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A  TERCENTENARY  DREAM. Who shall say That dreams do import nothing? Old Play. For dreams, too, come from Jove. Jones' Homer. Verissima nootis imago. Oradus. Sir,—Last night I dreamed a dream, and  thinking it might possess matter of interest  for some of your readers, I have set it  down  and send it to you. Methought I had left Rugby many  years  ago, and being now grown grey and bearded,  had  once more revisited  the scenes  of my  youth  on  the anniversary of the  Tercente­ nary.  As I strayed into  the  School  Quad­ rangle I was astonished to see that the stone  paving  had  disappeared.  In  answer to  a  question, an intelligent Sixth fellow informed  me that it was no longer necessary to  com­ mence a general weeding in prospect of the  advent of the Trustees, and that the  School  Quadrangle  was no longer a receptacle for  the  waste  paper  and  orange  peel  of  the  School in general, and of the  School-House  in particular.  A rumour likewise  reached  me, though  unsupported  by  authority, that  members  of  the  School-House  no  longer THE  METEOR. S played cricket in the cloisters, with broom-  handles  and  inverted  dust-bins.  Playing  fives  against the  wall of Big-School was (I  was given to understand) considered through­ out the School as a sign of social and moral  degeneracy.  What was still more  strange,  it  had  suddenly  been  discovered  that  the  old Pump was neither useful nor ornamental,  and in commemoration of the  Tercentenary  its removal had been ordered. On  entering  the  Close I discovered  that  the  board  against  trespassers had been re­ moved,  no  small  boy  of the  lower  orders  having been prosecuted “ within the memory  of man,”—that is (as explained by Mr.  Hal-  lam)  since the era  of Richard the Second.  The ivy, planted on the outside of the schools  looking towards the close, which in my day  had  always  withered  prematurely,  now  mantled richly over the ancient walls.  Mr.  Wilson’s scheme for removing the slope  had  been successfully carried out, and I was told  that  the  laundresses  had complained  of a  visible  falling-off in the number of flannels  which weekly fell into their hands. Suddenly the ground seemed to shake be­ neath the tread of armed feet.  I turned my  head, and beheld the Rifle Corps, three hun­ dred and twenty in number,  marching  into  the  close.   Spies  from  Russia,  Prance,  Austria, and Prussia, followed close on their  heels,  in  order  to  transmit to those great  Powers  hints  borrowed from  the bayonet-  exercise  and  blank-cartridge  firing  of the  Corps.  I  heard,  without  much  surprise,  that their ingress had been unprohibited  by  the Rugby Police  Corps,  who was  at  that  moment keeping  an  observant eye  on  the  public welfare  in the tap-room  of the  Bog and Gun.   During the progress of the evolu­ tions  Captain  Tobin  suddenly  levelled  his  rifle and shot a Phoenix, who at that moment  was  building  his  nest in  the  crater of an  extinct volcano in the moon.  This feat was  greeted with loud applause.  It is confidently  affirmed that this rare  bird will be stuffed  and added to the valuable collection in the  gallery of the Sixth School. Whilst I was expressing my delight at the  accuracy of the shot, my  cicerone pulled me  by the sleeve, and whispered me that it was  no  long  matter of doubt in the School, that  the  shooting  of the  Eleven at  Wimbledon,  this year, would be even more striking than  that of last year. Being struck  by  seeing a  small  boy en­ gaged  in  studying  a  large  folio  sheet  of  paper,  I enquired of him what it  was, and was interested to discover that he was perus­ ing the  Sociological  and Biological  column  of the  Meteor.  The prosperity of this paper  was chiefly proved by the Notices  to  Corre­ spondents,  among  which  I  observed  the  following:— Tom Brown .—Your  style  of  writing  is  scarcely up to  our  standard.  Study some  ef the best  models of English prose in  the  pages of the  Meteor. G. J. Goschen .—You are improving rapidly.  We have no doubt you will soon be sufficiently  advanced to contribute papers to our columns  on the “ Board of Trade,” and the  “ Theory  of Exchanges.” Lord  Stanley .—Still too conservative and  statistical.  Purchase the  Meteor’s  “ Hand­ book  to  Statesmanship it will  soon show  you your most  glaring  faults.  Let us hear  from you again. I found, to my surprise, that the  face of  the  Island  was  changed.   Instead  of  a  hideous exterior, deformed  by  the addition  of  unparallel  parallel bars—which,  though  constructed for the purposes  of suspension,  invariably broke with anyone who trusted to  their fair-seeming fickleness—as well  as by  the addition of rotten swings, which entailed  a  fall  of  forty  feet  on  anyone  suffi­ ciently  rash  to  gravitate within them;  the  whole  place now bloomed  as  the garden of  Eden;  odorous shrubs and beauteous flowers  thrilled through the breast of the  smallest  fag, and awakened in  him a romantic sense  of the beauties of Nature. At the Racquet-court, as elsewhere, changes  had gone on.  The front wall had been finally  re-built  of  imperishable  stone  and  indis­ soluble cement.  My cicerone informed  me  that before this  desired consummation had  been attained, enough money had been spent  on the front wall to build two new Racquet  Courts and half an Eton Fives Court. On glancing round the Close I discovered,  to my astonishment, that my old friends the  nets  had  disappeared.  I could not conceal  my  chagrin  at  this;  but  my  companion,  when  I mentioned  the fact, tossed his head  with  an  air  of  supreme  content.  “ You  speak,  sir, of the barbarous institution of a  barbarous age.  We have  reached a higher  stage of civilisation.  Know,  sir,  that the  faint and uncertain voice of tradition tells us  of a time in the dim past when Rugby balls  at Lord’s were not fielded, and Rugby catches  at Lord’s were missed.  But this time  has  passed away.  Every new fellow is fagged to  field two  hours  on every  half-holiday,  and 4 THE  METEOR. one  hour on every whole school-day during  his  first  Term.  This  time  is  reduced  by  half an hour every Term.  And what is the  result ?  A prize was given last Athletics to  the best catch, but it could not be awarded,  for no fellow was ever found to miss a catch,  Forms n.  hi. and iv. being always excepted,  in  consideration of their inability to resist  the momentum  imparted, by a body of the  size of the cricket ball falling through space,  with  a  velocity  varying  inversely  as  the  square of the distance.”  The elegance of the  last  sentence gave  me  a  high idea  of the  advantages of a study of Natural Philosophy. My  curiosity was  not yet satisfied, and I  eagerly  enquired  after the welfare of Foot­ ball :  “ Are House Matches played with the  same ardour as in former days ?”  My com­ panion threw  upon me a mingled glance of  aversion and  scorn.  “ If by  ardour,”  he  replied,  “ you  mean the bloodthirsty  spirit  which  led  to  those  disgraceful  scenes  of  which tradition speaks, I am thankful to say  that  it has died out from amongst us.  In  accordance  with a  law passed at  Big-side  Levee, all House Twenties, before they begin  to play, exchange the kiss of peace.”  “ The  kiss  of peace!”  I  exclaimed, in  a  tone of  strong disgust,  “ Have  the  School  become  Quakers ?”  “ And if they  had imitated  the  peaceful character of the Society of Friends,”  said my companion, “ what of that P  Does it  beseem your grey hairs, Sir, to strive to in­ flame the passions of the School about a ball  of  inflated  leather?  Does  it  beseem your  grey hairs to recommend a calculation of the  number of hacks which will  suffice to break  an opponent’s leg ?  Know that every navvy  is proscribed, the thickness of whose sole ex­ ceeds 12-100ths of an inch.”  I blushed and  was silent.  “ Come this way,” he added, in  a milder tone,  “ you may  be  interested in  hearing a debate at Big-side  Levee.”  I fol­ lowed eagerly to the Fifth  School.  What a  sight  burst  upon  my  view!  The  whole  Levee was  seated  in  order  upon  benches.  The chairman was dressed in a purple robe,  on  which  were  emblazoned the  Founder’s  arms.  Before him lay a mace, topped by the  letters “ L. S.”  Three fags were occupied at  a table as clerks, receiving the petitions and  making minutes  of the  debates.  Petitions  were  presented  from  twenty  Moberlyites  praying  that  measures  might  be  taken  against  sundry bucolics who  had  thrashed  them with pitchforks for trespassing;  from  seven Burrowsites, praying for the removal of  the Cattle Fair and its attendant plagues to a greater  distance  from  their  House door;  from  fifteen  Mayorites,  praying  that  they  might be no longer  compelled to have their  breakfasts in their  studies;  from  ten  “ en­ lightened Blakeites,”  praying that the nui­ sance of Hand-fives in  the  porch  might be  stopped;  from  thirty  School-House  fags,  praying that they might only have to sweep  out the Prespostors’ studies every other week,  and that night-fagging be reduced from half-  an-hour to  one  quarter;  from five  “ very  small Amoldites,” praying that leave be given  them to play cricket on the grass before their  house; and from  the  whole  Town, praying  that a severe fine be inflicted on all who ad­ dress members of the  foundation  by oppro-  bious  terms.  Unfortunately, as  the  debate  was about to begin, the  chairman  rose and  ordered strangers  to withdraw;  whereupon  I was reluctantly compelled to betake myself  to my old House. After what I had heard of entrance exam­ inations, scholarship examinations, monthly  unseen papers, Terminal unseen papers, Fifth  lessons, extra lessons, I was  scarcely aston­ ished on entering the House to find our boot-  boy  seated  by  the  pantry  fire and  busily  engaged in collating  the Vatican and  Bod­ leian M.SS.  of Thucydides.  In reply to  a  question of mine he informed me that he had  just been writing for the  Journal of Classical and  Oriental  Philology,  a  criticism  on  the  Latin Primer.  His review, he said, had been  more imperfect than he would have wished,  through  his  inability  to  consult the frag­ ments of Ennius and Previus, as well as the  First Book of Cato —Be Be Bustica.   He had  hoped to be able to prove from those impor­ tant authorities that the first syllable of the  word  “ Primer ”  was  long  and not  short.  He trusted, however, to rectify this deficiency  during the holidays, by obtaining a sight of  the  valuable  collection  of  anti-Ciceronian  authors in the British museum. As I reached  the  hall  door the sonorous  cadences  of a powerful voice fell upon my  ear.  I gently entered and took my seat un­ observed.  Without  much  difficulty I  dis­ covered that I was  witnessing a meeting of  the Blakeite  Debating  Society.  The secre­ tary stole up to me  and informed  me  in a  whisper that they were  at  present  uniting  the glories  of eloquence  and  science,  and  that the  subject of  debate  was  “ That the  resemblance  between  the  Caucassian  and  gorilla families, considered in relation to the  ganglienic nerve and the tetanic chord, does  not tend to favour the  theory of the deriva- THE  METEOR. 5 tion of man from the mollusc.”  Whilst with  the  help  of a  member,  who  kindly offered  his services as moonshee, I was endeavouring  to grasp the  full import of this  mysterious  proposition, a loud burst of applause greeted  the conclusion  of the  speech.  I started up  —and discovered myself sitting  in  my bed  in  No. 2  bedroom,  with  the  ten  minutes’  bell ringing for first lesson.* * I am Sir, yours, &c., TREBLA. Rev. Jex Blake’s, Rugby. • We do not hold ourselves responsible either ior the  waking assertions or the sleeping imaginations of  our  correspondent.— Ed.