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HARVARD AND THE

INDIVIDUAL

HARVARD AND THE

INDIVIDUAL

FOR such intercollegiate discussion as takes the form of “symposia" in Sunday papers, the relative merit of large and small colleges is a never-failing topic; and in this discussion some officers of the smaller colleges maintain that a college is the better for being small. Without inquiring whether these gentlemen would reject opportunities of growth for their own colleges, whether the system of admission by certificate is not chiefly a bid for students, and whether the very pleas for the small college are not designed to make it larger, I pass at once to the strongest argument of the small college - che argument that in it everybody knows everybody else, and that consequently, while the whole commu. nity may move as one man, the individual is never ignored. In a large college, these gentlemen contend, concerted action is impossible; and the individual with no strong social claim is lost in the crowd. Near a whole city full, home he has none. If he is poor, he may starve; if he is morbid, he may go mad; if he is sick, he may die — and no one of his fellows knows till all is over. If he is eccentric, he may be "queered," as it is called, growing queerer and queerer until an eccentricity which might be modified into effective individuality has become a hopeless inability to get on with men. In a small college the student who would be a recluse is literally dragged out of his den to see football — or even to play it -- and is humanized thereby. At a large college nobody need know or care whether any one sees a game of football or not. There are enough without him. If he chooses to “flock by himself,” he may do so till he is at cross purposes with his own youth and with every natural manifestation of youth in others. Yet the spirit that brings all the students of a college together for a common purpose, the undivided enthusiasm of a whole college, is one of the precious experiences of education; for even when to middle-aged people the cause seems trivial, the spirit is patriotism, the same patriotism that in a national crisis

“ Shall nerve heroic boys

To hazard all in Freedom's fight." That even a large college may be roused as one man is obvious to anybody who has heard (I use the word advisedly) a game of baseball at Princeton, or who has known athletics at Yale, or who knew Harvard in the football season of 1901. Princeton, situated in a small town on an isolated hill, is a centre to itself. Yale lived long in and about a crowded campus, and is so far from a great city that even on Saturdays

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