Puslapio vaizdai
[merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed]

and later the members of one class—1837 Auent and confident public speech came —who have been conspicuous in public to be less highly esteemed than it had been affairs, William M. Evarts, Morrison R. fifty years before ; the course of study beWaite, Edwards Pierrepont, and Samuel J. came more comprehensive and exacting, Tilden, suggest the value of their training. and the development of class societies and There were exhibitions, plays, and prize de- the expansion of college life rendered unbates. The campaigns for securing fresh- necessary the excitements of the society men reached back into the preparatory evenings; the two great literary camps schools, were conducted on railway trains which used to fill the air with their rival coming into New Haven, and culminated cries, and parade their trophies at annual in the “ Statement of Facts,” held a week commencement, passed into honorable after the opening of the term, when ora- oblivion. The Brothers men said Linonia tors from the societies set forth alternately never died because there was not a quothe incomparable history, the superior rum at the funeral, and the Linonians reprize-list, and the immense advantage of torted : one or the other in fervid oratory. Who can forget the playful humor, the sarcasm,

Three hearers heard in a sleepy state, the cross-fire of repartee, which that excit

Three speakers spoke with eloquence great

To gain three prizes in Brothers hall; ing occasion exhibited to the novice in Three judges judged, and that was all. college associations ? The most spirited meetings of the commencement week were The mention of the Calliopean Society held in their halls, and men eminent in suggests the numbers and influence of public life paid tribute to their usefulness. Southern men at Yale before the war. A third society, the Calliopean, was estab- They brought with them manners and a lished by Southern students in 1819, and culture foreign to the sober atmosphere of was an expression of their sectional feel- the North, but fascinating to the untrav

elled eyes of the boys of New England. To But these societies became too large; the charm of their aristocratic bearing and with the growth of the college the mem- address there was added a picturesquebers scarcely knew each other by sight; ness of attire—Byronic collar, velvet waist



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

brought a more vital contribution to the college in their fervid eloquence, in their generosity, and in the suggestion of a wider range of thought and action in a world outside the college gates.

College customs and amusements are coat, flowing scarf, and sumptuous watch- transitory in their nature ; they rise, run chain, all crowned with the glory of locks their course with greater or less length of which Hyperion might have envied—the life, change with varying surroundings, or cynosure of college fashion. But they give place to others. Many in the older

times were recognized institutions. The Bully Club, won in battle from sailors at the Dragon—ancient name of Fair Haven – was for forty years the symbol of leadership in the college, an ægis in combats with the town, and invested with the mystery of legendary awe. Each class had a Bully of its own, but the Senior class furnished the Bully for the college, the autocrat of the undergraduate world. The institution was abolished in 1841 in consequence of a mêlée on Commencement Day between its adherents and those who opposed the old order of things as savoring of barbarism. The memory of it is recalled in the dirge written by Nathaniel P. Willis, of '27, for the funeral of the Bully of his class :


Ye've gathered to your place of prayer

With slow and measured tread ;
Your ranks are full, your mates all there-
But the soul of one has fled.
He was the proudest in his strength,

The manliest of ye all ;
Why lies he at that fearful length

And ye around his pall ?

Entrance to Old South Middle.


There are old graduates who remember subject than now to feminine distraction. the grotesque hilarity of the burial of Eu- It was adopted from the custom at the clid, which braved the faculty ban for near- University of Cambridge of naming the ly half a century with all the zest of lawless Junior Optime, or last man in the honor adventure. The old print of its ceremonies list, the "Wooden Spoon," and although is thus described : “ Over all and above the distinction was first bestowed upon a all is seen the Presiding Genius of Mathe- third colloquy man at Yale, in later years matics, in despair at the sad fate of the great the desire of exalting the most popular man geometrician. He

in his class made sits on a throne SKULL BONES

it the absolute gift of hyperbolas and

of the undergradarching parabo

uates. The enlas, circumscribed

chanting music, by spherical fiends

the elaborate wit and segments of

of the programme, oblique - angled

the unequalled devils, while his

acting, and the great right hand

brilliant, fluttering is grasping the

audience still daztangents and cy

zle the mind's eye. cloidal curves

The men of humwhich compose

ble scholarship his mathematical

studied more Latthunderbolts.”

in for the purposes The freshman

of burlesque, paid Pow-wow, a sub

more attention to stitute for the an

original composinual football

tion and develgame, and the

oped more latent Thanksgiving Ju

talent than the bilee, which took

most sanguine of the place of the

their instructors more orderly ex

could have wished ercises on Thanks

for, so great was giving-eve in the

the incentive and staid old debating

so eagerly sought the honor. As one of the songs hadit:


societies, were the occa- Old Yale has many honors
sions for the display of

In reach of every son,

And scarce a son departs from her much dramatic ability, Without some honor won; wit, and eloquence; but their excessive While hundreds take these honors exuberance brought upon them the dis- 'Twixt every twelfth full moon, pleasure of the authorities, and led to But one a year, and only one

Can take the Wooden Spoon. their abandonment.

The memory quickens at the name of the When college life has passed away, “Wooden Spoon," and recalls a crowded

And battle-life's begun,

This Wooden Spoon will ever be theatre, the vivacity of eager maidens and

A type of college fun. their gallants, a brilliant exhibition of undergraduate wit and eloquence and all the But soon you'll choose your better-half, glamour of youth and unaccustomed festiv

You'll be a fraction soon,

And fractions of a fraction then ity. The presentation of the coveted em

May use this Wooden Spoon. blem under the charge of the Cochleaureati, as non-appointment men were called, The Junior Promenade with an accomwas the great entertainment of a year less paniment of concert, ball, senior and soph

n o W


[ocr errors]

omore German,

which the whole has become its SCROLL AND KEY :

unique system is successor and

based, the anbrings a burst of

cient Society of color, gayety and

the Skull and temporary free

Bone, dom from re


- Skull straint into the

and Bones." It round of college

was followed, in occupations.

1841, by Scroll For a short

and Key, and in period, a sort of


1883 by Wolf's dark ages in the


Head, each in fifties, Fate and

turn called into the Faculty saw

existence by the fit to institute a

increasing numsystem of intel

bers of the classlectual torture, a

es, or, as it was revival of the

less euphemistipeine forte et

cally put, “to dure, which laid

give community the crushing

and sweetness to weight of Ana

the eating of sour lytical Geometry, Differential and Integral grapes.” This was only in the birth of Calculus, the influence of the Greek accent each, however, for they are now more and Butler's ponderous " Analogy” upon nearly equal, although the prestige of age a helpless college. Biennial examinations and achievement remains with “ Bones," were imposed upon sophomores and sen- and this triumvirate sways the college iors, and covered the entire work of the world, raises to preferment or proscribes two preceding years ; an unearned tribute with absolute power. to the mental powers of boys of eighteen. These are societies of the senior class Into some minds the rills of learning never alone. The societies of the other classes ran; and even from the diligent much -for in obedience to the Yale class-feelmust have escaped, but in the eyes of the ing each year has its own—have been faculty they should have been reservoirs ephemeral in their life and without any brimming with learning to be drawn upon strong influence ; their secrecy has never at will. Succeeding generations know not been profound, and a union of their forces the nightmare of that time. Annuals and for a college celebration has not been unlater term examinations took their place, usual. They generally serve as steps to but their memory still haunts the corners the pinnacle of college success. of the campus in the refrain :

ble exception to this generalization should

be made in favor of the Junior Societies No more for us yon tuneful bell shall ring to A. K. E., Y. Y., and A. A. 0., which morning prayers,

have a history of fifty years, and though No more to long Biennials we'll mount yon attic without the attraction of exclusiveness,

stairs ; Examinations all are past; alumnuses you know, keep Yale in touch with fraternity life in We'll swell the praises loud and long of Alma other colleges. Mater, O.

Except for the curriculum itself no force

in the college is to be compared with the The inauguration of the society system senior societies. The bond among their which now exists at Yale was one of the members lasts through life, and so close is it most important steps in the evolution of that even the college world knows nothing the old simple college into a life of hum- of their proceedings, and can only conjectming organized activity. In the year 1832, ure their purposes. Their cardinal principle there came into being a society which is in the selection of members is the recogat the very core of Yale life and upon nition of character and achievement. The


A possi



various activities of a college career are all garnered wisdom. It may be inferred that recognized – literary ability, scholarship, the system has its defects—few institutions athletic energy, the liking of many friends are better than the men who compose them. are all avenues to the temple of fortune. A world of perfect retribution is an unrealThis is the highest honor which a Yale man ized ideal, and the mimic world of college can receive from his fellows, and because does not always weigh with perfect scales. it comes from them he sets it above scho- The genus “Swipe,” anglicè toady, is not lastic distinction or any titles which the unknown ; and individuality of thought is faculty can confer. All the things that may sometimes sacrificed to public opinion, crysbe desired are not

tallized by the socito be compared to

ety men and the soit, for it is itself a

ciety standards. crown of victory for

But what a sane, whatever task a

what an impartial, man may have un

what a tremendous dertaken.

public opinion it is! The society halls

The writer, the deare retired and

bater, the scholar, guard their own se

the athlete, each is crets. Curiosity

goaded to the full stops abruptly at the

measure of his abiliron doors. The

ities. Life is strenmembers do not

uous and eminently even breathe the

practical because name of any one of WOLF'S

success is tangible. the three societies,

The organization of and the little gold HEAD

effort, carried to its badge of member

highest developship never leaves

ment at New Hathe person. By so

ven in athletics, demuch the more is

bate, or the different their glamour in

phases of social life, creased in the eyes

which is the “ Yale of the unthinking,

spirit” upon its tanbut their real

gible and mechanistrength lies in the

cal side, is due in character of the

large measure to the men they choose

society influences and in the stand they take for the better which concentrate into channels of effithings in academic life.

ciency all the diffuse and vagrant energies The timorous freshman sees afar the of the college. The system is at once the shining mark, and his footsteps take a pur- child and supporter of that vigorous depose in their course.

The swashing soph- mocracy which endures because it recogomore, in the hurly-burly of midnight, casts nizes the achievements of worth, and yet a backward glance of prudence at upper- acknowledges no claims of birth or station. class dignity, conscious of the ordeal to The only public manifestation of the

Juniors are, of course, as men on effect of these senior societies upon coltrial for their lives, and walk accordingly lege life is at the annual choice of memwith guarded, and alas ! sometimes world- bers from the incoming Senior Class. For

Sir Senior himself, in the full weeks before the announcement the elecpanoply of success, with the consciousness tions have been taking place in the society of deeds well done, feels the responsibility retreats, and the results are disclosed in of great place and does his best to meet it. a manner at once mysterious and draHe has passed through the valley of trib- matic, which gives to the ceremony the ulation and over the hill of difficulty, and sombre tone of a Nemesis tragedy. now he sits serene in the enjoyment of his On a certain Thursday afternoon in the


ly eyes.


« AnkstesnisTęsti »