Business now began, the day's Collect was repeated, then certain texts of
Scripture were said, and to these succeeded a protracted reading of
chapters in the Bible, which lasted an hour. By the time that exercise
was terminated, day had fully dawned. The indefatigable bell now sounded
for the fourth time: the classes were marshalled and marched into another
room to breakfast: how glad I was to behold a prospect of getting
something to eat! I was now nearly sick from inanition, having taken so
little the day before.
The refectory was a great, low-ceiled, gloomy room; on two long tables
smoked basins of something hot, which, however, to my dismay, sent forth
an odour far from inviting. I saw a universal manifestation of
discontent when the fumes of the repast met the nostrils of those
destined to swallow it; from the van of the procession, the tall girls of
the first class, rose the whispered words--
"Disgusting! The porridge is burnt again!"