Lord Inverbroom nodded to him, and rose. But as yet the 锟?0 a year was not secured to me. On reaching London I went to my friend Clayton Freeling, who was then secretary at the Stamp Office, and was taken by him to the scene of my future labours in St. Martin鈥檚 le Grand. Sir Francis Freeling was the secretary, but he was greatly too high an official to be seen at first by a new junior clerk. I was taken, therefore, to his eldest son Henry Freeling, who was the assistant secretary, and by him I was examined as to my fitness. The story of that examination is given accurately in one of the opening chapters of a novel written by me, called The Three Clerks. If any reader of this memoir would refer to that chapter and see how Charley Tudor was supposed to have been admitted into the Internal Navigation Office, that reader will learn how Anthony Trollope was actually admitted into the Secretary鈥檚 office of the General Post Office in 1834. I was asked to copy some lines from the Times newspaper with an old quill pen, and at once made a series of blots and false spellings. 鈥淭hat won鈥檛 do, you know,鈥?said Henry Freeling to his brother Clayton. Clayton, who was my friend, urged that I was nervous, and asked that I might be allowed to do a bit of writing at home and bring it as a sample on the next day. I was then asked whether I was a proficient in arithmetic. What could I say? I had never learned the multiplication table, and had no more idea of the rule of three than of conic sections. 鈥淚 know a little of it,鈥?I said humbly, whereupon I was sternly assured that on the morrow, should I succeed in showing that my handwriting was all that it ought to be, I should be examined as to that little of arithmetic. If that little should not be found to comprise a thorough knowledge of all the ordinary rules, together with practised and quick skill, my career in life could not be made at the Post Office. Going down the main stairs of the building 鈥?stairs which have I believe been now pulled down to make room for sorters and stampers 鈥?Clayton Freeling told me not to be too down-hearted. I was myself inclined to think that I had better go back to the school in Brussels. But nevertheless I went to work, and under the surveillance of my elder brother made a beautiful transcript of four or five pages of Gibbon. With a faltering heart I took these on the next day to the office. With my caligraphy I was contented, but was certain that I should come to the ground among the figures. But when I got to 鈥淭he Grand,鈥?as we used to call our office in those days, from its site in St. Martin鈥檚 le Grand, I was seated at a desk without any further reference to my competency. No one condescended even to look at my beautiful penmanship. They remembered that running was mankind鈥檚 first fine art, our original act of inspired creation. 鈥淓veryone is built for running,鈥?he said. 网站免费观看视频,久久精品视频,av网站免费线看,天堂v无码亚洲一本道, It was obvious by this time that the family lunch was going to be rather a stormy sort of passage, and Mrs Keeling had before this caught her husband鈥檚 eye, and with dumb movements of her lips and querying eyebrows had communicated 鈥楥hampagne?鈥?to him, for it was known that when Mrs Goodford was in a worrying mood, a glass of that agreeable beverage often restored her to almost fatuous good humour. But her husband had replied aloud, 鈥楥ertainly not,鈥?and assumed his grimmest aspect. This did not look well: as a rule he was content to suffer Mrs Goodford鈥檚 most disagreeable humours in contemptuous silence. Now and then, however, and his wife was afraid that this was one of those tempestuous occasions, he was in no mind to lie prone under insults levelled at him across his own table. He knew he was being unwise in bandying stupid words with his wife. But she continued to make accusations, and his want of breeding, to use a general term, did not allow him to pass them over in the silence that he knew they deserved. There might have been 鈥?in some future time of still increased wisdom, there yet may be 鈥?a department established to test the fitness of acolytes without recourse to the dangerous optimism of competitive choice. I will not say but that there should have been some one to reject me 鈥?though I will have the hardihood to say that, had I been so rejected, the Civil Service would have lost a valuable public servant. This is a statement that will not, I think, be denied by those who, after I am gone, may remember anything of my work. Lads, no doubt, should not be admitted who have none of the small acquirements that are wanted. Our offices should not be schools in which writing and early lessons in geography, arithmetic, or French should be learned. But all that could be ascertained without the perils of competitive examination.