l, publishes a useless classic and a Serious Call to the Unconverted, and then goes through the Elysian transitions of Prebendary, Dean, Prelate, and the long train of purple, profit, and power."
In this vivacious passage, Sydney Smith caricatures his own career; which, though it neither began in a baker's shop nor ended in an episcopal palace, followed pretty closely the line of development here indicated. At Winchester he "took to his books" with such goodwill that, in spite of all hindrances, he became an excellent scholar, and laid the strong foundations for a wide and generous culture. His family indeed propagated some pleasing traditions about his schooldays--one of a benevolent stranger who found him reading Virgil when other boys were playing cricket, patted his head, and foretold his future greatness; another of a round-robin from his schoolfellows, declining to compete against him for prizes, "because he always gained them." But this is not history.
From Winchester Sydney Smith passed