« AnteriorContinuar »
task the expression of an enlightened spirit. There were in the nineteenth century few lives more practical than those of the "heroic boys" who, in the exquisite words of their old comrade, "gave freely and eagerly all that they had or hoped for to their country and to their fellow-men in the hour of great need." In such a practical life as every man or woman ought to lead, such a practical life as educated men and women are bound to lead or be false to their trust, it is the vision that abides and commands.
HARVARD AND THE
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 — the argument that in it everybody knows everybody else, and that consequently, while the whole community 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