The Spike: or, Victoria College Review 1912
A Plea for Chivalry in the Ring.
One reads but recently of a professional boxing match in Australia between the New Zealander Bill Rudd and an American, whose name I have for the moment forgotten In this encounter, however, it is significant that a professional and a New Zealander should set the example in a matter which is popularly) supposed to be confined to the amateur ring. The circumstances were as follow: Rudd, who led from the start, Forced his opponent into a corner, and proceeded to "paste him." as the saying is, for all he was worth. Seeing, however, that his man was quite done for the time being, Rudd stepped back in an admirably chivalrous manner and allowed his opponent to get away amidst great applause. His generosity was not unrewarded, for he won easily.
One remembers being taught the rudiments of "the noble art" in one's callow youth at Wellington College. One of the fundamental maxims imbibed there (it was almost an unwritten law), was "never to take an undue advantage of an opponent." No doubt of course the same thing is taught in other schools, and one would think the point hardly needed elaborating further were it not that there are many similar excellent maxims learnt at school that we are in danger of forgetting on plunging into the hurly-burly of life.
In my humble opinion this maxim seems to marl; all the difference between a boxing contest and a prize tight. In the former it does not matter so much who was the winner 50 long as the fight was waged well and valiantly on each side. In the latter case, however, it is a question of a man's livelihood, and that of course is a different matter, being purely a commercial transaction, and it is a plain matter of business to put the other man "out" as soon as possible.
Hence it is, again in my humble opinion, something that should strike us with double force when we have such an excellent example set us by a professional boxer. Such men deserve to win and win not only the purse, but laurels as well.
It is not intended, of course, that any particular application should be made to the Victoria College Boxing Club, but occasionally one sees, perhaps in that most uncertain class, "the novices," a case where a competitor is plainly "streets ahead" page 57 of his opponent, and yet persists in hammering away as if his life depended on it.
As the University Boxing Club seems to be in a flourishing condition, and bids fair to continue so, it is only right that this matter of chivalrous conduct towards an opponent should be brought prominently to the fore, and made into one of the traditions of Victoria College. It is a worthy tradition, and one to be upheld in these days of strife and competition, and in no way can it be displayed so admirably as in the boxing ring.—1 am, etc.,
Dear Mrs. Spike,—
For some considerable time 1 have been climbing the hill that leads to Victoria College and to learning. During that time I have attended the statutory number of dances, attended two tournaments, played football, cricket and tennis at and around the Old Clay Patch, and now in the fullness of time I have decided that I shall swot.
First let me explain my position. To begin with, as a simple freshman, imbued with enthusiasm and full of knowledge gained at a Secondary College, I succeeded in keeping first year's terms. During the second year, having become better acquainted with College, 1 joined more gaily in the social life (Cherchez la femme). As a result 1 lost much of the enthusiasm and all of the knowledge previously acquired, and had perforce to face the dread ordeal of November with nothing but the Goddess Luck to help me. Result : English, third;class Rest, failed.
The third year I lived with a genius. He was the sort of man who could go to balls, come home in the milk-cart, read twenty pages of Anson, of Salmond, even of Garrow, and remember them afterwards. 1 attempted to imitate him, with the result that in November my two guineas went to swell the revenue of the University.
This year I decided that things must change. I therefore cultivated the acquaintance of a student—a studious student. I enquired of him his method of work. He immediately invited me to stay the night with him and receive a practical demonstration, and, made rash by my new-born enthusiasm, I accepted. Armed with a hand-bag full of copyrighted notebooks, I proceeded to the sanctum of this student—this studious student. Allow me to digress a minute while I explain that his parents had made a mistake in his early youth, and named him Arthur— page 58 he should haw been called "The Spartan." I entered the sanctum, the student pointed to a chair, stated that we had just two and a-quarter more hours to work, and went on with his swotting. By nature 1 am conversational; my friends have even termed me garrulous, but beneath the stern silence of that Spartan my loquastic powers were completely overawed. At II p.m. the Spartan announced that we might stop, and spoke of bed. I grew enthusiastic, but before being allowed to retire it appeared that I must take a vigorous course of exercise similar to that indulged in by Hackenschmidt, Sandow and other Then I was allowed to go to bed. Previous to this night my experience of beds had been limited to iron bedsteads, spring mattresses, and the like, but the bed provided by the Spartan reminded me of the sort of sleeping couch the Roman soldier was in the habit of using when on the march. After spending some two hours bruising myself in attempting to find a soft place, I slept.
During the night the alarm went off. I did not mind, as I had often heard alarms go off before; but imagine my disgust when 1 found the Spartan standing over me with a candle, telling me I had to get up and swot. Naturally I protested, but he was adamant. I next attempted to wheedle him into allowing me to read in bed, but he stated that 1 would only go to sleep again. I replied that that was the height of my ambition, but it was no go. I had to submit to another vigorous course of Sandow to get my circulation up, and was then told to swot again. Whenever my feet got too cold to be felt I was given a skipping-rope, and told to warm myself up. As there were same twenty degrees of frost outside, the rope was in frequent requisition. Romeo's anxiety to leave Juliet when day was lighting up the home of the Capulet's was as nothing compared with mine to leave the Spartan's home, when the pearly dawn began to show up the dirty smoke of the destructor chimney. However, for two more hours we kept on, and then at last, in the fulness of time, when the hour of breakfast seemed long past, I was allowed to go to my bath and home. Such was my only experience of a night with a studious student. Like Coleridge's wedding guest, "A sadder and a wiser man he rose the morrow morn." I am at present looking for a job in the Government this apparently being the nearest approach to Mr. Euclid's royal road to learning.
Dear Mrs. Spike,—
May I write you a gossipy letter? It's ages since I wrote last, but I'm sure you don't mind that; perhaps you are glad. However, I thought to myself, "It's never too late to mend." So I began reading up the "Ladies' Column" and the "Women's World" in our intellectual dailies to acquire the correct style for a social letter. It appears that if one cannot truthfully be called pretty, one is described as "charming." If one's frock is merely muslin, it is "girlishly dainty." If an afternoon party is dull, it is "most enjoyable"; if there is bridge, it is "smart." The more minute the details of dress and the more intimate the descriptions of a drawing-room, the better the report. Well, after studying this kind of thing for one day (two morning-papers and one evening), I arrived at the conclusion that after working under Professor Mackenzie for two years, I could not spoil the purity of my English prose, so I shall cease to aspire to be "correct," and shall give an account of things in (to use a Froggyism) "my own bright, unexpurgated style."
Well, we have had some very delightful dances this year. All the usual people there, all the usual chaperones, all the usual lavish decorations, all the usual things for supper. The Men's Common Room Club gave one sign of life—a dance in the first term. It was a very jolly one, a striking feature being some unusual programmes, with pictures on them. Then came Capping. Words fail me with which to describe the brilliant scene. There were strangers there, heaps of them, many noticeable for their elegent toilettes, many for their variegated sox. This term the Cricket Club gave a dance, an awfully swanky one. The gym was decorated with flags (rather passé, certainly), and the chaperones had a carpet and an electric heater in their usual corner! The Glee Club intends giving a concert and dance after term exams., and this reminds us of a grievance. The Women's Common Room wants a concert, but the Profs, unkindly refused permission. We want some new furniture and rose pink electric light shades, and all the comforts of a home, but we cannot afford them. So we shall apply early next year, and we are sure to make lots of money, because a College girl should be given every opportunity to enjoy the refining influence of home life, and the sweet, womanly ease of a drawing-room, but how can we when everything in the Common Room is old and ugly, and used by everyone else whenever there is any function?
Isn't it lovely our having lockers in the Cloak Room? They don't lock, certainly, but they Look very attractive, and are quite a credit to the students who made them, to whom our thanks.page 60
I hope the winding-up social is a success, which means being interpreted, I hope it's a dance.
By the way, I've heard of two engagements, Miss G.Williamson to C. H. Taylor, and Miss N. Hunt to T. Brooker.
Ever your affectionately,