The Oxford Letter
Oxford has also its girls: "Brains on wheels," as some Oxonians refer to them. But this is hardly fair. The girls of Oxford have really much more than brains and a bicycle: There's always their hockey. And I for one have seen some mighty fine and enthusiastic players. It is true that some seem to find some sort of carry-over from hockey to the dance floor; but a man with a little coaching in following can get on tolerably well and the girl never knows the difference. If that doesn't work I find a definite understanding at the outset as to who will lead which dance does the trick.
I hasten to write on this delicate subject because I've been told there's some change in University Hall's policy regarding the entertainment of lady guests in students' rooms. The handling of the problem here--though not quite analogous--may be of some use. In general the regulations are stricter. Men may not ride alone with a girl in a car. In fact owners of cars can't take them out before noon and must have them in before eleven. But surprising as it may seem, gentlemen may entertain girls in their rooms from one in the afternoon until nine or nine-fifteen at night. Of course girls may not bring in their bicycles. And then again it is just as well guests must leave before nine-fifteen because students going after that time must pay a fine. Otherwise a man's room is his castle and, in all seriousness, many invaluable teas and conversations are encouraged this way. The girl's chief worry seems to be that someone will take her wheel for there's a definite communism of bicycles here at Oxford.
At the time of this writing there's a great array of fireworks and much merry-making over most of England. It's Guy Fawkes night. Fawkes you remember was the hapless man who in 1605 tried to blow up Parliament. I'm not sure whether this celebration is an expression of a democracy's gratitude for the failure; or whether the British people are trying to make up for the disappointment by a second-best array of fireworks. Judging by the noise the latter seems the logical solution. One young Englishman asked me if our Fourth of July was a celebration over some disappointment in someone failing to blow something or other. He was just as serious as was the ignorance of Rhodes when he gave thirteen scholarships meaning one for every state in our Union. I've been disappointed not only in what I thought was a superior English intelligence but also in their accent. So far as I can make out Harvard is the best place for the Oxford accent.