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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

386                        Poems



wherefore do men now speak of the choice oA the renowned
Hobson. And in it he placed the close of the divine Parker,
and many beautiful undergraduates were delighting their
tender minds upon it playing cricket with one another; and
a match was being played and two umpires were quarrelling
with one another ; the one saying that the batsman who was
playing was out and the other declaring with all his might
that he was not; and while they two were contending,
reviling one another with abusive language, a ball came and
hit one of them on the nose and the blood flowed out in a
stream and darkness was covering his eyes, but the rest were
crying out on all sides :
" Shy it up."

And he could not; him, then, was his companion address-
ing with scornful words:

" Arnold, why dost thou strive with me since I am
much wiser ? Did not I see his leg before the wicket and
rightly declare him to be out ? Thee, then, has Zeus now
punished according to thy deserts and I will seek some other
umpire of the game equally-participated-in-by-both-sides."

And in it he placed the Cam and many boats equally
rowed on both sides were going up and down on the bosom
of the deep rolling river and the coxswains were cheering on
the men, for they were going to enter the contest of the
scratchean fours ; and three men were rowing together in a
boat, strong and stout and determined in their hearts that
they would either first break a blood vessel or earn for them-
selves the electroplated-Birmingham-manufactured magnifi-
cence of a pewter to stand on their hall tables in memorial
of their strength, and from time to time drink from it the
exhilarating streams of beer whensoever their dear heart
should compel them; but the fourth was weak and un-
equally matched with the others and the coxswain was
encouraging him and called him by name and spake cheering
words:

" Smith, when thou hast begun the contest, be not flurried
nor strive too hard against thy fate, look at the back of the
man before thee and row with as much strength as the Fates
spun out for thee on the day when thou fellest between the
knees of thy mother, neither lose thine oar, but hold it tight
with thy hands/'