A father to his son. A letter to an undergraduate upon his entering college.
MY DEAR SON: I am writing a few things I meant to say to you when we took our last walk together, the day before you left for Yale. I intended to sav them then, and I will even confess that I shamelessly inveigled you into taking a stroll on the quiet street that I might rehearse a carefully prepared bit of Chesterfield up-to-date; but somehow I could not seem to begin, — and, after all, perhaps I can write what was in my mind more freely and plainly than I could have spoken it.
I think I had never realized before that I was getting old.
Of course I have known that my hair is causing your mother much solicitude, and that I am hopelessly wedded to my pince-nez while reading my daily paper, and at the opera; but in some incomprehensible way I had forgotten to associate these trifles with the encroachments of time. It was the sudden realization that you were about to become a Freshman in the college from which, as it seems to me, I but yesterday graduated, that “froze the genial current of my -soul,’* and spared you my paternal lecture.
Why, I can shut my eyes and still hear the Ivy Song, as we sang it that beautiful June morning; and yet but a few nights more and you will be locked in the deadly Rush on the same field^ where I triumphantly received two blackened eyes, and, I trust, gave many more!
Swain, John D. 1912. A father to his son: A letter to an undergraduate upon his entering college. New Haven: Yale Publishing Association. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001885233