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FIELD AND FARM. j

I GARDENING GOSSIP.I

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I I 'i "AN INSANE -CUSTOM."…

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'i "AN INSANE CUSTOM." j Some interesting details are given in the School Magazine, relative to the customs at Ton- bridge School. Of the intact customs, says the writer, first and foremost comes Skinners'Day, the great day at the end of the Summer Term. When Sir Andrew Judd, the founder, departed this life, he left the Governorship of his school to that great London Company, the Skinners, a privilege which they have jealously retained to this day. And so it comes "bout that the great day of the year for Tonbridge School is named Skinners' Day. This institution, and its name, are as old as the foundation itself. Up till the year 1800 the Governors used to visit the school on horse- back, and, as they neared the town. to distribute largesse in copper coin to the villagers who met them. Nowadays the method of procedure is some- what changed, and the city dignitaries drag their weai ied limbs, not on prancing steeds, but in landaus from the Rose and Crown, where they have slept the night before, to the portals of the school. For the last 60 years it has been the custom on Skinners' Day for the whole school to rise at seven a.m. and assemble, en masse, in front of the buildings, dressed in the scantiest attire possible, bearing branches of birch in their hands. Marshalling with linked arms in long lines across tfra road, with the captain of the school in the centre of the first, they tear down through the streets, not to the splendid new swim- ming bath, but to the dirty Medway, and there, standing in one long line along the grassy bank, solemnly jump in together and them scram- ble out again. Of all insane customs really this is the most insane. 01 the horror of that leap into 3ft. of muddy water, not knowing whether you will alight upon a dead cat, or worse, a decomposed dead dog, or whether the fates will be so kind as to let you off with an old tin can Nothing on earth could prevent your feet sticking in the mud. The bacilli carried away in the mouth of those boys would be enough to stock any scientist's laboratory for years. A hasty dressing and then the procession is reformed, marching amid snatches of songs up from the river to the Rose and Crown. Cheers for the Governors, and portly City fathers peep through their blinds at the swaying crowd in the yard below. Then up through the town between the rows of birch branches, with which the towns- people deck their doors-another old custom—to cheer the doctor and the staff in their respective houses.

■I VERDI'S OWN MEMORIAL. !

====================I HANDKERCHIEFS…

QUARRYMEN IN -DANGER.i

A SOCIETY MARRIAGE.

A GREEK HUSBANDMAN. !

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RESII !D,ENCE, 'lIl , .AT…

!STORY OF THE AMERICA CUP.…

THE SILENT WOMAN.

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IGREATER BRITAIN.]

SAFFRON WALDEN ELECTION. -I

THE LEECH COLLECTION OF ;…

A PUBLISHER'S WILL.

BIRTH OF AN ITALIAN PRINCESS.