Rejecting the lead of a rival writer on economical topics, Mr. Carey does not introduce his great work with an original poem, but in its place we find the volume accompanied by a whole galaxy of literary satellites, all more or less quaintly humorous. There is a pathetic little novelette, by J. Wharton, on "National Self-Protection"; several brief and brilliant essays by Henry Carey Baird, such, indeed, as make the reader long for more, or at least return to his Noali Porter with a relish; and then two tender, almost poetical; morceaux in that rich vein of thought which his Honor Judge Kelley knows so well how to work.
This volume on "Social Science," as it stands alone, is itself a monument to the honor and fame of two humorists, the author and the editor. For, certainly, no one can have read the editor's preface without the keenest appreciation of Kate McKean's trenchant wit and delicate sense of humor. Employing that same careless freedom with matters of history which Mr. Carey only anticipated her in doing, she shows a novel, if not refreshing, independence of educated opinion, and even of the ordinary processes of reason, in her estimate of the few great men who were so unfortunate as to have preceded her. The whole preface is so thoroughly unsurpassed, so in keeping with the rest of the book, that it were a pity to select any one portion of it to point a review; but I cannot leave unnoticed the graceful way in which the editor, after flourishing the laurel crown of social science before the envious eyes of all past and present greatness, has finally deposited it on the head of modest Henry C. Carey. Not content with this even, the inimitable Kate pedestals her hero and, labelling him "the Newton of Social Science," reluctantly withdraws, that generations yet unborn may have opportunity to do him proper homage.
It is with a feeling of "sweet sorrow" that we part for the time with Carey and Porter, to look within the pages of two other works of a somewhat different school of American humor. While exhibiting a less fertility of imagination than the "Social Science," and perhaps less profundity of obfuscations than the "Intellectual Science," yet, in play of fancy and subtlety of wit, the "Harvard Bible"* is second to no other humorous production of this age. In it we think we find traces of a familiar pen, and recognize, here and there, the touches of a master hand, whose productions are not entirely unknown to the undergraduate world. There is a delightful vein of half-concealed, often completely hidden humor running through the work and coming into view only to the observing eye of those whose souls are attuned to the spirit of the composition, and whose memories yet retain the exhilarating tone of the Dean's afternoon receptions. The delightful little essay on Censure Marks becomes almost poetical in its phraseology, and but for a few slight trips in metre and a superfluous line we might be deceived into reading it as a sonnet. The directness and conciseness of the writing cannot be too much praised, though we could wish that the word shall might give way to the gentle "may" or to the potential and insinuating "can."
We have purposely reserved for our last word of praise that most curiously interesting "Vassar Manual."* It is not a new work, but has been recently discovered and reprinted, and around its contents cling the air and spirit of a bygone age. Its real date must be far earlier than that assigned by the title-page, though this may very well be the true date of a modern reprint. That this curious collection of brief essays, sonnets, epigrams, and oracular injunctions was intended for a most limited circulation, we infer from the direction on the cover of our copy, "Not to be taken from Room - ."
How little did these ancients suspect that within a few centuries the work whose exclusive enjoyment was theirs would become a part of the general edifying literature of the world. The arrangement of the work is excellent, considering its early date, and in general its wit is very pointed; but there are some humorous touches in it which we cannot satisfactorily explain. For instance, we find on page twelve an apparent reference to our modern games with forfeits. "A student who fails to do this forfeits her right to washing for the week." Was that a joke practised in the school or convent where we are led to think that this work originated? Certainly, if anything more than a joke, it points to a drought or a peculiar state of civilization. In another place we see evidence of the influence of some ancient Lister: "Valuables may at any time be deposited with the Assistant Treasurer for safe keeping." And again, we can almost see some former Professor of History, as he writes down this sententious little piece of wisdom, "Matches must be struck on the match-vases only, and, after being used, must be carefully extinguished," Another sheaf of garnered wisdom is instructively presented thus: "Great care must be taken not to let pins, pencils, or other small articles drop into the pianos." But right here this leads us to remark the strange oversight of the writers of these bright sayings. For instance, in this last the articles are limited to small ones; now stoves or coal-hods, or even axes, would certainly injure the tone of pianos into which they are dropped, the opinion of Cambridge firemen to the contrary, not withstanding. But the most singular characteristic of this ancient institution, as recorded here, is the marking off of divisions of the day by signal-bells instead of by hours: thus ten strokes means either rise or retire; eight means meals; six means prayers, and so on. Imagine the maiden of that day listening, half awake, to the signal strokes, and then wildly leaping into cavalry boots and ulster, - we mean balmorals and water-proof, - see her rushing to the chapel door, only to find that she counted six instead of ten, and can now return and dress at her leisure.
Throughout this work we find such minute directions that it would be insulting to their age to suppose that the girls at this institution were more than nine or ten years old; and we recommend the book as a curiosity, and as containing some useful hints to all who are interested in the primary-school system and Kindergartens of our country.
*Carey's Social Science: a Condensation of the "Principles of Social Science" of H. C. Carey, by Kate McKean.
*Elements of Intellectual Science: Noah Porter, D. D., LL. D.
*Regulations of the Harvard Faculty, 1875.
*Vassar Students' Manual, 1872.
Hauser Will Not Be Advising Harvard Students This Year
Crimson, Veterans Team Up on TrailsFor the past three weeks, the Harvard Nordic ski team has been trying to spread the joys of its chosen sport. The Crimson has been working with the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) to teach Nordic skiing to war veterans from local VA hospitals.
From Harvard, to Harvard
Psychology Department Bars Hauser from TeachingPsychology Department Chair Susan E. Carey ’64 confirmed that psychology professor Marc D. Hauser will not be teaching next academic year.
Academics Level Criticism at Harvard Over Handling of Hauser Inquiry
Carey Studies SchizophreniaCaitlin E. Carey ’12 has spent the semester immersed in the Social Neuroscience and Psycho-Pathology Lab in William James Hall, studying somatic associations and schizophrenia.