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nose. The prostrate youth turned round fiercely, and then burst out laughing. It was very hard to be angry with Aubrey. Leonard Aubrey was a boy of excessive vitality. His features tended upward, his eyebrows ran up towards his hair, on the top of his head was a dancing feather of hair which defied the brush. Driven by a gadfly into perpetual motion, he was always in mischief when he had nothing better to do, and was always laughing when he was not talking. After a gallant attempt to drag away the rug, he was persuaded to take a place on it. He disposed of Kerisen's chance of the eleven, predicted that he would not get in for another two years, laughed at his indifference and mimicked his manner, stole Harefel's cherries, dropped a dry cherry-stone down Dale's neck, and having made the place too hot to hold him, went off to visit the next rug. He had friends all round the ground, friends who forgave much.
Even after tea-time, the day was not yet old. The grass was still warm at Cuckoo Weir, when the young cousins pulled off their clothes and jumped into the cool water. The bank was full of life, and the air of laughter. Boys, in rowingclothes, in black jackets, in every stage of undress, swarmed on the shore. Friends ducked each other, and the somewhat sombre stream was beaten bright by splashing. Small, naked forms dashed across the green, or flung themselves headlong into the water. Little people sat thick upon the steps, with their knees drawn up to their chins. There was calling of names, shouts, screams, laughter. To be free of one's clothes after a slow summer day, is a pure ecstasy. It is to return to the childhood of the world. Dale was in the wildest spirits, and Harefel very jolly.
When they had come out of the water, dried themselves by rubbing and running, and got into their clothes, they walked beside the little stream to the wider river. Far off the slanting sunlight gilded the dark trees which shade the locks, and more nearly touched the figure of a lonely bather at Athens. Boys, in every sort of boat, were passing down the stream; some toiling earnestly in practice for a race, some loitering and lolling at their
Young voices, shrilly warning or lightly mocking, made the evening air more pleasant. As the two friends turned back towards the Brocas, the great castle seemed doubly great in the declining day, its greyness warmed to rose, while the red roofs, which throng upward to its base, were already half in shadow. “How beautiful !” whispered Dale, with a long breath, as he pressed Harefel's arm. “Yes; isn't it jolly?” assented the other.
The elder boy walked on in silence. He felt half sad, as this long day faded slowly away in beauty. The light, which slanted across Brocas clump, only darkened the shadows among the great deep-bosomed trees. Not far off, the rafts were gleaming; crews were disembarking, boats being run up; all was hurry and bustle. Dale laid his hand on his friend's arm, and said, “It is so jolly to have you for a cousin.” Harefel smiled pleasantly for answer. He was very fond of Dale, though he sometimes thought it a pity that he was “such an awfully odd sort of fellow.”
THE LIBRARY ROW AT MURRAY's.
THE growth of an Eton boy is marked by many small events. He changes his “sock"-shop or eating-house, passing from the modest patty at the wall to the snug home of the early bun and coffee ; thence through a well-known shop, kitchen, and back-room; until, a full-blown swell, he saunters into a sanctum where, over the neatly-cut sandwich, matches are arranged and crews formed. He gets into the boats or into Upper Club, perhaps into the Society. But the most marked epoch in his career is going into tails. At the time of the great library row at Murray's, Dale had donned his tailed coat and tied his white tie, took an occasional breakfast in that secluded kitchen, had long ceased to fag, was a fair cricketer, and in his own eyes a person of some importance, and, moreover, with duties to performi. He was a half-grown rebel. He neglected the school-work because it was appointed by authority. He laid hands eagerly on all books and pamphlets which gave him reasons for insubordination. He was not aware how great among the causes of his passion for liberty was self-assertion. The big fellows in the house had shown a disposition to snub him. In moments of confidence, this bold thinker poured out his aspirations to his cousin, who was not a little impressed. It was indeed wonderful to hear a fellow not much more than a year older than himself quote specimens of Parisian rhetoric, and rival them in his native tongue. It was an awful thing to speak slightingly of the weak moderation of Lafayette, whom Harefel knew to be somebody connected with revolutions. Of course, people may say things in French which could not be endured in a more wholly intelligible language ; but that was a fearful saying about property and theft, which even Dale himself uttered nervously. Harefel was convinced that his cousin was awfully clever, although he had been switched for idleness. He listened with due deference when the rebel, descending from vague dreams to a particular grievance, poured forth a flood of eloquence against Rule V. of the new library rules. He gravely repeated