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Dr. Peabody's Lecture.

The Dangerous Classes in College.


At the banquet of the School-masters' club at the Hotel Brunswick last Saturday, Professor Francis G. Peabody in his after-dinner remarks laid special stress on the dangerous element in college. He proceeded to make an analysis of this element of college life which results from the foolishness of homes, the priggishness of many preparatory schools, and the selfishness of some natures. The false standards, false ideals, spirit of worldliness, and the worship of money at homes where expenses are carried beyond the bounds of reason and habits are excessive, are so threatening as to make all students apprehensive. There is little hope for a boy whose father is a man of the world, and whose mother is engaged other wise than in home duties, whose older brothers and sisters are already leading lives of gaiety if not of dissipation. Some preparatory schools are so un-American, so undemocratic and priggish as to impress their students that they are the favored ones on this earth. These boys are the most to be pitied of any class in college, since they are isolated, although it be by their own choice, and receive little comfort or enjoyment in college life. They are not in the current, so as to speak, but sit upon the bank untouched by the life that flows so joyously by them.

These have no instinct of loyalty, no ardor of enlistment, no sense of a common life, and contribute nothing to the common good, yet they think that their insignificant career should sway everything in college as in home and society. And so it is that the dangers in college life are not so much from the wickedness of boys whose doings are heralded far and wide, as from the evil that arises from many home habits, school sentiment, and overestimate of self. What we need then is the gospel of divine simplicity, a revival of genuine democracy, and renewed inspiration to loyalty.

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