« AnteriorContinuar »
such that the desire to excel may be encouraged; that competition may be friendly, though earnest, and rivalry exist without rancor. I cannot mistake, when I assume that it would be alike a wrong to you who bear the palm; and to your competitors, who have striven for it magnanimously, though this time unsuccessfully; to ascribe unworthy emotions of triumph to you, or more unworthy motives of envy or jealousy to them. I think I shall not err in saying the wearing your honors meekiy, you wear them with the full and ungrudging approval and concurrence of your classmates.
• It is indeed sad to think, and the ihought is one fitted to check all exultation at mere human success, that even in these friendly competitions of youth the band of death may be interposed between the victor and his laurel wreath, and that the shout of triumph may be cut short by the wailing of the mourners.
My young friends, what I thus state hypothetically, has, as you know, come to pass. There stood with you at the trial in July, one as ardent, as full of life, as full of promise, as any of you now, before me, with affections as warm, with aims as lofty, with heart as resolute and as pure. According to our poor human ordering, he should be among you now, and here, to listen to the admonitions and exhortations I am addressing to you, to receive at my hands as you have received, the testimonial of his scholarship and conduct.
"Diis aliter visum est." • It has pleased DiviNE PROVIDENCE to take him from an earthly, to, as we may humbly hope, a heavenly reward.
• ARCH. GRACIE LAWRENCE, your class-mate, your associate in honors as in toils, was suddenly cut off from life on the ninth day of September, by the accidental discharge of his own gun.
• He was fond of manly sports, as he was of liberal studies. Accompanied by a little brother, only five years old, he had wandered for a mile or two along the sea shore at Newport, the summer residence of his family, when sitting down on the ground to rest, and laying his gun beside him, it was discharged while he was drawing the ramrod, and the whole load entered his body. He fell dead on the spot, exclaiming, 'I am shot! and never breathed nor moved again.
* The little brother with streaming eyes and sobbing heart yet unconscious of the full extent of the calamity, ran some distance to a house to implore help. "Run! said the sweet child to the aged woman, who was hastening with him to the fatal spot: 'Run or my brother will be dead! She did run as well as her stiffened limbs would permit, and found him dead :
*YOUNG LYCIDAs is dead, dead, e'er his prime,
Who would not mourn for LYCIDAS?' My young friends, your class have already expressed in fitting terms their sense of the loss of such a companion, and you wear the badge of mourning: I, too, share in that mourning, for GRACIE LAWRENCE was to me in double trust, as a kinsman and a student, and in both very dear.
“I will not pursue this theme, so unhappily illustrating the fleeting and perishable nature of human honors, as of human life ; but exborting you to emulate the living virtues of your deceased associate, and to read aright and lay to heart the solemn lesson of his early death, I shall now dismiss you.
* To you Gentlemen of the Board of Trustees, and to you ladies and gentlemen, I present the decorated students of the Freshman Class.'
The whole ceremonial of the declaring and distributing these testimonials was one of deep interest, and, we may almost say, solemnity; nor, to right-thinking minds, was this solemnity broken or really impaired by the marks of approbation or dissent with which the respective awards were received by the students at large. Exception has been taken to such manifestations of opinion; and the coarse and, in this case, eminently unjust term of 'rowdyism' was applied to them by one journal. They partook in no sense of rowdyism, or rioting, or wantonness, but were the earnest, and therefore perhaps at times exaggerated, expression of the judgment and feeling of the associates and peers of the successful students. When a favorite of his classmates was honored—those who best know, and are, in truth, the best and more impartial judges of each other's merits and calibres, indulged naturally and unobjectionably in applause. In like manner, when any one who, from whatever cause, had incurred the displeasure of his comrades, was called up, he was received with tokens of disapprobation; quite as natural and unobjectionable as the applause bestowed upon the other; for where there is liberty to applaud, there must be liberty to condemn, or applause loses its value. Moreover, it would be difficult to over-estimate the moral influence on the students themselves of this public ordeal, where, in the presence of the world, the judgment which their peers have formed of them is to be pronounced in turn of all put forth for honor. Accident, prejudice, or preference, may possibly bias, more or less, the estimate formed of a youth by his instructors; but the estimate which students, associated together, form of each other is all but unerring. There is real value, therefore, in the scenes which have been thus unthinkingly stigmatized by the term rowdyism.
The President of the College, by his manner in conducting the ceremonial, and by his addresses to the honored students of each class, evinced his own conviction that such incidents constitute eras in life for the young, and that college honors are passports in after life, of which the advantages will not fail.
The next proceeding in order was the conferring of the degree of A. B. upon each of the graduating class. The President having
first asked and obtained the assent of the trustees to conferring these degrees, admitted in succession each of the undernamed students, composing the Senior Class, to the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and delivered to him his diploma: GEORGE F. SEYMOUR,
J. F. DELAPLAINE CORNELL, F. L. PURROY,
ARCHIBALD F. CUSHMAN, ERSKINE M. RODMAN,
JOHN E. C. SMEDES,
William H. TERRY,
EDWARD F. Travis, FREDERIC R. COUDERT, Edwin W. EDWARDS,
EVAN T. WALKER. Walter R. T. JONES,
Mathew M. Blunt, formerly of the same class, in which he had a high standing, but withdrawn, in order to go to the Military Academy at West Point, where also he maintains a high character for diligence and good conduct, was admitted to the honorary degree of A.B.
The degree of A.M. was then conferred in course on the following clergymen, graduates of the College : Rev. ROBERT TRAVIS, JR. Rev. WILLIAM S. COFFEY, REV. WM. A. McVICKAR. 66 J. LEANDER TOWNSEND,
William L. OLSEN,
HENRY P. CAMPBELL,
G. MORTIMER BELDEN,
PETER M. PIRNIE. William Drissler and Timothy D. Williams, teachers in the Grammar School of the College, were admitted to the honorary degree of A. M.
The President proceeded next to declare the honorary degrees which the College was pleased to confer, viz: the degree of D.D. on Rev. KENDRICK METCALF, Professor of Greek and Latin in Geneva College.
John B. KERFOOT, Rector of the College of St. James, Maryland.
David X. JUNKIN, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Greenwich, New-Jersey. and that of LL. D. on
WINFIELD Scott, the distinguished Commander of the Armies of the United States.
Rev. ROBERT Travis, JR.
The concluding orations were then spoken:
The exercises of the day were concluded by a benediction pronounced by the Reverend Doctor Haight, when the band struck up our national airs, and the numerous audience quietly retired, gratified, as is quite safe to assume, by the performances of the day, which long as was the time occupied, did not seem to be tedious.
The whole ceremonial; the animation of the scene; the character of the college; the imposing array of men of station and of character assembled on the platform; the whole audience; together with the general tone and delivery of the speeches, and their freedom from the exaggeration of language and sentiment, so often found in commencement exercises, combined to impart more than usual interest to this commencement, and to give assurance that this city will not permit its oldest institution of learning to halt in its progress or prosperity in the midst of the progressive prosperity of its more than half a million of inhabitants. Columbia College should be to New-York what Harvard is to Boston - a source of pride, an object of liberal foundations for scholarships, and of chairs of learning or of science, and especially for the education in the last resort, and in the highest excellence, of the youth of this great metropolis.
THERE is an Altar that was once an oak
Lady, in thy lonely walk,
Should'st thou nigh the altar stray,
Yet recalls the gentle day
And marked November turning grey,
And thy sweet presence, made it seem like May.
Counting not such hours a loss,
Leave some sign upon the moss ;
In any mood of thought or prayer,
On the cold rock - what angel has been there.
Heard strange oracles that spoke;
By the dark Thesprotian oak,
Such hope, that when I kneel again
Thy thought may strengthen my deyout Amen.
A GLIMPSE of a church-spire through the trees reveals the presence of another village, and the tourist will soon find the steamer approaching the village of Aurora. The Cayuga here expands to the width of about four miles. The eastern shore on which the village is situated, sloping gradually from the water's edge to the table-land; the houses skirting the curve of the bay, and thus fringing with animation the broad rich green, that diversified into varied fields, form the back-ground. The termination of the view, at north and south, are in coïncidence with the other features of the view. Southward, Rocky-Point, worn and bared by the constant dash of the waves, and sheltering a pine-grove just in its rear from being torn away in successive seasons by the winter storms. Northward, the little settlement of Levanna reaches out in its store-houses and dwellings to the very point, and thus flanked and fronted, lies Aurora.
The traveller will soon discover that there is evinced by the citizens of this village an appreciation of its location, where so many of the sweetest features of land and water scenery mingle in harmonious combination, and where all that is added in graceful architecture shows to the best advantage possible.
A tasteful, temple-like, summer-house rising in classic proportion from the verge of a garden, forms a winning introduction to the village, as it is approached by water from the north ; and then there is a succession of gardens in differing degrees of cultivation ; among which none will fail to discover the elaborate and finished care which characteristically designates the premises of a gentleman who is confessedly among the best florists of the state, and whose beautiful floritecture has been admired by the vast concourse who have been present at successive State Fairs.
There are sea-walls constructed of stones so ponderous as to seem as if they would defy the storm, and against which the waves break in the gale in ever-changing forms of beauty; and on these walls are pleasant promenades, from whence all the fairest features of the view are best seen. The neat common school-house has its prominent position on the bank; the academy, half hid by the rows of old poplars, that by their size give evidence of time, in which the place has been settled, has a convenient location. The busy dock-yard has its fore-ground of industry. A large hotel invites the traveller to its hospitality, and private dwellings, of advancing, taste, make up, in the entire view, a picture of a pleasant and a pretty village.
The expanse of lake and bay presents to the dwellers on the shore