Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/243

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A Study in Temptations.

mountain beyond many mountains, many roads and valleys. For the present he only knew he must work—work early and late, never despairing, yet never hoping too high—striving to do his best, but leaving it for others to say how good that best might be. Had he a talent, and was it the one he most coveted in the world?—Would he ever be a scholar? At last one day, between blushes and stammers, he asked his tutor whether—after thirty years or so of close application—he would know something. The Rev. Fitz Ormond O'Nelligan was one of those rare men, who, void of personal pretensions, are big with ambition for their friends. He slapped his pupil on the back with such force that had De Boys been a student of the weakling order, his earthly career would have ended on the spot.

"You will be the foinest Grecian in England," he said—"that is to say, if ye'll only be patient. At the Universitees now, the cry is all for mere lads, and a text which Bentlee would have approached with awe and riverince, and given the best years of his loife too, is now cobbled up by any schoolboy in six weeks or less. Avoid all such immoralitee. Fasten your oies on the gloreeous examples of the past, and if you are not noticed by this generation, there will be some roise up in the future, who will call your memoree blessed."

"What for?" said De Boys, who had fortunately mastered the art of grinning inside.

"For being the one scholar," said O'Nelligan, solemnly, "who had the humanitee to keep his wisdom out of print, and who did not regard the great masterpieces of antiquitee as so many door-