O. T. a Danish Romance

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"Do not use my Homer as you would an ox!" cried the host. "Homer shall have the place of honor, between the bowl and the garland-cake! He is especially my poet! It was he who in Greek assisted me to laudabilis et quidem egregie. Now we will mutually drink healths! Jorgen shall be magister bibendi, and then we will sing 'Gaudeamus igitur,' and 'Integer vitae.'"

"The Sexton with the cardinal's hat shall be the precentor!" cried one of the youths from the provinces, pointing toward a rosy-cheeked companion.

"O, now I am no longer sexton!" returned the other laughing. "If thou bringest old histories up again, thou wilt receive thy old school-name, 'the Smoke-squirter.'"

"But that is a very nice little history!" said the other. "We called him 'Sexton," from the office his father held; but that, after all, is not particularly witty. It was better with the hat, for it did, indeed, resemble a cardinal's hat. I, in the mean time, got my name in a more amusing manner."

"He lived near the school," pursued the other; "he could always slip home when we had out free quarters of an hour: and then one day he had filled his mouth with tobacco smoke, intending to blow it into our faces; but when he entered the passage with his filled cheeks the quarter of an hour was over, and we were again in class: the rector was still standing in the doorway; he could not, therefore, blow the smoke out of his mouth, and so wished to slip in as he was. 'What have you there in your mouth?' asked the rector; but Philip could answer nothing, without at the same time losing the smoke. 'Now, cannot you speak?' cried the rector, and gave him a box on the ear, so that the smoke burst through nose and mouth. This looked quite exquisite; the affair caused the rector such pleasure, that he presented the poor sinner with the nota bene."

"Integer vitae!" broke in the Precentor, and harmoniously followed the other voices. After this, a young Copenhagener exhibited his dramatic talent by mimicking most illusively the professors of the Academy, and giving their peculiarities, yet in such a good-natured manner that it must have amused even the offended parties themselves. Now followed the healths--"Vivant omnes hi et hae!"

"A health to the prettiest girl!" boldly cried one of the merriest brothers. "The prettiest girl!" repeated a pair of the younger ones, and pushed their glasses toward each other, whilst the blood rushed to their cheeks at this their boldness, for they had never thought of a beloved being, which, nevertheless, belonged to their new life. The roundelay now commenced, in which each one must give the Christian name of his lady-love, and assuredly every second youth caught a name out of the air; some, however, repeated a name with a certain palpitation of the heart. The discourse became more animated; the approaching military exercises, the handsome uniform, the reception in the students' club, and its pleasures, were all matters of the highest interest. But there was the future philologicum and philosophicum--yes, that also was discussed; there they must exhibit their knowledge of Latin.

"What do you think," said one of the party, "if once a week we alternately met at each other's rooms, and held disputations? No Danish word must be spoken. This might be an excellent scheme."

"I agree to that!" cried several.

"Regular laws must be drawn up."

"Yes, and we must have our best Latin scholar, the Jutlander, Otto Thostrup, with us! He wrote his themes in hexameters."

"He is not invited here this evening," remarked the neighbor, the young Baron Wilhelm of Funen, the only nobleman in the company.

"Otto Thostrup!" answered the host. "Yes, truly he's a clever fellow, but he seems to me so haughty. There is something about him that does not please me at all. We are still no dunces, although he did receive nine prae caeteris!"

"Yet it was very provoking," cried another, "that he received the only Non in mathematics. Otherwise he would have been called in. Now he will only have to vex himself about his many brilliant characters."

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