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said, possessed something more than mere ordinary intelligence. It was a matter of common report that as an undergraduate Maple of St. Cyprian's had been the best all-round man of his day, his weakness being that he had allowed his enthusiasm to run rampart in too many directions and had essayed too much. A winner of two University Prizes, men said that he had missed the Craven because he elected to read for mathematical honors after securing the best First of the year in Classics; while his partial devotion to the River, where he was the best College stroke of his time, had probably cost him a place in the “Varsity” Eleven. Years and experience. adding a degree of formality to his bearing, had in no degree abated his enthusiasm, which was now,
however, centered on one object only—the attainment of distinction alike in the Schools and the Playing-fields by the College of which he had been in the first place Scholar, then Classical Tutor, and was now the Dean and virtual ruler.
On this particular afternoon in March the Dean felt himself called upon to be even more than ordinarily explicit. For he found himself confronted by a hitherto unknown quantity, in the person
of а young man of six-and-twenty or thereabouts, who, having called upon him, armed with a letter of introduction from
old College friend, had put forth the extraordinary, nay, even preposterous suggestion that he, John Cope by name,
should be allowed to enter his name on the books of St. Cyprian's, and having dispensed with the formality of a Matriculation Examination, to reside for probably one year only. True, under favorable circumstances the period of residence might be indefinitely prolonged; but this Mr. John Cope, albeit singularly badly informed on most points, seemed
to have just enough inteligence to believe that the “Dons"—these the Dean gathered to be the University Authorfties—might require him to present himself "for one of their rotten examinations" at the end of the year. “And, of course, I'm not going to do that," he concluded in an airy way.
Here, indeed, was an occasion for plain speaking. This very confident young gentleman, Mr. John Cope, must be firmly and politely shown, for once and for all time, that St. Cyprian's, so far from being an asylum for the vagabond and the idler, or even an ordinary College, was rather a community of especially selected young men, not merely immaculate of conduct, but of whom each individual was expected to contribute a something which should, if possible, enhance an unusually high reputation. And, most unfortunately for John Cope, he had blundered badly at the very outset of his undertaking.
“Mind your p's and q's when you talk to the Dean, John," his good friend and rector had said.
And John, who by virtue of an uncle's death had for a year or thereabouts been Squire of Harraden, in his anxiety to follow the Rector's advice, writing to make an appointment with the Dean, had spelt St. Cyprian's with two p's. A venial offence in his case. For neither can it be expected that a youth who has left Eton when only in the Remove, and then spent five years on an Australian sheep-station before being summoned home to assist in the management of his uncle's estate, will necessarily know every saint and martyr in the calendar, nor has it ever been proved that a practical knowledge of the productive capacity of native guano, nitrate of soda, and so forth, necessarily entails an intimate acquaintanceship with the rules of orthography. That extra “p," however, had wounded the Dean's feelings. For
did not its insertion seem to imply that the young gentleman, who could not even spell the name properly, must have very vague ideas of the true importance of St. Cyprian's ?
"I seem to gather, Mr. Cope, what your views are in reference to what we may call a temporary residence in Oxford as a member of the University. Your case, I will admit, is peculiar. You do not appear to have had the benefit of an extended system of education, and with a view to future contingencies—an idea, perhaps, of eventually becoming a Member of Parlia. ment-eb? I beg your pardon."
“I'm not going to do that, anyhow. They talk a lot of rot, and do nothing but tax landlords- then after a perceptible pause, “sir.”
The Dean, in his official vein a purist to the core in the matter of choice of words, shivered slightly, and then resumed.
"Well, we will substitute, of fulfilling your position of landed gentleman."
"Only about 6000 acres—a sort of flea-bite. My boss in Australia had more like twenty square miles. That's being landed if you likesir."
“Ah, well, then of holding your own in society. You are desirous to have the opportunity of studying the convenances of social life in a great educational centre, and of perfecting your education and mingling with other young men—undergraduates, I mean
say, the sheep preponderate, thouga doubtless in some less favored Colleges, goats-eh-eh-?"
Mr. Cope took instant advantage of the momentary hesitation.
"Breed,” he suggested, and then proceeded to quash the Dean's objection. "Well, if I called them asses, you called them goats-sir. I'd rather be an ass than a goat any day. An ass is some good and a goat isn't, except to draw a child's carriage. Of course, goat's milk is all right, and so is asses' milk. Rare good stuff for kids. I was reared on it, in fact."
“Very likely,” said the Dean drily, "but what I wish to point out to you, Mr. Cope, is this. You have not come to the right College for your requirements. I do not say that you may not be successful elsewhere. But St. Cyprian's—by the way, there is only one pin the Saint's name: he was martyred, if you remember, at Carthage in the third century."
“Poor old chap!" sympathetically ejaculated Mr. Cope.
"St. Cyprian's is a comparatively small but distinctly select College; indeed it may almost be said to fulfil the position of a tribus prærogativa."
"The tribe in the Comitia at Rome, or rather, in our case, the College in the University which takes the lead, and gives the tone to other nominally equal, but-eh-eh?-less highly favored foundations—"
"Sort of big boss donkey that walks first in the string-sir."
“Yes, yes. Every member of St. Cyprian's makes it his business to contribute his quotum towards keeping up the College reputation. In fact, I may say that all our undergraduates take pride in maintaining our traditions. Last year, for instance, we obtained no less than nine First Classes in various schools; our Eight was second on the river, three of our men repre
“Some of them are awful young asses, aren't they-sir?"
Again the Dean shivered, before making an unwise attempt to bring this very blunt-spoken young man to his proper bearings.
“That is rather too strong an expression, Mr. Cope,” with some severity. “In every community there will be found good and bad-sheep, shall we say? and goats. Here, I am glad to
sented the University in the sports, one rowed in the Eight at Putney, and although our cricket Eleven was not particularly strong, still we defeated the two other Colleges, both larger than our own, situated in this street. Possibly," he continued rather hurriedly, as he noted that Mr. Cope was meditating another interpolation, "we may not do so well this year, as seperal good men have gone down, but we hope that—"
"There are as good fish in the sea."
"Well, yes, yes. But—my time is rather precious, Mr. Cope, and I have two very important engagements this afternoon-what I would suggest to you is that you should go to some other College, which is not-eh-quite so high in its aims, and which might be ready to assist you on the lines you propose; such a College, I would say, as Wadham or Worcester. I daresay you would find several quite nice young men in either of them. Or perhaps one of the Halls might suit you even better. Or, again, and I really think that this would be the best course of all, you might talk over your views with one of the Delegates of the unattached students, who might perhaps offer you the facilities you require. And now I must really bid you good afternoon, Mr. Cope. Please to remember me kindly to your Rector, and tell him how gladly I would have accepted his recommendation had I been able to see my way to it," and, thus speaking, the Dean arose from his chair with the evident intention of ushering John Cope to the door. Not so lightly, however, was he destined to get rid of his visitor. For Mr. Cope, who had shown various signs of impatience during the Dean's peroration, developed
line of attack.
"Have those unattached men got a cricket-ground? I mean, is there a chance of decent cricket there-sir?"
a question which the Dean was wholly unprepared to answer. To this conservative mind that comparatively modern importation, the unattached student, appealed as an IDdividual, not perhaps necessarily objectionable in himself, but at any rate as beyond the pale of University civilization, ranking indeed as barbarian to Greek,
Helot to free-born Spartan.
“I know nothing whatever about them," he snapped; "but," and here he looked at the young man with more interest than before, “are you a cricketer, Mr. Cope?”
"Well, yes, I've played-a lot at times."
"Where, may I inquire?" asked the Dean, who having now worked his way to the door, stood for a moment with his hand resting on the handle.
“For the Colony against the M. C. C. lot four years ago, and since I came home once or twice for the County."
"Played for your County!" exclaimed the Dean, as he relinquished his grasp on the door-handle and stared hard at the visitor. "When and where, may I ask? I do not seem to remember your name."
"Perhaps not; I was Lister, thensir. I have only been Cope since my uncle died and I had to take his name."
“Lister!" exclaimed the Dean, and with that he took one stride to his writing-table, and, picking up the card which his scout had brought up on the visitor's arrival, wiped his spectacles preparatory to examining it.
“John L. Cope,” he muttered to himself, "and the L. is Lister," and then for a full half-minute he continued to stare hard alternately at the card and its original owner, by way, it may be presumed, of verifying the connection between the one and the other. The process of identification apparently concluded to his satisfaction, the Dean
next walked to the farther end of the room and carefully closed the bedroom door, and then, as though by way of making security doubly secure and cutting off from his visitor any chance of premature escape, he marched off into the anteroom ich led to his more private apartments and "sported his oak."
“Do you mean to tell me, Mr.-eheh-Cope," addressing his visitor, who, having remained standing with a view to departure, was not a little mystified over the series of precautions, "that you are the Lister, the googly bowler?"
"Well, I was Lister, and I do bowl googlies."
"But did you," inquired the Dean with some severity,—"did you take eight Middlesex wickets for forty runs?"
"Well, yes, I did. A fluke, of course. They got themselves out. Besides, it was forty-three runs."
"Dear me!" exclaimed the Dean. "This is extremely interesting. Now, do tell me, my dear fellow," and forgetting all about the important engagements, real imaginary, he seized Cope by the arm and literally forced him into a chair.
“Now tell me something about your batting."
"I can hit a bit. 1-" and John Cope hesitated.
"Well, I once got seventy against M. C. C. in Australia."
"Dear me! That is very interesting indeed," quoth the Dean, and following that there was a long pause in the conversation, a pause employed by the Dean in ruminating, by John Cope in fidgeting in his chair and wondering whether, in view of his host's important engagements, it was not high time for him to be off. He had indeed half risen from his chair when the Dean, who had been gazing into the
fireplace in an attitude of deep abstraction, suddenly looked up.
"Keep your seat, please, Mr. Lis—I mean Cope. I shall not detain you long, but-” and here he temporarily reverted to the old explicit style, varied, however, by occasional queries put to his visitor and brief comments addressed to himself. “On more mature consideration of your case, a very peculiar case, of course, I have come to the conclusion that it will hardly be consonant with the spirit of this College to throw an obstacle in the way of what is after all a commendable ambition on your part to avail yourself, even for a short time, of the benefits of collegiate life with a view to filling more worthily the position which you are called upon to occupy in your county. By the way, you bave not played for it latterly, have you?"
Mr. Cope briefly explained that in part his uncle's death and illness, ana in part the absence of other amateurs, had been the cause of this abstention.
They wanted me to captain the side-sir. But it's dull work stopping in a hotel alone, and having only pros to talk to."
"Exactly, exactly," asserted the Dean, “the desire for companionship and intellectual conversation is most natural. Man is a social or gregarious animal, Mr.-eh-Cope, and, Roman writer remarked, like rejoices in like."
Here Mr. Cope rather imprudently interpolated that now and again on a cricket field one met "most awful bounders," and he even intimated that he had recently encountered an individual of that description who had claimed to have once played in the Ox ford Eleven.
"Yes, yes, I have been told that such unfortunate mistakes have been made, but we will hope that history of that type will not repeat itself. However,
Mr. Cope Lister, I mean Mr. Lister that all our landlords realized the Cope, I may say that under the cir- great importance of setting a good cumstances the College would be not example to their tenants and co-parishdisinclined to entertain your proposi- ioners. It is satisfactory, too, to feel tion. On certain conditions, that is. that notwithstanding your adoption of Of course we should expect you to the creed of your forefathers you see conform with the College regulations nothing repugnant to your feelings in in the matter of attending-oh! by our very simple yet very beautiful the way, didn't you play against York- ritual. So-by the way, did you bowl shire, too?"
against the M. C. C. team in AustraThe sudden transition seemed to lia?" puzzle Mr. Cope.
“I only had four overs, but I got the “College regulations in the matter last two wickets-sir. Not with googof attending—" he repeated slowly, lies, though, I was quite fast then, and then, gathering from the Dean's left-hand, but I damaged my shoulder face that he was expecting an answer in the winter playing football, and so I to his last question, he admitted that took to bowling right. It was a bit he had played against Yorkshire. awkward at first, and-well, perhaps
"It wasn't quite my day out,” he that's how I came to bowl googlies-added. “I only got four-no, five sir." wickets in the two innings. I stuck "How very interesting!” exclaimed them up a bit, but catches did not go the Dean. "Yours is indeed a very to hand. But I got a nice little knock unusual experience, Mr. Cope. Have in the second innings—thirty-four, you ever reverted to your left hand?" most of them off two overs of Hirst." “Sometimes. You can't bowl goog
“Did you really?” exclaimed the lies for long at a spell, you knowDean. “But now we must not be ir- not, at least, to do much good; and be relevant, Mr. Lis-eh, Cope! As to the sides, it rests you to bowl left-hand College regulations. Attendance at occasionally-sir." morning chapel in the first place. We “I can understand that," said the expect our undergraduates to attend Dean; and he took off his spectacles chapel at 8 A. M. four mornings in the and wiped them carefully with a view week, and
to making a more thorough survey of An interpolation from Mr. Cope. this young man, who, after so
“Oh, I really can't do that, it's so aw- promising a start, was revealing him. fully early, and besides, I'm a Quaker,” self as the possessor of so many ex--and then, seeing that the Dean cellences. looked absolutely horror-struck, he “And you are a football player?” proceeded to explain that his family “Yes, I used to play half-back for had been of the Quaker persuasion the Colony, but I play three-quarter from time immemorial, but that he now. I'm a bit bigger and heavier himself, not being quite so confirmed now, faster too, I hope. I wasn't a Quaker as his forefathers, had con- eighteen when I played for the Col. ceived it to be his duty as Squire of
ony." the parish to attend at least one ser. "Well now," said the Dean, after vice in Church on Sunday.
some consideration, "to return to the "Two, sometimes, but not often," question of chapels. May I underhe concluded.
stand that you have no conscientious "Indeed, that is very creditable to objections which would hinder your atyou, Mr.-eh-Cope, and I could wish tendance in the College Chapel ?”