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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 99, October 25, 1890 by Various
page 2 of 46 (04%)

It was evening--evening in Oxford. There are evenings in other places
occasionally. Cambridge sometimes puts forward weak imitations. But,
on the whole, there are no evenings which have so much of the true,
inward, mystic spirit as Oxford evenings. A solemn hush broods over
the grey quadrangles, and this, too, in spite of the happy laughter of
the undergraduates playing touch last on the grass-plots, and leaping,
like a merry army of marsh-dwellers, each over the back of the other,
on their way to the deeply impressive services of their respective
college chapels. Inside, the organs were pealing majestically, in
response to the deft fingers of many highly respectable musicians,
and all the proud traditions, the legendary struggles, the well-loved
examinations, the affectionate memories of generations of proctorial
officers, the innocent rustications, the warning appeals of
authoritative Deans--all these seemed gathered together into one last
loud trumpet-call, as a tall, impressionable youth, carrying with him
a spasm of feeling, a Celtic temperament, a moved, flashing look,
and a surplice many sizes too large for him, dashed with a kind of
quivering, breathless sigh, into the chapel of St. Boniface's just as
the porter was about to close the door. This was ROBERT, or, as his
friends lovingly called him, BOB SILLIMERE. His mother had been an
Irish lady, full of the best Irish humour; after a short trial, she
was, however, found to be a superfluous character, and as she began to
develop differences with CATHERINE, she caught an acute inflammation
of the lungs, and died after a few days, in the eleventh chapter.


BOB sat still awhile, his agitation soothed by the comforting sense
of the oaken seat beneath him. At school he had been called by his
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