Page:Studies of a Biographer 4.djvu/188

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174
STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

obstinate idleness. The child was sent as a day boy to Harrow, where the headmaster could only express his horror that so dirty a little wretch should belong to the school; and his comrades unanimously excluded him from their society. Then he was sent to a private school, where the master treated him as a degraded being for faults committed by others, and had not the manliness to confess when he discovered his mistake. His next experience was at Winchester, where his elder brother thrashed him daily with a thick stick. Being big, awkward, ugly, ill-dressed, and dirty, he was generally despised and 'suffered horribly.' Then he returned to Harrow, and was at the same time employed occasionally as a labourer on his father's farm. He was universally despised, excluded from all games, and, though he 'gravitated upwards' to near the top of the school, by force of seniority, represented at the age of nineteen the densest ignorance of his lessons attainable even by a boy at an English public school. The one pleasant thing that he could remember was that he once turned against an oppressor. The bully was so well thrashed that he had to be sent home for repairs.

The spirit in which Trollope took this cruelty