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THE last half I stopped at old Styles's,
said Master Balfour, was the jolliest of

Styles was often ill. The head usher was
called away suddenly to his mother, who
was dying; and the second, Mopkins, was
a muff. We did as we liked with him; and
whenever there was a row the senior fellows
thought nothing of shying their Cæsars at
his head!

"What are Cæsars?"

Books. Cæsar de Bello Gallico. Cæsar's
crammers about pitching into the Gauls.
Oh! continued the narrator, apostrophising,
somewhat superfluously, his organs
of vision, what whoppers he used to write
to the senate! and how those Conscript parties
sate and stroked their beards complacently,
and sucked it all in! There was no Russell
in those days, to check Master Julius's
arithmetic, and tell 'em at home that, instead
of killing, at one go, a hundred and sixty
thousand Allobroges or Allemanni, he had
been all but smashed himself, and was only
saved by his crack tenth legion, who charged
like bricks and—— But that has nothing
to do with Styles's.

One morningquite at the beginning of
the halfa new boy was brought into the
school-room. A very gentlemanly boy he was;
for he stepped inside the door, and made a
low bow to the school generally, which was
received with a loud laugh (Styles being ill
in bed). His name was BrightHarry Bright,
eleven years old, with large dark-blue eyes
and long bright hair parted in the middle of
the forehead, and turned under at the back,
like a woman's, in a heavy glossy curl.

Every chap in the school had a nickname
of some sort, and we furnished our young
friend with his, before he sat down to his
desk. We called him Madonna, from his
beauty and the fashion of his hair. Altogether,
he looked so smart, good-humoured,
and engaging, that everybody was pleased,
except Alf Bathurst, junior cock.

"What's that?" asked Mrs. Maxwell.
The boy who could whop all the junior
division. There was a senior cock, besides
Robert Lindsaywho licked everybody.

Alf saw that he should have to fight for his
comb and dignity. Madonna and he were
just about the same age and weight. Alf,
we knew, was game enough, and took lots of
punishing; and Madonna looked pluck
itself. In short, the general impression was
that it would prove one of the most gratifying
mills in the annals of the school. Bets
were covertly made (the amount of brandy-
balls and rock-cakes staked on the event was
something absurd) and, in a series of secret
conferences during school-hours, it was
arranged that the fight should come off at
twelve o'clock. Two boys were subsequently
chosen as seconds for each, and a deputation
of juniors waited upon the illustrious senior
cock (under colour of a difficult passage in
the Georgies) humbly inviting his presence
in the character of referee. The reply to this
was all that could be desired.

Meanwhile, Madonna sat quietly at his
desknext to Alf 's, blithely unconscious of
the arrangements so anxiously making for his
comfort and honour. Somehow, we forgot to
tell him. It seemed so natural that they
should fight!

Madonna seemed inclined to fraternise,
and asked a whole lot of questions. What
time we dined? If there were puddings
every day? Was it a decent playground?
Was smoking allowed? &c. &c., to all of
which Alf Bathurst replied with a stern
politeness, as one who felt that, until the
event of the morning had come off, the
relative position they were ultimately to hold
towards each other, was not sufficiently defined
for unrestrained social intercourse. Oddly
enough it never occurred, even to Alf, that
his neighbour needed to be informed of the
impending passage of arms.

Madonna was a little puzzled by Alf's dignified
manner, and still more by some expressions
which escaped him. Attached to every
two desks, was a small receptacle for the
lexicons, &c. Perceiving that there was room
here for some of his helps to learning,
Madonna proceeded to fill up the vacant space
when Alf arrested his hand, quietly observing:
"Better wait till after the mill."

Madonna looked at him with astonishment,
which was increased when Alf added in an
easier tone:

"Do you mind my having a squint at your