TO EMBRYO FRESHMEN.
When you return to Cambridge in the autumn there are several places at which you will do well to present yourselves. In the first place you should visit the Chapel, although there may be no service going on, and although you may have a few other opportunities of viewing its interior (decorated by Mr. MacPherson). A few moments' meditation there will calm, soothe, and prepare you for the ordeal which must immediately follow. If the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals has not left the key, where he generally keeps it, under the mat, you may obtain it from the Professor of Bell-ringing; or, if you choose, you may climb in through the window, - an easy and pleasant way. When strengthened by your devotions, you can next look in on that kind and urbane old gentleman, who will be a very father to you during your college course, and will introduce you to your sister, who will tell you at what hour the Dean receives, and will encourage you when you do nicely in your studies. Do not, dear young friends, despise this happy interior; this glimpse of home will make college life much less lonely for you.
From here you will go, with your deeds upon your head, if you find it convenient to carry them in a low-crowned hat (don't waste your beaver on the unappreciative ???, wait until you are surrounded by Sophomores), to the gentleman who behaved unkindly to the Merchant of Venice (S-y-k the B-r-ir; he is a Wandering Jew, and now lives in Wadsworth). If he attempts to throw any difficulties in your way, mere technicalities, two courses are open to you. Either step back, bare your manly breast, and say, in your very best manner:-
"Then take thy bond! take thou thy pound of flesh!
But in the cutting it if thou dost shed
One drop of Freshman blood, thy bicycle,
Thy tall clock * too, is confiscate."
(This is Shakespeare. There will be a course in his works open to you later on, where you will have the advantage of hearing him interpreted by Irishmen, Spaniards, an occasional Chinaman, and gentlemen from Baltimore.) The other course open to you is to give your tormentor the grip of one of the Greek-letter societies, to which you doubtless already belong.
After you have seen him and laid him out, * all that remains for you is pleasant and profitable. You had better go to that amusing apothecary, Hubbard, whose droll advertisements you have read in the Lampoon, and take a glass of plain soda-water; it is more exciting than milk, and not so strong as ginger ale, and you may take it without fear of inconvenience. If you have any practice in such things, you may take a mild cigarette (those used for catarrh are very innocent), and it may induce the careless outsider to take you for a Sophomore.
A pleasing duty alone remains. Inquire the way to Mr. Sever's. It is a short distance, and almost any upper-class man will be glad to show you. Here you will subscribe to two copies of the Crimson: one must never leave you; the other you will send home regularly, for it will show mamma, and Sister Lou, and Cousin Sukey how nice and kind the College gentlemen are, and how well Master Jacky will be taken care of.
* This is not used as a timepiece, but is an instrument of torture disguised in that form.
* These are the well-known words of Mark Antony returning from Caesar's funeral.