• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Dedication
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Part I
 Part II
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Tom Brown's schooldays
Title: Tom Brown's school-days
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00078088/00001
 Material Information
Title: Tom Brown's school-days
Uniform Title: Tom Brown's schooldays
Physical Description: xxii, 369 p., 10 leaves of plates : ill. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hughes, Thomas, 1822-1896
Thomas Y. Crowell & Co ( Publisher )
John Wilson and Son ( Printer )
University Press (Cambridge, Mass.) ( Printer )
Publisher: Thomas Y. Crowell and Co.
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: John Wilson & Son ; University Press
Publication Date: c1890
 Subjects
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Education -- Juvenile fiction -- England   ( lcsh )
Boys -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Youth and death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Teacher-student relationships -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Boarding school students -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Bullying -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
School stories -- 1890   ( local )
Bldn -- 1890
Genre: School stories   ( local )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
United States -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge
 Notes
General Note: Frontispiece printed in red and black ink.
Statement of Responsibility: by Thomas Hughes.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00078088
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002391914
notis - ALZ6810
oclc - 177183215

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page i
        Page ii
    Frontispiece
        Page iii
    Title Page
        Page iv
        Page v
    Dedication
        Page vi
    Preface
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
    Table of Contents
        Page xix
        Page xx
    List of Illustrations
        Page xxi
        Page xxii
    Part I
        Page 1
        Page 2
        The Brown family
            Page 3
            Page 4
            Page 5
            Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 10a
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
        The "veast"
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
        Sundry wars and alliances
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 46a
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
            Page 58
            Page 59
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
        The stage-coach
            Page 67
            Page 68
            Page 68a
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
        Rugby and football
            Page 85
            Page 86
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 93
            Page 94
            Page 95
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
            Page 105
            Page 106
            Page 107
            Page 108
            Page 109
        After the match
            Page 110
            Page 111
            Page 112
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
            Page 116
            Page 117
            Page 118
            Page 119
            Page 120
            Page 121
            Page 122
            Page 123
            Page 124
            Page 125
            Page 126
            Page 127
            Page 128
            Page 129
            Page 130
            Page 130a
        Settling to the collar
            Page 131
            Page 132
            Page 133
            Page 134
            Page 135
            Page 136
            Page 137
            Page 138
            Page 139
            Page 140
            Page 141
            Page 142
            Page 143
            Page 144
            Page 145
            Page 146
            Page 147
            Page 148
            Page 149
            Page 150
            Page 151
            Page 152
            Page 153
            Page 154
        The war of independence
            Page 155
            Page 156
            Page 157
            Page 158
            Page 159
            Page 160
            Page 161
            Page 162
            Page 163
            Page 164
            Page 165
            Page 166
            Page 167
            Page 168
            Page 169
            Page 170
            Page 171
            Page 172
            Page 173
            Page 174
            Page 175
            Page 176
            Page 177
            Page 178
            Page 179
        A chapter of accidents
            Page 180
            Page 181
            Page 182
            Page 183
            Page 184
            Page 185
            Page 186
            Page 187
            Page 188
            Page 189
            Page 190
            Page 191
            Page 192
            Page 193
            Page 194
            Page 195
            Page 196
            Page 197
            Page 198
            Page 199
            Page 200
            Page 201
            Page 202
            Page 203
            Page 204
            Page 205
            Page 206
    Part II
        Page 207
        Page 208
        How the tide turned
            Page 209
            Page 210
            Page 211
            Page 212
            Page 213
            Page 214
            Page 215
            Page 216
            Page 217
            Page 218
            Page 219
            Page 220
            Page 220a
            Page 221
            Page 222
            Page 223
        The new boy
            Page 224
            Page 225
            Page 226
            Page 227
            Page 228
            Page 229
            Page 230
            Page 231
            Page 232
            Page 233
            Page 234
            Page 235
            Page 236
            Page 237
            Page 238
            Page 239
        Arthur makes a friend
            Page 240
            Page 241
            Page 242
            Page 242a
            Page 243
            Page 244
            Page 245
            Page 246
            Page 247
            Page 248
            Page 249
            Page 250
            Page 251
            Page 252
            Page 253
            Page 254
            Page 255
            Page 256
        The bird-fanciers
            Page 257
            Page 258
            Page 259
            Page 260
            Page 261
            Page 262
            Page 263
            Page 264
            Page 265
            Page 266
            Page 267
            Page 268
            Page 269
            Page 270
            Page 271
            Page 272
            Page 273
        The fight
            Page 274
            Page 275
            Page 276
            Page 277
            Page 278
            Page 279
            Page 280
            Page 281
            Page 282
            Page 283
            Page 284
            Page 285
            Page 286
            Page 287
            Page 288
            Page 289
            Page 290
            Page 290a
            Page 291
            Page 292
            Page 293
        Fever in the school
            Page 294
            Page 295
            Page 296
            Page 297
            Page 298
            Page 299
            Page 300
            Page 301
            Page 302
            Page 303
            Page 304
            Page 305
            Page 306
            Page 306a
            Page 307
            Page 308
            Page 309
            Page 310
            Page 311
            Page 312
            Page 313
            Page 314
        Harry East's dilemmas and deliverances
            Page 315
            Page 316
            Page 317
            Page 318
            Page 319
            Page 320
            Page 321
            Page 322
            Page 323
            Page 324
            Page 325
            Page 326
            Page 327
            Page 328
            Page 329
            Page 330
            Page 331
            Page 332
            Page 333
            Page 334
        Tom Brown's last match
            Page 335
            Page 336
            Page 337
            Page 338
            Page 339
            Page 340
            Page 341
            Page 342
            Page 343
            Page 344
            Page 345
            Page 346
            Page 347
            Page 348
            Page 349
            Page 350
            Page 351
            Page 352
            Page 353
            Page 354
            Page 355
            Page 356
            Page 357
            Page 358
            Page 359
            Page 360
        Finis
            Page 361
            Page 362
            Page 363
            Page 364
            Page 364a
            Page 365
            Page 366
            Page 367
            Page 368
            Page 369
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text

























This Edition is limited to Two Hundred and Fifty Copies,
of which this is


No. ...............




































































A SCRUMMAGE.- See Page zor.







TOM BROWN'S


SCHOOL-DAYS


BY

THOMAS HUGHES


NEW YORK
THOMAS Y. CROWELL AND CO.
46 EAST FOURTEENTH STREET.






























Copyright, 1890,
BY THOMAS Y. CROWELL AND CO.


Unibersitp oress :
JOHN WILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE.




























TO


MRS. ARNOLD,

OF FOX HOWE,

THIS BOOK IS, WITHOUT HER PERMISSION,


DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR,


WHO OWES MORE THAN HE CAN EVER ACKNOWLEDGE
OR FORGET TO HER AND HERS.

















PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION.




I RECEIVED the following letter from an old friend
soon after the last edition of this book was published,
and resolved, if ever another edition were called for, to
print it; for it is clear from this and other like com-
ments, that something more should have been said ex-
pressly on the subject of bullying, and how it is to
be met.
MY DEAR -- : I blame myself for not having earlier
suggested whether you could not, in another edition of Tom
Brown, or another story, denounce more decidedly the evils
of bullying at schools. You have indeed done so, and in
the best way, by making Flashman, the bully, the most
contemptible character; but in that scene of the tossing, and
similar passages, you hardly suggest that such things should
be stopped, and do not suggest any means of putting an
end to them.
This subject has been on my mind for years. It fills
me with grief and misery to think what weak and nervous
children go through at school, how their health and charac-
ter for life are destroyed by rough and brutal treatment.
It was some comfort to be under the old delusion that fear
and nervousness can be cured by violence, and that knocking
about will turn a timid boy into a bold one. -But now we
know well enough that is not true. Gradually training a









PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION.


timid child to do bold acts would be most desirable; but
frightening him and ill-treating him will not make him cour-
ageous. Every medical man knows the fatal effects of terror
or agitation or excitement, to nerves that are over-sensitive.
There are different kinds of courage, as you have shown in
your character of Arthur.
A boy may have moral courage, and a finely-organized
brain and nervous system. Such a boy is calculated, if
judiciously educated, to be a great, wise, and useful man,
but he may not possess animal courage; and one night's
tossing, or bullying, may produce such an injury to his brain
and nerves that his usefulness is spoiled for life. I verily
believe that hundreds of noble organizations are thus de-
stroyed every year. Horse-jockeys have learned to be wiser ;
they know that a highly nervous horse is utterly destroyed
by harshness. A groom who tried to cure a shying horse by
roughness and violence, would be discharged as a brute and a
fool. A man who would regulate his watch with a crowbar
would be considered an ass. But the person who thinks a
child of delicate and nervous organization can be made bold
by bullying is no better.
He can be made bold by healthy exercise and games
and sports; but that is quite a different thing. And even
these games and sports should bear some proportion to his
strength and capacities.
I very much doubt whether small children should play
with big ones. The rush of a set of great fellows at foot-
ball, or the speed of a cricket-ball sent by a strong hitter,
must be very alarming to a mere child, to a child who
might stand up boldly enough among children of his own
size and height.
Look at half a dozen small children playing cricket by
themselves; how feeble are their blows, how slowly they
bowl. You can measure in that way their capacity.
Tom Brown and his eleven were bold enough playing
against an eleven of about their own calibre; but I suspect








PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION.


they would have been in a precious funk if they had played
against eleven giants, whose bowling bore the same propor-
tion to theirs that theirs does to the small children's above.
To return to the tossing. I must say I think some
means might be devised to enable schoolboys to go to bed in
quietness and peace, and that some means ought to be
devised and enforced. No good (moral or physical) to those
who bully or those who are bullied, can ensue from such
scenes as take place in the dormitories of schools. I suspect
that British wisdom and ingenuity are sufficient to discover a
remedy for this evil, if directed in the right direction.
The fact is, that the condition of a small boy at a large
school is one of peculiar hardship and suffering. He is en-
tirely at the mercy of proverbially the roughest things in the
universe, great schoolboys; and he is deprived of the pro-
tection which the weak have in civilized society, for he may
not complain; if he does, he is an outlaw. He has no pro-
tector but public opinion, and that a public opinion of the very
lowest grade, the opinion of rude and ignorant boys.
What do schoolboys know of those deep questions of moral
and physical philosophy, of the anatomy of mind and body,
by which the treatment of a child should be regulated?
Why should the laws of civilization be suspended for
schools? Why should boys be left to herd together with
no law but that of force or cunning? What would become
of society if it were constituted on the same principles? It
would be plunged into anarchy in a week.
One of our judges not long ago refused to extend the
protection of the law to a child who had been ill-treated at
school. If a party of navvies had given him a licking, and
he had brought the case before a magistrate, what would he
have thought if the magistrate had refused to protect him,
on the ground that if such cases were brought before him he
might have fifty a-day from one town only?
Now I agree with you that a constant supervision of
the master is not desirable or possible, and that telling








PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION.


tales or constantly referring to the master for protection
would only produce ill-will and worse treatment.
If I rightly understand your book, it is an effort to
improve the condition of schools by improving the tone of
morality and public opinion in them. But your book con-
tains the most indubitable proofs that the condition of the
younger boys at public schools, except under the rare dic-
tatorship of an Old Brooke, is one of great hardship and
suffering.
A timid and nervous boy is from morning till night in a
state of bodily fear. He is constantly tormented when try-
ing to learn his lessons. His play-hours are occupied in
fagging, in a horrid funk of cricket-balls and foot-balls,
and the violent sport of creatures who, to him, are giants.
He goes to his bed in fear and trembling,- worse than
the reality of the rough treatment to which he is perhaps
subjected.
I believe there is only one complete remedy. It is not
in magisterial supervision; nor in telling tales ; nor in rais-
ing the tone of public opinion among schoolboys, but in the
separation of boys of different ages into different schools.
There should be at least three different classes of schools,
the first for boys from nine to twelve; the second for
boys from twelve to fifteen; the third for those above fifteen.
And these schools should be in different localities.
There ought to be a certain amount of supervision by
the master at those times when there are special occasions
for bullying, e. g. in the long winter evenings, and when
the boys are congregated together in the bedrooms. Surely
it cannot be an impossibility to keep order, and protect
the weak at such times. Whatever evils might arise from
supervision, they could hardly be greater than those pro-
duced by a system which divides boys into despots and
slaves.


Ever yours, very truly,


F. D.









PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION.


The question of how to adapt English public-school
education to nervous and sensitive boys (often the
highest and noblest subjects which that education has
to deal with) ought to be looked at from every point of
view.1 I therefore add a few extracts from the letter of
an old friend and schoolfellow, than whom no man in
England is better able to speak on the subject: -

"What's the use of sorting the boys by ages, unless you
do so by strength ? And who are often the real bullies ? The
strong young dog of fourteen, while the victim may be one
year or two years older. I deny the fact about the
bedrooms. There is trouble at times, and always will be;
but so there is in nurseries. My little girl, who looks like
an angel, was bullying the smallest twice to-day.
Bullying must be fought with in other ways, -by get-
ting not only the Sixth to put it down, but the lower fellows
to scorn it, and by eradicating mercilessly the incorrigible;
and a master who really cares for his fellows is pretty sure
to know instinctively who in his house are likely to be
bullied, and knowing a fellow to be really victimized and
harassed, I am sure that he can stop it if he is resolved.
There are many kinds of annoyance- sometimes of real
cutting persecution for righteousness' sake-that he can't
stop; no more could all the ushers in the world: but he can
do very much in many ways to make the shafts of the
wicked pointless.

1 For those who believe with me in public-school education, the fact
stated in the following extract from a note of Mr. G. De Bunsen, will be
hailed with pleasure, especially now that our alliance with Prussia (the
most natural and healthy European alliance for Protestant England) is
likely to be so much stronger and deeper than heretofore. Speaking of
this book, he says, -" The author is mistaken in saying that public
schools, in the English sense, are peculiar to England. Schul Pforte in
the Prussian province of Saxony is similar in antiquity and institutions.
I like his book all the more for having been there for five years."







xii PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION.


But though, for quite other reasons, I don't like to see
very young boys launched at a public school, and though I
don't deny (I wish I could) the existence from time to time
of bullying, I deny its being a constant condition of school
life, and still more, the possibility of meeting it by the
means proposed .
I don't wish to understate the amount of bullying that
goes on; but my conviction is that it must be fought, like all
school evils, but it more than any, by dynamics rather than
mechanics, by getting the fellows to respect themselves
and one another, rather than by sitting by them with a thick
stick."

And now, having broken my resolution never to write
a Preface, there are just two or three things which I
should like to say a word about.
Several persons for whose judgment I have the high-
est respect, while saying very kind things about this
book, have added that the great fault of it is, "too
much preaching;" but they hope I shall amend in this
matter should I ever write again. Now this I most dis-
tinctly decline to do. Why, my whole object in writing
at all was to get the chance of preaching! When a man
comes to my time of life and has his bread to make, and
very little time to spare, is it likely that he will spend
almost the whole of his yearly vacation in writing a
story just to amuse people ? I think not. At any rate,
I would n't do so myself.
The fact is, that I can scarcely ever call on one of my
contemporaries nowadays without running across a boy
already at school, or just ready to go there, whose bright
looks and supple limbs remind me of his father, and our
first meeting in old times. I can scarcely keep the








PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION.


Latin Grammar out of my qwn house any longer; and
the sight of sons, nephews, and godsons playing trap-
bat-and-ball and reading Robinson Crusoe" makes
one ask oneself whether there is n't something one
would like to say to them before they take their first
plunge into the stream of life, away from their own
homes, or while they are yet shivering after the first
plunge. My sole object in writing was to preach to
boys; if ever I write again, it will be to preach to some
other age. I can't see that a man has any business to
write at all unless he has something which he thoroughly
believes and wants to preach about. If he has this, and
the chance of delivering himself of it, let him by all
means put it in the shape in which it will be most likely
to get a hearing; but let him never be so carried away
as to forget that preaching is his object.
A black soldier in a West Indian regiment, tied up
to receive a couple of dozen for drunkenness, cried out
to his captain, who was exhorting him to sobriety in
future, Cap'n, if you preachee, preachee, and if floggee,
floggee; but no preachee and floggee too to which his
captain might have replied, No, Pompey, I must preach
whenever I see a chance of being listened to, which I
never did before; so now you must have it all together,
and I hope you may remember some of it."
There is one point which has been made by several of
the Reviewers who have noticed this book, and it is one
which, as I am writing a Preface, I cannot pass over.
They have stated that the Rugby undergraduates they
remember at the Universities were a solemn array,"
"boys turned into men before their time," "a semi-








PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION.


political, s3mi-sacerdotal fraternity," etc., giving the
idea that Arnold turned out a set of young squaretoes,
who wore long-fingered black gloves and talked with a
snuffle. I can only say that their acquaintance must
have been limited and exceptional; for I am sure that
every one who has had anything like large or continuous
knowledge of boys brought up at Rugby from the times
of which this book treats down to this day, will bear me
out in saying, that the mark by which you may know
them is their genial and hearty freshness and youthful-
ness of character. They lose nothing of the boy that is
worth keeping, but build up the man upon it. This is
their differentia as Rugby boys; and if they never had
it, or have lost it, it must be not because they were at
Rugby, but in spite of their having been there. The
stronger it is in them the more deeply you may be sure
have they drunk of the spirit of their school.
But this boyishness in the highest sense is not incom-
patible with seriousness,- or earnestness, if you like
the word better.1 Quite the contrary. And I can well
believe that casual observers, who have never been inti-
mate with Rugby boys of the true stamp, but have met
them only in the every-day society of the Universities,-
at wines, breakfast-parties, and the like,- may have seen
a good deal more of the serious or earnest side of their
characters than of any other. For the more the boy
was alive in them the less will they have been able to
conceal their thoughts, or their opinion of what was

1 To him [Arnold] and his admirers we owe the substitution of the
word "earnest" for its predecessor "serious." Edinburgh Review, No.
217, p. 183.







PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION.


taking place under their noses; and if the greater part
of that did n't square with their notions of what was
right, very likely they showed pretty clearly that it did
not, at whatever risk of being taken for young prigs.
They may be open to the charge of having old heads on
young shoulders; I think they are, and always were, as
long as I can remember. But so long as they have young
hearts to keep head and shoulders in order, I, for one,
must think this only a gain.
And what gave Rugby boys this character, and has
enabled the School, I believe, to keep it to this day ? I
say, fearlessly, Arnold's teaching and example; above
all, that part of it which has been, I will not say sneered
at, but certainly not approved, -his unwearied zeal in
creating moral thoughtfulness in every boy with
whom he came into personal contact.
He certainly did teach us -thank God for it -that
we could not cut our life into slices and say, In this
slice your actions are indifferent, and you need n't
trouble your heads about them one way or another; but
in this slice mind what you are about, for they are
important." A pretty muddle we should have been in
had he done so. He taught us that in this wonderful
world no boy or man can tell which of his actions is
indifferent and which not; that by a thoughtless word
or look we may lead astray a brother for whom Christ
died. He taught us that life is a whole, made up of
actions and thoughts and longings, great and small,
noble and ignoble; therefore the only true wisdom for
boy or man is to bring the whole life into obedience to
Him whose world we live in, and who has purchased us







PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION.


with His blood; and that whether we eat or drink, or
whatsoever we do, we are to do all in His name and to
His glory; in such teaching, faithfully, as it seems to
me, following that of Paul of Tarsus, who was in the
habit of meaning what he said, and who laid down this
standard for every man and boy in his time. I think
it lies with those who say that such teaching will not
do for us now, to show why a teacher in the nineteenth
century is to preach a lower standard than one in the
first.
However, I won't say that the Reviewers have not a
certain plausible ground for their dicta. For a short
time after a boy has taken up such a life as Arnold
would have urged upon him, he has a hard time of it.
He finds his judgment often at fault, his body and
intellect running away with him into all sorts of pit-
falls, and himself coming down with a crash. The
more seriously he buckles to his work the oftener these
mischances seem to happen; and in the dust of his
tumbles and struggles, unless he is a very extraordinary
boy, he may often be too severe on his comrades, may
think he sees evil in things innocent, may give offence
when he never meant it. At this stage of his career, I
take it, our Reviewer comes across him, and not looking
below the surface (as a Reviewer ought to do), at once
sets the poor boy down for a prig and a Pharisee, when
in all likelihood he is one of the humblest and truest
and most childlike of the Reviewer's acquaintance.
But let our Reviewer come across him again in a year
or two, when the thoughtful life" has become habitual
to him, and fits him as easily as his skin, and if he be








PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION. xvii

honest, I think he will see cause to reconsider his judg-
ment. For he will find the boy grown into a man,
enjoying every-day life as no man can who has not
found out whence comes the capacity for enjoyment,
and who is the Giver of the least of the good things of
this world; humble as no man can be who has not
proved his own powerlessness to do right in the smallest
act which he ever had to do; tolerant as no man can
be who does not live daily and hourly in the knowledge
of how Perfect Love is forever about his path, and
bearing with and upholding him.


















CONTENTS.


PART I.


CHAPTER


PREFACE TO THE SIXTH EDITION
THE BROWN FAMILY . .
THE YEAST .
SUNDRY WARS AND ALLIANCES.
THE STAGE-COACH .
RUGBY AND FOOTBALL
AFTER THE MATCH ..
SETTLING TO THE COLLAR. .
THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE. .
A CHAPTER OF ACCIDENTS .


PART II.

How THE TIDE TURNED . .
THE NEW BOY . . .
ARTHUR MAKES A FRIEND . .
THE BIRD-FANCIERS . . .
THE FIGHT . . .
FEVER IN THE SCHOOL . .....
HARRY EAST'S DILEMMAS AND D)ELIVERANCES
TOM BROWN'S LAST MATCH . .
FINIS . . . .. .


I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.


I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.


. 209
S224
S240
S257
.274
S294
. 315
. 335
. 361
















LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



PAGE
A scrummage .... .. . .Frontispiece
Initial Letter. . . . 3
White Horse Hill ............... 10
" There was the canal which supplied the country-side with coal" 20
Initial Letter . . ,. 22
"Bless his little heart I must gi' un a kiss ... 32
Initial Letter. . . . 44
Farmer Ives ................ 49
" Tom watched with all his eyes, and first challenged one of
the less scientific" . . .. 57
Initial Letter . . 67
"I '11 try, father" .............. 69
"A good run to you says the sportsman to the pinks 77
Initial Letter . . . .. 85
Rugby Gate ....... .......... 86
" And heark'ee, Cooey, it must be up in ten minutes 88
Initial Letter . . 110
" From Porter's they adjourned to Sally Harrowell's 112
" Once, twice, thrice, and away . ... 129
Initial Letter ..............131
" They hear faint cries for help from the wretched Tadpole 145
" Tom turned the handle" . . . 149
Initial Letter ... .. . . . 155
"Poor Diggs ........ ....... 169
"At the head of one of the long tables stood the sporting
interest" .. . . .. 175









xxii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
PAGE
Initial Letter ...... ............ 180
He's bleeding awfully" .......... .185
"Isay,keeper ................ 199
"Not for twenty, neither" .. . . 199
Initial Letter . . 209
Doorway of the Headmaster's house . .. 213
Never mind what I mean," said Tom ... .. .220
Initial Letter . . . 224
The Quadrangle ... . . . 227
Initial Letter ... . . . 240
Martin . . . .. 242
After deep cogitation," etc. . . ... 244
Initial Letter .. . . . 257
"For a moment or two they thought he could n't get up 262
I've got the young varmint at last" . . 270
Initial Letter... ............. 274
"Arthur can hardly get on at all" ... 278
"It is grim earnest now, and no mistake." . 289
Initial Letter ........ . 294
"The cricket match was going on as usual" .... 296
Presently he went on, but quite calm and slow 308
A lady came in carrying a candle . . 311
Initial Letter . . .. 315
I only wish it was, Tom .. . 328
"Hah, East Do you want to speak With me, my man ?" 332
Initial Letter ... . . 335
"Meantime Jack Raggles, with his sleeves tucked up 349
"For he's a jolly good fellow . . 359
Initial Letter . . 361
" Tom nodded, and then sat down on the shoe-board, while
the old man told his tale . .. .. 365
Tailpiece . . . 369
























TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.

PART I.












TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.

BY AN OLD BOY.




CHAPTER I.

I'm the Poet of White Horse Vale, sir,
With liberal notions under my cap."
BALLAD.








HE BROWNS have become illus-
Z trious'by the pen of Thackeray
and the pencil of Doyle within
the memory of the young gen-
l tlemen who are now matricula-
ting. at the Universities. Not-
withstanding the well-merited
but late fame which has now fallen
upon them, any one at all acquainted
with the family must feel that much has yet to be writ-
ten and said before the British nation will be properly
sensible of how much of its greatness it owes to the
Browns. For centuries, in their quiet, dogged, home-








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


spun way, they have been subduing the earth in most
English counties, and leaving their mark in American
forests and Australian uplands. Wherever the fleets
and armies of England have won renown, there stal-
wart sons of the Browns have done yeoman's work.
With the yew-bow and cloth-yard shaft at Cressy and
Agincourt, with the brown bill and pike under the
brave Lord Willoughby, with culverin and demi-cul-
verin against Spaniards and Dutchmen, with hand-
grenade and sabre and musket and bayonet, under
Rodney and St. Vincent, Wolfe and Moore, Nelson and
Wellington, they have carried their lives in their hands,
getting hard knocks and hard work in plenty, which was
on the whole what they looked for, and the best thing
for them, and little praise or pudding, which indeed
they and most of us are better without. Talbots and
Stanleys, St. Maurs, and such-like folk, have led armies
and made laws time out of mind; but those noble fami-
lies would be somewhat astounded if the accounts ever
came to be fairly taken -to find how small their work
for England has been by the side of that of the Browns.
These latter, indeed, have until the present generation
rarely been sung by poet or chronicled by sage. They
have wanted their sacer vates, having, been too solid
to rise to the top by themselves, and not having been
largely gifted with the talent of catching hold of and
holding on tight to whatever good things happened to
be going, -the foundation of the fortunes of so many
noble families. But the world goes on its way, and the
wheel turns, and the wrongs of the Browns, like other
wrongs, seem in a fair way to get righted. And this
present writer, having for many years of his life been a
devout Brown-worshipper, and moreover having the
honor of being nearly connected with an eminently








THE BROWN FAMILY.


respectable branch of the great Brown family, is anx-
ious, so far as in him lies, to help the wheel over, and
throw his stone on to the pile.
However, gentle reader, or simple reader, whichever
you may be, lest you should be led to waste your pre-
cious time upon these pages, I make so bold as at once
to tell you the sort of folk you'll have to meet and put
up with, if you and I are to jog on comfortably together.
You shall hear at once what sort of folk the Browns
are, at least my branch of them; and then if you don't
like the sort, why, cut the concern at once, and let
you and I cry quits before either of us can grumble at
the other.
In the first place, the Browns are a fighting family.
One may question their wisdom or wit or beauty, but
about their fight there can be no question. Wherever
hard knocks of any kind, visible or invisible, are going,
there the Brown who is nearest must shove in his car-
cass. And these carcasses for the most part answer
very well to the characteristic propensity; they are a
square-headed and snake-necked generation, broad in
the shoulder, deep in the chest and thin in the flank,
carrying no lumber. Then for clanship, they are as bad
as Highlanders ;,it is amazing the belief they have in
one another. With them there is nothing like the
Browns, to the third and fourth generation. Blood is
thicker than water," is one of their pet sayings. They
can't be happy unless they are always meeting one an-
other. Never were such people for family gatherings,
which, were you a stranger, or sensitive, you might
think had better not have been gathered together. For
during the whole time of their being together, they luxu-
riate in telling one another their minds on whatever
subject turns up; and their minds are wonderfully an-







TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


tagonist, and all their opinions are downright beliefs.
Till you've been among them some time and under-
stand them, you can't think but that they are quarrel-
ling. Not a bit of it; they love and respect one another
ten times the more after a good set family arguing bout,
and go back, bne to his curacy, another to his chambers,
and another to his regiment, freshened for work, and
more than ever convinced that the Browns are the
height of company.
This family training too, combined with their turn for
combativeness, makes them eminently quixotic. They
can't let anything alone which they think going wrong.
They must speak their mind about it, annoying all easy-
going folk, and spend their time and money in having
a tinker at it, however hopeless the job. It is an im-
possibility to a Brown to leave the most disreputable
lame dog on the other'side of a stile. Most other folk
get tired of such work. The old Browns, with red faces,
white whiskers, and bald heads go on believing and fight-
ing to a green old age. They have always a crotchet
going, till the old man with the scythe reaps and gar-
ners them away for troublesome old boys as they are.
And the most provoking thing is, that no failures
knock them up or make them hold their hands, or think
you or me or other sane people in the right. Failures
slide off them like July rain off a duck's back feathers.
Jem and his whole family turn out bad, and cheat them
one week, and the next they are doing the same thing
for Jack; and when he goes to the treadmill, and his
wife and children to the workhouse, they will be on the
look-out for Bill to take his place.
However, it is time for us to get from the general to
the particular; so, leaving the great army of Browns,
who are scattered over the whole empire on which the








THE BROWN FAMILY.


sun never sets, and whose general diffusion I take to be
the chief cause of that empire's stability, let us at once
fix our attention upon the small nest of Browns in
which our hero was hatched, and which dwelt in that
portion of the royal county of Berks which is called the
Vale of White Horse.
Most of you have probably travelled down the Great
Western Railway as far as Swindon. Those of you who
did so with their eyes open, have been aware, soon after
leaving the Dideot station, of a fine range of chalk hills
running parallel with the railway on the left-hand side as
you go down, and distant some two or three miles, more
or less, from the line. The highest point in the range is
the White Horse Hill, which you come in front of just
before you stop at the Shrivenham station. If you love
English scenery, and have a few hours to spare, you
can't do better, the next time you pass, than stop at the
Farringdon-road or Shrivenham station, and make your
way to that highest point. And those who care for the
vague old stories that haunt country-sides all about Eng-
land, will not, if they are wise, be content with only a
few hours' stay; for, glorious as the view is, the neigh-
borhood is yet more interesting for its relics of bygone
times. I only know two English neighborhoods thor-
oughly, and in each, within a circle of five miles, there
is enough of interest and beauty to last any reasona-
ble man his life. I believe this to be the case almost
throughout the country; but each has a special attrac-
tion, and none can be richer than the one I am speaking
of and going to introduce you to very particularly (for
on this subject I must be prosy) so those that don't care
for England in detail may skip the chapter.
0 young England! young England!-you who are
born into these racing railroad times, when there's a








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


Great Exhibition, or some monster sight, every year,
and you can get over a couple of thousand miles of
ground for three pound ten, in a five weeks' holiday,
why don't you know more of your own birthplaces?
You're all in the ends of the earth, it seems to me, as
soon as you get your necks out of the educational collar,
for midsummer holidays, long vacations, or what not.
Going round Ireland, with a return ticket, in a fort-
night; dropping your copies of Tennyson on the tops
of Swiss mountains; or pulling down the Danube in
Oxford racing-boats. And when you get home for a
quiet fortnight, you turn the steam off, and lie on your
backs in the paternal garden, surrounded by the last
batch of books from Mudie's library, and half bored to
death. Well, well! I know it has its good side. You
all patter French more or less, and perhaps German;
you have seen men and cities, no doubt, and have your
opinions, such as they are, about schools of painting,
high art, and all that; have seen the pictures at Dres-
den and the Louvre, and know the taste of sour-krout.
All I say is, you don't know your own lanes and woods
and fields. Though you may be chock-full of science,
not one in twenty of you knows where to find the wood-
sorrel or bee-orchis which grows in the next wood or
on the down three miles off, or what the bog-bean and
wood-sage are good for. And as for the country legends,
the stories of the old gable-ended farmhouses, the place
where the last skirmish was fought in the civil wars,
where the parish butts stood, where the last highway-
man turned to bay, where the last ghost was laid by the
parson, they're gone out of date altogether.
Now, in my time, when we got home by the old coach
which put us down at the cross-roads with our boxes,
the first day of the holidays, and had been driven off by








THE BROWN FAMILY.


the family coachman, singing "Dulce Domum" at the
top of our voices, there we were, fixtures, till black Mon-
day came round. We had to cut out our own amuse-
ments within a walk or ride of home; and so we got
to know all the country folk, and their ways and songs
and stories by heart, and went over the fields and
woods and hills again and again till we made friends
of them all. We were Berkshire or Gloucestershire or
Yorkshire boys; and you're young cosmopolites, belong-
ing to all counties and no countries. No doubt it's all
right, -I dare say it is. This is the day of large views
and glorious humanity, and all that; but I wish back-
sword play had n't gone out in the Vale of White Horse,
and that that confounded Great Western had n't carried
away Alfred's Hill to make an embankment.
But to return to the said Vale of White Horse, the
country in which the first scenes of this true and inter-
esting story are laid. As I said, the Great Western now
runs right through it, and it is a land of large rich
pastures, bounded by fox-fences, and covered with fine
hedgerow timber, with here and there a nice little gorse
or spinney, where abideth poor Charley, having no other
cover to which to betake himself for miles and miles,
when pushed out some fine November morning by the
Old Berkshire. Those who have been there, and well
mounted, only know how he and the stanch little pack
who dash after him-heads high and sterns low with
a breast-high scent can consume the ground at such
times. There being little plough-land and few woods,
the vale is only an average sporting country, except
for hunting. The villages are straggling, queer, old-
fashioned places, the houses being dropped down with-
out the least regularity, in nooks and out-of-the-way
corners by the sides of shadowy lanes and footpaths,








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


each with its patch of garden. They are built chiefly
of good gray stone, and thatched; though I see that
within the last year or two the red-brick cottages are
multiplying, for the vale is beginning to manufacture
largely both brick and tiles. There are lots of waste
ground by the side of the roads in every village, amount-
ing often to village greens, where feed the pigs and gan-
ders of the people; and these roads are old-fashioned,
homely roads, very dirty and badly made, and hardly
endurable in winter, but still pleasant, jog-trot roads
running through the great pasture-lands, dotted here
and there with little clumps of thorns where the sleek
kine are feeding, with no fence on either side of them;
and a gate at the end of each field, which makes you
get out of your gig (if you keep one), and gives.you a
chance of looking about you every quarter of a mile.
One of the moralists whom we sat under in my youth
(was it the great Richard Swiveller, or Mr. Stiggins ?)
says, We are born in a vale, and must take the con-
sequences of being found in such a situation." These
consequences, I, for one, am ready to encounter. I pity
people who were n't born in a vale. I don't mean a flat
country, but a vale; that is, a flat country bounded
by hills. The having your hill always in view, if you
choose to turn towards him, that's the essence of a
vale. There he is forever in the distance, your friend
and companion; you never lose him as you do in hilly
districts.
And then what a hill is the White Horse Hill! There
it stands right up above all the rest, nine hundred feet
above the sea, and the boldest, bravest shape for a chalk
hill that you ever saw. Let us go up to the top of him,
and see what is to be found there. Ay, you may well
wonder, and think it odd you never heard of this before;





































































WHITE-HORSE HILL.







THE BROWN FAMILY.


but wonder or not, as you please, there are hundreds
S of such things lying about England, which wiser folk
than you know nothing of, and care nothing for. Yes;
it's a magnificent Roman camp, and no mistake, with
gates and ditch and mounds, all as complete as it was
twenty years after the strong old rogues left it. Here,
right up on the highest point (from which they say you
can see eleven counties) they trenched round all the
table-land, some twelve or fourteen acres, as was their
custom, for they couldn't bear anybody to overlook
them, and made their eyry. The ground falls away
rapidly on all sides. Was there ever such turf in the
whole world? You sink up to your ankles at every
step, and yet the spring of it is delicious. There is
always a breeze in the "camp," as it is called; and
here it lies just as the Romans left it, except that cairn
on the east side left by her Majesty's corps of Sappers
and Miners the other day, when they and the Engineer
officer had finished their sojourn there, and their sur-
veys for the Ordnance map of Berkshire. It is alto-
gether a place that you won't forget, a place to open
a man's soul and make him prophesy, as he looks down
on that great Vale spread out as the garden of the Lord
before him, and wave on wave of the mysterious downs
behind, and to the right and left the chalk hills run-
ning away into -the distance, along which he can trace
for miles the old Roman road, the Ridgeway ("the
Rudge," as the country folk call it), keeping straight
along the highest back of the hills,-such a place as
Balak brought Balaam to, and told him to prophesy
against the people in the valley beneath. And he could
not, neither shall you, for they are a people of the Lord
who abide there.
And now we leave the camp, and descend towards








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


the west, and are on the Ashdown. We are treading
on heroes. It is sacred ground for Englishmen, more
sacred than all but one or two fields where their bones
lie whitening; for this is the actual place where our
Alfred won his great battle, the battle of Ashdown
(" Ascendum" in the chroniclers), which broke the
Danish power, and made England a Christian land.
The Danes held the camp and the slope where we are
standing, the whole crown of the hill, in fact. "The
heathen had beforehand seized the higher ground," as
old Asser says, having wasted everything behind them
from London, and being just ready to burst down on
the fair vale, Alfred's own birthplace and heritage.
And up the heights came the Saxons, as they did at
the Alma. The Christians led up their line from the
lower ground. There stood also on that same spot a
single thorn-tree, marvellous stumpy, which we our-
selves with our very own eyes have seen." Bless the
old chronicler! does he think nobody ever saw the
"single thorn-tree" but himself ? Why, there it stands
to this very day, just on the edge of the slope, and I
saw it not three weeks since,- an old single thorn-tree,
"marvellous stumpy." At least if it isn't the same
tree, it ought to have been, for it's just in the place
where the battle must have been won or lost, around
which, as I was saying, the two lines of foemen came
together in battle with a huge shout. And in this place,
one of the two kings of the heathen, and five of his
earls fell down and died, and many thousands of the
heathen side in the same place."' After which crown

1 Pagani editiorem locum prmoccupaverant. Christiani ab inferior
]oeo aciem dirigebant. Erat quoque in eodem loco unica spinosa arbor,
brevis admodum (quam nos ipsi nostris propriis oculis vidimus). Circa
quam ergo hostiles inter se acies cum ingenti clamore hostiliter conveni-








THE BROWN FAMILY.


ing mercy, the pious king, that there might never be
wanting a sign and a memorial to the country-side,
carved out on the northern side of the chalk hill, under
the camp, where it is almost precipitous, the great
Saxon white horse, which he who will may see from
the railway, and which gives its name to the vale, over
which it has looked these thousand years and more.
Right down below the White Horse is a curious deep
and broad gully called the Manger," into one side of
which the hills fall with a series of the most lovely
sweeping curves, known as "the Giant's Stairs;" they
are not a bit like stairs, but I never saw anything like
them anywhere else, with their short green 'turf and
tender blue-bells, and gossamer and thistle-down gleam-
ing in the sun, and the sheep-paths running along their
sides like ruled lines.
The other side of the Manger is formed by the Dra-
gon's Hill, a curious little round self-confident fellow,
thrown forward from the range, and utterly unlike
everything round him. On this hill some deliverer of
mankind, Saint George, the country folks used to tell me,
killed a dragon. Whether it were Saint George, I cannot
say; but surely a dragon was killed there, for you may
see the marks yet where his blood ran down, and more
by token, the place where it ran down is the easiest way
up the hillside.
Passing along the Ridgeway to the west for about a
mile, we come to a little clump of young beech and firs,
with a growth of thorn and privet underwood. Here

unt. Quo in loco alter de duobus Paganorum regibus et quinque comites
occisi occubuerunt, et multa millia Pagame parties in eodem loco. Cecidit
illic ergo Bmgsceg Rex, et Sidroc ille senex comes, et Sidroc Junior comes,
et Obsbern comes, &c.-Annales Rerum Gestarum A Elfredi Magni, Auctore
Asserio. Recensuit Franciscus Wise. Oxford, 1722, p. 23.







TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


you may find nests of the strong down partridge and
peewit, but take care that the keeper is n't down upon
you; and in the middle of it is an old cromlech,--a
huge flat stone raised on seven or eight others, and led
up to by a path, with large single stones set up on each
side. This is Wayland Smith's cave, a place of classic
fame now; but as Sir Walter has touched it, I may as
well let it alone, and refer you to "Kenilworth" for
the legend.
The thick, deep wood which you see in the hollow
about a mile off, surrounds Ashdown Park, built by
Inigo Jones. Four broad alleys are cut through the
wood from circumference to centre, and each leads to
one face of the hose. The mystery of the downs hangs
about house and wood, as they stand there alone, so
unlike all around, with the green slopes studded with
great stones just about this part, stretching away on all
sides. It was a wise Lord Craven, I think, who pitched
his tent there.
Passing along the Ridgeway to the east, we soon
come to cultivated land. The downs, strictly so called,
are no more; Lincolnshire farmers have been imported,
and the long fresh slopes are sheep-walks no more, but
grow famous turnips and barley. One of those im-
provers lives over there at the Seven Barrows farm,
another mystery of the great downs. There are the
barrows still, solemn and silent, like ships in the calm
sea, the sepulchres of some sons of men. But of whom ?
It is three miles from the White Horse, too far for the
slain of Ashdown to be buried there. Who shall say
what heroes are waiting there ? But we must get down
into the vale again, and so away by the Great Western
Railway to town; for time and the printer's devil press,
and it is a terrible long and slippery descent, and a








THE BROWN FAMILY.


shocking bad road. At the bottom, however, there is
a pleasant public, whereat we must really take a modest
quencher, for the down here is a provocative of thirst.
So we pull up under an old oak which stands before the
door.
What is the name of your hill, landlord ?"
"Blawing-sTWUN Hill, sir, to be sure."
[READER. Sturm?" AUTHOR. "Stone, stupid- the
Blowing-stone."]
"And of your house? I can't make out the sign."
Blawing-stwun, sir," says the landlord, pouring out
his old ale from a Toby Philpot jug, with a melodious
crash, into the long-necked glass.
"What queer names!" say we, sighing at the end
of our draught, and holding out the glass to be
replenished.
"Bean't queer at all, as I can see, sir," says mine
host, handing back our glass, seeing as this here is the
Blawing-stwun his self," putting his hand on a square
lump of stone some three feet and a half high, perfor-
ated with two or three queer holes like petrified ante-
diluvian rat-holes, which lies there close under the oak,
under our very nose. We are more than ever puzzled,
and drink our second glass of ale wondering what will
come next. "Like to hear un, sir?" says mine host,
setting down Toby Philpot on the tray, and resting
both hands on the "stwun." We are ready for any-
thing; and he, without waiting for a reply, applies his
mouth to one of the rat-holes. Something must come
of it, if he does n't burst. Good heavens! I hope he
has no apoplectic tendencies. Yes, here it comes, sure
enough, a grewsome sound between a moan and a roar,
and spreads itself away over the valley, and up the
hillside, and into the woods at the back of the house,







TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


-a ghost-like, awful voice. "Um do say, sir," says
mine host rising purple-faced, while the moan is still
coming out of the "stwun," as they used in old times
to warn the country-side, by blawing the stwun when
the enemy was a-comin', and as how folks could make
un cheered them for seven mile round, leastways, so
I've heered Lawyer Smith say, and he knows a smart
sight about them old times." We can hardly swallow
Lawyer Smith's seven miles; but could the blowing of
the stone have been a summons, a sort of sending the
fiery cross round the neighborhood in the old times ?
What old times ? Who knows ? We pay for our beer,
and are thankful.
"And what's the name of the village just below,
landlord ?"
Kingstone Lisle, sir,"
"Fine plantations you've got here."
"Yes, sir; the squire's 'mazin' fond of trees and
such like."
"No wonder. He's got some real beauties to be fond
of. Good day, landlord."
Good day, sir, and a pleasant ride to 'e."
And now, my boys, you whom I want to get for
readers, have you had enough? Will you give in at
once, and say you're convinced, and let me begin my
story, or will you have more of it? Remember, I've
only been over a little bit of the hillside yet,--what
you could ride round easily on your ponies in an hour.
I'm only just come down into the vale by Blowing-
stone Hill, and if I once begin about the vale, what's
to stop me? You'll have to hear all about Wantage
(the birthplace of Alfred) and Farringdon, which held
out so long for Charles the First: the vale was near
Oxford, and dreadfully malignant; full of Throgmor-







THE BROWN FAMILY.


tons, Puseys, and Pyes, and such like, and their brawny
retainers. Did you ever read Thomas Ingoldsby's
"Legend of Hamilton Tighe "? If you haven't you
ought to have. Well, Farringdon is where he lived
before he went to sea; his real name was Hampden
Pye, and the Pyes were the great folk at Farringdon.
Then there's Pusey, you've heard of the Pusey horn,
which King Canute gave to the Puseys of that day,
and which the gallant old squire, lately gone to his
rest (whom Berkshire freeholders turned out of last
Parliament, to their eternal disgrace, for voting accord-
ing to his conscience), used to bring out on high
days, holidays, and bonfire nights; and the splendid
old cross church at Uffington, the Uffingas town,-
the whole country-side teems with Saxon names and
memories; and the old moated grange at Compton,
nestled close under the hillside, where twenty Marianas
may have lived, with its bright water-lilies in the moat,
and its yew-walk, "the cloister walk," and its peerless
terraced gardens. There they all are, and twenty things
besides, for those who care about them, and have eyes.
And these are the sort of things you may find, I be-
lieve, every one of you, in any common English country
neighborhood.
Will you look for them under your own noses, or will
you not? Well, well; I've done what I can to make
you, and if you will go gadding over half Europe now
every holidays, I can't help it. I was born and bred a
west-countryman, thank God! a Wessex man, a citi-
zen of the noblest Saxon kingdom of Wessex, a regu-
lar "Angular Saxon," the very soul of me adscriptus
glebe. There's nothing like the old country-side for
me, and no music like the twang of the real old Saxon
tongue, as one gets it fresh from the veritable chaw in








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


the White Horse Vale; and I say with Gaarge Ridler,"
the old west-country yeoman,
"Throo aall the waarld owld Gaarge would bwoast,
Commend me to merry owld England inwoast;
While vools gwoes prating vur and nigh,
'We stops at whum, my dog and I."
Here at any rate lived and stopped at home, Squire
Brown, J. P. for the county of Berks, in a village near
the foot of the White Horse Range. And here he dealt
out justice and mercy in a rough way, and begat sons
and daughters, and hunted the fox, and grumbled at the
badness of the roads and the times. And his wife dealt
out stockings and calico shirts and smock-frocks and
comforting drinks to the old folks with the rheumatiz,"
and good counsel to all, and kept the coal and clothes
clubs going for yule-tide, when the bands of mummers
came round, dressed out in ribbons and colored paper
caps, and stamped round the Squire's kitchen, repeat-
ing in true sing-song vernacular the legend of Saint
George and his fight, and the ten-pound doctor who
plays his part at healing the saint, a relic, I believe,
of the old middle-age mysteries. It was the first dra-
matic representation which greeted the eyes of little
Tom, who was brought down into the kitchen by his
nurse to witness it, at the mature age of three years.
Tom was the eldest child of his parents, and from his
earliest babyhood exhibited the family characteristics in
great strength. He was a hearty, strong boy from the
first, given to fighting with and escaping from his nurse,
and fraternizing with all the village boys, with whom
he made expeditions all round the neighborhood. And
here in the quiet old-fashioned country village, under
the shadow of the everlasting hills, Tom Brown was
reared, and never left it till he went first to school when







THE BROWN FAMILY.


nearly eight years of age, for in those days change of
air twice a year was not thought absolutely necessary
for the health of all Her Majesty's lieges.
I have been credibly informed, and am inclined to
believe, that the various boards of directors of railway
companies, those gigantic jobbers and bribers, while
quarrelling about everything else, agreed together some
ten years back to buy up the learned profession of
medicine body and soul. To this end they set apart
several millions of money, which they continually dis-
tribute judiciously amongst the doctors, stipulating only
this one thing, that they shall prescribe change of air
to every patient who can pay, or borrow money to pay,
a railway fare, and see their prescription carried out.
If it be not for this, why is it that none of us can be
well at home for a year together ? It was n't so twenty
years ago, not a bit of it. The Browns did n't go out
of the county once in five years. A visit to Reading
or Abingdon twice a year, at Assizes or Quarter Ses-
sions, which the Squire made on his horse with a pair
of saddle-bags containing his wardrobe, a stay of a
day or two at some country neighbor's, or an expedi-
tion to a county ball, or the yeomanry review made
up the sum of the Brown locomotion in most years.
A stray Brown from some distant county dropped in
every now and then, or from Oxford on grave nag an
old don, contemporary of the Squire, and were looked
upon by the Brown household and the villagers with the
same sort of feeling with which we now regard a man
who has crossed the Rocky Mountains, or launched a
boat on the Great Lake in Central Africa. The White
Horse Vale, remember, was traversed by no great road;
nothing but country parish roads, and these very bad.
Only one coach ran there, and this one only from Wan-








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


tage to London, so that the western part of the Vale
was without regular means of moving on, and certainly
didn't seem to want them. There was the canal, by
the way, which supplied the country-side with coal, and
up and down which continually went the long barges,


7 ZZ

IL


There was the canal which supplied the country-side with coal."

with the big, black men lounging by the side of the
horses along the towing-path, and the women in bright
colored handkerchiefs standing in the sterns steering.
Standing I say; but you could never see whether they
weie standing or sitting,, all but their heads and shoul-
ders being out of sight in the cosey little cabins which
occupied some eight feet of the stern, and which Tom
Brown pictured to himself as the most desirable of
residences. His nurse told him that those good-natured-
looking women were in the constant habit of enticing
children into the barges and taking them up to London


~S~k;-



-







THE BROWN FAMILY.


and selling them, which Tom wouldn't believe, and
which made him resolve as soon as possible to accept
the oft-proffered invitation of these sirens to "young
master," to come in and have a ride. But as yet the
nurse was too much for Tom.
Yet why should I after all abuse the gadabout pro-
pensities of my countrymen ? We are a vagabond nation
now, that's certain, for better for worse. I am a vaga-
bond; I have been away from home no less than five
distinct times in the last year. The Queen sets us the
example,-- we are moving on from top to bottom. Lit-
tle dirty Jack, who abides in Clement's Inn gateway,
and blacks my boots for a penny, takes his month's
hop-picking every year as a matter of course. Why
should n't he ? I'm delighted at it. I love vagabonds,
only I prefer poor to rich ones; couriers and ladies'
maids, imperials and travelling carriages, are an abomi-
nation unto me I cannot away with them. But for
dirty Jack, and every good fellow who, in the words of
the capital French song, moves about
"Comme le limagon,
Portant tout son bagage,
Ses meubles, sa maison, "
on his own back, why, good luck to them, and many a
merry road-side adventure and steaming supper in the
chimney-corners of road-side inns, Swiss chalets, Hot-
tentot kraals, or wherever else they like to go. So
having succeeded in contradicting myself in my first
chapter (which gives me great hopes that you will all
go on, and think me a good fellow notwithstanding my
crotchet) I shall here shut up for the present, and con-
sider my ways, having resolved to "sar' it out," as we
say in the Vale, "holus-bolus" just as it comes, and
then you '11 probably get the truth out of me.














CHAPTER II.


THE "VEAST."

"And the King commandeth and forbiddeth that from henceforth
neither fairs nor markets be kept in churchyards, for the honor of the
church. "-STATUTES: 13 Edward I. Slat. i. chap. VI.















S that venerable and learned poet (whose
voluminous works we all think it the
correct thing to admire and talk about,
but don't read often) most truly says,
" the child is father to the man ;" d fortiori, therefore, he
must be father to the boy. So, as we are going at any
rate to see Tom Brown through his boyhood, supposing
we never get any further (which, if you show a proper
sense of the value of this history, there is no knowing
but what we may), let us have a look at the life and
environments of the child, in the quiet country village
to which we were introduced in the last chapter.








THE VEAST."


Tom, as has been already said, was a robust and con-
bative urchin, and at the age of four began to struggle
against the yoke and authority of his nurse. That
functionary was a good-hearted, tearful, scatter-brained
girl, lately taken by Tom's mother, Madam Brown, as
she was called, from the village school to be trained as
nurserymaid. Madam Brown was a rare trainer of ser-
vants, and spent herself freely in the profession; for
profession it was, and gave her more trouble by half
than many people take to earn a good income. Her
servants were known and sought after for miles round.
Almost all the girls who attained a certain place in the
village school were taken by her, one or two at a time,
as housemaids, laundrymaids, nurserymaids, or kitchen-
maids, and after a year or two's drilling, were started in
life amongst the neighboring families, with good prin-
ciples and wardrobes. One of the results of this system
was the perpetual despair of Mrs. Brown's cook and own
maid, who no sooner had a notable girl made to their
hands than Missus was sure to find a good place for her
and send her off, taking in fresh importations from the
school; another was, that the house was always full of
young girls, with clean shining faces, who broke plates
and scorched linen, but made an atmosphere of cheerful
homely life about the place, good for every one who
came within its influence. Mrs. Brown loved young
people, and in fact human creatures in general, above
plates and linen. They were more like a lot of elder
children than servants, and felt to her more as a mother
or aunt than as a mistress.
Tom's nurse was one who took in her instruction very
slowly,- she seemed to have two left hands and no
head; and so Mrs. Brown kept her on longer than usual,
that she might expend her awkwardness and forgetful-








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


ness upon those who would not judge and punish her too
strictly for them.
Charity Lamb was her name. It had been the im-
memorial habit of the village, to christen children either
by Bible names or by those of the cardinal and other
virtues; so that one was forever hearing in the village
street or on the green, shrill sounds of "Prudence!
Prudence! thee cum out o' the gutter;" or, "Mercy!
drat the girl, what bist thee a-doin' wi' little Faith?"
and there were Ruths, Rachels, Keziahs, in every cor-
ner. The same with the boys; they were Benjamins,
Jacobs, Noahs, Enochs. I suppose the custom has come
down from Puritan times; there it is at any rate, very
strong still in the Vale.
Well, from early morn till dewy eve, when she had
it out of him in the cold tub before putting him to
bed, Charity and Tom were pitted against one another.
Physical power was as yet on the side of Charity, but
she had n't a chance with him wherever head-work was
wanted. This war of independence began every morn-
ing before breakfast, when Charity escorted her charge
to a neighboring farm-house which supplied the Browns,
and where, by his mother's wish, Master Tom went to
drink whey before breakfast. Tom had no sort of ob-
jection to whey, but he had a decided liking for curds,
which were forbidden as unwholesome; and there was
seldom a morning that he did not manage to secure a
handful of hard curds, in defiance of Charity and of
the farmer's wife. The latter good soul was a gaunt
angular woman, who with an old black bonnet on the
top of her head, the strings dangling about her shoul-
ders, and her gown tucked through her pocket-holes,
went clattering about the dairy, cheese-room, and yard,
in high pattens. Charity was some sort of niece of the








THE "VEAST."


old lady's, and was consequently free of the farm-house
and garden, into which she could not resist going for
the purposes of gossip and flirtation with the heir-
apparent, who was a dawdling fellow, never out at work
as he ought to have been. The moment Charity had
found her cousin, or any other occupation, Tom would
slip away; and in a minute shrill cries would be heard
from the dairy, Charity, Charity, thee lazy huzzy,
where bist ? and Tom would break cover, hands and
mouth full of curds, and take refuge on the shaky sur-
face of the great muck reservoir in the middle of the
yard, disturbing the repose of the great pigs. Here he
was in safety, as no grown person could follow with-
out getting over their knees; and the luckless Charity,
while her aunt scolded her from the dairy door for be-
ing "allus hankering about arter our Willum instead
of minding Master Tom," would descend from threats
to coaxing, to lure Tom out of the muck which was
rising over his shoes and would soon tell a tale on his
stockings, for which she would be sure to catch it from
Missus's maid.
Tom had two abettors in the shape of a couple of old
boys (Noah and Benjamin by name) who defended him
from Charity, and expended much time upon his edu-
cation. They were both of them retired servants of
former generations of the Browns. Noah Crooke was
a keen, dry old man of almost ninety, but still able to
totter about. He talked to Tom quite as if he were one
of his own family, and indeed had long completely iden-
tified the Browns with himself. In some remote age
he had been the attendant of a Miss Brown, and had
conveyed her about the country on a pillion. He had
a little round picture of the identical gray horse, capari-
soned with the identical pillion, before which he used to








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


do a sort of fetish worship, and abuse turnpike-roads and
carriages. He wore an old full-bottomed wig, the gift
of some dandy old Brown whom he had valeted in the
middle of last century, which habiliment Master Tom
looked upon with considerable respect, not to say fear;
and indeed his whole feeling towards Noah was strongly
tainted with awe; and when the old gentleman was
gathered to his fathers, Tom's lamentation over him
was not unaccompanied by a certain joy at having seen
the last of the wig: Poor old Noah, dead and gone,"
said he, Tom Brown so sorry! Put him in the coffin,
wig and all."
But old Benjy was young Master's real delight and
refuge. He was a youth by the side of Noah, scarce
seventy years old. A cheery, humorous, kind-hearted
old man, full of sixty years of Vale gossip, and of all
sorts of helpful ways for young and old, but above all
for children. It was he who bent the first pin with
which Tom extracted his first stickleback out of Pebbly
Brook, the little stream which ran through the village.
The first stickleback was a splendid fellow, with fabu-
lous red and blue gills. Tom kept him in a small basin
till the day of his death, and became a fisherman from
that day. Within a month from the taking of the first
stickleback, Benjy had carried off our hero to the canal,
in defiance of Charity, and between them, after a whole
afternoon's popjoying, they had caught three or four
small, coarse fish and a perch, averaging perhaps two
and a half ounces each, which Tom bore home in rapt-
ure to his mother as a precious gift, and she received
like a true mother with equal rapture, instructing the
cook nevertheless, in a private interview, not to prepare
the same for the Squire's dinner. Charity had appealed
against old Benjy in the mean time, representing the








THE "VEAST."


dangers of the canal banks; but Mrs. Brown, seeing the
boy's inaptitude for female guidance, had decided in
Benjy's favor; and from thenceforth the old man was
Tom's dry-nurse. And as they sat by the canal watch-
ing their little green and white float, Benjy would instruct
him in the doings of deceased Browns, -how his grand-
father, in the early days of the great war, when there
was much distress and crime in the Vale, and the
magistrates had been threatened by the mob, had ridden
in with a big stick in his hand, and held the Petty Ses-
sions by himself; how his great uncle, the Rector, had
encountered and laid the last ghost, who had frightened
the old women (male and female) of the parish out of
their senses, and who turned out to be the blacksmith's
apprentice, disguised in drink and a white sheet. It was
Benjy too, who saddled Tom's first pony and instructed
him in the mysteries of horsemanship, teaching him to
throw his weight back and keep his hand low, and who
stood chuckling outside the door of the girls' school
when Tom rode his little Shetland into the cottage and
round the table where the old dame and her pupils
were seated at their work.
Benjy himself was come of a family distinguished in
the Vale for their prowess in all athletic games. Some
half-dozen of his brothers and kinsmen had gone to the
wars, of whom only one had survived to come home,
with a small pension, and three bullets in different parts
of his body. He had shared Benjy's cottage till his death,
.and had left him his old dragoon's sword and pistol,
which hung over the mantel-piece, flanked by a pair of
heavy single-sticks with which Benjy himself had won
renown long ago as an old gamester, against the picked
men of Wiltshire and Somersetshire, in many a good
bout at the revels and pastime of the country-side; for








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


he had been a famous backsword man in his young
days, and a good wrestler at elbow and collar.
Back-swording and wrestling were the most serious
holiday pursuits of the Vale -those by which men
attained fame and each village had its champion. I
suppose that on the whole, people were less worked then
than they are now; at any rate, they seemed to have
more time and energy for the old pastimes. The great
times for backswording came round once a year in each
village, at the feast. The Vale veasts" were not the
common statute feasts, but much more ancient business.
They are literally, so far as one can ascertain, feasts of
the dedication, i. e. they were first established in the
churchyard on the day on which the village church was
opened for public worship, which was on the wake or
festival of the patron saint, and have been held on the
same day in every year since that time.
There was no longer any remembrance of why the
" east" had been instituted, but nevertheless it had a
pleasant and almost sacred character of its own; for it
was then that all the children of the village, wherever
they were scattered, tried to get home for a holiday to
visit their fathers and mothers and friends, bringing
with them their wages or some little gift from up the
country for the old folk. Perhaps for a day or two
before, but at any rate on "veast-day" and the day
after in our village, you might see strapping, healthy
young men and women from all parts of the country
going round from house to house in their best clothes,
and finishing up with a call on Madam Brown, whom
they would consult as to putting out their earnings to
the best advantage, or how to expend the same best for
the benefit of the old folk. Every household, however
poor, managed to raise a "feast-cake" and bottle of








THE "VEAST."


ginger or raisin wine, which stood on the cottage table
ready for all comers, and not unlikely to make them
remember feast-time,--for feast-cake is very solid and
full of huge raisins. Moreover feast-time was the day
of reconciliation for the parish. If Job Higgins and
Noah Freeman had n't spoken for the last six months,
their old women" would be sure to get it patched up
by that day. And though there was a good deal of
drinking and low vice in the booths of an evening, it
was pretty well confined to those who would have been
doing the like, eastt or no eastt" and on the whole,
the effect was humanizing and Christian. In fact, the
only reason why this is not the case still, is that gentle-
folk and farmers have taken to other amusements, and
have, as usual, forgotten the poor. They don't attend
the feasts themselves, and call them disreputable; where-
upon the steadiest of the poor leave them also, and they
become what they are called. Class amusements, be
they for dukes or plough-boys, always become nuisances
and curses to a country. The true charm of cricket
and hunting is, that they are still more or less sociable
and universal; there's a place for every man who will
come and take his part.
No one in the village enjoyed the approach of veast-
day" more than Tom, in the year in which he was
taken under old Benjy's tutelage. The feast was held
in a large green field at the lower end of the village.
The road to Farringdon ran along one side of it, and
the brook by the side of the road; and above the
brook was another large gentle sloping pasture-land,
with a footpath running down it from the churchyard;
and the old church, the originator of all the mirth,
towered up with its gray walls and lancet windows,
overlooking and sanctioning the whole, though its own








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


share therein had been forgotten. At the point where
the footpath crossed the brook and road and entered on
the field where the feast was held, was a long, low, road-
side inn, and on the opposite side of the field was a
large, white, thatched farmhouse, where dwelt an old
sporting farmer, a great promoter of the revels.
Past the old church, and down the footpath, pottered
the old man and the child hand-in-hand early on the
afternoon of the day before the feast, and wandered all
round the ground, which was already being occupied by
the cheap Jacks," with their green covered carts and
marvellous assortment of wares, and the booths of more
legitimate small traders with their tempting arrays of
fairings and eatables, and penny peep-shows and other
shows, containing pink-eyed ladies and dwarfs and
boa-constrictors and wild Indians. But the object of
most interest to Benjy, and of course to his pupil also,
was the stage of rough planks some four feet high,
which was being put up by the village carpenter for
the backswording and wrestling; and after surveying
the whole tenderly, old Benjy led his charge away to the
road-side inn, where he ordered a glass of ale and a
long pipe for himself, and discussed these -unwonted
luxuries on the bench outside in the soft autumn eve-
ning with mine host (another old servant of the Browns),
and speculated with him on the likelihood of a good
show of old gamesters to contend for the morrow's
prizes, and told tales of the gallant bouts of forty years
back, to which Tom listened with all his ears and eyes.
But who shall tell the joy of the next morning, when
the church bells were ringing a merry peal, and old
Benjy appeared in the servants' hall, resplendent in a
long blue coat and brass buttons, and a pair of old
yellow buckskins and top-boots (which he had cleaned








THE VEAST."


for and inherited from Tom's grandfather), a stout
thorn-stick in his hand, and a nosegay of pinks and
lavender in his button-hole, and led away Tom in his
best clothes, and two new shillings in his breeches-
pockets ? Those two, at any rate, look like enjoying
the day's revel.
They quicken their pace when they get into the
churchyard; for already they see the field thronged with
country folk, the men in clean white smocks or velve-
teen or fustian coats, with rough plush waistcoats of
many colors, and the women in the beautiful long
scarlet cloak (the usual out-door dress of west-country
women in those days, and which often descended in
families from mother to daughter), or in new-fashioned
stuff shawls, which, if they would but believe it, don't
become them half so well. The air resounds with the
pipe and tabor, and the drums and trumpets of the
showmen shouting at the doors of their caravans, over
which tremendous pictures of the wonders to be seen
within hang temptingly; while through all rises the
shrill root-too-too-too" of Mr. Punch, and the unceas-
ing pan-pipe of his satellite.
Lawk 'a' massey, Mr. Benjamin," cries a stout
motherly woman in a red cloak, as they enter the
field, "be that you? Well, I never! you do look
purely. And how's the Squire and Madam and the
family ? "
Benjy graciously shakes hands with the speaker (who
has left our village for some years, but has come over
for veast-day" on a visit to an old gossip) and gently
indicates the heir-apparent of the Browns.
Bless his little heart! I must gi' un a kiss. Here
Susannah, Susannah!" cries she, raising herself from
the embrace, come and see Mr. Benjamin and young








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


Master Tom. You minds our Sukey, Mr. Benjamin,
she be growed a rare slip of a wench since you seen
her, tho' her 'll be sixteen come Martinmas. I do aim
to take her to see Madam to get her a place."


" Bless his little heart I must gi' un a kiss."


And Sukey comes bouncing away from a knot of old
school-fellows, and drops a courtesy to Mr. Benjamin.
And elders come up from all parts to salute Benjy, and
girls who have been Madam's pupils to kiss Master Tom,
and they carry him off to load him with fairings; and
he returns to Benjy, his hat and coat covered with
ribbons, and his pockets crammed with wonderful boxes








THE "VEAST."


which open upon ever new boxes and boxes, and pop-
guns and trumpets and apples, and gilt gingerbread
from the stall of Angel Heavens, sole vendor thereof,
whose booth groans with kings and queens and ele-
phants and prancing steeds, all gleaming with gold.
There was more gold on Angel's cakes than there is
ginger in those of this degenerate age. Skilled diggers
might yet make a fortune in the churchyards of the
Vale, by carefully washing the dust of the consumers of
Angel's gingerbread. Alas! he is with his namesakes,
and his receipts have, I fear, died with him.
And then they inspect the penny peep-show, at least
Tom does, while old Benjy stands outside and gossips,
and walks up the steps, and enters the mysterious doors
of the pink-eyed lady and the Irish Giant, who do not
by any means come up to their pictures; and the boa
will not swallow his rabbit, but there the rabbit is wait-
ing to be swallowed and what can you expect for
tuppence? We are easily pleased in the Vale. Now
there is a rush of the crowd, and a tinkling bell is
heard, and shouts of laughter; and Master Tom mounts
on Benjy's shoulders and beholds a jingling-match in
all its glory. The games are begun, and this is the
opening of them. It is a quaint game, immensely
amusing to look at; and as I don't know whether it is
used in your counties, I had better describe it. A large
roped ring is made, into which are introduced a dozen
or so of big boys and young men who mean to play;
these are carefully blinded and turned loose into the
ring, and then a man is introduced not blindfolded, with
a bell hung round his neck, and his two hands tied
behind him. Of course every time he moves, the bell
must ring, as he has no hand to hold it, and so the
dozen blindfolded men have to catch him. This they
3








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


cannot always manage if he is a lively fellow, but half
of them always rush into the arms of the other half, or
drive their heads together, or tumble over; and then
the crowd laughs vehemently, and invents nicknames
for them on the spur of the moment, and they, if they
be choleric, tear off the handkerchiefs which blind
them, and not infrequently pitch into one another, each
thinking that the other must have run against him on
purpose. It is great fun to look at a jingling-match
certainly; and Tom shouts, and jumps on old Benjy's
shoulders at the sight, until the old man feels weary,
and shifts him to the strong young shoulders of the
groom, who has just got down to the fun.
And now, while they are climbing the pole in another
part of the field, and muzzling in a flour-tub in another,
the old farmer whose house, as has been said, overlooks
the field, and who is master of the revels, gets up the
steps on to the stage, and announces to all whom it may
concern that a half-sovereign in money will be forth-
coming for the old gamester who breaks most heads;
to which the Squire and he have added a new hat.
The amount of the prize is sufficient to stimulate the
men of the immediate neighborhood, but not enough to
bring any very high talent from a distance; so. after a
glance or two round, a tall fellow, who is a down shep-
herd, chucks his hat on to the stage and climbs up the
steps looking rather sheepish. The crowd of course
first cheer and then chaff as usual, as he picks up
his hat and begins handling the sticks to see which will
suit him.
Wooy, Willum Smith, thee can't plaay wi' he arra
daay," says his companion to the blacksmith's apprentice,
a stout young fellow of nineteen or twenty. Willum's
sweetheart is in the veast" somewhere, and has strictly








THE "VEAST."


enjoined him not to get his head broke at backswording,
on pain of her highest displeasure; but as she is not to
be seen (the women pretend not to like to see the back-
sword play, and keep away from the stage), and as his
hat is decidedly getting old, he chucks it on to the stage,
and follows himself, hoping that he will only have to
break other people's heads, or that after all Rachel
won't really mind.
Then follows the greasy cap lined with fur of a half-
gypsy, poaching, loafing fellow, who travels the Vale
not for much good, I fancy: -
"Full twenty times was Peter feared
For once that Peter was respected,"
in fact. And then three or four other hats, including
the glossy castor of Joe Willis, the self-elected and
would-be champion of the neighborhood, a well-to-do
young butcher of twenty-eight or thereabouts, and a
great strapping fellow, with his full allowance of blus-
ter. This is a capital show of gamesters, considering
the amount of the prize; so while they are picking
their sticks and drawing their lots, I think I must tell
you, as shortly as I can, how the noble old game of
backsword is played; for it is sadly gone out of late,
even in the Vale, and maybe you have never seen it.
The weapon is a good stout ash-stick with a large
basket handle, heavier and somewhat shorter than a
common single-stick. The players are called old
gamesters," why I can't tell you, and their object
is simply to break one another's heads; for the moment
that blood runs an inch anywhere above the eyebrow
the old gamester to whom it belongs is beaten, and has
to stop. A very slight blow with the sticks will fetch
blood; so that it is by no means a punishing pastime, if
the men don't play on purpose, and savagely, at the








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


body and arms of their adversaries. The old gamester
going into action only takes off his hat and coat, and
arms himself with a stick; he then loops the fingers of
his left hand in a handkerchief or strap which he fastens
round his left leg, measuring the length, so that when
he draws it tight with his left elbow in the air, that
elbow shall just reach as high as his crown. Thus you
see, so long as he chooses to keep his left elbow up,
regardless of cuts, he has a perfect guard for the left
side of his head. Then he advances his right hand
above and in front of his head, holding his stick across
so that its point projects an inch or two over his left
elbow, and thus his whole head is completely guarded;
and he faces his man armed in like manner, and they
stand some three feet apart, often nearer, and feint,
and strike, and return at one another's heads, until one
cries "hold," or blood flows. In the first case they are
allowed a minute's time, and go on again; in the latter
another pair of gamesters are called on. If good men
are playing, the quickness of the returns is marvellous;
you hear the rattle like that a boy makes drawing
his stick along palings, only heavier, and the closeness
of the men in action to one another gives it a strange
interest and makes a spell at backswording a very noble
sight.
They are all suited now with sticks, and Joe Willis
and the gypsy man have drawn the first lot. So the rest
lean against the rails of the stage, and Joe and the dark
man meet in the middle, the boards having been strewed
with sawdust; Joe's white shirt and spotless drab
breeches and boots contrasting with the gypsy's coarse
blue shirt and dirty green velveteen breeches and leather
gaiters. Joe is evidently turning up his nose at the
other, and half insulted at having to break his head.








THE EASTST"


The gypsy is a tough, active fellow, but not very
skilful with his weapon, so that Joe's weight and
strength tell in a minute; he is too heavy metal for
him. Whack, whack, whack, come his blows, breaking
down the gypsy's guard, and threatening to reach his
head every moment. There it is at last. Blood,
blood!" shout the spectators, as a thin stream oozes
out slowly from the roots of his hair, and the umpire
calls to them to stop. The gypsy scowls at Joe under
his brows in no pleasant manner, while Master Joe swag-
gers about, and makes attitudes, and thinks himself,
and shows that he thinks himself, the greatest man in
the field.
Then follow several stout sets-to between the other
candidates for the new hat, and at last come the shep-
herd and Willum Smith. This is the crack set-to of
the day. They are both in famous wind, and there is
no crying "hold." The shepherd is an old hand and up
to all the dodges. He tries them one after another, and
very nearly gets at Willum's head by coming in near,
and playing over his guard at the half-stick; but some-
how Willum blunders through, catching the stick on
his shoulders, neck, sides, every now and then (any-
where but on his head), and his returns are heavy and
straight; and he is the youngest gamester and a favorite
in the parish, and his gallant stand brings down shouts
and cheers, and the knowing ones think he'll win if he
keeps steady, and Tom on the groom's shoulder holds his
hands together, and can hardly breathe for excitement.
Alas for Willum! his sweetheart getting tired of
female companionship has been hunting the booths to
see where he can have got to, and now catches sight
of him on the stage in full combat. She flushes, and
turns pale; her old aunt catches hold of her, saying,








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


" Bless'ee, child, doan't'ee go a'nigst it;" but she
breaks away and runs towards the stage calling his
name. Willum keeps up his guard stoutly, but glances
for a moment towards the voice. No guard will do it,
Willum, without the eye. The shepherd steps round
and strikes, and the point of his stick just grazes Wil-
lum's forehead, fetching off the skin, and the blood flows,
and the umpire cries Hold," and poor Willum's chance
is up for the day. But he takes it very well, and puts
on his old hat and coat, and goes down to be scolded by
his sweetheart, and led away out of mischief. Tom
hears him say coaxingly, as he walks off, -
"Now doan't'ee, Rachel! I would n't ha' done it, only
I wanted summut to buy'ee a fairing wi', and I be as
vlush o' money as a twod o' veathers."
"Thee mind what I tells'ee," rejoins Rachel saucily,
"and doan't'ee kep blethering about fairings." Tom
resolves in his heart to give Willum the remainder of
his two shillings after the backswording.
Joe Willis has all the luck to-day. His next bout
ends in an easy victory, while the shepherd has a tough
job to break his second head; and when Joe and the
shepherd meet, and the whole circle expect and hope to
see. him get a broken crown, the shepherd slips in the
first round and falls against the rails, hurting himself
so that the old farmer will not let him go on, much as
he wishes to try. And that imposter Joe (for he is cer-
tainly not the best man) struts and swaggers about the
stage the conquering gamester, though he has n't had
five minutes really trying play.
Joe takes the new hat in his hand, and puts the
money into it; and then as if a thought strikes him and
he does n't think his victory quite acknowledged down
below, walks to each face of the stage and looks down,









THE "VEAST."


shaking the money, and chaffing as how he'll stake hat
and money and another half-sovereign agin any game-
ster as has n't played already." Cunning Joe he thus
gets rid of Willum and the shepherd, who is quite fresh
again.
No one seems to like the offer; and the umpire is just
coming down, when a queer old hat, something like a
Doctor of Divinity's shovel, is chucked on to the stage,
and an elderly quiet man steps out, who has been watch-
ing the play, saying he should like to cross a stick wi'
the prodigalish young chap."
The crowd cheer and begin to chaff Joe, who turns up
his nose and swaggers across to the sticks. Imp'dent
old wosbird! says he, "1 '11 break the bald head on un
to the truth."
The old boy is very bald certainly, and the blood will
show fast enough if you can touch him, Joe.
He takes off his long flapped coat, and stands up in
a long flapped waistcoat which Sir Roger de Coverley
might have worn when it was new, picks out a stick,
and is ready for Master Joe, who loses no time, but
begins his old game, whack, whack, whack, trying to
break down the old man's guard by sheer strength.
But it won't do; he catches every blow close by the
basket; and though he is rather stiff in his returns,
after a minute walks Joe about the stage, and is clearly
a stanch old gamester. Joe now comes in, and making
the most of his height, tries to get over the old man's
guard at half-stick, by which he takes a smart blow in
the ribs and another on the elbow and nothing more.
And now he loses wind and begins to puff, and the crowd
laugh: "Cry 'hold,' Joe; thee'st met thy match!"
Instead of taking good advice and getting his wind, Joe
loses his temper, and strikes at the old man's body.








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


"Blood, blood shout the crowd, "Joe's head's
broke! "
Who 'd have thought it? How did it come ? That
body-blow left Joe's head unguarded for a moment,
and with one turn of the wrist the old gentleman has
picked a neat little bit of skin off the middle of his
forehead, and though he won't believe it, and hammers
on for three more blows despite of the shouts, is then
convinced by the blood trickling into his eye. Poor Joe
is sadly crestfallen, and fumbles in his pocket for the
other half-sovereign, but the old gamester won't have it.
Keep thy money, man, and gi's thy hand," says he, and
they shake hands; but the old gamester gives the new
hat to the shepherd, and soon after the half-sovereign
to Willum, who thereout decorates his sweetheart with
ribbons to his heart's content.
Who can a be ?" Wur do a cum from ?" ask the
crowd. And it soon flies about that the old west-
country champion who played a tie with Shaw the
life-guardsman at Vizes twenty years before, has
broken Joe Willis's crown for him.
How my country fair is spinning out I see I must
skip the wrestling, and the boys jumping in sacks and
rolling wheelbarrows blindfolded, and the donkey-
race, and the fight which arose thereout, marring the
otherwise peaceful eastt" and the frightened scurry-
ing away of the female feast-goers, and descent of Squire
Brown, summoned by the wife of one of the combatants
to stop it, which he would n't start to do till he had got
on his top-boots. Tom is carried away by old Benjy,
dog-tired and surfeited with pleasure, as the evening
comes on and the dancing begins in the booths; and
though Willum and Rachel in her new ribbons and
many another good lad and lass don't come away just








THE "VEAST."


yet, but have a good step out, and enjoy it, and get no
harm thereby, yet we, being sober folk, will just stroll
away up through the churchyard and by the old yew-
tree and get a quiet dish of tea and a parole with our
gossips, as the steady ones of our village do, and so
to bed.
That's the fair, true sketch, as far as it goes, of one of
the larger village feasts in the Vale of Berks when I
was a little boy. They are much altered for the worse,
I am told. I have n't been at one these twenty years ;
but I have been at the statute fairs in some west-country
towns, where servants are hired, and greater abomina-
tions cannot be found. What village feasts have come
to, I fear, in many cases, may be read in the pages of
Yeast" (though I never saw one so bad thank God !)
Do you want to know why? It is because, as I said
before, gentlefolk and farmers have left off joining or
taking an interest in them. They don't either subscribe
to the prizes, or go down and enjoy the fun.
Is this a good or a bad sign? I hardly know. Bad,
sure enough, if it only arises from the further separation
of classes consequent on twenty years of buying cheap
and selling dear, and its accompanying over-work; or
because our sons and daughters have their hearts in
London club-life, or so-called society, instead of in the
old English home duties; because farmers' sons are
aping fine gentlemen, and farmers' daughters caring
more to make bad foreign music than good English
cheeses. Good, perhaps, if it be that the time for the
old veast" has gone by, that it is no longer the healthy
sound expression of English country holiday-making;
that, in fact, we as a nation have got beyond it, and are
in a transition state, feeling for and soon likely to find
some better substitute.








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


Only I have just got this to say before I quit the text:
Don't let reformers of any sort think that they are going
really to lay hold of the working boys and young men
of England by any educational grapnel whatever, which
has n't some bona fide equivalent for the games of the
old country east" in it; something to put in the
place of the backswording and wrestling and racing;
something to try the muscles of men's bodies and the
endurance of their hearts, and to make them rejoice in
their strength. In all the new-fangled comprehensive
plans which I see, this is all left out; and the conse-
quence is, that your great Mechanics' Institutes end in
intellectual priggism, and your Christian Young Mens'
Societies in religious Pharisaism.
Well, well, we must bide our time. Life isn't all
beer and skittles; but beer and skittles, or something
better of the same sort, must form a good part of every
Englishman's education. If I could only drive this into
the heads of you rising Parliamentary Lords and young
swells, who have your ways made for you," as the
saying is, -you who frequent palaver houses and West-
end clubs, waiting always ready to strap yourselves on
to the back of poor dear old John, as soon as the present
used-up lot (your fathers and uncles), who sit there on
the great Parliamentary-majorities' pack-saddle, and
make belief they're guiding him with their red-tape
bridle, tumble, or have to be lifted off!
I don't think much of you yet (I wish I could),
though you do go talking and lecturing up and down
the country to crowded audiences, and are busy with
all sorts of philanthropic intellectualism and circulating
libraries and museums and Heaven only knows what
besides, and try to make us think through newspaper
reports that you are, even as we, of the working classes.








THE EASTST"


But, bless your hearts, we ain't so green," though lots
of us, of all sorts, toady you enough certainly, and try to
make you think so.
I'11 tell you what to do now; instead of all this trum-
peting and fuss which is only the old Parliamentary-
majority dodge over again--just you go each of you
(you've plenty of time for it, if you '11 only give up
t'other line) and quietly make three or four friends,
real friends, among us. You'll find a little trouble in
getting at the right sort, because such birds don't come
lightly to your lure, but found they may be. Take, say,
two out of the professions, lawyer, parson, doctor -
which you will; one out of trade, and three or four out
of the working classes, -tailors, engineers, carpenters,
engravers, -there's plenty of choice. Let them be men
of your own ages, mind, and ask them to your homes;
introduce them to your wives and sisters, and get intro-
duced to theirs; give them good dinners, and talk to
them about what is really at the bottom of your heart,
and box and run and row with them when you have a
chance. Do all this honestly, as man to man, and by the
time you come to ride old John, you '11 be able to do
something more than sit on his back, and may feel his
mouth with some stronger bridle than a red-tape one.
Ah, if you only would! But you have got too far
out of the right rut, I fear. Too much over-civilization,
and the deceitfulness of riches. It is easier for a camel
to go through the eye of a needle. More's the pity.
I never came across but two of you who could value
a man wholly and solely for what was in him, who
thought themselves verily and indeed of the same flesh
and blood as John Jones the attorney's clerk and
Bill Smith the costermonger, and could act as if they
thought so.















CHAPTER III.


SUNDRY WARS AND ALLIANCES.













OOR old Benjy the "rheumatiz" has
much to answer for all through Eng-
lish country-sides, but it never played
a scurvier trick than in laying thee by the
heels, when thou wast yet in a green old age. The
enemy which had long been carrying on a sort of
border warfare, and trying his strength against Benjy's
on the battle-field of his hands and legs, now muster-
ing all his forces began laying siege to the citadel and
overrunning the whole country. Benjy was seized in
the back and loins; and though he made strong and
brave fight, it was soon clear enough that all which
could be beaten of poor old Benjy would have to give
in before long.
It was as much as he could do now, with the help of
his big stick and frequent stops, to hobble down to the








SUNDRY WARS AND ALLIANCES.


canal with Master Tom, and bait his hook for him and
sit and watch his angling, telling him quaint old country
stories; and when Tom had no sport, and detecting a
rat some hundred yards or so off along the bank, would
rush off with Toby the turnspit terrier, his other faithful
companion, in bootless pursuit, he might have tumbled
in and been drowned twenty times over before Benjy
could have got near him.
Cheery and unmindful of himself as Benjy was, this
loss of locomotive power bothered him greatly. He had
got a new object in his old age, and was just beginning
to think himself useful again in the world. He feared
much, too, lest Master Tom should fall back again into
the hands of Charity and the women, so he tried
everything he could think of to get set up. He even
went an expedition to the dwelling of one of those queer
mortals, who-say what we will, and reason how we
will do cure simple people of diseases of one kind or
another without the aid of physic, and so get to them-
selves the reputation of using charms, and inspire for
themselves and their dwellings great respect, not to say
fear amongst a simple folk such as the dwellers in the
Vale of White Horse. Where this power, or whatever
else it may be, descends upon. the shoulders of a man
whose ways are not straight, he becomes a nuisance to
the neighborhood; a receiver of stolen goods, giver of
love-potions, and deceiver of silly women; the avowed
enemy of law and order, of justices of the peace, head-
boroughs, and gamekeepers. Such a man in fact as
was recently caught tripping, and deservedly dealt with
by the Leeds justices, for seducing a girl who had come
to him to get back a faithless lover, and has been con-
victed of bigamy since then. Sometimes, however, they
are of quite a different stamp,- men who pretend to








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


nothing, and are with difficulty persuaded to exercise
their occult arts in the simplest cases.
Of this latter sort was old Farmer Ives, as he was
called, the wise man to whom Benjy resorted (tak-
ing Tom with him as usual) in the early spring of the
year next after the feast described in the last chapter.
Why he was called farmer" I cannot say, unless it be
that he was the owner of a cow, a pig or two, and some
poultry, which he maintained on about an acre of land
enclosed from the middle of a wild common, on which
probably his father had squatted before lords of manors
looked as keenly after their rights as they do now.
Here he had lived no one knew how long, a solitary
man. It was often rumored that he was to be turned
out and his cottage pulled down, but somehow it never
came to pass; and his pigs and cow went grazing
on the common, and his geese hissed at the passing
children and at the heels of the horse of my lord's
steward, who often rode by with a covetous eye on the
enclosure, still unmolested. His dwelling was some
miles from our village; so Benjy, who was half ashamed
of his errand, and wholly unable to walk there, had to
exercise much ingenuity to get the means of transport-
ing himself and Tom thither without exciting suspicion.
However, one fine May morning he managed to borrow
the old blind pony of our friend the publican, and Tom
persuaded Madam Brown to give him a holiday to spend
with old Benjy, and to lend them the Squire's light
cart, stored with bread and cold meat and a bottle
of ale. And so the two in high glee started behind
old Dobbin, and jogged along the deep-rutted, plashy
roads, which had not been mended after their winter's
wear, towards the dwelling of the wizard. About noon
they passed the gate which opened on to the large com-


















































FARMER IVES.


. :Z- '__.S-- .


~1-64
^ S.- .....^ ^ '"







SUNDRY WARS AND ALLIANCES.


mon, and old Dobbin toiled slowly up the hill while
Benjy pointed out a little deep dingle on the left, out of
which welled a tiny stream. As they crept up the hill
the tops of a few birch-trees came in sight, and blue
smoke curling up through their delicate light boughs,
and then the little white thatched home and patch of
enclosed ground of Farmer Ives, lying cradled in the
dingle, with the gay gorse common rising behind and
on both sides; while in front, after traversing a gentle
slope, the eye might travel for miles and miles over the
rich vale. They now left the main road and struck
into a green tract over the common marked lightly
with wheel and horse-shoe, which led down into the
dingle and stopped at the rough gate of Farmer Ives.
Here they found the farmer, an iron-gray old man, with
a bushy eyebrow and strong aquiline nose, busied in one
of his vocations. He was a horse and cow doctor, and
was tending a sick beast which had been sent up to be
cured. Benjy hailed him as an old friend, and he re-
turned the greeting cordially enough, looking however
hard for a moment both at Benjy and Tom, to see
whether there was more in their visit than appeared at
first sight. It was a work of some difficulty and dan-
ger for Benjy to reach the ground, which however he
managed to do without mishap; and then he devoted
himself to unharnessing Dobbin, and turning him out
for a graze (" a run" one could not say of that virtuous
steed) on the common. This done, he extricated the
cold provisions from the cart, and they entered the
farmer's wicket; and he, shutting up the knife with
which he was taking maggots out of the cow's back
and sides, accompanied them towards the cottage. A
big old lurcher got up slowly from the door-stone,
stretching first one hind leg and then the other, and







TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


taking Tom's caresses and the presence of Toby, who
kept however at a respectful distance, with equal
indifference.
"Us be cum to pay'e a visit. I 've a been long minded
to do't for old sake's sake, only I vinds I dwont get
about now as I 'd use to't, I be so plaguy bad wi' th'
rumatiz in my back." Benjy paused, in hopes of draw-
ing the farmer at once on the subject of his ailment
without further direct application.
Ah, I see as you bean't quite so lissom as you was,"
replied the farmer with a grim smile, as he lifted the
latch of his door; "we bean't so young as we was,
another on us, wuss luck."
The farmer's cottage was very like those of the better
class of peasantry in general. A snug chimney-corner
with two seats, and a small carpet on the hearth, an old
flint gun and a pair of spurs over the fireplace, a dresser
with shelves on which some bright pewter plates and
crockery-ware were arranged, an old walnut table, a few
chairs and settles, some framed samplers and an old
print or two, and a bookcase with some dozen volumes
on the walls, a rack with flitches of bacon, and other
stores fastened to the ceiling, and you have the best
part of the furniture. No sign of occult art is to be
seen, unless the bundles of dried herbs hanging to the
rack and in the ingle, and the row of labelled phials on
one of the shelves betoken it.
Tom played about with some kittens who occupied
the hearth, and with a goat who walked demurely in at
the open door, while their host and Benjy spread the
table for dinner, and was soon engaged in conflict with
the cold meat, to which he did much honor. The two
old men's talk was of old comrades and their deeds,-
mute inglorious Miltons of the Vale, -and of the doings








SUNDRY WARS AND ALLIANCES.


thirty years back, which didn't interest him much,
except when they spoke of the making of the canal,
and then indeed he began to listen with all his ears,
and learned to his no small wonder that his dear and
wonderful canal had not been there always,- was not in
fact so old as Benjy, or Farmer Ives, which caused a
strange commotion in his small brain.
After dinner Benjy called attention to a wart which
Tom had on the knuckles of his hand, and which the
family doctor had been trying his skill on without suc-
cess, and begged the farmer to charm it away. Farmer
Ives looked at it, muttered something or another over
it, and cut some notches in a short stick which he
handed to Benjy, giving him instructions for cutting'it
down on certain days, and cautioning Tom not to meddle
with the wart for a fortnight. And then they strolled
out and sat on a bench in the sun with their pipes, and
the pigs came up and grunted sociably and let Tom
scratch them; and the farmer, seeing how he liked
animals, stood up and held his arms in the air and gave
a call which brought a flock of pigeons wheeling and
dashing through the birch-trees. They settled down in
clusters on the farmer's arms and shoulders, making
love to him, and scrambling over one another's backs to
get to his face; and then he threw them all off, and
they fluttered about close by, and lighted on him again
and again when he held up his arms. All the creatures
about the place were clean and fearless, quite unlike
their relations elsewhere ; and Tom begged to be taught
how to make all the pigs and cows and poultry in our
village tame, at which the farmer only gave one of his
grim chuckles.
It was n't till they were just ready to go, and old
Dobbin was harnessed, that Benjy broached the subject








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


of his rheumatism again, detailing his symptoms one
by one. Poor old boy! He hoped the farmer could
charm it away as easily as he could Tom's wart, and
was ready with equal faith to put another notched stick
into his other pocket, for the cure of his own ailments.
The physician shook his head, but nevertheless produced
a bottle and handed it to Benjy with instructions for
use. "Not as 't'll do'e much good, -leastways I be
afeared not," shading his eyes with his hand and look-
ing up at them in the cart; "there's only one thing as
I knows on, as '11 cure old folks like you and I o' th'
rhumatiz."
"Wot be that, then, farmer ?" inquired Benjy.
"Churchyard mould," said the old iron-gray man,
with another chuckle. And so they said their good-bys
and went their ways home. Tom's wart was gone in a
fortnight, but not so Benjy's rheumatism, which laid
him by the heels more and more. And though Tom
still spent many an hour with him, as he sat on a
bench in the sunshine, or by the chimney-corner when
it was cold, he soon had to seek elsewhere for his
regular companions.
Tom had been accustomed often to accompany his
mother in her visits to the cottages, and had thereby
made acquaintance with many of the village boys of his
own age. There was Job Rudkin, son of widow Rudkin,
the most bustling woman in the parish. How she could
ever have had such a stolid boy as Job for a child must
always remain a mystery. The first time Tom went to
their cottage with his mother, Job was not in-doors; but
he entered soon after, and stood with both hands in his
pockets, staring at Tom. Widow Rudkin who would
have had to cross Madam to get at young Hopeful a
breach of good manners of which she was wholly inca-








SUNDRY WARS AND ALLIANCES.


pable began a series of pantomime signs, which only
puzzled him, and at last, unable to contain herself
longer, burst out with, Job Job where's thy cap ?"
"What! bean't'e on ma' head, mother?" replied
Job, slowly extricating one hand from a pocket and
feeling for the article in question, which he found on
his head sure enough, and left there, to his mother's
horror and Tom's great delight.
Then there was poor Jacob Dobson, the half-witted
boy, who ambled about cheerfully, undertaking messages
and little helpful odds and ends for every one, which,
however, poor Jacob managed always hopelessly to
embrangle. Everything came to pieces in his hands,
and nothing would stop in his head. They nicknamed
him Jacob Doodle-calf.
But above all there was Harry Winburn, the quickest
and best boy in the parish. He might be a year older
than Tom, but was very little bigger, and he was the
Crichton of our village boys. He could wrestle and
climb and run better than all the rest, and learned all
that the schoolmaster could teach him faster than that
worthy at all liked. He was a boy to be proud of,
with his curly brown hair, keen gray eye, straight active
figure, and little ears and hands and feet, as fine as a
lord's," as Charity remarked to Tom one day, talking as
usual great nonsense. Lords' hands and ears and feet
are just as ugly as other folks' when they are children,
as any one may convince themselves if they like to look.
Tight boots and gloves, and doing nothing with them, I
allow, make a difference by the time they are twenty.
Now that Benjy was laid on the shelf, and his young
brothers were still under petticoat government, Tom, in
search of companions, began to cultivate the village
boys generally more and more. Squire Brown, be it








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


said, was a true blue Tory to the backbone, and believed
honestly that the powers which be were ordained of
God, and that loyalty and steadfast obedience were
men's first duties. Whether it were in consequence or
in spite of his political creed, I do not mean to give an
opinion (though I have one), but certain it is, that he
held therewith divers social principles not generally
supposed to be true blue in color. Foremost of these,
and the one which the Squire loved to propound above
all others, was the belief that a man is to be valued
wholly and solely for that which he is in himself, for
that which stands up in the four fleshly walls of him,
apart from clothes, rank, fortune, and all externals
whatsoever; which belief I take to be a wholesome
corrective of all political opinions, and, if held sincerely,
to make all opinions equally harmless, whether they be
blue, red, or green. As a necessary corollary to this
belief, Squire Brown held further that it did n't matter
a straw whether his son associated with lords' sons or
ploughmen's sons, provided they were brave and honest.
He himself had played football and gone birds'-nesting
with the farmers whom he met at vestry and the labor-
ers who tilled their fields, and so had his father and
grandfather with their progenitors. So he encouraged
Tom in his intimacy with the boys of the village, and
forwarded it by all means in his power, and gave them
the run of a close for a playground, and provided bats
and balls and a football for their sports.
Our village was blessed amongst other things with
a well-endowed school. The building stood by itself,
apart from the master's house, on an angle of ground
where three roads met, an old gray stone building with
a steep roof and mullioned windows. On one of the op-
posite angles stood Squire Brown's stables and kennel,








SUNDRY WARS AND ALLIANCES.


with their backs to the road, over which towered a great
elm-tree; on the third stood the village carpenter and
wheelwright's large open shop, and his house and the
schoolmaster's, with long low eaves under which the
swallows built by scores.
The moment Tom's lessons were over, he would now
get him down to this corner by the stables, and watch
till the boys came out of school. He prevailed on the
groom to cut notches for him in the bark of the elm,
so that he could climb into the lower branches, and
there he would sit watching the school door, and specu-
lating on the possibility of turning the elm into a
dwelling-place for himself and friends after the manner
of the Swiss Family Robinson. But the school hours
were long and Tom's patience short, so that soon he
began to descend into the street, and go and peep in at
the school door and the wheelwright's shop, and look
out for something to while away the time. Now the
wheelwright was a choleric man, and, one fine after-
noon, returning from a short absence, found Tom oc-
cupied with one of his pet adzes, the edge of which was
fast vanishing under our hero's care. A speedy flight
saved Tom from all but one sound cuff on the ears;
but he resented this unjustifiable interruption of his
first essays at carpentering, and still more the further
proceedings of the wheelwright, who cut a switch and
hung it over the door of his workshop, threatening to
use it upon Tom if he came within twenty yards of his
gate. So Tom, to retaliate, commenced a war upon
the swallows who dwelt under the wheelwright's eaves,
whom he harassed with sticks and stones, and being
fleeter of foot than his enemy, escaped all punishment
and kept him in perpetual anger. Moreover his pres-
ence about the school door began to incense the master,








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


as the boys in that neighborhood neglected their lessons
in consequence; and more than once he issued into the
porch, rod in hand, just as Tom beat a hasty retreat.
And he and the wheelwright, laying their heads together,
resolved to acquaint the Squire with Tom's afternoon
occupations; but in order to do it with effect, deter-
mined to take him captive and lead him away to judg-
ment fresh from his evil doings. This they would have
found some difficulty in doing, had Tom continued the
war single-handed, or rather single-footed, for he would
have taken to the deepest part of Pebbly Brook to es-
cape them; but, like other active powers, he was ruined
by his alliances. Poor Jacob Doodle-calf could not go
to school with the other boys; and one fine afternoon
about three o'clock (the school broke up at four) Tom
found, him ambling about the street, and pressed him
into a visit to the school porch. Jacob, always ready
to do what he was asked, consented, and the two stole
down to the school together. Tom first reconnoitred
the wheelwright's shop, and seeing no signs of activity
thought all safe in that quarter, and ordered at once an
advance of all his troops upon the school porch. The
door of the school was a-jar; and the boys seated on the
nearest bench at once recognized and opened a corres-
pondence with the invaders. Tom waxing bold, kept
putting his head into the school and making faces at
the master when his back was turned. Poor Jacob, not
in the least comprehending the situation, and in high
glee at finding himself so near the school (which he had
never been allowed to enter), suddenly, in a fit of enthu-
siasm, pushed by Tom, and ambling three steps into the
school, stood there, looking round him and nodding with
a self-approving smile. The master, who was stooping
over a boy's slate, with his back to the door, became








SUNDRY WARS AND ALLIANCES.


aware of something unusual, and turned quickly round.
Tom rushed at Jacob, and began dragging him back by
his smock-frock, and the master made at them, scatter-
ing forms and boys in his career. Even now they might
have escaped, but that in the porch, barring retreat, ap-
peared the crafty wheelwright, who had been watching
all their proceedings. So they were seized, the school
dismissed, and Tom and Jacob led away to Squire Brown
as lawful prize, the boys following to the gate in groups,
and speculating on the result.
The Squire was very angry at first; but the interview,
by Tom's pleading, ended in a compromise. Tom was
not to go near the school till three o'clock, and only
then if he had done his own lessons well, in which case
he was to be the bearer of a note to the master from
Squire Brown; and the master agreed in such case to
release ten or twelve of the best boys an hour before
the time of breaking up, to go off and play in the close.
The wheelwright's adzes and swallows were to be for-
ever respected; and that hero and the master withdrew
to the servants' hall, to drink the Squire's health, well
satisfied with their day's work.
The second act of Tom's life may now be said to have
begun. The war of independence had been over for
some time; none of the women now, not even his
mother's maid, dared offer to help him in dressing or
washing. Between ourselves, he had often at first to
run to Benjy in an unfinished state of toilet. Charity
and the rest of them seemed to take a delight in putting
impossible buttons and ties in the middle of his back;
but he would have gone without nether integuments
altogether, sooner than have had recourse to female
valeting. He had a room to himself, and his father
gave him sixpence a week pocket-money. All this he








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


had achieved by Benjy's advice and assistance; but
now he had conquered another step in life, the step
which all real boys so long to make,-he had got amongst
his equals in age and strength, and could measure him-
self with other boys; he lived with those whose pur-
suits and wishes and ways were the same in kind as
his own.
The little governess who had lately been installed in
the house found her work grow wondrously easy; for
Tom slaved at his lessons in order to make sure of his
note to the schoolmaster. So there were very few days
in the week in which Tom and the village boys were
not playing in their close by three o'clock. Prisoner's
base, rounders, high-cock-a-lorum, cricket, football, he
was soon initiated into the delights of them all; and
though most of the boys were older than himself, he
managed to hold his own very well. He was naturally
active and strong, and quick of eye and hand, and had
the advantage of light shoes and well-fitting dress; so
that in a short time he could run and jump and climb
with any of them.
They generally finished their regular games half an
hour or so before tea-time, and then began trials of
skill and strength in many ways. Some of them
would catch the Shetland pony who was turned out in
the field, and get two or three together on his back;
and the little rogue, enjoying the fun, would gallop off
for fifty yards and then turn round, or stop short and
shoot them on to the turf, and then graze quietly on
till he felt another load. Others played peg-top or
marbles, while a few of the bigger ones stood up for a
bout at wrestling. Tom at first only looked on at this
pastime; but it had peculiar attractions for him, and he
could not long keep out of it. Elbow and collar








SUNDRY WARS AND ALLIANCES.


wrestling as practised in the western counties was,
next to backswording, the way to fame for the youth of
the Vale; and all the boys knew the rules of it, and
were more or less expert. But Job Rudkin and Harry
Winburn were the stars; the former stiff and sturdy,
with legs like small towers, the latter pliant as india-
rubber, and quick as lightning. Day after day they
















"Tom watched with all his eyes, and first challenged one of the less
scientific."
stood foot to foot, and offered first one hand and then
the other, and grappled and closed and swayed and
strained, till a well-aimed crook of the heel or thrust
of the loin took effect, and a fair back-fall ended the
matter. And Tom watched with all his eyes, and first
challenged one of the less scientific, and threw him; and
so one by one wrestled his way up to the leaders.
Then indeed for months he had a poor time of it. It
was not long indeed before he could manage to keep
his legs against Job, for that hero was slow of offence,
and gained his victories chiefly by allowing others to








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


throw themselves against his immovable legs and loins;
but Harry Winburn was undeniably his master. From
the first clutch of hands when they stood up, down
to the last trip which sent him on his back on the turf,
he felt that Harry knew more and could do more than
he. Luckily, Harry's bright unconsciousness, and Tom's
natural good temper, kept them from ever quarrelling;
and so Tom worked on and on, and trod more and
more nearly on Harry's heels, and at last mastered all
the dodges and falls except one. This one was Harry's
own particular invention and pet; he scarcely ever used
it except when hard pressed, but then out it came, and
as sure as it did, over went poor Tom. He thought
about that fall at his meals, in his walks, when he lay
awake in bed, in his dreams, -but all to no purpose
until Harry one day in his open way suggested to him
how he thought it should be met; and in a week from
that time the boys were equal, save only the slight dif-
ference of strength in Harry's favor which some extra
ten months of age gave. Tom had often afterwards
reason to be thankful for that early drilling, and above
all for having mastered Harry Winburn's fall.
Beside their home games, on Saturdays the boys
would wander all over the neighborhood, sometimes
to the downs, or up to the camp, where they cut their
initials out in the springy turf, and watched the hawks
soaring, and the peert" bird, as Harry Winburn called
the gray plover, gorgeous in his wedding feathers, and
so home, racing down the Manger with many a roll
among the thistles, or through Uffington wood to watch
the fox-cubs playing in the green rides; sometimes to
Rosy Brook, to cut long whispering reeds which grew
there, to make pan-pipes of; sometimes to Moor Mills,
where was a piece of old forest land, with short browsed








SUNDRY WARS AND ALLIANCES.


turf and tufted brambly thickets stretching under the
oaks, amongst which rumor declared that a raven, last
of his race, still lingered ; or to the sand-hills in vain
quest of rabbits; and birds'-nesting in the season, any-
where and everywhere.
The few neighbors of the Squire's own rank every
now and then would shrug their shoulders as they drove
or rode by a party of boys with Tom in the middle,
carrying along bulrushes or whispering reeds, or great
bundles of cowslip and meadow-sweet, or young star-
lings or magpies, or other spoil of wood, brook, or
meadow; and Lawyer Red-tape might mutter to Squire
Straightback at the Board, that no good would come of
the young Browns if they were let run wild with all
the dirty village boys, whom the best farmers' sons
even would not play with. And the Squire might reply
with a shake of his head, that his sons only mixed with
their equals, and never went into the village without
the governess or a footman. But luckily Squire
Brown was full as stiff-backed as his neighbors, and so
went on his own way; and Tom and his younger
brothers as they grew up went on playing with the
village boys, without the idea of equality or inequality
(except in wrestling, running, and climbing) ever enter-
ing their heads, as it does n't till it's put there by Jack
Nastys or fine ladies' maids.
I don't mean to say it would be the case in all vil-
lages, but it certainly was so in this one. The village
boys were full as manly and honest, and certainly purer,
than those in a higher rank; and Tom got more harm
from his equals in his first fortnight at a. private school,
where he went when he was nine years old, than he had
from his village friends from the day he left Charity's
apron-strings.








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


Great was the grief amongst the village schoolboys
when Tom drove off with the Squire one August morn-
ing to meet the coach, on his way to school. Each of
them had given him some little present of the best that
he had; and his small private box was full of peg-tops,
white marbles (called alley-taws in the Vale), screws
birds'-eggs, whip-cord, jews-harps, and other miscella-
neous boys' wealth. Poor Jacob Doodle-calf, in floods
of tears, had pressed upon him with spluttering earnest-
ness his lame pet hedgehog (he had always some poor
broken-down beast or bird by him); but this Tom had
been obliged to refuse by the Squire's order. He had
given them all a great tea under the big elm in their
playground, for which Madam Brown had supplied the
biggest cake ever seen in our village; and Tom was
really as sorry to leave them as they to lose him, but
his sorrow was not unmixed with the pride and excite-
ment of making a new step in life.
And this feeling carried him through his first parting
with his mother better than could have been expected.
Their love was as fair and whole as human love can be;
perfect self-sacrifice on the one side meeting a young
and true heart on the other. It is not within the scope
of my book however to speak of family relations, or
I should have much to say on the subject of English
mothers',-ay, and of English fathers and sisters and
brothers too.
Neither have I room to speak of our private schools;
what I have to say is about public schools, those much-
abused and much-belauded institutions peculiar to Eng-
land. So we must hurry through Master Tom's year at
a private school as fast as we can.
It was a fair average specimen, kept by a gentleman,
with another gentleman as second master; but it was








SUNDRY WARS AND ALLIANCES.


little enough of the real work they did,- merely coming
into school when lessons were prepared and all ready to
be heard. The whole discipline of the school out of
lesson hours was in the hands of the two ushers, one of
whom was always with the boys in their playground, in
the school, at meals, in fact at all times, and every-
where, till they were fairly in bed at night.
Now the theory of private schools is (or was) con-
stant supervision out of school; therein differing funda-
mentally from that of public schools.
It may be right or wrong; but if right, this super-
vision surely ought to be the especial work of the head-
master, the responsible person. The object of all schools
is not to ram Latin and Greek into boys, but to make
them good English boys, good future citizens; and by
far the most important part of that work must be done,
or not done, out of school hours. To leave it therefore
in the hands of inferior men, is just giving up the
highest and hardest part of the work of education.
Were I a private schoolmaster, I should say, let who
will hear the boys their lessons, but let me live with
them when they are at play and rest.
The two ushers at Tom's first school were not gentle-
men, and very poorly educated, and were only driving
their poor trade of usher to get such living as they
could out of it. They were not bad men, but had little
heart for their work, and of course were bent on making
it as easy as possible. One of the methods by which
they endeavored to accomplish this, was by encouraging
tale-bearing, which had become a frightfully common
vice in the school in consequence, and had sapped all
the foundations of school morality. Another was by
favoring grossly the biggest boys, who alone could have
given them much trouble; whereby those young gentle-








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


men became most abominable tyrants, oppressing the
little boys in all the small, mean ways which prevail in
private schools.
Poor little Tom was made dreadfully unhappy in his
first week by a catastrophe which happened to his first
letter home. With huge labor he had on the very
evening of his arrival managed to fill two sides of a
sheet of letter-paper with assurances of his love for dear
mamma, his happiness at school, and his resolves to do
all she would wish. This missive, with the help of the
boy who sat at the desk next him, also a new arrival,
he managed to fold successfully; but this done, they
were sadly put to it for means of sealing. Envelopes
were then unknown, they had no wax, and dared not
disturb the stillness of the evening schoolroom by get-
ting up and going to ask the usher for some. At length
Tom's friend, being of an ingenious turn of mind, sug-
gested sealing with ink; and the letter was accordingly
stuck down with a blob of ink, and duly handed by
Tom on his way to bed to the housekeeper to be posted.
It was not till four days afterwards that that good dame
sent for him, and produced the precious letter and some
wax, saying, "Oh, Master Brown, I forgot to tell you
before, but your letter isn't sealed." Poor Tom took
the wax in silence and sealed his letter, with a huge
lump rising in his throat during the process, and then
ran away to a quiet corner.of the playground and burst
into an agony of tears. The idea of his mother waiting
day after day for the letter he had promised her at
once, and perhaps thinking him forgetful of her, when
he had done all in his power to make good his promise,
was as bitter a grief as any which he had to undergo
for many a long year. His wrath then was propor-
tionately violent when he was aware of two boys, who








SUNDRY WARS AND ALLIANCES.


stopped close by him, and one of whom, a fat gaby
of a fellow, pointed at him and called him "Young
Mammy-sick I" Whereupon Tom arose, and giving
vent thus to his grief and shame and rage, smote his
derider on the nose, and made it bleed,--which sent
that young worthy howling to the usher, who reported
Tom for violent and unprovoked assault and battery.
Hitting in the face was a felony punishable with flog-
ging, other hitting only a misdemeanor, a distinction
not altogether clear in principle. Tom however escaped
the penalty by pleading primum tempus; and having
written a second letter to his mother, enclosing some
forget-me-nots which he picked on their first half-
holiday walk, felt quite happy again, and began to enjoy
vastly a good deal of his new life.
These half-holiday walks were the great events of the
week. The whole fifty boys started after dinner with
one of the ushers for Hazeldown, which was distant
some mile or so from the school. Hazeldown measured
some three miles round, and in the neighborhood were
several woods full of all manner of birds and butterflies.
The usher walked slowly round the down with such boys
as liked to accompany him; the rest scattered in all direc-
tions, being only bound to appear again when the usher
had completed his round, and accompany him home.
They were forbidden however to go anywhere except on
the down and into the woods, the village being especially
prohibited, where huge bulls'-eyes and unctuous toffy
might be procured in exchange for coin of the realm.
Various were the amusements to which the boys then
betook themselves. At the entrance of the down there
was a steep hillock, like the barrows of Tom's own
downs. This mound was the weekly scene of terrific
combats at a game called by the queer name of "mud-








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


patties." The boys who played, divided into sides under
different leaders, and one side occupied the mound.
Then, all parties having provided themselves with many
sods of turf, cut with their bread-and-cheese knives, the
side which remained at the bottom proceeded to assault
the mound, advancing upon all sides under cover of a
heavy fire of turfs, and then struggling for victory with
the occupants, which was theirs as soon as they could,
even for a moment, clear the summit, when they in turn
became the besieged. It was a good, rough, dirty game,
and of great use in counteracting the sneaking tenden-
cies of the school. Then others of the boys spread
over the downs, looking for the holes of humble-bees
and mice, which they dug up without mercy, often (I
regret to say) killing and skinning the unlucky mice,
and (I do not regret to say) getting well stung by the
humble-bees. Others went after butterflies and birds'-
eggs in their seasons; and Tom found on Hazeldown,
for the first time, the beautiful little blue butterfly with
golden spots on his wings, which he had never seen on
his own downs, and dug out his first sand-martin's nest.
This latter achievement resulted in a flogging, for the
sand-martins built in a high bank close to the village,
consequently out of bounds; but one of the bolder
spirits of the school, who never could be happy unless
he was doing something to which risk attached, easily
persuaded Tom to break bounds and visit the martin's
bank. From whence, it being only a step to the toffy-
shop, what could be more simple than to go on there
and fill their pockets; or what more certain than that
on their return, a distribution of treasure having been
made, the usher should shortly detect the forbidden
smell of bulls'-eyes, and a search ensuing, discover the
state of the breeches-pockets of Tom and his ally ?








SUNDRY WARS AND ALLIANCES.


This ally of Tom's was indeed a desperate hero in
the sight of the boys, and feared as one who dealt
in magic, or something approaching thereto, which
reputation came to him in this wise. The boys went
to bed at eight, and of course consequently lay awake
in the dark for an hour or two, telling ghost-stories by
turns. One night when it came to his turn, and he
had dried up their souls by his story, he suddenly
declared that he would make a fiery hand appear on
the door; and to the astonishment and terror of the
boys in his room, a hand, or something like it, in pale
light did then and there appear. The fame of this
exploit having spread to the other rooms, and being
discredited there, the young necromancer declared that
the same wonder would appear in all the rooms in turn,
which it accordingly did; and the whole circumstances
having been privately reported to one of the ushers as
usual, that functionary, after listening about at the
doors of the rooms, by a sudden descent caught the
performer in his night-shirt with a box of phosphorus
in his guilty hand. Lucifer-matches and all the present
facilities for getting acquainted with fire were then
unknown; the very name of phosphorus had something
diabolic in it to the boy-mind. So Tom's ally at the cost
of a sound flogging earned what many older folk covet
much, the very decided fear of most of his companions.
He was a remarkable boy, and by no means a bad
one. Tom stuck to him till he left, and got into many
scrapes by so doing; but he was the great opponent
of the tale-bearing habits of the school, and the open
enemy of the ushers, and so worthy of all support.
Tom imbibed a fair amount of Latin and Greek at
the school, but somehow on the whole it did n't suit
him, or he it; and in the holidays he was constantly
5








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


working the Squire to send him at once to a public
school. Great was his joy then, when in the middle
of his third half-year, in October, 183-, a fever broke
out in the village, and the master having himself slightly
sickened of it, the whole of the boys were sent off at a
day's notice to their respective homes.
The Squire was not quite so pleased as Master Tom
to see that young gentleman's brown merry face appear
at home, some two months before the proper time, for
Christmas holidays; and so after putting on his thinking
cap, he retired to his study and wrote several letters,
the result of which was that one morning at the
breakfast-table, about a fortnight after Tom's return,
he addressed his wife with, My dear, I have arranged
that Tom shall go to Rugby at once, for the last six
weeks of this half-year, instead of wasting them riding
and loitering about home. It is very kind of the Doctor
to allow it. Will you see that his things are all ready
by Friday, when I shall take him up to town and send
him down the next day by himself."
Mrs. Brown was prepared for the announcement, and
merely suggested a doubt whether Tom were yet old
enough to travel by himself. However, finding both
father and son against her on this point, she gave in
like a wise woman, and proceeded to prepare Tom's kit
for his launch into a public school.














CHAPTER IV.


THE STAGE-COACH.

"Let the steam-pot hiss till it's hot,
Give me the speed of the Tantivy trot."
R. E. WARBURTON: Coaching Song.












OW, sir, time to get up, if you please; tally-
ho coach for Leicester '11 be round in half an hour, and
don't wait for nobody." So spake the boots of the Pea-
cock Inn, Islington, at half-past two o'clock on the
morning of a day in the early part of November, 183-,
giving Tom at the same time a shake by the shoulder,
and then putting down a candle and carrying off his
shoes to clean.
Tom and his father had arrived in town from Berk-
shire the day before, and finding on inquiry that the
Birmingham coaches which ran from the city did not
pass through Rugby, but deposited their passengers at
Dunchurch (a village three miles distant on the main
road, where said passengers had to wait for the Ox-







TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


ford and Leicester coach in the evening, or to take a
post-chaise), had resolved that Tom should travel down
by the tally-ho, which diverged from the main road and
passed through Rugby itself. And as the tally-ho
was an early coach, they had driven out to the Peacock
to be on the road.
Tom had never been in London, and would have
liked to have stopped at the Belle Sauvage, where they
had been put- down by the Star just at dusk, that he
might have gone roving'about those endless, mysterious,
gas-lit streets, which with their glare and hum and
moving crowds excited him so that he could n't talk
even. But as soon as he found that the Peacock
arrangement would get him to Rugby by twelve o'clock
in the day, whereas otherwise he wouldn't be there
till the evening, all other plans melted away, his one
absorbing aim being to become a public schoolboy as
fast as possible, and six hours sooner or later seeming
to him of the most alarming importance.
Tom and his father had alighted at the Peacock at
about seven in the evening; and having heard- with
unfeigned joy the paternal order at the bar, of steaks
and oyster-sauce for supper in half an hour, and seen his
father seated cosily by the bright fire in the coffee-room
with the paper in his hand, Tom had run out to see
about him, had wondeied at all the vehicles passing
and repassing, and had fraternized with the boots and
ostler, from whom he ascertained that the tally-ho was
a tip-top goer, ten miles an hour including stoppages,
and so punctual that all the road set their clocks by
her. Then being summoned to supper, he had regaled
himself in one of the bright little boxes of the Peacock
coffee-room on the beef-steak and unlimited oyster-
sauce and brown stout (tasted then for the first time,





























































"I' LL TRY, FATHER."







THE STAGE-COACH.


-a day to be marked forever by Tom with a white
stone), had at first attended to the excellent advice
which his father was bestowing on him from over his
glass of steaming brandy and water, and then begun
nodding from the united effects of the stout, the fire,
and the lecture, till the Squire observing Tom's state,
and remembering that it was nearly nine o'clock, and
that the tally-ho left at three, sent the little fellow off
to the chambermaid, with a shake of the hand (Tom
having stipulated in the morning before starting that
kissing should now cease between them) and a few
parting words.
And now, Tom, my boy," said the Squire, "remem-
ber you are going, at your own earnest request, to be
chucked into this great school (like a young bear with
all your troubles before you) earlier than we should
have sent you perhaps. If schools are what they were
in my time, you'll see a great many cruel blackguard
things done, and hear a deal of foul, bad talk. But
never fear. You tell the truth, keep a brave and kind
heart, and never listen to or say anything you would n't
have your mother and sister hear, and you'll never feel
ashamed to come home, or we to see you."
The allusion to his mother made Tom feel rather
chokey, and he would have liked to have hugged his
father well, if it had n't been for the recent stipulation.
As it was, he only squeezed his father's hand, and
looked bravely up and said, "I'11 try, father."
"I know you will, my boy. Is your money all safe ?"
"Yes," said Tom, diving into one pocket to make sure.
"And your keys ?" said the Squire.
"All right," said Tom, diving into the other pocket.
"Well then, good night. -God bless you! I'11 tell
Boots to call you, and be up to see you off."







TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


Tom was carried off by the chambermaid in a brown
study, from which he was roused in a clean little attic
by that buxom person calling him a little darling, and
kissing him as she left the room, which indignity he
was too much surprised to resent. And still thinking
of his father's last words, and the look with which they
were spoken, he knelt down and prayed that come what
might, he might never bring shame or sorrow on the
dear folk at home.
Indeed, the Squire's last words deserved to have their
effect, for they had been the result of much anxious
thought. All the way up to London he had pondered
what he should say to Tom by way of parting advice,
something that the boy could keep in his head ready for
use. By way of assisting meditation, he had even gone
the length of taking out his flint and steel and tinder,
and hammering away for a quarter of an hour till he
had manufactured a light for a long Trichinopoli che-
root, which he silently puffed,- to the no small wonder
of Coachee, who was an old friend, and an institution on
the Bath road, and who always expected a talk on the
prospects and doings, agricultural and social, of the
whole county when he carried the Squire.
To condense the Squire's meditation, it was some-
what as follows: I won't tell him to read his Bible
and love and serve God; if he don't do that for his
mother's sake and teaching, he won't for mine. Shall
I go into the sort of temptations he'll meet with ? No,
I can't do that. Never do for an old fellow to go into
such things with a boy. He won't understand me. Do
him more harm than good, ten to one. Shall I tell him
to mind his work, and say he's sent to school to make
himself a good scholar? Well, but he is n't sent to
school for that at any rate, not for that mainly. I








THE STAGE-COACH.


don't care a straw for Greek particles, or the digamma,
no more does his mother. What is he sent to school
for ? Well, partly because he wanted so to go. If he '11
only turn out a brave, helpful, truth-telling Englishman
and a gentleman and a Christian, that's all I want,"
thought the Squire; and upon this view of the case
framed his last words of advice to Tom, which were well
enough suited to his purpose.
For they were Tom's first thoughts as he tumbled
out of bed at the summons of Boots, and proceeded
rapidly to wash and dress himself. At ten minutes to
three he was down in the coffee-room in his stockings,
carrying his hat-box, coat, and comforter in his hand;
and there he found his father nursing a bright fire, and
a cup of hot coffee and a hard biscuit on the table.
"Now then, Tom, give us your things, here, and drink
this; there's nothing like starting warm, old fellow."
Tom addressed himself to the coffee, and prattled
away while he worked himself into his shoes and his
great-coat, well warmed through,-a Petersham coat
with velvet collar, made tight, after the abominable
fashion of those days. And just as he is swallowing
his last mouthful, winding his comforter round his
throat, and tucking the ends into the breast of his coat,
the horn sounds, Boots looks in and says, Tally-ho,
sir ;" and they hear the ring and the rattle of the four
fast trotters and the town-made drag, as it dashes up
to the Peacock.
Anything for us, Bob ? says the burly guard, drop-
ping down from behind, and slapping himself across
the chest.
Young genl'm'n, Rugby; three parcels, Leicester;
hamper o' game, Rugby," answers Hostler.
Tell young gent to look alive," says Guard, opening








TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS.


the hind boot and shooting in the parcels after examin-
ing them by the lamps. Here, shove the portmanteau
up a-top; I '11 fasten him presently. Now then, sir,
jump up behind."
Good-by, father, my love at home." A last shake
of the hand. Up goes Tom, the guard catching his
hat-box and holding on with one hand, while with the
other he claps the horn to his mouth. Toot, toot, toot!
The hostlers let go their heads, the four bays plunge at
the collar, and away goes the tally-ho into the dark-
ness, forty-five seconds from the time they pulled up;
Hostler, Boots, and the Squire stand looking after them
under the Peacock lamp.-
Sharp work says the Squire, and goes in again to
his bed, the coach being well out of sight and hearing.
Tom stands up on the coach and looks back at his
father's figure as long as he can see it; and then the
guard, having disposed of his luggage, comes to an anchor,
and finishes his buttonings and other preparations for
facing the three hours before dawn,- no joke for those
who minded cold on a fast coach in November, in the
reign of his late Majesty.
I sometimes think that you boys of this generation
are a deal tenderer fellows than we used to be. At any
rate, you're much more comfortable travellers, for I see
every one of you with his rug or plaid, and other dodges
for preserving the caloric, and most of you going in
those fuzzy, dusty, padded first-class carriages. It was
another affair altogether, a, dark ride on the top of the
tally-ho, I can tell you, in a tight Petersham coat, and
your feet dangling six inches from the floor. Then you
knew what cold was, and what it was to be without legs;
for not a bit of feeling had you in them after the first
half-hour. But it had its pleasures, the old dark ride.








THE STAGE-COACH.


First there was the consciousness of silent endurance
(so dear to every Englishman) of standing out against
something and not giving in. Then there was the music
of the rattling harness, and the ring of the horses' feet
on the hard road, and the glare of the two bright lamps
through the steaming hoarfrost, over the leaders' ears,
into the darkness; and the cheery toot of the guard's
horn, to warn some drowsy pikeman or the hostler at
the next change; and the looking forward to daylight;
and last, but not least, the delight of returning sensation
in your toes.
Then the break of dawn and the sunrise; where can
they be ever seen in perfection but from a coach roof ?
You want motion and change and music to see them in
their glory; not the music of singing-men and singing-
women, but good silent music, which sets itself in your
own head,- the accompaniment of work and getting over
the ground.
The tally-ho is past St. Alban's; and Tom is enjoying
the ride, though half frozen. The guard, who is alone
with him on the back of the coach, is silent, but has
muffled Tom's feet up in straw, and put the end of an
oat-sack over his knees. The darkness has driven him
inwards; and he has gone over his little past life, and
thought of all his doings and promises, and of his mother
and sister, and his father's last words, and has made
fifty good resolutions, and means, to bear himself like a
brave Brown as he is, though a young one.
Then he has been forward into the mysterious boy-
future, speculating as to what sort of a place Rugby is,
and what they do there, and calling up all the stories of
public schools which he has heard from big boys in the
holidays. He is chock-full of hope and life, notwith-
standing the cold, and kicks his heels against the back




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