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rentially towards my guest. At the same instant, the solutions to some half a dozen or more “problems for practice,” appended to the remarks on the “specific gravity of bodies,” and which I in some unaccountable way (which, in spite of all I can do, will sometimes occur) had “skinned,”f to meet the demands of our last recitation, slunk away with all imaginable dispatch to the farthest corner of the room, while, treading on their heels, a stray Murphy’s Tacitus, which but a moment before was reposing in conscious worth and dignity, was now seen winging its flight in company with them, though one might clearly see that it was evidently ashamed of its company. The old gentleman appeared in no whit surprised or discomposed at these sudden movements—doubtless they are common, every-day occurrences with him. The reader will here be pleased again to call to mind how sinister my position was for any sudden movements—the recollection of this fact will doubtless abate his surprise, when I inform him that I received the above announcement from the old gentleman without evincing any marks of surprise—in fact, took it quite coolly—too coolly, probably, according to his ideas of propriety, for he paused a moment, and then repeated, with increased emphasis, “In me you behold the presiding genius of Yale College l’ I bowed as respectfully as the nature of the case and attendant circumstances would allow. He seemed satisfied, and proceeded with a most dignified air. “Doubtless you are surprised at the reception of this visit from me, at such an hour. But you will soon learn, and therefore attend, I beseech you, *auribus erectis.’” On hearing the old man's extensive quotation, I involuntarily smiled. It was unmannerly, I confess, yet the quotation was so formally introduced, that I consider myself almost pardonable. To conceal my ill manners, therefore, I reached to the table for another cigar. “Nay! may !” said he, pettishly, for he had observed the smile, “lay down thy cigar and attend, for this matter concerneth thee most nearly. I understand that you, in the plenitude of your wisdom, have had the audacity to contribute to a late number of the College Magazine.” “Really l’” said I, aster having performed the usual amount of fidgeting in my chair, consequent to all such disclosures, “really | I was not aware that the fact was so generally known.”
* Vid. Olmsted's Phil. Vol. i. pp. 319–20.
t For the edification of the uninitiated, we subjoin the following definition: “To skin—to pilfer, to filch, etc. A student is said to skin a problem, when he places the most implicit faith in the correctness of his neighbor's solution of it, or at least sufficient to warrant bestowing upon it the rites of adoption.”—Coll. Lexicon, Vol. vi.
“Young man!” said he, sternly, “interrupt me not It is true, as you say, that the fact is not generally known, for the evident reason that but few take sufficient interest in your productions to make any inquiries concerning their author. But I, of course, knew who he was, and am now present to give you a few practical hints, in case you ever make another attempt.” “Parce mihi " I immediately exclaimed. The old gentleman now smiled in turn, then added, “Fear not I shall institute no very pointed criticisms, no comparisons with other communications—in fine, nothing tending very seriously to afflict your sensibilities, which I perceive are very tender.” “Quite so!” I replied, and to prove it, made a most desperate effort to sneeze, which however being a decided failure, as my last resort, I blew my nose. “Do not imagine,” he continued, “that you are the only one that has been honored by a visit from me. Far from it ! I have been occupied during the whole of the past week in visits to those lucky souls who, like you, have been honored with a seat in that high temple of same, as also those who preside over its erection. But you are all emphatically a stiff-necked race. Not one can I convince that the Magazine is susceptible of almost infinite improvement, not only taken as a whole, but also in its component parts separately.” “Do you find any thing deserving of censure in one piece in particular * I inquired. “Much" he replied. “In the first place it is disgraceful that, as yet, scarcely an article has appeared in the present volume directly illustrative of the existing state of College society—the manners, feelings, prevailing sentiments, opinions, etc. of its members, and ten thousand other things that the world is dying with impatience to know. And now, what I want of you is, that you betake yourself . to the task of delineating some of the most marked features of College society, for the edification of mankind in general, and magazine-readers in particular.” On hearing these words, I heaved an inward groan, and as the old man paused, I ventured to observe, “that in my opinion the scenes and incidents of college life lacked sufficient interest, either to instruct or amuse, and that there was, in fine, little or no subject for remarks in the events of a college life.” “What!” ejaculated the old man, listing his eyes in astonishment, “no subject for remarks | Why, my boy! don’t you recollect the old saying that “college is a world in miniature?’” “It’s not the ‘better world,' I take it,” was my reply.
* Dick rs. Dike.
“Why, no! not precisely—but then you know bad is the best, and we must not complain. However, follow me! and I’ll soon dispel from your breast all such ideas as that Yale College lacks scenes of interest. Follow me !” and the old man started up, buttoned his coat, grasped his cane and moved towards the door. “It is very cold this evening,” I murmured, as I heard the wind roaring without. “Pshaw come along! never mind the cold !” “At least,” said I, “you’ll take a cup of coffee before you go ''' He consented. “I would offer you a glass of wine, but the fact of it is, I’m not very fond—zounds ! what am I thinking of?—I would say I'm a member of the newly-formed “tee-total” society. Perhaps you’ve heard something of it?” I inquired. “Oh, yes! I know all about what you graceless young rogues are engaged in. But come ! let's be off!” Buttoning on my “dread-nought” coat, I was soon following him out the room. . We descended the stairs, and stood out upon the ‘green’ now white with snow. “There ! said the old man, pointing, as he spoke, “do you see that light in the farthest corner of South Middle Well! we'll see what is going on there.” We softly ascended the stairs, stood by the door, and peeping through the key-hole, saw a poor fellow deeply immersed in “Day's Mathematics,” “Conic Sections,” etc. Never in my life did I behold the expression of complete agony so vividly depictured as on his face while turning over the leaves of the latter. “Hyperbolic curve parabolic curve " muttered he, “hang it all, diabolic curve must come next, I take it.” “He is a little mistaken there,” whispered my guide, “that's what I call a generic term applicable to all the others.” I inwardly blessed the old man for the thought. The fellow heard us whispering, I imagine, for he started up and came toward the door. As we perceived this movement, we took to our heels, and scampering, with the true “devil-take-the-hindmost’ speed, down the stairs, soon again stood out upon the green. “You young rascal l’” said the old man, puffing and wheezing like a young “locomotive,” “hav’nt you more manners than to pitch over me in that kind of style : Why there are not half a dozen whole bones in my body However, let that pass. Supposing we make a move into the other entry.” So said, so done. As we entered, we could hear sounds of uproarious mirth, now a song, now a shout, and now a yell of frantic delight. “Come on 1’’ says the old man, “come on | don't be afraid ''' “A rather gratuitous supposition—that last of yours,” I remarked. “Hush ! not a word "" whispered he, as we stood before the door, “now listen.” They were singing away most furiously, if not melodiously, upon an old song—
“Away with your circles, sines, tangents, and squares!
“Poor fellows!” said my guide as we descended, “poor fellows : curved lines are evidently their favorites, but I’m wonderfully afraid that some of them will before long be engaged in investigating the nature of what is vulgarly called a ‘bee line,’ drawn in the directions of their separate domicils, pointed out to them by those who stand high in authority over them, instead of a curved one taught by dame Nature.” Our next visit was to a room in the basement of old ‘South,” where some dozen of those lately initiated into the mysteries of a college life were congregated, and seated around a stove, in the highest glee imaginable at their temporary respite from study, were engaged in the discussion os-say a half bushel—perhaps more—of baked murphies. I glanced in at the key-hole. “Gadzooks 1 Enoch what the deuce d'ye suppose tutor B– would say if he should catch us spreeing it here at this rate eh? said one of them. “Blast tutor B–!” was the courageous reply, “who's afraid " Hereupon my companion gave a gentle tap on the door, when— who'd have thought it —potatoes, Freshmen, skins, etc. vanished in the twinkling of an eye, into a proximate closet, where we performed the same evolution “in mcdias aures.” But why dwell longer on these scenes? Need I relate how we mounted up to Cockloft Hall—how sprites and fairies round us flocked, shook hands with him who led me on, and kindly nodded to myself? Or need I show how we dived down into the cavernous recesses of Commons Hall—saw cooks and waiters at their antics, cut their capers, “without a wish, a hope, a fear? Or need I tell of Seniors to the ears immersed in love of research after metaphysical lore—or any of the things I saw Suffice it that I saw them, and would'st thou see them too? then must thou tread the path that I have trod, and thou wilt see them as they only should be seen. If, dear reader, you are still awake, imagine us returned to my room, our seats resumed, cigars and pipes re-lit, and us puffing away at them with the energy of veteran smokers for the space of ten minutes or more in the most profound silence. The old man appeared inclined to sleep, and to arouse him I inquired what all this had to do with the object of his visit to me? “Every thing,” he replied, in a tone that showed he was any thing but disposed to sleep. “Do you recollect him that was poring over Conics—those who were luxuriating over potatoe skins, or those of Cockloft memory.”
“Certainly,” said I, “I recollect them.” “Well then s” he continued, “while you have such subjects for remark, never again turn to any thing out of College walls. As every periodical should fully represent the condition of the community from which it emanates, so should your Magazine be the mirror of College affairs. This alone can render it interesting—for this alone was it established, and not to be merely the receptacle of any idle tale the busy imagination can conjure up. Besides,” he added, “there is another class for which you should write. Look there !” I turned my eyes as directed and beheld an elegant and extensive library. Upon the wall was placed a “List of Books purchased during the months of August and September, 1968.” I was about to turn away, when I saw a young man enter and inquire for something descriptive of college manners, customs, etc. during the first part of the previous century. “Nothing of the kind in the library,” replied the librarian, “wait a moment though let me see was’nt our Magazine published as early as that ? Ah, yes! here are the first volumes for eighteen hundred thirty five, six—and seven.” “The very articles I want,” said the young man, and forthwith lugged off some half dozen volumes. “And now,” resumed my guest, “would you have posterity search in vain? Would you have them lament that their ancestors have left them no memorial of their collegiate career? Consider this, my son. Ponder over, I beseech you, and gather sapience from my words.” He rose to leave. “Ha! has has” laughed I, “do you think posterity will be very anxious to know whether in the year eighteen hundred thirty seven Freshmen ate potatoe-skins, or whether Juniors sang drinking-songs? If not, I don't see how they are to be benefitted by this visit of yours, for I'll be hanged if I can do what you want me to, any better than I could before you put your foot within this room.” He glanced an eye of indignation at me, and then again seating himself, said— “Is your brain then so utterly destitute of ideas as this would seem to prove Well, then listen to me, and I’ll tell you a tale of college life to refresh your jaded brain. So let me fill and light my pipe once more l’ These formalities were soon over with. Then scientifically adjusting his proportions in my leathern-backed chair, he proceeded in his narration.
(To be continued.)