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Vitaï Lampada: lamps of life, beacons.
Square that broke: when surrounded, a small body of soldiers fight in a square. If this breaks, capture or death is certain for each one.
Questions for Study 1. Never mind if you don't understand the details of this game of English cricket. What are the rewards that some boys play for? Why is it bigger and finer to play the game for the game's sake, so that the captain and every other man knows that he can depend on you to do your part?
2. In what respect is the awful situation in the second stanza like that in the first? To whom would the last line mean most?
3. What does it mean to play the game in the affairs of every day! Why is it necessary to play the game" in school sports if one wishes to do his part steadfastly and bravely in the bigger battles later in life?
LOUISE DE LA RAMÉ (QUIDA) Thirty-two starters were hoisted up on the telegraph board, and as the field got at last under way, uncommonly handsome they looked, while the silk jackets of all the colors of the rainbow glittered in the bright noon sun. As Forest King closed in, perfectly tranquil still, but beginning to glow and quiver all over with excitement, knowing as well as his rider the work that was before him, and longing for it in every muscle and every limb, while his eyes flashed fire as he pulled at the curb and tossed his head aloft, there went up a general shout of "Favorite!”
The thoroughbreds pulled and fretted and swerved in their impatience; one or two, over-contumacious, bolted incontinently; others put their heads between their knees in the endeavor to draw their riders over their withers; Wild Geranium reared straight upright, fidgeted all over with longing to be off, passaged with the prettiest, wickedest grace in the world, and would have given the world to neigh if she had dared, but she knew it would be very bad style, so, like an aristocrat as she was, restrained herself; Bay Regent almost sawed Jimmy Delmar's arms off, looking like a Titan Bucephalus; while Forest King, with his nostrils dilated till the scarlet tinge on them glowed in the sun, his muscles quivering with excitement as intense as the little Irish mare's, and all his Eastern and English blood on fire for the fray, stood steady as a statue for all that, under the curb of a hand light as a woman's, but firm as iron to control, and used to guide him by the slightest touch. ....
A moment's good start was caught—the starter's flag dropped-off they went, sweeping out for the first second like a line of cavalry about to charge.
Another moment, and they were scattered over the first field; Forest King, Wild Geranium, and Bay Regent leading for two lengths, when Montacute, with his habitual “fast burst," sent Pas de Charge past them like lightning. The Irish mare gave a rush and got alongside of him; the King would have done the same, but Cecil checked him, and kept him in that cool swinging canter which covered the grass-land so lightly; Bay Regent's vast thundering stride was Olympian; but Jimmy Delmar saw his worst foe in the “Guards' crack," and waited on him warily, riding superbly himself.
The first fence disposed of half the field; they crossed the second in the same order, Wild Geranium racing neck to neck with Pas de Charge; the King was all athirst to join the duello, but his owner kept him gently back, saving his pace and lifting him over the jumps as easily as a lapwing. The second fence proved a cropper to several; some awkward falls took place over it, and tailing commenced; after the third field, which was heavy plowed land, all knocked off but eight, and the real struggle began in sharp earnest-a good dozen who had shown a splendid stride over the grass being done up by the terrible work on the clods.
The five favorites had it all to themselves: Day Star pounding onward at tremendous speed, Pas de Charge giving slight symptoms of distress owing to the madness of his first burst, the Irish mare literally flying ahead of him, Forest King and the chestnut waiting on each other.
Two more fences came, laced high and stiff with thorn, and with scarce twenty feet between them, the heavy plowed land leading to them clotted and black and hard, with the fresh earthy scent steaming up as the hoofs struck the clods with a dull thunder. Pas de Charge rose to the first: distressed too early, his hind feet caught in the thorn, and he came down, rolling clear of his rider; Montacute picked him up with true science, but the day was lost to the Heavy Cavalry men. Forest King went in and out over both like a bird, and led for the first time; the chestnut was not to be beat at fencing, and ran even with him: Wild Geranium flew still as fleet as a deertrue to her sex, she would not bear rivalry; but little Grafton, though he rode like a professional, was but a young one, and went too wildly–her spirit wanted cooler curb.
And now only, Cecil loosened the King to his full will and his full speed. Now only, the beautiful Arab head was stretched like a racer's in the run in for the Derby, and the grand stride swept out till the hoofs seemed never to touch the dark earth they skimmed over; neither whip nor spur was needed. Bertie had only to leave the gallant temper and the generous fire that were roused in their might to go their way and hold their own. His hands were low; his head a little back; his face very calm—the eyes only had a daring, eager, resolute will lighting in them: Brixworth brook lay before him. He knew well what Forest King could do; but he did not know how great the chestnut Regent's powers might be.
The water gleamed before them, brown and swollen, and deepened with the meltings of winter snows a month before; the brook that had brought so many to grief over its famous banks, since cavaliers leaped. it with their falcon on their wrist, or the mellow note of the horn rang over the woods in the hunting-days of Stuart reigns. They knew it well, that long dark line, shimmering there in the sunlight—the test that all must pass who go in for
the Soldiers' Blue Ribbon. Forest King scented the water, and went on with his ears pointed and his greyhound stride lengthening, quickening, gathering up all its force and its impetus for the leap that was before; then like the rise and the swoop of a heron he spanned the water, and landing clear, launched forward with the lunge of a spear darted through the air. Brixworth was passed; the Scarlet and White, a mere gleam of bright color, a mere speck in the landscape, to the breathless crowds in the stand, sped on over the brown and level grassland, two and a quarter miles done in four minutes