NINETY DEGREES IN THE SHADE.*
Exquirunt, calidumque animis et cursibus acrem."
GEORGICS, BOOK III. 103-104."The professors miss the young gentlemen, who are tolerably knowing, and are off on their travels."
COULD the Swan of Mantua visit Cambridge, he would have occasion to remark, in the words of the dog's-meat man, "Times is changed." Although the professors love their disciples, no doubt, as truly as did any pedagogue on the banks of the Po, we are no longer such a necessity to them during the dog-days as their mothers' milk, although in these days of Ridge's "Food for Infants" and competitive examinations for women, this article has gone sadly out of fashion. Any true advocate of progress would blush to remember that he had ever been aught but a bottle-baby.
Perhaps, however, this loosening of the bond is not to be deplored, for any respectable old mentor who should nowadays attempt to follow the vagaries of his young Telemachus would have a hard time of it.
"Cambridge, vol miseris nimium vicina Parisiis,"
which, being interpreted, means, "Harvard University, alas! too near the Mabille Garden." To be sure, it is not yet within easy walking distance. To the ardent and inquiring youth one cannot yet answer, "Second turning on the left, follow the crowd and there you are"; but still it is too near to make both ends meet comfortably on an allowance of $2,000 a year.
Thus young Van Duzer, whose papa is an ornament of our first social circles and senior member of the firm of Van Duzer, Van Nostrum, and Drench, is a melancholy confirmation of this fact. This young gentleman took a Fine Arts course last winter, and ever since has been impressing upon his kind old father and simple-minded mother the necessity of his satisfying his mind in regard to the existence of the flying buttress in the best examples of Romanesque architecture. But alas! this estimable youth, instead of being in some quiet town, architecturally rich in the relics of the past, has been improving his idiomatic knowledge of the French language by sojourning in the tents of Kedar, or, to be less biblical, in the Rue de Breda, and any buttresses whose acquaintance he has made have been very flying ones indeed. His architectural studies, which have been such as would open the eyes of his mamma and sisters to the advantages of a Fine Arts course, have been confined to the Jardin Mabille and the Alcazar d'Ete.
Young Bramah Pooter Bantam (his mother was a Partlett, they intermarried with the Woodcocks, and are really among our very nicest people) has gone to join his mamma at Cannes, where that estimable lady is trying the effects of the soft Mediterranean climate upon her too excitable American nerves. But let not the candid reader suppose that Bramah's entire summer will be passed in soothing the dear patient's fevered brow. No, he will push a leetle farther along the Riviera. The truth is, that a little pecuniary transaction took place on Pooter's departure from home, between himself and his revered grandparents. Ever since then the money has burnt in his pocket, and has nearly eaten its way through two pairs of Poole's best trousers. The ingenious youth's intention is to increase his pile, if possible, at the expense of the hereditary Prince of Monaco. Is the dear boy inclined to be extravagant? Oh, dear, no! it is merely that he may select appropriate trifles for his maiden aunts and his five younger sisters.
No family ties will fetter the summer gyrations of that amiable Freshman, the young Topham Lofters. He has been dropped, but is not discouraged. Topham's papa and mamma left him in circumstances which render parental care only a luxury. He has chartered a small, well-appointed sloop yacht, the "Go-lightly" (late the property of Mr. Bouncer, of the Morning News), and will enjoy the society on the cruise of his classmates and friends, Percy Leech and little Bob Tufts. Their cruise will be in such waters as do not interfere with the enjoyment of the labors of Cordon bleu, a legacy of his departed parents.
I had several other estimable young gentlemen in mind, but the editor whose paper this is says the article must not go over two columns (and he stands no trifling with, I promise you), the remainder of the Board are asleep, so any difference of opinion is out of the question.
* This does not refer to the number of Seniors who will be disappointed on Commencement.