Down at the high table the feast drew to its close, and very different was the mood of the feasters from that of the young woman whose glance had for a moment rested on their unromantic heads. Generations of undergraduates had said that Oxford would be all very well but for the dons. Do you suppose that the dons had had no answering sentiment?
Greek accents, however, and conic sections were esteemed necessaries at Balliol, and there was no admittance there for Mr. Arabin within the list of its fellows. Lazarus, however, the richest and most comfortable abode of Oxford dons, opened its bosom to the young champion of a church militant. Mr.
I did not tell her about the bonfire which we had in the back quad after supper, because I am sure she would have thought that either I was lying or that most of the men in St. Cuthbert's were a set of lunatics. Two or three dons, who could appreciate festivities, danced round the bonfire quite happily, and evidently enjoyed themselves.
Heavy foetid mists wreathed up from the waters, poisoning the air; noxious insects hummed about our couches, and loathly reptiles crawled out of the mud and chilled our hearts with their horrible croakings. One by one we sickened; in ones, twos, threes we died. Then the cunning Dons came in force. They were five to our one, and we trembling with fever. We fought as well as we could.
The exploits and victories and discoveries in many cases, the disasters and death of these sea-dogs filled the country from end to end with pride, and every young, generous heart with envy. They, too, would sail Westward Ho! to fight the Spaniard three score of Englishmen against thousand Dons and sail home again, heavy laden with the silver ingots of Peru, taken at Palengue or Nombre de Dios.
Howard strolled off with one of the members, and then, returning to his rooms, wrote some letters, and looked up a lecture for the next day, till the bell rang for Hall. Beaufort was a hospitable and sociable College, and guests often appeared at dinner. On this night Mr. Redmayne was in the chair, at the end of a long table; eight or ten dons were present.
In spite of the Dons, about whom I troubled singularly little, in spite of my being ploughed twice for Mods., sent down from my college, made to become an unattached student, and only reinstated at Balliol after I had got through Mods, and was guaranteed to be going to do well in the History Schools, I can say with absolute truth that I was never anything but supremely happy at Oxford I might almost say deliriously happy.
Here he dons his epaulettes, beginning with the threadbare worsted yellow of the private, and rising in grade to the rich scarlet and gold of the officer fully commissioned to flame upon the marsh and carry havoc among its humblest inhabitants. A month or two hence, the plover, as shy in his Northern haunts as the lark, will, in three species, be as much at home upon the lawn.
The lecture-room was futile enough, but the faculty-room was worse. American society feared total wreck in the maelstrom of political and corporate administration, but it could not look for help to college dons. Adams knew, in that capacity, both Congressmen and professors, and he preferred Congressmen. The same failure marked the society of a college.
Seeing that Demorest only shrugged his shoulders without replying, he continued, "Et ain't far from here that some folks allow is the headquarters of that cattle-stealing gang. The driver of the coach went ez far ez to say that some of these high and mighty Dons hereabouts knows more of it than they keer to tell." "That's simply a yarn for greenhorns," said Demorest, contemptuously.