The following incident, which occurred during young Sumner
's freshman year, illustrates well that firmness of purpose, and persistent adherence to preconceived opinions, by which his whole course was signalized.
“At the time our class entered,” writes to me the Rev. S. M. Emery, D. D.
, one of his classmates, “undergraduates were required by the college laws to wear a uniform, consisting of an Oxford cap, coat, pantaloons, and vest of the color known as ‘Oxford
mixed;’ but in the summer a white vest was permitted, no fancy colors being allowed.
, probably having in his mind Edmund Burke
, who on state occasions wore a buff-colored waiscoat, as Daniel Webster did when he was to speak in the Senate, procured a vest so near to buff color as not likely to be mistaken for white by the observer of the legal color.
Now the tutor, proctors, and other teachers, one of whom had his room in each hall, as a sort of police, constituted what was called the ‘parietal board.’
They held their meetings once or twice a week to consider delinquencies of the students, to report to the faculty at their weekly meetings, and to summon the delinquents before them.
's vest did not escape the keen eyes of this police.
He was summoned before the assembled board, to answer to the charge of disobeying the laws by wearing a vest which was not of the ”