He was sitting at a table covered with books and writing materials; a single candle threw its yellow glare over the whole, and lit up with a sickly tint the travel-worn and tired features of the youth. As I looked, he leaned his forehead down upon his arm, and seemed either overcome by sorrow or fatigue; when suddenly a deep-booming bell sent forth a solemn peal, and made the very chamber vibrate with its din.
Lyndsay started at the sound; a kind of shudder, like a convulsive throe, shook his limbs; and sitting up on his seat, he pushed back the falling hair from his eyes, and again addressed himself to his book. The heavy tolling sounds seemed now no longer to distract, but rather to nerve him to greater efforts, for he read on with an intense persistence; turning from volume to volume, and repeatedly noting down on the paper as he read.
I retired silently now to my room, and saw him pass out into the wide court. I hastened to look out. Already some hundred others in similar costume were assembled there, and the buzz of voices and the sound of many feet were a pleasant relief to the desert-like silence of the court as I had seen it before. The change was, however, of a very brief duration; in less than a minute the whole assemblage moved off and entered a great building, whose heavy door closed on them with a deep bang, and all was still once more.
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I now set myself to think by what small services I could render myself acceptable to my young master. I arranged the scanty furniture into a resemblance, faint enough, certainly, to comfort, and made a cheerful fire with the remnant of the roomy coal-box. This done, I proceeded to put his clothes in order, and actually astonished myself with the skill I seemed to possess in my new walk.
An intense curiosity to know what was going on without led me frequently to the door which led into the court; but I profited little by this step. Cautiously withdrawing, I closed the door, and retired; but scarcely had I reached my room, when young Lyndsay passed through to his own chamber: his cheek was flushed, and his eyes sparkled with animation, and his whole air and gesture indicated great excitement.
Having removed his cravat, and bathed his temples with cold water, he once more sat down before his books, and was soon so immersed in study as not to hear my footsteps as I entered.
Confessions of Con Cregan: An Irish Gil Blas" kana="
I stood uncertain, and did not dare to interrupt him for some minutes; the very intensity of his application awed me. Indeed, I believe I should have retired without a word, had he not accidentally looked up and beheld me. I stole noiselessly away, and sallied forth to seek my breakfast where I could. While I was yet endeavoring to obtain from one of the ancient maidens alluded to some information on the point, two young men, with velvet caps and velvet capes on their gowns, stopped to listen.
Now Bony used to call a first battle the baptism of Glory; so may we style, in a like way, Matriculation to be the baptism of Knowledge. You understand me, eh? I believe it was the fluent use of the unknown tongue which at once allayed any mistrust I might have felt of my new acquaintances; however that may be, there was something so imposing in the high-sounding syllables that I yielded at once, and followed them into another and more remote quadrangle. Here they stopped under a window, while one gave a loud whistle with his fingers to his lips; the sash was immediately thrown up, and a handsome, merry-looking face protruded.
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Search by: Title, Author or Keyword. Boston: Little, Brown, And Company. To apply this to my own case, I may mention that I had a daughter born to me about the time this story dates from, and not having at my command the same resource as my friend the chemist, I adopted the alternative of writing another story, to be published contemporaneously with that now appearing, "The Daltons;" and not to incur the reproach so natural in criticism of over writing myself I took care that the work should come out without a name.
I am not sure that I made any attempt to disguise my style; I was conscious of scores of blemishes I decline to call them mannerisms that would betray me: but I believe I trusted most of all to the fact that I was making my monthly appearance to the world in another story, and with another publisher, and I had my hope that my small duplicity would thus escape undetected. Dick Donovan.
Confessions Of Con Cregan, the Irish Gil Blas
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