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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
In secondary school proud seniors and spindling freshmen alike are warned by fingershaking teachers or pleading editorials not to defile the newly-grown grass, not to sully instantly with careless feet what Mother Nature has taken months to produce, or not to muddy ground that was green. These expressions are assimilated into one curt thought: Do Not Walk on the Grass.
During the years that grass has flourished in the Yard the holy ones who guide the destiny of Harvard have seen to it that enough paths were laid down to keep wayward souls on the straight and narrow. They have spread a network of labyrinthine footways over the Yard. If this will not keep all upon the concrete, there will be no grass.
In one state they paste a poster on your windshield which claims that the license plates identify the behavior of the driver. Similarly, it should be help in mind that where your feet trod is a reflection of your conduct. In college or in life one cannot afford to be thoughtless in any sense of the word. In New York's Washington Square--where the Fifth Avenue busses route and non-descripts fill the benches, there is a sign on the grass with an imaginative, although true message. It runs something like this:
"Let it be said of no man who wantonly passeth by That here was Beauty where Beauty no more will lie."
This is not just a hint to Freshmen; it is an exhortation to be flung at every one.
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