowed to read. The great boys used to get those that sat behind them to play with their hair. Some whispered to their neighbours, and the others thought of their lessons and tops. I can safely say, that many of us would have been good listeners, and most of us attentive ones, if the clergyman could have been heard : as it was, I talked as well as the rest, or thought of my exercise. Sometimes we could not help joking and
laughing over our weariness; and then the fear was, lest the steward had seen us. part of the business of the steward to preside over the boys' in church-time. He sat aloof, in a place where he could view the whole of his flock.' There was a ludicrous kind of revenge we had of him, whenever a particular part of the Bible was read. This was the parable of the Unjust Steward. The boys waited anxiously till the passage commenced ; and then, as if by a general conspiracy, at the words, “thou unjust steward,” the whole school turned their eyes upon this unfortunate officer, who sat
“ Like Teneriff or Atlas unremoved.”
We persuaded ourselves, that the more unconscious he looked, the more he was acting. By a singular chance, there were two clergymen, occasional preachers in our pulpit, who were as loud and startling, as the others were somniferous. One of them, with a sort of flat, high voice, had a remarkable way of making a ladder of it, climbing higher and higher to the end of the sentence. It ought to be described by the gamut, or written up-hill. Perhaps it was an association of ideas that has made us recollect one particular passage. It is where Ahab consults the Prophets, asking them whether he shall go up to Ramoth Gilead to battle. “Shall I go against Ramoth Gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? and they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.” He used to give this out in such a manner, that you might have fancied him climbing out of the pulpit, sword in hand. The other was a tall, thin man, with a noble voice. He would commence a prayer in a most stately and imposing manner, full both of dignity and feeling; and then, as if tired of it, hurry over all the rest. Indeed, he began every prayer in this way, and was as sure to hurry it; for which reason, the boys hailed the sight of him, as they knew they should get sooner out of church. When he commenced, in his noble style, the band seemed to tremble against his throat, as though it had been a sounding-board.
Being able to read, and knowing a little Latin, I was put at once into the Under Grammar School. How much time I wasted there in learning the accidence and syntax, I cannot say; but it seems to me a long while. My grammar seemed always to open at the same place. Things are managed differently now, I believe, in this as well as in a great many other respects. Great improvements have been made in the whole establishment. The boys feed better, learn better, and have longer holidays in the country. In my time, they never slept out of the school but on one occasion, during the whole of their stay ; this was for three weeks in summer-time, which I have spoken of, and which they were bound to pass at a certain distance from London. They now have these holidays with a reasonable frequency; and they all go to the different schools, instead of being confined, as they were then, some to nothing but writing and cyphering, and some to the languages. It has been doubted by some of us elders, whether this system will beget such temperate, proper students, with pale faces, as the other did. I dare say, our successors are not afraid of us. I had the pleasure, not long since, of dining in company with a Deputy Grecian, who, with a stout rosy-faced person, had not failed to acquire the scholarly turn for joking, which is common to a classical education; as well as those simple, becoming manners, made up
of modesty and proper confidence, which have been often remarked as distinguishing the boys on this foundation,
“ But what is a Deputy Grecian ?" Ah, reader! to ask that question, and at the same time to know any thing at all worth knowing, would at one time, according to our notions, have been impossible. When I entered the school, I was shown three gigantic boys, young men rather, (for the eldest was between seventeen and eighteen,) who, I was told, were going to the University. These were the Grecians. They are the three head boys of the Grammar School, and are understood to have their destiny fixed for the Church. The next class to these, and like a College of Cardinals to those three Popes, (for every Grecian was in our eyes infallible,) are the Deputy Grecians. The former were supposed to have completed their Greek studies, and were deep in Sophocles and