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WE find from some of our exchanges that Harvard has become the subject of a rather warm discussion in certain college circles. What she has done, is doing, and is yet to do, - what Carlyle would denominate her "infinite conjugation of the verb To Do," - has been ruthlessly divulged. As every discussion of this kind sends up some drift-matter of questionable soundness, so we find now a couple of bits that we recognize as exceedingly familiar and as thoroughly worthless as when they first dropped into the tide of discussion that sets so regularly towards Harvard. In the first place we would in no way discourage the use in argument of any harmless little fiction of an elective system, whose effects externally, internally, and eternally are the explanation of every new wrinkle and every old familiar feature at Harvard. Yet in our own college circle the elective system has so long been humorously employed as the open sesame to the explanation and causes of every college characteristic, from the undergraduate fondness for homely curs up to the excellence of theses on Primogeniture, that we cannot repress a sceptical smile or two when an exchange gravely explains away or establishes a point in regard to Harvard by that most convenient argument, her elective system.

We have no idea of underrating the advantages of that elective system, but we do deny that it is the only influence at work here, or that it is so pre-eminently the chief influence that the others may be safely disregarded. Where so many causes are at work it is eminently illogical and misleading to select out any one as the sole cause of a most complex result. And this brings us to the second bit of nonsense, whose commonness the majority of our college men, who do not see the exchanges, remain happily ignorant of; we mean the wholly imaginary light in which Harvard is represented as regarding her emancipation from the old system of required studies into the civilization of electives. To quote an exchange on this advance, "It is a pretty well understood fact that Harvard has made nothing by the change, and that she would be glad to retreat if such a thing were possible." If we had tried to make a glaring misstatement it would certainly have puzzled us to hit wider of the truth. We not only regard our elective system as one of the most valuable features of Harvard, but we never hear of any such sentiments as the above quoted, except from those who are as ignorant of Harvard's methods and successes as the author of this misstatement.

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