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it is through our visions, through our ideals, that we keep high our standard of character and life. No man's character is fixed; and no responsible man is overconfident of his own. It is the part of every boy when he arrives at manhood to recognize as one of his greatest dangers the fading of the vision, and to set himself against this danger with all his might. It is only the man with ideals who is founded on a rock, and resists the rains and the floods.
A vigorous young fellow, fresh from college, went into a business house at four dollars a week, and rapidly rose to a well-paid and responsible position. One day he received from a member of the firm an order to do something that he thought dishonorable. He showed the order to the member of the firm whom he knew best, and asked him what he thought of it.
"Come and dine with me," said his patron, "and we will talk it over."
"Excuse me," said the young man. "Any other day I should be glad to dine with you; but this matter is business."
"Look!" said the other. "Business is war; and if you do not do these things in business, you can't live."
"I don't believe it," said the young man. "If I did, I should n't be here. I leave your employ Saturday night;" — and, to the amazement of the firm, he left it forever.
"And virtue's whole sum is but know and dare,"
said a great poet in one of his greatest moments. It takes a man with ideals to begin all over again, abandoning the kind of work in which he has won conspicuous success, and abandoning it because he finds that its methods, though accepted by business men generally, are for him dishonorable.
In and out of college the man with ideals helps, so far as in him lies, his college and his country. It is hard for a boy to understand that in life, whatever he does, he helps to make or mar the name of his college. I have said "in life " — I may say also " in death." Not long since, I saw a Harvard Senior on what proved to be his death-bed. The people at the hospital declared that they had never seen such pain borne with such fortitude, — " and," said the Medical Visitor of the University, "he was through it all such a gentleman." A day or two before his death an attendant asked him whether he felt some local pain. "I did not," said he, "until you gave me that medicine." Then instantiy he added, miserably weak and suffering as he was, " I beg your pardon. You know and I don't. It may be the medicine had nothing to do with my pain." I believe no man or woman in the ward saw that boy die without seeing also a new meaning and a new beauty in the college whose name he bore. As has often been said, the youth who loves his Alma Mater will always ask, not" What can she do for me?" but "Whal^ran T do for her?"
Responsibility is — first, last, and always—the burden of my song, a student's responsibility to home, to fellow students, to school, to college, and (let me add once more) to the girl whom he will ask some day to be his wife. "Moral taste," as Miss Austen calls it, is nothing without moral force. "If," said a college President to a Freshman class, "you so live that in a few years you will be a fit companion for an intellectual, high-minded, pure-hearted woman, you will not go far wrong." Keep her in mind always, or, if you are not imaginative enough for that, remember that the lines
"No spring nor summer's beauty hath such grace As I have seen in one autumnal face"
were written of a good man's mother.