A Collection of College Words and Customs
Benjamin Homer Hall
Part 4 out of 12
to the shoulders. With both these dresses is worn a square cap of
black velvet, with a gold tassel.
"The Gentleman-Commoner has two gowns, _both of black silk_; the
first, which is considered as a dress gown, although worn on all
occasions, at pleasure, is richly ornamented with tassels. The
second, or undress gown, is ornamented with plaits at the sleeves.
A square black velvet cap with a silk tassel, is worn with both.
"The dress of Commoners is a gown of black prince's stuff, without
sleeves; from each shoulder is appended a broad strip, which
reaches to the bottom of the dress, and towards the top is
gathered into plaits. Square cap of black cloth and silk tassel.
"The student in Civil Law, or Civilian, wears a plain black silk
gown, and square cloth cap, with silk tassel.
"Scholars and Demies of Magdalene, and students of Christ Church
who have not taken a degree, wear a plain black gown of prince's
stuff, with round, full sleeves half the length of the gown, and a
square black cap, with silk tassel.
"The dress of the Servitor is the same as that of the Commoner,
but it has no plaits at the shoulder, and the cap is without a
The costume of those among the University Officers who are
distinguished by their dress, may be thus noted:--
"The dress of the Chancellor is of black damask silk, richly
ornamented with gold embroidery, a rich lace band, and square
velvet cap, with a large gold tassel.
"The Proctors wear gowns of prince's stuff, the sleeves and
facings of black velvet; to the left shoulder is affixed a small
tippet. To this is added, as a dress, a large ermine hood.
"The Pro-Proctor wears a Master of Arts' gown, faced with velvet,
with a tippet attached to the left shoulder."
The Collectors wear the same dress as the Proctors, with the
exception of the hood and tippet.
The Esquire Bedels wear silk gowns, similar to those of Bachelors
of Law, and round velvet caps. The Yeoman Bedels have black stuff
gowns, and round silk caps.
The dress of the Verger is nearly the same as that of the Yeoman
"Bands at the neck are considered as necessary appendages to the
academic dress, particularly on all public occasions."--_Guide to
COURTS. At the English universities, the squares or acres into
which each college is divided. Called also quadrangles,
All the colleges are constructed in quadrangles or _courts_; and,
as in course of years the population of every college, except
one, has outgrown the original quadrangle, new courts have
been added, so that the larger foundations have three, and one
has four courts.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d,
CRACKLING. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., in common
parlance, the three stripes of velvet which a member of St. John's
College wears on his sleeve, are designated by this name.
Various other gowns are to be discerned, the Pembroke looped at
the sleeve, the Christ's and Catherine curiously crimped in front,
and the Johnian with its unmistakable "_Crackling_"--_Bristed's
Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 73.
CRAM. To prepare a student to pass an examination; to study in
view of examination. In the latter sense used in American
In the latter [Euclid] it is hardly possible, at least not near so
easy as in Logic, to present the semblance of preparation by
learning questions and answers by rote:--in the cant phrase of
undergraduates, by getting _crammed_.--_Whalely's Logic, Preface_.
For many weeks he "_crams_" him,--daily does he rehearse.
_Poem before the Iadma of Harv. Coll._, 1850.
A class of men arose whose business was to _cram_ the candidates.
--_Lit. World_, Vol. XII. p. 246.
In a wider sense, to prepare another, or one's self, by study, for
The members of the bar were lounging about that tabooed precinct,
some smoking, some talking and laughing, some poring over long,
ill-written papers or large calf-bound books, and all big with the
ponderous interests depending upon them, and the eloquence and
learning with which they were "_crammed_" for the
occasion.--_Talbot and Vernon_.
When he was to write, it was necessary to _cram_ him with the
facts and points.--_F.K. Hunt's Fourth Estate_, 1850.
CRAM. All miscellaneous information about Ancient History,
Geography, Antiquities, Law, &c.; all classical matter not
included under the heads of TRANSLATION and COMPOSITION, which can
be learned by CRAMMING. Peculiar to the English
2. The same as CRAMMING, which see.
I have made him promise to give me four or five evenings of about
half an hour's _cram_ each.--_Collegian's Guide_, p. 240.
It is not necessary to practise "_cram_" so outrageously as at
some of the college examinations.--_Westminster Rev._, Am. ed.,
Vol. XXXV. p. 237.
3. A paper on which is written something necessary to be learned,
previous to an examination.
"Take care what you light your cigars with," said Belton, "you'll
be burning some of Tufton's _crams_: they are stuck all about the
pictures."--_Collegian's Guide_, p. 223.
He puzzled himself with his _crams_ he had in his pocket, and
copied what he did not understand.--_Ibid._, p. 279.
CRAMBAMBULI. A favorite drink among the students in the German
universities, composed of burnt rum and sugar.
_Crambambuli_, das ist der Titel
Des Tranks, der sich bei uns bewaehrt.
To the next! let's have the _crambambuli_ first, however.--_Yale
Lit. Mag._, Vol. XII. p. 117.
CRAM BOOK. A book in which are laid down such topics as constitute
an examination, together with the requisite answers to the
questions proposed on that occasion.
He in consequence engages a private tutor, and buys all the _cram
books_ published for the occasion.--_Gradus ad Cantab._, p. 128.
CRAMINATION. A farcical word, signifying the same as _cramming_;
the termination _tion_ being suffixed for the sake of mock
The ---- scholarship is awarded to the student in each Senior
Class who attends most to _cramination_ on the College
course.--_Burlesque Catalogue_, Yale Coll., 1852-53, p. 28.
CRAM MAN. One who is cramming for an examination.
He has read all the black-lettered divinity in the Bodleian, and
says that none of the _cram men_ shall have a chance with
him.--_Collegian's Guide_, p. 274.
CRAMMER. One who prepares another for an examination.
The qualifications of a _crammer_ are given in the following
extract from the Collegian's Guide.
"The first point, therefore, in which a crammer differs from other
tutors, is in the selection of subjects. While another tutor would
teach every part of the books given up, he virtually reduces their
quantity, dwelling chiefly on the 'likely parts.'
"The second point in which a crammer excels is in fixing the
attention, and reducing subjects to the comprehension of
ill-formed and undisciplined minds.
"The third qualification of a crammer is a happy manner and
address, to encourage the desponding, to animate the idle, and to
make the exertions of the pupil continually increase in such a
ratio, that he shall be wound up to concert pitch by the day of
entering the schools."--pp. 231, 232.
CRAMMING. A cant term, in the British universities, for the act of
preparing a student to pass an examination, by going over the
topics with him beforehand, and furnishing him with the requisite
The author of the Collegian's Guide, speaking of examinations,
says: "First, we must observe that all examinations imply the
existence of examiners, and examiners, like other mortal beings,
lie open to the frauds of designing men, through the uniformity
and sameness of their proceedings. This uniformity inventive men
have analyzed and reduced to a system, founding thereon a certain
science, and corresponding art, called _Cramming_."--p. 229.
The power of "_cramming_"--of filling the mind with knowledge
hastily acquired for a particular occasion, and to be forgotten
when that occasion is past--is a power not to be despised, and of
much use in the world, especially at the bar.--_Westminster Rev._,
Am. ed., Vol. XXXV. p. 237.
I shall never forget the torment I suffered in _cramming_ long
lessons in Greek Grammar.--_Dickens's Household Words_, Vol. I. p.
CRAM PAPER. A paper in which are inserted such questions as are
generally asked at an examination. The manner in which these
questions are obtained is explained in the following extract.
"Every pupil, after his examination, comes to thank him as a
matter of course; and as every man, you know, is loquacious enough
on such occasions, Tufton gets out of him all the questions he was
asked in the schools; and according to these questions, he has
moulded his _cram papers_."--_Collegian's Guide_, p. 239.
We should be puzzled to find any questions more absurd and
unreasonable than those in the _cram papers_ in the college
examination.--_Westminster Rev._, Am. ed., Vol. XXXV. p. 237.
CRIB. Probably a translation; a pony.
Of the "Odes and Epodes of Horace, translated literally and
rhythmically" by W. Sewell, of Oxford, the editor of the Literary
World remarks: "Useful as a '_crib_,' it is also poetical."--Vol.
VIII. p. 28.
CROW'S-FOOT. At Harvard College a badge formerly worn on the
sleeve, resembling a crow's foot, to denote the class to which a
student belongs. In the regulations passed April 29, 1822, for
establishing the style of dress among the students at Harvard
College, we find the following. A part of the dress shall be
"three crow's-feet, made of black silk cord, on the lower part of
the sleeve of a Senior, two on that of a Junior, and one on that
of a Sophomore." The Freshmen were not allowed to wear the
crow's-foot, and the custom is now discontinued, although an
unsuccessful attempt was made to revive it a few years ago.
The Freshman scampers off at the first bell for the chapel, where,
finding no brother student of a higher class to encourage his
punctuality, he crawls back to watch the starting of some one
blessed with a _crow's-foot_, to act as vanguard.--_Harv. Reg._,
The corded _crow's-feet_, and the collar square,
The change and chance of earthly lot must share.
_Class Poem at Harv. Coll._, 1835, p. 18.
What if the creature should arise,--
For he was stout and tall,--
And swallow down a Sophomore,
Coat, _crow's-foot_, cap, and all.
_Holmes's Poems_, 1850, p. 109.
CUE, KUE, Q. A small portion of bread or beer; a term formerly
current in both the English universities, the letter q being the
mark in the buttery books to denote such a piece. Q would seem to
stand for _quadrans_, a farthing; but Minsheu says it was only
half that sum, and thus particularly explains it: "Because they
set down in the battling or butterie bookes in Oxford and
Cambridge, the letter q for half a farthing; and in Oxford when
they make that cue or q a farthing, they say, _cap my q_, and make
it a farthing, thus, [Symbol: small q with a line over]. But in
Cambridge they use this letter, a little f; thus, f, or thus, s,
for a farthing." He translates it in Latin _calculus panis_. Coles
has, "A _cue_ [half a farthing] minutum."--_Nares's Glossary_.
"A cue of bread," says Halliwell, "is the fourth part of a
half-penny crust. A cue of beer, one draught."
J. Woods, under-butler of Christ Church, Oxon, said he would never
sitt capping of _cues_.--_Urry's MS._ add. to Ray.
You are still at Cambridge with size _kue_.--_Orig. of Dr._, III.
He never drank above size _q_ of Helicon.--_Eachard, Contempt of
Cl._, p. 26.
"_Cues_ and _cees_," says Nares, "are generally mentioned
together, the _cee_ meaning a small measure of beer; but why, is
not equally explained." From certain passages in which they are
used interchangeably, the terms do not seem to have been well
Hee [the college butler] domineers over freshmen, when they first
come to the hatch, and puzzles them with strange language of
_cues_ and _cees_, and some broken Latin, which he has learnt at
his bin.--_Earle's Micro-cosmographie_, (1628,) Char. 17.
The word _cue_ was formerly used at Harvard College. Dr. Holyoke,
who graduated in 1746, says, the "breakfast was two sizings of
bread and a _cue_ of beer." Judge Wingate, who graduated thirteen
years after, says: "We were allowed at dinner a _cue_ of beer,
which was a half-pint."
It is amusing to see, term after term, and year after year, the
formal votes, passed by this venerable body of seven ruling and
teaching elders, regulating the price at which a _cue_ (a
half-pint) of cider, or a _sizing_ (ration) of bread, or beef,
might be sold to the student by the butler.--_Eliot's Sketch of
Hist. Harv. Coll._, p. 70.
CUP. Among the English Cantabs, "an odious mixture ... compounded
of spice and cider."--_Westminster Rev._, Am. ed., Vol. XXXV. p.
CURL. In the University of Virginia, to make a perfect recitation;
to overwhelm a Professor with student learning.
CUT. To be absent from; to neglect. Thus, a person is said to
"_cut_ prayers," to "_cut_ lecture," &c. Also, to "_cut_ Greek" or
"Latin"; i.e. to be absent from the Greek or Latin recitation.
Another use of the word is, when one says, "I _cut_ Dr. B----, or
Prof. C----, this morning," meaning that he was absent from their
Prepare to _cut_ recitations, _cut_ prayers, _cut_ lectures,--ay,
to _cut_ even the President himself.--_Oration before H.L. of I.O.
of O.F._ 1848.
Next morn he _cuts_ his maiden prayer, to his last night's text
abiding.--_Poem before Y.H. of Harv. Coll._, 1849.
As soon as we were Seniors,
We _cut_ the morning prayers,
We showed the Freshmen to the door,
And helped them down the stairs.
_Presentation Day Songs_, June 15, 1854.
We speak not of individuals but of majorities, not of him whose
ambition is to "_cut_" prayers and recitations so far as possible.
--_Williams Quarterly_, Vol. II. p. 15.
The two rudimentary lectures which he was at first forced to
attend, are now pressed less earnestly upon his notice. In fact,
he can almost entirely "_cut_" them, if he likes, and does _cut_
them accordingly, as a waste of time,--_Household Words_, Vol. II.
_To cut dead_, in student use, to neglect entirely.
I _cut_ the Algebra and Trigonometry papers _dead_ my first year,
and came out seventh.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._,
Ed. 2d, p. 51.
This word is much used in the University of Cambridge, England, as
appears from the following extract from a letter in the
Gentleman's Magazine, written with reference to some of the
customs there observed:--"I remarked, also, that they frequently
used the words _to cut_, and to sport, in senses to me totally
unintelligible. A man had been cut in chapel, cut at afternoon
lectures, cut in his tutor's rooms, cut at a concert, cut at a
ball, &c. Soon, however, I was told of men, _vice versa_, who cut
a figure, _cut_ chapel, _cut_ gates, _cut_ lectures, _cut_ hall,
_cut_ examinations, cut particular connections; nay, more, I was
informed of some who _cut_ their tutors!"--_Gent. Mag._, 1794, p.
The instances in which the verb _to cut_ is used in the above
extract without Italics, are now very common both in England and
_To cut Gates_. To enter college after ten o'clock,--the hour of
shutting them.--_Gradus ad Cantab._, p. 40.
CUT. An omission of a recitation. This phrase is frequently heard:
"We had a cut to-day in Greek," i.e. no recitation in Greek.
Again, "Prof. D---- gave us a cut," i.e. he had no recitation. A
correspondent from Bowdoin College gives, in the following
sentence, the manner in which this word is there used:--"_Cuts_.
When a class for any reason become dissatisfied with one of the
Faculty, they absent themselves from his recitation, as an
expression of their feelings"
D.C.L. An abbreviation for _Doctor Civilis Legis_, Doctor in Civil
Law. At the University of Oxford, England, this degree is
conferred four years after receiving the degree of B.C.L. The
exercises are three lectures. In the University of Cambridge,
England, a D.C.L. must be a B.C.L. of five years' standing, or an
M.A. of seven years' standing, and must have kept two acts.
D.D. An abbreviation of _Divinitatis Doctor_, Doctor in Divinity.
At the University of Cambridge, England, this degree is conferred
on a B.D. of five, or an M.A. of twelve years' standing. The
exercises are one act, two opponencies, a clerum, and an English
sermon. At Oxford it is given to a B.D. of four, or a regent M.A.
of eleven years' standing. The exercises are three lectures. In
American colleges this degree is honorary, and is conferred _pro
meritis_ on those who are distinguished as theologians.
DEAD. To be unable to recite; to be ignorant of the lesson; to
declare one's self unprepared to recite.
Be ready, in fine, to cut, to drink, to smoke, to
_dead_.--_Oration before H.L. of I.O. of O.F._, 1848.
I see our whole lodge desperately striving to _dead_, by doing
that hardest of all work, nothing.--_Ibid._, 1849.
_Transitively_; to cause one to fail in reciting. Said of a
teacher who puzzles a scholar with difficult questions, and
thereby causes him to fail.
Have I been screwed, yea, _deaded_ morn and eve,
Some dozen moons of this collegiate life,
And not yet taught me to philosophize?
_Harvardiana_, Vol. III. p. 255.
DEAD. A complete failure; a declaration that one is not prepared
One must stand up in the singleness of his ignorance to understand
all the mysterious feelings connected with a _dead_.--_Harv.
Reg._, p. 378.
And fearful of the morrow's screw or _dead_,
Takes book and candle underneath his bed.
_Class Poem, by B.D. Winslow, at Harv. Coll._, 1835, p. 10.
He, unmoved by Freshman's curses,
Loves the _deads_ which Freshmen make.--_MS. Poem_.
But oh! what aching heads had they!
What _deads_ they perpetrated the succeeding day.--_Ibid._
It was formerly customary in many colleges, and is now in a few,
to talk about "taking a dead."
I have a most instinctive dread
Of getting up to _take a dead_,
Unworthy degradation!--_Harv. Reg._, p. 312.
DEAD-SET. The same as a DEAD, which see.
Now's the day and now's the hour;
See approach Old Sikes's power;
See the front of Logic lower;
Screws, _dead-sets_, and fines.--_Rebelliad_, p. 52.
Grose has this word in his Slang Dictionary, and defines it "a
concerted scheme to defraud a person by gaming." "This phrase,"
says Bartlett, in his Dictionary of Americanisms, "seems to be
taken from the lifeless attitude of a pointer in marking his
"The lifeless attitude" seems to be the only point of resemblance
between the above definitions, and the appearance of one who is
_taking a dead set_. The word has of late years been displaced by
the more general use of the word _dead_, with the same meaning.
The phrase _to be at a dead-set_, implying a fixed state or
condition which precludes further progress, is in general use.
DEAN. An officer in each college of the universities in England,
whose duties consist in the due preservation of the college
"Old Holingshed," says the Gradus ad Cantabrigiam, "in his
Chronicles, describing Cambridge, speaks of 'certain censors, or
_deanes_, appointed to looke to the behaviour and manner of the
Students there, whom they punish _very severely_, if they make any
default, according to the quantitye and qualitye of their
trespasses.' When _flagellation_ was enforced at the universities,
the Deans were the ministers of vengeance."
At the present time, a person applying for admission to a college
in the University of Cambridge, Eng., is examined by the Dean and
the Head Lecturer. "The Dean is the presiding officer in chapel,
and the only one whose presence there is indispensable. He
oversees the markers' lists, pulls up the absentees, and receives
their excuses. This office is no sinecure in a large college." At
Oxford "the discipline of a college is administered by its head,
and by an officer usually called Dean, though, in some colleges,
known by other names."--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._,
Ed. 2d, pp. 12, 16. _Literary World_, Vol. XII. p. 223.
In the older American colleges, whipping and cuffing were
inflicted by a tutor, professor, or president; the latter,
however, usually employed an agent for this purpose.
See under CORPORAL PUNISHMENT.
2. In the United States, a registrar of the faculty in some
colleges, and especially in medical institutions.--_Webster_.
A _dean_ may also be appointed by the Faculty of each Professional
School, if deemed expedient by the Corporation.--_Laws Univ. at
Cam., Mass._, 1848, p. 8.
3. The head or president of a college.
You rarely find yourself in a shop, or other place of public
resort, with a Christ-Church-man, but he takes occasion, if young
and frivolous, to talk loudly of the _Dean_, as an indirect
expression of his own connection with this splendid college; the
title of _Dean_ being exclusively attached to the headship of
Christ Church.--_De Quincey's Life and Manners_, p. 245.
DEAN OF CONVOCATION. At Trinity College, Hartford, this officer
presides in the _House of Convocation_, and is elected by the
same, biennially.--_Calendar Trin. Coll._, 1850, p. 7.
DEAN'S BOUNTY. In 1730, the Rev. Dr. George Berkeley, then Dean of
Derry, in Ireland, came to America, and resided a year or two at
Newport, Rhode Island, "where," says Clap, in his History of Yale
College, "he purchased a country seat, with about ninety-six acres
of land." On his return to London, in 1733, he sent a deed of his
farm in Rhode Island to Yale College, in which it was ordered,
"that the rents of the farm should be appropriated to the
maintenance of the three best scholars in Greek and Latin, who
should reside at College at least nine months in a year, in each
of the three years between their first and second degrees."
President Clap further remarks, that "this premium has been a
great incitement to a laudable ambition to excel in the knowledge
of the classics." It was commonly known as the _Dean's
bounty_.--_Clap's Hist. of Yale Coll._, pp. 37, 38.
The Dean afterwards conveyed to it [Yale College], by a deed
transmitted to Dr. Johnson, his Rhode Island farm, for the
establishment of that _Dean's bounty_, to which sound classical
learning in Connecticut has been much indebted.--_Hist. Sketch of
Columbia Coll._, p. 19.
DEAN SCHOLAR. The person who received the money appropriated by
Dean Berkeley was called the _Dean scholar_.
This premium was formerly called the Dean's bounty, and the person
who received it the _Dean scholar_.--_Sketches of Yale Coll._, p.
DECENT. Tolerable; pretty good. He is a _decent_ scholar; a
_decent_ writer; he is nothing more than _decent_. "This word,"
says Mr. Pickering, in his Vocabulary, "has been in common use at
some of our colleges, but only in the language of conversation.
The adverb _decently_ (and possibly the adjective also) is
sometimes used in a similar manner in some parts of Great
The greater part of the pieces it contains may be said to be very
_decently_ written.--_Edinb. Rev._, Vol. I. p. 426.
DECLAMATION. The word is applied especially to the public speaking
and speeches of students in colleges, practised for exercises in
It would appear by the following extract from the old laws of
Harvard College, that original declamations were formerly required
of the students. "The Undergraduates shall in their course declaim
publicly in the hall, in one of the three learned languages; and
in no other without leave or direction from the President, and
immediately give up their declamations fairly written to the
President. And he that neglects this exercise shall be punished by
the President or Tutor that calls over the weekly bill, not
exceeding five shillings. And such delinquent shall within one
week after give in to the President a written declamation
subscribed by himself."--_Laws 1734, in Peirce's Hist. Harv.
Univ._, App., p. 129.
2. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., an essay upon a given
subject, written in view of a prize, and publicly recited in the
chapel of the college to which the writer belongs.
DECLAMATION BOARDS. At Bowdoin College, small establishments in
the rear of each building, for urinary purposes.
DEDUCTION. In some of the American colleges, one of the minor
punishments for non-conformity with laws and regulations is
deducting from the marks which a student receives for recitations
and other exercises, and by which his standing in the class is
Soften down the intense feeling with which he relates heroic
Rapid's _deductions_.--_Harv. Mag._, Vol. I. p. 267.
2. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., an original proposition
"How much Euclid did you do? Fifteen?"
"No, fourteen; one of them was a _deduction_."--_Bristed's Five
Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 75.
With a mathematical tutor, the hour of tuition is a sort of
familiar examination, working out examples, _deductions_,
&c.--_Ibid._, pp. 18, 19.
DEGRADATION. In the older American colleges, it was formerly
customary to arrange the members of each class in an order
determined by the rank of the parent. "Degradation consisted in
placing a student on the list, in consequence of some offence,
below the level to which his father's condition would assign him;
and thus declared that he had disgraced his family."
In the Immediate Government Book, No. IV., of Harvard College,
date July 20th, 1776, is the following entry: "Voted, that
Trumbal, a Middle Bachelor, who was degraded to the bottom of his
class for his misdemeanors when an undergraduate, having presented
an humble confession of his faults, with a petition to be restored
to his place in the class in the Catalogue now printing, be
restored agreeable to his request." The Triennial Catalogue for
that year was the first in which the names of the students
appeared in an alphabetical order. The class of 1773 was the first
in which the change was made.
"The punishment of degradation," says President Woolsey, in his
Historical Discourse before the Graduates of Yale College, "laid
aside not very long before the beginning of the Revolutionary war,
was still more characteristic of the times. It was a method of
acting upon the aristocratic feelings of family; and we at this
day can hardly conceive to what extent the social distinctions
were then acknowledged and cherished. In the manuscript laws of
the infant College, we find the following regulation, which was
borrowed from an early ordinance of Harvard under President
Dunster. 'Every student shall be called by his surname, except he
be the son of a nobleman, or a knight's eldest son.' I know not
whether such a 'rara avis in terris' ever received the honors of
the College; but a kind of colonial, untitled aristocracy grew up,
composed of the families of chief magistrates, and of other
civilians and ministers. In the second year of college life,
precedency according to the aristocratic scale was determined, and
the arrangement of names on the class roll was in accordance. This
appears on our Triennial Catalogue until 1768, when the minds of
men began to be imbued with the notion of equality. Thus, for
instance, Gurdon Saltonstall, son of the Governor of that name,
and descendant of Sir Richard, the first emigrant of the family,
heads the class of 1725, and names of the same stock begin the
lists of 1752 and 1756. It must have been a pretty delicate matter
to decide precedence in a multitude of cases, as in that of the
sons of members of the Council or of ministers, to which class
many of the scholars belonged. The story used to circulate, as I
dare say many of the older graduates remember, that a shoemaker's
son, being questioned as to the quality of his father, replied,
that _he was upon the bench_, which gave him, of course, a high
place."--pp. 48, 49.
See under PLACE.
DEGRADE. At the English universities to go back a year.
"'_Degrading_,' or going back a year," says Bristed, "is not
allowed except in case of illness (proved by a doctor's
certificate). A man _degrading_ for any other reason cannot go out
afterwards in honors."--_Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p.
I could choose the year below without formally
_degrading_.--_Ibid._, p. 157.
DEGREE. A mark of distinction conferred on students, as a
testimony of their proficiency in arts and sciences; giving them a
kind of rank, and entitling them to certain privileges. This is
usually evidenced by a diploma. Degrees are conferred _pro
meritis_ on the alumni of a college; or they are honorary tokens
of respect, conferred on strangers of distinguished reputation.
The _first degree_ is that of _Bachelor of Arts_; the _second_,
that _of Master of Arts_. Honorary degrees are those of _Doctor of
Divinity_, _Doctor of Laws_, &c. Physicians, also, receive the
degree of _Doctor of Medicine_.--_Webster_.
DEGREE EXAMINATION. At the English universities, the final
university examination, which must be passed before the B.A.
degree is conferred.
The Classical Tripos is generally spoken of as _the_ Tripos, the
Mathematical one as _the Degree Examination_.--_Bristed's Five
Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 170.
DELTA. A piece of land in Cambridge, which belongs to Harvard
College, where the students kick football, and play at cricket,
and other games. The shape of the land is that of the Greek
Delta, whence its name.
What was unmeetest of all, timid strangers as we were, it was
expected on the first Monday eventide after our arrival, that we
should assemble on a neighboring green, the _Delta_, since devoted
to the purposes of a gymnasium, there to engage in a furious
contest with those enemies, the Sophs, at kicking football and
shins.--_A Tour through College_, 1823-1827, p. 13.
Where are the royal cricket-matches of old, the great games of
football, when the obtaining of victory was a point of honor, and
crowds assembled on the _Delta_ to witness the all-absorbing
contest?--_Harvardiana_, Vol. I. p. 107.
I must have another pair of pantaloons soon, for I have burst the
knees of two, in kicking football on the _Delta_.--_Ibid._, Vol.
III. p. 77.
The _Delta_ can tell of the deeds we've done,
The fierce-fought fields we've lost and won,
The shins we've cracked,
And noses we've whacked,
The eyes we've blacked, and all in fun.
_Class Poem, 1849, Harv. Coll._
A plat at Bowdoin College, of this shape, and used for similar
purposes, is known by the same name.
DEMI, DEMY. The name of a scholar at Magdalene College, Oxford,
where there are thirty _demies_ or half-fellows, as it were, who,
like scholars in other colleges, succeed to
DEN. One of the buildings formerly attached to Harvard College,
which was taken down in the year 1846, was for more than a
half-century known by the name of the _Den_. It was occupied by
students during the greater part of that period, although it was
originally built for private use. In later years, from its
appearance, both externally and internally, it fully merited its
cognomen; but this is supposed to have originated from the
following incident, which occurred within its walls about the year
1770, the time when it was built. The north portion of the house
was occupied by Mr. Wiswal (to whom it belonged) and his family.
His wife, who was then ill, and, as it afterwards proved, fatally,
was attended by a woman who did not bear a very good character, to
whom Mr. Wiswal seemed to be more attentive than was consistent
with the character of a true and loving husband. About six weeks
after Mrs. Wiswal's death, Mr. Wiswal espoused the nurse, which,
circumstance gave great offence to the good people of Cambridge,
and was the cause of much scandal among the gossips. One Sunday,
not long after this second marriage, Mr. Wiswal having gone to
church, his wife, who did not accompany him, began an examination
of her predecessor's wardrobe and possessions, with the intention,
as was supposed, of appropriating to herself whatever had been
left by the former Mrs. Wiswal to her children. On his return from
church, Mr. Wiswal, missing his wife, after searching for some
time, found her at last in the kitchen, convulsively clutching the
dresser, her eyes staring wildly, she herself being unable to
speak. In this state of insensibility she remained until her
decease, which occurred shortly after. Although it was evident
that she had been seized with convulsions, and that these were the
cause of her death, the old women were careful to promulgate, and
their daughters to transmit the story, that the Devil had appeared
to her _in propria persona_, and shaken her in pieces, as a
punishment for her crimes. The building was purchased by Harvard
College in the year 1774.
In the Federal Orrery, March 26, 1795, is an article dated
_Wiswal-Den_, Cambridge, which title it also bore, from the name
of its former occupant.
In his address spoken at the Harvard Alumni Festival, July 22,
1852, Hon. Edward Everett, with reference to this mysterious
building as it appeared in the year 1807, said:--
"A little further to the north, and just at the corner of Church
Street (which was not then opened), stood what was dignified in
the annual College Catalogue--(which was printed on one side of a
sheet of paper, and was a novelty)--as 'the College House.' The
cellar is still visible. By the students, this edifice was
disrespectfully called 'Wiswal's Den,' or, for brevity, 'the Den.'
I lived in it in my Freshman year. Whence the name of 'Wiswal's
Den' I hardly dare say: there was something worse than 'old fogy'
about it. There was a dismal tradition that, at some former
period, it had been the scene of a murder. A brutal husband had
dragged his wife by the hair up and down the stairs, and then
killed her. On the anniversary of the murder,--and what day that
was no one knew,--there were sights and sounds,--flitting garments
daggled in blood, plaintive screams,--_stridor ferri tractaeque
catenae_,--enough to appall the stoutest Sophomore. But for
myself, I can truly say, that I got through my Freshman year
without having seen the ghost of Mr. Wiswal or his lamented lady.
I was not, however, sorry when the twelvemonth was up, and I was
transferred to that light, airy, well-ventilated room, No. 20
Hollis; being the inner room, ground floor, north entry of that
ancient and respectable edifice."--_To-Day_, Boston, Saturday,
July 31, 1852, p. 66.
Many years ago there emigrated to this University, from the wilds
of New Hampshire, an odd genius, by the name of Jedediah Croak,
who took up his abode as a student in the old _Den_.--_Harvard
Register_, 1827-28, _A Legend of the Den_, pp. 82-86.
DEPOSITION. During the first half of the seventeenth century, in
the majority of the German universities, Catholic as well as
Protestant, the matriculation of a student was preceded by a
ceremony called the _deposition_. See _Howitt's Student Life in
Germany_, Am. ed., pp. 119-121.
DESCENDAS. Latin; literally, _you may descend_. At the University
of Cambridge, Eng., when a student who has been appointed to
declaim in chapel fails in eloquence, memory, or taste, his
harangue is usually cut short "by a testy _descendas_."--_Grad. ad
DETERMINING. In the University of Oxford, a Bachelor is entitled
to his degree of M.A. twelve terms after the regular time for
taking his first degree, having previously gone through the
ceremony of _determining_, which exercise consists in reading two
dissertations in Latin prose, or one in prose and a copy of Latin
verses. As this takes place in Lent, it is commonly called
_determining in Lent_.--_Oxf. Guide_.
DETUR. Latin; literally, _let it be given_.
In 1657, the Hon. Edward Hopkins, dying, left, among other
donations to Harvard College, one "to be applied to the purchase
of books for presents to meritorious undergraduates." The
distribution of these books is made, at the commencement of each
academic year, to students of the Sophomore Class who have made
meritorious progress in their studies during their Freshman year;
also, as far as the state of the funds admits, to those members of
the Junior Class who entered as Sophomores, and have made
meritorious progress in their studies during the Sophomore year,
and to such Juniors as, having failed to receive a _detur_ at the
commencement of the Sophomore year, have, during that year, made
decided improvement in scholarship.--_Laws of Univ. at Cam.,
Mass._, 1848, p. 18.
"From the first word in the short Latin label," Peirce says,
"which is signed by the President, and attached to the inside of
the cover, a book presented from this fund is familiarly called a
_Detur_."--_Hist. Harv. Univ._, p. 103.
Now for my books; first Bunyan's Pilgrim,
(As he with thankful pleasure will grin,)
Tho' dogleaved, torn, in bad type set in,
'T will do quite well for classmate B----,
And thus with complaisance to treat her,
'T will answer for another _Detur_.
_The Will of Charles Prentiss_.
Be not, then, painfully anxious about the Greek particles, and sit
not up all night lest you should miss prayers, only that you may
have a "_Detur_," and be chosen into the Phi Beta Kappa among the
first eight. Get a "_Detur_" by all means, and the square medal
with its cabalistic signs, the sooner the better; but do not
"stoop and lie in wait" for them.--_A Letter to a Young Man who
has just entered College_, 1849, p. 36.
Or yet,--though 't were incredible,
--say hast obtained a _detur_!
_Poem before Iadma_, 1850.
DIG. To study hard; to spend much time in studying.
Another, in his study chair,
_Digs_ up Greek roots with learned care,--
Unpalatable eating.--_Harv. Reg._, 1827-28, p. 247.
Here the sunken eye and sallow countenance bespoke the man who
_dug_ sixteen hours "per diem."--_Ibid._, p. 303.
Some have gone to lounge away an hour in the libraries,--some to
ditto in the grove,--some to _dig_ upon the afternoon
lesson.--_Amherst Indicator_, Vol. I. p. 77.
DIG. A diligent student; one who learns his lessons by hard and
A clever soul is one, I say,
Who wears a laughing face all day,
Who never misses declamation,
Nor cuts a stupid recitation,
And yet is no elaborate _dig_,
Nor for rank systems cares a fig.
_Harvardiana_, Vol. III. p. 283.
I could see, in the long vista of the past, the many honest _digs_
who had in this room consumed the midnight oil.--_Collegian_, p.
And, truly, the picture of a college "_dig_" taking a walk--no, I
say not so, for he never "takes a walk," but "walking for
exercise"--justifies the contemptuous estimate.--_A Letter to a
Young Man who has just entered College_, 1849, p. 14.
He is just the character to enjoy the treadmill, which perhaps
might be a useful appendage to a college, not as a punishment, but
as a recreation for "_digs_."--_Ibid._, p. 14.
Resolves that he will be, in spite of toil or of fatigue,
That humbug of all humbugs, the staid, inveterate "_dig_."
_Poem before Iadma of Harv. Coll._, 1850.
There goes the _dig_, just look!
How like a parson he eyes his book!
_The Jobsiad_, in _Lit. World_, Oct. 11, 1851.
The fact that I am thus getting the character of a man of no
talent, and a mere "_dig_," does, I confess, weigh down my
spirits.--_Amherst Indicator_, Vol. I. p. 224.
By this 't is that we get ahead of the _Dig_,
'T is not we that prevail, but the wine that we swig.
_Ibid._, Vol. II. p. 252.
DIGGING. The act of studying hard; diligent application.
I find my eyes in doleful case,
By _digging_ until midnight.--_Harv. Reg._, p. 312.
I've had an easy time in College, and enjoyed well the "otium cum
dignitate,"--the learned leisure of a scholar's life,--always
despised _digging_, you know.--_Ibid._, p. 194.
How often after his day of _digging_, when he comes to lay his
weary head to rest, he finds the cruel sheets giving him no
admittance.--_Ibid._, p. 377.
Hopes to hit the mark
By _digging_ nightly into matters dark.
_Class Poem, Harv. Coll._, 1835.
He "makes up" for past "_digging_."
_Iadma Poem, Harv. Coll._, 1850.
DIGNITY. At Bowdoin College, "_Dignity_," says a correspondent,
"is the name applied to the regular holidays, varying from one
half-day per week, during the Freshman year, up to four in the
DIKED. At the University of Virginia, one who is dressed with more
than ordinary elegance is said to be _diked out_. Probably
corrupted from the word _decked_, or the nearly obsolete
DIPLOMA. Greek, [Greek: diploma], from [Greek: diploo], to
_double_ or fold. Anciently, a letter or other composition written
on paper or parchment, and folded; afterward, any letter, literary
monument, or public document. A letter or writing conferring some
power, authority, privilege, or honor. Diplomas are given to
graduates of colleges on their receiving the usual degrees; to
clergymen who are licensed to exercise the ministerial functions;
to physicians who are licensed to practise their profession; and
to agents who are authorized to transact business for their
principals. A diploma, then, is a writing or instrument, usually
under seal, and signed by the proper person or officer, conferring
merely honor, as in the case of graduates, or authority, as in the
case of physicians, agents, &c.--_Webster_.
DISCIPLINE. The punishments which are at present generally adopted
in American colleges are warning, admonition, the letter home,
suspension, rustication, and expulsion. Formerly they were more
numerous, and their execution was attended with great solemnity.
"The discipline of the College," says President Quincy, in his
History of Harvard University, "was enforced and sanctioned by
daily visits of the tutors to the chambers of the students, fines,
admonitions, confession in the hall, publicly asking pardon,
degradation to the bottom of the class, striking the name from the
College list, and expulsion, according to the nature and
aggravation of the offence."--Vol. I. p. 442.
Of Yale College, President Woolsey in his Historical Discourse
says: "The old system of discipline may be described in general as
consisting of a series of minor punishments for various petty
offences, while the more extreme measure of separating a student
from College seems not to have been usually adopted until long
forbearance had been found fruitless, even in cases which would
now be visited in all American colleges with speedy dismission.
The chief of these punishments named in the laws are imposition of
school exercises,--of which we find little notice after the first
foundation of the College, but which we believe yet exists in the
colleges of England; deprivation of the privilege of sending
Freshmen upon errands, or extension of the period during which
this servitude should be required beyond the end of the Freshman
year; fines either specified, of which there are a very great
number in the earlier laws, or arbitrarily imposed by the
officers; admonition and degradation. For the offence of
mischievously ringing the bell, which was very common whilst the
bell was in an exposed situation over an entry of a college
building, students were sometimes required to act as the butler's
waiters in ringing the bell for a certain time."--pp. 46, 47.
See under titles ADMONITION, CONFESSION, CORPORAL PUNISHMENT,
DEGRADATION, FINES, LETTER HOME, SUSPENSION, &c.
DISCOMMUNE. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., to prohibit an
undergraduate from dealing with any tradesman or inhabitant of the
town who has violated the University privileges or regulations.
The right to exercise this power is vested in the Vice-Chancellor.
Any tradesman who allows a student to run in debt with him to an
amount exceeding $25, without informing his college tutor, or to
incur any debt for wine or spirituous liquors without giving
notice of it to the same functionary during the current quarter,
or who shall take any promissory note from a student without his
tutor's knowledge, is liable to be _discommuned_.--_Lit. World_,
Vol. XII. p. 283.
In the following extracts, this word appears under a different
There is always a great demand for the rooms in college. Those at
lodging-houses are not so good, while the rules are equally
strict, the owners being solemnly bound to report all their
lodgers who stay out at night, under pain of being
"_discommonsed_," a species of college
excommunication.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d,
Any tradesman bringing a suit against an Undergraduate shall be
"_discommonsed_"; i.e. all the Undergraduates are forbidden to
deal with him.--_Ibid._, p. 83.
This word is allied to the law term "discommon," to deprive of the
privileges of a place.
DISMISS. To separate from college, for an indefinite or limited
DISMISSION. In college government, dismission is the separation of
a student from a college, for an indefinite or for a limited time,
at the discretion of the Faculty. It is required of the dismissed
student, on applying for readmittance to his own or any other
class, to furnish satisfactory testimonials of good conduct during
his separation, and to appear, on examination, to be well
qualified for such readmission.--_College Laws_.
In England, a student, although precluded from returning to the
university whence he has been dismissed, is not hindered from
taking a degree at some other university.
DISPENSATION. In universities and colleges, the granting of a
license, or the license itself, to do what is forbidden by law, or
to omit something which is commanded. Also, an exemption from
attending a college exercise.
The business of the first of these houses, or the oligarchal
portion of the constitution [the House of Congregation], is
chiefly to grant degrees, and pass graces and
_dispensations_.--_Oxford Guide_, Ed. 1847, p. xi.
All the students who are under twenty-one years of age may be
excused from attending the private Hebrew lectures of the
Professor, upon their producing to the President a certificate
from their parents or guardians, desiring a _dispensation_.--_Laws
Harv. Coll._, 1798, p. 12.
DISPERSE. A favorite word with tutors and proctors; used when
speaking to a number of students unlawfully collected. This
technical use of the word is burlesqued in the following passages.
Minerva conveys the Freshman to his room, where his cries make
such a disturbance, that a proctor enters and commands the
blue-eyed goddess "_to disperse_." This order she reluctantly
obeys.--_Harvardiana_, Vol. IV. p. 23.
And often grouping on the chains, he hums his own sweet verse,
Till Tutor ----, coming up, commands him to _disperse_.
_Poem before Y.H. Harv. Coll._, 1849.
DISPUTATION. An exercise in colleges, in which parties reason in
opposition to each other, on some question proposed.--_Webster_.
Disputations were formerly, in American colleges, a part of the
exercises on Commencement and Exhibition days.
DISPUTE. To contend in argument; to reason or argue in opposition.
The two Senior classes shall _dispute_ once or twice a week before
the President, a Professor, or the Tutor.--_Laws Yale Coll._,
1837, p. 15.
DIVINITY. A member of a theological school is often familiarly
called a _Divinity_, abbreviated for a Divinity student.
One of the young _Divinities_ passed
Straight through the College yard.
_Childe Harvard_, p. 40.
DIVISION. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., each of the three
terms is divided into two parts. _Division_ is the time when this
partition is made.
After "_division_" in the Michaelmas and Lent terms, a student,
who can assign a good plea for absence to the college authorities,
may go down and take holiday for the rest of the time.--_Bristed's
Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 63.
DOCTOR. One who has passed all the degrees of a faculty, and is
empowered to practise and teach it; as, a _doctor_ in divinity, in
physic, in law; or, according to modern usage, a person who has
received the highest degree in a faculty. The degree of _doctor_
is conferred by universities and colleges, as an honorary mark of
literary distinction. It is also conferred on physicians as a
DOCTORATE. The degree of a doctor.--_Webster_.
The first diploma for a doctorate in divinity given in America was
presented under the seal of Harvard College to Mr. Increase
Mather, the President of that institution, in the year
1692.--_Peirce's Hist. Harv. Univ._, App., p. 68.
DODGE. A trick; an artifice or stratagem for the purpose of
deception. Used often with _come_; as, "_to come a dodge_ over
No artful _dodge_ to leave my school could I just then prepare.
_Poem before Iadma, Harv. Coll._, 1850.
Agreed; but I have another _dodge_ as good as yours.--_Collegian's
Guide_, p. 240.
We may well admire the cleverness displayed by this would-be
Chatterton, in his attempt to sell the unwary with an Ossian
_dodge_.--_Lit. World_, Vol. XII. p. 191.
DOMINUS. A title bestowed on Bachelors of Arts, in England.
_Dominus_ Nokes; _Dominus_ Stiles.--_Gradus ad Cantab._
DON. In the English universities, a short generic term for a
Fellow or any college authority.
He had already told a lie to the _Dons_, by protesting against the
justice of his sentence.--_Collegian's Guide_, p. 169.
Never to order in any wine from an Oxford merchant, at least not
till I am a _Don_.--_The Etonian_, Vol. II. p. 288.
Nor hint how _Dons_, their untasked hours to pass,
Like Cato, warm their virtues with the glass.
_The College_, in _Blackwood's Mag._, May, 1849.
DONKEY. At Washington College, Penn., students of a religious
character are vulgarly called _donkeys_.
DORMIAT. Latin; literally, _let him sleep_. To take out a
_dormiat_, i.e. a license to sleep. The licensed person is excused
from attending early prayers in the Chapel, from a plea of being
indisposed. Used in the English universities.--_Gradus ad Cantab._
DOUBLE FIRST. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., a student who
attains high honors in both the classical and the mathematical
The Calendar does not show an average of two "_Double Firsts_"
annually for the last ten years out of one hundred and
thirty-eight graduates in Honors.--_Bristed's Five Years in an
Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 91.
The reported saying of a distinguished judge,... "that the
standard of a _Double First_ was getting to be something beyond
human ability," seems hardly an exaggeration.--_Ibid._, p. 224.
DOUBLE MAN. In the English universities, a student who is a
proficient in both classics and mathematics.
"_Double men_," as proficients in both classics and mathematics
are termed, are very rare.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng.
Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 91.
It not unfrequently happens that he now drops the intention of
being a "_double man_," and concentrates himself upon mathematics.
--_Ibid._, p. 104.
To one danger mathematicians are more exposed than either
classical or _double men_,--disgust and satiety arising from
exclusive devotion to their unattractive studies.--_Ibid._, p.
DOUBLE MARKS. It was formerly the custom in Harvard College with
the Professors in Rhetoric, when they had examined and corrected
the _themes_ of the students, to draw a straight line on the back
of each one of them, under the name of the writer. Under the names
of those whose themes were of more than ordinary correctness or
elegance, _two_ lines were drawn, which were called _double
They would take particular pains for securing the _double mark_ of
the English Professor to their poetical compositions.--_Monthly
Anthology_, Boston, 1804, Vol. I. p. 104.
Many, if not the greater part of Paine's themes, were written in
verse; and his vanity was gratified, and his emulation roused, by
the honor of constant _double marks_.--_Works of R.T. Paine,
Biography_, p. xxii., Ed. 1812.
DOUBLE SECOND. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., one who
obtains a high place in the second rank, in both mathematical and
A good _double second_ will make, by his college scholarship, two
fifths or three fifths of his expenses during two thirds of the
time he passes at the University.--_Bristed's Five Years in an
Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 427.
DOUGH-BALL. At the Anderson Collegiate Institute, Indiana, a name
given by the town's people to a student.
DRESS. A uniformity in dress has never been so prevalent in
American colleges as in the English and other universities. About
the middle of the last century, however, the habit among the
students of Harvard College of wearing gold lace attracted the
attention of the Overseers, and a law was passed "requiring that
on no occasion any of the scholars wear any gold or silver lace,
or any gold or silver brocades, in the College or town of
Cambridge," and "that no one wear any silk night-gowns." "In
1786," says Quincy, "in order to lessen the expense of dress, a
uniform was prescribed, the color and form of which were minutely
set forth, with a distinction of the classes by means of frogs on
the cuffs and button-holes; silk was prohibited, and home
manufactures were recommended." This system of uniform is fully
described in the laws of 1790, and is as follows:--
"All the Undergraduates shall be clothed in coats of blue-gray,
and with waistcoats and breeches of the same color, or of a black,
a nankeen, or an olive color. The coats of the Freshmen shall have
plain button-holes. The cuffs shall be without buttons. The coats
of the Sophomores shall have plain button-holes like those of the
Freshmen, but the cuffs shall have buttons. The coats of the
Juniors shall have cheap frogs to the button-holes, except the
button-holes of the cuffs. The coats of the Seniors shall have
frogs to the button-holes of the cuffs. The buttons upon the coats
of all the classes shall be as near the color of the coats as they
can be procured, or of a black color. And no student shall appear
within the limits of the College, or town of Cambridge, in any
other dress than in the uniform belonging to his respective class,
unless he shall have on a night-gown or such an outside garment as
may be necessary over a coat, except only that the Seniors and
Juniors are permitted to wear black gowns, and it is recommended
that they appear in them on all public occasions. Nor shall any
part of their garments be of silk; nor shall they wear gold or
silver lace, cord, or edging upon their hats, waistcoats, or any
other parts of their clothing. And whosoever shall violate these
regulations shall be fined a sum not exceeding ten shillings for
each offence."--_Laws of Harv. Coll._, 1790, pp. 36, 37.
It is to this dress that the poet alludes in these lines:--
"In blue-gray coat, with buttons on the cuffs,
First Modern Pride your ear with fustian stuffs;
'Welcome, blest age, by holy seers foretold,
By ancient bards proclaimed the age of gold,'" &c.
But it was by the would-be reformers of that day alone that such
sentiments were held, and it was only by the severity of the
punishment attending non-conformity with these regulations that
they were ever enforced. In 1796, "the sumptuary law relative to
dress had fallen into neglect," and in the next year "it was found
so obnoxious and difficult to enforce," says Quincy, "that a law
was passed abrogating the whole system of distinction by 'frogs on
the cuffs and button-holes,' and the law respecting dress was
limited to prescribing a blue-gray or dark-blue coat, with
permission to wear a black gown, and a prohibition of wearing gold
or silver lace, cord, or edging."--_Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ._,
Vol. II. p. 277.
A writer in the New England Magazine, in an article relating to
the customs of Harvard College at the close of the last century,
gives the following description of the uniform ordered by the
Corporation to be worn by the students:--
"Each head supported a three-cornered cocket hat. Yes, gentle
reader, no man or boy was considered in full dress, in those days,
unless his pericranium was thus surmounted, with the forward peak
directly over the right eye. Had a clergyman, especially, appeared
with a hat of any other form, it would have been deemed as great a
heresy as Unitarianism is at the present day. Whether or not the
three-cornered hat was considered as an emblem of Trinitarianism,
I am not able to determine. Our hair was worn in a _queue_, bound
with black ribbon, and reached to the small of the back, in the
shape of the tail of that motherly animal which furnishes
ungrateful bipeds of the human race with milk, butter, and cheese.
Where nature had not bestowed a sufficiency of this ornamental
appendage, the living and the dead contributed of their
superfluity to supply the deficiency. Our ear-locks,--_horresco
referens_!--my ears tingle and my countenance is distorted at the
recollection of the tortures inflicted on them by the heated
curling-tongs and crimping-irons.
"The bosoms of our shirts were ruffled with lawn or cambric, and
'Our fingers' ends were seen to peep
From ruffles, full five inches deep.'
Our coats were double-breasted, and of a black or priest-gray
color. The directions were not so particular respecting our
waistcoats, breeches,--I beg pardon,--small clothes, and
stockings. Our shoes ran to a point at the distance of two or
three inches from the extremity of the foot, and turned upward,
like the curve of a skate. Our dress was ornamented with shining
stock, knee, and shoe buckles, the last embracing at least one
half of the foot of ordinary dimensions. If any wore boots, they
were made to set as closely to the leg as its skin; for a handsome
calf and ankle were esteemed as great beauties as any portion of
the frame, or point in the physiognomy."--Vol. III. pp. 238, 239.
In his late work, entitled, "Memories of Youth and Manhood,"
Professor Sidney Willard has given an entertaining description of
the style of dress which was in vogue at Harvard College near the
close of the last century, in the following words:--
"Except on special occasions, which required more than ordinary
attention to dress, the students, when I was an undergraduate,
were generally very careless in this particular. They were obliged
by the College laws to wear coats of blue-gray; but as a
substitute in warm weather, they were allowed to wear gowns,
except on public occasions; and on these occasions they were
permitted to wear black gowns. Seldom, however, did any one avail
himself of this permission. In summer long gowns of calico or
gingham were the covering that distinguished the collegian, not
only about the College grounds, but in all parts of the village.
Still worse, when the season no longer tolerated this thin outer
garment, many adopted one much in the same shape, made of
colorless woollen stuff called lambskin. These were worn by many
without any under-coat in temperate weather, and in some cases for
a length of time in which they had become sadly soiled. In other
respects there was nothing peculiar in the common dress of the
young men and boys of College to distinguish it from that of
others of the same age. Breeches were generally worn, buttoned at
the knees, and tied or buckled a little below; not so convenient a
garment for a person dressing in haste as trousers or pantaloons.
Often did I see a fellow-student hurrying to the Chapel to escape
tardiness at morning prayers, with this garment unbuttoned at the
knees, the ribbons dangling over his legs, the hose refusing to
keep their elevation, and the calico or woollen gown wrapped about
him, ill concealing his dishabille.
"Not all at once did pantaloons gain the supremacy as the nether
garment. About the beginning of the present century they grew
rapidly in favor with the young; but men past middle age were more
slow to adopt the change. Then, last, the aged very gradually were
converted to the fashion by the plea of convenience and comfort;
so that about the close of the first quarter of the present
century it became almost universal. In another particular, more
than half a century ago, the sons adopted a custom of their wiser
fathers. The young men had for several years worn shoes and boots
shaped in the toe part to a point, called peaked toes, while the
aged adhered to the shape similar to the present fashion; so that
the shoemaker, in a doubtful case, would ask his customer whether
he would have square-toed or peaked-toed. The distinction between
young and old in this fashion was so general, that sometimes a
graceless youth, who had been crossed by his father or guardian in
some of his unreasonable humors, would speak of him with the title
of _Old Square-toes_.
"Boots with yellow tops inverted, and coming up to the knee-band,
were commonly worn by men somewhat advanced in years; but the
younger portion more generally wore half-boots, as they were
called, made of elastic leather, cordovan. These, when worn, left
a space of two or three inches between the top of the boot and the
knee-band. The great beauty of this fashion, as it was deemed by
many, consisted in restoring the boots, which were stretched by
drawing them on, to shape, and bringing them as nearly as possible
into contact with the legs; and he who prided himself most on the
form of his lower limbs would work the hardest in pressure on the
leather from the ankle upward in order to do this most
effectually."--Vol. I. pp. 318-320.
In 1822 was passed the "Law of Harvard University, regulating the
dress of the students." The established uniform was as follows.
"The coat of black-mixed, single-breasted, with a rolling cape,
square at the end, and with pocket flaps; waist reaching to the
natural waist, with lapels of the same length; skirts reaching to
the bend of the knee; three crow's-feet, made of black-silk cord,
on the lower part of the sleeve of a Senior, two on that of a
Junior, and one on that of a Sophomore. The waistcoat of
black-mixed or of black; or when of cotton or linen fabric, of
white, single-breasted, with a standing collar. The pantaloons of
black-mixed or of black bombazette, or when of cotton or linen
fabric, of white. The surtout or great coat of black-mixed, with
not more than two capes. The buttons of the above dress must be
flat, covered with the same cloth as that of the garments, not
more than eight nor less than six on the front of the coat, and
four behind. A surtout or outside garment is not to be substituted
for the coat. But the students are permitted to wear black gowns,
in which they may appear on all public occasions. Night-gowns, of
cotton or linen or silk fabric, made in the usual form, or in that
of a frock coat, may be worn, except on the Sabbath, on exhibition
and other occasions when an undress would be improper. The
neckcloths must be plain black or plain white."
No student, while in the State of Massachusetts, was allowed,
either in vacation or term time, to wear any different dress or
ornament from those above named, except in case of mourning, when
he could wear the customary badges. Although dismission was the
punishment for persisting in the violation of these regulations,
they do not appear to have been very well observed, and gradually,
like the other laws of an earlier date on this subject, fell into
disuse. The night-gowns or dressing-gowns continued to be worn at
prayers and in public until within a few years. The black-mixed,
otherwise called OXFORD MIXED cloth, is explained under the latter
The only law which now obtains at Harvard College on the subject
of dress is this: "On Sabbath, Exhibition, Examination, and
Commencement days, and on all other public occasions, each
student, in public, shall wear a black coat, with buttons of the
same color, and a black hat or cap."--_Orders and Regulations of
the Faculty of Harv. Coll._, July, 1853, p. 5.
At one period in the history of Yale College, a passion for
expensive dress having become manifest among the students, the
Faculty endeavored to curb it by a direct appeal to the different
classes. The result was the establishment of the Lycurgan Society,
whose object was the encouragement of plainness in apparel. The
benefits which might have resulted from this organization were
contravened by the rashness of some of its members. The shape
which this rashness assumed is described in a work entitled
"Scenes and Characters in College," written by a Yale graduate of
the class of 1821.
"Some members were seized with the notion of a _distinctive
dress_. It was strongly objected to; but the measure was carried
by a stroke of policy. The dress proposed was somewhat like that
of the Quakers, but less respectable,--a rustic cousin to it, or
rather a caricature; namely, a close coatee, with stand-up collar,
and _very_ short skirts,--_skirtees_, they might be called,--the
color gray; pantaloons and vest the same;--making the wearer a
monotonous gray man throughout, invisible at twilight. The
proposers of this metamorphosis, to make it go, selected an
individual of small and agreeable figure, and procuring a suit of
fine material, and a good fit, placed him on a platform as a
specimen. On _him_ it appeared very well, as a belted blouse does
on a graceful child; and all the more so, as he was a favorite
with the class, and lent to it the additional effect of agreeable
association. But it is bad logic to derive a general conclusion
from a single fact: it did not follow that the dress would be
universally becoming because it was so on him. However, majorities
govern; the dress was voted. The tailors were glad to hear of it,
expecting a fine run of business.
"But when a tall son of Anak appeared in the little bodice of a
coat, stuck upon the hips; and still worse, when some very clumsy
forms assumed the dress, and one in particular, that I remember,
who was equally huge in person and coarse in manners, whose taste,
or economy, or both,--the one as probably as the other,--had led
him to the choice of an ugly pepper-and-salt, instead of the true
Oxford mix, or whatever the standard gray was called, and whose
tailor, or tailoress, probably a tailoress, had contrived to
aggravate his natural disproportions by the most awkward fit
imaginable,--then indeed you might have said that 'some of
nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they
imitated humanity so abominably.' They looked like David's
messengers, maltreated and sent back by Hanun.
"The consequence was, the dress was unpopular; very few adopted
it; and the society itself went quietly into oblivion.
Nevertheless it had done some good; it had had a visible effect in
checking extravagance; and had accomplished all it would have
done, I imagine, had it continued longer.
"There was a time, some three or four years previous to this, when
a rakish fashion began to be introduced of wearing white-topped
boots. It was a mere conceit of the wearers, such a fashion not
existing beyond College,--except as it appeared in here and there
an antiquated gentleman, a venerable remnant of the olden time, in
whom the boots were matched with buckles at the knee, and a
powdered queue. A practical satire quickly put an end to it. Some
humorists proposed to the waiters about College to furnish them
with such boots on condition of their wearing them. The offer was
accepted; a lot of them was ordered at a boot-and-shoe shop, and,
all at once, sweepers, sawyers, and the rest, appeared in
white-topped boots. I will not repeat the profaneness of a
Southerner when he first observed a pair of them upon a tall and
gawky shoe-black striding across the yard. He cursed the 'negro,'
and the boots; and, pulling off his own, flung them from him.
After this the servants had the fashion to themselves, and could
buy the article at any discount."--pp. 127-129.
At Union College, soon after its foundation, there was enacted a
law, "forbidding any student to appear at chapel without the
College badge,--a piece of blue ribbon, tied in the button-hole of
the coat."--_Account of the First Semi-Centennial Anniversary of
the Philomathean Society, Union College_, 1847.
Such laws as the above have often been passed in American
colleges, but have generally fallen into disuse in a very few
years, owing to the predominancy of the feeling of democratic
equality, the tendency of which is to narrow, in as great a degree
as possible, the intervals between different ages and conditions.
DUDLEIAN LECTURE. An anniversary sermon which is preached at
Harvard College before the students; supported by the yearly
interest of one hundred pounds sterling, the gift of Paul Dudley,
from whom the lecture derives its name. The following topics were
chosen by him as subjects for this lecture. First, for "the
proving, explaining, and proper use and improvement of the
principles of Natural Religion." Second, "for the confirmation,
illustration, and improvement of the great articles of the
Christian Religion." Third, "for the detecting, convicting, and
exposing the idolatry, errors, and superstitions of the Romish
Church." Fourth, "for maintaining, explaining, and proving the
validity of the ordination of ministers or pastors of the
churches, and so their administration of the sacraments or
ordinances of religion, as the same hath been practised in New
England from the first beginning of it, and so continued to this
"The instrument proceeds to declare," says Quincy, "that he does
not intend to invalidate Episcopal ordination, or that practised
in Scotland, at Geneva, and among the Dissenters in England and in
this country, all which 'I esteem very safe, Scriptural, and
valid.' He directed these subjects to be discussed in rotation,
one every year, and appointed the President of the College, the
Professor of Divinity, the pastor of the First Church in
Cambridge, the Senior Tutor of the College, and the pastor of the
First Church in Roxbury, trustees of these lectures, which
commenced in 1755, and have since been annually continued without
intermission."--_Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ._, Vol. II. pp. 139,
DULCE DECUS. Latin; literally, _sweet honor_. At Williams College
a name given by a certain class of students to the game of whist;
the reason for which is evident. Whether Maecenas would have
considered it an _honor_ to have had the compliment of Horace,
"O et praesidium et dulce decus meum,"
transferred as a title for a game at cards, we leave for others to
DUMMER JUNGE,--literally, _stupid youth_,--among German students
"is the highest and most cutting insult, since it implies a denial
of sound, manly understanding and strength of capacity to him to
whom it is applied."--_Howitt's Student Life of Germany_, Am. ed.,
DUN. An importunate creditor who urges for payment. A character
not wholly unknown to collegians.
Thanks heaven, flings by his cap and gown, and shuns
A place made odious by remorseless _duns_.
_The College_, in _Blackwood's Mag._, May, 1849.
EGRESSES. At the older American colleges, when charges were made
and excuses rendered in Latin, the student who had left before the
conclusion of any of the religious services was accused of the
misdemeanor by the proper officer, who made use of the word
_egresses_, a kind of barbarous second person singular of some
imaginary verb, signifying, it is supposed, "you went out."
Much absence, tardes and _egresses_,
The college-evil on him seizes.
_Trumbull's Progress of Dullness_, Part I.
EIGHT. On the scale of merit, at Harvard College, eight is the
highest mark which a student can receive for a recitation.
Students speak of "_getting an eight_," which is equivalent to
saying, that they have made a perfect recitation.
But since the Fates will not grant all _eights_,
Save to some disgusting fellow
Who'll fish and dig, I care not a fig,
We'll be hard boys and mellow.
_MS. Poem_, W.F. Allen.
Numberless the _eights_ he showers
Full on my devoted head.--_MS. Ibid._
At the same college, when there were three exhibitions in the
year, it was customary for the first eight scholars in the Junior
Class to have "parts" at the first exhibition, the second eight at
the second exhibition, and the third eight at the third
exhibition. Eight Seniors performed with them at each of these
three exhibitions, but they were taken promiscuously from the
first twenty-four in their class. Although there are now but two
exhibitions in the year, twelve performing from each of the two
upper classes, yet the students still retain the old phraseology,
and you will often hear the question, "Is he in the first or
The bell for morning prayers had long been sounding!
She says, "What makes you look so very pale?"--
"I've had a dream."--"Spring to 't, or you'll be late!"--
"Don't care! 'T was worth a part among the _Second Eight_."
_Childe Harvard_, p. 121.
ELECTIONEERING. In many colleges in the United States, where there
are rival societies, it is customary, on the admission of a
student to college, for the partisans of the different societies
to wait upon him, and endeavor to secure him as a member. An
account of this _Society Electioneering_, as it is called, is
given in _Sketches of Yale College_, at page 162.
Society _electioneering_ has mostly gone by.--_Williams
Quarterly_, Vol. II. p. 285.
ELEGANT EXTRACTS. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., a cant
title applied to some fifteen or twenty men who have just
succeeded in passing their final examination, and who are
bracketed together, at the foot of the Polloi list.--_Bristed's
Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 250.
EMERITUS, _pl._ EMERITI. Latin; literally, _obtained by service_.
One who has been honorably discharged from public service, as, in
colleges and universities, a _Professor Emeritus_.
EMIGRANT. In the English universities, one who migrates, or
removes from one college to another.
At Christ's, for three years successively,... the first man was an
_emigrant_ from John's.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._,
Ed. 2d, p. 100.
EMPTY BOTTLE. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., the sobriquet
of a fellow-commoner.
Indeed they [fellow-commoners] are popularly denominated "_empty
bottles_," the first word of the appellation being an adjective,
though were it taken as a verb there would be no untruth in
it.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 34.
ENCENIA, _pl._ Greek [Greek: enkainia], _a feast of dedication_.
Festivals anciently kept on the days on which cities were built or
churches consecrated; and, in later times, ceremonies renewed at
certain periods, as at Oxford, at the celebration of founders and
END WOMAN. At Bowdoin College, "end women," says a correspondent,
"are the venerable females who officiate as chambermaids in the
different entries." They are so called from the entries being
placed at the _ends_ of the buildings.
ENGAGEMENT. At Yale College, the student, on entering, signs an
_engagement_, as it is called, in the words following: "I, A.B.,
on condition of being admitted as a member of Yale College,
promise, on my faith and honor, to observe all the laws and
regulations of this College; particularly that I will faithfully
avoid using profane language, gaming, and all indecent, disorderly
behavior, and disrespectful conduct to the Faculty, and all
combinations to resist their authority; as witness my hand. A.B."
--_Yale Coll. Cat._, 1837, p. 10.
Nearly the same formula is used at Williams College.
ENGINE. At Harvard College, for many years before and succeeding
the year 1800, a fire-engine was owned by the government, and was
under the management of the students. In a MS. Journal, under date
of Oct. 29, 1792, is this note: "This day I turned out to exercise
the engine. P.M." The company were accustomed to attend all the
fires in the neighboring towns, and were noted for their skill and
efficiency. But they often mingled enjoyment with their labor, nor
were they always as scrupulous as they might have been in the
means used to advance it. In 1810, the engine having been newly
repaired, they agreed to try its power on an old house, which was
to be fired at a given time. By some mistake, the alarm was given
before the house was fairly burning. Many of the town's people
endeavored to save it, but the company, dragging the engine into a
pond near by, threw the dirty water on them in such quantities
that they were glad to desist from their laudable endeavors.
It was about this time that the Engine Society was organized,
before which so many pleasant poems and orations were annually
delivered. Of these, that most noted is the "Rebelliad," which was
spoken in the year 1819, and was first published in the year 1842.
Of it the editor has well remarked: "It still remains the
text-book of the jocose, and is still regarded by all, even the
melancholy, as a most happy production of humorous taste." Its
author was Dr. Augustus Pierce, who died at Tyngsborough, May 20,
The favorite beverage at fires was rum and molasses, commonly
called _black-strap_, which is referred to in the following lines,
commemorative of the engine company in its palmier days.
"But oh! let _black-strap's_ sable god deplore
Those _engine-heroes_ so renowned of yore!
Gone is that spirit, which, in ancient time,
Inspired more deeds than ever shone in rhyme!
Ye, who remember the superb array,
The deafening cry, the engine's 'maddening play,'
The broken windows, and the floating floor,
Wherewith those masters of hydraulic lore
Were wont to make us tremble as we gazed,
Can tell how many a false alarm was raised,
How many a room by their o'erflowings drenched,
And how few fires by their assistance quenched?"
_Harvard Register_, p. 235.
The habit of attending fires in Boston, as it had a tendency to
draw the attention of the students from their college duties, was
in part the cause of the dissolution of the company. Their
presence was always welcomed in the neighboring city, and although
they often left their engine behind them on returning to
Cambridge, it was usually sent out to them soon after. The company
would often parade through the streets of Cambridge in masquerade
dresses, headed by a chaplain, presenting a most ludicrous
appearance. In passing through the College yard, it was the custom
to throw water into any window that chanced to be open. Their
fellow-students, knowing when they were to appear, usually kept
their windows closed; but the officers were not always so
fortunate. About the year 1822, having discharged water into the
room of the College regent, thereby damaging a very valuable
library of books, the government disbanded the company, and
shortly after sold the engine to the then town of Cambridge, on
condition that it should never be taken out of the place. A few
years ago it was again sold to some young men of West Cambridge,
in whose hands it still remains. One of the brakes of the engine,
a relic of its former glory, was lately discovered in the cellar
of one of the College buildings, and that perchance has by this
time been used to kindle the element which it once assisted to
ESQUIRE BEDELL. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., three
_Esquire Bedells_ are appointed, whose office is to attend the
Vice-Chancellor, whom they precede with their silver maces upon
all public occasions.--_Cam. Guide_.
At the University of Oxford, the Esquire Bedells are three in
number. They walk before the Vice-Chancellor in processions, and
carry golden staves as the insignia of their office.--_Guide to
EVANGELICAL. In student phrase, a religious, orthodox man, one who
is sound in the doctrines of the Gospel, or one who is reading
theology, is called an _Evangelical_.
He was a King's College, London, man, an
_Evangelical_.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d,
It has been said by some of the _Evangelicals_, that nothing can
be done to improve the state of morality in the Universities so
long as the present Church system continues.--_Ibid._, p. 348.
EXAMINATION. An inquiry into the acquisitions of the students, in
_colleges_ and _seminaries of learning_, by questioning them in
literature and the sciences, and by hearing their
In all colleges candidates for entrance are required to be able to
pass an examination in certain branches of study before they can
be admitted. The students are generally examined, in most
colleges, at the close of each term.
In the revised laws of Harvard College, printed in the year 1790,
was one for the purpose of introducing examinations, the first
part of which is as follows: "To animate the students in the
pursuit of literary merit and fame, and to excite in their breasts
a noble spirit of emulation, there shall be annually a public
examination, in the presence of a joint committee of the
Corporation and Overseers, and such other gentlemen as may be
inclined to attend it." It then proceeds to enumerate the times
and text-books for each class, and closes by stating, that,
"should any student neglect or refuse to attend such examination,
he shall be liable to be fined a sum not exceeding twenty
shillings, or to be admonished or suspended." Great discontent was
immediately evinced by the students at this regulation, and as it
was not with this understanding that they entered college, they
considered it as an _ex post facto_ law, and therefore not binding
upon them. With these views, in the year 1791, the Senior and
Junior Classes petitioned for exemption from the examination, but
their application was rejected by the Overseers. When this was
declared, some of the students determined to stop the exercises
for that year, if possible. For this purpose they obtained six
hundred grains of tartar emetic, and early on the morning of April
12th, the day on which the examination was to begin, emptied it
into the great cooking boilers in the kitchen. At breakfast, 150
or more students and officers being present, the coffee was
brought on, made with the water from the boilers. Its effects were
soon visible. One after another left the hall, some in a slow,
others in a hurried manner, but all plainly showing that their
situation was by no means a pleasant one. Out of the whole number
there assembled, only four or five escaped without being made
unwell. Those who put the drug in the coffee had drank the most,
in order to escape detection, and were consequently the most
severely affected. Unluckily, one of them was seen putting
something into the boilers, and the names of the others were soon
after discovered. Their punishment is stated in the following
memoranda from a manuscript journal.
"Exhibition, 1791. April 20th. This morning Trapier was rusticated
and Sullivan suspended to Groton for nine months, for mingling
tartar emetic with our commons on ye morning of April 12th."
"May 21st. Ely was suspended to Amherst for five months, for
assisting Sullivan and Trapier in mingling tartar emetic with our
Another student, who threw a stone into the examination-room,
which struck the chair in which Governor Hancock sat, was more
severely punished. The circumstance is mentioned in the manuscript
referred to above as follows:--
"April 14th, 1791. Henry W. Jones of H---- was expelled from
College upon evidence of a little boy that he sent a stone into ye
Philosopher's room while a committee of ye Corporation and
Overseers, and all ye Immediate Government, were engaged in
examination of ye Freshman Class."
Although the examination was delayed for a day or two on account
of these occurrences, it was again renewed and carried on during
that year, although many attempts were made to stop it. For
several years after, whenever these periods occurred, disturbances
came with them, and it was not until the year 1797 that the
differences between the officers and the students were
satisfactorily adjusted, and examinations established on a sure
EXAMINE. To inquire into the improvements or qualifications of
students, by interrogatories, proposing problems, or by hearing
their recitals; as, to _examine_ the classes in college; to
_examine_ the candidates for a degree, or for a license to preach
or to practise in a profession.--_Webster_.
EXAMINEE. One who is examined; one who undergoes at examination.
What loads of cold beef and lobster vanish before the _examinees_.
--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 72.
EXAMINER. One who examines. In colleges and seminaries of
learning, the person who interrogates the students, proposes
questions for them to answer, and problems to solve.
Coming forward with assumed carelessness, he threw towards us the
formal reply of his _examiners_.--_Harvardiana_, Vol. III. p. 9.
EXEAT. Latin; literally, _let him depart_. Leave of absence given
to a student in the English universities.--_Webster_.
The students who wish to go home apply for an "_Exeat_," which is
a paper signed by the Tutor, Master, and Dean.--_Alma Mater_, Vol.
I. p. 162.
[At King's College], _exeats_, or permission to go down during
term, were never granted but in cases of life and
death.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 140.
EXERCISE. A task or lesson; that which is appointed for one to
perform. In colleges, all the literary duties are called
It may be inquired, whether a great part of the _exercises_ be not
at best but serious follies.--_Cotton Mather's Suggestions_, in
_Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ._, Vol. I. p. 558.
In the English universities, certain exercises, as acts,
opponencies, &c., are required to be performed for particular
EXHIBIT. To take part in an exhibition; to speak in public at an
exhibition or commencement.
No student who shall receive any appointment to _exhibit_ before
the class, the College, or the public, shall give any treat or
entertainment to his class, or any part thereof, for or on account
of those appointments.--_Laws Yale Coll._, 1837, p. 29.
If any student shall fail to perform the exercise assigned him, or
shall _exhibit_ anything not allowed by the Faculty, he may be
sent home.--_Ibid._, 1837, p. 16.
2. To provide for poor students by an exhibition. (See EXHIBITION,
second meaning.) An instance of this use is given in the Gradus ad
Cantabrigiam, where one Antony Wood says of Bishop Longland, "He
was a special friend to the University, in maintaining its
privileges and in _exhibiting_ to the wants of certain scholars."
In Mr. Peirce's History of Harvard University occurs this passage,
in an account of the will of the Hon. William Stoughton: "He
bequeathed a pasture in Dorchester, containing twenty-three acres
and four acres of marsh, 'the income of both to be _exhibited_, in
the first place, to a scholar of the town of Dorchester, and if
there be none such, to one of the town of Milton, and in want of
such, then to any other well deserving that shall be most needy.'"
EXHIBITION. In colleges, a public literary and oratorical display.
The exercises at _exhibitions_ are original compositions, prose
translations from the English into Greek and Latin, and from other
languages into the English, metrical versions, dialogues, &c.
At Harvard College, in the year 1760, it was voted, "that twice in
a year, in the spring and fall, each class should recite to their
Tutors, in the presence of the President, Professors, and Tutors,
in the several books in which they are reciting to their
respective Tutors, and that publicly in the College Hall or
Chapel." The next year, the Overseers being informed "that the
students are not required to translate English into Latin nor
Latin into English," their committee "thought it would be
convenient that specimens of such translations and other
performances in classical and polite literature should be from
time to time laid before" their board. A vote passed the Board of
Overseers recommending to the Corporation a conformity to these
suggestions; but it was not until the year 1766 that a law was
formally enacted in both boards, "that twice in the year, viz. at
the semiannual visitation of the committee of the Overseers, some
of the scholars, at the direction of the President and Tutors,
shall publicly exhibit specimens of their proficiency, by
pronouncing orations and delivering dialogues, either in English
or in one of the learned languages, or hearing a forensic
disputation, or such other exercises as the President and Tutors
shall direct."--_Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ._, Vol. II. pp.
A few years after this, two more exhibitions were added, and were
so arranged as to fall one in each quarter of the College year.
The last year in which there were four exhibitions was 1789. After
this time there were three exhibitions during the year until 1849,
when one was omitted, since which time the original plan has been
In the journal of a member of the class which graduated at Harvard
College in the year 1793, under the date of December 23d, 1789,
Exhibition, is the following memorandum: "Music was intermingled
with elocution, which (we read) has charms to soothe even a savage
breast." Again, on a similar occasion, April 13th, 1790, an
account of the exercises of the day closes with this note: "Tender
music being interspersed to enliven the audience." Vocal music was
sometimes introduced. In the same Journal, date October 1st, 1790,
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