CAP AND GOWN IN PROSE
The Cap and Gown Series
Cap and Gown in Prose
Cap and Gown First Series
Cap and Gown Second Series
The Golden Treasury of American
Songs and Lyrics
Poems of American Patriotism
My Lady Sleeps
Out of the Heart
Poems of American Wit and Humor
Pipe and Pouch
Through Love to Light
The Two Voices
From Queens Gardens
Hymns of the Higher Life
L C PAGE AND COMPANY
2J2 Summer St., Boston, Mass.
CAP AND GOWN
Sfjort 5kctd)rs ScUctcti from
of &ccrnt gears
R. L. PAGET
EDITOR OF " POEMS OF AMERICAN PATRIOTISM,"
"THE POETRY OF AMERICAN WIT
AND HUMOR," ETC.
L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
BY L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
All rights reserved
Electrotyped and Printed by C H. Simonds & Co.
Boston, U. S. A.
THE editor of " Cap and Gown Second Series "
reminded his readers, it will be remembered, that
college verse must not be taken too seriously.
The same thing may of course be said of college
prose. But in the latter case there is small need
of such warning ; only the Sophomore and his
admiring sisters will regard with any degree of
awe the "fortnightly theme" on "George Eliot
as an Ethical Guide," or " The Classical Spirit in
Arnold s Poetry," or will be fired with enthu
siasm for the society story and the tale of ad
venture adorning the pages of the " Lit." Prose,
as ordinarily written, lacks those double advan
tages of verse, jingle and brevity. It is either
good or fatally dull.
Here is the difficulty which the editor of the
present volume, who wished above all that his
book might be entertaining, faced at the outset.
How should he overcome the prejudice excited
in advance by the word " prose "?
In the first place, it was plain that the selec
tions should be short. Moreover, they should,
so far as possible, be concerned with scenes
drawn from actual life. Finally, the point of
view should be that of youth.
If this aim has been carried out with even
approximate success, these sketches are not
without elements of unique value. Life as it
now appears to the philosopher he can describe
for us, but life as it appeared to him in youth he
can hardly trust himself to picture. That this
little book is representative of the best prose
composition of American colleges its editor
would hesitate to assert. Nor does he claim for
the compilation that it represents the relative
merit of the English departments in various
colleges. It aims to entertain ; to suggest the
college atmosphere and the college point of
view ; to remind the graybeard of the days when
campus, gridiron, diamond, track, " Prom," and
grind were words which stood for things that
made up a large part of his real world ; and,
finally, to show how near in some instances the
natural portrayal of simple things in the fewest
words may approach originality.
It has proved unavoidable that some colleges
are much more fully represented than others.
Certain undergraduate papers seldom publish
short prose contributions. A number of college
periodicals, which have only one or two selec
tions to their credit, might stand among the
most prominent in the book if the ability they
expend on long descriptions were turned in the
direction of "kodak shots." The colleges whose
English departments make the most of daily
theme courses are naturally much in evidence
in a compilation of this character.
In some cases papers are not represented, or
are represented by fewer selections than might
be desirable, because complete files had not been
kept or were unattainable.
It is possible that some readers will discover
the " college man " of their fancy to be an idol
of clay. The editor can reply only that he has
given a picture of the student photographed by
the student himself. His excuse is the truth
of the portrait. The typical undergraduate is
addicted neither to vice nor to virtue. He is no
longer a child, but he is certainly boy all over.
Merry and light-hearted rather than flippant,
frequently an encyclopedia of slang, always fond
of playing jokes on his comrades and sometimes
of outwitting his professors, his whole creed
honour (which he insists on defining himself),
he is after all very lovable and unspoiled. To
object to him is to find fault with human
The compiler returns hearty thanks to the
editors and business managers of the different
papers for their numerous courtesies. With
out their generous cooperation the book would
have been impossible. He would also thank Mr.
F. W. C. Hersey, of Cambridge, Mass., Mr. B.
S. Monroe, of Romulus, N. Y., and the Libra
rian of the Dartmouth College Library for the
loan of files of college magazines in their pos
BOSTON, MASS., MAY i, 1900.
COLLEGE PAPERS REPRESENTED.
AMHERST COLLEGE . . .
BALTIMORE, WOMAN S
BOWDOIN COLLEGE . . .
BROWN UNIVERSITY . .
BRYN MAWR COLLEGE .
CHICAGO UNIVERSITY . .
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY .
CORNELL UNIVERSITY . .
DARTMOUTH COLLEGE. .
HAMILTON COLLEGE . .
HARVARD UNIVERSITY .
LELAND STANFORD UNI
MASS. INSTITUTE OF TECH
MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY .
MOUNT HOLYOKE COL
Amherst Literary Monthly.
Bryn Maivr Lantern.
University of Chicago Weekly.
Columbia Literary Monthly.
Dartmouth Literary Monthly.
Hamilton Literary Magazine.
The Mount Holyoke.
COLLEGE PAPERS REPRESENTED
SITY OF ......
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY .
RADCLIFFE COLLEGE . .
SMITH COLLEGE ....
TRINITY COLLEGE . . .
TUFTS COLLEGE . . ... .
VASSAR COLLEGE . . .
WELLESLEY COLLEGE . .
WELLS COLLEGE. . . .
WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY .
WESTERN RESERVE UNI
WILLIAMS COLLEGE . .
YALE UNIVERSITY . . .
Red and Blue.
Nassau Literary Monthly.
Smith College Monthly.
Wells College Chronicle.
Wesleyan Literary Monthly.
Williams Literary Monthly.
Yale Literary Magazine.
After Sunday Comes Monday .
. Vassar Miscellany .
. Vassar Miscellany
Alpha and Omega .
As It Was in the Beginning .
. Morningside .
. Yale Literary Magazine .
. Cornell Magazine
. University of Chicago Weekly
At Mott Haven
. Ha-niard A dvocate
Augury of the Birds, The . . Yale Courant . . 200
Bane and Antidote .... Wisconsin Mgis . . .224
Bareain A Williams Literary Monthly . 263
Believer in Class Spirit, A . . Trinity Tablet . . . .35
Cambridge Episode, A ... Harvard A dvocate . . .208
Cat the Queen Stroked, The . . Yale Literary Magazine . .158
Chance Acquaintance, A . . . Tech 41
Chapel ...... Bryn Mavjr Lantern . 262
Child Sketches Harvard Advocate . . 17
Choice, A. Part One . . Princeton Tiger ... 20
Choice, A. Part Two . . . Princeton Tiger ... 23
Chronicle of the Exam . . . University of Chicago Weekly. 199
Christmas Dream, A ... Princeton Tiger . . .291
Cigarette, A Cornell Magazine . . . 1 1 1
Class Day Convert, A ... Harvard A dvocate . . . iQ3
Clever Miss Vandeveer, The . . Hamilton Literary Magazine . 180
Cold Bluff, A A mherst Literary Monthly . 101
College Revery, A .... University of Chicago Weekly 233
Comedy, A Columbia Spectator . . .265
Complete Athlete, The . . . Yale Courant . 94
Contentment Wells College Chronicle . . 183
Conversation, A .... A mherst Literary Monthly . 217
Conversion of Fredericks, The . Harvard A dvocate . . .227
Corn-cob Pipe, A .... Wisconsin sEgis . . .195
Cousin John Red and Blue .... 80
Dangerous Room-mate, A . . Harvard Advocate . . .150
Dead Broke Harvard Advocate . . .151
Decision of a Moment, The . . Morningside . . . . 2 8i
Divine Aid Yale Courant . ... 53
Dream of Fair Women, A . . Wesley an Literary Monthly . 48
Duets . Williams Literary Monthly . 261
Economy University of Chicago Weekly. 71
Exhibits in a Trial of Hearts . . Wrinkle 105
Fable Williams Literary Monthly . 103
Fable of the Two Men and the
Pomegranate .... Princeton Tiger . . .133
Filibustering Father, A ... Columbia Literary Monthly . 258
First Conversation: Across the
Fence Yale Literary Magazine . . 62
First Time, The .... Harvard A dvocate ... 67
Fortunate Foursome, A . . . Yale Coitrant . . . .168
Founded on Fact .... Williams Literary Monthly . 278
Freshman Enters the Debate, The . Wrinkle no
Freshman s Ideal, The . . . Wesley an Literary Monthly . 231
From a College Man s Journal . Tuftonian 11
From the Heights .... College Folio .... 270
Girl Correspondents , . . . A mherst Literary Monthly . 285
Girl in Blue, The .... Harvard Advocate . . .13
Glimpses Radcliffe Magazine . . .289
Golf and a Bracelet .... Brunonian 172
Hazing of Sammy, The . . . Smith College Monthly . . 147
Her Key University of Chicago Weekly . 247
Her Moral Downfall . . . Red and Blue .... 44
His First Race University of Chicago Weekly. 74
His Last Appeal .... Dartmouth Literary Monthly . 220
How I Recovered .... Harvard A dvocate . . .258
In June Brunonian 178
In Perspective Harvard A dvocate ... 29
In the Afternoon Car . . . Bryn Maivr Lantern . . 72
In the Car University of Chicago Weekly . 204
In the Reading-room . . . Harvard Advocate . . .251
In the Shell Harvard A dvocate ... 7
Inklings The Mount Holyoke . . .156
Jeems Miller s Coortin . . . Wesleyan Literary Monthly . 85
Johnny The Mount Holyoke ... 65
Letter Home, A .... Amherst Literary Monthly . 92
Little Tommy Atkins . . . Wellesley Magazine . . .237
Love of Lop- Ear .... Sequoia 253
Lunches College Folio .... 246
Magazine Story, A .... Vassar Miscellany ... 50
Man from Yale, The . . . Tech 144
Metamorphosis University of Chicago Weekly. 141
My First Boat-race .... Morningside .... 69
My Freshman Smith College Monthly . . 275
My Old Room Harvard Advocate . . .185
New Term, The .... Kalends I5 2
Observations Princeton Tiger ... 88
Of Passing Moment .... Harvard A dvocate ... 97
Old Man Nassau Literary Monthly . 117
On a High Stool .... Harvard A dvocate . . .236
"On Linden" Morningside .... 8
Overheard In Arcady?. . . Harvard Advocate . . .132
Philosophy at Twenty-one . . University of Chicago Weekly . 177
Poor Little Reginald . . . Williams Literary Monthly . 243
Postmaster s Story, The . . . Wesleyan Literary Monthly . 222
Progress of the Crews . . . Cornell Widow . . . .161
Proprieties, The . A mherst Literary Monthly . 107
Queen A . . Amherst Literary Monthly . 137
Ready ...... Harvard Advocate i
Reminiscence, A .... Cornell Magazine ... 2
Scene: Dinner, etc University of Chicago Weekly . 212
Scene on a Kansas Ranch . . Wells College Chronicle . .150
Seen from the Road .... Wesleyan Literary Monthly . 252
Sentinel and a Substitute, A . . Red and Blue .... 190
Shooting of Barrows, Freshman, The Dartmouth Literary Monthly . 122
Short Conversation, A . . . Harvard Advocate . . "5
Smoker, The Yale Literary Magazine . .164
Stray Sympathy, A .... Wellesley Magazine . . -274
Sweet is True Love .... Sequoia 166
Swimming Race, A . . . . University of Chicago Weekly . 58
That Babington Affair . . . Williams Literary Monthly . 88
Those Teas and Things . . . A mJterst L iterary Monthly . 14
Three Cornell Magazine ... 3
Three O clock, A. M. . . . Bowdoin Quill . . . .239
Told by the Doctor .... Tech 129
Two and Two Morningside .... 142
Two Dear Old Ladies . . Wesley an Literary Monthly . 187
Two Yards to Gain .... Harvard A dvocate ... 40
Unavailable Yale Courant . . . .134
Un Chant D Amour . . . . University of Chicago Weekly. 182
Uncle Bill s Opinions . . . Princeton Tiger . . .235
Unexpected, The .... Brunonian 39
University 5 , ... . . Harvard Advocate . - -175
Unplayed Trump, An . . . Dartmouth Literary Monthly . 26
Very Young Man, A ... Wrinkle . ... . . . 43
Ways of Woman, The . . . Dartmouth Literary Monthly . 272
World s End, The .... Wellesley Magazine . . .163
Yule-tide Happening, A . . . Harvard A dvocate ... 78
CAP AND GOWN IN PROSE
" I SHALL say, Are you ready ? once ; and
then, if I hear no reply, I shall say, Go.
The referee s voice sounds hollow and harsh
through the megaphone.
I take one last glance over my shoulder at
the other crews. They are both set, vindictive,
and strong, coiled beautifully with power to
spring. The challenge of their attitude sets
my teeth, and as I turn my blade square and
deep in the water, and feel it snug against the
thole-pin, with a tight grip of both hands for
the wrench, the intolerable and consuming ner
vousness of the past hours goes from me. I am
conscious only of a tingling in my temples, and
2 CAP AND GOWN IN PROSE
the sense of a great clearness somewhere above
and before my eyes.
Then like the voice of Fate,
" Gentlemen, are you ready ? "
I know nothing but the nape of 4 s neck.
He was down at the start of the hundred
yards, and his cry came with the crack of the
pistol that started the four men down the cinder
track toward the crowd with the hole in it at the
finish. He had no business there. The Execu
tive Committee had expressly forbidden any
such thing as coaching, and yet he was there,
he always is there, and his shout had
scarcely less of command, scarcely less of thrill
ing demand in it than the pistol-shot itself.
It was a small thing, but, as the crowd pre
pared to swallow up the bare-legged runners,
and the man who had shouted grew ridiculously
excited, the lone Cornellian who had been stand
ing by turned away to saunter off across the
CAP AND GOWN IN PROSE 3
Oval with that stirring " Yale!" in his ears, and
doing a deal of thinking meanwhile. How that
boy must have felt ! How he must have heard
it ringing in his ears, and felt it throbbing
through his brain after all else was gone, in the
dreadful weariness that was crowding on his
breast ! Perhaps his mother was over in the
grand stand, and some one with her who could
point him out ; perhaps it was a big brother who
had taken him by the shoulders that morning,
had looked into his eyes, and had said something
beginning, " Jack, old man," that had made him
feel older all of a sudden, had made him know
that "brother" might mean more than he had
ever felt before ; perhaps Somebody Else was
there who had given him just a glance that had
not made him think anything about sisters.
Perhaps, but who can imagine what is in a boy s
head ? Whatever it was, it was all gone long
before he had reached the press-stands ; his
heart was pumping "Yale! "into his reeling
brain. He will go faster. There is a great
" Must ! " upon him. Faster ! Faster ! Ah-h-h !
And the man that caught him as his breast
broke the string heard him gasp, " Yale ! "
Well, he was a very foolish boy, of course,
4 CAP AND GOWN IN PROSE
and his mother and his father and the rest
ought to have been ashamed to be proud of
him ; but that is not what was in the Cornel-
Han s mind, as the shouts of the crowd struck
back from the green hillside. His heart had
gone back to Ithaca. He practised it over
softly to himself, " Cornell ! " And he tried
again and again to fancy it blending with a pistol-
shot and transforming a bare-headed boy in
white into a fierce, panting bit of the university.
E. P. ANDREWS.
At the Game.
Dora: Jack, is it the interference when the
umpire interferes with the game, and makes
them stop to catch their breath ?
Jack: No, Dora, it s
Dora: Oh, there they go again. That man
with the red hair has got the goal, and is run
ning with it for all he s worth. There, they ve
got him down, and they ve all touched him.
Now is he a touchdown, dear ?
Jack (with emphasis) : Oh, no, you girls
Dora : There, Jack, see, wasn t that pretty ?
CAP AND GOWN IN PROSE 5
The man with an M on his perspirationer kicked
the goal over that long pole between those
sticks. Does he kick it half way from there,
and do they call that then the half back,
Jack: Oh my, Dora, do keep still, there is
Miss Hardy, of the Vassar eleven, in the
next coach. I m so afraid she ll hear you,
Dora : Why, Jack ! What if she should ? Is
she a Vassar player, really, Jack ? She ll have
her hair all ready long, won t she ? I think I ll
organise a society for playing football. Could I,
do you suppose ?
Jack (dolefully) : No doubt of it, Dora.
A few minutes pause.
Dora /Is the captain that man in the Fedora
hat, who runs with a cane every time they
Jack : No, he s the umpire, dear.
Dora : Are you sure, Jack ? And the man
with the stick of wood, is he keeping the score
with notches ?
Jack: Oh, Dora-
Dora (rapturously) : There they go again.
Oh, see there, there s that funny little duck
6 CAP AND GOWN IN PROSE
who falls down first every time, the one who
takes the football from the big fat man what s
he, Jack ?
Jack (in desperation) : The official timekeeper,
Dora : Isn t it lovely to come to the game,
Jack ? It s all so exciting, and when you ve
read up and know the plays, it makes it twice as
interesting, doesn t it, you old enthusiast ? And
I did it all for you, too.
Jack : So kind of you, I m sure, Dora.
Dora (after the home team failed to kick
goal) : Ha, ha, did you see that, Jack ? Why
didn t they all go for him when he kicked the
ball ? So stupid, everybody seemed to be petri
fied, and not one made a move.
Jack: Oh, Dora, you never
Dora: Won t I, Jack? I don t care, I just
came to please you, and now you don t seem to
appreciate what a martyr I am.
Jack : Nor you what a martyr I am.
Then there was another long pause, and dur
ing it Dora s lip trembled once. But, finally,
the woman s old inquisitiveness came back to
her, and she touched Jack s elbow.
" Jack, just one more please, and then I ll not
CAP AND GOWN IN PROSE 7
say another thing. What does the M stand for,
Michigan or Minnesota ? "
And Jack just caught himself in time not to
say, " Mephistopheles."
GEORGE RUSSELL BARKER.
In the Shell.
FOR two hours we had sat in our shell in the
midst of the rain. The swift-blown mist had
soaked gradually through our sweaters, which
hung on our shoulders like heavy bags. From
my place at bow, I could see the water run in
big, round drops down the back hair of Number
2, and, gathering on the ends of it and on the
lobes of his ears, drip slowly on to his shoulders.
Even the oar handles were so wet that I rubbed
my hand now and then down my wet sweater.
We had quite got beyond the civilised wish for
dryness. As we heaved back and forth, steam
ing and warm, we felt all the indifference to the
rain of an out-door animal.
CAP AND GOWN IN PROSE
" THE only connection I ever had with oratory
in my college career," said Ned Jeffries, Colum
bia 78, to a group of graduates at the Chicago
debate, "was through a course in declamation
in my Freshman year. I came nearer to flunk
ing that course than any course I ever took in
college, and that is saying a good deal. If it
hadn t been for Phil Harkness, I should have
flunked it. Each man was supposed to recite
some piece or other four times a term. Some
thing had prevented my preparing anything the
first time that I ought to have spoken, and Ben
son, who was giving the course, recorded a flat
failure for me.
" The next time I did not remember that I
had to speak until I got into the room, when it
was too late to prepare anything. To flunk that
time meant a sure flunk at the end of the term.
I had to say something. I thought of The
Charge of the Light Brigade, Cannon to right
of them, cannon to left of them, something and
thundered. I eouldn t remember the rest. I
had an idea that the Wreck of the Hesperus
CAP AND GOWN IN PROSE 9
might do, and asked Phil if that wasn t the one
where the captain staggered down the stair.
Phil wasn t sure, but thought not. He suggested
On Linden when the sun was low, but some
one had spoken that every time, and, anyway, I
only knew the first verse. Phil thought awhile,
then he started suddenly.
" I ve got it, he said. You go ahead with
" On Linden."
" But I only know the first verse, I ob
" I ll see that you don t need any more, said
" < But how
" Never mind. You get up there and speak
your first verse.
" Phil wrote something on a sheet of paper
and passed it to the man next to him. The
latter chuckled happily as he read it, nodded
to Phil, and passed it on.
" Well, I had confidence in Phil, so when Ben
son called on me, I went up to the platform,
struck my finest attitude, and began :
" On Linden when the sun was low
" Chestnuts, chestnuts, came in Phil s voice
from the back of the room.
IO CAP AND GOWN IN PROSE
" All bloodless lay the untrodden snow/ I
went on, impressively.
" Oh, give us a rest ! Chestnuts !
We ve heard that before, came from all over
the room, Phil leading the tumult.
" Iser rolling rapidly was greeted by a
perfect howl. I had said all I knew, so I
stopped, pretended to stammer a little and
turned to Benson.
" It s very hard for me to speak, sir, I said,
apologetically, looking at the shouting class in
front of me.
" I knew Benson thought it beneath his dig
nity as a college professor to take any notice of
a breach of discipline, so the only way that he
could express his anger was by taking my side
against the howling class.
" Certainly, Mr. Jeffries, it is very difficult
indeed, he said, with an angry look at the
class. You are doing remarkably well. Go
"That was just what I could not do. I
" On Linden when the sun was low
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow.
CAP AND GOWN IN PROSE II
" Oh, dry up ! shouted Phil, and the uproar
broke out again. It was, of course, useless to
attempt to speak against it. I hesitated, stopped,
and looked at Benson.
" That will do, Mr. Jeffries, said he. Very
good, indeed. It is disgraceful that you should
be interrupted in this way. I will give you the
maximum. The class is dismissed for to-day.
From a College Man s Journal*
Ax about eight o clock of an evening you
shut your yellow-back, light your pipe, and get
into harness with the intention of doing four
days work in one. At nine you are in full work
ing stride, and the door-bell rings. You pay no
attention to him as he enters. He carries an
obtrusive fresh-lit cigar and an air of jaunti-
ness that says, " Ah ! Working ? I haven t
anything until next Friday."
Conversation, except of the most vapid and
unprofitable sort, is impossible. You aren t
interested in hypotheses based upon the proba
ble victory of Tufts 2000 over Harvard. Work,
12 CAP AND GOWN IN PROSE
too, is out of the question. He wanders around
the house like a draught, a ghastly, door-
creaking, curtain-banging draught ; quiet, per
sistent, maddening. He dissolves somewhere
in the kitchen and reappears with a coal
scuttle. " Let s have a fire, it s so cheerful,
you know. No ? Work ? Gad, man, it s fool
ish to work," and he resumes his mooning
around, whistling tattered fragments of opera
as he goes. You are reduced to a state of
nervous coma in which you sit and watch
him from beneath your green shade, furtively,
Finally, at eleven he chances upon the open
door, and after two or three unsuccessful
attempts drifts out ; says that he ll call again
when you aren t busy, and immediately re
appears at the window to tap idiotically, and
say good night.
We call him the last straw.
CAP AND GOWN IN PROSE 13
The Girl in Blue*
" Get set ! ! "
" Bang ! ! ! "
You are off like a rabbit at the sound of the
dogs, and running like a whirlwind. You pass
a number of men, a couple pass you. The first
lap is run, and the race has settled down into a
swift procession in which every man keeps his
place. As you get around again, you notice a
pretty girl in blue near the corner. Perhaps it
is because of your red band, but she smiles