PEOPLE outside of college seem to think that we are in a sort of lion-lying-down with-the-lamb condition here, and are all loving friends. "Of course you know John Grinder; he is in your class," they say; - John G. being a man whom you know merely in the catalogue, or, at most, have a nodding - I can't say bowing - acquaintance with. Now, shall we confess to these outsiders that there are many different circles of friends in each class, and that we are, in short, cliquish? Doggy, who never speaks to any one except the four men who got into his society ahead of him, and some six or seven who came after him, says he does n't see that there's any exclusiveness here. Yet you'd be less surprised to find Waitt when you want him than to see Doggy talking to Grinder. Observe, too, the sublime scorn with which he snubs Bummer's unpleasant familiarity and slights little Toady's attempts to please. Toady, by the way, is the only man in college who is more exclusive than Doggy; for there are one or two men out of the first thirteen of the X. Y. Z. that Doggy honors with his friendship, if that name can be applied to so cold-blooded an intimacy. But Toady does n't care for any one outside of the first thirteen, though we can hardly call his attendance on them friendship, as they don't pay the slightest regard to him.
Yes, there's no use in denying it, we are cliquish; even Doggy can't prove the contrary, though he says there's no reason why Quiet, whom no one ever notices, should n't enjoy college; and we have a great many cliques, and very narrow ones. In each class there are one or two swell cliques, devoted to lawn-tennis and clothes; an athletic set, who spend hours in exercise of various sorts, and the rest of their time in feeling each other's muscles, and reading the "Spirit of the Times"; a studious crowd, to which no man is admitted whose average is n't over 85 per cent, and whose members think they know more than any instructor in college, and spend their spare hours in reading the classics or philosophy for amusement; and an infinite number of sets which have no distinguishing characteristics at all, composed of men whom fellowship at school or mere chance has thrown together, and who are not qualified for any of the three main cliques, either in manners, muscle, or brain. Each of these many sets looks down on all the others, or affects to; and the result is, not the utmost good feeling.
Another circumstance that does not lead to general harmony is the existence of so many personal enmities among the men; you cannot find any one who does not detest two or three of his classmates. Beck said something slighting of Holworthy; it was reported to Holworthy by some of those obliging men who are never wanting in such good offices, and so they don't speak, and lose no occasion of depreciating each other. Ah, my dear Freshmen, keep your mouths shut, if you want to get along at this college! Doggy got the presidency of the X. Y. Z., a position that Beck coveted; so Beck hates him most cordially, - a feeling which is fully reciprocated. Grinder was trying for the third place in the &t;. B. K., but Dig got ahead of him, and Grinder is fourth; these gentlemen, too, in a milder way detest each other thoroughly. In fact, the more a man succeeds here, the more he gets himself disliked. And the moral of this is, my dear Freshmen again, don't be too much of a success, - at first, that is; for after you have quietly gained your numerous objects in the way of societies, etc., you can appear as a full-blown success and it will not hurt you.
When one reflects seriously, it certainly seems a pity that the healthy good feeling which used to exist among classmates has grown so out of date. Nowadays, we dislike, or, at any rate, are indifferent to, nine men out of ten. The decay of strong class feeling is hardly to be regretted, as it has led to the suppression of hazing and to much pleasanter intercourse between the classes;
but an attempt ought to be made to revive some little kindly feeling among classmates. With our present large classes, we can make comparatively few friends; but we might at least make some real friends, - men in whom we shall take an interest all our lives, and not content ourselves with the acquaintances, mostly of chance or policy, to whom the name friends is often falsely applied, and be on terms of suppressed warfare with every one else. I don't ask Doggy, who, I see, is looking shocked, to be intimate with Grinder, but merely not to treat all except his few associates