The lack of a course in Astronomy at Harvard has long been a favorite theme for animadversion in the college papers. The Herald has at last furnished us with an explanation which has the ring of authority. It seems that the course is a very expensive one to give, owing to the necessity of instruments, even in an early stage of the teaching of the science. The University, as every one knows, has no funds which it can turn to new uses. Almost all benefactors of the college leave their bequests for special objects, and no one has hitherto thought of providing for a course in astronomy. It is time that some generous graduate should put a stop to the anomalous state of affairs which at present exists. We can hardly call ourselves a University as long as we offer to students absolutely no facilities for the study of the stars.
The lacking course in astronomy is only one example of many. A bequest providing for it would be most welcome, but what the University needs most of all is a large gift with no conditions attached. Many little gaps could then be filled, each of which now causes great annoyance, and yet is not sufficiently evident to catch the eye and stir the sympathies of any generously disposed graduate.