A Collection of College Words and Customs
Benjamin Homer Hall
Part 7 out of 12
'training day,' (the year I do not recollect,) to the full
satisfaction of the authorities, who did not expect _such_ a
parade, and had no desire to see it repeated. But the students
being unwilling to expose themselves to 'the rigor of the law,'
paraded annually; and when at last the statute was repealed and
militia musters abolished, they continued the practice for the
sake of old association. Thus it passed into a custom, and the
first Wednesday of June is as eagerly anticipated by the citizens
of Burlington and the youth of the surrounding country for its
'training,' as is the first Wednesday of August for its annual
Commencement. The Faculty always smile propitiously, and in the
afternoon the performance commences. The army, or more
euphoniously the 'UNIVERSITY INVINCIBLES,' take up 'their line of
march' from the College campus, and proceed through all the
principal streets to the great square, where, in the presence of
an immense audience, a speech is delivered by the
Commander-in-chief, and a sermon by the Chaplain, the roll is
called, and the annual health report is read by the surgeon. These
productions are noted for their patriotism and fervid eloquence
rather than high literary merit. Formerly the music to which they
marched consisted solely of the good old-fashioned drum and fife;
but of late years the Invincibles have added to these a brass
band, composed of as many obsolete instruments as can be procured,
in the hands of inexperienced performers. None who have ever
handled a musical instrument before are allowed to become members
of the band, lest the music should be too sweet and regular to
comport with the general order of the parade. The uniform (or
rather the _multiform_) of the company varies from year to year,
owing to the regulation that each soldier shall consult his own
taste,--provided that no two are to have the same taste in their
equipments. The artillery consists of divers joints of rusty
stove-pipe, in each of which is inserted a toy cannon of about one
quarter of an inch calibre, mounted on an old dray, and drawn by
as many horse-apologies as can be conveniently attached to it.
When these guns are discharged, the effect--as might be
expected--is terrific. The banners, built of cotton sheeting and
mounted on a rake-handle, although they do not always exhibit
great artistic genius, often display vast originality of design.
For instance, one contained on the face a diagram (done in ink
with the wrong end of a quill) of the _pons asinorum_, with the
rather belligerent inscription, 'REMEMBER NAPOLEON AT LODI.' On
the reverse was the head of an extremely doubtful-looking
individual viewing 'his natural face in a glass.'
Inscription,--'O wad some pow'r the giftie gie us To see oursel's
as others see us.'
"The surgeon's equipment is an ox-cart containing jars of drugs
(most of them marked 'N.E.R.' and 'O.B.J.'), boxes of homoeopathic
pills (about the size of a child's head), immense saws and knives,
skeletons of animals, &c.; over which preside the surgeon and his
assistant in appropriate dresses, with tin spectacles. This
surgeon is generally the chief feature of the parade, and his
reports are astonishing additions to the surgical lore of our
country. He is the wit of the College,--the one who above all
others is celebrated for the loudest laugh, the deepest bumper,
the best joke, and the poorest song. How well he sustains his
reputation may be known by listening to his annual reading, or by
reference to the reports of 'Trotwood,' 'Gubbins,' or 'Deppity
Sawbones,' who at different times have immortalized themselves by
their contributions to science. The cavalcade is preceded by the
'pioneers,' who clear the way for the advancing troops; which is
generally effected by the panic among the boys, occasioned by the
savage aspect of the pioneers,--their faces being hideously
painted, and their dress consisting of gleanings from every
costume, Christian, Pagan, and Turkish, known among men. As the
body passes through the different streets, the martial men receive
sundry testimonials of regard and approval in the shape of boquets
and wreaths from the fair 'Peruvians,' who of course bestow them
on those who, in their opinion, have best succeeded in the object
of the day,--uncouth appearance. After the ceremonies, the
students quietly congregate in some room in college to _count_
these favors and to ascertain who is to be considered the hero of
the day, as having rendered himself pre-eminently ridiculous. This
honor generally falls to the lot of the surgeon. As the sun sinks
behind the Adirondacs over the lake, the parade ends; the many
lookers-on having nothing to see but the bright visions of the
next year's training, retire to their homes; while the now weary
students, gathered in knots in the windows of the upper stories,
lazily and comfortably puff their black pipes, and watch the
lessening forms of the retreating countrymen."
Further to elucidate the peculiarities of the June Training, the
annexed account of the custom, as it was observed on the first
Wednesday in June of the current year, is here inserted, taken
from the "Daily Free Press," published at Burlington, June 8th,
"The annual parade of the principal military body in Vermont is an
event of importance. The first Wednesday in June, the day assigned
to it, is becoming the great day of the year in Burlington.
Already it rivals, if it does not exceed, Commencement day in
glory and honor. The people crowd in from the adjoining towns, the
steamboats bring numbers from across the lake, and the inhabitants
of the town turn out in full force. The yearly recurrence of such
scenes shows the fondness of the people for a hearty laugh, and
the general acceptableness of the entertainment provided.
"The day of the parade this year was a very favorable
one,--without dust, and neither too hot nor too cold for comfort
The performances properly--or rather _im_properly--commenced in
the small hours of the night previous by the discharge of a cannon
in front of the college buildings, which, as the cannon was
stupidly or wantonly pointed _towards_ the college buildings, blew
in several hundred panes of glass. We have not heard that anybody
laughed at this piece of heavy wit.
"At four o'clock in the afternoon, the Invincibles took up their
line of march, with scream of fife and roll of drum, down Pearl
Street to the Square, where the flying artillery discharged a
grand national salute of one gun; thence to the Exchange, where a
halt was made and a refreshment of water partaken of by the
company, and then to the Square in front of the American, where
they were duly paraded, reviewed, exhorted, and reported upon, in
presence of two or three thousand people.
"The scene presented was worth seeing. The windows of the American
and Wheeler's Block had all been taken out, and were filled with
bright female faces; the roofs of the same buildings were lined
with spectators, and the top of the portico of the American was a
condensed mass of loveliness and bright colors. The Town Hall
windows, steps, doors, &c. were also filled. Every good look-out
anywhere near the spot was occupied, and a dense mass of
by-standers and lookers-on in carriages crowded the southern part
of the Square.
"Of the cortege itself, the pencil of a Hogarth only could give an
adequate idea. The valorous Colonel Brick was of course the centre
of all eyes. He was fitly supported by his two aids. The three
were in elegant uniforms, were handsomely mounted, rode well and
with gallant bearing, and presented a particularly attractive
"Behind them appeared a scarlet robe, surmounted by a white wig of
Brobdinagian dimensions and spectacles to match, which it is
supposed contained in the interior the physical system of the
Reverendissimus Boanerges Diogenes Lanternarius, Chaplain, the
whole mounted upon the vertebrae of a solemn-looking donkey.
"The representative of the Church Militant was properly backed up
by the Flying Artillery. Their banner announced that they were
'for the reduction of Sebastopol,' and it is safe to say that they
will certainly take that fortress, if they get a chance. If the
Russians hold out against those four ghostly steeds, tandem, with
their bandy-legged and kettle-stomached riders,--that gun, so
strikingly like a joint of old stove-pipe in its exterior, but
which upon occasion could vomit forth your real smoke and sound
and smell of unmistakable brimstone,--and those slashed and
blood-stained artillerymen,--they will do more than anybody did on
"The T.L.N. Horn-et Band, with Sackbut, Psaltery, Dulcimer, and
Shawm, Tanglang, Locofodeon, and Hugag, marched next. They
reserved their efforts for special occasions, when they woke the
echoes with strains of altogether unearthly music, composed for
them expressly by Saufylur, the eminent self-taught New Zealand
"Barnum's Baby-Show, on four wheels, in charge of the great
showman himself, aided by that experienced nurse, Mrs. Gamp, in
somewhat dilapidated attire, followed. The babies, from a span
long to an indefinite length, of all shapes and sizes, black,
white, and snuff-colored, twins, triplets, quartettes, and
quincunxes, in calico and sackcloth, and in a state of nature,
filled the vehicle, and were hung about it by the leg or neck or
middle. A half-starved quadruped of osseous and slightly equine
appearance drew the concern, and the shrieking axles drowned the
cries of the innocents.
"Mr. Joseph Hiss and Mrs. Patterson of Massachusetts were not
absent. Joseph's rubicund complexion, brassy and distinctly
Know-Nothing look, and nasal organ well developed by his
experience on the olfactory committee, were just what might have
been expected. The 'make up' of Mrs. P., a bright brunette, was
capital, and she looked the woman, if not the lady, to perfection.
The two appeared in a handsome livery buggy, paid for, we suppose,
by the State of Massachusetts.
"A wagon-load of two or three tattered and desperate looking
individuals, labelled 'Recruits for the Crimea,' with a generous
supply of old iron and brick-bats as material of war, was dragged
along by the frame and most of the skin of what was once a horse.
"Towards the rear, but by no means least in consequence or in the
amount of attention attracted, was the army hospital, drawn by two
staid and well-fed oxen. In front appeared the snowy locks and
'fair round belly, with good _cotton_ lined' of the worthy Dr.
Esculapius Liverwort Tarand Cantchuget-urlegawa Opodeldoc, while
by his side his assistant sawbones brayed in a huge iron mortar,
with a weighty pestle, much noise, and indefatigable zeal, the
drugs and dye-stuffs. Thigh-bones, shoulder-blades, vertebrae, and
even skulls, hanging round the establishment, testified to the
numerous and successful amputations performed by the skilful
"Noticeable among the cavalry were Don Quixote de la U.V.M.,
Knight of the patent-leather gaiters, terrible in his bright
rectangular cuirass of tin (once a tea-chest), and his glittering
harpoon; his doughty squire, Sancho Panza; and a dashing young
lady, whose tasteful riding-dress of black cambric, wealth of
embroidered skirts and undersleeves, and bold riding, took not a
"Of the rank and file on foot it is useless to attempt a
description. Beards of awful size, moustaches of every shade and
length under a foot, phizzes of all colors and contortions,
four-story hats with sky-scraping feathers, costumes
ring-streaked, speckled, monstrous, and incredible, made up the
motley crew. There was a Northern emigrant just returned from
Kansas, with garments torn and water-soaked, and but half cleaned
of the adhesive tar and feathers, watched closely by a burly
Missourian, with any quantity of hair and fire-arms and
bowie-knives. There were Rev. Antoinette Brown, and Neal Dow;
there was a darky whose banner proclaimed his faith in Stowe and
Seward and Parker, an aboriginal from the prairies, an ancient
minstrel with a modern fiddle, and a modern minstrel with an
ancient hurdy- gurdy. All these and more. Each man was a study in
himself, and to all, Falstaff's description of his recruits would
"'My whole charge consists of corporals, lieutenants, gentlemen of
companies, slaves as ragged as Lazarus in the painted cloth, where
the glutton's dogs licked his sores; the cankers of a calm world
and a long peace; ten times more dishonorable ragged than an
old-faced ancient: and such have I, that you would think I had a
hundred and fifty tattered prodigals lately come from
swine-keeping, from eating draff and husks. A mad fellow met me on
the way and told me I had unloaded all the gibbets and pressed the
dead bodies. No eye hath seen such scarecrows.'
"The proceedings on the review were exciting. After the calling of
the roll, the idol of his regiment, Col. Martin Van Buren Brick,
discharged an eloquent and touching speech.
"From the report of Dr. Opodeldoc, which was thirty-six feet in
length, we can of course give but a few extracts. He commenced by
informing the Invincibles that his cures the year past had been
more astounding than ever, and that his fame would continue to
grow brighter and brighter, until eclipsed by the advent of some
younger Dr. Esculapius Liverwort Tar Cant-ye-get-your-leg-away
Opodeldoc, who in after years would shoot up like a meteor and
reproduce his father's greatness; and went on as follows:--
"'The first academic that appeared after the last report was the
_desideratum graduatere_, or graduating fever. Twenty-seven were
taken down. Symptoms, morality in the head,--dignity in the walk,
--hints about graduating,--remarkable tendency to
swell,--literary movement of the superior and inferior maxillary
bones, &c., &c. Strictures on bleeding were first applied; then
treating homoeopathically _similis similibus_, applied roots
extracted, roots Latin and Greek, infinitesimal extracts of
calculus, mathematical formulas, psychological inductions, &c.,
&c. No avail. Finally applied huge sheep-skin plasters under the
axilla, with a composition of printers' ink, paste, paper,
ribbons, and writing-ink besmeared thereon, and all were
despatched in one short day.
"'Sophomore Exhibition furnished many cases. One man hit by a
Soph-bug, drove eye down into stomach, carrying with it brains and
all inside of the head. In order to draw them back to their proper
place, your Surgeon caused a leaf from Barnum's Autobiography to
be placed on patient's head, thinking that to contain more true,
genuine _suction_ than anything yet discovered.
* * * * *
"'Nebraska _cancers_ have appeared in our ranks, especially in
Missouri division. Surgeon recommends 385 eighty-pounders be
loaded to the muzzle, first with blank cartridges,--to wit, Frank
Pierce and Stephen A. Douglas, Free-Soil sermons, Fern Leaves, Hot
Corn, together with all the fancy literature of the day,--and
cause the same to be fired upon the disputed territory; this would
cause all the breakings out to be removed, and drive off
"The close of the report was as follows. It affected many even to
"'May you all remember your Surgeon, and may your thoracic duck
ever continue to sail peacefully down the common carrotted
arteries, under the keystone of the arch of the aorta, and not
rush madly into the abominable cavity and eclipse the semi-lunar
dandelions, nor, still worse, play the dickens with the
pneumogastric nerve and auxiliary artery, reverse the doododen,
upset the flamingo, irritate the _high-old-glossus_, and be for
ever lost in the receptaculum chyli. No, no, but, &c. Yours
'Dr. E.L.T.C.O., M.D.'
"Dr. O., we notice, has added a new branch, that of dentistry, to
his former accomplishments. By his new system, his customers are
not obliged to undergo the pain of the operations in person, but,
by merely sending their heads to him, can have everything done
with a great decrease of trouble. From a calf's head thus sent in,
the Doctor, after cutting the gums with a hay-cutter, and filing
between the teeth with a wood-saw, skilfully extracted with a pair
of blacksmith tongs a very great number of molars and incisors.
"Miss Lucy Amazonia Crura Longa Lignea, thirteen feet high, and
Mr. Rattleshanks Don Skyphax, a swain a foot taller, advanced from
the ranks, and were made one by the chaplain. The bride promised
to own the groom, but _protested_ formally against his custody of
her person, property, and progeny. The groom pledged himself to
mend the unmentionables of his spouse, or to resign his own when
required to rock the cradle, and spank the babies. He placed no
ring upon her finger, but instead transferred his whiskers to her
face, when the chaplain pronounced them 'wife and man,' and the
happy pair stalked off, their heads on a level with the
"Music from the Keeseville Band who were present followed; the
flying artillery fired another salute; the fife and drums struck
up; and the Invincibles took their winding way to the University,
where they were disbanded in good season."
JUNIOR. One in the third year of his collegiate course in an
American college, formerly called JUNIOR SOPHISTER.
2. One in the first year of his course at a theological seminary.
JUNIOR. Noting the third year of the collegiate course in American
colleges, or the first year in the theological
JUNIOR APPOINTMENTS. At Yale College, there appears yearly, in the
papers conducted by the students, a burlesque imitation of the
regular appointments of the Junior exhibition. These mock
appointments are generally of a satirical nature, referring to
peculiarities of habits, character, or manners. The following,
taken from some of the Yale newspapers, may be considered as
specimens of the subjects usually assigned. Philosophical Oration,
given to one distinguished for a certain peculiarity, subject,
"The Advantage of a Great Breadth of Base." Latin Oration, to a
vain person, subject, "Amor Sui." Dissertations: to a meddling
person, subject, "The Busybody"; to a poor punster, subject,
"Diseased Razors"; to a poor scholar, subject, "Flunk on,--flunk
ever." Colloquy, to a joker whose wit was not estimated, subject,
"Unappreciated Facetiousness." When a play upon names is
attempted, the subject "Perfect Looseness" is assigned to Mr.
Slack; Mr. Barnes discourses upon "_Stability_ of character, or
pull down and build greater"; Mr. Todd treats upon "The Student's
Manual," and incentives to action are presented, based on the line
"Lives of great men all remind us,"
by students who rejoice in the Christian names, George Washington,
Patrick Henry, Martin Van Buren, Andrew Jackson, Charles James
Fox, and Henry Clay.
See MOCK PART.
JUNIOR BACHELOR. One who is in his first year after taking the
degree of Bachelor of Arts.
No _Junior Bachelor_ shall continue in the College after the
commencement in the Summer vacation.--_Laws of Harv. Coll._, 1798,
JUNIOR FELLOW. At Oxford, one who stands upon the foundation of
the college to which he belongs, and is an aspirant for academic
2. At Trinity College, Hartford, a Junior Fellow is one chosen by
the House of Convocation to be a member of the examining committee
for three years. Junior Fellows must have attained the M.A.
degree, and can only be voted for by Masters in Arts. Six Junior
Fellows are elected every three years.
JUNIOR FRESHMAN. The name of the first of the four classes into
which undergraduates are divided at Trinity College, Dublin.
JUNIOR OPTIME. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., those who
occupy the third rank in honors, at the close of the final
examination in the Senate-House, are called _Junior Optimes_.
The third class, or that of _Junior Optimes_, is usually about at
numerous as the first [that of the Wranglers], but its limits are
more extensive, varying from twenty-five to sixty. A majority of
the Classical men are in it; the rest of its contents are those
who have broken down before the examination from ill-health or
laziness, and choose the Junior Optime as an easier pass degree
under their circumstances than the Poll, and those who break down
in the examination; among these last may be sometimes found an
expectant Wrangler.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed.
2d p. 228.
The word is frequently abbreviated.
Two years ago he got up enough of his low subjects to go on among
the _Junior Ops._--_Ibid._, p. 53.
There are only two mathematical papers, and these consist almost
entirely of high questions; what a _Junior Op._ or low Senior Op.
can do in them amounts to nothing.--_Ibid._, p. 286.
JUNIOR SOPHISTER. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., a student
in the second year of his residence is called Junior Soph or
2. In some American colleges, a member of the Junior Class, i.e.
of the third year, was formerly designated a Junior Sophister.
KEEP. To lodge, live, dwell, or inhabit. To _keep_ in such a
place, is to have rooms there. This word, though formerly used
extensively, is now confined to colleges and universities.
Inquire of anybody you meet in the court of a college at Cambridge
your way to Mr. A----'s room, you will be told that he _keeps_ on
such a staircase, up so many pair of stairs, door to the right or
left.--_Forby's Vocabulary_, Vol. II. p. 178.
He said I ought to have asked for his rooms, or inquired where he
_kept_.--_Gent. Mag._, 1795, p. 118.
Dr. Johnson, in his Dictionary, cites this very apposite passage
from Shakespeare: "Knock at the study where they say he keeps."
Mr. Pickering, in his Vocabulary, says of the word: "This is noted
as an Americanism in the Monthly Anthology, Vol. V. p. 428. It is
less used now than formerly."
_To keep an act_, in the English universities, "to perform an
exercise in the public schools preparatory to the proceeding in
degrees." The phrase was formerly in use in Harvard College. In an
account in the Mass. Hist. Coll., Vol. I. p. 245, entitled New
England's First Fruits, is the following in reference to that
institution: "The students of the first classis that have beene
these foure yeeres trained up in University learning, and are
approved for their manners, as they have _kept their publick Acts_
in former yeeres, ourselves being present at them; so have they
lately _kept two solemn Acts_ for their Commencement."
_To keep chapel_, in colleges, to attend Divine services, which
are there performed daily.
"As you have failed to _make up your number_ of chapels the last
two weeks," such are the very words of the Dean, "you will, if you
please, _keep every chapel_ till the end of the term."--_Household
Words_, Vol. II. p. 161.
_To keep a term_, in universities, is to reside during a
KEYS. Caius, the name of one of the colleges in the University of
Cambridge, Eng., is familiarly pronounced _Keys_.
KINGSMAN. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., a member of King's
He came out the winner, with the _Kingsman_ and one of our three
close at his heels.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed.
2d, p. 127.
KITCHEN-HATCH. A half-door between the kitchen and the hall in
colleges and old mansions. At Harvard College, the students in
former times received at the _kitchen-hatch_ their food for the
evening meal, which they were allowed to eat in the yard or at
their rooms. At the same place the waiters also took the food
which they carried to the tables.
The waiters when the bell rings at meal-time shall take the
victuals at the _kitchen-hatch_, and carry the Same to the several
tables for which they are designed.--_Laws Harv. Coll._, 1798, p.
KNOCK IN. A phrase used at Oxford, and thus explained in the
Collegian's Guide: "_Knocking in_ late, or coming into college
after eleven or twelve o'clock, is punished frequently with being
'confined to gates,' or being forbidden to '_knock in_' or come in
after nine o'clock for a week or more, sometimes all the
KNOCKS. From KNUCKLES. At some of the Southern colleges, a game at
marbles called _Knucks_ is a common diversion among the students.
[Greek: Kudos]. Greek; literally, _glory, fame_. Used among
students, with the meaning _credit, reputation_.
I was actuated not merely by a desire after the promotion of my
own [Greek: kudos], but by an honest wish to represent my country
well.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, pp. 27,
LANDSMANNSCHAFT. German. The name of an association of students in
LAP-EAR. At Washington College, Penn., students of a religious
character are called _lap-ears_ or _donkeys_. The opposite class
are known by the common name of _bloods_.
LATIN SPOKEN AT COLLEGES. At our older American colleges, students
were formerly required to be able to speak and write Latin before
admission, and to continue the use of it after they had become
members. In his History of Harvard University, Quincy remarks on
"At a period when Latin was the common instrument of communication
among the learned, and the official language of statesmen, great
attention was naturally paid to this branch of education.
Accordingly, 'to speak true Latin, both in prose and verse,' was
made an essential requisite for admission. Among the 'Laws and
Liberties' of the College we also find the following: 'The
scholars _shall never use their mother tongue_, except that, in
public exercises of oratory or such like, they be called to make
them in English.' This law appears upon the records of the College
in the Latin as well as in the English language. The terms in the
former are indeed less restrictive and more practical: 'Scholares
vernacula lingua, _intra Collegii limites_, nullo pretextu
utentur.' There is reason to believe that those educated at the
College, and destined for the learned professions, acquired an
adequate acquaintance with the Latin, and those destined to become
divines, with the Greek and Hebrew. In other respects, although
the sphere of instruction was limited, it was sufficient for the
age and country, and amply supplied all their purposes and wants."
--Vol. I. pp. 193, 194.
By the laws of 1734, the undergraduates were required to "declaim
publicly in the hall, in one of the three learned languages; and
in no other without leave or direction from the President." The
observance of this rule seems to have been first laid aside, when,
"at an Overseers' meeting at the College, April 27th, 1756, John
Vassall, Jonathan Allen, Tristram Gilman, Thomas Toppan, Edward
Walker, Samuel Barrett, presented themselves before the Board, and
pronounced, in the respective characters assigned them, a dialogue
in _the English tongue_, translated from Castalio, and then
withdrew,"--_Peirce's Hist. Harv. Univ._, p. 240.
The first English Oration was spoken by Mr. Jedediah Huntington in
the year 1763, and the first English Poem by Mr. John Davis in
In reference to this subject, as connected with Yale College,
President Wholsey remarks, in his Historical Discourse:--
"With regard to practice in the learned languages, particularly
the Latin, it is prescribed that 'no scholar shall use the English
tongue in the College with his fellow-scholars, unless he be
called to a public exercise proper to be attended in the English
tongue, but scholars in their chambers, and when they are
together, shall talk Latin.'"--p. 59.
"The fluent use of Latin was acquired by the great body of the
students; nay, certain phrases were caught up by the very cooks in
the kitchen. Yet it cannot be said that elegant Latin was either
spoken or written. There was not, it would appear, much practice
in writing this language, except on the part of those who were
candidates for Berkeleian prizes. And the extant specimens of
Latin discourses written by the officers of the College in the
past century are not eminently Ciceronian in their style. The
speaking of Latin, which was kept up as the College dialect in
rendering excuses for absences, in syllogistic disputes, and in
much of the intercourse between the officers and students, became
nearly extinct about the time of Dr. Dwight's accession. And at
the same period syllogistic disputes as distinguished from
forensic seem to have entirely ceased."--p. 62.
The following story is from the Sketches of Yale College. "In
former times, the students were accustomed to assemble together to
render excuses for absence in Latin. One of the Presidents was in
the habit of answering to almost every excuse presented, 'Ratio
non sufficit' (The reason is not sufficient). On one occasion, a
young man who had died a short time previous was called upon for
an excuse. Some one answered, 'Mortuus est' (He is dead). 'Ratio
non sufficit,' repeated the grave President, to the infinite
merriment of his auditors."--p. 182.
The story is current of one of the old Presidents of Harvard
College, that, wishing to have a dog that had strayed in at
evening prayers driven out of the Chapel, he exclaimed, half in
Latin and half in English, "Exclude canem, et shut the door." It
is also related that a Freshman who had been shut up in the
buttery by some Sophomores, and had on that account been absent
from a recitation, when called upon with a number of others to
render an excuse, not knowing how to express his ideas in Latin,
replied in as learned a manner as possible, hoping that his answer
would pass as Latin, "Shut m' up in t' Buttery."
A very pleasant story, entitled "The Tutor's Ghost," in which are
narrated the misfortunes which befell a tutor in the olden time,
on account of his inability to remember the Latin for the word
"beans," while engaged in conversation, may be found in the "Yale
Literary Magazine," Vol. XX. pp. 190-195.
See NON PARAVI and NON VALUI.
LAUREATE. To honor with a degree in the university, and a present
of a wreath of laurel.--_Warton_.
LAUREATION. The act of conferring a degree in the university,
together with a wreath of laurel; an honor bestowed on those who
excelled in writing verse. This was an ancient practice at Oxford,
from which, probably, originated the denomination of _poet
The laurel crown, according to Brande, "was customarily given at
the universities in the Middle Ages to such persons as took
degrees in grammar and rhetoric, of which poetry formed a branch;
whence, according to some authors, the term Baccalaureatus has
been derived. The academical custom of bestowing the laurel, and
the court custom, were distinct, until the former was abolished.
The last instance in which the laurel was bestowed in the
universities, was in the reign of Henry the Eighth."
LAWS. In early times, the laws in the oldest colleges in the
United States were as often in Latin as in English. They were
usually in manuscript, and the students were required to make
copies for themselves on entering college. The Rev. Henry Dunster,
who was the first President of Harvard College, formed the first
code of laws for the College. They were styled, "The Laws,
Liberties, and Orders of Harvard College, confirmed by the
Overseers and President of the College in the years 1642, 1643,
1644, 1645, and 1646, and published to the scholars for the
perpetual preservation of their welfare and government." Referring
to him, Quincy says: "Under his administration, the first code of
laws was formed; rules of admission, and the principles on which
degrees should be granted, were established; and scholastic forms,
similar to those customary in the English universities, were
adopted; many of which continue, with little variation, to be used
at the present time."--_Hist. Harv. Univ._, Vol. I. p. 15.
In 1732, the laws were revised, and it was voted that they should
all be in Latin, and that each student should have a copy, which
he was to write out for himself and subscribe. In 1790, they were
again revised and printed in English, since which time many
editions have been issued.
Of the laws of Yale College, President Woolsey gives the following
account, in his Historical Discourse before the Graduates of that
institution, Aug. 14, 1850:--
"In the very first year of the legal existence of the College, we
find the Trustees ordaining, that, 'until they should provide
further, the Rector or Tutors should make use of the orders and
institutions of Harvard College, for the instructing and ruling of
the collegiate school, so far as they should judge them suitable,
and wherein the Trustees had not at that meeting made provision.'
The regulations then made by the Trustees went no further than to
provide for the religious education of the College, and to give to
the College officers the power of imposing extraordinary school
exercises or degradation in the class. The earliest known laws of
the College belong to the years 1720 and 1726, and are in
manuscript; which is explained by the custom that every Freshman,
on his admission, was required to write off a copy of them for
himself, to which the admittatur of the officers was subscribed.
In the year 1745 a new revision of the laws was completed, which
exists in manuscript; but the first printed code was in Latin, and
issued from the press of T. Green at New London, in 1748. Various
editions, with sundry changes in them, appeared between that time
and the year 1774, when the first edition in English saw the
"It is said of this edition, that it was printed by particular
order of the Legislature. That honorable body, being importuned to
extend aid to the College, not long after the time when President
Clap's measures had excited no inconsiderable ill-will, demanded
to see the laws; and accordingly a bundle of the Latin laws--the
only ones in existence--were sent over to the State-House. Not
admiring legislation in a dead language, and being desirous to pry
into the mysteries which it sealed up from some of the members,
they ordered the code to be translated. From that time the
numberless editions of the laws have all been in the English
tongue."--pp. 45, 46.
The College of William and Mary, which was founded in 1693,
imitated in its laws and customs the English universities, but
especially the University of Oxford. The other colleges which were
founded before the Revolution, viz. New Jersey College, Columbia
College, Pennsylvania University, Brown University, Dartmouth, and
Rutgers College, "generally imitated Harvard in the order of
classes, the course of studies, the use of text-books, and the
manner of instruction."--_Am. Quart. Reg._, Vol. XV. 1843, p. 426.
The colleges which were founded after the Revolution compiled
their laws, in a great measure, from those of the above-named
LEATHER MEDAL. At Harvard College, the _leather Medal_ was
formerly bestowed upon the _laziest_ fellow in College. He was to
be last at recitation, last at commons, seldom at morning prayers,
and always asleep in church.
LECTURE. A discourse _read_, as the derivation of the word
implies, by a professor to his pupils; more generally, it is
applied to every species of instruction communicated _viva voce_.
In American colleges, lectures form a part of the collegiate
instruction, especially during the last two years, in the latter
part of which, in some colleges, they divide the time nearly
equally with recitations.
2. A rehearsal of a lesson.--_Eng. Univ._
Of this word, De Quincey says: "But what is the meaning of a
lecture in Oxford and elsewhere? Elsewhere, it means a solemn
dissertation, read, or sometimes histrionically declaimed, by the
professor. In Oxford, it means an exercise performed orally by the
students, occasionally assisted by the tutor, and subject, in its
whole course, to his corrections, and what may be called his
_scholia_, or collateral suggestions and improvements."--_Life and
Manners_, p. 253.
LECTURER. At the University of Cambridge, England, the _lecturers_
assist in tuition, and especially attend to the exercises of the
students in Greek and Latin composition, themes, declamations,
verses, &c.--_Cam. Guide_.
LEM. At Williams College, a privy.
Night had thrown its mantle over earth. Sol had gone to lay his
weary head in the lap of Thetis, as friend Hudibras has it; The
horned moon, and the sweet pale stars, were looking serenely! upon
the darkened earth, when the denizens of this little village were
disturbed by the cry of fire. The engines would have been rattling
through the streets with considerable alacrity, if the fathers of
the town had not neglected to provide them; but the energetic
citizens were soon on hand. There was much difficulty in finding
where the fire was, and heads and feet were turned in various
directions, till at length some wight of superior optical powers
discovered a faint, ruddy light in the rear of West College. It
was an ancient building,--a time-honored structure,--an edifice
erected by our forefathers, and by them christened LEMUEL, which
in the vernacular tongue is called _Lem_ "for short." The
dimensions of the edifice were about 120 by 62 inches. The loss is
almost irreparable, estimated at not less than 2,000 pounds,
avoirdupois. May it rise like a Phoenix from its ashes!--_Williams
Monthly Miscellany_, 1845, Vol. I. p. 464, 465.
LETTER HOME. A writer in the American Literary Magazine thus
explains and remarks upon the custom of punishing students by
sending a letter to their parents:--"In some institutions, there
is what is called the '_letter home_,'--which, however, in justice
to professors and tutors in general, we ought to say, is a
punishment inflicted upon parents for sending their sons to
college, rather than upon delinquent students. A certain number of
absences from matins or vespers, or from recitations, entitles the
culprit to a heartrending epistle, addressed, not to himself, but
to his anxious father or guardian at home. The document is always
conceived in a spirit of severity, in order to make it likely to
take effect. It is meant to be impressive, less by the heinousness
of the offence upon which it is predicated, than by the pregnant
terms in which it is couched. It often creates a misery and
anxiety far away from the place wherein it is indited, not because
it is understood, but because it is misunderstood and exaggerated
by the recipient. While the student considers it a farcical
proceeding, it is a leaf of tragedy to fathers and mothers. Then
the thing is explained. The offence is sifted. The father finds
out that less than a dozen morning naps are all that is necessary
to bring about this stupendous correspondence. The moral effect of
the act of discipline is neutralized, and the parent is perhaps
too glad, at finding his anxiety all but groundless, to denounce
the puerile, infant-school system, which he has been made to
comprehend by so painful a process."--Vol. IV. p. 402.
Avaunt, ye terrific dreams of "failures," "conditions," "_letters
home_," and "admonitions."--_Yale Lit. Mag._, Vol. III. p. 407.
The birch twig sprouts into--_letters home_ and
dismissions.--_Ibid._, Vol. XIII. p. 869.
But if they, capricious through long indulgence, did not choose to
get up, what then? Why, absent marks and _letters home_.--_Yale
Banger_, Oct. 22, 1847.
He thinks it very hard that the faculty write "_letters
home_."--_Yale Tomahawk_, May, 1852.
And threats of "_Letters home_, young man,"
Now cause us no alarm.
_Presentation Day Song_, June 14, 1854.
LIBERTY TREE. At Harvard College, a tree which formerly stood
between Massachusetts and Harvard Halls received, about the year
1760, the name of the Liberty Tree, on an occasion which is
mentioned in Hutchinson's posthumous volume of the History of
Massachusetts Bay. "The spirit of liberty," says he, "spread where
it was not intended. The Undergraduates of Harvard College had
been long used to make excuses for absence from prayers and
college exercises; pretending detention at their chambers by their
parents, or friends, who come to visit them. The tutors came into
an agreement not to admit such excuses, unless the scholar came to
the tutor, before prayers or college exercises, and obtained leave
to be absent. This gave such offence, that the scholars met in a
body, under and about a great tree, to which they gave the name of
the _tree of liberty_! There they came into several resolves in
favor of liberty; one of them, that the rule or order of the
tutors was _unconstitutional_. The windows of some of the tutors
were broken soon after, by persons unknown. Several of the
scholars were suspected, and examined. One of them falsely
reported that he had been confined without victuals or drink, in
order to compel him to a confession; and another declared, that he
had seen him under this confinement. This caused an attack upon
the tutors, and brickbats were thrown into the room, where they
had met together in the evening, through the windows. Three or
four of the rioters were discovered and expelled. The three junior
classes went to the President, and desired to give up their
chambers, and to leave the college. The fourth class, which was to
remain but about three months, and then to be admitted to their
degrees, applied to the President for a recommendation to the
college in Connecticut, that they might be admitted there. The
Overseers of the College met on the occasion, and, by a vigorous
exertion of the powers with which they were intrusted,
strengthened the hands of the President and tutors, by confirming
the expulsions, and declaring their resolution to support the
subordinate government of the College; and the scholars were
brought to a sense and acknowledgment of their fault, and a stop
was put to the revolt."--Vol. III. p. 187.
Some years after, this tree was either blown or cut down, and the
name was transferred to another. A few of the old inhabitants of
Cambridge remember the stump of the former Liberty Tree, but all
traces of it seem to have been removed before the year 1800. The
present Liberty Tree stands between Holden Chapel and Harvard
Hall, to the west of Hollis. As early as the year 1815 there were
gatherings under its branches on Class Day, and it is probable
that this was the case even at an earlier date. At present it is
customary for the members of the Senior Class, at the close of the
exercises incident to Class Day, (the day on which the members of
that class finish their collegiate studies, and retire to make
preparations for the ensuing Commencement,) after cheering the
buildings, to encircle this tree, and, with hands joined, to sing
their favorite ballad, "Auld Lang Syne." They then run and dance
around it, and afterwards cheer their own class, the other
classes, and many of the College professors. At parting, each
takes a sprig or a flower from the beautiful wreath which is hung
around the tree, and this is sacredly preserved as a last memento
of the scenes and enjoyments of college life.
In the poem delivered before the Class of 1849, on their Class
Day, occur the following beautiful stanzas in memory of departed
classmates, in which reference is made to some of the customs
"They are listening now to our parting prayers;
And the farewell song that we pour
Their distant voices will echo
From the far-off spirit shore;
"And the wreath that we break with our scattered band,
As it twines round the aged elm,--
Its fragments we'll keep with a sacred hand,
But the fragrance shall rise to them.
"So to-day we will dance right merrily,
An unbroken band, round the old elm-tree;
And they shall not ask for a greener shrine
Than the hearts of the class of '49."
Its grateful shade has in later times been used for purposes
similar to those which Hutchinson records, as the accompanying
lines will show, written in commemoration of the Rebellion of
"Wreaths to the chiefs who our rights have defended;
Hallowed and blessed be the Liberty Tree:
Where Lenox his pies 'neath its shelter hath vended,
We Sophs have assembled, and sworn to be free."
_The Rebelliad_, p. 54.
The poet imagines the spirits of the different trees in the
College yard assembled under the Liberty Tree to utter their
"It was not many centuries since,
When, gathered on the moonlit green,
Beneath the Tree of Liberty,
A ring of weeping sprites was seen."
_Meeting of the Dryads, Holmes's Poems_, p. 102.
It is sometimes called "the Farewell Tree," for obvious reasons.
"Just fifty years ago, good friends,
a young and gallant band
Were dancing round the Farewell Tree,
--each hand in comrade's hand."
_Song, at Semi-centennial Anniversary of the Class of 1798_.
See CLASS DAY.
LICEAT MIGRARE. Latin; literally, _let it be permitted him to
At Oxford, a form of modified dismissal from College. This
punishment "is usually the consequence of mental inefficiency
rather than moral obliquity, and does not hinder the student so
dismissed from entering at another college or at
Cambridge."--_Lit. World_, Vol. XII. p. 224.
Same as LICET MIGRARI.
LICET MIGRARI. Latin; literally, _it is permitted him to be
removed_. In the University of Cambridge, England, a permission to
leave one's college. This differs from the Bene Discessit, for
although you may leave with consent, it by no means follows in
this case that you have the approbation of the Master and Fellows
so to do.--_Gradus ad Cantab._
LIKE A BRICK OR A BEAN, LIKE A HOUSE ON FIRE, LIKE BRICKS. Among
the students at the University of Cambridge, Eng., intensive
phrases, to express the most energetic way of doing anything.
"These phrases," observes Bristed, "are sometimes in very odd
contexts. You hear men talk of a balloon going up _like bricks_,
and rain coming down _like a house on fire_."--_Five Years in an
Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 24.
Still it was not in human nature for a classical man, living among
classical men, and knowing that there were a dozen and more close
to him reading away "_like bricks_," to be long entirely separated
from his Greek and Latin books.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng.
Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 218.
"_Like bricks_," is the commonest of their expressions, or used to
be. There was an old landlady at Huntingdon who said she always
charged Cambridge men twice as much as any one else. Then, "How do
you know them?" asked somebody. "O sir, they always tell us to get
the beer _like bricks_."--_Westminster Rev._, Am. ed., Vol. XXXV.
LITERAE HUMANIORES. Latin; freely, _the humanities; classical
literature_. At Oxford "the _Literae Humaniores_ now include Latin
and Greek Translation and Composition, Ancient History and
Rhetoric, Political and Moral Philosophy, and Logic."--_Lit.
World_, Vol. XII. p. 245.
LITERARY CONTESTS. At Jefferson College, in Pennsylvania, "there
is," says a correspondent, "an unusual interest taken in the two
literary societies, and once a year a challenge is passed between
them, to meet in an open literary contest upon an appointed
evening, usually that preceding the close of the second session.
The _contestors_ are a Debater, an Orator, an Essayist, and a
Declaimer, elected from each society by the majority, some time
previous to their public appearance. An umpire and two associate
judges, selected either by the societies or by the _contestors_
themselves, preside over the performances, and award the honors to
those whom they deem most worthy of them. The greatest excitement
prevails upon this occasion, and an honor thus conferred is
preferable to any given in the institution."
At Washington College, in Pennsylvania, the contest performances
are conducted upon the same principle as at Jefferson.
LITTLE-GO. In the English universities, a cant name for a public
examination about the middle of the course, which, being less
strict and less important in its consequences than the final one,
has received this appellation.--_Lyell_.
Whether a regular attendance on the lecture of the college would
secure me a qualification against my first public examination;
which is here called _the Little-go_.--_The Etonian_, Vol. II. p.
Also called at Oxford _Smalls_, or _Small-go_.
You must be prepared with your list of books, your testamur for
Responsions (by Undergraduates called "_Little-go_" or
"_Smalls_"), and also your certificate of
matriculation.--_Collegian's Guide_, p. 241.
LL.B. An abbreviation for _Legum Baccalaureus_, Bachelor of Laws.
In American colleges, this degree is conferred on students who
fulfil the conditions of the statutes of the law school to which
they belong. The law schools in the different colleges are
regulated on this point by different rules, but in many the degree
of LL.B. is given to a B.A. who has been a member of a law school
for a year and a half.
LL.D. An abbreviation for _Legum Doctor_, Doctor of Laws.
In American colleges, an honorary degree, conferred _pro meritis_
on those who are distinguished as lawyers, statesmen, &c.
L.M. An abbreviation for the words _Licentiate in Medicine_. At
the University of Cambridge, Eng., an L.M. must be an M.A. or M.B.
of two years' standing. No exercise, but examination by the
Professor and another Doctor in the Faculty.
LOAF. At Princeton College, to borrow anything, whether returning
it or not; usually in the latter sense.
LODGE. At the University of Cambridge, England, the technical name
given to the house occupied by the master of a
When Undergraduates were invited to the _conversaziones_ at the
_Lodge_, they were expected never to sit down in the Master's
presence.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 90.
LONG. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., the long vacation, or,
as it is more familiarly called, "The Long," commences according
to statute in July, at the close of the Easter term, but
practically early in June, and ends October 20th, at the beginning
of the Michaelmas term.
For a month or six weeks in the "_Long_," they rambled off to see
the sights of Paris.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed.
2d, p. 37.
In the vacations, particularly the _Long_, there is every facility
for reading.--_Ibid._, p. 78.
So attractive is the Vacation-College-life that the great trouble
of the Dons is to keep the men from staying up during the _Long_.
--_Ibid._, p. 79.
Some were going on reading parties, some taking a holiday before
settling down to their work in the "_Long_."--_Ibid._, p. 104.
LONG-EAR. At Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, a student of a sober
or religious character is denominated a _long-ear_. The opposite
LOTTERY. The method of obtaining money by lottery has at different
times been adopted in several of our American colleges. In 1747, a
new building being wanted at Yale College, the "Liberty of a
Lottery" was obtained from the General Assembly, "by which," says
Clap, "Five Hundred Pounds Sterling was raised, clear of all
Charge and Deductions."--_Hist. of Yale Coll._, p. 55.
This sum defrayed one third of the expense of building what was
then called Connecticut Hall, and is known now by the name of "the
South Middle College."
In 1772, Harvard College being in an embarrassed condition, the
Legislature granted it the benefit of a lottery; in 1794 this
grant was renewed, and for the purpose of enabling the College to
erect an additional building. The proceeds of the lottery amounted
to $18,400, which, with $5,300 from the general funds of the
College, were applied to the erection of Stoughton Hall, which was
completed in 1805. In 1806 the Legislature again authorized a
lottery, which enabled the Corporation in 1813 to erect a new
building, called Holworthy Hall, at an expense of about $24,500,
the lottery having produced about $29,000.--_Quincy's Hist. of
Harv. Univ._, Vol. II. pp. 162, 273, 292.
LOUNGE. A treat, a comfort. A word introduced into the vocabulary
of the English Cantabs, from Eton.--_Bristed_.
LOW. The term applied to the questions, subjects, papers, &c.,
pertaining to a LOW MAN.
The "_low_" questions were chiefly confined to the first day's
papers.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 205.
The "_low_ subjects," as got up to pass men among the Junior
Optimes, comprise, etc.--_Ibid._, p. 205.
The _low_ papers were longer.--_Ibid._, p. 206.
LOWER HOUSE. See SENATE.
LOW MAN. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., the name given to a
Junior Optime as compared with a Senior Optime or with a Wrangler.
I was fortunate enough to find a place in the team of a capital
tutor,... who had but six pupils, all going out this time, and
five of them "_low men_."--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng.
Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 204.
M.A. An abbreviation of _Magister Artium_, Master of Arts. The
second degree given by universities and colleges. Sometimes
written A.M., which, is in accordance with the proper Latin
In the English universities, every B.A. of three years' standing
may proceed to this degree on payment of certain fees. In America,
this degree is conferred, without examination, on Bachelors of
three years' standing. At Harvard, this degree was formerly
conferred only upon examination, as will be seen by the following
extract. "Every schollar that giveth up in writing a System, or
Synopsis, or summe of Logick, naturall and morall Philosophy,
Arithmetick, Geometry and Astronomy: And is ready to defend his
Theses or positions: Withall skilled in the originalls as
above-said; And of godly life and conversation; And so approved by
the Overseers and Master of the Colledge, at any publique Act, is
fit to be dignified with his 2d degree."--_New England's First
Fruits_, in _Mass. Hist. Coll._, Vol. I. p. 246.
Until the year 1792, it was customary for those who applied for
the degree of M.A. to defend what were called _Master's
questions_; after this time an oration was substituted in place of
these, which continued until 1844, when for the first time there
were no Master's exercises. The degree is now given to any
graduate of three or more years' standing, on the payment of a
certain sum of money.
The degree is also presented by special vote to individuals wholly
unconnected with any college, but who are distinguished for their
literary attainments. In this case, where the honor is given, no
fee is required.
MAKE UP. To recite a lesson which was not recited with the class
at the regular recitation. It is properly used as a transitive
verb, but in conversation is very often used intransitively. The
following passage explains the meaning of the phrase more fully.
A student may be permitted, on petition to the Faculty, to _make
up_ a recitation or other exercise from which he was absent and
has been excused, provided his application to this effect be made
within the term in-which the absence occurred.--_Laws of Univ. at
Cam., Mass._, 1848, p. 16.
... sleeping,--a luxury, however, which is sadly diminished by the
anticipated necessity of _making up_ back lessons.--_Harv. Reg._,
MAN. An undergraduate in a university or college.
At Cambridge and eke at Oxford, every stripling is accounted a
_Man_ from the moment of his putting on the gown and cap.--_Gradus
ad Cantab._, p. 75.
Sweet are the slumbers, indeed, of a Freshman, who, just escaped
the trammels of "home, sweet home," and the pedagogue's tyrannical
birch, for the first time in his life, with the academical gown,
assumes the _toga virilis_, and feels himself a _Man_.--_Alma
Mater_, Vol. I. p. 30.
In College all are "_men_" from the hirsute Senior to the tender
Freshman who carries off a pound of candy and paper of raisins
from the maternal domicile weekly.--_Harv. Mag._, Vol. I. p. 264.
MANCIPLE. Latin, _manceps_; _manu capio_, to take with the hand.
In the English universities, the person who purchases the
provisions; the college victualler. The office is now obsolete.
Our _Manciple_ I lately met,
Of visage wise and prudent.
_The Student_, Oxf. and Cam., Vol. I. p. 115.
MANDAMUS. In the University of Cambridge, Eng., a special mandate
under the great seal, which enables a candidate to proceed to his
degree before the regular period.--_Grad. ad Cantab._
MANNERS. The outward observances of respect which were formerly
required of the students by college officers seem very strange to
us of the present time, and we cannot but notice the omissions
which have been made in college laws during the present century in
reference to this subject. Among the laws of Harvard College,
passed in 1734, is one declaring, that "all scholars shall show
due respect and honor in speech and behavior, as to their natural
parents, so to magistrates, elders, the President and Fellows of
the Corporation, and to all others concerned in the instruction or
government of the College, and to all superiors, keeping due
silence in their presence, and not disorderly gainsaying them; but
showing all laudable expressions of honor and reverence that are
in use; such as uncovering the head, rising up in their presence,
and the like. And particularly undergraduates shall be uncovered
in the College yard when any of the Overseers, the President or
Fellows of the Corporation, or any other concerned in the
government or instruction of the College, are therein, and
Bachelors of Arts shall be uncovered when the President is there."
This law was still further enforced by some of the regulations
contained in a list of "The Ancient Customs of Harvard College."
Those which refer particularly to this point are the following:--
"No Freshman shall wear his hat in the College yard, unless it
rains, hails, or snows, provided he be on foot, and have not both
"No Undergraduate shall wear his hat in the College yard, when any
of the Governors of the College are there; and no Bachelor shall
wear his hat when the President is there.
"No Freshman shall speak to a Senior with his hat on; or have it
on in a Senior's chamber, or in his own, if a Senior be there.
"All the Undergraduates shall treat those in the government of the
College with respect and deference; particularly, they shall not
be seated without leave in their presence; they shall be uncovered
when they speak to them, or are spoken to by them."
Such were the laws of the last century, and their observance was
enforced with the greatest strictness. After the Revolution, the
spirit of the people had become more republican, and about the
year 1796, "considering the spirit of the times and the extreme
difficulty the executive must encounter in attempting to enforce
the law prohibiting students from wearing hats in the College
yard," a vote passed repealing it.--_Quincy's Hist. Harv. Univ._,
Vol. II. p. 278.
On this subject, Professor Sidney Willard, with reference to the
time of the presidency of Joseph Willard at Harvard College,
during the latter part of the last century, remarks: "Outward
tokens of respect required to be paid to the immediate government,
and particularly to the President, were attended with formalities
that seemed to be somewhat excessive; such, for instance, as made
it an offence for a student to wear his hat in the College yard,
or enclosure, when the President was within it. This, indeed, in
the fulness of the letter, gradually died out, and was compromised
by the observance only when the student was so near, or in such a
position, that he was likely to be recognized. Still, when the
students assembled for morning and evening prayer, which was
performed with great constancy by the President, they were careful
to avoid a close proximity to the outer steps of the Chapel, until
the President had reached and passed within the threshold. This
was a point of decorum which it was pleasing to witness, and I
never saw it violated."--_Memories of Youth and Manhood_, 1855,
Vol. I. p. 132.
"In connection with the subject of discipline," says President
Woolsey, in his Historical Discourse before the Graduates of Yale
College, "we may aptly introduce that of the respect required by
the officers of the College, and of the subordination which
younger classes were to observe towards older. The germ, and
perhaps the details, of this system of college manners, are to be
referred back to the English universities. Thus the Oxford laws
require that juniors shall show all due and befitting reverence to
seniors, that is, Undergraduates to Bachelors, they to Masters,
Masters to Doctors, as well in private as in public, by giving
them the better place when they are together, by withdrawing out
of their way when they meet, by uncovering the head at the proper
distance, and by reverently saluting and addressing them."
After citing the law of Harvard College passed in 1734, which is
given above, he remarks as follows. "Our laws of 1745 contain the
same identical provisions. These regulations were not a dead
letter, nor do they seem to have been more irksome than many other
college restraints. They presupposed originally that the college
rank of the individual towards whom respect is to be shown could
be discovered at a distance by peculiarities of dress; the gown
and the wig of the President could be seen far beyond the point
where features and gait would cease to mark the person."--pp. 52,
As an illustration of the severity with which the laws on this
subject were enforced, it may not be inappropriate to insert the
annexed account from the Sketches of Yale College:--"The servile
requisition of making obeisance to the officers of College within
a prescribed distance was common, not only to Yale, but to all
kindred institutions throughout the United States. Some young men
were found whose high spirit would not brook the degrading law
imposed upon them without some opposition, which, however, was
always ineffectual. The following anecdote, related by Hon.
Ezekiel Bacon, in his Recollections of Fifty Years Since, although
the scene of its occurrence was in another college, yet is thought
proper to be inserted here, as a fair sample of the
insubordination caused in every institution by an enactment so
absurd and degrading. In order to escape from the requirements of
striking his colors and doffing his chapeau when within the
prescribed striking distance from the venerable President or the
dignified tutors, young Ellsworth, who afterwards rose to the
honorable rank of Chief Justice of the United States, and to many
other elevated stations in this country, and who was then a
student there, cut off entirely the brim portion of his hat,
leaving of it nothing but the crown, which he wore in the form of
a skull-cap on his head, putting it under his arm when he
approached their reverences. Being reproved for his perversity,
and told that this was not a hat within the meaning and intent of
the law, which he was required to do his obeisance with by
removing it from his head, he then made bold to wear his skull-cap
into the Chapel and recitation-room, in presence of the authority.
Being also then again reproved for wearing his hat in those
forbidden and sacred places, he replied that he had once supposed
that it was in truth a veritable hat, but having been informed by
his superiors that it was _no hat_ at all, he had ventured to come
into their presence as he supposed with his head uncovered by that
proscribed garment. But the dilemma was, as in his former
position, decided against him; and no other alternative remained
to him but to resume his full-brimmed beaver, and to comply
literally with the enactments of the collegiate pandect."--pp.
MAN WHO IS JUST GOING OUT. At the University of Cambridge, Eng.,
the popular name of a student who is in the last term of his
MARK. The figure given to denote the quality of a recitation. In
most colleges, the merit of each performance is expressed by some
number of a series, in which a certain fixed number indicates the
In Harvard College the highest mark is eight. Four is considered
as the average, and a student not receiving this average in all
the studies of a term is not allowed to remain as a member of
college. At Yale the marks range from zero to four. Two is the
average, and a student not receiving this is obliged to leave
college, not to return until he can pass an examination in all the
branches which his class has pursued.
In Harvard College, where the system of marks is most strictly
followed, the merit of each individual is ascertained by adding
together the term aggregates of each instructor, these "term
aggregates being the sum of all the marks given during the term,
for the current work of each month, and for omitted lessons made
up by permission, and of the marks given for examination by the
instructor and the examining committee at the close of the term."
From the aggregate of these numbers deductions are made for
delinquencies unexcused, and the result is the rank of the
student, according to which his appointment (if he receives one)
is given.--_Laws of Univ. at Cam., Mass._, 1848.
That's the way to stand in college,
High in "_marks_" and want of knowledge!
_Childe Harvard_, p. 154.
If he does not understand his lesson, he swallows it whole,
without understanding it; his object being, not the lesson, but
the "_mark_," which he is frequently at the President's office to
inquire about.--_A Letter to a Young Man who has Just entered
College_, 1849, p. 21.
I have spoken slightingly, too, of certain parts of college
machinery, and particularly of the system of "_marks_." I do
confess that I hold them in small reverence, reckoning them as
rather belonging to a college in embryo than to one fully grown. I
suppose it is "dangerous" advice; but I would be so intent upon my
studies as not to inquire or think about my "_marks_."--_Ibid._ p.
Then he makes mistakes in examinations also, and "loses _marks_."
--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 388.
MARKER. In the University of Cambridge, England, three or four
persons called _markers_ are employed to walk up and down chapel
during a considerable part of the service, with lists of the names
of the members in their hands; they an required to run a pin
through the names of those present.
As to the method adopted by the markers, Bristed says: "The
students, as they enter, are _marked_ with pins on long
alphabetical lists, by two college servants, who are so
experienced and clever at their business that they never have to
ask the name of a new-comer more than once."--_Five Years in an
Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 15.
His name pricked off upon the _marker's_ roll,
No twinge of conscience racks his easy soul.
_The College_, in _Blackwood's Mag._, May, 1849.
MARSHAL. In the University of Oxford, an officer who is usually in
attendance on one of the proctors.--_Collegian's Guide_.
MARSHAL'S TREAT. An account of the manner in which this
observance, peculiar to Williams College, is annually kept, is
given in the annexed passage from the columns of a newspaper.
"Another custom here is the Marshal's Treat. The two gentlemen who
are elected to act as Marshals during Commencement week are
expected to _treat_ the class, and this year it was done in fine
style. The Seniors assembled at about seven o'clock in their
recitation-room, and, with Marshals Whiting and Taft at their
head, marched down to a grove, rather more than half a mile from
the Chapel, where tables had been set, and various luxuries
provided for the occasion. The Philharmonia Musical Society
discoursed sweet strains during the entertainment, and speeches,
songs, and toasts were kept up till a late hour in the evening,
when after giving cheers for the three lower classes, and three
times three for '54, they marched back to the President's. A song
written for the occasion was there performed, to which he replied
in a few words, speaking of his attachment to the class, and his
regret at the parting which must soon take place. The class then
returned to East College, and after joining hands and singing Auld
Lang Syne, separated."--_Boston Daily Evening Traveller_, July 12,
MASQUERADE. It was formerly the custom at Harvard College for the
Tutors, on leaving their office, to invite their friends to a
masquerade ball, which was held at some time during the vacation,
usually in the rooms which they occupied in the College buildings.
One of the most splendid entertainments of this kind was given by
Mr. Kirkland, afterwards President of the College, in the year
1794. The same custom also prevailed to a certain extent among the
students, and these balls were not wholly discontinued until the
year 1811. After this period, members of societies would often
appear in masquerade dresses in the streets, and would sometimes
in this garb enter houses, with the occupants of which they were
not acquainted, thereby causing much sport, and not unfrequently
MASTER. The head of a college. This word is used in the English
Universities, and was formerly in use in this country, in this
The _Master_ of the College, or "Head of the House," is a D.D.,
who has been a Fellow. He is the supreme ruler within the college
Trails, and moves about like an Undergraduate's deity, keeping at
an awful distance from the students, and not letting himself be
seen too frequently even at chapel. Besides his fat salary and
house, he enjoys many perquisites and privileges, not the least of
which is that of committing matrimony.--_Bristed's Five Years in
an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 16.
Every schollar, that on proofe is found able to read the originals
of the Old and New Testament into the Latine tongue, &c. and at
any publick act hath the approbation of the Overseers and _Master_
of the Colledge, is fit to be dignified with his first
degree.--_New England's First Fruits_, in _Mass. Hist. Coll._,
Vol. I. pp. 245, 246.
2. A title of dignity in colleges and universities; as, _Master_
They, likewise, which peruse the questiones published by the
_Masters_.--_Mather's Magnalia_, B. IV. pp. 131, 132.
MASTER OF THE KITCHEN. In Harvard College, a person who formerly
made all the contracts, and performed all the duties necessary for
the providing of commons, under the direction of the Steward. He
was required to be "discreet and capable."--_Laws of Harv. Coll._,
1814, p. 42.
MASTER'S QUESTION. A proposition advanced by a candidate for the
degree of Master of Arts.
In the older American colleges it seems to have been the
established custom, at a very early period, for those who
proceeded Masters, to maintain in public _questions_ or
propositions on scientific or moral topics. Dr. Cotton Mather, in
his _Magnalia_, p. 132, referring to Harvard College, speaks of
"the _questiones_ published by the Masters," and remarks that they
"now and then presume to fly as high as divinity." These questions
were in Latin, and the discussions upon them were carried on in
the same language. The earliest list of Masters' questions extant
was published at Harvard College in the year 1655. It was
entitled, "Quaestiones in Philosophia Discutiendae ... in comitiis
per Inceptores in artib[us]." In 1669 the title was changed to
"Quaestiones pro Modulo Discutiendae ... per Inceptores." The last
Masters' questions were presented at the Commencement in 1789. The
next year Masters' exercises were substituted, which usually
consisted of an English Oration, a Poem, and a Valedictory Latin
Oration, delivered by three out of the number of candidates for
the second degree. A few years after, the Poem was omitted. The
last Masters' exercises were performed in the year 1843. At Yale
College, from 1787 onwards, there were no Masters' valedictories,
nor syllogistic disputes in Latin, and in 1793 there were no
Master's exercises at all.
MATHEMATICAL SLATE. At Harvard College, the best mathematician
received in former times a large slate, which, on leaving college,
he gave to the best mathematician in the next class, and thus
transmitted it from class to class. The slate disappeared a few
years since, and the custom is no longer observed.
MATRICULA. A roll or register, from _matrix_. In _colleges_
the register or record which contains the names of the students,
times of entering into college, remarks on their character,
The remarks made in the _Matricula_ of the College respecting
those who entered the Freshman Class together with him are, of
one, that he "in his third year went to Philadelphia
College."--_Hist. Sketch of Columbia College_, p. 42.
Similar brief remarks are found throughout the _Matricula_ of
King's College.--_Ibid._, p. 42.
We find in its _Matricula_ the names of William Walton,
&c.--_Ibid._, p. 64.
MATRICULATE. Latin, _Matricula_, a roll or register, from
_matrix_. To enter or admit to membership in a body or society,
particularly in a college or university, by enrolling the name in
In July, 1778, he was examined at that university, and
_matriculated_.--_Works of R.T. Paine, Biography_, p. xviii.
In 1787, he _matriculated_ at St. John's College,
Cambridge.--_Household Words_, Vol. I. p. 210.
MATRICULATE. One enrolled in a register, and thus admitted to
membership in a society.--_Arbuthnot_.
The number of _Matriculates_ has in every instance been greater
than that stated in the table.--_Cat. Univ. of North Carolina_,
MATRICULATION. The act of registering a name and admitting to
In American colleges, students who are found qualified on
examination to enter usually join the class to which they are
admitted, on probation, and are matriculated as members of the
college in full standing, either at the close of their first or
second term. The time of probation seldom exceeds one year; and if
at the end of this time, or of a shorter, as the case may be, the
conduct of a student has not been such as is deemed satisfactory
by the Faculty, his connection with the college ceases. As a
punishment, the _matriculation certificate_ of a student is
sometimes taken from him, and during the time in which he is
unmatriculated, he is under especial probation, and disobedience
to college laws is then punished with more severity than at other
times.--_Laws Univ. at Cam., Mass._, 1848, p. 12. _Laws Yale
Coll._, 1837, p. 9.
MAUDLIN. The name by which Magdalen College, Cambridge, Eng., is
always known and spoken of by Englishmen.
The "_Maudlin Men_" were at one time so famous for tea-drinking,
that the Cam, which licks the very walls of the college, is said
to have been absolutely rendered unnavigable with
tea-leaves.--_Alma Mater_, Vol. II. p. 202.
MAX. Abbreviated for _maximum_, greatest. At Union College, he who
receives the highest possible number of marks, which is one
hundred, in each study, for a term, is said to _take Max_ (or
maximum); to be a _Max scholar_. On the Merit Roll all the _Maxs_
are clustered at the top.
A writer remarks jocosely of this word. It is "that indication of
perfect scholarship to which none but Freshmen aspire, and which
is never attained except by accident."--_Sophomore Independent_,
Union College, Nov. 1854.
Probably not less than one third of all who enter each new class
confidently expect to "mark _max_," during their whole course, and
to have the Valedictory at Commencement.--_Ibid._
See MERIT ROLL.
MAY. At the University of Cambridge, Eng., the college Easter term
examination is familiarly spoken of as _the May_.
The "_May_" is one of the features which distinguishes Cambridge
from Oxford; at the latter there are no public College
examinations.--_Bristed's Five Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d,
As the "_May_" approached, I began to feel nervous.--_Ibid._, p.
MAY TRAINING. A correspondent from Bowdoin College where the
farcical custom of May Training is observed writes as follows in
reference to its origin: "In 1836, a law passed the Legislature
requiring students to perform military duty, and they were
summoned to appear at muster equipped as the law directs, to be
inspected and drilled with the common militia. Great excitement
prevailed in consequence, but they finally concluded to _train_.
At the appointed time and place, they made their appearance armed
_cap-a-pie_ for grotesque deeds, some on foot, some on horse, with
banners and music appropriate, and altogether presenting as
ludicrous a spectacle as could easily be conceived of. They
paraded pretty much 'on their own hook,' threw the whole field
into disorder by their evolutions, and were finally ordered off
the ground by the commanding officer. They were never called upon
again, but the day is still commemorated."
M.B. An abbreviation for _Medicinae Baccalaureus_, Bachelor of
Physic. At Cambridge, Eng., the candidate for this degree must
have had his name five years on the boards of some college, have
resided three years, and attended medical lectures and hospital
practice during the other two; also have attended the lectures of
the Professors of Anatomy, Chemistry, and Botany, and the Downing
Professor of Medicine, and passed an examination to their
satisfaction. At Oxford, Eng., the degree is given to an M.A. of
one year's standing, who is also a regent of the same length of
time. The exercises are disputations upon two distinct days before
the Professors of the Faculty of Medicine. The degree was formerly
given in American colleges before that of M.D., but has of late
years been laid aside.
M.D. An abbreviation for _Medicines Doctor_, Doctor of Physic. At
Cambridge, Eng., the candidate for this degree must be a Bachelor
of Physic of five years' standing, must have attended hospital
practice for three years, and passed an examination satisfactory
to the Medical Professors of the University,
At Oxford, an M.D. must be an M.B. of three years' standing. The
exercises are three distinct lectures, to be read on three
different days. In American colleges the degree is usually given
to those who have pursued their studies in a medical school for
three years; but the regulations differ in different institutions.
MED, MEDIC. A name sometimes given to a student in medicine.
---- who sent
The _Medic_ to our aid.
_The Crayon_, Yale Coll., 1823, p. 23.
"The Council are among ye, Yale!"
Some roaring _Medic_ cries.
_Ibid._, p. 24.
The slain, the _Medics_ stowed away.
_Ibid._, p. 24.
Seniors, Juniors, Freshmen blue,
And _Medics_ sing the anthem too.
_Yale Banger_, Nov. 1850.
Sixteen interesting "_Meds_,"
With dirty hands and towzeled heads.
_Songs of Yale_, 1853, p. 16.
MEDALIST. In universities, colleges, &c., one who has gained a
medal as the reward of merit.--_Ed. Rev. Gradus ad Cantab._
These _Medalists_ then are the best scholars among the men who
have taken a certain mathematical standing; but as out of the
University these niceties of discrimination are apt to be dropped
they usually pass at home for absolutely the first and second
scholars of the year, and sometimes they are so.--_Bristed's Five
Years in an Eng. Univ._, Ed. 2d, p. 62.
MEDICAL FACULTY. Usually abbreviated Med. Fac. The Medical Faculty
Society was established one evening after commons, in the year
1818, by four students of Harvard College, James F. Deering,
Charles Butterfield, David P. Hall, and Joseph Palmer, members of
the class of 1820. Like many other societies, it originated in
sport, and, as in after history shows, was carried on in the same
spirit. The young men above named happening to be assembled in
Hollis Hall, No. 13, a proposition was started that Deering should
deliver a mock lecture, which having been done, to the great
amusement of the rest, he in his turn proposed that they should at
some future time initiate members by solemn rites, in order that
others might enjoy their edifying exercises. From this small
beginning sprang the renowned Med. Fac. Society. Deering, a
"fellow of infinite jest," was chosen its first President; he was
much esteemed for his talents, but died early, the victim of
The following entertaining account of the early history of this
Society has been kindly furnished, in a letter to the editor, by a
distinguished gentleman who was its President in the year 1820,
and a graduate of the class of 1822.
"With regard to the Medical Faculty," he writes, "I suppose that
you are aware that its object was mere fun. That object was
pursued with great diligence during the earlier period of its
history, and probably through its whole existence. I do not
remember that it ever had a constitution, or any stated meetings,
except the annual one for the choice of officers. Frequent
meetings, however, were called by the President to carry out the
object of the institution. They were held always in some student's
room in the afternoon. The room was made as dark as possible, and
brilliantly lighted. The Faculty sat round a long table, in some
singular and antique costume, almost all in large wigs, and
breeches with knee-buckles. This practice was adopted to make a
strong impression on students who were invited in for examination.
Members were always examined for admission. The strangest
questions were asked by the venerable board, and often strange
answers elicited,--no matter how remote from the purpose, provided
there was wit or drollery. Sometimes a singularly slow person
would be invited, on purpose to puzzle and tease him with
questions that he could make nothing of; and he would stand in
helpless imbecility, without being able to cover his retreat with
even the faintest suspicion of a joke. He would then be gravely
admonished of the necessity of diligent study, reminded of the
anxiety of his parents on his account, and his duty to them, and
at length a month or two would be allowed him to prepare himself
for another examination, or he would be set aside altogether. But
if he appeared again for another trial, he was sure to fare no
better. He would be set aside at last. I remember an instance in
which a member was expelled for a reason purely fictitious,--droll
enough to be worth telling, if I could remember it,--and the
secretary directed 'to write to his father, and break the matter
gently to him, that it might not bring down the gray hairs of the
old man with sorrow to the grave.'
"I have a pleasant recollection of the mock gravity, the broad
humor, and often exquisite wit of those meetings, but it is
impossible to give you any adequate idea of them. Burlesque
lectures on all conceivable and inconceivable subjects were
frequently read or improvised by members _ad libitum_. I remember
something of a remarkable one from Dr. Alden, upon part of a
skeleton of a superannuated horse, which he made to do duty for
the remains of a great German Professor with an unspeakable name.
"Degrees were conferred upon all the members,--M.D. or D.M.
according to their rank, which is explained in the Catalogue.
Honorary degrees were liberally conferred upon conspicuous persons
at home and abroad. It is said that one gentleman, at the South, I
believe, considered himself insulted by the honor, and complained
of it to the College government, who forthwith broke up the
Society. But this was long after my time, and I cannot answer for
the truth of the tradition. Diplomas were given to the M.D.'s and
D.M.'s in ludicrous Latin, with a great seal appended by a green
ribbon. I have one, somewhere. My name is rendered _Filius
A graduate of the class of 1828 writes: "I well remember that my
invitation to attend the meeting of the Med. Fac. Soc. was written
in barbarous Latin, commencing 'Domine Crux,' and I think I passed
so good an examination that I was made _Professor longis
extremitatibus_, or Professor with long shanks. It was a society
for purposes of mere fun and burlesque, meeting secretly, and
always foiling the government in their attempts to break it up."
The members of the Society were accustomed to array themselves in
masquerade dresses, and in the evening would enter the houses of
the inhabitants of Cambridge, unbidden, though not always
unwelcome guests. This practice, however, and that of conferring
degrees on public characters, brought the Society, as is above
stated, into great disrepute with the College Faculty, by whom it
was abolished in the year 1834.
The Catalogue of the Society was a burlesque on the Triennial of
the College. The first was printed in the year 1821, the others
followed in the years 1824, 1827, 1830, and 1833. The title on the
cover of the Catalogue of 1833, the last issued, similar to the
titles borne by the others, was, "Catalogus Senatus Facultatis, et
eorum qui munera et officia gesserunt, quique alicujus gradus
laurea donati sunt in Facultate Medicinae in Universitate
Harvardiana constituta, Cantabrigiae in Republica Massachusettensi.
Cantabrigiae: Sumptibus Societatis. MDCCCXXXIII. Sanguinis
circulationis post patefactionem Anno CCV."
The Prefaces to the Catalogues were written in Latin, the
character of which might well be denominated _piggish_. In the
following translations by an esteemed friend, the beauty and force
of the originals are well preserved.
_Preface to the Catalogue of 1824_.
"To many, the first edition of the Medical Faculty Catalogue was a
wonderful and extraordinary thing. Those who boasted that they
could comprehend it, found themselves at length terribly and
widely in error. Those who did not deny their inability to get the
idea of it, were astonished and struck with amazement. To certain
individuals, it seemed to possess somewhat of wit and humor, and
these laughed immoderately; to others, the thing seemed so absurd
and foolish, that they preserved a grave and serious countenance.
"Now, a new edition is necessary, in which it is proposed to state
briefly in order the rise and progress of the Medical Faculty. It
is an undoubted matter of history, that the Medical Faculty is the
most ancient of all societies in the whole world. In fact, its
archives contain documents and annals of the Society, written on
birch-bark, which are so ancient that they cannot be read at all;
and, moreover, other writings belong to the Society, legible it is
true, but, by ill-luck, in the words of an unknown and long-buried
language, and therefore unintelligible. Nearly all the documents
of the Society have been reduced to ashes at some time amid the
rolling years since the creation of man. On this account the
Medical Faculty cannot pride itself on an uninterrupted series of
records. But many oral traditions in regard to it have reached us
from our ancestors, from which it may be inferred that this
society formerly flourished under the name of the 'Society of
Wits' (Societas Jocosorum); and you might often gain an idea of it
from many shrewd remarks that have found their way to various
parts of the world.
"The Society, after various changes, has at length been brought to
its present form, and its present name has been given it. It is,
by the way, worthy of note, that this name is of peculiar
signification, the word 'medical' having the same force as
'sanative' (sanans), as far as relates to the mind, and not to the
body, as in the vulgar signification. To be brief, the meaning of
'medical' is 'diverting' (divertens), that is, _turning_ the mind
from misery, evil, and grief. Under this interpretation, the
Medical Faculty signifies neither more nor less than the 'Faculty
of Recreation.' The thing proposed by the Society is, to _divert_
its immediate and honorary members from unbecoming and foolish
thoughts, and is twofold, namely, relating both to manners and to
letters. Professors in the departments appropriated to letters
read lectures; and the alumni, as the case requires, are sometimes
publicly examined and questioned. The Library at present contains
a single book, but this _one_ is called for more and more every
day. A collection of medical apparatus belongs to the Society,
beyond doubt the most grand and extensive in the whole world,
intended to sharpen the _faculties_ of all the members.
"Honorary degrees have been conferred on illustrious and
remarkable men of all countries.
"A certain part of the members go into all academies and literary
'gymnasia,' to act as nuclei, around which branches of this
Society may be enabled to form."
_Preface to the Catalogue of 1830_.
"As the members of the Medical Faculty have increased, as many
members have been distinguished by honorary degrees, and as the
former Catalogues have all been sold, the Senate orders a new
Catalogue to be printed.
"It seemed good to the editors of the former Catalogue briefly to
state the nature and to defend the antiquity of this Faculty.
Nevertheless, some have refused their assent to the statements,
and demand some reasons for what is asserted. We therefore, once
for all, declare that, of all societies, this is the most ancient,
the most extensive, the most learned, and the most divine. We
establish its antiquity by two arguments: firstly, because
everywhere in the world there are found many monuments of our
ancestors; secondly, because all other societies derive their
origin from this. It appears from our annals, that different
curators have laid their bones beneath the Pyramids, Naples, Rome,
and Paris. These, as described by a faithful secretary, are found
at this day.
"The obelisks of Egypt contain in hieroglyphic characters many
secrets of our Faculty. The Chinese Wall, and the Colossus at
Rhodes, were erected by our ancestors in sport. We could cite many
other examples, were it necessary.
"All societies to whom belong either wonderful art, or nothing
except secrecy, have been founded on our pattern. It appears that
the Society of Free-Masons was founded by eleven disciples of the
Med. Fac. expelled A.D. 1425. But these ignorant fellows were
never able to raise their brotherhood to our standard of
perfection: in this respect alone they agree with us, in admitting
only the _masculine_ gender ('masc. gen.').
"Therefore we have always been Antimason. No one who has ever
gained admittance to our assembly has the slightest doubt that we
have extended our power to the farthest regions of the earth, for
we have embassies from every part of the world, and Satan himself
has learned many particulars from our Senate in regard to the
administration of affairs and the means of torture.
"We pride ourselves in being the most learned society on earth,
for men versed in all literature and erudition, when hurried into
our presence for examination, quail and stand in silent amazement.
'Placid Death' alone is coeval with this Society, and resembles
it, for in its own Catalogue it equalizes rich and poor, great and
small, white and black, old and young.
"Since these things are so, and you, kind reader, have been
instructed on these points, I will not longer detain you from the
book and the picture. Farewell."
_Preface to the Catalogue of_ 1833.
"It was much less than three years since the third edition of this
Catalogue saw the light, when the most learned Med. Fac. began to
be reminded that the time had arrived for preparing to polish up
and publish a new one. Accordingly, special curators were selected
to bring this work to perfection. These curators would not neglect
the opportunity of saying a few words on matters of great moment.
"We have carefully revised the whole text, and, as far as we
could, we have taken pains to remove typographical errors. The
duty is not light. But the number of medical men in the world has
increased, and it is becoming that the whole world should know the
true authors of its greatest blessing. Therefore we have inserted
their names and titles in their proper places.
"Among other changes, we would not forget the creation of a new
office. Many healing remedies, foreign, rare, and wonderful, have
been brought for the use of the Faculty from Egypt and Arabia
Felix. It was proper that some worthy, capable man, of quick
discernment, should have charge of these most precious remedies.
Accordingly, the Faculty has chosen a curator to be called the
'Apothecarius.' Many quacks and cheats have desired to hold the
new office; but the present occupant has thrown all others into
the shade. The names, surnames, and titles of this excellent man
will be found in the following pages.
"We have done well, not only towards others, but also towards
ourselves. Our library contains quite a number of books; among
others, ten thousand obtained through the munificence and
liberality of great societies in the almost unknown regions of
Kamtschatka and the North Pole, and especially also through the
munificence of the Emperor of all the Russias. It has become so
immense, that, at the request of the Librarian, the Faculty have
prohibited any further donations.
"In the next session of the General Court of Massachusetts, the
Senate of the Faculty (assisted by the President of Harvard
University) will petition for forty thousand sesterces, for the
purpose of erecting a large building to contain the immense
accumulation of books. From the well-known liberality of the
Legislature, no doubts are felt of obtaining it.
"To say more would make a long story. And this, kind reader, is
what we have to communicate to you at the outset. The fruit will
show with how much fidelity we have performed the task imposed
upon us by the most illustrious men. Farewell."
As a specimen of the character of the honorary degrees conferred
by the Society, the following are taken from the list given in the
Catalogues. They embrace, as will be seen, the names of
distinguished personages only, from the King and President to Day
and Martin, Sam Patch, and the world-renowned Sea-Serpent.
"Henricus Christophe, Rex Haytiae quondam, M.D. Med. Fac.
"Gulielmus Cobbett, qui ad Angliam ossa Thomae Paine ferebat, M.D.
Med. Fac. honorarius."
"Johannes-Cleaves Symmes, qui in terrae ilia penetravissit, M.D.
Med. Fac. honorarius."
"ALEXANDER I. Russ. Imp. Illust. et Sanct. Foed. et Mass. Pac.
Soc. Socius, qui per Legat. American. claro Med. Fac.,
'_curiositatem raram et archaicam_,' regie transmisit, 1825, M.D.
Med. Fac. honorarius."
"ANDREAS JACKSON, Major-General in bello ultimo Americano, et
_Nov. Orleans Heros_ fortissimus; et _ergo_ nunc Praesidis
Rerumpub. Foed, muneris _candidatus_ et 'Old Hickory,' M.D. et
M.U.D. 1827, Med. Fac. honorarius, et 1829 Praeses Rerumpub.
Foed., et LL.D. 1833."
"Gulielmus Emmons, praenominatus Pickleius, qui orator
eloquentissimus nostrae aetatis; poma, nuces, _panem-zingiberis_,
suas orationes, '_Egg-popque_' vendit, D.M. Med. Fac.
"Day et Martin, Angli, qui per quinquaginta annos toto Christiano
Orbi et praecipue _Univ. Harv._ optimum _Real Japan Atramentum_ ab
'XCVII. Alta Holbornia' subministrarunt, M.D. et M.U.D. Med. Fac.
"Samuel Patch, socius multum deploratus, qui multa experimenta, de
gravitate et 'faciles descensus' suo corpore fecit; qui gradum,
M.D. _per saltum_ consecutus est. Med. Fac. honorarius."
"Cheng et Heng, Siamesi juvenes, invicem _a mans_ et intime
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