« FöregåendeFortsätt »
and of a brilliant white, thirty six feet in length, and thirty feet in height and in breadth, which has been called the Tower of Babel. There is little else that is remarkable in this room, except at its further extremity, two thin pieces of rock, which project from the ceiling, and which are by no means unlike the two valves of a mammoth oyster. We found here, too, a spring of pure and cool water, which as you may suppose, after our fatiguing walk, proved very grateful. As I have already far exceeded the intended length of this letter, I must pass the Spar Room and one or two others, although equally worthy of notice with others that have been mentioned. The gratification that this visit to the Cave afforded me, I will not attempt to express to you; I will only hope that at some day you may realize it for yoursels, by personally beholding its wonders and its beauties.
Trusting that you will excuse the prolixity of the letter, and its many imperfections, I will only prolong it by assuming you that I am, as ever, Truly yours,
BRIEF as has been the period, kind reader, since our last interview, the annals of Yale College, if correctly compiled, will present many important events as having transpired during the intervening time. Do not suppose that your individual acts, or those of your associates are about to be perpetuated in the pages of the Magazine. Such is not our purpose, but only to give so general a sketch of passing events, that after your connection with this Institution shall have ceased, you may be able, by a recurrence to the pages of its periodical, to revive the scenes, and recall the pleasures which mark the fleeting present.
First, then, in the order of time (for chronology is an important part of history) you cannot have been unconscious of the strife for “the succession” which has been going on in our midst. It may not be known to all, that the students of Yale College constitute a community by themselves; that a code of laws has been framed for their especial benefit, (vide the Laws of Yale College in one volume, quarto,) not the most democratic in their nature, or in their administration, yet their own; that they are governed by officers, some of whom hold their authority from higher powers, while others are amenable to their fellow students. Be it known, then, that the period for the transmission of the honors of College government had arrived, and that our community anxiously awaited the solemn ceremony. A very important question arose as to the individual who should be invested with this high power. Frequently, in the history of mankind, do we find nations convulsed, and nature herself almost deranged by the warring conflict of rival candidates for the chief power. It would have been entirely unprecedented, yea, it would nearly have given just cause for our expulsion from the great family of nations, if we had not furnished one instance of this kind. The importance of the crisis to which we are rapidly hastening, the alledged equality of the number of supporters of each of the candidates, and the warmth of feeling exhibited by all classes, rendered this a question of no ordinary interest; one which was calculated to call forth many an aspiring genius. The members of the College were assembled, and the question was presented with due solemnity. You remember the look of care, of importance and of wisdom, visible in the countenances of all as the discussion of this weighty matter progressed. Had the happiness, the prosperity, or even the existence of a community much larger than our own, depended upon the result of the deliberation, greater efforts would not have been made, or more zeal displayed. You cannot have forgotten the bursts of eloquence, which at the time, exerted such an influence upon the auditory. Day after day did our college halls resound with the loud voices of disputants, and yet although every argument had been presented, and every plan proposed, no decision could be arrived at, but an unanimous agreement to disagree. Thus terminated the discussion of a question, which has long excited much feeling among us, and it is to be hoped that peace and good feeling now exist throughout all the classes. Reader, are you not aware of a change in your feelings, habits, views, dignities? if not you are behind the spirit of the age. Visit the College chapel; scan closely the visages you will there behold. See you not the change, the great change which has there been effected. A large company, who formerly attracted your especial attention, are no longer to be seen. Their stations are filled by others, and you witness the effect of the march of time, of the advance of College life. Excuse us, reader, for thus hastening you past a rich intellectual treat, which now claims our attention. The annual departure of those who have finished their collegiate course, furnishes an occasion for the display of fine feeling, of the true essence of poetry, of high-souled eloquence. What more interesting spectacle can be presented than that of one hundred students, after a long and intimate connexion as classmates, after completing the whole round of the sciences, taking each other by the hand for the last time ! How many recollections of the past, how many visions of the future, must crowd upon their minds? But a few days since, and we witnessed such a spectacle, we listened to the flowing strains of the Poet, to the noble sentiments of the Orator of the class of 37. Among the many who witnessed the ceremonies of that day, none, we venture to say, went away disappointed. All felt their sympathies enlisted, as the farewell was pronounced by one of their number, to a class distinguished alike for its numbers and talent. No true son of our “Alma Mater,” could have indulged other than feelings of pride, as he fancied to himself the honors which would redound to the college from the future acts of those who were about to dissolve their connection with it. With minds disciplined by the admirable course of study prescribed in this institution, and stored with the wealth of ancient and modern literature, what anticipations are too bright, what hopes are too exalted, not to be realized by some of their number. Let the enemy of collegiate education behold a class like this, let him contrast the mental power which was possessed by its members when they entered this institution, and that which they now, not only possess but are capacitated to exert, and answer it to his reason, to common sense, if much good does not result from mental discipline in colleges. True it is that such power may be, and often is used to oppress and injure the great mass of the community, but such is far from being its natural influence. Many objections may be brought against our systems of collegiate education, some evils are so glaring as to require prompt remedy, but it should be remembered, that institutions venerable for their age and the sanction of great men, are not so easily changed, and that a
great responsibility rests upon those who would make encroachments upon them. Revolution is the order of the day, but in a seminary of learning nothing more effectually unsettles the habits, and injures the character of students than constant change. Let those who are the true friends of learning unite, then, and by an anxious investigation of our systems, seek to reform what is useless, to improve where improvement is required, and in short, to silence the objections of the disaffected, and render our literary institutions what they may be, what they ought to be, more extensively useful. Be pleased, reader, to compose yourself while we disclose to your view the mysteries of the editorial department. Know then, that “rotation in office” was early adopted as the motto of the corps, and that our former presiding officer, having discharged the duties specially assigned to him, was awaiting in his rocking-chair of state, the decision of fate as to his successor. “All hail!” shouted Beppo, “the chair is mine, I am the fortunate holder of the letter E.” Immediate preparations were made for the installation of our new chief with all due ceremonies. Scarcely had he seated himself in that chair of chairs, and was looking around the room with an air of conscious dignity, when the late incumbent, envious of the ease and perhaps the dignity of the station he had so lately left, disturbed the revery of his successor by the shrill cry of “A speech from Beppo.” “A speech, a speech,” shouted the remaining three. Beppo arose, and with evident embarrassment, delivered himself of a speech, of the preamble of which, we could only catch such disconnected sentences, as, “the high honor,” “his sense of unfitness,” “pressure of College duties,” “the generosity of his associates,” &c. Soon, however, he assumed the attitude, and the voice of “a man of authority,” and said that amid all the duties of his station, he could discover none which caused him much uneasiness; but that he had long been perplexed, concerning a matter which interested us all, viz. the course pursued by our correspondents. “You can imagine my feelings, Fellow Editors, as I heard the author of the piece entitled say that his composition, elegant and faultless when handed over for publication, now appeared void of proportion, possessing no form or comeliness. My self-respect scarcely prevented me from using personal violence, especially as it occurred to me that his piece was utterly inadmissible, was a grand collection of words misapplied, and sentiments incongruous, indeed any thing but a fair composition, and that after much labor it had been deemed worthy of an unappropriated corner. Now gentlemen what shall be done to punish such miscreants, or, in future to prevent such slanders.” “Publish them in a black list,” muttered Alcibiades, with difficulty restraining his angry passions. “Caution,” said Zotoff, “let us not act upon this matter while under the influence of feelings excited by the eloquence of our presiding officer.” “I move,” said Nung Boah, “that this matter be referred to a committee, to consist of one member, who shall report at our next meeting, such a plan as may seem to him best calculated to remedy the evil.” The chair appointed Caius on that committee, very much to the mortification of Nung, who averred it to be “Parliamentary usage” to appoint the mover of a resolution the chairman of the committee for its consideration. The chair remained inflexible, and the record saith, “referred.” At the next regular meeting, Caius presented the following preamble and resolutions.
Whereas, our experience proves that articles intended for publication in the Yale Literary Magazine, are frequently desective in some minor points, such as words improperly used, sentences transposed, &c., and
Whereas it is not generally understood that it is the right and duty of the Editors to criticise pieces which appear in the Magazine, therefore
Resolved, that no piece shall be published in the Yale Literary Magazine, whose author is unwilling either, that it should be corrected by the Editors, or that his name shall be snbscribed to it.
Resolved, that the above preamble and resolution be published for the benefit of all concerned.
A true copy,
TO COR RESPOND ENT S.
The communications of “S. N.” and “R.,” have been returned, as directed, through the post office.
An essay by “P. Q. N.” and “A Brother's Farewell,” are declined.
“The Siege of Jerusalem,” has some merit, but has also many faults, and the metre is grossly neglected.
Lines “To ,” had much better be sent to her in manuscript, is sent at all.
“Fantasticus pedanticus bombasticus,” is respectfully declined.
“Ochile, an Indian legend,” and “Lines written in an Album,” by J. R., are under consideration.
“P.'s" verses are rejected.
The Editor to whom the “Song of the Maiden Convention” was addressed, considers himself highly flattered. We fear, however, that its insertion would not tend to soften our readers into sympathy with
“The pride of her sex, the good old maid.”
N. B.-As it is our wish to issue the next number at an early date, it is requested that all communications may be sent as soon as practicable.