Treasure Island

Arthur Clement Hilton

(1851 - 1877)

The Heathen Pass-ee


Which I wish to remark,
And my language is plain,
That for plots that are dark
And not always in vain,
The heathen Pass-ee is peculiar,
And the same I would rise to explain.

I would also premise
That the term of Pass-ee
Most fitly applies,
As you probably see,
To one whose vocation is passing
The ‘ordinary B.A. degree’.

Tom crib was his name,
And I shall not deny
In regard to the same
What that name might imply,
But his face it was trustful and childlike,
And he had the most innocent eye.

Upon April the First,
The Little-Go fell,
And that was the worst
Of the gentleman’s sell,
For he fooled the examining Body
In a way I’m reluctant to tell.

The candidate came
And Tom Crib soon appeared;
It was Euclid,, The same
Was ‘the subject he feared’,
But he smiled as he sat by the table
With a smile that was wary and weird.

Yet he did what he could,
And the papers he showed
Were remarkably good,
And his countenance glowed
With pride when I met him soon after
As he walked down the Trumpington Road.

We did not find him out,
Which I bitterly grieve,
For I’ve not the least doubt
That he’d placed up his sleeve
Mr. Toodhunter’s excellent Euclid,
The same with intent to deceive

But I shall not forget
How the next day at two
As stiff paper was sett
By Examiner U……..
On Euripides’ tragedy, Bacchae.
A subject Tom ‘partially knew’.

But the knowledge displayed
By that heathen Pass-ee.
And the answers he made
Were quite frightful to see,
For he rapidly floored the whole paper
By about twenty minutes to three.

Then I looked up at U…..
And he gazed upon me.
I oberserved ‘This won’t do.’
He replies, ‘Goodness me!
We are fooled by this artful young person’,
And he sent for that heathen Pass-ee.

The scene that ensued
Was disgraceful to view,
For the floor it was strewed
With a tolerable few
Of the ‘tips’ that Tom Crib had been hiding
For the ‘subject he partially knew’


On the cuff of his shirt
He had managed to get
What we hoped had been dirt,
But which proved, I regret,
To be notes on the rise of the Drama,
A question invariably set.

In his various coats
We proceeded to seek,
Where we found sundry notes
And-with sorrow I speak—
One of Bohn’s publications, so useful
To the student of Latin or Greek.

In the crown of his cap
Were the Furies and Fates,
And a delicate map
Of the Dorian States
And we found in his palms which were hollow,
What are frequent in palms,-that is dates.

Which is why I remark,
And my language is plain,
That for plots that are dark
And not always in vain,
The heathen Pass-ee is peculiar,
Which the same I am free to maintain.

Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010
Edited: Wednesday, March 07, 2012

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