I recall a classmate of mine, whose story will point my moral. Buckeye was a native of Porkopolis, and belonged to one of the proudest of those old families who boast that they have been pork-packers since the century began. Now, Buckeye, with his wealth and connections, might have taken a first place in the social world at Neophogen, and afterwards in the great world. But the foolish fellow threw away his chances. To use rather a vulgar phrase, he never took account of stock; and, when he might have had the best, he was quite as likely, through sheer ignorance, to choose the worst. Who were his friends? Before he had been two months at Neophogen he was inseparable, not with Buoy, in whom you or I would never have failed to recognize the coming man, nor with Sticker and Planter, but with Smith and Jones. Who were Smith and Jones? you ask. Heaven only knows. Men whom he had met no one can say where, and whom he probably invited to his room before he so much as knew their names. In consequence Buckeye went into the Hesperian. When he was proposed for the Philetaeren, Buoy and Sticker and Planter blackballed him to a man. I used to see him of an evening at the cider cellar, sitting with Smith and Jones. But I cut him. I remember Buoy remarking, one day (his father, they used to say, raised more stock than any man in Tennessee)," Buckeye ain't a bad fellow, but doggone me, if I bow to a fellow that takes drinks with Smith and Jones."
Now, my dear Julius, I do not expect you to be blind to the crudities of Buoy. You have lived in Memphis, you have been to Chicago, and you once spent a week at the United States Hotel in Boston. You, of course, could see that in the society into which you had been received in New England Buoy would be quite out of place. But Neophogen is not Boston. At Neophogen Buoy was the best obtainable, and a useful man to know - I do not think I need say any more on the score of acquaintances. Only keep this simple rule in mind: if you desire to be a man of fashion, do not neglect the Buoys and the Stickers of society wherever you happen to meet them.
I hope you go regularly to the President's receptions. Nothing educates a man more than refined society. I need not tell you to shave and wash before going into the presence of ladies; for etiquette is a required study, and all this you will learn when the time comes in your Sophomore year. One or two little rules, however, at the risk of being prosy, I cannot refrain from giving. Never use tobacco in society, and remember before entering a drawing-room always to chew cloves or something of a similar nature. Be particular in little things; do not throw off your collar because you are warm, nor take off your collar because it has begun to melt. Such small points are too apt to be laughed at at Neophogen as over-refinements. Be careful, yet simple in your dress. A brass collar-button is better than a scarlet necktie. Do not lounge with the men at one end of the room, and never fail to go and talk with the girls when the President asks you. Your knowledge of the world will make you a favorite.
One word more, and I have done. Take an interest in literary matters, and write for the College Pen. Nothing gives so much eclat to a man's entree into society as a little reputation as a scribbler. The Pen is read everywhere, and anything you write will have a large and appreciative audience. Do not, however, let them publish the addresses you deliver before the literary societies. They may be well enough in their place, but entre nous, they smack a little of the Occident. Besides, it is well not to identify one's self with one's companions in all respects.
But I must close, or you will never again lend ear to your garrulous old brother.