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have said, that the man in question was a brilliant and fine fellow, sadly misunderstood by the college authorities, he began thus: “I am perfectly disgusted with him. I never thought he ought to be here; but Y has offered to take him into his room and make him work, while he is working at the law eight hours a day: and I think it is a pretty darned good thing in Y; and I wish you would let him try it." I remember also a student whom I called to my office for a poor record in his studies, and who showed incidentally by his appearance and bearing that the radical trouble was in his way of life. The best man I could think of— far better than any college professor — to take hold of him was a Senior who had been a prefect, and who, through his ability as an athlete and through the general steadiness and helpfulness of his character, was admired by everybody in the College. He had no reason to be especially interested in the fellow I had just seen — and certainly he had enough to do: but I knew that the best students and the best men everywhere were always ready to do more; and I asked him to take this boy in hand. “I don't know that I can make him work,” he said ; "there is not much to him.” “The main trouble is,” said I, “ that he is living wrong.” “O, we'll stop that,” he said; and the boy so far recovered as to finish his work without discredit, and to win his degree.
This responsibility of the stronger students for the weaker is a common result of the prefect system, but is not confined to this system. A student from a school where there are no prefects came to me one day in behalf of a fellow whom the administrative board of the College was sending away because he would not work. “I wish," said the student, "you would let me see whether I can do something with him. I think I can make him work.” The administrative board told him to try. He made that fellow work as no teacher or combination of teachers could have done; and he brought him through the year with success. Moreover, he created in him such gratitude and loyalty as I have seldom known in one young man toward another.
Some time ago several students disappeared ; and it was necessary, not for disciplinary reasons, but for human reasons, to find them. How to find them was altogether too much for me; and accordingly I went in the evening to this same man of whom I have just spoken. He was a leader among his fellows and a good scholar also, and was now, in his fourth year, working for the degree of A. M. I found him studying for a final examination the next day; and the day after that he was to have another final examination. His academic year had. been badly broken both by athletics and by affairs at home; and those examinations were peculiarly important, because
for the Master's degree high marks are required. He told me at once where he thought the lost men, if they were knocking about the city, were likely to be found, to what theatres they might go, and to what restaurants; and, without a word about his work, he said, “I will go to Boston with you now.” When I would not hear of that, he said, “ If you want me, telephone out. Meantime I shall be working here. I shall be up grinding until about three o'clock; I will go over to the Institute building before I go to bed; and if I can get any news of them there, I will look out for them.”
Of the three men whose help I have just recounted, two were class presidents and first marshals; the other was second marshal in the same class with one of the two. Now when men who are elected by their fellow students to the highest class offices feel as these men felt, there is great hope for the discipline of the College. Half the problem, indeed, is solved. Not long ago I had another extraordinary instance of this sort of responsibility among students, — more extraordinary than any I have named because the person who felt it must have been younger than the person toward whom he felt it. The latter, however, was without experience, and seemed to need protection from an adventuress who was ruining his life.
When I say that college officers should sympathize with youth, I do not mean that they should sympathize with juvenility, though they should understand it; I mean that they should know and feel the peculiar strain to which students are subjected. I have heard men speak lightly of college temptation. “The truth is,” they say, “there is no place in the world where temptation to evil is so slight as in college, because there is no place in the world where temptation to excellence is so strong.” It is true that temptation to excellence is strong, that