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HOW I WENT TO SEA.

HOW many years ago is it, I wonder, when,
resenting some boyish grievance, deeply and
irrecoverably irate at some fancied injury,
wounded and exacerbated in my tenderest
feelings, I ran away from school with the hard,
determined, unalterable intention of going on
the tramp and then going to sea? The curtain
has fallen years ago, and the lights have been
put out long since, on that portion of my
history. The door of the theatre has been
long locked and the key lost where that play
was acted. Let us break the door open now
and clear away the cobwebs.

About that time there must have been
an epidemic, I think, for running away at
Mr. Bogryne's establishment, Bolting House,
Ealing. "Chivying" we called it. We had
three or four Eton boys among us, who
had carried out so well the maxim of Floreat
Etona at that classic establishment, that they
had flourished clean out of it; andwhether
it was they missed the daily flogging, (Mr.
Bogryne was tender-hearted) or the fagging,
or the interminable treadmill on the Gradus ad
Parnassum (we were more commercial than
classical)—they were always running away.
One boy "chivied" in consequence of a
compulsory small-tooth comb on Wednesday
eveningshe wouldn't have minded it, he
said, if it had been on Saturdays. Another
fled his Alma Mater because he was obliged
to eat fat, and another because he could not
get fat enough. Spewloe, our biggest boy,
who was the greatest fool and the best
carpenter of his age I ever knewcaught the
chivying disease of the Etonians, and was
continually absconding. He was always
being brought back in a chaise-cart at
breakfast-time, and spoiling our breakfast
with his shrieks (he was fifteen, and bellowed
like a bull) while undergoing punishment.
They beat him, and he ran away the more.
They took away his clothes, and he ran away
the next day in the French master's pantaloons
(crimson crossbars on an orange ground),
and the knife-boy's jacket. They tried kindness
with him, and fed him with large blocks
of plum cake and glasses of ginger wine, but
still he ran away. They rivetted a chain on
him with a huge wooden log attached to it, as
if he had been a donkey; but he ran off
next day, log and all, and was found browsing
in a hedge, like an animal as he was. At last
they sent for his uncle, a fierce Being connected
with the East Indies in a blue surtout and
white duck trowsers; so starched and stiff and
cutting, that his legs looked, as he walked,
like a pair of shears. He took Spewloe away;
but what he did with him I know not, for he
never revealed the secrets of his prison-house.
I saw him again, years afterwards, in a cab,
with a tiger; his foolish face decorated with
such tight whiskers and moustaches, such a
tight neckcloth, such tight boots and gloves
and stays, that he could scarcely move. I
believe he went into the army and to India, to
fight the Affghans. I hope they proved less
terrible to him than Bogryne, and that he did
not run away from them.

I think, were I to be put upon my affirmation
relative to the cause of my running away
from Mr. Bogryne's establishment, and going
on tramp, that I should place it to the account
of the Pie. There was a dreadful pie for dinner
every Monday; a meat pie with a stony
crust that did not break; but split into scaly
layers, with horrible lumps of gristle inside,
and such strings of sinew (alternated by lumps
of flabby fat) as a ghoule might use as a
rosary. We called it kitten pieresurrection
pierag piedead man's pie. We cursed it
by night, we cursed it by day: we wouldn't
stand it, we said; we would write to our
friends; we would go to sea. Old Bogryne
(we called him "old" as an insulting adjective,
as a disparaging adjective, and not at
all with reference to the affection and respect
due to age)—old Bogryne kept Giggleswick
the monitor seven hours on a form with the
Pie before him; but Giggleswick held out
bravely, and would not taste of the accursed
food. He beat Clitheroe (whose father
supplied the groceries to the establishment, and
who was called in consequence "Ginger")
like a sack, for remarking, sneeringly, to the
cook, that he (Bogryne) never ate any of the
pie himself, and that he knew the reason why.
Candyman, my chum, found a tooth in the
pie one daya dreadful double-tooth. Who
was going to stop in a school where they fed
you with double-teeth? This, combined with
the tyranny of the dancing-master, some
difficulties connected with the size of the breakfast
roll, and others respecting the conjugation of

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