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incumbent's official career. Some men get up a grand jubilation every time they make a rush; and we have heard of two unfortunates who, by mutual agreement, had an ice-cream jubilee every time either of them failed in recitation. Between the two there was a celebration every night, but unfortunately, one of them soon fizzled himself out of College, and the other exhausted his funds before he did his flunking power.
In the Societies, as we before intimated, these eruptions are periodic. The close of every campaign brings one of them, under the name either of Jubilee or Supper. The middle of every term brings another. The annual award of prizes produces some unusually violent; and we have noticed that here the magnitude of the celebration is, inversely, as the number of prizes taken. Naturally, a hen with one chicken, clucks more than one with a brood.
In the Class these eruptions are fewer, but more violent. The first one of any extent that occurs is styled Pow Wow, and in the inception and carrying out of this, the disease appears in its worst form. The infatuated participant in this celebration begins by thinking that something must be done to unite the members of his Class, and break the force of Society feeling; then he is told that the people in the city are pleased with a Pow Wow, and knowing that he owes them some reparation for the grapes, pears, gates, and signs that he has stolen, he desires to make atonement in this way: he must sustain the reputation of his Class, and show a proper respect for a “time-honored” institu. tion: above all he must manifest his individual joy at stepping from a stage of greeenness to a stage of rowdyism; from the Freshman to the Sophomore Class, Under the influence of these inducements, he hides his face behind a mask, disguises his voice by talking through a horn, and goes in. He tries to imagine that there are some good speeches made, but he cannot hear them; nor can he hear the music, or anything else except Sophomores. He cannot see much on account of his mask, and the dirt with which some one has peppered his face; he starts to march, and loses a shoe in the mud; he tries to carry a torch, but it spills oil down his back, and finally disappears suddenly, stricken from his hand by a thunderbolt, or snatched from him by some other unseen power; he gets into a fight with a Classmate over a transparency which neither of them wants to carry, but one must; he looks up to discover the sensation which he is making in the city, but he sees no bouquets or handkerchiefs, no bright faces or gratified looks, nothing except stars, and those all seem to be in his eye, where a stone or a Roman Candle ball has hit him: he stops at all the Boarding Schools,
and serenades some darkened windows and closed doors; he marches two or three hours in mud and rain, and goes home to spend two hours more in washing off soot and oil. The next morning he takes his seat on tacks, which Sophomores have kindly left for him; he goes into a Freshman recitation room, and flunks a Freshman lesson, before a Freshman Tutor. But he imagines himself a Sophomore, fondly talks of the good time he has had, and uses his efforts to perpetuate the institution. It is evident that such a state of mind results from disease, and as such it must be treated. But we are not skilled in the uses of remedies; we leave to the Faculty the cure of this malady.
We have given in detail only one form of this evil; but there are others. If Pow Wow is Folly and Barbarism, Burial of Euclid is Heathenism and Blasphemy. There is no occasion for either of them. One is celebrating an imaginary transition, which really occurs a full month afterwards; the other is celebrating the change from a lesser to a greater evil, for Euclid is only the frying-pan; we jump from that into Conics and Analytics, that is, into the fire. There is another eruption called Biennial Jubilee, and that, at present, is Drunkenness. It is to be wished that this could be reformed and retained. The occasion that gives rise to it is such as to call out jubilant emotions, and to warrrant a celebration. It is a time of release from hard toil; it is the transition, with many, from the mere drudgery of study, to its enjoyment; the Slough of Despond has been passed, the Hill Difficulty has been surmounted; we have reached the top of the Delectable Mountains, and can look over into the fair land of Beulah. It is a time to be jolly, but no time to be tight. As it is now, while we consider the first two celebrations mentioned, foolish, we are forced to confess that they are all three bad. We lose our earnestness, and lower our moral tone, by these Class and individual sprees; and this is why the Jubilee fever does us permanent injury.
We should like to speak of a certain College humbug, called Junior Exhibition. But the Faculty insist upon this instititution, all the Boarding School girls dote upon it, and certain of the students have here a wished for opportunity of displaying their store clothes to the best advantage. We have not the face to go in opposition to the Faculty, when they are backed by all the squirts in College, and all the flirts in town.
As we close we hear of certain indications of a tumult in the Freshman Class. The Faculty have prohibited Pow Wow. They are ty. rants; the Class is abused; the honor of the Class must be sustained. There are only three courses of action from which to choose; yield to VOL. XVVIII.
their commands, but break all the Professors' windows, defy the Faculty, and have a Pow Wow, or pretend to obey, but get up something worse. Some may sympathize with the Class in their straits, and think them grievously wronged; we think they have fallen into the hands of good physicians, or if they suffer wrong, it is only a retribution for their ungenerous method of conducting operations. The Class attempted to force in those who wished to stay out, the Faculty keep out those who are anxious to go in. The sway of the powers that be, may be tyranny, but it is the tyranny of the few. The sway of the Class is much worse, for it is the tyranny of the many. We hope the Class will do nothing desperate. Discretion is sometimes the better part of valor. We may respect the pluck, but do not admire the judgment, of the boy who caught the small-pox, in order to spite his mother for keeping him in the house while he had the measles.
College Politics. If a full and fair statement of all that constitutes the interior life of an American college were laid before the general public, it would probably occasion some surprise, and several modifications in the popular conception of the student character. Among the facts especially new to most people, would be those in regard to what we call college politics. It might appear strange and unaccountable to them, that at Yale, for instance, a large part of the time and thoughts of the students should be devoted to determining who are to hold certain class and society offices, whose only advantage, for the most part, is a small amount of honor supposed to be rendered the successful candidates for one or two years by two or three hundred of their fellows. Yet probably no one will read this article, who is not perfectly aware, from his own observation and experience, that such is the case, and that the political intrigues of the outer world are here reproduced in miniature, with great spirit and accuracy. Probably, too, there are very few of us who have not seen and regretted the evils of such a state of things, and none the less if our own actions have contributed
at all to its existence. It is not then with the expectation of bringing forward any new ideas, that I write this article ; but because evils which we have recognized indefinitely and singly, may often be more fully realized when fairly looked in the face, and considered at one view.
It is the least of the mischiefs of this system, and yet no slight one, that the offices with which it concerns itself are filled by men who are chosen on a wrong principle, and therefore often by those who are unfit for them. As to some of these offices, it makes very little difference whether they are filled well or ill; but there are others in regard to which we all have an interest. If our literary societies, public celebrations and College magazine, deserve our support, it is certainly worth while that the men who are to conduct them should be those who will do it best. Evidently this can only be secured by making merit, of whatever kind is necessary, the test of all candidates. But as we conduct matters now, this qualification is entirely subordinate to that of connection with the society which has by skillful wirepulling obtained the lion's share of the spoils. Of course the effect is in many cases to place inferior men in positions requiring first-rate ability, and thus greatly injure the interests connected with these positions.
Another consequence is this, that these offices no longer answer a good purpose which they might, by acting as incentives to excellence in the different departments to which they belong. To take one class of them; if the so-called literary honors bestowed by the students were awarded impartially to those who gave evidence of the best abilities, a new motive would be given to the ambitious for seeking real improvement; a motive not of the highest kind to be sure, but still not to be disregarded in an institution where the agency of prizes is so much employed as here. Better surely that it should operate in this direction, than in favor of scheming and intriguing more appropriate to a New York lobby than a company of scholars and gentlemen.
A serious objection to all these machinations, even if they were in themselves harmless, is the amount of time and attention which they divert from worthier occupations. Hardly any one who has not seen it, can realize the number of hours in the twenty-four which one engaged in these pursuits will often devote to them. The time actually required for the real work connected with them is far from inconsiderable ; and when to this is added what is employed in endless speculations, calculations as to results, &c., the sum total is larger than most people would believe. If the trouble ended here it would be bad
enough, but frequently the players in the game become so absorbed in its petty issues that other pursuits lose all interest for them. Studies, general reading, exercise, all find themselves driven from the field by this powerful rival; or at best are forced to yield a great part of their just claims in its favor. Without this they have enough to contend against, in the various forms of social enjoyment and self-indulgence to which Yalensians are prone. But in behalf of some of these last, something may be said on the plea of the friendly relations which they foster; while this political business has no such excuse, and moreover stands arraigned under even more serious charges than that of stealing the time which rightly belongs to better things.
For a much greater evil than wrong selections for office, or waste of time, is found in the moral injury which in a greater or less degree results to almost every one who takes any considerable part in these intrigues. It is notorious everywhere, that a politician by trade almost invariably becomes selfish and unprincipled; and the tendency of onr lesser politics, as far as they go, is in precisely the same direction. From their very nature they must in some degree lead a man who makes them his business toward babitual selfishness. He either works directly for his own personal advancement, or for the advantage of his friends or society. In either case the advantages he seeks must be gained at the expense of others, and without regard to the question of merit. To pursue such a course as this, if only fair means are employed, is not of course a crime, but it is certainly repugnant to all right and honorable feeling. Not only this, but it is almost impossible that it should be carried far without resorting to means of at least doubtful, often not doubtful, morality. In a hard contest of this kind, the temptation to use unfair weapons is too great for most men to withstand. If all the deliberate misrepresentations, false statements, broken pledges, and various trickery, of some of our elections were disclosed, we should probably all be a good deal shocked; though we should doubtless justify and explain away much that would wear an ugly look to an unsophisticated conscience. For these politics are excellent training in a kind of casuistry by no means confined to their sphere. We learn that a man's simple promise means nothing, unless formally ratified by the shaking of hands; that all the members of a society can unite in doing a thing as a body of individuals, for which as a society they have not the slightest responsibility; that the votes of others have power to release a man from his individual promises; and various other lessons which would some