“By the way, don’t you think we might just as well drop the Mister?”

“And be—George Gordon?”

“And Frank Forester. And make these Caius snobs—I have no doubt they are snobs, if they 대구오피 were ten times Dons—believe that we have known each other these ten years.”



And we shook hands again upon it, and went into hall, and discussed the six year old mutton, undaunted by the observation of the oldsters, and astonishing the youngsters by the offhand way in which he talked of Kintore and Kennedy, and stalking royal harts with cupped horns on Braemar or in Glen Tilt; and I of Paine, of Selby, and Harry Goodrich, and brushing at bullfinches, and switching twenty-five feet brooks; while the pale snobs about us, with tallow faces and sleek hair, short, seedy trousers and black gaiters, were deep in the discussion of the Pons Asinorum, or exchanging experiences concerning tutors and morning lectures, chapels, and deans and proctors.

That evening, I will not say that we got fou’, but this I will say, that my squinting gyp, old Robson, reported six fellow-commoners—id est, empty bottles—on the hearth the next morning—and that neither of us went to evening chapel that night, or to morning chapel the next day; which cost each of us the writing of an imposition of 600 lines of Virgil, or rather three half-crowns paid to old Dick, the barber, for writing it in our stead.

Thenceforth were we sworn friends forever. Thenceforth, eschewing hall, which we voted very slow and bad feeding, we dined alternate days each in the other’s room, the standing order being, soup, chops, or steaks, game, Stilton cheese and walnuts, and ever and aye four bottles to be aired before the fire.

Thenceforth, were we seen rarely at the lecture-room or chapel, but often at the covert-side, with Handbury, or Charley Newman, of the East Essex, by’r lady, and with Osbaldeston’s lady pack, in Northamptonshire, though to accomplish that, we had eighty miles of road-work to do in coming and returning.

Thenceforth did our guns often ring together o’er many a lowland fen, and in after days on many a Highland hill; and this brings me back to the point whence I have so widely wandered.

It was, as I have said, a beautiful, calm October morning, on which, as soon as the skies were well light, I sallied forth from the college gates, and took my way through Trinity street, in front of the proud gate-house in which, above the archway, is still shown the room wherein young Newton dreamed perhaps already of celestial marvels to be made patent soon by his immortal genius—in front of the brick turrets and square casements of dingy-hued St. Johns—turned to the left into Bridge street, and soon reached the snug lodging in which my friend roomed, within college rules, though without the time-honored walls of Caius.

There never was a more complete specimen, than the snuggery into which I was introduced, of a college sportsman’s room. It was not, it is true, above fourteen feet square; but into that small space was crowded almost every comfort and convenience that can be conceived. Above the mantel-piece, under the ample arch of which blazed a glorious sea-coal fire, hung a large, handsome looking-glass, between the frame and mirror of which were stuck a profusion of visiting-cards, summons to appear before the dean, buttery bills, and lists of hunting appointments. On each side of the glass was a dog’s head, by the inimitable Landseer; and on the right hand wall a large picture of grouse-shooting in the Highlands, by the same prince of modern masters. A large and luxurious sofa ran along the left hand wall, on the crimson cushions of which were cast at random the black gown and trencher cap of the student.

Before the fire-place stood a table, which had once been amply furnished for the morning meal; but now the teapot stood with its lid staring open, guiltless of souchong or bohea; the voiceless urn sent up no spiral wreaths of sweetly murmuring steam; the egg-cups contained only shells; the massive silver dish, with its cover half displaced, showed only now, in lieu of the nobly deviled kidneys and turkey’s gizzards, the scent of which “clung to it still,” a little ruby-colored gravy, whereon floated a few rings of congealed fatness; the brown loaf was dismantled; the butter-pats had disappeared in toto; and the tout ensemble read me a lamentable lecture on the vices of procrastination and delay, the burthen of which was still the old college saw of sero venientibus ossa—“to the late comer, bones!”

Beneath the table, crouched, beautiful spectacle to a thorough-bred sportsman’s eye, as superb a brace of setters as ever ranged a stubble, or brushed the dew-drops from the heather of a highland hill.