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quarters of an hour : 'Shut your books. Take down this English,'
and from pencil jottings on a scrap of paper he would give us the
cream of his previous teaching in a few racy nervous sentences, to
be translated back into the language of Cicero.

One day, I remember, the battle of Hastings was the subject
set for our Latin verse. My copy, of which I had hopes, came back
marked B, with this one comment : ‘Not much sense of the flavour
of Virgil.' Then, turning to the Latin poet, Ridding showed that
his lines were not hammered out one by one. He bade us mark
the masterly variation of pause and cadence, the skill and power
with which each stately rhythmical paragraph was built up. It
was a new light upon the art of composition, an hour not soon to
be forgotten. In English prose also that is surely one secret of a
vigorous style.

His versions, prose or verse, whatever they lacked, were always strong. Rough, uncouth I have heard them called by those who cared rather for smoothness and polish than for force. Yet they would yield many felicitous expressions, many graceful lines. We, at all events, found them suggestive and helpful. In translating he regarded the matter rather than the form ; was more concerned to seize and interpret the author's thought than to render the mere words. Independent of its merit as an exercise, much of his work in this kind struck me as bearing the impress of an active, original mind, and therefore not without a literary interest of its own. For the sake of brevity let me select the famous epitaph on Sir John Franklin, with which he gave us also a Greek version by Archbishop Benson:

Quid petis ? Ossa rigens Arctos tenet, ast animæ vis

Felix nauta polos navigat Hasios.
To stimulate and encourage our efforts he would sometimes
try his hand at English verse.

But with this he was more shy ;
and his rendering of an epigram of Martial or Catullus would be
read out at such a pace that we never quite succeeded in taking it
down. Still there were terms and phrases that would stick. From
the dim recesses of memory emerges one jeu d'esprit, glancing at a
cheap liquor much advertised at the time."

Tucker! What, mix your crusted port
With Gladstone of the viler sort? ...
Your guests, perhaps, deserve to die;
But why that grand old wine--yes, why?

"Martial, i. 19.

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Also this fragment :

Pretty hand and foot, Pendennis;
Pretty fiddler, pretty at tennis;
Pretty songs, and books, and speeches ;
Prettiness is all he reaches. ...
All pretty, nothing good, my man,

Makes a first-rate charlatan. To show his fellow feeling for boyish nonsense when somebody told him of an amusingly bad verse he had seen :

Apparuit cibum repetens feminina leona, he promptly capped it. 'Yes, but that's not so good as one I remember in my time :

Ille fuit etiam diligens et industrias homo.' One day when the subject was Catullus,

Passer, deliciæ meæ puellæ a newcomer handed up a paper on which was written, 'I can think of nothing to rhyme with sparrow but arrow, harrow, narrow, wheelbarrow, and vegetable marrow.' Ridding took this piece of impudence in perfectly good part, and promptly installed its author as a sort of buffoon in ordinary to the Division. Another time, discerning an absorption that was not business, he abruptly called upon T- to bring that paper he was writing. It was football half; and the various fifteens would shortly be made up. Spot for College fifteen!”'he read aloud. “Yes, T—; what's a “spot”?' To elicit a satisfactory definition from the conscious victim needed some Socratic questioning. If anything could have made Tblush he would have blushed then ; for, noting at a glance that he had 'spotted' himself for a place corresponding rather with his most secret ambitions than with his real merits, Ridding would not let him go till the whole had been read. He was boy enough to see that such a roasting would be the best of punishments.

For several years he used to leave the comfortable seclusion of his classroom and take us up to books in School' the last hour on a whole school day. We always maintained that this was to lend moral support to the Aliens,' to whose use it was chiefly dedicated. In the same way, when a worthy demonstrator was imported from some Southampton institution to lecture, once a week, on the rudiments of electricity, Ridding announced his burning desire to learn something of the science himself, and never missed a lecture.

| Martial, ii. 7.

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More probably it was a piece of conservatism, in order that the day's work might still close with prayers read by Prefect of School, according to the custom in his time, when masters and boys all met there for work together. Oh, those ancient ‘rows' on which we sat! How inviting to the somnolent; how wearisome to the back of wakeful diligence ! Before long he was sure to be down from his throne, pacing to and fro with the quick step of irritation, till that inevitable gelatine, escaped no doubt from the pocket of Herr Heller's small Commoner, would adhere to the sole of his boot. Then we all woke up and looked on.

About this time the Head Masters' Conference resolved that our pronunciation of Latin was all wrong and must be altered. A source of much tribulation did that prove to everybody concerned. It was all very well for Ridding to try to make us pronounce it in the newfangled way, and the Odes of Horace may have been well adapted to his purpose ; but to fix upon that lesson in School was a mistake. Standing out there, opposite three rows of grinning faces, the old familiar sounds would somehow come uppermost. We did not like to be constantly snapped at either, and made to look foolish before a gaping Junior Part. For several weeks he stuck to his guns like a man; then centimanus Gyas (pronounced by some bungler' sentimahnus Jee-ass ') wrought our deliverance. Ridding gave in and retired sulkily to his chair, and peace reigned once more.

I have spoken of his moods. The prospect of a flogging would generally spoil his temper, and so did that cut upon the cheek bone, till it healed. I have known him hear our 'morning lines' with never a word, good or bad. At other times the flood-gates were opened, and out would pour torrents of speech with an impetuosity verging on incoherence. What in the world's the use of my sitting here talking to you about nothing if you won't attend ?' One morning we could not understand what ailed him, so snappish and fidgety was he.

Not until we got up to go was the cause revealed. Behind our backs, but in full view of her master, a housemaid, all unconscious, had selected his study door as the scene of a prolonged flirtation with the baker's boy.

Then there was that long second school on Saturday, devoted to an essay, to history questions, or essay questions of wider scope, with interludes of talk, general or personal, about any written work that he, or his able and hardly less interesting lieutenant, happened to have on hand. Ridding's horizon was by no means

bounded by the limits of pure scholarship. The philosophy of history, for example, was a subject, congenial to his mind, into which he did not fear to launch with us occasionally. And here let me pay one passing tribute to Dr. Fearon. Fortunate, indeed, was Ridding to be so well seconded by him in ‘Junior Div. In history, as in scholarship, but for our year's drilling there, we could never have been so well equipped to profit by the Head Master's teaching.

* Take down these questions :

* 1. What is poetry? Show that this is so in the six different kinds of poetry.'

I had cause to remember that day. Never did anyone try harder to arrive at a definition. What part should metre play! What was poetry in art? What was meant by a prose poem ? The three hours passed, and I had cudgelled my brains in vain. A few commonplaces, in answer to some later question about the Greek dramatists, were all I had written down. Ridding was angry, and told me to go and answer the rest, but it was not a bit of use. Then he set me the heaviest imposition I remember—a thousand lines of Virgil. I submitted cheerfully without attempting explanation or excuse. Nor was any needed. On second thoughts be saw it all. A day or two later, calling me to his study, he told me kindly that I evidently suffered from lack of ideas, and suggested a course of reading. Finally, in an hour's talk, he discussed with us every one of these difficulties, and more, and worked up to a definition of his own. I believe I could give the ipsissima verba to-day. The indirect expression of beautiful thoughts in beautiful language. I add this at the Editor's request, for my point was not to recommend the definition.] For such poor stock of ideas as my pack holds I am far more indebted to those fruitful talks with him than to the books he made me read.

To say that he was always perfectly lucid would not be true. Odd phrases, such as 'Bring your books to write with,' that everlasting feeling,' or the description of our work as `products,' did not matter; but those rapid thoughts tumbling over each other in torrents of words, turbulent and turbid, would sometimes defy analysis. What good English he could write—and what bad ! The exact precision and nicety attained in his translations was often sadly to seek, for instance, in sermons or addresses. The limitations of time did not admit of working them up in every detail, of concentrating his mind upon the turn of a phrase. Most

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disturbing of all was the constitutional nervousness which he never completely overcame.

Ridding was a frightfully nervous man. With his Division he generally showed himself at home; but on more public occasions it was often quite painful to watch him. Even when reading the lessons I have seen his hands twitch uncontrollably as he stood at the lectern. One Sunday morning neither the Warden nor the Chaplain appeared, and he was called upon unexpectedly to take a musical service. Unfortunately he had noticed their absence in time to work himself up into a fever of agitation. Had he only been content to speak his part, and leave the choir to sing the rest, it would have made little difference. In fact, we were used to that. But he would try and go through with it. He lost his head completely : his voice quavered, he sang wrong notes, he broke down again and again. No one laughed then-it was too pitiful. We were almost as glad when it was over as he must have been himself.

He used to take a special service and give a series of addresses to Confirmation candidates while the rest were at cathedral. One day he determined to catechise us instead. It would have been so simple to tell us in six words what he meant to do ; but again he lost his head. After poising himself an appreciable space on the chancel steps, he swooped down upon a boy in the front row, and pointing at him with one finger exclaimed, in his peculiar staccato, What's your name?'

an awful moment. Tone and attitude alike were those of an accuser. The wretched boy turned pale, and, trembling all over, stammered out, 'S_- junior, sir.' 'No, no,' said Ridding excitedly, 'no, no.' Presently light dawned upon confusion, and he hazarded, ‘N. or M.' A third attempt succeeded better. Meanwhile, far down the length of chapel, heads were craned forward, wondering what on earth could be amiss.

When Ridding turned, and, darting upon a distant victim, demanded in a low voice, “Who gave you this name?' the sight of that row of faces was enough to upset anybody's gravity.

Probably no one who has not tried knows all that such morbid self-consciousness would mean to a schoolmaster. To Ridding it must have been a thorn in the flesh. That it never crippled him is proof enough of his strength of will. One recalls Demosthenes and his mouthful of pebbles, and other stories of the kind, which suggest that special difficulties to conquer may be perhaps a condition of high success. No doubt, from time to time, the weakness caused awkward scenes such as I have described. No doubt it

It was

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