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Misdirected effort is better than no effort at all. This aphorism is coined to order as a text for “a few brief remarks" on certain happenings of the last few weeks in the college world. The January Lit. convincingly set forth the need of aesthetic feeling in Yale lise, and the real narrowness of our self-satisfied existence here. We are too practical and cannot seem to soften the national utilitarian traits even in this supposedly cultured atmosphere. But there were still some scattered sparks of romance within the limits of the quadrangle. Aroused at last by a longing to get away from the practical and the prosaic, a band of high spirited youths inaugurated the "wild boar hunt,” which is now history. On that memorable afternoon when the bristling maned, wild-eyed blue emblazoned quadruped was loosed upon the campus, Yale burst its utilitarian bonds, and with unparalleled enthusiasm, started in pursuit of the evanescent and unattainable. These are qualities of the ideal rather than the real, and the instigators of this engagement probably comprehended that the first step had been taken toward a popular wave of aesthetic feeling. They are able to make out a strong case, for besides this argument, there is the authority of Marcus Aurelius. In writing of the feeling for what is beautiful in nature, he says: “The lion's eyebrows, and the foam which flows from the mouth of wild boars, and many other things—though they are far from being beautiful if a man should examine them severally-still, because they are consequent upon the things which are formed by nature, help to adorn them and they please the mind.” Of course, a lion's eyebrows must of necessity be accompanied by their owner, and to loose this combination would have been impracticable for obvious reasons. The wild boar was a sufficient exposition of this great truth. There is a merited rebuke in this hunt, if it is viewed in a symbolistic light. It will be remembered that the affrighted monster made twice the circuit of the treasury with winged footsteps. Then it coursed swiftly to the library entrance, but did it curve around that structure? No, it turned back at the doors. Is not this to be interpreted that we put two-fold more thought on base money-getting than on the better and higher things. The Jove-directed light of the animal may have had a strange and solemn meaning.
We can trace the same spirit of rovolt from the routine way in the elevation of a massive and dignified canine to the chapel belfry. The new school of symbolists again “showed its hand,” to use a vulgar phrase. Here was one of the lowest and most material constituents of the world of "thingness," an ordinary dog, whose very name has been a reproach from the beginning of time. Yet there was no lack of attractiveness in the dog. The power to interpret nature was wanting in those who looked and saw not. At last there came the clear-visioned men who should translate the creature, as it were, and raise him so that all might look up and wonder. No longer was the dog a neglected object. He had risen above those who
before had scorned him. Even the leaders of our culture, the Faculty, through their minions, were unable to attain to that height, to grasp him in all the richness of his weighty being. They found themselves on a lower plane, and between were artificial barriers which required much striving to pierce. In this way, then, may sublimity be read into the humblest beings of creation.
Seriously speaking, these escapades may seem rather childish to the unsympathetic and neutral observer. Yet in a way they represent a spirit which is rapidly being legislated out of college life. The Faculty has swept away rushes and bonfires, and kindred boisterous amusements, but human nature is more difficult to handle, and an occasional upheaval is not only what might be expected, but that which should be welcomed. Such is the revolutionary opinion of Saint Elihu.
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Where the grass grows tall,
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At the touch of the sun,
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