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The Concordiensis. (Schenectady, N.Y.) 1877-current, November 01, 1877, Image 3

Image and text provided by Union College

Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn96027707/1877-11-01/ed-1/seq-3/


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THE CONCORDIENSJS. 3 ·' his own style as an author is a model of purity . their affliction,\ and'' remember the words of the Lord ] esus how that he said 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' \ and precision. · . ii' Though scholarly in all his. tastes and habits, . ..... · he could not be a recluse or a bookworm. The .·' ':: ~ of :: '; garden where for so many years he toiled and .. planned bears witness to his fond apprecia- tion of natural beauty; which grew stronger · ··· and more absorbing as he neared the close of · life. The birds sang for him more sweetly, and the language of trees and flowers seemed more full of tender significance as the t-vvilight of age ;' came stealing on. And his deep sympathy with nature was matched by a corresponding sympathy with men. His aversions, like his friendships, were strong and abiding, but for mankind at large his soul. was full of charity. The acerbity of manner which he occasionally ·.··· : assumed was a transparent disguise which could not conceal, even from his dog, the innate kindliness of his heart. Perhaps the greater number of the three thousand students who a I. d I l ' e , I . • i / have shared his instructions could not explain why he had so strong a hold upon their affec- tions, nor why the mention of his name among the gathered Alumni called forth such expres- sions of enthusiastic regard, but those who knew him best will attribute his power to that broad and generous sympathy with every thing human, which enabled him to discern the virtues, and, it may be, too readily condone the faults and follies of impetuous youth. His kindly feelings and kindly acts were not con- fined to the narrow limits of a social circle or a class. He might have said to the recording angel, though he never would, \ vr rite me as one who loved his fellow men.\ Farmers, tradesmen and mechanics were his friends, and few with whotn he came in contact could not name some act of thoughtful attention or some helpful suggestion which betrayed an interest in the plans and struggles and successes of : \their homely life. His religion like his garb was evidently af- fected by his Quaker origin and early training. It was unobtrusive, undemonstrative, a religion of the heart and of the closet which made him ,:l faithful in his church and household, but taught, also, \to visit the fatherless and widows in 32472 ENGLISH LITERATURE IN COLLEGE EDUCATION. THE study of English Literature has hardly received the position which it deserves in the college curriculum. While the classical student has eight terrns of minute and thorough study of choice Latin and Greek authors, and his classmate of the scientific division spends an equal time upon his French and German lit- erature, no provision is made for the study of English authors beyond a term's 'vork in the Senior year, when the student is about to leave his Alma Mater and cannot much longer profit by her instructions. This system we believe to be radically wrong. Our literature surely demands rr1ore attention than this. Under the present system, the bound- less riches of our noble birth-right, the English language, are a sealed book to many otherwise educated men. Those who have the courage to search single-handed for its treasures, often lose time and labor because they have nothing to guide them, nor any thing on which to base a definite system of reading. Close at hand they have a library well stocked with what they need, but they find it difficult to make selec- tions or pursue a course of study, simply be- cause they have no one to direct them to what is useful, and teach them to avoid what is not. They are in the condition of a miner who knows that the ground beneath him holds countless treasures, but is helpless for lack of implements with which to work the coveted ore. As a means of acquiring a correct and ready use of language, the study of its literature in the originals themselves is invaluable. Those of our readers who for half an hour have racked their brains to no purpose for a suitable ex- pression for a really excellent idea, will thor- oughly appreciate this advantage. It is this want of readiness which creates the evident and painful deficiency in our college essays and orations. It is not that ideas are lacking, it is

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