Imatges de pàgina

has undurgone alterations in the details, in the process of repainting from time to time; but it is not peculiar to Winchester; a similar figure was not uncommonly painted in dining-halls in France during the sixteenth century.

Through a low ambulatory, under a portion of the hall, is the entrance to Wykeham's beautiful chapel, with its vaulted wooden roof of Irish oak and exquisite stained windows. Let us not utter, in such a place, an anathema against Warden Nicholas, though he did take up the brasses in the chancel, and cut away the beautiful stone-work of the stalls and reredos, (of which just enough remains to show you what it was) in order to set up his Ionic wainscoting of oak; besides, the work is good of its kind, and has had no expense spared on it; he was only acting according to his lights, and was a liberal benefactor of his college in many ways. Nor let our enthusiasm for the past make us forget that there are devotion and heroism even in our own utilitarian age; do not criticise too strictly that arcade of floriated work in the ante-chapel, or pass unread that touching inscription underneath, the tribute of Wykehamists to their thirteen brethren whose names are there recorded as having died "in their harness" in the Crimea :

Think upon them thou who art passing by to-day, child of the same family, bought by the same Lord; keep thy foot when thou goest into the house of GOD; there watch thine armor, and make thyself ready by prayer to fight and die the faithful soldier and servant of Christ and of thy country.

"Child,” it should be remarked, is the kindly term used by Wykeham for his scholars, and long retained in use by the Wykehamists of early days; Ken always employs it in his “Manual.”

The new stained window in Warden Thurburn's chantry is also interesting, not for its beauty, but as the tribute of gratitude from scholars and commoners to Charles Wordsworth (now Bishop of St. Andrews) on his resigning office as second master. Adjoining the chapel are the cloisters, surrounding the “garth " or burying-ground, in the middle of which stands the beautiful chantry built by John Fromond, priest, steward to the founder. There was to be sung a mass forever for the souls of himself and his wife, who were interred within. Suppressed, so far as it original purpose went, at the Reformation, it has been since used as the college library, and contains some curious and valuable MSS. The small room above was probably at first used as a scriptorium; it had been converted into a granary in 1570. In the quiet square within, and under the pavement of the cloisters, many a Wykehamist, old and young, sleeps his last sleep. During the last few years fever has been exceptionally fatal in the place-as many as, eleven recent tablets may be counted on the cloister walls, bearing the names of young scholars thus early removed in many cases where the hope of future excellence was brightest. Yet Winchester has never been reckoned unhealthy; Warton, in his notice of the college, speaks of there having been "scarce an instance of death there once in twenty years." The infirmary, or "Bethesda," as it was termed by its builder, Warden Harris, stands in a piece of ground adjoining Meads, and thither every case of illness is at once removed.

Daily Routine-Prefects. Years have worked fewer changes at Winchester than at any other of our public schools. Until the last few years it maintained some curious primitive arrangements which many an old Tykehamist will regret now to miss. The black jacks (still to be seen in the cellar and kitchen) have not long disappeared from hall, and tea has quite lately taken the place of beer. The hour of rising (5 at all seasons) had never altered from the founder's day until, in 1708, Sir John Trelawny, Bishop of Winchester, in his capacity of visitor, suggested and obtained from the college authorities the modification, that from Michaelmas to Lady-day it should be 6, and that the scholars should be "relieved from the servile and foul office of making their own beds, and keeping their chambers clean."

There are still the original number of eighteen prefects in college. The first ten are "in full power," as it is termed; the Latin form of admission to their office being-"Esto præfectus cum plenâ potestate." Besides the responsibility of maintaining discipline, these have a general privilege of fagging all below them, with some few privileged exceptions, both in chambers and out. The five seniors—not invariably appointed from their standing in the school, but “with reference to their character and influence for good "*--are “ officers." 1. Prefect of hall, who has a general superintendence over the school, and is the recognized organ of communication between boys and master; 2. Prefect of li. brary; 3, of school; 4 and 5, of chapel. These ten bave also power over commoners so far as discipline is concerned, but not to fag them; that being the right of the commoner prefects only, of whom there are at present thirteen-the number being always proportioned to the number of boys in commoners. The remaining eight college prefects (called in Winchester tongue Bluchers) have a more limited authority, confined to chambers and the quadrangle; the form of making these is—"Præficio te sociis concameralibus." At least two prefects are located in each of the seven chambers-one from the first seven in rank, and one from the next seven; the juniors are also divided into ranks of seven, and out of each rank the prefects, according to their seniority, choose one each to fill up the numbers in their own chamber; so that each chamber has, to a certain extent, ties and associations of its own.

At present the hour for chapel is 6:45 in summer, and 7 in winter, (sometimes, in very cold weather, 7:30 by special license;) "first peal" always ringing three-quarters of an hour beforehand, when the junior in each chamber has to get up at once; but seldom does a senior turn out before “second peal," which leaves him some fifteen minutes for a hurried toilet. The chapel service lasts half an hour, and first school begins at 7:30; after which comes breakfast served in hall. Middle school is from 9 to 12, comprising two distinct lessons, one in classics, the other in mathematics or modern languages. Third school is from 3 o'clock until 6 also for two lessons as before. Tuesdays and Thursdays are half-holidays, or, as the Winchester term is, “half-remedies," when there is no third school; but an hour in summer and two hours in winter, (from 4 till 6,) called "books-chamber-time," is expected to be employed in working under the superintendence of the “Bible clerk," as the prefect in daily "course " is termed, who is responsible for a decent amonnt of order and silence at these hours. Whole “remedies" are occasionally given on a Tuesday or Thursday, at the request of the prefect of hall; when, in accordance

* See Dr. Moberly's admirable "Letters on Public Schools,” p. 97. ti. e., Remissionis dies. Saints' days only are called “ holidays."

He has a scob appropriated to him in school, near the door, with the inscription, TS AEI ANAENDETII. His original office was to read the Bible at meals.

with ancient custom, the head-master intrusts him with a ring, which he keeps for the day, and the motto on which—commendat rarior usus—is a hint that Auch request is not to be made too often. On these days four hours are employed at "books-chambers." Saturday, by a singular exception to the practice of almost all schools, is not a half-remedy; but the afternoon school ends at five, at which hour there is chapel." On Sundays there is morning chapel at 8, breakfast at 9, and at 10 the whole school attends the service (litany and a sermon) at the cathedral, where place is allotted them in the choir, two oaken arm-chairs forming seats of honor for the two senior prefects. There is a Scripture or Greek Testament lesson at 4, and evening chapel at 5. On the afternoons of halfremedies, when the weather allows, the whole school, in pairs, each boy with his socius, (according to the founder's rule-sociati omnes incedunto,) under the command of the prefect of hall, start from college at 2 P. M. for "Hills;" the breezy downs about a mile south-east of the college, called St. Catherine's Hill, which has always formed the supplementary playground for Wykehamists. Here Whitehead used to lie and read his favorite "Atlantis," and compose abundant poetry perhaps not much worse than in his laureated days. Here also, in days within the memory of many, a badger-bait was the great excitement provided for less poetic spirits, on extraordinary occasions; but now the time (an hour and a half) is usually spent in walks in the adjoining country within certain bounds, with an occasional paper-chase or game at football. At other times a college boy is more strictly confined to bounds than is the case at any other public school; the gates being kept strictly locked, and no exit allowed except into "Meads"-the playground at the back of the college, containing about two acres, with good football and cricket-ground, and fives-courts -or into College street as far as the bookseller's. The present warden has given a degree of liberty which is much valued_"leave out” to the whole school from 12 to 1, within certain bounds which do not include the city; for any business which a boy may have in the streets special leave has to be obtained. Supper-consisting of bread and cheese, or beef (on alternate nights) and beer, for prefects; bread and butter and tea for inferiors-is served out at 6; which leaves the services of the juniors at liberty, if required, for toasting, &c., at the prefect's mess” at 6:30; those official personages enjoying the privileges of having tea, coffee, &c., made for them by their "valets” in chambers from that hour until 7:30. From then until prayers at 8:45 is "toy-time"-supposed to be occupied in preparing the work for the next day, but when, it may be easily concluded, a good deal besides goes on not provided for by any college statutes however comprehensive. All the chambers are supposed to be locked and quiet by 9 o'clock. A certain quantity of bread is given out in hall at 6:30 for use in chambers, but there is no regular meal after the 6 o'clock tea or supper; though there are often surreptitious cookings of tea and coffee, and other accessories, on the "half-fagot" on the hearth; not less enjoyed because liable to sudden interruption and punishment by the second master if he makes, as he is supposed occasionally to do, a round of inspection. It was at such little suppers that Tom Warton, (who ought to have been a Wykehamist,) when living with his brother the Doctor, delighted to assist; hiding himself, like a great boy, when Dr. Warton happened to come round; and doing the "impositions” of Latin verse inflicted upon his young fellow-culprits. Bed-time is 9.15 for the juniors; for the prefects. 10. In commoners the hours are much the same.

It will be found, on calculation, that the average day's work expected from a boy at Winchester is rather more than seven hours; quite sufficient if fairly employed. But when working for “standing up time," or election day, a zealous boy will give up a good deal more time than this.*

Dinner is now at 1:15, for which only half an hour is allowed. It is rather singular that, in this respect, a step has been backwards, so far as modern habits are concerned. In the last generation Wykeham's scholars dined more fashionably; the old "supper" at 6, consisting of roast mutton and bread, (no veg. etables,) had become virtually their dinner-the original dinner of hot boiled beef at 12:45 being looked upon in the light of an early lunch; and since they then breakfasted so late as 10 o'clock, the appetite was not keen enough to relish a dish which is always found to be distasteful on constant repetition, so that commonly the plates of boiled beef went into the “tub” before-mentioned, and served to mend the fare of the prisoners in the county jail, while the boys made their luncheon on bread and cheese. Now, meat is only served once in the day, at the early dinner; beef on Mondays and Thursdays, and mutton on the other days, with the ordinary vegetables, bread, and cheese ; and pudding twice in the week. The choristers still wait at table--the only representatives of that class of poor scholars, "servitors," whom our schools and universities formerly maintained. They are now usually the sons of tradesmen in the city, and have a separate school of their own in College street, though they still stand on the

. * At these times a good deal of extra reading is done, and strange devices are adopted to secure early waking in the morning. "One very original alarm-known as a "scheme"—is of venerable antiquity, and deserves notice, though not very easy to describe. A hat-box (or some such article)



1. Cutting the hours, (an inch of candle is allowed per hour.) 2. The functior, or candlesconce, to which the string is tied. The rush-light burns down to the bundle of loose paper, which burns the string. 3. The "scheme" arranged. 4. The paper alight. 5. The "scheme" calls.

is hung by a string over a boy's head as he lies in bed, the string being fastened to the wall, and a rush-light so arranged as to burn it through at a certain hour; when down comes the hat-box on the sleeper's head. The boy who wishes to be called may probably be a prefect; but it need hardly be said that the head upon which the bat-box descends is a junior's.

college roll as "third book;" but formerly they seem to have been of somewhat higher grade, were eligible to scholarships, and in the roll of 1683 several of them appear in fifth and fourth book. Their little gray dresses are furnished them from a legacy of good John Fromond aforesaid.

Election to Scholarships. The election day, both for Winchester and New College, is on the Tuesday next after the 7th of July, (St. Thomas à Beckett) when the warden of New College, Oxford, with two of his fellows, called the "posers,” (or at one time "supervisors,") arrive at the college, when they are received with an oration "ad portus" by the senior scholar.* .

In old times they always rode down from Oxford with their servants behind them, making Newbury their half-way house, where they seem to have supped upon a very liberal scale. A regulation of the founder provided that they shall not bring with them more than six horses. They had presents given them by the Winchester society; for instance, in 1417, a scarlet cap for the warden, and a "hurry" (or cap) for each of the posers; and they, in their turn, complimented "the warden and Mrs. Harris," and "Mr. and Mrs. Schoolmaster," (in 1633) with Oxford gloves. In the year of the plague, when Winchester was infected, the election was held at Newbury; the electors from the two colleges meeting there. The practice of riding down on horseback was continued by Dr. Gauntlett, Warden of New College, until 1822, when he was in his 70th year; he also slept at Newbury by the way, and gave a dinner there to all Wykehamists who chose to attend.

The Oxford visitors, on their arrival, proceed at once to “Election Chamber” to hear any complaint which the boys may have to preser. This is called the "scrutiny;" the seven senior prefects, and the seven juniors in chambers, (one from each chamber,) are separately questioned; but complaints are seldom made. Next morning the examination for election of scholars to New College begins no longer in the renowned "Election Chamber” itself, but in the long " Warden's Gallery," as more convenient for the purpose; all prefects who are of standing to leave the school are examined, with any others who choose. As a rule, none can be elected who are over eighteen on the day of election; all others are superannuated. Boys, however, who bear a good character, and have passed a creditable examination at the election before their eighteenth birthday, can stand again next year. The vacancies used to be about nine in two years, but the uncertainty attending this was the cause of many severe disappointments; now, six scholars are elected every year, and the competition is opened to the commoners. This examination usually ends on Saturday evening, and on Monday the “roll" comes out with the names of those elected to Oxford; on Tuesday the election to fill vacancies on the Winchester roll begins. This is now entirely a matter of competitive scholarship; all boys from ten tn fourteen are eligible, the candidates being subjected to two graduations of ex amination, according to age. There are, on an average, about fourteen vacancies in college in the course of the year; and a more than sufficient number of boys are placed "on the roll,” in the order of merit, to succeed to these vacan cies as they occur.

• Two other speeches are spoken in school just before their arrival:-1. "Fundatoris laudes," by the senior “Founder's kin" scholar; 2. “Elizabethe et Jacobi laudes," (commonly I nown nu

Elizabeth and Jacob,") by the second scholar on the roll.

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