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in the forehead and eyes. All other parts
should be subsidiary to the ever-informing


DOCTOR PANTOLOGOS taught school at
Accidentium for thirty years. I would
rather not reveal where Accidentium is. Let
it be in Blankshire. We don't want, down at
Accidentium, the Government Commissioner,
or any other commissioner or commission
whatsoever. If we have grievances, we can
suffer and be strong, as Mr. Longfellow says;
or as our homely synonyme has it, we can
grin and bear it.

Some years ago, indeed, we should have
had far greater cause to deprecate the arrival
of any strangers among us, or their inquiries
into our affairs; for we had one great, patent,
notorious grievance. The school that Doctor
Pantologos taught was woefully mismanaged.
Not by its master,—he was a model of probity
and a monument of learning,—but by Somebody,
who might as well have been Nobody,
for we never saw him or them; and the Free
Grammar School at Accidentium went on
from year to year becoming more ruinous
without, while it decreased in usefulness
within. Somebody, who had no right to
anything, received the major portion of the funds;
those who ought to have had much got little;
and those who were entitled to little got less.
There were prebendaries concerned in
Accidentium Grammar School, and an Earl of
Something, likewise an act of parliament,
Sythersett's Charity, and sundry charters,
which for anything we ever saw of them
might have furnished the old parchment,
crabbed hand-writing filled covers to the
school lexicons and dictionaries; but for all
these influential connections nobody repaired
the roof of the school-room, or increased the
salary of Doctor Pantologos. Both needed it
very much. The vicar talked sometimes of
looking into it; but he was poor, and half-blind
besides, and died; and his successor, a vellum
complexioned young man, bound in black
cloth, white lawn edges, and lettered to a
frightful degree of archaeological lore, had no
leisure for anything out of church time, save
stone breaking on the roads (with a view to
geological improvement), and taking rubbings
in heel-ball of the monumental brasses in the
church chancel. Moreover, he was supposed
to have his own views about a new Grammar
School, which he was understood to conceive
as a building in the Pointed manner; the
boys to wear cassocks and bands, with crosses
on their breasts, like buns; to attend church
at eight o'clock every morning, and four
times a day afterwards; to learn intoning,
and the Gregorian choral service generally;
and in the curriculum of their humanities to
study Homer and Virgil far less than
Augustine and Jerome. So the Vicar and
Doctor Pantologos fell out, as well on this
question as on the broad question of surplices,
acolytes, candlesticks, flowers, piscinae, and
wax-candles; and the Doctor said he pitied
him; while he (his name was Thurifer),
wondered whatever would become of an instructor
of youth who smoked a pipe and played
at cribbage. Borax, the radical grocer (we
had one grocer and one radical in
Accidentium), threatened to show the school up;
but he took to drinking shortly afterwards,
and ran away with Miss Cowdery, after
which he was buttoned up (an Accidentium
term for financial ruin), and was compelled to
fly for shelter to Douglas, Isle of Man.

The little river Dune, which in the adjoining
manufacturing counties of Cardingshire,
Rollershire and Spindleshire became a broad,
sober, gravely flowing stream, refreshingly
dirty (in a commercial sense) at Slubberville,
and as black as ink at the great town of
Drygoodopolis, was at Accidentium a little
sparkling, purling, light-hearted thread of
water, now enlivening the pebbles as a
Norman ménétrier will the village maidens,
making them dance willy nilly, now enticing
the rushes into liquor, now condescending to
act as a looking glass for a bridge, now going
out, literally, on the loose, of its own accord,
by splitting up into little back waters, rivulets,
and streamlets, sparkling through the
convolvuli to the delight of the wayfarer,
and scampering by cottage doors to the glory
of the ducks; but everywhere through the
valley of the Dune a jovial, hospitable,
earnest little river: the golden cestus of Venus,
by day thrown heedlessly athwart the verdant
valley, at night gleaming silver bright

              " As if Diana in her dreams,
                Had dropp'd her silver bow
                Upon the meadows low.

A free-hearted river, crying to hot boys,
Come bathe!—and to the thirsty cows, Drink!
and to the maidens of Accidentium,
Bring hither your fine linen, and see how
white the Dune water will make it!

Close to the river's bank (the water was
visible through the old latticed windows of
the schoolroom; and, suggesting bathing,
was a source of grievous disquiet to the boys
in summer time), was Accidentium Grammar
School. It was a long, low, old building,
not of bricks but of stones so old, that
some said they had once formed part of the
ancient abbey of Accidentium, and others that
they were more ancient still, and came from
the famous wall that the Romans built to
keep out those troublesome Paul Prys, who
always would intrude: the Picts and Scots .

The latticed windows, twinkling through
the ivy; the low-browed doorway, with its
massive, carved iron-clamped portal; the
double-benched porch before it, and
sculptured slab overhead, showing the dim
semblance of an esquire's coat-of-arms, and a
long but almost wholly effaced Latin inscription,
setting forth the pious injunctions of

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