THE lists were now ready, and the Faculty's party, five in number, who, for three hours, were to resist all comers, were at their posts. Each of them had a separate pavilion where he awaited the arrival of challengers. These pavilions were fitted up with the utmost magnificence. Silk, satin, and cloth of gold dazzled the eye, and the blue of heaven - the color of the Faculty - shone on every side. First and nearest to the throne of Prince Presistrardin * was the tent of the famous and redoubtable knight, Sir Triangle de Rhombus. His well-knit though slender and youthful frame was encased in plane armor adorned with original propositions. His sword (the one with which Archimedes was killed) was a straight line with some breadth and a handle added. His helmet was skilfully made of two pi's and a square R. The method by which it was made was a secret to every one, including Sir Triangle himself. The whole bearing of this knight was such as to strike terror into the hearts of inexperienced foes. Next to him and scarcely inferior in all knightly qualities was the gigantic Sir Proctor de Holys. Over his armor he wore a quaint and costly garment of woven hair which hung gracefully down to his knees, just disclosing the tops of his cavalry boots. His horse could talk Latin, and he himself (it was hinted) could walk Spanish - on occasions.
He carried a heavy Roman sword with which to pry open cracks in doors. He was especially dangerous in unexpected attacks, ambuscades, &c.; The next tent boasted as its occupant no less a person than Sir Johannes Ti de Gar. His armor, which had been presented to him by the Chorus of the Greek play, consisted of twenty-five pieces made of a material known as "Sidgwick's Composition," each piece being inscribed with appropriate selections from "Schmidt's Metres" and "Curtius's Etymology." He usually carried "the shield of Achilles," but as this was being used by his protege, Hellenic Duo, he carried in its stead an ingeniously constructed defence of jelly and tin combined in certain proportions. Though small and seemingly any thing but robust, it would have been worse than prolepsis - to would have been a terrible anacoluthon - to suppose that his prowess was to be measured by his stature. The fourth of this stout band had the keenest eye and longest head that mortal ever beheld. Clad cap-a-pie in chain armor he surveyed with sweeping glance the whole quadrangle. His single offensive weapon - a sword-cane - he used with such skill and precision that he could transfix an enemy with it every time at an angle of forty-five degrees. The conditions which he laid down in fighting were of the most desperate nature. An I for an I and a 2 for a 2 was his motto. He had never been known to yield at all in this matter except once, when he put a + for a - and a - for a +. Last but not least, surrounded by trophies of his prowess, sat the bold Sir Elly Mentari de Fisicks. His stern and forbidding mien was an index, dreadful to his foes, of the spirit within. Famous for his strange and dreadful weapons which effected their purpose with unerring precision and unvarying success, he was an antagonist whom the bravest heart might fear to meet in mortal combat. Armed with a "Mariotte's bottle," and carrying a flask of spirits with which to replenish his levels, he quailed not even before an enemy that he saw double. Such was the band of warriors selected by Prince Presistrardin to uphold the cause of the Faculty. And now the keeper of the tourney, who bore on his shield the proud motto "Ike Dean"* summoned the herald Jone d'Harvard to give the signal. Casting a look at the dial of the neighboring cathedral, with might and main he blew the bell which was the signal for opening the joust.
* John Howard had three sons - triplets.
* Vulgar for "Ich dien."