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Whether Columbus journeyed to an unexpected discovery of the archipelago, hitherto undeveloped by Florida "realtors" with the express purpose of proving that gesture is essential to after dinner speaking--the egg trick--or merely because his instinct for reformation, change, decided his eventual research for some panacea for the less pleasing odors of Europe--will never be known--for it remains difficult to psycho-analyze the dead. At all events, he came, he saw--and conquered the emotions of future generations to the extent of rendering unto Harvard a holiday in the month of October.
Mr. Woodword and his ills have done enough, and continue to do enough in the matter of "debunking" American history to allay any suspicious that further iconoclasm is at all necessary.
What is to the point is this blessing or hane or what one will the holiday. Four times during the college year classes cease for one day while fewer people cross the Yard and more group pictures are taken on Widener steps. Few, if the truth were known, have really left the environs of Cambridge. Most are in their rooms wishing, in the emotional voluptuousness of the holiday spirit, that it were a weekend so that they might have a vacation.
Holidays are really anachronisms, made vital by the fact that there is still, even in the college mind, a semplance of schoolboy delight in staying away from class. The baneful part is that the vacation is so limited as to be practically useless. Even the senior must return for his first class, remain for his last. Yet most undergraduates would defend them. One cannot lose conventionally in a fortnight.
So the four festal occasions come and go--Columbus, the Puritans and the Gods of Appetite, Washington, and the gentlemen of the rebellion--all receive their due homage of a day less of academic work at Harvard. And the dean suggests that all remember that this is not a vacation--but a holiday. Of course one could suggest that remembrance of anyone is not necessarily the mental pleasure of a day that this time could be with profit, added to Christmas vacation. But few would agree. One must honor one's ancestors, and a slay without classes is such a true delight.
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