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hundred; their number had been greater still.
The youngest of us were not more than five
or six years old; some of the eldest were
verging upon twenty, and might have shaved
without affectation. We were divided into
six classes, or as we called them, Parts: of
which the sixth was the lowest. Our range
of study extended from the rudiments of
Latin, in the last Part, to Virgil, Horace,
Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, Terence, and
Greek Tragedy, in the second and first. The
first was also called the senior Part. It was
allowed various peculiar privileges, and its
members, the senior boys, were never flogged,
except for high crimes and misdemeanors.
They were a sort of monitors, and had to keep
order in the school and dining-hall; duties
which devolved on them by turns. In fact,
Old Bob made them act as his police. The
first four Parts did Latin verses, to the
composition of which the greater portion of two
days in each week was devoted. The general
impression at Rood Priory was that Latin
versification was the highest possible
achievement of the human intellect. Annually, the
senior boys competed for a prize in Latin
Hexameters. The successful performances
were recited at our Public Speaking, which
took place at the close of the Midsummer
half-year. Their Latinity was perfect for the
best of reasons; they were arrangements of
phrases which had been really penned by
Ovid and Virgil.

The native Muse was cultivated a little,
too. We were required to commit portions
of the 'Elegant Extracts' to memory: and the
senior boys also wrote English prize-poems,
which were clever imitations of the mannerisms
(only) of Pope and Dryden.

The 'usual branches of a solid English
education' were certainly in a rather stunted
condition at Old Bob's. Arithmetic was
taught ostensibly; we had to write out a
given number of sums weekly, done by what
means no matter, in a book. One boy, I
recollect, by the particular request of his parents,
learned mathematics; that is to say, getting
Euclid's propositions by rote. Geography
was sometimes mentioned among usin
connexion with the Argonautic Expedition for
instance, or the Garden of the Hesperides.
English History we read in classes during the
fortnight before the vacations, Old Bob
probably conceiving it expedient that his scholars
should, if questioned by their friends on the
subject, appear to know that there was some
difference between William the Conqueror
and Oliver Cromwell. Sometimes Milton's
Paradise Lost was substituted for our historical
reading, namely, for Goldsmith's Abridgment.
We received rather less instruction
in Astronomy than may be presumed to have
fallen to the share of Galileo's judges, and we
utterly ignored the use of any globes except
those in use at football and cricket. Some
few, at their friends' express stipulation,
learned French, Drawing, and Dancing, on
sufferance, and grievously against the grain
of Old Bob, who considered that modern
languages and accomplishments could be
acquired during the holidays, or picked up in
after-life anyhow; and who suspected that
at Rood Priory they were mere pretexts for
shirking severer lessons. Certainly these
studies involved no whipping, and were
interspersed with considerable amusement, at the
expense of the French teacher at least, and
his countryman the dancing-master.

Our school-house was a large detached
building of red brick, slate-roofed, lighted by
tall round-arched windows, and entered by a
porch, in which vestibule to our Temple of
Learning inert or peccant neophytes were
castigated. The hall, or refectory, was also
detached. We slept, some at Old Bob's
private residence, others in adjoining or
adjacent buildings connected with it. The school-
room, for about a fourth of its height, was
wainscoted with dark oak, richly carved with
names, each letter of which had been engraven
at the risk of a flagellation. The desks,
similarly adorned, extended on either side along
the wall at right angles with it, interrupted,
on that to the left of the entrance, by the two
fire-places, senior and junior. Everything
among us was thus distinguished; we had a
senior and junior field, or playground; a
senior and junior fives-court; and a
senior, secundus, and junior bridge on the river in
which we used to bathe. The boys of every
particular Part sat together; each had his
own private compartment of the desk, termed
his 'scob.' A list of the names of the
occupants of each desk, in the order of their rank,
was pasted on the wall over it. The junior,
that is the lowest, had the care of the lighting
materials, and was thence styled the 'Candle-
custos.' There were three seats for the masters;
one at the top of the school, another at the
bottom, and a third at the side, between the
two fire-places. They resembled Professors'
chairs, and during lessons we were stationed
in front of them. A large time-piece above
the middle chair regulated our operations.
Down the whole length of the school, in front
of either series of desks, ran a form, the two
forms enabling us to be marshalled along
them, on occasion, in a couple of lines, leaving
an open space in the middle wherein Old Bob
could walk to and fro with his cane.

The order of things thus constituted was
governed supremely by the Reverend James
Roberts, M.A., Senior, otherwise Old Bob;
secondarily, by his son, the Rev. James
Roberts, M.A., Junior, behind his back called
James. In subordination to them we had
three other classical masters, and an English
master, as he was termed. The business of
the latter was to teach writing and arithmetic,
to call us of a morning, to distribute among
us our 'battlings,' or pocket-money, and to
summon us at the end of play-hours into
school. His hair was light and woolly, he
cleared his throat with a bleating noise before