The following extract from a letter to the Boston Transcript is of interest in showing how an outsider views life at Harvard:-
"There is so much spoken and unspoken criticism of Harvard College that those who know the inner working of life among the mass of students are sometimes moved to anger and sometimes to mirth by the condition of the public mind towards institutions of education. Many seem to regard Harvard as a patent machine, warranted by the corporation and faculty to take any material in its grip, and, after four years, turn out a first-class scholar and gentleman. No matter how ill prepared, how feeble the mind, how powerless the will, how vicious the habits, how indolent the nature, how undisciplined the character, Harvard is to turn them, one and all, into scholars and useful citizens. Much is done. The great majority, of whom little is heard, are developed and improved. After many years of close observation of the college student, I feel impelled to suggest what is needed in a student beyond the power to pass examinations.
"The first requisite for success is a habit of self-discipline. Boys, or rather young men, of eighteen, who have never been thrown on their own resources, whose hours have been mapped out for them, whose coming and going has been regulated by authority, whose clothes have been bought, whose books and companions have been chosen, or who have been in the seclusion of careful boarding-schools, are suddenly thrown into freedom, entirely unprotected, can choose everything from companions to studies and at the same time have to meet temptations new in kind and in degree. Having had no command of money, with no experience of providing for the future, they are given a month or six months' allowance, and the parent is surprised at the end of the year to find the boy in trouble and debt. A boy should be taught to accept during his youth the discipline of his environment, for no college can guarantee to each student individual superintendence over the formation of character; it can only supply the best intellectual training.
It is not the young man with an income of $5.000 or the one with $10,000 that comes to grief (in such exceptional cases money enables a student to support his follies without becoming desperate, though of course he is injured by them,) but it is the young man with $2,000 who wishes to live as if he had $10,000, or the young man with $1,000who seeks the pleasures of $5,000, or the young student with $500 who wishes to lead his class."