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HUMOR IN EXAMINATIONS.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

As a rule, examinations are not regarded by the outside world as occasions on which a display of humor may be expected. But if exceptions prove the rule, then may examinations claim to afford a very rich fund of ludicrous incidents. One of the frequent causes of humor at examinations is of course the ignorance of candidates. A person was once asked the question at an Oxford examination, "Who was Esau?" "Esop," said he, "was a man who wrote fables, and who sold the copyright to a publisher for a bottle of potash!" Another student was asked to give some account of Wolsey. His reply was unique. "Wolsey was a famous general who fought in the Crimean War, and who, after being decapitated several times, said to Cromwell, 'Ah, if I had only served you as you have served me, I would not have been deserted in my old age!" Occasionally within the precincts of colleges and universities a rich vein of humor may be struck in a very unexpected fashion. On one occasion a professor, noticing that certain members of his class were inattentive during the lecture, suddenly arrested his flow of oratory, and addressing one of the students, said, "Pray, Mr. Johnson, what is your opinion of the position of the animals just described, in the created scale?" "Mr. Johnson" was forced to say that "really he had no views whatever on the subject." Whereupon the professor, turning to a second unattentive student - who had evidently not caught "Mr. Johnson's" reply or its purport - said, "Mr. Smith, what is your opinion of the position of these animals in the classified series?" "Oh, sir," replied the innocent Smith, "my opinions exactly coincide with those just expressed so lucidly and clearly by Mr. Johnson!" Some examiners try to discover what a student knows, and others appear to aim rather at elucidating the ignorance of the candidates who appear before them. But to the end of time, there will be humor mixed with the grave concerns of testing knowledge, which is, for both sides, a hard enough task. The student who, when asked by a stern examiner what he would recommend in order to produce copious perspiration in a patient, replied, "I'd make him try to pass an examination before you, sir!" had a keen sense of humor, which it is to be hoped the examiner appreciated. His answer was in keeping with the question which has been argued by us and by others, whether the whole subject of examinations, as at present conducted, should not be thoroughly overhauled and revised. - [Chamber's Journal.

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