“I dig old books.” ™
However enjoyable the holidays may have been, there is always a pleasurable excitement about going back to school... ~A. Q. Carter, "After the Holidays," A Shattered Idol, 1883
There are three good reasons to be a teacher: June, July, and August. ~Teacher joke
Several young gentlemen home for the holidays being informed that if they eat so much cake they will make themselves too ill to go back to school on Monday — there will be an extra demand for that article. ~William Thackeray, Albert Smith, Gilbert Abbott à Beckett, Horace Mayhew & Henry Mayhew, "January," The Comic Almanack, 1853 [a little altered
The midsummer holidays closed, and the students came back to school... Minty began to think of her destiny as magnificently as Napoleon Buonaparte used to talk about his. ~William Pitt Scargill (1787–1836), "My Schoolmaster's Daughter," 1836 [a little altered
His vocation just now is to go back to school... ~Elizabeth F. Ellet (1818–1877), "The Young Tragedian," 1851
Thus, I have cause to revere the name of Defoe, who reached his hand down through a century and a half to wipe away bitter tears from my childish eyes. The going back to school was always a dreadful woe to me, casting its black shadow far into the latter part of my brief holidays. I have had my share of suffering and sorrow since, like other men, but I have seldom felt so absolutely wretched as when, a little boy, I was about to exchange my pleasant home-life for the hardships and uncongenialities of school. Vain, as black Monday approached, were the increased tendernesses of my mother; the "treats" devised to cheat me of forebodings dire. And yet, I protest, I had but to take up Robinson Crusoe, and in a very few minutes I was out of all thought of the approaching calamity. I had travelled over a thousand leagues of sea; I was in my snug well-fortified cave, with the ladder upon the right side of it, "so that neither man nor beast could get at me." ~James Payn (1830–1898), "The Blessedness of Books," 1864 [A little altered. Payn's quoted phrase: Daniel Defoe, from Robinson Crusoe, 1719, "and this fence was so strong, that neither man nor beast could get into it, or over it... The entrance into this place I made to be, not by a door, but by a short ladder... which... when I was in, I lifted over after me; and so I was completely fenced in, and fortified... from all the world..."
There are many varieties of tall goldenrod that, bending in September breezes, will beckon the children back to school as to a golden way to knowledge; there are vines that ask only for a chance to climb lovingly over the doors and windows; there are little trees only waiting for the opportunity to spread their roots in the school yard and grow great there, entering tirelessly into the games of a ceaseless procession of scampering children; there are violets and snowdrops eager to play hide and seek in early spring days; and there are wild roses to bloom in June and lend their sweetness for all the summer to the memory of school. ~Charles Mulford Robinson (1869–1917), "Beautifying Rural School Grounds," 1905 [a little altered
My dear Collins, — Walter goes back to school on the 1st of August. Will you come out of school to this breezy vacation on the same day, or rather this day fortnight, July 31st? for that is the day on which he leaves us, and we begin (here's a parent!) to be able to be comfortable. Why a boy of that age should seem to have on at all times a hundred and fifty pair of double-soled boots, and to be always jumping a bottom stair with the whole hundred and fifty, I don't know. But the woeful fact is within my daily experience. ~Charles Dickens (1812–1870), letter to Wilkie Collins, 1855 July 17th [Walter Savage Landor Dickens was the fourth of Dickens' ten children. Charles discouraged his son from becoming a writer and instead Walter served in the military beginning at age 16. He died from ill health in India at age 22, in 1863.
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Original post date: 2001 Dec 31
1st major revision: 2019 Aug 6