George Birkbeck Norman Hill.

Harvard college, by an Oxonian; online

. (page 9 of 26)
Online LibraryGeorge Birkbeck Norman HillHarvard college, by an Oxonian; → online text (page 9 of 26)
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Catholic Bishop denounce as atheistical, a lecture delivered
in the very home and centre of all that is venerable in An-
glican orthodoxy. Oxford the culprit, the charge impiety,
the accuser a Roman Catholic Bishop, the Court a Unitarian
University, the verdict Guilty ! I called to mind how, some
thirty years ago, a far more eloquent Bishop, at the meeting
of the British Association at Oxford, had scoffed at Danvin
and his new teaching, and how, the moment he sat down amid
the laughter and the applause of his audience, Mr. Huxley
had started up and smitten him heavily. I wished that he
had been at Harvard to try another fall with another Bishop.



CHAPTER VI.

Phi Beta Day. — Foundation of the Society. — Emerson's Oration in 1837.
— Charles Sumner. — The Meeting and the Dinner.

ON the day after Commencement I attended the yearly
meeting of the Harvard Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa.
This Society, to which there is nothing that answers in England,
took its rise towards the close of last century in William and
Mary College, Virginia. It aims at " the promotion of litera-
ture and friendly intercourse among scholars." The Harvard
Chapter was founded in 1781, by virtue of an instrument called
a "Charter Party," dated December 4, 1779, formally executed
by the President, officers, and members of the original Society,
issued to Elisha Parmele, of the University of Cambridge, Mas-
sachusetts Bay, authorizing him to establish a Chapter there,
with all rights and powers. Parmele, no doubt, had been
initiated in Virginia. For many years the Phi Beta was every-
where a secret Society, with a formal initiation, of an oath of
secrecy, and certain mysteries, such as a peculiar way of shak-
ing hands and of knocking at the door. The knock was an
anapest — two light knocks followed by one hard. The name
in full, La Blov Kv/3£pvT]Tr]



Online LibraryGeorge Birkbeck Norman HillHarvard college, by an Oxonian; → online text (page 9 of 26)