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Now, though I have Lo
told you that the Rugby 1383
game is different from the foot-ball usually played, I shall not attempt to describe that difference. It would be more than useless, when Tom Brown, who knew the game so well, has already given his enthusiastic and glowing account of a great schoolhouse match. He has made Rugby classic ground in the annals of foot-ball. And still to be seen there are the “ beautifulline of elms," and “the island in the
farthest corner,"and the A RUGBY BOY'S “STUDY."
“gigantic gallows," hold any player in a maul, this holding does not and the three trees which are such a “tremendous include attempts to throttle or strangle, which are place when the ball hangs there," as East said to totally opposed to all the principles of the game.” his new friend Tom. You remember, too, how, And again : “No one wearing projecting nails or
iron plates on the soles or heels of his boots or shoes shall be allowed play.” This gives a pleasant idea of what the game once was. The very terms "mauling”and “ scrimmage,” still in use, show what the game now is in its milder
form. You remember, I do not doubt, East's proud description: “Quite another thing from your privateschool game. Why, there 's been two collar
THE QUADRANGLE AND THE CLOISTERS. bones broken this half and a dozen fellows lamed; after dinner on every half-holiday, the boy in and last year a fellow had his leg broken !” their white trousers come trooping out to the
play-ground for “punt-about,” or practice-kick- side; they must leap over hedges and brooks, mount ing; how, after “calling-over,” at three o'clock, little hills and jump ditches. And fortunate they there is heard the cry“ To the goals ! ” and how, are indeed, if the sun shines and the grass is dry the next minute, all fall to with good-will. “And and the roads hard ; for, in rainy England, in the then follows rush upon rush and scrimmage upon winter and the early spring, the chances are that scrimmage, the ball now driven through into the rain or fog will add to the trials of a run. These are school-house quarters, and now into the schoolgoal." And any boy, who, after reading all that eloquent description, can not understand what the game is like, will not be helped by any words of mine. The only thing for him to do is, to go to Rugby on a Saturday afternoon and see a match for himself.
The principal matches of the year are, those between the sixth form and the whole school, and that between the “Old Rugs” and the "Present,"— when old Rugbeians, some grayhaired men, go to Rugby to meet their young successors in the game they have not ceased to love.
The next most important amusement-or shall I say work?– is hare-and-hounds. Every boy is obliged to go on these runs just as he is obliged to play foot-ball, unless, of course, his physician has forbidden him to take this exercise. There are what are called "house" runs and "Big Side” runs, or those in which the whole school is represented. well described in the following lines, a few of many In the former, the smaller boys are helped by written about the sport : the older, so that they have an easy enough time ;
“ Jumping ditches, Now on road, but on the latter, "every man for himself” is the Scrambling hedges, Now on grass, rule of the day. The ambitious little fellows who
Through a spinney * on these occasions think they can keep up with the
Then we pass,
First a farm, older and bigger runners, are almost certain to Swamp or fallow,
Then a mill, share the fate of Tom Brown and East and the Tad- Sometimes in the Now go toiling
Mud we wallow :
Up a hill." pole. And Tom's experience is, I think, that of every Rugbeian. The runs are necessarily made It is hard work, of course. Tiresome as the every year over the same ground, and in whichever runs still are, the boys find real pleasure and direction the boys go, they must cross plowed fields satisfaction in them. There is, for example, all or green meadows, with sheep scattering to every the pride of coming in first, of gaining a reputa
VOL. XIII.-8. * A small thicket, or grove, with undergrowth. (See page 115.)
tion as a runner, or of being appointed the “holder In the summer term, foot-balls are put away, and of the bags.” These are the bags in which the school “bags” and “ Big Side bags ” also dis“hares” carry their paper, or “scent," and are appear. The game now is cricket. But Rugbeians looked upon as symbols of authority, so you can have never been so famous at cricket as the boys understand what an important person the holder of Eton or of Harrow. They have their good players of Big Side bags must be.
and can boast of many great, and, of course, “unThe great run of the year is the school steeple- equaled” matches, another fact which you know chase. Do you wish to know what it is like? To from your “Tom Brown." But Rugby boys do
me it always suggests the famous race around not take as much interest in cricket as in footBarnum's circus ring, which comes off at the end ball. Only those need play who like it, so that of the performance, when hurdles to be jumped the number of cricketers is not always very and bags to be crept through and high fences to large, as there are many other ways of finding be climbed are put in the way of the runners. In amusement during the summer term. Racquet the steeple-chase at Rugby, the course lies over the and fives-courts have their attractions. And then deepest places in brooks and the roughest bits in there are “botanical” and “geological,” and “enhedges, and he who wins the race must be not only tomological” and “archæological” societies, the a good jumper, but must have great powers of members of which make them an excuse for lovely endurance. He must not mind soaked clothes and long rambles, supposed to be in pursuit of flowers, scratched legs, and he must be able to put up with or butterflies, or fossils, or old churches. Then great cold. For as the race is usually run in there are bicycles to be ridden, or walks to be March, not even the exercise can take away the taken through beautiful country, and between chill of a thorough ducking in the brook.
sweet hedge-rows, with perhaps the spires of Coventry or the towers of Warwick Castle rising in scarlet coats. But now they are only required to the distance; there are strolls by the “peonied appear in dark suits of clothes, tall hats on dress and lilied brim ” of the Avon, Shakespeare's occasions - for all English boys begin to wear tall river; and there is excellent swimming in the fine hats as soon as they leave off skirts — and black new bath in school close, or else in a shady se- and white straw hats at other times. For a boy's cluded pool of the little river, where, however, first three terms, the ribbon around this hat there is always danger of its being interrupted by must be black; after that it can be of whatever the present “Velveteens” — (you remember how color the wearer prefers. These little details, I can the old one caught Tom Brown at his swimming).- assure you, are quite as important in the eyes of RugAnd there, too, is Rugby town itself to be ex- beians as the division of the school into “ forms." It plored, though this last amusement, I must add, is the same with the house colors for foot-ball. A is not very exciting. A little stir and bustle there boy would think it as great an offense to wear the is in it once in a while, however, for it holds no colors of any other house than his own as to take less than fourteen cattle fairs during the year, and his place in a form to which he did not belong. any young Rugbeian who has a taste for live stock Another very important custom in which newhas a good chance to develop it. Besides these comers have to be instructed is that of fagging. pleasures, there are the Library and the Museum, They are purposely allowed a fortnight's grace that the Gymnasium and the Workshops to be visited. they may carefully study the duties exacted of them. The only limit to the independence of summer It is with fagging as with foot-ball and harehalf-holidays is the “calling-over” at five.
and-hounds. Its greatest days are past. Think Do you remember how East, the old boy of six of a boy having to warm three or four beds months' standing, made Tom Brown buy a new on a cold night by lying in them until the heat of hat as soon as he arrived at Rugby, so the boys his body had destroyed their chill, and then havwould not make fun of him ? Well, Rugbeians ing to rise at four o'clock in the morning to run
are just as particular now. They seem to expect two miles to the Avon to attend to the fishing-lines new-comers to have learned beforehand all about of the sixth-form boys, and then to be back in time the Rugby customs in matters of dress. Once for first lesson! Fancy his being obliged to form the boys wore little cocked hats and queues, to one of a team of four or twelve in harness, to be raced which those who belonged to the nobility added around the school-yard, or “ close,” by the præposin several other public schools, when the sixth- a general idea of Rugby, which all Rugbeians will form boy or præpostor wants anything, he calls out tell you, in the well-known words of old Brooke, is “F-a-a-g!” in answer to which call all the fagging the “best school in England ! "
boys must run, the last to arrive having to do the work. It is but for a short time, fortunately, that fagging is really a serious and perhaps tiresome duty. For the rule is that during a boy's first term, he must run at the first call; during his second, he need only answer the second, and so on; so that at the end of his second school year he has comparatively little to do as a fag.
Of course, I have not been able to say all that there is to be said about Rugby. A Rugbeian, indeed, would declare my sketch very imperfect. I have not even referred to the Debating and Shakespeare Societies, nor to the school magazine ; I have not described the great day in June when the sixth-form heroes of learning act Latin and Greek plays and the prizemen recite their compositions; nor the school concerts, nor the March Athletic Sports, nor the singing nights. Indeed, if I were to write about all those things, I should
fill a volume. And so I have simply tried to give 2 to my young readers, both American and English,