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FOOTBALL SEASON, 1883.
To have to record that the School last year played five foreign matches and lost them all is not the most pleasant of duties for the Editor of the Marlburian.
The O.M.'s beat us by 3 goals and a try to 2 goals and 2 tries.
Clifton beat us by 1 goal to 0.
Cirencester beat us by 1 goal and 3 tries to 1 goal and 1 try.
The Nomads beat us by 2 goals and 2 tries to 1 goal and 1 try.
Keble beat us by 1 goal and 1 try to 0. So that we had scored against us 8 goals and 7 tries, and ourselves scored 4 goals and 4 tries.
Such a result was rightly no small disappointment to the School, and we are bound to ask ourselves where the blame lay. Certainly not with our Captain, who from first till last took the utmost pains to select the best men, and set such an example in every way as & captain should.
we inclined to attribute our failures to any individual shortcomings : the spirit we believe in every case was willing, and yet with a good Captain and a team not below the
average, we failed to secure a single victory. We are inclined to attribute our failure to three several causes, one beyond onr control and two preventible. Firstly, an unusual number of candidates for the XV, including both the half-backs, were temporarily disabled early in the season. The full importance of such a disaster can be appreciated only by those who have had to create a team. Secondly, there was no really good back player fit to represent the School. Bull was finally driven into playing back, not because it was his place, but faute de mieux. It was not a mere accident that there was no good "back” in the School last year. In ordinary games it is such a singularly uneventful place to occupy, as things are now, that the better players decline to play there, and the race of “backs” is becoming extinct. It will be a difficult task of next year's Captain to revive it. Thirdly, and here we believe is the real secret, we
behind the times. The clubs we compete against have adopted a looser, faster game forward, and until we
tread more nearly in their steps we must expect to be heavily handicapped. Rome, we are told on the highest authority, was not built in a day, and we cannot change our style in a year, so we need not reproach ourselves over much. The change is coming by
degrees, and if more pains are taken with lower games, it will come faster still.
So much for foreign affairs. At home the HouseMatches were unusually uninteresting, partly from the remarkable inequality of the combatants, and partly from the system which now holds, and which prevents the great men of either side from taking much part in the game. With the exception of one occasion, we do not remember Keeling or Padwick doing in a House-Match one-fourth of the work they did in any foreign match. However, before all was over some very close games took place, and there was really very little to choose between Littlefield, who secured the Cup, Cotton House, Way's, and Sharp's.
Some important legislation has taken place. The Rule, that a substitute shall be a full grade below the man he is playing for, has prevented certain anomalies, and has worked well. The experience of one year is hardly sufficient to test the wisdom of abolishing all big games except the Upper one. As it is, every afternoon sees a succession of friendly House-Matches, varied with an occasional DormitoryMatch, and players are no longer matched with those of their own calibre. The old grades of the LXXX and Chave ceased to exist, and the honorary distinction was offered to the six best players on lower game of each House of being promoted into a body still called the LXXX; but if the claims of the distinction consists in the consciousness of notoriety, we doubt if the modesty of the rising generation will be imperilled.
In spite of our want of success, we confidently leave it to the future to prove that Marlborough bf 1883 had as good football players as the Marlborough of previous years; and the University teams of 1884 will be strong indeed, if they can afford to do without some of the recruits that we are sending them.
CHARACTERS. H. T. KEELING, (Cap. 1881), 12st. 21b.-Fast and strong three-quarters, can dodge and drop; as captain has trained his material well; winner of the Bright Belt. Has left.
F. G. PADWICK, (Cap. 1881), 12st. 121b.—A very fast and heavy three-quarters with a powerful shove off, fair drop, rather erratic sometimes, dodges well. Has left.
J. P. CHEALES, 10st. 31b.-A light hard-working forward, best in the team, dribbles well, fair collar, very safe place. Has left.
F. E. Bull, 1lst. 11b.–Fair back, fast, drops and collars well, fair place. Proper place is threequarters.
C. S. Preston, 11st. 5lb.- Good working forward, plays up hard, can collar, kicks too hard when dribbling. Has left.
J. M. Harvey, 10st. - Light half-back, runs, dodges and dribbles well, but does not feed the three-quarters enough. Has left.
G. Fox, 9st. 9 lbs.—Unfortunately unable to play in the last matches; steady and hard-working forward, works well in the scrimmage; should dribble more. Has left.
H. S. Preston, 11st. 2 lbs.- A strong and good forward, might do more work, dribbles well, good collar.
C. L. NICHOLSON, 9st. 21bs.-A small but very slippery half with great dodging powers; will make a good player.
W. H. ROTHERAM, 12st.-A promising forward making good use of his heigbt, dribbles fairly. Has left.
H. WOOLNER, 12st. llb.- Good strong forward, wanting in dash; should cultivate dribbling.
D. E. Martin, 10st. 21b.—One of the best dribblers in the team, has a great antipathy to the squash, with more energy would be first-rate.
R. 0. C. Hume, 9st. 121b.—Uses his legs well, dribbles very fairly, good collar, shows best on a sticky day.
H. C. BETT, 9st. 121b.-Middle threequarter, runs hard but the squash has an attraction for him, should pass more.
J. Robinson, 10st. 3lb.-Hardworking and energetic forward, kicks too hard when dribbling, should use his head more. Has left.
“ THE MARLBURIAN CLUB."
On the 22nd of last month took place at Limmer's Hotel in London another of those pleasant dinners of Old Marlburians, which owe their existence to the energy and patriotism of Mr. S. T. Fisher, and which, while they cannot compete in splendour, numbers, or importance with the grand Triennial
entertainments, still subserve a most useful purpose in bringing together Old Marlburians in Lon. don, and in this maintaining their connection with their old School and with another. A previous dinner on the night of the Rugby Match more largely attended, but on the present occasion only eighteen Old Marlburians managed to keep themselves disengaged for the evening in question, and when dinner was announced the following sat down :-T. Aldworth, Rev. W. Almack, J. A. Bourdillon, H. W. Bradford, F. W. Butterworth, W. B. Clayton, S. T. Fisher, G. H. Holden, Rev. W. F. H. King, G. Lawson, C.B., H. W. Lee, J. M. E. Lloyd, C. S. Medd, O. H. Morshead, W. Morshead, E. C. Nepean, A. G. Parson, C. W. Pitt.
An excellent dinner was followed by the one toast of “the Queen," most appropriate on this occasion when so many of the guests were Her Majesty's servants, and then Mr. Fisher explained to the company his project for the formation of a Marl. burian Club." His scheme was subjected to prolonged discussion in which nearly all those present took part, and although it is unnecessary to repeat all the arguments used in this friendly debate, it may be as well to state briefly the main features of the proposal as it now stands.
It is snggested then that a club should be formed called “the Marlborian Club,"—of which the object, as the draft rules declare, would be "to keep together Old Marlburians, to promote friendly intercourse among them, and generally to further the interests and prosperity of the School.” It would be open to all Old Marlburians, and to all past and present members of the Common Room. It is not proposed that the Club should have any Club house, so that the subscription will be only half-a-guinea a year-a sum which will be well within the means of the least wealthy Old Marlburian. The draft rules further provide that the members of the Club, or as many of them as care to do so, shall dine together once a year, and they contain clauses empowering the Committee to hold occasional dinners from time to time, to which other Old Marlburians, not members of the Club may be invited to dine as guests.
Were this all, the Club would be in danger of becoming an association for the advancement of
gastronomy among Old Marlburians, but its aims are far higher than this; the collection of members at the dinner table is merely a pleasant mode of calling an informal meeting, and the true objects of the Club are those which have been mentioned above. If the Club were firmly established and heartily supported by Old Marlburians of all periods of the School's history, it is difficult to exaggerate the good influence it might exercise; it would in the first place through the medium of its Secretary supply all Old Marlburians with information as to the fortunes of their contemporaries, and be the means of renew. ing old school friendships, which are among the pleasantest memories of a vanished boyhood; it would bring Old Marlburians into closer contact with the School they once knew so well to the great advantage both of themselves and the School; it would join hands with other Marlburian institutions elsewhere, connecting for instance in one confederacy the Marlborough Nomads Football Club and the Marlborough Clubs at the Universities, while its surplus funds under the wise direction of the Committee, and with the consent and approval of the Head Master, would provide the means for assisting in the support of School institutions, and other objects in which Old Marlburians feel an in. terest. Little imagination is needed to picture the advantages which the School would gain from the existence of a body of old pupils, who would take the closest interest in its fortunes, who would be ready to subsidise a scholarship, to help the Marlborough Mission, to add a new window to the chapel, to aid in building a gymnasium, or in extending a cricket ground, while they would have it in their power to assist from time to time any of their old school fellows who might be compelled to seek their aid.
In fact the promoters of the Marlburian Club think that Marlborough has now become so great and so famous that the time has arrived for an effort to consolidate the interest of her sons, and to knit them together into an association which shall benefit both themselves and the great School to which they are proud of belonging, and which shall stretch forth its arms to India and the Colonies, and to every place where the name of Marlborough is held in loving remembrance. At the present moment the scheme is only in embryo, but a committee has been appointed, consisting of Messrs. Almack, Bateman, Bradford,
Lee, Lloyd, Medd, Morshead and Nepean, with Mr. Fisher for their Secretary, which will, it is hoped, thoroughly discuss the whole subject, and prepare a matared scheme before the Triennial Dinner next July. This preliminary notice, however, has been inserted in the Marlburian, because it is felt that the project cannot be announced too soon, and especially in order that the younger generations of Old Marl. burians, many of whom are of necessity not personally known to the Committee, may have an early intimation of the proposal. Of the excellence of the objects which the Marlborian Club sets before it, there can be as little doubt as of the earnestness of its promoters, and they confidently hope that they will receive the hearty support of that great company of Old Marlburians, who still look back with affection to the School to which they owe so much.
THE BEGINNINGS OF ENGLAND.
The mythical history of the Greeks is tolerably familiar to everybody; and the early fables of Rome
- thanks to Virgil-quite as well known as the later history of the nation. The myths of Britain have fared far worse, and were it not for a single canto of Spenser's “ Faery Queene” and Milton's “History of Britain," they would undoubtedly have faded into oblivion long before the present century. The reason is obvious; the earliest myths that refer to the time before the Roman Conquest are transparent forgeries, concocted by some prince of liarsGeoffrey of Monmouth seems responsible for a good many of them-out of Greek tales, Roman names, feudal customs, popular stories, in order to explain etymologies by derivations that would have made Max Muller stare and gasp. Thus they are pot national, and the poets and rhetoricians, for whose benefit Milton admitted them into bis history, have not gained much profit from them.
Before King Arthur and the cycle of legends that grew up around him, the only names known to poetry are Gorboduc and King Lear.
These legends, as all proper legends should, begin at the beginning, -with the flood. After this event the sons of Japhet leisurely journeyed in from Mount Ararat, and one Samothes or Dis colonised Britain and called it Samothea ; and after him various kings
reigned over the country. For this "outlandish figment,” however, there appears to be only the authority of the “forged Berosus." The Samotheans, however, came to a bad erd; a giant Albion, brother of Lestrygon, who was killed by Hercules, and son of Neptune, conquered the land and called it after his own name. Here follows a gap, during which Britain somewhat degeneratedfor the next time it is heard of it appears to be inhabited by "fiends and filthy sprites." This was when the fifty daughters of Dioclesian arrived ; these ladies, after the model of the daughters of Danaus, had murdered their husbands, and very properly had been banished from their country. The British devils seem to have been pretty sociable, for these fifty ladies got on very well with them, and were kindly allowed to have a share in the country. The eldest of them was called Albina, and doubtless “this moustrous error, which do some assot,” was due to a mistaken love of etymology. However, our readers will be glad to hear that it is vouched for by the “elder Ninnius," who lived some thousand years ago.
“ Hitherto” remarks Milton, “too absurd, too unconscionably gross are these fond inventions;” but now we arrive at firm ground of history, at legends, “which on the common belief have wrought no small impression; defended by many, and denied by few.” A certain Brutus, the great grandson of Æneas, unfortunatey proved the death of both his parents, and was banished from Italy; thence he went to Greece, where he met with certain enslaved Trojans, who were pining for liberty under King Pandrasus. Brutus consented to assist them, and as a preliminary maneuvre"retired to the woods, as the safest place from whence to expostulate." This proceeding irritated Pandrasus, who marched out with an army, but was defeated at the battle of Sparatinum-a town for which we have looked in vain in our maps of Greece. “Brute," however, as Spenser calls him, decided to retire from Greece. His fleet of 324 sail met with no adventure, except that they obtained an oracle from Diana, which is still extant in Latin, and which promised them universal dominion. Brute landed at Totness, in Devonshire, and had a good deal of trouble with the “ Geaunts and the beastly men" before he established the kingdom, and divided the land between Canutus, Debon, and Corineus who gave their
chronicler to record ; which Milton denounces as a foul pretermission on his (the chronicler's) part. And perhaps the only thing farther that need be noticed is the spirit in which Milton criticises the performance a certain Martia, who was enlightened enough to venture on a reform of the laws of her kingdom, “She bronght forth these laws, not of herself, for laws are masculine births, but by the advice of her sagest counsellors; else nothing more awry from the law of God and nature than that a woman should give laws to men.” Milton bad a Euripidean hatred for Woman's Rights. Henceforward the legends grow fewer till they are finally put a stop to by the Roman Conquest.
After that time they revive again, culminating round the person of King Arthur; with these, however, we have nothing to do for the present. But we hope to have shown that a certain fund of humour lurks under these strange miscellaneous collections of different civilisations ; and how inuch a chronicler of ready invention and an accommodating conscience is able to make out of very small material.
MR. ROBINSON'S LECTURE.
names to Kent, Devonshire, and Cornwall. After this Brute, in a chosen place, built Troja Nova, “ changed in time, “says Milton," to Trinobant,” which is now London. As a piece of chronology it may be noticed that “Eli was then high-priest in Judæa," B.C., 1165, according to Bishop Ussher. Brute died, and was succeeded by three sons, one of whom Locrine was attacked by King Humber, king of the Hunds, a “Nation straunge with visage swart," a kind of proleptic Danes we suppose. These were repulsed, but Locrine had the misfortune to fall in love with one of his captives Estrildis; naturally rousing the fury of his lawful wife Guendolen, who raised an army, and slew Locrine and Estrildis, with their daughter Sabrina. The latter,
That sad virgin, innocent of all,
Adown a rolling river she did pour, which river was afterwards called the Severn. The names of many kings follow, among whom one Madan distinguished himself by total incapacity, and incurred the violent displeasure of the chroniclers. One other is noteworthy, Bladud, who built the city of Bath and dedicated it to Minerva; he was a man of great invention and taught necromancy; he had even been to Athens, and it was he who exercised a refining influence
with sweet science mollified their stubborn bearts." Perhaps we may conjecture that it was he who taught the Druids the use of the Greek tongue, which Milton says they used in most matters public and private. All this took place in the time of Solomon. Bladud was succeeded by Lear, the original of Shakespeare's tragedy. We need scarcely relate the history of his three daughters and their ingratitude ; but we may remark with Milton that Cordelia's husband was called Aganippus, a 'name which is not found in any registry of French kings.” Lear was succeeded at an interval by Rivallo whose reign was notable for wisdom and a "three days rain of blood and stinging flies whereof men died.” Perhaps the most interesting figure in the remaining part of the history is that of Gorboduc whose life furnished the subject of the first known effort of English dramatic talent. Certainly his story is sufficiently tragic. His two sons Ferrex and Porrex in his old age quarrelled about the throne, and the former was killod by the latter, who was himself slain by his mother, Videna. Then follow a long list of kings some of whom did little, and most nothing, for the
A most enjoyable evening was spent by the whole school, on Friday, February 8th, for which they have to thank an Old Marlburian, Mr. Phil. Robinson. His experiences as a war-correspondent in four continents formed the subject of a most interesting and amusing lecture. He first introduced us to Affghanistan, and explained how he came to be sent out at the time of the late war as correspondent to the Daily Telegraph. He will forgive us if we protest against his own account of how war-correspondents are chosen ; at least we think an exception was made in his case, and that it was not the small value of his life, but the great value of his pen, that was the determining consideration. In answer to the aniversal question of his friends as to “how he felt when ander fire for the first time” he told us that his answer was, “ It depends on the kind of fire.” But his general impression was that in all cases he felt "dreadfully frightened": this however was hardly borne out by the subsequent narrative. First as to shell-fire : into this he was initiated upon a plateau near the fort of Ali Musjid, the batteries from which had been practising at it for "about two years," and by this time had pretty nearly got the