Time goes on, bringing the fated hour nearer and nearer; and the student’s assiduity knows no bounds. He reads his subjects over and over again, to keep them fresh in his memory, like little boys at school, who try to catch a last bird’s-eye glance of their book before they give it into the usher’s hands to say by heart. He now feels a deep interest in the statistics of the Hall, and is horrified at hearing that “nine men out of thirteen were sent back last Thursday!” The subjects, too, that they were rejected upon frighten him just as much. One was plucked upon his anatomy; another, because he could not tell the difference between a daisy and a chamomile; and a third, after “being in” three hours and a quarter, was sent back, for his inability to explain the process of making malt from barley,—an operation, whose final use he so well understands, although the preparation somewhat bothered him. And thus, funking at the rejection of a clever man, or marvelling at the success of an acknowledged fool—determining to take prussic acid in the event of being refused—reading fourteen hours a day—and keeping awake by the combined influence of snuff and coffee—the student finds his first ordeal approach.
* * * * *
Peter Borthwick experienced a sad disappointment lately. Having applied to the City Chamberlain for the situation of Lord Mayor’s fool, he was told that the Corporation, in a true spirit of economy, had decided upon dividing the duties amongst themselves. Peter was—but we were not—surprised that between the Aldermen and tom-foolery there should exist