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in which he must have been accustomed
to put up with what nobody else had
any fancy for. He had a flute, from
which he was accustomed to distil the
most melancholy sounds during the play-
times; and this was his only joy. The boys
filled it with dirt periodically, and at last
broke it. He had low shoes with patches
on them, and an umbrella worn down to the
nib; so the boys called him Snobby.
Habbakuk, who was a very severe master, used
rather to encourage the young gentlemen
in these respects. The hideous pleasure of
inflicting pain upon unoffending and defenceless
objects did not seem to be considered
cowardly, immoral, or unchristian; but the
restraint of it, on the contrary, as milksoppy,
nonsensical, and (settler of all controversy!)
un-English. The indolence of the preceptor
is backed by the heartlessness and folly of
those who entrust their children to him.
They forget the sufferings of their own
school-time, and don't care if they remember
them. Certainly there is no social question
so entrenched by stupidity or prejudice, on
which the advocates of improvement have
such difficulty in getting a hearing, as the
moral training of boys: " Beat the
nonsense out of them;" " Let them rough it a
little;" " Let them find their own level;"
"Nothing like a little wholesome bullying;"
"Boys will be boys," are thrown from all
sides at the educational reformer, just as
rotten eggs and extinct cats are cast by way
of argument at political reformers. It suits,
somehow, old gentlemen in affluent
circumstances to extol their school days; while
they are solacing themselves for enforced
abstinence from port with the choicest
Lafitte, to bewail the time when they took
their half-dozen of ginger-beer with impunity;
and, while they leave three-parts of
their pine-apple as being hard and near the
rind, to lament the epoch when gooseberries
seemed the best of fruit. Fluffkins, who is
a country gentleman of large fortune and
excellent appetite, is accustomed to get quite
pathetic (after dinner) upon the bygone times
when he had threepence a-week for pocket-
money and the refuse of the bigger boys' meals
for food. When he becomes a little stertorous
in his breathing, and has a handkerchief cast
over his purple face and protruding eyes,
he will hold forth in gasps about the healthy
moderation which he learned at school,
and has never, thank Heaven, forgotten.
"Lessons of temperance are taught by what
you call hardships, sirof temperance and of
iron endurance;" and, before I can reply, he
is fast asleep, trumpeting like an elephant;
having been utterly exhausted in riding over
his farm and reading the newspaper. Fluffkins
is my friend; and I may therefore be
permitted to state that he is at once the most
fawning and the most imperious of men: his
fat face crinkles all over into smiles when
my lord comes over once or twice a-year,
from the Park, to dine at the Grange; at
whose approach, champagne and johannisberg
foam up, as though he were Bacchus
himself (he looks much more like Silenus);
and Mrs. F. puts on her diamonds. Now I,
who have been a friend of the house for
forty years, am regaled with what Fluffkins
calls " a very drinkable port;" and it is
understood that I had much better not be
contradictory. " Nothing," says F., " is like
an English school for getting all the airs
knocked out of a fellow; and for independence
in after-life, sir." And he believes with all
his soul that he is a proof of the effects of it.
With general statements of this sort he is
armed at all points; but, if I give him rope
enough, he will tell me anecdotes, with a sort
of horrid joy, of how he got hold of " a little
bit of a boy, who had just come from his
mother's apron-strings, and whom (Ha, ha,
ha!) I gave a deuce of a thrashing to for
being so small; and Bullneck, and Hulker,
and myself, we buried him in a dungheap,
up to the neck, sir, and poured water upon
him for a couple of hours, to make him grow,
(Ha, ha, ha!) and he did grow in
consequence, sir, devilishly." It was Fluffkins, be
sure, who stuffed the poor Shadow's flute
with mud, and led the laugh against those
clothes which were the best he could afford
to wear. I cannot tell for certain, but I
think if I had been the Shadow, I would
have expended most of my remaining vital
power in the personal chastisement of
Master F., and would then have flitted away
from the school-world and its Habbakuks

Messrs. Midas and Janty, assistant-masters
at my first preparatory academy for the public
schools, were a different variety of the same
genus. They were the faithful slaves, indeed, of
the Reverend Sloe Dumplin, but they served
him under protest. Whenever a boy was
unlawfully or excessively punished Midas
prefaced it with—"Doctor Dumplin has requested
me to set you an imposition of two thousand
lines, I regret to say;" or, "I am about to
perform the painful duty of locking you up
in the dark closet for fourteen hours, at the
instance of Doctor Dumplin." Mr. Midas was
inflexible with the doctor upon the matter of
disputed passages, and would not submit,
either privately or in public, to have his classical
learning underrated. From his stubbornness
in this respect, and from his general good
temper, he was called the Ox. Upon one
occasion, after having argued during school-
time with the head master, upon the Platonic
Dialogues, I heard him whisper to Janty that
Dumplin had been evidently studying the
English version, which was forbiddenit
seemed for very sufficient reasonsto us
boys. " Ah! " answered Janty, rubbing his
hair until it stood upright, three inches
high, "the Ox knoweth his master's crib."
Mr. J. exhibited his independence by the
perfection of his polite phrases and