Open main menu

Page:Carroll - Notes by an Oxford Chiel.djvu/131

This page has been validated.
27
THE VISION OF THE THREE T'S.

Pisc. Sir, we are happy to have your company, and, if it trouble you not too much, we would gladly ask (as indeed we did ask another of your learned body, but understood not his reply) the cause of these new things we see around us, which indeed are as strange as they are new, and as unsightly as they are strange.

Tutor. Sir, I will tell you with all my heart. You must know then (for herein lies the pith of the matter) that the motto of the Governing Body is this:—

'Diruit, ædificat, mutat quadrata rotundis;' which I thus briefly expound.

Diruit. 'It teareth down.' Witness that fair opening which, like a glade in an ancient forest, we have made in the parapet at the sinistral extremity of the Hall. Even as a tree is the more admirable when the hewer's axe hath all but severed its trunk—or as a row of pearly teeth, enshrined in ruby lips, are yet the more lovely for the loss of one—so, believe me, this our fair Quadrangle is but enhanced by that which foolish men in mockery call 'the Trench.'

Ædificat. 'It buildeth up.' Witness that beauteous Belfry which, in its ethereal grace, seems ready to soar away even as we gaze