A Collection of College Words and Customs
by Benjamin Homer Hall
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In the Sketches of Williams College, printed in the year 1847, is a description of the manner in which the funeral exercises of Euclid are sometimes conducted in that institution. It is as follows:—"The burial took place last night. The class assembled in the recitation-room in full numbers, at 9 o'clock. The deceased, much emaciated, and in a torn and tattered dress, was stretched on a black table in the centre of the room. This table, by the way, was formed of the old blackboard, which, like a mirror, had so often reflected the image of old Euclid. In the body of the corpse was a triangular hole, made for the post mortem examination, a report of which was read. Through this hole, those who wished were allowed to look; and then, placing the body on their heads, they could say with truth that they had for once seen through and understood Euclid.

"A eulogy was then pronounced, followed by an oration and the reading of the epitaph, after which the class formed a procession, and marched with slow and solemn tread to the place of burial. The spot selected was in the woods, half a mile south of the College. As we approached the place, we saw a bright fire burning on the altar of turf, and torches gleaming through the dark pines. All was still, save the occasional sympathetic groans of some forlorn bull-frogs, which came up like minute-guns from the marsh below.

"When we arrived at the spot, the sexton received the body. This dignitary presented rather a grotesque appearance. He wore a white robe bound around his waist with a black scarf, and on his head a black, conical-shaped hat, some three feet high. Haying fastened the remains to the extremity of a long, black wand, he held them in the fire of the altar until they were nearly consumed, and then laid the charred mass in the urn, muttering an incantation in Latin. The urn being buried deep in the ground, we formed a ring around the grave, and sung the dirge. Then, lighting our larches by the dying fire, we retraced our steps with feelings suited to the occasion."—pp. 74-76.

Of this observance the writer of the preface to the "Songs of Yale" remarks: "The Burial of Euclid is an old ceremony practised at many colleges. At Yale it is conducted by the Sophomore Class during the first term of the year. After literary exercises within doors, a procession is formed, which proceeds at midnight through the principal streets of the city, with music and torches, conveying a coffin, supposed to contain the body of the old mathematician, to the funeral pile, when the whole is fired and consumed to ashes."—1853, p. 4.

From the lugubrious songs which are usually sung on these sad occasions, the following dirge is selected. It appears in the order of exercises for the "Burial of Euclid by the Class of '57," which took place at Yale College, November 8, 1854.

Tune,—"Auld Lang Syne."


Come, gather all ye tearful Sophs, And stand around the ring; Old Euclid's dead, and to his shade A requiem we'll sing: Then join the saddening chorus, all Ye friends of Euclid true; Defunct, he can no longer bore, "[Greek: Pheu pheu, oi moi, pheu pheu.]"[03]


Though we to Pluto deadicate, No god to take him deigns, So, one short year from now will Fate Bring back his sad re-manes: For at Biennial his ghost Will prompt the tutor blue, And every fizzling Soph will cry, "[Greek: Pheu pheu, oi moi, pheu pheu.]"


Though here we now his corpus burn, And flames about him roar, The future Fresh shall say, that he's "Not dead, but gone before": We close around the dusky bier, And pall of sable hue, And silently we drop the tear; "[Greek: Pheu pheu, oi moi, pheu pheu.]"

BURLESQUE BILL. At Princeton College, it is customary for the members of the Sophomore Class to hold annually a Sophomore Commencement, caricaturing that of the Senior Class. The Sophomore Commencement is in turn travestied by the Junior Class, who prepare and publish Burlesque Bills, as they are called, in which, in a long and formal programme, such subjects and speeches are attributed to the members of the Sophomore Class as are calculated to expose their weak points.


BURLINGTON. At Middlebury College, a water-closet, privy. So called on account of the good-natured rivalry between that institution and the University of Vermont at Burlington.

BURNING OF CONIC SECTIONS. "This is a ceremony," writes a correspondent, "observed by the Sophomore Class of Trinity College, on the Monday evening of Commencement week. The incremation of this text-book is made by the entire class, who appear in fantastic rig and in torch-light procession. The ceremonies are held in the College grove, and are graced with an oration and poem. The exercises are usually closed by a class supper."

BURNING OF CONVIVIUM. Convivium is a Greek book which is studied at Hamilton College during the last term of the Freshman year, and is considered somewhat difficult. Upon entering Sophomore it is customary to burn it, with exercises appropriate to the occasion. The time being appointed, the class hold a meeting and elect the marshals of the night. A large pyre is built during the evening, of rails and pine wood, on the middle of which is placed a barrel of tar, surrounded by straw saturated with turpentine. Notice is then given to the upper classes that Convivium will be burnt that night at twelve o'clock. Their company is requested at the exercises, which consist of two poems, a tragedy, and a funeral oration. A coffin is laid out with the "remains" of the book, and the literary exercises are performed. These concluded, the class form a procession, preceded by a brass band playing a dirge, and march to the pyre, around which, with uncovered heads, they solemnly form. The four bearers with their torches then advance silently, and place the coffin upon the funeral pile. The class, each member bearing a torch, form a circle around the pyre. At a given signal they all bend forward together, and touch their torches to the heap of combustibles. In an instant "a lurid flame arises, licks around the coffin, and shakes its tongue to heaven." To these ceremonies succeed festivities, which are usually continued until daylight.

BURNING OF ZUMPT'S LATIN GRAMMAR. The funeral rites over the body of this book are performed by the students in the University of New York. The place of turning and burial is usually at Hoboken. Scenes of this nature often occur in American colleges, having their origin, it is supposed, in the custom at Yale of burying Euclid.

BURNT FOX. A student during his second half-year, in the German universities, is called a burnt fox.

BURSAR, pl. BURSARII. A treasurer or cash-keeper; as, the bursar of a college or of a monastery. The said College in Cambridge shall be a corporation consisting of seven persons, to wit, a President, five Fellows, and a Treasurer or Bursar.—Peirce's Hist. Harv. Univ., App., p. 11.

Every student is required on his arrival, at the commencement of each session, to deliver to the Bursar the moneys and drafts for money which he has brought with him. It is the duty of the Bursar to attend to the settlement of the demands for board, &c.; to pay into the hands of the student such sums as are required for other necessary expenses, and to render a statement of the same to the parent or guardian at the close of the session. —Catalogue of Univ. of North Carolina, 1848-49, p. 27.

2. A student to whom a stipend is paid out of a burse or fund appropriated for that purpose, as the exhibitioners sent to the universities in Scotland, by each presbytery.—Webster.

See a full account in Brande's Dict. Science, Lit., and Art.

BURSARY. The treasury of a college or monastery.—Webster.

2. In Scotland, an exhibition.—Encyc.

BURSCH (bursh), pl. BURSCHEN. German. A youth; especially a student in a German university.

"By bursche," says Howitt, "we understand one who has already spent a certain time at the university,—and who, to a certain degree, has taken part in the social practices of the students."—Student Life of Germany, Am. Ed., p. 27.

Und hat der Bursch kein Geld im Beutel, So pumpt er die Philister an, Und denkt: es ist doch Alles eitel Vom Burschen bis zum Bettleman. Crambambuli Song.

Student life! Burschen life! What a magic sound have these words for him who has learnt for himself their real meaning.—Howitt's Student Life of Germany.

BURSCHENSCHAFT. A league or secret association of students, formed in 1815, for the purpose, as was asserted, of the political regeneration of Germany, and suppressed, at least in name, by the exertions of the government.—Brandt.

"The Burschenschaft," says the Yale Literary Magazine, "was a society formed in opposition to the vices and follies of the Landsmannschaft, with the motto, 'God, Honor, Freedom, Fatherland.' Its object was 'to develop and perfect every mental and bodily power for the service of the Fatherland.' It exerted a mighty and salutary influence, was almost supreme in its power, but was finally suppressed by the government, on account of its alleged dangerous political tendencies."—Vol. XV. p. 3.

BURSE. In France, a fund or foundation for the maintenance of poor scholars in their studies. In the Middle Ages, it signified a little college, or a hall in a university.—Webster.

BURST. To fail in reciting; to make a bad recitation. This word is used in some of the Southern colleges.

BURT. At Union College, a privy is called the Burt, from a person of that name, who many years ago was employed as the architect and builder of the latrinae of that institution.

BUSY. An answer often given by a student, when he does not wish to see visitors.

Poor Croak was almost annihilated by this summons, and, clinging to the bed-clothes in all the agony of despair, forgot to busy his midnight visitor.—Harv. Reg., p. 84.

Whenever, during that sacred season, a knock salutes my door, I respond with a busy.—Collegian, p. 25.

"Busy" is a hard word to utter, often, though heart and conscience and the college clock require it.—Scenes and Characters in College, p. 58.

BUTLER. Anciently written BOTILER. A servant or officer whose principal business is to take charge of the liquors, food, plate, &c. In the old laws of Harvard College we find an enumeration of the duties of the college butler. Some of them were as follows.

He was to keep the rooms and utensils belonging to his office sweet and clean, fit for use; his drinking-vessels were to be scoured once a week. The fines imposed by the President and other officers were to be fairly recorded by him in a book, kept for that purpose. He was to attend upon the ringing of the bell for prayer in the hall, and for lectures and commons. Providing candles for the hall was a part of his duty. He was obliged to keep the Buttery supplied, at his own expense, with beer, cider, tea, coffee, chocolate, sugar, biscuit, butter, cheese, pens, ink, paper, and such other articles as the President or Corporation ordered or permitted; "but no permission," it is added in the laws, "shall be given for selling wine, distilled spirits, or foreign fruits, on credit or for ready money." He was allowed to advance twenty per cent. on the net cost of the articles sold by him, excepting beer and cider, which were stated quarterly by the President and Tutors. The Butler was allowed a Freshman to assist him, for an account of whom see under FRESHMAN, BUTLER'S.—Peirce's Hist. Harv. Univ., App., pp. 138, 139. Laws Harv. Coll., 1798, pp. 60-62.

President Woolsey, in his Historical Discourse pronounced before the Graduates of Yale College, August 14th, 1850, remarks as follows concerning the Butler, in connection with that institution:—

"The classes since 1817, when the office of Butler was, abolished, are probably but little aware of the meaning of that singular appendage to the College, which had been in existence a hundred years. To older graduates, the lower front corner room of the old middle college in the south entry must even now suggest many amusing recollections. The Butler was a graduate of recent standing, and, being invested with rather delicate functions, was required to be one in whom confidence might be reposed. Several of the elder graduates who have filled this office are here to-day, and can explain, better than I can, its duties and its bearings upon the interests of College. The chief prerogative of the Butler was to have the monopoly of certain eatables, drinkables, and other articles desired by students. The Latin laws of 1748 give him leave to sell in the buttery, cider, metheglin, strong beer to the amount of not more than twelve barrels annually,—which amount as the College grew was increased to twenty,—together with loaf-sugar ('saccharum rigidum'), pipes, tobacco, and such necessaries of scholars as were not furnished in the commons hall. Some of these necessaries were books and stationery, but certain fresh fruits also figured largely in the Butler's supply. No student might buy cider or beer elsewhere. The Butler, too, had the care of the bell, and was bound to wait upon the President or a Tutor, and notify him of the time for prayers. He kept the book of fines, which, as we shall see, was no small task. He distributed the bread and beer provided by the Steward in the Hall into equal portions, and had the lost commons, for which privilege he paid a small annual sum. He was bound, in consideration of the profits of his monopoly, to provide candles at college prayers and for a time to pay also fifty shillings sterling into the treasury. The more menial part of these duties he performed by his waiter."—pp. 43, 44.

At both Harvard and Yale the students were restricted in expending money at the Buttery, being allowed at the former "to contract a debt" of five dollars a quarter; at the latter, of one dollar and twenty-five cents per month.

BUTTER. A size or small portion of butter. "Send me a roll and two Butters."—Grad. ad Cantab.

Six cheeses, three butters, and two beers.—The Collegian's Guide.

Pertinent to this singular use of the word, is the following curious statement. At Cambridge, Eng., "there is a market every day in the week, except Monday, for vegetables, poultry, eggs, and butter. The sale of the last article is attended with the peculiarity of every pound designed for the market being rolled out to the length of a yard; each pound being in that state about the thickness of a walking-cane. This practice, which is confined to Cambridge, is particularly convenient, as it renders the butter extremely easy of division into small portions, called sizes, as used in the Colleges."—Camb. Guide, Ed. 1845, p. 213.

BUTTERY. An apartment in a house where butter, milk, provisions, and utensils are kept. In some colleges, a room where liquors, fruit, and refreshments are kept for sale to the students.—Webster.

Of the Buttery, Mr. Peirce, in his History of Harvard University, speaks as follows: "As the Commons rendered the College independent of private boarding-houses, so the Buttery removed all just occasion for resorting to the different marts of luxury, intemperance, and ruin. This was a kind of supplement to the Commons, and offered for sale to the students, at a moderate advance on the cost, wines, liquors, groceries, stationery, and, in general, such articles as it was proper and necessary for them to have occasionally, and which for the most part were not included in the Commons' fare. The Buttery was also an office, where, among other things, records were kept of the times when the scholars were present and absent. At their admission and subsequent returns they entered their names in the Buttery, and took them out whenever they had leave of absence. The Butler, who was a graduate, had various other duties to perform, either by himself or by his Freshman, as ringing the bell, seeing that the Hall was kept clean, &c., and was allowed a salary, which, after 1765, was L60 per annum."—Hist. Harv. Univ., p. 220.

With particular reference to the condition of Harvard College a few years prior to the Revolution, Professor Sidney Willard observes: "The Buttery was in part a sort of appendage to Commons, where the scholars could eke out their short commons with sizings of gingerbread and pastry, or needlessly or injuriously cram themselves to satiety, as they had been accustomed to be crammed at home by their fond mothers. Besides eatables, everything necessary for a student was there sold, and articles used in the play-grounds, as bats, balls, &c.; and, in general, a petty trade with small profits was carried on in stationery and other matters, —in things innocent or suitable for the young customers, and in some things, perhaps, which were not. The Butler had a small salary, and was allowed the service of a Freshman in the Buttery, who was also employed to ring the college bell for prayers, lectures, and recitations, and take some oversight of the public rooms under the Butler's directions. The Buttery was also the office of record of the names of undergraduates, and of the rooms assigned to them in the college buildings; of the dates of temporary leave of absence given to individuals, and of their return; and of fines inflicted by the immediate government for negligence or minor offences. The office was dropped or abolished in the first year of the present century, I believe, long after it ceased to be of use for most of its primary purposes. The area before the entry doors of the Buttery had become a sort of students' exchange for idle gossip, if nothing worse. The rooms were now redeemed from traffic, and devoted to places of study, and other provision was made for the records which had there been kept. The last person who held the office of Butler was Joseph Chickering, a graduate of 1799."—Memories of Youth and Manhood, 1855, Vol. I. pp. 31, 32.

President Woolsey, in his Historical Discourse pronounced before the Graduates of Yale College, August 14th, 1850, makes the following remarks on this subject: "The original motives for setting up a buttery in colleges seem to have been, to put the trade in articles which appealed to the appetite into safe hands; to ascertain how far students were expensive in their habits, and prevent them from running into debt; and finally, by providing a place where drinkables of not very stimulating qualities were sold, to remove the temptation of going abroad after spirituous liquors. Accordingly, laws were passed limiting the sum for which the Butler might give credit to a student, authorizing the President to inspect his books, and forbidding him to sell anything except permitted articles for ready money. But the whole system, as viewed from our position as critics of the past, must be pronounced a bad one. It rather tempted the student to self-indulgence by setting up a place for the sale of things to eat and drink within the College walls, than restrained him by bringing his habits under inspection. There was nothing to prevent his going abroad in quest of stronger drinks than could be bought at the buttery, when once those which were there sold ceased to allay his thirst. And a monopoly, such as the Butler enjoyed of certain articles, did not tend to lower their price, or to remove suspicion that they were sold at a higher rate than free competition would assign to them."—pp. 44, 45.

"When," says the Gradus ad Cantabrigiam, "the 'punishment obscene,' as Cowper, the poet, very properly terms it, of flagellation, was enforced at our University, it appears that the Buttery was the scene of action. In The Poor Scholar, a comedy, written by Robert Nevile, Fellow of King's College in Cambridge, London, 1662, one of the students having lost his gown, which is picked up by the President of the College, the tutor says, 'If we knew the owner, we 'd take him down to th' Butterie, and give him due correction.' To which the student, (aside,) 'Under correction, Sir; if you're for the Butteries with me, I'll lie as close as Diogenes in dolio. I'll creep in at the bunghole, before I'll mount a barrel,' &c. (Act II. Sc. 6.)—Again: 'Had I been once i' th' Butteries, they'd have their rods about me. But let us, for joy that I'm escaped, go to the Three Tuns and drink a pint of wine, and laugh away our cares.—'T is drinking at the Tuns that keeps us from ascending Buttery barrels,' &c." By a reference to the word PUNISHMENT, it will be seen that, in the older American colleges, corporal punishment was inflicted upon disobedient students in a manner much more solemn and imposing, the students and officers usually being present.

The effect of crossing the name in the buttery is thus stated in the Collegian's Guide. "To keep a term requires residence in the University for a certain number of days within a space of time known by the calendar, and the books of the buttery afford the appointed proof of residence; it being presumed that, if neither bread, butter, pastry, beer, or even toast and water (which is charged one farthing), are entered on the buttery books in a given name, the party could not have been resident that day. Hence the phrase of 'eating one's way into the church or to a doctor's degree.' Supposing, for example, twenty-one days' residence is required between the first of May and the twenty-fourth inclusive, then there will be but three days to spare; consequently, should our names be crossed for more than three days in all in that term, —say for four days,—the other twenty days would not count, and the term would be irrecoverably lost. Having our names crossed in the buttery, therefore, is a punishment which suspends our collegiate existence while the cross remains, besides putting an embargo on our pudding, beer, bread and cheese, milk, and butter; for these articles come out of the buttery."—p. 157.

These remarks apply both to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge; but in the latter the phrase to be put out of commons is used instead of the one given above, yet with the same meaning. See Gradus ad Cantabrigiam, p. 32.

The following extract from the laws of Harvard College, passed in 1734, shows that this term was formerly used in that institution: "No scholar shall be put in or out of Commons, but on Tuesdays or Fridays, and no Bachelor or Undergraduate, but by a note from the President, or one of the Tutors (if an Undergraduate, from his own Tutor, if in town); and when any Bachelors or Undergraduates have been out of Commons, the waiters, at their respective tables, shall, on the first Tuesday or Friday after they become obliged by the preceding law to be in Commons, put them into Commons again, by note, after the manner above directed. And if any Master neglects to put himself into Commons, when, by the preceding law, he is obliged to be in Commons, the waiters on the Masters' table shall apply to the President or one of the Tutors for a note to put him into Commons, and inform him of it."

Be mine each morn, with eager appetite And hunger undissembled, to repair To friendly Buttery; there on smoking Crust And foaming Ale to banquet unrestrained, Material breakfast! The Student, 1750, Vol. I. p. 107.

BUTTERY-BOOK. In colleges, a book kept at the buttery, in which was charged the prices of such articles as were sold to the students. There was also kept a list of the fines imposed by the president and professors, and an account of the times when the students were present and absent, together with a register of the names of all the members of the college.

My name in sure recording page Shall time itself o'erpower, If no rude mice with envious rage The buttery-books devour. The Student, Vol. I. p. 348.

BUTTERY-HATCH. A half-door between the buttery or kitchen and the hall, in colleges and old mansions. Also called a buttery-bar.—Halliwell's Arch. and Prov. Words.

If any scholar or scholars at any time take away or detain any vessel of the colleges, great or small, from the hall out of the doors from the sight of the buttery-hatch without the butler's or servitor's knowledge, or against their will, he or they shall be punished three pence.—Quincy's Hist. Harv. Coll., Vol. I. p. 584.

He (the college butler) domineers over Freshmen, when they first come to the hatch.—Earle's Micro-cosmographie, 1628, Char. 17.

There was a small ledging or bar on this hatch to rest the tankards on.

I pray you, bring your hand to the buttery-bar, and let it drink.—Twelfth Night, Act I. Sc. 3.

BYE-FELLOW. In England, a name given in certain cases to a fellow in an inferior college. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., a bye-fellow can be elected to one of the regular fellowships when a vacancy occurs.

BYE-FELLOWSHIP. An inferior establishment in a college for the nominal maintenance of what is called a bye-fellow, or a fellow out of the regular course.

The emoluments of the fellowships vary from a merely nominal income, in the case of what are called Bye-fellowships, to $2,000 per annum.—Literary World, Vol. XII. p. 285.

BYE-FOUNDATION. In the English universities, a foundation from which an insignificant income and an inferior maintenance are derived.

BYE-TERM. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., students who take the degree of B.A. at any other time save January, are said to "go out in a bye-term."

Bristed uses this word, as follows: "I had a double disqualification exclusive of illness. First, as a Fellow Commoner.... Secondly, as a bye-term man, or one between two years. Although I had entered into residence at the same time with those men who were to go out in 1844, my name had not been placed on the College Books, like theirs, previously to the commencement of 1840. I had therefore lost a term, and for most purposes was considered a Freshman, though I had been in residence as long as any of the Junior Sophs. In fact, I was between two years."—Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, pp. 97, 98.


CAD. A low fellow, nearly equivalent to snob. Used among students in the University of Cambridge, Eng.—Bristed.

CAHOOLE. At the University of North Carolina, this word in its application is almost universal, but generally signifies to cajole, to wheedle, to deceive, to procure.

CALENDAR. At the English universities the information which in American colleges is published in a catalogue, is contained in a similar but far more comprehensive work, called a calendar. Conversation based on the topics of which such a volume treats is in some localities denominated calendar.

"Shop," or, as it is sometimes here called, "Calendar," necessarily enters to a large extent into the conversation of the Cantabs.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 82.

I would lounge about into the rooms of those whom I knew for general literary conversation,—even to talk Calendar if there was nothing else to do.—Ibid., p. 120.

CALVIN'S FOLLY. At the University of Vermont, "this name," writes a correspondent, "is given to a door, four inches thick and closely studded with spike-nails, dividing the chapel hall from the staircase leading to the belfry. It is called Calvin's Folly, because it was planned by a professor of that (Christian) name, in order to keep the students out of the belfry, which dignified scheme it has utterly failed to accomplish. It is one of the celebrities of the Old Brick Mill,[04] and strangers always see it and hear its history."

CAMEL. In Germany, a student on entering the university becomes a Kameel,—a camel.

CAMPUS. At the College of New Jersey, the college yard is denominated the Campus. Back Campus, the privies.


It was transmitted to me by a respectable Cantab for insertion. —Hone's Every-day Book, Vol. I. p. 697.

Should all this be a mystery to our uncollegiate friends, or even to many matriculated Cantabs, we advise them not to attempt to unriddle it.—Harvardiana, Vol. III. p. 39.

CANTABRIGIAN. A student or graduate of the University of Cambridge, Eng. Used also at Cambridge, Mass., of the students and inhabitants.

CANTABRIGICALLY. According to Cambridge.

To speak Cantabrigically.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 28.

CAP. The cap worn by students at the University of Cambridge, Eng., is described by Bristed in the following passage: "You must superadd the academical costume. This consists of a gown, varying in color and ornament according to the wearer's college and rank, but generally black, not unlike an ordinary clerical gown, and a square-topped cap, which fits close to the head like a truncated helmet, while the covered board which forms the crown measures about a foot diagonally across."—Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 4.

A similar cap is worn at Oxford and at some American colleges on particular occasions.


CAP. To uncover the head in reverence or civility.

The youth, ignorant who they were, had omitted to cap them.—Gent. Mag., Vol. XXIV. p. 567.

I could not help smiling, when, among the dignitaries whom I was bound to make obeisance to by capping whenever I met them, Mr. Jackson's catalogue included his all-important self in the number. —The Etonian, Vol. II. p. 217.

The obsequious attention of college servants, and the more unwilling "capping" of the undergraduates, to such a man are real luxuries.—Blackwood's Mag., Eng. ed., Vol. LVI. p. 572.

Used in the English universities.

CAPTAIN OF THE POLL. The first of the Polloi.

He had moreover been Captain (Head) of the Poll.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 96.

CAPUT SENATUS. Latin; literally, the head of the Senate. In Cambridge, Eng., a council of the University by which every grace must be approved, before it can be submitted to the senate. The Caput Senatus is formed of the vice-chancellor, a doctor in each of the faculties of divinity, law, and medicine, and one regent M.A., and one non-regent M.A. The vice-chancellor's five assistants are elected annually by the heads of houses and the doctors of the three faculties, out of fifteen persons nominated by the vice-chancellor and the proctors.—Webster. Cam. Cal. Lit. World, Vol. XII. p. 283.


CARCER. Latin. In German schools and universities, a prison.—Adler's Germ, and Eng. Dict.

Wollten ihn drauf die Nuernberger Herren Mir nichts, dir nichts ins Carcer sperren. Wallenstein's Lager.

And their Nur'mberg worships swore he should go To jail for his pains,—if he liked it, or no. Trans. Wallenstein's Camp, in Bohn's Stand. Lib., p. 155.

CASTLE END. At Cambridge, Eng., a noted resort for Cyprians.

CATHARINE PURITANS. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., the members of St. Catharine's Hall are thus designated, from the implied derivation of the word Catharine from the Greek [Greek: katharos], pure.

CAUTION MONEY. In the English universities, a deposit in the hands of the tutor at entrance, by way of security.

With reference to Oxford, De Quincey says of caution money: "This is a small sum, properly enough demanded of every student, when matriculated, as a pledge for meeting any loss from unsettled arrears, such as his sudden death or his unannounced departure might else continually be inflicting upon his college. In most colleges it amounts to L25; in one only it was considerably less." —Life and Manners, p. 249.

In American colleges, a bond is usually given by a student upon entering college, in order to secure the payment of all his college dues.

CENSOR. In the University of Oxford, Eng., a college officer whose duties are similar to those of the Dean.

CEREVIS. From Latin cerevisia, beer. Among German students, a small, round, embroidered cap, otherwise called a beer-cap.

Better authorities ... have lately noted in the solitary student that wends his way—cerevis on head, note-book in hand—to the professor's class-room,... a vast improvement on the Bursche of twenty years ago.—Lond. Quart. Rev., Am. ed., Vol. LXXIII. p. 59.

CHAMBER. The apartment of a student at a college or university. This word, although formerly used in American colleges, has been of late almost entirely supplanted by the word room, and it is for this reason that it is here noticed.

If any of them choose to provide themselves with breakfasts in their own chambers, they are allowed so to do, but not to breakfast in one another's chambers.—Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ., Vol. II. p. 116.

Some ringleaders gave up their chambers.—Ibid., Vol. II. p. 116.

CHAMBER-MATE. One who inhabits the same room or chamber with another. Formerly used at our colleges. The word CHUM is now very generally used in its place; sometimes room-mate is substituted.

If any one shall refuse to find his proportion of furniture, wood, and candles, the President and Tutors shall charge such delinquent, in his quarter bills, his full proportion, which sum shall be paid to his chamber-mate.—Laws Harv. Coll., 1798, p. 35.

CHANCELLOR. The chancellor of a university is an officer who seals the diplomas, or letters of degree, &c. The Chancellor of Oxford is usually one of the prime nobility, elected by the students in convocation; and he holds the office for life. He is the chief magistrate in the government of the University. The Chancellor of Cambridge is also elected from among the prime nobility. The office is biennial, or tenable for such a length of time beyond two years as the tacit consent of the University may choose to allow.—Webster. Cam. Guide.

"The Chancellor," says the Oxford Guide, "is elected by convocation, and his office is for life; but he never, according to usage, is allowed to set foot in this University, excepting on the occasion of his installation, or when he is called upon to accompany any royal visitors."—Ed. 1847, p. xi.

At Cambridge, the office of Chancellor is, except on rare occasions, purely honorary, and the Chancellor himself seldom appears at Cambridge. He is elected by the Senate.

2. At Trinity College, Hartford, the Chancellor is the Bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut, and is also the Visitor of the College. He is ex officio the President of the Corporation.—Calendar Trin. Coll., 1850, pp. 6, 7.

CHAPEL. A house for public worship, erected separate from a church. In England, chapels in the universities are places of worship belonging to particular colleges. The chapels connected with the colleges in the United States are used for the same purpose. Religious exercises are usually held in them twice a day, morning and evening, besides the services on the Sabbath.

CHAPEL. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., the attendance at daily religious services in the chapel of each college at morning and evening is thus denominated.

Some time ago, upon an endeavor to compel the students of one college to increase their number of "chapels," as the attendance is called, there was a violent outcry, and several squibs were written by various hands.—Westminster Rev., Am. ed., Vol. XXXV. p. 235.

It is rather surprising that there should be so much shirking of chapel, when the very moderate amount of attendance required is considered.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 16.

To keep chapel, is to be present at the daily religious services of college.

The Undergraduate is expected to go to chapel eight times, or, in academic parlance, to keep eight chapels a week, two on Sunday, and one on every week-day, attending morning or evening chapel on week-days at his option. Nor is even this indulgent standard rigidly enforced. I believe if a Pensioner keeps six chapels, or a Fellow-Commoner four, and is quite regular in all other respects, he will never be troubled by the Dean. It certainly is an argument in favor of severe discipline, that there is more grumbling and hanging back, and unwillingness to conform to these extremely moderate requisitions, than is exhibited by the sufferers at a New England college, who have to keep sixteen chapels a week, seven of them at unreasonable hours. Even the scholars, who are literally paid for going, every chapel being directly worth two shillings sterling to them, are by no means invariable in attending the proper number of times.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, pp. 16, 17.

CHAPEL CLERK. At Cambridge, Eng., in some colleges, it is the duty of this officer to mark the students as they enter chapel; in others, he merely sees that the proper lessons are read, by the students appointed by the Dean for that purpose.—Gradus ad Cantab.

The chapel clerk is sent to various parties by the deans, with orders to attend them after chapel and be reprimanded, but the chapel clerk almost always goes to the wrong person.—Westminster Rev., Am. ed., Vol. XXXV. p. 235.

CHAPLAIN. In universities and colleges, the clergyman who performs divine service, morning and evening.

CHAW. A deception or trick.

To say, "It's all a gum," or "a regular chaw" is the same thing. —The Dartmouth, Vol. IV. p. 117.

CHAW. To use up.

Yesterday a Junior cracked a joke on me, when all standing round shouted in great glee, "Chawed! Freshman chawed! Ha! ha! ha!" "No I a'n't chawed," said I, "I'm as whole as ever." But I didn't understand, when a fellow is used up, he is said to be chawed; if very much used up, he is said to be essentially chawed.—The Dartmouth, Vol. IV. p. 117.

The verb to chaw up is used with nearly the same meaning in some of the Western States.

Miss Patience said she was gratified to hear Mr. Cash was a musician; she admired people who had a musical taste. Whereupon Cash fell into a chair, as he afterwards observed, chawed up.—Thorpe's Backwoods, p. 28.

CHIP DAY. At Williams College a day near the beginning of spring is thus designated, and is explained in the following passage. "They give us, near the close of the second term, what is called 'chip day,' when we put the grounds in order, and remove the ruins caused by a winter's siege on the woodpiles."—Sketches of Williams College, 1847, p. 79.

Another writer refers to the day, in a newspaper paragraph. "'Chip day,' at the close of the spring term, is still observed in the old-fashioned way. Parties of students go off to the hills, and return with brush, and branches of evergreen, with which the chips, which have accumulated during the winter, are brushed together, and afterwards burnt."—Boston Daily Evening Traveller, July 12, 1854.

About college there had been, in early spring, the customary cleaning up of "chip day."—Williams Quarterly, Vol. II. p. 186.

CHOPPING AT THE TREE. At University College in the University of Oxford, "a curious and ancient custom, called 'chopping at the tree,' still prevails. On Easter Sunday, every member, as he leaves the hall after dinner, chops with a cleaver at a small tree dressed up for the occasion with evergreens and flowers, and placed on a turf close to the buttery. The cook stands by for his accustomed largess."—Oxford Guide, Ed. 1847, p. 144, note.

CHORE. In the German universities, a club or society of the students is thus designated.

Duels between members of different chores were once frequent;—sometimes one man was obliged to fight the members of a whole chore in succession.—Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. XV. p. 5.

CHRISTIAN. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., a member of Christ's College.

CHUM. Armenian, chomm, or chommein, or ham, to dwell, stay, or lodge; French, chomer, to rest; Saxon, ham, home. A chamber-fellow; one who lodges or resides in the same room.—Webster.

This word is used at the universities and colleges, both in England and the United States.

A young student laid a wager with his chum, that the Dean was at that instant smoking his pipe.—Philip's Life and Poems, p. 13.

But his chum Had wielded, in his just defence, A bowl of vast circumference.—Rebelliad, p. 17.

Every set of chambers was possessed by two co-occupants; they had generally the same bedroom, and a common study; and they were called chums.—De Quincey's Life and Manners, p. 251.

I am again your petitioner in behalf of that great chum of literature, Samuel Johnson.—Smollett, in Boswell.

In this last instance, the word chum is used either with the more extended meaning of companion, friend, or, as the sovereign prince of Tartary is called the Cham or Khan, so Johnson is called the chum (cham) or prince of literature.

CHUM. To occupy a chamber with another.

CHUMMING. Occupying a room with another.

Such is one of the evils of chumming.—Harvardiana, Vol. I. p. 324.

CHUMSHIP. The state of occupying a room in company with another; chumming.

In the seventeenth century, in Milton's time, for example, (about 1624,) and for more than sixty years after that era, the practice of chumship prevailed.—De Quincey's Life and Manners, p. 251.

CIVILIAN. A student of the civil law at the university.—Graves. Webster.

CLARIAN. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., a member of Clare Hall.

CLASS. A number of students in a college or school, of the same standing, or pursuing the same studies. In colleges, the students entering or becoming members the same year, and pursuing the same studies.—Webster.

In the University of Oxford, class is the division of the candidates who are examined for their degrees according to their rate of merit. Those who are entitled to this distinction are denominated Classmen, answering to the optimes and wranglers in the University of Cambridge.—Crabb's Tech. Dict.

See an interesting account of "reading for a first class," in the Collegian's Guide, Chap. XII.

CLASS. To place in ranks or divisions students that are pursuing the same studies; to form into a class or classes.—Webster.

CLASS BOOK. Within the last thirty or forty years, a custom has arisen at Harvard College of no small importance in an historical point of view, but which is principally deserving of notice from the many pleasing associations to which its observance cannot fail to give rise. Every graduating class procures a beautiful and substantial folio of many hundred pages, called the Class Book, and lettered with the year of the graduation of the class. In this a certain number of pages is allotted to each individual of the class, in which he inscribes a brief autobiography, paying particular attention to names and dates. The book is then deposited in the hands of the Class Secretary, whose duty it is to keep a faithful record of the marriage, birth of children, and death of each of his classmates, together with their various places of residence, and the offices and honors to which each may have attained. This information is communicated to him by letter by his classmates, and he is in consequence prepared to answer any inquiries relative to any member of the class. At his death, the book passes into the hands of one of the Class Committee, and at their death, into those of some surviving member of the class; and when the class has at length become extinct, it is deposited on the shelves of the College Library.

The Class Book also contains a full list of all persons who have at any time been members of the class, together with such information as can be gathered in reference to them; and an account of the prizes, deturs, parts at Exhibitions and Commencement, degrees, etc., of all its members. Into it are also copied the Class Oration, Poem, and Ode, and the Secretary's report of the class meeting, at which the officers were elected. It is also intended to contain the records of all future class meetings, and the accounts of the Class Secretary, who is ex officio Class Treasurer and Chairman of the Class Committee. By virtue of his office of Class Treasurer, he procures the Cradle for the successful candidate, and keeps in his possession the Class Fund, which is sometimes raised to defray the accruing expenses of the Class in future times.

In the Harvardiana, Vol. IV., is an extract from the Class Book of 1838, which is very curious and unique. To this is appended the following note:—"It may be necessary to inform many of our readers, that the Class Book is a large volume, in which autobiographical sketches of the members of each graduating class are recorded, and which is left in the hands of the Class Secretary."

CLASS CANE. At Union College, as a mark of distinction, a class cane was for a time carried by the members of the Junior Class.

The Juniors, although on the whole a clever set of fellows, lean perhaps with too nonchalant an air on their class canes.—Sophomore Independent, Union College, Nov. 1854.

They will refer to their class cane, that mark of decrepitude and imbecility, for old men use canes.—Ibid.

CLASS CAP. At Hamilton College, it is customary for the Sophomores to appear in a class cap on the Junior Exhibition day, which is worn generally during part of the third term.

In American colleges, students frequently endeavor to adopt distinctive dresses, but the attempt is usually followed by failure. One of these attempts is pleasantly alluded to in the Williams Monthly Miscellany. "In a late number, the ambition for whiskers was made the subject of a remark. The ambition of college has since taken a somewhat different turn. We allude to the class caps, which have been introduced in one or two of the classes. The Freshmen were the first to appear in this species of uniform, a few days since at evening prayers; the cap which they have adopted is quite tasteful. The Sophomores, not to be outdone, have voted to adopt the tarpaulin, having, no doubt, become proficients in navigation, as lucidly explained in one of their text-books. The Juniors we understand, will follow suit soon. We hardly know what is left for the Seniors, unless it be to go bare-headed."—1845, p. 464.

CLASS COMMITTEE. At Harvard College a committee of two persons, joined with the Class Secretary, who is ex officio its chairman, whose duty it is, after the class has graduated, during their lives to call class meetings, whenever they deem it advisable, and to attend to all other business relating to the class.

See under CLASS BOOK.

CLASS CRADLE. For some years it has been customary at Harvard College for the Senior Class, at the meeting for the election of the officers of Class Day, &c., to appropriate a certain sum of money, usually not exceeding fifty dollars, for the purchase of a cradle, to be given to the first member of the class to whom a child is born in lawful wedlock at a suitable time after marriage. This sum is intrusted to the hands of the Class Secretary, who is expected to transmit the present to the successful candidate upon the receipt of the requisite information. In one instance a Baby-jumper was voted by the class, to be given to the second member who should be blessed as above stated.

CLASS CUP. It is a theory at Yale College, that each class appropriates at graduating a certain amount of money for the purchase of a silver cup, to be given, in the name of the class, to the first member to whom a child shall be born in lawful wedlock at a suitable time after marriage. Although the presentation of the class cup is often alluded to, yet it is believed that the gift has in no instance been bestowed. It is to be regretted that a custom so agreeable in theory could not be reduced to practice.

Each man's mind was made up To obtain the "Class Cup." Presentation Day Songs, June 14, 1854.


CLASS DAY. The custom at Harvard College of observing with appropriate exercises the day on which the Senior Class finish their studies, is of a very early date. The first notice which appears in reference to this subject is contained in an account of the disorders which began to prevail among the students about the year 1760. Among the evils to be remedied are mentioned the "disorders upon the day of the Senior Sophisters meeting to choose the officers of the class," when "it was usual for each scholar to bring a bottle of wine with him, which practice the committee (that reported upon it) apprehend has a natural tendency to produce disorders." But the disturbances were not wholly confined to the meeting when the officers of Class Day were chosen; they occurred also on Class Day, and it was for this reason that frequent attempts were made at this period, by the College government, to suppress its observance. How far their efforts succeeded is not known, but it is safe to conclude that greater interruptions were occasioned by the war of the Revolution, than by the attempts to abolish what it would have been wiser to have reformed.

In a MS. Journal, under date of June 21st, 1791, is the following entry: "Neither the valedictory oration by Ward, nor poem by Walton, was delivered, on account of a division in the class, and also because several were gone home." How long previous to this the 21st of June had been the day chosen for the exercises of the class, is uncertain; but for many years after, unless for special reasons, this period was regularly selected for that purpose. Another extract from the MS. above mentioned, under date of June 21st, 1792, reads: "A valedictory poem was delivered by Paine 1st, and a valedictory Latin oration by Abiel Abbott."

The biographer of Mr. Robert Treat Paine, referring to the poem noticed in the above memorandum, says: "The 21st of every June, till of late years, has been the day on which the members of the Senior Class closed their collegiate studies, and retired to make preparations for the ensuing Commencement. On this day it was usual for one member to deliver an oration, and another a poem; such members being appointed by their classmates. The Valedictory Poem of Mr. Paine, a tender, correct, and beautiful effusion of feeling and taste, was received by the audience with applause and tears." In another place he speaks on the same subject, as follows: "The solemnity which produced this poem is extremely interesting; and, being of ancient date, it is to be hoped that it may never fall into disuse. His affection for the University Mr. Paine cherished as one of his most sacred principles. Of this poem, Mr. Paine always spoke as one of his happiest efforts. Coming from so young a man, it is certainly very creditable, and promises more, I fear, than the untoward circumstances of his after life would permit him to perform."—Paine's Works, Ed. 1812, pp. xxvii., 439.

It was always customary, near the close of the last century, for those who bore the honors of Class Day, to treat their friends according to the style of the time, and there was scarcely a graduate who did not provide an entertainment of such sort as he could afford. An account of the exercises of the day at this period may not be uninteresting. It is from the Diary which is above referred to.

"20th (Thursday). This day for special reasons the valedictory poem and oration were performed. The order of the day was this. At ten, the class walked in procession to the President's, and escorted him, the Professors, and Tutors, to the Chapel, preceded by the band playing solemn music.

"The President began with a short prayer. He then read a chapter in the Bible; after this he prayed again; Cutler then delivered his poem. Then the singing club, accompanied by the band, performed Williams's Friendship. This was succeeded by a valedictory Latin Oration by Jackson. We then formed, and waited on the government to the President's, where we were very respectably treated with wine, &c.

"We then marched in procession to Jackson's room, where we drank punch. At one we went to Mr. Moore's tavern and partook of an elegant entertainment, which cost 6/4 a piece. Marching then to Cutler's room, we shook hands, and parted with expressing the sincerest tokens of friendship." June, 1793.

The incidents of Class Day, five years subsequent to the last date, are detailed by Professor Sidney Willard, and may not be omitted in this connection.

"On the 21st of June, 1798, the day of the dismission of the Senior Class from all academic exercises, the class met in the College chapel to attend the accustomed ceremonies of the occasion, and afterwards to enjoy the usual festivities of the day, since called, for the sake of a name, and for brevity's sake, Class Day. There had been a want of perfect harmony in the previous proceedings, which in some degree marred the social enjoyments of the day; but with the day all dissension closed, awaiting the dawn of another day, the harbinger of the brighter recollections of four years spent in pleasant and peaceful intercourse. There lingered no lasting alienations of feeling. Whatever were the occasions of the discontent, it soon expired, was buried in the darkest recesses of discarded memories, and there lay lost and forgotten.

"After the exercises of the chapel, and visiting the President, Professors, and Tutors at the President's house, according to the custom still existing, we marched in procession round the College halls, to another hall in Porter's tavern, (which some dozen or fifteen of the oldest living graduates may perhaps remember as Bradish's tavern, of ancient celebrity,) where we dined. After dining, we assembled at the Liberty Tree, (according to another custom still existing,) and in due time, having taken leave of each other, we departed, some of us to our family homes, and others to their rooms to make preparations for their departure."—Memories of Youth and Manhood, Vol. II. pp. 1, 3.

Referring to the same event, he observes in another place: "In speaking of the leave-taking of the College by my class, on the 21st of June, 1798,—Class Day, as it is now called,—I inadvertently forgot to mention, that according to custom, at that period, [Samuel P.P.] Fay delivered a Latin Valedictory Oration in the Chapel, in the presence of the Immediate Government, and of the students of other classes who chose to be present. Speaking to him on the subject some time since, he told me that he believed [Judge Joseph] Story delivered a Poem on the same occasion.... There was no poetical performance in the celebration of the day in the class before ours, on the same occasion; Dr. John C. Warren's Latin oration being the only performance, and his class counting as many reputed poets as ours did."—Ibid., Vol. II. p. 320.

Alterations were continually made in the observances of Class Day, and in twenty years after the period last mentioned, its character had in many particulars changed. Instead of the Latin, an English oration of a somewhat sportive nature had been introduced; the Poem was either serious or comic, at the writer's option; usually, however, the former. After the exercises in the Chapel, the class commonly repaired to Porter's Hall, and there partook of a dinner, not always observing with perfect strictness the rules of temperance either in eating or drinking. This "cenobitical symposium" concluded, they again returned to the college yard, where, scattered in groups under the trees, the rest of the day was spent in singing, smoking, and drinking, or pretending to drink, punch; for the negroes who supplied it in pails usually contrived to take two or more glasses to every one glass that was drank by those for whom it was provided. The dance around the Liberty Tree, "Each hand in comrade's hand," closed the regular ceremonies of the day; but generally the greater part of the succeeding night was spent in feasting and hilarity.

The punch-drinking in the yard increased to such an extent, that it was considered by the government of the college as a matter which demanded their interference; and in the year 1842, on one of these occasions, an instructor having joined with the students in their revellings in the yard, the Faculty proposed that, instead of spending the afternoon in this manner, dancing should be introduced, which was accordingly done, with the approbation of both parties.

The observances of the day, which in a small way may be considered as a rival of Commencement, are at present as follows. The Orator, Poet, Odist, Chaplain, and Marshals having been previously chosen, on the morning of Class Day the Seniors assemble in the yard, and, preceded by the band, walk in procession to one of the halls of the College, where a prayer is offered by the Class Chaplain. They then proceed to the President's house, and escort him to the Chapel where the following order is observed. A prayer by one of the College officers is succeeded by the Oration, in which the transactions of the class from their entrance into College to the present time are reviewed with witty and appropriate remarks. The Poem is then pronounced, followed by the Ode, which is sung by the whole class to the tune of "Fair Harvard." Music is performed at intervals by the band. The class then withdraw to Harvard Hall, accompanied by their friends and invited guests, where a rich collation is provided.

After an interval of from one to two hours, the dancing commences in the yard. Cotillons and the easier dances are here performed, but the sport closes in the hall with the Polka and other fashionable steps. The Seniors again form, and make the circuit of the yard, cheering the buildings, great and small. They then assemble under the Liberty Tree, around which with hands joined they run and dance, after singing the student's adopted song, "Auld Lang Syne." At parting, each member takes a sprig or a flower from the beautiful "Wreath" which surrounds the "farewell tree," which is sacredly treasured as a last memento of college scenes and enjoyments. Thus close the exercises of the day, after which the class separate until Commencement.

The more marked events in the observance of Class Day have been graphically described by Grace Greenwood, in the accompanying paragraphs.

"The exercises on this occasion were to me most novel and interesting. The graduating class of 1848 are a fine-looking set of young men certainly, and seem to promise that their country shall yet be greater and better for the manly energies, the talent and learning, with which they are just entering upon life.

"The spectators were assembled in the College Chapel, whither the class escorted the Faculty, headed by President Everett, in his Oxford hat and gown.

"The President is a man of most imperial presence; his figure has great dignity, and his head is grand in form and expression. But to me he looks the governor, the foreign minister and the President, more than the orator or the poet.

"After a prayer from the Chaplain, we listened to an eloquent oration from the class orator, Mr. Tiffany, of Baltimore and to a very elegant and witty poem from the class poet Mr. Clarke, of Boston. The 'Fair Harvard' having been sung by the class, all adjourned to the College green, where such as were so disposed danced to the music of a fine band. From the green we repaired to Harvard Hall, where an excellent collation was served, succeeded by dancing. From the hall the students of 1848 marched and cheered successively every College building, then formed a circle round a magnificent elm, whose trunk was beautifully garlanded will flowers, and, with hands joined in a peculiar manner, sung 'Auld Lang Syne.' The scene was in the highest degree touching and impressive, so much of the beauty and glory of life was there, so much of the energy, enthusiasm, and proud unbroken strength of manhood. With throbbing hearts and glowing lips, linked for a few moments with strong, fraternal grasps, they stood, with one deep, common feeling, thrilling like one pulse through all. An involuntary prayer sprang to my lips, that they might ever prove true to Alma Mater, to one another, to their country, and to Heaven.

"As the singing ceased, the students began running swiftly around the tree, and at the cry, 'Harvard!' a second circle was formed by the other students, which gave a tumultuous excitement to the scene. It broke up at last with a perfect storm of cheers, and a hasty division among the class of the garland which encircled the elm, each taking a flower in remembrance of the day."—Greenwood Leaves, Ed. 3d, 1851, pp. 350, 351.

In the poem which was read before the class of 1851, by William C. Bradley, the comparisons of those about to graduate with the youth who is attaining to his majority, and with the traveller who has stopped a little for rest and refreshment, are so genial and suggestive, that their insertion in this connection will not be deemed out of place.

"'T is a good custom, long maintained, When the young heir has manhood gained, To solemnize the welcome date, Accession to the man's estate, With open house and rousing game, And friends to wish him joy and fame: So Harvard, following thus the ways Of careful sires of older days, Directs her children till they grow The strength of ripened years to know, And bids their friends and kindred, then, To come and hail her striplings—men.

"And as, about the table set, Or on the shady grass-plat met, They give the youngster leave to speak Of vacant sport, and boyish freak, So now would we (such tales have power At noon-tide to abridge the hour) Turn to the past, and mourn or praise The joys and pains of boyhood's days.

"Like travellers with their hearts intent Upon a distant journey bent, We rest upon the earliest stage Of life's laborious pilgrimage; But like the band of pilgrims gay (Whom Chaucer sings) at close of day, That turned with mirth, and cheerful din, To pass their evening at the inn, Hot from the ride and dusty, we, But yet untired and stout and free, And like the travellers by the door, Sit down and talk the journey o'er."

As a specimen of the character of the Ode which is always sung on Class Day to the tune "Fair Harvard,"—which is the name by which the melody "Believe me, if all those endearing young charms" has been adopted at Cambridge,—that which was written by Joshua Danforth Robinson for the class of 1851 is here inserted.

"The days of thy tenderly nurture are done, We call for the lance and the shield; There's a battle to fight and a crown to be won, And onward we press to the field! But yet, Alma Mater, before we depart, Shall the song of our farewell be sung, And the grasp of the hand shall express for the heart Emotions too deep for the tongue.

"This group of thy sons, Alma Mater, no more May gladden thine ear with their song, For soon we shall stand upon Time's crowded shore, And mix in humanity's throng. O, glad be the voices that ring through thy halls When the echo of ours shall have flown, And the footsteps that sound when no longer thy walls Shall answer the tread of our own!

"Alas! our dear Mother, we see on thy face A shadow of sorrow to-day; For while we are clasped in thy farewell embrace, And pass from thy bosom away, To part with the living, we know, must recall The lost whom thy love still embalms, That one sigh must escape and one tear-drop must fall For the children that died in thy arms.

"But the flowers of affection, bedewed by the tears In the twilight of Memory distilled, And sunned by the love of our earlier years, When the soul with their beauty was thrilled, Untouched by the frost of life's winter, shall blow, And breathe the same odor they gave When the vision of youth was entranced by their glow, Till, fadeless, they bloom o'er the grave."

A most genial account of the exercises of the Class Day of the graduates of the year 1854 may be found in Harper's Magazine, Vol. IX. pp. 554, 555.

CLASSIC. One learned in classical literature; a student of the ancient Greek and Roman authors of the first rank.

These men, averaging about twenty-three years of age, the best Classics and Mathematicians of their years, were reading for Fellowships.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 35.

A quiet Scotchman irreproachable as a classic and a whist-player.—Ibid., p. 57.

The mathematical examination was very difficult, and made great havoc among the classics.—Ibid., p. 62.

CLASSIC SHADES. A poetical appellation given to colleges and universities.

He prepares for his departure,—but he must, ere he repair To the "classic shades," et cetera,—visit his "ladye fayre." Poem before Iadma, Harv. Coll., 1850.

I exchanged the farm-house of my father for the "classic shades" of Union.—The Parthenon, Union Coll., 1851, p. 18.

CLASSIS. Same meaning as Class. The Latin for the English.

[They shall] observe the generall hours appointed for all the students, and the speciall houres for their own classis.—New England's First Fruits, in Mass. Hist. Coll., Vol. I. p. 243.

CLASS LIST. In the University of Oxford, a list in which are entered the names of those who are examined for their degrees, according to their rate of merit.

At the University of Cambridge, Eng., the names of those who are examined at stated periods are placed alphabetically in the class lists, but the first eight or ten individual places are generally known.

There are some men who read for honors in that covetous and contracted spirit, and so bent upon securing the name of scholarship, even at the sacrifice of the reality, that, for the pleasure of reading their names at the top of the class list, they would make the examiners a present of all their Latin and Greek the moment they left the schools.—Collegian's Guide, p. 327.


CLASS MARSHAL. In many colleges in the United States, a class marshal is chosen by the Senior Class from their own number, for the purpose of regulating the procession on the day of Commencement, and, as at Harvard College, on Class Day also.

"At Union College," writes a correspondent, "the class marshal is elected by the Senior Class during the third term. He attends to the order of the procession on Commencement Day, and walks into the church by the side of the President. He chooses several assistants, who attend to the accommodation of the audience. He is chosen from among the best-looking and most popular men of the class, and the honor of his office is considered next to that of the Vice-President of the Senate for the third term."

CLASSMATE. A member of the same class with another.

The day is wound up with a scene of careless laughter and merriment, among a dozen of joke-loving classmates.—Harv. Reg., p. 202.

CLASS MEETING. A meeting where all the class are assembled for the purpose of carrying out some measure, appointing class officers, or transacting business of interest to the whole class.

In Harvard College, no class, or general, or other meeting of students can be called without an application in writing of three students, and no more, expressing the purpose of such meeting, nor otherwise than by a printed notice, signed by the President, expressing the time, the object, and place of such meeting, and the three students applying for such meeting are held responsible for any proceedings at it contrary to the laws of the College.—Laws Univ. Cam., Mass., 1848, Appendix.

Similar regulations are in force at all other American colleges. At Union College the statute on this subject was formerly in these words: "No class meetings shall be held without special license from the President; and for such purposes only as shall be expressed in the license; nor shall any class meeting be continued by adjournment or otherwise, without permission; and all class meetings held without license shall be considered as unlawful combinations, and punished accordingly."—Laws Union Coll., 1807, pp. 37, 38.

While one, on fame alone intent, Seek to be chosen President Of clubs, or a class meeting. Harv. Reg., p. 247.

CLASSOLOGY. That science which treats of the members of the classes of a college. This word is used in the title of a pleasant jeu d'esprit by Mr. William Biglow, on the class which graduated at Harvard College in 1792. It is called, "Classology: an Anacreontic Ode, in Imitation of 'Heathen Mythology.'"

See under HIGH GO.

CLASS SECRETARY. For an account of this officer, see under CLASS BOOK.

CLASS SUPPER. In American colleges, a supper attended only by the members of a collegiate class. Class suppers are given in some colleges at the close of each year; in others, only at the close of the Sophomore and Senior years, or at one of these periods.

CLASS TREES. At Bowdoin College, "immediately after the annual examination of each class," says a correspondent, "the members that compose it are accustomed to form a ring round a tree, and then, not dance, but run around it. So quickly do they revolve, that every individual runner has a tendency 'to go off in a tangent,' which it is difficult to resist for any length of time. The three lower classes have a tree by themselves in front of Massachusetts Hall. The Seniors have one of their own in front of King Chapel."

For an account of a similar and much older custom, prevalent at Harvard College, see under CLASS DAY and LIBERTY TREE.

CLIMBING. In reference to this word, a correspondent from Dartmouth College writes: "At the commencement of this century, the Greek, Latin, and Philosophical Orations were assigned by the Faculty to the best scholars, while the Valedictorian was chosen from the remainder by his classmates. It was customary for each one of these four to treat his classmates, which was called 'Climbing,' from the effect which the liquor would have in elevating the class to an equality with the first scholars."

CLIOSOPHIC. A word compounded from Clio, the Muse who presided over history, and [Greek: sophos], intelligent. At Yale College, this word was formerly used to designate an oration on the arts and sciences, which was delivered annually at the examination in July.

Having finished his academic course, by the appointment of the President he delivered the cliosophic oration in the College Hall.—Holmes's Life of Ezra Stiles, p. 13.

COACH. In the English universities, this term is variously applied, as will be seen by a reference to the annexed examples. It is generally used to designate a private tutor.

Everything is (or used to be) called a "coach" at Oxford: a lecture-class, or a club of men meeting to take wine, luncheon, or breakfast alternately, were severally called a "wine, luncheon, or breakfast coach"; so a private tutor was called a "private coach"; and one, like Hilton of Worcester, very famed for getting his men safe through, was termed "a Patent Safety."—The Collegian's Guide, p. 103.

It is to his private tutors, or "coaches," that he looks for instruction.—Household Words, Vol. II. p. 160.

He applies to Mr. Crammer. Mr. Crammer is a celebrated "coach" for lazy and stupid men, and has a system of his own which has met with decided success.—Ibid., Vol. II. p. 162.

COACH. To prepare a student to pass an examination; to make use of the aid of a private tutor.

He is putting on all steam, and "coaching" violently for the Classical Tripos.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d. p. 10.

It is not every man who can get a Travis to coach him.—Ibid., p. 69.

COACHING. A cant term, in the British universities, for preparing a student, by the assistance of a private tutor, to pass an examination.

Whether a man shall throw away every opportunity which a university is so eminently calculated to afford, and come away with a mere testamur gained rather by the trickery of private coaching (tutoring) than by mental improvement, depends, &c.—The Collegian's Guide, p. 15.

COAX. This word was formerly used at Yale College in the same sense as the word fish at Harvard, viz. to seek or gain the favor of a teacher by flattery. One of the Proverbs of Solomon was often changed by the students to read as follows: "Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood; so the coaxing of tutors bringeth forth parts."—Prov. xxx. 33.

COCHLEAUREATUS, pl. COCHLEAUREATI. Latin, cochlear, a spoon, and laureatus, laurelled. A free translation would be, one honored with a spoon.

At Yale College, the wooden spoon is given to the one whose name comes last on the list of appointees for the Junior Exhibition. The recipient of this honor is designated cochleaureatus.

Now give in honor of the spoon Three cheers, long, loud, and hearty, And three for every honored June In coch-le-au-re-a-ti. Songs of Yale, 1853, p. 37.


COFFIN. At the University of Vermont, a boot, especially a large one. A companion to the word HUMMEL, q.v.

COLLAR. At Yale College, "to come up with; to seize; to lay hold on; to appropriate."—Yale Lit. Mag., Vol. XIV. p. 144.

By that means the oration marks will be effectually collared, with scarce an effort.—Yale Banger, Oct. 1848.

COLLECTION. In the University of Oxford, a college examination, which takes place at the end of every term before the Warden and Tutor.

Read some Herodotus for Collections.—The Etonian, Vol. II. p. 348.

The College examinations, called collections, are strictly private.—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 139.

COLLECTOR. A Bachelor of Arts in the University of Oxford, who is appointed to superintend some scholastic proceedings in Lent.—Todd.

The Collectors, who are two in number, Bachelors of Arts, are appointed to collect the names of determining bachelors, during Lent. Their office begins and ends with that season.—Guide to Oxford.

COLLECTORSHIP. The office of a collector in the University of Oxford.—Todd.

This Lent the collectors ceased from entertaining the Bachelors by advice and command of the proctors; so that now they got by their collectorships, whereas before they spent about 100l., besides their gains, on clothes or needless entertainments.—Life of A. Wood, p. 286.

COLLEGE. Latin, collegium; con and lego, to gather. In its primary sense, a collection or assembly; hence, in a general sense, a collection, assemblage, or society of men, invested with certain powers and rights, performing certain duties, or engaged in some common employment or pursuit.

1. An establishment or edifice appropriated to the use of students who are acquiring the languages and sciences.

2. The society of persons engaged in the pursuits of literature, including the officers and students. Societies of this kind are incorporated, and endowed with revenues.

"A college, in the modern sense of that word, was an institution which arose within a university, probably within that of Paris or of Oxford first, being intended either as a kind of boarding-school, or for the support of scholars destitute of means, who were here to live under particular supervision. By degrees it became more and more the custom that teachers should be attached to these establishments. And as they grew in favor, they were resorted to by persons of means, who paid for their board; and this to such a degree, that at one time the colleges included nearly all the members of the University of Paris. In the English universities the colleges may have been first established by a master who gathered pupils around him, for whose board and instruction he provided. He exercised them perhaps in logic and the other liberal arts, and repeated the university lectures, as well as superintended their morals. As his scholars grew in number, he associated with himself other teachers, who thus acquired the name of fellows. Thus it naturally happened that the government of colleges, even of those which were founded by the benevolence of pious persons, was in the hands of a principal called by various names, such as rector, president, provost, or master, and of fellows, all of whom were resident within the walls of the same edifices where the students lived. Where charitable munificence went so far as to provide for the support of a greater number of fellows than were needed, some of them were intrusted, as tutors, with the instruction of the undergraduates, while others performed various services within their college, or passed a life of learned leisure."—Pres. Woolsey's Hist. Disc., New Haven, Aug. 14, 1850, p. 8.

3. In foreign universities, a public lecture.—Webster.

COLLEGE BIBLE. The laws of a college are sometimes significantly called the College Bible.

He cons the College Bible with eager, longing eyes, And wonders how poor students at six o'clock can rise. Poem before Iadma of Harv. Coll., 1850.

COLLEGER. A member of a college.

We stood like veteran Collegers the next day's screw.—Harvardiana, Vol. III. p. 9. [Little used.]

2. The name by which a member of a certain class of the pupils of Eton is known. "The Collegers are educated gratuitously, and such of them as have nearly but not quite reached the age of nineteen, when a vacancy in King's College, Cambridge, occurs, are elected scholars there forthwith and provided for during life—or until marriage."—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, pp. 262, 263.

They have nothing in lieu of our seventy Collegers.—Ibid., p. 270.

The whole number of scholars or "Collegers" at Eton is seventy. —Literary World, Vol. XII. p. 285.

COLLEGE YARD. The enclosure on or within which the buildings of a college are situated. Although college enclosures are usually open for others to pass through than those connected with the college, yet by law the grounds are as private as those connected with private dwellings, and are kept so, by refusing entrance, for a certain period, to all who are not members of the college, at least once in twenty years, although the time differs in different States.

But when they got to College yard, With one accord they all huzza'd.—Rebelliad, p. 33.

Not ye, whom science never taught to roam Far as a College yard or student's home. Harv. Reg., p. 232.

COLLEGIAN. A member of a college, particularly of a literary institution so called; an inhabitant of a college.—Johnson.

COLLEGIATE. Pertaining to a college; as, collegiate studies.

2. Containing a college; instituted after the manner of a college; as, a collegiate society.—Johnson.

COLLEGIATE. A member of a college.

COMBINATION. An agreement, for effecting some object by joint operation; in an ill sense, when the purpose is illegal or iniquitous. An agreement entered into by students to resist or disobey the Faculty of the College, or to do any unlawful act, is a combination. When the number concerned is so great as to render it inexpedient to punish all, those most culpable are usually selected, or as many as are deemed necessary to satisfy the demands of justice.—Laws Yale Coll., 1837, p. 27. Laws Univ. Cam., Mass., 1848, p. 23.

COMBINATION ROOM. In the University of Cambridge Eng., a room into which the fellows, and others in authority withdraw after dinner, for wine, dessert, and conversation.—Webster.

In popular phrase, the word room is omitted.

"There will be some quiet Bachelors there, I suppose," thought I, "and a Junior Fellow or two, some of those I have met in combination."—Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ., Ed. 2d, p. 52.

COMITAT. In the German universities, a procession formed to accompany a departing fellow-student with public honor out of the city.—Howitt.

COMMEMORATION DAY. At the University of Oxford, Eng., this day is an annual solemnity in honor of the benefactors of the University, when orations are delivered, and prize compositions are read in the theatre. It is the great day of festivity for the year.—Huber.

At the University of Cambridge, Eng., there is always a sermon on this day. The lesson which is read in the course of the service is from Ecclus. xliv.: "Let us now praise famous men," &c. It is "a day," says the Gradus ad Cantabrigiam, "devoted to prayers, and good living." It was formerly called Anniversary Day.

COMMENCE. To take a degree, or the first degree, in a university or college.—Bailey.

Nine Bachelors commenced at Cambridge; they were young men of good hope, and performed their acts so as to give good proof of their proficiency in the tongues and arts.—Winthrop's Journal, by Mr. Savage, Vol. II. p. 87.

Four Senior Sophisters came from Saybrook, and received the Degree of Bachelor of Arts, and several others commenced Masters.—Clap's Hist. Yale Coll., p. 20.

A scholar see him now commence, Without the aid of books or sense. Trumbull's Progress of Dullness, 1794, p. 12.

Charles Chauncy ... was afterwards, when qualified, sent to the University of Cambridge, where he commenced Bachelor of Divinity.—Hist. Sketch of First Ch. in Boston, 1812, p. 211.

COMMENCEMENT. The time when students in colleges commence Bachelors; a day in which degrees are publicly conferred in the English and American universities.—Webster.

At Harvard College, in its earliest days, Commencements were attended, as at present, by the highest officers in the State. At the first Commencement, on the second Tuesday of August, 1642, we are told that "the Governour, Magistrates, and the Ministers, from all parts, with all sorts of schollars, and others in great numbers, were present."—New England's First Fruits, in Mass. Hist. Coll., Vol. I. p. 246.

In the MS. Diary of Judge Sewall, under date of July 1, 1685, Commencement Day, is this remark: "Gov'r there, whom I accompanied to Charlestown"; and again, under date of July 2, 1690, is the following entry respecting the Commencement of that year: "Go to Cambridge by water in ye Barge wherein the Gov'r, Maj. Gen'l, Capt. Blackwell, and others." In the Private Journal of Cotton Mather, under the dates of 1708 and 1717, there are notices of the Boston troops waiting on the Governor to Cambridge on Commencement Day. During the presidency of Wadsworth, which continued from 1725 to 1737, "it was the custom," says Quincy, "on Commencement Day, for the Governor of the Province to come from Boston through Roxbury, often by the way of Watertown, attended by his body guards, and to arrive at the College about ten or eleven o'clock in the morning. A procession was then formed of the Corporation, Overseers, magistrates, ministers, and invited gentlemen, and immediately moved from Harvard Hall to the Congregational church." After the exercises of the day were over, the students escorted the Governor, Corporation, and Overseers, in procession, to the President's house. This description would answer very well for the present day, by adding the graduating class to the procession, and substituting the Boston Lancers as an escort, instead of the "body guards."

The exercises of the first Commencement are stated in New England's First Fruits, above referred to, as follows:—"Latine and Greeke Orations, and Declamations, and Hebrew Analysis, Grammaticall, Logicall, and Rhetoricall of the Psalms: And their answers and disputations in Logicall, Ethicall, Physicall, and Metaphysicall questions." At Commencement in 1685, the exercises were, besides Disputes, four Orations, one Latin, two Greek, and one Hebrew In the presidency of Wadsworth, above referred to, "the exercises of the day," says Quincy, "began with a short prayer by the President; a salutatory oration in Latin, by one of the graduating class, succeeded; then disputations on theses or questions in Logic, Ethics, and Natural Philosophy commenced. When the disputation terminated, one of the candidates pronounced a Latin 'gratulatory oration.' The graduating class were then called, and, after asking leave of the Governor and Overseers, the President conferred the Bachelor's degree, by delivering a book to the candidates (who came forward successively in parties of four), and pronouncing a form of words in Latin. An adjournment then took place to dinner, in Harvard Hall; thence the procession returned to the church, and, after the Masters' disputations, usually three in number, were finished, their degrees were conferred, with the same general forms as those of the Bachelors. An occasional address was then made by the President. A Latin valedictory oration by one of the Masters succeeded, and the exercises concluded with a prayer by the President."

Similar to this is the account given by the Hon. Paine Wingate, a graduate of the class of 1759, of the exercises of Commencement as conducted while he was in College. "I do not recollect now," he says, "any part of the public exercises on Commencement Day to be in English, excepting the President's prayers at opening and closing the services. Next after the prayer followed the Salutatory Oration in Latin, by one of the candidates for the first degree. This office was assigned by the President, and was supposed to be given to him who was the best orator in the class. Then followed a Syllogistic Disputation in Latin, in which four or five or more of those who were distinguished as good scholars in the class were appointed by the President as Respondents, to whom were assigned certain questions, which the Respondents maintained, and the rest of the class severally opposed, and endeavored to invalidate. This was conducted wholly in Latin, and in the form of Syllogisms and Theses. At the close of the Disputation, the President usually added some remarks in Latin. After these exercises the President conferred the degrees. This, I think, may be considered as the summary of the public performances on a Commencement Day. I do not recollect any Forensic Disputation, or a Poem or Oration spoken in English, whilst I was in College."—Peirce's Hist. Harv. Univ., pp. 307, 308.

As far back as the year 1685, it was customary for the President to deliver an address near the close of the exercises. Under this date, in the MS. Diary of Judge Sewall, are these words: "Mr. President after giving ye Degrees made an Oration in Praise of Academical Studies and Degrees, Hebrew tongue." In 1688, at the Commencement, according to the same gentleman, Mr. William Hubbard, then acting as President under the appointment of Sir Edmund Andros, "made an oration."

The disputations were always in Latin, and continued to be a part of the exercises of Commencement until the year 1820. The orations were in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and sometimes French; in 1818 a Spanish oration was delivered at the Commencement for that year by Mr. George Osborne. The first English oration was made by Mr. Jedidiah Huntington, in the year 1763, and the first English poem by Mr. John Davis, in 1781. The last Latin syllogisms were in 1792, on the subjects, "Materia cogitare non potest," and "Nil nisi ignis natura est fluidum." The first year in which the performers spoke without a prompter was 1837. There were no Master's exercises for the first time in 1844. To prevent improprieties, in the year 1760, "the duty of inspecting the performances on the day," says Quincy, "and expunging all exceptionable parts, was assigned to the President; on whom it was particularly enjoined 'to put an end to the practice of addressing the female sex.'" At a later period, in 1792, by referring to the "Order of the Exercises of Commencement," we find that in the concluding oration "honorable notice is taken, from year to year, of those who have been the principal Benefactors of the University." The practice is now discontinued.

At the first Commencement, all the magistrates, elders, and invited guests who were present "dined," says Winthrop in his Journal, Vol. II. pp. 87, 88, "at the College with the scholars' ordinary commons, which was done on purpose for the students' encouragement, &c., and it gave good content to all." After dinner, a Psalm was usually sung. In 1685, at Commencement, Sewall says: "After dinner ye 3d part of ye 103d Ps. was sung in ye Hall." The seventy-eighth Psalm was the one usually sung, an account of which will be found under that title. The Senior Class usually waited on the table on Commencement Day. After dinner, they were allowed to take what provisions were left, and eat them at their rooms, or in the hall. This custom was not discontinued until the year 1812.

In 1754, owing to the expensive habits worn on Commencement Day, a law was passed, ordering that on that day "every candidate for his degree appear in black, or dark blue, or gray clothes; and that no one wear any silk night-gowns; and that any candidate, who shall appear dressed contrary to such regulations, may not expect his degree." At present, on Commencement Day, every candidate for a first degree wears, according to the law, "a black dress and the usual black gown."

It was formerly customary, on this day, for the students to provide entertainment in their rooms. But great care was taken, as far as statutory enactments were concerned, that all excess should be avoided. During the presidency of Increase Mather was developed among the students a singular phase of gastronomy, which was noticed by the Corporation in their records, under the date of June 22, 1693, in these words: "The Corporation, having been informed that the custom taken up in the College, not used in any other Universities, for the commencers [graduating class] to have plumb-cake, is dishonorable to the College, not grateful to wise men, and chargeable to the parents of the commencers, do therefore put an end to that custom, and do hereby order that no commencer, or other scholar, shall have any such cakes in their studies or chambers; and that, if any scholar shall offend therein, the cakes shall be taken from him, and he shall moreover pay to the College twenty shillings for each such offence." This stringent regulation was, no doubt, all-sufficient for many years; but in the lapse of time the taste for the forbidden delicacy, which was probably concocted with a skill unknown to the moderns, was again revived, accompanied with confessions to a fondness for several kinds of expensive preparations, the recipes for which preparations, it is to be feared, are inevitably lost. In 1722, in the latter part of President Leverett's administration, an act was passed "for reforming the Extravagancys of Commencements," and providing "that henceforth no preparation nor provision of either Plumb Cake, or Roasted, Boyled, or Baked Meates or Pyes of any kind shal be made by any Commencer," and that no "such have any distilled Lyquours in his Chamber or any composition therewith," under penalty of being "punished twenty shillings, to be paid to the use of the College," and of forfeiture of the provisions and liquors, "to be seized by the tutors." The President and Corporation were accustomed to visit the rooms of the Commencers, "to see if the laws prohibiting certain meats and drinks were not violated." These restrictions not being sufficient, a vote passed the Corporation in 1727, declaring, that "if any, who now doe, or hereafter shall, stand for their degrees, presume to doe any thing contrary to the act of 11th June, 1722, or go about to evade it by plain cake, they shall not be admitted to their degree, and if any, after they have received their degree, shall presume to make any forbidden provisions, their names shall be left or rased out of the Catalogue of the Graduates."

In 1749, the Corporation strongly recommended to the parents and guardians of such as were to take degrees that year, "considering the awful judgments of God upon the land," to "retrench Commencement expenses, so as may best correspond with the frowns of Divine Providence, and that they take effectual care to have their sons' chambers cleared of company, and their entertainments finished, on the evening of said Commencement Day, or, at furthest, by next morning." In 1755, attempts were made to prevent those "who proceeded Bachelors of Arts from having entertainments of any kind, either in the College or any house in Cambridge, after the Commencement Day." This and several other propositions of the Overseers failing to meet with the approbation of the Corporation, a vote finally passed both boards in 1757, by which it was ordered, that, on account of the "distressing drought upon the land," and "in consideration of the dark state of Providence with respect to the war we are engaged in, which Providences call for humiliation and fasting rather than festival entertainments," the "first and second degrees be given to the several candidates without their personal attendance"; a general diploma was accordingly given, and Commencement was omitted for that year. Three years after, "all unnecessary expenses were forbidden," and also "dancing in any part of Commencement week, in the Hall, or in any College building; nor was any undergraduate allowed to give any entertainment, after dinner, on Thursday of that week, under severe penalties." But the laws were not always so strict, for we find that, on account of a proposition made by the Overseers to the Corporation in 1759, recommending a "repeal of the law prohibiting the drinking of punch," the latter board voted, that "it shall be no offence if any scholar shall, at Commencement, make and entertain guests at his chamber with punch," which they afterwards declare, "as it is now usually made, is no intoxicating liquor."

To prevent the disturbances incident to the day, an attempt was made in 1727 to have the "Commencements for time to come more private than has been usual," and for several years after, the time of Commencement was concealed; "only a short notice," says Quincy, "being given to the public of the day on which it was to be held." Friday was the day agreed on, for the reason, says President Wadsworth in his Diary, "that there might be a less remaining time of the week spent in frolicking." This was very ill received by the people of Boston and the vicinity, to whom Commencement was a season of hilarity and festivity; the ministers were also dissatisfied, not knowing the day in some cases, and in others being subjected to great inconvenience on account of their living at a distance from Cambridge. The practice was accordingly abandoned in 1736, and Commencement, as formerly, was held on Wednesday, to general satisfaction. In 1749, "three gentlemen," says Quincy, "who had sons about to be graduated, offered to give the College a thousand pounds old tenor, provided 'a trial was made of Commencements this year, in a more private manner.'" The proposition, after much debate, was rejected, and "public Commencements were continued without interruption, except during the period of the Revolutionary war, and occasionally, from temporary causes, during the remainder of the century, notwithstanding their evils, anomalies, and inconsistencies."[05]

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