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His interest in the improvement of education at Cambridge was so great, and he took so large a part in the attempt to render the College effective for the promotion of the highest culture, that any account of his life from 1819 to 1830 must include a narrative of his exertions for that end.

In a letter to Mr. Haven, written in 1825, he gives a sketch of the condition of the College, and of the efforts to improve it, beginning in 1821.1

To N. A. Haven.

October 26, 1825.
I take my earliest leisure to give you the account you desire to have, of the origin and management of the measures for change at Cambridge. .

When I came home from Europe [1819], not having been educated at Cambridge, and having always looked upon it with great veneration, I had no misgivings about the wisdom of the organization and management of the College there. I went about my work, therefore, with great alacrity and confidence; not, indeed, according to a plan I proposed in writing . . . . but according to the established order of things, which I was urged to adopt as my own, and which I did adopt

1 Mr. Haven's forebodings about the College were often expressed to Mr. Ticknor. On the 15th of September, 1821, he wrote: ‘I have frequently had occasion to express an opinion, which I have formed after some inquiry,—and, I need not add, with great reluctance,—that habits of expense and of dissipated pleasures prevail amongst the young men at Cambridge, in a greater degree than at any former period within my knowledge. . . . . The opinion was formed and communicated to a friend more than three years ago. I made inquiries of young men who were then or who had recently been connected with the College, and my opinion was formed upon facts which they communicated. I may add, that the friend with whom I conversed did not at that time agree with me in opinion; that I had no further conversation with him upon the subject until last week, when he informed me that his own inquiries and observation had convinced him that the College could be saved from utter ruin only by the introduction of a severe discipline . . . . No one who knows me will suspect me of any feelings unfriendly to the College. On the contrary, I cannot well describe how strongly all my feelings and hopes and recollections are connected with it. It is precisely because they are so connected with it, that I desire a reformation to be effected. I might almost say that all our hopes of sound learning and of uncorrupted Christianity depend upon the prosperity of that institution. . . . . But the College has watchful enemies, and nothing can save her from their grasp but a spotless reputation.’

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