ACROSS THE WIDE OCEAN.
Extracts from the Diary of an Undergraduate.
I ask what steamer it is, and they reply the "Rusher." Name strikes me favorably. I ask if she is named "Rusher" on account of her speed. The clerk smiles, but makes no reply. I take the best berth that is left. Jenkins, who has been abroad some twenty times or more, tells me it is the poorest berth on the ship; he also charges me to be very particular about what I wear when on board. I immediately order a new diagonal suit of clothes and purchase a fine silk hat.
Go over to Jersey City, and after much difficulty find the Cunard wharf. (Observe that the steamer's name is spelt "Russia.") Leave my baggage to be taken care of by an expressman; as we leave the dock I see him driving leisurely down on the wharf with my three trunks in his wagon. Pretend that it is of no consequence, and say nothing about it.
Great many young ladies aboard. In my new suit and tall hat fancy I shall make quite an impression. While I am thinking about my lost baggage, a man in brass buttons rushes up on deck and exclaims loudly, "Port, two pints." Have heard there is much drinking on board ship. Wonder if this is the way to order liquor. Watch the man carefully, but do not see any one bring him anything, although several men replied, "Ay, ay, sir." He does not seem disappointed, but walks off humming the "Blue Danube."
In the course of an hour or so we come to Staten Hook or Sandy Island, I forget which. A very pretty yacht comes alongside, and a man from our steamer (whom I have noticed talking with the captain on the bridge several times) gets on board of her. Probably one of the Cunard Company who amuses himself by taking short trips on the different boats. I ask an elderly gentleman if this is so. He looks fixedly at me and replies, "Do you mean the pilot?" I do not understand what he is talking about, and walk away. He is probably very deaf and thought I said something else. The captain comes down from the bridge. Wishing to display my knowledge of English railroads, I ask him if we shall reach Liverpool in time to catch the three o'clock train for London.* He looks at his watch critically, and replies, "I am afraid we shall miss it by just twelve minutes." He smiles for some reason or other, and I see him afterwards whispering to the man who ordered the quart of port. Suddenly a bell rings, and somebody says, "Dinner." I rush down stairs and get a seat at the table before any one else. There does not seem to be anything to eat. I ask one of the waiters why the bell rang when dinner was not ready. He smiles insolently and replies, "That was the first bell, sir; dinner-bell will ring in half an hour." I go up on deck again, and reflect upon the stupidity of the lower classes, especially waiters. The bona-fite dinner-bell rings at four. Splendid dinner. I eat two plates of soup, three pieces of roast-beef, two of mutton, three or four pieces of pudding, a couple of oranges, besides, of course, nuts and raisins. Am disgusted with a man opposite me who helps himself twice to everything. He leans over to me and says, "I wish I could eat as much as you do; my appetite is never good on board ship." I take no notice of him, and make no reply. He does n't seem to mind it much. Such people never know when they are rebuked.
After dinner I sit down by a mast and study Herbert Spencer on Style. (N. B. I was conditioned in Rhetoric.) Presently a very common-looking man shouts out, "Stand by to hoist that Spencer." Thinking he refers to my book, I secrete it in my coat-pocket. Several sailors pull at a rope and a sail goes up. The men utter such discordant cries during the process that I go to the captain and complain. He tells me to telegraph to New York and have them dismissed. I ask him in what part of the ship the telegraph-office is. He stares at me, and says, "Just abaft the donkey engine," and goes away laughing. Wonder what he is laughing at. I see a good many different things that look like engines, but none with a donkey. Think the captain might have been more explicit. The vessel begins to go up and down a little. Do not want any tea, but go down and eat heartily. The cake was very good. After tea I gradually lose my interest in everything. Am not a bit seasick. Wish the boat would not pitch so. There is no need of it Go to bed at nine o'clock and sleep soundly all night.
Vessel pitching violently when I awake. Steward asks if I will get up to breakfast. Reply, "Of course I will get up to breakfast." Smoking pork-steak! Miserable meal. Cannot eat anything. Think I would like fresh air. Go up on deck and stagger to the rail. My beaver blows overboard. Do not mind it at all. Sympathizing gentleman lends me a cap three times too large for me. I think people are laughing, but do not pay any attention to them. Am entirely indifferent to everything. Think I had better go back to bed . . . .July 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, July 24
Feel somewhat better. (Have endured eight days of misery. Food during that period, crackers and gruel.) Crawl up on deck. My appetite returns with great vigor. Eat a hearty lunch. Lady asks me if I have been seasick. Reply, "O no, only a trifle disturbed."
What a splendid appetite one has at sea! Am sorry the voyage is so near an end. We approach Queenstown. A great many passengers are going to disembark here, as they are tired of the sea. I tell them I am going on to Liverpool, as I am anxious to be on the water as long as possible. They look surprised. N. B. I get off at Queenstown, and write home that I have had a delightful voyage.
LAST Wednesday afternoon a meeting of the Undergraduates was held to take measures for forming an athletic association. The meeting was called to order by Mr. Curtis of the Senior Class; after stating a few of the reasons for such an association, he said that nominations for chairman of the meeting were in order. Mr. Watson, '75, was elected chairman. A motion was made to elect a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer; also one member from each of the classes to serve on a Field Committee; and a Field Marshal, to be a member of the Board of Officers and the Field Committee. The following gentlemen were elected: President, B. R. Curtis, '75; Vice-President, E. C. Hall, '76; Secretary, C. Isham, '76; Treasurer, J. T. Linzee, '77. Mr. Green, '76, moved that the Board of Officers appoint the Field Committee and Field Marshal. This was carried, and also a motion to the effect that the adoption of a constitution be left to the Board of Officers. It was decided to embody in the constitution the rules to govern the sports. A motion of Mr. Curtis was passed, according to which all who desire to join the association must register their names before Saturday morning in a book to be left at Richardson's.
Since the meeting the Board of Officers have met, and appointed the following gentlemen:-
Field Marshal, Mr. F. S. Watson, '75; Members of the Field Committee, F. R. Appleton, '75, G. W. Green, '76, S. Butler, 77, E. O. Richards, '78. The Field Committee at once decided on the contests for the fall meeting, which is to take place on Jarvis Field, at three o'clock, Friday afternoon, October 23. These contests will be as follows: one hundred yard running race, high jump, one mile running race, running long jump, hurdle race of one hundred and twenty yards over ten hurdles, throwing a base-ball, two mile running race, consolation race of one half mile, three-legged race, and three mile walking race. The Committee also decided that five minutes shall intervene between each contest, that all contestants must be on hand when their race is called, that only members of the association can take part in the contests, and that entries must be made before the twenty-third, by applying to the President at Weld 10. We are also requested to say that all members will receive from the Secretary, on paying the initiation fee of one dollar, a printed certificate of membership, with an appropriate seal.
*This question was actually asked on board one of the Cunard steamships when it was just leaving Sandy Hook.