RECEPTION TO NEW STUDENTS.
Addresses by President Eliot and Dean Briggs.
The annual reception to new students was held in Sanders Theatre yesterday evening. Professor Shaler presided and said a few introductory words of welcome to the new men. He then introduced President Eliot, who said in part:
Those young men who are enabled to attend college enjoy one of the greatest possible privileges, and thus belong to a very select few in the country. In this University there exist two pre-eminent characteristics,-the one, absolute freedom; the other, absence of limitation upon intellectual labor.
The sudden acquisition of almost perfect freedom in every particular offers great opportunities, although there may be involved the risk of sin. It is said that virtue is possible only when the risk of vice or sin goes with it, but it must be remembered that experience of sin is an entirely different matter from the risk of sin.
The second characteristic is a peculiarly fortunate one. Trade-unions usually impose some limit to the amount of manual labor done by their members. Such a limitation may be a wise and necessary thing, because manual labor may be carried to excess. The limitation of intellectual labor, however, is not to be thought of. Given the necessary amount of sleep, food and exercise, a college man can work as long and as much as his mind will allow. The physical strength of a man increases until he reaches a certain age, then remains at a standstill and finally begins to decrease. But in this respect the mind differs from the body. With advancing age intellectual power and the pleasure in intellectupower, increase.
Lowell's lines on Washington taking command of the army under the old elm near the Cambridge Common are grand and true:
"Deem not that acts heroic wait on chance * * *
The man's whole life preludes the single deed."
Make your whole life a preparation for the heroic deed.
Dean Briggs was the second speaker. He said in part:
The first idea which the Freshman should grasp is that of responsibility,-responsibility which he carries for the father and mother whom he has left. The Freshman frequently thinks that in being admitted to college he has climbed a huge mountain, and that there is nothing left for him except a picnic at the top. But every man in Harvard should help Harvard, should do something for Harvard; and his first duty in that direction is to do the work she lays out for him Hard and faithful study amounts simply to keeping trust with one's college and one's home. But something besides study is needed. The president of a recent class once said: "A man should do his college work and one thing besides, and do that well." A strong Harvard trait is the spirit of quiet helpfulness. There are many men who in a quiet way help the poor, conduct Boys' Clubs in East Cambridge, teach at the Prospect Union, and carry on many other kinds of philanthropic work.
The other speakers were R. C. Bolling 3L., who welcomed the new graduate students, E. Lewis '02, and Rev. Paul Revere Frothingham.