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Ginette 35 Tablet

Related article: Long lanes of splendour slanted o'er a press Of snowy shoulders, thick as herded ewes, And rainbow robes, and gems and gem- * like eyes, And gold and golden heads." Gems and gold and rainbow robes were not adjusted without some thought and trouble, and perhaps, even in our practical and unpoetic days, a question might profitably be sometimes asked from the cheval glasses. A stately dame was walking in the garden and a^ hushed whis- per said ** The Principal ! " We were honoured by being presented to her and, for all her dignified position, she talked like any other kindly lady and seemed to merit and possess at least as much love as Buy Ginette respect in the halls where her rule is unquestioned. Several points still rankle in the minds of rulers and ruled of the ladies' col- leges. The right to take degrees has not yet been conceded to them by Convocation and worse still they are not allowed to wear academic caps and robes. We were told that these privileges will no doubt come in time. Perhaps, with regard to the last-named, as it appears that men are giving up cap and gown as much as possible, the ladies will succeed to the cast- 88 BAILY S MAGAZINE. [February oft garments and keep alive the tradition of the old university costume. Did we say how good was the tea with which we were entertained? The Oxford tradi- tions of hospitality have at least suffered no diminution in the hands of its new and fair students. Evening chapel at Magdalen. What more fitting way to close a day full of old memories and new impressions. Where can such sacred strains be heard, where is everything more in harmony with holy thought and earnest devotion ? Melodious as are the sweet voices of the choir the melody by no means overpowers the sense and sentiment of what is sung. Every word rings bell-like, clear and distinct as in the plainest reading. How often in other sacred edifices we have listened to a confused jangle of sound which seemed to us neither reverent nor artistic, a vain striving after effect with apparently little or no thought of conveying a definite idea to the worshippers. Here everything is perfect. The majestic simplicity of our prayer-book service is by no means obscured by involved and fantastic rendering but is illumined by the emphasis of most tender music. The great aquatic event of the pre-Christmas term is the inter- collegiate struggle in coxswainless fours and it was our good fortune to see the last heat rowed between New College and Magdalen. We were privileged to sit on the roof of a college barge and, secure and high above the turmoil of the water way, to watch the life and move- ment of the river. What a sight it was, such as no other country could show ! The long row of stately barges, each of those interested in the day's racing flying its college boat-club flag. The crowds of fours and pairs passing up and down, in which freshmen are being initiated into the mysteries of scientific rowing. In the stern of each a coach is standing up holding the tiller ropes, admonishing and urging his pupils in most emphatic and often scathing words. The wretched youths in front of him have probably never rowed before. The oar is an unfamiliar and uncontrollable article which seems to have strange and independent ways of its own. The technical expressions that come so sternly from the mouth of the instructor are in a still unknown language and convey little meaning. We have been told too that a seat in a boat is not always as considerate to the cuticle as a cushioned armchair and that, to the unaccustomed hand, the grasp of the oar is, after a little while, only a few degrees less agonising than that of hot iron. But soon the oar will become a handy and obedient servant ; the rich vocabu- lary of the river will convey deep and solemn truths; the cuticle will become hard and enduring and the soft hands will develop leathery palms that can resist anything less eroding than a nut- meg grater. And those lads, who are labouring so strenuously under their task-masters, have all high and praiseworthy ambitions in their minds. In months to come they may be selected for their college ** Torpids " and row in boats which will bring glory to their clubs by accomplishing such a brilliant bump as Ginette 35 Tablet is worthy to live in history. Any one of them may even rise to the dignity of a seat in his college eight, a proud pre-eminence equal in value to much fame and credit gained in what Dugald Dalgetty called "the humanities." To a very, very few it may be given to arrive at being a 'Varsity Blue and to pull for the honour of Oxford between Putney i899.] OXFORD REVISITED. 89 and Mortlake before the eyes of admiriDg thousands. But tor the present, such a prospect of possible greatness can only be the vaguest of dreams. The river is not occupied by aspiring freshmen alone however. Here and there, darting along under the influence of a strong and practised stroke, is an outrigger skiff whose solitary occupant is giving himself a constitutional breather or keeping lung and muscle in order for some future trial of skill — or a canoe flits by, paddled on each side alternately. Then the ferry punts are crossing from the barges to the tow-path side, carrying the men who are going to run along- side the coming race, and collisions are many between them and the boats. There seems to be much mutual accommodation but now and then a voice is heard giving a forcible aquatic equivalent for the hansom cabby's " Now then, stoopid, where are you a driving to?" The hour for the race is nigh and the course is gradually clearing. See ! the men of New College are now launching their ship and we are confidentially informed by a friendly undergraduate that she is built of cedar, only an eighth of an inch thick. Fancy trusting