Imatges de pÓgina
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and adds a score of lines expanding his idea ; Longfellow alludes to ‘the battle-field of Life,' and says,

“Our hearts, though strong and brave, Still like muffled drums are beating

Funeral marches to the grave;" Bryant speaks of each man's Life as a 'chase for his favorite phantom ;, even the common paper-wafer stamped with a checker-board asseverates in black and white, that “such is Life!”—Goethe, we think, declared his aim to make his Life like the course of a star, and adopted for his motto “Haste not, rest not;" one of Burke's famous orations began with calling the attention of his audience to 'what shadows we are and what shadows we pursue ;' Byron says, “ Between two worlds Life hovers like a star;' Young, in his Night Thoughts, tells us, 'Life's little stage is a small eminence—inch high the grave above;' and Sir Isaac Newton spoke of his Life, when pear its close, as having been a ramble upon the strand of the ocean of eternity, where he had gathered a few bright shells and pebbles and that was all !

Shakespeare alone has a long list of similes denoting Life. It is with him a walk, a shadow, a thread, a shuttle, a web of mingled yarn; it is an after dinner sleep, a night, a dream, a twice told tale; it is music and it is pain ; it is a bond which must be canceled ; it is a clock, a breath,

1 a jewel, a stream, a journey, a paradise; a fool of deaths, a traveler, a prisoner, a racer.

We have thus thrown together the similes of Life, without attempting to arrange or classify, or to point out the difference in the active and the passive views which men have taken of its nature ; but we shall

; find upon examination, that men's daily occupations have an influence on the views they take, the pictures they make of the nature of Life.

So plain a man as a shoemaker will say that the present Life is like the feet,—the base on which the more important concerns of another Life depend ; that compared with these, it is low, humble, unassuming; assuring us moreover, that on the conduct of the sole and understanding,' the prosperity of our higher state of being rests.

A husbandman would liken Life to some choice plant which he was cherishing, or say that it was a tree in the great nursery of Providence, and bid us remember that 'as the twig is bent the tree's inclined.'

A physician likens Life to one vast hospital, and a schoolmaster would say that it is a school for children of a larger and a smaller growth.'

A mechanic may liken Life to a large workshop where every thing is now being finished for examination at the World's Fair, the Great Exhibition' which is to one day open.

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A traveler thinks Life is a sail, or ride

upon the railway, or a walk upon a winding path leading over rugged and over easy roads.

A printer might tell us, as one who is not a printer has told us, that Life is a book, formed from innumerable little letters, words, sentences, and punctuation points, bidding us heed the commas, lest, unimportant in themselves, by being out of place they may pervert the meaning. The famous epitaph which Franklin once composed for his own tombstone employs the same comparison, closing with the hope that the Great Author will revise the work, and bring it forth in a new and more elegant edition.

And to what shall we students liken Life ? May it not with propriety be compared to a Library, whose well stocked shelves contain all possible varieties of works, carefully separated according to their subjects and arranged in different alcoves. Men seem to go through Life as they would through such a Library. Now and then there enters one who gives a little while to each department, wandering from alcove to alcove, till he has completely gone the rounds of the circle of the Sciences. Sometimes too there enter those who saunter in two or three recesses till they have found such works as suit their power or meet their wants, and then, satisfied at once, they take their seats. Most of the visitors however, quietly go to whatever alcove stands the nearest, and there they sit, not caring to move and not knowing that there is ought beyond, until the Grim Janitor bids them to leave, for the doors must now be closed. One man thus gives himself to trade and commerce, Journals and Ledgers being the only works on the shelves which he has chosen ; another is deeply studying in the alcove of the Natural Sciences; while a third is surrounded by Statute Books and Law Reports, the standard works of Medicine, or the writings of the Fathers.'

One alcove of this Library possesses an especial interest, for it is a sort of compend of the whole, being filled with “ summaries," dictionaries,” and huge “ encyclopædias.” It is in fact a place which gives a sort of panoramic or a birds-eye view of all the Library, where one may take a glance at the whole range of human science, and then decide where he will go and study deeper. Here then we who lead a College life are placed, indeed so much engrossed in lexicons and compends as often to be named in sport the walking cyclopædias.' But in this Library, which

' human Life resembles, poetry has no especial place. There is no Poet's

There is indeed a much frequented spot where works of fiction and of pure imagination may be found, but that true poetry which lies in thought and not in words is diffused throughout the Library, and is

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often found where least expected. Some shelves indeed are crowded full and quite weighed down with the huge folios of Poetry, while those devoted to some other science have only now and then a winning little pocket volume, yet there is not one alcove, no matter to what subject given, but what contains at least a small poetic portion. Even in the dustiest, darkest corners some poetry is found. The College students' alcove possesses more than any other, for it contains works drawn from all the varied sciences, the heavier and the lighter, while the very walls within which he studies, like some far famed baronial hall, are hung with quaint. and interesting relics, suggesting crowds of pleasant thoughts to those who linger in their precincts.

Or if we students choose, we may consider human Life as but an enlarged, expanded revision of our College life, and then it behooves us to warn ourselves to be prepared for high honors at its termination, and for a good appearance at the Great Commencement which will be its close.

D. C. G.

Che pleasures and Duties of Eollege Life.

Having been suddenly visited with the idea of appearing as an author in the distinguished and valuable Literary Magazine of our honored Institution, we have been induced to attempt performing the delightful task of acquiring a little popularity in this, to us, a novel method. For although it has been our good fortune to assume the dignity of the Orator, and more recently the troubles, cares and perplexities of the Editor, a very important office by the way, yet until the present instance no opportunity has been presented to us to become at once a literary • lion.

The important reason of our commencing this essay is, chiefly, the fact that students too often look askance and unfavorably at the duties they are required to perform; regarding themselves as under a restraint, bound down and in subjection to lords and masters—to despots even. This is extremely unfortunate for themselves as well as unpleasant for their instructors, and our design at this time is to do what we can to introduce a reform in the feelings we entertain towards our ' Alma Mater.'

We have entitled our essay, “The Pleasures and Duties of College Life," but fear that time will fail, if we attempt to point out any thing

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in regard to the duties, except when connected with the pleasures we experience while sojourning here. Of course we must commence with the “eggs” and proceed in order with the various topics which may be deemed worthy of note, until we approximate as near to the • apples” as possible, although these as yet seem to hang in the distance of the “dim shadowy future."

To begin then with Freshmen days : what a delightful relief it is to be, at once and for all, freed from the irksome duties of school, attendance upon ushers, pedagogues, &c., (especially when the rod and ruler are a higher law' from which there is no appeal,) and to be permitted to ride to town on the top of the stage-coach for the purpose of being examined to enter College! What language can fully express the feelings of the youthful aspirant for college honors, as he, for the first time in his life, treads the walks beneath these classic shades ! Not Presidents, Kings and Queens, none, even the greatest of human kind, enjoy sensations so immeasurably exquisite as his. To be a Freshman is the acme of the schoolboy's ambition; and the importance he manifests increases directly as the smallness of his intellectual power, and inversely as the amount of his knowledge. His desire to be admitted 'protrudes' during the whole of his examination, and if, to his sorrow, he is then excused from connecting himself with the Institution, he still finds consolation in the thought that some folks can't appreciate talent. But should he chance to be successful, even though his admission be somewhat conditional, the common level and common air cease to be appropriate for him. He now prepares to enter upon college duties with zeal and vigor, confident in his own mind, that a proper degree of application will confer upon

him the first honors of his Class. Delighted with his instructors, and inclined to be very friendly toward them, admiring the works he is called upon to peruse; pleased with the situation of his allotted room; enjoying the best literary society connected with College; initiated into the grand and peculiar mysteries of that little world in itself, a Secret Society; he forms but few acquaintances, and for a while continues in an upright course. Without a murmur he submits to all the rules and regulations contained in the so-called “ Freshman's Bible," the College Laws, and finds great pleasure in being never absent, and always prepared. He is seldom ill, and when he is so his indisposition is evidently simon pure. But his ambition gradually wears off as he hears the members of the upper classes telling how easily they take things, recounting the various adventures in which they have been engaged, their hair breadth escapes, and their never failing

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good-luck when they are “smart. Thus the pleasures of College life, which are not strictly enjoined upon him, are placed as a snare in his path, and with youth's heedlessness and inexperience in the wiles and arts of the tempting Sophomore, he falls an easy prey to temptation ; desiring at least to taste the forbidden fruit, in order that, like mother Eve, ‘he may learn the ways of the world. At the first transgression

' his consaience deeply stings him for his folly, and with a resolution worthy of a hero, he at once attempts to repent and be a man again.

* Facilis descensus Averni' is taken as exclusively applicable to Seniors ; but with far more propriety, in our humble opinion, may it be made to refer to the Freshman of the third term, especially if his probation has ended and he is fully a “member of the Institution.” His rusticity has worn off sufficiently to allow him to approach within ten or fifteen feet of a College officer before he removes or touches his hat.

After passing through the various trials and the pleasant studies and examinations of the first year; having been permitted to strive for prizes, a scholarship or some other honor; having been perhaps elected by approving Classmates, to the honorable post of “Vice Secretary' in his literary Society; he casts his skin, and, like the snake, arrays himself in more brilliant colors.

In the second year, the studies are more agreeable to those of a mathematical turn of mind, and the tragedies of ancient days perhaps call up to his recollection the scenes he has witnessed with his own eyes. The nicer distinctions of the most approved specimens of Grecian literature are pointed out to him, and he, as it were, luxuriates as an actor in the joys and sorrows of by-gone days. He is moreover allowed the inestimable privilege of delivering essays' before his division, and (provided he takes the popular side, and collects his arguments from standard works in the Libraries) of being applauded, for the beauty and perspicuity of his style, as well as for his profound thought, deep investigation and thorough knowledge of the subject. Perhaps the officer differs from him in opinion : if so, it is all the same to the student, for he knows, or says he does, that the officer never knew, don't know and never will know any thing about the subject, and this is his consolation. Thus he passes on, permitted again to strive for the prizes and honors which are sources of pleasure to those who receive them, and of envy to the unsuccessful.

We must not omit the important privileges lately added to vary the pleasures of our College life, though only two “and far between," (you know what we mean, Reader, and remember what has been said of “angels' visits.') Not as in the division room, where we sit as close as

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VOL. XVII.

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