Journeys Through Bookland — Volume 5 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 468 pages of information about Journeys Through Bookland — Volume 5.

  But ever in his dying fear
  One dreadful sound he seemed to hear,—­
  A sound as if with the Inchcape bell
  The evil spirit was ringing his knell.



[Footnote 1:  Tom Brown’s School Days, a description of life at the great English public school of Rugby, is one of the best known and best-liked books ever written for boys.  The author, Thomas Hughes, was himself a Rugby boy, and many of the incidents of the story are drawn from his own experience.  One of the most interesting things about the book is the picture it gives of Thomas Arnold, head-master of Rugby from 1828 to 1842.  The influence for good of this famous scholar and educator, called affectionately “the doctor,” can scarcely be overestimated.

He held that fully as much attention should be paid to the development of manly character in the boys as to mental training, and that the prime object of a school was not to turn out scholars, but to turn out men.  This Doctor Arnold was the father of Matthew Arnold, the poet.]



It was a huge, high, airy room, with two large windows looking on to the school close.[2] There were twelve beds in the room, the one in the furthest corner by the fireplace occupied by the sixth-form[3] boy who was responsible for the discipline of the room, and the rest by boys in the lower-fifth and other junior forms, all fags[1] (for the fifth-form boys, as has been said, slept in rooms by themselves).  Being fags, the eldest of them was not more than about sixteen years old, and all were bound to be up and in bed by ten; the sixth-form boys came to bed from ten to a quarter-past (at which time the old verger came round to put the candles out), except when they sat up to read.

[Footnote:  2:  Tom Brown, an old Rugby boy, has come back after his vacation, full of plans for the good times which he expects to have with his chum East and other cronies.  He is, however, called into the housekeeper’s room and introduced to a shy, frail boy, whom he is asked to receive as his roommate and to look out for in the early days of his life at Rugby.  Although greatly disappointed, Tom sees no way to refuse the request, and at the beginning of the selection here given we find him with young Arthur in the boys’ dormitory.]

[Footnote 3:  The word form is used in English schools instead of class.]

[Footnote 1:  In English schools the name fag is applied to a boy who does, under compulsion, menial work for a boy of a higher form.  The fagging system used to be greatly abused, the boys of the higher classes treating their fags with the greatest cruelty; but the bad points of the custom have been largely done away with.]

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Journeys Through Bookland — Volume 5 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.