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On the occasion of his farewell appearance, the CRIMSON in behalf of the undergraduates of Harvard University, wishes to offer its tributes to the great teacher and the greater man who has been the first to occupy the chair of Poetry established last year.
Dr. Johnson once said, "When I was a boy. I used always to choose the wrong side of a debate, because the most ingenious things, that is to say the most new things that could be said upon it."
Gilbert Murray's presence here has been a living rebuke to this passion for the latest, the simply clever, the sensational. To those willing to learn he has taught the charm of truth without the prevailing ornaments of paradox and pseudo-sophistication. He rather deals in truth which we have forgotten, passed by; the recalls our attention to the lessons of the past.
To a race of students bereft of all but a slight acquaintance with the Greek and Latin authors prescribed by the College Board Examinations, he discovers Herodotus, Thucydides, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Plato and Aristotle to us as living men. There comes with him a realization of what we have missed in escaping from the classical tradition.
Then too, he is an unparalleled idealist in an age when idealism is regarded as useless if not made. In a college where this quality is considered fit only for Y-men and aesthetes, it has been immensely salutary to find it also the life of a great teacher.
For above all he is that. The power greater than that of instilling knowledge, that of stimulating the imagination, is his. Gilbert Murray is soon to leave Harvard, but he will leave behind him things intangible yet real--personal inspiration, and a realization that it is a mistake ever "to lose the old in the new."
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