Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

it is attempted to carry out a business undertaking directly on the public account." There will be battles to fight for good government after we have secured municipal ownership of these public service industries; that is not going to bring the millennium; what I am claiming now is what I thoroughly believe, that the line of least resistance runs through municipal ownership. This is the argument of expediency. But even if the path were more thorny than it is, it is the only path to

T

freedom. The people in a democracy are
the rulers, and they must rule. The func
tions of sovereignty are theirs, and they
must exercise them. It may be arduous
work, but they are committed to it, and
they must not draw back.
With a great
sum we have obtained this freedom; only
by great services and sacrifices can it be
preserved. When we are ready to pay a
fair price for good government, we shall
find a clear solution of our tough munici
pal problems.

Vanderbilt University

By Edwin Mims, Ph.D.

Professor of English Literature, Trinity College, N. C.

HE celebration of the twenty-fifth from Texas that he had built two colleges anniversary of the opening of and had the logs out for another. GarVanderbilt University (October field's remark about Mark Hopkins and 21-23) is an event of more than ordinary the log has been taken far too seriously by significance in the Southern States. Van- people in the South and West. Shams derbilt is one of those institutions founded have been perpetrated in the name of eduin recent years that have at once taken a cation that would not be countenanced in prominent place among the institutions of the business world. When Central Unitheir respective sections. Its history has versity was first projected by the Southern been one of heroic struggle against many Methodist Church, it was decided that it obstacles, of steadfast adherence to right would not be started unless $500,000 was ideals of education, and of a growing de- in hand. In the mind of Bishop McTyiere termination to introduce modern methods especially there was a vision of a real and systems. It does not fall within the university-a vision that would never province of this article, however, to go have been realized had it not been for the into the details of this record; I shall magnificent gifts of Commodore Vanderattempt rather to give some of the most bilt, amounting to one million dollars. significant features of the work accom- These two great men and the first Chanplished, and consider some of the valu- cellor, Dr. Garland, planned the institution able contributions the university has made on a large scale. From gifts of W. H. to the development of education in the Vanderbilt, Cornelius and W. K. VanderSouth. bilt, and more recently from people in the South, the resources of the institution are now large; the campus is valued at $375.000, the buildings at $550,000, the scien tific apparatus at $175,000; the endowment, including gifts and appreciations of investments, amounts to $1,500,000; there is a total income of $130,000. Last year there were ninety instructors on the faculty, and seven hundred and seventy-one stu dents from twenty-eight States and five foreign countries.

From the first, Vanderbilt has been, for this section, a well-endowed and wellequipped institution; although it may seem poor enough when compared with the richer colleges of the country, it seems rich when compared with the institutions of the South, most of which have been projected and maintained upon a small scale. Partly as the result of the poverty caused by the Civil War, and partly by reason of the lack of an enlightened public sentiment, a great number of so-called colleges have flourished. It is recorded that a college was started in Alabama on the basis of a subscription of $2,500, and that an ambitious educator wrote back

It is not sufficient in these days that a college have a large endowment and splendid buildings, or a scholarly faculty and a large student roll. The question must be asked as to whether it is in line

with recent tendencies in educational work-Has it high admission requirements, and a curriculum in accordance with modern standards? what is its attitude to secondary education? Or, to change the form of the question, Is it following in the paths marked out by that "prime minister of the educational world," President Eliot, in his " Educational Reform "? For the past twenty-five years the effort has been made to bring about a reasonable uniformity in school and college work-to co-ordinate the various branches of our educational system. President Eliot could speak of the "defective, disjointed, and heterogeneous" state of secondary education, what words could adequately express the conditions in the South? Certainly that institution is best serving this section that tries, however imperfectly, to bring order out of chaos, to correlate the work of school, college, and university.

If

Judged by the test just indicated, Vanderbilt has made an enviable record. In 1887 several important steps were taken by the faculty and trustees-the preparatory department was abolished; the admission requirements, already comparatively high, were raised till now they are practically the same as those prevailing in the best colleges of the country; and instead of the school system that now prevails at the University of Virginia, the class system was established, elective courses were instituted, and the degrees modernized. These reforms are all significant. There are Southern institutions that have abolished preparatory depart ments, but have not raised their minimum requirements for admission sufficiently to make this change count for much in advancing secondary education, and some do not hold entrance examinations at all. Others have raised their requirements, but have found it necessary to maintain preparatory departments; and still others of the most prominent have not given due attention to the arrangement of courses of study and the question of degrees. These three reforms taken together constitute the year 1887 as an epoch-making year not only in the history of Vanderbilt but of the entire South.

Let us look a little more closely at the influence of the University on the improvement of secondary education and the

elevation of standards. As the high authority already quoted says, "the reform and development of secondary education depend upon the right organization and conduct of universities." And Vanderbilt's encouragement of secondary schools has had very far-reaching results. When the preparatory department was cut off and the requirements raised, the number of academic students fell from 152 to 112, and the enemies of such reforms were in high glee. Soon, however, the attendance reached the old mark, and in recent years it has varied from 200 to 250, and the effect in the improvement of the work has been marked. The result on the schools has been even more far-reaching. When Vanderbilt was started there was only one first-class preparatory school (in the modern sense) in Tennessee, the Webb School, which immediately became a strong ally in bringing about a better state of affairs in educational matters. Graduates of Webb and of Vanderbilt, imbued with right ideas of scholarship and training, began to establish preparatory schools. As a direct result of this policy, there are now in Tennessee some twelve or fifteen good training-schools, several of which send boys to Princeton, Yale, and other leading institutions, although the great majority go to Vanderbilt. The movement has spread over all the Southwest, and many colleges in the Southeast have been inspired to undertake the same kind of work. In 1895, as the result of Vanderbilt's efforts, the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges was established, in harmony with similar associations in other parts of the country. Although the membership of this association is as yet small, it bids fair to be a great force in the regeneration of Southern institutions.

The work, barely touched upon here, is largely due to the efforts of three or four men in the Vanderbilt faculty. There has always been a certain atmosphere of the best scholarship about the University, but this scholarship became dynamic and effective in Dr. Charles Forster Smith, now of the University of Wisconsin, Dr. W. M. Baskervill, whose untimely death last year removed the South's best-known teacher of English, and Dr. J. H. Kirkland, now the able and efficient Chancellor of the University. They were there together from 1886 to 1894, the most criti

cal and formative years in the history of the institution. All three native Southerners, they understood the conditions of the section; all three educated in the best institutions of this country and at Leipsic in Germany, they knew what was being done in the way of educational progress. And thus they were well fitted to undertake educational reforms.

What has been said so far is rather of Vanderbilt as a college than as a university; and it seems to me that its greatest contribution has been that it has furnished an example of a well-equipped, modern college, and that in doing this it has given the greatest impetus to secondary education. And yet, considering its limited means and altogether inadequate library, and the limited number of instructors, the graduate department has been eminently successful. The members of the faculty, already overburdened with college work, have taken great interest in the small number of graduate students who wished to take one or two years, or even more, of work before going on to better-equipped universities. They have been able to keep their own men by means of the teaching fellowships, and have secured. some of the choicest spirits from all the leading colleges of the South, and even of the North, by offering inducements in the way of scholastic fellowships. Last year there were thirty graduates from fifteen institutions, and there have been as many as forty-four.

The list of those who have taken graduate work and have secured good positions is a surprisingly long one, and includes such men as the following, some of whom got all their work at Vanderbilt, while others went to other universities: Barnard, of the University of Chicago; Deering and Hulme, of Western Reserve; Thornburg, of Lehigh; Hume and Ferrell, of the University of Mississippi; Smith, of Leland Stanford; Carter, of Tulane; Walker, of University of Kansas; Thomas, of Woman's College, Baltimore; Snyder, of Wofford; Craighead and Webb, of Central; Oertel, of Yale; Baskervill, of the University of North Carolina. This list is only a partial one, and does not include many assistants and instructors in large universities, to say nothing of the prominent school men that have gone into all parts of the South.

A word must be said of the professional departments; a great deal might be said by way of adverse criticism, and much by way of commendation; for here, as in the graduate work, much has been accomplished in spite of limited means. It is this part of the University that is receiving most attention just at present. The requirements for admission to the Engineering and Theological departments are high, and the requirements for graduation compare very favorably with those of the Academic department; indeed, it is generally recognized that a degree in the engineering department is harder to get than in the academic department. A student in theology cannot get the B.D. degree unless he has a bachelor's degree from some reputable college. The admission requirements for the Pharmacy, Law, Medical, and Dental departments are not what they should be, although they are equal to those of similar departments in the best of Southern institutions, and are being constantly raised, and the departments otherwise improved. The Medical department especially is being overhauled and brought into line with the best medical schools of the country. Four years (six months each) are now required of all who graduate in this department, three (seven months each) in the Dental, and two (nine months each) each in Law and Pharmacy. The Law department, although small, has offered superior advantages in the way of libraries and instructors.

As regards Vanderbilt's influence on the life and thought of the South, the ultimate test must be in the kind of men it makes and the spirit that it generates. It is easy to see that an institution that has stood for high standards of scholarship and the best methods of work has inculcated high ideals of life. Just such thoroughness of work, such attention to details, such thoroughgoing honesty, such high standards of excellence, such seeking for the best way of doing things and then doing them, were qualities needed in the South-things that are frequently not found even when there are loud protestations of piety. If an alumnus has caught the spirit of Vanderbilt, he is not a sectional man, for he remembers that one of the objects that the founder had in making his gifts was to "strengthen the ties that should exist between all sec

tions of our common country;" he is not a partisan, for he has learned the lesson of independence and freedom of thought, and he cannot unlearn it; he is least of all a bigot, for he has been taught to think in the nineteenth century and not in any preceding century; he is, like his Alma Mater, unhampered by the traditions of the past, reverencing the past but looking hopefully to the future.

All of this is but to say that Vanderbilt has shared in the life of the New South, and has made contributions thereto. Call it what we may, there has been a strange stirring of new life in the South in recent years, and this activity coincides almost exactly with the life of Vanderbilt University. There has been a business revival that tends to remove us from the primitiveness and isolation of ante-bellum days, and to furnish the material basis for the things that are more excellent; there has been an educational renaissance that has extended from common school to university; a literary awakening that has caused

O

people to realize the charm of Southern romance and the fine sentiment of Southern poetry. With all this new thought and activity the faculty and students of Vanderbilt have been in thorough sympathy. It was a fitting thing that the first notable recognition of Southern authors should come from this institution. From 1886 to 1890 Maurice Thompson, Thomas Nelson Page, Richard Malcolm Johnston, George W. Cable, and James Lane Allen lectured to the students of the University and the citizens of Nashville, at the invitation of the faculty. In one of the most progressive of Southern cities, and under the auspices of the leader in recent educational movements, these men talked of their art or read their stories. One sees in such incidents the signs of hope.

Vanderbilt goes into the new century with a very noble history; if the next quarter of a century can bring to her enlarged endowment and increased facilities of work, there can be no doubt of a still more brilliant future.

The Boy that was Scaret o' Dyin"

By Annie Trumbull Slosson

Author of "Fishin' Jimmy"

NCE there was a boy that was

dreadful scaret o' dyin'. Some folks is that way, you know; they ain't never done it to know how it feels, and they're scaret. And this boy was that way. He wa'n't very rugged, his health was sort o' slim, and mebbe that made him think about sech things more. 'T any rate, he was terr❜ble scaret o' dyin'. "Twas a long time ago, this was-the times when posies and creaturs could talk so's folks could know what they was sayin'.

And one day, as this boy, his name was Reuben-I forgot his other name as Reuben was settin' under a tree, an ellum tree, cryin', he heerd a little, little bit of a voice-not squeaky, you know, but small and thin and soft like-and he see 'twas a posy talkin'. 'Twas one o' them posies they call Benjamins, with three-cornered whitey blowths with a mite o' pink on 'em, and it talked in a kind o' pinky-white The republication of this tale is kindly permitted by Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons, 155-157 Fifth Avenue, New York City, the publishers of "Story-Tell Lib," the volume from which it is taken.

voice, and it says, "What you cryin' for, Reuben?" And he says, "'Cause I'm scaret o' dyin'," says he; "I'm dreadful scaret o' dyin'." Well, what do you think? That posy jest laughed-the most cur'us little pinky-white laugh 'twas-and it says, the Benjamin says: "Dyin'! Scaret o' dyin'? Why, I die myself every single year o' my life." "Die yourself!" says Reuben. "You're foolin'; you're alive this minute." "Course I be," says the Benjamin; "but that's neither here nor there I've died every year sence I can remember." "Don't it hurt?" says the boy. "No, it don't," says the posy; "it's real nice. You see, you get kind o' tired a-holdin' up your head straight and lookin' peart and wide awake, and tired o' the sun shinin' so hot, and the winds blowin ́ you to pieces, and the bees a-takin' your honey. So it's nice to feel sleepy and kind o' hang your head down, and get sleepier and sleepier, and then find you're droppin' off. Then you wake up jest 't the nicest time o' year, and come up and

look 'round, and-why, I like to die, I do." But someways that didn't help Reuben much as you'd think. "I ain't a posy," he think to himself, "and mebbe I wouldn't come up."

66

Well, another time he was settin' on a stone in the lower pastur', cryin' again, and he heerd another cur'us little voice. 'Twa'n't like the posy's voice, but 'twas a little, woolly, soft, fuzzy voice, and he see 'twas a caterpillar a-talkin' to him. And the caterpillar says, in his fuzzy little voice, he says, What you cryin' for, Reuben?" And the boy, he says, "I'm powerful scaret o' dyin', that's why," he says. And that fuzzy caterpillar he laughed. "Dyin'!" he says. "I'm 'lottin' "I'm 'lottin' on dyin' myself. All my fam'ly," he says, "die every once in a while, and when they wake up they 're jest splendid-got wings, and fly about, and live on honey and things. Why, I wouldn't miss it for anything!" he says. "I'm 'lottin' on it." But somehow that didn't chirk up Reuben much. "I ain't a caterpillar," he says, "and mebbe I wouldn't wake up at all." Well, there was lots o' other things talked to that boy, and tried to help himtrees and posies and grass and crawlin' things, that was allers a-dyin' and livin',

Books of the Week

This report of current literature is supplemented by fuller reviews of such books as in the judgment of the editors are of special importance to our readers. The absence of comment in this department in many cases indicates that extended review will be made at a later date. Any of these books will be sent by the publishers of The Outlook, postpaid, to any address on receipt of the published price. Along French Byways. By Clifton Johnson.

Illustrated by the Author. The Macmillan Co., New
York. 52x71⁄2 in. 261 pages. $2.25.

A charming volume of out-of-door studies of scenery and rural life in France, and in the vein of the earlier volumes dealing with kindred life in England and in New England. Mr. Johnson is equally at home with the pen and the camera. The Outlook has many times had occasion to familiarize its readers with his skill in selecting and reproducing significant bits of landscape and interesting and typical human figures. In this volume he describes at close hand the life in a small rural village in France; the aspects of the place, the habits of the people, their methods of work, their social intercourse, their religious practices, with glimpses of landscape, of forest, the life on the highways, and of humble interiors. Mr. Johnson has both the gift of sympathy and the gift of observation; he knows how to reach the people whom he wants

and livin' and dyin'. Reuben thought it didn't help him any, but I guess it did a little mite, for he couldn't help thinkin' o' what they every one on 'em said. But he was scaret all the same.

And one summer he begun to fail up faster and faster, and he got so tired he couldn't hardly hold his head up, but he was scaret all the same. And one day he was layin' on the bed, and lookin' out o' the east winder, and the sun kep' a-shinin' in his eyes till he shet 'em up, and he fell fast asleep. He had a real good nap, and when he woke up he went out to take a walk.

And he begun to think o' what the posies and trees and creaturs had said about dyin', and how they laughed at his bein' scaret at it, and he says to himself, "Why, someways I don't feel so scaret to-day, but I s'pose I be." And jest then what do you think he done? Why, he met a Angel. He'd never seed one afore, but he knowed it right off. And the Angel says, "Ain't you happy, little boy?" And Reuben says, " Well, I would be, only I'm so dreadful scaret o' dyin'. It must be terr'ble cur'us," he says, "to be dead." And the Angel says, “Why, you be dead." And he was.

to describe. His book has the charm of simplicity and of sympathy with humble but picturesque life in a very picturesque country. American Anthology, 1787-1900 (An). Edited

by Edmund Clarence Stedman. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston. 512x81⁄2 in. 878 pages. $3. American Jewish Year-Book 5661 (September 24, 1900, to September 13, 1901). Edited by Cyrus Adler. The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia. 5x7 in. 754 pages. The present volume is more than double the size of the first edition of the American Jewish Year-Book. It is of signal value to all Hebrews, and also to many who are not Hebrews. Appeal of the Child (The). By Professor

Henry Churchill King, A.M., D.D. Luther Day Harkness, Oberlin, O. 4×7 in. 72 pages. 25c. Attaché at Peking (The). By A. B. FreemanMitford, C.B. The Macmillan Co., New York. 5x8 in. 375 pages. $2.

Nothing could be more welcome to the reader's tired hand and weak eyes than this wonder.

« AnteriorContinuar »