**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


On A Pair Of Leather Suspenders
by [?]

Beer, beer, glorious beer!
Fill yourself right up to here!

accompanied with a gesture several inches above the head. As the verses progressed it was customary to stand on chairs and to reach up on tiptoe to show the increasing depth.

But the dog-wagon has now become a gilded unfamiliar thing, twice its former size and with stools for a considerable company. I questioned the proprietor whether he might be descended from the noble Brabantio, but the dull fellow gave no response. The wagon has passed to meaner ownership.

Across the street Vanderbilt Hall loomed indistinctly. To the ignorant it may be necessary to explain that its courtyard is open to Chapel Street, but that an iron grill stretches from wing to wing and keeps out the town. This grill is high enough for Hagenbeck, and it used to be a favorite game with us to play animal behind it for the street’s amusement. At the hour when the crowd issued from the matinee at the Hyperion Theatre, our wittiest students paced on all fours up and down behind this grill and roared for raw beef. E—- was the wag of the building and he could climb up to a high place and scratch himself like a monkey–an entertainment of more humor than elegance. Elated with success, he and a companion later chartered a street-organ–a doleful one-legged affair–and as man and monkey they gathered pennies out Orange Street.

I turned into the dark Campus by Osborn Hall. It is as ugly a building as one could meet on a week’s journey, and yet by an infelicity all class pictures are taken on its steps. Freshman courses are given in the basement–a French class once in particular. Sometimes, when we were sunk dismally in the irregular verbs, bootblacks and old-clothes men stopped on the street and grinned down on us. And all the dreary hour, as we sweated with translation, above us on the pavement the feet and happy legs of the enfranchised went by the window.

Yale is a bad jumble of architecture. It is amazing how such incongruous buildings can lodge together. Did not the Old Brick Row cry out when Durfee was built? Surely the Gothic library uttered a protest against its newer adjunct. And are the Bicentennial buildings so beautiful? At best we have exchanged the fraudulent wooden ramparts of Alumni Hall for the equally fraudulent inside columns of these newer buildings. It is a mercy that there is no style and changing fashion in elm trees. As Viola might have remarked about the Campus: it were excellently done, if God did all.

Presently in the dark I came on the excavations for the Harkness quadrangle. So at last Commons was gone. In that old building we ate during our impoverished weeks. I do not know that we saved much, for we were driven to extras, but the reckoning was deferred. There was a certain tutti-frutti ice-cream, rich in ginger, that has now vanished from the earth. Or chocolate eclairs made the night stand out. I recall that one could seldom procure a second helping of griddlecakes except on those mornings when there were ants in the syrup. Also, I recall that sometimes there was a great crash of trays at the pantry doors, and almost at the instant two old Goodies, harnessed ready with mops and pails, ran out and sponged up the wreckage.

And Pierson Hall is gone, that was once the center of Freshman life. Does anybody remember The Voice? It was a weekly paper issued in the interest of prohibition. I doubt if we would have quarreled with it for this, but it denounced Yale and held up in contrast the purity of Oberlin. Oberlin! And therefore we hated it, and once a week we burned its issue in the stone and plaster corridors of Pierson.

There was once a residence at the corner of York and Library where Freshmen resided. The railing of the stairs wabbled. The bookcase door lacked a hinge. Three out of four chairs were rickety. The bath-tub, which had been the chemical laboratory for some former student, was stained an unhealthy color. If ever it shall appear that Harlequin lodged upon the street, here was the very tub where he washed his clothes. Without caution the window of the bedroom fell out into the back yard. But to atone for these defects, up through the scuttle in the hall there was an airy perch upon the roof. Here Freshmen might smoke their pipes in safety–a privilege denied them on the street–and debate upon their affairs. Who were hold-off men! Who would make [Greek: Boule!] Or they invented outrageous names for the faculty. My dear Professor Blank, could you hear yourself described by these young cubs through their tobacco smoke, your learned ears, so alert for dactyl and spondee, would grow red.