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to say nothing of such lesser matters as the Isis or the Cam. The“ spacious plain ” is covered, in great part, with ornamental edifices and cultivated pleasure-grounds, enclosing a ce tral area, which reveals them to each other's view, and is itself marked from a distance, by the towers of two churches, each, in its way, of uncommon symmetry and tastefulness. From its surrounding eminences (crowned with their old and stately growth of the native oak and elm), of which Mount Auburn is only the most lovely, you may look down, among other “ neighbouring towns of note," on
6 Brighton, Watertown, and Medford, each feasting the eye with its own delicious landscape ; on the metropolis, close by, which those, who know no better, call, in one way of compliment, the cradle of American liberty, and, in another, the American Athens ; on Lexington, where the first stand was made in the battle yet waging for human rights; on Charlestown, where in the bloody ashes of a sore defeat was read by penetrating eyes the auspicious presage of final victory. When we go among the solid structures, which time has brought into the place of that," thought by some,” in its day, “ too gorgeous
for a wilderness, we move everywhere in the midst of sublime phantoms of the past. ur college is older than Oxford, with its millenium of fame; for its history goes back to the earliest infancy of the society, of which it has been head and heart. There stands old Massachusetts Hall, that "fine and goodly house of brick," the gift of the Province in its first century of generous poverty; there is Holden, bearing on its pediment, in the broadest relief of painted plaster, the heraldic blazonry of its virgin givers, cotemporaries of Anne; Hollis, not quite so fresh, though for aught one can see, as firm, as when James Otis and his coadjutors reported to the General Court that they had “ turned
upon the consummate work, and the Governor and Council, with the lower House, met together in Holden Chapel,” (how sadly inadequate such a space for such a convocation now!) to give the very fair building, beautiful and commodious,” its greatly honorable name; and Harvard, another gift, or rather payment of the good commonwealth, when its legislature, convened in the ancient library-room, sat by fires which doomed it to sudden ruin, with almost all its precious stores. Over the way is the enclosure which the dust of Dunster hallows, and the fresh inscription over
what was mortal of his successor, one of the great English scholars in the days when “there were giants,” the friend of the blessed Usher, and exiled victim of the egregious Laud. A little further, in another direction, is the site of the humble meeting-house, where the ecclesiastical fathers of New England were convened to establish their Platform of Church Discipline; and, in another, are yet traced remains of the primitive fortification, which secured the hamlet, then intended for a metropolis, against surrounding savages. To come down to later times, if, from the spot lately occupied by a church, within which sat the convention that framed the constitution of 1780, we wend our way by an avenue, which the commissioners for laying out a western road reported that they had carried as far as Watertown, and “that was as far as ever would be needed,” we shall presently pass the magnificent tree beneath which Washington issued his first order to an American army, and the mansion where his head-quarters were kept, while he was worrying out our British visitors from beneath the shelter of those three sistereminences,
“Whose ridgy backs heave to the sky,
Our own romantic town.” But we are not upon the composition of a guide-book ; and it is possible there may be readers of ours with the heart to say, that such things have notliing to do with the point in hand. At all events, we shall be speaking to it, when we urge, that, atno previous time, has Harvard College, in respect to advantages which it holds out, deserved to be regarded by its sons with more pride and pleasure. The requisitions for admission having been constantly, though gradually, increased in passed years, the student brings preparation for a rapid proficiency during his term of residence. The studies in Livy, Horace, Cicero's philosophical works, and Juvenal, in Latin, and Xenophon, Homer, and some of the orators and tragedians, in Greek, with the exercises in the writing of these languages, and in antiquities, constitute, for our country, an extensive course of elementary classical discipline. Hebrew, among ancient languages, is added, to such extent as students may desire. Mathematical studies are pursued, before the end of the second year, to the extent of some good acquaintance with the differential and integral calculus;
and the three volumes of the Cambridge Natural Philosophy, the text-books which are next taken up, present what may be called a full outline of the branches in that department. Of modern languages, - for the College is any thing but bigotedly scholastic, — the French is taught to all, and permanent provision is made for the acquisition of four others by as many as wish to learn them, - a privilege which is largely sought, - besides the very attractive lectures of the Professor of Modern Literature. To a brief course in History and Grammar, succeeds one in Logic and Rhetoric, the text-books being the recent admirable treatises of the Archbishop of Dublin ; works, especially the former, which subject the mind to a severe and salutary training. In Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, Locke's Essay, which we rejoice to see lately restored in the place of Brown, Stewart's Elements, and Paley's Principles, are the manuals ; in Theology, Butler's Analogy and Paley's Evidences; in Political Economy, Say's Treatise, which in a degree, like Paley on Morals, we apprehend must be allowed to be a work excellent for its clear statement of questions, however some of its principles and conclusions may be disowned; and in Constitutional Law, Judge Story's Abridgment of his Commentaries. In Natural History there are recitations from Dr. Ware's revised edition of Smellie's Philosophy, and in Chemistry from Dr. Webster's Manual. Exercises in English composition in different forms are continued from the beginning of the second year to the end of the course ; and lectures in different branches are given to the Senior class, illustrated, in Natural Philosophy and Anatomy, by the rich apparatus in the halls of those departments, and the chemical laboratory; and, in Natural History, by the valuable collections in the mineralogical cabinet and the botanic garden.
Having no personal reasons whatever for either modesty or arrogance in this matter, we mean to make free to express our strong conviction, that the advantages for education offered at Cambridge are such, that whoever, having enjoyed them, does not go away a better scholar than any other American institution would have made him, has only his own incapacity to lament, or indolence to blame; in saying which, we are not at all implying any offensive comparison between the teachers there and at other similar institutions,
VOL. XVII. —N. S. VOL. XII. NO. I. 13
disparaging to the latter. Indeed, considering the obviously superior advantages of Cambridge in other respects, we could not say a word less than we do, without positively instituting a comparison to the prejudice of those who conduct its instruction. Further ; with some opportunities for making observations to justify such a remark, we avow our persuasion, that the average scholarship created there year by year, is decidedly higher, - we speak with caution, than that furnished
from any other American college. We do not watch the methods of operation, but we look at the results. We are sometimes present at an examination in one or another department, and we commonly, on such occasions, go away with a high satisfaction in having made such use of our time. And, at the yearly exhibitions at the end of the course, while we take care not to be so unreasonable as to expect young men to reason like old ones, we witness, on the whole, a grasp and precision of thought, and a purity and force in composition, such as testify to a universal good training of the mind. We do not, to find what their colleges have done for them, compare men together when, a score of years after they have left these nurseries, they have come to make a figure in public stations. Various other influences have been operating on them then, to reverse the conditions of their early life. But we compare them in the years when the comparison may yet be made, and we submit, that, actually, the professional students, and the young professional men, from Harvard college, are found, on the whole, to think and write better, and to know more, than those on whom rests, in this respect, the reputation of any other of our great schools. We have not finished yet; for, rather than the fact should remain unasserted, we are willing to undertake the ungracious task of its assertion. To the best of our knowledge and belief, there is not in Europe, any more than in America, an institution which, year by year, sends forth a band of youth of like age, so well, or better fitted, in discipline and accomplishments, to do the intellectual work of the community to which it belongs. And this is the highest praise which could be bestowed. It is nothing to say that there are schools abroad, which teach more of Greek, or of mathematics, or of something else worth knowing. The sensible question is, Is there any one which can be shown to make better provision than does our own, for the intellectual wants of the society
which they are respectively to influence ? If there be, it is one of which we have not heard.
But if this, or any considerable part of it, is true, how comes it that the number of students at Cambridge is exceeded any where else in the country, as it was exceeded last year in three other colleges ? This is a problem, which, on our premises, we may be fairly called on to solve.
One solution is to be found in the very fact of the greater thoroughness of the course. The requisitions for admission being higher than elsewhere, more time and money are required to prepare for it. And this being so, that large proportion of young persons, who care not so much to have the best education, as to have a tolerably good one, which will introduce them speedily into a profession, are to be expected rather to turn their steps in some other direction. This impediment to the multiplication of students we hope never to see removed. We would not have abrupt and exorbitant advances made in the terms of admission. But we hope to see Cambridge always as much in advance of its sister seminaries, as we believe it now to be, in respect to opportunities of proficiency for such as desire to have the best. One dis-tinguishing advantage which it possesses in its affluent endowments is, that it can better afford than they to dispense with the income, to be collected from a large number of students. And one obligation to the literature of the country, thus devolved on it, is, that it should make itself a kind of model institution, constantly raising the standard of scholarship, and leading the way in improvements, which other institutions, with the benefit of such countenance, will then be justified and excited in their own due time to adopt.
Another important point in this connexion is, the situation of Harvard College. Amherst is in the centre of New England, the most studious portion of the country, and especially in the centre of that district of New England, densely inhabited by its substantial yeomanry, which furnishes the largest proportion of the raw material for educated men. Union College is at the centre, -not geographical, but of population, — of the empire state, and within a two hours' ride of its seat of government.
Yale College is in a town, which, besides being the capital of a state which is, for schoolmasters, the “officina gentium,” is, by force of steam-boat