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59 Thus Mr. Brook-Smith's won by 56, wresting the cup from its former possessors, Mr. Bayly's.
THE COLLEGE LIBRARY.
To the Editors of the Cheltonian. Gentlemen,- I want the Library to be opened for a few minutes at 5 o'clock. Supposing I get out a book at 2.30, and finish it in afternoon College, what am I to read in the evening?
THE RIFLE CORPS.
To the Editors of the Cheltonian. Gentlemen,- I have taken the liberty of writing, in order to put before you the state of our Rifle Corps.
The corps started, I believe, with about 150 members, but now it has greatly decreased in size, though not much in shooting; although it is now enrolled, and has the benefit of the short rifles and of battalion drill with other companies, yet there are hardly enough in it to enable it to represent the College properly. Anyone knowing the number in the College (about 700, I believe) would expect there would be at least 100 members in the Corps alone, exclusive of the band; and that we should have to choose our Wimbledon eleven from at least 30 or 40, who had steadily practised. Instead of this we find a few in the corps who do as much as they can to keep up the reputation of the College, whilst many go loitering about the play-ground doing nothing, but perfectly ready to share in the honour if anything is won for the College, and also to laugh and ridicule if anything goes wrong in the drill, or if the numbers present are very small indeed, entirely forgetting that they themselves ought to be laughed at for not better supporting a corps belonging to the College.
Our Corps has every advantage, not only in drill but also in shooting ; for, judging by the number of prizes shot for during the year, we ought to have a much stronger eleven than we have at present.
No other Corps, perhaps, is so strongly supported, not only by the Principal, but also by many Old Collegians, who by giving cups, &c., to be shot for, have done all they can to ensure our coming off victorious at Wimbledon.
Hoping that we may soon see the Corps in a more flourishing condition.
I remain gentlemen,
The Cheltoni an.
HERE are two reasons why every Cheltenham boy should
buy a copy of the Flosculi. Cheltonienses. In the first place, the book really has, what its editors claim for it, a right to be considered a memorial of the success of Cheltenham College during the last twenty years. Anyone who casts his eye down the list of contributors to the volume, and sees the names of so many who have now attained to eminence in their professions, must be glad to possess that which was the first token to the world of their ability, and transfer to this book some part of the assection which he feels for his school.
But besides the value which the Flosculi Cheltonienses gains from this esprit de corps, they have quite an independent worth of their own, from the character of the compositions themselves. The editors disclaim any intention of putting forward a rival to such books as the Arundines Cami, in point of classical taste and finish: they shew that the translations in the Flosculi are really schoolexercises-successful exercises, and the best which the school could produce, but still exercises, done by school-boys, and copied unaltered from the college-book in which they have been kept. Had the pieces been submitted to the authors for revision, there is no doubt but that much might have been improved, many a weak line strengthened, some harshnesses softened, and the worth of the book as a model for classical composition increased. But it was decided, and we think it was rightly decided, to let them stand as they were originally written, and to make the book, whatever else it might be, at least what its title proclaimed it to be, Flosculi Cheltonienses. But, notwithstanding the editors' disclaimer, we consider that many of
No. 27.-Vol, IIT.
the translations, taken on their own merits, are exceedingly well done, some of them quite able to stand a comparison with the best we know. Their great fault, a fault, we think, inseparable from the productions of boys, is that they are uneven. They want that sustained classical ring which only long practice and great labour can give. The authors have not yet learnt to think in Latin and Greek, and where an eminently modern idea has to be reproduced in a classical dress, there are sometimes left upon it some few shreds of its nineteenth-century clothing, which make it halt awkwardly on the stage. There is another fault, which we mention not so much because of its occasional appearance in Flosculi Cheltonienses, but because we are informed that it sometimes shews itself even to this day in the composition of the boys at the College. In that merriest of merry books, Nicholas Nickleby, Mr. Vincent Crummles, giving some suggestions to the young play-writer, is inconsolable because the play cannot be so far altered as to admit of his beloved Pump and Tubs being introduced with advantage. The fault to which we have alluded may be called the ‘Pump and Tubs' system. It consists in a writer's being so passionately attached to one phrase or construction, or, in cases of extreme poverty, to some word, that for its sake he will sacrifice everything. No idea is so far-removed as to be exempt from a danger of being dragged within the perilous vicinity of the writer's hobby. The phrase or construction or word may be beautiful in its place, and indeed, for obvious reasons, generally is so : so are a Pump and Tubs; but when out of place it only serves by its incongruity to spoil everything. Greek philosophy and the Biglow Papers agree in their universal rule, Trávta após Ti, 'nothing in anything except by position.' It is, indeed, a fact which school-boys cannot recal too frequently, that there are cases when even quippe qui with the subjunctive mood may be out of place.
We have said that there are good verses in the Flosculi Cheltonienses. Here are some of them. The stanza
She saw him die ; her latest sigh
Joined in a kiss his parting breath ;
United are in death
is thus rendered :
Tum moriente viro, gemitu premit illa supremo
Emoriens labris pallida labra suis :
(J. R. R.)
The speech of Macbeth
Blood hath been shed e'er now, i' the olden time,
is thus translated by E. J. M.:
Και δη πάλαι το πρόσθεν αιμ’ ηκούσαμεν
The Hexameters seem to us to be not so well done as the Elegiacs or the lambics. Here, however, is a pretty rendering by J. R. of a verse from Wordsworth's Laodamia
He spake of love, such love as spirits feel
In worlds whose course is equable and pure :
The past unsighed for, and the future sure :
Nec tacuit quales animarum cætus amores
From the original compositions which conclude the volume it would be unfair to give any specimens-it seems but right that each should be read as a whole. We will only allude to two of them, The Praise of Labour and The Death of Socrates. To those who have known the author of the former as a teacher at Oxford, there