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In a lecture-room of St. John's College, Cambridge, a student one morning, construing or translating some part of a Greek tragedy (the Madea of Euripides), came to the following passage—
Αλλ' ουκ αρισοφος ειμί.
To which he gave the proper sense—
but pausing as if he doubted its correctness-"You are quite right, sir," observed the humorous lecturer; "go on."
TRUTH AND RHYME.
In the days of Charles II., candidates for holy orders were expected to respond in Latin, to the various interrogatories put to them by the bishop or his examining chaplain. When the celebrated Dr. Isaac Barrow (who was fellow of Trinity College, and tutor to the immortal Newton) had taken his bachelor's degree, and disengaged himself from collegiate leadingstrings, he presented himself before the bishop's chaplain, who, with the stiff stern visage of the times, said to Bar
"Quid est fides?" (what is faith?)
answered Barrow with the utmost promptitude. The chaplain, a little vexed at Barrow's laconic answer,—
continued-" Quid est spes?" (what is hope?) "Magna res" (a great thing),
replied the young candidate in the same breath. "Quid est charitas?" (what is charity?) was the next question.
Magna raritas" (a great rarity),
was again the prompt reply of Barrow, blending truth and rhyme with a precision that staggered the reverend examiner; who went direct to the bishop and told him, that a young Cantab, of philosophic mien (the faces of reading men in those days being generally in the likeness of inverted isosceles triangles), had thought proper to give rhyming answers to three several moral questions: and added, that he believed his name was Barrow, of Trinity College, Cambridge. "Barrow, Barrow!" said the bishop, who well knew the literary and moral worth of the young Cantab, "if that's the case, ask him no more questions: for he is much better qualified," continued his lordship," to examine us than we him." Barrow received his letters of orders forthwith.
TRUTH versus POLITENESS.
At a tea-party, where some Cantabs happened to be present, after the first dish had been handed round, the lady, who was presiding over the tea equipage," hoped the tea was good." "Very good indeed, madam," was the general reply, till it came to the turn of one of the Cantabs to speak, who, between truth and politeness, shrewdly observed-" That the tea was excellent, but the water was smoky!"
PRESENCE OF MIND.
The arm of Dr. Barrow, like his argument, was powerful, as the following instance of his prowess, humanity, and love of reasoning, as related by his biographer, will show. Being on a visit to a friend in the country, he rose before daybreak one morning, and went into the yard. He had scarcely left the door, when a large English mastiff, left loose to guard the premises during the night, sprung upon him. Barrow grappled with the dog, threw him on the ground, and himself upon him. In this position he remained, till one of the servants made his appearance, who instantly called off the dog, and extricated the doctor from his perilous situation. "Why didn't you strangle him, doctor?" asked the man. "Because," answered Barrow, "the brute was only doing his duty: and I thought within myself, as I kept him under me, if we all did the same, how much happier the community would be."
A FAREWELL SCENE.
Christopher Anstey, who was bred at King's College, and well known in the world as the author of the "New Bath Guide," and an elegant version of Gay's Fables, was, during his residence in the University of Cambridge, extremely irregular in his conduct. For something which was deemed a serious breach of the college rules, he was required to make an apology to the heads of the society to which he belonged: he accordingly appeared before the parties at the appointed time, but,
instead of apologizing, he aggravated his offence, by making several observations, which were deemed insolent and impertinent. He was now threatened with rustication, forfeiture of collegiate honours, &c. unless he offered a very serious apology; for which purpose he was convened before the whole college on a day named. Anstey entered the combination-room (where sat the doctors, masters of arts, bachelors, and others of his college), amidst a profound silence, and, with hypocritic phiz and affected contrition, he proceeded to address the dignitaries of Granta. Turning towards the doctors, he thus began-" Valete, doctores sine doctrinâ!" (Farewell, ye doctors without learning!) Then to the masters of arts, he continued,-" Valete, magistri sine artibus!" (Farewell, ye masters without arts!) Lastly, facing the bachelors, he exclaimed-" Denique valete, baccalaunei digniores baculo!" (At length farewell, ye bachelors worthy of a thrashing!) So saying, with a sarcastic inclination of the head, he walked out. It is needless to add, he was despoiled of his honours, degraded, and expelled. To the unfortunate conclusion of this affair, he alludes in the following couplet of his "Bath Guide:"
"On the margin of Cam, where, studious of ease, I spent seven long years, and then lost my degrees."
It is generally known that the grass-plots in the college courts, or quadrangles, as they are called in Oxford, are not for the unhallowed feet of the undergraduates; indeed, it is, in one college in Cambridge, a fine of two
and sixpence, for any man of the college in statu pupillari to pollute them: but these regulations are rather intended to preserve the turf, than for distinction. Some, however, are hardy enough to venture in despite of all remonstrance. The late Bishop of Bristol, then master of Trinity, had often observed a student of his college invariably to cross the green, when, in obedience to the calls of his appetite, he went to hall to dine. One day, the bishop determined to reprove the delinquent for invading the rights of his superiors, and for that purpose he threw up the sash at which he was sitting, and called to the student-"Sir, I never look out of my window, but I see you walking across the grass-plot." "My lord,” replied the offender instantly, "I never walk across the grass-plot, but I see you looking out of your window." The prelate, who well knew how to appreciate a retort, pleased at the readiness of the reply, closed his window, convulsed with laughter.
NOT versus NOTT.
A gentleman of Maudlin, whose name was Nott, happening one evening to be out, was returning late from his friend's rooms in rather a merry mode, and, withal, not quite able to preserve his centre of gravity. In his way he attracted the attention of the proctor, who demanded his name and college. "I am Nott of Maudlin" was the reply, hiccupping. " Sir," said the proctor, in an angry tone, "I did not ask of what college you are not, but of what college you are." "I am Nott of Maudlin," was again the broken reply. The proctor, enraged at what he considered contumely, insisted on