« السابقةمتابعة »
Contents of Volume Twenty-four.
Vacation Lessons. What do we mean by that? We will tell you as Guizot defines civilization, by telling you first what we don't mean. They are by no means the tough lines of Schiller, over which you, enthusiastic, new-fledged Senior, have been digging. Not the long crabbed pages of Æschylus, through which you, Oh Junior Class, have been plodding, step by step, up the appointment list. Not the jumping metres of Horace, which have been scanned from the earliest college antiquity, down to the very late era of the present Sophomore Class; nor yet those choice classics, so sought by every Freshman, who spends seven of his summer weeks in “ cramming” his condiditions ; those stumbling blocks which Tutors, by no means sirenvoiced, yet always counselling delay, scatter along the road up the hill of Science.
We mean, by vacation lessons, something far different from all this-lessons which we breath in with the atmosphere of homelessous to the heart and the man, rather than the intellect; an unwritten and unwritable music, felt but not heard; the sweet chime of the thousand and one kindnesses anu. dear associations, of familiar
sights and joyous sounds which forever linger around the “old place.” We go from our College rooms, from jovial evenings with student friends, from cold, dark recitation rooms, crowded with memories of ungraceful “ funks," from a strange jumble of pleasure and pain, of care and carelessness, and enter once more upon the half-forgotten routine of our former lives. How everything seems to welcome one back. Not only the sympathies and attentions of friends greet you, but inanimate and once unnoticed objects seem to beam with a peculiar satisfaction at your return. The old trees stretch out their arms, and nod their heads in token of recognition ; the fences, the stones laugh with mossy lips, and as you enter the house, every article of furniture greets you as kindly as it can. These are the teachers of vacation lesson No. 1. They speak to you in their quiet, old fashioned way, and tell you stories of the old time, and of those who were with you then, until a kind of pleasant sadness steals over you, and unconsciously reciting, you murmur, “ Sic transit gloria mundi.”
Vacation lesson No. 2, is something entirely different. I have often wished it were something entirely as pleasant. A boy friend, who has been several years away, is coming to visit you. You remember the ruddy cheeks and bright eyes, the manly, frank way he had, and are happy in the prospects of seeing him again. At length he comes, or rather a tall, slim, spectre looking individual of the same name. You look at the incipient mustache dimly outlined
upon his upper lip; at the flat, vacant countenance, at the immense gaudy rings upon the long, white, bony fingers, and he in turn giving you two of those precious digits to shake, raising a delicate eye-glass, surveys you an instant, and then, with a look of affected concern, ejaculates, " The doose! Why demme, Frarnk, how you've chaunged!” He languidly subsides into a sitting posture, and you inquire about his health, his situation, etc. "Health, eh? aw, very good, nevah bettah, nevah. Situation, aw, pleasant, pleasant. Oysters very good at N-, very, very. Foine theatre. Am acquainted with Outroarem, our storr actor. You ought to know Outroarem, Frarnk, good boy,--Outroarem-good boy." You feel still a touch of sympathy and fellowship, as you remember the long, sunny, autumn afternoons, in which you wandered with the brighteyed, generous boy, after puts, in the woods, over beyond the meadow. You remember, too, the time when you went with him after school, to tis sister's grave, out back of the old brown church,