TEACHING AT YALE
I BEGAN regular work as a full-time Instructor in English at Yale in the Autumn of 1892. The College was nearly two hundred years old, but this was the first time that English literature had ever been taught to Freshmen. I was given one-third of the class from September to Christmas, another third from Christmas to Easter, and the last section from Easter to June; so that I was to meet intimately in small divisions, three hours a week, all the members of the incoming class of 1896. I was twenty-seven years old and looked eighteen. When I came to the door of the lecture-room and found it locked, one or two Freshmen waiting there, naturally taking me for a classmate, said 'Oh, the Prof hasn't got here yet.' When I took a key from my pocket and unlocked the door, they looked at me in amazement.
I taught the Freshmen As You Like It, Macbeth, and King Henry IV, Part I. I enjoyed the work unspeakably; and at the end of the Autumn term, when the first alphabetical third of the class found that they were to have no more English until Sophomore year, they sent to me a delegation headed by John Berdan (now Professor of English at Yale) asking me if I would continue to teach a volunteer class in the evening. I agreed to this--though it was an unprecedented thing at Yale. Accordingly for the next three months, I met a large group of Freshmen one evening a week and taught them English poetry of the nineteenth century.