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Full text of "The quest of the four-leaved clover, a story of Arabia;"

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LEfjox Library 




Dngckinrk dtUrcttun. 
P«**ntfitittIB78. 



REMINISCENCES 



1] 



OF 



ETON. 



BY AN ETONIAN 



FLOREAT ETONA. 



PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR, 

BY J. HACKMAN, TOWER STREET. 

/ 

MDCl'CXXXI. 






TO 

HER ROYAL HIGHNESS 

THE 

DUCHESS OF KENT, 

&c. &c. &c. 
THIS WORK, 

18 

WITH HER KIND PERMISSION, 

MOST RESPECTFULLY AND HUMBLY DEDICATED, 

BY HER GRATEFUL, 

AND OBLIGED SERVANT, 

THE ETONIAN. 
Bognor, Dec. 10, 1831. 



PREFACE. 



A Preface, like a handsome portico to a 
building, should be the index of what is to 
succeed. The Etonian trusts that it will require 
no comments from him to recommend his liter- 
ary bantling to the perusal of the public, inde- 
pendent of those that are Etonians, when they 
advert to the distinguished patronage under 
which his work makes its appearance ; that of 
the most excellent and royal consort of one of 
our late noble Princes. To Englishmen the 
house of Hanover is dear ; and may the same 
affection ever flow towards those who are en- 
grafted on its illustrious stock. The author de- 
tests flattery ; but he cannot fail from remark- 
ing in this place, that the exalted personage, 
who so kindly condescends to permit the dedi- 
cation of this work to her, has ever been, like 
her great prototype Queen Charlotte, a pattern 



TI 

of excellence and goodness, worthy of imitation 
by all grades of society. 

The sensible experience of the want of the 
quantum sujfficit, is the only apology which the 
author adduces for the appearance of his Remi- 
niscences* He trusts that his little bark will 
not be too violently tossed, which he presumes 
to launch on the waves of literary scrutiny ; 
but that it may go well from the stocks, and 
that its progress may meet with no Simoommg 
blast, previous to its attaining the wished for 
haven, that of public favour. It is with an 
acheing heart, that in the following pages he 
reverts to scenes of juvenile felicity, when no 
care for the morrow, (the temporary infliction 
of the budded birch excepted), ever arose to 
blight the present enjoyment. Then all was 
happiness, all was sunshine. But new what is 
it f A dark future to look upon. 

Fearing least he should advance too far into 
the Slough of Despond, he will put the harness 
to his back, and under the influence of his an- 
cestorial motto, Nil Desperandum, will proceed 
to the execution of what he proposed, his Re- 
miniscences. 



SUBSCRIBERS. 



A. 

Apsley, the Right Hon* Lord,. Cirencester, 4 copies 

Adam, Mr., Hull 

Adams, Mrs. T. J., London 

A. B., Eton College 

Antrobus, E. Esq., Strand, London, 8 copies 

Anonymous, 3 copies 

B. 

Bangor, the Lord Bishop of, Bangor, 4 copies 

Bute, the Most Noble the Marquis of, Kensington, 4 

Beverley, the Right Hon. the Earl of, 8 copies 

Belfast, the Right Hon. the Earl of, Cowcs, 4 copies 

Bathurst, the Right Hon. W. L., London, 4 copies 

Byam, the Rev. R. B., Vicar of Kew, &c. 4 copies 

Bennett, the Rev. W., Canterbury 

Baumgarten, the Rev. C. H., Midhurst, 2 copies 

Buckle, Miss F., Chichester 

Burton, Sir R., Jacket's Hill, Margate 

Baikie, J. Esq., London 

Barrow, the Rev. F., Margate 

Brooke, Mrs., ditto 

Browne, Mrs. Turner, ditto 

Bailey, Mrs., Horton Lodge 

Bell, Mr. W., Hull 

Browne, R. L. Esq., King's College, Cambridge 



VI11 

Bull Book Club, (the), Cambridge 

Barker, Mrs., Welwyn, Herts, 4 copies 

Bridger, IVfr. B., Cambridge 

Browne, Mr. C. £., Cambridge 

Baker, W. P. Esq., Bayfordbury, Herts, 4 copies 

C. 

Carmarthen, the Most Noble the Marquis of, 5 copies 

Cholmondeley, Right Hon. Lord Henry, 4 copies 

Cavendish, Lord W., M.P., Holkar Park, 4 copies 

Clinton, the Right Hon. Lord, Heanton Sackville, 4 

Clinton, the Right Hon. Lady, ditto 4 

Coke, T. W. Esq., Holkham House, 4 copies 

Canning, the Right Hon. Sir Stratford 

Cust, the Hon. E., Lucknor 

Caldwell, Vere Esq., 90th Regt. 

Creed, Mr., Margate 

Close, Captain, Bognor 

Cory, Mr. E., Cambridge 

Clayton, C. Esq., ditto 

Case, Mr. W. ditto 

Casson, Mr. R., Portsmouth 

Crow, Mr. C, Margate 

C. D., Eton College 

Downshire, the Most Noble the Marquis of, 4 copies 
Darnley, the Right Hon. the Earl of, 4 copies 
Durham, the Right Hon. Lord, 4 copies 
Dashwood, Sir G., Bart., Kirtlington Park, 4 copies 
Dashwood, the Rev. Augustus, Thornage Rectory, 4 
Dampier, J. L. Esq., Recorder of Portsmouth, 4 
Drury, the Rev. H., Harrow 
Deighton, Mr., Cambridge 
Dering, Mrs., Margate 
Dormer, E. Esq., Emshurst House 



E. 

Exeter, the Most Noble the Marquis of, 20 copies 
Ellenborough, the Right Hon. Lord, 4 copies 
Eton College, the Provost of, 8 copies 
Eton College, the Vice-Provost of 
Elvey, Mr. W., London 

F. 

Fitzherbert, M. W. Esq., Queen's Coll. Cambridge 
FoTSter, Mrs. C. F., Margate 
Ficklin, T. J., Esq. 

G. 

Graham, the Most Noble the Marquis of, 4 copies 
Graham, the Rev. J., D.D., Vice-Chancellor of 

Cambridge University, 4 copies 
Gauntlett, the Rev. F., Bognor 
Gratwicke, W. R. Esq., Walberton 
Gore, Mr. T., Margate 

H. 

Hardwicke, the Right Hon. the Earl of, 6 copies 

Hatch, the Rev. T., Vicar of Walton, 2 copies 

Harbord, W. Esq., Hull, 4 copies 

Harbord, Miss, ditto, 2 copies 

Harbord, H. Esq. ditto 

Headley, H. Esq., Cambridge, 2 copies 

Hawtrey, S. Esq., Trinity College, Cambridge 

Hatt, Mr. T., Cambridge 

Hull, Mr. T. ditto 

Hayes, T. Esq., Bognor 

Haslar, Mrs. ditto 2 copies 

Hancocke, Mr. W., Fulbourn 

Harris, Mr., St. Paul's Church Yard, 6 copies 



J. 

Ingestrie, Viscount, Groavenor Street, 4 copies 
Jodrell, R. P. Esq., Sail Park, Norfolk 
J arris, — M.D., Margate 

K. 

Knight, the Hon. Mrs., Emshurst House, 2 copies 

Keate, the Rev. Dr., Eton College 

Knapp, the Rev. H. H., ditto 

Kinleside, the Rev. Mr., Walberton 

Kinleside, Mrs. ditto 

Kinleside, Miss ditto 

Kerrich, the Rev. R. E., Cambridge 

King, Mr. T., Dernford Mills 

King, Mr. D., Cambridge 

L. 

Loughborough, the Right Hon. Lord, 4 copies 
Lonsdale, the Rev. J., Rector of Bloomsbury, 8 
Laird, J., M.D., Bognor, 2 copies 
Lutwidge, C. Esq., Hull 
Lansell, Mr. T., Margate 
Lewis, Mr. S., ditto 
Levey, Mr. E. ditto 

M. 

Minto, the Right Hon. the Earl of, Bognor, 4 copies 
Mayo, the Right Hon. the Earl of, ditto 
Mayo, the Countess of ditto 

Mortlock, Mr. Alderman W., Cambridge 
Matthews, S. Esq., Mus. Bac. ditto 
Millekin, the Rev. R., Itchenor 
Munton, Mr. E., Hull 
Miller, the Rev. E., -Bognor 
Marie, A. Esq., London 



XI 

Marshall, Mr., Cambridge 
Marshall, Mr. C. ditto 
Moorsom, Mrs. G., London 

N. 

Northumberland, His Grace the Duke of, 4 copies 
Nicholas, the Rev. G., Ealing, 2 copies 
Newby, Mr. T., Cambridge 

O. 

Otley, the Rev. C. B., Vicar of Tortington 
Oppenheim, Mr. H. D., Cambridge 
Osborn, L. Esq., Margate 
Oust, Mrs., Hull 

P. 

Palmerston, the Right Hon. Lord, 4 copies 
Pole, Sir. W., Bart., Bognor, 4 copies 
Patteson, Sir John, London, 6 copies 
Prettyman, the Rev. R., Rector of Middleton, Oxon. 

2 copies 
Poyntz, W. S. Esq., M.P., Cowdray Park, 4 copies 
Perrott, Mrs., Sandford Park, 4 copies 
Peachey, Miss, Bognor 

R. 

Richmond, His Grace the Duke of, 4 copies 

Rawnsley, the Rev. T. H., 2 copies 

Read, Capt., R.N., Shalfleet, Isle of Wight 

Rodmell, T. Esq., Hull 

Ro worth, Mrs. C, London 

Rhoades, T. Esq., Chichester 

Rhoades, W. C. Esq., Mayor of Chichester 

Rhoades, the Rev. J. P., Wadham College, Oxford 



XII 

S. 

Salisbury, the Most Noble the Marquis of, 4 copies 

Sondes, the Right Hon. Lord, Lees Court, 4 copies 

Smith, the Hon. R. J., M.P., 5 copies 

Strathaven, the Right Hon. Lord, 4 copies 

Sheffield, the Right Hon. the Earl of 

Slingsby, the Rev. H., Rector of Greenford, 10 copies 

Slingsby, Miss M., Greenford, 2 copies 

Slingsby, Mrs., Eton 

Slingsby, Miss C, Eton, 2 copies 

Slingsby, Miss M., ditto 

Slingsby, Miss S. ditto 

Slingsby, Miss E. ditto 

Sansum, Mr., Portsmouth 

Simeon, Sir R., Bart., St. John's Isle of Wight, 4 c. 

Salter, R. Esq., Margate, 10 copies 

Shallow, Mr. T., Cambridge 

T. 

Tullamoore, the Right Hon. Lord, Draklowe, 4 c. 
Trecothic, B. Esq., Bognor 
Trickett, Mrs., Elmshurst, Isle of Wight 
Tuflnell, the Rev. S. J., Vicar of Mundham 
Tucker, the Rev. W. H., King's Coll. Cambridge 
Thomson, — Esq., Bognor 
Tapfield, Mr. S., Cambridge 
Tindale, Miss, Bognor 

u. 

Underwood, Miss E. N., Barnet, Herts 

W. 

Winnington, Sir T., Bart., M.P., 4 copies 
Whitbread, W. H. Esq., M.P., Badwell Park, 4 c. 
Wilson, Mrs., Dome House, Bognor, 4 copies 
Wilson, J. G. Esq., Cambridge 



XIII 

Watkins, the Rev. W., Vicar of St. Olave's 

Chichester 
White, Capt., 90th Regt. 
Waddington, Mr., Margate 
Whitehead, J. Esq., Margate 
Wood, — Esq., Bognor 
Wood, Miss, Margate 
Wright, Mr. J. E., ditto 
Wheeler, Mr. G. K., Cambridge 
Wallis, Mr. W. ditto 

Wallis, Mr. H. ditto 

Y. 

Younge, C. Esq., King's Coll. Cambridge 



REMINISCENCES 



OF 



AN ETONIAN. 



CHAPTER I. 

Rosalind. A traveller! by my faith you have great reason 
to be sad : I fear you have sold your own lands, to see other 
men's : often to have seen much, and to have nothing-, is to have 
rich eyes, and poor hands. 

Jaques. Yes I have gained experience. 

As you like it. 

Considering that many of my predecessors 
in arte scribendi, or in plain English, the art of 
scribbling, have usually thought proper to say 
something of themselves, as the proem of the quid 
sequitur, I propose to follow in the same beaten 
track. Newton, Milton, the Bard of Avon, all 
the worthies of olden times, nay those exalted 
characters, who have taken an airy flight from 
this world at Tyburn tree, and the more modern 

B 



10 REMINISCENCES 

Golgotha, the Old Bailey, have all been cele- 
brated by their Biographers. My intention is 
not to wait for posthumous fame, but to blow 
my own trumpet. For the information then of 
those, who honour this little work with a perusal, 
I shall briefly state my parentage; which, though 
not encircled with the splendour of a coronet, 
and those flattering distinctions which the world 
generally attaches to the scions of nobility — 
though no eagle hovered over my cradle to 
augur future greatness — though no prophet 
foretold my exaltation to a Prebendal Stall, or 
some snug Living, (for I fear that he would have 
been a lying prophet), still was my birth, as 
far as worldly consideration goes, somewhat 
above that of the common herd of mankind. 

My father was a Proctor of Doctors' Com- 
mons, and was the lineal descendant of the re- 
nowned Admiral*, who sooner than lead a life 

* An anecdote is extant respecting him : when he obtained 
the command of the English Fleet, he procured also the com- 
mand of a ship of war for one of his brothers, imagining 1 that 
he had as much courage as himself; but in the first action, his 
brother deceived him, by shewing the greatest cowardice, and 



OF AN ETONIAN. 11 

of inactivity, when his country's battles were to 
be fought, entered into the service of the usur- 
per Cromwell, and conquered Van Tromp, in 
the celebrated engagement, in which the arro- 
gant Dutchman lost his life. My name it is 
needless to mention, for whatever Englishman 
knows it not by this time, must be little versed 
in the history of his native land. His father had 
been what in those days was termed, a squire of 
high degree, (a character almost out of date in 
these degenerate days) and was possessed of con- 
siderable property in Yorkshire : he was more- 
over the lord of two Manors, near to Walling- 
ford in Berkshire : but from a system of great 
extravagance in his hunting and canine establish- 
ment, was compelled to dispose of the greater 
part of his broad acres, and in the general wreck 
(by persuading my father to join in cutting off 

keeping' without the reach of cannon-shot. He immediately 
sent him to England. " I have deceived myself (said he to his 
officers), my brother is not made for war ; but if he cannot 
shew face to the enemy on board a ship, he can at least be 
useful to his country at the tail of a plough." He intrusted him 
with the cultivation of his estates, and left them to him when 
he died. 



12 REMINISCENCES 

the entail,) the two Manors had wings, and flew 
away. The same unfortunate mania for spend- 
ing money was inherited by my father and again 
by his son : too truly verifying the old adage, 
What is in the bone, j*c«, and from what I ean 
understand, at the time of his marriage with my 
mother, he had scarcely any thing else, than his 
business as a Proctor : but that, from the few 
which then followed the profession, was attended 
with great emoluments, and united to that of his 
matrimonial dowry, enabled him to live in tole- 
rable affluence. 

The beautiful Village of Upton in Bucking- 
hamshire, situated somewhat more than a mile 
distant from our great storehouse of education 
Eton College, was the place of my Nativity in 
the Year 1791, my father renting a very pretty 
Cottage Ornee in the above retired Village, 
where he might have said in addition to the 
house, with Horace, 

modus agri non ita maguus ; 



Hortus ubi, et tecto viciiius jugis aquae fous> 
Et paulum sjlva* suptT his /u if. 



OF AN ETONIAN. 13 

An event of such importance occurring to the 
community at large, it was necessary that some- 
thing remarkable should take place, which was 
nothing more or less, than the loss of the Coach- 
man's hat, in the urgency of his haste on one of 
the Carriage horses, to procure the attendance 
of the medical adviser of the family, Dr. Mac- 
queen ; as well as that also of my most excel- 
lent father, in making the experiment of a nearer 
way, than that of the common footpath, finding 
himself immersed nearly to his chin in one of the 
ditches, which intervene between Upton and 
Eton. With these two untoward events, sym- 
bolical perhaps of those, which have already 
overflown the writer of these lines, the birth of 
him who was to prolong the old Admiral's race, 

took place. 

The years of infancy past off like those of 
most children, during which time I sustained 
the greatest loss, which can befall a child, that 
of a beloved mother, and soon succeeded by an 
only brother, who was named after his ancestor, 



14 REMINISCENCES 

Richard. When I was considered of sufficient 
age to have Latin and Greek flogged into me, 
I was sent to the neighbouring Village of Slough, 

to the especial care of a Mr. A , or I might 

say, with greater propriety to that of Mrs. 

A (as I went as a sans culotte) to undergo the 

drudgery, as well to Tutor, as to Pupil, of learn- 
ing my ABC, from thence I removed with him 
to Langley Broom, no inappropriate name for 
its owner, who wielded the birch with a most 
powerful arm. If flogging was an evidence in 
favour of his attention to his pupil's proficiency, 
no one could have been more solicitous, nor with 
greater justice have been termed, the Prince of 
Floggers, than the above-named pedagogue. 
He certainly brought his pupils forward, as 
well as acted upon them on the reverse: no 
drone would he willingly allow in Langley 
Broom Academy for Young Gentlemen, emi- 
nently displayed as those letters were on a Gib- 
bet-shaped board, under which the entrance 
from the high road ran across the heath to the 



OP AN ETONIAN. 15 

house ; and if there was one boy dronishly in- 
clined, be assured that he had no honied life of it. 
At eight years of age, I was entered at Eton, 
that little world of life and happiness, and was 
placed, as was then considered high for my years, 
in the Lower Greek. At this time my father left 
Upton, and constantly made Doctors' Commons 
his place of residence for many years. Though 
I lost the near neighbourhood of my father by 
his removal, still was it amply compensated by 
the kindness of my maternal Grandfather, who 
resided at Ankerwyke House, only five miles dis- 
tant from Windsor, not far from the Bells of Ous- 
ley, a romantic public house on the Thames, and 
directly opposite to the far-famed Runnymede. 
Upon the grounds attached to the venerable old 
Mansion was a majestic yew tree, under which, 
among the old inhabitants of the Hamlet, in con- 
tradiction to History, the tradition was, that the 
celebrated signature of England's liberty, the 
Magna Charta extorted from King John by the 
independent Barons, was there signed, by that 



16 REMINISCENCES. 

hitherto tyrannical prince. It certainly was 
one of the finest specimens of that almost an- 
tiquated species of tree, which is any where 
to be found in this country : and admirably 
adapted to the purpose for which it was then 
supposed to have been used. How frequently 
in the Holidays, have I, together with my cou- 
sins and perhaps a friend from Eton, whom 
with my kind Grandfather's permission I had 
invited to pass a few days with us, given the 
old Gardener the slip ; and then, by placing our 
sentinels, have we received the peaches, and 
die various productions of a luxuriant garden, 
handed over to us by our confederate on the 
other side, and enjoyed a noble feast, seated on 
the branches of this venerable tree. Here en- 
sconced among its foliage, we bade adieu to the 
cares of school, regardless of alj except the pre- 
sent pleasure. It sometimes escaped our usual 
foresight, to erase ^certain footmarks which had 
been made in our depredations, when crossing 
the borders : but as we had entered into a holy 



OF AN ETONIAN. 17 

alliance, and were nearly of a size, Nobody 
did it, Nobody knew any thing about it : and 
unless the injustice of punishing all, for the sake 
of finding out the guilty, was used, we were to- 
lerably sure of coining off clear. But we were 
once detected, and that in a most unlooked for 
manner* For several days we had, like the In- 
dian Chiefs, held a Palaver, the intent of which 
was, how we should manage the exportation of 
a large bag of apples, which we had dislodged 
from sundry fine trees in the orchard, to our 
desks in the College: at last it was finally re- 
solved by the captain of our band, that we 
should go to one of my grandfather's tenants, 
and with his compliments, beg the use of his 
taxed cart to convey us to school on the fol- 
lowing day ; (the carriage being engaged else- 
where). Of cotgrse a ready assent was given, 
and we said that we would call in the morning 
for if. Having bribe^ the groom to drive us, 
and that very early in the morning, we soon 

reached our Dames with the fruits of our pur- 

c 



18 REMINISCENCES 

Ioining : so far all appeared to go on well, but 
by the sequel it proved otherwise : for as old 
Nick, or some other mischief-making fellow 
would have it, my grandfather unfortunately 
went to the parish church of Wyraydisbury on 
the following Sunday. At the expiration of the 
service, as he was the Squire of the place, the 
farmers and others waited to make their salaams 
to him in the church-yard, the usual resort of 
the village loungers for a short period before and 
after the service. Among the number was our 
goodnatured taxed cart-lending farmer, who af- 
ter sundry remarks doubtless as is generally the 
case with them on the wetness of the season, or the 
ruinous low price of corn, and hoping that his 
honour was well, blundered out, that he was 
much pleased in being able to oblige him with 
the use of old Rose and the cart, to take Master 
Henry, and the other young gentleman, and the 
apples to school. I afterwards understood that 
he heard the story of the apples and the cart 
^jjvith perfect composure apparently : for when 



OF AN ETONIAN. 19 

excited by any thing, and in this cage there was 
just reason, he was generally, what would be 
termed, a violent man. But this calm was die 
precursor of a storm, and proved a Red sea to 
us. The truth soon flashed upon his mind : and 
it being a heinous offence, forgery of his name, 
and abduction of die apples, a note was dispatch- 
ed to Dr. Langford, the Head Master, (which 
note was conveyed by the identical groom that 
drove us over), requesting that we should be 
severely punished, which was as duly honoured 
by the acceptor : for we made expiation for our 
offence on the block in the Lower School, as is 
the case always, when put in the bill by die 
assistants, for neglect of the lesson, or any scho- 
lastic faults : then punishment inevitably fol- 
lows. 

Should I enumerate all the various tricks 
practised at home, they would lengthen out too 
much my Reminiscences of Eton, or according 
to the clerical phrase, would be beyond the 
limits of this discourse : suffice it to say then, an 



20 REMINISCENCES 

apprenticeship at Eton did not tend to diminish 
them* 

A few pages in this place to a description of 
Ankerwyke House, may not perhaps be uninter- 
esting 1 . 

It was an ancient nunnery of vast extent, and 
approached from thehigh road by a noble avenue 
of cedars and yew trees, which imported to it 
that gloom, which mostly environed the houses 
attached to religious education. To us boys, an 
indescribable awe was excited in our minds, 
when traversing its long and shadowy chambers: 
and frequently, even in midday, have we dread- 
ed to explore its upper chambers, where the 
refractory nuns were accustomed to be con- 
fined, and where the iron rings in the wall, 
recalled to the mind the harrowing punishments, 
which too often, in those days, were inflicted 
on the deluded inmates of monkish ignorance 
and barbarity. Not one of us younkers, would 
have volunteered to have ascended to the upper 
rooms after nightfall without a light on any ac- 



aF AN ETONIAN. 21 

count: this foolish dread originated, I imagine, 
in a scheme of the servants, who, to deter us 
boys from trespassing on their orgies in the ser- 
vant's hall, used to give out that certain noises 
were heard at night : that chains rattled in the 
cellars ; and that the ghosts of nuns, displaying 
their unearthly shapes, were then to be seen. At 
any rate the desired object was gained : thegreat 
hall, and the long and dreary passagefrom thence 
to the servant's hall,, were not traversed except 
by compulsion or mandate from the governor^and 
then with fear and trembling* At any rate, with 
all this mixture of boyish fears, those days were 
the happiest ; and though long gone by, and the 
place of them levelled to the ground, by a new 
proprietor, an Indian Nabob, whose estate ad- 
joined, and who purchased the property when 
my granfather left it: and though this venerable 
fabric was destroyed with almost sacrilegious 
hand; and the only reason given for this spolia- 
tion was, that an interesting ruin might be visi- 
ble from his own gew-gaw modern mansion* 



22 REMINISCENCES 

I mentioned the great hall, of course it was the 
entrance to the house, and situated between the 
dining and drawing rooms, and was about forty 
feet long, with lofty stone windows, in several 
compartments of which,were some beautifully en- 
riched specimens of painting: more particularly 
family arms, bishops and their croziers,and nuns 
praying to their ghostly fathers. It was often the 
scene of frolic to us, when a wet day would not 
allow us to have our sports externally : battle- 
door and shuttlcock,leap frog, in short any thing 
to while away the time, was enacted in the great 
hall. From my grandfather's high official si- 
tuation, of which more anon, he was frequently 
in the habit of receiving many presents, such as 
Turtles, the finest Madeira, &c. 

Upon one particular occasion, a merchant of 
Madeira, who, in the time of the war, had re- 
ceived great kindness from him, consigned to 
him a pipe of very particular Madeira, which, 
for the sake of convenience at the time of its ar- 
rival, was deposited in one corner of the hall : 



OF AN ETONIAN. 23 

no great ornament certainly, (although I wish 
I could bless my eyes with such a sight now), 
still there it was. Some few days after its ar- 
rival, a ball was given, but on what particular 
occasion, if any, I know not. But among the 
visitors I well recollect the hero of Acre Sir 
S. S. 9 as well as the great vocalist of the day, 
the inimitable Dignum. 

At the conclusion of the dancing, previous to 
supper, all went to that old English meal, with 
the exception of Sir S. and us young Etonians : 
we were so delighted with him, that like burrs 
we stuck to him. His object in staying away 
from the supper table was to have some fun, and 
sailor like, when all were seated in the supper- 
room, he recalled the fiddlers, and having sent 
for the cook, scullion, maids, and all spare hands 
hornpipes were introduced, and kept up mer- 
rily, until a move began to take place among 
thearistocratical part of the old nunnery's guests. 
While this display of the light fantastic toe, as 
well as heavy heel of the old cook, was going 



24 REMINISCENCES 

forward in the drawing room, we were not idle 
in the hall; for having mounted the pipe of 
Madeira, we personified jolly young Bacchus 
to perfection. But in the midst of our fun, (for 
we were rolling this said pipe backwards and 
forwards, considering no doubt that we were as 
effectual to its improvement as a voyage to the 
East Indies and back), when what should greet 
our, certainly not longing, eyes, but the open- 
ing of the door, and my grandfather escorting 
Lady A., preceded by the butler, to the draw- 
ing room. If our hair could have been trans- 
formed to Porcupine's quills, the tranformation 
would not have been tedious. The pipe exter- 
nally was a dead calm in an instant, whatever 
was die internal commotion. We saw suffici- 
ently from the lighting up of the good old man's 
eye, that we were in the wrong box, and with- 
out waiting for any further explanation, we, 
like old foxes, stole away. In the morning, 
previous to my grandfather's appearance, he 
not being a very early riser, we obtained the 



OF AN ETONIAN. 25 

«ar of Sir S. S., who willingly petitioned for us, 
and to our delight the storm blew over. 

A few words respecting my most excellent 
and generous grandfather. For some service 
performed for Admiral Keppell, united to an 
intimacy with the minister, William Pitt, he had 
obtained the lucrative situation of Marshal of 
the High Court of Admiralty, a situation which 
in the time of war, produced upwards of fifteen 
thousand pounds per annum. As I had the 
good fortune to be his favourite grandson, I 
very frequently experienced the fruits of it. He 
it was that sent me to Eton, and was at the sole 
expense of my education. 

Many of my schoolfellows may recollect, and 
at that time with no small feelings of envy, 
when his carriage, with two beautiful black 
horses, (and sometimes four), was drawn up at 
Barnes-pool Bridge, adjoining my Dames, on 
a Saturday to take me home to Anker wyke: 
and when perhaps, on the Monday morning, 
driven by the groom in the chaise, with the old 



26 REMINISCENCES 

long-tailed grey, I made my appearance pre- 
vious to eight o'clock school, laden with a basket 
of fruit, and an accompanying present of sweet- 
meats from the aged housekeeper, with whom I 
always made it a rule to be on the best of terms. 
In short, on such good terms was I with the old 
lady, that as I advanced in school, I seldom 
found my trunk, on returning from the holidays, 
unoccupied with sundry bottles of wine— the 
discussion of which of an after Jbur 9 was no 
disagreeable affair. 

Attached to the old house, was a very large 
wood, tenanted by a noisy republic of rooks ; 
not one of which would my grandfather, on any 
account whatever, permit to be destroyed. They 
seemed to be the presiding deities of the place. 
It was a source of much delight, in the stillness 
of a summer's evening, to observe this sable 
cloud, winging their airy flight from a distance, 
to the well-known seats' of their ancestors, sated 
with their excursions on the farmer's corn-fields. 
Previous to retiring to roost, the sound was ab- 



OF AN ETONIAN. 27 

solutely deafening to the ears of any stranger ; 
battle after battle was waged, some more fortu- 
nate, or earlier arrival at home, having posess- 
ed himself of some favorite branch, until at 
length as the Sun began to sink into the west, 
so did their ruffled tempers subside into a calm, 
though now and then interrupted by a solitary 
caw, indicating the too near neighbourhood of 
a brother rook. 

In front of the house, was a most beautiful 
lawn, separated by a field from the majestic 
Thames, at the extremity of which, a tall flag 
staff was erected, on which the Jack of Great 
Britain waved, indicating to the neighbourhood, 
like that of his royal master at Windsor, that its 
owner was in residence, and which was always 
lowered on his departure for London. 



38 REMINISCENCES 



CHAPTER II. 



High in the midst, surrounded by his peers, 

Magnus his ample front sublime uprears; 

Placed on his chair of state, he seems a god, 

While Sophs and Freshmen tremble at his nod : 

As all around sit wrapt in speechless gloom, 

His voice in thunders shakes the sounding dome; 

Denouncing dire reproach to luckless fools. 

Thoughts wuggested by a College 
Examination— Byron. 



It will not now perhaps be amiss in this place, 
nor void of interest to many who were partici- 
pators in them, to relate a few of the pastimes, 
with which our vacant hours were employed, 
interlarded with some of the devices, which found 
their origin in the brains of Etonians. 

Two and twenty years have now elapsed (truly 
1 may say, more fluentis aquae) since my resig- 
nation came : though it is more properly speak* 
ing, the resignation of a fellow of King's College, 
Cambridge ; a day most anxiously looked for, 



OF AN ETONIAN. 29 

when the boy leaves hi* nursing mother, Eton, 
and puts on the Toga virilis, at Cambridge* 
Still many things are as fresh in my mind's eye 
as if acted but yesterday. The impression made 
on the youthful mind is seldom effaced by time 
or distance. 

My Eton Reminiscences carry me back to the 
day of my initiation at my Dames, when having 
dried up my tears on leaving my kind patron, 
and after having been presented to the Head 
Master of the Lower School, Dr, Langford, I 
was entered as an Etonian . A new comer was 
soon found out, and as soon was I encompassed 
by a crowd of boys, supposing that on my first 
entrance I had plenty of cash ; which, like a 
recruit's bounty money, soon found plenty of 
customers. One thought I might as well use 
it for his benefit, with old Mrs. Carter at the 
corner of the school yard, for soc:* another 
thought that old mother Bo had some excellent 
tarts. Bo being an abbreviation for Boring* 

* An Eton phrase for eatables. 



90 REMINISCENCES. 

ton, who went by the inelegant name of gravy 
eye, solely from having an eye which was very 
watery. At any rate her tarts were very good, 
and held in great esteem ; and she was not very 
importunate in dunning for her bills after the 
holidays, a very saving quality in an Eton shop- 
keeper. 

In a short space of time, after having bled 
pretty freely, I recollect one of the upper boys 
at my Dames, asking me my name and surname. 
Having been previously instructed by some 
kind friend, I said, Pudding and tame, ask my 
dame, she will tell you the same. Which was 
immediately answered by him with a tremend- 
ous box on the ear. I was then highly hon- 
oured by the mandate, " Well Sir, you shall 
be my Fag : what are you staring at, you stupid 
ass ? you will have to get my rolls and butter 
from Mother Coker's (a well-known name 
among all Etonians). You begin tomorrow 
morning mind Sir, and see that my clothes and 
shoes are properly cleaned in the morning'." 



N 



OF AN ETONIAN. 31 

I was well aware beforehand that to kick 
would be of no benefit, and therefore I sub- 
mitted with a good grace : and from being of a 
tolerably active, and not sulky disposition, I 
soon met with kindness, and even indulgence 
from my boy master, he fagging others to save 
me. 

Consider me now, on the morning of the next 
day, with my new books all fresh from the book- 
sellers, (destined not long to remain so), with 
all the thoughts of home still lingering on my 
mind, making my entree into the Lower School, 
where, in awful grandeur, its superior ruler had 
just taken his seat. To me the vision of a cau- 
liflower wig was almost, if not quite, a perfect 
novelty : in addition to the awful dignity of the 
wig and its wearer, the often-tried block near 
to the master's right hand, met my sight, greet- 
ing one whom, within a very few days, an ac- 
quaintanceship was to take place. In short, so 
very sudden was our intimacy to begin, that 
had it not been for the usual indulgence grant- 



32 REMINISCENCES 

ed to those who incur the displeasure of the 
master, that very day would have seen me kneel- 
ing as a culprit. The case was this, and a hard 
case it was : as I was sitting at the end of a 
form, the boy next me said, " that fellow at the 
other end has been laughing at your red collar, 
send this piece of orange peel at his head." I 
not thinking much about it, and irate at the idea 
of a boy ridiculing my smart jacket, dismissed 
the orange missile, but with so bad an aim, that 
it went close to the awe-inspiring wig of the 
head master. 

Upon being questioned who had done it, and 
after having been nudged by the prompter of 
the act to say, / did it, Sir, at the same time 
looking at me, as much as to say, (as well as to 
inform the master), You did it, I directly said, 
" I did it, Sir." Upon which I was ordered up 
for punishment All necessary habiliments be- 
ing removed, and kneeling on the block, while 
two boys stood behind it holding my arms and 
clothes, and grinning all the time, I awaited the 



OF AN ETONIAN. 33 

fatal stroke, when one of then said to me, " say 
it is your first fault ," which I immediately did : 
the birch instantly fell from its upraised pos- 
ture, and I as quickly returned to my place on 
the form ; and as soon as school was oyer I 
challenged the boy to fight me for the trick he 
played upon me, and repairing to the playing 
fields, with my heart leaping all but out of my 
mouth, I set too with my antagonist ; and al- 
though the challenger, in the very first round, 
from a most untoward blow in my mouth, Iran 
off, saying that I had gotten a very bad tooth 
ache. So much for the first day of entering 
school — so much for losing my first faulty 
through another's means — and so much for los- 
ing my first battle. 

I was entered in the Lower Greek, which was 
then considered very high for my years, only 
eight, and consequently was under the parti- 
cular superintendence of the head master. With 
all the solemn dignity attached to the cauli- 
flower, it would frequently be the exciter of a 

E 



34 REMINISCENCES 

titter among those who viewed its variations : 
sometimes in the heat of explaining, or castiga- 
tion, or some other cause, this identical wig 

would get displaced ; and instead of the frontal 
point being directly on a parallel with that part 
of the human form, commonly called the nose, 
it would perhaps be paying its devoirs to one 
of the eyes, and then the effect was truly ludi- 
crous. I trust my readers will pardon so many 
lines to the Cauliflower Wig, this being the 
reign of Whiggyism. 

I was now become a regular Etonian, up to 
any thing. I recollect the first liberty* I got, 
was from the present Head Master of the Lower 
School. As I made my entree in a blue jacket 
with a red collar, from some little whim of my 
grandfather, owing to its being the same as the 
Windsor uniform, I was christened, Black JB. 
with a blue coat and a red cape. 

As to hunting small birds in the hedg'es with 

* Permission from a sixth-form boy to be out of bound; 
without being obliged to shirk him. 



OF AN ETONIAN. 35 

leaded sticks, leaping the common ditch, giving 
a duck a slight poke on the head with a stone, 
making old Pocock, the farmer, at the corner 
of Cut-throat lane, sometimes minus a few eggs, 
amassing almost a little fortune by boss and 

m 

marbles in the school yard, upper and lower 
fives, ringing or knocking at the Dames houses 
on our return from five o'clock school to our 
own Dames, taking advantage of a dark night 
of course for our rather hazardous freak ; in all 
these, and many others, I had become aufait, 
a regular professor. 

On one particular evening, I recollect being 
caught as completely, as if I had put my foot 
into a man-trap. Being at my old sport one 
very dark night, I placed my hand as usual, to 
have a knock and a run at old Mrs. H.'s, when 
lo ! to my utter dismay, just as my hand was 
about to claim old acquaintanceship with the 
cold iron, I found myself pulled into the hall 
with no slight force, and from thence as quietly 
escorted to the parlour, for an optical scrutiny 



36 REMINISCENCES 

» 

by aid of candle ; where I soon found, to my 
annoyance, that my captor or captoress, was the 
dame herself, a large powerful woman, and fol- 
lowed by her body guard, the cook and cham- 
ber-maid, to witness my capture as well as dis- 
comfiture. In this durance vile, I cannot com* 
pare myself, in any better simile, than to that of 
a shrimp in the claws of a lobster. After a se- 
vere lecture, admonitory of the future, a promise 
on my part never to do so again, (though with 
the full determination to take the first opportu- 
nity of having my revenge), and having pro- 
pitiated the good old lady by going down on 
my marrows, 1 was released from my imprison* 
ment. With all my spirit of revenge during 
the time of my incarceration, I never could 
screw up courage to knock at the door again, 
therefore I was as good as my word. I kept 
my promise. 

The mention of Dames, recalls to my memory 
a little affair which was very annoying at the 
time to one of them, a Mrs. Y., who lived not 



OP AN ETONIAN. 37 

very far from the Christopher. She was what 
is termed a regular pincher, an Elwesian lady, 
and such not being relished by the boys who 
were under her care, they determined to brozier 
her, an Eton phrase for eating up every morsel 
of the dinner, and according to the language at 
Cambridge, preached a ClerumJ* It was soon 
accomplished, and the old lady, finding that all 
her scanty store had vanished, was compelled 
to send for a supply of chops, to make up the 
deficiency. But that would not do : more was 
called for, and though often told, " Sir, you 
have not picked your bones clean," it would 
not do. The consequence was, that her patience 
was exhausted, and she laid a complaint before 
the head master, Dr. H», who, I presume, from 
a previous knowledge of her parsimonious cha- 
racter, only lectured the gormandising culprits, 
and omitted the punishment due to them from 
having fallen under the old lady's displeasure. 
This was the only instance in which I can re- 

* A Latin Sermon previous to taking; a Doctor's degree. 



38 REMINISCENCES 

collect castigation not following on the heels of 
complaint. 

They certainly were rare eaters, as a boy 
once construed in school, Tempus edax return — 
time is a rare eater.* At any rate it is a very 
unjust thing to stint the boys in regard to plenty 
of wholesome food ; as they are well paid for 
their sustenance, and in a few years are enabled, 
by prudence without parsimony, to amass a 
sufficiency to retire in comfort. In short, from 
the general respectability of the ladies who su- 
perintend the Boarding-houses at Eton, such a 
thing seldom occurs. I think I may state that 
Mrs. Y. was almost a solitary instance in that 
particular. 

* This reminds me of an anecdote which occurred at the 
great School at Reading many years since. On the clock in the 
school room, the maker had placed, as a motto, Tempus Jugit. 
An Indian nabob who had been educated there, but perhaps 
lost all his latin among the heats of India, in travelling through 
Reading on his return from abroad, had a desire to see the old 
school room. His desire having been gratified, he cast his 
eyes on the motto of the clock, and immediately exclaimed, 
" Ah! there is my old friend Tom Fudgit" >A specimen f 
his Latinity. 



OF AN ETONIAN. 39 

At my own Dames, the excellent Mrs. Hun- 
ters, we fared excellently well : on the Sunday 
our usual dinner was a boiled round of beef, 
roast chickens, and plum puddings, and I do 
not recollect that it was ever varied in any re* 
spect. 



40 REMINISCENCES 



CHAPTER III. 

Alas! regardless of their doom 

The little victims play! 

No sense have they of ills to come, 

No care beyond to day. 

Yet see how all around them wait, 

The ministers of human fate, 

And black misfortune's baleful train ! 

Ah ! shew them where in ambush stand 

To seize their prey, the murderous band ! 

Gray* 8 Distant Prospect of 
Eton College, 

Within two or three years of my entrance 
at Eton, a most unfortunate and truly pitiable 
accident occurred to one of the lesser boys of 
the school, and which created a great sensation 
of sympathy among his schoolfellows, not mere* 
ly from the agony which the poor little fellow 
endured, but from the general love which was 
entertained towards him, from his particularly 
amiable disposition. 



OF AN ETONIAN. 41 

His name was G., and if I can recollect 
aright, he was the son of the Russian Ambas- 
sador. 

Living as Etonians do under the immediate 
wing of Royalty, they have always, as a body 
of youth, been attached to their King and the 
Constitution of the land ; and of course being 
enemies to those who would endeavour to sub- 
vert and destroy the kingly power, they have 
always participated in the customary fun of the 
fifth of November, by shewing their abhorrence 
of popery, and all their knavish tricks, in burn- 
ing Guy Fawkes's " effigy," and demonstrat- 
ing their joy with as much noise, as squibs and 
crackers would produce. 

Poor G., inter tot multos, had filled his 
pockets with what proved to him the instru- 
ments of death, to enjoy the frolics of the even- 
ing, when Lord C, now the Marquis of S., 
in all the mirth and happiness then predomi- 
nant, unfortunately squibbed, as it is called, 
poor G. Some of the fireworks, which were 



42 REMINISCENCES 

in his pockets, immediately ignited, which com- 
municating to the rest their deadly errand, 
exploded, and literally tore off a portion of the 
flesh from his bones. The poor fellow's screams 
were dreadful, and he died within a short time 
afterwards. 

This sad affair threw a gloom over us for a 
long time : sports were almost forgotten : and 
more particularly when the day came for his 
burial, the awe of which was strongly augment- 
ed, by the solemnity with which the Funeral 
Service, (that most beautiful and sublime selec- 
tion of prayers), was read by the Head Master. 
I think I may with truth aver, that among our 
whole body of upwards of five hundred boys, 
not a dry eye was to be seen. 

To my dying day, I shall never forget the 
impression made on myself, when, with a trem- 
bling anticipation of the approaching procession, 
I heard the first words, " I am the resurrection 
and the life," and then, as by degrees the fu- 
neral procession wound up the church stairs, 



I 

•4 



i ■ 



\ 



\ 





OF AN ETONIAN. 43 

and at length the sky-blue coffin broke upon 
my sight, I could scarcely command my feel- 
ings, so as not to have fainted* A schoolfellow, 
one with whom, but a few days before, I had 
flayed, was for ever removed, and nought but 
earth remained. 

It was a long time before Lord C, who was 
the innocent cause of his death, recovered from 
die melancholy into which he was plunged 
by this untoward circumstance. Poor G.'s 
sorrowing parents (he was, I believe, an only 
son), immediately returned to Russia in conse- 
quence. 

One of the favourite games among Etonians, 
is that of football,* a game which requires a 
great deal of activity and spirit, and is frequent- 
ly the occasion of many a battle, from the vio- 
lence with which it is played : and where an 
opportunity is too often taken, of wreaking a 

* Made by old Stringuall, in my day, celebrated for being 1 
such a long-winded old fellow, in tightening the bladder of the 
football with his mouth, (by means of a piece of tobacco pipe), 
which was covered with leather. 



44 REMINISCENCES 

spite on the shin of another, to whom you have 
no particular favour. 

Once in my own case, I recollect, a boy, with 
#hom I was daggers drawn, and somewhat 
my superior in age, was opposed to me in ttfe 
game. I was going away with the ball in style 
towards the goal, a large tree, when I was op- 
posed by this other boy, who determined, I sup- 
pose, to stop me in my career. He struck, as 
he pretended, at the ball, but most maliciously, 
as well as judiciously, gave me an exceedingly 
violent blow on the shin, which laid it open, and 
floored, or rather grassed, me ; I was confined 
for upwards of a week at my Dames. 

Whenever any disputes arise among the boys, 
after four is the time generally appointed for 
settling the question of supremacy. But a 
quarrel having originated between a Colleger 
and an Oppidan, much his superior in size and 
strength, it was so managed between the se- 
conds, that the morning of a whole holiday 
should be selected, as giving more time for de- 
ciding the .superiority of the antagonists. 



OF AN ETONIAN. 45 

It was well known, as had been previously 
proved, that the Colleger was game, and would 
not very soon call out "I yield" It may per- 
haps be as well, in this place, to mention, that a 
kind of rivalry generally existed between Col- 
legers and Oppidans. I can scarcely account 
for the feeling, but that such was the case in my 
time, was pretty certain : it is now, I believe and 
hope, subsiding. 

Owing to Collegers having nothing else but 
roasted mutton for their dinner and supper, the 
Oppidans applied to them the name of Tug 
Muttons ; but woe to him who dared to use that 
term, indicatory of reproach, if an upper Col- 
leger heard him — he had no mercy shewn him. 
But to our combatants. 

Bets to a large amount for boys' pockets, were 
made on the occasion. It was, in our little com- 
monwealth, something like the battle of the 
Horatii and the Curatii, (only that our heroes 
were single on each side), it was to decide 
which were to be the superior. The two heroes, 



46 REMINISCENCES 

(and they justified my term by their courage), 
came into the arena at six. All due prelimi- 
naries having been adjusted, they set to, and 
after continued hard fighting, they were just as 
forward as when they began. Such was their 
obstinacy, that neither would yield, though 
cruelly beaten. Nor was it until the Head Mas- 
ter, having been apprised of what was going 
forward, made his appearance, and with his 
potent authority separated the combatants. This 
battle was long remembered, and was of nearly 
three hour's duration. Battles are an every 
day occurrence. A mere look is sometimes con- 
strued into impertinence, and the demand made, 
whether such a one intended to be impertinent? 
If assented to, (though not in the first place 
thought of), but merely from a spirit of oppo- 
sition, a battle takes place. 

It is very seldom that any thing serious oc- 
curs, yet I observed a few years since, in the 
year 1825, the death of the Hon. F. Ashley 
Cooper, son of the Earl of Shaftsbury, after a 
pugilistic combat with his schoolfellow. 



OF AN ETONIAN. 47 

This is a thing of very rare occurrence, and 
considering the variety of dispositions, the great 
number of boys congregated together, we can- 
not be surprised at an accident happening, which 
it has, nevertheless, seldom fallen to the lot of 
Etonians to record. In short, if I recollect 
aright, this young nobleman's death was occa- 
sioned by his head falling on a stone in the 
school yard, the battle having taken place there, 
instead of the usual resort of combat, the Play- 
ing Fields. 

I cannot consider the game of football as be- 
ing at all gentlemanly. It is a game which the 
common people of Yorkshire are particularly 
partial to, the tips of their shoes being heavily 
shod with iron ; and frequently death has been 
known to ensue from the severity of the blows 
inflicted thereby. 

Another amusement, that of cricket, one of 
the most scientific and manly sports, is that in 
which Etonians are particularly adept : no club, 
no school, being able to say, with any degree of 



j 



i 



48 REMINISCENCES. 

justice, that they can conquer them. That, and 
Rowing, in the round of athletic amusements, 
Eton all the world over. A match which took 
place while I was there, caused a great deal of 
talk at the time in the sporting world, and raised 
the boy who was the principal actor in it, to 
almost that of an idol, among hisfelloic-workm 
men. 

To prove and determine the evident superi- 
ority of Etonians above all other schools in die 
cricketing field, the Marylebone club, the great 
arbiter of the Bat, Ball, and Stumps, challeng- 
ed our boys to a trial of skill. 

The Playing Fields, on the news being pro- 
claimed, that a match was to take place, became 
the scene of more than its wonted bustle and 
activity. The whole hive were on the qui vive, 
the sawnies, who would rather have been at 
their books, or taking some meditative strolls, 
were fagged to fetch the balls, stop behind, and 
various drudgeries not much to their amuse- 
ment. As to losing a quarter of an hour to 



OF AN ETONIAN. 49 

drink tea after six, either the Oppidan at his 
Dames, or the Colleger at his rooms up town, 
no, the fags must make it and bring it in bottles 
on the ground. 

The day of joy and hope, and a holiday of 
course selected for die occasion, all was visible 
delight : the sawnies even, and the bookworms, 
could not help taking some pleasure in the 
wished-for success of the day — and that day 
was a glorious one : it was one of the Almighty's 
most beautiful of the creation — it was a cricket 
day ; one in which that noble game is enjoyed 
to perfection, when not a cloud obscures the 
sky. 

The tents as usual were erected in the Shoot- 
ing Fields, the wickets were pitched, and the 
Marylebone having gained the toss, went in first. 
At the second ball from my friend P. down 
went a wicket. The spirit which usually per- 
vades the breasts of Etonians, (though longing 
to shout forth their joy at the downfall of their 
adversary), was pent up : it was only the silent 

G 



50 REMINISCENCES 

language of the eye, or the smile that decked 
their countenances. The gentlemen of the Mary- 
lebone club were our visitors, therefore no ex- 
ultation during the progress of the game, would 
have been considered as correct, or fitting the 
characters of gentlemen. In short, the bales 
struck off by my friend P., flew into the air, 
aided by the scientific stumping of my poor 
friend Jack S., now gone to his last home. 

The Marylebone were out. The number they 
scored were few. Our principal batsman, Sir 
Christopher W., went in first, and from a system 
of beautiful blocking, he not only wearied out 
the skill, and even tne patience of his adversaries, 
but he staid in to the very last : nor was he then 
out. Eton nearly doubled that of their adver- 
saries in the first innings. One of the bowlers 
on the other side, somewhat annoyed at the in- 
cessant blocking of his excellent balls, could 
not help saying, though a little too loud for Sir 
Christopher's ear, " D — n the fellow, there is 
no getting hitn out." Upon which, with the 



OF AN ETONIAN. 51 

greatest mildness, he answered him, " You need 
not d — n me though, for you will not get me 
out a bit thesooner, I assure you ; and now, Sir, 
bowl on again, if you please." 

After the refreshment of dinner, provided by 
our old friend Garraway, the respected landlord 
of the Christopher Inn, at Eton, the friendly 
strife was again renewed. Play was the word, 
and the Marylebone fetched up their lost notches 
and marked a most respectable score besides. 
At the conclusion of their innings, it was con- 
sidered too late in the evening for Eton to go 
in, the match was therefore postponed until the 
following day. 

Again our hero Sir Christopher began the 
innings, and continued it until a sufficiency of 
notches were gained to make us the conquerors 
of the first club in England, and that in a great 
measure, from the admirable batting of the 
young baronet. The scene is now as fresh to 
my memory, as when heated with the exercise 
of the game, and followed by the applause of 



52 REMINISCENCES 

the remainder of the eleven, (the rest being in 
school), Sir C. made his appearance in the 
Upper School. For the time all construing 
ceased, and our Head Master greeted the mod- 
est Sir Christopher with language savouring of 
the greatest delight. He might have applied to 
him the words of Cicero to the conspirator Ca- 
tiline, (though not in the language of reproach, 
but of admiration), in te omnium convertuntur 
oculi : the eyes of all were indeed upon him, 
but they were those of the highest pleasure. 

Thus ended the long talked of match. I be- 
lieve, in his own boyish days, our respected head 
master had played no indifferent part in the 
field of cricket ; at any rate he used always to 
be much interested in its progress, and encour- 
aged the practice of it, by having absence call- 
ed in the Playing-fields during the summer, in 
order that the boys might not be taken away 
from their play, to answer to their names being 
called in the school yard. 

Among those whom I recollect as being par- 



OF AN ETONIAN. 53 

tial to that manly game, and who was at the 
same Dames with me, is the present Lord S., 
of L. Court, in the county of Kent : a noble- 
man in whom nearly every virtue that can adorn 
the man, is truly conspicuous : who yearly in- 
dulges his friends, and the neighbouring gentry, 
with that amusement in his beautiful park, 
where the hospitality of an English nobleman 
presides, over the whole — a nobleman liberal to 
the poor in his neighbourhood, and ever ready 
to relieve distress. Of his kindness, the author 
of these Reminiscences has received convincing 
proofs, and he hesitates not, with gratitude, here 
to make the acknowledgement. So much for 
Cricket. 



54 REMINISCENCES 



CHAPTER IV. 



My gay competitors, noble as I» 

Raced for oar pleasure in the pride of strength, 

While the lair populace of crowding beauties, 

Plebeian as patrician, cheered us on 

With dazzling smiles, and wishes audible, 

And waving 'kerchiefe, and applauding hands 

Even to the goal. 

Byron's Two Potcari. 



I will now turn the attention of my readers 
to a different element for amusement* Water 
shall be my theme, for in it and on it, Etonians 
shine. Mostly speaking, they are excellent 
swimmers, and frequently display their skill in 
the art, by leaping, head foremost, from the top 
of Windsor Bridge, or according to an Eton 
phrase, taking headers. Sometimes also by 
swimming from the Upper Hope, through 



OF AN ETONIAN. 55 

Windsor Bridge, down to Cotton's Hole, a 
distance, I should think, little less, if any, 
than threemiles. That I have known repeat- 
edly done. 

As Fishers, they are excellent, particularly 
one of them, by name Tom H., with gut and 
hooks twisted round his hat ; could I put words 
into the mouth of the Cobler,* or the Shallows, 
where Scaggersf abound, would sufficiently 
testify ; those places being noted for trout, as 
well as sometimes salmon trout. Fellow's Ayot 
would also come in as a witness to what 1 as- 
sert, in respect to the number of barbel caught 
at its point by the boys. 

On the broad bosom of the Thames, the oars 
of Eton have often gained the prize ; and but 
a few weeks since, I with pleasure observed, 
that the gentlemen of Westminster School have 
again been compelled to yield the meed of hon- 

* The Cobler is a stone projection in the Thames, below Wind- 
sor Bridge separating the main river from the locks, 
t Scaggers, a small kind of trout, peculiar to the Thames. 



56 REMINISCENCES 

our to their usually hitherto superior adversa- 
ries in the art of rowing. 

The Fourth of June has been, for more than 
half a century, a day of joyful anticipation to 
the boys, it being the birth-day of our late 
beloved monarch, George II F. For months 
previous, on every Saturday evening, it was the 
custom to practice in the several boats appoint- 
ed to row to Surly Hall, on that day of festivity 
to a delighted nation. 

At this spot a handsome supper was prepar- 
ed for the boys under the shade of some fine 
trees ; and which rural fete, was often honour- 
ed by the presence of some of the Royal Family, 
and a numerous assemblage of rank and fashion, 
delighted to observe the rapidity, with which 
the several viands made their exit. His Ma- 
jesty used to grant the use of his Band, which 
was a most powerful auxiliary to the pleasures 
of the evening. 

The alloted boats, with their envied crews 
neatly apparelled in fanciful dresses, proceeded 



OF AN ETONIAN. 57 

to this place, which is situated not far from 
Monkey Island, where, having partaken of the 
various viands, as before mentioned, again em- 
barked on their return for Windsor Bridge, the 
principal goal of their exertions. 

Among the dresses of the boats' crews, was 
one which excited the most general admiration. 
It belonged to the foremost ten-oared boat, and 
was in the costume of Turkish Galley Slaves ; 
and what gave an additional charm, particu- 
larly in the eyes of the ladies, was, that they 
were all selected for their beauty — it was a most 
decided hit 

Had I die pen of a ready writer, I would en- 
deavour to describe the emulation of the dif- 
ferent rowers, the eager endeavour to pass the 
foremost boat, and snatch from her the honour 
of the distinguished superiority ; but futile was 
the attempt : the boat containing the Ottoman 
crew, chained to their oars throughout the whole 
evening, kept its place as Admiral of the Fleet. 
Had I the pen of a ready writer, I would en- 

H 



58 REMINISCENCES. 

deavour to depict the shores lined with specta- 
tors, 

The busy sounds, the bustle of the shore, 
The shout, the signal, and the dashing oar. 

The royal cortege on the bridge, the delightful 
echoes of the various instruments, floating in 
harmonic cadences along the rapid waters ; the 
rushing flight of the rockets, the innumerable 
fireworks displayed on Piper's Ayot, casting 
their resplendent glare on the stream of our fa- 
voured river ; the deafening shouts of the popu- 
lace, or the high-pitched voices of the crew of 
that boat, which had the misfortune to be bump- 
ed, (an Eton phrase for one boat being struck 
on the stern by the prow of the one succeeding 
it), and which generally terminated in chal- 
lenges for mortal combat on the following Mon- 
day. And last of all this picture of happiness 
was heightened by the distant view of the tur- 
reted grandeur of Windsor's lofty castle, giv- 
ing the coup de grace to the beauty of the 
scene. 



OF AN ETONIAN. 59 

These were indeed days of envied joys ; days 
in which often originated the desire in the youth- 
ful bosom, that on a more stormy wave, (than 
that of Father Thames), where the fury of the 
battle raged, he might encounter the enemies of 
his country ; aud those wishes have been often 
realised, and with honour have they been 
crowned. 

Among my schoolfellows was Horace N. (now 
alas ! gone to his fathers), the nephew of him 
whom this land, grateful for his services, dis- 
tinguished by the title of Immortal, from the 
noble, daring, and subsequent success of his 
deeds. Well do I recollect the morning, when, 
from information transmitted to the Head Master, 
poor N. was called up to him, and in a kind and 
delicate manner, was informed of the untoward 
event, by which he was deprived of his uncle 
at the celebrated battle of Trafalgar : and though 
the tears were visible in his eyes, still was there 
lurking in his countenance a smile of delight, 



00 REMINISCENCES 

at the greatest victory ever gained by this couu- 
try in her naval engagements. 

These are Reminiscences, and I trust they 
will be received as such by my readers, for they 
are the words of truth. The aid of fiction is 
not here called in— every thing I relate, (with 
but one exception), I was an eye witness to, and 
often an active agent in their execution. 

One of the many pleasures which we derived 
from our contiguity to the royal residence, was 
the frequent opportunity which we obtained of 
seeing our beloved Monarch, who was much 
attached to stag-hunting ; and as one of the fa- 
vourite places, where the swift-footed tenant of 
the Great Park was thrown off, was between 
Slough and Langley Broom, it mostly happened 
that he was taken through Eton : the appearance 
of the green covered cart about nine o'clock, 
was certaiu evidence that we should see the 
King previous to eleven : a conclusion in 
which we were never disappointed, while be 



OP AN ETONIAN. 61 

was in good health, and resident at the Cas- 
tle. 

Seated on Longwalk wall,* (where by the bye 
my name is cut oat in glorious large letters 
nearly opposite the Church door), we awaited 
his approach. He was generally preceded by old 
Davis, the huntsman, with the Staghounds, nor 
was he long behind, escorted by his attendants, 
master of the hounds, and some of the neigh- 
bouring gentry : Sometimes he was also attend- 
ed by that beloved daughter,! whose death he 
so deeply lamented. 

Here with hat in hand we greeted his arrival : 
nor do I ever recollect any time when he did 
not stop, to ask various questions of those who 
had the good fortune to attract his attention — 
mostly some of the young nobility, with whose 
parents his Majesty was acquainted, and whom, 
if once introduced to him, his peculiarly reten- 
' tive memory never allowed him to forget. 

' * A long wall in front of the School, 

j f The Princess Amelia. 



I 



62 REMINISCENCES 

" Well, well, my boy, when were you flog- 
ged last, Eh, Eh ? Your master is very kind to 
you all, is not he ? Have you had any rebel- 
lions lately, Eh, Eh ¥ Naughty boys you know 
sometimes. Should not you like to have a ho- 
liday, if 1 hear a good character of you, Eh, Eh ? 
Well, well, we will see about it — But be good 
boys. Who is to have the Montem this year V 9 
" Such a one your Majesty." " Lucky fellow, 
lucky fellow." 

This was a general topic of conversation dur- 
ing the day ; and though one of such frequent 
occurrence, nay almost every week during the 
huntiug season, still was it always attended with 
delight, and the anticipation of something good 
to follow from it. 

It was amusing to hear the various remarks 
made by some of the boys who happened not to 
have been present at the time of the Royal Ca- 
valcade passing, and who of course were anxi- 
ous to have the reports of what had occurred. 
" Well, what did old George say ? Did he say 



OF AN ETONIAN. 63 

that be would ask for a holiday for us ? By 
Jove I hope that he will, for I want to ride Ste- 
ven's new che&mit to Egham." " You be hang- 
ed," says another, " 1 want to go to Langley to 
see my Aunt, who has promised to give me 
Syllabubs, the first after four, that I can go." 
Another perhaps wanted to have Davis's Tandem 
to drive to Virginia water, a favourite excursion 
with the boys. 

Such and the like expectations of holiday hap- 
piness, were as often anticipated and frequently 
realised, by the ride of England's Monarch, 
through the town of Eton. 

I believe few of our Melton Mowbray men 
would have liked to have followed the Stag 
hounds, when his Majesty was with them : as 
he never rode fast, and of course it was the eti- 
quette, that no one should ride before the King. 
When I was in the sixth form as the walking 
Prapostor, I frequently have had a gallop with 
them, and once I recollect being witness to a 
very fine sight — the stag at bay in a pond on 



64 REMINISCENCES 

Datchet Common. He wounded three or four 
of the dogs, but was eventually secured without 
being materially hurt by the hounds. Among 
the stags selected for the royal sport, was one 
noble fellow, which was dignified by the name 
of the Hendon Deer, from his having been taken 
after a very severe run to Hendon in Middle- 
sex. Whenever it was known that this deer 
was to be hunted, there was always a very 
large field. In short, he was as renowned in 
the field, as our noble Arthur ; only that the 
one was as quick in flying away from his ene- 
mies, as the other was in pursuing them. 



4 

l 



OF AN ETONIAN. 65 



CHAPTER V. 

The rude will scuffle through with ease enough, 
Great Schools suit best the sturdy and the rough. 

Coxcper's Tirocinium. 

After a servitude of nearly five years, as a 
Lower Oppidan, and during my apprenticeship 
having become a tolerably good proficient in 
the art of blacking shoes, cleaning knives, sharp- 
ing a stray roll or two from another boy's room 
for my master's breakfast, I got into the Fifth 
Form, and at the same time was entered as a 
Colleger, which term, in other words, is a pen- 
sioner under King Henry the Sixth of blessed 
memory,* Now began a very different life to 
that which I had passed at my Dames, the ex- 
cellent hearted Mrs. Hunter's. 

• The Founder of Eton College, and King's College, Cam- 
bridge. 

I 



y 



66 REMINISCENCES 

Many, many years have elapsed since the 
good old lady resigned her life to her Maker, 
but never, to the latest moment of my existence, 
will I forget the genuine maternal kindness 
which she displayed towards me, and other little 
boys, which were under her care. Many and 
oft is the time, when Lower Boy* has been call- 
ed, that she has locked me up in a cupboard m 
her parlour, to escape from the drudgery, and 
at the same time sad annoyance of the Fagging 
system. 

Though I make this remark, I am not averse 
to the plan, nor join in the outcry which has 
been lately made against it at Winchester. If 
it is so bad and so demoralizing to the charac- 
ter of a gentleman's son, what, in the name of 
Heaven, is it to be compared with the treatment 
which a middy meets with in the cockpit, from 
his brother middies, as well as from the senior 
officers of the ship % His rations frequently 

* The key-note of an upper boy when he wants a lower hoy 
to fag for him. 



OF AN ETONIAN. 67 

prigged by a brother blue — cut down in the 
dead of the night in his hammock— often mast- 
headed for looking in a way that may be deem- 
ed impertinent, by some tyrannical first lieu- 
tenant — obliged to take his part in the regular 
duty of the ship, by night as well as by day ; 
and many disagreeable inconveniences attached 
to the cockpit, which us landsmen know nought 
about : and yet, when they come to man's es- 
tate, are they at all the worse for their previous 
hardships, or less the gentlemen ? For my own 
part, and I speak with some little experience, 
I think it is beneficial to a boy, for should he, 
m after life, experience the fickleness of fortune, 
he is able all the better to rough it. 

Can any one say that, as a body, more gen- 
tlemanly characters exist than officers of the 
British navy, and I have had the pleasure of 
being intimately acquainted with them. The 
quarter deck of a man-of-war is no bad school 
even for politeness. Of course to my assertion 
there are exceptions, where some, from the na- 



68 REMINISCENCES 

tare of the service, have a little spice of the 
Trunnion of old, and are more fitted to com* 
mand a ship of war, than to enter the drawing- 
room— of this description I certainly know 
some. This fuss then about Fagging, I cer- 
tainly consider to be something similar to the 
name of one of our old English comedies, Much 
ado about nothing. 

I have here diverged a little from my entrance 
into College, which was the beginning of a new 
and different sort of life, to what is experienced 
at the [>ames« There her watchful eye kept 
tolerably good order, but when once entered 
into Long Chamber, the captain is the arbiter 
of your happiness or otherwise : though the other 
Sixth Form boys, as well as the Liberty boys, 
(like lieutenants and middies in a ship), have 
great power over the Lower boys, yet make the 
captain your friend, nothing is to be feared. 

A few words in this place respecting Long 
Chamber. From what I can now recollect, I 
should think that it was nearly one hundred and 



OF AN ETONIAN. <69 

eighty feet long, though I may not be quite 
correct in the length. On each side a range of 
old oaken bedsteads, (the tenants for centuries 
of this ancient dormitory), no sacking, and no 
curtains, and between every bedstead a high 
desk with a cupboard under for each boy — this 
desk contains all that they have, or need re- 
quire. 

The leaf of a book torn off, doubled, and a 
hole cut in the centre, forms the only candle- 
stick which he has ; should he wish to read in 
bed, the candle is removed from the above can* 
dlestick, and claims affinity with the back of 
the old bedstead by being stuck against it. 
Should the drowsy god overtake the boy in his 
nocturnal study in bed, and burn down to the 
wood, no harm will accrue, as all the old bed- 
steads will prove, being pretty well striped with 
charcoal, evidences of the incumbustible nature 
of the old oak, and he will not be long before 
he awakes from the unpleasant smell of the 
wood, or perhaps, what is more likely, by a 



70* REMINISCENCES 

good tweak of the nose from his next neigh- 
bour. 

A coarse cloth gown is the peculiar badge 
and external form of being a Colleger. Woe 
unto the boy that ever enters College with a 
bad temper ; be it good or bad, it will at first 
be tried by all manner of ways, disagreeable to 

those who have not been accustomed to rough 
usage — by degrees it will wear off: and I, as 
having been one who saw some little of Long 
Chamber tricks, will have the ingenuousness to 
own, (excepting the period when I was in Carl- 
ton Chamber), that I never partook of more 
happiness, than when lying on my hard wooden 
bedstead, fatigued with various sports, perhaps 
from a little skirmishing with some Oppidans 
at hoops, a favourite and healthy sport in the 
autumn and winter season, in the school yard 
and cloisters ; and in the exercise of which some 
pretty hard blows arise : and when opposed to 
each other, which is always the case, the Col- 
leger, rather presumptuously, considers himself 



OF AN ETONIAN. 71 

equal to at least three Oppidans, something like 
John Bull's estimate of his opposite neighbour's 
fighting qualities. 

It must be owned that the freaks of the upper 
boys are somewhat annoying. Many and many 
is the time, when writing at my desk, and my 
exercise all but prepared for the scrutiny of the 
head master on the following morning, that a 
bolster, shaken down hard to one end, and 
urged with a skilful hand, has sent my poor 
candlestick flying on to my bed, and given to 
my rug the benefit of its tallowy odour ; and 
in addition to this, my ink bottle, at that moment 
also overthrown by the same irresistible weapon, 
making certain inroads of the river Niger over 
my luckless exercise, equally as uncertain of 
its source — or perhaps, should a boy be amus- 
ing himself after he is locked up at half-past 
eight, with a walk up and down chamber, 
Nescio quid meditans nugarum, et totus in 
UKs f he finds his head come in contact with the 
old oaken floor, in a most sudden and unex- 



/ 
/ 



72 REMINISCENCES 

pected manner. This is effected by one of the 
upper boys stealing from off one of the bed- 
steads on which he has been sitting, and the mo- 
ment the other has passed on, he comes behind 
his victim, and with one fell swoop of the bol- 
ster on the heels, down he goes. As to com- 
plaining, that was out of the question — it was 
the chance of war. 

But this was trifling when compared with 
others, which I have known some poor fellows 
to undergo, and what was very far from agree* 
able to the sense of feeling — that of being, in 
the middle of the night, awakened by finding a 
cy rope fastened to your great toe, and, having 
been assisted by some officious friend out of 
bed in the dark, and at the same time kept by 
him from falling, ran up, as the sailor would 
term it, the whole length of Long Chamber and 
back again, and then thrown on your bed, the 
noose whipped off, and then to sleep with what 
appetite you may. You afterwards perceive, 
when left to your meditations, that the rope has 



OF AN ETONIAN. 73 

been rather too fond of your toe, and a painful 
soreness follows your nocturnal wandering. 
That ordeal I had the good fortune to escape, 
though I was aware that I was booked for it. 

If a whispering was heard, after all the lights 
were put out, it was then pretty certain that 
something was afloat ; and as it was utterly im- 
possible to know who was to suffer, the only 
way, supposing it was yourself, was to move 
quietly out of bed, put your rug up to the bol- 
ster as if you had not been there, and then 
creep under three or four bedsteads at a dis- 
tance from your own, and there lie perdu, until 
this tyranny be over past. 

Another species of fun (like the log to the 
frogs, fun on one side and death to the other), 
or kick-shin annoyance, was put into practice 
on your entrance to a particular part of the 
school, equally as agreeable to the tiroes, as 
Neptune's visit to those who had never before 
crossed the line — 1 mean what is termed being 
put into play. 



74 REMINISCENCES 

I will explain it. Around one of the large 
fireplaces in Long Chamber, two bedsteads are 
placed close together on each side, and two at 
the end, making a tolerable sized square. The 
boy, who is put into play, is placed in one cor- 
ner, next to the captain, a certain number of 
the elite, or head boys, being seated around on 
the bedsteads. At a given signal, the captain 
starts him with a kick of no slight nature, which 
generally sends him to the opposite side, from 
thence he makes a return, quite as expeditious 
ly : backwards and forwards he goes, like a shut- 
tlecock, with this difference, that the one is com- 
posed of cork and feathers and no feeling, and 
he is made of flesh and blood, being very sen- 
sitive. 

After a reasonable, or to speak more correctly, 
an unreasonable time, when he has been pretty 
well bandied about, with some few bruises be- 
ginning to make theirappearauce, he is permitted 
to make his way through the hostile phalanx, 
and clear the bedsteads, leaving his place to be 



OF AN ETONIAN. 75 

taken by another, who has been a shivering 
spectator of number one's amusement : some* 
thing in the style of a Portuguese execution of 
traitors, where each has to await the death of 
the other, and be the unwilling spectator of 
their sufferings. 

This is denominated Play, though the next 
morning a certain stiffness generally accom- 
panies his waking hours. But it is only once, 
soon over, soon forgotten ; though previous to 
it often thought of with dread—- and the worst 
of it all is, that unlike to a freshman's entrance 
to Neptune's dominions, (who can be appeased 
by a gallon of rum), here there is no remission : 
no bribery allowed : no outward semblance of a 
Grampounder — all are intent on giving him a 
benefit. Still with all these essentials necessary 
to your degree as a Colleger, I would prefer 
that life, had I the option as a boy, to that of 
the Oppidan : though both are agreeable, still 
there is more of life in the former. 



76 REMINISCENCES. 



CHAPTER VI. 



Their wild excursions, and window-breaking feats, 
Bobbery of gardens, quarrels4n the streets, 
Their hair breadth 'scapes, and all ttefr daring schemes, 
Transport torn, and are made ttef r Jaronrite themes. 

CowperU Tirocinium, 



Somewhat of a curious circumstance occur- 
red in College, but in which I had no hand, 
nor in any degree participated in the sweets of 
it. A sow, very near her accouchement, had 
been observed by the boys feeding in Western's 
Yard, close to the dormitory; when a most 
mischievous thought occurred, that she might 
be made useful to some of the community— the 
thought was no sooner devised, than means as 
speedily used to put it in execution : a few choice 
spirits, ever active for any sport, were soon en- 



OF AN ETONIAN. 77 

listed, and the plan laid before them. One boy 
was directed to keep the animal, (without any 
apparent intention of so doing), feeding in a 
particular corner until dark. 

The scheme succeeded admirably : by throw- 
ing one of their cloth gowns oyer the old lady's 
snout, to obscure her vision, as well as to con- 
fine her squeaking trumpet from giving too 
much tongue, immediately, by the exertions of 
four stout boys, and no easy matter either, she 
was landed on the top of a tower attached to 
Long Chamber: here she was regularly fed 
until some little piggy wiggies came to light ; 
which, as soon as they were considered to be of 
sufficient age, dangled before the fire in Cham- 
ber, and afforded the captors delicious suppers, 
the pleasure of course enhanced by the pota- 
tions which Johnny Bear* brought from the 

• A well-known character in my day, paid weekly by a cer- 
tain number of the boys, as a carrier of eatables and drink- 
ables, after we were locked up at half-past eight ; of course not 
allowed by the College ; though well known, yet winked at by 
-the authorities, id ert, the Head Master. 



78 REMINISCENCES 

Christopher Inn, and received through the bars 
of Lower Chamber window, the usual receiving 
room of all smuggled goods, it being on the 
ground floor, and adjoining the school yard. 

As soon as the young fry had all paid the 
forfeit of their lives, for venturing to make their 
appearance within the precincts of the tower, 
(no court martial being requisite, but like spies, 
hanged without trial), the mamma was sent 
about her business to seek her old quarters, 
minus offspring ; and I have little hesitation in 
saying, that had her swinish ladyship ventured 
again to have visited our royal domains, in the 
same enceinte condition, all circumstances al- 
lowing, the result would have been the same. 
Not only young pigs, but almost any other de- 
scription of live stock would have stood a bad 
chance, more particularly when it is considered 
what was the College allowance for a number 
of hungry boys, not according, I believe, to the 
intention of King Henry. 



OF AN ETONIAN. 79 

A loin of mutton,* or a leg, was between 
eight boys, a shoulder also : and a neck be- 
tween four : and when it is further considered, 
that all these joints, never boiled, (except by 
paying C. the cook for so doing), but con- 
stantly roasted almost to a chip, the dripping 
being his perquisite, and a good thing he made 
of it, for he took especial care to squeeze the 
most out of it for his own benefit ; considering 
these things, together with the mutton being of 
the small South-Down breed, it may not be 
very wonderful, at any thing in the shape of 
eatables not coming amiss. 

The above piggish trick, though savouring 
some little of the felonious, or forcible abduction, 
was no bad specimen of an Etonian trick.: but 
another that was undertaken, was, I believe, an 
actual felony : the two actors in it being dead, 
I do not at all hesitate to relate it, their names 



* These things are altered now through the inquiries of Mr. 
Brougham (now Lord Chancellor) into public charities, and a 
greater allowance given. 



80 REMINISCENCES 

of course being, sub nube : in short, I do not 
know whether I might not have been termed an 
accessory to the fact : I am certain of this one 
thing, that it caused in me, no slight sensation 
of alarm. 

About one o'clock in the morning, having 
previously been preparing my verses for die 
morrow, I had gone to a remote room, at the 
end of Long Chamber, called Phorica, the 
Greek word being Latinized. It had no glazed 
windows, iron bars taking the place of glass; 
a part of it was appointed for the reception of 
the logs to be burnt in Carter's Chamber, (to 
which I then belonged), when on a sudden, in 
tumbled some very large carp, tench, and I 
think eels : but I was so terrified at being sa- 
luted by the entrance of the scaly gentry, think* 
ing that it was some satanic trick at that mid* 
night hour, that without stopping to inquire 
into the cause of my alarm, I made a most pre- 
cipitate retreat to bed. 

The next morning I discovered it all: for 



OF AN ETONIAN. 81 

they were trophies not to be concealed, but 
were shewn with evident marks of exultation at 
their success, by the two boys above alluded to. 
It seems that in some of their daily walks, 
they had found out that there was a constant 
supply of fine fish, preserved in the well of one 
ofthe punts, in the pond situated in Mr. Botham's 
garden, at Salthill : and under the supposition 
that they might just as well be cooked in a plain 
homely way in Long Chamber <, or at Mrs. Wid- 
more's, as be served up with rich sauces by the 
landlord of the Windmill Inn, to his various 
guests, they determined on making the attempt. 
After prayers at half-past eight, an iron bar, 
which had been sawn through immediately un- 
der the cross one, being removed, as well as the 
lead from the stone which received the bottom 
part of the bar, out sallied our adventurers, 
and made their descent by a rope-ladder down 
to the pump in Western's Yard, which was di- 
rectly under the window — from thence their 
further progress was easy enough. 



82 RBMIMSCBIICES 

I can well recollect it being a very dark and 
tempestuous night, which aided their scheme 
materially : in short, every thing succeeded to 
their wishes, and they convoyed their prizes 
home, as above described, without any inter- 
ruption. 

These, and other acts of juvenile daring, if 
they had not ended in an excursion to Botany 
Bay, (detection taking place), would most cer- 
tainly in a good flogging, often created that 
relish for adventures of a nobler kind, which 
was fully proved by the deeds of many who 
fought and bled on the continent— -one of these 
marauders fell at die battle of Waterloo. Many 
gallant heroes of the Peninsular war were Eto- 
nians, the head and front of all the noble Wel- 
lington. 

Among other instances of predatory excur- 
sions, one took place which was the cause of 
much conversation, even beyond the bounds of 
the school, for it made its way into die highest 
circles, shook the sides of our good old George, 



OF AN ETONIAN. 83 

and is often mentioned, with the greatest glee, 
by the uncle of the boy, who is a gentleman of 
immense property and political influence, and 
a scientific agriculturalist in the county of Nor- 
folk. It was a feat well deserving of his uncle's 
praise. 

It seems that the royal domain could not be 
preserved inviolate from invasion. To forage 
in an enemy's country is pardonable, but for a 
friend's territory to be poached upon, was almost 
too bad : the only excuse to be made is, that 
the temptation was too powerful to be resisted. 
The Little Park at Windsor abounded with 
hares ; these had been often seen by the boys, 
and one, whose name began with C, was de- 
termined upon nine parts of the law, possession 
of one of these said hares. Having provided 
himself with a gun and boat, and another boy 
to take care of it, and having arrived pretty 
close to the place previously reconnoitred, C. 
made for the park wall, which is within a few 



84 REMINISCENCES 

yards of the Thames, opposite to the Oak Tree, 
near the Shooting Fields. 

Leaving his shipmate to look out for squalls 
in the shape of keepers, he mounted the wall, 
and a poor unfortunate pussey happening to be 
sitting most accommodatingly for a display of 
his skill, it is needless for me to add, that hav- 
ing been pretty well trained at home among the 
finest preserves in England, that she tumbled 
over : down he jumped to pick her up— at the 
same moment, a short-jacketed fellow, whom 
the report of the gun had roused from his lair, 
was observed making towards him with all pos- 
sible despatch. Not a moment was to be lost ; 
and, heedless of the vociferations of the keeper, 
be threw the hare over the wall, at the same 
time intimating to the other boy, that an enemy 
was in sight. He soon followed his victim, but 
lo ! to his dismay, he saw his confederate pull- 
ing across as hard as he could, alarmed at the 
idea of being detained by the keeper, and leaving 
comrade to make the best of his way as he 



OF AN ETONIAN. 85 

could : we cannot bestow much commendation 
on his poltroonery. What now was to be done 
by C. % Although it was a flood water at the 
time, and the stream very rapid, he did not 
give much hesitation upon the subject, but dis- 
missing his gun to a cold bath, he at once jump- 
ed into the river, and with the hare in his mouth, 
by dint of great experience in swimming and a 
natural courage, he readied the other side in 
safety, with the trophy of his daring. 

A short time subsequent to this, a boy, by 
some ill luck, after having killed a brace of 
pheasants, was nabbed by the head keeper, and 
conveyed to his house in the park, where he 
was kept in durance vile. Some little degree 
of animosity, it is supposed, was rankling with- 
in him, owing to the escape of the previous 
swimming marauder : at any rate there he was 
detained, and a message sent to the head master 
stating the cause of his detension — also a com* 
munication was made to no less a person than 
his most gracious majesty* 



89 . REMINISCENCES 

I believe old George was a little offended at 
first, but he soon recovered his usual kindness, 
and after ordering the boy to be detained all 
night, (as a memento not to offend again,) and 
be well fed, he was dismissed with a note to the 
head master, requesting that he should not be 
punished this time, it being his first fault. 

A few pages back, I mentioned the Oak 
Tree— -one of the fashionable places of resort 
for bathing to the boys • more particularly for 
the Lingers, alias Collegers. At that very spot 
a circumstance occurred which will always 
keep the remembrance of the oak tree in my 
mind, for I was as near finishing my career as 
an Etonian at that spot, and of being precluded 
from giving my Reminiscences to the public, 
as any one who would desire to go out of the 
world in a tolerably comfortable method. 

On the river Thames, a species of flat-bottom- 
ed boat is used, called Punt, usually adapted 
for the purpose of fishing, having a well about 



OF AN ETONIAN. . 87 

two thirds down the length of the boat, to pre- 
serve the fish alive, which may be taken, for an 
almost indefinite time, as a constant supply 
of fresh water runs through the well before- 
named. 

Being particularly fond of boating, and no 
bad manager in punting, (which I have proved 
by punting up to the Weir, a most sharp and 
difficult stream as all Etonians know), which 
is performed by going to the head of the boat, 
and placing a pole in the water, retaining the 
hold of the pole, all the time you run down to 
the stem, and then again ascend to the head. 
On the occasion I am mentioning, in running up 
again to the head of the boat, either from my 
presumption of being a good punter, and there- 
by perfectly careless, or I know not what, but 
like the person who, in mixing his brandy and 
water, took a drop too much, I, from looking 
at some boys on the bank preparing for bath- 
ing, took a step too many, and over I went. 



88 REMINISCENCES 

On the particular spot where I fell over was 
a sand bank, and between that and the land, 
deep water : there was just room enough for 
me to lie on my back, under this most unplea- 
sant boat; and there I did lie, and no very 
comfortable birth I had of it — the water pour- 
ing into my mouth — the boat pressing me down 
and the thoughts of death coming upon me. 
Still I could distinctly hear the vehement ex- 
clamations of the boys, telling the one that was 
in the boat how to act, and push her off. At 
length, when all perception was nearly gone, 
and I was pretty well saturated with Father 
Thames, (though not acting the part of a father), 
I was extricated from my perilous situation, by 
the drifting of the boat from off me, and I never 
wish to be in the same situation again. 

I understood that my face bore a most par- 
ticular resemblance, in regard to colour, to my 
hat; and for a long time the Oak Tree, the 
scene of my disaster, haunted me every night 



OF AN ETONIAN. 89 

I could not efface it from my mind, but that 
the said punt was on my chest, which corn- 
pletely usurped the place of any common night- 
mare, which has the fashionable name of Indi- 
gestion. 



90 REMINISCENCES 



CHAPTER VII. 



Je n'ai jaimais rien vu de si mechant que ce maurais vieil- 
lard j et je pense j sans correction, qu'il a le diable au corps. 

IS Avar e de Moliere. 



Among those to whom the vicinity of Eton 
Col lege was somewhat annoy ing, though a source 
of profit in other instances, was a man who rent- 
ed the water near Windsor for a considerable 
distance, cognomine P., familiarly termed by us, 
old Johnny P. By the sale of eels, as well as 
other freshwater fish, he made a considerable 
sum, vast numbers of which were caught in 
eel-pots, certain long narrow baskets, which 
allowed the Fish to enter for the bait enclosed 
therein, but by a kind of internal Chevaux de 



OF AN ETONIAN. 91 

frize, entirely precluded them from making 
their exit. 

These wicker pots were laid down in various 
parts of the river, with a reed fastened to each, 
which 0oating just on the top of the water, de- 
noted where a pot lay at anchor. Of course in 
our peregrinations on the river, these reedy 
buoys did not escape our eyes, long experienced 
in the pursuit of such articles, and consequently, 
if any fish were in them, they were soon emptied 
into the boat. 

It was always considered excellent sport to 
do old Johnny, who was a man of considerable 
wealth, and to whom the loss of a fish or two 
was nothing, (except in the light in which a 
miser would grudge the loss of the most trifling 
coin) he being the principal, and scaly purveyor, 
to the royal family, and the inhabitants of Eton 
and Windsor. It would sometimes happen that 
Johnny attended by his boy Fish, (a nickname 
I believe) would come upon us unawares from 
behind some Ayot, where like some Sallee 



92 REMINISCENCE* 

rover he had been watching for us in our ma- 
rauding excursions, and then, it was a glorious 
piece of fun, to see our poor old fisherman in 
one of his tantarums. 

He was a man of more than choleric disposi- 
tion, and in the heat of his anger would belabour 
poor Fish's head with the oar, for not pulling 
faster on his side to overtake those rascally boys : 
poor weaksighted mortal he little knew, that this 
head slave of his was in the private pay of those 
rascally boys, and in the hurry to obey his mast- 
ers orders, would most innocently of course, lose 
his oar, or catch a crab ; in short, any thing to 
impede progress : and as the skiffs that were 
hired, belonged to Charley C, his inveterate 
rival, a man with a deficiency of one arm, of 
equally irritable temper with himself, between 
whom an incessant war of words was constantly 
waged ; on that account therefore, poor Johnny 
could not pursue the marauders into the ene- 
my's fort, so that they generally escaped with 



OF AN ETONIAN. 93 

their fishes, dropping perhaps one, as if by ac- 
cident, for Charley, as hush money. 

The cause of this animosity between these two 
river gods, arose I believe from some little jea- 
lousy on Mr* Johnny P/s part. He had lived 
at Eton all bis life, and had possessed the sole 
letting out of the boats for many years. It is 
certain that those boats were what we should 
now call, in these days of reform and march of 
intellect, little better than floating tubs. 

Mr. Charles C, a speculating genius, whose 
apprenticeship had been passed at Lambeth, the 
fashionable place for building pleasure boats, 
came down from thence, bringing with him some 
beautiful skiffs, very light, and of course well 
adapted for speed. With this almost fairy flo- 
tilla, in comparison with what we had been ac- 
customed to, Charley opposed old Johnny, and 
while all of the new pigmy navy, for many days 
bespoke beforehand, were constantly in com- 
mission, the veteran tubs were put on the peace 
establishment, and floated quietly at their moor- 



94 REMINISCENCES 

ings, thereby causing a great diminution of re* 
venue to the old government, and undoubtedly, 
a source of grievous vexation to Johnny. 

It required not much skill on the part of the 
rowers in these light skiffs, to leave Johnny and 
his man Fish, when pursued by them : and as 
every trifling thing is an annoyance to the man 
at enmity with another, the words, the Fly, or 
the Swift of Eton, Charles C, were displayed 
in brilliant gilt letters on the stern of the flying 
boat, to the irascible eyes of the old fisherman, 
who kept at a respectable distance in her wake, 
all the time fuming and swearing in no slight 
degree, to the great amusement of the boys, and 
to the increase of the existing animosity. 

Nor can we be surpised at it, for should I 
moralize at all, I might say, how few are there 
of the sons of Adam, similarly situated, but 
would have been equally vexed. Of all the 
passions which agitate the human breast, jea- 
lousy is perhaps the most easily excited. Our 
irritable antique had for many years reigned 



OF AN ETONIAN. 95 

the undisputed sovereign of the Etonian navy, 
the Lord Yarborough of the yacht club of the 
present day. Could our immortal, our gal- 
lant, never-to-be-forgotten Nelson have wit- 
nessed, without some little irritation, a successful 
rival, snatching from him those laurels which his 
previous intrepidity had gained for him ? would 
the placid smile have played on his dying coun- 
tenance, after the ball of fate had struck him, 
had other words than those of joyful victory 
met his ear, when he crushed the fleets of Spain 
and France in the Bay of Trafalgar ? I fear 
not; even though with the consciousness that 
every Englishman had done his duty. His 
valiant soul could not have endured, that other 
than the wooden walls of Old England should 
hold the mastery of the seas, and they did hold 
it : and may British hearts be ever found with 
a Nelson's spirit to man our hearts of oak — and 
may that element which has hitherto caused us 
to be the pride and envy of other nations, bear 



96 REMINISCENCES. 

them when mortal strife may arise on die spring- 
tide of victory. 

But this is digressing somewhat from oar two 
Eton rivals* Whilst the one was the cause of 
mirth to the boys, the other waxed a great fa* 
vourite with them. Novelty perhaps is every 
thing, but so it was: he charged high, it is 
true, but still be was a long Tick. In addition 
to bis trade of Waterman, be also established 
an excellent shop for the sale of guns, and I 
know it well to my cost. Having hired a gun 
of him on a holiday to do some execution among 
the blackbirds, &c. in the lanes near the Brocas. 
Just as I was sallying out of the yard of Davis 
the horse dealer, who should I pap upon — not 
upon blackbirds — but upon a most formidable 
enemy, in the shape of one of the Under Mast- 
ers, who did me the favour to relieve me from 
carrying my gun home to its original quarters.* 
As the act of going out shooting, is considered a 

* Like Smugglers' tubs always forfeited to the Captor. 



OP AN ETONIAN. 97 

very penal offence, and deservedly so, I fully 
expected to have atoned for my crime on the 
block : but as, being high in die School, that is, 
in the Liberty, it would have been considered 
very Infra (dig., to have been flogged in that 
part of die school, therefore, with promises never 
again to take a gun in hand during my stay at 
Eton, (a promise I strictly kept) and by saying 
a certain portion of the Greek Andromache, 
which I think I shall never forget, I was par- 
doned. 

One of my first essays, as a little boy, in 
shooting, was rather ridiculous. In the neigh* 
bourhood of Eton, there is a small bird, called 
a Butcherbird, it seems peculiar to that part of 
the country, something resembling a Bullfinch, 
its breast is very red : as I was walking with a 
friend, we saw what we considered to be a bird 
of that description, quietly seated in a bush, and 
80 it was quietly seated, sure enough. It was 
my turn to fire : I pulled* and down it fell. 
When lo ! The game was nothing more or less 

N 



96 REMINISCENCES 

than a piece of a brick-bat which had been lodg- 
ed by some one in the said bush, to my no 
small annoyance, as well as to the jeers and fan 
of my friend. 

Owing to the Thames being so contiguous to 
Eton, he sometimes pays the town a very unwel- 
come visit, though a source of glorious amuse- 
ment to the boys. This generally takes place 
in die winter, when having been well supplied 
by tributary streams, after the breaking up of 
deep snows, or long continued rains, he comes 
rolling down, casting on each side of the low 
lands, a wide waste of waters, impoverishing (as 
I heard old Pocock the farmer once say) the 
arable lands, but enriching the pastures. 

One particular flood I recollect of long con- 
tinuance, and of great impetuosity, when fifteen- 
arch bridge was nearly all swept away, and the 
entrance to Eton from Slough was by going 
through the Shooting fields and the Playing 
fields, a work of some little danger. This was 
a time of excellent fun for the boys : no getting 



OF AN ETONIAN. 99 

to school, and the communication between the 
different houses was by boats and carts. 

I shall not forget an excellent ducking which 
Harry M. and two other boys had in Eton Street. 
I was looking out of my window at Ingalton's 
at die time, when I observed these three boys 
coming in a cart which they had hired for a little 
bit of a spree 9 when just as they came abreast 
of my window, the water being near three feet 
deep there, down went the horse, and out went 
every one of them to salute old father Thames-— 
of course there was not much chance of their 
receiving any serious injury : the water being 
very muddy at the time, their external appear* 
ance was none of the brightest : it created no 
small fun at the time among their schoolfellows, 
many of whom, like myself, witnessed their im- 
mersion, and they went by the appropriate 
appellation of the mud-lark trio. 

I hope my readers will pardon me for relat- 
ing, in this place, a curious circumstance which 
took place three years since at the wreck of the 



100 REMINISCENCES 

Cam Brea Castle, at the back of the Isle rf 
Wight, and which I witnessed, the mention of 
the mud-lark, reminding me of it. A farmer 
near Brooke, which is situated at the back of the 
Island, had sold to a higler a large quantity of 
geese ; the purchaser took them across the Island 
to Ryde, where they were purchased by the stew- 
ard of the Cam Brea Castle, a large East In- 
diaman, then lying at Spithead : on the following 
day she sailed on her voyage outward bound* 
As shfe passed the back of the Isle of Wight, the 
Captain, as is said, on purpose to give bis pas- 
sengers a nearer view of the lovely scenery of 
that fairy spot, approached too near the land : 
the ship in tacking missed stays, which, aided by 
a strong current, was wrecked on the rocks 
near Brooke; there was a very heavy sea at the 
time, and it was with great difficulty, and the 
strenuous exertions of the Preventive Service 
attached to Freshwater Gate, that the crew were 
saved. The live stock were all washed over- 
board, and as it was a flowing sea, they were 



OF AN ETONIAN. 101 

soon on shore. Just as I reached the wreck, the 
identical geese which had been shipped at Ryde, 
were unshipped at Brooke, and were in their 
old quarters again, settling their ruffled plu- 
mage, and removing the sand and dirt with 
which it was most woefully soiled. 

The arrangements for bathing at Eton are 
very good: those boys who are not able to 
swim, are debarred from ablution except at 
particular places, where it is almost an utter 
impossibility, from the shallowness of the water, 
that an accident can passibly occur ; because 
excellent swimmers, men appointed by the head 
master, such as Shampo Carter and others, are 
always on the spot to prevent any accident, and 
are regularly paid by the boys for that pur- 
pose. 

It is somewhat surprising that more accidents 
do not occur at Eton on the water, the boys be- 
ing generally so very fond of it, and especially 
of one very peculiar method of propelling a 
boat, which is by darting — a very dangerous 



102 REMINISCENCES 

custom indeed. The only instances that I can 
recollect in my time, including a period of more 
than ten years, of death by drowning, were 
two, Lord W«, and B., a very small mortality 
among so large a number of boys, when we 
take into consideration the immediate contiguity 
of the playgrounds to the river. 

In my day, for swimming, fishing, shooting, 
or fighting, take him altogether, Shampo Car- 
ter was the man. I have very little hesitation in 
saying, that many of my readers will recollect 
the man, and can vouch for the truth of my as- 
sertions respecting him. 



V 



OF AN ETONIAN. 103 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Alas ! the joys that fortune brings 

Are trifling and decay ; 
And those who prize the paltry things, 

More trifling still than they. 

And what is friendship but a name, 

A charm that lulls to sleep; 
A shade that follows wealth or tame, 

And leaves the wretch to weep. 

Goldsmith- 

The expectation of the arrival of the holidays 
creates no little stir in our community. You 
will find some boys who have notched a stick, 
indicating so many days previous to breaking 
up, and from which one is cut off every day ; 
others are to be observed fitting on their boots 
at Ingalton's, with which they intend to be some- 
thing when they reach the paternal roof; others 
are to be seen bargaining for Tandems to drive 



104 REMINISCENCES 

to Hyde Park Corner ; while others, more hum- 
ble, and certainly more judicious, are taking 
their places by Lillewhite's coaches, from which 
a general salute of pease, from pea-shooters, is 
received by the inhabitants of Colnbrook and 
Hounalow, their amunition being generally ex- 
pended previous to their arrival at Brentford. 
This juvenile peppering, of course only alludes 
to the lower boys* 

In the winter time/ those boys that went by 
the six o'clock coaches, invariably put on their 
clean shirt the over night, to be in readiness for 
starting — no time in the morning. Even now 
I wish for my boyish days, (not as far as re- 
gards the clean shirt), were it only for the de- 
lightful anticipation of the holidays. Care and 
birch for a time dismissed— the joys of home— 
the meeting with parents and brethren — really 
it is a delight, and the more in after life we think 
of it : more particularly as in mine own case, 
when all those beloved relations (with one ex- 
ception) are gone to the tomb, and I am left as 



OF AN ETONIAN. 105 

it were alone in the world, with the exception 
of my own immediate family : the joys of those 
former days, when wealth was at my command, 
now for ever fled, and poverty and its direful 
train the accompaniments of the present, are re- 
gretted with a bitterness truly its own. 

And yet all this joy, which pervades the boys 
breast, is but the harbinger of sorrow. The 
holidays pass away cito pede : those dear friends 
on whose smiles we live, must be left: the 
pouches* are given, and with sorrowing hearts 
we say the miserable good bye : then comes the 
return by the same coaches that conveyed us to 
town. We put on the face of bravado, while 
inwardly there is a ravening wolf of sorrow : 
we chink the money in our pockets (not long to 
remain there) which our parents have given us, 
to dispel a little the misery of leaving home's 
comforts : soon too soon, does Slough meet our 
eyes, and the well known turn down to the left, 
where we catch sight of the ponderous telescopes 

•Ad Eton name for presents. 

O 



106 reminiscences; 

of Herschellr—Goon is the fifteen-arch bridge 
past — then are we within the confines of the mi- 
serable dull town of Eton. 

Our luggage arranged, and our poor solitary 
candle obtained from our Dames, we hie us to 
Long Chamber : a few candles glimmer in the 
darkness visible, many not having the heart to 
light their candles, but turn into bed to forget 
their sorrows — even the upper boys almost seem 
to have forgotten the well-used, and well-known 
word lower boy^-in short the chamber appears 
a scene of desolation. But on the morrow, the 
usual scene of activity is on foot— mutual re- 
cognition takes place — home is almost forgotten, 
and Eton is the same. Floreai Etona. Though 
it is rather hard, and the justice of it has been 
often canvassed, why the Upper Oppidans 
should be allowed a greater indulgence in the 
length of their holidays than the Collegers — 
but so it is. The Upper Oppidans, on leaving 
school, are in the habit of making presents to 
the Head Master in money or plate, the Colleger 



OF AN ETONIAN. 107 

never : some might say, that there was a little 
policy in relaxation of duty for one species of 
boys : .but that, I do not believe, was ever the 
origin of what at first sight may appear a piece 
of favouritism in behalf of the Oppidans. 

In the pastrycooks shops of London it is a 
very common practice to have a pretty young 
woman behind the counter to induce the mas- 
culine gender to come in and talk to her, by 
which means, an increased sale of pastry gene- 
rally is effected— some go to shew themselves 
off, and to be admired as they suppose ; others 
to admire the fair shopkeeper, both tending to 
increase the exchequer of the Pastry Cook : the 
very same plan prevails in the Cafe's at Paris, 
where the most splendid woman is selected to 
preside: when I was at Paris, i recollect the 
most beautiful woman in France as was imagined 
presided at the Cafe aux Milk Cokmnes. 

In my time I recollect, my friend Garraway 
ef the Christopher, without that aim I believe, 
had a very pretty young woman, his niece it 



106 REMINISCENCES 

was said, as bis Barmaid. It certainly was 
a most excellent speculation, if it had been 
intended as such. The npper boys, I mean 
Collegers, made it a point to go and have 
their glass of ale or brandy and water, until 
about two minutes before it struck the half hour, 
when we were locked up for the night, on pur- 
pose to talk nonsense with Pipylena, a nick name, 
from her having a pimple on her cheek. Among 
others I have little hesitation in saying, that I 
was not deficient, in putting in my spoke for a 
little flattery with Pipylena. But I am almost 
confident from the general correctness of her 
conduct, that she would never allow of the least 
liberty, Garraway or Mrs. 6. being always 
present : though I once did snatch a kiss, and 
at the same time, was a receiver of a box on the 
ear from the young lady. She was certainly the 
promoter or promotress, (if such a word), of 
great profit to the landlord of the Christopher — 
she was like the Mary of Buttermere, the cele- 
brated Pipylena of Eton. I would strongly re- 



OF AN ETONIAN. 109 

commend any one that visits Eton and stops at 
the Christopher, to order a broiled chicken and 
mushroom sauce — it is exquisitely cooked there : 
and for a bowl of bishop, Garraway is super- 
excellent. 

Within about two years of my leaving Eton, 
I became strong con, as we term it, that is, very 
intimate indeed, with the son of a Baronet who 
is now in the Tenth. I will here relate a little 
story to shew what an alteration, sometimes takes 
place, from the boy leaving Eton, and his going 
into the world. With this boy, as I before re- 
marked, I was very intimate. I was his supe- 
rior in school, and I believe though the son of a 
Baronet, I might have considered myself, as far 
as expectations went, on an equality with him : 
nearly every whole or half holiday, we used to 
meet at the Christopher, and have our bowl of 
bishop, and were on the most friendly terms 
imaginable, he frequently breakfasting with me 
up Eton (as the term is) at my room, where I 
lodged at Ingalton's. It may be as well in this 



110 AEMINISCENCES 

place to say that the Upper Collegers are in the 
habit of hiring rooms in the town of Eton* 

One of his favourite expressions, when per- 
ehanee I- remonstrated with him on the desolate 
life he was living, was, "D— e B., a short life 
and a merry one/-' Still his life has been longer 
than might have been imagined. About four 
years since, I write this in eighteen hundred and 
thirty-one, I met the above friend at the noble 
mansion of his father-in-law, after an interim 
of seventeen years. It will not be amiss to say, 
though grating to my own feelings, that all my 
expectancies and monies received, had taken 
their departure, and I was then settled in a vil- 
lage in Hertfordshire, as the stipendary citrate 
of one hundred pounds per annum, with a wife 
and seven children to keep, and a house to pro* 
vide for, all out of the above sum. And three 
duties to perform on the Sunday. 

It would be needless perhaps to say, that I 
anticipated the pleasure of seeing an old school- 
fellow with no small degree of anxiety, one too 



OF AN ETONIAN. Ill 

with whom I had been so intimate at school, 
considering the word Etonian, almost equal to 
MasoniCb On entering the drawing-room, I saw 
my old friend, and with outstretched arm, im- 
mediately went up to him, with, "well G., I am 
glad to have this opportunity of again meeting 
with an old friend." "Ah! are you, well I am 
glad to see you, this is a pretty place, is it not ?" 
" Yes/ 9 " What do you think ; an old lady, last 
week, made me a present of three hundred deer 
to stock my park with, which has been lately 
left me, walled all the way round for miles, 
D— ed good, is not it ? " Yes, thinks I to myself 
very good indeed, but the distribution of a few 
of these goods, would be better — at dinner I 
drank wine with him — I dined off silver — no- 
thing further of auld long syne occurred, and 
we parted like common acquaintances* 

Foolishly perhaps I had looked forward to 
the pleasure of meeting him, with no slight emo- 
tion. I was disappointed. The Tenth do not 
recognise old schoolfellows — the Tenth do not 



112 REMINISCENCES 

know old friends. Such was the conclusion of 
my friendly anticipations. 

Let me now escort my readers to a very plea- 
sant scene, supposing the Election Saturday to 
have arrived. For a week previous to it, rug- 
riding begins in Long Chamber. To illustrate 
the word rug-riding, let me say, that it is thus 
performed. Some lower boys rugs are tied up 
at one end, in which a bolster is placed, and to 
the other end of it a rope is affixed ; an upper 
boy then takes his seat, and a certain number of 
other boys are fagged to run up and down Long 
Chamber, with as great speed as possible ; this 
continuing for a week, it is scarcely possible to 
conceive the beautiful gloss which the old oak 
boards receive : the space between the bedsteads 
is also scrubbed with hard brushes, to corres- 
pond with the other. 

On the Thursday previous, waggon loads of 
beech boughs, from the College woods, are 
brought, with which the whole of the chamber 
is decorated, from one end to the other. On the 



OF AN ETONIAN. 113 

Saturday morning, green rugs, with the College 
arms, are placed on every bedstead. Company 
is then admitted to view it, and really it is a 
very pleasing sight — a complete vista of foliage : 
and considering the moving scene between, the 
Captain's bed at the top of the chamber, sur- 
mounted by a handsome Flag, the boys in their 
gowns, and the fragrance of the boughs, render 
it almost a magical delusion — in short, it is a 
magical delusion, in comparison with theappear- 
ance which the dormitory exhibits, without the 
assistance of these extraordinary supplies. 

At two o'clock the Provost of King's College, 
Cambridge, enters Western's Yard in his car- 
riage and four, attended by the two Posers, a 
name given to the two gentlemen from Kings, 
whose turn it is to examine the candidates for 
Scholarships of that College. A speech is then 
made in latin, by the captain of the school, in 
the cloisters, (which fell to my lot previous to 
leaving for Cambridge,) to offer our congratu- 
lations to the Provost on his arrival at the col* 

p 



114 REMINISCENCES 

lege. In the evening the same water excursions 
to Surly Hall and back, and the exhibition of 
fire-works on Piper's Ayot take place. 

On the Monday following, the sixth form 
boys recite their speeches before a generally 
very crowded audience of big wigs, most of 
them old Etonians, and a select company of 
fashionables, admitted by the Head Master. The 
big-wig gentry are not very scrupulous in 
making their remarks on the merits or demerits 
of the orators. But ne importe their quizzing, 
a privilege which antiquity may claim to itself 
with impunity. The gratification was, when the 

» 

speaker caught the spy glass of Magnus full 
upon him, and the smile upon his countenance, 
expressing his entire approbation of his pupil's 
oratorical skill, a mutual recognition of delight. 
This is the principal day of feasting, and verily, 
it is a day of feasting in good earnest, no shilly 
shally — it is a regular display of the odontical 
art. A large party of old Etonians are gener- 
ally present, and as a matter of course invited 



OF AN ETONIAN. 115 

to dine id the College Hall. The beautiful old 
tapestry makes its annual visit to the top of the 
hall, the dais of the day, where the table is set 
out for the principal guests. Puppy 9 s Parlour 
abounds with the old plate belonging to the 
College ; the Butteries are a constant scene of 
passing and repassing in glorious confusion. 

Among the regular visitors on that day, (well 
remembered by all Collegers), was a good old 
divine, who had an excellent nose for a turtle 
or an haunch of venison, and I believe always 
managed to obtain a provoke, having long lived 
in the neighbourhood, and being much respected 
as an old Etonian and a Kingsman. On one of 
these annual feast-days, a haunch of venison of 
course sent forth its savory odour at the head 
of the table, where the Provost sat in all the 
dignity of his high station. It was the custom 
for the Provost to cut off a certain number of 
slices, enough to fill the plate, which was handed 
round to each of the guests, to take as much as 
they pleased. On the present occasion, the plate 



116 REMINISCENCES 

made its first and last supply of the present bur- 
den to the Rev. Dr. B., who with a smile of 
great satisfaction, so the story goes, (the occur- 
rence making the Hall ring again with laughter), 
took the plate and its contents, at the same time, 
premising with, "You have helped me very 
bountifully, Mr, Provost, but I will endeavour 
to do what I can with it" — and it vanished. 

Poor old man he is long since dead. He was 
a daily visitor at Eton. We had no occasion 
ever to inquire what o'clock it was, at the hour 
of two ; for as sure as the clock would strike 
that hour, the old carriage, and equally old 
horses and coachman to boot, would pass by the 
long walk wall. It used to be so regular in its 
rotatory motions, that it at length acquired the 
name of the S. Waggon. His son was next to 
me in school, and Eton College, from their re- 
spect to the father, at his death, presented the son 

« 

to the living which his father held — a kind tri- 
bute of respect to his memory, as well as of 
gratification to the son. Which son, by the bye, 



OF AN ETONIAN. 117 

was a most tremendously lazy fellow in school : 
and when it was sometimes remarked to him, 
that he would perhaps get flogged, if he did not 
get his lesson to construe, his usual remark was, 
" Oh ! I shall trust to Providence," and Provi- 
dence was very kind to him ; for he generally 
escaped being called up to construe — much 
kinder to him, than to myself and my oldest 
schoolfellow. We went to school at Slough — I 
in petticoats : and we have continued next to 
each other in College to this day : and the only 
trifling difference between us now is, that he is a 
Senior Fellow of King's — plenty of dividends — 
no care for the morrow — no butcher's bills to 
pay— and I — vice versa. 

In most scrapes we were united — the duo 
juncta in uno : flogged together twice a week, 
because we bad made up our minds not to do 
our Derivations for one of the assistants, who 
regularly heard us twice a week : and who 
from some spite, or some other cause, regularly 
called us up, and as regularly put us in the bill. 



118 REMINISCENCES 

which was sent to the Head Master. The good 
old man, Dr. H. observing that we, as regular as 
Monday and Friday came, long morning days, 
were sent up to him for punishment, divined 
that it was owing to some pique of die assistant, 
or that we were incorrigible, merely, just for 
forms sake, touched us with old Sly's manu- 
facture, after his usual exclamation of, " Ah ! 
my old friends, par nobile Jratrum." There 
never were two such unlucky dogs as we were ; 
whenever either was asked for his derivations 
by this said assistant, now the head of one of the 
principal Colleges, (and that through the aid 
of my vote for him), in Cambridge, his usual 
answer was, " I have lost them, Sir." The truth 
was we had never found them, that is, had never 
done them : and I fear, such was our obstinacy, 
that we never would, if we had been flogged 
every day. 

During my residence at Eton I received great 
kindness, and many little attentions, in the shape 
of Pie and Pudding, from the mother of my old 



OP AN ETONIAN. 119 

schoolfellow, a lady who lived at Eton, and 
whom I have lately heard, has paid the debt of 
nature. If intrinsic worth and Christian piety, 
will meet with its due reward in another world, 
which we doubt not, it will be hers. 



120 REMINISCENCES 



CHAPTER IX. 



How situations give a different cart 

Of habit, inclination, temper, taste : 

And he, that seemed our counterpart at first, 

Soon shews the strong* similitude reversed. 

Young heads are giddy, and young hearts are warm, 

And make mistakes for manhood to reform. 

Boys are at best- but pretty buds unblown, 

Whose scent ana hues are rather guessed than known ; 

Each dreams that each is just what he appears, 

But learns his error in maturer yean, 

When disposition, like a sail unfurled, 

Shews all its rents and patches to the world. 

Cowper's Tirocinium* 



In my last chapter, I took somewhat of a leap 
from the hall of festivity, to which I will now 
again return. As the Fellows and their guests 
do ample justice to the good things of this world, 
so are we, the Collegers, on that day allowed 
to indulge somewhat more than usual. To each 
boy is allotted the half of a roasted chicken, a 
certain portion of ham and greens, besides some 
very good pastry. Happiness sits on the faces 



OP AN ETONIAN. 121 

of all, except those poor fellows of die sixth 
form, who, on that day, are called superannu- 
ated ; that is, too old to be able to stay any 
longer in College, their age being above nine- 
teen — and consequently, should no resignation 
come for them on that day, before die cloister 
clock has done striking twelve at noon, they 
lose their chance of becoming Scholars, and 
eventually Fellows of King's College, Cam- 
bridge. 

The mighty operation of dinner being con- 
cluded — the strong audit ale having been dis- 
cussed, by pledging Can to the memory of Henry 
the Sixth, Nan Nobis Domine is then sung by 
the choristers and singing-men, and all take 
their departure, leaving the reliquiae Danaum 
to the old grumbling alms-women. The Fel- 
lows and their guests to Fellow* % Chamber, to 
their convivial vinal potations, and the boys to 
whatever mischief they can set afloat. 

Election Monday has other pleasures for the 

Collegers than the bare dinner, for tarts and 

Q 



122 REMINISCENCES 

strong beer find their way into die chamber in 
the evening. 
I called the alms-women grumblers, and so 
* they certainly are, but not without tolerable 
just cause. Every Colleger takes good care to 
have one, if not two, pockets in his gown, and 
as the supper hour in the hall, (six o'clock), is 
considered to be too gothic for this age of re- 
finement, the cold breasts of mutton, which are 
allowed for supper, find their way into the «aid 
pockets, and from thence, by a natural grada- 
tion, into Long Chamber, where, with some 
herbs and a few turnips from a neighbouring 
field, a most excellent broth is made for sup- 
per at a more genteel and fitting time of night. 
And as the alms-women are to have only what 
is left, as far as mutton goes, they sometimes 
find a perfect minus ; though they make up for 
it in broken bread and stripes, too good to be 
carried away. 

On the Tuesday and Wednesday, die boys 
are examined previous to their entrance to Eton, 



OF AN ETONIAN. 123 

as well as others for their fitness for King's. 
This falls to the lot of the Posers, the examin- 
ing Chaplains, rather terrific gentlemen in the 
eyes of the boys. The examination takes place 
in Election Chamber. 

I recollect my first entrance into that awful 
room, when I thought there appeared a collec- 
tion of red lions sitting round the table. It 
was a beautiful sunny afternoon, and the bright 
glare of the sun striking through an immense 
red curtain, let down at the large oriel window, 
completely dazzled those not accustomed to such 
an appearance, and imparted that vivid rubi- 
cundity to the persons seated therein. 

The Qentlemen, (as the tradespeople had the 
impertinence to call the Oppidans), having gone 
home on the Monday, and the Collegers having 
to wait until the Thursday, all the shops are 
shut up, and now and then only a straggling 
Colleger to be seen. 

On the Wednesday evening of our breaking 
up, about two years before I left, I can well 



124 REMINISCENCES 

recollect the afrigbt which some of the Fellows 
of Eton and its inhabitants were put into, by 
seeing the Long Chamber, apparently envelop- 
ed in flames, making their way out of the dif- 
ferent windows therein. The truth of the mat- 
ter was this. The boughs, which had been 
ranged all along chamber, by this time began 
to be somewhat arid, and in a fit state for burn- 
ing. At that time I belonged to Upper Carter's 
Chamber. To confer upon it the name of a loft 
would be, I think, granting too high an honour 
to it. It certainly had stairs to it, instead of a 
ladder, the usual way of mounting a hay-loft — 
•still, being separated from the noise of Long 
Chamber, it was usually considered to be an 
enviable place to get into. 

Well, H. M., the author of that most enter- 
taining work, The Diary of an Invalid, and 
who some time since died as Fiscal Advocate at 
Ceylon, proposed having a bonfire the last 
night — no sooner said than done* 

By removing the bedsteads that were near to 



OF AN ETONIAN. 125 

the fire place, and putting them out of harm's 
way, or fire way, more room was made for an 
additional supply — the candle was applied, and 
verily it was a splendid sight. Very little dan- 
ger could accrue from the conflagration, there 
being only bare walls, and old oaken floors that 
would not burn. In addition to the flames, 
the chamber had its quantum of dense smoke, 
not very agreeable to the eyes, or to that of 
breathing : the only thing to do, was to mount 
up to the windows that were free from the 
flames, and put their heads out to inhale the 
fresh air. Some went down to Lower Chamber, 
some took advantage of the windows on the stairs, 
others went to the scene of my nocturnal af- 
fright with the fish, and one poor fellow ven- 
tured to come up into Upper Carter's Chamber, 
where I was preparing to get into bed. This 
place was tolerably free from smoke. He di- 
rectly came to rae and said, " B. I wish you 
would allow me to sleep with you tonight, for 
I cannot stand that confounded smoke." To 
which request 1 immediately assented. 



126 REMINISCENCES 

We had not been long in bed, he rather en* 
joying his situation, and I wishing him at la 
Diable, (for it was very hot weather at the time, 
and aided by the heat from Long Chamber), 
when who should open his study door, (there 
were four in this chamber), but the captain of 
it, and having heard us talk, demanded who 
were in that bed % 

De tuo ipsius studio conjecturam ceperis. 

Cicero. 

I told him that such a one had asked me to 
permit him to sleep in my bed, for that he could 
not stand the smoke in Long Chamber* " Oh ! 
(says he) I will try," and with a sounding slap 
on the left cheek, he bundled him down stairs 
to make the attempt with the somniferous god. 
It is more than probable that these pages will 
find their way into his hands, who is now a 
distinguished character in the law, and I think 
they will recall to his recollection the above 
fact. 

Whenever the chimney of Carter's Chamber 



OF AN ETONIAN. 127 

became at all foul, we always used to set fire to 
it, artd being very large, the roar it made when 
blazing was magnificent: very much to the 
annoyance of Dr. Davis, the late Provost, part 
of whose lodge was very approximate. Our 
fires there, were made with large beechen logs, 
supported on iron dogs, where we used to roast 

potatoes beautifully. One of these logs, every 
lower boy was compelled to saw up before he 
went to bed, with a saw that had no edge, and 
appeared as if it had been in the hands of the 
dentist frequently : this was one of the most se- 
vere things that a lower boy had to endure : for 
the thinnest logs were always chosen by the big- 
est boys, vi et armis, leaving the heaviest for 
the poor little fellows, that could scarcely lift 
them. I have frequently known them to dock 
themselves of part of their rolls for breakfast, to 
bribe another stronger boy, to saw up their por- 
tion for them. 

In the very place where these logs were kept, 
I well recollect having earned the title of the 



128 REMINISCENCES. 

most experienced rat catcher in College, from 
the circumstance of having caught, with a j5ck- 
haltering wire,* an immense, perfectly grey, 
old rat, which was supposed to be the ghost of 
King Henry the Sixth ; or at any rate, to have 
been in being from the very first foundation of 
the College. I was somewhat of an adept 
myself in jack haltering, which is performed 
by fastening a twisted wire with a noose in 
it, attached to a long ashen pole, and then gra- 
dually slipping it over the head of the fish ; 
with a sudden jerk it tightens, and the said 
fish is secured. I had once caught a very 
large perch, a very difficult fish to catch by that 
means, owing to the peculiar formation of it, 
and had found another lying very quietly, close 
to Fellow's Ayot. Just as I was going to se- 
cure my prey, another boy came up, and with 
some little malice, threw a stone into the water, 
which of course disturbed my intended spoil, 

* A favourite amusement along the ditches of Eton Com- 
mon, where the jacks come from the Thames to deposit their 
spawn. 



OF AN ETONIAN. 129 

and I lost it. I was so enraged at the time, 
that I immediately laid the pole about his pate 
as hard as I could, and with tears in my eyes, 
from sheer auger, told him, if ever he did so 
again, I would serve him the same. He had 
been in the habit of bullying me, and I sup- 
posed it rather cowed him, for he never after 
annoyed me. He was then a commoner, but is 
now a noble lord, the son-in-law of a distin- 
guished statesman, and does me the honour of 
subscribing to my Reminiscences. 

In such a large seminary as Eton is, it is of 
course natural to suppose, that the dispositions 
and inclinations of the boys must be varied. 
One boy, a lower Colleger, had such a deter- 
mined abhorrence of school, and I suppose vice 
versa, such a predilection for dulce domum, that 
he was constantly running away, and as con- 
stantly meeting with his deserts in the Library 
on his return attended by Duckey* Whenever 

• An old College servant kept for the purpose of sweeping 
out the chambers. 



190 REMINISCENCES 

Dttckey was seen mounted on the Windsor 
coach for London, there was no occasion for sur- 
mise on the occasion ; it was pretty certain that 
Master H. was off again— and no retriever 9 or 
old hound, ever came upon the scent better than 
the above messenger. 

Another was particularly fond, as be used to 
run through Simons'* yard to his Dames, of 
pulling the bungs out of the barrels and allow, 
ing the contents to take their departure. The 
swipes* were no great loss, it is certain. I well 
recollect old Smith, the brewer, catching this 
boy at one of these pranks, and hallooing after 
him, in his nasal twang, " I say, Master — , 
there you are knocking the bungs about again ; 
I certainly will tell the Head Master, I will 
indeed, and have you well flogged/' These 
admonitory reproofs passed unheeded — when 
his back was turned, out went a bung, and no 
on, to the sad annoyance of poor Smith. 

* A name given to the small beer brewed for the use of the 
boys; but the election audit ale is super-excellent. 



OF AN ETONIAN. 131 

There was one boy, two or three years above 
me in school, who was one of the best shots in 
die kingdom ; in short, I do not know whether 
be would not have gained the silver arrow at 
any archery meeting — but then, bis shooting was 
with the long bow, and a terrible long bow it 
was. The various tales that he would relate, 
for our benefit, when sitting round Long Cham- 
ber fire, would have done credit to any Mun- 
chausen. Whenever he opened bis mouth, pre- 
fatory to bis simple story, the remark usually 
made was, " now for it — now for a crammer." 
He had, however, so perfected himself in the 
art of invention, that for truth to have been ex- 
tracted from the well of his ore rotundo, would 
have been twice as difficult as his original sys- 
tem. He used always to swear that his father 
lighted his fires with bank notes — that was one 
to which he rigidly adhered : still they were 
very amusing, ut impudentissime mentiretur, and 
he was a great favourite among the boys. He 
had a very pretty nickname given him, which 



132 REMINISCENCES 

all that knew him then, and knew bkn now, 
would recognise him by, did I mention it ; but 
as 1 do not intend to be personal in this little 
work to living characters, of course I omit it. 
At any rate be is now a good divine, an excel- 
lent fellow, and very intimate with one of the 
royal family, with whom be is in habits of the 
most familiar acquaintanceship : the ars menti- 
endi, that is, poetical allusions, of course being 
left at Eton in the last century. 

I do not think that there was any one so much 
abhorred by the Collegers, and that from his 
strict fidelity to his duty, as Sly, (as he was 
termed, the Head Master's faithful servant), 
principal and only locker up and gaoler to the 
boys, birch collector, and rod distributor ; and 
whom we designated sometimes by another 
name, by the mythological one of Cerberus. 
No bribe would ever do with him, to let any one 
out at night after we were locked up— rejedt 
alto dona nocentium vultv. What a hated sound 
it used to be, when he came to light the fires, 



OF AN ETONIAN. 133 

" Half-past seven, come get up," accompanied 
by a tolerable rough bawl of the shoulders. It 
was his place to call every boy in the morning 
previous to eight o'clock school, and I never re- 
collect his once being behind his time. 



134 REMINISCENCES 



CHAPTER X. 



Evans. Have a care of your entertainments ; there is a 
friend o' mine come to town, tells me, there is three cozens- 
german that has cozened all the hosts of Reading, of Maiden- 
head, of Colnbrook, of horses and money. 

Merry Wives of Windsor. 



Among the various amusements which tend 
to checquer the life of an Etonian, and to render 
it, what it really is, an agreeable life, when put in 
comparison with what are termed private schools, 
is the Montem, as it is called, a gala day truly — 
a day which, fortunately for the pockets of the 
parents, happens only once in three years ; viz. 
on Whit-Tuesday. This is the grandest day of 
all, a day of three year's speculation who will be 
the captain, when the revolution of the triennial 
cycle occurs. 



OF AN ETONIAN. 135 

For months previous, tailors and mantuama- 
kers, hatters and shoemakers, and a whole host 
of tradesmen, even army clothiers, are put into 
requisition : long, long before my military coat 
(I was a Corporal) was finished, it was daily 
tried on at Reeves's ; many and many an hour 
have I whiled away, in superintending the splen- 
did dress, which I had ordered my two servants 
to wear, one of them, by the bye, now a Marquis, 
and will eventually be a Duke. Mammas and 
sisters are consulted upon the most engaging 
colour to be worn. Interest is made to procure 
situations for some of the little boys, generally 
sprigs of nobility, as servants to the Captain, or 
the Corporals, which situations, from the gay 
dress worn by than, are anxiously desired. 

My first essay at Montem, was as one of the 
six servants of the Captain, who was intimately 
acquainted with my Grandfather: (and who 
made his intimacy turn to a good account at 
Ankerwyke House). He was, I recollect, a 
famous baud at making Bumble — a beverage 



136 REMINISCENCES 

composed of swipes and brown sugar, which, 
after two day's bottling, was good stuff. I am 
positive, that no king strutted his brief hour on 
the stage with more pride, than did I on that 
day, equipped in a light infantry dress, with my 
blue silk sash edged with gold, silver buckles to 
my Spanish leather shoes, powdered hair, and 
a handsome ivory-handled dirk to my side* 
With which said dirk, many years afterwards, 
at a wine party in Old Court, Cambridge, or 
more correctly speaking at the conclusion of it, 
I was very near depriving the Bench of one of 
its greatest ornaments, in the shape of a newly 
made judge. 

After some taunt, which displeased me, whea 
in a state fproh pudor) of inebriation, I flew 
to my rooms, and seizing my dirk, went imme- 
diately after my equally inebriated aggressor, 
whom I overtook, going up one of the Towers 
of Old Court : I struck at him, and most fortu- 
nately for himself, as probably for my own neck, 
I missed him, and the blow fell on the stone 



OF AN ETONIAN. 137 

steps, which shattered the weapon to pieces. 
Of a certainty, not even inebriation, and the 
addition of a cayenne temper, could be any ex- 
cusefor such an action* I need not say, that on the 
following morning, when reason, as well as day- 
light dawned, 1 was truly penitent, I thai 
made a vow to myself, never to stay at a wine 
party after six o'clock; and that resolution 
I afterwards inviolably kept ; and in a subse- 
quent severe illness, the typhus fever, when 
death ravaged our ranks, I experienced the be- 
nefits of it. 

But to the Montem again. Independent of the 
Captain, who pockets the collection of the day, 
and the Marshal with his truncheon of office, 
and the Ensign with his splendid flag, the two 
Saltbearers, who take their station on Windsor 
bridge, to collect the Salt,* from their Majesties 
and the Royal Family,arethe principal objects of 
attention, their equipment being generally so 
very superb. 

* Phrase for money. 



196 REMINISCENCES 

The Runners are of an inferior grade to the 
Saltbearers, yet most elegantly attired in silk 
dresses, and whose office it is to go to different 
stations from Eton : some of them go perhaps to 
the distance of six or seven miles. Colnbrook 
and Maidenhead bridge, in my time, were always 
considered the two best runs, as being situated 
on the high road from London to Bath. The 
distant Runners always go in gigs, attended by 
a tolerably powerful man, to protect them from 
insult, which often occurs from those travelling 
on the road, and not aware of the custom, and 
no wonder, of the Mos pro Lege. The collec- 
tion of the Runners, is finally given to the 5aft- 
bearers, who are the Chancellors of the Exche- 
quer for the day, and they in their turn, present 
the proceeds to the Captain, the Receiver Ge- 
neral. 

Let us suppose the expected day arrived, and 
should it be ushered in with a cloudless sky, 
the joy is unbounded : a large assemblage of 
beauty and fashion, rustic as well as West End, 



OF AN ETONIAN. 139 

is expected, to see and be seen. It is a day of 
bustle and shew — according to the song, "a day 
of Jubilee cajolery, a day that ne'er was seen 
before, a day of fun and drollery." 

The Ensign's flag is displayed at Long Cham- 
ber window; at eleven o'clock, George the 
third, used to appear with bis family, and with 
a long continued roar of huzzas, was received 
by the boys, ever anxious to have their Monarch's 
smile of approbation : and from the entrance 
to the school-yard, conducted by the Head Mas- 
ter to his Chambers — from whence, after an ele- 
gant collation therein, the procession moves to- 
wards Salthill, the principal scene of the days 
display. 

It it a gratifying sight to see upwards of five 
hundred of the sons of England's aristocracy, 
accompanied by their beloved king, and bis 
suite, marching in due order to the all-inspiring 
sound of martial music, while on each side, the 
road is lined with spectators, during the whole 
of the march. 



140 REMI1USCENCE9 

On their arrival at the Mount at Salthill, a 
small eminence from whence is derived the name 
of Montem, the Ensign becomes a most im- 
portant personage, and the great lion of the 
shew. Here with the symbol of his office, 
the splendid silken flag, he performs a variety 
of manoeuvres, each of which, from the great 
skill required to effect, and a previous long 
drilling in the perfection of that skill, necessarily 
attracts attention and applause, from the sur- 
rounding multitude. This being concluded, 
Stacker* and his doggerel verses having been 
well laughed at, the boys then proceed to one 
of the best parts of the day's diversion, viz. a 
superb dinner provided at the principal Inns at 
Salthill, attended by the Assistants of the School, 
and the Dames, to preserve due order. . 

The joyous day, the O Jest us dies pnerorum, 
is generally concluded with a promenade on the 



* A noted character of Windsor, the poet-laureate «f that 
day, the attendant of many Montems, drawn in a donkey cart 
fantastically dressed, and well known to all Etonians. 



OF AN ETONIAN. 141 

terrace at Windsor, at which our revered king, 
old George, used always to make it a point to 
attend. I believe in his successor's reign, from 
a love of retirement, that part of the ceremony 
was dispensed with, the terrace being closed ; 
but I doubt not, that the high regard, which 
our present beloved monarch, William the 
Fourth, entertains towards the enjoyments of 
his subjects, that the same gratifying privileges, 
if not already, will be restored again. 

Still although the public may admire the 
scene altogether as a shew, and as the cause of 
producing much gratification to the Etonians ; 
and although the advocates for its continuance, 
will say, it is only one day, out of one thousand 
and ninety-five days, I must say, I think its 
principle is bad. It is nothing less, (and I go 
not on my own opinion alone), than a genteel 
begging, which has the sanction of time imme- 
morial : and it is a pity that the present Head 
Master, should not have put a final stop to the 



142 REMINISCENCES. 

custom altogether : for it is the cause of a need- 
less expence to many of the parents of the boys 
who can ill afford it, not willing to be outdone 
by others, in gratifying their sons in the pa* 
geant of that one day. 

I before stated that it is a pleasing sight to 
see upwards of five hundred boys in their blue 
jackets white trousers, and white wands ; and 
although the collection may, on an average, 
yield from eight hundred to one thousand pounds 
to the Captain, yet when the expences are de- 
ducted from it, a very small share finds its way 
to its original intention, that of producing a suffi- 
cient sum to pay for a young man's expences 
at Cambridge, during his Under-Graduateship. 
In short, I understand that at the last Montem, 
from the great expences lavished thereon, that 
the Captain was actually a loser by it. At its 
first institution it was annual, but it was found 
to be so burdensome a tax on the parental trea- 
suries, that it was changed to once in three years. 



OF AN ETONIAN. 143 

Thus much for the Montem, which I again add 
would be better abolished. Perhaps the moral 
in the fable of the ox and the calf may be ap- 
plicable to me, "chickens must not feed capons," 
or I might perhaps be told, 

Non est tuum contra auctoritatem senatus dicere. 

Cicero. 



144 REMINISCENCES 



CHAPTER XI. 



A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be to you. 

Leviticus xxv. 11. 



From our vicinage to Windsor, we were fre- 
quently in the habit of experiencing the royal 
kindness and condescension. During the time 
that I was at school, I was present, as one of the 
upper boys, (a certain number only, generally 
fifty, going at one time), at four of his majesty's 
fetes— where it was impossible to be otherwise 
than highly delighted, at the condescension of 
farmer George, (as he was always denominated, 
not only by ourselves, but by half die kingdom, 
from his predilection for agricultural pursuits), 



OF AN ETONIAN. 145 

to one and all. To every one a something was 
to be said, which was a sure source of gratifi- 
cation to his auditors. He was as a father to 
all his subjects : but in a more striking point 
of view, did that paternal kindness exhibit it- 
self in Saint George's Hall, or at Frogmore, 
when entertaining us, whom be was always in 
the habit of calling his boys. 

If, as we are told, cares, anxieties, and trou- 
bles, are the precious stones which encircle the 
kingly crown, they certainly never appeared in 
his entertainments to us. His words were those 
of joy and gladness, shedding their sweetness 
on those, whom he delighted to honour. 

German play 8 were very great favourites with 
him, which were usually performed at the 
Queen's Palace at Windsor. A certain portion 
of these plays were enacted by clock-work : it 
was of course impossible to understand the ma- 
noeuvring ; but I can well recollect this, that 
we were often in total darkness. This some- 
times created rather an odd sort of feeling 

T 



146 REMINISCENCES 

among some of the tender-hearted ones, at what 
was to make its appearance ; whether a ghost in 
real earnest, or only the notes of the invisible 
girl were to be distinguished. 

In my younger days I have been at several 
Fetes : as well Royal as otherwise : the Horti- 
cultural Fetes, as well as Holly Lodge, have 
displayed their profusion and grandeur : in latter 
days I have witnessed the real pleasure on the 
faces of my own children and others at Dome 
House juvenile Fete, where its amiable and 
hospitable mistress reigned the dispenser of hap- 
piness, mirth and hilarity. 

But of all the Fetes, to which I ever had the 
honour of being invited, and from which I ex- 
perienced the greatest delight, was that given 
by our excellent old Queen — by her whose name 
will ever go down to posterity, as the mirror 
for future queens, a model of virtue to all suc- 
ceeding ages. It was a Fete in which the whole 
nation participated — I mean that of the Jubilefc— 
when our beloved sovereign had reigned over 
our land for fifty years. Through storm and 



OF AN ETONIAN. 147 

through sunshine, he had been our revered ruler : 
though at times, when the hand of God lay 
heavy upon him, and overwhelmed him with 
mental infirmity, and the vision of God's bless- 
ed light was taken from him— when the reins of 
government were placed in the hands of our 
late gracious monarch, as Regent of the land — 
still was he England's King. 

It was a beautiful day in October, which 
witnessed the holiday of the Jubilee. Soon 
after daylight, the firing of the cannon, and huz- 
zaing of the people, were to be heard in all di- 
rections. Windsor was crowded, not only by 
the high and mighty of the court, coming to 
pay their respects to royalty, but by the pea- 
santry also, who came in flocks from the neigh- 
bouring villages, to partake of the festivities of 
Bachelor's Acre. This is a particular spot of 
ground, lying between Sheet Street and Peas- 
cod Street, almost in the centre of Windsor, and 
belonging, (by right of time immemorial, and 
service done to the state by the CmKbes of for- 
mer days,) to the Bachelors of Windsor of the 



148 REMINISCENCES 

present time* This was the place assigned for 
the sports to take place. Bullocks roasted 
whole, and sheep by strings, like sausages sur- 
rounding a turkey, were among some of the 
substantiate prepared for the multitude in the 
Acre. I have no occasion to remark that in 
this country, no feast ever goes off without a 
tolerable good potation — in this instance, be as- 
sured, that the old laudable custom was not 
omitted ; but that Ramsbottom's hogsheads were 
very soon emptied of their contents in honour 
of the day. 

As Etonians, we of course were not left out 
of the bill of fare, but participated in some of 
the fun going forward on that day. A whole 
holiday and additional commons fell to our 
share ; but the best part of all were the evening 
entertainments, to which I before alluded, given 
by the Queen, and to which fifty of the head 
boys of the school were invited by royal man- 
date. 

It was my good fortune to be the Captain of 
the school at that time, and as such, it was my 



OF AN ETONIAN. 149 

province to marshal my schoolfellows to the 
Queen's Lodge, at Frogmore. To this parti- 
cular day, I often recur with pleasure ; nay, I 
think I may add, with pride, as an era in my 
life, in which, I think I may with truth assert, 
that no other Etoniap ever before had such a 
distinguished honour, and most probably never 
will. A king to reign fifty years, in these our 
days, is no common occurrence.* 

It will perhaps be needless to remark on the 
difficulty which our little band experienced in 
its progress, marshalled by the author of these 
Reminiscences, through the crowded streets of 
Windsor. The mass of the populace, which ab- 
solutely covered the road the whole of the dis- 
tance from Windsor to Frogmore, was so dense, 
that finding it almost an utter impossibility to 
reach the grounds in any reasonable time, to 
witness the festivities of the evening, I deter- 
mined to solicit the aid of some of the Oxford 

• In the Anglo-Saxon period of the history of England, we 
read of Cissa, the son of Aftla, from whom Chichester takes its 
name, reigning seventy-six years, and dying in the year 577, at 
the advanced age of 117.— Daily's Chichester Guide. 



150 REMINISCENCES 

Blues, to act as our pioneers — this they imme- 
diately granted ; and with their powerful heavy 
horses, soon cleared for us a passage to the de- 
sired goal. 

To remark on the beauty of this evening scene, 
enlivened by the countless lamps, that, suspend- 
ed from the branches of the trees, reflected them- 
selves on the calm unruffled waters of the 
lakes — to tell of the various luxuries which the 
beautifully ornamented tents contained, and 
which were perhaps only in the power of royalty 
to command, and an on this singular occasion 
exerted to its utmost — to depict the exhilarat- 
ing influence produced by the bands of music, 
Martial, Pandeean, and Tyrolese, stationed with 
great judgment, to aid and assist in this almost 
magic scene — to give an idea of the genuine de- 
light, which as well warmed the hearts, as en- 
livened the countenances of Frogmore's guests, 
would be too great a task for me to perform. 

Within a few weeks after this scene of joy, 
my resignation came from Cambridge, owing 
to the marriage of one of the Fellows of King's 



OF AN ETONIAN. 151 

College, thereby causing a vacancy in that body. 
A circumstance, which does not often occur, 
took place when my resignation arrived — there 
was no Provost of Eton at the time, the late 
Provost having died two days previous. I was 
therefore ripped,* according to the Eton phrase, 
by the Vice-Provost. I then bid adieu to the 
well-beloved as now well-remembered scenes 
and acquaintance of my boyhood ; little imagin- 
ing, when mounted on the coach for London, in 
all the unrestrained freedom of anticipated plea- 
sure, casting a last look on the " distant spires 
and antique towers," that a day of adversity 
would ever arrive — that I should have to wit- 
ness the deaths of parents and children — to en- 
dure the hard grasp of poverty in future life, 
I finally took my journey for Alma Mater, and 
was entered a Scholar of King's. 

Thus end my Reminiscences of Eton. I 
have set down nought in malice: and should 

* On leaving Eton for King's, the cloth gown then worn, is 
sown up in the front— the Provost then rips it up with a knife, 
and you are no longer an Eton boy. 



152 REMINISCENCES 

they have availed to while away a passing hour 
and produce some few recollections of Eton, 
one out of two objects of the author will have 
been attained. 

M v little bark of life is daily speeding 

Aaown the stream, mid rocks and sands and eddies, 

And gathering storms, and darkening clouds unheeding 

Its quiet course, through winds and waves it steadies. 

My love is with me, and my babes, whose kisses 

Sweep sorrow's trace from off my brow, as last 

As gathering there : and hung upon the mast 

Are harp and myrtle flowers, that shed their blessing 

On the sweet air. Is darkness on my path ? 

There beams bright radiance from a star that hath 

Its temple in heaven. As firm as youth 

I urge my onward way. 

Dr. Bowring** Poet. Trans. 

[Since the first committal to paper of these pages, the mists 
which then obscured the Etonian's path, are now ? by the re- 
viving influence of old Eton friendship, beginning to clear 
away. A star of brightness is now arising, which he trusts u will 
lead to fortune."] 



FINIS. 



•V 



Hackman, Printer, Chichester. 



MAR « - W55 




rux BiNDor* 




.- *