Excerpt from Looking at Life, or Thoughts and Things
The prospectus of the establishment (printed on superfine paper, 'with gilt edges) stated it to be situated in the midst of vast gardens and orchards filled with the most delicious fruit. We confess that the vastness of the gardens and the deliciousness of the fruit were of no very special benefit to us boys; for they both belonged to as ill-tempered a market gardener as ever wore a straw hat and carried a scarlet ging ham umbrella, and who let loose fierce mastifi's at us when we were bold enough to scale his wall to recover lost balls or Shuttlecocks, who maliciously whitewashed his peaches and nectarines, in order to render them nauseous to our taste, after we had been at the trouble of stealing them, and who was notoriously suspected, and was, we verily believe, gliilty, of the cold-blooded and cowardly ferocity of placing large cat's-head apples and juicy jargonelle pears as decoy ducks within our reach, which were filled with alap and tartar emetic. The house, or rather the chdteau, (the prospectus went on to say) covered a.large extent of territory, and was adjoined by beautiful pleasure-grounds. In good sooth, it was a spacious range of buildings, (for we had fifty boarders, or internes, and upwards of a hundred externes, or day-boys, to accommodate, ) arranged round a good-sized gravelled square or play-ground; one side of the quadrangle being formed by the master's house; the side opposite him by the boundary wall, separating us from the morose market - gardener, and the two lateral ones by the school-rooms and dormitories of the boys.
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