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the Inaugural Address delivered at Tufts College. Reprinted with the permission of President Capen. By ELMER HEWITT CAPEN.
'N considering the many instrumentalities through
which an institution of the higher learning rises to its greatest efficiency, all writers who have given profound attention to the subject agree in attaching great importance to Situation. It must be in a fair spot to which both nature and art have lent their charms. It must be retired, away from the bustle and confusion of the great world where the mind may freely give itself to undisturbed reflections. Yet it must be near some centre of life and trade, and especially does it need to feel the power of a higher intellectual life surging around it and ever lifting it to nobler and grander attainments. The image of Athens, which, for more than a thousand years, was the intellectual mistress of the civilized world, whose immortal teachers
“Still rule our spirits from their urns,” rises before us in all her loveliness and beauty. We think how she, by her matchless climate, which fostered poetic dreams and made life seem like one long midsummer's day; by her indescribable atmosphere, which gave to the marbles of Praxiteles the richness and warmth of Titian's coloring, and relieved the severe angles of her temples, so that they seemed to be filled with a depth and softness of feeling unsurpassed by the most ornate of mediæval cathedrals; by her contiguity to the sea and her relations to the mysterious East; by her commercial importance; by
her marvellous language, softer and sweeter and more flexible and of wider compass than the tones of an organ; by her free institutions and public spirit; by her great men; by her inspiring traditions and her wonderful mythology, was fitted to be the University of all nations. We think also of the grand facilities she had within herself for noble schools; of her groves which Cimon planted; of her beautiful public buildings which Pericles erected and Phidias adorned; of her porticoes, surrounding the Agora, filled with superb paintings and delicious sculptures. We think of her sweet poets and eloquent orators, whose inspiring words thrill and sway our hearts to-day as they thrilled and swayed the living multitudes to whom they were addressed. But above all we think of her great philosophers, to whom even kings came for instruction, and who were surrounded by a crowd of youths out of every nation under heaven. We seem to see them in their chosen retreats just outside the din of the great city, yet where they could hear the drowsy murmur of its bustle and traffic, directing, by the compass of their learning, the fascinations of their culture and the force of their enthusiasm, the minds of their hearers to the most sublime contemplations. Those were the conditions in which both nature and art combined to produce a degree of intellectual refinement without a rival either in ancient or modern times.
But wherever, in any age, similar results have been achieved it has been under a combination of like advantages. I will not pause now to cite instances. I need only point you to our own fortunate position. The New World herself does not embrace a lovelier spot than this. On whichever side the eye turns, it com
mands a fairer prospect than that which inflamed the heart of Lot when he beheld all the plain of Jordan fertile and well watered everywhere. It is in close contact, too, with a great commercial metropolis-a grand city which presents many aspects of resemblance to ancient Athens, not the least of which is her intense intellectual activity, and her schools and teachers whose renown is co-extensive with civilization. Just here, then, is the place for a great college, however modestly it may assert its claims in the beginning, to grow up and flourish. Surely it does not require any very painful stretch of the faculties to see, in a future not greatly remote, this hill crowned with noble architecture, peeping out from amid embowering trees, and to hear the thronging footsteps of youths coming from the East and from the West, from the North and from the South, to enjoy the sweet repose of its quiet shades, and to feel the kindling impulse of its mental life.
“Tom Brown's School Days." By THOMAS HUGHES.
HE chapel-beli began to ring at a quarter to
eleven, and Tom got in early and took his place in the lowest row, and watched all the other boys come in and take their places, filling row after row; and tried to construe the Greek text which was inscribed over the door with the slightest possible success, and wondered which of the masters, who walked down the chapel and took their seats in the exalted boxes at the end, would be his lord. And then came the closing of the doors, and the Doctor in his robes, and the service, which, however, didn't impress him much, for his feeling of wonder and curiosity was too strong. And the boy on one side of him was scratching his name on the oak panelling in front, and he couldn't help watching to see what the name was, and whether it was well scratched; and the boy on the other side went to sleep and kept falling against him; and on the whole, though many boys even in that part of the School were serious and attentive, the general atmosphere was by no means devotional; and when he got out into the close again, he didn't feel at all comfortable, or as if he had been to church.
But at afternoon chapel it was quite another thing. He had spent the time after dinner in writing home to his mother, and so was in a better frame of mind; and his first curiosity was over, and he could attend more to the service. As the hymn after the prayers was being sung, and the chapel was getting a little dark, he was beginning to feel that he had been really worshipping. And then came that great event in his, as