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of Euclid,' invariably go armed, and in every way prepared for an attack from the 'town; and the town,' being aware of this, has ceased to attack, as it used to do, the procession, respecting the 'armed peace,' much as the nations of Europe are now doing in the presence of their great armies and martial preparation. The town' latterly contented itself with gathering in knots and hooting the Euclid mourners, in hanging about their rear, and now and then 'shying' a missile at them from a safe distance.

At the end of the Sophomore, or second year, there occurred, until recently, a formidable bugbear, especially to the less studious of the undergraduates, known as the 'Biennial Examination.' This was a very rigid examination of the whole class on all the studies which they had pursued during the Freshman and Sophomore years-from the Iliad of Homer, and Algebra, which they began when they entered the University, to the Antigone and the abstruser mathematics which they had just finished. The class, on a certain day early in June, was wont to assemble in the large hall of the University, where the desks were arranged much as they were at the examination for entrance; and they assembled here every day for a fortnight, being provided each day with a printed paper containing questions on a special topic of each year: for example, one day the questions would be on Freshman mathematics;' on another, on 'Sophomore Greek;' and so on. The members of the faculty took every precaution to prevent the students from getting an inkling of the questions beforehand, and after they had assembled in the hall, from communicating the answers, the better scholars to their friends among the less 'crammed.' The papers were printed by the college printer with the greatest care and secresy, and conveyed to the professors each the night before it was to be used in the hall, or even on the very morning on which the students would assemble. Notwithstanding these precautions, however, the contents

of the papers occasionally got out somehow, and the students, throwing aside their text-books and ponderous dictionaries, would confine themselves to 'cramming' only on the questions which they had surreptitiously obtained and circulated among themselves. How they got out was a painful mystery to the learned authorities of the University. Many are the traditions at Yale of the stratagems employed to obtain possession of these precious documents. The students had on one occasion, it was said, collected a large fund, which was used in bribing the college printer: this not answering the following year, the printer's devil was resorted to, and proving frail, was induced for a round sum of dollars to abstract just one proof of each of the papers as they were printed. Then elaborate schemes were narrated, devised by the students for filching the papers, burglary being now organized, and put into operation by these amateurs in earnest on the printer's domain in the dead of night; and sometimes, it was said, a copy of the papers was procured while they were en route to the professorial study. It was related that once a student, happening to call at a professor's room on some college errand, espied, peeping out from one of the drawers of his desk, some suspicious-looking manuscripts, with the cabalistic symbols of algebra and geometry; and that that night some amateur student housebreakers penetrated the studious quiet of the apartment, skilfully unlocked the drawer, hastily copied the papers, replaced them, left everything as before, and circulated copies of the copy throughout the class; and that it turned out, on Examination-day, that their guess had been correct, and that they had secured the genuine document. But such stratagems were not always attended with so satisfactory a result. Once, when a plan had been organized to bribe the printer, some traitor had given an inkling of it to the faculty. One of the shrewder members of the learned body proposed that it should not be interfered with; that the

bribery should be allowed to proceed, and that the students should be left unmolested with the papers they succeeded in obtaining. The corrupters of the worthy printer prevailed in inducing him, for a handsome sum, to concede what they desired. They received the papers, joyfully hastened to their rooms, communicated the printed questions to the rest of the class, and, abandoning the general 'cram,' devoted themselves exclusively to learning the answers to those questions which they had before them. On the morning of the examination they appeared at the hall with confident countenances, and in manifest high spirits. They took their seats and waited with commendable patience and ease of mind for the papers to be distributed; they did not note the peculiarly sly twinkle of the eye of one of their instructors, nor the peculiar efforts made by the younger tutors to preserve a particularly solemn expression of features. The papers came around; the confident undergraduates cast their eyes over them: what was their dismay to behold a wholly strange series of questions, not one being identical with those they had so carefully posted themselves on! The shrewd professor had quietly got up a new set of papers, and had had them printed in a neighbouring town. Despite the precautions of the tutors, the students were wont to invent means of communication with each other in the hall itself; and many a poor undergraduate, whose mind, in regard to the questions before him, was a perfect blank, has escaped the disgrace of being transferred to a lower class by certain signals and signs agreed to beforehand with some good scholar. This anxious and hard-working fortnight over, the class were accustomed to celebrate their deliverance from that very substantial bugbear, 'Biennial Examination;' so they had what they called a 'Biennial Jubilee,' which was a sort of picnic-in which, however, there were no ladies-participated in by the lucky fellows who had passed the ordeal. A committee of arrangements was appointed; the class

poets and musical men were set to work to compose appropriate songs and tunes for the occasion-for college songs are a very prominent feature in American universities, and especially at Yale-and a special railway train was engaged to convey the class to the scene of their rejoicings. The place usually chosen for the Biennial Jubilee' was a very charming spot on the shores of New Haven Bay, which extends inward from Long Island Sound, a spot where the beach is broad, curving, and sandy, and where there are picturesquely-jutting rocks and cliffs, and pretty copses of wood on little eminences along the shore. On the day of the close of the examination, the class, under the leadership of popularly, chosen marshals, formed in procession on the college lawn, and, singing a very suggestive, but somewhat nonsensical refrain, appropriate to the occasion, to the tune of the Old Hundredth,'

Biennials are a bore-or-ore!"

they marched through the streets to the railway station, where the train awaited them. A jollier set than they were when, in sole possession of the train, they whirled out of the pretty town towards the seashore, would hardly be found anywhere. Singing and shouting and dancing and smoking and chatting and joking-doffing hats and waving handkerchiefs to all the maidens who appeared at windows or in the villages along the route, the time passed quickly enough on the brief transit. Arrived at the scene of festivities, the first thing to do was to wash off in the briny deep all the remains of ignominious freshmanhood and the empty vanities of sophomority. The whole class, then, stripping on the beach, plunged in simultaneously, and among the sturdy hundred or so there were many notable swimming races and aquatic feats-and so time passed until the banquet was announced. Their toilet completed, the class adjourned in a body to a large hall attached to the hotel near by, and there found a substantial and groaning board laid out for their delecta

tion. The feast was wont to be a long, and a merry, and a memorable one. After the viands had been discussed, and a goodly quantity of champagne and claret-not to speak of old Bourbon whiskey, sherry coblers, Tom and Jerrys, eggnogs, mint juleps, brandy cocktails, and other peculiarly American beverages-had been drunk, the toasts of the day were proposed, and the wits made speeches, and there was a general hubbub and confusion, ending in one of those scenes of noisy, indescribable jollity which is apt to be the finale of such occasions. If there is any one who can enjoy such better than another, it is the university student; and what harm if, on such a memorable day as this of 'Biennial Jubilee,' he does indulge a trifle more than usual, and become merrier than is exactly proper? After leaving the table, the class separated into groups and wandered whither they would: some on a yacht-sail in the bay, others to fish, others to lie beneath the widespreading beech-tree,' and laugh, talk, or sing-their long college pipes in their mouths, and easy satisfaction beaming in their faces. But all this has now passed away with the abolition of' Biennial Examinations,' for which yearly examination has been substituted; so that, since our college days, 'Biennial' and its Jubilee have become tradition, waxing daily dimmer, and hence appearing to every new incoming class more romantic than to its predecessor.

Among the most famous of Yale customs, still kept up with all its ancient prestige, is a performance called the Wooden Spoon Exhibition.' It probably took its rise as a sort of a burlesque of what is called 'Junior Exhibition,' which is one of the established institutions of the university course. Junior Exhibition takes place some time in the early spring, and consists of orations and dissertations from those members of the Junior, or third-year class, who have maintained the highest scholastic rank during their college career. The exercises take place in one of the larger churches of the town, and are presided over

by the President of the University, and are listened to by the élite of New Haven society. Wooden Spoon Exhibition' was probably designed to compensate the students whose scholarship was not sufficiently high to entitle them to a junior appointment' (that is, opportunity to speak at Junior Exhibition), and to give the less as well as the more erudite an opportunity to make a spread' in public. And so often does it occur that the best Latin, Greek, or mathematical scholars in a class are neither the best writers, the best declaimers, the best actors, nor the best wits, that it not seldom occurs that Wooden Spoon Exhibition' illustrates the talent in a class better than its more sober prototype. The nominal object of the Wooden

Spoon Exhibition' is to present a testimonial of esteem to the 'best fellow,' the favourite of the class; and this testimonial takes the shape of an enormous spoon, carved from expensive wood, elaborately mounted in silver, and bearing a silver plate with the recipient's name, and an appropriate inscription from his classmates. The giving of a wooden spoon probably originated in the days when the students lived in commons in the precincts of the University itself (a custom long since abandoned by the larger American universities); and it is said that it was formerly given to him who, by a deliberate voto of the class, should be designated as its greatest glutton. From this custom --which was not calculated to always pass off in the most amicable manner, and had in it a spice of illnature which is really foreign to the aggregate student nature-tradition tells us that it became the rule to give the wooden spoon to the ugliest man in the class; but in our own day a change vastly for the better had taken place, by which the most popular classmate was chosen for this formerly doubtful, but now substantial honour. The Wooden Spoon Exhibition' takes place not long after the Junior Exhibition, in the largest public hall in the town, and is planned with the greatest elaboration and care. A committee of nine to make the necessary

arrangements is chosen by the class; these are yclept the 'Cochlaureati,' a name suggestive, and itself regarded by the students as a highly honourable and enviable title. The Cochlaureati' assume as their badge a small gold or silver spoon, which they wear proudly upon their waistcoats from the time of their election until their labours end with the exhibition. These choose from among their own number, by election, him who shall be the 'Wooden Spoon-man,'-who is to receive the testimonial from them in the name of the class; but his election is kept profoundly secret even from the class itself, until the moment comes to make the public presentation on the evening of the exhibition. Thus curiosity is aroused to its highest pitch, and bets and speculations as to who is the lucky man become the order of the day henceforth, until the mystery is cleared up. Each member of the class is supplied with a certain number of tickets, giving admittance to seats in the hall; and the emulation to procure these, especially among the fair damsels of the town-who, like damsels everywhere, are intensely interested in everything the students do-is very exciting as the time approaches. The expenses of the exhibition are defrayed by a voluntary subscription taken in the class. At last the long-expected night arrives, the 'Cochlaureati' are bustling about, excited and anxious; the undergraduates crowd early in front of the edifice in which the performances are to take place; a famous brass band from New York has arrived, and has been stationed in the high gallery; the privileged fair ones of New Haven have begun to flock hither, and are pouring in at the door through the file of policemen, arrayed like Solomon in all his glory. There is some delay in the rising of the curtain, notwithstanding the time for that event has gone by; for Messieurs the Cochlaureati ' are but amateur managers, and are not quite ready. Finally, however, up goes the curtain, rolling majestically toward the top. Programmes, adorned by a heraldic shield with the bearings and crest of the

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Wooden Spoon, have been freely distributed: and the first performance is an 'Opening joke,' or in college dialect, the Opening Load.' Perhaps the programme tells us that the Opening Load' is to be a 'Torchlight procession;' which, when it is performed, turns out to be simply a procession of all the red-headed fellows of the class; or it may be that the 'Opening Load consists of the bringing on to the stage by some of the Cochs' a huge chest, which being opened, ont pops the chosen but hitherto unknown Wooden Spoon-man. The rest of the performances are much such as we might expect from college boys. There is the university glee-club, who come out and stand in a semicircle, in the most faultless of black dress-suits, and who entertain us with 'Lauriger Horatius,' 'Gaudeamus,' Integer vitæ,' 'The Song of the Spoon,' and many pretty melodies and verses imagined by gifted classmates for the occasion. In imitation of the Junior Exhibition,' one of the performers comes out, and indulges in what is called the Latin Salutatory; consisting of a speech in which English and Latin are inextricably and ludicrously mingled English words with Latin terminations, &c., and in which the Juniors and the ladies are extravagantly flattered, and the Freshmen unmercifully ridiculed. Then come humorous farces and dialogues, all illustrative of college life, and always acted with real mimic talent and great spirit. The principal joke of these scenes consists in making caricatures of the professors, especially of those who have some peculiarity by which they are known throughout the University. actors dress as nearly like the reverend instructors whom they are taking off as they can, imitate their movements, tone of voice, and manner of talking, often with ludicrous fidelity. Very likely there are some of the university officers in the vast audience; but the exhibition is permitted as on the whole harmless, and a substitute perhaps for pranks which would be far from harmless. The most serious part of 'Wooden Spoon Exhibition' is the

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ceremony from which it derives its name the presentation of the wooden spoon to the elected recipient. The 'Cochlaureati' are discovered sitting around the stage in a semicircle, and on a table in the centre lays the famous wooden spoon, some two feet or so long, and very elegantly made and ornamented. The Conquering Hero comes' having been discoursed by the famous brass band in the gallery, one of the Cochlaureati ' rises, takes the spoon, and turns to the fortunate classmate who, by his social qualities, has won it: and he, rising, for the first time betrays himself as the Wooden Spoon-man to his classmates and the rest of the university world. Then follow the address of the presenting Coch,' and the response of the Wooden Spoon-man; and after this, a song from the glee-club gives a finale to the performances, and the signal to the ladies to gather their shawls and opera cloaks about them and prepare to retire. It is remarkable that, as a general rule, the wittiest writers and best speakers of a class are scarcely ever the most forward scholars in the university curriculum: hence it is that while 'Junior Exhibition,' wherein the best scholars only are participants, is a somewhat dry and monotonous performance, the Wooden Spoon Exhibition,' conducted by the more clever of the poorest scholars, is full of interest and sparkling fun, admirable acting and mimicry, fertility of invention, gracefulness in speaking and composition, and inherits that life and zest which students always infuse into anything from which jollity, a good time, and a reputation for cleverness may be extracted.

To describe all the interesting enstoms of our American Alma Mater' would exhaust a good-sized volume; we can only select here and there one, such as will throw light upon the character and habits of American students, and their manner of life in those palmy days when one has a foretaste and inkling .of the world's excitements, and a measure of manhood's independence, without the cares or penalties

VOL. XV.-NO. LXXXVIII.

of either. We will therefore omit, regretfully, many of the minor phases of Yale student life, and come to that day to which all look joyfully forward, and yet, when it comes, mourn its advent-the day known among the Yale boys as 'Presentation Day.' This day is the last on which the Senior, or outgoing class, attends university exercises: with it virtually ceases their connection with 'Alma Mater.' They have passed all their examinations, and have won the right to a bachelor's degree. There is for them no more plodding over tomes, no more brain-puzzling in the higher mathematics or metaphysics; no more attending on lectures and chapel. This day occurs about the middle of June; a month later comes what is called 'Commencement Day,' which corresponds to Commemoration' at Oxford. The interval between 'Presentation' and ' d' Commencement '-that is, between the virtual and the formal cessation of the connection of the outgoing class with the University-is employed by those of the Seniors who have orations to deliver on the latter occasion, in 'getting up' their addresses. The rest of the class do nothing but loaf about,' relieved of all care, with nothing to do but enjoy themselves as best they may. But to return to 'Presentation Day,' the first of the two occasions referred to, when the Seniors virtually but not formally take leave of their college life. It is so called from the fact that on this day the Senior class is presented to the President of the University as having passed all the examinations, and as entitled to receive the baccalaureate degree; and it is made the occasion of a ceremonious leavetaking and parting of the outgoing class from all the friends and associations of a happy four years' student life. The morning is reserved for the university exercises in chapel and the afternoon to the more enjoyable social pastimes of the class on the college lawn. At ten o'clock the president and officers of the university, and the undergraduates and spectators, assemble at the chapel. The president is in his high desk, simply attired in a black

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