THE question whether the college faculty ought to continue to insist on a limited study of the ancient Greek language, as an essential prerequisite of receiving the A. B. degree, has been under consideration at Cambridge for a long time; and, since the opinions of those with whom I naturally sympathize have been so greatly misrepresented in the desultory discussion which has followed Mr. Adams’s Phi Beta Kappa oration, I am glad of the opportunity to say a few words on the “Greek question.”
WHILE religious phenomena are in some respects singularly constant, they are, nevertheless, as noted for their diversity. While certain essential elements are common to almost all faiths, on the other hand, every individual faith has something peculiar to itself.
THE island of Ischia, which has recently been so terribly rent by an earthquake, is situated in the northwestern part of the Bay of Naples, and near the Phlegrean fields, with which the little island of Procida, likewise volcanic, constitutes a connecting link.
THE question is sometimes asked us as to the time of year we like the best. To my mind, the spring is the most delightful; for Nature then recovers from the apathy of winter, and stirs herself to renewed life. The leaves grow, and the buds open, with a suggestion of vigor delightful to behold; and we revel in this ever-renewed life of Nature.
BUT, in tracing the causes which led to the present development of the poison-vice, we should not overlook the working of another principle which I must call a reaction against the effect of a wrong remedy. We can not serve our cause by ignoring its weak points, for, if we persist in closing our eyes to the significance of our mistakes, our enemies will not fail to profit by our blindness. We can not work in the dark.
SINCE De Candolle, the celebrated Swiss botanist, propagated the idea that a tree has no limits set by nature in its constitution to the term of its existence, the question of the age attainable by trees has never ceased to be debated with considerable interest.
AGAIN: we are now prepared to say that the struggle for existence, however plausible as a theory, when put before us in connection with the productiveness of animals, and the few survivors of their multitudinous progeny, has not been the determining cause of the introduction of new species.
IN selecting a subject to bring before you, I felt that I should not be trespassing beyond the lines indicated by the committee who have organized this series of lectures if I addressed my remarks to some points connected with those specific fevers the prevention of which must be regarded as coming within the scope of sanitary administration.
"IF it were a qualification for his office,” Mr. Stephen remarked, “to be impartial in the sense of not having an opinion on the matter, it would have been hardly possible to select a less qualified chairman in all London than himself. He believed that the spread of scientific influence had not only not been bad, but that the thing of which we stand most in need is a great deal more scientific thought and method in every direction.
TO render easier of attainment instruments which assist in the investigation or contemplation of natural phenomena, and which supplement man’s sense-organs, is to forward by so much the diffusion of real knowledge, and to aid the work of human enlightenment and progress.
THERE is a growing tendency to abandon the school-recess. The editor of the Boston “Journal of Education” says of the norecess experiment, adopted in Rochester, New York, that it has given “perfect satisfaction.” Among the advantages gained, he mentions, “a continuous school-session without interruptions in school-work”; “better health of pupils, on account of freedom from exposure to cold and wet weather in the midst of each session”; “discipline easier, on account of freedom from recess-troubles”; “more time for teachers,” etc.
A CORRESPONDENT of Manchester asks me which is the most nutritious, a slice of English beef in its own gravy, or the browned morsel as served in an Italian restaurant with the burnt-sugar addition to the gravy?
THERE are two classes of scholars. Those of the one class, who travel in the footsteps of their predecessors, increase the domain of knowledge, and add new discoveries to those that were made before them; their labors are immediately appreciated, and they enjoy their well-earned fame in full measure.
DR. J. R. BLACK’S second epistle, published in the October issue of the “Monthly,” can hardly have surprised your intelligent readers, and may even have excited their pity. When people like Dr. Black see a way to achieve publicity, they must be pardoned for trying to make the best of their chance, even on the terms accepted by that Paris quack who volunteered to be pilloried, if they would permit him to exhibit himself in a pair of canvas breeches, displaying a printed advertisement of his pills. Besides, the doctor has somewhat modified his original plan.
PRESIDENT PORTER has replied to Mr. Adams on the Greek question. The President of Yale College, we need not say, is a very strong man —an eminent scholar, an experienced educator, a keen controversialist, and thoroughly familiar with this subject; and so in the “Princeton Review” for September, in the opening article, entitled “A College Fetich,” he has given what must be virtually accepted as the official answer to Mr. Adams’s argument.
FRENCH AND GERMAN SOCIALISM IN MODERN TIMES. By RICHARD T. ELY, Ph. D. New York: Harper & Brothers. Pp. 262. Price, 75 cents. PROFESSOR ELY has here presented in small compass and attractive form a large amount of information about the notable socialistic and communistic schemes that have been brought forward in the two countries where most of such projects have originated.
School Examinations.—In an address before the Teachers’ Association of Cook County, Illinois, Colonel Francis W. Parker, formerly of Boston, now Principal of the County Normal School, severely condemned the prevalent system of examining in schools.
MR. F. H. KING, State Geologist, estimates the bird population of Wisconsin at sixty-six per square mile, or 3,565,000 for the State. Each bird is assumed to eat fifty insects a day, or 6,000 for the summer. Hence all the birds will consume 21,384, 000,000 insects a year.