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of his bondage, and the beginning of his domination, the sixth form ; unless, indeed, he was a great dunce, and then his limited time was expired before he arrived at this dignity, and he was obliged to depart. It, for the most part, happened, that all those who attained this eminence, inasmuch as they had been made to writhe and to agonize under the lash of slavery, became' cruel and unrelenting tyrants to those unhappy creatures who were so miserable as to come within the vortex of their despotism. So universally true is the maxim, that they who have crouched, and crawled, and crept, and grovelled under the iron rod of oppression, always, if an opportunity ever occur, exercise their power in the most cruel, authoritative, insolent, and arbitrary manner; an infallible evidence of a mind weak, petty, contracted, ignorant, bigotted, abject, cowardly."
An account of one week's course willgive a just picture of my mode of existence whilst a junior at
At five o'clock in the morning I was obliged to turn out of bed, in order to sweep out the room, each chamber contained, on an average, ten beds, one boy sleeping in each bed, clean some three or four pair of shoes, fill three or four basins of water, and provide all the necessary appendages to washing, as towel, tumbler, tooth-brush, wash-ball, nailbrush, &c. Ifitwere winter, I had to put on the faggot, light the fire, and air the shirts of the præfects and senior inferior, three of whom were always to be found in each' chamber. I was then dressing myself by occasional and hasty snatches, obliged to run about, continually, on some foolish errand or other, which these children, intoxicated with uncontrolled authority, used to task and exercise the sterility of their skulls
to invent. Into chapel I was always forced to creep very late, at the hazard of detection and fogging from the master, unless that sometimes the præfect would prevent my going altogether, and send his compliments to the præpositors of the chapel, to desire them not to take any notice of, or have me punished for my absence. Chapel over, I was incessantly employed in shagging, as. the term is, for the head boys; such as carrying messages from one to another, borrowing books, inquiring what o'clock it was, getting a clean band, which, if my own neck would not furnish, I was obliged to take from some other junior (and the boy without a band was sure to be flogged, no matter how it happened, there was no band, and a flagellation inevitably followed) tying up a shoe-string, or lacing the boot, or combing out the hair of some lazy lubber, who was too dignified a person to stoop to the performance of these menial offices, even for his own person. These, and a thousand such employments as these, occupied my time till the master entered the school, when I, being on the very lowest forın, although
I had read enough to entitle me to a much higher place, was immediately to say my lesson, which I often knew not what book -contained, and never had an opportunity of studying. If I were set over, which sometimes did not happen, because all the boys in one class, sometimes more than forty in number, could not possibiy be examined in one morning, it was a great chance but I obtained a severe flogging, the only punishment in use for every crime, from the breaking open a house down to the not having on a band, not knowing where the lesson was, or not being able to say It was in vain that I, more than once, attempted to plead, as an excuse, my being so fagged about, that I had not a moment's time even to peep into a book, were I ever so much inclined; all that I gained by this attempt was, a frown from the master, a peremptory command never again to utter such a speech, and a severer flogging than I should have experienced had I subunitted quietly to : the lash of injustice. In the school itself I was not free from molestation; I was every moment liable to be sent out into the mea
dow, or the chambers, or the town, on some frivolous errand, at the almost certain price of detection and flagellation from the master. School over, the boys rushed up into an extensive Gothic hall to breakfast; but it was well for me, a poor junior, if I could obtain a roll and butter, and eat it whilst running about on divers messages and employments; as going down into a cellar, some threescore steps under ground, to draw beer, fetching hot water up from the college kitchen for the different tea and coffee messes which the præfects supported, toasting bread, making up hashes, breaking sugar, fetching mustard, or pepper, or salt, &c. Very often, all this prevented me from securing a single mouthful of food, in order to cram into
my stomach at any future moment of comparative leisure. I have, more than once, aetually gone thirty hours without being able to put one morsel of victuals into my little craving maw; so thoroughly have I been kept upon my legs, to use the cant phrase of working a poor, helpless, unof. fending child to death. At eleven I was obliged to run the hazard of being set over