David Blaize by E. F. Benson

By E. F. Benson

David Blaize is the son of an archdeacon, the good friend of a bishop's nephew, and it is a tale in their friendship and existence at a public college. in all probability the story could be similar to the author's personal adolescence. It tells of cleanliness, actual and ethical, of the self-restraint realized from each other by means of boys who have been to be one of the destiny leaders in England.

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Naturally, if Bags did not want pax, he should have as much bellum as he wished for, and during the prayer for Parliament, in which it was frankly impossible for a proper boy of thirteen to take any interest, David planned a raid or two. Bags was like a girl in some ways: he couldn't stand creeping tilings, so if he didn't want pax, lie should find black-beetles in his bed without any more ado about the matter. These were easily procured; they lived in the waterpipes of a disused lavatory, and, by turning on a tap, horrible half-drowned specimens descended wriggling into the basin.

S preparatory schooling was similar to his two older brothers, for in 1878 he was also sent to the Temple Grove School, Sheen, Surrey. In charge of the private from 1860 to 1880 was the formidable Mr. Ottiwell Charles Waterfield (1830-1898), known to the boys—from a transposition of his initials—as the Cow. Waterfield, apart prodigious beater of brilliant preparatory teacher and mentor. It was under Waterfield’s headship that many boys were intellectually and spiritually nurtured at Temple Grove and flourished in later life.

But he and a small minority had been overruled; if Carrots had sneaked, Goggles might sneak next, and it was wiser to have no truck at all with the enemy's family. Though Goggles at this moment looked innocent enough, with the low sun shining through a stained glass window on to her spectacles and protruberant eyes, David felt that after all, it was wiser to err on the side of prudence than to be led into a course of mistaken kindness. But it was rather difficult: only yesterday she had congratulated him, with apparent sincerity, on his innings of twenty-four, and had offered him a visit to the strawberry-beds in the garden.

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