MY marks certainly have reached their lowest ebb; if they do not rise pretty soon, I shall be completely stranded. They have all been pretty low, but I call my last one low-water mark because I can't conceive of anything lower down than that mark and the way I got it.
It was given me by Mr. Hut. I had been working as hard as I could on his course, but, as he had given me more work than I could perform by studying twenty-three hours a day, I did not expect a very exalted mark. To-day, on entering his chamber of horror, I saw the section sitting with their heads buried in their hands, and Mr. Hut gazing at them with an air of triumph. Creeping to the desk, I gasped: "My mark?" "Eighteen per cent," briskly answered he of condition fame. After the recitation, when about to poison myself with soda at Hubbard's, I was comforted by learning that all the men except two had got under forty.
Some of my experiences last year were almost as bad. When I was told that my mark in German was forty-nine, I looked somewhat aghast, for I had written a first-rate paper. The instructor, noticing my horror, kindly offered to explain, and took me with him to the tutorial mansion. I was astonished to see the library-table covered with mathematical instruments, for he did not teach mathematics; the explanation soon came. He first showed me six trifling errors in my book; then he drew a circle with a radius of six inches, inscribed an equilateral triangle, and multiplied half its altitude by twenty; that gave forty-eight, my mark. I asked him to explain the principle on which he did it; but he replied that he had been a long time inventing the process, and knew it was the only fair one. I thought that "his drift was shady," and left.
There was one branch of science for which I thought I had a special taste; I did my paper without a single mistake. Approaching the desk with a confident smile, I was informed, "Your paper was perfect, - not a single error; your mark is eighty-six per cent." "Why," said I, in a discouraged way," "I thought you said that I did a perfect paper." "So I did," said the scientist, in an angry voice; " I never give a higher mark than eighty-six." I wanted to ask him if 86 = 100 with the Faculty in reckoning up averages, but did not dare to. I afterwards learned that 86 = 86 in their computations; so I fail to see the justice of that mark.
I have heard my mark in Unnatural Physatomy, - one hundred and sixty per cent! Hurrah! As my chum says, Hi! what a mark!