To properly pursue the various courses in history of the Junior and Senior years, the instructors in that department consider necessary a sufficient knowledge of German to enable a man to use text and reference books in that language. It has been found hitherto that a man might diligently study German for two years, and at the end of that time be unfitted - so far as German was concerned - to take either of the courses in history. The reason is, that what has been read in the regular courses has been mostly or wholly poetry and easy fiction, the styles and even the vocabularies of which are radically different from those employed by the German historical writers.
It has been determined, therefore, to try the experiment next year of having a course in German in which the "classic" writers and composition shall have no place, and in which the sole aim shall be to familiarize those who take it with the general style of modern German writers on history and philosophy. No single author or work will be used, but essays and lectures on historical and kindred subjects by professors at the different German universities. If they can be obtained in a cheap form, some of the following historical monographs will be read in the course. If not these, others of the same character. Founders of the American Union, by Dr. Bluntschli; Origin and Nature of Feudal Institutions, by Dr. Kuhns; Laws which govern Historical Research, by Professor Von Sybel of the University of Bonn; and essays on different periods of German history by various other writers.
The course is especially designed for members of the present Freshman Class, but Sophomores can take it for the whole of their Junior year in place of a three-hour elective for half the year. It is considered advisable by those having authority, that men who intend to devote much time to history either next year or the year following, should take this course in German.