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word, for some hard-favoured son of the muse, that else might wither in the “shade of cold neglect.” Surely there is a moral value in whatever enables a poor man to confer a kindness.
Page 100. Farewell.
In these “piping times of peace,” undergraduates take the place of Ensigns, and the close of the Long Vacation is attended with the same gales of sighs, and showers of tears, as heretofore the sailing of a regiment for actual service. Examinations are as terrible to the fair as battles, and the future first class-man, or wrangler, is as interesting as the possible hero.
There is something very fascinating about an Undergraduate; he is a rose unblown, and wears “the beauty of promise;" he is a member of an ancient establishment, therefore his youth and freshness are at once contrasted and sanctified by beautiful antiquity; he is a spring flower growing on the steeple of a gothic cathedral. He is enough a man to make his notice worth having by a young lady, and yet so much a boy, that ladies of a certain age can make a pet of him. He has the reputation of learning without the odium of displaying it; above all, he has a certificate of gentility, which, let his real rank and fortune be what it will, passes unchallenged everywhere but in his own University. There, indeed, he is under the necessity of proving and maintaining his caste, and the stain of a mercantile or agricultural connection can only be washed out with claret. Everywhere else the “COLLEGIAN” is absolute sumptus, a gentleman. But this enviable distinction belongs to Oxford and Cambridge alone. Edinburgh or Glasgow are no recommendation except to phrenological females, and Trinity College, Dublin, is as alien to English associations as Salamanca or Benares. The London University may have its day, but its day is not yet come. At present it is looked upon as coldly by the petticoat as by the gown. Should a youth be introduced to a fair partner at a country ball as a collegian, and prove, after all, to be only a member of Stincomalee, the lady's delicacy would be as much shocked as if she were to find that the very delightful naval officer with whom she had been dancing under the ambiguous title Captain, was the skipper of a small vessel engaged in the Irish trad It is well : the members
of the liberal establishment must be gentlemen, if they desire to be accepted as such.
Learning, of itself, confers no rank in England. It does not even give the eclat of a fashionable lion. But, as the passport to learned professions, it enables a man, with good conduct, to overcome any disadvantage of birth, and to achieve a place in the best circles of society. Perhaps this is as it should be.
The peculiar advantage of being an Oxonian or a Cantab is specially felt in the vacation, and in the country. In London they form a pleasant variety indeed, but excite no commotion. They are but as a drop of wine in the ocean. In Liverpool, or Manchester, they are out of place. The academical aristocracy is too strong a discord in the commercial concert. In Bath or Cheltenham they degenerate into mere gentlemen loungers; they partake, but they do not create or authorize, the general dissipation. But in small villages, with a good neighbourhood and romantic scenery, they are just what they should be. The custom of reading parties is one of the favourable signs of the times. They read very little: if men want to read, let them take a back-room in Cheapside, or the county gaol. At Ambleside, in Wales, in the Isle of Wight, or the Highlands, what have Euclid or Aristotle to do? But they gladden the waters with their music, and the fair with their gallantry; and what is better still, fill their imagination with beautiful images, and their hearts with kind feelings.
It was on a rusticating (not a rusticated) Cantab that these lines were composed. He was a poet in thought, but either “wanted the accomplishment of verse,” or which is more probable, concealed his possession of it. Long will his amiable manners, and green-ribboned guitar, be remembered in Grasmere.
Page 119. “By a Friend." I know not whether I am not taking an unwarrantable liberty in giving publicity to these stanzas; but their appearance in my volume is a pleasant record of a valuable friendship, and I trust my friend will not be displeased to see his pretty and tender effusion along with his old acquaintances of mine, some of which owe their preservation to his kind opinion of their merits.
Page 42, line 16, for connateral read connatural.