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AN INCIDENT IN MY TROU'T-FISHING.
" GLORIOUS sport! Sam and I caught a dozen noble fellows-we had the smallest hooks, you see. O! 'twas exciting!” Such, dear reader, are the tidings which will probably greet thine astonished ear in a week or two, if we may judge, in a general way, from the college pastimes usually incident to this season of the year, and, more particularly, from a conversation we overheard the other night among a knot of enthusiastic Wallonians. “We have met the enemy and they are ours”—this grand announcement of the immortal Perry could not have displayed a higher pitch of exultation than do the triumphant sentiments we have quoted above, or the more circumstantial intelligence, “I crept up to the bank-put my line under a turf—he bit, and out I flung him !"—the last words, of course, accompanied with a most magnificent flourish of the arms.
And what does all this rhapsody of intellectual men mean when translated into the vulgar ? Why, it runs somehow thus, according to certain leaves of our vacation note-book. You go splashing through a bog on a “raw and gusty day,”—you come to a little hissing brook that, snake-like, is continually sneaking out of sight beneath bushes and stones-yet your eye gladdens, and, in your joy, you impale a live worm on a barbed hook and thrust him into a cold bath ; soon, the least nibble is felt--a slight tremor runs through your limbs—another nibble, and lo! five or six inches of little, innocent, beautiful life is swung through the air, and lies writhing on the ground—no, he is unsafe ; you grasp the tiny captive and hold him fast. Hold him harder, rejoice and laugh. Now look down upon the early flower nodding in the breeze, cast an upward glance at the glorious heavens, theresee the gasping thing on your palm! Glorious sport !
It was an afternoon in May; and for four mortal hours, with delicate tackle and the choicest bait, had we unsuccessfully followed up a beautiful streamlet. No wonder we at last reclined upon a smooth ledge, and, in sullen silence, passed deliberate judgment upon the folly and cruelty of trout-fishing But as the eastern laborer in pursuit of shellfish accidentally lights upon a pearl, so we, disappointed in the object of our fatiguing ramble, were destined to be abundanıly rewarded in a manner unexpected. For we had not long indulged in these inoody reflections, when we were accosted by a voice in some direction above the horizontal. On looking up, we beheld, on the top of the ledge, a thick-set, oldish gentleman, whose jovial countenance and affable man. ner attracted our good-will no less decidedly than his white cravat and a certain clerical distinctness of utterance, excited our unfeigned respect. He had a spade in his hand, and had evidently been attending to the duties of his farm.
From our occupation or general appearance, or in some way, he at once guessed our connection with the venerable institution in which we all take pride. Hence, began a cheerful talk, in which he informed us that he himself was a graduate of some twenty-five years' standing, and
which was only momentarily interrupted by an invitation to accompany him to his house, that was but a few rods' distant. Of course we complied ; and never have we passed a couple of hours with a stranger more to our pleasure and profit. His library was filled with all the old standard theologians, but, at the same time, made room, with the most amiable toleration, for every prominent genius of polite literature. The stiff, sober regiment, headed by Hooker, on one side, was mimicked, on the other, by the roguish fellows under the command of Gen. Swist and Lieut. Sterne. Whitfield in a black frame, and Sheridan in a gilt one, both gazed at a picture from Claude. This was all, I found, typical of the man's mind. He had a full share of the argumentative powers so peculiar to New England divines-a cultivated taste, a sympathy with every species of intellectual excellence, and, what is certainly rare at his time of life, a thorough remembrance of the feelings of youth-the feelings of youth, for youthful events most every one re. tains.
He, accordingly, took delight in bringing up the incidents and emotions of his own college days, and in contrasting them with corresponding portions of present college life, as he eagerly gleaned them from our answers to his rapid questions. “I understand,” said he, “ that nearly all of the old college customs have died out. Perhaps it is as well that many of them should ; but never would I raise my hand against them till I was assured of something better to take their place. The remembrance of them even now quickens my pulse, and I am not aware of any but innocent emotions as I recall them to mind. I never was a fighting character, but I hope you will not think the less of me when I assure you, I sometimes think I would give most any thing to hear again ai midnight the cry of Yale! Yale ! Then the hurrying up and the rushing down stairs to the place of contest! I know it seems foolish, but never did a patriot meet the invader of his country's soil with a more honest breast, than we answered to the summons of our bully, we were defending our Alma Mater, and thought we stood as legitimately the champions of all students, as Leonidas and his band deemed themselves the defenders of confederated Greece. But my neighbor's son tells me that you have now become so exquisitely conscientious at last, my friend, that the annual foot-ball game is to be given up! What nonsense! what nonsense !” exclaimed my worthy host, with a more bitter curl of the lip than I supposed him capable of assuming. “ Nonsense !—and if you live to my age without forgetting your own, you'll feel it. Some of the finest youths I ever saw had no such scruples in my days. There are now some of them in the work of our Master, some in high stations of honor, and some beneath the valley. Here you will see the names of all,” as he extended to me a finely bound volume. “ This is a custom which I hope you have not yet abandoned.” We assured him that the custom was still prevalent, and that there were no signs of this at least going out of use, and remarked, as we turned the autographs, that these pages must afford him much interest, as displaying in the sentiments the peculiar minds of the authors. “ They do so," he replied, “ and yet in the majority of cases they are meaningless to a stranger. Read ihat ;-fine sermon, is n't it, as far as it goes? Well, that was written by what you now-a-days, I believe, call a perfect rowdy. He knew I was somewhat serious, and no doubt considered it his duty to write in that style. There, you see, is a manifest attempt at wit; yet Brown was ordinarily one of the most sober and contented of that class who voluntarily resign all claims to wit and humor. But he had probably read a witty autograph a few moments before. He has only tried his hand at it once since, in a controversy with Dr. - , and it is unnecessary to tell the result, only I could n't help pitying him. There is the writing of one who tried to “get off,' as the boys say, something comic on every occasion, but he deceived himself almost as much as poor Brown -yet he might easily have been a pleasing and agreeable writer, as well as companion. This fellow was intimately acquainted with me for four years, and yet, you see, he can find nothing to write except a pun on my nanie ; and there are no less than fourteen brothers to it throughout the book.” “Why," we exclaimed, after reading a page of compliment, “ you must have enjoyed an enviable position in college." “I thought so,” he added, smilingly, “ when I first read this sentiment on my friend; but I afterwards read more than fifty such fine characters all in the same hand-writing.”
But the level rays of the sun streaming through the windows of the library, constrained me to take reluctant leave of my worthy entertainer. As I took up my rod and empty creel, I succeeded in satisfying myself with the justifiable reflection that I had, at least, drawn out one “noble fellow."
Respect for the memory of the dead leads us to touch upon a mournful therne. It is ever a sad and solemn hour when the Great Father of the Universe calls one of his children home. Whether the funeral train sweeps through the crowded streets of the city, or amid the groves and green fields of the country, it ever brings with it thoughtsulness and silence. But death in College-at our very doors-striking down the brother at our side, the friend around whom were entwined so many hopes—deatlı here awakens more than a passing thought or a careless tear. And as we follow to the grave, as we look our last upon the inanimate features of the dead, and leave him there to sleep beneath the sod, every heart is touched.
We are to record the death of Timothy Dwight PlaTT-summoned to another and, we trust, a brighter world, in the bloom of youth and at the dawn of his collegiate course. Suddenly-almost unwarned-he was called upon to exchange the tumult of life for the calm serenity of the grave ; and far from home, with no father, no mother near to catch his expiring accents, he felt the death-damp settling upon his brow. Personally unknown to us, yet the testimony of his classa:stes and the unaffected sorrow of his more intimate friends, enables us in a measure to appreciate the severity of the blow which has taken talent from our midst, and ended a life whose dawn was full of promise for the future. May we heed the solemn warning!
" Alas for man!
At a meeting of the Freshman Class of Yale College, held Friday, Feb. 16th, 1849, the following Resolutions were passed :
WHEREAS, It has pleased Him, in whose hands are the ways of life and death, to remove from our midst a classmate and brother, Timothy Dwight Platt, of Binghampton, N. Y.,
Resolved, That we regard this bereavement, so sudden and at so early a period in our College course, as a peculiar admonition from our Heavenly Father, reminding us of the uncertainty of life and the vanity of human hopes.
Resolved, That we, as a class, extend to the parents and friends of our late companion our sympathies, assuring them that during our short acquaintance with the deceased, we have seen much to admire, esteem, and love, in the modest retirement and gentle amiability of his deportment; the high rank and great promise of his talents ; and in the excellence and uprightness of his character.
Resolved, That in testimony of our regard for his memory, we will wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.
Resolved, That a copy of these Resolutions be transmitted to the parents of the deceased, and to the press for publication.
“When shall we three meet again."
SHAKSPEARE. “The loud call"
D. WEBSTER. " Accidents will happen"
OLD PROVERB. “O! mornin' life! O! mornin' luve !"
MOTHERWELL. “Otium cum dig"
HORACE. Dear Reader, As you have been told before, our Editorial corps has been growing “small by degrees and beautifully less" within the last few weeke, until the quintette has become a trio, a circumstance which has forced us into your presence a month earlier than we anticipated. One of our number is reading Blackstone with a very law-dable energy and chuckling with cruel merriment over his escape from the toils of authorship, while another has become lord of a school room and is teaching little boys to cipher and young girls to stop making faces at the master.” Of the remaining three dignitaries, one is constitutionally opposed to the over-exercise of his
faculties and in the innocence of his heart has been heard to declare that editors have souls, (their sole possession we imagine,) and must sleep at least once a week, while the other has such a mass of business to transact in New York, and is so admirably slow in its performance that he seldom has time to visit our “ sanctum," so that your humble servant is left alone to face the printer and the public. The foriner we can get along with, for we can dodge him in the street and turn his imp out of doors though the little rascal has a very inconvenient trick of crawling in at a windowbut the latter (meaning of course the public and not the “ devil'') we cannot foil ei. ther by stratagem or force, for, like Shylock, they will have their “pound of flesh.” We take a walk to the Post Office, admiring the fair forms and bright eyes that flit by, at the risk of losing our center of gravity on the slippery pavement or of running full tilt against a lamp-post or a Professor, when up comes a friend with extended hand and greets us abruptly, “ Morning! when's that Yale Lit. coming out ?" We feel like cramming the Yale Lit. down his throat. We go to the breakfast table, and the same impertinent questioning empties the coffee into our lap and frightens a mouthful of meat into our windpipe. We call on a lady in the evening, and the half-hinted inquiry as to the whereabouts of our Magazine upsets a chair or two and completes the mischief which a pair of malicions eyes had already begun. Such are some of our troubles, dear reader. We pray you let them pass as an apology for any errors of omission or commission which may mar the present number of the Lit.-a vumber, by the way, forced from us only by the Hydrostatic pressure of circumstances....
Our Editorial trio was thrown into the most“ admired confusion,” a short time since, by a horribly personal joke of our worthy Professor of Astronomy. He was speaking of the “moon hoax” which "gummed” so many learned philosophers some years ago, and, alluding to the rumor current at the time that a committee to inquire into the subject was sent to New York froin this College, he estouuded his audience with the information that that committee was composed of students, and their object-to get contributions to the Yale Literary. If a comet had suddenly whisked its fire-train through the lecture room, or a brick-bat from a meteoric body fallen with a crash through the roof, or we had heard, like Pythagoras, the “music of the spheres," we could not have been more astonished. And that long, shrill, abominable, infernal whoop of our amused classmates !-ugh! it rings in our ears still! And the ladiesthey laughed too!-the witches !-as though editors hadn't got feelings, and were only made to dun subscribers (Can you take a hiut, my friend ?) and furnish food for laughter to the rest of the community. If our joking Professor (it was all a joke of course) could have seen the two extremes of our Editorial corps a few hours after practising with a pair of rusty foils with a most ominous scowl, and afterwards thumping each other's heads with a pair of chubby boxing gloves, he would have slept in nightly fear, and solemnly vowed never again to joke about the Yale Literary, not even in order to kill what was, unquestionably, a false rumor, with reference to our Alma Mater.
It is pleasant to look back upon pleasant scenes, and we expect to be pardoned therefore for a reminiscence or two of New Year's day. There is something about this annual interchange of kind words and wishes, this yearly communion of sympathy and friendship, which seems as it were to open the flood-gates of the heart and to set free the tide of emotion which selfishness and care so often limit and restrain. Beneath its warm and genial influence the silent man becomes loquacious, the snarling Bachelor good-natured and forgiving, the selfish worldling liberal and benevolent. On such a day there are smiles for all, kind words for all, tokens of interest or affection for all; and the heart that does not open for their reception, that does not pour forth its spirit treasures in return, must be dead indeed. The approach of this annual festival, this Saturnalia of the affections, this boundary line between the cares and sorrows of the past and the brilliant visions of the future, has for us an extraordinary interest. It came this year with smiling and joyous face, but with icy hand and garments of snow. Through the thronged streets flew crowds of jovial spirits, upsetting in a snow drift, or pausing to exchange greetings with a friend. Sleigh bells chimed and door-bells jingled; eyes sparkled, and so did wine ; cakes rose and then fell; hearts fluttered, and ribands too ; cheeks were red, and so were mottoes ; and on the tide of happiness flow. ed, gathering up love, affectiou, and friendship, as it went, like a great ball of snow, rolling from a mountain summit, adding to its swiftness and its size at every turn, and taking up in its progress flakes of gold and grains of sand, the crystal and the withered