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The Spike or Victoria University College Review 1935

Ex Contubernio Robur Sed Quaere

Ex Contubernio Robur Sed Quaere

"Weir residence maketh a compleat man." So runs the new adage of the College; or, rather, to speak truth, the new dogma of those the many conversaying artists and soothsayers of all kinds who take wish for deed and thought for act, and find in everything those qualities only which they embarked to seek.

Little do they know of men that thus glorify the fame of an institution so late establisht, so newly formed, set up so recent in the memory of man. It is well said, "An old path may twist, but it is well worn." Nor are new ways so soon clipt of hindring branches, nor their stones smooth-paved to the feet.

It is a curious mathematic that misleads to these fantastic, ill-shapt views. As well burnish the bronze of sociability among five as fifty. As well? Nay, better. Do twenty make closest company, or two? Where seek true valour, on the bright stage before a hundred eyes, or in what's done unvauntedly among a few? Will men live better simply in a crowd? We trim the lamp of honour best for deeds ill-suited to this idle heresy,

In truth, it is keenly to be desired that we should be "of the corporation of the commonwealth"; nor is it other than contemptuous for a man so to forsake his fellows as if the whole intercourse of life were base and loathsome, and all men's hopes and ills no care of his. Yet how vain the fancy that the broader the roof above our heads, the greater the communion of our hearts. Though it have a thousand doors and passage-ways, yea, and ten thousand windows, yet is it but the worser labyrinth, a maze of conflicts in which the more frequent and casual the contacts, the feebler their significance and influence; even as a man who, seeing another in pain, shall haste to relieve him, yet seeing a town laid desolate with plague, shall run hither and hither aimlessly, the unity of his will dissolved, his purpose vanisht in confusion.

Let a man determine within himself the truth concerning these things; and knowing the truth escape the hither pitfalls, seeing yet the goal beyond.