We had endured a television programme on the English parish church, and while we rewarded ourselves with a glass of madeira, Frobisher recollected his work for the Ecclesiological Society’s register of sepulchral monuments, signalling with nods and becks and wreathed smiles the covert allusions and unascribed quotations characteristic of any self-respecting 18th-century specialist in reminiscent pin.
‘I began in the winter of ‘62. You remember it, of course. Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.’
‘Shakespeare?’ asked Widgerly, the only other occupant of the Senior Common Room and, as a physicist of the pre-Niveous era, evidently unaware of the ground-rules.
Frobisher sighed. ‘Rossetti. I had been