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say, nor to pledge, that this library, instead of containing forty thousand volumes, shall, within ten years, contain sixty thousand volumes. Dispositions to that effect have been intimated by men capable of carrying them into execution.” He says, again ; " It has been ascertained that the books now actually constituting the library, would require thirty alcoves of the same height and extent (viz. with the twenty, which now occupy the whole space,) properly and safely to preserve them.” We wish to suggest, in addition to this object of safe preservation, the importance of that of convenient use. Great libraries are not more, perhaps not so much, depositaries of books to be borrowed from them, as of books to be consulted within them. But to consult books in Harvard College library, is now all but out of the question. There is hardly so much as room to pass conveniently between the book shelves and other indispensable furniture. Every book should be brought, by means of galleries, within convenient reach. A moderate temperature should be kept up throughout the room; and the alcoves, furnished with tables and with stationery, should present accommodations and a degree of retirement, for reading and writing. We have occasion, from time to time, to visit that library, but we certainly do not go thither one time in ten times, that we should, if the apartments were more tenantable. For ourselves, we use no exaggeration in saying, that the day that arrangements were made for Harvard College library, only similar to those existing for that of the Boston Athenæum, that day it would rise tenfold in value to us. And that which is the case with us, may not improbably be, more or less, the case with others.
It is not for us to predict what the Commonwealth will do in the premises; though we think we can guess what its enlightened people would do, if left to themselves. They make it no sectarian question ; and the petitions of the several faculties of the Episcopal, Baptist, and Orthodox Congregational schools of theology, were cordially presented to second the application of the College. And we think we can conjecture what their intelligent representatives, following the generous lead of the upper house, would do, if released from side-way influences, and unbiassed by regard to considerations of supposed practical connexion of this subject with others, which, in their own nature, are as remote from it as possible. Were we legislators, we should plead for this provision for the Col
lege, not on the ground of the College's wants, nor of its deserts, but on the ground of what the Commonwealth owes to its own dignity, and growth, and greatness. We would say, whatever influence you are to have in the councils and over the destiny of this nation, you are to owe, not to the extent of your territory, nor to your numbers, nor to your money, but to the mastery of your minds. Look to the fair intellectual fame of Massachusetts. See to it, that there be always clear, and well trained, and well stored understandings, to discern her rights, and interests, and honor, and, seeing, to maintain and to advance them. Take care to make her, in the way to which plain indications of Providence invite, name and a praise" in the wide earth. Take good heed, that, through your slowness, the republic receive no detriment. The sons of the College are able to take care of
your interest within her walls, and they will do it, when they shall know that you have abandoned it. But you have only to speak the word, and the work is done. And if, while you are hesitating, the brightest jewel in her crown is reft, look to your reckoning with posterity, when it shall bitterly say, how untrue it has found you to its claims and interests, while the past had never been wanting to yours.*
We have only further, before leaving this point, to turn the tables upon a former remark, and say, that if, in a despair, — which certainly we could not undertake to justify, of provision from the public chest for this pressing want of a library building, the sons of the College were to resolve them
*"Think not, that the commonwealth of learning may languish, and yet our civil and ecclesiastical state be maintained in good plight and condition. The wisdom and foresight, and care for future times, of our first leaders, was in nothing more conspicuous and admirable, than in the planting of that nursery, and New England is enjoying the sweet fruit of it, It becomes all our faithful and worthy patriots that tread in their steps, to water what they have planted.” — President Oakes's Election Sermon, 1678.
“ Behold an American University, which hath been to these plantations, as Livy saith of Greece, for the good literature there cultivated, Sal Gentium ; an University, which may make her boast unto the circumjacent regions, like that of the orator on the behalf of the English Cambridge ; 'Fecimus (absit verbo invidia, cui abest falsitas) ne in demagoriis lapis sederet super lapidem, ne deessent in templis theologi, in foris jurisperiti, in oppidis medici ; rem publicam, ecclesiam, senatum, exercitum, viris doctis replevimus, eòque melius bono publico inservire comparatis, quò magis eruditi fuerint."'-—Magnalia, IV. p. 128.
selves to make that provision, it would seem reasonable to expect that the government, being just so far relieved from occasion for the use of unappropriated funds, would be able to devote them, to the same, or to some extent, to a reduction of the charge for teaching.
We suppose we should not be excused, if, having in another aspect brought the College thus largely to the view of our readers, we should sbrink from adverting to notorious circumstances of its recent position before the public. We would gladly be excused from this reference, if we might. In the existing posture of things, we have perhaps a different view of its expediency, in the abstract, from those irresponsible and uninformed persons, who have not scrupled to discuss very delicate questions touching the feelings of parents, the prospects
and the honor of a most venerable and meritorious institution.* We shall not follow them in that discussion. The case of the government is not yet before the public. Very probably it will be, before long, by means of a report to the Overseers, or otherwise; and then, if occasion be, we, perchance, shall be found as ready as others to enter into its merits. What we care to say here, and what is here to our purpose to say, is, that we have no belief that any thing has occurred, which ought, or will, withdraw pub
The wantonness of the periodical press has perhaps rarely been more strikingly manifested, than in the course of this business. We have taken no pains to remember the instances, but one happens to be before us.
One of the Boston prints, late in June, or early in July, had announced that “all the Senior class of Harvard College, who ac, knowledged having approved of the circular, had been dismissed, and that there would be no Commencement.” Not a word of this was true. The Faculty were holding meetings; but, as was fit under such circumstances, they kept their own counsel
, to that degree that their own neighbours could not form so much as a probable conjecture, how things were going on. When their decision, some two or three weeks after, became known, it proved to be a dismission, not of the whole class, but of a small portion of it. And that there will be no Commencement, is an assertion which could not be safely made, as late as the time when we are writing, towards the middle of August.
Now fair men very often make mistakes; and they have a very simple way of procedure, when they discover that they have done so. They say that they had been misinformed, adding, or not adding, an expression of their regret for any mischief which may have been so uccasioned. But what said this editor, when better information speedily reached him? Referring to his previous insertion, he said, “We were rightly informed in part only. Up to this morning, sentence had not been pronounced, but it was expected momentarily."
lic confidence from the institution. A pretty strong proof to the contrary is already furnished, by the fact, that, at the end of the last term, in which the discontents occurred, so great a number of students was offered for admission into the Freshman class, that, if a like proportion as in past years should be kept up at the examination in Commencement week, — and we know no reason why this should not be expected, - a larger class will be formed than has ever tered.
We are not, then, going to discuss the character of the police laws of the College, or of their administration in any instance. They who conduct the latter are known, and the former are on record, and are always on the trial of experience. Both are subject to a control, — by a large foreign body, that of the Board of Overseers, — which the wisdom of the Commonwealth has judged to be sufficient; and when the College authority, in the several departments, has entertained an important question, the public does not commonly have to wait long, to be acquainted, in detail, with facts and reasons. But it is to our point, to express the confident opinion, that any possible disadvantage, greater or less, to which the College may seem exposed, by occurrences like those of recent date, is not to be often or long incurred through their repetition. We believe it impossible that the evil, whatever it be, of such combined resistance to authority, should be permanent, because of our persuasion that it stands upon bases altogether insufficient to sustain it. We are satisfied, that its grounds only need to be looked at with that careful attention, which interesting consequences like those lately witnessed will secure for them, to melt away beneath the view. And, apart from this, we know the young gentlemen to be such good reasoners, that the strength or frailty of principles, on which they may have acted, will not eventually remain concealed from their perception.
One of the grounds, on which combined resistance to authority in such an institution appears to proceed, is a vague idea, ibat, in the relation implied in its laws, the governors constitute one party, and the students for the time being, the other; so that, if there be supposed fault to find in such laws or their execution, the latter, being the sole party in interest, are the party to find it, and to insist, if need be, on a remedy. Now the students for the time being are not the other
party in that relation, but a very small portion of it; a portion so small, as to be, numerically, - almost insignificant, we would say,
if the word did not seem to imply disrespect, a thing which, above all others, we mean to be careful to avoid. No doubt they are so situated, in some respects, as to have advantages, other things being equal, for an exact acquaintance with the operation of the laws, and peculiarly to feel the present pressure, if the laws work ill. But they do not make up the party, for whose improvement and satisfaction the laws are ordained and administered; no, nor are they so much as the legal, nor so much as the rightful, nor so much as the apparent representatives of that party. The laws are made for the benefit of all the educable youth of the country, alike of those who may come, as of those who have come under them,-a number, of which that of the resident students at any given time is but a fraction ; and they are made for the good and use of others yet, of the friends of those youth, and of the literary community at large, and of the body politic. It is not then for A, B, and C, whose names this year are on the College catalogue, to understand a supposed mal-administration as a summons to themselves to put lance in rest. They “take too much upon them,” those “sons of Levi." Before they can modestly assume that championship, they must get authority from the youth of the country, with names beginning with all the letters of the alphabet; and this done, they must get authority from the many others, who have a stake in the issue as well as they, and who, when they should be consulted, might, or might not, be found to hold different views, and decline their interposition.
What then is a person, so situated, to do, when he feels himself aggrieved, and they, with whom lies the discretion, will not right him ? Is he to submit to be oppressed? There is not a question easier to be answered. He is not to submit to oppression. He is to go away, out of oppression's reach. He has his own discretion in this matter, and one amply sufficient for his own protection. The College does not want to keep him to oppress, aster a difference of opinion unhappily arises, if he is not inclined to stay. Unless he be chargeable with one of the higher offences, excluding him, by academic courtesy, from reception elsewhere, - a case which stands on its own grounds, and is very different from what we are now supposing, - the arm of College authority