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^ . Long distance to encounter, fear to spurp,
Joys such as these oft tempt the truant race
Are there anymore Etonian Poets ?-Oh! yes ! There is Walker, who only needs to exert his strength, in order to have it felt and acknowledged ; and there is. H. N. Coleridge, whose name would be a sufficient voucher for him if he had never written a rhyme; and there is the Hon. F. Howard, to whom Eton will look for something more than the Newdigate Prize, which he has just obtained. There are many other names which claim a notice; and, if I had twenty pages to spare, I could easily fill twenty pages with expressions of my gratitude to some, and my esteem for all. --?
And what should I say of Moultrie? The humorous Moultrie, and the pathetic Moultrie, the Moultrie of “ Godiva," and the Moultrie of “ My Brother's Grave ?"_Truly I should say nothing of him, for his Genius is so incomprehensible, and his capabilities so varied, that if I were to attempt to draw his character or detine his powers, it would be ten to one that the next effort of his pen would prove my every word a lie. I am safe, at least, in predicting, that he will be great, whatever he attempts ; and that, whether he chooses to laugh or to' weep, he will laugh and weep to some purpose. And here I stop. Some weeks ago what I have said might have been considered an interested piece of Flattery; at the present time, and under the present circumstances, I am free, or I ought to be free, from such an imputation.
Mr. Samuel Rashleigh to R. Rashleigh, Esq.
Eton Coll., June 29, 1821, MY DEAR FATHER, I perfectly agree with you that call sense. By degrees he had the routine of Eton lessons is much less and less, and at present he more difficult to learn than the trusts entirely to his own ideas, or lessons themselves; and perhaps what the Master supplies him many things that appear very plain with, when he sets the subject. and simple to me, from being so All our lessons are construed over accustomed to them, may seem to to us beforehand, at our Tutor's; you quite incomprehensible. In- so that we are expected, when we deed almost every week is differ come into school, to be ready and ent, for something or other inter- prepared at all points. It is conferes to break the regular course: sidered the height of ill-nature not sometimes a Saint's day, some- to prompt and assist your neightimes an Anniversary, or any bour to the utmost of your ability, happy event at the present time whenever he happens to fail, even entitles us to drop one or more of at the risk of a flogging to yourthe exercises, according to the self, which is pretty sure to folnumber or efficacy of these fortu- low, if you are discovered. Swinnate interruptions. When a pro- burne has particularly cautioned per and lawful reason occurs, the me against being anybody's Poet, two first in the School go on a sort which means doing all his exerof embassy to the Head Master, cises ; for he says it is a very great in the name of the Boys, and ask trouble, for which you are hardly for the indulgence : so that every thanked: besides, it is very likely Birth and Marriage, in which we to make you careless in your own can be said to be at all concerned, verses, from being accustomed to is celebrated by us with quite as do bad and slovenly ones for other much joy and pleasure, as by the people. No doubt he is quite parties themselves. Verses, hown right, and I shall be fully conever, can never be dispensed with tented with getting through with under any pretence ; or, as the my own business as well as I can. phrase is, skipped. We are obliged Some have an innumerable quanto do a certain number, but it is 'tity of old copies; that is to say, reckoned very idle to be contented compositions of all kinds for the with doing that, and, indeed, one last seven or eight years past, ought very nearly to double it. which they keep hidden with parWhen Henry first came he had ticular care, as of course they are some easy English given him to unlawful, but very valuable, posturn into Latin verse. This they sessions ; for directly the subject
is given out, away they fly to their than you can possibly conceive. treasure, and unless a very un- It does not appear to me, howluckily new theme has been ever, that these respectable folks started, they generally succeed in are the most clever, although they finding some of the labours of their may be most persevering. They predecessors exactly suited to the are, generally speaking, boys of present occasion. If this resource rather steady than brilliant abili. fails, they get one or two couplets, ties, who wish to accomplish by or a few lines of prose, as each their diligence what others do may be wanted, from some of their more easily by means of superior friends, and, between them all, talents. You can hardly imagine contrive to patch up something re. in how many ways this temper sembling an exercise.
shows itself. They are always I am afraid that I have already particularly careful to write down sinued unpardonably in disclosing every word that they are not acto you these mighty mysteries of quainted with in the lesson, and Eton Education ; and, in case that to mark its meaning and origin; these accounts of mine should they fill their books with approleave any bad impressions behind priate quotations from every quarthem, I must give you a descrip- ter they can think of, and try to tion of some of my studious school- ingratiate themselves with their fellows, the brightest luminaries superiors by their punctuality and of as our little world,” as one of strict observance of every little the learned writers in 6 The Eto. duty, which is rather likely to nian” calls it. Perhaps you will escape your attention. I heard a hardly believe that there are some story of somebody of this descripboys who look as palę as a sheet tion, who, after he had been at from positive hard reading, who school very nearly a year, wished dread a cricket-ball' as much as if to know which was the way to it were discharged from a cannon, Slough. Now. Slough is hardly who would in fact prefer doing a more than a mile off; and I should good long copy of Greek verses to just as soon have thought of askthe very finest Match that has ever ing the way to Windsor; for, bebeen contested. These are a sort fore I had been here a month, I of persons who consider it quite a had visited that, and most other crime to be seen within the pre- places within a good deal longer cincts of the Playing Fields, un- distance. less by chance they happen, in a Now I would not have you imatruly contemplative mood, to take gine, for all the world, that I mean a few turns in Poet's Walk, or to to vilify my studious friends. On lie down, on a hot Summer's day, the contrary, I believe them to be with a book in their hand, under a very great credit to Eton, and, one of the trees by the water side. as Matthew Swinburne tells me, Sometimes too I have caught them very good contributors to “ The fishing for dace, and suchlike small. Etonian.” By-the-bye, I underfry in the river here; which I am stand that this renowned Publisure is quite enough to exhaust cation is upon its last legs, as all anybody's patience, for the fish the principal supporters take their are very few, and those more shy leave after the next Holidays. It
is a thousand pities that it should list, but this I positively set my be dropped after it has gone on so face against. long; and I am the more sorry, They tell me that sometime beas I have just begun to take a fore I came here there was a little interest in it; and Henry, I Theatre first started, and afterassure you, when he does read wards entirely supported, by the any thing, likes to take up his exertions of various amateur acSchoolfellows' productions. It is tors, all belonging to this same infinitely better that he should all-powerful School. Many, who amuse himself with this than read. had seen their performances, de ing a pack of horrible stories of clared to me that they were really Ghosts, and enchanted Knights, excellent, and that many of the which one sees in innumerable players were equal, if not superior, quantities, displaying their Fairy to the best in the Windsor company. frontispieces in the shop windows; Perhaps the testimony of. such an and indeed I am sorry that many audience is not always so imparof the little boys are much better tial as one might wish ; but, be acquainted with them than their that as it may, I would rather have Greek and Latin Grammars. Per- seen a common farce at Eton, with haps too there is a deeper interest bad scenes and worse dresses, than in these performances than you the finest spectacle ever displayed would be likely to guess, for some on the London stage. This The. of the Authors may be found at no atre remained for a long time unvery great distance, who, actuated discovered, which is not at all no doubt by a very laudable desire surprising, for it was concealed of appearing in print, have chosen in a place where no strolling mato try their youthful talents in this nager would have thought of raisromantic style of writing. These ing his apparatus. However, at things are termed here indiscrimi. last, like every thing else, it came nately Pamphlets, and every one to the ears of the Higher Powers, that comes forth from the prolific and the whole business was London press, with the words stopped in the most unceremio“By an Etonian" on the Title- nious manner. I do almost wish page, possesses a natural charm, that some new Rosciusses could and is sought for with the utmost revive the theatrical fame, for I avidity by the devourers of this should like beyond all things to kind of Literature. I have inter- look at my schoolfellows rustling dicted Henry from all things of in petticoats, or strutting about in this kind, and have given him very military uniform, or in old men's fair notice that I shall burn the clothes, with painted wrinkles, wig very first that I find in his pos- and cane, and all the stage para session. He told me the other phernalia. I cannot think how day, that one of his particular any spectator can keep his coun: friends subscribed to a circulating tenance. library in Windsor, where he gets Our Cricket Club goes on fa. as many Novels and Romances as mously, but I have hardly room to he can manage. I could very tell you much about its proceedplainly discern that he had a great ings. It is my intention, if I go inclination to add his name to the on improving, to promote myself to a higher one, where there is it is but right that he should relieve better ground and better players; me sometimes. but the end of the season is now We are allowed now to bathe not very far off, and nobody thinks at certain times and certain places, of touching a bat after the Holi- where a man is always ready, to days, however fine the weather guard against any accident. I may be. It would be very unfa- hope this will quiet Mamma's fears shionable. Henry shall write the on this head. Remember me kindnext letter, that you may judge if ly to her, and to all at home, and he advances as favourably in the believe me, my dear Father, ... epistolary style as he does in all Your affectionate Son, . other kinds of learning; besides
Master Henry Rashleigh to Miss H. Rashleigh.
Eton Coll. July 18, 1821. MY DEAR SISTER, Samuel takes such infinite pains ants; two tents are pitched on the in explaining to you all that may outskirts, which are lined, almost appear difficult in our school busi- in a circle, by a great crowd of ness, that it would be an unpar. Ladies, Gentlemen, or Boys, lydonable shame if I were to trespassing, standing, or sitting, in various on any of his rights in this way: groupes ; so that altogether they positively I have neither inclina. form the prettiest sight imaginable. tion nor ability to interfere with To enjoy all this perfectly, you his dry details, so I must endea- must fancy a most glorious day, vour, in lieu of instruction, to as it really was; you must wish amuse you by a very faithful ac- for us to be victorious, as we were, count of a Cricket-match which and easily too; and you must take took place the other day, between the same pleasure in reading about eleven of our best players, and a game of Cricket, although I am eleven gentlemen who came on the Historian, as the Eton belles purpose to try their strength with appear to have in looking at one. them. In the first place, you You cannot conceive how many must imagine a most beautiful happy faces there were whenever spot of ground, not such a one as one of the heroes on our side you may have seen for the same struck a ball with more than usual purpose among our open naked violence. Such a buz ran through downs at home, but surrounded the field, such a bustle took place by the finest trees, and command. immediately, as evidently showed ing views of the River, Windsor that very few were indifferent Castle, the College, and enough spectators. Then if the fatal wic. others in fact entirely to fill up kets fell, if any thing happened at your sketch-book; and, let me all unfavourable to us, one might tell you, it could hardly be better easily observe the interest that used. The middle of this of every one took by the sudden sicourse is reserved for the combat- lence and the serious looks of the