The editors inform us that they
"Vault into the seething vortex of life's tumultuous sea, amid the
'Roaring, shrieking, howling, jingling chains,
And more diversity of sounds,'
mount the stormy tide, essay to ride the foaming billows in the mountain waves of science, and thus in the whirlpool of commotion in the files of the nation
'On life's vast ocean diversely we sail.'"
Here at once we see the result of special attention to our language. No superficial student could have written this sentence, and we even doubt whether those who have not had the advantage of special instruction in English at Neophogen College will fully understand it. We humbly acknowledge that we do not grasp the meaning in the words, "the whirlpool of commotion in the files of the nation"; but when the editors go on to say of the College Pen: "From its incipiency we have regarded it as one of the most important features of the school," we are able to see that the word "incipiency" was certainly inspired by a peculiarly happy thought.
As for the importance of the magazine, no one can doubt it. Its relation to the students is thus described: "It is by the aid of this," the editors say, "that we expect to render them thorough and accomplished."
Its work has not been in vain, for we find one of the articles, written by a student, thus mentioned: "The 'Address', by the accomplished young Haynie, is beautifully written, and abounds in rhetorical figures." The address referred to was delivered to the "Philetaeren Society," on the occasion of a May-day celebration, and opens:
"Permitted to assemble once more with the hearts we fondly cherish, allow me to tender my best wishes for all the pleasant influences which this day's association present, and for the cheerful faces I see around me . . . . We feel that the gorgeous triumphs of Rome would bashfully gaze upon our enchanting May-day celebration."
However the triumphal procession would have been affected by the celebration, there are certainly some peculiarities of nature in the vicinity of Neophogen, which would cause the ancient Roman to open his eyes, for the orator proceeds:
"Assembled as we are beneath the innovated halls of Nature, we are now prepared to partake of the joys so lavishly diffused within the trackless paths of solitude. The secret dell unfolds the parchment of silent admiration, the lonely dale mourns reverie to the ear of the passer-by, the rugged brink crowns the pyramid of sublimity, and the babbling brook murmurs a tender welcome to the musings of genius. The place of toil is deserted. No longer the busy bell chimes our summons, but with full hearts and nature's silent language, we will extinguish the illusive expression of felicity, and nourish the little spark of true bliss until it melts every heart into ecstasy."
The orator tells us that "a Longfellow sings in simplicity, and as the belligerent storms gather in the northern heaven, a Stonewall Jackson unsheathes his sacred sword." Both succeeded because "labor, continuous labor, was their motto," and without this no one can succeed. "Cross Plains needed some person to teach her sons and daughters this, and when they employed this modern 'Socrates,' it was the right man in the right place." The modern Socrates is the "stern, inflexible father and teacher, President John M. Walton," whose "fame has spread like the little cloud that arose out of the Arabian deserts, no larger than a man's hand, and has increased till its shadow rests over the most remote parts of Asia." He built up Neophogen until now "she shines with glittering magnificence to the far distant Cumberland, and is the very goal of human perfection. Her little world of literature, the College Pen, makes her a familiar byword from the Canadian Lakes to the tumultuous Gulf of Mexico." "In a few more years our College, we trust, will cope with Bethany or the University of Virginia."
But it is impossible to do justice to this address without reprinting it in full. The extracts given will show that the praise of the editors was merited.
Although we cannot speak of all the attractions of the College Pen, we are glad to see that it by no means neglects the fairer portion of humanity. In one number of the magazine we find an address to the Calhouclaynean Literary Society on the subject of "Woman's Influence," an article entitled "Woman in Adversity," and another called "Christianity and Woman," while in another number the young ladies of Neophogen are particularly addressed. We would gladly quote from each, if our space allowed. "A Letter to an Old Friend in South Carolina" sets forth in a most convincing manner the attractions of Gallatin. There, it says, "the society is old and refined, having the growth of three fourths of a century." "The Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Christians, and Catholics all have churches here." We do not understand by this, however, that the Methodists, Baptists, etc., in Gallatin are really heathens because they are distinguished from the "Christians." We do not see clearly the distinction, but we cannot believe that heathens form a large proportion of the inhabitants of a place where "the public taste is so elevated as to frown down any immoral or insubordinate action."
We have reviewed thus at length the College Pen, because two numbers of the magazine have been sent us, and because we felt that this "literary gem" should be brought to the notice of our readers if any of them happened to be unacquainted with it. Hereafter we hope to receive the College Pen regularly, if we can induce them to exchange with a periodical which humbly acknowledges that its pretensions cannot compare with those of the organ of Neophogen.