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as we know, there flourished an odd, quaint, artistic people called the Egyptians. I have been reading all about their private life, manners, and customs in a clever, learned book, written by Sir Gardner Wilkinson, who has dispelled many errors under which I, and I dare say a good many other persous, formerly laboured. The Egyptians, mia cara, didn't worship onions. Isis hadn't the head of a cow; Anubis had a jackal, and not a dog's head, so that even Mr. John Milton is wrong in his mythology ; the outer lines only of the Egyptian door-jambs sloped—so that the Egyptian Hall, in Piccadilly, is architecturally incorrect; and the story of the trochilus, the obliging bird which is supposed to pick the leeches out of the crocodile’s jaws, is a silly fable. But there is one custom of the Egyptians of which I had often heard, and which, according to Sir Gardner Wilkinson, was really common among them. The strange and characteristic paintings on the walls of their tombs show that they frequently introduced a Mummy at their feasts, to remind the merrymakers of mortality. Imagine a mummy in the presenceroom at St. James's! Imagine the Lord Great Chamberlain unlocking, with his golden key, the door of a carved and gilded closet, and showing a dusty, yellow skeleton within.

But our age is too polite and too genteel for such ghastly mementos. It is this perpetual sofa of mine, at Pumpwell —this hopeless couch of dreariness and anguish that makes me think of the mummy at the Egyptian feast, of the fantastic skeleton at the English drawing room. So, too, while my eyes wander over the Court Circular in the urbane columns of the Morning Post, do I remember to have read of the stern and rigid sectarian, John Knox, preaching before the maids of honour of Mary Queen of Scots, in something like these words : “ Ah! fair ladies, ah! noble damsels, how brave and gallant would be this life, if it would only last!” So, too, do


I recall some words written in a book entitled the “ History of the World," by a brave and wise English gentleman, whom the cruel Elizabeth and James kept for years mured up in a noisome den in the White Tower of London. His bedchamber was in the thickness of the wall. His study was a gloomy hole. You may see the place any day for sixpence, and his name was Walter Raleigh. He had been among the gayest of a gay and gorgeous Court. He had basked in the royal favour, and lain down his mantle for the imperious Elizabeth to walk over. He had been the foremost in feasts and pomps, masks and water-pageants. He had stood on the steps of the throne and quaffed the Queen's wine, and he had come to this dull captivity in this sorry kennel. There came, too, unto him the mummy, the skeleton, at the meagre banquets his prison fare furnished forth. He did not fear the grisly appearance, but looked it firmly in the face, and wrote imperishably of it thus : “Oh! eloquent, just, and mighty Death! whom none could advise, thou hast persuaded; what none hast dared, thou hast done; and whom all the world hast flattered, thou only hast cast. out of the world and despised. Thou hast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty, and ambition of man, and covered it all over with these two narrow words: Hic Jacet."





To my mind it is extremely doubtful whether men should, under any circumstances, be intrusted with the early training of youth. It will gladden the hearts of very many estimable ladies who keep preparatory schools for young gentlemen, and draw, in the advertising columns of the Times, such flattering pictures of suburban or seaside “Homes for little boys,” when I maintain that there are many arguments in favour of leaving such boys with their governesses until they are at least ten or twelve years of age. Having broached this theory, I anticipate, at once, a storm of expostulation and dissent. The advocates of the “ Tom Brown” system—the narrative of that youth's school days has made a great sensation here—will of course cry out that I wish to raise a generation of milksops and mollycoddles, and tie boys to the governesses' apron strings when they should be scampering about the playing fields, and bruising each other's shins at football. My dear, I think “ Tom Brown” very clever, and am glad to believe its author to be an earnest, vigorous, humane man; but we are all too prone to run after systems, and pin our faith to them; and I predict anything but beneficial results from this “ Tom Brown” mania. 'Tis precisely the same as putting little boys into knickerbockers, and little girls into red stockings, arbitrarily and indiscriminately. Some children those articles of costume suit admirably well; of others they make perfect frights.

The worst of bigoted Tom Brownism is, that it renders the notion prevalent that nothing good in education for boys can exist but what comes out of Rugby, and that no boy is worth twopence who has not been educated by Doctor Arnold, or by a successor of that amiable and estimable Christian schoolmaster. The beau idéal of a schoolboy, according to the ultra-Rugbeian theory, is a curly-headed, blue-eyed, sturdy, athletic little lad, who is amazingly dexterous at cricket, prisoners' bars, and hare and hounds; who despises sweetstuff, and has a soul above indigestible pastry, but has an honest taste for sausages and treacled rolls, cider and country ale. He plays very hard at manly games; he refreshes himself with the substantial delicacies I have mentioned; he varies the tenor of his amusement sometimes by a fair stand-up fight, in which the lesser boy always gets the best of it; and then he comes into school, is wonderfully assiduous, construes without a fault, and makes beautiful Latin verses, to the delight of the Doctor, of his schoolfellows, and of his parents and guardians. And it is a remarkable circumstance that although Tom is too good a boy to be beaten, the birch is always in the cupboard, and held in terrorem over him by his affectionate guide, philosopher, and friend, the Doctor. Thus, we don't execute people for high treason now-a-days; but disagreeable provisions for hanging, drawing, and quartering traitors yet linger in the Statute-book.

Tom, so educated, is the boy to go to college and carry off high honours there. He is a pugnacious boy, but is never cruel or tyrannical. He is decidedly pious, too, in a manly, outspoken way.

“ Muscular Christianity,” I believe, the Brownites call Tom's theology. The “muscular Christian” is, I presume, a


pietist who turns over the leaves of his prayer-book with the thumb of his boxing-glove. Tom is now ripe for a college fellowship, for a stroke-oar in his boat's crew, for the bar, for the army, or—oh, strange old England !—for the church. Yes ; there is positively a very strong idea abroad that Tom's sausages and cricket-bats, his Latin verses, and sparring bouts, enter into the exact training required for a model Christian priest! The odd reverses one sees to medals every day. A's ideal of a clergyman is a pale-faced man in a high black waistcoat, who keeps fast-days, and calls his back-parlour

oratory." B's model of a parson is a “muscular Christian," a strong-limbed incumbent, who endears himself to his parishioners by walking about amongst them in a velveteen shooting-jacket and corduroys, a bull terrier at his heels, and a short black pipe in his mouth. Some like their clergy clean shaven, and would not even object to a neat tonsure, about the size of a crown piece shaven off the cranium ; others are much taken with the hirsute appendages which, since the camp“ roughing it” before Sebastopol, some muscular Christians have made it fashionable to wear. For my part, I am content to take my pastors as I take my oysters—without their beards.

So old, and crotchety, and behind this enlightened and expensive age is your poor mamma, my Louisa, that the probability of my having erred in this, as in many other things, is extreme. The Rugbeian system may be, after all, the golden mean of education. I wonder if it ever sends. any young men to the bar who don't get briefs, any students into the church to starve on curacies of eighty pounds a year, any lads into the army to waste their health and energies and tarnish their virtue amidst the dull sensualities of a barrack life. But the system and its offshoots are the fashion, and will have their day, I

suppose. So, too, when your mamma

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