I've done. Don't be down-hearted, Harris", he added, "it'll all come right."
Next day the Sixth did nothing except cut out my name from the list of the First Eleven: I was told that Jones was going to thrash me but I startled my informant by saying: "I'll put a knife into him if he lays a hand on me: you can tell him so."
In fact, however, I was half sent to Coventry and what hurt me most was that it was the boys of the Lower School who were coldest to me, the very boys for whom I had been righting. That gave me a bitter foretaste of what was to happen to me again and again all through my life.
The partial boycotting of me didn't affect me much; I went for long walks in the beautiful park of Sir W. W——near the school.
I have said many harsh things here of English school life; but for me it had two great redeeming features: the one was the library which was open to every boy, and the other the physical training of the playing fields, the various athletic exercises and the gymnasium. The library to me for some months meant Walter Scott. How right George Eliot was to speak of him as "making the joy of many a young life". Certain scenes of his made ineffaceable impressions on me though unfortunately not always his best work. The wrestling match between the Puritan, Balfour of Burleigh and the soldier was one of my beloved passages. Another favorite page was approved, too, by my maturer judgment, the brave suicide of the little atheist apothecary in the "Fair Maid of Perth". But Scott's finest work, such as the character painting of old Scotch servants, left me cold. Dickens I never could stomach, either as a boy or in later life-'His "Tale of Two Cities" and "Nicholas Nickleby" seemed to me then about the best and I've never had