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Odd old essay

Posted by Erik on June 26, 2008

A short piece (16 pages, including covers and title page) from 1858, by George Otto Trevelyan:

The Cambridge Dionysia, a classic dream

It ends with a bit of a play that’s rather abstruse for those of us who were not at Cambridge in the 1850s :), but the beginning is absolutely marvelous. A short sample:

I was still sitting in my rooms with my books before me: but it was broad daylight, and a lovely morning, such as sometimes breaks upon us, even at Cambridge, in the beginning of November.  The courts were very quiet, but I heard a constant shouting in the distance, as if there was some tumult in the streets.  Suddenly the door flung open, and Barlow appeared.  He looked flushed and excited; on his head was a garland of ivy-leaves, and he swung in his hand a pewter. “Shut up your books,” he cried: “no reading on the πιθουγíα. If you do another equation I’ll report you to the proctor βασιλεúς for impiety.”

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