« PoprzedniaDalej »
versazione. “I hope I shall live Let me sing thy praises only,-whatlong enough to deliver my soul soever summit lonely in an article on Fact versus
Bear thee skyward-saved and shelFormula. These young men have
tered in the shadow of thy wings ; learnt the formula as pat as pos
Donna Vera, Donna Vera !" sible.
Nay, they condense and Ah me! was not that battle music improve it. But what a gulf for awakening souls? between them and the men who discovered the fact ! Where do Ian was really working for his great men grow?”
B.Sc. ; but, regardless of what Professor Caird strolled past to Professor Young used to call the refreshment - room with Mrs" limited liability,” he plunged Craik on his arm, and at the same into every subject that interested moment my eye was caught by a him, and not unnaturally gave protégé of the Professor's, brilliant, his friends the impression that he bilious, neurotic - I suppress the was taking out every class in the less flattering adjectives that would University. In addition to all flow unbidden from my pen,—who this, he spent a great part of the was leaning idly against the wall. day in "Sir Billy's” laboratory in "Must the Mrs Craik of the "conscientious self-sacrificing labfuture be content to be taken in our," as the great man said when to supper by a man like that ?” he presented the prizes at the I murmured.
Graduation Ceremony. Ian drew himself up and tapped
It is difficult to believe that I his broad chest with his finger. did not work in that laboratory “You forget,” he said with quiet too, did not lay myself open to humour; "there will also be men Professor Young's stiletto thrusts, like this !”
and sit at the feet of Professor But no indiscreet sub could Caird. Indeed I may almost say really destroy his admiration for of Caird's class-room that, like a great chief; and it was Ian who the kingdom of heaven, it suffered -regardless of the wolf on our violence, and that the violent took threshold—strode home in triumph it by force; for I made Ian's life with a nice damp copy of Theo- a burden to him until he had got critus and other Poems' on the his lecture notes into readable day of publication. I can see form, and together we pored over him still, pacing up and down in the exercises that had passed the dusk, declaiming,
through the master's annotating
hands, like baser metals through " Then the solemn glooms and glories the crucible of the alchemist. of the dim transition days,
In the evenings, of course, we Vestals chanting Roman anthems, Cov- worked insanely, as conscientious enanters, Hebrew lays
students will, until they learn someBroken fragments of thy meaning, thing of Nature's laws. The one
simple Faith's impatient gleaning- book we both had to “get up” was Held me in religious rapture, till thy the Areopagitica, and as that Presence broke the maze : Donna Vera, Donna Vera !
according to Ian—was "easy," we
resolved to read it aloud the last Stern the call to quit our homesteads, thing at night, or rather the last put away all childish things ;
thing before we fell asleep in the Hence the weak world fears thee, clinging morning.
to long-cherished leading-strings. The plan was as follows. No. 1
began to read aloud and read on first term, too, that Professor until he, or she, discovered that Veitch’s closing remarks were reNo. 2 had fallen asleep. Then ceived with such boisterous apNo. 2 was roughly awakened, and plause that the plaster fell in ruthlessly set to work till No. 1 Professor Ramsay's room below! fell asleep. So it went on till the “Ah," said Professor Ramsay; day's quota was finished, or till "the premises don't seem to be both fell asleep at the same time. strong enough for Veitch's conIt was almost a regular part of clusions.” poor "slavey's ” work in the morning to pick up the Areopagitica My tendency might have been from the fender or from behind to run too much in a rut; but no the battered coal-scuttle. I am chum of Ian's got a chance of glad to think the book cannot doing that. I don't think we write its history, as I am writing missed one of Mr Mann's excellent mine; for its life at this time was concerts, and many a discussion a series of hairbreadth escapes, on Berlioz or Wagner took place and, even at the best, it was sadly at midnight in the eyrie, while misunderstood. I have seldom the city slept quietly, away down had intercourse with a more sug- below. gestive mind than Ian's; but I I remember one afternoon we have seldom made less headway were sitting sleepily over with a book than I did at that books, when suddenly Ian shut his time with Milton's Areopagitica. mighty tome with a bang.
And yet, in spite of all our “I must have a glimpse of that hard work, Jack got little chance St Luke window," he said abruptof becoming a dull boy. Surely ly. “Coming ?” University life has never since He seized his hat as he spoke, “ teemed with quiet fun” as it did and we strode through the busy in those halcyon days. It seems streets without a word till we to me that most of the good stories found ourselves in the quiet crypt one hears to this day about the of the cathedral. What a delight Glasgow dignitaries spring from that St Luke window was to both episodes that happened then. of us! Ian had discovered it, of It was surely that winter that
He had a sleuth hound's a student of Professor Caird's scent for the great and beautiful. dropped in on him late at night, It used to be an unfailing subject and insisted on talking metaphysics of wonder to me how he came to till Ursa minor became uneasy, and know so much about things. We sent for Professor Young. They stopped for a time to listen to Dr decided to go for a stroll, and Peace's fine sonorous music as it turned their steps in the direction flooded the building, and then, of Gartnavel Asylum. Arrived with a great détour through the there, they threw stones at Dr slums, we made our way homeYellow lees' window.
wards. “ Who's there?" called the sage. There was silence between us no
“Caird : and Young is with longer. That which happened him.”
rarely, happened then. The sight “Oh!” was the calm response. of all that poverty and sickliness “Which of you has brought the and crime made our hearts burn other?”!
within us, and we talked with alWas it not at the end of that most molten eagerness of all we
longed to do to save mankind. till the tears down Poor little boy and girl !
cheeks. We crossed the park, and looked When the first year came to an back from the top of the slope. end, I took a situation “doon the The great toiling suffering city watter,” and continued my educahad fallen into its ordinary per- tion by the feeble means of corresspective, -but the dusky glow of pondence classes; but every Saturthe setting sun seemed to raise it day I came up to spend a day or into the region of our dreams; two with Ian. Our good landand our ignorant untried hopes and lady made this an inexpensive longings rose with that cloud of luxury; I took for granted that smoke from the heart of the weari- she had become attached to me ; ness and woe. Poor little boy and but it may only have been that girl !
she disliked darning Ian's socks Such moods were rare.
even more than I did. rule we were content to sip the I really think we saw each other sweets of life on a lower level. A to more purpose during those brief joke could be wrung from every- visits than we had ever done bething in those good old days, and fore. I was always supposed to the greatest joke of all was our
be tired with my week's exertions, poverty. Our allowance was paid so Ian installed me in a corner of monthly. The first week we lived the stiff horsehair sofa while we as lightheartedly as the lilies of exchanged our newly acquired the field; when the second or instalments towards a complete third week came on, we began to philosophy of life,—while he told take thought; and the fourth me all the new jokes, and showed week usually found us referring to me the books he had bought or physiological tables of diet "just borrowed since my last visit. as a matter of scientific interest,” Then we went for a walk-unless and expressing our warm belief in he chanced to be playing football the nutritive value of lentils and and we wound up the evening oatmeal.
by another royal "crack,” or some I remember on one occasion a form of entertainment. classmate invited me to spend a
On the strength of my salary, " week-end” at her home some we now considered ourselves fairly little distance out of town. My well-to-do; so much so that I ticket cost rather more than I rashly lent fifteen pounds to a expected, and I was obliged to friend -- on excellent security borrow a few coppers from Ian. and, before we knew where we “ And do get me a sandwich,” I were, Ian and I were poorer than added, “I am so hungry.”
He surveyed the remaining For three weeks I was obliged pence that lay in his hand. to forego my precious weekly
“Will a bun do?” he said visits; and our correspondence simply. “If I buy you a sand- was confined to an impassioned wich, I can't afford my car out to appeal on my part for a scrap of the University, and I haven't time geological information, wherewith now to walk."
to appease the wolfish hunger of I don't know what my fellow- a pupil with enquiring mind. Oh, passengers thought of us —- I am those pupils with enquiring minds ! sure they can't have guessed the _" but that is another story." joke, but we stood and laughed Ian apologised afterwards for
replying to my query on a post
was a very great correscard. It seemed tactless certainly; pondent, and you may fancy my but he said it was all he could delight when some friends of his afford. He had even given up his invited me up to spend May Week. pipe for the time.
Two weeks had still to drag What a fortnight that was ! out their weary length before my Even now as I sit in the evening salary was due. I had forgotten in my dusky High School classthat Ian's bursary was payable in room, poring over a mighty pile the meantime, until one morning I of exercises, I have only to close received the following intimation my eyesof the fact,
But I must not begin to talk of
all that now; and, indeed, the “RELIEF OF LUCKNOW! Advance of General M.” (the University clerk, halcyon days were over when we I suppose) “ to the aid of the starving bade farewell to our eyrie at the garrison.
top of a long common stair : the “Seats taken for Salvini to-morrow halcyon days were those in which evening-front row of dress circle. we bought stamps singly and Will meet you by 10.15. Postal order bootlaces by the pair; when we enclosed for fare."
looked out on the lights of the Oh, the halcyon days !
mighty city away down below,
and fell asleep alternately over At the end of three years Ian the pages of the Areopagitica ; took his B.Sc. with honours, and when-ach, mein Lieber! —we were went on to Cambridge. Neither above it all alone with the stars!
A SOLDIER'S CHRONICLE.
PERHAPS the last authorities to ally relegated to some subordinate be consulted by one writing a brother in a monastery, who colmilitary history of the reign of lected what information he could Queen Victoria would be the about the movement and strength clergy; not, of course, because of armies, and the result of battles. of any mistrust in their intelli. Hence the ludicrous exaggeration gence or truthfulness, but because of numbers which is so frequent; they are less qualified to speak as when Hemingburgh, canonwith accuracy in military matters regular of Guisborough, states than those who are more nearly that in the spring of 1307 Robert concerned with the profession of de Brus was hiding (!) in the hills arms. If, for example, one de about Glentrool with 10,000 men. sired precise information about the It is well ascertained now that Barstrength of the cavalry depot at bour was correct in putting the folCanterbury, it would hardly be to lowing of the King of Scots at that Archbishop Temple that he would critical period no higher than 150 apply, nor would he be justified in to 300, to support whom the stores troubling Dr Cameron Lees with of fish and game in that wilderinquiry about the strength of the ness must have been taxed to the forces in Scotland. Nevertheless utmost. it is on the writings of the clergy, But there was one notable exmonks or friars, that one has prin ception to the monkish chroniclers cipally to rely for the facts of a of the fourteenth century. One period when the history of this only, and that not Sir Thomas country was essentially military. de la More, whose share in the Barbour, Fordun—or, more accur- authorship of Mors et Vita Edately, his continuator Bower—and wardi Secundi' is known now to Wyntoun are the chief Scottish have been very slight. The one authorities for the momentous author who knew thoroughly what War of Independence, and, like he was writing about and the the English writers, Hemingburgh, scenes he was describing was an Trivet, and the nameless Fran- English knight, Sir Thomas Gray ciscan friar of Carlisle, who com of Heton, in Northumberland, who piled the invaluable so-called Chron was constantly in the field against icle of Lanercost, were all clerics. the Scots in the reign of Edward True, it was an age when it III. Having had the misfortune behoved bishops, especially those to be captured by them early in whose sees lay along the Marches, 1355, he relieved the tedium of to be as much at home in the camp two years' imprisonment in Edinas the chapter-house, and many burgh Castle by studying various of these are far better remembered metrical and prose chronicles in by the havoc they wrought in other Latin, French, and English. He people's flocks than for pastoral tells us, in that Norman- French work in their own. But it was which was the habitual speech of not they who wrote the chron feudal families both in England icles; their military duties left and Scotland in the fourteenth them no time for superfluous quill-century, that com geris nauoit en le driving, and the duty was gener hour autre chos afair—"as he had