MY father, actuated by marvellous paternal affection, - and by the same intuitive wisdom that induced him to insist on my taking hard electives during my college course, has booked my name on the list of the respectable and cultivated people that compose the Woodruff Scientific Expedition, and has come to the sagacious conclusion that a tour round the world will do me as much good as the degree I lost last June.
Since my return from the seaside, where I have been studying the arrangement of "clouds," and the effect of moonlight on the complexion, I have been making the necessary preparations for my long, and, it is to be hoped, profitable voyage. Fifteen pounds of "Lone Jack" was my first investment. I have laid in this large supply, as it will be difficult to procure the correct weed along the route. As Athens is on the programme, I have taken Volume VIII. of Grote to refresh my memory of Socrates and the Prytaneum. The library of the "Ontario" seemed to lack books for light reading, so I invested in a choice assortment of new French novels, with the addition of some of Peterson's valuable publications, the score of the "Trial by Jury," and several bound volumes of "Le Petit Journal pour Rire."
You will be as pleased as I was to know that "all studies will be elective." I was contemplating a study of the modern languages, when I was informed that Italian and Spanish were not included in the "scheme." My father suggests that I had better pursue one of the natural sciences, but, as I was conditioned in Nat. Hist. 3, I object to awakening unpleasant memories. Fancying that I would have a soft thing on geology while at sea, I thought of taking that, but I have given it up, for they tell me one of the Yale professors lectures three times a week in that course, and nine hours of laboratory work in the "harness-cask" are required.
Of my fellow-travellers I can at present give you very little idea. The West seems to be well represented. There is a quiet man from Bowdoin, and opposite my state-room there are two dropped "Sophs" from Harvard. One of them is from California, - wonderful country that! - and is addicted to punning. He told me casually that unless they gave him better "grub" than he had at Memorial, he would rough (Woodruff) the expedition.
We sail to-morrow. If I survive the dangers of the deep, I will drop you another line from some South American port, and tell you how I thrive under the "influence of rare culture"
Until then, I am yours truly,
HERODOTUS THE YOUNGER.P. S. Thank Heaven, the thing's postponed!