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When men of judgment creep and feel their way,
N. B.-Each Junior Scholar will in turn read and explain the above passages to the Examiner, who will frame such questions connected with the grammatical construction, meaning, allusions, or references contained in them as he may consider calculated to elicit the knowledge possessed by the pupil.
The same questions are to be put to all candidates in the same school, care being taken that they are not known beforehand, or communicated by those who have been examined to those whose turn is yet to come.
The nominal value of the whole paper is 50 marks,—25 for Prose and 25 for Poetry.
Morning Paper. Answer 1st.We strike it in vain, and our attempt serves merely to expose the wickedness of our intention, while we are mocked and slighted by it, being unable to do it any injury
Answer 2nd.- A little before the day dawns the cock begins to crow and make a shrill noise; so that it is commonly believed that it awakes the god of day (i. e. the sun) who is represented as travelling in his car. It is in this sense that this bird is called “ the trumpet of the morn," as giving us notice that the day is approaching
Answer 3rd. --According to the pneumatology of the times, it was believed that every element was inhabited by its peculiar spirits, and that these spirits leave their respective abodes during the night to travel into a foreign element, whether ærial spirits wandering in the earth or earthly spirits ranging the air.
“Extravagant" here means, going out of its own element. It is frequently used in the sense of making an enormous expense, going beyond the just bounds of economy.
“ Erring" here means, wandering from place to place. It is frequently used to signify, falling into errors and mistakes.
Answer 4th.—“ Probation" means, proof.
The truth of which the object made s probation,” is that as soon as the cock is heard to crow, all sorts of spirits, that wander about in foreign elements during the night, hasten to their respective elements where they are confined during the day : and the spirit here added a new testimony to this truth.
Answer 5th.—The season here referred to is the time of the Christmas. The dove is here called “ the bird of dawning.”
“ Against” here means, before ; so that the meaning is, before that season comes, &c.—“ Against” is here used as an adverb.
Answer 6th.-Such is the holiness and gracefulness of the season, that at that time no planets strike each other in their revolution, which is believed to forbode evil, no fairy strikes with lameness or disease as in any other time, and no witch can enchant by all her spells and charms, but every thing is serene and peaceful.
The time is so hallowed and gracious" on account of Christ's birth being celebrated at that time.
Answer 7th.—But see the morning advances, which being reddened by the soft rays of the rising sun sheds its lustre from the east over that high hill, on the top of which dews are deposited.
Milton describes it “ rosy-fingured morn" that sheds her bright red hue against the high wall.
Answer 8th." As needful in our loves, fitting our duty," means, that we should acquaint him with all the circumstances that we have observed, for two reasons, first, as we are bound to him in friendship and love, and secondly because this appearance of his father's ghost concerns him very nearly, so that it is our duty to inform him of this as we are his subjects and therefore bound to do him any good service that we can.
Answer 9th. It is frequently observed in individuals that for some natural defect in them, whether arising, from the time of their birth, by the growth of some additional humour, (as sanguine, phlegmatic,) which often makes them act contrary to the dictates of reason, and for which they cannot be blamed (for nothing in nature can choose its own origin so as to select for the better); or by some other hurtful defect which urges them to break the rules of society; that these men having but one defect in them, being given them by nature or acquired by the influence of some star that presided in their birth, all their virtues (though they may be as pure as if grace herself was present, and as many as may be accumulated upon man) shall in the summing up of their qualities be censured for that particular fault.
RAJINDER Nauth MITTER, Hindu College,
First Class, First Year's Senior Scholar.
Morning Paper. Answer 1st.-" Thy milder influence impart."
Here two things are compared, the mild and the vigorous influence of adversity. The poet says, “Dread godess” come not to me, clad in thy Gorgon terrors, but with a countenance benign and angelic.
“ Philosophic train," &c.
The fruits of adversity which the poet calls “ Her philosophic train" are these. When a man is borne away by the current of adverse fortune he ought not to be too much depressed. Because when adversity comes, it comes for his good only. He is able to bear up with future misfortunes with greater fortitude, and is able to reason with sense, on the impropriety of being dejected at the advance of adversity.
Answer 2nd.--Teach me to love and to forgive."
Means.—Teach me to love others, and to forgive others, (i. e.) excite in me the feeling of love and genorosity. This passage is probably taken from the Scriptures. “Thou shalt love thy neighbours as well as thyself;" and—“ If you forgive your enemies, God shall forgive you."
“ Exact my own defects to scan,
What others are to feel, and know myself a man.” (i. e.) Teach me exactly to examine my own defects or failings, and give me to know, the suffering of others, that I may feel myself mortal, like all men.
Answer 3rd.—" Celestial fire” means,-heavenly insperation.
" Or waked to ecstacy the living lyre.” (i. e.) or would have been great masters of lyric poetry, waking the trembling strings of the “living lyre," with ecstacy and rapture.
Ansuier 4th." Spoils of time” are the improvement and advancement of knowledge as time wings forward, which adorn and enrich the “ ample page."
The word ample is here very appropriately used, it seems as if the page of knowledge was vast and various in its information, as if it comprehended all that the fertile genius of man has been able to invent.
Answer 5th.--" Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day."
Means, left behind this radiant world,—this charming spot, where the days are ever cheerful and not gloomy. Some writers among whom is the anonymus critic, say, that the warm precincts of the cheerful day" means the body. Common sense however shews us the impropriety of the explanation.
" E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires." So great is the vanity of human wishes, that we desire our friends, in fact the whole world, to remember us when we are in the tomb, as they used to do, in our absence.
"Fires" here means desire.
“ Pleasing anxious being” means, the pleasing state of this, our present existance anxious for still greater pleasures of this world.
Answer 6th.-Gray here alludes to Queen Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen of England. She was a true Briton, for the blood of the race of Tudor ran in her veins.
The Bard refers with satisfaction to this circumstance, because he foresaw, that a long line of monarchs of Saxon descent was to rule over Britain. This was fulfilled in the house of Tudor whose first Sovereign was Henry VII.
Answer 7th.—“ What strings symphonious tremble on the air" &c. Here Gray alludes to the poets who flourished in the court of Elizabeth.
" The strings trembling in the air” is a very beautiful expression. So we have in the Progress of poesy " and give to rapture all thy trembling strings.” “ The strains of vocal transport." This expression also is peculiarly elegant. How it brings before the reader, the pictures of wandering minstrels and“ errant damoiselles” who were greatly patronized by the queen and her gay ministers and courtiers.
Answer 8th. The poets here alluded to are Spencer and Shakspeare. The lines
66 The verse adorn again
Fierce war, and faithful love,
And truth severe in fairy fictions drest.”
“ Fierce war and faithful love
FAIRY Queen. The last three lines alludes to Shakspeare because it was he, that brought on the stage the moving scenes of grief, pale and emaciated,