« PreviousContinue »
Ha! this landscape is well done - very well. But do n't you think it wants a wash of bistre in the fore-ground, and a deepening of neutral tint upon the hills ?'
. There is no doubting your judgment,' said the artist.
* I think,' continued the lady, that your perspective is faulty. Care, my young friend, in these little details, and upon a small scale, is all-important. Depend upon it, you 'll never rise without it. Mr. Tinto would never have retired on a fortune, if he had neglected them.'
• Who, madam, was Mr. Tinto, if I may be so bold as to ask ?'
*Oh! the gentleman who took likenesses by the camera lucida. Well,' she said, at length, after having selected two or three sheets of sketches, 'what are these worth to you?'
* They are trifles, madam, hardly worth your acceptance.'
• No, no -you must n't talk in that way, young man. Professional men should never throw away their labor. Take this purse.
I wish it contained more, for your sake : and,' she added, with sentiment, perceiving that the artist was about to empty it, 'keep the purse, to remind that you have one friend, at least, who sympathizes with your struggles.'
The poor painter bowed in speechless gratitude. As soon as he was alone, he emptied the purse. It contained four-and-sixpence ! So much for the patroness of the fine arts !
Most potent, grave, and reverend seigniors,
It is always pleasant to look forward to exertion; to satisfy the upbraidings of conscience by resolutions of amendment, to begin at some time to come. I returned to college with a determination to study; for in setting out in any project, I always pleased myself with the idea that I intended to do right. The present I enjoyed to please my impulse. To-morrow was always a day of reformation with me.
A young man grows faster, morally, during his first college vacation, than ever afterward. His rank as a collegian no slight honor, when comparatively few think themselves able to send their children to college — his initiation into fashionable life the first sip of the delicious cup of pleasure - the passing from boy to man - all tend to push him forward in his opinions of himself. He returns to college with large accessions of pride and vanity, great regard for dress, some notions of love and matrimony, and has probably settled upon his profession.
The attention bestowed upon the collegian which was denied the school-boy ; the deference he observes to his opinion, particularly in his own family, and among his maiden aunts; the favoring smiles of the young ladies, and the good-natured welcome of the old
ones, who hope he may, at some time not far distant, be a fit subject for their matrimonial operations, have raised him already so far, that if you endeavor to recall his attention to his school days, he seems to have for. gotten the meaning of the words. Observe his supercilious smile, as that heir-expectant of the freshman-class passes him in the street. Do but look at his studious avoidance of his school-boy acquaintances. Mark his astonishment as some ingenuous, thoughtless, happy youngster, too much occupied with his sports to regard his dignity, invites him to a game of ball on the common. What! a member of college be seen upon the common, playing ball with boys ! Extraordinary indeed! It is an insult, and he goes and tells his mother how his feelings have been injured.
I returned to college with some taste for dress, a decided desire to be distinguished for something — I did not much care what considerable sum of money in my pocket.
In the interim we had all learnt politeness; we who had, at first, met with the difñidence of boys, now exchanged cordial and wellbred greetings; companionships were formed, and intimacies grew around us. I was unfortunate. Tom Reine had spent his vacation in the most depraved dissipation. He came back with his pockets empty of every thing except tavern bills and dunning letters. He wished to borrow money, and attached himself to me. I cared little for money, and, at that time, never had heard of imprisonment for debt. I supposed every body paid their debts ; for me to owe a person, was a mortification. So I freely gave him all the money I had,
• for a few days,' as he said. He got out of difficulty by the means, and felt grateful. Even he would sometimes study, and urge me to it. He assisted me in my Greek lessons, lent me books, told me of good novels, and gave me several. I was in his room or he in mine continually. Whenever Tom had a frolic in his room, I was there, of course.
I never knew how to refuse. I had no idea of consequences.
I dare say my simplicity was a fund of amusement to my fellow students. I asked many questions, and always expressed any thought of my mind in perfect openness, and must have betrayed much ig. norance upon subjects it is thought a credit for a young man to know. I do not recollect that I had ever, up to this time of my life, told a falsehood in any important matter; and I was esteemed, for I really was, an honorable boy. To be unsophisticated, after one term at college, is no common praise.
One afternoon, as we were smoking in my room, and drinking porter, which effervesced in considerable noise, the tutor came suddenly upon us. Seeing what we were about, he retired. Presently I was summoned to his room by his freshman, or the one who has the privilege of living under him, by running of errands.
After endeavoring to magnify my offence in my own eyes, as one which demanded the severest punishment, he excited my fears, by saying he should report me to the government, and he could not say what would be the consequence. Considering all as lost, and rendered desperate by his cruel and ungentlemanly manner of treating me, I retorted upon him, and without ceremony left his room.
The affair having taken place in my room, I was considered the chief offender. I really felt much ashamed of my conduct; and had I been dealt with mildly by the tutor, and affectionately advised of the nature of my fault, and its consequences, a confidence might have been created to my lasting good. Had he been a benevolent man, and acquainted with young minds as surely every one should be who deals with youth - I should have been saved much misery. But no : I had offended him ; his malice must be satisfied. Accordingly I was reported to the government, with every circunstance of exaggeration, and received a public. It was noised, as I thought, all over college. My pride was lacerated to the quick. I felt disgraced. I trembled when I thought of my father. I begged the president, with tears, that he might not be made acquainted with it. My request availed with him. But my character in my own eyes was blasted. I never could look any one in the face again. All was irrecoverably lost. Such was my simplicity. Publics were very common; and the elder students seemed to care for them, only because they lowered the rank for parts, and were the forerunners of Euspension.
My companions endeavored to laugh me out of my sensibility; and I believe they really felt sorry for me, although it was esteemed a good joke. But it was my first humiliation in ihis way. I
spent my time alone, and wept as I have never wept since. I thought of my father, my own mother, and stretched out my sympathies to find come object I could dwell upon for consolation. My thoughts, in this way, ran back to my happy years; and then I would ask my
self how I could live under such a disgrace. It is the nature of sensibility to increase its own sorrow - to feed it from all the springs of tears we possess. If wretched, it calls up the picture of seasons when it was happy; if deserted, it dwells on fidelity; and if dying, it turns its eyes upon the gay living world.
Time healed my wounds, but it also hardened my heart. I hated tutor H
We recited to him every day. It seemed to me that he took delight in screwing me; and if I knew myself to be in the right, and possessed of my lesson, when he stopped me, I invariably got into a passion. I looked upon him as the author of my disgrace, and he seemed, even to my class-mates, to take delight in exciting my temper hoping, no doubt, that I should be hurried into some act that would make me liable to college law. I avoided his department all I could, and thereby lost one of the most valuable courses of study - mathematics.
Tutor H was a low-bred man, who had been a charity scholar, and is a good specimen of the traps about college. Originally a black-smith, and with iron nerves, he took it into his head to get sick, and turn his attention to the harder studies. He got through college with some credit as a scholar; but was more remarkable for his unpopularity, on account of his meanness of character. After being graduated, he was made pructor, or spy, on account of his skill in ferreting second to none, not even Read or Hays, to one of whom he is said to be distantly related. He was wont to say to the ladies, to whom he boasted of his mighty prowess,' that he loved to bring the sons of gentlemen down. In his day, he got forty students expelled; sixty-five suspended; more than a thousand ' publics' were given by his means; and he gave prirates himself every day, by way of an appetite. He was an enormous eater carniverous and when a student, fresh from the forge, he gained himself some notoriety by biting a nail in two parts with his teeth. Such was my enemy.
The government of the college was, in my day, composed of many sound men.
Who can ever forget our venerable president W with his round and benevolent face, his easy manners, his Christian love for the whole world ? He was so pure and upright himself, that he never suspected wrong in others. Eminent as a divine, and man of polite learning, conscious of his own powers, he became too careless of his reputation as an orator. His manner in the pulpit was so familiar and easy, that to the undiscerning he seemed to lack in dig. nity of thought as well as of delivery. With more pedantry and more ostentation, he wouid have enjoyed at large a higher reputation, although he would have lost by it that beautiful simplicity which gained hiip so much love in private, and those 'troops of friends' who, with tears, witnessed his resignation.
Our professors ranked among the first men of the age. There was the heavy Dr. H-, the polished Dr. F-, and the nervous Dr. T
; and although seldom seen, once the divine, then the learned and elegant scholar, and afterward the aspiring Mr. S— a man remarkable for many things — his fine writing, his public speeches, his labored efforts after distinction; who did shine as a speech-maker when Greece and chivalry were the subjects of dis
course, but who proves in himself that statesmen must be something else than fine scholars. He has sunk, in public estimation, in spite of his wealth, his connexions, his reserve, and ostentation, into that place from which he can never emerge.
Beside, we had fine scholars who pursued learning for its own sake, and thought not of fame. I well recollect our venerable professor P He was a student at Greek. He seemed to care for, to think of, nothing else. Dressed in a long, old-fashioned surtout, with long boots, and small clothes, and broad-brimmed hat, how often has he travelled the finely-gravelled walk to University-Hall, repeating Greek poetry, and enacting over in his mind the plays of Sophocles and Euripides - hugging his Majora the 10 yalov of his life. With long strides, and perhaps in musing mood, I now see him, as he gains the steps to the hall. Behind, half laughing at his attitudes, half trembling for fear of being taken up, if the lesson is hard, follow the college boys. Taking three stairs at a jump, the learned professor is already seated, and has commenced the operation of rubbing his hands, and bowing to his book, as the God of his idolatry. The students pour in, but he does not deign a look at them; he is already deeply engaged upon some passage, or conning a new reading. By and by he looks up with a stare, and collects his thoughts to the business in hand, and does it most thoroughly.
In after life, as his pupils remember his seclusion, his purity of life, bis almost entirely intellectual existence for he has lived alone, eat alone, and studied alone all his days — they regret, as I do, the ridicule we attached to his character, and to his high pursuits. He is one among many, who are unknown in their day and generation. His toils and vigils are for the cause of learning; and for every drop of blood dried up in bis veins, a brilliant gem is added to the jewels of the mind. As travel, business, or pleasure shall carry back the sons of H to her classic shades, and they wander amid the monuments of Mount Auburn, over no grave will so many hot tears be shed, or kind benedictions offered, as over that which shall enclose the remains of that much-loved professor. Our theological professor was never made to shine in public. His labors were the labors of thought, upon subjects too deep and too important to afford him time to cater for popular incense in flowery style and pulpit eloquence. The moralist, the essayist, the discourser upon well-established truths, can only hope for popularity by handling his topics with new ornaments and vivid coloring. He must be eloquent, and graceful, and thrilling, to rouse the attention and to enchain it; but the polemical writer cannot be too simple. The sermons of Dr. W
were esteemed dry, by general hearers; but he was the chief corner stone of a new system: he had the weight of great responsibilities pressing upon him. He could not spend time in making himself agreeable; his object was to lay strong and deep the true principles of true Christianity, and to leave the gilding, and carving, and adorning to others. He was formed for the closet, and not for the pulpit. The opinions of many depended upon the movements of his pen. This professor will receive bis meed from posterity and from his God. He was a mild, domestic man, who seemed to depend little upon the worid or the world's praise for his happiness.