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On Wednesday, the 11th, the prizes for the Gymnasium competition, for Boys under 15, and the Lower School were gained by the following: Competition under 15Lyon.
Bond. J. Tickell's performance was really very good. We are not sure that per lb., he is not the best Gymnast in the College. We are happy to add that C. H. Johnston, whose performance last year must still be remembered by many, has gained the Gymnasium Championship of Woolwich R.M.A., and thus our Gymnasium has been gaining credit, not only at home, but abroad.
There were not many matches more to be played, to decide the Championship of the Classical and Modern and the Handicap Racquets, but partly through the diverting interest of Football, and partly through a determined spirit of procrastination, those few matches are not yet quite finished. To decide the Championship of the Classical, it only remained for J. J. Reid and A. T. Myers to play. The result was, Myers
15 Reid The play was pretty good throughout. In the second game Reid was 8 to Myers' 2; but he allowed his adversary to walk past him. Many of Reid's strokes were very pretty to look at, but his adversary made the game too hot for him. The six competitors for the Modern Championship, drew in the following couples :M. Crofton. C. Taylor.
I C. Montresor.
H. Studd (odd man). (M. Croston. Taylor and Studd were the last two left in, and of these Studd was victorious. The match between the departments can hardly be said to have been hotly contested. The points made wereA. T. Myers
15 15 H. Studd
In the beginning of the Second game, Studd played well for a time, but he had made up his mind too thoroughly that he was going to be beaten to keep his play up to the mark.
For the Handicap, there were only three left in after Reid had at last played G. Bourke (to whom he gave two hands and six) and beaten him.
Time was not found sufficient to play both these matches; accordingly Bramwell, who will be able to return next half and assert his claims, was neglected. J. J. Reid and A. T. Myers played, and the first two games each ended in favour of Myers (who received two points). Reid making six and seven. The final match (3)
T. Y. Bramwell,
A. T. Myers, Will have to be deferred until next half
To the Editors of the Cheltonian. Gentlemen,-The dust which your correspondent. “A” finds so “intolerable” in the Racquet Courts, has been pretty well laid in the last week. To say that they were wet is an obviously inadequate expression. Drops trickled quietly down the walls and accumulated at the bottom, not improving thereby the correctness of the angle at which the ball came off. I suppose it was owing to the change of the weather; but I should imagine it was also partly attributable to something inherent in the wall. What “A” says about the dust, must apply to some time long ago--the courts are now brushed out carefully every morning—before evening, sundry walnut shells, &c., find their way into them, but that is not the fault of those in charge of the Racquet Courts, but of the public and a very disagreeable fault it is to those who play.
The immovable ventilators are, after all, much the greatest nuisance, and I do not see what reason can be urged against the plan of having them made to shut at pleasure. I think the Council would do it for us if it were only pointed out to them.
I am, Gentlemen, yours, &c.,
The late Reb. dan. Dobson.
E owe the excellent sketch of Mr. Dobson's career, in the
Cheltonian' of last month, to one who, both as a colleague and as an intimate friend, had better opportunities than most men of seeing Mr. Dobson as he was. It may be permitted to an old pupil, who quitted Mr. Dobson's First Class nearly sixteen years ago, to add a few rough and imperfect recollections of his own, which may serve to illustrate and confirm what has already been said.
There is all the more reason for dwelling on a career like Mr. Dobson's, because, from the very devotion to duty, by which it was characterised, it could hardly explain itself in its fulness to the outer world. Outside observers marked, indeed, the practical results which told of able teaching, but the processes of the school and the class room were inevitably withdrawn from their view. The fact is that Mr. Dobson combined with a singular breadth and balance of mind an absorption in his work, which would have been astonishing in the narrowest fanatic. For fourteen years, as has been truly said, 'he shut himself up within the College walls,' and lived for his pupils and the school. No more efficient service was ever rendered by any Headmaster to
institution. In the first place, Mr. Dobson had too clear a perception of fact not to recognise in certain very unassuming qualities the humble basis of a Headmaster's success. Wholly free from any irrational pedantry about details; possessed, on the contrary, of a breadth of intellect and sympathy granted to few,-he seemed nevertheless to revel in the exercise of the minor virtues. Punctually every morning at 9 o'clock — the writer remembers no
No. 20.-Vol. III,
instance of absence or tardiness—he opened the work of the school. Punctually, a quarter-of-an-hour later, the door of his class-room closed behind himself and his First Class. Exactly two days-neither more nor less--the composition shewn up to him by the class remained in his hands, and was returned carefully and clearly corrected at the expiration of that time. It was our impression that, like other great teachers, Mr. Dobson carefully prepared each lesson before it was given. From the first moment of the lesson to the last, his attitude was one of vigilant, unvarying attention. This exact performance of duty was set off, it should be added, not merely by equality of temper, but by an utter unconsciousness that there was anything specially remarkable or meritorious about it.
It was, however, only the condition and not the cause of Mr. Dobson's success. We might have wearied of this almost astronomical regularity, if we had not been conscious of something higher and more human behind it. We hardly knew why he carried us with him so completely, why we worked for him so willingly, and followed with interest the most casual of his utterances. He was, indeed, a thorough master of the art of pithy, accurate, and lucid explanation. He possessed a singular power of arousing and holding the attention. That unimpassioned, imperturbable voice and manner fixed his sayings in our memories as no eloquence could have done. His racy brevity, his dry, humorous sarcasm were softened by a kindliness of voice and eye, which enabled him to criticise freely without giving offence. His practical insight, again, was of the clearest. He had the acutest sense of what could, and what could not, be done. Better, he would feel, to cultivate half-an-acre thoroughly, than to scratch the surface of a hundred; and thus he would rather contract his sphere of action, than do slipshod work. So, too, with all his width of interest and sympathy, he deliberately limited himself to a classical and linguistic system of education. The channel was kept narrow that the stream might run deeper and fuller. Few pupils of Mr. Dobson will be disposed to underrate the educational value of the study of language. We saw it at its best. It would have been hard to make better use of it than Mr. Dobson did. The exact perception of resemblance—the exact perception of difference—the ingenuity which selected felicitous renderings, or which caught the spirit of great models-accuracy in the application of rules—these were the faculties which his teaching sought to give. Each author was made to illustrate his own special type of literary merit. The clearness and fidelity of Homer's pictures taught us to appreciate the graphic side of the poetic art, and led us to the feet of Keats and Tennyson. Give me,' he would say, 'a flesh and blood translation of Homer,'—he would have no English that mocked the perceptions with a hazy, inefficient outline. His passion for raciness and fidelity made him especially successful with Tacitus and Thucydides. If it be true that a training so thoroughly linguistic addressed itself rather to the powers of perception and expression than to that of reflection, there was still much to stimulate thought in some well remembered readings from Grote's History of Greece, and even more in certain suggestive glimpses of a wider range of speculation, which were allowed now and then to break, as it were, through the classical surface of our training, from some untravelled region of thought and study in the background.
After all, however, it was no mere scholastic dexterity, no mere educational adroitness that gave Mr. Dobson the hold he had on us. His unwavering sense of justice, his patient kindliness, his consideration for others, won him our loyal confidence, and brought him an unsought popularity. But that which, above all else, carried us with him was, beyond all doubt, the interest inspired by his strongly marked individuality of character-an individuality so masculine in its massive simplicity that it might have come down to us in the pages of Plutarch. Character does not need to be interpreted to boys; it is the one thing they thoroughly and instinctively understand. We went with Mr. Dobson because he was nobody but kimself. His own character and career were our best and truest pattern--a pattern none the less authoritative because it was left to others to interpret, a living law of manliness and self control.
Those who know great schools will know that a personality so rich in feature could not exist in the midst of us without a mass of unspoken, insensible influences flowing from it. Cheltenham College is recruited from those classes of English society, which the hard work of life takes up and scatters all over the world. Who shall say how often, and in what sequestered spots, hearts have been nerved to the performance of duty by the recollection of the solid and masculine nature, impatient of ostentation, contemptuous of pretence, which lies at the root of our Cheltenham traditions ?
W. L. N.