Page:Carroll - Notes by an Oxford Chiel.djvu/90

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

he professed to have originated the idea in a moment of inspiration, when idly contemplating one of those highly coloured, and mysteriously decorated chests which, filled with dried leaves from gooseberry bushes and quickset hedges, profess to supply the market with tea of genuine Chinese growth. Was there not something prophetic in the choice? What traveller is there, to whose lips, when first he enters that great educational establishment and gazes on this its newest decoration, the words do not rise unbidden—'Thou tea-chest'?

It is plain then that Scott, the great architect to whom the work of restoration has been entrusted, is not responsible for this. He is said to have pronounced it a 'casus belli', which (with all deference to the Classical Tutors of the House, who insist that he meant merely 'a case for a bell') we believe to have been intended as a term of reproach.

The following lines are attributed to Scott:—

'If thou wouldst view the Belfry aright,
Go visit it at the mirk midnight—
For the least hint of open day
Scares the beholder quite away.