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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

COMMENT MILTONIC

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Harvard has been called godless because it is not obliged to attend a chapel which would scarcely hold the Senior Class. It has been averred that all Yale crowds into the chapel at New Haven more or less regularly, in spite of the fact that the compulsory daily service does not, to use Milton's phrase, "dissolve them into ecstacies and bring all Heaven before their eyes." But what shall now be said for the sons of Nassau, whose feet have ever been forced "to walk the studious cloister's pale"?

Princeton is to erect a most expensive chapel with all the English Gothic fixings so dear to the American heart, possibly including secluded stalls in the choir for the members of the eating clubs. With this announcement came the blasting notice that the undergraduate body was petitioning for the abolition of compulsory chapel attendance.

The gaping world has heard nothing further of this astounding proposal and now that it seems likely that little will come of the matter, it is interesting to conjecture what rash motives impelled the undergraduates. Was their petition based on the desire for unhampered week-ends? Or did they fear that in the new chapel they could not "with such consort as they keep, entice the dewy-feathered sleep"? It seems most probable that Princeton is able to "love the high embowed roof, with antique pillars massy proof" just so long as the "storied windows rightly dight" do not east upon the student body too frequent "a dim religious light".

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