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his best in their behalf; and he redeemed the promise most valiantly during the first half-hour of the game.
“ They are a tie now," said one of the Second-Class boys, as he stood with his companions on the top of a small knoll in the playing-fields, from which a full view of the scene of action might be obtained. “ The “Outs' had got three before, and now this is the third which our side has scored. How splendidly Norton and Hope are playing!
'Yes; Hope has turned up in a new character, that's certain,” said Williams. “ When Bloomfield told me this morning that he was going to play, I think I never was so taken aback at anything in my life.”
“Tell us what has happened, Hooper; there's a good fellow.”
“Well," said the boy addressed, “ on the side of the 'Ins,' Norton has kicked one goal, and Hope two. On our side, Shaw, Brook, and Thorpe have kicked one each. So far the game is a tie; but Thorpe has just come down upon Mills with such an awful charge, that Mills was knocked head over heels, as if he had been cutting a summerset. They have carried him off to the school-room; and I don't expect there is much chance of his coming right again before the end of the hour. So their side has only five to our six; and, besides, we have now scored one game in advance of them.”
“ Ha, but what say you to that?" shouted Williams, a minute afterwards, as Norton, who had gained possession of the ball, carried it straight before him towards the enemy's goal, and Brook, throwing himself in his way, the two boys met in full career. The ball was driven beyond the bounds of the outside goal, both champions falling prostrate to the ground. But the next moment Norton rose uninjured, and continued his rush, while his antagonist, struggling to his feet by the help of his companions' hands, limped slowly towards the house“what say you to that? Quits once more, I think; isn't it?” "More than quits for us,” said Cooper," for Brook is one of their best players, and Mills is certainly our worst. But there will be two minutes now before they begin again, as a fresh goal has been kicked.”
The attention of the boys was speedily drawn to a new crisis in the game, which was now approaching its close. Two or three games had been won by both sides, the “Ins” having a lead of two. But another casualty had occurred to one of their party. Bloomfield had sprained his ankle in a fall over the ball, and though it was not the ankle of the foot with which he kicked, he was rendered quite useless for the purposes of the game, and was obliged to retire from the contest. The “Outs” perceived their advantage, and pressed it vigorously; but were met with an equally vigorous resistance. Grim as the veritable Ajax himself, to whom the boys compared him, Norton stood before his goal, covered with dust and blood, and repelled charge after charge with invincible pluck and vigour; while Hope, gallantly seconding him, repeatedly carried the ball almost to the goal of his opponents, the superior numbers of the latter alone preventing his scoring the game. They contrived in this manner by great exertions to maintain the unequal contest for several minutes, until a new disaster turned the scale of battle wholly against them. Gaining possession of the ball for a moment, Morgan succeeded in kicking past Selby and Thorpe, and rushed forward in the hope of anticipating Shaw also. . But the latter was the nearer of the two to the ball, as well as quicker of foot. He caught it in mid career with all the force of his kick, when he was within a few feet of his adversary; and the ball, striking Morgan full on the nose, instantly deluged his cheeks with blood, for the moment completely stunning him, as if he had been struck by his opponent's fist. Though sorely unwilling, he, too, was obliged to withdraw and staunch his wounds at the school pump. And now the
case of the "Ins” appeared desperate indeed. They could oppose three men only to the enemy's five; and these were odds, which, in such a contest as the “Picked Sixes,” it was impossible to maintain. It wanted, however, only eight minutes to the hour, when this last mischance occurred, and they were still one game ahead.
“We won't give it up,” said Norton to his two comrades, as they paused after another short but desperate struggle, in which, after contriving to keep the “Outs" at bay, beyond all expectation for several charges, they had been overpowered by numbers, and lost another game, thus reducing their score to a tie with that of their antagonists. “ We won't give it up.
While there is life there is hope; and it can't want more than three or four minutes to the hour now."
"No, we won't give it up," said Story; "I agree with you there. But there is really no chance for us. They are up to all the advantages of their superior numbers; they rush straight against you, breast to breast, so that you can't pass them; and another fellow is always ready behind, to take up the kick before you have recovered from the shock. With such players as Shaw, Selby, and Thorpe, not to say Hooper and Bell, it is quite impossible to play at odds." Nevertheless we'll try,” said Norton.
“Look here, Hope, do you take my place, and let me have the first kick, and do you back me up, Story, as well as you can. If I can kick it past any one of them, we may save the day still.”
This conversation took place during the minute which was allowed between two games; and the umpire once more placing the ball in the middle of the lists, gave the signal to recommence. Norton rushed forward, and succeeded in kicking past Hooper, whom he dashed to the ground with his left arm, as he passed. But Shaw, perceiving their plan, now threw himself directly in
his way; and the two leaders, meeting with the crash of two wild bulls charging one another, fell both of them to the ground, every particle of breath for the moment being driven out of their bodies. Harry Story sprang over the fallen giants, and was met in like fashion by Selby, both champions rolling over without advantage to either side.
“ Now for it, Thorpe? Hurrah, Thorpe,” shouted the Outs," as the boy named, springing forward unopposed, drove the ball forward with a force which sent it nearly to the end of the field, where Hope now stood alone. Thorpe rushed forward to follow up his kick, Bell and Hooper succeeding him at intervals, to make sure of the victory. But at this moment Hope, rushing forward, caught the flying ball in his arms. Nimbly evading the approach of Thorpe, he ran with it still tightly clasped in his embrace: he broke away from Bell, who attempted to seize him, and had more than passed the middle of the lists, before he was arrested by Hooper. A furious struggle now commenced; Hooper and Bell endeavouring to tear the ball from his grasp, and Hope retaining it with the most determined pluck. All three soon came to the ground, and rolled over one another in wild confusion, amid the deafening shouts of the favourers of either party. But Thorpe had now reached the spot, and the unequal contest could no longer be maintained. The ball was wrenched from Hope's grasp, and Thorpe, poising it in his hands, was about to launch it into the air, securing thereby the victory to the “Ins," when the deep tones of the Minster clock came pealing over the meadows; and the voice of the umpire was heard shouting aloud, “ Time up. Ten games for the ‘Ins,' and ten for the “Outs.' The match is drawn.”
So ended the most evenly contested and exciting foot-ball match ever played at Barford Bridge.—“Barford Bridge," Rev. II. C. Adams. S. IV.
BATTLE OF CRESSY,
This great and well-contested battle was fought on the 26th of August, 1346. Edward chose his ground with advantage near the village of Cressy. He drew up his army on a gentle ascent, and divided them into three lines. The first line was commanded by the Prince of Wales (then only fifteen years of age), and under him by the Earls of Warwick and Oxford, by Harcourt, and by the Lords Chandos, Holland, and other noblemen. The Earls Arundel and Northampton, with the Lords Willoughby, Basset, Roos, and Sir Lewis Tufton, were at the head of the second line. Edward took to himself the command of the third division, by which he proposed either to bring succour to the two first, or to push his advantages against the enemy. He had likewise the
precaution to throw up trenches on his flanks; and he placed all his baggage behind him in a wood, which he also secured by an entrenchment.
The skill and order of this disposition, with the tranquillity in which it was made, served extremely to compose the minds of the soldiers; and the king, that he might further inspirit them, rode through the ranks with such an air of cheerfulness and alacrity, as conveyed the highest confidence into every beholder. He pointed out to them the necessity to which they were reduced, and the certain and inevitable destruction which awaited them, if, in their present situation, enclosed on all hands in an enemy's country, they trnsted to anything but their own valour, or gave that enemy an opportunity of taking revenge for the many insults and indignities which they had of late put upon him. He reminded them of the visible ascendant which they had hitherto maintained over all the bodies of French troops that had fallen in their way; and assured them, that the superior numbers of the army which at present hovered