The Use and Limits of Academic Culture

ALTHOUGH academic culture has long held a high place in the esteem of the American people, the conditions of their life have, naturally enough, made them in the main seekers for immediate results. They have had a work of pioneering to do, the like of which has never fallen to the lot of any civilized people. They have had to subjugate a rude nature, and bring a continent into a certain fitness for the uses of man. All this they have done with marvelous rapidity; at the same time they have preserved a good share of the spirit of culture. It is one of the most beautiful incidents of the work done among a people that, though they have been on the very frontier of civilization for more than two centuries, they have retained a lively affection for high ideals of education. Everywhere they have carried with them into the wilderness an aspiration for more culture than their circumstances permitted them to attain. This is nowhere better shown than in the histories of schools, to which they have given not only money, but devotion, and both in a measure never known before. Although, in all their pioneering work, our people have maintained the ideal of education even more fixedly than their religious creeds, it is no matter for surprise that their schools have failed to serve the needs of the communities which so carefully cherished them. Their teachers, usually withdrawn in a singularly complete way from the life of their time, have become separated in interests from the society which supports them, and have made little effort to accommodate the training they give the youth to the requirements of the world. The youth just emerged from the seclusion of his college, where he has been in no wise fitted for the rough and tumble of active life, has been the subject of endless jesting in the newspapers. His shortcomings, it is true, have been painted in overhigh colors, but there has been much truth in the rude pictures. His training has not made him sharp at a bargain, his scraps of knowledge have little relation to the affairs in which his fellow-men are engaged, and at the outset of his career he has to unlearn many of the lessons which his schooling has taught him. In a few years he has usually lost all save the mere shadow of the information he gained during his academic life, and at best retains only the general enlargement which his scholastic career impressed upon him. At first, the ampler view of the world which general culture brings is of no distinct advantage to the youth; it serves him best only when he has won his place among men, and then is no longer referable to his college training. It will not do to dismiss these criticisms with the statement that they are in error, nor is it reasonable to conclude that it is the commercial spirit in our American people which is leading them from the ideals of culture, inducing them to set momentary gain against the interests of the higher education. Our people have clung to the theory of academic training through two centuries and a half of arduous struggle with the difficulties which have beset their efforts to found societies. If their ancient trust in the goodness of colleges is waning, it behooves those who have charge of such institutions to affirm it again, by all proper efforts to accommodate the work of these institutions to the needs of the people they should serve. Moreover, every unprejudiced observer of our colleges is convinced that there is a certain amount of truth in the objections which are urged to the work done in these schools. If he looks closely to their plans of education, he perceives that these plans were devised to meet a very different condition of society from that which now exists. When the essential features of our schools of collegiate grade were determined, the only youths whose interests could be fitly served by a liberal education were those destined for the church, the law, the medical profession, and the few who were to pursue the career of independent gentlemen. Without the bounds of these occupations there were soldiers, sailors, clerks, and tradesmen, none of whom were usually supposed to require other than a very elementary education, save in the practical training for their respective callings.

In these ways it has come about that our colleges have gradually fallen into a certain disfavor with the masses of our people. Although new institutions of the name spring up on every hand, although the system of instruction in these schools has undergone and is still undergoing much improvement, they are less and less resorted to by our youth. Each year more find their way to the professions and other educated callings through schools of a lower grade. They are led by a number of reasons to seek this shorter way to the walks of active life. From much questioning of parents who have selected these more immediate ways of education for their children, as well as of the youths who have themselves chosen this path, I have been led to conclusions which I find to be identical with those of my friends who have made similar inquiries. These are, in effect, that young men are turned away from our higher institutions of learning by the following-named considerations: first, that a college education costs more money than can be afforded for the training of a youth ; second, that it requires so much time that a young man is belated in entering upon the practical duties of life; third, that the system of academic training is in general not of a nature to aid a student in most occupations, be they professional or other.

This condition of society in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries seems to us now as old as that of ancient Rome; in all that relates to the occupations of men, it is indeed much nearer to that olden day than to our own age. Within this century, the development of natural science and the mechanic arts has led to an increase in the scope of duty demanding a high intellectual training, greater than that attained in all the preceding centuries put together. Moreover, the larger part of the education and instruction required for these new and manifold vocations of the engineer, the tasks of railway administration, has found no place in our academic training. Recognizing these facts, the judicious critic sees the reasons for the rough judgment of the careful parent, of the judicious youth, who believe that the college costs too much, requires too much time, and does not fit a man for the work which he needs to do for a living. At the same time, the critical person will see abundant reasons why it is desirable to keep the training of our youths, whether their occupations are to lie within the limits of the ancient professions or in the newer field of educated labor, within academic walks, rather than to transfer it to purely technical schools.

There can be no question that there is an immediate practical advantage in sending a boy of eighteen, who means to be an engineer or to devote his life to any of the applications of science to the arts, at once to the schools where the curriculum is designed to fit him for such work. Each hour of his exercises and all of the social influences of the place lead him straight forward to his purpose. At the end of three or four years his mind has been trained to activities of a thoroughly purposeful sort, and he goes forth to his task prepared as no ordinary college boy can be for definite employment. If our object in education were alone to make young men effective craftsmen of the better sort, no education could be better suited to this end, and for all but the gentlemen of leisure, divines, physicians, and jurists, the technical school, with its project of direct accomplishment, would afford the ideal system. There are doubtless many persons of intelligence who hold that, all things considered, this plan of turning the youth at once into channels of thought and action which he is to follow through his life is the best folios individual interests, as well as for those of the community which he is to serve. I have heard it maintained that the narrowing of the range of intellectual interests which this system brings about is advantageous, for the reason that the concentration which it secures makes it easier for the youth to win success; for he applies to one kind of thinking energy which, with a wider plan of education, might have been dissipated over many, A little consideration of the large problem of education will, I believe, convince any reasonable person that not only is this a narrow view of the province of education, and unjust to the youths who are cramped by its narrow conditions, but it is otherwise impolitic. There is no better point at which to set forth the essential principles of academic culture than this, for the demands of the practical man bring us to the essence of the whole matter. No one can well question the statement that the moral and intellectual accomplishments of man afford the most precious heritage which it is the privilege and duty of each generation to transmit to its successors. All our material wealth, all the machinery by which that wealth is created or applied, are but dust beside this store of knowledge which has descended to us from the past or has been created in our time. Few of us can leave our children the gifts of fortune, fewer yet can hope to open to them the ways for great deeds; but to us all it is granted to make our offspring in some measure free to this great heritage, which they cannot share without being enriched and ennobled. Whoever fulfills this duty of transmitting the intellectual gains of men to his successors is faithful to one of the most serious obligations which comes to a man. Whoever fails in this duty thereby tends to break the succession of the best inheritances to which mankind has claim. Therefore we may hold that the first object of all true culture is to enfranchise the youth by showing him all that we can concerning the lofty thought and action of his predecessors, as well as the nature of the universe which has been revealed by their labors. This is a great and difficult task; one which should be approached reverently and executed carefully, without overmuch consideration of the debit and credit of the world’s account-books. To do this work our schools of liberal culture have been instituted, or rather, we should say, evolved through centuries of experience.

The first object of an academic institution of the higher grade is to bring together into one society a sufficient number of teachers, each of whom has mastered some branch of learning to the point where he is an authority on that subject; to associate those men in the work of inquiry and instruction, so that the youth may be brought into immediate contact with the theory and practice of the great divisions of learning. Libraries, museums, and laboratories are necessarily a part of the means which the school uses to accomplish its ends, but the essential feature of the instruction consists in its personnel. With two or three score of instructors, the greater part of the realm of knowledge may be properly represented in the teaching and research work of the college ; if it be a true university, two or three hundred teachers are required. With such a body of men, at once skilled in the methods of inquiry and in the arts of the teacher, the school may, if its government be rightly constituted, hope to create a noble intellectual atmosphere. It has at least provided one half of the foundations on which a true academic life may be built. The other half of the life of a great school consists in a large body of young men who, by their previous training, have been brought to a state where they are fitted not only to receive instruction, but, by their intelligent sympathy and cooperation, to inspire their teachers in their tasks. From such a union of pupils and teachers arises the combination of knowledge and enthusiasm which constitutes the university spirit. It cannot be created by endowments; it cannot, indeed, be created at all; it must be developed, in most cases slowly, by a process of gradual accretion, such as leads to the formation of all complicated social conditions.

Where the association of fit teachers and students has led to the institution of a well-founded seat of general culture, we find an atmosphere peculiarly suited to secure the rapid intellectual and moral growth of young men. In part, these enlarging influences are due to personal contact with learned men who are devoting their lives to high ends; in part, it arises from association with a large body of youths of their own race, from whom they receive, through the thousand ways of daily intercourse, the best spirit of their time. A large part of the student body consists of persons who have been more than a year under the control of the school, and who have acquired the tone of the institution from the teachers and from the preceding classes. The resident body of pupils in a good school of any grade may be likened to a great household, where every inmate so shares in giving and receiving influences that there is a common quality imparted to all who dwell beneath its roof. Only those who for years have seen the singular enlargement which this communal life gives to the youths of a great school can have any adequate conception of its value, not only to the individuals who immediately share it, but to the society and the state which in the end have the profit of the work. It has been my peculiar good fortune to spend more than a quarter of a century in intimate contact with the students of Harvard University. Each year I have seen a body of young men come to the institution, in the shape given them by their household education or the training of the fitting-schools. When they appear as members of the lower classes, they represent the whole range of family and school influences of our country. Some of them are already cultivated young persons, with the combined manliness and delicacy which good home training alone can insure; but the greater number of the matriculants are youths who, though of good parts, have had scanty contact with educated men, and are in much need of academic conditions for their enlargement. It is the greatest privilege of the teacher to see how, month by month, and often day by day, the good seed in these young men springs into life, under the forming conditions of their schooling. If it were possible to set before the reader a series of pictures which should show the usual stages of intellectual development of youths in their four years’ life in this university, and against them to place a similar series depicting the history of their playmates who had been nurtured on the scantier fare of real bread-winning life, we should have no further need to debate the value of academic training.

To accomplish its peculiar academic work, a school has to be in a measure separated from the motives of the society in which it dwells, which is in the main employed in bread-winning or less noble forms of getting on in the world. Such a school needs to consider knowledge as good in itself, without much reference to economic profit; while society must ever try acquirement mainly by the tests of utility. Herein lies the chief difficulty in the relation of our higher schools to the people who maintain them, either with money or pupils. The schools must adhere to their idea of learning for culture’s sake, for the sake of the enlargement which it brings; the people must see to it that their children do not become, through their education, inapt for the work which life is to impose on them. So far as is consistent with their duty to education, the authorities of these schools should see to it that the methods of training and the subjects taught should fit the needs of the people whom the institutions are meant to serve. It seems to me that, without sacrificing any essential part of the objects or methods of academic culture, our institutions of higher education might meet all the new demands which the intelligent public would put upon them.

Considering only the greater colleges and universities of this country, it is evident that we may regard the professional schools which are grouped about them as not open to serious criticism by any intelligent person, however practical minded he may be. They take the least possible time and preliminary training to fit graduates for their callings. The most commercial-spirited critic is likely to find that they call for too little of either of these investments for the return they are expected to make. It is against the curriculum and other features of the collegiate or strictly academic training that objections can be made. The question is, What, if anything, can be done to spare time and cost from this period of culture, and to make it better serve the needs of society ? In order to approach this question in the best manner, we should first notice the fact that within thirty years all of our greater colleges have very much increased the difficulty of attaining admission to their lower classes. Within that time, Harvard University has required at least one year more of work preparatory to admission to its college course. As the period ordinarily required for attaining the degree of Bachelor of Arts is still four years, the result is that the academic life of the student is prolonged by that one fourth. It has been the expectation of those who have had a part in effecting this change that the preparatory schools would in some way manage to advance the work of their pupils, so that they should enter the college no older than before the change was made; but the fact is, these schools seem unable to bring American boys forward at the same rate that they are advanced in the German gymnasia or the public schools of England. The result is that the American boy matriculates at an average age of eighteen and a half, and graduates at the age of about twenty-two. At the same time, the professional schools have found it absolutely necessary to add at least one year to their course, and those which teach medicine should have at least four years’ time for their work. Thus it comes about that the young man who proposes to add professional training to liberal culture is usually six or seven and twenty years of age before he has passed through Harvard College and its professional schools. Add to this the novitiate period, in which the young lawyer or doctor is forming the relations which lead to profitable practice, and youth has passed before his life-work is fairly begun.

It needs no argument to show that the period of preparation cannot be shortened by taking time from the professional side of the student’s work. If we accept the obligation of general culture, it is also unnecessary to argue that lawyers, or doctors, or engineers should have an academic training; therefore, if any gain in time can be made, it must be taken from the collegiate period. There are several ways in which we may reasonably hope to spare time from academic study without very seriously interfering with the objects of that culture: we may diminish the term of college work, at least in the case of those who have rapidly accomplished the objects of such training, by giving the degree of Bachelor of Arts to such persons, say in three years from the time they enter the first class, while retaining for others the academic period at four years; or we may allow the student who is sufficiently advanced in his general development profitably to undertake the task, to enter upon a part of his professional studies in the third year of his college course, and to complete one year of these studies before he gives himself altogether to such work. There is, indeed, the simpler, more practical, yet to the conservative minded less satisfactory project, which is to limit the academic period absolutely to three years; thus in appearance, at least, saving a year of time for professional training, and gaining a proportionally earlier entrance on technical duty.

There are many reasons why it seems to me much better to adopt either or both of the first - described methods, rather than the apparently simpler expedient of cutting away one fourth of the academic period, only a few of which can be noted here. By making the time of change from the academic to the professional training depend in a measure on the natural parts or acquirements of the young man, we at once take a certain step to correct the injurious and dangerous notion that there is a definite term of years required to attain the culture represented by the Bachelor’s degree ; by expressing it in terms of accomplishment rather than by college years, we may secure a better understanding as to the purpose of such schooling. The variation in the development of our college boys at the beginning of their Junior year is very great : some of them have already gained all they imperatively need to obtain from academic work, and may be trusted to begin their professional training, with confidence that they will take with them into the new field of work the spirit which the college seeks to impart; others need ampler education; and in the case of those who do not intend to pursue professional studies, the usual academic term of four years is by no means too long for them to follow with profit.

There are many persons who fear that the introduction into college studies of courses of instruction which are evidently designed to fit men for professional pursuits will tend to break up the intellectual freedom of the youth by introducing the immediate ends of the craftsman where those of pure culture should prevail. But such criticism overlooks the fact that our higher professions, not only those of the old-time learning, but many modern occupations as well, demand for their training subjects and methods which lie well within the limits of academic teaching, and which may be pursued with equal profit by those who seek enlargement only and by those who intend to use them to economic ends. The only objection to the latter method is on account of the danger which it brings that the youth will approach the subject with money-getting for his main purpose ; but few who know the quality of our young men will attach any importance to this fear. While it would clearly be most unwise to make our colleges in any considerable way devote their training to professional ends, much would be gained by introducing into the college course as elective subjects a share of those more general studies which are necessary in the preparation of men for any liberal occupation. In the case of young men preparing for the law, the subjects of Evidence, Property, Constitutional Law, and Legal History would perhaps be suited to this end. In medicine, the subjects of Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, including its physiological application, and Materia Medica, which are substantially the studies pursued in the Harvard Medical School during the first year of its course, would serve as well for academic teaching as a large part of the courses now taken by undergraduates in Harvard College. In the same way, a considerable portion of the education necessary for the equipment of persons who design following the various branches of engineering, architecture, or other callings demanding professional training could properly be distributed through the college course.

On this last point concerning the effect of the share of the professional motive which this project would introduce among our college students, I feel very sure, because I have had a good deal of practical experience in the matter ; perhaps, indeed, more than has fallen to many of my fellow-teachers. For twenty years I have taught geology in Harvard College. This science lends itself to both academic and professional ends. It often happens that a student who first approaches the study with the object of culture alone finally determines to pursue it as a profession. At first, as I was deeply imbued with the notion of the difference between pure and applied science, having always valued academic training for its independence of gainful motives, I was doubtful concerning the effect of mingling this professional study with that designed for culture alone; but in instances now to be numbered byscores I have seen nothing but good come from this course. The share of the gainful motive which enters into the work of the student is never sufficient to lead him away from the ends of enlargement ; if he shows too much inclination to devote himself to one class of studies, a little discussion of the matter will bring him to see that his general education must not be neglected. It often happens that the ablest students, after a time in college, have satisfied their possibilities of culture for its own sake, and can no longer find comfort in endeavors which are not related to deeds they desire to accomplish in active life. To such persons, a choice of courses, pursued with the idea of the deeds they are to do, affords a real inspiration : they become more active minded, and through their quickening find their way to more true culture than they would have attained if their labor had been kept within the limits of the so-called pure studies. I am at length convinced against my original prejudices, the best possible way to well-founded conviction, that it would conduce to the academic development of the greater part of our college students to have a distinct professional motive fixed in their minds soon after they enter college.

It is clear that there is a great educational evil in the utter difference in the motives which characterize our colleges and professional schools. In the colleges it is best to have culture for the standard, and in the schools which fit a man for his occupation that fitness should be the object of the labor ; but it is not reasonable to say to a youth, “ You shall spend four years of pure developing study, with no mind for practical things, and then at once devote the remainder of your school time to pursuits where you must no longer consider culture as of any particular account.” If a college education has value as a preparation for life, it certainly should manifest its influence in the first steps which young men take towards their occupations. That the student should abandon all effort at enlargement as soon as he has received his degree as Bachelor of Arts, that he should devote all his time thenceforth to purely technical studies, seems to me a great blunder in our method of education. In large part, this abandonment of general culture in the professional stage of our schooling is due to the fact that the student arrives at these schools so late that he must devote all his time to the technical instruction they have to give. There is so much to be acquired in the technique of the professions that there is no room for study which may serve to widen his field of knowledge or deepen his sympathy with learning. If, however, the training which tends towards the chosen profession can be begun in the Sophomore year of the college course, and a year or a year and a half of the professional education be compassed before the young man enters on his more definite preparation for a career, we may hope that the habit of combining especial acquirement designed for bread-winning with learning gained for its own sake may become common.

If this combination of professional and culture work could be in any way contrived, all the interests of education would be much better served by our universities than at present. In place of seeking at first in the college to widen the student’s field of view, so that he shall compass as much learning as possible, and then suddenly narrowing that field to matters which concern a single profession, we should have no strong line dividing the professional from the academic training, but men would mingle their tasks in a profitable way. In the colleges, the greater part of the work would have general culture for its particular end, but there would be a gradual increase in the amount of work which was related to occupations; in the professional schools, this latter class of studies would predominate, but the former would remain to give variety and refreshment. If such a method could be devised, we might hope that the habit of maintaining in after-life an interest in other matters than bread-winning pursuits might become more general than it is at present; for we now provide a method of estoppel by which, so far as in us lies, we prevent the student from developing the interest in learning which the college course may have given him. In a sound plan of education, the life-work should be founded upon a very general training ; it should not be suddenly imposed upon this general culture, but should be merged in it, in a way to create no surprise or break of continuity in the methods of thought and action. In our present methods we utterly depart from this rule in making a break between academic and professional education, which is damaging to the best interests of both classes of study.

Not the least of the advantages which would arise from this proposed combination of professional studies with the college work would be found in the greater union of interests between the several faculties of the university. The obvious tendency of our present methods is to separate the academic teachers from those who work in the professional schools as completely as though they belonged in entirely distinct institutions. They have no common interests, and their influence on each other, except through chance relations, is unimportant. This is a great evil, for it is an essential purpose of a university to bring its teachers as well as students into the closest relations, in order that from the association a spirit of broad culture may arise. The proposed system would favor this interaction, while the present system operates to prevent it.

We turn now to the question of the money cost of college training. There can be no question that this is a difficulty which seriously besets the problem of education ; it is more serious in this than in other countries, for the reason that in the United States we have come to rely upon these institutions for much of the enlargement which in other lands is secured in divers ways. In countries where there are great museums, a rich architecture, and abundant monuments of tlie past, there is a kind of culture which the public insensibly attains, which as yet is wanting in this continent. The desire, so common among our people, to secure a college education should be fostered in every way; for through it we may hope to obtain for them access to culture denied by their surroundings, though it is made particularly necessary by the intense nature of their commercial life. The amount of money available for the higher education in any community must, under the existing conditions of the distribution of wealth, always be small. To by far the greater number of households the cost of a college education is an impassable barrier to its use. To send a child to college makes it necessary for the parents to keep him from earning money until he is of man’s estate. The tax which a college education puts upon the greater number of people, though serious at all times, has become more so in modern days. The cost of such education has increased within the last fifty years more rapidly than the gain in the average income of households. This is in part due to the higher standard of all the ideals of life among the youth of the colleges, and in part to the considerable increase in the charges for term bills, books, and laboratory apparatus.

The scale of living expenses in a college society is even more affected by social influences than it is in an ordinary community. The very element of sympathy of the youth with his mates which makes the contact of college life so educational tends to this end. The youths are insensibly and most naturally led to adopt the habits of the place ; they are apt to find a charm in connection with the men who, from the superior wealth and culture of the families from which they spring, may have an agreeable finish of manner as well as an acquaintance with the ways of the world, which is very attractive. Here arises a deal of unnecessary and unfit expense, which tells seriously on the family purse, or starts the youth on his career with a burden of debt. The only way out of the evil is through public opinion developed within the walls of the college, which is apt, there as elsewhere, to mend such ills. From all I can hear, I am inclined to believe that this disposition of the poorer young men to ape the rich is diminishing, if not disappearing, from our colleges. Certainly, in Harvard University there has been a great change, of late years, for the better in this regard. This may be due in part to the fact that, relatively, more men of moderate or narrow means resort to this school than in the years following the war. In part, the betterment is explained by the fact that in a large body of about two thousand youths the society is much divided, and the very rich keep so far to themselves and constitute so small a part of the whole corps that they no longer set the fashion of conduct. In larger measure, we may attribute the gain to the keener interest in study which has arisen from the extension of freedom in the choice of work, and the more definite relation of the school tasks to manly duty.

Much remains to be done to bring our greater colleges to the theory of plain living as the best foundation for high thinking. In this connection I may notice an interesting experiment now under trial at Harvard College, which promises to secure an advance towards this ideal. A society of officers and students, known as the Foxcroft Club, have, in a building granted by the college authorities, established a simple dining-place, with a few good study rooms which contain a small collection of reference books. Here about one hundred students, who desire or need to practice economy, take their meals at a cost of from two to three dollars per week, according as they may choose their portions of food from a simple bill of fare. Having good study rooms at their disposal, they may take lodgings at a distance from the college, where rooms are cheap ; they may also save the expense of lights, fire, and the dearer books they need to use. The association forms a natural self-supporting society, strong enough to uphold its members in their economic motives.

The great difficulty connected with the money cost of an academic training arises from the large sum charged for tuition in the greater colleges. In Harvard College this sum is one hundred and fifty dollars per annum, or about one third of the necessary expenses of the student. It is relatively as well as absolutely much greater than it was fifty years ago ; that is, it now forms a larger part of the total required expenditure of the undergraduate than of old. The reason for the increase is found in the vast extension of the machinery of instruction, such as libraries, laboratories, and the salaries of instructors. It is now necessary to provide an average of one teacher for each ten students, counting the librarians and other members of the administration staff. The libraries, laboratories, and museums alone at the present time cost more than was required for the support of the whole school half a century ago. In a similar manner, the expenses of all our colleges and universities of a good grade have grown with their gain in numbers. While the gifts to these institutions have been great in amount, they have not been at all proportionate to the increase in their needs created by the advance in the system of education. Although in Harvard University the money available in scholarships, or in other ways serving to reduce the expenses of students, amounts to more than sixty thousand dollars per year, only one twelfth of it can be promised to applicants before they have proved their ability to maintain a high rank in their studies. The chance of obtaining these ordinary scholarships seems to the student too remote to be reckoned on safely.

It would be much more useful to our colleges to have the gifts designed to aid poor students made directly available for reducing the tuition fee than given, as they now are, for scholarships. It is true, the rich as well as the poor would profit by the reduction ; but the numerous collateral disadvantages of scholarships, particularly the evils which arise from the fact that candidates for such places are driven to strive for high rank, and are thus forced to take studies which may not be in the direction of their needed culture, go far to offset this objection. If the tuition fee of Harvard College could be reduced to fifty dollars per annum, it would each year open the doors of that institution to hundreds who now find themselves debarred from its advantages by lack of money. Unfortunately, the immediate loss of revenue from such a reduction would amount to the interest on about two and a half million dollars. It is doubtful if the interests of the higher education would be served by overmuch diminution in the sacrifices which parents now have to make to procure it for their children. This clearly desirable academic culture should be open to those alone who have some natural fitness to receive such training, and are willing to strive for it ; but no one familiar with the struggle of worthy youths to win a liberal education, or with the trials of parents to secure it for them, can doubt that the cost is far too high for the public good.

We may now briefly sum up the present conditions of our academic education with reference to the demands of the people. More attention should be given to the kinds of learning which relate to the work of the world ; an order of study is required which will prepare young men for learned occupations at a less advanced age than at present; and, finally, a diminution in the money cost of the higher education is imperatively called for. If these demands receive a fair hearing, and are granted so far as is consistent with the needs of true culture, there is no reason to doubt that our colleges will maintain and affirm the hold which they have always had on the affections of our people.

N. S. Shaler.