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THE PROVINCE OF ELECTIVES.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

TO THE EDITORS OF THE CRIMSON:-

I HAVE always believed that one of the most important advantages arising from that palladium of our college liberties, the elective system, was that we should be allowed to select the direction in which to grow wise. I fondly believed that after our Freshman year we were supposed to know what we wanted to learn, and that the learned professor would do his best to give us instruction in that subject and that subject only. For instance, I imagined that when a man took our Fine Arts elective he was supposed to be consumed with a burning desire for useful knowledge concerning the construction of aesthetic chimney-pots and fences. But I was mistaken. He is supposed to have a desire for authoritative criticism of public men, derived from the daily papers, and illustrated by allusions to the politics of ancient Rome. Now what I object to is that this branch of the subject was not mentioned in the list of electives, and this was, I presume, the cause of my mistake.

Or the fault may lie in my own stupidity; for I confess that even yet I cannot see the connection between politics and chimney-pots, or between personal allusions to the character of prominent politicians and good taste in architecture. When I go voluntarily into a political meeting, knowing that I am to hear a speaker who holds views opposed to my own, I am bound to sit still and listen courteously to whatever he may have to say, and it is my own fault if I hear anything I don't like, But when I go to a lecture on Fine Arts, I feel myself in no way bound to listen to personal and entirely irrelevant remarks on politics. If, however, I have made a mistake, and it is only my stupidity which prevents my seeing the intimate connection between politics and fine arts, I would humbly suggest that next year we have a Republican course of Fine Arts for a change.

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