high school,—which we ought to be,—and that with ‘Christo et Ecclesiae’ for our motto, the morals of great numbers of the young men who come to us are corrupted.
We must therefore change, or public confidence, which is already hesitating, will entirely desert us. If we can ever have an university at Cambridge which shall lead the intellectual character of the country, it can be, I apprehend, only when the present College shall have been settled into a thorough and well-disciplined high school, where the young men of the country shall be carefully prepared to begin their professional studies, and where in Medicine, Law, and Theology, sufficient inducements shall have been collected around and within the College . . . . to keep graduates there two years longer, at least, and probably three . . . .
We have now learnt that as many years are passed in our schools, and colleges, and professional preparation, as are passed in the same way, and for the same purpose, in the best schools in Europe, while it is perfectly apparent that nothing like the same results are obtained; so that we have only to choose whether the reproach shall rest on the talents of our young men, or on the instruction and discipline of our institutions for teaching them.
Now, as there can be no doubt which of the two is in fault, our colleges, constituting as they do the most important portion of our means of teaching, must come in for their full share of the blame.
There may be defects, and there are defects, I know, in the previous preparation of the young men, but the defects at college are greater and graver.
Such were the condition and the needs of the College
, in the view of Mr. Ticknor
His opinions had weight, and were carefully considered by the gentlemen before whom he laid them.
He continues his narrative to Mr. Haven
A list of above twenty questions was prepared by the contributions of all present, each one proposing any point he wished to have examined.
The discussions began at 9 A. M. and were continued till 6 P. M., through dinner and all, without intermission.
About a dozen points were examined, and on all it was unanimously agreed, something ought to be done.
We determined, therefore, to have a committee of the Overseers appointed,—if we could compass it,—with full powers to examine into the whole condition of the College.
This we knew would be agreeable to Mr. Prescott and Mr. Otis, who thought the work could not be carried on without the intervention of a larger body than the Corporation, and a stronger