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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, October 1902

In Lighter Vein

page 30

In Lighter Vein.

A youth of parts with modesty endowed,

On whom our fondest expectations hang.

It is whispered that the brilliant author of "An Essay on Realty" is about to give another proof of his versatility by producing an historical drama, "What Happened to Chorles." Sir Frederick Pollock regrets that the young (alas ! so young) author professes mathematics in New Zealand instead of law at Cambridge, and we ourselves look forward to the day on which we shall regretfully rejoice that he has forsaken law and ciphers in New Zealand to share the laurels of Shakespeare on the world's stage.

It will no doubt gladden and warm the hearts of those seekers after truth who have battled so valiantly and so thankless" against the unreasoning prejudice and dead-weight Conservatism of university thought, who have suffered obloquy, derision, prods and catcalls from the desk behind, chalk-marks on the back, aye (hardest of all to bear), even gibes from the professorial chair, to hear that in the great Shakespeare-Bacon controversy at least one of the Victoria College professors has thrown in his (not inconsiderable) weight unreservedly on the as yet lighter but more logical side. Our hearts leaped and our mouths were filled with laughter to hear the cheering assurance of our professor's new belief. W e departed from that lecture feeling very much like those students who, with a three-months-old receipt in their pockets, were lately posted in "The Mercantile and Bankruptcy Gazette" on the College notice board as being condicione indebiti. We "gloated," in the words of Stalky. There was more joy amongst us in the conversion of this one giant to our theory than if the whole of the rest of the University had declared in a body for our side. As the professor who has so. boldly declared for Bacon is the very one who, it is announced, is about to don toe tragic buskin, the importance of his conversion cannot possibly be over-estimated.

To preclude the possibility of unprofitable and acrimonious controversy in the twenty-fourth century as to whether the philosophical or the mathematical professor of Victoria College was the real author of that masterpiece of the Victorian drama, "What Happened to Charles," we would suggest that conclusive proofs and full keys to the cypher be published in the preface of the first edition.