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A faint grey tinge now became visible in the eastern sky, and the moon sensibly paled her light. The advance of the dawn, as every one must have noticed who has had leisure to sit and watch its approach, is exceedingly rapid, while it appears to be quite the reverse. The change is so gradual that one does not notice how objects, hitherto invisible, come into relief. The bushes on the other side of the stream grew out of the darkness, and the black branches above us were beginning to be defined against the clear sky. Fortunately the wind still kept up, and I was momentarily expecting to hear the report of the Bailie's gun, to him having been accorded the best position.
It was certainly a quarter of an hour before any new flock of birds came near us this time a compact skein of duck, about fifteen or twenty in number. They flew right over the bushes in which the Bailie was hid; I heard both his barrels; but, of course, could not distinguish at that distance whether anything fell. The birds redoubled their flight, two or three going off in one direction, two or three in another, all making the loudest noise possible. One came directly over me, and fell; another flew behind the trees on the other side of the river, and him I missed. Penley did not get a shot.
We were again lapped in silence; but we could hear that the generaĺ flight of the wild-fowl was taking place. We could distinguish the cries of the mallard and the croaking of the teal in large numbers. We lay as silent as a fox; but the repeated firing of the guns had apparently taught them to suspect the locality, and, although we occasionally heard the passing whirr of a string of birds, they kept carefully beyond reach.
The grey was now telling upon the sky, and a comparative twilight reigned in the hollow which secreted us. I could now make out the red bill of a moor-hen, which, having been frightened by my approach, had paddled into the nearest refuge, and now sat quietly in the water, at the root of a willow on the other side
of the stream, her head only being visible. I am almost certain she could see me, and concluded she was too afraid to leave her present hiding-place for a more sheltered
I was watching the occasional twitching of the red beak when another rushing of wings in the neighbourhood caught my atte tion. A dark cloud of birds now swept overhead-I fired right and leftthey broke in wild confusion, and at least half a dozen went over Penley. By that time, however, they had risen high into the air, and only one fell to his two shots.
After this the cries of the wildfowl died down; it was now broad daylight, and it had become evident that no more business was to be done that morning. Before leaving Peter and the dogs, however, to recover the birds we had shot, I called the Bailie, and pointed out to him the moor-hen which still sat in the water. I am ashamed to say that he lifted his gun, and would have murdered the bird then and there, had he not been interrupted. I prevailed on him to allow Walnut to cross, and this the dog speedily did. The moor-hen remained until the dog had almost touched her, then she swam quickly out and disappeared into another hole. Here she refused to be dislodged; and the end of it was that the dog dragged her out in his mouth, punishing her severely in the process.
When he had swum back I took the moor-hen from him, and found her quite lively.
'Now,' I said to the Bailie, 'look out!'
I threw the bird up into the air; the Bailie did not fire; she dropped on the water, and dived. Of course she was seen no more; but two seconds after she had dived the Bailie fired at the place where she had disappeared. Peter made an insolent grimace behind the worthy Bailie's back; and at the same moment-whether startled out of her retreat by the report, or whether put up by Walnut, I cannot sayanother moor-hen rushed out and flew straight up the stream. As she again descended on the water, leav
ing a long line of light in her wake, the Bailie fired his second barrel, the unhappy moor-hen jumped a foot into the air, fell into the river, and then came slowly floating down stream, her pale green legs uppermost.
The Bailie marched home in the proudest way, and carried his gun in a quite masterly manner. I foresaw that we should be treated to a
few sporting reminiscences after dinner that evening, graced with such efforts of the imagination as should appear to the Bailie to be most suitable. In the meantime, however, we went straight to bed on reaching Marshlands House, for we had to be present at some coursing which was to take place in the neighbourhood towards mid-day.
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY CUSTOMS.
UR Freshman at Yale finds his
first year one of trials and manifold ignominies, and longs to reach the promised land of Sophomoredom: when he can in turn look down upon somebody, and feel himself to be one of the 'upper classes,' and become a judge and an inquisitor in the same awful tribunals where he had been wont to be the culprit and the victim. At last the blessed time draws near. He has been an object of jesting and scoffing and a thousand petty annoyances at the hands of his seniors; he has writhed time and again under the crushing sense of inferiority inspired by the expres sive sneer only a Freshman;' he is a lover of the fair sex, and has been time and again annihilated by the contemptuous smile and unmitigated snubbing which said fair . sex is fain to bestow on the college serfs called Freshmen, and has been driven frantic to see that all the feminine sweetness of the University society is reserved for pompous Sophomores and 'grave and reverend' Seniors. He has struggled on with a keen sense of having been 'under a cloud;' and now that Freshman year is about ending, he looks forward with joy to the lifting of that cloud and the inbeaming of sunlight once more. From the modest Freshmanic chrysalis, homely and humble as the chrysalis worm, he is about to bloom forth in all the gorgeousness of the Sophomoric
butterfly, as gaudy and pretentious as his insect counterpart. No one who has not personally experienced the feeling can imagine this exultation of the Freshman who is about to become a Sophomore. He feels that his evil days are over, and that henceforth University life is to be a long gala of joys and triumphs. He will have a whole class below him, who are going to look up to him, respect him, and stand in awe of him, as he has done the Sophomores of his own lugubrious Freshmanhood.
At Yale, the undergraduates are accustomed to celebrate everything, from the day on which the last proposition in the last book of Euclid is finished to that on which the old familiar halls are occupied for the last time, and after which there will be no more delightful lounging with boon companions under the stately elms which stand in shady majesty along the lawn. But I doubt whether there is ever a prouder day to the undergraduate than that on which he celebrates his accession to the rank of a Sophomore, and leaves the Freshman days behind, a troublous memory and an uneasy dream. Many of the Yale celebrations are wanting in that thorough heartiness and zest which enters into this. Here, indeed, there is something to celebrate; it is like the slave celebrating the day of his freedom; like the prisoner who rejoices to stand
erect and equal among men once more. On a certain day in the month of June, which will be more particularly spoken of hereafter, the Senior class gives up the benches which it has occupied in the University chapel, the Junior class succeeds to them, the Sophomores assume the seats of the outgoing Juniors, the happy Freshmen march proudly and ostentatiously into the places which their enemies, the Sophomores, have just vacated, and take to themselves the name of Sophomore, and consider themselves now formally installed into that rank and dignity. The Freshman seats are thus left vacant, awaiting the next crop of verdancies to come. It is customary on this occasion, however, for the embryo Sophs to mark their appreciation of their newly-gotten honour, in a somewhat more demonstrative manner than the mere assumption of the appropriate seats in chapel would imply. The class assembles, adorned in a caricature imitation of what are supposed to be outward tokens and symbols of manly dignity; in short, they appear in ludicrously tall hats, and are supplied with ludicrously high and stiff paper collars.
attired, they march in procession to chapel. At the door of the chapel they are usually confronted by several tutors, who devote themselves zealously to the task of preventing all who wear these obnoxious adornments from entering, and in forcibly depriving the wearers of their undevout ornaments. Confusion ensues, and perhaps half a dozen of the most obstinate students are marked for punishment; some manage to elude the tutors, and appear in the chapel aisle, to the amusement of the upper-class men and wrath of the faculty, in all their presumptuous tall-hatted and high-collared effrontery. But this is only the prologue to the jubilee in honour of the attainment of Sophomorical rank. The evening of the day upon which the scene at chapel occurs is devoted to a grand orgie, which is significantly yelept the Freshman PowWow.' A pow-wow' it usually
is, of the most striking character. Torches, masquerade dresses, and 'hifalutin' speeches are the order of the night. The class, attired in every imaginable disguise and monstrosity of dress, assemble on the broad-pillared portico of the State House, which stands in a large open space, so that the whole scene may be witnessed from the college buildings. Here they dance, sing, and shout, listen to elaborately-prepared harangues, teeming with highly-classical jokes mingled with barbarous college puns, and indulge in songs written for the occasion by the poets and rhymers of the class. Then they march about the town in torchlight procession; making night hideous, incurring the wrath of the matrons of young ladies' boarding-schools by serenading the damsels under their windows, and doubtless calling down upon them the unheard maledictions of the order-loving people of the staid Connecticut town. This custom, as well as many others, is rather suffered than approved by the college authorities, whose attempts, however, to abolish it have hitherto proved vain. The morning after Powwow' is apt to discover the benches of the new-fledged Sophomores sparsely occupied; for the excitement and the late hours of the preceding evening tempt to late slumbers and a stoical indifference to the stern appeals of the chapel bell. Early in Sophomore year there occurs another celebration, far more elaborate, imposing, and wild than the 'Pow-wow.' Euclid has long been a terror and a bore to our undergraduate. He has drudged slowly and painfully through Playfair's edition of the great geometrician during Freshman year, and finds himself, with great relief, at the last page, during his first Sophomore term. This happy time arrived, it behoves him to celebrate it with all proper pomp, and at the same time to visit his tormentor with that ignominy which he deserves. And so, on a certain October afternoon, a rumour runs through the University that on that night the Burial of Euclid' will take place. The arrange
ments for this ceremony, which are made by a committee chosen from the Sophomore class (this class paying the expenses and conducting the whole affair), are perfected with the most careful secresy: no one, except the members of the committee, knows when or where it is to occur until within a few hours of the appointed time. The undergraduates meet as usual in chapel for the afternoon service; and while that is going on, small slips of paper are slyly passed from hand to hand containing the information that the Burial of Euclid' will take place at such an hour and such a place; and on the same piece of paper, the password which is to be the Open Sesame' to the hall of the ceremony is communicated. All the undergraduates are admitted; but while the other classes go merely as lookers-on, the Sophomores are participants in the orgie; and the usual custom of disguises and grotesque paraphernalia comes again into practice. The dresses of the participating class vary according to the wealth and imaginativeness of each of its members; and while some are content with plain black dominoes and pasteboard masks, others become the cynosures of all eyes in the gorgeous robes of kings, the armour of medieval knights, the tunics and plumes of gallant cavaliers, and the mitres of archbishops; and yet others imitate skeletons, monks, magicians, and other romantic or mysterious characters of history, tradition, and superstition. There is, in an obscure street in New Haven, a musty, gloomy-looking edifice, used indifferently by itinerant theatrical companies, popular lecturers, and political meetings, which bears the dignified name of the Temple.' This used to be in our college days -and may be still-the favourite scene of the Burial of Euclid.' The hall in which the ceremony took place was narrow and dingy enough, and quite appropriate to the performance. It was approached by a steep winding flight of stairs, and it was on the stairs that the guard was kept, and the passport had to be given before any one was
allowed to enter. Armed with the word which was to be your talisman, and arrived at the door of the Temple, you found confronting you at the portal two tall muffled and masked figures, who crossed swords athwart the entrance. As you entered, you had to give the password to these in a whisper, and all the way up the stairs were similar figures, with cross swords, so that the password was demanded of you a dozen times before you found yourself in the hall itself. These passwords are usually classical quotations, and to any but a Latin and Greek scholar difficult, if not impossible, to pronounce properly; this is to prevent the town' from intruding. One was the first line of the 'Eneid,' which must not only be said but scanned:
'Arma virumque cano, qui primus Trojis ab oris;'
and it probably very effectually barred the entrance of the 'unlettered;' another was the first line of the 'Iliad,' a still harder task for / the commune vulgus.
On the somewhat diminutive stage with which the Temple was supplied, you saw the various performers, in their various unique costumes; while in the centre stood a bier, upon which rested a coffin; and in the coffin was discernible a venerable face (of wax), with long snow-white hair and beard, eyes closed, and wrinkled features in calm repose. Remembering the occasion, you had no difficulty in guessing this to be the counterfeit presentment of the once terrible Euclid himself. Programmes, adorned with appropriate devices of a funereal nature-death's-heads and crossbones, funeral pyres and torches-were passed around; there were puns in the announcements -some good, mostly bad-such, for instance, as, 'Fisher's hornpipe, Try-angle accompaniment ;' or, 'Hebrew melody-on a Jew'sharp.' Then the performance commenced. Some college songs were sung, among which was, of course, the inevitable 'Gaudeamus;' then followed grandiloquent speeches, humorous dialogues, practical
jokes, and mock-solemn poems; finally came the funeral oration over the venerable dead, by the Ichief wit of the class, in which as many jokes on triangles and parallelograms, squares and pentagons, were crowded as the genius of the funereal orator could invent; nor did he forget to introduce a full proportion of sarcastic reflections on the University professors and their peculiarities, this being indispensable to exhibitions of this sort. Toward midnight, the ceremony at the Temple being finished, the marshals proceeded to form the class into a torchlight procession; and they proceeded noisily through the streets, the coffin being borne with great pomp at their head.
The effect of such a procession passing through the quiet streets at the dead of night may be imagined. The flaring and flickering torches; the grotesque, imposing, and ghastly dresses; the coffin with its black cloth carried on before; the shouting, singing, and confusion,-form a spectacle not a little curious, and even weird. The good citizens, awakened from their sleep, are fain to lean out of the windows and watch 'the college boys' as they pass: the young ladies' schools, particularly, are wont to be agitated, the procession cheering the 'girls' as they pass under the windows; and here and there a white handkerchief flutters through the blinds as a signal of maidenly sympathy and appreciation. The procession winds on its way beyond the town, out along a country road, where the effect is, if anything, stranger than ever. At last they arrive on a wooded knoll, some two miles from the University: they enter the copse, and reach an open space, encircled with the trees yellowing and reddening in their autumn leaf-shedding. The natural amphitheatre is lit up bright and fitful by the hundred smoky torches; the disguised figures pass to and fro, and look, perhaps, much as the savages did whom Robinson Crusoe saw making night hideous on his lonely island. The coffin is, with much ceremonious care, placed upon a funeral pile which has been prepared in the centre of
the space; the students group around it in a thick and grotesque circle; and here follow certain other performances, not dissimilar to those in the Temple. The master of the ceremonies, dressed in priestly garb, holds a book in his hand; a red-hot iron is handed to him; he proceeds with this to pierce a hole quite through the volume. Then he raises the book aloft, so that all the class may for once see through Euclid, from first proposition to last. This witticism performed, a second funeral oration follows; and finally is sung a solemn and lugubrious dirge over the remains of the departed tormentor. The last act in this quaint drama has now come; the torches are set to the tar-barrels upon which the coffin rests; and amid the hooting and capering of the students, the flames ascend high and wild, the coffin cracks and crackles and bursts, the waxen face melts, and the liquid sputters and frizzles in the fire; and the maskers depart, leaving the blackened remains of the ceremony behind them. This custom of burying Euclid-it is more properly, however, burning him-has long existed at Yale University, and has from time to time received many modifications. Once or twice it has been attempted by student reformers to abolish it; for the license of speech and of some of the scenes have tended to make it a scandal to the University; but college customs hold their ground obstinately, and, while these movements have doubtless improved, in some respects, the character of the performance, they have been ineffectual to abolish it altogether. Sometimes the 'Burial of Euclid' has been taken advantage of to bring about one of those 'town and gown'fights which are hardly less frequent at American than at English universities. There has long been a bitter feud between the Yale students and the 'town,' which has more than once become so 'serious as to cause a riot, and which, on one occasion during the college career of the writer, resulted in the shooting dead of a townsman by one of the students. The students, on the night of the 'Burial