Harvard is but repeating at a distance of 800 years the experience of Abelard. In his day, when there was neither publicity nor advertising, and renown grew by conversation, Abelard, the "professor par excellence" of his time, attracted such a vast number of students that "the inns were not sufficient to contain them." While great philosophers of antiquity had only a very small number of pupils, Abelard had, according to Compayre, five thousand in his school in Paris. And when he retired at one time with but one pupil to a "desert place," students finding his retreat followed him. "Cities and castles were deserted for this Thebaid of science. Tents were set up; mud walls, covered with moss, rose to shelter the numerous disciples who slept on the grass and nourished themselves with rustic dishes and coarse bread."
If all the new students of Harvard who found themselves temporarily bed less and homeless this year in Cambridge have entered with the eagerness for truth shown by the pupils of Abelard., or by Colonel George Lyon, 73-years of age, who has returned as a graduate student to Harvard, intending "to study as long as he lives," there will not be too many men going to college or university; that is, if a sufficient number of Abelards can be found to teach them. --The New York Times.