THE high wind, which blew dense clouds of dust over the Yard, and kept many ladies from the promenade, together with the intense heat, made last Class-Day, as far as the weather was concerned, rather less enjoyable than some of its predecessors. Nevertheless, ladies and gentlemen thronged to the Chapel at 11 A. M. in sufficient numbers to show that that building, even with its improved accommodations, will not be large enough for future public college exercises. A noticeable feature at the Chapel was the substitution of stalwart Junior ushers for the armed policemen who used to guard the entrance to the parish church on Class-Day mornings. The most belligerent Freshman could find no excuse for a rush, and everything was quiet and orderly.
After a prayer by Dr. Peabody, the oration was given by Mr. Simmons. It was listened to with evident attention and interest by the audience, which attention and interest the effort certainly deserved. The choice of poet and of odist by the graduating class was not less judicious than that of orator, for both Mr. Grant's poem and Mr. Jackson's ode were fully up to the Class-Day standard. The exercises at the Church were interspersed with musical selections by the Germania Band, which, though undoubtedly fine, were too long for the occasion. It was not a concert, and it is hard to ask a crowd of young people to sit in the poorly ventilated Chapel for two hours on a hot Class-Day. We hope to see some change in this respect next June, and in some other respects, too; for it is evident that the interest in Class-Day is slowly dying out, and that either something must be done to renew it or we shall soon see the annual festival collapse altogether.
After the Chapel, spreads, dancing, and music on the Green. The number of promenaders was at no time in the afternoon very great, for our poor elms had become prey for the worms many weeks before, and could no longer offer the cool shade they fain would have given the fair strollers beneath. The scene in Lyceum and Massachusetts Halls and in the dormitories was, however, as gay and as bright and as enjoyable as ever. The dancing, the ices, and the flirtation went on till half past five, and then came the grotesque march around the Yard, the hearty cheers for the buildings, the Ivy oration (which we can't describe, because no undergraduate ever heard it, but which was probably very "neat and appropriate"), and then the Class of '73 entered, for the last time, the ring back of Hollis, with all the seeming mirth which usually conceals deeper emotions on these occasions, amid the cheers of their fellow-students, and in the presence of many fairer spectators. The scene around the tree has been often described, and needs no further comment. And, after all, it is something, we suppose, which cannot be described and cannot be seen, but which must be done.
The little dispute between the two lower classes about the right of way around the tree rose to a height unbecoming the occasion and the assembly, and should have been checked rather than encouraged by the Juniors who were present.
In the evening the whole Yard was beautifully illuminated with lanterns, and was crowded with listeners to the singing of the Glee Club and the fine music of the Germania Band. By half past ten all good-byes were said, all the ladies had departed (after a delightful day, we sincerely hope), and the old Yard assumed its customary midnight stillness, rather ashamed, perhaps, of the sorry appearance it had made on this, its gala-day, and hoping that those sparrows would come before next year.