Other Lancashire heroes and other worship were here recorded:-

Sons, who have sucked stern nature forth From the milk of our firm-breasted north ! Stubborn and stark, in whatever field, Stand, Sons of the Red Rose, who may not yield !

Gone is Pattison's lovely style, Not the name of him lingers awhile.

O Lancashire Red Rose, 0 Lancashire Red Rose !

The men who fostered thee, no man knows.

Many bow to thy present shows,

But greater far have I seen thee, my Rose !

Thy batting Steels, D. G., H. B., Dost thou forget ? And him, A. G., Bat superb, of slows the prince, Father of all slow bowlers since ?

Yet, though Sugg, Eccles, Ward, Tyldesley play The part of a great, a vanished day, By this may ye know, and long may ye know, Our Rose ; it is greatest when hope is low.

The Lancashire Red Rose, 0 the Lancashire Red Rose ! We love the hue on her cheek that shows : And it never shall blanch, come the world as foes, For dipt in our hearts is the Lancashire Red Rose !

Vernon Royle, says the sister, was one of them; nor did the brother forget him. I quote from his review of Ranjitsinhji's Jubilee Book of Cricket {The Academy, September 4, 1897) :-

"'From what one hears,' Prince Ranjitsinhji says, 'Vernon Royle must have been a magnificent fielder.' He was. A ball for which hardly another cover-point would think of trying he flashed upon, and with a single action stopped it and returned it to the wicket. So placed that only a single stump was visible to him, he would throw that down with unfailing accuracy, and without the slightest pause for aim. One of the members of the Australian team in Royle's era, playing against Lancashire, shaped to start for a hit wide of cover-point. 'No, no!' cried his partner, 'the policeman is there!' There were no short runs anywhere in the neighbourhood of Royle. He simply terrorised the batsmen. In addition to his swiftness and sureness, his style was a miracle of grace. Slender and symmetrical, he moved with the lightness of a young roe, the flexuous elegance of a leopard. . . . To be a fielder like Vernon Royle is as much worth any youth's endeavours as to be a batsman like Ranjitsinhji or a bowler like Richardson."

The cricket verses are all lamentations for the dead. I doubt if he was ever so happy as when mourning his heroes. To decorate his boyish memories of the departed with rhymed requiems and mature rhythms was one of his few luxuries. The note-books were full of fragments; -

He that flashed from wicket to wicket

Like flash of a lighted powder-train ; Where is that thunderbolt of cricket ?

And where are the peers of Charlemain ? With this, with this, for an undersong,-

" But where are the peers of Charlemain ? "

He had projects beyond cricket verses and reviewing. At a late London period he proposed to write his cricket memories, gravely justifying his connoisseurship and his qualifications :-

" For several years, living within distance of the O. T. Ground, where successively played each year the chief cricketers of England, where the chief cricketers of Australia played in their periodic visits, and where one of the three Australian test-matches was latterly decided, I saw all the great cricketers of that day, and it was a very rich day. Naturally, I have a few things to say about cricket now and then. . . . Thousands of others have the same basis, but it happens that I have what they have not-some trained faculty of expression. The few remarks that follow carefully avoid the province of purely technical criticism, which is rightly engrossed by those who are themselves great cricketers. The only technical criticism worth having in poetry is that of poets, and the same is true of cricket."

Of the true historian of the game he writes : " Nyren- at once the Herodotus and Homer of cricket-an epic writer if ever there was one."

His Lancastrian ardour had suffered no diminution when, after an absence from the north and from cricket fields of twenty years, he and I talked cricket. There was a well-established understanding between us that he was for the red rose, I for the white. It was make-believe, but served during many seasons and in many letters. More chivalrous than a knight of Arthur in rivalry he would write thus :-

"Well done, Yorkshire! your county is coming up hand over hand I see by the placards. I said how it would be, so I am not surprised. Our tail is not plucky. Love to all, dear Ev. F. T."

That was about a match lost by Lancashire in 1905. The year before, Thompson's fellow-lodgers, with an eye to comedy as much as to cricket, had persuaded him to meet them at a cricket-net near Wormwood Scrubbs. Of seven men and boys who met there, six had made some compromise with the conventional costume of the game ; they could boast a flannelled leg, soft collar, or at least a stud unfastened in deference to a splendid sun ; and they were active, and their shadows on the green quite playful. But he was dingy from boot laces to hat band. Timorously excited and wonderfully intent upon all the preparations, he stiffly waited his turn to bat. When it came he remembered he had no pads on and stayed to strap them with fingers so weak that they were hurt by the buckle with which they fumbled. And then, supremely grave, he batted for the first time since he had faced his sister's bowling on the sands of Colwyn Bay.

I was never at Lord's or the Oval with him, in spite of many plans, and he himself passed the turnstile on very few occasions. But he was always thinking of the cricket he would see, and always for some good reason postponing the day, as for instance in a note written in 1905 :-


" I did not go to Lord's. Could not get there before lunch ; and getting a paper at Baker Street saw Lancas-shire had collapsed and Middlesex were in again. So turned back without getting my ticket-luckily kept from another disappointing day."