The other afternoon I was going through the Yard, when I saw something that looked like a Summons lying on the ground. I had not had any Summonses yet to tack up on my door, and I thought that I could easily change the name, and then it would look just as well as if I had received it from head-quarters. So I picked it up. The document read as follows: -
"The Exhibitors of the Harvard Attorney will meet at 93 Thayer, at 7.30 P. M., Sharp."
A wild purpose seized upon my heart. At 7.31 P. M. I applied my left eye to the key-hole of 93 Thayer. The apartment was brilliantly lighted, and in spite of the smoke I could see pretty well. A number of men were seated around a table; the man at the head of the table was armed with a pair of shears and a yardstick; baskets of cigarettes and kegs of beer stood at various points convenient of access. Just as I had ascertained these facts, the presiding genius rapped sharply on the table, and said, "Gentlemen, the meeting will now come to order. I suppose we had better begin with the exhibitorials." The first exhibitorial, which I took down in shorthand on my cuffs, was as follows: -
"It is with great regret that we are compelled to differ with our esteemed and sanguinary [con]-temporary in the matter of the New Zolaian Society. But to the most casual observation it is evident that a Chinese pickpocket has an oily pigtail and a glass body. No one who knows anything about the matter will think otherwise. Therefore we are right and our co[n] temporary is wrong, Q. E. D., Ipse dixit." This exhibitorial seemed to make a very favorable impression, and was at once accepted.
When the applause which greeted the exhibitorials had in some degree died away, the exhibitor in charge of the Juvenile Department arose and proceeded to read: -
HOW I WAS SPANKED."I was very young then, and everything was green and fresh as it usually is. There was an old lady in the next block who wore slippers with" - At this point the violent sobs of the other exhibitors drowned the voice of the speaker, and I was unable to hear more.
When the exhibitors had again secured control of their emotions, the Prosaical Exhibitor read the following: -
"Ich sass allein im Horse-Car,
Und schaute dem Horse-Car entlang,
In Boston, Massachusetts,
"Da sah ich ein schones Madchen,
Ach, ach, das verderbliche Loos,
Denn sie sitzt in dem fernsten Winkel;
Das Horse-Car ist gar zu gross.
"Ich stand allein auf dem Sidewalk,
Und lookte der Strasse entlang,
In Cambridge, Massachusetts,
"Da sah ich die Proctors und Muckers
Den Soph und das Freshmanlein,
Und dachte, When there's such a confounded
crowd wants to get on board,
Das Horse-Car ist gar zu klein."
This, too, awakened thunders of applause, the metre being especially commended. A sweet little waif called "A HARD CASE," was then read and accepted. I slept during the greater part of the next piece, which was entitled "A TALE OF THE ALEUTIANS," by the author of "WHAT I KNOW ABOUT ELOPING," but was roused by the voice of the chief demon, saying, "Awake, fellow exhibitors, awake, and let us listen to the Mendacities of the Hebdomad!!" With hungry eyes they gathered round him and listened: -
"It is not true that the board at Memorial is any better than it ought to be.
"George Washington is dead.
"The Yale Faculty have consented to allow their crew to go to New London." (Groans from a man in an inconspicuous corner, whom I had heard referred to as the Exchange Exhibitor.) "There," said the chairman, "I flatter myself those are pretty good." Then, taking out his ruler, he continued after a pause, "I regret to say that we are still nine feet and three inches short. I will write the nine feet if some one will take the rest." After some discussion it was voted to be stow the rest upon the Exchange Exhibitor, who, after a long search, was found at the bottom of one of the empty cigarette baskets. After reversing the beer kegs to obtain the remaining nectar, the meeting adjourned, and the writer fled to escape the departing exhibitors.