Welsh Journals

Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages

The RUTHIN Illustrated Magazine. To Inform. To Instruct. To Amuse. Ho. 21. Vol. II. OCTOBER, 1880. TWO PENCE. A EEMINISCENCE OF RUTHIN GRAMMAR SCHOOL. There is nothing which an old public school boy cherishes so much as the records of his school days. You who are fagging away at your Cassar and Homer in the present day, and in the school of which I am about to write, may think it a questionable pleasure to cherish the record of a flogging, a caning, or a roasting, when you grow up into men. and are exempt from such atroci¬ ties. But I assure you that when it comes to your turn to bawl the familiar adsum for the last time you will afterwards find a pleasure in re¬ lating the scrapes and troubles of your school days. The incident I am at present about to call to mind occurred, if I remember rightly, at the Chiistmas break-up of !G9. We were to be entertained to supper in the evening by the Head Master, and, as might be expected, the event was excitedly discussed tbroughout the whole day by the boys who filled the forms of the lower school. The evening came, and with it a heavy fall of snow. By seven o'clock we (the Lower School) were assembled to a man in the Upper School, where the repast was laid out on two long tables The Upper School boys being, by all manner of precedent, superior to their juniors, were marched into the School house for supper, an honour which we did not begrudge them as we were left to ourselves with unlimited freedom of speech and action. It is unnecessary to dwell on the incidents of the supper. We had plenty of good things to eat, and plenty of good hot punch to drink, and ample justice was done to both. The cloth having been removed, more out of respect for the plates and glasses than out of veneration of custom, we indulged in singing and speechifying, after which the conversation turned on "Fritz" (the sobriquet of the French and German master), who had a suite of rooms adjoining the dormitories. Now "Fritz" was par¬ ticularly unpopular amongst the Lower School, and not without cause, for he was a most abominable tyrant, and I hope this article may accidentally fall into his hands, if he be living, because I am now able to express my opinion of him without placing my life in jeopardy. " I tell you what it is," said one of the 2nd form fellows named E------- (he was a native of the Emerald Isle, and an expert at concocting prac¬ tical jokes). •' We ought to square accounts with that unguis in herba above (meanhig 'Fritz') before we break up. Whose game?" We were all " game," and the plan of attack was immediately drawn out. About half-a-dozen of the 1st boys were despatched outsi le to manufacture snow¬ balls, whilst some of the other fellows, minus their boots, went to reconnoitre the enemy's stronghold, and if possible to secure an odd bolster or two from one of the dormitories. A few minutes later the scouts returned (E-------at their head) with the intelligence that " Fritz " was " sure enough inside." Dispensing with our boots, and carrying the snow-balls (of which we had a plentiful stock) in the lavatory towels, we ascended the stairs leading to the dormitories. On reaching the landing we halted, and those who had no bolsters (I forgot to mention that the scouts succeeded in securing over a dozen of these formidable weapons of scholastic warfare) armed themselves with the snow-balls. Then there was a pause. The manner of attack had been planned thus: the bold Hibernian, followed by twelve other mutineers, was to advance as far as "Fritz's" sanctum, the rest of us remaining on the landing as a sort of reserve force. As soon as all was iu readiness the door was to b^ thrown open, and the object of our vengeance set upon. At a given signal the ringleaders burst into the room, and the terrified " Fritz" was greeted with a volley of snow-balls, followed by a couple of bolsters, one of which being badly aimed, suc¬ ceeded in carrying the lamp off the table, and depositing it comfortably under the sofa. We were now left in darkness, and "Fritz," beginning to comprehend the situation, made a rush for the door. In the meantime a dozen or so of the "reserves" had come up, and the snow-balls commenced flying at the unlucky German's head fast and thick. Finding himself surrounded on every side, and smarting from the bolster blows and the balls, he uttered a savage imprecation in his native tongue, and began laying wildly about him. It is impossible for me to describe the rest of that memorable struggle. One of the Upper School boys accidentally dropping into the school¬ room found it deserted, and hearing a terrific noise in the dormitories gave the alarm, and a superior force arriving on the scene poor '• Fritz " was rescued from his perilous position. The next day —the last of the half year— he left by an early train, and I have not had the pleasure of meting him since. Ootavius Okacle.