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of opportunity for some vices, peculiar cemptation to others; the day school, if in or near a large city, contains boys for whose bad habits, not yet revealed, their parents by and by will hold the college responsible. I remember a group of boys going daily from cultivated homes to an excellent school, each of whom, in college, came to one grief or another, and each of whom, I am convinced, had made straight at home and at school the way to that grief. The transition from school to college was merely the continuation in a larger world of what they had begun in a smaller.
A continuation is what the transition ought to be: the problem is how to make it a continuation of the right sort. “ What is the matter with your college?” says a teacher who cares beyond all else for the moral and religious welfare of his pupils. “I keep my boys for years : I send them to you in September, and by Christmas half of them
have degenerated. They have lost punctuality; they have lost application; they have no responsibility; and some of them are gone to the bad.”
" What is the matter with your school,” the college retorts, “ that in half a dozen years it
, cannot teach a boy to stand up three months ? College is the world; fitting for college is fitting for life: what is the matter with your school ?” He who loses his ideals loses the very bloom of life. To see a young man's ideals rapidly slipping away, while his face grows coarser and coarser, is one of the saddest sights in college or out of it. What is his training good for, if it has not taught him the folly, the misery, and the wrong of dabbling in evil? If he must believe that no man is wise till he has come to know the resorts of gamblers and harlots, and has indulged himself for experience sake in a little gentlemanly vice, can he not put off the acquaintance four years more, by the end of which time he may have learned some wiser way of getting wisdom? Besides, in the course of those four years (and the chance is better than even) he may meet some girl for whose sake he will be glad that his record has been clean. Cannot a school which closely watches its boys while their characters are moulding teach them to keep their heads level and their hearts true, save them from the wrong that never can be righted, send them to college and through college, faulty it must be, but at least unstained ? *The main object of school and college is the same, — to establish character, and to make that character more efficient through knowledge;k to make moral character more efficient through mental discipline. (In the transition from school to college, continuity of the best influ- A ence, mental and moral, is the thing most needful. Oddly enough, the only continuity worthy of the name is often
(in its outward aspect) neither mental nor moral, but athletic, An athlete is watched at school as an athlete, enters college as an athlete; and if he is a good athlete, and if he takes decent care of his body, he continues his college course as an athlete, - with new experiences, it is true, but always with the thread of continuity fairly visible, and with the relation of training to success clearly in view. Palpably bad as the management of college athletics has been and is, misleading as the predominance of athletics in an institution of learning may be, the fact remains that in athletics lies a saving power, and that for many a boy no better bridge of the gap between school and college has yet been found. · The Freshman athlete, left to himself, is likely to fall behind in his studies; but unless he is singularly unreasonable or vicious, he is where an older student of clear head and strong will can keep him straight,
least save him from those deplorable falls that, to a greater or less degree, bruise and taint a whole life. “The trouble will begin,” said a wise man, talking to sub-Freshmen, “in the first fortnight. Some evening you will be with a lot of friends in somebody's room, when something is proposed that you know is n't just right. Stop it if you can; if not, go home and go to bed, and in the morning you will be glad you did n't stay." The first danger in the transition from boyhood to manhood is the danger in what is called “knowing life.” It is so easy to let mere vulgar curiosity pose as the search for truth. A Senior who had been in a fight at a public dance said in defence of himself: “I think I have led a pretty clean life in these four years; but I believe that going among all sorts of people and knowing them is the best thing college life can give us." The old poet knew better: