Dinner with University President Shirley Tilghman is best described by rising literary star Raphael Patrick Murillo:
Idle reader: You may believe me that I would have it that these trifles were clever things conjured from my own imagination. But in the way Nature dictates that all begets its like so my own ill-tilted wit could hardly have produced such offspring. For, as you yourselves have read, the first chapter of this book was full of sal. Not sated by Princeton’s clever courses and discourses, you found it fitting that more should be added to those fine words that I merely found amongst scattered and incomplete papers. How then, as I myself lack in graceful skills, could I continue?
By chance, as I read this afternoon from pseudo-Xenophon’s Constitution of Athens, I found these lines – the next two chapters of our tale – delicately scrawled in noblest castellano among the margins. And so, dearest reader, I have made haste to translate those words.
Chapter II – Dinner With Tilghman, Which Treats the Terribly Boring First Sally of Our Cavalier
The first thing he did for his endeavor was to prepare a name for himself, as he was anxious to contend with the knights of halcyon days of yore in the glorious lines of histories, and he spent some eight seconds pondering over this point, until he at last made up his mind to call himself “The Most Patrician Raphael by the Little Wall,” whence, the author of this veracious history has inferred that his name must have been beyond a doubt Raphael Patrick Murillo and not Rafa or Rapha or Rafiki or “Ra fail” as others would have it. So then, he himself confirmed, he came to conclusion that nothing more was needed now but to look out for a lady to be in love with.
But failing this as was his custom, he did not care to put off the execution of his design, urged on to it by the thought of all the University was losing by his delay, seeing what wrongs he intended to right, grievances to redress, injustices to repair, abuses to remove, articles to criticize, contemptible people to rebuke, and finally duties to discharge. So, one evening before the early setting of the sun in February, he sallied forth from the second entryway of Cuyler Hall to 1901 Hall in the highest contentment and satisfaction at seeing with what ease he had made a beginning with his grand purpose – for the distance was not more than a few hundred paces.
But scarcely did he find himself seated at his usual table, when a terrible thought struck him, one that made him abandon the enterprise at its very outset. For it occurred to him that he had not been seated at President Tilghman’s table, and that according to the laws of etiquette he neither could nor ought to impose his musings without having a proper title himself. This reflection made him waver in his purpose, but his craze being stronger than any reasoning, he made up his mind to have himself dubbed a knight by the first person he came across for a future contest.