صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

A few days after the above scene, a strange looking party, four or five in number, issued from the entry. Their coats of the coarsest fustian, seemed to have had their tails appropriated to make flaps for the numerous pockets, while the boot legs ran up to a most aspiring length and the tout ensemble of each individual was the nearest to that of a submarine diver in his armor, or bisected merman with a pair of india-rubber boots on. A long gun, powder-flask and shot-pouch, added to each, finished the equipment and prepared the ducking party to do execution in the harbor and astonish all the feathered population. Jumping in a carriage which was waiting for them at the corner, they were whirled off rapidly down street, over the Wharf bridge and towards the “Light.” Thence exchanging their conveyance were soon gliding stealthily along the water or among the sedges as they bent beneath the pressure of the punt,—moving forward in obedience to the steady push of the boatman.

“ There 's a chance,”—bang !-bang !—“bagged them both !"_“ you did ’nt either”—and the sport goes on till the birds grow scarce and the “Shanghai” larder is supplied. Night is coming on, too, and the party giving up the sporting with reluctance, creep back to New Haven in high spirits and with wearied bodies, to renew it at some

no

future season.

Thus the Senior year is passing, amid multiplicity of lectures,-and most arduous duties,—a strange mixture of the student and the man of leisure,-a commingling of anticipations for the future, pleasure and hard labor for the present, and regrets for past time. One afternoon saw our friend on horseback, dashing on the Avenue or along the main street, and another kept him with a closed door to the completion of a labored essay, or in close attention to a chapter on Morality or Metaphysics, to say nothing of “Self-government,” and “ Political Economy.” One night, at the concert, or the party, or the lecture, and another, on the floor of the political arena, as he sought the Freshmen suffrage, ran for office, and electrified them by most eloquent addresses, and Society enthusiasm,—until he had gained the Presidency.

Time flew by in the last year upon eagle pinions, and the spring vacation and its cramming were upon them before they had realized the passage of the two terms. Then in quick succession came “ Biennial” with its anxious moments,—the last day's examination, the “ degree" gained and the joyous" Presentation.” The long list of Caroli, Gulielmis, Archibaldi, et cetera have been read off from the steps of the Chapel pulpit, the Latinity of the Seniors tested, the Class

Valedictory given, and the Poem applauded. The half-starved Alumni come forth from the Faculty dinner to enjoy the desert of the afternoon.

There is one spot where the Elms stretch their long arms,-not "in quest of thought," as our friend “ Nicholas” tells us, but as though they would afford their friendly shade to make pleasant the last scene of the academic life. Seated in a circle in this place, which has been so often trampled by the “stag-dance” of preceding classes, and made hallowed by associations which will cling around such,--are the present Graduates. They have met together for the last time as a body, for they will not all be present at the closing ceremony of Commencement, nor all answer to the muster in the future Class reunions. It is hard to tell whether such a ceremony should be sad or joyous, for despite the boisterous merriment and exuberance which arises from the prospect of a freedom, there is something tender in the thought of meeting for the last time, to break strong ties, and lose individuality as a Class forever.

In the center of the circle are the class Band, with horns, flutes, and violins, braying, piping, or saw-filing, at the option of the owners,tooi,—toot,—bum,-bang,4b00-0-0-in a most melodious discord. Songs are distributed, pipes filled, and the smoke cloud rises,-trembles as the chorus of a hundred voices rings out in merry cadence, and then breaking, soars off,-a fit emblem of the separation of those at whose parting it received its birth.

“ Braxton on the history of the Class !"
“ The Class History,"_“ Braxton !-Braxton !"

“ In a moment, gentlemen,”—and our hero mounts upon a cask and proceeds to give in burlesque a description of Class exploits and the wonderful success of its early graduates. Speeches follow, and the joke, and song, till the lengthening shadows bring a warning, and a preparation for the final ceremony. The ring is spread out, the last pipes smoked in College, laid down,-and the “Stag-dance," with its rush, and their destruction ended. Again the ring forms, and each classmate moves around it to grasp each hand for the last time, and exchange a parting blessing.

The band strikes up, and the long procession march around the College, plant their ivy, and return to cheer the buildings. The bell whirls round with a brazen clamor,—the promoted Classes hasten to their seats in Chapel, while at leisure in the galleries, Braxton, Percie, and their classmates look down at Alumni on the scene before them.

Reader, as the Editors of the Class of '55 end their labors, we must end our story.

Archibald has bored us quite as much as you ; ofttimes have we had an inclination to expel him, or to sink him with a mill-stone necklace in the waves of Lethe. If, however, in the semblance of a story we have painted true scenes of our College life and recorded some allusions which may in the future bring back pleasant memories, we have not failed in the object of our labor, and with thanks for your attention would now bid you

“ Balė, vale, in æternam, vale !”

Club Notes.

"The turnpike road to people's hearts, I find,

Lies through their mouths, or I mistake mankind." “ LUCUBRATE for the Lit”-said one of the board editorial ; and his voice echoed along the walls of the almost deserted clubroom, while the plates and dishes, all strewn as they were in postprandial confusion, rattled a response to his gesture, put in by way of earnest. For but a half dozen of our four and twenty suntrapezites lingered at the table. The rest had already started for the whited sepulchre of College street, where subjects, skeletons, and jawbones most do congregate ; where Freshmen tremble when they are initiated, and Seniors put on the cap stone of their dignity. What a regard for the "fitness of things” is shown in its location, standing as it does right opposite to the ancient cemetery where lie those who experienced the wear and tear of medical treatment to no purpose. The law school alone can vie with it in this respect. The half dozen continued to break their bread and morsel their meat, leaving us to consider the request. Lucubrate; and why not? To-night we will make the attempt; for if quiet be favorable to the cacoethes scribendi, to-night should produce the very crisis of the disorder. North College is always calm in its dignity, respectable in an eminent degree. But the appalling stillness which now reigns from ground floor to attic, in entry north and entry south, will not pass for respectability. It is as the dumbness of ignorance. What has become of its inmates we

do not know. Some of them probably may be found at Brewster's Hall

, giving divided attention-an indefinite fraction to the lecturer, the rest to the fierce attacks which are made now" to the right of them, now to the left of them,” with eye (not brass) artillery. The others we cannot accou for; two were with us an hour since, but cigars were “in front. of them,” a cloud arose, and they vanished from our vision and our room. The philosophers will have it, that in order to sound there must be an auditor; but it does not follow that there must be no such presence in order to perfect stillness; and we are here, erectis auribus, listening in vain for a footstep, and with the cacothes, consequent thereon, in vigorous existence. But where shall it vent itself? We have it. We will write of Shanghae. Do not turn away, reader, as you might from a Tribune leader on foreign affairs, and our relations with China. We don't know anything about the celestial Shanghae, or if we did, should keep it to ourselves, and the china relations we propose to speak of are by no means diplomatic.

Our Shanghae is in York street. No brazen prowed-vessels are necessary to reach its confines, for rubbers and brogans are sufficient with which to ford the waters that at times lie between it and Trumbull Gallery. There are no little people with capillary pigtails, nor any missionaries there. If there be pigtails at any time, they are such de facto and roasted ones; if any missionaries, such only in embryo. A few years back, when silks and teas made up all of our Chineese imports, this explanation might have sufficed. But now, in out-of-college society at least, let our titular word be used, and ten to one, a barn-yard bird is meant. But do not, we pray you, when you read it here, conjure into presence a formidable looking rooster with huge spurs and comb. Our Shang. haes are so fortunate as, according to an ancient philosopher, to wear the semblance of birds without feathers. They do not slumber on timber cross-pieces, and certainly do not wake the early echoes of morning by noisy demonstrations, all such duties devolving on the Ly. ceum bell.

Just when the year 1854 was beginning to be talked and written of in anticipation, a crisis in the history of student boarding-houses arrived. For months previous the fare there provided had been a crying evil, and the complaint general. Landladies worried and apologized, but there was no reform. For was not there the war in Europe to fall back upon? What a subject for one fond of tracing the progress from cause to effect. The Russian bear grew uneasy in his lair, and forthwith men, rising from their books, more rapacious than any bear, Rus

it was.

sian or other, ever was, were greeted with puny potatoes and poor pies, thousands of miles away at No. College street. The Turkish soldiers must have biead, and instanter ours became dark and ominouslooking. They must have meat. There was but one way of meeting the demand. Inferior joints and lean fowls upon our platters, told what

Thus matters assumed a threatening aspect. A corporeal revolt seemed at hand. It promised to be a violent one-to turn the tables completely. But relief came; oil was poured upon the troubled waters; the Shanghae Club was born.

It dragged through no helpless infancy, dependent upon the good will of those around for existence, but as Minerva sprang from the head of Jove, full armed, and an armfull for any celestial lover, so it rose at once to a " local habitation and a name." Before that it was fortyeight hours old, it numbered more than a score of members, and of these many still remain

They rejoice in being the only real and original Shanghaes, and tell of its first days with as much gusto as one might suppose William Wyckham would of Linonia's, could he stand in her present beautiful hall. Halcyon days they were. M. Guizot tells us, that in periods when nations (or clubs) act spontaneously, freely, without premeditation or design, we recognize what history calls their heroic

ages. This then was the heroic age of the club. Its golden age has succeeded, and seems destined to continue unto the end, giving no opportunity to the baser metals to share the glory of naming its durations.

All great institutions have their peculiar characteristics. The church Protestant, the church Catholic, this democracy and our club. The salient points of the first three are known to all. The specific difference of the last is its dining hour, to wit, six o'clock. While others as darkness comes on, tablewards plod their weary way, inwardly protesting against tea not at all Herculean in strength, and butter it may be altogether so, our mess files lightly off to the principal meal of the day, their classic coena. This plan, coeval with the club existence, has been found to work admirably. If it has any drawback, it is that it necessitates cold lunches at noonday, at which the only feasting done is that of reason, the only flowing that of sugar-house syrup. It may be that it is not healthy, but here as elsewhere, doctors will not agree. We therefore, with no criminal intent against our gastric organs, take the benefit of the doubt. A look at the body corporate is worth the trouble. The organization is strictly republican, and adorned or deformed with no unnecessary office. A simple stewardship is its only distinctive station;

« السابقةمتابعة »