THE close of a College year always calls forth remarks which, although trite in themselves through annual repetition, yet express sentiments which never grow old. It is the old, old story, but the characters are changed with every year. The wheel turns. New men fill the old places, while the old, as in a game of ball, are forced off their bases to make way for the new. This is inevitable. It is life. Nevertheless, it is hard for some men. They regret the old, are fearful of the new. Under all the festivities of the season there flows a strong current of deep feeling. The joy of arrival at any stage in life's journey is never unmingled with regret for the past. All men are sobered rather than exhilarated on the approach of any such epoch. The shadows are even stronger by contrast with the assumed gayeties of the occasion. These feelings are good. They are the true realities of existence. The man who is unaffected by them, on whom the past has no influence, is as ephemeral as the present in which he lives. He can claim no kinship to humanity.
To-day practically ends the connection of the Class of '74 with Harvard University. To say that it will be missed is not to say too much. It has done well by every College interest. Its place, indeed, will be filled, but what it has done will remain behind it to testify of its ability and enterprise in all good works. The record of the class is in some respects remarkable. While not behindhand in good scholarship, it has chiefly excelled in the direction of athletic sports. In boating matters particularly it has ably sustained the reputation of Harvard, and the success at Saratoga which we hope for, will, if achieved, be mainly due to it.
In all the social relations of College it has been a distinguished class, and the many relations of friendship which exist between its members and those of lower classes will be the least easily broken ties which unite them to us that remain.
It is, then, with no feigned regret that we wish them farewell, and God-speed in the new field that is before them.