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Tom Brown's School Days

Tom Brown's School Days

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Published by NattWorthing
Victorian public schools have a dull and formal image - but life there could be quite the opposite.
Victorian public schools have a dull and formal image - but life there could be quite the opposite.

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Published by: NattWorthing on Sep 21, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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By Thomas Hughes (1857)
This edition by Nicholas Wordsworth (Solarplasmoid@yahoo.com)August 2009 
"I'm the Poet of White Horse Vale, sir,With liberal notions under my cap." 
—Balladhe Browns have become illustrious by the pen of Thackeray andhe pencil of Doyle, within the memory of the young gentlemen whoare now matriculating at the universities. Notwithstanding the well-merited but late fame which has now fallen upon them, any one at allacquainted with the family must feel that much has yet to be writtenand said before the British nation will be properly sensible of howmuch of its greatness it owes to the Browns. For centuries, in theirquiet, dogged, homespun way, they have been subduing the earth inmost English counties, and leaving their mark in American forestsand Australian uplands. Wherever the fleets and armies of England
have won renown, there stalwart sons of the Browns have doneyeomen's work. With the yew bow and cloth-yard shaft at Cressyand Agincourt—with the brown bill and pike under the brave LordWilloughby—with culverin and demi-culverin against Spaniards andDutchmen—with hand-grenade and sabre, and musket and bayonet,under Rodney and St. Vincent, Wolfe and Moore, Nelson andWellington, they have carried their lives in their hands, getting hardknocks and hard work in plenty—which was on the whole what theylooked for, and the best thing for them—and little praise or pudding,which indeed they, and most of us, are better without. Talbots andStanleys, St. Maurs, and such-like folk, have led armies and madelaws time out of mind; but those noble families would be somewhatastounded—if the accounts ever came to be fairly taken—to findhow small their work for England has been by the side of that of theBrowns.These latter, indeed, have, until the present generation, rarely beensung by poet, or chronicled by sage. They have wanted their sacervates, having been too solid to rise to the top by themselves, and nothaving been largely gifted with the talent of catching hold of, andholding on tight to, whatever good things happened to be going—thefoundation of the fortunes of so many noble families. But the worldgoes on its way, and the wheel turns, and the wrongs of the Browns,like other wrongs, seem in a fair way to get righted. And this presentwriter, having for many years of his life been a devout Brown-worshipper, and, moreover, having the honour of being nearlyconnected with an eminently respectable branch of the great Brownfamily, is anxious, so far as in him lies, to help the wheel over, andthrow his stone on to the pile.However, gentle reader, or simple reader, whichever you may be,lest you should be led to waste your precious time upon these pages,I make so bold as at once to tell you the sort of folk you'll have to

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