Page:Colymbia (1873).djvu/7

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MY father, the Rev. Athanasius Smith, was the incumbent of a rectory on the east coast of England. Besides the income he derived from this post, he had a moderate patrimony, which enabled him to live comfortably, and to give his children, two boys, a good education. My name is De Courcy, that of my brother Howard. Smith, in spite of the many noble and illustrious persons of that name, is considered rather a plebeian appellation; so the Smiths are much addicted to bestowing aristocratic christian names on their children, in order to neutralize the supposed vulgarity of the patronymic. My father was not exempt from this weakness; hence our high-sounding names.

We were sent as day-boarders to a large endowed school not far from the rectory, where the usual excellent education of such establishments, consisting chiefly of much Latin and Greek, and a little French, writing and arithmetic, was duly taught, and great attention was paid to the religion and morals of the school boys. English grammar and composition were, as in most public schools, much neglected, which will account for the defects that may be visible in my style;