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stand more firmly on what he himself is and does, trusting to be judged thereby. I doubt whether any student within my memory was ever more warmly admired and loved than Marshall Newell, a farmer boy. He was, it is true, an athlete, “an athlete sturdy, alert, and brave.” Athletics made him widely known; what made him widely loved was not athletics but the strong, healthy, simple, and fearless heart which revealed itself in his athletics as in everything else about him; and when he died one of the social leaders of his college days said sincerely that it was worth while to spend four years in Harvard College, merely to have known such a man as he.
Not many years ago a big country boy named Adelbert Shaw entered Harvard College as a special student. He had been fitting himself for Wesleyan University, and had changed his plans so suddenly that he could not take all the Harvard examinations for regular. standing. On his arrival he knew but one or two persons in the University. He had little capital besides a strong body and mind, an unmistakable good nature, a big earnestness, and an unusual aptitude for turning from one kind of work to another with equal devotion to each and no waste of power in the transition. On the football field he made people laugh by his awkwardness and by the beaming good humor with which he hurled himself into the scrimmage; in the classroom he was as earnest as on the ball field; in his own room, notwithstanding his sudden and universal popularity, he worked hard, and in study hours kept his door closed to all but the few that he knew best. He was not a great athlete, though he might have become one. He played in the Freshman football team, was a substitute in the University football squad, and later appeared as a candidate for the University crew. In the spring of his first year at Cambridge, he was thrown out of a single shell and was drowned. His body was sent home; but after it had gone, a service was held in Appleton Chapel, which contained that day more students than I have ever seen in it before or since. In Holden Chapel the athletes had a service of their own; and the student who took charge of it could scarcely speak. Shaw was a religious man, earnest in religion as in all things; yet he was never praised more highly than by a student who was known as a cynic. In a few months this unknown country boy had won the respect and the affection of the College that some still call indifferent, undemocratic, an aristocracy of Boston society and New York wealth.
If a youth makes no friends in Cambridge, it is stupendously his own fault. I do not say that it is impossible for a Harvard student to go off by himself, dig a hole, lie down in it, and stay there - as he might not be able to do at a small college; I do say that those who affirm Harvard to be undemocratic or to value men for their money are either misinformed or defamatory. I could name plenty of men whom heaps of money did not save from social failure in Harvard College; and even more whom narrow means and want of family connection did not cut off from almost universal popularity. Students at Harvard, like students elsewhere — like all men, young or old — may misjudge their fellows, and, misjudging them, may use them cruelly. Yet even in such cases most of the blame belongs commonly to the misjudged man. The student who bears himself well and does something for his class or his College is sure eventually to succeed. In the Freshman year a few prizes may be given to attractive loafers; but in the long run the Harvard public insists on some form of achievement. No individual who does anything worth doing, and does it with all his might, need be lost in the crowd at Harvard; and, taken for all in all, Harvard is the best place I know for the individual youth.