I have never believed that the students of Harvard have yet fully understood the great art of creating and filling offices of honor and importance. It is true that many societies and other organizations exist at Harvard, and that each one of these necessitates a considerable list of officers and committees - sometimes, I have been told by the envious, a very respectable proportion of the membership list, a portion sufficient in the steady march of time to satisfy the aspirations of all concerned. But, nevertheless, in spite of all these assertions, I now have to believe that Harvard men are mere novices in this branch of the great art of politics. I have seen the list of sophomore class officers in a neighboring college, and, for ingenuity and fertility of resource, it certainly surpasses anything attained with us. Here it is: President, vice-president, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, treasurer, marshal, orator, poet, historian, statistician, reporter, joker, prophet, besides the usual committees, etc. - and all this in the sophomore class! By senior year and class day to what proportions will this list have swelled!
The English "Notes and Queries" protests against the loose use of technical terms that is prevalent in our games and sports. The writer instances cases of mistaken usage in billiards and whist, but, strangely enough, he does not mention poker, a game, as I am told, in which pre-eminently a loose use of technical terms prevails. Poker, I presume, however, is an American game, and, in spite of the patriotic efforts of Minister Schenck, is not yet received with favor in England. "The game in which this misuse of terms is most rampant, and to which I especially desire to direct attention," the writer concludes, "is lawn tennis. Players and manufacturers call 'rackets' 'bats.' Cricket is played with a bat, lawn tennis with a racket. 'Strokes' are often called 'points' and 'aces;' a 'service' is called a 'serve;' a 'rest' is known as a 'rally;' the 'sides' (of the net) become 'ends;' the 'striker out' is transformed into the 'non-server,' and the 'server' into the 'striker;' sometimes they are called 'hand-in' and 'hand-out,' when tennis scoring is employed, as is now universally the case. It is too much to hope that the rising generation will take a hint, and endeavor to call things (especially lawn tennis) by their correct names." The players of lawn tennis in college should take the hint so freely offered and put to shame the bitter pessimism of that last sentence.
It is time for Harvard to view with alarm the rival institutions that are springing up within and in the vicinity of Boston. That so many colleges, professedly rivals of Harvard, have been founded so recently almost at her doorsteps, must indicate some wide-spread dissatisfaction with the spirit and aims of this university. That there are really objections, however, that are serious and deserving of great concern, I do not believe. Harvard's growth and progress has perhaps been too rapid. These institutions represent a reaction. Cosmopolitanism and non-sectarianism are naturally distasteful to the provincial and sectarian. But it may be that Tufts College and the Boston University do not attempt so much to rival Harvard as to fill a position left vacant and abandoned by her many years ago.
But the latest innovation is formidable - in name, at least. The "American University" is the title of a new institution recently chartered in Boston, for the introduction of "an improved system of education." Its objects are primarily "moral." "Its peculiarity consists in recognizing the moral faculties as more important than the intellectual, and entitled to more attention in education. It is claimed that it is as possible to develop virtue by education as to develop intelligence." It is probable that no other city but Boston could have given rise to such a university - with such a name. Harvard men will find it hard not to believe that its establishment on the basis specified is a prodigious fling at the universal and shocking immorality of the Harvard student. It is to be hoped that this last move will have a sobering effect on this culprit. He is very wicked and doubtless needs this reminder.