BETA

HORÆ CANTABRIGIENSES.

No VI.

Benet College, Cambridge , 25th October, 1820.
DEAR MR NORTH,
Why does not the Ensign come up to Cambridge, as he promised ? I have
been looking for him, in his under-graduate’s gown, about the middle of every
term these two years. However, I see he still keeps his name on the College
boards, so there are some hopes of him yet. I am confident he would turn out
a wrangler—among the first ten, for a dozen. He is already as well trained as
most freshmen. He measures distances to a nicety ; describes a circle (or, as
he would call it in his unmathematical way, a ring) to admiration ; and for
squaring, and bringing out the fluent, he is, I verily believe, unrivalled. Here
is food for his fancy, in all her forms and figures ; and mathematics would, I
am confident, give the last finishing touch to him. A mathematician is never
knocked down but he can tell the reason, which is more than the primest swell
at the Castle-Tavern can say at all times. If he knows the force and direction
of the blow, which a man of quick parts and feeling can always discover, he can
calculate how long he will be in tumbling from a stage twenty feet high, which
is a great satisfaction, besides being a great help in coming to time. And
should his neck, by any awkward accident, be dislocated, he is perfectly ac-
quainted with the law by which said accident befell him.
We are rather flat here at present, but I enclose you a squiblet, which was
written when Sir J. E. Smith, that knight of the gillyflower, made his grand
charge on our Botanical Chair.

LOCK-AND-BAR.

A Botany Bay Eclogue.

O gallant Sir James is come out of the North,1
Through all that wild region his fame had gone forth ;2
Yet, save the Vice-Chancellor, friend he had none ;3
He came all unask’d, and he came all alone. 4
So daring in heart, and so dauntless in pith,5
There ne’er was Professor like President Smith.6
He staid not for frown, and he stopp’d not for groan ;7
He put in his clamour where claim had none ;8
But e’er he arriv’d at a Lecturer’s state,9
The tutors conspir’d—and the lectures came late.10
For a churchman, God wot ! and a botanist too,11
Was to sit in the chair that Sir James had in view.12
In a rage, then, he stalk’d into College and Hall,13
Among Bedmakers, Bachelors, Doctors, and all ;14
Then spoke Mr Marsh in a civilish way,15
(For some of the Tutors had little to say),16
O come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,17
Or to dine with the Fellows, or—what come ye for ? ”18
I long wish’d to lecture, my suit you denied,19
I know you’d have lik’d them, if once you had tried ;20
And now am I come with this Pamphlet of mine,21
To try a last measure—then leave you to pine ;22
There are students in London more civil by far,23
That would gladly have welcom’d so brilliant a * star.”24
Sir James shew’d his Pamphlet, and Monk read it through ;25
He gulp’d the hard bits, but he saw ’ twould not do ;26
He look’d down to laugh, and pretended to sigh,27
With a smile on his lip, and a sneer in his eye.28
Then down comes the rogue with an “ Answer” forthwith29
This is dealing hard measure ! ” says President Smith.30
So stately the tone, and so lovely the print,31
Even Freshmen conceiv’d there must something be in’t.32
While Socinians did fret, and Professors did clap,33
And Webb tore the tassel that deck’d his new cap ;34
And Reviewers did whisper, “ ’ T’were better by far35
To have match’d your brave Knight in some gooseberry war.”36
A hint such as this had just rung in his ear,37
When he reached the stage-coach,† and the coachman stood near ;38
So light to the box that tight coachman he sprung,39
So snugly the reins o’er the dickey were flung40
We are off! we are off ! over bank and o’er hill,41
Your Pamphlet may follow,” cried James, “ if it will.”42
There is quizzing ’ mong wags of the Trinity clan :43
King’s, Queen’s men, and Johnians, they all laugh that can ;44
There is joking and smoking in Norwich citiè,45
But the lost Knight of Botany ne’er do we see,46
—So daring in heart, and so dauntless in pith :47
Was there e’er such a callant as President Smith ?48

* This luminary is not a fixed star, but a comet having taken “ a free and lofty range
in the world at large.” Vid. his Pamphlet.
† The cheap—and—nasty.