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pass with their diversity of tastes and talents and aims in life. If we look at the professions as such without consideration of the sub-divisions which different tastes and powers and views effect, a prescribed and inevitable course of studies is eminently proper; but otherwise such a course of studies is eminently out of place. If the aim of colleges is to fit young men for the active duties of life, which is certainly the highest aim they could boast of, then there is a positive demand for elective studies therein. But the fact that such, as a settled theory, is their aim, is not the only thing demanding the privilege of choice between different studies. Economy of the student's time also demands it. To illustrate this: there is certainly but little difference between speaking and writing, at least so far as the mental process is concerned. The one is telling thoughts orally, and the other is telling them on paper. Yet while some men are good writers they are poor speakers; that is, they are poor not in elocution, but at telling their thoughts to an audience. The difference between these two classes is, or at least may be, simply a matter of time. While the thoughts of the one clothe themselves rapidly with words and can be spoken, those of the other are tardy and adapted only to the pen. The mind of the latter will ultimately work out the same or as good thoughts into as good language. But he should not waste his time in trying to learn speaking; he would better employ it all in the direction in which he can accomplish something. Not only does economy of the student's time, as mentioned above, demand the privilege of choice between different studies, but something vastly higher-the cravings of his nobler powersoften demands it. No man can learn with much success that which he abhors with avidity. The mind grows and is sustained by that which it feeds on, and, like the stomach, better digests what it craves, and craves what it better digests: The student should have studies that he can relish as well as food that he can relish. This keeps him in mental good health as well as that in physical good health.

There cannot well be a truer idea of what a college should be conveyed in any word or phrase than in that pet phrase alma mater. Colleges as a class are too envious of their own reputation and have not enough of that alma-mater feeling that looks to the interest of the student, declining all honors that peril his success. That it is to the interests of the student, as well as his duty to contribute to

that end, that his college take a high position among her sisters, is not to be questioned. But that the advantages they offer young men for acquiring a liberal education should be their first object is also not to be questioned. Every college should have its principles in that which looks beyond its campus limits into the broad domain of mankind. This should be her reputation; she would need no other fame. Such is the spirit of the college that is abundant in elective studies.

When we spoke above of colleges fitting young men for active life, we did not mean that they should aim to fit them for any particular calling, but only for successful entrance upon such calling. It may, however, with much truth be said, that few who are even far advanced in their course know certainly what profession or calling they will choose. We answer, that the profession of every one should not be that which he fits himself for but that which he is fitted for. His tastes should dictate his studies and his studies lead to his pursuit, whether a profession or a trade. A college course is worth much for its rigid prescriptions. Much of its aim is correctly

discipline," however diverse may be its influence upon different students. But a course that has elective studies need not be less rigid, or its opportunities for discipline less favorable than the most exclusive course. For example, in Lafayette Hebrew, Latin, Astronomy, the modern languages, Blackstone, &c., are elective. Each is taught by a rigid and thoroughly competent instructor and disciplinarian. The rigidity of the course is not lessened or the reins of discipline slackened no matter which the student choses. Nothing is affected, nothing changed, only the student's taste is gratified.

It is a question pertinent to be considered here, what time in the course elective studies should occur. Should they appear in the curriculum at the opening of the course or some time later? We think some time later, though that is a little indefinite. One of the essential things in college discipline is organization. The student hails to college from various parts of the country, influenced by certain local peculiarities, prejudices, whims and customs, which go to make the Freshman class quite a motley collection of young men. A rigid inevitable course of studies for at least one year tends to unify the mass and assimilate all characters to some particular condition. This organizes the class and fits it for making

an intelligent election of studies in the after part of the course. Now, without pretending to tell just where elective studies should begin, or any other practical particular about them, we question: Does any alma mater treat her sons with proper courtesy that does not offer such studies? Is it right for our institutions to shut up within their strong walls all choice and leave the student to abide by the result?



So far as college papers have come under our review but little has been said about the advantages and disadvantages of college fraternities, if we except a series of exceedingly prolix dissertations against them published in the Nassau Magazine of the College of New Jersey, in the course of the year 1871.

In those articles it was proposed to convince the reader that college fraternities are exceedingly useless, and to a great extent positively injurious, considered in a moral or intellectual point of view. We believe not much was said about the social or physical advantages or disadvantages. While we do not intend to review these articles, for, in the first place, we could not sit calmly down to meditate such an affliction to the reading public, and in the second place we have not the articles at hand to quote from, yet we may commend them as an exhibit of the author's proficiency in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, which fundamental rules. of arithmetic are happily illustrated in his calculations of time lost in going to the meetings of these fraternities, being at the meetings, coming home from and preparing literary performances for the same, and also in calculating how much money is expended on them which might have been applied to some other object. We dare say that these same rules might have been illustrated as well by entering into calculations of the time unwarrantably consumed by all the students going daily to the post office, whereas one might easily bring all the news for those rooming in the same building with him, or, if he had deemed that these calculations would be

more convincing if they dealt in coins, he might have computed just how much money is uselessly consumed in putting buttons on the tails of coats where they are never used. Some folks adopt another line of argument and object to secret societies because they are secret. To their minds there can be no secresy without holes and without persons going into these places and "pulling the holes in after them." With secresy they connect horrid crimes, dreadful doings dark and dismal. Such people never think that the brooks and creeks babble away all day and night in an unknown voice; and birds and beasts have languages of their own; that apes and monkeys chatter, expressing their feelings in ways understood only to themselves; that each individual is a secret society on a small scale; that husbands and wives and family circles are secret societies on a larger scale; that the peopled orbs of heaven are shut off from communication with our mundane sphere; that heaven is hidden from our view, and that the Adorable Trinity is the greatest of all mysteries. Such people would find out the unsearchable, inscrutable things of eternity. It is the same spirit which frets and rebels at the dark providences of heaven, and never sees behind the thickening cloud a smiling face. They can't believe that anything is good about which they are not permitted or enabled to understand anything or everything. They do not believe there is a God because they have never at any time seen Him, and do not know, if He do exist, where or what He has in store for them. Secresy is no evidence of crime or even the slightest impropriety, because it is secrecy. Well, then, some college fraternities are bad because we see the bad results. Yes, these secret orders do bring about bad results sometimes because nothing human is perfect. There is seldom, if ever, anything bad in the constitutions of these societiesnone but laudable objects are set forth to be obtained thereby, and we speak what we do know, for we have not been compelled to confine our actual acquaintance with these instruments to one or two. To the Protestant the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church are pernicious, but we would not argue that it is wrong to have churches. Well, last of all, the objector can see no good in them. They, however, must admit that there are many men of irreproachable character in them-men who publicly in their intercourse with men are tenacious of good principles and diligent in doing their duty. Can they, by magic, as it were, be transformed into semi-demons

because none but kindred eyes and those of God can see them? Can any set of men who are industrious in seeking knowledge and in preparing themselves to go forth into the world to fight in the cause of truth and right-can any such set of men spend their time voluntarily with things in which there is no good?

Having answered these objections, we may in the next number conclude with some reflections applicable only perhaps to Lafayette College.



In time's obliteration of names upon the roll of fame, philosophers seem not to have suffered as materially as they who have directed their energies in other channels. Their victories, unlike Marathon or Salmis, never fade into fairy tales. Their triumphs in thought are never greeted with tumultuous applause to be forgotten as the shouts die away. Their victories are for the world, and if victories they are, they never die; and their immortality insures that of their heroes. Their victories are the production of thought which cannot be overthrown and which concerns all men. Yet even with philosophers a few upon the most important subjects represent the whole body.

Perhaps the most remarkable of these representative thinkers is. the Chinese philosopher, Confucius; remarkable in the development of his genius both as to time and place. He lived before the times of Plato and Epicurius, and his thoughts are beautiful flowers springing from a noisome heap of political and moral filth. He is. indebted to no other thinkers. No reflected light of revelation guides his restless feet as with inquiring men of our day. His system of morals is at variance with both Platonism and Epicureanism. He owns no God, nor does he deny the existence of a Deity. Though in a state of suspended judgment he is not idle. He turns his whole mental power to morality and human law. The sentiment of Carlyle expresses his position :

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